Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guest Post: Stripping... Cloth Diapers ;)

This guest post is brought to you by Aly from Seventeen Sirens

If you're a cloth diapering mama, then you know (or should know) that you need to strip your cloth diapers once every 2-3 months for routine diaper maintenance. Stripping your cloth diapers gets rid of the extra build up that forms overtime that reduces the absorbency of your diapers. Most of the time this build-up (caused from using too much or too little detergent) may cause rashes, leaking, repelling, and FUNK!

There are several ways to strip your cloth diapers depending on the problem you are having with them. Here's the routine that works best for me: Wash Diapers, Strip Diapers. It is very important to strip CLEAN cloth diapers. If you strip dirty diapers, you won't really know if the process is working, and you will just ruin your diapers.

  1. Throw dirty diapers into the washer
  2. Run a cold rinse (no detergent)
  3. Run a Hot Wash (with detergent)
  4. Run a Cold Rinse
  5. Followed by another Cold Rinse
  1. Throw your diapers in the washer and add a few drops of Dawn liquid dish soap**.
  2. Run a hot wash (Your washer will be filled with a lot of bubbles).
  3. Keep running hot washes (or rinses) until there are no more bubbles (3 hot washes or so)
  4. Run a cold rinse.
  5. Hang your diapers to dry or tumble dry on low heat.

This process doesn't take me longer than 2-3 hours.

Other points to mention:
There are also several additives you can use in your hot wash when you strip your cloth diapers besides Dawn dish soap. Some people use BioKleen Bac-Out which is an odor and stain remover. Others use Baking Soda, Oxi Clean, or White Vinegar (helps with ammonia-smelling diapers).

I hope this helps! Good luck stripping your diapers!

**If you're using Dawn, a few drops goes a long way, don't over do-it! Dawn helps to remove the oily film my diapers have when they need to be stripped and help remove the extra minerals inside the inserts, too.

Connect with Aly on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter!


Mama-To-Be Gift Guide: My Baby Clothes Boutique Review & Giveaway Ends 10/12

Baby clothes are so adorable! With so much going on as an expectant mom, it's nice to have a one-stop shop with a great variety to choose from. At My Baby Clothes Boutique, you'll be able to dress your little ones in fashion forward, unique styles for those special moments in life at very affordable prices. 

 As much as I love all the organic pieces that My Baby Clothes Boutique offers, I was limited on how much my review product's value could be (I could've chosen a top or bottoms, not a whole outfit). I was also tempted to pick out one of their adorable baby hats! I finally decided on these super cute shoes for my new niece. They look like a little pair of Converse!
The Me in Mind "Charlie" Classic Canvas Pink and White Shoes are the perfect fashion statement for a little up and coming fashionista. These extremely lightweight shoes appropriate for growing, changing feet since the bottom is completely soft and flexible (you can fold the shoes in half!).

All too often little baby shoes fall off and sometimes you just never find them ever again, especially if it happens while you're out. But the heels of these shoes have been well designed with bunched elastic to help keep baby's foot from slipping out.The laces are also a gentle elastic, creating a snug, but comfortable fit. All the small details of these shoes are just DARLING! They are also made from vegan materials if that is a concern for you. Pair these with an adorable accessory like one of these baby headbands, or one of these tutus for a fabulously cute photo opportunity!

My Baby Clothes Boutique is constantly looking for the hottest trends in baby clothes and accessories for your little ones. Many of their items have a "boutique", high-fashion feel that is so much fun. One of my favorite features about this site is that they offer free shipping on every order, with no minimum or code required. I'm finding fewer and fewer quality sites that offer such a great deal on shipping these days. If I'm on the fence about a product, the shipping cost definitely helps sway my ultimate decision! You can search My Baby Clothes Boutique by boys or girls, accessory, age, style, or even by outfit.

The pregnant Mama-To-Be's perspective (my sister-in law!): offers a wide variety of products for both baby girls and boys.  Their website is easy and fun to shop!  The have wonderful customer care policies and really strive to keep their shoppers happy.  The products this company offers are very stylish yet practical. These sweet pink shoes are awesome, I can't for her to wear them! The are made of high quality materials, they're very fashionable and they feel like they will be comfortable for tiny feet.  Often shoes for newborns are stiff and unpractical but these are different and I really think we'll be able to use them regularly. offers far more than shoes so I highly encourage you check them out yourself!

Price: Me in Mind "Charlie" Classic Canvas Pink and White Shoes - $21.99

The Verdict: LOVE the shoes, and LOVE My Baby Clothes Boutique! You can't beat the great prices on quality, hip clothes and accessories for babies and the added bonus of free shipping certainly hits the ball home!

Buy It!
Check out for these adorable shoes and so much more!

Win It!
One winner will receive a $25 Gift Certificate to My Baby Clothes Boutique!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Importance of Bilingual Learning In Early Childhood Education

Submitted by Emily Patterson (@epatt1062) on behalf of Primrose Schools: The Leader in Educational Child Care.

