Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ecostore Citrus Spray Cleaner Review

Okay, I have to be honest about my whole "green" mentality. I am a person of convenience. If it's fast and easy, I'm on it. Having said that, one of the big epiphanies that came from my blogging this year is the realization that my convenience mentality, while quick and easy in the moment, may not always be best for me or my family in the long run.
So we are trying to make somelifestyle changes here at the Boymom house. One of the areas we've chosen to look at is what is coming in and our of our home that can be eliminated in the way of chemicals. So when Ecostore USA asked me to review some of their natural cleaning products, I was quick to jump at the offer, as there is SOOO much "natural" product out on the market now, it's hard to know what's really worth buying.

I chose to try two products from the Ecostore USA website which I thought I would use the most.

The first is the Citrus Spray Cleaner. Ecostore's product description says they've had good feedback about this product working well for black appliances. I took that to mean that it would clean well and not leave a bunch of icky cleaner streaks. I was not disappointed. I have a black gas range that my husband thinks is the bacon frying Alter to the Gods. Every time he fries bacon, he cooks it on high, letting grease splatter over about a 6 foot radius of the kitchen. As thankful as I am for his willingness to cook, I later regret his generosity in the kitchen as I am left to clean up the aftermath. ANYWAY...I used the Citrus spray cleaner this time to see how it cut through the grease. I was expecting instantaneous results like I get with my regular chemical filled product. I will be honest and say that the cleaner did not cut through the grease quite as quickly as the chemical laced stuff. HOWEVER, I appreciated the wonderful smell that quickly cut through the bacony odor left behind with the grease and after I resprayed and let the Citrus Cleaner set for a few minutes, it did a really nice job on cleaning up the mess.

It looked clean and new and my kitchen smelled very, very nice. For some reason, knowing that there wasn't a bunch of chemical residue left around the kitchen made it feel better. More - ummm - natural. Does that make sense?

So while it may not work quite as fast as what I used to use, I am certainly willing to trade off a few extra minutes of letting the spray work if it means less harsh chemicals coming in contact with my family.

The 2nd product I chose to try is the Pure Oxygen Whitener. I use a similar product once in awhile around the house to remove stains and to whiten my laundry and I wanted to see how Ecostore's product compares. To date I have only used it with my laundry, not as a stain remover on anything else (like the myriad of carpet stains that appear out of nowhere everyday!). I have added it to my laundry loads as directed and at first I wans't sure i really noticed a difference, but after using it with every load I wash, I have noticed a slight change in the way my clothes look coming out of the dryer. The whites are starting to look less gray and dingy from our hard water. They definitely smell fresher and cleaner and I did have success removing a couple of stains on a white t-shirt in a regular wash cycle with the Pure Oxygen Whitener added to the load. Where I have found the most success with this product is when I soaked a few tops that had the major yellow underarm stains in hot water and the powder overnight. I have reached that age Ladies, where body stuff is changing and this new and annoying problem I have now with underarm stains is due to those lovely feminine late in life issues that we all get to experience. TMI? Sorry...just letting you know why I am so pleased that Ecostore's Pure Oxygen Whitener did it's job with my tops. No icky yellow pit stains! Yay!

Ecostore USA has lots of other products I will be looking to try, like toilet cleaner (if you read my "About Me" section, you know all about the issues I deal with as the only female in a house full of males with no aiming skills! I need some good product to keep on top of that chore.

What product would you try? You can check out their blog to learn more about Ecostore's products and their philosophy. They are an e-commerce site that has launched at all 186 MEIJER grocery stores. Ecostore USA always offers free shipping on orders of $25 and more. I like Ecostore. So far I've found them to be a friendly company, to the environment and to society in general.

In fact, they are so friendly, they want to offer my readers a chance to win a $25 Ecostore gift card so ya'll can try out some Ecostore products yourselves! Here's what to do to enter:

Go to the Ecostore blog and sign up for their newsletter. Then come back here and leave a comment telling which product you would like to try. If you want extra entries you can:

  1. follow Ecostore on Twitter and tweet this contest or
  2. become an Ecostore fan and post a status update about this giveaway on your Facebook page.

