Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Give it away - DrilineBaby review and giveaway


This may come as surprise to many of you, but I have a little "thing" for cloth diapers.  Sometimes when I'm bored, I actually cruise the internet looking for new diapers!  I'm sure I'm not alone, right?

I found Driline Baby by chance on one such venture. Driline Baby is a company that designs, manufactures, and sells not only reusable baby diapers, but also incontinence products and menstrual pads...and they've been around for more than 20 years!  Their diapers are "diaper service quality."  They sounded great to me!

Driline sent me a variety pack of diapers!  I was super excited to receive the package, as I was hoping to get a Pumpkin Patch diaper to try.  When I opened the box, however, there was not only a Pumpkin Patch but a Bamboo Baby AIO, a Snap to Fit cover, and a Dri-bag as well!  What a great set!

As I mentioned, I was super excited about the Pumpkin Patch diaper.
Unfortunately, the one they sent appears to be a size medium, which if for newborn to 15 pounds.  That's WAY too small for Stinky!  But, I love it.  It is super soft, both inside and outside!  It looks and feels very absorbent as well.

The Snap to Fit cover is great, too...as long as I put Stinky in a pair of pants while he's wearing it!

(As you may know, Stinky is an Aplix MASTER!)  The fit of the cover is great, though, and it hasn't leaked when he's worn it!  I really like the way it covers.  The Aplix holds tight and still looks nice after several washings.  There are laundry tabs to prevent diaper chains as well, which is a very important feature!

I really like the Bamboo Baby AIO.  It has an attached soaker, with is always a plus for me!  I like the absorbency it provides, but also the quick drying time.  I LOVE the fit of the Bamboo Baby AIO!  It is a super trim fit, similar to a disposable!

The Aplix on this diaper fits so snugly!  There are crossover tabs, but Stinky is just barely too big to cross over.  He wears it with the tabs touching.

This morning, in fact, Stinky wore this diaper for 3+ hours with no leaks.  It's not a great overnight diaper for him, but it is fantastic in the day!

Finally, Driline Baby sent a Dri-bag.

 I wasn't so sure about the bag at first.  Sure, it's big.  But the fabric isn't as stretchy as the other bags I have and it's got a drawstring rather than a zipper.  This Dri-bag has very quickly become my favorite "wet bag!"  I love the size of it!  The fabric is thicker than the fabric on my other bags.  It's not stretchy, but it seems more wipeable.  Despite having a drawstring rather than a zipper, I truly think it doesn't smell as much as the others do!  Like I said, it's become my favorite.  AND it holds a TON of diapers!

There are 15 diapers and about a dozen wipes in there!

Driline Baby is only available through very select retails, which you can find on their website.  There are currently only two retailers listed on the website, but there are more coming soon!

Driline Baby has graciously offered to send one of my lucky readers a Travel Change Pad!

 This isn't a product I reviewed, but based on the quality of the products I did review, I am sure it'll be a great quality pad!  (Contest will end and a winner will be drawn Tuesday, June 14 at 11:59am EST.)

How to enter

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry*
*Please leave your email address with each entry*

Follow My This N That Life with GFC

Like My This N That Life on Facebook

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Visit Driline Baby and tell me what OTHER product you'd like to try

Comment on any non-giveaway post and tell me where you commented!

I was given these products at no cost to me in order to facilitate a review.  I was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

Winners, Winners, Winners!

Congratulations, Winners!  I am working on 3 more giveaways RIGHT NOW...and there are more to come!  So if you didn't win this time, that's okay!  There are more chances coming soon!

DinkleDooz #86 Samantha

Beautiful ThrowAways #30 Connie

Pip & Lola #27 Lisa

Doodle Dypes #73 Crazy 4 Fluff

Monday, May 30, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challege: A Strong Finish

I finished...and I finished strong!  I jumped the handwashing ship Saturday because of the tummy yuckies...and for 4 straight diapers I machine washed...but yesterday we had not a single icky poo, and the one poo we did have was a dumpable one!  Woohoo!  I went to bed last night and made a decision.

This morning, I got up and I handwashed yesterday's diapers!  Six final flats and 4 final covers, all in the sink and on the line.  

Aside from those 4 diapers Saturday, I survived the 7 days of flats and handwashing!  YAY!  I will, however, be reverting back to flats and handwashing for a day or two, hopefully later this week, as my final two covers arrive.  I'll give them their due time!  

Tomorrow I'll give you a recap and tell you my final thoughts.  For tonight, though?  I am going to put my kids to bed and kick back.  Stinky was up ALL night, and my only sleeping came between 8 and noon this morning.  Ugh!  Be watching tomorrow for a few giveaways (non-flat related) and a flats and handwashing wrap-up!  :)  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge: Stinky had other plans

The flats and handwashing challenge has been going great!  I told you yesterday about some hiccups.  I really REALLY wanted to throw my diapers in the dryer because they simply weren't drying in the house or the very overcast backyard.  In fact, it took some of them well over 24 hours to dry completely!  But, I buckled down, stuck with the plan, and continued my handwashing.

Last night I had to make a decision.  One of Stinky's flats developed a stripe of rust from a hanger.  We went out to dinner with friends...out of town, an hour away.  During dinner, Stinky had a REALLY stinky diaper.  I cleaned him up, plopped the poop, dipped and swirled the best I could quickly in a public toilet (ick!) and put it in a wetbag.  Four hours later, we were home and the diaper was super duper nasty.

Now, I know me pretty well.  Well enough, in fact, to know that if I were a full time flats and handwasher in "real" life, I'd toss both of those diapers.  I have this thing about diapers being sanitary.  I do a good job of washing them by hand.  I scrub until there's no more smell or stains.  But I'm not convinced they're entirely sanitary.  My hands can't handle water as hot as my washer can!  BUT I have a washing machine.  And I wasn't about to throw away perfectly good diapers just because I would if I HAD to handwash.

Those two diapers took a spin through the washing machine, and found themselves out of rotation in my flats and handwashing week.  I figured it was the closest thing I could to do what I would actually do in "real life."


So, fast-forward to 5 o'clock this morning.

