By now, you know that I love using products that are natural.  I have cut out my face wash for a homemade one, and started using homemade dishwashing detergent.  When I heard about the new ology line at Walgreens, I was excited to get to try it out and tell all of you about it.

Ology products include household cleaners, paper products, personal care and baby products.  I was able to try out and share the laundry detergent, multi-purpose cleaner and paper towels.  The products are all plant-based, which can give parents a peace of mind.

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With the detergent, it worked great on my sensitive skin.  I was able to use it with me HE washing machine, and love the clean, fresh scent that lingered on my clothing.  The detergent retails around $6.79.

The All Purpose cleaner is my new favorite.  When I first used it, I was trying to place the scent that was in my house.  When I realized the products were all plant-based, I figured out it made my house smell like a spa.  Fresh and relaxing.  The cost is only $3.99 a bottle.

The paper towels are made from a renewable sugar cane husk and quick-growing bamboo.  They are ultra absorbent and biodegradable.

You can learn more about all the ology products here.

What steps have you taken to help reduce chemical use in your house?

*Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.*

 

I mowed my yard.  For the first time ever, I touched a mower.  I know a lot of people learn to mow growing up, it is their chore at the house.  However, my sister was kind enough to mess up the yard so bad once, that my dad never let us anywhere near the mower again (thanks, J!).

Fast forward a few years, and I am a 32-year-old who doesn’t know how to mow.  I spent my first few years hiring out a guy to mow, but to be honest, I could really use that money.  So this weekend, I decided to try my hand at it.

All was going well until about 8 feet (yup, 8 whole feet!) into the mowing adventure.  This itty, bitty baby bunny darted straight in front of the mower.  I panicked.  I did want to hit any bunnies.  I cautiously move forward another few feet and, ahhh, more bunnies!  Oh crud.  I know if I hit one, I will be in tears for days.  So I turn the mower off and run around the yard trying to scare all the bunnies.  I make it towards the front yard, and HJ is in the driveway in his pj’s crying his eyes out, yelling at me.

He wanted to help.  I told him about the baby bunnies, and showed him how to run and yell like a lunatic to scare them away (my neighbors have to think I am bonkers).  I did see a few more babies, and may have completely avoided cutting about a 4 by 4 space of my neighbor’s yard (I think that’s where the nest is), but I made it without hitting any.  *I have a duplex, my neighbor is disabled and can not mow, that is why I mowed hers as well*

As I was mowing, I could tell a storm was coming in.  The temperature changed drastically, and the wind really picked up.  When I had about 5 minutes left, it started sprinkling.  And then pouring.  And thundering and lightening.

Needless to say, I was soaking wet, covered in grass and suffering baby bunny induced anxiety attacks.  Mowing was exactly how I pictured it would be.

 

In the summer, my town is filled with fun, outdoor events.  There is always more than enough to do, and after being stuck indoors all winter, I am ready to try it all.

HJ and I have a list of things we want to do that keeps growing and growing.  And I figured I better start keeping track…

1. Go to the pool as much as we can.  We actually got a pool pass this summer, which means we have to go 16 times to make it worth the money (why in the world does a family of 2 cost the same as a family of 5??).

2. Go puddle jumping.

3. Shop at Farmer’s Market.

4. Hit up Live to 9. We went numerous times in the past, and always have a blast.

5.  Go to Movies Under the Moon.  I love that our little city has such cute things like this.

6. Take a road trip and find this waterfall.

7. Adult night out at Sturgis Falls.  Live music, friends and trying to avoid port-a-potties!

8. Spend an afternoon at the arboretum.

9. Have a park to park bike trip with picnic.

10. Do a bit of landscaping in our backyard.

11. Lay on a beach.  I understand Midwest lakes are a bit less exciting than the ocean, but at least I won’t kick a shark.

And for all of you in or around the Cedar Valley, I have a fun summer giveaway for you.  HJ and I got to try out The Sassy Strawberry, and they want you to stop out and visit them too!

