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CANADA DAY EXTRAVAGANZA - Sponsor Spotlight & Review - Hippeez

Heather at Hippeez is a proudly Canadian, cloth-diaper makin' mama who is also a super sweet sponsor for the Canada Day Extravaganza!! Take it from a momma who knows--she cloth diapered her kiddo from birth! I actually won a diaper from her for a fan celebration and thought it would be really great to review a fleece cover and flannel fitted combination for this event!  After all, it wouldn't be Canada Day without some fireworks!! (Which is what the fleece pattern cover is called!)

Here is the inside of the flannel fitted--it's super soft and I love the buttery color!!
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The flannel fitted diaper is SUPER cushy and absorbent! We use this fleece/flannel combo for a night diapering solution with great success! Finally! We have had success with wool and a few other diapers, but for a while, my night-time success with zilch and I was investing a lot trying to find an answer! Now, as we approach the potty training months, we have it covered! I also love that the fleece cover doesn't keep smells like other fabrics do! They feature crossover tape now and have Zorb soakers--maybe that's why they work so well! They truly are such awesome fitted diapers! Heather has announced that she will be offering more styles of diapers than just fitteds! She uses these diapers herself and stands behind the quality they offer. That's a great brand to stick with, I'd say! And, a great brand it is. I feel really good about supporting another stellar WAHM.

Here is a close-up of the "Safari" flannel fitted print and of Heather's sweet Hippeez tags! Again, I'm a sucker for cool tags!!
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Craftsmanship on the diapers is wonderful. Superb. I don't think we'll be having any trouble with elastic or aplix here! The diaper is very sturdy and the cover is a high quality fleece -- not cheap and thin but really a durable kind with great thickness. In the quality department, Hippeez gets a 5 out of 5 from us! And, for night-time, another 5!

Here is the front of the fitted, showing the awesome "Safari" print and the aplix closure.
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Now I realize I didn't pick a matching cover/diaper pair, but both designs were just so fabulous in their own ways that I had to have them both. So, we have a "Safari" scene underneath a sky full of "Fireworks" -- at least, that's how I'd imagine it! Fireworks on the African plains! There is an insane variety of patterns and colors to choose from! You could have a beautiful stash with nothing but Hippeez! Chooses are good! Heather is great in the customer service realm too--5 stars there, no problem. She was wonderful to work with.

Here is the inside of the fleece cover!
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And now, wait for it...  FIREWORKS!!! HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!
Isn't it beautiful?!? I loved it! I'm STILL loving it!

These are great diapers at a really great price! They are trim for a fitted diaper and the covers are beautiful and also very affordable. You can choose your inner lining on the fitted diapers--cotton flannel, cotton Sherpa, or fleece. They come in EIGHT DIFFERENT SIZES!! They can truly fit from preemie to toddler, no problem. I have a big boy and he fits into these fitteds with great ease and comfort, with room to spare!
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Hippeez Cloth Diapers also carries a wide array of other products, including CJ's BUTTer, inserts, doublers, wetbags, gift certificates, bundles, cloth wipes, wool covers and more!
Go on over to Hippeez Cloth Diapers and check out the wide variety of patterns and prints (over 35!!)that you could buy! If you want to you can buy your own! You can shop online or select the Where To Buy tab and find a retailer near you! Or, visit the Hippeez Etsy shop! Tell Heather hello and let her know you're comin' from Adventures of Mommyhood! If you are willing to take a chance for your fluff fix, then enter by clicking here to get to the Rafflecopter form and Good Luck!!

CANADA DAY EXTRAVAGANZA - Sponsor Spotlight & Review - Druide


Druide is a great brand that is proudly Canadian and specializes in dozens of bath and body products for the whole family! I was lucky enough to try a few products that they offer--deodorants, a citronella kit for keeping those bugs away, and some goats milk lotion. I'm pretty much enjoying the benefits of all of them--well my husband probably enjoys the benefits of the deodorant too!

One thing folks should know is that when Druide says 'organic' they mean business! Each stamp of approval has to meet at least the criteria below!

The CERTIFIED ORGANIC mention on all DRUIDE hygiene and body products guarantees:
  • That at a minimum 95% of ingredients are of natural origin
  • At least 95% of vegetable ingredients (plant extract, fruit, vegetable butter and / or essential oil) come from Organic Agriculture
  • At least 10% of the total ingredients come from Organic Agriculture (excluding water content, which is a natural resource that can not be certified).
I have really dry elbows and ankles, so I'm always slathering in lotion, but I really don't like the Bath & Body Works kinds that smell GREAT but do NOTHING for your skin! I need REAL moisture for my scales! So, they sent me some of their Goatmilk and Sandalwood Lotion -- it's got a plain bottle, featuring a Mountain Goat and that's about it. It's got a light Sandalwood fragrance, but nothing like the perfumed stuff at other stores. It was really pleasant. The lotion itself was creamy, not oily or runny---big points there! I love a creamy moisturizer--they actually work! In just 3 days, I was noticing a difference in my scaley elbows and ankles and my skin elsewhere (arms, legs, non-problem areas) was extremely well-conditioned! This stuff is really great! Plus, it's made from Goat's Milk! It's considered "light" by the folks at Druide, so much so that they say it can be used as aftershave! It does have a very nice smell to it that is definitely unisex, even good for the kiddos! I'd give this lotion a 5 and plan to order more after my bottle is gone!


Insect Repellent
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PhotobucketHere I have a few bottles of different products meant to ward off insects--a spray, a shampoo, a bar soap and a lotion. They all have delightful citrus undertones but are not too smelly to be able to enjoy wearing the products. I use the Citronella Shampoo, but I do wish there was a cream conditioner formulated and included in the kit, since I use a ton of conditioner in my long hair, and I felt that the shampoo would be more effective if I didn't have "Pomegranate Mango scented" name brand conditioner on top of it! My husband used it (and doesn't condition after) and said that he could still smell the citronella throughout the day and assumed it was from the shampoo and that it may have cut down on the no-see-ums that bother him in the woods under his hardhat. I DID notice a big difference in the bugs bugging me (or lack of) when I used the lotion and spray. All small flies stayed away and only a few mosquitos buzzed me--but remember, I live in one of the buggiest parts of the country, so that's pretty impressive! And, Druide is made from 100% natural ingredients--Free from DEET and other dangerous chemicals. What is really great about this stuff, compared to OFF or other brands of insect repellent is that it is actually GOOD for your skin!
PhotobucketDeodorants are also part of Druide's specialty--they sent me Green Forest and Zesty Citrus scents. There is also an unscented option. I love all-natural deodorants because of the aluminum-free status they offer! NOTE -- these are NOT antiperspirants, they are only deodorizers--you will still sweat. But, your body is made to sweat!! So, if you're okay with that (which those who elect to use natural deodorant options usually are)then you won't be disappointed. The Green Forest smells just like crushed up pine needles--not like pine tree air freshener (like those made for cars) which is what I have come to expect, based on other brands--so I was REALLY impressed by the great smell. And, I was impressed by MY great smell at the end of the day! Still more like an enchanted forest than eau de skunk!


The list of great Druide products is nearly never-ending! They offer lip balms, massage products, aftershave, a line for babies and children, hair products, gift packs, facial care, foaming bath, travel kits and more! (In addition to those items I tried!!) I really am glad I found this brand--it is high quality at an affordable price, and ALL ORDERS to the US and CANADA ship for FREE after $60! Plus, the shipping rates are really low to begin with! So, go check 'em out, you can buy anything I listed at their website! Say hi on Facebook, say thanks for the sponsorship of a great giveaway, and, let them know you're comin' from Adventures of Mommyhood! Click here to get back to the great Canada Day Extravaganza to enter to win some of these awesome Druide products!

How To Make A Button and Grab Box - #BlogChallenge

Day #29 of the Summer Blog Challenge, here we go! I hope at least someone finds this useful! :)

Going Green with the Grizls

Above, we have a button. They are so fun and they are great ways to help bloggers and businesses link up! But, how in the world are they made!?!?


