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Raising Peanuts Reviews



Reveiws on products that help us raise happy, healthy, and a little bit eco-friendly kids.



Updated: 2015-09-16T17:40:19.601-04:00

 



Review : Neela Bags

2009-06-17T11:02:57.140-04:00

I love using my reusable bags when I go shopping. I've had them around for a year or more and find them so convenient - even when garage sale-ing and going to farmers markets! But the ones I have and normally see in the grocery stores are all boring store colors with the supermarket name plastered on it. Like mine. They're blue and all say Meijer. And you know...sometimes I just don't feel like advertising for stores. And sometimes I need a bit of flavor in my life.Enter Neela Bags.When I first opened the package I was really unimpressed by the size of the bag. I mean, it was about as big as a lunch tote. Seriously? But as I started to check it out, I actually opened it up. Yea. There were actually FIVE bags, folded up inside it. That makes sense. Duh.So the sent me the Market Pack, which is really cool. One smaller bag (that could totally double as a lunch tote) hold 5 grocery sized bags all rolled up and neat like.So yesterday I went out shopping at our local Natural/Bulk food store and decided to bring these along. For one, the fact that they fold up so small and have a separate carrying case was awesome. Because I go out shopping with a toddler and an infant and all their stuff plus my purse. Sometimes the extra bags just get in the way. This time I just pushed them into the diaper bag.I was a bit concerned when I took them out of the bag to start loading groceries into them. Since they do fold up so small, they don't have that plastic bottom piece in them and I was worried it might not be sturdy enough once I got all my stuff in them. And I had stuff! Multiple 5 pound bags of stuff!But they did a great job of holding it all together! No sagging and they were very sturdy! I think there was about 15 pounds or more in each one by the time I finished loading them.And all of this was packed in them:And all of those bags on the table were at least 5 pounds a piece. Plus the jars and what not.So when all was said and done, I really liked these bags. They performed much better than I expected and because they're so cute and compactable, they'll be my first choice form when I head out shopping!And it's such a great and easy way to be a bit more environmentally thoughtful. Using and wasting those plastic bags that only hold a few items, is not only bad for the environment, but such a pain as well. I can normally put 3x more in reusable bags, than I can in plastic bags from the store. As an added benefit, I can also put these over my shoulder, which means less trips out to the car brining my groceries in!Need some yourself? Head on over to Neela Bags and check them out. They have all sorts of super chic colors and styles to choose from. And thanks to MomFuse for setting up the review for me![...]



Review : Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash

2009-06-17T10:44:48.616-04:00

I'm all about having a clean car. But I'm not all about the chemical washes we use to clean them. Now, we don't frequent the actual car washes, my hubby washes our vehicles at home. So any cleaners we use get rinsed off and into our own land. But the Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash is supposed to end all the rinsing. In fact, they claim you use no water at all. I was a bit intrigued.

But when I opened the box, I was a bit worried. See, all you do is take the spray bottle and spray your car and the microfiber cloth, wipe off the dirt, and use another cloth to shine. Hmmmm.

So I tried it on my van. It's been awhile since it's been washed. And we live way out in the country. I travel dirt roads. Spray and wipe, really?

Well, it does work. But it took a long time. Cause I have real dirt on my van, not just road grime and rain spots. And the 2 cloths they sent me got dirty pretty quick. But it does work!

And my husband has since taken this from me to use on his motorcycle. Which will be actually be nice, because it does sit in the garage most of the time and he only rides it on sunny days. So it doesn't really get dirty, it gets dusty. So this spray and wipe will not only save us water (and electricity from the well pump) but we won't have to rinse off yucky cleaners that get into our lawn. And the whole bottle should last the rest of the summer for just the bike!

So if you're environmentally conscience check out Eco Touch! They sell a variety of eco friendly car supplies like dash cleaners, upholstery cleaners, and metal polishes. And thanks to MomFuse and Eco Touch for letting me give it a try!



Review : Tiny Star Couture

2009-06-17T10:22:43.582-04:00

Oh, the fun of having a girl!! I get to have sweet little girlie things in the house, like hair bows!! So I was geeked when MomFuse asked me to review a hair clippie from Tiny Star Couture.

They sent me the "Audrey".
(image) (really impressed having her pic taken :-)

But the clip is easy to use and doesn't just fall out. It's made with a sturdy metal clip covered in ribbon (ours has velvet ribbon) so the metal doesn't show. Plus, it's super cute! The two little flowers are well put together and the detail is great. I can't wait till the little babe's hair gets long enough to really use it.

Tiny Star Couture also sells lots of other cute stuff for girls! I love their hats, they're super cute crocheted hats with either bows or flowers on them. They also have headbands and tutus as well. Such a fun girlie store!!



