Monday, October 27, 2014

Just because I cloth diaper doesn't mean that I am poor

I choose to cloth diaper for a number of reasons and yes one is that it does save us money, money that we can now spend on more important things like our children's clothes, food, or even the fun stuff like books, toys and entertainment.

I don't have to cloth diaper, I could spend my hard earned money on trash, but I choose not to contribute waste to the landfills, which will still be decomposing when my 22nd generation is born. I just don't like the idea of spending our money on trash that is hurting our environment. Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks, and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR.

There are countless chemicals in disposables diapers, many of which have been linked to cancer and reproductive issues. Take dioxin, which is a byproduct of the paper bleaching process used to make disposable diapers. The EPA considers dixoin to be a cancer causing agent that can increase the risk of cancer even at low levels. Sodium polyacrylate, is that crystal like gel that helps disposable diapers absorb massive urine, which was removed from tampons in 1985 because it caused Toxic Shock Syndrome. Other chemicals baby's skin is exposed to in disposables include dyes, fragrances, plastics, toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, dipentene, and sodium polyacrylate have all at one time been linked to allergies and sometimes asthma.

Any of these sound familiar?

Cloth isn't convenient? Doing a quick load of cloth diapers is much more convenient than running to the store, carrying the big pack of diapers home and then finding a place to store them each and every time you run out of diapers.

My daycare/caregiver won't use cloth diapers. They totally will once you show them how a modern
cloth diaper operates and is easily tossed into a wetbag and ready for you to pick up with the baby. They aren't caring for your diapers, they are caring for your child and they should be willing to care for them the way you want them to otherwise it might be time to look for someone else that will. Cloth diapers comes with easy hook and loop options and all in one styles are the perfect care giver diaper.

Dealing with poo got you down on cloth? Well newsflash you are going do deal with 10 times the amount of poo with all of the blowouts you are going to experience while using a disposable.

Scared of the extra couple loads of laundry you will do a week? Think about the extra loads you will be doing because of the amounts of spit up and blowouts you are going to experience with a baby. You have time for those extra loads, you have time for the quick load of cloth diapers. They are easy to care for and easy for grandparents and care givers to use.

Think people are going to call you a hippie or crunchy for cloth diapering? Just because someone chooses to cloth diaper doesn't make them crunchy or a hippie. You are still you an awesome parent that is just trying to do your best raising your child.

What other obstacle do you have that has stopped you from trying cloth diapers? Post your comments on what is stopping you from giving cloth diapers a try with your email address and we will send you a special offer.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Homemade Natural Skin & Facial Hair Lightening Mask

I have recently been trying to find a way to even out my skin complexion. I have always had a problem with my face having dark spots from pimples when I was a teenage and recently I noticed my face being redder and often noticeably uneven, plus I always seem to be oily or shiny. I was on the hunt for something to also lighten my unsightly facial hair that grew in darker after having it threaded several months ago. Threading hurt quite a bit and I am sure I will never get my lip threaded again cause it made me tear up and made the hair grow in darker and courser.

 While searching the internet for a facial hair lightening recipe I could whip at home I came across a simple two part recipe. It called for one part honey to half part lemon juice. I went ahead and put it on my lip, but then saw how much I had left so I dabbed the rest on my face and let it sit for 20 minutes and washed off. The next morning I could see a difference in how my face looked and felt, plus my girl stach had since lightened.



I did the mask again this time with oatmeal. This made for a very hard to apply mask however the results were great. I have since added brown sugar to the original mask and it is easy to apply and stay on. When I wash it off I get a mini exfoliating treatment and my face feels and looks so much better. I have noticed my moisture balance has evened out and my face is noticbly less red and blotchy, is softer, not to mention a sun mark on my cheek has been fading with each mask I use.

My recipe:
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp brown sugar

Mix until blended and apply to a clean face. Let sit for 20 minutes and rinse off. While rinsing use circular motions to gently exfoliate your skin. I then wash with my favorite gentle cleanser.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ending the Year Right: 21 Day Habit Busting Challenge

They say it takes 21 days for a habit to form, and we all have habits we wish we could break. I have four main habits that I would like to see changed before the end of the year. After reading about different habit changing challenges I decided I will do something similar. Instead of breaking these habits all at once I am going to break it up for a period of one every 21 days.

