Family * Travel * Food

Eco Nuts™ Review & Giveaway

**Contest Closed** Winner is #40 T42vek20- Congratulations! I received a bottle of Eco Nuts™ Natural Laundry Soap to try out. I was pretty amazed that 4 ounce bottle I received can wash 24 loads of laundry or 48 in HE machines. I thought to myself that it could not be true. How can anything that looks like watery maple syrup and smells like the earth clean your clothing? I had to learn more... Eco Nuts™ is made from Soap Nuts. What on earth are Soap Nuts you ask? Eco Nuts™ are completely sustainable dried fruit shells that come from the Sapindus mukorossi tree (also called the Soap Berry or Soap Nut Tree) in Nepal, India and Indonesia. The ones they harvest come from high up in the Himalayas and are the highest quality "soap nut" on the market. These fruit shells have been used in India and China for centuries, and are now gaining popularity in America and Europe as a renewable, biodegradable and organic alternative to chemical detergents and expensive “Green” laundry soaps.

Eco Nuts™ contain saponin, a natural cleaner that works as a surfactant, breaking the surface tension of the water to penetrate the fibers of your clothing, lifting stains from the fabric and leaving dirt suspended in the water that is rinsed away.

Eco Nuts™ are gentle on both clothes and skin, making them ideal for those with sensitive skin, eczema, allergies and psoriasis. Because they are so mild, they are perfect for baby clothes and cloth diapers. All-Natural Eco Nuts™ are also great for septic and grey water systems. But don’t expect these shells to foam up like commercial soaps, which have artificial foaming agents. Foam simply does not represent cleaning power.
As you can see, there is no suds or foam when using Eco Nuts™
After testing this product on a few loads I found that it really worked. One capful washes a regular load. I sniffed the first load I did of towels and they smelled like.... well, like nothing. Just like clean laundry with no fragrance. Everything came out soft and free of stains. I am so amazed how well this products worked and love the fact that you can get so many loads out of such a small bottle.

Eco Nuts™ Are:
• Biodegradable
• Hypoallergenic
• Perfect for Sensitive Skin, Allergies, Eczema, Psoriasis
• Nut Allergy Safe!
• 100% Natural and Free From Manmade Chemicals
• Beneficial For Septic and Gray Water Systems
• Sustainable
• Fragrance Free
• Reusable
• Vegan Friendly, Vegan Approved
• Certified Organic By EcoCert and USDA at the Source
How would you like to win a bottle to try out for yourself? One LinkMomfiles winner will receive one 4 ounce bottle of Eco Nuts™ Natural Laundry Soap.

Just leave a comment telling us why you want to win this product.
For extra entries:
~ Follow Eco Nuts™ and Momfiles on Twitter
~ Tweet this giveaway once daily and leave a link:
Win a bottle of @EcoNuts Natural Laundry Soap @momfiles #green #laundry #giveaway
~ "Like" Eco Nuts™ and Momfiles on Facebook
~ Mention this giveaway on Facebook and leave a link

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on August 31, 2011 at 9:00 pm EST. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email. Please leave your email address in your comment if you do not have a Blogger Profile. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received a product sample to review and all opinions are 100% mine as always.

Shelly, Mom Files

Father's Day The Greener Good way {Giveaway}

** Contest Closed**
Winner is #91 Melissa R~ Congratulations!
Father's Day is fast approaching!

In honor of Dad's special day, The Greener Good will be giving away a handmade picture frame made out of recycled bicycle parts (a $36 value) to one lucky winner per day during the week leading up to Father's Day. To be entered to win, post a photo of yourself with your dad on The Greener Good's Facebook page . I think any dad would love this rugged and manly picture frame!

There will also be coupon downloads available on The Greener Good's Facebook page for a FREE solid shampoo bar (while supplies last) and recycled bicycle chain bottle opener key chains to be given away sporadically. I love the idea of the shampoo bar since it can be used from head to toe and there will be no spills like traditional bottled products. Great for travel, camping or even everyday at-home use.

