About Me

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Life is beautiful whether you're soaking in sunshine or caught in a thunderstorm. I take the beauty of life for granted too often. I have a supportive husband who I don't want to live life without, a beautiful son who is always reminding me of the simple things that really matter, and an independent daughter who is teaching me to throw schedules out the window and live in the moment. My day is made when free samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your stories with me as well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Label Daddy Labels Review & 25% your entire order!

Bradley will be headed to kindergarten in the Fall so I'm already getting things ready for him.  Labeling all of his stuff is necessary and Label Daddy makes it easy for me.  Check out these awesome name labels that Bradley can put on his school stuff. 

 Bradley is really into Captain America so I love that Label Daddy offers superheros along with Disney, NBA, MLB and so many other icons!

I also use Label Daddy to make address labels for our family.  I love these high quality labels and that I can add the MLB logo to represent our favorite baseball team...Boston Red Sox!

Label Daddy labels are a super easy peel and stick label.  Their exclusive laminated coating gives labels an extra layer of protection which is a must for kids stuff!  I have even labeled Bradley's water bottle and put it through the dishwasher and the label is still there!

  Will your child be headed to camp this summer?  Check out the awesome camp pack labels they offer.  And right now you can get 25% off your entire order with code FUNFAM25.

**Disclosure - I received free labels in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Dietz & Watson Originals Product Review

Eating meat that is antibiotic free is very important in our family.  Dietz & Watson goes above and beyond with their Originals by offering us premium meat that has no preservatives, is humanely raised, gestation crate free, vegetarian grain fed, no antibiotics ever, no added hormones, and no nitrates or nitrites added.  They also have a selection of meat that is organic, GMO and rBST free.

I was so excited to be a part of this product review for Dietz & Watson!  We love deli sandwiches and finding antibiotic free deli meat can be hard and expensive.  Dietz & Watson has affordable meat and I can trust them with the quality products they offer.

For this product review, I chose Black Forest Ham, Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, and Muenster cheese.  I made a huge meat and cheese platter for our group party with individual cubes of each item.  We all loved the fresh and delicious meats and cheese from Dietz & Watson.  Some of our group had never tasted anything from Dietz & Watson and they are very excited about a new option of deli meats for their family.

Dietz & Watson offers so many choices of high quality deli meat and cheeses, you'll find something for everyone.  Be sure to check them out at your local grocery store deli!

**Disclosure - I received free product from Dietz & Watson in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Our Weekend Recap

Our weekend was beautifully filled with a community service project, church, board games & movies, Sunday afternoon drive, sightseeing, teething tears, lots of cuddles and laughs!

 This baby girl would be crying one moment and laughing the next.  Teething is the worst!

 Sophie the Giraffe was a lifesaver for us this weekend!

 This kid is the master at winning the game Sorry.

 Sunday morning comics are a must.

 Bradley was all about rock climbing on Sunday.

 I love spending time with him!

So much beauty at the ocean!

 Nubble Lighthouse

 Daddy & daughter soaking up ocean air and vitamin d!

 There's no place like Maine!

This little girl got lots of extra cuddle time this weekend.  

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Canvas Picture from AdoramaPix Review

I love this canvas picture from AdoramaPix!  Not only are their canvas pictures high quality, but their customer service is fantastic.   The first canvas that arrived had a coloring issue but with one quick email, they were happy to reprint the picture and send me a new one.  Shipping was very quick and I received my order within two weeks.

AdoramaPix has so many options for your printing needs.  Shipping is always free for orders over $39 and they are always offering special discounts.  Right now you can get 25% off all hexagon metal prints with code PXHEXMTL25 which is good through June 15, 2016.  Their metal prints are amazing!  I ordered one for my father-in-law a couple months ago.  He says it's his favorite!

This is a canvas print to cherish forever.  Thanks AdoramaPix!

**Disclosure - I received a free print in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, April 22, 2016

3 Months into Cloth Diapering

 First of all, Happy Earth Day!  I thought this post on cloth diapering would be perfect for Earth Day.  Before you completely tune me out or cringe with the words cloth diapering, try to be open minded as you read about our experience with cloth diapering. 