The first period will be from today 10/6 until 10/27. During this first period I am going to break the habit of eating out and fast food. Since we just got half a cow stocked in our freezer we don't need to eat out. Instead we will make a home cooked meal and write out a meal plan to help us get passed the nights when we don't know what we want to eat then end up ordering out or going through fast food line. 

The next period will span from 10/28 until 11/17. During this time I will break the habit of buying things we don't need. Need is defined as I will die without it and no I don't mean that cute new coach bag I will die without it, but like food. Instead I will replace this habit with selling, donating or making something. This goes for many Christmas gifts as well. 

Next, from 11/18 til 12/9 I will work on breaking the habit of drinking soda. I have at least one a day and its something that I don't really need. Instead I will replace my sugary soda drink addiction with a healthy juice or water.

Last, from 12/10 until 12/31 I will cut tv and movies out, this includes internet videos that are posted on Facebook that distract me from my goals. Instead I will clean, read, listen to music, or spend time with the family. Hoping this habit breaks and our family becomes even closer and make some lasting memories.

You are welcome to join me in this 21 day habit busting challenge. Share your own 21 day habit busting goals in the comments or a link to your blog post outlining your ending the year right challenge.

I will come back at the end of each habit busting period to share with you my thoughts, struggles and it's overall outcome. I look forward to hearing with habits you would like to change before the year ends. 

What one habit would you like to change by the end of the year?  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Healed by Hazel Review & Giveaway ~ Ends 9/26/13

Going along with our natural remedies theme, we started looking into Hazelwood jewelry because we had heard so many moms were using it to help with their babies acid reflux and eczema and they were personally using it to help with their heartburn and acne issues. These issues arise from having too much acid in their bodies and the Hazelwood takes the excess acid away by absorbing it into the bead itself. The result is a less acidic person and the acid ailments dissolve into thin air.

I haven't had issues with acid reflux or heartburn, but I have fought my own battles with having an oily completion causing me to have more breakouts than a normal, ahem, thirty year old. We started experimenting with the hazelwood and I noticed that I was no longer having bumps on my upper arms, and my oily completion had gotten tamer. I loved the way they looked, with either amber or beautiful accent beads.

We have shared these amazing necklaces with our local community and the response has been astounding. Everyone is experiencing some type of relief of their excess acid ailments. Here's what one customer said after purchasing a set for her and her daughter: "I got a necklace for both my daughter and I who both suffer from acid reflux. I have noticed a huge difference in both of us!!!!! My daughter was on meds three times a day and I was able to decrease her to once a day and she seems great. I have completely stopped taking my meds and haven't had a problem. I also noticed that the small clusters of pimples I got all over my arms during pregnancy were gone. So I am definitely a believer that they work. Being able to custom make them only makes it greater!!! My daughter and I have matching ones with amber included!"

We started a new product line called Healed by Hazel for our store. It is a custom line of Hazelwood necklaces that you can create to suit your very desire or purchase a pre-made necklace. Custom necklaces are completed the same day they are ordered and shipped the next business day. We even make bracelets that can be made to match your necklace. Since we are the manufactures of our own Hazelwood line, we are able to offer it at very reasonable prices with special attention to detail and quality.

We are so excited about our new line, we wanted you to try it out first hand! We are excited to announce our first giveaway of a complete custom set of a Necklace and Bracelet, a $39.90 value!

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How Baltic Amber Changed Our Life

I am a firm believer in natural remedies, but this wasn't always the case. I was first introduced to Baltic Amber in 2010 when I was still pregnant with my first. After hearing about it's natural pain relieving abilities I started m search to find a necklace for both myself and my soon to be little bundle of joy.

I found a site and decided to take the plunge only problem was I had to wait three weeks for them to arrive. Once they arrived I put mine on and loved it immediately. I loved the overlapping beads and often got compliments from friends, family and complete strangers. I never had much pain, although in my last trimester of pregnancy, but loved the way it looked. When my daughter was 2 months old and started to show signs of teething I put hers on. She wore it 24/7, and I felt comfortable with this because I was with her 24/7 as she slept in my arms at night. She never fussed with her necklace. She didn't actually start teething until after she was a year old. 

