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Products Growing Good Bacteria with Tom’s of Maine

*Disclosure: Products and compensation were provided to me by Tom’s of Maine, but my opinions are my own. 

This past fall I visited Kennebunk, Maine with Tom’s of Maine to meet some of the people behind the brand and see their factory. One of the other reasons I visited was to be introduced to their new Prebiotic line. To give you a little idea of what the heck prebiotics are and why it’s beneficial to have them in the products you’re putting on your body I’ve included this from the Tom’s of Maine website (because they put it into words better than I would be able to). 

Good and bad bacteria naturally exist in your gut, mouth, and on your skin. Prebiotics are nutrients that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in and on your body by feeding them, while starving and crowding out the bad bacteria that cause bad breath and body odor. Promoting their growth will help support a healthier balance of bacteria with more of the good and less of the bad.

You are probably more familiar with probiotics in your everyday diet and if that is something you are intentional about, prebiotics are just as important. 

Both probiotics and prebiotics work to promote a healthier microbiome, for the gut, mouth, or on the skin. The difference is that, while probiotics are bacteria known to be beneficial to the body, prebiotics are nutrients that promote the growth of the good bacteria that already exist in or on your body. Allowing the good bacteria to thrive is important for maintaining a healthy balance.
I’ve been using the Prebiotic Personal Care line for about a month now and it lives up to the performance of the other Tom’s of Maine products. I was already using their deodorant, toothpaste, and bar soap, but I am loving that they have now introduced a liquid hand soap. Not shown in these photos is the Body Wash which is a staple in our shower and I also use it as a clean bubble bath for the kids. The Fresh Apple Hand Soap is a family favourite scent, Clean Coast Deodorant, Spearmint Fluoride Toothpaste, and the Blood Orange Body Wash.

Disneyland Q+A

Have a plan or just wing it? If you don’t have kids with you then I would still make a list of the ride you want to hit and have them mapped out but other than that just explore!

If you have kids, make a plan! Pick an area of the park you want to do in the morning and an area you want to do in the afternoon and set your expectations of sticking to the plan low haha. We have done Disneyland with our kids for 3 years now, so they were quite young when we started and we never try to get too many rides in. We will plan to do 2-4 rides for in the first half of the day depending on how busy it is. This leave lots of time to sit for a snack, or line up to meet a character. I’ve seen parents in line for rides with a kid freaking out and they’re having a stressful time. Sometimes the best thing is to bail on a plan and just go with the flow. Make it fun even if you’re just sitting on a bench watching rides go by.

We always go back to the hotel after lunch for a couple hours, let the kids (and us) have a little downtime. Nap, have a bath, or swim in the pool/hot tub. And then we head back later in the afternoon so they have the energy to make it through the evening.

What to eat? Best food in the park? My favourite spot to get food is the Pacific Warf area in California Adventure Park, lot’s of options and a nice spot to sit. I like the Mexican Restaurant, and the kids quesadilla meal is good (get extra rice instead of beans if you have picky kids like mine). The margarita is too sweet unfortunately (and I like sweet!!), Get two cups and half it with a beer 😉 DIY Mexican Bulldog Cocktail.
Flo’s V8 Cafe is a great spot too. Sit around the back where you can watch the Radiator Springs Racers going by, If you’re a nursing mom that’s a good spot to sit in the shade and use wifi 😉
Vegan Options? We had a chance to chat with one of the chefs and see all the plat based options they have been working on, and there are a lot! This is super detailed blog post about the vegan food you can find in the parks.

Most efficient way to get FastPasses? The Disneyland app or just send one person around with all your tickets.

Best way to shorten wait times? Line ups with kids? Download the Disneyland App so you can book your ride FastPass from there. Download it before your trip and play around with it because you’re not going to spend the time exploring the app once you’re in the park. But I would recommend spending the money on a MaxPass at the beginning of your day so you can take advantage of booking your FastPass from the app right from the beginning of the day. You pay per day, per ticket – So it also might only be worth it on the adult tickets if your kids aren’t tall enough to ride the rides you’re booking a FastPass for.

How do you do the rides you want to do when you’re with kids? Ride share! Best way in with a FastPass (but you can also do it without). You can only book a FastPass for one ride at a time (technically their are ways to book more), BUT when you’re with kids you can do a rider swap. So if you and your partner each get a FastPass for different rides you can show up and tell them you’re going to swap, they will then scan your partners ticket and after you ride it then they can go into the FastPass line for a turn. This is the best way to do the rides you can’t with kids. You can also do this with another couple if you’re going with other families.
If I didn’t explain this well read this blog post.

