Wife, Mummy, Nurse: June 2012

26 June 2012

I LOVE My Husband {Summer #BlogChallenge}

Drew and I kissing at his sister's wedding
on March 27, 2010.

Drew shows his love to me in several ways.
1. He gives me a kiss every morning and evening.
2. He makes dinner on the days I have to work.
3. He prays with me every night before bed.
4. He reads the Bible and takes our family to church.
5. He takes out the trash.  {One of my least favorite chores.}
6. He buys me gum for no reason other than the fact I like it.  {He only does this a handful of times during the year, but I almost never buy it, so it's nice when he does.}
7. He sometimes gets up at night when Charis is crying and/or sometimes lets me sleep in.

How does your husband show his love to you?

FYI: If you think about it, can you please pray for my husband tomorrow.  
He has his proposal defense for his dissertation.

25 June 2012

Ideal Day of "Me Time" {Summer #BlogChallenge}

To be honest when I saw this prompt, I did not {and continue to not want} to think about it.  The biggest reason is I do not want to become bitter.  Yes, there are things I wish I could do, but I love my daughter and husband and would not want to replace them with things I'm not able to do.

In answer to the question, if I had a day to myself, I would...

  • Go shopping at a thrift store or consignment store.
  • Go to the library.
  • Go to a small, local coffee shop.
  • Run.
All of these, I'm able to do with my daughter.  Okay, it might not be as peaceful, but I went thrift store shopping on Saturday and bought 6 items of clothing for my daughter and it came to less than $10.  I went to the library last Tuesday with her.  No I'm not able to go and look for hours upon hours, but she does let me look around for myself, as well as her.  Going to a coffee shop is harder because my daughter does not sit still, but it's still doable.  I go running with my daughter at least a few times a week.  

Ultimately, many of the things I'd do on my own, I'm still able to do with my daughter and/or husband. And, I would not trade that for peace and quiet.

24 June 2012

Favorite Eco-Friendly Thing To Do {Summer #BlogChallenge}

I do many things that are considered "Eco-friendly", but that's honestly not why I do them.  I do them to save money.  A few of these things are:

  1. Cloth Diapers.  Especially since we hope to have more children.  I can use them again on them.
  2. Cloth Napkins.  I got tired of spending $10-$20/year on disposable napkins.  A nice perk is, I did not spend any money on the cloth napkins since they were given to us as wedding gifts.
  3. Menstrual cups.  Must say, I LOVE it.  If you're considering switching, do it.  TMI Warning: I find I do not leak with menstrual cups like I did with tampons, plus the risk of TSS is reduced.
What "Eco-friendly" things do you do?
Do you do them because they're "Eco-friendly"?

23 June 2012

Favorite Blog Post I Wrote Before This Challenge {Summer #BlogChallenge}

Am I able to pick more than one?  It's hard to pick my absolute favorite.  So, I'll give three of my favorites:
  • What is your only comfort in life and in death?  I wrote this back in November, shortly after Drew's grandfather died.  The sermon was preached by T. David Gordon, a professor at Grove City College.  He preached this sermon at the church where my parents are members.
  • The Business of Being Born: LOVE this documentary.  Drew even watched it with me.  The Business of Being Born opened my eyes more to see that hospitals are ultimately after money.
  • Mummy's yeast rolls: Recipe for my mum's rolls.  So delicious.
What's your favorite post I've written?

22 June 2012

What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up {Summer #BlogChallenge}

When I was four years old, I wore sunglasses A LOT, but the thing about these sunglasses is the lenses were popped out.  No, I'm not showing you a picture.  I wore them because I wanted to be a "movie star" and movie stars wore sunglasses.

Then I went to elementary school, I then wanted to be a doctor, but then in junior high and high school, I realized that doctors have to go to school for how many years and then most likely be in debt FOREVER. So, I then told people I wanted to be a lawyer, and I have know idea what I was thinking at that point.