Stinky woke up screaming.  Stinky doesn't wake up before 7 unless there's a sibling pestering him or there's something wrong.  I found him, still screaming, in a puddle of vomit.  He needed a head-to-toe wardrobe change, clean sheets, and a bath.  I think it almost goes without saying that everything that was on Stinky or in that bed went straight into the washer.  Everything including his diaper.  

I was still good to go, though, aside for that one diaper this morning...and then he threw up again at 7.  And ALL he was wearing was a diaper at that point.  So...into the washer.  :(


And then?  Then the wind went out of my sails.  Around 9, Stinky had a blow-out.  And I jumped ship.  :(

You see, I have a washing machine.  I have a choice.  As much as I WANT to finish this challenge strong, as much as I WANT to be able to say I handwashed every single diaper for an entire week, I simply can't.  Stinky's tummy is so very sensitive that if you whispered the words "stomach virus" in the next county, he'd be likely to develop one.  His stomach doesn't process well and things remain in the belly longer than they should, viruses included.  He gets every single one.  And I can't risk his health for the sake of handwashing diapers.  Honestly, if I were a full-time handwasher, he'd be in sposies for the duration of the bug.  I'd find a way.  I can't take the risk, for his health and safety, that the diapers aren't quite as clean or sanitary as they should be.


I'm still using flats.  For the remainder of the challenge, and perhaps beyond, I am using flats.  I have fallen in love with flats!  They are amazing!  A flat inside a pocket last night (for the first time ever...because ALL of my covers were either still damp or dirty!) was a perfect nighttime solution!  There was absolutely no leakage this morning.  I loved it!  That'll be a staple, now.  

So, for the next day and a half?  I will be using flats faithfully.  Flats and covers.  Handwashing, though?  While not nearly as nasty as I'd expected, is over for me, at least for this time around.  I'd like to give it another go, though.  I'd like to finish my commitment.  I'd like to finish strong.   I'd like to prove to you, and to myself, that I can do it.  I will do it.  Eventually.  When Stinky's feeling better.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge: Mandarin Oranges

Mandarin Oranges.

If you've ever worked in a daycare, you know what I'm about to say.

Mandarin oranges are one of "those" foods.  You know, the type (in a daycare setting) where you automatically anticipate that every child will have at least one dirty diaper after lunch.  There's a reason why more moms don't feed their kids mandarin oranges.

I, however, neglected to pay attention to my inner self yesterday.  My instincts told me that I shouldn't give Stinky mandarin oranges for lunch.  My instincts warned me against giving him a second helping.  Why didn't I listen?

Flats and handwashing is going great.  I'm LOVING the flats!  But the mandarin oranges.  Oh, the mandarin oranges.  When Stinky's taking his tummy medicine, he has one Stinky diaper a day.  At morning naptime.  Like clockwork.  Yesterday?  FOUR.  Four stinky, mandarin orange diapers, which I had to wash by HAND in my bathroom sink.  And this morning?  Nothing.  But this afternoon?  You guessed it.  Mandarin oranges!

Now, I need to remind you that I've been operating on just 3 covers, as I am still awaiting two to come in the mail.  There are currently 7 diapers and 3 covers on my line.  My diapers didn't dry overnight in the house!  In fact, I JUST checked, and they are ALL still damp!  Some of those diapers have been drying for over 24 hours!  I've had them on the line, in the clouds, for about 4 hours.  They're still damp!  I had to substitute a cover.  Thank goodness I've been running 2 short!  I wouldn't have known what to do!  I tried blow drying one of my "rotation" covers.  It took too long and I was afraid it would catch fire.  Oh, how I want to go snatch those diapers off the line and throw them in the dryer!

This, right here, right now, is the hardest part of my week so far!  It's almost over, just 2 more days, and part of my wants to give up!  I changed Stinky a little while ago, and I can't tell you how badly I wanted to reach for a pocket instead of a cover  I controlled myself, though, and Stinky is in his flat and cover.  :)

I'm learning a lot, though.  I can't wait for the end of the week to tell you all the things I've learned!  This has been such a great, eye opening experience for me, in so many ways!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Flats and Handwashing: Day 4

Holy cow!  This week is flying by!  It's Thursday already!  I realized this morning that I haven't reported on my progress this week.  I'm sure you're all dying to know how the week is going, right??

Let me begin by saying we successfully dodged the rain storms yesterday.  Diapers dried on the line in the morning, and when they were still slightly damp as the storms began to roll in, I brought them in and hung them over chair backs until they dried.  It sure took a LOT longer than it had the previous two days!

I confessed to my sister this morning that I had 6 flats that needed to be washed.  I had a crazy afternoon/evening yesterday, and just didn't get them all done like I'd planned!  I told her that it is supposed to storm again today, and I simply don't have the space to lay or hang 6 flats...and if it came down to it, I'd machine dry them.  (It's against the rules, I know...but I need clean, dry dipes!)  Anyway, I checked the weather, and no matter what the sky tells me, the weatherman says it won't rain until around 2, so I've got 6 flats, 2 covers, and 2 wipes out there on the line.  Please don't rain.  Please don't rain.  Please don't rain!

I am loving this challenge.  I am surprised how easy flats are to use!  I thought I'd be a pad folder most of the time, because it's just easy.  I am surprising myself, though, because I am totally not a pad folder!  I have been trying different folds all week.  I've tried the pad fold, the origami fold, the kite fold, and the diaper bag fold.  They all have distinct advantages, but my favorite by FAR is the origami fold!  (This is my favorite tutorial, too.)  Oh no...while I was searching for links for those, I just found this page that has 3 more folds, the twist fold, the diamond fold, and the angel wing fold!  Holy cow!  I had no idea there were so many options!  I think I may just stick with my origami fold, though!

I thought I'd have to change the covers frequently and was concerned about using just 3...I'm still waiting on a couple to come!  I actually only had 2 until yesterday!  I've been lucky, though, and haven't had any poo leakage on any of my covers!  Yay!  I have been able to reuse covers until they get stinky, which has been a huge plus!

The challenge is going great.  I commend those of you who do this every day of your lives.  It IS a bit of a challenge at times, particularly the washing part!  But it's totally doable.  I'm actually, at this point, planning to extend my challenge (at least off and on) into next week...because I am still waiting on those last two covers and want to use them in the way I'd intended...for the flats and handwashing challenge!  

