Disclosures

This policy is valid from August 1, 2017 and any questions pertaining to this blog should be directed to me at renae@renaefieck.com

This blog is a personal blog written and edited solely by me. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship or other forms of compensation. All forms of paid advertisement appearing in post content will be identified.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. I believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received will not influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog.

I am occasionally compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though I may receive compensation for our posts or advertisements, I always give my honest opinion, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

I would like to disclose the following existing relationships. These are companies, organizations or individuals that may have an impact on the content of this blog.

  • I am an Amazon affiliate. It’s my number one place to shop, so naturally, that’s where I love to share links to!  If you click on an Amazon link or photo at my site, I get a (small) commission, as long as you complete your purchase within 24 hours (with no added cost to you! So thanks!)
  • I am an affiliate with Mixbook, Night In A Box, and Keepy. If you click on any of their links and buy something, I get a small commission. Other than that, none of these companies compensate me any other way.
  • I also run additional affiliate programs. These affiliate hyperlinks may be included in various posts and are always disclosed as such.I will/do accept and keep free products, services, travel, event tickets and other forms of compensation. And because it does cost to operate this site, the compensation received helps to maintain the upkeep of it’s various components. It also helps to pay for training and educational expenses that I may obtain in order to be a more proficient writer and blogger.

    I accept products for review but again, I give my honest opinion of those products. I also do reviews or from time to time may mention products on my blog that were purchased by me for my own use. These posts will not be identified since there is nothing to disclose.

    Thank you for your support! It is your support that enables me to keep blogging and providing you with the tools to get more done.

5 Meaningful & Clutterless Gift Ideas

I have received SOOO many black Friday emails already. It is so crazy! Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened and people are already planning out their weekly shopping. Is your email box full with the deals too?

And while I’m all about being wise and frugal with money, can I challenge you a little bit? Instead of shopping for stuff, can you shop for memory making and adventures? Make a shift in your spending and recognize what you truly want to feel and cultivate this holiday season.

Here are 5 potential things to shop for this weekend without getting caught up in the stuff.

  1. Memberships. Places like the zoo, YMCA, amusement parks (aka Disney!!) & museums
  2. Adventures/Nights Out: gift certificates to things such as kayaking, a getaway, wine tasting, movie tickets, broadway show, mini golf, bowling, or similar (Groupon may be a great option for this)
  3. Self Care: massages, pedicures, hair appointment, health and fitness gift certificates
  4. Restaurants: It’s so fun to go out and have a date night with the expenses already paid for up front!

Additional Tip: Shop with a list. I like to shop with the “something they want, need, wear, and read” mentality but sometimes with all the other people in our lives, it seems that even with just that, our kids receive sooo much. I would much rather give my kids a trip to Disneyland or a weekend away than to buy them tons of toys that lose their thrill the morning after Christmas. So for us this Christmas, I plan to buy each of my kids a few things they NEED and the rest will be fun adventure and memory filled!

And regardless of what comes up this Christmas season, remember…it’s okay to say no sometimes. Sometimes it’s essential to say no to things so that we can make the most amazing memories and totally LOVE the things we are doing!

Remember, the greatest gift you can give your family and the ones you love is the gift of your TIME. Nothing is more valuable than YOU.

P.S.- If you haven’t downloaded my 5 Steps to Break Free from Clutter, you should totally do so! 😉 I want you to fully enjoy this holiday season without having to constantly clean up toys, scramble after the kids, or spend every waking hour scrubbing toilets for arriving guests. Really…that is not what the holidays are for.

 

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

GIVEAWAY! Mama, you deserve to feel like a million bucks

Have you ever sat down at the end of the day and notice you haven’t painted your nails in oh…probably a couple months? And you notice a few gray hairs cause you haven’t been to the salon in….a few years!? EEKs! You have a beautiful mix of baby poop and dog pee (where is that smell coming from??) drafting you and you have both boogers and left over food smeared on your shirt. Am I right?

Being a mom is one of the most sacrificial things I have ever ever done! Do I love it all the time, nope? Would I trade it, not in this world. But from time to time, I like to kick off my shoes, pull out the polish, or better yet….head to the salon. But it’s not something we get the often chance to do right?

