Ditch the Dryer Sheet (Feeling Fluffy Dryer Ball Review)

6fe6b566807a3336ffd08548e72380fcfa9cb700

I could totally tell you that in an effort to live more chemical-free, we ditched the dryer sheets, but in actuality we stopped using these money-sucking, chemical-laden sheets of fibers years ago when we got our new steam dryer. You see, you can’t use the steam drying cycles with dryer sheets.

But I guess you could say that this was our first step into using fewer chemicals and relying more on natural methods (water/steam).

Throughout the past couple years, however, we’ve gotten more and more chemical-free. As we were working through our Adventures in Cloth Diapering, we became curious about dryer balls and actually purchased two of them from Franklin Goose.

However, I also came to realize that you actually need quite a few dryer balls in your laundry load to effectively complete the drying cycle. When I had the opportunity to review a set of 6 dryer balls from Feeling Fluffy, I was thrilled and jumped on the opportunity.

Benefits of Using Dryer Balls:

  • Chemical-free: Many of the chemicals found in conventional dryer sheets contain A-Terpineol (may be associated with central nervous system disorders), Benzyl Alcohol (an upper respiratory irritant), Camphor (listed as an EPA Hazardous Waste), and Benzyl Acetate (carcinogen linked to pancreatic cancer). This should honestly be the biggest reason why you ditch the dryer sheet!
  • Reduced drying time: the 100% wool dryer balls will pull and absorb moisture in your fabrics.
  • Hypoallergenic: There are no irritants in these natural dryer balls, meaning that it’s great for sensitive skin.
  • Keeps home quiet: Compared to PVC or plastic dryer balls, wool dryer balls won’t bang or clunk around. Note: I did find that the wool dryer balls from Feeling Fluffy were as quiet as the others that I already had. That being said, as they are used more and more, they will most likely grow softer and quieter. They were still much quieter than the alternatives.

e1c60bd2ab19334f02ce23fdcdd0092355a4514a

When I first got started, I had a few concerns:

  1. Would my clothes be more static-y?
  2. Can’t I just make them myself?
  3. Do they really work?

Boy, I love to research when I have questions! I quickly found that my clothes did not have any more static when I used dryer balls than beforehand. This shocked me, as I assumed that the wool in these dryer balls would be Static Heaven. In fact, because the balls help to reduce drying time, that will also help to reduce static (longer drying time = more static). The more you have, the quicker drying time and less static. The balls also create a more humid environment, cutting down on static.

5c637fd7a74a1d8330e9edcb1b899b3548b45638

Can you make them yourself or use tennis balls? Tennis balls are heavy and will make lots of noise when you are drying. Not good when the dryer is right next to the nursery, and you run it at night and during naps. So DIY? Sure! But from what I found, it was so much more a hassle to make them than to just buy them. Plus, the price of the Feeling Fluffy dryer balls are incredible (currently $16.12 for a set of 6). Why would you spend so much time and energy on making something that you can buy so easily and inexpensively?

3f6de82f2419a302a4d54c56f10333cd

So, do they work? In short. YES! There is a learning curve to remembering to keep them in the dryer and shortening your drying cycle, but they do work! I also feel like our clothes are so much softer (after years of not using any fabric softener, I can feel the difference).

 

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this post. All thoughts are 100% my own. I did receive the dryer balls at a highly reduced price in exchange for my review.

Octopus Tripod Review

Octopus Tripod Review

I have been doing more Periscope broadcasts lately (come find me @dorydoyle), and if there is something I’ve learned, you need to have a steady camera/phone. I have a long-armed adjustable phone holder that clips onto my desk, but sometimes it’s just too bulky if I need to move my broadcasts to other rooms. I was really excited to try out the Octopus Tripod as a more light-weight option.

