Saturday, December 17, 2016

Organic Coconut Oil (16oz Raw Cold Pressed Extra Virgin ) by Island's Miracle



I use coconut oil for nearly everything. It all started about 2 1/2 years ago with my updated dental care routine of oil pulling and making my own (coconut oil, essential oil, bentonite clay, charcoal powder) toothpaste. I then expanded my use of coconut oil to include making my own deodorant and using it for cloth diaper safe bottom balm. It also works wonderfully for cooking, skin, and hair care. I mostly use the non odor / flavorless coconut oil for cooking, but do enjoy the coconut flavor for stirfry, Indian cuisine, or desserts.
Coconut oil is so healthy for your body on the exterior and interior. Did you know it actually can contribute to losing weight? It speeds up your metabolism to burn the excesses of fat, and gives you energy to move and exercise. Blood sugar can also be stabilized. Our body benefits in other ways by using coconut oil, such as a boost to our immune system. Coconut oil is highly antibacterial, which is why I use it in my oil pulling (swishing it in my mouth for 20 minutes then spitting out---removes toxins), toothpaste, and as a bottom balm for my babies. It does a wonderful job of removing makeup (I use it for eye makeup such as waterproof black liner and mascara) as well as a hair deep conditioning mask.

I am alway happy to try varying brands and will tell you about a brand of coconut oil that was sent to me. Islands Miracle is sold on Amazon and comes in a 16 oz jar. The jar is plastic that is BPA free, but I would have preferred glass. This oil is certified chemical free, organic, vegan and cold pressed extracted. The company offers a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.

I liked how the coconut oil was bright white and fresh. It has a delightful coconut flavor and aroma. I am using this jar for dental care, deodorant, and skin care. I did use it once to make some simple ingredient chocolate fudge as we were out of butter, but I prefer using either butter for that purpose or the Refined, flavorless oil for cooking. The coconut oil was nice, but it overpowered my raw cacao fudge.

I have been using this nearly every day (for a month) for some sort of purpose. The jar still has plenty of use left. As mentioned, I did make a fresh glass jar of deodorant with this coconut. I mixed arrowroot powder, zinc oxide non nano powder, magnesium powder, coconut oil, and a few drops of lemon and lavender oil. I use this daily and am odor free for 24+hrs. I shower every day, but did test this for one day a few weeks ago when I learned of adding zinc oxide to my mix. I have been making my own deodorant for a few years now, but the zinc is a new (to me) and wonderful addition--I love it!







I was sent this coconut oil for review, and did not promise a positive review. I was not compensated for my review, but was sent a jar for the purpose of evaluation.

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation for a product review and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I am always honest in my opinions and never promise a positive review. I only recommend products or services that I feel are beneficial to my family and my lovely readers. I enjoy testing out items and giving my readers an honest and descriptive account of how a product functions. My personal experience or view of an item may differ than yours.

Tiny Drops of Honey is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. You pay the exact same price for any and all products you order through my links, but I receive a small commission. I am a stay at home mommy and any commissions I receive help support my little ones.

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Product Review: Water Test Kit 9-Way 100ct, 30-Second Results




We live in a nearly 100 year old home with old pipes, that may very well be the original or still 50+ years old if they ever were "updated." We have frequent issues with plumbing and our water from the kitchen sink tap is not delicious. It is leaning towards "ok" at best. We use a Brita pitcher that filters the water to a manageable taste. I have always wondered about our water and have a $70 shower filter (Waterchef) installed as it seems to help with the water hardness and prevents some of the excess chlorine from drying our skin and making our hair frizzy, lifeless, and damaged.

The house really needs a whole house filter but that won't be in the budget for quite some time as we are dealing with some other expensive large repairs at the moment. I was happy to be sent a water testing strip kit that evaluates the water quality in 9 ways. The kit came with 100 test strips and is said to test level of total alkalinity, free chlorine, pH, total hardness, total chlorine, cyanuric acid, nitrite, nitrate, and bromine.  I was really only looking at the chlorine and hardness levels as those are easier for me to understand for now.  

