How to Clean Your Home and Body Naturally {Norwex review & giveaway}

Okay, I have been just waiting to share this gem of a company with you! Have you heard of Norwex?

Norwex is committed to radically reducing chemicals in our homes to promote the health of your family and of the environment. Norwex’s line of effective and green cleaning products will save you time & money and contribute to a better environment. Norwex microfiber goes beyond “surface clean” with the innovative use of silver particles integrated into synthetic microfiber cloth.

My local friend Kayla introduced me to Norwex a couple of months ago and I am hooked! Now the trick for me is how to explain it to you in basic terms (at a party you see an entire demonstration). So let me give you a rundown of just one of the demonstrations she did. Kayla took a piece of raw chicken and wiped it on a plate. She tested the plate for bacteria and the liquid in the vial turned purple which indicates bacteria. She then took Norwex’s Enviro cloth and wiped the raw chicken juice with the cloth (I know….yuck!). Again she tested the same plate for bacteria and this time the liquid in the vial remained clear, indicating bacteria was no longer present. Whoa! This was just one of many awesome things Kayla showed us. Here is a video of Kayla doing a short demonstration.

In the “raw chicken demonstration” the bottom line is the Enviro cloth can be used in your kitchen, bathroom, at the table and really anywhere you choose to clean… with water…that’s it! AND it kills bacteria! I know that sounds really strange because it did to me too. You can use this rag over and over, only washing every couple of weeks. Surprisingly, it won’t get that yucky musty smell either!!

Enviro Green Norwex

Here is what Norwex says about their Microfiber and Envirocloth:

At only 1/200th the size of a strand of human hair, Norwex Microfiber is one of the most innovative products in the cleaning industry today. When combined with the unique Norwex knitting process, Norwex Microfiber becomes a highly effective cleaning agent and can hold up to seven times its weight in matter. Unlike cotton cloths that will simply spread the dirt, grease and other particles around, Norwex Antibac* Microfiber lifts these particles up into the cloth and away from the surface. Once inside the cloth, the Norwex MicroSilver in the cloth goes to work with self-purification properties against mold, fungi and bacterial odor within 24 hours, so that it is ready to use again.

Here is the technology behind it that makes it work so well:

Silver Kills Germs: People have known for centuries that silver kills germs, but only recently have scientists discovered how the white metal does it’s work. One question that has eluded scientists is why silver is harmful to bacteria but doesn’t hurt humans. Albert T. McManus former Chief of Microbiology, USA Institute of Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, says that silver interrupts a bacteria cell’s ability to form chemical bonds essential to its survival. These bonds are integral to the cell’s physical structure, so bacteria in the presence of silver essentially falls apart. Cells in humans and other animals have thick walls and are not disturbed by silver. Using powerful electron microscopes, scientists at Tsinguha University in Beijing, China, can actually see silver react with bacteria. Using a common E. coli bacterium — often the culprit in food poisoning — researchers can watch silver destroy the cell wall and alter the nucleus, or center of the cell.

Here are a few of my favorite items from Norwex!!!

Enviro cloth and Window Cloth: This is the cloth I was referring to above, along with the window cloth. With the duo you can clean windows with water alone! You can order the Basic Package for only $31.99 here.

Deodorant: I have tried sooooo many kinds of natural deodorant and this one WORKS! No, really it works! You can read more about the deodorant and order for only $13.99 here.

De-scaler: We had hard water when we first moved into our home and had some calcium build-up over the last year on our ceramic tub. This De-scaler literally wiped it away! I had tried everything and nothing compared to this! You can order the de-scaler for only $29.99 here.

Body Pack: Okay, are you ready for this? No soap needed to wash your face. I am a facial routine girl who uses amazing products to take care of my skin. This facial cloth takes makeup off better than any facial wash I have ever used. It also takes away the need for shaving cream or body wash in the shower. You can order the body pack (3 cloths) for only $19.99 here.

Now this of course, is just the tip of the iceberg and I sincerely hope you will take some time to look over the company of Norwex and their amazing products. You can visit my friend Kayla’s Norwex website and view all the products by clicking here.

Today I am thrilled to be giving away a bundle of Norwex products valued at over $100!

Included in the bundle:

1. Enviro Cloth (pictured above)
1. Window Cloth
1. Make-up removing Cloth
1. Optic Scarf
1. Kitchen Scrub Cloth
1. Car Cloth

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ruth Schwenk

The Unexpected Meal {Teaching Hospitality Through Example}


Recently, in a concerted effort to get our house sold, we decided to have the carpet replaced throughout the house. If you’ve ever had carpet installed, you know it is mayhem. Everything in the rooms of your home displaced and moved from room to room. Workers in the most intimate parts of your home…for the entire day, if you have a lot of carpet.

