Saturday, May 19, 2012

Surprise every Month with Citrus Lane!

Citrus Lane

For as long as I can remember, I love surprises!  Growing up the only surprises we got much were the gift we received for Christmas or our Birthday, so I think that makes me really appreciate surprises even more now that I am an adult.  So, when I can sign up for a company that sends out a box every month filled with full of baby and mama surprises, I am so digging it!

Citrus Lane is a monthly service that offers super cute, yet needed baby products selected by real life parents, and they throw in a nice surprise monthly for mama, too!  They don't accept payment to place a product, so every single product in the box has been selected by parents rather than by companies. The surprise is that every month there is a different theme, so it's always exciting to get your box and open it to a world of new goodies!

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In order to facilitate my review of Citrus Lane,  I received the April Baby Box which was a Bed and Bath time Theme.  My "baby" is getting a little older and will be 3 next week, but this was a perfect theme for him since he still enjoys his bath time and bedtime routines and toys. 

The box included Seventh Generation Natural Hand Wash, Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum Deluxe Sample, Green Sprouts Stacking Duck Set, Branam All Natural Xylitol Toothpaste, and Only in my Dreams Book.

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I love that they chose an eco friendly all natural hand soap that is safe for all my children to use on their skin, yet safe for the environment.  It has a nice fresh citrus scent to it, which is quite fitting for a Citrus Lane Box.  

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We actually received the Branam All Natural Xylitol Toothpaste for children ages 4 and up instead of the baby gel, and my three older children have been using that.  It has a yummy bubble gum flavor, and the kids love using it.  I won't say it's a miracle cure for forgetting to brush their teeth, but I don't get moans and groans when I remind them!

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The Green Sprouts Stacking Duck Set is just cute.  It is three pitcher ducks that stack, and you can use them to pour water over baby's head or to scoop up loads of bubbles in the bath.  

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Mika saying "look at my duckies, Mama!"

The Only in My Dreams Book help children understand the difference between dreams and reality in a fun quirky way, and some doctors believe that night terrors are caused in part by a lack of understanding this difference.  It is a fun read, and it is one of Mika's choices to read at bedtime.

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I was overall impressed not only with how much fun the box was, but with the quality of products in the box.  I was expecting sample or travel sizes, not full size products, toys and books.  The cost of a by month subscription is only $25 per month, and if you pre-pay purchase 6 months or a year, you save money!  

Since my last baby won't be a baby much longer, this sadly won't be fitting for me much longer, but I think many of you will be impressed with Citrus Lane.  Even if it is a splurge for you personally, it makes for an excellent gift for new baby, and they even offer a pregnancy box which comes with luxury pampering products for mama-to-be.

Check them out for yourself at the Citrus Lane Website, and you can connect with them as well on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Citrus Lane  for the products I received to facilitate this review. 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.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Easiest Homemade Bread ever! Even non-bakers can do this one!

Now that I have your attention, I will tell you more about it.  I have been making bread for years, and I even took a bread baking class in college when I was 19 to learn how to do so.  I have an acquaintance from high school that I was never friends with until this year.  We don't live near one another, but we share the same food values and we share recipes.  She sent me one that is so easy it just makes me wanna smack myself for all the hours I have spent kneading bread over the past few decades years. This recipe is SO easy that my sister whose idea of baking is a box, 3 eggs, some oil, and water can make it and really enjoys doing so.

I have been asking for feedback, and one of the suggestions was more recipes, and simple ones.  I warn you though, once you make this crusty on the outside, so soft on the inside bread, you will be addicted if you are a carb loving person.

Erin's Oh So Easy No Knead Artisan Bread (recipe can be halved)

6 1/2 cups of White Lily Flour or bread flour (I learned in bread college that White Lily is closest to bread flour, very light, but less expensive)
1 1/2 Tbsp Yeast (I use Instant yeast, but you can use two packets)
1 Tbsp Kosher or Sea Salt
3 cups of slightly hot water (think hot bath water, won't burn, but not luke-warm-we want to proof the yeast, not kill it)

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I use a large plastic container with a lid that pretzels came in from Costco if I am going to store the dough; otherwise, I use a bowl or a big pot..

