Friday, December 25, 2009

IKEA Furniture in Nursery

Once my husband and I started our baby registry, we started seriously looking at furniture for the nursery. We LOVED everything at Babies R' Us but unfortunately had a tough swallow when we looked at the pricetag. They fit all the requirements we had: slats spaced appropriately (mmost are these days), side did not move up and down (this was before the big recall), sturdy, and could be conerted to a toddler bed and to add to all of that the would was very thick and would be perfect for our baby!! After realizing we could not pay $1500 for a bedroom set, we began to look elsewhere. Yard sales and consignment shops brought mismatched pieces; maybe I am a bit selfish, I wanted a matching furniture for the room...
This led me to look online at IKEA for their baby furniture and I came across some wonderful pieces! After a bit of coaxing, I finally got my husband to make the 1 1/2 trip with me (it's amazing what he will do if there is a geocache involved). Let me just say that I fell in LOVE with the store as soon as we entered; beautiful furniture for every room in the house. Then onto the children's section and I wanted to buy one of everything for our little one. We found the pieces that we liked and they also fit our criteria; even though they are simple, they are sleek and very sturdy. Calculating everything that we would get for the nursery, we knew it was a good deal when we could walk out of there and pay less than $900 for the essentials and more! We didn't buy them on the first trip but went back before Thanksgiving and picked it all up.

I want to share a little with you about each of the pieces-

~The bed base can be placed at two different heights.
~Converts into a toddler bed.
Not only do I love the price on this piece, but it looks so simple which reminds me how how laid back they are in other countries (exactly where this is made).

The toddler bed is also adorable, I'm not sure if we will use it as we plan on having more than one child.

~Solid wood, a hardwearing natural material.
~Drawer with drawer stop prevents the drawer from being extended fully and falling out.
We also bought the changing table for the top for an extra $40. This is easy to attach and when we are out of the diaper stage we can remove it and use the dresser. I can honestly say that with the changing table attached it is hard to get into the shelves or the top drawer as the changing table sticks out too far. However, I am really big on how things look and I really want everything to go together, I am willing to put up with the slight frustration in this case.
~Solid wood, a hardwearing natural material.
~Deep enough to hold adult size hangers.
~2 adjustable shelves and clothes rail: easy to adjust according to need.
This wardrobe will hold all of our little one's clothes for years to come!! It actually has 2 clothes rails, I might remove one though as it sat rather low. This will definitely need to be secureed to the wall as it is rather tall and am afraid it could possibly tip over.
~Solid wood, a hardwearing natural material.
~Drawer includes drawer stop.
This piece will sit right next to the changing table and hold the cloth diapers, wipe warmer, and possibly a nice lamp.
~Solid wood, a hardwearing natural material.
This will not hold any necessities, most likely just a baseball cap and some trinkets.
We have not finished painting the bedroom yet, but we had to get the furniture set up as the boxes were just witting on our bedroom floor. Imagine these pushed against the wall with everything ready for the little one to come home in April.
My husband did all of the woodwork in the room, a very nice look that is mature enough for the baby to grow with it.

What I love about IKEA is that you walk in and they have the rooms set up so you can really imagine all of this being used in your home. We wish we knew about IKEA earlier but swear we will go there whenever we redo a room in our house.
I absolutely loved all of the simple, wooden toys they sold at IKEA, here are a couple that I really want to get in the future.
~The small figures jump up and down when the toy rolls forward/backward.
I think of the modern 'popcorn popper' when I see this, but I love this so much more. It's not that I don't like noise; it has more to do with being an educator and understanding that children can learn without
~A soft stick helps prevent injury.
~Develops fine motor skills and logical thinking.
Not only is the price incredible, but this toy will allow your child to think with the unnecessary bells and whistles that the newer toys have.

I should mention that I love toys like this and it has nothing to do with the noise bothering me. It actually comes from being an educator and knowing that children can learn without the music and noise. Yes, it is good to learn to music and many things can be taught this way. However, these days many children cannot sit still without being entertained; I really want our child to be able to entertain himself learn at the same time!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

TurtleTurtle Winner

The winner of the TurtleTurtle
gift certificate is Emily B.
She said, 'I love the egg warmers (and the name is super cute!)
I'd get one in either grass green, or charcoal grey. '
She has been emailed and has 48 hours to respond,
otherwise another winner will be chosen.

