Sunday, December 4, 2011

Will I Really Save Money with Cloth?

Most of us have heard that you will save thousands of dollars if you switch to cloth diapers. But, I have a lot of moms ask me if they will really save that much. They don't buy the more expensive brand name diapers. They stick with store brands or buy them on Amazon. They say there is no way they will save that much money.
 
Trust me, you will!

You will use more disposable diapers than this in 3 days!
You could spend around $1000 a year per kid on disposable diapers & wipes. Even if you use the generic store brand, you're going to spend at least $700 per kid per year. Don't forget to add gas and/or shipping costs to that! C'mon, you know that moment when you pull the last disposable diaper out of the bag and realize you don't have any more? I don't know how many trips I had to make to the store for just diapers.
 
Around the same amount of cloth diapers will last for years!
 
 
We were able to buy a full stash of cloth diapers for around $500. But, you could spend less or more than that. If you stick with prefolds & covers, your costs will be a lot less. We use cloth wipes that I made myself with old t-shirts, receiving blankets and scraps of flannel. For a wipes solution, you can just use water. Yes, there is the cost of detergent & washing your diapers. The detergent we use costs around $15 and it lasts for at least 45 loads. That's around 33 cents every 2-3 days. Our water & energy bills combined maybe went up $5 but I'm also doing more regular laundry because I have a very messy little boy. :)
 
If you take good care of your cloth diapers, you can use the same ones for other children you'll have. And, you can also resell used cloth diapers that are in good condition for around 50% of the retail price!
 
So, here is a quick breakdown on costs:

(I am figuring very low costs on the disposable diapers and high costs on cloth diapers. More than likely, you will spend more on disposables and less on cloth. I'm also not including costs of diaper creams.)
*I'm averaging 10 diapers/day for the first 2 months and 6 diapers/day for the next 10 months. Although, it is generally recommended you change diapers more often than that. :)
 
 
Generic Disposable Diapers: Approx $550
Generic Disposable Wipes: Approx $120
Total for one year: $670
 
 
Enough Cloth Diapers to wash every 2-3 days: Approx $500
Cloth Wipes (use old t-shirts & receiving blankets with water) :$0
Laundry Costs: Approx $50
Total for one year: $550
 
 
Disposable Costs after 2 years: $1340
Disposable Costs after 3 years: $2010
Disposable Costs after diapering a 2nd child for another 3 years: $4020
 
 
Cloth Costs after 2 years: $600
Cloth Costs after 3 years: $650
Cloth Costs after diapering a 2nd child for another 3 years: $800

So, after 6 years of diapering, you will spend over $4000 using generic, store brand disposables and only $800 or less using cloth diapers! If you use brand name disposable diapers, you will spend much more than that.
 
How much money do you think you've saved since switching to cloth?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

How NOT to Wash Cloth Diapers

Ask 20 people how to wash cloth diapers, you will most likely receive 20 different answers. Have you ever seen Wash Routine questions on cloth diaper forums? EVERYONE has a different answer. One cloth diaper manufacturer will recommend a certain detergent and another one will tell you not to use that detergent. The thing is, it doesn't have to be that hard.

Since our family started using cloth diapers, I have used almost everything on our diapers. Sometimes it was for research, other times it was out of desperation. I've soaked, bleached, sunned, used borax, vinegar, baking soda, washing soda, oxiclean, mainstream detergents, cloth diaper detergents, and everything in between.

What I've found is pretty simple - find a good detergent and stick with it. Use lots of water. Don't use additives unless you ABSOLUTELY have to, like if you're dealing with yeast.
GroVia AIO affected by soaking & additives


Before you start adding anything to your wash, talk to your local cloth diaper store or, if you use a cloth diaper detergent, email the maker. Kim from Rockin Green and Lulu from Lulu's in the Fluff have both been extremely helpful at troubleshooting laundry problems.

Do your diapers still smell dirty after you wash them? Try adding more detergent. Also, make sure you're washer isn't stuffed full. You need room and enough water to really agitate the crud out. I wash diapers every 3 days and I have to split it into two loads.

PUL cracking after using a mainstream detergent & bleach


Ammonia smell? Try rinsing your diapers before you put them in the dry pail. Yes, it's an extra step but it helps and, really, it only takes an extra minute.

Repelling issues - have you used diaper cream lately? If it wasn't CD safe, scrub a little bit of dawn soap on the diaper lining with a toothbrush, rinse really well and wash as usual. Are you using too much detergent or too little water? If you have hard water, it might help to add a little bit of Calgon in your wash.

If you think you have to use bleach, only use it on microfiber inserts. It's terrible on PUL and will eat away your diapers' natural fibers.

If you have a good wash routine down, you shouldn't have to strip your diapers. And, don't soak your diapers too much that can be hard on them too.

If you can, try to line dry your diapers as much as possible. Especially if they are velcro/aplix diapers. If the diapers are stiff after line drying them, just put them in the dryer for a few minutes to soften them up. Plus, line drying will get some sun to your diapers and I've found, that's the best way to get those stubborn stains out.
Thinning Organic Bamboo Velour

There are so many factors that can affect your diapers - water type, minerals, water temperature, diet, etc. So, what works for your friend may not work for you.

Here is our wash routine with really hard well water:
-One full cold wash cycle with no detergent to rinse the diapers well
-One Hot wash cycle with detergent
-Extra warm rinse

We normally switch between Lulu's Extra Hard Water Formula and Rockin Green Hard Rock.

