Sunday, October 30, 2011

300 Facebook Fan Giveaway: WINNER

Congratulations Colleen M.! You'll be recieving an email from me shortly!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent Review and Giveaway

Hopefully you remember my review and giveaway not too long again featuring Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.I loved cooking with their coconut oil, and soon after my review found that it also worked well for us as a diaper rash cream on Bug. I was so happy with their service and the product, that I was completely floored when they offered me the opportunity to review their laundry detergent.

Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent cleans and removes stains from your laundry with the power of Oxygen Bleach Destainer and Deodorizer. Powdered Laundry Detergent is safe and effective at ALL temperatures on whites, permanent press, bright colors, pastels, prints, and delicates in hard or soft water. (Not suitable for Silk or Wool) Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent is non-toxic, environmentally safe and contains no phosphates. Powdered Laundry Detergent cleans and safely bleaches your clothes with the added power of Oxygen Bleach Destainer and Deodorizer.
With our Laundry Detergent there are no harmful by-products upon decomposition. Powdered Laundry Detergent dissolves as completely as liquid detergents and rinses away completely leaving no residue in your clothes.
Powdered Laundry Detergent costs less to use than commercial liquid detergents and costs no more to use than commercial powdered household laundry detergents. Powdered Laundry Detergent contains no dyes, perfumes, fillers or phosphates. Compare our Laundry Detergent to your normal laundry detergent and you’ll see the difference!
Powdered Laundry Detergent can be used with Oxygen Bleach Destainer and Deodorizer to provide optimum cleaning and stain removal!

Because there is always something better out there, I thought this would be the perfect chance to try a new detergent on Bug's cloth diapers since I had ran out of Eco Sprout.

FYI: I want to let you all know, that if you are someone who is worried about your cloth diaper warranties, please check with the diaper manufacturers website or customer service to make sure this will not void your warranty. Our diapers are almost all second hand, past their warranty time, or WAHM brands who have no specifications, so I was not worried about the warranty, only clean diapers. That being said, this is the first time I've used non-cd safe detergent on Bug's diapers.

General Use Directions:
Begin filling washer with water, add Powdered Laundry Detergent, then add laundry.
  • For regular size washers and normally soiled loads use 1/4 cup (2 oz) of detergent.
  • For large size washers add 1/2 cup (4 oz) of detergent.
  • For heavily soiled loads add 1/2 cup (4 oz) of detergent and 1/4 to 1/2 cup (2-4 oz) of Oxygen Bleach
  • For extra cleaning and stain removal power use Oxygen Bleach as a pre-soak or add 2-4 ounces of Oxygen Bleach to 1/4 cup of our Laundry Detergent per load!!
Note: For front-loading machines use half the amount that is called for with top loading washing machines. For front loading washers and normally soiled loads, use 1/8 cup (1 oz) of Powdered Laundry Detergent.

Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent comes with a 2 oz scoop (with a 1 oz line in the middle) to make measuring easy. With the size of our apartment buildings' new top-loader and the fact that I was washing cloth diapers, I used the full recommended amount for a load of that size, 4oz. Those of you may not remember, I rinse and soak our diapers in the tub first as my "pre-rinse" then run a hot washer load.

Wash cycle
Rinse cycle

I apologize for the cloudiness of the rinse cycle. We've been having a lot of trouble with the water here, and (it's totally gross to me to admit this, but....) even our tub water is yellow and sometimes even brown for the past few weeks. Now back to the diapers... The main thing I want to point out about the cycles is that, yes, the wash got very sudsy. I've never seen suds like that from any "natural" or "cloth diaper safe" detergent that I've been using on everything since Bug was born. However, aside from the unappealing color of our water in the rinse cycle, I want to point out that there is minimal reside and NO SUDS in the rinse water. Even better, for the first time ever, after the wash, and during and after the diapers dried, there was no - smell - what - so - ever. I thought this was the case when I tried Eco Sprout, but I am both sad and pleased to say that I've noticed an even better improvement by using Tropical Traditions. And stains? None. Even long time set in stains, vanished. I couldn't believe it.

Of course if it worked on cloth diapers, I knew it would work great on our clothes. No stains in Bugs' clothes, and no smells in J' work clothing.

Over the past 3 weeks I've continued to get the same amazing results. I also haven't noticed any build-up in Bug's diapers, and it seems like his rashes have improved. Could I have found the perfect detergent for us? I've still got my fingers crossed.

Try It For Yourself:
You can purchase your own 5lb tub of Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent using the following link,

on sale right now for $16.99, or you can win one by entering using the easy Rafflecopter entry form below! If the wrong form shows up, or it doesn't come up at all, please click HERE.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

What'd You Win - October

It was a slow "winning" month for me, but here we go!...

