Walgreens Well Beginnings Diaper Review

 

walgreens 4 diapers

 

I don’t do a ton of reviews on my blog (they take time). But, when the opportunity to review a product I already love, or know that I will likely love comes up I go for it. Mom’s Meet emailed about an opportunity to review Walgreens Well Beginnings diapers and I applied right away. I love sharing things that work for our family…especially if they save us money AND work great.

walgreens diaper pack

For the past 6.5 years solid we have had between 1 and 3 children in diapers. I know diapers. We have done everything from cloth, to natural diapers, as well as traditional diapers.  Since discovering these diapers when our twins were babies they have been our standby. Even when we were cloth diapering we often used disposables when we were out of the house. When the twins were tiny I found a rocking good deal on Walgreens diapers. They were cheap, so I stocked up. Which, coincidentally, turned out to work fabulously for us. They were very comparable to the name brands in quality and features (a bit more like Huggies than Pampers) and we loved that they were cheaper. Now, on our 4th child we are still rocking the Walgreens diapers.

And for all y’all who are curious regarding what they actually look like I snapped this little pic of the inside of a size 4.

They have double gussets around the legs, are fairly soft, trim, and have stretch at the top of the back and around the tabs for a great fit.

walgreens open diaper

 

Along with the pack of diapers, I received a bottle of Pediatric Dye Free (!) electrolyte drink, paraben and phthalate free baby wash, and some Well Beginnings Sensitive wipes. I love that they got it right and made a dye free electrolyte drink. I like to make my own when my kids are sick, but for some parents the last thing they want to do when they have a sick kid is Google recipies.

If you have any questions about the diapers leave a comment and I will be sure to reply!

 

Our Kindergarten Plan for the Twins

school dry erease

I am always curious to hear about what curriculum and tools other homeschooling families have chosen to use.  Now that there are so many curriculum options, it makes the choice a bit harder. When I was homeschooled as a child there were far fewer choices (although I am sure we all got by just fine).  Don’t let this list overwhelm you. It is really just a small stack of books and workbooks and one weekly activity outside the home. We are still deciding if we will do other classes or activities. This mama likes to keep it simple (especially with a new baby).

I really believe in play-based learning and lots of time for creativity. I don’t anticipate spending hours at the table each day, but pockets of time here and there to stay roughly on pace with our books. If they are not enjoying something, we will take a break from it and try something else for a little while.  I really want to instill a love for learning in the children and they have years ahead of them. These are very important early years.

I shopped around online and eventually made the trip to Exodus Books in the Portland area. I needed to get my hands on the books to compare the different options. I also really wanted the in-person advise from someone who has seen all the curriculum and knows what they are talking about. It was so valuable.  I went home and made my final choices and ordered through their website. They have great shipping rates and you can get an unlimited amount for only $5. The other thing that sold me on buying from them is that they have a huge selection of used books.  I was able to scour the internet for lists of books people loved and then go and look for them used on their site. It is hard to find an online resource for cheap used books where you don’t have to pay to have them shipped individually (which no longer makes them cheap or easy to order).  Also, supporting a local homeschooling family rocks too. I priced all our books at many sites. Some had a couple of them for lower prices, but with higher shipping it was a wash. I also wanted to order everything from one site and support the family that spent time helping me talk through the options.

Here is our plan for the year…

 school roller

We will attend Classical Conversations class again on Tuesdays this year. This will cover a good amount of science, geography, math, english grammar, Bible, timeline, Latin, and fine arts. I will use a tri-fold board with our memory work on it and some songs to help us memorize the new material each week.  We will supplement with a bit of additional Science in the form of casual nature studies and nature notebooking. We will also add in our regular math curriculum and continue to do “Family Worship” times (a family devotion) with Daddy at the end of the day for more Bible.

 

explode the code

Reading/PhonicsExplode the Code books A, B, and C- We did not get very far through these last year and will continue to use this series. We will move onto books 1, 2, and 3 after we finish these. (Purchased from Exodus Books)

70 Basic Phonograms Cards by Wanda Sanseri– These are pretty similar to the phonics in The Writing Road to Reading, but my book (which kinda overwhelms me anyway) was missing the cards. I am just going to follow the basic instructions and information that comes in the pack of cards to teach the sounds. I am hoping this will be what helps the twins gain the tools to learn to read. So far I really like this basic approach. (Purchased from Exodus Books)

