Thursday, November 26, 2015


It's Thanksgiving, and that means it's a great opportunity to take stock of the things in our lives we hold most dear and count ourselves most thankful for. That includes being thankful for the opportunity to help others.

This year marks Macy's 8th annual Believe campaign in partnership with Make-A-Wish. Inspired by the 1897 letter written by Virginia O'Hanlan asking the editor of the New York Sun if Santa Claus is real, Macy's encourages children today to believe as well - in Santa Claus as much as what he represents "love and generosity and devotion."
Macy's 8th annual Believe campaign - raising money for Make-A-Wish

Every year, I take my kids to Macy's where they can write and mail their letters to Santa. In return, Macy's donates $1 (up to $1 million) for each letter to Make-A-Wish. In total, Macy's has donated $90 million dollars, with $10.8 million coming from the letter writing campaign.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Taste of Thanksgiving: supporting local schools

If we've ever had a conversation about school fundraisers, you'll probably know I'm not a big fan of most. Tiny packages of gummy worms for $12, a roll of wrapping paper for $10, a candy bar I could buy at the grocery store for under a dollar somehow costs me $5. And the incentive prizes? Unless I can manage to help my son make 20 separate sales, he's coming home with the same prizes he might bring home from Wunderland Arcade. School fundraisers are a pet peeve for me.

I love things like old school jog-a-thon's that cost next to nothing to put on. You know there's little to no overhead, no skeevey company trying to profit off the under-funding of a child's education, using my kids as fun-size sales people. I also love school activities that bring in a revenue - the book fair (because I love books, and I love my kids to have books, and if the school gets a bit of profit, that's a bonus), school carnivals, silent auctions, spaghetti dinners, pancake feeds. You get the idea.
Jog-a-thons and Thanksgiving dinners to support local schools

But with all the good (and the not so good) fundraisers that the kids, the teachers, the PTA, or the PTO are working on, there always seems to be more need. At my son's Parent/Teacher conference today, I asked his teacher what it is she needs for the classroom right now. Of course, this was something I could reasonably purchase out of my own pocket. She told me baby wipes. Baby wipes. She buys them out of her own pocket for the kids in her class to use to clean the classroom (she uses disinfectant wipes at the end of the day to go back over everything). And she's out. If she's needing to buy cleaning supplies, and that's what they are in her classroom, with funds from her personal budget, just imagine what else she could use. And think about what else the school could use. Mini chalkboards for teaching handwriting in the kindergarten. Updated computer software and hardware in the computer labs. Tablets for the classrooms. Tissues. Pencils. Pencil sharpeners that don't overheat before you've finished sharpening half a box of pencils for your son's class.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Back on the Wagon, and setting new goals

I stepped on the scale for the first time in several months. I knew things had gotten out of control by the way my clothes were fitting, and just how I've been feeling overall these days. I needed something... definitive to let me know just where things stand. 
Back on the Fitness Wagon and setting new goals


I was surprised, but part of me wasn't. I haven't been exercising regularly, and I've been eating a lot - a lot of not great for me things. But this is even more than I weighed when I started the Shaklee Blogger program. It's a little bit depressing for me, to be honest. And for reference, for those who've forgotten, I'm 5'4" over here. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mom's Sick Day

Almost immediately upon returning home from ENMNCON15 I got sick. Since then, one or more members of my family have been sick. One. At. A. Time. And E is cutting molars.

It's true you really don't appreciate what you have until it's gone. This summer, we finally moved out of my parents' house. I love having a space just for my family again. I do, however, miss having backup when I'm sick.

A Cloth Life: Mom's Sick Day We joke that mom's don't get sick days, but sometimes we really deserve it.

I remembered how difficult it was having one sick child. I remembered what it was like having two sick children. I've never been on my own with three sick kids, or on my own sick with three kids before.

And G was actually out of school for a full week. This has never happened.

This was physically and emotionally draining. One of the kids, or me, or my husband were coughing, or sniffling, or even crying every night.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Hit Publish

Things have been pretty quiet around here, right? Seems like it's been that way off and on for a while. So much has been happening; some has been shared on my Instagram, some has not. I have several posts fully written, but never published.

