Category Archives: Review

The Ultimate Wool& Dress Guide #wooland #merinowool #100daydresschallenge

Welcome wool-enthusiasts and wool-curious friends! If you’re reading this blog post, the chances are, you’re probably looking into Wool& clothing and possibly thinking about the 100 Day Dress Challenge. Lucky you, you’ve stumbled across this blog, written by the girl recently-turned-40-year-old who is so obsessed with this company, I’ve tried most of their dresses and kept a whole lot of them. This post is to share some of my favorite styles, my honest-as-always pros and cons for each, plus some styling ideas that I think you will LOVE. So let’s start chatting about wool!

If you’d like to check these products out in detail, I appreciate you using my affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I might receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I would also like to say “Thank you” to Wool& for gifting me several items for my review, including the gorgeous Audrey maxi dress and Amalya in this post. 

Click here to check out the whole selection from Wool& (Wooland) Merino Wool dresses.  There are also pants, shirts, PJs, and cardigans! So much to love.

If you are trying to decide which dress is for you, you aren’t alone. It’s definitely a hard call since you can’t try them all on in the store. (Unless you are lucky enough to live near their HQ). And if you are planning on completing the 100 day challenge, you will want a dress that fits great, is versatile, and makes you feel like yourself, right? These are investment pieces so they aren’t cheap….. and sizing can be a bit tricky, but remember, you are building a sustainable wardrobe and finding a dress that will last you a long time. So taking a little extra time to choose it, isn’t so crazy in my book.

I will tell you that I am getting more wear out of my Wool& dresses than I have any other dresses in years, and that’s saying a lot because I have always been a fan of dresses, even as a child. I keep hearing that women who don’t typically wear dresses, are converting to them when they find Wool&, so it’s really quite the phenomena!

Now, when you see how many Wool& dresses I own, you will wonder what happened to my minimalism journey. Yes, I’ve gone a little crazy because the benefits of wool are so amazing (and because I want to be able to share the product with you). Just to name a few, wool clothing is: odor-resistant, temperature-regulating, quick-drying, and durable. It’s really amazing what an upgrade it has been for my mostly-synthetic wardrobe.

But I promise I am still totally committed to minimalism, and part of that journey is making more sustainable wardrobe choices that will serve my closet for much longer. I have also let a lot of my old wardrobe go on Poshmark. (Make money by setting up your own account using my code: MAMAMELAINE. It will give you $10 for free).

Are you ready for a super photo-heavy post? Here we go:

My Stats
Because I know people can benefit from size, measurement, weight stats, I’m sharing my details even though I don’t love my current weight. I’m currently 5’6″, and about 175 lbs. In my skinny-state, I’m a rectangle shape, but when I am over-weight, I’m more in the pear category, carrying my weight in my stomach and thighs.

The Rowena
The Rowena is the Original 100 Day dress. It’s a beautiful, classic swing dress and still one of the most popular Wool& designs. At one point I tried a Small and the arms were a bit too tight for me. I decided I wanted a loose and swingy silhouette and went with a size Large. I love the way this dress fits me even though it’s on the big side. I’m sure I would fit a medium very well. Bonus: it has pockets and is currently available in regular or long lengths, plus the choice of 18 different colors!

  • Pros: I love the clean lines and simple design of the Rowena (or Ro, as Wool& fans call it). It’s so comfortable and looks amazing with leggings and boots.  This dress is a blank slate for winter layers!
  • Cons: This isn’t really a con but I tend to avoid long sleeves because I get hot. Since wool is temperature regulating, though, it’s still great for me. In this photo, I’ve pushed up the sleeves, which is the norm for me!
  • Favorite Look: Rowena+Leggings + boots. In this photo, I’m wearing it with my Sash Bag, suede boots from forever ago (similar here), and a thrifted leaf necklace(similar here).
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon 160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Sierra
This is another of the top sellers for Wool& for good reason. The Sierra is an A-line dress with visible patch pockets and a crew neck. This dress is SO comfortable with a French terry, plush feel, plus it just begs to be layered all year round.  Available in regular length and long in lots of color choices. The thicker fabric on this dress make it extra durable. I wear a small in Sierra. I like the look of a Sierra in small long as well.