Our Journey Home

We left for NY at 4pm yesterday and are currently in VA; we have moved 242 miles in 16 hours!!! I have lost count of the number of times we have been stopped in traffic; at one point we had the truck turned off for over 3 hours. We pulled into a rest area and a bunch of the tractor trailers went down into the 'car' section as their lot was quite full. We couldn't leave the parking lot for over an hour as there was a tractor trailer stuck near the 'car' exit, I was so frustrated that he didn't follow directions! They ended up closing the rest area and backing the cars out one at a time, we had a long wait as we were right behind the trailer...
Luckily, we are from the north so my husband has quite a bit of experience with the snow and we ppersonally have not had any problems. We also have 4 wheel drive, but even that doesn't matter when you are not moving.
One would think I could use this time to blog and enter different giveaways but I was so tired at one point that even that didn't matter... I have been sleeping on and off during the night but I have also been eating in between sleeps as the roads are very bumpy due to the ice and snow - pregnant woman with lots of bumps leads to queasiness and eating tends to help that. My husband actually looked at me with some disgust and said, "I don't think you should be eating if you don't feel good." Normally I would agree, but being pregnant brings on a whole ton of new things...
The GPS says we will be in a little after 5, uuummmm we had dinner plans with our parents around that time....and that is only if the traffic moves at regular speed!! Needless to say, this trip that normally takes 12 hours will take over 24 and I hate to ask to use the bathroom at this point...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Turn A New Leaf Review and Giveaway

I was taking a look on the Turn A New Leaf Inc Etsy shop and ran across some beautiful handmade items. When I contacted Tracey, she was willing to send me a couple of cloth diapers(not available for sale until after the New Year) if I placed an order with her store. There were two box sets that I wanted to try but I decided to go with the Pure Baby Gift Box which includes a 28" square hemp blanket and 10 8"x5" double layer wipes which retails for $20.

Each of these items is extremely soft and are the perfect addition for our upcoming bundle of joy!! Everything is high quality, I can tell Tracey takes great pride in all of her work. I have never owned anything made of hemp and wish I had found items long ago, I have been tempted to take these cloths and use them on my face!! I am also thinking that this blanket will be used in a lot of pictures and we will probably bring the baby home from the hospital in it.

The cloth diapers that were sent are size 1, newborn - 15 pounds, and are made of 100% certified hemp and will retail for $20.

I have taken the following information from Tracey's blog site, Wildflower Mama Designs.
"This size 1 AIO hemp diaper is designed to lessen drying time and “no stuffing needed”.
My New AIO hemp diaper has a Pul outer layer with a full layer of hemp terry hidden inside. A hemp fleece layer is added with the softest side touching babies bottom. NO sewn in layers lessen your drying time and helps moms who would rather air dry their diapers. A 3 layer hemp doubler, slightly contoured, snaps into place for added absorbency. Simply snap the doubler into place and you have 5 organic hemp layers in total.
This size 1 AIO hemp diaper fits newborn to 15 pounds. For newborns, unsnap the 3 layer doubler and fold over the front using the inside snaps to fit snug around babies belly."