 

singapore essential math

Math-

-Singapore “Essential Math” Kindergarten books A and B- We started these books awhile back after ordering their books for this school year and we are LOVING them. There are a few different versions of Singapore and this one was obviously the one I choose. It was a bit cheaper and I liked the simple format and the fact that I did not have to buy more than the book “A” and “B” to complete the system.   I spent a lot of time choosing a math cirriculm and looked through a good amount of the popular brands.  I felt like this was the “middle ground” between the ones I was interested in.  It is visually interesting, but it black and white which still allows for a lot of creativity. My daughter LOVES to color the pages after finishing the assignment (which helps my more anxious learner get excited). I am so thankful we choose this one. At the rate they seem to be moving through book A we might need to supplement with something else or move onto the first grade books when they finish both K level books. (Purchased from Exodus Books)

life of fred apples

Life of Fred “Apples” –This is a literary approach to math. It is a story you read and learn from. We are excited to try it out, but not ready to use it as a stand-along curriculum as some have said you can do. Daddy is helping us read through this book.  (Purchased from Exodus Books)

 

a reason for handwriting

Handwriting-A Reason For Handwriting book A- After looking through a few options I choose this for a few reasons. It is visually interesting but not overwhelming. It also follows the same simple style of letter formation that I have been teaching them already (and similar to Explode the Code). It also has them practice and copy Bible verses which I loved. In the back of the book is what they call “Scripture Border Sheets”. They are lined sheets with cute images along the side for the children to color after they write the weekly verse on “Day 5”.  This will give them a nice finished product to be proud of each week. This also happens to be the First Grade level. I preferred it over the Kindergarten for a few reasons and will be challenging, but not over their heads. If we continue this book into their first grade year, I am fine with that.  (Purchased from Exodus Books)

 

draw write now

Art-Draw Write Now Book One- This teaches drawing in a fun step-by-step way.  We have tried a similar book and the twins loved following along and creating things they would not be able to create on their own in the same way. It also includes some applicable copy work on each page which you could use for a lot of your handwriting practice if your children have already mastered forming all their letters.  (Purchased from Exodus Books)

 

Other books we will be using:

the nature connection

The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms. (Purchased used from Exodus Books)

pacon primary journal

Pacon brand Primary Journal “Picture Story” (A composition book that is empty on top for a drawing and then has regular and dotted lines on bottom to help young writers.) We will likely use this for our drawing and nature study. (Purchased from Learning Palace)

And also…
Sharing Nature With Children (Purchased used from Exodus Books)
Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book K (Purchased from Exodus Books)
A Hive of Busy Bees (Character development) (Purchased used from Exodus Books)
(I will add to this list as I find and remember more of our books we bought for the year).
Our newly 3 year old really likes to learn along with the bigger kids. She will do a lot of similar thing that I will modify when necessary.  When she gets bored or things are over her head she will be free to go off and play by herself (in the play area, with special toys, with the iPad, or on busy bags).
*Disclosure-If you purchase through the links in this post I may earn a small percentage and you will be helping to support this blog. Thank you!
Hope this helps someone. I am not an expert, but if you have any questions about the choices we made or have any great suggestions I would love to hear them! Comments make my day.

 

 

Mama Needs a New Easter Dress

Snuck into the Keizer Station Old Navy this morning for a bit to preview their big dress promotion that starts today (check links in this post for prices).  I was thrilled to find my main spring weakness being featured. Eyelet! My tried and true Easter dress for years was actually a somewhat similar pink and white seersucker dress from Old Navy.  We dressed the twins up in eyelet and seersucker and my husband and I even got all into the preppy spring madness (picture hubs in pale blue seersucker blazer and matching pants). We were dorks and completely fine with it. Easter is one of the only days that an Oregonian can go all out and look like they are fresh off a yacht brunch cruise. Live it up.

Wanted to share with my bargain hunting friends about this sale. Word on the street is that both women and children’s dresses will be included. Price points in Women’s will be only $15-$25.  Girls will start at $10. Their main feature in women’s will be these beauts… The quality was a step up from what I was expecting and they were even fully lined. Think J.Crew style….for Old Navy prices.  If you need a spring dress this would be so cute. You could add belt if you wanted, a fun chunky necklace, cute espadrilles for spring, or some brown boots in fall if you picked the right color (maybe the navy or green) and paired with a cute sweater.

There were also some fun dresses for girls. If you are looking for something for Easter get your buns in soon. Things are flying out of there but there are still some cute options.

