Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One Free Day of Picmonkey Royale!

Hey everyone! As you all know I'm a huge fan of Picmonkey.com and love using it to edit photos for my blog and photography in general. I just noticed a little button today where it said you can get a free day of Picmonkey Royale!!! I tell you that once you get a chance to use all the wonderful options you'll be addicted and want the Royale treatment all the time! So if you want to get your free day trial now just...

...and see why I love the Royale feature so much! Don't miss this opportunity! I'm not sure how long the link will be good for (as there was no expiration date that I could find) so jump on this right away!

Prego With Style | Christmas Red & Black

Last week I shared with you all our Christmas Maternity Pics. I thought I would do an outfit post on what I wore. It was one of the few favorite outfits I've put together this past month (minus the tights which were only on long enough to take the photos since they were WAY too tight!).

Bow headband: Dollar Jewelry Store in Oklahoma.
Red maternity top: Motherhood Maternity (Thrifted for $3 at Goodwill!)
Black Scarf: Old Navy years ago.
Denim Maternity Skirt: Made by Me!
Black Tights: George brand from Walmart.
Black Ankle Warmers: Rue21 years ago.
Black Knit Boots: Old Navy years ago.

To see more photos in this outfit be sure to check out the Christmas Maternity Pics post! There are a few close ups and other angles on the outfit which you can see there.

The photos were taken on Christmas day. I was 37 weeks and 1 day along in the process. From December 24th and continuing I've had Braxton-Hick (fake) contractions every single day. Some are really intense, others aren't so bad. The baby is definitely lower than he used to be as he hits down multiple times a day and sends a little shot of pain running when he does hit the bottom. I am honestly quite ready for him to be out, but his due date isn't until January 14th so who knows. Maybe he'll decide he wants to be early!

I thought I'd do another outfit post/pregnancy update post since I enjoyed putting the last one together and it's been a few weeks since it went out. A lot has happened since that post: the baby has gotten bigger, we've gotten a few more things put together for his arrival, we celebrated Christmas and tomorrow we celebrate New Years! Yay!

How Far Along: As of today (December 31st) I will be 38 weeks exactly. Two more to go!! Unless of course baby decides to be early which would be totally fine with me!

Weight Gain: Over all I've gained around 35 pounds. Although it was hard for me to accept gaining weight as a good thing (seeing as two years ago I had a massive weight gain which took over a year to get rid of due to a medicine I was on for my brain injury), I am hopefully that at least half of the weight will be gone the moment Little Man is born!

Maternity Clothes: Honestly I'm tired of clothes, maternity or regular they are all annoying! None of them fit right and almost nothing is comfortable except for my sweat pants! Thank God I don't have to work so I can sit around my house and be comfy!

{photo via Walmart}

Stretch Marks: I reported on November 12th of not having any... it wasn't long after that when they started to show up. I now have quite a few of them due to Little Man growing so quickly. They really bothered me at first, but I think not being able to see them helps... for now. I have found that they are SUPER painful (like a burning pain from the skin stretching) and occasionally they're itchy if you scratch them it only makes the burning worse! I have found that regular skin lotions are no good on them, that Curel hand lotion makes the skin feel tighter (not good!), but I have found that the Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Cream (a gift from someone) works well to keep the area moisturized & less painful. It is super greasy though so you will probably want to wear an undershirt so it doesn't get on your good clothes (though it hasn't stained anything I've worn over it as far as I can tell).

Gender: As you all probably already know, we're having a boy and we're very excited about it!

Movement: Little Man moves his hands, feet, elbows, and knees quite a bit and when he does it's usually not too bad, but occasionally it really hurts! He has one foot that is almost constantly up under my rib which can get annoying when that area starts to burn. Its so weird to be able to feel his arms and legs! He will push out and for a few seconds you can feel bits of his arm or leg (like his forearm area). Its so weird! I can't wait to hold him!

Sleep: This past week sleeping & resting is all I feel like doing! Its quite difficult to have energy to do much else since I've been in a lot of pain (all the Braxton-Hick contractions, and baby being really low). I told hubby: "you know I don't feel good when I don't even want to browse the internet!"

