Saturday, 30 January 2010

Portrait Adorableness


Those who live in the Tri-Cities, you have to check out this photographer!!! Last weekend we had some portraits of the boys taken and I am soooo deeply impressed with the results! Let me tell you, It is not easy to get cooperation from all three little misters at the same time, but Meghan managed to get some really good ones.

It all started with a google search. I went through pages and pages of photographers sites, checking them all out. I was absolutely shocked at what many photographers are charging, some over a thousand dollars for some simple family photos. I was about to give up on the idea all together and deal with the crappy ones I attempt to take myself or wait a few months and take them to some overcrowded and always running behind department store photography studio.


Then I came upon this site: Meghan Rickard Photography. I was in awe of her newborn photography. Her photos are fabulous, the sitting fee is a reasonable $100 for up to 5 people and the prices for print packages can't be beat...probably not even by the department store photographers. And, she comes to your house for no extra charge! I told my husband that I had found our gal!

Let me also say that it is amazing to work with someone who cares so much for what they do and who truly has the clients interests in mind. Thank-you again Meghan for the fabulous photos. I can't wait to get our prints and I will be in touch for all future photo shoots. Please never move away.

You can contact Meghan at either www.meghanrickardphotography.com, her facebook page , or her blog.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Ergo Baby Carrier Review and Giveaway

Update: Giveaway has ended and the winner is #110, Katy.


I have a sort of obsession with baby carriers that stems from our attachment parenting style and is also fueled by all of the baby wearing discussions that I see on thebump.com's eco friendly family board. I have a few carriers that I love and it's hard for me to find one that I don't like. One particular carrier that comes up in discussion boards often is the Ergobaby Carrier. I had heard a lot about it and how comfortable it is and I was very curious about trying it out myself.

I contacted Ergobaby Carriers and they generously provided me with an organic Ergo baby carrier to review. This carrier came to me in the mail within a few days and I was so excited to try it out. (which by the way, is currently on sale) Isn't it cute?


Design: Ergo baby offers a variety of different designs, so there is something for everyone...even Daddies. They offer a line of Organic carriers that will make your inner hippy smile. They also sell accessories that match the carriers like front pouches, back packs, and infant inserts to be used with young babies. The fabric and materials are high quality and felt nice to touch.


Comfort: At first I was skeptical about how comfortable this would really be. I've tried a certain "popular" brand of front carrier and it hurts my back so I never use it. This however was not like that. I can't think of a single complaint about comfort and I was really impressed. It has an ergonomic design and the padding in the shoulder pads and waist band is thick, squishy and comfy. I'm only 5 foot 1 and this didn't hurt my back at all! The straps and waistband are highly adjustable and fit a variety of shapes and sizes. It has a recommended weight limit of 40lbs.

Ease of Use:
The instruction manual in well written with helpful pictures. It was very easy to figure out and also very easy to maneuver my toddler in and out of. Take the time to read the instructions and adjust everything to fit properly and you should have no problem.

Price: The Ergobaby carrier range from $105-$148

What else you should Know:
The company has excellent customer service and they offer a 12 month warranty. You can not put twins in one ERgo carrier although there is a picture on their site of a mama wearing two carriers at once, one front and one on back with her twins in it. Too cute. They also sell Ergo Doll carriers for little ones...how freakin sweet is that.

Would you Like the chance to win an Ergobaby carrier?
Here's How:
Visit Ergobaby and comment here telling me one benefit of the Ergobaby carrier. Remember to leave an email address to contact you at. (this comment is mandatory. If this comment is not included, all other comments will be void)
Want more chances to win? (leave a separate comment for each entry)
*Follow this Blog. Comment telling me you follow.
*Become a fan of Ergobaby on Facebook. Comment telling me you are a fan.
*Follow Ergobaby on Twitter. Comment telling me you follow.
*Blog about this giveaway, include a link to my blog. Comment with a link you your blog post.
Good Luck!

US Only. Giveaway ends at Noon pacific time on 2/5/10. I will use random.org to draw a winner. Winner will be emailed and has 48 hours to respond or I will draw a new winner.

