Friday, February 2, 2018

Choosing a mattress for long term health for your children - My Green Mattress Review

Sleep. The final frontier for parents, right? We strive for sleep for our children and ourselves pretty much from day one. I don't remember ever being so obsessed over the thought of sleep before becoming a parent! Coordinating nap times, bed times, coping with your own interrupted sleep that can last for years, dissecting why your child isn't sleeping the same way as they did last week. It. is. exhausting.

As our two girls are growing older we have begun to consider how we are going to adapt their bedroom from being toddler-focused to more a forward, long term set up.  From the time that my second daughter was night weaned and no longer bedsharing with my husband and I, she has been sharing a bedroom with her older sister. Each girl had her own cute toddler sized bed. We knew that we wanted the sisters to continue to share a bedroom but graduating them to twin or full sized bed frames would occupy too much space for their bedroom. Thankfully we scored an amazing deal at our local furniture store for a floor model twin-over-full bunk bed frame and we snatched it up right away!

To give you a short background on where we are coming from; we bedshare with each of our children until they are night-weaned at about 18 - 24 months. Our first two children were girls and we excitedly helped them embrace this special relationship by sharing a bedroom. When we purchased the new bunk bed, we naturally we expected our older daughter (Penny) to want to take the top bunk. But as it turned out our 3 year old (Ruby) was the better candidate because she sleeps through the whole night and never leaves her bed. It's always been that way! Penny is still a night waker; which we've concluded is because of her primary love language: physical touch. The girl still very much loves her snuggles and works diligently throughout the night to sneak into our bed for more! Towards the end of my last pregnancy we set goals for her to find ways to cope with this need; giving her need a name ("the snuggle tank"), with increased snuggles at the end of the day and self-gauging her needs. But we had to draw the boundary for how much time she sleeps in our bed in preparation for our bed-sharing time with Baby Brother whenever he arrives. It's been a slow and gentle process that we are hoping will make more sense to her when her brother arrives and she can tangibly see- there just isn't a whole lot of room for 4 people in our bed as well as it's just not going to be very restful sleep for ANYONE.

In the wake of purchasing the new bed frame that we intend for the girls to use until they move out, we also knew that an equally (if not more) important decision was what type of mattress they would sleep on. Why would it matter? Consider that this piece of furniture will be in contact with your child for usually over 10 hours a day for over 10 years (the average lifespan of a mattress). Not only is comfort a key factor, but the material needs to be as well! There is a broad range of mattress styles, thicknesses, material choices and price points available on the market and it's important to understand how to balance those in the best way for your family.

When I started doing research for new mattresses for our children I started with a wide cast net - what is the least expensive but most readily available option? What kind of mattress does this provide? What kind of product is offered at the opposite end of the spectrum? What do my friends recommend? What are the online reviews? Does it have springs, is it entirely foam, or a combination? Why would material choice matter; comfortable is comfortable, right?

It turns out no; not all mattresses are created equal! No surprise, the quality of materials and the type of comfort you are looking for play a huge role in the price of the product. There are tons of options available at both ends of all the factors one would want to consider.

Long term studies are still being conducted on the effects of the use of memory foam and other petroleum products in the sleeping space. One can't argue that the costs are lower, they are easier to manufacture and memory foam is comfortable. The use of flame retardants in mattresses and childrens clothing has also been shown to be toxic; with several of just as effective non-synthetic options to consider. But because many modern manufacturing practices focus on the bottom dollar rather than the well being of their customer, I am wary of how the use of certain products will affect myself or my family over the course of our lives. This is why I research as much as possible if I am given a choice in a product and opt for responsibly sourced materials and manufacturing practices.

My main goal for choosing a quality, safe sleep mattress for the long term use by my daughters was that it was made from natural materials and did not use memory foam.  Memory foam has become a very popular choice in mattresses; in fact it's quite difficult to find any mattress, especially childrens mattresses to be without it.

This is how we discovered My Green Mattress. Their Pure Echo mattresses are made with GOTS certified organic cotton and wool. No petroleum based memory foam that off gas and emit VOCs that are dangerous for developing systems. The coils keep the mattress soft yet firm without the need of foam to make it more comfortable.
The mattresses arrived tightly rolled up, also in an effort to be more eco friendly and save on shipping space and costs.

We unrolled them and expected to have an air out period to get the manufacturing smells or any other scents to dissipate before having our children sleep on them (this is called "off gassing"). There were no obvious odors, but we gave them a day to relax and the following morning I put them onto our brand new bunk beds.

