A Look @ Babyganics + a Review!

 

As a Guidance Guide Brand Ambassador- I received this amazing package from Babyganics! Inside the package included baby wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, body lotion, and body wash/shampoo. I’ve used a few Babyganics items in the past- but not all of these!

Baby Wipes

Babyganics face, hand & baby wipes are made with plant-based ingredients. These baby wipes are super thick- but not so thick that you can’t handle them easily. They also have a slight texture to them to help clean up the messiest messes on baby! They’re fragrance free, so super gentle on baby’s sensitive skin. Added bonus? They’re also free from alcohol, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial dyes! I’m very particular about what baby wipes I use for diaper changes and these are my new favorite- hands down! They get the job done but without a bunch of added “stuff.”

 

Hand Sanitizer

Visitors in my house probably think I’m a germaphobe because there is hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE throughout my house. I also be sure to keep one in the diaper bag. This was a product that I already owned and love. There are seriously only 7 ingredients in the alcohol-free version. This particular hand sanitizer also foams, so it’s fun for the kids! And we all know that if the kids think it’s fun…. they’ll actually use it! 😉 My favorite part about this hand saniziter is that it doesn’t have a sticky feel after it’s all rubbed in. A little bit also goes a long way, so even the travel size lasts a long time!

 

Sunscreen

Here in Ohio, we don’t need sunscreen until May…. sometimes June! I’m really picky about the sunscreen I use, if I’m being honest. Babyganics’ Suncreen is SPF 50 and is mineral based. In their sunscreen, you will not find PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nano-particles. It’s made with plant-based and certified organic ingredients. Being tear free and non-allergenic, it seems like a pretty good sunscreen to try! Babyganics also states that it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes! I’ll definitely be trying this on the kids this summer for sure!

 

 

Body Lotion

I absolutely love this body lotion! Jackson loves his bath time, but it’s hard on his skin since he has some eczema. This lotion isn’t harsh on his sensitive skin but still smells super good! (We have the chamomile verbena scent!) It has all the good stuff- plant-based and certified organic ingredients like aloe, shea butter, olive oil, vitamin E and avocado oil. And again, you won’t find any parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, artificial fragrances or dyes in this lotion! Jackson’s skin is super smooth after we use it and it also doesn’t get that sticky feeling. I’ve even started using on super dry hands- totally helps moisturize them. It’s also not super thick, so it’s much easier to rub in than some other baby lotions we’ve tried.

 

 

Body Wash/Shampoo

The Babyganics Shampoo & Body Wash is also a foaming soap- like their hand sanitizer. So obviously, it’s a huge hit with the kids! I love it because I don’t have to lather it up. I feel like that step has already been done for me! This particular soap makes me happy because it’s also tear free- we all know babies and toddlers don’t sit still for long! I like knowing that we won’t have a complete meltdown if some gets into Jackson’s eyes. Like the rest of the products, it’s made with plant-based and certified organic ingredients and is free of all the junk. It not only cleans baby’s sensitive skin, but it also has a 100% natural NeoNourish® seed oil blend to nourish skin as well.

 

 

All in all, I’m really happy with the Babyganics products! Last summer, I found their Insect Repellent and fell in love with it right away! But after trying all these products- it really makes me want to take a trip to Target and grab a few other of their products to try! So tell me this- do you use any Babyganics products in your home? What’s your favorite??? 🙂

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Why I Love Target- The #MomLife Addiction

It’s true- I’m addicted to Target. You’ll find me browsing around the store maybe two or three times a week. Why? Well- Because it’s the magical land of the basic stay-at-home-mom. You might think I’m joking. But this is serious. I really do love Target.

10 reasons we’re all a little (or a lot) addicted to Target:

It’s basically the SAHM meeting ground. I meet up with a couple other moms for “Target dates” a few times a week. Other than hanging out with my husband after he comes home from work, this is sometimes my only other form of adult interaction.

Starbucks. I basically function on caffeine at this point. With three kids, I’m not allowed to sleep through the night. One of them is always waking me up. Starbucks in the store makes it much more worth it for me to go to Target. Plus- I earn free Starbucks because of the Starbucks rewards program!

