Author Archives: Maria

Maria is an aspiring "fit mom" of 3 children, writing about cloth diapers, going green, and her life as a single mom. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development, and other services.
Eco-Friendly/Green Made in the USA Reusable Products

It’s spreading

>I’ve been wanting to switch to cloth napkins for a while, but I haven’t been able to find quite what I’m looking for, nor have I been ready to commit to the initial cost.  I’ve also learned about unpapertowels, and I’ve found some really clever containers for them.  That is definitely something I want to do when I have the funds.

Back to the point of this post!  My daughter started a new preschool.  It’s 2 days a week, and she eats lunch there.  Her new school is very environmentally conscious.  In fact, the building constructed last year is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.

Needless to say, I’d be ashamed to send a paper napkin and ziploc bag in her lunch box every day!  We already have a reusable sandwich container, but I wanted cloth napkins and reusable snack bags too.  Enter etsy.  I asked each seller if I could use her photos here on my blog and each agreed.  I am trying to learn about photography, but I’m still terrible at it!

I purchased a set of cloth napkins from MagicalMemories

A Tinkerbell snack bag from smartsnackbags

and a pink snack pouch from cottontopquilts (I have to note that shipping charges were extremely reasonable, but this seller still refunded me 60 cents when shipping costs were less.  I didn’t expect this for many reasons, but it was a nice surprise.  The only time I’m annoyed about shipping is when I’m charged MORE than enough to ship something in a box via priority mail, but I get it after 3 weeks, in an envelope, smushed, with 2 stamps on it!)

I thought they were reasonably priced and a worthy investment, considering how much disposable products cost and how quickly they add up. 
The bags are lined with water resistant, FDA approved materials, so you can even use them for things like sliced fruit.  The Tinkerbell bag is about 6.5″ by 6.5″ and the pink bag is about 6.5″ x 3.75″.  I thought the larger bag would be great for fruit and the smaller bag would be perfect for smaller snacks like crackers and pretzels.  They both have a velcro closure and no exposed seams for crumbs to get tangled in.  They can be wiped out or washed & laid flat to dry.
If you search, you can find tons of bags in all sizes, prints and closures, to fit any need.
Yesterday, I received the pink snack bag.
It’s really well made, very easy to open and of course, adorable.  My daughter was so excited to take pretzels in it today.  She said her teacher held it up for everyone to see because it was “so cute!”
Today I received the napkins.

They’re the perfect size for a lunch box!

I also got the Tinkerbell bag.  She looks a little, uh, confused in the first pic because the bag is creased right through her face.

The closure on this one was a little harder to open. My daughter is already planning to take orange slices in it to preschool tomorrow.
What made this extra special was the way it was packaged.
Even though I knew what it was (and I paid for it!) it was like getting a little present in the mail.
The custom sticker was really neat!

I’ve already started adding items to my etsy “favorites.”  I’d love to have some larger bags with a bottom gusset to pack sandwiches in.  I’ve found quite a few adorable prints, but I’m not sure if I should go for a velcro closure, or the traditional fold-over “sandwich bag” closure.

Edit August 2010: The napkins held up great, as did the pink bag from cottontopquilts.  However, the Tinkerbell bag from smartsnacbags didn’t fare as well.  We used the pink one 2x/week for 6 months with no problem.  The tinkerbell bag was used less often, maybe twice per month, if that.  It didn’t even last 6 months before the lining fell apart, and I received to response from the seller when I contacted her about it.

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Stink Stripping Washing

It’s on now!

>

Yesterday I decided to declare war.  It’s full fledged warfare, me vs. the diapers.

I started by soaking them in bac out and lil outlaws most of the day.  Then I did a cold heavy duty wash with a 3 hour soak and extra rinse.  I followed that up with a hot heavy duty wash with an extra warm rinse.

Then, it was just me and the inserts.  My diapers hung over the washing machine and the inserts gave them a panicked look.   They should know better than to mess with me!

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Cloth Diapering Inserts Stink Stripping Washing

Not that kind of stripping

>Well. I’d hoped that since I’ve been using Lil Outlaws detergent and cloth safe diaper cream, I wouldn’t have to strip my diapers.  I’ve finally succumbed to the microfiber stink!  They weren’t particularly offensive, just rather musty smelling.  This particular smell appears to be very common with BumGenius diapers.

To strip diapers, you use the classic blue dawn, or plain ivory dish soap, suds the diapers up, then rinse until there are no more suds.  This can be a lot of rinsing, so I did only 5-7 at a time, since I only have 15.

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Detergents WAHM made

Another Addiction

>Well, cloth diapering is addictive enough.  Throw in Lil Outlaws‘ great products and delicious scents, and the case is closed.  I’m addicted.

