The Great Dryer Ball Giveaway!

 

<CLOSED TO ENTRIES>

Random.org chose @Lythics for the dryer balls!  Congrats!

 

 

As I had mentioned in an earlier post  I’m trying very hard to get my shop on Etsy back up and running and supplement our ninjababy fund.  I’ve promoted through Twitter and my Facebook page, and my friends have been wonderful in word of mouth advertising.  As both a thank you and a way to get the word out there about my new shop, I’ve decided to give away a full set of SIX organic wool dryer balls!  Use all six, keep three and give three away, however you’d like to do it…but six wooly felted balls will head the way of the winner.

Organic Wool Dryer Balls

2-3oz each and about the size of a baseball

The photos up there are images of some earlier balls that I’ve felted.  These may not be white, as the wool I get can be any shade from pure white to dark black.  When I have the “actual” balls rolled and ready I’ll post a shot of them as well, but they will be solid wool ( no acrylic core), between two and three ounces each and about the size of a baseball ( sometimes larger!)

I hate complicated giveaways, I really do, so I’m going to try to make this one as easy as possible, but give you lots of chances for extra entries as well.  Here we go:

Mandatory Entry:  Leave me a comment telling me why you want a set of dryer balls.

Additional Entries (please leave a separate comment for each entry!):

Follow or subscribe to  my blog & leave me a comment.

“Like” my business page on Facebook and leave me a comment there that you’ve entered to win the dryer balls.

Visit my Etsy shop and leave me a comment here telling me another product I sell that you’d like.

Leave me a comment here telling me something else you’d like to see me create!

Post “Win a set of #organic #wool #dryerballs from @SilentlyJoyful ! Enter here! http://wp.me/pVKIg-5c” and leave me a comment that you tweeted.

That’s it, simple enough?  I’ll draw the winner using Random.org on Monday July 4th ( just to be patriotic!) and your balls will be in the mail before that Friday.  Remember, I HAVE to have a way to get in touch with you or I’ll have to redraw the winner ( and I hate doing that!)  If the primary winner doesn’t respond within 48 hours, I’ll redraw.

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OOH! Its the Softbums Mystery Event!

 The NEW SoftBums Omni Diaper has finally joined the family!  This diaper is soooooo cool! (Why, you might ask?)
 
It’s the world’s first Multi-purpose Pocket Diaper!

 

How cool is this?

 

 

You know you want one!

Omni Diaper Features:
 
– Stuff it! Snap it! Cover it!
– The first Multi-Purpose Pocket Ever!  It’s a Pocket Diaper AND an All-In-2
AND a Cover!
– Huge pocket opening is easy to stuff
– Larger size means it fits even BIGGER toddlers up to 40 lbs, yet still
fits a tiny Newborn with Slide²Size
– Compatible with the same Pods as the Echo, as well as almost any other
diaper insert!
– Choice of DryTouch or Organic
– Use as an all-in-2 for the most economical diapering system available!
– Use as a pocket for a super absorbent and bulletproof diaper so easy your
daycare can use it!
– Use as a cover over flats, prefolds or nearly anything else you already
have for a worry-free night!

 

Steps for the Mystery Diaper EVENT:
 
#1. The SoftBums Blog will be linked with a list of over 100 bloggers who are all participating or reviewing the NEW SoftBums Mystery Diaper.
#2. On Oct 1st at 12pm CST SoftBums will reveal their newest SoftBums diaper on YouTube and…
#3. at the same time all the reviewing bloggers will post their reviews of the new diaper.
#4. Blogs are open early to begin taking comments
#5. After the entry period ends (Oct 18 @ 8pm CST) 23 winners will be chosen from all the compiled entries!
 
Come join the SoftBums Mystery Event and visit all the participating blogs for a chance to win these amazing prizes!
 
 
 
Grand Prize:A Brand New iPad (available to win on REVIEWING BLOGS ONLY. Reporting blogs count for first prize and down)

First Prize: Complete Birth to Potty Package of SoftBums NEW Mystery Diapers!!

 

Second Prize: Win a gift certificate for $75  to www.softbums.com
 
 
Third Prize: Amazon Gift Card worth $50
 
 
PLUS: 1 SoftBums Mystery Diaper given out to winners #5-#20 
 

 PLUS: ( I know, it just keeps getting better!) Baby Legs to winners #21-#23 

 

Post, blog or Tweet about the SoftBums Mystery Event and comment here to enter your entry!

Plus Extra entries available for:

  • Going to other SoftBums Mystery Event Blogs, listed on the SoftBums blog
  • Follow the SoftBums “Love Cloth Diapers” Blog
  • Follow SoftBums on Twitter (Leave comment)
  • Like SoftBums on Facebook (leave comment)
  • Tell why you are excited to try the new diaper! (leave comment)
  • Share this Mystery Event as your status on Facebook (leave comment) 
  • Leave a review on SoftBums (leave comment)
  • Subscribe to my blog via email through feedburner (leave comment)
  • Follow me through Google Friend Connect or via a reader (leave comment)
  • Blog about this giveaway (leave comment with link)

So, cats and kittens….ready to start entering?  Go!

