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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesdays: Warm & Fuzzy with Rapped with Luv

It's snowing here in Wisconsin today, so I thought it would be a perfect day to share the cuteness of this warm and fuzzy hat from Rapped with Luv.  This amazing WAHM made this hat for A from wool and lined it with fleece to keep here nice and toasty in our cold Wisconsin winters. And what makes it even cooler is that the flower on the hat is on a clip, so we can use it in her hair or on a headband!

A loves this hat.  She will pick it up and put it on and wear it around the house, just like she did yesterday when I took this picture.

You can check out Rapped with Luv on Facebook here or at her store on StoreEnvy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Woolzies Winner!

Congratulations Jamie J. of Arizona!!  You have won a set of six Woolzies Dryer Balls.  An email has been sent to verify your information. Please respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected.  I hope you enjoy your new dryer balls! 

Thank you to everyone for entering and good luck next time!

My Favorite Type of Laundry - Diaper Laundry!

I hate doing laundry.  I don't know why.  I just don't enjoy it.  But for some reason, I love washing my cloth diapers.  Call me crazy, but there is something wonderful about a beautiful basket full of clean, stuffed and folded, cloth diapers.

Everyone has a different laundry routine.  To be honest, finding the right routine was the thing that scared me the most about cloth diapering.  I asked a lot of online friends what worked best for them and went from there.  I started in the same way they suggested, using Rockin Green detergent.  After a few months I received a sample of EcoSprout from Kissed by the Moon and fell in love.  It got my diapers cleaner and removed the stains better.  I also love my Laundry Tarts Strip It and wool dryer balls. 

Let me start by saying I live in the Midwest.  We have hard water, but a water softener.  We also have a top loader, old school style.  I wash diapers every three days.  What works for me, may not work for you, so please keep that in mind.

I store all of my dirty diaper laundry in wetbags.  It's just more convenient that way since I send a new one to daycare every day A is there anyway.  Once they're full they get thrown in a garbage pail that used to act as a diaper pail before A went to daycare.  On laundry day I take the pail upstairs and dump all of the wetbag contents into the washer with one tablespoon of EcoSprout.  The washer is set to warm and a short wash cycle is run, for me this is a number five.

Once the first cycle is done, I go through and unstuff any pockets that need it and make sure the laundry tabs are securely fastened.  A second short cycle with warm water is run with no detergent.  The first laundry day of the week I add about a teaspoon of Laundry Tarts Strip It as a preventative.  I battled the ammonia stinkies once.  I don't really care to do it again.

Next comes the actual wash cycle.  Two tablespoons of EcoSprout and hot water.  Here's the catch with me.  We're living with our in-laws right now.  They have their water heater set really hot.  I mean scalding, will burn you if you touch the hot water, hot.  So to keep the diapers within the recommended temperatures, I let the washer fill up part way with warm water first.  Set the washer to the longest wash cycle, which for me is a number twelve.

After that I run a double rinse cycle in cold water.  Everything with PUL/TPU is hung to dry with the ceiling fan running.  The rest goes in the dryer with my dryer balls, including my wonderful Woolzies dryer balls.  If you use GroVia hybrids, I suggest flipping the inserts inside out.  They dry much faster that way.

In the morning, everything but the AIOs are dry. I can fold and stuff my diapers and wipes and be ready to go again!

Have you found any tricks that helped improve your laundry routine?  If so, feel free to share!  I used a lot of blog posts to help figure mine out, so I'd love to be a resource for others.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

No Junk Food Challenge: Week 4

So week three was pretty short!  How did everyone do?  I did great!  But let me tell you, when we get to the no ice cream week, it's going to be a tough one for me.  My family always has ice cream in the house and it is quite hard not to eat it when everyone else is!

This week starts week four of the No Junk Food Challenge.  No cake, donuts, or muffins.  Now let's clarify a bit here.  There are healthy muffins out there.  I think the muffins this is talking about are the sugary sweet, humongous bakery muffins that have tons of calories...thinking Perkins here.  Let's avoid those.  You can make healthy muffins, there are definitely lots of recipes out there.

As with last week, instead of having a suggested substitute, you are allowed up to 200 calories a day of junk food.  Still, I will give you a few thoughts.  There are 100 calorie packs of muffins out there and they don't taste bad at all, so give those a try if you need your muffin.  Or think about sharing one instead.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and good luck on your challenge!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

No Junk Food Challenge: Week 3

So I'm slacking this's been a long week and I keep meaning to write, but I haven't been sleeping well and have been going to bed early.