  • Pros: Super comfy, durable fabric, sturdy usable pockets…there’s a lot to love. I feel like this is one of the best dresses for travel since many people like to layer over OR under it.
  • Cons: Takes a little longer to hang dry than some of the other dresses, doesn’t drape as beautifully as Camellia.
  • Favorite Look: Most often, you will find me wearing Sierra alone with a pair of Birkenstocks, but it’s also adorable with a jean jacket. Here, I’m wearing it with a kimono, Birkenstocks, and a necklace that belonged to my grandmother (similar here).
  • Fabric: 75% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon, 3% Spandex
    235gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Brooklyn
This faux wrap dress was one I originally avoided. I felt quite sure that it wouldn’t work for me with my pear-shaped body and smaller chest. I was so wrong and I actually adore my Brooklyn dress now that I’ve tried it. (I should confess, I own it in two colors). It’s an elegant, feminine look and it even has a reversible design. I wear a small in Brooklyn. I have also tried a medium and it’s a little too loose. This popular dress is now available in long as well.

  • Pros: I love the looser top. comfy elastic waist, and reversible style. The dolman-ish sleeves are so flattering and perfect for those of us who aren’t feeling fab about our upper arms.  This dress would be the perfect breastfeeding dress, also. For me, it’s a date night dress!
  • Cons: The faux wrap is a bit loose for me, and sometimes shows a little too much. Could be solved by a couple of stitches but I haven’t bothered pulling out the needle and thread. A tank top underneath also solves the problem. Some people really miss that there aren’t pockets in this dress, but I don’t mind at all.
  • Favorite Look: Black Brooklyn with a statement necklace and ballet flats. In this photo I’m wearing my Marine Blue Brooklyn with olive green Allbirds flats and an olive cardigan (similar here) from Stitch Fix. 
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    180gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Camellia
The Camellia is a more flowy, lighter-weight tank dress and is super soft. For my intense summers, I prefer the Camellia’s weight to Sierra but it’s just personal preference. For more details on this dress, check out my original post.  A lot of people ask the differences in Sierra and Camellia. The Sierra has patch pockets, a wider skirt, and a more substantial fabric. Although I love Camellia’s flowy style, that does make the fabric a little more delicate and therefore it’s a smidge less sturdy than Sierra. I feel I have to be a bit more careful with Camellia. Like many of the other styles, Camellia is a generous size, and I wear a small long. For the swing styles, it’s easiest to decide your size based on your shoulders and bust.

  • Pros: Lightweight, flowy, and pockets! Easy to layer, works well for all seasons (at least in my warm climate).
  • Cons: The fabric is a little more delicate.  (The fabric breakdown shows the differences in thickness between all the dresses).
  • Favorite Look: I love my black camellia layered with a light, summer kimono and birkenstocks. In this photo I’m wearing with Birkenstocks and a salt and pepper hat from a local boutique (similar style here).
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Maggie
I suspected I would love the Maggie because it’s cut very much like the Stella Tee (and I was correct). This swing dress is a perfect base for accessories and just a nice all around basic to have in your wardrobe. The cut is a little slimmer than some of the other styles and it has pockets plus the scoop neck is very flattering. As I’ve gained a good bit of weight (thanks, Zoloft) I am gravitating more to sleeved styles rather than sleeveless ones. The Maggie is a generous size; I currently own a Small Long  and I love it but the medium also works for me. One thing to note about Wool& dresses is that you should check the size chart to decide on lengths. I don’t consider myself tall, but I often prefer the long lengths.

