Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cotton Booty review (June box)

     Cotton Booty is a new box subscription for cloth diapers and accessories that just shipped out its first boxes last month. Because I am interested in trying out different types of cloth diapers and related products, I thought this would be a fantastic subscription box for me to order. I loved last month's box and was really excited to see what I would get this month. I also love that I am truly surprised with what's inside because it's difficult to accidentally run across spoilers online since its such a new box. 
       Cotton Booty costs $24.99 a month (extended subscriptions are discounted) and includes one name brand cloth diaper, a "fun" item, and a cloth diaper related sample. You customize your box by selecting between girl, boy, and gender neutral options. The box ships first class mail and this month mine took only two days to arrive at my house in Kentucky from their store in Pennsylvania. This month, the package arrived in a padded manilla envelope because the products weighed too much for them to ship like they did last month. Who's complaining? Not me! 
        I received the boy box this month so my items were all tailored to a baby boy. I have not seen any other boxes online at this point so I can't tell you what came in the girl and gender neutral boxes yet, but I will update with that information if I come across it. 
        Here's what came inside my June box:
  • Bumkins Reusable Stuff-it Diaper with two minky inserts ($15.95): This Bumkins diaper is a slim fitting pocket style that features stay-dry wicking fleece interior and adjustable, removable absorbency for quick laundering. Bumkins Stuff-it diapers come with two minky inserts. I haven't heard much about Bumkins cloth diapers, but it is really soft and I love the print we received. It seems a little bulky, but we'll see what it looks like once we actually get it prepped and on a baby. 
     The diaper that I received in the boy box came in the Fire Engine print. I included a picture of the back of the diaper so you can see the print better. It's so cute and Owen already loves it, especially the cute little dalmatian dog. I like that the diapers came with the snaps and not the aplix (aka Velcro). The girl box came with the Tweet pattern diaper. The gender neutral box came with the new Turtle print.
  • Bumkins Wet Bag ($10.95):  The print I received is called Yellow Fish and is based on Dr. Seuss's "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish." I would describe it as a medium sized wet bag that would be good for carrying in your diaper bag. Owen also loved the print of this because he loves Dr. Seuss and easily recognized it. The gender neutral and girl boxes also received this same pattern wet bag.  
  •  Milky! Herbal Tea Supplement for Lactation Enhancement ($2.50): This product is described as, "created to enhance and improve lactation, Milky! is a delicious alternative to fenugreek tea, which boosts milk production." The supplement is all natural and tastes like strawberry and ginger. A discount code for 10 percent off a purchase of Milky! was included. I am really excited to try this once our new baby is born. I had really good success with fenugreek and mother's milk tea with Owen and this seems like a really interesting way to increase lactation without the hassle of steeping tea. The only downfall is the price. After checking out the website, I found that a two week supply of Milky! costs $60, or $54 with the discount. Still, I will be interested to try it in a couple months. 

      I came up with a total retail value of $29.40 for the items in this box, which is almost $5 more than what I paid for it. This is a great value for a box with such a niche market that is just starting out. I am really happy with my first box and look forward to learning more about cloth diapering and testing out more products in the months to come. If you're interested in trying Cotton Booty, check out their Facebook page or sign up on their website. If you use my link, you will receive $5 off your first purchase.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bump update: 30 Weeks

