Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ology - Clean, Natural, and Affordable!

Walgreens created Ology, a brand of natural household cleaners, baby products, and personal care designed to make it easier to have a healthier home! Ology products contain zero harmful chemicals and are 100% tree-free! Because Ology works hard to avoid toxic chemicals and actively seeks natural and sustainable ingredients, they are safer for me, my family, and the environment!

Ology products are cruelty-free, and made using plant-based and mineral-based raw materials.

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 Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinions here. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group or the manufacturer of the product.

Did you know that artificial fragrances contain chemicals designed to make them cling to your clothes and skin? Which means they cling to the insides of your lungs and nasal passages as well. Nothing could possibly be bad about that, right? *eyeroll* Ology 2x Laundry Liquid Detergent uses only natural ingredients for their Spring Lavender Vanilla and  Free and Clear Scents, and they also contain no artificial dyes. They are free from all kinds of harmful chemicals, including phosphates, ammonia, chlorine, bleach, parabens, phthalates, and a whole host of other words I can't pronounce.
Ology sent me samples of 2x Laundry Liquid Detergent (50oz/$6.79 retail,) which arrived at the most opportune time... My 6-year-old Z had just gotten a note home from school warning about a case of Scabies in her class, the same day she had complained of an itchy arm where I saw little red spots. Yup. Scabies! So I was up late into the night washing massive amounts of bedding, towels, clothing, and stuffies. So my Ology detergent got a trial by fire, so to speak!
Z and I both have sensitive skin, and can only use gentler natural detergents and products, otherwise our skin gets itchy and she gets patches of scaly Eczema. the Ology detergent did not disappoint. No skin reactions for either of us, and our clothes and sheets came out just as soft and fresh as ever!

Every Ology bottle is made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials, which is nice for the environment, but boring to hear about. Sorry. But I felt it was important enough to share!

I also got a pack of Ology Paper Towels to try. The Ology tree-free paper towels (2 rolls/$3.99 retail) are whitened with H2O2, a non-chlorine-based bleach. Instead of wood, they're made from renewable sugar cane husk and quick-growing bamboo! They're just as soft and absorbent as the name-brand ones I'd been using, and still biodegradable too!*

*Nothing biodegrades in a sealed garbage bag in a landfill, so I use paper grocery bags in my kitchen to collect paper and food scraps to put in my yard waste bin for commercial composting! (I have a small trash can and I line that with a large plastic bag, then put the paper bag inside so I don't have to worry about drips or tears in the paper bag when I take it out to the yard waste each week. Then instead of throwing it out, the plastic bag used with the compost bag replaces the one in our larger kitchen garbage bin after we've taken that week's trash out!)
The paper towels also work great for cleaning with the Ology All-Purpose Cleaner they sent. I've been branching out of my one-pot-cooking comfort zone, which means my stove is seeing a lot more use - and mess - on multiple burners. Which means more cleaning for Mama, unless I enjoy dealing with messes so burnt they're etched in permanently!

The Ology All-Purpose Cleaner (26oz/$3.99 retail) is suitable for use on most household surfaces, and because it's free of harmful chemicals, I can feel safe using it to clean areas where I prep food or where the kids wash their hands and brush their teeth! Here. See for yourself!

If Ology has inspired you to make positive changes in your home, go to Moms Meet to find out how to submit a pledge for a chance to win a $100 Walgreens gift card!

Ology products are sold exclusively at Walgreens.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

"Recycled" Salads - Leftover Salads Amped Up a Notch!

Sometimes I'm out of my pre-chopped salad mix and don't have time to make myself a lunch, or I'm just feeling lazy. Then I shop hungry, and get more food than I need. So I occasionally have a salad or part of a salad left over; and my problem is magically solved for the next day! Pre-made lunch! So I "recycle" them into a bigger lunch, and add extra goodies to help make up for filling up on junk the day before. Er, I mean, to make them even healthier!

