Thursday, April 29, 2010

Finally! The Guidecraft Toy Box Giveaway & Review {CLOSED}

Congratulations comment number 240!

You already know how I am in love with all the wooden block we got from let me tell you about how much I love their Little Farm House Toy Box!  With all of the wooden blocks and other toys Avin has there was never any doubt that we would need a toy box, the question was just where to find a high quality, cute, functional toy box.  When I saw the Little Farm House Toy Box I fell in love!  I want to re-do Avin's bedroom from Precious Moments to a farm/John Deere theme and Guidecraft's Little Farm House line of furniture is perfect for that!  The line includes a table and chairs set, a rocking chair, a table lamp, a clothes tree, storage step-up, and of course the toy box. 

First things first... When the UPS man delivered this toy box he took pity on my and actually carried it in the house! The boxes were HUGE and heavy.  Each piece was well wrapped and there was no damage to any pieces of the toybox.  When my husband came home I asked him if he would put it together during Avin's nap time.  I headed off to school and fully expected that I would return home to an assembled toy box.  Turns out that I was way off base with that line of thinking!  Derek quit assembling the toy box halfway through! He said Avin woke up but I'm pretty sure he just didn't want to assemble it.  (Did I mention he'd rather be poked in the eye with a hot stick than assemble furniture?)  I am no carpenter but after looking at the directions I decided I could finish the toy box myself.  I jumped right in and finished everything but attaching the lid in just a few minutes.  You MUST have two people to attach the lid- one to hold the lid vertically in place and the other to screw in the 9 screws.  Derek said that the small screws included for assembly were very poor quality and that they rounded out before they were completely flush with the wood.  I bought a $1.97 bag of screws at Wal-Mart and 4 weeks later I finally managed to force Derek into holding the lid still while I put in the last of the screws.  All total the assembly time for us was 4 weeks, but if I had just done it all myself  from the beginning the assembly time would have been about 25 minutes.  Once it was assembled it was very strong and sturdy. 

The interior has 2 removable dividers so you can organize the toys.  The bottom of the toy box has casters so it makes it very easy to move from place to place.  I LOVE that the lid has special hinges that prevent it from falling closed!  You must push on the lid to close it and then it moves downward slowly.  The front of the toy box has a long shallow cut out that protects little fingers from being smashed when the lid closes.  I honestly don't think you could do damage to little fingers with the lid of this toy box if you tried! The exterior of the toy box is amazing! The toy box has a farm scene painted on it (it looks like it is done by hand).  The lid has farm animals carved and painted on it.  The only thing I didn't like about the appearance of this toy box was that the red barn was tiny compared to the animals on the lid.  Otherwise this toy box is just too cute! 

Within minutes of final assembly Derek had all of Avin's wooden blocks put away in the toybox.  It took Avin about 20 minutes to figure out how to open and close the lid.  After that he spent his evening opening and closing the lid.  It was so adorable to watch him open the lid and peer in at his toys.  He would reach in and rummage around until he found what he wanted then he would take it out and close the lid.  I think I might finally be able to store toys out of site but still within his reach! That could lead to the discovery of a living room floor again!

Guidecraft is providing one my lucky readers with a Little Farm House Toy Box! To enter to win you must visit Guidecraft and then come back here and tell me what your favorite furniture collection. 

Additonal Entries:
Follow me via google friend connect or Rss feed. (1 entry)

Follow me on twitter @diapermom and tweet any unique tweet about this giveaway (get creative!) that includes @diapermom and @guidecraft (Up to 2 tweets per day)  (Leave a comment with the URL of your tweet)

Follow Guidecraft on twitter @Guidecraft (1 entry)

Follow Guidecraft on facebook (1 entry)

Grab my Mommy Makeover Button and place it on your blog (7 extra entries- Make sure you leave the URL where I can find it)

This giveaway ends May 29, 2010 at 11:00 PM.  It is open to US and APO addresses only.  Must be 18 to enter, void where prohibited.  One winner will be selected using  Please make sure your email address is in your comment so I can contact you if you win.  One entry = one comment.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thank you Heidi!

Since the day that I started my blog I've had a super, amazing blog follower named Heidi.   Heidi entered my first giveaway and then sent me an email right off the bat letting me know that she had created a blog button for me and put it on her site.  When I started my blog I was not tech savvy and didn't know how to adjust my layout, create a blog button, anything.  I didn't even know what a blog button was until I went to her site!  Since then Heidi has went on to give me countless HTML tips and created multiple blog buttons for me.  This week she rocked my socks off by designing a set of buttons (a header, a Sponsor button, and a regular button) for my Mommy Makeover Event.  She spent tons of time on these.  She worked with me for days and days on these buttons, never complaining when I requested she tweak this or that. 

She is always one of the first people to enter all of my giveaways.  As a result she's won twice because of all the entries she does! She is just an awesome blog follower!  She's also an awesome blogger!  She runs The Maxwell's Madness and does amazing reviews and giveaways.  She also blogs about life as a mom.  Her blog is fun and fresh and promotes baby wearing and cloth diapering.  I encourage everyone to head over to her blog and enter some great giveaways. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you Heidi!  You have made my blog so much better than I ever imagined.  You are an awesome friend, blogger, and website designer! 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

CIO (Cry It Out) Helpful or Harmful?

My husband and I do not subscribe to the CIO method.  We are attachment parents.  However, I will be the first to tell you that as a daycare worker I used CIO all the time. It has never felt right for me as a mother.  When I hear Avin cry I feel it in my heart and soul.  After a couple of months I could even tell what his different cries meant from down the hall.   We have had people tell us multiple times "you know it won't hurt that baby to cry for a while".  My response to that is "well it might not hurt him but it does hurt me, sorry".  In the past couple of weeks I've come to understand that I have been wrong, extended crying can indeed hurt your child.  I'm not trying to say that anyone who uses CIO is abusing their child but studies have show extended crying to have ill effects on children.  I found the information presented in this blog article very startling but helpful:  Every parent has to develop their own routine and find what works for them.  I wouldn't dream of saying the methods my family uses are what would work for any other family.  I just encourage everyone to educate themselves on the subject.  Don't let others pressure you into letting your child cry it out.  Yes, babies can cry, but why should they have to?

Join the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution

This morning I responded to the call to join the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution.  I went and signed the petition to help change school lunches.  I knew it was something I couldn't ignore when my husband (who thinks my green/health changes are crazy) couldn't believe I hadn't signed up because even he believes in it.  Avin is only 10 months old so school lunch isn't exactly on our menu yet but change happens one step at a time.  I have realized that I need to start being active now if I want things to be better once he gets to be scool age.  I want Avin to grow up healthier than I did and that means not drinking a soda and eating a candy bar or bag of chips for lunch.  I encourage you click the link on the right and join Jamie and I (plus thousands of others) in the food revolution! Let's teach our kids to enjoy food in a healthy way!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tiny Tush Trim Hemp Diaper Giveaway & Review

In keeping with my Earth Week theme I'm ending this finally Friday with a cloth diaper giveaway! 

