Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy birthday to me

Well, today is my birthday, so I was extra excited to receive my April 2013 Eco Emi box in the mail yesterday. Actually, it's a nice gift to myself every month.

Hayden was anxious to check out what was inside and film it, as usual, too. "Mommy, let's do a video," she said, although I was unsure I'd be able to post it. I've been having computer issues lately, but lucky for you, my son was kind enough to lend me his laptop for this post.

Here's our video from yesterday and a list of what was inside this month's box with our thoughts on each product. Enjoy!

OluvCare by OluvSkin: I really enjoyed the bar soap from this brand that I received in last year's February Eco Emi box, so I had a hunch I'd like this, too. It looks like solid olive oil (it actually contains 100% extra virgin olive oil) that melts into your skin with the warmth of your touch. It's a multi-purpose salve that can be used on dry skin, cuticles, cuts, burns, diaper rash, etc.

Moisturizing Hair Milk by Shea Radiance: Don't be fooled by the word "milk," as this product is listed as vegan. Hayden had fun spritzing it in my hair, as I did using it to tackle her tangled curls. Our locks were soft and ready to for a rainy day. We got poured on going to her dance class that evening, but we remained "unfrizzed" and smelling sweet (the delightful scent seems to become stronger when wet).

Unscented Deodorant Towelettes by Crystal Essence: I was first introduced to these natural deodorant wipes in another Eco Emi box and I've continued to use them. They are just right for when the temperatures heat up and you need a little freshening up. I carry them in my purse for "emergencies."

Dead Sea Mud Mask by Rainwater Botanicals: Hayden was a bit turned off by the gray mud, although she loves making mud pies. I, on the other hand, have been a fan of mud masks for years. They are so detoxifying to the skin. I think I'll use this one today. Oh, and for those of you who may be wondering, I really enjoyed this company's pumpkin mask from my November Eco Emi box.

Dahlia Creme Eye Shadow by Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques: I've been loving Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques since I received that eyeliner in my very first Eco Emi box. This eye shadow pairs perfectly with it and my aging eyes. Now that I'm older (I'm 37, as of today), I tend to prefer creamy makeup versus a powder, which can settle into fine lines (yes, a have a few of those). This subtle pink glides on like a cream, sets like a powder and gives a light rosy glow, that only you'll know you're wearing it.

Organic Hemp Shine Lipstick by Colorganics: Hayden claimed this right away. It is a moisturizing lip shine that can be worn alone or over lipstick. Hayden especially likes the fact that it is shaped like a lipstick, rather than a classic lip balm. P.S. They come in other hues, too ;-)

Organic Gluten-free Guacamole Dip by Simply Organic: At first, I was excited to find a guacamole mix in this month's box. I mean, who doesn't love guacamole? However, guacamole is so easy to make that I've never needed a mix. I was also surprised to see it contains dairy. I, personally, don't make guacamole with dairy, but for those of you who do, you might want to check out this mix.

Comforting Geranium Mineral Bath Salts by Aura Cacia: This has my name written all over it. I can't wait to take a relaxing aromatherapy bath. This one has geranium, lavender and rose. Since my kids are off from school (I'm not sure way schools are closed around here today) and my hubby took off work to be with us, I'm going to take advantage of him being here and take that bath now. Happy birthday to me!

Have a lovely day!      

Thursday, April 18, 2013

An upcycled Earth Day gift to the birds

My son's teacher tends to be a bit spontaneous, which keeps her classroom fun. For example, I attended Parent Observation Day this year. She surprised all the adults by having us put on a play for the students with only minutes to prepare. It was quite entertaining.

Anyway, just yesterday, she gave the class a homework assignment to make an upcycled, yet weather-resistant, bird house out of items found around the house. It's due tomorrow to be displayed at a green expo for Earth Day. Here's what Jacob came up with in a pinch.

Basically, it's just a plastic snack container (this one was originally filled with almonds) with a large hole drilled into the front for a "door," a smaller hole drilled beneath the "door" to hold a stick perch and two more holes positioned on either side of the top for attaching an old wire to hang it. Jacob opted to paint the container, leaving just a bit unpainted near the top to act as a skylight.

It was just luck that all the colors coordinated and blended so nicely with the scenery. I hope his teacher likes it. I'm sure any minimalist bird would (Jacob said that although his classmates were planning more elaborate designs, he thought most birds would prefer something simple like this).

Happy early Earth Day everyone! :-) 


BTW, there are a lot of special offers going on in honor of Earth Day. For example, I recently ordered some items from Josie Maran and received a free gift with my purchase (I got a mini mascara). From what I understand, the offer is valid through Earth Day (Monday, April 22), while supplies last.

One Lucky Duck is offering 10% off items from their glow section though Friday, April 19th (tomorrow), with the code GLOWSAFE10 (I'm a big fan of many of the items in the glow section, including 100% Pure, RMS Beauty, Sprout, Priti Polish, Simply Divine Botanicals and more).

NaturalZing is offering $6.99 flat-rate shipping on all orders (orders over $99 receive free shipping) this weekend (ends Monday, April 22) and will toss in either a free package of white milled chia seeds (mention FREEWHCHIA) or 4 oz. red maca (mention FREEMACARED), while supplies last. 

Just so you know, no one asked me to post these offers. I just decided to share them as they popped up in my e-mail. Enjoy!      

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Beginner's luck

Thank you everyone still reading today after my much needed break. The kids are back to school, dance, Lego League, etc., and I'm back with another Eco Emi follow-up DIY (if you've missed the rest of them, here's January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, my first September Eco Emi DIY, my second September DIY, my first for October, my second for October, November and December of 2012, as well as January and February 2013).

