Sunday, December 15, 2013

Egg-less cookie dough! Perfect for eating!!!

I love homemade chocolate chip cookies.
My mom's are my favorite.
And while I have tried countless times over the years of being married, my chocolate chip cookies always come out looking ugly.

But really, who am I kidding?!? We all know that the cookie dough is the best part.
As much as I love the dough, raw eggs always make me nervous.
Now I just say forget the cookies! I'll just make some cookie dough for eating!

Stuff you need:
- a large bowl, measuring cup,      measuring spoon, and a fork
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup of the secret ingredient as  my son would say 
(aka chocolate chips.)

It's so easy, its dangerous.
Just cream together the butter and sugar.
Add in the salt and vanilla.
Add your flour in a little at a time. 
Don't worry. It looks dry and crumbly but the milk will fix it.
Slowly stir in the milk and watch it turn into cookie dough!!!
Add your chocolate chips and a spoon to eat it with!

My favorite way to eat them is by scooping small balls of dough onto freezer or wax paper, pop them in the freezer for a few hours. Then just pop in your mouth as desired!  If there is any left over you can store this up to 3 months but I doubt it'll last that long. This makes about 4 cups of tasty egg-less batter that the whole family can enjoy, if you're feeling generous that is.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

30 Day Plank Challenge.

I'm challenging you all to join me in the 30 Day Plank Challenge!

Last January I set several goals for myself.
I don't do new years resolutions because well it's just setting myself up to fail.
So as silly as it may be to just call it something different, it works better for me.

My 2013 goals:
Well it's December and I do not feel like I have gotten fit at all.
I had originally planned to do this challenge last month and I hurt my back.
After visiting my WONDERFUL physical therapists, got my back fixed up, and chatted with her for a bit I knew something had to change. She highly recommended I strengthen my core. Having had two babies 26 months apart has taken its toll on my body and I have little to no core strength. I also live with PSD (a pelvic disorder) which causes pain and the joints can shift causing more pain but if I were to have some good core strength it would help keep things from shifting.

So I am doing several things for the next 30 days to get fit and change my body for the better.
  1. Drink more water!
    I am terrible when it comes to drinking enough water. As part of this challenge I am going to attempt to drink half of my body weight in ounces of water.
    Meaning if I weighed 100lbs (HA!) I would drink 50 oz of water. Meaning I would need to drink a little over two of this water bottle full. I love this thermos. Hubby and I each got one before we went camping back in the summer.
  2. Plank Challenge
    I've only just started this and I'm already sore. Help me now! 
  3. Pelvic Tilts
    This is to help keep my pelvis aligned properly as well as working on some core strength. 
  4. Superman
    Now this is one of the several exercises my PT gave me to do. However, she told me not to lift my arms or legs high. It's not the height that matters, its the length of the hold and the reps that matter more. So I only lift my one arm and opposite leg a little bit off the ground and then switch. (So the first one shown in the video.)
  5. Bridges

Dare to join me? Simply do the daily plank challenge or join in with more of the things I'm going to attempt to do every day for 30 days.
Oh and my one recommendation...Don't attempt to do this while your children are up.
I attempted to do this on day two with my littles up and both Bug (approx 22 lbs) and Monkey (Almost 40lbs) were climbing on me. Let me just state for the record after 5 seconds I start to shake like a leaf!

Leave a comment on here and let me know if you're taking part of this challenge and then follow along in my journey. Let's encourage each other to keep going! I might even give you a before and after shot of myself.

Friday, November 15, 2013

On The Go With Baby Giveaway!

Welcome to On the Go!

On the Go has lots of goodies to help a mommy on the go. We all know how overwhelming it can be to get around with kids, so we rounded up some awesome prizes so one lucky mama will have an easier time going out with her kid(s). Seven awesome bloggers have gotten together to make this event happen:
And here is the awesome prize pack we got together for one very lucky mama (or papa!):
  • Rockin' Baby Sling: Orange Hero Sling $70
  • Babee Covee: Original Babee Covee $50
  • The Parenting Patch: $25 Nicki's Diapers gift certificate
  • Lavender Llama: Momma Scarf in color choice of winner
  • Drama Queenz Designz: Mommy Calling/business Card design and 25 printed cards
  • Jeni Lynn Designs: $25 gift card
  • Lillebaby Carrier: Winner's choice
  • Snooze Shade Plus: Stroller Sun & Sleep Shade $49.95
  • Buttons Diapers: 1 cover and 2 daytime inserts- winner's choice color and size $ 18.00
So if you live in the US, enter below! Only one mandatory entry, but every entry you do ups your chances of winning! Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lavender Llama Momma Scarf Review

It’s that time of year.

I have broken out my boots and scarves.
Sweaters and sweatshirts.
Fuzzy socks and slippers.
By the end of the night I’m chilly and you can usually find me 
curled up on the couch under a nice warm blanket.

I love scarves.
They’re a quick, fun accessory that also help keep you warmer.
I wear scarves a lot as I tend to keep my hair short or have it up in a ponytail which means my neck is exposed to the cold air.

I was looking around at some of my favorite online shops and came across Lavender Llama Momma Scarf.First I was in love with all of the beautiful colors. 
I mean just look at all of these beauties!

Then I read how this scarf can serve many purposes.
Besides being a beautiful scarf for mom it can also be a swaddling blanket, nursing cover, burp cloth, car seat/stroller cover, crib sheet, changing mat, and a tummy time blanket! It’s a generous size at 47x47” and I was afraid it would feel too bulky around my neck with how much fabric is there. I have to say though that I honestly LOVE wearing this scarf and I wish I had this when my oldest was a baby. I couldn’t decide what color I wanted so Sara surprised me. I had it narrowed down between Teagan, Quinn, or Harper. I was sent beautiful Harper for me to test out and review.

