Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ecostore usa review and giveaway

***this giveaway is now closed***

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Ecostore USA to review some of their products and host a giveaway. I immediately visited their web site to learn more about this company and their products. I was certainly pleased and excited about what I learned. Ecostore originally started and became well established in New Zealand and now they are branching out to the USA. Right now they are based in Michigan but would like to sell their products in stores across the United States. If you don't live in Michigan, no worries, they have an online store. Anyway, here are just a few interesting bits of information from their site:

ecostore USA guarantees its products:
• are plant- and/or mineral-based and free of nasty chemicals (No nasty chemicals™)
• use safer ingredients from renewable resources • are formulated with your health in mind
• are safely super-concentrated
• meet the highest environmental standards
• have not been tested on animals
• are GE free (free of genetically-engineered products)
• are packaged in recyclable packaging

Doing good by nature

The team at ecostore USA loves making a difference in people’s lives. ecostore USA does not compromise on performance, so customers can be assured of the efficacy of the products - they truly work. We offer more than 100 products, each one meeting the most stringent environmental and sustainability standards. The guiding principle of every formulation is and will always be that the end product must not only be good for the user, but good for the planet.
So what does No Nasty Chemicals™ mean?

Our mission is to focus on individual health issues. Our ingredients are the principle factor in helping Ecostore achieve this goal. By eliminating hazardous toxins that are the basis of so many conventional cleaning products we not only help you but keep our planet in the best shape possible. Doing Good by Nature means taking the wonderful gifts that nature offers and developing plant based products that are safe, authentic and really work.

Amazing stuff, right? Before I even share my review I highly recommend that you go check out some of their products, but do come back for my review and giveaway! Also, you can follow ecostore USA on twitter and facebook to stay informed. You can also sign up for their free monthly newsletter to keep you up to date with any new

Okay, review time. Because this is Clothesline Chronicles I just had to request laundry related products and they willingly sent me a bottle of their laundry liquid as well as their pure oxygen whitener. Let me start with the laundry liquid. The smell is wonderful and light. Because the liquid is concentrated it only takes 3 Tbs per load of laundry. For a few years now I have been using a different "natural" laundry detergent but it is quite clear to me now that even the "natural" detergent I was using had added chemicals. Ecostore's laundry liquid works great and it is plant-based with no nasty chemicalstm! With two little kids that get their clothes soiled with food, markers, paint, dirt, and grass on a daily basis but also have sensitive skin it has been difficult to find a detergent that is effective yet safe and gentle on their skin. Well, let me tell you, I have found it! Some pieces of clothing that had been stained and declared play clothes were free of the set in stains after just one wash in ecostore's laundry liquid. The fresh eucalyptus scent is wonderful and my laundry is clean.
Now, for the Pure Oxygen Whitener. Oh my goodness! What a difference this product makes! It is safe for colors in the wash and brightens them like you will not believe. My girls have dresses that are very colorful and cute but they are hand-me-downs and have had years of wear. When I washed those dresses using the laundry liquid and the pure oxygen whitener the colors were vibrant and like new! The whitener need only be dissolved in water then put in the washing machine along with the laundry liquid. It has a light, fresh, clean scent. To really put the Pure Oxygen Whitener to the test I followed the recommended directions: dissolve only 2 Tbs of the whitener in 7 liters of water (in a bucket) then add the white laundry items and let soak over night. I really wanted to see if this would work. I put in some white socks that were ruined from wearing them around the house, white socks that were terribly stained by grass and and good ol' Virginia red dirt from cutting the grass and gardening, my favorite solid white t-shirt that was not so white anymore, and my kitchen towels that are solid white yet stained from months of messy cooking. I let them sit over night and ran them through the rinse cycle in the morning then hung them on the clothesline to dry. Wow! My t-shirt looked brand new! My socks were gleaming white again! My kitchen towels could no longer betray me and my messy cooking habits....they were as white as they day I bought them. Are you as excited as I am?! These are great products! Plant-based. Natural. Safe. Eco-friendly.
The generous people from ecostore USA have allowed me to host a giveaway so that you, too can enjoy some of their wonderful products. I get to giveaway a $25 Gift Certificate* for EcostoreUSA To enter the giveaway go visit their blog and sign up for the free monthly newsletter and check out their products then come back here, let me know that you signed up and share your favorite product.
You can also follow ecostore USA on twitter and facebook to keep up with the latest happenings.
So there you have it! Now it's up to you. I'll choose a winner on August 8th. To gain an extra entry you can blog about it...leave another comment here so I'll know you did.
*the giveaway is for US residents only