GroVia AIO that has only been washed with Lulu's & Rockin Green and line dried.
This diaper has been used & washed as many times as the AIO in the first pic.

Now, there are some diapers that seem to stand up to more abuse than others. Pretty much anything with microfiber, microfleece will hold up better than natural fibers like hemp, cotton and bamboo.

BumGenius, Charlie Banana, GroVia Snap Shells, Knickernappies, and Tiny Tush are a few of the diaper brands we have that have held up over all the abuse. Some of them may not look like new, but they have no issues with PUL leaking and the inserts still work great.

Do you use additives in your laundry? Have you found a wash routine that works for you?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Sales


This year's Black Friday Sales are bigger & better than ever! Keep reading to see the sales at some of our favorite cloth diaper stores & WAHMs!


Black Friday Sale starts on Friday at 6am and goes until Monday at midnight!

20% off any in stock item with code TURKEY20.


Cyber monday sale with a small collection of Christmas diapers (covers and pockets), baby legs, yubbies, nursing pads, and cloth wipes!
Everything in Ana's Fluff will be on sale on Cyber Monday at http://hyenacart.com/stores/CupCakesandDumpTrucks/ and sneak previews on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AnasFluff


Sale Nov. 25-28:
ALL items will be discounted! (excluding bumGenius, Flip, and some
Econobum)
Just a hint of what's to come:
Applecheeks 20% off
Knickernappies 15% off
Planetwise 10% off
Free package of Flip disposable inserts with any Flip purchase
tutus 50% off

Plus, get a free diaper or wetbag with every purchase! (retail value
of the prize will depend on amount spent--three prize levels are: under
$50, under $100, and over $100) Enter code BLACKBAG or BLACKFLUFF at
checkout to let us know your preference.




DelishNaturals

· 15% off-Usecode: YUM!

EcoSprout

· Buy 248oz. bags of Eco Sprout, Get 1 24 oz. bag free w/ code 24FREE

· OR free 24oz. bag of detergent w/ any order over $100 w/ code ECO100

Fuzzibunz-

· 20% offall products-use code: FuzziCheer

Grovia-


· Buy 2 Get1 Free on all AIOs and Shells (this deal cannot be combined with other deals)

KangaCare-no coderequired

· RumparoozPockets-solids-$20, prints $22

· LilJoeys-$25 2/pack


· RumparoozOS/newborn covers-$2 off

*Receive double reward points all day on BlackFriday.

*Receive a gift card worth 10% of your purchaseBlack Friday-Cyber Monday to use on your next purchase.

*Check our Facebook www.facebook.com/bumluxury and Twitter www.twitter.com/bumluxurypages for additional deals throughout the weekend! You might be able to findsomething on our blog as well…www.bumluxury.blogspot.



20% off fuzzibunz elite OS with code: FUZZI20

Oh Katy are buy 5 get 1 free use code: OhKaty

BumGenius are 15% off (also includes new freetime AIO diaper!) use code: BUM15

Grovia are buy 2 get 1 FREE! No code, will automatically be added.
Save 10% off everythin else, and FREE shipping over 49 with code: SAVE10

You may use ALL codes, just place seperate orders for each promotion, I will combine the shipping!




Diapers on sale for $18 plus shipping!





Apple Cheeks 20% off

Fuzzi Bunz (excluding the Elite) $15.95 each or B3G1F

GroVia B2G1F

bumGenius Econobum B1G1F

bumGenius 4.0 and Elementals B5G1F

Swaddlebees 15% off

Blueberry 15% off

Rumparooz B4G1F, B8G2F, B12G3F

EcoPosh 10% off

Best Bottoms 15% off

Select Planetwise Wetbags 15% off

Happy Heiny 20% off

Free gift with every $50 spent on Friday


We will be doing a sale of Buy 2 and save 20% on Thirsties, bumGenius, Happy Heiny Trainers and Fuzzi Bunz. We will also do 20% off Dundies trainers and Happy Heiny Mamacloth.

Finally, there will be a free pack of wipes included for any order over $100.

Free shipping on all orders over $75.



Friday Doorbusters until 10am:

Boba 2G & Sleepy Wrap 40% off
Simplisse Breastpump 40% off
My Little Legs 50% off

Saturday Doorbusters until 10am:
Sophie the Giraffe 30% off
Brooke Van Gory Diaper Bags 40% off
Teething Bling & Babe Magnet Ties 40% off

Friday through Monday:
Boba 2G & Sleepy Wrap 30% off
Simplisse Breastpump 20% off
My Little Legs 30% off
Sophie the Giraffe 10% off
Brooke Van Gory Diaper Bags 30% off
Teething Bling & Babe Magnet Ties 10% off
Changing Diapers Book $8.98
Charlie Banana Products 15% off
CJ's BUTTer 10% off
EcoPosh 10% off
GroVia Buy 2 Get 1 FREE
Oh Katy Buy 5 Get 1 FREE
Rockin Green Detergent: Holiday Scent & Unscented $11 & $12
Undercover Mama 20% off
All Safety Products 20% off
Swaddlebees & Blueberry Products 10% off
Rumparooz 20% off
Sweet Pea Diapers 10% off
Tweedle Bug Diapers Buy 5 Get 1 FREE
Tiny Tush Diapers Buy 5 Get 1 FREE


See our sales HERE



25% off ALL INSTOCK ITEMS.

