A Modern Day Fairy Tale: October 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ditch the Disposables with Cloth Diapers from PrairieLove Organic {Giveaway}

**Product received for review.



Welcome to the Ditch the Disposables Giveaway Hop, hosted by So Easy Being Green.
This giveaway hop is dedicated to all the wonderful, reusable products available. A fabulous group of bloggers have come together to offer you some great giveaways of reusable products so you can... ditch the disposables! Be sure to hop around to all the blogs involved on the linky below and don't miss the Ultimate Green Family Grand Prize worth $320!

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For us, like many families with itty bitties, one of the best ways to 'ditch the disposables' is to use cloth diapers! Not only do they reduce waste, but they also are better for baby, save a ton of money...and let's be honest, they're ridiculously cute too!! For us, cloth diapering just made sense!! Today, as part of the Ditch the Disposables Giveaway Hop, I am excited to introduce a wonderful Etsy shop, PrairieLove Organic- offering handmade, organic products for the family- the most popular of which being their wonderful one size cloth diapers. For this review, I received the Baby Changing Pad in Light Grey and White Leaves and a Grey Chevron One Size Organic Bamboo-Cotton/Hemp AI2 Diaper with Custom Snaps.


First up, let's talk about the diaper! Because there are so many features to talk about, I'm going to break this down into three important categories to make this a bit easier to follow: design/style, fit and absorbency/functionality.


Design/Style
Okay, so the style should probably not be the first consideration when choosing a diaper, but again if we're being honest, the cuteness factor definitely plays a role for many moms and is one of the other benefits of cloth diapering!! It's also one of the first things we notice. When it comes to stylish diapers, PrairieLove Organic is wonderful. With fun, stylish prints of all kinds, you're sure to find something that catches your interest. For me, of course it was the chevron! As many of my current followers may have picked up on by now, I just adore chevron...so it was only natural that our girl would have a chevron diaper, right? There were a couple chevron options available, but what I particularly loved about this one was the option to choose snap colors! Of course, we love our pink so we went that route, but there are several great colors to choose from so you can really make it your own.
My one uncertaintly about the design initially was the hook and loop closure. Now, I know many people prefer hook and loop (velcro) for the ease of use- and in theory, that makes sense to me- but in reality we'd had a few h&l diapers that just don't stay well at all so those tended to be the last ones I'd reach for. BUT I was very pleasantly surprised with how strong the hook and loop was on these diapers. We've had no issues whatsoever with it coming undone and it has held up perfectly in the wash too. And speaking of washing, the diaper features laundry tabs so it doesn't get caught on everything in the wash!

Fit
PrairieLove Organic Diapers offer several great features to provide the perfect fit. First of all, since we've already talked about the hook and loop closure, I will add that this makes for a great custom fit. There is even extra hook and loop on the closure so that it can fit even the tiniest of babies. The snap down rise also works great for newborns too! Perhaps my favorite fit feature though is the elastic leghole gusset with toggle system. In our experience with cloth diapering so far, this seems to be the area where its hardest to get a great fit. We have other diapers with adjustable legholes, but to be honest, they can be a bit of a pain in the butt to adjust...this one is super easy. (I was unable to get a good picture of this to show you, but the best way I could describe it would be to say its similar to a drawstring.) For our girl, this was the only real adjustment needed to be made to find the perfect fit for her!




Absorbency/Functionality


This is of course the most important quality to look at when choosing a diaper, right? Our girl is a pee-er! She doesn't just pee a little- she soaks her inserts thoroughly, and has made it a bit difficult to find diapers that worked well for her. Again, this is another area where PrairieLove Organic excels. In the diaper itself, the outer shell is made from a high quality PUL and the inside shell has 2 layers of organic cotton/bamboo heavy fleece. Not only is this super thick and absorbent by itself, it's also incredibly soft. Do you have an old, super comfy, super thick sweatshirt that you like to wear around the house? To me, that is what this inner shell reminds me of, and I love it. The diaper also includes two quick-drying trifold soakers made from bamboo/organic cotton velour and organic hemp/cotton fleece- a regular size and newborn size. Now, as I've mentioned my daughter is a heavy wetter and we had found that most newborn sized inserts just would not cut it for her. Still, we gave the newborn soaker a shot, and found that it actually worked just fine for her! And for nighttime diapers, you could even use both for maximum absorbency. The soakers snap into the back of the diaper to keep it from sliding down. Overall, I was thrilled with how well the diaper worked for our little miss, and in fact feel like it might very well be the most absorbant diaper we own! The only real downfall is that due to its super absorbency, I did find it took a little longer to dry than most of our other diapers. Still, I found the pros to outweigh that one minor con.



Aside from diapers, PrairieLove Organic also offers a small collection of wonderful items-such as eye pillows, bibs and baby changing pads. I have to admit, I absolutely hate most baby changing pads- particularly those that come with diaper bags. They tend to be stiff and uncomfortable, and if baby happens to pee in the middle of the diaper change (as babies are great at doing), there is nothing there to absorb the liquid and they end up covered in pee from head to toe. But this changing pad was completely different. It was made from the same great organic cotton/bamboo heavy fleece as the diapers, making it both absorbent and super soft, and is even lined with PUL to keep those pee messes contained! It folds easily for convenient travel. It does take a little more room in the diaper bag, but completely worth it in my opinion!! Plus, they are super stylish as well!!


