Monday, December 31, 2012

Woolzies Dryer Balls Review & Giveaway!

I was recently given an opportunity to try some Woolzies Dryer Balls, to review. I received a box of 6 dryer balls, enough for a large load to try, and Woolzies will also be giving away a box to one lucky blog reader!

I received a box of 6 Woolzies, enough for a large load, though they do recommend 8 balls for X-large loads. I admit, at first I was hopeful, but skeptical. Woolzies are meant to work much like fabric softener, but without the harsh chemicals.  Woolzies are meant to soften naturally, reduce drying time by up to 25%, reduce static, help eliminate wrinkles, and are chemical free, hypoallergenic, and safe for people with wool sensitivities. While these are all things I really like, I almost expected to be disappointed. Overall, I was not disappointed at all.

The Woolzies balls look very much like large tennis balls. You simply toss all six in your dryer with a load of laundry, and dry like normal. They are very simple to use, and can be left in the dryer so they are all set to go for future loads. They are also guaranteed to last for 1,000 loads, which (unless you're a laundry doing freak), is a long time! A box retails for $35.99, with free shipping to anywhere in the U.S.A and Canada, and $6.95 shipping world wide. Considering the amount you might spend on a box of dryer sheets in a year, I feel this price is a good deal.

Now to talk about my experience with Woolzies thus far. I typically have a difficult time getting our clothes, and especially our cloth diapers dry in one cycle. I have to either turn the dryer temperature to a higher setting, or run more than one cycle. Both of which are terrible for the environment, something I actually do care about. Plus high heat just isn't good for our cloth diapers. So I decided to give it a try with the Woolzies, and set the dryer temperature back to low, and reduced the drying time. Guess what! Everything was dry in one load in about 60 mins, whereas it usually takes at least 90 minutes on medium or high heat to dry completely. Honestly, that alone is enough to sell me on the product.

I admit, I'm not one to care much about wrinkles. I'm a stay at home mom after all, so what do I need to worry too much about wrinkles for? Heck, most days I'm lucky if I get a chance to get out of my pajamas. Even so, I decided to pay attention, because this is something Woolzies supposedly helps with. Our clothes came out of the dryer, not completely wrinkle free, but with noticeably less wrinkles than normal. I even let a load sit without folding for awhile, and they still didn't wrinkle. I bet this is in part because our clothes were actually dry, and not still damp.

The Woolzies are also rather quiet. Our dryer is in the basement, so it wouldn't be an issue for us if they were loud. I admit, I sort of expected six balls bouncing around the dryer to be a bit noisy. I took a few moments to listen though, and couldn't even tell they were in there. They are fairly soft, so I guess that makes sense. Still, a nice feature for anyone considered about noise.

The only thing I wasn't sure about with the Woolzies at first, was static. The first couple of loads I dries using the Woolzies actually came out of the dryer with a noticeable amount of static. To be honest, I can't really compare this with how much static you get with dryer sheets, and these loads did include items of polyester, which tends to produce a lot of static. I stopped using dryer sheets a long while ago, due to the chemicals in them. I've also learned that dryer sheets used in the dryer at all ever, just like harsh detergents in the wash, can still leave residue that is harmful to cloth diapers. (So I'll be encouraging everyone here to please not use them.) Anyhow, I was a bit surprised by this static. However, on the upside, the static completely dissipated by the time the clothes were folded. I also haven't noticed any static after the first couple of loads I did using the Woolzies.

So overall, I am very pleased with Woolzies, and will continue using them. If you would like to try them yourself, go ahead and enter the contest below to win a box of 6, enough for a large load from Woolzies.. I'll leave the contest open for 1 week, so until next Monday, January 7th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 28, 2012

Baby's First Christmas

Baby's first Christmas was wonderful. She had fun opening gifts, and we had fun helping her. She really caught on too, the day after she kept going after some of her Grandpa's gifts that had not been opened yet. She also got to touch her first snow. We will have to take her out to play in it soon, she was very intrigued. She even got to do her first painting, including hand prints for her Daddy. She loved it, so I think I've found a new activity for us. Of course, we will be painting mainly with edible things for the time being. There are some foods she likes such as squash, that will probably work great.

Overall, we had a very nice first Christmas as a family. I feel blessed to have such a loving husband and baby girl.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Baby's 1st Words!

