Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bayberry Naturals

Bayberry Naturals
I have been on a mission this year to find the best natural, organic, good for your body products that I can find, and of course part of that mission is sharing them with you, my dear readers!  So, when I had the opportunity to try some products from a company called Bayberry Naturals, I was excited, and for good reason.

The story behind Bayberry Natural is that when Nancy Liddell, founder of the company was a new mother of twins she decided to eliminate exposure to chemicals and toxins as much as possible.  As she began studying the ingredients on the products in the home, she realized there was a true need for 100% natural products that are plant derived and safe for daily use by her family. So, she did what any mother on a mission wishes we could:  she created a line of products that we all can feel good about using on our families.

I was blessed to try the Bayberry Naturals Lavender Chamomile Shampoo, Rosehips and Hibiscus Creme, Lemongrass Bar Soap, and Pure and Soft Moisturizing Conditioner.

I started with using the Rosehips and Hibiscus Creme because I wanted to see what immediate results were as well as after a week.  I like that it has a hint of fragrance rather than being completely scent free.  I have very sensitive skin, so my concern every time I try a new face product is whether my face will break out either in a rash or acne.  After a week, I have not had problems with either.

 It is a thicker cream, but doesn't feel heavy on my skin.  I have been using it both in the mornings under my makeup and at night as an overnight cream and my skin isn't dry and flaky nor have I had an allergic reaction, so I have to give this product a thumbs up!

I don't talk about my hair a lot because it is actually a source of  frustration in my life.  I used to have slightly wavy hair that I could blow dry straight.  Fast forward 15 years and four children later and my hair is cork screw curly.  If I am lucky enough for the humidity to be good enough that I can blow dry straight, it bushes out and looks like I have a lion's mane.  It's bad.   So, I have given in to the curls, and I have discovered that products really do matter.  The wrong shampoo or lack of product can cause a frizz frenzy. 

When I got these products in the mail, I literally had just run out of shampoo, conditioner, and my gel the day before.  So, I decided to try using just the shampoo and conditioner without any additional product.  I loved the smell of the Lavender Chamomile Shampoo, and it reminded me of something I would bathe the baby in at night time to help him sleep!  The Soft and Pure Moisturizing Conditioner is completely free of everything including fragrance.  In all honesty I do prefer some fragrance, but my hair retained the smell of the shampoo so it still smelled great when it was dry.

I was completely shocked when my curls turned out well without frizzing at all.  Normally if I don't put some sort of finishing gel on my hair I have frizz, and I expected nothing different.  This time I had cork screws that laid perfectly on my head!  The price is what I would normally pay for a salon grade shampoo or conditioner, but it meets all of my 100% natural, no chemicals, no animal testing standards, AND my curls are good, so I am sold on this product and would definitely recommend it to anyone with curly hair.  My girls who have straight hair have used it a couple of times too, and it has worked good on their hair too.  However, I think I am reserving this for my hard to manage curls!

My last product, the Lemongrass Bar Soap has been my favorite "story" for a different reason. I have used it and loved it!  It has a yummy lemongrass fragrance, is all natural, and I love the way it doesn't irritate my skin.    However, that isn't why I love it.  I am married to the most macho, mud truck driving, camo wearing, non-girly man you will ever meet.  Mind you he is mannerly, respectful of women, etc, but he is a man's man.  I put the soap in the shower not thinking twice about it, and my husband has been using it for days and smelling all lemony.  I mentioned it to him and what asked he thought about it fully expecting him to say something about it being all "froo froo."  However, he didn't.  His exact words were "It's not too bad, baby" which translates into he loves it too!

So, all in all they have the My Wild Crazy Life stamp of approval.  Check them out for yourself!  You can find a full selection of their products on the website  as well as connect with them on Facebook.

Disclaimer:  I did receive products for this review, but I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.  Please do your own due diligence when deciding to purchase!

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

As Strong as Popeye on Wordless Wednesday!

I have living proof kids WILL eat their vegetables.   Whether or not they will be as strong as Popeye after eating them I have no idea, but I can say I have the best eating kids in the world.

