Mother Dirt

I was sent the Mother Dirt products to try at no cost to me. All opinions are 100% my own and I only work with companies whose products I believe are a good fit for me and my lifestyle. 

I was recently given the opportunity to try out Mother Dirt skin care items. I was intrigued by the name Mother Dirt so I did a little research on the company and their products.

Mother Dirt

According to Mother Dirt, they introduce a whole new concept to the skin care world – embracing  the beneficial bacteria that exists as a key to healthy skin. We’ve always been taught that killing all bacteria was the way to be clean and healthy but what if this wasn’t the case?

Mother Dirt dedicates its research and mission to finding the benefits of restoring and maintaining helpful bacteria. Their approach to skincare involves understanding how ingredients and chemicals affect our skin microbiome.

Mother Dirt is the first time anyone has created skin care products to care for the good bacteria on the skin. All their products have been developed, screened, and tested for their compatibility with the skin biome.

I received three products to try.


First, was the AO+ Mist which was Mother Dirt’s first product, launched in June 2014. They were unable to produce enough of the AO+ Mist for the demand and from there, other products were created.

The AO+ Mist is a live probiotic spray for the skin. The AOB (ammonia oxidizing bacteria) in the spray turns the sweat in our skin into healthy matter creating a healthy pH.

You mist it on twice daily as needed focusing on sweat prone areas. It’s great for after showers or before a workout.

Luckily, it’s kid friendly because Jaden was obsessed with the AO+ Mist.


I use it after I shower and I throw it in my gym bag to use as needed.


Next, I used the face and body cleanser which was my favorite product. I love it because it’s gentle, good for sensitive skin, and removes makeup. It’s a great light cleanser that still makes your skin feel fresh without being too harsh. And it foams which is always a plus in my book!


I have such sensitive skin and I love that this product doesn’t break me out or leaving my skin feeling extra dry and tight.

The Mother Dirt shampoo is fantastic because it helps cut down on the time between washes.

It’s sulfate free which means I can use it on my hair extensions! It leaves my hair feeling light and soft. It doesn’t feel too dry or weighed down. You can even use it without conditioner.


Overall, I love Mother Dirt’s innovative idea of using the good bacteria that our skin needs. I loved all three products and would definitely repurchase all of them.

If you would like to try out the Mother Dirt products yourself, you can go to their website and use coupon code: Myblog25-GF37 for free shipping and 25% off your purchase!

Have a great day!

  • Have you ever tried Mother Dirt products?
  • What are your thoughts on keeping good bacteria on the skin?



Filed under Product Review

Back At It

Happy Friday!

Today is my youngest’s first day of 4th grade!


He has a little bit of a cold, which Danny and I now have, but he was super excited for his first day of school. And at least it’s Friday so he has the weekend to rest.

Off to school!


Side note: I am so good at adulting that I burned my face with a curling iron. My face. With a curling iron. And for the record, I am also one of those people that trips going up the stairs.

My oldest son starts his sophomore year on Monday.


(I don’t even care that he’s not looking at the camera because just getting him to let me take his picture is a rare occurrence. And for some weird reason, he doesn’t like to take 2,968 selfies like I do and then pick the best one.) :)

Sophomore year means he’ll start driver’s ed. I can’t even talk about it because I’m in denial.

Now that school is back in session, I feel like I can get back on schedule. I’ll start working the fitness desk again next week and hopefully my sleeping and eating will get back on track. With all the vacations, birthdays, and parties this summer, I may have gained a few pounds. I try to avoid the scale and go by how my clothes fit instead. And since my clothes are feeling a little tight lately, I’m ready to start tracking my food/macros again.

In fact, my family has started a weight loss challenge between ourselves. It’s a good way to keep each other motivated. It also helps that the prize is $250.

I’ve been making sure to not overeat at meals. I’ve been making rice bowls with brown & wild rice, tilapia, and veggies.


Soy ginger salmon with rice and veggies.


Lettuce wraps with chicken and salsa. I also added some cheese because life is way better with cheese!


I always make sure to save some room for treats too. Cutting out an entire food group or depriving yourself can often backfire so I make sure a treat fits into my calories/macros for the day.


I like Baby Ruth but I’ve decided that Snickers are much better.

Danny and I have also been getting back to the gym on a more regular basis.


Since Jaden was at school today, I was able to spend a little more time at the gym this morning. I warmed up on the rowing machine for a bit, then I took an impromptu Zumba class with a friend, then I did a kettlebell circuit, and finished up with an easy ride on the stationary bike.