A few weeks ago I received the Tiny Tush Trim Hemp diaper to review.  We have been battling night leaking for months since Avin is such a heavy wetter.  Most of our nighttime solutions make Avin look like is trying out to be a baby sumo wrestler but that wasn't the case with the Tiny Tush Trim.  The TTT as I'll call it was really trim.  Because it is a fitted diaper made from 80% hemp and 20% organic cotton the entire diaper is super absorbent.  It is made with hidden snaps so all that is against your babies skin is the soft hemp/cotton. 

We really liked that it had an absorbent contoured snap-in liner.  We layered two more thin hemp/cotton doublers underneath the liner for a soft, super absorbent diaper.  If you have a tiny newborn baby you could actually just use the contoured snap-in liner as the diaper.  I liked that I didn't have to unsnap the liner to wash it.  I tossed it in the diaper still snapped in and it came out the same way.  Since it only attaches at one end it allows the liner to agitate separately from the main diaper.  The drying time on this diaper was the same as our microfiber liners.  (Some of our fitteds take two 70 minute drys) 

The diaper has all snaps and no Velcro or "hook and loop closure".  It has snaps vertically to adjust the size of the rise and horizontally to adjust the waist size.  This diaper fits newborn to 35+ pounds.  For a one-size diaper you can't beat the trimness of this diaper.  Even with a diaper cover on there is very little bulk.  This quickly became our go-to diaper for overnights especially once we tried it with a wool cover!  Because of that I never did manage to get a picture of Avin wearing it, because bedtime is no time for a photo shoot in our house! I'll include the stock photo for the diapers -that's really what they look like :)
Tiny Tush is giving away one Tiny Tush Trim to one lucky reader. 
Mandatory Entry:  You must sign up to follow me via google friend connect or RSS feed then visit the Tiny Tush website and come back and tell me something you loved!

Extra Entries:
Follow me on twitter @diapermom  Tiny Tush on twitter @TinyTush (1 entry)

Tweet any unique tweet about this giveaway that includes @diapermom and @TinyTush (1 entry per tweet, up to twice per day)

Follow Tiny Tush on facebook

Grab my button and put it on your blog - make sure you leave the URL where it can be found in your comment (3 entries)

This giveaway is open to US addresses only, void where prohibited, must be 18 to enter.  Giveaway will end Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:00 PM.  One winner will be chosen via  Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.  Please make sure you leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win.  One entry = one comment.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cutey Baby Wet Bag Giveaway & Review {CLOSED}

Congratulations to comment number 69!
What is a wet bag? Basically it is a waterproof zippered bag made to hold wet or soiled items. Why do you need one? Because they are a lifesaver for diaper changes and dirty baby clothes! I had the opportunity to review a Cutey Baby Wet Bag recently and now I am a wet bag convert. I used to keep those tiny little blue plastic bags in my diaper bag but by the end of the day I ended up with several different ones going and my whole bag smelled like baby powder.

The Cutey Baby wet bag is made out of PUL (the stuff that makes cloth diapers waterproof). The design is super simple but so helpful. At the end of the day I take my diapers and clothes out of it and toss it right into the wash. When I'm not using it the bag folds up small for storage. The bag easily fits 5 bulky diapers, wipes, and a shorts/t-shirt.

Cutey Baby is a great company that produces great modern cloth diapers (see my previous review). Their wet bags are available for purchase.  Click the link on the left hand side of this post to see all the cute prints they are available in!  Make sure you go check them out because Cutey Baby is giving one away to one of my readers!

Mandatory Entry:
Visit the link and then come back and tell me what pattern you would like to have if you win.

Additional Entries:
Follow my blog via Google Friend connect (1 extra entry)

Follow me on twitter and tweet any unique tweet about this giveaway that includes @diapermom AND @CuteyBaby (1 entry per day)

Follow Cutey Baby on twitter

Follow me on Facebook

Follow Cutey Baby on Facebook

Add my button to your blog (3 extra entries)

This giveaway is void where prohibited.  Open to US residents age 18 and over.  Contest will end May 13, 2010 at 11:00 PM CST.  Please leave your email in your comment so I can contact you if you win.  One comment = one entry.

In Honor of Earth Day: 15% Discount at Tadpoles Bedding Company~

Tadpoles Bedding Company offers a variety of baby and toddler items including organic crib sets and organic clothing and accessories.  In honor of Earth Day they are giving a 15% discount on their organic items (good until April 30, 2010) So swim on over to their store Tadpoles Bedding Company  and enter the coupon code earthday15. 

You can also follow them on facebook and twitter for more great deals in the future.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bottombumpers Diaper Pail Liner Giveaway & Review {CLOSED}

Congratulations comment number 68~

Thanks to Strawberry Kids I received a Bottombumpers Diaper Pail Liner to review.  Strawberry Kids had so many great items to choose from, including organic items, cloth diapering supplies, and breastfeeding accessories, that it took me forever to settle on the Diaper Pail Liner.  Once I did I was so glad that I chose the Bottombumper Diaper Pail Liner!  A diaper pail liner had been on my wish list for a long time but it didn't seem like a necessity so I had been putting off purchasing one.  I use a kitchen trashcan as a diaper pail so at night when I took the diapers down to wash I would wipe up any obvious spots in the pail then spray it down with Lysol and once or twice a week I would wash it inside and out with a disinfecting cleaner.  I'm a germ-a-phobe so it seriously grossed me out to be sticking my hands down in a dirty diaper pail.  The pail liner is made of durable 2mil PUL waterproof knit which is basically the same thing that outer part of many cloth diapers are made of.  It prevents urine or feces from leaking out of the bag and getting your pail dirty.  The liner is a generous 50" circumference to fit stainless steel step cans and 13 gallon trash cans (which is what I have), it is 30" tall to go in and over the edges of the pail, and has white fold over elastic to grab the sides of your pail and keep it in place.   At night when I take my diapers down I simply pull out my pail liner and toss it in the wash with my diapers.  No more scrubbing out dirty diaper cooties from my pail!  It works great for me because it is easier to carry down my stairs than the big trash can and when we travel it works as a dirty laundry bag for the entire family!  The Bottombumpers liner comes in White, Butter, Light Blue, Sage, Baby Pink, and Red.  The sage is what I chose and it is a light shade of green that goes great in Avin's nursery.  I no longer think of my diaper pail liner as a luxury item- it is definitly a necessity and I'm thinking about getting another to use while the diapers are in the wash!
Strawberry Kids is giving a Bottombumpers Diaper Pail Liner away to one of my readers!

Mandatory Entry:  Visit the Strawberry Kids website and then come back and tell me what item(s) you would LOVE to have. 