When looking at recent trends in the job market, it is becoming quite clear that competition for spots that pay well above the average will continue to escalate as more people enter the labor force. Although the laws of supply and demand still ultimately drive this process, people are still trying to regulate this method to give everyone an equal chance. While this is laudable to a point, the very best preparation for any child to have is a good education. This can increase his/her chances significantly when hunting for a high paying job.

Bilingual Trends In The Future.

According to most studies, the society of the future will continue to diversify itself. Global trends continue to tick upward and there is no place more evident of this phenomenon than the United States of America. This country was founded on the basic principles of giving everyone an equal chance. Often referred to as a melting pot, immigrants have been forced to learn the language of the country -- English. This is not quite true in the largest cities though. Various segments of the population are growing quite rapidly and these include native speakers of Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese and Spanish. They represent a large chunk of the current wave of immigrants.

English has been the standard when doing business -- even on the international scale, but as China continues to show its industrial might, there is a current movement towards learning Mandarin as well.

Preparing Students For The Future.

Standard educational practices in the past have promoted the study of another language as early as middle school. Further research in this area has demonstrated children can absorb this teaching at early childhood centers. It is during the preschool years that learning another language is actually optimal. Children are more able to pick up multilingual teaching at this time. This is mainly due to the development of the brain. Although people have learned two or even three languages later in life, the neurological development during the early years makes it the best time to pick up another countries language. This has been demonstrated quite succinctly by Dr. Fred Genessee who has studies this practice at McGill University in Montreal Canada. He has found that children can pick up two or three languages as well as one. This postulate has actually been understood for several decades and is shown to be quite true in countries that have more than one official language.

When totally immersed in the proper environment, a child can quickly learn a second tongue. Even television shows have promoted this theory as Bart Simpson learns French when he is stuck there and forced to adapt to the native customs and cultures. Although this was only a television episode, the real fact is that young children who were placed with relatives in another country picked up on the native language rather quickly.

A good preschool program will offer this kind of immersion will allow your child the best opportunity to get started on a multilingual course. This small investment will only prepare him/her for a better job as the market becomes even more competitive. 

Disclosure: I received monetary compensation in return for posting this information. I only post relevant information that I feel may benefit my readers.

(Closed) Mama-To-Be Gift Guide: Aden + Anais Review & Giveaway Ends 10/11

Getting a new baby to sleep or calm down is much easier with a great swaddling product. Aden + Anais is one of those few companies out there that meet (and surpass) my expectations by offering high quality, durable, and large swaddle wraps. They have a full collection of beautiful swaddles, sleeping bags, bibs, burp cloths, blankets and a lots more for your precious bundle.

Aden + Anais came about as a solution to the founder's search for a large muslin swaddle blanket that she remembered from Australia. The perfect swaddles were just not available so she could use the traditional swaddling practices she knew. Thus, this fabulous company was born and the legacy of muslin together with fashion forward design has become this very stylish, yet useful product for moms. 

This is the Baby Cakes Swaddle 4-pack from the Classic Muslin Collection that I received. This pack of 100% cotton muslin swaddling wraps contain four super cute prints in pinks and browns: Cupcakes, circles, paisley, and fairies. What a beautiful presentation and perfect for gift-giving too!

This is the Baby Cakes Swaddle 4-pack from the Classic Muslin Collection that I received. This pack of 100% cotton muslin swaddling wraps contain four super cute prints in pinks and browns: Cupcakes, circles, paisley, and fairies. What a beautiful presentation and perfect for gift-giving too!

The Classic Muslin Collection features 100% natural cotton muslin swaddles that have a light, open weave, making them ideal for easy swaddling. It's very important to keep your baby from overheating (especially during sleep), and the breathability of the muslin really helps ease your mind (be sure to always dress your baby appropriately). They are 47" x 47" which means they are plenty large to swaddle even an older baby who still likes being swaddled. Far too many "swaddle" blankets so not even compare in size, quality, and style! Now, muslin is not the softest material (it actually feels a bit rough), but apparently it will get softer the more it's washed. This must be true since I know lots of parents who swear by their Aden + Anais swaddles!

The very large size of these swaddles is so generous and allows them to be a lot more than just swaddle blankets. They are also great as a nursing cover, a blanket for tummy time, a car seat/stroller cover, or just a simple blanket for warmth for babies to kids too. The possibilities are endless with a light and airy blanket like this, especially if your child is a sweaty kid like Buddy!

The Classic Muslin Collection has swaddle wraps in 4-packs, 2-packs, and single wraps, all in a variety of patterns and coordinating sets like this set that I received. You are going to LOVE the fun designs of these swaddles! It's so hard to choose a favorite. I also really like the clean and fresh look of Aden + Anais products. The primarily white backgrounds of their swaddles and other products really gives their brand memorable and gives them a unique appeal. They are certainly fashion-forward and will really add that extra bit of chic sophistication when out and about with your baby. My new niece is going to be stylin'!
Muslin swaddles from Aden + Anais also come in organic, cozy (double thickness), and bamboo. Be sure to check out each one to find the best one for you and your little one!