Review : a Kangaroobabe Ring Sling

2009-06-17T11:02:00.733-04:00

To finish up my week of babywearing I did just a couple weeks ago, (I know, a little late huh?) I figured I had to do a ring sling! And Jennifer from kangaroobabe sent me the perfect one to try out for you!!Here's just a little ditty about Jennifer and kangaroobabe:My name is Jennifer and I live in Northwest Arkansas with my husband Grant and our 13 month old son Elliott. I became interested in babywearing after my son was born. Like a lot of babies he wanted to be held all the time and I found it hard to do much of anything since he was always in my arms. When I was pregnant I came across an original style padded ring sling at a thrift store for only $5. I tried it out with Elliott but it was awkward and hard to adjust so I set it aside and forgot about it. I began doing some research on babywearing and the different types of carriers. I started out by making a simple wrap out of a long piece of stretchy fabric. Elliott loved it and so did I; but I found it a bit inconvenient to get all wrapped up when we went out. I went back and studied the thrift store ring sling. I decided to cut the rings out of it and proceeded to use them to make my own sling. I had so much fun doing it I haven’t stopped since! Now I sell my slings, along with a few other things like baby leg warmers, tutus, onesies and bibs with ties on them in my etsy shop, www.kangaroobabe.etsy.com. A little bit about my slings:My slings are made with two layers of 100% cotton. I use aluminum sling rings from SlingRings.com. These sling rings are non-toxic. They are not welded so they have no weak points and they are tested to hold up to 250 pounds. I do multiple stitching at the weight bearing seams for added strength and durability. Ring slings are great because they are fully adjustable; no sizing is necessary. They are convenient to throw over your shoulder and slide your baby in. They can be used from newborns to toddlers in several different positions. The different carries are the cradle carry or the newborn carry, tummy to tummy, front facing or kangaroo hold, hip carry, and back carry. When worn properly the fabric will spread out across your back and shoulder to distribute your child's weight.Babywearing takes practice so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. YouTube has tons of great videos on how to use a ring sling; that’s how I learned. Stop by my blog, www.kangaroobabe.blogspot.com, to read about the benefits of babywearing.Now Jennifer asked me if I had a preference on fabric before she sent me one, and from looking through her etsy store, I could tell anything she sent me I would love. She uses some pretty cute stuff! And let me tell you, the blue and green paisley she sent was right up my alley! So pretty.But the rings.Oh those rings.For some reason they just looked confusing to me.So I set it down in my office for a few days before giving it a go. And Jennifer must have somehow sensed I needed help, because I got an e-mail with all sorts of links to you tube videos showing how to put it on and put baby in. After watching a couple short clips, I was ready to go!It did take me a couple times to figure out the best way to put the baby in, but once we got it, we got it! I've used it while making dinner and of course, I've used it while out shopping. And the one thing that always struck me as being in the way (the tail that hangs down) isn't in the way at all! Plus it can be very useful to use as a nursing cover while nursing them in the sling! Cool huh? Now, all ring slings are used in the same manner. It's fabric and rings. But let me tell you, this one is easy to use, and the quality is fabulous! This woman can sew. Seriously, I am constantly impressed by what these crafty work at home mama's can do! This definitely doesn't look like something I made, the stitching is perfect, and it feels like it could last wash after wash.(the only reason I'm holding her was because right when I went to take a photo she started bobbing her hea[...]



Review : Jellie Bellies Mei Tai

2009-06-17T11:03:58.047-04:00

Ever try a Mei Tai? I hadn't until just recently when Michelle from Jellie Babies sent me one to review. Michelle has a great little Etsy shop where she sells her handmade Mei Tais as well as little mini Mei Tais for those little ones that want to carry their dolls. (How cute is that, right? How I would love to get one of those when my little girl is a bit older!) Plus her prices are pretty awesome too.Here's a little ditty from Michelle:My parents named me Michelle and I became Lloyd when I married my husband nine years ago! I married an Australian and had the privileged of living in South Australia for the first 5 years of marriage. We had 2 boys there, now 7 and 5, then we moved to the states. We've lived in my hometown of Spokane, Washington for 4 1/2 years now and are surviving the winters.....barely! We have since had 2 baby girls, now 3 and 20 months.It was after the birth of my 3rd child that I discovered the benefits of "baby wearing". She was an extremely fussy baby. I felt that my whole life was spent on the couch nursing, and I was struggling to find a way to keep her happy and get anything else done in my day (including meaningful interaction with my boys) That is when I happened upon a sling and I never looked back. I researched other carriers and eventually landed on the Mei Tai. One of the things that attracted me to it was that I could easily make one myself and thereby change the look as much as I wanted. I loved it at first for the convenience, but have come to appreciate the wonderful benefits of having your baby so close so much of the time.It was with the birth of my last child that I started making the carriers for other people. First, as gifts, and then I started selling them to friends who had one and wanted to give them to someone else. I never imagined I'd be selling them to people I didn't know, let alone people all over the country! I named the company Jellie Babies after my daughters - Josephine and Ellie - and chose the butterfly symbol simply because of it's beauty. I work out of my basement, mostly in the evenings when the kids are in bed and my husband is working on the computer.The Mei Tai is something I love, but I realize there are many carriers out there and people have their own favorites. That is why I get so excited when someone else shares my enthusiasm for this carrier. I try to use designer fabrics, patterns that I love or imagine someone else will really love. I make all my carriers with sturdy, breathable, cotton twill and line them with Minky or twill, depending on your preference. I triple reinforce the stitching where straps attach to the carrier, which makes it durable. I have a carrier I used for both my girls and it's still going strong. It does take a few times practicing to get it all down, but now it's fun to put my toddler on my back, secure her with the straps, and head off down the grocery aisle. I hope you like the Jellie Babies Mei Tai as much as I do!When I first got this in the mail, I was immediately impressed by the quality of the fabric and construction. And the fact that it had lightly padded shoulder straps! I wasn't expecting that and was very pleased to see it. I also loved the fact that it's lined with super soft Minky fabric. How awesome is that?The instructions she sent me were easy to follow, though she's right - it took me just a couple times to really get it right. Sophia seemed very comfortable in it and proceeded to fall asleep right away. Something about being carried right up against me knocks her out every time! The carrier keeps her very secure and I never once felt as if she would fall out. It's also light weight enough to where neither one of us get to hot. I do normally put her in it while sitting down though. Makes it easier for me at this point, but I'm sure one day it'll be so second nature that I could put it on in just a couple seconds standing up. I had it tied under her bum for awhile, but have since noticed that she stays [...]



