Friday, August 22, 2014

Yamali Naturals Review

Yamali Naturals is owned and operated by a family of twelve in the Allegheny Valley of Western Pennsylvania.  Emma, the soapmaker, kindly sent me some products to review.  I knew I was in for a treat when I opened my mailbox and I could smell the yummy soaps!  I tested three soaps, a lip balm, and the green goo herbal salve.  Only pure and natural ingredients go into making each and every one and the end result is perfection (in my opinion).

I know I've reviewed several natural skincare brands lately, but I'm a strong believer in bath time being relaxing and a little escape from the everyday busyness of life.  With that being said, using products with natural aromatherapy and healing properties is an absolute must!

I love everything about Yamali Naturals.
I love the simple flower logo (more on how it came to be here).
I love their motto: "LIVE. LOVE. LATHER."
I love the Bible verses they choose to print on their soap labels.
I love the natural ingredients.

I would describe their soaps as an affordable luxury.  They're rich and creamy, lather well, and safe for the whole famliy!

Oasis Soap- hand & body bar
This one has a blend of eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender essential oils.  I thought the scent was refreshing and uplifting.  I felt more energized when I used it, so it would be great for mornings when you need a little extra pep in your step :)

Herbal Roots Soap- shampoo bar
I've never used a bar for shampooing my hair, but I must admit I liked it!  As the name implies, this bar smells earthy and herbal-y.  It's scented with lavender, patchouli, cedar, orange and a hint of ylang ylang, and infused with marshmallow and comfrey root.  My hair definitely felt clean and since I didn't have to use a separate shampoo and conditioner,  I cut down on my shower time.  I can't say for certain if my hair was as moisturized as it would have been if I had used regular shampoo and conditioner.  However, it's nice if you're short on time or don't feel like going through the effort of using two products!

Nani Soap- shampoo & body bar
This was my favorite bar of the three.  The scent and colors are vibrant!  Hawaii was the inspiration for this bar and it's scented with grapefruit, orange, ylang ylang and lavender essential oils.  It's also a multitasker because it can be used for your hair and body!

*Side note: you will need to use a soap dish to elevate the soap so it isn't sitting in a pool of water.  The bars will last much longer that way.

Tangrapefruit Lip Balm
I always have lip balm within arms reach and this one is a keeper.  It's not too thick or too slippery and it has good staying power.  It has just the right amount of fragrance from essential oils.

Green Goo Herbal Salve
I've been putting this stuff to the ultimate test...on my husband!  He was cursed with super dry skin and this goo has made a difference.  The skin where I applied the herbal salve is noticeably more moisturized and less cracked.
I also coincidentally burned my finger cooking supper one night.  At first I was mad at myself, but then I thought, "perfect opportunity to try the green goo!" After using it once, the puffiness went down and the burning was completely gone.  I could have used this stuff when I was a pastry chef!

Overall, I highly recommend Yamali Naturals and think their products are excellent quality and value!  I look forward to trying more soaps.  Christmas will be here in no time and you know what makes a great gift for the person in your life who has everything? Soap :)

Yamali Naturals has generously offered a discount code for our readers!  Use MIRANDA15 for 15% off your order in their Etsy shop!

Be sure to connect with Yamali Naturals on Facebook!

I was sent the above products for free in exchange for my personal opinion.  As always, all thoughts are my own!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Patsycake Baby Review and Giveaway

I was given an item for review and the opinions expressed are my own!

Patsycake Baby is a WAHM diaper maker who makes much more than diapers!  You can read more about her and how she came to open her shop here on her etsy site.  For my review Kimberly sent me one of her All-In-Two Diaper Combo's which is a 4 leaf clover diaper and a cover.

The diaper is made of 100% Organic cotton and made in the USA.  This makes me feel good about putting it next to my little ones!  The cover has two rows of snap downs to allow for your little one to grow.
I am reviewing it for both of daughters the first is two and a half and she weighs 27 pounds and my second is a newborn we started using it at two weeks old and she weighed about 9 and half pounds.

I decided to try the diaper on my toddler first for night time because it looked super absorbent and it certainly held up great on her.  She is not much of a heavy wetter except for night time.  We are potting during the day (with exception of poop which seems hopeless) but I still have to put her in a diaper at night!

Toddler Review:

Fit:  You can see by the picture that the fit was great on my toddler and it is a bit bulky but it is three layers of material in the inside!

Function:  The organic cotton inner held up unbelievably well for a night time diaper.  My daughter sleeps around 11 hours and there were no leaks it actually wasn't even soaked that much.

Other features:  I LOVE the print on the cover it has veggies with rainbows and fruits.  I like how the snaps are different colors making it even more adorable.

Newborn Review:  

 Fit:  The top of the inner has a fold down rise which I did of course.  Instead of using the diaper insert like the picture I actually turned it over the second and further times we have been using it.  I think it fits better on her that way!

The only thing I was worried about was around the legs but folded down on the lowest snap setting the legs actually fit rather well and I had no leaking.  It does look as though she is swallowed in these pictures but she has plumped right up (good mamas milky) and two weeks later we are getting a great fit!

