Monday, December 20, 2010

AMP Diaper Giveaway {Biehl Adventures}

Mama Biehl is hosting a Giveaway for an AMP Duo pocket diaper!

AMP Diapers make it easy to cloth diaper

Ends 12/21

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Halfway There

Personal post alert!

After 2 miscarriages over the course of a year, I'm currently halfway through my current pregnancy! Our twenty week ultrasound is next week and I'm looking forward to seeing the baby!

But wow, my body reacted fast to being pregnant. Either that or I have absolutely NO muscle tone in my core. I wasn't this big until month 7 with Blondie!

Busy busy this month in the Smitty household. Blondie turned 2, we were able to snag a real tree from the Trees for Troops Program, Hubby was promoted, we finally finished our living room (refinishing the hardwood floors and re-plastering & painting the walls)... there's a lot to be thankful for this holiday season!

Steam & Sweep Hard Floor Cleaner Giveaway! {Thanks, Mail Carrier}

As part of the Checking Our List {Holiday Gift Guide 2010}, Thanks, Mail Carrier is hosting a Giveaway for the AWESOME Bissel Steam & Sweep Hard Floor Cleaner!

Thanks, Mail Carrier

This thing would be terrific for my hardwood floors!

The Giveaway Ends December 30th

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kina Collection Booties Giveaway {Wishing Penny}


The Kina Collection has some of the most adorable childrens lambskin items you can find!

This Toggle Jacket comes in sizes Small (1-2 years) and Large (2-3 years)

This Hooded Vest comes in sizes Small (1-3 years) and Large (3-5 years)

The Wishing Penny is hosting a Giveaway from the Kina Collection!
Enter to WIN a pair of Kina Infant Booties in the color of your choice! I've shown a few of my favorites below, but the color choices include Cream, Dusty Rose, Chocolate, Pink, Natural and Spice. They're all adorable, and lined with a 100% Lambswool Inner. Soft, flexible and warm, these booties are perfect for keeping baby's feet warm during the cold winter.

Aren't they adorable!?
There's only 2 more days to enter, so get over to The Wishing Penny and enter now!

Ends 12/16

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Link to Britax Boulevard Giveaway!

The Cloth Diaper Report is hosting a giveaway for a Britax Boulevard 70 Car Seat!

I don't know about you, but winning a brand new, high rated car seat would go a long way in preserving our budget with kiddo #2!

I'd love to have this car seat! It's rear facing weight limitations are 5-40 lbs! This thing is terrific for exclusively rear facing parents! And it'll continue to hold your child front facing until 70 lbs with a max 16.75 inches shoulder height.

Click HERE to enter, the giveaway ends November 28th!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Glade Holiday Sweepstakes

Glade is doing a DAILY Holiday Giveaway! The Prize is $100!
Here's an excerpt from the Sweepstakes Giveaway:

look forward to a gift, every day

We’re giving away a $100 gift card every day of the season to help you transform your home into a holiday haven! Enter now and come back each day for your chance to win.


NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE CHANCES OF WINNING. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, 18 years of age or older as of date of entry. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59:59 a.m. CT on 12/30/10. To enter, visit and follow the online instructions to complete and submit your entry. Grand Prize (64): one (1) $100.00 American Express® Gift Card*. Gift card subject to terms and conditions set by issuer. ARV: $100 each. Subject to full Official Rules available at Sponsor: S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., 1525 Howe Street, Racine, WI 53403.

ENTER HERE! And don't forget to bookmark it and return to enter Daily!
I don't know about you, but an extra $100 would be a nice help this holiday season!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Britax B Ready Stroller Giveaway Link!

So HUGE giveaway to send you to! Mom Spotted (formerly known as J. Leigh Designz, I do love the upgraded site design!) is hosting a giveaway for a Britax B Ready Stroller!

I have major envy for Mom's who are pushing their kids around in a B Ready. I love babywearing, but I won't be able to wear both toddler girly and the newborn come spring and summer... my back is too weak for that! So I'd LOVE to have the Britax B Ready, as it's a sleek, compact stroller which configures a whole 14 different ways, including 9 configurations for 2 seats! There's even a bassinet feature for those who want baby to be as comfortable and cozy as possible!

Mom Spotted's Britax B Ready Blog Giveaway Ends 11/29, head over and enter now!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Breastfeeding is Best!

I'm a breastfeeding advocate.

That being said, I didn't breastfeed my daughter. I tried to breastfeed her. I agonized over it. I cried and I became depressed about it.

All that anguish and the two of us only made it a 3 weeks breastfeeding.

And yet, it has only amped up my determination to breastfeed number two (who, I am now announcing, is due in APRIL!!)

So I wanted to give new mommies a few tips on breastfeeding, coming from someone who has been through the tough stuff.