  • Pros: This dress has pockets and is a blank slate for layers and accessories. A slimmer cut than the swing dresses , so less fabric and very lightweight.
  • Cons: Some women don’t like that the pockets may add a smidge of bulk to the hipline. My dress has actually had the pockets removed!
  • Favorite Look: I just love this dress by itself. It’s like your favorite tshirt, perfect alone for any occasion. In my photo I am pairing it with a vintage leaf necklace (similar here), a thrifted cinnamon cardigan (similar here)  and a hat from a local boutique.
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Renata
The Renata  is my latest, favorite Wool& dress! I have always loved bell sleeves and these are the perfect length and size to stay out of the way but still add a little extra drama to the silhouette. The fit and flare cut is really flattering , rides easily over my problem areas, and the waist and sleeves add some structure. Plus, pockets! I can’t wait to wear this dress to dinner or parties coming up this fall. I think it would be the perfect holiday dress as well and I’m really excited that they just released it in Marionberry which is a gorgeous purple.

  • Pros: A dressier option, Renata gives a little more structure with a nice a-line classic design. The pockets are beautifully hidden within the seam and don’t add bulk,  but are totally handy. I love the bell sleeves. They aren’t crazy dramatic or too bulky to fit under a jacket or coat. They also aren’t long enough to get in the way.
  • Cons: I can’t really think of any with this dress! Because it’s dressier, I would love to see it in a slightly heavier fabric (more like the Kalle to give it a little structure) but I honestly have zero complaints. I love the look, feel, design and everything about Renata!
  • Favorite Look: In this photo, I’m wearing it with Vionic Sandals and a statement necklace from Baublebar (similar here). It would have looked better with heels but I’m really a flats girl!
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

The Summer Midi
At first, I wasn’t sure this was the style for me, but I wanted a slightly longer skirt so I gave it a try. It turned out I love the Summer Midi and for me it’s the perfect versatile summer dress. I love the length, love the vneck, and for the first time in my life, I love the sash. I think because I am long waisted, I don’t like the way some belts hit, but because there are no loops, I can wear this sash exactly where I want. And it stays, feels comfy, and doesn’t get loose or slide down! For me this is the perfect LBD for any occasion. This dress is also reversible, and can be worn without the belt for another look making it a really versatile piece. I wear a medium in the Summer Midi.

  • Pros: Versatility for sure! With the reversible design, the removable sash, and the midi length, this dress can work for almost any occasion. I’ve seen it layered in so many ways, also. It brings a ton of options to the table.
  • Cons: I don’t love the pockets on this dress as much as the inseam pockets from some of the others. They are designed to work both ways for the reversible function, so it makes sense that they are designed like this, but I would just as soon have no pockets.
  • Favorite Look: I’ve mostly just worn this dress alone with the sash for church. It looks very sophisticated! In this pic, I’m wearing it backwards with the higher neckline in front, black Fitflop flats, and a Kendra Scott Rayne necklace. I feel like I could do anything and go anywhere in this outfit.
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

Amalya Button-Front Dres
The Amalya is a little bit retro and perfectly office appropriate.  As you can see in the link, the dress can also be worn open like a cardigan. It’s a little longer than some of the others at knee length and I adore the dolman sleeves. Like most of the Wool& designs, the features are subtle so they enhance without being distracting or dramatic. The blousing affect from the fitted waist and looser sleeves is very flattering and gives me the illusion of an hourglass figure. (I very much do not have one). I am absolutely dying to try this dress with a belt.  For this style, I sized up to a large. The medium fit, but it was a little snug in the muffin-top area.

  • Pros: I’m loving the looser, longer sleeves, the waistline and the fun button details of this dress. The inseam pockets are pocket perfection. I feel like June Cleaver, in the best possible way.
  • Cons: Ok, I’m going to be a little nit-picky here and say that I wasn’t thrilled with the workmanship on the buttons of this dress. They just look a little messy and not as nice as I expected for the price. However, that’s not going to affect my enjoyment of this dress one bit and if they need re-stitching I’m perfectly capable. I love it so much.
  • Favorite Look: I think this dress is going to be quite a chameleon in my wardrobe. I wore it this weekend downtown with my olive geen Allbirds and a pair of sunglasses and I honestly felt very chic. We were shopping lots of homemade vendors and vintage shops and I felt like I really fit the vibe for a change!
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

Audrey Maxi Dress
Audrey is the first maxi dress from Wool& and it is perfect. I love the cut, length, and soft feel, plus I am obsessed with this color, Black Heather. It’s basically everything I love about black with a little less visible lint. My husband says this dress is his favorite.  Pockets, side slit, flattering cut. I’m wearing Audrey in a small!

