The Summer Sun is Shining! {Purity Organic Juice Review}

 
Ahhh. . the sun is finally shining here in Michigan. I am loving it! Nothing like spending my days outside in my yard and garden. The sun regenerates me! With the sun shining and the season warming up I am already feeling the urge to drink lemonade and tea. I just don’t know what it is about warm weather that makes me want these tart and refreshing drinks, but I do. Am I alone on this?
 
Either way, the other day while I was at the grocery store I found an organic drink that was on sale. So I picked up a few bottles. Holy Yumminess! This was the best organic fruit juice I have ever had! My family is making a real effort to eat (and drink) organic, so this is perfect. The juice was made by Purity and they had several flavors to choose from. My favorite was their strawberry lemonade. I dont know if you have ever been to Red Robins, but they have a drink called a freckled lemonade and this tastes just like it to me! Ohhhh sooo goood!
 
So today I wanted to share with you my new found love, Purity Organic Juice. It is sold at most grocery stores and if it isn’t then I recommend asking they get it in stock and give it a try.
I contacted Purity and told them how much I loved their products and that I was going to tell my readers about it and they sent me a box to test out all of their flavors! How nice is that! Let me tell you, no matter what flavor you choose you wont be disappointed.
 
Flavors:
Strawberry Paradise <—this one is my favorite, the strawberry lemonade
Lemonade
Pomegranate Blueberry
Orange Mango
Grapeade
Ice Tea and Lemonade
Orange Juice
Cranberry Cocktail
Apple Juice
Coconut Water
Mango Coconut Water
 
 

If you find it in your local supermarket and give it a try, let me know what you think! Find more information about Purity below:
 
 
<3 Dick and Jane
 
Disclosure: Purity Organic did not sponsor this post, but did provide me with a sampling of their product when I told them I was going to post about them. Thank you Purity! We <3 You!

 

Ahhh….Germs!! {How to Deal} PottyCover Review & Giveaway

 
Ok, I must admit it.  I am a germaphobe. Everyone in my family knows it and its something I just cannot shake. Germs are everywhere, you cannot hide from them.  I have become much more germaphobic since having kids. It seems like if there is a germ somewhere, they are magnets to it. I do all the things most moms do like asking my kids to wash their hands before they eat, trying to keep them from sucking on the shopping cart handle and teaching them not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth when were out and about but somehow they still find a way to do something weird (like lying on the ground and licking the floor). Agghh. . why do they do those things? Its so gross!

The worst are public restrooms.  Every time my daughter has to use a public restroom its like a circus act. How can I possibly hold her over the toilet so she doesn’t touch the seat, but at the same time make sure she is aimed to tinkle in the potty and not down the front of my shirt. All of this being done in a 4×4 cubicle where it is almost impossible for both of us to fit. Why don’t I just use the toilet seat covers provided in the restroom you ask? Because they don’t work. If there is urine on the seat, it soaks right though. They always falls into the toilet before I can sit Jane on it and it doesn’t cover the front of the seat where her little legs inevitably touch. Trying to use the provided covers with a child causes more frustration than just holding her.  However, lately Jane has started to get too heavy for me to hold. I am beginning to think my back is going to give out mid usage sending us both crashing into the nasty germ filled pool.

 
Let me share with you a new product that I was able to try out this week.  It is one of those must have parent products. The product is called PottyCovers. PottyCovers are non-woven fabric covers that are lined in waterproof plastic to keep moisture from reaching the skin. The covers are also made to sit not only on the top of the toilet, but cover the sides of the toilet at well! Each seat covers is individually packaged and easy to stick in your purse or pocket for traveling. Going to the restroom with Jane is no longer a cause for concern for me. I no longer have to worry about trying to hoover her over the toilet or hurting my back. Right now as I am planning our summer vacation I am thankful I found these. They will be perfect for our long car ride and rest area potty breaks!!
 