The pregnant Mama-To-Be's perspective (my sister-in law!):

This set of four swaddle blankets from Aden + Anais are going to be wonderful. As a new mom, there are many different things to worry about, the blankets from Aden & Anais help reduce this by providing a product made with breathable fabric. They have created large, muslin blankets in a variety of prints which decrease the risk of SIDS if the child's face is covered during the night. They have a wonderful reason why their blankets are made from muslin. As the story goes, growing up in Australia she was introduced to several traditional techniques, one of them being swaddling babies in large muslin wraps. She continues to describe how even the fussiest of babies were calmed and lulled to sleep after being wrapped in the material. I am excited to try this product out on my little one that is soon to come. I have been impressed with the quality and organization of their website, and their company as a whole.

Price: 4-pack of swaddle wraps from the Classic Muslin Collection - $49.95

The Verdict: What a fantastic company with a simply amazing line of muslin baby products! I love Aden + Anais' focus on building the bond between mother and baby through swaddling with muslin. Swaddling is a wonderful practice that really helps soothe most babies in that first part of life and I'm excited there are swaddles like this of such high quality!

Buy It!
Check out to buy your swaddle wraps today!

Win It!
One winner will receive a 4-pack of swaddle wraps from the Classic Muslin Collection
(print will be chosen by Aden + Anais from winner's top three print choices)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

(Closed) Mama-To-Be Gift Guide: Magic Cabin Review & Halloween Costume Giveaway! Ends 10/10

Magic Cabin makes it easy for parents to find appropriate, fun, safe products for every stage of your child's life. Imaginative play and make believe is important for every growing mind, and they seek to introduce your children to simple, more natural creative toys and accessories to help them thrive and explore. In addition to their awesome selection of toys, Magic Cabin also has a wonderful baby collection for your little one.

The Baby section at Magic Cabin is very easy to navigate, and has products categorized in such a way that you can quickly find what you what you are looking for. Need some ideas for that perfect baby gift? They also offer "collections" of Baby Gifts, Shower Gifts, and Top Rated Baby gifts to help you. Many baby accessories and layette are made of organic or natural fibers too which is great! 

I received this adorable Under the Nile Hooded Towel & Frog Pal Wash Cloth Set that can be found in the baby gifts section.
As a leader in the organic industry since 1998, Under the Nile has provided infants and children with beautiful, high quality, 100% handpicked Organic Egyptian Cotton products. They take great care in producing pesticide and chemical free toys, apparel, and accessories that truly exhibit their commitment to healthy, organic goods. As a family-oriented company, they also provide impoverished communities with work, allowing women to help their families and earn a better living.

This towel and wash cloth set are so adorable! Right off the bat, you know they are 100% organic and completely safe to wash and wrap your little one in. You'll have no new-parent anxiety or concern about using this product. I remember feeling that way when Buddy was born. I still prefer organic and natural fibers as much as possible and would have loved this set for Buddy as an infant.

The hooded towel measures 32" x 32" and has a green edge all the way around (to match the frog wash cloth!). It's a really nice size to keep a wet baby warm and fully covered. The woven cotton terry is thick and absorbent which is perfect for bath time. Thin towels always drove me nuts when shopping for baby accessories, but this one is the perfect weight! The frog pal wash cloth is very simple and fits any size hand inside. The terry cloth will gently wash baby while offering a extra bit of fun and silliness during bath time. This set comes to you nicely rolled and presented as shown at the right. There are also choose the duck or monkey set. Because each set is not the classic pink or blue you commonly find with other brands, any of them would be perfect for new parents who are not finding out the gender of their new baby.

The pregnant Mama-To-Be's perspective (my sister-in law!): 

Magic Cabin has a terrific website . . . it's as if it were designed for new moms! This company takes pride in offering the best products available for parents. I love the hooded towel and frog bath mitt from Under the Nile and I am super excited to try it out when my little bundle arrives. I'm trying my best to buy mostly organic accessories for my new baby, and this set is among my favorite. Magic Cabin company has a wonderful website and great products, I will be keeping them in mind when I need to make purchases for the baby in the future!

Connect with Magic Cabin on Facebook and Twitter!

The Verdict: Magic Cabin has a unique assortments of gifts, toys, and apparel that you won't ever find in the same place. I love that they partner with amazing brands like Under the Nile. It shows their commitment to selling only high quality products for our children.

Buy It!
Check out today!

Win It!
One winner will receive the My Little Night Owl Snuggle Sack and Cap Set (RV $39.98)! This adorable little Halloween costume fits ages newborn to 6 months.

*HOT* As low as $11 for $60 to for All Natural, Organic Products with Free Shipping Included! (New Customers Only)

Did you miss the last deal at Plum District? Don't miss this smokin' HOT deal again! (It's ONLY available to those who did NOT get the last deal a few weeks ago.)

