Thursday, February 26, 2009

Awe, poor baby. And I mean me.

We left off a few day's ago with Jerad on the couch watching Real House Wives of Orange County, and me feeling a little better.

He ended up calling out sick Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and making a short appearance at work today only to go home early. All this from the boy whom I have to usually FORCE to call our sick for ONE day. Yikes.

It hasn't been pretty. Let me give you some back ground info. I am a very doting person. You have a fever? Here, let me get you a cold cloth for your head. Thirsty? I'll get some water. Sore Throat? Would you like tea or just straight honey? Stuffed sinuses? I'll do the Neti Pot for you... without gagging. Need your feet rubbed? More blankets? How can I serve you?

Jerad also isn't helpless. Most men leave the nest clueless about real life except for how to bbq and how to set up the surround sound. Not my man! He came to me knowing how to cook (very well!), how to clean, how to make beds the right way, how to wash his own laundry, and even how to knit. Now that I think of it, I probably should have written his mom a thank-you letter:) The point is, he was self sufficient and not one of those "mama's boys."

Annnnd then He Got Sick. Like I mentioned before, I am mooooore than happy to get him whatever his little heart desires when he is sick. And he is also moooooore than capable of getting it himself. So we should have all our bases covered right? Ha. Haha. Hahahahahaha.

Jerad has this super annoying habit of vocalizing everything that he is feeling while sick. He isn't whining, or even complaining, just This is really annoying for someone who likes to "fix things" to have to deal with. After 3 and a half days of it, and getting over being sick myself, I was ready to kill him last night.

Over the last couple days I have been getting so frustrated because he will ask he how to "make something better" and then, do nothing about it.

Him: What do you do for ear aches?
Me: You can put onion juice or peroxide in it.
Him: Oh.

Him: What do you do for congested sinuses?
Me: A Neti Pot would work the best and its really soothing...
Him: Oh.

Multiply that conversation times about 15.

I just gave up and started feeding him Stinging Nettle tea by the cup full, and cooking with as much garlic, onions, and blueberries as possible.

On Thursday I came home from working a 10.5 hour day and got started on dinner. Normally, if one of us stayed home for the day, the other one of us would def cook and clean, but he was really sick so I wasn't expecting him to. So I'm tired, a little sick (also on my period btw), and trying to cook dinner because he hasn't eaten anything. All day. I decide to make chicken enchiladas.

I'm in the kitchen, he's sprawled on the couch looking like death is coming through the front door any second.

Him: I think my fever is back.
Me: Do you want me to get you a cold cloth?
Him: No that's okay.

I make the Enchiladas making sure to only put in stuff that he would want, manage to spill sauce all over the counter and down the cupboards, slice my fingernail off in the cheese grader, and burn myself. Annnnnd he's not hungry.


Does he want ANYTHING else? No.

The night progresses. He's thirsty but doesn't want anything to drink. Throat hurts but doesn't want honey. Body aches. Is seeing purple elephants (okay I made that one up). Doesn't drink the tea I get him, doesn't want the blueberries I get him. Anyways, by bed time I am READY for bed since I have to be up at 6.

It takes us a lot longer than usual to get through our bedtime routine of putting the dogs inside, turning down the bed, getting water, taking vitamins, washing faces, brushing teeth... because someone is moving a wee bit slow.

Finally we hit the hay.

And the coughing begins.

Shortly followed by the tossing.

And turning.

And sighing.

And more coughing.

Not just coughing. But coughing, then LOUDLY clearing his throat. Over and over.

Him: My throat hurts
Me: (no shit Sherlock) Do you want some Honey? I'll get it? I'll go with you to the Kitchen?
Him: That's okay


Him: My ear hurts...
Me: Do you want to try peroxide in it?
Him: Thats okay...


Him: I don't think I can sleep lying down in here.
Me: Do you want to get some pillows out of the guest room and prop yourself up more?
Him: I dunno.

annnd, that's when I lost my shit.

