Norwex Review

norwex clothsA few weeks ago I did a review on JuJuBe, which since then I have added even more to my stash, and wanted to  continue that idea with another product review.  With the holidays around the corner with gift giving at an all time high, I’m hoping these reviews may sway a few people.  I understand cleaning products are generally frowned upon for gifts, but some people would really love and appreciate these items.  So, let’s get down and dirty with some of the Norwex products I have used and instantly fell in love.

norwex cloth 2The enviro cloth.  I have used a large amount of microfiber cloths over the years and they all fall apart or get this weird gritty feeling.  I’ve even used the e-cloth brand which is similar to Norwex but slightly lower quality.  The Norwex cloths feel amazing and everything gets trapped in the microfiber.  It takes no time at all and only water to clean my very messy 1 year old and the table surrounding him after spaghetti dinner.  I just rinse the cloth clean and use again with the next mess.  I can do that with the Norwex cloths because it contains silver which kills germs so I’m not spreading bacteria.  I’ve removed all of the other cloths from my cleaning supplies and only use Norwex enviro cloths for my house.  They come in a variety of colors so I’ve labeled specific colors for their intended use.  Although they have the bacteria killing ability, I am still not using a cloth on my toilet one day and then on my kitchen counter the next.  Labeling allows me to keep them very organized.

Next, I purchased the mop pads.  I completely understand the hesitation for not mop norwexpurchasing the mop system.  It is a steep price tag.  But, I already had the BONA mopping system and the cloths fit fairly well on that handle.  I can now quickly sweep my floors with one cloth and just brush the dirt into the trash.  For larger piles of dirt from dog hair, I use my Dyson to vacuum up before mopping.  The mopping pad uses just a little water and the same handle.  I love being able to clean my house with just water and know that I am collecting the germs that are lying around in the cloth.

Finally, I use the mattress cleaner.  I purchased this due to my daughters allergies.  It was recommended we get rid of the carpet and stuffed animals to cut down on the dust that collects.  However, the cost to remove carpet and replace with good quality flooring is a bit much at this time.  We will do this in the near future.  Plus, asking a 3 year old to give away her mountain of stuffed animals is a little tear-jerking.  So, I bought this spray.  I am able to spray all of her stuffed animals once a month as well as the mattress in her room and the little chair in the play area.  It deep cleans the items, leaving them free of body oils, dander and other contaminants.

Now, those are the products that I am currently using as well as hand towels in a few of my bathrooms.   My wishlist, on the other hand, is actually quite long for Norwex products.  The products save time and money, not to mention the amazing benefits for my family.  They have child sized products to allow the little ones in your life to assist in the cleaning.  I actually find myself cleaning more frequently because of the ease with the products.  I should also mention that I am not a seller for Norwex nor am I going to link any one seller to this post.  The reason, I want you to have your own gathering.  Invite one of the sellers in your area over to show you how amazing the products are in real life.  If you are going to invest in these cleaning products, you want to be able to touch them and use them in areas of your home prior to buying.  As for gifts for the cleaning and organizing person in your life, maybe a gift certificate in a stocking or one of the cleaning cloths just to get them introduced to one of the best products on the market.

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Advent Activities for Children

The holiday season is upon us all and I’m sure we’re all feeling the hustle and bustle of getting things ready for the family.  Getting holiday gifts for loved ones, decorating the house and spending lots of time with family can be overwhelming.  Last year I spent some time developing an individualized advent calendar for my children.  I will link that here (Last years advent activities). The family advent activities were small things that we could do together as a family and get some special time with our children to slow down the hectic moments.  This year, I am pulling some of the same activities for my family and adding in a few new ones.

 

Dec 1: Decorate the family Christmas Tree

Dec 2: New Book: Look and Be Grateful by Tomie DePaola.  We are trying to teach our 3 year old how to be appreciative.