So I want to make you feel special today. Even if you have to hide away in your bathroom for 30 minutes after you put the kids down, or maybe you set the laundry aside while the kids are napping and just take a moment for you.

I’d like to give you a Golden Haven Spa Facial Kit and a lovely Winter Frost Scented Holiday Candle…but more than that…I just want you to feel beautiful and cherished, even for just 30 minutes!

So hop on over to my instagram account at @renaefieck and follow the directions for a chance to enter! And comment below when you did it!

xoxo-Renae

giveaway

Cloth Diapering and more…

This is an old post from a few years ago when I had just begun to cloth diaper. We’re now in the process of potty training but I know that when I first began the cloth diapering journey it was a bit overwhelming. So here’s my 2 cents. And I’ll add in commentary post 2 years where necessary!

I have a couple of friends who are going to be using cloth diapers soon and I just wanted to share the things I’ve learned. Feel free to take it or leave it. Here’s the system I’ve been using and what I think of each item.

I have 2 Plant Wise pail liners . I rotate one in the wash and one in the pail. They work really well. I bought a garbage pail at Bed Bath and Beyond that has a lid, which helps keep in any stink that may develop.
I bought a Planet Wise Wet bag but found the one I bought was too big for on the go and have since been using it as her dirty laundry basket. It’s great because it hangs on the door handle behind her door and doesn’t require having a dirty laundry basket. I probably would have bought a smaller planet wise wet bag for the diaper bag but I ran across a Munchkin wet/dry bag at Target for about $10. (The link shows a wet bag only but I couldn’t find the exact one I bought). (Now with baby #2, I’ve purchased a Skip Hop wet/dry bag that I like.) One thing I like about the Planet Wise bag better than the Munchkin one is the plastic liner isn’t adhered to the back of the fabric on the munchkin one. It’s hard to explain what happens when it comes out of the wash; the liner kind of comes out of the fabric. It works fine; I’m just a little worried that it won’t hold up as long as maybe one of the Planet Wise ones. (Now 2 years post…it is still holding up just fine!)
As far as diapers go, I’ve been using a combination of pockets and prefolds with covers (thanks to Claire). The prefolds have definitely been easier with a newborn, primarily because they go through them so fast. Even now at 6 weeks old, my daughter is going through so many less than she was. Seriously, in the beginning, she was going so often that I was changing out the prefold a few times every hour! It was definitely easier to use the prefold system with the covers than the pockets. (After she got a little older, we switched to just the pocket diapers.) (Now with baby #2, I wish I would have stuck with prefolds and flats entirely with only a few pockets for when we had child care. The pockets didn’t hold up as well as I would have liked after 2 years and now on baby #2. The flats and prefolds would have been a cheaper way to go long term.)
As far as my review of each one…
Thirsties Cover-I really like these. So far, I think they might rank as my favorite cover. They seem to fit well and they have the double gussets so they help prevent leaks.
Rumparooz Newborn Cover-These also fit well and have the double gussets. They seem to fit a little smaller than the thirsties so they’re a great pick for newborns.
Flip-For some reason I just like the way these look and feel. They don’t have the double gussets like the other but so far I haven’t had any leaks with them. They do fit a little bigger than the others and will probably continue to fit better as she continues to grow.
Blueberry-I would say that I’m not impressed with these ones yet. Even though as far as sizing goes, these were intended to be the same size as the Thirsties and the Flip that I bought but they look so much bigger. I’m going to wait to use it till she’s a little bit bigger. It may actually work well as an overnight diaper because it may allow more room for additional liners. (Never really liked this one)
Those are the covers that I’ve been using. Thanks to Claire, who loaned me her prefolds, I’ve been using her Green Mountain Newborn prefolds. She cut some down to fit better for newborns, but then she later said she found out they sell premie size. The smaller ones worked better initially but now some of the larger ones are fitting better.
Now, as far as the pockets. We use these less than the prefolds because she was going through diapers so quickly. The prefolds also work better for on the go because the prefolds take up less room in your diaper bag than the pocket diapers. Nonetheless, we still use the pockets too. (And used the pockets exclusively as she got a little older).
