The Kickstarter Campaign I’m Backing: Crystal Wash 2.0 (It’s a Laundry Revolution!)

Thanks to Crystal Wash for partnering with me on today’s post. I was not required to contribute to their campaign, but I chose to due to how awesome it is (as you will soon see!).

Imagine doing your laundry without using detergent (and the clothes actually coming out clean!).

Imagine getting an alert on your phone when your wash cycle was complete (no more mildewed clothes due to forgetting!).

Imagine being alerted to just how clean your clothes were getting so you’d know if modifications need to be made for optimal results.

Crystal Wash has made all of this possible right now, and I am super pumped about it!

crystal wash

I absolutely LOVE the integration of smart phone technology with a domestic life task that simply can’t be avoided: laundry. I’m very connected to my phone and I’m also quite forgetful when it comes to my laundry. Check out the device located within the Crystal Wash 2.0 that can alert me when a load is ready to be moved to the dryer. It can also alert me when the bioceramics inside the Crystal Wash need to be recharged. The recharge process is as simple as putting them out in the sun for an afternoon roughly once a month. But that’s easy to forget, too! Crystal Wash 2.0 is going to let you know when it’s time so you don’t have to try to remember on your own.

crystal wash inside

I’m always looking for laundry options that are eco-friendly AND that work, and this seems like the very best of both worlds. I have backed this Kickstarter campaign at the $50 level, and that means I’m getting the Crystal Wash 2.0 when it comes out in September AND I’m getting it for a better price (it retails for $60). It will wash an average of 1,000 loads before it is all used up. That equals to about .05/load. Compare that to name brand laundry pods which average about .31/load. That’s a remarkable savings in and of itself, and the technology capabilities are one heck of an icing on the cake! Here’s a closer look at exactly how all this awesome is made, and how you can get one:

I cannot wait for this product to be produced in large quantities! If you think this sounds like the type of product you would love to have, now is the time to get signed up! They have a limited number of opportunities to get that early bird price that I just snagged, so be sure to jump on it!

 

January’s Beauty Box 5: Much Better!

Complimentary box provided for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links included. 

If you aren’t yet familiar with Beauty Box 5, it is a very affordable beauty subscription service, with a fun mix of what I could call “drugstore” and higher end beauty products. Some things are full size, and some things are deluxe samples. It’s a good mix for the price, which is $12 if you go month by month, or if you go for a year at once, it’s $99, which makes each box $8.75.

I have reviewed a few different boxes, and most of them I liked, though December was my biggest disappointment. You can check out previous reviews below:

July’s Beauty Box 5

November’s Beauty Box 5

December’s Beauty Box 5

And now, my dears, check out January’s Beauty Box 5, which I quite liked!

january beauty box 5

 

For a detailed breakdown (including a shocking discovery of what’s inside the “Take Me Out” Liner, check out my video review!

What’s your favorite item from the lot?

Lush Decor (at Penny-Pincher Prices!) ($200 GIVEAWAY!!!)

Thanks to Lush Decor for sponsoring today’s amazing giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. 

Head’s up all you folks out there who might be looking for some fresh new home decor textiles. I’ve got a site you simply MUST see because the products are very posh and the pricetags are more suited to those of us on a budget (like me!).

lush decor logo

Take a moment to look around at LushDecor.com. This is a young company with employees who are super excited to bring “inspired” designs to the public at prices that are reasonable. I have seen SO many things on this site that remind me of picturesque rooms I have pinned on Pinterest or seen in magazines but that I knew before even looking that I could never afford. This stuff I actually CAN afford, so I, for one, am thrilled to have learned about the site (so thrilled, in fact, that I’ve already made a purchase!).

Bedding

bedding

I ordered this Lux 6-piece bedding set a few days ago and can’t wait for it to show up! The price point was sort of insane for what you get, and I thought it would be such a breath of fresh air in my room come March or April when spring is in the air and I’m ready to lighten the mood in the house.

They have TONS of other beautiful sets, too (even items for youth!). So be sure to check it out.

Shower Curtains

shower curtain

And just this morning I decided to go for this pretty Esme shower curtain. Our old one is torn and it’s time to replace it. The look of this one is so pretty and the price is DEFINITELY right! :-)

Window Treatments

window treatments

There are so many gorgeous window treatments on this site, but my personal favorite is the Royal Glimmer Window Curtain. These are actually black out panels, which is very useful. They also just look like something you would spend $90/panel for. Loving that $30 price tag!