Code: BLACKFRIDAYBABY

Duration: NOW!-END DAY CYBER MONDAY





Free Shipping all weekend

Spend $50, get $10 off or spend $100 and get $30 off everything in the store so esentially get 20% or 30% off!

GroVia: Buy 2 get 1 FREE on all All-in-One Diapers, Newborn AIOs, and Hybrid Shells (may not be combined with spend $50 or $100 /get $10 or $30 off offer)

All bumGenius products: Buy 2 get 1 Free (may not be combined with spend $50 or $100/get $10 or $30 off offer)


Thirsties: Great prices of select products


First 5 orders will receive a free one size diaper
Next 15 orders will receive a pair of Weebit or Weegee Simple Shoes (please specify size and gender)


Additional sale announcements and freebies announced over the weekend on Facebook.


30 percent off your entire purchase Friday through Monday.




See our Black Friday Sales HERE


I Will Wash Them & Just For You

Bummis Products - 20% off Black Friday ONLY

Full size CJ's All Natural Products - 20% off Friday through Monday

Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces - 20% off Friday through Monday

Free Eco Sprout 24oz Detergent (in-stock scents) with purchases over $30.00 - Friday ONLY

Just For You (via I Will Wash Them) - 40% off Friday, 30% off Saturday & Sunday and 20% off Monday




Starting at 12:01 Friday AM through Monday night (12:00 / midnight) EST.
20% off in stock (not custom) items in the etsy shop
(http://www.etsy.com/shop/monkeyfootdesigns) or website
(www.monkeyfootdesigns.com) using this coupon code:

GOBBLEMFD20

The discount doesn't include shipping.


Starting Friday at 6am Rumpeez will be offering 20% discount on all orders with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY.

All orders over $100 (excluding shipping) will receive a FREE one size or mini one size diaper cover. No coupon code necessary. In notes to seller at checkout please specify:

- Either one size or mini one size
- Boy, girl, or gender neutral

Lastly EVERY order placed will receive a 3 pack of flannel cloth wipes! Please specify in notes to seller if you would like boy, girl or gender neutral!

The Rumpeez sale starts Friday November 25th @ 6am and will run through Sunday November 27th @ 6pm!!!!


Get all your Sweet Cheeks Laundry goodies and make your own sale for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Everything is on sale!


Buy 2 bags of Sweet Cheeks Cloth Diaper Wash for just $10 and receive a FREE half size bag in one of our yummy new holiday scents and save with combined shipping!

Buy 1 bag of Sweet Cheeks Cloth Diaper Wash or Sweet Suds Everyday Laundry Wash for just $5!

Order a Sweet Cheeks Cloth Diaper Package and receive a FREE half size bag of holiday scented laundry wash!

Also, you can use code HOLIDAY2011 at checkout for an additional 5% off!!

All orders will receive additional goodies too!

Offers are good 11/25-11/28.



Our ENTIRE site will be on sale at least 10% off, and we carry more than just diapers!

Sales already in progress:

All Klean Kanteens - get a FREE long-handled tampico/bamboo bottle brush with every purchase (no code necessary, while supplies last)
Reusable produce bags and an exclusive EcoBags Farmers Market shopper set all marked down
Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering book is 50% off
Economy microfiber inserts - just $1.59
Economy one-size diaper covers - $7.99
Soap Nuts - 20% off
GroVia hybrid shells as low as $11.95
Piggy Paint natural nail polish and accessories - 20% off or more
Thirsties diapers and accessories - 20% off

Sales to come Friday at 12:01 a.m.:

GroVia Buy 2 Get 1 Free AIO and hybrid shells
CJ's BUTTer products 10% off
EcoPosh Trainers 10% off
FuzziBunz diapers and accessories - 15% off
IttiBitti - 15% off
KangaCare/Rumparooz diapers and accessories - 15% off
OsoCozy prefolds - 20% off
Rockin' Green - 15% off

We've got something for everyone. :-)




Here's a sale for the women who love fluff! (Visit Facebook for more info) https://www.facebook.com/TreeHuggerCloth

Friday is going to be a lot of fun! Let's start with *FREE SHIPPING* all
day on every single order! Use code "BFshipping" Not only that but all US
orders will be mailed from the US on the Monday which means *faster shipping* then ever!

The first paid for order of the day will be *refunded 20%* (no matter how
large the order, that is our biggest discount ever!), I will be judging
this by order number and it will be Eastern Standard Time starting at
midnight. This order will also recieve free shipping and a free gift if
over $50. Custom orders are still welcome!

I will also be listing at least at least *20 *second* pads* that will be
available individually at great discounts and even some for FREE! Some
will show up as listings in my store and some will be available only on
Facebook and yet others will be hidden!

All orders over $50 will receive *a free gift *valued at $6 or more along
with their free shipping.

All orders placed on Black Friday will be entered into *a draw to win a $20
Tree Hugger gift certificate*.

I will be hiding a cute little picture in some of my listings on Friday and
each person who correctly emails me the links where they saw them will be
entered to win* a surprise prize pack*.

