Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cloth Diapering

People ask me all the time about cloth diapering on here, and on Instagram, so I thought I'd give you a little background about it (in case you know nothing like I did before we started doing it!).  I am also giving away a Spray Pal, to a cloth diapering family, in my next post - you won't want to miss it!

Cloth diapering products mentioned in this post (just hover over slideshow and click to see product/purchase):



Why do I cloth diaper?
According to most sites I've found, cloth diapering moms will spend $350 on cloth diapers compared to the $3500 spent on disposables until your babe is potty trained.  Those numbers put it over the edge for me - it's cheaper AND good for the environment to cloth diaper?  I love it.  I am a hippie at heart, as you know, so I decided to learn more about cloth diapering because I didn't want to participate in throwing away SO many diapers and them ending up in landfills (or in Wal-Mart parking lots - gross).  I also don't like all the oil it takes to make disposables and all of the chemicals they contain (google infertility and diapers - scary stuff).  I wanted to find a way to help the environment and choose a cheaper solution so we we took a cloth diapering class and were hooked!  (A local shop in Scottsdale called Zoolikins offers free cloth diapering classes, along with a ton of great information about cloth diapering and other FAQs on their website.)  Did everyone "buy in" with us or did my mom think we were crazy?  She did at first, along with our other family members, but she took the class too and got on board and I think found it easier than she expected.  These cloth diapers aren't the cloth diapers our parents (or grandparents) used - they are new, improved and oh so easy!

Which cloth diapers do I use?
We had no idea where to begin and at first, before Lemon was born, and I thought I wanted to do pre-fold cloth diapers with waterproof covers (I will link to everything we used, available on Amazon, pictures also above).  They come with a closure called a Snappi and you basically fold the diaper up, put it on your babe, fasten with a Snappi and put the cover on - see here.  I also thought that we would be overwhelmed having a newborn, that we are changing a million times a day, and wouldn't want to wash our own diapers for those first couple of months.  Our friends and family contributed to a diaper service for us for the first 3 months and it was definitely awesome - you use the diapers, put them outside and they replace your bag with a new set.  It was expensive, about $80 a month, and now I realize that we didn't really need it.  Those first 6 months, using cloth diapers, are actually the easiest because your babe's poop is water soluble, which means that you can just throw it right into the wash without rinsing the diapers or anything.  We could have easily done that, even with a crazy newborn.  It's only when they start eating solids at 6+ months that you have to start rinsing the poop in the toilet before putting it in your washing machine, that's when cloth diapering gets tricky (and messy - thank goodness for Spray Pal!).  After our diaper service expired I used our own prefolds and covers (linked above).

OsoCozy Prefold, Snappi and Thirsties Duo Snap Cover

I would not do prefolds again.  Sure they fit newborns great and became super easy to use, but the extra step of the prefold and then the cover is just too much now that I know about pocket all in one diapers - see here.  This is a diaper and a cover - all in one.  The actual diaper has a pocket for an insert, that you take out and put in your wet bag, and then you can let the cover (without the insert basically) air out and use again or throw it in your wet bag as well.  My favorite all in ones when Lemon was little (until about 8-9 months) were FuzziBunz Elite with snaps (on Amazon here).  The reason I don't like them for older babes is that the insert is skinny, not wide enough to accommodate a growing bottom and they started leaking as she got older.  But, next time, if we decide to have another (the jury is still out!) I will use those for my newborn until 8-9 months instead of the prefolds/covers.

 FuzziBunz Elite Snap Diaper
My fav all in one cloth diapers are BumGenius 4.0 diapers (with snaps, I always get snaps because all the velcro ones we've had wear with washing).  These can be used from newborn until your kid is ready to be potty trained, so I can switch them out with the FuzziBunz when our next babe is just a tiny muffin.  The inserts on these are wider and don't leak like the FuzziBunz do, on older babes.  (You can buy BumGenius 4.0 diapers here, a great site for everything cloth diaper related, great prices!)  Lemon is still in these diapers and has been since she was about 10 months old, we absolutely love them.  (Read my friend Julia's posts on cloth diapering here, she will sell you on these diapers as well!)

 BumGenius 4.0 Snap Diaper
How many diapers do you need?
Zoolikins recommends 24-36 diapers for a newborn (with 6-8 covers if you are doing prefolds.  I think we had 24 prefolds (when we stopped the diaper service) and 6 covers and were just fine.  For babies over 15 pounds they recommend 24-36 all in one diapers (or 24 prefolds and 4-6 covers).  I think we have 12 BumGenius diapers and I did buy a set of extra inserts (BumGenius only comes with one insert, FuzziBunz come with two inserts, one longer than the other).  We wash our diapers every Thursday and every Monday and Lemon will be 22 months old on Friday, you definitely do less washing the older they get.  And, Lemon naps and sleeps in disposables (I'm not all hippie) because she was a horrible sleeper from 4 months to 16 months and we thought it would help but I'm not sure if it mattered.  Next time I will cloth diaper 100% (unless on vacation) and my babe will just have to deal.  Ha.  If you do cloth diaper at night you will need extra inserts and I've heard that hemp inserts or microfiber inserts work wonders.

