Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thank You!

This is the third month I've been writing 'Blogs from a Single Mom', and it has been a journey.  I love writing, putting together reviews, hosting giveaways and interacting with other bloggers.  I'm so happy I started this blog for many reasons, but the main reason I love this blog is because of you, the readers.  I'm writing this to say thank you.  Thank you for taking the time to read my posts, enter in my giveaways, like/follow my social media pages and interact with me in other ways.  

This month has been the biggest month so far for my blog.  I had over 1,000 unique visits this month, for the first time!  For those of you who don't know what a 'unique' visit is, Google Analysis defines it as "the number of unduplicated visitors to a website over  the course of a specified time period", meaning if you visited my blog multiple times this month from your home computer, you would still be counted as 1 unique visit.  1,000 unique visits in one month is amazing for such a new blog!  Thank you, everyone.  I mean that.  I appreciate all of you so much.

I hope all of you will stick around and continue to read my blog.  Don't forget that the Bummas giveaway is ending in a few days!  The 'My Perfect Giveaway' is also still open, and I have several giveaways planned for early next month.  Thanks again, everyone!  I can't wait to see what next month brings and to continue getting to know all of you.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cloth Diapers and Walking; My Experience

Recently, there has been a lot of talk surrounding one topic in the diapering world: Do cloth diapers delay walking?

Well, that depends on who you ask.  If you ask P&G, the makers of Pampers and Luvs, they will probably tell you that cloth diapers do delay walking.  They found this information by funding a 'study', using only 30 babies to compare disposables and bulky, old fashioned prefolds to walking naked.  I have not been able to find any studies using modern cloth diapers.  Their study found that cloth diapers do affect a baby's gait, as do disposable diapers, though not as much as cloth.  I'm not ashamed to say that I don't trust their study 100%.  Is there a little truth there?  Maybe.  But one study using only 30 babies won't convince me that cloth diapering my baby is going to delay her physical development. 

The truth is that ALL diapers, no matter how thin, affect the way a baby learns to walk.  But...is that really an issue?  A slight delay in learning to walk will not cause any harm to your babies!  They will eventually learn to walk.  Disposable diapers are a relatively new invention, and babies were just fine before  (or maybe even better) they started wearing disposable diapers.  If you are really concerned with your baby learning to walk as soon as possible, let him go naked!

In my personal experience, cloth diapers did NOT delay walking.  Actually, I wish they had.  At a relatively early age of 10 months, Midge has taken off running.  Well, maybe not running, but pretty close!  I was shocked a few weeks ago when my daughter took not only her first step, but then also her second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and then ninth, all in a row!  Then she fell down and I breathed a sign of relief.  I think it's safe to say that wearing cloth diapers, both old-fashioned and modern, didn't significantly delay my daughter learning to walk.  Too bad!  It's a lot easier to keep an eye on a baby that doesn't walk..

What is your opinion?  Do you trust the study funded by P&G?  How early did your baby start to walk?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

ONGOING Saturday Link 4/27

 
From now on, I'll be doing the linky a little different.

This is an ONGOING linky.  That means you only need to submit your giveaway once!  I will be deleting expired giveaways and reposting the linky every Saturday as usual, but the active giveaways will not be deleted.

If you love to enter giveaways, have at it!  You can subscribe to Blogs from a Single Mom by email or RSS so you don't miss any new Saturday linkys.  Please share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter to help us get out there!

 If your blog is hosting a giveaway, please enter it below.  FAMILY FRIENDLY giveaways only, please.   Most people use the format Blog name - Giveaway prize- US or US/CAN or WW - End date or something similar.   Link directly to your giveaway, or your linky will be deleted.  Please leave an end date or your linky will be deleted.  You can click here to see my list of other blogs hosting weekly or ongoing linkys!

Blogs from a Single Mom is hosting some giveaways!  Click here to read my review and enter in my giveaway for Bummas baby cloths.  Click here to check out the My Perfect Giveaway.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Easy, Lively Decorations: Air Plants!

