Falling for Norwex

So, I’ve heard of Norwex for a while now, but hadn’t given it much thought. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s cleaning cloths and tools, along with some cleaning products that are chemical-free and better for your health and the environment. The reason I hadn’t really given them much thought was because I was slightly skeptical of the claims they made and also a little freaked out by the price because I am a pretty frugal girl. Well, that has all changed…

My sister had a party and since she has been so awesome about supporting me with different parties I’ve had, I definitely wanted to order from her. She had been raving about the products and I knew she wouldn’t lie to me, so I decided to order the Norwex Enviro cloth (the cloth that started it all for them) and their Window cloth. I was choking on the price a little, but felt like my sister was worth it. I wasn’t able to attend her party because I was gone for my anniversary, so I was going on blind trust that the things would actually work and be worth it.

When they arrived in the mail, they didn’t look like anything spectacular, just a couple of rags. I actually let them sit around for about two days before I decided to actually try them out. And once I did…watch out!!! I was a cleaning machine. I was running all around my house just looking for things to clean. Now, that is absolutely NOT me at all. I despise cleaning (although I love the results of cleaning). I am not joking, I was on some sort of cleaning high. I just kept saying “I cannot believe how awesome these are!” My husband was laughing at me as I washed windows, mirrors, door knobs, the microwave, the stove, etc. I was unstoppable!

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Now, let me tell you what made them so great. First, I used the Enviro cloth dry to dust with and I have a very dusty house and get so frustrated with the fact that when I dust, I can look a couple hours later and see dust building up on those surfaces again. I kid you not, I didn’t see dust on my entertainment center for DAYS! Yes, days! That NEVER happens around here. My favorite thing though was when I got the Enviro cloth damp and wiped down my windows first with that and then with the dry window cloth. PURE MAGIC, I tell ya! Absolutely NO STREAKS, NO PAPER TOWEL LINT, just super clean and clear windows! I have never cleaned windows and mirrors and been able to completely rid them of streaks or paper towel lint. I was giddy with excitement! I told my husband that I was literally mad at glass cleaner and paper towel for the frustration they had put me through all of these years. I’ve been spraying chemical-laden spray on things and spending the money on paper towels to only end up with streaky windows and mirrors that drove me nuts. And all along, I could have just been using the Norwex Enviro Cloth and Window Cloth!

I kid you not, these cloths are worth EVERY PENNY. I have said it several times since and will continue to say that this is one of the best purchases I have ever made. These cloths have made me thoroughly enjoy cleaning and I never thought I would say that. The Enviro Cloth is self-purifying because of the silver in it, so I just rinse it out good when I’m done cleaning and hang it up by the nifty tag on it to dry and it’s ready to use the next day if I want to. I only have to wash it once a week or every two weeks, depending on how dirty I get it. That means no buying chemicals to clean with, buying much less paper towel and not having to use a ton of detergent to wash the cloths either!

Even the kids were impressed with how the cloths cleaned things and said they had never seen our windows look so clear. Um, hello! If that isn’t a testimony to how good they work, then I don’t know what is!

My sister had a really successful party and is loving her products that she got. My Mom ordered several products as well and has told several people about how much she likes them and how great she thinks the are. The more I hear about the different products and different peoples’ experiences with them, the more excited I get and the more of them I want!

On my current wish list are…

The Envirowand

The Envirowand has a two-sided, removable sleeve on a bendable wand that can clean things like blinds, the tops of door frames, window frames, ceiling fans, etc.   I have a super dusty house because I live on a dirt road, so this would get a ton of use.


The Dusting Mitt

The dusting mitt is an easy way to dust all surfaces without your rag bunching all up (which drives me insane). Did you know you can use this to dust your screens and it does an incredible job?! The microfiber just grabs the dirt and holds on, unlike traditional dusting cloths.


Body Cloths

The Norwex Body Pack comes with 3 body cloths. These cloths clean your face and body with just water! Since I have one son with eczema and I have sensitivities to many body washes and soaps, these sound amazing to me. There are several different colors available, so if I got 2 different packs of 3 cloths each, each person in my home could have a color that is just theirs. Because of the self-purification properties the cloths have, they could be used for a week before being laundered. That would save me a ton of laundry since I typically do 2 loads of towels/washcloths each week!


