Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Holy Moley!

I feel that this blog is losing it's focus. I've accepted so any review and giveaway ops that I am losing my content. While I love to share products that I love with you and give you chances to win them for yourself, I really want to blog more about life with my three boys, eco-friendly changes, gardening, crafts, etc.

Also, I started the plastic free kitchen challenge and it has gotten away from me. A lot of things have been going on with me lately and I've been stretched pretty thin.

Here's my plan:
  • I will finish up with all of the reviews and giveaways that I have lined every day if I can manage it (except Wednesdays).
  • I will from here on out be limiting the reviews that I accept because my content is more important to me.
  • I will re-start the plastic free kitchen challenge soon, and follow through with it.
  • I am going to start blogging my weekly plans for meals and activities. (which means that I will start being more organized)
  • I will start having "Wordless Wednesday" immediately.
Now about my past giveaways
I have had a few emails this week from various winners that have not received their items/ and or have had not been contacted by the company. If you are a previous winner and have not received your item please let me know asap and I will work with the sponsor to correct the problem. Mix-ups happen.
Where have I been?
Well, in short I've been busy. I am giving breastfeeding a good fight. It has been so hard lately. They take more and more formula and less and less breast milk. I've been concentrating on nursing them and not much else.
It's going okay, they are down to only one or two 4 oz bottles, each per day. However, I am so consumed by it. I have one touchy little boy that will not tandem nurse. He will only nurse if I lay on my bed (not anywhere else), on my left side (never the other breast), with something behind his back for support, and in a dark and silent room while being gently patted on the bottom. Sheesh kiddo!!!!! This is nearly impossible in my house. It gives B-Bear ample time to dump rice all over the kitchen floor or bring every toy out of his room and pile it up in the hall. Can you say exhausted mommy?!?

So the whole process goes like this: Nurse baby L for about 20 mins on left side. 40 mins later nurse baby A on right side for 20 mins. Repeat every 40 mins. I'm trying so hard to keep up, and still provide B-bear with tons of fun activities and attention, but it is draining...and as you can imagine my house is an absolute disaster (and no-I'm not just saying that).

On another note, my little ones are growing so fast. Here are few pictures stuck in my post from the month.....and gotta go. My 40 mins is up.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Sum-Bo-Shine Baby Lotion Review and Giveaway

I'm pretty sure that I already mentioned how about a month ago I went on a crazy rampage and got rid of all of our baby care products that I don't feel are safe enough to use on my boys. Once you make the decision not to use the readily available "big" brands, the options for what you can use are pretty limited. I was very excited when I stumbled upon Sum-Bo-Shine naturals and organics.
Sum-Bo-Shine offers various baby and mommy health care products that are certified vegan and cruelty free, with the exception of their beeswax containing diaper ointment. Their products are also free of artificial fragrances, and do not contain parabens, sodium laurel sulfates, mineral oil or any harmful ingredients. Another fabulous thing is that the company does not participate in animal testing!
I was sent the Aloe and Lavender baby lotion to review and it is great. Made with organic lavender, organic aloe, and organic chamomile the lotion has a very mild, but pleasant fragrance. Before I received the lotion I had not used baby lotion on my boys for some time. I have never been able to find something that doesn't irritate their skin. I'm happy to say that we have had no issues with the Sum-Bo-Shine baby lotion and I will continue to use it from now on, on my boys and myself.

Giveaway has ended and the lucky winner is #2 LuvlieK! Congrats and thanks for playing!

Sum-Bo-Shine is giving one lucky reader a chance to win a bottle of Aloe and Lavender Baby Lotion!
Here's How to enter:
Visit SumBoShine and comment here telling me either (1)what other SumBoShine product you'd like to try or (2)where the company name SumBoShine comes from. Please leave a contact email address. (this comment is mandatory and if not included all other entries will be void.)

Additional Entries(leave one comment for each entry):
Open to US residents only. Ends at noon pacific time on 4/9/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated in any way other than receiving a sample to review.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

And I'm Off

We're taking the kiddos to visit their grandparents. It's a much needed mini getaway and I can't wait to get out of the house!

