Candle Duo Giveaway + Review ~Soy Candles by Phebes

Hello all! Well, yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day...beautiful weather, beautiful company. Yep, like I said...beautiful day. 

The Hubster left on a motorcycle trip with a friend of ours so, it was just "Little Sprouts" and me..fun times were had hiking up and down our long driveway (it's tucked back in the woods and is winding and steep so it's fun and great exercise). Also, a trip to the park was enjoyed by all. My sister and her adorable kids met us at the park. My sister's kids, who, are currently taking gymnastics at the elementary school, taught me how to do a back bend. Yes, I never took gymnastics in school...and honestly, I feel I missed out!  Watch out gymnastics world...here I come. Ha!  Sadly no pictures are currently available on my grand back bend. But, I rocked it!! ;-) 

I recently received some soy candles to review from the fabulous companySoy Candles by Phebes. Oh wow! What an experience! Let me first say that I absolutely adore candles. In fact, Fall seems to scream for candles to be lit and enjoyed. Anyone else agree with me on this? 

So, I was thrilled when Soy Candles by Phebes offered to send me two of their candles and two tarts to sample. Let me first state that these are soy candles and soy is truly the best candle in my opinion! Soy candles simply burn cleaner, are longer lasting, and are soot free. Score!!

Some good-to-know facts about Soy Candles by Phebes...in case you were curious. 
  • The candles are made in Atlanta, GA.
  • Each candle is hand poured at the time of order.
  • Only essential oils and premium plant derived fragrance oils are used.
  • Over 90 scents available (some with just down right awesome names, too!) (I'm a sucker for names)
  • Packaging is eco-friendly.
  • Soy wax is 100 % US grown.
  • Candle jars are glass and can be re-used after candle is gone.
  • Candles come in one size (8.5 oz) and one color (natural).
  • Each candle is only $12.99, which is very reasonable...trust me I've done the research. ;-)
  • Handcrafted.
  • Made to Order.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Never tested on animals.
  • Free from man made chemicals.
  • Braided cotton lead free wicks.
  • Phthalate Free
  • Strong smelling (in a good way).
  • Earth Friendly.
  • Free Shipping on orders over $25.
So, the two candles I was graciously sent to try were Ginger Bergamot and Red Current. Both of these scents are outstanding! I have tried my fair share of soy candles over the course of my life and can say that I love these best. The smell from the candle fills up a room perfectly. I didn't have to stick my head right above the candle and risk burning the tip of my nose to get a good whiff. The Ginger Bergamot was lovely..perfect ginger aromas filled my kitchen. My nose was happy (and not just because it avoided being burned). ;-)

The Red Current scent rocked! This scent seemed to be even stronger than the Ginger, which I like my candles strong so I was very happy with this scent. 

The two tarts scents I received was Vanilla Pear and Butt Naked. Yes, those are some naked bums pictured on the Butt Naked tart packaging. Creative, heh?  

Vanilla Pear smelled so good I almost wanted to eat it at times. It was lovely!!  The Butt Naked was out-of-this-world fresh and clean smelling. As if I just emerged from the shower. I'd definitely want to have Butt Naked burning after getting home from mountain biking in mud (I love mud fun). Just the smell would make me think clean, fresh thoughts. ;-)

A few scents that I am wanting to try just because they sound so unique:
  • Eat it Raw (for the raw vegan me)
  • Coco-Loco (for my crazy love of coconuts)
  • Hippie Christmas (this one just sounds super interesting!)

***Buy 3 Candles Get 1 free for Kisses from a Coconut Readers!!***
Simply say you found Soy Candles by Soy Candles by Phebes on Kisses from a Coconut blog, as well as what scent you would like in the free text area of your order. 

Now onto my FIRST giveaway! In honor of my birthday being in November and to the generosity of the kind folks over at Soy Candles by Phebes ..I am hosting my first ever giveaway! I'm super excited! One lucky reader of Kisses from a Coconut is going to win 2 soy candles (a $26.00 value). 

Mandatory Entry:
To enter you must first follow my blog and then visit Soy Candles by Phebes website, browse around, then tell me in a comment what scents you would like to win most. (1 entry)

Extra Entries:
1. Follow me on Twitter (@coconutkelly). (1 entry)

2. Tweet about the giveaway. Leave a direct link to the tweet in a comment. (Please make sure to include @coconutkelly in tweet) You can do this daily. (1 entry)

3. Publicly follow 'Kisses from a Coconut' with Google Friend Connect. (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to Kisses from a Coconut in a reader. (1 entry)

5. Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to my site. (5 entries)

6. Subscribe via email to Kisses from a Coconut & then confirm that subscription (don't worry..I rarely blog everyday). (2 entries)

7. Add Kisses from a Coconut to your blogroll with a link back to me. (1 entry)

Giveaway ends on Sunday, November 14th.