Sorry guys, they just changed this deal a "Plum Steal" which means credits and promo codes cannot be applied to the purchase of this deal. $30 for $60 is still a great deal, and I'm glad a few of you were able to get the even lower price!

BUT, for new customers to Plum District, sign up and receive an automatic $5 credit, AND use code plumlove for 30% off (that's $9 off!)! That means you could score $60 to for only $16 as a new customer! BUT, If you scored the $10 credit to Plum District last week, this deal is only $11 for $60!

I LOVE! Stock up now on safe, healthy, natural, organic products for your whole family! Cloth diapers, food/snacks, skin care, and household items are just a few. I LOVE that I can get all my Plum Organic pouches and snacks, Melissa & Doug toys/puzzles, and Rockin' Green detergent at!

Founded to address the connection between the health of our children and the vitality of our environment, is an e-commerce site committed to providing parents with solutions for healthy living. ecomom does the research every mom would do if she had the unlimited time and resources, and only provides the healthiest products to go in, on and around your family.

Deal Details: (updated)

  • Valid for new customers only (not available for subscribers who have purchased the prior ecomom deal on Plum District)
  • Free Shipping on all orders
  • One voucher per order
  • May not be combined with other offers
  • Please wait 48 hours to redeem your offer
  • May not be applied to taxes & shipping
  • Limit 1 per person
  • Entire voucher amount must be used in 1 transaction
  • Plum Dollars may not be used to purchase this Plum Steal (Learn why >>)
  • You cannot earn Plum Dollars for referring this Plum Steal (Learn why >>)
  • Plum District promotional codes may not be used toward the purchase of this Plum Steal
  • Expires 02/06/12

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

    Guest Post: My PumpEase Changed My Outlook On Breastfeeding

    This guest post is brought to you by Jen from Life With Levi

    First things first – I need to let you know that I am a brand ambassador for PumpEase. Even if I wasn’t, I’d still be promoting them to all of my friends. I was a paying customer before I started working with them, and honestly, my PumpEase changed my life.

    Before you roll your eyes and think I’m exaggerating, let me explain. I exclusively pumped for my son for a full year. I’ve logged well over 9,000 hours with my breast pumps. That’s right, pumps as in plural. I’ve had 4 pumps during the time I was pumping for my son.

    I didn’t choose to be an exclusive pumping mom. I wanted to have a close nursing relationship like many other moms do. I wanted to bond with my baby over breastfeeding, but due to two breast abscess surgeries shortly after Levi was born, traditional nursing wasn’t an option for us.

    So I reluctantly turned to a breast pump so I could feed my son. Every time he ate, I’d pump to keep up my supply. Through the night, around the clock, I was a pumping machine.

    I was blessed with a great supply, I was able to donate milk on two occasions. The first time was kind of a happy accident -  I donated about 300 ounces to a local mom who was unable to breastfeed due to her own medical issues. The second time was during BlogHer with several other pumping moms.

    Ok, so what does all of this have to do with PumpEase?

    Simple. My PumpEase made pumping easier. Not just easier, but also kind of fun.

    I’ve been able to go places and do things I never would have imagined were possible while pumping.

    This is the photo that started it all – me getting ready to pump while shopping on Black Friday last year:

    Since then I’ve also pumped while driving (HUGE timesaver), while working out, and while mowing the lawn.

    I don’t pump in wacky places all the time. Normally I use my PumpEase to pump while blogging, while catching up on Twitter, or while reading a book.

    My PumpEase allowed me to look at pumping in a new light. Instead of a chore, suddenly pumping was a much-needed Facebook break at work. Or a chance to catch up on homework. It wasn’t just me sitting around feeling like a cow attached to a milking machine. My pumping time became ME TIME.

    I think any mom, breastfeeding or not, can relate to that.

    Jen is a boring business analyst by day, college student by night, and rockstar mommy ‘round the clock. She lives in MN with her husband Jason, her son Levi, and their 3 dogs – Bailey, Kahlua, and JD.

    You can find Jen over at Life With Levi, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    My Job Chart - The FREE Online Chore Chart & Reward System For Your Kids

    I remember as a young teen my mom would print out this basic, simple chore chart on white paper, and write in our chores for the day, or week (if she was feeling adventurous!). I also remember that this system was not very effective at keeping us focused, and excited to do our chores. The motivation was just not there for any of us as kids. As a blended family of 8 kids of very different ages, we desperately needed some sort of organization and order to keep our house clean and in order. Luckily, we all survived. I just wish it was a bit more pleasant!

    Kids are now growing up in a fascinating "digital age". A paper chore chart just isn't going to cut it anymore. Now we have a better way to communicate chores and tasks to our children. Created by a dad of 6 kids, My Job Chart was originally intended for his own children. This free program is clearly thought out, easy to navigate, and a very successful program for many families. In fact, 116,923 kids are currently using My Job Chart and hundreds more are added every day!

