Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Woolzies Dryer Balls Review & Giveaway!

At one point along my journey through cloth diapering, I read something about moms using wool dryer balls in their laundry.  From what other moms were saying, by adding balls of wool into your dryer, you can cut down on drying time and naturally soften your laundry.  Hmmm.... it sounded like an odd concept but the more I looked into this, I managed to stumble upon more and more success stories and testimonials.

I actually attempted to make my own dryer balls out of 100% wool yarn but it took forever to roll the balls and get them tight but they didn't stay together and looked awful!  I was still really interested in trying wool dryer balls though.  So when I heard about Woolzies Dyer Balls and read all of the awesome feedback on their Facebook page from people who have tried them, I was super excited to try them myself!


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The wonderful folks at Woolzies 
sent us some of their wool dry balls to try!



So, to give you a little background on Woolzies, they were created by Soft By Nature, Inc. which is a small family owned company located in Southern New York.  Their company mission is "to pass down this earth to our children in the same beautiful condition that we received it from our parents."  Well said!  Soft By Nature, Inc, intends to accomplish their mission by "developing all natural ecofriendly products and sharing them with our fellow citizens."  Great goal!  So, Soft By Nature, Inc. created Woolzies All Natural Dryer Balls.  They come in a box set of 6 XL handmade pure 100% New Zealand wool dyer balls.  



Woolzies Dryer Balls act as a natural fabric softener and help to cut down on drying time, saving you money on your energy bill and saving energy of course!  Plus you'll save money by not having to purchase liquid fabric softeners or dryer sheets!  Sounds like a win win situation to me!  And they don't contain any yucky chemicals or additives that may irritate sensitive or delicate skin. Which is great considering I'm a mom with a baby who has sensitive skin.  They also help to reduce static and wrinkles.  I'm not a fan of ironing our clothes so anything that will help with wrinkles  and saves me time earns itself a permanent place in our laundry routine!


But do they work?
My box of Woolzies Dryer Balls arrived just in time for laundry day!  I've been super busy lately and had a tons of laundry building up.   I did a load of whites, 2 loads of colors, a load of towels and a load of my baby's clothes and blankets. 



I found that I was able to cut down on my drying time on all of my loads.  We have an older dryer and cant afford to invest in a new one.  These dryer balls are great because a load of towels sometimes takes us over 2 hours to get dry!  So cutting down on that dry time is going to save us a lot of money in the long run.  Not to mention the fact that we try to be as green as we can.  We cant always line dry our clothes which is always our first route if the weather allows.  We live in Iowa so we get a crazy mix of weather here.  So when the dryer is the only option for the day, Ill be throwing in some Woolzies from now on!

Woolzies also guarantees their dryer balls for at least 1,000 loads!  The boxes states that you may notice some pilling over time.  After a full day of laundry, I didn't notice any visual difference or pilling.  When I made my own dryer balls, they were covered in fuzz and pilling after just one load.  Here is a before and after photo of my Woolzies Dryer Balls after several loads in the dryer!



My box of Woolzies Dryer Balls also came with a card featuring some FAQ's about Woolzies.  It also has a few fun tips for using them.  Did you know that by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils to Woolzies Dryer Balls, toss them back into your dry laundry and fluff for another 10 minutes and it will leave your laundry smelling super fresh!  Very cool!  I'm definitely going to have to try that for my babies clothes and blankets! 

Check out Woolzies on Facebook!
You can also purchase Woolzies Dyer Balls online from their online store! 

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And now for the


The wonderful folks at Woolzies 
are offering one lucky
The Bee Hive Buzz Reader
a chance to win 
one box of
Woolzies Dryer Balls

One box contains 
6 XL 100% Pure Wool 
Handmade Dryer Balls


Giveaway ends 8/11/2013. Open to U.S. only. Must be 18+ to enter. One winner will be randomly selected. Winner will have 48 hours after giveaway ends to respond to claim their prize! If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly selected.

Enter using the Rafflecopter Form below



 
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Review Disclosure:
I was provided product by Woolzies at no charge to facilitate this review.  I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my true and honest opinion. Cross my heart!

