Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Winners & Coming Soon

Last week ended our Blog Combo Package - grab me button, siggy, & comment numbers done by Kim from My Crafty Mom who gave me my bloglift! I'm gotten a ton of compliments. Thanks again Kim!

Winner #11! ruthhill74 said... 11 What a wonderful layout! It's great!
I like My Crafty Mom on Facebook

Her blog is www.mydevotionalthoughts.blogspot.com - check it out - Kim did another amazing job and it looks fantastic!

Last night ended two more great giveaways. I am sad to see them both go but they must end sometime right?

Amazon $5 Gift Card
Winner #31 Teaching Mommy said... 31 follow you on twitter as @frankandkatieEtsy's The

Fresh Stitch - Crayon Roll
Winner #86 CathyB said... 86 I follow The Fresh Stitch on Twitter.
Winner #63 annaleighmcclelland said... 63 I FB'd about your giveaway ;-)  Congrats Ladies!

Homemade Features/Giveaways Coming Soon!

Inspired by Finn - Baltic Amber Necklace

3 Etsy shops - snack bags, crinkle toy, goat's milk soap

And more...I hope you are excited as I am! :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Connie with Lost River Naturals

I am thrilled to get to do a feature on Lost River Naturals! I was first introduced to Connie a few months ago and I'm not only happy to have made a new friend but I'm ecstatic that I get to find such awesome earthy homemade products locally.

What does Connie make? Natural and Organic Bath & Body Care Essentials along with Organic Herbal Teas. Scrubs, Herbal Salves, Body Oils, Bath Salts, Dream Pillows, Syrups, Tooth Polish, Perfumes are just a few of the products Connie whips up. She uses pure, certified organic essential oils and herbs to scent and color her products.  You won't find any harmful chemicals inside.

Her Lip Balms made from a base of organic butters, natural beeswax and organic vegan oils, was the first product I ever purchased. In Lavender Mint flavor. It is soooo yummy. But do you know what even sounds yummier? White Chocolate. Yep, that is a lip balm flavor. Maybe you like a little color on your lips? Get her Perfect Pink Lip Tint.

Next came the Sugar Scrub. Once you try this, you'll never buy a cleanser from the store again. Use on the entire body ~ even on delicate facial skin. The sugar serves as a gentle exfoliator that whisks away the dead skin cells making way for the nourishing oils to do their job.  Finally, the gentle castile soap lathers and cleans your skin beautifully. I have to share all the different kinds with you. 

Peppermint Lime ( with peppermint, bergamot and lime)
Honey Chai (with ginger, citrus, clove, nutmeg and honey) 
Patchouli (with oils of patchouli, lavender and frankincense)
Chocolate Almond (with cocoa ~ a natural skin softener)
Lemon Poppyseed (with lemony fresh oils and poppy seeds)
Blemish Scrub (with tea tree, lemongrass, lavender and patchouli)
Grits and Coffee ~ (with finely ground grits, coffee and almond oil)

Her best selling product? Deodorant! If you're like me, finding a good natural one that works is a challenge. Look no more! Connie's Freedom Deodorant Cream is made with NO harmful parabens, refined aluminum or other toxic chemicals. Try it and you'll be covered for 24 hours!  It's easy to apply with a silky texture ~ just rub a pea sized amount under each arm.  Also try it on the soles of your feet to inhibit odor causing bacteria. Isn't that cool? Her newest scent ~ Vanilla/Chamomile.

I could go on forever but one more thing I want to cover - Herbal Syrup - which is basically a super concentrated tea to aid in the healing of common colds, coughs and other mild ailments such as chicken pox, eczema, allergies, and to help boost immunity.  This was a great find for me because in our house we don't use pharmacy/over the counter drugs unless absolutely necessary so finding a herbal based remedy to help with our symptoms was much needed! And it TASTES good :)

Now we have to ask Connie ~ Are you a crunchy mama? (But I think we already know the answer to that don't we :)

I suppose that overall I am a crunchy mama, but not 100%. I never really got the hang of the sling thing and gave cloth diapering a good college try but it didn't last. Gentle discipline is definitely important to me, we do not spank and ~try~ not to yell, but, hey, I'm not perfect. We are a simple, Christian family and I do homeschool my kiddos and cherish every moment we spend together.