This is the first cloth diaper in my collection and I am very impressed with the quality. Our baby will not be born until April, so right now I am basing my review on my impressions. The elastic around the legs looks like it will be secure around by baby's legs but not too tight. The hemp feels so soft, so much better than disposable diapers. With the insert I feel that we won't have leaks going on in our house! The outer PUL is a soft cream color so it will work for either gender, this is good sice we don't know what we are having. The snaps are very secure and do not seem to pull on the fabric as I snap and unsnap and the sewing around the edge is very nicely done.
Tracey will be getting her size 2 diaper, 15-35+ pounds on her Etsy site at the beginning of the new year, she will also be adding a few differernt outer layer PUL fabrics so you will have choices!!
I am loving all of the products I have received and can't wiat for this little one to get here so I can use them all (I will wait and use the wipes on the baby).
Tracey's Etsy shop is currently closed so she can enjoy her Christmas, she will reopen on January 4th at which point these cloth diapers will be for sale. In the meantime, you can head over to her shop and sign up for an email to be notified when she reopens.
The other item that I thought about getting is meant for new moms (yes, we need to think about ourselves too) and includes 3 pair of hemp breast pads, calming tea, and soothing nipple tea bags, valued at over $40. I was reading her blog the other day and saw that she is giving a box away!!! Yes, if you head on over to her blog you can enter to win!! Hurry though, the contest ends on December 20th.
All of the items are made in British Columbia, Canada and shipped in recycled boxes. Tracey was wonderful to work with and I was very excited to receive these products and get to feel the hemp and see the quality of her work.

Tracey has been very generous to send one of the diapers for a Caching Family reader!! I currently have the diaper but will keep this open to United States and Canadian residents.
****Mandatory Entry****
If you would like to win this cloth diaper, tell me why you chose to cloth diaper.
Be sure to include your email adress in all of your entries.
If you are a winner and your email address is not present, I will draw for another winner.
This contest will end Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 11:59 pm. A winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via email.
****Extra Entries****
~Subscribe to me via email
~Grab my button
~Grab my 'Welcome Baby, Shower' button (before the giveaways started)
~Following me
~Email others about my blog and this contest(cc
~Tell me how you found my site
~Blog about this contest (3 entries)

Thanks for looking and have a wonderful holiday!

Udder Covers Review and Discount Code

Udder Covers for nursing mothers sells some of the most important things a nursing mother needs - nursing covers, breast pads, and nursing bracelets. You can order just the nursing pads, the Udder Cover, or the set of three and save some money.
At the beginning of my pregnancy I received an email offering a FREE Udder Cover, all I had to do was pay shipping and handling. However, there was a rumor out in cyberspace (more about that later) and since we were tight on money, so I decided to put off on ordering.
When I looked around for the rumor, I found that people had ordered with their credit cards and shortly after had fraudulent charges added as well. A good frind of mine, from the Life More Simply blog was curious and did some research on the company (click here to read more( and found it all to be false.
I was bummed because I had missed the opportunity to get a free nursing cover... That was when I contacted Udder Covers and they were very generous to send me the Jones gift set for review.
Jones nursing cover

The nursing cover with a pack of breast pads, and a milk band bracelet.
The lady I worked with was absolutely wonderful! I received my gift set very quickly, unfortunately I have not had a chance to use it as the baby is not due until April. I can still tell you what I think about each item though!
Jones nursing cover (retails for $32.00):
Our rigid neckline gives you direct eye contact with baby.
Our fabrics are made of 100% breathable cotton.
Stainless steel d-rings allow fully adjustable neckline.
Machine washable (made with 100% cotton).
The nursing cover measures 33" wide by 23" long with a 23" adjustable neckline. I chose the 'Jones' style as we do not know what we are having and I truly feel that it will work well for either gender. When I received the cover, the front neckline had a bend in it making it look more like a slight 'V-shape' and I was a little bummed about that. However, now that I have had it out of the package for a while the bend is gone, leaving a very nice opening to peek at my little one. I feel confident that if this nursing cover gets stuffed in the diaper bag the 'stiff strip' won't get ruined!! I have worn this around the house a few times and it is very comfortable to wear while sitting or standing and I will look like a super chic momma when I feed my baby outside of the house!