To find out more about all the great products PrairieLove Organic has to offer, you can connect at the links below:

Shop on Etsy
Like on Facebook

And as part of the Ditch The Disposables Giveaway Hop, PrairieLove Organic is offering ONE lucky reader the chance to win the diaper of their choice from her shop! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. (To be eligible to win, you must complete BOTH mandatory entries.)

Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery. US only.  So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Ditch the Disposables participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.


Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I have received no monetary compensation for this post.

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Good luck on ditching the disposables - now increase your odds of winning the best reusable products by entering more giveaways in the Hop, including the Ultimate Green Family Grand Prize!
ditchdisposablegp
This prize includes a $50 Gift Certificate to Glass Dharma, glass straws handmade in the USA, and a Softbums Cloth Diaper Starter Kit {includes a wet bag, 3 shells, and 6 inserts! You'll also find the new Merry & Bright Tote Collection from SnapSac resuable bags, a $50 GC to Lunapads.com, and a roll of 12 Unpaper Towels from TheUnpaperTowel.com!

ENTER THE GRAND PRIZE.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Finley Grace: 2 Months

It's hard to believe that our little princess is already two months old (October 19th). These past two months seem to have flown by. Here's a little look at what's going on with Finley now.



  • At her 2 month appointment on October 23, she weighed 11 pounds, 15.2 ounces and was 23.5 inches long!!!
  • Finley started smiling (briefly) at around 5 weeks old. She now has it pretty well mastered...just not usually for the camera!!
  • She also has great head control!!
  • She is still a champion nurser. The (slight) latch issues she'd had at 2-3 weeks old have worked out and she's back on track now.
  • Since her one month update, she moved up to 0-3 months clothes...and now has even moved onto 3-6 months! Some of her 0-3 do still fit, just much more snugly!! Wow! She's growing FAST!! She is also completely out of her newborn cloth diapers, and onto one size.
  • She seems to be a bit sensitive to a few things Mommy eats...the primary culprit seeming to be eggs (which I was allergic to as a child as well). She also has extremely dry and sensitive skin (possibly eczema), limiting what soaps, etc we can use too! Poor girl- it doesn't seem to bother her, but it looks uncomfortable to Mommy!
  • No rolling over yet, but to be honest, she hates laying flat on her back, or on her tummy, so she really isn't given much chance to try it out...we're not worried!
  • Finley still is not a fan of her car seat...which makes the MANY three hour drives we've made since her birth fun!!
  • She also still will not sleep in her bassinet...just like her big brother! So co-sleeping it is (honestly, we don't mind). Aside from that she's actually a pretty good sleeper!
  • She has recently started finding her voice and will make the occasionally cooing noises. So fun watching her learn!
  • She has yet to show much interest in toys, but we do have one little Bright Starts lady bug toy that jingles that she enjoys watching. 
  • More than anything, she loves being held or carried in one of our carriers.
  • She also loves watching big brother, and seems to coo the most when he's talking to her!


Overall, aside from her skin issues, she is doing just great! She is a very content baby, and has us all wrapped around her finger!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Decorate Your Own JELL-O JIGGLERS Jack 'O Lanterns {#JELLOHalloween #sponsored}



Each time a holiday comes around, I start getting these big ideas about all the festive treats I would love to make for my little man. Pinterest is full of fun ideas that I would just love to do and pin for future reference.  Then... reality sets in. I realize I'm just not that talented or creative when it comes to sweet treats. Thankfully, JELL-O comes in and makes it easy to make fun treats that are not only festive, but easy enough for the kids to get involved! No matter your skill level, there is a JELL-O JIGGLER recipe that is perfect for you- from the more in depth Creepy Crawly JIGGLERS... to the much easier Halloween JIGGLERS Hands! And of course, you can always make up your own creations as well, which is exactly what we decided to do.

For me, the holidays-all holidays- are about making these wonderful memories with my children and sharing special moments with them. Getting together in the kitchen is a great way to do this, but unfortunately the actual cooking part is not something my little guy is a fan of...but decorating? Well, what kid doesn't love decorating? So, rather than create some fancy smancy elaborate recipe, I decided to keep it simple and let the fun part be getting him involved in the decorating. I had the idea of 'Decorate Your Own Monster' JIGGLERS, but my son decided he'd rather do Jack O' Lanterns instead. (What can I say, he likes to keep things super simple as well!)

To make our 'Decorate Your Own Jack O'Lantern JIGGLERS we used plain old Orange JELL-O Gelatin and prepared according to package directions. We then poured the mix into cupcake pans to create super easy round pumpkins. (Of course you could make them look even more like pumpkins with cookie cutters if you have them or even freehand cut them but again I'm not that talented!) I also purchased some writing icing for my son to draw on the faces. Again this is where you could make these your own and get as creative as you want- use candies, sprinkles, etc for the face- the possibilities are endless! 

