What’s Working

Whether at church or with my neighborhood friends, something that I’m always keen to talk about is best practices- best mom practices especially. While everyone has different kids and different circumstances, there are always commonalities shared that sparks inspiration for me. Why reinvent the wheel?
Sometimes you’ll find a mom with some kids that are about 5 years ahead of you, and her mom best practices are truly little golden nuggets. And other times, you can help a mom with younger children find the perfect sippy cup, share your perfect bedtime routine, or just in general gain some perspective and appreciate that not every phase lasts forever.
Motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint, and just like a running buddy will help encourage you to finish the race- your mom tribe will also!

These are the top 5 things that are working for me right now:

  1. Getting up earlier than my kids. It sounds so simple, but in that 30 mins or hour, I can take a long walk, enjoy some coffee and devotional time, and be ready to give my kids attention to get them to school on time and start my day more peacefully.
  2. Using a bullet journal to write down my goals and create action steps to complete them. I journal my weekly progress, as well as success/fails of the week. I love making lists, so this works well for how my brain works, but it also lets me see big picture progress which helps me in turn be more realistic.
  3. The Think Dirty app is helping me to be choose greener beauty and household products. For many years now, I’ve tried to keep a greener home, both for my family’s health and to be a better steward of our world’s resources. I use many of the Norwex cleaning cloths and my laundry routine is probably as green as I can make it, but my makeup and beauty products need an overhaul. My current rating on the app is a 6. This app helps me identify my biggest offenders (my mascara, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, & body wash) so that when it comes time to replace them, I can make a better choice.
  4. Choosing to unsubscribe from so many retail e-blasts. With budgeting continuing to be a top priority for our family, I have found it easier to spend less by unsubscribing from so many eblasts that prompted that “oh, I need that” reaction.
  5. Activating the “move” function of my Garmin. I don’t want to be bossed around by my watch, but I work a 9-5 office job and sitting all day long is deadly. Keeping water at my desk helps too, then I’m forced by my bladder to move, haha. You could set an alarm on your phone too. Thankfully I work from home, so that I can dance to Timberlake for a few minutes in the privacy of my own office.

I would love to hear what is working for you too! Let’s lift each other up so that this motherhood journey is a little easier!



My Norwex Reorder

It’s been over a year since I ordered the majority of my Norwex products and overall, I’m probably about 80% satisfied. I’ve written a few posts about it (here, here & here). I do not sell it and bought everything because I was genuinely interested in the products and liked the company’s philosophy.

Just this past week, I’ve reordered the laundry detergent, Ultra PowerPlus (UPP), and the travel pack of 4 small Envirocloths.

The UPP laundry detergent works great (especially when I dilute it) and lasted me more than a year. Since I ran out I’ve been purchasing All free & clear. The All F&C cleans as well, but doesn’t work as well on stains as UPP did. My husband is too intimidated to use UPP, so I’ll probably always have a little All F&C on hand for when he does laundry.

I’m buying a set of new cloths because I’ve been primarily using one large gray cloth in my kitchen for the past 18 months and I can’t get the mildew smell out of it. I should have deep cleaned it every few months. I plan to deep clean the new ones (by boiling them) as well as rotate them out and launder more.  I basically wipe down the counters, table and appliances twice a day, and with 4 small cloths, I can rotate a new one every other day and wash them weekly. The other cloth was so big it wasn’t getting completely dry, so I think the travel size will be perfect for how I use them.

The rubber brush, dust mitt, dryer balls, bathroom Envirocloths and window cloths I would highly recommend, and in great shape, as are the mop and mop cloths. I also love the Blue Diamond cleaner, Odor Eliminator, and Mattress Spray, and they are likely to last another year. I don’t use very much of it when I clean, so they are all great values as well as wonderful products.