I most definitely question many conventional medical practices and believe that prescriptions drugs and vaccines are money, not health driven. In our family we use whole foods as medicine and include supplements such as Cod Liver Oil, and various herbs to remain healthy and stay away from the doctor's office. We also use homeopathic remedies, chiropractic care and massage as "medicine".

I will be experiencing my second home birth in February with my 3rd child and whole heartily believe that women are meant to birth naturally with little to no medical intervention. Having had both a hospital birth and a home birth, I cannot imagine setting foot into another hospital to give birth. Long story short ~ at home I felt empowered, relaxed, comforted, loved, nurtured, respected... in the hospital I felt hurried, worried, scared, defeated, belittled. 

I wish that instead of just reading about these products and looking at a few pictures, that I could reach out and let you take a sample. You would love love love them!! But guess what? One lucky reader IS going to get to sample them! Connie is giving away a sample basket. It contains:

Chocolate Almond Sugar Scrub
Tea Tree/Bergamot Deodorant
Elderberry Bliss and Twilight Teas

Mandatory Entry - Visit Lost River Naturals - I can't wait for you to do this! - and tell me which products you would like to try AND you must be a beachbum follower of my blog.

Extra Entries
Like Lost River Naturals on Facebook - tell her Crunchy Beach Mama sent you! :) - 1 entry
Follow Crunchy Beach Mama on Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feeds, Email Subscription (links above) - 1 entry each
Tweet or FB status about the giveaway - 1 entry each daily
Grab my button - 3 entries
Make a purchase from Lost River Naturals (send me email confirmation) - 5 entries

This giveaway will end on Sept. 10, 2010 at 11:59 ET. Winner will be drawn via random.org. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and they will have 48 hours to reply before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only who are 18 years of age or older.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Heather with Flames & Wicks

Everyone loves candles right? I have some hand poured soy candles to share with you. Heather started Flames & Wicks Candle Company that she runs out of her home and online. I cannot wait to share with you the niche that she has made for herself to stand out!

First some facts about Heather's soy wax candles:

-Poured when you order! There’s a huge difference between a fresh poured candle and one that has been sitting on a warehouse shelf waiting to be bought. You’ll smell the difference the second you open the box!

-They burn slower, last longer and smell better

- Pure soy wax is environmentally friendly because it will not increase the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. It is not made from petroleum, unlike paraffin candles

-90% Less Soot than regular beeswax or paraffin candles and better for the environment.

-Clean up with just use warm soapy water. No scraping required, and decorative candle jars are easy and safe to clean out and re-use for virtually anything!

-Price wise, let’s just say we “Blow Out” the competition!
What makes Heather unique:
Customer Loyal Program - for those who burn candles all the time but don’t always have the money to buy them. By enrolling in this program you receive $1.00 for every $6 spent towards your next purchase
Throw a Candle Party - she will send you (6) 1 oz. sample jar candles, books and order forms. Simply take the candles and order form with you for your friends to browse through. One sniff of the sample jars does it all! As her way of thanking you for spreading the word about her hand-poured specialty candles, you earn a percentage of the sales from your party to purchase your own candles and she will comp the shipping of your entire parties candles when she sends them directly to you so there are no shipping fees! AWESOME or what?? 
Design Your Own - take your favorite scent and combine it with a color that will
compliment your decor! She has 54 scents & 24 colors!
Her Prices are UNBELIEVABLE! - I'm going to list a few so you can see!
4 tarts - $1
4 votives - $3
9oz jar candle - $6
22oz interlude jar - $9
Heather was nice enough to send me her sample package. The boys and I opened up the box and went hhhmmm because it was so smelly good. We all have our favorites - O'Bear likes the Sweet Pea (that is pink. Isn't that cute?), C'Man loves the Sweet Cinnamon Kisses, and I can't stop lighting the Apple Pie. We love them! Hubby has them on display at his office and as soon as you walk in the door you can smell them. He didn't even have to light them because the scents are so fantastic just by themselves.
Let's hear from Heather:
Tell me about you and your family

I am the mother of four children. Shawn 20, Mercedes 16, Jordan 13 and Jeremiah 10. Have a daughter in law Meghan and brand new baby Grandson (7/29/10) Keegan. I have been married to Jason for 15 years (in October). We lived in Missouri all our lives and moved to Oklahoma in 2008 for better jobs and schools. Our youngest, Jeremiah, was diagnosed with Autism in 2006 (he first started showing signs when he was 2 years old... just after his immunizations) and we needed to get to bigger schools with more resources for him. Most people would think that a small town would be great to get individual attention and that isn't true. Here...our whole family has grown and prospered well. (Shawn stayed in Missouri and didn't move with us) And on that note it leads me into how I got started.

