Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"What'd You Win?" August 2011

As the month of August closes, I'd love to share what I've been lucky to win this month!

Dustie Bottoms reusable snack bags from Cloth Diaper Addiction (received)

Baby Sharky Brush from Measuring Flower (received)

Cool Care styling tool holder from Newly Crunchy Mama of 3 (not yet received)

Invluv personalized stationary from Mommy of 3 Peas (not yet received)

Five-Two-Nine Baby wet-bag from Eco Baby Mama Drama (received) gift card from Life With My Littles (received and redeemed)

It was a pretty fun month!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Confessions of a Catholic Cop {book} Review and Giveaway {5 winners!}

I was contacted to review "Confessions of a Catholic Cop" and was a little nervous about doing an "adult" book review. I've always loved to read, but it's just not something I keep up with now that I've got Bug here with me alone.

About the author:

Thomas Fitzsimmons worked 10-years as a New York City Police Officer in
the precinct dramatized in Paul Newman's "Fort Apache-The Bronx." His
is a Vietnam era Navy veteran, film/soap opera/TV commercial actor and
the former co-host of the NBC-TV magazine-format talk show, "Now". A
private investigator and recognized security expert, he has appeared on
shows such as "Good Morning America," "Geraldo Rivera" and "Montel

About the book:

Ten-year police veteran Michael Beckett has policing in his blood and
knows no other life. Until by chance he lands a small role on Law &
Order, and decides he can start a new life in front of the camera. But
when the neighborhood of a young, hot Law & Order scriptwriter
Solana Ortiz becomes the target of a string of arsons, Beckett uncovers a
scheme that reaches into the deepest pockets of power and greed in New
York City, and into the path of an old friend that Beckett will do
almost anything to forget . . .. 

My Review:

I hate feeling like I'm giving away parts of a book when someone hasn't read it, so I'm not including much else then what is provided by looking it up. All I'm going to say is, this book really was a great read. Not only did it catch my attention right from the beginning, but it held my attention down to the last sentence. It's action-packed, like "reading a movie" if you will... but be for-warned about adult language if that kind of thing turns you off.

Before I was contacted for this review I had not heard of "Confessions of a Catholic Cop" but saw it everywhere soon after. J even told me he's seen it at most truck-stops while he's been on the road. Don't feel bad if you haven't heard of it yet either, because 5 (yes, five!) of you will have the opportunity to read it yourself!

You can purchase Confessions of a Catholic Cop on Amazon, or keep up with info about the book on Facebook or Twitter. Or you can win it below!

Mandatory Entry:

(Please leave your email address with each entry so I can contact you if you win!)

-Follow Baby and the Chi's via Google Friend Connect and comment with your GFC name

Additional Entries:

-Subscribe to Baby and the Chi's via email and comment below after you verify your subscription in your inbox

-"Like" Baby and the Chi's on Facebook and comment with your Facebook name

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-"Like" Thomas Fitzsimmons on Facebook and comment with your Facebook name

-Follow @Thomasfitzsimmo on Twitter and comment with your Twitter unsername

-Follow Baby and the Chi's via Networked Blogs and comment below with your username 

-Post my button on your blog or website and comment with the url 

-Enter another giveaway on my blog, leave one comment per giveaway with the name of the giveaway

-Click "Google +1" on this post and comment that you did

Daily Entries:

-Vote for me on Picket Fence Blogs (using the button to the right) and comment that you did

-Share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook, linking directly to this post and tagging Baby and the Chi's 

Giveaway will end  9/11 at 11:59pm CST.

Disclaimer: I was provided only with the prodcut(s) mentioned in this post and was not compensated in any way to provide a positive review or under any obligation to host a giveaway.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

300 Fan Giveaway

I've decided to host my own little 300 Fan Giveaway. Those of you who check in with my Facebook page may have noticed I have a "De-Stash" album full of diapers I'm currently selling. Although they aren't new, I am giving one of you the chance to pick one diaper from my de-stash album, completely free, once I reach 300 fans on Facebook. Since Facebook no longer allows giveaways, I am hosting the giveaway here! Just leave a comment with your name and email address (one comment per person please!!) to enter. A random winner will be drawn once the Baby and the Chi's Facebook page reaches 300 fans!

