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#SpreadtheLovey Campaign with Baby Jack and Co

It’s almost Memorial Day. Yes, it is a chance to have a little family fun, but more importantly, it’s a chance to reflect and remember the sacrifice of many that chose to serve their country and paid the ultimate price.  While Memorial Day recognizes those that have passed in the line of duty, it’s not that far of a leap for us to also think about all the men and women that serve in the armed forces currently. As the spouse of an active duty member, I hope that Memorial Day always remains a sunny, family-filled, long weekend without any personal connections.

Our military members don’t serve alone. When they are called away, whether it’s the other side if the country or the other side of the world, their families are left behind. In these situations, some children find a lovely item very comforting and reassuring. This Memorial Day weekend, you have a chance to help families that may be in the middle of a long separation. Join the #SpreadTheLovey campaign with Baby Jack and Company and donate $18 to gift a Baby Jack and Company Flag Lovey to a military child. They will ship donations for free to Kindness Reps around the country, including four that work with military families. This weekend, make sure to use code SPREADTHELOVEYTCOP for free shipping and to make your purchase count towards donations to The Carrying On Project.

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Baby Jack and Company makes loveys with closed tabs, so that they don’t get stuck or twisted around tiny fingers, and that can clip on to carriers, car seats, and strollers. Based out of Milwaukee, WI, Baby Jack and Company employs a team of moms to make their unique and modern product that grows with your child. Visit Baby Jack and Company to donate a Flag Lovey today. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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This weekend, Baby Jack and Company is going above and beyond by donating a percentage of ALL sales to The Carrying On Project #Military Families. The Carrying On Project provides baby carriers of all styles to military families and I have personally been touched, having received a Catbirdbaby soft structured carrier. It was a huge sanity saver being with an active preschooler and a clingy infant all day. We still use it regularly.

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I also recently got to represent The Carrying On Project at a local Operation Homefront Star Spangled Baby Shower in our area where I got to help give away about 45 carriers to military moms! If you are going to a MommyCon event this year (use code DOMESTIC15 for $5 off), be sure to 1) “like” The Carrying On Project on Facebook or Instagram so you can get the secret code she sometimes has for special prizes and 2) be sure to stop by their table and let them know how awesome they are.

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The #SpreadtheLovey campaign is being featured by The Baby Guy this weekend. They have teamed up to give FIVE of you a chance to win a lovey of your choice and FIVE to #SpreadtheLovey to a friend or child in need.

Buy a lovey, donate a lovey, or just check everyone out on social media!

We have a chance for you to win one right here, too! Follow the link below to enter to win. This giveaway is open from May 22, 2015 to June 2, 2015, 11:59pm. The winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to claim their prize. Baby Jack and Company is responsible for prize fulfillment. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Giveaway prize is being supplied by Baby Jack and Company but I was not compensated for this post. This implies no relationship to TheBabyGuyNYC. This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.*

Favorite Cloth Diaper Accessories

When it comes to cloth diapers, a lot has changed since our parents or grandparents were using them. In addition to the wide range of styles and materials on the market, there are lots of accessories out there to make cloth diaper easier, more efficient, or just a little more fun. Here are a few of my favorites. Don’t forget to scroll down to jump on the giveaway hop and check out what other blogs are talking about!

Baby leg warmers:

There are lots of brands out there, but it’s also pretty easy to make them yourself or if you have a friend or family member with a serger. I picked up a couple of pairs of knee socks in some fun designs and my mother used her serger to pretty quickly make a handful of sets. Here is a great tutorial from Hobo Mama.

Cloth diapers tend to be a little bulkier than their disposable counterparts and need to be changed a little more often so sometimes a little tee shirt and baby leg warmers instead of pants are easier during the day. They have been great for just being around the house or to cover legs with riding in the carrier or stroller to protect legs from the sun.

At the 2014 Great Cloth Diaper Change

At the 2014 Great Cloth Diaper Change

Cloth diaper fastener:

I usually use pocket, all-in-one, or all-in-two style of diapers. However, on occasions when I want my daughters tush to get a little fresh air without running the risk of creating a puddle, I use prefolds and I have been able to get a great hold with Snappi. These and other fasteners on the market have replaced the old style “pins” that my mom used to use on me. I also use them with snapless fitteds for overnight, with or without covers.

