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!

**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 and Giveaway!

Fabula Nebulae All Natural Body Products Review and Giveaway!

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


Product Review – Smartbottoms Haversack

Product Review – Smartbottoms Haversack

Being a first-time parent I am sad to say when I was looking at diaper bags, almost 2 years ago, I went for cute/monogrammed instead of cute/functional. (Doh!) When I decided I needed a new diaper bag I knew what I was looking for, but I was blown away with how much diaper bags were going for. Unfortunately, I am not a parent that can spend $300 on a diaper bag no matter how nice they are. So, I continued my search. I needed a diaper bag with pockets on the inside and could one day double as a purse or laptop bag. Then Smartbottoms released their Haversack. The price was more affordable and it had everything I was looking for.

What I was dealing with: My current diaper bag was basically just one big pocket mess.mess Everything went into this pocket and got lost. When I dumped it out to change to the Haversack I found disposable diapers from before I started cloth diapering, a random golf ball, and a lonely little piggy.

 The Haversack bag: It is a cotton or poly canvas hobo style diaper bag. The inside is one big pocket lined with 4 smaller pockets, and comes with its own changing pad. (It is so soft!) It has one strap that is adjustable so you can tie it to fit your needs. It can be worn across your body, like a regular purse on one shoulder, and on your back just in case your baby wearing in the front. The Haversack comes in many different prints, and different natural parenting stores have special prints they release. (Abby’s Lane, Kelly’s Closet, and Lil’ Tulips are just a few stores that have different specialty prints.) If you need to wash it the Haversack can be tossed into the washer and dryer.

What I fit inside my Haversack: In the first pocket, I put a wetbag, mini wetbag, and some extra plastic bags just in case. The second pocket contains a full-size wipes pack. The third pocket holds sunscreen, CJS Butt Butter, hand sanitizer, gas drops, my daughter’s gloves and winter hat. insideInside the last pocket I have 2 full changes of clothes. (2 pairs of pants, shirts, and socks). The big main pocket holds our Ezpz mini mat, the Haversack changing pad, bib, and usually between 2-6 cloth diapers. Eventually when I do not need to use the haversack as a diaper bag it will work perfectly as a computer bag, or a bag to use when traveling.

Price: It is hard to compare the price of a Haversack to that of say a Ju-Ju-Be BFF diaper bag because to me they are completely different products, but I can say the Haversack is an affordable diaper bag solution. The bags can range in price depending on the print, and where you purchase them, but usually Haversacks run about $65. If you shop at a natural parenting store, like the one’s I mentioned above, you can accrue points every time you order and once you hit a certain point threshold you can redeem them for store credit. If you already do this, you can cash in your points to pay for your Haversack, or if you don’t have any points than purchasing the Haversack will get you closer to being able to get other goodies with your points free. 🙂

Things to consider: I have 1 child in diapers and I feel like I have filled up the Haversack pretty well. I am not sure a Haversack is a good option if you have multiple children in diapers that you need to carry items for. If you are looking into a Haversack as your diaper bag solution and have multiple children in diapers I would see if your local natural parenting store or a friend has a Haversack so you can check it out. Also, I am hoping one day Smartbottoms will come out with shoulder strap tie downs to hold down the extra fabric where you tie your Haversack strap.

Over all I love my Haversack and would highly recommend it as a lower cost diaper bag solution. It’s also a plus that they are really cute. 😉

Product Review – Nicki’s Diapers Bamboo Overnight Fitted Diaper

Product Review – Nicki’s Diapers Bamboo Overnight Fitted Diaper

As parents we all know that feeling all to well. Baby is sleeping soundly, either in our laps, our beds or on us in our beds, and then there is this warm wet feeling. That beautiful baby sleeping so softly just peed all over you and/or your bed. Now your up changing your clothes, your bed sheets, and the baby. This has happened to me. My daughter is a heavy wetter so it has happened in regular disposable diapers, night-time specific disposable diapers, and also in cloth diapers. Quite a few cloth diapering families do not cloth diaper at night for this exact reason. We are all looking for a night-time diapering solution that works for our children.

