Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope that everyone is having a happy, fun and safe Halloween! We have been having a great day so far (well, minus little man taking a tumble into a door frame that required a band-aid and then the tumble outside, where little man tripped and landed on his cheek! Poor baby!) and I have been having lots of fun with food! This morning I made "Ghost-y" Quinoa Pancakes with blueberries for the eyes and mouth! {idea for the "ghost-y" shape from Pinterest

Boo! "Ghost-y's cooking on the griddle!
Ahhh! It's a ghost! With a side of apple-pear sauce and raspberry jam for dipping.

For part of lunch, little man has pumpkin puree mixed in with come plain yogurt and then some freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon on top! Yum!

Want some?
We decorated our front porch to get ready for trick-or-treaters and the bowl of candy is ready and waiting! Last night, I made this fun little door "wreath"  {another fun Pinterest craft project!}

Little man playing with his pumpkin...he loves to roll it around like it's a bowling ball!

Then, we had to have some fun, festive books for the day and some Halloween coloring pages! Little man's "little buddy" monster is waiting for him to wake up from his nap, so they can read together!

 Happy Halloween!
I hope you all enjoy the day and evening - whether you are staying in or going out!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Made With Love Sponsor Spotlight: WOOLY ROUNDS

I am excited to introduce you to WOOLY ROUNDS and your dryers new best friend! WOOLY ROUNDS are felted balls of wool made by creator and owner Cyndi. They are handmade, using 100% wool from a historic mill in Maine and come in natural colors or in beautifully dyed shades. WOOLY ROUNDS wool dryer balls are a wonderful, eco-friendly laundry accessory that work to circulate and separate laundry while in the dryer. They help to naturally soften laundry, reduce static and shorten drying time by about 10-25%. The more WOOLY ROUNDS wool dryer balls you add to your dryer, the quicker your laundry dries! Simply toss 3-8 WOOLY ROUNDS wool dryer balls into your dryer with your clean, wet laundry and they go to work to reduce drying time - which not only conserves energy, but it saves you money as well!

I was so excited when I found out that I would be able to work with Cyndi and get to know a little bit more about her and WOOLY ROUNDS! I had the opportunity to chat with Cyndi and ask her some questions about how she got started and where her inspiration comes from. I hope that you feel like you can get to know Cyndi and WOOLY ROUNDS a little bit better, just like I did!

What inspired the name, Wooly Rounds, for your shop?
The name started out as something a little different, I didn't want to use the word ball, so I ended up with WOOLY ROUNDS, since I thought it was fun and easy to say.

How long has your shop been open?
I've been in business just over 1 year.

Has your shop or items changed at all since you first opened?
When I first started, I offered only natural colors.  I really thought the people would just want natural ones, but it turns out even more people like the colorful ones.  There is something special about the colorful ones.  They really bring a smile to your face when you see those colorful balls in and amongst your dry laundry.

How long have you been making wool dryer balls? Did someone teach you or did you pick it up on your own?
I started to try and make wool dryer balls about 1 1/2 to 2 years ago.  It really is tricky to get it right.  I watched tutorials, read blogs and anything I could find online to give hints on how to make a well crafted wool dryer ball.  It was a lot of trial and error and I feel like I'm still figuring out better ways to streamline production and to craft a good quality wool dryer ball.

What inspired you to start making and selling wool dryer balls?
I knew I really wanted to start my own business and I had a different business in the works before my son came.  Since my time was limited after our son was born, I knew I had to change directions and find something else.  Making and selling wool dryer was such a perfect fit for me in my life at this point.  It was something that I could make and sell while still spending time at home.  And the best part is that I have provided something to hundreds of customers that have helped them converse energy.  Somedays I try and picture the collective amount of energy that all my customers have saved and that is a wonderful feeling.

What would be the perfect way to spend a day?
The perfect way to spend a day is to spend time with my family, being outside and sharing meals together.

I have really loved using my WOOLY ROUNDS wool dryer balls! I was impressed with them from the moment I opened the package! Cyndi sent me four of her WOOLY ROUNDS to review - 2 in the dark gray and 2 in the natural. They came wrapped in a nice little linen bag and when I first opened it, I was greeted with the scent of sheep and some slightly damp dryer balls! (This actually made me smile, because it reminded me of home - I grew up with neighbors who had sheep, goats, cows, pigs, horses, peacocks and more! So, I'm used to the natural sheep scent) Once the wool dryer balls dry out, the scent of sheep is completely gone, so there is no need to worry that your laundry will smell like sheep. ;) 

I was really impressed with how tightly felted WOOLY ROUNDS were! I don't think that there is anything that could make these unravel or come apart in your dryer. They are definitely made with great care and will last a very long time. I also like knowing that since they are so tightly felted and secure, that little man can play with them without me having to worry about him figuring out how to unravel them. Little man loves helping me with laundry and is a big helper when it comes to putting thing in the dryer or taking them out. He also has a blast reaching in the dryer and grabbing the WOOLY ROUNDS to play with them!  