Good luck to my fellow challengers!  I hope you're finding this to be as good as I am!  I'm planning to try some flats in pocket diapers for overnights once this challenge is over.  I think I may have found a new overnight solution to the heavy-wetting problem!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Bug's Big Day

***I will preface this post with a warning.  There will be two pictures in this post of a 3D CT scan of the Bug's head.    Some people may find this to be graphic.  There is also some description of the surgery that will take place.  I don't think it's terribly graphic, but if you're squeamish, you may not want to read it.***

Yesterday, we spent the day at Riley Hospital for Children, "Bugsy's hospital."  He had a 3D head CT in the morning and then an appointment with both his neurosurgeon and plastic surgeon in the afternoon.  Some of you have been asking how the day went, so I thought I'd give you a rundown.  (This is copied nearly word-for-word from an email I typed earlier, so it may read somewhat like a letter rather than a blog post.  Sorry...didn't feel like rewriting!)

The CT went fine.  He was NOT happy about the IV.  They wrapped him in a sheet like a burrito...I had to literally lay across his body and hold onto the bed on the other side to keep him still even in the burrito!  He is really strong!  Anyway, it took 2 different veins and lots of digging before they got the IV in.  It was funny, though...once the ICU doc that does the anesthesia came in it went fast!  Bugs was asleep before he finished injecting the medicine...in mid scream he started snoring!  Not exaggerating.  I laughed.  The scan only took about 5-10 minutes, and then he woke right up.  He was groggy for half an hour or so, then we went to lunch and he perked up.  :)

The appointment went pretty well. They are not going to be able to address the back of his head at this time, so he may or may not need another surgery after this one to correct the back.  It will depend on how his head grows after this surgery.  They are hopeful that the asymmetry in the back will become a purely cosmetic issue after this surgery, and we won't correct him for a cosmetic issue.  For some reason (and it's VERY obvious in the CT) his head is growing up and back, but not forward at all.  Comparing earlier scans, his face looks more "forward" now compared to what it way, meaning that his forehead is almost pulling back from the rest of his face.  He has virtually no brow bone, and once again very little eye protection.

This is straight on from the front.  Note the asymmetry of the sides and the height at the top of the forehead.  There's also a very notable hole in the for

Straight on from the left side.  You can see how far backward he's grown, here. (It's not as noticeable with skin on!)  Oh...and the giant holes...

The gaps, which we thought were starting to fill in (and the surgeons did as well) are quite amazing.  Ear to ear, aside from a small bit of bone just left of center, he's got about an inch wide headband where there's absolutely no bone.  In the scan, you can literally see straight through his head.  There is NO protection for his brain at all there.  Just above his eyes, the width of his eyes (outer edge to outer edge) there's another spot that ranges from half an inch wide to an inch or side wide where there's NO bone.  There are several other smaller spots as well, but for some reason, a large amount of the spots where they had to cut the bone are simply not healing.  They don't understand why #1, he's reverting so much to his pre-surgical state, and #2, his bone isn't replenishing itself as it should.

For the surgery, as I said, they will not be able to address the back.  With as much work as they are going to have to do on the front, there's simply no way they can safely position his head to work on the back as well.  They will be starting at the front, above the eye sockets, and they will work their way back as far as they can safely go.  They'll be able to use the same incision line, which they are actually surprised about with the way his head has grown.  They were hoping to be able to cut out the scar and leave him with a pencil-thin line like he had after the first surgery, but that is very unlikely with what they are planning.  They'll be moving his forehead forward to create a brow bone, widening him through the temples, and reducing the height.  They're hoping to address some of the asymmetry on the sides as well, but not the back.  They'll remove any existing hardware.  He has several titanium screws and a titanium plate on either side of his head at the ears.  (We didn't realize this...or didn't remember...who knows!)  They will remove that existing metal and replace it as needed.  There are some screws that have come lose and are tender to the touch, so they will take those out.  (Yes, I did just say the Bug has some screws loose!)

As far as those gaps in the bone go, while they are still hopeful that they'll be able to fill them with "leftover" bone as they reconstruct, they are fairly certain that he will need a rib graft and/or titanium mesh to fill the gaps.  IF they can take just one or two ribs and that be enough, they will do the rib graft.  If it looks like they'll need more than 2 ribs, they will use the titanium mesh or a combination of ribs and mesh.  They'll prep him for the rib graft whether they end up needing it or not.  One concern they have for a rib graft for him is that ribs typically grow back, but since his skull bones aren't growing together as they should, they're not sure whether he'll regrow ribs, either.  One or two missing ribs isn't a huge concern, though.

Likely the reason he continues to have headaches is that his nerve endings, especially in that headband region, are right at the surface.  They would normally be covered by bone, but his obviously aren't.  Once they cover the gaps, he should feel a lot better!

We're expecting about 12 hours in the OR again...2-3 hours to prep, 8-9 hours of actual surgery...12 total hours from hand-off to recovery.  It's going to be harder for her to open him because she has to be so much careful with the "exposed" brain, but then removing the bone should be a bit easier because she doesn't have to make holes, they're already there.  They're anticipating we'll leave the hospital either late Sunday or sometime Monday.

That's pretty much the gist of it.  The neurosurgeon said we're "pros" at this, however unfortunately.  She also said she's praying this will be his last surgery.  :)  Have I ever mentioned how much we love our surgeons??

For the next month, I will try to carry on as normally as possible in the blog world...but please be forewarned that the day of surgery I will be using this as a place to update all of you as we are updated, and will likely post several times.  After that, at least for the next week, I may be updating daily or perhaps not at all.  It'll depend on the progress and how we're all feeling.  In the meantime, just know that we're ready for this.  Some of us are more nervous than others, but we all know that God is in control.

And the Bug?  The Bug is the most ready.  He is ready for a "normal shaped head."  He wants a "small head like Little Lou."  It's almost game time.  We're ready.

Mama Mojo ~ (Giveaway)


Mama Mojo.

Have you seen yours lately?

You know what I'm talking about.  Your sparkle.  Your zing.  Your zazzle.  Your pizazz.

I haven't seen mine lately.  I'm pretty sure I know where it is, though.  I think I left it at the bottom of too many empty ice cream buckets.

Truthfully, it's been missing for quite some time.  My zip, my drive, my spunk, my energy...my self...they're still there, somewhere.  I can feel them trying to get out from time to time.  But overall?  Overall I've become dull.  I'm not shiny anymore.  I want that back.  I really really do!

