Saturday, December 31, 2011

Forgotten cloth diapers

No, no...I haven't stopped using cloth diapers, I literally forgot about some when we left for Christmas with our families.

When we travel, I always leave the diaper pail empty. I do laundry right before we leave and take the few dirty diapers with us. Who wants to come home to a smelly bathroom and days old diapers? Not this clean freak, that's for sure.

Well this past Tuesday, that's just what we did. We left town the Thursday before Christmas, and it took me about an hour to remember we forgot the dirty diapers in the pail. It was almost worth turning around to get them, but my husband isn't the type to go back. He has even left his cell phone at home for a weekend, despite only being 2 minutes away when we realized it.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Holiday Travel - Seven Quick Takes (vol 5)

--- 1 ---

Last year my husband and I were gone for a week around the holidays--and we said we'd never do it again. If we had gone to one place and stayed there it would have been different, but we hit up several towns and family members.
Did we learn our lesson? No...We did the same thing this year.
Holidays are really tough with a baby--everyone wants to see her! I was worried how she would do in the car, but she completely blew us away with her great attitude. She took two short naps on the 6 hour drive to my parents, and pretty much occupied herself the whole time she was awake by looking at her picture books. We stopped once to change her diaper and eat lunch. She was a tad fussy as we pulled into town, but who could blame her. Six hours is a long time in a sport wagon.
On the two hour drive from my parents to my grandpa's house she slept the whole way! From my grandpa's house to my in-laws she played with toys and I think maybe fell asleep a tiny bit, I can't remember. That drive was a little over an hour, but she started getting fussy at the very end again.
On the last leg of our trip, the three hour drive home, she took a good nap for half of it and played well for about 20 minutes. Then we had to stop. We had to change a huge (and I do mean HUGE) diaper explosion, including her clothes...it was disgusting. The last hour wasn't very fun for anyone, we played baby song tapes and CDs to calm down the very annoyed G. We were never so glad to see our front door as we finished our holiday travels, although we loved spending time with our families.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Planet Wise Cloth Wipes / Wipe Pouch Review & Giveaway

"Planet Wise Inc. products are eco-friendly and designed to replace disposable items you use every day. Not only will they help reduce your waste, but you can save money and look good doing it!" 
-- Planet Wise Product Guide

I first saw Planet Wise at my local cloth diaper store, while shopping for my pre-baby stash. Their bags were super cute, and felt like they were made of quality materials. I went home and did some more research on Planet Wise, and found out pretty much every cloth diaper mom loves them! I went back to the store and bought a medium wet bag for our diaper bag. I love it because it truly keeps the moisture AND smell inside, so that nothing else in the diaper bag is affected from dirty diapers. During my cloth wipe research, I found out that Planet Wise also makes cloth wipes! I was really excited when they offered me the opportunity to review a pack of their flannel wipes and a Planet Wise wipe pouch. A lot of cloth diaper brands offer wipes, but not many sell a pouch for storing them.

We've been using sky/lime Planet Wise flannel wipes and the owl Planet Wise wipe pouch for a few weeks now. Check out my review below and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Handmade Christmas #WW #Linky

My husband has made me an ornament every Christmas since we've been together (the one Christmas before we got married, he made me a jewelry box).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thirsties Accessories WINNER

What a GREAT giveaway!! The Thirsties Fab Wipes, Booty Luster, and Booty Love giveaway has closed. There were 107 unique entrants, and the total number of entries (including bonus entries) was over 3100!!! I cannot believe how successful this review/giveaway was. I'm really grateful to all who entered. You made this the most popular review to date on Letters from Momma!

Happy Birthday Jesus and Momma

Sunday was Christmas, but also my momma's birthday! I had planned to post that day, but decided I preferred taking some time off to enjoy my family's company.

We were gone for almost a full week. We went to my parents, and also to my in-laws. I don't think we will ever to the full circle again...it was too much traveling with a 10 month old and ended up being kind of stressful. It was really nice to see everyone though.