Want extra entries? Share this giveaway on either Facebook or Twitter once a day, linking to this post and tagging Baby and the Chi's, and leave the permalink, along with "Daily Share, [Date], [name], and [email]"

Monday, August 22, 2011

[The Diaper Bag Wrangler] WINNER

The Diaper Bag Wrangler giveaway ended last night, and out of 564 entries, the lucky winner is....

Sarah Fox! I'm sending you an email now. You will have 48 hours to respond or I will have to draw a new winner.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and be sure to enter the giveaways that are still open. Also, check back often as more giveaways will be posted this week!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

{And Then There Were 4...} Birthday Event

Talk about time flying by! One of my favorite blogs, And Then There Were 4..., is hosting a Birthday Bash for her son Cohen, who (can you believe it, because I'm sure Jessica can't!) is celebrating his 3rd Birthday! I'm really enjoying the event so far, and I'm absolutely sure you'll enjoy it too. Will you join in the fun? You can find the event on Jessica's blog HERE, or by clicking the event button found on my right side-bar.

Happy Birthday Cohen!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Eco Nuts {Soapberry Liquid Extract} Review

 I was so disappointed when the soap nuts I purchased didn't work out for us, the I decided to contact Eco Nuts again and asked about their liquid version. I was still a little skeptical, but I was so anxious to see this work that I just had to try it. Eco Nuts happily offered me a 24/48 load bottle of their Soapberry Liquid Extract detergent to try.

My original plan was to test out how well it cleaned up stains in Bugs' clothing, but my first test was a load of J's work cloths. While everything of his is dark and doesn't show stains to begin with, I was completely blown away by how his clothes smelled afterwards. Just to be clear, there is really no scent to any of Eco Nuts soaps, just the scent of the soapberry itself, which I think is kind of an "off" scent, something I would not usually find appealing. However, while I was pulling his clothes out of the washer, I could pick up hints of sweetness that were so very faint in the smell of the detergent. I washed in the apartments HE washer, and while the bottle says to only use a 1/2 capful in HE washers, I wanted to be sure it worked with his clothing, so I used a full cap. After everything dried in the drier, I couldn't smell anything. I jumped for joy, on the inside of course :)

With clean smelling clothes, the next big test for me was how Bug's clothing looked after a wash with the Eco Nuts liquid. This time, I started a load with warm water in the apartment's top loading machine, used one capful as directed, and crossed my fingers. The best example I thought to use was my biggest complaint with the soap nuts, Bug's bibs. 



You can tell the stains lightened, but obviously a stain remover is still needed with this product. However, I am still impressed with how it cleaned. There was no clumped food of formula left on any of Bug's clothing, and everything smelled clean. So, I purchased some Bio-Kleen Bac-Out Stain and Odor Remover and have already purchased an additional bottle of the Eco Nuts Soapberry Liquid Extract Natural Laundry Soap.

You can view their press release featuring this detergent, and purchase it for yourself from their website!

Important Update For The "Changing Diapers" Giveaway!!!

I have been informed of an update to the Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide To Modern Cloth Diapering Review and Giveaway. Instead of a reusable tote bag, the winner will have their choice of either a Rumparooz or Fuzzibunz one-size cloth diaper (in Kelly Wels choice of color, you may make a preference of boy, girl or gender neutral). Also, anyone who purchases the Changing Diapers book from now until the end of the giveaway will receive 50% off the book retail price, instead of 25%. Kelly will be updating the promo code given in my review soon.

Yes To {Baby} Carrots Review

I contacted Yes To Carrots because Bug has been starting to develop a lot of the sensitive skin issues J and I share. As much as I love to associate the smell of Johnson's baby lotion with Bug, I knew I could do better. I asked to try out some of the products from their baby line for Buggie, and much to my surprise, this is what Mr FedEx brought to my apartment door:

All their products are 100% natural. Tear-free, hypoallergenic, and are free of parbarens, petroleum and SLS (sodium laurilsulfate, a man-made cleansing agent). So, we were off to see how everything worked for Bug!

Naturally Cleansing Bubble Bath:

Directions: Add two squirts to a warm bath and swirl to make tiny bubbles. Add baby. Let the tub party begin.

I've never used any bubble bath with Bug before, so this was fun. The bubble bath has a nice light fragrance. Almost soothing. And the bubbles really were tiny. They made the perfect little bath for Bug.

