Review – Anima Soap

I was contacted by Robert with Anima Soap asking if I’d care to review his products on my blog.

WOULD I? Of course. I’m always on the lookout for good products that I can use on little miss Nellie and luckily, Anima Soap has a bar soap that’s just for baby!


The package of soaps arrived in the mail extremely quickly, which is good, because I’m impatient.

I was given two types of soap to review; the Anima scented grapefruit bar and the Anima unscented baby bar. The grapefruit bar lives up to its’ name; it smells fresh and delicious. And the unscented baby soap is, well, unscented.

About Anima Soap

  • Anima Soap is packaged in 95% recycled packaging, and there is NO animal testing!
  • From the website:

    The big brand soaps are not good for us or the planet.* They contain chemicals and synthetics that damage the human body. The planet is a complex web. When we use products that cause damage to the human system we damage every system on the planet. They get into the soil, the water, into the food supply and back into us.

    Anima Soap is a company that is good for people and is committed to protecting that which is sacred. People now have access to a bar of soap that is of high quality, in balance with the planet and priced with bars of soap most commonly used, a grapefruit scented organic based bar for $1.89. Soaps of this quality, made with organic oils, cost $5 a bar and upwards. This business model sacrifices profit margin in the interest of doing what is good and right. Anima is the latin word for soul. This company has a soul, a conscience. So long as it exists, it will produce products that put human and ecological values first.

About the grapefruit bar:

  • The soap is in a square bar.
  • Ingredients: water, certified organic palm oil,
    certified organic coconut oil, grapefruit essential oil,
    rosemary extract, lye

That’s it! No synthetic crap, no preservatives.. Just natural ingredients, which is fantastic.

My Thoughts on the Grapefruit Bar

I really like this soap. It’s happily parked on my sink in the guest bathroom and I use it as my normal hand soap now. It’s not drying, it smells fantastic and it’s a good all-around soap. I haven’t used it on my face (it’s advertised as a face and body soap) because my skin is super picky and I don’t like changing up my regimen because usually, new soap + my skin = breakouts that would make a hormonal teenager cringe. But I love it as a hand soap!

About the Baby Soap

  • It, too, comes in a square bar.
  • Ingredients: water, certified organic palm oil,
    certified organic coconut oil, certified organic
    jojoba oil, rosemary extract, lye
  • It’s unscented, and is NOT a tear-free formula. So be gentle around baby’s eyes!!

My Thoughts on the Baby Soap

My review on the baby soap isn’t quite as glowing, but it’s not quite negative, either. I am picky when it comes to the soap I use on Nellie, and so far I have only found one that I am pleased with. I’ve tried the normal Johnson & Johnson baby soap, the lavender scented stuff, Burt’s Bees, etc and there’s only one that I’ve been utterly pleased with (I will be reviewing it later so stay tuned).
I’m not crazy about baby soap in the form of a bar; I prefer a pump or something I can pour. It’s just easier for me, personally. This stuff lathered great, went on nicely and came off nicely which is really important to me. It didn’t leave Nellie feeling all slimy or with a residue, which I’ve had happen with some of the other soaps I’ve tried. I personally prefer my baby soaps to have a little bit of a fragrance to them, which this doesn’t. BUT, for a babe with sensitive skin (which Nellie doesn’t have, thankfully) this soap would probably be GREAT due to its’ unscented, fragrance-free nature. I probably won’t use this on Nellie again, where I will definitely use the body bar for hand-washing and will eventually give it a whirl as a body soap, too.

Anima Soap is a great and affordable product if you’re looking for a soap that’s organic and doesn’t have any icky synthetics or preservatives in it. Organic products are ridiculously expensive but luckily, this stuff is NOT. Which I love! Affordable = fantastic. So where can you buy the soap, and how much does it cost?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Check out Anima Soap’s website.
They offer soaps in the following packages:

  • 5 pack of the Grapefruit bar for $9.45
  • 10 pack of the Grapefruit bar for $18.90
  • 5 pack of the unscented Baby Bar for $9.45
  • Anima Family 15 pack (10 Grapefruit bars, 5 Baby Bars) for $28.35
  • Anima friends and family bulk (40 Grapefruit bars) for $75.60

In closing, if you are looking for a quality, AFFORDABLE, organic soap, you need to check these out. I wasn’t madly in love with the Baby Bar, but you may be! And at such a reasonable price, you’re really not losing anything if you end up less than crazy about it. The Grapefruit, bar, I highly recommend. I really do love the light, fruity scent.