Additionally, don’t forget to look through the clearance section of the website. It is LOADED with gorgeous pieces and the mark downs are generous. This is such a fun place to not only window shop, but also to actually shop, because the prices are so good!

Check Out with Amazon

I thought this was a super cool feature of LushDecor.com: you can check out on their website using your Amazon credentials! Most people already shop through Amazon, so this makes it extra convenient. It also provides some peace of mind because in today’s world it can be a little scary to shop at a new-to-you website for the first time. No need to worry with this site, friends! Your financial information gets handled all through the Amazon system. Love it!

Coupon!

Once you’ve looked around on the Lush Decor website, I think you’ll agree with me that their prices are absolutely amazing, already. But just for fun, let’s knock off another 10%! Use coupon code PARENT01 at checkout, and you’ll save an additional 10% on your purchase! Woo hoo!

Win it!:

One VERY lucky Stuff Parents Need reader is going to win a $200 gift card to Lush Decor!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to enter my other current giveaways, found on the right sidebar.

Power Up with a Triple Berry Protein Smoothie (Perfect for Breakfast or Pre-Workout!)

This post brought to you by AllWhites Egg Whites. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Stuff Parents Need.

Like millions of other people, I have started off 2015 by working on healthier habits. I’m enrolled in a wellness program in my gym to help me develop workout routines and I have access to a nutritionist to help me learn how to make healthy food choices.

As we have reviewed my food log, one of my struggles has been incorporating protein into my breakfast. The old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day exists for a reason. You need to power up before you launch into hours upon hours of not only being awake, but also exerting mental and physical energy. My nutritionist suggested that I look for some good smoothie recipes, and I’ll admit, I didn’t understand what that could possibly have to do with getting some protein in my diet first thing in the morning.

And then I learned about the power of AllWhites Egg Whites. This is a very convenient product, found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. It is made of 100% liquid egg whites and can be used in any recipe that calls for eggs. It’s a great product to have on hand if you are like me and working on some health-related goals.

Last week I printed the $0.50 Off AllWhites Egg Whites coupon (which is still available!) and picked up the product. I then headed over to the AllWhites Egg Whites Favorites recipes page for ideas. They have quite a few smoothie recommendations, but I decided to go for this one first.

 photo allwhiteseggwhites5_zps6c1d4ffd.jpg Making this glass of deliciousness is crazy-easy!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/3 cup AllWhites Egg Whites
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries
  • optional: 1/2 cup ice cubes

 photo allwhiteseggwhites2_zpsdec79511.jpg First, add your grapefruit juice to the blender. Grapefruit is an AMAZING source of great vitamins and minerals. I will tell you that the tasted of the juice is quite tart, though, so if you think that will be a struggle for you, you could opt for a different juice or even go half-and-half with grapefruit juice and another juice.Another option if you don’t mind the extra sugar is to add a tablespoon of honey. Experiment with it and see what works for you!

 photo allwhiteseggwhites3_zps1144f735.jpg

Time to add your AllWhites Egg Whites. You may be wondering if consuming raw egg whites is safe. I looked this information up my understanding is that if the egg whites are pasteurized, as these are, then the threat of a food born illness will not be present.

 photo allwhiteseggwhites4_zpsa80b9a44.jpg

Now it’s time to add your berries. My blend had strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. If you want a thicker, colder smoothie, go ahead and add your ice cubes, too. Blend away! Give it a taste and adjust to your liking, if needed (I added more berries to mine after tasting it).

This is a really easy recipe to make because it doesn’t require too many ingredients and it comes together really fast. It’s also quite filling, and it provides some excellent fuel for you as you begin your day. It’s also an ideal food choice before a work out!

If you want more great ideas, be sure to follow AllWhites Egg Whites on Pinterest.

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Yummy Super Bowl Face-Off: Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Wedge Salad with Naturally Fresh Bleu Cheese Dressing

Special thanks to The Motherhood and Naturally Fresh® for partnering with me today. It’s always a joy to get to spread the word about delicious products my family enjoys. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always. 

