$100 Home Depot Giveaway

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What better way to celebrate Spring than with a Giveaway?! Welcome to the May Flowers Giveaway Event hosted by Famous Free Samples!

Do your flower beds need a makeover? Looking to start a new DIY project? If so, then you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity because one lucky winner will be the recipient of a $100 Home Depot gift card to use however they’d please!

This giveaway begins  May 1st and will end May 15th at 11:59pm EST. Giveaway is open to residents of the US only, 18+.

Use the PromoSimple form below to enter this giveaway. Also, be sure to come back daily for more chances to win. Good luck!

$100 Home Depot Gift Card
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Fluff Mail!

As I’ve mentioned before, I love packages. I get excited every time, without fail. Even if it’s not something really special I still get excited. For example, I received a package yesterday of things normal people would not jump for joy over. Here’s what I got:

Fluff Mail! Where's the fluff?!

Fluff Mail! Where’s the fluff?!

Yep, I was excited for laundry detergent, a laundry scoop, laundry aid and diaper cream. Writing that out loud makes me feel a little silly. I was excited for a delivery of laundry care items. Boy have my priorities changed. Anywho I’m hoping the Rockin’ Green and RLR routine will conquer my hard water woes.

P.S. CJ’s BUTTer is the best invention in the world. We use it every night with her night-time diaper and she has never, ever, in her life had diaper rash. Not once.

Winning!

Kelly’s Closet #couponcodes #clothdiaper

Great news! If you’re in the market for new cloth diapers, accesories or natural products for mom or baby, Kelly’s Closet is running a few great coupons that you don’t want to miss out on! Choose to save on shipping or get a free one size diaper! Don’t forget, all orders over $49 qualify for free shipping without a coupon all the time. If you love fluff mail as much as I do, take advantage! Here’s the current coupon codes:

Click here to visit Kelly’s Closet

Dress Me Up

I don’t know about you, but I love wear dresses in the summer. They’re light, they’re comfy and they’re casual. I love them. Here’s a few swoon worthy summer dresses to feast your eyes on.

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Dresses from Shabby Apple

I can’t wait for warmer weather so I can spring my dresses from closet-jail. Sadly, New England weather has not been on my side. Oh, Mother Nature…

#clothdiaperproblems

I love cloth diapers. They’re cute, they’re (relatively) easy to use and they save us a lot of money. I would love to say that I love them all the time but as you can tell from my blog post title, they’re not completely headache free. However, minor mishaps are no reason to switch to disposables!

We’ve been using cloth diapers with Babycakes since last summer. And we’ve really only hit a few bumps in the road. The first major bump we hit is something I’m sure has happened to a few cloth diapering mamas out there. We accidently left a dryer sheet in our dryer when we threw the cloth diapers in for a spin. Not only did we do this, but we did it twice. Oops. and I mean Big Oops. Dryer sheets are wicked bad for cloth diapers. They leave a waxy buildup on your diapers that essentialy leaves a waterproof barrier. Not good since you want your diapers as absorbant as possible. That’s their job isn’t it?

So not only did we give our diapers a double dose of waxy dryer sheet gunk but we’ve got hard water. And I meand HARD. We have a water softener installed that filters all of the water that comes in from our well. (Yup, we’ve got well water too.) Even though we have a water softener installed, we’re still battling with hard water.

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Hard water evidence on fridge…

Hard water is such a pill but if I wasn’t cloth diapering, I wouldn’t care as much. If you cloth diaper and have hard water, you know that cloth diapers and hard water do not mix well. See the white in the above picture? It’s mineral deposits left after the water on the fridge water dispenser evaporated. That’s just from a couple little drops so can you imagine what’s covering my cloth diapers after every wash? We have a decent washing routine: rinse/spin, rinse/spin, rinse/no spin, hot wash with Country Save detergent, rinse/spin. It works for us but no amount of rinsing will get the mineral deposits out because each wash and spin cycle just exposes them to more water/minerals.

So what is one to do? I’ve been leary about trying the ‘striping’ methods that I’ve read about online. I have a front loader (that I don’t want to ruin) so many of the suggested ways (blue dawn, etc) are not going to work for us. Then a cloth diapering friend of mine suggested RLR Laundry Treatment. I had heard of it but I hadn’t really seen it used to help ‘strip’ cloth diapers from mineral deposits. Since I didn’t have anything to lose, I figured I’d give it a shot because my diapers really needed freshing up.