I struggled as almost everyone knows, because I was blasting it all over Facebook about how hard button-making was for me! I've been out of college for almost 5 years. I have a MAC Powerbook G4 [old school] and a Dell desktop from 2003. Between the two machines, I have semi-functioning blogging equipment! But, that's another post entirely! Now, (finally) I have a new computer. (Sigh of relief!)

** This tutorial is for users of Blogger and Photobucket.** I do not know what I'm doing with Wordpress, Picasa, etc. but they should be similar. I hope you will take from this what you can to help you make a button!

First you need to upload a square. Any square will do. Mine is white for the purpose of my event. I also made a neon green one for my blog button this way.  You can make yourself a square in Paint if you need to. Or, you could find one out in cyberspace. Careful about copyrights and such though. Upload this square to a photo-editing site. I originally used picnik which is now closed, but I do recommend Photobucket, Pic Monkey, & Aviary. Add your text, stickers, effects, etc. Once you have it how you like, under 'basic edits,' resize the photo to 125x125. Facebook and Twitter require 180x180. Then, click 'save and share.' Save it somewhere you will find it easily.

Go to Photobucket or a similar photo-sharing site. I like the straightforward HTML and links that Photobucket provides. It makes it easier, you will need it in a minute. Upload your new button to Photobucket. Then, to the right and just below your photo, you will see some HTML code options. Click the 'direct link'. It will copy for you.

Come back to Blogger [old dashboard instructions]. Under Design --> Layout --> click Add a Gadget --> JavaScript/HTML

Paste your Photobucket 'direct link' into the large body box of this window. (Just so you don't misplace it!)
Here is the HTML for the Canada Day Event grab box, it will be my 'sample' -- be sure to change the colors to fit the links you will be making to suit your blog!

<div align="center">
<a href="http://mamanda-adventuresofmommyhood.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img alt="Thanks, Canada!" src="http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh609/will1494photos/CA_250.jpg" /></a> </div>
<div align="center">
<form>
<textarea cols="14" rows="4">&lt;center&gt;&lt;a href="http://mamanda-adventuresofmommyhood.blogspot.com" target="_blank"&gt;&lt;img alt="Thanks, Canada! " src="http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh609/will1494photos/CA_250.jpg" /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/center&gt;</textarea>
Change the bold purple to your blog URL.
Change the bold green to the direct link from Photobucket that I told you not to lose!
Change the bold orange to the message that you want to show readers when they hover their mouse arrow over your fancy new button.

Once you've made the changes that I listed, go ahead and SAVE the HTML gadget and it will appear in your sidebar.

Here is how the button and grab box will look when you are finished (well, how my button looks!):

Thanks, Canada!
Again, Make sure to change all of the necessary parts, and voila! You have a button. :)

Please feel free to post my BLOG BUTTON, found at the upper right-hand side of my blog home page to your blogroll or blogs you love!  Post my button on your sidebar--then you won't have to type at all to venture on back here and enter my giveaways, read reviews, and follow along with the adventure! Plus, having my button on your sidebar gets you 10 bonus entries into all my giveaways!


CANADA DAY EXTRAVAGANZA - Sponsor Spotlight & Review - Nellie's All Natural

I am a huge supporter of natural laundry washes. I've been on the lookout for great cloth diaper and regular laundry washes all year. I've found a few I love and a few that I do not love. Nellie's All Natural is one I've found that I am happy to say I DO love!! Nellie's is another proudly Canadian business, bringing us a line of great cleaning products for the laundry and kitchen--and you can find Nellie's All Natural on Facebook too!

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Now, many wonder about namesakes--Nellie was a real person. I don't know much about her story, or if she was indeed blond, but I do know that Nellie's products are hypo-allergenic, non-toxic and friendly to our friend, the earth. I tried this laundry wash for a few weeks now and I'm really liking it for the days when I don't want to smell anything--including dirty socks but also including smelly perfumes. Sometimes a girl just wants to rid the house of smells and Nellie's All Natural does just that. There is no smell left from using this wash. Some people, like my grandmother have migraines triggered by strong perfumes--so I'd recommend it to people like her for sure! (Though I'm sure grandma is unaware that there is anything but Original Tide out there!) I may have to get her a package for Chrismas!

Nellie's All Natural isn't just a laundry soda company, they also carry things like dryer balls (with or without scents), frangrance sticks, laundry nuggets, oxygen brightener, automatic dish nuggets, dish towels and washcloths and even robes! I told you--they've got the laundry and kitchen cleaning covered! Now do you believe me?!

Here's what's in it:
SODA ASH - (or Sodium Carbonate) is also known as washing soda and is used as a water softener for laundry. SODIUM METASILICATE - this enhances cleaning efficiency of a surfactant in soaps and detergents by combating hard water. SODIUM CHLORIDE - Our friend, common table salt, often used to produce soaps and detergents. CITRIC ACID - A weak organic acid, it is an antioxidant. Nellie's is a coconut based (LAURYL) Ethoxylated fatty alcohol. It is used by many detergent manufacturers as it is biodegradable, non-toxic and mild and efficient.

Nellie's is NOT Petroleum based.

So, I used about a tablespoon of the soda for LARGE loads and included about a 1/4 of that for cloth diapers. All of my husbands work clothes went in smelly and came out clean! My cloth diapers did the same! All of the household laundry including some gross towels from the beach that stank of well, old wet beach towel, came clean and smell free as well. Nellie's has got it goin' on!

Do you have stinky laundry? Do you want an option that does not include gross chemicals, fragrant additives, and one that is not petroleum based? Nellie's is your solution! Don't forget, for all your kitchen messes and for more products than just laundry soda, Nellie's has a wide range of products for you to try! Go to the site and browse around (it's really pretty darn cute, worth a look just to see something NEW and interesting from a company for a change!) and buy some to try!

For your chance to WIN some Nellie's All Natural Laundry Soda, make sure to grab all the entries you can between now and July 2nd at midnight, when the Canada Day Extravaganza will end and some lucky winners will get some sweet Proudly Canadian loot!! One Lucky Winner will get a bag of Nellie's to try for themselves! Good luck! When you stop by the Nellie's All Natural Facebook page, THANK THEM for being a sponsor and let them know Adventures of Mommyhood sent you!

CANADA DAY EXTRAVAGANZA - Sponsor Spotlight & Review - Northern Mom

Samantha is the super-mom and diaper-maker extraordinaire of NorthernMom Diapers and Gifts. She is proudly Canadian, part of the Etsy Cloth Diaper team, and creates cute fluff for all to enjoy! I have to say I LOVE THE ELEPHANTS!! When she said this was what she was sending over for my review, I was excited and already smitten!

Here is my awesome pocket, it all it's pachyderm glory (front and back)!PhotobucketPhotobucket

Samantha has recently had a baby and was so friendly and helpful to work with! Congrats and thank you, mama! She is a WAHM that also homeschools and has 5 children! So, she is basically Supermom!! She says she originally got into cloth diapering to reduce costs, she loved creating diapers!  

The quality of the this diaper is fantastic. The snaps are durable and I don't feel like if I pull a tab I will be stretching out the snap area like I do on some of my China-made cheapys -- all quality here! There is nothing cheap (except the price!) about this diaper. The snaps are in 2 rows, so you can custom fit it to your kiddo - it is considered a one-size diaper. If you have a real little tyke, there is a cross-over snap too! I think the high rise is the feature that allows this diaper to be used in many different ways (read on to realize it's full potential!)

PhotobucketHere is a peek inside, showing the PUL and the tag!

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My boy is about 32 1/2" with chubby legs and weighs about 26 lbs. This diaper is a great fit for him. The legs stay tight without leaving the angry redmarks that some diapers leave behind. The bamboo velour lining wicks away moisture, so we've had no problems with redness or irritation on the bum either. After several washes, the original integrity of the diaper is still completely the same -- perfect.