    With My Job Chart, parents assign chores to their kids in a motivating, fun manner by offering rewards or incentives that are tracked through this online program. Your kids earn points (values set by you) as they complete their chores, which can then be used to save, share and spend. This opens the door for valuable conversations with your children about financial fundamentals, work ethic, responsibility, and appropriate rewards for their hard work.

    Watch this short video about My Job Chart and learn a bit more about how it can help your family.

    Your kids will have a clear picture of what is expected of them by this style of online chore chart and what they can earn with their points. They are part of the process, and will see what is required of them to earn a specific reward they want. Parents can customize rewards and they don't have to be actual money or have any value. With access to charitable organizations and through My Chore Cart, sharing, saving and spending is all at your fingertips if you choose.

    Now that kids are back in school for a new year, help them stay focused and structured at home with My Job Chart!


    Disclosure: I received monetary compensation in return for posting this information and learning about My Job Chart through their website. These are my completely honest opinions above based on my own experience and may be different from yours.

    *HOT* 140 Free Labels from Vistaprint! Through 9/27 ONLY!

    HURRY! You can score 140 FREE Return Address Labels from Vistaprint, through midnight on 9/27 ONLY

    With over 7,000 of designs to choose from, these labels are extremely versatile and so much fun. These are also great as gift tags, toy labels, envelope seals, jar labels, box labels, and so much more! You are sure to find a design that suits your style or an upcoming occasion. Don't forget about Christmas! It's going to sneak up on you! Cross someone off your shopping list today! Unsure where to start? You can even sort by style or theme or search for a specific color or image!

    These labels are FREE through 9/27 ONLY - just pay the low shipping and processing of $3.03 - $3.83, depending on location! BUY NOW!



    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

    (Closed) Mama-To-Be Gift Guide: "Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering" by Kellys Wells! Review & Cloth Diaper Giveaway! Ends 10/9

    I'm so thrilled to share this must-have item for all new moms who plan to, or are interested in cloth diapering! Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering by Kelly Wels is a newly-released, comprehensive guide that discusses every aspect of this eco-friendly, reusable option. This beautiful little book was written by leading modern cloth diaper expert Kelly Wels, and is certainly great at dispelling the myths of cloth and eases the minds of parents who are looking into joining the modern cloth diaper movement. 

    I was so skeptical and scared of all the complexities there seemed to be when I first looked into cloth diapering over 1 1/2 years ago. As an experienced cloth diapering mama, I now know there doesn't need to be that fear or anxiety about it, and this book will surely get any parent in the right direction without having to search the internet for hours, days, and months like I did! I wish this book was available back then!

    I LOVE this book! My favorite chapter is actually Chapter 1: Why Choose Cloth Diapers? This seems to be the number one question I get from people who find out that I use cloth, so I've enjoyed reading more about Kelly's thoughts on this. She gives 5 reasons for why you should choose cloth, one of which is my #1 reason also: It's best for baby! This section even goes through what's in a disposable diaper, and breaks down the yucky chemicals inside. I'm so glad she includes this!

    In fact, I switched to cloth after a disposable diaper's "new" version gave my son a full-body rash for 3 days when he was about 15 months old. This horrifying experience brought the reality of the harsh chemicals used in disposable diapers to light, and my hubby (yes, I have my hubby to thank!) mentioned trying cloth diapers. I never in a million years would have thought that cloth could be fun, and come with such a wonderful cloth diapering community that has such a beautiful camaraderie full of helpful advice and support when you need it. It's truly amazing.

    I also really enjoyed Chapter 2 which covers the basics "cloth diaper talk". At the beginning of my cloth journey, I wanted to run in the other direction many times just because there is SO much information out there about cloth diapering. The terms are confusing, there are so many styles, brands, and materials to consider, and the overwhelming task of it all could potentially discourage any parent. Kelly does an especially amazing job at covering all the ins and outs of every style of cloth diaper, with illustrations included. The basics no longer have to be confusing! You can begin to easily understand everything you need to know about accessories and different materials in this chapter too. Kelly has made this all so easy!

    Changing Diapers has random facts, quotes, and testimonials from moms throughout the book. It makes the entire book a very easy read, and makes it fun. I'm not a book-reader (although I wish I were!), BUT, this book is absolutely enjoyable. It also includes tips, tricks, and advice for going back to work, cloth diapers and daycare, and cloth diapering multiples. Learn how to even wash your cloth diapers properly, and learn how to troubleshoot issues like build-up, ammonia smells, and leaking diapers. There's even a whole chapter dedicated to dads and diapers, and some words of wisdom from dads who love cloth too. I'm so glad my hubby didn't need convincing though! :)

    The pregnant Mama-To-Be's perspective (my sister-in law!): 

    We are fortunate now a days to have so many options in cloth diapering but to the new mom it can be a little overwhelming.  With the book Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering, you can figure out just what you'll need to start yet another new adventure.  This book teaches you all you'll need to know about cloth diapering. From the new language you'll need to learn to the best way of treating stinky diapers. I know this will be a go-to in the future when our cloth diapering adventure begins in about a month and I am truly thankful to have it. I recommend this to any parent who is interested in cloth diapering. It will help a lot!