Additional Entries:
Follow my blog via google friend connect (1 extra entry)

Follow the Strawberry Kids blog Mom to Bed By 8 (1 extra entry)

Follow me on twitter and tweet any unique tweet about this giveaway including @diapermom AND @strawberrykidss (1 tweet per day 1 entry per tweet)

Follow Strawberry Kids on twitter

Follow Strawberry Kids on facebook

Grab my button and put it on your blog then leave me the link in your comments (5 extra entries)

Sign up for my RSS Feed on the left hand side of my blog (2 extra entries)

This giveaway is open to US addresses only.  One winner will be chosen using on May 28 at 11:00 PM CST.  Please make sure you leave your email address in your comments so I can contact you if you win.  One entry = One comment.  Contest is void where prohibited.

National Kids and Pet Day $20 Kroger Gift Card Giveaway! {CLOSED}

Congratulations #29~
April 26th, 2010 is National Kids and Pet Day! I love that we have an entire day devoted to Kids & Pets. In our house that is the case everyday because our world seems to revolve around Avin (the baby) and Emma (the black lab). We started out with 2 cats, Emma, and Avin but sadly we made the decision to give the cats away. It broke our heart because they had been our "kids" for years but it was just too much to have 2 house cats, Avin, and Emma. My cat, Jade, was adopted from an individual almost 9 years ago and she was an adult cat when I adopted her. In her old age she was confusing my carpet with kitty litter and other things. After getting rid of her I wish we had at least taken her to the vet to see if there was anything he could have done for her. The honest truth is that a vet bill doesn't fit into our budget since I am staying home full time with Avin. I've been considering getting pet insurance for Emma since it works similar to health insurance in humans. Strangely enough you can get pet insurance and groceries in the same place--Kroger.

Offered through PetFirst, Kroger pet insurance policies cover routine care and medical procedures for dogs and cats, and is available at more than 2,400 stores in the Kroger family including City Market, Dillon’s, Fred Meyer, Frye’s, King Sooper, Owen’s, Pay Less, QFC, Ralph’s and Smith’s. In addition to being available in-store, Kroger’s pet insurance can be purchased online at Kroger’s pet insurance works at any veterinarian nationwide, with reimbursement typically occurring within two weeks. Coverage starts as low as $9.95 per month and right now, individuals who purchase online can save $10. $9.95 per month covers accident insurance so if you dog should run out of the yard and get hit by a car you it would cover the vet bill.

We discovered pretty quickly that as good natured as Emma is she does get annoyed by the baby. He LOVES her and spends a good part of his day chasing her down to play. When she sees Avin coming she usually gets up and moves out of the way because she has learned that he is no going to love on her. We have been working very hard at teaching him the different between "pet" and "pull". Emma has been pretty patient so far but it's been a big adjustment for her since she is no longer the baby.

Some tips for parents to teach their children regarding safe pet play are:
Teach your children to pet softy, stay away from food dishes, toys and bones, and not to startle your dog or cat when it is sleeping.
Keep babies and toddlers at a level higher than your dog. Dogs perceive height as representative of their hierarchy. Keep your children off the floor when the dog is in the room. (We don't follow this since Avin is an active crawler but we don't leave them alone in the room)
Don’t give your dog toys that resemble your children’s toys or clothing. Stay away from fabric stuffed dog toys that resemble your child’s stuffed animals.
Involve your child in your dog’s care. Even just the presence of your child in the same room while your dog is receiving his favorite things or activities can help build a positive association to children.

For more information on family friendly breeds or additional tips on teaching your children about pet safety, visit Kroger’s Pet Health blog.

For helping raise awareness of National Kids & Pet Day I was provided with a $20 gift card to spoil Emma and a $20 gift card to giveaway to a reader so that they could do the same by the Global Influence Network and the Kroger Co. The gift card is good at good at all Kroger family stores -- King Soopers, Ralph's, Fred Meyer, etc. To win this giftcard you must leave a blog comment relating a cute, funny, or sweet moment shared by your kids and pets.

Additional Entires:
Follow my blog via google friend connect

Subscribe to my feed on the left hand side of my blog (5 extra entries)

Tweet any unique tweet about this giveaway using @diapermom and the hashtag #pethealth (Up to 3 tweets per day)

This contest is open to US Residents, 18 and over, void where prohibited. Contest will close April 30, 2010 at 11:00 PM CST. Please leave one comment per entry (5 entries = five comments). Please leave your email in your comment so I can contact you if you win. One winner will be selected using

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sugar Plum Baby Fitted Diaper Review

How many times have you been woken up in the night by a screaming baby and when you go to pick them up out of the crib you find them soaked from a leaky diaper? Nothing ruins your night like trying to juggle a screaming baby, find new jammies, replace the sheets on the bed, and hunt down another clean blanket. We were having that kind of night every night with our cloth diapers because Avin is such a heavy wetter. I'm not kidding, I think when I go to bed he gets up and drinks a gallon of water or something...the amount of urine he can produce overnight is amazing. We tried double stuffing, switching to fitted with a cover, adding hemp/cotton doublers nothing was working for us. UNTIL I found Monkey Toe Diapers and her wonderful Sugar Plum Baby Night Diaper!

When this diaper came in I was expecting it to be like all the other fitted diapers we had tried. In some ways it was but in lots of ways it was so much better! This diaper comes with snap closure so Avin can't take it off during the night. The interior of the diaper is so soft! It is made from velour and I confess to rubbing the clean diaper on my cheek and sighing because it was just so soft. The entire diaper is absorbent but when you snap the soaker in you add an additional 6 layers of protection. Lay down the included doubler and you're looking at 10 layers in the wet zone! This diaper is pretty bulky on Avin because he is long and lean but it is super absorbent and that more than makes up for the bulk. I like that the diaper is made from bamboo and organic cotton. The bamboo/cotton combo is great for increasing absorbency. It also makes me feel good to know I am putting organic natural fibers next to Avin's skin.

The quality of this diaper is top notch. The material is high quality and super soft as I mentioned before. The snaps are sturdy and attached securely. The seams are nice and neat. Because of the design of the diaper when you remove the soaker it unfolds to the size of a large wash cloth. Because the double, soaker, and diaper are three different pieces the drying time is super quick (half the time of our other fitteds).
Susan Mraz is the owner of Monkey Toe Diapers and she was a pleasure to work with. Her shipping time was quick, just a few days. When I opened the package the diaper was wrapped in tissue paper, tied up in ribbon with her business card attached. I felt very fancy and it tickled me to be getting a diaper in such a nice wrapping!

I highly suggest Monkey Toe Diapers for your overnight (or any) diaper needs. You can find them on facebook and twitter. Hurry and follow them because when they reach 200 fans/followers they will give away a Very Baby One Sized Fitted or Pocket Diaper!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cloth Diaper 101: You CAN do it!