The dollar section. Well, not everything a dollar anymore. All the items in Bullseye’s Playground is between $1 and $5. It’s super rare that I don’t have at least one product from that area. You can find holiday décor, arts and crafts, party supplies, gift wrap, toys for kids, candy. So much to choose from!!!

Baby Nap. Jackson gets some of his best naps during our Target trips. He usually ends up driving me crazy in the cart so he ends up in a baby carrier on my back. Within a few minutes, he falls asleep. Of course, this doesn’t happen every time. But it’s still a perk when it does! 😉

Cartwheel. If you haven’t heard of the Cartwheel app, then you’re seriously missing out. You can find a lot of instant coupons on your phone in this app. I save a good amount of money using it!

The atmosphere. I swear they have to be pumping something into the air in Target. It almost makes me instantly happy walking through those doors. It could be because I’m a shopaholic. Or it could be the air. Ehhhh. Whichever it is, it’s fine for me.

Clearance. Let’s be honest- Target makes it super easy to find clearance items. Again, I usually end up with at least one clearance item in my cart. I’ve found some pretty good deals through the years!

Price matching. Did you know that Target will price match? Yep. I went to purchase a new cup for Jackson and it was $3 cheaper on Amazon prime. I really didn’t want to wait 2 days for the cup so I went to customer service. They price matched it quickly and easily! I got the Amazon Prime price but that day. Oh and I got to use the next reason I love Target…..

RED Card. My RED card makes me so happy. It’s a debit card attached to my bank account. Every time I use it, I automatically get 5% off. I can also use it to get free shipping with that 5% discount on target.com. Sure, 5% doesn’t sound like a whole lot…. but using it with the Cartwheel app, printable coupons on their site, manufacturer coupons, clearance- all that savings really adds up!!!!

Awesome Stuff! You see that amazing sweatshirt and giant coffee mug in the picture above? Yeah. Those are Target purchases. Basically the best coffee mug and sweatshirt I’ve ever purchased. I love Target. <3

 

 

BONUS. I’m raising little Target lovers as well. Baileigh loves Target just as much as I do. I see this as both a good thing…. and a problem. 😉 She asks me to take her to Target multiple times a week. Thank goodness she goes to school through the week so she only goes once. Because she talks me into things like little hats:

 

 

 

*This is not a Sponsored post. At all. I received no compensation for posting how much I love shopping at Target. However, there are some affiliate links throughout the post to help make a tad bit of $$$$ to keep this website going.*

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MommyCon- Is it worth it?!

Mama- it’s worth it.

I have already gone over the MommyCon Basics & FAQS, MommyCon on a Budget, 10 Tips for MommyCon, and the latest post- MommyCon VIP. But in case you still need some convincing on just how awesome MommyCon is….

 

My goodie bag from Columbus 2015

The Goodie Bag

In case I didn’t write enough about it, did you know that every attendee will leave the MommyCon event with a super awesome goodie bag filled with stuff?! The sponsors have been pretty generous in the past. While this shouldn’t be your #1 reason to attend MommyCon- I can tell you that in my experience, the goodie bag is worth more than your general admission ticket price. It’s filled with samples, coupons, and full sized products.

 

The Sessions

The sessions and seminars you’ll attend at MommyCon will probably leave you with some awesome new knowledge. And in my experience as a parent- knowledge really is power. Whether you’re taking away facts from Cloth Diapering 101 or from Kim Rosas’ Reusable Menstraul Products- that’s up to you! I highly recommend attending as many sessions that you can squeeze in!

 

Jackson wearing Cotton Babies’ Exclusive MommyCon Flip Diaper for 2016

Exclusive Products

Did you know that many vendors go to MommyCon with “MommyCon Exclusives?” Cloth diaper companies like Cotton Babies and Smart Bottoms have had exclusive diapers. Pink Lemonade Shop had an exclusive pad print. Eylas had an exclusive water bottle last year. Tekhni typically has an exclusive wrap for each MommyCon event. Basically- lots of things you’ll find ONLY at MommyCon! 😉

The Giveaways

Now, I know I didn’t talk much about this. Did you know that at the end of event day- MommyCon does a HUGE giveaway?! I mean like $10,000 worth of products huge. It’s really easy to enter- go to MommyCon! When you check-in at the beginning of the day, you’ll be given a badge with a number. That number is your “ticket number” so to speak. If you hear/see your number called- YOU WON! You’ll get additional entries for any VIP tickets you purchase. My first year, a few moms couldn’t stay for the giveaway. They handed me their badges since they wouldn’t get to use them. I won a set of RePlay, even though it was with my own badge number. But I was super excited!!!! You can not win a giveaway if you are not present. So if you can stay the whole day- I suggest you hang around. (There have been car seats and strollers given away! 😉 So yeah- be there.)

