Get Inexpensive Medical Tests Done!

Here’s how our family saves a decent amount of money on medical matters! This may help you and your family save some cash as well!

—————————————-

Have any of you ever heard of www.RequestATest.com.

A few years ago, I was needing some blood labs drawn for my mild hypothyroid condition. At the doctor’s office, a basic routine thyroid lab costs over $100 (and that was a few years ago- I have no idea what it costs today). When talking to my girlfriend, who also has thyroid issues (and who regularly gets labs drawn), she suggested I check out Request A Test.

It’s SO easy and inexpensive to get labs through them… WITHOUT needing the doctor to call them in. YOU can call them in.

If you know what specific test(s) you need (or have a general idea)- be it blood, urine, stool, etc- you can easily search for them on their website. They have just a TON of labs available- common ones, uncommon, and everything in-between. Heart health, hormones (male/female), celiac, autoimmune, cancer, STDs, Lyme, heavy metals, etc. If you don’t see what you need, they have “additional testing available”. Simply call them at (888-732-2348) to inquire. They could probably hook you up with whatever you are needing.

So, you pick which lab(s) you want (either “ala carte” or in a “package” deal), put them in your shopping cart, and go to checkout. There’s usually a “special of the month” promo code- check it out on their home page and see if it applies to what you’re ordering. Prices per individual test/package are easily seen. Sometimes there’s even a price slash or sale available.

At checkout, they have you search for a local lab near you by address, town/state, or zip code. Just click on the lab you want to go to.

Once you hit the finalize button, you will receive 2 emails… one is the receipt and the other is the actual order confirmation. These are basically just for your records. You do NOT need to bring these with you when you visit the lab. An order will also be sent (from Request A Test) to the lab that you requested.

At the lab that I go to (LabCorp), it’s not imperative that I make an appointment, although I could make one either by phone or online. Maybe some lab offices request that you make an appointment. But I’ve never had to.

Be sure and look at the requirements for your test! If you clink on test “info”, it will tell you what the requirements are, if any. It also appears on your receipt and order confirmation. Some labs request that you fast several hours prior to getting your lab done. Glad I looked for myself today because I ordered my tests this morning and was ready to go to the lab. But then I saw that for the CMP I needed to have fasted for 9-12 hrs. I’d already eaten breakfast at this point. :-/ So… I’ll go tomorrow morning. Be sure and look!

Just an FYI, the receipt will come to your email inbox right away. The order confirmation may take some time to come though. Mine comes in fairly quickly, 5-10 min. But depending on circumstances, it could take longer. Do NOT go to the lab until you have received that second email, the order confirmation. When you get that confirmation, you now know the lab has your order in. THEN you can go to the lab.

So anyway… that basically how it goes: search/find, order, pay, find a lab, and get your test(s) done! Easy-peasy.

Results come back fairly quickly. They can either be sent directly to you doctor or you can have them sent to you via email or you can view them online (securely).

Today I ordered a Comprehensive Blood Count (CBC), a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP), and a Thyroid Basic Panel w/ TSH (T4, T3 uptake, Free Thyroxine Index, & TSH) for a grand total of: $107!              (CBC– $29, CMP– $29, Thyroid– $49 = $107)

Un-real! No joke!

So seriously, if you’re needing labs, check out Request A Test!!!

Let me know if you catch yourself a deal and save some money doing this!!!

This is a fabulous way to get labs done if you don’t have insurance, are self-pay, your insurance doesn’t cover certain tests, have highly sensitive tests you want/need to take but want confidentiality, need results fast, are monitoring your own health for personal info, don’t want to have to go (or pay) for a doctor’s visit every time you need a routine test done, etc. No hidden fees or pricing. Super easy to use website. Great customer service.

I highly recommend Request A Test!

 

home

Home page

 

rat

Sample of categories

Advertisements

How to Wash a Pack-n-Play

We have (2) Pack-n-Plays over here… one, we’ve had since 2003 and the other is slightly newer, just over 3 years old. Our *old* PnP stays stored in the basement for travel and guests. The *newer* PnP was being used by our youngest child for FAR too long. Yeah, we actually JUST recently purchased her a toddler bed and we’ve discovered she LOVES to sprawl! Poor thing. Can’t believe we never thought to get her a big-girl bed all this time. With Baby I being due in 4 weeks, we needed that PnP from her. It’s all good. We got the newer PnP all ready for Baby… and Miss Pebbles got her big girl bed. Everyone’s happy.