The Ultimate Green Store gift card from Newly Crunchy Mama of 3

Rockin Green 45/90 bag

SmartKlean laundry ball from WhyClothDiaper 

Not Received:
Cool Care styling tool holder from Newly Crunchy Mama of 3 (from August)

Rumparooz diaper from One Smiley Monkey (natural parenting)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good Morning Mama

It was only a matter of time before bug would no longer need me to pull him up so he could stand, but I was surely hoping he would have at least waited until I was awake! This young man is growing up too fast!

Monkey Toe Diapers Review and Giveaway

As a part of my mission to banish rashes from Buggie's bottom, not only did I set out looking for a new detergent, but better diapers as well. I started with main stream brands, like bumGenius Elementals, but I love supporting WAHM's more, so along my search I came across Monkey Toe Diapers.
Susan, the WAHM behind Monkey Toe Diapers, also runs Sugar Plum Baby. What's the difference? Monkey Toe Diapers specializes in Nykibaby One Size pockets and AI2's, as well as Very Baby one-size fitteds. While Sugar Plum Baby specifically sells bamboo fleece or cotton sherpa fitteds, both of which are fabulous work-horse diapers. Sugar Plum Baby diapers are a great addition to anyone's stash at an affordable price. Monkey Toe Diapers offers excellent quality diapers as well, but are "embellished" or more customizable.

Susan sent me a black (with white snaps) Nykibaby one-size pocket with a hemp-bamboo insert. I immediately noticed how soft the inside of the diaper was compared to the bumGenius 4.0's I had been used. The inside of my diaper was white micro fleece, which in my opinion, feels much softer and seems like it would be more comfortable than micro suede on a baby's bottom. I always thought micro suede was soft, but this was like a cloud! Upon stuffing the diaper, I noticed it was incredibly easy to get my hand and the insert inside. I didn't feel like this diaper was any wider than the pockets I was used to, so my thought is the added stretchiness of the micro fleece gave the added "give" that was needed to stuff pockets with ease. Perfection.

FYI: Anyone who prefers micro suede to micro fleece, Susan offers both :)

Aside from the diaper itself, I immediately fell in love with the insert. Since I line dry everything inside our apartment, hemp itself gets crunchy almost immediately as it begins to dry. With the combo of bamboo, this insert stayed plenty soft and was easily folded up to be placed in the pocket. More importantly of course, I found this insert to be very absorbent. We easily made it through nap time, averaging 4 to 5 hours, with no wicking or leaks!

Monkey Toe Diapers website states that the Nykibaby OS Pockets fit from approximately 8 to 40 pounds, however I felt they ran a tiny bit smaller than the BumGenius 4.0 (which claims to fit from 7 to 35+ pounds).

Overall, while I used this diaper over the past few weeks I got a great fit, and it washed up incredibly well (no stains at all!). I feel like this is a quality crafted diaper and insert, and {as a personal preference} love there are only 2 columns of rise snaps instead of 3. I feel like the 3rd column is maybe a bit uncomfortable (especially on my little boy) and when choosing a diaper with print, it shows off much more of the beautiful diaper! 

FYI: Bug is 21 pounds and 30.5 inches long, and is on the largest rise and the 3rd smallest waist settings.

 As for the price, I think the price of Monkey Toe Diapers are fairly average. I bit more than bumGenius, but the same or less than other such as Rumparooz when comparing the price of an included insert as well. 

Monkey Toe OS Pocket (no insert): $16 + shipping
Hemp Bamboo Insert: $5
bumGenius 4.0 pocket with microfiber insert: $17.95
Rumparooz with Hemp Insert (Abbys Lane): $25.50
Fuzzibunz OS with microfiber insert: $19.95

You can purchase your own Monkey Toe Diaper from Susan's shop on Etsy, and you can connect with her on Facebook.

Susan has generously offered a OS Nykibaby pocket with hemp/bamboo insert from Monkey Toe Diapers of her choice to one lucky reader! Use the easy Rafflecopter form below to enter! If the wrong form shows up, please click here.

Eco Sprout Giveaway

 Hopefully by now you've gotten a chance to read my Eco Sprout Review, and now I'd love to present you with a giveaway! Eco Sprout provided me with a bag of unscented detergent to giveaway, but with the cost of shipping, I found a retailer who offers free shipping for just a little more cost to myself. I'd love to offer you a 24 ounce bag in your choice of in stock scent that I will purchase and have shipped directly to you! You can enter using the easy Rafflecopter entry form below :) If the wrong form shows up, please click here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eco Sprout Review

You may remember a few months ago when I was super excited that Rockin Green was releasing new Remix formula's that would be replacing their original formula's. This formula was supposed to clean better, be gentler on clothing and diapers, and rinse out even better than before! As much as I constantly raved about the original formula, you can imagine my disappointment when the new Remix ended up not working out for us very well. So I was forced to find something that would hopefully work better for the issues that were arising with the Remix. After searching Facebook and a few forums, I quickly decided I had to try Eco Sprout first.

