Thursday, June 25, 2015

Gotta Love My Knotty Boy! Knotty Boy Natural Dreadlock Care Product Review

I have never loved my hair.  Or really liked it for that matter.  I can't say that there has ever been a time in my 30 years on earth that I have been happy with my hair.  Well maybe on my wedding day but that was just one day and it took several hours, a professional and whole lot of product to get it to stay in place.  Other than that, I have always hated my hair.  Its super straight and stiff.  It doesn't take any sort of styling well. I can't get curl to stay, I can't do an intentionally messy yet cute looking updo and if I just leave it down and straight, it rats up.  One thing I have always been secretly in love with, are dreadlocks!  I have always loved dreads.  I remember being in junior high school trying to do temporary dreads with a whole lot of twisting and about half a bottle of hair spray.  The result of that was not good I looked like a twisted up, glued together mess of hair.  But I've still always loved dreadlocks and always thought that well maintained dreads can look amazing on a person!

So recently I decided on a change.  I realized that I rarely do anything to make myself happy.  I feel like I've lost a little bit of me after becoming a mom and going through so many hardships over the last couple of years.  I decided I needed to do something for myself to make myself feel good for once.  So I ditched my flat drab mom hair and dreaded my hair.   And you know what?  I couldn't be more ecstatic with it!   For the first time EVER.......I LOVE my hair!  I've had my dreads for about a month now.  When I first made my dreads I was in need of a good tightening product.  My hair is fine and straight so I needed something to really help it lock up and I read some rave reviews about a company called Knotty Boy that offers all natural dreadlock care products.  One thing I needed was good quality products to use on my hair to help get my locks established and I also needed something natural.  Knotty Boy had that!  So they sent me two of their products to try out on my new locks.

The first product I tried was their Knotty Boy All Natural Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo.  My first thought when I opened up the bottle was that this stuff smells absolutely fantastic!  Its made with all natural ingredients and contains peppermint, tea tree and rosemary essential oils.  I am all about essential oils!  And those oils are some of my favorites.  Peppermint is an essential oil that I use every single day!  So I knew my hair was going to smell amazing.  When I actually washed with it I was blown away.

My big problem right now is that its summer time in Iowa.  And it gets hot and humid here!  We have a little urban backyard homestead and I grow most of the veggies we eat during the summer and fall (and some fruits too) and then store and preserve a lot of food that we grow for the winter months.  So right now my head is enduring some intense heat, sun and humidity.  So the first time I washed my hair with this stuff, I experienced an intense cooling sensation that was just what I needed!  I had been outside in the heat, sweating, digging in the dirt so I was ready for clean hair and I felt like I got a spa treatment.  I sat in the bottom of my tub for several minutes and just let the shampoo cleanse and cool my scalp with the natural essential oils.   And after my shower, my locks were super clean. And the nice thing is that the shampoo didn't loosen my dreads much either!

After using my Knotty Boy Shampoo, I applied some Knotty Boy LockSteady Tightening Gel.  This smelled like a tropical cocktail for my dreads!    The citrus and lime scent reminded me of having cocktails with my mom on the beach in Florida during some past vacations we've taken together.  So I got really good vibes just opening this container.

This is a gel that is applied very sparingly to dreadlocks to help them tighten up and help tame frizz and lose hairs.  You can use it on new and matures dreads. The nice thing is that it does wash out so its not something that's going to build and build as you apply over and over. I definitely noticed my dreads were tighter and more tamed after using this!  At first my dreads were lose and not knotted up very well.  But after using this gel a couple of times they are tight and secure and definitely have nice shape to them.   Its made from pure aloe vera, hemp oil and natural citrus oils to nurture your hair while helping establish, tightening and maintain your locks.  I was definitely happy with this product!  I got a 4oz tub and so far I've gotten two applications and I'm not quite half way through the container and I've got quite a bit of hair.  You can definitely see a difference in my before and after photos below.

Here are my locks BEFORE using my Knotty Boy Shampoo and LockSteady Tightening Gel.

And here are my locks AFTER!
I shampooed first, then applied a light amount of LockSteady Gel to each dread while it was still damp, rolling each dread in my palms and let it air dry.

