Mar 252013

As is abundantly clear on this blog, I cloth diaper. I chose to do so for many reason and one of the larger ones was the fact that I just couldn’t bring myself to add to an already growing problem in our landfills. So I tend to look for other reusable items if I can help it. A lot of times its a smidgen more work for the reusable stuff but when you think about it in the end it’s generally worth it. Plus, if you look in the right places you’re also helping small businesses by purchasing from them and often purchasing local..

So, after cloth I started looking for other ways to cut waste and be more earth friendly. While we have a loooong way to go to being a greener family, every little step we take helps I think. One place I noticed we were wasting a ton was with the plastic ziplock baggies. We’d take 3 or 4 with us on every little trip/walk with Noah for his snacks. Plus I’d use 2 or 3 in my lunch every day. At one point we’d go thru a box every few weeks. Sure, you can rinse and reuse but often times we’d just crumple and toss because they were so flimsy or they’d get destroyed in the process of Noah digging for his snack. Then I remembered seeing reusable baggies on a cloth diaper website. At the time I laughed at the price – how could something so small cost so much. However, then it dawned on me to check Etsy (because you can find everything on Etsy!) and found these:

via her etsy shop

via her etsy shop

DH thought I was nutz for wanting to try it but he’s come around too (and although he doesn’t use them for his lunch, he uses them for Noah’s snacks – which is progress). I first purchased 3 just to see if I would use them. I found myself purchasing another three just a few weeks later. I love them! They’re the perfect size for a sandwich or crackers. I usually have two or three in my lunch bag carrying carrots, pretzels, grapes etc. They work well for dry and damp ingredients although I’ve never tried them with something sopping wet.

Best part is, for the most part you can just rinse them in the sink and let them dry. If they get really soiled I just stick them in the laundry with my dish towels. We’ve been using them for over a year now and they still look great.

With the next product I wasn’t necessarily looking to replace something we were using but rather it was introduced to me by a girlfriend (who happens to make her own babyfood…when she finds the time is beyond me…haha). Anyways, Noah LOVED those cute little pouches of pureed food and we loved that they were packed up and convenient enough to just hand to him while we were on the road. I never thought to even look for a reusable option but there they were – and once I found them, I had to try them. I found a number of others like them spouting various sizes, designs and features but ultimately we decided on the Squooshi brand pouches because of their adorable designs and multiple sizes. They were pretty affordable too.



Noah loves when I put his yogurt or applesauce in them and I’ve found that Lia’s finally able to suck from them which makes feeding her while I’m trying to make dinner for the rest of us a cinch. I just dump her baby food into the Squooshi and hand it over. Maybe someday I’ll find enough time to try out some of their home made recipes with quinoia or millet or something fancy like that. For now they’re used for packaged baby food, applesauce and yougurt but I’m okay with that. They’re so freakin adorable. We do keep a few of the other pouches on hand because they store well (vs. these which are best for fresh foods) but in the overall scheme of things we spend less on pouches than we did in the past.

The next thing I want to tackle is reusable paper towels. I have a pattern that I found on Pinterest and actually made a few for Lia’s room to keep next to the rocker. Now I just need to find a pretty pattern and some time to sew.

*I wasn’t compensated for this nor was I even prompted by the owners. I just wanted to share a few things that we love around here.

Jun 292012

So I asked Santa for a Kindle for Christmas in the hopes that I’d find more time to read (because a fancy technical doodad to play with is a great reason to fit more reading in) and he totally delivered. DH made me promise that I’d download only one book at a time…haha…silly husband but was excited to see me reading instead of blogging/facebooking/or watching TV (because then he could have the TV to himself I think). I immediately went out to Amazon and loaded up (in my defense, we were going on a cruise in Feb and I wanted to make sure I had enough reading material because surely I’d have oodles of time to ready…haha, that’s a joke).

Anyways, I had a list of books I’d heard of from others that were great so I downloaded them first:

1. Water for Elephants
I really enjoyed this book. It was tough to put down and I found myself reading into the late evenings to get thru it. I really wanted to keep moving to see what happened.

2. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Another good one but not until later in the book. I had a hard time getting into this one initially. I dont know if it was all the character development at the front or what but I was just bored. Plus I had seen the trailer for the movie so I was distracted by trying to match what I was reading with the character they picked for the movie. In the end I did enjoy it and the last half off the book went by quickly (I had formed all kinds of hypotheses on what actually happened). I’m happy with how it ended.

3. The Girl Who Played with Fire
The second book in the Dragon Tattoo series that I never finished. I’m about 30% of the way thru and there’s nothing pulling me into read it. So, it sits unread until I run out of other options I suppose.

From there it was on to the Hunger Games series. I’d heard alot about these from friends and was anxious to start in on them.

4. The Hunger Games (Series)
I cranked thru them in about a week. They were the type of book that you forwent sleep, food, and cleaning in order to read them. I forced myself to leave the Kindle at home so I wouldn’t be tempted to read it at work. I looked for every opportunity to sit down and crank thru a few chapters. 5 stars, highly recommend this one.

After you finish a series like that you’re kind of left with this void. Now what do I do with myself (same thing happened after Twilight and Harry Potter). Then one girlfriend mentioned on Facebook about how Mr. Grey has her all bound up and eager to start book 2. Up to that point I hadn’t heard of this Shades of Grey but it was apparently all the rage. There was so much hype that I initially vowed not to read it. I needed substance, not smut…haha. I was so wrong…in a moment of weakness I bought the first one and haven’t looked back:)

5. Shades of Grey (Series)
Yes, it’s hot. Yes, there is lots of sex (wild, kinky, holy-hell-people-dont-really-do-it-like-that type stuff) and alot of it is unbelievable but once you get past that (it’s fun fluff:) ) there’s a story line that actually makes you want to read. I find myself skimming the sexy parts to get the full jist but not really getting involved. I’m following the other story line of the two people falling in love in unusual circumstances. I know alot of people have major criticisms of this series but really, are you reading it to become a better person? no…you’re reading it to be entertained and for me, it has entertained:)

In penance for actually downloaded the Shades of Grey books, I needed to find others that were more wholesome and moving. So I found, thru another blogger even. I’ve not really started these (Unorthodox I have but I’m not far enough to really feedback):

6. Unorthodox
7. Bloom – Finding Beauty in the Unexpected
8. Heaven is here: An incredible story of hope, triumph, and everyday joy
9. Kisses from Katie

I’m looking forward to those last 4 if I can ever find the time to read them:)

What’s on your “to read” list these days?

Jan 232012

I was browsing another blog they had an advert for the Nosefrida snot sucker. If you’ve not met the Nosefriday and you have a young child, you should. It’s one of the best snot suckers out there (once you get past that it’s powered by you sucking:)).

Anyways, I digress. While on the Frida baby site I saw “The Windi”. Intrigued I clicked thru the link

It’s a contraption to help your colicy baby fart! Bwahahahaha! I can’t decide if it’s genius or gross. Then again, I thought the same thing about the Nosefrida so I suppose I should reserve judgment till I actually try it because I love my Nosefrida. And it kinda of makes sense. I was always told to try a rectal thermometer to relieve a constipated child so I suppose this is the same idea, it’s just funny to see it productized.

Have any of you tried it? Did it actually work?

Dec 042011

So we’ve been wanting to get a new stove and microwave that matches our beautiful fridge but just couldn’t stomach the $1100 plus price tag to get the ones we wanted. Since we lucked out last year (or two at this point…I can’t remember) and got a new dishwasher at a great discount on Black Friday, we figured we’d try again this year.

On Black Friday eve, while browsing the store ads at my inlaws, I saw a local store (to my inlaws) was offering the exact set we wanted for $800! Problem is that this is a local store, 250 miles away from our home and there’s no way they’d deliver that far. Instant sad face…

I mentioned it to DH and how sad I was that we didn’t live close enough and he, being the genius he is, nonchalantly mentioned that Lowes price matched. I couldn’t imagine they’d price match this great deal but it was worth a shot right?

They sure did! I’m amazed. We walked in, showed the guy the ad, and asked if they’d match that. He said “sure”. We actually asked him to look at it again and make sure it was okay. He repeated his assertion – score!!!