I went to college, I had no clue what I wanted to do after college {well I wanted to become a wife and a mother, but there was not guy in the picture}, but like the religion classes at Grove City, so I declared Christian Thought as my major.  Unfortunately, I caved in and added political science because after all, "Girls who major in Christian Thought are just here to get their MRS degree."  I actually regret taking political science classes because I didn't enjoy them and did not want to work in politics or government.  I then decided to go to nursing school to become a registered nurse, which overall I'm glad I did, but often people ONLY comment about how much money nurses make.  I got tired of replying, "I honestly don't care about the money.  I just want to make enough that I can live off and support myself."

The whole time, I ultimately wanted to be a wife and a mother, and now that has happened.  I am blessed with a husband and currently have one child-the pumpkin below.  It's a good thing I don't care about the money with this job, but the rewards are priceless.

21 June 2012

Most Recent Words of Wisdom that Stuck with Me {Summer #BlogChallenge}

Needs to be blocked.
Tonight, I was looking up a few methods on blocking my latest knitting project-Tiffany neckwarmer.  It desperately needs to be blocked.  The yarn I used is 57% Acrylic/40% Wool/3% Other.  I don't think I'll be steam blocking it because I'm concerned I might accidentally cause the project to melt, since it contains acrylic.  I'm planning on wet blocking it tomorrow.  Truly Myrtle was very helpful in her Basically Blocking blog post. The biggest message that stuck with me is once your knit item is wet
NEVER WRING!!!! This can cause your knitting to felt. 

Tiffany Neckwarmer {Yarn Along}

I finished knitting my sister's Christmas gift-the Tiffany Neckwarmer!!  I think it's a perfect gift for her.  She loves Audrey Hepburn.  When I started knitting, I cast on the recommended number of stitches, but saw it would be too small and decided to start over again.  I then cast on 104 stitches and that worked much better.  The only thing left is blocking it and sewing a snap on it.  I took a picture of the project tonight, but it was dark and had shadows, so I'll take another one tomorrow and post it.

Photo taken with the original 84 stitches cast on.
I'm currently reading The Perfectly Imperfect Home and am enjoying it.  It gives many suggestions about making your home personal.  I like the quote below.  I have a toddler to care for and a husband to help. We are definitely not perfect, but at the same time, it's not an excuse for chaos.  The living room might have toys on the floor because my daughter enjoys playing.  Life happens and I want my daughter to feel at home.
Embracing imperfection in a home does not mean that anything goes. Here it means aiming for beauty tempered by reality. If real life involves mess, accidents, memory, and the incidental, then so too must decorating account for serendipity, and even embrace it. ~Page 14
And yes, I'm still working on being a better housekeeper, which is something I struggle with because I dislike cleaning.

What are you knitting or crocheting?
What are you reading?
Join us at Ginny's Yarn Along.

20 June 2012

Photo of Myself as a Child {Summer #BlogChallenge}

Growing up my mum would go visit her parents in Northern Ireland almost every year.  My siblings and I would take turns going to see our grandparents.  In 1991, it was my turn to go see Granny and Grandad.  This photograph was taken in Northern Ireland that summer.  I'm in the one in the middle, my cousin Dean is on the left and my cousin Timothy is on the right.

19 June 2012

A Few Recent Things I am Proud Of {Summer #BlogChallenge}

I have a love/hate relationship with "To do lists"; I like the sense of accomplishment when I'm able to cross things off, but feel like a failure when I still have not completed the project.  You might remember some of my Goals for June.  I'm about to cast off on my sister's Christmas gift, but it will DEFINITELY need to be blocked.  I'm hoping to post photographs of it for yarn along tomorrow.  I have gone through clothes and have THREE bags that need to go to the local thrift store, now I just need to go there.  I have yet to deep clean the bathroom.

Do you like "To do lists"?  Or do you get frustrated with them?

18 June 2012

Recipe I Love {Summer #BlogChallenge}

When it comes to cooking, I almost never follow a recipe.  Usually dinner consists of diced meat cooked and adding vegetables towards the end.  Tonight, I made Sausage, Potatoes, and Peas for supper.

