Read Them to Sleep- Giveaway!


Recent trip to my grandparent’s farm this is how Jax and Vay fell asleep when I was reading to them.

We use to have a hard time at bedtime.  The boys would talk and keep each other up or get out of bed to play, they’d use the bathroom several times, complain that they were hungry, anything they could not to sleep.  My daughter won’t go to sleep by herself even though she sleeps in the same room as her brothers(for now).  We use to get frustrated and bedtime was a stressful time.  Then we decided to implement a bedtime routine.  When it’s bedtime we have them brush their teeth and get jammies on and then we ask four basic questions:

  • Are you hungry?
  • Do you need to go pee?
  • Do you need to go poo?
  • Do you have your water bottle?

Hp7Then we head up to their room.  We read our science and any school literature, then we do our Bible story readings(we have 3 different age levels we read too for Bible), then we say our prayers.  We finish the routine by reading a novel.  We started with The Magic Tree House Series, read some My Book House, and Grimm’s Tales, then the first few Harry Potter books, followed that with the complete Little House on the Prairie series, and now we are about to get back to finish the Harry Potter series.  My boys love for me to read to them, and my daughter gently drifts off to sleep listening to her mama’s voice.  It’s a very calm way to end the day.  We all enjoy the reading and it winds things down nicely.  Plus it’s enriching my children and giving them a love of literature.

The Giveaway!

In honor of the upcoming Summer Reading programs at our local libraries I want to share the reading love! I will be giving away a Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows to 1 lucky winner!  We were gifted some extra copies and we want to share! I’ll be mailing the book so you can live anywhere in the continental US to participate!


Subscribe to Win: Amber Teething Necklace

Post Comment Below to Win:
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows

Share with us in a comment below: the age of your child/children, and what literature you have been reading to your child to enter to win: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows! 1 winner will be picked at random and announced on my blog and facebook page. Thank you for participating and sharing with us!

Busy Bags- Giveaway! (Closed)

Everyone wants to know… What is a busy bag? A busy bag is a gallon size plastic bag(or some other container) that holds an activity with instructions for how to do the activity. These activities are usually appropriate for ages 18 months-5 years. You can do them for older children as well. These activities usually do not require mom’s involvement or supervision. It’s an activity that will stimulate the child and keep them busy for a time. There are SO many wonderful ideas out there and there are Busy Bag Swaps popping up all over the country! A swap is where a bunch of mamas make busy bags and then swap them. So for instance I’m making 10 bags with a felt ice cream pattern activity in them. I will be taking these ten bags to a swap on 2/12/13 and giving nine of them away in exchange for nine unique and different activities. So my daughters will have ten different busy bags to try out!

Busy bags can focus on fine motor skills, learning shapes, colors, numbers, letters, matching upper and lower case, counting, to beginning reading, or just for fun.  Ideas range from play-dough, to dress up dolls, to matching word colors to paint colors.  The options are endless.  Think about how much fun our toddlers have after the presents have been opened on Christmas just playing with all the boxes that gifts were in.  Children don’t need a lot to keep them interested.  Just something different that catches their attention.

Interested in Busy Bags?  Host a swap in your area of town!

How to host a busy bag swap-

Pick a Location:  Check with your church, library, or wait for warm weather and go to the park!  Find a location that works for lots of little kids and have access to drinking water and bathrooms.  OR keep it small and have a moms night in and host it at your house!  I’m hosting my first swap at my church.  Late spring I hope to host one at a local park.  And in the heat of the summer I’m think a mom’s night in would be really nice.  😉

Rules and Restrictions:  Decide the top number of people that can be in a group.  I put a cap of ten people per group.  That means that one mom makes the same activity for her bags for ten people.  Which will include herself.  So far we have six groups in our swap.  That’s 60 unique busy bags!  For five of the groups I asked for no duplicate activities.  The sixth group we’ve had several duplicate activities.  That way if the same person signs up for two groups then they won’t have duplicate activities.  You can also decide if you are going to put age restrictions on the groups.  As my kids and the people I know mostly have multiple children I didn’t put an age range restriction.