The Supplies. 

My little guy hard at work decorating his Jack O' Lanterns...and having a blast!


Of course, eating them is just as fun too!!

He was very proud of his creations!! They may not be perfect, but we don't care!!
And here's the thing, even if they don't turn out perfect- as you can see ours did not- it's the experience that counts. My son didn't care that they weren't perfect cookie cutter jack o lanterns, he only knew that we had a great time creating them together (and of course how delicious they tasted!) and truly isn't it those family moments that matter the most? My son and I had a blast making these together, and as an added bonus they were super cheap and easy too!! I cannot wait to make this a Mommy, Shaun and Finley tradition for years and holidays to come! (Decorate Your Own JELL-O Christmas Trees anyone?)

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Winter Babywearing with Kowalli {A Natural Bump & Baby Giveaway}

**Product received for review.

Photo of Byron Bay - one of Australia's best beaches!


Welcome to the Natural Bump & Baby Giveaway Hop! This event is hosted by Shannon at GrowingSlower. In celebration of the launch of her Natural Birth Stories book, all of the prizes in the hop are pregnancy and baby themed!

If you're expecting or a new mom this event is for you! Be sure to enter to win the grand prize valued at over $445. It includes cloth diapers and accessories, essential oils, mama cloth, and more!

Then stop by and enter all 20+ giveaways linked at the bottom of this post.



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As a mom, I have always found myself leaning towards the more natural side if parenting- breastfeeding, child led weaning, cloth diapering and of course- baby wearing!

For us, baby wearing was a lifesaver! As a baby my son loved being held- which didn't allow for the mommy to get anything done... Until we discovered baby wearing that is! And we fell in love with it, not only could I keep him close while doing what needed to be done- it also allowed me to breastfeed easily on the go. With our daughter, we started baby wearing from the very beginning and have found it even more of a lifesaver with an older child to run after! From trips to the mall, the park, or just playing outside with big brother- it just makes life easier! But what do you do when it starts getting colder outside? Putting baby in a thick coat makes it harder to wear them, blankets can be inconvenient- what is a baby wearing mommy to do?





Enter Kowalli- a wonderful carrier cover that keeps both mom and baby warm allowing you to comfortably wear your baby out and about even in the cooler months!! The great thing about the Kowalli is that it works with any baby carrier on the market. I- like many baby wearing mommies- have several different carrier styles so the option to use with each and every one of them is a huge plus! It worked wonderfully with our mei tai, our wrap and our Ergo! (Photos are shown worn over the Ergo.) So, how does it work with all the very different styles? The clever design! After you have baby in the carrier of choice, you simply place it over your head with the sleeve on your right shoulder and adjust the drawstrings to keep out cool air. Super easy. And super soft as well. The thick fleece material makes it not only very comfortable to wear, but also very warm for both mommy and baby. We haven't gotten to try it out quite as much as I'd like (since our weather can't seem to make up its mind), I can already tell that this will get us through those cold Indiana months and I cannot wait to use it more! I only wish it had been around (or at least that I'd known about it) when my little guy was a baby. We lived in California then, so it didn't get quite as cold...but it got pretty chilly and there always seemed to be a ton of outdoor holiday festivities, I'm sure this Kowalli would have been a lifesaver then!

I also found that if I pulled the cover up a little more, it worked well as a nursing cover when we were out and about as well, with no need to put on another cover as well. This was a huge plus for me!





And as an added bonus for those who prefer to shop American made products, the Kowalli baby carriers are made of 100% American products, and manufactured in New England- employing and supporting single moms. This is truly a great company to stand behind!

If you love baby wearing, and want to be able to do it year round, Kowalli is definitely the way to go! Aside from these fabulous carrier covers, Kowalli also offers more wonderful products to protect your baby from the cold! You can check out everything they have to offer and connect with them at the links below:

And one very lucky reader will have the chance to win a carrier cover of their choice! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. 

Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery. US only.  

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I have received no monetary compensation for this post.





Monday, October 21, 2013

Whatever Goes With Tiny Love {Review + Giveaway}

**Product received for review.


Welcome to the "Whatever Goes" Giveaway Hop hosted by Mommy's Favorite Things and Mama's Baby Cupcakes

This hop is an open theme so whatever the blogger wants to showcase goes!! After visiting my giveaway, make sure you use the linky below to take a look at the other bloggers and see what they have to offer! Each blog has a minimum prize package of $25 per winner.

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When it comes to baby toys, we have fallen in love with Tiny Love in our household! They have a great selection of fun, unique toys for babies of all ages. Nothing reflects that uniqueness more than the new Flexi Play!! This unique new toy has MANY play options and truly grows with your baby, and keeps playtime feeling like a new experience each time.