They arrived today and we just couldn’t wait to install them. They look soo purty…

Aug 082011

I have lots to post about the weekend and perhaps by this coming weekend I’ll have actually authored a post. For now though I’m going to direct you all over to my photography blog. I don’t do reviews alot but this one was really neat. Since I’m such a photo nut this one was close to home.

Check it out

Aug 032011

These days Noah’s really taken to reading books at night before we head to bed. He’s in the groove and knows that once we finish dinner it’s bath then bed (he even started saying “nigh nigh” to let us know he’s ready for bed – so cute!). As soon as we hit the top of the steps on his way to the bath he start chanting “mamma, mamma”. At first I thought it was really sweet, he was calling for me. That is until he ran into his room and picked up this book:

Now, I wake up to chants of “mama mama” only to find him standing in his crib, pointing to the books rather than calling for me. To say he’s obsessed is a wee bit of an understatement. I know have all three memorized. And he’s particular! We have three Llama Llama books (Red Pajamas, Misses Mama, Mad at Mama) and he’s generally only interested in Red Pajamas (although Misses Mama is second on his list) and will close the book on you if you’re reading the others.

I think it’s incredibly cute and hilarious. Although I do have to admit, it’s getting a teensy weensy bit annoying. We have so many other awesome books that he just won’t sit for! I supposed that this is just a phase (that’s going on two weeks strong) and that I’ll appreciate it when it’s passed. For now, I get to test my memory and try to recite without using the book:)

Mar 262011

So, over a year in cloth and everyone was right, your needs change as your LO grows up. We still have our staple BG 3 and 4’s and FB’s but I’ve added a few others to our stash as I try to solve our night time diaper problem. I thought I’d run thru the main parts of our stash with my experiences noted for others. These are all one size pocket diapers (unless otherwise noted in my write up). They are a bit more expensive to get started but are much closer to a disposable diaper experience which was important for DH and daycare. My general routine is to stuff them as they come out of the wash so they’re ready to go – just lay one down and strap it on:)

Bum Genius 3.0/4.0 One Size

This makes up the bulk of our stash. We have 15 or so of these babies in both Aplix and Snap. Over time I’m finding that I prefer snaps because the velcro wears out, starts to separate from the diaper and curls. It’s all fine, I’m simply replacing the old velcro with snaps as they wear out.

This is our night time diapering go to and we use it all the way open (all the sizing snaps undone so it’s as big as it gets) with one regular pad and two infant pads stuffed in the pocket. It’s quite bulky at this but pretty much bullet proof – well, at least until lately. We went thru a spell there where he’d wake up every morning soaked because his PJ’s managed to lodge themselves over the top of his diaper and wicked like crazy. I found that as I triple stuffed his diaper to get enough absorbency for night the rise of the diaper fell lower on his belly, fine for daytime when he’s sitting or upright, not good for a belly sleeper at night. I’m on the hunt for a higher rise diaper but also made an adjustment to the pad inside and unsnapped it the whole way too. That makes it less bulky in the front and seems to be doing better.

FuzziBunz One Size

This is another major brand in our stash. I have about 8 of these guys. They only come in snaps and the adjustments are done with elastic in the legs and across the back. Initially I had a harder time getting a good fit on these guy with a little effort it worked out (for a while there he was leaking around the legs something fierce!) and now I love them. I love the color selection and the super soft interior too. The pocket isn’t as large so I can’t as easily triple stuff it for night but it does make for a nice trim daytime option.

Flip Diapers One Size

This diaper is made by the same folks that make the BG’s so it’s very similar in size and shape. The biggest difference is that this is part of a system that provides a prefold stay-dry, organic, and disposable option in one diaper. It’s basically a waterproof cover with your choice of absorbent layer. I got this one for free when I ordered another set of diapers and actually like it. The problem (if you see it as that) is that it takes more to “assemble” since it’s a prefold. This is not one DH will use so it’s generally a backup/standby when we’re all out of others. But, for no other reason other than it’s a tiny bit more work to get it assembled and onto a squirmy Noah.