A little big of green can brighten any room.  Plants can bring a lively touch to your home, with little effort on your part!  Not everyone has the time, patience, knowledge or space to deal a pot full or dirt in their home.  If you are one of those people who doesn't want to deal with soil, but still wants to add a bit of life to your home, I have a solution for you.

Air plants.


What are air plants?  Air plants, also know as tillandsias, are plants that grow upside down from trees.  They do not require dirt or soil of any kind!  Actually, putting a tillandsia in dirt will most certainly kill it.  Because of this, they have amazing versatility and can be used in many different ways as decoration, as long as they receive bright indirect sunlight, are kept away from copper, and get a good watering once a week.


Get creative with your air plants!  Place them in an all-gravel terrarium.  Glue them to some driftwood, or magnets to put on your refrigerator.  Hang them from your ceiling!  Use thin aluminum wire, ribbon, yarn, whatever tickles your fancy.  Hanging terrariums are available for purchase for use with air plants, if that's the direction you want to go in.  Place them in a vase, an old goldfish bowl, or anything else.  Make your own basket to put them in.  There are nearly endless possibilities.  Get creative, have fun, and enjoy your new decorations.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Perfect Giveaway! (GIVEAWAY ENDED)

This will be my first Mother's Day.  What about you?  Do you celebrate Mother's Day?  Gift-giving isn't big in my family, but if it is in yours, this post is for you!



Sponsored by:  MyPerfectGift.com



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 Enter to win a $100 Visa Gift Card to buy Mom (or yourself) a great Mother’s Day Gift!

Winner will be notified on Mother's Day!  Wouldn't that be a great present?
 At MyPerfectGift.com you can create and share your FREE registry.
Put lots of items on your wishlist and you’ll be surprised on every occasion.

Enter to Win
 Create a registry with at least 3 gifts or add to an existing registry.
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When you sign up please use “MESSYMAMA” in the “Referred By” box.

One lucky winner will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 22, 2013

Join Me! Weight Loss Week 2 (Again)

Alright, I admit it.  I had another bad week.  It was my birthday, I ate some pound cake, and I don't think I worked out once.  I have been wearing Midge and taking walks occasionally, so I'm not just sitting on my couch, but I haven't been getting in any real workouts either.  There has been an awful lot going on the past few weeks, with moving and unpacking and trying to keep track of my daughter amongst the wreckage.  That isn't an excuse, though.  I feel somewhat guilty for not exercising or eating right this past week.  I hope I have the time and motivation this week to get back on track!

My scale is still MIA, so I won't be weighing myself again this week.  I think it may have run away when the door was open, so I'll probably have to get another one.  I'm going to try my best to pretend this past week didn't happen, and start over!

Week: 2 for the second time
Weight Loss: I have no idea
Target Area: Legs

Let's get this done.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Plantaholics Anonymous; Why I Love Plants



“It won’t be long before you’re going to have to start going to ‘Plantaholics Anonymous meetings!”  My grandma told me this today, on our way home from Lowes.  I had bought two live plants (an ivy plant and an asparagus plumosus) as well as a carnivorous plant terrarium kit.  I added these plants to my ‘collection’, which includes peace lilies, catnip, a small moss terrarium, three air plants, numerous germinating seeds from various fruits and several outdoor plants.  Am I a plant-aholic?  Maybe.


I have recently discovered a love for plants.  I love house plants and outdoor plants.  Plants that produce food, and plants that to do not.  Plants that flower, and plants that don’t.  Within the past few weeks, I have found a love for all plants, not just because of what they can do for me, but also because of what I can do for them.

Within the past few months, I’ve come down with a strong case of ‘baby fever’, meaning I have an urge to reproduce.  Despite the fact that I could not possibly have another child right now and already have a 10 month old, my baby fever prevails.  I feel like I need something to love and nurture.  I need to watch something grow a little every day, and know that something needs me.  Having plants helps with my baby fever because it allows me to project all those feelings onto something.  It gives me something to care for, in place of a newborn.  We all need something to mother every now and again.

