Monday, June 30, 2014

Kuddles Baby Products - A Review

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to try out and review some new baby products.  I have two little girls so I am always happy to try new products and see what my girls like.  I was provided a sampling of Kuddles baby products including diapers, wipes, baby powder, and snacks.  Kuddles is a new brand by Winn Dixie that is geared towards making products that affordable but still great products and I want to share my experience with you here.

Diaper and Wipes

As you know we predominantly use cloth diapers and wipes but we do use disposable diapers sometimes (mostly at night and church).  I didn't find Kuddles diapers to be comparable to other leading brands that I have tried, I actually found them to be better.  I love that the back part of the diaper is stretchy (so hugs their back better) and helps keep in messes better.  Normally I tell people that cloth diapers will keep in the dreaded "poop-splosion" but this back stretchyness looks like it would also work well.  I also tried them out on my daughters at night.  My experience was that they could not contain my older daughters night time needs (but most cant) but my younger daughter was just fine all night long. The wipes also worked well and did not cause a diaper rash which is always a big deal with my very sensitive skinned little girls.

Baby Powder

I actually don't use baby powder on my girls but that doesn't mean we didn't get to try it out, I actually got my husband to try it.  My husband uses baby powder himself to keep fresh and dry and regularly likes the name brand baby powder.  He tried Kuddles baby powder for a few days but found that the cornstarch in the mix was not very comfortable for him. 


My girls rarely meet a snack that they don't like and the puffs and veggie straws made by Kuddles were no exception.  The puffs were heart shaped and for days after finishing the container my daughter would ask for the heart snacks.  When reviewing the ingredients I found that they aren't as clean (or organic) as I normally try to give my girls but that they are comparable to other similar products and I wouldn't feel bad giving them to my girls in moderation, just like any other snack.
Overall I was impressed with the quality of the Kuddles brands I was provided to try out and would definitely look to this brand in the future.
I have been provided a sample of Kuddles products in exchange for my honest review. All views expressed herein are my own.
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Body Back: The Workouts

So far in my Body Back journey I have covered here on the blog why I am doing the program, the food and my break up letter with my after lunch chocolate so it is finally time to start talking about the workouts.  For my session the fitness portion includes two group fitness classes a week (at 5:AM!) and then we are encouraged to do two additional workouts a week.  I love the group fitness classes because they keep me accountable and push me to do my best. 
Body Back Workouts
For the group fitness classes that we have twice a week the actual exercises are pretty consistent.  Classes have a circuit training type feel to them and include moves that cover cardio, strength building and core.  I have now become an expert at burpees, push ups, sit ups, planks, squats, jumping jacks, etc.  I love that these workouts give you a full body workout feel and they are amazingly challenging.  After the first workout I was so surprised that my whole body hurt for about 3 days!!!  I have noticed over the past 5 weeks that while the workouts continue to be challenging I have become much stronger.
Even though we do a lot of the same moves each class, our instructor has done an amazing job of keeping it interesting.  One of my favorite classes was when we did a poker themed workout (music and all) where we went through a full deck of cards and each card represented a different workout (e.g. push-ups).  We also did a really fun one where we moved from station to station and couldn't move until we won rock/paper/scissors.  These things keep it interesting, make it fun and you still get a great workout.

Extra Workouts
For extra workouts you can pretty much do whatever you want, so I like that you can add some other things into your routine.  I have done yoga, stroller strides and the Body Back DVDs.   I also like that the two additional workouts give you some flexibility to do other things and do them on your own time.
Body Back DVDs
The Body Back DVDs, while cheesy like most workout DVDs, are actually pretty good.  They use the same exercises that you do in the classes but are much shorter.  The DVD includes three 20 minute workouts and three 10 minute ab workouts.  I love that I can fit this into my girls nap time and that I don't have to get a babysitter to go workout.  I also like that the DVDs show your progress so that you know where things are at in the workout.
Overall the workouts have been great.  One of my biggest concerns was that I would have a hard time getting up at 5am twice a week and now that the program is winding down I am actually sad that I won't have those classes to go to anymore.  It's been great to be in a group fitness class where everyone has the same goals and can support each other.
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Friday, June 13, 2014

Body Back: The Break-up

This week for our Body Back homework we are suppose to write a break-up letter with one of our bad habits.  One of my goals at the beginning of Body Back was to satisfy my after lunch chocolate craving with fruit or something else healthy.  Over the years I have developed a really bad habit and craving for something sweet after lunch.  It never seems bad when you have a few mini candy bars but the reality is that they add up fast.  Since setting my goal I have actually been really good and I have only "cheated" once or twice.  I've been sending mixed signals to my after lunch chocolate cravings so now it's time for a formal break-up.
Dear After Lunch Chocolate Craving,
  I know I told you a few weeks ago that I needed "a break" but now we need to just completely end our relationship.  There is no doubt that over the years you have made me really happy and have been there when I needed you.  It's not you, its me, the new me and the me that I want to be.  The me that won't eat chocolate out of habit or because I am stressed.  Frankly we have just grown apart and you can't meet my needs anymore.  Also, and there is no good way to say this, but I have found someone else.  Someone who provides more than empty calories and is still delicious.  I started a new relationship with all of the delicious summer fruits like watermelon, cherries and peaches and I really think that this relationship has what it takes to go the distance.  So farewell after lunch chocolate, I will miss you, but I don't need you anymore.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Moraki Cloth Diaper Trial Results

