Smart Sheep! (My post about balls….)

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Wool Dryer Balls…. You dirty minded people!

Here comes my initial review on my “Smart Sheep” Wool Dryer Balls.  One in the first of many little project designed to get my house and life a little more “natural” and less coated in chemicals!  I purchased my dryer balls from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GA9P5P0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I started using these dryer balls a couple of days ago in lieu of fabric softener.  There are a lot of claims made about dryer balls that I have to admit I was pretty skeptical.  Since I’ve only been using them a couple days, this is just an initial assessment, we’ll see how I like them in the long run!

Initial Opinion: I LOVE them!

Some things I have noticed right off in the last few days:

1- These really do soften laundry without chemicals.  In fact, it may just be my imagination, but I really think the laundry is coming out of the dryer SOFTER than it was with fabric softeners.

2- I love that these have no chemicals and they don’t leave a funky residue on the dryer like fabric softeners and fabric sheets. My family has VERY sensitive skin and there is nothing to react to with these dryer balls.  I love that I don’t have to use the “natural fabric softener sheets” with my baby’s laundry and even though it’s a small thing, that’s less stuff going into a landfill.

3- I can scent these with whatever essential oils I choose or none at all.  I haven’t found the best ratio of drops of oils to dryer balls yet as I don’t seem to be putting enough on them to catch a discernible scent when clothes come out of the dryer, but I’m working on it.  =)  I’m shooting for just a light whiff.

4- There seems to be a lot less static with these, if there’s even static at all.  Usually when doing my husband’s white undershirts they’re always sticking together.  I just folded a load of these and there was no sticking at all!

5- LESS WRINKLES! So I’ll (shamefully) admit, both my husband and I usually cram a ton of clothes into the washer, which then equals a ton of clothes in the dryer, and we always usually have some wrinkles.  There are a LOT LESS WRINKLES per load than before.  Side Note: Must learn to put less laundry in the wash at a time.

5- Drying time is greatly reduced.  Again, because we (shamefully) cram a ton of clothes into the wash, we generally have to tumble a load 2-3 times to get completely dry.  My clothes are getting dry in one tumble, and that’s not only less time doing laundry, but less electricity used running the dryer!

So far, I LOVE THESE DRYER BALLS.  Supposedly they also knock pet hair off clothes really well, but I haven’t really put that to the test yet.  They also supposedly last up to a year, so we’ll see if they continue to perform as well in the long run.

Next up (hopefully soon!):

Handmade Essential Oil Diffusing Jewelry!

Wish me luck!

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Going Green(er)…..

This year I thought I’d do something a little different. I’m not going to make resolutions (because I never keep them anyway) and why set myself up for failure. Instead, I’m going to try to make several small changes that will hopefully set me up to make bigger changes throughout the year as my small changes build on themselves. Confused? Me too =)

One of the things I started to work on last year (and to be honest the year before as we were trying to get pregnant) was to go a little more natural in my everyday life. Use more natural products, eat more natural and less processed foods. Purchase organic where I can.

This year I’m hoping to expand on that. Especially with a new baby in the house! There are so many natural baby products out there, and so many more good options for household items that the prices seem to be getting more reasonable and easier on the pocketbook for the average family.

My two new things this week are I’m starting to learn about essential oils and all the different uses and different oils available. I think it’s going to take me forever to learn, but so far what I HAVE learned and put into practice has been really awesome and seemingly has been working! It’s really exciting!

I also got some organic wool dryer balls that I’m going to try out (if I can ever find time to get some laundry done now that I’m back at work and done with maternity leave) and I’m looking forward to “reviewing” those!

I’ve also added a recycle “bin” to the kitchen so it’s more accessible and easier for me to make the commitment to saving things to be recycled. So far that’s going really well too!

My other small change that I’m going to try to make over the next couple months is healthier/cleaner eating and also to start adding in some weekly exercise to my routine. I have some other mom’s locally wanting to do a walking group, so as soon as it warms up a tad I’m ready to get started on that a couple times a week!