My friends at The Greener Good have also offered a one lucky Momfiles reader the chance to win a pair of Tuba Herringbone Men's sneakers valued at $60! They are made from natural fiber, recycled plastic and other renewable resources and come in 3 colors (black, charcoal and rock grey). They come in sizes 9-12 including half sizes! I think they are very stylish and rather cool. They are a cross between preppy and sporty.

*Mandatory: To enter just let us know what Greener Good item do you think would make a great Father's Day gift?

For additional entries:
~ "like" The Greener Good and Momfiles on Facebook
~ Enter The Greener Good's Facebook contest by posting a photo of yourself and your dad on their wall (3 entries) Be sure to leave a link to your photo.
~ Follow The Greener Good and Momfiles on Twitter
~ Tweet about this giveaway (once a day) and leave a link to your Tweet:
Enter @momfiles to win some eco-cool men's shoes from @TheGreenerGood #fathersday #green #giveaway
~ Follow Momfiles via GFC
~ Grab the Momfiles button and place it on your blog

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end at 9:00 PM EST on June 15, 2011. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted by email to claim prize. If you do not have a Blogger profile then be sure to leave your email address in your comment. Good luck!

I have received no compensation for this post and all opinions are 100% mine as always.
Shelly, Mom Files

Dear Life: Please give me lemons

I finally received my baby Meyer Lemon tree I ordered several weeks back. I was surprised that it actually have leaves on it instead of only being a stick. William helped me plant it and we are hoping for the best. We potted it since citrus can't survive the winter and at that time we will bring it indoors. The tree is only supposed grow to about 4-5 feet at maturity and we should not expect any lemons until the second year. This was all Dwayne's idea (a good one too) and we look forward to seeing what happens! Hopefully my purple thumb won't show itself ;)

Question: Have you ever planted fruit trees in a pot before? If so, was it a success?
Shelly, Mom Files

The Greener Good | Review & Giveaway


I recently had the pleasure of receiving some wonderful green products from The Greener Good. The Greener Good is the ultimate resource for going green. They provide products, services, and educational opportunities for those interested in greening their homes, lives, and families. The Greener Good product offering includes home, lawn & garden, home improvement, cleaning, apparel, body, baby and pet products. I checked several items that I thought were so unique and I am so loving the bamboo tops and skirts.

I received a Recycled Canvas Eco Tote Bag along with the matching Eco Key Fob, a container of OXY-Boost Ultra-Concentrated Destainer & Deodorizer, a bar of The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar, and a packet of The Laundress Stain Solution.

I will say that the Canvas Eco Tote Bag is so impressive if you see it in person. It is HUGE and actually has pockets inside. The quality is top notch and I really love the way it is designed. This would be great for day trips or even as an overnight bag. The key fob is perfect for having your ID card for work or school easily accessible as well as the zipper pocket to store debit cards, business cards, cash etc... Of course I have a teenagers who called dibs on these items~ We'll see what happens with that!

I was very excited to try out the OXY-Boost since the container said "earth health & pet friendly". If you are an animal owner you know how important it is to be extra cautious with what cleaning agents you use around them and on their washable items. I read up a bit on the OXY-Boost and found out that it is a safe alternative to traditional chlorine-based products. Its safe to use on most washable fabrics and is compatible with other household cleaning agents. Also, it produces no harmful by-products which negatively affect the environment. Unlike chlorine bleach, which can merely cover up a stain, Oxy-Boost attacks and breaks down organic stains to totally remove them from the garment. I decided to give it a try on my 3 year old's sneakers. They were covered in dirt, dust and grass stains. I threw them in the washing machine along with some other shoes and I was so pleased with the result!

Check out these before and after shots. His shoes look brand new again!