Here are the generalized specs for the diaper, from Samantha's NorthernMom Etsy shop:

Approximate Diaper measurements:
Rise: 14-19"
Waist: 12-20"
Weight: ~10 to 30+ lbs

I definitely agree with the 30+ lbs range. Bug is a big boy and he's got lots of room to spare, with 4 more pounds until he reaches 30, I think we'll be able to take this diaper through to potty training.

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Samantha uses Bamboo as an inner liner for all of her cloth diapers. Just like how much I LOVE interlock cotton, I adore bamboo! It is soft, which is necessary for all the close-contact it has with babies' skin, it wicks away moisture and Bamboo is a renewable resource! Another cool aspect that Samantha keeps to a high standard is the quality of the bamboo--it is Oeko Tex certified, which basically means there aren't scary and disgusting chemicals or toxins in the bamboo she uses.
Somehow, this diaper is more than just a pocket--the fit of this one-size fluff is such that you can put it over a fitted diaper quite easily, you can stuff it (or double-stuff it for night-time like we did) with inserts, flats, or prefolds, or you can leave it as just a shell and go swimming! This diaper is truly versatile. I can't say the same about my one-size Fuzzibunz or similar. That feature makes this diaper a 5 (out of 5) in my book! We did have luck at night-time too, as our boy gets bigger he is less of a heavy wetter, so with 2 bamboo inserts we stayed as dry as we ever have with a PUL pocket--and just shy of the results we were getting with wool! I was a pretty stoked mama when I woke up and realized we made it through night-time without a giant leak! We have yet to soil this beautiful diaper, and I'm kind of happy about that! It's so cute it's almost too cool for poo!
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Here is a shot of 2 elements that make NorthernMom diapers adorable: a super sweet logo (which, if you have read any past reviews, you know I am a sucker for a cute tag!) and the zigzag stitch gives these diapers an edge over others...pardon the intentional pun! That little bit of a decorative touch makes the diaper really special--unlike the mass-produced brand name diapers out there. Don't you agree? (I love large brands too, but WAHM-made diapers are always so unique and hold a special place in my cloth-diaper-addicted heart!)

I really highly recommend this diaper to all of you that want some OPTIONS in your diapering needs! I also like that by purchasing a WAHM-made diaper, you are supporting a family. I'm all about small businesses and keeping things within North America when possible.

So, if you aren't convinced by reading my review, try it for yourself!! You can purchase one of these great diapers from Samantha's NorthernMom Etsy shop. You can also contact her via Etsy or Facebook about a custom order. She has lots in-stock though too, so go ahead, get lost in fluff and stuff!

You can also enter to win one!! Samantha has generously agreed to giving one to ONE LUCKY WINNER!!! Get those entries in! The more you enter, the better your odds! Go now! And, while you're at Samantha's Facebook page, tell her thanks and that Adventures of Mommyhood sent ya!

CANADA DAY EXTRAVAGANZA - Sponsor Spotlight and Review - Eco Parent Magazine

Sam over at EcoParent Magazine sent me a copy and I'm HOOKED! He's part of the super-friendly eco-savvy family over at EcoParent! Lets take a closer look at this super green 'zine -- it's a fabulous, proudly Canadian sponsor for my Canada Day Extravaganza! One lucky reader will win a one-year subscription!



I received a copy of the debut "Outdoor Adventures" issue! It is a full-color, 64-page magazine that couldn't be more perfect for everything that Adventures of Mommyhood is about! I mean hiking, cloth diapers, wild edibles, and MORE! Go ahead and take a peek for yourself! I know you will be lining up to subscribe after you see what it's all about! I'm really adoring the book list. Everyone needs a great summer read!

Adventures of Mommyhood


You will also find some of our friends here at Adventures of Mommyhood in side the magazine! Monkey Doodlez, the Stinky Moose, and more! You can buy hard copies of EcoParent at select retailers, but so far only in Canada and at a few online stores. That means, those of you falling in love in the US and abroad can keep the green family fun coming by subscribing.

Now, another really cool fact about the hard-copy print version of EcoParent: it's printed on 100% recycled paper! The kind of paper to be exact is "Canadian-made Enviro100 Satin 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper" -- it's not even plain jane recycled paper, it's the best of the best in green terms! According to the magazine, and Sam told me he wrote this part, you can compare the average 100% recycled paper to the stuff they use from Cascade to print EcoParent in the following way (quoting directly from p.3 of the debut issue of EcoParent:

53,007 liters of water
963 Kg waste
3,217 Kg of CO2 (which happens to be the average emissions of one car for one year)
12 Kg NO2 (37 days of a large trucks' emissions)
22 GJ (101,259 60-Watt lightbulbs on for one hour)

Pretty gnarly, right? That is a comparison of TWO TYPES OF RECYCLED material! Can you even imagine what types of savings over conventional print media is saved? Pretty astounding. This small article was perhaps the most profound and remarkable part of the entire issue for me, because outside of great information on various topics, this spoke to me about the committment of the company. I dig it.You will notice right away the difference in texture when you hold the issue. I asked Sam about this aspect of their publication and he was really passionate about their mission.

EcoParent--they are the real deal. Not just talking the talk, but also greening up the print-process by not only offering and promoting digital subscription, but printing in a greener way. A greener than green way. For a company to actually take steps to be cognizant of what "100% recycled" actually means, rather than take it at face value speaks volumes to me. I think that I myself would even be delighted at "100% recycled" and may not look into things further--talk about going the extra green mile! Way to walk the walk EcoParent!  Sam told me they are adamant about keeping the magazine green -- as in, not advertising for a toxic product -- super commendable!


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Article about cloth-diapering anyone? Baby-wearing? Even birth plans?!? They've got it covered.

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Hiking as a family and with the littles? Yep, they have an article for that too!

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Oh yes, the name says it all. This is a go-to source of real good words for green mamas.
I read this magazine cover to recycled-paper cover. In one sitting. It was super!! I am so excited to read my next issue online! EcoParent reallly seems like a magazine tailored specifically for ME! All of the green advice, the family-minded activities, and of course, all of the adventure--right up my alley! I know my readers will love this magazine too! From the website, you can explore a cookbook, shopping guide, contests, find retailers that sell hard copies, and much more. Thank you for a fantastic read, EcoParent. Though I have subscriptions to Parenting and Outside Magazine that sometimes go unread in my busy mama life, I think this one will be read cover to cover every issue!

The magazine is not overwhelmed with ads for perfumes, cars, and random shoes on every other page. Instead, there were only a few pages of sponsor ads, and those were all relative to the subject matter of families/babies/green products. EcoParent also features REAL photographs--not just modeled professional shots. I adore seeing real kiddos, from actual family vacations grace the pages. Kudos for that too! Be on the look out for recipes, crafts, and games, too! I'm not exaggerating, this one magazine covers all that I look for, condensed into a realisticly readable publication--I can enjoy it over a naptime or two!
 EcoParent is offering a one-year subscription as part of the Canada Day Extravaganza to one reader!!! Go find them on Facebook, like 'em, and tell them Adventures of Mommyhood sent you! You can enter by clicking here to go to the rafflecopter form. Good luck!

Flats -- Easy and fun! Some faves and some giveaways!

Recently, I participated in the Dirty Diaper Laundry Flats Challenge. I used all sorts of flats! And, I can easily say, the Gerber flats that I dyed with Tulip kits were my least favorite! They were small. About 1/3 the size of other flats I used and I needed at least 2 of them to make it worth putting a diaper on at all! They WERE fun to dye, but next year, I'll be stocking up on more quality flats.
I had a handful of great ones, made/dyed by a few different talented ladies, and, naturally, since they are awesome, I wanted to share them with you!!

Sweetwater Cloth

First, I tried some flats from Sweetwater Cloth. This gal, MJ is pretty inspirational. She runs a blog by the same name, seriously cool to read. She actually participates in this cool challenge called "Made by Me" -- I checked out May, and was really impressed by all her cool, wearable creations!