#1. This is SOOO important! Talk to the lactation consultant at your hospital! Get to know her before you are in labor. Become comfortable with her (it's easier to be less shy when your girls are hanging out and you're struggling to get your new little one to latch if you aren't concerned about the girls hanging out.) Make sure you'll have support and help as soon as you have delivered your child. You'll want to start breastfeeding as soon as possible after delivery, so you should know the lactation consultant will be there when you need her!

#2. Be ready to try many different positions. Only you and your child will figure out what positions work best for the two of you. Trial and error is terrific, if you know what positions to try! (Cradle, Clutch, Side-lying & different variations.. start researching now, it'll be easier to try later!)

#3. Do your research! Start reading breastfeeding articles, Q&A's and online forums each week. Familiarize yourself with your resources, facts and knowledge now. You'll be more prepared later on!

#4. Remember, latch is everything! If your baby can't latch, he can't eat. It's that important. And latching ties into all above mentioned tips. You'll be more successful with latching if you enlist help (lactation consultant), find the position your infant latches easiest, and you've done your homework and know how to troubleshoot latching should it become an issue!

As for my choice to breastfeed, there are so many great reasons! It's healthiest for baby, benefits Mom and is very cost effective!

My child will benefit! Colostrum (the beginning milk that comes in for the first few days, yellowish in color) helps a newborn digest! It helps move all that sticky meconium out of the little one's digestive tract. The antibodies you pass on to your child help him fight off infection he'd otherwise have no resistance to.

I benefit! I don't waste time fixing a bottle, it's already a good temperature, I don't need to clean bottles and I don't feel nauseous smelling formula (seriously, that stuff smells and tastes toxic!) My uterus shrinks and heals faster (the body reacts quicker when your nipples are stimulated during nursing! Weird but true!) I'll have a head start on returning to my pre-pregnancy weight and build because breastfeeding burns calories! And lastly, I'll get all that bonding time with my new little one!

My family's finances benefit GREATLY!
Breastfeeding is a free food source. Have you done the math if you are thinking about formula feeding? With our daughter, we spent around and over $100 a month on formula! That's an extra $100 we could be paying off debit, saving or spending on other needs!

I invite you to visit The Breastfeeding is Best for All Babies event over at The Baby Store Plus Blog!

the Baby Store PLUS September Breastfeeding Celebration

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Melding new products with ecological and economical alternatives. (wet mops)

Wet Mops.
I flat out refused to buy a Swiffer Wetjet. I used to be in LOVE with my old one. But the solution bottles are made so you cannot reuse them and are forced to buy more Swiffer Solution. And I've grown to dislike Swiffer scents, they trigger migraines if I'm not careful.
What I really want is a Rubbermaid Reveal. Sold as a unit with no pre-packaged solution, a competely refillable solution container and cloth mop pads instead of paper! Eventually. But for now, I've found a decent solution!

The Clorox Ready Mop runs a little cheaper than a Swiffer Wet Jet by $0.50-$1.00. It does come with pre-packaged solution. However, the Ready Mop solution bottles are designed to be sturder, thus lasting longer. The bottle also screws into the mop, instead of clicking, which means I can refill an emptied bottle and refill it with whatever solution I choose. And while the Ready Mop line sells paper mop pads, they aren't necessary. The Ready Mop is designed so you can attach cloth easily (unlike the Swiffer mop pads which attach with very thin, week hook & loop, thus making it difficult for economical/ecological minded individules to find an easy alternative to their wasteful, costly mop pads).

So what did I do? I bought a Clorox Ready Mop Starter Kit for under $15 at the PX. I found scrap cotton linen from an old sewing project and an old terry cloth towel. Then, using the paper mop pads that came with the starter kit as a rough pattern, I cut out and sewed together a few easy, sturdy reusable mop pads! One side is cotton linen, as a sort of liner. The second is the terry. I could double the terry to make it more absorbant so I can use a single mop pad longer if I wanted to as well.

And here is a solution recipe I'd like to share!

50/50% - Water & Vinegar
Add 1-2 tsp Olive Oil for Sheen
Add a few drops Essential Oil for scent if wanted. Tea Tree Oil is great as it's a natural disinfectant. Other great oils for a clean scent include Lavender, Sweet Orange, Lemon and Eucalyptus.

This is completely my sole opinion.

Sonic is Awesome! (Giveaway from Piece of ME)

First off, I need to say it... I LOVE SONIC! I literally plan running errands so I can be in town during 'happy hour' and get my fix. I always always always order a Strawberry Limeade. It's amazing! Hubby's fav is the classic Cherry Limeade (I hate cherry flavoring, but to each their own..)

So now I want to share... Piece of ME is having a terrific giveaway right now!

