Sunday, September 18, 2011

cloth diapering 101.

so here lately, i've actually had quite a few friends ask me my opinion of cloth diapers and to be honest, my most favorite person to share with has been my cousin tara (who is having my first "niece" in february!!!) because she is probably THE SMARTEST person i've EVER met.  she and my cousin matt are both surgeons in the navy, so getting to teach the surgeons something was quite an ego boost for this little stay-at-home-mommie:)  haha!  okay, so enough of inflating my ego here...

so, here is my cloth diapering 101 for y'all who are just starting out.  i've also posted about cloth dipes before on why i chose to finally go that route, but i didn't give my in-depth recommendations and my faves.  BEWARE, this is a fairly in-depth and LONG post, but i hope it's enjoyable and beneficial for you! 

FIRST OF ALL, DON'T BE INTIMIDATED!!!  the lingo is ridiculous and it is much like being stranded on a deserted island in russia without a tour guide.  crazy.  when i first started, i quickly realized cd'ing has what i would equate to groupies, all with inside jokes and lingos that i didn't get.  the more research i did, the more i figured it out and i'm here to help you guys as best i can!  at the end of each recommendation, i've posted a quick once-over on how the diaper works.

my FAVORITE, number one, go-to diaper: 
    • we use the "hybrid" shell snap and the hook and loop (fancy schmancy term for velcro).  i LOVE this diaper, the snap more than the hook and loop.  they're super easy to use, and you don't have to have a shell for every liner, essentially getting two diapers for $18 (they are sold in two packs).  this will make much more sense after you look around on the website and learn about them.  one thing i LOVE about these is that you don't have to have a shell for ever liner unlike other diapers.  i recommend a ratio of 3 shells for every 4 liners because you don't have to replace the shell at every diaper change.  since the liners are backed with waterproof fabric, the shell usually stays clean unless there's been some serious work being done...just rinse and let dry.  it also reduces the wear and tear on the shell making them last longer. 

    • LOVE the bio soakers for when we're out and about when i want the no-commitment properties of a disposable, but without the chemicals.  (although if she's already handled business, i usually don't use them.  BUT, DO NOT REMOVE THE STICKY TABS ON THE BACK.  i'm not sure why they're even there, but don't do it because the adhesive will jack up the shell.)  you can definitely check out the gro-via website, but for some reason i have been having problems with the product page loading. 


    • they have also recently announced they are going to be releasing some liners that have hemp (more absorbant than cotton or fleece) in them and i think they are scheduled to come out in december.  i can't remember for sure. 


    • our next purchase for our gro-via system will be the stay dry booster inserts.  i have found that sometimes brice needs the wicking properties of fleece to help prevent diaper rash, although diaper rash is pretty much non-existent since we switched to cloth.  they've also got some super-fab toddler training pants scheduled to come out this fall too!  
GroVia Mod Flower Snap
cotton liner insert with a waterproof backing, snaps into the shell in the front and back.
adjustable and fits babies from 8 - 35 pounds. they also have newborn diapers that fit babies
from i think 3 - 7 pounds, but apparently i'm going to have beastly 8.5 lb+ babies,
so i won't have to worry about that:)


my second favorite:
    • this diaper is SUPER, DUPER EASY.  one step.  no stuffing/unstuffing, or snapping in liners, etc. this is probably the most daddy/grandma/babysitter friendly because there's nothing to do but dump the doody and put in the wet bag.  easy peasy.  they are a little pricey, but this one helped me break in the hubs on cloth diapering because he didn't have to worry about ANYTHING, so the extra cost was totally worth it for us.  plus they are so super absorbant and have a fantastic fit.
here's the breakdown from bum genius themselves.
much like the gro-via diaper, the bum genius fits babies 7-35 pounds
and has an organic cotton liner, except this liner is sewn into the diaper
meaning it IS NOT removable.  this really is your one-stop-shop cd.

third fave:
    • these have a GREAT fit.  they have elastic on the inside that you adjust (kind of like toddler jeans) to give the perfect fit for baby.  you will also get replacement elastic with these in case the elastic around the leg openings breaks, which is FANTASTIC since being down even one diaper can totally screw the ease of cd'ing.  these are a "pocket" diaper meaning you stuff the insert inside the diaper into a pocket.  they are super absorbent and work well for thicky-thick thighs like the ones we have at our house:) 
 fuzzi bunz pocket diaper with fleece liner and fleece insert. 
adjustable at leg gussets and waist.


accessories:


  • DETERGENT:  you HAVE to use a diaper-friendly detergent to prevent repelling, because a non-absorbant diaper is a useless diaper.  and if you have to strip them, it can really damage the fibers of the diaper, breaking down the product much quicker. 