Sunday, July 26, 2009

she ratted me out...

so I might as well tell you. It's not a huge deal, just a moment of brilliance that would make my husband cringe. So, we were at the pool last week for swimming lessons and I took apples for snack time. I washed them before we left, had napkins to lay them on, but oh man, I forgot my handy dandy apple slicer thingy. No knife either. It's probably not a good idea to take a knife to the pool whilst I'm surrounded by lots and lots of excited, dripping wet, shivering in towels children. What to do? Use a key?...uh, no. My finger nails?...uh, no. They're too short anyway. Oh wait! How about a credit card or something? Yeah baby! That's the ticket! Okay, the germs from swiping my card in who knows how many machines...disgusting. But I just got a new loyalty card that had never ever been used so I wiped it off and hoped for the best. Let me tell you...it worked like a champ! Apple slicing brilliance! My friend Kim said I should take pictures so I could blog it. I said no because I knew Tim would be grossed out by the germ factor so he didn't need to know about it, let alone see pictures. Well, Kim, you were right, I should have gotten pictures. So how did Tim learn of my brilliant apple slicing device? Simple, miss O ratted me out.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

crochet-along...sweet & simple

I wanted to get started right away on a small project that would be quick and easy...yet pretty. My goal was to use up the remainder of this yarn. I found a free pattern on Craft Leftovers for a Springy Headwrap. Perfect! It uses a small amount of yarn, it's a simple pattern to follow, and it's pretty. Oh, and it's for me. Yes, I know, making something for myself is nearly unheard of these days with all the July birthdays, but I have a little break before the next batch of celebrations so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Besides, making something for myself is one of the requirements for the Crochet-Along. So do you want to see my finished product? Oh goody...here it is. Sweet and simple, right? The colors in the yarn, I just love them. It's very summery. Okay, here's a close-up of the pattern. Please pardon the frizzy hair. That is the reason I needed a headwrap...to keep the frizz out of my face. It works! One thing though, I have a freakishly small head so it was too big. I ended up overlapping the ends before I used a couple of rows of sc to hook it all together.

I'm going to try another one and shorten the length so it just goes from ear to ear like a traditional headband then I'll make a chain on each end to tie underneath my hair that way it'll be adjustable. In my mind that works. I'll let you know how it turns out.
So there's one project down for the Crochet-Along. How about you? Wanna join in the fun? Oh come on, you know you want to.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

review, renovation, and renegade squirrels

A few weeks ago I was contacted by EcoStore USA to review some of their products and write a review...and host a giveaway. I am in the midst of trying the products so the review will be coming soon. In the mean time I encourage you to visit the EcoStore USA web site and check out their products. It's pretty amazing!

This summer our back yard has undergone a serious renovation. It's been in the works for quite some time and we're almost done. The major project was getting a swing set for the girls. I must say, it was definitely worth the wait because they absolutely love it. Tim put the the whole thing together by himself...okay I handed him a few things here and there, but he did it...and it's wonderful.

Now, because there has been such a grand transformation of the back yard, the crazy squirrels that love to play back there are not very happy. What they have begun doing is sitting way up in the top of the neighbors oak tree and throwing acorns at the girls while they swing. Oh, I'm not crazy. You may think I am, but I'm not. When I was out there alone hanging the laundry on the clothesline I didn't hear a single acorn hit the ground or the play gym but as soon as the girls came out to play the acorns rained down on them. It's comical really, until that is, someone gets whacked on the top of the head with acorn pieces. Okay, even then it's still a little funny, but seriously, there are acorn everywhere! It's July for crying out loud! There shouldn't be that many acorns yet!

Stay tuned for the Eco Store USA product review and giveaway!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Last week when the Some of a Kind kids and the Clothesline Chronicles kids were chatting around the water fountain, Adrienne and I were sharing project ideas, new yarn discoveries, and planning out our Christmas gift lists. Oh, we have grandiose plans this year. There are so many great things to create and so much yarn to choose from...it was a little overwhelming to think about. Then the idea hit us...how about a crochet-along. Motivation: check. Accountability: check. Fun: check.