Dec 3: Read the story of the Birth of Jesus

Dec 4: Make and a paper chain to decorate the tree

Dec 5: Mess-Free Glitter Christmas Tree and Gingerbread house by Melissa and Doug

Dec 6: Hang the felt Christmas tree and ornaments

Dec 7: New Book: Kindness to share from A to Z

Dec 8: Have a dance party with Christmas Music

Dec 9: Local zoo light event

Dec 10: Make homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast

Dec 11: Winter Snow Dough- this was a huge hit last year so I have to repeat it!

Dec 12: Make Hot Chocolate

Dec 13: Decorate Christmas cards for the police and fire men and women

Dec 14: Donate 2 toys each to another child or organization

Dec 15: New Book: Llama Llama Holiday Drama

Dec 16: Bake Christmas cookies for friends

Dec 17: Go ice skating- I received skates last year and never got to use them. So, what better excuse than to take our 3 year old for the first time!

Dec 18: Paint with cookie cutters

Dec 19: New Book: Pete the Cat Save Christmas

Dec 20: Have holiday Sprinkles on our Waffles for dinner (Waffle Wednesday is a tradition at our house instead of Taco Tuesday)

Dec 21: Bake and cake for Jesus’ Birthday

Dec 22: Drive around and look at the lights

Dec 23: Watch a Christmas movie

Dec 24: Attend Christmas Eve Mass

Dec 25: Celebrate Christmas with our family!

I’m excited to bring out the Advent calendar again this year.  Our three year old is just starting to understand the holiday and I’m looking forward to showing her how to help others out during this season.  It is important to show children how they can be Christ like throughout the whole year, but especially during the celebration of the birth of Christ.

Do you do anything special with your family during this time of year?  What are some of your favorite traditions?  I hope this holiday season is filled with lots of special blessings for all of you!

JuJuBe Review

 

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Monarch Be Classy- This and my Nantucket Be Classy are used for work bags. They hold file folders and my laptop perfectly!

Todays post is all about an obsession of mine.  I even received a new one for my birthday this past week!  It started when I was seriously over my cheap diaper bag with my first child.  It barely lasted a year before it was falling apart and nothing was easy to find.  It was like digging through a bottomless bag and took way to long to get what you needed.  It was at my fed up point that I started asking for opinions on new diaper bags.  I heard good thing about a few brands and decided to watch some YouTube videos to get some reviews and really see what the bag can hold.  It was at that moment I fell in love with JuJuBe.  These bags were magical, or so the person made them seem.  They could hold a million and one items and everything would be super easy to locate.  They are machine washable, teflon treated, Agion® treatment, has a mommy pocket and memory foam change pad.  Then there came a sticker shock.  They weren’t cheap.

It took a lot of YouTube videos, talking with others, visiting a local BuyBuyBaby and joining the Pink Lady Chat Facebook group to push me over the edge and buy my first bag.  It was seriously love after that purchase.  There are so many bags and they can be used for more than just diaper bags.  So, when I look at the bag, I don’t see it being used for just a few years while my children are in diapers.  I use them for work bags, I used one for a pump bag (which spoiler alert JuJuBe now makes pump bags), I use them for organizing my bags, I use them for purses when I just need something quick, I have a BeSpendy (wallet), wet bag and fuel cell (small cooler bag).  Honestly, I have a good bit.  But, I almost always want more.  These bags are amazing and can seriously hold a large amount of items.  They were completely worth the price I paid and the awesome thing is they will hold the value.  Some of the more iconic or hard to find prints even sell 3x the original price used.  I personally don’t own those prints because they are insanely hard to come by and most of them are not for my taste.  I don’t have time to flip them and don’t feel it right when someone else truly loves the print.

5 Reasons I love these bags:

  • I can pack them for two kids- one in diapers and one that is struggling with potty training and the bag still feels pretty light with room to spare.
  • I can use the bag as luggage when taking a weekend trip or quick trip for work and it still looks fashionable.
  • I am able to organize the bag the same way every single day which makes it easier for anyone watching the little ones.
  • They are insanely durable.
  • There is a bag for everyone.
  • Not featured in these images: Classy in Nantucket, BRB in Admiral, Medium set piece in Rad Hearts, Small and medium set piece in Royal Envy, Royal Envy Fuel Cell, Be Organized set in Duchess, and Be Spendy in First Lady.  I told you I have quite the obsession.

