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October Unprocessed 2012
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Archive for the ‘Giveaways’ Category

GIVEAWAY – Poogie Pants Cloth Pads (Mama Cloth) – US/CAN ~ 8/18

Photo Credit: W. Paugh

Photo Credit: W. Paugh

I am thrilled to share a Cloth Pad giveaway today from Whitney at Poogie Pants Cloth.

The winner of this giveaway will receive 2 Super Absorbent Cloth menstrual pads in the pattern of the designer’s choosing.

These pads were designed with protection and absorbency in mind. They have an outer layer of waterproof PUL, a suede cloth liner against the skin to wick away moisture, and an amazingly thin layer of Zorb 2 with 2 layers of Hemp terry for heavy flow. The channels are sewn in the lining and absorbent layers only, allowing for great leak protection. ~Poogie Pants Cloth

I recently returned from a family vacation to MN (and a pretty long hiatus from the blog…I apparently have difficulty with multi-tasking).

Expecting a visit from Aunt Flo during my time there, I came prepared with my trusty Diva Cup and my shiny new Poogie Pants Cloth pads. I can’t tell you how nice it was to not have to take up room in my suitcase with boxes of tampons and huge packs of pads as I used to do!

Unfortunately in all of the going back and forth between different family homes I managed to lose my Diva Cup (and have some more than slightly embarrassing convos with my brother and sister trying to describe what this thing was/looked like that I was asking them to search their houses for…).

At any rate, it didn’t turn up so I checked the internets on the off chance that I might be able to by one in a store in anticipation of my imminent monthly visit. And it was Whole Foods in Uptown for the win – I even paid $10 less for it than I would have in Canada!

It still makes me laugh to think of the moment – I was checking out with my Diva Cup, my new crystal deodorant, an organic tomato and a Kombucha I grabbed from the impulse aisle. Without batting an eye the cashier asked me if I would like my Kombucha out of the bag. I replied with a cheery “Yes” and walked out thinking, “Normal people do not have such conversations!

But before I gave my new Diva a try, I wanted to test out the Poogie Pants cloth.

I was intrigued from the moment I opened the box with these things. First of all, the shipping was amazingly quick for an order from the US to Canada – and Whitney at Poogie Pants is amazingly quick as well with a response to any inquiry - she has provided incredible service from the beginning.

Photo Credit: W. Paugh

Photo Credit: W. Paugh

I pulled them out to find a pad with a pretty backing that reminded me quite a lot of a disposable in looks and design (this would be a perfect pad for someone mildly weirded out by the idea of using cloth because it looks so ‘normal’).

The first thing I noticed when I tried them out was the fact that they really are ‘super’. Now, compared to the giant thick disposables I used to wear, this was nothing. But compared to my other cloth pad experiences, you could definitely feel this pad down there. Personally, I did not find that at all to be a bad thing.

In fact I have never felt more secure with a cloth pad – it was thick enough, long enough and sturdy enough (no shifting happened at all) that I would happily wear it without a Diva on a heavy day – a claim I can make about no other cloth pad I have tried (and I have tried many). I would highly recommend this pad to those with really heavy cycles or to women who use pads exclusively. Read the rest of this entry »

An Earth Day Challenge – and a Giveaway to Help Get you Started! (US/CAN ~ CLOSED)

加厚款護墊

加厚款護墊 (Photo credit: hjw223)

Happy Earth Day!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the awesome guest posts of the past few days (one more coming up tomorrow!) – personally I love seeing all these real life stories of women who have made the switch to reusable products for ‘that time of the month’ – it’s inspiring and encouraging to know how many have happily made this choice.

And today on Earth Day, I extend the challenge to you.

It was just about 3 years ago today that I closed my eyes and jumped in – it’s hard for me to fathom it now, but it really was a difficult decision to give up those pads and tampons. I wasn’t confident that reusable products would really work for my heavy periods. I thought it might be a little too gross. It seemed like a lot of money to pay up front.

But the more I realized how bad those toss away products are for the earth – and for my body – the more I leaned toward taking that plunge. And once I finally did…well, ever since then I’ve wanted nothing but to share how amazing these products are!

It’s hard to say why, exactly…I don’t make or manufacture or sell reusable products – there’s no monetary gain for me. I certainly don’t judge anyone who chooses not to. Read the rest of this entry »

Giveaway: 2-Month Subscription from LittleEcoFootprint — $58 ARV {5/4; Canada}

This is a joint giveaway with Becoming Crunchy and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

LittleEcoFootprint boxLittleEcoFootprint is offering our readers a giveaway of a TWO-MONTH SUBSCRIPTION, a value of $58. This giveaway is open to Canada only.