That being said, this should have been posted on Sunday and it is now Thursday, so the challenge for this week will be shorter than normal.  So far we have tried to stop eating chocolate and candy.  How's everyone doing?  I will admit I did have a homemade turtle at a friend's house the other night, but I only ate one.  I really wanted more, but refrained.

This week we are going to change things up a bit.  Instead of only allowing a certain item for a cheat, we are going to allow up to 10% of your daily caloric intake to be cheat items.  So for most people, that should be 200 calories or less.  Why the change?  Simple.  If you're allowed 100 calories of candy and 1 ounce of dark chocolate, and one 100 calorie pack of cookies, you're already well over 200 calories.  So let's just change it to 200 calories to make it easier for all.

The item to give up the rest of this week is cookies.  There are a lot of 100 calorie pack varieties of cookies, so those might be good to grab if you're craving them.  I personally love the Lorna Dune 100 Calorie Packs.

Since this is posted late, the beginning of this week won't count for cookies, so don't worry if you've already had some. 

On a happy note, I now have a great incentive for losing weight.  One of my best friends asked me to stand up in his wedding this summer!  I am honored and very excited for this to happen!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review & Giveaway - Woolzies Dryer Balls

Several weeks ago, I saw a post in my sidebar on Facebook from Woolzies Dryer Balls.  They were writing on the Facebook Walls of some of the larger cloth diaper blogs, looking for some bloggers to do a review and giveaway.  An email address was left to contact if they were interested.  I figured it was a longshot, but sent an email to Woolzies.  To my surprise, I received a response stating they would love to have me to do a review & giveaway!

So here it is, my first review & giveaway for a product that I love!  Dryer Balls!  My package got here fairly quickly and I was excited to open it.  I had a few (three) dryer balls already and knew I needed more.  In case you don't know, wool dryer balls are a natural alternative to fabric softener or dryer sheets.  They will help soften clothes, prevent static, and reduce drying time by up to 25%!

My Woolzies Dryer Balls came in a package of six natural colored balls in cardboard packaging with a handout and card containing more information about them as well.  One of the first things I noticed about the Woolzies Dryer Balls is that they were a tad heavier than the other brands I had bought.  Weighing them on the scale did also confirm that thought.  Though they were roughly the same size, the Woolzies must have been made of denser wool.  They are handmade, which you can also tell by looking at them - they are not all perfectly round.  But if they're handmade, that only makes sense!

I put my Woolzies to the test a few different ways. First, I tried the six of them on regular laundry.  The box states that six balls are for a large load.  Well, I always do extra-large loads.  I did notice that I was able to use a shorter drying cycle with the Woolzies than I was previously.  Our dryer has five settings Less Dry, an inbetween, Normal Dry, an inbetween, and More Dry.  Before Woolzies, I was always using More Dry.  I was able to go down to Normal Dry and have dry clothes a the end of the cycle!

The next test was on my cloth diapers.  Sadly, I didn't notice a difference in the length of time drying them took with only the Woolzies.  Keep in mind, however, that I was drying denser cloth diapers like GroVia Organic Cotton Soakers, Thirsties Hemp Inserts, and Flip Organics. 

The following times I did laundry, I used the Woolzies with the other dryer balls I already have - nine total dryer balls.  I was able to get regular loads down to Less Dry for lighter materials and the in between Less and Normal dry for loads that had towels or denim in them.  I was also able to shorten my cloth diaper loads to a More Dry cycle instead of an 80 minute timed cycle.  This was very exciting to me!

I'm sure if I only did large loads, the six dryer balls that come in a Woolzies package would have been perfect.  I would definitely recommend them and will buy more if I ever need them.  At the moment I am short a dryer ball.  My 16 month old daughter was "helping" me do laundry the other day and she seems to have run off with one! 

You can buy your package of six Woolzies Dryer Balls from their website for $34.95.  This price includes shipping to the United States, but they do also ship worldwide for only $6.95 extra.  OR you can enter to win your very own set of Woolzies Dryer Balls using the giveaway form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Everything written in this review is from my opinions and observations when trying the product.  Please remember that you may have a different experience than I did and that what works for me may not work the same for you. All photos have been taken by me unless stated otherwise. I have been provided with product to review by Woolzies, however I have not received monetary compensation for this review. 

