Monday, September 8, 2014

Fall Fashion with Bamboosa {a review + giveaway}

Disclosure: I received items from Bamboosa for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are honest and my own. 

Welcome to the Fall Fashion for All Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network.

What better way to celebrate the upcoming Fall season than with a Fall Fashion Giveaway Hop!? A group of your favorite bloggers have come together to offer the best Fall Fashion Giveaways for the entire family - so be sure to hop around to them all below my giveaway. Don't forget about the amazing Grand Prize - a $200 Gift Certification to Mimi and Maggie!

Here at Home Sweet Homemade I have teamed up with Bamboosa to offer one reader a two-piece set for their little one! Bamboosa manufactures all of their eco-friendly clothing right here in the USA!  "Soft on you, easy on the Earth", is the slogan that greets you on the Bamboosa homepage. I didn't realize how true of a statement that was until my review items arrived!

Bamboosa sent me a two-piece set to review. When I opened the package I couldn't believe how soft the fabric was! Made of 95% organic bamboo viscose and 5% Lycra, it is a soft, stretchy fabric that really must be felt to be fully appreciated. Bamboo fabric naturally wicks moisture away from the skin. So in addition to be soft, it will also keep your baby cool and more comfortable!

The onesie is very well made and features a screen printed panda lounging in a hammock, strung between bamboo of course! The 6-12 month sizing fits my daughter perfectly (she's currently wearing 9 month clothing in other brands). I love how stretchy the fabric is! It's really easy to put on and take off thanks to the give of the fabric and the large lap shoulder style opening. The snaps at the bottom are very sturdy and easy to use. 

The pants are very generously sized and fit over cloth diapers really well. They are still a little long on my daughter, but I'm okay with that because it means she can wear them longer! A simple elastic waistband makes them a cinch to pull on and off over her cloth diapers. They have a cute little bamboo accent on the leg as well.

Bamboosa offers a variety of screen printed and solid colored clothing. As a backyard chicken enthusiast (aka, a crazy chicken lady), I love the "Cute Chickies" design! Most of Bamboosa's items are gender neutral and would be perfect shower gifts! I do find some of the designs a little bit "crunchy" for my taste, but they have such a variety of prints (and solids, if prints aren't your thing!) it wasn't hard to find something I liked! Besides clothing, Bamboosa also offers a variety of blankets, bath towels, and crib sheets! I can only imagine how snuggle worthy one of the blankets or towels would be!

If you are looking for quality, eco-friendly products that are Made in America, check out Bamboosa! They have something for everyone!

Connect with Bamboosa - Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
a Rafflecopter giveaway So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Fall Fashion for All participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Little Monsters Cloth Diapers {a review + giveaway}

Welcome to the "Fall In To Green Living" Giveaway Hop hosted by Heather from Mommy's Favorite Things and Michelle from Mama's Baby Cupcakes. This hop is focused on items that are green/natural! Each blog has a minimum prize package of $25 per winner and after visiting my giveaway, make sure you use the linky below to take a look at the other blogs to see what they have to offer for you!

This hop has two Grand Prizes. 1st Prize is from Cariloha for one set of Bamboo Sheets worth $179-$199. You can check out Heather's review to learn more about them and what they carry. The Kid's Prize pack offers wins from Re-Play, EweBGreen, Jungle Roo Cloth Diapers, Piggy Paint, and AloeTree worth around $186. Our list of reviews are below, and I encourage you to check them all out to learn more about each great company and their green products. Re-Play Review, EweBGreen Review, Jungle Roo Review, Piggy Paint Review, and AloeTree Review.

Disclosure: I received a diaper from Little Monsters for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are honest and my own. 

When we started using cloth diapers it wasn't because we were trying to be green or trendy. It was because we needed to SAVE some green!

Sure, cloth diapers require a larger up front investment, but they definitely save you money in the long run over disposables. Instead of tossing them in the trash, you wash and reuse them! So yes, they are green AND save you some "green"! 

The most recent addition to my green savin' diaper stash is from Little Monsters Cloth Diapers. Oh. My. Heart. The first time I put this diaper on my daughter I texted my husband and informed him that I was in "need" of all new diapers!! I'm sure he didn't find that as amusing as I did! But seriously, these diapers are stinking adorable!

I received the "Sheep" diaper for this review. It is a white diaper with an adorable lamb embroidered on the bum. Not into sheep? Not to worry! Little Monsters has something for everyone! Some of my favorites are Giraffe, Penguin Friends and Koala. So cute! They also offer several solid colors with no embroidery. 

Little Monsters diapers are a one size diaper geared towards 9-35lbs. They feature a snap down rise and cross over snaps so you can really customize the fit to your baby. I love how well this diaper fits my chunky 7 month old! She is currently on the third row of rise snaps and still has plenty of room to grow!