A LittleEcoFootprint subscription gets you a box of healthy, organic, and eco-friendly goodies for mom and baby or toddler delivered to your door monthly.

I am so pleased to share this review and giveaway from Canadian company LittleEcoFootprint. I’m always looking for great products and companies closer to home, and the LittleEcoFootprint subscription offers the perfect opportunity to get to know even more of them!

Here’s the basics of how it works — you sign up for a 1-, 3- or 6-month membership. They deliver a box of at least 5 products to your door each month — healthy, organic, eco-friendly — with some things for you and some for your baby or toddler (box designed around age of your child). Shipping is always included.

So I have to admit — my first thought was to expect kind of a sample box — you know, not that exciting? I was very pleasantly surprised when my first LittleEcoFootprint package arrived at my door!

Pretty paper and arrangement made it seem like such a fun goody for me experience, while at the same time a minimum of packaging and use of sustainable materials impressed my eco-sensibilities.

Bean enjoying snacks & crayon rocksI also found a lot more than I expected inside! Three good-sized bags of organic treats for my toddler from Canadian company First Food Organics, an absolutely gorgeous growth chart from Canadian company ecojot that will be going up in Bean’s room (so cute it’s going to be tough to write on it!), a chemical-free stain remover stick that looks like it will last ages, some yummy-smelling body wash and skin care products, crayon rocks for Bean, and a $10 coupon for Canadian clothing company Boské Kids. Really it was quite a haul and a great opportunity to test out new products.

But what’s even cooler to me is that the goodies aren’t the only things involved in this membership.

Included in the package was a little booklet full of articles from some pretty amazing experts in the eco-friendly, nutrition and parenting worlds — people like Stephanie Moram of Good Girl Gone Green, Erica Ashmore of Toronto-based Everything Mom & Baby, registered holistic nutritionist Natasha Bell and many more — a wealth of information gathered all in one place.

They also offer a blog on their website with even more great info, plus perks like members-only giveaways.

LittleEcoFootprint was developed by Canadian moms Lisa & Kristy when they became concerned after the birth of their children (as so many of us do) at the plethora of chemicals and toxins abounding in mainstream baby and kids products. As they began their search for better options, they came up with a way to share all these great new brands with others through the LittleEcoFootprint subscription. It’s obvious to me they’ve worked hard to make this a high-quality, high-value, and fun package for moms traveling along the same path.

LittleEcoFootprint goodies

As for our experience, I truly have no complaints. Bean really enjoyed her treats and loves the crayon rocks. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to test out all these new brands, especially as so many of them are Canadian. And I really love getting stuff in the mail, so something like this would be an awesome thing to look forward to every month.

If you’re a mom in Canada, I definitely recommend that you give LittleEcoFootprint a try. Can’t wait to see what’s coming in next month’s box!

 

BUY IT!

You can purchase your own subscription at LittleEcoFootprint.com. Pick up a monthly membership for $29/month, a 3-month membership for $87 or a 6-month membership for $162. Shipping is always free!

And just for Natural Parents Network and Becoming Crunchy readers, LittleEcoFootprint is giving a $5 discount off the first month’s order from now through May 14, 2013. Enter code NATURALPARENT during the ordering process.

 

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win a Two-Month Subscription from LittleEcoFootprint, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below.

The winner will receive a 2-month membership to LittleEcoFootprint. Contest is open to CANADA only.

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit LittleEcoFootprint and tell us one thing you have learned about the company! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.

Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries.

This is a joint giveaway with Becoming Crunchy and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!

BONUS ENTRIES:

See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!

Read the rest of this entry »

Making More Than Dinner

Guest Post contributed by Amber Beam, author of Weeknight Paleo: 9 Weeks of Quick & Easy Gluten-Free Meals

Photo credit: Dinner Series

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a little impatient. I’m that person who’s always monitoring the clock, tapping her foot in the elevator, and wondering how in the world the lady in front of me in the supermarket checkout line is still writing checks! It’s by far my greatest area for improvement (that’s a PC way to say weakness).

Impatience isn’t always a bad though! I have learned and flawlessly execute some amazing time saving strategies in the kitchen. I love reinventing leftovers and beating the clock to get quick and easy recipes on the table in under 30 minutes.

