Friday, June 29, 2012

Reuseit Lunch boxes products review/giveaway


In my search for more eco-friendly lunch boxes, I happened across a variety of products available at Reusit.com and was impressed. They had so many different types of items, definitely something for everyone, and every food! I loved the many styles of products offered, and when they were kind enough to offer me a product to review, I had a lot of trouble picking one! After a lot of contemplation, I decided to test the Lunch Pot byBlack + Blum since it was different from any other container I’d ever seen. I then had to debate between the colours, but finally settled on white and green. One of the big things on the market right now that bothers me is the use of BPA in so many products… but not in these! These are BPA free! 


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Out of all the products that Reuseit has to offer, one thing that really drew me to the Lunch Pot was the versatility. It looks like a giant cup when stacked up, has a strap to hold the two separate pots together, and has a spot to hold the spork that comes with it too. Everything you need is right there!


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I filled the smaller container with some ranch garden veggie pasta salad, and filled the larger container with large chunks of delicious, juicy watermelon. Both items could easily create a mess if they leaked, but I had faith it the twist-on lids that these containers had. They looked like they sealed the containers very well. This was a good thing, because I accidentally knocked this over in my car on the way to work. No leaks!


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I work long days, so I tend to snack throughout the day. Unfortunately, sometimes the smell of something I’m eating isn’t very appealing to those sitting around me. When I take the pasta salad in the container it was purchased in, you can smell it throughout the day since the seal is really flimsy on the disposable package. My coworkers couldn’t smell the pasta salad until the container was opened, so that says a lot for the seal on these containers! I ate the salad about 4 hours into my 10 hour shift, and it was the perfect temperature for me to eat (I have sensitive teeth). That being said, these are not insulated containers (nor do they ever claim to be), so please remember to keep them in the refrigerator if you need something to stay very cold. I wanted my food to be room temperature.



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The large container held all my super juicy watermelon without any issues. Honestly, this container holds a lot of food! I was surprised at how much food I actually had with me for snacks that day! I did have a tiny bit of trouble stabbing the watermelon chunks with the spork since they were gigantic chunks and the spork prongs are short, but I still managed to get all the pieces with minimal effort.


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(The small container fits my entire fist [plus there was room around my fist too!] )


The spork did a great job for holding the food and stabbing the food. I was surprised by how sturdy it was, as most sporks I’ve used tend to be flimsy. The spork would work well for pretty much any type of food, including soup. Yes, soup! These containers can also be microwaved, provided that you follow their instructions and limit the time they are in there (and don’t heat up the lids). These can also be washed in the dishwasher (not the lids), though I washed them by hand for the purpose of this review.

I washed the containers when I got home (by hand, as mentioned above). Neither container was hard to clean, and neither container held on to any smell from the foods that had been in them. The only thing that was a giveaway that it had been used was a faint pink discolouration in the larger container from the delicious watermelon I had eaten earlier that day.

***** The discolouration actually came out after another wash -- yay! *****



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All in all, I would say this product is fantastic! I love the versatility of it, and the ease with which it stacks into itself to make it more portable. All you have to do is tighten the strap and you are good to go! If I could change anything about this, it would be the size of the spork. While it works great, and may be fantastic for soups (I’m not a huge soup person, though), it’s a bit too big for my mouth. I can get the entire thing in my mouth, but I cannot get my lip down onto the spork when I close my mouth around it. Minor inconvenience at best, but it meant I couldn’t scoop pieces of the pasta salad out using my lips. I am, however, a tiny person, so this may be an issue that doesn’t affect most people. Either way it goes, that really wasn’t that big of a deal, and I could always slide my own spoon in the side if I really wanted to.


You can purchase the Lunch Pot by Black + Blum on Reuseit’s website for $21.95, or check out any of their other awesome lunch box items! They were also generous enough to offer a Lunch Pot for one of my readers! You can enter to win one below!




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I receive sample(s) for the purpose of testing and review. These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Thoughts Of Fluff is not responsible for shipment of the prize(s).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

EcoLunchboxes Review & Giveaway


Like many parents, I want my child to have what’s best for them. This has started me on a quest to make sure I find the most ecofriendly options available for most things, since stuff that is ecofriendly is often times the best for you and your family (less toxins, natural ingredients, etc). I’ve been slowly transforming the way my entire family lives, and lunches was bound to come up eventually.
I used to use a frozen meal as a lunch each day while at work. I occasionally had leftovers, but those were even usually some leftover Chinese dish in the plastic container they arrived in. I decided to start taking better lunches a long time ago, but I wasn’t exactly using the best containers. I know it should have been obvious to me a long time ago, but it wasn’t. In fact, it didn’t dawn on me that the super flimsy plastic containers I was using might be unwise until I grabbed one out of our cabinet to put food in, and it SMELLED. My goodness, did it smell BAD! It was a rancid onion sort of smell.
Shortly after that incident, I found EcoLunchboxes. The stainless steel alternatives to plastic containers intrigued me, and these products offered me a back-to-the-basics solution. They were generous enough to send me out a sample of some of their products to review: The Solo Cube (square), The Eco Dipper, and the ECOsnacksack.