Wanna join us? Here are the guidelines:
  • Try something new! ...a new stitch, a new pattern. Never crocheted before? Well, give it a whirl.
  • Make something for yourself!..yes, yourself! I know, it's nearly unheard of but you can do it.
  • Join the Crochet-along flickr group and post pictures of your creations. And yes, you can copy the picture for your blog and link it to the flickr group.
  • Official deadline is November 20th. Yes, the plan is to have our crocheted gifts completed before Thanksgiving so we can relax and enjoy the holiday season. Of course the crocheting doesn't have to stop there...once you're hooked it's hard to stop!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

summer in full swing

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but I know you understand. It is summer after all and it will be short lived. I've been a little bit preoccupied....Soaking up the fun... Slowing down to take it all in... Appreciating every moment... Dreaming dreams...Trying new things...Becoming a better me.
*gluten-free zucchini bread with the first zucchini from our garden
*DIY deodorant...go ahead call me crazy...but it works, it smells great, it's cheaper than and better for you than store bought varieties. (thanks Rachel for the link)
*homemade remedy for powdery mildew in my garden...worked great on some leaves and others shriveled up...gardening certainly has a learning curve.

*nature walks with my family
*play dates with friends
*mornings at the pool (the girls' swimming lessons)

*gifts made from soft cotton yarn
*with the help of my new bargain of a sewing machine
*an atmosphere of gratitude for the blessings we are graced with each day

How is your summer coming along? I hope to be back soon with more fun projects that I can share and lots of adventure stories. Happy Thursday! xo ANG

Monday, July 13, 2009

three hour tour

I am so exhausted right now...you have no idea. I'm so glad I took typing in high school so I can do this with my eyes closed. I just don't have the energy to type and hold my eyelids open at the same time. So what's the deal? Oh, well, you see we went for a short little hike...me, Tim, and the girls. No problem. We had an hour and a half before dinner and this should take no more than an hour. HA! So we drove to this place to park our car, crossed the main road, and entered this trail that took us to the top of a mountain. No problem, for reals, no problem. Twenty-five minutes, minimal whining, nice breeze, few bugs...great! We enjoyed the view from the top...I'll share a few pictures later when my brain remembers how to find the sd card in my camera. The whole city, the college, the big letters..great stuff. We sat in the gazebo (love gazebos by the way...I'd like to have one some day so when it's raining I can sing Sixteen Going on Seventeen while dancing about...i digress) to catch to rest for a few minutes then down we went. Oh, but we took a different trail. Why? Well, the reason was so we wouldn't back track, but it took us to the other side of the mountain and way, way, waaaaaaaaaay, down the road. Oh, yes, we hiked, they whined, we climbed big hills, and yes, we did it! We made it...three hours total. And now we're home... I found only three mosquito bites, but five ticks. So now every freckle and speck of dirt looks like a tick to me. So with my new found paranoia I would like to say good night. My fingers have decided to shut down for the night much like my eyelids. Thank goodness for spell check. xo ANG

UPDATE:: We're all a little tired this morning but not sore. We got some great exercise and have a great story to share with our friends. And for your viewing pleasure, here's a view from the top and the gazebo.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

crocheted stash basket::complete

Oh yes, that's right. I finished my crocheted stash basket. It took 2 1/2 skeins of Sugar 'n Cream Cornflower yarn. It's full of yarn and projects that I'm working on right now. I love it! It turned out just as I had hoped! And look...I got some yarn from my girls for my birthday to build up my stash. I also got a skein of Lion Brand Homespun (waterfall) from my mom. It's so pretty and soft. Now, all I have to decide is what to make next. Any ideas?
Wanna see some of my other birthday goods? Here's my new, fancy, schmancy, whistling tea pot (from Tim)! Oh it is so lovely. I want to drink more tea just so I can hear it whistle :o) Although, I have discovered that our cat is not too fond of that sound.

And take a looksy at this. Tim got me a new running outfit. Shirt and shorts...matching...very cute. I love the colors. I can hardly wait to go running! Maybe I'll look like I'm going faster...okay, probably not, but I'll be cute while I'm running slowly!

