Lighthouse Kids Company Cloth Diaper Review: If You Do Not Have A LKC In Your Stash You Should

Lighthouse Kids Company Cloth Diaper Review: If You Do Not Have A LKC In Your Stash You Should

If you are a cloth diapering parent I am sure you have run into this issue. You purchase a really cute cloth diaper print and you are so excited to get it prepped and on the bum. You get it on your baby’s bum and within 5 to 10 minutes they poop. I have now dubbed this the approval poop. It means your child approves of your cloth diaper choice. Haha! This happened to a Lighthouse Kids Company cloth diaper I recently received for my daughter. I bet you might be wondering who/what Lighthouse Kids diapers are? If you have already heard of them you probably have at least one of their cloth diapers in your diaper stash by now with hopes of adding more in the near future. If you don’t have one in your diaper stash you should. Lighthouse Kids Company cloth diapers are new to the cloth diaper market having only been around since the beginning of 2017. They already have a strong following on social media, and after using their diapers I can see why.

The Diaper: Lighthouse Kids Company diapers are a Bamboo/Stay Dry All in One and are a little different from other bamboo/stay dry All in One’s currently on the market. These diapers are not pockets, and the main insert does not come out. The main insert is actually sewn onto the diaper creating a tongue. The tongue is a book fold, and the length of the diaper. (You fold it kind of like a prefold.) The main insert has a bamboo side, and on the other side is stay dry fleece fabric. This gives you the ability to decide which fabric you would like touching your baby’s skin. If you have a potty training child and you would like them to feel when they are wet you can use the bamboo side. If you do not want baby to feel wet you can use the stay dry side. It also comes with an extra 2-layer bamboo booster insert you can just slide right in where you need it. The outside of the diaper is made of a water proof TPU, and the inside of the diaper shell is made of a jersey fabric, has a tummy panel to help stop leaking around the belly, and rise snaps to adjust your fit. The fit for these diapers is advertised from 10 lbs. to 32 lbs., but after using them you probably could fit a smaller or larger child in these diapers. It all depends on body type. They also sell their diaper shells as swim diapers. Their swim diapers are just like their AIO except they do not come with inserts or have the sewn in tongue. The swim diapers are also great to use as acover with your own selected inserts.

Absorbency: All in all, depending how you fold your Lighthouse Kids Company diaper, you can get 16 layers of absorbency. (4 layers when flat, 8 when book folded, and if you fold the tongue under you get 16.) Add the booster in and you can have 18 layers. There are many families who use Lighthouse Kids Company diapers for both day time and nighttime use. The second time I got this diaper on my baby’s bum I was able to get over 2 hours of use out of it.

The Prints/Colors: Oh, the prints and colors of these Lighthouse Kids Company diapers. I want to take a moment here to say that the prints on Lighthouse  diapers are unlike any other diaper prints out there. Why? Because they are pieces of art drawn by the owners of Lighthouse Kids Company themselves. Many are watercolor prints which I personally love. The first diaper that lured me in was their siren song print. It is a gorgeous mermaid watercolor print. They also have a monochrome solids collection, and recently released a Moana inspired collection. But there is one… my DISO, Jupiter Song. It is a water-color nautical print with sea monsters, sail boats, and lighthouses on it. It is by far the prettiest diaper I have ever seen.

(Top left diaper is Siren Song and the rest are Voyager from the Moana inspired collection.)

Our Experience: I really like these diapers, and my daughter chooses these diapers a lot when I tell her to pick a diaper out to wear. Because my daughter is a heavy wetter the majority of our diaper stash is full of bamboo diapers. We also do not use the pocket function of any diaper we own. (I am a do not stuff the fluff kind of person.) These diapers fit right in. They are not only slim when worn, but they also do not take up a lot of space when storing. (Don’t know if this is a good thing since you will be able to fit more diapers in your diaper storage container or location. Haha!) My daughter is 2 years old and weighs about 25 lbs. She is currently, depending on how many extra inserts I put in, on either the last rise snap or has all of the rise snaps out. However, her waist snaps are pretty far in. These diapers will easily last her through potty training and probably till she is over 35 lbs. (Due mostly to her height/weight distribution.) The jersey fabric and elastics on these diapers make them very stretchy, but they do not dig into my daughter’s legs or belly. We have had no leaks, and have only received complements on these diapers. I have plans to purchase more in the coming months to add to our new baby’s diaper stash. (Shh! Don’t tell my husband. 😉 )

 

Price: The price for one AIO diaper is in the same range as competing bamboo diapers. For solids, you are looking at a price of $20.99, and for prints $22.99 a diaper. A swim diaper will run you $16.99. Currently Lighthouse Kid’s Company diapers are only sold in 12 stores throughout the United States and Canada. (This includes their website.) I would not be surprised to see this diaper brands growth to explode in the coming year, and I am so excited to see what they have in store for the cloth diaper market.

The Company: Lighthouse Kids Company diapers were developed, and are owned by a working mom/small business owner. Vanessa started out by owning her own natural parenting store, GreenPath Baby, and has since also created Lighthouse Kids Company. Having cloth diapered her own children she took notice of what her own children needed in a cloth diaper, and what others might need in a cloth diaper, and with that knowledge she decided to start her own cloth diaper business. Bam! So now, not only does she still have her natural parenting store, but she also has her diaper company as well. It is hard-working mom’s, like Vanessa, who have a dream and make them happen that inspire me every day to be a better mom/business woman. Lighthouse Kids Company also gives back to their community by donating 5% of their net profit to an organization called Hannah’s Home of South Florida. Through this organization young single mothers can find assistance to better their lives and the lives of their children.

So, if you do not own a LKC diaper yet I recommend you look into trying one out, and if you get hooked you can blame it on me. 🙂

**Disclosure Statement: Even though I received a free product in exchange for this review all opinions are my own. I am a parent myself and would never recommend a product I wouldn’t be comfortable using on or giving to my own child. **


Diono Radian rXT Car Seat Review – The Only Car Seat Your Child May Ever Need

Diono Radian rXT Car Seat Review – The Only Car Seat Your Child May Ever Need

I am just going to say it. Choosing a car seat can be hard. There are so many on the market it can be overwhelming as a parent to narrow one down. Preference is big factor as well. Do you want an infant bucket car seat, a convertible car seat that grows with your child, or a car seat that will go from infant to a booster seat? Cost then factors in. You could spend over $200 purchasing an infant seat, but your child will outgrow the seat causing you to have to spend probably over $200 again to purchase another car seat. Then if you purchase a convertible car seat that doesn’t turn into a booster seat you will need to purchase yet another seat. Then you have to decide how long you want your child to rear face.

My husband and I have been in this situation before, and now that we are expecting our second child we are in this predicament again. What car seat do we get? After much thought my husband and I decided we would use our current convertible car seat for our new baby, and look for a new car seat for our 2-year-old. We are big advocates for rear-facing children in their car seats for as long as possible so we wanted to find a car seat that could rear-face our 2-year old in our vehicle as long as possible. (Did you know rear-facing your children is 5 times safer than forward facing? The Car Seat Lady has a great article explaining why Here)

We also wanted a seat that could be used to eventually forward face, and then also turn into a booster seat. In our search, and after talking with a couple other parents, one of the car seat companies that stood out to us was Diono. We were intrigued by their full steel car seat design, the fact their car seats had 5-point harnesses, were convertible and would last a child from 5 lbs. – 120 lbs., and were slim. (Measuring our vehicle, Jeep Grand Cherokee, we found we would be able to fit three Diono car seats across in our back seat. Another parent I know, who drives a Pontiac Vibe, was also able to get 3 Diono car seats across her back seat.) So, my husband and I dove into the world of Diono car seats. What car seat did we get? We got the Diono Radian rXT.