Behind yet again, Thankful for… Days 15, 16, 17

Whew! It’s been kind of a crazy weekend, which is funny because being on maternity leave I don’t really do anything but play with Tatum and keep her fed and happy, and also carve out a few hours a day for working from home and chores. =)

Day 15…

Thankful for the time I had with my dog Aspen, who passed away a couple weeks ago at the age of 14. Her passing was (and still is) really hard on me, as I’ve had her since she was six weeks old and she’s been with me through a good portion of my life. I’m really thankful for the awesome memories I have with her and that she managed to touch so many lives and introduce me to so many awesome people during her short time here on earth. True story, if I didn’t have Aspen, I would never have met Wade and never would have the amazing family we have right now. I owe her so much, and I hope she’s at peace. RIP Aspen. ❤

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Day 16…

Thankful for really patient photographers who take the time to happily take family photos that include TWO six week old babies and a 3 year old toddler (Not to mention the 63 year old man who acts like a toddler….DAD!) *grin* I’m really looking forward to our Christmas cards this year, I think they’re going to be amazing, and I’m really excited to have a picture of our entire family together, as I know my mom is too. ❤ Thanks to Mary Cyrus Photography here in Dallas, TX!

Day 17…

Thankful for this contraption:

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It’s called a MamaRoo swing, and while they normally sell for $300 in stores, I scored one on a local Facebook garage sale group for $50 in like new condition. This thing is saving my life a couple hours at a time and it’s absolutely amazing. THANK YOU MAMAROO!! ❤

Thankful for… Day 9

Another frivolous thing to be thankful for, but in all honestly it’s a huge help in my life right now. I’m super thankful for my crockpot. Seriously, with a 5 week old and a husband with a broken foot, it’s absolutely MAJOR for me to be able to throw some food in that thing and VIOLA! 6-7 hours later dinner is ready to eat with a minimum of fuss.

Today I did my Jamaican Jerk Chicken with the spices we brought back from Jamaica earlier this year. I usually pair it with rice and black beans mixed together and it’s oh-so-yummy. The other good thing about crockpots is, LEFTOVERS. I may actually have lunch tomorrow. 😉

Weekend Wrap-Up

Wow – we were really busy this weekend!  I was so ready to be done with this week at work that the weekend had been looming for me for what seemed like forever and it was finally HERE.

There is a very small historical cemetery near our house that over the last few months had become quite overgrown.  It really made me sad driving by it 1-2 times a day and thinking about how if those were my ancestors I certainly wouldn’t be happy with the neglect the cemetery was going through.  Finally after contacting the owners of the cemetery and finding out the people in charge had just kind of forgotten about it and would be unable to do anything about it for a while, I decided to do something about it myself!  I organized a bunch of people from Murphy, and we all went out there Saturday morning for the big CLEAN-UP!

I was so excited at the number of people who showed up to help spruce up!  I think at one point I counted 17!!!  I absolutely love living in a small town.  New friends were made, and lots of fun was had, and I LOVED everyone’s kids that came to help as well!  What a really awesome group of youngsters and parents!  ❤

Here’s our album of pictures from McMillen Cemetery Clean-Up Day!

https://plus.google.com/photos/111290182317687401101/albums/6037795749909604929?authkey=CJnNzMi86-yePw

Then after we were done with that, my parents came over and we went over for our first 3D ultrasound of Miss Tatum!  I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but we got some amazing pictures, and a DVD of the entire session!  It really is amazing the clarity of the photographs and video you can get with the 3D.  I think my parents were absolutely fascinated! (I certainly was!)

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I really love them all, but the one of her yawning gets me every time.  ❤  Getting so much closer to meeting her in person, it’s really flying by at this point!

Sunday we spent kind of a leisurely day (with the exception of our air conditioning unit going on the fritz, but we combated that by just staying out of the house as much as possible)…  Hit up the local flea market and came home with a second “Tatum” street sign, a new pot for my Aloe plants, and Wade got a new rain gauge.  😉

Once we got home we headed to the pool.  MAN all the rain on Thursday made that water FRIGID.  Wade was making fun of me because once I got my feet in it took me almost an hour to get the rest of me in the pool.  He kept telling me I was freezing our baby, but honestly, it felt a lot better than my hot stuffy house with no AC!

We ended up going to dinner with Dad at Cracker Barrel – it’s his birthday tomorrow and he’s bacheloring it this weekend while my mom is at the beach so we’re meeting up with him as much as we can!

