Why Cleaning Isn’t So Bad | Free Caldrea Cleaners

So, I have a confession.

While we were living in Bangkok, I had a maid. A full time, live-in, clean EVERYTHING, cook everything, ah-mazing maid. I won’t go into the whole story, but when we agreed to rent our friend’s house while they were gone for a year in order to save money, they asked us to keep their maid, so she would have a job until they returned. I totally did a happy dance fought tooth and nail, insisting we didn’t need a maid, but signed that contract as fast as I could gave in because we were still saving money. The bliss of having a full time helper is not something I can clearly communicate in writing. It’s better than you can imagine. I promise.

Then, I moved back to the States. And now, I am the maid. And much to my chagrin, I am still just as OCD as I was before I left. So, I clean. A lot.

Which is why I am so thankful to be back in the land of the free and the home of the scented dish soap.

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Being back, I have quickly come to rely on Grove Collaborative to make my kitchen look warm and welcoming (and make me look like Martha Stewart) with minimal effort. This month, Grove has put together a beautiful Caldrea summer entertaining set for you — a FREE gift with purchase. These dish soaps and countertop cleaners from Caldrea are amazing. Where else can you find hard­working, healthy cleaners that smell like fine fragrances? And ya’ll, I am all about the smell. So, when I say they smell amazing, I mean it. Plus, they look incredibly chic on your countertop.

Each scent is made with the best natural ingredients and light essential oils. The pear blossom agave scent is my personal favorite — it smells like summer in bloom! When you order, you can also choose the sea salt neroli, tangelo palm frond, or ginger pomelo scents. The set also includes this Grove Collaborative Be Good dish brush, made of earth-friendly bamboo and BPA ­free recycled plastic. It’s too pretty to store under the sink, so I keep mine right up there with my fancy soap!

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If you’re new to Grove Collaborative, you’ll get this set FREE + free shipping when you order here and spend $20. If you’re already hooked on Grove, you’ll get a free Grove Collaborative Be Good dish brush when you use this link.

I can’t wait to order some Caldrea hand soaps. They are the only ones I love more than Mrs. Meyer’s, so I plan on adding a couple to my next two Grove shipments. That’s the best part of shopping with Grove: I never have to worry about running out to buy paper towels before a party, because Grove helps me stay stocked up on high ­quality supplies. I simply choose my favorite products, schedule my shipment, and Grove delivers everything right to my door (carbon offset). It’s effortless, and unbelievably affordable.

Want to get your Caldrea set and see for yourself why I love Grove? Here’s how it works:

1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative HERE and you will receive the Caldrea offer for FREE!

2. Answer 4 quick questions about your home that Grove Collaborative will then use to customize your products — this takes under 30 seconds!

3. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize your basket of products to suit your household needs by adding or removing items.

4. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive in your first box.

5. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.

Don’t forget this special offer is only available until July 24 or while supplies last. Bonus savings tip: Don’t forget to sign up for Grove Collaborative’s free 60 day VIP trial after you complete your first order! I love being a VIP. It saves me time and makes shopping with Grove even more affordable. For 60 days, you can save too, with free gifts and shipping, price matching, exclusive sales, and personal service.

Whatcha’ waiting for? Get yo’ free stuff people!

Pear Blossom Agave

In Family

Our Newest Family Member

I have never liked dogs. In fact, that’s putting it nicely. For most of my life, I have suffered with watery eyes, sneezing, and asthma attacks around most of them.

And then we watched our friend’s dog for the year while they were on furlough from their ministry in Bangkok.

And Bella made me fall in love.

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My allergies were not that bad with Bella, (keeping the house super clean helped, as did some occasional allergy meds and a few oils). And, although she was absolutely crazy, hyper and at times a bit annoying, she was so sweet that I could not help but move down the spectrum from hate to love.

When we left Bangkok, I cried saying good-bye to her.

Fast forward to Nashville. One thing Maya begged for moving back to the U.S.,  was a puppy. She wanted a dog, that we had trained and had from a young age. At first I said no. Repeatedly. But then realized that a puppy might be exactly what we needed to ease into this transition well. And seeing how quickly Bella became part of our family in Bangkok, I knew that long-term this would be a great thing for us. So, we began looking for a puppy a couple of weeks ago, and realized just how hard it can be to adopt a dog.  There are applications and references and fees and a whole bunch of people who seem just a bit too protective, or who just never call back. Add to that the fact that we had some specific requirements, and it ended up taking much longer than we thought. Who in the world knew that struggle would be so dang real?!?!?