 
Do you want to give these PottyCovers a try? We are giving that chance to one of our readers! Enter below. You can also purchase PottyCovers at Bed Bath and Beyond, Buy Buy Baby and online at Amazon.com or Ebay. 


<3 Dick and Jane

Enter to win using the rafflecopter entry form. All prizes will be shipped by the sponsor.

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Meet Sparkles, the Easter Bunny Scout

 
Meet Sparkles, the newest member of our family.  She came to us the other day, sent by the Easter bunny himself, to help seek out the best hiding place for the kids’ Easter baskets this year. You see, the Easter bunny cant possibly make all of his deliveries on time if he has find just the right spot to hide his baskets and drop his eggs. It takes far too much time! Instead, he sends a little helper to make sure everything is ready for him when he arrives. Sparkles is the perfect bunny for the job! Shes cuddly, cute and super quiet as she sneaks away from Jane’s tight grip each night to prepare for the Easter Bunnies arrival then carefully wiggles her way back into her arms before she awakes. A bunny scout by night and best bunny by day. Shes also happy to play whatever game Jane desires like tea party or lets see how high bunny can jump {or be thrown} into the sky. Sparkles never complains, because this is her job and she loves it. And to be quite frank, we love her too.

It may seem a little silly, but this is the story Jane made up about her new bunny Sparkles and how she came to stay with us. This adorable little bunny has not only won over the heart of Jane, but the whole family. Tell me though, how could you resist this face? This super sweet little bunny is covered in long fur that calls for you to pet it back away from its face only to uncover those little bunny eyes that melt your heart. Yes, this mommy wants a bunny too. 🙂 Its just so FLUFFY!!!
 
 
Sparkles is a Fuzziggles. A Fuzziggles is a amazingly handcrafted bunny that was dreamt of and created in the USA right in Salem, OR. Many of you know how much I love supporting Etsy Artists. Well. . Sparkles and her other woodland friends can be found on Etsy and shipped right to your home in time for the Easter bunny’s arrival. Don’t let the handcrafted label scare you. . these bunnies are perfectly constructed. The quality far exceeds my expectations and I have no doubt Sparkles will be with us for quite a long time. Besides, I think Jane has become quite fond of her.
 
Would you like the Easter bunny to send a scout to your home? You can enter below for your chance to win your very own Fuzziggles bunny just in time for Easter. Entry is easy, simply use the Rafflecopter form below.
 
Where will the Easter bunny hide your basket?
<3 Dick and Jane

Disclosure: Raising Dick and Jane was provided with a free bunny in order to facilitate our review. We were not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

{How To} Create a Chicken Wire Frame #TBCcrafters

There is something about a piece of hand signed artwork that I just can not resist. The fact that someone poured their heart and soul into a project and felt proud enough of their work to sign and date it means a lot to me. I love collecting artwork. I really love displaying artwork in my home. The same art piece can inspire me in different ways each day.
As many of you know, I am not much of a winter person. Once winter begins I am pretty much counting the days until the sun arrives again and I can get back outside. Now that we are getting closer to spring here in Michigan I am getting antsy for it to begin. Right about now I am filling my life with as many things that remind me of spring as I can. It is almost as if I need to remind myself what is coming so I have the strength to wait a little bit longer. So when I came across the artwork from The Art of Jamie Barks I was smitten. It is beautiful and inspiring. Just what I needed right now.
When my artwork arrived I wanted to find a unique way to display it in my home. A standard frame would just not do it justice! So I decided to create my own original frame using a basic untreated frame and some chicken wire. What I created was perfect. I might even sign and date it 🙂
So follow along and I will show you how I made it.
Chicken Wire Frame {How To}
1. I bought a standard wooden frame from my local Michaels store. If you have old wood laying around you could also make your own, but I did not have any spare wood nor the time to spend creating my own frame so I bought one.
2. I had some left over spray paint in robins egg blue that I used to lightly coat the wooden frame. I wanted a touch of the wood to show through the paint, so I did only one light coat.
3. After the frame dried I cut (or had my husband cut) a section of chicken wire to fit the frame size.
4. He then stapled the chicken wire to the back of my frame.
5. Finally I attached my piece of artwork to the front of the frame using paperclips. I didn’t want to damage the print at all and this seemed like the best option. It actually looks quite cute as well.
Now you can display your artwork in an “artsy” way in your home. What? You have no artwork that you love to display? Well, no problem. Ive got you covered. Jamie Barks, the talented artist from this post, is giving away a free print to one of my readers! Wow, right? So take a look at her artwork and see what inspires you. Once you find one that you love you can create your own unique frame to display it on.  Now enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter entry below. I know your ready to win!

