10.31.2010

Happy Halloween!

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RecycleBank: 25 points for taking the P&G quiz

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Go here and take the P&G Future Friendly quiz and you will earn 25 points for your RecycleBank account! There are a bunch of great coupons available as rewards from RecycleBank, among other prizes. Right now you can get a $3 Kashi coupon for only 50 points!

10.29.2010

New on Alice.com: GroVia Diapers and Accessories!

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Alice.com is now offering GroVia cloth diapers, cloth wipes, bio wipes, laundry detergent, diaper balm and biosoaker pads! I'm excited about this because now you can order even more of the eco-friendly items you need in one place and for a great price! Plus I'm a big fan of GroVia!

If you are new to Alice.com, it's a very convenient website because there are no coupons to clip, and shipping is FREE (with minimum order of six items)!

Once you create an Alice.com account, check out other recently added products here! You'll find a large selection of Plum Organics baby and toddler foods, Bum Boosa bamboo wipes, Babo Botanicals bath products, and Natural Babycare wipes and diapers to name a few!

Disclosure: This post contains a referral link. 

10.27.2010

Posting Deals on Facebook

Lately, I've started sharing a lot more deals directly through my blog's Facebook fan page. The reason for this is some of the deals I find go really quickly. By the time I write up a post and it makes it to your email inbox the next morning, the offer may have ended (especially with free samples)! Or simply because I can share a link on Facebook quickly and it takes me awhile to sit and write a blog post, which I'm finding I have less and less time to do now with a one year old, finishing up school, and managing the house alone during the deployment. I'm going to keep posting here as much as possible, but I want to encourage you to also follow on Facebook if you aren't already so you can take advantage of other deals I come across and share.
Thanks everyone, I hope you are having a lovely Wednesday!

- Michelle

Wordless Wednesday: Bath Hair



And here's an extra picture because the sky was so beautiful after the thunderstorm we had Tuesday:


10.24.2010

Goat's Milk = Miracle Cure?



On Jacob's first birthday I tried giving him whole milk and after just a few hours he was congested, his nose was running, he had diarrhea, and his eczema flared up really bad. I called his doctor's office and spoke with a doctor who had never seen my son, who recommended I keep giving him whole milk because there are "so many viruses that go around this time of year." Well, I trusted my gut on this one and knew that my son was not sick because he hadn't been exposed to anything and the symptoms started immediately when I gave him milk (coincidence? I don't think so). I wasn't convinced that Jacob couldn't be allergic to milk just because he had been on a milk-based formula and done fine, as the doctor had pointed out. Milk-based formula and whole milk are not the same thing.

So I got online and did some research and discovered that a lot of children and adults with milk sensitivities do well with goat's milk. It's easier to digest and less of an allergen. Dr. Sears even recommends it. The next thing I had to figure out was where to get it, luckily I can find the pint sized cartons of Meyenberg goat's milk at Kroger and Walmart! BUT it's $3.99 a pint. Eeek! However, I was fortunate enough that at our next WIC appointment, all I had to do was mention that I wanted my son on goat's milk because of his milk allergy symptoms and no questions asked, they switched us to receive vouchers for goat's milk.

At first Jacob would only drink the goat's milk if I mixed in a little formula. I can't blame him though, it's a strong flavor that takes some getting used to. However, we slowly transitioned and now he drinks it straight and loves it! Best part is that he doesn't have any symptoms of an allergy. His eczema even started to improve over normal when he switched. Then a couple weekends ago, we were at the farmer's market and I spotted bars of goat's milk soap for sale. I got one for myself and an oatmeal bar for Jacob, within TWO WASHES his skin was clear! No more rashes, itching, flaky patches, nothing. I don't even have to use lotion on him, his skin stays smooth and moisturized. My skin, which tends to dry out at the beginning of fall is doing great as well! Which brings me to my point, I am starting to believe that goat's milk may be a miracle cure. I wondering what else it can be used for now!

There is a downside though... I can't exactly order goat's milk for him when we go out to eat, and in a few weeks when we fly to California, I won't be able to keep a cup of it cold on the plane. So I ordered it in the powdered form from Amazon and I REALLY hope that Jacob will drink it.

RueLaLa: Free $20 Credit!


Another site on my invite-only-boutique-shopping-addiction list is RueLaLa.com. They have an awesome offer going right now where you will get a free $20 credit if you sign up by 10/25/10 (tomorrow)! Once you sign up, invite your friends ASAP so they can get a free credit too! You will have to use the credit by 12/31/10 and it may take 48 hours to show up in your account. I have seen eco-friendly and kids items on RueLaLa from time to time too!

 Disclosure: This post contains an invite link (so you can get the free credit)!

Pampers Gifts to Grow: 10 point code


Here is the latest Pampers Gifts to Grow code:

Enter PAMPERSGTG10PTS for 10 points



Disclosure: This post contains an invite link.

