Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cloth Diapers

Yep. You heard me right. I said "Cloth Diapers". 

If you would have asked me a week ago if I would ever consider cloth diapers, my answer would have been an adamant "No way. That's disgusting." 

I must give kudos to Shannon, owner and CEO of Booty Buns Cloth Diapers, for completely and drastically changing my opinion forever.  I myself, didn't think it could be done.
 

In fact, when she asked me to review a product and host a giveaway, my first thoughts were, "How am I going to endorse a product I don't think I would ever consider."  Then I thought, "Can't hurt to try." 
(Continue Reading to the end for the giveaway)


As it turns out, I'm completely convinced it is the best way to diaper your baby.  I say that with all honesty.  Baby even thinks they are pretty cool.  


The above picture shows what is included when you buy your diaper from Booty Buns. 

1.  Cloth Diaper made from water proof fabric.
2.  Highly absorbent insert.
3.  Highly absorbent infant (or night time) additional insert.
4.  Thin flannel liner to make dumping the baby goods into the toilet, much easier and less nasty.

The pink I chose was so pretty, and the whites were so fluffy and soft.

She recommended I purchase an .85 cent sample of Rockin' Green Detergent, which I did.  It is made specifically for Cloth Diapers in mind.


For the first trial run, I hesitantly put the diaper on my baby during the morning.  I say hesitantly because she is an "on the clock" pooper in the mornings.  I rely on that stinky diaper like I rely on the sun rising every morning.


Sure enough, at 10:00, there was a surprise for me.  But more surprising was how easy clean up was.  You will notice in the picture above how well the diaper hugs her thighs.  No blow outs here.  Washing the diaper was a breeze as well.  It came out with no stain or residue, and smelling delicious.  Yes, I actually smelled it.  That detergent does exactly what is says it does.

Here is what my diaper looked like after 2 poopies, and one overnight trial run. 


As white and pretty as when I received it.  If you buy from Booty Buns you also get a cloth wipe. 
And I will have you know, my baby pees out almost every night in disposables.  Even in a size bigger.  I didn't have a single problem with this cloth diaper. 


That picture above is somewhat ironic.  I received my Amazon shipment of disposable diapers the same day I received my cloth diaper.  I have about 6 months of disposables stored up in my basement and as soon as those run out, I can guarantee you my money is going to cloth diapers.  Let me tell you why and how I weighed out this decision.

Pro's to Cloth Diapers:

 - Cost obviously.  Though the start up is pricey, when you do your numbers compared to disposables, it's quite a given.
-Softer for baby.
-She experienced no diaper rash compared to disposables when she gets red almost every time she goes #2.
-Much cuter.
-Less leak outs.
-Re-usable, therefor better for the environment.  Though I will shamelessly admit this pro alone would never convince me to switch.  It's all about the cost for me.
- A strange satisfaction.  I found myself so pleased to be using it.  The mere thoughts that I could take a step back in this age of ultimate convenience, and do something out of the norm that might require a slightly bit more effort to better my life and save money- was very satisfying.  It's the same feeling I get when I make homemade baby food.
-The impeccable design and convenience of the modern day cloth diaper.
-I can use for all children yet to come into our home - making big time savings!

Cons:

-I little more laundry. 
-I have to look at the poopy a little longer.  But at least I don't have to touch it.
-Start up cost.
-Husband is slightly less than thrilled.  A little bribery won't hurt.
-Cost of special detergent (though not even close to the cost of disposables).

That's all I could think of at the moment.


Now that I have convinced you to switch also, let me tell you why you should buy from Booty Buns Cloth Diapers.

-For every diaper bought, a diaper is donated to other countries and places who use things such as T-shirts to wrap around their babies booties.  Unbelievable!  What a worthy cause!  You can feel so good about your purchase.
-One size fits all design.  You only need to buy one size for your baby.  It works from infancy to potty training.
-Great color selection.
-Ingenious design and function made for a great fit and easy clean up.
-The only diaper in my research that includes 2 inserts, flannel liner, and a cloth wipe.  (my thoughts on cloth wipes: you are washing the diaper, you might as well throw in the wipe.  No extra effort whatsoever.)
-Full of helpful hints and suggestions on their website to make cloth diapering that much easier.
-Super fast delivery.

Now for the Giveaway!
Here is your chance to find out (risk free) for yourself if you can so easily be converted to cloth diapering.

Here is how to enter.  Each one you do is an additional entry.  Just be sure that for each entry you leave me a comment and tell me what you did.  Shannon also says if you grab a button from her blog and post it on yours, you get 10 additional entries!  Score!

1.  Like them on their fan page.  Click here.
2.  Become a member on facebook.  Click here.
3.  Follow their blog.  Click here.
4.  Follow them on Twitter.

