Slowing Down with Rituals TryaBox from Tryazon

We do little things every day, automatically, without thinking about them. As a mom with very little time to stop and think about anything, I sometimes exist in a constant mom brain buzz just “getting things done” and moving on to my next task. So when applying for this Rituals TryaBox from Tryazon, I wrote that my idea for reviewing this product would be take a moment every day for a week and enjoy using the product and just enjoying the moment of a simple ritual like taking a shower or putting on lotion.

All the moms reading this are probably now laughing at me since you can probably figure how this went. I also gave this a try during the summer, while my husband was out of town, so I had no relief from the constant kid-induced state of chaos that comes with parenting. But you know what? I still enjoyed trying.

On the first day, I invited my friend Effie and her son over to help with the unboxing. It’s always more fun to do with a friend! And we took an everyday playdate and made it an event. We unboxed, ooohed and ahhhed over the nice smells and products, tried a destressing ritual on the kids and just embraced the general chaos that is our daily lives. Click here to watch our unboxing video on YouTube.

The two products I got to sample were the Foaming Shower Gel and the Natural Dry Oil for skin and hair. Both smelled wonderful – light and slightly herbal/floral but not overpowering for a sensitive nose like mine. The Indian rose and himalaya honey used in the collection are supposed to help create a balancing effect.

I tried to take photos of Effie spraying on the dry oil. According to the website, the dry oil is to be used to “discover the magical world of abhyanga (self-massage) … Enriched with nourishing herbs and specially designed to balance the Vata dosha, this 100% natural dry oil nourishes the skin according to Ayurvedic tradition.

This is how that went:

After our initial hectic product testing, it was up to me to try and make the time to stop and enjoy the little rituals. I’ll be honest and say it took me three days before I got to try the shower gel. I kept forgetting to put it in the shower. Also that was the only time in three days I managed to fit in a shower.

 

img_2623-1I got my son to watch an episode of PAW Patrol so I knew I had a good 20 minutes to enjoy my shower. The gel comes out pretty fast, so you just want to do a little squirt at a time. It comes out clear and then foams up into a nice lather. It also doubles nicely as a shaving gel. I was all sudsed up when I heard squealing from the other room and the thump thump thump of little feet running by. I quickly rinsed off and jumped out of the shower soaking wet, to discover the dog had stolen my son’s entire lunch plate off the couch and he was quite upset about it. So I made another hot dog, put on a new episode and got back in the shower to finish “relaxing.” Five minutes later there was a knock at the bathroom door. It was my son, letting me know I got the floor all wet. Thanks kid!

img_2624-1While the shower gel was a bit of a challenge, I did manage to fit the dry oil in every day. Sometimes more than once, just because I really enjoyed the smell and the way it soaks right in so you don’t feel oily. I have dry skin on my arms and legs and can always use a little more moisture. I kept the bottle out where I could see it so I wouldn’t forget to stop, spray, smell and take a moment. On one evening I decided to sit down and follow the massage instructions on the little tag that came with the bottle. I put my son to bed, put on a movie, sat down on the couch and took a moment to relax. About halfway through the experience, a little head popped up from behind the couch. My son decided he couldn’t sleep and then proceeded to scream, cry and flop around on the couch for the next hour. He was also not cool with me trying to spray him and massage away his obvious toddler stress.

On Sunday my husband finally returned home and I got a little break. That evening I took a nice long hot shower and enjoyed the luxurious shower gel with my scrubby sponge from head to toe with no interruption. After toweling off I sprayed the oil all over and was able to appreciate the lovely smell and the way it soaked in, leaving me moisturized and with a slight sheen, but not like an oil slick. I was finally able to really slow down, just for that moment.

And then the banging on the door began and I snapped right back into mom mode…

 

Slow down and enjoy the chaos of motherhood

 

 

A Review: Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner

I was sent the Dessert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner along with the Anti-Breakage Hair Mask from Moms Meet to try for free in exchange for posting my honest opinion on my blog.

I’m going to do a rare straight-out review, because I can’t think of a funny story or way to turn talking about shampoo and conditioner into an engaging tale. I accepted this blog campaign because I have a thing for hair products and am always trying different stuff and hoping for miracles. I have kind of frizzy, damaged, color-treated, half curly, half straight hair that drives me crazy most of the time so it’s always up on a ponytail.

The Dessert Essence anti-breakage products are formulated with Country Life Maxi-Hair® plus Biotin and are supposed to reduce breakage up to 61%. I feel like there must be a product around boasting 60% and they were like, let’s push this to 61! Because that 1% just might make all the difference. According to their website, “Country Life Maxi-Hair®, rich in a multitude of B-Vitamins and Biotin, has been one of Country Life’s best-selling supplements and a consumer favorite for more two decades.”

All the products have a very herbal scent, like tea tree oil. It leaves your hair smelling fresh and clean, not overly perfumed. I first tried the shampoo and conditioner on its own, then next time I added the deep conditioning hair mask.

I noticed a difference on the first round, although I will admit that often happens when you switch shampoos at first. So I made sure to use these products for two weeks before reviewing. My hair seemed smoother and easier to comb, which inspired me to actually style it and try wearing it down for the day.