I've said before that I dislike how baby products can often only be used for such a brief period of time before baby outgrows it, so toys like this that can be used at various stages in your child's development are ideal for us. Before being introduced to the Flexi Play, I had been on the search for a playmat or activity type gym...but did I want one that had toys hanging overhead, or something more like a tummy time mat? I couldn't decide which would be better for our little one! But the Flexi Play took the place of both. This fun, versatile new toy can be bent into many different positions. We can lay our girl on a blanket on her back with the toys hanging down OR use it for tummy time and arch it around her, allowing her to see the fun vibrant colors or watch herself in the mirror. At the moment she prefers the tummy time option as she hated being on her back. As she grows we can bend it to create fun tunnels, etc. The toys can be removed and placed according to our preference- and even used by themselves! I will say that it does not bend quite as easily and some of the pictures would make it appear online, but with a little practice it certainly gets easier. Even my six year old enjoys twisting it into different positions so I'm certain we will have a lot of playtime in the coming year or so with this fun toy. 





If you're like me, you're already thinking ahead to Christmas shopping. Shopping for a baby who will only be around 4 months old at Christmastime can be tough, but this would truly be an ideal gift for a young baby! Tiny Love also offers many more great holiday options for the itty bitties on your list. Among the many great options is the Follow Me Fiona (or Fred). I just adore this cute little toy! In fact, it will be under our tree for Finley this year. It's cute, great quality and inspires little ones to get moving! Our little one will still be just a bit too little at Christmas time (suggested age is 6 months) but I cannot wait to see her play with it!!

You can check out the many great Christmas (or anytime) options that Tiny Love has to offer at the links below:

Shop Their Website
Like on Facebook
Follow on Twitter

And as part of the Whatever Goes giveaway hop, one lucky reader will have the chance to win their choice of Follow Me Fred or Follow Me Fiona!! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for lost packages. US only. Mama's Baby Cupcakes, Mommy's Favorite Things and the "Whatever Goes" participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations. 

Disclosure: I received the product mentioned above in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I received no monetary compensation for this post.





Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Next Bill Gates

Do you ever find yourself wondering how on earth your child got to be so smart, or how he knew something that most kids his age would have no idea about? This is a very frequent occurrence in our household. In fact, I told my husband just last week that I don't know why we even bother to still be shocked by Shaun's random knowledge. Still, we could not help but be stunned when he made the announcement that he was the next Bill Gates!

Shaun is only in kindergarten, and only 6 years old...what 6 year old knows not only who Bill Gates is, but also desires to be like him (he says he wants to run Microsoft). Only my 6 year old. You see, when he gets his mind on something, he likes to know everything about it. In the past I've talked about his love of production companies and how he can tell you who makes pretty well any movie. Lately his focus has also extended to operating systems (after Daddy switched all the apple devices to the new ios of course!). He is constantly asking everyone he meets what type of operating system they are running on their computers. This led him to become interested in Microsoft, which of course led to Bill Gates. A few days ago, he brought this letter to me and asked me to send it to Bill Gates.



Now, his letter writing skills are a little lacking so he mixed up the to and from but he wrote this completely on his own...not too bad for a kindergartner. He also said he wanted to dress up as Bill Gates, so we made do with what we had around the house. (Ironically, the t-shirt he chose said 'Today the playground, tomorrow the world.')







Every day I continue to be stunned by his amazing little mind, and I cannot wait to see what his future holds. I know that if he truly wants to be the next Bill Gates, he is absolutely 100% capable of making that happen. Many people hear the diagnosis of Autism and assume that there is no hope for the future, and that's a shame. I know without a doubt that will enough love and support, Shaun can accomplish absolutely anything he puts his mind to. I am so proud of this boy, and could not have been more blessed to have been chosen to be his mommy!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Random Facts About Matt {52 Weeks of Blogging With A Purpose}

Have I mentioned its not easy to find the time to blog as often as I'd like with a new baby? Well, its not...so it only makes sense that I fell WAY behind on the '52 Weeks of Blogging With a Purpose' topics...but this week's theme was so fun, I couldn't help but jump right back in...

This week's topic: Random facts about your other half.

If you've been following my blog for long- you've probably picked up the basics about my husband: his name is Matt, he's in the Marine Corps and we met online through his sister while he was deployed in Iraq.

Now for some more fun and random facts all about Matt.


  • He loves all things history, and can often be found reading about some historical event online.
  • Lincoln is his favorite president. (I joke that he married me only because I'm related to Lincoln!)
  • He loves his modern technologies, BUT likes to do some things the old fashioned way too...he uses a straight razor to shave, enjoys smoking cigars, etc.
  • He likes comic books. Batman is his favorite.
  • ACDC is his favorite band.
  • His first time in an airplane was to go skydiving!
  • One of his favorite places in the world is Australia.
  • He grew up on a hog farm.

  • He rides a Harley Davidson.
  • He is quite the comedian and is great at making everyone laugh with his story telling skills.




  • He makes a mean chili...though VERY spicy!
  • He is actually looking forward to the day when Finley is old enough to date...just so he can scare potential boyfriends away!
  • He has his zombie apocalypse plan all figured out.
  • His must watch show is Sons of Anarchy.