The Seat: My first impressions of the Diono Radian rXT convertible car seat was that it was a SOLID seat. (I would expect nothing less from a full steel frame seat.) At 30 lbs. the seat is heavier than our current car seat. The second impression was how soft the seat fabric was. I actually have not felt fabric so soft on a car seat before. The harness strap pads are super thick, and the seat sits low so my daughter can more easily climb in and out herself. (Which as a 2-year-old she loves.) Because this seat can grow with your child it comes with an infant insert, and has 5 rise slots for the shoulder straps and 3 buckle positions. The Diono Radian rXT allows your child to rear face from 5 lbs. up to 45 lbs., forward face to 80 lbs., and can be converted to a booster seat that goes up to 120 lbs. This seat will last you a long time due to its 10-year lifespan. The Diono Radian rXT also comes with a safe stop harness for those who would like to forward face their smaller children once they hit the legal age and weight limit. It is also FAA certified, which means you can use it on an airplane, and you can even purchase carrying straps or a travel case so you can take it through the airport. (Did you know not every car seat is FAA certified, and if your seat isn’t certified you might have to check it? I personally did not know. You can read more about FAA certified car seats, and flying with kids on the FAA’s website. https://www.faa.gov/travelers/fly_children/)

Our Install Experience: If you were stumped on what car seat to purchase then just wait till you have to install it. While my husband and I are sure we could have installed the Diono Radian rXT correctly ourselves we wanted to make sure, and since neither my husband nor I are certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST), we took our new Diono to a CPST to have it installed. We also figured while we were there we would have our current car seat inspected as well. I am glad we went. After our experience I HIGHLY recommend parent’s take their car seats to be inspected by a CPST. Why? Because there are so many things to think about when it comes to correctly installing a car seat, making sure your child is restrained properly in the car seat, and from our experience a lot of information that is hard to find.

We contacted a local Police Department and set up an appointment with one of their Officers who is a CPST. (Side note: Not every Police Officer or Fire fighter will be a CPST. If you want to take your seats to a Police or Fire Department please make sure you call ahead and ask to book an appointment with one for their CPST’s, if they have one. You can also search on http://cert.safekids.org/ for CPST’s in your area.) During our appointment the Officer inspected our current car seat, and we passed with flying colors. He also checked for items that could turn into projectiles in the car if we were in an accident. One of these items was our rear-facing mirror installed on the back-seat head rest so we could see our daughter. He made sure it was installed correctly and tightly and reminded us to check it often since in an accident it could turn into a projectile if not installed correctly. He also spoke to us about correct shoulder strap, and buckle placement. Then we moved on to the Diono Seat. When we brought the Diono Radian rXT out our CPST was impressed. (I think the words he used to describe the Diono was “Space Ship”. Haha!) He walked us through the differences between LATCH, or Super LATCH with Diono, and seat belt installation. Letting us know that either is fine to use. It just comes down to our preference, but that to use LATCH install the weight of the seat and child cannot be over 65 lbs. If the combined weight is over 65 lbs. then the seat belt must be used to install the seat. He explained to us about the tether, and that we should use it when installing a car seat whenever possible, and he also let us know about the 1-inch movement rule after you think you are done installing. (A correctly installed seat should move less than an inch from side to side or front to back.) He then put our daughter in the seat and he went over how to correctly buckle her into the seat.

Install Hiccup: The biggest issue we ran into when installing the Diono Radian rXT was it braced against our two front seats when installed rear-facing.  Our CPST let us know that due to the types of airbags in our seats, and our air bag sensors, that the car seat should not touch the front seats. He moved our front seats forward to show us how much room we would have to make it so the Diono seat did not brace against ours. The driver and passenger seats were cramped. (My husband nor I would not be able to drive comfortably or safely in either of the front seats.) So, our CPST showed us how to correctly install our Diono Radian rXT forward facing. (By law our daughter is old enough and weighs enough to forward face, but we just prefer to keep her rear-facing as long as possible.) We thanked our CPST for taking the time to inspect our seats and educating us on proper car seat safety, and I went home to ponder my rear-facing predicament.

Research: When we got home I looked through the Diono Radian rXT seat owner’s manual, and my car manual again just to make sure I didn’t miss some information. When I still couldn’t find the information, I needed I went to Diono’s website to see if they had any information on if their car seats are allowed to “brace” in your vehicle. Their site says they can, but you should check with your car manufacturer. So, I contacted Jeep. They did not answer my question. Instead they referred me to Safekids.org and the NHTSA. I could not find the answer to my question on either of those websites. I then went back to Diono’s website to see if I had again missed any information, and found that they sell an accessory, an angle adjuster, that is supposed to give you a couple more inches in space for rear-facing car seats. (I had missed this in the owner’s manual.) So, I purchased one in hopes this would solve my bracing issue. (Even though Diono says it’s OK for the Radian to “brace”, but our CPST said it wasn’t, I wanted to err on the side of caution and find a way to properly install the car seat without it bracing against the front seats.)

Solution: Turns out the angle adjuster was just the ticket we needed. We installed the Diono seat, rear-facing, with the angle adjuster, and it no longer braces against our front seats. Both driver and passenger seats can be far enough back to be comfortable and safe. We also purchased Diono’s Ultra Mat to go under the car seat to help protect our leather seats.

20171006_113521

Overall Thoughts: I am so glad we got this seat. Not only does my husband and I love this seat more than our other car seat, our daughter loves it more. (My husband’s reaction to the Diono Radian rXT was stating, “This seat is no joke.” Haha!) It was slightly more difficult to install than other car seats we have had, but the pros of this seat outweigh the install hiccups we encountered. (Please make sure to read, and re-read, your car seat and vehicle owners manuals before you install your car seats.) Our daughter has more leg room, and is just over all more comfortable riding in the Diono Radian rXT then her other seat. (I mean look at those smiles! She did not smile that much in her other seat.) She loves the fact she can get in and out of the seat herself, and she calls it her big girl seat. Because the Diono is so slim I can actually see over the seat when I am driving. (I also love the fact I will be able to rear-face both of my children which I feel will make it harder for my older daughter to both our newborn. Haha!) The biggest thing we love about this seat though is we feel, due to the seats full steel construction, that our daughter is safer, and we are happy she will be able to use this seat for a very long time. (While we know she was safe in our other car seat the difference to us is huge.) If you are in need of a slim convertible car seat I highly recommend you look into Diono car seats, and their car seat accessories. You might just end up a Diono car seat family just like us.

