Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quick Review Time! Grandma El's

I recently attended the ABC Kid's Expo in Las Vegas and was pleasantly surprised to see so many green and natural products there! I got a ton of samples while I was there, and was excited to give some of them a try.

I had heard great things about Grandma El's diaper rash and prevention ointment but I had never tried it. I grabbed a few samples while at the expo and they could not have come at a better time. I had several different kinds of diaper cream samples, but the majority of them were not compatible for cloth diaper use. Things like beeswax or zinc can seriously damage your cloth diapers and cause repelling issues. This particular product does contain petrolatum and lanolin, which /may/ cause repelling over time... but so far I haven't had any issues. Some mom's have complained of staining, and while it does say on the package that it might stain clothing, I haven't seen any staining on our diapers just yet.

My daughter had been recovering from a ear infection and also teething. Shortly after we got home from the expo, she got a tummy bug that completely tore up her digestive track. Her poor little rump was beet red and she was in sooo much pain.
Now, we've never had much luck with other diaper creams. They were all either to clumpy, to thick or sometimes to thin, smelled bad, or just made her rash worse. We typically use pure, organic, coconut oil for her rashes, as it is cloth diaper safe (thought there is some rumors about it's reaction to PUL) and worked like a charm...
But I reached for my little packets of Grandma El's to give it a shot.

I did like that it wasn't that nasty white creamy paste that most diaper rash remedies have. Instead it's a amber colored vaseline looking concoction. It doesn't have a bad smell, it actually smells a little fruity. It spread on nicely, and my baby didn't start shrieking in pain like she does with other creams that contain zinc. I used it as directed, putting a little on with every diaper change and by the next day her rash was gone. I was pretty impressed.

Now, I haven't used it for 2 weeks straight yet, because I ran out. So I can't really give you a definitive answer on if it will stain/repell or not. However, it /does/ work and it works well. So I would suggest if you are wary of any complications, to simply use some sort of liner in your cloth diapers to prevent them. As for me, I'm going to get some more from my favorite retailer, Sweet Baby Bottoms when she restocks. You can also get it at Target, and Babies R' Us, however I prefer to support my fellow WAHM.

So overall, I would recommend this product to those looking to ditch the nasty white paste and want a quick, safe, natural alternative to other diaper rash creams out there. Just be sure that if you are really worried about any repelling issues, you use a liner.

Next week, before I go on vacation, I'll be doing a review of a pretty awesome chemical free baby soap I got from the expo. So sad they won't be in Vegas again next year, because I sure had a lot of fun and got to meet a lot of cool people.

Until this, hug your little ones close, and enjoy every moment as if it were your last.

/Peace

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wow!

So much has been going on lately!

I had the pleasure of attending the ABC Kids Expo with my friend Rachel from Sweet Baby Bottoms last week. It was amazing! Two full floors of everything from cloth diapers and baby carriers, to furniture and feeding supplies. Baby gear that would blow your mind, and the coolest eco friendly baby items I've ever seen.

I was fortunate enough to grab a few samples, and put my name in to do some product reviews. I can't wait to breathe life back into this blog and start doing product demos for you guys again! Business has been slow for me, and I'm experiencing some difficulties with that... but this just gives me more time to devote to you guys.

I'll be leaving for Alaska on October 29th, to visit my family and friends for 2 whole weeks. When I get back I should have lots of samples waiting for me to review. I have a few baby skin care products, teethers, and cloth samples here right now that I'll hopefully get a couple tested and up for review this next 10 days.

As always, I hope everyone is well and surviving these hard times. We live in Las Vegas, one of the hardest places hit by this recession, so I feel your pain. My husband is fortunate to have a decent paying job, and he provides for us the best he can. Even so, money is pretty much always tight and I'm hoping I can get my business going again to take some of the weight off his shoulders.

Drop me a line and let me know what kind of products you'd be interested in seeing me review, what brand diapers you are into now, and anything else you have questions about...

Peace and Love to you all!

Sarah

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ahhh time time time

Where have the days gone?

