Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Walgreens Discountinuing Ology Toilet Paper


I have previously blogged about Walgreen's newer green line Ology, and I was thrilled to do so. I was so excited that Walgreens on the corner of happy and healthy would be offering consumers all over affordable natural eco friendly choices! Of ALL the products they were offering I was most excited about the toilet paper!

Ology's toilet paper is 100% tree FREE! Production of toilet paper wipes out 270,000 trees DAILY! The fact that Walgreens released a toilet paper that only used trees for the paper core (the thing the tp is wrapped around) is huge. Transitioning away from toilet paper made of trees could be a major step in stopping or slowing deforestation! Unfortunately that big chain that claimed to care in just 2012 is discontinuing their tree free toilet paper just 4 years later!

I switched to Ology toilet paper 3 years ago and it is the only thing we have bought since. When I was in the store last week I saw that the prices on the toilet paper were drastically slashed and bearing a clearance sticker. In the picture to the right you can see the price I was paying for years... now the toilet paper is less $3 for the 12 pack. Tomorrow I'm planning on buying the stores in my area out to keep using this environmentally friendly product as long as I can.

I'm planning on boycotting Walgreens as a result of this discontinuation. Walgreens made big statements about caring about the consumers and the environment JUST 4 years ago, what statement was made as to them discontinuing the toilet paper? NONE. I have a huge problem with companies that like to use causes to get good publicity but obviously don't stand behind the causes once the limelight goes away! The environment is something that should be saved, they came up with a product that can make a huge difference 1/4 a MILLION tress per DAY could be saved 27,000 if just 10% of the population switched to this brand! I think it is shameful that Walgreens would come up with a product that can make such a huge difference and then get rid of it!


When I wrote this entry I was pretty passionate and upset, and rightly so. When I'm upset sometimes I don't say things as eloquently as they could be said or make my point well enough. After some time hunting down all the remaining tp I could find at local Walgreens I found what I had been looking for when I wrote this entry, the statement affirming Walgreens "cares" about the environment and they are trying to save the world... obviously they don't since they discontinued this, but here it is: 

Walgreens has also discontinued SEVERAL of their other environmentally friendly Ology products! Please consider boycotting them, or at least send them a message letting them know your not happy about this!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Flea Treatment for Dogs, top picks and where to get bargain prices!


I recently had a flea outbreak in my house. Some years ago I had a cat that got fleas and it turned into a whole house infestation and resulted in everyone getting multiple bites and being miserable. I honestly didn't know anything about flea's up until that point and someone suggested to my mom they might be the cause of all of our bites. After trying a few other options I stumbled across frontline, within one week our house, cat, and ourselves were all flea free, no bombs, no obsessive cleaning regimes, just vacuuming a few times a week, washing all bedding, and applying frontline on the cat!

It has been about 7 years since my first encounter with fleas and I have learned a lot in the time since about animals and treatments.

I haven't tried all of the treatments on the market for fleas but there are a few I can recommend or suggest you might want to avoid!

Frontline- This was my savior when the fleas infested my moms all those years ago. I personally use this only as needed, not year round! I like the effectiveness but not the potentially harmful chemicals! This product is one of the more expensive choices coming in at around $45 for a 3 month supply.

BioSpot- This is the newest flea treatment that I have tried. I had to switch, I'm assuming the fleas in my area built up a resistance to Frontline, so I went online to see recommendations for other options. I found Biospot. This has a 3.5 star rating on amazon and 4.5 star rating on another online pet store. BioSpot is under $30 for a 6 month dose so it is MUCH cheaper than frontline! This worked to clear our dogs of fleas but it did make the dogs coat look really oily for days!

Vet's Best- Vets best has a line of natural anti-flea products. I came across this in a local pet store where a friend works and she recommended it. I bought an easy spray shampoo that kills fleas by contact that can be sprayed on carpet, bedding, and animals! The product smells great, it makes your whole house smell minty, and is much healthier to use than febreeze or other "air fresheners". I personally use it to deter fleas rather than erradicate but I 100% recommend it due to it being a natural amazing smelling product!

Sergeants Green- My mom bought me this, she found it really cheap and knows I prefer natural products in my household over chemicals. Like BioSpot this left my dogs really greasy, and the smell was unbearable. I don't know if it works or not but the smell gave me a headache and drove the dogs crazy, I had to give them a bath to get it off. I'd stay away from this one ya'll!