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After a few heavy sun/pool/beach days, I gave the hair mask a try. The instructions say to leave it in for 20-30 min. and to maximize benefits, wrap it in a hot towel. It was kind of hard to squeeze in a shower, plus 30 min. of hair conditioning, and then a short shower to rinse it out, but a few extra episodes of Paw Patrol kept the kiddo entertained long enough to pull it off.

The hair mask is a nice thick formula with the same clean herbal scent. It made my hair easy to comb in the shower, but the real anti-breakage test came when I got out and tried to comb it wet. I have a few spots (the ones with the lightest highlights) that get a little snarly. I’ve even had to just chop some pieces off because they look terrible. I could still see a couple of weak spots, so before combing them I took the tiniest bit of the hair mask and put a little extra on those strands. After that I was able to comb everything through nice and smooth, no snags.

Overall I thought the products did a nice job of taming my frizz and making my hair look healthier, even when it was up in a ponytail. It took some getting used to the herbal scent. At first I thought it was more “medicinal” smelling, but it grew on me. I will definitely keep using these throughout the summer, while I’m trying to grow out my hair and see if they do reduce the usual breakage that results from the harsh summer environment of sun, chlorine and salt water.

Right now you can save 20% off all Anti-breakage and Smoothing hair care products on Desert Essence with promo code DELovesMomsMeet

 

Adventures in Miscommunication – or How I Ended up with a Bib and a Box of Tweezers

I usually try and make sure I understand exactly what a company wants when I agree to try out a product or promote anything. I also only agree to promote products I’d actually use, and post honestly about my experience. But sometimes, something goes wrong somewhere and I end up with something completely different than discussed and then have no idea what to do with it. This is a story about two of those things.

#1 This embroidered bib

When the marketing company for a certain Italian website (who asked not to be named after seeing this post) contacted me about doing an article on their website and their collection of lovely handcrafted embroidered linen products, I expressed interest in the table runners or any kind of table setting type thing. I’ve been throwing little get togethers and dinner parties so I’d love to bump up my food display with a pretty setting. I figured I could easily create a nice post around that.

So….they sent me a bib:

It’s a very nice bib. Possibly the fanciest bib we have ever owned. Unfortunately we rarely use baby bibs anymore and when we do, we prefer the easy (though not as Instagram-worthy) plastic wipe-off style with the little pocket at the bottom that catches food. This is a going out bib. Like, maybe you take the baby to a fancy restaurant and he wants to make sure the bib doesn’t blow his outfit kind of bib.

I tried to explain I can’t do an entire article on a bib, but the person I originally dealt with no longer works there and it seems somewhere along the way, things got misconstrued into me reviewing a bib. This post is as good as it gets in that department. Luckily I have several friends with new babies that might need a fancy bid so I plan to pass it on so someone can enjoy it.

#2 Eyelash Tweezers from Zole

When a rep from Zole Industries asked if I would take a look at their eyelash tweezers and share on social media, I heard two things: eyelashes and tweezers. I use both of those things so figured I could easily snap a pic and share. This time the communication issue was totally my fault. They meant exactly what they typed, and sent me a whole box of Eyelash Tweezers. As in, tweezers for your eyelashes:

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I have never tweezed an eyelash before, but apparently they are used when people do individual lashes and extensions. I usually just glue on a strip for my lashes, so I didn’t know what to do with these things. Since I didn’t have a use for them, I made one up!

I made a sensory box type thing for my son and filled all the compartments with little knickknacks and then handed him the tweezers and told him to try and pick the stuff out of the compartments. I realize it is not the best idea to arm a toddler with a sharp pointy object, but he lost interest in about two minutes so I didn’t have to worry about any wayward stabbings for long.

If you happen to be a beauty professional and are in the market for eyelash tweezers, they can be reached through their Instagram Page: Zole Beauty Care

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So that’s my two biggest oops experiences lately. I wanted to be able to still go ahead and mention the companies on the blog, even if it’s not exactly what they were going for. It’s still exposure, right? lol

*Morning update: I was wrong, lol. the Italian company did NOT want to be named after seeing this post so I removed their links. If you are in the market for a fancy bib, just contact me for their name.

Moms Are Tired Part 4 – Except this time, I Wasn’t. A CBD Oil Experiment

For the fourth installment of “Moms are Tired,” I was sent a package from MomsMeet.com with an impressive selection of  Plus CBD oil products to sample and post my honest review on my blog. I received this product for free, compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

When my package arrived containing CBD capsules, gels, spray, drops and a balm, I wasn’t really sure where to start. I started flipping through the catalog for guidance and my head was kind of swimming with all the scientific info. I definitely had some questions-
Will it show up in a drug test? Is all CBD the same? Is it like an overall multivitamin? How much do you take? What do I use the balm for? What exactly does CBD oil DO?

After some research and reading a ton of info, I managed to get the answers to those questions and more.

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid found in cannabis and agricultural hemp. Studies have shown it to have a positive effect on human and animal systems, though it seems due to regulations, the company that sells it can’t tell you exactly what is does affect or make any specific claims as to what it can do.