Fluffy Bum - Green Home is not responsible for sending the prize to the winner.  Contest is open worldwide and will end on 1/30/13.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

No Junk Food Challenge: Week Two

Last week I started the No Junk Food Challenge.  I know one of my friends decided to join with me.  Did anyone else?  If you're seeing this for the first time, feel free to join in with us starting this week!

For anyone just joining us, here is what the No Junk Food Challenge is all about.  Every week we are eliminating one junk food item from our diets.  But because it can be really difficult, I'm allowing cheats.  Last  week we eliminated chocolate, but allowed up to 1 ounce of dark chocolate per day.  For the month of March we will try to go without all of the items on the list!

So how did everyone do last week?  I passed!  It was a hard couple of days. We are currently staying with my in-laws and my mother-in-law made dark chocolate brownies.  They looked and smelled amazing.  I wanted to eat them so badly, but I didn't.  I picked up a Dove Dark Chocolate candy bar and am proud to say that I only ate one little square!  The whole candy bar is 1.44 ounces of chocolate so I am happy with how I did.

Tomorrow starts week two of the No Junk Food Challenge.  This week's challenge?

No Candy & No Chocolate

This one will be pretty easy for me; the only candy I really eat is chocolate.  But for those of you that need a cheat, go ahead and eat some, but keep it under 100 calories.

If you've joined me in this challenge, please let me know how you're doing!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


It's that time of year.  Cold and Flu season.  I've been sick for almost a week now.  After enough prodding from family and friends, I finally saw a doctor.  Wonder  of wonders, it's a virus and I have to wait it out. y As you know, I am a bit on the crunchy side, which includes taking medication.  I'll try natural remedies first, so here's a few ideas to help with the cold and flu season.

Stuffy Nose:

  • Of course there is always saline solutions for helping with the stuffy nose, but here's one that helps relieve congestion and will feel good on a scratchy throat: Peppermint tea.  Peppermint does wonders to help loosen up congestion and should help you breathe more easily.
  • Make your own chest rub.  Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to some coconut oil and rub it on.  It will be similar to a home version of Vicks.
  • While you're at it, take a nice hot bath with some eucalyptus oil in it.

Cough/Sore Throat:

  • Gargle salt water.  Tastes gross but it helps.
  • Honey and Lemon Juice.  I learned this one from a friend.  I had a really sore throat and lost my voice.  He mixed some of this up for me.  It should be on the thick side.  Eat a spoonful every 30 minutes or so.  The honey will coat your throat and the acid in the lemon supposedly will help kill the yucky stuff there and help you feel better.  I'm sure there's some sort of scientific explanation, but it worked.  My voice came back a few hours later.
I am sure there are a ton more natural remedies out there.  If you have a great one, feel free to share!  I am always looking for new ones!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hooray for Kissed by the Moon!!

Today's blog post is completely unplanned and is just a shout out to my favorite cloth diaper retailer, Kissed by the Moon!
Today was a fun day in the cloth diapering community.  Padded Tush Stats recently finished announcing all of their 2012 Diaper Award winners.  You can see all the results here, but my absolute favorite cloth diaper store, Kissed by the Moon, just won retailer of the year.

Tami, the owner of Kissed by the Moon, is an amazing mama.  She is very dedicated to her family and her store.  She has amazing customer service, is quick to answer any questions you have, and has some really fast shipping times.  I won't shop anywhere else for my diapers.

If you're not familiar with Kissed by the Moon, I definitely encourage you to check out her website.  She has a lot of great sales and a rewards program to help you earn some extra diapers.  The thing that actually drew me to Kissed by the Moon, is her Mystery Fluff.  Oh so fun!  Mystery Fluff is a program where you spend a certain amount of money and get a mystery package with a value of up to 25% more than what you paid.  It is a lot of fun and very addicting.  It's also an amazing way to try diapers or accessories you may not have considered buying yourself.

You can check out Kissed by the Moon's website by going  here (affiliate link) or by clicking the icon in the right hand column of my blog.

Congratulations, Kissed by the Moon!  You deserve it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

No Junk Food Challenge

Those of you who have read my previous posts know that one of my goals for 2013 is to lose some weight.  I'll be honest here, I am pretty overweight.  I do not eat a healthy diet and don't really exercise.  I've tried "dieting" before and it's not easy.  I think most people would agree.  I've run across this "diet" a few different times on the internet and have always thought it was a really neat idea.