Here I sit, counting down the days till my little girl goes off to Fourth Grade, and my baby girl starts potty learning. I feel so old.

So much has happened in the past few months.

We lost our house for the second time and had to move. Twice now we have been renting and had our landlord lose the house to forclosure or trustee sale. We found a new place and were able to get Cash for Keys to move out of the old place. It's very nice, 2 stories, lots of room for the kids to run around. Perhaps the coolest thing is the loft upstairs. My husband has turned it into our oldest daughter's living room. She now has her own space, her own desk for her computer, her own tv and all my husband's old game systems. She has my glider rocker and 2 full book shelves full of books to read, though she claims to need many more.

I finally have a office! A place for all my yarn, my fabric, my sewing table and my new machine (the old one died). Our computer is in here as well. We also have a nice tall gate to keep the baby out. A must since our dear sweet Izzy is into EVERYTHING and the word "no" just is the essence of high comedy.

I've started making more projects. Snack bags, mama cloth bags, etc. I'm learning more patterns for crochet and trying to get faster and better at it.

We've had a torrent of dental issues as of late. My husband had to have a cracked inlay removed and replaced with a crown. So expensive. I had to be put out and have oral surgery for a lot of dental work. NOT fun. We are both in pain and cranky and trying to not take it out on each other. We don't always succeed but we love each other and at the end of the day that is all that matters.

We are settling in finally. One day at a time :)

I hope to be able to update more in the near future. Between my family and my business, sometimes it's hard. But I <3 you guys. So here I am :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

BG 4.0

Well they came in the mail yesterday! I was all excited despite the delivery guy ringing my doorbell 8 times and banging on my door...

I opened the package and did my usual "YAY for FLUFF!" dance as I pulled out my new bumGenius 4.0 One size Diapers I bought the regular applix version, a staple in our house, and a snaps version that I had never tried.

That's were my excitement wore off.

The packaging looked different, but thats about it. They looked just like my old BG's. The only difference I could see was a slightly wider applix strip and a better laundry tab. The rise looked the same, and it was only a little big wider. I was really kinda disappointed that there weren't some huge and wonderful changes to accompany all the hype.

That being said, I have them in the washer right now being prepped. I expect the same great fit and absorbency, as BG's are pretty wonderful diapers. I expect them to work great just like always. I guess the only true test will be to see how the new applix holds up.

So I am sorry that I don't have a huge "Oh my gosh these diapers are amaaaaazing" post for you. I feel it would be redundant since we already know how awesome these diapers usually are.

I will post pictures later of how the applix holds up. I have high hopes for it because it /does/ look much thicker and a little wider.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The New BG 4.0 is here!

Well, for preorder anyway.

Cottonbabies.com announced a new BumGenius 4.0 diaper today. I went ahead ordered one with snaps and one without to demo for you guys. They don't appear to be much different then the BumGenius 3.0 except for a few technical details... But I wanted to make sure that I could some good up close shots of these changes while in use for my readers. It was a much hyped product release, for such little change. So I want to ensure that these changes are as big of a deal as they are being touted as. So far, according to their website, the changes are:

"Features:
NEW! Generous sizing accommodates larger babies.
NEW! Easily replaceable elastic keeps your diapers fresh."

My 14month old is long and lean and has been on the largest setting now for a long time now so I'm interested to see how much the rise and size has improved.

These diapers will ship July 14th, 2010. I will post a review ASAP :)

Peace & Love,

Sarah

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bustin' Booty

That's what I've been doing.

I have a exciting announcement!

My little wahm business, Star Crossed Stitches has partnered up with Cow Patties Cloth Diapers! Starting at the end of July or so, you'll be able to purchase my small and large zippered wetbags from the lovely Meg's store! I'm so excited about this. Meg has been a inspiration and a true friend for quite some time and I am proud to be associated with her company. I'm also working on reuseable snack bags. I have testers trying them out right now and hopefully will start production on those soon.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook for up to date details and giveaways.