Price: The Diono Radian rXT retails on Diono’s website for $359.99. The angle adjuster and Ultra mat are not sold on Diono’s website, but you can search for stores in your area that sell Diono accessories via the Diono website. Near where I am located the Angle Adjuster retails for $8.54 and the Ultra Mat retails for $19.40. So over all you are looking at less than $400.00 for the Diono Radian rXT with Angle Adjuster and Ultra Mat. Even less if you purchase them on sale. For a seat that can go from newborn to booster, 5 lbs. – 120 lbs., it will definitely last you for its 10-year lifespan and save you TONS of money.

**Disclosure Statement: Even though I received free product in exchange for this review all opinions are my own. I am a parent myself and would never recommend a product I wouldn’t be comfortable using on or giving to my own child. A big thank you to our CPST for his installation help, guidance, and service.) **


Baby Tula Toddler Carrier Review: Older Children Love Being Worn Too!

Baby Tula Toddler Carrier Review: Older Children Love Being Worn Too!

I love wearing my daughter. Ever since she was born I have worn her in a wrap to keep her close, and to do skin to skin. As she has grown I have continued to wear her so I can be hands free, and of course keep her close to get our snuggles in. I am now pregnant with our second and my growing baby belly has made it difficult to continue to wear her on my front in certain carriers. So, I have switched to carrying her in back carries. This helps her to see the world around her, and she loves it. I was finding though I was having some issues with my daughter in our current soft structured carrier. Being a 2-year-old, my daughter is very active and LOVES to touch things. Haha! She also likes to lean back when in back carries which scares me sometimes. (You know what I am talking about. I see it A LOT with older children in back carries. I try really hard to correct her, and tell her calmly why she shouldn’t lean back while I am carrying her, but you can only do so much with toddlers.) I came to the hard decision our current carrier, which I love, just wasn’t working very well for us in a back carry. I needed a different carrier for a larger child. So I did some research, and decided on Baby Tula’s Toddler Carrier.

The Carrier: The Tula Toddler Carrier is a soft structured carrier designed for carrying children, in a front or back carry, who weigh 25 lbs. to 60 lbs. (They also have other soft structured carriers such as their Standard Tula for children 15 – 45 lbs., and their new Free to Grow for children 7 – 45 lbs.) The Tula Toddler carrier is a light weight carrier with a larger panel helping to keep your child more secure, padding on the sides of the carrier where your child’s legs go to keep them more comfortable, a pouch in front to hold small objects, wide shoulder straps and waist band with padding, and comes with a matching hood. The carrier also allows you to adjust the waist band and shoulder straps to fit your body. This allows individuals of many body types to be able to use this carrier. (My husband also uses this carrier. He just ends up having to adjust the waist and shoulder straps to fit his body after I have worn it.) Other perks of the Tula carrier are they come in so many prints and colors, and some prints come with a mesh panel, their Mesh Coast Tula’s, to help keep baby and wearer cooler in the heat. (The Tula Toddler Carrier I am using in this review is named Olive.)

My Experience: My husband and I both love the Tula Toddler Carrier for our daughter. She weighs 25 lbs., and is at the beginning weight for the carrier. We feel she is more secure in the Tula carrier, due to the larger panel, than our current carrier. I laid the Tula carrier on the floor and placed our current soft structured carrier on top and there was a HUGE difference. The Tula panel was several inches wider and longer than our current carrier. The Tula waist band and shoulder straps were also wider by almost an inch. While the padding on the Tula shoulder straps are not as thick as our current carrier I have found out I prefer a wider padded strap to a thinner more padded strap. (More weight distribution across my shoulders.)

Another plus of the larger panel on the Tula Toddler Carrier is my daughters lean is contained. Even when she has her arms out of the carrier and tries to lean back she really can’t. I have also found, due to being pregnant, comfort wise I prefer there to be no added extra support around the waist since I position the waist strap under my baby belly. (My current carrier has an extra lumbar support that causes my belly discomfort now that I am pregnant.) The differences in the Tula Toddler carrier have made it so I can wear my daughter longer and more comfortably. My daughter also seems to enjoy the Tula carrier more than our current carrier. Every time I have put her up in the Tula carrier she starts stroking my back and arms, and she leans her head against my back. All things she didn’t do in our other carrier.

Price: A Baby Tula Toddler Carrier retails for $169.00 on Baby Tula’s website, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend that much. They do run sales throughout the year, and you can also purchase Baby Tula carriers at many natural parenting stores as well as Target, and Buy Buy Baby. I personally, after using the Tula Toddler carrier, feel it’s worth every penny, but I am also aware not everyone can spend that amount on a baby carrier. That is why it is awesome Baby Tula sells their carriers at so many different stores. Giving us the consumer the ability to purchase a carrier from a small business store or a big box store we might have gift cards to.

I am excited we got this carrier since I feel I will be able to carry my daughter for a couple more years in it, and I want my daughter to get all of the attention and snuggles she needs when her new baby sister gets here. Once the new baby does come though I can’t wait to front carry my oldest daughter again while Dad wears the little one. (Or vice versa.) I also look forward to learning how to tandem baby wear my daughter, in the Tula Toddler Carrier, and our new little one as well. Always remember older children love been worn and snuggled too. Wear all the babies!

I want to thank Baby Tula so much for sending me a Tula Toddler Carrier to review, and for also allowing me the chance to share my new Tula Toddler Carrier love with all of you! Baby Tula has been so kind and has sponsored a giveaway in conjunction with this review. Click the link below to enter to win a Tula Toddler Carrier in Olive!

Click here to enter to win a Tula Toddler Carrier in Olive!

Open to residents of US and Canada. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Winner to be randomly selected on October 10, 2017

**Disclosure Statement: Even though I received a free product in exchange for this review all opinions are my own. I am a parent myself and would never recommend a product I wouldn’t be comfortable using on or giving to my own child.**

 

 

Rock-A-Bums Cloth Diaper Review: Because We All Have a Little Rock and Roll in Us

Rock-A-Bums Cloth Diaper Review: Because We All Have a Little Rock and Roll in Us

Are you a parent who loves to cloth diaper but finds the prints to be not rock and roll enough? If you are a fan of Softbums diapers then you are in luck. The same company who owns Softbums has a 5 in 1 cloth diaper called Rock-A-Bums. These diapers are different in many ways from their cousins, Softbums, but for a good reason.

The Diaper: Gone are the patented elastic toggle system, and in their stead Rock-A-Bums uses rise snaps on the front of the diaper. This new diaper can be used as an all in one, an all in two, a pocket, just as a cover, or used with their hybrid insert. The inside of the diaper is made of a black polyester material with a waterproof backing. You can get the diaper in either hook and loop or snaps. Unlike their cousins, Softbums Echo and Omni shells, Rock-A-Bums fit starting at around 8 lbs. (So, if your newborn is on the smaller side you may need to purchase a newborn stash or purchase the Softbums Echo shells to start.)

The Inserts: 2 Inserts are sold with the diaper, and are made of a microfiber material topped with a layer of bamboo charcoal material. They also sell hybrid inserts that are made of bamboo viscose. These are great for on the go or even daycare since they can be thrown away and are biodegradable. They do not have a backing that sticks them to the diaper shell so you can layer the hybrid inserts to fit your needs. (I love this since I have a hard time getting the adhesive off my shells from a competitor’s brand.) They make for a very trim diaper. My daughter is 2 years old and 25 lbs. Her Rock-A-Bums diaper fits, with no gaps, on the last rise snap. Like Softbums inserts I was taken a little by surprise at how absorbent Rock-A-Bums inserts are. My daughter can last through a 2-hour nap with both of the microfiber inserts in the diaper. While a little bulkier with the 2 inserts then the Softbums we have not experienced any leaks. Using the hybrid insert we have gotten a much trimmer fit. If you have Softbums inserts they can be used interchangeably with Rock-A-Bums diapers since they can be snapped or stuffed in.

