Getting Back To Where I Started

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 11:43 AM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama
Hi all!!! As of late, I have been getting so distracted with making diapers, selling diapers, doing giveaways, sponsoring giveaways, keeping up with all of the Facebook "groups" and such, that I have completely gotten away from using this blog for it's original purpose. I started this blog as a way for me to share my feelings, connect with other parents, and be a positive and uplifting source for those who choose to read. I apologize for getting away from all of that. And to be completely transparent with all of you, I have also gotten away from the joys and responsibilities of being a stay at home mom because I have been so focused on all of these other things.

I am truly blessed and grateful that I have been given the option to stay at home with my beautiful and precious children. My husband Ryan is amazing and does everything he possibly can to provide a comfortable lifestyle for us. For a long time, I felt so guilty because I was not providing financially for the family. I have made a lot of changes in order to cut back on expenses, such as switching to cloth diapers, using cloth in the kitchen, using the clothes line more often to dry clothes instead of the dryer, cancelling cable tv, switching to a lower speed internet, making homemade meals and snacks, etc. But I never felt like it was enough. Not because Ryan made me feel that way, but because I made myself feel that way. 

Ryan has always found a way to make money. I have never had to worry about that. We have owned businesses, sold businesses, he has had "regular" 9-5 type of jobs, sales jobs, traveling jobs, and he has freelanced as a subcontractor taking side jobs as they came up. He works incredibly hard so that our kids can stay home with me and grow up comfortably in their own environment. If he wanted me to work, he would ask me to find a job. He has never pressured me into making money, and I appreciate that so much. The added pressure on me has been put there solely by me. The whole reason he does what he does, is because he truly wants me to stay home and raise our kids! And you know what? I want that too!

Sometimes people question my decision to stay home: "You have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Why aren't you using it?" Why on earth would I want to spend 12+hours/day with people who don't care about me, working my butt off doing something that I don't even really like doing? Especially when I don't have to?? It's not that I have anything against nurses or any part the medical field. I wouldn't have gone through college to get a degree in the health/medical field if there wasn't something appealing about it to me. But just because I have the background doesn't mean that my life has to be centered around it. Was college a waste then? No way! College was great! Life experiences, friendships, awesome education, independence - it was well worth it! But, now that I have a family, my focus is on giving my all to them and not giving my all elsewhere. 

I understand that not everyone has the opportunity to stay home with their kids. I get it. Everyone has to do what they have to do to provide the best for themselves and for their families. And you better believe that if Ryan ever asks me to return to work, I would and should do it. In fact, after our 1st child was born, Ryan did ask me to return to work when our daughter was about 6 months old. And I did. And it worked out fine. And I was able to return home later that year and haven't been back to work in almost 3 years now. What I am getting at is that I have realized that I am what is best for my family, and I should be taking full advantage of the opportunity that God has given me through my husband, and stop feeling guilty about not providing financially because I am providing a life for my kids that no one else could provide for them. 

My babes are 2 yrs and 3 yrs old. They will not be little and young and innocent forever. I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can. Connecting with them, providing for them, teaching them, having fun with them, supporting them, being there for them. And with all of that being said, I am getting back to where I started with this blog. I will still do reviews, giveaways, sponsor events, make and sell diapers, etc. But all of those things will always come second to my family and what matters most to me and my husband. This blog is getting back to sharing playtime activities, yummy recipes, positive thoughts, family values, "green" tips and ideas, and simply sharing the fun and humor in life!

A big thank you to all who take the time to read my thoughts - I appreciate you! Now, let's all have some fun and get back to where we started with this whole thing!