How did you get started?
I was spending a fortune in candles... I am an avid candle burner, always have one going in at least 2-3 rooms. In 2000 my husband asked me..."Isn't there a way you can make your own?" So after doing some research and getting a few starting supplies, I made my first candles. After awhile people started asking for them, for presents, fund raisers, or just for themselves... but it wasn't until recently that things have really took off. I have spent the last 10 years getting just the right scents, the right jars, the right colors, etc. It has also allowed me to be at home with my youngest. He has certain eccentricities that have to be dealt with on a daily basis. Even though he is in school now I still find it hard to have a regular 9-5 job.

How long does it take to make a candle?
It usually takes between 48 to 72 hours to make a candle. Depending on the size. They have to have time to set and cure, or you will end up with a liquid mess. :) Meaning that the candle will turn back into liquid within a few hours of burning and be in poor quality with very little scent throw.

Are you a crunchy mama?
I am a crunchy mama. I prefer herbal medicine to regular meds... but will still use antibiotics if it is needed. We recycle as much as we can, our local recycling place will only take certain items, which is very frustrating. We are not totally 'hippie". We still eat meat and lots of veggies! And I didn't use cloth diapers... just couldn't bring myself to do that. I consider our family a work in progress.
Guess what? Heather is giving away TWO for one person. Aren't you a lucky duck? You get to pick what scent you want. So Mandatory Entry - visit Flames & Wicks and tell me which of the 54 scents you would choose and if you have the time look around a bit and tell me what else you like. Must be a Follower of my blog too! Thank you :)
Extra Entries
-Like Flames & Wicks on Facebook 1 entry - tell her Crunchy Beach Mama sent you!
-Follow Flames & Wicks on Twitter 1 entry
-Follow Crunchy Beach Mama - Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feeds, Email (links above) 1 entry each for new or old followers
- Tweet or FB status about this giveaway! - 1 entry per day - and much appreciated!!
-Grab my button - 3 entries
-Make a purchase from Flames & Wicks -there is always has a special! 5 entries (send me confirmation email)
-Throw a Candle Party - 5 entries (Heather will confirm for me you signed up!) - this is super easy, super fun, & a great way to get FREE candles!!

This giveaway will end on Sept. 10, 2010 at 11:59 ET. Winner will be drawn via random.org. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and they will have 48 hours to reply before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only who are 18 years of age or older.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Baby Food Jar Ideas

What do you do with your baby food jars? We are boring at our house. We only do one of two things with ours. Mostly, we recycle. Or the baby food we do make goes into these jars for storage. I was on a baby forum the other day where this question came up. It made me think and I began compiling lots of neat ideas and I want to share with them you!

Storage Ideas
Cheerios for the diaper bag
Salad Dressing to take to work
Spices or Herbs
Beads, Screws, Hair Clips
Small toys - My Little Pony brushes, Barbie shoes, GI Joe guns
Toothpick Holder

Fun Easy Projects for Kids
Make Butter - add a couple of Tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, shake up good, spread on some yummy cinnamon bread.
Add water with a bit of food coloring and confetti - shake
Firefly or Bug jar - poke holes in lid and catch your bugs!

Gifts (decorate lids with fabric and ribbons)
Hot Chocolate in a jar
Pour your own candles
Paperweights - colored marbles or artificial flowers are a couple of examples to put inside.
Tea light candle holders - decorate jar with tissue, paint the jar, or use craft glue the jar to add sparkles, rhinestones or any other decoration.

Crafty Ideas (use your imagination for TONS of ideas!) a couple of my favorites with links on how to accomplish them.
Gel Air Fresheners
Sewing Kits
Snow Globes - easier one here or a bit more work here
Reindeer Food or Winter Rabbit Food if you don't celebrate Christmas
Christmas Tree - look at this!

My Beach Favorites
Colored sand art
Fill with small shells or pebbles
Ocean scene - water with blue/green food coloring, a little glitter added, a small rubber fish attached to the jar lid with fishing string.

Or sell them on Ebay and make a little cash! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

$5 Amazon GC Giveaway!