10.23.2010

Groupon: Surprise coming on Monday!

 
Groupon: Get the Best Deal in Your City Today! 

Not too long ago Groupon offered the incredible deal of $50 worth of merchandise at the Gap for only $25! My sister and I both jumped on this offer and were able to save a bunch of money. Well, according to Groupon, a similar deal will be available on Monday. They will be offering a $40 credit for a brick and mortar store for only $20. I'm curious to see what the deal is and I encourage you to sign up for Groupon if you haven't already so you don't miss out!


I love that there are eco-friendly deals too! Another great Groupon discount I took advantage of was 4 t-bone steaks from my favorite local grass-fed beef farm for only $35! It's free to join Groupon, and they offer daily discounts in cities near you. Plus some offers like the one coming on Monday are available all over. However, this deal will have to be used in the store not online.

Disclosure: This post contains a referral link.

10.22.2010

Cloth Diaper Issues

Our previously wonderful cloth diaper routine has gone south lately...we've had a bunch of LEAKS to the point of Jacob's pants being soaked, and the odor has gotten out of control. I love my cloth diaper detergent, and usually a little vinegar in the wash helps with the odor, but lately it's not cutting it. I got online and did a little research and discovered that I have never "stripped" my diapers! Luckily I came across this information from bumGenius about solving diaper issues. When certain issues come up, like leaks and odors, diapers can be stripped using Dawn liquid dish soap (blue kind) and hot water. Now if only I could figure out why Jacob is getting terrible diaper rash too. We change diapers frequently and I try to let him air dry for a little bit before putting on a new diaper. Or I use Avalon Organics A+D ointment. Any other tips?

10.21.2010

Review: Infantino Eco Sash Carrier


Recently, Infantino provided me with their new Eco Sash carrier to test out and review. It's designed for babies up to 35lbs and has a lot of great features, plus compared to other similar carriers it's a little more affordable at about $60. Infantino offers a variety of products for baby-wearing, but what initially drew me to the design of the Eco Sash carrier is the wrap and tie design. I used a wrap when my son was little and liked the adjustability, but as he grew older I also wanted more support (like thick shoulder straps), which the Eco Sash offers. Now that we've used it a bunch of times over the past 6 weeks, and I'm now ready to report back.

What I like about the Eco Sash carrier:
  • The design caught my eye right away, I love the colors and pattern (it's also reversible to plain black)
  • You can wear the carrier in several different positions: in front with baby facing in, in front with baby facing out, or baby facing in on your back.
  • I like that I can tie it below my growing baby belly. Some other carriers have a hip belt that sit right on my stomach which is no longer comfortable. The ties are long enough that I can adjust as needed.
  • I like that it is comfortable to wear on my back for extended periods of time. Jacob felt secure and supported.
  • Finally, the detachable hood that keeps the baby's head covered from the sun or cold is a nice feature

However...
  • This carrier is a little trickier to learn to tie; it's definitely more like a wrap in that sense. Luckily, Infantino provides a helpful diagram stitched right inside of the carrier so you don't forget how to tie it.
  • Ultimately I think I would give it 4 out of 5 stars, with the downside being it is a little hard to put on and adjust, which Jacob was not patient for. However, once he was in and the carrier was tied, we were fine.
You can find Infantino on Facebook and Twitter, and find a store near you that carriers Infantino products here.

    Disclosure: I received the Eco Sash carrier free of charge from Infantino to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. 

      10.19.2010

      10.18.2010

      Recycle your jeans at GAP and save 30% on new jeans!


      I forgot to post this sooner, so there are now only a few days left to participate! 

      Here's the info:
      Recycle Your Blues! From October 6th - 20th, 2010 bring any of your old denim to a GAP store and get 30% off all 1969 jeans. The denim is converted into UltraTouch Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation, and donated to communities in need.

      Green Halloween Tips!

      RecycleBank.com shared a few creative green Halloween tips that I wanted to pass along:

      Spooky, Sustainable Decorations

      • Make "spider webs" with pillow stuffing. Those "cobwebs" that are sold in Halloween shops are pretty much the same as the fiberfill or cotton stuffed in throw pillows, quilts, and plush toys. If you've got a throw pillow that's worse for the wear, rip it open and use wisps of the cotton batting as cobwebs to cover furniture or to stretch over the corners of windows.
      • Find some naturally spooky decorations outside. Take a walk in the park and raid the farm stand for creepy-looking dead branches, pumpkins and gourds. You might also use old clothes and some straw to make your own scarecrow — the head could be a pumpkin or a white pillowcase with a creepy face drawn on with fabric markers.
      • Make some Halloween crafts out of trash. Cut up egg cartons to make bats, make a witch out of a plastic spoon, or use decoupage or paints to decorate a cleaned plastic food container, like a large yogurt container or a gallon milk jug with the top cut off, for a trick-or-treat candy dish.