The Experience

I have only given you some tools to make your MommyCon experience great. Now- it’s completely up to you to make it great. Take pictures. Meet new mom friends. Meet some of the small businesses that are exhibiting there. Buy yourself something. Buy something for your kiddos. Learn some new information. Take the day to be “free” if you go without kids. Take the day to bond with your significant other, if they go with you. The experience will vary from person to person since no two people will visit the exact same sessions, meet the same people, or buy the same things. The “ideal” MommyCon experience is unique to everyone and really- your overall experience is up to you!

 

Still need to buy your general admission ticket? Use the code FLUFFBUM17 for $5 off, combine this with the social sharing discount at checkout for a total of $7 off!

 

 


 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts in my MommyCon Series! And be on the lookout for a GIVEAWAY of MommyCon tickets! EEEEK!

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ezpz Placemat Review

ezpz mats have become a “must-have” product in my book for toddlers. We currently have the Mini Mat, the Happy Mat, the Snack Mat, and the new book- Making Mealtime ezpz: Fun Ways to Fill the Happy Mat.

Some of you may be wondering…. “What is ezpz?” ezpz placemats are silicone placemats marketed for kids that suction to most tabletops. These mats are made of food grade silicone that is BPA, BPS, PVC, latex and phthalate free.

ezpz placemats are super handy once your child has reached the age of eating food, but wants to play and throw their plate or bowl on the floor. The Happy Mat suctions nicely to tabletops, while the Mini Mat is designed to fit on most highchairs.

 

I will admit that I’m not a Pinteresty mom in any way, shape, or form. This is one reason why I love these mats. Jackson’s food can look so fun with very little effort. And let’s face it- kids seem to eat more when their food looks fun. I don’t understand the logic behind it, but we all know it’s true! These placemats are also dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and oven safe (up to 350 degrees) so cooking with them and clean-up are easy!

 

Jackson really likes to snack, but he doesn’t want to sit in his highchair during snack time. The Snack Mat has become a favorite, and was actually our first ezpz mat! I can put his snack in the bowl, suction it to our floating floor, and he can play while snacking- and I don’t have to worry about him just tipping the bowl over for fun!

 

Now this may sound silly…. But I’m a mom on a budget. These mats aren’t exactly cheap, although I wouldn’t say they’re expensive either. Because they’re made of silicone, they won’t show signs of wear. This means that they really won’t have to be replaced. The ezpz mats that I use for Jackson now, can be stored away for any future babies. It doesn’t hold onto bacteria either since it’s a nonporous material- and it also shouldn’t stain! (although, I’m sure cooking some red sauce in it may be harder to get out!)

 

We really like to take the ezpz mats with us when we leave the house. Jackson has used his mats at restaurants and family member’s homes. We put the Mini Mat into a Smart Bottoms wet bag and the Happy Mat fits perfectly in a Smart Bottoms On-the-Go wet bag. It really depends on where we’re going, what’s clean, and what we’ll be eating for me to decide which one to take. If it’s super messy food, I’ll take the Happy Mat (for example) because sometimes my Mini Mat doesn’t want to stick to all surfaces. If it’s somewhere that he’s eating chicken and fries or something just not messy, and maybe it’s a quicker meal, then I’ll probably bring along the Mini Mat.

 

You can see in the photo above that there isn’t much size difference in the actual plate portion of the mats. A Happy Mat’s portion sizes (designed with toddlers in mind) are 4oz, 4oz, and 10oz while the Mini Mat’s (designed more for infants) portion sizes are 2oz, 2oz, and 4oz.

 

All in all, I’m really happy that I decided to try these ezpz mats and I like that they do make my life a bit easier. Jackson also likes them and in reality- that’s really all that matters.

 

 

*Please note: I purchased the Mini Mat and Snack Mat myself. The Happy Mat and book were provided by my participation as a Guidance Guide Ambassador. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

 

 

 

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Preparing Kids for Real Life: 3 Essential Lessons

-A Guest Blog-

As parents, our jobs come down to one major thing.