I want to end our week of fun giveaways with giving you a $5 giftcard from Amazon!

I obtained this $5 from the Swagstore. And have earned $30 towards Amazon in a short period of time. Not know what the Swagstore is? Then read my post on Swagbucks here.

While we're talking deals I want to see if you use Ebates? You earn cash back for your online purchases. And they hand out ipads and fun prizes.
Read more about Ebates here.

Both companies have great referral programs! Help a mama out if interested and then spread the word for yourself... :) 

To enter the $5 giveaway...
Google Friend me
AND either
1) Sign up for Swagbucks under my link or 2) tell me what you've bought from the swagstore with your account

Extra entry each for liking me on Facebook, Twitter, or Feeds (links above)

Giveaway ends on Aug. 30th at 11:59pm EST. Open to US only & 18 years of age

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Corinne with The Fresh Stitch

I love arts and craft shows. Especially ones where I knew Etsy sellers were going to be showing off their wares. This was going to be good! I dragged the whole family along with me that day as I oohhhed and ahhhed at each table. I knew I probably wouldn't buy anything but gather business cards so I could go home and put them in my Favorite Store section on Etsy. I was doing well not spending any money, cards collected in my hand, when we arrived at Corinne's table. She had the cutest little girl clothes (I need a little girl....) and the handsomest little boy Ts.
Then we noticed these little crayon holders that rolled up and were tied with ribbon. I asked about them and Corinne informed me they were crayon rolls. (duh Courtney!) They were the perfect size to fit inside a purse or leave them in the car to grab on the go. Just untie the bow and out the crayons roll. Each crayon has their own little pocket. I had to have one! Ours now has a permanent home in our diaper bag. When we go out to eat the boys instantly ask for their crayons to use. When the food comes, the crayons get folded back and put away. We love it!

On with our story. I was ready to be done with that purchase but Hubby kept commenting on the bib/burp cloth sets she had displayed. The bib was made with the softest thickest cutest fabric and the burp cloth was a prefold that she had sewn cute fabric into. Hubby wanted me to buy more? Could it really be? Yep he did! He thought P'Diddy needed them. We love love our bib. It is the best bib we own and sometimes I pause before I put it on him because I know he is just going to mess it up! And our burp cloth? It also has a permanent spot in our diaper bag. We have to have cute things when we go out right? And her minky blankets...oh I could have ten of these!
 Have you ever watched Army Wives? Her apron was featured on there!! Is that cool or what?

Let's hear what she has to say...

Tell me about yourself and your family
I am a happily married, stay at home Mom to a fun and loving four year old girl. I am also a Nanny by day to a wonderful little boy and Owner, Designer and "Stitcher" of The Fresh Stitch by night! I have always found myself to have an eye for fashion and a love for shopping. So, searching for stylish fabrics couldn't get better!! Being around two wonderful children all day, sewing and shopping all night, and adding fresh & modern styles to all ages and I couldn't be happier!!

How did you get started?
The Fresh Stitch came about when one day I woke up and decided to begin sewing! I was staying at home with my daughter and she greatly inspired me to purchase a sewing machine. From there, I taught myself how to sew baby items and gifts. As she has grown older I have expanded to designing more clothing and accessory items for older children.

How do get your fabulous ideas?
I design clothing and accessories based on what I find useful to myself as a Mom and what I feel other Moms would enjoy purchasing -- items that you would not find in an ordinary children's shop. I am constantly designing new items in my mind and constantly purchasing new fabric that catches my eye. I once had a love and obsession to store shop for my daughter, now my love is purchasing new fabrics and designing clothes for her and others! When I do get out to the stores I find myself saying, "Hey, I can make that!"

Are you a crunchy mama?
I would say that I am "crunchy" Mom in many ways :) We live a 95% organic lifestyle, I eat very little to no meat, lots of veggies and I am recently back to a dairy-free lifestyle. I say back to a dairy-free lifestyle because I was unable to eat dairy products while breastfeeding my daughter for 15 months (she had a sensitivity to dairy). Every since this dramatic change in my diet I feel fabulous! However, my daughter drinks 6+ cups of milk/day (organic) and I do not feel as though I could take this away from her!! I am curious to research how children live a "vegan" lifestyle and get all the nutrients they need (and not get the cold shoulder from those who don't believe in this lifestyle)!! We live an "all natural" lifestyle :: Although I survived living off of HFCS, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, antibiotics, growth hormones, hydrogenated oils, etc when I was younger -- we choose to not go this route with our family! As for clothing diapering, I am looking forward to future child #2 (whenever this will be) and exploring the cloth diapering way of life!!

