Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hm. 30 Days of Truth- Days 3, 4, and 5

Well, I have been MEGA busy and don't have a lot of time to post this month! I have a new blog over at Moms Buzz called Cloth Diaper Mommy, and I have been working my butt off! We had a power outage over the weekend which has left me scrambling to get caught up, too. So much for a break! So, today I am combining days 3, 4 and 5 in my Thirty Days of Truth for December.

Day 03- Something you have to forgive yourself for.

Hm. I guess we all have something that bothers us when we think about it. I think that my guiltiest thing is that when I had four young kids I was pretty impatient. I had a lot on my plate and it is HARD to manage four kids under five so there were times when I could have been more patient. Of course, as parents we always think about what we could have done differently. I have never been more proud of my kids than I am today, so maybe my parenting wasn't so bad. My kids are smart, funny, caring and pretty good people in general. Of course, I could be just a *tad* biased and partial to them. :)

Day 04 - Something you have to forgive someone for.

Well. This is a tough one. I think that the biggest obstacle I have in my life is forgiving my husband for being so tough to be close to. He isn't the type of person to lay everything out on the table and he doesn't like to talk about his feelings or anything like that. He is hard to get to know, and as a result I think it has made our relationship incredibly more difficult than it should be. Not to say we have a bad relationship, just the opposite in fact. But, the truth is that I do have some hard feelings for his lack of depth in our relationship from the past that kind of interferes in developing our relationship today.

Day 05 - Something you hope to do in your life.

I want to do a lot of things. I want to adopt a child outside the US, I want to travel to Alaska and see the Aurora Borealis, I want to travel to Mexico, Italy, Ireland and to Washington state to see the Redwoods. I also want to write a book or two.
The weird thing is that I write in my dreams. I have GREAT story ideas when I am sleeping or just lying in bed. Its the only time I have to THINK without someone talking, harassing or begging me for something! I guess that is life when you are a Mom of six and a wife, and it really doesn't bother me. But until the day when I have a few hours time when its quiet, I guess the writing is going to have to wait!

Life is so incredibly complex. I think that writing these posts really does sort of make you think, but most of us have so much more that makes us unique individuals.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

BrytonPick Review

Recently BrytonPick sent me one of their convenient little flossers to review. It looks like a tiny little boomerang with a pastic center and metal on each end. The metal is incredibly thin and rounded so there isn't any danger of cutting your mouth unless you just go crazy and start jabbing the heck out of your gums with the flosser.

I will say I was kind of scared to use the flosser so I went to the Bryton website to check out their video demonstration. It helped a little. The flosser does work, and it works way, way better than a toothpick. I am now carrying my Bryton flosser in my wallet. The website says that these little flossers are reusable up to thirty days so I rinse mine and stick it back in the package that it came in and put it in my wallet.

Overall, its a neat little product to have on hand when you go out to dinner or heck, just sitting around and decide to floss your teeth. If you are like me you decide to do odd stuff at odd moments like that.

Definitely better than floss, too. I hate how some teeth are so closely spaced that I have to really push on floss to get in between each set of teeth, but with the Bryton flosser there is absolutely no struggle. You can use it between teeth and along the gumline easily. I would recommend it to my friends and family, and I even gave my extra to my husband for his wallet.

30 Days of Truth: Day Two

So, today is pretty easy. Something you love about yourself.

Hmm. Well with all of my shortcomings I do like some things about myself. I think I am a hard worker and although I'm not always motivated to, say, clean the kitchen, I always work. I mean, I worked on Thanksgiving this year and I always work on Sunday. If I don't get work then I just find some work, seriously.

Why? Well, for one thing I want to provide my kids with the things I never had which is pretty simple considering that we moved more than geese that migrate south for the winter. I think I have done a pretty good job of keeping them stable and in a home for the past ten or so years. We have had our hard times, mainly when I got divorced and we stayed with family until I went back to school, but since then we have only moved once and we planned that move in order to buy our house and two acres of land in the country.

Stability is important to me, and you need money to do that. So, I work. And I love my work. I get to write which is something I am totally passionate about. I don't get paid much but still. It is 100% what I want to be doing with my time. I take breaks and play with my baby and talk to my kids when they come home from school but you can bet if the baby is playing contentedly and my 3 year is happy then I am writing about something!

What do you love about yourself, and what are you proud of?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth- Day 1

So, I have decided to participate in the 30 days of Truth. What a therapeutic way to spend the month of December! Maybe by January I will have learned something new about myself and be able to make a New Years Resolution that matters.

Day 1: What do you hate about yourself?

I don't really hate anything about myself, but I do have some traits that are less than savory.

Ok, I really don't like that I tend to be so forgiving. It is totally irritating to have people do the same things to me over and over and never even be angry for it! I mean really. Someone can do something terrible and two days later I don't even think about it! Some people would say that's kind of a blessing but really. It isn't. It leaves me more open to having people use me and run over me.

I decided several years ago that I would be a good person no matter what. I am not particularly religious even though I was brought up in church and my family are all believers. I do think that we all pay for our actions at sometime, whether through Karma or whatever else. I don't want to be a good person because someone was nice to me, even though its always a good thing to have someone appreciate you. I want to be a good person to everyone because its what I personally believe is right.

Which is all great, but in the end you really need to learn to stand up for yourself. I love that I am able to look past peoples appearances and that I am willing to help friends, family and even strangers but I still find it irritating that sometimes my way of thinking ends with someone taking advantage of my forgiving nature. I don't think that being straightforward and honest is being a terrible person at all and when you think about it, standing up for yourself is really just telling the truth.

Friday, November 26, 2010

X-Box, Cartoon Network and Other Evil Things Corrupting My Baby

OK, maybe "evil" is just a tad overreactive. Those things reeally aren't evil, but they are ruining my life right now. My 3 year old, Little Zelda Fanatic, is just zoned out on X-Box games and cartoons all the time. It isn't that I don't encourage him to do other things. I get him dressed, take him out, buy him art supplies and crafty things, entice him with bribes...wait, did I say bribes? Nevermind that.

I have no idea why the same things aren't working with him that worked with my older kids. Who, by the way, could write their names and say the ABC's by the time they were three. Maybe I was just a more involved parent back then?

I am totally up for suggestions. What to you do to rid your home of the powers of evil and get your kids motivated to do other things?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting More Fiber to Stay Healthy Through the Holidays

Fiber isn't really a glam topic, and it isn't something that I really think about a whole lot. Getting enough fiber is actually a good way to prevent diseases, however, so everyone should have it on their mind. My family has a much larger than average propensity for heart disease, which IS something I think about.

In an effort to combat heart disease and stick around long enough to enjoy my kids I have been working on including more fiber in my diet. We are talkin' whole grain oats (not instant) and tons of fresh fruits and veggies. The oats is simple because I love it but I also love bread. Switching to whole grains was a little harder than I expected because the texture is a little different but I must say that since my switch (or, basically my avoidance of bread in general lol) I feel much better.

An adult female needs about 25 grams of fiber a day. One piece of fruit contains a few grams of fiber while one serving of high fiber cereal contain about 10. Beans and legumes are a great way to get fiber, too. Grab a bowl of chickpeas and you have an amazing 7 grams of fiber!

The holiday season is coming and we are facing tables of pies and turkey, but where is the fiber? I always grab some veggies first, along with some lean turkey to make up the bulk of any holiday meal. I also love that my Dad is a whole wheat advocate and has healthy foods stocked for visitors. It makes getting my fiber a lot easier.

I also start every day with a bowl of old-fashioned oats. I like the texture and I know that oats are high in fiber. Plus, when you eat high fiber foods like oats you stay fuller longer. For me, that means I tend to overeat less throughout the day. Oats are totally satisfying with just some fresh fruit, you don't have to overload it with sugar! I love blueberries so that's what I use. I pick them up from the freezer section and toss them in once my oats are ready.

I also have some great lentil recipes that I use to help keep my day full of fiber, but I must say nothing beats a bowl of butter beans for lunch of dinner. I'm not sure what people who aren't from the South call them, but they are the large navy beans. Delicious, and full of fiber!

So, what are your plans for keeping fiber in your diet throughout the holidays?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Bookieboo and Coach's Oats Fiber blogging program, making me eligible to win a $50 American Express gift card and free product. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Go Green Diapers Giveaway on One Little Mister!

Go Green Diapers are pocket diapers that are priced very affordably. When I checked out their website at www.gogreenpocketdiapers.com I was really surprised at the wide selection of colors and styles. If you are familiar with Kawaii diapers you may notice some of the same patterns, but I really think Go Green Diapers has a much wider selection!

I really like the three and six packs of diapers at a discount, but you can buy one packet diaper for less than $10! That's amazing, especially since pockets are the simplest way to cloth diaper.

Right now One Little Mister is having a giveaway. Go Green Diapers has provided three two-packs of pockets for followers to try and win here: http://www.onelittlemister.com/2010/11/affordable-cloth-diapers-happy-flute.html

Good Luck!

Vera Bradley Giveaway on One Little Mister!

There is an awesome giveaway for a Vera Bradley Miller bag + a travel kit on One Little Mister right now, so go enter here: http://www.onelittlemister.com/2010/11/bags-by-vera-bradley-review-and.html
Good luck everyone! And, really, I hope you love it if you win!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mr Coffee Giveaway on 5 Vinez Monkeys

I LOVE coffee, lets just get that out of the way. There is nothing so exciting that I skip my morning cup...or eight cups...of Tasters Choice. And yes, it usually has to be Tasters Choice, but sometimes I do crave a nice cup of brewed coffee. And I use my coffee pot to keep hot water for a quick cup. Now, Mr. Coffee and 5 Vinez Monkeys are offering one lucky reader a chance to win a single serve coffee pot. I have been dreaming of a single serve coffee pot forever, I am just way too cheap and practical to buy one. But, I did enter to win one here: http://www.5vinezmonkeys.com/2010/11/dont-forget-your-morning-coffee-mr.html?

