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Spotlight on Harp Diapers...Again! [Review]

Well it's been a few YEARS can you imagine? Last time I featured Harp Diapers it was for Merry Fluffy Christmas and I believe it was back in 2011! Since then, Harp Diapers and Deborah, the amazing WAHM and owner/creator behind the name have really grown and thrived as a small business!

She admits (via email - but I imagine her giggling a little as she "says" it) that her "designs have come a long way since we first worked together." I knew that when I was pregnant with #2 I wanted more than anything to work with Deborah again and try out the new design - since the older design, the original was a favorite in my rotation with my first son in cloth.

I was overwhelmed and wicked excited as I looked through the incredible array of fabrics that she has available now for custom diapers. Really - it took me an hour to even look at all of them - thank goodness I was talking to her around Christmas because that helped me narrow it down! I was totally in the Christmas spirit anticipating my Christmas baby, so I went with a classic Rudolph print.
I hadn't really done the newborn in cloth thing before -- we started when my first born was about two months old - so seeing cloth on a newbie bum was insanely adorable! We were able to cloth diaper with #2 after about 10 days - he had a herniated belly button that delayed the cord drop and I only used our "general use" diapers while diapering him, not my cute ones! (Shallow and silly? Maybe. But all of that circumcision care, stump care, and oils and creams are hard for me to deal with while sleep deprived!)

When we were in cloth in the early days, it came back to us so quickly how much we loved Harp Diapers! I still totally plan to use the older AI2 style diaper that was our initial fluff from Deborah. Now, it's clear her talents have been sharpened and she's come into her own with her designs! The newer AI2 is much more trim -- the leg gussets are much tighter (in a good way - they were a little more loose before) and one of the older diapers is nearly the size that two newer generation ones would be!

The cool thing? The absorbency was INSANE back then and it hasn't faltered even while making a more trim diaper. Harp was our go-to diaper for night and nap and still is!

Previous AI2 "Winter Wolves" that I LOVE to this day:

Disclosure: I've worked with Harp Diapers two times in partnership to create these reviews. Complimentary diapers have been provided. No other compensation was received. I truly LOVE Deborah's work.

My-oh-my My Yo-Baby has grown!

My Yo-Baby is almost FOUR! Yes, that sweet little dribbly, yogurt face has grown into a yogurt-faced little boy. I remember when I used to dread feeding him - I know that sounds terrible! But, I hated the mess. When I got him hooked as a bigger kid on Yo Kids pouches I was stoked to not have anything to clean up after. But now I also miss those days long gone of "babyhood."

What I am fondly remembering though is setting up my big boy (now almost 4!!) for having a healthy "gut" as my grandma would say - with the beneficial probiotics of yogurt starting him out as a Yo Baby! I'm looking forward to doing the same for our new little guy, and though he's too young now and we exclusively breastfeed for at least a year if we can, I'm excited to continue on the path of health and happiness with Stonyfield for my guy.

Yo-babies are the best! We're a Stonyfield family and I am a little biased because we've had such great experiences and flavorful enjoyment with Stonyfield, but truly, the baby years are the best years and I believe in giving my children the best of all they need to thrive. Do you have a Yo Baby? Did you?

Those slobbery yogurt-caked smiles are the most memorable. I'm excited to make more memories soon! (On another totally honest note, hubby LOVES the flavors and taste of Yo-Baby too!) So really, we're all a bunch of Yo-babies at heart!

Disclosure: I am a Stonyfield Yo-Getter. I received a complimentary Yo-Baby Swag pack for use in this article. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any other way to date.

And the Oscar Goes to...

So there are few things more exciting for moms that spend a lot of time nursing and channel-surfting at night than events that guarantee HOURS of entertainment. First it was the Super Bowl and I didn't tune into the SAG awards, but I will definitely be in the front row (in our home) for the Oscars! In fact, I'll be throwing a little party with the fam! Oscar's BINGO anyone?