I love spending my mom's birthday with her, and it was nice to have G's first Christmas with my parents and sister. The generosity of our family toward us and our baby girl was so great. Thank you all! G got a lot of toys, several books, and even a bit of money. We got more gifts than expected, plus some money! We were shocked, to say the least. I now have a new diaper bag, baking supplies, gloves, clothes, gift cards, running shoes, and my homemade ornament. My husband got literally everything on his list; so now I don't know what to get him for his birthday!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Seven Quick Takes (vol 4)

--- 1 ---
This is my fourth Seven Quick Takes. Have I really been doing 7QT for a month?? Wow, time flies. I hope you all are enjoying getting to read little snippets from my life.

--- 2 ---
icing the cookies was intense!
Advent Goal wrap-up:
Attend mass each Advent Wednesday: We were 2 to 7 minutes late to 3 of the 4 masses. I tried.
Read our devotional book at dinner each night: We were going strong until my birthday weekend when we went out for dinner two nights in a row (to my husband's work functions). So we were successful for two weeks.
I took cookies to the office staff at church (and also sent a lot to my husband's work too).
I made a homemade gift for my husband that he will open Christmas morning (and you will see next Wordless Wednesday).
I did not find time to make the felt Advent wreath for baby G...maybe next year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

TWO HANDS club. {with linky for other 10 month old posts}

ten months old
Wow, another month has flown by!! In two short months our baby girl will be a year old. Month 10 was one that saw a lot of growth in fine motor skills and physical development. G also celebrated another major holiday -- Thanksgiving -- but didn't really like turkey or mashed potatoes. I found that odd. 

Teething is back full force, and actually seems worse than before. Her sleep is all crazy again, but at least I know I've done all I can. There is nothing I can do besides give her medicine, nurse her, comfort her as best as possible... I know a lot of you will tell me to get her a teething necklace, but I am not okay with that, knowing how she already pulls at bibs and sticks everything into her mouth.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

G & her Christmas cookie #WW #linky

My favorite thing to do during the Christmas season is make cut-out cookies. I look forward to it all year! My husband and I have been doing it since our first holiday in 2007. He either enjoys it as much as I do, or humors me--either way, I love our tradition of making them together! We make the dough, roll them out, cut them, cook them, and ice them. This year we are sharing our huge batch of cookies with his co-workers and the office staff at church. The baby even got in on the fun, and I let her have a taste of cookie! Check out G's reaction to her "G" cookie in the pictures below:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My {easy} Cut-Out Cookie Recipe & Cookie Icing {that hardens}

Cut-Out Cookies
Time: ~ 2 hours total
 Prep work (20), Chilling (60), Baking (8-10 per baking batch)
350 degrees

VIDEO: Our Cloth Wipe Routine {so far}

I haven't really done much research on the proper method for using cloth wipes. I'm actually kind of going into it blindly. I'd love to hear your suggestions or personal routine, though, so feel free to leave me a comment.

We've been using our Thirsties cloth wipes for over a month now, but we have still been using disposable wipes, because we obviously don't have enough cloth ones yet. Although 10 Planet Wise wipes did arrive in the mail Friday, though, so now we have 16! Woooooo!
I was going to type out how we are using cloth wipes, but then decided a video would be a better idea. Here's what I've been doing at diaper changes when using a cloth wipe:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Last week went pretty well, although my husband came back from "a quick run" to the grocery store with more than I told him to get....so we had some impromptu meals and went over our budget. At least it wasn't my fault ;-)

Monday: Baked Homemade Pork Egg Rolls, veggies, rice
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: eat anything in the house that will go bad while we are gone
Thursday: dinner at my parents after driving all morning/afternoon (kettle beef)
Friday: (second annual holiday) taco night with my parents and family friends
Saturday: Christmas Eve dinner (probably pizza)
Sunday: Christmas dinner: Ribs (weird, but it's my mom's plan)

For holiday dessert I am going to make an amazing Brownie, Cookie, Oreo Layer dessert that I saw on Katie @ NFP & Me (which she found on Pinterest). I'm going to be following the recipe I found on BrownEyedBaker.
Source: Brown Eyed Baker
Thanks for stopping in on Menu Plan Monday, which is linked up at OrgJunkie.com

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Seventh Generation Kitchen Pack WINNER

Thank you to everyone who entered the awesome $80 value Seventh Generation Kitchen Pack giveaway, featuring the Natural Dish Soaps, sponsored by My Blog Spark. There were 1527 entries, including the bonus entries. There were 84 unique entrants, so that's awesome!! This is the second review/giveaway that I've done for My Blog Spark, and both have been well received. I really hope to get more great offers from them.