According to my Polar A300, I was at 315% activity level by 11:15 am! I’ve never had my activity level that high – it must be from all the jumping in Zumba!


This evening, Danny and I are going to my cousin’s wedding and on Sunday, we’re going to my nephew’s birthday party. It’s going to be a busy weekend!

Have a great weekend!

  • What are you plans this weekend?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness

Rowing Machine Countdown Workout

After being on vacation and having some time off from the gym, Danny and I finally got back into the routine on Sunday.


The workout was tough! It’s amazing how taking a little time off from the gym can make you feel like you’ve never worked out!

We did a leg workout which included: deadlifts, bench split squats with a pulse (at the bottom of the exercise), sumo goblet squats with a pulse, curtsey lunges with a pulse, and reverse hack squats.


We usually do the hack squats backwards which targets the glutes a little more than a regular hack squat.

Monday I was back at the gym for a cardio workout. I spent about 30 minutes on the track doing a HIIT type workout. I alternated running laps, walking, doing speed skaters, squat jumps, and bench toe touches.


My gym as space in the corners of the track for exercises so I was able to complete the whole workout without leaving the track. I finished up with about 20 minutes on the stationary bike.

Post workout, I took the kids to the park and had plain Greek yogurt with stevia and berries.


On Wednesday, my workout had to be short since Jaden was going to an event at his school. High intensity workouts are best when you’re short on time and I did the following workout:

Rower Workout

I finished the whole thing in 14:23. I rowed for a bit longer and walked a few laps so with my warm-up and cool-down my workout was about 30 minutes. According to my heart rate monitor, I burned 300 calories.


After the gym, I took Jaden to the library at his school. Only about a week and a half until school starts!


Have a great afternoon!

  • If you have kids, when do they start school?
  • Have you ever used the rowing machine?


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Filed under Fitness, Uncategorized

Punta Cana Vacation

Hello! I haven’t posted in awhile because Danny, the kids, and I just got back from Punta Cana!


We left Sunday July 31st and got home on Friday night. This was our first ever vacation that required passports so we felt super fancy. :)

Really though, it was a great vacation and we had a great time. And it was HOT. The first couple of days weren’t too bad because there was a storm moving through but after that it was very hot outside.

We stayed at the Now Larimar resort and had an all-inclusive package which included all food, drinks, alcohol, entertainment, and non-motorized water sports.

The kids had so much fun and loved swimming the the ocean (actually I think it’s the Caribbean Sea) and the pools.



Danny and I tried out the paddle boarding which is harder than it looks.


The kids loved the paddleboarding too and we also did kayaking and windsailing.

I loved that the resort had fun activities throughout the day. One of my favorites was when they brought a monkey out to the pool area so people could take pictures with it.


I was so excited because I’ve always wanted to hold a monkey!

Another day they had a coconut party on the beach with a coconut throwing contest and coconut drinks served in coconuts.



There was a foam party in the pool which was tons of fun. The foam was everywhere and they warned you to hold on to your child so they wouldn’t get lost under all the foam.


They also had pool Zumba and bingo games.

One night there was a dance show which was fun to watch.


After the dance show, they’re were crab races! The crabs looked so funny running with their claws up in the air.


Jaden bought Danny and I this cute monkey all by himself with his own money and surprised us with it.


One of my favorite things on our last night there was the beach party and fire show. We did the congo and limbo.


Then we watched the fire show. It was amazing and I think I kept my breath held the entire time because I was afraid they were going to drop the fire or miss catching the fire, but they didn’t.



I was a little worried about the food in Punta Cana because I heard mixed reviews about it and I was worried about the kids and if they’d eat anything. Luckily, the food was decent and we had no problems finding good things to eat.

I liked the chicken burritos.


Jacob liked the desserts.


And Jaden liked ordering Froot Loops from room service.


Overall, it was a wonderful trip but we looked forward to getting home and sleeping in our own beds!


Have a great afternoon!

  • What was your favorite vacation? 

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Filed under Family Fun, Uncategorized

Friday Favorites

Good morning and Happy Friday!!

I have a few favorites to share with you guys today.

  • Baylee

First, is our puppy Baylee!


She will be one on September 1st and even though we’ve only had her since November, it feels like she has always been a part of our lives.

Luckily, she has calmed down a lot since we first got her. She used to attack me as soon as Danny shut the front door to leave the house!

She is out of her puppy biting stage. She still likes to chew things if you don’t watch her closely but for the most part she’s a lot calmer. She has such a funny personality and loves water, being outside, other dogs, and bugs.


