Mommy's Favorite Things: April 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Hop Spotlight CHANGING DIAPERS

Kelly Wels is a well known person in the Cloth Diapering community. I was sent her wonderful book Changing Diapers: The Hip Moms Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering. This book is a wonderful resource for those just learning about cloth diapers and those experts as well. There is a wealth of knowledge inside this book and it was really a great read. 

The pages are short and there's lots of pictures. There are 215 pages, but they are small so this is an afternoon read for sure. Each page has something interesting on it and it definitely peaks that interest. For those just learning about cloth diapers this can be a bit overwhelming, but I suggest just dipping your toes in slightly before taking the plunge and reading this book. For experts it's a nice reminder and to help freshen up everything. In the cloth diaper world there is a lot to know and learn and sometimes it all becomes a big jumbled mess inside the brain!! It all meshes together! So this is great to have on hand. 

It's also perfect to lend out to friends who are wanting to learn more!

This book lays out all the basics, from washing routines to lingo, she even has a section on cloth diapering multiples!

This book is exactly what I needed almost 3 years ago when I made the plunge into cloth diapering. I just wish something so useful had been around then. Cloth Diapering can be really intimidating when you have millions of websites to sift through for information. Changing Diapers takes the best out of all of that and puts it into one easy to read book!

Price: Her book is just $11.98 down from $17.95 right now and this is a killer steal! Pick it up while that price still lasts!

Overall: *****
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from Changing Diapers in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to Changing Diapers for allowing me to review this product  

For the Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop, Changing Diapers is offering one Mommy's Favorite Things reader the chance to win a One Size Fuzzibunz Diaper and a Temporary Tattoo! ARV $20

Sunsets Inc Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

We have a hot tub so we use swimsuits all year round. Granted I've used mine once in a year because I was pregnant, but It will be getting more use soon. I love that we have a hot tub, but it means I need multiple swimsuits. 

I contacted Sunsets Inc and they told me to give them my suit choice from any of their companies. I sent her 3 suits that I liked and said just send whichever you want.
I was FLOORED when I got this huge package in the mail and she had sent me ALL 3 SUITS!!! Yes, all 3 that I liked, she sent. 
I was very happy with that though because I need more swimsuits and this was perfect. It also allowed me to try out 3 different brands and compare them.
 First up is the Sunsets Morocco suit.
I chose the Twist Tankini with the Basic Sport Bottom
 This is a strap bikini
Then came the Aerin Rose Lace suit
I chose the Shirred Cup Halter Underwire top with the Black Basic High waist Brief
 Lastly is the Swim Systems Camellia
I chose the Side Cinch Tankini with the Shirred Banded Bottom
 The side cinch.
 Cute rings on the halter

Lucky for you all you are NOT getting action shots! You're welcome!!! 

I love all these suits. The quality on all of them is really great. When I got in the hot tub the one time since getting pregnant a year ago I wore the Camellia. It is my favorite suit out of all of them, but it is the tightest. It also shows a bit of the stomach as well since it's cinch. But for my own backyard it's perfect!

The morocco fits the largest. It fits, but it's flowy, it's the widest. The lace is a PERFECT fit, as is the Camilla, just a different type of fit. I really do love them all equally. The Camellia is my favorite print by far though!

They also have one more brand called B Swim.

All the suits can be bought on the Best Swimwear website!

Price: Each suit is roughly $140 for a tankini and bottom. This is a bit pricey, but it's really worth it. The quality is great!

Overall: *****

*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from Sunsets Inc in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to Sunsets Inc for allowing me to review this product  and for offering a giveaway

Saturday, April 28, 2012

4 months old today!

Crazy how far he's come.
You can really tell just how fast he's grown. Taking his pictures today I realized how mobile and wiggly he's become. I didn't really get any good ones because he was constantly moving!

 Blooper! See what I mean about moving! lol
He loves those hands!

He is really teething now. We thought he had a tooth coming in a month ago, I think the corner is in, but ti's been there for a month and nothing else has popped through so I have no idea. 

He's estimated around just over 14 pounds and I'm guessing is about 25-25.5" long now!
So he's almost doubled his birth weight and has grown about 5.5"
Getting big.

Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Hop Spotlight GEFFEN BABY

This is a different kind of review. I've only reviewed prefolds ONE other time and that was Bummis, it was their Prefold Kit. So this is a bit different!

This time I received 2 prefolds to test out from Geffen Baby. I received one Hemp Jersey prefold and one Hemp Fleece prefold.
I received these for product testing and it wasn't planned on me writing a review, so I didn't take pictures of the prefolds themselves. 
Here is a stock photo of the Hemp Jersey one
I received it in the Green Trim which is the size Emerson needs. It's a 14"X16.5"

The Hemp Fleece one is exactly the same, but it's a fleece outer material and is super soft and fuzzy!
Here is a picture of Emerson in the Hemp Fleece Prefold under a OS Rumparooz Cover
It's a VERY trim prefold

This is equivalent to a disposable in trimness. It's very trim and all his pants easily fit over this diaper!
I used the prefold Angel Wing folded under that cover there. 

I tested out these prefolds stuffed in a pocket, pinned/snappied on as well as angel wing folded and laid in a cover. They worked AMAZING all ways I tried them. 
They are very absorbent, My most absorbent prefolds by far and wash up really well as well as dry fast. The fleece one tends to take a bit longer to dry, but I leave it hang after a full dry load and it's usually fully dry within a couple hours. 

These diapers were really great. I'm a prefold lover. They are some of my favorite diapers, and these are my favorite brand thus far.

They are organic cotton prefolds 60% hemp and 40% cotton. They're made in the USA too which is really great! These prefolds are really great. 

The snappi grabbed both materials really great and it held it together nicely. Pins went easily through the fabric, but not easily enough that they slid all the way through. I had no problem pinning these on and they fit him perfectly. I was easily able to use these prefolds overnight with a cover and had NO leaks! They each lasted about 8 hours before I changed him. He's a belly sleeper and usually we have leaks, but these didn't leak. 

I would expect that this green trim diaper would fit to maybe 18 pounds or so? But after that it would be perfect trifolded in a cover or OS pocket!

Geffen Baby also offers other products like Inserts that are universal in all pockets! They're also great for AI2s as they're the same material of 60% hemp and 40% cotton!

Price: The Hemp Jersey prefolds can be purchased from Lovely Eco Chic and are between $5.30 and $8.20. The Hemp Fleece needs to be emailed or called in to Geffen Baby themselves! These prefolds are a bit pricey, but absorbency wise it's equivalent to 2 regular prefolds so they are worth it! And they're so soft and nice!

Overall: ***** for sure! 
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from Geffen Baby in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to Geffen Baby for allowing me to review this product  

For the Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop, Geffen Baby has offered one Mommy's Favorite Things reader the chance to win their choice of either a Hemp Jersey or Hemp Fleece prefold ARV about $8 depending on size and choice! 
Look for the giveaway, which goes live May 1st!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Hop Spotlight DIVA DIAPERS

Diva Diapers is a family owned business dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest in cloth diapering! They carry a HUGE variety of cloth diaper brands, including BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, GroVia and more!

They also carry many other items for diapering and not for diapering like Sandwich Bags and Nursing Pads.

I am not really much of a fan of bumGenius I never really liked them with Avery, but I knew I had to try the new Freetime out. It's an AIO with a fancy insert system!
We received it in the Mirror color. It's a beautiful turquoise
This picture has the most accurate color
This color is off, but it has a lot of snap options

 The inserts are flaps. It's an AIO because they are sewn in on one end, but they do this for fast drying time!
Each insert has a pocket opening. It allows you to add more absorbency. It also helps aid in even faster drying time.
 The inserts have grooves on them so you can fold them to customize absorbency
 Like this for a boy
For a boy, because it's at the front
 Or like this for a girl
 Girl because it's in the middle/back
 It's a great fit. It almost looks like we could go up to the medium setting though.
 But then I'd be afraid it would be too loose around the thighs. I could probably loosen the waist one snap notch too.

For not being a BG lover I'm in love with this diaper!! It's a great diaper. It dries fast like a regular pocket, but is super easy to do. For now I just leave both inserts unfolded. It works good for us. It's super absorbent and is just fine. But I can easily add boosters inside the inserts or I can add a prefold on top or bottom as well. I can also add a newborn microfiber insert underneath the inserts so they don't touch his bum directly. 