Giveaway Disclosure:
The Bee Hive Buzz did not receive any monetary compensation for hosting this giveaway.  Prize is sponsored and provided by Woolzies.  The Bee Hive Buzz is not responsible if sponsor does not fulfill prize obligations. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Kelly's Closet "Free One Size Diaper" Coupon Code!! You'll Love This One!

Kelly's Closet has a new coupon code for a free one size diaper with an order of $39 or more!  
And guess what it is!!

Its.....BUMBLEBEE!!!!!

But if your purchase is $49 or more, you'll get free shipping AND the free one size diaper!  
Just enter "BUMBLEBEE" at checkout!

Kelly's Closet is one of my favorite 
cloth diaper retailers.  
I'm also a Kelly's Closet Affiliate!






This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Check out Lady Drac Graphic Design! If Youre a Blogger, You'll Want to Read This Review!

If you're a blogger or a business owner and you're looking for a new design, banner or logo for your website, company or product....well then I know a graphic design artist that would be perfect for the job!

My Facebook page has been rather dull and has been lacking color and pizazz.   I had a profile photo with my blog's logo but no cover photo.  Nothing to grab attention.   I happened to meet a great gal back in college at ISU who was studying graphic design.   She is now a fabulous graphic design artist from Seattle and her work is absolutely spectacular.  She is the owner of Lady Drac Graphic Design!   She specializes in identity/branding services, vector art and handmade books.


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Of course Lady Drac, being such an amazing artist and having a keen eye for design, noticed that my Facebook page was lacking anything you could even remotely consider to be exciting or vibrant.   So....she surprised me with a custom banner for my Facebook page.  And I am in love!!!!  It is such a cute design, so well thought out and personalized for my blog.  Her attention to detail and eye for color and creativity go above and beyond!  And the banner has a little bee that looks just like my Emma Bee!

How awesome is that!!!!
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Lady Drac has a colorful, vivacious and warm hearted personality that overflows into her work and her art. Not only is she a fantastic artist but she is passionate in life and in her art!

I would highly recommend Lady Drac Graphic Design!

You can visit Lady Drac Graphic Design's Facebook page to view some other examples of her work.  And once you do, I know you'll fall in love with her as I have.  She would be perfect for your new banner or graphics!

You can also purchase art prints by Lady Drac in her Society6 Store!



Disclosure:
Lady Drac Graphic Design surprised me with a fantastic new Facebook banner free of charge, so I decided to review it.  I was not compensated for this review and the opinion expressed in this review is my true and honest opinion.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Crinkle Shirt By Magnus Pater- Product Review

Bonding with your children can be one of the easiest and one of the most difficult things all at the same time.  Bonding relationships between babies and mommas, I think, tend to be such an instant connection for most moms and babies.  As mothers, we carry our babies for months and months, feeling every movement, every wiggle, every hiccup.  Our baby hears our voice, every word, every laugh and even hear our snores.  But for Daddy's, grandpas, uncles and friends, the connection sometimes takes a little time.

My husband and I are always on the lookout for toys and tools and things that we can use to interact with our baby.  We are always on the hunt for things to engage our baby and entice her to interact with us, especially my husband.   He is so proud to be a daddy and wants to build the best relationship he possibly can with our baby girl.

So when I was contact by the owner of Magnus Pater and heard all about his ingenious product called The Crinkle Shirt, my husband and I were thrilled to try it!


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And I'm going to be honest right from the get go.   This has to be one of our top favorite products that we have had the opportunity to try!  I hope Magnus Pater is a company that sticks around for a long long time and has all the success in the world!

So... what is The Crinkle Shirt?   Well, it is a stylish and comfortable, 100% cotton, button up shirt for men, with tools for interaction build right in!  Sounds odd doesn't it?  But take a look....  Here's a  photo of my husband out and about in his Crinkle Shirt.   


Its designed to be worn in any setting whether it is out to a nice dinner, out for a walk, to a ball game, or a picnic in the park, to a family reunion, a trip to the store or for a sharp look in the office.   You can wear it tucked in or untucked and pair different styles of pants with the shirt for different occasions or settings.   Its soft, comfortable and fitted.  It currently comes in Red Checked 100% Cotton or Green Checked 100% Cotton.  My husband is wearing the green and personally, I think he looks super handsome in his crinkle shirt!