I spend a lot of time working in my garden or working with my house plants, especially when I'm feeling down.  Sometimes I take my daughter with me.  I wear her on my back, and use that time to bond with her while she learns about the outside world.  I let her watch me while I work.  I let her gently touch things and smell the fragrance of flowers.  I hope as time goes one, my daughter will continue to love plants like I do, and we can use them to strengthen our bonds with each other.

I’m grateful to have found a new love and passion for all things green.  Just like having a child, being a plant parent can be challenging, but also immensely rewarding.  Hopefully, taking care of my plant babies will urge my ovaries to quiet down for a bit, until the time is right to have another baby.  Until then, I think I’ll skip the plantaholics anonymous meetings, and spend some more time in the garden instead.


Friday, April 19, 2013

ONGOING Saturday Linky 4/20

 
From now on, I'll be doing the linky a little different.

This is an ONGOING linky.  That means you only need to submit your giveaway once!  I will be deleting expired giveaways and reposting the linky every Saturday as usual, but the active giveaways will not be deleted.

If you love to enter giveaways, have at it!  You can subscribe to Blogs from a Single Mom by email or RSS so you don't miss any new Saturday linkys.  Please share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter to help us get out there!

 If your blog is hosting a giveaway, please enter it below.  FAMILY FRIENDLY giveaways only, please.   Most people use the format Blog name - Giveaway prize- US or US/CAN or WW - End date or something similar.   Link directly to your giveaway, or your linky will be deleted.  Please leave an end date or your linky will be deleted.  You can click here to see my list of other blogs hosting weekly or ongoing linkys!

Blogs from a Single Mom is hosting some giveaways!  Click here to read my review of Knittie Bittie's custom wool longies and enter to win a pair of your own.  Click here to read my review of Bummas baby cloth wipes and enter to win a set of your own.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Uses for Leftover Lanolin; Don't Throw It Away!



My daughter took to breastfeeding immediately after birth.  She latched quickly, and it was very easy for us.  Even though she had a wonderful latch, I still dealt with one nursing woe that many of you may be able to relate to: sore nipples.  After two days, my nipples were raw and one was even bleeding.  That was when my mother suggested I get some lanolin to help with the pain.  That little purple tube of lanolin saved me from a lot of pain and made nursing a breeze!  After about two weeks, I wasn’t in any more pain and I had no further use for the lanolin.  Or did I?

A few months later, I started using wool soakers for cloth diapering.  I knew they needed to be lanolized, so I went through my drawers and came across my trusty old tube of lanolin.  It was still almost full!  It got me thinking, “What should I do with my leftover lanolin?”  You may have thought the same thing yourself, and I’m here to tell you, there are lots of uses for it!

Wool.  Cloth diapering moms will probably already know about this one.  Lanolin is taken from wool, so of course it can be of use when you put it back in!  Lanolizing wool soakers is a must, but lanolinzing wool sweaters can also have benefits, such as making your sweaters softer and more weather resistant.

Chap stick.  Nothing has soothed my dry, chapped and peeling lips like lanolin.  It’s easy, it’s simple and it's effective.  I just squeeze a little on my finger (be careful, you don't need much!) and apply directly to my lips.

Lotion.  You can add it to a homemade lotion recipe, or use it alone.  Lanolin is amazing for severely dry skin, cracked heels, and even excema.  It does make your skin feel a little waxy for a while, so if I'm using it on my feet I make sure to put socks on over it.  This is my favorite night-time treatment for cracking heels and dry hands.

Diaper rash.  Lanolin can be used alone or as an addition to DIY rash cream.  The waxy substance will not only moisturize little butts but will also act as a protective barrier against urine and feces, making it a great treatment and preventative.  Lanolin is thought to be cloth diaper safe, but I suggest using a liner with synthetic fabrics.  Make sure to wash your diapers on HOT after using.


Burns.  You can find some relief from minor burns, sunburns and wind burns with lanolin.  Just gently rub a little on the burned area to moisturize the skin and form a protective barrier.