One lucky reader will win a $50 Gift Card to Sonic and Two runners-up will win SONIC lunch boxes that each come with a "Keep it Real" ice cream t-shirt, a $5 MySonic card and some other fun goodies!

Visit the Celebrate with Sonic Drive-In Post to read the review & enter the awesome giveaway!!

*Quote attributed to Pieces of Me Blog writer.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event Alert!

Coupon Mommy of 3 is having a Cloth Diapers Week on her blog!

You can get your early entries in now! See Cloth Diapers OORAH Part 2 Post to get early entries!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Leslie Loves Veggies & Bouncing Frogs Giveaway Link!

Had to share a terrific giveaway I found on Leslie Loves Veggies!

Right now, she's hosting a review and giveaway of Bouncing Frogs Products! To share a little about Bouncing Frogs, I'm posting an excerpt from their website:

"Bouncing Frogs specializes in uniquely elegant and luxurious baby bedding, toddler bedding, and coordinating burp cloths and blankets. Handmade with the finest-quality fabrics, our luxury baby and toddler products are truly heirloom quality: So durable that they stand up to the wear-and-tear of everyday life with a baby. So beautiful that you'll be proud to hand them down for generations to come."

These linens are gorgeous! Well stitched, adorable and tasteful design mixed with infant softness and durability, I'd be happy to save these to give to my children when they are grown. I have to share a taste!

The Luxury Baby Linens: Style Melanie.

This stunning crib set has a lot of charm.
The chocolate and blue combination is trendy and classy.

This 5 piece set includes:
• bumper
• crib sheet
• bed skirt
• fitted sheet
• decorative pillow

The Toddler Bedding Style Sally.

The blanket is made of the Green and Pink Stripe fabric on one side and a pink and beige toile fabric on the other and finished with a beige decorative cording.

This 4 piece set includes blanket, bed skirt, fitted sheet and pillow sham.

Now to the giveaway information and link! Leslie Loves Veggies and Bouncing Frogs are giving away 5 prize packages!

Winner #1 ~ Will receive a Changing Pad Cover! Winner's choice of color {$24.99}
Winner #2 ~ Will receive a Security Blanket {$19.99}
Winner#3 ~ Will receive a Luxury Burp Cloth! Winner's choice of color {$19.99}
Winner #4 ~ Will receive a Luxury Baby Blanket! Winner's choice of color {$44.99}
Grand Prize Winner ~ Will receive ALL OF THE ABOVE in Winner's choice of colors! {$109.96 Value}

Giveaway will end on Tuesday 9/14. U.S Entries Only.

Oh by the way, while I wish you luck, I hope I win more :)

Pictures and text attributed to &

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cloth Diapers 101 Webinars!

I haven't really publicized our household cloth diapering habit, so here it is: We cloth diaper! There are so many different reasons to use cloth, ranging from how economical they are, to how much less of an impact they have environmentally than their disposable counterparts. These are just two of my reasons, I also love how cute they are and how easy it is to cloth diaper!

Cloth can be very overwhelming to a novice. Modern cloth diapering is so different from our mother's cloth diapering experience. There are many different type of diapers for many different diapering styles! And prices can range from very economical, to more expensive than disposables, depending on your choices and diaper savvy. Have no fear, there are hundreds of resources and informational aids out there! I just want to share one I find helpful.

Babykicks Brand Diapers have sponsored and created the Cloth Diapers 101 Webinar online cloth diaper classes! Here's a quick clip from their blog, showcasing their online classes:

'You may have already heard about BabyKicks online cloth diaper classes, and perhaps you’ve already tuned in to one. Either way, if you are looking for information about cloth diapers, pregnant and checking into all the different options available, or are utterly overwhelmed with all the different options available then we are sure you will benefit from this class. It can be much easier to attend a class while you’re at home, on break, or at a friend’s house then it is to pack up the kids, or find a babysitter, and make it on time to a local cloth diapering class (if there is even one available where you live). We started the online classes to make it more convenient for busy and/or expecting parents and also to help inform caregivers and family members about how easy cloth diapers really are. The class may even help to ease skeptics into the idea of changing a cloth diaper. Any type of cloth diapering class is excellent, and local classes are especially good because you can see and touch the items being shown, whereas in our online class this isn’t possible. And, of course that is a downside, but our class is very informative and is also live. This way you can have your questions answered immediately. It’s possible to use our class to become more familiar with cloth before seeking out and attending a class local to your area. Like a “dip your toes in to test the water” kind of thing. The class is twice a month and runs for an hour.'

Sounds great, doesn't it?!