  1. Place olive oil and butter in cast iron pan.  Melt butter.
  2. Cut up 2 sausage links.  Cook sausage over medium heat.  FYI, I bought this from the Amish market on Saturday and let's just say I DEFINITELY miss the price of items like this in Pennsylvania. 
  3. Rinse and cut red skin potatoes. Once sausage is cooked through, add potatoes to pan.
  4. Add approximately 1 cup of water and sprinkle Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute on everything. Note: I LOVE the 21 Seasoning Salute and use it on almost everything I cook.
  5. Cook until potatoes are fork tender.  Add peas {or whatever vegetable you have} and cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add shredded smozzarella cheese and serve.
My husband stated, "This is REALLY good."  Charis had NO interest in eating it.  In the end, it's my husband's opinion that matters more than my daughter's.

What's your favorite recipe?

17 June 2012

Three Personality Traits {Summer #BlogChallenge}

Our topic today is 3 Things You are Proud About Your Personality, but I had a hard time of coming up with traits because it feels like I am bragging.  I think this is one reason I do not like job interviews because I feel like I'm bragging then too.  I decided to ask my husband to list a few personality traits he liked about me, but I didn't tell him why.  He told me these three things:
  1. Godly
  2. Encouraging
  3. Thoughtful
What are some of your personality traits?

Fitness Guru or Couch Potato {Summer #BlogChallenge}

In high school, I played basketball and loved it.  My senior year, I decided to play volleyball because I realized I would most likely never get the chance to play volleyball on an organized team.  When I went to Grove City College, I decided to play rugby, but really only played the first 1 1/2 semesters there.  The first year, we had less than 5 games, and the team was picking up more games my sophomore year.  I love playing team sports and/or having a workout partner because as I'm exercising, I'm being encouraged to give it my all.

I find it's not as fun working out individually, but have found the C25K program to actually be enjoyable.  I like it, especially since they do not expect you to be able to run a 5K right away. It's also nice running with my daughter at the park, but before we run, I let her play on the playground for awhile and then go running.  She's in the jogging stroller, and I'm pushing her.

Less than 2 weeks ago, I was running, and during one of my walking times, a guy asked, "Weren't you just running?"  I answered, "Yes."  He replied, "I thought so.  You run fast."  I'm not sure if he was making fun of me or being serious; I love the photograph below.

I'm not sure where this orginated,
but I got it from here.

14 June 2012

15 Tips to Get Through Life {Summer #BlogChallenge}

If you have a child{ren}: Love them, hold them, and spend time with them.  Unplug the computer when they're awake.  My daughter is growing up so quickly; it sometimes seems like it was just yesterday that I told Drew I was pregnant.

If you are married: Love your spouse.  Pray for him/her.  Talk and laugh with him/her.  Seek to build the other up.

If you are single: Don't dwell on the fact you are not married or engaged or don't have a boyfriend.  This is actually something I wish I could write that I did well; instead there were times I sulked that I was not married.  I thought my younger brother is getting married and there's no one.  When will my husband come?  Instead, I should have been focusing on Christ, and what He has done for me.  I should have been trying to build up the church more, instead of focusing on myself.
...And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.  I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. ~1 Corinthians 7:35-35
A few fun tips: Knit. Run. Play basketball.

A more serious tip: Read of Bible.  Follow God and keep His commandments.  Just because you do this  tip does not mean things will suddenly be easier; sometimes it's harder.  I am helpless before God; I can do nothing.  It's only because of Christ's death that I am holy and perfect in God's sight.
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself. ~Acts 2:38-39
What tips do you have? 

How Do I See Myself at the End of the Year {Summer #BlogChallenge}

To be honest, I was not sure how to answer this.  I see my husband being a little bit closer to the time when he's finished with his PhD.  It would be nice if I was expecting another child. We will be continually sanctified to be more like Christ.  I'm looking forward to watching my daughter grow and talk a lot more.  Ultimately, whatever God has planned for me at the end of the year, is where I'll be.  I don't know what His plans are, but I look forward to finding out.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.  So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. ~James 4:13-17

12 June 2012

Children's Catechism {Gratituesday}

I have many reasons to be thankful. I have been going over the first 3 questions of the Catechism for Young Children with Charis. She knows the answer to the first question. I ask her, "Who made you Charis?" She answers, "Gah" (AKA God; she can't pronounce d's at the end of a word). She has yet to answer any other questions, but I'm so thrilled she's able to answer this question.

I ordered From the Lips of Little Ones: A Study in the Catechism (for very little people) from Crown and Covenant and will be reading it to Charis when I receive it.