A huge part of the problem for me (and I suspect for some of you as well) is that I am not happy with myself.  I'm a bit of a perfectionist, to be honest.  If I can't do something right the first time, I tend to give up.  If it isn't going to be done well, I'm just not going to do it.  I haven't been happy with the way I look, the way I feel, the way I clean, the way I...  You name it, I'm probably frustrated about it!

Lately (and by lately I mean for the past 5 or 6 years) there have been a lot of "imperfections" in my life.  Incidentally, that time roughly corresponds to the length of time I've been a Mama.  Now, I'm not saying my kids are imperfections by any means!  Quite the contrary.  God has created some pretty amazing little humans for me to grow!  But life circumstances have been challenging over those 5 of 6 years, and I tend to be a stress eater.

I was recently contacted by Jennifer McCay, the founder and weight loss trainer of Lean Green Mama.  Jennifer has recently published videos 1 and 2 of a FREE 4-video series on healthy weight loss called "Get Back Your Mama Mojo and Lose the Weight for Life!"  Here's her first video: Success Factors!  If you're like me and haven't seen your own Mama Mojo in a while, I encourage you to check out the videos.  As I mentioned, videos 1 and 2 have been published.  They're great!  There are tons of great tips and ideas in each of the videos.  You'll want to be prepared with a pen and paper, and (if you're like me!) a video for the kids and a set of earphones for yourself, so that you can have 30-45 minutes of hopefully uninterrupted time to watch the videos.  They're worth the time, though!  I've picked up and used some of the tips already!

You know what I think my favorite thing is, so far, that Jennifer has said in the Lean Green Mama videos?  She told me it's okay if I'm not "perfect" at it.  In fact, she understands that I won't be, and that's okay!  Even that is a huge encouragement for someone like me!

I'm super excited to tell you about the Lean Green Mama program that's getting ready to start: 6 Weeks to a LeanGreenYOU!  I have to admit, I don't know much about it.  I know that it's going to be awesome!  I know that it'll be a 6 week program that includes a combination of videos and live phone chats.  I know that if it's anything like the video series, it'll be full of amazing ideas to help you regain your mojo!  (I'm pretty sure you won't find it at the bottom of an ice cream tub...but I'm hoping she'll let me have just a little dish every now and then!)  This 6 week program kicks off on June 8th!  You'll want to read about it on the site, Lean Green Mama, and get connected through her free resources that are already available!

Jennifer from Lean Green Mama would like to send one of you on the 6 week journey with me!  Who's ready?  Anyone?!?  This program is a $497 value, and she'd like to GIVE it to one of you!  Isn't that awesome??  I'd like to have the support of one of you on the journey as well.  We can do it together!

Are you interested in joining the 6 Weeks to a LeanGreenYou program?  You can read more about it at http://www.leangreenmama.com/.  If you're ready, REALLY ready, to get your mojo back, I'd love to have you enter to win!  (Contest will end and a winner will be drawn June 1, 2011 at 11:59am EST.  That's soon, so get ready!)

How to Enter:

*Leave a separate comment for each entry*
*Leave your email address with each entry*

Tell me why you would be a great 6 Weeks to a LeanGreenYOU candidate!

Enter Jennifer McCay's OWN giveaway for the program, here, and tell me you did!

Follow me with GFC

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Follow LeanGreenMama on facebook

Tell me where you lost your "Mama Mojo!"

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Flats and Handwashing Day!

That's what my sister said when she called me this morning.

If you haven't heard, I'm taking part in the Dirty Diaper Laundry Flats and Handwashing Challenge!  Here's the gist: I can only use flat diapers for 7 straight days.  I can fold them any way I want.  I could use my "regular" diapers overnight, but I'm not going to.  I can use covers, but I can't have more than 5 in my rotation.  I MUST hand wash all diapers/covers (I'll be handwashing wipes as well), and I MUST air dry.  I'm guessing this will be a little bit of a challenge, but, well, it isn't called the "Flats and Handwashing Fun Zone," is it??

So, today when Stinky woke up, I said goodbye to my pockets and AIOS.  I said goodbye to my wonderful prefolds.  I don't want to be tempted, so I actually packed them away where I can't see them!  I laid a pad folded Target flour sack towel into my Thirsties duo wrap cover, and we were off!

(This is actually the next change.  I forgot to take a pic of the first one!)

So far, we've had one diaper change since then.  I know Stinky needs another because I'm pretty sure he's...well...stinky...but he's just finishing up his lunch, so I'll wait.  Wanna guess what he ate??

(The ravioli made him orange...the banana made him sticky...and the chocolate chip cookie made him giggle.)

When I took the wet flat off of him, I had to make an instant decision.  I have to admit, I almost tossed the flat into the pail with his other dirty diapers.  Thank goodness I remembered!  I tossed it into the since instead.  I hadn't decided ahead of time, though, how I would wash the diapers!  Ugh.  That's the part I've been dreading!  So, quick thinking, and I washed that individual diaper in the sink.  It took about 3 minutes, tops.

And then I took it out to the line to dry!  Today is gorgeous...at least until the rain comes.  I'm hoping for a nice sunny week, but there's a good chance I'll be air drying a lot of my diapers indoors.  For today, though, that one diaper flapped in the breeze, and was dry in (I am NOT exaggerating!) less than 45 minutes!

So far, so good.  So far, this is easy.  But today...today we're at home all day.  Tomorrow we'll be gone all day.  Tomorrow Bugsy has a couple of long appointments an hour away at the children's hospital.  We'll get to try this crazy adventure "on the road!"

Oh, as a side note, I'm starting this journey 2 covers down.  I'm allowed 5 in my rotation, and 2 of my 5 are still en route!  I could probably substitute them until they get here, but I feel that would skew my trip a tad.  So, in the meantime, we're flying high with just 3 covers!  I'll probably take a couple "spares" tomorrow just in case.  I'll take the full 5 even though I don't have those other 2 yet.  But other than tomorrow, I'll be diapering with just 3 covers until the other two arrive.  Dear mailman, please bring them soon!!

I'm excited to have you on this adventure with me!  Stinky's done eating now, so I will clean him up, was another diaper, and throw it on the line.  Until tomorrow...