      Costumes with a Conscience

      • Host a kids' costume swap. A few weeks before Halloween, organize a costume swap with families in the neighborhood or at a local school. Everyone can bring their costumes from previous years, and trade them in for a "new" outfit. Especially when you've spent money on an expensive store-bought costume that's been outgrown or is no longer wanted (after all, who wants to dress in the same thing two years in a row?), it's satisfying to know that your purchase is being put to good use.
      • Check your closet for costume ideas made from old clothes. Old prom dresses, business suits and hopelessly out-of-style fashions are all fair game for a fun Halloween costume, whether for yourself or a child. Zombie prom queen, anyone?
      • Get clever. Some of the best costumes are the least obvious but the most simple to assemble. Use your imagination and some old clothes to create a thinking-person's costume: A big P on a t-shirt and some black make-up around your eye is a "Black-Eyed Pea", while painting a big black blob on a white shirt will have everyone interpreting your Rorschach ink blot.
      • Raid your make-up box. All of those old cosmetics and gifts-with-purchases that are cluttering your bathroom cabinets can be put to good use when they double as costume makeup — red lipstick can stand in for blood, and dark eyeliner or a cotton swab dipped in mascara can be used to draw whiskers and other features. As you're digging through your cosmetics, you might also consider paring down your collection by donating any new, unused cosmetics to an organization like Cosmetics for a Cause, which distributes them to battered or troubled women.

      $1.50 off Newman's Own Salad Dressing or Pasta Sauce




      Mailbox Monday: October 18th


      I got a bunch of goodies in the mail today! I especially love getting trial sized items because they can be easily squeezed into care packages for my husband.

      1. Melissa & Doug puzzle from Pampers Gifts to Grow (earned completely with free codes!)
      2. Jergens lotion (can't remember where I got that from)
      3. Covergirl and Pantene samples from P&G Brand Sampler

      Rite Aid: $5 off $25


      If you are a Rite Aid shopper make sure that you print out this $5 off a $25 purchase coupon for your next trip! It expires at the end of November.

      ThanksFor the Mommas

      10.16.2010

      Pampers 10 point code


      Yet another Pampers Gifts to Grow code is out, I'm assuming there will be a new one every week now at the rate we're going. I recommend that even if you don't use pampers or even have kids at home, that you still consider collecting the free codes, because there are some great prizes that will appeal to anyone not just parents!

      Enter PAMPERS4MOMSOND for 10 points!



      Disclosure: This post contains an invite link.

      10.15.2010

      Ecover Winner!

      I keep forgetting to post the winner of the Ecover giveaway! 
      Congrats to:


      #35 Judy!

      Eversave: Great deal on resuable water bottles!



      Today's deal on Eversave is $40 worth of eco-friendly water bottles from EcoUsable.com for only $20! Plus if you are new to Eversave then you will also get a $5 credit to apply to your first order!

      Disclosure: This post contains an invite link.

      10.14.2010

      Traveling with a Toddler - Suggestions Please!

      Next month, Jacob and I will be flying to California to spend Thanksgiving with family. Since my husband is in Afghanistan, we will be making the trip solo. Last time we flew just the two of us it went pretty well. We visited family in Oklahoma for several days and he did great on the flights. But... we were just flying from Nashville to Tulsa, which was a shorter flight, and he was barely 8 months old. Then he hadn't started crawling yet, still loved to be held, and napped more. This time he will be 14 months old, is very squirmy, doesn't want to be held more than a few minutes, loves to yell, and hardly naps. On top of this, I will be 4 months pregnant and I already have a baby belly, meaning lap space is decreasing by the minute. Oh and did I mention that I thought our formula days would be done at 12 months, but that's not the case since Jacob only tolerates goat's milk, so I will have to pack powdered milk with us too since I doubt it's offered as a complimentary beverage...

      ...Recently, my friend has discovered that saying the word "airplane" makes me cringe and she now loves to tease me often. That shows how much I am looking forward to the traveling part of this trip...

      I was on my game last time but I'm am very anxious about this trip. Does anyone have ANY suggestions? How to keep him entertained? How to prevent him from climbing all over me and all the other passengers the whole flight? How to satisfy his need to squirm when there is hardly enough room for me to squeeze my own legs into the seat space?

      10.11.2010

      Kelly's Closet 15% OFF Sale!



      Kelly's Closet must be having fun at the ABC Kids Expo in Vegas, because they are offering a great discount so we can stock up on some cloth diapers and accessories! 
      You can save 15% off your order at KellysCloset.com with the code: VEGASBABY
      Valid October 12th and 13th only!
      (Some items are excluded: bumGenius, Flip, Econobum, and Grovia)



      Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.