As a new mom I regularly forgot to bring a light weight blanket with us 
or I would forget my nursing cover.
Ok, let’s be real here I’m a seasoned mom now and I STILL forget those things!
Just before I received my scarf in the mail, we were at a friend’s house and I was getting ready to nurse Bug. I realized I didn’t have a blanket or cover. I grabbed a blanket that was laying around but it was one of the other kid’s special blankeys that they can’t sleep without. This has happened more times than I care to admit. I usually end up using my sweater or I go hide off in another room.

The dual-layer muslin fabric is lightweight and soft yet provides warmth on a chilly day.
While I don’t have babies that need to be swaddled I could see that this would be the perfect size to swaddle a little love. You wouldn’t have to worry about baby overheating as it’s so light and has wonderful breathability.
I was never able to swaddle either of my kids as they would fight to free themselves and receiving blankets were just not big enough to do the job. I love this as a nursing cover.
I’m able to tuck it behind my shoulder and be adequately covered all while Bug likes to try and pull it off of us.

Monkey calls this “the scarf blankey” and he uses it as a blanket every chance he gets.
The day I received this in the mail he ran off with it as soon as I got the few pictures I was able to.
He then toted it around like Linus minus the thumb sucking.
He even stole it for 3 days and slept with it in his bed!
Then Bug finally got a hold of it.
He attempted to wear it, then it was a blanket to sit on for a snack, and later to cuddle with.

We get together with some friends on a regular basis. We always put the kids to bed and then the adults can have some time to visit and hang out. On our way home Monkey always wants a blanket and I usually end up giving him my sweater or coat to use, leaving me cold. This time though I was able to give him my Lavender Llama scarf. The only problem is that both of my boys love it and end up fighting over it. Guess I’ll just have to get another one!

Another thing I could see this would be wonderful for is babies with separation anxiety.
Monkey was a terrible sleeper as a newborn as he had separation anxiety. I couldn’t get him to sleep in his cradle at all. Then one night after he fell asleep laying on my side of the bed without me right next to him I had an idea. I decided to put my pillow case on his cradle mattress. It worked wonders. Having mommy’s scent close by is such a huge comfort to babies. Since mom wears this item it’s going to take on her comforting scent which could make being left with a babysitter easier for a few hours as they can still feel like they have mom close by.

I honestly really love this scarf. I wish I’d had this when Monkey was a baby. I must confess I have even used it as a blanket a couple of chilly mornings while relaxing with my kiddos.
It's also hand-dyed, packaged, and was designed here in the USA. I feel this is completely worth the $22 and I will hopefully be getting a second one in the near future.

You can purchase your very own "scarf blankey" at

Sara from Lavender Llama is giving a reader the chance to win one in the #OnTheGo Giveaway! Go HERE to enter to win your very own Lavender Llama Scarf in the color of your choice along with lots of other wonderful prizes!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Six Thankful Things

Today I am thankful.

I am thankful for:

  1. Naps.
    My oldest woke up a couple of hours early still off from the time change. Both of my kids took naps at the same time today for over an hour and a half. PURE BLISS! My oldest rarely naps but he so needed one today. And he still went to bed on time and fell asleep at a reasonable time! (We'll see if I hate myself for this tomorrow.)
  2. Coffee.
    Today I woke up tired and feeling like I was running on fumes.
    Coffee not only gave me the boost I needed but made me sit quietly for a few minutes and regroup myself to better serve my children.
  3. Pow! Made it through the night!
    After the saga of the fish who committed suicide last night as I cleaned out the tank, I really was in no hurry to finish the tank last night. I left the favorite fish who's name is Pow! on the table, in a glass bowl, partly covered by a lid so he couldn't kill himself jump out. I had no idea if he would actually make it or not. But he did. My oldest was devastated when he learned only one fish remained but thankfully the favorite fish made it. As silly as it is, I'm praying he does well in his freshly cleaned home.
  4. Tomorrow is Wednesday.
    It's my day off and I need to finish catching up on stuff around the house that has gotten away from me. As well as write up a zillion blog posts. 
  5. My husband.
    His willingness to teach me new things, his worth ethics, the way he loves me, the messages he sends me when he's away just to make me smile, and the fierce way he loves his boys. 
  6. My boys and how I'm blessed to be a WAHM.
    Today I got to watch my sons interact and saw them make choices to love each other.
    After awaking from their naps (See Number 1) Bug wanted to crawl into big brother's bed and snuggle him. Bug ever so sweetly kissed sleeping big brother gently waking him. Later on I watched as Monkey gave up a toy he wanted and had been playing with, to his younger brother because he knew it would make Bug happy. Swoon.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Daylight Savings Nightmare.

I have never minded daylight savings time before.
This year however, is a very different story.

This year it's killer.
Bug (15mo) was a moody man all day.
The only thing he wanted and that would calm him down was if I would hold him, with his favorite fleece blanket, and sway back and forth. Now I haven't talked a whole lot about this yet but I have a problem with my pelvis.

I have a condition called symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD for short.

Basically what happened was while I was pregnant for Bug I started having severe pain in my pubic bone. I knew I wasn't in labor and was positive that the baby was fine but I felt like I was being broken in half like a graham cracker. The cartilage that holds the pubic bones together and in place had been damaged at some point in time in my life and it was too weak to keep everything together.

I had to wear a special support belt while I was pregnant. I need a different one now to still give support. Sometimes my pelvis goes out of alignment and I have to be readjusted. And I have chronic pain. Not every day. But with the weather change and how cold it has been lately it has been most days.