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Father, Daughter, and Granddaughter all hitting the rocking chairs 😉  That bump is getting kind of ridiculous for 6 months!  ❤

After that we came home and I tried to do some things to keep my mind off the heat in the house so I ended up finishing Tatum’s nursery letters!  Just need to hang them now!  I’m really happy with how they came out – I think they’re really cute.  =)

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And now I’m sweaty, exhausted, and ready to go to bed!

Coming up on July 29….. Maternity pictures on the BEACH!!!!  ❤

The Bump

According to thebump.com, I have 100 days left to go and Tatum is the size of a cauliflower. Cauliflower?? Feels more like a bowling ball.

I’m going to design my own notifications. According to theJamie.com, you have 100 days left to go, congrats on making it this far with a minimum of whining. You’re currently carrying a bowling ball sitting directly on top of your bladder and your lungs have scrunched up to 1/4 their usual size (which is about the only thing shrinking on you as you well know). Complete strangers are now grabbing your stomach with both hands and screaming about how tight it is. Enjoy the next 100 days, as it just gets “better” from here *grin*

New Beginnings <3

I know it’s been a long while since I’ve posted, but I’ve missed blogging and I finally have some interesting stuff (I believe anyway!) to add to the interwebz again.

The past two and a half years have been a long hard road for Wade and I as we’ve struggled with infertility issues.  We didn’t publicize that we were trying to start a family, but it was something we both really desperately wanted and didn’t seem to be able to achieve.  After a really disheartening last six months to 2013, we decided to quit the road we were currently on and save up the money to start IVF in March 2014.

You can imagine our surprise (and elation!) when at the beginning of February, I (being the obsessive can’t help it person I am) decided to pee on yet another pregnancy test (I should have bought stock in First Response 2.5 years ago) and it came back POSITIVE!  I wanted to scream our joy from the rooftops, but being surrounded by fertility issues (and hundreds of other women surrounded with the same issues) for years had made me super paranoid.

We’ve announced it on Facebook quite a few weeks ago and are now 24 weeks along as of today.  It’s actually been a fairly easy pregnancy so far, with the exception of severe bronchitis at around week 7 where I thought I might just die, and I’ve actually been one of those pregnant women that other pregnant women love to hate.  Not a ton of nausea, no real morning sickness, fairly decent energy, not many side-effects, etc.  Now that I’ve gone public with all that, I’m sure my pregnancy will turn around and bite me in the tooshie, but so far, I feel great!!!

We were so excited at the beginning we decided to go to one of those boutiquey places popping up for their “Early Gender Determination Ultrasound” and they told us our baby was a boy.  Imagine our surprise when 3 weeks later we had our anatomy scan at our doctor’s office and HE turned out to be a SHE!  I couldn’t stop laughing, and Wade was just stunned speechless (He was SURE he’d seen the bits).  She has since been confirmed a girl twice, so we’re fairly confident this time.

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Looks like we’ll be welcoming Tatum Lynn to the family sometime around October 23 of this year.  Around three and a half months left to go!!!

I can’t wait to continue to keep up with our journey over the next several months here.  I think it’s going to be both exciting and terrifying for me as we get closer to “time” – anyone who has known me long knows me and medical stuff don’t mix very well!  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an uneventful birth 😉

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Of course, I’ve been obsessively working on the nursery since Day One, and we went with a carousel horse theme which I adore.  I think she’s going to love her room. (I hope so anyway!)

In other news (which seems kind of paltry to that news) life has been moving along very smoothly lately!  Our gardens are blooming, in fact, we’re being featured on a local blog tomorrow for that and I’m looking forward to seeing if the author likes our little backyard paradise as much as we do!  All of my plumeria cuttings made it through the brutal winter we had and it looks like a couple more of my mature plants will be blooming soon, so I can’t wait to see what color they turn out (though I think all my mature plants are the same if I remember right.  Oh well, no surprises this year!)

All of our pets are also doing (knock on wood) surprisingly great!  After two really close calls with Aspen since Christmas, she’s almost completely recovered and though VERY old and starting to go a little senile, she’s in great shape and still trucking along.  Such a tough old lady.  Checkers (our cat) is in robust health as always, and Derby (the sheltie) has been doing great as well!  He turned 8 this year, and I just can’t believe how time has flown!!!

I think I’ve rambled on long enough, so until the next post!!  It feels good to be back and writing!!!  ❤

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