Plus CBD Oil

I went into this not really knowing what to expect, or expecting much to be honest. I wasn’t looking to cure a particular ailment, and the overall consensus from everything I read was that CBD was beneficial for just about everything. I figured I’d jump right in, start taking it daily and see what happens. I was totally human guinea-pigging myself.

agricultural hempThe Plus CBD Oil is made from agricultural hemp, which differs from marijuana in both appearance and effect. It looks more like bamboo and contains less than 0.3% THC, which is the stuff that gives you the euphoric effects. So no, no matter how much you take, you can’t get high. However, the answer is YES it could show up in a drug test. Just like poppy seeds could cause a test to show positive for heroin, hemp contains minute amounts of THC and could cause a positive for marijuana. So that answered my first question!

According to their website “CBD is CBD, it doesn’t matter where it is sourced from,” meaning you get the same CBD from agricultural hemp as you get from medical cannabis. I did not dig too deep into this claim, so I’m just taking their word for it. This particular brand uses the whole plant, which research suggests is highly beneficial and Plus CBD Oil has coined the term the “Hemptourage effect” to describe how the many different bioactive compounds interplay to optimize health and wellness.

The first thing I tried was the Gold Formula CBD oil soft gels, with 15 mg per serving. They describe their “Gold Formula” as the ultimate step in refining the oil through a process that leaves it gold in color and is the highest concentrated form they offer.

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I also started using the peppermint flavored CBD Oil Spray throughout the day, because I really liked the taste of it. It tastes almost like a Thin Mint – chocolatey and minty. It was almost like a little dessert after dinner. As far as figuring how much to take, I couldn’t find any clear guidelines beyond “everyone is different, start small and fine tune as you go.” So I started with the soft gels and a few squirts here and there of the spray.

Once the gels were gone, I tried the Total Plant Complex capsules. I’m always a little wary of capsules because it seems like those things burp up later, but these didn’t cause any ill effects and no post pill burping. So that was a positive experience as well.

Next I tried the CBD Oil Gold Formula drops, which they recommend mixing in a smoothie, or taking straight. I got the unflavored variety, but it was really sweet and actually tasted similar to the peppermint spray. So the “unflavored” is actually a yummy sweet flavor. It’s kind of cloudy and gooey and messy, so the drops were not my favorite thing, although they did taste good.

And that brings us to the Extra Strength CBD oil balm. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so the first thing I did was rub it into some dry spots on my ankles, elbows and cuticles. After reading on their website, I discovered that is exactly what you are supposed to do with it! It is made to be a soothing and moisturizing balm for the skin, lightly scented with peppermint for a cooling sensation. I really liked the scent, and it was moisturizing, but be prepared for it to leave your skin looking shiny and oiled.

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So what was the effect of all this daily dosing myself with CBD? Well, I sat there and pondered for a bit if anything was different. I still had anxiety (that’s one of the things it’s recommended for), I had still gotten a headache a few times the past month (I get migraines), and in the middle of my pondering I realized it was around 3PM and I wasn’t tired yet. I had actually been sleeping really well, not waking up four times a night, and I didn’t feel like I was dragging in the late afternoon. This mom was actually NOT TIRED!

So I figure maybe that is how the CBD affects me. Like a daily vitamin, it has been giving me a little boost and helping me rest better at night. I still have about two months worth of capsules and samples left, so I will continue on with my CBD experiments.

PlusCBD Oil is available to purchase at your local independent health food stores or at pluscbdoil.com. To find PlusCBD Oil in your area, visit the website for the full list of locations. All PlusCBD Oil products are gluten free, non-GMO, 100% vegetarian, and grown without herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides. I recommend checking out their FAQ page, which easily answered a lot of my questions.

And be sure to use promo code: MOMSMEET17 to receive 15% off all orders!

Sweet Potatoes in the Copper Crisper

My grandmother surprised me with a Copper Crisper, so I had to give it a try right away. My husband keeps getting sweet potatoes with the intention of cutting them up and making little tater tot type things for his lunch, and then doesn’t follow through with it, so I figured this would be the perfect thing to use for that.

I chopped up three sweet potatoes into cubes, and in hindsight that was too many to fit on the pan but I went through with it anyway!

I didn’t want all the sugar and sweetness so I just tossed the potatoes in a little olive oil and sea salt and then put them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, as per the directions. I was very skeptical that 20 minutes was going to be enough, and I was right, so I put them back in for 20 more. And then a little longer.

I took them out and mix them in the butter like the recipe said, but I probably would’ve been better off skipping that part. They were OK, but not as crunchy as I’d hoped. I realize this was probably my fault for overloading the pan, although I did go in and move them around every time I added more time so that they could all cook.

Here’s the recipe if you are interested in trying it yourself!

I do plan on giving it another try but with less sweet potatoes next time and no butter! I have started using the Copper Crisper for other things like breaded fish and chicken and it actually works pretty good so I’m sure I can get a crisper potato if I adjust the amount.

Anybody else use one of these? Any tips or favorite things to cook in it?