The company was started by myself, a WAHM (Work-athome-dad). I was looking for a cloth diaper detergent that was great for not just diapers, but for my entire family's laundry. It was important to my that the detergent I used was non-toxic, natural, eco-friendly, sensitive for my boy's bottoms, and got rid of the strong ammonia our diapers always had with other detergents. After experimenting for several months and doing a ton of research, Eco Sprout was born. 

I manufacture the detergent and run the day-today business activities of Eco Sprout myself. Eco Sprout detergent is free from dyes, brighteners, enzymes, phosphates, SLS, and is 100% biodegradable. It is safe for cloth diapers. They not only come out of the wash smelling clean, but have zero to very little ammonia smell both when my sons pee and even in the diaper pail 2 days later!

~ Jared Edwards

Jared sent me a very generous sample pack which included a 2 ounce sample baggie of each of their scents, as well as a small (24ounce) bag of In The Buff (unscented). The scents include:
  • Lavender Chamomile
  • Warm Vanilla Sugar
  • Fresh Linen
  • Ocean Breeze
  • Baby Powder
  • Vanilla Sandalwood
  • and a "seasonal" scent (in my package I received Pink Lemonade, however the current seasonal scent is Sweet Pumpkin Spice, YUM!)
FYI: All the scents will wash out ;)

I started off with the directions on their website for first time users. I filled our tub with hot water, 4 tablespoons of Eco Sprout, and added my clean diapers. I let everything soak overnight, and in the morning I ran everything through a hot wash in the top-loader and dried them. Of course they had started out clean, but I noticed that there was no "musty" smell to them that Rockin Green had assured me was probably just normal. These diapers had no smell to them, at all. I also immediately noticed that most set-in stains were lightened quite a bit, if not gone! Now it was time for the real test...

Bug showed no reactions to the diapers after they were washed in Eco Sprout. I never felt like we had a real ammonia problem, but I especially noticed in his night time diapers that his pee smelled a lot less pungent. As the next couple days went by, I noticed (or should I say didn't notice) the diaper pail, and it's sudden decrease in smell, though the pail is always left open for air. Then came our first wash, and it seemed like Eco Sprout had performed a miracle. The diapers came out just as clean and, uhm, non-smelly (lol) as they did when I washed the clean diapers after their soak. I swear I almost cried. I knew diapers shouldn't look dingy and smell "off". I knew it, and now my mind felt at ease.

Wash Cycle

Rinse cycle- Please don't be discouraged by the dinginess of the water. I assure you, it's just our hard water, not detergent residue lol
 I continued to use Eco Sprout on our diapers (and occasionally on Bug's clothing) with great results for about a month until my samples ran out. However, because of our water, I was using 4 tablespoons per load. While I never felt unsatisfied at any point with Eco Sprout, I need to figure how cost effective it would be for me to continue using it since we already pay $2 per load of laundry at the apartment as it is. It's definitely at the top of my list though!

Eco Sprout offers 3 sizes of bags: large (96 oz/ 96-192 loads) @ $24.98, medium (48 oz/48-96 loads) @ $13.98 and small (24 oz/24-48 loads) @ $7.98 as well as samples bags (2 oz/2-4 loads) @ just $1.75 each! (loads based off of 2 tablespoons per load/1 tablespoon per load, using the minimum amount of detergent suggested)

You can purchase detergent, bottom balm, bottom spray or pail refresher directly from Eco Sprout! You can also connect with Eco Sprout on Facebook!

You can win your very own 24oz bag of Eco Sprout by entering my giveaway, HERE.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tommee Tippee Sippy Cup Review, Part 1

I hate to think it, let alone say it, but my baby Bug is growing up. We've reached that time where he's started wanting a cup instead of a bottle, and that quickly led to the search for a cup that was easy for Bug to handle and leak proof. It didn't take long for me to find Tommee Tippee.
Upon contacting Tommee Tippee I was sent 2 sets of sippy cups to review with Bug from the explora line.

Of course, we tried the first set, which are the Li'l Sippee Drinking Cups, first. Recommended for babies 6+ months of age...

"The explora® li’l sippee soft spout cup range is intuitively designed for leak proof, bite free sipping. The unique silicone soft spout works without biting and support babies oral development for first transitions and the integrated drip- proof valve is super soft and truly leak proof."

Good To Know: All pieces are dishwasher and microwave safe!

I was first, very pleased to see that these cups were indeed leak proof. I apologize for the sound quality, as this video is just from our digital camera, but I hope you get the idea =)

I honestly had no complains about this cup. It was easy to clean, although I have not encountered food in the "spout" yet, the handles were very easy to Bug to hang onto and maneuver. Also, while the spout is very soft, I have yet to find a single tooth mark or hole from Buggie chewing on it.