I am a cloth diapering momma! I'm proud to say it and I'm always looking for opportunities to share information about cloth diapering. I have to laugh because as excited as I am about cloth diapering I can't compare to my husband. He's given more cloth diaper tutorials to our friends and family than me! :) We love cloth diapering, and while we understand it's just not for everyone, we can't imagine having it any other way. We started cloth diapering Avin at about 3.5 months because disposable diapers kept him with diaper rash and to be honest we just couldn't stand to spend $100 plus a month on diapers. We invested $200 in 24 diapers (23 BumGenius & 1 Happy Heiny) and we have never looked back. In this post I'll take you through the different types of cloth diapers, frequently used cloth diaper terms, washing cloth diapers, and cloth diaper accessories.

Types of cloth diapers:
Pocket Diapers (example: BumGenius 3.0) Pocket diapers have a "pocket" that you stuff with some type of insert (usually microfiber) and the outer part of the diaper is waterproof so no seperate cover is needed. These are easy to use, dry quickly and are very user friendly.

Fitted Diapers (example: Sugar Plum Baby or Tiny Tush) Fitted diapers are a super absorbant diaper that are made to wear with a waterproof cover. These are a great overnight diaper choice due to their absorbancy but the dry time for fitted diapers is somewhat lengthy.

All in Ones (example: BumGenius AIO) AIO's are just what they sound like. They are the most like a disposable diaper style. They are not as absorbant as the pocket or fitted and their dry time is very long.

Prefolds (example: Econobum) Prefolds are the cheapest of all the cloth diapers. They require you to fold a liner and place inside a seperate cover. They dry quickly but can be confusing to fold.

One Size Diapers (example: Fuzzi Bunz One Size) One size diapers are usually pocket diapers with a series of snaps on the front or hip that allow the diaper to grow with your baby. They can be rather bulky on small babies but they save a lot of money because you can use the same diaper from birth to potty training.

Hybrid Diapers I'm not sure "hybrid diaper" is an actual term but it is what I use when I refer to my Flip Diapers. The Flip Diaper system uses a cover that can be paired with either a lay-in cloth liner or a disposable liner. gDiapers and GroBaby also offer similar options. They are great for daytime travel when you don't want to pack along a large stack of cloth diapers.

Everyone has their own preference and motivation for choosing a specific diaper. Some things to ask yourself when you are planning your diaper purchase are 1)How important is cost to me? 2)Will my baby stay still long enough to put on a prefold and cover? 3)How important is the length of time it takes to dry? 4) Is a trim fit more important than only having to buy one set of diapers?

Once you decide what kind of diaper you think you would prefer I suggest you go to your local cloth diaper store and actually look them over. Cloth diapers come in so many fabrics and prints that you may find out you love something else even more. I purchased half of my diapers new and half used. Purchasing your cloth diapers used saves even more money and is perfectly safe for your baby. You will want be familiar with some common cloth diapering abbreviations before you buy.

Frequently Used Cloth Diaper Abbreviations:

AIO - All in One diaper
AI2 - All in Two diaper (typically a pocket diaper)
CD - cloth diaper
CPF - Chinese prefold
IPF - Indian Prefold
DSQ - Diaper service quality
EUC - Excellent used condition
GUC - Good used condition
F&C - Free & Clear (used referring to detergents)
PUL - polyurethane laminate, a material used to make diaper covers/wraps
Woolie, Shortie, Longie - Refers to diaper covers made from wool
Seconds- Second Quality Cloth Diapers are diapers that have some (usually minor) flaw in the design or construction of them.
'Sposie- A Disposable diaper
Diaper Pail Liner - Usually made of PUL, fits inside a trash can or diaper pail to hold dirty diapers
Wet/Dry Bag - Usually made of PUL or similar material, used to hold dirty diapers on the go

Washing Cloth Diapers: I had wanted to cloth diaper before Avin was born but I had heard horror stories about the time and effort required to keep cloth diapers clean. I kicked myself when I found out that those stories were true 30 years ago! Today's cloth diapers are nothing like what our mom's had available to them. Caution: You do have to use cloth diaper detergent! All cloth diapering mom's have their own method for washing so I will just share mine. When we change Avin's diaper I toss the dirty diaper into a kitchen trash can that has a diaper pail liner in it. (If it is a poopy diaper I wipe it out with a wipe and toss the solids into the diaper genie). Many people use a diaper sprayer and rinse out into the toilet. At the end of the day I take the liner full of dirty diapers down to the washing machine. I seperate the diapers out into their different pieces (we use AI2 and fitteds) and I do one COLD rinse. Then I do one Heavy Duty HOT wash with 2 scoops of Rockin Green Cloth Diaper Soap with an extra COLD rinse at the end. You must use some type of cloth diaper detergent because other detergents contain elements that will cause your diapers to stop absorbing and start actually repelling and leaking. Some popular brands are Charlies, Rockin Green, and Tiny Bubbles. Once the diapers are washed I usually hang any piece that has velcro or elastic up to dry and I toss the rest in the dryer. You do not use fabric softner or dryer sheets with cloth diapers. If you get stains setting your diapers out in the sun to dry will clear most of them up.

Cloth Diaper Accessories: When you use cloth diapers you don't have to HAVE to have anything special except the cloth diaper detergent and cloth diaper safe diaper rash ointment. Diaper rashes are rare with cloth diapers but they do still happen occasionally. You cannot use regular diaper rash ointment (Desitin, Butt Paste, etc) because they will coat your diapers and cause them to repell liquid. You need a cloth diaper safe ointment. My favorite brand is Sweet Cheeks but other popular brands include Grandma El's and Northern Essence.

Some people use a diaper sprayer which connects to your toilet and works like a mini shower for your diapers. I don't have one and I don't have any issues with my diapers.

A couple of things I do have and LOVE are: 1) A small wet bag- mine is made by Cutey Baby and holds about 5 dirty diapers. It is a super cute print and fits down in my diaper bag. It's great for storing both dirty clothes and diapers. When you get back home you can toss the bag itself in the washer for easy clean up. 2) A diaper pail liner- I just recently got a diaper pail liner and now I can't imagine life without it! Before I would spray my diaper pail (aka a kitchen trash can) down with Lysol Spray everynight when I emptied it and once or twice a week I had to scrub it out with a disinfecting cleaner. Now I just pull the liner out and toss it in the wash with the diapers. It also made a great dirty clothes bag when we traveled this weekend.

Of course no matter what type of diaper you use you still need wipes to get your baby's bottom clean. I still use mostly disposable wipes for poopy diapers but I use cloth wipes for hand and face washing after meals and other quick clean ups. Cloth wipes can be as simple as baby wash cloths wetted in water. For more great in-depth information about using cloth wipes please visit The Eco-Friendly Family.

If you have any other questions or comments regarding cloth diapering please feel free to leave a comment. I'm no cloth diapering expert, just a cloth diapering addict, but I'd be happy to share what I know.