Missing: Not being in constant pain, having a flat tummy, laying on my tummy... and laying on my back! Eating food and not burping the flavor for hours later. Being able to walk normal (right now I have a serious pregnant mama waddle! lol). Oh I could go on! I'm missing a lot of things right now, thank goodness we're almost to the end!

Loving: knowing that I'm almost done!

Craving: egg rolls!!! This has been my most major craving the past three weeks. These egg rolls are from Walmart and since I can't have my favorite egg rolls from Bamboo Garden back in Oklahoma these do to cut the craving.

Feeling: Still quite emotional. I'm also stressed, but it's mostly because of being in so much pain I don't want to do anything. I've been walking a good bit. Everyone says that's good for delivery, but it also helps me feel better for a little while.

Looking Forward To: Holding the Little Man!!! Not being pregnant anymore! lol. Being able to hug people without a big belly in the way AND not having to worry about bumping the baby belly into the table when I sit down to eat!

I'm excited about what is soon to come, and really looking forward to being a mommy! I got the rest of our hospital bags packed on Christmas so we're all ready for him to decide he wants to be here now. I ordered the Nursing Pillow and am looking forward to it's arrival (hopefully later this week or early next week!), we are getting ready to buy the cloth diapers and we found a car seat! I really feel like things are coming to close in the area of preparing for baby and that's a wonderful relief! (Read more on the Baby Get List.)

Related Posts
-Baby Update at 30 weeks (November 12, 2013).
-Little Man's Pregnancy Update at 36 weeks (December 17, 2013).
-Baby Get List (December 28, 2013).

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cooking For 2 | Breakfast French Toast

In our apartment days I was really into making a lot of different things for breakfast. One of those just happened to be French toast. This is a really simple recipe to make for a lazy Saturday morning. Make sure to serve these lovelies while their still warm!

3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4-6 pieces of bread

Powdered sugar

1. Mix together the milk, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla in a small container or bowl.
2. Heat up your skillet on medium heat. I don't grease mine with anything because it makes the toast super soggy and then it won't cook.
3. Quickly dip the toast into the mix buy letting it submerge into the liquid mix. DON'T LET IT SOAK!
4. Place the piece of toast with liquid mix into the skillet. Cook one side for about a minute and then flip to let the other side cook. If the toast isn’t golden brown in most areas flip it over and repeat the 1 minute per side of toast process.
5. Serve the toast warm with the toppings of powdered sugar and syrup.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until all the pieces of bread are cooked. I can usually fit two pieces in my skillet at one time.

-A non-stick skillet works best for this recipe.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Baby Get List

December 14th I had some pretty major contractions going on and thought they might be the real thing. As it turns out they were only Braxton-Hicks, but still...it was scary and not fun at all! (I say scary because that was a little over 4 weeks from his due date, and we are not fully prepared to have a baby in the house yet.)

Even before that scary event I had put together a list of the things we still REALLY needed to purchase before baby arrives. There are really only two big ticket items left to get, but the little stuff sure can add up quickly. Whoever said kids are expensive was right!

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the things from our baby list that we're planning to get asap. I have a lot of clothes and little things, but there's some important stuff we're still in desperate need of and after that scare I'm really anxious for them to be in our possession for when the real time does come. Of course not everything is important to have before the baby gets here, but some things are: like the diapers and mattress!

P.S. These item's are in no specific order! I'm just putting them on here as I find them off my list!

{photo via Walmart}

Gerber Pre-Folded Birdseye 3-Ply Cloth Diapers, 10 Pack. As I've mentioned in this previous post, we are planning on cloth diapering...but not only would these make for great cloth diapers they'll also be wonderful as burp rags too. I have one package, but would like to get at least one more.

{photo via Walmart}

Econobum One-Size Cloth Diaper Trial Pack. After doing some research on 10 different cloth diapers {read more here} I've decided these are the ones I want to buy/try. In doing a little research between the trial pack and the kit, I've decided it's better all around to buy them individually since I will get one cover more with the individual purchase than I would with the kit. This just makes more sense to me! I would like to get at least 10 of these to start with and add to the collection as we can until I have about 25.