*If you are using packets of yeast, add them to the hot water, stir and let bloom for 10 minutes.  The yeast/water mix will get all frothy and grow a bit. In your mixing container add the flour and salt, make a well in the middle, and add the yeast  when it has bloomed, and stir with a spoon or your hand until it is well mixed and you see dough without flour on it.  You don't need to knead this dough, just mush it together until it's a sticky dough.


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* If you are using instant like me, add the flour to your mixing container, add the salt and yeast, mix well, and make a well in the middle of the mixture for the hot water.  Mix/mush it all up until you have a sticky ball of dough.

*Put the lid on your container, but don't seal it, leave a corner or two up to let the air up so it doesn't explode.  If you are using a bowl or pot, spray the dough with a bit of cooking spray and cover the top of the bowl with Saran Wrap.

* Leave the dough alone on top of the Refrigerator or tall curio cabinet, etc for about 2 hours-but this time will vary based on how hot your water was, and how warm the house is.  Heat rises, so it will raise quicker on top of  something tall.  Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size and then deflated by itself.  It will look like a fallen cake on top of the dough when it is ready to use.

*The dough is fully ready to be used now.  If you aren't going to make bread right now, put the tin in the refrigerator . The dough will keep for 14 days, and when you are ready to use it, fashion your bread and sit out to rise, then bake.

*If you are baking now you can make either one big loaf, two smaller loaves or even Hamburger buns or dinner rolls.

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*For one large bread, pick the floured dough up and roll the edges underneath fashioning a circle and pinch/seal all the edges together underneath.  It won't be pretty underneath but it will sort out in the second rise.

* For small loaves, divide the dough in half, for Hamburger rolls use a large soft ball size piece of dough, for dinner rolls, use a ball about the size of the palm of your hand and fashion all the same as the full loaf of bread.

*take a sharp knife and cut either an X or two straight lines in the dough, spray with a bit of cooking spray, cover in Saran Wrap, and let rise until doubled again.  Usually about an hour is enough, but if they aren't done rising, let sit a little longer.

*Sprinkle the top of the rolls with flour to give it that artisan look

*Heat oven to 450 and place a metal baking pan on the bottom shelf to hold water.  When you put the pan of bread in the oven, pour two cups of hot tap water in the pan on the bottom shelf and the rack of dough on the middle shelf.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and enjoy!

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Naki Nagi Giveaway 6/1

Naki Nagi


I have to admit when it comes to my beauty routine, my absolute least favorite thing to do is exfoliate.  I have issues with gritty things:  the texture just bothers me.  However, it is a necessity especially during the hot weather of the Summer when my skin gets so dry and flaky.  Since using a product that doesn't have any abrasion to it would be futile, I look for a product with the highest quality all natural ingredients in it instead!

 Naki Nagi, founded in 2011 by Rachel Rikhter provides scrubs made with only the highest quality of natural ingredients.  The name is part Hebrew and Russian.  Naki is Hebrew for clean and Nagi is Russian for legs which is quite fitting for an exfoliating scrub.

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The Naki Nagi line of scrubs includes a sugar line for people with sensitive skin, and a salt line which is great for helping with acne, sloughing off dead skin, and moisturizing without excess oiliness,  Naki Nagi products are comprised of Grapeseed Oil and a special antibacterial soap along with the fresh ingredients and salt or sugar.

I received the Grapefruit Ginger Salt Scrub to facilitate my review.  It comes in a nice clean packaging, doesn't need refrigeration, and the minute I opened the bottle I noticed the grapefruit aroma.  I adore grapefruit:  it is my favorite juice, and I love the pink, luscious fruit!  I don't buy it all the time because unless it's in season, it can be pricey, but I just love grapefruit.  Thankfully, there is a reminder on the Naki Nagi website not to eat the scrubs even though you will be tempted to.

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It is a true scrub, so it has that gritty texture that makes my fingers go numb and drives me a tad batty.  The the instructions state to shake the bottle well before using, but it is thick like a paste and shaking it really isn't an option so I used my fingers to stir it up really well.  In the future, I will just use a spoon and give it a good stir before I head to the shower.

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I enjoyed this experience more because of the fresh grapefruit aroma.  Also, I think it must be the grapeseed oil, but my skin was softer then I have felt it in years fresh out of the tub.  I intentionally didn't use a moisturizer, and hubby commented on my soft arms having no clue which product I had used this time.