You know, I’m not very interested in “the BIG game” that gets played in a few weeks’ time. I am VERY interested, however, in the commercials, the fun half-time show, and most of all, the food. Super Bowl food is all about going big or going home. It’s a fun opportunity to take your dishes to the extreme in the flavor department.

One of the most popular Super Bowl menu items is buffalo chicken wings. I have a confession to make about this particular dish: I only like it a little bit. As in, if someone else made chicken wings I would eat 1 or maybe 2, and the part I would enjoy the very most would be that awesome bleu cheese dressing. Most wings are just too hot for me to handle, and too messy for me, as well.

But when I learned that Naturally Fresh® had a lite bleu cheese dressing available, I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to try it, and I wanted to create some sort of a recipe where the bleu cheese dressing could justifiably be eaten in large quantities. (What?! Don’t judge me until you’ve tried it!). So I knew that I needed to revisit the buffalo chicken wing issue and bring some heat to the table in a new way.

buffalo chicken  with naturally fresh bleu cheese 4

I present to you the Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Wedge Salad. While a wedge salad might not seem appropriate for the Super Bowl, this particular one is ready for the challenge. First, it’s got 2 different types of meat on it, and second, the meat AND the dressing are all loaded down with great flavors. So it eats much more like a main dish than a side, if I do say so myself!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce of your choice
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar (white or go wild like me and use apple cider)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 head iceburg lettuce
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 package bacon
  • 1 jar Naturally Fresh Lite Bleu Cheese Dressing

buffalo chicken 1

In a slow cooker, add hot sauce, butter, vinegar, garlic salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and chicken wings. Place the slow cooker on low for 5 1/2 hours. After 1 hour, briefly open up the slow cooker and give the contents a good stir so that the sauce gets coated on the chicken. Return the lid and resume the slow cooking process.

Meanwhile, cook the package of bacon in whatever way you prefer to cook it. My style is to line 2 baking pans with foil, add the bacon, and cook them for 15-20 minutes (start watching at minute 15) at 400 degrees. After it cools down a bit it should be easy to crumble (you can always cut them up with kitchen shears!).

When the chicken is nearly done cooking, prepare your salad wedges. Simply cut your head of lettuce in half, and then cut each half again.

buffalo chicken 3

Now take your cooked chicken out of the slow cooker. Careful, as it is going to just fall off the bone. You want to remove any obvious bits of fat that remain, and of course remove all the bones. Shred the meat by using two forks. It will be easy-peasy. I recommend leaving the shredded chicken out of the slow cooker, but adding back to it approximately 1/4 cup of the sauce it cooked it to help ramp up the flavor a bit. You want moist, but not sopping wet shredded chicken.

buffalo chicken 2

Now it’s time to put it all together!

Simply place a wedge on your plate, and then generously drizzle it with that yummy Naturally Fresh Lite Bleu Cheese dressing. Look at those delicious chunks!

buffalo chicken 5

Add your tomatoes and your bacon, and then put the buffalo chicken around the edge. This makes it easy to grab a hunk of buffalo chicken each time you cut into your salad and take a bite.

buffalo chicken 6

While it takes a while to make the chicken, it is pretty much effortless and the end result is well worth it. I thought the chicken had some heat, but it wasn’t as intense as more traditional buffalo chicken wings. But the marriage between the flavor it had and the Naturally Fresh Lite Bleu Cheese dressing was perfect in every way! I ate this exact meal 3 times in a row after making it because I loved it so much! I probably would have kept going, but I ran out of wedges! :-(

If you haven’t tried Naturally Fresh products yet, you are really in for a treat. These products are free of artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. They also leave out MSG and artificial thickeners. Truly they have captured the flavor of great, homemade dressings! And if you are wondering if the lite version of the bleu cheese is lacking (as lite dressings sometimes are) I can tell you that it doesn’t taste lite at all. The company uses a nonfat buttermilk to achieve that rich flavor without as many calories.

In addition to Bleu Cheese and Lite Bleu Chesse, the company also offers a Ranch and brad new to the scene this month, Lite Ranch (half the calories of the original!). You can find these products in the refrigerated section of the store at Kroger and Publix.

Win it!: FIVE lucky Stuff Parents Need readers will win one coupon each for a free 12 oz. bottle of Naturally Fresh dressing!

Be sure to enter my other current giveaways, found on the right sidebar.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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