Hartz- I'm including the WHOLE Hartz line here. These products have been known to cause death in animals. While deaths in animals have also resulted from Frontline and probably BioSpot I have heard of MANY deaths from Hartz. The only products of theirs I will ever buy are plain rawhide, or a toy that I have inspected.

Now lets talk about how to save money!
Frontline- I have found the cheapest Frontline online. Be sure to buy from a reputable site so you get the real stuff but you can save quiet a bit of money by shopping around online. Some vets also sell the Frontline at a discounted rate!

BioSpot- I found Biospot on amazon for like $25 for a 6 month supply. A few days after buying on amazon I found 3 month supplies of BioSpot for JUST $5 at Big Lots. Flea treatment for only $1 and some change a month!

Vet's Best- I can't recommend where you can get the best price on this, I have found that most places have this product around the same price.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Designing/Buying a practical home


I recently stumbled upon two newer tv series: Tiny House Nation and Tiny House Hunting. I start off this blog post with that fact because they and the tiny house movement are the inspiration behind this post. If you haven't seen either series and are able then watch them! I have done a couple blog posts questioning how much house we all really need, and while my answer is nowhere near the tiny house square footage size of 60-500 sq ft there are many things I learn from the show.

Treehugger  further made me think about the home size and practicality issue. Here is an exerpt from their article:

"A book released a couple years ago called "Life at Home in the 21st Century" tracked 32 middle class Los Angelino families as they went about their daily affairs, tracking their movements and habits to see how people actually lived nowadays. With one family (#11), the researchers tracked the location of each parent and child on the first floor of the house every 10 minutes over two weekday afternoons and evenings.
What did they find? That Family 11 used a small fraction of the available area, with almost all traffic centered in the dining, kitchen and family rooms. Based on the above diagram, I would guestimate that about 400 of the 1000 or so of the first floor's available square feet are used. The rest of the spaces--the dining room, living room, porch--are, for all intents and purposes, extraneous architecture.
So the question becomes, if Family 11 is representative of the average American family, and if their home is about average size (2000+ sq ft) why does their home have so much more room than needed? Moreover, if we were to start fresh, what would the ideal single-family home look like?"
If I were building a house I think I would want a tiny house builder to design it, even with it NOT being a tiny house. Tiny House builders are all about MAXIMIZING space rather than giving people the MAXIMUM space they can afford! My current house layout is not maximizing my 1500 sq feet. I would estimate that there is at least 300 sq ft in my house that I could do without since the layout makes it practically unusable, 300 sq ft that we are paying to upkeep and heat and cool!

When I think of our next house I don't mind looking at smaller houses, and I'm not against something larger either (although I prefer under 2,000 sq ft). The layout and practicality of the house is what I'm looking for. I personally don't use my laundry room... Yes, I do laundry. I carry my laundry to the laundry room and then use my washer and dryer and then fold clothes on the couch or my bed. If I were building a house I would have a laundry closet! 

The laundry room was my example of wasted space but I'm sure we can all come up with a few, hallways are huge and for most people so are formal dining areas! I wanted to make this post to encourage anyone looking at buying or building a house to really think about what they need and will use and REALLY consider if the house layout works for you!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Our babies gender and the IVF to chose controversy


Three days ago we found out what we were having! As predicted my stubborn little sweetheart wasn't helping us get a good shot but we finally got one showing three little lines, which means she is a she! I have felt strongly this one was a girl, but I have also always wanted a little girl so to know I was actually correct and not just overly hopeful is great!

We need to name our little bean so please feel free to leave suggestions!


This post isn't just to share our news though, I just read an article here about using IVF to select a babies gender. I wanted to share my thoughts on this article since most people commenting on the article have dealt with miscarriages or infertility and are irritated with the way this couple chose to use IVF to make sure they had a daughter this time.

This couple spent $100,000 to have a baby girl, despite not having ANY infertility issues. I'm not trying to be judgmental but I really wonder why they didn't adopt? I know adoption takes time but so does IVF and pregnancy, and they already had two biological children... I'm a big believer in adoption and I'm against people having more than two biological children because there are SOO many people already and so many children that need adopted, it just seems selfish and egotistical that you NEED to have children that share your biology, do you believe your genetics are so superior?