      Zulily: Green Toys Sale until 10/14


      I just mentioned the other day that we love Green Toys, and this morning while checking my email I discovered that Zulily has a sale on Green Toys right now! The prices look pretty good (a little lower than Amazon for a few items). Zulily is free to shop, sign up here.

      Disclosure: This post contains an invite link.

      10.09.2010

      Two of our favorite eco-friendly toys



      Jacob loves playing with his Green Toys Dump Truck, and we have now added another eco-friendly toy to our collection: Tree Blocks from Greeno Bambino.

      I used an Eversave deal a few weeks back and got the set for only $13! As we get closer to the holidays, be on the lookout for some awesome deals from sites like Eversave. I'm always surprised at how many eco-friendly and green deals I find on deal a day websites!

      Disclosure: This post contains referral links.

      10.06.2010

      Wordless Wednesday: It's been a rough day


      It started with Jacob breaking a glass in the kitchen and ended with a rabbit dying.

      MORE Pampers Codes!


      Here are TWO more Pampers Gifts to Grow codes:

      GIFTSTOGROW4MOM – (50 Points)
      10PTSFREECODE4U – (10 Points)



      In the past couple week I've earned almost 100 free points! Maybe I will have enough for another free Christmas present for Jacob soon!

      Plus earn 10 Points Per Referral! Start earning 10 points for every new member you refer plus every new member gets 50 points when signing up for Pampers Gifts to Grow! After you login you need to go to Special Promotions and click on “Share Pampers Village today!” to get your referral link. There's plenty of freebie points out there so you don't have to be a Pampers user to benefit from this program!

      Disclosure: This post contains an invite link.

      10.05.2010

      12 Ways to Green Your Fall


      I saw this great article on Earth911.com and wanted to pass it along... click on the link for 12 Ways to Green You Fall!

      $5 a Day Challenge: September Results



      Here are the $5 a Day Challenge results for September:

      EARNINGS: $104.72 (6.37 hours total or ~$16.44/hr)
      American Consumer Opinion - $0
      Focusline surveys - $1
      HarrisPoll -  $1.41 (toward gift card)*
      HCD Surveys: $0
      Inbox Dollars - $.57 (cash out minimum $30)
      Ipsos i-say - $0 (Amazon)*
      Lightspeed Panel - $5.89 (Amazon)*
      Mindfield  - $0 (Paypal)
      Mypoints - $0
      MySurvey - $0 (Amazon)*
      Opinion Outpost - $12.50 (Amazon)
      Palm Research - $0 (Paypal)
      Pinecone Research - $9 (Paypal)
      Sponsored Tweets - $.80 (check)
      SurveySavvy - $2 (check)
      Surveyhead - $0 (Amazon)
      Swagbucks - $10 (Amazon)
      Toluna - $0 (check)*
      Valued Opinions  - $0 (Amazon)
      YouData - $0 (Paypal)
      Other survey panels -$10
      Blog income - $1.55
      Photography - $50

      *Please note that I converted points for some sites into dollar value in order to easily calculate my hourly earnings. Some sites have cash out minimums above what I earned, so my account balance will roll into next month..


      TOTAL SAVINGS: $146.57
      Groceries - $71.57
      Rite Aid - $15
      Groupon - $25 (Gap deal)
      Eversave - $13 (Greeno Bambino deal)
      One Kings Lane - $15 (Bamboo kitchen deal)
      Rebates - $7

      GIVEAWAY WINS FROM OTHER BLOGS: $0


      HOW MUCH I SAVED/MADE MY FAMILY THIS MONTH: $251.29
      YTD: $6,220.87

      Disclosure: This post contains referral links.

      10.02.2010

      Did you get your free lunch sack yet?


      Mine arrived today! If you haven't signed up for a free lunch sack from Annie's Homegrown, there is still time!

      Here are the details:
      Free Reusable &Waste-Free Annie’s Homegrown Lunch Sack when you buy any two packages of Annie’s Homegrown.  You’ll just need to enter the UPC and fill out the form.  Good for purchases made between 7/15/10 – 10/31/10.

      More Pampers Codes!


      Here's a few more Pampers Gifts to Grow codes:

      JOINNOW4REWARDS – (50 Points for new sign-ups)
      FacebookOct2010 – 10 Points

      Plus earn 10 Points Per Referral! Start earning 10 points for every new member you refer plus every new member gets 50 points when signing up for Pampers Gifts to Grow! After you login you need to go to Special Promotions and click on “Share Pampers Village today!” to get your referral link. There's plenty of freebie points out there so you don't have to be a Pampers user to benefit from this program!

      Disclosure: This post contains an invite link.

      10.01.2010

      $.75 off Muir Glen!



      Coupons.com has a new coupon $.75 off one Muir Glen product! To print, head over to Coupons.com and scroll through the "foods" pages until you spot this deal, you should be able to print it twice.

      Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.