Friday, October 13, 2017

My Review of The Honest Company

A short while ago, I purchased my first Honest Company Bundle. Today, I'm reviewing my purchases for all of y'all who have been interested in signing up or purchasing some of their products. I'm not an affiliate, but I'm definitely a proponent of all-natural, gentle products.

I'm not exactly what some people call a "crunchy mama." I go all-natural where I can and when it's doable and not a strain on our budget. I have a lot of auto-immune problems that have been really eased by the Lord leading me to certain things like high quality essential oils, all-natural cleaning supplies, and a few all-natural skin care supplies. 

When we were first married, I could only afford dollar store cleaning supplies. SO, that is what I used. One year later and the stuff gave me horrible headaches and just became too much. I guess my system had enough. So six months ago, I switched to 99% all-natural. (Yeah, I still use bleach sometimes. But other than that, we're all-natural.)

I've been using Grove and highly recommend them, but you cannot get Honest Co products through them. So I took the plunge and got my first Essentials Bundle. 

My first bundle included the following:

Essentials Bundle

Laundry Detergent
Organic Body Oil
Bar Soap - Tangerine Vanilla
Lemongrass Hand Sanitizer Gel 2 Pack
Shampoo + Body Wash - Perfectly Gentle

I was impressed by all of the products, which is actually saying a lot. I struggle with a lot of all-natural companies, including big names like Burts Bees and Tom's. Their products literally eat my skin, cause rashes, and even make me go numb. So, I don't just buy from any company that is considered natural and I'm definitely a skeptic until a company proves themselves to me.

After all, natural does not always mean safe, gentle, or even for everybody. We all know what works for us as individuals.

With all that said, all of the products I received in my first bundle worked for me. 

Free and Clear Laundry Detergent

The Honest Co also has a baby detergent, but I can't imagine anything being gentler than this! Our clothes clean out fresh, clean, and odor free--even harsh sweat odors were gone. There was no lingering scent of detergent, however. If you are wanting your clothes to come out smelling strong, this is not for you. I personally am happy with the light scent. I hate it when I can smell the brand of someone's detergent when I just walk by them. (Hah, I could tell what brand folks used just by walking by their door at the apartments after they'd done wash. I have a strong sense of smell, folks.)

It's 70 loads for $12.99 if you buy individually. Or, you can bundle and save 35%. I've also seen it for $9 at Marshalls and TJ Maxx, but you may or may not want to run all over town to save $3--especially when there is no guarantee you'll find it there. I'd rather bundle and save. Online shopping is really becoming my thing.

Organic Body Oil

Oh my word, this gets my rave review. Really. You know how some oils are just so slippery and don't absorb and leave you feeling greasy for hours? I was so impressed by this oil!!! I've used it consistently for a month now and the bottle is still 3/4 full. A little goes a long way, yet it absorbs super quickly and gives lasting moisture all day long. My legs are SO soft now that I use it after I shave. I've also used it as a carrier oil for my essential oils, and hubby and I have taken turns giving each other back massages with it (yeah, we're both super into massage!) I just love that it's non greasy and child safe. If my baby ends up having some of the dry skin problems that run in my side of the family, I'm definitely turning to this oil.

Tangerine Vanilla Bar Soap

Soap is soap, right? Well, yes, but then there's all-natural soap. Most homemade or all-natural soap that I've tried just melts away into nothing within a few showers. It's super frustrating when you've paid good money for a bar of soap and it's the size of a nickel after you blink. 

I've used this soap for a month now and I take 1-2 showers a day. It's only about 3/4 gone and smells amazing. The bar is still plenty of big. Apparently, it's triple milled and cold pressed for a bar that lasts forever, but still has lather and still smells good. It's soft and gentle. $5 seems a lot for one bar of soap, but a bar that lasts 2-3 months seems pretty good to me. Sometimes it pays to buy something that will lasts a little longer and has higher quality.

One thing to note: the tangerine vanilla bar has clary sage essential oil in it. I was delighted when I first saw this because I have used clary sage for hormonal support in the past and it works amazingly well! But there is some caution about using clary sage during pregnancy. I don't think the small amount in a bar of soap can do anyone any harm, but it's worth mentioning.