Each and every day, we work hard to prepare our kids for the day they leave the home.

For me, this carries a different meaning every day of the week. On some days, it means helping with homework. On others, it means a healthy dose of discipline.

… But every day, it means consistency: in my love, my lessons, and my values. Because at the end of the day, when my kids walk out the door to take on the world, that’s all that they will truly be able to take with them.

Here are three tips for preparing your child for the ‘real world’…

 

Teach the Value of a Dollar

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Every parent wants to spoil their kids, it’s only natural. But one of the best ways you can prepare your child for adulthood is by teaching the importance of hard work, and the true value of a dollar.

Perhaps celebrity A-lister Mila Kunis put it best:

“[Ashton Kutcher and I] both came from pretty, pretty, solid poverty backgrounds and grew up very poor and are very much self-made and are very aware of what a dollar is worth… It’s a matter of teaching them from a very early age that, you know, mommy and daddy may have a dollar… But you’re poor.”

Harsh, but there’s a key take-away here. The real world is harsh, and the earlier you teach this lesson to your kids, the easier their transition into it will be.

 

Instill Healthy Habits

picnic

Healthy habits start young, and stick with us into old age.

Encourage good eating habits (which doesn’t necessarily mean banning all the bad stuff altogether!), consideration (that means good manners!), a thirst for physical activity, and to limit device use (and when to do so!).

A great tool I use to not only teach my kids healthy device habits, but also cultivate accountability is a unique parental control app called OurPact, a parental control app that lets parents remotely manage their kids device habits.

Ever since using the app, my kids are getting good nights of sleep, know that devices are not allowed (let alone won’t work) at the dinner table, and do their homework without distractions beeping in their face every other minute. Cherry on the cake? They know that when they make an agreement, they’ll be held accountable for it. The app is free, and will change your life.

 

Chores, Chores, Chores

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We all have that friend who was coddled into early adulthood, and had a really hard time learning how to live as an independent adult. (In university, one of my roommates didn’t know how to do laundry, had a filthy room, and seemed to think dishes were able to miraculously clean themselves. Our room-mate relationship didn’t last long for this very reason, and she’s still adjusting to the reality of having to take care of her own sh*t.)

Teach your kids early on how to do household chores independently. Not only will this help lighten your load, but it will also work wonders to help prepare your child for independent living down the road.

The real world can be a scary place, but if you start preparing your child for their transition into it early on, they’ll ease into it like hot bath!

 

 

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My Three Reasons for Mom-Guilt 

  
I won’t lie… Mom-Guilt is something I deal with basically every day. And honestly, I have more “reasons” for mom guilt than I could fit in a typical blog post. So here’s my three reasons for mom-guilt. 

  

Aubrey 

 Aubrey is our oldest daughter and she’s five. Five has been such a great age for her. But I’ve had a lot of mom-guilt with her lately. She’s always been my helper and she’s always tried to be the center of our attention. And with a new baby in the house, it makes things a little difficult for her. Don’t get me wrong- she is obsessed with her brother! But it’s hard that she has to share her mommy and daddy with yet another person, and that tiny person requires a lot of attention. I’ve had to sit down and explain to her that he can’t feed himself, can’t go to the bathroom on his own, can’t entertain himself, etc. And she totally understands and acknowledges that— but it doesn’t make it any easier for either of us. I can’t tell you how many times I have put her to bed and then felt plain awful about how much time may have been taken away from her that day. But then I also remember, that I’ve given her something as well and that’s siblings. She’ll have people there for her when her father and I aren’t on this earth anymore. And for that… I’m a little grateful. 
  
Baileigh

Baileigh May. Oh man. This one is hard. So much mom-guilt over this one. She is SO different from her sister and literally in almost every aspect. And I’m trying so hard to not throw her into the “middle child” group because I’ve seen how that an affect a kid in the long run. But sometimes… I do it without even thinking. For instance, Aubrey needed a shirt for picture day and Jackson needed a pair of those terry fake jeans— I walked out of the store with just those things. But then it was pointed out to me that I left with nothing for Baileigh. I totally didn’t do it on purpose… But I felt so awful when it was pointed out to me. Super mom-guilt. I didn’t forget about her but it was obvious I wasn’t thinking about her while I was shopping either. Since that day, I’ve made it a point to get a little something for everyone if I need to get something but it’s just not fair. And although “life isn’t fair,” it’s not necessarily a lesson that I find important to teach at three years old. 
  