        According to my pregnancy app, the baby is about the size of a large cabbage at approximately 15.7 inches long and almost three pounds. But with my track record, this baby could easily be more than three pounds. If this baby is exactly like Owen, I would only have eight weeks left and the baby would gain almost six pounds in that time. Yikes! 
         A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds him, but that volume will shrink as he gets bigger and takes up more room in my uterus. His eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after he's born, he'll keep his eyes closed for a good part of the day. When he does open them, he'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means he can only make out objects a few inches from his face.
         The biggest news I have since I last posted a pregnancy update is that I passed my glucose screening to check for gestational diabetes. I wasn't super nervous about it because I didn't have it with Owen, but since my mom had it with me, it's always a possibility. I was actually a little disappointed because I didn't get to try a new flavor this time. (Orange again). The glucose drink didn't make me feel as jittery as it did when I took the test with Owen (maybe because I was more nervous the first time?) and the lady who drew my blood did a great job too. She was really pleased when I complimented her on it and said that it's rare for her to get compliments in her job. My doctor said she would call if there was a problem with my results, but since she didn't, I'm assuming everything went fine. 
         I am in my third trimester now and I am finding that the pregnancy symptoms that I felt closer to the end of my pregnancy with Owen are showing up earlier this time around. I have been really surprised at how sore my pelvic region already is and how sore the muscles under my belly are. I remember feeling that way with Owen, but much later in the third trimester. My doctor says this is normal and to be expected of subsequent pregnancies. 
        This baby is very active. He is constantly moving, particularly at night. He is also really strong and sometimes his kicks are so powerful that they make me gasp. Like his older brother, he prefers the right side of my uterus more than the left side and is frequently snuggled over onto that side which makes my stomach lopsided. He reacts to voices and will move more when Tim talks to him or when Owen is playing around my stomach (typically driving cars up and down my belly, aka the mountain.)
         My appetite has not been as large as I remember with Owen. I have really been enjoying milk and almond milk, fresh fruit (cherries in particular which are super expensive lately), and smoothies. And ice cream, of course. I haven't gained as much weight as with Owen either. 
         Sleep has been pretty rough lately because I wake up at least every couple hours to use the bathroom. So uninterrupted sleep is pretty impossible now. I sleep on my side with a pillow under my stomach. I've also been having really crazy dreams. 
        I have a doctor's appointment coming up this Friday. It should be pretty uneventful, but soon I will have more frequent appointments. At some point, she mentioned doing another ultrasound to gauge the size of the baby just so this one doesn't get too big for a safe delivery (Owen was born at 37w6d at 8 pounds, 12.8 ounces). I would be overjoyed to have another ultrasound because I've never had one this late and I think it would be so neat to see the baby now that he is bigger. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

June KLUTCHclub Mom Review

        I've heard good things about KLUTCHclub, so when I recently had the opportunity to try it out I jumped right on it! In case you aren't familiar with this subscription box company, they offer monthly boxes of healthy snacks, supplements, fitness programs, personal-care products, and and more worth at least $50. They have three different box options each month: KLUTCHwoman, KLUTCHman, and the most recent addition KLUTCHmom
       Boxes cost $10 a month, plus $8 for shipping. Extended subscriptions are discounted. The company ships on the fifteenth of every month and my box arrived less than a week later. The box is the size of a small shoebox and actually weighed a pretty good amount and was packed full of samples and full-sized products. 
       I ordered the KLUTCHmom box for June and anxiously awaited my goodies for moms and their kids. The theme for the June KLUTCHmom box was "School is Out for the Summer: KLUTCHclub to the Rescue!" The description read: "Our June box is a complete toolkit to keep those little ones occupied and stay committed to your family's healthy lifestyle. From gummy vitamins for the whole family to a multi-use organizer, this box is ingenious!" 