What other accessories/detergent do you need when you cloth diaper, besides the diapers?
Well you need a diaper sprayer that attaches to the water line of your toilet and helps clean off the cloth diaper, solid, poop (also great for right after you come home from the hospital to spray your girly parts, trust me, install when pregnant).  You also, definitely need a Spray Pal, for spraying your cloth diapers in the toilet and they actually sell a sprayer/Spray Pal set on their website ($79.95).  (I will be reviewing/modeling what a Spray Pal does in my next post and giving one away to a lucky reader/follower!)  You also need a couple of wet bags for dirty diapers at home and on the go.  I got a cute one made to match Lemon's nursery, on Etsy, and then just bought a set like this on Amazon to keep in our swim bag and diaper bag (or to send with my mom if she's watching Lemon).  I also used to use cloth wipes, up until Lemon was a year old, and used these along with this, a cloth wipe warmer.  You can actually make your own cloth wipes out of flannel fabric and your own diaper solution as well, I just bought mine at Zoolikins and bought their little solution tabs there too (these look pretty good).  You mix the tabs with warm water, put your wipes in it and let them soak a bit, then ring them out (but not too much), then fold and put into your wipes warmer.  Now that Lemon is older we just buy wipes at Costco, not very environmental but oh so great for wiping off dirty toddlers.  You just wash your cloth wipes along with your cloth diapers and refill your warmer when you are out.  We use the BumGenius cloth diaper detergent and have used others in the past, but this one is my fav.  BumGenius also makes an Odor Remover and inserts for in your cloth diapers (so you can just throw the poop and the insert in the toilet, without having to rinse the diaper) but I wouldn't buy these.  I have them both and never use them.

What is the best thing about cloth diapering?
The best thing about cloth diapering besides the money saving and the environmental aspect - the cloth diaper booty.  Your babe will look so cute with that big cloth diaper booty that also provides extra support for all those falls on their butt.  I would suggest always buying bottoms in one size up, however, if you are going to cloth diaper just to fit that big booty.   The patterns and colors are a plus too, you don't even need a diaper cover under a dress because they are so cute!

How do cloth diapers help with potty training?
We are going to attempt to potty train Lemon this summer, at 23 months, so I will keep you posted on how it goes.  I've read that cloth diaper babies learn to use the potty faster than disposable diaper babies because they can feel when they are wet but we'll see.  She seems to be ready now; her diapers are fairly dry in the morning and she tells us when she's going poop, but we only have 21 days left of school (and before our hot weather hits) so we are going to try while we are off and it's warm enough to be naked all the time.  Want some potty training tips?  My husband has worked with Special Education students for 8 years and has lots of insight on this subject (can't wait to put it to the test!) and shares it on his behavior Instagram - @bee_havior.


Pin It

Monday, April 28, 2014

Pop Basic Micro Collections {Sponsored}

I was approached by Pop Basic, a women's fashion service based out of San Francisco, to style pieces from their Ashbury Collection this month.  This company is so cool!  From their co-founder Madeline:  "Each month we create a three piece collection of clothing and accessories, sold as a set.  We also include a beauty and lifestyle surprise in each collection.  Every collection is under $100 with free worldwide shipping."

They sent me their April collection, the Ashbury, to try and wanted to see three different looks using items from the collection.  You guys, this was so much fun!  How cool is this company?! They send you a complete outfit, for under $100 (including an accessory), so that you don't have to figure out a cute outfit to wear for an event or a night out.  It takes all of the guess work out of picking out your own outfit and just allows you the freedom to style it yourself.  I love it!

Their service was awesome and my complete outfit and beauty surprised arrived quickly, with Priority shipping.  The collection I received was their Ashbury collection, a collection I'd say was definitely perfect for a night out.  The collection cost $70 and here is what was included (all images are from popbasic.com):


A vegan, leather skirt that normally retails for $79.

A basic black tank that normally retails for $40.

A Gwyn collar necklace that normally retails for $30.

I was told by Madeline that the pieces run big so I received a size small tank and size Medium skirt (just because I knew I could go smaller, if needed, but not larger).  The tank fits perfectly and is super comfy, light weight but not see-through but the skirt is a bit big (I safety-pinned it in the back).  So, in ordering these pieces I should have probably taken her advice and gone with smalls in both.  The necklace is super cute in person and really sparkly and I liked how it has an adjustable chain for you to wear it higher or a bit lower, with my tattoos I am not a fan of necklaces right next to them so I always opt for a lower hanging piece.

The skirt is also really comfortable and not heavy, like a leather skirt would be, although it looks like leather!  I love the pleats and the elastic waist, even though it also has a zipper.  I know that the small would have fit me around my natural waist and the length, then, would have been perfect.  I could totally wear this skirt, even in the middle of summer (in Arizona) at night without getting too hot.  I also like that the pieces are black, perfect for mixing and matching with other items in your wardrobe.

