Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cloth Diapers 101: Top Ten Reasons to Try Cloth

Top Ten Reasons to Use Cloth Diapers

1. Fewer diaper rashes: It's easier to monitor how wet your baby's diaper is with cloth diapers, which leads to more diaper changing, and less chance of your baby sitting in their own urine for a prolonged period of time.

2. Huge Money Savings: The average baby is in diapers for three years or more. Buying a set of cloth diapers is initially a large outlay of money (there are ways to save on this) but you never have to buy diapers again- saving you thousands of dollars! In fact the average family saves $2,500 per child when using cloth diapers instead of disposables.

3. Better for the Environment: Disposable diapers contribute millions and millions of tons of waste to landfills every year. Switching to cloth is a great way to help the environment.

4. Fewer Leaks: Cloth diapers are much less likely to leak, especially in those first few months of life when diaper blowouts are almost inevitable!

5. Cloth Diapers are Durable: You can generally use cloth diapers for more than one child, which leads to even more money savings.

6. Easy to Use: The cloth diapers of yesteryear were ugly, complicated, and messy. New styles of diapers are extremely simple to use and take care of!

7. Less Chemical Exposure: Did you know disposable diapers contain chemicals that actually increase your baby's risk of a diaper rash? Using cloth is just another way to cut down on your child's exposure to hazardous chemicals, especially in the formative early years.

8. Easier Toilet Training: Babies who are diapered in cloth are often easier to toilet train because they are more aware of when they are wet then when diapered in superabsorbent disposables.

9. Using Cloth Diapers Reduces the Risk of Your Child Developing Asthma: The chemical fumes emitted from disposable diapers have been linked to an increase of asthma symptoms in babies and young children.

10. With all of the new cloth options on the market using cloth diapers is now as easy as using disposables!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

I Got an Award!

You love me! You really love me! Well Render Me Mama does and it is seriously special for her to nominate our little blog for the "A Blog With Substance" award. I am SO flattered! Anyways thee are some rules attached to the award so here goes. :)
•Thank the blogger who awarded it to you: Yep and please check out her amazing blog too!

Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using five (5) words1.Theraputic.




•Pass it on to 10 other blogs which you feel have real substance.

I have certain blogs that I visit every day and I love reading about their daily lives. They usually have a baby around my age or are expecting one and all of them are super special in their own unique way. Check them out for some great reading! (in no particular order)

1. a little king and I
2. Bluebird Vintage Offical Blog
3. Classic Ivory
4. Georgie Girl
6. It's a Wondeful Life
8. The Paper Mama
9. The Veiled Bump
10. The Southern Belle Baby

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Don't Forget to Enter the Seventh Generation Giveaway- Super Low Entries!

So far we've had only 72 entries for the Huge Seventh Generation giveaway, which means you have a very high chance of winning! Go here to enter now! Giveaway ends 9/3.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cloth Diaper 101

If you're anything like me you may have an interest in trying cloth diapers but don't want to invest a lot of money in something you're not sure is going to work for your baby and/or lifestyle. Since Jackson was born the idea of trying cloth diapers has been more and more interesting to me, especially considering how much we're spending on disposable diapers each month! Using cloth was something that never even occurred to us before he was born, but as I've delved deeper into the blogging world I've found more and more mama's who use cloth and love it. Plus, cloth diapers are definitely a LOT different than the diapers your parents used. So I decided to take the plunge and give cloth a fighting chance. I'm going to be posting a lot on the subject as I begin this adventure and I also hope to dispel a lot of myths along the way. Will cloth work for us? I don't know, but it will sure be an interesting experience! Some of the topics I'll be posting on include why to try cloth diapers, the different types of cloth diapers out there (and there are lots!), how to get started, and caring for cloth. I also have some super exciting sponsors lined up who are allowing me to do some amazing giveaways of different cloth diapers! So if you've ever considered cloth but aren't ready to commit, this blog series is for you! Let me know what other questions you have about cloth and I'll add them to my list of posts!