If you are less cheap and practical than I am, you can also buy one here: http://www.mrcoffee.com/ for a fresh cup of coffee anytime. I hate making full pots of coffee since they burn before I can drink it, and since I am a total coffee geek I absolutely cannot stand the taste of burnt or old coffee. I think if I had a single serve pot I might drink brewed coffee much more often!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Swagbucks: Is It Worth It?

I started using Swagbucks just within the last year. So far, I have earned over $70 in gift cards for Earth Mama, Angel Baby and Amazon.com. Realistically you can get at least one or two five dollar gift cards a month if you use the search engine daily. By daily, I mean as you normally would not searching just to get Swagbucks. I know that some people who search to earn bucks get tons of gift cards but I don't have the patience or inclination to repeatedly search and I don't search for things if I know where they are.

So, the bottom line is YES! Swagbucks gift cards can be stacked on Amazon.com so if you have three five dollar gift cards you really have $15 off whatever you are buying.

Search & Win

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monster Bowling Giveaway on Edu Toys!

If you are looking for toy giveaways, make sure you check out this link for a monster bowling set. Super cute, fluffy, and gets those toddlers up and playing! Here is the link, and good luck! http://blog.edutoysplanet.com/2667

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Kids are Hilarious

My kids are constantly cracking me up. For instance, my 11 year old D wants a monocle because his eyesight is only bad in one eye. A monocle?!? I had to look that up in the dictionary to even find out what it is. Turns out, its a one piece eyeglass that you hold up to your eye, kind of like a pirate turned librarian.

OK, I get that its not practical for an 11 year old to have a monocle, but how AWESOME would it be to be sitting in class and pull one out to read Social Studies? That would be the coolest thing ever. I'm so glad that my kids are just like me. It really does make life a lot more interesting!

Monday, November 8, 2010

What Are Your Favorite Blogs?

I probably have at least 50 blogs on my blogroll! I love reading through blogs, getting information and entering contests. So far, I think Scary Mommy and Stark.Raving.Mad are my favorites! You should definitely check them out sometime when you aren't busy.

If you have a favorite blog that you want to share, do so! I love checking out new blogs!

As a member of the Taster Choice Network, I am finding great new blogs to read everyday!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Live With Little Smarties

I just have to brag for a moment. My kids are constantly impressing me with their involvment, committment and success in school. I recently attended parent teacher conferences and was so excited to hear how well my youngest daughter, S, is doing in school.

First, I have to explain S at home. She is a sweetheart, totally into drama (like, acting on stage except she acts through normal conversations. Its hard to explain, but its like living with an actress 100% of the time!) She builds forts, has a ten second attention span, and is generally go-get-'em. I love all of this about her, but the attention span kills me! I was sure that, when she started first grade, the teacher would be sending me a note with something about ADHD in it sometime soon, but it never happened.

Anyway. I walk into her classroom to hear the teacher literally gush about how wonderful it is to have her in the class. Not only that, they are actually setting a group up in her classroom just for her to help teach other students some concepts that they are having a hard time with! How excited I am as a parent to have a child who not only understands her education, but that is also willing to spend her time helping others.

I really am blessed to have kids that succeed academically and that love school in general. I personally disliked school and everything about it, so I guess I am doubly blessed in that regard.

Boiron Cyclease Review for Women!

I am a Mom Ambassador for Boiron, a company that makes homeopathic medicines. They have sent me two products to review, Cyclease for cramps and Cyclease PMS. I tried both of these on different occasions, and can say they really do work.

Let me just say that I am pretty much a skeptic concerning homeopathic medicines. I am just way too science-based-show-me-some-evidence to think that these medicines would work, but I must say I was pretty impressed. I am really, really new to homeopathic medicines but I researched all of the ingredients in these medicines and have found that they are derived from natural sources and that these medicines are well known in the world of homeopathy.

I also found that the Cyclease PMS helps with migraines associated with PMS, which is really helpful to me. I have tons of headaches but the migraines I get when I have PMS are really unbearable. Aspirin really doesn't help at all, so I am going to try the Cyclease PMS the next time that I have one. The biggest obstacle for me is actually identifying PMS for what it is! I never relate my irritability, migraines and bloating to PMS until afterward, and then I realized what was going on with my terrible mood.

I do have cramping, and it can be severe but since I switched to mama cloth it really isn't as bad as it once was. The Boiron Cyclease Cramps was just right for getting rid of the cramping.

While I am on the topic of homeopathic medicines, I should also mention that I tried the Roxalia for a sore throat I was dealing with recently. I really, really worked. I used the medicine for the first hour, as recommended,and drank some OJ that night. I felt so much better the next morning, and I didn't have to worry about going to the doctor. Anytime I have a sore throat I end up on antibiotics, so the Roxalia really was an amazing product for me.

The Cyclease is something that I think a majority of women could use and that would really work. The medicines are easy to use, and don't have any side effects. I like that I can take these with my prescriptions and don't have to worry about anything weird happening.

If you want to try Cyclease for cramps for Cyclease PMS, you can visit the Boiron website to order. It is at www.boironusa.com. There is a wide range of medicines for kids and adults to use for all kinds of conditions, including colds, flus, PMS and sore throats.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Moby Wrap Giveaway!

If you need a wrap, then you should go to Natural Family Supplies! They are hosting a giveaway for a Moby wrap! You can enter here http://naturalfamilysupplies.myshopify.com/blogs/going-down-the-road-with-mountaintop-tribe/2201002-day-five-of-giveaways-moby-wrap

Entry is super simple and only takes a few minutes! Good luck!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pentel Giveaway!

I truly love pens and paper more than any other thing you can buy. A fresh notebook or journal and a nice pen can keep me occupied for hours! Right now there is a giveaway for a mini recycling bin stuffed with pens from Pentel! 12 people will win, so go and enter now!
Here is the link: http://blog.shoplet.com/giveaways/12-pentel-recycling-bins-full-of-goodies-to-giveaway

Good luck!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Review of Sunbaby Diapers

I bought a Sunbaby diaper in September. I really needed some more color in my stash, so I chose red. I really like the diaper itself. It has a lower rise than you may be accustomed to, much lower than a Happy Heiny diaper. But it really looks more comfortable on my baby, too. The rise sits under his belly button, and if I were personally wearing jeans or something I would prefer a lower rise to make sitting and bending easier.

I also have to say the inside of the Sunbaby diaper that I have is soft and much thicker than most diapers. I really think that it is fleece inner. The inserts are also holding up really well and the snaps are still working great. I bought a natures Love diaper from eBay, used it twice and the snaps stopped working right. When my son crawls, the snaps on the Natures Love diaper come undone so I stopped using it.

So, for the price I would say a Sunbaby diaper is well worth it. I think my diaper was about $6, much less expensive than a BG. Oh, and the velcro on my BG stopped working in less than eight months, so that is something to think about if you are in the market for new diapers! The microfiber inserts that come with a Sunbaby are the same as you would find with any commercial diaper, and work just as well, too.

Do you have a favorite diaper that is inexpensive? I have some Kawaii on order, and am thinking of giving them as baby shower gifts to some family members that are expecting. I would LOVE to hear opinions on them before buying, though!

Happy Halloween!

Well, its Halloween again! Last year, I was still pregnant with my now 11 month old baby! Its hard to believe that was only a year ago. Wow, and how much my little guy has grown in such a short time! He has eight teeth and is getting more, can take teeny tiny steps, and loves to play.

Halloween is also my anniversary! My husband and I have been together for over four years. Its a challenging journey living with someone year after year, but is also rewarding in many ways. I think I have been blessed with a great husband. Of course, we might argue and both of us have faults, but I know he tries his best to provide for and take care of me and our family.

Well, Happy Halloween everyone. We are dressing up and going trick or treating on Sunday, and the kids just cannot wait!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shutterfly Holiday Cards: Tis the Season!

I am looking over the Shutterfly cards, and have found the perfect selection for my family this season:The Believe in Magic Christmas Card. You can find the Believe in Magic Christmas Card at http://www.shutterfly.com by browsing through the Christmas card selection available. The Believe In Magic design is classic Christmas red, with a little star design along the top. I think that this design would be absolutely perfect to use for my little ones picture. You can see it right here: http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/cards-stationery/believe-in-magic-religious-christmas-card?sortType=1&storeNode=93476

I am thinking of only using the baby's picture in this years card, just because so few people in my family have met him. Plus, he will be one in December so I am just celebrating his first year in general! If you want, there are also tons of cards that can fit five or more photos on the front. Perfect for large families like mine!

I personally love the holidays, and Shutterfly makes it simple to personalize greeting cards for friends and family. The Christmas card selection is found here http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-cards . There is something for everyone here. I love several of the cards, and now I am really having a hard time choosing which one would be just right to celebrate this year! I have so much to celebrate. My family is healthy and we are working, my baby is growing and my kids are doing well in school. I am also thinking of having a party this year for my son, and there are some cute invitations on Shutterfly, too.

The Christmas invitations on Shutterfly are really cute, and would be perfect for a Christmas birthday. Snowflake Shower is one of my favorites, and kind of even matches the Believe in Magic card that I like for Christmas! You can find all of the Shutterfly Christmas invitations here: http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-invitations

I love that you can just upload your photo, too. All my pictures are on memory cards, so I don't have to worry about getting a hard copy to use. Shutterfly is pretty awesome! There is even free shipping on orders of $30 or more, and Shutterfly is giving bloggers the chance to get 50 free cards just for a blog post!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cloth Diapers and Consumeism: My Take on Things

Cloth diapers are less expensive than disposable diapers, in general. However, some Moms spend much, much more on their cloth diapers and wool stash than they would ever spend on clothing and disposable diapers for their baby. This isn't wrong, really, and I have done the same thing.

Everywhere you turn, consumerism is alive and well. Companies are more than willing to give customers discounts, free samples, and other specials in order to entice them into buying. And parents generally want the best for their kids, and aren't afraid to spend the money to get it. Competition among cloth diaper companies is very fierce, and among WAHMs, too.

