Friday, May 31, 2013

Woolzies Dryer Ball Giveaway Winner...

Thanks for all the entries and comments! 

Now the moment we've all been waiting for!

The winner is..... Kate C.!

Please check your email! 

You have 24 hrs to respond from the time I emailed you! If you haven't responded in that time, I'll choose another winner!

Again, thanks for all the support and stay tuned for some more awesome giveaways!

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Woolzies Dryer Balls Review and Giveaway!

*I was allowed to test the product for free, in return for giving an honest product review. Here it is. Enjoy!

*Update: Giveaway is over, but stay tuned for more!*
Woolzie's Dryer Balls

I was so excited to test out this product for several reasons!

The first one is obvious, it's natural. No chemicals, just wool balls that will soften your clothes naturally.

Second, was that it says it will cut your dryer time down, saving time, money and energy!

With those two reasons alone, I was thrilled!

My husband is a power lineman. He works on the power lines and extremely high voltage. His work clothes are FR (Fire Resistant). If you are familiar with FR clothing, you know that any chemical fabric softener isn't supposed to be used on the clothing, because it can counter act the FR and even fuel a fire . (I got that off of the website, it's serious business.)

They arrived very quickly and were just as promised. All natural, wool balls!

They are about the size of a baseball. The kids thought they were fun toys. I had to keep tracking them down all over the house to put them back into the dryer.

After about two weeks of testing them out I have discovered that I REALLY LOVE THEM!

They really do make your clothes soft. I thought because of the size of them, that it would sound like a canon going off in my dryer, but honestly, there isn't that big of a noise difference. If you have ever put a tennis ball in your dryer, you'll know it's very loud. I was expecting the same noise with these balls, but never heard it. They are, for the most part, quiet. The noise level definitely varies by the load size, but nothing ever made it sound like there were tennis balls bouncing around in there. 

I noticed the definite decrease in dry time when it came to my blankets, and larger loads. With having a front loader washer and dryer, sometimes my sheets and duvet covers get really twisted and take about two hours to dry. I usually end up having to pull them out, pull them apart and keep trying to dry the sheets. With the Woolzies, I did have to separate them once, but over 90% of all the sheets and covers were already dry. (That NEVER happens!) The only spot that was still wet, was where a few pillow cases had crawled inside of my duvet cover and had gotten twisted up. Obviously, not a flaw of the balls.

My husband's work shirts came out so nice! They were soft and free of wrinkles and chemicals! Definitely, DEFINITELY better than air drying them.

I will say that the only down side of the dryer balls, is that they are not a static eliminator. The box says it is a static reducer. They are pretty honest about that. I'm not sure what a normal size static load is, but when I pulled out the blankets, there was definitely a noticable amount of static. 

This is not a deal breaker for me, though. They are wonderful to use, and are safe.

The kids like to help with laundry and kind of play with the balls as they fall out of the clothes we fold.

They have easy maintenance and will last you for 1,000 loads of laundry.

If you're thinking of making the switch, don't think too long! It's a great investment.

PLUS--If you able to wash your down/alternative down comforters at home, these are WONDERFUL!! Once you wash the comforter, it is recommended/suggested that you have tennis balls (or in this case Woolzies) to help fluff your feathers/comforter back up to normal. Two birds, one ball! (Ok, it's six balls, but you get the idea!)

They cost about $35, and they ship worldwide! If it seems like a bit of a pricy investment, look at your dryer sheets box, or your fabric softener. I believe you get around 120 Loads for about $10 a bottle/box of fabric softener sheets. That's adds up to a LOT MORE than $35 for 1,000 loads.

For one lucky reader--I get to share a box with you! (Well, not share-you get to enjoy your own box thanks to Woolzies!)

What a great way to kick off the Memorial Weekend!

Share, comment, like, you know the regular giveaway stuff! God Bless to all!

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Sensitivity Issues...We're Not Talking Feelings, but Clothing

When we had our first child, our son, who is now three and half, we were so blessed with all these really fun outfits!

Who doesn't enjoy dressing up their little children in handsome attire? I think it's one of the best perks to being a mom. (Why is it, little girls clothes are way cuter than anything I can find for myself?!)

Around the time he turned one, we started to notice that he seemed to strongly dislike a lot of things about clothing. In fact, pretty much the minute he figured out how to take his clothes off, they were ALWAYS OFF!

Getting him to wear pants...FORGET IT! Long  sleeved shirts were nothing short of a full blow tantrum of elephantine proportions.

I honestly, started to worry if there was something wrong. 

When he started to finally speak words, we started to find out a little bit more as to what was bothering him, or HOW it was bothering him.