What I used from MJ were 3 birdseye cotton flat diapers. They were Little Lions Flats, dyed with iDye plus Fixative for color-fastness and no carrier chemicals. MJ told me about iDye--pretty neat and now I feel just a little smarter! It is a Fiber Reactive Dye which means it actually forms a covalent bond with the cellulose or protein molecule in the cotton. Once the bond is formed, you get one molecule, as the dye molecule has become an actual part of the cellulose fiber molecule.
All the scientific jargon basically means the flat can then safely withstand frequent washing and high temperatures! And for me, it means it is more durable for my camp-style washer!

So, here is a fold that many have not seen. At least not unless you attempt using flats on a toddler with no practice at all in folding. This is the Amanda fold. It's like flat shorties!! :)
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MJ also recommended another wash or two before use, even though she does a wash to get rid of excess dye. This is where I may have gone wrong--I had a little bleeding even after an extra wash (but it was only on the gerber flats.) It wasn't a big deal, but I think I could have done another wash/dry combo! The size of these flats were awesome. I always used them as the "main" flat and then stuck some gerbers in the front for extra absorption. They worked well with a Snappi and diaper pins, and were easy to use for various folds. (Though I didn't really find a fold I was particularly good at!) These flats were rockin' and MJ really does a great dye job with UNIQUE colors--they are still bright and vibrant, MANY washes later! Thanks MJ! MJ has been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway item for a reader!! You could win either one flat or one reusable bag of any size--complete with sweet dye job!

You can see the Sweetwater Cloth flats (olive green and blue just behind it) and a cream colored Brown Cow Cotton flat in the middle with a Gerber flat on the end.

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And for ALL OF YOU GUYS, MJ is offering a 15% off code: ADVOFMH15 good for 14 days from now (from 6/29 on)!! 

Brown Cow Cotton

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This is the adorable logo that shows you that you have a quality Brown Cow Cotton, USA-made item! See above photo for a "spread" shot of the flat for size comparison to Gerber, pictured next to it.

Elissa, the Montana Mama of Brown Cow Cotton has an Etsy shop and website that features some super soft Interlock Cotton flats (though that's not all!) She also makes diapers and inserts, trifolds and boosters, covers, washcloths and more! The flats I got are almost creamy they are so soft! I would love to upcycle them into mama cloth when I'm done diapering my kiddos! (I don't know if that is a great option, but it's just soooo soft!) The interlock material is  more stretchy and a little thicker than the jersey cotton, according to Elissa. I didn't have a jersey to compare, but these interlock flats were the perfect thickness. I used these at night mostly. They were again, a really AMAZING size, about 2 times the size of a Gerber birdseye and MANY times the thickness! Elissa, the mama behind the Brown Cow Cotton brand told me that they only use certified organic cotton inside diapers, in flats, and in inserts and is always USA made.

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Here are my two luxurious Brown Cow Cotton Interlock Cotton flats.

They are amazingly soft. Like the kind of soft of a really great tee shirt from 9th grade that has been washed a million times but like 4x thicker and doesn't have an old, worn out cotton feel! It's just wonderful! I wish I could have this material all over my house--sheets, blankets, nightgowns, undies---it's that good!

I haven't had any stink issues with these flats. I did unfortunately get some dye from other flats onto these, so they are no longer creamy white, they are more of a seafoam green! But, I still love them! They have held up to many camp and conventional washes, and have the same cloth integrity that they had the day I got them, wrapped in brown tissue with a cute logo tag as fluffy mail! Head on over to Elissa's Etsy shop, Brown Cow Cotton, and take a look at the super soft and stylish selection she has there! She has also been kind enough to provide a lucky reader with a set of 2 flats, so you can discover the ease of using these generously-sized diapers yourself! Tell her thanks, Like Brown Cow Cotton on Facebook, and let her know you're comin' from Adventures of Mommyhood!

Meadowlark Mountain by One Lucky Mama

Julie from One Lucky Mama manages like 10 different websites. She is also the one behind the store that carries Meadowlark Mountain flats! They are great! I have a white terry flat that was wonderfully absorbent and it was one of the great flats for night-time during the Flats Challenge. The diaper is much softer than your ordinary terry cloth and again, this flat was a favorite because of it's giant size, something all 3 of these favorite flats have in common! These Meadowlark Mountain flats are just one layer of soft, stretchy, double-sided bamboo terry cloth. They work great with a Snappi or pins, or can be folded to fit into a diaper cover. Which is a good point to bring up--now that the challenge is over, I do just fold flats into covers a LOT of the time! Especially for camping and travel. Julie has also decided that one lucky winner deserves the same terry flat as I have, in any color in stock in her store, One Lucky Mama!! What a totally awesome mama!
I tackled my toddler and did a quick snappi job on the Meadowlark---not my best work! Ha! But, it shows how much fabric you have to work with, so you can make the front really thick with layers to cope with heavy wetters!
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Who knew that a toddler could get out of a Snappi? We tried no cover, for EC purposes, and that came to a swift end when he started escaping!

So, to sum up, 3 awesome options for flat diapering. 3 awesome WAHMs that are really friendly and helpful. 3 chances to win because they are also super generous! So, lets take the time to give MJ, Elissa, & Julie a big THANK YOU and make sure to Like and Follow them, so that you can stay up-to-date on new products, sales, and any news they might have to share!! If you want to try flats, I would recommend ALL 3 of these diapers--they all have so much to offer in quality and quantity in the diaper you purchase! Go ahead, check out their shops.

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.

CANADA DAY EXTRAVAGANZA - Sponsor Spotlight and Review - Woolies Dryer Balls

Hi everyone!! Here we are! Another day, another super-fab proudly Canadian sponsor! Please show some love to Woolies! Woolies is the maker of some really REALLY great dryer balls!!! The wool is Canadian, the company is Canadian and the dryer balls are the bomb! They are on Facebook, so go ahead, LIKE THEM, thank them for the giveaway sponsorship, AND, let them know Adventures of Mommyhood sent you!

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Woolies come in eco-friendly biodegradable/compostable packaging (for all of their products.)
I've tried other wool dryer balls in the past, and I thought at the time that those were amazing. Enter Woolies. These dryer balls are about 4 inches in diameter. They aren't heavy though, you can tell they are dense but they are lightweight and very smooth. I've been using these for EVERYTHING in my dryer for weeks and still, the balls are going strong. No fraying or deterioration of the wool that was felted.
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I have noticed that adding dryer balls to my routine cuts my dry time out by at least 20 minutes. Did you know that if you use 8 of these dryer balls, you can almost cut your drying time IN HALF?? Now that it's summer, unless it's a really rainy week, I rarely use the dryer for diapers (if anything at all!) But, sometimes it's nice just to fluff some of the stiffness from line-drying items out with a few minutes in the dryer--the wool balls help to quickly soften them up. They are also gentle enough for bras and other delicates to be put in with them. Woolies also eliminate the need for fabric softeners--making you more green and saving more green!

The Woolies website even makes me feel eau naturale! With deep green colors and barnwood background, the company exudes the natural-vibe! And they should! Woolies are 100% natural, Canadian-made goodness! They are also non-toxic and chemical free.

 Another cool fact about Woolies:
 All products come with a 1 year warranty and satisfaction is guaranteed!

I had some other felted balls that seemed to be really quality balls, but they were half the size of Woolies and they came apart after about a month. It wouldn't have been a big deal if they didn't get RED WOOL FIBERS all over all of my velcro and inserts. It has taken me A LOT of time to clean out all of the fibers from my diapers. The faulty balls were also more expensive than Woolies! They didn't have a warranty either!

 So, Woolies are my new favorite, or favourite for my Canadian friends that are reading!! Woolies are felted AT LEAST four times! They even say they will not unravel for YEARS of use! Indeed, Woolies are a worthy investment! So, why wait? BUY some today to reduce your footprint, be more green, save money, and dry faster!! And all of you mamas out there know that saving time is a precious thing!
Shauntha, the lovely lady behind Woolies has agreed to giveaway a set OF FOUR Woolies Dryer Balls to one lucky Canada Day Extravaganza reader!! That means you too can cut your dry time by about 25%!! Enter by clicking here to get to the Extravaganza Rafflecopter form!