But then we found her. The sweetest thing in the world. For real. I’m sure she would win a prize for cuteness because…

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This little lady came from a litter of feisty black and white pups. She is an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie Mix and was the only ginger in the crew-just like her momma. So, naturally, her foster family called her Scarlett. When we went to pick her up, she was sleeping with her siblings. Once she shook that sleep from her eyes, she rolled around wrestling with one of her brothers-handled herself quite nicely if you ask me- who was also being adopted. She fell asleep in Layla’s lap on the ride home, and has been soaking up every minute of attention that we all can’t wait to give her.

She made it her first night with no accidents, and is enjoying the explorations of her new home, and the wild outdoors, aka, our backyard.

We thought about what to name her and decided to go with Bella, who deserves a namesake for being the one that inspired it all. Don’t worry, I won’t name every dog we ever get Bella. I promise. One of my friends already vetoed that. And, if you want to get real official, her name is actually Bella-Scarlett. I mean, we live in the south, so figured a double name only made sense!

And me? No sneezing, no watery eyes, and no asthma attacks. Thankfully, my allergies have been great! Rest assured I will be vacuuming every night to be sure they stay that way. But if you know me, you know that I didn’t need a puppy to get me vacuuming. I love me some vacuumed carpet ya’ll!

We are so thankful to have this little lady home with us. She is the perfect fit for our family; calm with little spunk and totally sassy!

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Maya, Esteban, Bella Scarlett, Danielle, Layla

Give Your Water a Kick in the Pants! | Wai Drink Mix

*This is a sponsored post. Silverfern sent me samples of their Wai Drink Mix in exchange for an honest review!

Wai Drink Mix

I am all about staying hydrated, ya’ll. In fact, I have become a bit of a water-pusher as of late. Until about two years ago, I didn’t believe dehydration was a real thing. I am not joking. I thought people were just being babies, acting all tired and lazy. And then, I moved to Bangkok. Where it is 100 degrees, most of the year. Where you sweat so much, you feel like your makeup is literally melting off. And I started getting headaches. Bad ones, that wouldn’t go away with medicine. Then, I started getting nauseous with my headaches. One day, a set of bushes and I had a nice little meeting on the side of a main road in downtown Bangkok, because nausea leads to other things, and it led me straight to that bush. Not really knowing what was wrong with me, I heeded the advice of a friend who told me to drink lots of water when I started feeling that way and down some electrolytes. I did, and I started feeling better. Lesson learned. Dehydration is real. Drink your water, Danielle.

Wai Packet

But sometimes, I want something with a little flavor. Enter Silverfern Brand’s Wai Drink Mixes. They come in little packets that can be added to water and give it a little kick in the pants, which makes staying hydrated a bit more fun. But these mixes are not your traditional mixes laden with sugar and chemicals. They are completely clean, natural, and chock-full of goodness in the form of a unique probiotic blend. If you know anything about probiotics, you know they keep your tummy feeling balanced and doing its job. In addition to that, Silverfern Brand’s Wai Drink Mixes aid your body in absorbing nutrients, maintaining a healthy metabolism and boosting your immune system. On top of all that, these mixes have 3 grams of fiber in each pack, so they keep you feeling full.

And…they taste great! I will give you a bit of disclaimer, though. They are much sweeter than I originally thought they would be, so I add more water to mine than the recommended 16 ozs. However, my mother-in-law tried some and loved them, sweetness and all. It’s totally a matter of preference!

Wai drink mixes come in several different flavors, including:

  • Strawberry Kiwi
  • Cranberry Raspberry (my fave)
  • Pina Colada
  • Peach Mango
  • Strawberry Mango
  • Pomegranate Blackberry (my second fave)

Each box has 6 small packets, which can easily be thrown into your purse so you can toss one in your water bottle while at work or while on the go.

As I’ve learned, staying hydrated is actually as important as people say it is. I love that these mixes help me to do just that while adding a little flavor and some gut health to my life. 

If you’re interested in trying some, you can grab a box here!

Wai Drink Mix and water bottle

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Are you a busy woman juggling faith, work, home and family?

I am too.

Sometimes women like us can get so focused on helping others that we forget to take some time for ourselves. We don’t set aside time to spend with God, and  workouts fall to the wayside. I get it. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have another minute in my day to spare. But, if we don’t take our spiritual and physical health seriously, we won’t be able to work, serve and love well. We will end up a hot mess of frustration and anxiety.