I could go on all day. Ultimately the most important thing to know about him is that he is my complete and total opposite but we even each other out and make it work for us! I love this man with all of my heart and soul, and could not imagine my life without him!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Treat Yourself to a Mohawk Area Rug {Review + Giveaway}

**Product received for review.



We're just a couple of weeks away from Halloween and there's one thing that's on everyone's mind... treats! Welcome to the Treat Yourself Giveaway Hop, hosted by So Easy Being Green and Viva Veltoro! In this Hop, you'll find lots of special treats to keep your entering giveaways until it's time to go out and gather your own! Be sure to hop around to all the giveaways in the Hop Linky below, and don't forget the ultimate treat... the Treat Yourself Grand Prize!

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As women, there are many different ways we like to treat ourselves- a new outfit, a trip to Starbucks, a dinner out... For me personally, one of my favorite things in the world is redecorating my home. Afterall, it's where I spend the majority of my time, so I want to it to be beautiful, so when I have the chance I love treating myself to new home decor!! Usually, it's just something small- a basket here, a throw there...but recently, I was getting a little bored with my current living room and knew I needed a big change. A new rug was just what we needed! So I was beyond excited that Mohawk Home agreed to send me their stunning Lascala Chevron Rug!!


Isn't it amazing how much a rug can completely change the look and feel of a room. In my opinion, the best way to get a completely different look without changing everything in the room is to change the curtains or the rug...or both! Before adding the Lascala Rug, we actually had nothing in this room (our old, cheap rug had taken one too many spills and just had to go!!). I'd been telling my husband for months that I wanted a chevron rug (as I'm sure many of my readers have figured out, I'm addicted!), but with our decor having a bit more of a country (modern country?) look to it, I wasn't sure I would be able to find one that would actually work for us. When I saw Mohawk's Lascala Chevron in rust I knew it would be just perfect. The color coordinates well with our living room- deep fall colors- reds, browns, oranges, etc- and to me it didn't have TOO modern a look so it still fit well in our little country house.



As much as I loved the rug online, I loved it even more in person! It's often difficult to judge colors online, so I was honestly a bit worried that it would be too bright an orange, or the tan color would be too pale, but it was just perfect- a nice darker fall orange...I loved it! And the quality is wonderful-especially for the price. If you've looked at rugs in the past, you know that a nice rug can cost A LOT of money- but at around $140 this Mohawk rug is quite reasonable and looks better than many pricier rugs I've seen. With a new little one, we definitely needed something that would allow her to have tummy time comfortably on the floor and this rug has provided just that...it's not overly thick, but provides the perfect amount of cushion that we can comfortably lounge on the floor as we wish!

Overall, I absolutely adore this rug. It's great quality, great price and most importantly- great style!! I love that I've been able to easily incorporate my love of chevron into my existing decor, and bring is some great warmth as well! And if chevron isn't your style, Mohawk offers a large variety of styles and prints to match any decor!! You can check out everything they have to offer and connect with Mohawk at the links below:



And as part of the Treat Yourself giveaway event, one very lucky reader is going to get the chance to treat themselves to a room makeover with a new rug from Mohawk as well. Winner will be able to choose any 5x8 area rug they offer, valued up to $150!! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. (BOTH mandatory entries- following my blog AND liking sponsor on Facebook- must be completed to be eligible to win.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for lost packages. US only. Viva Veltoro, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Treat Yourself participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations. 

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I have received no monetary compensation for this post.


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Thanks for entering a chance to treat yourself to my giveaway, now it's time to hop around to all the others, including the delicious Grand Prize. One lucky Winner will be treating themselves to a Year's Supply of YumEarth Organic Candy, a Roku 3 Streaming Media Player, and 4 yummy bags of Lovely Candy Co. Superfruit Chews, Fruit Chews, Chocolate Swirl Caramels, and Chewy Original Caramels! Treat Yourself Grand Prize



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October 15 is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Last October, after a lot of discussion and prayer my husband and I started trying to bring a second child into our little family. We were very pleasantly surprised that after only a month, we got a positive pregnancy test. All of my uncertainties of rather or not this was really what we wanted melted away in that instant. Already we were in love, and could not wait to welcome that beautiful baby into our lives. Just a few short weeks later-at around 5 weeks pregnant- we lost the baby. It was devastating. Losing a baby is a horrible thing for any mother to go through, regardless of what point in the pregnancy.

When we lost that baby, we received so many kind words from friends and family many of whom had been there themselves and knew just what we were going through. My heart breaks for each and every one of them, it's a pain I would not wish on my worst enemy. During this time we were reminded that this wasn't meant to be and that God had something better in store for us, we had to trust in his plan and his timing. Despite knowing this in my head, I have to be honest and say at the time it was hard to truly feel that way, as I'm sure is true for many in that situation. We are only human and it's hard to wait on something you want so badly. Thankfully, for us, it wasn't a long wait.