Knickernappies One Size – side snap

This is a new diaper to my stash and we only have two. I read a bunch about how they’re more generously sized and would work for larger babies so I thought they’d solve my rise issues for night time. The verdict is still out since my first pass I didn’t add enough absorption so we were soaked again in the AM. They’re both in the wash now so we’ll give it another go in the next day or so. They are just fine for the day time and are certainly more generously sized than the other diapers (kind of like the kawaii’s below). I think they’ll work well as part of our stash – that is once I get used to the side snaps.

Kawaii Baby

This was another freebie and I only have one. I’ve been looking to get more and for the price you can’t beat it! They’re definitely the cheapest on this page by a long shot ($10/diaper on average vs. $15-20 for the others). This is a night time go to as well when it’s clean. It’s very generously sized and has an enormous pocket that does well triple stuffed. So far I’ve not found anything to dislike about this diaper (other than it’s a little hard to come by…). Oh, and the laundry tabs are shot after only about 6 months of washing (then again, my BG’s are too…velcro is just like that).

There are a few others in our stash including a MonkeySnuggles or two as well as an assortment of Kissaluvs fitteds that I need to get new water proof covers for since Noah’s out grown the ones we had.

Overall we’re still very happy cloth diapering Noah. I’m content in my stash (mostly). I do want to add a few more BG 4.0’s and some FB’s just to replace one or two where the PUL is wearing out but other than that, our initial investment (still under $500!) is serving us well.

If you CD – what’s your favorite brand?

Mar 142011

I’m always looking for good snacks for Noah. He’s a hearty eater but I find myself repeating the same things over and over. Sure he gets what we eat for dinner for the most part and I make sure he gets lots of fruits and veggies (we haven’t found one he doesn’t like!) but when it comes to other things like lunch and snacks (or the occasional dinner we can’t share like steak), I fall short. Pasta is easy but when he’s screaming hungry there’s not much time, graham crackers are quick but I fear the sugar, goldfish are good too but you can’t make a breakfast or dinner out of them (and the salt, oh the salt!). Enter mini Egos Waffles and Pancakes! They’re the perfect size for a quick snack and little toddler hands and Noah loves them!

Case in point:)

I wasn’t prompted to write this, I just know other mommas who look for snacks for their little guys and thought I’d share. What are your favorite snacks/foods for your toddler?

Dec 082010

or be deterred….our first try at a Christmas card shot failed miserably. They just didn’t turn out how I wanted them to. Part of the problem is that I tried to do it myself. I’m firmly convinced now that any shoot with Noah now needs to involve both hubs and I. One to actually snap the pic and the other to catch, chase, pose, and act silly so Noah will smile. So, tonight I’m going to try again! I’m going to get the mantel area all beautified and maybe even get some lights on the tree so we can try that too.

I’m determined to get a good shot partly because I’m just that stubborn and partly because I want a great Christmas card to send to our family and friends of Noah’s first Christmas. I was on Shutterfly’s site and they have so many awesome designs to pick from (and the prices are just right too!). Not wanting to reveal too much I’ll show you three that I like that may or may not end up being our final design (if I get that dang picture…these may be New Years cards instead!).

And those are just from the first 5 pages of designs, there are so many more!

Once we actually get the picture (and oh yea…we will get the picture!) and the cards have been mailed I’ll share the final result here:) There’s still time (not a ton but some) to do this yourself! And if you go to Shutterfly, you can get 50 free holiday cards for doing exactly what I’m doing now – blogging! Go to: to sign up!

Oct 182010

Yesterday we headed out for a hike in Shenandoah and as I’m packing Noah’s diaper bag I remembered these cool little pouches of baby food that I bought at Target the other day. The pouches are from PlumOrganics and come in a bunch of yummy flavors. Today’s selection was pumpkin and banana!

I bought them because I thought they’d be good for on-the-go type situations and I was right! Check out Noah having his lunch on the trail:

The little pouches are quick to open and easy to reseal. The spout on them actually works well without a spoon (Noah even figure out how to just suck on the spout to get the food out). I saw on their website that you can attach a Boon spoon if you have one but I found that not necessary.

They’re a tad bit more expensive than the jars of food but the convenience of them is unbeatable so it’s totally worth it!

