Friday, July 25, 2014

8 Crunchy Products I Love

I admit it: I will never be a contender for the gold medal in the Crunchy Olympics, but I think I’m good for an honorable mention: I cloth diapered Scotty; I had more slings and baby carriers than I had bras at one point; I drink almond milk; and I know every single word to Bob Marley’s Legend (Yes, Every. Single. Word.); and I fully admit to getting “blissed out” on my yoga mat during savasana.

But I think the truest testament of my semi-crunchiness is the handful of products that I’ve come to depend on for our family. You won't have to search too far to find the following in my cupboards…

1.) Biokleen Bac-Out Stain and Odor Eliminator Foaming Action Spray
From spaghetti sauce stains on a white t-shirt, to stubborn poo stains on a cloth diaper, and everything in between, this stuff is a miracle in a bottle. I have yet to encounter a stain that Bac-Out can’t eradicate. Biokleen's secret is its live enzyme-producing cultures, which attack stains, organic waste, and odors safely and naturally. Completely safe to use around children, pets and even birds, this spray is preferred by commercial carpet cleaners nationwide. This product is a tad hard to find – you can, however, find it at select Kroger stores, and Amazon.com always carries it. Kroger or Amazon.com; $8

2.) Mrs. Meyers Clean Day All Purpose Cleaner
I lucked upon this gem of a household cleaner by accident. Back in 2011 when I was pregnant with Scotty, our neighborhood T.J. Maxx had  32-ounce bottles of this stuff on clearance for a mere $3.50. I bought five. I love that I don’t need a mask to protect my nostrils from the sting of bleach-like fumes and that I can use this in the presence of Scottt and Kennedy without worrying what they’re breathing in. Plus, it’s safe to use on all non-porous surfaces – including sealed stone and hardwood floors. And Birch Bark Extract – a primary ingredient – is an excellent grease cutter.
Amazon.com; $15

3.) VeggieTales Top-to-Bottom
What’s better than a safe, effective product that gives you piece of mind? How about a cheap, safe and effective product that gives you piece of mind! Look no further than VeggieTales Top-to-Bottom. A huge 32-ounce bottle – with pump – is less than five bucks – and when it goes on sale, it’s less than that. This Wash + Shampoo + Moisturizer is tear-free, hypoallergenic, and is also free of dyes, paragons, or sulfates. It is the only thing I use in Scotty and Kennedy's bath. Kroger; $4
  
4.) Gripe Water
I remember how I first learned about this product just like it was yesterday…
I was nine-months-pregnant with Scotty and I remember reading in one of my 30 parenting magazines – this is not a gross exaggeration – about a celebrity mom who was singing the praises of this magic potion. (If my memory serves, I think it was Camilla Alves, Matthew McConaughey’s wife.) I nearly dropped to my knees when I discovered that I had plucked the last remaining bottle off the shelves at my neighborhood Walgreens. (FYI: I’ve since learned that Walmart has the best price for Gripe Water.) It contains no artificial colors, flavors, gluten, dairy or soy; no alcohol, parabens or harsh chemicals; and no petroleum. You may be wondering, then, what is in this 100% vegetarian and vegan product: pure ginger, mostly. Gripe Water is the number one selling product in its class and safely and quickly relieves gas and stomach discomfort associated with colic, hiccups, teething and general fussiness in babies. It is, in a word, a lifesaver. I still give it to both of my children when they have gas, and you can sense the relief they feel almost instantly. Walmart; $8

5.) Fabulous Frannie Essential Oils
You know how some women stock-pile bottles of nail polish? I do the same with Fabulous Frannie Essential Oils. I first blogged about the splendor that is Fabulous Frannie here and then again here. Just know this: You will be hard-pressed to find a more high-quality yet inexpensive brand of essential oils anywhere else. And don’t even get me started on their selection… fabulousfrannie.com; $3 and up

6.) Yummy Earth Lollipops
Move over, gummy fruit snacks. There’s a new, more nutritious treat in town: Yummy Earth Organic lollipops. Last summer I stumbled upon these lollipops, and Scotty has been crazy about them ever since. These are candy, yes; but they are not what I would call junk. These lollipops are the brainchild of two dads who wanted to create treats that are free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes for their own children. These delightful sweets on a stick are high on taste but without all the ingredients you need a dictionary to pronounce. I’ve bought few packs at our local Marshalls, and I think they carry them fairly regularly. Yummy Earth Organic lollipops are also available at Walgreens, Babies R Us, Toys R Us, drugstore.com, and Amazon.com, which has been known to have them on sale. I now deem these lollipops the childhood equivalent to my AAA Auto Club card: I won’t leave home without a few in the diaper bag. Amazon.com; $3