(Rock-A-Bums diaper with two inserts on the left, and the Rock-A-Bums diaper with a hybrid insert on the right.)

Other Accessories: Wet bags. I am a wet bag collector. I probably have more than I actually need. Haha! 20170919_171925One of the things I really like about the Rock-A-Bums wet bags is they have two handles. (This makes hanging the wet bag from a stroller so much easier, and it acts like an extra pocket.) They measure 12″ x 11″, and I have been able to stuff 4-5 diapers in my wet bag. I hope they come out with more solid colors like an Electric Blue. Unfortunately, since Rock-A-Bums do not use the elastic toggle system they do not sell elastic replacement kits, nor do they sell replacement hook and loop kits. So, you are back to replacing your elastics or sending them off to be replaced.

Price: On to the second most important detail. Price. Retail price for a Rock-A-Bums diaper with two inserts on their website is $17.95. Which is slightly cheaper than other all in ones or all in twos on the market. A pack of their hybrid inserts costs $7.95 for a pack of 20, and their wet bags cost $8.00. (All great prices compared to competing brands.)

If you are not a fan of the Softbums toggle system for adjusting the elastics on your diapers, but love the shells and inserts than Rock-a-Bums are a good replacement. Their inserts, while not as soft as Softbums, are still VERY absorbent and took me a little by surprise. The prints are different as well, and I hope they start coming out with Rock band inspired prints. (Gun’s & Rose’s anyone?!) They definitely are more rock and roll then other diaper prints.  (The print my daughter is rocking in this review is called Zanadu.)

So, if you are ready for a no fuss, no mess cloth diaper, make sure you take a look at Rock-A-Bums.

**Disclosure Statement: Even though I received free Rock-A-Bums products in exchange for this review all opinions are my own. I am a parent myself and would never recommend a product I wouldn’t be comfortable using on or giving to my own child.**


SoftBums Cloth Diaper Review: Diapers that grow with your child.

SoftBums Cloth Diaper Review: Diapers that grow with your child.

Who has cloth diapered from infancy? Who has purchased a newborn stash just to have your baby grow out of said newborn stash in a month, and has caused you to purchase another diaper stash to last you till your child potty trains? Let me break down the cost. A good recommendation for a newborn cloth diaper stash is to have about 24 diapers. At an average cost of $15 a diaper that comes to $360.00. (Unless you do shells and flats.) Newborn diapers do not last till your child potty trains because your child out grows them causing you to have to purchase another cloth diaper stash. While you will get some of your money back if you sell your newborn diapers the amount you get back really depends on how good the cloth diaper B/S/T is at the time you want to sell. Say you get 50%, or $180, of your newborn investment back to spend on another conservative 24 diapers, at an average of $20 a diaper, to last your child till potty training you are still shelling out another $300 for your new stash. (I am using conservative numbers since not a lot of cloth diapering families have just 24 diapers per child. Am I the only one? Haha!) A lot of families start cloth diapering to save money. So why not try and save as much as you can?

What if I told you there were diapers that could take you from newborn all the way to potty training? (Average age for potty training in the US is around 2-3 years old.) Causing you to only have to purchase one stash for your child. I have your attention now don’t I? Haha! Well there are diapers that will go from newborn to 36 months and they are from the company Softbums. They have two different diaper shells, along with a couple different inserts, or as they call them Pod systems, that grow with your child and let you choose the absorbency that fits your needs. I had a chance to try out Softbums diapers, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised at their ease of use and how great they worked. Below is my review of Softbums Echo and Omni shells along with their Large Dry Touch Pod and One-Size Bamboo SUPER Double-Pod.

The Echo All in 2 Shell: First a little bit about the Echo shell. The Echo diaper shell, Softbums trim fit shell, fits 0-36 month and can fit a child as small as 5lbs. How? Because of their patented toggle system. With Softbums the Echo shell has a toggle system inside the diaper that allows you to adjust the leg elastic to fit your child. The best way to do this is to measure around your child’s leg, in inches, where the diaper will sit. Divide the number by 2, and add 1.5. (Didn’t think you would need to do some math for your child’s cloth diapers, did you? Haha) The number you get, in inches, is how long your elastics should be on your diaper. Taking the measurement actually does work. It took me 2 minutes to measure my daughter and the fit was perfect. If I had not taken the measurement it would have taken me a little while to get the toggles into the right place for the right fit. My daughter is 24 months and 25 lbs. These fit perfectly when measured out and she has tons of room to grow. Other characteristics of the Softbums Echo shell are that they can come in hook and loop or snaps, and the inside is fleece with a waterproof backing. You should only have to wash the shell once before use, but you will have different prep for the inserts. The inserts are sold separately so you can customize your diapers to fit your child’s needs.

 

The Omni All in 2/Pocket Shell: The Softbums Omni shell, like the Echo, fits from 0-36 months due to Softbums patented toggle elastic system. (I measured my daughter the same way I did for the Echo and got a great fit.) The Omni has the same fleece inside with waterproof backing, and comes in either hook and loop or snap shell. Prep is the same, and just like the Echo the inserts, or pod systems, are sold separately so you can customize to your child’s needs. The difference between the Softbums Echo vs. the Omni shell is the Omni shell is also a pocket diaper. So now you have a choice to either lay the inserts on top, snap them in, or stuff them. After having both the Echo shell and Omni shells on my daughter’s bum I can say the Omni shell is a hair bigger. You might still be able to get away with diapering your newborn with an Omni shell depending on your baby’s weight at birth, but if you are like me and make smaller babies than the Echo may be your way to go.

 

Large Dry Touch Pod:  Since you can purchase the Softbums inserts, or pods, separately you can choose what fabric/absorbency you think would work best for your little one, and interchange them between the Echo and Omni shells. The dry touch pods are made of 4 layers of microfiber with a soft microfleece top. (It is actually really soft. Haha!) To prep the dry touch pods, you will need to wash them 2-4 times. Remember to prep them separately from your bamboo pods. I consider my daughter to be a heavy wetter so we own ALOT of bamboo inserts, but the Softbums large dry touch pod really surprised me. It held up almost just as well as all of her other inserts, and she made it through a whole two-hour nap without being soaked or leaking. I have added the small bamboo pod on top of the dry touch if we are out and about just for security reasons. I have actually been using my Softbums inserts with some of my other diaper shells since they work really well.

 

One-Size Bamboo Super Double-Pod: I am going to start out by saying I actually really like this insert/pod. Out of all of the Softbums products I have used the bamboo pod is my favorite. Softbums bamboo pods are made of a layer of Bamboo/cotton blend topped with a layer of bamboo velour. (These inserts/pods are SO SOFT. There is currently only one other diaper I have tried that could possibly match Softbums bamboo pod in softness, but that diaper’s insert is not made of bamboo.) Again, my daughter lasted through a 2-hour nap, and beyond. The bamboo super double pod actually comes with two inserts, the small and the one size, but I only needed to use the one size. Prep is easy since all you have to do is wash it once and you are good to go. Again, I really like this insert/pod, and if you are a bamboo insert fan I highly recommend you try this one.