So standing and swaying for long periods of time just wasn't going to cut it.
I tried sitting. He screamed and cried no matter what I did or tried.
He was just in a mood. All Day Long.

Me, well my body thinks that at 7:30pm I should be relaxed and my kids in bed for about an hour because really it thinks that it is 8:30pm.

Monkey did alright even though I could tell he was a little off too.
Mostly at "dinner time." He began asking me at 3:30pm to start helping me make dinner and when we were going to eat at 4:30pm.

Our bodies are off and we're all super tired.
Today is one of those days I wish we lived in a state that doesn't follow DST.

But more importantly, today I am thankful and grateful that I had the day off so we could just take it easy and a little more relaxed.

How about for you and your family? How did you all do with DST?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thankful For Friends

I'm not going to have the chance to get the pictures posted today of the hubby and myself. We kept forgetting to take them and then when we did remember it was on his phone and I haven't had him send them to me yet. Whoops! So instead I'm just going to post a quick little what I'm thankful for today.

Today I am thankful for friends who are more like family.
Dear sweet good friends who will tell you the hard truth in love.
Who you can joke around with, have a good time, and do life together.

I'm thankful for community.
And the knowing that there are people around you who love and care about you.
That will be there during the icky stuff to help you get through it.
Who will love you through all of your junk.
And help you clean your house.

Thankful for time spent as three families coming together and watching Kung Fu Panda, eating pizza and wings with 5 adults and nine crazy kids. Then playing games together after the kids go to bed.

Today I'm just thankful for these lovelies.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

It's a date

Every year my husband's work puts on a company dinner in the fall.
The food is always delish and we both look forward to the dinner. The music has gotten better over the last couple of years and is easier to dance to now than the first couple of years. Plus it's a good excuse for my hubby and I to get dressed up a little for each other and enjoy a guilt free evening out.
Hubby's parents are going to watch the kids for us tonight for a few hours and we'll go enjoy each other's company.

This year I do have to confess I'm a little nervous as my husband's boss' boss is going to be there.
I always put more pressure on myself than is really needed I'm sure but I have always wanted to conduct myself at the dinners in a manner that would never do anything to hurt my husband's reputation or jeopardize his job. Tonight should be fun though. And I'll be sure to post pictures tomorrow of me and the hubs. Have a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Taking on a challenge

Today is November 1st.
Wow. Where did October go?!

With November brings so many things.
Including the hustle and bustle of the holidays and we can quickly forget what the reason for the season we're currently in is really for.

Today also started #NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) with Blogher. I'm signing up. I'm taking the challenge and going to try my hardest to do this! Committing to submitting a blog post once a day every day is going to be a big challenge and stretch for me. There are prompts that some days I will probably need. Some days I may simply post a picture of what's happening in our home. Some of the days, and hopefully most of the days, I'll be posting something that I'm thankful for.

So join me on this journey. Check back every day for a new post and if I miss a day feel free to yell on me on my facebook page! And if there is something in particular you would love for me to write about let me know and I'll try to make it happen!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Selestial Soap Diaper Cream and Baby Powder.

I have to tell you about one of my favorite baby products.

I was sent several items to try out from
And while I will be doing a bigger post in the near future about more of their products that I love, I HAVE to tell you about their AMAZING diaper rash cream and baby powder.

Bug had his first ever diaper rash and it was horrible.
I tried EVERYTHING. We ended up having to be in disposables because of the rash creams I was trying.We even used a medicated baby powder. Nothing worked. His bum was red and sore and he even had times where it was so raw it would bleed. It made me feel like a horrible momma.  I treated our diapers for everything just in case it had anything to do with using cloth, but when he still had it even in disposables I had no idea what to do.

I received Clear Bottoms Diaper Cream by Selestial Soap and after reading the label and doing lots of research I decided to try it overnight with cloth diapers.That night I decided to get brave and put Bug back in to cloth with the soft bottoms diaper cream and baby powder.
After all night in his diaper and it being super full come morning my little man’s bum looked 50% better!

I love that I can actually read and pronounce everything that is in the diaper cream and that its cloth diaper safe!
“We use the oils of Coconut, Flax, Sunflower, Jojoba, Soya, Rosemary, Tanamu, Lemon Teatree infused with the Herbs of: Echinacea, Myrrh, and White Oak Bark and incorporate Bee’s Wax, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Zinc Oxide and Colloidal Silver.” 

It goes on smooth and when I’m done I find myself rubbing the rest into my hands as the diaper cream also makes a great moisturizer.

I love the feel and smell of both the diaper cream and the powder. I can’t stand the smell of a lot of store bought creams and powders. They typically make me sneeze and I just don’t like the smell of them at all. Made with Corn Starch, Tapioca Starch, Chamomile, Rose Hips, Lavender, and Neem; the Silky Bottoms baby powder smells so good.

I’ve been using this cream for a few weeks now without any issues with our cloth diapers.
Any time Bug starts to look a little red, I put some on him and it clears it right up in just a few hours. I will not us anything else nor will I recommend anything else like I do this!
Personally I think their products are very reasonably priced. The rash cream is only $8.99 and the powder is $9.99.

They also make an all-natural bug spray, sun screen, laundry soap for the whole family, a cloth diaper safe laundry soap (will review that soon!), color safe bleach alternative, and even a fabric softner! All of the laundry items are made to work for High Efficiency machines as well as non-HE machines. 