{photo via Walmart}

Mossy Oak Deer Antler Accent Lamp -Dark Woodtone. I only have the main light in Little Man's room. This is the lamp I found (after much searching) and really want to get! It will go perfectly with the room decor ideas I have!

{photo via Walmart}

Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity Window Curtain Panels, Set of 2. These are another item that I've been DESPERATELY searching for the past few weeks and found online today as I was putting together this post! YAY!

{photo via Walmart}

Sealy Baby Ortho Rest Crib & Toddler Mattress. I went to Walmart in mid December and checked out the mattresses they had. I was originally going for the $40 mattress, but when it was flexible enough it wouldn't stay straight when we were putting it back on the rack I knew it was going to be sturdy enough to last through several kids. We looked at this one instead and I think it'll be a better choice for about $20 more.

{photo via Walmart}

Graco SnugRide 22 Classic Connect, Little Hoot. Another very important item we don't have yet is a car seat. We haven't really decided which one we're going to get yet, but the owls on this one are SO cute! Still trying to figure out what we want to get in this department.

{photo via Walmart}

American Red Cross by First Years Deluxe Healthcare & Grooming Kit. I would REALLY like to get one of these before Little Man arrives. I think it has a lot of useful things in there and most of them we don't have yet.

{photo via Walmart}

Parent's Choice Unscented Baby Wipes, 700ct. Although we plan to do cloth diapers, I'm not so sure I'm up for using cloth wipes. This is the alternative I plan to go with, at least for the first go round.

{photo via Walmart}

Johnson's Bathtime Essentials Baby Gift Set. I'm not really sure I will get the gift set, but I do need to get most of the things included in this. I haven't checked to see which is the better buy: individually or in the gift set. We shall see!

{photo via Nursing Pillow}

Nursing Pillow {Hush Pattern}. I am really in love with this boppy style pillow! If I can I will be getting this pillow as I will be strictly breast feeding for the first 6-8 months (because I have a ton of food allergies, and for him to be strictly breast feed during that time will lessen the chances of him having those too). I hear these are back savers and a wonderful thing for breast feeding moms! There is a Bare Naked Boppy available at Walmart, but for $10 more you can have the really cute one. We'll see what I end up getting!

I'm sure that I'll come up with a few more things I want to get, but these are the main things. I always have so much fun looking for baby stuff! I can't wait until I can start buying the rest of these items! That will be SO fun!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Cooking For 2 | Snowflake Biscuits

One year I was making biscuits during the winter and thought it would be fun to use a snowflake cookie cutter. They turned out super cute and were a huge hit! I use this biscuit recipe all the time, but the only difference between these and regular biscuits is the shape.

In case you’re wondering, the photo is from another time when I made a mass amount of these biscuits, but this recipe is for 2-3 people.

This recipe makes 8-10 snowflake biscuits.

2 cups white flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk or buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and cream of tarter.
3. Using a fork, cut in the shortening until the mixture has coarse ‘crumbs’.
4. Make a well in the center of the ingredients, stir in the milk.
5. Lightly flour a surface. Dump the dough onto it and knead the dough by folding and pressing the dough 10 or 12 times until it’s smooth.
6. Roll the dough out to ½ inch thick.
7. Dip a snowflake cookie cutter in flour and start cutting out biscuits. Place in a greased glass baking dish.
8. Bake the biscuits for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.
9. Remove biscuits from pan and serve hot with butter.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our First Christmas

36 weeks & 4 days.

Christmas this year wasn't our first time to celebrate it together, but it is our first Christmas together since we got married. The weekend before Christmas we had planned to do a photo shoot with my big prego belly. This was something I wanted to do for quite some time, but never really figured out when we were going to do it. Because it rained all day Saturday we weren't able to do photos of hubby & I together, but I still got a few photos inside of me & my baby belly.

Our first Christmas together in person!