I will be listing specific minkee prints on the Facebook page and will
offer up *the pad size of your choice at a discounted cost*. These will be
first quality custom made pads so if you love minkee but don't have a print
preference then you can get your stash for less and it will ship for free.
There will be 8 different minkee prints as well as some flannel prints
offered up at different times throughout the day so keep checking in with
Facebook to see what is currently available. Since these pads will all be
custom made then they will not be ready to ship on the Monday but I hope to
get them all sewn and mailed within 2 weeks.

The Wonderland Congo also has some fun going on including *a gift
certificate give-a-way* that can be used in any of the stores including
Tree Hugger! They will be posting the details later this week.





























All sales good 11/25-11/28

BUY 3 GET 1 FREE on all inserts, doublers, and wipes! For multi-packs extra singles will beadded. No coupon necessary!

10% off all CJ’s products (no coupon necessary)

Coupon codes for “create your own sale”
BFfreeship for free shipping on any order ($4.95value)
BF10off for 10% off your entire order (includesthings already on sale!)
B5G1ooga for BUY 5 OS pocket in-stock diapers,Get a FREE OS pocket in any of the Ooga Booga prints we have available(including the new holiday red/green Oogas ($21.95 value)

Freebies will also be going into packages! For every 3 orders we receive, one personwill receive a CJ’s BUTTer sample, and for every 10 orders we get, one personwill receive a small CJ’s BUTTer stick in their order! (random.org will determine which order numbers will receive freebies once the sale concludes Monday evening)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Potty Training with Lora from Bippy Diapers

Potty Training...

A milestone we look forward to and dread with the greatest of intensity.  I remember when I had my daughter Olivia I wondered how in the world will I accomplish all these milestones in the future?  Every mom wants to give advice or has the tried and true method.   I mean do you ever really know how to start?  I thought when she was 2 or so that we could start.  “Yes!” I thought to myself today is the day we move on from the diapers (mind you we cloth diapered so it wasn’t a huge financial burden).

I took Olivia to the local store and told her she would get to pick out her big girl panties.  She stared at all the cartoon characters, Mickey, Dora, Princesses, too many for my 2 year old to even comprehend.  She finally selected an assortment of Disney princesses.  As we took our new found prize to the front cashier, Olivia was pointing out and telling me every princess that was on that package (she had and still has a slight obsession with Disney Princesses).  We payed for our purchase and politely told the employee “Olivia is going to be a big girl today and we got big girl panties so we can go on the potty.”  Olivia just nodded and continued to stare in awe at the 7 rolled tiny panties in the packaging.  

While in the car we over communicated the going on the potty scenario, how she would tell me, what we would do, how it makes mommy happy if she goes on the potty.  All the while, she still stared in awe at those panties.  We get home with all the tools necessary to start this journey.  Panties, check.  Little potty, check.  Talk with daughter, double check.  Okay.  We can do this I think to myself.  I then walk Olivia through every step of taking her diaper off, and putting the big girl panties in.   One leg in the first hole, she can hardly contain herself.  Second leg in, we pull them up.  It’s as if the world no longer exists and only princesses on panties exist.  The only thing that matters in this world at this moment is Cinderella is on the front of her panties.  She proudly walks around with only panties and socks on pointing out to everything (living or doll like) that she has Cinderella on her panties and she is going to be a big girl.  “Mommy, I a big girl” she says over and over. 

I am thinking to myself, “This is going to be a breeze!  Sweet!”   30 minutes go by. 

Tick tock tick tock. 
“Olivia, do you need to use the potty”
“Nooooo,  I have Cinderella.”  
15 more minutes.
“Olivia, do you need to use the potty”
“Nooooo,  I have Cinderella.”
15 more minutes.
“Olivia, do you need to use the potty”  
Silence…..               
“Olivia, what are you doing?” 
Silence……..  
“Olivia???”  

Nothing.  I go to check on her, a puddle stands below her legs, on the carpet, oozing down into the cracks of the floor.  She had the first accident.  Okay, I knew this was going to happen.  Its okay, I tell myself.  We clean the floor, change Olivia.  Round two will be better. …… 

Round 2 was not better, we had #2 mixed with round 2.  Round 3-43 were the same as rounds 1 and 2.  Round 44, slight success.  Round 45-60, just as bad as round 2.  

A year later and we are still working on potty training.  My moral of my story is do not judge your child against what others say or tell you to do.  Trust your instincts and don’t ever give up on your child.  It will be difficult, but remember they won’t go to college in diapers.  When you decide to start potty training keep this first rule in mind. 

Lora founded Bippy Diapers in 2010. With two children under two, a full time job and earning her master's, she decided that enough was enough and it was time to work for herself. Thus, Bippy Diapers was born. After toying with cloth diapering with her oldest daughter Olivia she decided to cloth diaper her second child, a son named Lucas, full time. She began to enjoy the cloth experience and wanted to share her knowledge and tips with others.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What I Wish I Had Known from Jess @ Top to Bottom Baby

As with most things in life, everyone has an opinion about cloth diapering.  Even my non-cloth diapering friends had opinions about using cloth.  I spent a lot of time researching cloth diapers and listening to everyone's opinions when I was pregnant with our second child Z.  We had started with a cloth diapering service when C was born, but by that time we were beginning to have leaks and fit issues.  At this point, I have to mention our babies were only 15 months apart, so by that point we were actually pretty new in the cloth diapering scene anyway.