Jackson 

So he’s still new to the family. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt the mom-guilt with him. Obviously we cloth diaper, since that is what this blog was founded upon. But I’ll admit that we’ve used a fair share of disposable diapers too. We also breastfeed. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about giving him some formula to give myself a break. (It hasn’t happened- but I’m hanging on by a thread most days.) 

Being a mother is seriously SO hard. Being a mother to three is as hard, if not harder, than I thought it would be. Our family life has finally adjusted since welcoming Jackson five months ago- but that doesn’t mean that it’s all high fives at te end of the day. Sometimes it takes everything I have in me to not cry over something I should have handled differently or something I should have or should not have said. There are days that this mom-guilt crap tears me up and I really just can’t help it. It’s a part of life, a part of living. It’s a part of raising these little humans that I’ve created. Some how, some way, i hope to have a better handle on my guilt as a mother.   

“Ah, yes. The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”

                        -Rafiki, The Lion King 

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The Baby Bonanza and Kid Expo!

If you are in Columbus, Ohio, you should attend the 8th Annual Baby Bonanza and Kid Expo! It will be held this Sunday, March 9, 2014 at the Aladdin Shrine Event Center at Easton from 10am to 4pm.
The Baby Bonanza and Kid’s Expo is Ohio’s largest consumer, maternity, baby and child expo! There you will find:
-Exhibitors showcasing their products and services
-Diaper Derby Baby Races
-Educational Seminars
-A Dad’s Challenge
-Entertainment for the whole family

Fluff Bum Babies will be there to check out the local exhibitors and see what it’s all about! I have never been before and I’m pretty excited! My Columbus people: let me know if you’ve been to the bonanza and expo before and how your experience was!! 🙂

Tickets are $5.00 for parents, $4.00 for grandparents, and kids 12 and under are free. Parking is also free. Make sure to bring some money in case you need a snack or find something you just can’t live without!!

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6 Easy, Fun, Quick Things To Do With Toddlers

I have two toddlers, ages 3 and 19 months. Sometimes, its really the little things that they enjoy. Here are 6 “little things” that you can do almost any day of the week, night or day. And I can promise, your little toddlers will enjoy!

  1. Dress Up. If you have little girls, you may have an entire corner dedicated to dress up stuff- tutus, tiaras, high heels, jewelry, etc. But you really don’t need these items to play dress up. A little girl will be just as happy to dress up in Mommy’s clothes and shoes while a little boy will be so happy to try and fill Daddy’s big shoes and his favorite ball cap. Take pictures, make memories. Enjoy the 20 minutes or so that you spend doing this. Someday, you’ll enjoy looking back on how small they were compared to you or Daddy. And putting on those over-sized shoes, clothes, and accessories will show just that perfectly!!
    dressup
  2. Bake. Little kids love to make something that they can eat. And who can really blame them?! Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up an extra thing of Peanut Butter and make those Peanut Butter Cookies that are so easy to make. Or grab one of those cake mixes, frosting tubs, and sprinkles. You can even go as simple as picking up the break and bake cookie dough! Your toddler will love helping you in the kitchen! They can do simple things like add ingredients (with help of course!), stir,  place something on the cookie sheet, or decorate!! Afterwards, enjoy those 15 minutes watching your delicious baked goods in the oven just talking, giggling, and spending some time together.
    bake
  3. Movie Night. I love having Family Movie Night!! Rent a new kids movie at your local RedBox or on your Streaming Device. Turn off the lights, make some popcorn, have some candy… Spend time together watching a new flick and snuggling on the couch under the blankets. Start it right after dinner or have a Pizza Party and eat during the movie too. Plan accordingly and you can have the kids in bed right after the movie is over. This one may be better for more laid back evenings like a Friday or Saturday night but you can even do this during the day!
    movie
  4. Art. This one can be as simple or as complex as you’d like to make it. Grab some paper, some crayons, and just sit at the table and color. Draw your family. Draw a superman. Draw a puppy. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Your critic is only a 2 year old! You can also get out the watercolors, the play dough, or the finger paints. Make Christmas ornaments in July with Salt Dough. Get some string and macaroni and make necklaces. Just create something. Chances are, your little one will only be into this for 30 minutes or so but it will be well worth the mess!!
    art
  5. Have a Picnic. The neat things bout picnics, they can be indoors or outdoors. We have picnics often! Set a blanket down on the floor and everyone just take a seat on the blanket and eat. (You could also use a towel.) The best part about this: Pick up the blanket or towel and just put it in the laundry afterwards. Easy! In the spring/summer/fall, we like to take a bike ride into our local park on the bike trail. There’s a little picnic table under shelter just randomly along the trail. In the past, we’ve picked up Subway, a drink or two to share, and some chips. Simple, delicious, and we all enjoy the bike ride!!
    picnic picnic 2
  6. Educate. Once again, this can be as simple or as complex as you make it. Read a book. Get out a puzzle. Put different objects into a clear water or pop bottle. Get out the sand toys but put dry rice or beans in the box. Your toddler loves to explore! And exploring is educating in their world. Get out their favorite book and make up silly stories to go along with the pictures that are different than the book and listen to your little one tell you, “That’s not what happens!” Sing songs like ABCs, The Wheels on the Bus, Apples and Bananas, B-I-N-G-O, and The Clean Up Song. Toddlers LOVE music so using music along with education is perfect!