Now why is it called The Crinkle Shirt?   See the pockets on the front?  There's the hidden treasures!  Each pocket is constructed with interactive elements to encourage interaction between men and little ones.  Both pockets are equipped with a crinkle material.  One pocket also has a small mirror in the flap and the other pocket flat is made with a textured bubble type material.




But you would think that these pockets would be awful noisy with the crinkle material, but they are not noisy at all!  You only hear the crinkle when you scrunch the pocket material.  The textured bubble material gives your little one something to see and feel and the mirror is a great way to start a fun game of peek a boo!  My little girl's favorite components of the shirt are the crinkle material because she really seems to love the sounds and she loves peeking in Daddy's pocket mirror!

But here is a little tid bit of information about the mirror.  You don't have to worry about it breaking....because its made of plastic.  BUT...its crystal clear unlike other shatter proof mirrors on children's toys that only let your child see a blurred reflection.  

Here's my proof of how clearly your child can see themselves in the mirror!



The genius of The Crinkle Shirt, is in Magnus Pater's "SEE IT, HEAR IT, FEEL IT" concept!


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Now a little history behind Magnus Pater and the reasons why our family has truly fallen in love with this company. Magnus Pater was started by a man named Lars Sequist.  He came up with the idea for his crinkle shirt after his first niece was born.   She was such a busy little girl and always wanted to wander off and check things out.  But Mr. Sequist, being such a proud uncle and so fond of his new niece, just didn't want to let go of her.  He needed something to grab her attention and keep her on his lap.  So he came up with the brilliant idea to integrate devices into a shirt so that he could be more entertaining to her and allow him to spend more time being close with her.



Of course, Mr. Sequist still wanted to be able to wear the shirt out and about without it looking "ridiculous" as he put it.  Mr. Sequist told me that he feels he is like most men who are proud to be a caring role model in a child's life or in his case.  But he didn't want to literally wear it on my sleeve or on his shirt pocket in this case.  This actually reminded me of father's day when so many dads get goofy t-shirts that say things like "I'm a Super Cool Dad" on them.  So cheesy, but Dads wear them anyways, out of love of course.  Well, Mr. Sequist decided that hiding the devices would enable him to go out to dinner with his sister's family and not look out of place but still be able to entertain his niece with his fun and interactive shirt!  What a cool idea!

I remember growing up, my grandpa always worn button down shirts with pockets and I was always peeking in the pockets to see what was in there and always trying to sneak things into his pockets without him noticing.  It would have been so cool for my grandpa to have a shirt like this!  Magnus Pater also sent us one of their Red Checked Crinkle Shirts for Grandpa to try and he loved it.  It was so heartwarming to watch our little girl playing with grandpa and so nice for grandpa to have bonding time with his grand daughter!



It took several years to get Magnus Pater going, lots of testing with different men, fathers, uncles, grandfathers according to Mr. Sequist.  He realized thought the experiences of these men that it was much more than entertainment.  He found from the experiences of these male role models, that this was actually a terrific bonding tool, enabling men to build better relationships with the children in their lives by allowing for more interaction and more time spent together!


The name, Magus Pater has very strong roots with Lars Sequist and his family.  His father's side of the family is Swedish.  He had a great grandfather named Magnus and Magnus in Latin means "Great."  The word "Pater" means "father" in Latin.  So the company name of Magus Pater means "Great Father".  And the word "Pater" is also a call out to the word "paternal" representing a father figure.   Mr. Sequist told me that he likes this name because we all have friends, uncles, grandfathers and fathers influencing our children.  He said "it takes a village as the saying goes" and The Crinkle Shirt and the mission of Magnus Pater is to provide useful ways to enable those close to our children to have a better bonding experience and to be a positive role in our children's lives.   

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This strong bond to their heritage and these wonderful family values, along side the need to be a positive role model in a child's life and to encourage closeness and strong family relationships is why we love Magnus Pater through and through!