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I decided to test these items out with apples and hummus. I knew a sandwich would fit fantastically in the Solo Cube, so I decided to cut up a very large PinkLady apple instead. It held the entire apple (which, honestly, was impressive! That thing was about ¾ of a lb.!). The apple only got slightly discoloured as it was stored in the container. This made me rather happy since they usually completely brown in my plastic containers.


For the Eco Dipper, I put in some garlic hummus for a snack (along with separately packed un-salted tortilla chips). While I knew the hummus would store just fine, I intentionally left it sitting out (after the hummus was consumed) from 9 in the morning (yes, I ate hummus early!) until I left work for the day. By the time I washed the containers that evening, it had been sitting at room temperature with the lid sealed for approximately 10 hours.



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I used the ECOsnacksack to hold he Solo Cube, but it wasn’t big enough to hold anything else. It would easily hold the EcoDipper and another smaller item, or a water bottle and a snack, but it is a “snack” sack and not a “lunch” sack. That’s something to keep in mind! (Ecolunchboxes also offers a larger bag called the ECOLunchwrap if you want the bag to hold your full lunch!)



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By now, I’m sure someone is wondering why on earth I purposefully left something like garlic hummus in a sealed container at room temperature for hours on end. Well, it’s simple. I wanted to test how easily the containers cleaned out, and if they would smell like that plastic container did.

I was very impressed at how easy it was to wash the containers. I opted to wash them by hand, and they might as well have been unused with me washing them as it was a cinch! The hummus didn’t stick in any of the contours of the Eco Dipper like I thought could happen, and neither container had any smell in them after they were washed. Other than my fingerprints on them, they looked (and smelled) brand new!


All in all, I love these! Obviously you cannot microwave the containers, but that is the only downside. They hold food great, nothing leaked, the held the scent of the garlic within while sealed (so no coworkers complained!), but didn’t smell after being washed. The containers were easy to open, and easy to clean. They were wonderful! They are also  non-toxic and waste-free! The ECOsnacksSack was a bit small for me to use, but was not only adorable but sturdy. It functions great for a snack carrier, just look for the next size up if you want it to hold a meal. If you want more information on EcoLunchboxes, you can read about the why and story behind ECOlunchbox .


Not only was EcoLunchboxes generous enough to send me these products for review, but they have offered the same sampler pack to one of my readers! You can purchase the Solo Cube for $20 (the more you purchase, the less they cost), the Eco Dipper for $7, and the ECOsnacksack for $15. You can also enter below to win a Solo Cube, and Eco Dipper, and an ECOsnacksack of your very own! (Colours of prize won may be different than the products shown in this review.)



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Disclosure: I receive sample(s) for the purpose of testing and review. These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Thoughts Of Fluff is not responsible for shipment of the prize(s).

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bummas Cloth Wipes Review & Giveaway


After writing my review and comparison on various brands of wipes, I saw that a brand I hadn’t even tried had just won an award. I wasn’t overly familiar with Bummas cloth wipes, though I had seen the name a time or two in various places online. I had heard good things about them, but had a lot of wipes already, and never really looked into purchasing any Bummas wipes. When Bummas offered to send me a set to review, I gladly accepted. I can tell you that I am pleasantly surprised with these wipes, and I’m not the only one!


I’ll start out by saying my little Bobble loved the bright colours. We were sent a set of “Wild Ones” to test out, and I couldn’t get a picture of them without my son trying to steal them. This was as close as I got to a good photo!


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When I took the wipes out of the package, I was surprised that they were rectangular instead of square. In fact, they are 5”x7”, not the squares I’m used to! I wasn’t sure what to make of that at first. Honestly, I thought that it was going to take me more wipes to use on my son since I had less surface area to work with. I figured they would be great for just a quick wipe down after a wet diaper, and they are so soft I knew immediately they’d be great for blowing noses! They are 100% cotton, woven velour terry cloth. Like I said, they are soft! One side of the wipes have the little loops of fabric, while the other side has a closer weave and is incredibly plush. Even better, the package even says they won’t pill, shrink, or fade. After having some of my other wipes shrink (or just having one side of them shrink), this is welcome news!


