Thursday, January 26, 2017

Stretch marks -- what can you do?

Stretch marks. Some moms love them. After all, they're a sign of all they went through to bring a little one (or ones) into this world. They see them as badges of courage. For the rest of us who just might want to erase those outward signs of skin stretching far beyond what seems possible, guest blogger, Trisha Miller, returns to give us some advice.

Natural Methods for Reducing 
the Appearance of Stretch Marks

These are some of the best natural methods out there for potentially reducing the appearance of your stretch marks. With that being said, every body is different and everyone’s skin is different. I  cannot guarantee that any of these methods will work for everyone. 

Stretch marks are stubborn. They occur when skin is pushed to its absolute limit. So, please be aware that they may never go away completely, but you may be able to reduce their appearance.

Essential Oils

Frankincense is a sap derived from the Boswellia Sacra tree, used for centuries due to its healing qualities. The tree is domestic to the areas of Oman, Yemen and the Horn of Africa. It has been used for centuries due to its healing qualities. Before the use of more modern medicine, it was used in the actual healing process. It was placed directly on wounds to aid the body in healing. In current years, frankincense is used more for beauty remedies including the removal of dark spots, stretch marks, and acne scarring. Not only is frankincense wonderfully restorative, it’s also a fantastic protectant. When used on the skin, it can help remove scarring and prevent new skin damage from occurring.

How to Use: Add a few drops of frankincense to your favorite carrier oil (like coconut, avocado, or grapeseed oil) massage a small amount directly onto stretch marks and allow it to soak in completely. More essential oil does not equal better results. If you add too much essential oil to your mixture, you may experience discomfort on the skin. This is because essential oils are extremely concentrated and in most cases are suggested to be used with a carrier oil, not by themselves. Another great option is to use them with an air humidifier daily. Humidifiers are great for people with dry skin anyway. However, do not put the oils directly into the humidifier, as they could damage the unit. Rather, sprinkle a few drops of oil on a small cloth and drape it in front of the escaping steam to diffuse it into the air. A diffuser is another good option.

Aloe Vera

You may have heard of aloe vera gel being used to treat heat burns and sun burns. Like frankincense, aloe has been used for healing for hundreds of years. The aloe plant itself consists of many “leaves” that grow straight out of the stem, which lies underneath the surface of the ground. These leaves are thick and squishy and hold the actual aloe gel inside. The plant uses this gel to survive extreme temperatures, since aloe mostly grows in desert locales -- originating in places like Africa, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula. This plant can survive almost everywhere. It is because of this that we can benefit from the natural antiseptic that exists within the leaves. The gel is deeply reparative. When applied, it absorbs into the skin and helps it to repair itself from the inside.

How to Use: Grab your favorite aloe gel (it can be purchased in plant form or gel form -- just make sure you check the ingredients and make sure there are little to no unnecessary additives that could irritate your skin) and dab a small amount directly onto the scarred area. Massaging it into the skin is unnecessary. Once it is applied, allow the gel to fully dry. If there is any residue, remove it with a soft towel.

Castor Oil

This plant is indigenous to the Mediterranean area, Eastern Africa, as well as India. It has long been used in oil form for its medicinal properties, but other parts of the plant, including the leaves and bark, have been used for their antihistamine, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Castor oil can be purchased just about anywhere and is still commonly used for ailments such as constipation, reduction of scarring, and even to treat fungal infections (like athlete's foot and ringworm -- although I don’t suggest skipping a doctor’s appointment if you have a serious infection). Aside from all of the above effects, castor oil is thick in nature, which allows for extreme moisturization to dry, damaged skin and stretch marks.

How to Use: Castor oil can be applied directly to the skin, but due to its thickness, it does take awhile to dry. If you prefer, you can add some to another oil (like avocado, grapeseed, or coconut) and allow that to absorb for several minutes. Another option is to soak a cloth in castor oil and simply place it on the stretch marks. This makes for less of a mess and can be removed whenever you’re ready.

Every person in the world is born with imperfections. Many of us develop scars, spots, blemishes, and more throughout our lifetime. The best method for dealing with the appearance of stretch marks is to have an open mind. Accept your body as it is. Sure, everyone can use a bit of improvement here or there, but no one should be expected to have the perfect body. We see some things in society as imperfections simply because we don’t understand them. If we can spread acceptance of our bodies through positivity, hopefully less people will feel the need to change what nature and real life has given them.