All of their products are made here in the US and the liquid laundry soaps use 50% less water than traditional liquid detergents. Again I'll have a reivew of more of their products coming up soon but I just had to let you know how much I love this company and their products. PLUS right now I have an exclusive coupon for you all for 20% off your purchase of $30 or more. Good now through November 20th.   LROWPGKER65Y

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

#JaqJaqBird Twitter Party!

I am so excited to introduce you to the world of Jaq Jaq Bird and invite you to a Twitter Party on Tuesday, October 8th, at 9:30 pm EST hosted by The Inquisitive Mom and Our Piece of Earth! We're excited to be joined by special guests @wifemummynurse, @Thankful4Thorns, @TheMedianMommy, @mamacollective, @sunshinepraises, and @SAHMofDQ.

This unique, PVC and BPA free line of accessories for babies and kids offers a variety of stylish, sustainable products. Jaq Jaq Bird helps families eliminate waste in the art room and lunch box, makes clean up faster and simpler, and encourages creativity. Plus, all of the products come in modern, whimsical prints that will appeal to both mom and kids!

If you use cloth diapers, you're probably familiar with the Jaq Jaq Bird Perfect Pouch by now. This fabulous wet bag is a generous size and made of a proprietary fabric that provides a leak, sweat, and water proof environment for diapers, swimsuits, wet clothes, etc. Jaq Jaq Bird Perfect Pouches are also the preferred wet bag of the folks at Spray Pal. In fact, MommyCon attendees can meet these two at their booth this coming Sunday.

The same awesome material that makes the wet bag so useful is also found in a variety of fun and practical accessories for your family. Jaq Jaq Bird offers adorable, adjustable bibs , mini pouches for lunches, adorable kid's aprons, activity totes, pacifier catchers, and more. Each of these products is made with your child and mind, can be adjusted to fit comfortably, contains messes, and can be easily cleaned. Plus, both mom and kids will go crazy for a mess free chalk experience using Jaq Jaq Bird's butter stix and chalk mats.

Want to learn more about Jaq Jaq Bird's awesome accessories? Please join me at the #JaqJaqBird Twitter Party this coming Tuesday, October 8th, from 9:30 pm EST to 10:30 pm EST. Be sure to RSVP and join us to be eligible to win 1 of 3 awesome prizes, including an awesome grand prize!

New to Twitter Parties? No worries. Just follow the easy steps below to join us and have a great time!

1. Complete your RSVP using the easy Giveaway Tools form below. Only the first entry is required, but complete more entries for additional chances to win a prize.
2. Don't have a twitter account? Creating one is easy at
3. Before the party begins, create an account at This will be your party venue and the place to chat with hosts and other party-goers.
4. A few minutes before the party, go in and set up your Tweetdeck space for the ultimate party experience. Here's a great tutorial from Toronto Mom to get you  started. This is a screen shot from the last twitter party I hosted to provide a visual of how I set up my screen.
5. Before the party, be sure to make your settings "public" in twitter if you have a private account (public is the default setting). If I can't see your tweets, they won't count. Add your twitter handle to Column 1.
6. Add #JaqJaqBird to Column 2 as your party hashtag.
7. Add @InquisitiveMom, @JaqJaqBird, and @OurPiece of Earth to Column 3 as your party hosts.
8. Add @wifemummynurse, @Thankful4Thorns, @TheMedianMommy, @mamacollective, @sunshinepraises, and @SAHMofDQ to Column #4 as yourSpecial Guests.
9. Create a tweet and add #JaqJaqBird to the end at least once between 9:30 EST and 10:30 EST. This hashtag will allow the other participants to see your tweets and will add them to column 2. Tip: Write #JaqJaqBird and copy it, then you can just hit "Ctrl V" to add it quickly to all tweets.
10. Relax, join in the conversation, and have fun! Learn about a fantastic company, cross your fingers for a win, and make some friends along the way!

RSVP Here:

Monday, September 30, 2013

#FreshFluff: Woolzies Dryer Balls

Welcome to the Fresh Fluff Cloth Diaper Laundry Giveaway Hop, hosted by The Median Mommy, Zephyr Hill and Our Piece of Earth.  Over 30 blogs have teamed up to bring you some great cloth diaper+laundry giveaways in this hop!  We're offering you a little diaper laundry assistance with an amazing grand prize, valued at over $220!

So, what is the #FreshFluff grand prize?  One lucky reader will win this incredible cloth diaper laundry package:

Thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors for this amazing grand prize package:

Take advantage of these exclusive offers from some of our sponsors:

  • Irresistibly Green - natural products for eco-conscious families, from cloth diapers to skin care and reusable snack bags.  All orders over $20 ship free every day!  Irresistibly Green is offering readers 10% off, now through 10/20/13, with the coupon code: MEDIAN10.
  • Nicki's Diapers - your one-stop cloth diaper/babywearing/breastfeeding store!  Nicki's Diapers offers free shipping on orders over $75 and a free gift on orders over $100.  Nicki's is offering readers 5% off of their order through 12/1/13, with the code:  FRESHFLUFF

I'm giving away one box of six extra-large Woolzies dryer balls! A $35 value! Perfect for cloth diapering as you never have to worry about gunky chemicals getting on your cloth diapers! Don't forget to go enter the grand prize and all of the other #freshfluff giveaways!

This giveaway is OPEN WORLD WIDE. Must be 18+ to be eligible to win.
For all terms and conditions see the bottom of the Rafflecopter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Woolzies Dryer Balls Review

I recently told you all how much I dislike laundry and what I do to help keep it at bay.
But I need to add in one more thing; why does it have to take so long for laundry to dry?!
Also why do we use so many chemicals to "clean" our clothes?