It is a series of plastic spheres with rubber grippers, so however you want to adjust the three legs, it is can move there. Be careful when you first get it and bend it around, because I pinched my fingers a little bit in between the spheres. Once you first move it around, you will find that you can easily adjust it. When you attach your phone to the top, you may have to readjust the legs so it doesn’t topple over. I love how easily the phone attaches and how secure it is… but you can only have your phone horizontally (it doesn’t stretch enough for a vertical placement, which is tough for Periscope broadcasts). To be honest, it’s not the most well-made of tripods, but it works fine for what is needed from it, especially for the price ($7.99 normally, but on sale for $2.44+$1.55 shipping).

Come check out my video review on YouTube:

 

Here are some stats from the company:

  • Include a camera lock for camera safely
  • Universal screw allows a variety of cameras to be mounted (make sure that your camera has the screw hole)
  • Retractable holder fits most cellphone (Max width 2.6 inch),for example Iphone 3GS 4 4S
  • Adjustable 360 degrees legs to form perfect shape Material: ABS Plastic + Rubber
  • Dealzip is a registered USPTO trademark No. 86610217

 

Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for my honest review. I did not receive any compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

#octopustripod #ad #review #tomoson

SAHM Mom Survival Guide eBook Review

“We don’t have the benefit of a routine ‘eight to five’ job where you accomplish the same tasks day in and out. Our lives take us in a million different directions and there is no way anyone can keep all of those things. Getting the events, appointments, and schedules out of your head and onto paper will free you from the stress.”  – Rebekah, The Stay At Home Mom Survival Kit

SAHM SK Book Mockup

As a Stay at Home Mom of our twins, I have a soft spot for other mamas who try to do other things in addition to mothering and taking care of the house. Many of us were professionals before becoming wives and mothers, and it is honestly hard to just completely turn off the switch to want to have adult interaction and help others, thus setting a good example for our children in being a steward of the world.

Most of us bloggers don’t blog just for ourselves. We are hoping to reach others and somehow touch them, whether that is to make them laugh, cry, or create. Today, I want to feature a Stay at Home Mommy Blogger (Rebekah with Charming Imperfections) who has done that with her new ebook, The Stay At Home Mom Survival Kit. I had the chance to read an advanced copy, and it is fantastic for anyone who needs a little (or a lot of) help getting organized to run an entire household. Don’t let the name fool you, as this is really fantastic for all moms, dads, or even those without children. It really could be called the “Household Survival Kit,” because of how versatile it is! Although, if you are a SAHM, you will love Rebekah’s tidbits and discussions at each section.

So what is included in this survival kit?

  • Schedules: More than just a cute calendar, the scheduling pages will give you the chance to organize and plan for every event and appointment (with 6 printable pages)
  • Finances: Get on a budget, organize your bills, tackle that debt, and commit to becoming financially wise with the pages included in this section (with 13 printable pages)
  • Meal Planning: Meal planning is simplified with the inventories, planning pages, shopping lists, and strategy worksheets to help you feed your family and save money (with 10 printable pages)
  • Housework: Every checklist and chore chart you need to get started and stay on track towards a cleaner, more comfortable home (with 7 printable pages)
  • Activities: Take the work out of fun with the planning pages included in the Activities section. Plus, get the Vacation Planning Kit for free (with 11 printable pages)
  • Health: Monitor your weight and fitness progress, keep track of medications, and have information on all the medical facilities you visit on one page (with 10 printable pages)

The book is structured with a narrative and then the printable pages. Each section explains the background and also instructs you how to use and modify the printables to fit your family. It is absolutely beautiful, but it is also designed to take minimal ink when printed. It will also look gorgeous in black and white if you want to save your colored ink.

“As a mom of twins, I have to be organized. Our household wouldn’t function any other way. I really loved this eBook, as it was almost as if I wrote the book with the way that I try to keep my home, finances, and lists organized. Rebekah does a wonderful job explaining each of the sections well and then having thorough and cute charts, lists, and calendars that we can print out and use. This isn’t just a book for Stay at Home Moms, though! All families could take their household organization to the next level with the help of this kit!” – Dory Doyle

The entire eBook is $15, but there are also some free printables available on the book’s webpage if you want to try before you buy.  If you purchase this book during the launch week (September 15-22), you can save $5 by using the code LAUNCHWEEK. In addition, 10% of all sales from September 15-October 6 will be donated to a local charity called Esther House, which is a transitional, grace-based facility for women and/or women with children who have experienced incarceration, abuse, homelessness, and emotional and spiritual wounds.