For my family the “solution” has been to layer so many inserts that my daughters fluff butt is HUGE at night and causes us to have issues with her pajamas not fitting.  My current night-time solution is either 3 fuzzibuns (50/50 Cotton/Hemp) inserts or 3 flip inserts (2 stay dry inserts and 1 nighttime insert 100% Cotton) with a flip cover. I get no leaks, but every night her diaper inserts are soaked front to back and her butt is wet since the inserts are not the best at wicking away moisture. Even though my current night-time cloth diaper solution produces no leaks I feel that it could be better for my daughter. When I was offered the chance to try out Nicki’s Diapers Bamboo Overnight Fitted Diaper I said yes.I wanted something not as bulky and made from a material that would keep my daughters butt drier at night.

Nicki’s Bamboo Overnight Fitted Diaper is made of 8 layers of 100% bamboo. The shell has 3 layers and the insert has 5. 20170106_153606My first impressions of the diaper was that it was so SOFT. It’s so soft that I felt like I could have used it as a pillow. Haha! My next impression was how trim the diaper was and how the heck was this diaper going to hold all my daughters pee. Knowing that the diaper was going to take several washes to prep since it is a natural material I got to prepping. I had another bamboo material diaper I needed to prep and I had some bamboo bed sheets so I tossed them all in the washer. I washed and dried my daughters diaper 4 times before I couldn’t wait any longer to get it OTB.

First night: Since I was concerned I didn’t prep it enough, sometimes it takes 5-6 washes, I added 2 Lalabye Baby bamboo inserts under the Nicki’s bamboo insert and covered it with my flip cover. My daughter usually sleeps from 9pm to 8am with many moments of waking and wanting a drink, and the first night she drank a lot more water then she usually does so I knew Nicki’s diaper was going to see a work out. (When I mean drank a lot my daughter had 6 0z of milk an hour before bed, we changed her into the diaper around 9pm, and then throughout the night she probably drank an extra 6 to 7 oz of water.) The diaper was defiantly more trim than her other night-time diaper solution, and it was more flexible. Her pajamas fit!!!! I say again. Her pajamas fit! (This is big, haha!) To me the diaper felt like a diaper should, fluffy. I could tell as the night wore on that her diaper was soaking up all the water she drank because the fluffiness slowly faded away. Which to me was great because it felt like an indicator that I would know if the diaper was full and needed to be changed.nickis-2

First night result: Over night there were no leaks and in the morning when I changed her the middle part of the diaper was saturated, but the front and back of the diaper were dry /still fluffy, and my daughters butt was dry. I was super excited! I threw that puppy in the wash to see how it would do fully prepped.

Second night: After washing the diaper for the 5th time the diaper looked fully prepped based on its color when dried so for the second night I removed 1 of the Lalabye Baby bamboo inserts. (In my experience non prepped/not fully prepped bamboo diapers look more off white/tan in color compared to fully prepped bamboo diapers that are more white in color. This is due to the natural oils that are removed when prepping.) My daughter had her 6 oz of milk an hour before bed, and she had about 4 oz of water through out the night.

Second night results: No leaks, the middle of the diaper was again saturated, the front and back of the diaper were more dry than the first night, and just like the first night my daughters butt was dry! (Happy Dance!) Now that the diaper was fully prepped I figured I would try it without any inserts for the 3rd night.

Third night: With just the outer shell, Nicki’s insert, and flip cover I gave my daughter her 6 oz of milk an hour before bed, and then she had between 4-5 oz of water throughout the night.

Third night results: Again no leaks, the middle of the diaper was saturated, and the back and front of the diaper were wet except for a couple of centimeters near the edges. Also, like the last two times my daughters butt was dry when I took the diaper off even though her diaper was pretty full. Going forward I personally will probably use it with at least another insert in the diaper for my daughter, but if your child is not a heavy wetter than you may be able to get away with just the one Nicki’s insert.nickis

Final Results… I like it! Nicki’s Diapers Bamboo Overnight Fitted Diaper is a very absorbent and trim overnight diaper. I would even say a great night-time diaper solution for heavy wetters. You might need to put in an extra insert or two, but this diaper gets the job done.  So say goodbye to night-time leaks, and say hello to dry baby butt cheeks!