I lost confidence in my voice. I'm actually getting emotional just having written that. It seems so personal, but so important to share because I will be publishing those posts. And maybe, once they're all published, I'll tell you more about the behind the scenes emotional roller coaster I'm navigating. Or maybe that's TMI. Even for a personal blog.

I'm at a blogging conference right now (#ENMNCON15), getting inspiration, building confidence, remembering why I love blogging.

Please, let me know what types of things you miss hearing about from me, and what kinds of things you'd like to read more of!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Promise Ring Backpack: Sew Sweetness Pattern

I was recently given the opportunity to test out a new pattern by Sara of Sew Sweetness. If you don't follow her, she's well known for her bag patterns. I first found her after coming across pictures of her Aeroplane Bag on Instagram. Then I fell in love with her Ansel Camera Bag pattern (which I have plans to make this summer!), but it was still in the test phase.

This was my first time getting to test out a pattern for someone, and I'm so glad to find I wasn't completely over my head on this! It is a fun little bag - perfect to replace a purse and be handsfree, or as a preschooler's backpack.
A Cloth Life: Sew Sweetness Promise Ring Backpack

I chose some fun coordinating fabrics from Michael Miller, with a soft solid pink for the lining. I had a rough time with the binding, and wish I'd followed her tips a little more closely for it, but overall, I'm really happy with how it turned out. I'd consider myself an advanced beginner (although I'm not really sure what that means), and it only took me a couple days to get this done. Instructions are really straightforward, and she includes lots of pictures to help keep things clear (which I am totally thankful for!).

If you're wanting to read more about the pattern, you can see Sara's post HERE, or go directly to her pattern shop.

It's been nice sewing again after the hiatus in S Korea (which I REALLY need to post pictures of!). What have you been up to? Summer vacation has only been here a week, and we've already marked 5 things off our Summertime To-Do list! This might be my busiest summer yet...
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Other posts you might be interested in:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cute as a Button Baby Boutique: interview & giveaway

I love shopping little boutiques. They always seem to carry things I can't find anywhere else.

I recently discovered a super cute online boutique that's based not far from my neighborhood. Cute as a Button Baby Boutique has only been open a few months, but they carry some of the best brands for baby (and Mom!). From Lillebaby carriers, Ju-Ju-Be diaper bags, Logan & Lenora wet bags, and Charlie Banana cloth diapers, this shop is stocked with fun, functional, high quality, innovative products.
Cute as a Button Baby Boutique: interview w owner Kayti Graham

Cute as a Button was started by new mom Kayti Graham. She and her husband just celebrated their son's first birthday this post weekend! I'm barely getting showered when I have kids under 2, and this women created an entire business in the first year of her son's life! Color me impressed, okay. So now I'm very excited to introduce you to her shop, and share with you just peek into her story.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Trip of a Lifetime: S. Korea

Today, and tomorrow, and every day until Wednesday, I'm packing.

If you follow me on Instagram, and you REALLY should now if you din't before, then you already know I'm taking the kids on a trip. A trip that requires passports.
family passport wallet @lilmondu

My parents met when my dad was stationed in S Korea. My parents have been back a handful of times, but the last time I was there, I was barely older than E. I have zero memories.

Monday, March 23, 2015

#DisneySide Treat Recipes

Remeber when I posted about my DisneySide @Home Celebration? I promised I'd share the recipes, and here they are! 

This is a REALLY simple, really delicious treat. All it takes is a few scoops of ice cream, some milk, malted milk, and a little pixie dust*.

*Okay... I used sprinkles. I'm out of pixie dust at the moment.