CANADA DAY EXTRAVAGANZA - Sponsor Spotlight Review - Monkey Doodlez®

Alright, this featured sponsor company has a special spot in my blogger heart. As a proudly Canadian manufacturer of cloth diapers, Monkey Doodlez ®leads the way in cloth diapering goodness, specializing in dad-friendly systems and swim diapers! They were even in the running for a Cribsie Award this year for the ultra cute swim diapers they make! Rock on Monkey Doodlez®!


Monkey Doodlez® was started by Cheryl, on her dining room table in an effort to provide a quality comfort to her kiddo for her diapering needs. Today, Monkey Doodlez® is sold by hundreds of retailers in many countries!

I have been working with the Monkey Doodlez® team as a guest blogger for a little over a month now. Cheryl and her team has shown me great kindness, generosity, willingness to help, and awesome customer service even before I became part of the team! I first fell in love with Monkey Doodlez® through Lori at The Gnome's Mom and her 30 days of dipes event last year.

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So, I decided to try out some Monkey Doodlez® gear. I purchased 2 pull-up style swim diapers and a pocket diaper. Then I did a review of some wipe cubes--the first wipe cubes I had tried, on my mission to convert to cloth wipes. I still use those wipe cubes today! They are great! I've since broadened my love of the Monkey Doodlez® product line to include the TAG (Tuck and Go®) system, Pail Pals, another swim diaper (one with snaps) in a larger size for my growing boy, and a wetbag.

Here is my Monkey Doodlez® stash. I plan on growing it more and more until we don't need to worry about diapers anymore (for this baby anyway!!) I've really loved all of my Monkey Doodlez® gear and have had the best luck with all of the products I've tried.


Just a quick description--the orange diaper is our well-loved Ollie Octopus pull-up swim diaper (Large); below it is the Blowfish in blue, also a pull up swim diaper, but X-Large; underneath both is my navy blue Monkey Doodlez® wetbag; the white diaper-like thing in the front is an insert pad for the Tuck and Go® and it is the luxurious goodness I was talking about when I described the Tuck and Go® system; above that is the yellow Tuck and Go® cover; a discontinued "Big Cat" print pocket is at the top; on the very right is my new X-Large snapping swim diaper and a jar of Pail Pals.

The swim diapers are my go-to diaper for the pool or the lake. We've used Monkey Doodlez® diapers since my boy was about 6 months old and he finally poo-ed in one last week. The pull-up diaper did just as it should. It kept the solids in, I changed him into another swim diaper, and off we went. The pull up swim diaper sprayed out just as easily as a regular cloth diaper and I hung it in the sun after wash to get rid of any stains. Good as new. Now, we have the versatility of having added a snap swim diaper to the swim stash, and I love having the option of snapping off a soiled diaper. The pull-up cloth diapers are still WAY easier than the disposable ones to pull on and off (disposables are nearly impossible to pull up when wet), but having snaps is great for energetic toddlers!

The Tuck and Go® is a new addition to the stash, but we're loving it so far! It's super absorbant, easy for grandparents and dads and daycares to use, and the pads are luxuriously soft! Like really soft. Something between silky and fluffy, they are devine against the skin! I can definitely feel good about putting that on my baby's bum! With this system, you get super absorbency without super bulk. All you do is tuck the corners and go--aptly named, right? Loving it.

Pail Pals are also new to this household. We upcycled a Tidy Cats Litter Pail and put a pail liner bag into it. It works great and seals out smells when the lid is shut. It also reuses an item we already have around the house. We use a dry pail, and smells are pretty minimal, as we strip often and rinse inserts after changes, but the pail pals just add a nice aroma to help cover the ammonia fumes that occasionally sneak out of the pail! They have a light hint of vanilla, I think, and come 20 to a jar. It just helps to freshen up the room without an overpowering essential oil smell or the pee smell. These are an item I didn't know I needed until I tried them, now they're something I will keep in stock!

Wet bags are a must. I love this particular one because it has a handy buckle, so I can take it on a bicycle ride, in the stroller, a gym locker---it fastens to handles and bars very nicely to make it accessible but not in the way. We're always at the beach and pool, so even if we're not always toting diapers, it's good for wet stuff too!

The Monkey Doodlez® website is a great place for resources specific the their products but also cloth diapering in general. Learn about the business, find a retailer, browse the product line, and while you're there, check out my latest blog post! We have been running all sorts of contests and fun fan events, including a Father's Day Photo Contest, ending June 30, 2012 at midnight CST. Get those entries in! Speaking of entries, Monkey Doodlez® is a fabulous Canadian sponsor for the Canada Day Extravaganza here at Adventures of Mommyhood, and someone out there that is very lucky will be winning some Monkey Doodlez® fluff! Make sure after you "like" them, thank them for sponsoring this great giveaway and while you're there, tell 'em Adventures of Mommyhood sent you over! Good luck!

Book Bash Bonanza hosted by TheOliveParent

Here's ANOTHER giveaway folks!! This is more focused on family health--including furry family members! TheOliveParent has paired with Nordic Naturals to create a super giveaway consisting of 4 simultaneous giveaways all with separate Rafflecopter forms!! Over $500 in prizes! There are BOOKS--hence the event name--to go with the prize packages, so not only do you get some great health-minded products, you can increase your knowledge base too! Rock on! See below to enter!



You will find Adventures of Mommyhood among the participants in the great giveaway, so show some love, let the sponsors and hosts know I sent you, and good luck winning some healthy loot! Here is a link to the giveaway!!

**Adventures of Mommyhood did not receive any products or services, free or otherwise for this event. This is simply a cross-promotional opportunity.**

Fluffy Fourth Starter Stash Giveaway Event

This month is just littered with giveaways at Adventures of Mommyhood! I just can't be left out of the fun, so I keep bringin' in more adventures for you to enter!! This one, is a sweet stash giveaway and is brought to you by two of the ladies that got me started blogging and diaper-contesting and are two excellent blogs that I still follow today!!

Welcome to the Fluffy Fourth of July sponsored by Gnome’s Naturals and hosted by Life With Levi!
Whether you’re just starting out using cloth diapers or already a fluffy pro, this giveaway prize offers something for everyone. (Thank them for the giveaway when you get a chance, and tell them Amanda at Adventures of Mommyhood sent ya!)

Fluffy Fourth Ultimate Starter Pack

One lucky winner will receive the ULTIMATE cloth diaper stash starter pack, valued at over $415!!!
This amazing prize prize pack includes:
  • THREE ones & twos All In One Diapers
  • ONE AppleCheeks Bamboo Little Bundle
  • ONE AppleCheeks Microterry Little Bundle
  • TWO Tots Bots Easy Fit or Tini Fit Diapers
  • TWO Rumparooz G2 Pocket Diapers or Little Joey Newborn All In Ones
  • ONE Bummis Beautiful BASIC Kit
  • SIX Organic Cotton Prefold Diapers
  • ONE Bummis Super Snap Wrap
  • ONE Bummis Super Lite Wrap
  • TWO Snappis
  • ONE AppleCheeks Storage Sac Pail Liner
  • ONE M Monkey Foot Designs Wet Bag for when you're on the go.
  • ONE KalmSkin Travel Size Cloth Diaper Safe Rash Stick
  • ONE Bag of Rockin' Green Laundry Detergent
  • ONE Clean Cheeks Wipes Concentrate
  • ONE 6 Pack of AppleCheeks Cloth Wipes
  • ONE Mini Shower Diaper Sprayer
  • ONE Pack of AppleCheeks Flushable Diaper Liners
That's all the diapers AND accessories you need for 18 diaper changes!!
Gnome's Naturals is a cloth diaper and natural parenting store owned & operated by Lori Whitlock. As a mom of a toddler, Lori is always searching for great natural products for herself and her family. When she finds products that she loves, she sticks with them. Lori created Gnome's Naturals to share those products with you. As a cloth diaper blogger, Lori has tried almost every cloth diaper on the market and strives to carry only the best of the best.
In addition to some well known brands that Lori loves, Gnome's Naturals also carries work at home mom (WAHM) made items in the store. Make sure you check out the WAHM Spotlight section for products that are handmade by moms in North America. Lori is a huge proponent of moms supporting moms and she hopes that by retailing some mom-made items, she can help support them financially as well.

