Saturday, May 30, 2015

Seventh Generation Mandarin Body wash Review


I love to review products, especially ones that are more environmentally friendly and contain less harmful chemicals (and lets be honest, almost everything today contains SOME chemicals). I used to not be AT all a brand snob, but after finding out what is in some brands I'm definitely becoming more and more picky about what I buy. Seventh Generation is one brand I like due to it's eco friendliness, the fact it doesn't test on animals, and its rating on ewg's skindeep database that measures harmful chemicals in products!

For over a year I have been slowly trying to switch the products we use, to pick better products for ourselves and the environment, so when I found 7th generation body wash on clearance for just $2.00 how could I not pick it up? I picked up several at that price, not wanting to love it and "miss out" on additional savings by waiting to try it and buy the rest full price... Sometimes the strategy to buy a lot on clearance pays off, and sometimes your stuck with a product you intended to love but just fell short.

I love this body wash in the ways I love all 7th generation products. As far as a body wash goes, the consistency is right and I do feel clean afterwards... but with the scent I feel clean like a counter. 7th generation started out as a household cleaning supplies company, in fact I believe the personal care items were added pretty recently. The problem I'm having with this scent is that it is one that is more appropriate for a cleaning supply item than a personal hygiene item. I was reading Amazon reviews and here is the one that sums it up my thoughts on this perfectly:
The only drawback? The GF doesn't like the scent of the natural ingredients in this Mandarin version, which are very similar to the scent of 7th Generation's bathroom cleaning products. She found "smells like when I clean the shower" to be off-putting, or at least not pleasantly soothing in the shower. In hindsight, I should have picked peppermint or lavender instead of mandarin.- Omar Siddique

The picture above is one of the Seventh Generation Line, notice the lack of personal care products? What I want to point out even more are the scents in these products: Lavender, Mandarin, Chamomile, and Peppermint. The scents used are the same across the board, and while I'm hoping to like the Lavender scented body washes I picked up better I really hope Seventh Generation comes up with some scents exclusive to their personal care line!

Overall: Recommend the product but not this scent!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Budgeting for Baby


As many of you know I'm pregnant, as you also know I'm a finance girl. I'm only 12-13 weeks pregnant (depending on the dating scan) but I'm already nesting. I anxious to have everything ready for our baby, even though I know we still have 6 months to go!

To get started on prepping for our baby I made a budget with expected expenses and then made a registry on amazon to double check my figures versus the going price of these baby items. My total comes to: $2,713! That amount covers cloth diapers, maternity clothes and bra's, food storage (for homemade baby food), and ALL other baby essentials for babies birth.

Here is the thing, $2,713 seems REALLY expensive to me. It isn't like I can't afford it, we wouldn't be pregnant if we couldn't afford to take care of our baby... but could that money be spent better? I think so!

Everyone is super excited about my pregnancy, this will be the first baby in my husband's family in many years and the first grandchild to his parents! Although we don't expect other people to provide for our baby we are sure that we will get baby shower gifts, both grandma's are super excited and have ALREADY started shopping! There are things that other family members have also told us that they would get us.

My original budget included costs for EVERYTHING and was over the $2,713 quoted above. Since family has promised us certain things the cost went down, but at almost $3,000 was still too high for my comfort, but the budget did give prices for buying everything new.

My goal is to spend $1,000 to get things ready for the baby, and apparantly I'm not alone in wanting to spend around that amount:

Way before getting pregnant I had read the second article, and I was inspired. I doubted I would do as well as them but with the average cost of babies first year over $10,000 if I did anywhere near that well I would be way ahead of the race!

My $1,000 isn't for the babies first year but to get ready for the baby, it includes:
Nursery Furniture (Crib, Changing table/dress, 9 cube organizer, changing pad, crib mattress & bedding, and a glider)
Cloth Diapers: I'm estimating this will be $300 by itself
Baby Clothes (0-6 months)
Breastfeeding Supplies
Feeding Supplies (highchair, utensils, bowls, containers)
Diaper Bag
Toys and Books
Cart Cover
Bath Supplies (Hoodie towels, washcloths, skincare, bath)
Play Yard

How am I planning on spending ONLY $1,000/$2,713 estimated cost? The baby shower will be a major source, since everything that is gifted is FREE! To save money we are going to shop second hand and shop clearance/sales. There are a few things I won't buy second hand, but most things I have no problem with buying pre loved.

There are many online yard sale sites on Facebook, some especially for children/baby items. In addition to shopping online there are yard sales, consignment (like Rhea Lana), and craigslist.

So far in my new budget I'm putting aside $200 a month for the baby which will give us $1,200! I'm really hoping not to spend over that and I'm hoping to stay at just $1,000!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Re-purposed: Old Crib Mattress into Dog Bed!


According to some guidelines I read crib mattresses should not be used on subsequent children as it is thought to increase the risk of SIDS. Now scientists don't yet know what cause SIDS they are just guessing and if their recommendations result in less deaths they learn something, either way I'm not taking the risk!

I was given a crib, mattress, and some sheets from a friend of my aunts. We knew right away we weren't using the crib mattress for the baby. I have been looking for a bed for my bigger dog Shadow for a while now. He no longer needs his crate, and I want an area where I can tell him to "go to bed" and it be clear where that is. I also wanted somewhere comfy for him (although he doesn't seem to care where he sleeps!). With the crib mattress laying in the hallway it seemed perfect.