    Price: $17.95 (totally worth it!), BUT, get 50% off with code REYNOLD at checkout through the link below! Code expires October 22, 2011. 

    The Verdict:
    This is the PERFECT gift to educate and help moms who are unsure of cloth diapering for any number of reasons that do, and will occur. It includes every aspect of cloth diapering you could imagine! From the ins and outs of cloth diapering, to the benefits to your wallet and the planet. As a proud cloth diapering mom, I LOVE and adore this book too!

    Buy It!

    Buy Changing Diapers today!
    Use code REYNOLD for 50% off through October 22nd!

    Win It!
    One winner will receive their choice of a OS Fuzzibunz diaper OR a OS Rumparooz diaper (Winner can choose brand, but not color)! The winner will also receive an eco-friendly temporary tattoo that says, "I’m a Hip Mom and Love Cloth Diapers"!

    (Closed) Mama-To-Be Gift Guide: Undercover Mama Review & Giveaway Ends 10/9

    Nursing an newborn is a challenging feat, but well worth the benefits to stick through the trials and come out with a successful breastfeeding relationship. With accessories that make nursing easier, and FUN, you'll set yourself up for a better chance at success. The Undercover Mama shirt is a fabulous way to easily enter into Motherhood as a breastfeeding mama. You'll want to check this shirt out!
    One of the hardest parts of nursing Buddy was figuring out nursing clothing. Who wants to invest in a whole new wardrobe during this short time in your life? It's so expensive! Not to mention your changing shape and need for comfortable clothing. With an Undercover Mama, you can turn any shirt into a nursing shirt. It's so nice to be able to keep your stomach and back completely covered while nursing. Only your breast will be exposed during nursing sessions!

    So, how exactly does this work?  Here's a quick overview from Undercover Mama:

    The Undercover Mama has NO straps and it's tagless for optimal comfort. It's a tank top but almost resembles a tube top. However, it's curved in the front to give you a small scoop neck shape. Instead of piling on more straps in addition to your bra straps, you have a hook or ring that attaches directly to your bra. If you are wearing a nursing bra, you will just pull down your bra flap to feed your baby and the attached Undercover Mama shirt will come down with it. You can easily do this with one hand, and only one "un-hooking" is necessary. Just wear your regular shirts over the Undercover Mama, and lift your top to open your nursing bra. Your stomach and back are covered! Your life just got a whole lot easier!
    You can also use the Undercover Mama with a regular bra. Just hook the Undercover Mama to your bra strap, right above the bra cup. The hook easily slides on and off, and resembles the hooks commonly used for swimwear tops. The tank lays nicely across your bust, without showing too much, and also without being too high. It's the perfect undershirt!
    Because the Undercover Mama works with ANY bra, this means it's not exclusively for your breastfeeding days and can be worn for ANY time, nursing or not. This is SO worth investing in a bunch of Undercover Mama tanks. They are 95% cotton and 5% Spandex, which means the touch of stretchiness will be great for your changing shape, and they wash like a dream. I also love how long they are! They fit snugly, and hit just about at my hips. Since I'm tall (5' 7"), I often have issues with shirts being too short. The Undercover Mama works underneath any shirt and lets you pull out tops that were previously too short so you can wear them again. There are 7 great colors available, and sizes range from X-Small to XX-Large.

    The pregnant Mama-To-Be's perspective (my sister-in law!): 

    Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to bond with your baby and it ensures that their little bellies are getting just what they need, but it can be a tricky task in public. Undercover Mama has made a fabulous invention for nursing mothers and I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to try it.  They have designed an undershirt that virtually turns any regular shirt into a nursing shirt.  Nursing bras, shirts, undershirts . . . the price can really add up but if you have this ingenious undershirt as part of your wardrobe it can save you money!  The fit is just right, it seems to be well made, and it's nice and long. I am looking forward to trying it out when my baby arrives!

    Price: Available for $24.99 each, in 7 colors.

    The Verdict:
    Trust me, these are perfect for any woman, nursing or not! These will save you money since you won't need to buy a ton of nursing clothes. You'll want an Undercover Mama in every color!

    Buy It!
    Check out or use the store locator!

    Win It!
    One winner will receive their own Undercover Mama!

    Urbanwalls & Rafflecopter Round Up Winners!

    The winner of the Urbanwalls giveaway is...

    Rafflecopter Entry #585, Pauline!

    The winner of the Rafflecopter Round Up Event -
    Alchemilla Exfoliating Face Wash Cream giveaway is...

    Rafflecopter Entry #332, Stephanie M!

    Congratulations to you both! You have 48 hours to respond to winner's email I sent you, or I will draw a new winner.