I shall return on Thursday with another great giveaway and will catch up on emails and anything that has ended then. See y'all soon!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

7th Generation: A Better Way to Clean

I was first attracted to Seventh Generation products after reading the book, "Smart Mamas Green Guide". I knew beforehand that there are certain things that you should keep away from children. After reading that book, I realized that didn't want any of the cleaners I had been using to even be in my house anymore.

I've said before that we have infants that were born prematurely. Because their immune systems are a bit behind babies that were carried to term, we have to keep our home very clean. I knew that all of our cleaners had to go, I just didn't know where to go next. I thought about making my own cleaners, but I have so many things going on, that I have no time for that. I contacted Seventh Generation and was sent their Healthy Home Kit to review.

The Kit includes kitchen cleaner, all purpose cleaner, glass and surface cleaner, shower cleaner, toilet cleaner, tub and tile cleaner, a roll of paper towels, and a nice handy tote. I have used them all, and they are all great. My favorite item is the kitchen cleaner. It is fabulous on all kinds of messy situations- especially grease and it smells great. It's wild orange and cedar spice scent and I love it. It smells so, well, clean! The paper towels are great too. Made from 100% recycled and unbleached paper, they are way less wasteful than your regular paper towel.

When there are children involved it is so important to limit their exposure to toxic chemicals. I encourage you all to switch to Seventh Generation products. They are a great company with a great mission, "to inspire a more conscious and sustainable world by being an authentic force for positive change". You can purchase their products at stores nation-wide or online here.

Giveaway has ended and the winner is #15, metta1313 Congrats Again Metta!!!!

Seventh Generation is generously offering one lucky reader a chance to win a Healthy Home Kit. Here's How to Enter
Visit Seventh Generation and comment here telling me about one product that you'd like to try. Leave me a contact email address. (This comment is mandatory and if not included all other entries will be void)

Want Extra Entries?
(There are a lot of ways to get extra entries for this one!)
Leave one comment for each entry

Open to US residents only. Ends at noon pacific time on 3/31/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated in any way other than receiving a kit to review.

Monday, 15 March 2010

The Other Baby in My Life

Let me first say that I have had a very busy last week. It seems like life is just non-stop and I'm starting to fall behind. Today is my "catch-up" day and I'm scrambling about trying to get this and that done. I've had a headache for days that is making it hard for me. It seems to be nearly gone now and has at least eased up intensity wise.

Anyhow, back to the purpose of this post. Before we were blessed with three beautiful little boys, I was the proud mommy to a single child, crazy black lab. Here's the story:
In 2006 I married my best friend. We left our little apartment and built a house. It was perfect. Just the two of us in our three bedroom, little, yellow house. It didn't take long for us to start dreaming of a baby and of making one of those bedrooms into a nursery. Pretty soon I found myself grinning over a little pink plus sign and we were so filled with excitement and so much love for this tiny little being. We started talking about names and decorating schemes. It was fabulous.

About a week later the tables turned. I was having terrible pains on my lower left side and then oddly I started having shoulder pain as well. I called my OB and his nurse told me to head straight to the ER. After ultrasounds and blood tests we were told that I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. I was devastated. I moped around for weeks. It is the most terrible feeling to know that you have lost what you so badly wanted.

My birthday came around a few weeks later and my husband decided it was time for a puppy. We found an ad in the paper for Labrador puppies and went to meet the family. One look at this puppy and I was in love! I mean really, how can you resist this?

We took him home and got to know him. We named him Oscar. He quickly became my substitute baby and boy did he fill the void for me at the time.
Have you read Marley and Me? That is exactly what we got ourselves into. Oscar got into everything! He chewed up everything. Seriously, everything! The sweet little puppy actually ate part of the trim along the bottom of the wall and he also ate a chunk of the window sill! He was always getting into trouble. We bought him nice fluffy beds and he destroyed them in minutes. But despite his faults, you couldn't help but love him.