What are you thankful for?
Linking up with Heavenly Homemakers.

Why I Did Not Like My Episiotomy {Summer #BlogChallenge}

Today's prompt is "my worst injury", but when I was planning this post, I was stuck.  I have never had any serious injuries (or at least nothing really worth blogging about). One injury I did not like having was an episiotomy. An episiotomy is an incision that is made between the vaginal opening and anus during delivery.

A few things bothered me about my episiotomy:
  1. The doctor did not say, "I'm going to be giving you an episiotomy." It wasn't until after my daughter was born, that I found out.
  2. My daughter was not showing any signs of distress. I had been pushing for less than 2 hours. The doctor was impatient and most likely wanted to go eat dinner instead of waiting longer.
Thankfully, I don't seem to have any complications from the episiotomy. For my next birth, I plan on choosing a different doctor and making my choices clearer to my health care provider.

What is the worst injury you had? Did you have an episiotomy with any of your births?

11 June 2012

Best Day of My Life {Summer #BlogChallenge}

One of the best days of my life was the day I married Drew.  We grew up together, went to the same church, same school, and same college.  I had NO interest in him other than friendship, but he was interested in me.  When we were at Grove City College, a few of my friends would ask, "What about Drew?  He's a nice guy."  I said, "Absolutely NOT!" Thankfully, God's plans were different than mine.  We were married August 21, 2009.  My uncle from Northern Ireland came over and performed the marriage ceremony.  It was so nice.  I'm thrilled that I married Drew, "For better, or worse. In sickness and health.  As long as we both shall live."  
Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically. It is mainly about displaying the covenant keeping love between Christ and His church... ~John Piper

What has been the best day in your life?

10 June 2012

Cost Aside, Famous Art Piece I'd Have in My Home {Summer #BlogChallenge}

When I was thinking about what famous art pieces I'd love to have in my home, I honestly could not think of one.  I prefer my home to be filled with personal things to me.  I'd prefer to have my Granny's paintings over Renoir or Monet or Picasso.  My parents have at least 5-10 paintings of hers, and I currently only have one.  My Granny painted the above robins, but she also painted scenes from Northern Ireland, such as Dunluce Castle.

What famous painting would you love to have in your home?

09 June 2012

Cooking Disasters {Summer #BlogChallenge}

Chocolate chip cookies I made today.
A MUCH better success than the
cookies 20+ years ago.
I LOVE cooking and baking.  I remember "helping" my mum in the kitchen as a young child before I started kindergarten.  She taught me how to cook, read a recipe, turn on the oven, use the KitchenAid mixer, etc.

When I was 8, I was baking on my own.  Yes, I had to get permission, but my mum and dad were there if I had a question or needed help. One time, I was baking chocolate chip cookies. I misread "1 cup sugar" for "1 cup of salt." When they were finished, I proudly brought the cookies to my dad to eat, at this point I had not yet tried them.  After taking a bite, he immediately asked for a glass of milk, which I got.  He ate TWO cookies.  Then I had a cookie and ended up in tears because they were "yucky."  My dad then had ANOTHER one.  I thought, "My dad likes them."  I'm assuming the rest of the cookies were thrown away, but I appreciate my dad encouraging me. He did not belittle me or make fun of me for messing up, but now we just laugh at that memory.

What cooking disasters have you had?

08 June 2012

Guilty Pleasure {Summer #BlogChallenge}

There are many pleasures I have, and honestly it was hard for me to think of a "guilty" pleasure.  To me, guilt implies what I was doing is wrong, and the things I do that are wrong may be pleasurable for the moment, but are not lasting.

One of my happy pleasures are screwdrivers. They are so easy to make, but it's only once in a blue moon I have one.  It consists of:
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • Ice cube
That's it.  I'm currently enjoying the one and only I'll have tonight.

What are some of your pleasures?

07 June 2012

Photograph of Something that Makes Me Happy {Summer #BlogChallenge}

There are many things that make me happy: my husband, my daughter, my parents, siblings, and their spouses, my husband's parents, his sister, her husband, and my nephew, my extended family, flowers, books, coffee, tea, wine, champagne, yarn, knitting, basketball, etc. God has given me so many blessings in my life, which I do not deserve.