Lanolin has so many uses apart from breastfeeding.  In the beginning, I was just looking to use up what I had left.  I have found so many uses for lanolin that I journeyed down to my local health store and bought a larger tub of it.  So don't throw out that old tube of lanolin yet!  Put it to use, and find another reason to love it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Join Me! Weight Loss Week 2

  This week has not been easy, by any means.  I started off the week working out every day, usually with the 'help' of my daughter and her cat.  Somewhere around Thursday or Friday, I got a little lazy.  But we were moving, so I lifted plenty of boxes to make up for it!  Because of the move, we spent a few days with an empty fridge and therefore my diet wasn't the best.  I won't lie, I really slacked off over the weekend.  My scale is still MIA, so I won't be weighing myself today.  It doesn't really matter if I lost any weight this week, because I can feel myself getting a little bit stronger.

On the bright side, I really enjoyed doing some mild exercises in the morning.  We're mostly moved into our new apartment and I should be able to resume my exercise and healthy eating schedules tomorrow. 

Week: 2
Weight: ? 150
Target area: Arms

This week I'm going to remain consistent and add in a little bit of cardio.

If you're joining me, how are you doing?

Friday, April 12, 2013

ONGOING Saturday Linky 4/13

From now on, I'll be doing the linky a little different.

This is an ONGOING linky.  That means you only need to submit your giveaway once!  I will be deleting expired giveaways and reposting the linky every Saturday as usual, but the active giveaways will not be deleted.

If you love to enter giveaways, have at it!  You can subscribe to Blogs from a Single Mom by email or RSS so you don't miss any new Saturday linkys.  Please share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter to help us get out there!

 If your blog is hosting a giveaway, please enter it below.  FAMILY FRIENDLY giveaways only, please.   Most people use the format Blog name - Giveaway prize- US or US/CAN or WW - End date or something similar.   Link directly to your giveaway, or your linky will be deleted.  Please leave an end date or your linky will be deleted.  You can click here to see my list of other blogs hosting weekly or ongoing linkys!

Blogs from a Single Mom is hosting some giveaways!  Click here to read my review of Knittie Bittie's custom wool longies and enter to win a pair of your own.  Click here to read my review of Bummas baby cloth wipes and enter to win a set of your own.


Cloth for a Cause(blogger opp)

Cloth for a Cause is a cloth diaper lending organization that is 100% staffed by unpaid volunteers. We primarily service Canada, but we've also been known to aid struggling families in the US, also. Like most charitable type of organizations, we desperately need help to meet the high demand. We need help with both cash donations and material donations such as, but not limited to, cloth diapers, KAM snaps, and 1/4 inch swim elastic. Some of our chapters are getting so many applications for assistance that they are unable to keep up with the demand, so diapers are desperately needed... especially in Nova Scotia. 100% of all cash donations go directly to Cloth for a Cause.

So what does this mean for bloggers?

It means that you can help Cloth for a Cause out by taking place in the Cloth for a Cause Build Your Stash Bash, hosted by Cloth Diaper Addicts, Leettle Baby, and Viva Vel Toro.
Cloth for a Cause Built Your Stash Bash (and Diaper Drive)
It's going to be amazing and big. We've got some amazing sponsors lined up, including Cozy Bums, Nicki's Diapers, Lagoon Baby, AppleCheeks, Diapers by Chris, and more! 100% of the funds raised go directly to Cloth for a Cause.

How Do You Get Involved?

We're looking for bloggers to participate in the event. Bloggers can have up to three links on follow pages, available by donation. The prices are:
  • $3 (1 link, no announcement)
  • $3 (2 links, announcement post)
  • $5 (2 links, no announcement)
  • $5 (3 links, announement post)
  • $7 (3 links, no announcement post)
Of course, if you'd like to donate more, you are welcome to! We also would love it if you would repost this announcement, regardless of your donation amount. Please take the image from above and load it on your site to publicize. We want the Build Your Stash Bash (and diaper drive) to be a success. All you need to do is sign up and join a Facebook group to be kept up to date with the event.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review/Giveaway: Bummas Baby Cloths (GIVEAWAY ENDED)

Disclaimer:  I received this item free of charge for review purposes.  I was not compensated for this review in any other way.  This is an honest review full of my own opinions.  I apologize in advance for the pictures taken on my floor.  We are moving and most of our surfaces are full of moving-type things.



