Sunday, November 29, 2009

Charlie's Soap: The Giveaway!

Let me get it out now: Oh, how I LOVE Charlie's Soap!

I've been anticipating this post and holding it in for so long. Whew...I feel better.

Charlie's Soap is a blend of natural-based detergents derived from coconut of dyes, perfumes, and the yucky stuff that most detergents leave behind on your clothing, making it perfect to wash our Baby Boy's cloth diapers in. Besides being non-toxic and biodegradable, Charlie's Soap has met the challenge of keeping the cloth diapers smelling great after each wash load.

And it gets better.

Since we were already users of "free and clear" detergents because of the skin sensitivity issues in our household, I decided to start laundering everything in Charlie's Soap in order to keep the washing machine free of residue build-up left behind by other non-natural detergents. (This is what's recommended by the Charlie's Soap folks.) Our family has continued to stay rash-free and smelling fresh, and our clothing has stayed looking great, too!

And it gets EVEN BETTER!

I recently had the opportunity to try out the Charlie's Soap All-Purpose Cleaner, which is also non-toxic and completely biodegradable. This Cleaner is known to tackle even the toughest "dirt and grime" jobs. It gently removes stains from carpets, laundry, and showers, yet can degrease your car engine safely and effectively! After our recent bathroom remodel (Yes, it's done! And yes, pictures to come this week!), I used the All-Purpose Cleaner to remove the dirt, grime, and dust left behind on the new shower and tub from all of the work that was done. The Cleaner left it looking brand new in a matter of minutes! I just sprayed it on and wiped it right off with a wet cloth...quick and easy!

But you don't have to take my word for it. Just check out the Charlie's Soap website, and you can read up on all of the research that was done on their Laundry Soap and their All-Purpose Cleaner. Nothing but straight facts and honest answers. OH, and while you're might notice the "Black Friday through Cyber Monday Sale!" banner at the top of their home page. It's a great time to get awesome deals on their products!

NOW, you get a chance to win some Charlie's Soap items for yourself! The company is giving one winner the following:

- one bag of Charlie's Soap Laundry Powder
- 16 loads of Charlie's Soap Laundry Liquid (for comparison)
- one sprayer of Charlie's Soap All-Purpose Cleaner
- one Pocket Charlie's (portable version of the All-Purpose)
- one Charlie's Soap grocery tote bag

Deadline to enter is 11:59pm on Friday, December 11th.

Here's what you need to do:
1) Check out the Charlie's Soap website by clicking here, then come back and leave a comment on this post telling me something (anything!) you found interesting about their products or the company.

That's it!

To earn extra entries, you can:
1) Blog about and link back to this giveaway.
2) Link to this post on Facebook.
3) Put a link to my blog in your sidebar.
4) Become a Follower of my blog (via Google Friend Connect).

If you do any or all of the extra entries (or if you already do them), be sure to tell me so I can count your entries!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fix, Freeze, Feast Winner!

Thanks so much to all of you who commented on the Fix, Freeze, Feast contest post!

The lucky winner has been chosen (using a True Random Number Generator from, and...

the winner is...

Sara over at There she grows (Comment #2)

Congrats! Sara will be receiving a copy of “Fix, Freeze, Feast” by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik (Storey Publishing, 2007).

And...calling all Charlie's Soap users or those who are looking for an AWESOME natural laundry product! We have a great Charlie's Soap giveaway coming next week! Keep your eyes peeled! :o)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Choosing your words carefully...

This past week has been challenging, to say the least. Although the tub and shower walls are in, we still can't use them until all of the drywall is done. It's been a week of showering at our neighbors and me looking like a mess for most of the time. But soon...very will all be done. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Not having a functioning main bathroom can really take a toll on my attitude. Wow! I have been a snippy, cranky lady this week, and I've had to work extra hard to not blow my top or say things I shouldn't say. Yes, I do admit...some of the things that came out of my mouth in the past week weren't so nice, and I had to be really, really careful in choosing my words. Thank God that some of the things my kids say and do have provided a bit of comic relief.

Take this little guy, for example...

I went upstairs for two minutes while he and his big sister shared a snack of Sun Chips, and this is what I found when I came back down. I thought my words through, as did he when he realized he was caught and in trouble. I took enough time to snap a picture or two, call Hubby in to see what happened, and suppress a smile before scolding him for eating the food that was to be the next morning's breakfast.

