Some Good News for a change!

Leave a comment

Image

I want good news. I long to hear joyful stories. Often it seems as if there is one sad tale after another, do you know what I mean? Can I get an amen?!

Seventeen years ago, while pregnant with my orange hair, freckle face olive shoot, I knew a mother at church who lost her newborn baby. My husband attended the memorial service; my emotions were too intense as to offer any comfort to the grieving family.

When I told an acquaintance of this news, she followed by telling me an equally sad story about a mom who had lost a child. Every time I shared the tragedy that I was familiar with, though my belly was full of baby, it was guaranteed the listener had to tell me something worse, usually about a child.

Soon I learned to not share information like this while pregnant. It felt like the world was competing to tell me the most heartbreaking lament. Plus the OJ Simpson trial had also started. Bad news loomed everywhere.

Today I want to share Good News!

First, it is Penguin Awareness Day (my favorite animal) = yay.

Second, Jesus loves you and cares = He alone is freedom and redemption, a mushy kind of love you have never experienced. I made a mess of my life, Christ cleaned it up. I continue to stumble and goof up, Jesus grants me new mercies each day.

I like to read the Bible in French. It’s such a beautiful language and God’s Word speaks to me differently when I employ these parts of my heart and brain. I have my English Bible and my French dictionary nearby just in case something doesn’t make sense since I’m quite rusty. But today as I read Marc 1:1-8 (La Bible du Semeur version) these two words stirred my soul.

Bonne Nouvelle

Bonne Nouvelle translates to Good News. In English we say “Gospel,” I just like it better in French.

This is the Bible reading I'm going to do for the next three weeks.

I’m doing the Deeper Into Scripture study for the next three weeks but the other ones look great too! Click here for info. 

Whatever language you speak, whatever your cir-cumstances, Happy day, sad day, seriously you need Good News, Bonne Nouvelle as badly as I do.

Different versions of the Bible in French! Formidable!

Different versions of the Bible in French! Formidable!

For the next 21 days, I’m participating in a Deeper Into Scripture: A 21-Day Plan Reading Plan through YouVersion. Although I’m involved in a weekly women’s Bible Study, I need more time with the Lord. I’m praying that this simple commitment will help me connect with God daily through His Word. I’d love some friends to join me. We can share Good News together, Lord knows we need it!

Here’s the link if you want to learn more. Scroll down the page on the link for all the options, you will find one for you! What have you got to lose? Reading the Bible could truly change your life!

Advertisements

Scrubbing Bubbles and the middle school maid

2 Comments

To make money for clothing and important things like makeup and Bonne Bell flavored lipgloss, I babysat and cleaned houses in middle school.

Stay away from me, Mr. Scrubbing Bubbles!

Scrubbing Bubbles was a new product and the commercials with cartooned, mustachioed scrubbing bubbles made me chuckle. Do you remember the birth of Scrubbing Bubbles or is that before your time?

Well one day, I was cleaning a shower stall. The shower door was closed and I began to coat the tile with a thick layer of Scrubbing Bubbles. As if I were attacking a blaze and holding a fire extinguisher, I doused that sucker. Every tile square received a foamy blast. I wanted to unlock all the cleaning power contained in the Scrubbing Bubbles. As an adolescent fashionista, I needed to keep my job; customer satisfaction, don’t you know.

In the shower stall with the Scrubbing Bubbles can, I prepared to remove all the goo and grime off the tile but then I began having trouble breathing. I didn’t collapse but I began to choke. Since I was a boy crazy, junior high girl, I doubt I had the wits to know to open the door. If Michael Jackson, Keith Partridge or Bobby Sherman would have come to rescue me that would have been a different story but that didn’t happen. I had an epiphany though, something in those Scrubbing Bubbles was rockin’ my world/body. With the door closed, I surely inhaled a fury of aerosol and chemicals.

Screen shot of Scrubbing Bubbles info on the Environmental Working Group

The more I read about chemicals and toxins in cleaning products, the more I wonder exactly what I breathed in that afternoon. When I use soap nuts, I don’t have anything to worry about. I use Extreme 18X (which is a super concentrated version of soap nuts that goes a long way) or make some soap nut “tea” and I don’t need rubber gloves. I’m never concerned about adaquate ventilation either. Did you know that according to the Environmental Working Group, many of the Scrubbing Bubbles products are rated D or F? In my extended family, we have asthma, COPD, migraines and allergies – my loved ones don’t need to be breathing toxins any more than I did as a middle school “maid.”

Obviously I don’t have the original bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles. But this is what the label says now CAUTION: EYE IRRITANT. READ BACK PANEL CAREFULLY. / CAUTION: EYE IRRITANT. Contains lactic acid, solvents and surfactants. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Wash thoroughly after handling. May cause respiratory irritation if used with inadequate ventilation. FIRST AID: EYES AND SKIN: Immediately rinse eyes and skin with plenty of water. If irritation persists, seek medical advice. INHALATION: If breathing is affected, get fresh air. CHEMICAL HAZARD: Never use or mix with bleach-containing products or other household cleaners as hazardous fumes may be released. KEEP OUR OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND PETS.

