Monday, July 30, 2012

MBS Power Wheels Giveaway Event

  Want a Power Wheels Jeep for your little one? Enter below! Good luck!!!

 

Hers or His Power Wheels Jeep Event


Hosted by: Mom Blog Society
Event Giveaway Dates: July 30 - August 13
Prize: Fisher Price Power Wheels Jeep- His or Hers
Open: Worldwide
If a winner is selected from outside of the US, they will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate
Hers:
Styled after the Jeep Wrangler, this 6V battery-powered single-seat Jeep ride-on features fun Barbie styling. This vehicle features a realistic Jeep design with a rollbar.
Fisher-Price Power Wheels Barbie Jeep Battery-Powered Ride-On:
  • Age Range: 3 years and up
  • Goes up to 2.5 mph in forward and reverse
  • Wheels: plastic
  • Brakes: Power Lock Brake System
  • Battery requires 18 hours to charge
  • Battery charge lasts up to 40 minutes
  • Dimensions: 38"L x 26.375"W x 17.125"H
  • Maximum weight capacity: 50 lbs
  • Adult assembly required
  • Assemble in 20 minutes or less
His:
Styled after the Jeep Wrangler, this 6V single-seat Jeep has the Hot Wheels license. This vehicle features realistic Jeep design with rollbar.
Fisher-Price Power Wheels Hot Wheels Jeep 6-Volt Battery-Powered Ride-on:
  • Age Range: 3 years and up
  • Goes up to 2.5 mph in forward and reverse
  • Wheels: plastic
  • Brakes: Power Lock Brake System
  • Battery requires 18 hours to charge
  • Battery charge lasts up to 40 minutes
  • Dimensions: 38"L x 26.375"W x 17.125"H
  • Maximum weight capacity: 50 lbs
  • Adult assembly required
  • Assemble in 20 minutes or less
One lucky winner will get to pick his or hers Power Wheels Jeep!
Enter on the Easy Rafflecopter below!
Remember, you can't win if you don't enter.
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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 27, 2012

Earth's Best Crunchin' Crackers Organic Veggie (giveaway)

Did you read my review of the Organic VEGGIE crunchin' crackers and want some for your little one to try out? Enter the rafflecopter giveaway below to win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula (giveaway)


Earth’s Best offers organic infant formula as one of the many organic items they make. I have never tried their formula (or any other for that matter), as I was very determined to nurse Bobble and was fortunate enough to be successful with it. However, I know that many parents are unable to nurse their children for many different reasons. Whatever those reasons may be, it can be frustrating finding something you feel is suitable to feed your child. Had I needed to supplement for Bobble, I know I would have wanted something organic. 



Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula is the first FDA approved infant formula in the organic segment. It is made with organic whey protein formulation that is similar to breast milk. It is comprised of easy-to-digest blends of carbohydrates which make it gentler on babies’ tummies, and is lower in lactose which can relieve some of the babies with more sensitive stomachs as they would have less gas and be less fussy overall. 


All of the organic ingredients, like with all of the other organic Earth’s Best products, are produced without the use of potentially harmful pesticides and are made with no genetically-modified products. The dairy ingredients also come from cows that are not treated with any growth hormones, steroids, or antibiotics.


If I had the need for infant formula, Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula is definitely something I would have tried to use. I want the very best for my little one, and if I couldn’t have nursed Bobble for one reason or another, this seems like it would have been the best formula option out there for me.


I will be having a review of this formula coming up in the form of a guest blog post, as I have no desire to introduce formula to Bobble (especially when he’s 18 months and I’d have nothing else to have compared it to anyway). That aside, I would rather give it to a mother who needs to use formula so that you may read a legitimate review and to help another mama out. (Hey, formula gets expensive!) Speaking of the cost, you can pick up Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula for the price of approximately $35.00 (depending on where you’re shopping!). For a list of retailers, check out their store locator page!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Thoughts Of Fluff is not responsible for shipment of the prize(s). 

Earth's Best Crunchin' Crackers (review)

Earth's Best has a new flavour to add to their Crunchin' Crackers family: Earth's Best Organic Veggie Crunchin' Crackers! These little tasty snacks are made with organic dried vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. Each serving also holds 2 grams of protein! They also are specially formulated with iron, zinc, and six B vitamins to help your toddler get the nutrients they need while enjoying a yummy snack!

Earth's Best send me a box of their Veggie and Cheddar Crunchin' Crackers to try, and Bobble wasted no time in trying them out! Before I could even take the picture of what all we were sent (seen in the I'm an Earth's Best Blogger! post), he made me open both boxes for him to eat some. He knew just what they were and started signing "cracker" immediately!