Just make sure you come back here and leave me the links for your extra entries in separate comments. Contest ends Saturday November 14th at 12 midnight PST. I'm off to reclean my stove..."Frying Man" struck again and made hamburgers. Hello!?! Isn't that why we have an outdoor grill?!

**Disclosure: I received free product from Ecostore USA in exchange for this review. Receipt of free product does not guarantee a postive review. My review is an honest and accurate assessment of my experience with Ecostore USA and their product.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Winner of Five For Fighting Autographed CD

Drum roll, please!!

(Make you own drum roll sound effect here)

The winner of the Five For Fighting Autographed CD is...

actually very tiny and hard to see!

It's number 1 - Johnson Team Mom! Whoo-hoo! Congrats!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Five For Fighting Slice Review and Giveaway

So if you came here by way of my regular blog, you read a little bit about why I love Five for Fighting so much. If you happened across this review from some other linky, you can take a quick trip here to catch up on my passion for John Ondrasik.

In the meantime, let's talk shop. One2One Network gave me the opportunity to download and listen to Five for Fighting's new CD entitled Slice this week. (Does that statement suffice as disclosure for the FCC? ) I have to say, having some beautiful music to listen to made it a much easier week. Anyone who is familiar with John Ondrasik's previous work knows his greatest talent lies in being able to convey such raw emotion in his music, through both his singing and his instrumentals. The playlist on Slice is consistent with his other work that way. I think the thing I found most interesting about this particular album is the subject matter. Since the press release said it better than I could, I will let you read it:

"If every album provides snapshots of where an artist’s mind at heart is at the moment, Slice, the latest offering from John Ondrasik (aka Five for Fighting), is a collection of digital jpegs and faded Polaroids. The album takes stories of friends, family and even American servicemen, and sets them to music shot through with the spirit of the great songs of his youth. It’s a diary, or a blog, in which Ondrasik speaks his mind about current issues, experiences and sentiments, while setting those thoughts to piano, bass and drums."
Slice is an eclectic collection of songs that give us some insight into who John Ondrasik is as a person. Which is why I am drawn to his work, because he seems...Real. Normal.

I enjoyed the unique arrangements of these new songs, which incorporated shout-outs to some of his favorite older songs, either with lyrics or instrumentals. There were hints of Billy Joel, Earth, Wind and Fire and even actual words from Don Mcclean's American Pie. Academy Award-winning composer Steven Schwartz (who penned the songs for acclaimed musicals such as Wicked, Godspell and Pippin), collaborated with Ondrasik to bring the idea to fruition. He helped write the title track Slice (as well as the song Above the Timberline).

“We sat down at a coffee shop to talk about writing together,” says Ondrasik, “
I told him about my idea for ‘Slice,” and ‘American Pie’ actually came on the
radio. It was surreal. Stephen immediately wrote the first two lines on a
napkin, and we were off and running."
My favorite songs on the CD have to be Story of Your Life and Song to the Unknown Soldier. I love that he is an active supporter of our military. Did you know John created & produced “For the Troops”, a CD compilation of superstar recordings that is available for free to every active service person in US Armed Forces? And he regularly performs for US Forces at Guantanamo Bay, Hawaii, Guam and Japan on USO tours.

Slice will be available for purchase on October 12, though you can pre-order your copy now throug, were you can also listen to samples of the playlist. While you are waiting for your CD, you can check out some of Five for Fightings sites:

He'll also be doing some guest spots in the next few weeks, so you can catch him on these shows:

CBS Saturday Morning - 10/10
The View - 10/14
The Today Show - 10/16

AND THEN, if you want to catch him live, he'll be doing a concert series called An Acoustic Evening with Five For Fighting. I am so bummed that there is nothing schedule for Phoenix yet, I would love to see what is sure to be an amazing show. To find out about how to get tickets in a market near you, go to his site.

And if you've made it through my entire review post, you get a reward for your diligence! Mom2Mom Network is donating an autographed copy of Slice for me to give away to one of my readers! I am soooo jealous! I didn't even get on e of those! To enter, just leave a comment naming your favorite Five for Fighting song. If you want extra entries you know the drill, just leave a separate comment for each action you take:

  • tweet the contest
  • leave a link to this page on your Facebook page
  • Follow my I Am Boymom blog
Contest will end at 12 Midnight PST on October 20, 2009 and is open to US and Canadian residents only.