That's me in a pinned on diaper!

That’s me in a pinned on diaper!

Storing diapers ready to wash:

I use a regular plastic trash can with a foot peddle for the lid as our diaper pail. I line it with a Planet Wise Diaper Pail Liner which makes it easy to turn out the contents into the washing machine, set my options, and walk away. The elastic around the top keeps it in place and the generous size holds what ever my daughter can dish out. When we moved, I even used our pail liners as laundry bags. They have taken quite a beating between two children and family use and they are still in great shape.

Washing diapers:

There can be (and has been) discussions on cloth diaper detergents alone. Regardless of what detergent I use, I run the occasional wash with RLR to help remove any build up. I also use on regular clothing, especially if my whites start looking a little dingy. In the dryer, I still use these and these wool dryer balls to help clean my inserts fluffy and help them dry quicker. I hang diaper covers to dry on my Ikea drying rack.

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You now have a chance to win a couple of my favorite cloth diaper accessories: two sets of baby or toddler leg warmers and a pack of neon colored Snappi fasteners by following the link below. A winner will be selected, be notified by email, and have 24 hours to claim their prize. Giveaway ends May 25, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to US only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Check out #SpreadtheLovey and enter to win a Baby Jack and Company Tag Blanket here!

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Do miss out! The 2nd annual Cuckoo for Cloth giveaway event, hosted by Zephyr Hill Blog and ConservaMom, starts today! It’s a fun way to visit lots of different cloth diapering bloggers and enter to win some wonderful prizes.

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The grand prize package is worth over $150 and includes items from Funky Fluff, GroVia, Wink Diapers, Margaux & May, Zookaboo and Geffen Baby!

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The Zephyr Hill and ConservaMom blogs are not responsible for grand prize fulfillment. Please refer to the terms and conditions particular to each giveaway. Good luck and have fun!

Domesticating Michelle was not compensated for this post and opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links.

Chu Berries Silicone Pacifier Clip Review

Do you feel like you have to choose between a pacifier clip and a teether? Or maybe your tired of your baby chewing on the pacifier ribbon? You should look at Chu Berries Silicone Pacifier Clip and Teething Toy.

Chu Berries BPA Free Universal Pacifier Clip With Silicone Beads for Teething Baby * Non-toxic (Marvelous Mint) is a great twist on a useful item when it comes to babies. This product combines the classic pacifier clip with silicone teething beads to 2 products in one. The unique clip design is plastic instead of metal, opens in a way that cannot pinch baby or be opened by baby unexpectedly and it holds strong once in place.

The beads are silicone, like ones on a teething necklace so baby has the option to explore these shapes on top of using their pacifier. The combination of the ribbon and plastic snaps made it very easy to attach to different kinds of pacifiers when I tested this product, even the difficult to clip Soothie was a breeze to fasten.

Simple but very effective, multiuse design makes this a standout in my book. Best of all Chu Berries contains no BPA, phthalates, cadmium, lead, wood, paints or metals. Works with most pacifiers including MAM, Soothie, Avent, Nuk, & more.

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“LIFETIME TRADE UP GUARANTEE”. These are the ONLY pacifier clip that I know of that offers this! Simply contact Chu Berries for instructions and you’ll get a coupon for a FREE product with purchase. Don’t put your Chu Berries products in a landfill. So send them back and we’ll recycle them for you.

Add this BPA Free Universal Pacifier Clip With Silicone Beads for Teething Baby * Non-toxic (Marvelous Mint) to your baby registry today or pick one up for the baby in your life! Be sure to visit Chu Berries online to sign up for their newsletter or find them Facebook.

I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion. The views expressed represent my personal opinion of this product. (This post contains affiliate links.)

Born Wild Amber Teething Necklace Review


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Kelsey did not wear amber while she was a baby. She drooled so much when she began teething she permanently had a bib on to catch it all and a red chin. By the time I was pregnant with Aubrey, now 19 months, I had heard lots of stories of babies blissfully going through teething with much less crying, pain, and drooling. I decided that was enough for me to give a try.

I am not an expert, but I have noticed a big difference between when she wears it regularly and when I forgot to put it on her for a few days (daycare doesn’t like to let her wear it). Since you can not predict when a tooth will be ready to break through, it is better to be safe than sorry and we try to have her wear it at night at least.

