Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wrap Stash

Left to right: EllaRoo, Storch Inka, Storch Anna, Maya
My newest obsession in life is baby wrapping. Wraps have made my life about 1 million times easier. I wake up in the morning, wrap my baby, and get tons of housework, projects, or cooking done in no time. My baby is happy, I'm happy, it's such an amazing item to own.

I'm not going to go into the details of baby wrapping, but I'm going to give you a brief description and then a product review on what I currently own.

There are two types of wraps that I own. One is a ring-sling. It's basically a short piece of material wrapped around a ring. You can then quickly put the baby in it and walk around. I wouldn't say it's completely hands-free, but it's fast to put on and very portable.

The second type, my favorite, is just a standard wrap. There are several material selections, but I've only used 100% cotton. Some are thin, and some are thicker. I prefer the thicker wraps. At first, they are a bit difficult to learn with, but I think the reward is worth it later because they are so sturdy and provides tons of support. The thin ones leave me with neck pain because of pressure points, and they do not provide as much support as I would like. But everyone is different and has different preferences. You are suppose to consider weather as well. Storch's would be great for Fall/Winter/Spring and EllaRoo would be great for very hot summers. I've experienced both and let me say, it really doesn't matter to me. Cold is cold and hot is hot. If you walk outside on a hot day, with or without a wrapped baby, you're hot. If you walk outside on a cold day, with or without a wrapped baby, it's still cold. The hottest thing about wrapping is the baby, so there's not a lot that can be done about that. In over 100F weather, I put my baby in a Storch and an EllaRoo and didn't noticed a HUGE difference. That being said, if I cannot get my EllaRoo to work out, then I plan to sell it and buy another thin wrap to replace it. I just like to have the variety, that's pretty much the only reason.

Comparing the Ellaroo (left) and Storch (right, bottom). Hopefully you can
see a difference in thickness.
My Stash:

Maya Wrap Ring Sling, Bright Stripes
Maya Ring Sling (out of print pattern, I can't remember the name, and not pictured above)
Homemade Ring Sling

(Bright Stripes, Anna, Inka, and LaRae are just the color names)

(I also have a Baby Bjorn, but it doesn't get used as much. I prefer my wraps.)

You can find them used as well, which is a bit cheaper, but not much. Wraps really do not lose value over time. In fact, people usually prefer used wraps because they are softer since they are broken in. The EllaRoo doesn't really need any breaking in, but the Storch's do. At first, the Storch's are a bit stiff and the material feels rough. But after using it for a while, or tying it in knots, sitting on it, letting the toddler run around with it, then eventually it softens and is easier to work with.

Anyway, my favorite is the Storch, and when my kids grow up, I can even recycle it as a swing or hammock, it's THAT tough. :)


Wrap Your Baby - Great place to buy wraps and watch video demonstrations.

Becoming Mamas - Description of the different brands.

Linking to: Gallery of Favorites

Friday, August 24, 2012

Reading List: Update

Here's my current reading list:

Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto - Done (review to come)

You Are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Heaven On Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer (Almost done. Love this book)

How Children Fail by John Caldwell Holt

I've also added:

Teach Your Own by John Holt

Friday, August 17, 2012

What I'm Reading

Here's my current reading list:

Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto

You Are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Heaven On Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer

How Children Fail by John Caldwell Holt

Friday, August 10, 2012

Spray Painted Ceiling Fan

I've been trying to do small DIY projects around the house lately, just to bring some of our older pieces up-to-date. Not only do I want to save a buck, but I also want to keep useful stuff out of the trash. This ceiling fan, for example:

It's a beautiful fan, really. Yes, the gold and wood are a bit out-dated now, but the overall design is still lovely. Plus, it's in great shape. With a can of spray paint from Lowes, I was able to transform this fan from the one above, to this awesome one below.

Ok, here's how I did it:

1) Turn off the power so you don't get electrocuted
2) Take the fan down, remove the blades (pretty easy, just a few tiny screws to remove)
3) Clean the entire fan to remove dust, then lightly sand the entire fan, and clean off the dust again. This is probably the most important step.
4) Spray paint whatever color you want and let it dry thoroughly for several hours. I used Rust-Oleum Any Surface/Any Angle Satin White and Rust-Oleum Any Surface/Any Angle Metallic Satin Nickel.