At this point it had been about an hour of him tossing, and turning, and stating problems but being completely unwilling to have me, or try anything himself. I loudly told him that I thought there was Dayquill in the bathroom (if I suggest Day/NyQuil I must be mad) and really I should have just taken it myself and passed out. I reminded him that I had to be awake in a few hours and it was a tad frustrating hearing allll about him being miserable, yet not being able to help. I may or may not have asked him to keep his thoughts to himself.

I really do feel bad for him, but also, who out there feels like men can not handle being sick as well as women can? AND, if you ask for advice, repeatedly, maybe you should take it?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oh Meat...

I just wanted to clarify. In my last post when I said I hate meat, what I mostly meant is I despise touching raw meat so I have a hard time cooking it.

Seriously. "Hard time" is the understatement of the year.

I grew up in a vegetarian family, so... not a lot of meat handling going around.

I distinctly remember the first time I had to touch raw hamburger meat. My husband at the time.... oh that's right my friends, it wasn't till I was 20... was late from work and we were having a party, since meat prep was always his job, I Was Screwed . I ended up putting on a pair of those yellow dish washing gloves and trying not to throw up. It was a close call.

I am fine eating meat. As long as it is fully cooked and I don't think about it too much. But I still have a hard time cooking it. I've gotten a little better, but Jerad still does 97% of the cooking if it has chicken, pork, or beef... even fish I have difficulty with. That's why I like the crock pot for meat -- minimal touchage -- dump it in, sprinkle in some other stuff, come back in a few hours and its not gross anymore :)

My other coping mechanism is to buy meat, bring it home, freeze it, then cook it from frozen since its really the raw texture that bothers me. This infuriates Jerad to no end since apparently "fresh" meat tastes better. Eh, what do I know, I'm a vegetarian at heart.

Does this freak out anyone else, or just me?

Down home cookin

Since Jerad was so sick, I decided to make some real "down home" food last night. A pork roast with roasted carrots, potatoes, and onions, whole wheat-whole grain garlic bread, and a white wine mustard gravy.

I had never made a roast before ( I hate meat!) but it came out really good! It was super tender and tasted waaaaay better than it looks in this pic. It wasn't greasy at all, that's just the gravy:

Here's what I did (assuming you care)


(all amounts are totally approximate and this made about 6 servings)


1 1/2 lb Organic Pork Roast
6ish Organic Carrots
3 Organic Potatoes
1/2 Organic Yellow Onion
1 bulb Organic Garlic
1 Tbsp. Organic Dill
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Course Ground Pepper to taste
Sea Salt to Taste


3/4 Cup White Wine
3 Tbsp. Organic Mustard/Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp. Organic Mustard Powder
1/2 Tbsp. Rosemary
2 Tsp. Organic Dill
2 Cloves Organic Garlic
2 Tbsp Unbleached Flour
1 c. Water
Course Ground Pepper and Sea Salt to taste

I wanted dinner to be a no brainer, so I ran home on my 30 minute lunch break and peeled all of the veggies. I cut the carrots lengthwise, sliced the potatoes and onions, and mixed them all together in a baking dish with about 2 tbs olive oil, 1/2 a bulb of pressed garlic (we really like garlic), the dill, and salt and pepper. I put foil over the top and put it in the fridge.

I started the meat in the crock pot on my lunch break also so we would be able to have dinner shortly after I got home instead of waiting over an hour for it to cook. I made a salt/pepper/garlic rub (probably about 1/4 of the bulb of garlic), stuck the meat in the crock, and set it on low. You could skip this step altogether, but I think it makes it turn out more tender and the cooking is waaay faster.

When I got home I preheated the oven to about 425, added a few table spoons of water to the veggie mixture, and threw them in(with the foil on top) for about 15 minutes. About 10 minutes into the veggies cooking, I heated 1 Tbsp. olive oil, in a skillet, and threw in some garlic and pepper. After the garlic began to brown, I added the meat and browned each side, then stirred the vegetables, and moved them to the sides of the dish adding the pork to the middle (reserve a few tablespoons of the fat for the gravy).