No matter how many opinions I heard, blogs I read, or information I gathered, I still distinctly remember times when I thought to myself "Wow, I wish someone would have told me that".  So, for all of the new moms or the new-to-cloth moms, here is all of the things I wish someone would have told me:

1)  Switching from disposables to cloth diapers, especially prefolds, will have challenging moments.  Heck, there are probably even going to be moments when you think to yourself "Why in the world did I think this was a good idea?".

2)  No matter how many of the above mentioned moments you have, there is no way you are going to tell hubs about those moments because, most of the time, hubs already thought you were crazy for trying it and there is no way he gets to think he is right if even for a minute.

3)  Diaper laundry isn't big, bad, or scary.  I remember reading all of the blogs, posting on discussion boards, and spending hours "reviewing" the perfect way to wash diapers.  I've decided simpler is better.  My word of wise, get a good soap and keep it simple.  We do a rinse, a wash, and pop in the dryer.  I have heard a hundred ways to wash diapers and I think sometimes the more complicated routines do more harm than good (that is only my opinion after trying a million different ways).

4)  This one I actually just heard recently from another retailer (Thanks Julie):  Diapers are like jeans.  When you buy jeans you have different choices, you can buy the $8 jean, $25 jeans, or $100 jeans.  The $100 jeans won't last longer but they do fit better than most.  The $8 jeans will fall apart in the wash after a couple months.  Finally, the $25 jeans will last long enough and will fit well enough for most people.

5)  Another great point from Julie:  If you wash anything every day it is going to wear out a lot more quickly than something you wash a couple of times a week.  This will hold true with clothes and cloth diapers.  We can't expect a diaper to survive what we wouldn't expect a shirt or pair of jeans to survive.

6) Last, but definitely not least, diaper is an addiction....wait, I'm sure you've heard that.  But, then comes the obsession.  I remember keeping my computer next to my bed so I could check the diaper websites when I was up nursing in the middle of the night.  I heard of a friend who would hide her new diapers in the wash so hubby wouldn't "notice".  I can't advocate the hiding, but I definitely know that obsession exists.  Just so you know...you've been warned!

Jess and her husband Justin are the co-owners of Top to Bottom Baby in Omaha Nebraska.  Top to Bottom Baby grew out of the need for diapers after their second child was born a month early.  During her master's program, Jess had to write a business plan.  As graduation approached, Top to Bottom was born.  Nowadays, Justin runs the business, while Jess and partner Robyn, get to spend their weekends playing with diapers and spend time educating moms and dads about natural parenting options.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WAHM Wednesday: Danielle from Crazy Colorful Wools


Tell us about your business:
Crazy Colorful Wools is the home of awesome wool dryer balls. While I specialize in wool dryer balls, I also offer yummy wool felted soaps as well. CCW was started a few months ago when I became a SAHM and wanted to provide an awesome eco-friendly product everyone could use and love.

Wool Dryer Balls

What makes your business fabulous?
What is more fabulous than saving money? Adding in just a few dryer balls to each load of laundry can save you money each time you do a load. Plus, I offer a wide variety of scents to make your laundry smell delicious!

 






Why did you become a WAHM?
My son was born almost a year ago and I decided with my husband to become a SAHM. As my son got older and became more independent and more on a schedule I realized that I could be doing something awesome and productive with my time. I talked many nights with my husband about starting up an Etsy shop by making wool dryer balls. He backed me 100% and off I went.

How do you find the time?
Work time has become my son's nap time during the days. When my husband comes home from work, my work day officially begins and I concentrate on getting more balls done. I also work feverishly over the weekends since I have an extra pair of hands helping me with my son.


Any tips for other WAHMs?
Felted Soap

If you want to become a WAHM, do it! I was so hesitant on starting up my shop with a million questions floating around in my head. I love being able to stay home with my son while making a little money on the side. Also, network as much as you can. Offer giveaways and discounts and market your products to as many different people as you can.
 

Which of your products is your favorite?
I love making my Crazy wool dryer balls. I love throwing different colors together and seeing what comes out when they are done felting. I love the array of colors that I end up sending out to my customers and I hope they are as happy with them as I am.


Any specials or giveaways we should know about?
Always check my Facebook for current giveaways or specials since they are always changing. For I Heart Fluff fans, use the code  "FLUFF" for 15% off your order.

Nakey Dryer Balls

Are you a work at home parent with a cloth diapering or eco-friendly business? Email me at tara@iheartfluff.com to be featured on WAHM (or WAHD) Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WAHM Wednesday: Jessica from The Littlest Forest



Tell us about your business:
I started The Littlest Forest in 2009 when my son was born. I wanted to make an organic and affordable fitted diaper and wool cover combo because some organic fitteds and wool are way out of my price range. I also wanted to make some diapers in fun prints that were modern and cute in a not too cutesy way.


Newborn Starter Set
What makes your business fabulous?
The materials that are used and the love that is put into making each product makes my business fabulous! I carefully hand pick all materials so I can provide the best organic cotton and bamboo fleece, knit prints, and organic merino wool to my customers. It's just me, myself, and I making these things and each item is carefully made with love. I love cloth diapering, and sewing is my passion, so you can be assured you're getting quality goods.





Why did you become a WAHM?

I wanted to stay home with my son so I could watch him grow and help him learn. Since I am a single mother I need some kind of income, so becoming a WAHM was the best choice for me. If I worked out of my house most of my money would go to day care and I would never get to see my son, so for me this is a win win.