Hand Sanitizer Gel (Lemongrass)

I was happy about this. It came in a two-pack, and I have one in my bathroom and one in my kitchen. I wash my hands a million times a day and sometimes want hand sanitizer to cut back on the amount of washing/drying. This is nothing to write home about other than it's an all-natural hand sanitizer. 

Shampoo + Body Wash (Sweet Orange Vanilla)

This is a dual purpose shower product--shampoo + body wash. I was happy with it for the shampoo purpose, not necessarily the body wash. I needed a good clarifying shampoo thanks to southern humidity and this fit the bill perfectly. It is gentle, but got the job done as far as removing product build up. I like the light scent. 

Now, for those of you who like a good lather, this shampoo has very, very little lather. That actually makes me happy, because lather in a shampoo is just an agent that can actually dry your hair out and add build up. Good shampoos don't generally lather up very much. So it makes me happy because I know that bubbles don't = clean. 

Glass and Window Cleaner

I added to my bundle ('cause you get another percentage off) and purchased some glass cleaner for my mirrors. It worked well. I can't say it's any better than Method or Mrs. Meyers (all of which work very well), but I did LOVE the spray pump. It's definitely the best pump I've seen on an all-natural product.

So there is my review of The Honest Company Essentials Bundle. You can follow my link if you sign up to save me $20 on my next order--and then you can share your own link with your friends and family to save you money!

I am looking forward to trying more products next month! I hope to try their detangling conditioner and all-purpose balm. Who knows? We may end up using their diapers and baby products too. ;)

Have you tried The Honest Company? If so, what were your thoughts? Are you likely to to try them?

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In Case You Missed It...

A wee little pumpkin pie is in the oven. :)

We're not very far alone, but we wanted to announce our news so y'all can be praying for us. Please pray for the health of our little one and that God grants us a wonderfully healthy, happy baby!

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

And More Exciting News!

As promised in my last post, here is an addition to our exciting news! We moved!!!

We moved a short ways away to Georgia. We're so excited to be home owners. God has richly blessed us and we're in love with the perfect little house He brought us to. 

Now to finish unpacking....

Oh. And there is more exciting news coming later. ;) 

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Exciting News!

Y'all. I have some exciting news!

And then I have some more exciting news.

Exciting, no?!

Now that you thoroughly get that I am and will be excited, check this out!

Yeah. I'm really excited about this! All the super cool details about the all-new October themed Meraki Box are over on its own website. Seriously, check it out. I am so excited about this and cannot wait to start shipping out all sorts of adorable autumn products and, of course, candy.

And the other exciting news?!

Well, y'all will have to wait!!! Yes, I have some exciting news, but it is worthy of its own blog post and therefore must wait until I have a little breathing room to actually write a post. 

Until then, adios!

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

To My Friends Struggling With Infertility

I'm not necessarily writing from the experience of infertility, although I am fairly certain I have lost a baby in the past. But some of my friends are struggling with it. I feel their hurts. Whether we understand from personal experience or not, we should always seek to stand in the shoes of others. And, for those not classified dealing with infertility but desiring a baby with all their hearts, this post is for you too. 

To my friends struggling with infertility.

My heart goes out to you. 

It's a struggle in many ways people don't often think of. I don't know all of the ways. But the struggles are there, each unique to you personally. 

It hurts when you're asked for the millionth time if you're expecting. The gazes of curious, yet well-meaning acquaintances travel your belly, scrutinizing every fluctuation of your weight during those delightful times of month when you're a little rounder, a little plumper than normal. They nod if satisfied that something really is going on--or shake their head in disappointment.

It hurts when a newborn near you in the store cries that delightful squall that kicks up a flutter of maternal instincts in your stomach--and heart. It hurts that you have to blink back tears as you race to another aisle, only to come face to face with those wee booties, diapers, and bow-trimmed socks.

It hurts when children innocently ask you when you're going to be a mother.

It hurts when you log into your social media, only to be bombarded with articles glorifying motherhood and placing it on a pedestal above wife, daughter, and beloved servant of the King. You know in your heart that the articles were well meant to encourage mothers who are struggling with their worth, but you wonder if people recognize your worth as just a wife faithfully serving her husband and her God.

It hurts when people tell you of all the emotions you cannot possible understand because you have never loved your own child or--worse--insinuate your selfishness in not having one, when they cannot begin to understand how desperately you want one. 