Review : Wrap N Wear

2009-06-17T10:59:12.451-04:00

A friend of mine got me excited about the idea of a wrap a few months ago when her little babe was born. And when Wrap 'n Wear decided to send me one to review I was pretty stoked.

Wrap 'n Wear wraps are made out of lightweight crinkle cotton that have just a touch of give to them. If you're like me, I had no idea what crinkel cotton was. When I pulled it out of the box, I finally found out! It's a really light and airy fabric. And it's crinkle-y. :-) Just cheking it over it seemed like it was of great quality and quite sturdy.

After a quick watch of the instructional DVD I tied it on. A bit to tight. So I loosened it a bit and popped baby right in. She got comfy right away and decided to take a bit of a nap!

After wearing it for a couple hours, I noticed how well she stayed where I had put her and the fact that I was still very comfortable and there was no pull on my shoulders. We were also both quite comfortable temperature wise as the fabric is so light. The wrap was very supportive and kept her secure the entire time. The extra support panel was great as well.
(image) The DVD that came with the wrap was easy to follow and covered something like 12 different carries. Cody liked it so much he wanted to watch it again! Actually, he was really interested in being quite involved in this whole review.(image) (image)
All in all, this is a great wrap and I look forward to using it. Especially during some of our hot and humid days over the summer. And I'm sure I'll get my use out of it as well because it's good quality and will last as long as I need it.



Review : The Ergo

2009-06-17T10:57:07.041-04:00

I had no idea what the Ergo was before I found the world of blogging. And then I found that it was supposedly the elite of all baby carriers. And can you believe I only first saw one in person just a few short weeks ago? It was then that I decided I had to try one, and I was super pumped that the lovely folks at Ergo decided to send me one to review!First, a bit about Ergo:The Ergo Carrier was first developed by Karin Frost when she created a carrier for her own son in 2001 and they began marketing it in 2003. ERGObaby is a family owned and operated company located on Maui, Hawaii. Their mission is to offer parents the most thoughtful, highest quality, and most innovative babywearing products and accessories found on the market. They also continuously educate parents on the benefits of baby wearing that go beyond the convenience factor as well as share related topics they feel will improve how the next generation of babies are brought into the world.Now supposedly, you can use just this one carrier from infant to toddler. Supposedly.And they say it doesn't hurt your back or shoulders at all.So they say.But how does it really work?When it first came in the mail I was so exited to try it out. I had talked to a couple women who had used one and they seemed to enjoy their immensely and it got me anxious to try it myself!Problem was, I noticed the box at the back door at the exact moment Sophia woke up to eat. So I did what I'm sure a lot of moms would. I quick opened the box and sat down to nurse while I pulled out the contents! I was able to read all of the instructions and literature that came with it while she got her lunch. :-) And as soon as she was done, I pulled it on and had Cody hop in. Why Cody and not Sophia? I didn't have the infant insert just yet.Cody thought it was soooo cool!! He fit in there perfectly (he'll be 3 in just 2 months!) and seemed both comfortable and secure. Very secure actually. I never once felt like he could slip out. And I felt comfortable. The weight was really distributed quite evenly and it didn't seem to pull on my shoulders. I could even stand up straight even though I had 30 pounds on my back!We even ran through the house with him in it because I wanted to see how secure and comfortable it really was. He thought it was hysterical and I was left impressed!I also put him in this while I went garage sale-ing one day and he was in there for about a half hour. The only uncomfortable part was the fact that being only 6 weeks post partum, I am OUT OF SHAPE! I was tired, but not sore though.I did manage to get down to one of the only stores in town that had the infant inserts last week, so I could try it out with Sophia. It did take me a couple times to get her in and situated comfortably, but now that we have it down, I can just pop her in with slight re-adjustments.The Ergo goes on super quickly with only two clips. One on the waist and one over the chest or back depending on how you're putting baby in. (and the front carry is great for covering up the post partum belly too!) The straps are padded but are not bulky and they added a great new feature so that the height of the chest strap doesn't move when you take it off and put it back on. It also has a built in sleeping hood so keep baby's head secure if they do fall asleep, and you can use it as a sun shield or nursing cover too. It's so easy to get on and off though, that if baby does fall asleep you can take it off without waking them.What I Liked:How easy it was to put on and take offHow comfortable it wasThe fact that yes you can use this from birth till toddlerdomBaby/Toddler stay comfortableThe quality is fantastic and I can see why these last so long. The fabric is super sturdy and durable too!It lives up to all it's claims.What I didn't like so much:With the infant insert in, it does get just a tad bulky and can make it seem like there's to much on top. Then again, the i[...]