 

Replacement Kits: Another perk of Softbums diapers is you can purchase replacement kits with directions for the elastic’s, toggle’s, and the hook and loop. No more having to send your diapers out to be fixed when the elastic wears out. (This will save you big bucks if you don’t know how to replace elastics.)

Price: So, the big question is… how much do they cost? Since the Softbums shells are made in the USA their price is slightly higher than other cloth diaper company shells. The cost for an Echo or Omni diaper shell is $21.95. You can get different prints on sale for a little bit less on the Softbums website or at other natural parenting stores if they are running a sale. Since the inserts are sold separately the cost for a shell and insert can vary. The Large dry touch pod retails for $4.95 and the One-size Bamboo Super double pod retails for $15.95. To give an example you could purchase 12 shells, 12 large dry touch pods, and 12 small dry touch pods for around the same price as 24 newborn diapers. (Shells being used at least twice gives you 24 diaper changes.) The kicker is you wouldn’t have to sell them as your child grows saving you money.

In the end, not every child is the same, and the cloth diaper that works for one child may not work for another. Another money saving trick is to know about as many different kinds/types of cloth diapers that are out there before you spend all of your money on one kind that may end up not working for you. (You spend almost $400 on a diaper stash of one kind of diaper to realize they don’t work for your child causing you to have to try and sell them to fund different diapers. This is actually a reason why many families give up on cloth diapering.) So, make sure when you start looking at building a cloth diaper stash that you take a look at Softbums. Like myself you may be pleasantly surprised, and find yourself making a list of all the Softbums you want to add to your stash because your LO must wear panda’s all the time now. Haha!

Want to save even more money?! Use coupon code pibf10off at check out to receive 10% off. 🙂 One use per customer good through 10/20 and Free shipping over $100!

**Disclosure Statement: Even though I received free product in exchange for this review all opinions are my own. I am a parent myself and would never recommend a product I wouldn’t be comfortable using on or giving to my own child.**


MommyCon’s Mystery Box: Mom’s Survival Kit Review

MommyCon’s Mystery Box: Mom’s Survival Kit Review

I was really excited when I received an invitation this year to join MommyCon’s Parent Squad. One of the main parts of my blog is to review products for families in hopes of helping them save money. Being a part of the MommyCon Parent Squad is just one of the many ways that helps me to be able to do this.

I was doubly excited when I was chosen as one of the individuals to review their August Mystery box. What are these boxes? They are mystery product boxes curated by MommyCon. They have a generalized theme and cost $19.99, which includes shipping. The actual retail cost of the products in the boxes is more than the $19.99 MommyCon price. (I will get more into this in a moment. :))

The theme for August’s box was Mom’s Survival Kit, and it contained the below products. I have also listed the retail price for the products from the actual product company sites. (All except for the Kind Bar. That price is from Target because I could not find individual bars for sale on the Kind Website.)

Fluf Snack Pack Single – $9.50

Chicken Poop lip junk x3 – $4.00 each which equals $12.00

Motherlove nipple cream 1oz – $10.95

Siliskin cup top – $8.95 for 3 or $2.98 a piece

Kind Bar – $1.49

North Coast Organics Death by Lavender natural deodorant 2.5oz – $9.99

Herban Essentials towelettes 7 pack – $7.00

Total cost for all of the products is $53.91. (MommyCon Box Price $19.99 which includes shipping). That’s a savings of $33.92, and that doesn’t include shipping if purchased online, or gas if purchased in store. What the WHAT! I am a couponer and deal hunter when I shop, and I can personally tell you this is an AMAZING price. Now, granted I am sure not ever mystery box theme is going to have this much savings in them all the time; but it shows how much MommyCon tries to pass the savings on to their customers. They really try to make it worth it.

MommyCon’s Mystery boxes at a price of $19.99 are perfect to give as gifts or as a little something for yourself when you need a little pick me up.

Now for the review of the products…:)

Fluf Snack Pack Single – I am really trying hard to use more reusable snack bags and containers, and these reusable snack bags from Fluf are really nice. It has a place for you to write to whom it belongs to, and it has a Velcro closure.

Chicken Poop lip junk – I like these lip balms. So far, the Coconut one is my favorite, but I like all of them. I currently have 1 in my purse, 1 on my nightstand, and 1 in the bath room. The major plus about these lip balms are that they are all natural. The general ingredients, which might change a little depending on which one you purchase, are Avocado oil, jojoba, sweet orange, lavender essential oil, bees wax, and Vitamin E.

Motherlove Nipple Cream – I have actually used this nipple cream when exclusively pumping for my daughter. I found out that lanolin made my nipples itch, and I just really didn’t like the texture or smell. With MotherLove nipple cream I love everything about it. I love the smell, the texture, the fact that it is all natural, and that it does not need to be wiped off before breastfeeding again. It also won’t leave a weird film on your baby’s mouth after nursing. (Had this issue with Lanolin.) This nipple cream contains extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, marshmallow root, and calendula flower

Siliskin cup top – Is a 100% silicone lid that transforms most cups into a spill proof cup. I think it is great for older kids and adults. (I have a 2-year-old and she likes to poke holes, or make straw holes bigger so I do not 100% trust her with my Siliskin cup top yet.) It will fit most cups, but some might be too wide. Also, if your cup or Siliskin is wet you might have a hard time getting the Siliskin to stay, but a quick wipe down and you are good to go.

Kind Bar – I don’t have a picture of the Kind Bar I got in the mystery box because I ate it right after my unboxing video. I am sorry, and not sorry at the same time since it was delicious. Haha! I got the Dark Chocolate, Nuts & Sea Salt Bar, and it is actually my favorite Kind Bar flavor. You can’t go wrong with Kind Bars. You can get bars that are vegan, kosher, and gluten free. They have so many flavors make sure you check them all out.

North Coast Organics Death by Lavender natural deodorant – I have tried a couple natural deodorants for reviews and other then my staple I really like North Coast’s natural deodorant. It’s easy to apply, smells great, and is not harsh on under arms. I always like to remind people that the majority of natural deodorants are not antiperspirants so you will still sweat, but you will smell good. North Coast is no different.  Their website lists their Death by Lavender deodorant as, “…certified organic, certified vegan, certified cruelty-free, certified non-gmo, gluten-free, aluminum-free, soy-free…”, and made of “100% organic coconut oil, 100% organic carnauba wax, 100% organic arrowroot powder, 95% organic shea butter, aluminum-free, natural baking soda, & Organic Essential Oils (Lavender, Lemon, Cypress, Rosemary)”. What’s not to love?

Herban Essentials towelettes – These towelettes are awesome. I received the orange ones, but they also have lemon, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus. I keep them in my diaper bag and have been using them instead of hand sanitizer. There are literally 4 ingredients in the towelettes, water, essential oil, tween 20, and radish root ferment. Less is more, and I definitely need more of these.

Make sure you grab yourself or a friend a MommyCon Mystery Box. I do not think you will be disappointed.


