Thursday, January 29, 2015
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed my announcement that we were selected to host a #DisneySide @Home Celebration!  Thank you Disney Parks, MomSelect and BSM Media for choosing us to share our #DisneySide!
This is our first time participating, so everything is a big surprise for us and I'm going to share everything about our party with you!  My little girl is turning 5 on February 6th, so I have a ton of work planning this party in a week's time!   We received the package yesterday and she is definitely enthusiastic!
 Tomorrow I'll let her open the box and reveal all the fun stuff inside, but here's a sneak peek for now!  Hopefully I can get a video uploaded this weekend of all the goodies in the box for the #DisneySide @Home Celebration!
Stay tuned, there's more to come!  I'm sure this is going to be one amazing party!

Latched On Mom did not receive payment for promoting this, however Latched On Mom was gifted in exchange for sharing my thoughts and experiences. All opinions are my own, written by me. Please see my full disclosure for more information.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
This post contains affiliate links, which means that everytime a customer clicks through and continues to make a purchase, my account will automatically be credited with 5% of the sale.
Figuring out the best way to get your cloth diapers clean can be a daunting task.  I follow conversations online about the many different ways to wash cloth diapers and have found opinions differ.  It can be quite discouraging if you can't find the right washing routine.  There's many types of detergents available out there, and variants of washing machines, (e.g top-loading, front-loading) so how do you know what is the better choice for you and for the environment?
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I was using a free and clear detergent for all our laundry because we have sensitive skin.  I read that this detergent was safe on diapers, so it was nice to not have to worry about changing. However, we started having some barnyard stink issues, so I decided to try Ultra Tide Original HE to see if that eradicated the odor. This change helped tremendously, and I was happy until I wondered what all the ingredients were... so I went to the P&G website and searched Ultra Tide HE Powder Detergent- Original and you can get any Tide ingredient list downloaded as a PDF file there.   It was alarming how lengthy the list is and several of the ingredients are known to be harmful. The Environmental Working Group researched and scored Tide with an F, the worst possible rating for laundry detergents on their site. Check EWG to further investigate the concerns with the ingredients in Tide.
A mother only wants the best for her baby, and choosing cloth diapers is a fantastic way to provide your child with a healthier alternative.  Being attentive of environmentally safe laundry detergents and using them is an impressive way to perpetuate your cloth diaper craze and eco-consciousness! Taking care of your family and taking care of Earth is an easy thing to do with Rockin' Green.  The ingredients in all of the Rockin' Green products are made with a biodegradable plant-based and petroleum-free surfactant. I made an infographic comparing the ingredient list side by side. Tide has 19 listed ingredients and Rockin' Green has only 6!
There's a super simple way for anyone to give Rockin' Green a try, that way you can see how well it works.  They conveniently offer a 3-Pack Sample Kit and it comes with a coupon to get your money back with your next order of $25 or more!  These samples contain about 3 Tablespoons per packet.
Rockin' Green says that HE frontload washers only need 2 TBSP of soap, and top loaders need 3.  Although they also say there are variables such as size of the load, how soiled the diapers are and if you have hard or soft water.  These all must be considered, and it can take some trial and error to find the right dosage.
This rang true for me, we have a frontloader HE machine and the first wash I used 2 TBSPs of the Classic Rock Motley Clean and didn't feel it really cleaned the diapers very well.  I didn't see any suds during the entire wash, and didn't notice a scent from the detergent either.  So the second wash, I used the entire packet of the Classic Rock Smashing Watermelons.  Again, no suds or scent.  It was odd for me to be without these familiar components.  The diapers came out very clean, so I think I found the right routine. I washed the next load again with a full 3 TBSPs. Now, I do wash quite a bit of diapers at once!  I wash 3 days of diapers at a time.  I think Rockin' Green did an amazing job at washing the diapers.
I do want to dig into the reasons behind seeing less suds in the wash.  I think many people believe that there needs to be suds/bubbles in their wash to ensure it's working.  Suds are caused by surfactants, which are molecules with a non polar and polar end that congregate between either liquids and solids or liquids and liquids.  Basically, a surfactant gets in between the layers of dirt (or excretions in this case) and water, then separates them. Surfactants can be organic or synthetic and the synthetic surfactants are not biodegradable.  
Rockin' Green is committed to giving families a non-toxic, gentle formula with substantial cleaning power! Rockin' Green uses organic and biodegradable surfactants,  leaving less residue and is safe for your baby's skin.  Here's a few facts about Rockin' Green:
*Biodegradable and packaging is recyclable
*Phosphate free
*No NPE's or APE's
*No 1-4 dioxane
*No SLS or Parabens
*contains no optical brighteners
*No artificial fragrances
*Gluten free and Vegan Friendly
Classic Rock is just one of several choices for laundry detergent.  Classic Rock is best for those with water that isn't too hard.  If your water is hard, you can use Hard Rock.  There's also Athletic Wear Detergent and Doghouse Rock for pets. Rockin' Green also currently offers dishwashing detergent, ammonia bouncer, odor neutralizing spray and many new products are coming soon!  
What do I like most about this product?  The fact that it's safer for my baby and for the environment!
Is there anything I'd change about this product?  I absolutely have nothing that I think would make it better.  I love it just how it is!  I'm one happy customer, and I think you will be too!
I give Rockin' Green Classic Rock a 10/10!
Want to keep updated about new products and promotions?
SHOP Rockin' Green & sign up for a newsletter!
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I'm so thrilled to be able to offer my readers a chance to win a 3.2 lb bag of Classic Concentrate Laundry Detergent!  Thank you Rockin' Green for letting me host a giveaway!  Rockin' Green fits perfectly into the Make it Green in 2015 Campaign!  