 Here's what the June KLUTCHmom box included:
  • SmartyPants On-the-Go for Kids and Adults ($4): SmartyPants vitamins are a multi-vitamin with omega 3 and Vitamin D. The do not contain artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. They are also gluten and casein free. I received four servings, two for adults and two for kids. The vitamins are chewable and look like mini gumdrop candies. They taste really good and come in lemon, orange, and cherry flavors. SmartyPants vitamins are Good Manufacturing Practice-certified and FDA-compliant. Owen and I both tested them out and we approve.
  • Ola! Foods No Nut Vanilla Granola (95 cents): This 100 percent natural granola is crafted using pure, simple ingredients: whole grains, nuts, and pure maple syrup. I haven't tried this particular flavor yet, but I have had this brand before and it is tasty. I am particularly happy because KLUTCHclub is apparently psychic and knows that I don't like nuts in my granola. 
  • Kirk's Natural Original Coco Castile Bar Soap ($1.87): This soap is interesting. It came with a little card that tells you how to grate it and use it to make a homemade detergent. Pretty neat. Not sure if I will do it or not, though. 
  • Nature's Bakery Whole Wheat Fig Bar ($1.25): This all natural stone ground whole wheat fig bar is vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and dairy-free. I ate this the other afternoon as a snack and was really impressed. I am not a huge fan of Fig Newtons so I didn't have super high hopes, but the raspberries made it really yummy and not too sweet.
  • Just Chill Drink ($2): This is a relaxation beverage designed to take the edge off while elevating mood and focus. I'm not sure how this is supposed to work and it's not recommended for pregnant women, so although I had a sip to taste the flavor (not bad!), Tim drank most of it. Not sure how to distinguish whether it worked or not. 
  • Three Lollies Queasy Pop Kids! ($3.95): These all-natural lollipops ease upset tummies with a special formulation of essential oils and aromatherapy. These are interesting. I don't think that Owen has problems with car sickness, but we are flying next week so it may be interesting to see if they help him with our travels. If anything, maybe sucking on a lollipop will help keep his ears from hurting.
  • Radius The Doc Multi-use Suction Holder ($7.99): This dock with a suction base attaches to any smooth non-porous surface or wall so you can organize nick nacks like toothbrushes, razors, sponges, and more! I wasn't sure what to think of this at first, but it seems like it would be great for travel at hotels where they don't provide a toothbrush holder. Tim also thinks I should try it in the shower to hold my razor. Both sound like great ideas.
  • YogaVibes Three-month Subscription ($60): These online yoga videos are the ultimate yoga membership, offering a variety of styles including Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga, Forrest, and more. I haven't looked into this too much yet, but a month of this service is $20. That means this free subscription is worth $60. Though at 30 weeks pregnant, I just can't see myself doing the move the woman on the front of the card is doing. I will have to check to see when I have to redeem this and maybe I will wait until after the baby is born and use it to help me get back in shape. 
  • Nourish Interactive 5 Food Groups Poster: This colorful poster is meant to teach kids about nutrition. This is not super useful to me since Owen is two and probably wouldn't pay me much attention if I tried to explain it to him. But the rest of the box was a pretty good value and items that I like so it's no loss to get one that isn't as exciting for us personally. 

      My box has an approximate value of $82.01. Overall, I think KLUTCHmom is a fun box if you love getting samples in the mail. I felt like some of the items were for kids older than Owen and I'm not sure if they will be able to customize based on age in the future. Technically, Owen is too young for the vitamins so I only gave him a half dose. Also, some of the products were not suited to pregnant women so that is a bit of a problem as well (though only for a couple more months). And with that, I am off to eat some yogurt with my non-nutty granola!
      If you're interested in trying KLUTCHclub for yourself, check out their website HERE. I subscribed for three months to KLUTCHclub men for Tim for Father's Day since he's been really interested in fitness and healthy foods lately. He's pretty excited about getting something for him in the mail since most of my subscription boxes have been for Owen and new baby or for me. 
      Do you subscribe to KLUTCHclub? What do you think about this month's box?

Disclosure: This box was received for review purposes. All opinions are my own and no compensation was received.       

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Citrus Lane review (June newborn box)

        Our Citrus Lane newborn box for little brother showed up a couple days ago and I wanted to share what was inside because I haven't seen many online reviews of newborn boxes. Like Owen's box, it was a really light and the contents were sparse, but I was still pretty happy with everything we received. 
      Here is what we received inside:
  • Sun Protection Hat from iPlay ($15.00 ): A Citrus Lane favorite! We love iPlay's Sun Protection Hats for their adorable design and because they provide  the maximum protection from the harmful rays of the sun. Even if your little one is wearing sunscreen, dermatologists recommend wearing a hat whenever possible. Made from UV-protective fabric that's rated 50 SPF, the wide brim provides allover coverage to shield delicate skin and prevent sun damage, while the microfiber fabric helps keep kiddos cool. We also received a sun hat in Owen's box, but I like the pattern of this one even better. It is so stinkin' cute! The only thing I'm worried about it that it is 0-6 months size and by the time the baby would be out in the summertime it will be next year most likely and he will be older than six months. We'll see. These do seem to run large. 