Who to invite:  One of the great things about social media is how easy it is to connect with other mamas.  First create a facebook event with all the location and time details as well as instructions for what to do.  Then post a link on your facebook profile and invite people to your event.  I also posted on forums that I participate in.  My local homeschool group, parenting group, church group, etc.  Let the moms know if the event is kid friendly or mamas only.  Of course nursing, lap babies are always welcome.  Edit the details of the event to show what activities the moms in each group are making.  You can also keep this list on your blog like I did.  Just somewhere public and try to keep it up to date.

Activity Instructions:  Give instructions for what the activities need to include.  I asked that the activity be placed in a  gallon plastic bag with the group number, the creators name, and the name of the person it’s going to.  Also if the activity requires instructions(for mom) that those be placed inside the bag as well.  If there were a age restriction that could be written on the bag as well.

At the Swap: Setup tables or spread out blankets and place numbers for each group with the names of the people in the group listed on the same page.  I asked each participant to bring a box/basket/tote with their name on it so that it can be placed on that groups table.  I’m in five groups so I will need five boxes with my name on them to place on each group table that I’m participating in.  Then moms mingle, and kids play while we hang out and wait for everyone to show up.  The swap I’m hosting is at noon and we are bringing a sack lunch.  So we will stay and have lunch, see our busy bags, and play with friends.

Be Prepared:  Sometimes moms want to participate and can’t make it to the event.  Be flexible and try to figure out how to underground the exchange.  I’m meeting one mom at homeschool day at our local CoCo Keys indoor water park to get her bags and meeting another mom at my local La Leche League to give her her bags.  Neither activity is out of my way and more mamas are getting to participate.  Hopefully no one is sick or otherwise unable to make the swap but if they miss it, and they didn’t get their bags to me before hand, then the moms at the swap will have extra to swap with each other.  It’s too complicated to try to get the bags to everyone afterward if something wasn’t setup before hand.  Make sure your moms know that this will happen if they miss the swap.  It’s also a good idea to mention if the moms want to make extra to swap outside of a group.

The Giveaway!

In honor of the Busy Bag Swap that I am hosting in Lee’s Summit on February 12th, 2013 I want to share the Busy Bag love!  I will be giving away a busy bag to 3 lucky winners!  I’ll not sure what the bags will be yet.  Probably some from the five activities I’m making for the Feb swap.  I’ll be mailing them so you can live anywhere in the continental US to participate!  My last giveaway winner lived in Michigan!

Subscribe to Win: Amber Teething Necklace

Post Comment Below to Win: Busy Bag

Share with us in a comment below: the age of your child/children, and activities that you have them do to keep them busy while you homeschool/clean/work to enter to win: a Busy Bag!  3 winners will be picked at random and announced March 1st. Thank you for participating and sharing with us!

5/3/13  And the random winners of the Busy Bags are… Coree, Amber, & Nannette!  Thank you to everyone who contributed by sharing with us!

Also this month’s random subscriber winner of the Amber Teething Necklace is… jjbretches!  Congrats and thank you for subscribing to my blog!

Teaching Writing at Home- Giveaway! (Closed)

Teaching your children to learn to write can be one of the most intimidating subjects of learning.  Where do you start?  How do you progress?  What if you miss something?  My oldest child is in 2nd grade and so I will only speak up to where we are now and my plans for the future.

At the age of 3 my daughter Ty proudly sings her ABC’s each day to show us how smart she is.  She can recite how to spell her name and she can recognize it on paper.  I have started the first four phonograms with her o, c, a, d but she has not memorized them.  She merely repeats them after I say them and I haven’t pressured her.  She traces over the alphabet with dry erase markers as well. We are doing the Letter of the Week program with her and exploring the alphabet.  She really enjoys the activities and being a part of school.

My son Jax is in kindergarten and we have been working on phonics since last year.  He has the sounds of the basic alphabet memorized and we are working through the remaining phonograms.  When I introduced the sounds of each letter I taught him the correct way to write each letter.  We use what is called the circle space and stations to help form the letters.  He is working through I Can Write-Manuscript and we are focusing on proper positioning of pencil, paper, and posture as well. Once his penmanship is established we will move on to the writing curriculum.