How do you find the time?

It's hard! I generally do most of my work after my son is asleep. Luckily his dad is a big part of his life, so Eli sleeps there a few nights a week, which gives me some uninterrupted time to get some work done. I don't get much sleep, but it's worth it!

Organic Fitted Diaper

Any tips for other WAHMs?
Make a schedule and stick to it! I really need to take my own advice on this one. It makes dividing your time between child, work, house, and down time a lot easier. And don't overwork yourself! Being at home all the time can make you stir crazy, so take a break and get out of the house when you need to. 


Out of all the products you make, which one is your favorite?

Can I say all of them? :) I really am in love with my organic fitted diapers. They are so soft and super absorbent. I let my son run around in just a fitted a lot during the day and we've never had any problems. Plus the prints are so darn cute, you don't always want to cover them up!




Any specials or giveaways we should know about?
I Heart Fluff fans can use code iheart15 for 15% off their purchase at http://lepetitowlet.etsy.com until June 15th!


Are you a work at home parent with a cloth diapering or eco-friendly business? Email me at tara@iheartfluff.com to be featured on WAHM (or WAHD) Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How to Create a Facebook Welcome Page

I've wanted one of those awesome welcome tabs for my Facebook pages for awhile now, I just couldn't figure out how to do it. After learning some basic HTML, I have finally figured it out. Of course, I wanted to share it with all of you.

First create a graphic for your Welcome page. I use PowerPoint for almost all of my graphic design. It's not something many people think to use, but it's what works for me - without shelling out a bunch of money for an actual graphic design program.


Once you have your graphic or logo made, resize it to around 500-550 pixels wide. I use Picassa for this. To resize in Picassa, I just export my picture and choose the size I want. Remember the dimensions, you'll need them later.

In order to post a picture on the welcome tab, it has to be hosted somewhere else. My host of choice is Photobucket. It's free and easy to use.


Now go to your Facebook page. Click on Edit and go to Apps. In Apps, find the FBML app and click on 'go to app'. If you already have a FBML tab set up for something else and you'd like to set up a second tab, just go to that app, scroll down and click on Create new FBML.


If you just want the picture without any links, all you need to do is copy the HTML Code from your picture on Photobucket and then paste it in the FBML box. I always like to have everything centered, so you can type the code like this:
<center>
Your HTML code would go here
</center>


If you want to get a little fancier, you can add a link to your welcome page. This is really useful if you want the page to direct people to your website. In order to do this, you'll need to copy the direct link to your picture instead of the HTML code this time. 
Your code would look like this -
<center>
<a href="http://www.iheartfluff.com"><img src="http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae274/clothchronicles/IHeartFluffwelcome.jpg" width="500" height="347" border="0" alt="Welcome to I Heart Fluff" />
</a>
</center>
Just replace the text in red with the link you'd like your welcome page to be directed to, the text in yellow with your picture's direct link, and the text in green with your alternate text (this is the text that appears if your picture isn't showing for some reason). 
Remember when I said to remember the dimensions for your picture? This is where you need them. Make sure to adjust the width and height for your image.


And that's it. As I've said before, there is a reason I'm not a teacher. So if you are completely confused, please leave a comment and I'll try my best to help. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

***CLOSED"***Why I (Heart) bumGenius! and Diapers Etc.

The winner is....

Laura O!!!!

Laura, check your email for a message from I Heart Fluff. 


I was thrilled when I found out about Diapers Etc. Blog Party - and I was even more excited when I found out I could review a bumGenius! 4.0 Artist Series!!! Instead of a standard review, this time I wanted to share the top reasons I (heart) both bumGenius! and Diapers Etc.


Why I (Heart) bumGenius! 4.0 Artist Series...


~ They are so absorbent. These are one of the few pocket diapers that my son can wear at night without soaking completely through it. And that's with only ONE insert!



~ These would work from birth to potty training. They fit children 7-35 lbs and the smaller insert is perfect to use when the diaper is on the smallest setting. This would help create a trimmer fitting newborn diaper.



Smallest Setting


Largest Setting

~ The stretchy tabs. I remember when I heard about these and thought, "how different could stretchy tabs really be?" Well, they are pretty darn awesome! It seems to me that the stretchy tabs make the bumGenius fit even better around little man!


~ The replaceable elastic. This is another one of those upgrades that I didn't think was much of a big deal...until the elastic started to give out on one of our favorite diapers. Cloth diapers can go through a lot of wear and tear, especially if they are used with multiple children. So, I love the fact that I can easily replace the elastic, making the bumGenius! 4.0 last even longer!


It's hard to see in the picture, but the elastic can easily be replaced by turning the diaper and using a seam ripper to remove a few stitches.
 ~ The print. Sure, it's probably a little vain, but I absolutely love the print. And the fact that no two prints are exactly the same makes this diaper even more awesome. Of course, I love all of the cutesy prints. But, it's really nice to be able to have some modern, artistic looking cloth diapers too.



Why I (Heart) Diapers Etc...

~They have a ton of USA made products!

~They've been in business since 1998. Obviously, they know what they're doing!

~They carry much more than just cloth diapers - BPA free products, organic clothingskin care and more!

~Their website! I love a website that is fresh looking and easy to navigate. Plus, blue and green make me happy. :)

~Their commitment to customer service. From quick shipping to money back guarantees, Diapers Etc makes their customers their top priority.


