Product Review: CleanWell Botanical Cleaners and Fabric Spray

Jun 27, 2013 by


CleanWell Cleaning Line: Fabric Spray, Bathroom Cleaner, All Purpose Wipes, and AP Spray
Photo Credit: Dena Fleno

When it comes to cleaning my house, if you follow me you know that it is a reluctant chore that is not on the top of my list.  I do not have floors you can eat off of and the bathroom sink often looks like an alpine slide from all the toothpaste spit (Win for brushing the kids teeth, though!).  The good folks at CleanWell have come out with a newer cleaning product line and were kind enough to send over some for me to try!

My experience with this company has been good.  I usually stock up on their Hand Sanitizer to put in school backpacks or keep in the car.  It really helps in the potty training years when “I gotta go!” means I had to go five minutes ago and you better PULL OVER NOW LADY!  I have known their products to be toxin free and rate well with my trusty EWG.  I was excited ( and so was my husband) to try out their cleaning products!

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Cleaner Living: Make Your Own Drinkable Yogurt

Jun 12, 2013 by

It happens to all of us.

You take the kids to the grocery store (which I am convinced is hell on earth), and they are instantly attracted to the bright colors and fun characters on packages of stuff you don’t necessarily want to give them.  It’s confusing to them why something with Dora on it can’t be good for them- I mean she can lead you safely across the Sticky Swamp, why wouldn’t she be leading you to healthy food?

Well, advertising rant aside, I just find it gross that companies turn simple things into science experiments and places to put unnecessary ingredients, like sugar.  Case in point, my kids like those yogurt drinks. When you look at the nutritional information you see this:


This is the nutritional label from Danimals Raspberry Smoothie
Photo Credit

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How to Make Your Berries Last Longer!

May 29, 2013 by

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Photo Credit: Dena Fleno

The best part about Memorial Day weekend being over is that BERRY Season is just around the corner!

I wrote a post last year about the ways to pick a better berry– look for organic whenever possible, pick from local farmers, and/or grow your own!  I meant to follow-up with this post about how to wash your berries and get them to last twice as long, but a few crazy things happened and well, I forgot.

So, if your family is like mine, they LOVE berries!  They don’t always last too long in our house, but with them in season they are easier to find and get great deals on them in mass quantities.  The problem with buying your berries Buy One/Get One is that they tend to start to shrivel or rot by the time you get to use them or eat them.

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Cleaner Living: Best Sunscreens for 2013

May 22, 2013 by

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Our sunscreens need to hold up to sun, water, AND pavement!
Photo Credit: Dena Fleno

So it is no secret that I turn to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) as a source for information on what is in conventional products and what effects certain chemicals can have on our (and our kids’) bodies.  When it comes to sun protection, their Sunscreen Guide is my go-to source for making sure the ones I pick are safe and effective.

The task of purchasing sunscreen can be daunting.  Usually it entails a HUGE assortment of bottles, cans, and colors by an end-cap that is somehow always strategically placed next to completely unnecessary toys and collectibles that your child!  This leaves mom about 2.2 seconds to read labels and just give up and grab the first one that looks semi decent and get out before Susie “has to go pee” for the 11 billionth time.  Don’t get me wrong, any sunscreen is ALWAYS better than NO sunscreen, but there are some pretty harmful things lurking in those bottles that can actually be just as harmful as a sunburn.

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Clean(er) Kahlua Brownies

May 1, 2013 by

I don’t know about you, but I have been seeing those Kahlua Brownies from RecipeGirl popping up all over my Facebook newsfeed!  YUM!

I decided to make these for the Staff Appreciation Day lunch at Miles’ school.  You can find the original recipe here, but I wanted to try and see if I could clean them up a bit.  A few changes I made: I used White Whole Wheat flour instead of all purpose (I really love King Arthur brand); I didn’t have any Kahlua in the house, but we did have coffee brandy; I skipped the sugars and used pure maple syrup instead; I used half semi and half bittersweet chocolate bits; I scratched most of the icing recipe.  Also since this was a “school function” I only put the alcohol in the cooked brownie part and not brushed on top or in the icing.

The Verdict:

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Cleaner Living: Clean-Eating

Jan 23, 2013 by


It’s no secret that one of my biggest concerns is what chemicals I expose my family to.  In the last few years, I have made great strides in altering the way we clean our house and our bodies, but I haven’t, until now, looked at our diet with the same scrutiny.

A little background:  We eat as much home-cooked foods as we can.  We try to buy organic as much as our paychecks can afford.  My kids can spot the Golden Arches from a mile away and know that “I” is for ice cream.  They get candy, treats, and sweets for the occasional dessert or “just because.”  My family is healthy, yet I still have this nagging feeling that they may not be in the future.

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