Protection - for your phone and your gear at school

Do you own a cell phone? Have you ever dropped it? I went for years without ever dropping my cell phone, then the ONE time I took the case off, it slipped off a beach chair and shattered the screen. Crazy town.

My son has a case but still managed to crack his screen. So we now use a quality case AND a screen protector.

Since using the screen protectors, we have had no breakage to our screens. My son did break the screen protector after awhile, then had to install a new one (thankfully, they come in a 2-pack.)

The best news - the screen was still intact after the damage. I'm going to be honest - if you have kids, especially boys, but kids of any kind - then you will need a screen protector and a bumper case. Cheap cute cases are not going to cut it.

I'm talking backpacks, pockets, lockers, friends, sports, buses, the lunch room, and all sorts of other hazards here. Save yourself a lot of stress and trouble (and eventual cost) and just do it right from the beginning.

Speaking of school....kids have to bring their own locks these days. They have to be a matching set (one for the gym locker and one for the main locker.)

We were fortunate to be able to review this matching lock set. It's so much easier to remember just one combination!! These are great for lockers, suitcases, and more. If you have multiple suitcases, imagine how much better it is to remember just one combination for the whole family.

And they are inexpensive so you can reasonably afford to do so. A small price to pay for security.





I received complimentary products for review purposes. No compensation was received. This blog does contain affiliate links/ads.



Delicious chocolates - found only at Target this holiday season! #BouchardChocolate



Something about the holidays just begs for chocolate --- and egg nog. Not everyone agrees on the nog, but chocolates are a hit with almost everyone. We were fortunate enough to sample the really tasty Bouchard chocolates (sold at your local Target) and I think they were about the perfect size for a chocolate sampler. Not too many that you get tired of them, but just enough that you were able to try at least one of each.

Most of the chocolates were really good and each type found at least one fan in our household. I would have liked more nuts, but I understand not everyone can have nuts these days

All-in-all, they were a hit and I would buy them again.



I received a complimentary box of chocolates for review purposes. No compensation was received.

Staying Warm without bulk - active outdoor gear that works with you!

I have spent my entire life in the upper midwest - just a stone's throw away from the Canadian border. The coldest I remember was negative 65 F in the late nineties. I walked 2 miles to school that day. It was cold!!

My main objective has always been stay warm - wearing layers, big coats, heavy gloves, etc. But then this happened:

Part of our 40 acre farm
We bought a 40 acre farm this fall and have spent every free minute getting it ready for production. That means cleaning up debris, scrapping old equipment, chopping down dead trees,building a dock to the lake, and lots and lots of digging as we have planted 77 new trees so far.

We did all of this over the month of November. Not our coldest month, but still dropping down into the 20s. I admit that most of my winter outdoor life has involved walking or short ski jaunts. I have never really "worked" in the cold.

Once you do - you will find out how important it is to have thin layers, ease of movement, and pockets. You would never imagine that you'd want to take your coat off on a 20 degree day, but when you are working hard, it happens! Alot!

Fortunately, I have had the chance to try out two new products while working hard on the land.

The first was the Extreme Sweater Jacket from RefrigiWear. Extremely lightweight, but able to provide comfort down to 10F, this jacket was pretty amazing. I have a teenage son, and this jacket fit him perfectly. There were pockets for your phone, your gloves, your tools, anything. All of them zip closed (and tight) and are in areas that do not interfere with working. Did I mention the jacket was thin? It is - and that is something my boys appreciate more than anything. They absolutely hate the bulk of big ski jackets.Wearing this jacket was no different than wearing a sweatshirt - in feel. But it delivered in the warmth department too.

We spent Thanksgiving at the land, burning down a huge pile of debris - 25 years worth of debris. The fire lasted into the next morning. We had to stay and tend the fire. The temperatures dropped down to 23F. We basically camped outside.....all night long. My son complained about cold feet but that was it. He actually had to repeatedly remove the jacket while we were hauling boards to the fire because he was too hot. But as the fire burned down to center embers, the rest of us felt every bit of that 23F. Do not attempt to stay out all night without wool socks, quality boots, a tent, and blankets/sleeping bags!  - we will not make that mistake again.

