Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our Year In Pictures for 2011

googled image

new truck

started the build of our home

switched to cloth

house is complete!

McKenzie turned 2

We're PREGNANT!

county fair

Madison started Pre-school

baby #3 is a GIRL

Madison turned 4

Madison's hands

Santa Claus

There you have it, highlights of our year for 2011.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fuzzibunz Cloth Diaper Review


Meet the Inventor

Tereson Dupuy is the founder and CEO of Mother of Eden and the inventor and patent holder for FuzziBunz® pocket-style cloth reusable diapers. Tereson is often called the Mother of the Modern Cloth Diaper.

This determined mother-of-three invented FuzziBunz® diapers in January 1999 because her four-month old son, Eden, was suffering from chronic diaper rash. She tried every cloth and disposable diapering system on the market to no avail. After an exhaustive search, Tereson knew there had to be a better option and that’s when she invented the modern cloth diapers, now known as FuzziBunz®. Today, FuzziBunz® diapers are found in hundreds of online and in-store boutiques and have been used by millions of babies around the world! Tereson is not only a mom, but also an entrepreneur and has received numerous recognitions for her invention. In 2006, Tereson was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, an organization referred to as the business world’s Oscars. Tereson has been featured in the New York Times, CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, and The Sundance Channel’s Big Ideas for a Small Planet.

Tereson’s invention has also received recognition from leading media sources, including Parents, Pregnancy, babytalk, American Baby, Time, The Today Show, In Style and Pregnancy & Newborn. It has been awards seals from PTPA Media and iParenting Media.

Tereson is a New Orleans native. Prior to founding Mother Eden, Tereson worked as a victims advocate for the Rape Crisis Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. Tereson lives in Broussard, Louisiana with her three children, Sarah, Eden (who she named the company after), and Bennett.



I had contacted Fuzzibunz in the past, via their blogger form, but when their new line of Diaper Talk diapers came out, I reached out to them again and was allowed to review their FuzziBunz® Diaper Talk™ One Size Elite Pocket Diaper in cotton candy pink!

For a limited time only, FuzziBunz® is bringing you a cloth diaper line that is fun, functional and oh-so-funky and fashionable too. The FuzziBunz® Diaper Talk™ line is digitally printed (not screen printed) on our One Size Elite cloth diapers. These fun designs can be seen printed on cool background colors with contrasting colored snaps to boot—See the colors! These designs will not peel or fade and will bring a splash of color and interest to the rest of the well loved FuzziBunz® color collection.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Go Green Diapers CHAMP 2.0 Review & Giveaway


The following is from the "About Us" section of their website

Launched in late 2010, GoGreen Diapers is a young and energetic company seeking to transform the world of cloth diapering through innovative, scientifically developed product designs. Founders of the company, Leah Leverich Ph.D and her husband Don Cooper Ph.D are proud -make that frazzled- parents to 3 young boys. Their oldest boys, Channing and Jaxson, were born while Leah was completing her graduate work towards a doctorate degree in Neuroscience at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where Don was Assistant Professor. After Leah completed her doctorate, the family relocated to beautiful Boulder, Colorado to continue their careers at the University of Colorado. Shortly after moving to Boulder, Don and Leah welcomed their third son, Caleb. With three young children in diapers, living in one of the “greenest” communities on earth, it became clear that disposable diapers were no longer going to cut it – financially, nor in terms of environmental impact. Don and Leah eagerly embarked on their cloth-diapering journey and quickly became fluff-addicted parents themselves. But like so many other cloth-diapering families, they had a difficult time stomaching the hefty start-up cost of commercially available cloth diapers. They also incorporated a number of novel design improvements into their affordable designs. Using experience from their years in science, Don and Leah addressed these problems head-on in the Champ™ cloth diaper with Dual Gussets™ Technology and their exclusive Adapt-a-Snap™ diaper closure conversion system. 
GoGreen Diapers was born!

I am a huge fan of Go Green Diapers and in fact, they were the first diaper I ever won when I started entering giveaways a year ago. It was just a couple months after their company started and I have been able to see the changes made in their diapers over the last year as they strive to make the best diapers available!

I had just started my own journey of blogging around the time the Champ 2.0 diaper came out and I knew I had to try it! I was sent the cow print Champ, and I think it looks so much better on my daughter than on the site. I wasn't too sure about the print until I put it on, because after seeing McKenzie has a cow fluff bum, I fell in love!

Their Champ 2.0 diaper is very much improved from their regular diapers because they added so many things to make it even better!


Their configuration of adjustable rise and waist snaps provides TRUE birth-to-potty fit, with a total of 4 sizes. Never un-stuff a dirty diaper again because the inserts self-agitate out in the wash cycle. Dual Gussets technology provides unbeatable leak protection. Soft, stay-dry suede lining gently shields your baby from moisture. Waterproof diaper outer keeps diaper trim and fashion-forward!