Review : The Kylie Wrap

2009-06-17T10:53:15.765-04:00

I found Erin's wraps online just a few weeks ago and was super excited when she agreed to send me one to review. It's called the Kylie Wrap ana you can find them at www.thekyliewrap.com.Just a bit from ErinMy name is Erin and I am a stay-at-home mom of 2. My daughter is about to turn 3 and my son is about to turn 1. I started making baby wraps after my son was born. I needed a way to carry him close to me while still being able to chase my toddler, go grocery shopping, run errands, clean the house, etc. It was then that I started making stylish baby wraps. My family and I live in a small mountain town. It takes 30 minutes just to get to a grocery store. We live the simple life and enjoy being outdoors. I am huge on attachment parenting. I breastfeed, co-sleep, dont let my kids cry it out, dont spank, etc. I think baby-wearing is just natural for both mom and baby and am proud to make a product that encourages that.The BasicsThe wrap is made from lightweight stretchy jersey fabric with an extra support panel in the middle.What we thoughtWhen I pulled it out of the mail, I had to laugh at how long it was! I know why a lot of moms are intimidated by these wraps, they look super confusing! But Erin has some super easy instructions right on her website. And even though it's the first time I'd tried a wrap, I had it on within just a minute. Putting Sophia in it was easy as well and once I had her situated, she got all comfy and fell asleep.The first day I wore it for just a couple hours and it was comfortable the entire time. No back aches, no shoulder aches, nothing. A couple days later I brought it to church with me and had her in it for about 4 hours while I was helping take photos of all the moms and their kids on Mother's Day. If anything would have caused me to be uncomfortable, it was that morning! But no pain. At all! The only thing I had to do was tighten it just a bit after I took her out to feed her and had to put her back in.I've also used it while making dinner, taking walks, garage sale-ing, and of course at church! Everywhere I went with it, people stopped to ask me where I got it. I even got to talk to a brand new mom at the mall who definitely needed one as she too had an active toddler boy to run after along with a brand new baby.What I Liked:I actually loved this wrap! It's super comfortable with the soft jersey knit and really cute with the stylish support panel. (I had the pink sparrow one) Sophia always seemed very comfortable and secure in it and fell asleep quite often. I also really liked the fact that there was nothing between the two of us, she was resting right on my chest. And although it looked difficult to "wrap", I loved how easy it actually was. I can get it on in no time now!I also love the fact that other people can't be grabbing at Sophia all the time. The can see her face, but the rest is all covered up. And that makes for less germs all over my baby!!One more thing that's great, it covers up the post partum belly! I;m in that great phase where maternity clothes make you look huge and still pregnant, but regular clothes show off the not so tight tummy. Wearing the baby in this wrap takes care of that for me!As an added plus, they are all handmade by a mom, and I love to support handmade items! The quality of the fabric and the construction of the wrap itself is also fabulous! Sometimes you just don't know about handmade items, but it definitely did not look like I made it! (I am NOT a seamstress. I can fake it sometimes, but it shows!)What I didn't like so much:The only problem I have with it, I guess really isn't to much of an issue. But because it's so long, and the fact that I don't want to get it dirty, if I'm- let's say going to a grocery store, I have to wrap myself up before we leave cause I don't want to have to be wrapping myself up in the dirty parking lot. And because it's a stretchy fabric,[...]



Review : The Peanut Shell

2009-06-17T11:04:32.038-04:00

The Peanut Shell falls into the pouch style sling category and was the second carrier I've owned. (I didn't care for the Snugli much) I went online and bought this when Cody was about 7 months old or so. I was tired of never having my hands free when I went out and he was starting to make grocery shopping difficult as he hated sitting in the carseat in the cart, but couldn't quite sit up in it himself.

It was a lifesaver! I used the hip carry and it worked out quite well. I could finally make it through the store without any problems. For the next few months, this is how we went out anytime we were going to be outside or walking around at the mall, etc.

Now I've been using it with Sophia, and it's the first time I've been able to use the cradle carry. It worked very well for us, but I had to make sure she was situated just right or she wasn't to happy in there. And now at just over nine pounds she's a bit big for the size we have. I bought one based on the size I needed for a hip carry for a teeny kid. I think one size up would help our problem of her being squished.

What I loved:
It's easy to learn how to use and there is no learning curve. It's also small and very portable. Easy to toss in a diaper bag. It also has a nice padded edge on one side which is super nice for the hip carries as the fabric won't dig into baby's legs. The pocket on the front is super convenient for keys and some cash so you don't have to take a purse too. Plus the designs are super cute!!

What I didn't love:
After awhile my shoulder would tend to get a bit sore from the extra weight and the shoulder that had the sling on it had somewhat limited mobility as I couldn't raise my arm to high.

All in all:
I do like this sling and it still serves it's purpose as a quick carrier that is comfortable for shorter durations. (ex. the grocery store) It's also a nice one to get the baby to sleep in since I can pull it, and her, off over my head and then lay her down without waking her up.
(image) (at 5 weeks old)



Review : Temporal Scanner

2009-06-17T10:50:11.268-04:00

(image) ****The Giveaway is now closed!***
Going through my bathroom drawer the other day, I found 4 different thermometers. And old school "wait for 3 minutes" kind, one for the ear, one for the mouth, and one for the rear. (poor babies) The last three actually had dead batteries that I never bothered to replace because I hated how they worked. It always seemed that the temp they took just wasn't right, and it varied immensely. The ear one never really worked for my little kids even though that's what it was hyped up to do well, and the mouth/underarm one took to long to use on my active baby and even worse when he turned toddler.

So when MomFuse asked me to try out the Exergen Temporal Scanner, I was pumped!

This little scanner is actually pretty nifty! As soon as I got it, I pulled it out, quick read over the instructions, called Cody over, and proceeded to do it wrong. Read instructions again. "Oh! Hold the button while moving. Duh!" Tried again. Perfect.

All you have to do is hold it in the middle of the forehead, hold the button, and swipe to the hairline. It takes all of a few seconds and you have your temp. No more holding down little ones trying to get a decent reading! This really seems to be the all around great temp taker for a household. No more trying to keep rectal thermometers separate! One device can take the whole family's temps.

I really liked how easy this was to use. And one of my lucky readers will too! Because the nice folks at Exergen are letting me give one away! How cool is that right?

To Enter:
  • Leave a comment and let me know why you'd like it
  • bonus entry - tweet about this giveaway, come back and leave another comment to let me know
  • bonus entry - subscribe to my RSS feed, leave me yet another comment to let me know.

The rules:
You must have a U.S. address and leave your comments before 6:00am (est) Friday. That's a whole 48 hours from now!