My Earth Week Theme is Cloth Diapers!

I've been thinking about Earth Week and all that we do to try to be earth friendly in our home. We recycle everything we can (paper, cardboard, aluminum, tin, steel, plastics). We turn off lights when we aren't using them. We try to conserve water by turning it off while we brush our teeth. We buy organic foods when we can. I try to purchase items in recyclable containers only. All those things are great but I don't think any of them has as big an impact as our cloth diaper use.

According to the Clean Air Council: An average child will use between 8,000 -10,000 disposable diapers ($2,000 worth) before being potty trained. Each year, parents and babysitters dispose of about 18 billion of these items. In the United States alone these single-use items consume nearly 100,000 tons of plastic and 800,000 tons of tree pulp. We will pay an average of $350 million annually to deal with their disposal and, to top it off, these diapers will still be in the landfill 300 years from now. Americans throw away 570 diapers per second. That's 49 million diapers per day.

If you choose to cloth diaper, 24 diapers is usually adequate to diaper one baby for two days. Cloth diapers can be used for multiple children and will biodegrade quickly when you are done. Many cloth diaper brands now have one-size diapers that you can use from birth until potty training. Cloth diapering is not just earth friendly it is wallet friendly!

I won't list all of the scary things contained in the disposable diapers because there are just too many to list but you can visit the Real Diaper Association for all the details. (WARNING: You will be horrified at what disposable diapers contain!)

This week I will be posting a series of posts related to cloth diapering that includes: Cloth Diaper 101, a couple of cloth diaper reviews, a wet bag review, a diaper pail liner review.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Green Giant Giveaway! {CLOSED}

Congratulations to Heidi Comment #29!We just finished a very yummy supper of loaded chicken and Green Giant Simply Steam® Garden Vegetable Medley. I love Green Giant vegetables because they come pre-seasoned in a microwave package that you just toss in and cook in 5 minutes. They have been the perfect size for Derek and I to have a serving each with no leftovers. Now that Avin is moving on to table foods we'll probably switch to eating the Family Sized Bagged Vegetables. I wanted to share some really interesting things I recently learned about Green Giant.

For Green Giant, it´s all about trying to live up to the name by working every day to care for the land, the people who grow our vegetables and the families who share our vegetables at their tables. Throughout its century-long history, Green Giant has worked to reduce its environmental footprint through many measures including:

Reducing the amount of land and water needed to grow vegetables

Packing vegetables in smaller, lighter cans, so it takes less fuel to deliver them to supermarket shelves

Utilizing traditional seed breeding methods over the last 35 years to double the amount of sweet corn grown on an acre of land

Teaming up with growers to install a more efficient irrigation system that can reduce water use by more than a million gallons a year;

Switching to more earth-friendly paperboard to package frozen vegetables, saving approximately 54,000 trees annually in the process.

Green Giant is now celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by giving $200,000 to The Nature Conservancy to help fund an innovative project that will encourage greener farming practices to repair and protect a natural treasure - the Root River, one of Minnesota´s (home to Green Giant) best trout streams.

To learn more about Green Giant´s sustainability program or make a donation to The Nature Conservancy, visit the month of April.

I received a "Seeds of Change" prize pack that includes one VIP coupon valid for a free package of Green Giant frozen vegetables, in addition to a mini herb garden, an eco-friendly bamboo utensil set, and a 100% recyclable grocery tote. It was provided by Green Giant through MyBlogSpark. My mini herb garden (Chives, Basil, and Parsley) is living in my kitchen window and is starting to sprout! My husband has to take care of it though because I've got such a black thumb that I've been known to kill plants by looking at them.

Green Giant and MyBlogSpark are also providing a "Seeds of Change" prize pack to one of my readers! This contest is open to US Residents, 18 and over, void where prohibited. Contest will close on Earth Day, April 22, 2010 at 11:00 PM CST. Please leave one comment per entry (5 entries = five comments). Please leave your email in your comment so I can contact you if you win. One winner will be selected using

Mandatory Entry: Go to and come back and leave me a comment telling me something you learned about the sustainability program.

Additional Entires:
Follow my blog via google friend connect

Subscribe to my feed on the left hand side of my blog (5 extra entries)

Tweet any unique tweet about this giveaway using @diapermom (Up to 3 tweets per day)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yoreganics Review and Giveaway {CLOSED}

Congratulations comment number 17!

Being Eco-Friendly is very important to me as is getting rid of toxic, harmful chemicals in my cleaning products. After realizing what some of the ingredients in traditional laundry detergent are doing to our envirnment I started searching for an organic alternative for our clothing. I was lucky enough to find Yoreganics and Kim sent me a sample of her products. I received her Yore Laundry Sampler Trio (which contains soap nuts, Stain Remover, and Brighten and Whitens) and a tube of Lip Balm.
When I received the package my first thought was "Aww, how cute and tiny!" Everything came in this little drawstring sack and I thought it was such a cute packaging idea. It turns out that it wasn't just a packaging idea, it was a vital part of the sampler. Before I go on I must confess something. I had no idea what soap nuts were when Kim offered to send me the sampler. I THOUGHT I knew--in my mind I pictured an acorn (hey it's a type of nut!) shaped solid soap. Don't ask me where these crazy notions come from! When I opened the package I was so surprised to find something that looked like a bunch of dried cranberries. Luckily Kim includes a great little piece of paper explaining what the cranberry looking things are. Soap nuts fall from the Soapberry tree (sapindus mukorossi) found in Northern India and Nepal. The outer shells of these dried fruit berries contain saponin, which creates a natural soap when agitated in water. To use them you put a few in the drawstring bag and toss it in the washer. When you put the clothes in the dryer you take the bag out and set it aside for the next load. After a few washes you toss out the used berries and replace them with fresh. Some awesome things about Soap Nuts are that they are USDA Certified Organic: no nasty chemicals,Eco-friendly: sustainable & biodegradable, Economical: less than other detergents, Antimicrobial: great for septic & grey water systems, and A natural softner: no need for fabric softener/dryer sheets. I tried them for several loads of laundry and they did everything they promised! My clothes came out scent free, soft, and clean. I did worry that I would forget the bag and toss it in the dryer but that didn't happen.

Since the Brightens & Whitens claimed to be cloth diaper safe I decided to put it to the ultimate test. I won't go into details but I will say that prune juice stains cloth diapers. The stains drive me crazy but I didn't know what was safe to use on the diapers to get the stains out. I used some in my cloth diaper laundry and my microfiber came out bright and white like it had spent hours in the sun. I didn't notice any problems with my diapers like repelling after using it so I think it is safe to say it works great!

I haven't used the Stain Remover much but for the minor stains I've had crop up it has worked just fine. I really like the lip balm. It is a nice texture, not too creamy or sticky and not waxy. I love that it is organic. Since you basically eat lip balm each time your tongue touches your lips I really like knowing that it is organic and chemical free!