Around the time she was 9 months old when I received a necklace from a large distributor of Baltic Amber jewelry, for a review. She had been wearing it for months and when she cut her first tooth I didn't believe the amber was helping her one bit cause we were constantly having to drug her with pain medication just so she would sleep at night. After doing some more research on Baltic Amber I found that you can test the authenticity of it by heating it over your stove burner. 

When I tested the necklace she had been wearing it smelled like plastic resin, when it should have had a piney scent. I quickly searched for the necklace I got her when I was pregnant and tested it right away. It smelled just like pine. I was in complete disbelief that I was sold a fake from such a big company that everyone associated Baltic Amber with that I just had to test it again. I grabbed the necklace again and heated the entire length of the necklace and every single bead smelled of plastic burning. I was furious that my child had been in pain all while I thought this necklace she was wearing was real and helping her. 

After two days of our daughter wearing the real necklace, she no longer was having screaming fits and wasn't requiring medicine anymore. When her top two teeth came in, again we didn't need medicine, which was a miracle and that's when I was sold on the power of Baltic Amber! 

Like I said, I didn't always believe in natural remedies, like wearing a necklace for pain reduction, but now I do. When I started our cloth diaper store in 2011 this is one of the first items we carried because they work. The whole store is based on items we have personally used and loved. You can purchase Genuine Baltic Amber that has been heat tested to verify it's authenticity from us, for the same price as you would direct from Lithuania, but get it in a couple of days instead of a few weeks. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Clear Scalp & Hair Moisturizing Shampoo Honest Review

I recently got a bottle of the Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Moisturizing Dry Scalp Nourishing Shampoo because I had been having terrible problems with my scalp being dry, itchy and flaky. This problem has just started again after giving birth to our son in October, so it may be due to hormone changes. I purchased the product after much research, i.e. reading the back of the bottles. I should have researched it a little more and read some reviews on amazon about what others had experienced. When I got home that night, I headed straight for the shower, cause I wanted to test this new shampoo out. 

My first impressions of the product was that I liked the color scheme and shape of the bottle. The shampoo smelled great and had a nice scent to it, not overpowering, but present. I proceeded to put about a nickle sized amount in my hair and lather. It was nice until about five seconds into lathering and then all of the sudden my scalp started to tingle and then get a burning sensation! I was freaked! I had never felt anything like this in my life! I immediately threw my head under the shower to rinse it all clean, but it seemed like it kept burning even long after the suds were gone. I kept rinsing and the burning was still there. At the nape of my neck right below my right ear I could feel a really bad burning sensation. When I ran my fingers over it, I could feel that my skin was raised. I thought for sure I was allergic to whatever was in this shampoo. I looked at the back of the bottle and had to lift the back label to read the ingredients: 

Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Fragrance (Parfum), Dimethiconol, Sodium Chloride, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Zinc Pyrithione, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, DMDM Hydantoin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Stearic Acid, Citric Acid, Tallow Acid or Palmitic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Glycerin, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Sodium Isethionate, Poloxamer 407, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Tocopheryl Acetate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, PPG-9, PEG-9M, Panthenol, Lysine HCl, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Niacinamide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Mica (CI 77019), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red 33 (CI 17200)

A lot of these I had never seen before in any product, let alone a shampoo. I thought if I am allergic to this then may skin should break out if I rub it on my arm. I put some on my left arm and rubbed until it lathered and nothing happened. No pain, coloration or anything. I got out of the shower and started looking for reviews on the net about this shampoo. Amazon had plenty of mixed reviews. Many said that they loved this shampoo, but others said they had a burning sensation too and that the ingredients were foreign to them as well. I then looked it up on EWG's Skin Deep site and they only gave it a 4 for being hazardous. 

Although I had such a bad reaction the first time I used it. I did notice my dry scalp condition went away and today when I bravely used it again, it didn't hurt a bit. My hair is very manageable and soft. Not saying that it's okay to use, but from my experience the burning sensation could have been caused by build up being on my scalp that was causing my skin irritation and when the shampoo went to clear it up, it caused the open pours on my scalp to hurt and feel like it was burning. The spot at the nape of my neck that was raised, went away within an hour or so, and was't  bothered by today's shampooing. 