Bamboo Baby Blanket’s Review: Tula, Nicki’s Diapers, and Best Bottom

Bamboo Baby Blanket’s Review: Tula, Nicki’s Diapers, and Best Bottom

As a parent do you ever have moments where you say to yourself, “Man! I wish I knew that back then.”? I do, and I find it is happening more and more in regards to small business company’s and baby products I wish I had known about when my daughter was younger. I think about all the money I could have saved if I had just known about a certain company, or a superior product not found in a big box store. One of those products I have spent tons of money on trying to find the best ones are baby blankets. Children use blankets ALL THE TIME. (Heck I like a nice blanket to cuddle up with every once in a while.) From the time they are born and swaddled to when they are older, children use or cuddle with a blanket almost every day. Blankets need to be soft, durable, and affordable. Through trial and error, I have found bamboo blankets to be one of the best for using with children. Bamboo blankets are light, soft, airy, but also can keep you warm. Below are just a couple of the best bamboo blankets, or swaddle blankets I have found on the market. (It also helps they are made by amazing companies.) I hope the information below will help you in your hunt for the best blanket for our child.

Tula – You may have already heard the name Tula floating around, but this is for a reason. While Tula blankets are on the more expensive side, $25 for a single blanket and $65 for a 3 pack, they make a REALLY nice blanket.  Their blankets are 47″ x 47″, and made of viscose from bamboo. These blankets are SOFT, and they only get softer as you wash them. I did not know about Tula blankets when I had my daughter. 20170515_122452Only after I switched over to shopping at small natural parenting stores did I even learn about Tula blankets. For months I contemplated purchasing one for my daughter, but I could not get past how expensive they were. When I did finally get my hands on one, through a sale at my favorite small natural parenting store, I finally knew why they are loved by so many. The only down side, because bamboo blankets are thin, is they can snag on things. Sometimes very easily, and with a cost of $25 a blanket it can be devastating. So while I highly recommend Tula blankets, I also recommend grabbing them when they go on sale on Tula’s website at the end of the year, or purchasing them using your rewards points from your local natural parenting store. (If you don’t have rewards points yet at your local natural parenting store then I suggest you wait for a special offer, such as triple point days or certain amount off with order, to purchase.)

Another great thing about Tula blankets is who makes them. Tula blankets are made in Poland and the great thing about the factory in which they are made is that they employ those with special needs. (Actually over half of the employees employed at this specific Poland factory are special needs.)  If you would like to know more you can read about Tula blankets and where they are manufactured by clicking here.

Nicki’s Diapers/Best Bottom – If Tula blankets are absolutely out of your price range then a great replacement can be found in Bamboo blankets made by Nicki’s Diapers and their other company Best Bottom. While not as soft and thick as Tula blankets they are more affordable, and come in pretty adorable prints. 20170515_122507They are 50″ x 45″, made of 100% Rayon from Bamboo, and Nicki’s Diapers Bamboo blankets run from $11.95 – $19.95 (price depends on print), and Best Bottom Bamboo blankets are $15.95. 20170515_122501Even though Nicki’s and Best Bottom are owned by the same company their Bamboo blankets are different. They all have their own different prints and feel different. (After purchasing one of each I personally feel the Best Bottom bamboo blanket is slightly softer than Nicki’s Diaper’s bamboo blanket.)

Another great feature of the Nicki’s Diaper brand is their Hope Love Care program. For every Nicki’s brand cloth diaper or bamboo swaddle purchased Nicki’s donates one cloth diaper or bamboo swaddle to a child in need. (Best Bottom product are not included in this program.) You can find Nicki’s Diaper’s and their products by clicking here.

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I really hope the above information has introduced you to new companies and helps you in your search for an amazing/affordable blanket for your children, or for you. If you own one of the above bamboo blankets mentioned, or a different brand, I would love to hear why you love it. ❤

 


 

Why I Made The Switch, and Now Shop Small

Why I Made The Switch, and Now Shop Small

Before I was introduced to the natural parenting community I was a huge big box retail store shopper and couponer. Then I started to notice items I had purchased at these said stores were not holding up well to wear and tear. They were actually starting to cost me more in the long run since I was having to repurchase the same item over and over again. I hate to say it, even though I love Target, most of the clothes I have purchased from there have ripped very easily, or the color on their shirts have run and I end up with a splotchy mess. Other things I started to noticed is the employees just didn’t seem too enthused to be working at these stores. So, I decided to do an experiment. I decided to start shopping at small businesses to see if there was a difference. (Personally, I define small businesses as anywhere from a personal Etsy shops through businesses with less than 50 or so employees.) Little did I know it would turn me into a small business advocate, and totally change the way I think about stores and their products. Here is what I learned.

Product Availability: When I first decided to try to shop small I was concerned the products I wanted/needed would not be available. I quickly learned everything I wanted/needed was indeed available for purchase at a small business, and if it wasn’t they had a great alternative product. With being a new breastfeeding/pumping mom I had a lot of baby products I needed to purchase. I realized all of my breastfeeding/pumping products I needed, which I usually purchased at Target or Babies R US, were available at small natural parenting stores. Products like nipple cream, milk saver bags, breast pump parts, pumping bags, and the list went on and on. At the natural parenting store’s I even had a support system from the friendly staff and customers. If I picked up a product and had questions about it someone was there to tell me if it was good, or how to use it. This level of customer service is not available at big box stores. I did find the only thing I couldn’t purchase at these small natural parenting stores was disposable diapers. So, I continued purchasing those from big box stores till I was converted and switched over to cloth diapering. 😉

Product Quality: Hands down small businesses have better quality products then big box stores. Selling their product is their livelihood, and usually also their passion. This shows in their workmanship and products. THEY CARE. Target and other big box stores know the majority of people will keep coming back whether they are fully satisfied or not with their products. The cashier at the big box store did not make the clothes, furniture, or spend the time researching the best factories or manufacturing centers for the products. Small businesses, owners and employees, care about customer retention and they know if they are not selling a quality product then their customers will not repurchase.

Price: Yes, the price for some products at small businesses can cost more, but there are many reasons why; and I am OK with those reasons. An example of why products cost more at small businesses is because they care where their product materials are sourced and manufactured. You will find many small businesses only source their product materials and/or manufacture from places in the United States. (Or their own farm!) This alone will cause a product to cost more. I have also found other small businesses, while their product is not manufactured in the US, spend time searching for places overseas that will make their product fairly & conscientiously.

Owners/Employees: When you purchase a product from a small business you aren’t helping to pay the salary of a CEO that makes over ten million dollars, or more, a year and pays their other employees minimum wage or less. Most small business owners make less than $100,000 a year, sometimes significantly less, and that is if they are taking a regular salary. I have also found, in my experience, small business employees are a lot happier at their place of employment, and make a fair living wage in comparison to big box stores. (This lower wage trend at big box stores is slowly changing though due to public pressure on big box stores.)