It hurts when infertility begins to affect your marriage, as oneness with your spouse begins to slip to the overwhelming powers of charting, temperature, and the right time of month.

It hurts when you're doubled over in cramps, each one reminding you that this is not the month, this is not the time. 

It hurts when you see the disappointment in your spouse's face when you tell him about yet another negative pregnancy test. You see the wheels working behind his eyes, wondering if it is somehow his fault. You see the way he looks at children at church, the way he talks about taking his future son fishing and of cuddling his baby daughter. 

It hurts when friends and acquaintances who did not want or were even trying for a baby announce their pregnancy. It hurts when they complain about the children they have.  

It hurts when you've lost a baby to miscarriage, but are brushed aside with comments of "maybe it was only the stomach flu", "there's always next time", and "at least you were not very far along."

It all hurts.

And I'm sorry. 

I'm sorry for all the pain. For all the prying into your personal life. For all the monthly hopes, the agonized waiting period, then the grieving stage. For all the hurtful comments, made whether purposefully or in innocence. For all the feeling that being a wife is not enough. For, in some circles, all the judgment. For all of the nursery themed Pinterest boards that just seem like a wasted dream. 

"The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart..." --Psalm 34:18

"Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." --Matthew 11:28

 "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." --Psalm 55:22

It doesn't always feel like God is there. It doesn't always feel like He understands. It may not be until far, far down the road that you can look back and see that He was carrying you. 

But you will. Grace is best seen looking back. And He does give more grace. 

He does understand. 

And so do others. Maybe not perfectly, because no one can perfectly understand your unique set of trials, but others have walked this path before. It hurts. But you're not hurting alone. So often in our grief, we forget that others are walking through the storm too. 

If at all possible, find someone else struggling with infertility. Pray for them. Pray with them. Talk about your dreams together. Point each other to verses of healing. It may be that a little bit of healing, a little bit of hope, a little bit joy will surface from you helping someone else.

If nothing else, know that I am praying for you. My readers are always free to message or email me with their prayer requests. Your hurting heart is never alone. 

"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." --Revelation 21:3-6

How Can I Be Praying For You Today?

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Our First Camping Trip!

Samuel and I were *finally* able to have our first camping trip! Davis Pond was just so beautiful. We were camped right by the water. Instead of the forecasted rain, it was just a beautiful, thick fog pretty much the entire time. We saw wild turkeys, tiny little water frogs, mourning doves, and were stalked by a weird cat that meowed at us all day and at my head at night, hahahah! I'm so glad God let us enjoy the wonders of His beautiful creation in such a relaxing way.

It's hard to see, but we found flocks of wild turkeys!

We took a selfie before we became too filthy for selfies, hahahah!

Love this man so much. He's pretty hot. Also, he's pretty good at building fires, even out of green, wet wood. 

Davis Pond was just so beautiful. 

Our tent was from my sister and brother in law. It proved to be very, very water proof. 

We had authentic boyscout dinners, right down to keeping the fire going in the rain so they could cook. 

And more pics of my smoking hot man....

Y'all. The fog was just awesome. 

Anybody know what kind of berry this is?!

The fog was so thick you couldn't see the pond!

Not sure who carved this, but it's really cute!

I know I'm not the pro a lot of you are, but I did enjoy doing some photography on my phone. 

Samuel and I have a tradition. Every time we go on a hike, he picks flowers and puts them in my hair. It makes me feel so very special. <3 

You see the butterfly-in-progress?!

We discovered a crab apple tree. Boy, were they sour! Hahahah!

It was such a great, relaxing time. No internet, no cell service. Neither of us could contact or be contacted by work, which was awesome. We had really needed to get away, just to talk un-distracted. There is something about nature that makes me feel closer to God and closer to my husband even. I'm just so glad we were actually able to make it work and went for it, despite severe weather forecasts due to the hurricane. God just really blessed. 

It's the little things in life that are most important. We don't necessarily need a big budget camping trip, a vacation at the beach, or a Disneyworld trip to really enjoy life. Little things like s'mores, bright fires, tiny water frogs, meaningful talks with people we love, fog, raindrops on leaves, butterflies and fireflies in the grass...that's what makes up happiness. Let's not lose sight of what true memories are made of by comparing what we have bigger and better things...not when the little things often count most.

So what have you been up to? 

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