The pictures above were taken on May 29, 2011 and 7 months later, this diaper still fits McKenzie amazingly as well as plenty of room for her to grow! In fact, she's still on the same snap sizes!

Go Green Champ 2.0 Diapers are our go to diapers for night time because they're one of the only pocket diapers that still hold her through the night as long as its double stuffed, otherwise she's prefold only. The Champ 2.0 is also my diaper of choice for going to the grocery store or just out for a little bit because I know that they will hold her with one insert during the day for up to 2 hours with no leak!

We have three Champ 2.0 diapers and I plan on buying more with our tax return so McKenzie can use them full time and that can free up some of the other diapers for baby girl once she arrives and fits in cloth. I can't wait to see how long it takes for her to get big enough for cloth and especially these cute Champ 2.0 diapers!







Thanks to GoGreen for supplying this giveaway and my opinions are based off an old review diaper and the many more in my stash.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Diaper Mama Review & Giveaway

NEVER SENT WINNER'S DIAPER


The following if from the "About Me" section on Diaper Mama's Hyena Cart

I am a stay-at-home-mom to a wonderful little girl. I love the fit that cloth diapers give me on my daughter. I got a stash of pocket diapers from a family member and decided to use those as a template to make my own personalized diapers. After making some for my little girl, I figured I could try to sell them. I love being able to make useful products and stay at home with my little girl. I look forward to being able to cover your baby's bum.


I first contacted Michelle, from Diaper Mama, in mid October about a review and possible giveaway. She agreed to make me a ONE SIZE pocket diaper with a cupcake print and snaps PLUS an insert, so of course I couldn't wait to add another cupcake diaper to my stash!

After some set backs and her little girl being sick, I received the diaper in the mail, but it had a couple cosmetic issues. After prepping the diaper, I went to put it on my daughter and noticed a small hole formed by one of the legs where I'm assuming a stitch came undone based off the length of thread beside the hole.

Hole that formed before diaper was ever worn

These threads are still attached and you have to move them out of the way to get the insert in


Let's move on to how the diaper fits and if it works...




I do like this diaper. It fits well, hugs in all the right places has a soft interior, plenty of room to grow, and does look cute from behind with the little cupcakes!


Her pockets retail for $20 which is pretty much the going rate for diapers, HOWEVER, I don't feel that it should've taken two months and one lost diaper to finally arrive. I also know that because of her daughter being sick multiple times, this pushed things back, not to mention Thanksgiving, and then the general craziness that comes with December and Christmas.

I like Michelle, she's sweet and loves her customers, but getting overwhelmed can be a huge disaster and I think that with me being her first giveaway, that's exactly what happened. You have to find something that works for everyone and I know blogging can get a little extreme sometimes, so I'm sure being a full time wife and mother, plus making diapers in her spare time is not an easy task!

Since all of this is a learning process, Michelle informed me today that starting in January, she will limit the number of customs each month to ensure she can get to everyone in an appropriate time. 


Monday, December 19, 2011

Green Bees Diaper Co. Review & Giveaway


The following is from "About Us" Section of their website

Green Bees Diaper Company
We make cloth diapering easy!
For me the cloth diapering decision was and easy one, I never really considered the alternative. I have witnessed the wonderful effects and ease of cloth diapering my son, and I want to make it just as easy for everyone else. Cloth diapering has saved us so much money, and kept at least 1500 diapers out of landfills. The main goal of this project is to further the use of cloth diapering. For every 10 diapers sold, one diaper will be donated to Emergency Infant Services in Tulsa Oklahoma so that a family and need can benefit from the money saving abilities of cloth.


I found out about Green Bees Diaper Co. in a very interesting way... 
on the sidebar of my Facebook page!

I decided to check them out and when I looked on their website, I was amazed to find that they offer diapers as low as $6!! I knew I had to write them and ask for a blog review because... well
 $6 FOR A DIAPER IS AMAZING!! 
They quickly agreed and I was sent a Value Diaper, and also requested an extra insert just in case.


double stuffed

double stuffed and you'd never know!

I really like this diaper! 
This is supposed to be their "pink" even though my eyes tell me purple, but color isn't important. 
The first thing I did with this diaper after prepping it, is used it as a night time diaper. If you've read my other reviews then you'll know McKenzie can pretty much only use prefolds at night, otherwise we have leaks. I'm happy to say that after 13 hours this diaper did NOT leak with two inserts and she possibly could've worn it a little longer if I really pushed it.

We have had leaks in this diaper with one insert after lunch time, but that seems to be any diaper I've noticed, so I don't hold it against this diaper at all.

Green Bees Diaper Co. offers their Value Diaper for $6 
PUL print diapers for $8 and 
Minky diapers for $10. 
They also offer wet bags for $7 
baby legs for $4, 
and package deals starting as low as $45.