Kim at Yoreganics was great to work with. Her shipping time was literally next day for me. She is a real mom who has seen the effects of toxicity first hand and sought to create a better, safer alternative. I would recommend her products to anyone looking for a more natural, organic approach to life.

Kim is giving one of my readers the opportunity to WIN the same sampler trio that I received. That's three of her great laundry products (Soap Nuts, Stain Remover, and Brighten and Whitens) and a Lip Balm. The contest is open to all US addresses, must be 18 to enter, void where prohibited. The contest will end on Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 11:00 PM. One winner will be selected using Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Please make sure to leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win.

Mandatory Entry: Sign up to follow my blog then visit Yoreganics and come back and leave me a comment telling me something you liked or learned on the site.

Additional Entries:
Subscribe to my feed on the left hand side of my blog (3 extra entries)

Follow me on twitter and tweet any unique tweet about this giveaway including @diapermom and @yoreganics (Up to 3 times per day- leave the URL of your tweet in your comment)

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Leave a comment on any non-giveaway related post on my blog (up to 3 entries)

Monday, April 12, 2010 Rocks!

So for those of you who may have missed my tweets I've been in a great debate about buying Avin an organic crib mattress. Yes, we do co-sleep but for the past week or so he's been rolling out of bed or waking up and crawling out of bed (we sleep on a futon mattress in the floor). This makes me a nervous wreck and of course does nothing for his quality of sleep either. I've decided that he needs to sleep in his crib but that I want it to be as safe as possible. That led to me investigating organic crib mattresses. The first thing I noticed was how expensive they are! We are talking upwards of $250 for a crib mattress. The second thing I noticed was that not all "organic" mattresses were truly organic. Some only had an organic layer or two. Most organic mattresses were not waterproof so you need to purchase an additional cover to protect them from bedtime accidents.

Luckily I got a coupon notice from BabyGoodBuys about a 15% off coupon to I went to and looked around and they had all types of baby stuff including crib mattresses. I shopped around and found two different mattresses to consider- one organic for $299 and one not organic for $150. I left them in my shopping cart and planned to get up and purchase one this morning. During the night it occurred to me that if I bought a cover to put over the mattress it needed to be organic too...and so would the sheets. Those costs add up quick and I finally decided that because I'm not rich I couldn't justify spending $299 on a mattress and then another $100 on a cover and sheets. So instead I went with the $150 mattress but when I went to check out it told me my coupon code was invalid. I gave a call on their 1-800 number and explained what happened and it turned out the 15% coupon was only good through yesterday. However, they were so awesome that they gave me the 15% discount anyways! I was able to combine that with a $10 credit for a first time diaper order (I ordered some diapers too) for a total discount of $54.85!

I just ordered this morning around 11 A.M. and I've already gotten shipping confirmation for the crib mattress, it is being delivered right to my door for free! It should be here by 8 P.M. on Thursday. The customer service was excellent, very helpful and friendly. The products were as cheap or cheaper than other sites I had been shopping and the shipping was free. I'll post again when I get my stuff but right now I couldn't be more pleased with my purchase from I highly recommend them to anyone shopping for baby gear (they had some great sales going on Britax car seats!) or diapers. (They even sell cloth diapers!) If you decide to shop for diapers please use my referral code AVIN7003. I get credit for each person who says I referred them. :) Happy shopping!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

You'll Never Believe What Avin Did Today...

Ok, so Avin will be 10 months old on the 17th so I thought I had months, maybe years before he started being really rotten... it's official, I was WRONG! He's active from the time he wakes up until you force him to sleep and then he's popping back up shortly. Last night he was playing in the floor and my husband turned around to see naked baby buns streaking across the living room. Avin had managed in about 60 seconds to remove his pants and diaper! I laughed and didn't think anything more about it until this morning when he removed his pants again. Still, I didn't stress over it, I just laughed it off. Fast forward to after nap when I am trying to put away his clean clothes and have fished him out from under crib, behind the chair, and everywhere in between. I finally gave up and set him in his crib long enough to hang up his few little shirts. 3 shirts into hanging I heard water running. I whipped around thinking that somehow the humidifier sprung a leak and then I see him...Standing up, hanging on to the crib rail, naked from the waist down, peeing EVERYWHERE and laughing! I had to laugh because he was so happy about the whole process but honestly when I was stripping the crib bumper, the sheets, and the dry pad of the bed it didn't seem nearly as funny. I just pray this was an isolated incident and not a preview of his upcoming antics.

Babies...the only people in the world who can be in the middle of being bad and still manage to make you think they are cute!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I've found my "green" cleaner! BioKleen Cleaners Review

Since I've had Avin I've been searching for "green" or natural cleaning products. The search has been frustrating to say the least. I thought I had found a good product at one point only to discover after using it that it contained ethanol (same as E85 gas!). (See my previous Clorox Greenworks post for more info) I've kept up the search and I have finally been rewarded!!! I received Lavender-Lime Bac-Out Bathroom Cleaner, Citrus Essense Bac-Out Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner, Spray & Wipe All Purpose Cleaner, & Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator for review. The first thing I liked about Biokleen was their history.

According to their website:

Jim Rimer founded Biokleen in 1989. As a previous sales representative of cleaning chemicals in the commercial and industrial industry he became more and more aware of the dangers of the products he was selling and the ingredients they contained.

He saw first hand his chemicals were creating health problems for his customers, causing negative effects - including cancer - on families and pets in the homes and businesses where these supplies were being used. Jim was selling poison and this realization shook him to the core. Jim's drive to take a stand and make a difference helped motivate him to study chemistry. With his newfound knowledge and driven passion he formulated his first cleaner using natural, non-toxic ingredients. Today Biokleen continues to develop and create innovative products, which still measure up to Jim's beliefs and standards:

•Environmentally Safe

I couldn't wait to try out the cleaners when they arrived. The first one I tried was the Lavender-Lime Bac-Out Bathroom Cleaner and it worked so well! My sink was covered with globs of toothpaste and liquid handsoap when I walked in with the cleaner in hand. Usually I have to spray the sink down, let it soak, wipe it out, and then scrub it down. I spritzed the cleaner all over the bowl of the sink and wiped it with my rag immediately just to see what would happen. I couldn't believe my eyes when the area I wiped immediately came clean. One quick swipe and all the toothpaste and soap residue were gone! I used it to clean the seat of my toilet bowl, my shower, and my sink and counter. Everything came clean so easily! It didn't seem to do anything about my hardwater build up on the shower walls but then again nothing does! The smell of the bathroom cleaner was unusual. It wasn't overly strong but it was different and I could never decide if I liked the smell or not. It wasn't a bad smell, just different.

