Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gisele Budchen Makes Crunchy look like Crazy

Have you read what Gisele Buschen's said in an interview to Harper's Bazaar? You haven't? Well, you need to. Go on ahead. I'll wait.

Finished? OK.

WTF Gisele? W.T.F.

You have an awesome opportunity to spread the crunch as a celebrity, increase awareness about any good ole natural parenting topic you'd like. But, what do we choose to do? We decide to do an interview and claim that breastfeeding should be required by law.

Oh, oh, but that's not all! We also decide to berate mothers everywhere who use formula. Nice.

You could have been an advocate Gisele, instead you're giving crunch a bad name by acting like a radical zealot. Such a waste.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pete's Birthday Present

I'm a little late on this since Pete's birthday was on the 12th, but we have a baby damnit.

Speaking of which, how long does "we have a baby" serve as an excuse to be a giant slacker for everything else in your life? I need to know how long I can milk that one.

So, the budget was a little tight this year with the whole having a baby thing and shortly before buying a 112 year old money pit rehabber. But, I wasn't going to let that get in the way of my awesome gift giver reputation. So, to etsy I went. I found an artist in California who does this delightfully pop-artesque illustrations from photos. One of Pete's favorite photos of him and X was taken with my iPhone, outside, in bad lighting. There's no hope of fixing it so it can be printed, but my awesome little etsy find could whip something up that's even better.

So, I sent her the picture:

And got back this fricken awesome illustration (printed on 11x14 archival paper, fancy schmancy):

(I actually had her change the stripes on X's outfit since they are brown IRL, but I don't have an electronic copy of that one. I promise we didn't spring him from baby jail before taking this picture.)

Oh, and how much did it cost? $30. Yes, $30. Crazy, right?

You want one? Of course you do, check out Emmie Bean's etsy shop and get yourself some custom art.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Most Inspiring Baby Photos Ever

I recently came across the most amazing blog, Mila's Daydreams. It's run by a new mama who posts photos she's taken of her baby.

The Catch?
She styles the photos with random items from her home to try and capture what her little girl may be dreaming of.

The results are beyond fabulous:

I really, really want to give this a try, but I'm afraid X wouldn't be as cooperative with the whole staying asleep thing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Weekly Blog Giveaways

Every Friday I’m going to do a weekly roundup of giveaways in the blogosphere. These may be crunchy or soggy (I’ve deemed that the opposite of crunchy), but they will always be great:

What: ERGO Baby Carrier
Who: Newly Wed, Newly Bred
How: Visit Ergo and leave a comment here mentioning your favorite carrier. See post for additional ways to enter.
Deadline: Friday, August 6th

What: ERGO Baby Carrier
Who: My New Life as Mom
How: Follow the blog publicly and visit Ergo and leave a comment here mentioning your favorite carrier. See post for additional ways to enter.
Deadline: Tuesday, August 10th

What: ERGO Baby Carrier
Who: Babes in Disneyland
How: Follow the blog via Google Friend Connect and visit Ergo and leave a comment here mentioning your favorite carrier. See post for additional ways to enter.
Deadline: Tuesday, August 10th

What: iPod Touch
Who: Zing Tree
How: Register to be a member here & like Zing Tree on facebook here (It's ok, they're eco friendly and totally free). Contest details can be viewed here.
Deadline: Tuesday, August 31st

Don't forget about these weekly cloth diaper giveaways:

The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

Diaper Discussions

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bethenny Frankel is Cloth Diapering?!

I'm a reality TV addict. I hope we can still be friends.

So, I'm sitting here watching the latest episode of Bethenny, Getting Married; she's in labor and her assistant is helping get everything ready back at home. She pulls out the diapers to show the baby nurse and describes them as organic, I figured maybe she was using biodegradable disposables. But no! She pulls out a Grovia with the cotton inserts! How freaking cool is that?

(Bethenny, you're going to crush me if this was just product placement. But just a little, CDs can use as much exposure as they can get)

Eco Friendly Esty Finds

I love etsy. And I'm not talking about a sweet respectable love either, I'm talking about a stalkeresque borderline obsessive creepy love. I can spend hours scouring the site for awesome stuff to put on my little personal wish list, so for those of you who don't want to stay up all night surfing etsy, I've put together a collection of my latest favorite eco friendly discoveries:

Made of 100% cotton and PEVA, instead of using a ziploc sandwich bag you can wrap up your sandwich (or really, any snack) in this adorable little pouch.

What's PEVA you ask? It's a PVC-free, non-chlorinated lightweight plastic that does not emit 'off-gasses' like other plastics do. PEVA is biodegradable, easy to clean, water proof, lead free, BPA free, phthalates free, and anti microbial resistant.

What's really sweet, is they personalize it for you. Great alternative to the plastic coated metal spoons you find in the big baby stores.

No, this is not for the baby to chomp down on. It's made out of baltic amber, which releases a natural oil when the amber is warmed by the skin. This oil is said to be a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic, and relieves the baby from the pain of teething.