He has come a long way since then, he is still a total nut. Oscar is the perfect family dog. B-Bear is his best friend and the two play together all the time.

He is the best dog a girl could have and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. Of course now that I have 3 babies of the non furry variety, his status has slightly changed. He doesn't get to cuddle up to me on the couch anymore since my lap is always full of babies. We rarely make special doggy outings to the pet store or dog park anymore and all of walks are accompanied by a full triple stroller. There are very few people that understand what my dog means to me. He has been with me through everything. He kept me company during my bed rest with my last pregnancy. He's my buddy. No matter what happens and what changes we go through, Oscar will always be my baby.

Flower Arranging Made Easy

I've never been very good at these types of things. I love having pretty flowers in the house, but never really knew how to arrange and care for them. They never seem to last long. I was thrilled when an opportunity came up to review a flower arranging DVD from Flower Duet.

The DVD "How to Create a European Wrap Bouquet" will teach you how to put together a gorgeous bouquet. It would be perfect for a wedding, if you are a DIY type of gal. It teaches you everything you need to know from how to pick out fresh flowers and make them last to how to arrange them beautifully.

I really wanted to put together a replica of one of their bouquets to show my readers how easy it really is. I mean, if I can manage to do it, so can you. However, I went flower shopping numerous times and I was unable to find the flowers I wanted to use anywhere where I live. So, I decided to go a different route. I had my husband pick up two regular old super market mixed bouquets.

I used Flower Duets information to condition the flowers and their tips to make them last. What do you know, after a WEEK they are still looking gorgeous! I've never had such luck in keeping flowers from wilting and looking terrible. I think that the Flower Duet DVD taught me what I need to know to make it work from now on.

I can't say that I made the most gorgeous arrangement, but I think I did okay with what I had to work with.

So, How would you like to win this DVD? The fabulous Flower Duet Team is offering one lucky reader a chance to win one!

Here's How to Enter:
Comment telling me why you would like to win this DVD and what your favorite flower is. Be sure to leave a contact email address. (this comment is mandatory and if not included, all other entries will be void)

Want Extra Entries? Here's How:
leave one comment for each entry
Ends at noon pacific time on 3/29/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated in any way other than receiving a DVD to review.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Itzbeen Review and Giveaway

The Itzbeen baby care timer has been my little helper lately. I have so much going on that it's hard to remember when the last feeding was or the last diaper change. I've been known to change one baby's diaper twice, instead of changing both twins. I often feel like I'm spread too thin between the 3 kids and the housework and this takes a bit of the load off.

The Itzbeen timer was created by new parents that found them selves in the same boat as many of us new parents do. They were sleep deprived and needed help keeping track of their various baby related tasks.

There are four different timers, each counting up. The timers are: changing, feeding, sleep/awake, and a fourth timer that is great for medications. All you have to do is push a button and the timer starts counting. It's that easy! Some other great features include a back light, soft glow night light, nursing reminder (for which side you last nursed on), optional alarms, and a clip.

I really enjoy using the Itzbeen timer. It's easy to get in a habit of using and has helped me get into a bit of a routine, which is so helpful since I also have a toddler. I like that it is small in size and not too heavy, so that I can comfortably wear it anywhere clipped to my pocket.

The Itzbeen timer is a product that every new mom should have...especially moms of multiples. They also come in 3 colors, blue, pink, and green. I suggest for moms of multiples, get one for each baby in different colors. That would really simplify your life.
Want an Itzbeen timer?
Buy one at one of these retailers. or Win one here!

Here's how to enter:
Visit Itzbeen and comment here telling me what you most like about the Itzbeen baby care timer. Leave a contact email address. (this comment is mandatory and if not included additional entries will not count)

Extra Entries:
leave one comment for each entry
  • follow this blog
  • follow OUAB on Twitter
  • follow Itzbeen on Twitter
  • tweet this giveaway using this: "win an itzbeen timer from @itzbeen and @onceuponbaby #eco #green #giveaway"
  • Become a fan of OUAB on Facebook
  • Grab my badge and post it on your blog, leave the link
  • See my previous post :)
Ends at noon pacific time on 3/24/10. US residents only. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated in any way other than receiving a timer to review.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Special Extra Entry Opportunity!