I was a little concerned about taking pictures of this outfit, of all the items together, because to me it just had to be worn at night.  But, how was I going to get a good picture in low lighting on a night out?  I opted to wear all the pieces together, to my besties' birthday dinners (they are twins) and I received so many compliments on my outfit!  I paired these items with some sequin, black and silver espadrilles, a bow headband and a vintage, knotted belt - it turned out super cute!  I was really comfortable sitting at dinner, yet stylish, and the black was great for a night out with the girls.  I was worried that the necklace would be too fancy for a night out with friends, but paired with my sparkly shoes and leaving my hair down dressed it down a bit I think.



To work, I wore the black skirt with my own tank and a vintage, turquoise belt.  I left the tank un-tucked to see if I liked the skirt sitting lower on my hips (it was just as comfy!) and wore my flat, Minnetonka fringe sandals.  I also wore my hair down and my glasses (teacher life!), a small sweater over my tank and some earrings that I actually made myself (just turquoise and black stones).  My high school students complimented my skirt again too!


Out with my family, to the splash pad, I paired the black tank with a pair of printed shorts, tucked it in (it is longer, perfect for tucking in), a coral necklace and my coral Minnetonkas (these sandals rule my life - can you tell?!).  I opted for my hair up in a messy bun, because it was hot, and felt like I was stylish, cool and kept cool with the tank being so light weight.




Each month Pop Basic offers a different collection and I can't wait to see what is coming next!  You can look back at their previous collections on their site and I love that they are a bunch of different styles - perfect for different seasons and day/night looks.  As a mom I love that they do it all for me, putting together a whole, new outfit, so that I don't have to, but I also love that the pieces work great on their own too.  I can rotate all of these items throughout my wardrobe in the future and will get a lot of wear out of them.  I am kind of a vintage jewelry junkie, as well, so this necklace fits in perfectly with my collection.

Madeline, from Pop Basic, was great to work with, their efficiency and packaging were awesome and I can't wait to see what they come up with next.  If you'd like to order your own collection, perhaps the May one (that includes the Le Breton striped shirt!), they have a give $15 and get $15 program.  Click here to get $15 off your order through Pop Basic!

Pop Basic can also be found on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter (and if you have a blog you can paste their badge on your site to earn credit towards your next purchase!).  Please show them some love on their social media sites and purchase one of their collections, you won't be disappointed!


Pin It

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Lemony Easter

Last weekend was a whirlwind and we had so much fun spending it with friends and family.  Lemon had a cold all week so we made sure she was well rested and once Friday arrived - she was better!

On Saturday we went to Ian's parents to celebrate Easter with our families and his cousins in town from Montana.  Lemon had the best time sliding with her cousin Selma, hunting for eggs and eating breakfast with everyone.  Saturday afternoon (after a long nap for all of us!) we went to the Brat Haus to join my bestie and her boyfriend in celebration of him finishing law school!  Yay Jeremy!

video

  video
  video


Lemon loved her Easter basket - see video below (and click here to find out what was in it)!  We had such a fun morning playing with her Easter goodies before we headed off to hang with my fam.  Sunday was also my mom's birthday (I love when her birthday is on Easter!) so we joined her, my step-dad and Amanda for brunch at Orange Tree Golf Resort.  Lemon loved the piano player and said, "again, again" every time she stopped playing (she even played songs from Frozen for us!).  Then another egg hunt (and so many big kids to compete with) where Amanda, my niece, helped her rescue as many eggs as she could.  Sunday afternoon was spent recovering and grocery shopping, getting ready for our work week ahead.


  video





  video 
  video
  video

In other news, I haven't been sleeping at night and am soooooooo tired.  I have no idea what is going on, my brain just doesn't want to shut off.  Any other mamas have this problem?  What do you do?  Is it just toddler life?  I used to sleep great, then never slept (until Lemon was 16 months and we sleep-trained her) and then slept great until a couple of weeks ago.  19 days left of school, I can't wait, maybe that's it.  Ugh, come on summer . . . and sleep!


Pin It

Hot Mama Photo Shoot

I had the opportunity to participate in a "Hot Mama" photo shoot with Lindsay from Pied Piper Photography (her title for this type of shoot) a couple of weeks ago and I received the images back today.  Working with Lindsay was awesome, I had my hair and makeup done as part of the shoot, and I love how the pictures turned out!  She is only in the US for part of the year and I'm hoping that next year I can do a Mommy & Me shoot with Lemon or a She Said, She Said Girls shoot with my bestie, Christine!

When Lindsay is in town you can book your own Hot Mama mini session for $200 and it includes hair and makeup.  Thanks Lindsay, it was fun, hope to see you next year!


I had no idea what to pack for this shoot and hadn't had my hair/makeup done for years!  It was fun to be pampered!  Thank goodness my bestie came with me for moral support.

Behind the scenes.

Final images:

















Pin It