And, even when you take eco-consciousness into consideration, buying a huge stash of cloth diapers is a better option than spending the money on things that are going to end up in the landfill. With all of these ideas, however, is also the idea that we need to have the latest and greatest in the cloth diapering world just to prove, perhaps, that we aren't cloth diapering because we are poor.

It is a fact that most of the worlds population and poor. Cloth diapering outside of the US and Europe is common, and in fact in some countries is the norm. Why do we feel as if we have to post pictures of our stash, itemizing each diaper by brand and color? Why do we, as people who want to reduce consumerism, end up buying our babies twelve pairs of longies for each season, plus shorties for the summer? Why do we need to try every single kind of diaper on the market, plus all the accessories to go along with it?

But, I am really interested in opinions on this. Do you find that consumerism is obvious in the cloth diapering world? Do you personally feel pressured to buy more expensive than necessary diapers and wool?

Myself, I love looking at all the cute diapers and longies for sale, but generally limit spending to $12(used)-$20(new) for a diaper and $20-$30 for longies. I have splurged on a couple of tees, but only occasionally.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Website!

I am a SEO writer for all different kinds of businesses. SEO is something that shouldn't be overlooked when you want to increase your presence online, especially when you own a business that has a lot of competition.

One of the main reasons that businesses fail online is because they don't have the right marketing plan. I know that this isn't my usual topic, but marketing is really important when you want to be successful. I have worked with people from all different industries, on a wide variety of topics.

My personal website is just now being built at http://seoproonline.info. I like a simple website, though, so building should be completed in no time!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Guest Blogger: Early Childhood Education – The Best Time For Bilingual Learning

Nobody knows what the future will hold, however if current trends continue, your child will grow up to enter a workforce in which the competition for decent-paying jobs will be nothing short of cut-throat. Despite the calls for greater co-operation and "interdependence," human nature being what it is, it's a good bet that the economy of the future will operate according to the Law of the Jungle. A good education is one of the best ways to prepare that child for survival in that economic jungle of the future.

The Bilingual Future

The existence of a diverse, global society is a trend that is certain to not go away soon, nowhere is this more true than in the United States. Almost from the beginning, the U.S. has been a land of immigrants, and while the "melting pot" has been an interesting theory, it has not happened in practice. On the contrary, most major U.S. population centers have become more of an ethnic and linguistic checkerboard; Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese speakers represent some of the fastest-growing segments of the immigrant U.S. population.

Getting Ready

A second language is traditional began in middle school, or even high school. However research has shown that this teaching can begin at their child care facilities. Studies clearly demonstrate that the optimal period in a child's life for multilingual education is during the preschool years – at exactly the same time they are learning their first language. Yes, it is possible to learn a second and third language later in life, but it is more difficult, because that neurological "window of opportunity" – when the brain is most malleable – has passed.

Dr. Fred Genessee, Professor of Psychology at McGill University in Montreal states, it's as easy for young children to learn two or three languages as it is for them to learn one. He's not alone; educators throughout the world (in countries that often have two or even three official languages) have understood this for decades.
The way a child learns a second language is by actually speaking it in a total immersion environment. You may recall an episode of the animated series The Simpsons in which young Bart gets trapped on a farm in France – and by the end of the episode, finds he's actually speaking the language. While this was a fictional scenario, the phenomenon is real; anyone who has taken young children abroad to stay with relatives in a foreign country for any length of time has observed this happening.

Enrollment in a preschool program that offers immersion in other languages is the best way to get your child started, however you can teach your child at home as well, by purchasing dvds and books that help you learn the process of teaching. This investment will make him/her much more competitive in the job market later on.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the network of Austin child care facilities belonging to the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose child care schools. Primrose Schools are located in 16 states throughout the U.S. and are dedicated to delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum throughout their preschools.

New Guest Blogger! Welcome Emily from Primrose Schools!

This week we have something special going on! For all you Moms and Dads with little one, whether you are homeschooling or choosing a private or public option, Emily Patterson can give you the low-down on childhood education.

This week she is talking about bilingual studies, and how younger kids can learn a foreign language at a very early age. Welcome Emily, and check out my blog in the future for more posts from Primrose Schools! You can also find Primrose Schools online at www.PrimroseSchools.com!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Getting Creative with Bum Genius Artist Series- How do you get crafty?

So, Bum Genius is giving away a full set of their new diapers, from the artist series. They challenged parents to answer this question: How do you encourage a creative, artistic spirit in your baby, toddler or young child?

Well, first of all you have to understand that A) I homeschooled my kids for about ten years, and I am about to start with my preschooler, so crafting is just part of life and B) I LOVE creative things. I am a freelance writer, I have published poetry, and I sew and write in my spare time. And scrapbook.

All of these things lead to our life naturally including art, writing, and other creative endeavors. We have always used art to learn, such as the time when we made paper mache globes to learn the continents or all the times we made collages to learn letter sounds.

I could seriously write for hours about how important art and creativity is to kids. It was always one of my main goals to have children with creative spirits. When we bought toys when my older children were small, I always went for crayons, paper, finger paints, and bottles of glitter FIRST. We never had children who wanted the newest toy, but would instead ask for yarn to make a teddy bear or a composition book and pencils to write a story or draw a picture.

Crafting is fun, but it is also a great way to help kids develop. Different activities help develop their hand and eye coordination, and also helps them learn complex materials much sooner. I love crafting, too, so I know that it helps that they were, and are, constantly surrounded by art and crafting.

My kids still love drawing, reading and writing stories. They aren't as interested in making crafts as they were a few years ago, but they do sew and do other projects on a weekly basis. School also takes up a lot of their time, so they don't make as many things as they once did.

I still make sure they have all the things that they need to use their imagination and creativity, however. Having a great imagination is a tool that can easily allow a child to use items around the house to make something new, even if you don't stock up on crafting items like I tend to do.

You can check out the new artists series from Bum Genius here: www.cottonbabies.com and www.bumgenius.com

Pentel Fabric Fun for Baby Giveaway on Sweeps for Bloggers!

If you are a crafty Mom or Dad, then you will love this giveaway. This is a set complete with a bib and a one piece suit that your little one, or you, can decorate using fabric pens. Just iron the design, and the new creation is even washable! How cool is that?!?!
Just go here to enter:http://sweeps4bloggers.com/?p=10106&cpage=5#comment-550482
Plus, there are going to be three winners, one for each color kit. The choices are pink, blue, and yellow so there is something for everyone.
Goo luck everyone!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

$100 Tea Collection Giveaway on Thrifty & Chic Mom

If you need a new wardrobe for your little one, then make sure you check this out http://www.thriftyandchicmom.com/2010/10/fall-fashion-event-tea-collection-100-gc-giveaway-ends-1018/

You can win a $100 Gift certificate for the clothing items of your choice from the Tea Collection! Amazing, right! Good luck everyone!

Free Sauve Giveaway on jamericanSpice!

If you love lavender, then you will want to head over to JamericanSpice. They are giving away a set of Suave Lavender Vanilla bath products. I adore lavender, especially REAL lavender! It smells amazing! You can enter the contest here: http://jamericanspice.blogspot.com/2010/09/suave-new-naturals-lavendar-vanilla-set.html

good luck everyone!

Wow, They Grow So Fast!

My now 10 month old baby has started letting go when he stands. It is just amazing and overwhelming how quickly babies grow in the first couple of years. Maybe its because I have six kids, and know that babyhood is so, so fleeting, but I really want to just remember every moment and enjoy it as it comes.

I think some people think I am weird because I don't mind holding my sons bottle for a few more months, or waking up in the middle of the night to feed him. Really, it's the least I can do to let him grow at his own pace in return for giving me so much happiness. I've always felt that way, though, through all six of my kids stages and ages. Just to let them be happy as kids is enough for me.

There is so much pressure on kids to grow up too quickly. Kids who don't know about adult things are often made fun of in school, but I know that protecting my kids for as long as I can really lets them enjoy life, without the stress of dealing with adult situations.

And tonight, when my son wakes up for the third time in three hours, I am not going to make him hold his own bottle, and I am not going to get irritated because I am sleep deprived. All I really have to do is look at his little curls highlighted by our night light, and I am just happy to be a Mom, even if I can't sleep more than four hours a night. Its a blessing that I am thankful for every single day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vera Bradley Giveaway!

If you love fun patterns and super soft quilted bags, then you love Vera Bradley. One Savvy Mom! is giving away a fun Vera Bradley set. To enter, just go here:

Have fun and good luck!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Olivia Giveaway!

If you have a Nick Jr. fan in your house, then you should definitely check out Night Owl Mamas Olivia giveaway. Its a super cook pirate ship playhouse, complete with Olivia! What three to six year old WOULDN'T love to have it? You can enter here:
Good luck!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Photo Contest and Giveaway at WhatToExpect.com

baby bump

What to Expect when You are Expecting has become a must-have necessity for first time parents everyhere, and now you can learn all that you need to know online at WhatToExpect.com, the website for this infamous line of parenting books. This website is also holding a Baby Bump contest that you may want to check out. Here are the basics:
             -Submit a shot of your tummy between now and December 6th, 2010

-One grand-prize winner will receive $200 Hallmark.com gift card, one $1,000 Diapers.com gift card, and one copy of What To Expect When You’re Expecting: The First Year, autographed by author, Heidi Murkoff.
14 weekly winners will each receive one $60 Hallmark.com gift card.
  Everyone send in shots of your baby bump! I would LOVE to have a $1000 gift card to Diapers.com, I would send cloth diapers to everyone I know who is expecting! Oh, and a few for my family! We love cloth here!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Going Green for the Holidays

With Halloween upon us (my favorite holiday, followed closely by Christmas) I have been looking for ways to make sure my family is still being as eco-conscious as possible. For example, this year I bought all my kids costumes second-hand, which is not only green but also frugal. I ended up getting four costumes for around $30, which is a pretty good deal. I am sad to report my two oldest kids don't know if they are going to celebrate with a costume this year, they just aren't into the holiday spirit. :(

What about Halloween bags? I made some bags out of Halloween fabric that I already had, and I am considering using old t-shirts to make bags for the other kids. I somehow feel like I am depriving them of something, however. Why is that? I know that a fifty cent plastic bag from Target isn't anything special. My 3 year old is dead set on an orange pumpkin bucket, so I guess I will get one for him. At least it is reusable ;)

For Christmas I am considering arterro products. They look amazing, and I actually already have a bookmaking kit stashed for my 10 year old daughter as a gift. Here is hoping they feel crafty this Christmas! How do you stay green during the holidays? I feel like there is something more I can do to make our holidays as eco-friendly as possible.