Well before I went and got the bassinet and everything attached to the *newer* PnP, I decided I better clean the thing first. I found online a loooooong time ago a recipe and instructions for just how to do such a project. I think I originally found it here at Mommy and the Minister.

Before I went and washed my newer PnP, I decided to experiment with my older one from the basement first, ya know… just in case I ruined it. LOL. If it got ruined, I’d be upset, but not devastated. If I ruined my newer one, now THAT would be upsetting.

So here’s the recipe:

Pack-n-Play Cleaner
1 scoop Dreft (or comparable brand gentle detergent)
splash of white vingar
1/4 C baking soda
Fill a bathtub with the hottest water possible from the tap. Once filled at least half way, add the Cleaner ingredients. No need to stir. Place PnP pieces in the tub. If it’s not completely submerged, keep adding water. Leave for 30 min. Flip pieces. Leave for another 30 min. Take outside to rinse well with a hose. Allow to stand outside to completely air dry.

Now… I believe *all* GRACO Brand PnP’s have a particle board type filler in the mattress to make it hard. Other brands may be made with plastic. Of course I have GRACO’s so I was *not* able to submerge my mattresses. GRRRR. That was the part I REALLY wanted to clean super good. I even called to company to confirm the materials in the mattress. Yep… particle board. So frustrating. If you have a different brand of PnP, it could very well be made of plastic– if so, you are in grand luck. CHECK YOUR OWNERS MANUAL or the TAGS on your product JUST TO BE SURE before you submerge. If you submerge particle board, you will totally warp the mattress material and it’ll be ruined.

What I did was make up a smaller batch of the Cleaner and put it in the sink. I then used a wash cloth to spot scrub the mattresses. It still worked well… but man alive, if only I could have dunked it, it’d probably have had an even better cleaning success.

2016-05-24 11.18.30

Old PnP- dirty

2016-05-24 11.19.11

Old PnP- dirty

2016-05-24 11.19.34

Old PnP- dirty

2016-05-24 11.20.10

Old PnP- dirty

2016-05-24 11.20.54

Old PnP- dirty

2016-05-24 11.22.29

Cleaner ingredients

2016-05-24 11.36.00

Going in

2016-05-24 12.06.58

After 30 min soak

2016-05-24 12.08.52

Made a smaller batch of Cleaner in the sink for spot washing the mattresses.

2016-05-24 12.18.09

Spot washing the old mattress.

2016-05-24 12.23.50

Getting ready to spot wash the newer mattress.

2016-05-24 12.41.37

After 1 hour soak.

2016-05-24 12.43.21

Pulled it out and laid it on some towels to carry it downstairs without it dripping on the floor.

2016-05-24 12.43.33

The water after the soak. YUCK.

 

2016-05-24 13.06.59

Newer PnP going in for a soak.

2016-05-24 13.07.07

Close up of grime.

2016-05-24 13.16.49

Old PnP after being hosed down. Air drying.

2016-05-24 13.17.15

Both mattresses, post hose down, drying outside. They look SO much better.

2016-05-24 14.24.49

The water after 1 hr with newer PnP. Not nearly as bad as the old one.

2016-05-25 17.53.37

Old mattress, after cleaning.

2016-05-25 17.54.31

After cleaning.

2016-05-25 17.54.40

After cleaning.

2016-05-25 17.55.16

After cleaning.

2016-05-25 17.57.35

Bassinet pieces of newer PnP after cleaning.

2016-05-25 17.58.01

The stain on the warning label came right off.

2016-05-25 13.01.59

Newer PnP all cleaned and dried and almost ready for baby.

2016-05-25 13.02.20

The mattress, after cleaning & drying.

Since I wasn’t able to submerge my mattresses and get a super deep clean, I will be sure and buy some mattress sheets. Probably would be a good idea anyway, what with spit up and diaper leaks that will for sure occur.