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The Sassy Strawberry is located off San Marnan in Waterloo.  There are amazing flavors of yogurt (I prefer to use the cup dividers to get two different types), and 80 different toppings.  I loved topping my birthday cake yogurt with cookie dough, peanut butter cups and chocolate covered bananas.  HJ picked out a triple chocolate yogurt, and filled it with m&m’s, bobas and puppy chow.

To win a $5 gift card to The Sassy Strawberry, leave a comment with a reason why you love summer!  A winner will be randomly picked on Sunday, June 29th!

I have to share this picture of HJ from his first day and last day of school:

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I feel like he looks a little older and a whole lot wiser.

I have been pinning quite a few things that I want to do/eat/wear lately, but know that will probably not happen.  At least I can tell you all about them in case someone else has more motivation.

Put the Lime in the Coconut Chicken  How fabulous would this be sitting on a deck enjoying a pina colada?  You know, If your desk didn’t have lots of wasps flying around it due to NUMEROUS nests on the part of the deck you can’t get between boards to spray.

Frozen Smores  Um, yum.

These cute hairstyles  I always pin cute hair styles and then wear my hair down the same everyday.  I wish I could rock a ponytail, but it makes me feel self conscious to wear my hair up.

Scarf Hanger  How simple would this be to make?  Yet I pinned it months ago and I still haven’t done it.

Remember how my friend and I ran a 5K in May?  We decided to commit to one a month.  That way we continue to run, and don’t stop just because the 5K is over.  And by running one a month, I mean until it is too damn cold.  Which means, we are running one this Saturday.  My goal is to stay under 34 minutes.

In case you were wondering what songs help keep me running, it’s a little Iggy.

 

Way back in 2001, I wrote this post.  It was about how hard Father’s Day was, and I felt my son was missing something in his life.  Then last year, I wrote the post that brought some of you to tears, with HJ asking why he doesn’t have a daddy.

I was not looking forward to Father’s Day or even Mother’s Day this year.  In the past, they have both been reminders of what is lacking in our family.

On Mother’s Day, I have never woke up to a breakfast, or being spoiled throughout the day.  HJ isn’t old enough to attempt something special, so it is just like any other day in our house.

Father’s Day brought on its own sort of dread.  I worry about HJ, and how he thinks.  I wonder when the questions will come, and how he will accept my answers.  The last few years left me thinking how different our lives could be, or rather how I thought they should be.

No one wants to think they can’t give their child the world.  But I felt that somehow, his world would be shattered if he knew about his father.  And this is why Father’s Day has been difficult in the past.

The past two years have brought a few questions around Father’s Day.  From HJ, or his friends asking why he doesn’t have a dad.  I have been lucky that the explanation of, “all families are different” has been good enough.

And now, I sense of relief has come over me.  This year, I wasn’t angry or bitter on Father’s Day.  I didn’t think how it wasn’t fair that HJ doesn’t have a dad.  Instead, I thought of how lucky we are his father chose to leave.  How much more difficult our lives would have been trying to balance a father who would come and go.  And I felt relief.

For once, I wasn’t wishing things had played out different.  I was thinking about how lucky I am.  I am lucky that HJ has positive male role models in his life, even if they aren’t his father.  How lucky I am to have grown up with such amazing men in my life to realize I don’t need to settle.  And how lucky HJ and I are to have each other.

For the first time in years, I had a Happy Father’s Day.

 

Disclosure: Three Avocados is a nonprofit coffee company. I was sent free coffee from Three Avocados. Three Avocados has given me 2 free bags of coffee, and a free bag to giveaway to one of you (my readers) in exchange for talking about Three Avocados in this blog post.

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Until recently, I had not heard of Three Avacados.  When I was asked if I would be interested in this campaign, I did a little research and instantly fell in love with this non-profit and what their mission is.  I hope you will all feel the same too.

A little background on the organization… As they describe their visit to a village in Uganda, they were deeply touched as an offering basket was passed around.