Honestly, I would seriously recommend these bags to anyone looking for high quality.  They aren’t just for moms with children in diapers.  They have bags for every single person out there.  They even carry Super Toki prints and a recent collaboration with World of WarCraft.  I may even have convinced a few others to start their own obsession with JuJuBe bags *wink*.

 

Spousal R&R

I am the first person to admit that I have extra mom guilt when it comes time for a date night with my husband.  We both work all week and barely see our kids during waking hours as it stands.  So, why would I want to find a sitter and spend more time away from them?  It is always a very challenging thing for me to do and therefore I don’t do it very frequently.  I completely understand the importance of time away with your significant other, it’s just easier to deal with that guilt.

Guilt aside, my husband and I took a trip to Fallingwater in Mill Run, PA for his birthday.  For those that may not know, Fallingwater is the house designed and implemented by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kauffman family in the late 1930s.  Added history lesson in this post!  My husband is really into architecture and studied Wright in high school years ago.  The house is pretty incredible to see and the tour guide we had was knowledgeable and personable.

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Our tour was early in the afternoon and we spent almost 3 hours there looking around the house and exploring the grounds surrounding the house.  We ventured to our hotel a short distance away in Uniontown, PA.  On our way we drove through Ohio Pyle and there was a huge festival going on so the town was hopping.  We passed the Laurel Caverns and a battle field that can be toured.  There are also two other houses by Wright in the area.  It was during our drive that we had wished our weekend away was a little longer.  There was so much to see in that small little portion of the map.

The next morning we woke up at 7am.  I know you are already thinking it so I’m going to say it, “What the heck were you doing up at 7am when you had the opportunity to sleep in?”  The answer to that question is, I have no idea.  The hotel was fairly new and so the accommodations were very nice.  But, we enjoyed a nice breakfast, filled up the car and headed home.

Although I experience guilt when leaving my children for fun times with my spouse, I understand the importance.  It allowed us to reconnect and enjoy time together.  We were able to talk without being interrupted.  We still thought about our kids a lot and talked about them a good bit.  But, it was our time.

I’d definitely recommend this as a weekend get away.  Young children are not allowed at Fallingwater, so it makes a perfect retreat for any couple that enjoys nature or history.

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Resolution Recap

The new year is upon us.  I decided to do a recap of my resolutions/ goals were for 2016 and see if I even came close.  Spoiler alert: I FAILED miserably.  But, I am not upset about that fact at all.  So, quickly, here is what was posted a year ago:

Therefore, my goals include the following:
1. Blog once a week (topics may vary depending on what I’m feeling)
2. Exercise a minimum of 5 days a week for at least 15 minutes
3. Create short (15 minute) workout videos to post to Youtube
4. Continue to work on my healthy eating habits

I clearly failed at writing a blog once a week.  The positive is that I branched out and wrote about a variety of topics and had good feedback on the posts involving “field trips” with my family. 

The exercise plan and the workout videos did not happen.  Right at the end of January 2016 I found out I was expecting our second child.  This little babe was taking all of my energy.  I literally was napping daily.  I was happy to workout 3 days a week.

Finally, the eating.  Welp, I was pregnant.  That is not an excuse but a reality.  With my first I craved fruits and ice cream.  However, with this little one I craved queso and chips.  I probably had that for dinner 4 nights a week for the entire second trimester.  The October hit, I had baby B and then began wedding and birthday festivities.  Of course cake was abundant during this time!  I have become addicted to sugar.

NOW…to make plans for 2017.  For this upcoming year I am going to improve what I’ve already started the last quarter of 2016.
1. Continue to increase number of workouts and intensity of workouts
2. Continue to use my planner to schedule dinners, cleaning and workouts- I found creating schedules really helped me feel less stressed about returning to work after baby B was born.
3. Attempt a technology detox while my kids are awake- this needs to happen so I can remember all of the fun things my kids do since I only get a few hours a day with them.