What to wear/pack for winter weather in LA? Definitely layers, when the sun is not out it’s cold! But middle of the day I was in shorts & a tee. If your hotel has a pool don’t forget a bathing suit like David did 😉

Kid Friendly Rides? There are lots, but I’ll list some of our favourites…
-Mator’s Junkyard Jamboree
-Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sully to the rescue!
-Teacups (duh!)
-Ariel’s Under the Sea Adventure
-Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters
-Pixar Pier Ferris Wheel
– Turtle Talk with Crush. I never used to go to the shows that happened indoors but we tried it this time and, just like everything Disney does, it’s awesome! Turtle Talk with Crush feels like your in an aquarium talking to Crush through the glass. Crush asks questions and just has a hilarious conversation the audience, we all had a good laugh in there. If you need a break from the sun or walking this is a good spot.

Hotel Recommendations? Best place to stay with kids? Is a Disneyland Resort worth it? We have done it all. Stayed on property and off, a short walk to the park and a drive away from the park. I have to say that staying at a Disneyland Resort is definitely the way to do it if you can work it into your budget. It made a world of difference being that close to everything.

We stayed at the Disneyland Grand Californian and from the resort you can enter right into California Adventure and into Downtown Disney. The pool area was a highlight for all of us too, even in January we were able to lay in the sun and let the kids swim for a couple hours each day.

If you don’t stay at a Disneyland hotel stay as close to the park as you can if you’re travelling with kids, it’s really nice to be able to go back to your room for breaks.

How do you wear at hat at Disney?! You bring a stroller to put it in during rides 😉

How many days would you recommend for a group of adults? 3 days is my perfect amount of time for us, then I like to leave time on the trip to go to Venice beach. But I haven’t done it without kids in a long time!

Do you need a wagon for a 4 & 6 year old? Yup! Bring a wagon or a double, you will nottttt regret it! It’s a lot of walking, and you can also give them a lunch in there while you walk between parks and snuggle them up at night time while you go enjoy Pixar Pier with a glass of wine!

Order to do rides? Most popular to least! If you go early either head directly for the hot spots (Radiator Springs Racers, Anything in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Incredicoaster, Space Mountain, Matterhorn Mountain -which I cannot ride anymore because I feel like my brain is going to fall out) OR just walk directly to the back of the park because people will usually start at the front.

Did your kids love it or were they too tired? They loved it since we don’t over do it! David and I have the most fun when our kids are having a good time, so we gear it to their needs for the most part.

If you don’t have much time what should you skip? Everyone loves It’s a Small World… It’s not my jam. The kids love Dumbo, but in my opinion it’s too short of a ride for the line up and I also felt the same about the new Inside Out ride, only worth it if there’s a small line.

How many pompom sweaters is too many pompom sweaters? There are never enough!

Tips on the new Star Wars land? Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, go here!! It’s really cool, it’s the largest themed land that Disney has created, and the detail is amazing. Here are some tips.

Rental, Sweet, Rental.

We moved from the suburbs to downtown Vancouver a month ago now. We feel pretty settled in for the most part and are really enjoying being in the city so far! We didn’t downsize too, too much when it comes to square feet but come summertime obviously the yard will be a huge change. I think we might even research into the likes of this shed builder in MA or somewhere else to have a custom shed built. We could always do with some extra storage space too.

As you can imagine, finding our dream home was not always easy. We spent hours poring over real estate websites like trying to find the right property for us. Some friends of ours have recently moved into a foreclosed home in Texas too so they gave us plenty of helpful tips along the way. Speaking of which, if you are considering moving house, it is well worth taking a look at some of the foreclosure properties in your area as you might be able to secure a new home at a great price.

Anyway, people on Instagram have been asking for a house tour, so this is a very unofficial and unfinished tour for you, or more so, little snippets of the space. Also, a chance for me to throw a bunch of links up here for you find items you’ve asked about.

I’m in love with our coffee table from Sunday’s. I spent wayyyy too long searching the internet for a rectangle coffee table that was 14″ or shorter and it was extremely difficult to find. But in perfect timing the Vancouver local, Sunday’s, launched with just what I had been looking for.

That lamp will not stay on the floor 😉 there will be a chair in it’s place. Also, that lamp is only a temporary source of light! I have ordered a gorgeous Personalized Lover Creative 3D Print photo Moon Lamp to take its place. I adore customized lamps and after my friend bought one for her boyfriend I just knew that it would not be too long until I bought one for myself! I have customized our new lamp with a cute family portrait so I cannot wait for it to arrive. Also, I have yet to hang art above the couch. Here are the details of our sofa + round basket.

So, then if you spin around from facing the living room you’re looking at this angle…

We opted for more living room space instead of a dining table. Even though I absolutely loved my dining table in our last place (R.I.P), storing it for later was a battle I lost ;). We did a little kids table area, which has been awesome! I do miss sitting down at a table together for dinner, but to be honest at this stage that didn’t happen most nights of the week anyway, so for now this works well. We can rotate their table and the window ledge works as a bench for more kids.
The island with counter stools is for the “Grown-up” dining.
Kid’s table
Kids chairs

Our paper light fixture above the island is the Arlo Cloud Pendant from EQ3, I wanted something airy that didn’t distract from the view out the window and I think it blends in nicely while still being a feature.