Two winners!

I can't believe there were only 120 entries into the Dippee Dypees giveaway!  You all are missing out if you didn't enter.

#12, though, Brandi...you are not missing out!  You're going to have a Dippee Dypees prefold of your very own!  And I promise you're going to love it!  (Or at least I do!)

As for you laundry soap fans...just 42 entries?  Seriously??  You're going to be super sad if you weren't #31, boyzrule!  If you were #31, you'd have 3 samples of laundry soap coming your way, and your laundry would be on its way to smelling fresh and clean!  Bummer you missed it!

For the rest of you?  Well, there are tons more reviews and giveaways on the blog!  There are more coming, too.  :)

AND, this week only, for your viewing pleasure...The Dirty Diaper Laundry Flats and Handwashing Challenge is underway!  I'll be telling you all about my journey with flats and handwashing this week!

Stay tuned...more fun things are coming your way!

Give it away Monday - Doodle Dypes Review and Giveaway!


Every once in a while, a product comes in the mail and from the start I don't know what to say about it.  

Such is the case with this diaper from Doodle Dypes.

Isn't it adorable?  I guess that's the first thing I thought.  My sisters were at my house the day I got it, before I'd had a chance to wash it.  We all oohed and ahhed of the adorable, soft fabric.  

And the inside is soft, too!  The soaker is different from anything I've ever seen,  It's two long strips, sewn together at the top, and you fold it down to match the exact rise of your little one.  I LOVE that!  All too often, inserts are either too long for the diapers and are bunchy, or are too short and leave gaps where urine can easily leak.  This soaker is perfectly customizable to my little one's ever-changing size!

I adore the fit of this diaper.  It's a little bulkier than a lot of Stinky's other diapers, so it's harder to fit under some of his pants, but I still love it.  The elastic around his little thighs is super stretchy, but he fabric in which it is encased protects his thighs from rubbing.  The wings are a little wider than most of the diapers we have, which I think is great because it doesn't look like it's pinching like some dipes do!It's just a great overall fit.  We have TONS of room to grow in this diaper, too!  Stinky's crossed way over, and so we have tons of room to grow around, and he's got lots of stretch left in the rise as well.

See all the stretch we have left?

Now, let me tell you how great this diaper is.  When I spoke with Sandy from Doodle Dypes, we discussed either a fitted or AI2 diaper.  We never finalized what type of diaper I would receive.  When I got the diaper in the mail and saw that amazing soaker, I assumed it was the AI2, so I used it as such.  In fact, I've been using it as such for several weeks.  A few times I had just a tad bit of moisture on the front after 3-4 hours of wear, and overnight the diaper was SOAKED.  So, I emailed Sandy again this past week to confirm what type of diaper it is.  

Folks, this is a FITTED diaper!  It's supposed to have a cover!  No wonder there was a slight amount of moisture!  No wonder it didn't work overnight!  Crazy mama!  So, I can attest to this diaper's awesome absorbency.  3-4 of daytime wear later, this diaper is still usually dry to the touch, even with my super soaker!  And overnight...once I figured out the need for the soaker...is no different!  This diaper has an amazing amount of absorbency!

I can not think of a single bad thing to say about this diaper.  I simply can't.  I am in love with the Doodle Dypes fitted diaper!  I'd love to try the AI2 as well; I've added it to my "wishlist."  

You'll love the Doodle Dypes diapers too!  I'm sure of it.  What adorable, great fitting, super absorbent diapers!  Try one!  You won't be disappointed.

Even better...ONE of you will win a 30% off code to use on either a single custom order diaper or a diaper from the Doodle Dypes Hyena Shop!  The next stocking at the shop is scheduled for June 1st!  (Contest will end and a winner will be drawn May 31, 2011 at 11:59am EST.)

How to Enter:

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry*
*Please leave your email address with each entry*


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Spring Cleaning Month - Pip & Lola's Everything Homemade Review and Giveaway!


I know you're waiting.  I thank you for waiting!  I've been trying desperately to catch up and stay caught up after last weekend's Blogger glitch.  I was caught up...and then Friday hit.  Friday hit with a vengeance!  Bugsy woke up with a terrible cough...not something I would normally be concerned about, but he's got some medical testing scheduled for tomorrow that will not happen if he is sick.  We could potentially reschedule, but surgery is in just over a month, and we don't have time to reschedule before then.  Psycho-mom that I am, I called and got him in to the doctor Friday morning.  BUT it took the WHOLE morning.  (He's fine, by the way.)  And then the getting ready for Mammaw's and the driving to Mammaw's...before I knew it it was Saturday, a day I had reserved solely for my husband.  

And now it's Monday!  So, without further adieu...

Have you heard of Pip & Lola?  The owner, Samantha, makes some wonderful homemade, vegetarian and vegan safe, soaps!  She has an amazing variety of soaps, everything from kitchen soaps to body soaps to shampoo bars!  Samantha sent me two bars of soap to review (and a few samples to try for myself).

The two soaps I tried are the Cup of Joe Kitchen Soap and the The Workhorse - Unscented Hair and Body Bar.  

Now I have to admit I was a little bit uncertain about the Cup of Joe soap at first.  It's grainy - or rather, when you use it, you get coffee grinds on your hands.  I thought that was a little weird.  I have grown to LOVE this soap!  We eat a lot of garlic and onions at my house (among other things) and I use this soap every time.  I can't smell any of the food odors after I use it!  It's great.  AND my hands don't dry out from it like they would with even regular liquid handsoap (like we normally use in the kitchen).  I highly recommend Pip & Lola's Cup of Joe Kitchen Soap!

The Workhorse is great, too.  In my "normal" life, I use Dove's Sensitive Skin bars.  They are best for my super sensitive, dry skin.  Or at least, they're the best of commercially available soaps.  The Workhorse from Pip & Lola is amazing, though!  We still have Dove in our shower because that's what my hubby uses, but for the last several weeks I have used nothing but Pip & Lola's Workhorse.  I mentioned my sensitive skin--at 30 years old, I still have regular break-outs.  It's horrible!  Thank goodness they aren't what they were in high school, but they are one of the reasons I switched to Dove.  I had actually switched to Cetaphil bar soap for my face and used the Dove for my body.  Both of those soaps are wonderful and do their jobs well.  Pip & Lola's Workhorse, though, has quickly become a replacement for both!  It moisturizes just enough to leave my skin feeling soft.  It cleans very well.  I love that it's unscented, too!  