WOOLY ROUNDS are the perfect choice for your laundry. They are especially well suited for cloth diaper laundry (since you can't use dryer sheets on cloth diapers) and for anyone with sensitive skin or allergies to perfume in dryer sheets. WOOLY ROUNDS are chemical and fragrance free, so they are safe for your laundry and the environment! I just love that WOOLY ROUNDS wool dryer balls are cloth diaper friendly. I normally hang my diapers outside to dry, but the hot sun here makes them pretty crispy and stiff. I love taking them inside and tossing them in the dryer on Low with the WOOLY ROUNDS for about 10 minutes - it softens them right up! Bye-bye stiff diapers, hello softness!

wet laundry and WOOLY ROUNDS going in the dryer...

nice and dry!
Overall, I absolutely love my WOOLY ROUNDS wool dryer balls! With the four WOOLY ROUNDS that I have, I have noticed that my drying time has been shortened by 4-10 minutes on a normal cycle (which lasts 41 minutes). My dryer has a sensor in it, so it stops when the laundry is dry and I've made sure to take note when the dryer stops to see how long it took. I have definitely saved time on all of my dryer loads- from towels to clothes! I love it! WOOLY ROUNDS wool dryer balls have a permanent home in my dryer! I love that I can tell that they are made with care and I love using something that is eco-friendly and helps me be more energy efficient!
WOOLY ROUNDS is one of the sponsors for the Made With Love Event (happening November 8-13) and Cyndi has generously offered one of the winners  set of 4 WOOLY ROUNDS (ARV $28.00) to tumble dry their laundry with!

This prize is up for grabs on my blog during the Made With Love Event! Be sure to come back to my blog between November 8-13 to enter for a chance to WIN this awesome prize!
You can connect with WOOLY ROUNDS on Facebook or Twitter and you can shop for WOOLY ROUNDS wool dryer balls on the website!

Interested in earning an extra entry into the the Made With Love Event when it starts? Visit WOOLY ROUNDS Facebook page and leave me a comment below telling me what color wool dryer ball is your favorite and if you have ever used wool dryer balls before!  When the Made With Love Event giveaway starts, you can claim your extra entry in the Rafflecopter form.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


The winner of the Tropical Traditions Coconut Flour Giveaway is... Melissa!

Congratulations Melissa!
Thank you to everyone who entered and a big thank you to Tropical Traditions for sponsoring a wonderful giveaway!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Adventures in Potty Training!

Little man has been working on potty training lately and is doing great! (Yay!) We are down to just two diapers a day. (*tear* I miss the fluffy diapers!) He just wears one for nap-time and one for bed-time. Sometimes a third diaper gets into the mix, if we go out for the day. Even with a diaper for outings, little man is still really, really good about letting us know if he needs to use the potty. 

So today, it was just little man and I. We headed to a nearby outdoor shopping center and the grocery store. On the way to the store, little man starts saying, "Go potty? Potty!" I told little man that we were almost to the store and then we would go to the potty! I asked him if he could hold it and told him about the "special little potty" that they had just for him. This shopping center is great, they are so family friendly! They have a family bathroom that has a kid sized, mini potty and sink! So, we made it to the shopping center and I quickly took little man straight to the bathroom. At home, he likes to have his pants off, but since he had shoes on, I figured I would just pull his pants down and leave them on. Little man was a champ ans sat right on the potty! Well, he really, really did have to go! And he went a lot! I couldn't believe he was able to hold it so well!


Unfortunately, because the potty was so small, (and there wasn't a nice little tinkle "guard" for boys) he got his pants wet. *Mommy fail* If I had just taken his pants off or situated him on the potty differently! Argh! Luckily, I keep a spare set of clothes in the car for little man. So, I let little man know how proud I was of him for going in the special little potty, he got to wash his hands in the cute, little sink and then I took him back to the car for a fresh change of pants. Thank goodness for cute cloth diapers, since I just carried him back to the car in his shirt and diaper. :)

Then we were off to start our shopping! Ten minutes later, little man started saying "Potty! Potty? Go Potty?" I asked little man if he really, really needed to go potty or if he was just telling mama that he had gone potty. He let me know, "Really, really need to go potty!" So, back to the bathroom we went! This time I made sure to take his pants and shoes off! Well, what do you know! He had to go! (This time we were much more successful at keeping everything in the potty that was supposed to go in the potty) I was so proud! 
Next stop, the grocery store! We had just made it in the store and were in the produce section, when little man suddenly stopped pointing at numbers and said, "Potty! Really, really go potty!" Seriously? Again? So, off we trekked to the bathroom. Shoes off - check. Pants off- check. Diaper off- check. I hoist little man up onto my hip as I adjusted the toilet seat cover and then...I start to feel something warm. Yikes! I quickly transferred little man to the toilet! He didn't even skip a beat and finished doing his thing. I was telling little man how great he was doing at telling mommy when he needed to go potty and then I just started chuckling. I mean, I haven't been whizzed on since he was a bitty baby! I couldn't believe it! I got little man dressed again as I was thinking how silly it was that I didn't have a change of clothes for me in the car! Luckily, the bathroom had a hand dryer in it, so I just dabbed the "wet spot" with some water and dried it off. No one was the wiser and I got to finish our grocery shopping with a proud little man who kept exclaiming how he went potty on a special potty! 

