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Dec 17, 2013

*Powerocks Magicstick {Review and Code}*

I have been very quiet on here. Life has been busy. What mom would not say that, especially around this great time of year. We all get busy and some things are left undone. A big part of life these days is technology. It seems everyone has at least a cell phone if not a cell phone, a laptop, and a tablet, or some other form of electronic device. Now, how often do you find yourself away from outlets all day, and while heavily using your phone, you are notified that you have almost no battery life left?
My phone is not very old (less than two years). It isn't top of the line, either. I have to charge my phone every night. If I need to use it for more than the occasional call or checking email, it very well could be dead before the end of the day. If I am out, I am done. At least, I was.
Now, I have a great little life saver! Enter the Powerocks Magicstick!
I was contacted by Powerocks about checking out their Magicstick and then telling you all about it. When I checked out the website a bit, I knew I had to try this! I jumped at the chance really. It sounded like something I really needed. I have a feeling some of you might be thinking the same thing. 
The Magicstick by Powerocks is a portable charger for your USB electronic devices. You charge it through USB and charge your device using the same cord. 
If you need a special cord to fit your device, that is fine. You can use basically any USB cord you need to. So, let's go through this. Here is everything that came in the box:
I love that they sent me a red stick. Love it. And it is about the size of a larger lipstick tube. Then you get a short charging cord, a travel pouch (nice touch), a reg. card, and the little booklet telling you how to work it (though really, even with slight tech abilities, you figure it out on your own). 
This is super simple to use. The end of the stick has a light telling you how charged it is. Mine was glowing green so I even got to do a little test run with my tablet to get some pics for this review.
I fell in love very quickly with this. It is nice and compact. I can actually hook this up to my cell phone and put everything in my front pocket. Only a little bit of each item actually runs above the pocket line. Perfect.
If I had to find anything that could be a con to this product, it would be that it can quite a while for the Magicstick to charge. But for this, you have to consider that one charge on the Magicstick could give you up to two full charges depending on your device.

All in all I think this is a great product. It would make a perfect last minute stocking stuffer too. Like I said, who doesn't have some kind of electronic device that travels with them everywhere? It can really be a life saver if you keep it with you. Being a USB charged item itself, charging in the car wouldn't even be that difficult to do. 

If you would like to look at these more, check out Powerocks Magicstick's website. The Magicstick I received retails for about $49.99. 
Want a better deal? Just for my readers, I got this message: "Here is a promo code for 20% to your readers for the Magicstick: Powerblog20." 
That's right! You could get 20% off your order if you use the above promo code. Better hurry though, you only have 8 days until Christmas to get these and fill everyone's stocking!

Disclaimer: I received the above product free of charge for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. 

Jun 13, 2013

Cascade Platinum Pac Review

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Cascade has come out with an all new powerful dish washing detergent. Not only will it get your dishes sparkling, but it will help to keep hard water build up to a minimum in your dishwasher itself.

There have been plenty of times that I end up with some left over "stuff" on my dishes if I let them sit a little too long without pre-rinsing them. And let's face it, who really likes pre-rinsing when you are just going to put it in the dishwasher any way? That is one thing I am liking about Cascade Platinum over what I have used in the past. I have a lot less re-washing than I had before. Now, I must say, that there are still plastic items that have needed some wiping down to remove a slight film. But as you can see in the picture below, the ketchup came off the plates nicely, and my glass dishes were sparkling.