I was provided with this product to review by Ergobaby. I was not given any money for my review and all of my reviews are from my own honest opinion.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The Winner of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Dryer Balls


is #44, Susanne!!! Congrats! I just shot you an email with the details on how to claim your prize. Please respond within 48 hours, or I'll be forced to draw a new winner. Thanks for entering!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Moby Wraps, A Must-Have For Every Mama (Coupon Code!!!)


First of all, let me just say that I love my Moby wrap. As a mother of infant twins and a toddler I rarely get the luxury of having a free hand. That is, unless the babies are in the Moby. I have no idea how I would manage to accomplish anything if it weren't for my Moby. It makes my life easier and as crazy as my life is lately, anything that makes it easier is worth my time and money. This is the one thing that I recommend that every twin mama has. Get it before the babies get here so you can use it right away. And YES these pictures show both babies in the wrap at the same time!!! I'm telling you twin mamas, it is a small price to pay for your sanity.

What is it? The Moby wrap is a versatile and comfortable wrap style baby carrier. It's a long piece of cotton knit fabric that wraps around you in a certain way and ties to secure the baby, or babies to you.

Ease Of Use: I will admit, it look intimidating and I did have some difficulty figuring it out at first. After a few minutes in front of a mirror with the instruction manual I had it figured out. Once you take the time to learn how to use it, it is easy to do. It's important to do this so that you are using it safely and properly. I can do all of the carry positions with no trouble, except that for the back carry with the toddler, I feel like I might drop him in the process and I need my husband to help me get him on.

Comfort and Fit: While other carriers I have tried are hard on my shoulders or back, the Moby seems to distribute the weight better by the way it's wrapped and it's comfortable enough for me to wear for an hour or two...maybe even longer if I wanted to. I use it to do chores, play with the toddler, cook, just have a moment for myself (well kind of), and anything else you can imagine. I also love the fit. I'm only 5 foot 1 and it fits me wonderfully. My husband also found it comfortable and enjoyed wearing it.

Overall: This is a great carrier and a product that all moms of twins should use. There are tons of options between the original Moby and Moby D. No matter what your style, you are sure to find a look that you like. It is the most versatile carrier that I know of and can be used for one child of for twins and can carry preemies to 35 lbs. The company also has excellent customer service, which is always a plus.



Thank-you Moby Wraps for sending me this beautiful carrier to review.

The great people at Moby have been kind enough to offer a discount code to my readers. Use code: onceupon at mobywrap.com now through February 10th to receive 15% off your purchase!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Kitchen Wet Bag Tutorial

As promised here is a quick and easy tutorial to make a kitchen wetbag. If you are thinking, "What the heck is she talking about?", look back to last weekend's post on my sewing projects. So without further ado......Here ya go!

Materials needed:
Pretty fabric (This shop has some really pretty choices)
Pul (a waterproof fabric used inside) (I buy mine here)
12 inch zipper
Snaps and snap press/snap pliers
(You could also use buttons here if you don't have snaps handy)



Step 1: Cut your fabric. (I like to iron my print fabric first to get a nice crisp start...keep the iron away from your PUL) Start by cutting two 11x15 inch pieces from your PUL. Do the same with your outer print fabric. Cut two 3 1/2 inch 8 inch pieces for your straps.


Step 2: Fold in about 1/4 inch on one short side and both long sides of both strap pieces. Press with and iron.


Step 3: Fold your pressed strap pieces in half length wise and press. They should look like this:


Step 4: Sew along the top and side edge of the straps. You can leave the bottom edge raw because it will be hidden in between the layers once it's assembled.

Step 5: Lay your PUL shiny side up. Place your zipper along the short edge of the fabric. Your zipper should also be right side up (the side with the zipper pull). Place your outer fabric pretty side down on top of the zipper (short side along the zipper). It should look like this. (The red is only in the picture to show contrast against the table.)



Step 6: I like to pin along this top edge through the PUL, zipper, and outer fabric. PUL can be slippery and tricky to sew and this helps me keep it in place.Sew along with the edge of the presser foot matched up with the edge of the fabric. Do this with the PUL on top, it seems to slip less and is easier for me to sew this way.