I hear ya’ sister…that struggle is real, and I feel it every day!

That’s why I am committed to helping women like you refocus their faith and get back in shape. Because when we are planted in God’s Word, and feeling healthy and confident, you can go out and do all of those things God calls us to do.

Sign up below and get my 3 Day Faith and Fitness Quick Start Guide for Busy Women. In it you will find 3 days of Bible study (looking at a different Psalm each day), and 3 quick, effective and simple workouts for you to do at home! This guide is totally FREE and will take you less than 30 minutes to go through each day!

 Sign up here, to snag yours!

Quickstart

In Faith

Be the Church

be the church

Have you seen the news lately?

Terrorists killing hundreds.

Another police shooting with riots as the response.

Believers across the globe being pushed out of their homes and countries, because they claim Christ.

The world’s darkness seems to be all there is at times. And as believer’s the whispers of, “come Lord come” roll quickly off our lips.

But, there is still more to be done for us here, so He hasn’t come yet.

How then, do we respond to the loss, the death, the fear and the sadness?

Scripture speaks clearly to this…

We mourn with those who mourn, we pray for those who are suffering and for those who are persecuted because of their faith. We offer whatever help we can, just as the good samaritan did, caring for one He was supposed to hate.

And then we bring hope. We share the good news. We remind those around us, or maybe tell them for the first time, that there is salvation, eternal peace, and life everlasting; only found in Christ. That feels exclusive, but it’s the truth. It is their deepest need, ours too. It is the only source of true hope, the only light in this deafening darkness.

It isn’t enough to get angry, put our thoughts online and then sit back. We must act in accordance to our words, even if that means praying in the quietness of our homes for those that are suffering.

And doing good in the name of doing good falls short too. Outside of Christ, there will only be more suffering, hopelessness, fear and ultimately, eternal separation from God. In Christ, there is hope, peace and joy that is not dependent on our circumstances. Let us not withhold those things from those who so desperately need it.

I write this not to shame or condemn, but to remind myself, and those who call themselves believers, what it looks like to live as though our lives have been transformed. No one reading this needs more of a reminder than I do.

So, Christians, pray.  Because prayer is the foundation of all action for the believer. Do not be fooled into thinking it is passive and lazy.

And then, obediently do what God asks of you. That might be to give, to go or to pray some more. This isn’t about enlisting you in a certain cause, campaign or fight. This is about encouraging us all to be the church. We can’t be Jesus, but we can be the church, His representation to the world.

When I feel overwhelmed by the sadness, the darkness and what feels like complete hopelessness, may I boldly go to my Father, and then wilfully do as He asks me to do.

The struggle is real, but oh so necessary. Will you go to Him with me?

When You Don’t Bake Like Martha Stewart but Want Some Healthy Cookies

*This post is sponsored by Silver Fern Brand. They kindly donated the items I tested for review. All of the information stated below is my honest opinion, because I would never lead ya’ll astray!

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I have these friends who whip up amazing baked goods, with all kinds of hidden healthy ingredients, that taste like they were handcrafted by Martha Stewart herself. I, on the other hand, burn everything. No matter where I am, or what I’m making, if I am cooking, I am undoubtedly burning something. Not only do I burn things, I kind of “eyeball” my measurements. To me, all of those fancy instructions are basically cute little suggestions. But, when it comes to baking, I’ve heard that this isn’t the best approach. Apparently you are supposed to measure things exactly when baking?!!? Who knew? I am guessing Martha Stewart.

Silver Fern Paka Baking Mix Review

Because I clearly lack basic baking skills, I’ve stuck to box mixes for all of my baking needs. I am all about simple, easy-to-follow instructions, and few ingredients. 

While box mixes are simple, they are typically laden with chemicals and sugar and devoid of any real nutritional value. Let’s be honest, none of us dive into a bowl of brownie batter thinking we are giving our bodies any “fuel”. We don’t devour 5 freshly baked cookies and think to ourselves, “Wow, my body sure did get a bunch of great nutrients from those tasty cookies.” No, we feel gross, like we should go for a 3-mile run. Or maybe that’s just me. I feel gross and like I should go for a 3-mile run. You’ve probably never eaten that many cookies at once.