My son Z is in 2nd grade this year but we got behind lessons(mom’s fault) last year so we are doubling up on our writing lessons to complete our 1st grade book as well as our 2nd grade book.  We use the Writing With Ease curriculum which has prepared lessons for each day making this subject super easy at our house.  It’s a quick exercise as well, so writing is not a subject where I’m pulling teeth.  Basically I read different passages to him and he either copies a sentence, or dictates a sentence to me which I write down and then he copies.  During our writing lessons I sit and watch him form each letter and correct any errors in formation.  At some point this year we will start I Can Write-Cursive as well as him writing from dictation.

Here is a blog article that I found very informative especially if you choose not to purchase a prepared curriculum.  And here is a resource website for teaching writing as well.

The Giveaway!

In honor of being back to learning my giveaway this month is writing curriculum!  We love this program and it has helped my son develop a foundation as a writer!

“Young students who learn to write well need one-on-one instruction—something which your child’s classroom may not offer. In The Complete Writer series, Susan Wise Bauer turns every parent into a writing teacher. No experience is needed. Drawing on her fifteen years of experience in teaching writing, Susan lays out a carefully-designed sequence of steps that will teach every student to put words on paper with ease and grace.”

I am giving away The Complete Writer: Writing With Easy Instructor Text.  These can also be purchased online from Peacehill Press for $29.95.

Subscribe to Win: Amber Teething Necklace

Post Comment Below to Win: Writing Curriculum

Share with us in a comment below: the age of your child/children, if you homeschool/or plan to, and any teaching writing experiences you have to enter to win: The Complete Write- Writing With Ease! A winner will be picked at random and announced October 1st. Thank you for participating and sharing with us!

10/5/12  And the random winner of the Writing Curriculum is… Adrianne!  Thank you to everyone who contributed by sharing with us!

Also this month’s random subscriber winner of the Amber Teething Necklace is… Couponforfive!  Congrats and thank you for subscribing to my blog!

Amber Teething Necklace-Giveaway! (Closed)

What is an Amber Teething Necklace?

Amber has been a natural source for traditional healing that has been passed on through the generations.  This alternative medicine has proven health benefits and amazing properties that offer a drug-free alternative for relief of teething pain for infants.  This homeopathic product has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that benefit children and adults alike.

Amber is a fossilized resin from trees from thousands of years ago.  Resin is a natural antibiotic for trees, protecting it from infection or injury.  Amber has been worn for centuries as a natural remedy for pain relief, it promotes fast healing and boosts the immune system.  Amber is worn on the skin, and once warmed by the skin releases tiny amounts of healing oils which are adsorbed into the bloodstream.  In war times doctors were known to slap tree resin on a wound as a disinfectant and saved lives that way.  Scientists have also shown that amber produces organic, purely natural energy and is electromagnetically alive.  It protects from negative influences of electrical equipment like computers, televisions, mobile phones and microwave ovens.

Baltic amber contains anywhere from 3-8% of succinic acid, a scientifically examined medical substance used in contemporary medicine. The highest content of the acid is found in the amber cortex – the external layer of the stone. Nobel-prize winner Robert Koch (1886), the pioneer of modern bacteriology, proved that succinic acid has a very positive influence on the human body. In the 1930’s and 40’s, European biochemists discovered that succinic acid is an amino acid created naturally in every cell of the body capable of aerobic respiration, participating in the citric acid – or Krebs cycle. This is how carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are metabolized into energy.

Amber teething necklaces are sold in pharmacies in many countries including Switzerland, Germany and Austria where amber has been respected for its medicinal qualities for centuries.  These necklaces are knotted by hand in between each and every bead, so that if the necklace breaks (which it should if necessary), the beads won’t scatter.  It fastens with a breakaway screw clasp that will break if too much pressure is applied to prevent choking.  Amber teething necklaces and bracelets are made to wear but not to chew! Teething necklaces and bracelets should be removed when child is sleeping or unattended!

Brookie-Lee’s Review

We LOVE our amber!  We didn’t know about the wonderful amber necklaces with our first child and we all suffered through teething.  His poor swollen gums kept us up many a night and the drool was insane.  We would change outfits because the drool would have him sopping wet.  And occasionally we would try something like oral gel with no relief and baby Tylenol for temporary relief.  And just so you know I am NOT a fan of using Tylenol for children, but he was miserable and we were desperate.