    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    (Closed) Mama-To-Be Gift Guide: For Your Bug-a-Boo Review & Giveaway Ends 10/8

    I have a slight obsession with browsing products from a few of my favorite online shops. One of those is For Your Bug-a-Boo. You all know by now that I prefer natural and organic products for babies and children as much as possible. Well, owner Cheri is the same way. She's done her research so you don't have to. The products she carries is a testament to her commitment to bringing you only the best natural and organic products for your precious children. As a mom herself, she understands the concerns of other mamas like myself, and wants to provide you with healthier alternatives for your family.

    Cheri sent me a 12-pack of Imse Vimse cloth wipes, and a bar of organic soap from Noli n Nali.

    Cloth wipes are a necessity and can be used for so many tasks. From wiping baby gums and faces to wiping bottoms or using as a wash cloth in the bath, they are a multi-use baby item that will certainly get used, and used well. So, you need a quality set of cloth wipes that will withstand anything.
    The Imse Vimse Organic Cotton Flannelette Cloth Wipes are definitely the kind of cloth wipe you will want and need as a new parent. Their large 8.5 x 8.5 inch size is very generous, they are made from organic cotton, and they are super soft. They also feature rounded corners, and serged edges in red, green and neutral (4 of each color). These are easy to grasp and hold in your hand, and the thickness is perfect. Not too thick, and not too thin. The quality is impeccable and I'm excited to finally experience this brand that I've heard so many great things about. For Your Bug-a-Boo also carries a variety of Imse Vimse products including receiving blankets, bibs, nursing pads, cloth diapers and cloth diapering accessories.

    I can't stress enough the importance of using only safe, chemical-free, bath, body, and skin products, especially on our children's skin. So many products out there are full of harsh chemicals. But the Noli n Nali's Soothing Baby Wash Bar - Unscented soap is completely 100% Certified Organic, with no artificial fragrances or ingredients, no detergents, no sulphates, no parabens, no petro-chemicals, no GMOs, and no animal testing at all. With ingredients like organic aloe, oatmeal and olive oil, this white, creamy bar is perfect for sensitive skin. The Rosemary extract gives a this bar a wonderful scent that is even tolerable by someone with a sensitive nose like me. I really love the light scent of it. Sensitive skin or not, this soap is safe, healthy, nourishing, and soothing for your baby's skin and is great for use by the whole family. 

    Be sure to check out For Your Bug-a-Boo for all your organic and natural baby necessities. You'll find a great assortment of blankets, cloth diapers, toys, bath care, feeding gear and gift sets. Any new mom with love you for shopping at For Your Bug-a-Boo for her new little bundle!

    The pregnant Mama-To-Be's perspective (my sister-in law!): 

    With the addition of a new baby it can be guaranteed that there will be messes to wipe up and extra to clean. The products I received from For Your Bug-a-Boo are ideal for those messy situations and even cloth diapering. The organic washable wipes will come in handy for many things. I have divided up the set of 12 into three: one for the kitchen, one for the bathroom and one for her room, because you never know when you will need 'em with a new baby! I am really happy with texture, the cotton is very soft and organic. It is an added bonus to know that the products being used on your baby haven't been treated with harsh chemicals which might still have residue on them!  I also received an amazing organic bar soap which is unscented to ensure the ingredients used are free from chemicals that could possibly irritate a baby's sensitive skin. I am excited to use these products, and would even like my husband to try the bar soap since he tends to have very sensitive skin. For Your Bug-a-Boo is has an A+ in my book.

    Price: Imse Vimse Organic Cotton Flannelette Cloth Wipes (12-pack) - $11.95, Noli n Nali's Soothing Baby Wash Bar - Unscented Soap - $6.75

    The Verdict:
    I really love For Your Bug-a-Boo. Cheri's shop doesn't compare to any other natural and organic baby-focused online shop out there. Her inventory proves her commitment to only the best of the best natural and organic, and TRUELY pure, safe products for your babies and young children.

    Buy It!
    Check out today for these products and so much more!

    Win It!
    One winner will receive a $30 Gift Certificate to For Your Bug-a-Boo!

    Guest Post: Cloth Diapers On The Cheap

    This guest post is brought to you by Cristina from Tailor Made Momma

    So you are going to do it!  You are going to use cloth diapers!

    But wait a minute!  $21 for a diaper!  If I change my baby 10 times a day and I do laundry every other day that is $420 just for diapers!!  Not to mention wetbags, pails, etc!!! 

    Now what do I do? 

    Well we are here to show you that cloth diapering on a budget is possible! 

    Cloth Diapering for Under $100 
    -3 Wet Bags with Draw Strings from your local dollar store: $3.00
    -Set of 2 Snappi clips - $4.50 
    Total Cost - $96.40 

    Ok so maybe flats and covers aren't for you. You can spend just a little more and get something a little more “daddy/sitter” friendly. 