Can you see the foam corner protector on the island in the photo above? I was annoyed when David put those on right away and ruined the aesthetic haha. But, the next morning when Skip woke up he ran into the island so hard he literally bounced off. Thank goodness for David’s practicality or it would have been a happy moving day ER trip ;).

Oh, and the pretty ceramic mugs are from Woash. If you’ve watched The Family Stone a million times like me and remember the scene with Luke Wilson give SJP the ceramic mug and says “that’s Cybil’s favourite”, that’s this mug to me.

Above is the front entrance, it’s a really long hallway with closets, which are great for storage, but obviously in an apartment you need as much storage as possible. So with my pretty vs. practical internal battle I struggled to find the right entryway console table but I’m super happy with how this IKEA hack turned out. It’s 2 IKEA BILLY bookcases with OXBERG doors pushed together with just a piece of smooth project pine from Home Depot on top of them both to make it feel like one unit and I think the wood makes it feel a little less “IKEA” if ya know what I mean.
Runner from Rugs USA in 2’6″ X 12′

Up next, let’s go to the kids bedroom. The apartment is 3 bedrooms but we liked the idea of them sharing because A. it’s cute and B. it gives us a guest room/office.
-The Signs are something I made before Skip was born. I ordered felt letters off of etsy and hot glued them onto canvas cut into the shape of a banner.
Crates & shelves
Bunk Bed
Waffle Blankets (I ordered a custom larger size)
Book wall shelves

Just a little corner of our bedroom. Our bedding is from Last Light Collection it’s the comfiest (and prettiest) linen bedding. In our last house I had it in a grey colour (you can see the colour on the pillowcases) and now have it in white for a brighter bedroom here. You’ve probably wondered if linen bedding is worth the investment. I have to say yes, honestly, every night I get in bed I notice how good it feels, never gets old.
Light fixture is one my mom found at a shop in Arizona and I had it shipped because I loved it so much! This is a great source of light for us, but we are thinking about adding more lighting fixtures to our bedroom and living space as we go. But on saying that, we might need to find an electrician to help us achieve this. My friend who lives in Cambridge keeps telling me to “use Home-Pro Electric as your Cambridge electrician“, which would be perfect if we lived in Cambridge, but we don’t. It’s a shame really as they sound pretty good, so I’m just hoping that we can find a similar company here. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. For now, I’m so pleased with this light fixture that we already have.

Lastly just some bathroom details. I didn’t photograph the guest/office because it’s not that interesting yet…

Tom’s of Maine’s Recyclable toothpaste tube!

This post is in partnership with Tom’s of Maine. All opinions are my own.

I went to visit Kennebunk, Maine last month to meet the wonderful people behind the Tom’s of Maine natural toothpaste brand. I had the privilege of seeing their factory and just by chance ended up being there while they were doing the very first run of filling the new recyclable tubes. These tubes took a lot of work to create because it must still function like a regular tube yet be recyclable (in your curb side bin). Until now, toothpaste tubes have been made of mixed materials which means they must be landfilled, but this new tube is made fully of #2 HDPE, which allows it to have a second life.

I’m quite passionate about creating less waste and so this genuinely excites me and makes me proud to be an ambassador for a company that is working to be a leader in products that are both good for you and the planet. I was also fascinated to learn about some of the steps that businesses like this one are taking to improve their recycling efforts. It is no secret that plastic waste can be a huge problem for large companies, however, I was impressed to discover that nowadays, plastic balers are being used to compress plastic waste. In turn, compressing plastic waste can save companies time, money, and space, so it is something that is well worth considering. For further information check out some of the Balers for all business waste need from phs Wastekit.

Anyway, Tom’s of Maine Antiplaque & Whitening toothpaste is the first variety you will see released in the new tube but by the end of 2020 all Tom’s of Maine toothpaste will be in the new recyclable tubes!

Now to actually make this as awesome as it is, you have to do your part too! To recycle at home, first check to be sure that your tube has the blue recycling flag. If it doesn’t, it can’t be recycled just yet. If it does, then just put the cap on and put it in your curbside bin but remember that recycling practices vary by municipality and if a town doesn’t accept #2 plastic, the Tom’s of Maine Natural Care Recycling Program, a partnership with TerraCycle, is a recommended option for recycling all personal and oral care packaging regardless of the brand. 

Just buying items that are recyclable isn’t enough – we are responsible for making sure they are going to get that second life. I’m not always perfect with my recycling efforts but that was actually one of the 2019 goals I set for myself because I think it’s important to play your part and not just rely on the companies to do the work.

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