This morning I woke up, and my back was hurting.  It has been hurting on and off for the past 12 days, but it's worse at night.  Since I've been trying to be more diligent about exercising, I pulled the jogging stroller out of our van, put Charis in it, and went running.  It's SO fun to hear her point at things as we walk/run by them.  She sat up and said, "Dah."  I thought, "There's no dog."  But the second after I thought that, I heard barking.  Sure enough she was correct. She also loves pointing at "fowers" {flowers}.

We came back home, she played awhile, I read to her, put her down for a nap, and finally showered.  Then she took a long nap {three hours}.  I got her out of her crib around 4:45PM and told her, "We're going to the pool."  I'm happy that there's a pool at our apartment building we can go swim in.  It was very cloudy when we arrived and stayed cloudy the whole time, but Charis enjoyed swimming in the baby pool.  In this photograph, I'm happy because it shows part of the pool and my daughter.

What photographs make you happy?
Do you have access to a swimming pool during the summer?

06 June 2012

Nicknames AKA Terms of Endearment {Summer #BlogChallenge}

Growing up my parents had different nicknames for us.  As a toddler, my mum called me "Sarah Bara" and my dad called me "Pet."  Many of my friends/acquaintances in elementary and high school thought these were weird names.  They would comment, "Your parents think you're an animal."  I would explain to them, "No, they don't.  It's a term of endearment."

Later, I graduated to "S.A.M."  It stood for Slow As Molasses.  During my junior high years, I was always the last one ready out the door when my family would be going places.  It started to be a running joke that I was a S.A.M.  My sister told me it also stood for Silly As Monkeys. I told my family it was actually Sweet As Molasses.

When I went to Uganda in 2006, I was given the name "Nakiru" by some Karimojong.  Akiru means rain. Nakiru is the feminine form of akiru (and Lokiru the masculine form). I was given that name while we were in a village visiting someone, I forget who. (Unfortunately, I didn't journal as much as I should have.) I was asked, "When were you born?" I answered in the winter; it was translated by Margie. So I was given the name "Nakiru." Everytime after that, I would introduce myself as "Sarah Nakiru."

Do you have any nicknames?
What are they?

05 June 2012

Goals for June {Summer #BlogChallenge}


1. Read the Bible daily.  It's important to spend time in God's word; sometimes, I'm better at it and other times, not great.
2. Memorize Psalm 88B.  This is the Psalm of the month at church.
3. Pray for my husband daily.  This I usually do, but it's still good to be reminded that he needs me to be a helper to him.

4. Photograph the finished skirtie and post on blog.  I should have better planned this because it's currently drying from being lanolized.
5. Start {and finish} my sister's Christmas gift.  It's June, and I just realized I don't have ANY Christmas gifts completed yet.  If I want to give items made with love by me for Christmas, I need to work on them year round.

6. Read at least two books in June.  Charis and I joined the summer reading program at the library yesterday.  I have to read 6 books over the summer.
7. Do the activities on Charis's reading program and take during the month of June so she can get a prize.

8. Deep clean the bathroom.  I hate cleaning.  I was going to write clean the kitchen, but thankfully because of trying to do the FlyLady's suggestion on "shining the sink", the kitchen is more likely to be clean.
9. Go through clothes and take clothes I no longer want and/or wear to a thrift store.
10. Continue weekly menu planning.  I have been keeping up on this pretty well, but have not been blogging about it.

What are your goals for this week and/or month?

04 June 2012

Meaning Behind My Blog Name {Summer #BlogChallenge}

I think my blog name is self explanatory-Life as a Wife, Mummy, and Nurse.

