Ting's Mom
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Monday, May 23, 2016

Mission Monday: Laundry Day

I'm on a mission to create a safer and healthier home for my family by removing toxins and ugly chemicals from our products. Each month I am going to bring you a highlight of products, tips and tricks, or resources I have found that we are loving in our home. You can always learn more by visiting our Mission: Safe and Healthier Home page here on the blog.

There are four people living in our house, and somehow we make enough laundry for me to wash at least one load every night. How is that even possible?!

When I started our journey to remove toxins from our home, cleaning products were my priority and the laundry room was my first step. After reading article after article about the effects, laundry detergent has on our bodies (and the planet) I set out to find a natural laundry routine that also got our clothes clean. Because, after all, clean clothes are the target of the entire laundry room.

toxin free laundry routine

I have tried three different products and finally landed on Molly's Suds Laundry Powder. I love Molly's Suds for several reasons. To start with, I can read all the ingredients in their products. Plus, their website breaks down each ingredient and explains why they use it and how it affects our bodies and our planet. I also love the story of the family who created Molly's Suds and the reason they begin the company.

For a large load (my typical load around here) I use only one tablespoon of this powder. It was hard for me to get used to after using a ton of my old stuff, but experience over the past couple months proves one tablespoon gets the job done.

Instead of fabric softener, I put a cup of white vinegar in my laundry ball and add to my loads. The vinegar helps create a final rinse to remove the laundry soap, and also leave clothes super soft. No worries, the smell doesn't stick around :)

After falling in love with their laundry powder, I also picked up a package fo their Oxygen Whitener. This products is a great booster for when my kids have literally been rolling in the grass and dirt and get extra sweaty.

I also added the dryer balls to my laundry routine. I use these dryers balls in place of the traditional dryer sheet. They reduce my drying time by almost half, have zero chemicals in them, keep my clothes static free, and they are good for over 1,000 loads!

The only exception to this routine is when I do towels and wash cloths. These tend to be damp and smelly, so I use Dr. Bronner's castile soap for washing them. I put about 1/3 cup into a large load, no rinse aid, and then in the dryer with the dryer balls.

So, can I tell a difference in our clothes? YES!!

Our clothes are very clean, and I have noticed they are much softer these days. Even blue jeans are soft and comfy. I have also noticed a huge decrease of lint in my dryer after each load. I'm not sure why this is, but it is significant. I have also noticed less wrinkles (a good thing since I refuse to iron). In fact, I wore linen pants the other day and noticed they did not wrinkle throughout the day.

I purchase all my laundry supplies (minus the vinegar) from Thrive Market. If you haven't heard of Thrive Market, you must check them out. They have a huge selection of cleaning products, personal care products, and pantry items, and they are all natural and mostly organic. This link is my referral code, and by using it you can get 15% off your order, plus a 30-day trial membership to give them a try. And if you sign up, I also get a credit on my account ;)

Do you use a natural laundry routine? Tell me about it.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

School Awards 2016

Our school had the annual graduation and awards program last week. It is always a fun time to see all the kids from the school and award their accomplishments from the school year.

Bug finished up another year of preschool and received Most Cooperative in his class. He had so much fun during the year and learned so many things.

school awards most cooperative

Ting received her Scripture Memory Award, and also made the Pastor's Honor Roll! She also was named Most Inspirational in her class.

school awards most inspirational

Hubby's brother and his family were also in town for the event. Although they live far away, they homeschool through our school and are included in the annual awards. This year our niece graduated Kindergarten. She and two of our nephews also participated in the learning center presentation.

And speaking of the learning center presentation, you can watch it HERE on Ting's YouTube channel, Ting's Tales

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Another Year Down

It seems like just yesterday I was telling you about the first day of school, and here we are at the end. First grade and PreK-3 officially came to a close yesterday. Ting has no opinions on the year coming to a close, but Bug has been counting down the days for at least a month. At this point, I think we all know he does not want to go to school today!