Mika and Gracie patting out their Pizza dough.  Ms. Gracie is a bit peeved that hers won't be perfectly round!

Nothing says Pizza more than Max's smile and of course Lego Star Wars!

Suzannah is my little Shutterfly.  It's almost impossible to get a picture of her because she is taking pictures!  She's really good at it though!

Spinach, homemade Sauce, a Two Year old on the table, and a Star Wars Lego, hey don't judge me!

Everyone in action!  Suzannah taking pics, Max is such my child-Johnny on it when the camera is on him, serious when it isn't :) and poor Gracie still pouting over that non round pizza!

Spinach anyone?  Believe it or not, I cooked it with all that on there, and HE ATE IT!

 This pouty face is because Mika was just convinced someone had stolen all his mushrooms off his pizza.  Truth is he ate them before he could put them on, and there were no more left to replace them!

Tasty Tuesday and Gnu Foods!

Gnu Foods

As you know I am on a quest to be more greener and eco friendly as well as healthier, and a huge part of this uphill journey has been to reinvent our eating habits here at My Wild Crazy Life.  I think one of the hardest aspects is finding a healthy meal to eat when on the go that is truly filling.  I have no problems grabbing a piece of fruit, but let's face it, sometimes I want something more substantial.

From the website:  "Gnu Bars are a great healthy snack that pack 12 grams of fiber into one small bar!  Each of our bars is made with delicious, all-natural ingredients that keep you feeling great inside and out."  I can tell you first hand that I have had some unpleasant experiences with Fiber snacks in the past.  First of all, it is hard to find ones that truly taste good.  There wouldn't be so many commercials referring to fiber products tasting like cardboard if it weren't true.  Then, if you can find a tasty one, there is that great side effect of bloating.  Nothing is worse than grabbing a fiber bar for your lunch at work, then an hour later feeling so bloated I feel ill. I have been there and done that.

I was blessed to try Gnu Bars this past week, and I can say I didn't experience any of these negative side effects . I think it is because Gnu Foods mills the entire part of the grain kernel rather than processing or milling it out like so many other fiber products are.  I am not a scientist so I don't really know what the reasoning is, but I know the difference is in the way Gnu makes the bars!

They are definitely a fiber bar, so they do have a "healthy flavor" about them; however, out of my four children, all but the 2 year old liked them and ask every day if they can choose another flavor for an after school snack. Of course my answer is yes because I can feel good about letting them eat this!  (Please refer to the website information on how much fiber is safe for your child's age).  We received multiple favors, and so far my favorites are Banana Walnut and Cinnamon Raisin.  I can't wait to try one of the Orange Cranberry Bars for breakfast tomorrow and see how tasty they are!

Lastly, my favorite part is that these bars can be eaten by almost anyone.  The Blondie Bar is the only one that has milk product in it, so the rest of their bars are Vegan and all the products have an OU on them because they have been Orthodox Union approved.  Thanks to the high fiber content, even diabetics should be able to eat this per my diabetic mother-in-law who manages her diabetes with diet and exercise.  However, neither of us are doctors so please follow instructions given by your own doctor when deciding on what to eat!

Where to find them:  You can purchase them on the Gnu Foods website, use the link to find a retailer in your area who carries Gnu Foods, or connect with them on Facebook to stay abreast of the latest and greatest in the Gnu Foods world!

Disclaimer:  I did receive products for this review, but I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.  Please do your own due diligence when making decisions on purchasing something.

Monday, February 27, 2012

National Strawberry Day and Emmi Swiss Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Emmi of Switzerland

Today is a fun day at my house!  For those of you who don't know, today is National Strawberry Day, and since it is one of our favorite fruits here at My Wild Crazy Life residence, we are celebrating!  We look forward every year for Strawberry Harvest time.  We pack the children in the car, drive less than a mile up the road to our friends who own an Organic Strawberry farm and we pick strawberries until our fingers are red, and little tongues are even more red!  We then preserve and freeze the strawberries so we can enjoy them the rest of the year.  I am thrilled to share with you a company I recently discovered which has some great ideas for National Strawberry Day.