Ours took from morning until supper time, as we had the entire upstairs — 4 bedrooms, a loft, and 6 closets — to re-carpet. And for the entirety of our day, three men who we’ve never met, walked in and out of our closets, bedrooms, and through our front door.

Five of my young boys were home that day, and they looked on with wonder at the work being done, and the workers doing the work. These were men that didn’t dress or talk like their teachers at school or church. These were men that took breaks outside in a cloud of smoke. These were men who’s bodies were covered with images and words they don’t see on their parent’s arms and legs. These men worked hard and worked quietly, and like everyone else…had a story. And that story was now spending a day in my home.

When lunchtime came, the boys and I started hunting for what we had to eat. We landed on simple turkey and cheese wraps. My 10 year old offered to help, and while we began to make lunch, I asked him to run upstairs and get a lunch order from the men carpeting: Turkey and cheese with salsa or with mayo/mustard. I assumed they would decline and spend lunchtime away.

But, no. They all wanted turkey wraps. I listened from the kitchen, and each of them paused in surprise, and accepted.

My son ran downstairs with the most enthusiastic smile on his face. I knew what he had just discovered: The joy of hospitality. He worked diligently to compose paper plates of turkey wraps, chips and salsa, and even placed two oreos on each plate. He was delighted and proud. It wasn’t the lunch he was proud of…we’d had fancier. No, it was the delight of knowing he was about to bless some hard-working men who were in his home for the day.

One by one the men came downstairs, grabbed a plate and sat outside to eat. One by one, they came in with empty plates and thanked us for the meal. And my boy beamed.

You see, I learned that day, that our children take our cues about hospitality. Our children hear us when we say,

“We don’t have anything worth sharing,”

“That’s awkward to feed strangers,” or

“Let’s keep to our business.”

They also hear us when we say,

“Share whatever we’ve got,”

“Give with a cheerful heart,” or

“We are blessed to be a blessing.”

They value what we value and get excited about what we think is worthy. Let Christ be our true treasure; for when his is worthy, any and all who he brings to us become souls…of value.



Fall Into Grace: 4 Steps to a More Peaceful Home this Fall

Friends, my family has been through quite a year. We’ve been through health issues, unexpected upheavals and big changes – not the least of which was moving halfway around the world to a place we never thought we would be!

Our little family has weathered the craziness of this past year really well. My husband and kiddos are rock stars!

But gals – and I don’t know about you – I’m tired. Body and spirit, I’m weary. I’m still faithfully spending time in the Word and in prayer; but most of the time these days it feels like my prayers are hitting the ceiling and the words from The Word are hitting plexiglass instead of a pliable, open heart.

And my family, y’all. After a year of change and movement, we need some peace. We’re all tired, we’re a little rough around the edges and we’re all a bit on edge.

How about you? Could your heart use a little bit of peace? Could your home use a little bit of peace in this season of back to school, impending holidays and pumpkin-everything?

(Note: “peace” does not necessarily mean absence of action, or even absence of conflict. Rather, a deep seated contentment in your current season.)

I don’t know about you, but I tend to think/feel, “If only someone would calm things down around here I could be the patient and loving wife and mother I long to be!!” You and I both know that we are the ones who set the tone for our homes and families. If someone is going to usher peace into our chaotic lives, it must start with us.

I know.

Fall Into Grace: 4 Steps to a More Peaceful Home This Fall

So, let’s do this together. Let’s take 4 simple steps to make our homes and families a little bit more peaceful this fall (and all the year ’round!).

1. Choose a theme verse. Spend some time praying, searching God’s Word and talking with your husband. Ask God to lead you to a verse to be your theme for the fall. Commit to memorizing it, praying it daily, and talking about it with your family. I’m thinking about choosing Psalm 119:165:

Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

I also want to incorporate verses 166-176 into my daily prayers for my family. Print your verse and hang it in prominent places in your home. Is there a song that incorporates your verse? Play it! Sing it! Learn it! The Word of God is living and active and the most powerful resource at our disposal to bring about positive and lasting change in our own hearts and in the hearts of our families.

2. Examine your schedule. It’s hard to have any time of peace or rest if you’re running six ways from Sunday everyday of the week. Talk with your husband and together come up with a plan for how many extracurricular activities in which each child can participate. We can’t do everything, and we shouldn’t try. For our family, in this season, our rule of thumb is one extra activity per child. That may change over the years, but for now it works for us. Decide for yourselves, too, how many extra things you will participate in. Do you really need to lead the women’s Bible study at church, coordinate the nursery rotations, make snacks every week for the youth group and go visiting the homebound every week all while running a blog, personal business website and planning your next mission trip? By all means, serve!! However, let’s find the places He is really leading us, and serve there. It will free our energies to cultivate peace at home, and it will free up ways for others to serve!