—————————————————-

This cleaning process worked SO well. I am QUITE impressed.

So impressed, in fact, that I decided to use this same recipe on some cloth folding chairs we owned.

2016-05-25 12.15.45

Filling up the tub.

2016-05-25 14.57.48

30 min soak.

2016-05-25 15.02.22

After 1 hr. Truly nasty!

2016-05-25 17.57.13

Out to air dry after a good hose-down!

2016-05-25 17.57.19

They look SO MUCH better!!!

I think I may do another soak on these chairs as there are still a few lingering spots. This time, though, instead of leaving to “soak” I will actually try scrubbing them.

If you try your hand at washing your Pack-n-Play using this method, be sure and let me know how it turns out. Hope you have as much success as we did!!!

Low Carb, High Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

For some reason I have a current infatuation with protein balls or energy balls (or bars, I’m totally not partial).

My favorite store-brand thus far are these:

Premier-Nutrition-High-Protein-Bars-18-per-box

I found them on a whim while shopping at Sam’s Club with my mother over Easter weekend. For some reason I was having issues getting my daily protein needs met (preggo momma’s need anywhere from 70-100g of protein a day!) and so I was on the search for a good protein bar. The 30 grams shined over the competition. Though I had no idea how they’d taste, I went ahead and purchased them. They actually taste GREAT! Honestly! And recently I got my hands on their new flavor: Mint Chocolate Chip. Oh yum. It’s practically like a candy bar! And 30g of protein? mmmm-yes… I seriously look forward to eating one of these bars for breakfast. It’s so filling!

Loving the kitchen as I do, I’ve been experimenting with making protein balls/bars from scratch.

Today I came across a recipe from Food Fiasco for:


Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars
(vegan, low carb, and high protein)

3/4 C protein powder (I used Body Fortress 100% protein isolate, vanilla)
1/4 C peanut butter OR 1/4 C PB2 w/ 2 T unswt almond milk (I used the latter, tho with Jiff peanut powder)1/4 C unswt almond milk (I used Aldi brand, organic)
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey)
2-4 T sugar, erythritol, or stevia (I used 3 T xylitol)
1/2 t vanilla extract
**tho not on the recipe, I added 1 bar of Aldi’s Moser Roth 85% dark chocolate

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it forms a ball. Either press into an 8×4 loaf pan and cut into (4) bars OR roll into balls (which is what I did– and I got 17 balls out of it). Store in refrigerator.


1 ball= 39 cal, 1g fat, 3g carbs, & 4g protein

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think!!!
And if y’all have yummy protein or energy ball/bar recipes, PLEASE SHARE. I’d love to have a recipe arsenal to pull from when a craving hits! Love these things!

Staying Motivated to Work Out During Pregnancy

I follow several fitness pages & people on Facebook. Here are my FAVS (in no particular preferential order):
Roller Derby Athletics
Derby Fit San DiegoHeath, Wellness, and Roller Derby
Treble Maker909
Fit Pregnancy
Knocked-Up Fitness
Diary of a Fit Mommy
Yoga With Kassandra
Yogadevotion
Yoga With Adriene
Holy Yoga
Spartan Race Training
Spartan Race
Natalie Hodson

In one of the pregnancy fitness pages, a young lady was asking for motivation to work out. If I remember right, she was about 6 months along.

The first thing that popped into MY mind was: find a goal!
There’s something about having a goal or an image or an aspiration to cling to. It REALLY helps get you off the couch and moving.

An upcoming vacation? A sport you want to try? A race you’d like to run? A class at the Y you’d like to try out? An old swim suit or pair of jeans that you’d LOVE to get back into? Getting off medications for blood pressure or diabetes? Just want to be able to play and keep up with your kids or grandkids? etc.