What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is that it does not take away from being a stay at home Mom and Nanny -- my other job! I love that I can work at home (whether it is during naps or in the evening) and be flexible with my schedule. I make it so that I am able to spend these amazing young years with my daughter -- going on adventures and outings around Charleston, traveling to visit family, etc. It's going to be a big change for me next year when she is off to Kindergarten (tear, tear)! However, I will have more time on my hands to expand my business!

and anything else you'd like me to say about you, your work, etc...
I am so grateful to all my customers, friends and family who have supported me with my new business. I wouldn't want it any other way!!

Isn't she so nice? I'd like to say maybe I got her thinking about cloth diapers a little more because when we were chatting the first time I met her I told her she needed to make diapers! She would make the cutest minky diapers!!!! :)

Ok, time for a giveaway! You are going to be astatic when I tell you that Corinne is delighted (her word) to giveaway TWO crayon rolls! There will be TWO winners! You can pick one she already has in stock or she'll make you one out of any fabric. Are you jumping up and down?

Mandatory Entry - Visit The Fresh Stitch at Etsy and tell me what item in what fabric you are dying to have. Don't forget to add them to your Favorites!
Google Friend Connect with Crunchy Beach Mama

1 Extra Entry for each follow
-Like The Fresh Stitch on Facebook - tell her Crunchy Beach Mama sent you!
-Follow The Fresh Stitch on Twitter
-Make purchase from The Fresh Stitch and get 5 extra entries!

-Network with Crunchy Beach Mama (links above) - Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feeds, Email subscription - 1 each
-Grab one of my new buttons
-Tweet and/or FB status about my giveaway

This giveaway will end on Aug. 30, 2010 at 11:59 ET. Winner will be drawn via random.org. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and they will have 48 hours to reply before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only who are 18 years of age or older.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My New Look & Blog Giveaway

Well what do you think? I think that Kim from www.MyCraftyMom.net did an AWESOME job! Poor girl, having to put up with me and my ideas. I have to say though, I just shared with her a few thoughts I had floating around in my head and she put that all together!

To help celebrate my new look we are going to do 3 different giveaways this week! 
Kim is awesome enough to giveaway a combo package for you bloggers!
A grab me button, signature, & numbering of comments. Isn't that great?!

Kim was nice enough to answer a few questions for me so you could get a chance to know her better.

Tell me about yourself and your family

I've been an artist all my life. I'm a single mom with one child. James-Falcon (boy/5months). Born in Miami, Grew up in Ontario, Canada. Now I'm living in the old south. Georgia. I love nature and the outdoors, and being crafty. That's about it. I'm pretty low-maintenance. Loving being a new mom....the joy, and adventure of that. Not very good about talking about myself. :?

How did you get started designing blogs?

I got started with digital graphics, designing blogs and websites when I got my first computer. Being an artist, it was natural for me to explore that medium. From doing my own websites; self-taught, little by little. I'm not an expert. I don't want to be the top of list, or anything. I love the level where I'm working with other moms and WAHMs...helping them out. It's very rewarding. I like the flexibility of digital graphics, and utilizing as many free programs as possible...like blogger, wordpress, etc. to help moms make a living online/from home. I like helping make that accesible to other moms!
How long does it usually take to redesign a blog?

Depends. Some go really quickly. Blogger is faster, bcuz it's a little more limited for customization. Wordpress is more involved, bcuz it can be made completely from scratch. No more then a week. A few e-commerce shops I've done have taken me a month start to finish, but that's doing all the branding, the website customizations, plus labels, SEO stuff, and a ton of little things. Some of those jobs never seem to end. But right now, turn around for a blog is about 3 days (James permitting) ;)
Are you a Crunchy Mama?
yeah....I helped defined crunchy back in the day, lol. Always been backwoodsy, grassroots, all natural. burks, sprouts, TVP...lol. I was a vegetarian for ten years. Then I moved down south and it was hard to stay crunchy, where everything is deep fried, slathered & smothered. Not as crunchy as I use to be, but I'm working to get back to it. I upcycle and reuse a lot, have a small garden, and shop mostly at goodwill. Ideally I'd just like to go completely off-grid, and move into a little cabin somewhere by a lake. Er, with internet! :D
What is the best thing about your job?