“One day, gf, you’re gonna write about that weird time when Scrubbing Bubbles nearly jacked you up.”

Funny, isn’t it, the weird memories our minds retain? For me it was this strange encounter with a cleaning product. There are greener, safer alternatives for cleaning our bodies, homes and clothes. Soap nuts work. They are 100% organic, biodegradable and effective. Your family deserves someone to be an advocate and a savvy consumer and that’s probably you. Take a look at the products under your sink, read the labels. Look beyond what the brand name company websites tell you about the chemicals they are using. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts. I welcome them, this is a journey. Here are two other independent reviews of soap nuts also. Check out spoonfulatatime and naturallifemom. I highly recommend these websites for their wealth of information in general.

What makes you buy certain cleaning products?

4 Comments

laundromat in France. Thanks to Paul Filleau for supplying this cool pic! Merci bien!

I never really considered the chemicals used in everyday cleaning supplies and laundry until January 27, 2012. That’s when I became a half-century old and my first order of soap nuts arrived.

Now I pay attention. I read labels, get angry and frankly, feel kinda duped about all the crud I have unknowingly put into my body and offered to my family without any concern.

I don’t appreciate people overwhelming me with scary facts if I’m not ready for them. Maybe you’re the same way and I totally respect that. But here’s what I want to do and I hope to be consistent.

I want to occasionally offer blog posts about cleaner, greener living and help you as my friends become more savvy, questioning consumers.

Here is the ingredient used in soap nuts…SOAP NUTS! That’s it!

The soap nuts thing intrigued me because I thought they sounded funny. Soap “nuts,” really? I’m the mama of three boys so yes, I did chuckle and you probably know why… I had never heard of such a thing. How could some soap nuts, berries from a tree in the Himalayas clean my family’s clothes? When they arrived, I was skeptical but eager to try them. Even though it was my birthday, I sacrificially scrounged up some dirties and put them to their first challenge. I’ve been a soap nut nut ever since. The concept of cleaning my clothes more naturally appeals to me as a wife, mother and consumer.

How’s this for vague product labeling? Hrmph

One thing led to another and in August, I began my own business, Olive Shoot Institute selling soap nuts and related products. It’s a weird compilation of olive shoot stuff but yeah, somehow it works.

All I wanted to do was clean some clothes but this has unleashed a passion. Armed with knowledge, maybe I can help you make informed decisions. I don’t think we should be bamboozled or especially trusting of the cleaning/beauty/personal care industry.

Here’s something to look at the next time you are getting ready to do a load of wash or clean your house. Read the list of ingredients in the product you are using. It’s pretty sad because I guarantee you, it won’t take long at all.

A quick perusal of left-over cleaning supplies still around my house led me to see this. I gathered all the products together. I turned the bottles over and over trying to find a list of chemicals/ingredients used and guess what?

I could read instructions in English, Spanish and sometimes in French, but in many instances, no details about the chemicals/ingredients were found. Why is that? It’s a $14 billion annual business for goodness’ sake! Don’t these corporations have enough money to type what is in these products? Shouldn’t consumers know? Specifically, shouldn’t YOU?

New York Times article reported that in January 2009, manufacturers of detergents and household cleaners voluntarily started to disclose much of what is in its cleaning products. But just this morning, I went to the grocery store to do my own “research.” And here’s what I noticed. In many cases, the actual ingredients aren’t really listed. Some have an 800 number and I guess you can inquire but they don’t list the chemicals specifically. That is stupid. Check out this popular laundry detergent and see why it got an “F” from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

So many families have loved ones suffering with childhood asthma, cancer, lung conditions, multiple chemical syndrome, auto-immune diseases, don’t we deserve to know what we are using in our homes? It’s taken me 50 years to care about this, I wish I would have started sooner.

I’d really love to hear from you. If you want soap nuts stuff, I’m your girl but I am truly curious. Why do you purchase the laundry and cleaning supplies you use? Is it price? Brand? Coupons? Smell? Effectiveness?

I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any specific subject you’d like covered or have a question, please tell me, I’ve got a million ideas but would welcome yours.

Soap Nuts Winner!

3 Comments

Judging from the responses left on my facebook and blog post, many of you have joined the chorus saying, “I’m sick and tired of being pococurante about laundry!” 

…um, you do know what pococurante means, don’t  you?  (looks disdainfully through bespectacled lens)   

Soap nuts amid my homemade fabric bowls



Prior to yesterday, I didn’t know what it meant to be pococurante but this mama of three oliveshoots has been pococurante about laundry for far too long, my friends! Thanks to dictionary.com, now I don’t have to say I’ve been careless and indifferent about cleaning clothes. Thank you dictionary.com! Each day a fancy new word arrives in my email box and yesterday’s word was pococurante. You should have seen the OS’s faces as I was extolling the virtues of soap nuts and then I nonchalantly told them last night that I was no longer pococunrate about dirty clothes. They were like, “wha???”

my trusted source for fancy words

Now that you are thoroughly impressed with my vocabularic (my new invented word) acumen, let me announce the winner of the DELUXE Soap Nuts Combination Package.