When I started using cloth diapers, I didn't jump right into using cloth wipes.  It was just one more thing to clean poop off of, and I didn't want to overwhelm myself.  About three months ago, when Midge was 6 months old and I had been using cloth for a few months, I started using cloth wipes too.  I have used flannel receiving blankets cut up and sewn together, flannel sewn with terry cloth, baby wash clothes, and now:


Bummas.  (Not to be confused with Bummis, the cloth diapers.)  Bummas has been awarded the Seal of Approval from PTPA, and has also won an Eco-Excellence award.  Neat, eh?  You're looking at a set of "The Wild Ones", which is one of each, for those of you who like variety or are too indecisive to pick one color package.

 
As you can see, most of them are white with very well-done colored serging.  While cute and fun, I was a little disappointed that most of them are white.  I would prefer more solid colors, since it should hide the stains better if you're like me and are too lazy to sun wipes. That isn't a big deal, but it was something I noticed.

Bummas are 100 % cotton woven velour terry cloth wipes.  They can also be used to dry off your baby's bottom after wiping, or placed over the baby's privates to prevent 'sneak attacks' according to the website.  I have friends that use theirs to wipe snotty noses and messy faces, but I just stick to using mine to clean butts.

One side of each wipe is a little softer and smoother than the other side.  The reverse side is a little more like a wash cloth and works great to clean off stubborn poop.  I use the top side to wipe Midge down after a pee, and the bottom side for poop.  I tried my best to take a picture of each side for you, but texture doesn't come across well in photos.  Especially photos taken by someone with no skill(me).

The side turned over there, which is the 'bottom' side, is the 'scrubby' side.  It is still pretty soft, but feels more like a wash cloth.  You can also get a good look at the tight serging there.


These two pictures are of the top side, which is very soft and almost a little fuzzy.

The Bummas website warns to wash your wipes alone or with like colors the first time.  If you're reading this and have Bummas you haven't washed yet or want to buy a set of Bummas, listen to me.  They aren't kidding.  Look back up at the first two pictures and point your peepers at the blue wipe with green serging.  Some of the blue dye did run in my washing machine, on my white inserts. Luckily none of my diapers were affected by my total disregard for the written instructions.  If you're too lazy/busy/don't want to wash them alone the first time or with like colors, at least run them under warm water in your sink or something.  Spare yourself the blue stains.

I measured a Bumma after washing and using a few times, and what I discovered was a little funny. There are a few minor differences in each of my Bummas, so I closed my eyes and picked a random one to measure.  This is what I found.

Measured lengthwise, this Bumma comes in at almost exactly 7 inches.

Measured width wise, this Bumma is 5 1/2 inches. 

Please ignore the slight pink stain.  I spilled a little wine and this Bumma was close enough to come to the rescue, hehe ;)  So not all Bummas are completely uniform.  Mine were all almost exactly the same length wise but varied up to 1/2 inch width wise.  This sort of thing is pretty typical, in my experience.  And I have to admit, this little guy soaked up the wine like a champ.

Overall, I like my Bummas.  They come in at a fair price of 15$ for a set of 10, which is comparable to most other cloth wipes on the market.  They have stayed soft and fluffy through a few washes and have not bunched or unraveled, nor has the serging come undone.  They're moderately thick, which keeps the poop off my hands, and they're pretty absorbent.  I personally like the 5x7 size, but I know some people prefer a larger or square size, and Bummas does not currently offer that.  As I mentioned earlier, I wish Bummas offered an all-colored option instead of some colored and some white, but that alone wouldn't stop me from buying a set.  I think Bummas are a good option for a mommy who doesn't want to take the time (or isn't crafty enough) to make her own wipes, but doesn't like thin baby wash cloths.