Function:  My newborn is a very heavy wetter!  This diaper is the one I have been putting on her first thing at night because she will sleep sometimes five hour stretches (Great compared to my first).  The inner holds up very well it was wet but not overly soaked so I am hoping this will last us for a good while and I am saving up to get some more inserts to get more use out of my cover!

Overall, we are loving the All-In-Two four leaf clover diaper from Patsycake Baby!  The whole diaper system is very reasonably priced at $28.00 and you can get extra four leaf inserts for $13.00 each!  Please check out Kimberly's shop and see all of the awesome things she makes.  Some of which inlclude, Wool covers, bib sets, natural teething, blankets and for you Babywearing mama's she makes Wrap Scrap diapers you can see them here!

Connect with Patsycake Baby on their website, FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

Kimberly has been so generous and offered one reader a diaper to enter the giveaway simply fill out the form below!

This giveaway is open to US readers 18 and older please.  The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn.  Mommy Miranda is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

As stated above I was sent a product for review in exchange for my own opinion!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Go Chews Code

Go Chews are delicious bites that are great for Moms and Moms to be they are made by momme meals and the owner and chef is adding a new flavor to her already awesome line!

She graciously shared with me a code just for my readers if you want to try them out or get a bag or two for a mom you know you can go to their website to order here:  momme meals  and when you check out use the code:  GOMIRANDA  to get 10% off of your purchase!  The coupon is valid until 11:59PM on Sunday, 8/24/14. 

I did a review about a year ago on the original flavor you can see it here!  I just got my bag of new flavors and I will be sharing with you soon!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shop Feature: Jolie Bloom

I stumbled upon Jolie Bloom on Instagram and won their entire line of products to try!  I loved the story behind the brand and wanted to introduce it to y'all.  You can read the entire story on their website, but here's a little background; Jheanell Adams, the founder, and her husband were expecting their first child, Jolie.  Sadly, she was born extremely prematurely and went to Heaven shortly after her birth.  What a tragic and heartbreaking thing for a mama to go through.  Jheanell wanted her daughter's name to be honored and live on, so Jolie Bloom was born.

Jolie Bloom is an "eco-luxe brand specializing in hand crafted beauty products created in small batches."  They currently offer bar soaps, a body butter bar, a soy candle, and bath tea.  All of the products contain natural ingredients and smell wonderful!

Bar Soaps
There are two varieties: Caribbean Coconut and Royal Oats.  My husband commented on how great the Caribbean Coconut bar smelled (I'm pretty sure he was excited to try it, too).  The Oat bar would be perfect for sensitive skin because the scent is very light.  Neither of them were drying and both got the job done!

Body Butter Bar
I've never used a bar to moisturize so this took some getting used to.  It was a little thick going on but it definitely kept my skin hydrated all day.  My skin has been more dry lately and this bar was a great remedy.

It's a soy based wax candle, lightly scented with lavender and chamomile.  It's perfect to use while you're soaking in a tub with the bath tea.

Bath Tea
I think this was my favorite product. This was my first bath in months (literally) and the bath tea made it extra special!  My skin felt exfoliated and moisturized after soaking in the tea.  The lavender and calendula make for a winning combination in my book!  I might need this in an extra large container :)

Connect with Jolie Bloom on Facebook and Instagram!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cloth Diapering on the go!

I'm FINALLY getting this post written!  I'm sure you've all read about traveling with cloth diapers on other blogs but I thought I'd share my experience anyway.  My husband and I moved across the country in February and our daughter was 3 months old at the time.   We took around 10 days to make the drive because keeping miss L happy in her carseat for a long time proved to be a challenge.  Plus, we did a little sightseeing along the way.

When searching for hotels, I tried to find ones that included complementary laundry and a balcony to sun the diapers.  Who cares if the place was a long as I was able to wash the cloth diapers all was right in the world :)  Of course, things didn't always work out perfectly, but I improvised.

I found it was best to use prefolds and covers when we were on the road since they take up less space in the diaper bag.  After I changed a dirty diaper I stored the wetbag in the trunk.  I mean, who wants to smell dirty diapers for hours in the car?!  Using a pail freshener like EcoSprout or Bee Green Naturals helped keep the wetbag/pail smelling more fresh though.  I tried to be prepared and pack more diapers than I thought we would need on the road, but of course there was that one time I went through them all and we had to search for the extra diapers amongst all the other bags!  Lesson learned: always keep the extra diapers in an easy to reach spot.

My wash routine in the hotels varied a little.  I still followed the usual rinse, wash+rinse, and rinse routine.  There were times I couldn't set the machine to only rinse, so I had to run a whole wash cycle to rinse them.  Maybe I was being paranoid, but before I washed a load of diapers, I would run the machine empty with bleach to get rid of any nastiness in the washer.

I had to pay for laundry in a couple of places we stayed.  In an effort to save money I resorted to rinsing the diapers first in the bathtub.  Fun times!  Most people would call me crazy, and my mom said I should have used disposable diapers.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it!

Have you traveled with cloth?  How did it work for you?  Let us know your experience!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Baby M's Birth Story

It has been a while since I have updated but Baby M made her arrival three weeks ago now and we have been adjusting to life with two girls!

