Back To School 2016, Food, Food/Beverage, Healthy Living

Using Zero Water instead of Tap Water

Samples sent for feature

Zero-Water-Logo | Parenting Healthy |

Chances are you have or do own some sort of water filtration system. Maybe your refrigerator has one with drinking water options or you have a special filter on your sink faucet. The other filtration option is a system you keep in your fridge or on your counter. However you get yourself fresh water, do you really know much about what it is doing to your water? Do you know why you should use a system like Zero Water instead of tap water? I searched out the answers for you.

Zero-Water-Products | Parenting Healthy |

While the EPA is responsible for the quality of water coming through your tap, the main concern over tap water is lead. Most older homes still have lead pipes and even with EPA testing the levels of acceptable lead are less strict than water sold from bottles or that come from home filtering. The most lead-prone drinking water you can find will most likely come from your tap. However, is bottled water better? The environment would say no! Those bottles are pollution and although the FDA oversees the quality of bottled water, their standards are not to make it any better than tap water. In a study years ago it was actually found that 25% of bottled water was actually tap water.

Perhaps you live in a rural community where the threat of contamination is high. Contaminants that can be found in these public water systems can include pesticides. Some private wells are not regulated or free of other contaminants either. To sum this up, older homes, homes in rural areas and those on private wells run contaminant risks in their water and that’s a lot of households who may be drinking tested water but that water is not tested daily and is at a risk.

Zero-Water-5-Stage-Filter | Parenting Healthy |

Home water filtration systems like Zero Water products will bring you the peace of mind that every cup of water you or your children drink is safe. The proof is in the TDS meter that comes with your pitchers. Zero Water removes 99.63% of total solids. On their website I entered my zip code to see what the TDA reading is in my water and it is currently at 41.33. If I use Zero Water filtered water that reading should show 000- zeros!

Zero-Water-5-Stage-Portable-Filtration | Parenting Healthy |

Zero Water blows its competition away in terms of filtration using it’s 5-Stage filters. In a Testing performed by an independent, EPA Certified Laboratory and does not have any affiliation with Zero Technologies, LLC or Brita it shows the following comparison results

  • Average reduction of inorganics (Ni, cl, fl, etc): Zero Water=99% vs 44%
  • Average reduction of metals: Zero Water=98% vs 88%
  • Average reduction of pesticides: Zero Water=99% vs 69% (that’s huge)
  • Average reduction of other VOC: Zero Water=93% vs 59%

Zero-Water-5-Stage-Filtration | Parenting Healthy |

We drove our middle son across the state to his freshman year of college. In the list of dorm supplies we have, it was recommended that we send him with a water filtration system because of complaints of how bad the dorm’s water tastes. It is pretty bad-I tasted it while there. The last thing a college child needs in his body is lead from older buildings perhaps and contaminated water so it is not worth the risk. I am sending him a Zero Water system for sure when we go back. The only other option is quality bottled water but that puts plastic back in the landfills and the cost of quality bottled water will run more over time than using a Zero Water system.

The typical Zero Water 5-Stage filter should last about 15 gallons and replacements are anywhere from $11-14 depending on the retailer. You can pay almost $5 for a case of 24 waters, so the math works out in favor of the Zero Water in terms of cost over time.

Zero-Water-Pure-Water | Parenting Healthy |

I encourage you to learn more and to taste the difference of using water form a Zero Water pitcher vs the tap water you drink and even over the taste of standard bottled water. You will taste the difference and feel confident your family is drinking the safest of water. Visit Zero Water Website | Facebook | You Tube to see how it all works

Products Used in This Post

Back To School 2016, Brands with a Cause, Healthy Living

Boka Natural Oral Care Boxes

Sample sent for feature

Boka-Dental-Subscription | Parenting Healthy |

Back to school has happened and there are so many tasks to add to our daily schedule. Back to homework, school lunches, events, bus routes, bedtime and meal routines. In a perfect world we would have extra time in our day to be 100% on top of our normal healthy regimen from dental hygiene to bacterial and cold and flu health and prevention. As for our oral care we would brush after each meal-even at school-in that perfect world. Instead we send the kids off to burger day or salad bar at the school and that meal sits on their teeth and hopefully they didn’t crash on us at night getting used to the new routine before they brushed their teeth.