Rumparooz-So far, these are my favorite. The only time I’ve had one leak was one of the used ones I bought. I’m planning to strip that one diaper and see if it still leaks. Most of my pocket diaper stash are Rumparooz. They are super soft and seem to draw the moisture away from her delicate little bottom. There have been times I can’t even feel the moisture on the diaper portion that touches her. The only way I know its wet is by taking the liner out of the pocket. (Now two years later, these are my least favorite diaper. The elastic in most of them gave out and I had to replace the elastic.)
BumGenius– I’ve had these leak a couple of times. There isn’t much material to them. I think if I use a second liner they would probably be okay. They are much thinner and trimmer than some of the other pocket diapers but I haven’t fallen in love with them. They also don’t have the double gussets which makes them more prone to leaking. (These became my favorite over the 2 years!)
Charlie Banana-I like this one but I’m not in love with it. It’s uber soft. It doesn’t have snaps to make it one size. Instead there is adjustable elastic in the legs. It’s kind of a different feature. (I did like this feature of being able to adjust leg size.  Especially after long time use. Make fit with baby #2 much easier.)
Kawaii– I recently received one as a free diaper with a purchase I was making. To be honest, I’m not entirely impressed. I haven’t even used it yet! It just seems so big and bulky. The fact that it’s a mauve velvet on the outside probably doesn’t help it win me over. I’ll let you know if I try it and end up liking it.
I’ve ordered some hemp and bamboo inserts for my pockets because I have been noticing some stink when I use the microfiber ones. I’ll let you know if I notice a difference. Apparently because they are natural fibers they are anti-microbial and anti-fungal, both of which help prevent stink issues. (I also bought hemp and bamboo fabric and made my own. Way cheaper if you are handy with the sewing machine!)
I have some Bumgenius cloth wipes but we’ve only been using disposables for now. Yes I know! All the waste piling up in the landfill. I can’t wait till we switch to cloth wipes too. We just have SOOO many disposable ones that we’ll use up those first. When I do I’ll make my own wipe solution but I haven’t researched it yet because we aren’t there quite yet. (We ended up using a solution of lavender oil, natural soap, and almond or grapeseed oil. I cut up a couple of my husband’s old white undershirts and use those as wipes. Works great!)
I’ve still been using CJ’s Butter unscented for her diaper rash. So far so good. (I later made a mix of coconut oil and lavender oil and used just that!)
As far as washing, I’ve used both Tide Original powder detergent and Rockin Green. Both of them have worked fine. I got the green tea Rockin Green and don’t love the smell. Because I haven’t been using the diapers for too long, I can’t say as to whether or not either of them have build up issues. Till now, we’ve had no issues. All I do is throw the diapers in the pail once soiled and then throw them into the wash when I’m ready. They do come out of the wash a little stained but within 10-15 minutes of drying in the sunlight, they are bleached white as brand new. It’s amazing how the sun does that! (I ended up using the Tide almost exclusively. Occasionally I’d throw a squirt of Dawn Dishsoap in to break down build up or Calgon water softener. Now with baby #2, I’m experimenting with detergents again trying to find something more natural than Tide.  I tried Country Save and recently got Charlie’s Soap. )
Not that this has to do with diapers but it’s on the same line of “green.” I hated throwing away so many disposable breast pads. Not to mention the cost of them. I had some Medela cloth nursing pads, and they absorbed well but there was nothing to stop it from absorbing right through to my shirt. I recently received a free pair of Bamboobies. So far, I haven’t had any issues with them. They are super thin and comfortable. Only time it leaked was after I’d been sleeping and it shifted so it wasn’t in the right position to actually absorb. I’ve had that issue with both disposables and the reusable so I can’t count this against them. If it means anything, I did just order a few more. I noticed they sell them at Kelly’s Closet, which is where I’ve been buying some of my cloth diaper stuff. The nice thing about Kelly’s Closet is that you get points for all your purchases. Eventually, you can turn the points in for credit. (Now, I absolutely love the Bamboobies! May favorite!)
I also like purchasing from Granola Babies. I found them when I was looking for a place to do a registry for my baby showers. When I found that they were somewhat local (Newport Beach), I loved that I was helping to support the community. Joe went in there to pick up some stuff one time and said that they were super friendly and helpful. I love that I know when I’m shopping I’m supporting something good. It makes paying a few extra bucks all worth it.
Alright, I finally have a baby sleeping in the moby on my chest and my back is in a kink from the position I’m in. Therefore, I think that might be the conclusion of this blog posting!