Here's something you'll (heart) about Diapers Etc - they are giving one of our I Heart Fluff readers the chance to win a $25 gift card!!!

It's so, so simple to enter! Just fill out the form below with your name and email address. The winner will be randomly drawn next Friday, February 25th.

Monday, February 7, 2011

*CLOSED* Sweet Cheeks Laundry Review & Giveaway

The Winner Is....

Bev23anc!!!



Do you have the stinks? Do you have to double or triple rinse? Does it feel like it takes all day to wash a load of diapers? Is your water bill outrageous because of all the extra rinses? Do you spend a ton of money on laundry soap for diapers? Do you have to strip diapers because of soap build up?

Well, I have the answer for you! My Posh Nest has an amazing cloth diaper wash by the name of "Sweet Cheeks". I know once we find something that works, we stick with it. But I was offered the chance to step out of my comfort zone and I am glad I did. The WAHM behind Sweet Cheeks sent me a 45/90 (HE) bag of Cucumber Melon scented diaper wash. The cost is only $7 a bag plus shipping!

The first wash made a believer out of me. Cold rinse to get the 'stinkies' out. Hot wash with 1 teaspoon of Sweet Cheeks. The directions say 'Final cold rinse IF YOU LIKE, but Sweet Cheeks is clean-rinsing. It isn't necessary. Okay...throw them in the dryer. I smell them as they go in the dryer. NOTHING! No smell. Let's see what they smell like when dry. Again, NOTHING! No smell at all!

I thought, 'Okay, well maybe it is the initial use'. So, two diaper loads later, still no smell. I decided to try my luck. My oldest son, due to medical issues, has nighttime enuresis (bed wetting). I washed a load of his bed linens in Sweet Cheeks. They are clean with no urine smell. I am so happy! I took his comforter to the laundry mat to wash in a front loader. Again, completely clean.

I will be using Sweet Cheeks diaper laundry soap on a regular basis. It comes in many different yummy scents like Monkey Farts (I don't know if I will use this, my little monkey does enough of that on his own. LOL), Sweet Clementine, Butter Cream Cupcake and many more.


Lucky for one of you, Sweet Cheeks wants to give one I Heart Fluff reader a free bag in their choice of scent!!

Just fill out the form below to be entered:


Giveaway ends Sunday, Feb 15. Winner will be announced on 2/16.


~Tracie

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bootyful Baby Boutique & PNP Baby Giveaway Winners!!!

Now, we all love fluff! But even I was surprised at the turn out for these awesome giveaways!!

Of course, there can only be one winner for each giveaway. So.......

The winner of the Bootyful Baby Boutique AI2 diaper is Megan.Ogren!!!!!!!!!


And the winner of the Primm N Proper Fitted Diaper is christihines!!!!!!

Thanks everyone for entering!! Winners, watch for an email from me later today.


~Tara

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bootyful Baby Boutique Review & Giveaway


When we first started using cloth, snaps scared me and side snaps terrified me! Oh, I have to laugh at that cloth newbie. If she only knew how fabulous side snapping diapers were before little man figured out how to take his velcro diapers off...during his naptime...while they were filled with poop.

Here's the fantastic thing about side snapping diapers - they are much harder for a toddler to get off than velcro, or even front snapping diapers. So, I jumped at the change to review a Bootyful Baby Boutique All in Two diaper. 


Since this is an AI2 diaper, you can just change the insert if the diaper cover is not soiled. The insert in generously sized so the chances of the cover getting soiled are minimal. Just snap another insert into the cover, and you're ready to go. This would also make a great cover for fitteds or prefolds.

The insert is made of a hemp/cotton blend topped with microfleece which makes it very absorbent, but it can still keep little man dry whether he's wearing it while we're out and about during the day or if he wears it for 8 hours straight at night.


Like I said before, the great thing about side snaps is that they are much harder for a toddler to undo, but an added benefit is that side snapping diapers just seem to be trimmer than other diapers. Plus, I think the side snaps of the Bootyful Baby Boutique AI2 would make it a great diaper for potty learning.



The picture above shows how trim this diaper is - not much junk in the trunk here!


The Bootyful Baby Boutique AI2 is one fabulous diaper, from the easy side snaps to the super soft insert, this is a diaper that won't let you down.

To buy your own, visit Bootyful Baby Boutique, where you can find a whole variety of products, including fitteds, prefolds, diaper covers, and more!

To win a custom Bootyful Baby Boutique AI2, just fill out the form below! It couldn't be any easier!!


Giveaway ends Saturday, Jan 22 at 9pm CST and winner will be announced on Monday, Jan 24.

Primm N Proper Baby Review & Giveaway


Since I've found the fitted love, I can't get enough of them. The problem is that a lot of the fitteds we have are fairly bulky, so most of them are only used as nighttime diapers. You can just imagine how excited I was when I got this Trim Fit Fitted Diaper from Primm N Proper Baby. Absorbant, trim, and cute all rolled into one diaper! 



The outer print is cotton knit; the hidden layer is made with bamboo fleece and the inner layer is cotton velour. This is one of those diapers that you can't help but rub when it comes out of the dryer. It is so soft!


The soaker is also made with bamboo fleece and cotton velour and it happens to be my favorite feature of the diaper. It's 24" long so you can fold the soaker to customize the absorbency. So, depending on how you fold it, you still get 6-9 absorbant layers while getting a soaker that dries fast.