Trisha Miller is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan and is committed to an all-around eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle. You can follow her on Twitter @thatdangvegan and her blog (

Monday, January 23, 2017

Jack N' Jill and Luna: A perfect match!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for this review.

You know how your kids get money for Christmas and their birthdays and you're never really quite sure what to do with it? Of course, putting it into savings is always a good choice. But if Aunt Susie really wants you to buy something for your little one, I have a great suggestion for all that unused Christmas money. 

What could be better than buying your baby/toddler something they not only like, but is also good for them? 

Jack N' Jill gift sets won my heart when I saw they included a sleepover bag, perfect for going to Grandma's! Check out what the kit includes:

I mean, seriously, look at the fun they've put into a child's early tooth care regimen! The designs are whimsical and fun. And the Stage 3 Silicone Tooth & Gum Brush is perfect for taking care of those first teeth. Plus, with the non-choke guard, you don't have to worry about baby shoving the toothbrush down their throat! 

Since pictures are supposedly worth 1,000 words, I'll just let Luna show you how excited she was to receive this kit for Christmas. And, in true Green Grandma grandbaby fashion, she'll even show you how to use both types of toothbrushes!

I know I'm biased, but... how cute is she?? And how great are these kits? If your kids have never tried Jack N' Jill toothpaste, they're in for a treat! It's natural with organic flavors. What could be better than that?

At just $36.99, the Jack N' Jill Bunny, Dino, Hippo, or Koala Gift Kit is well-worth the money!

Reviewing it for you,

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mobility issues? Trouble bending? I might have an answer in this review

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for my honest review.

As many of you know, my life took a bit of a turn last month. For the past 12 years, I've run my own business called Speechless (I put words in your mouth!), offering writing, editing, and voice-over services to clients around the world. I added this blog to the mix in 2009 and have been happily working away at my two businesses since then. 

In late November, I received a phone call that resulted in my current situation. I am now running Dignity Home Care Professionals, a home care company in Pittsburgh. It's a far cry from what I've ever done, but I am enjoying it immensely. I am working with my daughter, Bethany, who is co-owner of Dignity, and that has been a delight. Years ago, Bethany and I talked about running a business together and here we are, doing just that. It's odd how life works out sometimes. If you'd told me six months ago I would be working a full-time job managing a company outside of my home, I would have told you you were crazy!

Even though I'm pouring much of myself into this new venture, I haven't abandoned Speechless or Green Grandma. As a matter of fact, for the last two nights, I had to come home from work and do narrations. As I write this review (which is what I'm getting to), it's nearing midnight.

I was asked to review a product last week that is absolutely perfect for my other business, as it's a product that is ideal for the elderly. So perfect, in fact, that I'm giving it to one of our clients tomorrow. The client is recovering from a broken hip and cannot bend. That makes putting on shoes especially difficult. And that's where this product comes in. It's a long-handled shoe horn. 

While the picture depicts a much younger and seemingly more fit person enjoying the benefits of this shoe horn, I feel it's more accurately suited for someone who struggles with mobility due to aging, injury, or loss of flexibility. And for them, it's a must-have. 

I toyed with the idea of keeping it for myself, but decided my client would get far more use out of it. Besides, at only $12.99, I can certainly afford to buy one of my own. The Shoe Horn by Vive comes with a Lifetime Guarantee. Designed with comfort in mind, it is 24" and made of a lightweight flexible plastic. Currently, there are 621 reviews on Amazon with a 4.5/5 overall rating!

I would have to give it 5 stars. I've used other shoe horns in the past and this one surpasses them in ease of use and quality. If you struggle with putting on your shoes or boots, or you know some seniors who would benefit from having a long-handed shoe horn of their own, I cannot recommend the Shoe Horn by Vive enough. Why not show your love on Valentine's Day by gifting your loved ones with a shoe horn? It's perfectly suited for a big red bow and nothing says "I love you" like a shoe horn, right? Well, maybe that's stretching it a bit, but you get the picture.

Reviewing it for you,

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Levoit Himalayan Crystal Salt Lamp GIVEAWAY! $120 RV

(This post contains an affiliate link credited to Host, not to  GG)

Sponsored By: Levoit

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive: 

One Levoit Hand Carved Natural Himalayan Crystal Salt Lamp! ($120 RV)

Anyone who's been to my home or office, has noticed my salt lamps. That's because I love them and I really believe in the difference they make in my health and in the quality of my life. The Elora Salt Lamp is amazing! The Levoit website states that “Each lamp emits ions that counter-balance electromagnetic radiation caused by your household appliances, reducing physical fatigue, stress and sluggishness. This natural ionization pulls harmful contaminants and allergens out of the air so you can breathe easier and enjoy more restful sleep.” How can that be anything, but good?!

