Tag Archives: Featured

Norwex Cleaning Products | Go Buy It or Pass By It

I have heard great things about the Norwex cleaning cloths and products for some time now. Because I don’t have a Norwex consultant in my newsfeed and hadn’t been invited to a party (both shocking, I know), I never took the time to take the next step of learning more. But. I was intrigued. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, and I was FINALLY invited to a par-tay (thanks Julie)! I was most interested in learning more about the cloth, which I learned is called the Envirocloth.

Let’s back up for a second so I can tell you how I normally clean things that need cleaning like countertops, sinks, etc. I have Clorox wipes as a monthly Subscribe and Save item from Amazon. Mmm hmmm. I do see the problems in this, so just in this past month I ordered the Thieves essential oil cleaner and have made up a spray bottle solution that I have been using. It smells fantastic and I am a oily believer.

I am honestly still a little unsure about how I feel about the Envirocloth, and the science behind it. I really need to take an hour or so in my life to do a little research, and I will. Once I find that hour. But here is the nitty gritty, from what I understand. All of the products are chemical free (yay!). The cloths do NOT have any type of cleaning solution already loaded up in them as I had been assuming. Rather, they are made of a super fine microfiber that contains silver. Apparently, the silver traps bacteria from whatever you are cleaning and doesn’t allow it to continue to grow, thereby killing it. The claim is that you can have a counter covered in raw chicken juice (or pick your choice of gross, bacteria-ridden mess), take a damp Envirocloth, wipe down the counter, and, voila, go ahead and eat off of it. As for your chicken juice soaked Envirocloth? Just rinse it off with water and hang it to dry until your next mess needs attacking. No cleaner, no spray. Just a dampened Envirocloth. Crazy, right? I watched a couple of videos provided in the party where consultant use this test strip that indicates bacteria, and test before (instant color change on the strip) and after (no color change). But it still makes me feel a little weird in my brainwashed-to-believe-you-need-chemicals-to-clean brain.Many of the Norwex products use this same technology of trapping and killing bacteria.

When it came time to order during the party, I decided to give the Envirocloth a try (how could I not?), as well as the Window Cloth, the Spirinetts, and they have a super cute Optic Scarf for cleaning things like glasses that matched my camera bag perfectly. And I really needed a new lens cloth, so I got that too! I have had a few days to use the products, and decided to start a new series for the blog, Go Buy It or Pass By It.

Envirocloth ($16.99) and Window Cloth ($18.99)

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I decided to go with the Envirocloth that has a little scrubby corner for those harder to clean messes, i.e. dried up food that wasn’t immediately cleaned. Why? Well. Because this happens in my house. All the time. Ahem, cleaning isn’t my strong suit. The cloths are the same size, the only difference being the scrubby cleaner and a $2 difference ($18.99 v. $16.99). For me, worth the $2.

I attacked one of the bathrooms sinks that was covered in dried toothpaste (seriously, do kids use half a tube to brush their teeth?) first with the Envirocloth. I was genuinely surprised by 2 things. First, I didn’t have to do much more than a firm wipe to get the caked on toothpaste up, and only 1-2 swipes. Second, while I would normally choose to just throw away the washcloth I used to clean the sink rather than try to get all that toothpaste off (or, let’s face it, I would have just used a Clorox wipe), I just rinsed off the Envirocloth and it was clean!

As I said earlier, I still need to do some of my own research before I feel 100% confident in using the Envirocloth completely on its own to clean all counter tops regardless of what is on them but I have been using it for regular wipe downs and it does a good job. It picks up and holds crumbs fairly well. Much better than a Clorox wipe or a paper towel or a regular washcloth.

The Window Cloth isn’t an all-in-one like I had assumed. I am sure it was in a post or video during the party, but I probably didn’t watch it. Um, we have satellite internet. Videos are not watched on my computer, and I usually forget when I actually have my phone in hand. Instead, you use the Envirocloth with the Window Cloth. Wipe down the window or mirror or faucet with the dampened Envirocloth, and then dry with the Window Cloth. My mirrors were in bad shape. Really, who has time to clean mirrors?! I did the mirror over the kids’ sink first (code for the worst of them all). I tried to take pictures for you but it was not an easy thing to capture. Anyways, I wiped it down with the Envirocloth with minimal effort and then dried with the Window Cloth. And, I was impressed. I haven’t seen myself so clear in a very long time! These two cloths (minus the scrubby corner) also come in a set for $32.99.