Boka has made oral care health a no-brainer. Not only do they put together natural dental products for you and your children, they even make it easy to remember when to switch out your toothbrushes which need to happen every 3 months.

You can subscribe or shop at Boka. If you subscribe, you can see the products being sent to you from within the shop. Most boxes are monthly subscriptions for various products that can run anywhere from $15-$30 or more each box. The Boka box kit starts at just $14.50 and that is for every 3 months. You build a kit for your family and every 3 months a new one arrives-just in time for fresh toothbrush changes for everyone.

Oral-Health-Subscription | Parenting Healthy |

I sampled a kit and in my kit is:

  • Oral Health Care Guide
  • Natural Toothpaste-Mint
  • Mint Floss
  • 1 Toothbrush
  • 2 Natural cocorinse packets for natural oil pulling

I priced my kit out to be $14.50 every 3 months (the oil pulling samples were extra throw-ins). If I wanted to commit to a year, the price works out to be only $12.33 per box (every 3 months). That means that to subscribe to a Boka kits per person you will pay $4.11-$4.83 a month. The floss alone is $4. Of all subscriptions kits I have ever seen from beauty to health and even pets, this is by far the best in cost.

Dental-Health-Subscription | Parenting Healthy |

Boka toothbrushes have black bristles for a reason. This is because Boka toothbrushes are made with activated charcoal. These activated charcoal will naturally help prevent odor causing bacteria from building up on your brush. The bristles are soft so it is gentle on your gums and the ends are tapered so it can tackle the plaque easier. Also for every Boka brush purchased, they will donate a toothbrush to their nonprofit partner Surge. They work hard to bring life-sustaining water to those in need.

Charcoal-Dental-Toothbrush | Parenting Healthy |

The Boka toothpaste and floss are all natural. The toothpaste is made with natural ingredients and essential oils like peppermint and mint. There is no SLS, fluoride, triclosan, artificial flavors or parabens. The floss is wrapped in natural beeswax and is Teflon and petroleum-free.

Dental-Subscription | Parenting Healthy |

Head to Boka to shop or subscribe and leave the dental guide and timeline to them so you can worry about all the other things that go along with the school year. Visit Boka –> Website | Facebook | Twiiter
Tweet: See the Boka all-natural dental kit for the entire family at

Back To School 2016, Food

Pirate’s Booty Limited Edition School Packs

Samples sent for feature




School-lunch-snacks | Parenting Healthy |

As I write this school starts tomorrow for my son. I actually work at the High School in nutrition and have an 8 year old that prefers home lunches over school lunch on most days. Given that, I need snacks and lunch items that are not loaded with preservatives and artificial ingredients. My son was so excited to find that Pirate’s Booty comes in larger 1oz snack sizes now for school lunches and after school snacks.

You can find Pirate’s Booty by the bag for handfuls of snacking or in pouches. The pouches are easy to open-my 8 year old was able to open with no problem. I had these shipped to my door and no packages came open in shipping so it stores very well. The 1 oz packages are a great snack size.

School-lunch-snack | Parenting Healthy |

Pirate’s Booty is gluten-free and does not contain any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. They are also kosher and the Pirate’s Booty Smart Puffs and Original Tings are Non-GMO. Bored while snacking? Find some Pirate Activities on their website. Fun activities you can use if you have a pirate-theme party coming up.
School-lunch-Cheddar-snack | Parenting Healthy |
School-lunch-snacking | Parenting Healthy |
Remember these fun pirate snacks for the summer and back to school. Visit to learn more.
Back To School 2016, College Bound

Back to School with Sharpie Extreme

Sample sent for feature


Last year my son was in a youth British Soccer camp and at the end of camp he wanted autographs of the coaches before they head back to England. All I had was a regular Sharpie and he had them sign with that blue pen. He then insisted he play with that ball throughout the year. However, you cannot read the names of the Coaches anymore. This summer he has the same camp and I had been wondering how to find a better marker this year. I was introduced to Sharpie Extreme. This marker is made for such occasions because it stays bold.


You can find Sharpie Extreme in 4 colors-black, red, blue and green. They will mark anything a standard Sharpie would only this Sharpie pen is for extreme uses. You can use it on plastic, wood and even glass.