If you want to buy a set of Bummas, you can view their website by clicking here.

Or...


...anyone want to win a set?  Bummas has kindly offered to giveaway one set of Bummas in the color pack of the winner's choice, no purchase necessary!  Just enter in the Rafflecopter below, and good luck!
Giveaway open to those 18 years and older, and is open to the US and Canada only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Blogs from a Single Mom is not responsible for the fulfillment of prizes.  Conservemom, Life as a Wife Mummy Nurse, Thankful for Thorns, Cloth Diaper Guru, and Cloth Diapering Again are in now way responsible for the fulfillment of prizes.  Winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be drawn.  Giveaway sponsored by Bummas.  I received a free product for review and was not compensated for this post in any other way.   I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own honest opinions.  Facebook, Twitter, Picket Fence and Rafflecopter are in no way affiliated with or responsible for this giveaway.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Make Your Own Chemical-Free Deodorant, at Home!

Before you start, here's what you'll need:
Coconut oil
Baking soda
Corn starch
Beeswax
A small or medium pot
A clean, glass jar
A plastic spoon
A knife
An old, clean deodorant tube OR an ice cube tray OR silicone molds
A freezer 


A few days ago, I wrote about no longer using traditional deodorant.  Instead, I'm making my own!  It's really easy, it works, and it's cheap.  You probably have some or all of these ingredients laying around your house already.  There are several recipes out there, and what works for me may not work for you.  Feel free to try it, tweak it, and throw out that old store-bought deodorant!

To make yours the way I made mine, here's what you'll need:


Coconut oil: 3T
Baking soda: 1 1/2 T (I have heard that those of you with sensitive skin may want to substitute with arrowroot powder.  I did NOT have a problem with the baking soda, so I haven't tried the arrowroot and can't speak for its effectiveness.)
Corn starch: 1 1/2 T
Beeswax: 1-2 square inch chunks (I used 1 roughly square inch chunk of beeswax.  I wish I would have used more.  If you put your deodorant in a tube instead of into chunks/shapes, you might not need as much beeswax.)
This recipe makes a batch that is a good size for testing.  If you make a batch and love it, you can of course double or triple these numbers to make more at once.


You will also need a pot like this one, around half full with water, and turned to about medium heat

and a glass jar, like this mason jar. ( I recommend having one jar sent aside for these kinds of projects, because sometimes it can be hard to get all of the beeswax out.  I use mine for deodorant, lotion, and rash cream, but never for food.)

You'll see my jar up there, with my coconut oil in it.  Turn your burner on, put your pot with water in it, and add the jar with coconut oil.  There is no need to wait for the water to heat up first.  Coconut oil melts at a low temperature, so you'll notice it melts quickly if you pick the jar up by the rim and swirl the contents a little every now and then.  


Next, take your knife and cut off a chunk of the beeswax and throw it in.  This may take some time to melt.  I swirled often and it still took about ten minutes.  When all of the beeswax has melted, start to add in your corn starch and baking soda.  I mixed those two together and sprinkled in about 1/4 at a time, mixing well each time.  It may settle to the bottom first and require some actual stirring, so be warned and don't use any utensils that have sentimental value.  I went with a plastic spoon in case it wouldn't come clean.  Add in the corn starch/baking soda until it has all mixed in and none of it rests on the bottom.  I neglected to take any pictures of this step, I'm sorry about that.  It's fairly straightforward though, so I imagine you can figure it out based on my directions.

Next, turn off your burner and remove the jar.  You'll have to work quickly now.  Pour or spoon your mixture into an old deodorant tube, an ice cube try, or silicone molds.  The baking soda may start to settle to the bottom, so work quickly!  When you have all of the deodorant where you want it, pop it in the freezer.  This is done to harden the liquid quickly, to avoid the ingredients separating and settling.  After 5-10 minutes, when your liquid has become a solid, take out your home-made deodorant.  It was that easy!  If you used an ice cube try or silicone molds, pop out the cubes while they're still cold and easier to work with.  I store mine wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag.  I use one piece at a time, and I leave it set out on my dresser on a paper towel.  This recipe makes enough to last me about a month.