Last year was our first Christmas together and we had just gotten engaged earlier that month (December 6, 2012). Autry proposed to me just before we watched the Park Hills Christmas Parade pass by. We had hoped to go to that parade again this year, but had to settle for one a little closer to home.

In case you don't already know,
that hang signal is "I love you" in sign language.

The year before that we celebrated Christmas in different states: he was in Mississippi and I was in Oklahoma. I made him a grey crochet hat (which he still has & wears) and cookies and I printed off the above picture and mailed it all to him!

I’m so glad that we are able to be together today and I’m excited that next year we’ll have Little Man to celebrate with us too!


Monday, December 23, 2013

First Big Snow of Winter 2013

These bushes are past knee high.
They had close to a foot of snow on top of them.

The first week of December brought a massive ice & snow storm to our area. I don’t think I've ever seen so much snow in my whole life! It was crazy. I’m from Oklahoma so the ice everywhere wasn't exactly a new thing (and actually made me not miss OK so much) but all the snow everywhere was crazy!

Most of our back yard was knee deep and the drifts were past that in a few areas. Over a week after the storm hit we still have most of the snow on the ground. It’s all white and pretty!

Our car does not love this weather. It got stuck the first three days hubby had to go out for work. The day of the storm he was able to get the car out of the driveway without too much trouble, but when he got home from his shift it got stuck really bad at the road end of our driveway. We attempted to dig it out, but 30 minutes in we were still getting nowhere. If the guy in the big truck hadn't come and yanked us out it probably would've taken a few hours to dig it out. Thank God for him!!

All bundled up and ready to dig the car out!

Hubby is not used to so much snow. He’s from the deep south and there really isn't snow there… ever. We are both quite tired of it though. Since the original snow storm it’s snowed two times and we had rain/sleet another day. More snow is expected in the next few days. Fortunately the highway right outside our house is a main snow route so it gets plowed regular which is a good thing. I’m just hoping this baby decides to come on a day when the roads are clear! I cannot imagine going all the way to the hospital (over an hour away) on icy roads!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Apostolic Pentecostals Everything Blog

Hello AP readers! Last night I finally made a big decision and moved the Apostolic Pentecostal Bloggers link up to its on blog. The list has grown so much in the past year+ and expanded from the Bloggers list to the AP Pinners on Pinterest, the Churches list, and now that I've moved these to their own blog I've added a list of websites and shops/stores too.

If you want to hop over there and update your blog button to the new one (see my sidebar if you're reading this ON the blog). They have been updated to match the look of the new blog!

Click here to view the new blog!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Gift | Movie, Popcorn & Hot Chocolate

Earlier this month I shared a post on 10+ Unique & Different Gift Ideas. The $10 Redbox movie gift gave me the idea to shop the $5 movie bin at Walmart to find gifts for my nieces and nephews. They all love movies and because they’re pretty thin and light shipping them was a breeze vs. the bigger bulky gifts we got them last year.

Each movie we wrapped had two packages of popcorn and a package of hot chocolate.

Black Friday leftover promo sales on movies (at Walmart) really helped out too (so keep that in mind for next year!). We got several newer movies (like the new Ice Age 4 and Despicable Me) for $2 and $4 vs. their regular prices ranging from $10-$18!

We picked up the movie Underdog for my nephew T.

Of course I did have to get a few movies from the $5 bin, but in all honesty it really wasn't that expensive when you consider how much you could spend on gifts for people!

Make This Gift
2 packages of popcorn (I chose Extra Butter)
1-2 packages of hot chocolate

1. Make your movie selection for each person you’ll be gifting this to.
2. Open the hot chocolate box and popcorn box and remove the packages needed for each gift.
3. Wrap the movie. Wrap the hot chocolate and popcorn. (You can use this tutorial I put together last year on wrapping gifts.)
4. Add a bow and a tag and you’re ready to gift it!

--This gift idea works well if you’re going to do this for multiple people. I did 4 gifts with a box of 8 packages of popcorn so it all got used up. I could have doubled up on the hot chocolate too, but didn't because I needed a few packages for another gift I was putting together.