The Workhorse is also a shampoo bar.  I'll admit, I only tried it once as shampoo, and then remembered I'd received some small samples of Pip & Lola's Soothing Scents Shampoo Bar.  I really love that both of these bars are moisturizing, and I definitely don't need conditioner when I use them!  What I don't love about them, and it's probably user error, is that they are much harder to rinse completely than my regular liquid shampoo.  I think perhaps I use too much, but I'm a fan a suds, and it's harder to make the Soothing Scents Shampoo Bar bubble than it is to make my regular shampoo bubble, so I find myself using tons of the shampoo and then have trouble rinsing it clean.  I LOVE the smell of either of these shampoos, though, and even the Workhorse soap is super moisturizing and you won't need a conditioner with it!

Pip & Lola's Everything Handmade is a new favorite at my house!  I've got two more full bars of soap...and about half of each of the bars I review...so I'll still have this set around for a while, but when it's all gone, you can bet I'll be ordering more!  Thanks, Samantha, for a great product!

You can order your very own set of soaps from Pip & Lola's Etsy shop to suit your family's individual needs. Mini bars of soap start at just $2.50 a bar and are a perfect way to try out the great variety!  Try one of each.  You'll love them!


You can win a bar of Cup of Joe Kitchen Soap and a bar of The Workhorse Hair and Body Bar right here on my blog!  (Contest will end and a winner will be drawn May 31, 2011 at 11:59am EST.)

How to Enter:

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry*
*Please leave your email address with each entry*


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I received these products at no cost in order to facilitate a review, but was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring Cleaning Month - Beautiful ThrowAways Review and Giveaway


This month I chose to focus on "Spring Cleaning."  I didn't put a rule to that decision regarding products being "green."  I didn't make any stipulation concerning what I'd be cleaning.  I figured anything that would clean or organize...well...anything would fit!

Beautiful ThrowAways has a great Etsy shop with a lot of reusable (green) cleaning products!

When I stumbled across the store, I was intrigued by the crocheted Swiffer cloths.  One of my biggest cleaning frustrations has been buying and throwing away all those Swiffer sheets!  I know I could just do it the "old fashioned" way and sweep my floor with a broom and dustpan.  I typically do that, actually.  But I have a dog and three kids, and it's hard to sweep up all their messes with a broom!  Some of those things (think sand and dog hair) just don't sweep up well!  And so, I continue to buy those annoying Swiffer cloths, or use strips of flannel as makeshift cloths.  Neither option makes me happy.

Karen from Beautiful ThrowAways agreed to send me one of her crocheted Swiffer cloths, though, and I haven't looked back!  The one she sent me is white.  I wasn't sure about the white at first, but for review purposes, it's perfect!  Here, let me show you.

The front (floor side) of the cloth

The back (tab side?) of the cloth

And then I used it.  I hadn't swept the floor yet that day.  I typically sweep at least 3-4 times a day.  I can't stand the dog hair being on the floor!  So, here's what it looked like when I'd finished sweeping with a broom and then swiffering:

It was GROSS!  But so awesome!  I couldn't believe how much more this cloth picked up than a regular cloth.   (Oh...and yes, it's on the Swiffer sweeper in this pic.  I just wanted to try that.  It still picks up just as much nastiness as the regular Swiffer, but the sweeper doesn't work as well because it's not right down to the floor.  It's not intended to use with the sweeper, so that didn't bother me a bit.)

Once used, my concern was whether it would shrink in the wash.  I typically wash my towels and such on hot, and I was worried.  The worry was so unnecessary, though!

This picture is after probably close to a dozen washings.  It's still bright white!  It still fits perfectly on the Swiffer.  I still love it just as much as the first day!  Since I only have one and and am using it and washing it over and over, it has some slight signs of wear, but nothing more than just being obviously used, you know?  If I could, I'd buy a set of them so I could interchange them.  They are definitely on my list of things to buy when I have a few extra dollars!  I LOVE the Beautiful ThrowAways Swiffer cloth!

Check out the color selection available:

I'd love to have one (or two!) in every color!  They're great!  AND the prices are amazing, too.  You can purchase a set of 6 reusable Swiffer cloths from Beautiful ThrowAways for just $15!  You can buy smaller sets as well, if you'd rather.  If I were you, though, I'd spring for the set of 6!

You can also win one Beautiful ThrowAways cloth right here on my blog!  (Contest will end and a winner will be drawn May 31, 2011 at 11:59am EST.)

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry*
*Please leave your email address with each entry*

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*For two extra entries: Make a purchase from Beautiful ThrowAways.  Mention me when you check out, then come back here and tell me you did!  (Leave 2 comments!)

I was given this product at no cost in order to facilitate a review, but was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

GoGo Natural Review and Giveaway - Dinkle Dooz diaper!


I am a pocket diaper lover.  Pockets and AIOs are my favorites.  I love the ease and convenience.  I love that I can "prep" them straight out of the dryer or off the line and when I am ready to use them, they're ready for me.  Unlike prefolds or flats, they're just one quick step when I am ready to use them.  They work like disposables!  I also love one size diapers.  These diapers are adjustable, typically fitting from about 8-35 pounds.  I like them because they're so versatile!  I only have one in diapers, so I don't have to worry about making sure it fits multiple children, but as Stinky grows, I can just adjust the dipes to fit him!  I love that.  (And if there are ever any more munchkins introduced into our family, they can wear the hand-me-downs this way!)

So, when Meredith from GoGo Natural asked me if I'd like to try a new OS diaper, I was all for it!  My experience has told me that most of the OS diapers are Pockets or AIOs, so I was thrilled with the prospect!  I didn't know what the diaper would be until I received it.  I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw it was a DinkleDooz diaper!  I'd been wanting to try one for a while, and when I opened it I couldn't wait to try it!

Somehow, I forgot to take pictures of the diaper before I used it.  (What was I thinking?!?) And it's dirty right now, so unless you'd like me to take a picture of what a soiled diaper looks like...well, you'll just have to go with the action shots this time.  