  • I am a wife to Drew.  We were married on August 21, 2009.  I love him, and he loves me.
  • I am a mummy to Charis.  I chose "mummy" because that's the British word for mother.  My mum is from Britain, and I still call her mummy.  Drew laughs at the way I say her name.  Charis was born August 18, 2010, but I have been her mummy since November 2009.  Our daughter was a wee surprise, but I love her and am so glad God blessed us with her.
  • I am a registered nurse.  I took the NCLEX-RN in September 2006 and found out I passed October 2006.  I used to love nursing, but now only tolerate it.  I have had a few disappointments the last year with applying for jobs.  I was about to be offered two different jobs, but when I told them, I could not work immediately due to the fact that my husband works and we could not find child care in just a few days. Eventually, I told the company that they needed to stop calling me and wasting my time.  I'm first a wife and a mother.  I need to make sure that my daughter is able to be looked after.  I would have been able to start in 2-3 weeks, but they needed somebody immediately.  Plus, management at my current place is less than desirable; I'm sure some people would just say, "Quit.  Find a new job, but I wish it were that easy."

Cloth Diaper Prize Package {#FluffyButtsHop}

Welcome to the Fluffy Butts Cloth Diapering Giveaway Hop. This Giveaway Hop is hosted by Fabulous Finds and Mama Chocolate. This Giveaway Hop features all cloth diaper themed giveaways with a value of $25 or more at each of the participating blogs! Be sure to visit each blog from the linky below and enter for your chance to win some really amazing prizes! This event will end on June 15th at 11: 59pm EST.

My prize package includes:

A set of three Wooly Rounds dryer balls

A sized diaper cover from Zookiescrafts

Enter below in Rafflecopter and be sure to visit each blog from the linky below for a chance to win cloth diaper related prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

03 June 2012

15 Interesting Facts About Myself {Summer #BlogChallenge}

  1. My mum is from Northern Ireland, and I have been over 11 times.  
  2. In 2006, I spent 6 weeks in Karamoja, Uganda.
  3. 6 years ago, I swore I would NEVER marry Drew, but 3 years ago we were about to get engaged.  I'm glad I was wrong 6 years ago.
  4. Since 1995, I knew I wanted to name a daughter of mine Charis.  15 years later that happened.
  5. I took flute lessons for seven years.
  6. But, only took piano lessons for one year.
  7. I like to knit.
  8. But have no idea how to crochet.
  9. I once sat beside a hit man on an airplane.
  10. I am a tea snob.  My Granny came over to visit us in 1985 and HATED American tea.  She would then send over 400+ Nambarrie tea bags to us in the States at least 2-3 times/year.
  11. I take my tea with milk and 1/2 tsp. sugar.
  12. Growing up I disliked coffee, but started drinking it in college and nursing school.
  13. I take my coffee with half-and-half.  No sugar.
  14. My all time favorite desert is Pavlova.  Hopefully, I'll post the recipe before too long, but I must warn you, it has way too much refined sugar.
  15. I would love to go to Prince Edward Island because of my love of Anne of Green Gables.
Hope you enjoyed getting to know me a wee bit more!

02 June 2012

Post a Photograph of Myself Smiling {Summer #BlogChallenge}

This is not the best photograph of me, but I'm posting it because I took it today.  Charis woke up from her nap about 30 minutes before taking this picture.  She saw my camera while we were playing on the floor, pointed to it, got up to get it, and gave it to me.  I decided to take a picture of the two of us, but as you can see, all I managed to get of Charis was her ear and you can really see my "McFarland nose" and my freckles.  Oh well.  As my high school principal would say, "You created a memory, Sarah."

Zookiescrafts {#FluffyButtsHop}

When I'm at home with my daughter, I use mostly prefolds and flats to cloth diaper her.  I love the many options I have for covers; there are so many cute prints available.

I was thrilled when Michele Zook from Zookiescrafts {now known as Zookaboo} agreed to be one of the sponsors for the #FluffyButtsHop.  As I was browsing through her online shop, I noticed the mustache diaper cover and loved it. I wrote to Michele and commented that I loved this cover, but lamented the fact that I do not have a boy to put it on.  She replied back and stated she would be willing to sew the mustache cover using medium pink or magenta fabric if I wanted it. After consulting my husband and asked, "Would be weird to get this cover for Charis?", and he said, "No."  I jumped at Michele's offer.

Zookaboo sells many handmade items, including wetbags, cloth wipes, matching tee and diaper covers, minkee blankets, plus many more baby items.  Go look at Michele's shop.