The one thing I've struggled with when thinking about ditching our paper towels is how to make the cloth towels easily accessible. Well, problem solved. You just put this guy on your counter and throw your cloth towels in there, no folding or anything. And bonus, it's made from repurposed wood!

Perfect for the eco friendly mom to be, instead of the typical diaper cake this one is made from small gDiaper flushable inserts and come with a gDiaper starter pack. Plus, it's freaking adorable.

I'm picturing using these for easter gifts for the little ones, you can plant them and grow a little something. Too cute.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

$1 Cotton Babies Sale Loot

So, did you catch my post about the Cotton Babies $1 Sale? No? You should check it out.

Being the cheapskate bargain lover that I am, I decided to wake u p bright and early Saturday morning and head down to Cotton Babies. The doors opened at 9:00am, so I figured I'd be good to go if I got there around 8:00am. Well, when I rolled up at 8:20am this is what I saw:

That's the door. Ouch.

So, I walked around the building, and the line went all the way around (and it's not a small building). I ended up beyond the building, nearly at the end of the parking lot, here:

So much for beating the crowds. And so, the wait began. Now, I'm not a morning person, at all, but waiting in line was actually kind of fun. CDing mamas are just insanely friendly by nature, everyone was making friends in line and chatting. There wasn't one person just standing around playing on their phone. Cotton Babies had staff going up and down the line handing out cups of water and lemonade, and bagels. President and co-founder, Jennifer Labit, was even there, walking up and down the line and chatting with Moms, Dads, and kiddos. She was snapping photos for facebook and just being an all around cool approachable sweet lady. She should give lessons to the big box stores on how to handle Black Friday crowds, this woman knows what she's doing.

At 9:00 people were allowed in the building in small groups. It was extremely organized and fair, around 10:00 I finally got in the store! Yay! Except, there was another line that wrapped all the way around the store, and like I said, not a small store. Hey, that's ok, at least we had air conditioning now.

At about 10:45 I could see the light.
(the tables with all the CDs were just under the sign hanging from the ceiling)

But, people were taking their time, and rightfully so. I heard the first person to get in line arrived at 4:45am. Obviously you want to make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck, so people were pretty diligent about checking out the quality of each CD before committing to it.

At 11:15 I was finally in the sale area! Woo Hoo! I was concerned about what would be left, but remember what I said about organization? Whenever the tables would start to run just a little low, a new bag of CDs was brought out. So, the people at the end of the line weren't left with the rejects from the first people in line. And, there were a TON of CDs (below times about 5):

Most were in well loved condition, but there were some mixed in there that were on their last leg, and some that were in pretty good condition. My main priority was to find CDs with good quality elastic, since I'm not crafty enough to fix that, then try to make sure there was no pilling, and the aplix worked well. I'm happy to say I had excellent luck. There was a limit of 25 CDs per person (to all the husbands that accompanied their wives so she could get 50, you rock. Can you talk to my husband about that next time?) and I got all 25.

It took about 45 minutes to get all the CDs I wanted and sort through them (I lost count so I ended up grabbing 10 extra, and had to sit on the floor and pick out which ones I was going to give up). Then, to the checkout line:

That went surprisingly fast, and I was on the way home at noon.

Was it worth it? I got 25 used BumGenius CDs (sans inserts) and 16 used boosters for $39. Hell yeah it was worth it.

Xavier seems suspicious of them, I don't think he likes being outnumbered so badly.

Friday, July 16, 2010

St. Louis Mamas - Snag BumGenius CDs for $1 Tomorrow

If you live anywhere near St. Louis it's road trip time. If you live in St. Louis it's bragging time. Tomorrow at 9:00am Cotton Babies will open their retail store for their annual $1 Well-loved Bum Genius Sale.

Here are the details:
  • The sale is available at the retail store only
  • There is a limit of 25 diapers per check out. After checking out, you can get back in line to purchase 25 more
  • Diapers may require repair and are in as-is quality
  • They are not returnable
  • Inserts are not included, but can be purchased seperately
Sorry about that, I got a little excited. If you need me I'll be camped out psycho black friday shopper style in south county tonight. See you there?

Weekly Blog Giveaways

Every Friday I’m going to do a weekly roundup of giveaways in the blogosphere. These may be crunchy or soggy (I’ve deemed that the opposite of crunchy), but they will always be great:

What: Medela Pump In Style Advanced
Who: Mom's Focus on Cyber World
How: Visit Medela and leave a comment here stating which pump you would love to have. See post for additional ways to enter.
Deadline: Wednesday, July 28th

What: ERGO Baby Carrier
Who: Natural Baby Goods
How: Subscribe to the blog via email and leave a comment here. See post for additional ways to enter.
Deadline: Saturday, July 24th

What: Zuvo Water Purator Filtration System
Who: Review Retreat
How: Leave a comment here mentioning something you learned that was not mentioned in this review. See post for additional ways to enter.
Deadline: Saturday, July 17th @ 11:59pm Central Time

What: Organic Sleepy Wrap Baby Carrier
Who: Go Green Street
How: Leave a comment here mentioning what color organic sleepy wrap you would pick. See post for additional ways to enter.
Deadline: Saturday, July 31st @ 10:59pm Central Time

Don't forget about these weekly cloth diaper giveaways:

FREE DIAPERS at Feed Your Stash Friday

The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

Diaper Discussions

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

BumGenius 4.0 Review: First Impression

Today is the official ship date for all brand spankin' new BumGenius 4.0 cloth diapers by Cotton Babies. How did I get them today you ask? Cotton Babies one and only retail store is 20 minutes from my house. Pretty sweet.

