My Top Ten Green/Natural Kitchen Cleaners Reviewed – Seventh Generation, Method, Ecover and more!

Method All Purpose Spray Cleaner - White RosemaryPlanet Ultra Dishwashing LiquidSeventh Generation Rinse Aid - Free and ClearBetter Life Take It For Granite ReviewEcover Natural Dishwashing LiquidBon Ami Powder Cleaner

I’ve been a Vitacost and iHerb shopper for years, and the reason that initially brought me there was a desire to switch to more natural cleaning products. I am very sensitive to scents and fumes, and having to use bleach or Tilex on the tub and Lysol in the bathroom always left me with watery eyes and a splitting headache. Even worse in the kitchen, where everything comes into contact with food!
I figured that there had to be some alternative, and started searching for “green” products that would be less aggressive, but still effective. There was a lot of trial and error along the way, but I would love to share some of my favorites, as well as a couple of duds to stay away from.

This is the first part of a series of posts where I will share my cleaning experience – stay tuned!

If you are a first time Vitacost or iHerb customer, you can receive $10 off your first order and try out a lot of these products for so much less than you would pay retail!

  • To save $10 off your first Vitacost purchase of $30+ follow this link.
  • To save $10 off your first iHerb order of $40+ (and $5 off of anything under $40) use code VMC661 or follow this link.

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Announcement: Upcoming Laundry Detergent Review (by a Laundry Nerd) Coming Soon!


I have to admit, I am a HUGE laundry nerd. But believe it or not, the last 3.5 years of my life were spent without access to a washer/dryer! Our condo did not have them set up, so we took the easy way out and used a wash and fold service for 3.5 years. While the people at the laundromat were incredibly nice and did a lovely job of folding clothes neatly, I absolutely hated the whole experience. Here’s why:

  • No control over which laundry products and wash cycles are being used
  • No control over sorting (I always sorted our stuff into three bags: whites, colors, darks, but who knows if they actually kept them separated)
  • Having to “ration” sheets and towels according to the monthly laundry drop off schedule
  • At least once a month we would find a lonely strange sock in our load…
  • No way to easily do delicates, other than hand washing in the sink
  • Constant “laundry crises”, where we would suddenly realize we are completely out of work shirts or pants, and the inevitable 3-day delay from that moment to when we would finally get our load back
  • And of course the horror of having to drag 40+ pounds of dirty clothes to the closest laundromat

So when the topic of wedding gifts came up, I told my then husband-to-be that I wanted only one thing: a washer and dryer. And to reward me for all the years of not being able to do my own laundry, we decided to go with a Miele set: the Miele W3038 Washer and T8023C Dryer.

We completely redid the laundry closet in the bathroom, which used to house all the household stuff, put in Elfa shelving, including the BRILLIANT Elfa Door Rack System, and finally had the stacked set installed.

Miele W3038 and T8023C StackedAnd then the fun began! It’s probably a little strange that I get as excited about laundry as I do, but I’ve pretty much been washing non-stop the last two months. I’ve tried out a bunch of different laundry detergents (I almost need an intervention based on the amount of boxes and bottles I now have…), additives and cleaning cycles, and now feel like I can share my experience! So I’ve started working on a fairly large blog post comparing all sorts of detergents – from regular Tide to pricey The Laundress and Persil Megaperls to “green” options like Vaska, Method and Caldrea. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, a picture showing the miracles a good washer and detergent can do: these are two pillowcases from a set that we had been using for years. I was about to throw them out, but decided to see what a soak in some sodium percarbonate and hot water wash with Persil Megaperls Universal can do…

Persil vs laundromat

These two pillowcases come from the same set: the one on the left after three years of being washed at the laundromat, the one on the right after a soak and wash in the Miele

Vitacost vs iHerb – Comparing Prices (and $10 off your first order)

My original Vitacost vs iHerb post is definitely the most popular page on my blog, and I’m incredibly happy that people are finding it useful even though it was put together quite a while ago! I’ve since placed many orders on both sites, and am planning to put together an updated overview (things have definitely changed quite a bit), but in the meantime I thought I’d put together a very quick price comparison of the two. Basically what I did was fill my cart with the exact same items that I was planning to buy, and take a screen shot of the resulting cart and total price.

I will also once again share my iHerb discount code (VMC661) that will save you $5-10 off of your first order, and a Vitacost link (or bit.ly/Xn43SB if that doesn’t work) that will give you $10 off of your first order of $30 or more.

The products in both carts are actual things that I buy, so I wasn’t picking and choosing based on the price difference or to prove a point. However, the results were pretty amazing – while I always knew that Vitacost was less expensive, it was pretty impressive to see just how much lower their prices are!

iHerb vs Vitacost

My iHerb cart: $92.67 total, including a 5% discount for orders over $60

iHerb vs Vitacost

My Vitacost cart: $73.55 total!

So as you can see, the iHerb order came to $92.67, while the Vitacost order was just $73.55 – that’s almost a $20 price difference, $19.12 to be exact! Both orders would be eligible for free shipping, however only the Vitacost one would get you an extra 4% cash back through ebates (sign up here if you don’t already have an account and get a $10 gift card).

Overall, even though I still order certain things on iHerb, Vitacost gets most of my business due to their lower prices. Stay tuned for more info!

Just a small reminder – you can follow this link (or copy and paste bit.ly/Xn43SB if that doesn’t work) to get $10 off of your first Vitacost order of $30, and you can use code VMC661 for $5-10 off of your first iHerb order of $25+. Enjoy!!!

 

DEAL ALERT: 3 Zoya Polishes for $12 Shipped!!!