Baby girl has been babbling, and umm yelling (haha), for awhile now. She has the sweetest little voice. She can also be VERY loud. She gets that honestly, from her Daddy. I am usually quiet...usually. Lately though, I have noticed she has been trying to say certain sounds at the appropriate times. I have been telling Jeff for a few days that she is indeed saying, "Dada." Last night he finally noticed, as she looked right at him and said it, and I'm not sure who looked prouder, him or baby girl. It was one of our sweetest moments yet. She is also trying "Mama" but so far we just get one syllable, "Ma" and a smile.

This morning, after her Daddy left for work, she sat on the bed looking all around saying, "Dada Dada Dada." She loves him so much, and that makes me one happy Mama. :)

I am also convinced she is saying, "yay!" At least, the other night when we put her to bed she did. She stood up in the bed, put a big smile on her face and said, "yay!" We have been congratulating her for standing, and other various things lately. Oh and believe me it was a challenge for both of us not to laugh at her in that moment. We did tell her she did a good job standing, but it was time to lay down, and laid her back down. I didn't want to completely ignore how proud she was of herself.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Our Favorite Things pt 2

The second item I'd like to talk about, that really was a great investment for us is our kissaluv size 0 v.2.0 fitted diapers, seen here. There are many things we like about these diapers. They are easy to adjust and put on, absorbent, easy to clean, and best of all, they fit baby great. We have definitely gotten our moneys worth with these. It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows either my husband or myself, our baby is lacking in the butt department. So, at nearly 7 months old, she is still rocking her size 0 fitteds. So far, the only diapers we have gotten to fit as well are others I have made, or that have been made for us. We've tried a variety of OS pocket diapers, and no matter what we do, we get leaks.

The one downside to these diapers, or at least I know it to be troublesome for some parents, is that they get VERY wet. I've had some friends try them and say they leaked through in minutes. I'm honestly baffled by this, because our baby wears them overnight, and while the diaper itself is soaked by morning, (she usually wears the same diaper for 10-12hrs), her skin is usually fairly dry. That said, this diaper definitely does work best with a cover.

So, basically what I am saying here is that these diapers have been awesome for us, because apparently fitted diapers work great for babies with small bums.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Green Christmas

This year, we will be having a rather green Christmas, and I don't not mean the weather. With any luck, we will have plenty of snow by Christmas. It's just not the same without it. Besides, our house is FREEZING! If I have to be cold anyhow, I would prefer to do so with something pretty to look at outside. So, while we are having a rather green Christmas, I find myself dreaming of a white one.

By green Christmas, what I mean is, almost all of our gifts will be homemade this year. We are not buying anything for each other, or for the baby. This does not mean we are not having Christmas. We will have a very nice holiday, I am sure. We are simply going to do so without spending money we don't have to spend right now. The baby will not care what she opens this year. I might even wrap up a few empty boxes, just so she can enjoy ripping the paper off of them. Of course, I'll have to think hard about doing this, because she also enjoys trying to eat everything. Still, if she has fun with it, and doesn't actually succeed in eating the wrapping paper, it could be well worth it.

I am actually very excited for our Christmas this year. Baby will be getting some new leg warmers, and a jingle bell photo cube. She might even get a new sweater, depending on how things go time wise. She is also getting some new Christmas themed diapers, a Christmas pajama gown, and a new dress. As for my husband, he will get a gift that keeps on growing, at least for awhile, and that's the only hint I'm giving him. (No, before anyone asks, we are not having another baby.) I think he will like it, actually I know he will. I haven't decided what baby will give her Daddy yet, but I do have a couple of ideas. Still, I'm open to suggestions, if anyone cares to give any.

Making gifts has been a tradition for us. This will be our 4th Christmas together. We have made each other a gift, and/or a card every year. I am hoping this is a tradition we can keep going for many years to come. Something about a homemade gift, really does feel special. They are nice to receive, but more than that, I enjoy making things for others to hopefully enjoy.

Our first holiday season with baby has been a lot of fun. Last night she got to help me bake gingerbread cookies. Lucky girl even got to try one. She loves it, which is not at all surprising. Most importantly though, we had fun.

So, while I will continue to hope for a White Christmas, we will also be happily celebrating a Green Christmas this year.