--If you don’t want to spend money on hot chocolate and popcorn you could always get a $1 bag/box of candy to include with the movie (I did this for one of the little kids since they were too small for hot chocolate and definitely too small for popcorn).

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas 2013 | Hang Christmas Lights

You can see our tree in the font window!

One thing I wanted to do this year was hang multi-color lights on our house. I didn't think we were going to be able to do that since we couldn't buy new lights for the house. Well, hubby was looking in the basement and came across a few strands of multi-color lights that had been left behind. Granted they weren't the icicle lights like I had originally wanted, but once we got these up on the house I actually liked the plain straight strands better!

Notice Demi in the background checking out the lights?

After Hubby checked the lights to make sure they actually worked, I spent a few hours going through the strands changing out the burned out bulbs until everything was lit up. All four of the colored strands were working by the time I was done. And I had black hands because they were so dusty!

Hubby spent a good chunk of his day off on the roof putting the lights up. I did have to buy a package of gutter clips for the lights, but that wasn't bad considering they were only $3. I didn't think we'd have enough lights to cover the front of the house, but as it turned out we had more than enough to go much farther than just the front of the house (as you can see in the first pic).

The footprints are up to our ankles here, and it was still snowing!!

Hubby got the lights up just in time too since the next day we had a big snow storm come through. The lights in the snow look so pretty! I think the whole outcome is fantastic and certainly more than I expected! Hubby did a really good job on our lights. Maybe next year we’ll get a few more strands of the multi-color lights and do the ridge of the roof, over the garage door, and the other side of the flower bed/driveway!

I used the fireworks setting on my camera to take a picture of the house lights at night. I figured that was the best way to capture them since the night setting kept trying to use a flash so you couldn't see what they looked like!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ranch Cheese Ball

This recipe is a personal favorite of mine. I have been known to make up half a recipe to have in the fridge so I can snack on it occasionally. Ranch cheese ball is simple to make, tastes delicious, and most everyone who has tried it has loved it! It is also a great appetizer or party food as well!

1 8oz. package cream cheese
1 8oz. package extra sharp cheddar cheese*
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix

1. Soften the cream cheese. Either leave it out on the counter for a few hours, or in a rush, microwave it for a minute or two.
2. Shred the cheddar cheese. Stir the two cheeses together.
3. Dump the dressing mix into the cheese mix and stir really well.
4. Form into a large ball, or as shown in the photo, scoop into individual servings.
5. Chill for at least an hour before serving so that the cheese ball(s) will hold their shape.

-I like to buy the 8oz. package and shred the cheese myself for a stronger flavor.
-Serve the cheese ball with a variety of crackers (butter rounds, wheat thins, triscuits) and/or pretzels.

This is one of the appetizers we served at our wedding!
Related Posts to the Wedding Topic

Monday, December 16, 2013

Add Tinsel to a Christmas Gift You're Shipping

Not too long ago I was reading on one of my favorite blogs{Rain on a Tin Roof} with a post on different ways to use tinsel. Not only did she write a post on Ideas for Decorating with Tinsel, but she also shared a few photos of how she used tinsel around her home in the post Christmas Home Tour {Part 1}. It had been a few weeks since I read her decorating ideas post, but when this project was put together I just knew I HAD to share it!

I personally cant use tinsel in my house because we have two cats who are much too curious and like to try and eat things that are long and stringy (tinsel fits in that category). And not only that, but hubby hates tinsel so I will just have to survive with using it to put in boxes of gifts that are shipped off to friends & family!

All you have to do is fill a box with the things you're going to ship. "Decorate" with a little tinsel, add packing peanuts to fill in gaps and keep things from moving around, then add some more tinsel! And if you want it to look even cuter put a pretty bow on top!

I think the tinsel and packing peanuts combo in the photo above almost looks like snow, don't you?

So that's how I've used tinsel lately...

what about you?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Wreath Refashion

It's been a LONG time since I shared a refashion, but it's also been a long time since I've done any. Well, I did one the first week of December and I'm here to share it! As you can see from the above photos you can see that it was quite a refashion! And the best part is that it was completely free! I had the wreath, the ribions and the red balls already so it was just a matter of a little creativity and work before the wreath was completely remade.