But I’ve noticed this hurried pace often follows with a quick inhaling of my culinary masterpiece and lots of TV watching. So I’m striving to change that. In fact, here are a few ways I plan to make more than dinner.

First, dine with friends. I plan to have dinner at least once a week with company. As soon as I hear the word company (guests, for those who might not speak southern American English), I think pull out the steaks. But I’ve found it doesn’t have to be a fancy meal to be fun. In fact, I tend to serve casual food because it sets the stage for a relaxed meal, and really who can be pretentious holding a burger? Instead of focusing on fine dining, the evening will center on great conversation, making eating an experience rather than the first stage of digestion. Read the rest of this entry »

Giveaway – Weeknight Paleo {2 Winners – 11/2 – Worldwide}

This week’s October Unprocessed Meal Plan dinners have been based around my recently acquired Weeknight Paleo cookbook by Amber Beam. I saw Amber was selling the eBook version of this tasty looking cookbook for a steal at $9.99 and decided to pick up a copy – I was so impressed that I went to Amber to ask if she would donate one to give away here (I love sharing the love when I find a great product!).

Amber generously agreed to donate not one but 2 copies of the Weeknight Paleo eBook – 9 Weeks of Quick & Easy Gluten Free Meals, and is offering a special discount to Becoming Crunchy readers as well (let’s just say that while the $9.99 deal is no longer available, you’ll still get to take advantage of it!).

So what’s so special about this cookbook?

To start – it’s all real food, all the time. Yes, it is Paleo – and I know not everyone is into that bandwagon, but even if you’re not all about the grain free I can promise you you’ll love this book if you’re at all into real food cooking. These recipes rock the unprocessed ideal – and with all the concern over GMOs, dyes, sweeteners, and all around fake food, it’s always helpful to add as many real food options as possible to your arsenal.

Especially because this real food cookbook is simple! It’s not named Weeknight Paleo for nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

GIVEAWAY: Thirsties Duo All-In-One Cloth Diaper Plus Hemp Inserts — $25.75 ARV CLOSED

This is a joint giveaway with Becoming Crunchy and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked “Win it!” for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries.

Thirsties is offering our readers a giveaway of one Thirsties Duo All in One Cloth Diaper, in a print of the winner’s choice, and a set of Hemp Inserts, a value of $25.75.

The Thirsties Duo All in One offers absorbency, waterproof protection, and adjustability in a stylish, affordable, and effective cloth diaper.

First, a little bit of information about Thirsties from the company:

Thirsties® is a small (but growing!) cloth diaper company committed to greener parenting and Eco Friendly solutions, not to mention 100% USA Made quality! Erin, founder of Thirsties, started this business with an old sewing machine and $100 5 years ago. Through her hard work and diligence, the company is now one of the leaders in the cloth diaper industry. Our diapers are now made by work at home mothers, and very close to our warehouse, reducing our carbon output. Our customer service reps are experienced cloth diapering moms, and offer our knowledge to our retailers and customers alike.

Are you sold yet? :) If not, you soon will be — but I have to say first that I’m pretty excited about a company with such awesome principles, especially the whole work-at-home mom concept!

Beyond that, getting a pretty new cloth diaper in the mail is always an event (owls! yay!), and I was very happily satisfied with this one.

What I loved:

The diaper is very soft and adjustable. We got a size 2 for 22-month-old Bean; it’s meant to fit 18-40 lbs or 9-36 months. The sizing is adjustable through snaps and closes with hook-and-loop tape (though it is also available in a snap closure). It came with 2 hemp/cotton inserts that can be fit through the middle pocket.

I had purchased these same inserts for other diapers before so I knew they were good — a very thin layer of lots of extra absorbency.

No Inserts.

The diaper can be used on its own (very nice for around the house) or stuffed with 1-2 inserts for extra absorbency. I liked how easy it was to fit the inserts in — there are openings on both sides to make a kind of tunnel instead of just one pocket, so it’s easy to pull inserts through and flatten them out without too much maneuvering.

All around, both absorbency and “containment” are great. The diaper is really nicely and comfortably made with gentle elastics around the legs to keep any leaks from getting through. We generally use a two-piece diaper system that can get out of place pretty easily with an active toddler, allowing leaks to get through the cover. With the Thirsties AIO Duo we didn’t experience one leak in multiple uses (and we mostly used it without inserts).