Ta-da!  Enjoy.


Comments are welcome!  If you made some, tell me how you liked it.  If you have questions, ask them!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Join Me! Weight Loss Week 1

Starting today, I'm going to live a healthier lifestyle.  I stepped on the scale this morning (which may not be perfectly accurate due to Midge using it as a drum), and I'm at least 150 pounds.  I'd like to be around 130, and need to be under 140 to be at a healthy weight for my height.  I'll be updating for everyone every Monday, no matter how bad or good the past week went.

Because I'm still nursing, I can't restrict my diet too much.  I need to make sure I eat when I'm hungry and drink plenty of water, so my supply doesn't suffer.  What I can and need to do is eat more frequent and healthier meals during the day.  I'm going to cut down on my soft drink and milk intake and increase my water intake.  The most important, and most difficult, part of my new lifestyle is going to be exercising.  To put things politely, I am a couch potato.  I used to run and dance in high school, but I haven't exercised for more than two days since having my daughter last June.  Part of it is because of my depression, the stress of having a new baby, and lack of time.  Part of it is also because I love to sit.  I've been slowly adding these changes into my life for the past few days.  I'm easing into things.  I've only been working out as much as I think I can, never pushing myself and letting myself dip into the Easter candy.  This week I'm going to turn up the intensity just a bit.

Week: 1
Weight: 150
Target Area: Abs

I'm still not going to push myself to the point of exhaustion.  I still have a baby to take care of and I need to be awake and alive to do that.  This week I'm going to work out at least once a day, focusing on my abs and hopefully throwing a little cardio in there when I get the chance.  My goal this week is to start toning my tummy a little, and elevating my heart rate.  I'm also going to make a few more changes to my diet, like adding in some of the fruits and veggies I bought at the store yesterday.  It isn't going to be easy, but I want to make these changes both for myself and my daughter.  This isn't a diet, this is a lifestyle change.

Join me!  Do you have a weight loss goal?  Are you just looking to make a few little changes in your lifestyle?  Tell me about it in the comments!  I love hearing from you.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dating as a Single Mom

As a child, I used to imagine what it would be like to be a mother.  I pictured myself doing a lot of things that I do now, every day.  I didn't picture myself dating.  I always thought that I would fall in love, get married, and then have a child.  Things didn't work out that way, but I still want to get married.  I would love to eventually have more children.  I don't want to spend the rest of my life alone with a growing herd of cats.  That leads me to dating.

The very idea of being a single mother is controversial.  I have a received a lot of not-so-positive comments on the idea of being a single mother, then when you throw the word 'dating' out there, things can get downright rude.  This is one situation where no one's opinion matters.  No one!  It doesn't matter to me if someone thinks I am a bad person for winding up as a single mother, or that I'm selfish for wanting to find a partner.  It just doesn't matter, because it isn't true.  No matter how hard some things might be, there are situations where you have to do what you know is best for you and your child, and ignore anyone who tells you something different.

I'm not searching for someone to be my daughter's new father.  I'm not going to settle down with the first man I meet just so my daughter can have a two-parent household.  It'll be wonderful if it happens, but she won't suffer if it doesn't.  I'm dating for me.  I am a mother, but I am not just a mother.  It's okay to date, even though I have a child.  It's okay to want to have a little time to myself, and to want to find someone who will make me happy.  It doesn't mean I love my daughter any less.  It doesn't make me any less of a mother.  Part of being a parent is setting a good example for your child.  I dont want Midge to grow up thinking she has to lose herself when she has a child, because that's what mommy did.