I was like most everyone where I would roll my eyes and/or cringe at the thought of giving cloth diapers a try.  "That's disgusting" or "that's so much work" would be the first thoughts that jumped into my mind.  When I was pregnant with Savannah, I knew I needed to find ways to save money.  Diapers are one of the biggest expenses with babies and even with my CVS deals and coupons, it still cost me $30-$50 a month in diapers and wipes.  I knew my time would be limited with two kids and our CVS isn't as conveniently located here as it was in South Carolina.  Coupons and sales aren't as great here either. 

I had one friend that was a huge cloth diaper endorser and I loved seeing the cute pictures of her son on Facebook wearing his cloth.  I emailed her to get some information and the scoop on difficult cloth diapering really was.  I knew she would be honest and tell me all the details.  One email from her and I was 70% sure that I wanted to give it a try.  I joined a Facebook cloth diapering group and posted a question.  One girl invited me to come to her house and check out her stash.  That visit sold me completely on the idea of cloth diapering.  To see and feel the diapers in person changed my perspective.  It was so much easier than I had imagined.  Not only were the diapers adorable, they were so simple to use.  

I chose to buy my cloth diapers brand new.  There are so many sites selling used diapers and you can get an awesome deal when buying used.  I'm not a seamstress and many times these used diapers need a little work which is something I can't do.  I'm also going to be honest and say buying used diapers kind of grossed me out.  But I'll have no problem selling our cloth diapers when Savannah is potty trained.  That's the beauty of cloth...they have a great resale value!

I have tried several brands and my favorite is BumGenius.  They fit Savannah perfectly and I've never had one leak or blowout when she wears that brand.  I also love their one year warranty which I've already used once.  I had a snap crack on one of the diapers and they sent me a brand new diaper to replace the damaged one.  I bought my BumGenius pocket style diapers from Maine Cloth Diaper Company.  I love their rewards program!

I have three 2-in-1 hybrid cloth diapers from BB-Cloth.  The prints are adorable and I like the bamboo blend insert a lot more than the BumGenius microfiber inserts.  I prefer the pocket style feature on the diapers so I haven't used it as an all in two diaper where you put the insert on top and just change inserts when the baby pees.

I do not recommend Baby City cloth diapers.  The lining has already come apart in just 3 months of use.  Savannah also has had a couple leaks when wearing that brand.

I started using cloth diapers on Savannah when she was one month old.  There are so many transitions going on in the first month, the last thing I needed was to figure out cloth diapers.  And most of these one size diapers fit properly once the baby is 8 pounds.  Savannah was a little over 6 pounds when she came home from the hospital.  We used Seventh Generation diapers for the first month.  I was also nervous to try the cloth.  As excited as I was to be a cloth diapering Mom, it was nerve wracking to actually begin the process. I had invested $300 in cloth diapers, what if they didn't work and it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be?

The first couple of days, diaper changing took a little longer by figuring out which snaps to use and which ones fit her the best.  After one week, both Mike and I were cloth diapering pros.  We were both amazed at truly how simple it can be.  Mike loves that I never call him on the way home from work saying we are out of diapers and I need him to stop at the store and pick up a pack of diapers.  I love that I don't have to waste time cutting diaper coupons and looking for store sales.  Every time I put a diaper on her, I think about the money I'm saving by not using a disposable.  I think about the fact that it's one less diaper taking hundred of years decomposing in our landfills.

Now for the dirty part...washing the diapers.  It's truly not as gross as you are imagining right now.  All the used diapers get thrown into a wet bag after each diaper change.  The wet bag can hold a LOT of diapers.  I keep the wet bag unzipped to keep air flowing in there to prevent mildew on the wet diapers.  And yes, believe it or not, there is no stench when the bag is unzipped.  I wash diapers every 2-3 days and there are normally about 12-15 diapers in a load.  I have used Charlie's Soap in the past but I'm currently using Seventh Generation laundry detergent.  There are several ways you can wash the diapers depending on your washer and its cycles.  My method is washing the diapers in warm water first in pre-wash heavy/soak cycle with an extra rinse using 1/2 the amount of detergent.  Then they get washed again in hot water using the cotton heavy load cycle with a second rinse and full amount of detergent.  The liners are hung to dry while the inserts can be put in the dryer.  Once Mike installs my outside clothes line, everything will be hung outside to dry which will help speed up the drying process.  The liners are hung in my cold basement so they usually take 8-10 hours to fully dry.