The winner is:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thank you FuzziBunz warranty

In case you missed this photo on my facebook yesterday:
I turned it inside out so that you can see the tears better
That's what I found when I was stuffing my small watermelon Perfect Size FuzziBunz Friday morning after doing laundry Thursday afternoon (yeah, my diapers often sit unstuffed for a while...sorry about it).

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cloth Diaper Review Opportunity

Kebbie's Diaper Bag is looking for cloth diaper bloggers to test out their products.

I hope to participate in this event because as you all know, I like blogging about cloth diapers and I love bringing you information about products you should look into buying for your own family.

If you are a blogger and are interested in participating too, please see this post on Midnight Mommy's blog for the most information.

Seven Quick Takes (vol. 3)

--- 1 ---
We made it to Wednesday mass BEFORE the entrance song started. Advent Goal victory.

--- 2 ---
On Wednesday night we had dinner with friends. They made us Moroccan food. Have you ever had that cuisine before? It was pretty good. I love any type of couscous. Their son is 2.5 months younger than G, and as the babies age, the play dates get a lot more interesting. For instance, G was crawling by their son, who was sitting up. She briefly paused next to him and he put his hand on her booty!! It was obviously just curiosity and convenience...but I couldn't help but laugh and think how she will never date! ;-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Switching to Cloth Wipes...not as easy as it doesn't look.

When I decided to use cloth diapers, I never even considered using cloth wipes. My list looked something like this:
Using cloth diapers? cute, eco-friendly, frugal.
Using cloth wipes? gross, not easy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fork!! - #WW & #linky

St. Nicholas brought G some baby forks and spoons in her stocking last Tuesday. I am still amazed at how well she does with the fork. I put food on it, lay it on her tray, then she picks it up and eats off of it! It was such a proud moment when I first watched her feed herself. Yes, I know I am still putting the food on the utensil, but it's still a big milestone! She is so funny--she loves the fork, and knows to put it into her mouth, but she will just grab the food off of the spoon. Go figure!
Link up--

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thirsties: Fab Wipes / Booty Luster / Booty Love Review & Giveaway

The great switch to cloth wipes is upon us... and by us, I mean me, because my husband still doesn't seem fully committed. I'll write more in a separate post about the apprehensions we are feeling and the challenges we are facing, along with the perks and positives from switching to cloth wipes. This review will focus on the specifics about the Thirsties brand cloth wipes and accessories, not just using cloth wipes in general.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

So last week was really nice... I had an easy meal plan, I went out with a friend, my sister came to town, I celebrated my birthday, and my husband's work had two evenings of parties.

I'd say the food highlight of the week was the homemade ice cream cake that my husband made for me. It is a-mazing! It got even better the second time we had some. He based his recipe off of a few ideas he found online; layers of vanilla ice cream, Oreos & chocolate syrup, cookie dough ice cream, whip cream, whoppers, fudge sauce.

Check it out:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gaudete Sunday - Rejoice!!

Today is the third Sunday of Advent; it is called Gaudete Sunday, and it is my favorite non-Christmas/Easter day to attend mass! The priest wears pink, we light the pink candle, and the penitential mood is lifted a bit. Gaudete means Rejoice! and is a Sunday to celebrate that Christ's {second} coming is near!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Seven Quick Takes on my birthday {re: Friday}

--- 1 ---

Today, as indicated above, is my birthday. I am twenty-five years old. I wrote a little blog about it, you can read it here.
--- 2 ---

My little sister is in town! We are six years and nine days apart. We've had our ups and downs, but we are truly sisters...no fight can keep us down. We've seen each other at our worst, and still love each other. I am proud to call her my one and only sister. I hope that baby G has a sister some day...and a brother or two, too.