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I also got this sweet little print to hang in my daughters room. Isnt it lovely?
Choose to Be Happy – Jamie Barks
<3 Dick and Jane

Disclosure: I was provided with two prints to review and one for a giveaway for this post. My opinions of the art was not pursuaded by this generous act. Thank you.

Homemade Dog Treats

Last week I introduced you to our dog Manson during our Wordless Wednesday post. As you can see by his photo he is a big sweetheart. We treat him like one of the family by allowing him free run of our house, by letting him sleep in bed with us and by feeding him healthy “human-like” foods. He is quite spoiled for a dog. He even gets a stocking full of new toys and treats each Christmas just like the kids do. While we have a few things we need to work on with him, like getting into the garbage cans, barking like a nut when someone walks by our house or jumping on people when hes excited, he is a pretty good dog and deserves to have a good life (like all dogs do).

When Manson was a puppy, he and his siblings were abandoned and left to die. Luckily, a nice couple found them and brought them all home. They spent the next couple of months making sure the pups were healthy, feeding them and finding good homes for them. My husband and I were a young couple with no kids and decided that a puppy would be a great new addition to our little family. He was such a cute baby! Who could resist this face?
Manson quickly became a member of the family and has been with us as we welcomed Jane and Dick into our home in the years following. We could tell that our dog Manson was in love with our children just as much as we were. He is never cross with them and will let them play with him as children do. The sense of “these are my kids” can be felt whenever an unfamiliar face come to our home. I can tell that Manson would do everything he could to protect any one of us in the case of an emergency. He loves us and we love him.
In honor of puppy love this week, Howling Husky Bakery, has offered to give one of our pet loving readers two dozen of their all natural, handmade dog treats! Each treat is made to order before shipment to ensure maximum quality and the recipes are all taste tested by the bakery owners’ Siberian Husky named Siqua. Check out these flavors, they all sound delectable! How about serving your pup a peanut butter banana, blueberry cinnamon, cheesy tuna or savory chicken treat? I’m sure with treat like this even Manson would learn to stay out of our garbage cans and behave for guests.
Remember though, these are all natural and do not contain preservatives so when making or buying homemade dog treats store them in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent molding and lengthen the use by date.
Enter to WIN using the rafflecopter below.
Woof!
<3 Dick and Jane
 Disclosure: We were provided with a sampling of dog treats from Howling Husky Bakery in order to facilitate our review and post. While we were allowed to keep our review items, we were not compensated for our post. All of our thoughts are our own.



{How to} Keep a Clean House in Only 30 Minutes a Day

 
I love a clean house. I really do. When my house is out of sorts, I personally feel all out of sorts. Keeping a clean house gives me a sense of peace and allows me to focus on other daily issues as they so often arise. Being a mom to two little ones, I deal with ALOT of trials; especially today as my son and daughter bickered and fought constantly. I felt like a referee the entire day having to separate them into their own bedrooms for time outs. They would then hug and say sorry only to be bickering again 10 minutes later. This type of behavior can be very tiring after being up since 5:30 am.  If my house was always a complete mess, I don’t think I could handle it all.
 

Over the last year I have found a way to keep my house continually clean with minimal daily effort.