100% Cotton Breast Pads (10 pair for $32.95) :
Product Benefits:
Leaking milk and moisture is drawn away from skin by 5 layers of absorbent cotton fabric Machine-washable and reusable
Soft layers conform to breast shape for a natural look under clothing
Product Features:
100% Cotton
5 Ply
Even though I am not currently breastfeeding, I felt the only fair way to review these was to wear them. They are extremely comfortable, have no roughness to them, and have the added benefit of some extra warmth. Once April comes around I know I will grab these pads from the drawer often!
Milk Bands nursing bracelet:
Milk Bands™ breastfeeding bracelet keeps track of what side you nurse from, what time and how long all on one wrist!
Years ago people wore a safety pin on their bra to show which side they last nursed on, now some people write every feeding down. Personally, I don't have time for either. I will be able to wear this bracelet on one wrist and know when I last fed and on which side; all I'll have to do is turn it inside out to show the side and move the sliders to show how long the feeding lasted or what time it was at. I am already having 'pregnancy brain' so I know this will come in handy when I have one more person to worry about!
Milk Bands started in 2005 and recently started carrying the covers and pads, all products are made overseas. You will notice some items are currently on backorder, looks to me like a lot of people are picking these up for the amazing price.
Since the economy is so weak, Udder Covers is offering this product for FREE, you'll simply have to pay shipping and handling!!! They say this offer will last until the economy turns around, but I would suggest ordering sooner than later so you can make sure to take advantage of this opportunity. I tried it yesterday and was able to put the promotional code in successfully so you shouldn't have a problem; you can actually order anyhting from their site and save $32 (the price of one Udder Cover). You will still have to pay S&H which is $8.95 for the cover. Place your order and type '1free' in the promotional code box, make sure you do not add any spaces.
I truly feel that this is a wonderful deal and just might pick them up for my pregnant friends.
I am curious to know if you place an order; leave me a comment with the design you chose.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wooldins Review and Giveaway

I was recently in contact with Carolyn of Wooldins online Etsy shop concerning a review and giveaway. She was very generous and willing to send me to cloth wipes, one to review and one to give away. Carolyn makes a variety of items and uses 100% organic bamboo, flannel, and cotton fleece to make most of her items. I was very interested in her items as she has such adorable materials and I plan on cloth diapering and wiping, and breast feeding - many of her items fit into these categories. Check out some of her products:

7"x7" double sided flannel wipe
Retail: 8 for $8.00
Looks so soft for my baby's bottom!

4.5" double layer organic bamboo nursing pads
Retail: $4.50/pair
I know that nobody really sees these, but the design would make me feel more feminine during such an interesting time!
Organic bamboo velour fitted diaper
Retail: $21.95
Perfect because one size fits all!!
Carolyn also makes menstrual pads, diaper covers, baby blankets, and children's underwear - all from her home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her online shop, Wooldins, is very successful - she has 100% positive feedback and supplies to international business customers.

I received two wipes from Wooldins, one bamboo and one fleece/flannel. I was definitely surprised to open the envelope and see the following wipes:

Double layer cotton fleece with flannel in pink stripe
Bamboo wipe with brown serged edge

These wipes didn't seem right to me (neither was actually square and the stitching around the bamboo wipe had a small gap) so I contacted Carolyn and she was able to clear up that she sent me seconds (Whew!! I had a hard time believing these came from her shop) and she would never send these to a paying customer. She also said that she has been teaching her 12 year old daughter to sew and these were probably from that pile. Either way, I still feel that these wipes would feel great on my baby's bottom and will definitely add these to my stash! Hearing how wonderful her cloth diapers are, I might be purchasing some before my little one comes in April!
Carolyn is being very gracious and will send a couple of wipes from her online store to a CachingFamily reader!!
****Mandatory Entry****
If you would like to win these cloths, head on over to her Etsy site
and tell me what your favorite item is.
Be sure to include your email adress in all of your entries.
If you are a winner and your email address is not present, I will draw for another winner.
This contest will end Saturday, December 26, 2009 at 12:59 pm. A winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via email.
****Extra Entries****
~Subscribe to me via email
~Grab my button
~Grab my 'Welcome Baby, Shower' button (before the giveaways started)
~Following me
~Email others about my blog and this contest
~Tell me how you found my site
~Blog about this contest (3 entries)

Thanks for looking and good luck!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

TurtleTurtle Review and Giveaway

Kelley of TurtleTurtle recently sent me an egg warmer and a nursing cover to review and I have been wearing the egg warmer nonstop!
TurtleTurtle is as Etsy shop that you muct check out for yourself!
If you have never had a chance to wear a belly band I suggest you find one quickly as they are SO comfortable and can be worn over anything. Although this is still a belly band, I think it is so cute that they are called egg warmers at TurtleTurtle, this is such an appropriate name!
Wearing an egg warmer allows you to:
  • wear your non-maternity clothes a little bit longer as you can cover up the unbuttoned, partially unzipped pants
  • cover your 'just-a-bit-too-big' maternity clothes
  • have the layered look even if you are not pregnant

Here are a couple of pictures from the TurtleTurtle site showing the egg warmer.