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Dear Upstairs Neighbors

Dear Upstairs Neighbors,

Hi! It’s your friendly downstairs new mommy. We haven’t formally met, but my name is Natalie. I don’t care what your name is. I’m talking and you’re listening.

I know for the past, oh, 3 months there has been a screaming, crying, howling infant in my apartment. Trust me. I KNOW. We’re the ones who, in the beginning, got woken up at 10, 12, 2, 4, 6, and 8 by her. So trust me. I’M AWARE THAT MY BABY CRIES. She can’t help but cry. She’s a baby. I can’t stop her from crying. SHE’S A BABY.

That being said, the next time you feel compelled to stomp through your apartment as if you are practicing for some kind of Mr. Heavyfoot Convention and wake up my baby from a nap, I will let YOU deal with the snarling, shrieking, thrashing Crank Monster that she becomes. I will let YOU rock her back to sleep as she bucks and twists and SCREAMS every time her little eyes start to flutter closed because she is overtired FROM BEING WOKEN UP FROM A 30 MINUTE NAP.

The next time your kid decides to run and yell RIGHTOUTSIDEHERWINDOW, YOU will be the one who deals with her as she squirms and fights off sleep like some sort of crazed badger swaddled in pink.

You’re already famous on my blog from a previous post. Don’t make me sic my readers on you. THEY WILL END YOU.

No. Effing. Love,
Angry Mama Natalie

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It Ain’t Always Pretty…

No one ever told me how overwhelming, repetetive, and thankless taking care of an infant can be. When you talk with other moms about motherhood, everything is ZOMG SO MAGICAL ALL THE TIME. And that may be true for some moms but for me, sometimes I get very tired and frustrated and EXHAUSTED. I find myself impatient the most when I’m tired and/or haven’t eaten. I am in my best mood in the early mornings to mid afternoons.

Please don’t misinterpret my words into saying that I don’t love my daughter. I love her more than I ever thought humanly possible, and I enjoy her so much. I love the stretches she gives me in the morning when I open up her swaddle wrap. Her pooched out lips as she raises her arms above her head to stretch out those muscles. I love how she farts when she cries sometimes. The fact that she’s begun sticking her tongue out is amazing. But infancy is such a one-sided phase, sometimes it just gets exhausting. Wake. Feed. Burp. Diaper. Fuss. Nap. Wake. Feed. Burp. Diaper. Tummy Time! Fuss. Nap.
Rinse and repeat.
Sometimes after a long day of taking care of baby, I relish in when someone else holds her. I have both arms free to eat, read, or just… Sit. I remember when veteran moms would give me a knowing look and tell me that I’d be dying to pass the baby off after a long day alone with her and I’d stick my nose up in the air and huff, “Not me! I can’t WAIT to spend all day taking care of my baby!”
Ah, the ignorance of a pregnant first-time mom. I also thought I’d breastfeed with ease, magically keep my full nights’ sleeps, and wear my baby everywhere I went. Turns out that breastfeeding was hard and I needed sleep before I died, NO ONE sleeps through the night with a newborn and the Moby is a pain in the ass to put on and sometimes it’s easier to lay her down on her mat while I get some things done around the house.

My daughter isn’t at the stage where she enjoys toys yet. She likes to be talked to, but I can’t sit there and talk and make funny faces at her all day. There is laundry to be done, there are bottles to be washed and of course, blogs to be written (I say that wryly, I don’t neglect my daughter to blog.). While she naps, I have to choose what I want to do. Do I catch up on the laundry? Do I clean the floors? Do I zoom through my blogroll and comment on posts? There aren’t enough hours in the day to get what I need and want to do, done. Nighttime is easier (I NEVER thought I’d hear myself say that because once upon a time, nighttime was the HARDEST) because Nellie is actually a wonderful sleeper and around 10 she goes down and sleeps for 3 1/2-5 hours. I have more time to myself to do things I’d like, or to catch up on a few chores.

Life with our baby is getting better and better with each passing day, because Nellie is becoming more and more aware of her surroundings and life in general. When she smiles at me, I could die. Doing something funny and having her respond with a big, fat, gummy grin sends a gratification straight to my soul that is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I enjoy being a mom and I know that once she’s in the toddler stage I will probably miss this infancy. But I have a sneaky suspicion that I’m more of a ‘toddler mom’ than an infant mom. Some people love nothing more than to care for a small baby. I myself cannot wait until I can DO things with my daughter. Yes, I love the sweet and sleepy snuggletimes. I love the smell of my baby daughter when she first gets out of a bath but I also can’t wait to watch her experience life as an aware, active child.