The crackers are in fun little shapes of Sesame Street characters. While Bobble has never actually seen Sesame Street, that doesn't mean he didn't enjoy the fun little shapes of the crackers! I took a taste of one of his cheddar flavoured crackers (he insisted on feeding me one!) and it tasted like a very popular brand of cheddar cracker (you know, the little square ones!) only with cute little shapes! I very much enjoyed the taste of the cheddar cracker, but Bobble limited my access to them after feeding me one. :(



I wouldn't taste the Veggie flavour (I am super picky, but also because I hate sweet potato and they smelled slightly sweet.... so I knew I wasn't going to like the flavour of them based off that alone), but Bobble enjoyed them, so that's what matters, right? 



Bobble loved both flavours, and would stop snacking frequently to observe the different shapes and textures of the crackers before popping them in his mouth. He loved running a finger along the edges of the crackers and the indentations in the middle of the cracker that made up the character's facial features.

If you've ever wondered what the connection was between Earth's Best and Sesame Street, here's a little tidbit for you! Earth's Best and Sesame Street are partnered together to promote the Healthy Habits for Life initiative. Healthy Habits for Life is a program by Sesame Street to help both young children and their caregivers establish a good foundation of healthy habits early on. They promote well-being and over-all health as a crucial part of young children's development. Want to learn more? You can read more about this partnership on Earth's Best page for the Healthy Habits for Life partnership.

You can pick up this awesome new flavour on Earth's Best Online Store for $4.49 a box, or you can check them out at a local retailer.

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).

I'm an Earth's Best Blogger!

I'm very pleased to announce that I am going to be an Earth's Best Blogger for the next year. That means that you will see some posts on Earth's Best products at least once a month, and you'll have the opportunity to enter some giveaways for their products too! If you're a fan of Earth's Best, you definitely will want to keep an eye out for the posts!




I was offered the opportunity to be an Earth's Best Blogger, and it was a no-brainer for me! We love Earth's Best products in our house! We do our best to make certain that Bobble eats natural, organic foods without those additives, chemicals, pesticides, etc.We don't want him to eat anything bad for him, so we also avoid GMOs. Earth's Best offers a variety of products for little ones to eat from baby cereals and purees to frozen meals, cookies, and soups!

Earth's Best offers many more products than just food, though! They offer products for your little one's body (wipes, sun screen, toothpaste, lotions....) and even cleaning products for your nursery.

Earth's Best sent me a lovely assortment of products to try out, so look for some reviews in the near future!


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If you haven't heard of Earth's Best before now, here is their mission:

Earth's Best Organic provides "better for baby" products with the freshest, purest ingredients, so parents can nurture their baby's health with the utmost confidence.

And their Quality Promise:
  • Earth's Best organic infant formula contains no toxic chemicals or heavy metals. Ingestion may compromise long-term immune system development.
  • Earth's Best organic infant cereals provide an excellent source of iron to aid early physical and neurological development and restore the iron depletion that results after birth.
  • Earth's Best organic baby juice comes from fresh pressed, undiluted, single strength juice. We do not use juice from concentrate.
  • Earth's Best organic produce does not expose infants to the higher level of contaminants found in conventional produce. Proportionately, babies consume up to four times the fruits and vegetables that adults consume.
  • Earth's Best organic jarred fruits provide an excellent source vitamin C to aids the absorption of iron and help fight infections.
You never need to worry about their ingredients in any of their organic foods, either!

I look forward to introducing you all to more of their products down the road! Hopefully I can introduce you to products you didn't even know they made (I had no clue they made toothpastes!) that might just become your new favorite product!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Earth's Best Chlorine Free Baby Wipes (Review)


By now I’m sure you all know that I use cloth diapers and cloth wipes. Even my diaper bag has these items, though I know some people keep disposable wipes on hand while they are out and about. We do have some disposable wipes at home from a recent sad bum episode with Bobble. Our wipe solution had a bit too much Tea Tree Oil in it for his cracked little bum, and we wanted a little something more than just water (at least for the messy diapers!). We had too much solution made up to simply dump it and make more (with less TTO in it), so we decided to grab some disposable wipes to use on his sad little bum. I went out to the store and purchased some Earth’s Best Chlorine free wipes in their pop-up container.

We wanted to make sure that what we used were gentle on his cracked skin, but would still clean him up. Admittedly, no disposable wipe is going to grab poop particles as well as a cloth wipe, so I did like to use water on a cloth wipe to grab anything stuck to Bobble’s bum. Still, for the cleaning of the skin after that was gone, we were very pleased with our Earth’s Best wipes. We also used only those Earth’s Best wipes (during that time frame) if it wasn’t a messy diaper that left particles stuck on the skin. They did a great job for getting that ‘colour’ off of the skin that was left by the messy diaper.

