Monthly Archives: September 2013

Woolzies Dryer Balls Review & Giveaway!

I wanted to make my blogging return a good one, and what better way than a review & giveaway!! Today is a review on Woolzies Dryer Balls. You may be wondering…’What the heck are dryer balls?’ I wondered the same thing a few years ago. I have a front load washer & dryer set, and absolutely love them. We are a family of 6…with 3 teen/pre-teen girls and a 6 year old boy…we do A LOT of laundry. I bought the front load to save money in the long run on detergent, electricity, water, etc. Problem is it is high capacity…which to my brain means, pack that sucker full. Soooo…I noticed my towels were starting to not be very fluffy, things weren’t drying well on one drying cycle, and my clothes were wrinkly even right out of the dryer. Enter dryer balls.

If you know me at all, or have read much of my blog, you know that I love to make things. So, when I saw these felted wool dryer balls that were selling for about $5 per ball on Etsy, I thought, ‘I can make that!’ My result was a partial fail. First problem, we don’t have any good craft stores around here, so I had to wait until we went somewhere to purchase 100% wool yarn. Second problem, I don’t know how to felt, and my attempt didn’t produce dryer balls that looked nice and fluffy…mine just looked like fuzzy yarn balls. They worked okay for a little while, then one day I opened the dryer and found a tangled fuzzy yarn mess. One of my homemade dryer balls had come partially unraveled and wrapped all around my load of clothes. Not an effective way of fluffing clothes if you ask me.

What's left of my attempt at felted dryer balls...there were 5.

What’s left of my attempt at felted dryer balls…there were 5.

I wasn’t really completely happy with the performance of my homemade dryer balls, but I’m stubborn and I refused to admit even partial failure. So, I decided to scale back my load size to large, but not stuffed loads…this seemed to help on the drying time problem, and a little on the fluffy towel problem, but not really to my satisfaction. Basically I had given up, and just accepted the problem rather than attempting to try again…100% wool yarn isn’t cheap, and felting is time consuming.

Woolzies Dryer Balls

Woolzies Dryer Balls

photo 3

Now about Woolzies…they claim:
Woolzies are handmade, nontoxic dryer balls that do not coat clothing with dangerous chemicals, therefore making your laundry safe for all. Also, Woolzies cuts your drying time down sometimes as much as 40% saving you and your family time and money. Woolzies are guaranteed to last for at least 1,000 loads. Woolzies do not shed, therefore they are safe for those with wool allergies to use.

I have noticed since removing my defective homemade dryer balls and using 6 XL Woolzies Dryer Balls, my towels are a bit fluffier, clothes are less wrinkled, and the drying cycle is more effective. I can’t say that it is as much as 40% less drying time, but it is noticeable. I have children with allergies and my husband has sensitive skin, so I am unable to use dryer sheets to add scent. With Woolzies, you can add a few drops of essential oils to the dryer balls and your laundry smells however you want it to. I haven’t noticed any issues with static, but it’s not winter yet. The remedy they suggest is rolling up a piece of plain kitchen aluminum foil into the size of a Woolzies dryer ball and add it to the dryer with the other 6 balls.

This is a product that I wish I had just purchased in the first place, rather than try to make my own. Huge thank you to Lauren at Wise To Be Social, and Eli from Woolzies Dryer Balls for sponsoring this giveaway. They graciously sent me a box of 6 XL Woolzies Dryer Balls to try and review, and then are throwing in another set for my giveaway! If you’d like to enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget below. There are many ways to enter, so good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Memory Lane Monday…Technology

As a kid, did you ever get sick of hearing your parents tell you how good you have it compared to when they were a kid? “We had to walk to school in the snow.” “We didn’t have seatbelts.” “We had to get up at 4am to do chores.” Typically it came at a time when you were complaining about having to do something you felt was either too difficult or unfair. I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid it seemed like they were making all that crap up. All I tended to hear was “When I was a kid…blah, blah, blah, wah, wah wah, you have it so easy, blah, blah, blah.”

Now, being 30ish, I am often reminded of these stories from my childhood when I hear “When I was a kid…” come out of my mouth. The hard part is that when you really think back to those stories, it makes you realize how hard your parents and grandparents really had it as opposed to the way things are now. Regardless of where you grew up, technology has changed in a crazily rapid pace. My kids tend to laugh when they hear things like…I didn’t have a cell phone until I was married, computers didn’t have pictures when we first started using them in school (remember the amber monitors), the internet didn’t exist – we had to use the library to research papers…and at the library we had to use the card catalogue to find stuff, we didn’t have GPS to lead the way…we used things called an atlas and a map.

I then think back to when my parents & grandparents were kids and chores were serious. I hear whining about…having to carry a hamper up the stairs so I can wash and dry their clothes in my nice washer & dryer…back in the day they had to wash their own clothes by hand…in a bucket…with a washboard. I hear whining about having to get up in the morning to get dressed, brush teeth, make bed, fix hair, read devotional, bring up the previously mentioned hamper, and catch the bus…back in the day they had to do all of that, tend to farm animals, and WALK to school. There are many more examples of how our kids are so much softer than we were and how we are softer than our parents were and so on. The thing is technology is here for our advancement & convenience, but we need not forget our roots and that some things can be done without it. My challenge to you, unplug for an hour a day and play with your kids, work with your kids, read with your kids…you’ll feel good that you did and they’ll be better for it.

Transparency

I like to take pictures of everything. Not everyone appreciates photos of the dinner I’ve cooked, my kids making weird faces, messes I’ve made, but hey…it’s my blog/FB page/Twitter account/Instagram…and I can do what I want. ;) In all fairness, most of us post way too much, and we only post the good stuff. In honor of something my pastor Shannon O’Dell has repeatedly said (Don’t compare your life to other’s highlight reels.) I have decided to post 2 pictures of our breakfast today. (Yes, I know he has also said to stop posting pictures of your food, but this is relevant.)

Mmmm...golden, delicious, perfect waffles.

Mmmm…golden, delicious, perfect waffles.

The first photo is of the homemade waffles we enjoyed this morning. I woke up bright and early, did my devotional, made coffee, and whipped up these beautiful waffles for my family…uh, yeah right. I did wake up bright and early…then fell back asleep. I was then awakened by a kid asking for the waffles I promised them yesterday *punch yesterday promising self in the face*. Once I hauled myself out of bed and made coffee, I plugged in my headphones to listen to the bible while I made waffles…beginning to feel good about myself for multitasking and attempting to get back on track, I repeatedly had the earphones ripped from my ears by drawer knobs…which is infuriating. There went my feel good. Back to waffles. Kids are singing praises of how good the waffles smell, and then how good they look and taste. Back to feeling like I’m doing my job well…
And then I get sucked into the life of a homeschooling, crafting, Facebooking, blogging, mother…and get sidetracked…and then start to smell something foul…and then remember the last little waffle. The one I commented to the kids about as I poured the last bit of batter into the waffle iron. The one I said was going to be so cute. The one that was now assaulting my nose with it’s burning aroma. This one.

The cute, little, last, BURNT waffle.

The cute, little, last, BURNT waffle.

This little gem has made our house stink most of the morning…and it actually broke when I threw it in the sink. So, laying it all out there…I’ve had a rough day, and I want you to know that even though I love my life and often post about how awesome and perfect it is…I have A LOT of these types of days. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love my life and think it is perfect, it just means I am human and I don’t want to cause anyone to stumble because of my highlight reel.

Oh, and welcome to my new blog layout…courtesy of my amazing husband. Let me know what you think!