Shampoo + Body Wash

I received both the regular formula for babies and toddlers, and the fragrance-free hypoallergenic formula. I found both to clean equally well, the only real difference being, there was basically no scent to the fragrance-free formula, and the same calm and soothing scent to the regular formula. I fell in love with the shampoo & body washes. I could easily replace my scent association with Johnson's for Yes To Baby Carrots wash. I also like that it comes in a foaming pump. It's not overly sudzy like typical body wash, but it cleaned Bug up so nice. I also noticed his skin was as slippery while I was bathing him. His skin felt by no means dry in any way, but just... clean.

Nourishing Baby Lotion:

Yes to post-bath rub-downs for chubby little bodies. Yes to organic aloe vera to soothe, fresh carrots to nourish, and rich cocoa butter to make the softest thing on Earth even softer. Yes to extra cuddle time (bonus!)

I love this lotion. Looking for details? Ok. First off. It's the perfect consistency. Maybe I'm weird, but that's a big deal to me when it comes to lotion. If it's too thick and sticky, then we get covered in the chi's stray fur and clothes stick to your skin. If it's too thin, it's like trying to rub water into your skin and that's just pointless. This is the best lotion I have tried in a long time, and I love how quickly it absorbed into Bug's skin. It was almost instant. I could also dress him immediately afterwards, and his clothes laid fine. There was no sticking or slipping, or spots of lotion soaking though his jammie shirt. And of course, there was that light, natural "this is perfect for babies" scent.

Soothing Diaper Cream:

Talk about "just in time." Those of you who frequent my blog, know about Bug's sudden unexplained rash. I've gone to my usual cloth diaper safe creams but he was still looking almost raw, and I could tell he was uncomfortable, so this was the perfect opportunity to really test out Yes To Baby Carrots Soothing Diaper Cream. While made from natural ingredients, it packs a powerful punch with 25% Zinc Oxide, something that has never touched Buggies skin before. I was amazed at how thick the cream was, and how well it seemed to start to absorb into his skin. I lathered up his diaper area, and put him in an Econobum cover with a prefold. After battling this dreaded rash for a few days and one application of Yes To Carrots diaper cream, the rash was completely gone by morning. I was sold!

*I'd like to make a quick note and let you all know that if you use this diaper cream with cloth diapers, please use a disposable liner. I was not worried about trying it out on a couple prefolds, but I found that when I washed them, the cream did not completely come out. It did leave a white-ish stain, and could still smell the cream in the cloth.*

Face + Nose Wipes:

Carrots are packed with beta-carotene - a powerful anti-oxidant to nourish even the most tender skin. We blend this with a gentle saline solution to safely remove any mess from your baby's face and nose, along with skin soothers like aloe, chamomile, and vitamin E so skin is left soft and gently cleansed.

I cannot get over how soft these wipes are. It feels like you're wiping your face with a fluffy cotton cloud. And trust me... gentle as they are...

...they clean incredibly well!

So What Do I Think?

I think (ok, I did) I gave all my Johnson's and store brand baby toiletries to one of my friends for her little guy and I'm a Yes To Carrots convert! Next shopping trip I'm going to pick up Yes To Carrots products for J and I to start using as well. I'm completely impressed with how gentle yet powerful the products in the Yes To Baby Carrots line work, and I cannot thank them enough for allowing me the opportunity to test them out with Bug!

You too can try out Yes To Carrots for baby, face, body, hair and lips by purchasing directly from their website, or any of their fabulous retailers. You can also connect with them on Facebook or Twitter!

We Have Some Winners!

First, the winner of the mama necklace from MyLilMarket:

 Comment #31, which was Amy V.!

Next, the Ore Originals Day Tripper tote:

Chosen by on Rafflecopter, #240, Mikaela Richter!

You have both been sent emails, and have 48 hours to respond before I will have to draw a new winner. Thank you all for being awesome readers and be sure to enter the remaining open giveaways on the blog!

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Long Night With Diaper Rash

A few months ago I endured the daunting battle of a staph infection on Bug's bum. Since then I'be literally been afraid of diaper rashes. J even questioned how much better cloth really was if Bug was still contracting horrible rashes, but I was able to convince him there were other factors involved. I washed every last diaper we owned, including ones he hadn't worn, with bleach. Ruined a few, but everything cleared up and my anxiety and fear for his rash went away.