Just fill out the competition form below to enter the giveaway!  The giveaway will run from 1/27/15-2/9/15.  Open to US only.  Void where prohibited.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Winner will be announced on this post, as well as emailed (so make sure to log into the competition form using the email address you use).  You will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn.   Rockin' Green Classic Rock
Latched On Mom did not receive payment for the review which was given, a sample product was gifted from Rockin' Green.  Latched On Mom has an affiliation to this company,  however all opinions are my own, written by me.  Other participating bloggers did not receive compensation to promote this giveaway. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Prize fulfillment is the sponsor's responsibilty.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
    Royal Fluff Cloth Diaper Giveaway!
Open to US only from January 22nd- February 5th 2015!
royalfluffdiaper

Royal Fluff Diapers have some of the cutest prints on cloth diapers that I have seen. .Baby’s bum deserves nothing short of the royal treatment. Eco-friendly, money saving and ridiculously darling, this reusable pocket diaper caters to that cute behind. Every petite prince and princess will love its fleecy soft interior and ultra-comfortable trim fit. But better yet, this diaper is 100% waterproof and breathable, too! It’s equipped with durable snaps that offer several sizing options. Simply slip the included insert into the pocket or rest it inside the diaper and when it becomes soiled, toss both the insert and diaper in the wash.  Click HERE to read the full review of Royal Fluff Diapers from Tales From A Southern Mom!
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You can get your own Royal Fluff diaper at their website, they are also giving away one in the winners choice of prints to one of our readers.

Enter below!  Good luck!