Oh Rockin’ Green Soap…how I love you!

     Oh, Rockin’ Green Soap … how I love you!!  Your yummy scents, your eco-friendly nature, your fantastic customer service!  The way I can Rock A Soak and you show me how dirty my clean laundry really is.  The way you gently strip my cloth diapers of ammonia and funk…  But wait, you say.  Didn’t you teach us that we can make our own laundry soap, you crunchy pagan parent you?  Yes, yes … I did.  And I still do make and use my own laundry soap.  For most of my families dirty clothes, our home-made soap works just fine.   Cloth diapers are a different beast, however, and Rockin’ Green is made especially for those fluffy bums in your house.

     My Twitter peeps turned me on to Rockin’ Green when I asked about an eco-friendly detergent for my leaky stinky cloth diapers.  I browsed the FAQ’s on the website, and decided to order some sample packages of soap to test scents and see if it “really” worked.  The scents….Oh, the scents!  I ended up ordering six samples my first go around, because each sounded yummier than the last.  Smart names like Rage Against the Raspberry and Motley Clean.  Tasty scents like Smashing Watermelon and Orangevana.  Even some grown up adult scents like Lavender Mint Revival and The Plain Green Teas.  They were all fantastic, non “fake” smelling samples.  RnG even has Bare Naked Babies (non scented) for those of you who have someone in your house sensitive to scent.  Samples are very reasonable at $.75 to $.80 each, and one sample pack will do 2 loads in a standard toploading washer or FOUR if you use a HE machine.  One pack is also enough to Rock a Soak (but we’ll get to that later on!).  Even better is the fact that Rockin’ Green comes in Classic Rock (for those of us with normal water), Hard Rock for hard water sufferers, and Soft Rock for those over sudsy areas.

     My samples arrived in short order, and I set about to try to strip my cloth diapers.  Instructions are on the back of the bags, as well as on the website.  In addition, Kim (of RockinGreenSoap fame on Twitter) is always fantastic about answering any questions you have via email or Twitter.  My fluff needed to be washed anyway, so I tossed them in the washer and followed the directions on the bag.  It was easy…cold rinse/wash with no soap (to get the nasties out), wash using detergent, then double rinse.  That’s it.  I couldn’t believe the funk that came out in the washer!  In fact, I drove my husband nuts by opening the lid every five minutes during the agitation to check the color of the water.  (Eeeew, is all I can say!)  I couldn’t wait to Rock a Soak after seeing how much ick had come out in the wash, so that was my next step.  I filled my washer with hot water and 3 Tbsp of Rockin’ Green along with my dipes.  The directions say to let it soak for 30-60 minutes, but given the state of my cloth diapers I left them for almost two hours.  The last step was just to launder as usual, skipping the soap.  The bag and website both say that if you have excessive buildup or residue it may take a few soaks or overnight to get them in good condition, but I found that for most of my diapers one soak was enough.  I actually ran out of samples, and Kim was kind enough to send me more so that I could finish stripping those last few nasty diapers that still had residue built up in them!  I wish I had taken photos the first time I Rocked a Soak.  I actually called my husband into the laundry several times so he could see for himself.  “Look at the diapers, honey!  EEEEW!”  “OH!  Look at them NOW!”  He ended up refusing to come look  at my nasty wash water after the third time I called him to share my disgust.

     So, as you know we try to go as eco-friendly as possible here.  Laundry soaps particularly can be hard on the environment and waste water.  Rockin’ Green is fantastic for just this reason.  Its dye free, naturally scented, no fillers, no enzymes, no optical brighteners, 100% phosphate free, HE compatible, and even the packaging is recyclable.  It’s never tested on animals (only baby bums), and “tree hugger approved.”  Using Rockin’ Green ends up costing you about $.13 a load (almost half what some of the big name brands cost, AND its better for the environment!)

     Does this sound fantastic, or what?  It gets better.  Kim has generously donated one bag of 45/90 Rockin’ Green for me to giveaway (and you to win!)  in your choice of scents and formula.  We don’t do super complicated giveaways on this blog, so here’s what you need to do to enter.

     1.  Leave me a comment telling me what scent and formula you’d like if you win.  That’s it.  For additional entries, leave me a second comment and do one of the below.

     2.  Follow Kim on Twitter.

     3.  Follow me on Twitter.

     4.  Subscribe to this blog.

     That’s all, folks!  Good luck…I’ll draw the winner on Wednesday, August 4th at noon using Random.org.  Make sure I can get ahold of you!  The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize or I’ll redraw.

The Diva Cup! (reviewed, just for you!)

I suppose I should add a disclaimer to the beginning of this review. *Ahem*

This review is about a menstrual product. Specifically a menstrual cup. If the idea of inserting your fingers into your vagina gives you the willies, or if reading a post that may involve menstrual blood, female genitalia, or other “taboo” subjects makes you blush and/or feel queasy then stop reading now. If you’ve come this far and are still curious about this fantastic product, well….read on!