I woke up this morning at about 1:00 to Bug crying. It's unlike him to wake up at night, but with 2 more teeth on thirty way through I wasn't going to make a fuss. I made him a bottle, handed it to him and grabbed a clean diaper. He almost seemed startled when I took his wet diaper off, but I knew he was tired so I continued to change him. I wiped him and he wimpered. Then I started to snap on the clean diaper and there it was. That scream. You know, that ear piercing scream with a quivering lip that would make any mama cry herself. I took off the diaper and turned on the bedroom light and sure enough, diaper rash.

Between his legs and on his baby boy bits was beet red and bumpy. I started to think maybe it could be heat rash. I drew a bath, which I'm sure I'll hear about from my neighbor in the morning, soaked his bum. I put some Sudzy Baby Extreme Cream on it, and loosely fastened on a prefold. He whimpered the whole time, I gave him a half dose of acetaminophen, and cuddled with him in my bed.

I called J crying. A call he never wants to get, but I needed to talk, even though he's two thousand miles from home. He calmed me down, and at 2:30, Bug calmed down too. He fell asleep in my arms, and I kept him there. I didn't sleep at all last night. I just stared at Bug, kissed his little head and held him tight.

I wish I knew what was really wrong with him. My head is just swimming now. Was it maybe heat rash? Or was it some kind of diaper rash we just haven't dealt with yet? All I know for sure is I hope we don't have to go through this again. I'm sure we will. And I know eventually the day will come where I will pray for something as simple as diaper rash, but for now, I'll keep hoping the rashes stay away.

What's a bad rash experience you've had with your little one? Is there anything special you do to prevent them in cloth? I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Zookies {diaper cover} Review and Giveaway

About Zookies:

Zookies is run by a super sweet mama, Michele, right from her home in Pennsylvania. From Etsy:

"I am a stay-at-home mom of two little Zooks. I was an elementary school
teacher prior to having children and knew that I wanted to stay home
with them for a bit. What I didn't know was how much I would love being
at home, so I was searching for something that I could do in my comfy
pj's. We used cloth diapers, so the idea to make my own was developed."

She specializes in diaper covers (which are available in sizes x-small through large and in one-size, with either hook and loop or snap closures), reusable snack bags, bibs and burp cloths. 

What I Received:

Michele sent me one of her one-size covers in "Monkey See" print with snaps. I love how colorful all of her prints are, and this is one that really stuck out to me (yes, I am a sucker for little monkey's lol). While looking at the cover, I noticed the shiny side of the PUL is on the inside. I thought this was really neat, mostly because all my PUL covers have the PUL sticking to Bug's bum if I tri-fold or use a Flip insert, but also because I know there are some baby's out there who have bad reactions to the PUL sticking to them. However, those of you who like to wipe out your PUL covers between uses, rest assured, Michele will sew them with the shiny side out if you make that request! Like I said, she's super sweet :)

How's The Size?

Well, I think the size is about perfect. I decided to take a few pictures though, because saying the size is perfect for me does absolutely nothing for you! lol In the following pictures I used a Flip cover and Thirsties Duo Wraps to compare sizes to the Zookies one-size cover.

Flip OS on the smallest size setting

Zookies OS cover on the smallest size
setting (without using the crossover snaps!!!)

Thirsties Duo size 1 on
smallest size setting

Flip cover on the largest size setting

Zookies OS cover on the largest size setting

Thirsties size 1 Duo Wrap on the largest size setting

 Zookies OS cover on largest size setting

Thirsties size 2 Duo Wrap on smallest size setting

Zookies OS cover on largest size setting

Thirsties size 2 Duo Wrap on largest size setting

What I Think:

I really like this cover. It's soft material, and I love having a snap closure cover with cross-over snaps. I also like that, even Bug does not have reactions to PUL, this cover has the soft fabric side of the PUL against his skin when I use my Flip inserts. We get a great fit, and did not experience any leaks. I have a feeling I'll be buying some covers from Zookies very soon =)

You Can Try Zookies Too!!!

You can find Zookies on Facebook, Twitter, or you can buy your own cover (retail price for the cover I received, $15) or any of the other WAHM wares found in her shop.

Michele also offered one of you lucky readers to receive your choice of a diaper cover or reusable snack bag set. Please enter below. Remember to leave your email address with each entry!