I was in no way prompted or compensated for this review – I just really thought these were cool and that my mommy friends should know about them!

Jun 292010

My good friend Julie over at The Lazy Green Mama is having a giveaway blowout part in honor of her little Hazel’s (Zel for short – how cute is that?!) first birthday! I remember the day she posted that Zel had arrived – a month early! And I’ve followed her as she made her way from the Pacific Northwest back to our home state of Pennsylvania! She’s hilarious and seriously resourceful! I love reading her posts and always learn something or laugh out loud.

Head on over there to check out some of the fab things she’s giving away – today it’s a Thirsties Duo Diaper! Tomorrow – who knows but I do know that it will be fab and something you don’t want to miss!!

Jun 282010

So, here we are 4 months in and I’m getting a better sense of what we’ve used with Noah and what we’ve not

– just go for the bigger sized bottles – they outgrow the tiny 4 ounce things soo quickly
– don’t go crazy buying one type of bottle until you figure out if your LO will use it. We have 5 million Avent bottles and stage 2 nipples that we don’t use because they give Noah a horrible belly full of air. We’re using the Dr. Browns bottles now and aside from the 50 million parts, they work well (but we still have 3 4oz bottles that we almost never use)

– hind sight is 20/20…the only two wraps that I’d use next time are my Moby and the Ergo…the sling, Kelty, and other carriers I have are just sitting by the wayside.
– for the Ergo Sport you likely don’t need the heart2heart insert…then again, just use the moby until your LO is big enough.

– socks – i have 20 million pairs of socks (seriously…waaayyy too many!). Maybe as he grows he’ll wear them but in a given week we gothru maybe 5 pairs. Plus, I got all these super cute Trumpette socks which I adore but in all honesty, I’m a sucker for matching and tend to use just plain white tube socks when I can’t find anything else.
– I have waaaaaay too many onesies! I just a whole stack of 0-3’s away unworn. Keep the receipts and tags until you’re sure you’re going to use them. 10-15 onesies in each size is more than sufficient (then again, we dont have a baby that spits up alot nor do we have diaper blow outs a ton..)

– I’ve gone thru three diaper bags – the first was too small, the second too big, the third is just right. Now we use only the second and third bags (one for travel and one for every day ins and outs). Heck, I’ve been using my day pack more and more these days because it’s easier!
– Pacifiers – we have about 11 different kinds and Noah only takes 2 of them if he takes it at all. Not a huge deal to have too many but a waste none the less.
– Cloth diapers as burp rags – a savior! Noah went thru a pd where he’d throw just about an entire bottle back up at you and the diaper/burp rag was the nly thing that saved our clothes and/or furniture.
– Bottle Sterilizer – don’t need it! Grab a few of those Medela bag sterilizers if you really think you need it. I just use my dishwasher on sanitize and we’re good – if i even sanitize them. I generally just wash them in really hot water.
– Baby Bathtub – i’m on the fence here. If we had a bigger bathroom maybe I’d be happier with it. I think we would have been better with one of those foam thingys until he got big enough for the tub (which is where he is now – he prefers the big tub over the little tub)

– Carseat – the Peg Perego that we have is great! It’s a tad heavy but I know he’s safe in it. I wanted a carrier type seat so that we could move him from car to wherever when he was sleeping. now that he’s 4 months I’m starting to look at convertible seats instead. He’s just getting too freakin heavy to carry in that thing (on the other side though I’m getting a great bicep and ab workout when I carry him)
– Stroller – i’m happy with our choice to go with the Snap’n’Go with is car seat. On the of chance I do use the stroller (I normally carry him in the Ergo) it’s just the right size and weight to fit in the car and then fold up at the restaurant.
– Jogging stroller – As much as I would have liked a BOB, I couldn’t force myself to spend the $400 odd dollars that they cost. We’re happy with the Jeep on that we have. It’s rugged enough to go on the paths around here and thru the streams as necessary. It’s really bulky to fold up – i have to take the wheels off to get it in my sedan’s trunk!

You all know where I stand on diapers:)

I think that’s it for now….I’m sure I’ll think of more and as he starts into his toys and highchairs etc I’ll have more for you guys!!