Also, make sure if your e-mail is not in your blogger profile, that you leave it for me. You can't win if I can't get ahold of you!



Review : Lullaby Exercises

2009-06-17T10:49:00.828-04:00

A few months back I received Lullaby Exercises from Chicks and Chickens. And it sat on my shelf waiting for baby girl to be born. And then it sat some more as I recouped after birth. But this last week I was finally feeling like I needed to move. To get my dairy-aire in gear.You see, I don't talk about it much anymore since I don't have a lot of extra time on my hands, but I used to exercise a lot. Everyday as a matter of fact. But now - not so much. Even in the summer I'm lucky if we get out on a walk that's faster than toddler pace! So I was really interested to see what this DVD was all about.Lullably Exercises is a very light fitness routine meant for new moms. It features easy to do movements (dancing, swaying, stretching and relaxing) that are done while holding your little baby or having them in a carrier. Seemed like a great way to move around while putting baby to sleep!! And Darci, the "chief chick" came up with the idea after her first baby was born and she started dancing around the house to get him to sleep.But anyways, a couple days ago, I popped it in the player, put baby in the sling, and told the tot we were gonna exercise. For some reason he got all excited and started jumping around. And then was even more interested when he saw Darci come out and start talking with her little boy. (there's an intro where she explains the DVD and how it all got started. And then the exercising started. And he turned into this:Yea. I guess he thought we were watching a movie about chickens and/or babies. So for the first 5 minutes I had to move around him! Once he finally got up and figured out what was going on, he got bored and left me for his trains. About 3 songs in, I almost left too! While the movements don't seem like much, it sure tired me out! Guess it really is a great way to start getting back in shape after a baby!And I admit, I totally didn't do everything. But hey - she kept telling me not to! Which I was actually quite thankful for seeing as how I tend to do way more than I should to soon after birthing. I enjoyed the relaxing sleepy songs at the end immensely though. The music is beautiful and the movements are easy. The end result?Blogger: Raising Peanuts Reviews - Create PostThe idea behind this is fabulous! It allows a mom to get some much needed exercise all the while caring for her little babe at the same time. And hopefully, it'll help me lose those last few pounds! It also comes with a CD so that you can just play the music and move and groove all by yourself.[...]



My Review Disclaimer

2009-05-11T14:41:47.105-04:00

You may have noticed over the last few months I've been reviewing different products. Awhile back I started having companies contact me. I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to jump into this part of blogging. I didn't want it to cheapen my blogging. I didn't want it to look like I was only writing to get free stuff. I wanted to still write something of substance.

And then I got hooked up as a reviewer with MomFuse.com. And I started to enjoy being able to try out products that I'd either always wanted to try or things that not only I was interested in, but thought you all might be too. And I decided to go ahead and give reviewing a shot.

Now let me tell you, I will never compliment a product if I don't like it. I won't ever review a product that I feels goes against my way of living. (I've turned down several skin care and cleaning companies that use toxic ingredients)

What I will do is give you my honest opinion about a product that I've received. And I promise I won't overload my blog with reviews.

So yes, I am pimping out my blog. And I think I'm okay with that for now.



Review : Carrie's Kiddie Closet

2009-05-11T14:40:34.543-04:00

Birth Announcements.

Something every new mom sends out. (or in my case, still have to send out 5 weeks later!) So, really, they're something every new mom wants to send out! It used to be that you would just head to the store and pick out one of the half dozen designs they carry. The you'd have to fill out each and every card with all your babies info.

But now, what with this thing we call the internet, there are so many more choices! Just a swagbucks search will takes you days to look through! And with baby number two here, I was excited when MomFuse asked if I'd like to review some announcements from Carrie's Kiddie Closet.

I was actually amazed at the selection she carries and ended up picking a really cute pink and brown polka dot card. They came super fast and they look so cute! And it's always fun to see your new little baby's name in print! Now I just need to get them sent out........

Carrie also sent me a few note cards that are super cute as well. And just like the announcements, the quality is quite great. She also sells all sorts of invitations and cards. Oh, and the prices won't make your pass out from shock either!



Review : Laundry Detergent

2009-05-11T14:46:38.321-04:00

Seems fitting that I post a review for an eco product today, right? (And if you didn't know, today is Earth Day!)

I was recently sent Eco-Stores plant and mineral based Front Loader Laundry Powder. And while I have been happy with both the store bought natural stuff, and the homemade stuff I have, I like that this can be found at the grocery store I shop at most. Meijer. So many times I've run out and just want to pick it up while I'm getting my groceries. Because getting in and out of stores with a toddler isn't that much fun. And now we have the baby along too! So right from the start, this gets a big thumbs up from me.

Now this laundry powder does contain some chemicals, but they have left out the nasty ones I'm most concerned with; like petrochemicals, synthetic dyes and perfumes, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and chlorine.
Ingredients
  • Palm and coconut based non-ionic and anionic surfactants
  • Silicates and carbonates (simple mineral salts)
  • Citrates (from citrus)
  • Cellulose (plant based)
  • Sodium percarbonate (oxygen producing whitener)
  • Natural Lemon Verbena Oil
And does it work? Yup. It works quite well. I started a load of towels, then my clothes, and then Todd's work clothes. (and his work clothes get pretty nasty and greasy some days!) Each load came out cleaner than when it went in and I was pleased that the strong lemony smell didn't carry over that much after they were dried. Don't get me wrong, I love a good lemon scent! But when you sniff into the box, it seems a bit overwhelming. But it doesn't stay that way, so be rest assured people won't smell you coming before they see you!

And not only does this detergent keep some pretty crazy chemicals off our clothes (and our kids!) but the waste water from the wash is also a bit healthier for our planet!