I feel kind of terrible writing this post, because I worry it makes it sound like I don’t enjoy or love my daughter but I do. I’ve talked to a few other moms who feel this way which is what inspired me, and gave me the ladyballs to write this post. Once upon a time I wanted to be a SAHM. Now that I have been a SAHM for 12 weeks, I know that it’s not for me. I am not cut out for it. The fact that we only have one car leaves me feeling extremely isolated and stir-crazy. I don’t want to be a working mom, but a happy balance is required. It’s very likely I’m going to have to return to work full time… Which I’m kind of dreading. Even though I get stir-crazy, the thought of leaving Nellie when we’ve had so much time together is sad.

Because even as frustrating, mundane, and overwhelming this routine can be I still don’t want to leave my lady. Not at all. I just need to switch it up a little bit. I think that will make all the difference in the world.

I don’t feel like this all the time. Just sometimes. There are those times when Nellie is zonked out in my arms, blissfully full after a bottle and I feel like the world could crash down around me and I wouldn’t care. As long as we were together. Sometimes, I have the overwhelming urge to bring my beautiful babe into bed with me on the nights that daddy works (and I am WAY not a co-sleeper). Sometimes I will and just stare at her. I can’t sleep with her in the bed w/ me because it makes me nervous.. But just having her beside me is like a tonic on my frazzled nerves.

So to all the new moms out there who are feeling like I feel sometimes: You’re not alone, and you’re not a terrible person for feeling this way. Becoming a parent is the strangest, craziest and scariest thing that’s ever happened to me. I love it, and wouldn’t change it for the world… But sometimes it’s not all roses and sunshine. If we all just hang in there together, we’ll be okay.


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Father & Daughter

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10 Years Old and Pregnant: Your Opinion

A friend of mine tuned me into an article about a 10 year old girl in Mexico who is pregnant after being allegedly raped by her step-father. Now, some may say immediately: abortion. Here’s the kicker:

She’s already almost 18 weeks pregnant.

So what do you do? Where the girl lives, abortion is legal in the case of rape up to 90 days past conception. There are two children involved in this case; the 10 year old girl, and the unborn baby. Not only would having a child at the age of 10 (or 11, depending on when she turned 11) be beyond psychologically damaging but the girl’s life is at risk as well considering her age and physical development.

You can read the entire article here. Please do so, and comment with your thoughts. I’m really interested to see what everyone thinks about this.

My thoughts? I am 100%, very passionately pro-choice. I believe that a woman’s body is her own, and that she should ultimately have the right to do with it as she pleases. It would be a very, very scary place to live if the government could control what we do and don’t do with our bodies. That being said, the only way I would ever have an abortion is if my life AND the life of my baby was in jeopardy (if it were just my life, Josh and I would have to have a serious debate. Because I have Nellie to think about) or if I were raped and there was NO possible way the baby could be Josh’s.

But this is tough. How can you expect a 10 year old CHILD to do something so grown up as carry a baby to term and deliver it, when she had no choice in the matter? But on the other hand, how do you end the life of an unborn soul who is formed, has fingers and toes, and is visibly male or female? How do you do that?

So what are your thoughts?

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Morning Walk

Nellie invites you along on our morning walk….

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Monday Melodies – Sally Simpson

She knew from the start deep down in her heart
that she and Tommy were worlds apart
But her mother said, “Nevermind, your part is to be what you’ll be.”

Today’s Monday Melodies is from the rock opera Tommy by the Who.
From Wikipedia:

The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964: vocalist Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction.[1][2] The Who have sold about 100 million records and have charted 27 top forty singles in the United Kingdom and United States with 17 top ten albums,[3] including 18 Gold, 12 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone.
Read more about the Who here

About Tommy, from Wikipedia:
Tommy is the fourth album by the English rock band The Who, released by Track and Polydor in the United Kingdom and Decca and MCA in the United States. A double album telling a loose story about a “deaf, dumb, and blind boy” who becomes the leader of a messianic movement, Tommy was the first musical work to be billed overtly as a rock opera. Released in 1969, the album was mostly composed by guitarist Pete Townshend. In 1998 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical, artistic and significant” value.
Read more about Tommy here.