Do you want an extra entry to any current giveaway on my blog??? Have you checked out Super(Natural)Momma yet?
Here's what you need to do:
  1. Head on over to Super(Natural) Momma and become a public follower.
  2. Comment here and tell me that you are following her.
  3. Add and an extra comment to any one current giveaway that says "SNM follower, extra entry"
  • if you already follow SNM, comment here that you already follow and you can feel free to take an extra entry to any one giveaway on my blog.
  • And, it gets better, New followers of SNM have a chance to win a new Flip and Tumble Bag on her blog!!!

Leaf Ware: a Great Paper Plate Alternative

When I started planning our switch to a plastic free and paper free kitchen I started researching products that would help us make a smooth transition. I was messing around with google one day and came across this really cool company: Leafware. They provide a great alternative to paper and plastic plates. One thing that I love about them is that they are are compostable. You can just rinse them after you use them and toss them in the compost.

Their mission is create disposable, environmentally friendly dinnerware for contemporary use. They are sustainably produced from fallen leaves and the company provides jobs for many families in the small communities of South Asia.

Leafware sent me some plates to try out and they are great. I was really happy with how sturdy they are. So far they have held up without any problems for spaghetti and Chinese food. They are so stylish that I hate to toss them in the compost. I mean seriously, how freakin cute are these heart plates. Wouldn't that be a fun eco-friendly way to go for disposable plates at an anniversary party or even a wedding?

I love Leafware and there are so many fabulous things about the company. In fact, you have a chance to win some Leafware and find out for yourself how fantastic it is.

How to Enter:
Visit Leafware are comment here telling me one thing you learned about the company or the product. (this comment is mandatory and if not included, additional entries will be void) Be sure to leave a contact email address.

Extra Entries:
one comment for each entry
Ends at noon pacific time on 3/22/10. For US residents only. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated in any way other than receiving samples to review.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Life Without Plastic

We are now on day 10 of the plastic free kitchen challenge and I am really making some progress! One of the hardest areas for me is switching to non-plastic food storage. I have so many plastic containers that it is hard to make this switch. While I was researching alternatives, I came upon Life Without Plastic, a great website devoted to reducing the large quantities of plastic consumed.

Chantal and Jay, co-founders/co-owners run a fabulous retail site Here, a great blog, and started their own product brand Sanctos Mundo. The birth of their son in 2003 is what really drove them to search for alternatives. It's funny how we can go on for ever knowing these things, but once our children come into the picture, everything changes. My children are what is pushing me to make these changes in our lifestyle as well. There are so many reasons for reducing you plastic use and if you are looking for more information there website and blog are wonderful resources. I especially recommend starting Here and Here.

I was sent one of their stainless steel airtight containers to review. They are made by Sanctos Mundo and can be purchased at Life Without Plastic. They are available in 4 different sizes. It has worked great for me. I used it at first for dinner leftovers. While you can't microwave it, it is over safe and it's easy to pop it in the toaster oven to heat up your lunch. I was a bit nervous to use it with a non-solid food, but worked up the courage to try applesauce in it to take in the diaper bag. It was great, no leaks at all! An important thing to note is that it is made of a high quality stainless steel that is food safe and their products are also BPA free. Another great detail for busy mamas like me is that the bottom part is dishwasher safe. You gotta love that!

The fabulous people of Life Without Plastic are offering one lucky Once Upon A Baby reader a chance to win one of their containers.

Here's How to Enter
Visit Life Without Plastic and comment here telling me one other product that they carry that you are interested in. Be sure to leave me an email address to contact you by. (this comment is mandatory, if not included all other entries will be void)

Extra Entries
(leave one comment for each entry)

Ends at noon pacific time on 3/18/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated in any way other than receiving a container to review.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Sunshine Award

I feel so special! Abby's Mommy over at 365 days: 30+ Mommyhood gave me a sunshine award. It's always nice to know someone appreciates you. Anyhow it's my turn to spread the love. If you haven't checked out these blogs yet, you really should.

