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My Amazon Round Up & $100 Amazon Giveaway!

I love living in Alaska, don’t get me wrong. One thing I do not love about living in Alaska is how inflated costs can be. I get it. It takes extra fuel, extra labor, extra resources and extra time to get things here, but it doesn’t make it an easier to swallow pill that I pay $12.99 for something, while a friend stateside is only paying $4.99 for the same item! That’s where Amazon comes in handy. When I’m buying non-perishable items that I don’t need immediately, I check Amazon, right then and there in the middle of the aisle with my phone! It’s great, because then I know I really am getting the best price and saving money!

On top of saving money on products available locally, our retail options are pretty limited here. We’ve got Fred Meyer, Wal-Mart, Safeway and a couple smaller Alaskan-owned shops and markets. Finding specialty items that aren’t super common or well-known can be next to impossible sometimes. Amazon can be pretty awesome for those kinds of things! Here are a few things I’ve ordered recently;

Twin Lotus Active Charcoal Toothpaste Herbaliste Triple Action

I have been eyeing charcoal toothpaste for a while. I was originally going to go with a tooth powder, but ended up liking the reviews on this one more. The taste threw me for a bit because I couldn’t figure out what it was; it was clove! So far, so good. I’ll do a review soon!

Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamin, 120-Count Bottle

So, I was taking gummy prenatals for the longest time, but then I started doing some digging after I realized exactly how many carbs were in a single serving of those gummies. I found out the prenatal I had been taking wasn’t actually that great. If I’m taking a vitamin, I want it to be the best! I switched to Rainbow Light vitamins months ago and set it up for subscribe and save so I never run out! Don’t need a prenatal vitamin? Rainbow light has an excellent food-based women’s multivitamin and men’s multivitamin.

Prestige Eyeliner, Black, 0.04 Ounce

Fred Meyer quit carrying my favorite eyeliner and I couldn’t find it anywhere else. Amazon to the rescue! They had it, and for cheaper than Fred Meyer had been selling it too!

Aqueon Tropical Flakes

My oldest daughter is a fish geek. My youngest daughter constantly thinks the fish are starving to death. Amazon’s got a HUGE container of fish food for way cheaper than the small one costs locally. Win-win!

Clever Cutter 2-in-1 Food Chopper

If you don’t already have a Clever Cutter, get one! They’re seriously amazing. I use this thing like crazy when making soups or prepping fruits and veggies for the dehydrator.

Diono Radian RXT All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

My little sister just had a baby and being the car seat freak I am, I make sure that I get my siblings a car seat as a baby shower gift. I absolutely LOVE Diono Radians and have gotten two this year for both of my new nephews! They are the absolute best!

Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump

My sister who gave birth in April needed help finding a good breast pump. Having exclusively pumped for 14 months (after re-lactating no less), this is the bad boy we chose for her! The Spectra S2 is durable, great suction and excellent customer service when needed!

Magic Sponge Eraser Cleaning Melamine Multi-functional Foam Cleaner

I love Mr. Clean, don’t get me wrong. He’s served me well. But, I tend to use my Mr. Clean Magic Erasers wayyyyy more than I should. I buy bulk melamine foam sponges for the minor jobs, and save the Mr. Clean ones for the tougher jobs to save myself money.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bath Scrubber

As well as my bulk melamine foam works, absolutely nothing compares the the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bath Scrubbers. Those things are amazing. My tub gets gross. I don’t know how it even gets that gross (kids…) and the bath scrubbers work wonders!

On to the Giveaway…

It’s true. I love Amazon, but I’m pretty sure you do too. What better way to share our love of Amazon than by participating in a $100 Amazon gift card giveaway? Let me know what you’d buy if you won the gift card in the comments and be sure to enter below!