The Norwex Mop System

I am loving this Norwex Superior Mop System. I have a ton of tile in my house and this mop system would provide such a quick and easy way to clean up everyday messes as well as the bigger ones. Did I mention this product only needs water to thoroughly clean your floors? You may be noticing the common theme of just needing water to clean your home with these products and no chemical cleaners! This mop swivels to get into all of the areas you need it to get into and the telescoping mop handle also attaches to the Envirowand so you can use it on high ceiling fans and other high places. There are also these really cool brackets that you can add on to the mop head so that you can attach your Enviro cloth and/or window cloth. This would be life-changing when it comes to cleaning my windows outside!!!


There are more products I would love to have, but I won’t go through all of them now. As you can see, I’ve got my eye on several of the products that Norwex has to offer. Because of that, I decided it only made sense that I would have a party where people can see the products in action for themselves and even try them out and I can earn some of these awesome products for free! So, next Tuesday I’m having people over to check it out!

What do you think? Do these products sound interesting to you? Are you into the idea of eliminating harmful chemicals from your home, spending much less on laundry detergent, not wasting a ton of paper towels trying to clean your windows and mirrors and ending up with streaky windows anyway? If so, check out all that Norwex has to offer HERE, through my friend and consultant Michele.

I know you will love the products as much as I do!



If you’ve ever looked at contests for big items and wondered if anyone actually wins them or if they just say that “John M. from Utah” won and know that no one will be the wiser (yes, I have wondered this many times), then I’m here to tell you that people do actually win!!!

There is a company called Tenpenny Furniture that I first discovered on facebook and they do giveaways as they reach certain amounts of likes on their page. I had liked, commented and shared on a couple of their giveaways and as usual, not won. Then, they decided to switch it up a little one day and had people post a selfie with their old furniture as their entry. Here is my entry…

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Real pretty, huh? I’m talking about me, not the couch here. Eeek! Anyway, I captioned it with something along the lines of being thankful that this couch had been gifted to me, but that the whole country bumpkin style just wasn’t me.

Now, there were people with much worse looking furniture than mine, but they were just doing a random drawing of the pictures submitted, so I felt like I had a decent chance. Also, because you had to go through the effort of taking a picture and submitting it, there were way less entries than usual.

The day that they were announcing the winner, I looked on their facebook page and it said “Only 1 hour until we announce the giveaway winner!”  My husband was handing me a cup of coffee and I looked up at him and grabbed his face and said “I just have a good feeling about this. I just feel like I’m going to win this furniture.” He smiled at me unconvincingly and said “I hope you’re right.” He obviously wasn’t feeling as positive about it as I was.

A little over an hour later, I logged on to facebook to see who the winner was and just try to imagine what I felt when I saw “Well, our little country bumpkin, you won’t have to have that couch for much longer, because you, Danielle Gerstenberger, are the winner of our giveaway!” Those weren’t the exact words, but it was darn close. I literally jumped up off of the couch and started jumping all over the living room, screaming like a maniac “I WON THE FURNITURE! I WON THE FURNITURE!”. Brian and the boys were staring at me like I had lost my mind. For a second there, I don’t know if they believed me, but then I showed them and we were all yelling together!!! Such a fun moment, I can’t even tell you.

So, want to see what I won?

The Corley Sofa from Ashley Furniture


The Corley Chair from Ashley Furniture


I was so excited about the colors, because they go perfectly with my decor. How lucky was that?! While I waited for it to come in and get the call that I could come and pick it up, they company was awesome about corresponding with me through facebook messenger and everyone I spoke with at the Novi store (where we were going to have to pick it up from) were extremely friendly.

Well, we got the call while on vacation that it was in and yesterday, we went and picked it up. I cannot tell you how excited our whole family is about this new furniture. It seriously goes perfectly in our living room and is so comfy! I’ve always wanted a cool accent chair like this, but being practical, would never have bought one. Now I get to have one and it’s already been dubbed “The Queen’s Throne” and is mine, all mine! The couch is 8 ft. long, so it is huge and all 4 of the boys/guys can sit on it at one time. It’s just so awesome. I can’t even tell you. My husband has back problems and our old couches hurt his back so bad. This one is super comfy for him!