When she was a baby the break-away clasp on the necklace was fine and made me a little more confident in allowing her to wear it all the time. However, once she learned she could pull it off, I was concerned with it getting lost. I recently had the opportunity to try the Born Wild Teething Necklace and it has been nice to have her wearing amber again with it’s screw on clasp. Plus, the string is knotted between each bead so if it broke, we would not have many little beads all over to track down.

This necklace is 100% authentic Baltic amber. While made in a great length for baby and toddler necks, it can also be wrapped around an ankle and tucked into a sock or under a onesie. Or, adults can wear amber too to alleviate pain from a variety of sources including arthritis.

The Born Wild Teething Necklace comes in a little pouch, perfect for a baby shower gift.

Visit Born Wild on Facebook or follow them on Instagram for opportunities to learn more and for chances to win one!

*I received a product in exchange for my honest review.*

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Anniversary Gift Tradition

Yesterday was my ninth wedding anniversary. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks but we did manage to sneak in breakfast together the day before and my husband made a great dinner of lamb chops, couscous and veggies. I also got flowers at my office the day of – a perk to working in an office and away from my cats that always attack flowers.

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On our first anniversary, we each went with the “traditional” wedding gift concept and have stuck with it since (note the ceramic flower vase). It got me wondering how many other people use them too. It is always a fun challenge to come up with something on theme that is still functional or decorative.

Since the Middle Ages, anniversary gifts have signified the deepening of strength of commitment by the increasing value of the items. Most of us have heard about silver, gold and diamond anniversaries, but there are symbols for the years in between, too. Thankfully, there are a few categories to choose from every year, traditional, modern, alternate, flowers, and gemstones.

While I like an actual item because it’s fun to see it and remember why we have it, anniversary gifts do not need to be expensive or extravagant. Just try to incorporate something into your day to celebrate. Here is what I have given my husband over the past 9 years:

1) Paper (traditional) – We honeymooned in Scotland and purchased an antique looking map. I had in professionally framed for our 1st anniversary and it is currently hanging in our bedroom.

2) Cotton (traditional) – My husband is the chef of the house so I had his name embroidered on a chef hat and apron and got a matching apron for myself.

3) Leather (traditional) – Leather messenger bag and gift certificate towards boots he wanted.

4) Fruits and flowers (traditional) – Edible Arrangement. We also ended up going on a road trip through Toronto and Niagara and still have lots of wine to show for it.

5) Wood (traditional) – I had a little wooden keepsake box engraved with a special message that he could take with him when he deployed.

6) Iron (modern) – We swapped babysitting with another family and went to a driving range to “hit the irons” and have lunch. I think it was one of the first times we left Kelsey with someone during the day.

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7) Wool (traditional) – Wool socks.

8) Bronze (traditional) – Bronze-finish pocket watch.

9) Pottery (traditional) – Pampered Chef Stoneware Casserole Dish – did I mention he is the chef of the house? He often says he wants more stoneware so this was a great excuse to get another piece.

Next is 10 years. Double digits. I have tin, aluminum, diamond, daffodil, and blue sapphire to work from. I really want to go on a trip with just the two of us next year. We have some decisions to make in the next few months so we’ll have to put off planning for a bit. Maybe the plane can be the “aluminum” next year. Then again blue sapphire was my engagement ring and our wedding color. I have 12 months to figure it out.

We were married at Deering Estate in Miami, Florida. About this time last year, I was in the area with the girls and I couldn’t resist getting a photo of the girls in almost the same spot we took our wedding pictures. The little one wasn’t too crazy about sitting in the grass. I would eventually like to get one of all four of us there.

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How do you celebrate your anniversary?

 

Cordskinz Review and Hippity Hoppity Giveaway Hop!

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I was recently contacted by Cordskinz with an opportunity to try out their ingenious little product. Cordskinz are easy to apply tubes that slide on right over the cords of ear buds – any make or model – to keep them from being a tangled mess at the bottom of the your bag.