Giveaway is open worldwide, however, winners outside of the United States will recieve the cash equivalent of $100 via paypal. Giveaway begins Wednesday, May 31 at 12:01 Eastern Time and will end June 13th at 11:59pm Eastern time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post, nor did I receive any complimentary products. I have purchased these items on my own, with my own money. My opinions expressed in this review have not been influenced and are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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Sprouting Fail to Sprouting Win…

I’m a weirdo. I absolutely love vegetables and sprouts are definitely one of my favorites, especially while re-lactating, as they can actually help to improve my breast milk supply when I eat sprouts like red clover blossom, fenugreek and alfalfa. I just love sprouts though. Especially on sandwiches, in wraps or I will even munch on them plain! My youngest kid must be like me because I can hand her a bowl of sprouts and a fork and she’ll eat it like spaghetti, twisting her fork and slurping them up. There were a few problems with it though.

  1. Sprouts are reallyyyyyy expensive here. A small 8oz container at the stores here could run as much as $6.
  2. Sprouts are reallyyyyy hard to find here. No joke. Nine times out of ten, I’d go to the produce section and wouldn’t be able to find any sprouts of any kind. It’s kind of depressing, but I guess they’d be a more fragile produce item to transport to Alaska.

Because of these two things, I decided to start sprouting myself. It’s actually really simple and I didn’t even buy any special gear. Just a few mason jars and some plastic mesh. Maybe I’ll write up a tutorial on that soon. The problem I kept having though, was that the water would pool at the neck of the jar and my sprouts would rot. I am not kidding when I tell you that they rotted. They were full on rotting. It smelled like something died in my kitchen. I was rinsing them twice a day and setting them to drain, but I just couldn’t figure out the best way to do it. It was pretty hit and miss. Some batches, I guess I had them lined up perfectly, yet the next batch I would do what I thought was the exact same thing, and my sprouts would rot.

Needless to say, it was frustrating.

Initially, I had two jars propped up in an aluminum bowl like this, which was fine and dandy the first batch… But not the second… or third… or fourth…

After three &*%&()* batches of sprouts that were rotting and getting nasty within just days, I decided to go for plan B. I found a long narrow container in the home department at Fred Meyer that looked as though it would fit perfectly. It worked great at first.

The first few days it was great. The water drained. The seeds started sprouting. Then they started growing. I thought we were in the clear. Then, of course, it all went south. As soon as the sprouts were about half-way done, they started blocking the holes in the mesh, which was directly pressed against the bottom of the container. Cue more rotting sprouts.

At this point, I considered building some kind of little miniature wooden table to fit over the long container with holes for the necks of the jars, but I just never got around to doing it. I was about ready to give up. Then, while washing my pump pieces, I realized that my Boon Countertop Drying rack was sturdy, solid, and well-aerated. Perhaps that would work for sprouting seeds without the issues I was having previously.

 

I gave it a shot. The sprouts turned out perfect. Nervous it was just a fluke like my last “perfect” batch, I tried again a few times. It worked perfectly every single time!

Happy Sprouting!

 

*Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post, nor did I recieve any complimentary products. I have purchased this item on my own, with my own money. My opinions expressed in this review have not been influenced and are my own. This post contains affiliate links.4

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Ore Originals Recycled Melamine Dish Set

I was first exposed to the SugarBooger brand by Ore Originals when my sister-in-law dropped my nephew Rex, off at my house with a SugarBooger sippy cup. At the time, I had never heard of it before, but I thought the cup was kind of cute, and the name kind of stuck in my head. Later, when I was looking around, I found that SugarBooger was actually a sub-brand of Ore Originals.

Ore Originals Avatar

Ore Originals offers way more than just cute sippy cups under their SugarBooger line! For babies, they carry a variety of products, such as dishes, dish sets, spill mats, bibs, diaper bags, place mats, backpacks, diaperbags, lunchboxes, diaper bag organizers, changing pads, hangers, nursery caddies and more!

Also, Ore Originals has a pet line. Their pet line has things for both dogs and cats. Things like brushes, and unique feeding dishes and accessories, unique paw shaped litter scoopers, and even can covers for wet cat food! For dogs, they have some of the same things, with an addition of treat jars, leash hooks, food bag clips and more!

In addition to great products for your babies and fur babies, they’ve also got some great things for around the home. Things like shower curtains, laundry hampers, office supplies, totes and more! There’s even bath tub toys and suction cup toy holders for the bathtub toys!

I had the opportunity to review the recycled melamine dish set!