What little things have you done with your toddlers?? Let me know in the comments below!!

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A Big NO NO in Colder Weather!!

no coats in car seats

Just a friendly reminder: please DO NOT keep a puffy winter coat on your baby/toddler/child when putting them in a car. It is so unsafe and could cause harm if in a car crash. A few good alternatives are:

  • blanket in the car
  • allow the car to warm up before bringing baby out there
  • a light weight sweatshirt or fleece jacket
  • strapping baby in the car and then putting the coat on backwards

We have a special balnket in the car for the girls and they wear light, zip up sweatshirts. We put their heavy coats on to transport them from the house to the car, the car to the store, the car to the house, etc. but they are always taken off before strapping them into their car seat. Safety first!!

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Toddlers love Juice… Mommy DOESN’T!

Most toddlers start out with 1/2 their sippy cup of juice and then the other 1/2 is water. Mix the water and juice together and you’re giving the toddler more of something to drink with less sugar. Wrong. Juice is like toddler crack. At least in our house it is. And that is exactly why we cut it out of our children’s diet.

Some of you may be thinking, “Why would you cut out juice?” “Juice isn’t harmful.” “Juice is not full of sugar.” or even, “100% Juice only is just fine!” Nope. Nope and nope. I would only buy 100% juice for my kids with no added sugar. I thought that even 1/4 of their sippy cup mixed with 3/4 cup of water would be just fine. Nope. I lived. And I sure as heck learned!My kids only wanted juice. They would refuse milk, water, everything that wasn’t juice. They were addicted. I finally got them to break the habit by switching to milk only in the mornings and after nap time (when their dad was home) they could have juice. It was like day and night. They were calm and good listeners in the morning and then someone flipped the switch after nap time. It was the juice. Even though they didn’t have much of it, that small amount of “natural” sugar got to them. They were bouncing off the walls. It wasn’t until my husband really noticed a difference one weekend that we just stopped buying it. And I’m so happy we did!

Aubrey REFUSES to drink water. Plain water is just “YUCK” in her words. This means if she wants something to drink, her go to is milk. Milk is good for you so its not a huge bad thing… but too much of anything can be bad for you. Right now, we’re figuring out how to make our own flavored water. I looked at MIO but there’s so many ingredients in it that’s just not good for you. I might as well be giving them juice! I am looking at a special pitcher that has a place for fresh fruit and it will diffuse into the water. We’re also looking at adding essential oils and stevia to a pitcher every few days to also make a flavored type of water. This is just one more thing we did to become more “natural” parents!

Something I would like to point out: I am not depriving my children of fruit juice. If we go to a relative’s house and they offer my kids juice, that’s fine. We just prefer juice to be in moderation. We had also made the decision months ago to not buy juice boxes. After seeing pictures of the Capri Suns with mold in them, we decided to not take that chance. Juice boxes are expensive anyways!! If we do offer juice in the future, it will be homemade, raw juice from an awesome juicer. We just meed to purchase one first!