In the mean time, I'd like to hear from YOU. As the months pass, products change, diapering needs change, and so does a Cloth Diapering mama's stash. I've gone from velcro pockets, to fitteds, to prefolds, back to fitteds and all around again. Leave a comment and tell me how your stash has grown, or changed, since you started your cloth diapering journey! What is your #1 go to diaper!

Also, now that I have my lovely 9 year old, Caitlin, off for break... She has been helping me around the house and helped to tape the pinning video. What other videos would you guys like to see? I have my little slave--- i mean.. uh.. girl for another week before she goes back to school... So now is the time for those video requests.

As always, Peace & Love to you and yours!!!

Pinning Prefolds: Jelly Roll

Not sure WHY it only shows one video on the side bar... but here it is:


*** I fixed it :P

Opinions?

How you you guys like this template?


My daughter and I filmed a prefold pinning video but youtube is NOT letting me upload for some stupid reason. Once I get it up it should show up on the video links on the right hand side.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Busy Lady and a Review on the fly :)

I forgot how insanely busy one becomes when a baby becomes a toddler. My days have been spent chasing the evil little demon around the house, trying to stay a step ahead and prevent one disaster after another. It's quite invigorating (can you smell the sarcasm?)

Between chasing angry drunken midget circus clowns, sewing and crocheting for my tiny, budding business, and getting healthy after my little health scare... I was a wee bit busy.

BUT I'm back :)

So what's new in the cloth diapering world of Rambles & Shambles? Not much. I've reached a tentative stash nirvana, as it were. I haven't been buying any new diapers to review. I did however fall into the hybrid craze and purchased some Gro Baby AI2's. I gotta say, I love them. I will post on those more later.

I would, however, like to demo a diaper for you guys. ;) I know! Shock and Amazement. It's been away. Lets dust this bad boy off and go for it shall we?

My family still lives back home in Alaska. My mom used to be a rural mail carrier, the old school mail lady who drives through the subdivision, putting mail in the old fashioned mail boxes with the flags. On her friends route lives a nice lady by the name of Somer, the owner of Bouche Bumz. I had heard about BB Diapers, but had never tried one. Long story short she gave one to my mom for me to try.

From Cloth diapering

Here it is, in all it's squishy glory. A Bouche Bumz AI2 This diaper is a one size, waterproof outer layer, with a soft squishy bamboo velour snap in soaker:
From Cloth diapering

The rise snaps up and down to accommodate your growing baby and rather than velcro/aplix, this diaper features a snap closure:
From Cloth diapering


I was really quite fond of this diaper. It was so incredibly soft and squishy, almost like a Good Mama but much more absorbent. You get the best of both words with the waterproof outer layer (in some mighty cute prints) but soft velour inside. It was pretty good at containing the super soaker I call my daughter and Poo' was no match for the excellent leg gussets:
From Cloth diapering


All in all this is one of my favorite WAHM diapers. The price is right, the quality is excellent and the fit is one of the best I've seen on my odd shaped little girl. The only negative thing I could say, and it's really just a personal preference, is that they are a wee bit bulkier than some of my other diapers... But I do love a fluffy butt.
From Cloth diapering

Besides, Izzy seems to approve:
From Cloth diapering


I would definitely recommend giving Bouche Bumz a try. Especially if you like AI2's.

Have a great day and Happy Stalking!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sorry

I'm so sorry to keep popping in and out guys.
I'm dealing with some pretty serious medical issues right now so I have little time or energy to update the blog. I did break down and buy some new products to demo, I've just not had a chance to take picture or write anything.

Izzy has turned 1 year old, life is full of toddling disaster and chaos :)

I hope you all are well and healthy. Live each day to the fullest, love your family and friends, never go to bed angry, and always give that kiss goodbye.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bitting off more than I can chew.

Guess who just started a facebook fan page for her budding business?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Yes. I'm a slacker!

I know what you're thinking...
"But Sarah! You promised you'd keep updating your blog. You LIE LIKE DOG!"

Yes... I know. I've been a bad, bad girl.

