Products We Love

Fun decorative signs that I can’t wait to get my hands on

Coast Girl Designs is a sign-making business by a fellow coastie wife named Erica. I LOVE her designs and I can’t wait to get some.

This is my absolute favorite. I MUST have one.

woodsign-flipflops

And maybe this one too.

woodsign-drseuss

This one is sweet.

woodsign-wonderful

This makes me giggle.

woodsign-fantasy

I think of a few friends for this one. ;-)

woodsign-bossy

This is a great one for fellow coastie families. So true.

woodsign-anchor

(All images are courtesy of Erica’s pinterest page.)

Erica will personalize signs with any quote or phrase you like. Visit her Esty Shop or Facebook page for more samples and pricing details. **I’ve not been compensated in any way for this post. I just love her designs so much, I wanted to share them. ;-)

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
~ C. S. Lewis

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Okabashi LOVE

If you haven’t discovered Okabashi shoes yet, you NEED to. Go HERE now. They are made in the USA, anti-microbial, recyclable, and crazy durable. They make lots of styles but we are particularly in love with the flip-flops. Best. EVER.

This last weekend we went in search for a replacement pair for Don because he LOST his extra pair. (*GASP* They were completely new too! We kept hoping they would turn up but no such luck. :-( ) His first pair below was bought in June 2011. They are in relatively good shape still but he did manage to rip one, just a little bit.

2014-05-10 16.39.30

We can buy them online but sometimes we just want instant gratification. So, we headed out to scour the town. I found my first pair in the summer of 2010 at a CVS drugstore so we headed out, hopeful. Honestly, I was skeptical we would find anything because I looked a couple of weeks ago and didn’t see any. But the summer stock clearly has come in and the CVS and Walgreens stores do have them again! (Why they are at drug stores, I couldn’t tell you. LOL)

We scored a replacement pair for Don (Surf style) and he talked me into buying two new pair for me – a black in my usual style (Maui) and a black with pink straps in a new style (Ocean). Yay!

2014-05-10 16.38.48

Apparently it is past time to retire my original pink pair from 2010. ;-) In my defense, I thought they were only 3 years old, not 4 and I didn’t realize how faded and dirty they are until I held them next to a new pink pair in the store.

2014-05-10 16.40.04

This is how they looked at 1 year

Pink flops

YIKES!

(I still have an older white pair I won in a giveaway that I’m not ready to give up yet. LOL)

But I’m shipping off my old pink ones and Don’s black torn pair for Okabashi’s recycling program. It will be the first time we’ve done so. Their site says that they will email a discount for new shoes in exchange for the recycling return. Bonus. More shoes later. :-)

There is no such thing as “away”. When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere. 
~ Annie Leonard

**Please note, I have not been compensated in any way for this post; I simply like to share my product experiences with others in the hopes of exposing people to new ideas and products.

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Natural Dishwasher Gel

As a follow-up to my last post about chemical free hand soap and dish soap, here’s what I like best for dishwasher gel.

seventhgeneration

It is a biodegradable formula that is chlorine-free and phosphate-free. Also, not tested on animals and made in the USA. Boom! Hits all my high points. Need a little more? The bottle is ALSO made from recycled plastic and is recyclable. The price is reasonable and you can find it online, on the Seventh Generation website, Amazon, in many local stores.

There’s not a lot else to say. It gets the job done, smells good, and has all the qualities I look for in an eco-friendly product. If you’re looking for an alternative to the phosphate-laden chemical product you’ve been using for years and you didn’t realize was harming the environment as well as possibly harming you, then here’s a great option to try for your dishwasher.

**Please note, I have not been compensated in any way for my opinion on this product; I simply like to share my product experiences with others in the hopes of exposing people to new ideas and products.