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ryan's weekly healthy living tip

Tip #3: Do what you like and like what you do

When it comes to exercise, most people have a negative reaction to just the thought of it. I think this is because we have a narrow view of what exercise really is. A lot of people think they have to join a gym or jog 5 miles a day to get healthy. I don't know about you, but I have belonged to several gyms and I HATE going to workout with 100 other people who mostly seem like they are there to judge me. (They're probably not, but I'm just insecure I guess). My point is, I don't like going to the gym or jogging for that matter. So guess what? I don't belong to a gym anymore and I don't go jogging and I get more exercise than I ever have before. Personally, I love variety, so I do P90X in my house and I love it!! But what about those of us that don't like working out at home? There are many options out there, the key is to find out what you enjoy. Why? Because if you enjoy it, you will keep doing it!! What a concept, huh? Well, what are our options? Here are just a few:
1. Walk your neighborhood. (Be sure to try walking briskly, enough to raise your heart rate).
2. Take a hike. I love taking the family out (when the weather is nice) and hiking one of our local trails.
3. Ride your bike.
4. Do push ups and sit ups during commercials while you watch TV
5. Swim
6. Play tag with your kids
7. Join a recreational sports team.
8. Take a dance class
9. Do Wii fit
I could go on forever, but the point is to do something that causes you to move enough to raise your heart rate. Ideally, you should incorporate some type of resistance training into your program, but at the very least get moving and have fun doing it!! Anything you do is better than doing nothing. Try working your way up to 30-60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity.
PS. I'm not saying that gyms are bad by any means, they're just not for me.

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Afternoon Errands

Running errands with a pit stop for Mexican food.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Bath Time

Trying out my new DSLR. No photo lessons yet, so they still look pretty similar to my point-and-shoot!

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

HUGE Review/Giveaway- Seventh Generation Cleaning Products!

I am SO excited to be reviewing these items for Seventh Generation! They are one of my favorite natural products companies for more than one reason. One of the main reasons I choose to use their products is because they are amazing! Not only are they extremely effective at cleaning but they are also non-toxic and not tested on animals. Since giving birth I have steadily become more aware of the effects of toxic cleaners on an infant's brand-new body and how simple it is to replace harsh cleaning products, with gentler all-natural ones. Here are some facts from the Seventh Generation website:

"Our focus is to inspire thoughtful consideration of each purchase—from the immediate impact of the products you buy (Is it safe? Is it gentle on the earth? Does it work?), to the broader impact throughout their lifecycle.

We believe that the best way to ensure that we live up to our aspirations is to be completely transparent about our business and product practices. You should expect to see all of our values and principles in everything we make, say, and do. It’s really that simple.

We’re committed to making sure that everyone our company interacts with—from the farmers who grow our lavender to the customers who use our products—are treated fairly and with respect.

We are determined to inspire others through innovation, education, and interaction. We proudly donate 10% of our profits to support organizations that work for positive change."

Seventh Generation sent me an extremely generous package of each one of their Free and Clear Products plus all of their amazing disinfecting products to test out and review. The products included:
Natural All Purpose Cleaner: This cleaner is perfect for all of the hard surfaces in your home and can even be used for wet mopping! It's also free of harsh fumes and hypo-allergenic.

Natural Glass and Surface Cleaner: This is the product you'll turn to for cleaning every reflective surface in your home including mirrors, windows, and chrome. The cleaner is also free of fumes, non-toxic, and biodegradable.

Natural 2X Concentrated Laundry Liquid: This laundry detergent is a unique combination of plant-derived cleaning agents and enzymes that are super effective cleaners. I love that I can use this liquid on my clothes as well as the baby's with no risk of skin irritation!

Natural Fabric Softener: Did you know most fabric softeners are made from animal fat? Gross! Seventh Generation uses canola oil instead which is just as effective without the ick factor! Definitely a must buy!

Natural Dish Liquid: This liquid is extremely effective while still being completely natural, plus the bottle is made from 90% recycled plastic!

Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Packets: I love that these packets are both chlorine and phosphate free and got my dishes sparkling clean! The pouches are also extremely convenient!

Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner: One of the things I worry about when using all-natural cleaners is their disinfecting powers. Not with this one! The Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner is just as effective as harsher bleach-based cleaners (kills 99.9% of germs) while still remaining safe to use around children and pets.

Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner: This is my go-to product for cleaning all of the baby's items including the highchair, toys, and stroller. Kills 99.9% of germs while still being safe!