The inserts are microfiber on the bottom and a very soft cotton on top so it's very soft on baby's bum, but still has that wicking capability of the microfiber. 

Diaper dries in one load. I will say though. Emerson pooped in this diaper the first time he wore it (it's inevitable, every new diaper gets pooped in!) and it stained instantly. The only diapers of mine that are stained are natural fibers like bamboo and hemp. So I don't know why this one did, but I'm sure it would sun out very easily. 

This is an amazing diaper overall!
Like I said before Diva Diapers has a TON of items to choose from. Next on my list is the Knickernappies OS as I haven't tried one of these yet

Price: Her bumGenius Freetime is $19.95. Same price as the manufacturers website. 

Overall: ***** LOVE the diaper and LOVE Diva Diapers
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from Diva Diapers in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to Diva Diapers for allowing me to review this product  and for offering a giveaway

For the Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop, Diva Diapers has offered one Mommy's Favorite Things reader the chance to win a $20 certificate! Good for anything in the store! 
Be sure to head back here on May 1st to enter this and many other great prizes!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

eMeals Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

As a busy parent or spouse, you know it's hard to meal plan. A lot of the time you get takeout or eat cereal for dinner. Tell me I'm right?!?!

With eMeals they make it super easy for you!
It's an entire meal plan that comes out every Sunday and allows you to do your plan of dinner's for the week. 

They have it set up by region and store. There are regular menus for families, and couples. There are also specialty for families or couples. The specialty are things like Gluten Free, Low Carb etc. 
The stores on there are Aldi, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Publix, Ralph's, Safeway, Whole Foods and the option of Any Other Store. 
You choose your store and then choose the region that's closest to you for the best and closest prices. 

I'm a part of the Family Kroger Mid South region. The mid south is for Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois etc. I'm in MI so this is the closest to me, since the other is for the Georgia, South Carolina region. 

Basically every Sunday they release the meal plan for the week. It shows each recipe along with side dishes. It's super easy to read and the recipes are really easy. 

I do meal plan on my own. It's fun and a challenge for me to find new recipes. I hardly ever make the same recipe twice so it's definitely a challenge for me. I love making new recipes so this meal plan was PERFECT for me. 

It also lists the grocery list at the bottom as well as pricing. 
Here's a couple recipes I've made!
 This is Tilapia with Spinach Parmesan Rice and homemade rolls. 
The Tilapia I cheated and used Gorton's new Skillet Fresh. The rice wasn't really that good. It was kind of bland. So far this is the only emeals that we didn't care for (the rice only)
This is Italian Sausage Pasta with Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread

That was really good. The pasta was almost like sausage and Peppers but instead of over rice, it was with pasta. I added a can of tomato sauce to that to make it saucier. 

I've also made their Ranch Parmesan Chicken TWICE now! It calls for rice and green beans on the side. The first time I made it I did the rice it called for (with butter, salt and pepper, this wasn't that great) and Broccoli with cheese. And last night I made it with homemade Mashed Potatoes and Corn. Very good. This is the best chicken I've ever had!
I'm actually going to share the recipe here!!!

1 c dry breadcrumbs (I used Italian!)
⅓ c Shredded Parmesan cheese
1 t seasoned salt
½ t pepper
1 t garlic powder
4 - 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c ranch salad dressing
¼ c melted butter

Mix together breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Dip chicken into the ranch dressing to coat both sides. Coat in the breadcrumb mixture. Place in a lightly greased 13” x 9” baking dish. Drizzle butter over each breast. Bake uncovered in a 400° F oven for 30 - 35 minutes.

We've also made a Layered Beef Casserole that was good as well!! So many good things.

This program is also recommended by Dave Ramsey!

Price: NOW here's the kicker. The plan itself is $5-$7 a month depending on how much in advance you pay (3 months to 12 months). So that's cheap. BUT the plans come out to costing about $88 a week in dinners alone. I spend about $400 for the whole month of groceries usually. This doesn't include very many coupons. So for us that makes our entire week about $100. No way could I do $90 just for dinner!!! That doesn't include all the essentials that most people have in the house either. So it is a bit pricey for the meals themselves. But if we went out to eat it would be $30 a day, so that is a bit of a saver. 