Giving Back: The greatest perk of shopping small is to see how much small businesses give back. Not only to their customers, but also to the community in which they reside and beyond. The rewards programs, sales and giveaways with purchase that a lot of natural parenting stores do more than makes up for any product price increase you will see. I have never ordered online or checked out at Wal-Mart or Target and been told by the cashier that they were going to throw in a free product with my purchase just because they appreciated me as a customer. Small businesses appreciate you! They also give back to their communities. Not too long ago a small business district near where I live flooded due to heavy rains. Cars and local landmarks were swept away. Many of the small businesses and the surrounding community donated their time and money to help rebuild the shopping district. Other ways small businesses give back is through their online communities. Many small natural parenting stores also have online Facebook communities that foster acceptance and bring families together all across the world. These communities have helped create long distance friendships, and I have seen families reach out to help other families in need. Small Businesses giveaway and donate their products and time, not for the tax write off, but because they care.

I could go on and on why I love shopping small now, especially with small natural parenting stores. Yes, I still do sometimes go to big box stores to shop for groceries or to just walk around Target with my Starbucks coffee, I am a mom after all, but I love my small shops now, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Do you shop small or are a small business owner? Why do you shop small? What are your favorite small businesses to shop with, and why? I would love to see what in the comments. Let’s share the small business love!


Prenatal Vitamins – When to Start, What to Look For, and A Look At Some of Your Options

Prenatal Vitamins – When to Start, What to Look For, and A Look At Some of Your Options

There are so many different brands of prenatal vitamins now they take up half an aisle at Target. You have prenatal gummy vitamins, regular pill form vitamins, and now you can also get prenatal drinks, powder drink mixes, and prenatal vitamin snacks. They also range in cost. Does the difference in the kind of prenatal vitamin form or price really matter? Yes and no. If you have a hard time swallowing pills then a drink or a squeeze pouch snack will work for you, but not all of them offer all of the nutrients you should be receiving in a prenatal vitamin. So, when should you start taking a prenatal vitamin, what should you look for in one, and what are your options?

Start taking your prenatal vitamin early: There is nothing wrong with taking a prenatal vitamin years before you even plan on getting pregnant. In reality it is just a multi-vitamin. It just has more vitamins and minerals to assist with a pregnancy. I personally started taking a prenatal vitamin a year before my husband and I started trying to conceive our first child, and I have continued to take one every day since.

Ingredients: I always recommend discussing with your doctor what you should be looking for in a prenatal vitamin. When I wanted to start taking a prenatal vitamin I spoke with my doctor and she recommend looking for a vitamin that had Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Vitamin D. Other helpful ingredients to look for in a prenatal vitamin are Vitamin C, A, E, Zinc, Iodine and Copper. Medical history and diet are other reasons to talk with your doctor about what you should be looking for in a prenatal vitamin. For example: Hemochromatosis, a metabolic disorder where you have an excess amount of Iron in your body, and IBS-D run in my family. After talking with my doctor, she advised that a prenatal vitamin with Iron in it may make me nauseous and constipated, and that I personally could probably take a prenatal vitamin without Iron and be fine. If you have a certain diet your doctor will be able to tell you what dosage of vitamins and minerals you should be looking for in a prenatal vitamin.

So, what are your options? Like I said it’s a prenatal vitamin jungle out there so I wanted to help other mom’s out by comparing a few of the most popular prenatal vitamins I found in store at my local Target, and their pricing. (Pricing of course will differ by store, method of purchase (online or in store), and if you have a coupon or not.) (I have not included Happy Mama products or Bundle Organic products since they are supposed to be used as a compliment to your current prenatal vitamin. If you are looking for items to compliment your current prenatal vitamin Happy Mama offers gummies, drink mixes, squeeze pouch foods, and oat bars. Bundle Organics offers juices.)

Here are the Prenatal Vitamin Contenders: I have highlighted in green the highest amounts of the different vitamins/minerals in the different prenatal vitamins. In red are the highest Total Carb and Sugar content. I have also bolded and underlined the serving amount, how long the bottle should last you, and their price. Again, these are the most popular prenatal vitamin brands that are given the most aisle space, and end cap space. There are other prenatal vitamin brands that are not mentioned here, but I wanted to focus on the most popular.

Olly – The Essential Prenatal Multi-Vitamin: 60 gummies, serving size 2 gummies, will last you 30 days at $13.99. Sodium 5mg, Total Carb 6g, Sugars 4g, Protein 1g. VA 4000 IU, VC 30mg, VD3 400 IU, VE 15 IU, Niacin 20mg, VB6 2.5mg, Folic Acid 800mcg, VB12 8mcg, Zinc 3.8mg, Choline 10mg, Omega-3 70mg, DHA 50mg, EPA 10mg. No Calcium, Iron, or Copper.

vitaFusion Prenatal Gummies: 90 gummies, serving size 2 gummies, will last you 45 days for $9.89. Total Carb 4g, Sugars 4g, VA 4000 IU, VC 30mg, VD 400 IU, VE 15 IU, Niacin 20mg, VB6 2.5mg, Folic Acid 800mcg, VB12 8mcg, Iodine 150mcg, Zinc 3.8mg, Choline 10mg, Omega-3 65mg, DHA 50mg, Other Omega-3 15mg. No Calcium, Iron, or Copper.

Up & Up Prenatal Gummies: 90 gummies, serving size 2 gummies, will last you 45 days for $7.99. Total Carb 4g, Sugars 4g, VA 4000 IU, VC 30mg, VD 400 IU, VE 15 IU, Niacin 20mg, VB6 2.5mg, Folic Acid 800mcg, VB12 8mcg, Iodine 150mcg, Zinc 3.8mg, Choline 10mg, Omega-3 65mg, DHA 50mg, Other Omega-3 15mg. No Calcium, Iron, or Copper.

Nature Made Prenatal tablets with DHA: 90 liquid capsules, serving size 1 tablet, will last you 90 days for $19.99. Total Carb less than 1g, VA 4000 IU, VC 100mg, VD 400 IU, VE 11IU, Thiamin 1.5mg, Riboflavin (VB2) 1.7mg, Niacin 18mg, VB6 2.6mg, Folic Acid 800mcg, VB12 4mcg, Calcium 150mg, Iron 27mg, Iodine 150mcg, Zinc 25mg, Omega-3 228mg, DHA 200mg, EPA 28mg. No Copper.

Smarty Pants Prenatal Gummies: 120 gummies, serving size up to 6 gummies, will last you 20 days at 6 gummies a day for $22.95. Total Carb 11g, Sugars 8g, VA 3000 IU, VC 60mg, VD 1000 IU, VE 30 IU, VK 16mcg, Thiamin 0.08mg, Riboflavin (VB2) 0.17mg, Niacin 20mg, VB6 2.5mg, Folate 800mcg, VB12 10mcg, Biotin 30mcg, Pantothenic acid 10mg, Iodine 150mcg, Zinc 6.5mg, Sodium 25mg, Fish Oil 455mg, EPA 75mg, DHA 60mg, total Omega-3 165mg, Choline 12mg. No Calcium or Copper.

Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink Mix Essentials: 28 pack, serving size 1 pack, will last you 28 days for $19.99. Total Carb 1g, Folic Acid 800mcg, Biotin 300mcg, VC 30mg, VB12 6mcg, VD2 900 IU, Calcium 100mg, Iron 9mg, Magnesium 60mg, Zinc 7.5mg, Copper 2mg, VB2 1.7mg, VB6 30mg, No DHA, Choline, Vitamin C, A, E, or Iodine. (They also have a mix with DHA. I will list it below as well.)

Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink Mix Essentials + DHA: 28 pack, serving size 1 pack, will last you 28 days for $19.99. Total Carb 1.5g, Folic Acid 800mcg, Biotin 300mcg, VC 30mg, VB12 6mcg, VD2 900 IU, Calcium 100mg, Iron 9mg, Magnesium 60mg, Zinc 7.5mg, Copper 2mg, Flax Seed Oil and Algal Oil Fatty Acid Blend 165mg, Choline 25mg, VB2 1.7mg, VB6 30mg, ALA Omega-3 30mg, DHA 20mg. No Vitamin C, A, E, or Iodine. 

The gist: Olly Prenatal Multi-Vitamin, vitaFusion Prenatal Gummies and Up & Up Prenatal Gummies are comparable ingredient wise, but not in price. All three do not have Calcium, Iron, or Copper in them. If you are looking to get more for your money, then you should look at Up & Up or vitaFusion. Nature’s Made Prenatal with DHA has everything that you should be looking for in a Prenatal Vitamin except Copper, and they are decently priced for how much you get. Smarty Pants Prenatal Gummies has the most vitamins/minerals, but doesn’t contain Calcium or Copper. They also have the highest number of gummies you have to take, Total Carbs, Sugar, and price. Premama Prenatal Vitamin Essential Mix has everything but DHA, Choline, Vitamin A, C, E and Iodine. Their Prenatal Vitamin Essential Mix + DHA has everything but Vitamin A, C, E and Iodine. The upside to Premama is you get to drink it instead. (This would probably be a prenatal vitamin that I would take/eat something else to compliment it.)

So… If, like me, extra Iron makes you sick then a Prenatal Vitamin like Olly’s, vitaFusion or Up & Up gummies will work for you. The Calcium they don’t have can be made up with the Calcium in Tums if you are suffering from heartburn while pregnant. It will come down to cost and taste for you. If you are ok with taking a pill with Iron, then Nature’s Made with DHA is the best option from above due to ingredients and price.  For me, the Smarty Pants Prenatal Vitamins I saw at Target are just too expensive, and the Total Carb and Sugar count along with 6 gummies a day is a lot. I have tried Premama and it tastes good, and if you have a hard time taking pills or chewing gummy vitamins then Premama is a good choice. (They also offer free samples through their website.) I just wish they could add all the vitamins they are missing compared to the rest of the Prenatal Vitamins.

I hope this post has helped you in some way with your search for a prenatal vitamin. I have tried my best to bring you as much correct information regarding the above prenatal vitamins as I can, but again make sure to speak with your doctor when looking to start taking a prenatal vitamin. For those who already take a prenatal vitamin I would love to hear what you look for in a Prenatal Vitamin and what you take. 🙂

Fabula Nebulae All Natural Body Products Review

Fabula Nebulae All Natural Body Products Review

When you have kids it is very hard to find/take time for yourself. When you are a parent though self-care is very important. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, it is hard to take care of others. This is a hard lesson to learn for some. To this day when I have a moment, usually when my daughter is napping, I could take some time for myself but instead I think of all the other things I need to get done, and I try to tackle some items on my to do list. This is why I have had an unused spa gift card for almost a year. What?!  So, I am trying to change tactics. If you have ever watched the TV show Parks & Rec you will understand. “Treat yo self!” One of the ways I am trying to treat myself is by giving myself a little bit of “me” time each day and finding quality all natural products that will benefit me both inside and out. One company I have found with amazing all natural products is Fabula Nebulae. They offer a range of products from sugar scrubs, aromatherapy balms, teas, and more. Below are my thoughts on just a few of their products and how I use them to treat myself. 🙂

Morning: The Silky Java Coffee Sugar Scrub is the thickest sugar scrub I have used. Usually the ones I use are very runny where as Fabula Nebulae’s coffee sugar scrub is thick, but not dry. The coffee grinds and sugar are the ingredients that give you the scrub and the smell is wonderful! I use this scrub in the morning before my coffee to give me the kick I need in the shower. If you are not a big fan of coffee this scrub might not be for you. (Don’t worry though they have other sugar scrub options.) My skin afterwards is always smooth, and the natural butters and oils provide all day moisture for my skin. (No need to apply more moisturizer afterwards.) I wish it came with a scooper or applicator of sorts since the package says you want to try to keep water out of the container to maintain the freshness, but it still works without one. Things to be watchful of. Be careful when using the scrub in the shower/tub since it can leave the bottom of the shower/tub slippery. Also, if you have a bath mat you may need to pull it up and rinse the bottom of the shower/tub afterwards to get any leftover coffee grinds down the drain.

Throughout the Day: After the coffee sugar scrub Bumble Fairy Sun Dust is a great aromatherapy balm to help keep you energized, focused, and relaxed though out the day. When I opened the package I immediately smelled Lemon, Calendula, and Chamomile. Plus, it sparkles! When my daughter saw me open the container her first reaction was “oooohhhh.” I apply it to my neck and my wrists near my pulse points and I find myself smelling the balm as my day goes on. My daughter can also smell it when I hold her and I hope she gets a relaxing moment from it as well. The only down side is you may need to reapply throughout the day depending on what you are doing. If I have to do the dishes the balm will wash away and I will need to reapply.

Their Hazelnut Cocoa Lip Balm is a really great all natural lip balm. The main smell of the lip balm is hazelnut. Like all their other products the lip balm smells amazing, and it went straight to work moisturizing my dry winter lips. I will say this lip balm is the best lip balm I have ever used. It lasts longer, and moisturizes better than any other I have tried. The lip balm does contain lanolin so please be careful if you are allergic.

The Quite the Storm Skin Calming Balm is another great winter skin treat. I have used it on my dry hands and my daughters dry skin. The balm smells like fresh lemons to me which relaxes me. All you need is a little bit on your dry skin, but I love it so much I could use tubs of this calming balm.

Night: While I really love coffee I also really love tea. Haha! I am big on loose leaf tea, personally believe it tastes better than bagged tea, and have been on the hunt for a good tea that will help me relax at night so I can hopefully sleep better. Midnight Moonbeams tea is a great night-time option. It is a loose-leaf tea made of Chamomile, Peppermint, Lemon balm, Lemongrass, Lavender, Hibiscus, Dried Persimmon, and Rose Petals. 20170128_200158(I also found that Midnight Moonbeams tea is very good at calming your stomach after the stomach flu thanks to the chamomile and peppermint. Haha!) I love the taste of this tea and have found it very relaxing. When I open the can I smell the chamomile, when I brew it I smell the peppermint, and when I drink it I taste both. I even like the tea cold. (Happens to a lot of drinks in my house.) A great tea to have on hand for any occasion. Especially family tea time! I am very excited to treat myself throughout the year to their different kinds of teas.

I am very impressed with Fabula Nebulae’s products and will be ordering in the future. Now how are you going to “Treat yo self.”?
GIVEAWAY CLOSED – How about a $30.00 Fabula Nebulae e-gift card? Yes please! Enter to win here. Pretty in Baby Food’s Fabula Nebulae Gift Card Giveaway
Also, use the coupon code FABULANEBULAE at checkout and receive 20% off your order from 02.06 to 02.27 at www.fabulanebulae.com