RLR

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RLR is chemical free and biodegradable. For a front load machine, I add half a package of RLR to a clean load of diapers. After my hot wash, I run a rinse/no spin cycle and then sprinkle the RLR right over the clean diapers and run a second hot wash without detergent. Then I rinse a few times to make sure all of the RLR is removed. That’s it! I do this once a month and it’s such an easy way to keep my diapers from getting dingy and stinky and keeps the mineral deposits at bay. I’m also going to be switching to Rockin Green Hard Rock.

Do you have hard water? If so, how do you conquere it?

Try some RLR today!

Tu-Tu Cute!

Babycakes has her 1st birthday cake smash photos coming up in just over a week. It’s crazy, I can’t believe it and she’s growing up too fast. I’ve thought long and hard about what I woud like her to wear and I’ve decided on a tutu. What could be sweeter than a baby girl in a tutu? Um, nothing. Not even the cake she’s going to smash.

So, tutu. I’m not sure if you’ve been shopping around for tutu’s lately but if you have, you know they’re quite the pretty penny. By all means, they are not cheap. I’ve searched Etsy for hours looking for the perfect tutu. Some are priced reasonably around $20 (before shipping) but I’ve seen some upwards of $50! As a SAHM, I’m not in the position to pay $50 for a tutu. No way, no how. Even $20 seemed like a little much to me since it would actually be more because I would need it shipped. Just when I thought I may need to stick with just a (cloth) diaper for the cake smash I found the perfect solution on Pinterest.

Pinterest is great for everything. It’s the women’s version of ductape. Seriously. Need a recipe? Pinterest. Searching for a natural cleaning solution for your shower? Pinterest. Need a new activity to try with your child? Pinterest. I think you get the point, now that I’m way off topic.

So I was searching Pinterest and I found an awesome DIY tu-tu-torial. I modified mine slightly because the tutuorial was made for her 3 month old baby. Now, I’ve never made a tutu before and let me tell you, it was easy as pie. Actually, easier since pies are semi-complicated to make. Making a tutu is as easy as counting to 2 in your language of choice.

Here’s the finished product:

tutu

Babycakes Crunchy Momma

A Quest for Dye Free Food

Recently, I have been trying to reduce my family’s exposure to artificial food coloring. This has been no easy task as many pantry ‘staples’ contain them. I’m not a dietician, nutritionist or a doctor so I will not go into too much detail about why artificial food coloring can be so detrimental to your health. However, I will state some facts.

Fact: Synthetic food colors are banned in Europe (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange B, and Red 3)

Fact: There are ways to color food using natural ingredients instead of with chemicals.

Fact: The sole purpose of synthetic food colors is to make food more appealing.

If you’re interested in reading more about the harm artificial coloring can cause, you can do so here, here, here and here.

If you looked in your pantry or refrigerator right now, I guarantee you will find several items that contain one or more dye’s. If you know you have boxed macaroni and cheese, pickles, pudding, jello, candy, and children’s cereal then I’ll spare you a few seconds from getting up and looking because they are full of artificial color.

Since the FDA allows these artificial colors to be added to popular foods, it’s almost impossible to avoid them completely (unless you’re following Raw or Paleo diets). My husband and I have decided that we will slowly replace store-bought favorites with dye free versions. Boxed macaroni and cheese is full of Yellow 5. As a replacement, we have found Annie’s Homegrown. It’s organic, there are no artificial ingredients and it’s delicious!

Pudding is another staple in my husband’s lunch box. I craved them when I was pregnant with Babycakes and got him hooked. Unfortunately, they’re full of partially hydrogenated oils and artificial food color. Yes folks, you read that right. Your chocolate pudding isn’t brown from chocolate, it’s brown from chemicals.

So. Gross. And completely unnecessary. I prefer my pudding to be flavored and colored with real chocolate. We’ve stopped buying the pre-made pudding that comes in 4 ready to go packs. Instead, I make it myself and store it in single serving size containers. Perfect for lunches or afternoon snacks.

Those are just a few examples of how we are trying to consume less artificial food colors. Do you avoid artificial food colors in your food?