Baking and Laundry–Two Things I Don’t Think Go Together

This post is brought to you by our friends at Purex. The opinions are 100% my own.

When I was asked to take a trial of the newest Purex scent, as usual, I jumped at the chance. And then, I found out it was “Cookie Scented”, and I questioned whether or not it was a good idea. I mean, I’ve had plenty of temptations while trying to eat healthier, the last thing I needed was for our clothes to smell like cookies.

Instead of using this detergent on our sheets or my clothes, I decided to have Mr. Burgher use it on the kids’. Sure, it smelled sweet and yummy, just like home baked goodness of chocolate chip cookies (you know, really good ones? Yeah.). It was exactly what I thought it would be, a huge temptation. The kids just kept begging for some cookies, and I don’t blame them. And, A begged me to keep washing her clothes in this scent (do you blame her)? Thank goodness we got enough to last them 66 washes! As for me, I am still not convinced that these things go together, but to each their own.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can head over to the Purex site and hear more about it. The factuals–it is safe in all washing machines, including High Efficiency, and it has stain fighting microbeads that smell like chocolate chips. Give it a try today!

New Sheets Plus Purex Laundry Detergent…

…equals one happy Mama Burgher! We put new sheets on the bed last night, fresh out of the dryer and I have to tell you, it was incredible. Thank goodness that Purex gave us a chance to try out their new Ultra Packs laundry detergent before it hits stores.

This is the newest innovation from Purex, an experience that is truly “laundry simplified”. The pack pops into the wash with your clothes (or sheets in our case) and just dissolves with the water. Nothing spills, there’s no lifting of heavy bottles, no measuring. Keeping our skin sensitivities in mind, Purex was willing to send us the “Free and Clear”, but there is also a “Mountain Breeze” version available, too.

Mr. Burgher was most excited of all. He opened the package of Ultra Packs and went to work at the washer. Next thing I knew, he was showing me the pre-measured pack of ultra concentrated laundry detergent and asking me to give it a squeeze. It was evident that he was liking the ease of use. He just threw it in with the water, tossed the sheets in, and walked away. Easy!

The sheets came out smelling fresh and feeling clean. I think we’ll take it. This product made our lives easier, and these days, that’s a win! Doing our sheets, the kids’ clothes, and our clothes did take up 5 packs (almost a third of the package of 18), so I’m not sure that we’ll be able to pay the price of convenience. (And can I say, I am not sure how long a bottle of detergent lasts us, so I have to leave this one up to Mr. Burgher–we get bottles that have enough detergent for 32 loads, so they last us about 6 weeks. One pack of Ultra Packs will go in about three weeks.) Either way, we still loved them and are glad we got the chance to test these out.

If you are interested in trying out this new product, look for it on shelves in February!

Thank you, Purex, for giving us a chance to test out your newest product! We were given a pack of Ultra Packs to test for this post; however, the opinions here are my own.

My Memories: A Review and #Giveaway!

Hope you’ve been enjoying all of our memories from our recent trip to Williamsburg! These pictures are about 1% of all the great ones that you know will have to go into a scrapbook. Speaking of scrapbooking, today I want to tell you about a nifty piece of software, My Memories Suite. I literally did a dancey-dance when I found out our blog had been chosen to do a review…but the even better news…and a GIVEAWAY!

So, first things first. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been ADDICTED to taking pictures. Anyone out there remember 110mm film? Intro my first personal camera (because, uh, no, my Dad wouldn’t dare let me touch his Canon 35mm SLR. I moved through various 110mm, 35mm (heart my precious Canon Rebel), point and shoot digital cameras, and finally Mr. Canon. Our hard drives are full of thousands of pictures.

And what do we do with all those pictures (besides make our relatives and friends droll over baby cuteness via the blog)? I scrapbook. But I have a HORRIBLE confession to make. I just finished ‘lil Miss A’s 2010 album and hope to work on ‘lil Man’s baby book in January. But that means I am still at least a year behind.

Well, for some relief, I’ll be able to use this friendly Digital Scrapbooking Software to make quick pages that are printable at home, through DVDs, calendars, cards, or even albums. While I don’t think I’ll be using My Memories Suite to completely replace my scrapbooks, I think it will be a great opportunity to include more than just one “epic” photo and create an album geared to an entire experience. (This is key when the hard-copy books are already about 3″ thick and only include 5-6 pictures from each month.)

Like this page I made–it’s a quick way to share with ‘lil Miss A how proud I am of her growing up into a ‘lil lady.

This page took me about 15 minutes–and the toughest part was choosing which photos to include on the page. The scrapbooking software had a feel similar to working with any Microsoft product (Movie Maker especially), but it did take a minute or two to get used to. That and deciding what page templates to work with…there are a number of decently nice free templates (entire albums, actually) that come with the software, but there are 100s you can pay for on their site, including some free kits and deals for under a dollar. Once you have your backgrounds and embellishments pick, it’s really just “drag and drop” and journal! Quick, easy, and DONE!

I would love to share this product with you, and My Memories has been kind enough to provide me with a code that will get you the newest version (v3) absolutely free! I don’t even have this version yet–it will be released in a few days, so that’s even more exciting news. (If you want to see some info on v3, check out this video.)