Overall: ***** It's a great program. Set up very nicely! eMeals is easy
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from emeals in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to emeals for allowing me to review this product  and for offering a giveaway

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Hop Spotlight JACK BE NATURAL

I have worked with Jack Be Natural in the past. I love all the diapers they carry and they carry more than just diapers too. 
This time we received the Thirsties Duo AIO Diaper in Mud color in a size 2
It comes inside a napsack
 And she includes a Tiny Bubbles detergent sample with each order!
 It's an AIO
 But has a pocket for faster drying time OR so you can add absorbency!
 Tag at the back says it's a size 2 for 18-40 pounds
 Sleeve pocket
Even though Emerson is 14 pounds, I chose the size 2. He has some size 1 covers and he's just starting to outgrow them so I figured size 2 would be the best. I'm glad I went with the size 2
Because it fits him perfectly.
 Nice and tight around his thighs!
Tight back elastic
 Doesn't he look cute???

I'm so glad we went with the size 2. It fits him perfectly!! The inside of the diaper is fleece and the insert is microfiber. I like to flip this diaper inside out before I put it in the dryer so the insert dries even faster. When I do this it dries in one cycle as opposed to two. 

Overall, this diaper is really great. It washes up perfectly, dries fast once flipped inside out and since it's AIO it's super easy to take care of. No need to stuff (unless you need extra absorbency), nothing to snap and unsnap insert wise. Just put on like a disposable and take off like one and you're good to go! They also have these in the aplix closure. 
I love that they have the 2 size duo system now. It makes things a lot easier than all the sizes they had before!!!

I love my Thirsties Duo Wraps and I love the Diapers too. Shortly after receiving this one, I won a Hoot in snaps! So now I have 2 of these wonderful diapers. I'm falling in love with the Thirsties Brand!!!

The detergent sample was great too. I used it on my first load that I washed and everything came clean and stink free!

Jack Be Natural has lots of other items as well. 

And lots more. She has a lot of diapers and covers and accessories as well as, Sunscreen, bottles, pacifiers, bibs, toys, clothing, nursing pads and clothes and so much more. This is a one stop shop!!

Price: Her Thirsties Duo AIO is $15.75! This is a cheap diaper!

Overall: ***** Love Jack Be Natural and the products they carry!
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from Jack Be Natural in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to Jack Be Natural for allowing me to review this product 
Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop
For the Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Hop, Jack Be Natural has offered one Mommy's Favorite Things reader the chance to win a $10 certificate!
Be sure to check out the giveaway which goes live May 1st!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nap Nanny Review

It's always nice to have somewhere you can safely set your child when you just need a break. 
We have a swing, but Emerson gave that up around 10 weeks old. We don't have a bouncer. We have pulled out the jumperoo, but that only keeps him busy for 10 minutes tops. 

I have heard of the Nap Nanny in the past and was excited to contact them once Emerson arrived. 
We received one in the Blue color!

 Doesn't he look comfortable? He LOVES this chair!
 It's a little big for the living room, but he loves it, so it's totally worth it!
There's no upper weight limit, so even Avery can sit in it to read!
 Doesn't she look thrilled? lol! 
She really likes this chair a lot too. She likes to sit in it and read Emerson books!!!
Emerson will sit in this seat for HOURS at a time. YES he really does. He will go in the playroom with Avery so I can shower, and sometimes I get out and I can get laundry folded, dishes washed and some stuff on the computer done before I realize he's still happy in there. 

He falls asleep in it for naps. It is truly an AMAZING baby gear item. I would recommend it to any new mom. There might be periods of time where he won't use this, but I know it will last for years!!!

It's a memory foam, so it is SUPER soft. The cover is minky and is completely machine washable, which is great! He's gotten some spit up on it, so I threw it in the washer and it came clean which still being super soft.

Overall, it's a great piece and I see us using it for years and years to come!

Price: The seat itself is a little pricey at $130, but that's the same price as a swing, so it's worth it. A swing only gets used for 6-9 months (MAYBE). This will get used for years!
They also sell covers for $50. Great if you have a child of a different sex a couple years later!

Overall: ***** LOVE this seat!
*Disclaimer* I received an item directly from Nap Nanny in exchange for a review. I was not paid to try out these products*
A big thank you goes out to Nap Nanny for allowing me to review this product