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Overall, I have been pleased with the experience, and feel comfortable suggesting it to others.  I will say, though, at $19.99 for an 8 oz jar I won't be using it for an every day scrub, and will reserve it for a treat or special occasion.  I do think it is a fair market price for such fresh, natural ingredients, and it will be a nice splurge for me from time to time.

You can check out this scrub along with several other tasty sounding scrubs at the Naki Nagi website, and you can connect with them socially on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  You can also win one for yourself!  Naki Nagi has generously offered the same scrub I received up for grabs.  Just enter an option or more on the Rafflecopter to be entered to win!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I need your feedback please!

I am ever in awe at how well the blog is going after months of blogging. I began seriously in August of last year, and my blog now doesn't even resemble my blog then, both writing style, and even design!  I love being a review/giveaway blogger, and I love living green, healthy food, gardening, parenting etc.  I would like to know though, what you as readers would like to see on my blog.

I am asking for your  feed back on what you would like to see me blog about more such as cooking, baking, gardening, eco living, etc.  Additionally, I would like to know what kind of items and products you would like to see in giveaways on my blog!  So, please, go ahead and tell me-nicely please- and I will try to accommodate.  I love my readers and it is always nice to know what appeals to you too!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fave Juice Giveaway 5/28!!

Fave Juice 

Here in the My Wild Crazy Life world, we don't drink sodas very often.  I will admit to endulging in a single soda several times a month at most which is bad enough, I know, but we definitely don't consume them on a daily basis.  For the adults, we have unsweetened tea, Coffee, or water, and the children have water or milk.  I like knowing what goes into their bodies most of the time is pretty healthy.  The one exception I make is juice which I serve only about once a week.  Of course, the juice has to be 100% natural, no sugar added, and no dyes added in order to gain my seal of approval.  Childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes are at an all time high in our country, and one of the main reason is our sugar consumption!  
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The FaVe Juice Company provides an alternative to sugary drinks and even juices that have sugar added to them.  FaVe Juice is 100% Natural, preservative free, each serving has 3 servings of vegetables and .5 serving of fruit, and all the sweetness of Fave juice comes from the natural fruit sugars. Additionally, each 8oz serving only has 60 calories so it makes for a nice snack, or even is easily incorporated calorie-wise as a drink with a meal. When you think about an average 20 oz soda contains 250 calories, it's a no-brainer on which we should be choosing!

I was blessed to receive a package to assist my review from The FaVe Juice Company containing each of their three flavors:  Strawberry Banana Kiwi, Pomegranate Blueberry Goji, and Orange Tangerine Pineapple.  Since special drinks are a treat at our house, the kids were willing candidates to try the new juice!
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The first night we opened the Strawberry Banana Kiwi to try.  This was across the board the children's favorite juice.  It had a nice Strawberry Banana Flavor to it,. but since it is 100% natural, it wasn't as sweet as many "similar" juices I have had.  I could taste the veggies in the juice slightly, and the flavors tempered the sweetness a bit   However, it was subtle and the kids didn't notice as the asked for seconds!

The Pomegranate Blueberry Goji is more an "adult" trio of flavors, and while the children were glad to have it in lieu of water, it really wasn't their thing.  Mama loves when the kids don't enjoy something tasty because it means more of a treat for me!  I liked the juice, and honestly if you are looking for a healthier Vodka Martini, add FaVe Pomegranate Blueberry Goji and you have a healthy addition to an adult drink!

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The Orange Tangerine Pineapple was also loved by all and it has a nice tropical flavor to it.  I could taste the vegetables a little more in this one, especially the carrots and tomato, but it wasn't super intense.  The kids mentioned they could taste it, but they all agreed they still enjoyed it while asking for seconds.