So, how can you get My Memories Suite? First, if you simply need it now, then click on the banner below, “add to cart” and enter my special $10 off code in the Enter Coupon/Promo Code box (you’ll get the software for just under $30): STMMMS41011. Please copy and paste that code to avoid any issues!

But, if you are interested in the giveaway, then stick around! Here are the rules.

1. The giveaway will run until Sunday, December 4 at 12:00 PM EST. Any comments received after that will not be eligible for the giveaway. The winner will be chosen by comment # using Random.org. Once chosen, I will put up a winner post AND e-mail the winner. They have 48 hours to respond to me in order to get their code.
2. In order to receive the software, you must provide your e-mail address when you comment. (There’s a field for that.)
3. 1st mandatory entry: Visit www.MyMemories.com and chose your favorite digital paper pack or layout then leave me a comment telling me which one you like best.

Easy, right? Ok, I know you want more chances. For additional entries you may do the following:
* Follow the My Memories Blog on Google Friend Connect and leave a comment below letting me know you did so. (+1 entry)
* “Like” My Memories on Facebook and leave a comment below letting me know you did so. (+1 entry)
* Follow My Memories on Twitter and leave a comment below with your twitter handle letting me know you did so.
* Share this post with your friends via Google+, Facebook or Twitter once per day and leave a link to that share below. (+1 entry per day for each site)

Can’t wait to share this with you, good luck!

Disclaimer:I received one digital copy of MyMemories Suite from MyMemories in order to give the review above. I was not compensated in any other way for my opinions (which are all my own!). Thanks to MyMemories and to all participants in this giveaway!

Props to my PumpEase!

This post is a follow-up to my recent list of Top 10 Nursin’ Mama Must Haves–a verification that the Pump Ease was well worth my spend. Remember, I have not received any products or compensation from the companies I mention, I am just letting you know what items work for me!

With the end of my maternity leave fast approaching, I realized I needed two essential items to head back to work and continue nursing my son—a new breast pump and a pumping support bra. With a dying pump to at the least get me through, the support bra became my number one concern. I’d been lurking around, reading tweets and posts from other breastfeeding mamas. My search led me to choose a Pump Ease hands-free support (PumpEase or @pumpease); however, I kept putting the purchase off (because I really was not ready to get back to work).

With a week to go, I finally went back to the site (which boasts their supports as “pretty things” that “will hold your breast pump in place as securely and comfortably for your 1000th pumping session as it did for your 1st”). Lucky me, there happened to be a sale on a few supports that either the design was being discontinued or there were minor defects. I picked a design that looked cute (‘Forget Me Not’) and put it in my cart.
Since the company is based in British Columbia, I did not expect to receive my Pump Ease before returning to work, so I started to practice flipping my nursing tank over my pump horns as a back-up. Needless to say, this method left me with a lot of spillage and frustration. My frustration didn’t have to last long—my Pump Ease arrived the Saturday before I returned to work!

As I tore into the package, my husband asked, “You want to whip out the pump right now, don’t you?” Obviously! I knew it didn’t matter, but the pattern I had picked out was adorable (and there are plenty other great patterns including a “Very Cherry” and classy polka dotted “T-Bird Red”). Although I read on the website that the support was made of a “super soft” “88% polyester/12% spandex high-performance technical fabric” that would remember my body shape (thank you memory), I had NO idea just how soft it would feel. Imagine a running shirt and t-shirt sheets made sweet love and this was the baby.

I slipped the support bra around my chest and did up the eyelets. Next, I put the horns (of my Medela Pump in Style Advanced) in place behind the support and through the openings (which are supposed to fit horns of any breast pump—I believe it as they also worked with my backup Playtex Embrace). With two quick snaps, I was attached to my bottles and ready to pump.

My lifesaver was FOUND! I was able to do anything within reach of my pump tubing (wipe my toddler’s nose, pull crackers away from the dogs, and replace the blanket over baby boy’s feet). No milk was lost and I had a killer first pumping session. When it was done, the bottles stayed nicely in place until I was ready to dump into the storage bags. The little drops that did fall from the horns wicked off the Pump Ease with no fear of having to toss yet another piece of laundry in before the weekend was up. For a half a second, I was actually excited about going back to work and taking my pumping breaks!

I highly suggest the Pump Ease for any nursing mama who will be returning to work and pumping. While I can’t say it will be the best experience, I will actually be able to do some work while pumping and will be able to get home to my nursling and toddler quicker. (Definitely a win.)

Although I can’t verify that the Pump Ease will hold up for the 1000th pump, I have been able to pump with it quite a few times and the ladies did not sag once yet. Just based on my first few pumps, I am sure the claim is true—you know I will keep you posted.

Thanks to Pump Ease’s Facebook, I found out that there is a BOGO sale on the “Very Cherry” pattern from now until the end of February. Perhaps two Pump Ease’s would allow for a back up (one in wash, one in pump bag) or a great shower gift (if you know the mama’s size—but definitely read up on the sizing chart on their webpage before purchasing). Who’s tempted?