But first, I wanted to share a few pics from one of our last days of Spring break, when we took Hayden bowling. She experienced some beginner's luck, both on the lane, as well as in the arcade.

Here she is getting ready to roll the ball for her first time. She just had to have a 7-pound ball, because it was purple (the 6-pounders were blue green).

Although mommy (yours truly) gave her a little guidance, my stubborn little princess tried to maintain total control of the ball. Watch it go straight down the alley.

It reminded me of the post I did about Jacob's trip to the bowling alley quite a while ago. Just look at him now.

I love his reaction in this shot.

After bowling, we headed to the arcade. Most of the games were too advanced for Hayden, so I let her try the grabber machine. She had her eye on the stuffed blue star inside. I never expected her to get anything out of the machine ...

... but she never ceases to surprise and amaze me. Talk about beginner's luck. 

The star reminded me of all the gold suns, moons and stars, as well as the deep blue fabric pouch, from last month's Eco Emi box. I had yet to do my follow-up DIY, so I decided to use these items and the box to make a journal. Maybe I could use it to write about our day. 

To start, I prepped the paper for the inside of my journal. I had hoped to make some recycled paper out of all the scraps from past Eco Emi boxes, but due to time constraints, I ended up using standard white printer paper. I cut 10 pieces of paper in half, resulting in 20 smaller sheets. 

I, then, folded them over, so I'd end up with a 40-page mini journal. The pages were the perfect fit inside the top of my Eco Emi box lid.

I cut the lid off, as shown, leaving the tabs on the sides. 

I folded the cardboard in half to create the journal's cover. Then, I added the pages, securing them in the center with a rubber band.

Having the rubber band down the center not only secures the pages in place, but it also allows you to still add and remove pages in the future. 

To dress up the cover of my journal, I decided to use the fabric pouch. I removed the ribbons ...

... and took out the side seams. At that point, I was able to line it up under the cardboard.

I used a hot glue gun to adhere the fabric to the outside of the cardboard. 

I made sure to cut slits for the tabs, which I slipped through the fabric. Then, I finished attaching the fabric to the inside cover.

I hot glued one of the ribbons down the center of the journal's cover, draping the excess inside to become a simple bookmark.

I added this bead I found for that extra special touch. 

Speaking of special touches, I also glued some of those gold suns, moons and stars to the front of the journal for decoration. 

Lastly, I cut the other ribbon in half and glued them to the tabs to act as a tie closure.

Here's how I tied it shut. What do you think?

Oh, and I guess Hayden wants her star back :-)           

Monday, April 1, 2013

A brief break from my break

In my last post, I mentioned taking a blogging break during my kids' Spring Break. However, I also said I might post my March 2013 Eco Emi, which happened to arrive the very next day. Since Hayden was excited to film our unboxing (and both kids are sleeping in following our Easter activities), I decided to take a brief break from my break to post about it.

Hayden was quite a trip in this month's video, as you can see. Take a moment to watch or just read what we received with our reactions down below:

Free - Rejuvenating Herbal Gel Cleanser and Makeup Remover by Blissoma: I received this brand's spray toner in our December box. I enjoyed it so much that I was happy to get an opportunity to finally sample a cleanser, as well. I like that it is also a makeup remover, which hopefully means it won't irritate my eyes. I actually spilled some of it during filming, and I can say it was quite gentle on my hands. Oh, and it's cruelty-free and vegan, too.

Lavender Vanilla Shea Butter Moisturizer by Natural Heavenly Beauty: This whipped moisturizer (I love the whipped ones) has a very light scent, but a luxurious feel. I'm a fan.

Lavender Healing Lip Balm by Belle's Healing Solutions: This is a basic lip balm, which is always nice to have on hand. Hayden really likes the name, since she thinks Belle from "Beauty in the Beast" uses it :-)

Glazed Strawberries Lip Gloss by The All Natural Face: Speaking of Hayden and lip products, she certainly loves this one. I let her try it on during the video, and she just kept putting more on. She maybe liked it a bit too much. Although it is a bright juicy pink, at least it is also quite sheer. In the end, she looked like she'd been enjoying some fresh yummy strawberries or even watermelon.

Smashing Watermelon Classic Laundry Detergent by Rockin' Green: Now on to watermelon. I just got a kick out of the name of this laundry detergent scent. It made me think of Smashing Pumpkins, a group I listened to in my youth. I also like the rock vibe. I can't wait to use this the next time I do laundry (laundry day is tomorrow), so I can rock out to some Smashing Pumpkins while I get the job done.

Detox Charcoal Soap by Theraganics: I'm so excited to have received the detox charcoal version of this soap, as it was one of three possibilities (the other ones included almond oatmeal and sea salt). I immediately thought of the Origins charcoal facial mask I used years ago. I wonder if it detoxifies just as well. 

Organic Bengal Breakfast Tea by Teatulia: I love tea, so of course I'll be trying this soon. This comes in those cute little fabric pyramid bags, which makes it seem extra special. Hayden and I need to play tea party today.

Rejuvenating Mask by Dr. Hauschka: I've been a fan of Dr. Hauschka's products for years. In fact, I think I may have used this product. Anyway, I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

Chocolate Chip Cookies by Home Free: Thank goodness I didn't toss the package before taking this pic. Hayden and Jacob polished them off seconds after we finished filming our video. These cookies are gluten-free, as well as free of peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and dairy. The kids didn't seem to miss any of those ingredients. They want more of them, asap :-)

Okay, the kids are up and ready to play.
Hope the rest of you enjoy your day!