Another great feature of the diaper is that it is one size and I could definitely see a newborn rockin' this diaper. Of course, it will be bulkier on a newborn than a toddler, but it is still much trimmer than other newborn diapers I've seen.


You can add snaps to the diaper at checkout, but I actually prefer leaving them snapless and using snappis instead. I feel like the snappis help keep the diaper trim by providing the best fit around the waist.


We used our Primm N Proper fitted both at night and during the day. We never had any issues with leaking and this is one of the few fitteds that little man can wear under his jeans during the day. Just to test out the absorbancy, I did let him run around without a cover. After about 2 hours, this diaper was just slightly damp on the outside.

All in all, this is a great diaper with a great fit and I would definitely recommend this to anyone!

Want to buy your own? Go visit the Primm N Proper store to get your own Trim Fit Fitted Diaper. While you're there, make sure to check out all the other fabulous products Meaghan makes!

Want to win one?
Just fill out this super easy entry form for your chance to win an instock or custom fitted diaper valued up to $21!


Giveaway will be open until Saturday at 9pm CST. Winner will be announced on Monday, 1/24.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What's the Deal with Wool?

If you’ve done a little bit of research on cloth diapers, you’ve probably heard of wool soakers/covers. While the soaker name is somewhat misleading, wool makes a fantastic diaper cover. It is a natural fiber that is breathable and can both repel and absorb water at the same time.

Confused yet??? How about a little science lesson:

The microscopic makeup of wool already gives it a tendency to repel water. When you add Lanolin (an oil secreted by sheep) to the mix, wool becomes a water repelling machine. Once you get past the water repellent layer, wool is extremely porous and is able to absorb up to 30% of its weight! Wool is also breathable, making it a wonderful diaper cover for babies prone to heat rash.

Many people are intimidated by wool because they feel it’s hard to care for. You can’t wash wool covers with your normal diaper laundry and you need to lanolize them every now and then to keep them water resistant and prevent leaks. The natural properties of wool also make it resistant to dirt and give the wool an ability to absorb and neutralize odors. Because of this, you can go longer between washings than you normally would with PUL diaper covers. Depending on the amount of use, many people go a couple weeks to a month between washings.

You can find wool washes through many cloth diaper stores, but you can easily wash and lanolize your wool with products found at most discount stores. At our house, we’ve used Crow Mountain Crafts lanolin wool wash and we’ve also used the store brand version of Aveeno baby wash and Lanolin for nursing mothers. If you are using a wool wash, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

To wash and lanolize your wool using baby wash and lanolin:
  1.  Rinse your cover under cool water and gently squeeze out any excess moisture.
  2.  Mix about 1 tsp baby wash and ¼” strip of lanolin to 1 gallon of lukewarm water wither in a bucket or a sink. (FYI – I rarely measure everything exactly. Think of this as a guideline.)
  3. Press your cover into the water and let soak for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Rinse cover under cool water again and gently squeeze out any excess moisture.   
  5. Lay your cover flat to dry.

If your cover still seems to be losing its water resistance, you can still follow the steps above, but add ½” strip of lanolin instead of the ¼”. To make the lanolin easier to dissolve, I mix it in a small amount of hot water before adding it to the sink.

There are many different makers of wool covers and I suggest searching Etsy, Hyena Cart, and Google to find the best prices and styles you prefer. You can also make your own soakers using old sweaters purchased from thrift stores. Besides soakers, you can find wool longies, shorties, and skirties. As with anything else cloth diaper related, you just need to find what works best for you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Baby Frills Review & Discount



Erin over at Baby Frills is one talented mama! I'm blown away every time I check out her store with those adorable baby leg warmers, bows, clothing, and wee wee crowns! I'm buying some of those Baby Frills wee wee crowns to give to the next person that has a boy - those are fantastic!

Anyway, Erin, being the wonderful gal that she is, offered up a super cute shirt and pants set from Baby Frills for a review.

If you've followed me for awhile, you know that I LOVE anything owls, so this shirt was perfect for me, umm...little man. C'mon, you know we get those cute kid clothes for us! ;)

The shirt is an 18 month size and fits little man perfectly. The owls  are sewn on beautifully. This shirt has become a favorite at our house, so it's been washed again and again...and again, and not one thread is out of place.
He was getting sick of the camera...

The pants are fleece, which I love using as a diaper cover. What makes these so much better than regular fleece longies is that they have elastic in the waist. This makes for a really nice fit over cloth diapers. We used these pants during the day and at night over all sorts of cloth - AIOs, pockets, fitteds, prefolds - and they performed great each time. We never had any leak issues and they are comfy, but look nice enough for little man to wear them when we leave the house without him looking like he's still in his pajamas.

All in all, I love this outfit from Baby Frills. The shirt and pants fit great, but there's also some room to grow. Plus, I get the boutique look, without the boutique prices - shirts start at just $6.95! I would definitely buy another outfit for my son or as a gift.

Remember when I said Erin is wonderful? She decided to give all of our fans this coupon to buy one item, get one item half off! Just enter I Heart Fluff in the notes when you check out at Baby Frills' Etsy store or email Erin for a custom order.



Not that I need to give you any ideas on what to buy, but you should really check out her Valentine Collection. Just look at this leg warmers and bow set:

Well, I better get going. I have some shopping to do...