Looks can be deceiving. This pit was over 12 feet deep below the surface and 30 feet wide! I only took photos in the beginning because after that I was too busy working!


Starting the fire with a flare.
 All -in-all, I am super impressed with the jacket and am looking at their women's jackets right now. I'm still putting together my Christmas list and I am definitely interested in the "pure-soft" jacket. We have been behind on all "regular duties" while we pull the farm together.

We have accomplished a lot in the last month. Not only did we burn down 2 barns worth of old wood and heaven knows how many branches, but we rebuild the lake dock and were able to plant 77 trees before the snow started falling.

We were always racing against the sun (which goes down by 5pm here!) and didn't finish all the detail work (like untying the trees and covering the stems with rodent protection) before the snow came. So we had to work in the snow to finish.

Walking in snow is hard work. I have snowpants and boots - all the usual stuff. None of that works well when your property is 1/2 a mile across and the snow is a foot deep. Snowpants are bulky. They store a lot of heat while you're walking....and they are horrible when you need to use the bathroom.

So I started looking into better options. I put snowshoes on my Christmas list and ditched the snowpants for a thin legging layer under jeans plus Armadillo LT gaiters over my boots.

Gaiters keep snow out of your boots and off of your pants, but they don't slow you down. There is no bunching in the crotch, no added heat, and no drama when you need to use the restroom.

My husband has gaiters because he's a bird hunter. This was my first experience with them. I've got to say they were quite freeing. Easy to use, they work as intended, and they are also lightweight.

Lightweight - thin layers - are becoming my best friends.

Once we get the farm up and running, we'll be installing a hunting shack near the lake. This type of gear is perfect for hunting. It's perfect for skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and yes - working in the snow.

Wish me luck as I wrap up our pasture contracts, locate bee equipment, and start ordering trees for the orchard. Winter is a time of winding up to explode with activity in the spring. We are going to be busy!


I received complimentary products for review purposes. No compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own. This blog does contain affiliate links/ads at no cost to the reader.


Write out your goals, save your butt, and reach things up high!

This fall has been overwhelmingly busy - but in a good way. We followed our dreams and bought a farm. I've been keeping notes of all sorts of plans, ideas, and budgeting issues. It's been a mess. But then I started using an actual journal.

This particular journal is dedicated to helping you reach your goals. It has places to put your "visualizations" and goals. I've found it very helpful. In fact, I do find it's much more productive to keep track of your goals and write out your plans. It improves your focus and your odds of achieving those goals goes up exponentially.

I've got an entire plan mapped out and things are falling into place. In the meantime, we are still working in our suburban area and starting to clean up for the holidays. I have a lot of things to sort through for goodwill and a future garage sale.

We have stuff stacked in all of our closets - to the top! - and it's time to get them down. I've found this folding stool to be a lifesaver. This particular stool is made for children (but can hold me) and is so lightweight and very portable. It folds flat and stores easily.

I bought the adult size one for my pantry and that stool is strong enough for everyone (even men.)

It's been one of my favorite purchases. It actually makes my day easier - almost every day.

Speaking of making life easier....why are bike seats still so uncomfortable? My children are still growing so they've gotten new bikes in the last year and the seats are still rock hard!  No more of that!

This bike seat cover fits over most seats and makes the seat so much more comfortable. My children both wanted it but my son's bike has the worst seat so he gave it a go. It was a much needed improvement. There's really no reason to suffer with a painful bike seat.





I received complimentary products for review purposes. No compensation was received. All articles on this blog may contain affiliate links/ads.

Beautiful Earrings for #Xmas - #gift for her - turquoise!