Step 7: Now fold down both the inner and outer fabrics so that the zipper is sandwiched between the PUL and outer material and so that the other edge of the zipper is exposed on the top. Like this:



Step 8: Lay your other piece of outer material right side up. Put your zipper piece on top of this. The pretty side of the piece you just finished sewing will rest against the pretty side of the piece you just laid down. Now, set your other piece of PUL on top of this, shiny side down. Pin like a crazy.



Step 9: Measure in an equal distance on both sides of the fabric. I go in about an inch to an inch and a half. Slide your strap pieces in at those spots so that the raw edge sticks out the top along the zipper edge a little bit. As shown in the following pictures. Pin the straps in place.


Step 10: Sew along the pinned edge with the pul side on top. Once you finish your seam, unfold your project like this and partially unzip the zipper.

Step 11: Maneuver your pieces so that the pul pieces are right sides together and the outer pieces are right sides together with the zipper in the middle. Like so:


Step 12: Start sewing along the bottom edge of your PUL pieces. Start in the middle of the bottom edge. Sew all the way around, sewing over the zipper and stopping about an inch in along the same bottom edge that you started with. It should look like this, with a space open along the bottom of the PUL for turning.


Step 13: The FUN part! STick your hand through that hole you left open and grab the bottom of the outer fabric. Pull in through. Your bag should now be right side out! Now, remember that spot we left open... fold the edges in and stitch it closed with your machine staying as close to the edge as possible while still getting both sides in. Go slow on this part. Your are sewing on the shiny sides of the fabric and it is tricky!


This is what the bottom seam should look like after you stitch it. If you don't like this look, you can always hand stitch. (that't not my idea of fun) The seam is going to be on the inside and noone will see it anyway.


Step 14: Apply your snaps or buttons and voila...a beautiful kitchen wet bag!


The possibilities are endless. You can easily alter the size of your wet bag, or the strap placement to make it any type of wet bag you'd like. Happy sewing!

***Feel free to sell items made from this tutorial. I just ask that you mention in your listing that it was sewn from the Once Upon a Baby Tutorial, and link to this post.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Trimsies Diaper Pattern Review


After hearing fabulous reviews of the Trimsies pattern on the Diaper Sewing Divas forum, I thought I'd give it a shot and sew one myself. I'm pleasantly surprised with the result! I've sewn a good deal of fitteds and covers, but this is my first AIO (all in one). The diaper I made was made of an outer layer of PUL and inner layers of bamboo velour and hemp fleece. My diaper didn't come out perfect, I had some issues sewing around the snaps, but other than that it is pretty good for my first AIO.

Difficulty Level: Easy. You should already know some sewing basics and be familiar with a serger and snap press (or these awesome pliers...wish I had some).

Instructions: A+, The instructions are easy to follow and have tons of helpful pictures and tips.

Price of Pattern: $8. I'd say that's an A+ for price too. :) Seems reasonable to me. There is no shipping charge because it is a pdf file sent to you within 24 hours, which is also nice.

Finished Diaper: Very trim, just like the name says. I really like the fit and the absorbency that the sewn in soakers give. It also had a very good drying time because it is essentially a quick-dry soaker.

Overall: A+, I have a feeling that my boys will be wearing quite a few of these. I love the pattern and the finished diaper and will be making more soon.

If you are working on building a stash and are handy with a sewing machine you are definitely going to want to check out this pattern. You can purchase the pattern here.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Fuzzy Wuzzy Dryer Balls Giveaway!!!!

I am so excited to post this!!! My friend Tina of Fuzzy Wuzzy Dryer Balls has offered up a giveaway of a set of 3 Soy Wool Fuzzy Wuzzy Dryer Balls. Aren't they beautiful!


Fuzzy Wuzzy Dryer Balls can be purchased Here and Here.


Dryer balls replace the need for dryer sheets so you can have static free laundry without chemicals and animal by-products. Healthy for you, your family and mother nature. Dryer balls also reduce your drying time to help lower your energy consumption. Dryer Balls are made from 100% merino wool and handmade by me. Dryer balls go through a felting process and are washed in a eco-friendly laundry detergent.