This Water test kit is fairly easy to use right away, dip a strip into water (I only tested our kitchen tap water) and wait 30 seconds, then check results against the chart. I appreciate that the company puts the chart on their box that the product comes in, the actual plastic bottle itself, and an instruction sheet. This is convenient in case the box or paper is misplaced. I do think it would be easier if at least one of the 3 areas were the same size as the actual test strip, to allow the color blocks to line up easier. 

I have tested the water 6 times (3 in the picture as shown) and have gotten varied results. My color blocks differ slightly from one another and some have partial colors (mix of 2 colors). The water was tested from the same glass of water, within 10 minutes of each other. I am happy that 100 strips are included (in case of user error or to improve accuracy of readings), and that currently the price is under $20. For a casual user, this kit might be beneficial if you are not testing for anything in particular. (Such as if you do not have reason to believe your water is highly dangerous and you just are curious about your levels.) As gross as our water is to drink unfiltered, it is safe. I just prefer the water in my hometown (about 2 hours away from where we currently live) much better.  I actually drink most of my water from Dasani (I know, most people are against this and think bottled water is a scam, and yes it is not the best for the environment or my pocketbook).  I do notice when our "filtered" water is put into a Dasani water bottle (my husband tried to test this without me knowing and I mentioned my water tasted like tap---that was from the Brita Filter Pitcher, and so in my opinion the Dasani DOES taste better.  :) 

I like that this kit makes it quick and easy to test water in various areas of the home.  We do not have a pool or aquarium, but this would be beneficial for those households as well. Home water testing kits are affordable, and instant results without having to mail samples and wait for results from a lab.  (Which may cost?).

I did not instantly love this kit, as I was unsure it was fully accurate, but it is nice to have 100 strips to test several times and compare.  I followed the instructions fully each time (only dipping briefly and keeping the strip level for 30 seconds without shaking the excess water) and got some varied results.  I do want to mention that after allowing the kit to dry for about an hour and a half, the results certainly looked better.  The last picture shows that this kit is best read at least an hour after dipping--at least in my experience.

These might work for you, and I would recommend trying them as the price is reasonable.  These were sent to me for review, and this was my honest experience and opinion.











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DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation for a product review and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I am always honest in my opinions and never promise a positive review. I only recommend products or services that I feel are beneficial to my family and my lovely readers. I enjoy testing out items and giving my readers an honest and descriptive account of how a product functions. My personal experience or view of an item may differ than yours.

Tiny Drops of Honey is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. You pay the exact same price for any and all products you order through my links, but I receive a small commission. I am a stay at home mommy and any commissions I receive help support my little ones.










Botanical Lipstick (BERRY RED) By Skin2Spirit (Review)





I use natural bath, body, hair and home products about 90% of the time. I am completely sulfate free and limit the amount of chemicals I use of have my family use. There are some items I have not completely transferred over to 100% natural. Although the majority of my makeup is natural, I do have some brands in the mix that I cannot give up just yet. I have yet to find a mascara that I love that is completely natural, and a lot of my eyeshadows and lipsticks are from Urban Decay as I love the colors (I try not to peak at the ingredients). For natural based lipsticks I have used Bare Minerals Moxie which is a healthier option. I recently was given an evaluation sample lipstick from Skin2Spirit. I tested their magnesium sprays a while back and was pleased with the outcome as I used them as a part of my natural deodorants.

I selected the Berry Red shade of lipstick which is a pretty, feminine red shade.  I am always drawn to a classic red lip or pink lip.  I find that darker reds (plum brown toned or wine) do not really suit me.  The lipstick arrived to me in a mesh bag and is housed in a simple matte black tube.  The tube closes very nicely which may not seem like a big deal, but honestly my Bare Mineral Moxies would always lose loosely and I have since stopped purchasing them.  (They might have improved this, but for a while they had a push up lever that made for a messy lipstick tube that opened at the worst times).  This simple matte black tube on the Skin2Spirit lipstick is nice.  I think (from what I have seen on Amazon) that they now have a label on them with ingredients listed on the tube, but I think the way mine arrived is classier and looks much more expensive.  