*Winner will be randomly chosen using a random.org number generator. Must be 18+ years old to enter. Giveaway only open to U.S. entries only. Winners will be contacted via email and posted in this post when confirmed. Winner will have 48 hours to confirm before a new winner is randomly chosen. Please leave your email address in your comment if your Blogger profile is not public (so I can reach you if you win).

Many thanks to Soy Candles by Phebes for sending me some samples to try out and also for offering two candles for a giveaway! I'm sure my readers will be so thankful!

So, seriously...you don't want to miss out on these candles! They rock! I love them and want to buy some ASAP! Fall and candles just go happily together. Kind of like peanut butter and apples...don't you think?

Have fun trick-or-treating, dressing up, satisfying that sweet tooth, spending time with cutely dressed kids, and all that other jazz tonight! ;-) Be safe!!

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My Cup of Tea & Two Reviews

Hello Friends! I hope you all are having a wonderful day! 

I want to take you on a adventure...I want your imaginations to run wild. I'd say close your eyes, but that would make reading this a bit challenging. ;-) So...the adventure will be to imagine you are me. Sounds funny, huh? Picture for a moment you are in the middle of a fun, but hectic morning-a high energy day to say the least. Life is busy, lots of noise, lots of laughter, maybe a few screams as one child pulls their sibling's hair ;-(. Can one really refer to a day with kids as anything but 'high energy'? 

I wouldn't change anything for the world. I am beyond blessed...much more than I deserve. God has blessed me and I am forever grateful! There are some days, mid-day..after feeding the kids lunch, reading them their afternoon stories, and getting them situated for their quiet/nap times that I simply crash..Wow, and it's only 1:00 in the afternoon?? Whoa! So, it's those moments when I need to unwind and momentarily put my feet up (if it be for only 5 minutes).

Enter onto the scene- a nice cup of tea

I have never been into drinking coffee.it's just never been my 'cup of tea'. ;-) I've somewhat just recently discovered green tea. I love it now. It is a delicious tea with loads of healthy antioxidants. It also has just enough "pick me up energy" aka caffeine to make me happy.

On the topic of caffeine- being what I know about caffeine and how caffeine isn't really all that healthy for me in the first place, I keep my consumption of it low. I try to drink no more than a cup a day. Really that is all I want. I believe that a cup should easily give me a healthy dose of antioxidants as well as be a treat for when I need a 'mama break'.

So, what about tannins in teas? I've read somewhere (sorry source is fleeting my brain right now) where that there are some who drink several (maybe up to ten) cups a day of green tea. The reason this is so shocking for me is that many suffer from anemia., me being one of them. ;-( I rarely read about tannins and teas on other healthy living blogs (though, that's not to say it isn't there..I may not be coming across it). Tannins make it difficult for the body to absorb iron. So, that's another reason I keep my consumption of it low..after having had two babies my menstrual flow can be heavy (aka anemia city)...sorry, was that too much info? hahaha! I make sure to drink my daily cup at least a couple hours before or after a meal, and I also try not to drink it daily during while I'm on my period. Anyone else deal with a similar issue? Oh how I wish even good things didn't come with side effects! ;-(

Maybe the ones drinking lots of green tea knows something I do not (quite possibly). I'd love to know their secret! Although, I honestly prefer to drink good ole' water throughout the day, with just a cup of tea for a healthy boost...I'm still curious what the secret is. ;-)

So, lately I've been experimenting (after a friend's recommendation) that I give yerba mate tea a try. It has fewer tannins than green tea, which is a plus for me. So, combine that suggestion with the gracious sample box I received to review from Mate Factor, I embarked on a a new tea experience. 

The flavor is outstanding! It is also quite energizing, but in a different way than what I experience with green tea. The energy and focus lasts much longer and with no jittery feelings (though, I never get jittery with green tea). I also love how it is very high in antioxidants..4 to 6 times higher than green tea. Good to know!

Oh, one thing I've recently learned is that studies are showing a correlation between drinking teas hot and various types of throat and mouth cancers..so, I'm careful to let mine cool a bit. I prefer to keep my taste buds free of burns anyhow, so this works out great! ;-) Call me weird, but I like being able to taste my food. Good for you to know? ;-) 

So, lately I've been enjoying the yerba mate with some NuNaturals NuStevia White Stevia Powder. I received the pictured box from the fabulous folks at NuNaturals to review and it has proven to be a wonderfully sweet partner with my yerba mate tea! Score! A match made in heaven! This is wonderful stevia powder and the the little packets aren't just cute, the stevia inside is delish...never bitter, which is a huge plus! Also, you don't have to worry about spikes in blood sugar. They also sent me a fabulous packet of recipes that I have been working on...pictures to come. I am also experimenting with recipes using stevia. Yep, those to come soon, too!