Instead of spending an entire day on the weekend cleaning the whole house, I break up my work into short 30 minute cleanings each day. I have found that if you stay on top of the mess, it doesn’t get too out of control.
 
Here is the cleaning schedule that works for me.

Daily:

(When I first wake up)
 
– I quickly pick up the toys that somehow made their way to the living room the night before.
– I wipe down the counters in the kitchen and put all the dirty dishes in the wash from the day before.
– I run the vacuum in the living room and kitchen – the highest traffic areas.
     (This may not need to be done daily in your house, it does in mine only because I have a shedding dog.)
– Wipe down the bathroom sink and counters using my towel after showering.
– Toss in a load of laundry (I do one load every day)
 
Weekends:
(or one day during the week when I have time):
 
– I mop the floors
– Clean the tub and toilet
– Vacuum bedrooms
– Dust
– Any other deep cleaning needed (ie. microwave, stainless steel, etc)

You may need to tweak this a little bit depending on your household habits. However, the main goal will remain the same. If you break your work into small tasks that you do once each day as a routine, it actually becomes easier to do and your house remains clean longer.
 

As a cleaning influenser, I recently had the pleasure of trying out a new product line from Affresh. Affresh offers products to help you easily keep a clean and healthy home without much effort, just the way I like it. They take all the grunt work out of my deep cleaning day with products to clean the dishwasher, washing machine, stainless steel, stove top and kitchen items (like your mixer). My favorite part of this product line was not only the tough grime fighting solutions, but the smell. Having a nice fragrance in the products I use is important to me. I not only want my house to look good, I want it to smell good too!
 
Do you want to try Affresh in your home and see what a difference it can make? Now is your chance!
And if you don’t win, you can buy Affresh at several local stores such as Kroger, Home Depot or Walmart to give it a try.
 
Good luck everyone!

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Disclosure: Affresh has provided me with a full product line to test and review. They have also sponsored our giveaway today. Receiving free product to facilitate my review has in no way persuaded my opinion of this product. My reviews are honest and my thoughts are my own. Thank you.

Im Sending My Kisses to You!

I can remember some days back in college when I would just sit on my dorm room floor and cry. No, nothing was wrong. I just missed my family and I missed my friends. Leaving everything that was comfortable to me to go face the world alone sometimes felt like a scary thing. While it was easy to pick up the phone and hear their voices, it still wasn’t the same.

This feeling became much more prevalent around the holidays and my birthday. It was always nice when a special surprise showed up at my dorm for me. I can remember one year my mom mailed me a birthday cake (yes, mailed it via USPS). I was so excited to open up the package to find a pile of what used to be a cake. If you don’t know me very well, cake is important to me. I LOVE cake. So it was very touching that my mom was thinking of me and didn’t want me to go without having a birthday cake while I was away (In case you wanted to know, yes, I did still eat the pile of cake).

I’m sure that many of you have the same memories of being away from home and missing your loved ones. Or maybe you have a child who has gone away to school. Either way, I have found a company (Send-A-Smooch) that will mail a package containing a large lip shaped pillow to your loved ones. Such a cute idea, especially for Valentines day! I know that I would have loved to have a reminder of my mommas kisses with me everyday while I was away at school.

So I did the hard work and checked this company out for all of you :). Not only is this a reputable business which donates 5% of their gross product sales to charity, but they also let you choose the charity that you want the funds to go to from their preapproved list!  Also, while you are helping out your favorite charity, you are getting a high quality product in return to send to someone you love. When I received my kiss in the mail it was packaged perfect for gift giving. The lip pillow was soft, yet firm and made out of a velvet feeling material. I truly must say that this pillow was perfect; not a thread out of place. I know that whoever you send your kiss to, they will be able to keep this pillow for a very long time.
Do you have a loved one you want to send your kisses to? Better think of someone quick because Send-A-Smooch is sponsoring one reader to send a kiss to anyone they’d like just in time for Valentines Day! Share the love and let someone know you are thinking of them.
Send A Smooch is also featured in our Valentines Gift Guide.
Now, pucker up and enter using the rafflecopter below.