What made me the happiest about these wipes was that my little Bobble never cried when we used them. We’ve used other disposable wipes in the past (no names, please!) that would either cause him to show signs of slight skin irritation or that would just sting him if he had some cracked skin like he did recently. These wipes were very gentle on his skin and he didn’t even blink when I touched them to his sad spots.

These wipes are hypo-allergenic, unscented, use a natural aloe vera and a vitamin E formula, are alcohol free, and chlorine-free. They are safe to use on any part of baby, not just baby’s diaper area! The wipes themselves resemble cloth with the texture, though they still can’t grab stuck on bits as well as actual cloth wipes. The only issue we had with the wipes was that they didn’t come apart (from the rest of the wipes in the stack) very easily. You definitely needed two hands to get them apart, or you’d end up with a long string of attached wipes. This is a minor inconvenience at best, but once you remember they do that, you can easily just grab a couple wipes before putting your little one on your changing table so you’re ready to go. The pop-up container also barely latches shut, so if you have a little too much wipe sticking out it will pop right back open, but that is an easy enough fix as well. Most of the time hubby forgets to shut a wipe container anyway. He’s just too used to us storing our cloth wipes dry!

I have also found them to be fantastic for scrubbing clean dirty little feet, too. If Bobble was running around outside (barefoot, or in sandals which just get dirt in them anyway), I’ll change his diaper, grab a wipe and scrub his feet really quickly with the wipe.

We also purchased a pack of the chlorine free refills for the wipe container so that we have them on hand the next time we encounter this issue, or the next time someone *cough* hubby *cough* forgets to tell me that we are nearly out of cloth wipes and the diaper laundry isn’t ready!

You can find Earth’s Best Chlorine Free Wipes at Babies ‘R Us and Whole Foods, or use their store locator to find a location near you! You can also purchase the chlorine free wipes for $5.40 from their online store


Disclosure: The product mentioned above was purchased by me. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rockin' Green Soap Review & Giveaway


For many cloth diapering families, one thing that they have to figure out is a laundry routine. It’s probably the most difficult thing about cloth diapering. What works for one family doesn’t necessarily work for another. It depends on what type of washer you use, what type of settings the washer has, what type of water you have, what type of detergent you use…. so many things to factor in! Rockin’ Green eco-friendly cleaning products can eliminate some of the laundry issues for you because they offer something for all water types! Their products are phosphate-free, so they are great for your whole family and the environment too! Want to know exactly what goes into the detergents? They list their ingredients on the website for you!




Rockin’ Green offers Soft Rock for soft water, Classic Rock for normal water, and Hard Rock for hard water. I was sent a few samples of their Hard Rock formula to test out as my water is rather hard. I received Rage Against the Raspberries, Earth, Wind, and Orchids, and Lavender Mint Revival. I have a mild sensitivity to many scents (they just cause me to sneeze a lot), so I typically won’t get scented things like this. I was a bit adventurous with the scents since I own some Melody Odor Neutralizer & Fragrance Spray from Rockin’ Green and I knew the scents weren’t likely to make me sneeze since they were natural.

The first thing I did upon opening the samples was sniff the air. I actually couldn’t smell them! I guess I anticipated some overpowering fragrance that would waft up into the air as soon as I opened the package. I brought the package to my nose and sniffed. It smelled great! I was rather thankful it wasn’t super strong, as I am rather fond of hints of scents as opposed to something smelling like it was doused in a scent. All three scents that I tried out were pleasant and not at all overpowering. I suppose you could say it was a “gentle” fragrance, or “lightly” scented.

I washed diapers first. My diapers came out nice and clean. Nothing smelled, nothing looked dirty, and nothing caused my little one any irritation when the diapers were used. I was, admittedly, a wee bit sad that they didn’t smell like the detergent when they were dry, but that’s really a good thing since that means I got all the detergent out of the diapers. The scents were so lovely, though!

I was able to do a couple loads of laundry per sample packet (they are generously sized samples!), so I did all of my laundry with Rockin’ Green for a couple weeks. I must say, it does a great job cleaning! All of Bobble’s clothes came out nice and clean (despite the fact many shirts had huge splotches of food on them before being washed), and all of our clothing and bedding looked great. Everything looked clean, smelled clean, and had no sign of the fact we have both a toddler and 3 cats (well, other than the toddler-sized clothing!).

Overall, I was very pleased with Rockin’ Green. I love the variety of scents they offer, I love the fun names they have for them (many of which remind me of bands I listened to growing up!), and I love the variety of products they have to fit every situation. They also offer detergents for use on pet bedding/toys and mama cloth. Are your diapers starting to smell funky? Rockin’ Green sells Funk Rock (ammonia bouncer) to help with that, too!