    Cloth Diapering for Under $200 
    -3 Wet Bags with Draw Strings from you local dollar store - $3
    Total Cost - $173.78 

    Additional Costs saving Tips 

    -Buy from sites that have rewards programs.  Get “credit” for all your fluffy purchases.
    -Enter all the giveaways that you can! There are lots of GREAT bloggers who have lots of diapers they want to giveaway to you!!
    -Look for hand-me-downs.  Sites like Diaper Swappers can be a GREAT place to find used diapers in great condition.
    -Buy OS as opposed to sized diapers.  They won't be as trim but you will save TONS!
    -Don't forget that you can SELL SELL SELL your used diapers when you are done with them!  Take care of your diapers and you can get a good chunk of you money back when you are done with them!
    -If you aren't sure about using cloth, there are lots of companies that offer trial programs.  Look one up and make sure you like what you are getting into.

    Post written by Cristina of Tailor Made Momma.  I'm a Cloth Diapering, Breastfeeding momma of Three AMAZING little boys!  Find me on twitter and facebook!

    Tailor Made Momma

    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    (Closed) Mama-To-Be Gift Guide: Dandelion Earth Friendly Goods Review & Giveaway Ends 10/7

    Dandelion, Earth-Friendly Goods is a family-owned company that offers eco-conscious parents a beautiful line of fun toys, natural tableware, organic layette, and developmental activities for babies and young children. Made from organic and natural materials, these eco-friendly essentials will let your little ones explore and provide a safe alternative to the many unsafe toys on the market today.

    Dandelion not only cares about your baby and the environment, they are also quite philanthropic and involved with various organizations. They make contributions to a number of organizations like 1% For The Planet, and Feeding America. They are also proud members of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), the Natural Products Association (NPA), and the Organic Trade Association (OTA). The OTA's mission is to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy. It is so important to get the word out and keep the organic industry thriving! I just went from loving Dandelion to LOVING Dandelion times a million!

    On to the review! Dandelion generously sent me 3 of their products to check out. Among them are the Bear Hand Puppet, Teether Keys, and the Classic Stacker. Totally cute, right?

    The Bear Hand Puppet is absolutely adorable! This 9-inch tall puppet fits your hand nicely and you can easily move the arms of the bear with your fingers. It's super soft and cuddly, and great for interacting with your babies and young children. The material is a silky smooth 85% viscose from Bamboo, and 15% polyester. The bear's head is filled with natural corn fiber.

    The Teether Keys are certainly a must-have. Babies LOVE to play with real keys, but I don't even want to begin to think of all the bacteria and germs that are covering them. And then they put them in their mouth! The hard plastic-y feeling keys are actually made from cornstarch bioplastic. This material has no BPA, no phthalates, no PVCs, and no lead! Since it's a safe, renewable, sustainable resource, it only seems natural for a company like Dandelion to use it. The keys are bright, attractive colors for young babies, and have a lot of texture to occupy your baby and their mouth (because we all know that's where they'll end up!). They also make a nice sound when you shake them.
    The Classic Stacker is an excellent choice for every parent. Motor and sensory skills are put into practice with all the textures and sounds this toy offers. The four rings have crinkle, squeak & rattle sounds. The material is all organic cotton, and are so luxuriously soft like the hand puppet. The inside is stuffed with soft corn fiber. What I like about this version of the classic plastic ring stacker is that it's all soft. Even the base is completely collapsible and won't potentially injure your baby should they choose to put any part in their mouth. And they will. Buddy did this (and still probably would) with the plastic base we had. I was always so worried that he would fall and jam it far into his mouth. Oh gosh, I can't imagine how horrible it could have been! Needless to say, we had to get rid of it. If I had known about this soft, organic option 2 years ago, I would have snatched one up in a heartbeat!

    Dandelion is a wonderful company. I love their entire cute and cuddly collection, and I really appreciate their concern for our children. It really shows in the quality and craftsmanship of their products, and their choice of materials.

    The pregnant Mama-To-Be's perspective (my sister-in law!):

    I was so thrilled to have the opportunity from Dandelion to choose a few items for my soon to be daughter. I am very aware of what she will be putting in and on her body and this company boasts natural ingredients in several of their products. This can be seen in the teether keys made of cornstarch bioplastic which has no BPA, no phthalates and no PVC!  I cant wait for my little one to try these out!

    Next was a sweet green little bear puppet that fits and feels great. Puppets are a brilliant way to establish eye contact, bonding, language development and interaction with children and being a mom concerned with proper development I cant wait to use it! Another great product they have for the developing child is their classic stacker, this comes equipped with several different sizes and textures all great for babies.

    This company's products are high quality and developmentally appropriate for infants.

    Price: Bear Hand Puppet - $19.99, Teether Keys - $7.99, Classic Stacker - $34.99

    The Verdict: Dandelion is a fantastic choice if you are concerned about the toys your baby is playing with.
    I feel so at ease when Buddy is playing with a toy I know is safe. As a new parent you have enough to worry about so I'm excited that my new niece will be able to play without my sister-in-law worrying about what she's grabbing and gnawing on!

    Buy It!
    Check out or use their store locator for a retailer near you!

    Win It!
    One winner will receive one Organic Developmental Toy of their choice! (choose from the 6 shown below)