I think this is the first company I've found that works just as great as other companies, and yet they're $4 cheaper and I hope to add more to my stash one day! 
Another thing I liked is that they offer most of the same prints as other companies, 
so why not get a cute print and save some money!



Sunday, December 18, 2011

Types of Cloth Diapers

Googled image

After you decide to cloth diaper, then comes the task of deciding WHICH diaper is right for you. There's so many that are different in their own way, so besides going with a company you like, you need to decide which system might work best and below is a list of different cloth diaper types.

First is to choose Snaps or Hook and Loop closures. Hook and loop is a velcro-like closure. Since the Velcro brand is not very soft, many diaper makers use aplix or touchtape brand hook and loop.

Next, you'll have to decide if you want the One Size diapers or fitted diapers.


One Size Diapers- One Size diapers typically fit from birth to potty training or an average weight of 8 to 35 pounds. Many of the "Pocket Diapers" come in One Size. The benefit of a One Size diaper is so it can be used longer and sized accordingly as your child grows.

AIO - All-In-One - AIOs are fitted diapers that have a waterproof outer layer. This layer usually consists of fabric that has a PUL (PolyUrethane Laminate) backing, polar fleece such as Windpro, or wool. These are the closest in similarity to disposable diapers since they are a one-piece diapering system. The absorbent soaker material is often sewn into the diaper

AI2 - All-In-Two - AI2s are very similar to AIOs with the exception that the absorbent soaker material is not attached to the diaper in any way. The soaker is usually a second, separate piece that must be used in conjunction with the diaper. The drying time for these diapers is shorter than the traditional AIO

Pocket Diapers - Pocket diapers are like AIOs orAI2s. They have an outer layer of a waterproof material and an inner layer of a stay dry material, like microfleece or suedecloth. They close with Velcro or snaps. They have a pocket opening that allows for the absorbent material to be stuffed in the pocket during use and then removed for laundering. The absorbent material for stuffing can be an insert that comes with the diaper or a pre-fold or doubler.

Diaper Covers - Covers come in many styles and shapes, but their function is to provide a waterproof outer layer for non-waterproof diapers (all except AIOs). They are often fitted with elastic and fasten with snaps or Velcro. Some covers pull-up, like underpants. Diaper covers are usually made from polyester, Polyurethane laminates (PUL), waterproof nylon, fleece or wool

Fitted Diapers - Fitted diapers closely resemble disposable diapers. They are contoured and fitted with elastic around the legs and back. They fasten with Velcro or snaps, and a waterproof cover must be worn over them.

Flat Cloth Diapers- the most basic of cloth diapering options. They are large squares of a single layered fabric, normally 27x27 inches, that must be folded to fit your child. You can fasten the diaper on to the diaper with a pin or fold and stuff in to a cover.

Prefold Cloth Diapers- one step up from flat diapers because they are flat sheets of fabric that have other layers of fabric sewn in the middle where the child requires the most absorbency. They also have to be fastened with a pin or stuffed in a cover.

Hybrid Diapers- These aren't quite a cloth diaper, but not a disposable either. This is the diaper where cloth and disposable MEET! They are typically made from a cloth outer shell that is washable, but the inside is flushable or disposable. Most hybrid diapers can give you the option for cloth inserts, but with the disposable factor, it makes these diapers great for travel!




We have multiples types of the diapers listed above and each one has their own benifit. I suggest trying multiple types and brands before settling on what SOUNDS like the best option. I know I thought pockets were the only way to go until I tried prefolds. Never count out the options because of how something sounds, try it first... you just might like it!


Disclaimer:
I am reviewing the KelyWels book and asked permission before using these images. I chose the copywritten images for a reason and if you're wanting to know more about cloth diapering please visit kellywels.com and get a copy of this book! It's great, and has taught me things I didn't know.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Great Cakes Soapworks Review


The following is from the "About Us" section of Great Cakes Soapworks website & the owner, Amy.

I made my first batch of cold process soap on November 18, 2002, as a Christmas gift for my friends. It was a wonderful experience that led to many more, until I had more soap than my family and friends could use. I became a vendor at my local farmer’s market during the summer of 2004. In 2005, Great Cakes Soapworks was born out of the combination of my passion for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and my passion to make great soap. I have been making and selling soap ever since!

My absolute favorite part about making soap is the creative aspect of mixing various swirling and coloring techniques, textures, and fragrances. I have formulated each recipe for a specific purpose, and the one I make most often has seven different oils and butters. I love to experiment with new ingredients to create soaps that not only cleanse and condition the skin, but also add delight to the senses.

I am blessed to be married to a wonderful man who supports my business endeavors, and I have two beautiful daughters who help me out from time to time. When I'm not making soap or taking care of my family and home, I have been known to spend time helping out with the middle school ministry at our church, making copies for the teachers at our girls' school, taking on home decorating projects, reading a good book, or spending way too much time on Facebook.