The DinkleDooz diaper is a one size pocket diaper with snap closure.  DinkleDooz decided that rather than making a huge variety of diapers right now, they want to focus on one type and do it well.  I think that's a great idea!  While I like variety, I also like the idea of perfecting one thing before moving on.  DinkleDooz is also made with super soft fabric.  It's not minky soft.  It's more like a silky cotton soft.  I can't explain it, but it is really soft!

Not only is the DinkleDooz diaper a OS diaper, but it comes with two inserts, a small and a large!  I think that's tremendous.  If I had a baby and a toddler, it would be really easy to swap out liners depending on who was wearing the diaper!  I don't, though.  You'll probably remember, though, that Stinky is a super soaker.  I automatically use both of the inserts every time.  It keeps him totally dry during the day this way!  AND DinkleDooz thought long and hard about the pocket.  They made it extra wide and included a flap to cover the insert so it won't pop out the top!

You can see that the fabric is stretched a little tight on Stinky's booty.  Even though this diaper keeps Stinky dry, I can't seem to figure out a good fit for his short, stocky body.  I like that the "wings" seem longer than a lot of the diapers I have, and that the back elastic holds tightly.  This is part of the non-leakage, I think.  What I am not sure I love is that the front panel (just at the snap area) is narrower than normal.  What I mean is that there isn't as much room side to side for the snaps.  So, when I snap the wings in, I have to snap them all the way to the middle to keep the top from gapping.  That's no big deal...I could overlap them if he were smaller around.  This would be fine, BUT his thighs are chunky.  So I have to snap the thigh snaps one snap out for them to even snap, and then they're still a little snug.

As you can see, fastening the diaper this way pulls the front down a little low and tugs on the snaps a bit.  (See what I mean about those thighs?!  Unfortunately, he gets them from his mommy.  Ugh!)

I wish the snap placement were just a little different.  I'd make the front panel slightly wider at the top and place the thigh snaps out a bit further if I could.  I'd guess Stinky's not the only baby with thunder thighs, and there are probably other mamas that will have to make snap adjustments on this diaper.

All in all, I really like the DinkleDooz diaper!  I love that it comes with two inserts.  It's really soft on the outside and very absorbent.  I love the pocket!  The overall fit, while a little difficult to adjust to Stinky's stocky body, is nice.  Stinky likes it, too!  (I can tell, because he "soils" it every time!)

You can buy DinkleDooz diapers for just $15.95 from GoGo Natural!  That's a great price for a great pocket diaper!  You'll be especially thrilled with the pocket itself!  I love the way it's made.


You can win a DinkleDooz diaper from GoGo Natural right here on my blog!  (Contest will and a winner will be drawn May 31, 2011 at 11:59am EST.)

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry.*
*Please leave your email address with each entry.*

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Visit DinkleDooz and tell me what color you'd pick if you won!

This product was given to me at no cost in order to facilitate a review.  I was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Give it away Friday - Little Nurslings - Discount Code

Stinky had a diaper rash.  A bad, blistery, bleeding diaper rash.  I tried everything I could think of.  I stripped his diapers and it didn't help.  I switched to sposies for a few days and used my "go-to" over-the-counter diaper rash cream.  The rash went away and came right back.  I stripped the diapers again.  I switched to only flats or prefolds and covers.  NOTHING worked!

I'd been sent a canister of Tender Bottom Cream from Little Nurslings to review.  I was afraid to use it on Stinky's blistery nasty bum, so I was waiting until the rash cleared up, and planning to use it as a preventative cream.

As a last resort before taking Stinky to the doctor (I know, I know.  You're all thinking I should have already taken him...), I decided to give that Tender Bottom Cream a chance to work a miracle.  Skeptical would be a step up from what I was feeling.  I needn't have been concerned.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that within less than 24 hours the rash was gone.  GONE!  Not just better. Gone.  It's been gone for nearly two weeks.  I have not seen a single trace of redness on Stinky's little bum.

And so, I decided to take things a step further.  The description of the Tender Bottom Cream says, "Recommended for all skin types, babies and small children to protect against diaper rash, eczema, bug bites and very dry skin. Works great as a moisturizer for all ages!"  Okay, so I have eczema.  It's allergy induced, and this time of year, my hands itch like nothing else.  They're covered in patchy rashes.  The eczema rashes popped up about 4 days ago.  They came out of nowhere and burned fire into the backs of my hands.  It took me two days to realize I could use Stinky's bottom cream on them.  As I type this, my left hand is completely clear.  My right hand has a very small...maybe dime sized...patch of eczema that doesn't itch!

 I am in love.

You know I like to find something "wrong" with a product.  Seriously, it can't be all perfect.  So, here's my problem with Little Nurslings Tender Bottom Cream.  The canister is WAY too small.  I'm going to need more before long.

You can buy your own Tender Bottom Cream, Teething bling, Tired Mama Soak, or even sniffle balm from Little Nurslings on their etsy site!  Rumor has it, there are more great organic items coming VERY soon!  But hurry!  For the next few days...through Friday, May 20, 2011, when you use the code EARTH25 at checkout, you will get 25% off your pre-shipping order!  That makes the Tender Bottom Cream just $6 a canister!  If you have ANY skin irritations, this is totally worth it!

You'll be as amazed as I was...and as hooked as I am!  Thank you, Little Nurslings!

I was given this product at no cost in order to facilitate a review, but was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A letter to my Bug

I am so glad you were born.
You came rushing into the world after just 45 minutes of labor, into the freshly-gloved hands of our street-clothes wearing doctor.  As you lay on my belly and I cut your cord (Daddy didn’t want to), I could tell that something wasn’t right.  No one said a word.  I didn’t say a word.  I knew my concerns would be brushed off as “molding” from birth.  I am sure everyone else hoped for the same.

When you were just 18 hours old, a nurse felt your head and made a funny face.  She said nothing.  Moments after she left the room, a pediatrician we’d never seen came in.  She felt your tiny head, and left the room.  Minutes later she returned, followed by an x-ray machine and 4 techs.  Your soft spots couldn’t be found.  Something was wrong.

When you were 3 days old, we made our first of many—too many—trips to your pediatrician.  When you were a mere 3 weeks old, we met your neurosurgeon.  You had your first CT scan.  We scheduled your first surgery.