My rating is a 3 out of 5. Because it works well to remedy the problem I got it for, but I discounted it down one because of the first experience I had with the shampoo and I am a little weary of how safe it might be to use. I will continue to use this shampoo with trepidation and maybe only when I notice my scalp needs an overhaul. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Google's April Fool's Joke 4-1-13

Google caught me off guard tonight. We logged into our Google Analytics to find that the International Space Station - Control Room had 41 visitors on our site!

Good one Google ;)

Have a great April Fool's Day!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Winner of Cold & Chest Comfort Balm

We have a winner of the review of Scarlet's Naturals Cold & Chest Comfort Balm sponsored by Kebbie's Diaper Bag! Thank you to all that entered!

All that tweeting and sharing on social networks paid off for you April H.! Congrats you are our winner of the $10 KDB gift certificate!! Winner has 48 hours to confirm their prize via email.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review & Giveaway ~ Cold and Chest Comfort Balm by Scarlet's Naturals ~ Ended 3/5

This winter has been a hard one for us here at home. We have been battling a GI bug and cold after cold. The chillin's both have RSV, which has not been fun. Lil man, 3 months old, has been throwing up almost all day, but thankfully it stopped early this evening. One thing we would not be without is our Cold and Chest Comfort Balm from Scarlet's Naturals. We have been a big fan of their products from day one and have religiously used their Hiney Honey Cream and Bites.

Scarlet's Naturals came about when Scarlet's mom wasn't able to find a product that wouldn't break out Scarlet's delicate baby skin. Her mom sourced local ingredients and formulated a cloth diaper safe rash balm and wipes cubes. She has been growing her line of natural baby products for well over a year now.

A new addition to her line is the Cold and Chest Comfort Balm. It is amazing! We use it on the little one's chest and even the soles of their feet to help ward off these nasty viruses. This is a must have for any parent out there looking for a natural alternative to mainstream products on the market now. It cleared up my daughters first cold she had three weeks ago in a snap, now that she has RSV it seems to be taking a little longer, but after the first night of horrible coughing we went in and reapplied the balm to her chest and she slept through the night with little coughing. We have used it on lil man to help ward off any coughs and he hasn't gotten any wheezing in his chest yet. It makes us believers that this natural balm really does comfort chest colds.

Kebbie's Diaper Bag has generously offered to sponsor this giveaway. One lucky reader will receive a gift voucher worth $10 to use towards the purchase of Scarlet's Naturals Cold and Calm Balm. And for all of you other devoted readers, you can use Midnight in your cart before checkout to receive 15% off any Scarlet's Naturals products they carry until 3/5/13!

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Saving in 2013: Ditching Satellite for Steaming

The start of 2013 has already brought many new changes. We took the dive and got rid of our satellite service! We were at the end of our promotional & contract period and our already $67 monthly bill was going to be going up to at least $89 a month. We have been trying to cut back on spending and focus on getting our debt paid off from the recent remodel of our basement, so we can start my home cloth diapering business to the expense of getting products in the store. One thing we realized was that we we no longer needing to pay for channels we don't even watch.

Like many American's we are fed up with the lack of choice when it comes to programming selection. We have heard rumors that Intel may be creating an al la carte programming option in the near future, maybe as early as March of this year, but we couldn't stand to think about throwing more money away, even for just two more months. Instead of paying close to $100 a month, we have subscribed to Netflix, which is around $8 a month and thought about subscribing to Hulu Plus, that was until we realized what shows we would still be missing out on.

It seemed that Hulu didn't have agreements with CBS, which would leave out many of the shows we both enjoy like The Mentalist & The Big Bang Theory. Then there are my addictions like The Good Wife & Big Brother, just to name a couple. We weren't ready to give up on receiving live television programming and we didn't want to have to watch tv shows on our computers, when we had a great tv we could watch it on in the living room.

We attempted to get a digital antenna  We live in the middle of the Appalachian mountains and are 2.5 hours away from any large city like Pittsburgh or Baltimore. We were hopeful that an outdoor antenna would work for us after we attempted the indoor one with no luck. Well we were wrong. There is only one channel we could possible get at our address and that is PBS, which didn't even come in with the outdoor antenna. We gave up and returned the antennas and then started devising a plan to get local programming to our tv through the Xbox.