Here is the wreath before the refashion. Not my favorite at all!

My cats, Demi (grey) and Emerald (black), were very interested in the beads.

I fluffed out the greenery and added some gold ribbon.

After adding the red balls I put together the bow and ta da!
We now have a beautiful Christmas wreath on our front door!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cloth Diapering | 10 Cloth Diapers Researched

Hello ladies, fellow bloggers, and readers! I was debating whether or not to write a post here about my research in the cloth diapering department, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to share what I've 'uncovered' through reading reviews and research on the different diapers and brands listed in the next section of this post.

I am the main person who keeps track of our monthly budget, and since we have a baby coming in January I've been re-figuring numbers and added expenses to see how things will work with the added expense of having a baby in the house. Disposable diapers alone add a whole number to our budget that is just ridiculous to pay out each month. The cost alone is bad enough, but the fact that you have to KEEP buying them is the real killer. I just don't see how we are going to be able to afford full-time disposable diapers and so my research into cloth diapering began.

At first I didn't think I'd be able to handle cleaning the diapers, but a lady in my pregnancy group suggested buying a pair of rubber gloves like you'd use to wash dishes to wash off the diapers. I am SO glad she suggested that, and those will be on the list of things to get when we get a little closer to the due date. After talking with several ladies I really feel much more confident about venturing into the cloth diapering world. I'm not sure that I want to cloth diaper full-time, but I am willing to give it a try and we'll see how it goes from there.

Enough of me talking, on to what I've researched about different diapers and brands. Most of these I've researched different types of diapers in a brand just to see what other people thought about them, what the used them for, and how well they worked. The links go directly to the pages I looked at (although I didn't include links to every single page I did research on because I didn't think to write this post until I got to the last one on the list) and on there you can read even more about the different brands/diapers. Most of the links have reviews you can read through as well. I read though almost all the reviews on all the pages that had them.

I have yet to purchase any cloth diapers (this post was written 11/30/13), but as you will see in the 'lets review my thoughts' section, I've made some decisions on what type of diapers I want to get or try. When I move to the next phase (purchasing) I will try to share my thoughts again and when we get to the testing stage I'll share my thoughts there as well. Lots to look forward to on this subject in the future!

What I've Researched
(these are in order of when I researched them)

Kissas Marvels & Cloth-eez Pre-fold. These are both sold separately online through Green Mountain Diapers. The lady I talked to who told me about these uses them both together. I am honestly not really liking the type of fabric used on the covers (Kissas Marvels). The PUL fabric is on the inside instead of on the outside of the cover. Supposedly this makes it easier to 'wipe clean'. The pre-folds have different sizes depending on how big your baby is. There is a chart which helps you decide which  pre-folds to buy based on your babies size. I don't like this because you have to buy multiple sizes to change to as your baby grows.

Trend Lab Cloth Diaper with Liner -These are sold online through Target. There are mixed reviews on these diapers. Somewhere I read that they were not sturdy, as in someone had covers which were coming apart after not too long (I'm not sure which page I was on when I read that though, sorry!). After reading through the reviews on the link provided and in general research I wasn't really thrilled with the idea of buying these particular diapers.

BumGenius One Size -These are sold online through different retailers listed on the BumGenius site. Although these look nice, I'm not really sure about the whole stuffing the lining in the diaper part while your changing the baby's diaper. That sounds pretty complicated to me.