If you’re new to cloth diapering, Gnome’s Naturals offers several different cloth diaper trial packages. Beyond cloth diapers, Gnome’s Naturals also carries a great selection of baby carriers, baltic amber teething necklaces, breastfeeding products, and more. 

Ready To Win?
Just enter using the easy Rafflecopter form below.
All entries are optional – be sure to come back often to complete the daily entries, since the more entries you have, the more chances you have to win!
Giveaway open to residents of the US & Canada. Contest ends Friday, July 6th.


THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.

#MMM17 - Vacation Brings on Stay-Cation

Manic Mommy Monday!



This Monday feels like a Monday. We were camping Thursday-Sunday night. I had my period the whole time. I was crabby. Hubs was crabby. Bug didn't poop for 3 days, so he was crabby too. The weather was GORGEOUS. The area we camped in was not flooded with people OR water (from 9+ inches of rain last week)! We had our new camper, I packed AWESOME dinners. Everything SHOULD have went great.

Instead, we ended up fighting about stupid stuff. So much so that my husband claims he doesn't like camping anymore. He got pissed at ME for him not landing his big fish. We got woke up by the County Sheriff for not putting our campfire out. (We were literally 3 feet away, so I didn't know that being asleep and not watching it qualified as "unattended." Sorry Smokey.) I fell down a 4 foot rock face and scuffed up my knee and ankle. An unplanned trip to Walmart took an hour. On our "nice dinner out" night, my prime rib was 90% fat and his ribs were dry. We all got eaten alive by bugs and Hubs even dropped Bug on his head from on the picnic table.

I know this just sounds like whining about a bunch of silly stuff, and I TRY to keep my whining out of my weekly MMM update, but I was SO looking forward to this trip, it was kind of crushing! Especially since it was only 5 days after our anniversary, so I kind of wanted it to be like a 2nd honeymoon--fun and romance. I think I built up an imaginary perfect trip, so that perpetuated every minor flaw.

As much went wrong, I STILL HAD FUN. Sometimes my husband can be so crabby it makes life miserable. What do you do to defuse the husband bomb when it's sizzling?? Ahh!

We DID go to a dairy, fresh cow milk (with a little chocolate) was really delish! I must have drank like 5 quarts in 3 days--way to go, self-control!! We also watched a cool interpretive summer solstice skit -- we all enjoyed that. We ate Blizzards and shakes for treats. We found a few cool deals at garage sales, including a $10 trail bike for my man and a bike helmet for the little man. We went swimming at the local pool and did have a great time as a family, but I think it may have creeped other people out that we were all in the kiddie pool! (Our boy is 15 months and a great water kid, but you still want to be there to grab them when they dunk, even in 9" of water!) We walked around the town a TON! It was so nice! We even used our garage sale umbrella stroller this trip, opting to save space with a smaller stroller. One passerby said "Thank you for having a simple stroller!" Apparently, she has been overwhelmed by the BOBs and Chariots and Mountain Buggy's!! I picked out some SWEET earrings from an art gallery and dropped some NOT-SO-SUBTLE hints to hubby for my birthday in August!! They were $60, which I'd never spend on earrings for myself, but are so unique and absolutely ME that I just adore them. Fingers crossed! :) 

So now we're back home. I'm behind 4 days in emails, posts, and other net stuff (no cell or net where we were) and my boy misses dad, who went back to work. We are trying to tour houses this week, my sister-in-law is home for 2 weeks before going back to Africa, I am going back to Zumba tonight, and trying WeeCare again. Hopefully I won't be paged right away!



#UltimateFluff Stash Giveaway Event


 Welcome everyone! Yes, even though I said after my event I was going to "take some summer-time off" from events, I had to sign up for another one! I am actually doing that, so technically not breaking my promise to myself--I'm currently camping again with my family and enjoying a Solstice-lovin' Weekend! I will be back Sunday night, so any inquiries will be promptly answered then! But, this one was too fun to pass up! 30 diapers!!! And, they are sooo colorful and diverse! I have never tried a Bubbz 3.0 but they look great! So, Adventures of Mommyhood is in on the #UltimateFluff Stash Giveaway! See below for details and your chance to win! When you like Kebbie's Diaper Bag, tell them Adventures of Mommyhood sent you!



The Ultimate Fluff Stash Giveaway
Welcome to The #UltimateFluff Stash Giveaway hosted by Daily Mothering and sponsored by Kebbie's Diaper Bag! We are giving away a huge cloth diaper prize pack valued at over $600 to one lucky winner!

You could win all of the following:

The Ultimate Fluff Stash Giveaway
30 Bubbz 3.0 Quadcore Anti-Leak Pocket Diapers
Bubbz Ultimate Wet/Dry Bag
Bubbz Super Cinch Pail Liner

For a total retail value of $634.40!

Winner chooses colors and prints!
Haven't heard of Bubbz 3.0 Cloth Diapers? These new one-size cloth diapers from Kebbie's Diaper Bag feature a waterproof TPU outer, super soft microfleece inner, color coded waist snaps, four rows of rise snaps, dual pockets, extra gentle leg gussets, and a Quadcore Anti-Leak Protection System complete with twin gussets, a back pocket gusset, and a front waterproof flap. Each diaper comes with 2 Deluxe Organic Bamboo Cotton Inserts for superior absorption. The inserts snap onto the diaper, and they can either be stuffed inside the dual pocket opening for a stay-dry feel or laid on top of the diaper against your baby's skin for a soft natural fiber layer. Read the Bubbz 3.0 diaper review at Daily Mothering for more details and pictures!

Want to win?



THIS CONTEST IS OVER.

I Eat Roadkill

You read that correctly. I felt compelled to post about this, though I've mentioned it before, because I always hear such negative societal stigmas about eating roadkill.

I have on several occasions, eaten venison that was salvaged from a roadkilled deer. Now, we do not eat skunk, possum, squirrel, beaver, or any other rodent-esque critter squashed on the highway. We are talking about large ungulates or maybe a bear, though that one has not happened yet.

This is something I learned about and warmed up to after meeting my husband. He grew up in a poverty county and finding roadkill deer supplemented the families' meat supply considerably.

Deer that are killed by cars are sometimes in better shape than deer SHOT by a poorly practiced or under-educated hunter. Just because the deer has died, does not mean all the meat is spoiled. This being said, deer that have been in the ditch for more than a few hours, especially on a warm day or in warm climates do not apply to this practice! I live near the Canadian border, so we are very temperate, even cold most of the time, so meat keeps well here.

Deer that are beyond eating will be bloated much of the time. Scavenging for roadkill deer is almost like a hobby now. LOL! Be careful, in many states it is illegal to take the carcass without a license of some kind. Most states say to call the conservation officer and ave them retreive the carcass and it goes to a food bank (so they claim) to await a donor list of needy families. In our area, being remote, usually the officer arrives too late and the meat spoils.

I think that if you know what you are looking for and can get over the negative connotation attached to "roadkill" it's an awesome practice. The animal is not completely wasted and we have more meat in our freezer that is hormone-free. Honestly, these days I'd be WAY more turned off by meat at the local big-box store than something organic from the highway, fallen victim to a speeding driver or bad timing.

Food for thought...

#BlogChallenge June 19


Going Green with the Grizls

For today's post, I am proud of getting back on the exercise wagon and not buying junky junk food while grocery shopping these past few days. Plain and simply, that is a huge feat.

I biked 3 miles with my kiddo on behind my bicycle (in a Fisher Price toddler bike seat that I scored for $8 at Salvation Army.)

Then, I attended a FULL Zumba session, with no pages from the WeeCare department, since I left Bug at home with his dad! Sweat-fest 2012!!

