September 7, 2018

Making The Switch To Reusable Cloth Pads

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Read my full disclosure here.

What are cloth pads?


Cloth pads are reusable menstrual pads made of cloth so you can wash an reuse them each cycle. They are also known as "mama cloth." However, I do not like that term as you do not have to be a mom to use cloth menstrual pads.

I think the term "mama cloth" became popular because a lot of moms will switch over to cloth pads if they are cloth diapering, as they can all be washed together. Plus teens usually aren't as concerned about the environment or would think something like cloth pads would be gross. I know teen me would have wanted nothing to do with cloth pads.

And I think calling it "mama cloth" can detour younger girls more from trying it as they see it as an "old" thing or a "mom" thing and won't even consider it as an option, so I will always refer to them as cloth pads or reusable menstrual pads.



Making the switch to reusable menstrual pads


My main reason for the switch was because it is more environmentally friendly. You can wash and reuse cloth. My only other reason for the switch is like with cloth diapers, there are so many cute and fun prints!

Some women are concerned about the "chemicals" in disposables and switch for that reason. I never really cared enough to look into it, to me, it sounded similar to anti-vax arguments, where there really is no truth to it.

Like a lot of women who decide to use cloth pads, I did so after I became a mom. We already used cloth diapers and that was going well, so I decided now would be the perfect time to try cloth pads as I can wash them with the diapers.

I am also a stay at home mom, which means I hardly go out, so I don't have to worry about dealing with cloth while out and about. I actually still use disposables if I am leaving the house as it is just more convenient and I don't have to worry about carrying around a dirty cloth pad.

The thing I didn't know when I started looking into cloth menstrual pads was just how many different sizes, designs, and absorbancies there were! I decided to start by going with ones that were the similar size of my disposables and I only started with seven as you can see in the image below:


I knew this wouldn't make it through more than a day, but I didn't want to invest in something I wasn't sure I would stick to just yet. I, of course, ended up loving them, and am now working on building my stash!

The cloth is surprisingly more comfortable despite the pads feeling thicker. This could be because they are designed to fit my body better, whereas all disposables are one size fits all, which they really don't in my opinion. Plus the material is softer, whereas disposable pads are so scratchy and itchy.

Where can you buy cloth pads?


If you are just starting, I suggest going the cheap route and buy off of Happy Beehinds as the pads there are all under $3 a piece! Otherwise, Amazon is another great option for finding cloth pads at a cheaper price.

My favorite place to shop, however, is Etsy! There are so many crafters out there that make cloth pads and the best part is most of them will make custom pads for you! As I mentioned before, there are tons of options out there and that is what makes cloth better than disposables as you can have them designed to fit your body shape a lot better.

Here are some of my favorite Etsy shops for cloth pads:

How many do I need?


I have irregular cycles, so finding the right number of pads has been tricky. I currently have 26 total and don't feel it's enough. Some cycles I bleed more than others and find myself running out. Other cycles I have just the right amount. It also depends on how often you wash, I usually do one wash in the middle of my cycle, so if I didn't, I would probably need double the amount I have.

I think the key when making the switch is to start with a few, and just add until you feel you have the perfect number. If you are like me, you would still have some disposables hanging around so you will have a backup if you run out.

I haven't been brave enough to go cloth at night, so I do still use disposables at night, and as stated before, I prefer to use disposables when I'm out of the house. If you, however, want to make a complete switch, a wet bag will also be something you want to have so you have a way to store the pads when you are out of the house.


How do you wash them?


If you already cloth diaper, then you just wash them with your cloth diapers. If you do not cloth diaper, you would first wash them in a normal cold wash or prewash, and then you would want to do a heavy duty cold or hot wash. I prefer to use hot water for the main wash as I personally feel it gets things cleaner, but cold water is fine too. 

A lot of sites will recommend hand rinsing them in cold water first. Even some of the shops I buy from give you care instructions, and they often say to rinse and ring out before washing. I find this isn't necessary as the cold prewash does the rinsing for you.  My pads have come out clean without a problem, even the prints with white on them come out unstained! However,  If you want to rinse before washing, that's totally up to you! Like with cloth diapers, it's all about finding a wash routine that works for you.

For drying, I just throw them in the dryer on medium heat. If you want, you can hang dry them or use low heat.

Have you made the switch? 


Have you used cloth pads? How did it go for you? Let me know in the comments!




August 16, 2018

Gululu Back to School Giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Affiliate links are used in this post. Read my full disclosure here.

Gululu is back again and giving away a $45 Amazon Gift Card to help you prepare for the upcoming school year! 


What is Gululu? 


Gululu was developed by Bowhead Technology as an interactive water bottle that keeps children hydrated while allowing parents to monitor daily water-drinking progress through an easy to use smartphone app. Gululu provides a technology-enabled solution with a learning-through-play mechanism to address issues pertaining to children’s wellbeing.


The water bottle tracks hydration and encourages the child to drink with the help of an educational pet-growing game DIRECTLY ON THE BOTTLE! As kids consume more water from their Gululu bottle, their virtual pet grows and unlocks new worlds and adventures at the “Gululu Universe." Gululu also has an automatic software and content update system that continuously rolls out new features to keep children engaged.

Back to School Must-Haves! Gululu Interactive Water Bottle with Hydration Tracking App for Parents! This great water bottle even has school-time settings!


Gululu's Greater Purpose:

Gululu's mission and contribution are to help children all over the world stay healthy and hydrated! To advance their goal, for every Gululu bottle purchased, a child in a developing country will be provided with clean drinking water! This initiative was created through a partnership with Generosity.org, a humanitarian organization that provides sustainable solutions to the global water crisis, one community at a time. Joining forces with Generosity.org has allowed Gululu to offer programs focused on educating kids on social responsibility and initiate water-well projects for developing countries.