So, this afternoon's tea time proved to be a wonderfully relaxing, yet energizing one thanks to my two new friends...Mate Factor yerba mate tea and NuNaturals NuStevia Stevia. Just what a mother needs to unwind...okay, I will stop the commercial tones. I like them. Enough said.

So, what's your favorite kind of tea? Any info you want to share on tannins and anemia? Do you like your tea with stevia?

Disclosure: The companies mentioned above sent me products to sample and review on my blog. I received no monetary compensation for the review. All opinions expressed within this review are solely my own.
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My Love for Exercise plus a Wheat Grass Juicer Review!

Hello! How's your day going so far? I am off to a busy start today. Yesterday was an absolutely amazing day...the weather was gorgeous! I took advantage of it by getting in a great run and some abdominal work (well, I actually did the ab work inside, but you get my point.) ;-) I am especially loving the plank these days. What a great way to target the areas of the abs!! What a great core exercise!  Don't you just love a good workout? I love going running...it helps clear my mind and is so rejuvenating! Today I am feeling the pain from that ab workout and it is making me smile. It's the simple things in life, you know!

So, right now I have tons I need to be accomplishing! I am going to take a bit of a break to tell you about a package I recently got in the mail. Have I mentioned how I love getting packages in the mail?? Yes, I do love those sweet packages!  Speaking of sweet.. the people over at Lexen sent me one of their HealthyJuicers to review. I was super excited to receive this juicer as I have been wanting to get more into juicing wheat grass and  have been looking to compare wheat grass juicers. The health benefits are plenty of wheat grass!

So, onto the review...here is some pictures from some of the multiple practice sessions I had with it.

First off...wheat grass!

I love the way wheat grass shines in the sun!

The HealthyJuicer-the manual version!

The wheat grass and juicer team!

First taste of the wheat grass juice...yum!
I was very happy with how this juicer juiced the wheat grass. An electric would have obviously done the job much faster, but I was very impressed with how well it did the juicing. I would definitely take this juicer with me traveling as it is super light and easy to clean. Here is a picture where you can see all the pieces..

Now...on to making some apple cider with the juicer....

Since I had an extra box of apples (oh, I love Fall) I thought some apple cider making was in order. 

I made sure to slice the apples thinly as this made the juicer work more efficiently.  

Team: Apple and Juicer

Apples in position...

Apples and juicer doing their thing...

Carrots met the juicer, too!
Overall, I was very happy with how the juicer juiced the wheat grass, apples, and celery. It was super easy to clean and to put together. I recommend this product especially for juicing on the go away from home. I would love to eventually buy their electric juicer!


For my product review disclosure see here.
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Not So Wordless Wednesday: Leaf Hunting, Fall Love, Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Hello All! I hope you are all having a wonderfully blessed day! So, normally I keep my Wordless Wednesday  not too wordy...after all, the name implies that it should be. But, I've feeling kind of wordy today. ;-)

So, here are some shots (some fairly random) of our adventures outside enjoying the Fall colors and gorgeous weather...Notice the stickers on my truck (aka random shot #1). Oh yes, we love Colorado! I'm curious if we'll be hitting up the slopes this year (may have to wait until next year, is my guess..too bad Rocky got a season pass last time we were there and we may not be able to use it). ;-( 

This last year we got to get pretty cozy with Arapahoe Basin. This truly is a great place. Nice, laid back people..great snow. Yep, it's a keeper! You can see some pictures from our last trip to Colorado here.

Oh my truck needs cleaned and the stickers need some attention, too.;-)

Leaf picking with plans of making leaf pictures soon!

Oh the colors of Fall!
Feast your eyes on random picture #2...There's something about this picture I love. Simple yet rugged.
Rocky is fixing up a motorcycle he's had for a while. Don't you just love it when dirt meets handsome? ;-)
Lately I've been making my own laundry soap and now....homemade dishwasher detergent. We've been saving some serious cash by making these at home. It still shocks me when I see the cost of laundry and dishwasher detergent at stores. 

Many of the items I use in my laundry soap (which is great) I also use in the dishwasher detergent. Here's the recipe for the dishwasher detergent. Please note that in the picture I am using a really good apple cider vinegar (all raw and all). This is not necessary as you are not eating it. Really, I was supposed to be using just plain white vinegar, but since we made "volcanoes" as a science experiment with the kids (you know, baking soda and vinegar makes a mini volcano,right?) we were all out. The ACV does great, but I'd rather save it for eating..