After that cooked about 10 minutes, I added the garlic to the reserved pork fat (appetizing huh?) and cooked over medium heat until the garlic browned. Then I added the wine, mustard and rosemary and whisked for a minute or two before adding the flour and whisking for an additional minute until smooth. Add the water, dill, salt and pepper to taste and wait until the gravy has the consistency you want, and voila!

Anyways, this is obviously super easy and really customizable. This is just what I did. We were sick (and love garlic) so I used a lot of garlic. You can also put in whatever veggies you want. Something I normally do before cooking any potatoes is boil them first so that they come out tender. If you don't like dill, leave it out or use a diferent spice. You could also use a plain gravy but this one had a really really good flavor:)

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bio-hazard *Updated*

Thursday night we went to Beth and Tyson's and made them dinner and then I fell asleep on their couch for what felt like a few hours while everyone else watched The Prestige. Because I'm an entertaining friend like that.

Friday we took the dogs out to the country for a run and I was too tired to walk down the hill (they sure had fun tho).

Saturday we went to watch a Roller Derby tournament (yes they do still exist) with Taylor and Dom and a few other friends and after standing for about 30 minutes my legs wanted to collapse.

Sunday I was too tired to get out of bed for Church so I made Jerad go without me. Sunday night Jerad finally got on the bandwagon and worked up a 102 fever and the chills. We both called out sick for the next day.

Monday we woke up at 12:30pm. Yes you read that right.

Today I am back at work and he is still home. Probably because he refused to get sick in a timely fashion, he is being punished now:)

Its actually really sad. Last night was the first time he has ever thrown up in the little over 3 years we have been dating. And his head hurt so bad that the last 2 nights he has moved out to sleep on the couch so that he can sleep sitting up and relieve some of the pressure. This is also the only time he has ever called out sick twice in a row.

Normally I am a really loving caregiver, but its hard when I feel like sick/migraine/pms death myself. I guess the whole point of this is come visit, we are fun lately!!!

Actually, we are slightly fun. Jerad's chills make him shake like a crack addict, and my migraines have been so bad I went back on topamax so I am pretty much tweaking. Hawt.

*Edit: I went home on my break to throw together dinner so we could eat soon after I got off work tonight. When I left to come back to work Jerad was curled up on the couch, watching Real Housewives of Orange County. That's when you KNOW its bad. He's lost all will to change the channel. My poor, poor boy...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Want some free makeup?

Then you should head over here and enter. Or don't, cause then I'll have less of a chance to win :)

Pay it Forward

The first three people to comment on this post will receive a gift from me. The only catch is you have to post this on your blog and pay it forward.




Thanks Shannon :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Re: V-day

I'd like to amend my Valentine's Day post and say that what Jerad gave me is an extra ten pounds.


I'm so excited about my new mixer that last night I made a(nother) batch of cookies and a(nother) double batch of blueberry muffins. Er, this isn't going to end well.

I tried to convince myself that they were healthy since I never use white or brown sugars, I use canola butter, and I even made the muffins whole wheat! The problem was, since they were "healthy," I had three of each.

So, when I start looking like this:

You can thank Jerad.

ooh, blueberry.... I should go have another muffin...


I changed my blog template. Which of course made all of my links that were white, now invisible.

I fixed a few posts, but seriously, I'm not going to go back and do all of them. If you ever decide to peruse an old post, click on the invisible white space and it might take you somewhere.

In the meantime, here is something that was forwarded to me that made me laugh:


*Subject:* FW: Craigslist dating

Recently posted on craigslist In the Portland area

To the woman that crapped in my car. ( NE Portland )
We met on Craigslist so I am hoping that this post finds you. I know that it could quite possibly be the most humiliating first date that you have ever been on, but I am willing to look past that.
I thought we had chemistry sitting at McMenamins sharing that basket of Cajun Tots while drinking the Terminator Stout. I really felt like there was a connection there. I found you to be intelligent and witty and looked forward to further conversation with you.
At some point in life, everyone has gambled on a fart and lost. It just happened to be on a first date in the passenger seat of my car. Please don't feel bad. The package I sent you with Pepto the next day and the note that said "Fi rst dates are always a crap shoot. Call me" was meant to be funny, not offensive.
I have gambled on a fart and lost on multiple occasions. The first time I did it was very memorable. It happened when I was five and sitting on my uncle's lap. I am lactose intolerant, but love cheese. I probably win 95% of the time, but I don't think anyone wins 100% of the time. That's why they call it "gambling". I'm the last person to judge you for crapping your pants. In fact, I am impressed by your boldness. The timing on the other hand, could have been a tad bit when you're not sitting on a heated leather seat...
What I am trying to say is that if you want to go out again, I would be more than happy to take you someplace where we can get a meal that is high in fiber and less taxing on the digestive tract.
I await your call,
P.S. - If you shat yourself on purpose to end the evening early.Touché

Monday, February 16, 2009


We had such a fun Valentine's day!

My only request is instead of going out to eat, we did something that required thought and effort instead. Jerad said he would handle dinner, so I took on lunch.

For breakfast I made some homemade blueberry muffins. Beth had made some the day before and they were so delicious I had to as well. Mmmm!

Right after breakfast, my Valentine's Present arrived!

Just like I had been wanting! I was sooo happy. I knew he had ordered one, but I didn't know it would be here on V-day! Instead of getting a red one, we got the Imperial Grey since it was more of a neutral color, and matched the blender we already have:

Too bad it didn't arrive in time for me to make the breakfast muffins and brownies that were part of my present to him:

I put together a picnic lunch for us, complete with little touches like hard pear cider, heart shaped brownies, and a mini yellow rose plant (yellow is his fav color).

We have both been doing The Love Dare together, and really enjoying it.

So I bought him the Fireproof DVD and Fireproof couples kit to go along with it.

As well as a few other books and a "Just for Jack Pack" made by All Things Jill, a Canadian company.
Its a bunch of 100% natural products made with certified organic essential oils.

The PLAN was that we would take the books and picnic basket and go have a romantic picnic lunch. Well, since everything was all blustery outside, we ate at home instead:)

He wanted me out of the house while he was making dinner so I wouldn't know what it was. So... he dropped me off at the theater where I saw Confessions of a Shopaholic. It was cute, but nowhere near the books I have come to adore. Why did they take them out of London? Anyways, as soon as I stopped trying to compare the film to the book (something I always do), I had a good time.

After the movie he picked me up and made me stay in the living room so I still wouldn't know what he was making for dinner. He set up our bistro table in the living room and we had a romantic little dinner in there.

There was also candels and wine, but I didn't get a pic of that

He made some sort of special chicken stuffed with fontina and covered in a brandy sauce that you get to light on fire. Also homemade foccacia (thanks Kitchenaid!), stuffed mushrooms, and a spinach and steamed beet salad.

Everything was soo delicious.

We ended the night by watching a really romantic movie in bed:

Which, actually was really romantic because it was the kind of movie that I love. Jerad will choose a romantic comedy any day, but I am all about the SciFi, scary, or action films.

It was such a great day, and I love that we stretched it out allll day and were able to do thoughtful things for eachother and ohmygodihaveanewkitchenaid! I love that boy:)

Oh yes, pictures!

As I'm sitting in the living room clearing off my camera as Jerad washes dishes (yes he spoils me), I realized that I haven't been posting pictures!

So, here's what we've been up to lately:

A lot of cooking and washing dishes:

Snuggle time on the couch:

Making homemade pizza:

Celebrating my baby sister's 13th bday (crazy she is that old now!):

(Me, Addy, Mom, Melinda)

Taking the dogs on lots of rides and hikes:

(Bailey, Buddy, Wyatt)

P.S. Buddy is about 90 pounds now! He accidentally jumped on my foot last week and I thought he broke it. Horse.

Spending time with Tina, Tom, and Belle:
(Belle being not-so-happy about having her nails trimmed)

Checking out wedding venues with Tina and Tom:

Apparently Tina escaped all of my photo taking?