Two Monkeys & A Washtub: Giveaway Diamond Touch Pendant

Ok, I know that I blog about a LOT of giveaways, but this is the best one that I have seen. As a Mom, I take great care to record my children's lives. We have videos, photos, scrapbooks full of paintings and awards, not to mention tubs of baby clothes to remind us of the days when our kids were babies. They are only small for a couple of years, really, and that's not long when you stop and think about it!

The Diamond Touch Pendant is amazing. It is a pendant that has your child's fingerprint right on it! I LOVE it! I would love to have my sons fingerprint on one of these so that I have something to remind me of his babyhood. We don't have long before he is walking, talking, going to school, and then going to college. Really, time just flies! As a mom of six, I can tell you that one morning when you wake up and your child is getting a job and going to college you are going to wonder where time went. Pieces like this necklace are a reminder of a time when things were much simpler. Trust me, caring for a baby might be physically challenging, but raising a teen into a decent adult will take all of the mental stamina that you have! Being able to look at the tiny fingerprint for years to come is truly priceless.

I would LOVE to win this amazing necklace. You can enter here: http://www.twomonkeysawashtub.com/2010/08/giveaway-tina-steinberg-designs-love.html

But, really, if you don't that's OK with me because I want it! If I don't win it I am asking my husband to get it for me with my 3 year old and nine month olds prints. I so love the idea of being able to wear a piece of my sons baby years to share with anyone who notices the necklace!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tasty Chocolate Almond Coffee Creamer at Home

This is super tasty, and pretty thrifty!
I used the following:
One small can condensed sweetened evaporated milk
1 cup of 2% milk
A couple teaspoons of Hershey's Dark Chocolate cocoa powder (unsweetened)
A lid full of almond extract

I just added everything in a large Mason jar with a lid, and shook it until well combined. Its a tasty treat for me because I love coffee, but don't keep any fancy creamers in my house. Since I always have baking supplies on hand, this was something that was already in my pantry, too!

Love Thirsties? Enter the Giveaway on Natural Baby Giveaways!

Thirsties are one of the most talked about cloth diapers. Seriously, Moms every where love these diapers and covers, and now you can enter to win some to try out! Natural Baby Giveaways is offering a Thirsties Duo Wrap and a hemp prefold to one of their lucky readers. I personally have one of the hemp prefolds, so I can attest to how wonderfully absorbant they really are!

You can enter here: http://naturalbabygiveaways.com/thirsties-duo-wrap-duo-hemp-prefold-review-and-giveaway-ends-1011/

Or you can visit Thirsties here to buy some! http://www.thirstiesbaby.com

Good luck everyone!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Writing Reviews on Baby Products

Writing reviews on baby products is actually one of my favorite things to do. I know that when I buy something for my son, I want it to work and work well. I don't like spending money on items that have too many chemicals, that break easily, or that are poorly made. In reality, badly made products are more common than you may think.

One thing that people who read reviews on baby products may not know is that most people are a lot nicer in a review than they would be when speaking to a friend or family member. No one wants to look like a crazy lady ranting about the infant swing that broke or the t-shirt whose stitching fell out after one washing. The world of reviews is even nicer when it comes to purchasing items from work-at-home moms and dads.

You wouldn't think that it would be so difficult to get honest, straightforward reviews on baby products, would you? There are a few websites that offer the real story on WAHM products, with the best being The Juicy Apple Report group on Yahoo. If you have had a problem with a WAHM product, it is best to file a report here to warn other Moms and Dads about the issues.

I, personally, am not the type of person who sugar coats things too much. I may not mention a product that I don't like but that is probably because I really don't think about it, I just give it away! I love reading reviews on baby products, and writing them, but only when they are honest and straightforward! If you have a great product review, feel free to link it up here!

My Life as an SEO Writer

So, I have been writing professionally for a few years. Well, as professionally as I can with one of my kids sitting on my lap (often giving me kisses or moving his face in front of mine so that typing is virtually impossible), and one singing Yo Gabba Gabba songs in the background. I love, love, love being able to stay home with my kids. It really is the best job in the world, it just doesn't pay that well so I started writing.

SEO articles aren't as creative as you may think. First, people want you to use keywords. Some people have so many keywords that they want used the actual article is only a few hundred words long. It does make it easier to write, but it isn't nearly as creative as making a blog post or writing a short story. Unfortunately, I lack the wit/time/skills to write novels or books! I like facts too much to make things up!

Working online is also very, very time consuming with two small kids at home and four older kids. The older kids don't need my attention as much, but I still make the extra effort to spend as much time with them as I can. Which leaves me working until well into the night sometimes, which is actually preferable. Once the baby is sleeping, I can write for a few hours uninterrupted by kisses and raspberries.

I tried *not* writing for a few weeks after I had my son. It didn't work out well. I miss writing, as much as I missed getting paid! Writing is something that I have always loved to do, but getting paid to do it makes it feel like I am really successful. I have thought about starting a business, but don't know yet. Eventually, I may but right now I am focusing on other things. 

Do any of you write? If so, what? I am always slightly offended when I see bloggers who rush through their posts or have poor grammar or spelling. Of course, I am not perfect and a lot of my posts are uninspired, I suppose, but I try my best to iron out any mistakes I see and I only write when I can devote a chunk of time to the task. What are your pet peeves when it comes to reading posts?

Piece of Me and Sonic Giveaway!

Piece of ME is also offering a $50 Sonic gift card here http://www.makingmyamericandream.com/2010/09/celebrate-with-sonic-drive-in-review.html

Sweet! Sonic has the best frozen coffees if you dont have a Starbucks nearby, and their fries are way better than any McDonalds. Of course, I rarely (OK, NEVER! eat at McDonalds, but I do occasionally stop at Sonic!)

So, go enter! You could be drinking a free frozen Mocha coffee with extra espresso, and nothing is better than coffee, especially when its free!

Piece of ME and Sanuk Giveaway!

If you read Piece of ME, then you know about this amazing Sanuk Shoes giveaway! I love these super-comfy shoes, and with an ARV of about $50, this is a money-saving giveaway, too! You can enter the giveaway here: http://www.makingmyamericandream.com/2010/09/sanuk-fun-functional-footwear-for-all.html

Or, you can go to Sanuk to buy your own here: www.sanuk.com

If you win, you get to choose any pair of shoes up to $60 value, so you get a lot of choices!

Good luck everyone!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life- Semi Crunchy Giveaway of Miss Lilys Washing Powder

Life- Semi Crunchy is a great blog that is hosting a giveaway of Miss Lily's Washing powders, right now! Miss Lilys comes in several great scents, including my favorite, pink sugar. For everyone else, there is also apple mango tango, unscented, baby bee, french vanilla, baby powder, and butt naked. All of these scents sound amazing. I have personally tried butt naked and pink sugar scents in other products, and they smell so good you won't want to stop sniffing your new washing powder!

Plus, Miss Lily's is so affordable! You can get enough to wash 44 loads of diapers for just $10 plus ship- that is WAY cheaper than a lot of the other WAHM washing powders out there! She also sells half bags for just $5.50, which I am ordering right away!

If you want to enter this giveaway, just visit here: http://life-semicrunchy.blogspot.com/2010/09/miss-lilys-washing-powder-review-and.html

OR you can buy your own Miss Lily's here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/misslilyswashing

Good luck, and look for my review of Miss Lily's soon!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Low Entry Giveaway on Lions Tigers and Boys, OH MY! Blog

There is a great Tommee Tippee giveaway on the Lions, Tigers, and Boys, OH MY! blog. You can enter to win a TT bottle and paci combo, perfect for new moms or moms with babies. I love these bottles, they are a great choice when you are using both breast and formula for baby.

The giveaway is here: http://jakenmattsmom.blogspot.com/2010/09/tommee-tippee-review-and-giveaway.html

And you can buy Tommee Tippee here: http://www.tommeetippee.com/

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yummy Recipe for Brownies

I borrowed this recipe from The Mom With Brownies' blog, which you can find here: http://www.icantbelievemylife.com/. I love cheap and EASY! recipes, and this one is just right for me!
CHEAP AND YUMMY BROWNIE RECIPE!6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins

Giveaway Scout

I recently added giveawayscout.com to my blog. This little widget is from the website, www.giveawayscout.com, where you will find that you can add your own giveaways to the newsfeed manually. You can have your giveaways automatically picked up by Giveaway Scout by including the term "giveaway" in your post title.

Giveaway Scout can easily increase the number of visitors to your website! I think I love it! I am going to be using this awsome (and free!) service on my blog permanently! Maybe I can get my reader volume up, and start hosting giveaways of my own!

You can add your blog here: http://www.giveawayscout.com/addblog/
Take the time to read through the site, and check out all the giveaways posted in their feed! Amazing!

Giveaways Galore!