When I discovered amber teething necklaces my second child was 1 year old.  We put it on him and didn’t notice a radical change.  He still wanted to chew on everything and would whine a little here and there.  I took it off a few days later to give him a bath and forgot to put the necklace back on him.  The next morning I had a super drooly, extremely fussy, little terror on my hands.  He was a totally different child from the day before and I was at a loss.  What changed overnight?  Why was my child so completely changed?  I wanted my cheerful child back!  I walked through our day and diet and discovered the only thing different was that I had taken the necklace off.  I put the necklace back on and I never took it off again.  My third and fourth children received their necklaces on their birth days and wear them until they take them off themselves(around age 3).  We have never had a recap of teething like with my first son.  Molars and canines with my second, third, and fourth child have been a breeze in comparison.

The Giveaway!

I love this product and I believe so strongly in it’s effectiveness.  I’ve been recommending it to customers and giving it away as baby shower gifts for years.  Each of my children has one, as do my husband and I.  They are amazing and I highly recommend them for teething and other chronic pain in children and adults alike.  It’s amazing, all natural, and safe.

I am giving away an amber teething necklace!  This natural teething pain reliever is the best natural solution on the market.  It is genuine Baltic amber jewelry using only AAA class, jewelry grade, raw amber material.  These can also be purchased online and in Lee’s Summit, MO from Happybottomus for only $18.95(which is the most affordable I’ve ever seen it).

Share with us your teething pain stories and what you do to give relief to enter to win!  A winner will be picked at random and announced September 1st.  Thank you for participating and sharing with our community!

Also subscribe(top right on website) to receive emails when there is a new post on to enter to win another amber teething necklace in the month of August!

9/1/12  And the random winner of the amber teething necklace is… Jill!  Thank you to everyone who contributed by sharing with us!

Also this month’s random subscriber winner is… Rodney!  Congrats and thank you for subscribing to my blog!

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! -Giveaway! (Closed)

I am not a fan of bugs in my house.  They belong outside and as long as they aren’t eating my garden, landing on me, or otherwise bugging the family I’m good with them in their element.  Currently we live in a historic neighborhood in Kansas City.  The houses on my street are like 100 years old and the railroad workers use to live here.  We purchased this little bungalow newly renovated at a good price.  It’s cute, efficient, and perfect for this two year transition that we are in.  It is cramped for 6 people.  Thankfully 4 of those people are small and it hasn’t been too bad.  But there is no room for bugs here.  We’ve easily eliminated mice each year as they try to move in with the change of the seasons.  We deal with the giant crickets since they are harmless.  Thankfully we don’t have ants interested in this house(we had ants and termites at our last house).  And after replacing the front door screen the flies are now staying outside(poor chickens).  The fly strips we put up to catch the remaining indoor flies also took care of the fruit flies that were here.  Unfortunately there are a lot of mosquitoes in the area.  They aren’t as bad now since we got rid of the jungle that was once the yard.

Our cute little bungalow is 11 feet from each neighbor.  We share fence lines and the neighbor to the West has a large dog.  We’re pretty sure their dog has fleas.  Cause the fleas jumped the fence, invaded our animals, and entered our back door.  They took up residence in our laundry room.  Thankfully we have a full size door in the kitchen that we could close to contain them.  While a few did enter the rest of the house it hasn’t been too bad.  Fleas!!!  Yuck!!!  My husband got the worst of it.  The day he discovered them he was doing laundry and the fleas attacked his legs(I think they liked the hair on his legs).

On Saturday my husband ran to get Diatomaceous Earth from Well’s Family Farm at the Brookside farmers market.  Kim Wells sent him home with some essential oils bug spray too and we spread the DE in the laundry room, and all over the backyard.  The fleas seemed to be fewer but they were still there.  We did some research and  fleas can lay up to 5000 eggs in their lifetime which can be several years. The info on wikipedia just totally icked us out.  The fact that flea eggs could be in our home waiting to hatch for several months is just gross.  So what are the options for getting rid of them?

Water & Light– fleas are attracted to warmth and a trick that helped until our cedar oil arrived was to use our heat lamp(for chicks) over a cookie sheet full of soapy water.  The fleas jumped right into the soapy water and drowned.  It was a rewarding trap because it worked really well.  They were no longer jumping on us in the laundry room.

Flea Bombs/Fogger– are used to kill cockroaches, fleas, and flying insects by filling an area with insecticide.  The insecticide is dangerous to people and pets and extreme measures have to be taken when using.  Including washing all bedding, dishes, surfaces after a bomb has been used in a space.