My groceries included:

Carrot sticks
Ranier Cherries
Strawberries
Snap Peas
Mushrooms
Watermelon
Lettuce
Peanut Butter
Light Whole Wheat Bread
Skim Milk
Yogurt
String Cheese

I'm back in the saddle again, baby!!

Top 5 Series for Young Couples to Enjoy Together

Okay me and hubby have logged many hours of television together during blizzards and late nights. We even co-watched a series "together" while in the Long-Distance phase of our relationship. Here are the ones that really kept us conversing with each other, laughing, and coming back for more.

*After much consideration, I've ammended the list to top 10!*
10. Boy Meets World/Home Improvement TIE!! Oldies, but goodies! Isn't it CRAZY seeing these on Nick at Nite and TVLand instead of I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke show??? When did I get old?!?

9. The Big Bang Theory

8. Two Broke Girls

7. Yes, Dear

6. King of Queens

5. Friends - Tried and true, the old stand-by for our generation. Comedy + Drama + Great Talent Line-up. Unless you are a Seinfeld fan, you likely love Friends.

4. How I Met Your Mother - I would say this is kind of the modern-day Friends. Great line-up of actors, fun story-lines, and really excellent writing and word play.

3. Gilmore Girls - Even though this is more of an on-going chick-flick, it has awesome humor and really is quite clever. My husband would never admit it, but I catch him tuning in occasionally when I have it on. Really sad this one is no longer on too! I haven't tuned into Bunheads but it's the same writers, so maybe it will hook me!

2. Men In Trees - This show was so quirky. I thought it was going to be a modern-day revival of Northern Exposure (but opposite) and it really was headed that way. However, ABC jockeyed the time slot around so many times I don't think even Grey's Anatomy would have survived! It only lasted 2 seasons I think, and I was so crushed when it didn't come back!

1. Northern Exposure - Hands down the BEST sitcom series that network TV has ever offered. Watch all the seasons and then reflect on the fact that it was the 90's--the show pushed the political correctness boundary for the time like Family Guy and South Park do today. Chris in the morning would be on my radio everyday if I were in Cicely, AK. This is actually the series we "co-watched" while I was in Alaska and away from my guy. It was actually a really fun way to have SOMETHING to still be able to talk about jointly.

There you have it. I highly recommend going and buying Northern Exposure. The full series. It will get worn out. We don't even watch that much TV in this house, but we know what we like!

MMM #16 Terrible Twos with Delightful Developments!


Manic Mommy Monday!



Well, Monday started off with a bang, followed by a scratch, a rip and an expletive that should not have been uttered in front of my kiddo, but mama couldn't help it as searing pain raged across her left ear, 5 separate bloody scalp wounds, above one eye, on the cheek, under the chin and on the right hand pointer finger. Sound like I was mauled by a bear? Sheesh! We were sitting in the chair, 5 minutes after waking up, enjoying coffee and some toddler finger food when our cat exploded off of his climbing post onto my head. He does this SEVERAL times a day and has NEVER missed the chair back and landed on any of us EVER. It's been 3 years of his nimble aim. Today, he messed up. I am VERY thankful that Bug didn't get a single scratch! I on the otherhand not only had a 12 lb cat on my head, I have several stinging scratches and bloody mats in my hair--it looks like I came from an episode of "I Shouldn't Be Alive!"

So, that's how it started....here is how life is going in other areas:

1) Fitness: Epic Fail. Starting over on my endeavor of weight loss, warding off Type II Diabetes, and getting fit again. I have sucked at this goal this summer (really crappy weather hasn't helped!) So, I am trying again. Gearing up for success in a realistic way. Starting with shopping smarter. No junk in the house = less junk in the mouth!

2) Toddlerhood: Whoa. My 15 month-old is a stormin' short-tempered demon child sometimes. I love him to pieces, but head-butts to the bridge of your nose, adam's apple, and eye/cheek bone several times a day during a meltdown wear on a mama. Little Bug has turned into a tantrum-throwing toddler. Full-fledged. On the other hand, maybe this is that dorky parent trait finally kicking in (the one where you think your kid is Einstein and is capable of a genius grant at 15 months...) but I didn't think that kids this age could unscrew caps--like on toothpaste, reel a fishing rod, put a key and and out of an ignition, and other crazy tasks that seem like something a 2 or 3 year old would do. I haven't researched it because I have no time, but it seems early for all of this! Eek! I'm proud that he's developing nicely, but my goodness! Mama needs a break!

3) Marriage: It's our 1 year anniversary today! :) We made it without killing each other! Actually, it's been going pretty well. I am a little bummed that we aren't going out for crab tonight, but hubby can only take so much time away from home (he's weird like that) and we were gone 2 nights camping and are leaving for another 3 nights this weekend. The search for a home continues. We did see 2 great places, but we do not want to be the fools that rush the move and are unhappy after a month. So, we're scouring more.

That's it for this week! I need to get outside and get this whiney-ass child some exercise. He is having a meltdown day. Which makes mama have a hair-pulling day. And with my cat-fight wounds, I'm in no mood to pull hair!



Summer #BlogChallenge Short Catch Up 16-18

Happy Monday Blog Challengers and Readers!! We were camping for our 1st ANNIVERSARY this past weekend, so I've been negligent and am doing turbo-catch up, since we are going camping AGAIN this weekend for a Solstice festival!!

Okay here is my 3-day blog catch up, and the linky for you to read about the other bloggers participating!!

June 16

I really like this post. I'm a couch potato with a deep desire to get back in shape. I'm actually a couch potato on a rollercoaster love affair with fitness. I talk about this a lot, so it may sound repetitive to many of you that regularly read, but, I was super fit about 2 years ago when I was a wildlife biologist, scaling Alaskan mountains in search of the elusive Northern goshawk. And other cool animals, birds, and plants. I also worked out at least a 1/2 hr everyday. Well, probably only 4-5 times each week, but for me that was dang near every day, so it counts.

Then I quit my job and moved home to marry my boyfriend and be close to family.

Then I taught at a preschool where they serve breakfast & lunch (and you eat with the children at a family-style dinner table).

Then, I took a desk job dispatching--not just any desk job, but a desk job where your bathroom and lunch breaks are the only times you get up from your desk, so as to not miss a radio call! (Oh, and did I mention that job had a "bait station?" -- A table filled & replenished often with all kinds of foods, rarely healthy to graze at all day...)

Then, I got pregnant. And, all this time since I moved home, I am living in a farmhouse 26 miles from town, so going to the gym everyday is not cost effective and I cannot seem to workout in my home diligently. Enter gestational diabetes.

Now, I am 50 lbs heavier than what "feels good" for my frame--BMI be damned. I just like the way I felt in my skin when I weighed XXX, 50 lbs ago. I am also heavier than I ever thought I'd ever be while un-pregnant. And, I want to conceive again soon, so we need to ditch @ least 30 lbs before I'm comfortable doing so. I need to get off my duff---NOW!

I also used to be a firefighter. Now I don't know if I could pass the fitness test to qualify! HOW DOES ONE GET INTO THIS MESS?! I really think since I don't drink (2 or 3 beers in the last year) and don't smoke (quit cold turkey 3 years ago) that I am addicted to junk food. I LOVE sweets. Like last week there was a day that I ate 3 doughnuts and 2 pieces of cake!!!!!!!! Are you kidding? What was I thinking?

So, I said I'd get through the camping weekend and then really crack down on my life. During the weekend I think my blood sugar tanked after I powered out a paddle around the lake in my kayak---so, I know I am probably pre-diabetic. Not cool. Changing effective immediately! Not just for me, but for my little boy too.

There you have it. Couch potato to 5k in 3 months. Starting now. I said starting in April, but I'm fashionably late. Except you CAN'T be fashionably late with your health. Especially not with diabetes. My paternal genes predispose me to the disease and the GD during pregnancy didn't help. But I CAN deter it from happening by being healthy.