The Skin2Spirit lipsticks are organic and formulated with organic butters, botanical extracts and essential plant oils. I was intrigued to find out that Oregano, Thyme, Cinnamon, Lavender, Lemon essential oils are in the lipsticks. Those essential oils are a combination I never would have thought would be added to a lipstick.  They seem to be a spicier medley, but luckily the lipstick did not tingle or burn my lips when applied.  I also did not notice much of a fragrance.  Sometimes lipsticks and makeup in general has a fake perfume fragrance that is overpowering.  The  (Berry Red) lipstick is a slightly sheer, moisturizing stick, made with organic Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, and Cocoa Butter. These are all nice ingredients that soften and protect lips. It is crazy how many toxic ingredients are in some of my favorite non natural brands. This lipstick applies nicely and is comfortable to wear.  I did find that it does not last as long as my Urban Decay Vice lipsticks, which are currently my favorite (but not natural).

The ingredients in the Skin2Spirit lipstick are luxurious! They are Vitamin rich with Vitamins A, E, B1, B2, B6 & even Calcium! (wow--another surprise there).  Infused with REAL Vanilla Extract and other Essential Oils (Oregano Thyme, Cinnamon, Lavender, Lemon).  This ingredient list is pure luxury.  

Ingredients

*CERTIFIED ORGANIC: Castor Seed Oil*, Beeswax*, Carnauba wax*, Candelilla Wax*, Sunflower Oil*, Shea Butter*, Cocoa Butter*, Jojoba Oil*, Coconut Oil*, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Oregano Leaf Extract*, Thyme Extract*, Cinnamon Bark Extract*, Rosemary Leaf Extract*, Lavender Extract*, Goldenseal Root Extract, Lemon Peel Extract*, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E, Vanilla, may contain Mica, oxides

It really is a nice lipstick.  This was sent to me for review and this is my honest opinion.  I do find that it smears off a bit when I eat food (such as sandwiches or something).  It is a moist lipstick and while it is moisturizing and very skin soothing, it does rub off easier than a matte or dry lipstick.  I would suggest applying it after you eat to prevent this problem.  

I like that this brand has a variety of shades that can suit many skin tones.  I am curious about the Sweet Pea and the Pink Peach as they look like other shades I would enjoy.  
















Please Follow me! 

Facebook for updates to this blog, reviews, and giveaways.  For updates on new posts, you can subscribe to me on bloglovin.  I would love it if you would visit me (subscribing makes me so happy) on Instagram and Twitter.

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation for a product review and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I am always honest in my opinions and never promise a positive review. I only recommend products or services that I feel are beneficial to my family and my lovely readers. I enjoy testing out items and giving my readers an honest and descriptive account of how a product functions. My personal experience or view of an item may differ than yours.

Tiny Drops of Honey is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. You pay the exact same price for any and all products you order through my links, but I receive a small commission. I am a stay at home mommy and any commissions I receive help support my little ones.














Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wool cloth diaper covers / Review of Etsy Shop MyWoolieBaby

I love wool for my babies, especially since the winter months have arrived and our home is quite chilly.  We have a nearly 100 year old country home that has terrible insulation.  It is helpful to wear layers of warm, yet breathable clothing since even cranking the heat thermostat to 74 still leaves us with sold cold spots.  