To make this easier for the average person and make it more doable, I thought it would be a better idea to start out with baby steps and start with one restriction and add a new one every week, with the final three weeks of March being the 21 Day Challenge of eating NO Junk Food.  Cutting out these bad for you items and replacing them with healthy alternatives can greatly reduce the number of calories in our diets.
For me, some of them will be easy, especially the no chips and no white bread rules, since I don't really eat those anyway.  Some of them will be harder, and because of that, I'll allow some cheat items.  I'll post the cheat item for the week, as well as the previous week's challenge every Sunday.  (This entry is late because I've been sick the past few days to the point that my husband made me stay home from work today.)
Week One (1/8-1/12): No Chocolate
I'm not going to lie, this one will probably be the hardest one for me.  I love chocolate. 
The cheat: One Ounce of Dark Chocolate is allowed per day.  Why?  Dark Chocolate can satisfy that chocolate craving, while providing some heart-healthy antioxidants.  According to an article* on Everyday Health, not all dark chocolate contains the amount of antioxidants that will produce these benefits.  Based on their article, I'm going to get some Dove Dark Chocolate for my cheat item, but only use it when absolutely necessary.
Who wants to do this with me?  If you do, please comment on the post and like me on Facebook (  We can be great support to each other during this difficult challenge and I urge you to chat freely on my Facebook page about the challenge.  Every week I will update with how my challenge is going and invite you to comment with your successes and failures as well.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Cloth Blog Hop: How & Why I Started Cloth Diapering

I'm excited to be participating in a blog hop about cloth diapers!  Since one of my goals for 2013 is to write in my blog more often, I thought this was the perfect thing to do.  It is my hope this will help accomplish my goal and help you learn about fluff.

Before I became pregnant, the only thing I knew about cloth diapers was what a lot of the uninformed think of: prefolds and pins.  After I became pregnant, I joined the Children & Family portion of the military support forum I belonged to and saw quite a few posts about cloth diapers.  For the most part, I ignored them.  They were too full of abbreviations I didn't understand and I wasn't too interested. 

Fast forward a few months to baby registry time.  I'm on the website for Babies R Us adding some items to my registry and an advertisement for g Diapers comes up.  It piqued my curiosity.  I did some research and thought they sounded really neat.  I talked to my husband, who had never changed a diaper in his life, about wanting to try cloth diapers.  My request was met with a resounding no.  So our sweet little girl started her life in disposables. 

We fortunately didn't have too many leaks or blowouts and I bought most of my diapers when they were on sale.  But jeepers creepers those things are expensive.  When my daughter was about five months old, I added up the money we had spent on diaper.  At that point I had spent around $300 on diapers alone.  The figure would have been quite a bit higher if I had added in refills for the diaper pail and wipes.  Since my husband would only change Addie's diapers when he was the only one home, I started researching cloth diapers again.

I joined Diaper Swappers and started stalking posts and reading some blogs about cloth diapering.  I came to the conclusion that they looked very simple and it was something I wanted to try.  I searched for websites that offered some sort of money back guarantee and some diapers in my budget.  I found Cotton Babies' website and thought the idea of Flips was pretty neat.  After talking to my mom, who was watching my daughter while I was working, I purchased a Flip Daypack, a package of Rockin' Green detergent, and a trial pack of Econobums.  A few days later I bought 3 BumGenius 4.0s because there was a buy two get one sale at the time.  I figured if I didn't like them, I could always send them back for a refund.

Well, I didn't particularly love the Econobums, but I didn't send anything back.  I fell in love with cloth and now can say that I am a bit addicted to cloth.  My stash no longer consists of either the Flips or Econobums due to a sensitivity to the elastic that Addie later developed, but it slowly grew.

When I first started I was afraid of leaks and fit issues and that I wouldn't find the right washing routine, or that I would hate the diapers.  I guess I got lucky, because in the beginning, I didn't have any problems at all.  Maybe I got lucky, maybe I just did enough homework before I made my first purchase.  Either way, I'm glad I did.  No more stinky disposables going into a landfill.  My daughter has fabric instead of chemicals touching her delicate parts, and ultimately, I am saving money.

It has been almost a year since I started cloth diapering and it is the best decision I think I have made for my daughter so far.  I truly believe that we are saving money and being more green. 

When Why did you start cloth diapering?  How did you come to the conclusion to start?  Are you a blogger and want to link up?  Write your post about how and why you started cloth and go here to link up.