Spirinetts ($5.99 for a set of 2)

I also got the Spirinetts, which are these little scrub balls of stainless steel. I decided to test them out today on a tough job. My stove top. The burners have been pretty grungy looking since we moved in. I have tried, on a couple of occasions, to do something about it with no success. Granted, I only put minimal effort into it as I do with most cleaning jobs but I used those green scrubby pads once. And another time, soaked them in scalding hot, soapy water, followed by the green scrubby pad. We have a propane stove, and just assumed this happens and they were long overdue in needing to be replaced. I wipe them down when I wipe down the stove top, and carry on with life.

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I grabbed one of the gray things first, brought it to the sink, turned on the water and went for the worst spot and gave it a rub with a Spirinett. I was shocked how easily pretty much all the stuff came off. And so, I continued.

Because I only put minimal effort into cleaning, I really didn’t go all crazy to try to make a point. There were only a few spots where I needed to scrub a little more vigorously, and really get into it but those were usually in the harder to reach spots. I had 4 gray things and then the four spots on the stove to clean, so it wasn’t a 15 minute job. But it also took me less than an hour. I probably could have had even better results if I really got into it but cleaning just isn’t my thing. Hence my need for products that make tough jobs (or everyday jobs) easier!

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I am pretty sure the hubs is going to shit his pants when he sees this. He almost did yesterday when he noticed the bathroom sinks and mirror!

Final Verdict

So far, less than a week in, I am happy with my purchase and impressed with the products. The products are to be used over and over, and should last quite some time thus eliminating the repeat purchases of Clorox wipes (bye bye Subscribe and Save), paper towels, Windex, etc. They are all CHEMICAL FREE. That should be worth its weight in gold. Now, if I need to clean up some raw chicken juice, you can bet I will be spraying my Thieves cleaner first. At least for now until I do some more research. But I am excited to try some of the other products as well, and will definitely be a repeat customer. They have these dryer balls that are high on my To Try list so that I can eliminate the use of dryer sheets.

I say Go Buy It if you want to reduce the use of chemicals in your cleaning, or if you are looking for a one size fits all cleaning cloth. And, if you have a really tough job, you definitely need a Spirinett! If you need a Norwex independent consultant, contact Laura Tangel! She is great and answered all my annoying and extremely skeptical sounding questions! Here are Laura’s Website and Facebook links. Host a party, and earn yourself some free goodies! Just be sure to invite me!

Side Note

I haven’t actually used my Optic Scarf on my camera yet (I know, I should have before breaking out the big camera for these pictures), but here is a cell phone picture of how fab it looks with my camera bag!! See why I had to have it??


Black Bean Soup | Dinnertime and the Livin’s Easy


Soup. I never realized how easy it is to make. Or that you had to put it in a blender! After my success with Pepper Soup, I decided to branch out. I had a lunch date with a client last week at Panera Bread, the week I started eating healthy. If you know me, you know I can devour a tuna sandwich on tomato basil bread, a cup of mac and cheese and whatever seasonal shortbread cookie is out. But, I am fat. And I am all in.

So I ordered half a tuna sandwich on tomato basil, and a cup of black bean soup. No cookie. And, I recorded it in MyFitnessPal. The black bean soup was so good, and full of fiber, that I decided to try it on my own! Fiber is key for me. I need it to feel good, and I have neglected it for, oh, the last 10 years.

I put together a couple recipes, and the results are easy, healthy, full of fiber and tasty! So give it a try and make your lunches for the week ahead of time!

Black Bean Soup

  • Servings: About 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


2 15-ounce cans of black beans
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 cup of chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Dump everything in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

2. Blend in blender, or if you have one of those awesome hand blenders, use that, til desired consistency.

That’s it! So easy and so good! Plus a 1 cup serving is nice and filling because it is packed with fiber!