Latched On Mom and other participating bloggers did not receive any compensation for this giveaway. Sponsor is responsible for shipment of prize to the winner. This giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed by, affiliated with, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google or any other social media platform. If you have any questions or would like to see your product featured please email Julie at julie.talesfromasouthernmom@gmail.com
Monday, January 19, 2015
At one point or another, most lactating moms have concern that they are not making enough milk for their little ones.  I wrote a post called Do I Make Enough Milk for Baby that discusses the common complaints regarding milk supply with evidence based answers, so make sure to check that out.
There's reasons that moms may want a lactation boost.  Sickness, stress and hormones can dip your supply.  Moms who have little ones that cannot or will not nurse and rely on a pump, or return to work and have to pump also can face struggles with milk production. 
I've been exclusively pumping for my daughter for 16 months, and have had troubles providing enough milk for my baby's needs.  Giving your baby the best is important and fortunately, we have options out there that aid us in our breastfeeding efforts.
I was recently introduced to a product called Milkflow.  Upspring Baby is the creator of this breastfeeding supplement.  Upspring is committed to helping make life better and easier for mom and baby.  They sent me a sample for product review purposes.  I am going to tell you everything I know about Milkflow and how it worked for me!
Milkflow is a galactagogue compound of fenugreek and blessed thistle, which when used together are known to work better than when used separately (source). Mothers typically see an increase rather quickly, some have reported within 24-72 hours after taking fenugreek.  Fenugreek has phytoestrogen molecules that alter prolactin secretion to stimulate the mammary glands. Blessed thistle assists in digestion and has anti-inflammatory characteristics, which can provide more efficient blood circulation (source).  
Milkflow also contains anise seed, beet root, carrot root, cane sugar, citric acid, natural flavors and beet juice.  It is a concentrated blend and comes as a dried powder in a packet.  This is convenient so you can use Milkflow wherever you are... Just open the packet and stir it into water, juice, sparkling water or soda water.  
Milkflow is non-GMO, vegan and gluten free. There are 40 calories per packet, with 18 packets in the box.  The mix is a natural berry flavor.  The instructions on the box say to stir the packet with 6-8 ounces of water and drink 2-3 glasses a day (but no more than 4).  
The first time I tried Milkflow, I dumped the powder into a mug and added about 8 ounces of water then stirred it up.  I will tell you right now that it is very tart, grainy and hard to take with just tap water.  The second time I tried it with 6 ounces of orange juice, which was much better than with water, but still a little too strong for my taste. So I sent my hubby to pick me up some seltzer water.  This was the lucky winner!  Much easier on the palate!  So my suggestion is to have seltzer water handy your first go!  
I thought it would be wise to warm up to this supplement.  I only drank one a day for a couple days, then started drinking two a day. I actually dumped 2 packages in with 8 ounces of seltzer water and continued this for a week.  When I went to two packets a day is when I noticed a better pump output.  I normally pump approximately 3 ounces per session, but with Milkflow I was getting up to 4 ounces every single session, which is impressive for me!  
With other fenugreek lactation supplements, you seem to have to take in quite a bit per day and may not notice any difference for a week or longer even.  I would absolutely recommend Milkflow to others in lieu of teas or pills.  
What's my favorite thing about Milkflow?  It is concentrated, letting you take less but get big benefits.  It seems to work pretty quickly and it is safe to take.
Is there anything I'd change about Milkflow?  I would prefer it not be as sour as it is.  
I give Milkflow by Upspring Baby a 9/10!

SHOP Upspring Baby for a variety of mom and baby products- www.upspringbaby.com
To keep up with promotions, coupons and new products:

I am thrilled to be able to offer my readers an opportunity to win one box of Milkflow!  All you have to do is fill out the competition form below!  Giveaway will run from 1/19/15-2/2/15.  Open to US only.  Void where prohibited.  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Winner will be announced on this post as well as emailed (so make sure to log into the form using the email you use). You will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn.  
Latched On Mom did not receive payment for the review which was given.  All opinions are my own, written by me.  I have no affiliation to the company, unless otherwise stated. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Prize fulfillment is the sponsor's responsibility.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Sunday, January 18, 2015
I have been working on figuring on Google Analytics (GA) for a couple months now and haven't been able to understand it.  It's something that I have wanted to get put up because GA will analyze your visitor data to your site.  This is very important if you plan on working with affiliates because it shows you exactly where your audience is from, how they came across your blog, what they're reading on your blog, how long they stick around, how often they come back around, and more!   Affiliates often ask for Unique Monthly Views (UMV's) or Unique Hits, both of which can be found on GA. But GA is a confusing site... I've tried finding out how to use it and I even asked in several blogger support groups about getting some assistance setting mine up or at least share tips.  I wasn't really getting anywhere.  Until I saw a post by We're Parents- Introducing Blogger Tips, Tricks and Resources Series.  I was so happy that Larisha from We're Parents took a few moments of her time to explain things to me about GA!  Another good friend, Holly Lynn from Freek's Creations, who has worked on creating websites was the one who told me the trick to putting in the HTML into my Blogger template.  I figured there's others out there like me that really could use a little help, so I'm going to share everything I learned today. 
I'lm going to show you how to easily install Google Analytics into your Blogger template.
First go to Google Analytics- http://www.google.com/analytics/
Then create an account at the top right corner.
Once you log in with your Google account info, a screen will come up asking you to sign up for GA.  Click the Sign Up button.
Then you'll be asked to set up your account.  I'm getting my design blog signed up for this tutorial, since I already have Latched On Mom added.  Fill out your information, select your category, add your time zone, and keep the recommended boxes checked then hit the Get Tracking ID button at bottom of the page.
Read through the Google Analytics Terms of Service Agreement, hit ACCEPT.  On the next page that comes up, you'll be under the Admin tab, displaying your Tracking ID and Tracking Code.  Highlight the code (shown in red box) with your mouse by left clicking, dragging, right click and COPY.  
Now go to your blogger dashboard. Under Template tab, click on EDIT HTML.
A bunch of HTML script will come up... You have to paste your GA code in the correct place in order for it to work correctly.  You should see <head> around line 4.  Place the cursor right behind that, and hit ENTER so you're on line 5.  You want an empty line between <head> and your GA HTML tracking code, as well as an empty line after it (notice the pointy fingers showing the spaces in screenshot below)...
Click the Orange SAVE TEMPLATE button and then go to your Settings tab.  Choose the Other option, as shown in red circle in screenshot below.
Where the empty box is that says Analytics Web Property ID enter your Tracking ID from GA that was right above the Tracking Code. 
Go up and click on the top right Orange box that says Save Settings.  You're all set!  
If you find this tutorial helpful, I'd love if you'd share it with others!  
Wednesday, January 14, 2015