It’s quite a simple concept but it really has been nice having the skinz on my ear buds. It’s easier to find them and who doesn’t like to personalize their items when it’s easy and convenient? The process was easy. Along with your Cordskinz, the application device comes in an envelope with the instructions. After you line up the pieces, you just gently slide the skinz and the wire of the ear buds along and the tool takes care of the rest. Just a little snip at the end adjusted the skinz length to exactly what I needed.

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Best of all, they are only $9.99 each and come in a variety of colors (right now you can get 3 for the price of 2). Stop by Cordskinz on their website and check out their social media channels.

The folks at Cordskinz were generous enough to let me giveaway 2 sets of Cordskinz – 1 for you and 1 for a friend! This giveaway is open to US and ends April 20, 2015, 11:50pm. Winner will be selected and notified by email and have 24 hours to claim their prize. Prize valued at $19.98. Domesticating Michelle is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway; then check out the rest of the Hippity Hoppity Easter Giveaway Hop below. For more chances to win prizes, join us for the Twitter party on April 14, 2015. Good luck!

Hippity Hoppity

Welcome to the Hippity Hoppity Giveaway Hop, brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers & Up All Night Blogging!

Hosted by Mama Smith’s Review Blog & Women And Their Pretties

Co-Hosted by: Melanie Meditates, EasterBabe’s Theory, Muscles & Mascara Blog, Cia Says, So Simply Stephanie, Marilyn’s Treats, Our Refuge and Strength, & Life of a Southern Mom

Each blogger participating in this hop has a giveaway with a prize value of at least $15 – and some are much more than that! Be sure to scroll down the whole list and visit them all – there is no limit to how many prizes you can win! There will also be a twitter party on April 14th to go along with this hop with even more chances to win. RSVP for that by clicking here. Good Luck and Have Fun!

DISCLOSURE: Mama Smith’s Review Blog and Women and Their Pretties are not responsible for any of the prize fulfillment. Each blogger is responsible for providing their sponsor with their winner’s contact information.

**I received items to review. All opinions are my own. Domesticating Michelle is not responsible for prize fulfillment.**

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Fresh Thyme Opens in Dayton!

The Dayton area will be getting a handful of stores moving into the neighborhood. It includes a few more options in food stores like Fresh Thyme. Have you been to Fresh Thyme? The Dayton/Centerville, Ohio location just opened up this past week and it seems to be making quite a splash.

Fresh Thyme combines the spirit of a farmer’s market with the convenience of a neighborhood store. Fresh Thyme’s mission is to improve the way our communities eat by offering fresh and healthy food at amazing values, in a fun and vibrant store with friendly faces.

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Fresh Thyme centers their stores around their fresh fruits and vegetables which is locally sourced as seasonally available. Organic items are from certified growers and everything is freshly picked and delivered straight to the store. Thanks to building relationships with their growing partners, Fresh Thyme is able to buy direct from farms to the best quality and price. They also have:

  • Natural meat, raised without hormones
  • Seafood flown in daily
  • Hearty breads and delicious treats from local artisan bakeries and hot out of our ovens
  • Healthy meals made in our kitchens which are ready to eat on the run
  • Barrels full of natural and organic bulk foods
  • Locally roasted organic coffee beans
  • Aisles of nutritious and delicious groceries
  • Earth-friendly cleaning supplies
  • Specialty foods
  • Gluten-free and dairy-free options
  • Whole department filled with vitamins, supplements and pure body care products.

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I am personally weirdly excited about the bulk foods area and can’t wait to be able to check out the different items available without having to buy whole bags of things for 1 or 2 recipes I want to try. Speaking of recipes, Fresh Thyme has some tasty looking ones on their website here.

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Now here is where the “want to get a deal” side of me comes out. Fresh Thyme Dayton/Centerville has Double Ad Wednesdays! Their weekly ads come out on Wednesdays and run for 8 days which means, for one day a week, both ads are current giving you the most bang for your shopping buck. It’s like going twice a week on one day. Twice the ads means twice the deals in the store.

Check out Fresh Thyme’s current weekly ad and make a plan to stop by on Wednesday soon. You can also keep up with Fresh Thyme on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. #FreshThyme

 

**I was compensated for this post but all opinions are my own. Domesticating Michelle is not responsible for any pricing or advertisements by Fresh Thyme and does not have any official affiliation with PocketYourDollars.com. Photos provided by Fresh Thyme.**

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