Kinda covered that above, about helping others bring to life what's in their minds eye. The ability to set a price that's affordable to WAHMs and utilize free software, and my talent to help them create a real, professional online presence/business/brand that can compete successfully with the rest of what's out there. We WAHMs need to stick together!
   Tell me what you think of my new look!
And 'Like' My Crafty Mom on Facebook

(if you don't want to enter the giveaway, please still tell us what you think about the blog)
Google Friend Crunchy Beach Mama
LIKE on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Subscribe to my email
Grab one of my new buttons!
Will end Friday, August 27th at 11:59pm EST.
Coming up on Wednesday
Feature on an Etsy-Mom and fantastic giveaway!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Annoucement & Winner!

Sorry it took me so long to get out the winner today! I'm sure you are all anxiously awaiting the news :) My computer seems to get a bit worse each day and it didn't want me to touch it at all today. Darn thing. I finally got it to surf towards random.org where I picked a number through 76. And the winner is....

#27 Julie from ...And Baby Makes Three!.
She said 'I follow you on FB (julie howard kieras) jkrs01 @comcast.net ' - love my FB fans!

Now for my BIG announcement! I am finally getting that new look I've been talking about and it should be up on Monday morning! We'll have a week full of celebration & giveaways so I can show it off! Be sure to stop back...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Officially a Work At Home Mom!

I've been a stay at home mom for a couple of years now and it's been great. I can't decide what is harder, working outside the house, or staying home. They both have their challenges! Well I have officially combined the two - I'll be working at home. I have been praying for an opportunity like this where I can be at home with P'Diddy so that I can continue to nurse full time, cloth diaper, etc but at the same time make a little money to help out the family. My prayers were answered over the last couple of weeks!

First, I was presented with the opportunity to watch a couple of sisters. One will be here in the afternoons after her pre-K and the other comes home with my two boys after school. But as you know daycare does not pay well and I still needed to find something else.

I learned that it's a killer out there in the workforce! Sooooo many people are looking for a job. I started applying for positions left and right wondering how I was going to manage everything but knew I would figure it out. The other day I was browsing through Craigslist and I found a job that made my heart race. It fit me to a T and it mentioned telecommuting. I couldn't send out my resume fast enough. To make a long story short - I got the job!

Now help me BeachBums (I think this is what I'll name you :), tell me your secrets. How do you write your blog, make your products, manage your time, & be the best mama you can?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mama Chat

I am having a crazy week and behind in my postings. I came up with Mama Chats so that even if I get behind I can made a few comments and you will know I am still here and what I am thinking.

I've added another child to my household this week. I'm watching two sisters when school starts next week and we're getting a head start. Wow is it different having girls. The shrieks! 

I'd also like to keep chatting about my no sleeping baby. But we'll probably have to leave that for another day.

Kim from www.mycraftymom.net is busy working on my bloglift. Hope I'm not driving her to crazy with my ideas! :)

I've also been job searching. Would love to find something to do by telecommuting. Wish me luck!

Ok, loud children. Signing off.

Monday, August 9, 2010

No Sleep, Caffeine & Breastfeeding

I'm a sleeper. In a perfect world I could sleep ten hours at night and nap everyday. I also pride myself on having children who sleep good. My older two always napped well, were maybe up once in the night to eat, but slept through by their first birthday. My six year old will still take a nap on his own if he's tired and admits he's kind of nervous about first grade where there is no rest period. But baby P'Diddy? He doesn't like to sleep. The reasons that always go through my head are:

1) He's still little and hasn't figured things out yet
2) He's breastfeeding (my other two weren't by this point) and on no schedule
2) He does not want to miss out on anything
3) He has to much energy and doesn't need as much sleep
4) He got 6 teeth in his first 5 1/2 months

 But being up for hours in the middle of the night? WHY? Not taking a good nap the whole day? GEEZ!

This does not happen everyday, but often enough that I complain and whine and wonder what I'm doing wrong. Then one evening Hubby said, "maybe you are drinking to much caffeine" Hmmmm....

My research began. I start with Google but it instantly takes me to Kellymom.com - one of the top websites for breastfeeding support. I should have known. It's a great resource and I've spent a lot of time there already.