I have been falling behind on posting contests! Right now, there are a ton! of great things going on in the world of giveaways!
Today, I entered this contest for an amazing glass ring from Whimsy. You can find this giveaway at http://menonewmom.blogspot.com/2010/08/whimsy-designer-bead-ring-150-giveaway.html

I have also been entering tons of back to school contests, my favorite is on Two Monkeys and a Washtub for Rock N' Learn Phonics. I am hoping to homeschool my now 3 year old, so I need to start stocking up on great supplies like these! Oh, you can enter the giveaway here: http://www.twomonkeysawashtub.com/2010/09/review-giveaway-rock-n-learn-phonics.html

There are a TON of smaller blogs out there, which is great because lesser known blogs have fewer entrants! If you want to WIN, then fewer entrants is awesome! :)

I have also been invited to join GiveawayScout.com, so look for my giveaway posts there!

Getting Ready for the Holiday Season

As a greenish Mom with frugal tendencies, it isn't uncommon to see me shopping for Christmas gifts year round. Most of that time is spent in the planning stage, so that I know exactly what I am getting for everyone on my list. Finding those items at a good price is fun, and lets me see all kinds of toys and other gift ideas I might have missed otherwise.

Having a cheap Christmas isn't usually one of my goals, but if I can save money I will. This year I have decided to try some Melissa and Doug dollhouses and castles for my 10 and 3 year old. They look pretty fun, and my daughter adores dollhouses. Last year she wanted a mushroom dollhouse, and let me tell you, that was a hard house to find! I finally found one on E-Bay that was both cute and cheap! Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, and getting my kids exactly what they want really makes me happy.

We also made an ornament every single year. Making an ornament by hand is a cheap Christmas idea, but is also one that can create some great memories for the future. Every year I can take out these ornaments that my kids have been making since they were toddlers and see how their skills and ideas have changed over the years. It's definitely my favorite part of the season.

This year, we have decided to make some felt snowflakes and felt doves, and some cinnamon ornaments. I bet our cheap Christmas is going to smell delicious! I am always open to ideas for ornaments, especially those that are suitable for a wide range of ages to make. My youngest this year is going to be 1, and my oldest 14. I wonder what kind of ideas they will have for 2010?

Monday, September 6, 2010

L'Bri Skin Care Products

Recently I won some L'Bri products from a contest that I had entered on a whim. Now, first let me tell you I am not a cosmetics type of person. In fact, I may be one of the *least* likely people that I know to use something like this. In my sample packet, I got these items:

*Face and body scrub
*Facial Peel
*Eye Firming and Repair Gel
*Facial Masque
*Lots of literature about the product

The contact from L'Bri even called me to make sure I got the right type of product for my type of skin! She also called back to make sure I knew how to use the products, but I had missed her call somehow. The literature laid all the steps out for me, though, so I just started with step one.

OK, ALL of these products are totally amazing. The one item that I liked best, however, was the peel. It literally takes all the dead skin off your face, but is so gentle! My face felt absolutely amazing after my first treatment. I have been using the products for about a week and have found that my face is smoother and softer than it has been in years! Seriously! I got the combination skin samples, and it really is perfect for me.

I am usually not so convinced that a product works, but this is well worth trying. You can get samples on the website, or you can purchase through www.lbri.com. I got a magnet with my personal user name and password so that I can order directly from the website, too.

In the past I have tried all kinds of facial lotions, serums, and kits but nothing comes close to the way these products make my skin look and feel. Really, if you want the best in skin care L'Bri is the way to go.

I told L'Bri about my post, and they suggested I add my personal consultant, Debbie Hedgeman.

Sweatshirt Pocket Diapers

I don't have pics uploaded yet, but I love the idea of a sweatshirt pocket diaper. I made one from a sweatshirt I grabbed at my local thrift shop for 50 cents, and using a simple straight stitch turned the sweater into a cute diaper.

I used a premium prefold for sizing, but you will want to make the diaper a little bigger, especially if you have a baby over 15 pounds. For overnights, I stuff the wet zone with a tri-folded prefold and a pad-folded flat. It usually lasts all night on its own, and is absolutely bulletproof with a wool cover. Well, what isn't bulletproof with a wool cover? ;)

I chose a sweatshirt with a design, but really you will want to use the hem of the sweatshirt for the back of the diaper. The hem is a little better for using with a Snappi, and when made this way the design is covered up because I tend to fold any excess diaper over in the front.

Overall, this is a super cheap way to make a diaper that is pretty absorbent. I LOVE hearing about how people make their own home made diapers. Even though I have a full stash of pockets and prefolds, experimenting is so much fun. Plus, I often look for "play" diapers that my son can wear when he is exploring that I don't have to worry about him ruining, and these are perfect!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Learning About Blogging

I love reading blogs, and writing in my own. I love writing anything, really, but don't have a lot of time to promote my personal blog. I have decided that now is the time to really start developing my blog and my home based business.

I am a work at home mom, which means that I have something on my to-do list 24/7. When I do get some free time, I end up writing anyway! I might as well make it count and start getting the word out!

I would LOVE to start writing more about our green living lifestyle and living with six kids. Our family may not be mainstream, but we are never bored!

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Six Month Diaper Review

I have been exclusively cloth diapering my December baby since January, so we are right at the six month mark of using our cloth diaper stash. Which diapers have held up best, which are falling apart, and which did I decide I love the most? Here is all I have found about cloth diapering.

BG's with aplix- I bought my Bum Genius diapers brand new, and have used them for overnights. The inserts are still in good condition, with some thinning but not too bad. The aplix does come undone, and my baby is almost too wide for these diapers. I think he will thin out once he starts walking though, so he won't ever actually outgrow the BG stash I have. Overall, a good diaper but not the best.

Happy Heinys- I love HH diapers because the aplix still works great. I do find that the inserts are thinner than the BG's, though. I still use these overnight, but if I don't add an extra insert I end up with leaks by morning. Still love the great fit.

Fuzzi Bunz- Are AMAZING! I have the FB one size. The inserts are still thick and fluffy, and there is no way that my baby will outgrow these diapers before potty learning. They are truly worth every cent.

Prefolds- I mostly have Little Lion prefolds, and these diapers are the simplest to use and easiest to care for. If you are looking for no fuss diapers, prefolds are perfect. I know these will last to potty learning.

Piddle Poddles One Size- I can't snap these anymore, but the actual diapers are still in great condition. Worth it if you have a tiny little one.

Goodmama- I have washed my one lonely GM so much that there are holes in it! It is still super soft and comfy, one of our go to diapers when it is too hot for PUL but we need something thicker than a prefold.

Bagshot Row Bamboo- LOVE these. We have a few, and they are amazing. They have been worn and washed countless times, and are still in great condition and fit well.

Swellbabys- We got these pre-loved diapers for a bargain as one of our first diapers and they are still going strong. Great diapers if you can find them. If you do see some, message me! We love them!

That's about it for our diaper stash. We do have some newer diapers, but I need some time to see how they hold up. Fuzzi Bunz are one of my first recommendations for moms and dads who want a pocket diaper that will last for many years, with prefolds being a recommendation if you want to use cloth on a tight budget. Which diapers have served you well over the years?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summertime Doldrums

Well, it is officially too HOT to do much of anything with my 7 month old during the day. He despises getting hot, so hanging out in the garden or swingset is just out of the question. Since the mosquitos tend to come out in the evening, when it is finally cool enough for him, we have been spending a lot of time in the house, where its air conditioned.

We live far, far away from the nearest town. Seriously, Wal Mart is over an hour away and the nearest park is just as far. We do have a LOT of trees, some frogs and crickets, and plenty of grass and rocks, though! The creek is fairly close, but with six kids and a husband that won't swim, it takes a lot of planning to go. Especially since the youngest two require one on one supervision while swimming.

So, what do you do when you have hit the doldrums? I tend to work more than usual, and spend a lot of time sewing and playing games with everyone. Hopefully this summer heat is just about over, so we can get back to having some outdoor time!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Back to School Contests: Zebra Pens on Freebies and Much More!

Well, it is almost time for back to school! As a mom with six kids at home, I really enjoy getting ready for back to school because I know that its going to get cooler outside and that we are all going to settle back into our normal routine.

Don't get me wrong, I really do enjoy spending time with my kids during the summer. But, as most parents know, it can really get hairy when six kids are stuck indoors for a few days. We are a one car family, so with my hubby working afternoons and evenings we don't have a lot of time to get out of the house.

Another good thing about going back to school is all of the back to school contests! There is one right now at http://www.freebiesandmuchmore.com/2010/07/zebra-pen-products-back-to-school.html for Zebra pens. I LOVE Zebra. They make the best pens ever! You can buy Zebra here, too :http://www.zebrapen.com/.

There is always a big fight over who is going to get which color pen when I buy a new pack. I usually get some freebie Zebras from my husband, who is just as much as pen connoisseur as I. Nothing better than getting a pink, green and aqua pen to write with! Since I love writing I can never have too many colors!

So, everyone go and enter! They are giving away FIVE packs of Zebra pens at Freebies and More, which equals about $30 at my local discount store! Perfect for stocking the kiddos and me up for back to school!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Join me at Connected Mom!

I have recently begun posting at Connected Moms, a blog that is full of amazing moms and information on natural parenting. It is an exciting opportunity for me to learn more about parenting and to provide information that other moms may be able to use.

I also wrote a guest post at Top to Bottom Baby Boutique. I love writing, and nothing is more satisfying that writing about the topics that I care most about!

So, come join me at Connected Mom! It looks like the blog is just starting out, but I have a heads up that there is going to be an amazing giveaway next month for all you breastfeeding mamas out there!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Starting Out with Cloth Diapers

If you want to try cloth diapers, there are some things you need to know. First, cloth diapers don't have to be confusing! When I started using cloth I was so overwhelmed by the dozens of choices that I didn't know where to start. The cost factor also freaked me out a LOT because as a Mom of six I am on a budget and didn't want to end up with expensive diapers that I hated.

There is the basics of the many types available:

Pockets- I was SURE I hated pocket diapers at first because I couldn't fit my hand into the tiny newborn pockets that I got for free from some caring mama who wanted to share her love of cloth. At the newborn stage, it is best to stick to prefolds and flats, really. After a few months, having two or three pocket diapers for overnight is a must. If you are worried about the cost, check out Spot's Corner on Hyena Cart, Cloth Diaper Nation, or DiaperSwappers to find some good used pocket diapers for about half the cost.