Today, this single momma has a date.  I'm going out to lunch with a very nice man, who could be a good friend or could one day be my husband.  It's been a long time since I've been on a date, and I can't guarantee I even remember how.  In a few minutes, I'm going to get off of the computer, take a shower, and go out and live my life.  I didn't die when I became a singe mother.  I shouldn't sit at home and act like I did.

Friday, April 5, 2013

ONGOING Saturday Linky 4/6

From now on, I'll be doing the linky a little different.

This is an ONGOING linky.  That means you only need to submit your giveaway once!  I will be deleting expired giveaways and reposting the linky every Saturday as usual, but the active giveaways will not be deleted.

If you love to enter giveaways, have at it!  You can subscribe to Blogs from a Single Mom by email or RSS so you don't miss any new Saturday linkys.  Please share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter to help us get out there!
 If your blog is hosting a giveaway, please enter it below.  FAMILY FRIENDLY giveaways only, please.   Most people use the format Blog name - Giveaway prize- US or US/CAN or WW - End date or something similar.   Link directly to your giveaway, or your linky will be deleted.  Please leave an end date or your linky will be deleted.  You can click here to see my list of other blogs hosting weekly or ongoing linkys!

Blogs from a Single Mom is hosting a giveaway!  Click here to read my review of Knittie Bittie's custom wool longies and enter to win a pair of your own.


My Cloth Diaper Stash

cloth diaper blogs
 If you've been following me, you might remember my post last month about my daughter's first cloth diapers
The first cloth diaper I ever put on my daughter was a Babies R Us prefold, accompanied my some pins and a lovely cover composed of plastic.  I was in a hurry to start using cloth, and hesitant to order anything online.  They served their purpose...sort of.  I was happy to receive some Flip covers in the mail, and move on from there.

We have since found a system that works a little better.  I love and use everything from flats to pockets to covers to wool.  Our stash has grown to include more than 12 prefolds, 3 sets of pins and 3 pairs of plastic pants.  Want to take a look?

As usual, please excuse my photography.  It's obvious by now that I am not a photographer.  I barely even know how to turn the camera on.

I just want to say that you do not need this many cloth diapers to diaper one child.  24 diapers is plenty!  There's nothing wrong with having a bigger stash, though.  Having a large rotation means you wear the diapers down less, can go longer without washing, are less likely to run out of clean diapers, and (if you're like me and love colors) you might even have a diaper that matches every outfit.

There are a few missing, since there's one on the baby and a couple hiding in the diaper bag and my car, but here's a general idea of how many I have.
 26 pockets, 5 PUL covers, 3 wool covers, 10 flats, and 10 fitteds (most of which are play condition).
I also have more inserts than I can count, a few leftover prefolds, and a couple of snappis.  My stash is still growing, and always changing.

That's what's in my stash.  What's in yours?   

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Join Me! Weight Loss

  Before my daughter was born, I was 130 pounds.  I dropped down to 120 while pregnant due to morning sickness, then up to 140 and went down to about 125 the day after she was born.  I was all baby!  Unfortunately, I now weigh somewhere between 145 and 150 pounds.  I gained at least 20 pounds within two months after going on birth control.  While I do believe at least some of the weight gain is due to the hormones, I know a good portion of it is due to lack of exercise, stress, and a love for peanut butter cookies.

I am no longer at a healthy weight for my height.  I am between 5'4 and 5'5 and have a medium frame.  To be healthy, I need to be under 140 pounds.  To be happy, I think I need to be 130 pounds or under.  It hit me the other day that I need to do everything I can to be healthy for myself and my daughter.  If you know anything about me, you know that I watch out for myself and Midge as much as possible by eliminating as many harmful chemicals and substances from our lives as possible.  That isn't enough anymore.  I also need to start eating right and exercising.  I need to set a good example for my child.

Starting next week, I am going to weigh myself every Monday and post it here for everyone to see.  I am not doing this to shame myself or anyone else.  I'm doing this to motivate myself and others to get up, get active, and get healthy!  Let's all do this together.  Even if you do not need to lose any weight, we can all benefit from living a healthier lifestyle.  Are you with me?