All the sparkling plates got me wondering, what makes this new Cascade Platinum so special? Luckily, though, for me, I had some fact sheets to help me learn more. ;) The new Cascade has a triple action power-pac that:
Delivers Cascade’s ultimate clean for dishes
Scrubs away tough 24 hour stuck-on food
Eliminates the need to pre-wash dishes
Provides exceptional dishware shine
Contains the Grease Fighting Power of Dawn

Now, Dawn, I use often. But that is mostly for handwashing at my sink. Knowing that these new Cascade Platinum Pacs have Dawn in them, makes me feel better that my dishes will get nice and clean. When I make dinner for everyone, I like to know that when I put the food on the table, the plates will make the food look even better. We all eat with our eyes. That is a sentiment shared with Gail Simmons, from Top Chef, who has joined with Cascade to emphasize how much we really eat with our eyes. One thing Gail reccomends:
“The easiest recipes pop with unexpected, gourmet presentations. Drizzle bright sauces on sparkling white plates or layer desserts in crystal-clean glassware. Keep your presentation sparkling with Cascade Platinum, which keeps dishes perfect for anytime entertaining and impromptu guests. ”
You can hear more of what Gail has to say at Cascade's Facebook Page.
Now, to make this debut even better than just getting your dishwasher and dishes clean, you can win prizes! Cascade Platinum is hosting an Instagram contest. You can get full details at their main landing page here. Each week of the contest, upload your photos that match to the week's theme.
Week 1: My Platinum Plate (Entry Period: 6/3-­‐6/9) Show us your best dish styled from the sparkling plate up!
Week 2: My Platinum Bite (Entry Period: 6/10-­‐6/16) Show us your best bite and most creative use of sparkling silverware!
Week 3: My Platinum Clink (Entry: 6/17-­‐6/23) Show us how you serve up creative concoctions in sparkling glasses. Cheers!
Week 4: My Platinum Table (Entry Period: 6/24-­‐6/30) Show us your sparkling tablescape for your most special celebrations!
Grand Prize Winner (Entry: 6/3-­‐6/30)

May 26, 2013

{Flats Challenge} Wrap Up

Today is the final day in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. I can't believe it ends tonight, already. I think that is part of the awesomeness of this challenge. When you begin, you think it may never end, the end of the week looks so far away, but it isn't. By the time Saturday and Sunday roll around, you want to keep going. Yes, I may stop with hand washing absolutely every diaper, but I love this challenge. I know I will continue to use flats. I did after the first challenge two years ago. I may keep using the larger quantity that I have been and not use microfiber near as much. These flats have been staying so nice and clean with no smell issues and they do dry so quickly. It is nice.

Don't they look so nice hanging on the line like that?! I do love hanging all my laundry on the line when it is nice out. But back to the topic at hand. 
This week has been nice really. I have talked about to a few people, though it has mostly been family or close friends. I do not know many who cloth diaper or who have little ones in diapers. But I know that some day, I may have those families close and I can talk to them about cloth and about flats. 
If something were to happen at home and I needed to, I could do this for as long as needed and help those around me in need of diapering options when all else fails. I think the events of May 20th in Moore, showed some of us exactly why we were challenging ourselves to do this. If that ever happened, would we know what to do? Would we be able to come along side those who needed help and offer it to them? This is the time to get the information out there! This is when there is a big need that we need to know how to fill. 
One thing that I am taking away from this week didn't even happen to us. It was a suggestion or idea made in the Facebook group. One lady said she was thinking of putting together a bucket with supplies and a pamphlet that could be used by a local crisis pregnancy center. Cloth does not get much attention. This is a perfect place to bring it out more. Women who visit these centers need help. One thing that could quite possibly save them a lot is to teach them about cloth diapers. Teach them about the cheap or free diapers and how they can diaper their child for almost nothing. Teach these women that they do not have to forego paying a bill so that they can buy disposable diapers for their baby. They do not need to dry out a disposable so they can re-use because they cannot afford to buy more diapers. A simple bucket with supplies like the one I have used now could mean so much to a woman who has no idea what she is going to do next with her pregnancy or new baby. 
For me this week was truly not a big challenge. But what if one day I am challenged to do this because I have no other option? Now I know I can do it. I can do it full time. I can teach those around me that they can do it too. That is what this challenge has been.

Do you struggle with buying diapers for your little one? Would you let me or someone close to you help you learn of your options? 

Until next time... Challenge yourself with something new!

May 25, 2013

{Flats Challenge} Day 6 - Well, but what do you do at night?