I’m lukewarm on the kitchen towels, wash cloths, and makeup remover cloths. I just didn’t see that they were all that much better than what I was using, and making sure they don’t make it in the general laundry so they could get washed on hot is difficult for our family. We only wash towels on hot, and you aren’t supposed to mix the cloths with regular towels. So I will use what I have, but I’m not likely to replace everything anytime soon, especially with something more high maintenance.

Have you used Norwex? What did you think?

A Toxic Relationship

I’ve written several posts about trying to eliminate chemicals from my house and using Norwex products along with my Young Living Essential Oils. Cleaning products are the easiest to replace, because with regular cleaning you don’t get the kind of built up dirt that requires those industrial strength chemicals, basically a little elbow grease goes along way. But laundry, well we all get a little particular about our laundry, the way “clean” smells to us, and how we care for our clothing. I honestly never thought about what was in a regular dryer sheet until I went to the Norwex party. The consultants shared that dryer sheets contain some of the most toxic chemicals in your home, especially because the chemicals are heated as it dries your clothes. Just look at the list of ingredients that go into creating only the fragrance! And it is so highly flammable, yet we are still heating it up. We decided to try to break up with dryer sheets permanently, but it wasn’t easy.

I started using wool dryer balls a year or so ago when I started using Young Living’s Essential Oils. It was so easy to add the essential oils to the dryer balls to give the clothing a subtle fragrance (I prefer Gentle Baby). The downside was you had to watch the dryer carefully because too much static was created if you over-dried the load of clothes. The static was especially bad for performance/wicking fabrics, like my husband’s undershirts and our entire family’s athletic clothing. It got to the point that I would hang wet or hang damp most everything. Or my husband would add a dryer sheet and tumble the clothes again to get rid of the static.

The consultant recommended the Norwex plastic dryer balls over the wool ones because she thought they did better with static, so I ordered some to experiment with. If you just put them in the dryer with a load of clothes, the static was not improved. But the trick for the plastic ones was to add water to the balls which adds some moisture in the load, and in turn prevents static. It’s easy to add water just squeezing them under the faucet, but I like to add essential oils, so I have to use a syringe if I want to add water that I’ve mixed with oils. It’s a little more time-consuming than the wool dryer balls, and especially throwing in a dryer sheet. You still have to watch the dryer to make sure the clothes aren’t getting over-dried.

Overall, drying smaller loads and hanging damp is the best way to prevent static. I do prefer the plastic ones over wool, but I would personally use either over regular dryer sheets after reading more about them.

Have you experimented with breaking up with dryer sheets?

An Honest Norwex Review

I do not sell Norwex. I have been to a handful of parties, and hosted my own. When considering which products to purchase, I wanted more honest, no strings attached reviews and I couldn’t find many online that weren’t connected to someone who sold the product. So I’ll go through what I bought, how we use it, and if I would buy it again.

When I had my party, the host special was a free Superior Mini Mop System. I had to be the final buyer at my party, so while it was not technically free, I spent around that amount buying other things I knew I would use, like another Envirocloth for our bathroom, the small Tile Pad to go with the mop system, a Rubber Brush to help clean the dry mop pad & Dust Mitt, and the big bag of UPP laundry detergent.

I had a $30 microfiber mop that you could remove and wash the pads. I used Bona to clean the floors, but we have darker wood floors and the floors always looked smudgy and dirty. And I used a dry Swiffer mop with dry cloths as a broom to pick up between washings. The Bona product was $20 a bottle, which we used every 4 months or so. The Swiffer cloths weren’t terribly expensive, maybe $5 a month. So after the initial investment for the mops, maybe $120 a year to keep this up.

The Norwex mini mop system is $94.99, and the additional tile mop pad is $24.99. Like the other Norwex cleaning cloths, you clean only with water, and very little of it. The dry pad picks up dog hair excellently, but it doesn’t pick up as well to get bigger pieces, so you still need a broom or vacuum. The kids track grass and mulch in from the backyard and I still use the vacuum to get most of that up. The tile mop pad works better than the standard wet pad, I would definitely recommend buying that extra, but maybe it’s just because my family is messier than most!

