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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review: BumGenius 4.0 Pockets

Addie at about 6 months in an Eiffel Tower from the Artist Series
My first cloth diaper review!  The first group of diapers I purchased were from CottonBabies.  This was mostly due to their 30 day money back guarantee since I was concerned about the transition from disposables to cloth.  The first pocket diaper I came into contact with was their 4.0s and I have found that I really do like pockets for their convenience.  They are great diapers for people who are considering using cloth, but don't want to lose the convenience that disposable diapers give them.

BumGenius 4.0s are a One-Size pocket diaper that is listed to fit from 7-35 pounds and up. The front of the diaper snaps down to adjust the rise for a small, medium, or large setting.  They come with both a one-size microfiber insert that is three layers as well as a two-layer newborn microfiber insert. The inner of the diaper is suede cloth and there is flap covering the back of the pocket, so your baby won't  be exposed to any PUL from the outer.  They currently come in 15 colors and 2 prints in both Aplix (hook & loop) or Snap options.

Pros: The one-size insert has a snap down setting on it to adjust for the different lengths.  There are small, medium, and large settings.  The small makes it the same length as the newborn insert.  It is a bit difficult to see the snaps, but a photo of the newborn and one size insert is to the right.  The snaps are on the bottom of portion of the insert in the picture shown.  I love that the insert snaps down because I don't have to worry about it unfolding while stuffing the diaper or putting it on.

These diapers fit my daughter very well.  With the one-size insert, these are pretty trim diapers.  This was important to me since I used disposables until my daughter was about five months old.

The variety of colors.  There are enough colors for you to have one to match just about any outfit.

The snaps on these diapers are pretty strong.  I do not have problems with the snaps on the rise setting coming undone like I do on other one-size diapers I own.

The pocket on these diapers is fairly wide and they are easy to stuff.  The PUL is not as sticky as other diapers, which adds to the ease.

Cons: The aplix on these diapers is not super strong and fuzzies get stuck in it fairly easily.  While the diaper does have laundry tabs, they are only useful while your aplix stays put.  These diapers have been used for about 3 months and the aplix needs to be cleaned out or replaced already. 

My only other complaint is also about the aplix.  I wished it matched the diaper.  It's not a huge deal, but matching aplix just makes the diapers look a bit nicer.

Overall, I really like these diapers.  They are not too expensive and fit my daughter very well.  With the one-size insert they are fairly trim, as you can see in the Dazzle Addie is wearing (on right, 7 months).   With all of the other insert options available, you can customize the diaper to fit your needs.  I enjoy these diapers and would not mind adding a few more to my stash.

***These diapers were purchased by me and not provided free for this review.  I am not affiliated in any way with CottonBabies and wrote this review for informational purpose of my readers only***

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My New Laundry Routine

We do a lot of laundry around here.  Between my husbands work and school uniforms, regular clothes, Army Uniforms, my clothes, and our daughter's clothes I feel like I'm doing it constantly.  And laundry detergent is not exactly cheap.  You pay about $18 for the big container of Tide and it would only last about a month.  I figured there had to be a way to do laundry and not spend as much on the process.

A few years ago, I saved a bit of money by replacing dryer sheets with "homemade" dryer sheets.  I bought a 3 pack of washcloths at the dollar store.  Then I took my favorite liquid fabric softener and mixed it half and half in a spray bottle.  Spray on the washcloth and throw in the dryer.  One bottle of fabric softener lasted about a year.

But I wanted to do more.  So I looked up homemade laundry detergents.  There were actually quite a few different recipes out there.  I picked the easiest one.  The recipe is below:

Powdered Laundry Detergent

1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax
1 grated bar of castile soap

Mix all ingredients in a food processor and store in a covered container.  Use 1-2 Tbsp per load of laundry.

The washing soda and Borax are about $4 a box and you can get a 3 pack of castile soap for about $3.50 at Wal-Mart.  All of the ingredients cost less than one large jug of Tide and will last much longer.  You can use any bar soap you want, but in the effort to be more green, I chose a natural one.

The new laundry routine consists of 1 Tbsp detergent, 1 Tbsp OxyClean and a Downy ball filled to the XL line with Vinegar.  The vinegar works as a fabric softener/static reducer.  And no, your clothes will not smell like vinegar.  The smell will go away as the clothes dry.

If you prefer not to use vinegar, you can use the dryer sheet idea mentioned above.  And if you want to add fragrance to your detergent, you can add a few drops of essential oil to it and mix it in.

So that's my new, green laundry routine.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

Or the "diaper changing party" as the local news station put it.  The event was Saturday, and it was a pretty hot one.  Literally.  We broke the record high for the area on Saturday, with temperatures in the triple digits.  But enough about the weather.

For those of you who don't know, the Great Cloth Diaper Change is an event where people around the world change their baby's diapers at the same time.  It's actually in the Guinness Book of World Records, with over 5000 diapers changed simultaneously last year.  And the point?  To raise awareness for cloth diapers and to show the general public how easy cloth diapering can be.