Craniosynostosis.  A word that has forever changed our lives.

Four of the six sutures in your skull had fused before you were even born.  The last of them isn’t supposed to fuse until you are nearly 30.  Your little head couldn’t grow.  Your brain was out of space.  You cried in vicious, screaming pain, for 5 ½ months.  The hour or two you slept in a day were spent on mommy or daddy’s chest, upright in a recliner.  We slept in shifts so that someone would be with you constantly to hold you upright, so your head would hurt as little as possible.  We shopped in shifts, so that each of us would get a brief break from the crying.  (I’m sorry, Bud, but we just needed to get away sometimes.)  We were confined to our home, not because you were sickly or unable to be around others, but because you couldn’t stop crying, even with round-the-clock pain medicine.

Two surgeries and a who list of new vocabulary words later, at 10 months old, we finally met you.  

Your pain was finally gone, and you became the happiest baby we’d ever met.  You rolled over for the first time before we left the hospital!  Three years of 3-5 times a week therapies later, you became a “normal” preschooler.  You’re nearly caught up to where you should be!  We’re so proud of you!

In just 6 weeks, you’ll be going into that operating room again, for your sixth surgery in 3 ½ years.  Just a month shy of your 4th birthday, you’ll face the unknown once again.  Your daddy, your big sister, your little brother, and I will all be waiting for you on the other side.  We’ll be praying for you and longing for you.

You have brought more joy and laughter to our lives than we could ever have imagined.  You are such a ray of sunshine to everyone you meet.  You don’t know a stranger, and your dimples can melt the heart of just about anyone.  I am so glad I have had these years with you.  I am so glad you were born.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bundles and Buzz

Have you heard of Bundles and Buzz?

It's a fun little shop that stocks mommy and baby products...in surprise bundles!  There are certain parameters set as far as types of products in each bundle, but each bundle is different.  For instance, a "baby bundle" will always contain a cloth diaper.  A "mama bundle" will always contain full size product sample of something awesome for mom.  Each bundle will contain tons and tons of sample products as well!

If you haven't already, please go like Bundles and Buzz on facebook...and tell them @My This N That Life sent you!  (I might win a bundle...and I might show it to you here!)

You can also check out their regular site here.

Enjoy...and if you get a bundle in their next stocking, let me know what it included!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tune in Tuesday - Three Prizes!

So this three prize thing?  Totally not going to happen every Tuesday.  (Unless I get more sponsors.  I'd be okay with that!)  But for today, three prizes.  Three AWESOME prizes, that I'd like to win myself.  Unfortunately, I can't win on my own blog, and I rarely win anywhere else, so I'll have to live vicariously through all of you!  So, here they are, the end of the Earth Month prizes!

Rockin Green Detergent:  #52 - Rosie!

Nature's Nappies teething necklace: #22 - Little Tiny Love!

BubuBibi prize pack: #38 - Joy N!  (Another repeat winner!  How do you ladies do it?!?)

A huge congrats to all the winners!  I'll be sending you emails shortly!  Be watching.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Give it away Friday - CMonetCrafts Laundry Soap


It's officially the first Friday of May!  Perhaps you remember that I decided May would be my "Spring Cleaning" month around here, and I'd focus on all things that have to do with cleaning and organizing!  It's perfectly appropriate, because it's truly spring cleaning time at my house.

This week, I'd like to tell you about CMonetCrafts laundry soap.  CMonetCrafts exists as an outlet, of sorts, for the creator, Beverly, to share her passion with others.  Her passion?  To change the world!  Beverly finds joy in re-purposing items, in using and creating natural items, and in creating natural habitats!  Beverly sent me samples of two different types of laundry soap, but she also sent a packet of seeds for me to plant wildflowers in my yard, and pointed me to her Backyard Wildlife Habitats website, where she talks about the wonders of creating habitats and sharing them with animals and children!  It's amazing!

As I said, Beverly sent me two laundry soap samples, one unscented and one in Japanese Cherry Blossom.  I hate to admit this, but I forgot to take pictures!  I suppose I could show you my clean laundry, but you wouldn't be able to smell it, or feel how clean it is, or...  So I will show you what her soap looks like via Etsy.

Beverly's instructions say that a sample packet will last for 5-10 loads of laundry, and each of my bags lasted about 7-8.  You use just 1-2 Tbs of soap per load!  I was concerned that it wouldn't be enough to get the clothes clean, but it absolutely was!  I LOVE the smell of the Japanese Cherry Blossom!  It's really lightly scented, but it's very nice.  Not too sweet, not too strong.  She also says that you don't need to use fabric softener!  I only tried not using softener on the very last load.  That load was socks and undies, and they did not come out of the dryer static-y at all!  I imagine that in future loads I would feel a lot less inclined to use softener, but I am kind of a junkie.  ;-)  I really enjoy the fresh, clean feel of my clothes using CMonetCraft's laundry soap!

The only problem I have had with the soap is on my cloth diapers.  I am not sure whether it was user error or an ingredient in the soap, but for some reason it didn't seem to rinse out of the diapers as well as other soaps do.  I had to do several rinses after each load in order to get all the soap out.  Where I live, water is nearly as expensive as gasoline, so as you can imagine I am not a fan of too many extra rinses!  I just chose to wash my clothes with CMonet's soap and use my regular soap for my diapers.

Despite the diaper issue, I really like the laundry soap from CMonetCrafts!  I love that it's natural and handmade.  I love that you use a very small amount.  I love that you don't need softener.  I love it!  And you will too!

When you mention my blog at checkout, CMonetCrafts is offering FREE SHIPPING (a $5 value) on all orders of 2 pound sized laundry soap!  This is enough for 60-70 loads for a top loader, 120-140 for a front loader.  A 2 pound package is $16!  

One lucky reader will win 3 sample sized bags of laundry soap, in the winner's choice of scents!  This will be enough soap for at least 15-30 loads!  You'll be impressed with the quality of the soap from CMonetCrafts!
(Contest will end and a winner will be drawn May 17, 2011 at 11:59am EST.)

How to enter:

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry*
*Please leave your email address with each entry*

Follow My TNT Life with GFC.

"Heart" CMonetCrafts on Etsy and tell me your favorite scent

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I was given these products at no cost in order to facilitate a review, but was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

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