  • Pros: My pros and cons are almost the same which may sound weird. I love that this dress isn’t floor length. Many maxi dresses are way too long to comfortably wear. At 5’6″ this is perfect. Petite ladies may need to have this dress altered since it is generous in sizing.
  • Cons: I know some customers want a long version of this dress. I hope they offer one soon, because tall women like maxi dreses, too.
  • Favorite Look: I enjoyed wearing this dress with a  lightweight cardigan from Lularoe but I also love it as a standalone outfit.
  • Fabric: 49% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 33% Tencel™ Lyocell, 18% Nylon 200gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

Fiona Fit & Flare
The Fiona Fit & Flare is a great basic for your wardrobe and I’m sorry that is no longer available in this slate blue, which is a beautiful blue-grey. I feel like 3/4 length sleeves are so flattering and this waistline is comfortable and cute. This dress is a great Fall option, perfect for layering.

  • Pros:  3/4 sleeves, a little extra length, and comfy waistband.
  • Cons: Because this dress is a little more conservative I think it runs the risk of being a little frumpy.
  • Favorite Look: I will be wearing this dress with scarves and leggings for a Fall look. In this photo, I’m wearing it with Fitflop flats and a Lululemon Vinyasa scarf.
  • Fabric: 78% Ultrasoft Merino Wool, 22% Nylon
    160gsm, 17.5 Micron Wool

Kalle Ponte Tank Dress
Even though I didn’t keep it, I absolutely adore the Kalle Ponte Tank Dress. It’s a structured, but still comfortable tank dress that would be perfect for a business wardrobe. If you have to travel for business, this dress could be the ideal solution. I think if I had worn some shapewear under this dress, it would have flattered me better. Between my weight gain and the fact that I don’t often go into the office, I decided I would pass along this dress. If I ever lose this extra weight, or end up back in the office, I’ll be back in line to buy Kalle.

The Cora
The Cora is a classic with a little bit of a retro spin. There has been a ton of excitement surrounding this dress because it comes in this awesome navy stripe and everyone loves the versatility of the included sash. This dress is also a little longer than most, which makes it perfect for taller ladies or a business casual environment. I tried the navy strip and it is incredibly cute. Ultimately, I did not hang onto this dress, but if I worked in an office, I think I would have kept it.

Tulip Tank Dress
The Tulip is a very body-con tank dress that looks so great on the right body type. If you want a comfortable dress that hugs the curves, the Tulip Tank Dress is a winner. I’m definitely not comfortable in this style but if you are looking for something very fitted and a little more vava-voom, you’ve got it here! This dress also comes in ocean teal blue which is absolutely beautiful. I’ve seen a lot of different body types pull this one off!

Ellie Midi Dress
I tried the Ellie Midi dress and think it’s amazing, especially as a nursing-friendly option. I didn’t find it as flattering as some of the other styles for my body type so I didn’t hang on to it. The tie style does give you some control over the fit, which is nice. I really love the Pine color. It would make the perfect holiday dress.

Dresses I Haven’t Tried (Yet)

Looking for more Wool love? Check out these other posts:
How to Save Money on Wool& Dresses
Woolx Joggers Mini Review & Coupon Code
Wool& Camellia and Axis Cropped Leggings Review
Wool& Mara Honest Review
Building a Sustainable Wardrobe

Ready to being your love affair with wool? Let me know what your first purchase is going to be!

 

Review: Enso Silicone Rings

Not too long ago, I posted about my difficulty with jewelry and how much I missed wearing my wedding ring. I found a few options that I was interested in trying and Enso Rings was at the top of my list because of their unique designs and beautiful color options. I had high hopes that my sensitive skin might finally be able to tolerate jewelry if I found just the right alternative.

If you purchase items from these links, you’ll help me keep my blog running, plus you’ll give me a chance to do a happy affiliate marketing dance in my kitchen. THANK you for making that dance possible!