Overall, this has been such an awesome experience and a complete blessing to our family. I could not be more grateful that I won this furniture. I’m having a bunch of people over next week and can’t wait for them to see my new furniture. It’s just so fun!

Here’s a little before and after of my living room. (Notice my dog making little appearances in each picture. LOL)

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Here are some pictures of it in my living room and some things close up so you can see color and texture…

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Seriously, isn’t it gorgeous?! So, if you ever wonder if people actually do win things like this, I’m here to tell you THEY ABSOLUTELY DO! So, enter those contests! Who knows, you might be the lucky winner next!

Pantry Organization Ideas from One Crazy House


One of the only things I liked better at my old house than my current one is the size of the pantry. I had a HUGE pantry at my last house and a teeny tiny one at my current house. This obviously means much less space for storing things, so we have a big utility shelf in our basement that serves as an extra pantry. However, when I saw these ideas, I got really excited! The idea I like best is the magazine rack to store canned goods in. I hate having to run downstairs every time I get ready to make something, just to go grab a can of something. I could store so many more cans in my kitchen pantry with this idea and you can pick up these magazine racks at the dollar store, so it’s totally affordable! Check out these awesome ideas from One Crazy House and let me know which one/ones you think would work best for you!

Pinterest Dreaming

So, if you haven’t entered the amazing world of Pinterest, you are totally missing out. There are so many inspiring things there from recipes to crafts to fashion and hair ideas. Seriously, there’s so much good stuff, I can’t even begin to list it all.

If you are familiar with the world of Pinterest, then I’m sure you’re like me and have boards of ideas pinned for things you would like to do. I have many.

Today, I thought I’d share a little something from Pinterest that I would really love to try and make. I have a really cute little metal bird cage hanging on my front door, but it bangs around when the door is opened and closed and it’s kind of annoying sometimes. I saw this wreath and thought it would be absolutely perfect for my front door though.

So, here is what I’m Pinterest dreaming about right now, only with a G and a different color than teal because that won’t match my house at all. Hopefully I’ll get around to trying to make it sometime soon. You can click on the picture to see how to make it too.

Burlap Ribbon Wreath

So, what about you? Do you have any Pinterest projects you’ve particularly got your eye on at the moment?

Your Home vs. Contentment


We’ve all seen those gorgeous homes on the water and dreamed of being able to walk out onto our own private beach. Or maybe you’re more of the beautiful log home in the mountains kind of a person.  Perhaps, you’d like a big piece of property in the country with no neighbors for miles and nothing but peace and quiet. Do you love the idea of a big house in a subdivision where your family is involved in block parties and constant socialization? Or are you the big city type, who would love to live in an exciting city atmosphere in an amazingly modern apartment with no yard work to think about, just a cool place to entertain and be steps away from what the city has to offer? No matter what your taste, it’s always fun to dream of our “dream home”, but are we so wishing we had that home of our dreams that we are missing out on the joy of the home we have?

Do you look around your home and think of how fortunate you are to live there and see all of the good things about it, or do you constantly think about the things you wish were different about it or that you wished you lived in a different house altogether? Do you find yourself thinking and saying more negative things about your home than positive things? If so, it’s time for some reflection and to change that mindset.

Sure, some people start off in a “starter” home. They get a house that they know they don’t plan on staying in forever and they save up until they can afford a house that is more compatible with their life plans, such as having a family. I totally get that and think that’s awesome. In fact, that’s the way it should be done. Start out with what you can afford at the time and move up once you get the money saved up (kind of goes along with my money post from yesterday, in terms of getting what you can truly afford and not getting something you can’t just because you think it will make you happy). However, sometimes circumstances don’t up being what you expected and that “starter” home has become the home you feel stuck in because you don’t have the money to move. Or, maybe you have moved, more than once even, but you’re still not in the home you had envisioned for yourself. It’s easy to become discouraged by that and find all the faults in your current home and convince yourself that you just can’t be happy there because it’s not at all what you wanted at this point in your life and you’re frustrated because you see your friends/family in houses that are like the one you pictured yourself living in and it’s just not fair! Sound familiar? Well, let’s work on that.