I remember as a little girl my grandmother grating bars of Fels Naptha with her cheese grater to wash her laundry in a washer, which no joke, looked like this:

She had two rinse basins and hand fed the clothes through the wringer.
After personally spending 2 months having to hand wash all of my clothes while in Africa, I have a new found appreciation for the modern form of laundry (even if I still dislike it.)

For a long time I just bought liquid laundry soap and dryer sheets but then I had our first son who had a lot of skin issues. I began seeing homemade laundry soap recipes on the net and asked my husband if he would mind if I tried making it. I began making laundry soap and noticed our son's skin clearing up a lot. Plus it was saving us money and lasting so much longer. But I was still using dryer sheets and he still had bad patches of skin.

I was given the opportunity to try using Woolzies Dryer Balls.
I remember my mom using a plastic version of dryer balls when I was younger and they didn't seem to really help a whole lot. The clothes maybe took a little less time to dry but man they still zapped you like crazy!

Needless to say I was actually very skeptical about wool dryer balls. But with cloth diapering and constantly having to triple check that there were no dryer sheets hiding before drying my diapers I figured it was worth trying.

It took some practice to figure out how long I needed to dry my clothes as they truly did cut down on the dry time. Over dried clothes=static cling zap galore! As fun as it is to watch someone pull a fleece blanket and a fuzzy sweater apart in the dark, being the one to pull them apart and get zapped is not as fun. Once I figured out about what my drying time needed to be, I truly did notice a big difference in the static! 

After using them for a little while I noticed they didn't seem to be doing as good of a job at reducing static but I thought I read something about it on the package. Sure enough when I looked at the box again (yes, I still had it.... Don't judge!) I saw on the side of the package that you can put one dryer ball through a wash cycle with your regular clothes inside of a sock and it will reduce static again like before. I tried it and it really did work! 

As you can see from the pictures above they do vary in size and shape because they are handmade! It doesn't change how effective they are though. According to the Woolzie's website they are also safe to use even if you have a wool allergy. 
"Q: If I have an allergy to wool, can I still use WOOLZIES?
A: Yes! Absolutely! Since the wool is not directly touching your skin and does not shed,
everyone can use WOOLZIES without any allergic reactions."
I did notice that they made a little more noise than my laundry before but I got use to it really quickly and honestly all of the snaps on my little love's onesies make way more noise than these dryer balls. They're nowhere near the noise the plastic ones my mom used or the sound of using a tennis ball. Plus there is no plastic or any sort of harsh chemicals used in Woolzies dryer balls so they're safe to use for the whole family, and your cloth diapers!
If you miss the smell the fabric softeners left behind Woolzies recommends after your laundry is dried to apply some essential oils to a couple of balls and air fluff your laundry for 10 minutes. It'll still give your clothes the great smell you love without chemicals, residues, or possibly making it so our precious children's jammies are no longer fire retardant.  
The only other minor complaint is that they do a really great job of hiding in your laundry. My husband has several times gone to put on a pair of his work pants only to find he had a dryer ball in his pocket. Sometimes they also find their way into my son's pant legs. Before I changed how I fold laundry (you know...just throwing them all in hampers vs folding them right out of the dryer) I would constantly be missing a dryer ball or two. However, if you do put the laundry into hampers to take them into another room for folding, just take a small handful of clothes at a time and give a slight shake. They'll either fall right out, you won’t grab them at all, or you'll feel the difference of them being in there. Not a big deal.
Overall I think Woolzies dryer balls are wonderful. I can confidently say they have reduced the drying time and static better than dryer sheets ever did. I love that I know exactly what is coming into contact with our clothes, that I don't have to worry about ruining cloth diapers, and the money they're saving our family.  I honestly believe they're worth the $34.95 you would pay for 6 extra-large dryer balls.
Oh yeah, one more thing. Woolzies guarantees their dryer balls to last for 1,000 loads or your money back! I personally have been using them since approximately February. I figured out I have done about 200 loads of laundry since I started using them. They're holding up very well and still have a lot of life left to them. I wanted to compare how much they are vs a traditional dryer sheet.  Dryer sheets vary greatly in price from $24.89-$67.25 (not including applicable tax). I totaled how much each would cost to have a total of 1000 dryer sheets. Meaning you could only use one dryer sheet per load of laundry to get the same amount of use out of all of those boxes of dryer sheets as you are guaranteed with Woolzies. So dryer sheets are $0.03-$0.07 per sheet. A set of 6 dryer balls are $0.04 for 1000 loads. Price wise they are actually on the low end and I'm not even going try and factor in the gas or electric savings by reduced dry times! And honestly...I never only used one dryer sheet per load of laundry. 
You can buy them either via Woolzies' Website, at select national retailers, or via Be sure to come back here everyday from October 1st-15th for your chance to win a pack of your own!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cozy Kitchen Moment: Homemade Banana Bread.

One of my favorite memories as a kid was the wonderful smells of the kitchen as my mom baked her homemade bread. I've never had another homemade bread quite as delicious as hers. Her white, banana, and zucchini breads were always my favorites as a kid and my tastes haven't changed that much as an adult. However, now I love the opportunity to make them for my family. My oldest son, age three, loves to help me make dinner, bake tasty treats, and he even loves to help me do laundry. (The last one, I will never understand.)

While we don't make banana bread very often as bananas rarely make it long enough to get over ripe, we did have the chance to bake some earlier this month. I thought why not share the recipe with you all?! But I should forewarn you all. While I DO actually have a REAL FULLY measured recipe for you all, I didn't completely follow it. My husband loves and hates this about me. I rarely measure things and even when I do I almost always change something about the recipe. Nothing quite ever tastes the same twice in my house.