Today I am twenty-five years old.

I love birthdays, and especially my own!! It's childish, I guess, but I seriously love having a day to celebrate my life! I like to reflect on all that happened in the past year, and all the good things in my life. I am thankful for another wonderful year.
Unsure which birthday this was... maybe four? I'm on the left.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Hot Dog Mac & Cheese

Hot Dog Macaroni & Cheese
Adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe

Breastfeeding - Love/Hate

On any given day, I would classify my relationship with breastfeeding as love/hate. I bet I'm not the only one. Again, I am very much PRO-breastfeeding, and I love it more than I hate it....but there are many downsides. Here is my pro/con list, that in all honesty, is pretty pointless, because I'm going to breastfeed all of my babies. It's just nice to rant sometimes :-)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Eco Sprout Winner!

Thank you to the 70+ people who entered the Eco Sprout giveaway!! There were nearly 1200 entries after bonus entries were counted. It was a well received giveaway, and I'm really thankful to Eco Sprout for sponsoring it. I am still loving this detergent! I ordered the biggest bag possible (and received a free small bag as part of the Cyber Monday special) and bought the medium size bag from my local CD store.... sooo I think I'm set on Eco Sprout for a while. I hope those of you who didn't win will consider purchasing some--you won't regret it!

The winner is:

Congratulations to her! She has been notified and has until Thursday at noon central time to respond.

Have you seen the Seventh Generation Kitchen Pack giveaway?? Please consider entering--it's valued at more than $80 and ends on 12/17 at 11 pm central!

Thank you all for following Letters from Momma :-)

Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid Review & Kitchen Pack Giveaway

This review (and giveaway) is long overdue. The benefit to the tardiness of this post is that I have been using the Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid to get our dishes clean for over a month. I feel very confident recommending this product to you!

I hand wash baby G's toys, breast pump accessories, bottles/sippy cups, and high chair tray. I prefer to use non-toxic or 'free & clear' soaps with her items. I also always wash our pots and pans by hand. I like to use sponges and scour pads on our items, but prefer a gentle wash cloth for the baby's items. I was in serious luck when My Blog Spark sent me a Seventh Generation kitchen pack for review, because it included all of my favorite items--in eco-friendly or organic options!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

This week is a busy week! My sister is coming in town, it's my birthday week, and my husband's work is having their Holiday Party and Annual Meeting. Therefore, this week is really easy on me...and probably boring for you! I promise my menu plan will be more exciting next week :-) If you'd like more ideas, check out my recipe page that lists some of my personal or adapted recipes, including the super easy Faj-ritos I made this past week. I'd also like to hear any recipes you have for the 8 pound bag of oranges we bought for $3.99 this weekend. They smell and look delicious, but aside from eating them plain...any ideas?

Sunday, December 04, 2011


I made a combination of Fajitas and Burritos this past week and wanted to share the super easy recipe!

4 servings

Saturday, December 03, 2011

November Stats!

Another month has ended? Time is seriously flying!! I'm starting to finally see my hard work pay off! Lately my daily pageviews are hovering right around 500. Sweet :-)

Google analytic stats for Nov 1 - Dec 1:

Friday, December 02, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---

Welcome if you are visiting from the link-up at Conversion Diary! This is my first week doing 7 quick takes. I've read it on Catholic Newlywed and NFP & Me, so I decided to join in the fun this week. I write mostly about being a momma to my beautiful and wiggley daughter, baby G. We use cloth diapers, breastfeed, and our biggest woes right now are teething and sleep!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The hardest thing about being a mom - candidly speaking

Do you believe in 'fake it 'til you make it?' I always have. I like to think I am good at many things--and I've been told I am, but there are things that I definitely could stand to improve on. If I'm not great at something that I need to be... I sure do act like I am until I get there.

And I've been faking it 'til I make it with this whole motherhood thing for the past...oh, I don't know.... 40 weeks.

It ain't easy. It's sure not pretty or glamourous (unless you're Kourtney Kardashian?). And it's definitely not for the faint of heart.