I got mine in the mail just in time to go out to dinner for my father-in-law's birthday. I came home from work and just had to get my jeans back out of the 'non-wearable' bin and was so excited to be able to wear them again!!! The material wasn't sticky, itchy, or too hot; the material is light enough to 'breath' but thick enough to provide you with a little extra warmth. There is only one seam and I must honestly say it is very nicely constructed. I had no problems with the egg warmer, in fact I felt adorable with the layered look going on!

I also like to wear this with my maternity pants because it is cute and it covers those not so cute stretchy pants. Again, this is completely versatile and will make any wearer warm and happy.

Kelley only uses 100% organic cotton jersey knit for her egg warmers and they are available in a variety of colors. They are available in sizes XS through XL and meausure 8" tall. It is machine wash/dry with the only rule being not to use bleach. I have washed this once and the next time I wore it, it was just like new! Kelley started making these when a family member was pregnant, didn't want to wear maternity clothes too early, and didn't want to spend a ton of money on a store bought belly band. Making one lead to making hundreds....
TurtleTurtle also sells nursing covers, she generously sent me one of these as well. Honestly, I have not used this yet as I am still pregnant but have great plans to use it in April!!! So I can't tell you how well it works for nursing, I can say that it is totally cute and any mother would want one of these! I do have two different nursing covers and this is the only one with an adjustable neck strap (using a D-ring) which is perfect as no two of us are exactly the same. Also, it has a 'pop out see me space' so you can watch your baby as you are nursing. I find this truly amazing as she has simply sewn it into the top and it has just the perfect curve so my baby and I can see each other and continue to bond. My favorite part about this feature was that when Kelley packaged it she didn't create a fold in the curved material so it looks absolutely perfect! These are made of 100% cotton fabric and are machine wash/dry, again don't use bleach on these.
I can tell that Kelley truly enjoys what she does and takes pride in all of her work. All of the seams were perfect, this includes all pieces of thread trimmed. Being a mom herself, shwore realizes what moms of the world want. Not only was she generous enough to send me these items, she wanted to make sure I was truly happy with the egg warmer so she sent two, told me to try them both on to see which had the better fit and included the packaging to send the other one back to her. She literally send the package to me the day after I emailed her, that is what I call service.
I definitely want to work with her in the future. She has a very interesting Asian style carrier called a Hawley Sack which she made when she needed more than a front pack or a sling with her young son, I am thinking of ordering one as my husband and I do a lot of hiking and this would the perfect carrier! Again showing her generosity, she has the pattern for this on her personal blog.
You can buy any of these items at her TurtleTurtle shop, the egg warmers retail for $20, the nursing covers for $15 and the Hawley Sack sells for $67. These are all extrememly reasonable prices, especially considering the quality and effort Kelley provides to satisfy her customers.
Kelley was wonderful to work with and one of you will have a chance to see for yourself as she is giving one reader a $30 gift certificate for TurtleTurtle.
****Mandatory Entry****
If you would like to win this gift certificate you must first
head on over to TurtleTurtle and tell me how
you would spend your gift certificate.
Be sure to include your email adress in all of your entries.
If you are a winner and your email address is not present, I will draw for another winner.

This contest will end Saturday, December 19, 2009 at midnight. A winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via email.

****Extra Entries****
~Subscribe to me via email
~Grab my button
~Grab my 'Welcome Baby, Shower' button (before the giveaways started)
~Following me
~Email others about my blog and this contest
~Tell me how you found my site
~Blog about this contest (3 entries)
Thanks for looking and good luck!!