Monday, August 22, 2016

Tula Dew Drop Giveaway

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After entering for the Tula, don't miss out on this
 Dahlia Cloth resuable menstrual pad 3 pack giveaway!


Tula Baby Carriers have become wildly popular! Using gorgeous prints and amazing features, it's no wonder!

Each Tula Ergonomic Baby Carrier:
  • can be used in both front and back carries
  • can be used from 15-45 pounds (toddler carrier is approved for 25-50 lbs)
  • can be used from birth with the use of the revolutionary Tula Infant Insert (not included), and into toddlerhood with Tula Free to Grow Extenders (not included)
  • is easy to use and comfortable
  • provides an ergonomic M-position seat supporting optimal development for baby’s body
  • is easy to care for and machine washable
  • is made by hand from 100% ├ľko-Tex Standard 100 certified cotton
  • is made with the highest quality Duraflex buckles available
  • includes features such as dual-adjustment straps to allow for the perfect fit, additional leg-opening and shoulder padding, and a large pocket on the contouring hip belt
  • includes a removable hood to support baby’s head while asleep, protect from sun or wind, and allow for comfortable breastfeeding
Have you been wanting to own one? Here’s your chance! One lucky winner will get the chance to win one of these beautiful baby carriers in Dew Drop print

So head below for your chance to win! Giveaway open to US & CA and ends on 9/22 at 11:59m EST. Good luck!

Disclosure: All opinions are 100% mine. This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network.All opinions and experiences are Conservamom‘s. Open to US &CA ,must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product fulfillment to winner(s) of the giveaway. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to see your product featured in an Event you can contact Elia At Conservamom

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dahlia Cloth Review - New mama cloth line from Buttons Diapers! {Giveaway}

After reading about Dahlia Cloth, don't miss out on the Tula giveaway!
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It's no secret that I'm a big fan of cloth diapers - they've saved our family countless dollars (especially because they were able to be reused for subsequent children, including a niece and nephew!), they feel better for baby and they are just plain CUTE. There are tons of reusable cloth products that are gaining popularity in the recent years, but it wasn't until the birth of my second child where I dove head first into the world of reusable cloth menstural pads.

Why buy reusable menstrual pads? It's pretty much the same reason why you would choose cloth diapers over disposable, and honestly most disposable products period. They save me money, they are soft and comfortable, they can be pretty, they are much nicer to the environment and you will hear this from a lot of cloth pad users - your period is actually lighter. There are many speculations as to why, and one might call me a conspiracy theorist, but part of me wonders if all those extra chemicals in disposable products affect the menstrual cycle to last longer because that means you need more of their products and they get more money. Even disregarding that, cloth is a beneficial alternative because you are now removing that chemical contact with your body. Montsano stays out of my vagina

Cloth menstrual pads go by many names; mama cloth, R.U.M.P.S. (re useable menstrual products), moon pads or moon rags. They are useful for women through many phases of life - menstruation, post partum healing, urinary incontience or simply as panty liners. They come in different lengths, shapes and materials. 

Many women get a little bit of an "ew" factor when they think about how they will have to care for these pads. Honestly, it takes almost no special care at all. Depending on how many cloth pads you have, you can wash them all at the same time at the end of your cycle or you may have to wash more often to have what you need. I recommend keeping a small wetbag around to place soiled pads into until you are ready to wash.

If you are currently cloth diapering - just throw them in the same load as your diapers. If you aren't, you can wash them by hand with warm water and air dry or wash them in the washer with warm water and dry them on low. I've washed mine with dark towels or sheets without issue. It's also recommended that you rinse them out prior to storing them in the wetbag to prevent staining and making it easier to wash.  It's really not rocket science! And if you fall in love, which I am sure you will, you'll grow a stash that will hopefully be enough for one cycle so all you have to do is wash them all at the end and put them away for next month.

So when Amy, the owner of Buttons Diapers, whom I know personally and love her line of cloth diapers, approached me with the opportunity to review her brand new line of cloth menstrual pads called Dahlia Cloth, I jumped for joy! I've been a fan of Buttons Diapers for as long as they have been on the market and knew that the attention to quality, price point and useability from Amy and the Buttons Diapers team would be evident in this expansion of their lines. 