This is a pocket diaper which means you "stuff" it with an insert. The diaper arrived with a microfiber insert which I found to be very adequate for my daughter. Of course, if you prefer natural fiber inserts you can always use a different insert! I love the double elastic at the pocket opening. I only have one other brand of diapers with that feature and I find it to be very effective at holding in the mess. I do find that the pocket opening on this diaper is a little small. It's something that I got used to, but someone with larger hands might have trouble stuffing the diaper. 

Stuffed with two inserts the Little Monsters diaper performed beautifully overnight. It wasn't overly bulky when stuffed with two inserts either! That was a pleasant surprise! The inside of the diaper is lined with a soft micro fleece to keep your baby feeling dry. 

You can purchase a Little Monsters Back Monster diaper with one insert for $22.99. That doesn't exactly make it a budget option, but if you're looking for a super cute, great quality diaper they are definitely worth the splurge! I would *happily* add several more to my stash!

Here's a quick wrap up of my thoughts:

What I LOVED -

*Adorable* embroidery
Great fit
Sturdy snaps
One size diaper/snap down rise 
Ease of use

Things I might change -

Larger pocket opening
Aplix/Velcro closure option (I'm one of those people that looooooves Velcro!!) 

Now, what you've all been waiting for! Little Monsters is offering the winner of this giveaway a Little Monsters diaper with two inserts! After you've entered my giveaway be sure to hop around and see what the other participating bloggers have to offer! 

Connect with Little Monsters - Facebook | Twitter | Web

Update: You can use the code home20 to receive 20% off your entire order from Little Monsters!! The discount is valid until 10/8/14. Happy shopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Mommy's Favorite Things, Mama's Baby Cupcakes and the Fall in to Green Living Participating Bloggers are not responsible for a sponsor who does not fulfill the prize specified.

Quick and Easy Crockpot Tomato Sauce Recipe

It's that time of the year...when all of the tomatoes are ready to be used at once! Not mine mind you, they kicked the bucket weeks ago after presenting me with one measly quart. But my uncle has a particularly green thumb, and he was kind enough to share his bounty! 

I needed a quick, easy way to preserve this years tomatoes because I reallllly don't feel like canning right now. (I can't believe I just said that.) Freezing whole tomatoes is a super fast option, but they consume SO much precious freezer space! Cooking the tomatoes down first is a little more work, but I think the amount of freezer space it saves you is well worth the (minimal) extra effort.

A couple of years ago I made tomato sauce the "right" way. (Also with tomatoes from my uncle. Aka, the tomato fairy.) After that, I decided tomato sauce was best purchased. Ahem. Cooking down the tomatoes, running them through the food mill, cooking the sauce down for HOURS....and that's before you've even canned it. Ain't no body got time for that! Well, I'm sure someone does. Just not me!

That got me to thinking...what if I put my Crockpot to work? I use it for applesauce and apple butter, why not tomatoes? A few weeks back I made a small batch of sauce in my Crockpot for dinner so I decided to give it a try on a larger scale. It worked beautifully! I've made two batches so far and plan to make a third batch tomorrow. It takes about ten minutes of prep time and ten minutes to finish up and freeze the sauce. That's my kind of preserving! 

So without further ado here's my super easy "recipe":

12-ish tomatoes, washed, cored and cut up (enough to fill a 4qt Crockpot 3/4's of the way full)
1 - 6oz can of tomato paste
2 tsps salt
2 tsps sugar
2 tsps basil
2 tsps oregano

Place tomatoes in crock pot and add all of the other ingredients. Prop lid open with a wooden spoon so steam can escape. Cook on high for 6-8 hours. Blend (carefully!!) with an immersion blender and place in freezer containers. Allow to cool and freeze. 

A few notes:

1. Yes, you leave the skin on the tomatoes. After the tomatoes cook down the skins will disappear when you blend the sauce. 
2. This is not a seed free sauce. They don't bother us in the least and when you consider how much time it saves by leaving them in the sauce, they might not bother you either!
3. If you use glass containers to freeze in be SURE you leave headspace! I always leave at least 2" and only use wide mouth jars. 
4. You could make this without any seasoning if you prefer plain tomato sauce. I like it seasoned and ready to go right out of the freezer. 

So far each batch has yielded about 9 cups of sauce. I love having this (almost) ready made meal in the freezer for nights when I'm busy or don't feel like cooking. It is perfect for spaghetti, lasagna, or just about any Italian meal that needs a great sauce! 

How is your late summer preserving going? Do you have any tips or tricks for speeding up the process? 

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