Disinfecting Wipes: I absolutely love the convenience of these wipes! They are super-effective at cleaning hard surfaces while still retaining all of the qualities I love about Seventh Generation products!

Here are what I consider the best aspects of Seventh Generation products (not all products contain every one of these qualities):

  • non-toxic

  • fume free

  • hypoallergenic

  • not tested on animals

  • plant-based cleaners and enzymes

  • And the BEST part- they are just as effective at cleaning as the harsher alternatives out there!

Win It!!!
Enter to win a HUGE package of each one of each of the products listed above plus a roll of Seventh Generation recycled paper towels and a handy reusable shopping bag!
(please leave your email on each comment!)

Mandatory First Entry
Follow me through Google Friend Connect. (1 entry)

Extra Entries:
Go to the Seventh Generation website and pick out your favorite product. Leave me a comment with which one you like best. (1 entry)

Vote for us on Top Baby Blogs. (1 entry per day)

Like Seventh Generation on Facebook. (1 entry)

Follow Seventh Generation on Twitter. (1 entry)

Go to the Seventh Generation and check out their blog. Leave me a comment with the name of the blog post you found most interesting. (1 entry)

Contest runs from 8/25 to 9/3 at 8:00pm PST.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, but I was provided with products in which to base my review on. All opinions expressed are honestly mine.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One of my favorite. . . .

blogs is called Mila's Daydreams. Check out these gorgeous pics! She takes the pictures while her daughter is napping, using only items found around her house to style each pic. Talk about creative! And how beautiful is her daughter?

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Monday, August 23, 2010

And the Winner of the Woombie Swaddle is. . .

Gina at Ridiculom! Thanks for everyone who entered! Gina I'll be emailing you shortly to let you know what will happen next! Watch for my HUGE Seventh Generation giveaway coming soon!

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I Would Love to Win. . . .

this car seat!!

Check this baby out!

"The Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL car seats are convertible for rear-facing children 5 - 45 lbs and forward-facing children 20 - 80 lbs in a 5-point harness. With height-adjustable and aluminum-reinforced head support, steel alloy frame and protective EPS foam, the Radian XTSL car seat provides complete side impact protection. The Radian XTSL's low profile offers amazingly easy child boarding. In addition, with its unique patented design, the Radian XTSL car seat fits three-across in a mid-size car while providing more shoulder room for the child occupant. Memory foam padding and infant support pillows provide additional comfort. All this, and the Radian XTSL car seat folds flat for convenient travel and storage."

* Rear-facing: 5 - 45 lbs

* Forward-facing: 20 - 80 lbs (and up to 53") in a 5-point harness WOW!

* Steel alloy frame and aluminum reinforced sides

* SuperLATCH™ installation up to 80 lbs - no seat belt required

* Easy-Tite™ adjuster for quick and easy tightening, installs in 1 minute

* Adjustable head support, reinforced for complete side-impact safety

* Energy-absorbing EPS foam panels on all sides

* Safestop® energy-absorbing harness system

* Rubber bottom grips for no-slip installation

* 5 shoulder and 3 buckle positions for proper harness fit

* Fits 3-across in a mid-size vehicle and offers more shoulder space

* 3-in-1 infant/toddler full body support cushions

* Memory foam padding for superior comfort
* Folds flat for travel and storage, includes convenient carry strap
* Sits low on vehicle seat for easy child boarding

* Forward and rear facing tether system
* 2 recline positions in forward-facing mode

My favorite part:

This is one of the SAFEST SEATS on the market! It is made so slim that you can fit 3 across in a car and it folds and can be carried on your back. It is also approved for airline seats.

Want to win one too? Go here and enter!

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My New Toy

I am SO excited because I finally got a camera! As in a real camera. Check this baby out.

It's a Canon Rebel XSi and I can't tell you how thrilled I am to start using it. But before I can do that I need to take some hardcore photography lessons because a DSLR is quite a bit different than a regular old point-and-shoot. Which is why I signed up for a photography workshop with Maggie Holmes Photography. My friend Katie just took last sessions workshop and her photos are amazing. So amazing in fact that she opened her OWN photography studio. Check out Sweet Roses Studio here! Anyways I hope my own photos turn out half as good as hers. I'm not quite ambitious enough to go into business myself but I do hope to be able to take decent photos of Jackson one day!

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