Side note: Another plus of purchasing Nick’s brand diapers from Nicki’s Diapers is that for every Nicki’s diaper or swaddle blanket purchased they will donate a diaper or swaddle blanket to a child in need. You can visit Nicki’s Diapers here.

 

 

Elevated (Taylor’s Natural) PITS Natural Deodorant Review

Elevated (Taylor’s Natural) PITS Natural Deodorant Review

Smelling good has been the objective of the human race since we noticed that we can smell bad sometimes. (Ok maybe not during the Middle Ages, but do you really smell bad if everyone else smells just as bad?)  The use of perfumes, oils, and even wax candles melting on your head (I’m looking at you Ancient Egyptians) are just a couple of the ways humans have tried to make themselves smell good throughout the ages. Then came the deodorant and antiperspirants that we all know and use.

Have you read your deodorant/Antiperspirant label though? I did for the first time and when I googled the ingredients this is what I found. The first ingredient in my bird named deodorant/antiperspirant is Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly. This ingredient literally blocks your pores. Plugs them right up so that your sweat can’t escape and is absorbed by the ingredient. Oh and it turns the underarms of your clothes yellow. (Um… don’t we spend tons of money to unclog our facial pores, and laundry detergent to get th eyellow stains out?) Lets continue down the ingredient list. Cyclopentasiloxane helps your deodorant/antiperspirant to slide on nicely. This ingredient can also irritate your underarms. Stearyl alcohol gives your skin a smooth and soft appearance. C12-15 alkyl benzoate, Ppg-14 butyl ether, Hydrogenated castor oil, Hydroxyethyl urea and Dimethicone  are skin conditioning agents. Peg-8 is a solvent. When I googled Polyethylene all the hits said it was plastic, but it has been known to cause kidney issues when used in deodorants. Oh and Steareth-100 is a polyethylene glycol ether so I would just see above where I mention Polyethylene. You can look up the above ingredients yourself. I used a combination of  http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/, and http://www.cir-safety.org/ingredients, and http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. (I took EWG with a grain of salt. That is why I used the other two sources as well.)

Whew and WOW. My mom always told me that if I couldn’t pronounce an ingredient in food I should not eat it. ( I am still trying to follow that one.) Maybe we should use that thought for the outside of our bodies as well?  So I tried a natural deodorant.

I was scared though. I was scared the natural deodorant wouldn’t work and I would smell. Well I did end up smelling, but I smelled like Roses. I tried Elevated’s PITS Natural Deodorant in Rose Vanilla Scent. Ingredients: Shea Butter, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Macadamia & Coconut Oil, Calendula, Lemon Balm, Comfrey, Cosemary, Aluminum free Baking Soda, Arrowroot, Activated Charcoal, Magnesium Oil, Rose Geranium, Vanilla Extract & gse. Much easier to pronounce and I know what all of those ingredients are without having to look them up.

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One thing that I didn’t know was that I was going to need to detox my armpits from my regular deodorant/antiperspirant first. (Makes sense to me now. haha) You need to get rid of all the extra left over gunk from your regular deodorant and to re-establish your natural microbial ecosystem in your armpits. You can do this a couple of ways. The first is by applying a bentonite clay mask to your armpits, or you can use apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, or lemon after showering and before putting on your natural deodorant. I didn’t have the clay, but I did have apple cider vinegar so I swabbed that on before I applied the PITS natural deodorant after my morning shower for a couple of days. I  found at the beginning my underarms were a little sensitive, but after a day or so they returned to normal.