We will be turning in for speeches, hanging on every word, and hoping for our favorites tonight! We'll also be trying some new treats and recipes! Oscar Lasagna Hotdish (I know, it doesn't sound fancy and it's not! Really, I'm just sticking "Oscar" on the front of that one! Stonyfield Yogurt Pearls will be our fancy desserts!

We wrote before about how we loved Stonyfield Petite Creme - well, we'll be partyin' it up, enjoying more of that fare as well! My personal fave was the Strawberry - while my husband liked Black Cherry. We got some Jello, Applesauce, and chopped up tropical fruit like papaya and pineapple and we'll be mixing it all together with some of the flavored Petite Creme to make a mostly healthy concoction as a fruity side salad for our pasta dish.

One thing I know for sure? I'm excited to see Neil Patrick Harris host AND I read something about the songwriters of Frozen making a song for him! Not only that but I'm SURE that Reese Witherspoon has got it in the bag for her performance in Wild! One interesting thing I had no idea about is that folks can win for their work on fake (and real) mustache management in movies! How fun! Grand Budapest Hotel has my vote there!

What is your favorite category? Are you rootin' for a particular someone? Do you watch awards shows with anxious excitement? Have a girls night with friends to indulge? 

Disclosure: I was partyin' in style with my family as part of a partnership with Stonyfield and my membership as a Stonyfield Yo-getter. I was not compensated in any way other than complimentary product.

The Berenstain Bears - "Please and Thank You" [review]

My son is nearly four and we have been loving (and by loving I mean reading 3-5 books each night) the collection of Berenstain Bears books. I remember well these lesson-laden books from my youth. I used to know some by heart. I definitely knew the introductory "deep in Bear Country..." from memory and would recite it each night, just as the Lord's Prayer is immediately available without any effort!

Sharing this night-time tradition with my son is a treat. When we got the chance to read him the very timely "Please and Thank You" board book, I was really excited since it couldn't come at a more perfect time than when his spongy little brain could use a reminder of manners. There is a longer, paperback version of the book that reflects on manners in general, while this book focuses on Please and Thank You only, making it perfect for younger readers (or listeners.)

It's a quick read and does a great job MODELING these magic words using Mama and Papa bear. This gentle parenting technique is one that I adore and one that is consistent in the series -- not matter which Berenstain author is penning the piece.

Do you have childhood memories of these classic characters and their moral lessons? I sure do! If you'd like a chance to WIN a copy for your own children, leave a comment on this post about your all-time favorite Berenstain Bears book from childhood!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book to facilitate this post. I truly love the Berenstain Bears and received no other compensation.

The 5 Love Languages for Men: Tools for Making a Good Relationship Great [book review]

Well, it's safe to say that I have spent my winter reading in between changing diapers and enjoying the sparse bit of sleep I've been afforded by my two sons. What is surprising is that my HUSBAND has been reading some of the great books that I've been reviewing too! One that I decided to read (and flip to him) quite intentionally was Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages for Men's: Tools for Making a Good Relationship Great. 

I was really excited about this because HE was the one that introduced me to the author and his book The 5 Love Languages - which I've posted about before. I read the book in 2009 and couldn't put it down as I pedaled away that winter in Alaska on the recumbent bike! Now, six years later, I was again unable to put down another of his books! The best part? My husband read it in one week while on business (vacation) travel without the three of us. He hardly EVER reads.

The title wasn't missed - the first thing he noticed was that tools was probably a manly term to incorporate into the title. The grammar girl in me was delighted to see him find a literary device like this - whether intended by the author or not. So...the far, so good.

I should admit, I got interested in the book for my husband, but really it's for my husband, for me! The author writes toward the male partner of the matrimonial match-up. It is all about him speaking MY love language. This is something we've struggled with for our entire marriage -- while English is both our first languages, we might as well be from different planets when it comes to love languages! I've always been one to show love with words and gifts while my husband requires action. He tries to show love by doing, when I respond to love letters and sweet gifts for no reason.