Of course, besides being snippy about not having a bathroom, pregnancy does all kinds of amazing things for your mental health. Right, ladies??? From irrational thoughts to hating all clothing, I've felt it all over the past two weeks. So when the following conversation ensued yesterday, my words and thoughts had to be picked through very carefully...

Me (wearing a pair of velor maternity pants, borrowed from a friend): Danae, what do you think of these pants on me?

Danae (while swiping one hand across my leg): They're okay. (Then she runs off and plays.)

A little while later, as we are getting shoes and coats on to go out the door...

Danae: Mama, I really like those blue pants on you. (Feels them.) They're so soft...and...(longer pause)...jiggly.

Me (not sure what to say): Did you just say 'jiggly'? What does that mean?

Danae: Oh, well, you know...when you move, they go like this. AND SHE PROCEEDS TO MOVE HER LOWER BODY AS IF SHE WERE BEYONCE!

Nice...reeeeeal nice. I would have run upstairs and changed, but since coats and shoes were all on, time didn't allow for such a luxury. Stay in there words. Stay. in. there.

But, honestly, how can anyone stay upset at those two faces?! :o) Life will go on, projects will get done, so I need to keep it all in check.
Have a happy Friday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Review...and a Giveaway!

I try to stay organized.

I really, really do.

I have to-do lists, a chore chart, and lists for my to-do lists. I L.O.V.E. crossing things off of my lists, feeling a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment every time I click my pen and put a checkmark in the little box.

But there’s one department that seems to get pushed back and neglected almost every weeknight.


My afternoons are filled with work and completing tasks, and the duty of “figure out dinner” usually gets pushed back until 5:00pm…when it’s too late to get a really awesome dinner prepped, in the oven, and on the table within an hour. That’s when I look through the refrigerator and pantry, trying to throw things together and make it taste good without admitting defeat and offering bowls of cereal. (Although, I wouldn’t mind that…I absolutely love cereal…more on that at a later time.)

A solution to this dilemma arrived a few weeks ago: a really AWESOME book that I was recently given to review, entitled “Fix, Freeze, Feast” by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik (Storey Publishing, 2007). This book is chock-full of delicious recipes that are prepared ahead of time, in bulk, and easily frozen – with directions to attach! There are over 125 recipes that include meat and meatless main dishes, sides, soups, marinades, breakfast items, and even cookies. Each recipe is detailed and descriptive, telling you exactly what ingredients you need, how many freezer bags, how to label the bags, and how to prepare the food. Then, all you do is get your ingredients, follow the directions, and TA-DA! You have several future meals in your freezer, ready to go when you need them. Just follow the directions, and you will have dinner on the table in no time.

Last week I made the Sticky Ribs (p. 126), Rice Pilaf (p. 151), and Dave’s Swamp Blues Barbecued Chicken (p. 30). All received a "thumbs up" from Hubby and the kiddos, with Hubby saying that the pork ribs were “one of the best-tasting and most tender pieces of pork he has ever had.” Plus, now I have several more servings of each recipe in my deep freezer for future meals. Don’t you just love finding solutions to your problems? :o)

Now, YOU get a chance to WIN a copy of “Fix, Freeze, Feast” and try it out for yourself! Deadline to enter is 11:59pm on Sunday, November 22nd.

Here's what you need to do:
1) Leave a comment on this post telling me what you currently do to get dinner on the table. Any creative secrets that you can share?

That's it!

To earn extra entries, you can:
1) Blog about and link back to this giveaway.
2) Link to this post on Facebook.
3) Put a link to my blog in your sidebar.
4) Become a Follower of my blog (via Google Friend Connect).

If you do any or all of the extra entries (or if you already do them), be sure to tell me so I can count your entries!

Fuzzi Bunz Winner!

Wow! Thank you to so many of you who entered the Fuzzi Bunz diaper giveaway! I was floored to see 78 comments on that post!

So, the lucky winner has been chosen (using a True Random Number Generator from, and...

the winner is...

Jodi over at Granola Mom 4 God (Comment #4)

Congrats! You should be receiving an e-mail from me. If not, please contact me ASAP.

Thanks again to Bryana at Diaper Junction for providing the Fuzzi Bunz diaper for our winner!

And be on the lookout! Another giveaway is coming this week, and one in December!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

And the walls came tumbling down...

The bathroom project is in full swing!

Here's a sneak peek:

Yes, that's my shower and tub, filled with wall debris from Hubby's handy-work. He's in charge of this, the vanity, and the flooring. My baby is the painting.

So, it looks like we are without a tub and shower for at least a day or so. Anyone want to let us clean up at their house? ;o)

Before and after pics to come...once everything is done!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Scuttery Thoughts

You have been the bane of my existence for almost one week now.