  • Odd Duck from Boon ($8.49): Not your average rubber ducky - the Odd Duck from Boon has a unique shape, large size, and bright colors that set it apart from other duckies. A perfect water toy, they're great fun not matter what time of year it is - use them in the pool or at the beach when the weather is warm, and in the bath during the winter months, season after season. Designed to not hold water, you won't have to worry about mold accumulating inside. Free from PVC, BPA, and phthalates. This ducky is so cute and I'm especially excited about the part where it doesn't get water in it so that it gets all moldy and gross. At some point, I've had to throw away certain bath toys of Owen's because they get all yucky and start squirting mold and slimy scum into the bath water.  

  • Foot Therapy Cream and Sampling Kit from Susan Brown's Baby ($20.00)We know that running around to care for a new baby isn't easy - especially on your feet - so we're pampering you this month with Susan Brown's Baby Foot Therapy Cream. Their foot Therapy Cream's rich, hydrating formula contains botanical moisturizers to help relieve overstressed tootsies. We also included a couple of items from the baby line to try on your little one. Enjoy! This lotion is more expensive than I would spend on any lotion so it must be good, right? It is a nice large size though and I'm happy to get something for pampering me that isn't edible. Lately I've gotten a lot of food items in the "mom gift" category and I am not a fan. Unless they start sending chocolate. Too bad getting this lotion doesn't ensure that my husband will actually start rubbing my feet. 

  • Baby Laundry Detergent from Dropps ($0.65): Made especially for sensitive types, this laundry detergent is incredibly gentle on delicate skin, yet tough enough to handle all the mess (and odors) babies dish out. Free from dyes and enzymes, Dropps Baby pacs contain an innovative formula that leaves clothes amazingly soft, itch-free, and super clean.  These seem nice and are convenient, but getting just two pacs was kind-of a bummer. I've already used both of them. I was especially disappointed because I looked online and a 20 pac pouch is less than $7 on Amazon so I don't think it would have been too crazy to give subscribers a full-sized pouch. My kiddo's clothes do seem nicely cleaned, but because it doesn't have a scent, they just smelled like nothing, which I guess is a good thing. 

    This month, the newborn box retailed for about $44.14, which is almost $20 over the cost of the box. This is a great value for all the items inside, which we found to all be useful and interesting. Citrus Lane claims to contain 4-5 full sized products in their boxes. Although our total value was good, we only received three full-sized products and then the three samples. 
    For those of you not familiar with Citrus Lane, it is a subscription box company that offers a monthly box of (generally) 4 to 5 full-sized products tailored to your child's age and gender for newborns to age 5. Boxes cost $25 a month, but currently, new members can save $10 on a subscription if they sign up through a referral link from someone who is already a Citrus Lane member. The Citrus Lane member will also receive a $10 credit. My referral link can be found HERE. Additionally, the coupon code TAKEHALF can get you half off your first month's box if you want to do a monthly subscription where you are charged each month. According to Citrus Lane's Facebook page, there is currently no discount code for a longer subscription other than using a referral link to sign up (though those subscriptions are already discounted some to reward people for ordering a longer term subscription). 
      Do you subscribe to Citrus Lane? What did you think about the June boxes?

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

I am linking up with Jennifer at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for Thursday Thoughts. Not much has been going on this week since Tim has been working a lot and I am getting back into a routine with Owen who is convinced after last week's undivided grandparent attention that he must be played with at all moments of the day. I don't mind too much, but our house is starting to show my neglect. 