Mommas that also don’t do juice, what kind of drinks do your little ones drink regularly? Any tips to help me get Aubrey to drink plain water?

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A Late Merry Christmas!

My goal was to spend as much time with my family on Christmas with no distractions. I stayed off social media sites and of course, the blog. We were gone all day, so the computer wasn’t around to tempt me. 😉 Here’s our girls’ annual Christmas picture with Santa.
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We had a wonderful Christmas Day with my family at lunch and my husband’s family at dinner time. Then, with my wonderful luck, I started to get sick Christmas evening and was in bed for the following two days. No fun. Since I’ve been feeling better today, we got some of the girls’ new toys out and put together. They love everything they received from Santa and family. Seeing their faces Christmas morning make all the time, energy, and money that we spend for Christmas worth it. 🙂

How was your Christmas? What was your child’s (or children’s) favorite gift? 🙂

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Our Elf on the Shelf Today

I have been taking pictures of our elf, Lily, to show you some of our fun ideas. I wanted to wait until closer to the end of the season to share them all, but I loved today’s set-up!! Lily brought the girls one of those indoor snowball fight sets. As soon as the girls saw it, they were so excited and so thankful. Aubrey just kept saying, “Oh, thank you Lily!! Thank you sooo much!!” How cute is that?!

indoor snowball fight lily1

The girls have been playing with the “snowballs” all morning. They’re SO fun!! If you want to buy these for your little ones, click the link below! 🙂 These are perfect all winter long, not just around Christmas time!!

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Glow Bug Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway Announcement!!

Glow Bug cloth diapers are made in China and the company is based in Canada. They are a great option if you are wanting to build a stash quickly because their diapers ONLY come in packages of 12. They do occasionally have Mini Bundles with only 4 diapers. I have found that if you are apart of a co-op, you may be able to find a group that offers them. And B/S/T groups are always a great option to find a single diaper to try before buying an entire package. Glow Bug diapers are one size pockets. They each come with two microfiber inserts that snap together and snap into the front of the pocket. The pocket is a little different because it opens at both the front AND the back. This makes stuffing the diaper a little bit easier! What really sets these diapers apart from others is the 360 degree gussets! Baileigh usually has solid poops so this doesn’t really do anything special for us. However, I believe this would be an AWESOME feature for those early, exclusively breastfed poops!!

glow bug 2 glow bug

I really like how different these diapers are. You’re not going to find a diaper similar to these and that’s really important in the cloth diapering world. These days, this diaper relates to that diaper and none of them are really unique. I don’t love every design that these diapers come in and the packages only option isn’t so buyer friendly. When you do divide the price between the items in the package, it’s an awesome deal. But you need to have that $150 to spend at that one time.

These diapers do hold a lot of pee and I believe that is greatly due to having two inserts. I have found these to be great during naptime, long car rides, running errands, etc. I also believe that this diaper would work just fine for a light wetter overnight. Here’s Bai with her classic pose for showing off her diaper:

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And now it’s time… GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

Click HERE to be taken to the Christmas Giveaway page for a chance to win a Glow Bug diaper!! 🙂

Please Note: I received this Glow Bug diaper for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was made. All opinions are my own and 100% honest!!

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Love with Food- A Monthly Subscription Box Review

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Love with Food is one of the many monthly subscription boxes that can introduce you to new foods conveniently. You can sign up for a specific plan that fits your needs. You can sign up for one month (1 box) or you can sign up for multiple months. (6 months/6 boxes, 12 months/12 boxes, etc.) I received the November box and this is what was in it:

  • Kukuruza Tuxedo Popcorn
  • Green & Black’s Organic Dark 70% Chocolate
  • Laura Secord Maple Fudge
  • Mighty Leaf Ginger Twist Tea
  • Eat Natural Almond, Apricot, and Yoghurt Bar
  • Dancing Deer Baking Co Rosemary Sea Salt Shortbread
  • Sensible Foods Sweet Corn Crunch
  • Arora Creations Indian Spice
  • Popchips Sweet Potato Chips