Add a 1/4 cup of vinegar to your rinse to help with softer clothes, you can also scent the vinegar with essential or fragrance oils.
Happy Drying!

There is a risk of Dryer Balls getting caught on velcro while drying.
There is a chance they will not help with static in dryer climates. I would recommend not over drying =)

Happy Drying!

~*~*~*Proud member of Team EcoNest-Living Simply So Others May Simply Live!*~*~*~


How to Enter

This entry is mandatory. If this entry isn't included, extra entries will be void. :

Visit Fuzzy Wuzzy Dryer Balls on etsy and comment telling me your favorite thing the dryer balls or why you would like to give them a try. (Please leave an email address to be contacted by)

Want Extra Entries?:
Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

*Follow this blog
*Become a fan of Fuzzy Wuzzy Dryer Balls on Facebook
*Become a fan of Team Eco Nest on Facebook
*Follow the Team EcoNest Blog


Giveaway ends 1/25. I will use random.org to determine a winner. Winner will be emailed and has 48 hours to respond or a second winner will be chosen.




We Have a Winner!

Congrats to Rebecca O! You are the winner of the bebe au lait nursing cover! I've emailed you :)

(Winner was determined using random.org's true number generator. Out of 1-35, # 27 was drawn. Winner has 48 to respond. If there is no response a second winner will be drawn.)

Sunday, 17 January 2010

A Weekend of Sewing

I took a break from posting the last few days so that I could devote some time to various projects. I'm amazed at what I can accomplish after B-Bear and the husband are in bed.

Four Nb fitted cloth diapers. I am so thrilled with how they turned out. Oh the cuteness!

A kitchen wet bag. This was the first time I've ever sewn in a zipper and I didn't screw it up. I think I'll try and get a tutorial up for this sometime this week. "What is it for?", you ask. Ah, allow me to enlighten you. The amount of paper products that we all use in our kitchen is absolutely alarming and completely wasteful. One of my big goals for 2010 is to completely eliminate paper from our kitchen. This means no more paper towels! I recently bought these unpaper towels from Green Tree Threads at the Club Thread Congo. I also plan on making some for myself and also making a bunch of cloth napkins. It should eliminate the need for paper towels or napkins in the kitchen. I'm really excited about it, so hopefully the husband can get on board too. So where do all these cloth towels and napkins go? In the kitchen wet bag of course! It's lined with PUL, a waterproof fabric used in diaper making and I can't wait to try it out.
I also almost finished my Mai tai carrier, although I accidentally made the straps about half as thick as I wanted them to be, but oh well. Hopefully it will still work for the babies.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Just Like Peas and Carrots

I am absolutely in love with OliveJanes diaper covers. They fit my boys so well and have never leaked. All of her styles are so adorable, it's hard to not buy them all. This is another one all of you stash building mamas need to look into. Here are my twins in the peas and carrots appliqued set, size preemie. Enjoy the cuteness!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Fluffy Mail/ First Class Baby Fitted Diaper


I recently purchased a First Class Baby Nb sized fitted cloth diaper. Here are some action photos for you and a quick review.


This is a great diaper with excellent fit and absorbency. The umbilical area actually snaps down for really new babies. My little guy is about 7 1/2 lbs right now and it fit him perfectly. It's a true newborn size. The company offers a variety of prints, all of which are adorable. They also offer two different diaper styles. The one sported in these pictures is First Class Baby (side snapping) and they also offer a line of front snapping diapers called Little Caboose. Best of all the diapers are very well sewn by a couple of work at home moms.


If you are building a newborn stash (or any size for that matter), you've gotta check out their website www.fluffymail.com and their etsy store.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover Review/Giveaway

As a crunchy nursing mom I am all for nursing anywhere and everywhere. If you've got a hungry baby, feed him! No need to excuse yourself, just get the baby to breast and have at it. I will say, normally I don't even bother to cover up, but there are some people that I just can't bring myself to nurse in front of...aka my in laws. Don't ask me why, I couldn't tell you. In those situations, I use my Bebe au Lait nursing cover.