May 262010

There are three major styles of  baby wearing apparatuses (can you call it an apparatus?) – the sling (Hotsling, Peanut Shell etc..), the wrap (Sleepy Wrap, Moby) and the baby carrier (Baby Bjorn, ERGO, LilleBaby).  Each seems to serve its own purpose and I’ve found that many momma’s own two or more of these in various styles to serve different functions.  I’ve tried 4 different carriers that cover all three styles and definitely have my favorites.  Here’s the run down:


This is the first one I tried when Noah was wee little.  We took a walk around the block about 10 days postpartum.  It fit tight because I still had a good deal of baby weight and I could never seem to get him situated where I was comfortable enough to take my hands off of him.  I always felt like he was goign to suffocate.  Come to find out, weeks later after I’d abandoned this anyways, there were a number of recalls on sling type carriers due to positional asphyxiation.  Gah…My need to have my hand supporting him wasn’t just me being paranoid!

I don’t want to write this one off yet.  But I am going to wait till he’s a bit older to try it again.  I’m sure it’s great for carrying kiddos like the one below and it was comfy to wear. However,  I was (and still am) worried that he’s not strong enough to turn his head to breath if he gets turned wrong.

This was my second carrier.  It’s a wrap style carrier and I love love love it! Noah loved it too!  I could fold him up in the fetal position and wrap him up against my chest where he loved to be.  This wrap would turn a fussy baby into putty and put him right to sleep.  This wrap was the only way I got anything done in those early weeks.  I’d drop him in it when i needed to clean or get groceries or even go for a quick walk around the block.

It does take a few tries to get the tie right and I did find myself readjusting the wrap on a regular basis but all in all I love it and will continue to use it.  I will say that now that he’s bigger it puts a good deal of strain on my back because there’s no real support.  So, I reserve this for around the house and when he’s super fussy.  This isn’t for long walks or extended pd’s of time where you’re standing/walking.

Kelty Wallaby
This was the first carrier I bought before Noah was even born.  I had visions of DH carrying him around in this (because lord knows he wouldn’t be caught dead in the Moby).  We tried it a few times and it works well although I had concerns about Noah’s hips.  He was so tiny and it splayed his legs out at a weird angle.  I couldn’t imagine it was comfortable.

I did use it quite a bit to let him face out when I was too tired to wrap myself up (or it was too hot).  Now that i have my ERGO though, this gets little use.

Ergo Sport
This is our latest carrier.  It’s also a “carrier” style like the Kelty with two huge differences.  This one positions Noah where his hips are rolled under him like he’s sitting in a swing. Much easier on his back and hips.  And two it has a bib at the bottom that helps distribute the weight across my hips.  I feel like I’m wearing my backpacking pack.

There are a bunch of wonderful things about this carrier that makes me think it will be our go to carrier from now on.
– It has great support.  The hip belt distributes the weight perfectly.  I can walk for miles with him in this and feel little fatigue.
– The straps are super cushy and comfortable.
– It’s quick and easy to get on, even once the baby is asleep. I can get him in and out without waking him.
– You can wear this a thousand different ways (It does front, hip, and back carry positions depending on the childs age).
– It switches from hubsy (6’3″) to me (5’3″) very easily
– It puts Noah is a very natural position so I know we’re not doing any damage to his hips.

The one draw back is that it has no forward facing position for a baby that has good head control.  Noey like to face out sometimes and when he does I ahve to use the Moby or the Kelty.  This one doesn’t work like that (i’m not ready to do the hip carry with him yet)

We got the sport version because it’s made of a different material that was said to be good for summer time.  It also has a vent on the back to let air circulate.  I did buy the Heart to Heart insert because it was recommended for children under 4 months of age but ended up not using it.  The sport actually comes up high enough to support his head.  Perhaps if he was smaller then I’d need it.  I guess we’ll see when we have our next baby:)

Overall I’m very happy with the choice to purchase the ERGO and I think it’s safe to say it will be my last carrier purchase. Between it and the Moby I have all of my needs covered.  Besides, I think DH will hurt me if I buy one more of these things:) haha..

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