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2009-05-11T14:42:51.477-04:00

(image) We recently had the chance to review some new kids music by MeeWee. And since I have quite the little singer/dancer I jumped at the chance.

Now MeeWee is touted as "fun, exciting, and uplifting Hip-Hop music for elementary school age children." And while my little guy isn't quite that old yet, he seemed to enjoy it quite a bit!

The music is fun, the lyrics are good, and it didn't drive me to crazy! Personally though, I wouldn't listen to this all by my lonesome, but it's great to have in the car when a certain little someone gets a bit to antsy. And lately he even asks to watch it. (yea, haven't been able to get him to figure out the difference between CD's and DVD's yet!) And much to his pleasure I usually oblige and we be-bop down the road in my awesome minivan. (you know you're a mom when......)

What I do like about this music though is that it'd different than the normal kid songs I've heard a million times over. It's also available through download at places like amazon and iTunes.



Review : Real Food for Mother and Baby

2009-05-11T14:45:20.756-04:00

(image) I've been a fan of the eating Real Foods movement for quite awhile now. So I was super excited to be able to review Nina Planck's new book "Real Food for Mother and Baby"! It's a brand new book and a must read for any woman of birthing age!

I've read multiple real foods/whole foods/traditional foods books, but never did any of them completely focus on mom and baby. From beginning to end, this book is chock full of useful information! She talks about how diet effects fertility and ways to increase your chances of conceiving. Then goes into diet and nutrition during pregnancy and nursing, and ends with baby's first foods.

I really can't say enough good things about this book! I truly wished I had read a book like this prior to my first pregnancy. And even for all the reading and research I've done on eating a real foods diet, I learned so much from this book. This truly is the best book I've read on nutrition for mom and baby and I'm lucky to have read it. Especially now that I have a new little baby!

All in all, you have to read this book!!!

And I actually have 2 copies to give away! (Nina's people are generous aren't they?!) But right now I'm deciding how to go about doing the giveaways, cause seriously, this is one of the awesome-est I've done. :-) So I'm thinking about it (have ideas for me - send them my way) and we'll get a giveaway going next Monday for you all.



DaBib is Da Bomb! *plus a giveaway*

2009-05-11T14:45:50.606-04:00

(image) We've used a lot of bibs in the 2 years since Cody was born. Some worked better than others, but this one from DaBib, I would have loved to use during those first feeding months!
This bib actually has a soft, scrunchy neck so food doesn't dribble down the chin and neck and stain the collars of all of baby's clothes. Along with that awesome feature, it also has a flip forward crumb catcher and super cute styles. Like real style. Not crazy bright kid colors or anything.

Now, I had them send me a pink one to check out since we'll be having a little girl here in a few short weeks. But I wanted to really test it our for you. So just don't tell my hubby I put a pink bib on our son!

I thought the coverage was nice, and the crumb catcher worked for those little spills, but the neck on it impressed me the most! And for only $12.99 these would make a great shower gift, or you could even add it to your own online universal wishlist!

And now to make this even cooler for you, Shea, the owner of Dabib, is going to be giving away one of these cool bibs to one of my lucky readers! You'll be able to choose one bib in the style of your choice!

To enter:
  • Just leave a comment here (make sure if you're e-mail isn't in your blogger profile you leave it, otherwise it'll disqualify you!)
This giveaway is open to all U.S. residents and a winner will be drawn via random.org on Friday March 27th at midnight.

**ALSO - to anyone who orders by the end of March you can enter the code MOM2009 to receive 20% off your order, and if you order 3 or more, you'll get free shipping too!!
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Review: the Christian Childbirth Handbook

2009-03-18T15:27:13.591-04:00

(image) Now that I'm on my second baby, soon to deliver, I can say that I've read a lot of books on birthing. A lot. Books that describe what happens, how it happens, when it'll happen. There are so many differing opinions on how a woman should labor. But the one thing that's been missing from them all, is how does the Bible say we should labor and birth? What are the spiritual aspects we should be focusing on?

I was lucky enough to come across the book "the Christian Childbirth Handbook" after Lindsey posted some of her favorite birthing books. What I really liked about this book is the fact that it's not only a book containing information, it includes a workbook for further reflection. It has journaling questions and ideas for spending time with God to discuss your birth. It also comes from an unbias medical/natural standpoint. While it gives ideas on how to help cope and deal with pain, it also gives the medical options as well, fully explaining the hows and whys behind it.

It's been nice to read a book written from a Scriptural standpoint and not new age theology! And this book seems to have all the bases covered as well, including topics that will help parents make wise birthing decisions, deal with the fear of labor and birthing, as well as prepare your heart with scripture.

This book has definitely been a great read!



Review: Maggie Maternity

2009-03-12T14:40:29.230-04:00

As most of you ladies who are, or have been, pregnant know, by the time you hit the 8-9 month mark, clothes just aren't as comfortable. Although, I love the whole being a stay at home mom this time around since I can wear my yoga pants all day if I want, but I still have to put up with the squeezing and pinching when going out in public. So I was super excited to be given the opportunity to review an article of clothing from Maggie Maternity!

(image) I decided to check out the Silhouette Skirt since summer is going to be upon us soon, and for the fact that they also advertise it can be worn post partum! Nothing better than getting more use out of clothing!

Upon opening it, I noticed how soft and flexible the fabric actually was. Not at all like any of my other maternity skirts. And as simple as it is (basic a-line cut) I figure it can be dressed up or down depending on where you're going. I decided to dress it up the next day for church. And was I ever glad I did! Seriously, that skirt is so comfortable I could actually sit through service without re-adjusting every 10 minutes. And normally I can't wait to get out of my dress clothes after a few hours, but I ended up wearing this skirt all day around the house as well. (and I may have taken a nap too!)