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 1/15 9:00 AM EST through 1/31 11:59PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received a Levoit Salt Lamp at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned review. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Farm-to-Table is about to get so much closer

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received product and/or compensation in exchange for a post expressing my personal opinions.

What would you think about a system that would provide you with fresh, healthy food every single day year round? Pretty cool, huh? And you want to know more about it, don't you?

Here's the thing: innovator Andrew Dewey came up with a way for everyone to grow their own food right in their own kitchen. The system is called Organiponic. 

According to the Worldwide Fund for Nature, unsustainable agricultural practices can negatively impact the environment in various ways, including: 

  • land conversion and habitat loss
  • wasteful water consumption
  • soil erosion and degradation
  • pollution
  • genetic erosion
  • climate change
With the demand for organic food reaching $43.3 billion last year, it's obvious that millions of Americans are prioritizing regarding what they eat and they're often choosing farm-to-table. But for some, that's not even an option. While I enjoy the benefit of living close to farms where I can trust their growing practices, such as Freedom Farms in Butler County, PA, many others are not so fortunate. I also have easy access to stores like Trader Joe's, Aldi's, and Whole Foods where I can purchase organic and GMO-free produce. Quite honestly, I don't even give it much thought. For me, there's no excuse for not eating food that is safe and healthy.

That doesn't mean I don't enjoy harvesting food from my own garden for the short season afforded to us here in Western Pennsylvania. Which is why the idea of a year round seed-to-harvest system caught my interest.

With the Organiponic system, everyone has access to fresh local food every day. "What's more local than your own kitchen?" asks Dewey. Indeed. Who wouldn't want to walk across their kitchen and snip some herbs on cut some lettuce? Brilliant!

The problem at this point is that the Organiponic system is not yet available. That's why I'm sharing this information and the link to their StartEngine campaign (click here), which includes an informative video. Once launched, the company will deliver a 12, 16, or 24 plant system for in-home gardening with the goal of transforming the way you garden, cook, and eat organic produce. They plan to offer their units worldwide, along with a subscription-based "grow kit" to provide quality lettuces, greens, and herbs throughout the year, accompanied by an app that will let you know when to add nutrients. Check out the video, become a contributor, and you could be instrumental in changing the world, one bowl of lettuce at a time!

Now that's the kind of change I can stand behind!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Vinegar Friday -- Let's go for soft!

Martha Washington by Currier & Ives. 

TGIVF!! It's the first Vinegar Friday of 2017! For many of us who live in cold climates, we're experiencing the dry skin that accompanies winter weather. But there's hope and it's not in an expensive jar of moisturizer or facial creams.

It's the Martha Washington Vinegar (yes, vinegar) Facial Mask! Supposedly, her glowing skin is what won the heart of our first president, or at least it's what caught his eye.

All you need is
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar (stick to the good stuff -- unfiltered and organic)
Mix it up, apply it to your face and relax for 20 minutes or so. Then rinse with warm water and pat dry. 

Now here's the thing -- you end up with lots of extra mask solution, so why not throw a party? Invite your friends for a Martha Washington facial party. Add some tea or wine or whatever and enjoy an afternoon or evening of pampering. While you're at it, fill some foot baths with warm water and 1/2 cup of ACV and soak your tootsies. The end results will be baby soft faces and feet. Take that, winter!


Keeping it green and soft with vinegar,

Thursday, January 5, 2017

But we don't have recycling here...

As many of you know, I recently took over the management of a home companionship company, which means I'm off to the office everyday. It's a small office that was manned by two men prior to my coming on board. One of the first things I did at the office was to clean. I mean, really! I also instituted a few changes, appalled by the amount of waste produced there on a weekly basis. I have to say I'm appalled by the carelessness of the former manager, who I know personally and know for a fact that he knows better. For him to blatantly not care about the environment sickens me. So, even though the building where our offices are housed does not have any recycling options, I assigned receptacles for metals, plastics, cardboard, and paper, all of which I haul home with me for recycling. Is it a pain in the butt to do that? Of course, it is. But it's much easier on my heart, mind, and soul than carelessly tossing all those things into the dumpster out back. I mean, seriously!