Trader Joe's salad, leftover vegetarian "meatloaf" muffin w/ketchup, purple rice crackers, goat chevre cheese
11/25/13 - I got this Artichoke and Hearts of Palm Salad mix at Trader Joe's but ended up eating something else for dinner. So it became lunch! I added some hemp hearts in the little cup of slivered almonds.

Leftover Walnut Salad, leftover honey roasted carrots, chocolate-dipped peppermint stick and homemade GF "Oreos"
1/23/14 - I got a huge salad at Naked Pizza (their gluten-free crust has dairy in it, so I couldn't have any.) There was plenty left for my lunch the next day too!

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Sweet Cinnamon Good Beans with coconut chips, PopCorners, leftover Side Salad
1/31/14 - I got a $1 Side Salad at McD's along with my sweet tea one day I didn't have time to pack myself a lunch, but didn't end up having time to eat it. So I piled on more veggies and crunchies and made a real lunch! In addition to raisins, watermelon radish, and more tomatoes, I added hemp hearts and vegetarian coconut "bacon."

Organic apples, chocolate mint, Sunbutter and Enjoy Life Chips Ants on a Log, leftover Side Salad
2/7/14 - Another McSalad that didn't get eaten as intended. More nummies for me! I added more tomatoes and some raisins, chia seeds, and hemp hearts to amp up the nutrition.

Cocomels, Chocolate Barnana, mixed fruit, leftover Veggie and Brown Rice Salad
2/12/14 - I had a bunch of my Hearty Veggie and Brown Rice Salad Bowl from Starbucks left (Vanilla Soy Lattes are very filling!) It's pretty full of a variety of healthy veggies and grains already, but I added some watermelon radish and hemp hearts anyway.

Tools of the Trade
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Friday, June 27, 2014

School (and Preschool!) Lunch Round-Up


Toddler Nibbles
E's Lunch: Corn cake and PB "sandwich;" organic tomatoes, carrots, grapes, apples
4/21/13 - A super simple lunch for the toddler! Big Sis had something fancy that day, and I just didn't have it in me for another fancy one too! She did get some flower veggie cutter carrots.

 [This post contains affiliate links.

Toddler Leftovers
E's Lunch: Organic apples, raspberries, carrots; leftover teriyaki SPAM, organic brown rice
4/22/13 - Hubby discovered a Hawaiian restaurant that makes SPAM Musubi that is amazing (and gluten-free!) I attempted to make a deconstructed version using Turkey SPAM and brown rice. It was okay. Not as good, but definitely worth doing again! E went crazy for it, so I gave her some leftovers for lunch.

Toddler Cracker Stackers
E's Lunch: Organic carrots and apples, goat cheddar, dark chocolate heart, rice crackers
4/23/14 - MOMables Cracker Stackers are always a big hit with my girls!

Cheesy Noodles
Z's Lunch: Organic grapes and carrots, leftover rice noodles with cheddar, 1/2 HB egg
4/29/14 - I had a bunch of rice noodles left over from dinner, so I tossed them in a little olive oil to keep them from clumping and added some shredded cheese and packed them for lunch!

E's Lunch: 1/2 HB egg, leftover rice noodles w/cheddar; organic carrots, tomatoes, and strawberries
4/29/14 - Same thing for Little Sis!

Toddler Fried Rice
E's Lunch: Organic tomatoes, grapes, and blueberries; leftover chicken fried rice and veggies, cheddar scraps
4/30/14 - I put some leftovers from PF Chang's in a silicone girl mold for E, and some Pelican Chompstix to practice with.

Butterfly Cracker Stackers
Z's Lunch: GF crackers, sharp cheddar, organic carrots and grapes
4/30/14 - I love this fancy butterfly mold, so I used a butterfly cutter to cut the cheddar for some Cracker Stackers for my Kindergartener. Little Sis got the cheese scraps.

Tools of the Trade