We have cloth diapered for several years now (3 children), and the 2 youngest are currently in cloth.  I am loving our Green Mountain Workhorse Clotheez fitted diapers.  They are basically a cotton prefold that is fitted and has similar diaper tabs that can be pinned or snapped (depending on what you choose to purchase).  I like the snap-less so I can pin with diaper pins as I get a more customized, secure fit.  I hate snapp-is (rubbery stretchy things that fasten a snapless diaper.  The diaper with snaps work okay, but the tabs are shorter and if a baby is in between snap sizes, you cannot get a very good fit.  My diaper pins of choice are most anything vintage.  The vintage ones work the best as they are sturdier and generally have guarded coils (end of the pin where it bends is thicker and guarded so it does not snag on fabric).  Look at my pretty vintage pins still on the original card! I was able to get 3 full cards of these on eBay for a great price! I would have gotten the pinks ones as well, but alas my daughter is 5! :) These blue are perfect for my 2 boys though!  The pin cushion is a handmade one i purchased from etsy years ago, before my children.  I am not a seamstress at all, so I use this for my vintage pins.  The mint green pins are my favorite, they came on the card with the sweet bear, but only had 2 pins.  I use them on my 6 month old daily.  





These cotton diaper need a cover over them to keep the outer part dry and comfortable.  I discovered using wool as a diaper cover back in the summer months and am obsessed.  Wool in summer? YES! I have found it to be breathable and comfortable even in very warm months.  Wool is can absorb 30% of its own weight before feeling wet. I sold my pul snap covers and now use wool full time as it is natural and works so well for us. Wool is perfect for hot or cold weather. 

The nice thing is that I do not have to wash our wool covers as often as I did when I used the plastic pul ones.  Wool is naturally antibacterial and somewhat self cleaning.  I wash my wool by hand when it is soiled (happens more often with younger, breast fed babies as you can imagine).  When wool absorbs urine, it does something almost magical.  It creates a process that turns the urine into a salt water and self cleans.  The wool needs to be removed from baby, turned inside out, and aired.  I air my wet wool covers in front of a fan and generally they are fresh and dry by the next time they are needed.  For most cases, wool diaper covers need to be washed (by hand) about 2-3 times a month.  I use an old Rubbermaid plastic dish tub from my late grandmother's (Gammy) home.  It has seen much better days (look at the deep plastic marking from someone putting it on a hot burner accidentally or putting a hot dirty pan inside it to wash).  It still has more life in it and it is nice knowing that it is being used to wash other items now.  :)






I wash my soiled wool diaper covers in room temperature tepid water with gentle natural soap.  I usually purchase a hard coconut and sodium hydroxide soap from etsy to wash my wool.  I have used Castile soap as well.  I gently rub (not too much as you do not want to felt the wool or damage it) over the stains and soil with the soap and rinse.  Do not use hot water.  I then dump this water and fill it with fresh water and my lanolin soap mixture.  To make my lanolizing wash, I use bulk lanolin melted in water with a little bit of natural soap to emulsify it.  I use an old Mason jar or jelly jar with a lid to shake it up and this creates a milky appearance.  Sometimes I add essential oil (lemon or lavender usually) to scent it.  A few times I have used a fragrance oil that is suited for bath and body use (blueberry cupcake is the scent I have).

Generally you can let your wool soak into the lanolin water for about 20 minutes or so, but I usually do 3+ hours to overnight.  When your wool has lanolized, gently squeeze the excess water out, taking care not to twist or stretch the wool.  Use a thick towel to lay the wool cover   on top and roll the wool and towel to absorb the excess water into the towel.  I unfortunately did not take pictures, but you can find extra info on this easily (with pictures).

I have gradually built up my wool covers.  With 2 cloth diapered young children in wool full time, and a 5 year old who needs padded undies at night for wet accidents, I need several pieces in my collection.  I have long wool covers and short wool covers.  Not only do I use our long wool covers (longies) for diapering, but they also serve as pants when we go outside the home as well.  It makes thing easier and it looks nice (while feeling cozy).  