So why am I sharing this with you? To encourage you to follow suit. After all, many of you (or your spouses) may work in places where recycling is not an option. But you don't have to settle for that. If you can't institute a company-wide recycling policy, create one of your own. That's what my daughter did when she was working back in 2006-08 (or thereabouts). She lugged bags of cans and plastic bottles home with her, doing her part to keep them out of the landfill. What we do really does matter, my friends. Really. It does. 

Next time you go to throw a bottle or can in the trash, stop and think about it. Isn't there a better way? And before you throw all that junk mail into the wastebasket, consider the option of dumping it into a local paper recycling receptacle. Just a thought. And a pretty good one at that.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Stunning 3D air pollution map

Did you know you can now see air pollution around the world in 3D? AirVisual Earth is the first 3D air pollution map that allows each of us to spin the globe, zoom in and out, and toggle between combined PM2.5 and weather data. Or you can see wind patterns and track the Air Quality Index (AQI) levels across the planet via vivid color-coded heat mapping. This is seriously cool stuff! Click here to see for yourself. (You might have to reload it a couple of times if the system is being overloaded with visits.)

According to Kelsey Duska, AirVisual Project Lead, "AirVisual Earth was developed to allow people to meaningfully relate to the air pollution problem. In visualizing pollution concentrations, we aim to clearly show the effect that our everyday emissions are having on the planet's health, as well as our own."

Generated from satellite imagery and data reported by over 10,000 monitoring stations, the map is mesmerizing. You just might find yourself staring at it for long periods of time.

By incorporating their own network of monitoring stations, AirVisual has become the first and only platform to provide valuable air quality data for Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Cambodia, and the Philippines. The data spans 8,000 key cities in over 60 countries and is accessible to program developers via AirVisual's newly launched Application Program Interface (API). It is the first to provide historical and forecast data, alongside real-time data.

"By providing developers access to AirVisual's extensive database, we're planting the seed for innovations to come," explains Duska.

This is exciting stuff, folks! The future in which buildings optimize air purification systems; where maps recommend the least polluted path; and cities adjust emissions based on air quality forecasts -- is here. And I couldn't be happier!

So tell me... how long did you, or your kids, stare at the 3D air pollution map? I'd love to know!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Winter cleaning to get your New Year off to the right start!

Image courtesy of Hana Chramostova

What better way to kick off 2017 than with a guest post about getting your home back in shape after the holidays? I'm happy to welcome back guest blogger, Jeriann Watkins Ireland who has some great tips for you. You can follow her at

The holidays are over and you’re probably looking at your home, with new items from Christmas and everything out of place from having company, and wondering where to begin in getting everything back to normal. Here are a few tips in how to start your new year off right with an organized, clean home.

Find Homes for New Items

You likely have a few new possessions after the holidays. The first step to finding spots for these new items is to determine if they are replacing something. If they are, donate the old item and clean the space before placing the new item in its home. This works great for kitchen appliances and home accessories, which often get replaced before they’re actually beyond use.

Sanitize Everything

If you hosted guests this holiday season, especially kids, it’s likely you have food crumbs hiding in your kitchen and dirt from snow and leaves clinging to your floors. Now is a great time to wipe down the surfaces in your home, and vacuum every corner and piece of furniture. This will give you a chance to take stock of all your possessions, reorganize things that don’t really have an assigned place, and best of all, minimize! Chances are, when you’re cleaning out junk drawers, you’ll find many items you simply don’t need. Use this chance to clear your home of clutter and start 2017 fresh! While you’re cleaning, be sure to use double duty cleaners. One of the many uses for vinegar is mixing it with citrus rinds to create a bacteria-killing all-purpose cleaner. And once you’re done cleaning, if you’re still looking to freshen up your room, try these DIY natural room deodorizers.

Making your own cleaners is fun, healthy, and gives you momentum to actively improve your new year!

Prepare for Spring

Even though many parts of the country are covered in snow right now, it won’t be long until it’s time to get your garden ready. Start mapping out a plan for what you’re planting this year, and where you’ll be planting it. If you have yard weeds like goat heads, you’ll want to make up natural weed killers (vinegar works great for this, too!) And start spraying them as soon as you see the grass again! You can also start planning your pest-repellent strategy, particularly by making room for plants that repel insects and ones that attract hummingbirds and bees. The goal is to make your garden and yard a friend to nature.

So if your house is looking a bit cluttered after the holidays, don’t worry! With a few simple steps and a bit of strategy, you’ll have a shining, organized home base for you to plan and execute your entire, wonderful new year!

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