I must say, one thing that had me very hesitant with taking this Flats and Handwashing Challenge was night time. I would use cloth on BG during the day, but she can be a heavy wetter. I didn't want to have her wake in the night soaked and have to be changing bedding. I was happy when I emailed Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry and she told me that  we could whatever nighttime diaper we wanted (of course flats or cloth of any type was preferred). That made me willing to sign up.
Then as the challenge got closer, I began to think that maybe we could try a night of cloth and see how we do. Other moms were talking of their heavy wetters and what they did to keep them dry through the night. On the first night of the challenge I decided to take the plunge and try cloth.
I wanted to make the combination of elements bullet proof. What could I use to do everything I could to keep this kid dry all night? At least outwardly dry.
First, I doubled up on the flats. Yes, I still used flats. I did a simple pad fold flat inside of (I think) an origami fold. We covered that with our trusty Thirsties cover. I didn't stop there. Then I went even farther and put on a pair of wool longies. They were given to us for review when LJ was in diapers. I have not lanolized any wool items in quite some time. I have not used wool at all on BG. I knew that they might not keep moisture in as much as if they had been lanolized recently, but I gave it a shot.
Do you know how things went?
She stayed dry to touch!
She slept all night!
We have done this every night since!
I just had to show off the back of these longies
(It says lil' monkey under the monkey)
I didn't think we could possibly use cloth all night on our heavy wetting little girl. This challenge has shown me that we can. Now, the mostly full box of disposables that sits next to me as I type this is looking like it will last longer and longer. I love it!
I now know that I could use cloth absolutely full time and keep BG pretty dry. Yes, we have had two wet throughs during this week, but it has only been when she decides to hold it all through nap and then drink even more before emptying her bladder.
I am so happy that I decided to take this challenge this year and that I went ahead and tried using cloth that very first night. I think this has been the biggest lesson learned. This is one thing that I have definitely found that works.
This Challenge may only last a week, but its effects are felt long after it ends.

Do you use cloth? Do you use it at night? What is your nighttime diaper of choice?

Until next time... Happy Sleeping!

May 24, 2013

{Flats Challenge} Day 5 - How can you even make something like that work?

We are now more than half way through the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. From may 20-26th, I am using only flat diapers for diapering BG and I am handwashing them. Being that it is the 24th, I have had some time to see what is working for me and what isn't. That is going to be today's topic.
What works?
all set and ready to go!
First, having my flats pre-folded and ready to go is a big thing. I need that to be done, and really, it isn't that hard to do.
When I take a diaper off of BG, I am doing my best to wash it right away. This is helping me stay on top of the laundry aspect of this challenge, and I do not run the risk of running out of diapers because last night's batch didn't dry fast enough.
I have also been keeping BG pants-less for much of her time in the house. Then I can use the fleece covers I made and we don't go through so many pants. I may keep this up after the challenge too. :)
I check BG often for dampness and change her a little more often that I did when she would have one of her other diapers on.
I have been using mostly Origami, Jo fold, Angel wing, and the Diaper-bag fold for this challenge. I have also used the pad fold, but that is nothing new to this house. We used it all the time before. :)
If I need to dry my diapers inside (rainy days and at night), having my drying rack sit under our ceiling fan with the fan on second speed, gets them drier faster.

What isn't working?
Really, there isn't a whole lot that is going all that bad for us this week.
I would have to say that one of the biggest things is some of the folds. I have been trying to test out the different folds that all of the other participants are mentioning. I have also been referencing a post on DiaperSwappers. This post has a ton of various folds and fold variations.
Origami Fold on the left, Kite Fold on the right
Some folds might work well for others, but I am thinking that with the flats I am using (not actual flats but flour sack towels and receiving blankets) the folds are just too big. One fold in particular that comes out too big for my taste when pre-folding is the kite fold. Even with the flour sack towels, it is the largest fold I have. That prompted me to unfold those diapers and do a smaller fold.

What are some goods and bads of your diapering journey with your kids? Did you use cloth, or disposables? Would you have changed anything?

Until next time...Happy Diapering!

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