If you saw the last post from the Make it Green in 2015 series, you learned about all the icky chemicals lurking in disposable diapers.  Well some of those same chemicals are found in disposable baby wipes.  Visit the Environmental Working Group and do a search of the brand you use... it's pretty bad that wipes need 3-4 preservatives added to them, and these preservatives are known to be skin irritants. 
"When you know better, you do better."
Maya Angelou
So after I looked into all the ingredients, I decided I could do better for my baby.  A friend gave me a pack of flannel cloth wipes when I first started cloth diapering and after that, I was sold.  It's easier to wipe baby's bottom and throw the wipe in the diaper and toss it in with the diaper laundry than it is to separate.  It just doesn't make sense to be throwing something used for your diapers away when you cloth diaper.
I cut up some fleece into squares and I repurposed an old baby bath towel.  These two work great for wipes.  But I do prefer flannel the most, so I went to Goodwill and found a full-size bed sheet for $1.88.  PERFECT for wipes!  I'm going to tell you how you can make your own reusable cloth baby wipes, which will save you money, be better for your baby's skin and keep trash out of the landfill!
First thing is to figure out what size you'd like.  I suggest measuring the palm of your hand and adding at least one inch, this will keep the poo off your hand.  6 inches is just right.
Cut off any seams or edges of your sheet.  Double your fabric right side on the inside.
Measure from one end in 6 inches.
Mark along the 6 inch line vertically.  Measure again down 6 inches and mark along the line horizontally. Cut.

You can pin your squares together, but they're really small enough that I (a beginner at sewing) don't need to.  Put the square under the foot of your sewing machine, about 2/3-3/4 of the way on one side.  Set your machine with a straight stitch and start sewing along the edges.
Leave a small space to turn the fabric through.  I love to repurpose and found out that chopsticks are great at getting corners pushed out.
At this point, you can iron the wipes to have them lay more flat, which makes it much easier to topstitch.  Pinch the opening closed, place under presser foot and sew over the opening first with a straight stitch.  Keep sewing along the edges.
When you get to where you started, go over that hole area again and backstitch.
Voila!  You just made a cloth wipe!
You can add cotton terry to one side, which helps clean the messy stuff up a little better.
Here is my recipe for cloth wipe solution:
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 Cup of Distilled Water
Put them together in a spray bottle. Use as needed. You can add a drop of tea tree oil or your favorite essential oil if desired.
  