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I prepped the Bummas and folded them, placing them atop all the other wipes we have so that they’d get used first. I forgot to tell my husband that I put new wipes in the container (he is a SAHD, for those who didn’t know), so I got to test them out myself before I heard his opinion. In fact, I got to test them out with a messy diaper. I grabbed for a wipe and pulled a Bummas out of the container. I looked at the diaper (and the mess on Bobble’s bum!), and back at the rectangular wipe. I still didn’t see how this was going to be as effective with less material…. I’m going to need more wipes! I grabbed 2 more wipes and set them to the side as my back-up wipes. I sprayed Bobble with our wipe solution and used the side of the Bummas with more loops (to grab this mess better!) and wiped. It did a great job! I was done cleaning up my Bobble with ONE WIPE! I used a second for good measure, but it wasn’t needed. The first wipe took care of all of the mess! I patted him dry with the other side of the wipe and did up his diaper. 


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Now came another test…. cleaning the wipe out. We have a diaper sprayer, and we spray out our wipes when they were used on those messier diapers. They sprayed out very easily. I didn’t have to spray one section repeatedly, waiting for anything to break free. It was a spray down and they were clean (well, clean enough to go into my washer, at least!).


I’ve decided that I like this rectangular size better than the square size of some other wipes. Not only was I wasting surface with the other wipes (by bunching, folding, etc.) while wiping, but these fold better for storage too! My husband also wanted me to share that he *REALLY* likes these wipes because they fold better and spray clean easier. Spraying clean is a big deal for him, especially while he’s the only one at home with Bobble and he doesn’t have time to stand there spraying and spraying… he has a toddler to chase after!


Overall, I would say I’m VERY pleased with Bummas Wipes. They are super soft, work fantastically, and come in adorable colours! You can pick up a package of Bummas Wipes for $14.95, or enter to win one below!






Disclosure: I receive sample(s) for the purpose of testing and review. These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Thoughts Of Fluff is not responsible for shipment of the prize(s).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Planetwise Wet Bags: An Alternative View


Planet Wise Inc. is a well-known company with cloth diapering parents, and they offer great quality products. In fact, I own pail liners, snack bags, sandwich bags (and wraps) and wet bags from them. I love them all. Yes, every one of those items is pluralized, too. I have 3 pail liners, actually. I can have one in the pail, one in the wash, and one hanging dry on the line!  Obviously, I am impressed with the quality of the items, but I have to admit that my new favorite item is their small sized wet bag… and not for use of diapers.

Don’t get me wrong, the wet bags work great for diapers! I’ve never had a leak, I’ve never had any issue with the bag’s zipper closure, and I’ve never had any fading problems with the awesome designs they have. I use a medium wet bag for our diaper bag, as the small one is… well, small. That’s the point though,  right? 

Here's my medium (print: Outerspace) next to my small (print: Tropical Retreat):

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....and a quick glance at the inner (water-proof!) layer:

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So, for those of you who were unaware, I am a full-time working mother. I have pumped for my son to have milk since I returned to work. I have a double-electric pump and I pump on my work breaks, but was rather flustered at the means I had to store items. My pump came with a tiny cooler bag for the bottles, but I was at a loss of what to do for the actual pump pieces. I didn’t have time to clean the parts after I would pump since I had a 15 minute break, but I figured that if breast milk is good in the fridge for 4 days, then the pump parts could be put in the fridge for the next 4 hours until I had another break. I could just take them home each night. I grabbed one of those big rectangular lunch bags that are insulated, put some paper towels in there to keep the parts from touching the material on the sides and bottom, and was on my way. That took up a LOT of room though, and the bag eventually broke down. It split at the sides, the lining cracked from the continuous usage, and it started becoming difficult to unzip. On top of that, it smelled a bit funky… and I was pretty sure there was no way to get that smell out since the padded insulation was now exposed from the cracked material. Yup, I was on the quest for a new way to do this.

I went to a local breastfeeding store and asked about Planet Wise storage bags. I saw on the Planet Wise website that they have quart storage bags and gallon storage bags (in addition to the sandwich and snack bags), so I figured this local store might have them (they carry Planet Wise products). I was in there and the owner suggested trying a wet bag. I had just mentioned to her that wet bags make great impromptu ice packs since they will hold in the water from the melted ice and they are insulated so you’re not instantly freezing when you place the bag against the ailing part….. so why didn’t I think of a wet bag for this storage? It was a great idea!

I bought a small Planet Wise wet bag and found that my pump parts fit (assembled, mind you) perfectly with a bit of room to spare. The fact the bags are lined meant I didn’t have to worry about any droplets of milk seeping into the material and making it smell or look funny. 



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A peek inside with the pump parts shows we have extra room!

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No, really! There is still a bit of room:
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I love the fact it takes up less space in the fridge now, and that I have a lovely bag I can use for other things when I’m done with pumping for my son!

Check out all the other great wet bag prints (and products!) Planet Wise has to offer!