I received a one size diaper cover with snaps to review. The outer layer is cotton and the inner layer is PUL. It has fold over elastic sewn around the outside, a four step rise, a double row of snaps at the tabs, crossover snaps, and hip snaps.  The one size cover has a 13-19 inch rise and fits approximately 10-35 pounds.

My thoughts: I loved the customer service I received from Michele. She quickly responded to e-mails.  I noticed she quickly responds to messages on her Facebook page as well.  I love the diaper I was sent and was pleased with Michele's suggestion to custom make it for my daughter.  The diaper worked overnight with a hemp prefold pad folded in to diaper.  There was no leaking or wicking the next morning.  I also like the diaper's trimness.  It fit my 30 lb., 36 in. daughter without any problems.  For us, this worked well with a flat diaper pad folded and placed in the cover.  I hope to buy from Zookaboo in the future.

Come back and enter to win a sized diaper cover on June 4 {Giveaway is over.}. Sizes are:
Extra Small: 13" rise (7-11 lbs.)
Small: 15" rise (10-15lbs.)
Medium: 17" rise (15-25lbs.)
Large: 19" rise (25+lbs)
Have you purchased from Zookaboo?
What is your favorite diaper print? 

Zookaboo sent me a one size diaper cover to review.  I was not compensated in any way and all opinions are my own.

Wooly Rounds {#FluffyButtsHop}

When I first looked into cloth diapering, I quickly discovered that I would not be able to use dryer sheets or fabric softener on my daughter's cloth diapers because it can cause residue buildup on diapers which causes repelling .  After doing some research, I learned fabric softener contains harmful chemicals and decided to stop using it altogether.

Then came the question, "What do I use instead of dryer sheets?" Answer: Wool dryer balls.  Wool dryer balls are felted balls of wool and help reduce 10-25% of drying time. The wonderful thing is you can use them for all your laundry needs.

Wooly Rounds was started by Cyndi in 2010.  Her dryer balls are handmade using 100% local, lanolin rich wool.  Wooly rounds are approximately the size of a tennis ball.  They help air circulate and clothes to separate in the dryer.  Wool dryer balls help reduce static, soften clothes, and help make clothes smell cleaner by absorbing odors.  You can buy Wooly Rounds individually, in packs of three, or in packs of five.

My thoughts: I was scent 4 Wooly Rounds for the purpose of this review.  They came in a small bag where I store them between drying cycles.  I noticed that on loads that take longer to dry, such as jeans, the drying time was reduced approximately 10 minutes.  I'm also pleased with how well made they are.  I have been using these for about 6 weeks and have not had a problem with them unraveling.  They have retained their shape.  I have not noticed any pilling either.  I highly recommend purchasing Wooly Rounds.

Come back on June 4 and enter to win three Wooly Rounds for yourself during the #FluffyButtsHop.

Have you tried wool dryer balls before?
How do they work for you?

Wooly Rounds sent me four dryer balls to review.
I was not compensated in any way
and all opinions are my own.

01 June 2012

The Why of the Summer #BlogChallenge

There are a group of bloggers who decided publish a blog post everyday this summer-from June 1st-August 31st.  I have decided to join this challenge.

Why? It actually sounds like fun.  With the last few giveaways, I've had, it's been enjoyable, but I have not done a whole lot of blogging during those times, except when posting the reviews.  Plus, it's a way to "meet" other people.  I've already met a few bloggers since starting this blog that I'd love to meet.

At the same time, I also realize that with summer, I'm outside more and away from home more often, so I might not post everyday, but I'm going to give it an honest attempt.  It will be hardest when my husband, daughter, and I will be away at our denomination's international conference is in July, and when my siblings, their spouses, and hopefully my husband and I are getting together at a cabin for a weekend in August.  So during those times especially, I may not post like I hope and plan to.