The girls were both so excited for their new big bed. Both bunks have been the source of hours of imaginary play and a quiet nook to snuggle or read. Since Holden's arrival, there has been a night or two that my husband slept with either girl that needed some extra snuggles. I've even crawled into bed with each of the girls, when the whole house is asleep, to catch up on snuggles that I have been missing from them while I've been focusing on the new baby.  Even in being accustomed to a very soft and forgiving memory foam mattress, the Pure Echo mattress is still very comfortable to an adult. Best of all, I know my kids can safely sleep on them for years to come.

Learn more about My Green Mattresses and why you should consider them when purchasing mattresses for your family's long term health.

Disclosure: Thank you, My Green Mattress, for facilitating this review! 
I received product in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was provided. 
All photography and opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Holiday Guide: Gifts that Give Back!

Do you have a "do-gooder" on your Christmas shopping list this year? Or someone who loves wine? Let me tell you all about ONEHope!

ONEHope wine is all about serving wine and giving back to communities.  These award winning wines give 50% of profits from every bottle to a different charity.  Examples include breast cancer and ovarian education and research, funding literacy education, providing meals for hungry kids, disaster relief training for military veterans, planting trees, pet adoptions, heart disease education, the list goes on. ONEHope Wine has varietals in almost every kind you can think of and a few that are special and a little more hard to find.

I've been loving drinking ONEHope Wine because while I'm going to be enjoying wine anyways, I know that I'm also using my dollars towards doing good!

So this holiday season if you're looking for something a little extra special as a gift, take a look at some of these awesome presents that give back to charity as well.

And yes - did those glitter bottles catch your eye? Join my exclusive facebook group to learn the BUBBLY + SPARKLY winter sale! All bottles of bubbles (Brut, Demi Sec, Sparkling Rose) and the gorgeous ONEHope glitter bottles are 20% off! 

The brand new 2016 reserve Argentinian Malbec was released today as well!

Even if your Christmas sweetie isn't a wine lover, there are tons of delicious oils, marinades and sauces that will add extra pop and zing to your holiday entertaining platters. All of which still benefit charity! 

 Our shipping map below shows the states where we are able to ship wine and wine gifts, but we have some great non-alcoholic options like coffee and our new line of ONEHOPE Kitchen products that can ship to any state! All gift boxes and crates ship for a flat $10 nation-wide.

So if giving gifts with a purpose is on your radar this Christmas, check out these beautiful gift boxes and delicious varietals that give 50% of profits to charity. If you have any questions on suggestions or pairings, leave a comment below!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Funky Fluff LUX Newborn Cloth Diaper Review

Back in 2013 I was approached by a brand I had never heard of before to do a cloth diaper review. It would turn out to be my #1 go to for overnight diapering and has held up better than any other diaper in my stash. Which brand is it? Funky Fluff! Funky Fluff is a family owned business in Canada that has high standards in their product quality; enough so that I've been a happy camper to stand behind them all these years.

And now here I am with baby #3, with 66 months of continuous cloth diapering under my belt and not only am I still using the original Funky Fluff diapers that I reviewed in 2013, I now got to add their newborn line to my stash! Holden was born this past summer and like his older sisters, he was started in cloth diapers from the beginning. A lot has changed with each child on what is available on the market for newborn cloth diapers and I was really excited to get my newest squish into his very own Funky Fluff diapers.

In the last 4 years, Funky Fluff has done just about as much growth as my own little family has. They revamped their original design with their 2.0 diapers, then released their LUX line, added athletic wicking jersey as a liner material and most recently added their newborn line. Each iteration of their design for their diapers has truly expanded on features that I love and the quality of the diapers has stayed the same. As I mentioned before, the diapers that I used on my oldest, Penny, are still in rotation on my current stash with my youngest. I can't name any other brand of cloth diapers in my diverse stash that hasn't had to have any amount of repair over the last 5 years that isn't Funky Fluff.

So what can I say about their newborns?
  • They are made to fit babies 4-12 lbs, and are simply a smaller version of the LUX one side diapers. Holden was 9 lbs 9 oz at birth and his first cloth diaper was Funky Fluff Thunderstruck. He was on the bigger end of the range, however he fit into them well past 5 weeks of age. That's a pretty good run for a newborn sized cloth diaper and a bigger baby.
  • Just like its "one size" big brother, the Funky Fluff newborns come with 3 rows of rise snaps and feature the same internal snap system for inserts to create either a pocket, all-in-one or all-in-two diaper system. 
  • The liner is bamboo terry, which is buttery soft and natural against your brand new babe's bottom. I love bamboo because it's super absorbent, a fast growing renewable resource and is less prone to retaining stink and bacteria than synthetic materials. The inserts provided are also made from layers of bamboo and just make for a great system to retain the massive amounts of fluids that come out of newborns.
 This is Holden at about 10 lbs.