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Disclosure: The product mentioned above was purchased by me, and I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fluff with Moerman

For anyone that has ever sunned their diapers, hung them out to dry, or just hang clothes out, this post is for you! When I first got my diapers, I used my dryer. Only my dryer, actually. Why? Well, it was getting near spring time, but it wasn't quite there yet. It was too cold, and I really didn't know much about them. I knew that drying in the dryer could shorten their life, but I was using the lowest heat setting possible so I wasn't too concerned by it then.

Sun started shining and I got a clothes line put up and happily went to the store to purchase those cheap, wooden clothespins that are about $1-2 for something like 100 of them. These will work just fine, right? Well, not so much. They had all sorts of problems. It had been years since I hung clothes out to dry (yes, years), so I forgot all about the annoyances clothespins can cause. They splinter a bit, they start to snag your clothing items, they will slip to the side when you don't apply pressure to open them just so..... and heaven forbid you leave them outside accidentally! They get spotty and start to mold. Yes, clothespins can really frustrate you. With diapers, I found I was even more hesitant to use them because I didn't want to snag anything, and for some of the inserts I couldn't even OPEN Them wide enough!

I was done with that. There has to be an easier way to do this. Perhaps I simply shouldn't use the cheap clothespins. I went back to the store and looked for more.... they didn't have anything else. Well, shoot! I decided to turn to the internet to see if I could find anything better. After much searching, I found some clothespins by Moerman that seemed to be what I was looking for. They looked nice, they were in a convenient little basket, they had grips on them, and they didn't look like they were going to fall apart or mold on me. The cost was a hair over $10 for 36 of them. That had me a bit hesitant, but after another day of using those wooden cheapies from the store, I placed an order.

I am pleased to say that these clothespins are one of my favorite cloth diapering accessories!

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The basket is nice and sturdy, and it has holes on the sides (which is great for helping ensure they are dry when stored).



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One of the best things about this basket is the hook that lets you put them right on the line. I can hook the basket right onto the line and slide it down as I hang things up (or pull them down). It's so much more convenient that clipping a bunch to your shirt or just putting them in the basket!


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The clothespins have a no-slip coating on the inside of the pin (where they will be touching your clothes), and this coating also helps prevent any snags.


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The same coating is on the outside of the pins to aid with grip:


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As you can see, there is also ample room for the opening where they hook onto the line. This was a nice change from the cheapie clothespins!




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I absolutely love these clothespins, and have actually purchased a second basket of them in the last couple of weeks so I had enough to pin up all my wipes when I want to sun them! (Also for my regular laundry too, but mostly for my fluff!)

You can purchase these Moerman clothespins on Amazon.com for $10.63.

Disclosure: The product mentioned above was purchased by me, and I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dyson Houswarming Giveaway

The Dyson Housewarming Giveaway is finally here! Read below to learn more about the products and enter for your chance to win a fantastic prize from Dyson on the Rafflecopter form at the bottom! Good luck, everyone! 


Welcome to the Dyson Housewarming Giveaway event. This took months in the making and Mom to Bed by 8, the Iowa Mom is proud to bring you this fantastic home essential and offer you the chance to win one too! Big thank you to our lovely co-hosts How to Have It All, Mark Your Savings and GiveAway Bandit.

Dyson DC23 TurbineHead Canister Vacuum
Delivering 220 airwatts of suction power, this canister vacuum cleaner features advanced Level 3 Root Cyclone technology to ensure thorough, efficient cleaning with no clogging or loss of suction. It also offers a TurbineHead brush bar that's ideal for cleaning medium and short pile carpets and can be turned off for hard floors. Certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the unit expels air that contains up to 150 times less mold and bacteria than common breathing air thanks to the vacuum's money-saving, lifetime washable HEPA filter. Plus, Dyson's Bactisafe screen traps and kills bacteria, mold and allergens on contact, preventing them from re-entering the air.
The Telescopic Wrap System allows the hose and wand to be compressed, and ensures that the Dyson DC23 can be stored away neatly and compactly, with no loose components or wires to get tangled. It comes with a stair tool for focusing on dust and dirt from stairs and stair carpets, a brush tool with long bristles to dislodge cobwebs and for delicate cleaning, and a high-velocity airflow crevice tool that's ideal for cleaning base boards, picture frames and in-between furniture. Other features include a clear bin with 0.44-gallon capacity, 21.6-foot cord length, and easy-to-maneuver fixed wheels. The vacuum measures 13.9 x 19.3 x 11.9 inches (HxWxD) and weighs 19.5 pounds. The Dyson DC23 TurbineHead is backed by a 5-year warranty.
Open to worldwide, ages 18+. Giveaway ends on June 15th. Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter. Good luck to all!




Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Thoughts Of Fluff is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.