By the end of our trip, I felt pooped! (haha!) I wasn't sure if we left the house to spend the entire time in public restrooms, while narrowly avoiding disaster, or if they were just minor detours from the shopping trip. Either way, none of it seemed to bother little man and he had a fun day seeing pumpkins, "helping mommy go shopping" and "going potty in the special potty"!

Do you have a fun (or funny) potty training story? Do you have any tips for nap-time or night-time potty training for me?

Wordless Wednesday: Love You Daddy

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dyeing Canvas Shoes

A little while ago, I had seen this pin on Pinterest and just loved the idea of dyeing your own canvas shoes! I really wanted to dye a pair for little man, but I have had no luck whatsoever finding plain white sneakers in his size. But, I did find some in my size! I found these slip-on sneakers at Walmart in the mens section (they were even on clearance)! I also picked up some Rit dye in Royal Blue.

Little man loves putting on mommy and daddy's shoes! So, while I got my supplies together, he scooted around the kitchen in my white canvas shoes. {So cute!}

Large bucket
Liquid fabric dye
Hot Water
Salt (if needed; check dye directions) 
Blue Painters Tape
White canvas shoes
Now, I had read a tip online that said to cover the white rubber part on the shoe with blue painters tape to keep the dye from staining the white rubber. Little man also helped me with this step. He loved unrolling the tape and helping me tear off pieces to stick on the shoes!

*Personally, I think it may have helped a little, but it was pretty time consuming and I'm not sure if it was actually worth it. I'm sure you could just scrub the white rubber with an old toothbrush and some soap or a magic eraser, if it does get stained.*

First, I soaked the shoes in plain, hot water to get them wet. Next, I filled up an old bucket with hot water, I didn't really measure, I just filled it up enough to cover the shoes. Then I added about 1/3 cup of dye and about a 1/4 cup of salt. (It definitely wasn't an exact science)

I stirred the dye mixture and then dipped the shoes in the dye!

I also added a long sleeve onesie for little man and two if hubby's white t-shirts to the mix. I found that it was pretty difficult to keep the shoes completely submerged. They kept wanting to pop upright, so I just held them in place for the duration of the soak. I let everything soak for about 30 minutes and then rung the shirts and onesie out and set the shoes to dry.

The painters tape started coming off during the dyeing process...
One tip that I learned the hard way: Don't use old gloves that have a teeny, tiny tear in them! The dye will get in, and in my case, dye your finger smurfy blue! Haha! (It does come a day or two)

 I thought that everything came out a lovely, happy shade of blue, but it was a bit lighter than I was expecting Royal Blue to be. Hubby loved the shade and on his t-shirts and I think little man looks quite dashing in Royal Blue!

My shoes are fun and colorful! Yay! So much better than plain white canvas shoes!

 I definitely want to do this again with some more colors! Hopefully I can find some shoes for little man too!  

Have you ever dyed canvas shoes before? Do you have any tips or tricks to pass along?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Changing Diapers Book - Time to Stock Up!

Ready to start your holiday shopping? Or looking to tuck away a few extra goodies for baby shower gifts? Well, right now, when you buy 2 Changing Diapers Books, you get 1 FREE plus FREE shipping and a FREE "I'm a Hip Mom and Love Cloth Diapers Tattoo!" This is a perfect opportunity to stock up - you can get a copy for yourself and have some to give as gifts! This book would be perfect to bundle with a cloth diaper for a mama-to-be or as a gift for a mama who is interested in cloth diapering!

Just use discount code BOGOBOOK at check-out at Changing Diapers Book Store!
USA orders only.

Just visit Kelly Wels store today!


The winner of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook Software giveaway is... Monika!

Congratulations Monika!

Thank you to everyone who entered and a big thank you to My Memories for sponsoring a wonderful giveaway!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Fall? Really?

It doesn't feel much like fall here! This week it has been in the high 80's and it even got to 90+ last week! So, we are enjoying as much warm sunshine as we can! Hubby and I took little man to the pool for a fun afternoon of splashing and soaking up some vitamin D! Yay for fall!

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch!

We took little man to a local pumpkin patch this week! He had so much fun exploring, "driving" tractors, seeing the farm animals and rolling pumpkins was a great, warm hot, fall day!

Little man would have been happy as a clam if we had let him sit on that tractor all day!

 It was so much fun to bring little man here, especially because this is the pumpkin patch I came to when I was pregnant with little man! 
Oct. 2009: Little man was born 3 weeks later!

And now, almost two years later...

My little pumpkin is getting so big!

Little man loved all the tractors that were parked throughout the pumpkin patch for kids to climb on!
It was so cute to see this piggy trot alongside little man as he walked around the pen!

We finished the morning with a trip through the corn maze, a picnic lunch under some trees and a walk through a vegetable garden! The pumpkin patch was such a fun adventure with little man! I can't wait to keep bringing him back, year after year! 

What fun, fall things have you done lately? Do you have a yearly autumn tradition? Pumpkin patch? Apple picking? Pumpkin carving?