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.
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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!
So, I am always making to-do lists…daily, weekly, someday, for me, for hubby, for kids, for individual chores, etc. I don’t always accomplish what is on my list, but it’s always there just waiting for me to check it off. This habit seems to have rubbed off on my 5 year old. He decided he wanted to make a list of things he wanted to do today, and since he’s only 5 and doesn’t know how to spell everything he drew pictures instead.
Best. List. Ever.
Here is a key explaining what each icon means…according to what Froggy told me.
1. Throw a hot wheels car & it land on it’s wheels game.
2. Running – exercise
3. Staring – so my eyeballs give more attention to my friends.
4. Writing 10 things – writing exercise to get my hand ready for school.
5. Hold up 1 finger for 5 minutes – exercise
6. Standing for 5 minutes – exercise helps you if you’re standing and someone tells you to stay.
7. Put together a puzzle.
8. Play with Pokemon cards.
9. Rocking in rocking chair as fast as I can.
10. Clean my room.
11. Play with the dogs.
12. Read a book.
14. Play tag.
15. Draw clouds.
16. Build lego alien and take a picture for contest.
17. Pick up trash in my room.
18. Play on iphone.
19. Jump on trampoline – exercise.
20. Look for quarters to take to Larry’s Pizza to win tickets.
21. Look at other peoples eyeballs – to see what color they are to help you remember stuff.
23. Make bed.
24. Look at Silly Band collection.
25. Take shower.
26. Look for dollars.
27. Love Mom really much.
Of course, #27 is my favorite.
Back to school shopping. Do you enjoy taking your kids shopping for school supplies for the new year, or is it torture? Do you even take them? Typically what we do is I buy most of the supplies on my own, then let them choose backpacks and one new outfit for the first day of school. This year we had to buy backpacks early because of church camp, so they didn’t really get much choice. I also have acquired lots of clothes, some new, some just new to them (Thanks Kim!)…all of them super cute. My favorite part of school shopping is getting great deals on clothes…my favorite store? Old Navy…hands down. I always seem to find clothes that my kids love at a reasonable price…or at a fantastic price in the clearance section. Here is my latest score at Old Navy from my trip to Branson w/ my good friend Kim.
Grey w/ sparkly headphones – Reg. 9.94 // Clearance – 2.99
Be Cool! Scratch-N-Sniff – Reg. 9.94 // Clearance 2.99
Orange heart – Reg. 9.94 // Clearance 2.49
Grey w/ hearts – Reg. 12.94 // Clearance 1.97
Camo jacket in a packet – Reg. 19.94 // Clearance 2.47
Total – Reg. 62.70 // Clearance 12.91
Boom! I saved almost $50!
Aside from thrift store finds…which is another of my favorite places to shop…what have been your best finds this season?
I don’t often get to enjoy silence/soliitariety, and when I do it’s like I don’t know what to do with myself. (And yes, I did have to look that word up because I spelled it wrong & it was driving me crazy, and now it looks even weirder. And prepare yourself, I’m going to use it a lot since I had to look it up. hehe) So what do I choose to do with my morning of soliitariety? Write a blog post about being alone…wow…inspiring. I actually get 3 mornings of soliitariety this week because of various activities the children have going on, the fact that we STILL only have one vehicle, and that I have the greatest husband on the planet who will be shuttling the kids to & from said activities. My plans to fill my soliitariety consist of exercise, reading, catching up on housework, dancing like a weirdo to some dubstep, ya know…the usual. So far, all I’ve done is wander aimlessly through the house, talk on the phone, and read. Well, I guess I accomplished one thing on my list.
Oh, and just in case you were questioning my use of the word soliitariety…here’s the definition:
Sol`ii*ta*ri”e*ty\, n. The state of being solitary; solitariness.[Obs.] –Cudworth.
So, my kids have been being slobs lately, and I’ve had enough. After going downstairs for the umpteenth time after asking them if they’ve done blah, blah, blah, and them saying yes, only to discover it wasn’t actually done, I got out the floor mop. I scooped everything out from under dressers and beds, from behind couches, things shoved in closets, and items strategically placed on dressers & windowsills…and formed a pile…in each room. You put your laundry in the hamper? You cleaned under your bed? You hung up and put away the clothes I lovingly folded? Um…yeah, sure ya did.
So instead of playing outside on this gorgeous day, they are cleaning…and fighting. And I am ignoring them…and eating the rest of the Easter candy. Bam!
This year is flying by. Not only this year, but just life in general. My kids are growing up so fast. Chubbs turns 9 this month, Froggy is finishing up his first year of home school (4 year old Kindergarten), Princess2T has all kinds of preteen drama going on, and Pickle…well, Pickle is kinda just along for the ride right now. I’ve been doing all sorts of crafts…and posting them in my Etsy store, Lifeat30ish Crafts. And, I sold one to someone I don’t know! How exciting is that!?
Anyway, back to the point…it seems like life is flying by, but I don’t really mind. My 7 year wedding anniversary is coming up in a few weeks, and I’ve never been happier or more in love with my husband. My kids are growing up, but I feel like we are raising them right, and giving them the best opportunities for their future that we can. I don’t see things slowing down for us any time soon…we have lots of volunteer opportunities on our schedule, soccer games, end of the school year stuff, travel plans, and just random things planned with family and friends aside from all the regular life stuff. Overall, we are crazy busy, but happy. We, of course, have our meltdown moments…can’t get away from that with 3 girls, but I feel like things are on track. We have been greatly blessed this year so far, and I know God has big things in store for us. So I guess, we better just hang on and enjoy the ride.
Okay, so I’ve taken a really long break from blogging, but I think about it so much I figured it was just time to come back. We have been ridiculously busy the past few months with 2 birthdays, the holidays, moving, etc. One thing I can say is that I’m LOVING the new house. Not only do we have room for everyone to do more than breathe, room for all our stuff, a wonderfully sized kitchen for me, a huge yard…well, I forgot where I was going with that. Basically, I am so happy here. Also, I’ve been crafting. Alot. Here are my latest 2 creations. Hubby says I should sell them…what do you think?