The bulk of my wool is from a wonderful shop on etsy.  The shop is called MyWoolieBaby  and she is a parent of a little girl about my daughter's age.  (She also has an older son who nearing college age).  She began the shop years ago when she needed a reliable, yet budget conscious way to cover her daughter's cloth diapers.  She is an excellent seamstress and so very talented with her creations.  

Here are some of her sold items.  She makes wool items from premie and newborn, all the way up to XL which fits my 5 year old.  Her XL woolies are intended to fit around the older toddler stage (2T+), but my 5 year old is rather slim so she can fit into the L and XL without issue.  She now makes woolies in the XXL size which would fit up to 5T (maybe 6 depending on the size of the child). This makes it nice because I can purchase a L and know it will fit both my 2 1/2 year old son and my daughter.  The length may be an issue for some items, but honestly the Larges look really cute on my daughter when rolled a little as a capri style pant.  

Jaime creates such colorful and cute woolies.  She makes them from up cycled, gently used  cashmere and merino wool sweaters.  My favorite of her covers are the ones she makes from cable knit sweaters.  They are cozy and so classy for girls and boys alike.  She also makes woolies with animals and fun objects on them.  My daughter loves her pink shortie with a slight ruffle leg and balloons on the bum in coordinating pink and purple shades.  She also loves her sunshine woolies.  I got these for her as she is always drawing sunshines on nearly every crayon and Magna Doodle drawing she makes.  

Besides Jaime's gorgeous and extremely well made items, what I love about her shop is how personable and kind she is.  She prices her items reasonably and cares about her customers. She wants wool to be affordable.  I cringe when I see other companies and shops charge $35, $45, $55, and above for wool covers.   Many people cloth diaper for the economical aspect of it, and spending that amount of money each for diaper covers can be difficult.  Our family of 5 has one incoming coming in, and it is rather limited at that.  We would not be able to do wool full time if it weren't for finding this shop.  Jaime is consistently good at what she does.  We have purchased several covers from her and will return.  I do not have excess funds for purchasing wool when I see something that strikes my fancy (which happens so often with her shop) but when I have some paypal funds, I often buy a woolie or 2 from her.  The nice thing is sometimes 2 sizes will fit the same child (you can buy a little longer or bigger to have the woolie fit for a longer span of time and just cuff up the legs).  Sometimes 1 or 2 sizes will fit 2 children (such as my 2 1/2 year old and 5 year old).  

I love how the waist bands are wide and soft, almost like a yoga type band.  I like to pull the band high on my 6 month old.  Sometimes when the days were warm in the house, my 2 young boys would wear only their diaper and the woolie pants (pulled up high).  It is ultra soft and cozy and I love snuggling a woolie baby against my babies.

These pictures are a time span of about 3 months.  I have been wanting to post sooner, but since my daughter started Kindergarten in August, we have been sick with flu and cold (entire family each time except for the 6 month old) 4-5 times.  I also have just been been busier than I thought I would with a 2 1/2 year old and new baby.  

Here are some tips from Jaime's Shop on how to find a woolie that will fit your little one:

✿✿✿HOW TO MEASURE✿✿✿
How to measure your little one, use a flexible measuring tape, such as for sewing or a piece of string/yarn and a ruler. Baby needs to be wearing whatever diaper/underpants they usually wear to get the most accurate measurements. I list inseam lengths on longies.

WAIST ~ Measure around the waist at the top of the diaper. 
RISE ~ The rise is from the bellybutton to the small of the back, making sure to go over the top of the diaper.
THIGH ~ Measure around the top of thigh at the thick part.
HIPS ~ Measure baby around the lower part of the hips, above the thighs and around the bum.
INSEAM ~ Measure from the top of the inside of the thigh to the ankle.



Ok, now that I have gotten you all excited about wool, let me show you all the pretties! Warning, picture overload!  Look at how precise and talented she is!  She sews wool boosters into most of her woolies for added protection for heavier wetters.

Please visit MyWoolieBaby to see all her wool shorties and longies! You can also find her on Pinterest.