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XOXOXOX
<3 Dick and Jane

Disclosure: Send A Smooch has sponsored this post by offering a giveaway and providing me with a product to review/photograph. I was not paid for my opinion and all views of this product are my own.

Are You a Tense Mom? {Corn Heat Therapy}

There are so many things in life that make me cringe, tighten up my shoulders or just feel lousy. From everyday parenting challenges to coming down with an illness, moms just don’t have time to feel bad. {I should say dads too because I know many dads who take the brunt of the child rearing}. I just know that when I feel bad I need to get over it fast and get back to taking care of the kids. They just don’t understand that mommy has a stiff neck, a cold, or cramps. They just want what they want, when they want it and mom needs to get it for them.

When I was putting together our Valentines Gift Guide I can across a corn filled heating pad by Good Karma Handy Crafts. I immediately thought, “Now that is what every mom {or dad} needs!”. What better gift could I get for Valentines day that this heat therapy bag? Not only is it super adorable, but it says “I know you work hard, have kids hanging on you all day and I want you to feel better”.

When I received my “I woof you” bag in the mail my first impression was how nicely it was made. I could tell that these bags are all handmade with love and had a lot of thought put into how they were constructed. The hand sorted corn kernels are housed within a 100% cotton muslin bag and the “I woof you” design is a cover which can be removed and washed. Upon using the heat therapy bag I quickly found that because it was made with corn, it did not have that yucky smell to it when warmed up like the rice bags do. In fact, there really wasn’t any smell at all which is a plus for those who have scent allergies or asthma. I warmed it up for only 2 minutes and it kept its heat for quite a long time.
{And no, it does not pop into popcorn 🙂 }

After doing some research I found that these bags could be used for so many reasons, more than just common heat therapy. They could be used to help soothe children’s ear aches, relieve the pain of migraines, arthritis, insomnia, sinusitis and could also be placed at the foot of your bed to warm your cold, tired feet at night. Plus, when you need an ice pack, just pop the corn bag into the freezer and it stays cold for quite a while. Much better than a leaking, ice filled plastic baggy!
TIP: If you know a mommy who has just had a c-section, this would be a great gift. It is the perfect size to lay across her tummy for some cooling pressure.
Since I loved my corn filled heating pad by Good Karma Handy Crafts so much I am super excited to tell you that you can win one today for free! Just enter using the Rafflecopter entry form below. Also, be sure to stop by Good Karma Handy Crafts facebook page and leave them some love for hosting. They deserve it!


Pamper Yourself
<3 Dick and Jane
Disclosure: Today’s prize is sponsored by Good Karma Handy Crafts. I was not paid to publish this post, however I was provided with a corn therapy bag for free to review. All thoughts are my own. 

How Can I Make a Difference Every Day? {Cotton Snack Bag Review}

Every day, when I pack Jane’s lunch, I cant help but feel bad about the amount of waste our family produces. The sandwich, chips, dessert. . everything goes into little plastic bags and placed within her lunch box. Did you know that an average family of four wastes around 1,500 of those little plastic bags a year?! Now take a moment and think about how many people live in your city, neighborhood, street. That is alot of waste that ends up in our landfill. I have already started to make an effort to cut back on some waste in our home by swapping out the paper sacks for a reusable lunch box, but I knew that we as a family could do more.