Today I am excited to share the results of my diaper trial on the Moraki Organic (hemp/cotton) all-in-one diaper.  I was so excited to try this diaper as it is the first diaper I have tried that has a hemp inner and I love all-in-one styles. I was also really glad to snatch up the "Hippie" tie dye print because as you can see it is beautiful!!!  Moraki makes some really pretty diapers so I love to let my daughter just run around in this gorgeous print.
Now for the stats:
Number times of uses: 13
Number of leaks: 2
Longest wear without a leak: 5 hours, 15 minutes
Big Booty factor – 4
Best Use: Around the house, out and about, daddy diaper

    * I love the PUL on this diaper, it is really thick and seems so sturdy (and its beautiful)
    * I like that the all-in-one has a stay dry and organic option
    * Absorbency is customizable with a pocket built into the diaper
    * The hemp inner is rough compared to other materials
    * At $27 this is the most expensive diaper I have ever purchased (at retail)

I was very happy with my Moraki diaper and the print is easily one of my favorites that I have.  The fit is good and the all in one style is easy to use.  Both of the leaks reported were in under an hours so it makes me think that there was some type of user error as the diaper consistently didn't leak for extended periods.  Seven of the uses without a leak were for over 3 hours.  As I mentioned in the pros the materials seem very thick and sturdy and the diaper is very well made.  My only complaint is that because I line dry my shells (and anything attached to them) the hemp inner gets very rough.  This might not be a problem if you put your shells in the dryer or if the inner detached so that it could be dried while the shell is line dried.  My girls don't seem to mind that the material is rough but one of the reasons I use cloth diapers is because I want nice material next to their skin instead of scratchy paper. 

Overall I really liked this diaper, its one of the sturdiest feeling diapers I own and the absorbancy is great.  There are some new Moraki prints that were recently released too that I love so I might have to try (and report on) some of the other styles.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Body Back: The Food

Last week I shared my first post about my experience with the Body Back program.  I am doing the 6 week Body Back program and sharing my thoughts over the course of the program with you here.  Last week I kicked it off with the reasons why I am doing the program and today I wanted to talk about the food.  For me changing my food habits is the hardest part because I love to cook and eat.  I also have been pregnant or breastfeeding for 3.5 years straight so I have been eating distorted  portions for a long time and developed bad habits.
The Program
The body back program encourages healthy and clean eating.  It doesn't involve any gimmicks but rather encourages lifestyle changes.  The Body Back booklets that I received as part of the program include healthy swaps as well as multiple breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack recipes.  Last week we tried two of the recipes: Crockpot Chicken Verde and Caprese Chicken.  Both were very good and even my husband loved them but the Caprese Chicken was AMAZING.  When we at the leftovers from the Caprese Chicken, my husband agreed with me that he could even eat it another night!  I look forward to trying some of the other recipes.

My Food Goals
I had two food related goals (other than just general healthy eating) that I set for myself.  The first for me is that I love to have a little something sweet after lunch.  At work we have snack drawer full of candy and other snacks and I love to pick out a few tiny candy bars after lunch.  Now if I crave something sweet after lunch I am trying to eat a piece of fruit.  My second food goal was to take time for breakfast.  I normally just eat a quick bowl of cereal before leaving the house but I wanted to choose something with more protein to start my day.  To accomplish this goal I have started making mini omelets in a muffin pan.  I will make enough for the week so that I can just put 2 in the microwave and have a quick and healthy breakfast.  To make them yourself just fill the muffin tin with your desired veggies, pour scrambled eggs over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

In addition to eating fruits, veggies, etc. we also learned about other food related health issues (e.g. GMOs, artificial sweeteners, etc) and were challenged this week to select three things from our pantry that contained one or more of the items and get rid of it (and not buy it again).  I took it a small step further and decided to identify replacement items for what I was throwing away.  The homework was actually a little hard for me as we eat pretty clean.  There are other items I could throw away but I wanted to focus on items that we use regularly instead of the hand full of items we have in the kitchen that are leftover from a random recipe.

I chose to get rid of: syrup (sodium benzoate), Pam cooking spray (soy) and bread crumbs (partially hydrogenated oils).  I replaced them with real maple syrup, olive oil and home made breadcrumbs. 

Overall I am really happy with the food aspect.  I thought I would be hungry all the time but making good food choices actually has me satisfied most of the time and everything tastes delicious.  Plus my husband is already asking for the Chicken Caprese again so I know the meals are sustainable.
In return for my honest review I have been provided complimentary membership in the Body Back program. All results and opinions are my own.
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