Now, anyone who's known me for any length of time also knows I'm all about saving money and not spending frivolously, so the price tag can be a bit to swallow. But, the thing I love about Maggie Maternity is that everything is so versatile and classic. Take the skirt for example, it's not super trendy, so I can wear it a few years down the road if we happen to be blessed with another baby, and I can pair it with just about any shirt I own instead of just one or two. This is definitely a staple piece for your closet. And as an added plus, the waist band on it is versatile as well (can be worn above or below the belly - and it stays put!), so I will definitely be wearing this baby post partum!

Maggie Maternity is also offering a 10% discount to my readers (including their sale items) until May 15! Just enter the code: BL2009T



Review: Kenneth Brown Nursery Collection

2009-03-03T10:50:41.227-05:00

I was recently asked by Mom Fuse to review a new set of bedding, by L.A. designer Kenneth Brown, that is going to be offered through Babies R Us. Personally this blessing couldn't have come at a better time for us! I'm about 6-8 weeks from having our little girl and the only bedding we currently own is blue and covered in trucks and trains! (Not that she would have noticed, but to have something a bit "softer" and "pinker" is great!)I was sent the 4 piece bedding set, and the luxury blanket to match, to the Lady Bug Paisley Collection to look over.First off, I have to admit, I'm not huge into pink. I think it's cute and all when a little girl wears it, but I didn't want the nursery to be so bright that it hurt my eyes either. (Which is why I had painted it green when my son came along a couple years ago. I figured if/when we had a girl I'd go pink and green) And a lot of bedding I see in the stores just screams "baby girl!" because of the pinkness. I wanted something a bit more muted, something that could grow with her a bit. So when I saw the colors of the new bedding set I about jumped for joy!! It's a soft girlie pink with cream and green tones as well. And the paisley pattern is baby sweet, but yet somehow sophisticated. (as an added plus for me, the green in the fabric matches the green on my walls beautifully!!)Being so excited to finally have some bedding for my little girl, I moved my son out of the nursery that week. (his new room had just been waiting for curtains, so I wasn't just kicking him to the curb!) So after I had him moved out, I got to work resetting the height of the crib. Which I forgot how much of a pain that was! An afternoon later.......I was finally placing the bedding in. And when Cody got to see it for the first time he ran in and exclaimed "Oh, wow!". And then of course he wanted in. It's so cute I don't blame him though! So he got to play around for a bit until it was all disheveled and I grabbed him out so I could make it look pretty again.Now...... I need to talk quality for a moment. Because it's so important. I mean, you buy bedding to last at least a couple/few years for one child and then hope to either use it again or possibly sell it when you're done. This bedding set, compared to the set we had for my son, is leaps and bounds better in that department! The stitching is strong and the fabric is of great quality. This set is also super plush and soft! Even after the first washing it didn't go flat like my other set did. The quilt is nice and thick and my son wouldn't stop laying on it! And I can't wait to wrap up my little babe in the super soft luxury blanket. Both the blankets also have a cute little pink ladybug in one of the corners.The bumper is also great in the aspect that it's reversible. One side has the paisley print with little ladybugs scattered throughout, and the other side has small flowers with a larger ladybug on one end to match the blankets. The one thing I did find slightly lacking in the bumper were the ties. To me they could have been just a touch longer as I had problems getting them tied around the crib rail corners. Other than that though, it's super cute!Along with the bedding, you also receive a workbook with ideas how to design your nursery. The feature I liked most about this were the samples of recommended paint colors. It sure makes it easier to color coordinate with this in hand! Especially since I plan on sewing a few things for the baby.All in all, I really like this bedding set! It's a great thing to put on your baby registry if you're havin[...]



Review: The Best Birth

2009-02-26T14:42:52.071-05:00

When pregnant with my first, we skipped the birthing classes. Kinda dumb I know, but hubby didn't want to go (silly classes!) and a friend told me how helpful the nurses were anyways. Well......I did not have such helpful nurses! In fact, they were less than helpful.So there I was, not really knowing what to do (I'd read some books, but it just wasn't the same as someone literally showing you! Plus my husband didn't read any of them) and the hubby was at a loss as well. I went in wanting a natural birth and ended up with an epidural. I just didn't know how to get through the pain.This time around I know it'll be different. For one, I've been through it before and I know to speak up for myself. Secondly, I just watched The Best Birth.I had actually rented a couple birthing videos before, but they were so old school. You know..... old. Think big hair, mustaches, bright colors, and large glasses. I knew watching just a few minutes of the movies that there was no way my husband would even consider watching them. Plus they were full of odd breathing patterns, and just, well.....very 1980's. I couldn't even get myself to watch them!This video is completely different though. It's done by Sarah McMoyler, a San Francisco labor and delivery nurse (for over 20 years), who has attended thousands of births and taught thousands more her McMoyler Method. What grabbed my attention was her saying"couple after couple arrive in the delivery room unprepared: moms were not coping with pain, partners were clueless about how to help, and neither was able to communicate and make decisions effectively with the healthcare team."Yup, that was us to a "T".This video was actually made recently! Like last year! So the people in the class are people you'd see walking down the street. And the medical terms they use are the same terms your doctor now uses!What I really liked about the video was her constant stressing that a womans body was made to give birth. Her body knows what to do, it's just her head that gets in the way! (But she also talks about medication and epidurals for those that decide to take them. In that aspect I really wish I had seen this the first time around as I did end up getting an epidural. She's very candid on what happens to the body and the baby once medication is introduced, as well as future medical intervention because of the epidural)The video starts out by having a section on the actual anatomy of giving birth. She shows what happens, why it happens, how long it takes, etc. Then moves on to the phases of delivery; early labor, active labor and transition. During the transition segment they do show a clip of a woman, going through a natural childbirth, to which every woman in the "class" started crying.My husband laughed at all the tears.I quickly turned and wiped mine away!She also gives some great coping techniques for dealing with the pain. And the fun part of the video was she had the guys doing all the "acting". Not only did this section help me out and prepare me to know what to do and how to cope, I think it also helped my husband realize what an important part of labor he was going to be. Because it's all about the support you get. Plus, I'm hoping maybe he'll remember certain techniques if I forget!The video also includes things like what to expect during a C-section in case one is medically necessary, different medical interventions that might take place, and of course a segment on medications.And of course the all important segment: Pushing is an Attitude. It was quite an inde[...]