    • i use rockin' green and have had zero problems with it.  some people are die-hard advocates for a certain soap, but i don't get caught up in all that.  as long as my diapers are clean with no repelling, i'm a  happy camper. 


    • i order my rockin' green from diapers.com because there is something to be said for things being dropped on my front door.  and the last time i ordered it, they had a coupon so i got it for about $11.  awesome.   
     
     
  •  WET BAGS:  gotta have a wet bag...actually have a few.  one for the bathroom, one for upstairs, downstairs, car...i think you get the point.   


    • wet bags are kind of like a big ol' diaper.  cloth on the outside, water-proof PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric) on the inside, just like the dipes.  put the used diapers in the wet bag, zip it up, and wait for wash day...which is usually every other day for me because i'm still acquiring my stash.  unzip, dump the diapers in the washer and toss the wet bag in to join the party. 
    •  
       
  • DIAPER CREAM:  just like detergent, it is EXTREMELY important that if you choose to use a diaper cream you use one that is cd friendly, otherwise, your arch nemesis repelling will show up for a visit.  boo.  we very rarely have to use a cream since switching, but when i feel like b needs a little help, we use the gro via magic stick.  smells great and zaps any redness that may be creeping up on those cute little bun buns:)
  •  
     
  • WIPES:  at this point, i've got so many disposables wipes due to using coups that i'm still using those, but as our budget allows, i'm going to start acquiring cloth wipes.  you can make your own using fleece squares and a serger, or buy them at any of the stores that sell cloth dipes.  you can keep them in a wipe warmer, wet or dry.  i can't give advice on this yet seeing as how i haven't done it, but once i do, i'll put up a quick little once over. 

  • SPRAYER:  my handy dandy hubby hooked up a kitchen sprayer on the toilet for me so i can dump and spray, never even touching the biz.  it's greatness.  for you out there who aren't married to a mr.  fix-it, you can buy a bum genius one. 

  • LINERS:  these things SAVE.  THE.  DAY.  seriously.  they look just like a roll of toilet paper and you lay them on top of the diaper.  they allow the liquid to pass through but hold the solids on top, making clean up even easier.  they are flushable and biodegradeable.  like i said earlier about the detergent, i'm not brand loyal in this department, so just pick one.  they're all the same and their job is to catch poo, so does it really matter?? 


WHEW!  are you totally exhausted and overwhelmed now??  hope not...i know at the beginning it is crazy, but you WILL get the hang of it!!!  i haven't even gone into the night time options, but i figured i'd let you digest this 98930428 page post before we dive into that:) 

lastly, here are some great resources for cloth diapering:
    • if you buy from them let me know, i'll send you a referral for credit and a coup. 


    •  her videos are FANTASTIC.  make everyone who will be cd'ing your baby watch these videos.  she goes through a ton of different ways to cloth diaper, the different types, etc.  this is a slightly older video because there are SOOOOOOO many NEW diapers beyond what she has shown on her videos. 

***AFTER I POSTED THIS, I WAS ASKED HOW MANY DIAPERS TO GET STARTED.  So sorry i forgot to post that!  we started out with about 8 diapers, excluding nighttime and that had me doing diaper laundry pretty much every other day.  you want to make sure you have at least two diapers on hand when time to wash so you'll have diapers for baby while the other ones are washing/drying.  i have heard of people waiting 3-4 days to do diaper laundry, but personally i don't do that because it grosses me out to let them sit that long.  i'm going to post a quick diaper care guide here soon, but if you have questions before then, let me know.  also keep in mind the bigger your stash, the less wear and tear on your dipes, making them last longer. 

GOOD LUCK!  if you have any questions, you can ALWAYS email me:)  keep in mind that there is still MUCH more for us to talk about, so if you need anything before i get those posts up, contact me! 


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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

pre-cursor to an etsy shop?

okay, so after a ton of encouragement and prodding from you guys - my family and friends - i have decided to start selling my crafties that i so enjoy making!  i have been told by so many people to open up an etsy shop, but i'm going to do just email orders until i see if you guys mean it or are just fluffing up my ego:)

so, here are some things that i'm starting off selling:


black silk rosette with gold button on baby brice:)
i can do any color, fabric and embellishment.
$5 without headband, $8 with headband

pinwheel bow $5
feel free to oohhh and awww at three month old baby brice:)

satin flower, starting at $5 for 3 layers with embellishment.
i can do any color, embellishment, and also more layers. 
each additional layer will be 50 cents. 
(brice's flowers are usually 5-6 layers)