Thankfully, there are blogging prompts that we write about, so I don't need all of my creative juices flowing {or lack of} to write a blog post.  The prompts are:

June 1: Why are you doing this challenge? {You're currently reading it.}
June 2: Post a picture of you smiling.
June 3: 15 interesting facts about yourself.
June 4: Meaning behind your blog name.
June 5: Short term goals for this month and why those goals.
June 6: Nicknames you have & why you have them.
June 7: Picture of something that makes you happy. 
June 8: Not including blogging, your favorite guilty pleasure.
June 9: Your worst cooking disaster.
June 10: Cost aside, famous art piece you would have in your home.
June 11: Best day of your life.
June 12: Worst injury you've had & how it happened.
June 13: How you see yourself by the end of the year.
June 14: Give your followers 15 tips to get through life. 
June 15: Post a photo you took that you're proud of.
June 16: Fitness guru or couch potato? Talk about your fitness habits.
June 17: 3 things you are proud of about your personality.
June 18: A recipe you love.
June 19: Something you're proud of from the last few days.
June 20: Photo of you as a young child.
June 21: Most recent words of wisdom you heard that stuck with you.
June 22: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
June 23: Favorite Blog Post you've written before this challenge.
June 24: Favorite eco-friendly thing to do. 
June 25: Ideal day of "me time", without thinking of money, time or any of life's other normal stresses. 
June 26: What does your significant other do that makes your heart melt? 
June 27: What's the best gift you've ever received? 
June 28: How do you do your laundry?? Give your laundry tricks. 
June 29: Write a "How To" post
June 30: Post a photo of an outfit that either is your style or you wish was your style.

July 1: Tell about something eco friendly that you already do.
July 2: Share a poem you've written or just one you like
July 3: Travel & plans you have for the summer.
July 4: To celebrate Independence Day, you are "free" to post whatever you want.
July 5: Talk about a fear you have.
July 6: What is a holiday tradition you have in your family?
July 7: Something you would attempt if you knew you couldn't fail.
July 8: Favorite piece of poetry. (Can be written by you or just one you like)
July 9: What are some of your biggest pet peeves?
July 10: What is the hardest challenge you have been faced with?
July 11: Share 5 or 10 of your favorite blogs or websites.
July 12: Talk about a vacation you have taken.
July 13: Then & now photos of you. 
July 14: One piece of advice you want to give to your child.
July 15: Got any good makeup tips/routines? 
July 16: Favorite room in your house.
July 17: A random act of kindness.
July 18: 5 things to do if the power goes out. 
July 19: If you were president or prime minister for a day, what's one law you would change? 
July 20: What would you do with the $ if you won the lottery?
July 21: Talk about a free activity to do with children.
July 22: What's your best gardening tip?
July 23: How do you beat the summer heat?
July 24: What's a band that you've been listening to and liking lately?
July 25: Give us 3 easy healthy meals or snacks for young kids & toddlers.
July 26: If you could have a super power, what would it be? 
July 27: Write up something about an alternative energy source.
July 28: When was the last time you "roughed it"? 
July 29: How does your life measure up to the vision you had when you were younger? 
July 30: Are you an artist?? Show some artwork or doodling you've done. Don't do art, share something you like then.
July 31: Post a black and white photo you've taken.

August 1: Share an idea for a handmade gift to give to someone else.
August 2:  What's one feature you would have to have in your dream home?
August 3: What helps you get through meltdowns?
August 4: What is your favorite article of clothing?
August 5: What's your dream job?
August 6: Do you have a favorite author?
August 7: What's a skill you wish you had?
August 8: Create a bucket list with a minimum of 10 things.
August 9: Name a movie you like. What about it appeals to you?
August 10: Share a pet that you have or had in the past.
August 11: Post a typical "day in the life" post.
August 12: What's an eco-friendly organization that you could get behind and support?
August 13: What type of schooling do you currently or plan to do with your children?
August 14: Give a good piece of advice to first time parents.
August 15: The hardest part of parenting is...
August 16: 10 things you love about your significant other (or kids or pets).

Will you participate in this?
I myself will not be writing something on Sundays, 
so I'll be scheduling those posts.

10 Tips to Encourage Your Children to Read {Guest Post}

One of my fondest memories growing up is my mother reading to me.  We would often escape into many different places, such as Narnia, a secret garden, the county fair, etc.  My mom would act out all the different characters in different voices.  I too try to read to my daughter just as my parents read to me.  There are many benefits about reading to your children, even when they are infants.  A few of these benefits are increased vocabulary, recognizing different sounds, trying to put together words, and excelling at school.

Here are my top 10 tips to encourage your children to read:

To read the rest, go check out my guest post at