Since we knew we would be switching over to streaming and using the Xbox as our main source of television, I didn't want us to have to go back and forth between two controllers to adjust the volume or pause the show, so we invested in an Xbox Remote. The best $16 we ever spent. My very clever husband thought about using the Xbox Explorer option. That didn't work because sites like CBS and Fox required Flash, which wouldn't install on the Xbox. Then hubby stumbled upon PlayOn, which is a service that allows you to watch content from your computer to your tv via your network to a variety of internet ready devices like the Xbox, Wii, Roku and many many others.

We just finished setting it up tonight and I was able to easily maneuver their file folder system for many of the shows we have missed this last week since disconnecting our satellite service. Here we thought we were going to have to purchase DVR and use an antenna (that didn't work out anyway) or gone without local television shows for several months until they came out on one of the other streaming options. But with PlayOn we have access to many of the main networks plus sports, live news, Disney Channel, TLC and many other networks, all for one low lifetime rate of $40! The sale is going on now for this special lifetime rate. Another product we are using on the Xbox for steaming is Amazon Instant. Through Amazon Prime you can get the many free programming plus free 2 day shipping and other awesome perks.

Since playing with the two different streaming accounts I have found when you can't find something on one you might find it on another. For instance I got caught up watching Downton Abbey on Netflix and then after season 1 they had no more episodes. I then checked on Amazon Instant and I found season 2, I was thrilled! One thing I have a love hate relationship with on Netflix is that they will auto play the next episode in a series  which just sucks you into watching yet another episode instead of leaving it for another day.  That's probably why I blew through the first season of 7 episodes in less than couple of nights. I do like how Netflix will offer you some suggestions on what you have previously watched, but we have been disappointed in the amount of children's programming Netflix has to offer.

Our daughter is addicted to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and right now Netflix only has Road Rally available which gets old for all of us. Thankfully we get Disney Jr with the new PlayOn option. One of the best features of PlayOn with Disney Jr, they have 240 minute episodes, which is just a bunch of them strung together, but it allows for continuous programming without having to mess with the remote several times an hour. And yes I am guilty of allowing the television to be on to distract my daughter while I get the baby to nap so I can hop in the shower, but if I am longer than 20 minutes and the show ends, there's no telling what she will be into when I get out.

With this new found PlayOn option, I think we are going to be able to kick the satellite habit and not have tv show withdrawals and save some money in the end, much like we did when we eliminated our land line. We may not even need the Netflix streaming here soon, depending on how much we will use it after having PlayOn available, which would save us another $8 a month.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

When Our Baby Was Ready To Stay Away From Home

My husband's family has been our rock since we moved back here after college. They have been even more important to us in the last several years since having our first born. They have been able to stop by for visits or come over to watch the grandbaby while we have a date night or have appointments to attend. One thing that made the second pregnancy even easier was having my mother in law available to take our toddler on little mini vacations to their house.

We didn't let this happen until after our daughter was two, but we were planning a vacation ourselves to Vegas for what we like to call a Babymoon. A few weeks before going on the vacation we gave it a test run, having our daughter stay the night at her grandparents. I was overly cautious about everything. I packed for every season, made sure she had plenty of fluff that would last her way more than one day and fretted over the installation of the extra car seat. We made sure she had all of the comforts of home by including every stuffed animal, blanket and pillow she slept with, down to the crib she was use to ensure that she would smell the scents of home to help comfort her to sleep.

Wouldn't you know, she adjusted fantastically to visiting her grandparents that she has been doing it a few times a month ever since our babymoon. It has been one of the best perks of having family so close. How old was your little one when they first stayed the night somewhere other than home?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Support Your Favorite Small Business

Today is November 24th, which is Small Business Saturday®, a day to celebrate and support
the local small businesses that boost the economy and invigorate neighborhoods
across the country.

Kebbie's Diaper Bag is proud to take part in Small Business Saturday, and we’re encouraging
everyone to Shop Small® here today.

Plus, they’re having a special Small Business Saturday offer! Today Only you’ll save 50% store wide plus get a 50% Off Shipping on orders $25 or more, using discount code: ThankfulForFluff at checkout. No payments or interest if paid in full in 6 months on orders $99+ that are paid with PayPal Bill Me Later.

Most importantly, get out there, Shop Small, and let’s make this November 24th
the biggest day of the year for small business.

Together we can make a difference.
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