Now as I look down at my sleeping (almost) two month old, I cannot help but feel so incredibly blessed. I know that THIS baby- our sweet, adorable Finley Grace- is the child that God had in mind for us, and that he has great plans for her and for our family. As difficult as that miscarriage was, had it not happened we would not have the sweet girl we have now. I am not saying that I'm happy about our miscarriage, or that it was a good thing...but I do believe wholeheartedly that God knew exactly what he was doing and I could not be more thankful for the beautiful child He has given us.

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. So today, I extend my deepest prayers to everyone who has ever experienced that loss or is going through it now. I pray for your comfort and your strength. I pray that you can lean on God during this difficult time and know that He will get you through it. I pray that you will be blessed with the sweet child that He has waiting for you, and for the knowledge that when it happens, it will be absolutely worth the wait.

Tonight at 7 pm, we will join families across the nation in lighting a candle in remembrance of our little one. Together we can create a 'wave of light' across the nation in remembrance of all the babies who left this world too soon...

"When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them."

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bye-Bye Bath Time Stress {A Blooming Bath Review}

**Product received for review.



If you had to choose your absolute least favorite part of caring for a newborn, what would it be? For many, I'm sure the answer would be changing diapers...for me, that's not the case. Of course I'm not a huge fan of diaper changing either, but for me the most dreaded task is bath time!! Water plus squirmy, slippery babies plus hard bath tubs...it just seems like an accident waiting to happen and always made this worried mommy super nervous! So, when I first saw the Blooming Bath very early in my pregnancy, I knew it was on my must have list...and I was super excited when the company sent me one to try out for myself!! For those unfamiliar with the Blooming Bath, it is a flower shaped bath cushion that conforms perfectly to any sink to make bathing baby comfortable and safe.

The first thing that caught my eye of course was how adorable it was!! Honestly, is there anything cuter than a sweet baby sitting in a flower!? They offer four fun colors- Turquoise, Hot Pink, Canary Yellow and Ivory. I love how vibrant all the options are- so many baby products only offer the pastels, which are great too, but I love a little color! We decided to go with the pink for our daughter, but it was certainly a tough choice!!

But all the cuteness in the world means nothing if it's not also safe and functional for baby, right? The Blooming Bath has both of these covered too! It is thick and plush, and quite honestly I wish they made them for adult sized tubs (I actually have considered using myself as a bath pillow). There is plenty of cushioning to keep baby comfortable during their bath, and protecting them from bumping hard surfaces of typical baby tubs or sinks.


The petal designs make it easy to shape to any sink. I personally like bathing Finley in the bathroom sink (for as long as she fits anyway), so that I can have big brother bathing in the big tub and be bathing little sister at the same time. Our bathroom sinks are quite small, but the Blooming Bath still fits well. We just position the Blooming Bath in the sink, fill with water and we're ready to go. I also found that we could position the petals to where they covered the faucet also, keeping baby from bumping that as well. Because of how super small our sink is, this was a little more difficult but doable...I imagine it would be much easier with a larger sink.

Of course the real test comes down to how Finley likes it...and I am happy to say she LOVES bathtime with the blooming bath. She seems extremely relaxed and comfortable...I honestly think she'd stay in it all the time if she could. The plush petals cradle her perfectly for a comfortable bath time experience. And this Mommy is much more comfortable as well, without the fear of bumps and bruises!! And after the bath is over, you simply wring it out and hang to dry (I usually just toss it over shower rod.) It seems to dry pretty quickly, but you could also toss it into the dryer if you preferred as well.

Overall, I am absolutely in love with this product: it's cute, practical and makes bath time less stressful for everyone. It makes my list of top 10 must haves for a newborn, hands down! Want to buy one for yourself? You can connect with Blooming Bath at the links below:

Visit Their Website.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.

Disclosure: I received the product mentioned above in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I received no monetary compensation for this post.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Travelin' With BabyHawk {A Travelin' With Baby Giveaway}



Welcome to the [2nd Annual] Travelin' with Baby Giveaway Hop Event, hosted by So Easy Being Green, According to Jenny, and Viva Veltoro. This Hop was so popular last year, that we decided to bring it back and make it bigger and better than ever. We've got a fabulous group of bloggers that have come together to offer giveaways on the best products that make traveling with baby a success! Once you enter my giveaway, be sure to hop around to all the other bloggers in the Event and keep scrolling for a Sneak Peek of the amazing Travelin' With Baby Grand Prizes!


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When my son was just 4 months old, he took his first cross country road trip from California to Illinois. Throughout the next several years, it was a trip that was repeated often...we traveled by car, we traveled by plane...we even traveled by train! Needless to say, traveling with baby (or toddler) is a topic I am extremely familiar with! When asked what item is essential, my answer is always hands down a baby carrier...particularly when it comes to traveling by plane (or train, though my son was older when we made that trip!).