Knotty Boy has great customer service too!  They got right back to my inquires and gave me some much needed guidance for using these products for the first time.

Overall, I loved both products!  The refreshing feeling of the shampoo was great and got my dreads super clean with no residue, no build up, no harsh chemicals or synthetic ingredients and didn't dry them out.  My locks smelled and felt amazing!  The LockSteady Gel is helping to tighten up my dreads and gives them a nice tight shape and texture while taming my frizz naturally.  I would definitely purchase more of these products and would highly recommend both.   I have gotten so many compliments on my locks so I am definitely happy with the results!.  Its definitely been a huge and much needed boost of confidence!

Knotty Boy also offers a variety of other products for dreadlock care as well along with shampoo bars, maintenance and removal kits, hats and scarves, beads, dread tools and accessories.  Be sure to check out the Knotty Boy website.  You can also connect with Knotty Boy on Facebook, Twitter and be sure to follow the Knotty Boy Youtube channel!

I was provided with samples free of charge to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Tea Secrets Loose Leaf Tea Infuser Set Review

I am a tea fanatic!  Not only is tea my drink of choice over coffee, but I also love collecting tea.  I have a special drawer (and half of the drawer next to it too) dedicated to my teas.  My favorite teas are loose leaf teas.  And a must have for drinking loose leaf tea is some sort of infuser so that you don't just have tea soup with your tea leaves floating around in your cup.  I have a couple of different ones that work well but when I saw this set of Lose Leaf Tea Infusers from Tea Secrets, I really wanted to try them.  Its a 4 pack of infusers that comes with 4 different colors.

The fun thing about having matching diffusers in a set like this is being able to have company over and everyone having their own diffuser to use in their cup.  I think these are really cute too.  I do like the design.  And they are BPA free and will not rust.  They are made mostly of FDA approved food grade silicone and stainless steal.  They were easy to clean and easy to use and is dishwasher safe.  Each infuser came with a little drip tray to set it on while you're drinking your first cup which was nice.  And its an ecofriendly option because with lose leaf tea and a reusable infuse like this, you're using less packaging and keeping some trash out of the landfills.  We love to use products that reduce our packaging waste!   They definitely did their job and my tea was infused perfectly so I enjoyed them.  You can order a Tea Secrets Loose Leaf Tea Infuser Set on Amazon!  It would make a great gift for any tea enthusiast like me!

I was provided with a sample free of charge to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Live Infinitely Forever Cool Cooling Towel Review

I am a babywearing mama.  And one downside of being a babywearing mama in Iowa, is our hot summers and wearing a 2 year old on my back in the heat.  Its definitely hard to stay cool when were outdoors.  I've heard other mamas talking about using cooling towels to keep them cool while babywearing.  So when I had the opportunity to review the Live Infinitely Forever Cool Cooling Towel, I was super excited and really curious to see how well these work.

At first I was skeptical.  Because really, it gets hot here and the idea just seemed to good to be true.  A piece of cloth being able to cool down even though its 80+ degrees outside (and will be getting hotter as the summer progresses) didn't sound too promising.  But I was pleasantly surprised.  All you do is get it wet and ring out the excess water.  The water activates the cooling effect.  Its made to cool down to 30 degrees below normal body temp.  So a 30 degree difference on a hot day is a huge improvement!  For babywearing, you simply wet the towel down, ring it out a bit and place it flat between you and your sweetie while they are wrapped or in their carrier.  I definitely felt cooler and my kiddo seemed more comfortable.  Plus the material wicks moisture and sweat away from your skin too.  And it stays cool for up to 4 hours so would be great for hiking and longer outside activities.

I definitely will be keeping this around for our walks and hikes from now on.  I'm sure there are other great uses for it too.  You can order the Live Infinitely Forever Cool Cooling Town on Amazon!

I was provided with a sample free of charge to facilitate this review.   All opinions are my own.