The ease of use was fantastic — pretty much as easy as a disposable. For me it was very nice not to have the risk of a very wiggly toddler getting the diaper all out of alignment before I could get it on her!

What I didn’t love:

With both inserts.

There wasn’t much — I was overall very impressed with this diaper. The main small issue I had was the thickness when both inserts are in; the fitting at that point got a little snug. I doubt we could get up to 40 lbs and still get it on with both inserts in. But that’s also a very subjective thing as it goes beyond weight and into body shape, etc., so it’s certainly not something I would call disappointing.

Also (this may be a bit TMI — sorry) — I do need to remember to not wash the diaper together with my underwear, as the velcro seems to be a magnet for the elastic bands therein. Just something to be careful of.

What surprised me (in a good way!):

I really liked the all-in-one aspect. It was honestly a little hard for me to get used to a one-time use diaper, but the ease of it ultimately sold me — and the fact that it doesn’t get all out of place.

I think it has potential for an overnight diaper. We haven’t really found anything (disposable or cloth) that works overnight; we usually end up doing one change in the middle of the night. I put her in the Duo AIO double stuffed and she went a good 5 hours before needing a change (and it didn’t leak; it was just full) — that was also a night with quite a few wake-ups for milk so that bladder was pretty active! I could definitely see adopting it as a night-time diaper though I’m not sure it would go through the entire night.

The velcro closures weren’t a disaster. Bean is frequently in disposables (her caregivers won’t use anything else) and is pretty well a pro at removing them. I figured the velcro would be an issue there, but it wasn’t at all — she didn’t even try to get it off. I’m guessing it was comfortable enough that it didn’t occur to her to try it. (For those whose little ones are a little more persistent in this area, the diaper does come in snap closures.)

Washing and drying were the same as any other diaper. I’d heard AIO’s can be difficult to dry, and I did find a need to give the inserts a few extra minutes, but really there was no big deal. As recommended, I washed and dried three times before using and we were good to go from there.

The pricing is really decent. I’ve bought $15 AIO diapers and found them to be utter crap; for a $16/17 diaper this is an excellent value. The quality is obvious from just looking at the stitching, and in every way it’s proven to be well made, comfortable, and absorbent. I could never justify an AIO stock at the usual $25 a pop, which is why we’ve mostly used a two-piece system, but I could totally see the value in stocking up on these diapers.

Ultimately, I’m very happy with the Thirsties Duo All In One Diaper and hope you get the chance to check it out. (I’m thinking I’m going to have to stock up on a few more myself — I don’t want to miss out on those adorable colours/patterns, and our child caregivers may even be willing to give these a try!) Want to learn more?

BUY IT!

You can purchase your own Duo All In One Diaper at Thirsties.com and other retailers, $15.95 for solids and $16.95 for prints plus shipping.

Thirsties also sells several other options in cloth diapers and accessories — you can request a catalog by visiting this link.

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win a Duo All In One Diaper from Thirsties, plus a set of Hemp Inserts, enter by leaving a comment and using our Rafflecopter system below.

The winner will receive 1 Thirsties Duo All In One Diaper in the pattern of their choice, and 1 set of Hemp Inserts. Contest is open to the US and Canada only.

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Thirsties and tell us one thing you have learned about the company! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.

Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries.

This is a joint giveaway with Becoming Crunchy and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we’ll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!

BONUS ENTRIES:

See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Give it a try, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!

Read the rest of this entry »

A Million Tiny Things ~ GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

In the past, whenever I felt overwhelmed and neurotic and heading into an endless downward spiral, I would read Anne Lamott’s book of essays Traveling Mercies, and I would snap out of it. Because here’s someone even more neurotic, even more overwhelmed, overall just crazier than me, and somehow she manages to learn to forgive herself and live anyway…

…I’m almost definitely even more neurotic, even more overwhelmed, overall just crazier than you, and somehow I do manage to learn to forgive myself and live anyway. ~Kenna Lee

A Million Tiny Things: A Mother’s Urgent Search for Hope in a Changing Climate, by Kenna Lee, is absolutely one of my favourite books that I have ever read. (Have I ever mentioned that I read a lot?)

From the moment I picked it up, I was hooked (I’m telling you it was as bad as the last book of Harry Potter!). I was literally laughing my head off – and alternatively near tears – with just about every other paragraph, and ultimately so sorry when the book came to an end that I turned around and read it right over again!

There is no better way to convey the why of what made me love this book so much beyond saying simply: Kenna gets it.