So, I sent Pete down to grab me a couple while I was at work. That plan was thwarted by a cranky baby and bad directions, but that's ok, they're open til 8pm, well after working hours for me. So, here I am, the proud owner of two BumGenius 4.0 CDs. P.S. Be very jealous about my proximately to Cotton Babies, their store is CDing Mecca. Here's the grand display of the 4.0s as you enter:

Now let's get down to business. Here are the new features in BG 4.0:

  • Available in Snaps
  • New pastel colors: lavender, pale green, and light yellow
  • Replaceable elastic
  • Improved hook & loop closure
  • Accommodates larger baby
I purchased one snap CD in butternut (yellow), and one aplix CD in sweet (pale pale pale green).

For comparison I got out my BG 3.0 in twilight (blue) that's only been in use for about a month. Remember that. Blue = 3.0.

First, a general observation about the new colors. I don't mind pastels. Really, I don't. But these colors couldn't even be called pastel (except for maybe the lavender, but I have a boy so that's of no use to me). You know when you go to home depot for paint chips and they have an entire wall dedicated to "white". I guarantee you can find a "white" paint chip that matches each of the new BG 4.0 colors. They are really, really pale. If you like that, great. If you're worried that the new colors might be a little light for you, trust me, they are.

Ok, now for some comparisons:


As you can see above, upon first glance they look pretty much the same. But, it's all about the details, so let's take a closer look.

Aplix on the 4.0 seems to be of just slightly higher quality, the fluffy side seems to have a little more poof than the 3.0 (I apologize if I'm getting too technical on you). The aplix tabs appear to be virtually the same size, the 4.0 might be just s smidge bigger:

Here you can see them with the tabs pulled back, and they look basically the same. At this point I did notice that the sides of the 4.0s appeared to be just a tad bit larger than the 3.0. And again, the fluffy side of the aplix appears to be of higher quality on the 4.0.

Close up of the differences in the size of the sides:

Opening them up it looks like the laundry tabs in the 4.0 are a little bit larger.

I searched and searched for where you would replace the elastic, this gap in stitching was all I could find. So, let's just go on ahead and assume that's some clue as to how you'd do it.

Now, the true fit. X was kind enough to volunteer to be my guinea pig, he actually gets a kick out having his diaper changed, so this was fun time for him. Unfortunately, the light in our nursery isn't all that great, and I didn't want to blind him with the flash, so I apologize for the blah quality of these photos. Oh, and I guess it might be helpful if you knew how big he is. He's 4 months old, 19 lbs 6 oz and 27 3/4 in long. Yes, apparently we make giant babies.

First, the 3.0. These are our most leak proof CDs, we use them as our night time diaper and they fit X wonderfully:

Now, the 4.0. The first thing I noticed was the PUL wasn't pulling tight on the first snap, so I tried the second, and although I know I could have snapped them shut I thought it would be a little too tight. For us, the 3.0 is definitely a better fit right now.

Now, on to the next one:


Pete was unusually excited when he found out I got the snap version, probably because X is starting to discover he can pull velcro apart. As far as the snaps go, they pretty much work like snaps, so instead of figuring out something to go on and on about, I'll just show you pictures:

Oh, I thought this was funny. Looks like BumGenius missed a little detail on the snap conversion, the care instructions still tell you to fasten tabs to laundry tabs. Oops.

And finally, the fit. Don't ask me how, but these seemed even looser on X than the aplix. That doesn't make any sense, maybe it was the way he was squirming around as I was trying to get those pesky snaps fastened.

Bottom Line
  • Yay for snaps!
  • The new colors are really, really pale.
  • Aplix is of slightly better quality.
  • The fit will definitely accommodate larger babies, but I think you might have a problem getting a good fit on little peanuts. The irony of that? Cotton Babies claims the new insanely pale pastels were created to market to newborns.

So, would I recommend them? If you need snaps or have a larger baby that's grown out of BG 3.0 definitely go for the 4.0. Otherwise, the 3.0s are just fine (and maybe even better depending on the fit).

Monday, July 12, 2010

July Recipe Box

Looking for some new recipes to try out? Want them to be seasonal? I'm a food blog addict, so I'm posting a few recipes every month that have caught my eye. They'll always be seasonal and (hopefully) yummy. Curious about what's in season for your region? Check out this nifty map.