I use a swiffer sweeper on my hard floors and I usually have to use at least 2 swiffer pads on my kitchen floor when I mop because they become so soaked from the swiffer solution. My normal mopping routine is to wave the swiffer around and spray solution in a wide path in front of the mop, let it set for a minute, then mop. I usually end up spraying spills or heavily soiled areas again and using the scrubber pad on the side of the swiffer to scrub them up. The Citrus Essense Bac-Out Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner comes in a spray bottle so I decided that I would try it out with my swiffer instead of using the swiffer solution. The spray that comes out of the bottle is a wide, light mist. I sprayed the area in front of the swiffer then ran it across the floor and the floor came clean. I didn't have to let the solution soak on the floor, I didn't have to scrub, I just sprayed and mopped. It was so easy that I was halfway done with the kitchen before I realized that I was mopping left handed (I'm a righty!). Mud, babyfood, and anything else that was on the floor didn't stand a chance against this cleaner. The spray is so fine that the floor barely gets wet, and it is so concentrated that I didn't have to soak the swiffer pad to get the dirt up. It left behind a light citrusy scent on my linoluem. The best thing about it was that I didn't have to worry about any chemicals if Avin crawled across the floor!

While I was in the cleaning mode I tackled the kitchen with the Spray & Wipe All Purpose Cleaner. My husband had tried to be helpful and cook dinner for me. While I appreciate the gesture he does have a habit of getting as much food on the stove as he does the plate. His pots boil over, he doesn't use a spoon rest, he drips sauces when he dishes it out. After he's done cooking it looks like the kitchen exploded. When I set out to clean the kitchen I expected to be scrubbing for at least 20 minutes on the stove alone. WRONG! I sprayed the cleaner on the stove and then immediately tried wiping the stove. The food started coming up instantly--even the boiled on, cooked on, baked on food remains. There was no spraying and letting it soak and then coming back to scrape it off like I've had to do with other cleaners. I gave it a light spray and wiped-the end. The kitchen smelled so yummy and clean!

I was practically dancing with joy because I had shaved a good 20-30 minutes off my normal cleaning routine since I didn't have to practice what I call "spray and wait". Since I had some extra time I headed into the bedroom to try the Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator. We had a cat who in her old age (10 years) got the carpet confused with kitty litter. I had several spots near the litterbox that she peed on and soaked the carpet. I've steam cleaned using every product imaginable, I've tried carpet powders, spray on foams....the works and I cannot get the horrible cat urine smell out of the carpet. I figured that it couldn't hurt to try one more product. I read the directions and sprayed the carpet down with the Bac-Out and set my timer. When I came back in the room smelled disgusting! It was a mixture of citrus and cat urine. Gross! As the carpet dried the smell faded away. I got down on my hands and knees and sniffed the carpet and the cat urine smell had definitely decreased but it still wasn't gone. The bac-out warns that it may take repeated treatments to completely eliminate the smell. I gave it a second dose and once again the room smelled horrible while it dried but once it did the carpet smelled better. I think a couple more treatments and the smell will be gone completely from my carpet. The end result of clean smelling carpet is well worth the temporary gross smell that comes from the bac-out's live enzymes digesting the pet waste.

Frankly before trying BioKleen I expected to be disapointed again. Boy was I wrong! These products exceeded my expectations by a mile. I can't wait to try the Dishwasher detergents, fabric refreshers, and toilet scrub! I recommend these products to everyone now! At about $6-$9 per bottle these cleaners are very affordable. They are super concentrated so you get a lot of cleaning power out one bottle. The fact that there are no harsh chemicals and that it is completely safe for the baby, the dog, and the earth makes me feel so good about using these products.

Go to to see their entire line of eco-friendly cleaning products. You can also fan them on Facebook or follow them on twitter to stay up to date on their great products.

Happy Cleaning!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Karma Naturals Natural & Organic Products Review

Don't you love it when you stumble across a new store and it is filled with tons of fabulous treasures that you always needed but never knew about? That happened to me a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon The Morning Sun Gallery in St. James, Missouri. I opened the door expecting a local art gallery and found this delightful, eclectic shop filled with furniture, home decor items, and Karma Naturals Natural & Organic Products. I was so surprised to find a wide select of natural and organic products that ranged from lip balm to makeup to bath salts to lotion and more. I immediately wrote down the contact information from their packaging because I knew I HAD to do a review of these products. I got in touch with Kris, the woman behind Karma Naturals, and she agreed to let me host a review of her products.

I received a variety of lotions, bath salts, baby soap, and lip balm. Most of her products are all organic but some are just made with natural ingredients. The packaging lists every ingredient and it is clearly labeled if it is not 100% organic. The first thing I opened was her unscented lip balm. I applied it to my lips and it felt like silk! It didn't feel waxy or cakey when I put it on. For hours I went around rubbing my lips together because I just loved how soft it made them feel. It was long lasting moisture and it completely healed my winter-dried, chapped lips. She also sent me a lip balm in Toasted Marshmallow and it was so yummy. The lip balms come in over 50 flavors and are all PARABEN, PHTHALATE and PETROLEUM product free! How awesome is that?

I suffer from dry cracked elbows and feet during the winter and I've been trying every lotion known to man to help my ugly elbows get spring ready. I was surprised when I picked up what I thought was a lip balm and saw that it was a lotion bar. It came in a oval shaped container that looked like lip balm and when I opened the lid the product looked like lip balm. I immediately started drooling over the scent of it because Kris had sent me Sugar Cookie scented. I applied it to my elbows and I loved how it was a light layer of moisture that I could apply directly to my elbow area. It moisturized for hours and hours. After a few days my elbows weren't cracking open anymore and the skin was smoothing down so they didn't feel like sandpaper either!

I won't go into details about all the other products she sent me but I will say that so far I've loved them all! I recommend them to everyone (just ask the girl who sits next to me in college!). I even gave the anti-aging formula face cream to my mom! Karma Naturals are just great products. I love that they are natural and organic. The creams are rich, thick creams that really moisturize. The scents are so yummy smelling and are as good or better than what you would find in Bath & Body Works products. Your skin absorbs everything it touches, so when you use products filled with chemicals you might as well be drinking those chemicals in. With Karma Naturals you can rest easy knowing you are only using natural and organic products.

The customer service at Karma Naturals is fabulous. Kris is the woman behind the scenes. Her and her husband created Karma Naturals and it is still a family run business. Despite being a full time teacher and running Karma Naturals, Kris still finds time to provide exceptional customer service. When I contacted Kris initially about the review she had just experienced a death in her family yet she still took the time to get back with me about the review. That is going above and beyond for customer service! I suggest that you give Karma Naturals a try, I promise you are going to love it!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Guidecraft Rainbow Block Giveaway & Review {CLOSED}

Congratulations to comment number 188!