Our family highly recommends The Crinkle Shirt!  It would be a great gift for any man in your life!  You can purchase a Crinkle Shirt at MagnusPater.com!

And be sure to LIKE Magnus Pater on Facebook!   



I received product free of charge from Magnus Pater to facilitate this review.  The opinion expressed in this review is my true and honest opinion.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Snappi Diaper Fastener and EPIBI Diaper Liner Review & Giveaway!!!


As a new momma and new to the world of cloth diapers, the vast sea of knowledge I'm gaining on cloth diapers has filled my brain to full capacity!  There are so many different kinds of diapers and covers and fasteners and liners and accessories, its hard to keep them all straight and hard to know what to choose.

Maybe my drive to use cloth diapers comes from the fact that my mother used cloth for me.  But of course, in 1985 cloth diapers were much different than they are now.  Now we have these fancy high-tech cloth diapers in every color and every pattern you could ever imagine with snaps and aplix closures and different kinds of  liners and inserts!  We have pocket diaper, all in one, all in twos, hybrids, theres just so many.  But of course, we still have the same flat and prefold diapers that my mom used on me but now we have cool diaper covers that have advanced far beyond the "plastic pants" I had to wear over my prefold when I was a baby.  And when my mom used those prefolds on me, she had the burden of having to pin them onto a wiggling, squirming baby with a big ol safety pin.  But things have changed.  And they've changed a lot!

We have several pocket diapers as well as fitted diapers with covers and some prefolds. But I haven't used our prefolds yet because I just couldn't bring myself to pinning them onto my baby.  The idea of accidentally sticking my little wiggle worm while I'm changing her just makes me cringe. My little one is a heavy wetter and I've needed something to help keep her feeling dry.  I heard about this revolutionary diaper fastener that eliminates the pinning and has completely changed the way we prefold our babies.  Its called the Snappi by Snappi Baby and they also carry EPIBI Diaper Liners that are washable and reusable.


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When Snappi sent me one of their cool and somewhat unusual diaper fasteners and an EPIBI Diaper Liner to try, I was really eager to get these on my baby and see how they work!



The thing I really liked about the Snappi, is that there are no pins or sharp things that poke.  The Snappi is made of a stretchable, non-toxic material that contains no latex, no silicone and its CPSIA compliant!  Its super easy to put on and its secure!  To fasten you simply hook right, hook left and then hook center.  Its as easy as pie! 

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Emma seems to be really cozy in her prefold, don't you think?


The Snappi comes in 2 sizes.  Size 1 worked perfect for my little 13 pound squirt and there is also a size 2 for toddlers!  Snappis can be purchased online directly from Snappi Baby.  There are also numerous retailers that carry the Snappi.  The Snappi comes in a variety of colors including white, mint, pastel pink, pastel blue, dark blue, purple, dayglo yellow, dayglo pink, dayglo green and dayglo orange.
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We really liked the EPIBI diaper liner!  The two sides are made of different fabric so that the side facing baby's bum is soft and comfortable. And they also have a contoured shape for the perfect fit inside a cloth diaper.  But just note, EPIBI diaper liners are not a soaker or insert and are not made to be heavily absorbent.  The main purpose of these lines is to wick away urine and ammonia from skin.  This means that it pulls the moisture in and away from baby's sensitive bottom leaving baby feeling dryer and helping to reduce diaper rash. That's great for us because my little one has sensitive skin.  And  EPIBI Diaper Liners are also hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. You can wash and continue to reuse these liners again and again!  This can save you a lot of money by choosing these over disposable liners.  We're all about being green and saving money.  And they are so soft!  You can purchase EPIBI Diaper Liners directly through Snappi Baby online.


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Not only is using a Snappi safer for baby, but using a Snappi with flats or prefolds and a cover can actually be cheaper than buying a stash of pocket diapers or all in ones.  And you can save even more money by using EPIBI Diaper Liners and cutting out the disposables ones.  You might even save your little ones bum from diaper rash.  Well definitely continue to use the Snappi and the EPIBI Diaper Liners as part of our diaper routine!


Who's a happy Snappi baby?