Last Saturday morning, I dismissed the slight scurrying I thought I saw out of the corner of my eye for maybe a million-legged bug (of which we have no shortage). But deep down I knew it.

You were the mouse. In my house. And you HAD to go.

Hubby set the traps, complete with a tasty peanut butter treat.

But they were no match for you. In fact, your picky palate didn't go for it. Maybe you were allergic to peanuts.

For a day or two we thought you left. Until we noticed the remnant of candy wrappers in and underneath my stove burners. Boy, was I steamed.

You liked Danae's candy much, in fact, that you stole two Tootsie Rolls and two Hershey's Kisses. Then we got smart.

That last Tootsie on the trap did you in, huh? Maybe next time you won't make your eyes bigger than your stomach.

Oh, wait...there won't be a next time. You're outside, in a trash can, and I'm inside praying that your potential little friends get the hint. This isn't Candy Haven, so stay out!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where's Waldo Caedon? - Wordless Wednesday Edition

Can you spot him???

This is why we do not let our 15-month-old boy out of our arms in stores...he tends to run away and hide. And so it begins. :o)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fuzzi Bunz Review and Giveaway!

Many of you know that we cloth diaper big boy Caedon (and will cloth diaper baby #3). After much research and testing of diapers last year, we decided on a brand and instantly loved their ease of use and absorbability.

However, the Brute has been leaking through his cloth diapers at every bedtime for the past several weeks. It’s not fun to change a pee-drenched boy and his crib sheets every morning…makes for a lot of laundry! We could not figure out the problem; Caedon is within the weight range for the diaper, and nothing has changed in our use or washing.

Something needed to change...and not more crib sheets!

Thanks to Bryana over at Diaper Junction, I had the chance to try out an awesome, orange-colored Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size pocket diaper (in size Large) on Caedon.

It was "diaper love" from the beginning! From the thick, plush insert to the majorly adjustable snap/elastic system, this diaper seems to correct so many problems that people have with cloth diapers. I can adjust the elastic at the waist and the legs just by picking a different snap, making my Brute look comfy and leak-free every time. Most babies fit into Fuzzi Bunz's size Small or size Medium, eliminating the need to buy several different size diapers as baby grows! Perfect!

We realized that the Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size diaper was a keeper when Caedon woke up dry after a full night's sleep...almost 12 hours straight! No wetness, no sheets to wash! Just one happy, cute kid!

Now you can have the chance to try out a Fuzzi Bunz diaper! Diaper Junction, an awesome online store (and physical store located in Virginia Beach, VA) is dedicated to helping families make "greener" choices for babies and toddlers by providing a variety of cloth diapers, accessories, baby gear, and items for breastfeeding mamas.

One winner will receive a Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size pocket diaper, (retail $17.95), in his/her choice of size and color, from Diaper Junction! Deadline to enter is 11:59pm on Saturday, November 14th.

Here's what you need to do:
1) Leave a comment on this post. Any 'ol comment will do!

That's it!

To earn extra entries, you can:
1) Blog about and link back to this giveaway.
2) Link to this post on Facebook.
3) Put a link to my blog in your sidebar.
4) Become a Follower of my blog (via Google Friend Connect).

If you do any or all of the extra entries (or if you already do them), be sure to tell me so I can count your entries!

Happy diapering! :o)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And the color is...

Is the room color blue?

Nooo...that's the primer...tinted for a darker color. :)

Here she is, in all of her almost-finished glory! (We still need to touch-up the trim, upgrade the outlets, put on new outlet covers, and decorate.)

Yup, we chose Royal Red, by Olympic. (Low-odor, safe-smelling stuff...I was a happy pregnant lady.) We were a bit scared before the first coat dried, since it looked a little more raspberry-ish. But once it dried and the second coat went up, we fell in love. The room is large, so the darker color doesn't really affect it's size appearance. It's much more cozy and inviting...the way we wanted it. :)

Now that I totally dislike wallpaper, the kitchen project is on hold until later in 2010. Next up: the bathroom!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Personalized Baby Spoon Winner!

Thanks SO much to all of you who entered the personalized baby spoon contest from Lisa Leonard Designs!

Our winner is...


Congrats! If you did not receive an e-mail requesting your shipping and engraving information, please contact me.

Coming tomorrow:

* Living room pictures (the painting is DONE - praise GOD!)

Coming up in the next week or two:

* Fuzzi Bunz giveaway

* Charlie's Soap giveaway