Prefolds- Prefolds are one of my favorite diapers. They are versatile, functional, and flexible. You will want to have at least a dozen in your baby's size. Preemie prefolds can double as mama cloth or doublers later on, so don't worry if your baby can't wear them for long. I started with one dozen premium sized prefolds and one dozen infant sized, along with six preemie sized prefolds. I still use them as a big part of my stash, especially in the summer when it is too hot for pockets.

Fitteds- Fitteds are diapers that have absorbant cores and doublers. The outside is usually a cute fabric, too. Fitteds are good for babies who need a breathable diaper. Some of the softest fitteds are made from velour or bamboo. They can have snaps or aplix (Velcro) or they may need to be pinned. Start with just one or two fitteds to see how you like them.

Covers- Covers will be a big part of your stash if you use fitteds or prefolds most of the time. Covers can be made from PUL, FOE or wool. Wool is my personal favorite, and we can wear it year round without issue. PUL is a plastic like material that is covered in cloth on the outside. PUL gives my baby a rash in the summer, so we only used it at night on pockets and in the winter. FOE is a softer cloth like material, and although less common than PUL, it works in the same way. You will need about 10 covers to diaper your baby when you wash every 2 days.

To wash my cloth, I just throw it in and wash! I dump any solids out first, though. You should avoid any kind of fabric softener, but other than that we have had good luck with a touch of bleach and some Tiny Bubbles detergent. We also love Rockin Green detergent for diapers, too.

There is tons of information on using cloth diapers. Don't be afraid to jump in and start using cloth because you are confused. Buy something simple, like one pocket diaper, one fitted, and a few prefolds to look at and try out on your own. After prepping, you will find the cloth love quickly. Your baby, the planet, and your wallet will all benefit from the change to cloth!

Why You Do, or Don't, Use Cloth

As a person who adores cloth diapering, I sometimes wonder why more people don't use cloth. Not only is it wonderful for your baby, there are more benefits than I can list in this article. Some of the most important to me are that my baby's skin is the healthiest that I have seen, even on his bum.

After raising five other babies, all of whom had their fair share of rashes, I can be confident when I say that it was the disposable diapers that caused it. I change my baby when he needs it, and don't have to slather on diaper cream to protect his skin from the harsh chemicals in his diaper now.

I also (unfortunately) want to convince people to use cloth. Their reasons for *not* using cloth diapers just don't seem valid to me, but then again, they may not be convinced that ditching the disposable is worth the hassle of cloth.

In reality, using cloth is no harder than doing a load of laundry. That's it, nothing special. I don't even do an extra rinse and all my nappies come out of the wash fresh and clean every time. I am a little more understanding of mamas that have tried cloth, and had issues with things like ammonia build-up, rashes from PUL or problems with their significant other because of their choice.

I, so far, have had only a minimum of problems using my stash. I haven't had a disposable on my baby since he was a newborn, and don't plan to. My only issue was when I was using Tide. My diapes started to smell strange, but that issue cleared up quickly when I switched to a more cloth diaper friendly detergent.

If you don't use cloth, why not? There are lots of mamas that just can't do it for a lot of reasons.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Switch to More Natural Soaps

First off, let me just say that I love all natural products. Lye soap is one product that I simply can't live without! It may not be as natural as some other products that are made strictly with oils and other organic ingredients, but it is far more natural and cleansing than anything you will find at the store.

I have been using lye soaps and shampoo bars for well over a month. The switch wasn't hard at all. There are dozens of excellent varieties to choose from. My current favorites are lavender exfoliating soap made with real lavender buds, peppermint soap made with peppermint essential oils, and patchouli soap.

Peppermint soap is cooling in the summer, and it can even help some common ailments, such as headaches. I tend to get migraines, and I really can say that the peppermint does help. Lavender smells sweet, and the buds work great as a gentle exfoliate.

There are also some benefits to choosing lye soap. First of all, the soap has a long shelf life so you can buy in bulk and use it whenever you need it. Second, lye can break down dirt easily. If you have kids, then you know that you need something that will work while still being as gentle as possible.

I really love my soap now, and I can let the kids choose the scents that they want to try to make bath time less of a hassle for both me and them. If you switch, tell me some of your favorite scents!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Awesome Giveaway on Serendipity Mommy for Guidecrafe Table, Chairs and Toybox

This set is absolutely stunning! You can see all of Guidecrafts toys and kid's furniture on their website, here: http://www.guidecraft.com/. If you homeschool, then you will LOVE this website! There are wooden toys for both young and older kids, and classroom furniture. I didn't read a lot on the website, but most of the things I looked at were natural, unpainted wood. Perfect for those who want an organic, chemical free home.

You can enter Serendipity Mommy's giveaway here: http://serendipitymommy.com/giveaways/guidecraft-furniture-giveaway/comment-page-5/#comment-18892. The winner gets a Guidecraft set that include a kids table and 2 chairs, and a matching toybox! Good luck everyone.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Time Diapers

Since it has been in the high 90's with heat indexes in the 100's we have switched to almost entirely prefolds and fitteds. We save our pockets for overnights, when the air conditioning actually seems to work and my poor little one is still having some issues with heat rash in the diaper area. I have resorted to laying him on a prefold for a couple of hours a day so that he can get some air.

So far, airing out has helped the rash a lot. He only has it when he wakes up and by evening it is reduced to just a tad of redness. Mostly it is where the diaper rubs, such as on the thigh and upper leg area. If you have a suggestion for a fitted combo that has a stay dry liner, I would love to hear it. I don't mind waking up and changing baby overnight, since he wakes up to eat several times, anyway. It just seems like most fitteds won't absorb for even the few hours I need them to without being way to wet to be comfortable for my little one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Free Fuzzi Bunz @ MMB!!

Hey Fuzzi Bunz lovers, there is a contest going on at Mom's Milk Boutique (blog) to win a free Fuzzi Bunz!!! You enter here: www.breastfeedbabywearclothdiaper.com
Or you can go to MMB and buy a Fuzzi Bunz here: www.momsmilkboutique.com
Good Luck!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Brothers Sewing Machine Giveaway on J. Leigh Designs

If you need a new sewing machine, then you may want to visit J. Leigh Designs blog. She is giving away a Brothers sewing machine to one very lucky reader! You can enter here: http://www.jleighdesignz.com or you can buy your own Brothers sewing machine here: http://www.csnstores.com/ Good luck everyone!

Pixie Poppets Have Arrived!

Today I got the Pixie Poppets diaper that I won from Coupon Mom of 2~ It looks amazing! I chose Noir and love it. It is super soft and squishy, trim and made just like a Bum Genius. Now I am off to prep! I will update with my review once my guy has worn this piece of fluffiness!

Well now that I have had a chance to prep and use this diaper a few times, I can say that it is defintiely a keeper. It is just as absorbent as my beloved Happy Heinys, and rivals a BG in comfort and fit. Actually, I think my Pixie Poppit is more comfortable feeling than my BGs, definitely softer and squishier.

If you are in the market for a new diape, this brand is definitely worth a try. Plus, it is cheaper than a lot of diapers that you find on the market.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More on the Chubby Mama Contest!

Wow! Chubby Mamas giveaway has all of this up for grabs:
10 Chubby Cheeks Diapers (Available in Neutral, Boy or Girl print/color combos.)
12 One-Size bamboo/hemp fleece Soakers
3 Doublers (3 Pack)- 9 Doublers Total
2 Cloth Wipes (8 Pack)- 16 Cloth Wipes Total
1 Cloth Wipes Solution (NH Milk & Honey Bun Drops or NH Green Tea & Honey Bun Drops)

That is almost a complete stash for someone!! The winner won't even need to buy wipes, and one pack of Bum drops will last for quite some time! That is an amazing giveaway, and the winner is going to be one lucky entrant!!

You can enter here, under the discussions tab: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=14580&post=64513&uid=336981221948#!/pages/Chubby-Cherubs-Cloth-Diaper-Naturals/336981221948

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Ultimate Giveaway on Facebook!

Chubby Mama is giving away a bamboo cloth diaper package worth $425 on Facebook!! All you need to do to enter is spread the word by sharing the Chubby Mama Facebook link on all the social networking sites you have a profile on, then go back and post your link under the discussions tab on Chubby Mamas page!!

Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Chubby-Cherubs-Cloth-Diaper-Naturals/336981221948

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Love Winning!

I just want to say Thank You!! to Coupon Mommy of Three and Pixie Poppets! I won a free Pixie Poppets diaper from Coupon Mommy f Three's giveaway! I am really excited!
These look like great diapers, so expect a full review once I get the diaper prepped and we use it.
I chose Ocean, but it looks like those are out of stock so I went with Noir.

Has anyone out there tried Pixie Poppets? The name is just too cute!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The New Survivor- Stolen!

I couldn't resist posting this, because it is so true! My husband is an exception- he takes care of the kids, and helps me with anything any time that I ask. I married a sweetheart!

Six married men
will be dropped on an island with one car and
3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports
and take either music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.
Each man must
take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean,
correct all homework, complete science projects,
cook, do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills
with not enough money.

In addition, each man
will have to budget in money
for groceries each week.

Each man
must remember the birthdays
of all their friends and relatives,
and send cards out on time--no emailing.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment,
a dentist appointment
and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and
inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care.

;He must also make cookies or cupcakes
for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for
decorating his own assigned house,
planting flowers outside, and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television
when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs,
wear makeup daily,
themselves with jewelry,
wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes,
keep fingernails polished,
and eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks,
the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches,
have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down
from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings and
church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park
or a similar

They will need to read a book to the kids
each night and in the morning,
feed them, dress them,
brush their teeth and
comb their hair by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be
required to know all of the following information:
each child's
height, weight,
shoe size, clothes size,
doctor's name,
the child's weight at birth,
length, time of birth,
and length of labor,
each child's favorite color,
middle name,
favorite snack,
favorite song,
favorite drink,
favorite toy,
biggest fear, and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance..
The last man wins only if...
he still
has enough energy
to be intimate with his spouse
at a moment's

If the last man does win,
he can play the game over and over and over
again for the next 18-25 years,
eventually earning the right
to be called Mother!