The issue most people have is them using the IVF to chose gender. I'm thrilled I'm having a girl! I always wanted one since I was a little girl I have dreamed about being a mother and having a little girl! I guess I can understand where this women is coming from. To me having a healthy baby was the MOST important thing. When we had our ultrasound where the dr could tell us the gender we wanted to know but I wasn't super concerned with it being a girl or boy because we had a scare and that brought me to the realization that I really didn't care as long as it was healthy! We are planning to have a boy in the future still, and we are going to adopt! Adoption has always been something important to me and it allows you to chose gender. I've always wanted a little girl and my husband wanted a little boy, while he is thrilled we are having a girl in the future we do want a boy to finish our family!

I personally don't have religious objections to gender based IVF.

I am pro-choice because I am pro-baby, I care more about the life that child will have if concieved and brought into the world than just trying to force people who become pregnant (either by accident or stupidity) to carry the child til birth. Many pro-lifers I have talked to are NOT willing to adopt, saying it isn't their responsibility to care for the child they are trying to mandate be brought into the world. Many also believe the biological parents who got knocked up by being irresponsible should take on the responsibility of raising that child? That doesn't make since to me! They have already shown they aren't responsible and being a parent is a HUGE responsibility...

I know, I know... I got off topic, I brought up being pro-choice though to explain that I am pro family planning. I want each baby brought into this world to have a family who loves and cares for them! Some people REALLY want a baby girl or a baby boy. I know many families who kept having children until they got their desired gender. Yes they raised the extra children, but with today's technology why not?

I would prefer people who want a specific gender adopt rather than turn to IVF... but I'd also prefer people who want large families to adopt, and those who want to adopt! I'm all for every child having a loving home! At the end of the day isn't that what is most important?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Garage Sale Finds III


This weekend I went shopping with my mother, you can see our thrift store finds here. We found lots of good things at garage sales, thrift stores and a new discount store that opened in our area (post coming later).

My Finds:                       Cost
Dress                                 $1
Baby/Kids Books             .25-.50
Burp Clothes                    .25
Large Pots                         $3
Medium Pots                     $1.50
Baby Toy                          $1
Toy with blanket               .50

 I saved a TON of money on the pots. The decorative large pots that I have looked at buying in store cost around $15-$20 each! I currently needed two in order to re-pot my dwarf mulberry trees; but have been planning on getting more indoor plants since it improves indoor air quality!

This pot is one of my absolute favorites. The pot is older and has a few chips but it is so beautiful with the etching! The pot is large and would be perfect for a smaller tree and most flowers or plants!

These pots were bought at an estate sale from a lady in my neighborhood which was a transplant from England, so these might be from there as well!

I managed to purchase four of these white pots, two are large and two are medium sized. I love that I was able to find matching pots and in different sizes too. These are great because I can use them to make things look symmetrical which is something I'm slightly OCD about. I like antiques and unique things but if I have 5 pots in a row I would want the first and last to match!

On the left you can see the burp clothes we picked up at a yard sale for only .25/each! These are all handmade and REALLY thick. My mom was in love and I like that these are handmade, have great patterns and are thick enough that vomit or spit-up won't go through them (unlike some sold in stores).
(Not pictured are two that have green backs visible, and one has a polka dot front and the other has a frog pattern front)

The bear to the left was bought at a yard sale for $1. It was clean and works perfectly! We will re clean him of course but I was surprised to find he didn't even need new batteries!

You can see the price of the cute bear on the right holding a fleece blanket. We paid just .50 for him and he is BRAND new!

Pictured left is a few books that were picked up ultra cheap, being from between a quarter or two quarters each . The rattle was also picked up brand new and was .25.

I love doing these posts on my finds to encourage others to check out yard sales or even hold them. My mom made several hundred dollars at her last yard sale, and we have saved soo much money shopping at them. The money we spend at yard sales also goes back into our local community, which is great!

Thrift Store Finds


This last Saturday my mom and I went shopping. There is a new store that opened up in the area we wanted to go to, one I'll be blogging on as soon as I get pictures of the merchandise I bought! In addition to the new store we went yard saling and stopped at a few thrift stores!