Mandatory Entry:

Follow Baby and the Chi's using Google Friend Connect. Please follow publicly so I can verify! Leave a comment with your GFC name.

Additional Entries:

"Like" Zookies on Facebook and leave a comment with your username (please thank her for the giveaway!)

"Like" Baby and the Chi's on Facebook and comment with your username

Visit Zookies online store and tell me what you like best

Follow  @zookiescrafts on Twitter and comment with your username

Follow @BabyandtheChis on Twitter and comment with your username

Follow Baby and the Chi's on Networked Blogs and comment with your username

Post my button or/and my event button on your blog and leave me the web address

Subscribe to Baby and the Chi's via email and comment with the email you subscribed with, please confirm your subscription or your entry will be deleted!

One extra entry for each additional giveaway you entered, please leave a comment for each one

Click the Google +1 on this post, comment letting me know you did it

Share this giveaway on Facebook tagging both Zookies and Baby and the Chi's, comment with the permalink (can be done daily)

Tweet about the giveaway using the following message, and comment with the permalink, this can be done daily:

I entered to win a @zookiescrafts diaper cover or reusable 

snack bag set from @BabyandtheChis

Giveaway is open to US only, and will end 9/4 at 11:59pm CST

FTC Disclaimer: I was provided with the product(s) shown, under no obligation to write a positive review or provide a giveaway.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

We have tooth #3!

Bug has been extra crabby again, crying most of the day, not wanting to nap or sleep at night, and J noticed why...
Yesterday, his third bottom tooth popped through! This gives him both bottom front, plus now the next bottom tooth to the left. (I'd take a picture but I'd love to keep my fingers for now! lol)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Changing Diapers {The Hip Mom's Guide To Modern Cloth Diapering} Review, Discount + a Giveaway!

To say that Kelly Wels has written the book on cloth diapering would be an understatement. When I first heard of her book, I couldn't wait for it to be released, so you can imagine my excitement when I was chosen to review it early!

Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide To Modern Cloth Diapering is like a godsend. I wished so badly after I started reading it that this book had come out before Bug was born. It takes the question out of everything! It starts out talking about the savings of using cloth. Unlike certain websites or forums which can quickly turn into heated debates, she uses the facts. There is no bashing of disposables, but simply making it clear about the difference you can make on yourself, your baby, the environment and your pocketbook by using cloth.

This book seriously covers everything you could think of. From talking about transitioning into cloth, and explaining individual types of cloth diapers, to discussing different accessories. Not telling you what you need, but giving you the opportunity to make an informed decision without wasting money. Kelly makes suggestions and goes into depth about popular brands, while leaving an open window for you to think about all the other brands out there.

Past learning about and purchasing your diapers? This book is still for you! Kelly talks about washing, battling the issues that may come up with cloth (from rashes to diaper stinkies), ending with an entire section of "resources" to look further into diapers and diapering. Websites with reviews, stores to shop and forums with a wide range of opinions and an open book to any questions. This book wraps up with a cloth diaper notes section. Use it to keep track of purchases, write down something new you learned somewhere and keep track of where you can find what.

Some of my favorite features of the book include the notes included from other moms about specific topics, plus an entire section of the book for dads, most of which is written by Kelly's husband himself! Not to mention the beautiful pictures of all the fluff!

All in all, this book was an easy read. J even took a look and could easily understand what he read. There are no abbreviations or "in the know" terminology used, just straight forward, real and fun information. While it took me about a week to get through the whole book, the time it took to read was really only about 3 hours. No, I'm not normally such a slow reader, but being home alone with a teething baby leaves little to no time for reading!

You can pre-order a copy of Changing Diapers (a must have for any mama who is considering cloth diapering or already does!) through this link: Click here to Visit Changing Diapers Book Or clicking the button on the top right side of my blog. The pre-ordered copies are all signed by Kelly Wels, and will ship in September of this year (2011). If you order through any link on my blog, you can use coupon code BABYCHI at checkout for 50% off the purchase price through September 5th, 2011!


One of you will win:

  • your choice of a Rumparooz OR Fuzzibunz one-size cloth diaper

  • and an "I'm a Hip Mom and Love Cloth Diapers" eco-friendly tattoo

You can enter to win here, using the easy Rafflecopter entry form (open to US residents only):

FTC Disclaimer: I was provided with the product(s) shown, under no obligation to write a positive review or provide a giveaway.