She likes to pick up bugs very carefully in her mouth without killing them and bring them inside so she can play with them. Jaden found a tiny toad the other day and Baylee loved it. She wanted them to be best friends.


  • Meal Prepping


My nutrition and eating hasn’t been the best this summer. With the kids home, my schedule is so different. There has been birthdays, cookouts, vacations, and lots of food.

I decided to meal prep this week since we leave for vacation soon. It’s so much easier to just grab healthy food that’s already prepared. Once we get back from vacation, I plan on going back to following my macro-based nutrition plan.


For my food, I roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus, and broccoli in the oven and Danny cooked chicken on the grill.

  • FlapJacked Mighty Muffins

I think I mentioned these muffins before on a Friday Favorites post, but Vitamin Shoppe started carrying a new flavor – s’mores!


I love these for a quick and easy breakfast. They only take a minute in the microwave and they are packed with protein.

  • Hair Extensions

I recently had a new set of hair extensions put in. I got my first set in March and they had grown out quite a bit. They also started to thin out from brushing them so I was ready for a new set.


I have keratin bonded hair extensions and yes, they are quite expensive. But I love them and can’t believe what a difference they make in my hair.

Those are my favorite things for today! I hope you all have a great weekend!

  • What are your favorite things today?
  • Any plans for the weekend?

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Random Acts of Kindness

I’ll be the first to admit that my kids spend a lot of time on technology as I’m sure most kids do. They have iPads, my oldest has a phone, we have a Wii and an Xbox, the majority of their school work in done on laptops and iPads.

My husband and I do our best to limit their screen time during the school year. They don’t play video games during the week but are allowed to play them Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is a little harder to enforce with my 15 year old but we try.

Now that’s it summer, they’ve been spending a lot of time with their faces in video games, watching YouTube videos, watching cartoons, and such. So, my brilliant mom brain came up with the idea to have a “technology free week.” My mom brain also knew that without other stuff for my kids to do, it would be a week of craziness, fighting, coming in and out of the house every 36 seconds (this is an accurate statement – I’ve timed them), and whining that they’re bored and have nothing to do.

So, I decided that not only would it be a technology free week, but we would spend the week doing nice things for others – random acts of kindness. Acts of kindness that would be easy for my kids to do and relatively inexpensive.

We also went to the library to get some books to keep the kids busy. Luckily, both my children take after me and love to read. Does anyone else still absolutely love the library?! I could honestly spend hours in the library looking at all the books.

We started our random acts of kindness on Monday morning. I had to stop by Danny’s work to pick up a receipt that I needed from him so we decided to bring the women in his office flowers.


There are three women in his office so we bought three bouquets of flowers from the grocery store and a bag of cookies for everyone in the office. The kids went inside to deliver the flowers and grab the receipt for me. Danny said the ladies loved the flowers.

Our next act of kindness was delivering some toys to the park. We bought a bunch of sand toys and put a random act of kindness post-it on them.



Then the kids went to the park and left the toys in the sandbox for kids to find.


We bought the sand toys at the Dollar Store and while we were there, we left a few dollar bills hidden in the toy section for kids to find.


The kids really enjoyed doing random acts of kindness for other kids, so they came up with the idea of leaving quarters in every single gumball machine at the store.


The kids were excited to see if all the quarters would be gone by the time we left the store – they were. I’m guessing one kid got a big surprise.


We also wanted to do a few things that didn’t cost very much money or any money. So on Sunday, the kids cut all the coupons out of the Chicago Tribune newspaper. After they left the quarters in the gumball machine, we placed the coupons all around the store by item.


After we left the store, the kids went into the parking lot to see if anyone was unloading their groceries so they could help take their cart and put it away for them. There were only a couple of people in the parking lot so the kids also collected carts that were far away from the store and in random places.



Our next random act of kindness was to pay for the person behind us in the Starbucks drive-thru line.


I ordered my coffee and then when I got to the window, I told the guy that I would like to pay for my coffee and for the person behind me.  I’m hoping the lady behind me was happy that her coffee was paid for by a complete stranger.

We have one ongoing project that we’re working on – collecting pop tabs.


We live near a Ronald McDonald House which houses families that have sick children in the hospital so they can be near their child. Collecting the pop tabs helps children learn about the importance of recycling while also helping to raise money to help sick children and their families.

We started collecting the pop tabs in a plastic water jug and when it’s full, we’ll bring it to the Ronald McDonald House.