Let me ask you – are you a mom? Have you ever felt eco guilt? Have you ever pondered how difficult it is to do what you know/feel is right combined with the necessity of balancing family and half a million other things and maybe maintaining your sanity at the same time? Yes? OK then – you will want to read this book.

There is so much wisdom – so much funny – so much truth in these words Kenna has bared her soul to share. And yes, she probably is more neurotic than you :) – but she’ll still inspire the heck out of you while she’s at it. Read the rest of this entry »

For My Children – A Mother’s Journal of Memories, Wishes & Wisdom GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

Boy it is giveaway central around here lately (and there’s even more to come a little later this week!). There have just been so many great things to share – and I hope you know I don’t do giveaways or reviews for anything I don’t think is really awesome – my enthusiasm is very real! :)

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing a beautiful book recently released by Dionna Ford, blogger at Code Name: Mama and co-founder of both the Natural Parents Network and Nursing Freedom.org.

The book is called For My Children – A Mother’s Journal of Memories, Wishes & Wisdom. A gorgeous keepsake intended for mothers of grown children – it is one of the best ways I’ve ever seen for a mom to pass on her memories and wisdom in a form her children can treasure forever.

You know how a beautiful journal just inspires you to want to fill it up? I always feel that way when I browse the fancy journal section in the bookstore – and For My Children fits that bill perfectly. It’s so pretty! The illustrations, the colours – everything about it cries, “Write in me!”

And for those looking for further inspiration, For My Children takes care of that, too. Each page is headed with a prompt or guide for writing your thoughts to your kids – things like:

  • What do you wish you had known as a new mother?
  • If you had to compare your family members to fictional characters (from movies, books, etc.), who would they be?
  • Have you ever nursed a broken heart? What did you find were the best ways to heal the hurt? Read the rest of this entry »

Moon Time: A Guide to Celebrating Your Menstrual Cycle ~ GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

If you’ve stopped by at all this week, you’ve probably noticed something of a theme.

It started last year around Earth Day when I made the switch from disposable to reusable menstrual products and spent a week reviewing the different brands and products I tried.

I’ve learned so much and been so satisfied with my choice since then that I’ve decided to turn it into kind of an annual thing – a week of each year dedicated to extolling the benefits of making the switch – AND to learning more about ourselves and our cycles in general, in a quest to turn something that may feel like a big downer (or worse!) for most of us every month into something we can actually celebrate.

Now I’ll be perfectly honest – I’m not 100% there yet. There are many, many things I don’t love about my period (especially the bloating! :p).

But it’s such an inherent part of being a woman that gets passed over so easily and so often – the amazing cycles we experience every month (they really are amazing when you think about it) are so frequently not even considered – truly it’s a shame!

I’ve been trying for awhile now to alter my own perceptions about the whole thing, which was why I was so thrilled when Lucy Pearce’s book, Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle, was published. I bought my copy within weeks of the release date and was not disappointed (not that I expected to be – I love Lucy’s writing!).

Moon Time has been exactly the guide I needed to really begin the journey to loving acceptance – and the empowerment that is possible – in knowing and valuing the way my body works in all of its seasons. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s That Time of the Month Year Again! (Giveaway ~ US/CAN CLOSED)

Giveaway winner will receive a Set of 5 Cloth Pads from Moms Crafts 4 U

Last year, in the spirit of Earth Day, I made a resolution.

I must admit - it wasn’t something I was terribly excited about doing at first – I looked at it as taking a pretty big risk and did not have a lot of faith that it would work out well.

But as I look back over the past year, I can say with full confidence that I’m a total convert and wouldn’t go back for anything.

What I did ranges from being no big deal for some (and indeed, seems like nothing out of the ordinary to me now) to being a huge, potentially weird and disturbing deal for others.

In short – I made the switch from using disposable menstrual products (pads and tampons) to using reusable menstrual products – cloth pads (or as it is sometimes known – ‘mama cloth’), a menstrual cup, and sea sponge tampons.

I wrote all about my initial experiences in various posts you can find HERE – they include reviews of Moms Crafts 4 U (along with Earth Mama Angel Baby Monthly Comfort Tea), Lunapads, GladRags, the Diva Cup, Sea Sponge Tampons, and Party in My Pants.

Now that I’ve been using these products for an entire year, I wanted to share a bit more about my experiences. I’m not gonna lie – I’d love to help convert you too (I’m even sweetening the deal with a cloth pad giveaway at the end of this post)! Read the rest of this entry »

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