Life here in the Romeo house continues to be hectic. I've been learning how to crochet and sew and make all things crafty. I've even sold a few prototype wetbags! My children are a handful to say the least. We've been battling some heavy issues with our oldest daughter and our baby girl has been suffering from allergies and teething.

My friends Amanda and Amy sent me some wonderful products from LUSH Cosmetics that I would love to talk about here in the next few days. They have some amazing all natural, organic and even vegan products. I highly advise you to find one in your area and just make a day of wandering their store and smelling EVERYTHING. It's a good treat for yourself and a great way to take an extra little step into green living.

Speaking of green living... little things we've been doing around the house to save money and go green are paying off!

No jarred baby food:
I've been making my own for quite some time, but since Izzy has been doing Baby-led Weaning we have moved onto just cooking our meals and she eats what we eat. This has saved us money and while yes I do sometimes let her have those little bite size pasta pick ups when we are in a hurry... for the most part she eats healthier and heartier than most adults I know.

Less paper towels:
We have bought WAY less paper towels since we discovered the joys of SKOY Cloth. My husband is not so much into the "hippy crap" that I practice... so he still uses his paper towels for things. However by me and my oldest daughter not using them we only buy them maybe once a month or less now.

Light Bulbs:
EVERYONE should be replacing their old fashioned light bulbs with energy efficient CFL light bulbs. Not only are they good for reducing your carbon footprint and reducing your energy consumption, but they are inexpensive and last a long time. You'll see a nice little dip in your electric bill for sure ;)

Reuse Everything:
If we have boxes, plastic food tubs from butter/cottage cheese etc, plastic bags, we use everything twice or longer. Those little tubs can last you a long time if you wash it on the top rack of your dishwasher or by hand. I use them for snack for my kids or small servings of leftovers. Boxes that are to small to use for packing i will fold the top in and let my daughter decorate it and use it to store her toys. Plastic bags (i try not to get them and use canvas bags) i use for the cat litter or bathroom trash cans.

Canvas Shopping Bags:
SO easy to make on your own, or you can spend a few buck (walmart is 97 cents) at the grocery store for theirs. They are way more durable than plastic bags, and you can reuse them for all sorts of things. I have a ton I use for shopping and I'm actually learning how to make more not just for shopping but for tote bags.

Freecycle:
Recently my mommy group here in town had a little playdate/potluck/freecycle get together at one of our houses. We all brought over stuff we didn't want or need anymore... clothes, toys, games, books and basically had a little swap right there! It was nice to be able to bring over some stuff i would have normally thrown out, and see it find a home with my friends.

Ditch the plastic bottles:
We have a nice little reusable water pitcher that we use rather then buying bottled water. We replace the filter every 3 to 6 months for 15-20 bucks and trust me when I say, it adds up. It's very dry here and my oldest daughter drinks water like she breathes air. If I was buying little bottled waters I would be flat broke.

The list goes on but thats just a few of the things we have been doing around here.

So where does that leave us at the moment blog wise? I'm on a small hiatus while I get caught up. I've not bought any diapers to review in some time due to financial constraints. So all you WAHM's out there feel free to email me about doing a product demo/review for your cloth diaper related paraphernalia ;)
I also am still trying to get my husband to help me video some more diaper demo's like how to fold prefolds etc... but the man works on the strip and is insanely busy.

Eventually. I swear.
One day at a time.

/peace!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

And the Winner IS:

Congrats to Stephanie C.!!! Rachel will be contacting you shortly and getting your details to send you your prize!

Thanks for entering guys. This one ran a little slow, but there will be lots more in the future. In the mean time, don't forget to stop by Sweet Baby Bottoms check out Rachel's shop :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Going green in baby steps!

Seems like everyone is "Going Green" these days. Using metal water bottles, fabric shopping bags, replacing their light bulbs... all just a few simple ways for people to lend Mother Earth a hand. But what about everyday household items we often take for granted? Paper Towels, for example.