I'm officially naming my banana bread:

12 Hour Banana Bread
(Because you'll be lucky if it lasts that long!) 

First things first...
Always read through all of the directions before you start making something so you can be sure you have all of the ingredients on hand.
(Oh yeah, I forgot to do this before I made it last time. Will include variation at the end.)

Preheat your oven to 350 F or 175 C
Lightly grease your bread pan whatever way you want to.
(I use canola oil with a paper towel to apply it.)I use a 9x5
Grab a big bowl and combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a different bowl cream together butter and brown sugar (YUM!)
I highly recommend setting your butter out first thing so its easier to cream.
Add in your beat up eggs, vanilla, and smashed bananas to your
creamed sugar and mix em' up.
(please tell me you caught the despicable me reference in my recipe card above?!)
Place the wet ingredients in with the dry and stir it all up till everything is moist. 

Bake in your oven for 60-65 minutes.
If you poke a toothpick in the middle it should come out clean.
Now for the hardest part.... Let the bread cool in the pan for 10ish minutes.
If you don't it will break apart. Trust me, I know.
After you've let it cool at least a few minutes turn it out onto your cutting board and DIG IN!
In theory it will last up to 10 days in your fridge...But not in my house. Ever.

You could add nuts or chocolate chips to this if you want.
I don't as my husband is allergic to nuts and doesn't like chocolate chips in his breads.
Plus then I'd have to limit my son on how much banana bread he ate.

My "oops I don't have everything to make this but 
I promised my son so I'll make it up" variation.
So when I made this back on 9/13 I didn't have enough bananas or brown sugar.
I had 2 medium ripe bananas and 1/3 cup brown sugar.
I packed the brown sugar just the same and then topped it off with regular white sugar.
When I added my wet stuff to the dry stuff it wasn't moist enough.
Normally I would have added some milk to the batter till it was the right consistency. However, one of our friends was over who is dairy free so I added some water instead. 
It all turned out just fine and only lasted 12 hours.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

When Dr Seuss meets a cloth diaper addict.

So my husband comes up with some of the funniest stuff on a very regular basis but I forget a lot of the wording before I can get to the computer to share it with the world or it is a "you had to actually be there for it to be funny." So, sadly, I don't get to share the funnies that make up a lot of my life on here very often.

However, I have a great story to tell you that happened just last night.

First off a while back I got a chance to try out my first Ragababe cloth diaper and completely fell in love with it. Then a dear blogger friend of mine,Regan AKA the Anti-June Clever, told me about when the next stocking was going to be and a place I could potentially get some used Ragas. Oh My Goodness! After getting a few things and loving the diapers that much more I tried to stay away from even looking at other ragababes. Somehow I saw a post of a Dr. Seuss ragababe for sale.

Isn't it pretty?!... (yes, I realize I just called a diaper pretty.)
So I had to ask my husband and the following conversation took place.

Me: ok so I have a question...... please don't kill me for asking. Hubs: Ok...? Me: an excellent condition "Dr Seuss" Ragababe (black with blue, grey and red snaps) I still have left over money from the phone sale...Hubby may I? Hubs: You asked that all wrong. .. Me: I did?... Hubs: Yes Me: how should I have asked? Hubs: That doesn't sound like a Dr. Seuss question at all Me: lol! Hubs: As soon as you ask like Dr. Seuss would ask then you may ask me again Me: HAHAHA Oh my gosh... um ok.... crap! I can come up with sounds all Yoda-ish! Hubs: But I gtg Me: NO!!!! lol Hubs: And it HAS to rhyme You have my number if you come up with something Tty soon Me: I will be calling if I can come up with something.

So I went to work trying to come up with a Seuss-ish way of asking if I could buy this diaper. I know my husband well enough to know that if I failed, he would say no. But if I actually pulled it off he more than likely would say yes! I was on a mission.
I asked others for ideas and while they made me giggle I knew they wouldn't pass for hubby.

Then I got it! I called him up knowing he was in his last hour and would be down on the production floor at work. I very excitedly told him I had it! I don't think he fully believed me when he said his "Let's hear it."

He laughed and said yes. I'm beyond giddy (seriously, its pathetic!)
Regan and I went on to talk about it some more about how ridiculously addicting they are
To which she agreed with me and we both talked about how bummed we'll be when our kids are fully pottied. And I confessed "I'm bummed that my friend already has a babysitter lined of up for her little boy who she's going to cloth diaper....I want his butt! lol"

I think HAVE a problem. To quote Regan, "For me I think it’s partly the high of scoring a diaper but it’s also being part of this wonderful culture of women. I’m not ready to give that up." 
I have to agree with her. There is a great culture and even comrade in the cloth diaper world. One I am so thankful to be part of.

So tell me, Are you a total cloth diaper addict too? Do you have crazy moments like this with your spouse? Have a great story like this to share with me? Comment away loves!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WFMW: Laundry Duty

Laundry is one of those jobs that I don't completely loath but I don't enjoy either.
Its not the washing or even really the drying that bothers me.
It's the static and the zapping after I get my clothes out of the dryer, as well as the folding and putting away. It's an all day job as it's all just really time consuming.

Another thing that I use to encounter was so many mounds of laundry that I was overwhelmed and looking at the daunting task was enough to make me feel defeated and not even want to start. Plus...Have you ever tried to fold laundry with small kids around?

Without fail my little man would unfold the laundry just as fast if not faster than I could fold it. It felt so defeating. So a lot of times the clothes would simply get thrown in hampers and stashed into our room and we would pull through them to find the things we wanted to wear.
It made for a very messy and cluttered master bedroom, frustrated husband, overwhelmed me, and very wrinkly clothes.