Okay...seriously now, the recipe for the dishwasher detergent
1 Tbsp Borax
1 Tbsp Washing soda (not to be confused with baking soda) (Washing soda can be found in the laundry isle   of most grocery stores)
Vinegar (To be used as the rinse aid)

I mix up lots and put in a mason jars (gotta love mason jars). Shake it up and then put two Tbsp in the dishwasher for every load. Do, remember that the vinegar is very important key in the rinse aid portion of dishwasher.

Simple recipe, inexpensive ingredients. I can handle that!
The homemade dishwasher detergent line-up

I'm still experimenting with the homemade laundry detergent. Will let you know when I hit the jackpot on that recipe. 
Do you make any household items from scratch to save money and to cut down on some of the nasty chemicals? I'm still learning about all the possibilities and would love to hear your ideas,recipes, and tricks!

Have a happy Wednesday!

Love, Kelly


Product Review: TofuXpress

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all are off to a great start! I've got lots to do...the list is long.

I was thrilled to try out the TofuXpress. I'm sure some of you may already be familiar with this fabulous device, maybe from other blogs. It makes me smile when I get to try out a new product that I believe my readers would enjoy. The TofuXpress was no exception.

The Tofuxpress has proven to be a real time saver in the kitchen, especially when I prepare tofu. (Anything I can do to save time in the kitchen scores big with me). I remember back in the day when I would have to load up the paper towels (I know, not environmentally friendly) and put the tofu in between plates to push out the excess water. Oh, those days are over now that I've discovered this nifty kitchen gadget.

Say hello to my new friend for the kitchen!

So, I had to try out the goodness of this gadget upon receiving. Unfortunately, the pictures are not the best as I was not impressed with the tofu I had to work with. It was an extra firm tofu, but not as firm and easy to work with as Nasoya or a similar brand. So, pics of the finished product do not exist. I've recently received a coupon for Nasoya brand and will be getting more tofu soon (oh, how love coupons)...so, I will post again with better tofu pictures soon. This post will at least give you some visuals of how it all works. ;-)

But until then...on to exploring new kitchen friend..

The TofuXpress waiting to do its magic!

Tofu, gets into position!

Getting things into place!

About ready for tofu take-off!

The excess water is squeezed out and then just drained off. Easy peasy!!

Now, we don't eat copious amounts of tofu at my house, but when we do eat it it is nice to have a tool that will cut the prep time down, as well as make the finished product much better tasting. It truly makes sauteing, frying, or baking that much better. The flavors of the tofu seem to pop quite a bit more, which is a plus!! 

I was very pleased with how the TofuXpress easily squeezed out all of the excess water from the tofu! I highly recommend this product. I am looking forward to getting some more tofu and experimenting some more with my new friend. ;-) Now...if it would only do dishes, too. ;-)

Have you ever tried a TofuXpress? Do you eat tofu? If yes, what is your favorite way to prepare it? Any yummy recipes you'd like to share? 

Have a wonderfully blessed day! Smile lots!

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When Fall Hands You Apples...

You make applesauce and apple pie! Am I not correct?? So, the apple fest began...Many thanks to my mother-in-law for letting me use her awesome applesauce making gadgets and thanks to her mother for opening up her home for our annual apple fest. ;-)


Serious Apple Cutting ;-)

Apple Tasting

Aggressive Apple Tasting ;-)

Heating Things Up a Bit for the Smoosh Factor

Focused Applesauce Maker

Smoosh Smoosh!
Yep, I should have taken this shot while the apples were still in the pot...

The Cutest Applesauce Makers I've Ever Seen, Indeed!

The Stash!
So, after the applesauce making fest (and a few extra apples)...it was time to make an apple pie. Now, if I was the proud owner of an Excalibur Dehydrator (or any food dehydrator for that matter) there would have been dried apples made, but I digress...

While reading the book to my kids, 'The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree' by Gail Gibbons I was inspired by the recipe which was included in the book, and I set off to the kitchen to my very first attempt at an apple pie. The finished product was quite tasty..yep, even my hubby liked it. SCORE! I was not prepared though for how messy baking an apple pie could be (the book didn't include a warning label) ;-) Apparently, it is essential to keep a cookie sheet in the oven to collect the juices from the sugar and the apples..wow, I learned that lesson quickly. ;-)

The Pie and the Inspiration

Apple, Apple!

So, have you made any apple goodies this season?

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Random Wordless Wednesday!

Hello! Here are some pictures that I am fond of that I took earlier this week..so, this is perfect for a splash of wordless Wednesday!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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