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 156; Fat 1.2g; Sodium 925 mg; Potassium 519.2 mg; Carbs 27 g (Fiber 8.8; Sugar 3.7 g); Protein 10.1 g; Vitamin A 14.6%; Vitamin C 11.7%; Calcium 11.7%; Iron 19.8%


Keepin’ It Real | I Got Fat

This post isn’t about body shaming. It is about keepin’ it real and calling it what it is – I. Got. Fat.

Today, this week strangely came full circle. I have known for awhile that I needed to make changes in my eating and activity levels. But honestly, 2015 had so many changes in our life that I wasn’t mentally ready to focus on my body. I needed to focus on my mental health. I needed to find me, and find my happy. I am almost there. I overcame the stress, anxiety and depression that my work situation had put on me. I found my happy. And I have almost found me. You see, she is buried somewhere under all these extra pounds.


On Monday, I woke up and made the decision it was the day I was going to start recording what I eat, make healthier choices and make the changes I have needed to make. I don’t know why but I made the decision as I carefully, out of nowhere, measured the number of tablespoons of creamer going into my coffee. And I only had one cup.

I even stood on the scale. It has been awhile since I had the courage to take that action. 186. Those are pounds. The only time I have been this heavy is when I was pregnant. And honestly, I look pregnant now. I am shocked nobody has tried to run my belly. Thank goodness it hasn’t because I am sure I would say something inappropriate but I wouldn’t be surprised!  Ya’ll, I am being serious. I looked better 17 weeks pregnant with my daughter, and, I know, I was huge for 17 weeks!


I already made the mental commitment to make a change. I have eaten between 1200 and 1500 calories every day this week. Of healthy choices. I have recorded everything I have eaten. But today, something came up that just confirmed further that now is the time.

Today, in my Facebook memories, was a picture. On this day, 10 years ago, I posted a picture of me and my boyfriend (now hubs). It was from the Law School Prom my 1L year (translate to Barristers Ball my first year of law school).


That is me. At least 65 pounds smaller. 65. Pounds. That is like the weight of both my children combined right now. We won’t go into all the excuses of how I got here because, honestly, they don’t matter. I got fat.

Fat is one of those words that has become politically incorrect. Every time it is the first word to come to my mind to describe something when I am reading with the kids, I get all nervous. Like it isn’t a word I should teach them to describe anything. Like it is a bad word. But it is an accurate word to describe myself right now. My body is composed of too much fat. I am squishy. And lumpy. My muffin top could win a contest. I am not healthy. I am fat.

I am putting it all out there – my weight, pictures of my current self – because that is what I do. I am an open book. And I want to hold myself accountable. If I am still this fat in a month, then I am failing. I do not like to fail. So, game on.

Ohhh, Baby I Love …. Strawberry Revolution Tiebacks

I love stuff. And I love supporting small businesses. So when I find stuff I love. Like can’t-live-without love, I have to share it. It would be mean of me not to, right? After all, kind is the new pretty according to one of my FAVE small businesses, Strawberry Revolution.


Michelle, the face, brain and heart behind StrawRev is a genius. She won’t admit it, but she is. She has designed not only one perfect headband, the Studio Tieback, but recently released another that is now fighting for the Best Headband Ever award, the Boho Twist.

Let me start by telling you that I have never been able to wear headbands. I hated them, in fact. Besides needing to fix them a million times a day, they always gave me terrible headaches. But when I started my photography business, a hair tie wasn’t cutting it. The flyaways and falling pieces in my face drove me nuts. So. Finally, I broke down and tried one of these Studio Tiebacks my tog friends were raving about.

Oh. Em. Gee. I am now a collector. And they are a normal part of my new uniform as a work at home mama. I am telling you, if you have hair, you need to try one! No headaches and they stay in place all day long. Like all day. Like you forget they are there all day. Like I usually have a couple on my nightstand because I forget I have them on and go to bed.

Even better? Michelle has one of the biggest hearts I know. Proceeds from every sale are donated to help put an end to bullying. Her packaging makes you feel gooooood. And she had also designed fun shirts that every woman needs. They are soft and comfy, and have messages we can all relate to: “Mom Boss” “Kind is the New Pretty” “Coffee Makes Me a Better Person” and more!

Trust me when I say, you need Strawberry Revolution in your life. Go. Now. Treat yourself.

Best Headband Ever