I am also in love with The Laundress Wash & Stain bar and how cute is that name?! I really like the scent and lather (just like a bar of soap) and the way it worked on my husband's shirts. I used it to scrub the collars and cuffs and was very happy with how clean they came out. I hate to sound like a cleaning geek but I found it really relaxing and fun using the Wash & Stain Bar!

For more information on The Greener Good products and nationwide shipping, check out

The wonderful folks over at The Greener Good sent me a container of the OXY-Boost Ultra-Concentrated Destainer & Deodorizer, a bar of The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar, and a packet of The Laundress Stain Solution (retail value of $20) to give away to one lucky Momfiles reader.

To enter (Mandatory): Check out all the neat stuff The Greener Good has to offer and come back and let us know what item/items you liked or let us know what steps you are personally taking to "green" your life.

For additional entries (leave a separate comment per entry method):
~ "like" The Greener Good and Momfiles on Facebook
~ share this giveaway on Facebook (once daily)
~ Follow The Greener Good and Momfiles on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway (once per day) Example: Enter to win some awesome #green laundry products from @thegreenergood over @momfiles #giveaway

~ Follow Momfiles via Google Friend Connect
~ Sport the Momfiles button on your blog

This giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on April 3, 2011 at 9:00 PM EST. Winner will be chose via and will be contacted by email. If you do not have a Blogger profile then be sure to leave your email address. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received products to try out and all opinions are 100% mine as always.

Shelly, Mom Files

I did not plant a garden this year

I learned a lesson from last year's garden. I lost money. I spent a small fortune to get what I wanted and in the end we did not even use what we planted. I think it was more novelty watching the plants grow, make blooms and eventually produce vegetables. Did we really need 50 cucumbers? Did we really need 100 squash? What about 1000 tomatoes? Nope. In actuality, Dwayne and I are the only ones that would even eat cucumbers and I am the only person who would eat squash. I tried giving some away and it seems like everyone planted the same things. So this year our garden bed is bare. I might just make it into a hot pepper garden so I can make my homemade pepper sauces or just plant some flowers. You can't go wrong with flowers. I saw that squash, cukes and peppers were 10 pounds for $10 in the grocery store this week. I think I will go that route ;-)
Shelly, Mom Files

And why??

Please tell me that someone else out there has a husband that likes to dress like a fool while working out in the yard... Dwayne bought this plaid shirt from a thrift store for $1. He loves this shirt. He's proud to wear it. He says he is doing good for our earth by reusing an article of clothing. Okay, I will give him the shirt.
Now this stack of pants is where I take real issue. Why does one man (a very busy one at that) need to have a minimum of 7 pairs of yard pants? You would think our yard looked like we live in the White House with how many pants and shirts he has that are supposed to be dedicated to yard work. Oh my husband...

Shelly, Mom Files

The Green moms are gonna get me!

Seriously, real talk...I have been trying to get down with the being "green" thing. While I am already a big recycler and reuser of a lot of things, there are just some things I can't get down with. First off I went and purchased one of those organic and natural kitchen sponges. I got a great price for it so I figured it was worth a shot. Um, WRONG! I could not get the darn thing to make my dish soap lather so this made me waste detergent. After the first use it felt icky and slimy. I thought maybe because it was the first use that it just had to get broken in. Nope. Stayed that way for 2 weeks and made it into the trash can in a hurry! Also I tried to use recycled aluminum foil. Seriously, you get charged more for a cheap product? I was so disappointed in the quality.

One great thing though is my paper plates and bowls. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them and will not trade them EVER. Sorry greenies, maybe one of the big brands will come out with a green version. Until then I will stick to most of my traditional methods that work!

Flashback Friday before & after

This is what my garden looked like 5 weeks ago when it was originally planted.