Rockin’ Green is sold in many cloth diapering stores (online or in-shop!), big-name online retailers (like Amazon.com and Diapers.com), and can also be purchased from their store online. You can go there to try any of their samples ($0.85), or you could purchase a big bag (45/90 size) to last you for a while at ($14.95 or $15.95 depending on water hardness in your area). Not sure what water type you have? Buy one of their water test strips for only $0.60 and make sure you get the right formula for your water! You can also use their RETAILER page to find a store near you that offers their products!

While Rockin’ Green sent me some samples to try, they have offered to give one of my readers a whole bag (45/90) of Rockin’ Green (in their scent choice!). You can enter the giveaway 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).

Friday, July 20, 2012

"Lazy" parents


It recently occurred to me how insanely na├»ve I was about being a parent as I was growing up. I am significantly older than my siblings, being about 9 and 12 years older than them. This meant much babysitting as I was growing up, and you could pretty much say I raised them [due to family situations I’m really not going to delve into here]. 

I always wanted to be a mother, so taking care of my siblings was easy for me. I’m a natural with kids. I have a younger sister and brother, so I got to see the ups and downs or both genders. They had their ornery moments, they had their rebellious moments, and they had their quiet moments…. they still were easily managed by me. Yeah, parenting is easy. It was going to be a cakewalk for me!

My family wasn’t very well off when I was older, and we frequently didn’t have much in the house to eat. I always prided myself on my cooking and baking abilities, and I somehow managed to make whole meals out of what seemed like nothing. I made sure my siblings always had a good meal to eat when I was around. In fact, they would ask for me to make dinner whenever possible. My mother would lie to them and say that I made the food just to get them to eat… and half the time they would take a bite, look at her and say that I didn’t make it. I felt bad for my mother, but she just wasn’t as inventive as I was in the kitchen.

Let’s fast forward to me moving out. I’m living on my own in an apartment complex. There is a family living above me with a 1 ½ year old daughter. She was one of the most adorable little girls ever, and I told them they simply must let me watch her for them sometime and they can go out and enjoy some quality time. I insisted that it would be free, as I want my “baby fix”. Heck, I was in college…. I didn’t need to be getting pregnant from my (non-existent) boyfriend then! A baby fix would be great! They took me up on it a couple of times, both for going out on dates and for just cleaning around the house (or taking a nap). I loved it. We read books. We played with (read: pulled hair, appendages, and poked eyes) my (surprisingly well-behaved) cat (who hid every time she heard that little girl from that point forward), and we baked.

Yes, we baked. I would hold this little girl in one arm, hand her a spoon, and we would bake. I made pies, cookies, whatever. Yes, a toddler in one arm, and freshly baked goods in the other. The mother would be so surprised when she picked her daughter up and was sent home with fresh (from scratch) baked goods.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was thinking ahead to all the things I’d be doing. On my days off from work, I could clean, bake things with my son, and just have fun. It would be great. I just didn’t understand those people that had children and had (overly) messy houses, or claimed they couldn’t get a meal made. Those parents must just be lazy! I managed to cook, clean, play games, relax, etc. with both of my siblings and with that little girl I would watch. Yes, they must just be lazy.

Oh boy, was I ever in for it. I seriously thought that these people just made excuses because they didn’t want to make dinner, they didn’t feel like cleaning, or any other number of things.

Then I had Bobble. Bobble is now 18 months old, and I am definitely hit hard with reality. I get absolutely nothing done.  I blink an eye and he’s throwing things off of a shelf. I pick those up to turn around and see he dumped all the cat food on the floor, threw something in their water bowl, and is now throwing all of my cookbooks on the floor. I get those organized to find him having flipped a table, standing on a couch (or table), chewing a cat’s tail, you name it. I can’t even get my mind around how other parents manage to go to the bathroom, much less clean or make a dinner.

I’ve tried to cook since having Bobble. Let me rephrase. I’ve tried to cook since Bobble became mobile. I think I got as far as setting out a couple of the ingredients. Yep. That’s it. I didn’t even get dinner PREP WORK done, much less make anything. I look back on my earlier experiences with caring for children and I realize that it wasn’t me being awesome with children (although caring for children does come naturally to me), it was luck. I was lucky my siblings were obedient (for the most part…. and it was because they were scared of me), and I was lucky that neighbor girl was just such a sweet, calm, helpful little girl. She didn’t try and fling a spatula of batter across the room, she just wanted to watch me and stir if I said she could stir. Bobble will fling food whenever possible, shove his hand in whatever might seem interesting (lately, that’s been the toilet water), and if we try to get him to do something he simply MUST do the opposite. I honestly do not have any idea how my husband manages to make meals with Bobble home. I am very impressed, and very thankful.