It was one of my first baby purchases when I was pregnant with our first son. I used it all the time when he was a newborn. I nursed him once under it while shopping at Costco, multiple times while out to dinner, and an uncountable number of times while around the in laws. Now that I am nursing twins, it has come in handy once again. Just tonight I used it while my sister in law was over for dinner. I love it! The rigid neckline makes it easy to see the babies as they nurse. The strap around the neck is secure enough to make me feel comfortable and it even has a little terry cloth pocket that's the perfect size for nursing pads and works great for wiping up your baby's face.


Everywhere we go, my Bebe au Lait cover comes with us. I never leave home without it. Pregnant mamas out there, this is a diaper bag must have! They are available online at www.bebeaulait.com and come in a variety of prints, all of which are fabulous and trendy. Another great thing is that the company is run by a husband and wife team and the customer service is amazing!


Bebe au Lait has generously sponsored a giveaway for my readers. You have the opportunity to win a Bebe au Lait style nursing cover of your choice.


How To Enter

Comment here and tell me what your favorite product on www.bebeaulait.com is. (this entry is mandatory) Make sure I have an email address to reach you by.
Want additional entries?
Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
*Follow this blog. Comment telling me you follow.
*Post about this giveaway on your blog. Leave a comment with a link to the post.
*Follow Bebe au Lait on Facebook. Comment telling me that you do.
*Become a fan Bebe au Lait on Facebook. Comment telling me that you are.
*Sign up for the Bebe au Lait email newsletter. Comment telling me you did.

Giveaway ends 1/18/10. I will use random.org to select a winner. Winner will be emailed by myself. Winner must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected.

Disclaimer: I have not been in anyway compensated for my review and all reviews on this blog are my personal opinions. I am always honest in my reviews.



Sunday, 10 January 2010

Eco-Friendly Housekeeping Tip #1: Dryer Balls


Dryer Balls are a great alternative to dryer sheets. Little did I know until about a year ago that dryer sheets contain many toxic chemicals, including many known carcinogens. I don't know about you, but I don't want nasty dryer sheets chemicals on my clothes and next to my skin...or even worse, on my babies diapers. It turns out that the fumes of heated dryer sheets are also toxic. Even if they weren't toxic, dryer sheets account for an unnecessary amount of waste. How many do you throw away? As a mom of 3 under 2, I would be going through these babies like crazy....the laundry is never ending.
Thank goodness that the lovely women of thebump.com's eco-friendly family board set me straight on dryer sheets. I'm glad to report that I've made the switch to dryer balls! The balls I use are made from merino wool yarn. All you do is pop them in the dryer with your wet clothes and they work like a charm at reducing static. Just make sure to keep them away from doggies. My lovely lab thinks they are just fabulous and has destroyed one too many of mine.
The dryer balls pictured above were made by a lovely friend of mine and can be purchased on the Hyenacart Eco-Nest Congo under Fuzzy Wuzzy Dryer Balls. Best of all, they are only $12. Think of how much you could save on dryer sheets in a year! Here's a link: http://hyenacart.com/prod_details.php?id=25647&vid=3046
Now Hurry up and buy them before I do. I swear, If they are still there tomorrow, they are mine!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Toddler Trail Mix

This is such an easy activity and a yummy snack.
You need:
1/4 c each of 3 different cereals (We used Kix, Cheerios, and Rice Chex)
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c goldfish crackers

Measure out each ingredient and let your toddler dump it into a bowl one at a time. Help your toddler mix it up with their hands and enjoy a ymmy snack. Happy Trails!

Friday, 8 January 2010

My New Toy

I bought myself something I've been desperately wanting....a cast iron pan. Meet my new 12" Lodge cast iron skillet!

Ain't she a beauty! For it's kitchen debut I decided to make these rolls from one of my favorite blogs.

They were super easy and super fabulous.
We didn't have rosemary, so I used Tastefully Simples dried tomato and garlic pesto mix. It turned out fabulous and was the perfect pairing for our spaghetti.






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