Diatomaceous Earth– consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate. It can be used to help control and eventually eliminate cockroach and flea infestations, but this method may take weeks to work. Wikipedia

Pest Control– calling to have pest control service your house and use insecticides to eliminate infestation.

Cedar Oil– No chemicals, just food grade aromatic Red Cedar Oil and melted Quartz Rock. A genuine BIO based insect control agent. Not only does it command INSTANT DEATH to its arthropod recipients, it can be used on humans as a repellent for Mosquitoes, Chiggers, No-See-Um’s, Flies and a array of other biting and flying pests. There is a version for inside a home and another for the yard. Cedarcide

So my husband fogged our home with cedar oil and it smells like a cedar chest in here.  Not a bad smell.  I was just not okay with using insecticide in my home with a baby that puts every.thing.she.can.find.  in her mouth.  It was too risky.  Even if we did a superb job of cleaning after a flea bomb I couldn’t be sure that I didn’t miss a spot.  It wasn’t worth the risk to us.  Cedar oil is potent for pests, but safe for humans.  It has fantastic reviews and makes sense.  Although a little pricey it’s cheaper than calling the pest control company to come out.  And since we will be moving to a farm we plan to use it a lot in the future.  If anyone wants to use ours just let us know!  We also used the PCO on our yard to kill the fleas out there and it has the added benefit to deter flies and mosquitoes!

Bugging The Kids

Barbeque and Baseball season has begun!  Which means time outside in the grass and lots of chiggers!  The two most susceptible of my kids to chiggers both have a panty line of bites.  They’ve been miserable.  I’ve been spraying Diaper Defense Spray on the bites to help soothe.  A mama on my parenting board shared a great link that can help fight chiggers!  Check it out: MDC Chiggers Article.  We will be implementing more showers and a brush down after activities to help combat these pesky bugs!  We will also be using Bug Stopper Spray from a local KC mom business- Natural Newborn, and Badger Balm’s Anti-Bug Balm & Spray.

The Giveaway!

In honor of summer and the insane amount of bugs invading this year I am giving away bug spray!  It’s all natural, safe for our kids, and made by a local Kansas City mama!  She will be featured on KMBC news about her participation in the upcoming KC Mama Market on Saturday June 2nd, 9am to noon, at The New Birth Company in Overland Park, KS.

Bug Stopper: All-Natural bug and insect repellent for those summer months. Uses essential oils that naturally deter insects, just shake well and spray on. It doesn’t leave your skin greasy or sticky. This stuff really works, but should be reapplied periodically for the best protection.

Share with us your pesky bug stories and what you do to avoid bites to enter to win!  A winner will be picked at random and announced July 1st.  Thank you for participating and sharing with our community!

Our house before we bought it:

7/8/12  And the random winner of the Natural Newborn Bug Stopper is… Jenn T.!  Thank you to everyone who contributed by sharing with us!

I Heart Cloth Diapers- Giveaway!(closed)

Vaylee in her bumGenius Freetime

I’ve been cloth diapering for the last 6 years.  You could say I’ve been around the fluffy block a time or four.  For so many reasons I love cloth diapers.  My favorite is they save me time and headache.  I don’t have to rush to the store if I run out of diapers(or wipes).  I don’t have to shell out my vacation money monthly and then see it on the curb on Thursday mornings(trash day here).  I don’t have to smell Friday’s dirty diaper on Wednesday.  I don’t have to change baby’s whole outfit Every…Time…She…Poops.  Which means I need fewer and wash fewer baby clothes.  With clean cloth next to baby’s bum I don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals or rashes.  Oh and I love the cloth wipes…who wouldn’t…they are so much more efficient when I’m changing a wiggling toddler.  With cloth diapers my girls and boys show interest early and potty train by 2 years old.  Washing the diapers is a breeze too.  And baby’s diapers are so cute! Dressed only in her diaper she makes a fashion statement.

So now on my fourth child I’m in a full on love relationship with my diapers.  I found the system that I adore, I figured out the best way for me to wash them, and I’m in a routine to keep up supply.  Don’t get me wrong diaper life was not always this peachy.  Many leaking, stinking, rashing trials had to be endured.  But I’m so happy that I took this journey and now that I’m near the end of it I know I will miss my children’s cute fluffy bottoms.