Savannah is a breastfed baby so her poop is going to be different from a formula fed baby or a baby eating solids.  I'm in the easy stage where her poop is water soluble and no pre-rinse is necessary before washing the diapers.  We have started her on rice cereal and on occasion her poop will be thicker so we use the diaper sprayer to rinse her diapers in the toilet first.  We bought the Smarter Fresh cloth diaper sprayer from Amazon and it was so easy to install and use.  I do not recommend the Luxe cloth diaper sprayer...it didn't install well and we ended up returning it.

About the wipes.  I made my own using Mike's old white undershirts.  I cut out the bottom half of the shirts into small squares and they work perfectly.  Seriously the best wipes ever.  I keep them in the top drawer and when she has a dirty diaper, we wet the wipes in the bathroom sink and clean her bottom.  No bum spray or homemade wipe cleaner is necessary.  Just water and cloth.  The wipes get thrown into the wet bag also and are washed in the same load as the diapers.

Savannah had her first diaper rash pop up last night but she's in the middle of heavy teething which I'm sure is the cause of the rash.  It happened to Bradley all the time.  I used Motherlove diaper cream which is safe for cloth diapers.  One use of that cream and her rash was gone the next morning.  

There is so much more I could tell you about cloth diapering.  It truly is so much easier than people imagine.  The only drawback is the addiction I now have to the adorable prints.  I have to remember that I chose this route to save money.  The biggest piece of advice for any of you looking into cloth diapering is to find a group of Moms that cloth diaper.  Ask to see their diaper stash in person.  Try the diapers on your baby or ask to change their baby so you can see how simple it really is.  Read, read, and read some more.  Find a cloth diaper Mama and ask questions.  I just emailed my friend last night asking her a question.  My favorite cloth diaper might not be your favorite cloth diaper.  You may want to store your used diapers differently.  Your wash cycle might be different.  Either way, give cloth diapering a chance...you will be surprised!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

20% off your entire purchase at Kangeaux.com!

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Savannah's Fourth Month

Oh sweet Savannah!  You are 4 months old.  Some days I feel like you should be 4 years old and other days it seems like yesterday you were making your appearance.  The looks you give us some days are just too much and makes us wonder whether or not you even like us.  Your first tooth popped up one day after turning 4 months old!  You have always been an early achiever so I shouldn't have been surprised when it popped up.  You finally slept the entire night through...ONCE, but it was a beautiful night.  You are trying so hard to roll over and love to play on your floor exercise mat. The bumbo seat has been fun for you and your favorite spot is to sit in the kitchen and watch me cook and clean.  You started cooing the other night and you have the sweetest voice.  I just wish you would learn to coo more than cry.  Crying seems to be your favorite sound to make and lately it's been even worse with teething and shots.  I want you to keep your strong willed spirit but please start showing me some love soon.  Pretty please with a cherry on top!

 This is one of those "do I like you" looks you give us a lot!

 Teething has been so difficult for you.

 You are tense even when you get massages after your bath.

 There's the happy smile that I look for every day!

 You are not interested in playing dress up with Bradley yet.

 Your smile just lights up my world!

 You don't like to cuddle often but when I can get you like this, it's hard to put you down.

 Another sweet, peaceful moment!

 You weighed 16 1/2 pounds at your 4 month old checkup.  
My breast milk must be pure cream!

You love bath time and are growing quickly out of your infant bathtub.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Weekend Recap - Trip to Iowa!

I went to Iowa this past weekend!  Just me....no kids or husband.  And it was everything I thought it could be.  In fact, I may have enjoyed my weekend a little too much.  I wasn't ready to come back home.  Or at least come back to my every day Mom life.  I have a sister and brother that live in Iowa and I had no idea when I planned this trip a couple months ago that it would actually be National Sibling Day on Sunday.  That ended up being really cool!

Shannon and I had girl time with coffee and pedicures on Friday afternoon.

Geocaching on Saturday was successful with us finding 5 out of 6 geocaches.

It was awesome to be able to spend time with our sister-in-law, Kate!

My brother and I are the coolest siblings out of the 4 of us. 

And I got to see some of my nieces and nephews which was pretty special too!  The little guy that I'm holding is named Sawyer and I picked out his name which makes me his favorite auntie!