Do you remember the feeling when you first went and looked at the house you’re in? Chances are you were super excited and could picture where you would put your furniture and what color you would paint the walls and where you would hang pictures. And then, you got the news that your offer had been accepted and you were probably beyond thrilled and giddy and couldn’t wait to get into it! Now, even though I’m saying this about buying a home, the same goes for an apartment, condo or renting a home. Wherever you were excited to move into. You probably went it and cleaned with genuine excitement (there haven’t been too many times in my life when I’ve cleaned with genuine excitement, but to move into a new house would definitely be one of those times), painted and started moving your things in and watched it go from a house to your home. Now, setting aside all of the work that entailed, wasn’t that such an exciting and happy time? Didn’t you just look around at your home for weeks, maybe months and think about how happy you were to be there? Now, did you know you can still do the same thing? You can have that feeling all over again? It’s true.

Now, not everyone has the money to do any kind of major renovation at their house (add me to that list), but there are easy and inexpensive ways to change the look of a room and make it fresh and exciting to you again. The first thing you should do is choose the room that you seem to have the most complaints about first. If you’ve got a few and can’t decide which one you dislike most, I would suggest choosing a living area because that will be where most of your time is spent and where more people in your family will get to enjoy the change.

You might guess that the first suggestion I am going to make is paint. Yeah, it takes work, but invite a friend over for the weekend to help out and it won’t take too long and you’ll get to visit while you do it. That always makes work go by faster. When you are done, you will be sooooo glad you did it. Just the freshening up of new paint and a new color will revive your room and give you renewed excitement about the space.

Don’t want to get into that big of a project? Why not try rearranging furniture, adding some pops of color with some throw pillows or fun accent pieces? New lamps or even just new lampshades. Hate your furniture, but can’t afford to replace it? Why not get some slipcovers? If you have wood floors, maybe add a new colorful rug. Maybe some new curtains would make a big impact. There are definitely things you can do to add new life to a space without it costing a fortune. Places like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx are great for getting cool decor pieces for reasonable prices.

Maybe a refresher to the outside of your house is what you need. Putting in some new mulch, adding some hanging baskets to your porch, planting a few new shrubs, etc. Simple things like this can make a major impact on the look of your home for a feasible amount of money.

Now those are ways you can make changes in your home, to change your views of your home physically, but here are some ways to change your views of your home mentally.

Who lives in your home with you? Who do you get to spend time with there? Do you get to sit and have meals in your home with friends and family? Do you have a kitchen where you are able to prepare those meals? Do you get to sit in your family room and watch t.v. with someone you care about? Do you have a washer and dryer where you get to wash your family’s clothes? Do you have a bathroom where you are able to shower and get ready to go places? Do you have a bedroom where you sleep at night? If you answered yes to any of these questions (and I’m going to guess you probably answered yes to most, if not all of them), then you have an amazing home. That’s right, YOU HAVE AN AMAZING HOME.


Home isn’t about a big, fancy, flawlessly decorated house where you impress people who come over. It’s not about a place with a gourmet kitchen or big walk-in closets. What it is about is a place where your family comes together each day. Where you make memories, where you have friends over (who, if they are true friends, don’t care at all what your house looks like, but are just happy to be there with you), where you know that after a long day at work you get to come back to. Home is the place where you find rest, privacy, comfort and more importantly, where you find love.

So, would you rather keep finding fault in your house, wishing you had something bigger and better? Do you want to keep complaining about the things you wish were different and being envious of others’ houses? I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pointless waste of time to me, when you could instead be enjoying this home you are blessed to have and more importantly, enjoying the people you get to share it with.

In short, be content with the home you have and look at your home for what it really is…a place for family to be together and love and make memories and a place for friends and family to gather and laugh and enjoy time with each other. Your home doesn’t need to be a showplace, it just needs to be a place that is welcoming to whoever enters. That’s what makes a house a home.