I'd like to share a few links with you.
First, here is the BabyKicks Cloth Diaper 101 Webinar Schedule. Secondly, I have a link to the BabyKicks Website. And lastly, BabyKicks is hosting a giveaway designed to spread the word about their Webinars. So if you're interested in cloth diapering and want to try winning a few to do a trial run, feel free to hop on over to their Blog to learn how to enter!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BumbleWee Nursing Wear (& link to Daily Giveaway!)

Wanted to share a great site for Nursing Wear!
"Nurse your wee one in style with BumbleWee Nursing Wear's great selection of Nursing Tops, Nursing Pajamas & Nursing Dresses from Majamas, Japanese Weekend, 1 in the Oven and other great nursing lines. "

They have a great selection of tops and dresses! I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

First we have the Anna-Jane Top by Mothers en Vogue. It's so femenine, which is one of the things I missed while breastfeeding. There isn't a more femenine mothering experience than breastfeedings, so why don't mothers have the opportunity to look the part? The Anna-Jane is perfect for a semi-formal outing with baby in-tow.

Next is the Havanna MAXI Dress by Mothers En Vogue. This is a perfect example of a breastfeedings mother's 'little black dress'. Simply put, I LOVE it!

Lastly today, I present the Cuff Sleeve Henley in Green. It's a great everyday, running errands and feeling good shirt.

Why am I showcasing a nursing-wear company when I am not myself breastfeeding at this time? I wanted to share the opportunity for a daily GIVEAWAY!
Everyday through the end of August, BumbleWee is giving away a nursing top! Go to their website and click on the big purple button 'Win a Free Nursing Top!' Enter daily for a chance to win every day! It only takes a minute and there are 14 more opportunities to win this month!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sweating Through the Heat

My husband and I are happy new home owners! We signed for our first home this spring. And signed for all the joys of home-ownership as well. Which include, but are not limited to: tearing down the moldy drywall in the unfinished basement, 'sealing' the home to deter air-conditioning and heating waste, replacing old, broken windows and fixing a destroyed fireplace mantle. It was a fixer-upper home to be sure, but the hubby and I were looking for a house we could make into a home. We've been struggling along with home repairs and enjoying every minute of it (at least pretending to enjoy it, that is).

Just a few months after our rental turned into ownership, our air conditioner died! It's the hottest, most humid couple of weeks we've had in Missouri, what timing! With a toddler and dogs, it's been difficult to handle the heat.

After reviewing the problem and calculating our other repairs, finances and expenses, we've decided to lose the AC for the summer. It will be a Spring '11 project. Until then, we've been making due.

Here are some of the ways we've handled the heat:
- Water-bottles. We are constantly consuming water, staying hydrated is the first step to health, regardless of the heat.
- Box fans in the windows. Keep the air flowing. Every room has at least one fan. The bedrooms have more.
- Keep the curtains closed. Sunlight is great, as long as it's not adding heat to an already hot area.
- Water-fun. Lily spends a couple afternoons a week in the kiddie pool or running through the sprinkler.
- Cool Showers and baths. Not only does it feel good, it lowers internal body heat, which is a much needed break. Doesn't need to be long, only 5 minutes.
- Blankets in the freezer. Throwing Lily's blankie in the freezer for 15 minutes before bedtime gives her a cool down as she falls asleep.
- Keep the heavy activity chores to early morning or late evening. Not while people are sleeping or course, but yard work, including mowing, weeding and other maintenance is a lot easier without the sun beating down on you.
- Run the dishwasher overnight. No need to add heat to the house when it's hottest, the kitchen can swelter when we're in bed.
- Spend one day cooking for the whole week. If I want to sweat in the kitchen, I'll be sure to make food. If I do all the cooking in one day, I can avoid the extra sweat the rest of the week.
- Line dry the laundry. I do this anyway, but it's a great way to avoid adding dryer heat. And the sun is a great stain buster. I also love the outdoor clean smell!
- Keep the lights off. You wouldn't believe how much extra heat a few light bulbs can throw off.

Keep cool this summer!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The first casualty of the military lifestyle

So it has happened. We had to give away our first dog. Hubby and I got TJ in November 2008. He was our first dog together and was a part of the family. But he never adapted to change very well. We had our daughter and he started getting anxious easily. Then Hubby graduated and we bounced around the country for a few months. Finally we bought our first house and thought he would settle down. But TJ withdrew more and became more stubborn. He started running away for a few hours at a time; he would spend his day avoiding my daughter and I, hiding in empty rooms in the house. Finally, he refused to come inside and snapped at me. Hubby and I drew the line at that, I will not allow a potentially dangerous animal in the house with my daughter. So Sister-In-Law drove halfway across the country to take him for us. At least now we know he'll be in a house without kids, with an owner who can devote the time and attention to him that he needs.

The first casualty of military life. TJ, we will miss you.