3. Concentrated time alone with God. My quiet times have been struggling lately. Oh, I’ve been in the Word. I’ve been praying…or trying to. But as I look ahead to cultivating a season of peace at home, I cannot give (or cultivate) what I myself to not have. We need hearts at peace in order to be agents of peace in our homes. Set aside time daily – a good chunk of time where you will have minimal interruptions – and really spend time with God. You may just need to sit quietly at first and focus on His presence to allow your heart to soften and open. If you’ve been through some stressful times this year, you may have been building a protective wall around it without realizing. This time can be early in the morning, during nap time or after the kids are in bed. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you take it. Set a reminder on your phone, write in on your calendar. Protect this time like your life depends on it – because it does.

4. Accountability and Encouragement. We cannot do this parenting gig alone. Find some friends from church, work, other school moms, whatever to come along with you on this journey of peace. If, like me, like-minded friends in person are a rare find, there are loads of online resources to help you, too! The past few years I’ve been participating in the Making Your Home a Haven Challenge from Courtney at Women Living Well (this challenge will run again this year, every Monday in October). Last year I fell in love with the book, Autumn Bliss, from Denise Thompson. So many great ideas for cultivating peace and rest in our homes.

So, are you in? Leave us a comment and tell us which one of these steps you’re either most excited about…or most terrified of! :)


Jen Deibel

Capturing Memories One Tag at a Time {Rendi Review & Promo Code}


Rendi Logo

I love to take pictures.  Like I seriously have a problem.

I was the girl with boxes and boxes of photos stashed under the bed, stacked in the closet, scattered in the junk drawer, stuck on the fridge… the girl who ordered doubles and triples to share… the girl who took five rolls of film on vacation.

{Remember when we actually had to buy film?!  I’m old. But anyway… I digress.}

Thankfully, the art of scrapbooking stormed my life, wrangled my disorganized memory-keeping, and whipped those disheveled pictures from yesteryear into album after album of glory days gone by.

That is, until the dawning of the digital age.

Now, with no more film to buy and no more boxes to hide, I can click, click, click ‘til my heart’s content!  Trouble is, I now have hundreds… thousands {maybe hundreds of thousands?? did I mention I have a problem?} of pictures stored on my computer and phone.  Worst of all, I rarely enjoy them because I don’t even take the time to sort and upload and edit and print and order.


So basically, I now have the digital version of boxes and boxes of photos stored not under my bed but on my laptop.

All is not lost, however… because there is Rendi!

Rendi is a company whose story board product I was asked to review.  This company (whose name, for the curious, means “you make” in Italian) is super cool and their products are not only unique, but also functional, practical and pretty.

To begin, I received the 3-tag Story Board Starter Kit which includes six photo tags, the “Tag It” app for a smart phone, the 3-tag display board with hooks and a photo tag storage box.

You’re probably wondering what in the world is a “photo tag?”  It’s easiest to show you.  Here’s one of mine, both the front view (with the picture) and the back view (with the photo journaling):

rendi photo tagrendi photo tag backIt is 5” x 6” and made of something called Sintra which is a hard, durable plastic that is both child safe and archival quality.  The photo tags hang on hooks on the display board and are easily changed.


Here’s a picture of my display board which shows three of my photo tags:

story board

Now that you understand the basics, let me tell you why I love, love, love this product, will buy it for gifts, and will continue using it myself.  Rendi story boards are:

Customizable:  With easy-peasy instructions in Rendi’s online ordering system, I can design not only my own display board (color, style, text) but also my own tags (photo, style, color).  Furthermore, I can write my own thoughts on the back of each tag (see photo above), ensuring that I capture moment accurately while they’re fresh in my mind.

Simple & Fast:  The Tag It! app that comes with the product allows me the speedy freedom to point, click, design, and order a photo tag in about 3 minutes flat.  No kidding.  Once ordered, photo tags only took about two to three days to arrive on my front step.

Distinctive:  Move over, traditional photo frames: Rendi story boards aren’t something you can pick up at the local box store which makes them a fun home decor addition that is unlike what most people would expect.

Sturdy:  Rendi boasts that their products are “life proof,” and after handling the photo tags (more importantly, after my toddler handled the photo tags), I can see why.  Regular photos might rip, crease, or fade but not these!

Convenient. Because photo tags are so effortless to create — especially with the Rendi Tag It! phone app — you can literally design and order a phone tag anywhere (i.e. when waiting for a flight, while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, when waiting for a show to begin, etc.).

For this review, I only looked at Rendi’s 3-tag story board; however, the company offers a LOT of other photo products including 6- and 12-tag story boardsstory wall items; clip frames; and signs — all customizable!

AND GUESS WHAT?  Rendi is offering a special promotional code just for readers of The Better Mom.  When you order, enter the code BETTERMOM25, and you’ll receive 25% off of anything you order at Rendi!

Happy shopping!


Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. See full disclosure here.




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