Hats were a joke. A coat would only be worn if he actually found out it was cold outside, but couldn't be combined with a long sleeve shirt. AND it had to be a specific kind of coat and was only allowed with a T-Shirt. Socks, forget about it. They were too tight, to high, to turned, to something.

Every time we went to have photos taken, it was nothing short of a battle royal. I wanted a cute Christmas Photo with a sweater, he screamed and cried himself to sleep.

It is just heart breaking and frustrating as a parent to deal with this. Frustrating because you have spent time and money on buying clothes to keep them warm and protected, and heart breaking because you can't seem to make it better or go away.

I spoke with his doctor about it and she said that it is a Sensitivity Issue. She said usually, this is something that stems from one parent. Guess who that parent is.....ME!

He totally takes after me. Although, I'm not sure mine was like his or not, I did do a lot of the same things. (Except maybe cry myself to sleep or scream bloody murder.)

Long sleeved shirts and a winter coat, were a NO GO!

I lived in t-shirts. IF I wore a long sleeve shirt, I HAD to have a t-shirt or tank top under it. 

I despised socks and underwear. My mom and dad used to check me before I left for school to make sure I was wearing both, but shortly after I would get to school (and it was the most uncomfortable walk to school ever!), I would run to the bathroom and quickly remove both!

My cousin still laughs to this day about how I would always stuff my underwear and socks in places. It's pretty funny looking back on it.

While I've out grown my aversion to a few of these things, my sensitivities are still there. Jeans-have to fit specifically. Shirts, need to be long and kind of thin. I do wear a lot of tank tops under long sleeves. Socks, unless I'm working in snow, need only be ankle socks (but NOT go above them!).

Now as an adult, it is a lot easier for me, because I can control my clothing and style. I don't throw a tantrum or cry. I'm not sure when or why the change came about.

With my son, I realize, that I need patience. That things will eventually get better. I definitely PICK my battles with we absolutely HAVE to wear pants to leave the house.

But, I'm ok with the no socks and no underwear. I'm ok with the t-shirts and tank tops, and I'm ok with having to buy the same coat over and over and over again every year in a bigger size (as long as they are still making them at GAP).

I'm ok with hunting for stretchy pants and not jeans. You pick your battles, and realize that some day, they won't be there.

Did I mention hair cuts are awful?! We just did our last one at home, last night. He has spots that aren't quite right and honestly, after the crying and fighting, I'm ok with paying someone else to do it. Mom can only do so much on her own.

I know we aren't the only ones that deal with these types of sensitivities and I'm thankful that its my son and not my daughter, that has these. 

She is his opposite. She loves shoes, clothes and accessories. She likes being a princess and wearing fun stuff! At least one of my children will let me dress them.

For all you other parents out there who are struggling with this you're not alone. I pray that it will get better for you as well as your children get older. Mine seemed to get less severe as I got older. Kind of like how I would NEVER eat broccoli, then one day when I was in my tweens, I tried it and discovered I LOVED it! 

Do what you can to make it comfortable for them. 

I've started giving him options of clothes. We let him pick out his clothes and put them in his own drawer, so he can control the combination of them. He has a few different pairs of shoes, and again, he controls and picks out which ones he wears. It's not always easy. In fact, when the seasonal change from summer to winter happens, it's just a struggle to switch to bigger, more covering clothes. 

When you find something that works, like a pair of pants, BUY LOTS! In bigger sizes! Same thing with shoes. They grow so fast and hunting for the same stuff, once it's out of season is a nightmare!

We have already seen a lot of improvements with him, but we know that by the Grace of God, we will all get through this. He is, his creator after all, and He doesn't make anything that isn't perfect in his eyes.

I know there are a lot of people that give me strange looks when I try to explain to them that he doesn't like to wear socks. Or, that long sleeves are a hard sell. I've even had people tell me that you just have to force them to do it. They clearly have no idea how big a struggle this is, or how traumatizing it can be. I just get the general idea, that they really have no clue as to what they're talking about.

I just smile and kind of pretend I didn't hear them. Sometimes it's just a little easier that way.

I'm not sure how many of you understand what I'm talking about, but I know there will be some of you who do.

So, I'll settle for t-shirts in family photos and stretchy pants. It's really what captures who he is anyway. My son. I wouldn't want him any other way. He is Perfect!

How have you coped with this? Know anyone else who struggles with kids with sensitivity issues? Ideas? I'd love to hear input.

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"You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you."
Song of Solomon 4:7 (ESV)

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my souls knows it very well."
Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

Visit my other posts:
Friendship, the New Dating Game

Domestic Play Passport for KIDS! 

Keeping your Mouth in Check with Your Heart

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Love Language...

