Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DIY Chai

It's now officially Fall and I am happy beyond words. Fall is my favorite season for a few reasons. Cold chilly mornings, cold chilly evenings, boots, sweaters and anything knitted. Woot! It's also the only time I have anything with cinnamon in it. This way I look forward to it! Chai tea is also something I will only drink during the Fall season. This year I plan on making my own and saving some pennies along the way. I found this recipe on Pinterest and quickly added it to my Falltastic board. A Wooden Nest is the writer and check their blog out when you get the change. Pretty darn cool!  I had so many people ask to share so here it is. Enjoy!

Chai Concentrate

4 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 3-inch stick of fresh ginger chopped
7 whole cardamon pods
2 whole star anise pods
10 whole cloves
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp honey

I only changed a few things. I bought all from the bulk section including my tea.  I heated up the water till it was boiling and then tossed in all the other ingredients. Mix until the sugar has disolved.    Once it started boiling again I turned off the heat and let it steep till it was cool.  Your done!

I do a 50/50 mixture with milk. Super delish! Last up to 2 weeks in our fridge. Trust me when I say you will never again pay for chai tea in any coffee shop ever again. Unless your lazy and need a fix! If this is the case please bring your reusable mug!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Go Green Get Fit Challenge Earth Mama Angel Baby Review

This amazing (and LOCAL!!!!) company was kind enough to send me a few products to review for them.  Can you say awesome? Woot! You might be wondering why am I reviewing these because I'm not pregnant or have small babies anymore. You would be correct. The baby factory has been shut down and my babies are now 14, 11 and the twins are 7 now. Sad face! But I have two amazing friends that are either pregnant or just had a baby.  They were more than happy to try these out and give me their honest opinions. 

Before I get to that I wanted to give you a little background information on this amazing company.  Earth Mama Baby Angel is a local company to me. They are located in Clackamas Oregon which is special to me because I grew up in Clackamas. Shout out to all my peeps in Clackamas!  They are made up of a group of strong women and a father of two that you can read about here. Love that you can see who is behind the great products. That is rare these days. 

Something I love about this company-"We use the highest-quality, certified-organic or organically grown herbs and oils for our teas, bath herbs, gentle handmade soaps, salves, lotions and massage oils. Our products are 100% free of toxins, cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan, and free from all artificial preservatives, fragrances and dyes. Our commitment to honor the earth and her valuable resources extends to our packaging as well - we use only eco-friendly recyclable or reused/reusable packaging and packing materials. It's true - we are even the proud recipients of the BRAG (Business Recycling Award Group) for our green practices." EMBA website.

Review by
 Tanya Zelen mommy of 4 including a 3 month old baby boy.
Crystal Caldwell mother of 1 son and soon to be a baby girl.

-So...Happy Mama Spray is nice, refreshing. Tanya
-I didn't use the new mama bottom spray as I think it's supposed to be used right after but it smells nice. Tanya
-The Calming Lavender shampoo is great, I love the lavender/vanilla scent. Tanya
-Natural Nipple Butter is way nicer then the stuff they give u in hospital-mild smell and refreshing. Tanya
-I really like the Angel Baby Bottom Balm(I've used it before) -does the job and doesn't reek like Desitin. Tanya
-The Organic Milkmaid Tea tasted ok and for some reason makes me really sleepy which can be good or bad.  Tanya
-Mama To Be Sampler I like them because they are not too strong.  The Morning Wellness Tea was good tasting and helped with my tummy ache.  Crystal
-The Organic Heartburn Tea helped with my hiccups. Crystal
-The Organic Peaceful Mama Tea tasted good and helped me relax before bedtime.  I have a hard time sleeping so it seemed to help. Crystal
Review by me

Mama Bottom Balm-"Prenatal and postpartum hemorrhoids, postpartum vaginal swelling and bruising, episiotomies... New mamas and mamas-to-be got bottom problems! Mama Bottom BalmMama Bottom Balm soothes and cools with an organic olive oil base infused with healing organic herbs - St. Johns wort, yarrow, Witch hazel, Calendula, Shea butter, and more. And it's not just for mamas, perfect for papas, grandmas, or ANYbody with sore nether regions. Store it in the refrigerator and apply often! You'll be sitting pretty in no time."
This may sound strange but I use this on my hands. I have eczema really bad on my hands and need to apply lotion/oils often to keep them soft.  I keep a bottle of bottom balm on my night stand and apply it before I go to bed and when I get up in the morning.  The smell is very soothing to me and my hands get plenty of moisture while I sleep.  I credit this product in making my hands soft once again. THANK YOU!!!!
Would I recommend this company? Yes!!!!!  Not only because they are local to me. You will love these reasons.