BumGenius Elemental One-Size All-In-One -I believe these are the diapers that my cousin is currently using. I am not for sure on that, but it looks almost exactly like the ones she showed me in a video she sent me. This system does not require stuffing (which sounds great to me!) and it has snaps. **If I could afford to spend about $18 on one diaper then I might do this, but I just cant afford it right now.**

Gerber Pre-Fold Birdseye 3-Ply Cloth Diaper -These are sold online and in stores at Walmart. Even before I had considered cloth diapering I had planned to pick up a package of these to use as burp clothes for the little man. There are mixed reviews on this item. Some people liked them, some people didn't. Many people purchased them as burp clothes (I plan to do so as well), and others have purchased them for cloth diapering. Some of the reviews written compared these with more expensive pre-folds and they liked these better because they were not as thick so they washed easier. **I plan to buy at least one package of these to use as burp cloths. If I end up using them as pre-folds for cloth diapers I will be making the burp cloths with something on them so I will be able to tell them apart.**

Gerber Flat Fold Birdseye Cloth Diaper -These are sold online at Walmart. Just from reading the reviews I would not want to use these for inserts in a diaper cover. It doesn't sound like they are very thick or absorbent, both of which would be highly important if you were going to use them for cloth diapering.

Gerber Pre-Fold Gauze Cloth Diapers -These are sold online at Walmart. From reading the reviews it sounds like these would make great burp cloths. Not so sure if they'd work great in the actual diaper department. They are 6-Ply so I assume that means they're thicker than the 3-Ply cotton pre-folds mentioned above?

Econobum, One-Size Cloth Diaper Trial Pack -These are sold online at Walmart. I have read through the 30+ reviews on this trial pack and almost everyone who shared said that this was a good system. Just a quick view at some of the comments: One lady said 4 of these trial packs with washing every other day works for her. Some people have said the prefolds are a little chunky for toddlers or for day time use, but work great at night. Another lady said that with a minimum of 3 covers and 12 inserts (she recommends doubling those numbers) the diapers pay for themselves in 2 months time. **I plan to buy this trial pack to try it out. It's inexpensive, and though Walmart only sells them in white that is ok with me.**

Econobum, 3 Covers & 12 Pre-Folds Diaper Kit -These are sold online at Walmart. This is the diaper kit which is where the trial pack mentioned just above comes from. The reviews here are almost all good and I'm not really surprised after reading all the reviews on the trial pack. **Going with the current price (at time of this post) on the trial pack of $9.63 x4 vs. the $39.29 of the kit it would be about $0.77 cheaper and you would have FOUR covers, not three. So I think I'd rather buy multiple trial packs vs. the kit.**

Sunbaby -I researched the ones sold online through Rock n Bottoms. This is a pocket diapering system. There is a girl in my pregnancy class who has made her own cloth diapers for her baby boy (who will arrive a few weeks after my little man!) and these look very similar to the ones she brought to show our group. I really liked the texture of the PUL fabric (which is the outside waterproof layer). The price of the diapers on this site look fantastic. Most of the diapers are just the outer cover and do not include inserts. There are lots of really cute patterns for boys and girls and there are several designs which could be either/or.

Let's Review My Thoughts

I'm liking the Econobum One-Size Trial Pack and of course I like the BumGenius Elemental One-Size All-In-One's. Both of these diapers seem to be the same style and system, but the first is obviously much less expensive than the second and as money is the whole reason I was looking at cloth diapers in the first place I think we will be going with the Econobum vs. BumGenius. I am nervous about buying cloth diapers period, but I think I'm going to see how long the return policy is for the Econobum's sold at Walmart (if I buy multiple trial packs and don't open them until I've tried one and end up not liking it how long do I have to take the rest back). That will probably be the deciding factor in how many I buy before little man gets here.

On cloth diapers in general: I've decided I don't really like the pocket system (stuffing the lining inside the diapers), and I don't want velcro. Snaps seem to be the most reliable when compared to velcro. I can only imagine we'll be having more babies down the road (I always said I wanted 10 kids, then I got pregnant...now I think 5 will do just fine!) so having a cloth diaper stash the next go round will save money then too.


I think at this point I don't really have any questions to ask. Thanks to my cousin, I was able to figure out how to use, clean, soak, wash, and dry the diapers (which I might do more sharing on in another post if I go with the cloth diapering system vs. disposable). I've talked to several people all together about how many covers and inserts they have for one baby and how often they wash everything. Most of them wash the diapers every other day. Most of the ladies suggested about 10 covers, and anywhere from 25-35 inserts (or prefolds). Of course they said you could get more than that, but this seems to be the recommended amount for starting out.