The holidays are here! It's time to start thinking about special one-of-a-kind gifts for the people in your life. Check out these beautiful blue turquoise earrings

I am a huge fan of the "boho" style and these earrings fit right in! They could also dress up a little black dress or a chunky sweater on the ski slopes. Very versatile. 

Did You Know That Soap Grows On Trees?

Did You Know That Soap Grows On Trees?
Well for Tree To Tub, yes, soap does grow on trees! Check out their amazing line of ultra-gentle, organic body care products featuring the soapberry, an exotic fruit that makes a gentle, nourishing lather when you rub it!
Never heard of the soapberry? Keeping reading to find out!

Meet the Soapberry, Nature's Most Gentle Soap


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Just give this berry a rub, and it produces a creamy, luxurious lather
Yes, the soapberry lathers, and it's also the most nourishing soap for the human body. For thousands of years, its ultra-gentle and antibacterial properties have been used in Ayurvedic herbal medicine for all skin and hair issues. Its vitamin-packed froth shields and repairs the skin & hair from dryness and damages.
Tree To Tub is the first to make the soapberry available, so you are washing with the botanical lather of the soapberry, not a lather made from synthetic chemicals.
And We Get the Exclusive Deal,
Only On The Suburban Jungle!

I’m happy to announce that Tree To Tub is giving The Suburban Jungle a special 50% pre-sale discount, only 30 available to ONLY our readers here.
This 5 piece collection includes their Organic Soapberry Facial Cleanser, Organic Soapberry Shampoo, Organic Soapberry Body Wash, Organic Argan Oil Conditioner, and Organic Shea Butter Body Lotion.

What the Soapberry Will Do for You

Instead of using synthetic lather that is severely damaging your body, the soapberry will completely transform the health of your skin & hair.


Here’s What We Get!

blog (basic set).jpg

Looks AMAZING, But
Where Can I Get It Or Learn More About It?
The brand launch is taking place on Indiegogo, the global platform for young companies to bring their ideas to life.

To access the exclusive offer, you must be a Suburban Jungle blog reader, go to our unique campaign link here: http://bit.ly/TreeTub-SuburbJungle


You should see the Secret Perk for their Basic Collection, which is listed $79, 51% off their $160 Retail. There’s only 60 left, so get yours now.

Perfect #gift for #crossfit #gymrats and travelers

The holidays are fast approaching and selecting the "right" gift for the people in your life can be challenging! But I found something that is perfect for travelers, gym goers, and well, almost any woman. 

It's called the GLOV. I had the opportunity to test one of these out and it was great! I used it to wash away makeup without using any other products. You can use with your favorite soap, but I used it without and it did a great job. 


It was super simple to use - fit my hand like a glove - and washed up well in the laundry. 

Here are the directions from the manufacturer:

In just 4 simple steps your post-gym routine becomes faster, easier and more enjoyable!
Step 1: Dampen GLOV’s dual action micro fibers with water
Step 2: Wipe away your makeup with ease
Step 3: Hand wash the GLOV with any bar of soap
Step 4: Hang to air dry


GLOV On-The-Go

GLOV On-The-Go has a compact design that is easy to use on a daily basis or when traveling. Inspired to meet the needs of contemporary the woman, it is the secret ally in your daily routine.

Price: $12.99
Availabilityulta.com

It really couldn't be any simpler! Throw this in a stocking, or wrap it up with a collection of "spa" or body care products and you have a very thoughtful and useful gift.


I received complimentary samples for review purposes. No compensation was received. All of my articles may contain affiliate links/ads.


Cleaning up Sweaty Dirty Clothes, Planning for the Future, and Just having fun



If you have ever been inside a high school wrestling room - God bless you. It is the most concentrated form of manly sweat stink in the world. When I take my daughter to gymnastics, the moms always complain about how bad their gym smells and I just shake my head. There is no comparison. But that's what's in my laundry right now. Hard fighting wrestling sweat...and a whole lot of tree planting homestead sweat too!