But not anymore! A dear sweet friend of mine who is the queen of organization offered her time and energy to help me get our home more under control and help me come up with a plan. I now have set laundry days in which I must get whatever loads of laundry I do washed, dried, folded, and put away. I also now have a space IN the laundry room to work on this instead of taking the loads of laundry out into the living room to fold.

Another blogger wrote about how folding the laundry straight of the dryer changed her laundry life. So I had started doing that months ago but with the addition of having Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays being my laundry days I have this pretty well under control now. Now I rarely have my husband coming to me telling me he has no clean work uniforms or that he can't find them. *Insert a big sigh of relief!*

That's what works for me this Wednesday!
Go HERE to see what is working for others this Wednesday.
And go HERE to read about my favorite laundry accessory to help me get it done a little faster.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Puj Hug Review

Don’t you just love a sweet smelling, fresh out of the tub baby?
I know I sure do! I love late in the evenings to give my babies a bath before bed.
I find it helps them unwind and relax from the day we had and they tend to sleep better.
After giving them a bath I wrap them up in a towel and snuggle their naked little selves for a few minutes.

But I have a complaint about this time of day as well: The baby bath towels.

First of all getting a wet, slippery, squirmy baby out of the bathtub while not dropping the towel is a work of art or an Olympic sport!
I have several times ended up with a dripping baby in my hands only to find that I now have a soaked towel in the tub. I just find that even though this is my second child and I have given many baby baths I still struggle with the get them out and wrapped up part. Then once you DO have baby all wrapped up in a dry towel, they are so thin that you always end up wet yourself anyways!

I hate baby bath towels. They just don’t meet all of my needs.
Until now! I am really excited to share with you my favorite bath time accessory.

 I received a Puj Hug towel to try out with Bug.
When I first opened the box I couldn’t believe how thick and soft it felt.
This baby towel was at least twice as thick as my thicker baby towels.
It felt very luxurious and I couldn’t wait to give my little man a bath and wrap him up in this.

I wasn’t sure how well this would really work and wondered if I would like it.
Was it going to be uncomfortable to wear?
Was it going to be awkward to get off from around my neck to get the hood on Bug?
It couldn’t possibly be absorbent enough and I would still get wet, right?

This towel exceeded all of my expectations.
It wasn’t uncomfortable at all! I really didn’t mind having this towel around my neck.
It easily fastens around the back of your neck and stays put the whole time you’re giving baby a bath. It also helps keep you from getting wet if your little one is big enough to know how to splash around. After picking my fresh smelling baby out of the tub I put his back up against my body, wrap him up, and then with one hand I am able to un-do the interlocking silicone tabs with ease. And my favorite part is I stayed completely dry while snuggling Bug and drying him off! My only very minor complaint is that the hood of the towel does tend to slip off of Bug's head sometimes because of the weight of the silicone tab.  I noticed as he has gotten older while using the towel and he has become more active it slips off more than it use to. It doesn't happen all the time and it doesn't change how much I love this towel.

The towel is mad out of a super thick ultra-soft cotton and it is completely machine washable. (A must in my house!)
Our Puj Hug gets washed frequently as it is now the only bath towel I like using for Bug’s bath times. In fact it got used last night. Even Monkey had to get in on testing it!

Now if you’re like us, we do use our towels a few times before washing them as, well, you’re clean when you get out of the bath, so another concern is does it dry well? The answer: Yes. The one silicone tab serves dual purpose by becoming a perfect way to hang the towel up to dry. It has a large enough hole that it hangs nicely on most bathroom hooks or perfectly on the Puj Nubs. (Review coming soon) 

Honestly, if I could I would get rid of all of our other baby towels and only have Puj towels.
I know of a few baby showers I will be getting invited to in the near future and this WILL be on my list of gifts to give. Puj also sells one for the big kids called the Big Hug! And while I don't personally own one of those (yet) but it looks equally awesome.


Post may contain Affiliate Links

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

25 Things About Me.

I was wandering around the blog-sphere and stumbled upon Meg @SheDoesJustice post on 25 things you might not know about me. I thought it would be fun to join in this link up. So here it is, 25 things you might not know about me! 
1: I am the oldest of two.
2: I married my best friend when I was 19 and gave birth to our first baby at 20.
3: I love American Sign Language and before getting married my plan was to be an interpreter.
4: I was homeschooled 6th-12th Grades but before that went to a Christian school.
5: I went to Africa on a missions trip when I was 16 on a foot washing team. A call God placed on my heart when I was a little girl.
6: I hate feet.
7: I am terrified of spiders.
8: I love the song "Its been a long day" by Rosi Golan. And on rough days I'll put it on repeat to remind me to finish strong. 
9: I have only lived in two houses in my entire life. The one I grew up in and the one we live in now. Praying that the next time I move it's into our forever home. I.Hate.Moving.
10: I LOVE COFFEE! (ok so you probably knew this one.) Especially when there is hazelnut in it.
11: My favorite Bible verse is James 1:27
12: Both of my childbirths were unmediated but both complicated. One almost required a blood transfusion and the second required a D&C. 
13: I babysit two kids 4 days a week.
14: I genuinely love my church and feel so at home there.
15: I dream of traveling. Greece, Fiji, Paris, Hawaii (again), every state, and Ireland.
16: We cloth diaper (you probably knew this already as well.) out of necessity at first and now out of love for my baby's bum, things reusable, and to continue to save money.
17: I have known my husband almost half of my life. We met when I was 13 and I knew my life would never be the same. We would start dating 4 years later and married 6 years after meeting.
18: I love to read.
19: I am currently reading Money Saving Tips for a Stay At Home Mom. I am the spender in the family and am trying to change this so we can get out of debt.
20: I really enjoy painting my nails and doing fun designs on them. It makes me feel feminine in a house full of boys.
21: I use to hate wearing dresses and skirts until I hit 20 and now I love it.
22: I prefer to be barefoot or in flip flops. 
23: I use to have my hair so long I could sit on it but now I never have my hair past the middle of my back.
24: I love to do crafts. Sewing, scrapbooking, crocheting, kniting, card making, doodling, beading, you name it I probably do it or would like to learn how!
25: Most importantly I am a child of God.
You can go HERE to see other blogger's 25 things.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

On my heart tonight.