The rules for accepting the Sunshine Award are as follows:
1. Put the logo in my post or within my blog.
2. Pass the award onto 12 fellow bloggers.
3. Link the nominees within my post.
4. Let the nominees know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blogs.
5. Share the love and link to the person who gave you the award!

Um...yeah 12 is a lot, I'm just going to list my favorites. We'll see how many I end up with.

1) The Eco-Friendly Family: Amanda offers up tons of information on ways to go green. She is such an inspiration and she always makes things "sunshiney". If you haven't watched her blog out yet, you are seriously missing out.
2)Tales of The Wife: A cloth diapering mama going green, raising kids, and blogging about it. I love her. :)
3) Eco Friendly and Frugal: Full of great ideas on being EF and frugal. I love reading her reviews and she hosts some great giveaways. She even has an extension of her blog dedicated to green baby making.
4) The Crunchy Wife: Daisy shares her green tips and highlights great green products. You won't want to miss out on the Crunchy Spring Event, so go check it out.
5) Knock Off Wood: To fully appreciate this blog you have to check it out. In a nutshell, this mama loves furniture and makes her own. She makes it easy and doable. She posts plans for all sorts of fabulous pieces, including the Pottery Barn Cameron system.
6)Homemade by Jill: This bloggin mama is super crafty and posts tutorials and her finished projects. I can't wait to have the time to make this Felt Playhouse.
7) Super(Natural) Momma: Another fabulous mama working on living an EF lifestyle by m. She shows that you don't have to be a fanatic to make a difference. Read this post, McMonia and you will never want to eat fast food again. It's true, I've done my research too.
8) The One Where I Blogged About It: Another great going green blog, Wilma has a post up about using microfiber cloths on the swiffer instead of refills...why did I not think of this, Brilliant. I love looking at her photos, she made green bean baby food look amazing.
9)Valley Girl Has Baby Goes Crunchy: Another mama with tons of Eco-Friendly content. She takes fabulous photos of her little ones that are just irresistible. Check it out, you are sure to learn something.

Monday, 1 March 2010

SmartMom Jewelry Teething Bling Review and Giveaway

Since the birth of our first son, I seem to have stopped wearing jewelry. I guess I just got tired of my fancy necklaces being tugged on and I was always afraid that they would break or that he would choke on a piece of it. I was recently given the opportunity to review Teething Bling by Smart Mom Jewelry. These necklaces are made to be handled and chewed on by babies. Finally, jewelry that looks good and is okay for the babies (or toddler) to tug and chew on!!!

I was sent a donut pendant in Bronze and a coordinating tan bangle. I've enjoyed wearing the pendant, but every time I put on the bangle, B-Bear steals it from me and runs off chewing on it.

I love that the pendant is shimmers and goes with almost any outfit. It does have a breakaway clasp that is also a great benefit. One great thing about them is that Teething Bling is non-toxic, BPA, lead, PVC, and phthalate free, as well as CPSIA compliant. They are also dishwasher safe, which is a major plus in my book.

Teething Bling is affordable and would make a great baby shower gift. They even offer gift sets. (the set below is only $34) The pendants are available in a variety of colors and even come in heart shaped and patterns. There is sure to be a style to suite everyone. Check out Smart Mom Jewelry to see their full selection.
Smart Mom Jewelry is giving you the chance to win one of their newest pendants: Pink Calcite... oooohh it's pretty!

Here's How to Enter:
Visit Smart Mom Jewelry and comment telling me one thing about the company or about their products. Be sure to leave a contact email address. (this comment is mandatory and if not included additional entries are void)

Extra Entries:
leave one comment for each entry
Ends at noon pacific time on 3/16/10. Winner will be determined by Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. As always this is an honest review full of my own opinions. I was not compensated in any way other than receiving products to review.

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