And these for the toddler crowd were cute.

Or this for a great everyday choice and bargain (Think spring Hanna Anderson…for cheap). Pair with some cute 3 for $15 toddler girl leggings or some skinny jeans you have from back to school time.

And um, let’s not forget the boys. These shorts and springy shirts were SO cute (quality and fit of shorts was great). The shorts are must-have for my little guy.

Here are a couple more pieces I was loving. This stripe dress had an adorable cut and was looked so easy to wear or travel with. At $15 it would be great for a summer basic.

And these? Yes, please.

And were you wondering if this prego took the plunge on an dress? Yes, I did. Next year I will be the happily donning this cute one.  I chose the navy because it is classic and will transition well into other seasons. I am picturing it with some really cute brown sandals…that I have been on the hunt for for months. Hard to find something when most of your shopping is …um…grocery shopping.

Don’t forget it is also Super Cash earning time! Get $10 off your next purchase of $25 or more  (during redemption time) for each $25 you spend now (up to $75).

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Old Navy invited me into the store to check out this promotion in exchange for a discount on my dress. I was not paid for this post and all opinions are my own.

Our First Bountiful Basket Pick-Up

Last Monday I ordered (they call it “contributed” to) our first Bountiful Basket.  Bountiful Baskets is not a business, but is instead considered a co-op. You are pooling your money together to buy things at a great price. The conventional baskets are $15 and you can pay another $10 to upgrade to an all organic basket. There is also a $1.50 processing fee to go towards expenses since all your “contribution” goes towards the cost of the produce. If it is your first time ordering you will also have a $3 fee.

You can order up to 3 baskets (which would be a TON of produce).  There are also some fun things you can add on like granola, tortillas, bread, a tropical pack, a Veggie lovers pack-Mexican theme.  In Oregon I believe our ordering time starts at 12:00 p.m on Monday and closes Tuesday night. Things become unavailable as they sell out. My pick-up time was 11:45 on Saturday at Fresh and Local (used to be called Organic Fresh Fingers).

How did it go?

I think it was probably just a rare fluke, but when I got there some other people arriving to get their basket told me that there was an accident and traffic issues and that the pick-up was moved to 2:45. It sounded like they attempted to email people to let them know, but I never received one and know that some other people did not either.  It was a little hard to fill all that time and go back out there a few hours later.  I do understand that things happen and was glad that the pick-up was still happening. When I got back out there right at 2:45 I noticed that there was already a good sized line of people waiting to pick up their things. We all waited in line with our containers to transfer our food into and at 2:50 they said they were ready for us and started helping people in line.  They asked our names and for the last 4 digits of our contribution number that was on our emails we received. It looked as if most people were getting a conventional basket.  I was directed to pick up my organic basket at the table that you pick up your “extra stuff” at. My produce was already all boxed up and I did not really seem need to bring the tote to transfer it into like other people needed to.  I asked if the traditional and organic baskets contained roughly the same types of items and they said that they were usually fairly different from each other. Next time I will try and snap a picture of the list of contents in the traditional basket.  The produce that was labeled came from a few different states. It was not super local, but I know they work hard to source from small farms when getting things like bananas that are outside the U.S.  I am not sure if the traditional basket is more local or not. By the time I got back in the car it was about 3:15.

Here is what we got (or at least what I think everything is): 🙂

-1 HUGE cauliflower

-1 good sized head of broccoli

-bag of brussel sprouts

-1 large fennel

-1 bunch of radishes

-head of garlic

-1 bunch of celery

-1 bag of red potatoes

-1 large head of greens

-5 bananas

-6 sm-med sized Fuji apples

-1 half pint of blueberries

It was definitely a good value and our family I will probably supplement with more fruit and order every other week since it is still a good chunk of our food budget and a little out of the way from where we live.

There is the low down. Let me know if you have any questions and I will see if this newbie can answer them.

Review-Kashi’s Chocolate Soft-Baked Squares

I was recently selected to sample a new Kashi product through a Moms Meet sampling program.  I always get a little giddy when I get what I like to call “happy mail”. 

Both my husband and children thought they were yummy and had great texture.  They even snuck in some ingredients like sweet potatoes and black beans.  They are also made with Kashi’s classic “seven whole grains” and have a good amount of fiber and protein. They are free of artificial additives and preservatives and are minimally processed.

When I you don’t have something homemade to offer your family, this is a great option.  Because they look like a brownie chances are good your little people will really like them.  One thing to be aware of is that they contain peanut flour and almond flour if someone in your family happens to have a nut allergy.