Want to know more? Gululu has been featured in leading global media publications in over 20 countries. Among them are TechCrunch, Yahoo, Vogue, and Forbes that declared Gululu as a “Top 5 best kids’ gadgets.”


Enter to Win a $45 Gift Card from Gululu!


Gululu is giving away a $45 Gift Card to one lucky winner to
help you prepare for the upcoming school year!

Enter to Win an Amazon Gift Card from Gululu during the Back to School Giveaway at Mommy's PlaybooK! #EntertoWin #GululuBTS18


Quick Features!


Gululu is an amazing interactive water bottle that provides children with an entertaining reminder to stay hydrated. Parents love it because it doesn't require anything extra from them. All you have to do is wash Gululu after each use, allow it to air dry (baby bottle racks are a great drying solution to keep the lid and bottle together). Kids can easily charge Gululu overnight or between sips as the bottle just rests on the charging cradle when not in use. Take a look at the quick features that highlights why you'll love Gululu too:
  • Monitor children's daily water-drinking progress through your smartphone
  • Grow and evolve with a virtual ‘tamagotchi-like’ virtual pet
  • Experience continuous content updates through an automatic software update system to keep children engaged
  • Parents can utilize “Do Not Disturb” and “Bedtime” modes to be sure the Gululu Pet isn't distracting during learning or rest times.
  • Learn-Through-Play, embark on a journey of health, rewards, and adventures within the “Gululu universe”
  • Connect with friends by syncing to nearby bottles and stay connected with the cloud-based app. Durable, safe, and waterproof with a modular design and easy-to-clean spout that makes maintenance simple BPA-free
Other important features:
  • Monthly themes: Every couple of weeks, Gululu introduces additional features, such as new online campaigns, drinking animations, pet accessories, sound effects, and more. These exciting additions are all automatically updated into the bottle through the cloud.
  • Gululu Universe Journey: Children can redeem accessories for their pets with the virtual coins collected along their journey of discovering the Gululu Universe.
  • Virtual pets: A fourth virtual pet, (Donny), was released at the end of March. More characters are expected to be added soon to expand the population of the “Gululu universe.”

Back to School Giveaway at Mommy's Playbook! #GululuBTS2018
Enter below for a chance to win!
One lucky reader will win a $45 Amazon Gift Card from Gululu!
The giveaway is open US Only, 18+
The giveaway ends 9/1 at 1159p est
Be sure to come back daily for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Mommy’s Playbook Giveaway Rules: This giveaway is Sponsored by Gululu and hosted by Mommy’s Playbook. Winner will receive a $45 Amazon Gift Card! Use the gift card for whatever you like OR towards your Gululu purchase! Victoria and/or Mommy’s Playbook are not responsible for prize fulfillment. By entering this giveaway you are giving the giveaway host and/or event sponsor permission to retain your email address for future communication, you may choose to opt-out of such communications at any time. Please contact Victoria (at) MommysPlaybook.com regarding any questions you have pertaining to this giveaway.

Traditional Anniversary Gifts For The First 5 Years

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Read my full disclosure here.

My husband and I actually started this tradition on a fluke, but went with it! We are following the traditional gifts, so each year we get each something that somehow relates to the traditional gift. You can find a complete list of all the traditional and modern anniversary gifts on Wikipedia.

Here is what we did for our first 5 years of marriage just to give you some ideas!

1st Anniversary - Paper

Tickets to Ama Luna by Cirque du Soleil


For our first anniversary, we went to see Ama Luna by Cirque du Soleil and it worked out as tickets to the show count as paper. We didn't realize this until we were planning what we should do for our second anniversary, so that was lucky! You can also do movie tickets, tickets to a sporting event, etc. Some other fun paper ideas would be to make origami together, write love letters, books, or a romantic coupon book.

2nd Anniversary - Cotton

Socks and Underwear


We were pretty lame with this one and just went with socks and underwear, but we did make sure that package indeed said that they were made of cotton! Clothing is definitely an easy option for this traditional gift!

3rd Anniversary - Leather

Coasters


For leather, we got each other coaster sets as we couldn't agree on one design! I got him a set featuring the loon (Minnesota state bird) and he got me the set with our state on it (Minnesota). If you're a Minnesotan, you can get these coasters from Great Lakes Northern Outfitters. Otherwise, there are plenty of options on Etsy if you want another state or are looking for something else! Some other leather ideas you could do are key fobs, belts, wallets, jewelry,. and purses. 

4th Anniversary - Fruit and Flowers

Pumpkin and Flowers


Our anniversary is in October, so this worked out perfectly! I got my husband a giant pumpkin so he could decorate our front door because guess what, a pumpkin is technically a fruit! He got me flowers, so simple and who doesn't love receiving fresh flowers? Some other fun ideas you could do are a fruit basket, order an edible arrangement, plant flowers or grow from seeds if you have a spring anniversary, or plant a fruit tree.

5th Anniversary - Wood

Point Driver Tool and Picture Frame


At this point, my husband had gotten into woodworking, so he decided he was going to make me a picture frame, but in order to finish it, he needed a Point Driver, so I bought him one. He basically gave the picture frame without the glass and I gave him the tool so he could use the tool to finish the picture frame! Some other ideas you could do are jewelry or keepsake boxes, rocking chairs, wooden spoonswood watch, and cutting boards.

Some of our Anniversary Gifts