Giveaway is closed on February 15th!  Good Luck!

I would also love to hear in my comments if you would ever consider cloth diapers, or any thoughts you have on such things.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

T-Shirt Tutu - Tutorial

This was one of those projects that when the vision comes, you drop everything to make it because you can't wait to see if it will work out like it is in your head.
 

Good thing it didn't take me too long.  The baby's dirty diaper was being neglected while I was working on my vision.
This "T-Shirt Tutu" was made entirely from old T-shirts I stashed instead of trashing.  Much like my Party in the Back dress.


I love the flexibility of knits. 


I've been seeing the tutu's around blogland made from woven scraps and thought they were so cute.  But I dreaded seeing what it would look like after being washed with all those raw edges.  That's when the light bulb turned on.  Duh!  KNITS!

 I do love how it turned out.  Super fun outfit for some 1 year old photo's.  If only she would keep the blasted headbands on.


I am proud to tell you that I took detailed pics during the process.  I good tutorial was long overdue on this blog of mine.  It was very easy to make, hard to screw up, and thrifty.  Great for any beginner sewer.

Here is how you can make your

T-Shirt Tutu:

 
 1.  Gather any knits you have.  The softer and flowey-er the better.  I would save any knits you have with spandex content for another purpose.  Just because those are hard to come by and great for leggings.
2.  You will need a strip of elastic.  Mine was 1 1/4 inch knit sports elastic - for no particular reason.  It's what I had.  Its a super soft and gentle stretch type of elastic.  I would just make sure your elastic is at least an inch thick.  The length of your elastic should measure the same length around the waist you are putting it on.  You will be seaming it together at the ends which will give it just enough snug for the belly.

Begin by cutting strips from your T-shirts.


1.  Cut the hem off and discard.
2.  Cut 2 1/2 inch strips as wide as your shirt is.
3.  Grab your elastic and fold over your strip of knit.  I did this to measure how long I wanted the strips.  Keep in mind, you will be pulling on your strip to make the edges curl in, which will in turn make your strip longer.  You can always trim if it's too long - just make sure the length is going to cover your child from the waist to where you want the hem to be.
4.  Cut off the side seams from your knit shirt.  After you have done this, assuming you are using both front and back of the shirt, you will end up with 2 long strips that will be folded in half.


Keep cutting your strips and pulling them until you have an estimate of what you need.  It's hard to say how much you will need, but just make a good stack of them.  You can always go back and cut more if you need more.


1.  The next step is to lay all your strips out flat.  If you'll notice in the pictures I have my pattern weights (something my husband found at work) spaced out the width of my elastic.  Then I started placing white strips in between.
2.  Then I started placing the colored strips randomly and slightly criss-crossed throughout.

Note:  Most simple tutu's are made by tying the strips onto the elastic, making it a no-sew project.  However, I opted not to do this because I wanted the knits to overlap a little on the elastic making it a fuller tutu.  You could probably, at this point, just tie your strips on.  But I personally think my method will save you time.


Notice in the above picture how there is still some of my table showing between strips.  You don't want this.  This is when I cut more white strips and stacked them on to fill it in and give the tutu enough fullness.


1.  Once you have all the strips laid out how you want, place your elastic in the middle.  Actually, it will need to be slightly lower than the middle so when you fold over the pieces, they are even at the bottom.
2.  Start folding over all your strips making sure the fold is as close and as even as can be to the top of the elastic.


I put my weights on the edges of the elastic at this point to keep it from moving.


Once it is all folded over it will look super cute.  Don't fret about the hem not being totally even.  It adds character to the skirt, and there are probably worse things you should worry about.


1.  Start pinning the top to the elastic.  Slide your pin in at an angle so it grabs more strips.  
2.  Carefully start sewing the strips onto the elastic making sure you stay even  so you catch it all.  Use your plate as a guide.  In order to allow some give, I sewed it on using a slight zig-zag.  Also, I would normally use a walking foot for knits but I wanted to prove that this could be done with a regular foot.  I didn't have any problems.  It's a bit thick so just press the layers down as they get close to the needle and it slides through great.  Watch the back side of the strips as well so they are not going all crazy.
3.  Leave about 1/4 inch of elastic on the ends.
4.  With right sides together sew your elastic ends together - back-stitch good!


1.  You will have some raw edges showing.
2.  Simply hide it in some strips and stitch in place.  Or you could add a strip of knit over it if you couldn't hide it good enough.

 

Lay your finished tutu out and even out the hem.


Then put it on a naked child and adore your creation - both of them.


She felt pretty special wearing such a frilly thing.  I loved that it was full enough to cover the poopy diaper.  Actually, I probably did change her by this point.