As the offering basket was passed around, a poor widow placed three avocados in the basket. It was literally all she had. And she gave it up, all for the sake of others. You see, in Uganda, the pastors do not receive any pay. The food they eat is given through the offering as they visit different villages. That widow had given all she had to ensure someone else could eat. What a beautiful gift.

They left wanting to find a way to help this village and impact others.  That is how Three Avacados came to be.  100% of the net proceeds provide clean water in Uganda and education in Nicaragua.  To really see why they are providing both water and education, check out this link.  It is amazing to think that families have to make the choice between water and education.

But the organization is more than just a great cause, the coffee is amazing.  The coffee is 100% Arabica and comes from Mount Ulgon in Uganda.  I have been lucky enough to try it out the past week, and I am hooked.

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Plus, I love being able to say my coffee is helping save lives.  And guess what?  You can help provide clean water and education as well.  Buy some for yourself and try it out.  You can even get 10% off your order by entering the code: asliceofmudpieTA .  Or you know, enter to win my giveaway (but it would be great if you could still support them as well).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

I was selected as part of mommerce to participate in this fun review.  All thought and opinions are my own.

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It’s no secret, HJ and I love summer and all the celebrations that come along with it.  We love cook-outs and campfires, pool days and late nights.  One thing that is important as a mom, is to make sure the kids are comfy.  Sometimes comfort comes at the cost of not looking the best, but Lolly Wolly Doodle changes that.

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Their outfits are comfy enough for a day at the park, and cute enough for the 4th of July party.

HJ practicing his crab walk

HJ practicing his crab walk

HJ’s outfit is perfect for running around this summer.  And LWD didn’t forget about the moms.  Look at this cute dress!

The little girls clothing options are absolutely adorable!

I am excited for HJ to show his patriotic side this 4th of July, while watching fireworks, playing with sparklers and looking handsome in his Lolly Wolly Doodle outfit.

 

 

I live in a town that does not have much in terms of shopping for clothes.  Which means, besides my couple go to stores, the majority of my shopping is done online.  I typically gush about these places to my friends, but thought I should share them all with you as well.

This past weekend, I went out with some friends.  I threw on a maxi and a blingy little necklace, and was ready to go.

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The black maxi could look casual, but I think my fancy necklace made it a bit more formal looking.  The maxi is from County Couture .  I have ordered a number of things from Rachel, and love how she works with everyone on sizing.  She also ships FAST.

Also, as a bonus for you all, Rachel has offered a discount code to use!  Go check out Country Couture (I am thinking I need this cute little maxi) and get 30% off your order by entering the code “Kristin30”.

The coral and rhinestone necklace is from Miss Chic.  This is another website I like to frequent, there are often items that are super cute, for a great price.  I have a hand-full of tops from here, and some really cute necklaces.  And guess what?  Miss Chic is offering you all 20% off your order with the code “MUDPIE20” (case-sensitive, good through 6/30 on items excluding Love, Yellow).  (I have had my eye on this top for a while)

Every day, Groopdealz, a fantastic little website, sends me an email with their daily deals from boutiques.  There are items ranging from household goods, to clothing, to incredibly unique gifts.  There is usually a handful of things I would love to get each day.

What other stores do you recommend I start browsing?  Any favorites to add to my list?  Let me know if you are getting something with the discounts, I love seeing what other people like!

 

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My cheap-ness has officially struck a new level.  Last spring, I took trash I found off the curb.  This year, I pulled it out of a dumpster.

I couldn’t help it.  We had a few houses of college girls move out of the neighborhood, and I noticed they were throwing EVERYTHING out.  I mean everything.  Bedding, shoes, DVDs and furniture.  I pulled out a beautiful dark wood table and gifted it to one of the sorority girls I advise.  I took out some never opened Billy Banks workout dvds.  I wish I would have worn size 8 shoes, because there were some awesome leather boots in there.  I also took out a large black vase full of fake flowers (that still had the tags on them).  I left it sitting in the garage for a while until I decided how I wanted to paint it.  Even once I decided, I wasn’t fully convinced it would turn out.  But guess what?  I LOVE how it looks…

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I took my left over silver spray paint from the fish scale wall art, and sprayed the bottom 4 inches.  After that, I taped it off and used white paint I had leftover from the house.  Spray paint would have been easier, but I wanted to use stuff I already had.  It took a handful of coats to cover the black, but it did work.