~ I sent in my bag of clothes to ThredUp a couple weeks ago and I'm dreading finding out what my payout is going to be. I have heard horror stories of people who sent in clothing only to receive less than $10 back for it. And I already sent in a bag and got a pretty good amount back, but I've also heard that they give you a good payout the first time to get you to come back and then give you a lousy payout the second time. I know that this time I sent in a lot of really good stuff, including 14 items with tags still attached. So I feel like I should at least get a couple dollars from each of those items at the least. Unfortunately, I didn't take photos of the items before I sent them in so I don't really have any proof of what I sent in. But you can rest assured I will post on the blog if I don't feel like I got paid enough for what I sent in. I would have tried to sell to a consignment store or have a garage sale, but that just is not going to happen this summer. We are way too busy. 

~ I haven't done a pregnant belly photo in the past two or three weeks. I was out of town for two of those weekends and we just never got around to it. I will try to make sure it happens this weekend so everyone can see how huge I am. And to let everyone know that I will officially be 30 weeks on Saturday. Eep! If this baby comes early like Owen then that means I only have eight weeks left! 

~ So You Think You Can Dance selected its top 20 contestants on Tuesday and it's safe to say that I am not as wowed by this group of dancers as I have been in seasons past. I feel like they send home a ton of really great dancers just so they can have a certain "type" on the show and a certain number of each style of dancer. I haven't picked any favorite guy dancers, but my two girl favorites are Amy Y. and Mariah S., the krumper girl. I loved the all-guys number at the end of the episode with the sand. Super cool. The girls danced to that song, "Let's Have a Kiki," though I still don't have the faintest idea what the crap that song means. Also, Mia Michaels is back choreographing. Yippee! Do you watch SYTYCD?

~ I ordered a couple more cloth diapers during a sale at Kelly's Closet on Thirsties brand diapers and accessories at the beginning of the week. I believe it is still going on if you are interested. Owen seems fascinated by my growing stash of diapers and if I can get some cloth diaper safe detergent and a couple other things, I may try them out on him sometime before the baby is born. In the meantime, Blue Puppy was kind enough to let me try them out on him. 

~ My sweet husband brought me home this as a surprise last night: a bottle of Fre Alcohol-Removed Sparkling Wine. The gesture was so sweet. And it tastes good. But just basically like sparkling white grape juice. I was not fooled. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mountain vacation photos

     Last week we went on vacation to the mountains in Tennessee with my parents. I didn't broadcast it all over the place because I didn't want people somehow figuring out where I live and robbing our house or something like that. (We'd miss all three valuable things they would be able to find.) Tim only came on the weekends since he doesn't want to take time off work and instead is saving up vacation hours for when the baby is born. We had a really nice time relaxing and playing in the mountains. 
      We actually went on a hike on our first full day there (go me!) and I only had one person comment that she was glad I didn't go into labor while on the hike. Thanks, lady, I only look like I'm about to pop. I still have at least two months to go. Owen had a great time too and was able to hike with us for a bit of it before we put him in his carrier. 

A blurry shot, but proof we made it to the end to see the waterfall!

Also, proof that if you take your toddler on a hike every day, they won't fight naptime.

This was the view from the deck of the cabin we stayed in. 

       Owen's favorite part of the trip was going to Cades Cove, a nature preserve with picnic grounds and a loop you can drive through to check out the mountains, animals, and some cabins/churches from when people actually still lived there. Every time we got in the car, Owen asked to go to Cades Cove to "play in the river and see the animals."

Picking up rocks from the river was super fun. 

Owen apparently has some of my OCD tendencies because he had to organize his rocks in a row. 

Owen's other favorite part of going through Cades Cove was getting to sit in my dad's lap as we drove part of the loop. 

We were really fortunate on our second trip to Cades Cove to see five black bears, including this mother with her two babies. 

Throwing giant rocks in the water to make big splashes was also a highlight for Owen.