The Dahlia Cloth pads come in three lengths - small (8.5"), medium (11") and long (13.5"). The size you will need may depend on what part of your cycle you are using them for and your own body shape. I like to use longer pads for my heaviest days, overnight or post partum. Shorter pads are nice for the start and end of your period. It's nice to have a variety of lengths to choose from, because for me I have some cycles that are heavier than others, and I can adjust which pads I'd like to use that day.

Dahlia Cloth pads are simple to use. Lay your pad down onto your underwear, just like you would for a disposable pad with wings, with the absorbant side facing you. Tuck the wings under your underwear and snap together. You can expect to wear a cloth pad anywhere from a couple hours to up to five during the day, or longer and more absorbant ones for overnight. 


Want to know a cute little secret that I love about Dahlia Cloth? If your baby is also wearing Buttons Diapersonly you would know that you and your baby may be matching that day! When I look at my cloth pad stash a smile crosses my face because I get to choose between many different colored patterns or prints. Dahlia Cloth currently comes in Afternoon Tea (a floral print), Meadow (leaves) and Midnight (black). 


The pad is made up of several different layers that play an important role to being an effective pad that is comfortable and leak free. The top layer (which comes into contact with you) is a soft fleece. The core of the pad is absorbant microfiber. It is backed by leak-proof PUL (poly urithane liner), which are those prints that I mentioned above. PUL Is the same material that makes cloth diapers and wet bags leak proof.  Being a Buttons Diaper user I immediately saw that the same materials are used for Dahlia Cloth. I can rest assured that if these materials can handle the dirty work that my children do to them, they can certainly handle mine! 

I tried the medium and long length pads and saved them for my heaviest flow days. They felt comfortable, didn't slide around in my underwear and never leaked. I can understand the trepidation that a woman feels when trying out a new menstrual product - wondering if they can leave the home in fear of having an embarrassing leak. I can say with confidence that I didn't have any worries about that happening. 

For this review I had a couple of my mama cloth friends chime in on their thoughts of Dahlia Cloth too. Both of these friends are experienced mama users; all three of us actually worked on The Pad Project that I shared about with you in the beginning of the year. Luda is primarily a Cup user but wanted to have some pads for "just in case," and she loved how thin and comfortable Dahlia Cloth felt. Kelsey was so excited to see the beautiful prints on the pads, "It truly makes a difference for me having something beautiful that time of the month. I am a mom of three boys and trust me my pads are the only place I get to see flowers and the colors pink and purple in my house!" Kelsey tends to have a really heavy flow and she found that the large size pads worked great for her during the day and night.


You can purchase them through Buttons Diapers and on Amazon.

Buttons Diapers is excited to offer Pierogie Mama readers with the chance to win a 3-pack of Dahlia Cloth pads, in their choice of length (small, medium, long) and print (Afternoon Tea, Meadow or Midnight). Enter via the giveaway widget below, see rules for details.




Disclosure: This giveaway is hosted by The Pierogie Mama, the prize is sponsored by Buttons Diapers. This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions and images are my own. I received product in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was provided. Please see the giveaway widget for full details and rules. 
Please email me at thepierogiemama@gmail.com if you have any questions or would like to see your product featured. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

How to help a mom with a colicky baby




Every parent has wondered this as their new baby starts crying. "Is this colic?" "How much crying is normal?" "What can I do?" We've all been there, at the zero hour and have been rocking, shushing and soothing our sweet little one for longer than we can imagine.

So what is a girl to do when she sees her friend with this struggle? Here are a few tips on how to help a mom with a colicky baby.