Since my daughter wasn't born yet last year, this was my first time going.  Our event was small, with about 28 pairs, just enough for our location to qualify towards the record.  It was really neat getting to chat with other moms who use cloth diapers in real life.  The event had some pretty neat giveaways and swag bags.  I came home with about $100 worth of freebies.  While the freebies were fun, I think the best part was getting to talk to other moms with the same interest, okay - addiction, as I have.  There were babies ranging from just a few weeks old to toddlers, all getting their cute fluffy bums changed at the same time.

If we break last year's record, which I think we will since there were many more countries and locations this year, I can say that my daughter and I were part of the Guinness Book of World Records.  Now that's pretty cool.  I will definitely be going next year and as long as I have kiddos in cloth.

If you want more information on the Great Cloth Diaper Change, visit

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Cleaner Face...Naturally

One of the very first "green" things I ever did as an adult was to make my own facial cleaner.  When it comes to skincare, I like simple.  Products like Pro Active work great, but that many steps....I get lazy and just stop using it after a week or so.  I wanted something simple, quick on and off.  So I turned to astringent cleaners.  They are so easy, but can be very drying.  I decided to try making my own to see if I could come up with something just as easy, but less drying.  This was the result.

Witch Hazel Astringent

1 16 oz bottle of Witch Hazel astringent, costs about $5.50 at Walgreens for the Dickinson brand
Tea Tree Oil
Lavender Essential Oil

Add about 8-10 drops each of Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil. 

To apply, shake bottle, squirt some onto a small piece of flannel or cotton velour rounds (or a cotton ball) and wipe your face.  That's it!  It's so simple

Now....why does it work?  A little about the ingredients.

Witch Hazel: an astringent made out of the twigs and bark of the North American Witch Hazel bush.  It works as a toner, cleanser, helps treat acne, and reduce the size of pores. 

Tea Tree Oil: an essential oil made out of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, which grows in Australia.  It's a natural antiseptic, which also aids in the healing of wounds - this makes it great for helping with acne treatment, among other things.  There are tons of uses for Tea Tree Oil, so it's great to have around.

Lavender Oil: an essential oil made out of lavender flowers.  It is a natural disinfectant and also enhances blood flow to the area in which it is used.  It also smells great, so it helps tone out some of the smell of the witch hazel.

So from the above, you can tell that each of the ingredients in this formula have cleaning and healing properties.  In my opinion, witch hazel does not smell the best, but the scent does fade from your skin over time. 

Try it out, let me know what you think!  You can, of course, adjust the amounts of the essential oils as you see fit.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Road to Cloth...

Unlike many families who start out using cloth diapers, we were not one of them.  When I was pregnant, I saw an advertisement for gDiapers while surfing a baby website.  They seemed so interesting to me and I loved the fact that I could use disposable or cloth inserts.  I thought that because of the disposable option, I might be able to convince my husband to use cloth diapers.  I was met with a great big "No way.  Gross.  We are not using cloth diapers."

Fast forward to the birth of our baby.  While my husband loves our daughter, he does not love changing diapers.  I guess I don't blame him.  Changing disposable diapers really isn't fun.  He will only change diapers when he is the only person home with Addie.  If anyone else is home and she needs to be changed, he hands her off.

When Addie was five months old, I added up how much money we had spent on disposable diapers.  It was over $300.  And we didn't even buy all of them ourselves!  It just felt so wrong throwing all of that money into the landfill.  So I started researching cloth diapers.  I found a couple of websites that did diaper trials.  Since my mom watches Addie while we work, I ran the idea by her.  She was hesitant but was willing to give it a try.

After about a week or so of researching, I decided to order an organic day pack of Flips, 3 stay dry inserts, an Econobum pack, and some Rockin Green detergent.  I ordered from Cotton Babies because of their 30 day trial period and free shipping.  And I didn't tell my husband until after I placed the order.  Because he barely changes any diapers, I wasn't too worried about his opinion.  If he didn't want to use them, he could use the disposables.

Almost as soon as I received my diapers, I fell in love.  Not with the Econobum so much, but with the Flips.  I soon ordered more and needless to say, I think I am addicted to Fluff.  They are so much softer than disposables, and while a bit bulkier, I would much rather have cotton on my bum than plastic.  I think my daughter would probably agree if she could talk.  I also feel better about not throwing so much into the landfill and love how cute Addie is with her fluffy bum.  My mom and husband are also on board and the disposable diapers we had left are rarely used.

 So that's how we started our cloth diaper journey.  What prompted you to cloth diaper? 


So having my own blog is something that I never really thought about before today.  I like talking cloth diapers, no scratch that, I love talking about cloth diapers.  I started using them on my daughter about two months ago and fell in love.  Well, my family tolerates them and my rantings, but they do not share the love.  So it prompted me to start a blog, kind of spur of the moment.  I guess this way people can choose whether or not they wish to listen to my rantings.  Maybe I'll have followers, maybe I won't.  I guess it doesn't matter much as long as I can express myself, right?

I'll start out by saying that I'm not the Green Queen, but I'm trying to do what I can to help preserve our planet.  Since my little girl was born, I've been changing more and more things to be more and more green.  They've included changing the hand soap and shampoo I use, making my own laundry detergent, cloth diapers and wipes and more.  There will be more posts to follow going into detail with what I changed and the recipes I've used.

If anyone has actually read this, welcome!  I hope you will visit again!