FaVe Juice is different in my opinion than any other brand on the market, even the one on the commercials touting all the veggies and fruit servings!  I personally would rate this juice as an older child or adult juice rather than a small child.  I know my 2 year old doesn't like juice much at all, and when he does he prefers plain apple, or plain grape, etc.  However, I think it's perfect for ages 4-5 up since kids really start expanding their palettes at that age.  I give it a thumbs up because it meets my list of wants when it comes to juice, and I would recommend this juice to anyone who asked me about it

Check them out for yourself on The FaVe Juice Company website and see how great these juices are for you.  Also, please like them on Facebook to keep up with their latest promotions!  The FaVe Juice Company has graciously offered one of my readers a case of three 48 oz juices of their very own ARV $11.97.  All you have to do is complete an option or more on the Rafflecopter to enter.  Happy entering!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Good Paws Good Cause-Puppies that Give Back!

Good Paws Good Cause

Like most people, I love supporting companies that have a good cause such as Breast Cancer Awareness, Conservation, and since I am an animal lover, I love companies that support no-kill animal shelters.  
Good Paws Good Cause is a company I can feel good about supporting because purchasing their products help support specific causes.  

Fur A Home products are geared towards supporting animal shelters.  The Fur A Home Tee-Shirts makes a public statement that we believe all animals should be living in a loving home. It is made out of 100% cotton, and comes in a nice grey color with the Fur a home logo on the front   The shirts come in sizes ranging from youth to 3x, are priced at $10.99 (a little extra fro 2-3x), and all proceeds go to support no-kill animal shelters

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The Fur a Cure line supports cancer awareness.     The Pink Fur a Cure Bow is a brand new item, which I absolutely love.  It shows my support for breast cancer awareness which is near and dear to my heart (a very close friend of mine went through an ordeal with this) while adding some bling and princess cuteness to my baby girl Ruby!  The bow is handcrafted by Crafts N Nat out of Pink Satin, decorated with a paw print and a cute rhinestone!  It also comes with a non-latex band to eliminate any potential allergies.  It retails for only $6.99 and all proceeds go towards breast cancer research!

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The Fur A Cure Bandana looks more like a scarf with two 14" inch ties to accommodate dogs of all sizes.  It is a super cute purple and white with the Fur a Cure logo on the front and retails for $6.99 with all proceeds going to supporting cancer research!

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The Fur the Earth Dog Soap proceeds go to support Earth Conservation, and it is made out of all natural products to soothe skin and prevent flees.  It is made with natural coconut oil, neem oil, olive oil and several other natural products and retails at $4.50 for a 4.5 oz bar.  Miss Debbie's Soap makes this line of soap specifically for Good Paws Good Cause!

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I received one of each to facilitate my review, and I have to say I am in love, love, LOVE with the Pink Fur a Cur Bow.   We had trouble getting it to fit in Ruby's hair (She has short hair on her head), and she is just such a ball of energy putting it on her ear wasn't working either.  Never Fear Supermom is Here!  I fashioned it onto her Puppy Collar with the non-latex band, and Viola!  Ruby is fashionably gorgeous!  Getting her to sit still for two seconds to take a picture is another thing entirely :).  I ended up handing my Shutter Bug Suzannah my camera and telling her not to come back until we have a picture of Ruby's bow.  

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Ruby Modeling her Pretty Girl Bow!


Thank Heaven's Kimbo is much more content at almost 4 years old to model patiently for Mama.  He looks so Handsome and Dapper in his Bandana, and I can't wait until bath day to use the new soap.  It came in the mail right in time for company to unexpectedly drop in on me, so I wasn't able to use it yet.  However, it smells natural, and like it will be soothing on their skin so I can't wait!  Lastly, I have a new favorite T shirt.  It is comfy, pre-shrunk, and touts a cause I love.  It is my new go to pick when I am grabbing something comfy to wear in town.


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Kimbo Dancing With Max!  He loves giving full body hugs!

There is a new line of Dog Snacks coming soon, and I can't wait to show my love and support for the cause while treating my pups to a tasty treat!  Please head on over and check out their great pet products, and human products, and learn more about their wonderful organization.

Good Paws Good Cause would like to help remind and spread the word about Breast Cancer awareness, and what better way to show our mothers we love them than by helping find a cure for breast cancer with our financial support (all proceeds go towards the cause).  Read more about their products and the great causes they support at the Good Paws Good Cause website, and like them on Facebook or Follow on Twitter to stay socially Connected!  
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Disclaimer: Many thanks to Good Paws Good Cause for the products I received to facilitate this review. 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.