You can find them online on their website or at retailers in the US and Canada.

Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was provided. All photography and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sneak Peek: Just Between Friends of Marysville - Mount Vernon consignment sale!

Remember when I told you that the Just Between Friends of Marysville / Mount Vernon spring sale was coming to Skagit County? Because of how much money I save by shopping at these events, and in turn consigning my kids' outgrown clothing, I don't have to shop at retail stores at all through out the year! Woop woop!  Today I spent **3 hours** pouring through the pre-sale to find the best deals on clothes for my kids, and tonight I'm going to give you a sneak peek at what you can find at the sale this weekend!

 Quite adorable! They staged a few different items to make it look like a nursery right by the cash register.

 Most JBF sales provide the big blue IKEA bags for you to use while shopping, but this time around JBF Marysville - Mount Vernon had shopping carts! Quite handy when you have a pre-schooler tagging along and you can (ahem) let then Netflix binge while you peruse the racks. No shame here.

 Sports apparel is always a favorite! I picked up Seahawks and Oakland Raiders sweatshirts.

 So cute! Tons of well made and like-new handmade items.

 Have your pick and find the best deal!

This may have been one of my best steals. 3 excellent used condition Bum Genius 4.0 cloth diapers with inserts. These retail for $20 each, and after 5 years of cloth diapering 3 kids, with many of my originals still in rotation, it was irresistible to snag a pack to freshen up the stash for Holden.

So what did I come home with? Even after shopping at these events for the last 5 years, I was amazed at how low the prices were.

There ya have it!

This sale is on now through October 1 at the Skagit County Fairgrounds in Mount Vernon Wa. See full details here.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Just Between Friends of Marysville - Mount Vernon. 
No other compensation was provided. All opinions and photography are my own.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Omaiki Mini-Ö Newborn Diaper Review

Are you thinking about taking the plunge for cloth diapers with your newborn? I've used cloth diapers exclusively for all three of my kids and each time around I've learned something new. Holden arrived this summer and while he was over a pound heavier than his sister before him (and over two pounds heavier than his oldest sister), we still had a good run at newborn cloth diapers and I wanted to share our experience with Ömaiki Mini-Ö newborn cloth diaper.

They come with an adjustable waist line that uses aplix ("Velcro" style) closures, which is helpful for the wide range of belly sizes that newborns may have. The diapers two sets of rise heights, also perfect for snapping down to a smaller size if necessary.

The Ömaiki Mini-Ö diaper is an all-in-one style cloth diaper in which the absorbent insert lays flat on the inner part of the diaper, but hangs loose so that washing and drying are less energy intensive. Most AIO cloth diapers get a bad rep because although they are a completely enclosed one piece (making them very easy to use, especially for those not accustomed to cloth diapering), they take more water to completely wash and more dryer time to fully dry. This design that flips the insert out, but keeps it connected to the diaper, aids in faster turn around time on this diaper. And that's a big help because as you know...newborns used A LOT of diapers! The absorbent insert fabric is bamboo viscose with organic cotton, with a polyester topper to wick away moisture quickly. Bamboo is by far my preferred material of choice because it is so absorbent and retains a lot of moisture. 

"Little" Holden was born weighing 9 lbs 9 oz and was my biggest baby. With my daughters (7 and 8 pounds, respectively) it took a little bit of time after birth for them to really seem like they fit into even newborn cloth diapers, but this guy wasted no time. However, because of his larger size at birth and very quick weight gain, we used these diapers for a shorter period of time than I would have expected to use had it been for my girls. Such is life!

At about a week old and roughly 10 lbs, Holden fit into the diapers quite nicely. The rise of the diaper didn't interfere with his umbilical stump healing. Because this diaper was developed for newborns, his skinny newborn legs were wrapped perfectly with no leaking.

The Ömaiki Mini-Ö diaper fits babies from 5 lbs through 3 months, however in our experience Holden fit the diaper most comfortably through about 12 lbs (which was one month of age). 

Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions and photography are my own.


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