This summer we will be bringing Sharpie Extreme to signings. They are made for your sports equipment, outdoor equipment, backpacks and water bottles. Extreme weather won’t fade these colors. It stands up to UV rays, rain, snow and even mud.


The tip is fine and it writes in bold, high-contrast colors. I have marked my son’s sports balls, jackets, backpack, lunchbox and keep one by the front door bin for items I feel need to be marked.


When you are doing your back to school shopping, make sure you pick up a Sharpie Extreme. Then get those items marked. I work in the schools and some nice looking jackets and hoodies get donated at the end of the year. Many families will be missing those unmarked items. I found some on Amazon and you can find them at other retailers too.

Back To School 2016, College Bound, Food

Lunch On-The-Go with Rubbermaid Fasten+Go

Sample sent for feature


Taking lunch to work is the best way to save money. There was a point in our budget when my husband and I sat down and looked at our outgoing expenses. He worked in retail corporate all over town and I worked in a hospital clinic. We were both buying meals out-he would stop on the road and I would go to the cafeteria at $6-$8 a lunch or more some days times 2 of us. When we added that up and also acknowledged we have a fridge full of lunch meat and bread going stale, we were blowing money.

We decided to give ourselves 2 meals out a week and pack lunch the other 3. It made a huge difference. Now I only work part time and my husband is at a position with his company where most meals can be reimbursed, but I still resort to packing lunches when we will be gone all day. I love finding ways to tote all foods in containers that won’t leak when I pack a lunch. My youngest is still in school and prefers home lunch so he eats from home food. Rubbermaid has always been my go-to for leak proof containers for food. Now they improved lunch on-the-go even further with the Fasten+Go kits.


The Rubbermaid Fasten+Go has 3 kits for your meals: Entree Kit, Sandwich Kit and Soup Kit. From hot soup and homemade chili to sandwiches and leftover dinner meals you can pack and go. You can heat your food right from the container. There is also a carry strap eliminating a bag to put your containers in.


The sandwich kit fits our needs perfectly. I tend to pack sandwiches and fruit so the sizes in this kit work great. My son thinks it is pretty neat on days I forgo his lunchbox to send him with unique lunches in their own containers.


I love the locking feature where you press in the smaller containers into the larger lid-you press and will hear the snap. The lids are very secure and no links at all. Once stacked you just put the lid over it all, pull the strap tight and off you go.


You can find Rubbermaid Fasten+Go containers in 3 colors and at retailers near you. I found more on an end cap at my local Target store and have spotted them at other retailers as well.

Back To School 2016, Brands with a Cause

Office Depot National Backpack Program

Samples sent for feature, then all my samples were donated to Lake Stevens Family First


Kudos to Office Depot for 16 years of it’s award-winning National Backpack Program. I was sent 7 of these new and fun designed sackpacks with supplies inside. I took some photos below so you can see them for yourselves. Then I dropped the rest off with our local Family Center office who are a part of the Lutheran Community Services chapter. This local office partners with our school district and as these bags arrived to me I heard that they were given a total count of 150 local students who’s families need help with back to school. 7 of those kids now have a new backpack and supplies from this Office Depot National Backpack Campaign. I felt very proud dropping these off and the gal raved over how fun these sacks were for the kids.


Back to school is so fun for kids-most get new clothes, shoes and backpacks. Many families, however, cannot afford brand new. So when they seek assistance and get something NEW for the kids, that is so exciting for them. Look at these designs! Lego, arcade, camo, nature and other fun themes that the kids will be proud to wear on their backs.


Office Depot has done amazing things with this program. Here are some stats to be astonished by

  • In 2016, Office Depot will donate 200,000 colorful new sackpacks to nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies across the United States and internationally.
  • By the end of 2016, Office Depot and the Office Depot Foundation will have given away more than 4 million backpacks and sackpacks since the National Backpack Program began in 2001.
  • The Foundation is collaborating with the AARP Experience Corps, the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, Feed the Children, Food For The Poor, the Kids In Need Foundation, the National Foundation for Women Legislators, Operation Homefront and Samaritan’s Feet International.
  • For the eighth consecutive year, children of the Navajo Nation in Arizona will receive sackpacks.


To learn more, visit the Office Depot Foundation Page.