And now for the 

The fabulous folks at Snappi Baby 
are generously offering one lucky 
Bee Hive Buzz reader, 
a chance to win 

1 Size One Purple Snappi
AND
1 Size Small EPIBI Diaper Liner


  Photo above shows my blue Snappi but the winner will receive a Purple Snappi :D

Giveaway ends 7/24/2013. Open to US only.  One winner will be randomly selected.  Winner will have 3 days after giveaway ends to respond to claim their prize!  If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly selected.

Enter using the Rafflecopter Form below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Review Disclosure:
I was provided product by Snappi Baby at no charge to facilitate this review.  I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my true and honest opinion. Cross my heart!

Giveaway Disclosure:
The Bee Hive Buzz did not receive any monetary compensation for hosting this giveaway.  Prize is provided by Snappi Baby.  The Bee Hive Buzz is not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dritz Iron on Letters Review


So most of you who have come to know me somewhat well, know that I have become quite an addict of Babyville Boutique, Dritz, and Dylon products!  But Babyville Boutique, Dritz and Dylon are just a few of the many fabulous brands under Prym Consumer USA, Inc.  Prym Consumer USA, Inc. houses several top of the line brands.  They are the largest distributor and manufacturer of quilting, sewing and crafting notions in North America!  So my favorite Dritz products like my amazing Dritz fabric glue stick and fabric scissors, the Dylon fabric dyes that are brightening my home and all of the fabulous Babyville Boutique notions, fabrics and instruction books are all one big happy family of fantastic brands from Prym Consumer USA, Inc.  As I've been introduced to more and more of these great products, I'm realizing as I'm going through my sewing box and desk, that at least 75% of my sewing tools are from Prym Consumer USA, Inc. brands!


So when my friends at Babyville Boutique wanted to know if I would be interested in trying Iron On Letters by Dritz, the answer was a given!  But I assumed they would be like an applique.  I figured there would be a simple alphabet, maybe in different colors.  I had NO IDEA how much fun these iron on letters would actually be and how many fun projects ideas I could use these for!  My list is growing way too fast.


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Dritz Iron On Letters have the entire alphabet available but and they come in so many cool fonts making it so easy to find a font to accommodate the project you have in mind. Whether you're making team shirts or shirts for a fundraiser or event, or just fun name projects for your kids, these iron on letters are simple to use and super sharp!


Each set of letters comes with one or more sheets so some of the fonts give you more than one of each letter.  Fonts don't just come in one size too so you can use a larger or smaller font depending on the size of space you have for your letter placement.

My first idea for these letters was inspired by Independence Day.  The 4th of July was approaching and not only was it going to be the day we celebrate our nation's independence, but July 4th was also Emma Bee's 100 day birthday!  So I needed to make something festive for the occasion.

I remembered that I still had some of those awesome Dylon Fabric Dyes that you may remember me writing about not too long ago.  Read my review of Dylon Fabric Dyes for more info on these super colors!  I just happened to have Tulip Red and Jeans Blue Dylon Fabric Dye and a white onsie in Emma Bee's current size. Perfect for making a red, white and blue tie-dye onsies for Emma Bee to wear for our Independence Day fireworks celebration!   When you live in Independence, Iowa you have to go all out for Independence Day!  So once again, we were busy tie-dying a new outfit for our little Bee!





But of course, I still had to incorporate some lettering. Well, since its Emma Bee's 100 day birthday, why not just tell the world!!

I used Dritz Iron On Letters to put text on Emma Bee's new 4th of July onsie reading "I am 100 days old."  Since I only had letters and not numbers, I got creative and used an "I" and a couple of "O"s to make the "100."  Dritz Iron On Letters are so easy to apply.  All you need is an iron and a heat safe surface like an ironing board.  Set your dry iron to the wool setting and let it heat up.  Simply cut out the letters you want to use, place them letter side down onto your fabric and press the iron on for about 12 seconds.  Flip it over, press with heat again for another 10 seconds or so, let it cool, peel the sheet off and there you have it!  Easy as pie!

Now she's all ready for the fireworks!


Her "I am 100 days old" tie-dyed onsie was so cute for her very special first 4th of July and it will also be a really cute keepsake for her.