I also tip my hat to all you other parents. For those of you with those helpful, obedient toddlers: LUCKY YOU! For all you with toddlers like Bobble: I understand, and I won’t call you lazy!

I still have no idea where this craziness that Bobble has is from. I remember crying (as a toddler) when my mother wouldn’t let me help fold the laundry because it would take too long. I was a super well-behaved child. I just wanted to be helpful and be with my mom. I’m assuming my mother just got lucky. I’m also assuming that Bobble behaves this way because my husband was a crazy child. Of course, I’m assuming my husband was a crazy child… but it certainly wasn’t me!

So there you have it: my complete misconception of how parenting would be. What sort of things did find out you were completely wrong about after becoming a parent?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ella's Kitchen Review/Giveaway


Today it’s really disturbing what is being put in food. You’ve got the disturbing additives in fast foods, the danger of the artificial sweeteners everywhere you look, and good luck finding stuff without any food colouring! Yes, it’s truly a time to be reading the ingredients on pretty much everything you purchase, and that can get time consuming! To save you a few minutes, Ella’s Kitchen makes organic baby food (and toddler snacks) that you don’t have to worry about. When you see “Ella’s Kitchen” on the product, you can be certain that what you’re purchasing for your little one is free of all that bad stuff!  


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Ella’s Kitchen was started by Ella’s father, and to this day they are providing healthy meals and snacks that are 100% organic. The pouches have no added sugar, no added salt or water, and no preservatives or thickeners.  Better yet, they are in BPA free packaging, so you don’t have to worry about anything leaching into your little one’s delicious foods. They also have no egg, wheat or gluten, so they are able to be consumed by even the more sensitive little ones!

My Bobble loves Ella’s Kitchen products, and the pouches are no exception! While we were a baby-led weaning house, that doesn’t mean that we never had a hungry baby while we were in the middle of a 4 hour drive! We liked having something on hand in case the only options around were fast food, especially since we won’t eat the fast food. If we won’t eat it, we most certainly weren’t going to feed it to Bobble! Ella’s Kitchen pouches fit perfectly into our side pocket of our diaper bag, and we always try to keep 2 flavours on hand. Usually one that is just veggies and then one that is just fruit. We have always used these as snacks or something to tide him over until we could give him table foods, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t made meals out of them when traveling! They have all sorts of interesting flavor combinations, Spinach Apple & Rutabaga, Raisin + Prune Baby Brekkie, and many more!

When we found out Bobble had a low iron count, we started using some of the higher iron content pouches, and also used some of the fruit pouches to mix in with his iron supplement. Since the pouches are re-sealable, we were able to mix just enough in with the supplement and then store the rest of the pouch in the fridge since they were good for up to 48 hours (refrigerated after opening).

If you haven’t checked out their website yet, you definitely should! You can see all the yummy flavours available (although you might be sad if you accidentally go to the UK page first… I was so excited at all the flavour variety and then realized they weren’t all available to me!), find recipes, read about their story, use their store locator, sign up to be their friend (to stay informed of new products, deals, and a chance to win a cool upcycled bag each month!), and  more.

If you want to try out some of Ella's Kitchen pouches, you can find them near by! Ella’s Kitchen products are available nationally at Kroger, Target, and Babies-R-Us (just to name a couple!), as well as Amazon.com, Diapers.com, Drugstore.com and many others. Ella's Kitchen also offered one of my readers a sampling of 10 yummy purees! Enter below to win!


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). 

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's the Big Event! BBQ Giveaway

It's time for the Big Event! BBQ Giveaway! If you win, you can pick between an awesome Char-Broil grill or a $200 gift card for Amazon.com! Good luck!!



Big Event Fundraising has helped their customers increase school fundraising results by an average of 93%! Great fundraising ideas improve school fundraising sales by increasing student participation. Big Event's ideas for fundraising are different from any other fundraising company because their thrilling prize programs motivate more students to sell items from their fundraising brochure. Using innovative incentive ideas and an easy to reach fundraising goal, Big Event Fundraising helps schools have experience higher gross sales than with other fundraising companies.

We proudly welcome you to The Big Event! BBQ Giveaway sponsored by Big Event! Fundraising.

Hosted by Our Full House and Mom to Bed by 8


The winner of the Big Event! Fundraising BBQ Giveaway can select one of the following amazing prizes:
Grill up to 32 hamburgers simultaneously using the wide 520 sq. in. cooking area and array of tools at your disposal on this Char-Broil 4-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill. Its 12,000 BTU flush-mount side burner makes it a snap to prepare a side dish while you cook the main course, and a warming rack keeps completed entrees warm until you're ready to serve them. Keep your grill tools within easy reach thanks to the built-in storage rack, side shelf and 2 wrap-around stainless steel towel bars.

OR



$200 Amazon Gift Card!