We are finishing our last random act of kindness today. I found a website called More Love Letters. On this website, people can nominate someone to receive a bundle of letters that include words of kindness, love, and well wishes. The people that are nominated are people that may be sick or struggling with something in life and need words of encouragement.

Strangers from all over the world send in letters and the letters are then delivered to the person. I thought it was such a great idea. There’s always times in our lives when we need happy words and encouragement. And a bundle of letters from strangers all over the world who don’t know you but believe in you can be really encouraging.

The kids and I found someone that we really wanted to write letters to and will be mailing them out this week.

Our technology-free and random acts of kindness week was a success. I hope this teaches my children that life isn’t all about playing games and it’s nice to take time out of your day to do something nice for someone else. And even though the kids will go back to catching Pokemon and watching YouTube videos, we will continue spreading kindness in the world even if it’s just the simple act of smiling at a stranger.

Have a wonderful day.


Filed under Uncategorized

UncommonGoods + A Giveaway!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Good morning! It’s Friday! I don’t know about you guys but I’m looking forward to this weekend. For once, we have no set plans but we are getting ready for our vacation next week!

I was recently contacted by the company, UncommonGoods, to share a post with you guys about their company. I have bought items from UncommonGoods in the past and after reading more about their company I knew they were a company that I would love for you guys to learn more about.


Also, their website has everything. I can’t even tell you how long I spent on their website looking at all the interesting stuff. They sell unique gifts, jewelry, home items, kitchen and bar items, kids stuff, art, and so much more.

UncommonGoods focuses both on the needs of their customers as well as their employees, which I think is something to be respected.

I love UncommonGood’s mission and the things they focus on. They work hard to make a positive impact in the workplace and in the world. They believe that  sustainability starts with integrity in everything they do including treating all people, inside and outside of the company, with respect. They provide a living wage for all employees and offer full-time and most part-time employees health insurance.

UncommonGoods works with suppliers from artists to small manufacturers to make their products from handmade, recycled, and organic products. They focus on selling products that are made from recycled components and have never sold products that contain leather, feathers, or fur.

I really appreciate the fact that they sell products that don’t harm humans or animals.

UncommonGoods has also created the Better to Give Program in 2001, which lets you select a non-profit organization to receive a $1donation from us at checkout.

Now getting to the good stuff – the fun stuff UncommonGoods offers!

We have so many birthdays for family and friends throughout the years and I love UncommonGoods variety of unique gift ideas. You can check them out here.

I know Danny would love this whiskey stones and gift set:


And who wouldn’t love this awesome unicorn mug?!


I think the world would be a better place if we all drank out of unicorn mugs. :)

I love that UncommonGoods offers a wide variety of things for babies and kids. I’m always looking for cool ideas for my kids for Christmas and for my niece and nephew’s birthdays.

One item that I think is really cool is the super magnetic putty – check it out here. (And to be honest, I’d probably play with this myself. Maybe I’d share it with the kids. Maybe)


When you put the putty near the magnet, within five seconds, it will stretch itself towards the magnet like it’s alive! My kids love science and especially magnets, so they would love this.

Another thing I love about UncommonGoods is their wide range of personalized baby gifts. I am a sucker for anything with my name on it so I love the personalized touch. It’s also great for someone who has a unique name and can’t find their name on the thing at the store.

My son, Jaden, is always sad that all the items he finds at the store spell his name Jayden instead of Jaden. When he was a infant someone gave me a personalized baby bib with his name Jaden on it and I have kept it ever since.

You can see all the great personalized items that UncommonGoods offers here.

My favorites include the birth announcement pillows:


the books:


and the personalized ABC mat:


I know my niece and nephew would love that mat.

Overall, UncommonGoods is a great company with good morals that offers a wide variety of unique items and gifts. I really appreciate companies that have great customer service, give back in some way, and our responsible about the items they sell and the materials they use.

UncommonGoods has generously offered to give one reader a $50 gift certificate to purchase anything on their website. Enter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Filed under Giveaway, Product Review

Spinach Tortellini Pasta Salad + Palmolive

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Good afternoon! I have a great recipe to share with you guys today – Spinach Tortellini Pasta Salad.


We went to my in-law’s house on Sunday for a cookout and to watch fireworks for the close of a summer festival.

I went to Meijer and bought all the ingredients for my salad, plus a bottle of Palmolive Fusion for fast and easy clean-up. Washing dishes is my least favorite chore so the less amount of time spent in the kitchen, the happier I am.