I first found Great Cakes Soapworks through another blog and a giveaway they were having. I remember seeing how pretty all her soaps were and hoped to win to see what they were all about.

Last week Amy posted on her Facebook page about Peppermint soap bars and I instantly could in-vision smelling the bar and how amazingly beautiful it looked, even making me a little hungry LOL, so I decided to comment about my interest in a review. Amy was more than happy to provide me with a peppermint bar of soap AND one of her newest creations, Bubble Bath Confections!




Our bubble bath recipe is finally perfected! These super mild bubble bath confections are perfect for a nice, long soak in the tub. Surround yourself with loads of bubbly foam and the fresh scent of peppermint! Each confection is lightly dusted with a sprinkle of super-fine glitter for that extra-special touch.

Contains 6 confections in a reusable vinyl bag - use 2-6 per bath.

Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Potassium Bitartrate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate (and) Lauryl Glucoside, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Maranta Arundinacea, Cetyl Esters, Peppermint Essential Oil, Mica, and Cosmetic Glitter.


She shipped on Monday, and my package arrived Wednsday, which couldn't have come at a better time because this pregnant lady was in need of a nice hot soak in my garden tub!! I anxiously awaited bedtime and AS SOON as I got my girls tucked in, I was ready to test this amazing smelling bath soap. Madison thought they were cookies, so they're now put up to make sure that her curious 4 yr old self doesn't try to sneak one! She'll be in for a surprise if she tries to eat it though I'm sure!

The directions for the bath soap is to crumble at a minimum, 2 little confections, so that's exactly what I did and watched the water as it quickly filled up with bubbles and the sweet peppermint smell.

I'm sad with myself though because I was so excited to soak in the tub, I forgot my camera, so I snapped this picture with my cellphone once I was in the tub.


Picture taken by Amy after using two bath confections


I was impressed with these soaps because normally, you buy something that's supposed to smell great, and you loose the scent AND the bubbles after 15 minutes of soaking. While the bubbles slowly disappeared over time, I was left with plenty after soaking for 1 hour. My skin felt silky smooth, and the tub smelled like peppermint. There was also a soothing crackling to the bubbles as they slowly popped over time, and while that's normal with any bubbles, I found it relaxing, and decided to eventually get out, otherwise I would've faced falling asleep in the tub. I love these soaps and will buy from Amy in the future because as a mother, I/WE all deserve some alone time, and relaxation is the whole reason we sprang for the garden tub in our build!

The next day I let our girls take the peppermint soap bar for a test drive!


Cool and refreshing, this is full-blown peppermint with a red and white swirl that is reminiscent of the candy (but really doesn't taste like it!). This soap has been specially formulated to provide an abundance of lather for more showers than your normal soap.

Ingredients: saponified coconut oil, shea butter, palm kernel, apricot kernel, and castor oils; also essential oils of cornmint and peppermint, titanium dioxide, and red dye.

Please note: this soap is 99.8% natural. Only the titanium dioxide and red dye are synthetic.


As soon as I popped the tape on the package these came in, this bar overwhelmed me and I was already in heaven, even before seeing it in person. After digging to the bottom of the box, my girls were instantly intrigued with the beautiful bar of sweet smelling peppermint and wouldn't stop touching and smelling the bar through the little window on the front of the box.


When I told my girls it was time for them to use the soap, they ran to the bathroom and anxiously watched as I opened the box to get the bar out. I will say, if you're like me and used to a store bought brand of soap like Dove or something, these soaps are a bit awkward to handle because they're a lot thicker, but I don't see this as an issue, just something to get used to.


Madison took this picture LOL

My girls loved this soap! It has an amazing lather that I've never seen before, and comes off easily with a squeaky feeling while your hands are under the water. I love this because it lets me know I'm getting all the soap off. Afterward, your hands smell like peppermint and are also soft. Most of the time when I wash my hands, the first thing I do afterward is put lotion on because of the extreme dry feeling, but I didn't have that quite so much with this soap, yet another plus for me! This bar of soap is in our downstairs half bath, so every time you open the door, you get the lovely fragrance of peppermint, which is only intensified when you use the soap, leave, and come back.


My overall experience with Amy and her company of Great Cakes Soapworks has been amazing! She's so sweet, has a true and great product that she HAND MAKES, and her prices are amazing as well! I totally see myself buying a bar of soap with the changing seasons and they're so pretty, I feel like it's two pieces in one, decorative AND makes you clean! My husband loves candles for certain holidays but I believe soap will be my choice!


My only thing is that I would love to see smaller versions of the soap bars. They'd be better for kids to handle, and you could change them out quicker to keep the smells fresh and always new.

When I think of a size, hotel soaps come to mind!