From the website, "Emmi Roth USA, a subsidiary of Emmi Group, is a leading provider of specialty and artisan cheeses and premium fresh dairy products"  They offer everything from Caffe Latte and Swiss Premium Yogurt to Cheeses from Switzerland, Europe and the US.  I love that each of their products are made from the freshest local milk, so you won't be consuming products that were made with milk that was transported in big vats sprayed to keep it from spoiling. Additionally they offer Artisan cheeses such as Kev cheese brands: Kaltbach cave-aged, Grand Cru® and Buttermilk Blue®.

You, my lovely readers know by now my absolute LOVE for yogurt.  So of course I am excited about Swiss Style Yogurt from Emmi of Switzerland.  A Privately owned plant makes the yogurt in small batches with "rbST-free milk" and only the "freshest fruit."

So, in celebration of National Strawberry Day, I am sharing this great recipe:

Emmi Swiss Yogurt Parfait
4 (6oz) Emmi Swiss Yogurt Bowls (preferably strawberry for Strawberry Day!!)
1 cup granola
6-8 strawberries, sliced
Almonds and mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
Layer granola, strawberries, and Emmi Swiss Yogurt in 4 glass serving dishes
Garnish with almonds and mint sprig
Refrigerate until ready to serve

I know after looking at this awesome recipe you are wondering where to buy this yummy yogurt so I will share with you!  Emmi Swiss Style Yogurt is available for purchase in various stores in NJ, NY and CT and the rest of us can purchase them on the Emmi Website and have them shipped right to our front door.  So go ahead and check them out for yourself. I know I found several items that are calling me to buy them!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Love Cosmetics Review

I Love Cosmetics
I Love Cosmetics is a newer company that "came onto the scene"  four years ago in 2008.  They don't use any products that have been tested on animals, and the only animal derived products they use are "cruelty free" such as Honey, Royal Jelly, and Beeswax.

They offer an array of great bath and body products that have a mouth-watering theme surrounding decadent desserts!  They offer everything from gift sets, shimmering lotions and fabulous, flavors scents like Chocolates & Oranges, Strawberries & Milkshake, Vanilla & Ice Cream, Raspberry & Blackberry, Mango & Papaya, Blueberry & Smoothie, Lemons & Limes, and Coconut & Cream.

I received the I love... Mango & Papaya exfoliating shower smoothie,  I love...Blueberry & Smoothie moisturizing body lotion, and I love....Strawberries and Milkshake super soft hand lotion. They smell so delicious the company  put a disclaimer on the back stating "I am not food, please do not try to eat me!"  The I love... Mango & Papaya exfoliating shower smoothie was a good mix of exfoliating beads and soap that lathered into bubbles. I don't usually like the feel of an exfoliating scrub, but I did like that this one wasn't all scrubbing beads.  All in all it was nice, and I exfoliate because I need to, but I am still not a fan of how it feels on my body.

The I Love... Blueberry & Smoothie moisturizing body lotion smelled awesome as well.  All four of my children, even my 13 year old son just had to use it when they smelled it.  Of course, my son just wanted to "see what it smelled like" because he is too boyish to actually use "girly stuff" as he informed me!  It is a medium-thick lotion.  It isn't runny, but it also isn't super thick like an extra dry skin lotion.  I think it makes for a great lotion to use when I get out of the shower.  It rubs in well, makes me smell so yummy and is great for everyday use.

The I love... Strawberry & Milkshake super soft hand lotion is a thicker lotion.  I do a lot of housework and I also work hard outside with my garden and chickens so my hands look older than they should.  I am forever moisturizing them, and oftentimes I have to apply moisture at least 2 times before they feel soft.  I used a dime-sized dollop, and my hands are now very soft, and they are also shiny but not oily feeling.  It is the type of product that is great to sit on your desk or by the sink and use it whenever needed throughout the day.

Over all, I am very satisfied with these products.  The I Love Cosmetics website will give you some further information about them, and per the product locator, these products are sold at Walmart and Duanereade Drugstore in the US and at other stores in multiple other countries.  You can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest and greatest happenings in the world of I Love Cosmetics.

Disclaimer:  I did receive products for this review, but I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.  Please do your own due diligence when making decisions on purchasing something.