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And I def found a new favorite snack!! The Tuxedo popcorn was AMAZING and I absolutely loved the Sweet Potato Chips!! There was a great variety and I have been thinking about getting another box! If you REALLY like something, you can also purchase that item from their website. It really is a neat program. Even better? For every box they send, they donate a meal to a hungry child. So not only are you getting new and different snacks in the mail, you’re helping a good cause! Here’s How It Works direct from their website:

lwfI was very impressed with this box. I shared almost everything with the kids and hubby so I could see exactly how “family friendly” this box was. The kids enjoyed most of the different foods and hubby didn’t have a single complaint! Now, that’s pretty good! I highly recommended trying them. After all, who doesn’t love a little goodie in the mail?? 🙂

 

Please Note: I received this Love With Food box for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was made. The opinions are my own and they are 100% honest.

 

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Cloth Diapers on a Budget

It’s no secret that cloth diapering saves money. I bought an entire stash for less than what I would pay for 3 months of disposable diapers and wipes. And to top that off, I can use the cloth diapers for any future babies. I will admit, I do continue to buy cloth diapers. Do I need them? No. Do I want them? Yes. But even then, I’ve still saved money and that was one of the major reasons why we switched in the beginning. Here are a few ways to save even more money while cloth diapering, getting started on a strict budget, or just doing it as cheap as possible! I’m also including a roundabout total for roughly 20 diapers. That’s enough diapers to go a day and a half to two days between washing unless you have a newborn. And please note: the totals depend on the exact brand and will vary.

1) Prefolds or Flats with a Cover —> $115

This is what most people probably think of when they think of cloth diapers. Prefolds and flats are the basics of cloth diapering. Most people now use them as burp rags because they are so absorbent. They need to be folded and a cover must be used because there is no waterproof material in a prefold or flat. They are just simple layers of cloth. There are a lot of very inexpensive covers out there. I prefer a Kawaii cover or an Econobum cover when you’re talking cheap. They are cheap, but very well made. Econobum actually has a complete pack full of prefolds and covers. You should have a total of 3 covers and 12 prefolds/flats to last a day. There are videos on YouTube to demonstrate different folds and they’re not difficult at all! I would also suggest buying a Snappi, Boingo, or some safety pins.

prefold and cover

2) Receiving Blankets —> $100

Yep. I said it. Remember all those blankets that you got at your baby shower? You probably didn’t use half of them! The total above reflects buying all new receiving blankets and not using the ones you already own. Fold those blankets up in a tri-fold and lay them inside of a cover. Instant diaper! More than likely, you already have a few (or a hundred) of these laying around your home already. If you’re still debating on whether or not you’d like to give cloth diapering a try, get on Amazon and purchase a cover or two and put a receiving blanket in it! You really can’t get cheaper than that since you’re mainly using what you already have!

receiving blanket and cover

3) China Cheapies —> $112

I’m not going to lie; most of my stash is made up of China Cheapies. I honestly don’t have any issues with them, yet. Some people blow through them quickly because they aren’t of a consistent quality but none of mine have had issues yet after a few months of using them often! Some brands would include: Alva, Babyland, Sunbaby, Kawaii, Happy Flute. These are not bad diapers at all! But you will end up paying about $5-$8 per pocket diaper instead of $15. If this is what is more affordable for you, then do it! You honestly won’t be sorry. And the patterns are just too darn cute!

china cheapies

4) Co-Op Buys —> $85

This kind of goes along with #3. You can buy a lot of “China Cheapies” through a co-op. Co-ops are a bunch of people looking to buy the same products. One of the them gathers the order, everyone pays that person, they place the order, and then that person receives it to sort and ship it to the individuals. By doing this, they get wholesale prices which could make that $6 Alva diaper you want to buy only $3 and some change. The only downside to this is that you can’t really start right away because it does take a couple weeks.

 

As you can see, you can buy diapers very cheaply. There are diapers that you can buy one for $35. But when your child is just going to poop and pee in them, why would you want your entire stash to be that much? I have varying brands in my stash and they range from $4 diapers to $35 diapers. If you are interested in trying cloth, try one of the above methods to get your feet a little wet and then decide if cloth is right for you. And did I mention that cloth diapers have a pretty good resell value? As long as you have taken care of them and washed them properly, you could try them and decide cloth isn’t for you and then sell them on a B/S/T site and get most of your money back. So what’s holding you back?!? 🙂

 

 

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