1. Offer to hold her baby. We aren't meant to do this parenting thing alone and accepting help from a friend or family member can be life changing. Give her some time to collect herself, rest for her arms and heart. My friend Kristy said "someone held my colicky baby for an hour during Bible Study and I was so grateful, I cried." Offer to take the baby on a walk in the stroller, or any of these other colic tips.
2. Make a judgement call if you think that she needs a shoulder to cry on, someone to just listen, if she would be open to gentle and unjudgemental advice or a sympathetic experience. Remember, she's most likely running on fumes of minimal amounts of sleep, so tread carefully! Did you know that research suggests that gut health may be linked to colic and that probiotics may help? Chiropractic care has also done wonders for moms in my local facebook support groups!
3. Find out what kind of snack, food or drinks provide comfort to her. Jamie, mom of two, suggested "just sending a hand written note saying something like "I've heard you guys have been having some challenges with the new baby, please know I'm thinking about you and praying for you regularly. " Just knowing you are being acknowledged and having done one validate the struggle us huge, and a hand written note means even more than just a fast message online (though that is appreciated too). "
4. Help her out with some light cleaning or other chores that have fallen behind on.
5. Take her older kids out to play. A colicky baby is tough on everyone in the family; mom and dad may be feeling guilty that the bigs are having to be constantly shushed when the baby is finally asleep, and the bigs need freedom to be themselves.
6. Share snarky facebook memes with her! She may just need a laugh in the middle of the night.
7. Bring over a "do not knock" sign.  They are very easy to DIY through Pinterest or buy on Etsy. I disconnected our doorbell shortly after having our first baby because we have over protective dogs, but it's nice to have a sign out for the mail man to know to leave packages etc. 

8. Think about helping beyond the first month of baby's life. Colic sometimes starts later in infancy, long after friends and families help the parents with the newborn boost of support. Jamie remembers from when her second child was born, "there is a lot of help when the newborn arrives, but after a month or so, that ends, just as the colic kicks up. The months of colic (or for us, allergy reactions) were especially hard because everyone seemed to think "oh, they don't have a newborn anymore, they should be in a good routine by now), when in reality, we were needing the help more than ever because of the many months of sleep deprivation and screaming and having no idea when it would end or how to help it."

A little about this month's sponsor, Gerber® Soothe:
All babies cry. It's a fact of life and it's how they communicate. A crying baby isn't necessarily a colicky baby or an unhappy one. It's one of the ways they tell us how they feel and that they need something else. A baby crosses over into colic territory when they fit the "Colic Rule of 3," which is 3 hours of crying per day, 3 days a week for 3 weeks.

When assessing your baby for the reasons why they may be crying there are a lot of great colic tips on how to help them such as feeding, rocking, shushing, swings, white noise, swaddling and comforting probiotics such as Gerber® Soothe which has different products for babies that are breastfed versus formula fed.

Gerber® Soothe probiotic drops (for breastfed) and formula provide the comforting probiotic called L. reuteri, which has been shown to reduce crying time for colicky babies when used for a week. Colic may mean an unbalanced gut and providing a balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract can provide digestive comfort and help with a fussy baby.





Got pictures of your smiley baby?  Post it on instagram and use #formulaforhappiness!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Gerber® Soothe, which believes in less crying for baby means more smiling for all. I received a free sample of Gerber® Soothe products from Gerber®. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Blackberry Limoncello Lemonade

Don't forget to check out this month's Pierogie Mama sponsor -
shedding some light on one of the biggest early parenting challenges we all face!
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So...I have roughly 5 acres of blackberries.

When we moved to our new home in April we knew we had a big job ahead of us in clearing out the overgrown blackberry bushes. My husband quickly convinced me that we need a tractor to mow all of this and I'm really glad I listened to him. I usually do, he has good ideas, even though it's tough to admit sometimes!

We've mowed strategically and have a few areas around the house that are providing prolific amounts of blackberries. I'm talking about easily picking over a pound of blackberries each day. The kids have been happy eating them plain for now, but I'm starting to become creative with the uses. That's where Blackberry Limoncello Lemonade came from.

Serves: 4
You'll need:
2 cups of washed blackberries (reserve a berry per serving for garnish)
1 cup of sugar
2 lemons, juiced (reserve a thin slice of lemon per glass for garnish)
Limoncello
5 cups of cold water
ice cubes

*Omit Limoncello for a virgin drink, increase recipe to the juice of 3 lemons.
*My tall glasses hold 2 cups of liquid, and I used one shot of Limoncello per glass for a light alcoholic drink or two for a stronger drink.

Directions:
1. In a medium sauce pan heat the blackberries and sugar until boiling. Using a spatula start to mash the berries to help release their juice. Remove from heat and allow to cool. I pour it into a shallow dish and place in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the cooling process.
2. In a large pitcher mix the lemon juice, water and blackberry mixture.
3. Prepare each glass by filling with ice cubes, pouring the Limoncello over the ice and filling with the blackberry lemonade. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a blackberry.