Generally I think this is a great product.  It is so great to have companies like Kashi that are aware of the types of ingredients they put into their food.  The only thing that makes me a bit hesitant to give it my complete “seal of approval” is that it is not an organic product (and thus may contain GMO’s).  BUT, some of Kashi’s products are organic.  I currently have a couple cereals in my pantry that my children snack on that are totally organic.  I share this just to make sure that “natural” does not always mean organic.

You should have no trouble finding this product in most grocery and “big box” stores.

Happy snacking!

*I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

(Review) Eco Store Natural Products

When Eco Store offered to let me review two of their products I was thrilled!  As I dug around on their site to pick out my two products I was even more excited because their prices were awesome!  Who doesn’t love a company whose favorite phrase is “No Nasty Chemicals”? Genius.

When I was looking for my two products to review I decided that I would look for items that I had either not successfully made before, or had not found a natural alternative for at the store (I make a good chunk of our basic cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. Don’t worry, it is super easy).

I chose the Pure Oxygen Whitener (The natural version of OxyClean), and a cleaning product called Cream Cleanser.

 

The first time we used the Oxygen Whitener we threw it in with my husbands whites.  The load included dress shirts and under shirts etc.  He said he could totally tell a difference in their color.  We normally just use my homemade detergent and not any extra bleach or laundry care additives like Oxy Clean because of expense and questionable ingredients.  It was great to have something we felt good about throwing in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to try the Cream Cleanser because my vinegar and water mixture I use for most basic cleaning was just not cutting it with my sinks.  I really needed something that I could use to scrub and polish.  It was so nice to have something with some more substance to it.  My sinks looked much better after using this stuff.  I do think that for my purposes I would prefer it to have a bit more grit to it.  If you use it be sure to rinse this stuff well after scrubbing to get a nice shine.  It is so nice to have something like this to add to my small cleaning stash.  I think I will mix it with a paste I make out of dish soap, lemon juice, and baking soda and I think it will be the perfect thing for sinks and tubs.

Eco Store caries products within 5 main categories; Baby, Bath and Body, Hair Care, Household, and Pet. The packaging is BPA free and everything is made in the USA. How is that for a commercial?

Although all of the prices are excellent, I was most excited about the value of the baby products. They had Baby Body Wash for $4.25, Baby Shampoo for $4.40, and Nappy Balm (diaper rash balm) for $5.10. That is really good. The only downside I am noticing is that I don’t think the product is specifically organic.  But because it is chemical and “bad stuff” free, I would feel comfortable putting it on my little ones.

The best news? They just posted about a 25 hour sale that runs through tomorrow night for 25% off everything (use code 25for25).  I have not seen many sales from them at all…especially since they have lowered their prices.  This would be a great chance to try a couple things if you are needing anything.  When they posted about this sale I immediately rushed to put this post up so y’all would be able to get the best price.

Let me know if you try any of their products. I would love to hear about your thoughts and how they worked for you.

Disclosure- Beyond receiving the two products, I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Old Navy Kids and Baby Sale (Runs now-5/16/12)

It is nearing the time when I should start thinking about Summer clothes for the children.  In Oregon we will generally not have to bust the tanks and shorts out for a bit, but the time to get these items on sale is now. By the time our weather gets warm these items will likely be just getting marked down. Often the first markdown is still higher than these baby sale prices.

The “Kids and Baby Sale” started yesterday (Monday) and is one of my favorite sales that Old Navy rotates through.  I headed out solo to the Keizer Station store after dinner (as I prefer not dragging my little ones through the “gauntlet of temptation” check out line very often). 🙂

Here are some shots of some of their best deals. Most of these are in the toddler areas…since by Old Navy’s standards I have three toddlers.  And yes, I am doing this post during their nap time.

Toddler girl tanks and knit shorts. $4

Toddler girl twill and denim shorts. $6-10

 

Toddler girl dresses. $8

Girls solid dresses $10

 

Toddler boys polos $6

 

Toddler boys short sleeve $5

 

Can you say ADORABLE?

 

If you want to see what else they have on sale you can head over here.

To compare prices I stopped into Target for a few minutes right after Old Navy.  Target did not have anything too interesting on sale this week and their basics were priced a bit higher than Old Navy’s baby sale items.  While I generally really like Target, I preferred most of Old Navy’s summer basics more this season.  I gravitate towards stripes, prints, and solids and most of what I was finding at Target (especially in the boys dept.) was pretty heavy on the graphics. Also, the Circo boys shorts were pretty poor fitting.