This particular set of cups can be purchased at many retailers who already carry baby products, including sippy cups. A couple of my favorites are Toys'R'Us and

You can connect with Tommee Tippee on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

Keep a look out for Part 2 of my review!

The Return of Diaper Rash, Part 3

By the next diaper change, just an hour or so later, Bug bottom had already improved. I was delighted, but still saddened by the whole rash ordeal. I still had no idea why this all happened.

Today, there is no redness, and most of the sores are healed up, and all that are left are completely healed over. I did notice that his "man bits" are a bit raw, but I have a feeling that it has something to do with him eating more and drinking less, because I can smell his urine is much more strong, and it may be burning him during his nap. Hopefully that clears up by the end of today.

What frightens me the most about this is "what if it was yeast?" How will I ever know? I now know that the hot water in our apartment goes well above 130F. I thought that was hot enough to kill off bacteria and yeast? My head is swimming. Not as badly as when Bug had staph infection, but almost. I'd love to continue to hear your thoughts. Also, keep a look out for some laundry posts coming soon!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Return of Diaper Rash, Part 2

At the Pedi, we were given quite a few suggestions, as well as options for tackling Bug's rash. Coincidentally, the clinic's Pedi and his wife cloth diaper their children as well (bet you can guess I feel a bit bummed for choosing a family practitioner over a pediatrician for Bug's Dr now, huh lol). 

Among the recommendations he gave us for preventing rashes, we already do each one he suggested. As far as treatments, he was very open-minded. Our options were 
  1. zinc oxide (Desitin, Butt Paste, and almost any other OTC rash cream)
  2. hydrocortisone cream (anti-inflamitory, think bug bites)
  3. Nystatin (for yeast)
  4. Bacrtoban (in the event it may be MSR)
I was given the option to choose what I wanted to try, without cultures. I was too nervous to try Bacrtoban, but zinc oxide and hydrocortisone weren't working, so I went with Nystatin.

We picked up the prescription, went home, gave Bug a bath, and applied the first treatment, covered with some corn starch baby powder.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Return of Diaper Rash, Part 1


But seriously, I hate diaper rash. Ever since Bug had staph infection so many months ago, I've been more OCD than usual with laundry... and ever worse with diaper laundry. I've converted our diaper stash to mostly bumGenius Elementals because I grew tired of stuffing and un-stuffing and wondering how clean all those man-made fibers really were.
Last week, the apartment's top-loader broke, and with a serious fear of the front-loader not getting the BGE's clean enough, I soaked them all on the tub, ran them through the front-loader on hot and put them away. For the past week all I've used are flats. The simplest, most easy to clean diaper available, and we now have diaper rash. Maybe it's because J fed Bug a whole banana and his poop became so acidic that it irritated his skin raw. Maybe something was stuck in his diapers. I don't know. Bug's 9 month check-up was yesterday, and his Dr showed no concern and said it looked like it was healing nicely. 
This morning Bug woke up with a raw, bloody butt. After much panicking, crying, and numerous phone calls, I got him an appointment with the clinic's pediatrition this afternoon.


The suggestion was made to me by some online mama's to stop using PUL and only use wool (or possibly fleece). Does anyone else have a "cure" for diaper rash?

Monday, October 10, 2011


First winner, for a custom toy strap from Green Bumkin is comment #69,

Our second winner today for the 1,033 Reasons to Smile book is comment #7,
Giant Sis

You have both been sent emails already :) Thank you everyone for reading!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I've had issues with shipping services before, but the last few days have been ridiculous! I won a 16x20" print from and have been anxiously awaiting it's arrival. When FedEx Home tracking said it would be delivered this past Thursday, I made it a point to stay home all day so I could see it right away. The day came and went and before I knew it, tracking told me a delivery had been attempted but I wasn't home. Hmmm.... you'd think I would have noticed if I left home or not...

Friday came and went and the same thing happened, so I called FedEx. They asked for a number to call me back at after they reached their driver and I never heard back. What next? I called UPrinting directly. They weren't much help either. After explaining what happened, what the tracking was saying, and what really happened, they simply told me that delivery had been attempted but I wasn't home. Again, even they knew I wasn't home but I could have sworn I was...

They asked me to make sure I was home today and delivery would be made by 12:30pm. It's now 1:30. I called FedEx and they told me the past 2 days my package was still on a ground freight truck, and today will be the first day for delivery! What changed since yesterday? Unable to answer any further questions, I called UPrinting again. Who once again, argued with me that I had not been home to receive my package the past 2 days. I proceeded to tell them what FedEx told me, and it fell on deaf ears. I asked if they can send it back to me via USPS if FedEx sends it back and they told me I should have waited to receive it at home! What am I, invisible?

I'm hesitant to enter any more giveaways! I don't like calling people dumb, especially people I haven't even met, but good grief!