And I couldn’t resist this beautiful Stackable series!! (These beauties are $11.99 each or even cheaper if you buy a bundle!)

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When I contacted Enso Rings, they were very responsive (and super nice) and offered to send me a few rings to try out in exchange for my (always 100% honest) review. My shipment arrived very quickly (even for impatient me) and since then I have had two weeks to wear and use my rings.

Spoiler alert: I love them, even more than I imagined I would.

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After all, Enso Rings are “rings for active lifestyles” and who is more active than a homeschooling mom of three? (this is a rhetorical question, obviously lots of people are more active; what I mean is: who has to wash their hands more than a homeschooling mom of three? See? I gotcha there.)

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I want to tell you all the times I have worn my new Enso Rings and been 100% comfortable (even to the point of forgetting I am wearing them): when I washed the dishes, when I washed my hands a million times a day (and that’s every day), when I drove out of town (yes, I would take my wedding band off when driving. It just wasn’t comfortable!), when I pushed a heavy shopping cart all over Costco, when I pushed my son on the swings, when I changed diapers at church, when I played basketball with my kiddos, when I washed all the clothes, when I painted with the 3K class, when I helped my husband with yardwork, when I carried a concrete birdbath (don’t ask!), when I typed a zillion words for my blog, when I lifted weights at the gym (just kidding, I didn’t go to the gym. But if I had, I know these rings would have made it through with no trouble!)

Click here to check out the brand new metallics collection from Enso, it is breathtaking! These are definitely on my wish list!

Finally, I have really put these rings to the test these last couple of weeks as I have been hard-core de-cluttering and cleaning every day as part of my Simplicity Challenge!

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My Enso Rings are so super comfortable and pretty! At this phase of my life, when I am very deliberately shedding the things that caused my stress, these tiny lightweight little rings are like a symbol reminding me of my choice for simplicity and ease. I am so happy to put them on each morning (or even sleep with them since they are so crazy comfy!)! Thank you Enso Rings, for making my life more simple!

To check out the entire Enso Collection, click here!

 

Simple, natural curls! A review of SoCal Curls hairtie

I am thrilled to share this review because I have been wanting to try this product for so long! SoCal Curls graciously agreed to send me their amazing headband for free in exchange for my honest review and I am happy to report that I am in LOVE with my SoCal Curls!

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Ok, so this is NOT me. This model is about 10 years younger, 30 lbs lighter, probably taller, her hair is longer and she is actually wearing makeup. But other than that, we could totally be twins. I mean, I have jeans kind of like that.

As I have been posting about, I have been striving for a more simple daily routine. If a product saves time and simplifies our busy schedule, then sign me up! At the same time, I am working very hard to minimalize our possessions, so I am being very very picky about what I purchase and keep. Check out the intro to my Simplicity Challenge here.

If you purchase items through my links, you help me keep on blogging and sharing great products with my readers. Thanks for every click and purchase! 

SoCal Curls HairTie is something I wish I had found years ago, and something I know I will use on a daily basis.

My hair is medium thickness, tends to frizz (I live in the humid south after all), and once upon a time was quite curly. Now it’s more of a group of random waves that are hard to control and I simply do not spend the time to make it look nice. (I would rather sleep, drink coffee, clean, write, read a book, cook, play with my kids….you get the point).  So, almost everyday, it ends up in a ponytail. I have always loved waves and curls but my hair is very stubborn and doesn’t hold curls.  Last summer I got a truly atrocious way-too short haircut so let me tell you, my hair has been in a very dark place ever since.

When I was willing to put in the effort, I could get some pretty nice curls with my Chi flat Iron. It took too long though, they didn’t stay well, and it was fairly disconcerting to smell the actual burning of my hair during the process. SoCal Curls Hair Tie is safe and gentle for your hair!

The other successful method I have used is headband curls. I loved the curls I got, but I didn’t love sleeping in a tight headband all night. It was kind of a pain to extricate my hair from the twist as well. I blogged about my experience here. SoCal Curls Hair Tie is the perfect upgrade from headband curls. It’s lightweight, can be heated in the microwave, and looks so much cuter as a style!