When selecting a song from a rock opera, it’s difficult because the thing is supposed to be listened to, and enjoyed in its’ entirety from start to finish. Much like Jesus Christ Superstar (which, believe me, WILL be featured on Monday Melodies) or Evita, I often feel to pick only one song from the whole is to do it some injustice.
I was introduced to Tommy when I was around 11. My parents saw how much I loved the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar and they gave me the album Tommy to listen to. As I was inclined to do, I became obsessed with the music. While my friends were listening to Salt N Pepa and popular music, I was jamming out to the Who.

Sally Simpson is the one song from Tommy that I have on my iPod. Most people have probably heard Pinball Wizard, which is also from Tommy but I love Sally Simpson. The piano (I’m a sucker for a good piano tune), the harmonies (those are a recurring theme here, ha!) and the story is just one I love. I picked this one to feature because out of all the songs (aside from Pinball Wizard), it’s one of the easier ones to single out.. And it’s much lesser know than Wizard.

So without further ado, I give you… Sally Simpson.

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My Baby Is So Chunky..

How chunky is she?!

She is SO chunky that when I put her in her brand new Bright Starts Cradle & Sway swing (that I won from a blog athankyouverymuch) and tried to start it, it kept stopping. I kept trying and trying and it kept stopping and stopping. Josh and I were scratching our heads, reading and then re-reading the instruction manual wondering what we were doing wrong.
  • Turn on switch – Check.
  • Select desired speed – Check.
  • Gently push swing – Check.
  • LED light will stop flashing when swing mechanism kicks in -Check.

Only.. Moments after the LED light stopped flashing the swing would slowly stop. This happened repeatedly. Josh and I stood there, looking at our brand new (very large), swanky baby swing and were befuddled and frustrated. Nellie sat in the seat staring at us, unimpressed and mildly disgusted at our incompetence. Josh had to go lay down to keep his sleep schedule normal so I battled the swing alone. I kept on and kept on trying until finally I was ready to pitch my brand new (very large), swanky baby swing out the front door to become a brand new (very large), swanky decoration on our front porch when something occurred to me. I scooped Nellie out of the swing and tried to start it without her in it.
It worked like a charm. I looked at my baby, who had successfully crammed almost her entire fist into her mouth and was drooling on me. I put her back in the swing, and set it to the highest setting it could possibly go.

And it worked.

Apparently, my massive chub of a bunny is too heavy for the slower settings. Now, this swing is supposed to accommodate babies up to 25 pounds and while I haven’t weighed Nellie Bean in a while, I KNOW that she isn’t 25 pounds. This swing should come with the disclaimer:

“May not work if your child’s thigh rolls exceed three per leg.”

Big girl, you are beautiful!

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The Outsider

Ever feel like you just don’t fit in?

Yeah, that’s been me my entire life.

Ever since high school, even when I was in social clubs like drama and choir.. I just felt different. Like there was something about me that just didn’t mesh with other teenagers. Was it the fact that I came from THE MOST DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY EVAR? (You can read about the dysfunction in my family on a guest post I’m doing for a friend soon) Perhaps. I had to grow up really quickly so while my friends were chatting excitedly about prom and dresses, I was worrying about whether my mom would be having a good day today. During lunch, while girlfriends were gossiping about their latest crushes I was wondering if she was going to try and commit suicide again. Now.. On the exterior, I was well-liked. When I was in the midst of a rehearsal, or choir practice people loved me. I was the Funny One. The Witty One. In my high school years, people compared me to the likes of Daria and Jeanine Garafalo with my humor. I also had the ability to be bubbly and energetic. Not “AH MAH GAH, BECKY, LOOK AT HER BUTT” cheerleader bubbly but I carried my own special brand of effervescence. But I always felt an underlying feeling of… Just not fitting in.

My feelings of insecurity carried on into my adulthood. When I entered the work force at the tender age of seventeen (a movie theatre) I was convinced none of my coworkers (almost all male) liked me. I had a few female coworkers who I didn’t get along with much. I never have gotten along with the majority of girls; guys just “get me” more. I look back and realize that I was accepted just fine, although I do think that the guys I worked with didn’t quite know what to make of me. We were all very young, and I was what I now know is the “cool chick” that guys like to hang around. I don’t know if they were used to that then. They were used to the girly girls who flipped their hair and snottily refused to clean their counters. Who would bat their eyelashes, and sweetly ask one of the other boys to do it for them. Me? I was scrubbing and dismantling popcorn poppers with the best of ’em. Why should I try and make someone else do for me what I am perfectly capable of doing myself?