Overall I’m very pleased with the Norwex mop system. It works better than the system I was using before, reduces the amount of chemicals I use in our home, and pays for itself the first year. Because the mop uses so little water, the floors aren’t soaked, and they do not look greasy when you are finished. Sometimes I put a little lemon essential oil (I recommend Young Living) with some water in a spray bottle and spray a little before I use the wet mop to replicate the clean smell I used to get from Bona.

An Honest Norwex Review

I do not sell Norwex. I have been to a handful of parties, and hosted my own. When considering which products to purchase, I wanted more honest, no strings attached reviews and I couldn’t find many online that weren’t connected to someone who sold the product. So I’ll go through what I bought, how we use it, and if I would buy it again.

Norwex Ultra Power Plus (UPP) laundry detergent is good laundry detergent, but it can be great. I was using as powder, and I noticed clumps of detergent that did not dilute and wash out especially on black fabrics. Someone from Norwex might say that I was using too much detergent, and perhaps I was. It’s difficult to get used to using so little detergent to get my clothes clean.

Now I mix a scoop of UPP with water before adding to the washer, and I’ve noticed I don’t see the clumps anymore. (My ratio is 1 scoop to 1-1/2 cups of water, 1/4 cup per load… you might be able to use less depending on your washer, but I have two messy kids and a husband that spends most of his time outdoors. We also wash about 6 loads per week.)

I don’t think UPP is as great at stain fighting, especially if you don’t catch it before the stain has set. I made a super concentrate in a spray bottle that I use for new stains, but continue to use Borax to soak serious stains that I didn’t catch immediately.

At first it bothered me that I didn’t have the “clean” fragrance, but it allows you to customize your fragrance if you truly want one. Sometimes I use the Norwex Odor Eliminator as fabric softener for the more delicate clothes I hang to dry. But mostly I use essential oils as the fragrance in the dryer with dryer balls (Young Living’s Gentle Baby or Joy blends are my favorite for laundry). Recently, I also used UPP along with a capful of Norwex Odor Eliminator for a stinky shoes bath for our family’s Toms, Keens, and other casual stinky shoe collection. Worked like a dream!

Overall, that $26 bag of detergent will last me about 8 months at 6 loads per week. We were using the Tide Pods, full of fillers and softeners that were killing our clothes. At $20 for about 57 pods, it would last me about 2-1/2 months. So I’m saving money, using detergent that’s better for the environment and my clothing, and loving the results. UPP is another Norwex winner.


An Honest Norwex Review

I will preface by writing, I do not sell Norwex. I have been to a handful of parties, and hosted my own. When considering which products to purchase, I wanted more honest, no strings attached reviews and I couldn’t find many online that weren’t connected to someone who sold the product. So I’ll go through what I bought, how we use it, and if I would buy it again.

The most important product they want to sell you is the Envirocloth. After using it for 2 months now, I would 100% endorse this product. I use it daily to wipe kitchen and bath counters, tables, and appliances. I love that I do not need anything more than water. We were fairly consious about using chemicals before, so I don’t think this saves us hundreds of dollars a month that you might hear at the party or online, but it does save our family about $10 a month. At $17 a cloth, it pays for itself pretty quickly. I do not buy granite cleaner, all purpose cleaner, stovetop cleaner, and I use considerably less paper towels (a roll lasts me 3 weeks or so now). The cloth is warrantied for 2 years and most everyone I’ve talked to says you can double the life by taking care of it, so the savings will add up. And I love the impact of not using all those chemicals- healthier for the environment and my home air quality. The real test, however, was when my daughter spilled her grape juice on our very light carpet. The Envirocloth mopped it up completely and left no stain, with no carpet cleaner. So often going green means making some efficacy compromise, but ultimately I find the Envirocloth works better than it’s chemical counterparts.