This has been an amazing year for my kids, and I have been impressed with the knowledge they have come home with each day.

last day of school ting's mom

Ting is a reading and math whiz. Because our school uses paces rather than traditional classroom learning, the students are only limited by their own drive to keep learning. As first grade comes to a close, Ting is oh-so-close to completing most of the required work for second grade. Math seems to be her favorite, but she also reads miles above her grade level. She has recently discovered the Boxcar Children and claims she is going to read them all (I have not mentioned yet there are almost 150 of them, ha!).

Ting is in her second year of volleyball and is doing very well this year. She also began piano lessons in the fall, and I am amazed at how well she is doing. Her summer plans include learning how to write in cursive.

Bug has made leaps and bounds this year as well. He knows all his letters by sight and the sounds for most of them. He can also write all his letters, and can write his name fairly well.

Bug also began doing chores with Ting this year, can work his tablet like an expert, and finally outgrew those terrible three’s. Most importantly, this mommy is no longer buying pull-ups for everyday use J

Just as this school year has flown by, I am sure it will seem like tomorrow when I am writing a back to school post again. 

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Five on 5: May

May, y'all. I can't even!

Summer is coming and our schedules are filling up fast. We have a lot of exciting things planned for our family this summer and I am ready to get started.

ting's mom five on 5

But in the meantime, how about five things I feel compelled to share with you today.

The nice folks at Spotify introduced me to a new band recently and I am in love. If you haven't checked out Consumed by Fire, you need to. I've pretty much had their album on repeat for three weeks and haven't gotten tired of it yet.

I told you a few years ago about starting the Little Keepers program with Ting. Last week we introduced the Little Contenders book to Bug. He is excited and has already earned a few badges.

I'm still on my mission to create a safer and healthier home environment for us. I am working hard to get the toxins out of our house, and a big step for me was this week when I replaced my makeup. I went with Faerie Organics for everything except my foundation. I'm still trying to decide what I want to do with that.

Ting went fishing with Hubby this weekend and had a successful day.

ting goes fishing


I've never watched Star Wars. Have no desire to ever watch it. So basically May 4th is the most annoying day on social media.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Products With a Purpose: Prim Goods

I received a complimentary Beauty Bundle from Prim Goods to help facilitate this post. My opinions are my own, and my love for these products is real.

It is no secret I love beauty products. Soaps, lotions, scrubs - I love them all, and I love trying new brands.

Even more than I love beauty products, I love companies who are truly making a difference in the lives of people in their community. People like Primrose Hill, the mission behind Prim Goods products.

prim goods made better by our story

Primrose Hill, located in central Missouri, is a non-profit, faith-based organization affiliated with Teen Challenge USA. What does that mean exactly? It means they are doing some amazing things for women and their children.

Women who are trying to free themselves from a drug and alcohol addictions can find a home at Primrose Hill. Through a faith-based recovery program, they gain the skills they need to rid themselves of the addiction and make a new life for themselves and their families. But the special thing about Primrose Hill is the children of the residents are also welcome! It is very rare to find a recovery program that allows the children to remain with their mother.

One of the ways Primrose Hill helps women learn responsibility and skills is through Prim Goods. Prim Goods is a line of skin are including soaps, lotions, scrubs, and lip balms. I was privileged to receive a bundle of these products, and I can't begin to tell you how wonderful they are.

prim goods beauty bundle

For starters, they smell AMAZING! They are also made from ingredients I can pronounce (which is important to me). Even more special to me is each product is hand-signed by the lady who created it. It is so meaningful to me to have an actual woman associated with each product I use. I also use that opportunity to say a little prayer for the woman who made my products.

The Beauty Bundle includes:

  • Liquid Soap - I received Freedom and the smell immediately took me back to my grandmother's home in Alabama! The description says hand and body soap, but I have been washing my face with this soap. It gets all my makeup off without irritating my skin. And did I mention it smells great!
  • Bar Soap - Perfect for my shower. This bar lathers very well, moisturizes as it cleans, and lasts a long time.
  • Body Lotion - I have very dry skin during the spring months, and this lotion has been a skin-saver. I put it on after my shower each morning, and my skin stays soft and moisturized all day.
  • Lip Balm - I'm a lip balm addict, so I admit I have already gone through my entire tube. It is such a great product I found myself using it all day.
  • Sugar Scrub - My favorite. This is a sugar based scrub with honey and oil. It feels great in the shower and washes off to leave my skin super moisturized.