Your Help

If you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions which have to do with cloth diapering in general or on either of the two products I am interested in I'd love to hear from you! Especially if you've used either of the diapers I've picked out from both of the brands. Thank you very much!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas 2013 | Decorate a Real Tree

Growing up I always had a fake Christmas tree. Hubby, on the other hand, always had a real tree. Because this is our first Christmas as a married couple we wanted to start a new tradition of having a real tree each year. Because we are new to the area I had a hard time finding a tree farm for us to get a tree from so instead we just bought our tree from Walmart. They had a great selection of trees and I’m quite impressed with how beautiful ours has turned out.

If you’re planning on getting a real tree for the first time make sure you have a proper stand for it. You’ll want one that holds water so the tree wont dry up and become a fire hazard. You will also need to buy or borrow a saw or heavy duty limb cutters to cut off the end of the tree so it’s able to start soaking up water. Your tree will need to be watered every day to keep it from drying up. Ours ‘drinks’ about 8 oz. of water each day so I just add another glass of water to the tree stand each morning and so far its doing great!

As you can see, the tree fit pretty good in the back seat!

As I mentioned above, we got our tree from Walmart this year. We have a small 2 door car and weren’t really sure how we were going to get our tree home, but it ended up fitting nicely in the back seat with only a little bit of the top hanging out the passenger window. I will say that I made quite a mess on everything though!

Bringing the tree in the house.

Because the tree was all tied up I thought it wasn’t going to be very big, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it poofed up nicely once the bands were cut. Thank goodness! A small tree would’ve been awful. Autry told me the tree we picked out would be plenty big. He was right.

Notice Demi in the background sniffing the bits that had fallen off the tree.

It took both of us to get the tree in the stand. I held the top while Autry worked on the bottom to make sure it would stay in the stand. Demi was quite interested in the new object in the house.

This was taken right after we untied the tree.
I was a little worried it was going to stay looking like this.
But obviously it didn't, and it looks beautiful now!

The branches took a bit to fall back to where they were supposed to be. I guess it’s a good thing we decorated the tree the day after we bought it. That gave it plenty of time to fluff up. The cats ‘helped’ with the bottom branches. Both of them wouldn’t leave the branches alone so they really fell into their proper place. The cats still mess with the branches, though I try to discourage them from doing so.

I am quite happy with my yard sale ornaments!
Who says new is better anyway?

Pulling out the ornaments was fun. Earlier this fall I found a bunch of ornaments at a yard sale so of course I picked them up since I knew we were going to have a bigger tree than I had previously. We wouldn’t of had enough ornaments if I hadn’t picked up the boxes of glass balls. The red ones are my favorite! Autry pulled out all my Precious Moments ornaments. I haven’t used them in years, but I’m so glad he got them out because I forgot how pretty they are!

Same photo as the first in case you were wondering.

I think our tree turned out quite pretty. We had fun decorating it and I love that it’s simple. No beads, no ribbon. Just some lights and ornaments…and of course a few boxes of candy canes too! Not saying I don’t like trees with beads and ribbon, I’m just not good at putting those things on the tree and Autry doesn't care for them so we just didn't do them.

All the beautifully wrapped presents!
P.S. Check out my How To Gift Wrap A Box tutorial!

The day before we both wrapped the presents we had gotten for each other. Autry took over the living room and I took over the bedroom. I bought the wrapping paper last year in the after Christmas clearance sale and picked out rolls that had the same colors. I thought it the wrapped presents turned out beautifully! And do you remember the thrifted post I did back in September 2012 where I found the lace tree skirt? It adds a nice touch to our tree (though the cats love playing with the ties in the back and that’s frustrating since it never looks like it’s supposed to).

Well that’s all I have on our tree decorating for this year! Having a real tree is a new experience for me. I'd have to say that if your OCD about having clean floors then the falling needles might drive you a bit insane, but they don’t bother me too much. I just vacuum them up every few days and that works just fine for me! :)