Ore Originals ReviewNow, the very first thing that attracted me to this dish set, is that it’s made with a minimum of 30% recycled products that would have otherwise just have ended up in a landfill. And if we can make something new out of something  that would have otherwise been completely wasted, then why not? It just makes good sense! And not to mention, it looks really neat! I’m not sure if the colored specks in the set are from the recycled materials in the melamine, but I’m pretty sure they are!

Maddi probably enjoyed the dish set even more than I did. I got it in the mail, and had opened it, leaving it in the plastic packaging on the counter (which, by the way, is meant to be reused over and over for storage and transporting. She dragged a chair over, climbed up and got it down herself and I found her playing with the set in the livingroom! She got really  upset and started crying when I took it away to put her dinner on it!

One thing I noticed that was great about it, was that it was pretty thick. So many try sets you find can be easily bent, or moved and manipulated. This set was sturdy, thick, and it was quite obvious that it could withstand the abuse destined to come at the hands of a toddler!

Fulfills Purpose Well
Design & Visual Appeal
Ease of use
Affordability
Earth-Friendliness

Overall Rating: 4.0 Stars

Now, a breakdown of my rating!

Fulfills Purpose Well:
It worked great! I was impressed with its sturdy construction. It looked like it could easily withstand the trauma that can be delivered by toddler hands! Unlike so many other baby dish sets, this one isn’t going to shatter or break right down the middle the first time you drop it. If you have toddlers, you know how important it is for your child’s dishes to be tough!

Design & Visual Appeal:
I liked the design of it. The only thing I would have changed was the main color. The recycled melamine set comes in three colors, pink, blue and cream. The one I reviewed was cream, but I felt like it was more of a gray slate color than it was cream.

Ease of Use:
I liked it. I think overall it was pretty simple to use. You just have to dish up their food and serve it to them! It’s dishwasher safe, which is a great feature for busy moms. The only reason I didn’t give four full stars is because it’s not microwave safe, so when you’re having leftovers you have to heat them separately before using the melamine tray.

Affordability:
The recycled melamine trays are pretty affordable. They run for $18 regardless of color choice (pink, blue or cream). Although this is a little higher than most dish sets I see (usually ranging from $10-15) it’s still relatively affordable and not unreasonable in the slightest.

Earth Friendliness:
The recycled melamine dish set is pretty earth friendly! It’s made with a minimum of 30% recycled melamine that would have ended up in the landfills. There may be even be more than that in the dishset, however, it states on the packaging that there is a minimum of 30% recycled melamine. In addition, Ore Originals avoided using wasteful packaging on the dish set and packaged it in an EVA plastic pouch that is meant to be reused and reused, for storage, and transportation between home, school, daycare or wherever!

**Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review. I received a complimentary product in exchange for my thoughts and opinions on the product. All opinions contained within are only my own and were not influenced in any way. This post contains affiliate links.
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Tutorial: How to Make Cloth Pocket Diapers out of Old T-Shirts!

Okay, so I’ve had a few people ask me how I made my diapers out of old t-shirts… It might be easy enough for a cloth diaper vet to figure out how to make them, but for a lot of women, especially people who are new to cloth diapers, it can be really… elusive? So, I’ve broken down the steps in this video with directions on how to make your own cloth diapers out of old t-shirts. Alternately, if you don’t want to watch the video, you can read the tutorial below.

Okay, so you already watched the video, rated, commented and subscribed to show you love me? He he he. Just kidding… You don’t have to. But, I really enjoy it when people do!

Onto the Tutorial

**Note: I use 1/4 inch seam allowance. You can use whatever you like for yours, or whatever your pattern calls for. Just make sure you backstitch at the beginning and end of EVERY seam!!!!

This set of instructions can be used, and reproduced as long as you give me credit and link back to this blog post.

1. You need an old t-shirt.

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

Now, preferably, your shirt should be a size Large or bigger. But, depending on what size of diaper you’re making, you may be able to get away with using a small or medium shirt.

2. Pin and cut your pattern.

Now, I don’t know what pattern you’re using. I’m using one I made myself… But, for obvious reasons, you have to pin your pattern. You can lay you’re shirt out a few different ways, but if you want to use the design or logo that’s on the shirt, you should fold the design part of the shirt in half and cut the two peices for your diaper separately. If you don’t care about the design, you can just fold the shirt in half (both layers) and cut both peices out at once.