I got a few more things for my birthday but I haven't taken pictures of them yet. I did get some money for my birthday and I usually end up spending it on my girls but I might actually spend it on myself this year. My dilemma is this:: buy new running shoes OR buy the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker. I know my choices are quite polar opposites. If I buy the ice cream maker then I'll probably need to run more because I'll be eating a lot of ice cream. Maybe I'll go with the shoes and let Breyers take care of the ice cream :o)
Happy Thursday -xoANG

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

luaus, thievery, and the beauty of nature

Well folks, today is my birthday. Yep, I'm 36...officially closer to 40 than 30. It feels good, this 36. I have the most wonderful husband in the world, I have two beautiful girls that are healthy and happy, I have friends that are too good to be true, I am healthier than I've been in years, my family is fabulous...truly blessed. That's what I am!
My dear friend Theresa's husband has the same birthday as me so we got together on Sunday for a luau birthday party. Oh, we had music and leis, sparkly lights and lanterns, ribs and sushi...and an ice cream cake for dessert. What a wonderful feast! Just a few shots that captured the night:: the spread, the kiddos (minus the tiniest one who was sleeping), the cake, me with my beautiful family (yep that's what 36 looks like--please excuse the frizzy hair, it was raining)...and the cake again that captures the action. Thanks Theresa for a wonderful party!
On the morning of July 4th as we were on our way out the rd door I went to check on my tomatoes. Gone! I live in the city, mind you, so I thought it was probably some kids that took them to be mean then I saw them....hoof prints! A deer had come into our yard and had it's way with my tomato plants while trampling my squash. Seriously, really? There are a few flowers and tiny tomatoes hanging on so I really hope we get some big 'maters this summer. My cherry tomatoes survived because they went unnoticed so I should have some of those this week unless we get another visit. I close the gate at night now so there's no open invitation to my garden. It's just frustrating, ya know? Gardening takes a lot of work...I've got a small garden but with watering, weeding, staking..to see some of it gone...not good, man, not good.
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This last set of pictures are some things in nature that we just had to share with you. First up a little snake that crossed the sidewalk in front of us while we were on a walk. (if only I was brave enough to catch it). Second, the proof of our deer thief...hoof prints in my garden. Third, some tiny little mushrooms. Fourth, a bird's next the was made with sticks and mud...amazing things-nests. Lastly, okay not found in nature, but our lovely cat, Shadow, was unwillingly sporting some shades for a picture. The girls insisted that I include this shot... it was so funny to them.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. Happy Tuesday! xo ANG

Saturday, July 4, 2009

and the apron giveaway winner is...


I do hope that you will enjoy your apron and love hanging your laundry just a wee bit more. You'll be cuter on laundry day, that's for sure! Email me your address {clotheslinechronicles(at)gmail(dot)com} and I'll send the apron off to you in a jiffy.

Happy 4th of July! Celebrate the greatness that is our freedom!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. That was really fun...fun enough to have more giveaways!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

friends & fireworks

Don't forget about my giveaway to celebrate the 300th post of Clothesline Chronicles. Click here to enter.

Yep, friends and fireworks...the stuff memories are made of. Eeew, did I just end that sentence with a preposition? The teacher in me loathes poor grammar skills but I couldn't help it. 'The stuff of which memories are made' just sounds highfalutin. Last weekend our town had a wonderful day of celebration that ended with a fireworks show. We have never taken our girls to see fireworks...ya know, with an early bedtime they are never up late enough during the summer to even see the sun go down. Well, we thought it was time. Time to enjoy fireworks, to see fireflies in the dark, to stay up late!
Our good friends were taking their kids to the fireworks show as well and suggested that we meet for snow cones first and make an evening of it. Boy, oh boy, was that a good idea. We stopped and enjoyed some sugary treats together. I have never seen such a rainbow of colors on the teeth and tongues of these kiddos! The weather could not have been more perfect. The temperature was in the low 80's, the humidity was non-existent, and there was a wonderful breeze. It felt very Hawaiian trade wind-ish to me. And with the island music playing from the snow cone shack...it was perfect.
After the little ones ran off some of their sugar we headed up the mountain to get a great spot to see the show. The kids all piled in the back of our car then ran around in the grass, then back in the car, then....you get the idea. Let me tell you, every ounce of red#40 and every minute past bedtime was worth it. My girls are still talking about it and can hardly wait until next July! Here are some pictures I took of the fireworks show. The beauty can never be captured but it was so beautiful and we enjoyed every last second! Thanks Theresa and Mark for making these memories with us!

Happy Thursday. xo ANG

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

birthday time

July is officially birthday month in my family. First up...my sister!

Happy Birthday Mel!

Okay Mel, this one is from the girls! Enjoy!

I hope you have a great day! Love, ANG

Oh, and don't forget my giveaway. Click here to enter!