Money vs. Contentment


I’m just going to go ahead and tackle what I think is the biggest issue in detouring us from contentment. This is the one I think may rub some people the wrong way, and I’m sorry if it does, but chances are that if it rubs you the wrong way…it’s because you know you’re guilty of it. Now, this is not meant in any way to be shaming, but meant to be a help to get people to realize some of the destructive mindsets and behaviors that are keeping them from true contentment. So, please hear me out here and take this for what it is meant to be…help.

Money. Oh, money. Seems we never have enough. Talk to the person with the tiny little house and old vehicles or the person with the gorgeous house with the in-ground pool and new vehicles and you’re likely to hear the same thing when it comes to how much money they think they have. In most cases, people in either one of these situations will tell you they don’t have enough. Is it true? Well, depends on how you look at it. Do they have adequate shelter, food, clothing and transportation for their family? If so, they have enough. However, if they have debt of any kind, they don’t have enough money. You know what that means? They are living above their means. They are living a lifestyle that their income does not support. There’s a problem there and no one needs me to tell them what they need to do to fix that. Let’s just pretend for a minute that someone does though.

If you have credit card or loan debt, your absolute first priority with those paychecks you get should be to pay down that debt…as quickly as possible. Do you realize the absurd amount of money you are paying in interest if you don’t? That makes no sense whatsoever and is disastrous for your future. Here are some practical tips for how to save a little money each month that you can instead put toward that debt. I can say these with confidence because they are exactly what I have done and even though we don’t have that credit card debt with the monstrous interest hanging over us anymore, I’ve realized I don’t even miss the things we changed to save money and either does anyone else in our house, even though they seemed like they were going to be so terrible at first.

First off, how much are you paying for your cable/satellite service? Chances are it’s a ridiculous amount. We cancelled our service, got a good old fashioned antennae so we would have local channels and got Netflix (the cheapest package) and recently just added Hulu. Even though the kids cried and whined about it and I was bummed about not having the few channels that I did enjoy, we have been without it for at least 2 years now and NO ONE in our house cares at all! That was a HUGE savings. Seriously, it’s tv. Why would you spend that kind of money on tv when you have debt hanging over your head?

Next up, heat/air conditioning. So, here’s the deal. I’m cold pretty much all the time in the winter. Like, even if I’m in a house that is 70 degrees or more, so I’ve learned to deal with it by wearing slipper socks when I’m in the house and layers. No biggie. That made it an easy decision for me to lower our heat in the winters. We have propane, so heating our house is very expensive (and thankfully we have a fairly small house to heat). Last year I decided to keep our heat at 65 degrees and guess what? No one froze to death! We had blankets we would use when we sat and watched t.v. and really no one even seemed to notice all that much. Yeah, there were the occasional times where it got a little chilly, but you just add another layer of clothing and you’re all good. We’ve done that for two winters in a row now and have had some of the coldest/snowiest winters here in Michigan these past two years too! Same goes with air conditioning. Now, I can’t stand to be hot when I’m trying to sleep, so this one is actually a little harder for me. In fact, we sleep with fans on in our rooms all through the winter. However, I got smart and when we moved to this house, I bought curtains that block out light and also hold heat or cool air in, depending on the season. That definitely affords us a little more time before we have to break down and turn the air on. Now, I know what some of you are thinking “That’s ridiculous, I’m not going to be uncomfortable in my own home just to save a few dollars.” Well, do you have debt of any kind? Because if you do, having to layer or deal with a little heat is a small inconvenience to pay in order to save yourself a lot of money.

Clothes, clothes, oh how I love clothes. If you’re like me and LOVE clothes, then maybe that’s your weakness and where a lot of your extra spending goes. This includes shoes, purses, jewelry, etc. I have two words for you “Thrift Store”. Now, before you turn up your nose at the idea, let me just tell you that I have a closet full of Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic, Gap, Nike, etc. clothes that were all purchased from thrift stores and people always compliment me on my outfits.You can find amazing pieces of clothing at thrift stores. My boys get the majority of their school clothes at the beginning of the year from thrift stores and consignment shops. They have all the name brand things they want to have like their friends, only we pay a fraction of what other people pay for them. I’ve been picking up shorts for them lately and let me tell you, they are thrilled to have “new” clothes, no matter if they come from the thrift store or not. Why in the world would I pay full price for clothes?!