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

I laid mine out in a way so I could get the design on the body of the pattern. Like I said, you don’t have to do it this way, but when there is a design on the shirt, I prefer to. After all, who doesn’t like having cool designs on their diapers?

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

Pin your pattern down. Depending on what pattern you’re using and how big it is, will determine how much you can get out of a shirt. I’m using a size large pattern that I designed myself, and I can get enough for both peices out of a men’s size large t-shirt. With smaller shirts, you may only be able to get one piece, depending on your pattern size. In that case, use two shirts, and mix and match the pieces.

3. Cut your pattern out.

Might seem obvious, okay, it is… But you’re going to need to cut your pattern out!

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

If you’re only cutting one peice at a time, be careful not to cut the other layer of the shirt while cutting out your pattern. Make sure you smooth it out really well, and check it every few cuts!

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

So, now you have one (or both, depending how you cut it) pieces for your diaper!

If you cut out one piece, continue on to step 4. If you cut out both pieces, skip to step five.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 for the second piece.

Like I said, you’re going to need two pieces for your diaper, so if you only cut one piece out, then repeat steps 1-3 using the other side of the t-shirt, or a second t-shirt depending on your shirts size. When you’re done, you should have two pieces, identical in size.

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

5. Pin and sew the side

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

Lay your pieces right sides together and pin ONE side together, edges even. Then sew that side. Repeat for the second side, leaving the ends open.

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

6. Sew the front end of the diaper shut.

You have both sides sewn. Now, you need to sew the front end of the diaper shut.

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

I don’t even use pins for this. I just hold it as I’m going, make sure the edges stay even, and sew it shut. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can use pins, but its not necessary.

7. Mark your pocket and sew.

This step is a tiny bit trickier. I fold my diaper in half (in order to ensure the pocket is directly in the middle and not off center), and then use a pin to mark where each side of the hole will begin.

It’s a little difficult to see in the picture, but I have two pins, about 6-8 inches apart. It really doesn’t matter how far apart they are, however, keep in mind, you want to pin it at least two inches bigger than the actual finished hole will be because the elastic will shrink it, and you need to be able to fit your hand in it.

Once you have your pins marking where the hole will be, sew from the side, to the pin on both sides, leaving the hole open.

8. Sew in your side elastic.

Now, it’s time to add your side elastic! This step is relatively easy and for the most part, you can just eye it.

Cut your elastic (I use 7-8 inches and then trim the excess). You’re going to sew it right along the side seams, starting at about the bottom of the front diaper flap, and ending at the bottom (as if it were being worn) diaper flap. You do not put elastic on the flaps at all. Just along the side body part of the diaper. I use a zigzag stitch for this step. Make sure you’re stretching it tight as you sew!!! Repeat this step for the opposite side.

**Note:If your diaper has a pattern on it, make sure you’re sewing the elastic onto the side of the diaper that does NOT have the pattern you want shown on it.

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

9. Make a casing and add elastic.

Now, you’re going to fold the fabric on one side of the hole down, and sew it straight across, leaving both ends open. This will serve as a casing for your elastic.

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

As you can see in the photo, I simply folded it down, and sewed from one finger, to the other, leaving the ends of my casing open.

Cut your elastic slightly larger than half the length of your pocket hole, and sew it on one end of the casing, before threading it through and sewing the other end down.Your elastic is only sewn on the ends, and is simply threaded through the casing.

Repeat this for the other side of the hole. Your entire pocket hole should have elastic in it now and should look similar to this.

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

10. Turn your diaper right side out.

Your diaper has been sewn together inside out. By reaching into the pocket hole, you can turn your diaper right side out and then use a point turner, to make sure all of the corners and points come out as well.

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

Congratulations, you just made a diaper out of an old t-shirt! Your diaper should look somewhat like this:

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

You can leave your diaper as it is, and use diaper pins with it, like I do, or you can add velcro, snaps or buttons to help you fasten it! I prefer snaps, but unfortunately, I don’t have a snap press, and my son LOVES taking off velcro, so we use diaper pins!