I have fallen in love with these products, and the story behind them. Please go check out their online store and purchase an item or two for yourself.

You can also find Prim Goods on Facebook and Instagram!

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Annual Zoo Day

Each Spring, the early elementary students at our school take a field trip to the nearby zoo. I'm blessed to have a job that allows me to take days off for fun events such as this, so I once again made the trip with my kids and their friends.

zoo field trip

If you feel like catching up, you can read about past trips here, here, and here.

This year was uneventful! We left the school on time and made it to the entry gate with no problems. I was bummed to discover five school buses in the parking lot, but the extra influx of elementary students didn't turn out as annoying as it could have been :)

Our class was able to tour the entire zoo this year - a first time for many years - and see all the animals available. Unfortunately, many of the animals had already made their way back north for the summer, but we were still able to see several different types of animals.

zoo animals and kids

We once again attended an educational session that allowed the students up close looks to an owl, opossum, and alligator. Bug was a little scared of the animals this year and would not pet them.

A quick break and then we loaded the boat for our annual ride through the lagoon. I think this is always a favorite for the kids we take as they get to see some different animals from just walking around like regular visitors.

zoo kids

After a picnic lunch, we headed back to school. It was a beautiful day, and I had a great time getting to hang out with my kids and their friends.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Mrs. Meyer's Everyday Luxury Set {FREE}

This post is brought to you by my friends at Grove Collaborative. I am proud to be both a customer and an influencer for Grove Collaborative, and excited to share with you all about the amazing products they send to my doorstep each month.

In case you have not heard, I am on a mission to create a safer and healthier home for my family. One of the first places I knew I had to make changes was in my cleaning and personal care products. After quite a bit of research, I discovered Grove Collaborative. Grove Collaborative makes shopping for environmentally safe products both fun and easy. They carry many of my new favorite brands, including Molly’s Suds, Acure Organics and Mrs. Meyer's.

Right now, they have an amazing offer they are allowing me to share with you. If you are a new customer, you are going to want to check them out and take advantage of this awesome perk. If you are already a customer, no worries – there is something here for you to!

This month, Grove Collaborative has curated the Mrs. Meyer’s Everyday Luxury Set — and you can get it for FREE.

Mrs. Meyer’s products have quickly become a favorite in our home. The basil is my absolute favorite scent, and I love mopping my floors with the everyday cleaner or washing our hands with the hand soap. I am so excited to try the basil candle and have the clean scent flowing through my home.

The kit also includes Grove Collaborative walnut scrubber sponges — how awesome are they? They are made from crushed walnuts, so they are naturally tough on messes, but gentle on your pots and pans (and the Earth).

If you are new to Grove Collaborative, you can get this set FREE + free shipping when you place your first order that totals at least $20. My friends at Grove Collaborative have hand selected the most beautiful, healthy household products and will ask you a few questions to find products you will love. It is like having a personal shopper for your home!

You can choose from more lovely cleaning supplies like Mrs. Meyer’s Multi­Surface Cleaner and Laundry Detergent — but why not treat yourself to Acure’s Aromatherapeutic Rose Argan Oil and Ultra­Hydrating Body Wash? Go on; you deserve it!

Once you have customized your order, Grove Collaborative will suggest a shipment schedule to keep you stocked up and on­budget. Then your favorite products show up at your door right when you need them.

If you are already a Grove Collaborative fan like me, there is something for you too! When you use this link, you will get a Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap free with your next order. You cannot go wrong with one of these beautiful soaps and a fresh hand towel on your bathroom counter for instant ambiance.

There are a limited number of sets available, and this offer ends Sunday, May 1, so grab yours now.

Here is how:

1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive the Mrs. Meyer's Everyday Luxury Set for free when you sign up!

2. Answer four quick questions about your home. Grove Collaborative will use this to customize your first basket (this takes under 30 seconds!).

3. Once you have answered the questions, you can finalize your basket of products to suit your household needs by adding or removing items.

4. To receive this offer, your order needs to total at least $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive in your first box (this is the hardest part — so many great choices!).

5. Click “Finish & Pay” and place your order.

6. Come back and tell me which amazing products you ordered!

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