It even looks pretty cute with a shirt on.

Go make one, then tell me about it!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Digital Scrapbooking - Only 3 years behind

It's been quiet around this blog.  You see, I've been making progress on one of my new years resolutions.   

Nope, haven't lost any weight.  But I'll tell you what I have done.

Scrapbooking.  I've always loved doing it, but it took a big backseat when I picked up sewing, blogging, photography, decorating, crafting, cooking, pinterest . . . . . . . . . . . .

Then one day I realized I was the only one enjoying our photo's and memories when I would browse through them on the computer.  Kinda selfish.  I have now taken it upon myself to see that our pictures get put in books my kids can look through.  But of course the crafty side of me could not be satisfied with simply putting picture prints into a photo album.  I tried it.  Wasn't satisfied.  I have also done the drag and drop photobooks and realized that it wouldn't work when one daughter ripped a page.

So after 2 classes of Photoshop Elements, and 6 days total organizing pictures on the computer (kid-less at my mom's - thanks to a wonderful husband), I have something to show.  Not a lot, but something.


 I've claimed my own style for my scrapbook pages.  It's defined as simple, and white based.  I spent one whole day at my moms getting so excited about all the free scrapbooking downloads there are available on the web.  It was like walking into hobby lobby and having free range at all the paper and embellishments I could ever want.  Just check out this site, and you'll see what I mean.  It's amazing what work people have put into this stuff and made it available for us for free.

Then when I was done with hours of downloading templates, paper, embellishments, overlays, styles, kits, fonts and more, I felt very overwhelmed.  Where to start?  I didn't have the time to stew over what hundreds of options to use for each page.  I have 3 years to scrapbook!  I thought about using the sites that have pages already designed and you just drop your pictures.  But I wasn't satisfied with that either.  It wasn't me.

That's when my scrapbooking style was born.

I begin by filling each 12 x 12 page with white and go from there adding simple shapes.  There are few (if any) embellishments.  The focus is on the picture, brief texts, and a pop of color.  The pages are coming together quicker than I imagined.  With so many pages done now, it has a very uniform and modern feel, which I really like.

 
 It takes me about 20 minutes to throw together a couple of pages.  Perfect for a nap time project.  And I love that I can throw in a quick fix of creativity every day.  It's therapeutic for me.


I especially love that to do this I don't have to drag out containers of messy paper, scissors, stickers and such.  I am so glad I have given up paper scrapbooking.  I could just kiss the inventors of Photoshop.
I've already ordered some prints from www.scrappingsimply.com.  I'm excited to see how they turn out and even more excited to watch my children look at their memories.

And since we are talking about pictures and children, I'll show you some of my favorite shots of them as of late.



I'm thinking once I get to scrapbooking the years where I've used my DSLR camera, things might slow down.  I've got about 5 times more pictures to look through and sort.


I just have too many hobbies.



My husband reminds me of that every day.

So what do you think?  Do you scrapbook?  What methods have saved you time and sanity?  I'd love to hear.



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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cutting Clutter

After celebrating Christmas


and a Birthday


all in a weeks time, the clutter and mess was really starting to get to me.  I try to tell my husband and children that if the house is clean I am a much more pleasant person to be around.  But the toys and mess left from December was too much for any of us.

After some time in the wood shop and sewing room, we have managed to put things back in order - for now.


Let me explain the method to our madness.


It started by sewing a whole slew of these pick-a-boo bags.  Genius idea found at make it perfect.


I knew I wasn't going to have much time before we all went crazy, so I made mine using a slightly quicker method.  Rather than sewing a contrasting strip for the casing on the top I used a basic drawstring method.  Also, I used ribbon for the drawstring rather than cutting and sewing my own.


I was spitting one of these babies out every 20 minutes - when my serger cooperated any way.  I was also a good girl because I used fabric from my stash and resisted the huge urge to spend more money and go buy all coordinating fabric.  Christmas has a way of making me want to be a little more frugal.


These bags are great for helping tame the little toy mess.  And for now, the kids are pretty good at keeping them cleaned up too.

 

I'm trying to drill into their little heads that they can only get one out at a time.

After they were sewn, the bags needed a home.


So I sent hubs out to build me some crates.  4 to be exact.  They cost only 6 dollars in wood which I thought was great.

There is one for the living room, and one by each girlies bed.  Some day I will paint or stain them, but I am being indecisive for now.  We are trying to sell our house so I don't want to decide on anything drastic yet.


I made the girls go through all their toys with me and what didn't fit in bags or these boxes went to the donate pile.  We had 4 garbage size bags to donate.  It feels almost as good as loosing weight.


The crates serve their entertainment purposes also.

Feels great to be organized.


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