11. Using your diaper.

Before you use your diaper, you’ll need to stuff some kind of soaker in it. You can make your own soaker pad out of old sweatshirts (I sense a future tutorial…) or you can simply use prefold cloth diapers, or even just a terry cloth towel.

Cloth Diaper Tutorial

Stuff whatever soaker material you’d like to use into the diaper, and you’re ready to go! Put it on baby, fasten it, and you’re done!

Please keep in mind that this type of diaper, because its made out of cotton and old t-shirts, will most likely need a diaper cover, since it’s not water proof. You don’t have to use one, but a lot of people do. If you pad it well enough, and change your baby often, you might not need to, but to prevent accidents, I would recommend using one. You can buy plastic pants and just pull them up over the diaper, or use an actual velcro or snap diaper cover as well, or even a wool cover. Whatever you prefer.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you liked it, let me know! Leave me a comment! Rate, comment and subscribe to my youtube video! Make your own diaper, show it on your blog and link back to me or even just throw me a comment with a photo! I’d love to see what you create!

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Playskool Deals for Easter!

So, I got some pretty good deals!

If you check out Playskool’s website they have a bunch of coupons available this week! You can register for an account if you like, but you don’t have to in order to get the coupons!

So, on to the action!

PLAYSKOOL EXPLORE N’GROW BUSY BALL POPPER

Normally retails for $24.99. Fred Meyer’s had it on sale for $16.99 and if you check out Playskool’s website, you can print off a coupon for $5 off! So, that put it at $11.99! This is a great deal for a really entertaining toy! So, we now have a little busy ball popper for Danny’s birthday in May!

PLAYSKOOL EXPLORE ‘N GROW STEP START WALK ‘N RIDE

So, this is a sturdy transitional toy that your child can ride and push! It retails for $24.99 but again, Fred Meyer’s had it on sale for $16.99. On Playskool’s website, there’s a coupon for $5 off. This brings the price down to $11.99!

MY LITTLE PONY

My little ponies had a coupon on Playskool’s website; buy one get one free up to a $6.99 value. Ponies normally retail for $5.99 according to Playskool’s website, however, Fred Meyer had them for $7.69, and I decided I would just pay the difference for the coupon value, however, when it rang up, I didn’t have to! The second pony was still free! So, I got two ponies for Maddi’s easter basket!

PLAYSKOOL PLAY FAVORITES LULLABY GLOWORM

Now, Fred Meyer’s had the glowworm for $12.99 and on Playskool’s website had a printable coupon for $2 off! So, it came to $10.99! Now we have an easter basket gift for Danny!

Like I said, Playskool has these great coupons right now! So, just make sure you hit up your local sales around town, and bring in your printed coupons! You can go to their coupon page and select the coupons you want! You can make an account (I did, so I can get alerts for new coupons) but you don’t have to! Simply select the coupons you’d like, and then it will have you install a coupon printer (only takes a moment) and then your coupons print! As easy as that!

Coupons available now:

  1. $2 off Mr. Potato Head
  2. $3 off Mr. Potato Head Toy Story
  3. $3 off wheel pals mini 4-pack
  4. $10 off Chuck, My Talking Truck
  5. $5 off Chuck & Friends Fold & Go Playset
  6. $3 off Chuck & Friends Fleet
  7. $10 off Tonka Bounce Back Racer
  8. $5 off My Little Pony So Soft Newborn, Family Convertible or Ferris Wheel
  9. $5 off your $20 Strawberry Shortcake purchase
  10. $5 off Monopoly board game
  11. $10 off Monopoly electronic board game, or Monopoly City.
  12. $5 off Sit’n’Spin
  13. $5 off Talking Sid the Science Kid Plush Doll
  14. $5 off any $20 Star Wars Purchase
  15. $2 off Glow Worm
  16. $5 off 1st For Me Baby Alive Doll
  17. $5 off $20 Iron Man 2 purchase.
  18. Buy One Get One Free My Little Pony
  19. $5 off Busy Ball Popper
  20. $5 off Step Start Walk ‘N’ Ride.

So, leave me a comment and let me know what kind of gifts you’re giving your kids in their easter baskets and if you got any good deals on them!

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