Looking at all those pics of sunny weather makes me wish it wasn't pouring outside right now:(

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What's in a name?

I loooove my last name. Which is very odd considering it is so unoriginal. According to

  • There are 1,898,923 people in the U.S. with the last name Brown.
  • Statistically the 4th most popular last name.
  • There are 3,798 people in the U.S. named Stephanie Brown (I've known 2).
When I got married, I didn't want to change my name. At. All. Ever since kindergarten, I loved having a last name that everyone could say and pronounce! My finance at the time was more than willing to change his, or make up a new last name together (weird) but I decided for his family's sake to go with tradition.

So, I changed my name to one of those "no one can say/pronounce/spell" surnames.


  • There are fewer than 336 people in the U.S. with the last name Kambestad.
  • There are 1 or fewer people in the U.S. named Stephanie Kambestad.
It buuuuuged me having to correct people on pronunciation all the time. Hello, its pronounced exactly like its spelled! And when people asked how to spell it every.time. Ugh! I answered them in the typical Pheobe fashion:

"K as in Kambestad
A as in Ambestad
M as in Mbestad
B as in Bestad
E as in Estad
S as in Stad
T as in Tad
A as in Ad
and D as in Dude."

This cracked Jerad and Danielle up a lot.

It took me about 2 days after my divorce was final to run to the Social Security office and change it back.

Jerad and I have talked a lot about name changing. I decided a few years ago that were I to ever get married again, I would be keeping my name as is. I will have been a "Brown" for 25 years this year. I barely even remember being a "Kambestad" because during that time allll of my friends still called me by my maiden name. My parents even asked for "Steph Brown" when they called me at work. I just didn't keep the new name long enough for it to stick. I like my maiden name, and I want to hold onto it. It has a history behind it, both my own, and my family's (there is a town in Texas founded by my gradpa's grandpa with our family pictures on the museum walls).

Jerad on the other hand, very traditional about the whole affair.

I think its dumb to do anything only on account of "tradition." I also think that its dumb to have to give up your identity just because you are getting married. The writer of this blog had a friend give this reading in her wedding ceremony:

Beyond What
Alice Walker

We reach for destinies beyond
what we have come to know
and in the romantic hush
of promises
perceive each
the other's life
as known mystery.
Shared. But inviolate.
No melting. No squeezing
into One.
We swing our eyes around
as well as side to side
to see the world.

To choose, renounce,
this, or that --
call it a council between equals
call it love.

She went on to say:

"I love this poem for the way it departs from one convention of weddings. There is a moment in most ceremonies that leaves me a little mournful: the one when it's pronounced that two amazing individuals, each of whom I love separately, have become One. It makes it seem as if love's ultimate effect is to reduce by half the number of wonderful people in the world, and I'm pretty sure that we can't spare them. I prefer to think of it as a pooling of resources; a collaboration that will allow each of you to better reach for destinies beyond what we have come to know."

I think that pretty well encapsulates my name-changing feelings. That said, we definitely want kids, and I would want our whole family to have the same name. Although I would have no problem explaining to them that just like I had my father's last name, they had their dad's last name.

For all the reasons that I would want to keep my name, I wouldn't want Jerad to ever change to a "Brown." That'd be ridiculous. Hyphenating? Maybe. It just seems like such a hassle. Keeping my maiden name as a middle name and taking his last name? That's another maybe.

  • There are 61,157 people in the U.S. with the last name Hutchinson.
  • Statistically the 572nd most popular last name.
  • There are 122 people in the U.S. named Stephanie Hutchinson.

Well, no matter what happens, at least most people can say and spell Hutchinson. Part of my job is answering phones and taking messages and lemme tell you, there are some weird-ass last names out there.

Since this isn't anything immediately pressing, I still have some time to mull it over.

What did/would you do? Did you regret it?

Oh how I wish I ordered this in time...

... I'm buying it for next year :) You can too.

Oh Edward...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I have no will to do anything today!