So, we could use some sprucing up. Does that sound familiar? I would recommend you FIRST familiarize yourself (and your spouse) with the original best-selling The 5 Love Languages book and then read The 5 Love Languages for Men. The latter DOES go through the different languages, but I feel like the first book is a very good primer for all that came after.

If you would like to show some post-Valentine's Day love and discover how to hurdle some of the language barriers in your marriage or relationship, leave a comment on this post - whether or not your husband is receptive to books like this - to win a copy of The 5 Love Languages for Men!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my post. I love this author and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

Spotlight on Diaper Safari Cloth Diapers [review]

Diaper Safari is a diapering company that I recently became acquainted with and we are enjoying having in our stash with child #2! Since we got a late jump on diapering with this guy due to a healing navel hernia and a reality check with having two kids, it's been nice to have some diapers that are really easy for dad since he's stepping up to pick up some slack!

Diaper Safari has really easy to use, good quality pocket diapers. We chose a green and an orange (not knowing what our little bean was while in the womb) and the hippo and lion design. Colors are vast, designs are somewhat limited - but everyone loves animals and they work for boys and girls! So I do love the simplicity. Sometimes when the choices in PUL fabric are endless, I find that I waste a ton of time and stress out deciding on the perfect pattern! No fuss, no muss: animals and colors!

The pull-through pocket is easy for getting one of the three inserts we tried out of the diaper shell. There is a trifold, hemp, and your traditional microfiber. We really love the trifold for the extra absorbency gained with multiple layers. I would have loved to have seen a double-leg gusset -- the current elastic is GOOD but a double gusset is always better in my humble opinion!!

The PUL is nice quality for an affordable price - we haven't had smell or de-lamination issues. I love snaps and the sizing is pretty typical for a one-size diaper. I reallly like cross-over snaps, so that would be an additional suggestion that I'd have and always have when I find diapers that I really like. This company is a good solid choice but could use a few sprinkles on top -- simply by adding double gussets and cross-overs, I'd be willing to make a quarter of my stash out of Diaper Safari dipes!

Diaper Safari can be found on Facebook and also by visiting their website. If you need a good daycare, grandparent, dad or travel diaper - this is a great choice! I wouldn't recommend for heavy wetters overnight or for initial newborn use, but for the all-around diapering fix Diaper Safari is sweet.

Disclosure: I worked with Diaper Safari for this post. I received complimentary product but was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own. 

Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness, and a Full Night's Sleep [review]

Nourished truly spoke to my womanly soul. So soul sistas, this book is one you'll want to put on the 'to read' list for 2015! Between the new baby, the clutter all over that I swore wouldn't happen in the new house, holidays, jobs, chores...I feel like a need a clone. And a clone for my clone. And a nanny, assistant, cook, and driver. And clones for all of them.

I feel like I am giving my all and still slipping down the side of the mountain into the Valley of No Return. Have you been there?!
I was introduced to this new book by a mother-daughter team--which is amazing itself since I cannot imagine my mom and I collaborating to reach an end result like a BOOK (love her dearly, just do not ever see something that productive happening as a duo!) The book is: Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness, and a Full Night’s Sleep.
I felt like at a time when I could use the reminder, examples from real stories, and some ideas for 'freshening up' my existence as a woman and mother in this crazy life, the book could not have been more perfect. It targets "stressors" like schedules, parenting, marriage issues, clutter, and all of the other things manically motoring through any mama's mind on most mornings (and afternoons, and evenings, and dreams...)
With the advice and practical trial and error ideas from the mother and daughter team, I found the best way to read Nourished was in a responsive, active way - jotting down notes and answering questioned posed on the pages.
Though I didn't agree with all of the book (to each their own) I did take many helpful points away as I closed the jacket and sipped the last of my coffee a few mornings ago! If you're looking for a book club book or just need a new read, I'd recommend this one for sure! It's insightful and mostly uplifting and everyone can relate!

Disclosure: I wrote this piece in partnership with Flyby Promotions. I received a complimentary copy of the book but was not compensated in any other way.