I'll save you all from hearing once again about how I LOVE wooden toys and blocks and I'll just jump right into my thoughts on Guidecraft's Rainbow Blocks. (If you haven't read about my deep love of wooden toys please check out my previous reviews and giveaway!) Of all the toy reviews I have posted lately these are my personal favorite. They are cheerful, colorful blocks that work great with his unit block set. I like them because they come in a variety of colors so I can use them as an educational moment every time we play by discussing colors and shapes with Avin. Avin likes all of his wooden toys but when he is playing on his own he most often chooses the rainbow blocks. I think that is because they are colorful and light weight. The colored plexi material inside the block makes them very lightweight so they are super easy for Avin to pick up and hold on to. He seems to be drawn to the bright colors as well. It is so cute to see him dig through a pile of blocks to find the rainbow block! I wanted to post a picture of him playing with them but he's discovered his inner model and now when he sees the camera he drops what he's doing to come smile and pose.

Guidecraft has several different sets of blocks made like the rainbow blocks. Some of the options available include: Mirror Blocks, which have shiny mylar inside that mimics a mirror, Crystal Bead Blocks, which have small plastic colored beads inside, Sand Blocks, which are filled with colored sand, and Shimmering Water Blocks, which contain colored water and metalic flakes. These are all rated for kids ages 3+ (although Avin is only 10 months and loves his rainbow blocks!). These are high quality, well made blocks. Guidecraft assembles them with little ones in mind so they are all sanded buttery soft and all of the edges are rounded. I can see Avin using his rainbow blocks as stained glass windows in his wooden block castles one day.

Guidecraft is giving a 30 Piece Rainbow Block Set away to one of my lucky readers!!! That is a $60.00 value guys! All you have to do to enter is go to the Guidecraft website and pick out your favorite product then come back here leaving me a comment telling me what it is and why it is your favorite.

Additional entries:

Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect (1 extra entry)

Subscribe to my feed on the left side of my blog (5 extra entries)

Follow me on twitter and tweet any unique tweet about this giveaway including @diapermom and @Guidecraft (Make sure you leave the permalink of each tweet in your comment-- up to 3 tweets per day)

Follow Guidecraft on twitter (1 extra entry)

Follow Guidecraft on Facebook (1 extra entry)

Blog about this giveaway and leave a link to the URL in your comment (2 extra entries)

Contest is open to US and APO addresses. You must be 18 to enter, void where prohibited. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Please make sure to leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win. Contest will end April 29, 2010 at 11:00 PM CST. Winner will be select by and notified by email.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

The following is a guest post from the author of the blog An Artist, An Architect, & A Toddler. She lives "Bible Green" and I just found that to be so inspiring. She was gracious enough to share some thoughts on Easter for my readers. I wish everyone a very Happy Easter. I pray that each of you finds spring in your heart and that love, peace, and joy bloom within you.

He is risen.

As a born again Christian, Easter is the most somber, yet joyous of holidays. It is the reason I can have faith and am given salvation. I serve a risen King. He came as a baby. He died for my sins. He conquered the grave. Truly, Easter is the complete package of the meaning of life.

A holiday that recognizes defeating death- the one thing as humans we are guaranteed, by new life around us. Early spring blooms creeping out from their winter slumber. Warm air breaking through the harsh cold. Life.

I believe God has called Christians to awake others that are still slumbering. We can show them the warmth that comes from the true light, Christ Jesus. What a great opportunity we have this Easter to do exactly that. On a holiday that drives the unchurched into His house, we can show them how He has called us to live.

How do I believe He has called me to live? With love. I should model myself after Christ. Because of His love, I no longer face eternal separation from Him. His example to me is nothing short of perfection.

My husband and I also feel personally convicted to live as good stewards of His creation. God created the earth and its beauty to bring glory to Him. He also created me in His image. He charged me with caring for His creation (Genesis 2:15)

We don't celebrate "mother earth" (Exodus 34:14). We don't "reduce, reuse, recycle" because we think by doing our part, the earth will last forever (Revelation 21:1). We do it because we are called to.

How has God called you? May this Easter season you answer his special, unique calling for your life with bold enthusiasm.

He is risen indeed.

To read more about living "Bible Green" please visit An Artist, An Architect, and A Toddler at

Friday, April 2, 2010

Guidecraft Wooden Unit Block Giveaway & Review {CLOSED}

Congratulations comment #6~Have I mentioned I love wooden toys? I hope you guys don't get sick of hearing about my obsession because I LOVE wooden toys and plan to share reviews and giveaways about them as often as I can. Guidecraft provided me with a 34 Piece Unit Block Set to review (in addition to the Block Mates from my last giveaway). I first saw these blocks when I worked as a Daycare Director. We had them at the daycare and they were a huge hit with the kids. They never seemed to age or change any despite years and years of hard use. I loved watching the kids play with them because it was amazing to see what they came up with. I have seen the blocks turn into entire cities, roads, battle grounds, and more. I will warn you that at about the age of three they do become projectiles for awhile. They are the perfect size for a kid to send flying across the room in the middle of a fit.

Aside from being super durable and building imagination I love these blocks because they are made from rubber wood, a replenishable wood source. My husband and son couldn't care less about what they are made of they just know they like building things with them and knocking them down. Avin is still to young to build anything so his dad builds 'em and Avin knocks 'em down. Avin finds it hilarious to come through and knock down a tall tower of blocks. (Sorry the picture is a bit blurry, my camera isn't very good at taking action shots) It is great to watch my husband and son play together, although sometimes Derek is still building long after Avin has crawled off to a new adventure. Avin's 16 year old babysitter was here yesterday and she was playing with the blocks in the floor with Avin. After a few minutes she exclaimed "These blocks are so cool!" A few minutes later I turned around to see an elaborate building constructed from blocks. I really mean it when I say these blocks are fun for all ages.

The blocks themselves are very heavy because they are solid wood. I would use caution when letting very little ones play with them because they could cause bumps and bruises if they toppled over on them. With a 34 piece set you can build some fun structures but I recommend purchasing a larger set if you have multiple kids or a budding architect (or a husband like mine...) They go great with the other wooden block sets that Guidecraft offers like the rainbow blocks, sand blocks, mirror blocks, shimmering water blocks, and crystal bead blocks. (Review and giveaway coming on Rainbow blocks!)

Guidecraft is giving away a 34 piece Unit Block set to one of my awesome readers! Mandatory Entry: Visit the Guidecraft website and then come back here and leave a comment telling me which wooden toy you would like to see reviewed in the future.

Additional Entries:
Follow my blog via Google Friend connect on the right (2 extra entries)

Subscribe to my feed on the left (5 extra entries)

Follow me on twitter and tweet any unique tweet about this giveaway containing @diapermom and @guidecraft (Up to 3 entries per day)

Follow Guidecraft on twitter

Follow me on Facebook

Follow Guidecraft on Facebook (tell them AvinsMomma sent you!)

Contest is open to US and APO addresses. You must be 18 to enter, void where prohibited. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Please make sure to leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win. Contest will end April 25, 2010 at 11:00 PM CST. Winner will be select by and notified by email.