After you get done laughing,
send this to as many females as
you think will get a kick out of it and
as many men as you think can handle it.
Just don't send it back to me....
I'm going to bed. ______________

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Green Quiz Quest is On!

Well, the Green Quiz Quest has started! There are tons of sponsors and prizes, and there are so many cute babies on the Facebook page! You can sign up for the Green Quiz Quest at www.greenquizquest.com. Don't forget to add them on Facebook, as well! The more fans join, the more prizes that are given away!

Good luck everyone!

Rockin Green Giveaway!

For a free bag of Rockin Green in your scent of choice, visit http://anotherteenmom.com/reviews/?p=433&cpage=2#comment-281 and enter!

You can also purchase Rockin Green directly from the website, www.rockingreen.com :)
Good luck everyone!

My Rockin Green Review

Well, I have to say that Rockin Green is just as good as everyone says! Definitely worth the cost, in my opinion.

When we started, I had just began to notice that my diapes had a really strong smell after they were used. Not ammonia, but just really strong pee smell. I now realize that the Tide I was using on my cloth was causing build up. Within two washes, my diapers were back to smelling like nothing, even after using them for overnights on my little super soaker! I am so happy, to say the least, that I got Rockin' Green when I did. It really is amazing.

The Rockin Green was actually working after the first time that I rocked a soak. I got the bag free, but now I don't think I can go back to my regular detergent! I am beginning to wonder if there are any other soaps out there that are just as good as Rockin Green. I am not really one to try and fix something that isn't broken, though, so I may just stick with Rockin' Green! Too bad they came out with new scents before I got to try Lavender Vanilla, though! Lavender is my all-time favorite scent.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Britax Giveaway on Two of a Kind!

Britax car seats are some of the best available. These car seats have been a favorite of mine, and my little guy (at 16 pounds) is almost too big for his current infant seat.

You can find the Britax website here www.britaxusa.com for all your car seat and booster seat needs.
You can also enter the give away on Two of a Kind here: http://www.twoofakindworkingonafullhouse.com/2010/04/ride-safely-with-britax-advocate-cs.html

Good luck, but even if you don't win, you should consider purchasing a Britax for the best in car seat safety.

Musical Barn Giveaway on Two of a Kind!

If you are looking for toy giveaways for your little ones, you will want to visit http://www.twoofakindworkingonafullhouse.com/2010/05/baby-genius-old-mcvinkos-musical-farm.html for an awesome musical barnyard giveaway.

The barn is a Baby Genius product that can be found here if you want to buy it: http://babygenius.com/toys.html

Barns are one of the best toys, in my opinion, especially for little ones just learning more about the world around them.

Good luck everyone!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Contest on Breatfeed, Babywear, Clothdiaper Blog!

There is an amazing contest for a Sakura ring sling on www.breastfeedbabywearclothdiaper.com
I love my slings. They really do make life a lot simpler since I work online and need to have my hands free to type. So far, my collection is really simple, and I don't have a ring sling yet. You can actually purchase a ring sling at www.momsmilkboutique.com, too. They are a little pricey, but worth every cent.

Contest on Mom of 3!

There is an awesome giveaway at http://www.couponmommyof3.com/2010/04/pixie-poppits-cloth-diapers-review-and.html for three winners!

The actual product is found here: http://www.newagenappies.com.au/index.shtml

I love pocket diapers for overnight, even though we are a fitted crew during the day. The Pixie Poppets have cute colors, too. I love the Passion Pink, but I don't think that would look too good on my baby boy, so I will just have to stick to Noir and Ocean.

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Monkey Snuggles Giveaway on Exploits of a Military Mama!

If you want a chance to win a brand spankin new Monkey Snuggles diaper, then you should visit this page: http://www.exploitsofamilitarymama.com/2010/05/monkey-snuggles-review-and-giveaway_05.html

Monkey Snuggles come in both fitted and OS pocket varieties, giving you the option of getting the diapers that you like best. Personally, I like the OS version so that I know they will fit my growing baby for an extended period of time. :) The aliens print is very cute, too.

You can also find Monkey Snuggles here:http://monkeysnuggles.com/. If you want to try a new diape, these really do look great!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

TommeeTippee Giveaway on Two of a Kind!

There is also a Tommy Tippee giveaway on the Two of a Kind blog. You can find out more about Tommee Tippee here: http://www.tommeetippee.com/
They have pretty cool sippy cups and awesome looking bottles. I think this is definitely going to be one of my next purchased for my little one who is still drinking formula.
The two of a kind blog is here if you want to enter: http://www.twoofakindworkingonafullhouse.com/2010/04/tommee-tippee-baby-and-toddler-feeding.html

Good luck!

Enter the Fresh Baby Giveaway!

I just entered a Fresh Baby giveaway on J. Leigh Designs...http://www.jleighdesignz.com/2010/04/fresh-baby-so-easy-baby-food-kit-review.html#comment-form
I would LOVE to always feed my little ones homemade, fresh baby foods but the selection of fresh fruits available isn't always what I want it to be. Veggie selection is great in my area, though, and we can't wait on the garden to start producing!
You can find Fresh Baby here: http://www.freshbaby.com for great ideas on making your own amazing baby food (and yummy grown up food!).

Monday, May 3, 2010

Woot! Free Stuff in the Mail Today!

Today I got my *free* Rockin' Green that I won from Dirty Diaper Laundry! Thanks DDL and Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique! They sent Monkey Snacks, and it smells amazing. I can't wait to soak my diapes. This really came at a perfect time because I have been having those terrible strong smelling diapers, and need to rock a soak asap.
I also got a free diaper and 15 wipes from Rearz, via Franklin Goose! The wipes are amazing, brightly colored and super thick. Love free stuff!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Teething Babies, Oh My!

Well, the time has come for my nearly five month old to get a tooth. He is a little younger than any of my other kids were, but his top left tooth looks as if it might bust through any day. His poor gums look purplish and swollen, too. My poor little guy. :(

He has an amber anklet, but he is stills fussier than normal. Hopefully teething won't lead to anything else, but it is so common for my babies to end up with an ear infection while they are teething.

On a positive note, teeth means he can start eating finger foods soon! Hopefully by six months, when it is time to start fruits and veggies, I can make his food at home using good ingredients rather than buying jarred baby foods.

One of the foods that I am interested in most is carrots. Their texture, when home cooked, seems a little too tough for those little ones just starting to eat. I am considering investing in a baby food maker, although I don't really have any experience with making my own baby foods.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I won Rockin Green!

Finally, entering every contest for diapers, wipes, FFS lottos for soaps, clothes and toys, has paid off!! I don't enter contests for anything that I won't use, though. I usually leave those for people who want or need the item up for grabs more than me.

Anyway...I won a scented bag of Hard Rock! Rockin Green is something that I have only tried once, so I don't know if I will like it or not, but it is AWESOME that I get to try it for free!

I am completely excited because I am *this close* to running out of Tide, so now I can use the Rockin Green for a while to see how it works on diapers and clothes.

I am seriously hoping for Lavender Vanilla or Mango Sorbet Hard Rock, but any scent will be fine.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On Being a Mom of Many

Being a Mom of 6 has taught me a lot over the years. For example, I no longer freak out if the floor is a little cluttered, or if someone forgot to do their homework and is up a little past their bedtime to get it done. There are some things that only Moms with 3 plus kids understand.

Being thrifty is one of those things. It just isn't practical to buy expensive clothes for kids, especially when you know that those clothes are going to be covered in mud the first rainy day of spring. Some things are inevitably going to be costly, though. Shoes are one of my biggest expenses, simply because I know that good shoes will last twice as long as cheap ones.

I am also a lot more patient than I used to be. My two littlest ones, 3 and 4 months, are seeing the rewards of having an older, more relaxed Mommy. My older kids were the ones who had to put up with a Mom who wanted a spotless house and a Mom who had less time for play because of it. Now, I am lucky to get through one or two room a day because I would rather cuddle and watch cartoons than clean something. Having babies in the house is a blessing that I know won't last nearly long enough for me.

The poem that says I'm rocking my babies, because babies don't keep is so true. You will especially feel this way once your oldest is just a few years from moving out, with the rest quickly following. Even as a Mom with 6 kids in the house, I am not looking forward to the day when I wake up and find that all my chicks have flown the nest and it is just me and their Dad left at home.

I might be glad that I don't have to work full time to feed and care for the little ones, but I will miss all the action. I am trying to convince my daughters that it is a rule that you must move home once you have a child. So far, I am having no luck. :) Too bad they are too smart for my trickery.

My husband and I often wonder what we will do with our time when, in the next years, the four oldest are gone. I would like to think that visits will be frequent, but as a person with too much on my plate I know that life often gets in the way of seeing those that mean the most to us. I work, take care of my family, and go to school. I rarely have time, or the energy, to make it a priority to visit family and friends. That is life when you have kids, and it is worth all of the energy and effort it takes.

Moms of many are blessed to have their family, but so are all Moms no matter what their family size. Each child is a unique person, with their own endearing qualities, even if those qualities are something that only a Mom can love. :)

Belly Charms Giveaway on Mom 0f 3

I was visiting Mom of 2...now 3's blog and found this website: http://www.bellybuttonringsandthings.com/
The mothers bracelets on the site are awesome! I also think that they are reasonably priced, too. I have a mothers ring that my husband bought me, but it doesn't have my newest addition to the family on it so I stopped wearing it. It is still my favorite ring that I own, though.
Mom of 2..now 3 is hosting a giveaway on her site for a Belly Charms bracelet! You can't get much better than free!
You can find the contest here:
Good luck! Whoever wins is a lucky mama!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Free Stuff is the Best Stuff

I love free stuff. After I figured out how to get Microsoft to auto-fill my forms, I get all kinds of free stuff in the mail. I get homeschool posters, Lego blocks, pens and pencils, and a variety of calenders and other this and thats.