Spinach Tortellini Pasta Salad


  • 1 package of fresh cheese tortellini – 9 oz.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • juice from one lemon
  • sun-dried tomatoes, chopped – approx. 6-8 oz. jar
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup salami, cut into cups
  • 1 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

First, cook tortellini according to package directions and set aside in a large bowl to cool.

Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a small bowl to make the dressing and whisk to combine.

Add sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, and baby spinach to pasta, top with dressing and lightly mix until everything is combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve and enjoy!

This recipe is easy enough to make but the sun-dried tomatoes are packed in oil which meant a very messy cutting board.


Luckily, I had a helper in the kitchen who helped me use the new Palmolive Fusion dish soap to do the dishes.


The Palmolive Fusion dish soap is formulated with baking soda and lime which made the oily cutting board nice and clean in a short amount of time.


We also used it to wash the rest of the dishes. The dishes were done in a breeze and we were off to visit with my in-laws and nephew.


An easy summer salad recipe and a fast clean up in the kitchen gave us more time to visit, eat, and watch the fireworks!





Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite easy summer recipe?
  • Have you tried the new Palmolive Fusion dish soap?

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Filed under Product Review, Recipes

Wisconsin Dells 2016

Good morning I hope you all are having a great weekend!

We just got back from Wisconsin Dells on Friday. We went with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece.


The kids had fun swimming, mini golfing, rock mining, taking the boat shuttle, and playing in the arcade.



Danny, Jaden, and my sister-in law, Crystal, had a great time going down the waterslides.



I don’t like water slides (especially ones where the floor drops out from underneath you) so I was the photographer.



While we were in The Dells, my niece turned five!


We celebrated by opening gifts, swimming, going out to dinner, and making s’mores. We made some s’mores with peanut butter cups instead of a chocolate bar. If you never have tried this before, it’s a must. Everything is better with a Reese’s peanut butter cup. :)


We came home Friday evening and on Saturday, we went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for my niece’s birthday party.


Crystal had a cute make-you-own-cupcake station set up for the kids. I had a little fun with Jaden and he might have ended up with frosting on his face.



But don’t worry, he took me by surprise and got me back. I guess I deserved it. :)


My grandma, who owns Sweet Temptations Dessert Company, made the most amazing Elsa cake.


My niece loved it and the cake was delicious.

We had a great time in The Dells and a fun time celebrating my niece’s birthday!

Have a great day!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite cake flavor?


Filed under Family Fun

Garage Sales and Taco Pizza

Good morning!

This past weekend, we had a garage sale at my brother and sister-in-law’s house.

Waiting for customers:


We have a couple vacations coming up so we’re trying to get a little extra cash…and we have a lot of stuff.

My brother and sister-in-law were selling a motorized scooter which thankfully sold.


The first night we were there, we had a make your own pizza night. My sister-in-law has been making taco pizzas lately and although I was leary to try it, I ended up loving it!! See what happens when you try new things. :)


We used the Pillsbury refrigerated dough for the crust. The taco pizza had refried beans, Mexican cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and yes those are crushed Doritos on top.

Danny’s pizza had ground beef on it and my brother and sister-in-law made theirs with black beans. I’m not a black bean fan but the pizza was good with refried beans. I’ll definitely be making this at home.

I made the other have of the pizza with my favorite toppings – onion and pineapple. Sometimes I add bacon and I have yet to find someone who loves the bacon, pineapple, onion combo as much as I do.

On Sunday afternoon, my sister-in-law, niece, mom, and I met at a nail salon to get pedicures. My niece’s birthday is tomorrow and she wanted us to get together to get our nails done.


Working Out

On Monday evening, Danny and I went to the gym. With summer, the kids, and other stuff going on, I took a little break from the gym.


Sometimes, I think it’s good to give your body a little break. And I often tend to overdo it so this little break was good for me. But I was very happy to get back to the gym!

Danny and I did a leg workout which included:

  • deadlifts
  • split squats on the bench
  • weighted sumo squats
  • calf raises in the Smith machine
  • leg press machine

Danny used 16 45-pound plates on the leg press machine for a total of 720 pounds.


I used four plates. :)

And finally, I have to share a picture of my tacos from dinner last night.

We found this Mexican restaurant near us which has quickly become my new favorite Mexican restaurant.


Mexican food is my favorite and I could eat tacos every day!

I hope you all have a great day.


  • What’s your favorite pizza topping?
  • Favorite leg exercise? (I’m always looking for new ones!)

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out