7.) Nature’s Path Pumpkin-n-Spice Flax Plus Granola Bars
Chewy, delicious, and sweet without being too sweet. I used to stockpile these bars like a squirrel hiding acorns – just so I’d be prepared when hunger pangs strike. And guess what? Now Scotty loves them as much as I do. I got turned on to these at my local Big Lots, but they don’t always have them in stock. But when Big Lots doesn’t have them, Amazon always comes through. Amazon.com; $6

8.) Earnest Eats Power Grains & Flax Chewy Granola Bars
These are a very close second to Nature’s Path – I simply like each of these for two different reasons: While Nature’s Path hits the spot for a snack, particularly after working out, or, say, as a hold-over until dinnertime, I like Earnest Eats granola bars as a breakfast supplement. They taste good – they’re just not as sweet as Nature’s Path. However, I’ve found that they are excellent for regulating blood sugar levels, particularly if you have low blood sugar like I do. Amazon.com; $8.95

What's your favorite all-natural product?

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26 comments:

  1. I love reading what other people use...I don't know why, but it's one of my favorite features in People Magazine! I've never see than Veggie Tales Shampoo, will totally look for it in our store. We also love the Yummy Organic lollipops for emergency situations. I'll also check out the Earnest Eats too...great healthy list. I need to get back on track!

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    1. Good Morning, Kristen! I am the *exact* same: My mom is an US Magazine subscriber, and I pilfer her already-read mags for the sole purpose of perusing the mag's "What's in my bag" feature as well as "Stars: They're just like us."

      Not only do I like to learn about new products that way, but I think, as humans, we are inherently curious creatures who are interested in what other people like. (Look at me, playing the role of an armchair psychologist! lol My mom, who actually earned a psych degree would be so proud. lol

      Enjoy your weekend, and thank you for commenting.

      xo

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  2. The only product from this list I have even heard of is the Mrs. Meyers. Other than that, all new to me. I want to try the stain remover and if I still had babies, I would definitely try out the gripe water. The lollipops seem like fun. Thanks for letting us in on these!!

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    1. Hi, Ida! OMG, you HAVE to try the Bio-Kleen. It is, in a word, The Bomb. (Okay, that was two words.) Seriously, I have never, ever seen or used anything as powerful as this. I have used this on rugs, clothes, you name it. Pure miracle in a bottle, this stuff...

      Thank you so much for commenting, and for the "like" love on Facebook! Enjoy your weekend!

      xo

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  3. I love eating granola bars and I haven't heard of Earnest Eats Power Grains & Flax Chewy Granola Bars but have heard and eaten the other one.

    Thanks for sharing some of the products you love Courtney! You and the family have a great weekend!

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    1. Hi, Louida! Do you go to Marshall's or TJ Maxx? If you do, you may be able to find Earnest Eats bars there from time to time; I have at the ones near us. LOVE these...

      Thank you for commenting -- and you guys have a wonderful weekend as well!

      xo

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  4. Oh, Courtney my mind totally veered in another direction as I read this post. My boys and I would always watch Veggie Tales so after all these years the theme song is still rattling around in my head! If you like to talk to tomatoes. If a squash can make you smile. If you like to waltz with potatoes up and down the grocery aisle.....everybody sing!!! Thanks for the walk down memory lane and have a beautiful weekend!

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    1. Oh, Susie! That's wonderful! I am a huge sucker for sentimentality, so walks down Memory Lane are totally my speed. I am SO glad you shared this comment with me -- with all of us...

      I have never seen Veggie Tales! Now, I'm curious. Off to YouTube I go...

      Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!

      xo

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  5. I'm afraid I'm pretty un-crunchy, but I enjoyed reading about all the great products. Have a lovely weekend! :)

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    1. Hi, Lexa! LOL, well, seeing as though the status of being crunch is debatable to begin with, I may actually share your category. I mean, think about it: to the people who choose not to wear deodorant or shave their legs -- and I in no way mean any disrespect here -- we would BOTH be considered un-crunchy to them...