This awesome deal is back: starting tomorrow, January 7th at noon EST you can get any 3 Zoya polishes for FREE! Just use the code COLOR2014 and pay the $12 shipping and handling fee.

3 Zoya Polishes for $12 Shipped!

3 Zoya Polishes for $12 Shipped!

Last year I scored some lovely colors, and this year I plan to do the same. I love the quality of Zoya, and their Ziv is my all-time favorite gold polish. Head on over to zoya.com to learn more about this awesome annual deal and pick your 3 favorite colors!

Sephora Beauty Insiders: Last Day for $15 off of $50, and Awesome MUFE HD Deal!

As you might know, I’m currently keeping super busy planning our August wedding, so most of my energy has been going towards that. And one of the things I’ve been thinking about is what to do about makeup on the big day. On the one hand I probably want to get a professional to do it, but on the other hand I’m way too type A to expect them to just get everything right, so I’ll probably be buying my own makeup and having them just do the actual application.

MUFE HD Complexion Starter Kit with Voucher at Sephora

MUFE HD Complexion Starter Kit with Voucher – great savings at Sephora

Long story short, one wedding day foundation holy grail is the Makeup Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation that I’ve been meaning to get my hands on. It apparently photographs like a dream – and that’s what you really want at a wedding. So imagine my excitement when yesterday I saw that you could get this awesome deal on it at Sephora!

If you’re a Sephora Beauty Insider (which I recommend anyone to sign up for!) you should have gotten an eGift card for $15 off or your $50+ purchase. That gift card expires tomorrow, so today is a great time to buy this MUFE HD Starter Kit and save a ton:

  • It’s a $114 value that regularly goes for $79, but is now priced at $55
  • You get a voucher for a full size MUFE HD foundation that you can redeem in a Sephora store ($42 value, no color match guesswork over the internet – been there, done that; note that this in only good at standalone Sephoras and not online or in JCPenney)
  • You get mini sizes of their HD Microperfecting Primer ($16 value) and HD Micorfinish Powder (also $16), as well as the HD Kabuki Brush ($40) that is no longer sold separately, but has really rave reviews
  • Free 3-day shipping!
  • 3 free samples with your purchase (I chose a couple of face masks and an Ole Henriksen serum)
  • One extra gift with a code ( I used TARTEPRIME for a deluxe sample of the Tarte Poreless Primer, but there were some other good ones – DEFINE for a deluxe Lancome Definicils mascara sample, or BOBBIBB for a sample of the Bobbi Brown BB Cream – if only you could use more than one code!)
  • And last but not least, 8% cashback when you go through ebates (no ebates account? Sign up and get a $10 gift card when you copy and paste this link: bit.ly/Vbm3jd)

So to sum it all up, my order came to $58.44 after tax, minus the $15 gift card for a grand total of $43.44, and that’s not counting the 8% cash back! Less than one bottle of the HD foundation after tax.

PSA: Get this While You Can!

If there’s one product that I’ve fallen absolutely head over heels in love with, it is this: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Body Butter. It smells like heaven, it goes on nice and smooth and non-greasy (it’s more of a mousse-like consistency than a heavy thick body butter), it’s made with awesome natural ingredients (and some chemical ones too), and best of all, it’s $4.99!

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Body Butter

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Body Butter – aka “Heaven in a jar”. Get it while you can!

Next time I’m at TJ’s, I’m getting at least five more of these and stuffing every single stocking I can with them! The hand cream trio that looks like it’s made by L’Occitane, on the other hand, is going straight back. Way too scented for my taste.

Glossybox USA September 2013

Well, it has certainly been quite some time since I last posted! I do have a couple of pretty decent excuses: first a great friend of mine got married (I was helping out with the preparations for a solid 6 months) and then I myself got engaged! It has been incredibly exciting, and yet I feel a little bad for neglecting my blog.

I had also been taking a hiatus from Glossybox, but today broke the spell. I received an email with a spoiler, then checked out what else was supposed to come and… just placed my order. By the way, through 9/30 you can use code LIP to get a free Malin+Goetz Mojito Lip Balm ($12 retail) which has some pretty rave reviews on Makeup Alley.

Want to find out what else is in September’s box? Click on the “Continue Reading” link below!

Glossybox coupon code September 2013

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iHerb vs Vitacost: Which Is Better? My Review

iHerb vs Vitacost: Both offer a similar selection of healthy goodies, so what’s the difference?

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately and a couple of weeks ago I placed my first iHerb order. I had heard a lot about the website, but somehow never had any need for their products. However, when I found myself on the market for supplements I started looking around and comparing prices. And I realized that Whole Foods charges $10-15 more on some of the stuff I need! AND you can save $5-10 off of your first order with a referral code! It was a no-brainer for a cheap frugal person like me.
And then I got sucked in – there is just so much to choose from. Some of the products I needed weren’t in stock on iHerb, so that is how I discovered Vitacost. Shortly after that, a second order was placed, and ever since I’ve really gotten into the whole “healthy option” thing and my purchases have ranged from eco-friendly dishwashing tablets to shampoo to vitamins with a lot of stuff in between.

When I did my initial online research, I noticed that there wasn’t much information comparing iHerb and Vitacost – most of the search results were outdated forum threads or websites promoting their referral codes, none of which is very helpful. At this point I think I have enough experience to compare the two and with that I decided to jot down a detailed review/comparison. I have to warn you that it will be pretty subjective though – I’m basing it all solely on personal preference and experience.

And… yes, I will share my iHerb discount code (VMC661) that will save you $5-10 off of your first order, and a Vitacost link (or bit.ly/Xn43SB if that doesn’t work) that will give you $10 off of your first order of $30 or more. Enjoy! ♥

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