Moms of the Revolution

2009-02-23T07:51:59.399-05:00

Are you a mom making a healthy difference in your community? Revolution Foods and Kiwi Magazine are looking for you!
Revolution Foods and KIWI Magazine have begun their "Moms of the Revolution Campaign". They are looking for those "hometown heroes" that are making a difference in their kids communities (big or small!) through healthy eating initiatives. Five moms will be chosen to be featured in Kiwi next fall, along with a free subscription to Kiwi Magazine, and they'll also win a years worth supply of lunchbox snacks (includes some nice organic options) from Revolution foods! One of these moms will even win $3,000.00 to help fund their own "Revolution".

So if you are, or know a mom who is, an advocate for healthy school lunch options, and is doing something about it, head on over to Kiwi and start nominating them!

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*Revolution Foods started out as a small business in Northern California, supplying hot, healthy meals to schools. They've now partnered with Nest and have expanded into snacks and foods for the lunchbox as well.

*and Kiwi is a magazine I think I might be interested in. They're all about "Growing Families the Natural and Organic Way."



Remi-D Hand Sanitizer

2009-02-23T07:23:50.494-05:00

Ahh....February and March. Nothing like the end of winter that brings about the cold and flu to more and more people. Because of this, I'm a big believer in hand sanitizers while we're out running errands. Although I stay away from the stuff with alcohol in it since I have a young toddler.

(image) I was recently sent some Remi-D to try out through my connections at Mom Fuse. Personally I love the spray feature. It's easy to apply and doesn't make your hands sticky at all. There's no real lasting smell, which is also nice as some of those gel sanitizers could clear your sinuses! As an added plus my hands didn't seem to dry out at all while I used it multiple times in one day.

Remi-D is also free of Triclosan and Parabens, both of which I am a fan of keeping out of my body. Although one of the ingredients listed on it is "fragrance", which can mean many things. It's the one thing about Remi-D that I'm not a huge fan of, I'd like to know exactly what's in it, but I do think this is a much better alternative to other, more conventional, products out there. And at this point, I would much rather use this than to get sick one more time during this pregnancy (currently at 32 weeks!).



BumGenius One-Size

2009-02-06T10:37:16.457-05:00

(image) After trying out the 3.0 AIO's and liking them, I decided to buy up a few more when I saw them go on sale. But, this time I went for the One Size dipes. If you aren't familiar with what a one size diaper is, it's basically a diaper that you can adjust so that it fits your baby from 8 pounds all the way up to 35 pounds. They have 3 sets of snaps on the front to set the size.

Personally I like these better than the 3.0's. Not only for the fact that these will fit our next baby all the way till potty training, but they seem a larger fit as well in the largest size. They also dry faster in the wash because they are stuffed diapers. Only downfall is you have to take the insert out when you wash and then stuff it back in when dry!

They fit my kid well (he's a little skinny thing) and we've had no issues with blowouts or anything. Although he is two, so those don't happen often as it is!

I haven't had any problems with these since I bought them about 6 months ago. Each dipe is only used probably twice a week which helps for wear and tear, but so far they've held up great.



BumGenius 3.0 All-In-Ones

2009-02-06T10:25:34.991-05:00

(image) I've been using these BumGenius All-In-Ones (AIO) for about about 8 months now on my 2 yr old. I had been thinking of getting into cloth diapering for awhile but since there were so many options, I just didn't know where to start. So after a bit of research I figured I'd try out some AIO's for convenience sake, just to dip my feet in the water a bit.

What I think about these: Pros
  • Quite absorbant. Although we've had a few leak through at night time when he drinks to much before bed. I'd say these run along the same lines as Luvs for absorbancy.
  • Easy to use velcro tabs. There are no covers to mess with and no stuffing soakers, as simple to put on as a disposable!
  • Clean up is fairly easy, most of the time I can just shake off any mess instead of doing the whole dunk and rinse.
  • They're cute! What can I say, a fabric covered bum is cuter than one covered by a disposable.
What I think: Cons
  • The velcro can be easy for little ones to pry off themselves, especially as the diapers age.
  • After I stripped these, due to a bacteria that wouldn't was out and was causing a rash, the velcro got worse and now curls a bit. I need to order replacement tabs to fix this.
  • They take awhile to dry in the dryer. I have a front load machine and it can still take upwards of 90 minutes for them to dry.
  • Bulkier than disposables. Although not enough so that it looks horrible or that the child has difficulty moving in them.
The only problem I've had with these was when I switched laundry detergents to a "free and clear" instead of the Seventh Generation detergent that I normally used. This caused some buildup, smell, and rashes.

To wash these I do a cold rinse, then run a longer hot cycle with a second hot rinse. Then I dry on hot.

Overall I do like these diapers, but wish the velcro had held up a bit better.