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How it works: I used this after my hair had air dried for a couple hours, but otherwise was completely unstyled (ie a frizzy mess). I simply microwaved the band for 30 seconds, wrapped my hair around the tie using these instructions, gave it a light spritz of hair spray and left it in for 30 minutes. As you can see, it worked!

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SoCal Curls Hairties retail for $18.99 each, come in lots of cute patterns, and guess what? They created a free shipping code for my readers, so don’t miss out!
FREE SHIPPING CODE: chasingsantee
So Cal website

Because I loved headband curls, I was pretty sure SoCal Curls and I were going to be a match made in heaven, and I was not disappointed. Honestly, my hair is just barely long enough to use the SoCal tie, but after a couple tries I figured it out and was thrilled with the results. I’m growing my hair back out, so I know this is going to be my go-to everyday look!

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My tip for short hair: SoCal Curls works with shoulder length hair or longer, but I was pushing my luck with some pretty short layers. To get it to work, I used small pieces of hair, wrapped very tightly and at the very back secured the middle hair with a tiny claw clip.

I received a free product from SoCal Curls in exchange for my honest review. These are all my own thoughts just as if I were talking to a friend about the product. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Just for Women: Part 2

I mentioned in Part 1 that I have become a loyal convert to reusable feminine care solutions. I am so much happier dealing with “that time of the month” since I switched from disposable products. My first menstrual cup was the Diva Cup and it was revolutionary for me. However, recently I have been searching for something that would work a little better for me, and I am excited to share about it now!

FemmyCycle was kind enough to send me a free reusable cup to test and honestly review. I did not receive any compensation for this review, nor did I commit to writing anything other than my honest opinion about the product. Luckily, my honest review turns out to be very positive!

Here’s why I was really excited to try the Femmy Cycle. It has the largest capacity of any cup I could find. Also, it comes in three different sizes which includes a low cervix version. Finally, it has a unique leak proof design that no other cup offers. A few other things that make it different from the others: it’s softer, cleaning instructions do not suggest boiling, and it’s suggested lifespan is only two years.

Down to the details:

Is it comfortable? YES. I found it more comfortable by far than others I have used.

Is it easy to use? After practice, sure. Like most products in this category, it does have a learning curve.

Is it effective? For me, VERY. Performance was better for me than anything else I have used. Keep in mind that every woman is different, so results may vary.

Does the spill-proof feature work? To my amazement, YES.

I really like the FemmyCycle and will continue using it. I do think that the design makes it a little trickier to learn for a first-timer, but I think it’s a great option for those who have trouble with other cups or just need better protection. I’m not sure why it would need to be replaced every two years, when other cups’ suggested life span are closer to a decade. It’s slightly pricey compared to other versions on the market, but most of us can overlook the cost which is minimal over the life of the product. Women should be aware of all their options, and FemmyCycle is a great one!

FemmyCycle was kind enough to send me a free reusable cup to test and honestly review. I did not receive any compensation for this review, nor did I commit to writing anything other than my honest opinion about the product. Luckily, my honest review turns out to be very positive!

Just for Women: Part 1

TMI ahead: If you are a guy, or squeamish, or not open to, well, open-ness, you might want to stop here. WARNING: THIS POST IS NOT ABOUT CHOCOLATE. (The truth is, I crave chocolate all month long, not just at that “particular time”, but there is a traditional association with chocolate and a women’s menstrual cycle so I went with it.) You have been duly warned.

I have always had a miserable time with my period. The medical consensus is that I probably have endometriosis or a similar condition that causes severe and extended symptoms. It’s not a fun time (and it lasts a long time). I decided years ago that I was going to find the absolute best menstrual solutions. I stubbornly believe women (or any consumer really) shouldn’t be satisfied with sub-par products simply because they are mainstream. So if there was something better out there, in the name of Aunt Flo, I wanted to know about it!

I’m here to tell you, over the last decade I have tried it all: multiple brands and types of disposable pads and tampons, disposable menstrual cups, several different reusable menstrual cups, and multiple brands of reusable pads. Now, every woman is different and we all have different needs. But my experience has been that reusable options are DRAMATICALLY better than their disposable counterparts.