I'm not sure if you can see our cute little squash. We are thrilled with it so far. Can't wait too see how much we harvest.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Garden update

Our veggie garden has been planted now for about 2 weeks and I am so impressed with the progress so far. I think everything has gotten about 8-10 times larger than they started out. I wanted so badly to fertilize everything but believe it or not Dwayne won't let me. He tells me that it goes against the whole idea of an organic garden and of course he brings up the fact that way back in the day there was no such thing as fertilizer. Fine, I will let him have it his way. I am hoping that the organic compost will prove to be a natural source of fertilizer and will provide a reasonable crop to harvest. I guess time will tell. I am so impressed with how serious Dwayne is about getting greener! Speaking of greener, look for an upcoming "green giveaway" later this week.
Question: If you planted a food garden, did you use fertilizer?

Growing Green

**In recognition of Earth Day we opted not to post a Vent day video.

Yes and I said growing green... We have officially planted our organic garden! The folks at the Ismail house occasionally do things to encourage greener living ;) We, or I should say Dwayne has been composting for over a year now and he finally got to put all that "stuff" to good use. He made a 4x8 bed in our backyard and we also gathered every plant pot we could put our hands on. It took us a few days of back breaking work to complete this project and we are very optimistic about the results.

Here is Dwayne mixing all of his organic material and getting the bed ready for planting.
Here is the garden after we planted some veggies (yellow squash, cucumbers, and sweet banana peppers)

This is Dwayne's aloe plant. He's old school like that!

You know you have to have your herbs! I keep this by my door closest to my kitchen for easy access. (cilantro, basil and thyme)

We planted some Roma tomatoes, habanero peppers and both red and green bell peppers.

We also have quite a few pots with some petunias, impatiens and begonias all around the house.

We just wanted to share a few photos of the many things we planted. We went way over our initial budget, but hopefully we will get enough fresh produce to make it all worth the cost.

Have you planted a garden this year? If you have a green thumb and have any gardening advice, please share!!


Dwayne going green?

This morning I was having conversation with Dwayne over breakfast and he was telling me about a rain water recycling unit we can purchase. He explained that it is a big container that holds rain water and has valves attached with shut-off switches to route water in the direction you want it to go. I know we have had one of those tacky bright blue water barrels before but it was hard to actually collect water in it, plus it was just plain tacky looking! He then tells me that we can have the water go straight to the new garden we are making this Spring. For an investment of $90 we can water our garden for free. This really got me to thinking and I know I don't say this often but Mr. Dwayne might actually have a very smart idea! I guess we are both slowly going in the direction of really trying to conserve resources as best we can. With the way things are going with the economy I guess we all have to do what we can to save money.

Does anyone have one of these rain water recycling barrels? If so, would you recommend it? What things are you doing to encourage green living?

Being GREEN is so hard!

I am finding these days that being green is getting to be quite a challenge. We have changed almost all of our light bulbs to the curly ones (which are costly), we recycle everything, we try to reuse things in creative ways and we have even been composting. One neat thing I do is I tend to buy premium pasta sauces when they are on sale and I save the glass Mason jar and lid it came in. I use the jars when I make my homemade soups and chili to share with a sick friend, neighbor or relative. They appreciate you did something so nice and I don't get annoyed when I don't get my container back. (I have issues with when I give you food and you don't have the decency to return my container)
Okay, back to my story...

The other day I purchased some Clorox GreenWorks glass and surface cleaner. I have been very skeptical since it claims it is natural. Something about cleaning something that shows lemons, coconuts and oranges does not make me feel like I would be cleaning. I like how it works for the most part on surfaces like my range top, desk, and glass surfaces. I just don't like the fact that it does not smell clean. To me there is nothing like the strikingly fresh scent of pine that about slaps you in the face. I am sure most of you grew smelling that fragrance while mom was in the kitchen cleaning. Now I feel like things are clean when they smell clean. I am really trying to be as green as I can but I have to draw the line with my cleaning products. Please, to all the green mamas out there, don't go sending me any hate mail. I'm old school...I'm just sayin'...

If you really want to help save the environment then order one of these. =) (my shameless plug)
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