Have you ever traveled alone with a baby? Tried pushing a stroller AND pulling a suitcase through the airport? I have, and I can tell you it is not an easy task! Thankfully for us, there was usually a helpful airport employee or random stranger who would see us struggling and offer to help...but that wasn't always the case and it made the stress of traveling with a baby even more stressful! But when we used our carrier, it was SO much easier!! Put baby in the carrier (check the stroller if you'll need it at your destination), and you have both hands free for luggage and aren't trying to juggle nearly as much! For me, it made a huge difference...I would never travel with a stroller again if I don't have to! It also kept my son calmer in the craziness of the airport. And since my son always traveled on my lap and didn't need a carseat, I felt a little safer knowing that he was attached to me. But aside from long distance traveling, babywearing is ideal for small trips too- the zoo, the museum, the mall, amusement parks... there's no need to find a place to park your stroller...or find it in the mass collection of strollers after your ride/show was over. We have made these types of trips with both a stroller and a carrier and I have to say the carrier was just a lot easier and faster! It also allowed us to nurse easier on the go!

I honestly cannot say enough about the benefits of traveling with a carrier, so today as part of the Travelin' With Baby giveaway event I am super excited to offer a fantastic giveaway for one of our absolute favorite carriers- BabyHawk!! A few months before our daughter made her arrival I was lucky enough to win a giveaway myself for a $100 gift code, which I used to purchase a custom designed mei tai carrier. I had never used a mei tai with my son, so I was beyond excited to give it a try. While I loved the wrap that I had with him, wraps can be a little more time consuming, and with an impatient six year old, I knew we wanted something a little quicker, and the mei tai seemed like a perfect solution. When it arrived, I was immediately in love-the quality and the design was just perfect. BabyHawk offers so many fun styles and prints- there is something for everyone's style. Perhaps my favorite feature though is the option to design your own, which is what I did! You can choose your fabrics, your strap colors, add a pocket, make it reversible, add a toy ring...the possibilities are endless! And if you don't like the fabric options available, you can even send in your own! You can truly have a carrier that is 100% uniquely you!!


We first tried out our BabyHawk when Finley was just about a week old...and fell even more in love! First of all, I loved that we could use it so soon, as many carriers aren't recommended for newborns! The BabyHawk Mei Tai works for babies from birth to 40 pounds! It was extremely comfortable, and easier to use than expected (and has become easier with more practice). Finley loves being held, and this carrier makes it easier for me to do so, while leaving my hands free to get other things done. We have a couple of other carriers as well, but so far this has been our go to...we both prefer it over both our sling and wrap hands down!! (On a more personal note, BabyHawk is based out of Oceanside, CA. As some of you may know, we lived in the Camp Pendleton/Oceanside area for many years before being stationed here. It was where we started our life as a married couple, where Shaun was born, started school, etc, so it still is a bit like another home to us, so I just love having this little piece of that home here in Indiana!!)




If you're a babywearing mommy looking for a great go to carrier, I highly recommend looking into BabyHawk! If you aren't a fan of the typical mei tai (which ties in the back), they also offer the Oh Snap! soft structured carrier or the Oh Mei!, a hybrid between the two! These both are ideal for babies/toddler weighing 15 to 45 pounds! You can learn more about all the different carrier options and connect with this wonderful company at the links below!

Visit the Website
Like on Facebook
Follow on Twitter

And as part of the Travelin' With Baby Giveaway Hop, BabyHawk has generously offered one lucky reader a $100 e-gift certificate!! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below! (BOTH mandatory entries- following my blog AND liking sponsor on Facebook- must be completed to be eligible to win.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for lost packages. US only. According to Jenny
, Viva Veltoro, So Easy Being Green, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Travelin’ With Baby participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.


Now that you've entered my giveaway, you're not going to want to miss the TWO Grand Prizes for this Event! Whether you have a baby, or your baby is already a toddler, you know that travel isn't always easy. The 3 hosts have put together an amazing prize package for TWO winners, that will be sure to make travelin' a breeze!
Travelin' With Baby Grand Prize
How much easier can it get to travel with your baby when you have a brand new Diono Radian RXT, {6} bumGenius Freetimes from Diva Diapers, a fabulous Weekender Diaper Bag from TWELVElittle, the Svan TotSeat, and a $100 GC to Comfy Joey for a beautiful ring sling!
travelintoddlergp
If you're baby is already a bit older - how about entering to win a Britax Frontier 90 Booster, the *just released* Bjorn Baby Carrier One, and a super fun PeaPod from KidCo!

Enter to Win the Grand Prizes!


Disclosure: I won the product mentioned above from a blog giveaway, and the company offered a giveaway to my readers as well. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I have received no monetary compensation for this post.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Big Brother Shaun {Adjusting to Brotherhood}

Since Finley's arrival, the most common question we hear is:

How is Shaun adjusting to being a big brother?

As you may recall, this was a bit of a concern for us when making the decision to grow our family. Change can be hard for any child...and even more so for children with Autism. A simple change such as a new route to school can be extremely upsetting to a child on the spectrum...and having a new sibling is a HUGE change. We had no idea how the change would affect him, or how he would act towards her. We took many steps to do our best to prepare him months in advance, in hopes that it would ease the transition a bit. So, how DID he react?