The first line that jumps out at me "Caffeine is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics for use in breastfeeding mothers. Most breastfeeding mothers can drink caffeine in moderation" Phew! But I keep reading because I am not one who believes everything medical societies have to say.

"Babies whose mothers avoided caffeine completely during pregnancy seem to react more to caffeine in mom's diet." Well I AM drinking more. I would drink a few soda pops a week during pregnancy and now I was drinking one or two a day. "A baby who is being overstimulated by caffeine is a wide-eyed, active, alert baby who doesn't sleep for long. He may also be unusually fussy."  BINGO!

I'm happy that I may have found my answer! Maybe I can get some sleep again! I decide that maybe I should read the whole page word by word instead of sentences that jump out at me.

I find the article goes against my idea that it is probably caffeine affecting him. Not that caffeine may not effect a baby, but probably not in my case because I don't drink enough of it. They have a great chart that shows how many ml of caffeine a drink has in it. A can of soda pop or two is not enough to matter. Plus, after consumption it would affect a baby most after about an hour and dwindle down in the next couple hours. We were staying up for hours at night so this couldn't be it could it? Another fact I learned is that caffeine will affect a newborn more and by the time they are six months old it shouldn't be much of an issue. We are right at that point.

I stopped drinking my soda pop past the lunch hour. I began bragging to Hubby that P'Diddy got up at the same time each night to nurse and then woke up each morning the same. Three nights in a row! It's a miracle! He's finally getting it! I got cocky and had a Dr.Pepper last night. Guess what? We were up for two miserable hours last night from 3-5am. A coincidence? I don't think so. What do you think?

Resources: http://www.kellymom.com/health/lifestyle/caffeine.html


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Second Week Thoughts & Winner!

I was so excited when I woke up this morning because I knew I'd get to go to Random.org and pick out a winner for my first giveaway! Before I announce her I want to share with you my thoughts this week.

- I need a BlogLift! Yep, I'm ready. After browsing through all the cute blogs I decided that I wanted one that showed ME and will "brand" Crunchy Beach Mama. So I'm selling a few diapers to help fund this. It just means a little more laundry right?

- I need a computer break. Have you ever been on so much that your eyes hurt at the end of the day? You go to sleep dreaming about what to write, where to promote, and who you need to email.

- That the blog community is overall WONDERFUL and I love love love the new friends that I have made!

ok ok I know you want to hear who won my first Babylegs giveaway. I'm so happy with the turnout of 136 entries. And the winner is................

#75 Kim from www.mycraftymom.net (hey Kim I need those comment numbers - I had to count to high! :)

She commented... added your button to my blog! (left sidebar under (mama blogroll)

entry #2 .....see it pays to add my button! :)
Thanks again to everyone and don't forget my Usborne Books giveaway - the entries are low and these are FABULOUS books that anyone with a child in their life needs or as gifts!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Followers

A HUGE Thank You to all my followers!

Today is the mark of my 2nd week anniversary!

Goal for today is to get 100 Google Friends - 50 Facebook Fans - 60 Twitters

But don't follow me 'cuz - I want to see you back :)

The more Followers the more I can help the WAHMama's I feature!

Now what name can I call my Followers? Help me decide! Crunchers? Beachbums? What??

(last day for Babylegs ~ and my wonderful Usborne Books has low entries - spread the word!)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sandy with Doodle Dypes

I am very excited to write this post because featuring mama's is what I want this blog to be all about!

You can't be a part of the Babycenter cloth diaper board and not know who Sandy with Doodle Dypes is. If there is a post talking about favorite diapers then Doodle Dypes is the top subject. Of course I had to have my first homemade diaper be from her!

Sandy sells her diapers on Hyena Cart which gets its name because people stalk it like a hyena and then pounce when the item gets listed. Isn't that hilarous? And it's true, Sandy stocks her diapers on Wednesdays at 6:00pm EST and they sell out within minutes!

The reason I got so lucky to get a diaper was because she also does customs. See them here. You will start be starting your wish list when you see these fabrics because they are so darn cute! I had one picked out for weeks, Camo Skulls it was called. I was scared to death someone else would take it before I could order it. :)

I finally got it ordered and was added to her long line of customers, but I didn't care how long it took to come because we weren't in a hurry. We were just excited to get one! A few days later I was scrolling through Facebook and she had a Star Wars fabric photo up. Both my boys were near me and just had to have it for their little brother. So another one got added to our list!