Not only does it save money, it often satisfies my need for "something new" without the need to spend anything. As a mom on a budget, free stuff is one indulgence I don't have to feel guilty about!

The best thing that I have gotten free- so far- is a Tarot deck that I won. It is called the Shining Tribe Tarot. I still have that deck, and even though I don't use it often it is a wonderful reminder of how great it is to win something!

Speaking of winning free stuff, my kids came on on Friday and two of them had won prizes at school. My son won a basket ball, which is pretty cool, but my 9 year old daughter won a tent and a sleeping bag! We love camping, so I was super excited for her.

It has been quite a while since I have won anything, even though I enter nearly every free for shipping lotto that I come across. Have you won anything cool lately? If so, what was it and where did you win it from? Winning makes you feel great, and lets me pass on something that I don't need anymore. Heres wishing luck to everyone who is entered in a contest or drawing!

My Katydids Review

Recently I purchased some Katydids cloth diapers. I chose them because the look like great diapes, and I LOVE the Twilight color. I also got a Melon because I have had an orange diaper on my wishlist for quite some time.

The Katydids are very similar to a Bum Genius in appearance. They come with two microfiber stuffins and have a front pocket opening, rather than a rear pocket. I like this idea because sometimes when I am in a hurry I don't pull the stuffins down into the diape far enough to cover the entire wet zone in the front of the diaper. The front opening ensures that the wet zone is covered.

Well, last night I grabbed my Melon and stuffed it with the large insert and put my little one down for the night. It isn't uncommon for him to sleep for four to six hours at once. When I woke at 6ish, my little guy's diape was dripping soaked! I wonder if I didn't prep enough, or if I should have used both liners. I can say that when I use a BG with only one liner, it isn't enough for all night but I haven't ever had my little guy this wet before, even with a fitted!

I wonder if my little guy has turned into a supersoaker, if I didn't prep enough, or if it is just the diaper? What have your experiences with Katydid been like? I hate to say that it isn't a great diape if it is my fault for not prepping properly but this is definitely a cute diaper that is only going to be used in the daylight hours from now on!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Springtime Blues and Everything New

Spring is one of my favorite seasons, but this year I was even more excited. We had some of the coldest temperatures on record this year, so I have been looking forward to the warm sunshine for quite some time.

Unfortunately, I forgot about spring time colds and allergies. We woke this morning with stuffy noses, and a headache that just won't budge.

On a positive note, gardening is taking off! We have had a few cool nights lately, but there is plenty of sunshine, too. I am finally able to get the little ones outside and playing for at least a little while each day, so they are definitely feeling happier that winter is over, too.
I have also finally gotten a shipping confirmation for my Franklin Goose goodies! I am trying Katydid diapers for the first time, so I am super excited about that. The colors look amazing online, and I am hoping that they look awesome in real life, as well.

I am also anxiously awaiting the remainder of my new mama cloth. Even though it is sort of a taboo subject, I am really excited about switching over. There is a great mama in my home state who makes mama cloth, and even offers customs. Shipping only takes a few days from her house to mine, and her prices are super affordable!

My husband is also gifting me with a sewing machine so I can make some of my own goodies. I love to sew by hand, but haven't ever used a machine. I am undecided on which one to get, though. Have any of you mamas had a great machine that you love? If so, leave me a comment!

Monday, March 29, 2010

My new diaper love: Snappi'd Prefolds!

I have always liked the look of a simple, pinned prefold, but these have become my main day time diaper. It started when my son got a small red area on his leg. I am sure that it came from his night time diapes rubbing while I slept, so I began using prefolds so help it heal quickly.

Now, I am still using the prefolds even though his leg has long been healed. These diapes are super simple to fold and easy to wash, can go on in seconds with a Snappi, and look so darned comfy! My little guys stomach isn't constricted by tons of aplix, and he can kick to his hearts delight in these diapes.

Do you love prefolds, too? I have been experimenting with different folds, and would love to see your favorites, too!

Thrifty Moms Unite!

As a Mom of six, I learned a long time ago that it really pays to be thrifty. I work online, so we do splurge on our cable and internet package, but that is just about the most expensive thing that I do for myself all year. We have been shopping at thrift stores since my oldest kids were little, and rarely pay full price for clothes anymore.

There are some items that I just can't get second hand, like shoes. Alright, I CAN get them secondhand, but they don't last as long and I end up spending more than needed, so I buy them full price from the Shoe Depot. A good pair of shoes will last for six months or more, much longer than a second hand pair.

I have some some new thrifty things, though, like joining Swag Bucks. It seems like it would take forever to earn enough for even a $5 Amazon gift card, but I search literally all day for work, so it actually doesn't take too long to earn enough bucks for something cool.

I also now shop with Hyena Cart. Although I can get some of the items cheaper elsewhere, there are tons of things that I love that are very inexpensive. I found wipes the other day for 20 cents each! I have a collection of home made flannel wipes, but there are times when nothing works as good as an OBV wipe ;)

I have also started menu planning, and although it is more work, it simplifies my grocery shopping and cooking so I am not running to the store for dinner at 5 pm.

Some more things I have done are making my own cleaners with water and essential oils, reducing the amount of soaps I need by making laundry soap (not sure about my formula, it seems to work for now, though!) and starting my own garden with additions like lavender, herbs and ornamentals in addition to vegs so that I don't have to buy these. I LOVE fresh lavender, too, it can be used for tons of projects!

What thrifty things have you done lately? I am looking for tips and advice on saving money, so any ideas are welcome!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Piddle Poddles Love!

Piddle Poddles are not commercial diapers, but are instead a mama-made cloth diaper that works BETTER than any of the commercial fitteds that I have tried. Piddle Poddles come with a snap in liner, and a super cute outside layer. The outside feels sort of like linen that has been waterproofed, while the inside is a wonderfully soft organic bamboo velour, although some of the diapes have microfleece.

All of mine are OBV, however, and they are AWESOME!! I also love that the diapers often come with a matching tee, so that my little guy looks cute even in the summer when I don't want a lot of clothes on him. Although these diapers are fitteds, and you technically need a cover, the only time time that I find that I really NEED a cover is when he is wearing his Piddle Poddles overnight. Even then, they don't leak through but the outside does get damp. Since I don't want my little guy leaking all over, we just throw on a pair of woolies.

You can find Piddle Poddles online at www.hyenacart.com/Piddle Poddles. You won't be disappointed!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Franklin Goose: Amazing Shop!

So, being one of the cloth diapering moms who love a good deal, I recently read about a new online shop called Franklin Goose offering Moms like me a $5 credit for their opinions on products that they have used. Although I was sure that it was a scam, I headed over to www.franklingoose.com to check it out.

First of all, the range of products there is amazing. There are cloth diapes, wipes, baby wash, Amber necklaces, clothing, shoes, books, you name it. All of it is cute, useful, or both! I started reviewing the items that I had experience with, and within just about an hour or so, I had earned $105 in store credits!

Not only was the deal legitimate, it was open for anyone, and had no limit! I was able to get a new Happy Heiny fleece cover, and an amber necklace for my son who has been having major leg pains for the last few weeks. Maybe the amber will help him.

I also stocked up on Rockin' Green in lavender and vanilla. I have tried it once, but I only had a sample. I am thinking that Rockin' Green may not make my diapes the bright white that I have grown accustomed to using Tide and OxyClean, which would be disappointing. Although I do love all natural, I would rather put up with some chemicals than have my little guy going around with dingy diapies! :)

Being the Mom that I am, I was concerned about having Franklin Goose send me free stuff without me buying anything. I am now planning on buying a new diaper bag this week. Although I don't *really* need a new bag, I could totally use one. Right now I am just using a Loungefly tote, and although it is big enough, there are no separate compartments for bottles and cups, diaper pins and Snappi's so everything has to come out when I am looking for a smaller item. Having a diaper bag with compartments will definitely make my life on the go much simpler!

Plus, I will be supporting a company that I now think is just the best! I am also considering using gDiapers, although I am still torn. I love my cloth, especially my super absorbent Piddle Poddles that are just so cute. I don't like the fact that I would be using something that was disposable, either.

Maybe I will just stick with my PP's and buy my large stash at the Goose. I have had my eye on Happy Hempy's, and I will still be in 100% re-usable diapers, which makes me feel much better.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Using Cloth Wipes

Once I switched to cloth diapers, there was little reason to keep using disposable wipes. I already had a huge stack of Gerber baby washcloths that weren't getting used, so I decided to give cloth wipes a try. I really don't know any Mom, especially a Mom of many, that hasn't resorted to using washcloths when the disposable wipes box was unexpectedly empty!

Cloth wipes are a great choice, and work well for me. I love, love, love Ewe Need It's wipes solution. It has oils in it, but not enough to be greasy, that I feel keep my little ones bum healthy, and smells awesome! Plus, you get to choose your scent, which is way cool. I always have an essential oil added to my solution, but you can also get unscented if your baby has sensitive skin. You can find Ewe Need It here, on Hyena Cart: Http://www.hyenacart.com/EweNeedIt

I always choose the refill wipes solution, although the first time I bought this brand I also picked up a bottle of foaming wipes solution so I could re-use the bottle. :)

I have also found that I love thick, plush wipes. The wipes from Quilters Nappy are great! Using a thin Gerber washcloth just doesn't compare to using an organic bamboo velour wipe!

Now that I have switched, I love cloth wipes. Not only are they less costly in the long run, the wipes that are available are also super cute and durable. I just throw mine in with the diaper laundry, and we are ready for the next two days worth of diaper changes, without making a trip to the store!