I actually have a few "big news" items to share with you, but basically I am too lazy to write about them in a coherent fashion. So.... instead you get nothing!

In littler news, I am obsessed with the show House lately. I find it very entertaining. Although, how much would it suck to end up in that hospital? "Hmm, you probably have this so we're going to give you this drug in case... nope, that didn't work, lets do a surgery instead... nope, how about some radiation?" Nonetheless it entertains me. Oh House, you and your snarky ways!

Blogger was just trying to tell me that "snarky" wasn't a word. I say it all the time, so I checked Urban Dictionary just to be sure. You know, because it is the final authority on everything.


Adjective - Any language that contains quips or comments containing sarcastic or satirical witticisms intended as blunt irony. Usually delivered in a manner that is somewhat abrupt and out of context and intended to stun and amuse. Origin: Snark="snide remark".
Evelyn always called attention to the proverbial pink elephant in the room with her snarky comments.

Ha, perfect!

Then, since I'm bored I checked "House" too:


One of the smartest medical dramas to ever have aired, House, M.D. features the maverick, anti-social doctor Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) who specializes in infectious diseases and does whatever it takes to solve the puzzling cases that come his way.

A show that should rob this year's Emmys if not for its sheer quality then for Laurie's brilliant acting.
Dr. House - "Sorry. Up late. Internet porn."
Dr. Chase - "Why aren't you in your office?"
Dr. House - "There's a computer in my office. If I log on, romance will ensue. My wrist might fall off."

- Episode 18 "Babies & Bathwater" 4/19/05

Mmk, I have to go look up more random words now...

Monday, February 9, 2009


Since we've been doing so well with paying off debt and budgeting, I decided I should go spend $300 on a mixer. Just kidding, sortof.

I was planning on putting my whole tax refund towards my credit card which will pretty much wipe out all of my debt (excluding the car). Then, I found out that my refund will be about $500 more than I was planning on. So, I sort of have an extra $500 that I didn't budget for.

Jerad has been trying to buy me or get me to buy a stand mixer for years now. YEARS. As in, years before we were even dating.

I do soo much cooking and baking and I only have a travel mixer whose motor gets hot and smells funny if you mix anything stronger than eggs.

Just last weekend I made bread, mashed potatoes, and brownies. And mixed everything by hand since my mixer is on its last legs and not strong enough anyways.

I have had this constant internal struggle for some time. Obviously I don't NEED a KitchenAid because I have been cooking perfectly fine for a lot of years with out one. But oh my, it would make my life easier! There are so many times when I want to make bread or pizza dough for dinner but I just don't want to spend the time kneading the dough (I also don't own a bread maker). Or when I make whipped cream and it takes 10 minutes because my mixer is so slow.

I know that I wouldn't be one of those people that go out and spend a ton of money on one and then it just sits on their counter top unused.

I called Jerad and asked him what I should do. He didn't hesitate and told me to "buy one today! on your lunch! get the best one!" Obviously you can tell who is the responsible frugal one in our relationship. I countered back with "yes but they're so expensive... We have gotten along fine without one so far..." but he was pretty adamant and I really did want one so I decided that there is no time like the present to stimulate the economy!

Of course I couldn't just buy one, I had to read all of the reviews and try to find the BEST one.

Oi vey. Who knew KitchenAid made so many models? I thought the models consisted of plain white, or colored. Noooo, I had to choose between:

KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixers:
KitchenAid Artisan 5 Quart:
KitchenAid Pro 500 Series:
And a few more.

Don't even get me started on the available attachments!

I was reading reviews and trying to figure out what would be best for me. Is 245 watts okay? Will it work as well as the 325 watt one? Or do I need the 575 model?

If I get the 4.5 quart, am I going to wish I had the 6 quart?

As I was trying to decipher the reviews, I started coming across a lot of talk about the Cuisinart SM-55:
Professionals prefer it to the KitchenAid? How could it be so?!? It has 12 speeds compared to the KitchenAid's 10. It has an 800-watt motor! It has a timer! You can also get attachments for it just like the KitchenAid. INCLUDING a Food Possessor top and everyone loves Cuisanart Food Processors right? It has a 3 year parts warranty and a 5 year motor warranty as opposed to KitchenAid's 1 year parts and service warranty.