Friday, June 19, 2015

NEW Premium Starter Kit Now Available From Young Living Essential Oils + 2 FREE GIFTS

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

UNi 100% Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Review

Argan oil is one of my favorite oils.  I use it for a carrier oil with my essential oils.    I use it in my cold process soap recipes.  And I even use it on my kids bum when she has a diaper rash.  Its great for hair and skin.  Its just one of those all around awesome all purpose oils.

I recently received a bottle of UNi Organic Moroccan Argan Oil to try and am really loving it!   I added this to a batch of soap along with some patchouli oil for a moisturizing shampoo and skin bar.  It turned out perfectly!  Its got a great lather since I mixed it with coconut oil and it really conditions and moisturizes.  And I love that its USDA certified organic too which is great!  Just pure argan oil with no additives and no artificial ingredients or fragrances.  The bottle is 2oz so it can last a while and of course, argan oil goes a long way so you don't need to use a lot if you're just using it directly on your hair or skin.  You can order UNi Argan Oil on Amazon!

I was provided with a sample free of charge to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Gluten Free Can Be Easy! The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide 6th Edition Book Review

Thankfully our family doesn't have any diagnosed gluten allergies.  Because I have heard that can be pretty stressful.  I do have a gluten sensitivity and with all of the hype about gluten and how much better it is for our bodies to just stay away from it and reduce it in our diets, I have been making an effort to go gluten free whenever we can.  But it can be hard!  I did find something that makes it so much easier to be gluten conscious and make eliminating gluten so much easier!  Its a book called The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide.  Its the 6th Edition by Triumph Dining.  This book is fantastic!

So in a nutshell, its a 500+ page book that lists product after product along with brand names that are all gluten free.  Its a guide book that you can take shopping with you that will tell you what is gluten free.  At first, before I read it, I thought it would be a bunch of brands that we can't find locally but I was blown away at the selection that's listed.  There are more than 52,000 store brand and brand name products listed!  And its all so user friendly and organized so that everything is easy to find and easy to read.  Its organized into sections based on type of food such as Dairy & Eggs, Beverages, Frozen Foods, Meats, Baking and so on.  And there is also an index in the back of the book that you can use to pinpoint an exact product or brand.  So if you are specifically looking for "bread" or Marinara Sauce" for example, you can easily and quickly check the back of the book and find what you need.   The Table of contents in the beginning is very detailed as well.   For the Baking Isle for example, the table of contents lists "baking chips and bars, baking mixes, baking powder, baking soda, bread crumbs and other coatings, and so on and so forth."  This makes it so easy to find what you need.  And listing withing that baking section has page numbers listed.  I am definitely keeping this in our car from now on so that I have it handy every time I go to the store.   Such a great reference to make a gluten free diet easier to accomplish!

I highly recommend this book!  Out lives are so busy and filled with so much to do, making health easier is great!  Sometimes I've felt like I don't have the time or patience to dedicate to my health but products like this make it easier and doable.  I got the paperback version (which I love) but there's also an eBook version as well!   You can order a copy of The Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide from the Triumph Dining website.   They also have a restaurant guide too!

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Triumph Dining.  All opinions are my own.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Amber Glass Spray Bottles From Emmi's Essentials

I love using essential oils for cleaning.  But one thing to be careful about when using essential oils, is to be sure to store them in dark glass containers.  I especially love using lemon essential oil for cleaning.  I usually mix water, vinegar and lemon essential oil and use it for an all purpose cleaner.  It works great for a floor mop solution and for wiping down my counter tops in my kitchen and in my bathroom.  I used to mix it up in a glass bowl and dip a towel in it but I recently got an amber colored glass spray bottle from Emmi's Essentials on Amazon and its made my cleaning so much easier!

Its a 16 ounce bottle so I can make a good amount of cleaner to last me all week.  The spray nozzle hasn't leaked for me which is great.  I always hate when I get a bottle with a leaky nozzle. Its a pain, a mess and I really don't want to be wasting my essential oils using a leaky bottle.  The amber is also great because it protects my oils and keeps them fresh longer.  Oils can lose their potency and some citrus oils can get a little funky if not stored in the right type of glass so this works perfectly.