While I was having so much fun making Emma Bee's new onsie, I came up with another really fun idea for the Dritz Iron On Letters.  I've seen baby nurseries where parents have placed their baby's name on the wall above the baby's crib.  I wanted to do something along those lines but wanted something I could hang on the front of her crib.  Of course, it has to be soft and safe if its going to be on her crib.   I actually make my own cloth wipes for her diaper changes and I had some really cute pieces of fabric left over made of 100% Cotton Flannel fabric.   I cut some squares and surged two pieces of flannel together to give it some thickness.

Then I started to add my letters.  As I said before, they are so easy to apply with the iron!  Just cut out your letter, place it letter side down on your fabric.

 

And press for 10-12 seconds!  Flip, press, cool, peel and you're done! 



  Then I took some pink ribbon left over from an old project and cut strips so I could hang my letters from the front of the crib.



Ohhh but before I go onto my next steps, I headed upstairs to our office where I keep my sewing machines and found this waiting for me on my desk.....



Remember that review I did of the Babyville Boutique Snap Pliers and Snaps?  Well that right there is a pile of my husband's underpants.  My husband's subtle way of telling me that he'd like some snaps added to his underpants fly.   I'm starting to think I'm not the only fan of those snap pliers in our house!

Anyways, back to my hanging letters.  I used my sewing machine to make a simple stitch to attach the ribbons to each letter.



Now they are ready to hang!







If you like this project idea, there are other ways to hang the letters if you dont have a baby crib.  You could always install a decorative curtain rod above your child's bedroom or playroom windows and hang your letters from the curtain rod. 
I have so many more projects in mind for these letters!  I cant wait to do more with these!   I know there will have to be some "Mr. Bee, Momma Bee and Emma Bee" t-shirts made.  The great thing is that these letters make it so easy to personalize things.  Making t-shirts for fundraisers, team shirts and shirts for other events, adding your name or just a fun saying is so easy.  I remember when I was little, my favorite t-shirt was a little white shirt that said "dont worry, be happy" on it.   I dont know where mine ever ended up but I think Ill be making one for Emma Bee in the near future!




Disclosure:
I was provided product at no charge to facilitate this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my true and honest opinion. Cross my heart!





Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dritz Cheesecloth Review

I am a tea fanatic!  I am seriously addicted to tea!  I always prefer tea over coffee and have an entire shelf in my kitchen cabinet designated to my tea collection.  I've actually brought teas back from China, South Korea, Kenya and Argentina.  I love all sorts of teas in all sorts of flavors and blends.



My favorite way to brew tea is with loose leaf tea!  forget the pre-made tea bags.  Normally, I fill a large glass jar with water and some loose leaf tea and set the jar out on our porch in the sun to steep.  When its ready, I bring it in, strain out the tea leaves, pour my tea into a new pitcher and compost the used tea.  Sun tea is our favorite kind of iced tea!  But since I'm becoming so busy as a new momma,  I needed a way to cut some time off of my steeping routine.  So I decided to try using some cheesecloth to make my own tea bundles.  This way I can still use my favorite loose leaf teas but spend less time making it.

Being a dedicated crafter and self proclaimed grandmother taught/self taught seamstress, I've become a big fan of Dritz products.  They carry a wide variety of sewing tools and notions.  So I decided to try Dritz Cheesecloth to make my tea bundles.  Dritz Cheesecloth can be found in many crafting and sewing stores such as Joann's because its uses range from crafting and sewing projects, to culinary and household uses such as cooking, baking and canning.  It can also be used to clean and dust and to polish your car or furniture. Its absorbent and re-usable and 100% cotton.



I started out by cutting a square of cheese cloth to use for my homemade tea bag/bundle.



I filled the center of the cloth with some loose leaf raspberry tea.


I wrapped up my tea bundle with a rubber band and placed it in my jar.


 The great thing about Dritz Cheesecloth is that its loosely woven to allow for the water to flow nicely through the cloth in order for the tea to steep.



I have a new and easy tea routine thanks to Dritz!


Disclaimer:
I was not compensated in any way for this review.  I purchased my own product and the opinion expressed in this review is my true and honest opinion.  Cross my heart!