I hopped around to a few other jobs. I fit in well as a waitress in a restaurant. I hated the work, of course, but I fit in well with my coworkers. Life changed, I got married, and grew apart from my single female friends (who I wasn’t ever BFF with anyway). I have a handful of good female friends, and one that I consider my best friend no matter how much time goes by in between us seeing each other. She lives in Chicago and her name is Megan.

As an adult, I am very aware of my personality. I don’t try and mold and shape it to whatever I think is appropriate anymore and sometimes, that makes me feel like even more of an outcast. My sense of humor is really, REALLY random and off-the-wall. I quote movies a lot and in a circle of “normal people”, that doesn’t usually fly very well. I try and jokingly throw out a quote and am met with blank stares. Awesome, now I look like a freaky weirdo. I don’t try and quickly recover myself by talking about the latest episode of Dancing With the Stars, because I just don’t give a shit about Dancing With the Stars. I like Supernatural. And Firefly. And Quentin Tarantino. I go on ranty tirades that often have no point and make no sense. I snort when I laugh.

I have a small group of my “geek friends” who get me. Plus my husband. He, of course, gets me better than anyone I’ve ever met. My geek friends and I can throw down with movie quotes. They understand and embrace my randomness and love me for it. They don’t care that I’m loud, horse-laugh, and tell pointless and rambling stories. I love them for that.

Even here, in the blog world I feel like an outsider sometimes. Like I can’t run with the best of them. I feel like that awkward girl all over again in high school. I don’t have a beautiful, cleverly decorated home. We live in a 2 bedroom apartment (which I love because it’s our space) and share one car. Neither my husband nor I are college-educated and we never will be (I have no desire to be). My photography skills are nothing to write home about. I can write, so I think that keeps me in the blogging circle well enough. Sometimes I forget myself and try and be a Joiner. I do the reviews and giveaways (which I have no intention of stopping.. They’re surprisingly fun and anyone who thinks less of bloggers who do them can SUCK IT. THERE I SAID IT. I get free shit, I help others get free shit out of them, and I help companies get exposure where they might not get it without a review. WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE.). I do the cute, weekly “Wordless Wednesday! Thankful Thursday! Mookie Monday!” and whatever else weekly memes are running rampant in the blogosphere. And I forget myself… Why I blog. Why I write.

Because even at twenty-six years old and with high school almost ten years behind me, I still feel insecure though I know that I have a voice in the things I write. My worth as a writer, or as a person, doesn’t lie in how many comments I get on my blog.. How many followers I attain (though it is pretty exciting to see a new face pop up) or how high my Analytics traffic spikes from day to day. It’s really easy to feel lost and unheard in this vast, seemingly endless circle of blogs. Everyone wants to be seen, heard, and acknowledged. I try my damndest to reply to my friends’ blogs, even if it’s just a nice, hearty, ‘LOL!’ because it means I’m paying attention. I know how good I feel when I am acknowledged and I want others to feel the same way.

What’s the point of this post? I’m not really sure. Maybe this is just my vulnerable “I’m a real live human being, not just words on a screen” post. I’ve been feeling a little blue lately, and I wonder if it’s a result of being at home with minimal human interaction for the past 12 weeks. I’m starting a part-time job soon which is wonderful. I can’t wait. I get to take Nellie with me, which is even better.

So I guess the point in all of this is that sometimes, I feel just as insecure and just as much of an outsider as I did in high school. I guess those feelings never really do go away, do they?

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Twitter Home Tour

Once upon a time, @MomNom, @jennandtonica, @emmie_bee, @heirtoblair, and @ColeEmmett were talking about home decor on Twitter. We thought it would be so great to be able to see each other’s homes! A *bunch* of other tweeps joined in, @Alena29 put together a terrific button, and #twitterhometour (or #twitterhouseparty) was born! Feel free to join us – add a link to your home tour post (pictures, video, or both!) below.

Okay. So. Here’s the thing about my photos. First, they’re photos. Not a video. Second, we don’t have any cleverly placed pillows, bookends, or anything fancy. We are very, very simple people when it comes to decorations. Our furniture is hand-me-down. The same goes with Nellie’s nursery; it’s not clever, or swanky, or chic. It’s simple, functional, but everything was picked out with our little lady in mind.
My apartment is a capital D-isaster and I have had no time to clean it up. So what you are going to see, basically, are photos of the various elements that make our place ours. You’ll find little tidbits of geekery and little hints of where/who we come from. So without further ado..

Now, I have no fancy photo editor programs and I can’t afford the premium version of this one to add text. So if you see a picture that you have a question about, just ask!

Thanks for stopping by!

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