Food is up next. Now, we’ve always been pretty good about meal planning and buying mostly only what is on sale. If you aren’t doing that, that’s a great place to start. The harder one for us though, is not going out to eat very often. That includes fast food and pizza as well as sit-down restaurants. You know what that does? It makes your kids more appreciative and excited when they do get those things (and it makes the adults more appreciative and excited too). This means you have to be intentional about meal planning so you aren’t stuck in those moments of “I don’t know what we’re going to have for dinner, so we’ll just grab a pizza.”  That creates unnecessary spending. It also means having to say no sometimes when you are asked to go out to dinner. That can be hard, but when you really stick to it and when people know the reason why you have to say no, they are usually quite understanding.

That leads me to another good point. You need to surround yourself with people who are supportive of what you are trying to do. If your friends or family are constantly razzing  you because you won’t go out to eat or go do things that cost money, that is going to make your path to being debt free very hard. Unfortunately, you will probably encounter at least some people like that along your way, but you have to be committed to making this change for you and your family and not allow them to wear you down.

What you can do is things like using bottle/can returns money to save up and have pizza one night or collect change in a jar and decide as a family how you want to treat yourselves with it when it reaches a certain amount. These are things that bring a collective effort within your family and you are able to experience the accomplishment and the reward together. This teaches your kids that your financial responsibilities need to be taken care of first and the fun comes with seeing how when you take care of responsibilities first, you can reap the rewards guilt-free.

Maybe you don’t have debt and if you don’t, that’s awesome!!! In fact, I highly recommend that you only have one credit card and that you keep it with a trusted family member for use only when necessary. I cannot say enough how destructive I think credit cards are. Even if you don’t have debt though, many of these same things can still apply to you and your family. This especially applies if you find yourself running out of money at the end of the month and don’t seem to ever have money to put into savings. If that’s the case, you’re spending too much!

I truly believe that if we are being responsible with our money, we will have an overflow with which we can bless others. Even though we have been very conscious of our spending, we still seem to have extra to give to help out when there is a real need and I know that is because we are being blessed for being responsible. It’s funny how I find it so easy to give, when I know I’m taking care of my responsibilities and not being frivolous with my spending. I saw this yesterday and thought it was so fitting with what I was writing about today.


No matter how much money you have, it’s always easy to fall into the trap of wanting more. Sure, I want that cute pair of shoes or to go out to dinner with my friends, but there’s something so much more satisfying about it when I know my responsibilities have been taken care of first and now I can get those shoes or go out to eat without feeling like that money needs to be going somewhere else.

What does this all have to do with contentment? Well, when you are content, you don’t feel the need to spend money that you really shouldn’t be spending. You are happy in your circumstances and don’t need all of those material things to make you happy. When you are content, money is placed in it’s proper position in your life and it isn’t something that controls you or causes you great stress or great joy. It’s just money.

So, don’t let money have that much of a hold on you. Being content is worth so much more. It’s worth it for you and for your family. It’s worth it for now and for your future. I choose contentment over money. I hope you will too.

Spring Cleaning Tip


Ok, so I know most people probably have their spring cleaning done by now. Yeah right, I can’t be the only one who hasn’t completed spring cleaning. Anyway, I have one spring cleaning tip that is my absolute favorite because it’s something I notice the results from so much.

Something that drives me nuts is the layer of dust I notice on all of my curtains at the end of winter. I want to open up my windows when the weather finally permits it and yet I don’t want all of that dust flying in. So, here’s what you do…

Take down your curtains and wash them! Easy enough, right? But I like to do a little something special with them. I like to use a laundry booster to give them an extra special fresh scent. My personal favorite is Scentsy Washer Whiffs in the scent Quiver. Sooooo good! While the curtains are washing, completely dust your window frames, sills, etc. Wash your windows and get them nice and clear to enjoy the sunshine through.

Once the curtains are dry, hang them up and open up those windows! The nice breeze will blow the fresh scent of the clean curtains through your house and that instantly makes the house feel cleaner!

So pull down those dusty curtains today and give them a good wash. Add an awesome laundry booster to make them smell even better. Clean your windows well and open them up and enjoy the fresh, clean scent your house will be filled with!

Enjoy this beautiful Spring Saturday!