Initially, he was beyond excited...he came into the hospital with a huge grin on his face and a bounce in his step (literally). But, he was also quite calm for him and very careful around his baby sister. I think perhaps he was a bit nervous around her...this lasted for a few weeks. Now, he has gotten much more comfortable...and that's not necessarily a good thing! When she was just about two weeks old, I'd left them both in the living room- Finley in the sleeper, Shaun on the iPad- so that I could rinse out some diapers. As I stood at the sink, I heard Shaun, looked over and saw him standing there carrying his baby sister! I nearly had a heart attack. Thankfully, he was carrying her correctly and she wasn't hurt at all, but it scared the living daylights out of me regardless and we learned we had to be much more watchful! There have been a few more instances where he has tried to pick her up, or gotten a little rougher with her than we were comfortable with, but overall he seems to be doing better on that front...though we're still extremely careful!!

We knew that with such a big change, there was a good chance that we could see an increase in negative behaviors both at home and in school. Our biggest fear was aggression, as we'd seen in the past with significant changes...but we were pleasantly surprised to find that we didn't really have much of an issue with that like we expected. He's had a few rough days, of course, but really a lot better than we thought it would be...and his teacher agrees completely as well. What a relief!



As far as jealousy goes, we haven't really noticed too many issues. My husband actually has said that he seems to be more jealous of us than her...because we are able to hold her more than he is! Honestly, there are times when he's super excited she's there and wants to play with her all the time...and other times when he could truly care less it seems. He does care when she cries though. At times he tries to be helpful and lets me know that she is crying and needs me, or offers his finger to her to suck on...other times, he gets frustrated with the crying and has to cover his ears or use his noise blocking headphones. There have been a few instances when he's in particularly irritable moods where he has tried to cover her mouth as well...another reason we've had to watch him very carefully- but he seems to have learned now that this is absolutely not allowed and can hurt sister. Personally, I have felt that he seems to have gone back to wanting to be by himself all the time, but my husband pointed out that this is not so much a change in him. He has always preferred to be alone, I was just able to drag him out of that more when I wasn't nursing and having to split my attention between both of my babies...which makes sense.

Unfortunately, one big negative change we have seen is a regression in potty training. Before Finley's arrival, Shaun had been pretty well accident free for about a month- something we'd been working on for a LONG time (remember, he's now 6 years old) and seemed like it was never going to happen. After Finley arrived, he started having the occasional small accidents- but would usually stop himself and finish in the potty. Now, he's back to not caring at all and going in his pants all the time again. I cannot say 100% for sure that this actually has to do with Finley's arrival, BUT with the timing it seems fairly likely.


So overall, it's not been the smoothest transition by any means, but he could be doing a lot worse too. We have a lot to work on, but I know in time we will figure it all out. The most important thing is that he loves his baby sister more than anything, and I am beyond proud of what a great big brother he is becoming!!



Friday, October 4, 2013

InstaLately {10/4}

Time again for another Instagram update! Life this week has been interesting...a sick mommy, doctors appointments, government shutdown (and initial uncertainty on what that meant for my husband's pay), parent teacher conference (more on that later)...this time of the year always seems to be the busiest, and this year even more than normal. Here is a brief glimpse into our life lately via Instagram.



A rare photo of my husband- he's not usually a fan of pictures so its hard to get them! He went to the eye doctor last week and had to get glasses...I think he looks quite handsome still!!



Shaun and Finley hanging out on Mommy and Daddy's bed...which they both seemed to have claimed for themselves!! Aren't they cute though?
On another note, I was lucky enough to win a Target gift card from a blog giveaway, which I used for this fabulous new bedding. We'd been eyeing it for a few months, and when the card came in, I went right to the store to buy it...and wouldn't you know it had gone on clearance!! Awesome!



One of the boys' meals from this past week...Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken. My boys love just about anything if its wrapped in bacon! 



Can you guess who my husband's favorite baseball team is?



Aren't sleepy babies just the absolute cutest? And her sweet little double chin too?



Miss Finley has recently learned to smile, and Mommy has been trying to capture one of those smiles on camera with no luck. This is about the closest I've been able to get...so sweet!



Have I ever mentioned my love of chevron? Truly, I'm an addict. I've been telling my husband for several months now that I wanted a chevron rug, and this week, I finally got one thanks to Mohawk flooring!! I absolutely LOVE it...stay tuned for a wonderful giveaway for an area rug of your own!



I absolutely love this picture! Finley got Tiny Love's new Flexi Play toy this week and it has been a hit in this household...our favorite part? Definitely the mirror! How cute is our girl?


Finley enjoying the BabyHawk carrier...our favorite carrier we've tried so far. She gets to be close to Mommy, and Mommy gets to get other things done. Win/win! Plus, it's super cute, right?
(If you like this carrier, be sure to check back on Monday for a giveaway!!)

This month I am also participating in a Photo A Day Challenge on Instagram. I won't be posting all these photos on the blog, but you can always follow me here on Instagram to keep up!!