One lucky winner will receive their choice of a Char-Broil BBQ Grill or $200 Amazon Gift Card!

Giveaway ends July 30th at 11:59pm, open worldwide, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Green Sipping with Glass Dharma glass straws! (giveaway)

There are so many things that come to mind when you think about ways to be more 'green'. One thing that hadn't occurred to me was replacing my plastic drinking straws with reusable straws. Now some people might not use straws that much, and maybe they have those plastic reusable straws that have to get thrown out after a bit because they crack, start smelling, or simply won't get clean anymore. Personally, I avoided the reusable plastic straws because I didn't like the thought of what was in them. However, I was completely oblivious to the fact that I used a LOT of straws. I didn't realize just how many I was using until I ran out of my 100 count box of disposable straws about a month after I got them. That's a lot. Sure, some of them had holes and I couldn't use them, but that's even more waste! I average 2-3 straws a day, every day. Holy cow!

Now, before you ask why I use a straw for every beverage, I'd like to share that I have some legit reasoning for that! Without getting too much into my personal dental history, let's just say I have a good number of issues with my teeth, and one of which involves ANY beverage that is a different temperature than the inside of my mouth touching the back of a particular tooth which would cause excruciating pain. The only way around that is a straw to direct the flow of the beverage past said problem tooth, thus I go through too many of them!

Luckily, there is a company out there that can help! I found Glass Dharma and they sent me a sampling of their products. I was very impressed with how easy they were to clean right off the bat!

(I would like to apologize in advance for my pictures, as it is amazingly difficult to photograph clear glass! I will be using mostly photos from the page since they are better than I am ever going to achieve with my camera and poor lighting!)

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I was excited to try them out and cleaned out my Decorative Dots sipper straw (the smallest size!) and tried it immediately. I failed to take into account the fact I grabbed a larger glass, and so I had to pick the straw up a bit to drink from the cup, but it worked great! It also worked even better when I used a slightly smaller cup! *wink* I was also sent a Decorative Dots ice tea straw, and that was the perfect size for my glasses. I let some lemonade (natural lemonade with bits of lemon pulp) dry in the straw for cleaning purposes, and the brushes broke the bits free very easily!

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The Beautiful Bends ice tea straw also worked great for our glasses, and I loved that I didn't need to tilt the cup or reposition the straw to drink! I was concerned about how cleaning the Beautiful Bends straw would go, but it was surprisingly easy! I was given two different sized cleaning brushes, one for the smaller diameter straws, and one for the larger diameter straws. The brush cleaned the straw easily, and rounded the bend with no trouble. I didn't realize they were flexible enough to do that!

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(Yeah, my pictures don't hold a candle to theirs.)

I didn't get to use the Simple Elegance smoothie straw because my husband keeps using it! He loves it, however, which is why I never get to use it! He didn't know it was called a 'smoothie straw' and said it was perfect for smoothies (which he makes with fresh fruits, veggies, and yogurt [or] ice cream). He also said the blueberry skins had no problem passing through the straw, nor did any of the other 'debris' from the smoothie.

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Bobble wanted so desperately to use the straws, but I admit I was a bit hesitant since they were glass. He has a tendency to bang things against hard objects, and even though they have an awesome guarantee, I didn't want to test it! I tried to let him have some of my drink through a straw, but he wasn't able to figure it out. He's still learning with straws, and he succeeds most of the time.... but only after he bites down on the straw. He couldn't bite these, though I was able to see the liquid move 1/2 way up to him before he gave up. He'll like them when he's a bit more coordinated. We're still working on that one!

I love how perfectly smooth these straws are, and how they are thick enough to where you aren't going to feel like you'll break it. Glass Dharma also has a lifetime guarantee against breakage, though I can't really imagine them breaking with normal use. They are dishwasher and microwave safe, and they do recommend sanitizing them in the dishwasher.

Storage, especially for the Decorative Dots straws, could be as easy as a glass jar with the straws in them (like a vase), or you could use one of the sleeves that they sell for individual straws.

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Check out the About Us section of their webpage to learn more about who the people at Glass Dharma are and to learn more about their straws.


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Straws are sold individually or in sets. Sets (of four) range from $28 for a set of 4 sippers (simple elegance) to $47 for a set of 4 bubble tea straws (decorative dots). The larger straws, larger sets, and more decorative straws are higher in price. Individual straws range from $6.50 to $12 (again, depending on size and decoration). You can also purchase sets of 6 if you want! Sets of straws come with a cleaning brush. Individual straws do not automatically come with a brush. Brushes can be purchased separately for $5, as can little sleeves for your straws (made of hemp).

Glass Dharma also has offered to give one of my readers a $25 gift certificate for their online store. 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).