 

Tips for shopping at Old Navy

  • If you do not see the sizes you need on a sale item and they do not have back stock, just buy the item and exchange it for the right size later.  You can call the store first to find out if the item is in and save yourself a trip.
  • Don’t forget to participate in the surveys that sometimes print out at the end of your receipt.  10% off is always a fantastic bonus.
  • If you are shopping online, you totally should use Ebates to get an easy percentage back. Right now Old Navy is giving you 2% back, but often certain stores offer double their normal percentage during different times of the year.  It is easy to sign up and you usually get a $10 gift card to popular stores too if you are new customer.  They automatically sent you your refund check a couple times a year.  (Lately we have used Ebates to get cash back from REI and Best Buy).
  • Be sure to look for clearance items with the red mark down stickers throughout the entire store (not just in the traditional places you find clearance items).

Happy bargain hunting!

 

 

Old Navy provided me with a discount on my purchase for sharing the deals I found.

Crunchmaster Review and Giveaway! (Closed)

I was stoked when I found out I was chosen to review Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers for my blog through Moms Meet.  When the box arrived I was thrilled and did a definite dance for joy.

Crunchmaster Crackers are an alternative to regular wheat crackers.  They are natural and certified gluten free.  They are  made from brown rice, stone ground corn, oat fiber and a 4 seed blend.  These crackers are oven baked and have a great texture.

The verdict is in and these get a thumbs up from my family.  I love having a great multigrain cracker for the little ones.  Our family does not need to avoid wheat, but they get plenty of wheat in their diet and I like to offer a wide variety of foods (and grains).  These crackers help us to shake things up a bit.  They have the perfect crunch and and come in 3 flavors.  They come in sea salt, roasted vegetable, and white cheddar.  I think our favorite flavor was the white cheddar.  The only thing I would love more about them is if they were organic.

On to the BEST news.  They also wanted me to give away a case to my readers!!! So…just enter by leaving a comment below (make sure I have a way of contacting you if you win).  What flavor would you be most excited to try?

Giveaway closes Dec 21st.

I would also be thrilled if you wanted to become a “follower” so that I can bring you more awesome giveaways.

For more info check out Crunchmaster’s web site (they even have a coupon up right now) or their Facebook.

 

WINNER IS… JEN “Roasted Vegetable sounds good”

She has been notified and 48 hours to respond by email.

 Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Kashi Granola Bar Review

I was fortunate enough to get to sample Kashi Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bars (say that three times fast) .  Awhile back I was accepted into the Moms Meet program and occasionally I am chosen to try some fun products. I share them with my group, and then am sometimes asked to summarize what we thought on my blog.

Here is what Moms Meet has to say about the new bars, “Looking for a good-for-you granola bar that also tastes good? Kashi’s all natural TLC® Peanutty Dark Chocolate Layered Granola Bars start with a chewy granola base made with peanut butter and peanut chunks for a nutty flavor. A thick layer of real soft fruit mixed with rich, dark chocolate tops the granola along with roasted runner peanuts and dark chocolate pieces for hearty, natural goodness you can see and taste. And they’re nutritious, too!”

When the box came in the mail we were holding our big garage sale.  I was stoked!  The kids were just getting up from their naps and they saw the box.  They asked if they could try them and we handed them each a bar and sat them on the chair.  They sat in perfect silence while they chowed every last speck.  I was actually surprised at how focused they were on the bars.  When strangers are waltzing around your front yard and taking away your beloved possessions the last thing I expected was them to calmly sit and focus on a snack.  They LOVED them and have asked for them many times since.

The main purpose of the sampling is for me to share them with a group I meet with who are interested in natural/green products. This totally fits with the interests of the girls in my Bible Study and so when I get a package from Moms Meet I always take the goodies along.

Here is what one of my friends thought of the bars:

“The texture/consistency was perfect. Chewy, but not gooey. I also thought the flavor had good balance between the chocolate and the peanuts. I am not a big peanut fan, but I did enjoy these.”

If you are interested in any of their products you can check out Kashi’s website.

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Go check out Kashi’s Facebook page to stay up to date on their promotions and be alerted of coupons.  I just checked and RIGHT NOW they have  a coupon for $1 off a box of their new pita crisps! Pared with a sale this will get you a great deal!

 

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Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.