~ Jessica

Sponsor Spotlight: Scarlet's Naturals Hiney Honey Review and Giveaway

Sunday, May 6, 2012 7:16 PM Posted by Lovely Fluffy Mama

As I was browsing through some of the WAHM Facebook groups I belong to, I came across a wonderful woman named Desiree from Scarlet's Naturals (on Facebook you will see it as Scarlet's Hiney Honey), looking for a few testers for one of her natural baby skin care products. I volunteered to be a tester, as well as offered to write a review in exchange for the product. I love to review products, so when she asked if I would also review her natural sunblock (review still to come), of course I said yes! 
(And, since I'm a sucker for anything coconut scented/flavored, I went ahead and purchased her Scarlet's Suds laundry detergent because I saw on her website that I could get it in coconut scent :))

Scarlet's Naturals

Before even receiving any products, I could tell that I was going to like the Scarlet's Naturals product line. My kids have always had very sensitive skin, my son especially. Our decision to cloth diaper Noah was partly because of his skin sensitivities. So when I saw that Scarlet's Naturals products are specifically made for babies and kids with sensitive skin, I wanted to know more. I found out that each product recipe uses ingredients found locally to them, including honey and beeswax that is from their own backyard! Love it!

The tester was for the Hiney Honey Cream in the form of a convenient stick (as of now, this product is available in a nice 4oz tin only, but will very soon also be available in stick form, although I am uncertain at the moment what size stick will be offered for purchase).

The original 4 oz tin

The tester stick (chapstick size)

The Hiney Honey Cream is a wonderful product that can be used for many purposes, such as (but certainly not limited to):

  • diaper rash
  • dry skin
  • eczema
  • irritated skin
  • redness on skin     

I love this cream (although after trying it, I would call it a "balm" rather than a "cream") because one of the ingredients is coconut oil (love it), and is used to safely calm and clear up red and irritated skin. A barrier or liner is not needed when using Hiney Honey on your baby's bottom, because all of the ingredients used will be completely rinsed out of the fabric in the wash. This is something that is very important to me, as I have damaged and stained many cloth diapers and liners due to treating diaper rashes and irritations with products that are not cloth diaper safe.

I have not had the pleasure of using this product in the original tin that it usually comes in, but I will have to say using this product as a stick has been super convenient and pleasant. A few of the many pros that I have found are:
  • Convenience of tossing it into my purse or wetbag or diaper bag.
  • The consistency is great. The product stays firm enough to allow you to dispense as a "solid stick", but melts nicely and easily as you apply to the skin
  • Non-greasy, non-oily. This product absorbs into the skin without leaving any sticky, oily, or greasy residue feeling.
  • No overwhelming scent. There is no fragrance. However, you may smell a light coconut fragrance due to the coconut oil used, but most likely you won't even notice. (But as I have already stated, I am a sucker for anything coconut, so I really like the very slight coconut scent).
  • Very quickly calms irritated skin. I personally have a couple of areas on my hands that get extremely irritated and my skin flares up several times a week. I use the Hiney Honey Stick on my hands and feel almost instant relief to the irritation, and the redness begins to calm and clear up just as quickly.
  • No residue on fabric. The Hiney Honey Cream didn't leave any kind of residue on my son's diapers. The product washed out completely.
  • All natural ingredients, including some of my favorites. Beeswax, cocoa butter, and coconut oil are a few. I feel confident that I am using a safe, all natural, and effective product on my family.

I had a hard time coming up with any cons, as I really like this product. But if I had to come up with something, it would be:
  • When I had the Hiney Honey stick outside (inside my wipes container that was inside a diaper bag) at the park, ants got into the bag and went straight for the stick. It was the only thing the ants ended up getting on. This may have been a fluke of sorts, and maybe they were attracted to one of the ingredients that the cream is made out of, but that really is the only negative experience I have had with this wonderful product.

All-in-all, this is a great product! Especially for someone who has a child with skin sensitivities/allergies. I appreciate all of the work that Desiree and her family puts into their products for Scarlet's Naturals.

You can purchase your own tin of Hiney Honey Cream here. (Also make sure to "like" her on Facebook as well so you can be one of the first to know when the stick is available for purchase.)

Desiree has also agreed to sponsor my giveaway in the Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event and Blog Hop! You can win a full size Hiney Honey Cream as well as some of her other great products that she is giving away in a gift set! Just click on the picture to enter to win a Scarlet's Naturals gift set, as well as some other awesome products I am giving away.

* I was not paid for this review. The products were provided for me in exchange for this review. These are my own true and honest words and opinions*