      Thank you, as always, for not only commenting, but also making me chuckle.

      xo

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  6. Oh, my god... I love everything about this post :) Especially that you're semi-crunchy because you know all of the words to Bob Marley's Legend, LMAO!! I try to be as crunchy as possible and am always looking for suggestions, especially for cleaning products because the smell of bleach turns my stomach. Love Mrs. Meyers products (I used to live near a health food store that always had these on sale, too!); will have to check on some of the others :) Thanks for this--stopping in today from SITS girls and hope you have a wonderful weekend. You have a lovely blog here :)

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    1. Thank you so much! lol (I should have also mentioned that we actually have a painting of Bob Marley in the dining room. ;-)

      If you happen to try any of these products, please do let me know what you think!

      Thank you for sharing your comment (and positive energy) with all of us.

      xo

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  7. I too have a rapidly growing collection of essential oils, and those pumpkin-flax bars a pretty good too. ;)

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    1. Hi, Michelle! Aren't essential oils the best? LOVE them...

      And the Nature's Path pumpkin-flax bars really come through when you're in a pinch! Case in point: I always have a few on "standby," and they served as a pre-breakfast snack this morning when the kids and I went on our early morning walk...

      Thank you for commenting, and enjoy your weekend!

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  8. Hi Courtney - Having inherited mine at the age of 6, I missed out on the baby stage and had no idea what gripe water is. I wonder if it works for adults. Not to be too much TMI but chemo wrecked havoc on my... well... if it's good for babies, it may be worth a try for an adult. Hypothetically speaking of course because I have no issues like that. Just speculating. Ok I'm done now. Hugs, Holly

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    1. Holly, I think you should definitely try Gripe Water. (I buy the apple flavor for S and K.) And while I've never consumed a whole serving, I have tasted it -- out of curiosity -- and it tastes good; kind of sweet. And the bottle says that the serving for adults is 2 tbsp.

      If you do try it, let me know what you think...

      xo

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  9. I love most of these!
    And the Yummy Earth Lollipops are a real staple around here. I love the story behind them. And I do find my husband raiding our daughter's stash.

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    1. Yummy Earth Lollipops are my jam! Even though I've been buying them for Scotty for over a year now, would you believe that I just recently started pilfering them for myself?

      Better late than never, I suppose...

      Thank you for commenting. :-)

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  10. I love anything Mrs. Meyers makes! I also love any kind of granola bar. I bought some Honey Bunches Of Oats granola and I'm in heaven! Yummy! I hope you & the family has a great weekend!

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    1. Hi, Leslie! I've also tried a second Mrs. Meyer's product -- and I think, no fear -- that it has been discontinued. :-( It's their baby bubble bath.I can't find it anywhere...which is why I switched to Veggie Tales, but I would definitely try other Mrs. Meyers products in the future.

      I hope you guys have a terrific weekend as well -- and thank you for commenting!

      xo

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  11. These are all awesome! The Bio-Kleen stain remover is new to me, although I use their dish soap exclusively.. I'll have to check that one out. The lollipops are a life saver... something sweet to keep around that isn't quite as terrible as the dye-laden, sugary goodness that I grew up with!

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    1. Hi, Dakota! I haven't tried Bio-Kleen's dish soap, but now I'm going to look for it; thank you!

      ...and about "the dye-laden, sugary goodness" that we BOTH grew up with, you made me chuckle so hard. I constantly find myself walking the line between "Well, I ate it back then and I turned out fine" and "Ewww, that is so horrible! I must never give that to my son!"

      I am constantly trying to maintain some semblance of equanimity...yet failing miserably at it.:-/

      Thank you for commenting, and I hope you guys had a great weekend. :-)

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  12. Oh wow... I still remember when I discovered Gripe Water, too. Miracle of miracles!!!!

    I think I need to check out that Biokleen Stain Spray.

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    1. ...speaking of Gripe Water, it is 4:56 a.m. EST as I type this, and the only -- and I mean ONLY -- reason I am up at this hour is because my daughter's tummy (read: gas) is bothering her and I had to go give her a dose of "Miracle in a Bottle." lol

      Thank you for commenting,and enjoy your weekend. :-)

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  13. Our whole entire household loves Nature's Path granola bars - matter of fact, Nature's Path anything.....all of their products are delicious!

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    1. Hi, Serena! I SO agree with your comment! Now, in hindsight, I can't believe I've omitted Nature's Path's Pumpkin Granola breakfast cereal -- as well as their Pomegranate Granola cereal -- from the list. Both are DE-LISH!

      Great. Now I'm hungry for some right now. (Never mind the fact that it's nearly 9 p.m.; lol)

      Thank you for commenting. :-)

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