I made 10 cotton flannel wipes in about an hour or so.  3 of them are double-sided with cotton terry and flannel.  I'd love to give these upcycled cloth baby wipes away to one of my readers!
Just fill out the competition form to enter the giveaway. Giveaway will run from 1/14/15-1/26/15. Open to US only. Must be 18 years of age or older.  Void where prohibited. Winner will be announced on this post, as well as emailed (so make sure to log into the form with the email address you use).  You will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn.
LatchedOnMom did not receive payment for the review which was given. All opinions are my own, written by me. Latched On Mom and other participating bloggers have no affiliation to the company, unless otherwise stated. Other participating bloggers did not receive compensation to promote this giveaway. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. 
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Have you had a cloth diaper crush?  I have... and I bet most of you have too.  You know when you come across a cloth diaper in a particular print or style and it absolutely blows you away, you can't forget about it, you may even find yourself in a fixation about getting this darling diaper in your possession. That's how I felt when I saw Purple Unicorn's first breastfeeding themed diaper.  Then I stalked the Facebook page and I was in awe because every single diaper was something to be wild about. Obviously, you can imagine my excitement when I won a giveaway from Mama Banana's Adventures for a custom diaper by Purple Unicorn!
It was soooo much fun walking through the process with Elizabeth, I got to choose the fabric, color of inner, color of snaps and I chose turned and topstitched (T&T). It was exciting and when I got the diaper in the mail, I literally jumped up and down.  Life of a cloth diaper mama LOL!
Let me tell you all about the hybrid fitteds from Purple Unicorn and the WAHM that makes Purple Unicorn as amazing as it is.
Elizabeth Barba was taught how to sew by her grandmother when she was just a few years old.  She has about 30 years of experience and she is always sewing!  Making diapers for her kids using all the fabrics that she loved was so much fun that she decided creating a business was the next logical step. Her favorite thing about having her own business is buying all the fabrics, "I am definitely addicted." she says. Also making mamas their "unicorn" the ultimate diaper is something she loves to try and do.
Purple Unicorn is located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  All the materials that are used in the diapers and clothing made by Purple Unicorn are CPSIA compliant.  This means that the materials have been tested and passed for consumer product safety requirements.
You can find hybrid fitteds, pocket diapers, maxaloones, shirts, dresses, hoodies, embroidered designs on diapers, and order something customized to your liking for your little one!
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I'm reviewing Purple Unicorn's hybrid fitted cloth diaper, which is the most popular item sold.  These diapers fit between 10-30+ pounds. I believe it could go up to 40, possibly.
The outer fabric is made from a cotton knit, this diaper has two different outer fabrics, known as "two-toned."  See the wings have this Rad Breastfeeding/Babywearing fabric with the front rise being a rainbow stripe.  
The inside of the diaper is lined with a velvety soft cotton velour fabric.  In between the cotton velour and the outer cotton knit is a layer of windpro- a thick fleece fabric that is highly breathable and water repellent. 
There are a total of three snap-in petal style soakers made of 8 layers of super heavy organic bamboo fleece. The same cotton velour used for the inside of the diaper is placed on the top layer of the soaker. The soakers are customizable, you can use all three, you can use just two or you can use just one, depending on your needs. They easily snap into the backside of the diaper.
The diaper has a fold-down rise, a special feature that I hadn't used before.  Below is a photo of how you can use it with the belly panel folded down.  This is helpful for the smaller babies. Karebear is about 26 pounds and 15 months old.  It definitely fits better without using the fold-down rise on her.
There is a single row of 10 resin snaps for the fold-down rise.  There are 12 waist snaps and crossover snaps on the wings. 
Karebear fit splendidly in it with just a space of 2-3 snaps in the center left open. 
I like to see it taut along the edges, keeping everything in.  The leg elastic is snug, no gaping. The first time she wore this diaper, she easily got by 4 hours.  The second time we actually forgot that she was wearing it, drove for an hour and went shopping for an hour and went out to eat.  We came home and were like OOOPS.  However, it didn't leak thru to her pants.  This diaper is super absorbent and absolutely amazing!  Karebear is quite active too, always on the move.  I love reliable diapers like this!
Here's a bum shot.  Super cute, right?
Laundering is easy, you can choose to unsnap the soakers or leave them intact.  Throw in with your cloth diaper load, wash on cold rinse, hot wash, cold rinse with your cloth diaper safe detergent of choice (we've switched from All Free & Clear to Tide Original HE recently and I use enough detergent to fill to the first line on the measuring cup).  You can dry this diaper on high heat even, it holds up well.  The print may fade over time, this is to be expected especially when you wash on anything other than cold. 
This diaper is exceptional.  It holds up to my high expectations.  
What do I like most about this product?  That it's breathable, going without PUL is great for baby's skin.
Is there anything I'd change about it?  I think it's absolutely perfect just how it is.  
I give Purple Unicorn a 10/10!
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