Years ago, I switched to a reusable menstrual cup and I would never, ever go back. It’s more comfortable, convenient and reliable. It offers substantial financial savings and less risk of TSS. It’s easier to store and travel with (one small item rather than a big box of supplies). It’s a wonderful choice from an environmental perspective. There have been many concerns about traditional disposable products and I have decided I am much more comfortable with medical grade silicone than bleached cotton blends that could cause irritation or even encourage bleeding. There are truly more benefits than I have time to list. The only negatives that I can think of are 1) there is a learning curve and it may require some practice and 2) you sometimes have to shop around to find the right product, which can be pricey. You will still be saving a ton, though! Check out this post at Bargain Babe that talks about the possible financial savings of reusable feminine care products!

I want all of my friends to know about ALL of the options and I am happy to answer any questions you may have; just email me at leahprescott@gmail.com. I am happy to point you toward resources that will give more info about the different products available. In Part 2, I will share a review of a product I am so excited to share with you. I have been given a FemmyCycle Cup for testing and review and I can’t wait to tell you about my experience. It has all the benefits I love plus some innovative features and options that are brilliant!

Math Makeover (Part 2)

As I mentioned in Part 1, Math has not been a favorite subject for my two girls. On the other hand, my almost four year old totally thinks he has mastered it (he perceives himself to be a master of many things). The following is an actual conversation I observed between my three children:

S&S: “What’s 1+1?”
C: “Two!”
S&S: “What’s 2+2?”
C: “Four!”
(me: getting excited about his math prowess)
S&S: “What’s 3+3?”
C: “Fire engine!”

He was looking right at them when he said this. There was no fire engine in sight. This is actually a fairly typical conversation with my son. No one really knows what he will say or do next. Anyway, back to math.

This year, I wanted to “heal” us a little from the bad math vibes from last year. I wanted to give my kids confidence in their skills so that they could realize math can be fun.

That’s when we discovered Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series)

When you click through my affiliate links, you make the blog world a much happier place. Thanks for supporting me in my blogging adventures!

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Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series)

Just as it says, Bedtime Math makes math fun, relate-able and relevant. It transforms numbers from something kids dread into something they can really look forward to, (like staying up late for a bedtime story). While it isn’t a curriculum, it is a fun stand-alone story book that my kids ask to read. Each short story has three different math problems at the end, geared toward three different knowledge levels. Sometimes my three year old can answer the first question, and my older girls can usually get all three, so these are really geared towards younger children. My youngest likes to flip through just looking at the silly illustrations about food and animals. If you use any similar math “storybooks” please let me know in the comments!

lifeoffred
Life of Fred Elementary Series Complete 10 Book Set (Life of Fred)

Click here to check out the Life of Fred Series!

At this time, we are using Life of Fred as our “core” math, but we’ve been supplementing heavily. Personally, I’m hesitant to endorse this yet but the reviews are excellent. There is definitely a lot to like about it: well-rounded stories with lots of educational rabbit trails (skimming into topics like geography, vocabulary, and anatomy). A silly, yet substantial introduction to math subjects that gives kids the basics while also introducing much more advanced concepts. It’s definitely the gentle approach I was looking for this year but it remains to be seen if I’d be comfortable using it all through elementary school.

boo
2 X 2= Boo!: A Set of Spooky Multiplication Stories

We picked up a book from the library that all three kids enjoyed, so I wanted to mention it as a fun supplement. 2 x 2 = Boo! Although witches and creepy-crawlys have never been a favorite in this family, we thought it was a fun read. We enjoy how the author combined story/poetry elements with multiplication. Just like we expose our children to many different kinds of literature over the years, I’m starting to see the value in exposing them to math from multiple angles and formats if I expect them to enjoy it. This book definitely fits the bill. I hope you enjoyed our Math Makeover! Check out Part 1 here!

Life of Fred Elementary Series Complete 10 Book Set (Life of Fred)

Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series)

2 X 2= Boo!: A Set of Spooky Multiplication Stories