We all make a conscious effort to try and re-use and re purpose in our home. For me to do my part, It just makes sense that the snack bags within her lunchbox should also be reusable. It wouldn’t take me any more time than it already does in the morning to make the switch. So when the company, The Green Haven, and I met it was love at first sight. It is so nice to find an eco conscious company that produces items to help families who care about making less of a negative impact on the environment.
When I first received our snack bags in the mail I was pleasantly surprised. The bags are the perfect size for a sandwich or for a good portion of finger snacks. The inside is lined with a nylon fabric and secured by a Velcro closure. Why is nylon important? Using nylon for a liner is important because it is water resistant, food safe, stain resistant and CHEMICAL FREE (that’s in all caps because its important to me). The outside of the bag is adorable as well. There are many different themes and fabrics to choose from at the Green Haven that you are sure to find something your kiddos will love. The best part about these bags, however, are that they are entirely machine washable! Just pop them in the washer and dryer after use and your all set for the next time you need them. Its Easy!

May I add that helping the environment usually always helps your pocket book as well? Just sayin’.

So lucky for us, The Green Haven has graciously donated a free cotton snack bag to one lucky winner so you can give it a try. The winner also gets to choose the design and personalization for their snack bag! How nice!

The Green Haven was also chosen to be featured in our 2013 Valentines Day Gift Guide. Be sure to check them out!

Ready to win? Its Easy. Simply enter using the Rafflecopter below:

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<3 Dick and Jane
 
Disclosure: The Green Haven graciously donated the items for todays review and giveaway. All opinions of this company and product are my own. I was not paid for this post, but was given a free snack bag to keep for my time.

{A} Sentimental Journey

Here’s something you didn’t know about me. . . I LOVE vintage tunes. You know the sweet, love centered songs that remind you of days past. I especially love to bring them out around Valentines Day because they remind me of my wedding day. I almost had a 40’s themed wedding! It was close. I had everything picked out to go along the theme, and my husband and I own several vintage cars so it would have been perfect. We were on the vintage track until the day I found my wedding dress. The most beautiful dress I had ever seen, but it didn’t fit the theme. You know how that goes, the dress wins, everything else had to be changed to match the dress. It turned out to be a lovely wedding anyways, but I still wish I had gone with my original vintage theme. We did however dance to Etta James for our first dance, at least I did that.
So right now I am swapping out my Christmas music for my Valentines tunes and wanted to share with you a new CD that I was sent to preview (before it was released, how cool is that?) This CD is called Sentimental Journey by Emmy Rossum. Many of the songs I recognized and could quickly jump in with singing along. A few songs were new to me and I listened attentively to the words, which were lovely. I especially loved that the entire song list had a very authentic sound to it which matched the year in which the songs were originally released. Tell me, do you recognize any of these tunes?

 
Sentimental Journey Playlist
1. “Sentimental Journey” (Les Brown, Ben Homer, Arthur Green)
2. “The Object Of My Affection” (Pinky Tomlin)
3. “I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover “(Mort Dixon, Harry M. Woods)
4. “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)” (Eric Maschwitz, Jack Strachey)
5. “(I’ll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time” (Albert Von Tilzer, Neville Fleeson)
6. “Summer Wind” (Heinz Meier, Johnny Mercer)
7. “Many Tears Ago” (Winfield Scott)
8. “All I Do Is Dream Of You” (Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed)
9. “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out” (Jimmy Cox)
10. “Autumn Leaves” (Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prévert)
11. “Things” (Bobby Darin)
12. “Pretty Paper” (Willie Nelson)
Sentimental Journey by Emmy Rossum releases January 29th, just in time to pick it up for Valentines Day.  You can preview the entire CD on I-Tunes or buy it from Amazon.

 
If your at all curious about the artist behind the music, turns out Emmy Rossum is also an acclaimed actress who currently stars in the showtime series Shameless. She will also be featured in the upcoming film Beautiful Creatures which hits theatres February 13th.
You can also watch her sing a track from her new CD today, January 25th on Access Hollywood Live.
 
 
I have enjoyed listening to this CD and strolling through memory lane. I hope you enjoyed our journey as well and if you too enjoy vintage tunes, pick this one up. You’ll enjoy it 🙂
 
<3 Dick and Jane
 
 I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.