The day I got my shipping confirmation that the diapers were on their way was the day the boys and I started stalking the mailman. Then it was a fight on who was going to get to open it. After sharing the task we take them out of the package and they were so nicely wrapped in plastic with her name and a sheet of instructions on how to care for the diapers. Which one do we try first?

P'Diddy was napping when the diapers came and I don't think I've ever wanted to wake him up like I did then. I couldn't wait for him to wear them! I was a patient mom though because I've learned you never want to wake a sleeping baby. :)

Are you ready to see my cute P'Diddy in his new dypes?

Look closely so you can see the skulls in the camo. Now for a butt shot. We love Star Wars! May the force be with you.

She carries three kinds of diapers. One size fitteds, All in Twos, & the Dynky Doodles for the newborns. I can't imagine covering up this diaper with a cover so I had to chose an AI2. It has a five layers of soft organic bamboo inserts that are made into two that snap off to make drying easier.

Now enough about the diapers. Let's learn more about Sandy and the secrets to her success. She was nice enough to answer a few questions for me.

Tell me about yourself and your family.

I am a mother of two amazing daughters and I have two gorgeous grand-daughters who have become my entire world!! I am married and have been living in Northern California pretty much all of my life. I did spend 6 years near Peoria, IL and truly loved the Midwest as well. I am what some say a perfectionist in everything that I do - this of course can be good and bad!! :) My parents live near Sacramento and we spend as much time together as possible - my Mom often comes and stays with me and helps me out with cutting!!

How did you get started?

I worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons within the Education department and got injured back in 2006 which forced me to medically retire. I was so bored!!!! I am the type of person the loves having something to do and love even more doing for others. My daughter told me she was going to CD and I thought she was nuts!!! I knew nothing of 'today's' cloth - all that I knew were rubber pants and prefolds!! When she showed me her first diaper I was in love!!! I said, "I can make those too" - she was on a budget and I wanted to help her out so I sat in my craft room day and night, made a lot of really bad diapers!, until I got it just right!! I always call my oldest grand daughter "doodle bug" so the name "Doodle Dypes" was born!!

How long does it take to make a diaper?

Each diaper from start to finish can take anywhere from an hour or longer - depending on fabrics and such. When I use colored inners or thicker fabrics I have to baste the diaper first, then sew it - then remove the basting stitches!! I can normally get 6-10 done a day if I work from 7am until late into the evening. I love what I do and try and spend as much time doing it as I physically can!!

Are you a crunchy mama? (definition of crunchy here)

I AM A CRUNCHY MOM!!!! (Gi GI). I have always been aware of what is going on around me and try and leave as little footprint on this Earth as possible! I was very sad when I tried to breastfeed my girls and was not able to - just wouldn't work for me. No milk ever came in (that was probably the saddest part of my babies)! :( I believe in discipline through love and not anger. I do not believe in spanking - I think it only teaches your child about pain; unacceptable in my book. I see parents yelling at their kids and spanking and it is very difficult for me not to say something. I wanted 4 children and God blessed me with two - which I am thankful for - but I see Moms having tons of children and truly not want them - hurtful when I have so much love to give them!! I think that is one of the many reasons my grand-babies are so important to me - there is nothing like a hug from a child - I melt!

What is the best thing about your job?

By far, the best thing about my job is seeing LO's smiles when they wear my creations!! I feel like I am making a difference on Earth and not just existing in it. I am actually living with it and adjusting my lifestyle to fit it's lifestyle. I want my grand-children, their grand-children, etc. to have as beautiful of environment as I did growing up - I find myself saying, "in my day" and that is the one thing I use to always joke with my father about - wow, now I am doing it to my kids!!

Anything you'd like me to add?

One thing I strive for is originality, honesty, and above all excellent customer service - after all my customers business is what makes my business. If it weren't for them, I would not be blessed to be able to stay home and sew - one of my life long passions!! I never forget why I am here - and why I do this - you have to love what you do to truly make a good product.

Isn't she great?

Here are Sandy's links so you can add them to your Favorites

www.hyenacart.com/doodledypes - so you can stalk her too

Click here to "like" her on Facebook. Check out her Custom Photo Album and be sure to tell her that Crunchy Beach Mama sent you :)