MBS Power Wheels blog event

Hers or His Power Wheels Event

hosted by: Mom Blog Society

This is a free blog event! You will receive one link for your participation.
Event Giveaway Dates: July 30 - August 13
Prize: Disney Princess Girls' Convertible or Lil' Rider Sports Car
Open: Worldwide
If a winner is selected from outside of the US, they will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Xbox Kinect Bundle Giveaway

One of the best ways I've found to work out is by playing active games on a gaming system! You can play in the comfort of your own home, so it won't matter if it's raining, snowing, or waaaaay too hot to be outside! No excuses! Good luck to everyone!



Have you heard? We are having a Techy Summer over at Mom to Bed by 8, theIowa Mom and want to help you continue on with your sensational summer by offering you a chance to win an Xbox Kinect Bundle Pack (including Xbox 360 console, Kinect Sensor and Kinect Adventures Game). Retail value $299.
Special thanks to our lovely co-hosts TechyTribe, I Love To Gossip, Giveaway Bandit, As Mom Sees It and Couponing4you for their support in bringing this gamer giveaway to life!
Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect
Product Description
The Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect. Kinect brings games and entertainment to life in extraordinary new ways – no controller required. Easy to use and instantly fun, Kinect gets everyone off the couch moving, laughing and cheering. See a ball? Kick it. Control an HD movie with a wave of the hand. Want to join a friend in the fun? Simply jump in. Wi-Fi is built-in for easier connection to the world of entertainment on Xbox LIVE, where HD movies and TV stream in an instant. Xbox 360 is more games, entertainment and fun.
Product Features
Kinect Sensor: With the Kinect sensor, you can experience gaming like never before. Easy to use and fun for everyone, the Kinect sensor utilizes revolutionary full-body tracking to put you in the center of the fun. This amazing new technology allows the sensor to recognize your body and mirror your movements in the game, making you the controller. With Kinect Xbox 360 now has the best controller ever made – YOU.
Built-in Wi-Fi: The new Xbox 360 is the only console with 802.11n Wi-Fi built-in for a faster and easier connection to Xbox LIVE. Stream HD movies and TV or download games from Xbox LIVE in 1080p and 5.1 surround sound from anywhere in the house. Compatible with b/g/n networks.
Xbox LIVE: Xbox LIVE brings a world of entertainment to you. Instantly watch movies and TV streaming from Netflix. In crystal-clear HD, or download game add-ons like new levels, characters, maps and songs. Easily jump right into online multiplayer fun and play along with friends around the world. Plus, get your favorite music from Last.fm, connect with friends on Facebook and post Tweets on Twitter. Xbox LIVE is your connection to more games, entertainment and fun.
Xbox 360 Wireless Controller (black): This award-winning, high-performance wireless controller features a range of up to 30 feet and a battery life of up to 30 hours on two AA batteries.
More ports: Connect more accessories and storage solutions with added USB ports. Now with a total of 5, (3 back/2 front) you’ll find more places to plug and play. Plus, in addition to the standard Ethernet port and HDMI output, we’ve added an integrated optical audio out port for an easier connection to the booming sound of your A/V receiver.
Kinect Adventures game: Float in outer space. Experience the thrill of roaring rapids. Tackle mountaintop obstacle courses and dive into the deep to explore a leaky underwater observatory — all from your living room. With Kinect Adventures, you are the controller as you jump, dodge and kick your way through exciting adventures set in a variety of exotic locations. Rated “E” for Everyone.
What’s In The Box?
  • Xbox 360 4GB S Console
  • Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360
  • Kinect Adventures game - rated “E” for Everyone
  • Xbox 360 Black Wireless Controller
  • Xbox 360 Composite A/V cable (standard definition)
  • 1 year limited warranty on console

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Coming soon: Xbox Kinect Bundle Giveaway

 Coming soon......




Techy Tribe and Mom to Bed by 8 are proud to present the Techy Summer Xbox Kinect Bundle Event! It is a free blogger event. You will receive one link at no cost as a thank you for participating in this event.
Prize: Xbox 360 4GB Kinect Bundle includes the Xbox 360 console, Kinect Sensor and Kinect Adventures Game (retail value $299)
Open to: Worldwide (note – if the winner is outside of the US are responsible for any duties, taxes,etc that is not covered by basic shipping cost).
The event dates: July 8 at 12:01 am to July 22 11:59pm
Cost: Free (facebook link)
-Additional links are available for $3 each (see
signup form for details)
-Co-host/Sponsor Slot is open (see signup form
for details)
What is required to join? Post about the event with the button above linking back to this post. Simply copy and paste the information (below) along with the button.
  • If you do not wish to post the announcement, send the $5 via paypal to goodnightmommyboutique@gmail.com with your email address and Techy Summer Xbox Event in subject line or notes portion of the form.
  • Once you have posted your announcement or sent the paypal payment, fill out this form.
  • You will receive an email from me with 7 days, confirming your participation. If you do not, please email teri@momtobedby8.com and she will check into it for you.
  • Then around July 5th you will receive another email from me with the html code for publishing the giveaway.  Note it is required that you publish the giveaway html in full to be included in this event. I will verify links on July 22st around 8am central and if you have not done so, your link on the rafflecopter will be removed. This keeps this event fair for all who joins.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Who we are