Here's some food for thought. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it takes 51,000 trees per day to replace the paper towels that are disposed of each day.

51,000!?!?! Are you kidding me?

Americans send about 3000 tons of paper towels to landfills every year. Paper towels can't be recycled once they are used. Once you throw it away, thats it. It's off to it's new home in the landfill.

So what can you do?

I've recently come across a pretty amazing product called SKOY Cloth.
From Rambles and Shambles


It's a 100% biodegradable and all natural earth friendly cloth. Just one SKOY can replace 15 rolls of paper towels! Thats right... 15 rolls of paper towels.

To put that into perspective, in a recent study by Arizona State University "If each household in the U.S. reduced its paper towel use by just 3 rolls per year, it would save 120,000 tons of waste and $4.1 million in landfill dumping fees."

Well, with just one pack of SKOY you get 4 cloths. That's about 60 rolls of paper towels you will be saving!
From Rambles and Shambles

They come in so many vibrant and pretty colors, too.

So what is it made of? Quoting their product card:
"SKOY is an environmental advance in cleaning cloths. This European made product is 100% biodegradable and is made from a unique blend of natural cotton and wood-pulp cellulose. SKOY cloth is non toxic, chlorine free, and made using water based colors and inks"

How do you use it? Simple! When you get your SKOY it will feel like a stiff, rough piece of cardboard. But when you apply water it transforms into a soft cloth! Simply squeeze out the water and it becomes the most absorbent paper towel ever. You can use it with house hold cleaning products, or just with water. To clean them, just toss them in the dishwasher or your washer and dryer,or to sterilize it just toss a wet SKOY in the microwave for a minute or two.

I've been using mine for about a 2 months and have already cut back significantly on my paper towel usage. I don't know where I would be without this product. It certainly is a great baby step in going green, especially if your not ready to start composting just yet ;) This is a great gift for any household and your kids will love cleaning with it or just wiping up messes!

I purchased mine from Sweet Baby Bottoms for $5.99 and they have more then paid for themselves.

So with that, in honor of Valentines Day, I'm teaming up with Rachel from Sweet Baby Bottoms to give away a 4 pack of SKOY cloths to show our love for Mother Earth!

Here's how to enter:
Simply leave a comment telling us what you do to try to be green.
You can also earn one extra entry for each of the following:

x1 for following this blog.
x1 for becoming a Facebook fan of SBB
x1 for following SBB on Twitter
x1 for ever 5$ spent at SBB's Store (just post your order # for confirmation)

That's a total of 5 entries possible. This is a one time entry deal, not daily.
Be sure that post a comment for each of these like this:

Bob - Following you on twitter
Bob - Fanned your FB page!

SO MAKE A NEW COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY :)

I will be posting the winner on Valentines Day @ 6pm Pacfic Time.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Revisiting Little Fancy Pants.

Let's hop in the wayback machine for a moment and take a look at a review I did back in September 2009.

I have been asked to do a new review of Little Fancy Pants Diapers since Leah has redesigned her bamboo fitteds. Of course I couldn't say no at the chance to review some new fluff. Besides, I liked the older version, the way it fit and the cute style so I was excited to give it another go. I got action shots, but I forgot to take actual product shots.
From Cloth diapering


This is the exact diaper Izzy is wearing for our demo. You can see it's a serged bamboo fitted with a snap down rise and snap in soaker.

The new LFP Bamboo fitted has a cute outter print 100% cotton jersey knit, and hidden inside is a layer of 90% organic cotton, and the inside is 90% cotton, 10% polyester velour.
The new soaker is 2 layers that are sewn at the top and snap in with 2 hidden snaps. It's comprised of a layer of velour, a layer of organic bamboo fleece and a layer of organic cotton fleece, making the diaper MUCH more absorbent than it's predecessor.