For me, I have several motivations:
1) I want labor & delivery *and* post-partum recovery to run smoothly and quickly and easily.
2) I have a gnarly varicose vein on my right leg that I *know* will flare up if I eat poorly or gain too much weight. Personally, I want that bad boy managed. I do NOT want to be miserable the rest of this pregnancy. Or worse yet, be couch-bound because I have to keep it elevated all the time.
3) I want and *need* the energy to keep up with my soon-to-be (7) children, homeschool, house duties, and whatever else I’m involved in with hubby/friends/family/church/& community. I do NOT want to always be tired or to have to say “no” to things cuz I can’t keep up.
4) I’m in a fitness & clean eating Facebook group where we have to report in daily with what we did exercise/food-wise. ❤❤ my ladies!!! ❤❤ the accountability!!!
5) I use a social media app called YouFood that connects me with people across the world. In this app I post my daily food intake and exercise… I can also share my food/fitness journey, post my groceries, share tips, or start a discussion. It’s SO useful. People can “like” what I post and also make comments. It’s a great tool, esp if you’re like me and can’t stand calorie counting. And I can get food/exercise ideas and inspiration from others. Both iPhones & Androids can use it.
6) I want to join roller derby after this baby is born. And that is a highly demanding physical activity. One in which I do NOT want to be starting out with cold turkey. If I can maintain fitness throughout my pregnancy, that will help drastically in getting in shape post-partum for derby.

Having these goals at the forefront of my mind really, truly helps me get off my hiney and onto my exercise mat each day!

So what motivates YOU? What gets you moving even if you don’t “feel” like it?

c2e5d9796d1d2926bf2149e91fdcaff2

 

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Made a huge 5 gallon batch of homemade liquid laundry detergent the other day and I ❤❤❤ it! Thought I’d share it here with you my readers!

The recipe:

4 C hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar1 C Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 C Borax
5 gallon bucket
water

*Grate bar of Fel-Naptha soap and add to sauce pan with 4 C of water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
*Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. *Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover, and let set overnight to thicken.*Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of the way with water. Shake before each use. (Will gel)
*Optional: you can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

 

 

Yield:
*Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

Usage:
*Top load machine: 5/8 C per load (approx 180 loads)
*Front load machine: 1/4 C per load (approx 640 loads)

 

If you make this, please let me know what you think!!!  😁

 

Homemade Dryer Sheet Ideas (Part II)

Ok… so the aluminum ball idea was a fail. Well, it worked at first… but after about 3-4 loads, I noticed that bits of aluminum were starting to fall off. Not cool.

So… back to the drawing board.

On my Facebook page, a reader of mine commented that she uses bits of cloth soaked in a vinegar and essential oil solution.

Well, that’s the path I’m headed toward next!

 

 

I found a great recipe for homemade dryer sheets on Wellness Mama’s website.

Homemade Dryer Sheets:
1 C white vinegar
25+ drops of Essential Oil (I used lavender)bits of cloth (like flannel or cotton)
glass container

Basically, you mix the vinegar-EO solution and place in a glass container, preferable one with a wide opening/lid. Add your bits of cloth. Go ahead and leave them in there to soak. When you get your clothes ready in the dryer, grab a dryer sheet and lightly squeeze it (so it’s wet but not dripping). Add to the dryer. The vinegar smell will evaporate but the EO smell will lightly stay on the clothing. The vinegar not only softens the clothing, but it also gets rid of static cling.

—————————————-

At Walmart today, I was able to purchase this large container of white vinegar for $2.84. This fleece blanket, which I plan to cut down into strips of cloth, cost me $1.38 at Goodwill. This blanket will probably make a TON of cloth strips (beyond what I’ll be needing for “dryer sheets”)… so I’m actually considering using the extra material for natural/homemade wet wipes. But that’s a project for later.

2016-02-21 17.32.23

2016-02-21 19.14.38

I got a tad impatient and decided to cut up some old dish cloths we had that were super ratty and use them first. In fact, I used one of these dryer sheets on the fleece blanket I got from Goodwill (after I washed it).

My personal opinion: I LOVE it!
-our clothes were soft
-the static cling was quite minimal (esp considering I washed a fleece blanket with a comforter– a great formula for static)
-our laundry smelled great– just a nice, light scent of lavender– even approved by my hubby (it didn’t smell “girly”)

We will definitely stick to this!

Just thought I’d share and encourage others to maybe try this!

If this is how you launder, I’d love to hear your thoughts.