Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Seventh Generation Review and Giveaway

If you hadn't heard of Seventh Generation before, I'm sure you have now that they have commercials out. For over 20 years they have been working hard to 'protect planet home' with natural household products. Their headquarters are in Burlington, VT - that alone is exciting to me as my husband and I were there for our honeymoon and first anniversary and just love the area.
I really want to have a healthy home for our baby but had never purchased natural products in the past as I always thought of them as being too expensive...boy was I wrong! The prices may be a little higher but the health benefits are worth a million!!! Wanting to get my house CLEAN before our baby comes, I decided to contact a few 'green cleaning' companies to see if I could review their products. Seventh Generation was very willing to send me a package of my choice and they were wonderful to work with! I chose the 'free and clear starter kit' as I prefer not to have the scents or dyes if I can help it. This kit includes the following:
Cleans without streaks and uses no harsh chemicals. Excellent for effectively cleaning glass, mirrors, chrome, and other hard surfaces around your home. Truly free and clear of fragrances, dyes, and masking agents. The day I received this in the mail I was washing the sliding glass door and was impressed that something with all natural products was able to get my windows clean and it didn't leave streaks! We have glass dining room and coffee table tops along with a large mirror in each bathroom. I have used the glass cleaner a few times and found that everything is absolutely clean. The only issue I had was with the top of the mirrors just below the lights where a few streaks were left. I am thinking that the heat from the lights dried it out before I had a chance to fully wipe it clean. When I repeated the mirrors wiping the top first I had no problems. One time I picked this up instead of the all purpose cleaner and uused it on my kitchen counter - it worked just as well!
Effectively cleans and degreases hard surfaces both inside and outside your home. Excellent for wet mopping. Not recommended for use on wood floors. Truly free and clear of fragrances, dyes, and masking agents. This was my favorite product of everything I was able to try, I began intensly spring cleaning the house and used this for everyhing and was very impressed every time!! We use this for the normal counter cleaning but I have also used it to wash the front of all of my cabinets, the top of my fridge, and all of my floors. Yes, I washed the floors on my hands and knees and have now decided not to replace the mop that I broke a few months ago...I will be using the Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner from now on! I was so excited to clean the top of my fridge because as soon as I used the all purpose cleaner all of the dust wiped away.
Our new improved formula cleans more dishes than ever, and comes in a new 25oz bottle made from 90% post-consumer recycled plastic. Everyone can pitch in on the dishes thanks to our safe, non-toxic formula. When my husband first used the dishsoap he said it didn't bubble as much as the name brand product we traditionally use. However, he did find that it cleaned just as well and I don't feel guilty using it on the baby bottles. We later found that there were more bubbles if we put it directly in the water as opposed to putting it on the cloth to wash.
A unique combination of plant-derived cleaning agents and enzymes to power out even the toughest stains. Truly free and clear of fragrances, dyes and masking agents. I have used this on many different loads from darks to lights to my sheets, this allowed me to try a variety of temperatures including the steam cycle. Everything came out smelling fresh which I never realized I would love so much! Even after letting the clean and dry laundry sit in the closet for a few weeks it still smelled wonderful.

(2) Natural Paper Towels - 120 Count
Buying products made from recycled paper helps reduce the need for virgin wood pulp, which means more trees are left standing. These hard-working paper towels absorb spills quickly, even when wet. I don't use a lot of paper towels but found the Seventh Generation towels to be as absorbent as the towels we keep on hand. I did use it them my carpet to clean a spill and it did break apart rather quickly. I must admit though that I have never seen a paper towel stay in one piece except on TV commercials.

Reusable Tote
This of course is a typical reusable tote and even though I already had a few, getting this one gave me the push I needed to remember them at the store.

I also had to opportunity to review a few of their other products.

Canola-derived fabric softener makes your laundry naturally fluffy and static-free. Add to your final rinse cycle or use for hand-washing delicates. Truly free and clear of fragrances, dyes, and masking agents. We typically don't use liquid fabric softener but did find it to be convenient and left my laundry soft as well as free of all smells.

These concentrated automatic dishwasher pacs deliver our phosphate and chlorine free formula in a convenient single-use pac. We use our dishwasher all of the time and I found this to wash the dishes just as well as the name brand product we typically buy. We tend to over stuff the dishwasher and the items came out clean on the 1st wash!