The Diaper

Vay stylin in her Fuzzi Bunz Elite

Owning a cloth diaper store gave me the opportunity to try a lot of different diapering systems over the years.  I’ve tried prefolds, contours, and fitteds with their PUL, wool, and fleece covers as well as pockets, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, one-size, and all the new hybrid systems.  There are so many options on the market and so many differently shaped baby’s with individually sized bladders to customize for.  After years of loyalty to Perfect sized pocket diapers from Fuzzi Bunz I’ve fallen in love with a new diaper….the Fuzzi Bunz Elite one-size pocket diaper.  The Elite is trimmer than it’s predecessor and the Perfect sizes too.  The adjustable elastic is the ideal way to adjust sizes without extra bulk.  And the amazing minky inserts are super absorbent.

Staying Dry

With newborns we just change baby as often as we nurse or baby poops.  Changing a newborn that often is just how it should be.  No one wants to sit in their waste for very long.  Once baby is older they come to a heavy wetting stage, especially at night.  One option is changing baby in the night.  Another option is an extra insert.  I’ve always used hemp inserts for this but I’m now really liking the new minky inserts.  For even more protection during this stage we use a Sugar Peas Fleece cover or a recycled wool cover.


I’ve found one of the best methods for clearing up a rash is a naked night time.  We will put down a waterproof pad or some towels and let baby sleep naked.  This helps clear up a rash overnight.  Otherwise I will use my Magic Stick which is a natural rash ointment in a stick form that works great and is mess free.  If baby has a rash there is an issue that needs to be resolved.  The issue could be that baby is sick or reacting to food they ate, or detergent on the diapers.  Another possibility is that the diapers aren’t getting clean enough or the bacteria isn’t being killed.


Vay & all her fluff!

Washing my cloth diapers has been a struggle for me for years.  I couldn’t shake the ammonia smell.  Sometimes the build up would be so bad it caused rashes on my baby.  And that I couldn’t stand.  I’ve bleached, boiled, treated, stripped, sunned, and re-washed so many times…….whew.  The happiest testimonials from moms I’ve talked to have been from those who either line dried their diapers in the sun, or from those lucky mamas who had a soft water system.  I can now add myself to the list but for a different process.  I use a PureWash which adds oxygen and oxidizers to the water that goes into my washer.  I only use cold water and I don’t need any detergent.  It’s been amazing!  I feel like my tax refund was put toward some great long term savings for detergent, hot water, and avoiding all the re-washing and stripping.


When we go on a weekend trip we take our cloth diapers with us.  We have enough for a couple days and it doesn’t interrupt our cycle.  Trips that last longer than that are a different story.  We’ve tried different cloth options but we prefer getting the eco-friendly biodegradable diapers if we can find/afford them.  A lot of people have great success with the disposable inserts that are now available for cloth diapers.  They are absorbent, easy to use, and biodegradable.

The Extras

The items in my diaper stash.

I mentioned this already but I love my cloth wipes.  I use 2 ply organic bamboo velour wipes.  They are so soft but so grippy.  Of the many wipes I’ve tried nothing holds a candle to OBV wipes.  I have 2 wetbags for my diaper bag and 2 pail liners to hang in my bathroom.  Other than that, my Magic Stick, and my Elite diapers, I have some prefolds that we mostly use as spit rags but occasionally are used as emergency diapers with a Snappi that I have stashed away.

The Conclusion

I love the fact that we cloth diaper our children.  I love that it’s healthier for them.  I love that it saves us a ton of money.  I love that it helps us potty train sooner.  I love that I’m not putting a trash bag full of diapers on the curb each week.  I love how cute my baby’s bottom looks in a fluffy diaper.  I love how easy it is.  I love sharing with others when they ask about my daughter’s cloth bottom.  I heart cloth!  Below are some t-shirts that I will be printing for our family and selling here on my blog.

The Freebie

bumGenius OS AIO Freetime in Mirror

Another diaper that I like and is probably one of the most convenient cloth diapers out there is bumGenius’ newest one-size(OS), fast dry, all-in-one(AIO), the Freetime.  There is no stuffing involved and it dries super fast for an AIO.  It’s OS feature snaps in the front, as all bumGenius do, so it’s slightly bulky but it’s a great diaper and bumGenius has some great colors and prints.  I happen to have a new Freetime diaper and I want to share it with you!  So please reply here on this blog post with your cloth diaper experiences/preferences/tidbits, or lack thereof to enter yourself for a free bumGenius Freetime cloth diaper!  The winner will be announced on June 1st!