June 17th

3 Things I Like About My Personality:

I like that I am a word-bird-nerd. = I use odd words, love birds and am a total nerd.

I like that I am adventurous.

I like that I am a controlled chaos person.


June 18th - Happy Anniversary to me & hubs!!!

A recipe I LOVE:

Cheesy Wildrice Hotdish

2 Cups cooked REAL not Patty Wild Rice
4 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 Can Each of: Cheddar Cheese soup, Cr. Mushroom soup, Beef Broth
1 Can mushrooms (or fresh)
1 lb sausage (or amt to taste)

Mix soups & 2 Cups of cheese, mushrooms, & rice together in large bowl. Add mixture to casserole (fill 1/2 of the mixture into the dish) then add a 1 cup layer of cheese. Add the rest of the mixture. Top with the remaining cup of cheese. Bake @ 350 degrees for about 45 mins. Serves 8-10.

ENJOY!!








Canada Day Extravaganza Kick-off!!!

Welcome!! It is finally here! 

Thanks, Canada!

The Canada Day Extravaganza!

Okay, let me just admit, right up front, I'm a US blogger. However, I have ALWAYS loved Canada too! I grew up in a border city, so Canada has always been near and dear to me! After becoming a mom, I've paid a LOT more attention to where things are made, what ingredients they have, and basically any other detail I could scrutinize, before letting it near my kiddo. 

What did I find out???

CANADA is the maker of many MANY many of the things that I LOVE!
From cloth diapers to amazing natural products, Canada ROCKS for giving the world some really stellar stuff! So, I decided this summer, I will be highlighting a few companies that are really pretty sweet! I've only had positive interactions with Canadian stores, WAHMs, and retailers--everyone has been so laid-back and friendly! 

So, without much further ado, lets get this extravaganza started!! 

This giveaway is a little different--there will be surprise entries that pop up between now and July 1st. So, keep checking back--make sure you claim ALL of your entries!  The giveaway is open to the US/CAN and you can enter at several different blogs! As an added bonus, you can enter my friend Celeste's Canada Day giveaway as well! Make sure to read the details after the fabulous sponsor highlights on this post!


 You can enter here or you can hop around to any and all of the blogs participating!

And of course, we need to send out another BIG thank you to all of the fabulous proudly Canadian sponsors that made this giant giveaway possible!!




Buncha Farmers started in the summer of 2006 as a group of farmers and local artisans from the Greater Toronto Region, Durham Region and Region of York in Central Ontario. Buncha Farmers is "committed to the highest standards of quality,satisfaction and fair pricing." I am really loving the stain remover and soap that they sent me to try--and a few readers will too!!!



Raffi is a super awesome children's singing sensation! He does a lot of work in support of 'child honoring' and has great messages within his catchy tunes! Our personal favorite in this household is "Baby Beluga!" 2 Winners will receive copies of some great Raffi CD's to dance with their kiddos at home!






Druide: THE LARGEST RANGE OF CERTIFIED ORGANIC BODY PRODUCTS IN CANADA.

Since 1979, DRUIDE has followed a charter built on ecological values such as respect for the individual and the environment, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life on earth. We love companies that love the earth! Druide has provided a Citronella kit to help keep biting insects from bugging you this summer and a full-size tube of Goat's Milk Lotion for a reader to win!! This stuff is wonderful smelling and feeling!


NorthernMom Diapers and Gifts is owned and operated by Samantha, a talented and friendly WAHM that lives in Saskatoon, SK! She made a beautiful elephant pocket diaper for my son -- look for the review and a chance for one reader to win a pocket from Samantha of their own!



Nellie's All Natural is a line of products that are really awesome in a super simple way! The products are hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly, specializing in kitchen and laundry cleaning products. One winner will get a bag of wash to try! I'm loving mine. It is unscented and does not bubble since it is all-natural, but leave laundry clean without overbearing perfumes.



EcoParent Magazine is a Canadian-based, family-owned magazine that is going to be wildly popular in the coming months, I can just feel it! It is a relatively new publication and I had the distinct pleasure of getting a subscription to peruse and enjoy--again, LOVING IT! Who doesn't love a magazine that talks about cloth diapering!? Sam at EcoParent has kindly offered a subscription for one-year to a lucky winner!





Lunapads are a pretty way to pad your period! They are WAY more healthy for a woman to use than bleached, chemical-ridden traditional disposable pads and tampons and they are more environmentally and economically efficient as well! Oh, and did I mention they are a proudly Canadian company? Lunapads has great customer service and a HUGE selection! One winner will get to try them!



OwOOly Love is run by a super sweet WAHM named Amy. She is really good with wool creations and she pretty much rocks! We have a pair of longies that were upcycled from a wool sweater and they are amazing! Amy has generously obliged to sponsor something woolly and lovely for one winner!



The Laundry Tarts is a super cool Canadian business that offers decadent smelling laundry detergent and stripping agents! A little Key Lime Pie to perk up diaper duty today? Yes, please! Fun, fresh, and fabulous, the Laundry Tarts are dedicated to environmental awareness too! One winner will win a yummy smellin' bag of detergent from these great gals!






Heather at Hippeez Cloth Diapers is the WAHM behind the label and is another super talented Canadian shopowner participating in the Canada Day Extravaganza! Heather is the maker of super easy-to-put-on flannel fitted cloth diapers and fleece covers. She is really personable and has such an expansive variety of prints!! One lucky winner will something fluffy from Hippeez!





Monkey Doodlez® is a proudly Canadian manufacturer that is near and dear to me, as I've become closer to them as a blogger and have gotten to know Kelly and Cheryl--the women behind the name! Monkey Doodlez® offers a wide range of diapering goodies not to mention fun contests on their blog and fan appreciation prizes on Facebook! The customer service and feedback with this company is amazing and the products are high-quality at an affordable price! One winner will be receiving some love from Monkey Doodlez®!





Woolies Dryer Balls = Lifesavers in the laundry room. I have 4 of these and they are my FAVORITE! I've tried other felted balls and they have left me picking fibers off of my clean diaper inserts and other laundry for weeks now--unraveling and making me angry! Woolies are felted at least 4 times and are giant! They are just amazing. Shauntha is super friendly to work with, she's the Canadian shopowner behind these fantastic dryer balls! One reader will win a set of 4 dryer balls to become smitten with!





The Green Bumkin is a WAHM-owned and made shop featuring cloth diaper, mama and family cloth, toy straps, wet bags and more!! Another wonderful, Canadian business, The Green Bumkin is based in Ottawa. One reader will be getting something that rocks from The Green Bumkin!










Applecheeks has a sweet motto--which says, "We didn't invent cloth diapers, we just perfected them." This is a bold statement but this great Canadian company has pretty amazing diapers.
 are yet another fabulous sponsor of the Canada Day Extravaganza!
 So, thank you Applecheeks! There will be a sweetly swaddled
bum our there, for one reader, thanks to the ladies there!



Rearz is a Canadian company that is well-loved among cloth diapering mamas, but they also have family and adult cloth options! Not to mention, there are so many different products for kiddo cloth diapering--"disposables" that are really AIO side-snappers and are fully cloth, fitteds, cloth wipes and more!! One lucky winner will get some Rearz fluff!



Glow Bug Cloth Diapers are affordable and cute! Two mamas are behind this great fluff company and the customer service couldn't be better if there were 200 mommies working there! They are great to deal with and the shipping is super fast! This company has US and Canada branches, as with many of the sponsors listed, but originated and is still headquartered in Canada! One reader will win a Glow Bug diaper of their very own!


So, as you can see...there is a LOT of great Canadian loot to win! There will be several winners, and TONS of chances to win with entries popping up here and there in the next few weeks! I hope you love these companies as much as I do! I really have tried all of the companies' that are part of this event and believe they are super-fantastic! Now, go WIN!

Enter on the Rafflecopter form below, or at any of the participating blogs!! As for the 2nd giveaway opp---go enter my blogger friend Celeste's Canada Day giveaway---and you know what? SHE'S proudly Canadian and very cool too!!

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.