I just wanted to tell my story it didn't quite go as we had planned but when does it?!  God had other plans.

I knew the whole pregnancy that I was going to have another c-section due to the way my pelvis is which is why I couldn't push my first out!  My mom tried VBac in the 80's because she was adamant to do it that way with a failed attempt.  Because our body types are identical I decided to go ahead and plan the c-section early on.

Going in that morning at 6:30 it was really weird knowing that in a few hours I would have a new little baby!  Our pastor along with my husband and my mom were there to comfort me before going into the delivery room.  I guess I was most nervous about getting the spinal because last time I was in so much pain it was a relief when I got it that I didn't remember feeling it!  Well, this time was another story!  It hurt so BAD!  I had a huge bruise afterwards I am not sure why but it seemed they had a little hard time getting the placement right.

Once my husband came in I felt a sense of relief.  Everything went fine until hubby went to check on Baby M and then I caught a glimpse of the insides of me through a reflection and my heart started beating really fast I looked back at the anesthesiologist and said I couldn't breathe!  He popped something in my IV similar to Zantac and I felt much better!

Everything seemed fine they showed me the baby and said everything was fine and she had her first cloth diaper on the bum!  I wanted hubby going with her just to be sure everything went as I had wanted.  Meanwhile, I went to recovery with my mom and the Pastor's wife where we just talked and I rested.  After an hour I still had not seen my child it was then that I began to panic.  It was a short time after that I was informed she has swallowed fluid and was on oxygen and in the special nursery being monitored.  Of course I began to cry and pretty much freak out!  When they were ready for me to go to the Mother Baby unit I was able to be wheeled in to see Baby M and hold her for the first time and it was VERY emotional!

The whole day I was just sitting in my room pretty much crying and trying to pump every ounce of colostrum I could get out for them to give Baby because they had said they would have to give her formula or start an IV which was a failed attempt and she still has all of the little prick marks to prove it!  The pumping was a success and her blood sugar was being stabilized thank goodness!  I am very blessed to have had my favorite Lactation Nurse there to help me the whole weekend.

That night at around 10 my nurse came in to check on me and asked how I was doing and I replied with tears and said not good because I am not with my child!  She got another nurse and said if I was up to it they would wheel me in a wheelchair.  Of course I said YES!  So here we go catheter and all!  I tried to nurse but she was sleeping so failed attempt but I just got to hold her and that meant the world to me.  Once I started feeling really dizzy they had to take me back but thank goodness my mom was there to stay with her in the nursery which I later found out was the ICU.  In the special nursery there was a sweet nurse who was also a lactation consultant and she said next time that Baby M woke up and needed feeding she would bring her in to me and try to latch on!  So at about 2:30 am that morning I was happy to be feeding my little girl for the first time!

I didn't see her again until about 9:30 the next morning when I was wheeled in again to try and nurse her.  While I was washing my hands the DR who was over her said she would be able to come to my room and I was beyond thrilled!  Prayers were answered and her levels were where they needed to be all except the white blood cell count they were still not happy with it but said he didn't want to give antibiotics unless absolutely necessary!

Needless to say I am still checking her breathing every few times while she is asleep but I am very thankful everything worked out and she was able to come home we stayed a day extra but that was it!  I just wanted to share this because  a lot of family and friends still do not know what happened!  Thank you for reading and thank you all for prayers during that time!

-Miranda :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Two Birds of a Feather Review

The company was started by two moms, Autumn and Michelle, hence the name “two birds”.  They’re “on a mission to bring safe, quality items to you and your family.”  Two Birds offers hand poured soy wax candles, soy wax melts, and a baby line named Noodles & Gravy.

I was sent three soy wax melt samples (Moulin Rouge, Pear-adise, Twisted Fruit) to try.  They all smelled great but Pear-adise was my favorite; It made the house smell fresh and fruity!  With over 40 scents, I think it’s safe to say there’s something for everyone.  In my opinion, offering samples is a great idea!  This enables you to buy several (or all!) of them before you commit to a whole block or candle.  The scents are long lasting and none of them were overpowering. 

Candles for a Cause is a program where 10% of the sales from special candles and wax melts are being donated to The Wounded Warrior Project.  How awesome is that?!  My husband is in the Air Force and I appreciate when companies acknowledge the sacrifices made by men and women who serve.

Two Birds also sent a maple teething ring for my daughter.  She's been gnawing on her fingers lately and this was the perfect substitute! She definitely approved :) 

The ring is 3 inches in diameter and I like that it’s larger than other wooden teething rings I’ve seen and used.  It’s rubbed with an olive oil/beeswax blend and adorned with a cute fabric strip made from soft organic cotton and organic fleece.  Another feature is that the fabric is sewn on rather than tied on, which means my little Houdini can’t get it off and toss it on the floor!  

Browse Two Birds of a Feather website

Follow them on Instagram

*Autumn and Michelle have generously offered a coupon code for you to try their products!  Use HONEST20 for 20% off your total purchase! 

Two Birds of a Feather sent me the above products free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.  All thoughts are my own!