Click the picture of Vaylee below to see her in action.

6/1/12  And the random winner of the bumGenius Freetime cloth diaper is… Jessica Bretches!  Thank you to everyone who contributed by sharing with us your experiences and all the great cloth diapers that real moms are using!

Safe in the Sunshine- Giveaway!(closed)

The sunshine came early this year.  It’s been such a mild winter and an amazing spring.  Mom’s are already talking about the best sunscreens to buy for the summer.  The favorite at our house is by Badger Balm.  The main ingredient?  Zinc Oxide. 

Active Sunscreen Ingredient: Non-Nano, Uncoated Zinc Oxide 18.75%
Other Sunscreen Ingredients: *Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), and CO2 Extract of *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn).

* = Certified Organic

Application Notes: For maintained protection, sunscreen reapplication is recommended after 40 minutes of swimming or sweating, after towel drying, and at least every 2 hours. Children under 6 months of age: ask a doctor.  Where to Buy.


“… the sun actually protects you from cancer and about 50,000 Americans die every year from cancers that could have been treated by having higher vitamin D levels from proper sun exposure.

What most physicians fail to appreciate is that the major risk factor for melanoma is not sun exposure but a distortion of the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats. You can read the article Mercola wrote on that for more information.

Does excessive, irrational exposure to the sun contribute to skin cancer? Certainly. But this is easily minimized by limiting your exposure early in the season to before 10 a.m or after 2-3 p.m. when the rays are the strongest. You can also use protective shirts and hats to block the sun.

Another fatal flaw in the sunblock recommendation is that most of the commercial products are loaded with toxic chemicals that will cause you far more long-term damage than the sun you are seeking to protect yourself from.” –

“Ultraviolet light from the sun comes in two main wavelengths – UVA and UVB.  It’s important for you to understand the difference between them, and your risk factors from each.

Consider UVB the ‘good guy’ that helps your skin produce vitamin D.

UVA is considered the ‘bad guy’ because it penetrates your skin more deeply and causes more free radical damage.  Not only that, but UVA rays are quite constant during ALL hours of daylight, throughout the entire year — unlike UVB, which are low in morning and evening, and high at midday.

If you’ve ever gotten a scorching sunburn on a cloudy day, you now understand why; it’s from the deeply penetrating UVA!

Since UVA’s are inherently more damaging, AND persistently high during all daylight hours, wearing a sunscreen that doesn’t protect you from UVA is going to give you virtually no benefit, and be detrimental to your overall health.

Two non-toxic ingredients that scatter both UVB and the more damaging UVA rays are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They’ve been used all over the world for over 75 years as safe sunscreens.”

EWG Skin Deep Sunscreen Safety Scale

I appreciate the rating system over at the EWG Skin Deep website where all the sunscreen’s you can think of have been tested.  Badger Balm comes in at a safe 1 rating on the 0-10 scale.  They even have a Hall of Shame list that will probably shock you as they dominate the center isles at the super markets.  Not to worry though because the list for Best Sunscreens makes it easy to replace that toxic sunscreen you used last summer.

Kevin and I don’t go too crazy when it comes to limiting sun exposure.  We enjoy the outdoors and when I have a newborn I tend to keep the wee babies in the shade.  The older kiddos get Badger Balm, probably a hat, and off they go.  We do take a massive umbrella
with us to soccer and t-ball games too.  I used my yoga mat over some suitcases on the beach last summer to protect 3 month old Vaylee from noontime rays.  And I LOVE my muslin blankets during the summer with a new baby.  They are super light weight but provide good coverage.

We have a fun giveaway to start off the sunny season!  Mama’s please share with us what sunscreen you use at your house to protect your little ones.  On May 1st a free tube of Badger Balm Sunscreen will be given away randomly to a mama who shares here on this post.

5/3/12 And the random winner of some wonderful Badger Balm Sunscreen is……Leslie Clinton!  Thank you to everyone who contributed by sharing with us all the great & safe sunscreens that real moms are using.