  • No parabens or other artificial preservatives

  • No petroleum by-products

  • Toxin-free

  • Cruelty-free

  • Certified Vegan

  • 5 reasons alone to try these amazing products!
     They sell products for pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, for the baby, amazing soaps and also sell gift bags stuffed with lots of great products you can give to others.  You can also get baby loss comfort/healing support and even a baby loss memorial. Now that's support on a whole other level. Amazing.  Don't forget to get your free Herbs and breastfeeding e-book. They published their results of clinical testing and their products are now in hospitals!  Last but not least Earth Mama Angel Baby gives you their promise that their products are organic, natural, safe and work.
    You can find their products online and in natural stores everywhere. Here in Oregon they are in all Whole Foods and New Seasons stores.  If your looking for a particular product call the stores ahead of time. They are also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even Pinterest.

    Go Green Get Fit Challenge

    Note: I was sent these products to review and give my honest opinions. I was not paid one cent to try these, review them or publish this post.  I simply love reviewing local organic products from amazing companies.

    Update: Since this was written sadly my friend Crystal Caldwell has since passed away.  She was my best friend and a Aunty to my children. She will be missed forever. 
    RIP Crystal 

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    Sleeping frugal? You betcha!


    Yes sleeping can be frugal! Sure you can go out and buy a new mattress set and get some matching bedding to go with it.  Go drop a few hundred on a frame while your there too!  But lets face it, not everyone has that kind of money.  Even if I had that kind of money I still wouldn't do that.  I have 4 daughters and anything we spend would be that times four. Lets see.....be broke or save some money? Yeah I'm going to go with saving me money. 
    Xhilaration® Zebra Bed in a Bag
     Photo by Target.com


    You can find bedding sets, single pieces, pillows, cases, drapes, sheets, lamps, rugs and just about anything you need for a room.  Best part is that they are selling them for 50% or more less than retail stores. Don't be afraid to buy something ripped. These things are easily fixed.   Just make sure you wash everything before you put it in your room.  Better yet hang it to dry on the line. Nothing better than sheets/blankets on the line!


    You can find anything you want in stores but be ready to pay the price.  A new bedding set will set you back $50+ depending on the size of your bed.  A simple changing your look project could end up costing you a few hundred dollars by the time your done.  Check the clearance area and keep an eye on ad's in the paper.  Sometimes you can find a better deal for the same item but online. Don't forget to do your research!


    Have friends with kids? Maybe you can barter some work for a set they are giving away.  Tell your friends/family your trying to freshen up your room and need a few things.  When they go through their stuff you will be the first that comes to mind.  Let it be known on social networks too! Someone always has a few sets around I swear. 


    Again someone is always refreshing their rooms or changing color schemes.  Take advantage! Don't forget to look in the free section.   Might find a piece that matches your set. 

    People leave things along the road side all the time.  Just yesterday I picked up a 3 bin storage system for free.  Would of cost me $15 if I bought it new.  This will organize our girls barbie stuff great. 

    My recent problem was my twins mattresses are a little on the hard side.  I don't have the money to buy new sets just because they are a little hard. Instead I kept my eyes open for foam pads for them. I found 2 of them pretty cheap at Target. I think I paid around $8 each for them.  One foam pad adds so much comfort to the mattress.  I found another one at Goodwill Outlet and only paid about $2 because you pay by the pound. Woot! I still have one more to find but until then we have used 2 mattress covers and a duvet comforter which no one was using. We put this all under her sheet and her mattress is a little more comfy and will get her by till I find another foam pad.  All in all its still WAY cheaper than buying a new mattress.  We did have to invest $99 on a new mattress for one of my girls. Hers completely went flat and springs were poking her.  That $99 only bought us the mattress and not the box spring. Yikes!

    Let's not forget that any flat sheet can be turned into drapes.

    Wall art can be made by your children.  Pictures out of magazines can be framed. Dollar Store sells cheap frames which can be spray painted.

     Cans can be decorated with paper and turned into a pencil holder. 

    Instead of changing your whole room theme how about just moving your furniture around? Sometimes a little change makes you feel better.

    By buying used you are bringing less plastic into your home.  Less packaging you will have to figure out how to recycle or reuse.  Most items in thrift shops have been washed several times and you are exposed less to toxins which companies spray on fabrics.  Try to look for cotton options if you really want to avoid plastics.  Most things now days are some form of plastic so look for older items that were made very well and with quality fabrics.  Aways avoid anything from a smoking/pet soaked previous owner.  No matter how many times you wash the item it will not go away. 

    Remember all these things next time your looking to redecorate any room in your house.  All of these idea's can be applied to any room in your home.  And don't forget to GET CREATIVE!!!

    Need more ideas? Check out my fellow green bloggers and their amazing ideas!

    Anna from Green Talk shows how you can save money on green fabrics by using remnants. Very cool!

    Ronnie from Care2 shares 15 Ways to Reduce Your Stuff & Redecorate Your Home.

    Charise from I Thought I Knew Mama with suggestions for finding eco-friendly and non-toxic furniture and home decor.

    Now go get busy!