I am always open to trying new things and for years I have been working with some pretty great natural cleaners. But my husband is not happy with their ability to get out the "funk." His laundry usually comes out of the wash smelling like it never went in. So I was more than happy to give Persil ProClean Power Liquid a try.

It had a very nice, clean scent. It did leave a scent on our clothing - a clean scent and one that my husband appreciated. It did a much better job of getting out sweaty smells then my usual detergent. I am happy with it. I think I will definitely pick up a bottle or two to get me through the sweaty days of life on the farm and for wrestling season (3 long months of 2 hour daily practices!!) 

Speaking of farm work.... 

We planted our 77th tree this week. The snow stopped us in our tracks but we now have a really good windbreak in place and 25 maple trees that will some day produce maple syrup.

On top of that, I have been working on restoring 10 acres of tilled land to native prairie. So good for the soil, the wildlife, and for my future bees....

Lots of work ahead. But not all work. 

We are putting in a tire swing for the kids (and future grandkids) and this Swing kit made it so much easier. I was always afraid to install a swing, but not anymore. This kit made it easy and safe. Very thankful!

We also had the chance to try out this awesome hammock with mosquito net.  I love to be outside and I'm not usually bothered by bugs. But my family members are and they are grateful to have the option of netting. 

This would make for a divine sleeping experience in the summer. Sleeping under the stars, swaying in the wind, no bugs on your face! 

What could be better? Well....waking up to your orchard full of buzzing bees and ripening fruits and berries... Of course!

Until then, we plan and get to work! 

We have snow on the ground and all of our hard work at the farm has ended for now. Now we are busy planning and preparing (both what to do and how to pay for it!) for spring. 

Spring will bring so many new possibilities!













Complimentary products were received for review purposes. No compensation was received. All articles on this blog may contain affiliate links/ads.


Getting started with farming, planting an orchard, travelling between two homes

Less than a month ago, we bought a 40 acre farm. Getting started on building a farm is hard work. We are there every weekend and many week nights. Just last weekend we planted 77 trees - a windbreak to protect our future bees. We put in maple trees that we will eventually tap for syrup and I am busy siting out where our fruit trees will go.

There is a lot of potential in a farm - but man is it expensive and exhausting! Since it gets dark here at 5pm, we have had to hustle. And we've had to stay at the land overnight - without electricity, water, or real shelter. We have been camping! In the cold!!

One thing that helped us get through that rough experience was this awesome solar camping lantern.  

We set it out in the field during the day where it charged itself. Then we brought it in the tent for the night. It's really good in an enclosed space but does not give you focused light like a flashlight for heading to the bathroom or walking around in the dark.

It is nice and stable but also has a handle so you could hang it from the tent poles if you wanted. What about cloudy days? It has a hand crank and usb charging cord so you have options if the sun isn't cooperating. It's lightweight and nicely shaped so you can pack it up easily.

We were glad to have it.

While we were busy planting and hauling - our kids were busy scoping out the perfect tree for a swing. We have young trees in the suburbs so they aren't strong enough to hold a swing. They bravely traversed the woods during hunting season and think they found the perfect tree.

We'll be using these straps to load up a tire next time we head to the land. They are heavy duty, easy to use, and protect the tree at the same time. I will update this post with pictures of the swing once it goes up.

When you are traveling between locations every weekend, simplicity is key. I like tools that can perform more than one function. Surprisingly, eating is one of the biggest problems with living on the road.

One really need tool we came across was this multi-tool. It's a spoon/fork/wrench/ruler all- in-one.

Very helpful and under the oddest circumstances. It attaches by carabiner so it's easy to connect to your cookware, backpack, or belt loops.

We have been lugging things back and forth and it's taking it's toll. We have been getting horrible gas mileage and there really is just only so much room for all the tools you need. Something always gets forgotten.

We have got to build a shed - and quickly!! Then we can go back to focusing on planting and clearing debris.

Wish us luck!


*I received complimentary products for review purposes. No compensation was received. All posts on this blog contain affiliate links/ads.



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