Have I noticed any changes or a difference? Heck yeah! With my regular deodorant/antiperspirant I used to get really itchy underarms. (It is never sexy for someone to catch you scratching your underarms. Haha!) I also noticed that if I forgot to apply my deodorant/antiperspirant I would have a pretty bad BO. I have used Elevated’s PITs natural deodorant for a week now and I haven’t had any itching and I haven’t had any BO complaints. My underarms are soft, and smell like Roses. (If you are a fan of Vanilla I must warn you the Rose Vanilla scent is more on the Rose side then Vanilla.)

Elevated’s PITs natural deodorant comes in a glass container with 2 FL of product in it. Even though the container for the PITs might seem small you only need a dime size amount for each underarm so the container should last you a while. All in all I am actually quite impressed with Elevated’s natural deodorant, and I am looking forward to trying their other natural deodorant scents.

I hope this review helps anyone who is on the fence about using natural deodorant. Cheers!

Freshly Picked Moccasin Review – An Investment Worth Making.

Freshly Picked Moccasin Review – An Investment Worth Making.

Ever since my daughter was born I have wanted to get her a pair of baby moccasins. I could never decide on which brand because I was afraid of spending money on a product that might not last a long time, was of poor quality, or she would out grow quickly. One brand stood out to me though and I have ogled them for over a year, Freshly Picked. I am sure you have heard of them. I am also sure you have looked them up and have seen their price tag. I can not bring myself to purchase shoes for myself that coast over $20 so there is no way I could do it for my child. When I was given the chance to try them out though I jumped, and I will now be purchasing a pair.

What made me change my penny-pinching mind? I am going to blame part of this on my husband and part on my mommy heart. My husband, usually when he wants to buy something expensive, tells me that sometimes you have to pay a little bit more for a great product so you don’t have to spend money over and over again replacing a bad product. It has taken me a long time to adjust to this thinking. My mommy heart tells me when something is cute, would look good on my child, or would help make memories.

Freshly Picked baby moccasins are a combination of both. These moccasins are genius. From the simple and chic packaging to the product Freshly Picked will have you hooked.

When I opened up the box I was super excited to get them on my daughters feet. (I don’t think I have ever been so excited for shoes that were not mine.) They were super easy to get on her feet, and are true to size. I could tell right off the bat they are well made and superior in craftsmanship compared to a lot of other moccasins from different companies.  (I had done a lot of research before in hopes of making a purchase.) The cut of the leather or suede material, the look and cut of the fringes, and the stitching are all area’s where Freshly Picked stood out. The moccasins also come with a dust bag so that you can try to keep them nice, or for storing them. Freshly Picked also sells leather wipes, and suede cleaning kits to assist with moccasin maintenance so they last longer. Since the moccasins are leather or suede the more your child wears them and breaks them in you might even see their foot prints start to show on the bottom. (Uh. Mommy Heart feels anyone?) So Freshly Picked has the cute,  looks good on my child, and memory maker side of the equation down. 20161119_203629So what about the price part of the equation? Within the last year Freshly Picked has added a “Classics” Collection to their line up. This collection is a little cheaper than their other collections. (The pair of moccasins to the left are from their Signature Collection.) You might not know this, but Freshly Picked moccasins have such a following that they hold their value really well. (Who knew baby moccasins could be an investment? Haha!) My advice to mom’s and dad’s who would like to purchase a pair of these moccasins, but haven’t because of the price is to join some Freshly Picked B/S/T groups or purchase a pair from Freshly Picked when they run sales. So if you were to purchase a pair, didn’t like them, you see a different pattern you liked better, or your child grows out of them you will be able to B/S/T for pretty much what you paid for them. (Of course this depends the condition your moccasins are in.)

So what about the company? I know a lot of small businesses make baby moccasins, and I am all for shopping small so I wanted to tell you a little bit about Freshly Picked. Freshly Picked is a woman owned business. The owner, Susan, developed her concept and products on her kitchen table in 2009. Then Susan went on to Shark Tank to pitch her idea. After that her business exploded. While her business is no longer a “small” business I applaud Susan for her hustle and hard work to grow her dream.