The fit is still very trim and snuggly against baby's bottom:
From Cloth diapering

and as usual no gapping:
From Cloth diapering



Overall I have to say I was very impressed with the modifications Leah has made to her fitted diaper. She managed to keep the same cute and trim diaper but with much more absorbency than before. I love how soft it got after it was washed a few times, and the snaps are spaced pretty well for a good fit. As far as absorbency compared to my other fitteds, it's far better than Thirsties Fab Fitteds or bumGenius Bamboo Fitteds. Still not quite as absorbent as a BSRB but it's getting there. Izzy is a heavy soaker though, so she usually has hemp boosters in most of her diapers. Of course you will need a cover for this particular diaper.

Definitely check out Little Fancy Pants for some really affordable and cute fitted diapers. You won't find a trimmer fitted outside of a BSRB
From Cloth diapering


Next up is our review of Bouche Bumz!

Have a blessed day.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Breaking News :P

okay so I'm a few hours late (i had to sleep damn it)
But here is some important news in the cloth diapering community!



For Release: February 1, 2010

Miracle Diapers Is Now The Cloth Diaper Foundation
empowering families, improving the environment

As Miracle Diapers has grown so has the number of families they assist. In 2009, they helped over 450 babies directly, more than 100 babies through sponsorship and local distribution, and assisted other charities with the same mission as well!

To better serve those families Miracle Diapers reaccessed it's structure and practices. They have:
• New leadership with Roxanna Jolly—CEO and Lisa Johnston—Operations Manager and Board Chair
• Relocated their headquarters to Katy, Texas
• Restructured how they process and accept applications
• Opened a retail store for fundraising
• Founded a new membership program
• Welcomed several new board members from the cloth diapering industry

In it's fifth year Miracle Diapers wants to continue moving forward and has decided to take on a new name that better describes the organization and it's mission.

Miracle Diapers is now The Cloth Diaper Foundation.

“We felt that a more appropriate name would help the community have a better understanding of who we are, as we have often been mistaken for a diaper manufacturer. Our desire to move forward and build a legacy of support for the cloth diapering community will be reflected in our new name: The Cloth Diaper Foundation.”
-Roxanna Jolly, CEO, The Cloth Diaper Foundation

Monetary donations fell last year do to the economy. Which means there are more families out there for The Cloth Diaper Foundation to help! While diaper donations are always appreciated, we must be able to financially support organizational growth. Let's make this happen together and spread the CD love. Visit http://clothdiaperfoundation.org today to find out how you can help!

***Addendum to Press Release:***
To assist in fund raising efforts, in the month of February, Tracy Whittemore and Lisa Adkins from The Cloth Diaper Company have so graciously offered to match, product for product, each Cloth Diaper Company product sold (Drybees, Wahmies, Rocky Mountain Diapers) in The Cloth Diaper Foundation Retail Store with an equal donation to our organization. (Example - Purchase a Rocky Mountain Diapers OS Pocket, CDC will donate our organization a RMD OS Pocket, Drybees for Drybees, etc.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

2010!

Okay so I'm a little late. Family has taken the forefront of my attention at the moment but I'm still here working on a few things.

I've got 2 diaper reviews for my wonderful readers!
I've been asked by the WAHM behind Little Fancy Pants to do a updated review on her diapers. I had done a prior review on a fitted diaper of her's back in September. Well, she has redesigned her diaper to be more absorbent and so I'm going to give it another run and demo it here for you folks.

I'll also be doing a review on a diaper made in my home state of Alaska! You might have heard of Bouche Bumz. I've been testing out one of her AI2's and I can't wait to write up a review!

Last but not least, I will be doing a review on a non diaper item and a subsequent giveaway! Our last giveaway with Winky Dinks was such a great success and so much fun. I can't wait to do it again. Can you guess what the mystery item is? I'll give you a hint... It's all about going green and doing your part to reduce your carbon foot print. Take a look at how many products you have in your house that you only use once and throw away! Now multiply that by millions of households across the country, and imagine how much waste goes into our landfills...

I'll leave you with that for now :P

Izzy has been keeping us very busy with her non stop teething and crankyness. Updating the blog (or sleeping for that matter) has been a challenge... I can't wait to get back on track and give you guys some new posts to chew on.