I went to Hobby Lobby to get the burlap flowers (40% off) and the twiggy things were actually in the vase when I pulled it out of the dumpster.  I settled on the white paint, because I want to be able to change it out for the seasons without having it clash.  I originally wanted to do a bright color, but kept going back to the classic white.  The silver was a last-minute decision, because the spray paint was next to the white paint.

I really didn’t think it would turn out this well and am extremely happy with how it turned out!

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What color would you have gone with?

Linked up on Create and Share with A Dose of Paige
 

I have not posted about Stitch Fix since August, yet my stitch fix posts are looked at daily.  I figured that must mean some people would like to see a few more posts.  And plus, I have 2 shirts I can’t pick between and need your help.

The last time I posted about Stitch Fix, I discussed how to get a better fix.  After that, I was unhappy with my next few fixes.  Mainly because I had gained weight and looked yuck in everything.  That, and I was in denial and never added that additional 15 pounds to my profile.  Now that I am back to my healthy weight, I have loved my last few fixes.  Go figure.

If you aren’t sure what Stitch Fix is, here is some info:

Stitch Fix is like having your own personal shopper.  When you register, you go through a style profile, picking items you like and don’t like.  You go over things like “I like to show off my…” and “dislike to show my…”.  They ask your sizes, height and weight.  They also ask for things like your pinterest account, instagram, twitter, blogs, etc. so they can see what you like to wear.  Then comes the fun part, you get to schedule a “fix”.  You can schedule monthly fixes or just on an “as needed” basis and you can go in and set a date.  You can also request certain things like, “I have a wedding coming up, please send a few dresses”.

Sounds awesome, right?  Whenever I receive an email telling me my fix has sent, I eagerly rush home after work waiting for my box to arrive.

Yesterday was that day.

I opened up the box and noticed lots of colors, which I love.  I am trying to get out of having everything I buy be black or grey.  As I pulled items out of the box, I honestly liked everything except the maxi dress.  I could tell it was going to cling in all the wrong places.

First, here are my definite “no” items:

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The Brad Striped Jersey Maxi Dress was a thin material and loved to hug my curves.  Only it hugged those curves that you don’t want people to know you have.

The jeans!  I loved them.  They were Joshua Colored Ankle Jeans, and were actually ankle jeans on me (usually capris look like ankle jeans on me…and ankle jeans look like normal jeans #shortgirlprobs).  The color is awesome, a pretty, royal blue.  However, they fit way to big as you can see in the picture.  There was about a 3 inch gap in the back, which led to me trying them on 4 different times “just to make sure”.

There was also a tote in my fix, which I forgot to take a picture of.  It was the Melanie Canvas Bag, and was a royal blue with white polka dots.  It was really cute, but to small to be practical for me.

Now on to my “I can’t decide what to pick” items…

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I liked both of these items instantly.  The green striped one was bright and cheerful.  The kelly green color is actually my favorite color, and the splash of hot pink made it pop.  I actually pinned a similar top before, but in different colors (navy/yellow, which I liked a bit better).  I felt like this top is actually a little too big, the back kind of bunches a bit, but it is really cute.  And the loose fit would be great if I happen to gain weight again (please no!).

The Hydie Floral Print Crochet Detail Blouse I loved when I first saw it.  The sleeves are unique, and it is very different from other stuff in my closet.  However, I put it on and it looked huge.  And boxy.  I took it off and ended up coming back to it.  This time I tried tucking it in and pairing it with a cute belt, and fell in love again.

What do you prefer, the green stripes or floral top?

Have you tried Stitch Fix out?  I have so much fun doing it.  If you want to try it out I would love for you to use my referral link (it gives me $25 in my stitch fix account and costs nothing for you!).