And since I use this bottle for all natural solutions rather than chemical cleaners, I can use it for different things.  I recently mixed up a lavender solution of just water and lavender essential oil that I use to mist my hair in the morning.  It makes my hair soft and smells great!

I will definitely need to get a couple more of these.  The price is great too!   You can order a bottle on Amazon for only $13.98!  And its something you can reuse over and over so that's an extra bonus.

I was provided with a sample free of charge to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Renewalize Organic Jojoba Oil Review

I have a few favorites oils that I use for my hair and skin.  One of my favorites is Jojoba oil.  Its great for conditioning your hair and helping moisturize and add shine.  Its also great for dry, dull skin and also good for acne.  I recently tried some Apricot Oil from Renewalize and loved it.  I was also lucky enough to try a bottle of their Jojoba Oil too!

I used this oil on my hair first.  Its been a while since I cut my hair so its gotten dull and I have a few split ends.  I rubbed the oil between my hands and worked it into the tips of my hair while it was damp.  It made my hair feel incredibly soft and definitely smoothed my ends and made them look so much better.   Its USDA certified organic and packed with vitamin E and essential fatty acids.

I also rubbed this oil onto my finger nails since this oil is great for hair, skin and nails.  Its planting season so with getting all of our fruits and veggies planted, my nails are taking a beating.  This will help condition them and get them healthy again.  If you want to try this oil out for yourself, you can order it on the Renewalize website!

I was provided with a sample free of charge to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Organic Apricot Kernel Oil by Renewalize - Review

Those of you that follow my blog regularly will know by now that I am a huge fan of oils.  I love using essential oils, coconut, argan, rosehip among others.  I make homemade cold process soaps and homemade sugar scrubs.  So I am always using different oils around here for all sorts of things.  One oil that I have not had much experience using until now, is Apricot Kernel Oil.  I have heard that its great for skin so I wanted to try some.  I got a bottle of pure Organic Apricot Kernel Oil from Renewalize.

Like I said, I have read that Apricot oil is great for skin and this came just in time.  I haven't had much dry skin lately now that spring and the sunshine is finally in full swing.  My skin has gotten through its awkward winter to spring transition where it goes all hay wire.  My skin has been looking good lately but I happened to be out doing some gardening in full sun recently and actually got my first sun burn of the year.  I massaged a bit of the apricot oil on my burnt shoulders and after a few hours I noticed a definite difference.  There was a reduction in the red color and my burns didn't feel as sensitive to the touch.  So this definitely helped sooth my sunburn.

I also used this as a massage oil on my feet.  My feet do need a bit of TLC since I tend to do all of my gardening barefoot.  So my feet do get worn and dry and a bit beat up.  Summer time is not a pretty time for my feet.  My feet do get really dry after I come in from gardening and have to do so much foot scrubbing to get the dirt off.  So this made my feet feel great!  They were soft and moisturized which is definitely not normal for this time of year.  Its USDA certified organic and unrefined cold pressed virgin oil.  I will definitely keep this on hand from now on.  You can order this Apricot Oil on the Renewalize website!

I was provided with a sample free of charge to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Evergreen Nature Wholefood Multivitamin Review

I am usually really bad about taking any sort of pills or supplements.  I'm just a forgetful person.  But I've made an effort to be better about taking a multivitamin each day, especially now that I've discovered more whole food vitamins since they are packed with so much nutrition.  I tried a new multivitamin from Evergreen Nature that I was really happy with.

Evergreen Nature Wholefood Multivitamins contain over 30 key vitamins and minerals that help keep your whole body healthy.  They help with immune support, increased energy, cardiovascular health, and increased cognitive function.  They are made from whole foods such as fruits and herbs and include probiotic blends to help improve digestion.  These are packed full of great stuff.  They were fairly easy to swallow with a glass of water.  I would recommend taking these with a meal.  I took them a couple of times with only a very light breakfast and got a little bit of an upset stomach.  But I do have a very sensitive stomach.  But when taken with a full breakfast, I felt great.

These are also made in the USA which is great!  You can order Evergreen Nature Wholefood Multivitamins on Amazon!

I was provided with a sample free of charge to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.