New Concentrated 2X formula! This detergent is perfect for getting out those stains that are part of having a baby. Free of dyes & fragrances. I was very adament that all of our Little Guy's laundry needed to be washed in the super-expensive brand name baby laundry soap that everybody uses, boy was I wrong!! This is much cheaper and cleaned just as well. My mind has changed and my pocketbook and the Little Guy are thanking me! Everything turned out clean with no harsh smells.

So, my mind has changed and I will now be purchasing more products by Seventh Generation. I really want to try their disinfecting products as we do a lot of chicken and turkey and want to make sure the area is free of all germs after prepping them. A few weeks after I started using these products, I was touching up the bathroom and didn't want to alk to the kitchen to get the Seventh Generation Products so I picked up a colored product from the bathroom cabinet and almost gagged from the smell!!

We also don't have any bleached bracelets on our shirts; this used to happen when my husband used a bleachy cleaner on the kitchen counters and accidently dragged the cuff of his shirt in it.

Want to try these Seventh Generation products yourself? Head to their website and find out where you can but them locally.

Seventh Generation was very generous to offer a reader a Free and Clear Started Kit which will include the first 6 items I listed above.
****Mandatory Entry****
To enter, visit their website, find the product you want to try and tell me one fact about it. You will need to leave a separate comment for each entry and your email address each time.
The contest will end Friday, April 30th at midnight.

****Extra Entries****
~Subscribe to me via email
~Follow me (2 extra entries)
~Grab my button
~Tell others about the contest, make sure you tell me what you did

Seventh Generation provided these products free of charge, all of the opinions are mine.

Monday, March 8, 2010

To tear or not to tear?

We went for our 36 week check-up today and I shared my birth plan with our midwife. I had written that I would prefer an episiotomy over tearing.
Let me explain...even though I want an all natural childbirth, I would prefer to have a local anesthetic and be cut as opposed to an unexpected tear.
Well, the midwife looked at me and said, "You really want an episiotomy? I didn't expect that from you!" She explained that evertime a woman pushes it stretches the perineum a little before the baby slides back. So, with every push, the perineum stretches a little bit more so when the full delivery comes it has stretched enough that if you do tear it should be rather small and not to a serious degree.
However, if the doctor cuts you, the area below the tear has not been stretched at all and is very likely to tear; this would cause a larger open wound from both the cut and tear. With all of this she asked me to go home and research it more.
Honestly, that was rather eye opening for me! Now that I have looked at all of the information I will ask for perineum support and if the doctor tells me that I need to be cut we will have a quick discussion as to his reasoning and go from there. If there is an issue with either Tate or myself and we need a quick delivery or the baby's position requires a little extra room then I would be okay with an episiotomy, otherwise I now prefer to have a small tear as opposed to being cut.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Geocaching Acronyms

If you have decided to try geocaching, you will come across a lot of acronyms and wonder what they are. Here are the basics you will need to know to get started (and some extras that are simply fun!)

CITO - Cache In, Trash Out - Since we are out and about in nature, it is suggested that we clean up around us during our cache find. Sometimes cachers do this, but when trying to get your numbers up, you may find you are in too much of a rush to do this so that is where the events come in. Once in awhile a cacher will host a CITO event in which the whole goal is to clean up a specific area. These are usually held at state parks, national forests, or local parks.

TFTC - Thanks For The Cache - This is simply another quick way to write something in the log, I often use it if I don't have much else to say.

SL - Signed Log - This is just a shortened way to write on the online cache page that your were there and signed the log.

TNLN - Took Nothing, Left Nothing - When the cache is large enough and you have the opportunity to trade out items, people like to let others know that they didn't make an exchange.

P&G - Park and Grab - This is used to tell that a find is quick and you can often park rather close to it.

FTF - First To Find - This is a favorite for everybody!! It simply means that you were the first to find a particular cache!!

DNF - Did Not Find - This is used when you were not able to locate the cache.

BYOP - Bring Your Own Pen - This is ofen written on the cache page when the cache is too small to hold a pen.

UPS - Unusual Pile of Sticks - When in the woods the caches are typically not buried but can be covered with leaves, rocks, etc. In this case you have a pile of sticks (obvious to the cacher) covering the cache container.