It is even a little cheaper than the KitchenAid.

But, honestly, its just not as cute. And KitchenAid has been "the" mixer for 40 years now right? Obviously buying a product based on "cuteness" isn't the way to go, but I have wanted a KitchenAid for soooo long. Hmm.

What kind of mixer do you use? Any words of wisdom?

I would be mixing different batters, whipped cream, meringue, sauces, eggs... all the normal stuff that I'm sure any mixer would be fine for. What I'm worried about is dough. I love to make bread. I want to be able to make big batches of pasta, pizza, and bread dough and not worry about it.

Hold my hand, I'm feeling needy. AKA give me some advice :)

Its begging to look a lot like ...

... Christmas?

Here are a few pics my sister sent me from my parents house this morning.

Keep in mind we all live in Central CA and their house is about 20 minutes from the ocean.


If there's still snow tonight, Jerad and I are going to take the dogs up there and have a little frolicking sesh tonight. Fun!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Products I heart.

After I wrote this post, some of you emailed or commented asking what sort of products I have been using. So I thought I would finally answer you!

My criteria was to find products that didn't contain any parabens or other icky unpronounceables, were affordable, and available around here so I didn't have to order and wait for shipping each time I needed something.

I read a lot of reviews and searched for products, then narrowed it down to what I wanted and checked where it was available. It turns out that between Target and Walgreens, I was able to get almost everything I wanted!

Enter Yes To Carrots.
I purchased their shampoo and conditioner from the Yes to Cucumbers line for colored hair. I haven't colored my hair for a long time, but I thought it would still appreciate the extra moisture:
After using these for just a few days, the difference in my hair was nothing short of amazing. It had so much body, and no left over residue from styling products. And the smell? Mmmmm! I also stopped losing hair in the shower and when I comb my hair, none comes out at.all. My hair REALLY loved this stuff!

I also got their body wash:
Yes to Tomatoes facial wash:
And Yes to Carrots eye cream:

They are both very yummy smelling.

If you have ever been to my house (or followed this blog for long) you will have seen my obsession with lavender. Our whole hall bathroom is lavender themed, and full of all sorts of bottles, soaps, and dried lavender products that people have given me. So... naturally I had to get Dr. Bronner's Fair Trade Organic Shikakai Lavender Body Soap.

Jerad doesn't like that it "doesn't make a lot of bubbles." BUT, it smells great, is all natural, and works well.

The funny thing is that growing up, all my family used was Dr. Bronner's Pepermint Liquid Soap.

At the time, I had no idea there was anything special about it. It was just normal soap.

The most natural hairspray I was able to find was by Giovanni. Also available at Target!

I purchased the hairspray:

And leave in conditioner:
The hairspray has a lot of control. Just a few sprays and your hair isn't going anywhere. I just spritz one spray if I want a little hold, and more if I have curls. The leave in conditioner is so weightless, I don't even notice it. I put it on and comb it through my damp hair and my hair shines all day.

For cleaning products, I use vinegar for almost everything. Baking soda if I need something more abrasive. Having wood floors and 6 pets I do a LOT of floor washing. I bought a steam mop this summer that is safe for the floors and cleans and sterilizes them using just plain water. It works amazing and I love it.
I decided to try out a few products from Seventh Generation after reading good reviews.

I purchased the soap (available pretty much anywhere):
And Laundry detergent. I was happy that they had one for HE washers:

The laundry detergent, amazing. It took out all the residue from the detergent I used to use, and the clothes feel much softer.

The soap. Honestly, I don't like it at all. A lot of other people rave about it, but for me, I feel like it doesn't cut through oil AT ALL. Any olive oil left on the pans is a major problem. I am going to try out Ecostore brand instead. The downside is, you have to order online.

So, that's that! We have slowly been throwing away old products we have and trying to use up others.