Thrift Store Finds:
Tom Clancy Book                    .50
Pregnancy Book                       .50
Winter Baby Outfit                 3.00
Tops (3)                                 12.00
JR Watkins Shampoo              5.00
JR Watkins Baby Wash           4.00
JR Watkins Baby Lotion         4.00
Chair                                      40.00
Canvas Painting                     15.00

Now for those of you who aren't familiar with the JR Watkins products these are natural, made in the USA, and have been produced since 1868! My mom was thrilled to find this product, her parents used to sell it when she was a child so she actually purchased the baby products from their line for the baby!

This isn't the best picture of this painting but I absolutely adore it. This just reminds me of a simpler life, and one that I aspire to lead. My mom actually purchased this for me as well since I was on the fence, $15 is NOTHING for a hand painted canvas in a frame but I didn't know how it would go in our current house! We found a perfect spot for it so I may add another picture of this painting once it is hung in place!

My favorite thrift store find was an antique chair that had already been completely refurbished! Shockingly the sticker price was only $45 on this beauty, but I only had $43 in cash left so I haggled them down to $40 and had JUST enough to cover the cost of the chair and tax! This chair is actually now part of a reading nook placed by our bookshelf!

I took some pictures at one thrift store of some cool metal signs we found for just $10! I bought my mom one of these with bears on it (not pictured) for her Alaska themed room, and she bought 2 additional ones including a beautiful train one and one with some of the Andy Griffith show cast around Aunt Bee's table!

I LOVE these vintage metal signs, my favorite of them being the MotorHead, the Cows, and the Train one my mom bought (not pictured). If my husband and I are able to move into the country at some point and start farming I will absolutely buy the Farm Fresh Milk metal picture!

I adore thrift shops! My favorite antiques are always furniture pieces, these are almost always better constructed then their newer counterparts, have history, and they are unique since they aren't sold anymore! Although furniture is my favorite find I also love other antiques. Thrift Stores have items that you can't find anywhere else and depending on the store/booth they can have dirt cheap prices!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Burt's Bees Body Lotions Review


A few weeks ago I found a bunch of the "natural" product lines in the clearance section at kroger. Of course I was thrilled. I love the truly natural lines, but since Clorox bought out Burt's Bees and they came out with the GUD line I've been less trusting of their products.

Of the three lotions pictured above I have the two on the outside. The lotions are touted as 99% natural so hopefully that means no harmful chemicals, they do not contain parabens or pthalates! 

I personally like these lotions. I would absolutely recommend them, both for the .99 I scoped them up for and for the $7.99 retail price! What I would NOT recommend is the "fragrance free" one, it STINKS! The one to the far left smells amazing and I'm sure the middle one also smells good! These are great moisturizers, although they are white when you apply on your skin and you really have to rub them in. The white coloring until they are rubbed in properly can be seen as a positive as it makes you really rub the lotion in, and stimulate your skin (which is healthy).

Go get you one!

Burt's Bees Brightening Facial Cleanser Review


Burt's Bees is a line I used to absolutely love and trust, then Clorox bought them out... and now they aren't a line I trust as much; EWG's skindeep database rates their line from a 0-6 risk level as far as harmful chemicals that are present in their line. This particular product hasn't been reviewed by them yet.

There are many things I like about this product:
1. This is made in the USA
2. 98.7% Natural
3. No Parabens or Phthalates
4. No Animal Testing
5. Containers made with 50% recycled content

I got this product on clearance for just .99, along with others. For .99 I would totally recommend this product, but for the retail price of $7.99 I can't.

I use the facial cleanser almost everyday. It is my current shower cleanser. I actually do like the scent, I'm guessing it is the daisy. It leaves my face feeling clean a few minutes after using it, but while and immediately after using it it burns; Now it doesn't burn horribly, but a burning sensation isn't something I appreciate! Some other people who have reviewed this product complained of it being more like a lotion, and making their skin oily. My personal experience with this product is that it has a creamy consistency, which I find pleasant. My skin is mixed, I have an oily T-zone but otherwise my skin isn't. I have found this product didn't cause my skin to feel more oily and I actually used moisturizer after to calm my skin after the burning sensation which was worse when I first started using the product than now.

Overall this is NOT a bad product, but there are MANY choices when it comes to a facial cleanser. If you find it on clearance like I did it is 100% worth it, but for retail price I'd go with another one.