You can make this a glass at a time, or put together a large batch to share, the idea is still the same. I lightly packed (read: not smooshed) several scoops of ice cream into a large cup, added enough milk to just reach the top of the ice cream, then dumped a generous spoonful of malted milk powder over top. Mix with a spoon - you want it to be a little lumpy, like an ice cream soda. Or if you don't, just throw it all in the blender, but it's not as much fun. I poured the treat into smaller cups for the kids, then sprinkled a dash of everyone's chosen colors on the top. So. Good. And that's it. Drink, and repeat!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My #DisneySide @ Home Celebration

I was super excited when I got the news months ago that I was selected to host a DisneySide @ Home Celebration. Then the kids and I took turns being sick for a couple months, you might remember. It's a little difficult hosting a party when people you're responsible for taking care of are vomiting. (Also, stressful and not fun to deal with WITHOUT a party to plan.)

#DisneySide @Home Celebration

Still, we were very excited! This is the kids unboxing our #DisneySide package with all the goodies sent to help us out with the party:

In the end, we decided to do something super fun, but super simple. G had seen the movie Big Hero 6 in the theater with my husband and LOVED it. When his birthday rolled around last month, a friend gifted him the DVD. What better way to celebrate our Disney Side than with a screening party of one of our newest Disney favorites?!!

#DisneySide @Home Celebration Big Hero 6 viewing party

You know what those tissues are for if you've seen the movie! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy, Happy Birthday! #minispbdaybash Day 8 GIVEAWAY

Aww... Thanks Google! 

And thanks to all the random companies that have my birthday included in their listserv! 

I did have a happy birthday, and I have the Instagram posts to prove it.

But do you know who else has his birthday in March? Mini Spray Pal 2.0. If you don't know who that is (or why that's his nickname), you clearly haven't been involved in the cloth diaper community for very long.

The Spray Pal is one of THE most awesome innovations of modern cloth diapering I have encountered (and I'm on my second cloth diapered baby, right?). Jen, one of the inventors, very generously sent me one during my most recent pregnancy. It's a splash guard that holds your cloth diapers while you spray them off into the toilet. I've said this before, and I will say it again:

The more regularly E eats solid foods, the more grateful I am for Spray Pal. 

In our current situation, I don't have an actual diaper sprayer hooked up - I'm just using the detachable shower head, which is more than close enough. It gets a little tricky, though, trying to hose off a dirty diaper and NOT the entire bathroom. The Spray Pal is my extra hands. I love it.

Anyway, back to the point! Mini SP 2.0's birthday! He will be turning 3 later on this month, and he has overcome A LOT in his short life. I wrote a little about it last year that I definitely encourage you visiting here. To see his reaction to hearing his mom's voice for the first time after his cochlear implant was first turned on, you can watch this video on the Spray Pal youTube channel.

In celebration of this AMAZING little guy, his parents have organized this COLOSSAL giveaway. Each day, there are new fantastic prize packages, and you don't even have to be into cloth diapering to want to win them!

Today is Day 8, and the list of prizes is this: 

Entry is super easy - just use the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone! 
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Nesting, Crafting: Preparing for Baby #3

Remember that time when I was pregnant and totally neglected this blog? Friends, let's just call it Spring and Summer 2014. Well, aside from trying to sleep and eat as much as possible, I was also getting in my fair amount of sewing and DIY.
Nesting, Crafting: Preparing for Baby #3 via A Cloth Life

The nursery is a tiny little room with no windows {okay, it's my closet, but it's a big closet}. I wanted to add a lot of brightness to make it more cheery and welcoming for our newest addition. I'm too embarrassed to show any pictures of what it looked like before (a mess), or even after (a slightly more organized mess). I do want to show you a few of the things I made or put together, though.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Catching You Up {E's birth story}

I know - I'm behind. I've got a lot of catching up to do. Seriously - my tagline and my About page barely even mention my third child if she's mentioned at all. But I did go a really long time without blogging, so that means a whole lot of stuff happened in my life. Should I share it all? Probably not. Let's just stick with the most interesting things, and that means today is finally time for me to share E's birth story. I'll warn you now: this is going to be one long post.
The birth story of my third child. #waterbirth #hospitalbirth #midwifery #fullterm #birthwithoutfear

At 42 weeks, I knew she would make her appearance at any time. Although, to be fair, I'd felt that way for at least two weeks. The Thursday before, I'd had my membrane stripped, and I'd spent the entire weekend in early labor amounting to pretty much nothing. That Monday, I went in for fetal monitoring, and although I was having contractions that were strong enough to keep me from walking or even speaking, they were spaced far enough apart, and sporadic enough that they were completely absent during my appointment. Now, that's not to say I didn't have strong contractions walking down the hall TO my appointment, and again walking AWAY from my appointment, because I did.  And yet, because the technician said I WASN'T having contractions, I convinced myself I wasn't actually in labor - E was just positioned in such a way that was irritating a nerve.