There are also a slew of other products and updates coming from Rebakah and Charming Imperfections, including a holiday planner coming in mid-November and a New Year Planner and expanded Health and Fitness section coming at the end of December.

SAHM SK 46x60

 

Disclaimer: In the spirit of full disclosure, this post includes affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from Charming Imperfections. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.

Baiden Mitten Review

Disclaimer: I received a Baiden Mitten to review. I was also compensated for this review, although all opinions are 100% my own. 

Baiden Mitten Image

When I first heard about the Baiden Mitten, I assumed it was like a sponge or loofah, but after I had received it and started using it, I realized that it is totally different than the store-bought scrubbers, shower mitts, and other similar shower accessories. Although the initial price is high ($48.95), I firmly believe that it is worth that price. Would it be better if it were a few dollars cheaper? Sure (but what isn’t?), but for the length of time, natural nature of this product, and ability to throw away most other scrubs and scrubbers, it really would save you money.

What is it?

The Baiden Mitten is made from natural fibers woven together into a course material, and then it is sewn together to make a mitt. Because of the natural fibers and combination with opening of the pores from a hot bath/shower, it can be used to deep clean the skin naturally, without the use of creams, scrubs, or rubs.

What is the history behind it?

There is an entire story behind the Baiden Mitten that is included in the packaging, but it basically is an old idea from bath houses in the Ottoman Empire. The techniques to create this were passed down to Ishay, the creator of the Baiden Mitten, by her grandmother. She named it after her mother Baide. The Baiden Mitten is a family-owned company that stands by no animal testing. You can find more information on their websites: www.AncientExfoliation.com and www.BaidenMitten.com. You can also purchase it on Amazon.

How does it work?

After first prepping the mitt (by washing in plain soap and hot water), you are ready to use it. First, make sure that you don’t have lotions, creams, soaps, or oils on your skin. Next, shower or soak in a hot bath for 15+ minutes. This helps to loosen the toxins and residue on your skin (the largest organ in your body). Next, either turn off the shower water or step out of the tub (but don’t towel dry your skin). Put the damp Baiden Mitten on your hand, and start scrubbing in either an up-down or side-to-side motion. Do not do a circular motion. You can scrub as hard or light as you feel comfortable. You will start to see “rolls” form on your skin. This is the exfoliated skin. Finally, completely rinse the skin to remove all of the rolls and thoroughly rinse the mitten before hanging to dry.

Are there times when I shouldn’t use it?

The labels warn not to use it during an active sunburn or on open wounds.

How often should I use it?

You only need to use it about once a week (or less often).

My reaction:

I loved it! Ages ago, I had gotten a cream scrub for my face from an expensive makeup counter, and I experienced the same “rolls” with that as well. But it was so expensive, and who knows what other ingredients were in it! With this, I can target exactly the areas I wanted to exfoliate (or my whole body), and there are absolutely no chemicals! If you have ready any of my posts about my Young Living essentials oils, you know that having no-chemicals is a big one for me!

I will admit that I was so excited to use it that I didn’t read the directions at first and used it in a circular motion. It was a great exfoliation, but I didn’t get the rolls until the next day when I re-read the directions and used it the correct way. Because I take pretty good care of my skin and exfoliate regularly, I didn’t have many areas of dry skin “rolls,” but I was very happy with what I did have. My skin felt smoother and tighter afterwards, and I didn’t feel the need to add extra lotion over my body. I continued to use it while at the beach (not daily, but admittedly more than 1 time a week), and I continued to be thrilled with the clean feeling that I had. I only got those “rolls” the first day of using it, so that made me realize I didn’t need it as often as I had been using it.