1) The white blades took a couple of coats of white, so you MIGHT need two cans of paint.
2) The metal paint sprays on very thin, but once it dries for a few minutes, it will darken. So be careful not to spray it like crazy and cause drips. Spray, let it dry for half an hour, spray again and so on until it's the color you want. Then let it dry for several hours. I did get a drip, so I let it dry thoroughly, then I sanded the drip off, cleaned it, and sprayed it again.

Linking to: Gallery of Favorites

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blueberry One Size Deluxe and BumGenius 4.0

Above is a picture of part of my diaper stash. I selected several different brands to try out, and after using them for a few months, I went ahead and invested in my two favorites: Blueberry One Size Deluxe and BumGenius 4.0. The reason I chose to buy two different brands is because if one brand doesn't work out over time, then at least it's not a total waste. Plus, both are great and I had a hard time choosing.

Ok, now on to my reviews.

Both diapers are pocket diapers, meaning there is an insert that you stuff into a pocket (the shell), like so...


I find these to be a million times better than the diapers that come with sewn in inserts because you can separate them, which speeds up the drying time. Plus, if an insert falls apart, or the shell falls apart, either one could be replaced. The inserts I use are microfiber/microterry.

The Blueberry diapers have different inserts than the BumGenius. Below is the Blueberry. It has a super long insert that you fold once and snap, then stuff into the shell. The little snap at the end keeps it from unfolding while the baby wears it. What I LOVE about this insert is that it dries super fast. It does give the diaper more bulk, but I don't think it's enough to matter (it is a noticeable amount though). This brand does come with newborn inserts, which are half the size and do not need to be folded.


The BumGenius has one thick layer, which doesn't take too long to dry, but just a little bit longer than the Blueberry. It is less bulky than the blueberry. You can resize this insert by folding it down and snapping it. This brand also comes with a newborn insert.


Both inserts are great and I rarely have leaks. Even though the Blueberry insert gives more bulk, I still prefer it over the BumGenius, not only because of drying time, but because I feel like it moves around less, causing less leaks. But again, I'm being picky here because both rock.

Here is an inside look at both diapers (the part that will be against the skin). This is the biggest difference between the diapers. One is microfiber and one is suedecloth. The microfleece, on the left, is softer than the suedecloth. The suedecloth is very smooth, and although it's not rough, it's not soft either. Both clean equally well, and the difference is just preference. I don't have a problem with either one. I thought maybe one would be cooler than the other, but no.

Blueberry and BumGenius

The picture below is the difference that makes me prefer one over the other. The red diaper is the Blueberry and if you look closely, you can see that the snaps (I never use the velcro, only the snaps) on the top are not even with the snaps on the bottom. If you look at the blue diaper, the BumGenius, you can see the snaps line up. I prefer the red snaps because they get a better fit on my baby. I absolutely love this about the diaper, and although it doesn't seem like a big deal, it is after you've changed the baby 50,000 times. The BumGenius does has stretchy tabs, but to be honest, I don't see much stretch in them.

Blueberry and BumGenius

Both diapers are great. Both are One Size, meaning they will fit from birth to toddler. Both are pocket diapers. Both are made in the USA. But the winner for me is Blueberry. The tabs really make all the difference. I still love both and both will make up my diaper stash, but I am definitely leaning towards Blueberry, even though it's more expensive. Also, Blueberry has some super-cute prints.

If you've followed my blog, you will remember that I did like Rumparooz at one time. After using them for a few months though, they've fallen off of my favorites list. I have leaks with them all the time, the fit doesn't work well for my baby (toddler is good though), and they are hard to clean. Not to mention, they have strict detergent recommendations, which annoys me. BumGenius does have detergent recommendations, but I've used different detergents and they've worked well (not so with Rumparooz). Blueberry really doesn't have one, they only ask that you use detergents created/approved for cloth diaper use (another plus for Blueberry). I use Country Save along with Calgon (water softener).

You can buy the diapers at Nicki's Diapers, Amazon, or Cotton Babies, just to name a few. Here are the official website links if you want a more detailed look at the diapers:



Linking to - Gallery of Favorites

Saturday, May 26, 2012

50% Off: Kelly Wels Changing Diaper Book

Kelly Wels Changing Diapers book is 50% off (plus free shipping) now through Memorial Day! Great book to have if you're interested in using cloth diapers!