I will use these resolutions as guides for the year.  If I am feeling as if I have accomplished the goals, I will re-evaluate and write new goals. What are your plans for the upcoming year?  Did you accomplish what you wanted for 2016?

Weekly Fitness Check In

I survived.  The first week back to work I managed to only cry on Monday from leaving my kiddos and heading back into my normal routine.  I was successful with pumping enough milk for the next day.  I was successful with being ready to get out the door on time.  I was successful with eating much healthier than I had been in the weeks prior.  Most importantly, I was successful with only pulling out the bank card to purchase gas.  My bank account is going to love me going back to work!

Now, the one goal I was not successful with was the work outs.  I was able to get two days of workouts in and they were only about 22 minutes long.  I had said I wanted to get 3- 30 minute workouts in during the week.  I am still just trying to come up with a schedule that allows that time to sweat it up.  It would be a lot easier if the toddler would go to sleep right when we put her to bed, but alas she takes about 2 hours to finally shut her eyes.  She must really think we party it up after she goes to bed because she fights sleep really well.

The workouts that I was able to complete were based on a fellow mommy’s recommendation.  The Nike+ Training App is perfect for a mom with a newborn.  I was able to chose a workout based on my current fitness and skill level or if I wanted to use weights or bands.  I completed two body weight only training sessions that were under 22 minutes.  But, being a mom with a newborn I had to pause during a few reps to comfort the babe and not interfere with the workout.  I just jumped right back into the reps I was working on before the cute interruption.

This weeks goals: work out 4 days this week.  I am not going to add a time element to this week because I just want to start to develop a routine.  Continue working on healthy eating habits and cutting back on sugar.  What are your goals this week?  If you’ve tried the Nike+ Training app, what is your favorite workout?

Be confident, be fit, be you!

Cleveland Zoo

By now, you may be wondering if I have an obsession with zoos.  The answer to that question is, YES!  I love going to the zoo because I am able to see animals that I otherwise would probably never see in real life.  As much as I would love to travel the world and see elephants and giraffes in person, I doubt I will get to any time soon.  I’m just hoping to at some point in my life time.

This trip was spur of the moment when the weather decided to hit almost 80 degrees in the middle of November.  Seriously, when does that happen in northern Ohio?  This trip would only include my toddler, infant and myself.  Can I handle this type of chaos by myself?  Unlike the Pittsburgh trip, I would need to push the stroller and wear the little one.  I’ve been to the Cleveland zoo numerous times and knew there would only be one major hill to tackle and I was confident I could do it!

We got to the zoo shortly after they opened and followed suit and immediately went in and changed diapers and found a shaded spot to feed the newest addition.  In his short little life he has already been to two different zoos in two different states!  He will be 2 months old on the 4th of December.  Apparently every parent/grandparent/school teacher wanted to take advantage of the amazing day we were given.  Children were everywhere, but so were the animals!  Most of the exhibits were open and the animals were playing and enjoying the nice day as well.

Sorry for the poor photos, I’m attempting to learn how to use my DSLR camera on Manual mode.

After some lunch, we decided to head up the ginormous hill I was slightly dreading.  At this point, the toddler had zero desire to ride in the stroller. So, the walk up the hill became much longer.  I was now wearing baby, pushing a stroller with our diaper bag essentials, and holding my toddlers hand.  About half way up I could tell she was getting tired because she started stopping to pick up E-V-E-R-Y leaf (it is autumn so leaves are abundant). As I could start to see the light at the end of a very long trek, the toddler just wasn’t having it and would not sit in the stroller.  So, here I go carrying her, wearing him, and pushing a stroller.  I was sweating like crazy by the end.

This zoo adventure was much more enjoyable.  We enjoyed watching the elephants and giraffes just roam around their habitats.  We were able to see the monkeys playing and eating. The toddler even just enjoyed watching the  birds at lunch get extremely close as they were eating all of the crumbs other kids were dropping.  We will definitely be back in the spring, or if we get another freak weather occurrence during the winter months.