$30
there are SO many ideas running through my head right now!!!!
college, pro sports teams, high school teams, birthdays, stripes
fall colors with your monogram, holidays, welcome baby...
my mind is going nuts right now! 

rosette frame. price depends on size and if you want it fully covered
like this one or not because this took me about six hours.  no joke.
so, for a 12' x 12' exactly like this one, $50
so, there you have it.  if there's something you have seen me post previously in the blog or on facebook, that's not on here and you'd like to have it, let me know!  like i've said before, if you see something you like, feel free to contact me and i'd be happy to make it for you!!!! i'm not going to charge a ridiculous amount...just enough to justify my pinterest addiction to the hubs:)

hey and while you're here, go ahead and hit the follower button up there on the top left.  makes my day when that number goes up:)


my email is kristenmounts@gmail.com  so, give me a shout out and help a crafting addict okay?!! :)

oh and shipping is not included in the price.  if you live local, i'll deliver or we can meet up at starbucks and have a cup of coffee when i bring you your new goodies!!! 

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Friday, September 2, 2011

knock off anthro: diy zinc letters.

okay, true story:  anthro may be the death of me.  why?  because my husband is going to kill me if i don't stay out of there!!!!  :) 

if you haven't heard of anthropologie...do yourself a favor and stay away!  the store has a cult-like following...kind of like pinterest ha! 
anyway...forever ago, i (and every other anthropologie-ite) fell in LOVE with anthro's zinc letters.  AND RIGHTFULLY SO...they are fabulous.  these letters are absolutely a statement piece and make such a simple, yet boisterous impact in ANY room.  (i true love them in nurseries!)  here they are, in their full, lustrous glory: 
so, here's the kicker.  they range from $18 for the small (8") and $98 for the oversized (25").  NOT COOL since, obviously, i want the oversized ones and i'll let you do the math on how much it would cost to spell thompson.  like i said earlier:  husband.  will.  kill.  me.  DEAD.  and, they are always limited on what letters are available.  as i previously stated:  everyone and their dang dog is in love with these things.

the other day, i was poking around on pinterest (surprised?  yeah...didn't think so.  i start twitching if i go too long without getting a fix.) and found THIS:

Photobucket
thanks to pinterest, i found this tutorial by kristen f.  davis who is
a painter based in atlanta.  fabulosity.  all of it.  all of her:)
AAAHHH!  A FAUX METALLIC LETTER TUTORIAL.  heaven has opened up and poured its sweet grace on me once again.  fabulous. 

the BEST part of this tutorial is it is SO easy! 

here are your supplies: 
letter (or frame, whatever you want!)
black craft paint, silver metallic craft paint
cheap-o craft brush.  CHEAP-O is important,
as you will tear this thing to shreds. 
well, at least i did.
(i apologize for the mini-picture!)

paint your letter black.  please forgive me that i did not use my mad iPhone picture-taking skillzzz to take a picture of this.  i know, you're upset.  we'll work through it.  promise:)

after you paint your letter black, DRY BRUSH your silver paint on.  you will get better the more you do this and here are some tricks i found from trial and error:
  • when painting on the silver, if you use long, hard, flat strokes, you get the rough look of the metal. 
  • let each coat dry.  it makes the dry brushing MUCH easier.  if you don't, you'll pull through to the cardboard and you don't want some nasty brown spot on your anthro-inspired letters!
  • if you do non-uniform strokes (ie not just horizontal, not just vertical) you get a "rougher" more metal look, and that's what i wanted.  feel free to do whatever you like because it's yours! 
  • if you think it's too uniform, use your finger and buff it out before the paint is dry.
  • if all else fails and you don't like it...PAINT OVER IT!  that's the beauty of this! 

so, here's the finished product up in action at casa de thompson:  (for some reason, they didn't photograph as metallic-ey as they really are.  in real life, they are much more vibrant.)

on top of our dumpster hutch.  we pulled this beaute out of the garbage at our storage unit
and upcycled it.  the hubs is pretty handy if i say so myself:) 
up close.
in our OU bathroom.

in our bedroom.
word of caution:  try to find letters that are smooth, unlike the T in this photo.
they didn't have any other ones, so i was hoping it wouldn't make a difference, but
you can totally see the bumps, making it a little less anthro.  boo.  but hey, for $5, i'll take it. 
(AND i found that frame in the clearance section at michael's for $8!)

for the most part, i really like how these look...so you can bet your bottom dollar these things will be popping up EVERYWHERE.  obviously!

as always, if you see anything i've done that you like, feel free to contact me and i'd be happy to make it for you!!!!  i'm not going to charge a ridiculous amount...just enough to justify my pinterest addiction to the hubs:)

happy crafting!!!!


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