Hello to all of my new readers! This blog started out simply as me wanting to post a few things on cloth diapers (hoping it would help someone) to me actually being fortunate enough to post on all sorts of parenting things and even offering giveaways. I thought I'd give a bit of an introduction for us at this point so people have a bit of a background.

I'm Christine, and I'm the blogger in the family. I live in the states (mid-west), and I'm a full-time working mother to our wonderful toddler, Bobble. No, Bobble is not his real name. (Feel better, now? We weren't that mean!) I have "blog names" for the rest of my family on here. I'm certain you can all understand that! Okay, I actually didn't come up with any name for my hubby yet, but I will eventually! I was always "green" at heart, but I wasn't what you would call a "crunchy" mom..... at least, it didn't start out that way! I knew I wanted to cloth diaper our child(ren) because it was best for their skin (and our pocket book!). It did turn into quite the obsession, however, and that was our introduction to many more "green" things.

As I stated early, I had always been a bit "green" at heart. I wanted to save the Earth when I was a child, and was always reading something about recycling, what we can do to lessen pollution, etc. This, mind you, was in elementary school. Yes, it goes back a long time. Combine that love for "green" things with the cloth diaper obsession.... then throw in cloth wipes. Yes, wipes. Simple little thing, but why not save that much more money? That much less chemical against my baby's skin!

That introduced me to a world of people making their own wipes. Well, why stop at just wipes? They make their own paper towels, they use 'wipes' as tissues, they use mama cloth. Wait, what!? That's just gross! .... right? Well, maybe not. I look into that. I learned about mama cloth, then about reusable cups. I then learned about one product after another, and before you know it: POOF! I'm this crunchy mama who keeps striving to find more reusable products with no harmful things in them (like BPA) to make our whole family greener (and healthier!).

Most parents will tell you they want what's best for their child, and that's how we feel, too. I wanted what was best. I wanted Bobble to have organic foods. None of that GMO-laden stuff. None of that pesticide-covered stuff. Pure, good, organic food. Well, why should he get that and not us? We start buying more local food, we start buying organic whenever possible (although nearly ALWAYS for him).

Bobble is a character all his own. He has hit the terrible twos as of 2 months ago.... at an early 15 months. My sweet little angel is now a super-energetic whirlwind of destruction with adorable eyes. Yes, I had to include the eyes comment, as I'm certain that's a child's self defense mechanism. You can be fuming, but then they look at you with adorable eyes and start being all cute. You calm down, and they live to see another day! Okay, so nobody is actually *THAT* mad, but you get the point. We're learning how to live with his ridiculously clever antics. He is too smart for his age, though he doesn't really say anything. He signs a lot (American Sign Language), and that gets his point across most of the time.

We subscribe to Attachment Parenting (AP) styles more than not, and you will find us sleeping with our child, baby wearing, not spanking him, still breastfeeding, etc. Is this how I thought it was going to be? No, honestly it 's not. I didn't even know what AP was, but I find that I tend to agree with most of the AP solutions to things. My child cries for a reason, that reason shall be tended to. I don't plan on spanking my child, slapping my child's hand, screaming at him to get my point across, or anything like that.

My husband, is a stay-at-home-dad right now. This is also not how he planned things, but we have to take the hand we are dealt. He is a fantastic father, though Bobble tries his patience a lot these days. He has gone back to school, taking online classes the last year or so and attending on campus this coming school year. At that time, Bobble will start attending Montessori's toddler childcare program. This will be the first time he's ever had to be watched by someone else (save one time he was watched for a couple hours by grandma). My hubby would love for me to stay home and him work, but with the economy as it is, we are very fortunate that I have such a stable job. This does mean we have to postpone having more children until later than we originally wanted, but we definitely have our hands full with just Bobble for right now.

So, there you have it! A brief run-down of who we are. Please remember that this is *MY* blog, not yours. If you disagree with something I have said in a post, that is okay. EVERYONE is entitled to their own opinion. I will gladly accept notes stating opposing thoughts on my blog provided they are done tastefully and without profanity, bashing, or anything of that nature. Please respect everyone! With that being said, if you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them for you. I also would love it if you would tell me what you hope to see in this blog in terms of post topics (or anything else)!