The supreme reality of our time is …the vulnerability of our planet.
~ John F. Kennedy

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Natural and Chemical-Free Hand Soap and Dish Soap

It took me a long time to find product replacements for our hand soap and dish soap. (Dishwasher soap coming in a future post.) It is easy to find natural bars of soap but I tried buying a soap dish and replacing the liquid hand soap with a bar soap. It’s still sitting there, barely used, staring me in the face. Every. Day. (Maybe I should just take it off the sink already. LOL) I don’t know about you, but there’s just something about liquid soap for washing your hands quickly at the sink.

After much looking at brands and prices online, this is what I thought I’d try, and I LOVE them!

earthfriendlyproducts

I ordered the hand soap first and was instantly pleased so I branched out to the dish soap as well. The dish soap is highly concentrated so not much is needed and it lasts a good long time. Both soaps are:

  • plant based
  • not tested on animals
  • made in the USA
  • free from formaldehyde, petrochemicals, GMOs, phosphates, chlorine, and ammonia
  • are biodegradable and come in recyclable plastic
  • and they smell wonderful (they have other scents to choose from; I just like the Pear and Lavendar myself.)

If you’re looking for chemical-free options for your home, I highly recommend these and the Earth Friendly Products brand. Read more about the company here. You can find their products on Amazon and in a number of local stores. Just use their retail locator on their website to find something in your area.

**I have not been compensated in any way for my opinions on these products; I simply like to share my product experiences with the intent of introducing others to new or different ideas and products.

Approximately 72 percent of the waste currently being landfilled or incinerated consists of materials that could be put to higher and better use through recycling or composting. Most of this material is office paper, cardboard, non-recyclable paper, and food waste.
~ Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance

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Still Loving Our Safety Razors

It’s been almost a year since we switched from conventional, disposable razors to the old school shaving method with safety razors. It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We’ve saved a ton of waste in the form of disposable blades and shavers over the past year and I’m certain we’ve saved money through the entire venture too.

For those new to my blog, this is what safety razors look like:

IMG_8602

We bought both shavers, the stand, bowl, brush, 3 soaps, and extra blades, all for $160 last May. Don has barely scratched the surface of his soap supply (see below), even though he shaves every day, and we have TONS of extra blades left (top of photo below.)

shavesoaps

Soaps and brush from Seattle Sundries – http://seattlesundries.com/

$160 might seem like a lot of money towards shaving but look at the average prices for just a couple of conventional razors and the blades:

$9 Schick Hydro 5 razor for men (this is one of the few that has less expensive blades than some)
$27 for 12 blade refills (not recyclable BTW)
$2.50-$3 per can of shave gel/cream (also full of chemicals and synthetic compounds) [double that if you're buying women's shave cream as well]
$9 Schick Intuition for women
$42 for 12 blade refills (also not recyclable)

These numbers can add up fairly quickly. Depending on how quickly you go through your blades and shave cream(s), you might be upwards of $100/yr for the disposable method. We often found ourselves replacing the shaver itself after a year or so too for one reason or another – and all of that stuff goes right in the landfill. :-(

Our stainless steel safety razors are longer lasting and the blades are recyclable (check your local rules). The soaps from Seattle Sundries are all natural and Don highly recommends them for shaving for men. I use natural-made soaps as well: Grandma’s Lye Soap, all natural soaps by Kreationzbyme on Etsy, and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure Castille Liquid Soaps, to name a few that have worked for me.

Yes, it took us both a little bit of time to adjust to the new razors. We both had to re-learn how to shave, just a little bit. But now that it’s commonplace for us both, we whip through our shaving routine just as quickly as we did before and our safety razors give us a much closer shave than any other. As a women, I’m able to shave all the necessary areas without any problems. I’ve had a couple of nicks but that’s no different from when I used disposables. Truly, I recommend it to everyone out there.

Check out my original post for more links on how to shave old school and I’ve included a few new links below. There are also tons of how-tos on YouTube as well. Just search ‘safety razor’ or ‘safety razor shaving’ to get started. ;-)

People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.
~ John Porter

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