That night, I fell asleep in the kids' room, in G's bed with both kids. I'm still in awe that we were able to fit, but we did it. Throughout the night, I was getting woken up by my contractions, but I breathed through it and went back to sleep.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Favorite Things Giveaway 2015 (closed)

How's your week going? I hope a whole heck of a lot better than mine! It's like my kids have conspired to spend the year NEVER ALL BEING HEALTHY FOR MORE THAN 2 DAYS AT A TIME. At least one of them gets sick as soon as I think we're getting a break. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of dealing with all THREE kids being sick. Geh. Between the vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sniffling, bronchiolitis (from RSV), allergies, and asthma, I'm losing my mind from severe sleep deprivation over here.

So it's about time we did something fun around here, right?
Welcome to the Favorite Things Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Cloth Diaper Revival

Each blogger participating has a great cloth diaper prize for you to win, worth at least $20, so after you enter mine, be sure to hop around to all the others in the linky!  Don’t forget to enter to win one the GRAND PRIZE for the event!

Last year, I treated one lucky reader to a BumGenius Freetime all-in-one cloth diaper. This year, I want to introduce you to a new favorite I've discovered since having my second cloth-diapered baby. 

Say hello to Logan + Lenora

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My Etsy Shop Got Me Organizing Fabric

So, as you might imagine, I have a to do list about a mile long (does it ever get any shorter?). There are things I actually NEED to sew (repairs, you know?), but then I came across this doll quilt pattern from Polka Dot Chair via Pinterest. As any responsible adult would do, I dropped everything and started working on this.

Doll Quilt for Etsy and Fabric Organization: A Cloth Life

You can never say I'm one of those people that Pins but never does. 

This was a great opportunity to use up some scraps and make something cute for my girls.
Doll Quilt for Etsy and Fabric Organization: A Cloth Life

There's something so simple and satisfying with piecing together all these little squares.  And basting with safety pins makes me feel like a real quilter. It really is the little things, right?
Doll Quilt for Etsy and Fabric Organization: A Cloth Life

Friday, January 16, 2015

15 Ways to Eat Healthy in 2015 *eMeals tips and tricks*

As part of my journey to become healthier, I'm open to all kinds of (reasonable) advice, tips, and tricks. Fortunately for me, eMeals has put together this great list: 15 Ways to Eat Healthy in 2015

15 ways to eat healthy in 2015

I am an eMeals blogger, and as such have received a complimentary subscription to their services. All opinions are my own, and I would never promote a service, brand, or item I have not tried myself or would not recommend to a member of my own family. 

Each New Year ushers in a new set of resolutions—oftentimes centered on improving your health and changing up less-than-desirable eating habits. Making changes, especially when involving food, can be challenging. The key to success is to start small. Here are 15 tips to get you—and your family—headed in the right direction. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling healthier and happier all the way around.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Little Mermaid Legacy Collection: Review {GIVEAWAY CLOSED}

I received the Little Mermaid Legacy Collection CD as a member of the Entertainment New Media Network. No further compensation was received and all opinions are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links.

The Little Mermaid Legacy Collection #DisneyMusic #ENMNetwork
I'm about to seriously date myself here, but do you remember when The Little Mermaid was first released in theaters? I remember my friend Kelly, who lived up the street from me, had the soundtrack. I remember jealously thinking how lucky she was. So you can imagine it was like fulfilling a childhood dream when I heard about this release and that I would be getting my very own copy. It's the little things in life, right?

And, as you might also imagine, I have a couple kids who love all things magical and Disney - with mermaids being absolutely no exception!