I'm alive. I've been busy. Isn't that our life story? Sometimes, I can't even remember what we've done that keeps us so busy. Oh well.

I do have one thing that I can share with you that has kept me busy. I have been reading lately. (I really do enjoy it!)

I've heard this book title whispered around a little bit, and then I heard it used directly around Valentine's Day. 

The book is called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. 

Have you heard of it? You might have.

Now, before you go thinking this is just a book for someone in a relationship like marriage, you're wrong. This book, has several different spin offs, but will basically apply to EVERY relationship you have. Friendships, co-workers, moms/dads, siblings, and children. Basically, if you have a relationship with ANYONE, you can use this!

What really sparked me into reading the book, was a men's discussion panel for Valentine's Day. Several women/mom's asked a panel of men what they would really value or treasure as a gift. While, each one had their own answer, one man's in particular was very interesting to me. He said, "You need to know your husband's love language. Mine for instance is spending quality time, which means sitting on the couch watching TV, not saying anything."

This, sounds like my husband. Then I got to thinking, is it really that EASY? Maybe this would be the one step that could really help take our relationship, and all my relationships, to the next level.

Let me just tell you, it's a small book. But, it packs quite the punch. There are Five Love Languages. 

Words of Affirmation
Quality Time
Acts of Service
Physical Touch

Essentially, we all fall into one of these categories. 

I've always seen these pictures or posts or comments about how sexy women find men that vacuum the house and do laundry or wash dishes are. I never understood that. The reason I don't get that, is because that isn't my love language. That would be considered Acts of Service. While I think that stuff is great, I also think it's part of just being a couple.

After taking the quiz, I found out that I scored really high in Words of Affirmation and Gifts. Which, is really, two of the things I probably request and ask more than anything.

It made me also realize that the Gifts one is huge to me. I spend a lot of time thinking about giving people gifts, looking for gifts, finding surprise gifts, and what would make a just for fun gift, for anyone. Could I say the word gift anymore?

But, I also realize I scrutinize gifts that I/my children, get just as much! For me, gifts speak a lot of love. When I open a gift, I realize at that moment, how much that person really thought about me. How much that person really showed they loved me. Now, that's NOT to be confused with being expensive or having to have a lot of money spent on me. 

Just knowing that someone took the time to get to know me, my personality, my likes, life, and then created/found a gift that fits me, is just incredible! 

This fills my love tank.

My husband, was a little bit of a surprise. The book talks about how the things one often complains or nags about, tend to show you what their love language is. Even how someone tends to just act towards you. We tend to mirror the love language we are expecting.

I thought about my husband a lot, and before he took the quiz I had pretty much figured out what his love language was. Or thought I had them both figured out. I was almost 100% correct.

His major love language is Acts of Service. Having dinner ready for him, washing his clothes, running errands, washing his truck, cleaning the house-these all showed him love. Made him feel secure. He always does this stuff for me, so I could tell this was going to be one of his big ones.

He will make me breakfast, he will clean my car, he will change the oil and rotate the tires, and he will even clean the house.

His second one, was actually a surprise. He likes gifts and quality time. The quality time one, wasn't the surprise. He tends to be the kind of man that just wants me to hang out in the garage with him while he works on his dirt bike, or shows me his new welds. He always likes to show me stuff he's doing and complains that I'm online too much when we are watching TV together. Yep, quality time is one that didn't come as a surprise to me.

Gifts and my husband. Two things I NEVER thought would go together. He's never really one for giving me gifts, but also, when I give him gifts (even the ones he will specifically ASK me to get for him) he just never seems to be to excited about it. I guess that just goes to show you, there are always new things to learn about the loved ones in our life!

We've been applying these things to our life on a daily basis now. I have to say, it takes a lot of the guessing out of what will work and what doesn't. It's actually been quite a relief! I now know, what I can do to show him, I love him. He's been doing mine as well. It's been so amazing!

We finally speak, the SAME LANGUAGE!!!!

After we took our quizzes, I actually have asked several friends and family members to do the same. 

My mom, turns out, is an Acts of Service person. My sister is just like me. There is no better way to show people you love them by speaking their language.

If you don't want to buy the book, and I do encourage it, then go to this link and take your profile quiz! Find out what your language is! You might be surprised.

The 5 Love Languages Profile Quiz

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"You obeyed the truth and your souls were made pure. Now you sincerely love each other. But you must keep on loving with all your heart."
1 Peter 1:22 (CEV)

Check out some of my other posts!

Getting out of the routine to build a healthier marriage!

Kids Domestic Play Passports! Get Real Stamps!

Surprise others with your kindness! Watch it spread!

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