The first question I had was “what the heck is a Diva Cup”? The Diva Cup is a soft silicone cup, latex and BPA free. Its folded and placed into your vagina (where it “pops” open) and there it collects your menstrual flow. Sounds pretty cool, huh? What’s even better is that you can wear your Diva Cup for up to 12 hours, and insert it BEFORE you get your period. Ever try to wear a tampon or a bulky pad because you “think” you might start in the middle of the night (or out on a date? or walking around the zoo?) How did that work for you? I can tell you with 100% sincerity — you cannot feel the Diva Cup if it’s inserted properly. No dangling string. No diaper-like pad. Nada. There have been several occasions that I actually forgot that I was having my period, because there was no mess to remind me.

The Diva Cup comes in two sizes: Size 1 for women under 30 who have never delivered a baby, and Size 2 for us moms and women over 30. The cups hold about an ounce of fluid (and actually have measurements on the inside if you’d like to keep track!) An ounce may not sound like a lot, but statistics claim that “most” women have a flow just over an ounce for the entire span of their menses. Using the right size Diva Cup is important, as its your vaginal muscles that are going to keep this baby in place. Menstrual cups are not the time for vanity sizing, so even if you’re 31 and childless– order the size 2!

So…why use a Diva Cup? From their site:

Women, on average, experience a lifetime menstruation span of 41 years (11-52). From use of disposable feminine hygiene, an estimated 12 billion sanitary pads and 7 billion tampons are dumped into the North American environment each year (1998). More than 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along U.S. coastal areas between 1998 and 1999.

Most tampons and pads contain surfactants, adhesives and additives. In addition, most pads contain polyethylene plastic whose production is a pollutant. Also, dioxin, a known carcinogen, is a by-product of the bleaching process of tampons containing rayon. In landfills, many of these substances can leach into the environment (groundwater, streams and lakes) causing serious pollution and health concerns.”

Why do I use a Diva Cup (other than the reasons above?) I’ll never run out of sanitary products when the stores are closed. I don’t have to worry about an escaped string while I’m in a bathing suit. There’s no “period smell” that can come with a pad (its summer now, and HUMID here.) I think its more comfortable than a tampon, and I find that I have less intense cramps with my Diva Cup. In the long run, its cheaper … one Diva Cup for a year (its recommended you replace them yearly as they are a sanitary product) cost me about $28 versus my buying a box of tampons each month (about $7 x 12 = $84 .)

So, my darlings, are you still with me? Lets get down to the nitty-gritty. I ordered my Diva Cup in advance of my next period. I wanted a chance to look it over and practice with it before I actually needed to use it. My first step was YouTube. There are a number of wonderful video clips on the different types of folds that can be used to insert the Diva Cup. Some folds are smaller going in, others are larger but pop open easier. I’ve found that the two that work best for me are the C-fold and the triangle. I watched video clips, read the instructions, and spent some time in the bathroom with my Diva Cup and some olive oil to practice inserting. ( I need to say here that Diva Cup does NOT recommend the use of olive oil, as it can degrade the silicone. A water based lubricant would be a safer alternative!) I was surprised at how easy it was for me to get the Diva Cup right where it was supposed to be. Once the folded cup is in place, you’re supposed to rotate the cup until it “pops” open. There is no mistaking when the cup opens inside you, and that was great for me (cup open = no leaks.) It did take me a little more practice to learn to remove the cup. The most important part of removal is being RELAXED. The same muscles that are holding in your menstrual cup need to relax to let it out. Grasp the stem, then move up a little higher to the ridges on the outside of the cup. Pinch the sides together to release the suction, then simply remove, empty, wash and re-insert. The entire process now takes me less time than either changing a pad or reinserting a tampon. I’m not going to tell you that your fingers are going to stay pristine and blood free. They won’t. You aren’t going to look like you just left a slaughter-house, either. You “may” get a small amount of menstrual blood on the tips of the fingers you are using to remove the cup. I find that the cup itself does such a good job of containing my flow that there is no blood on the outside of the cup for me to touch. Besides, I always wash my hands after using the bathroom…don’t you?

In short? I love my Diva Cup! I feel like I’m helping to do my part to reduce waste, its comfortable, easy to use, and comes with an adorable “Diva” pin and storage bag. Would you like to win one for yourself or a friend to try? Diva Cup has graciously donated one in each size for me to give away here on the blog! It’s simple to enter and win, ready?

Each of the following will get you one entry. I’ll use Random.org to choose a winner about noon on July 1st.

1. Leave me a comment, telling me which size Diva Cup you’d like if you win.

2. Follow me on Twitter ( @ Lynchmama)

3. Follow the blog.

4. Follow @DivaCup on Twitter

You do NOT need to leave a seperate comment for each entry! (You can, but totally don’t have to!) Good luck to everyone!

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