Monday, July 18, 2016

4 Essential Oil Blends for Summer, plus a chance to win Rachel Zupke's 101 Essential Oil Blends ebook!

final ebook cover

Hi friends! I'm so excited to be back here sharing about essential oils (did you try any of the diffuser blends back in January?). We're going to go through a few more blends, this time for summer - they smell so marvelous and have such great benefits for us. These blends - and 97 others - are in my published an ebook, 101 Essential Oil Blends for Aromatic and Topical Use. Bianca was kind enough to let me share it with you and I'm giving a copy away so read on to find out how to win it!
FYI did you know that you don't need a Kindle or other ereader to read an ebook? You can download them to your computer, phone, or tablet as well as print them out (most, including this one, are PDFs!).

Topical Essential Oil Blends for Summer

Everyone's summer looks a bit different both in scenery and in how much you put on your plate. I don't know about you but we try to do lots of fun things since the weather is so nice (yay Pacific Northwest!) and that sometimes means burning the candle at both ends. I love the first blend for it's pick-me-up ability when have just one day between camping trips (anybody say laundry?) and the second for when I need a little help to chill out and focus on a road trip or after getting home from one. They are given in ratios that allow you to make a roller bottle and put them on your wrists, bottoms of your feet, back of your neck, along your spine, and/or on your chest depending on how much aromatic effect you want.

Energize and Refresh
Citrus oils of orange and lemon calm and refresh while cedarwood helps maintain vitality and clove mimics antioxidant effects. When wearing this one topically, do not apply to skin that will be exposed to the sun as citrus oils cause UV sensitivity.

2 : 2 : 2 : 1 ~ Orange : Lemon : Cedarwood: Clove

for a 5 mL roller bottle, do the number of drops listed and then top with carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, etc)
Lift
Lift and refresh with lavender and rosemary; this soft yet powerful combo brings harmony to the body and helps open the mind.

2 : 1 ~ Lavender : Rosemary

for a 5 mL roller bottle, triple the number of drops listed (= 6 drops lavender, 3 drops rosemary) and then top with carrier oil

Aromatic Blends for Summer

These blends are intended for use in a diffuser. You can purchase diffusers in all shapes and sizes, and, thankfully, for quite economical prices from online retailers or from your favorite essential oil company. I love diffuser blends for the welcoming atmosphere they bring to my home, the calming effects they have on me and my family, and, at the simplest, the great scents they permeate the room with.

Flower Patch
Bring home that light and airy feeling of peace and joy experienced at a lavender farm or flower garden.

1 : 1 : 1 ~ Lavender : Geranium : Ylang ylang

for a diffuser meant for a single room, double this recipe and put two drops of each in the diffuser with the appropriate amount of water for your machine
Farmer's Market
Seeing your favorite farmers again and finding a new product at the weekly market give you a thrill that only comes with summertime.

3 : 2 : 2 ~ Lime : Orange : Tangerine

for a diffuser meant for a single room, use this recipe as is and put the called for drops of each in the diffuser with the appropriate amount of water

A Giveaway!

Like I said earlier, the blends I shared with you in this post are just 4 of 101 blends in my ebook. I'd love for you to read more about it so hop on over to my blog, Mason Jar Values, and read a bit about why I put this resource together and what I've included in it. Come on back and comment below with 1 thing you learned OR 1 thing you are interested in learning more about (from the table of contents, perhaps?). I'll pick one reader at random on July 31st and email you a PDF copy of the book!

A Coupon Too!

Can't wait to find out if you've won? Or are you ready to start using essential oils and love saving money? How about a coupon code? Use the code pierogiemama and get $2 off the $7.99 price tag...but only through July 31st.

I'm passionate about helping people use essential oils safely and effectively and share more about why I wrote my ebook here. What's one thing you learned OR one thing you want to learn more about? Comment below and be entered to win a copy of 101 Essential Oil Blends for Aromatic and Topical Use!

Don't forget to use the coupon pierogiemama for $2 off until July 31st!

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