This originally started as a "Whats on your heart?" question on my fan page and as I started writing I realized I should just turn it into a blog post. So here it is.

I don't usually share what's on my heart as I really just love hearing from my fans but tonight my heart is heavy for the families in this news article.

My heart goes out both to the Begley family and to the woman who wrote the letter. I can't imagine being so heartless as to tell someone they need to kill their child. love for my kids is something fierce, does she not feel that way about her own children that she could actually suggest that to another mother? Has she not thought for a minute what if I was in her shoes? Would she really be able to put her own child to death?
I really have no words. I only have a heavy heart for her. I'm sad for her and the life she must be missing out on. I'm saddened for her children and the lack of compassion their mom must have. I am not trying to be mean, I honestly hurt for her and her kids more than I do for the Begley family.

I guess this hits really close to home for me right now as in our church there are two autistic boys, on opposite ends of the spectrum, who are brothers in our church. This past Sunday the oldest boy was having a really rough day and I heard him yelling and how unhappy he was but ya know what? Those boys are something special and so are their parents.

I have had the privilege of watching these boys grow and change so much over the past 3 years. I have seen the oldest come out of his shell more and the youngest create amazing pieces of artwork. I have heard them both say some of the craziest, funniest things ever and have no fear of what other people will think of them. They're honest and they will keep you honest. They take you at your word, end of story.

I have watched their mother and father worry about their boys and struggle with the unknowns of who will take care of their sons if something were to happen to them.
I have seen their dad cry telling stories of how closed off and in their on world they were and then how one day they got just a little piece of interaction they so crave with their boys.
I have seen their mom warn and stretched thin still speak grace and life into all four of their children.

I'm not saying all of this to put them up on a pedestal as I know they have difficult days and so many more challenges than I could imagine and we all have our breaking points. I know they have days and moments in which they aren't proud of. There are times that their mom has confided in me and been open and honest with some of their struggles. So its not that I think they are perfect or their parenting is untouchable but I know how much they love their children and celebrate each and every one of them.

 And God has a plan for their lives just as much if not more than He has planned for my life! I have watched numerous special needs kids be able to reach out to people in a way that you and I never could and pull them up out of everyday life and see the beauty in the moment.
Honestly, I can still remember the face of the little boy with down syndrome, who in just a quick moment in passing pulled me up out of my own petty problems, and made me see the world around me in a new light. I even remember what he was wearing as he touched my heart in a way no one else could that day.

So tonight I am praying for all of the mommies and daddies of special needs children. Praying for a little extra grace. For someone to speak a little extra life into their hearts.

And I'm praying for the woman who wrote the letter and for all of us who even for a second judge another parent for a screaming, difficult, wild child. Praying that we as parents all take a moment to remember that this thing called parenting isn't for the faint of heart. That this is the most difficult job we will ever love. That we have no idea what else might be going on in their lives right then and that we all have bad days.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer Baby Loving Event

Summer Baby Loving Blog Hop Giveaway

Welcome to the Summer Baby Loving Blog Hop Giveaway, hosted by Cloth Diapering AgainThe Inquisitive Mom, and Our Piece of Earth, in celebration of babies and mamas! There are two grand prizes up for grabs, one open to US and Canada, and one open just to the US.
Don't forget to enter the grand prizes!

I am really excited to be able to be apart of the Summer Baby Loving Blog Hop! There are a lot of fabulous bloggers who are all giving away great prizes! So be sure to go and check those out at the bottom of this post. Now on to the giveaways! 

Etsy is a project I have talked about and wanted to do for quite some time now.
However, for one reason or another it was never the right time and so it hadn't happened.

Until now.

I am very excited to announce that my Etsy shop is officially open!

This shop isn't just about me making money though.
I love to do crafts and this gives me a great excuse to do them.
It also gives me something to do that is just for me.
I plan to run my shop on my time, whatever that may be.
One of its main purposes is to be relaxing and fun for me.

As a stay at home mom I think this is so important to have something you do just for you.
But its also going to be used to bless others which is so exciting for me.
I'll post on that part more later but to celebrate the opening of my shop I'm doing a giveaway!

I am giving away a $25 Credit to my shop.

Currently I am opening the shop with custom children, toddler, and infant tees.
Eventually I will also be adding paper crafts as well. 

Born out of a mommy's need to create and a little boy's need to fly comes a custom superhero tee for the little hero in your life.

I currently offer sizes ranging from 0-3 months all the way up to a children's 2x.
(Color options vary between Toddler's and Children's sizes.)
I will also be adding other custom applique items to the shop very soon.
So help me celebrate by getting the perfect gift for the little hero in your life.

This giveaway is open to US and Canada!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Summer Baby Loving Grand Prize 1
Summer Baby Loving Grand Prize 2
Go here to enter to win a grand prize!
Each blogger has a prize worth at least $25 on their blog, so hop around on the linky and enter to win some summer baby loving.
Cloth Diapering Again, The Inquisitive Mom, Our Piece of Earth, and Summer Baby Loving Blog Hop Giveaway participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.