When I used it on my face the first day, I had been tentative with my nose, and I actually missed an area (circled in blue):

Baiden Mitten Face Time 1

You can actually see the area that I missed!

 

When I went back a couple days later to get that area on my nose (and the rest of my face), I actually think that I scrubbed right next to that area too a little too hard. You can see my little boo-boo on my nose. Besides that, can you just see how my skin literally glows from using it, however? This is without any lotion, too!

Baiden Mitten Face Time 2

 

Overall, I know that the $48.95 price tag is a little high, but I really do think that it is worth it to spend the money on the Baiden Mitten instead of exfoliation services at a spa or creams. Plus, they have a money back guarantee if you aren’t happy with your purchase. This will last 2 years (or over 100 microdermabrasions for your face and body). In the little over a week that I’ve had it, I really do think that my skin is better (except that one little section on my nose), so I’m thrilled with it!

#BestSkinCare

 

Little Squeeze Me Reusable Pouch Review and Giveaway


Little Squeeze Me Pouch Display

Although we are not exclusively feeding pureed food with Audrey and David (16 months), every now and then we just have to get extra calories in them (picky toddlers can equal little food eaten). Often the fastest way is through those organic pouches with the twist-off spouts.

When the twins were younger and just starting on solid food, we made our own baby food and put them in pouches. We found, however, that the twins couldn’t actually handle sucking and squeezing the pouches themselves (unless we wanted to regularly clean up a huge mess). It was easier for us just to make little frozen cubes of pureed food and defrost as needed. This was much less wasteful with the food itself and also with less plastic waste (since those pouches were one-use only). We happily found new homes for our Infantino Squeeze Station and Kiinde Foodii and just went with ice cube trays with a lid and stored them in sealable containers. So. Much. Easier.

Now that the twins are older, however, we have circled back to using those pouches as needed for extra nutrition. I love that David will often eat the contents of a pouch (or 2 or 3) when he doesn’t want ANYTHING else to eat. But after going through pouch after pouch, I felt really guilty over the amount of trash we were creating and also how expensive those pouches were. I wanted a way to go back and make my own pouches, but I needed something that was easier to put the liquid into the pouch.

Little Squeeze Me Pouch Info

So when I got the opportunity to try out the Little Squeeze Me pouches, I was thrilled! With a zip-tight top and reusable design, I was thrilled that I might have found the answer to the DIY baby food issue. Here is what they say about their pouches:

•The only self standing pouch when filled that features a clear fill line with measurement markings on the back

•Holds up to 6 fluid ounces

•Our Little Squeeze Me pouch is very durable and is made with the highest quality materials available. Leak free and easy to fill with extra strength Double Zippered pouches. No filling station needed! Just pour or spoon in through the wide top zipper opening

•DIY Homemade Snacks Using Fresh Organic Pureed Fruits, Applesauce and Yogurt. Great for an adults portioned meals, after work out protein shakes and work lunch

•Easy to clean with an easy to see clear bottom, dishwasher and freezer safe. Excellent for freezing meals and snacks in advance!

•Go Green and Save Money! Tired of throwing away so many baby food pouches? These big reusable pouches are earth friendly and is BPA, Phthalate, PVC and Lead Free. For every purchase, 2 foundations will each receive $1 to support MOMS and BABIES. Original price $35 and currently selling for $14.97 on Amazon

So what do I actually think? In order to try something new, I wanted to do a video review of this reusable pouch. I hope you enjoy it!

EDIT: I tried to clean the pouches from our pumpkin, and it was difficult to get it all the way cleaned. With a good brush, you can get to the corners, but just make sure you have cleaned it thoroughly (and dried it) before using it again.

If you would like to purchase the Little Squeeze Me pouches for 20%, you can order them through the www.jesentials.com with promo code ESM3CRW7. In addition, one lucky reader will get the chance to try out their own set of Little Squeeze Me pouches. You can use the Rafflecopter Widget to enter. We ask that the winner also writes a short, honest review on Amazon as well after you have tried it. 

Little Squeeze Me Pouch

a Rafflecopter giveaway