I grabbed it, one of the sheets we weren't planning on using for the baby (a plain white one) and instant dog bed! He hasn't really used it yet, he is still unsure of it but I plan on teaching him it is his bed and making him comfortable with it!

I'm not the only one who has had this idea. I pulled the two pictures below from a general internet search. gluesticksblog actually teaches people how to make a mattress cover, I'm just going to recommend you buy one (unless you know how to sew). Crib Sheets can be found CHEAP second hand, you can change it out to cheat a unique look, and it is easily washed!

Since I received both the crib mattress and the sheets free his dog bed cost me nothing whereas for his size dog beds can easily cost $80 or more! If you didn't have either on hand crib mattresses can be had cheap used as can crib sheets... my absolute favorite crib sheets though are at potterybarn and are SURPRISINGLY not all that expensive. I don't shop there due to the prices but I found some great clearance sheets, and great prices for organic sheets!

Why G.U.D is not so good: Product Review


As you all know I'm finally pregnant and this time it looks like a sticky bean =) I'm super excited and already an overprotective mama! I have long wanted to clear my house of excess chemicals, and now that I'm expecting it is even more of a priority. Anything you put on your body: lotions, body wash, makeup, etc is absorbed through your skin. Being pregnant these products can also reach my baby so I am trying to switch to products that don't have harmful chemicals. is a cosmetics/personal product database I use that rates products on safety!

I like Burts Bees and have always thought they were a good company focused on providing more natural products with less harmful chemicals; Turns out CLOROX now owns Burts Bees, and it shows from the chemicals in their products! The GUD line is rated moderately harmful on ewg's database, not something I would expect from a Burts Bees line and something that really bothers me since I paid EXTRA for these products.

I bought a few different products from the GUD line: shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.

Shampoo Review- HATE IT, it leaves my hair feeling like straw. Since it is rated a 5 out of 10 on the harmful scale (1 is best) I might as well just buy Suave Professionals which leaves my hair feeling silky and is 1/2 the price and rated the same!

Conditioner Review- Don't like it. I used this WITH the Shampoo and it couldn't revive my hair from straw to silky. Not worth it.

Body Wash- I got the vanilla body wash and the pink colored one and liked both. They smelled good and were body washes. Having done my research and finding out that they too are rated 5/10 which means moderately harmful I won't be buying them again!

Overall looking at the database I don't think I will buy many Burts Bees products in the future, and
ANY GUD products. The only product from Burts Bees I'm anxious to try, or rather for my husband to try, is the mens bodywash. Their mens body wash is rated 1/10 meaning it is highly safe containing no chemicals that have been linked to harmful effects!

Instead of Burts Bees I would recommend 7th Generation. They are rated much better on the database and a similarly priced. If your going natural you could always look for artisan soaps too, like goat soap etc! With me being pregnant I'm definitely paying attention to what I'm putting on my body since it will be absorbed and some will reach the baby!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Scraping Popcorn Ceiling UPDATE


Soon this will be a how to and show you my progress but for now I just wanted to do a little update and let you know what is coming! Today I scraped the ceiling while my husband worked on the wallpaper wall of doom! Who knew one wall could be SOO much work, we have literally spent HOURS trying to remove the wallpaper after a layer of joint compound made it bubble =/

In the future I'm planning to scrape ALL the ceilings in the house because I HATE popcorn ceilings! To me they make the room feel darker with all those shadows they cast YUCK!

Update 05/27/2015: We scraped the ceiling but still had patches that wouldn't scrape clean so we are paying someone to come scrape and or do a thincoat over it to make it flat! Will update after he comes (could take a while since it is a small job =/)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Pregnancy Update, referral news.


I realize I'm not posting nearly as much but my life now is boring. I'm on bed rest, so the most exciting thing I do is eat, get online, and make dinner! To clarify I'm actually not complaining, I'm just telling it like it is! I am so happy this baby looks healthy!

If you read my last post you know that my ultrasound revealed more than our baby and his/her heartbeat, it also showed a mass in my uterus, a mass 5x the size of our sweet little bean. One week later I finally got some results through both calling and recalling the doctors office and finally leaving reviews online in a few different places! One week from the day of my appointment the OB I saw just now did his dictation (filled out my chart). I have been waiting for a week for that so I can get my referral.

When I called to schedule my appointment they already scheduled me, umm hello what if I couldn't make it? Fortunately I have an open schedule, but it still bugs me that they don't ask the patient PRIOR to actually scheduling. I'm scheduled to be seen on my birthday, to look on the bright side I get to see my baby again for my birthday! On the down side, the appointment isn't until the end of the month and the reason I was given is that I had to be 11-13 weeks pregnant because it was referred as a first trimester scan; This is where I'm confused, I was told the mass had nothing to do with THIS pregnancy. The options I was given is it is leftover from a past miscarriage or is cancer, that was pretty much what I was told. I'm not sure why how far along my baby is has ANYTHING to do with this mass?

That is about it for my update, sorry its boring and no pictures this time! I need to start taking pictures of my belly though!