Way to go, Julie!

I’m working on a few more things regarding soap nuts and other items so my hunch is this will not be the last giveaway I offer though it might be the most extravagant. I look forward to hearing from Julie about her experiences with all the NaturOli products she can try. Considering she has been sick as a dog with her current pregnancy, I’m sure you can all join me in being happy that in between bouts of nausea, Julie has something to make her feel better.
This is the Deluxe Soap Nuts Combination
Package offered in the giveaway 

Based on a suggestion from an interested mom, I’m now seriously contemplating having a soap nuts party. People are curious on how to use them and how they work. If people can have Pampered Chef parties (which I think are wonderful!), then perhaps a continuing education course on soap nuts is in order. If you like the idea, let me know. If you are pococurante, I’d want to hear about that also. 😉

In the midst of celebrating the Hubs’ 50th birthday and a CRAZY compliment the orange hair, freckle face OS (future blog post) gave me yesterday, I washed my middle OS’s linens with soap nuts. The first thing I noticed was how crisp and fluffy Aaron’s sheets and pillow cases felt in the dryer. The other thing I noticed was that it took a lot less time for the items to dry. I’m not sure if this is a phenomena based on soap nuts but I’m going to ask the experts and I’ll let you know.  

Use code WPMoms for 10% off including most sale items!

How many other blogs out there have used a unique word, talked about laundry AND soap nuts? That’s just how we do! Congrats to Julie and I sincerely would appreciate you readers telling me what you think about a soap nuts party even if you couldn’t attend. Try to find a way to incorporate that fun word into your weekend conversations!

There’s something about a soap nut – Discount and generous give-away!

22 Comments
My friend Becki’s first load of laundry with
soap nuts – what a moment!

 So maybe you’re like I was and you’re curious about this whole soap nuts thing. I’m a soap nuts neophyte but a true believer in this product. For me, if soap nuts were a pop star, they would be Justin Bieber. If soap nuts were a pizza, they would be Chicago style. If soap nuts were an exercise system, they would be Zumba. Yes, I’m smitten by saponin, I cannot lie.

Saponin-based products clean naturally without chemicals or sulfates and I’ve worked out a great offer with the folks at NaturOli

Last night I spoke on the phone for over TWO hours with the co-founder of NaturOli and I’m more convinced than ever that soap nuts are fantastic. I’m not a paid spokesperson for NaturOli, just a happy customer that did a little legwork and wanted to see if I could do something special for my readers. 

A stinky load of Soldier’s clothes this past summer
from my cadet’s time at
Fort Benning this summer – PU!

So here’s the deal. You can discover the versatility of soap nuts and save money. Experience the many all-natural wonders of soap nuts products and:  

1.  Get a 10% discount on NaturOli using the following code: WPMoms. Enter the coupon code at the bottom of your shopping cart page (you have to scroll down to the bottom). The code WPMoms is not case sensitive and will work store-wide and even apply to many items already on sale. Click here to see all the cool products they offer. Some exclusions on products may apply so if that happens, please understand.

The NaturOli folks also suggested that you join their mailing list. Click here for that so you can keep informed about their products. 
  

This could be yours! I’m jealous!

2. And then there’s this…
I’m offering an awesome give-away. Leave a comment on my facebook or on this blog post. On Friday, March 9th, I’ll draw a name and have them send you this package. It’s a $70 gift (I secretly want to enter my own name but I won’t!) 
Here’s what one very blessed person will receive:

A DELUXE Soap Nuts Combination Package
…with all full size and/or large soap nuts products!
 
Includes:
– A 16-oz NaturOli “Select” Soap Nuts, USDA certified organic. (With heavy-duty wash bag and 8-page info and instructions.)
– An 8-oz “Extreme 18X” soap nuts liquid concentrate with pump.
– A rich Soap Nuts Shampoo Bar, large size.
– A luxurious, handmade Soap Nuts Cleansing Bar, large size. IMPORTANT NOTE: Currently sold out, alternate large natural soap bar will be substituted.
– A 16-oz “Extreme Hair” Soap Nut Shampoo. (Please specify formula desired.)
– A Soap Nuts Laundry Pre-Treat Stick.
NOTE: Stick dispenser type may vary from shown. Product weight will be equal or more.
– A 4-oz jar of finely ground and sifted, mukorossi Soap Nuts Powder for laundry, housecleaning or personal care.

my laundry life pre-soap nuts = blah

Up until a few weeks ago, when it came to washing clothes, I was just your everyday wife with pink highlights and the mama of three oliveshoots…a West Point cadet, a Renaissance man and an orange hair, freckle face athlete. YAWN! 😉 But now my laundry life is nearly thrilling and the possibilities are endless.

Now, here’s a freshly washed load of laundry = shazam!

So hey, leave a comment and enter the drawing. What have you got to lose? Help me spread the word about soap nuts and use the 10% discount…code WPMoms. Go soap nuts and thanks NaturOli