Boxed mixes are yummy, but they’re super unhealthy. Which leaves the baking-challenged like me with no real options. Because let’s be real, there’s no way I am mixing up some homemade chocolate chip cookies with carrots hidden inside of them. That’s like baking 500, and I am still in baking 101.

Enter my friend Amanda. She somehow found this fantastic company that gets my baking skill predicament, yet cares about the health and well-being of my family.

Silver Fern Brand has a wide range of products, from baking mixes to popcorn. They are all about delivering on taste, while fueling your body with much needed nutrients. Their Paka Baking mixes are full of things your body can actually use, as opposed to most store-bought mixes that are full of empty calories. With high amounts of protein and fiber, and low amounts of sugar and net carbs, these mixes are not only delish, but they are going to aid your body in getting stronger and healthier!

And…

They are super simple, ya’ll!

Like 3-ingredient-5-minutes-of-prep-time kind of simple.

Which is exactly what I need.

So Silver Fern Paka Baking Mixes and I are basically in love. Lots and lots of love.

The lovelies over at Silver Fern Brand were kind enough to send me some of their totally awesome, nutrient-rich products to test out. Here are my thoughts.

pancake mix-silver fern brand

I tried their pancake mix and it was fantastic. The hubs didn’t even know it wasn’t the normal mix we buy. But great-tasting pancakes isn’t all these Paka Mixes have to offer. In 3 small pancakes, you get 16 grams of protein and 11g of fiber.

Ya’ll, that’s crazy!

Most women don’t eat anywhere close to enough protein each day. And getting fiber in is a real struggle for most of us. These tasty pancakes help you load up on protein and fiber, without loading you up with added sugars and empty carbs. And did I mention they taste delish?

While Silver Fern mixes are super easy, they aren’t impossible to burn. Which I did. Because that’s what I do. My first pancake was just a little on the crisp side. That’s what I like to call things that are charred, black, and sometimes smoking. But, my second pancake, and all of the following pancakes, were almost perfectly cooked. Perfectly round, not so much, but perfectly cooked … well, kind of!

I also tried Silver Fern’s Paka Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. My husband ate two before I could snap a pic and had zero complaints. Score for Paka. My daughter ate one, too, and said she liked them, so another score for Paka cookies. These cookies were just as simple to make as the pancakes. All they needed were some eggs and butter, a little mixing, and some scooping onto a cookie tray.

And of course they needed to be baked. I burned a few. Don’t act surprised. I told you, I burn things.

Silver Fern Brand Paka Chocolate Chip Cookies

Eventually I got enough of the cookies baked well enough to not only eat, but photograph for ya’ll. The consistency of these cookies is slightly different than that of a regular chocolate chip cookie, but they were super tasty, and took just minutes to whip up. Store-bought chocolate chip cookies have lots of fat and tons of sugar. Paka Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix has 5 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber in each cookie, plus they have no added sugar. I got about 20 cookies out of the box. Only about 14 of mine were edible. I swear, it’s the oven’s fault.

Overall, I loved my Silver Fern Brand Paka Baking Mixes and will be ordering them again. As a company Silver Fern Brand is committed to providing families with flavorful mixes packed with the nutrients our bodies need. Their products have not a single artificial ingredient in them and are packed with all kinds of goodness. As a mom, I am thankful to have a healthy comfort food option for my family.

If you are looking for a simple way to give your family nutritious, delicious baked goods that won’t require too much of your time and effort, I highly recommend checking out Silver Fern’s Paka Baking Mixes.

—-

Are you a busy woman juggling faith, work, home and family?

I am too.

Sometimes women like us can get so focused on helping others that we forget to take some time for ourselves. We don’t set aside time to spend with God, and  workouts fall to the wayside. I get it. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have another minute in my day to spare. But, if we don’t take our spiritual and physical health seriously, we won’t be able to work, serve and love well. We will end up a hot mess of frustration and anxiety.

I hear ya’ sister…that struggle is real, and I feel it every day!

That’s why I am committed to helping women like you refocus their faith and get back in shape. Because when we are planted in God’s Word, and feeling healthy and confident, you can go out and do all of those things God calls us to do.

Sign up below and get my 3 Day Faith and Fitness Quick Start Guide for Busy Women. In it you will find 3 days of Bible study (looking at a different Psalm each day), and 3 quick, effective and simple workouts for you to do at home! This guide is totally FREE and will take you less than 30 minutes to go through each day!

 Sign up here, to snag yours!

Quickstart

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