I had been spending an unhealthy amount of time looking at all the fragrance descriptions already, and when I found out that there was a Buy 4, Get 4 Free Sale on the detergent, I really wanted to buy.  The sale ran only through December 31st, and she warned that her prices would go up in 2010.  So, I bit.

I have a really hard time choosing scents, but I’m loving everything that I’ve chosen.  I prefer powdery florals or light, clean scents.

Here’s what I chose:

2 Baby Bee A fragrance cocktail of luscious fruits such as peaches, mandarin oranges, coconut pulp, bergamot, grapefruit, tropical guava, and tangy lemons.  I like baby clothes to smell baby-ish and this was the only baby scent she had available at the time. Butt Naked is my favorite.

Biolage Matrix top notes of forest fresh green leaves and lemon zests, and well rounded with fruity notes of peaches, apples, and pineapples. A very fresh fragrance that will entice and energize your day. (similar to the shampoo)

Quince A duplicate of the Henri Bendel* fragrance, this fragrance is a light amber woody accord with a splash of fruit and nuance of green.

Yacht Club Want to go yacht sailing on the ocean on a mid summer morning? A fragrance reminiscent of upscale living with salty marine notes and fresh rain, with just a hint of fresh strawberry and kiwi to provide this scent with a well-rounded presentation.

Lotus Blossom The lotus flower is a symbol of beauty, purity, and fertility. Lotus flowers are water-fresh, clean, and slightly powdery in nature. Not too sweet, absolutely perfect! Even people who do not like florals will love this aroma!

Lemon EO

Rice Flower & Shea A very light scent. This duplicate of the BBW* fragrance is a rich bouquet of fruits and flowers on an intense, alluring base of musk and creamy vanilla notes.

I actually didn’t get the Rice Flower & Shea but I contacted Jacklen and she is sending a replacement out to make up for the mix-up.

The scents I’ve tried previously are Baby Bee, Baby Powder, Butt Naked, Giggles, Midsummer’s Night and Laundromat.

All the scents are fabulous, but I found myself sniffing the Quince, Lotus Blossom and Yacht club over and over.  Lotus Blossom and Yacht Club are definitely my new favorites.  My typical M.O. is to “save the best for last” but I went ahead and cracked open the Yacht Club so I wouldn’t be tempted to use too much to zip through it and get to my favorites.  LOL!

I had an empty 4 quart oxo pop container, and I stuck 4 bags in it to contain the smell and keep the bags neat.  The detergent is typically sent in a heat sealed bag with a printed label, but this time it came in ziploc bags with the scent written in sharpie.  She was really busy with the big sale of course!

I would like to get some .9 Qt containers to keep the detergent in, like the ones I use for my baking stuff, but they’re a little pricey.
For now, I have the opened bags in ziploc containers.

Uh, yeah.  I may also have a little label maker addiction.
I also learned something about Lil Outlaws.  I am of course a numbers gal, so I had figured out the cost per load and how long each bag would last, based on the assertion that each package contained 70 loads of 1 Tablespoon each.  I was figuring there should be 4 3/8 cups, or just over 1 Qt in each bag.  I was confused when I realized there was only about 3 1/2 cups in a bag.

So, I asked and found out that Jacklen does it by weight.  She figured that each load weighs .45 oz, or 31.5 oz for a batch.  She always puts at least 2 pounds in a bag, but sometimes puts more, therefore each bag may have a slightly different amount.

It immediately all became clear.  “Product sold by weight, not volume.  Contents may have settled during shipping.”  Sound familiar?  I think we’ve all gotten a half empty box of cereal before!  I have no idea why it didn’t occur to me before.  In fact, I’ll bet if I measured the same 1 Tablespoon, it would be considerably heavier for me, after being packed and shipped, than it was for Jacklen when she weighed it right after mixing.  So that accounts for the difference in volume and assures me that I could use less and still get the same cleaning power.  Shew.

Here is a video that’s more food related, but shows why you should weigh, not measure, your food if you’re watching your calorie intake.

Anyhoo, now that the mystery is solved, I can drool over the other Lil Outlaws scents.  I really want to try the “Rump Solution” for my wipes, but I still have about half of the Booty Cubes I bought.  One cube makes 1 cup of solution, and that 1 cup in a spray bottle lasts me 1-2 weeks.  Argh.  Cost effective, yes, but I’ll never get through it!

Here are the other scents I think sounds scrumptious (though I’m not typically into fruity stuff!)

Amazing Grace – A feminine fragrance that will make you feel pretty…oh so pretty! Italian bergamot and sparkling lemon are sweetened with freshly picked citron and neroli. A white floral jasmine, orange blossom and rose are blended with sheer musk and cedarwood.

Blackened Amethyst – A seductive fragrance created for chic, confident women who like to “live a little”. This fragrance combines aquatic top notes with Italian bergamot, rare camellias, and lime; followed by notes of exotic sandalwood and vetiver.

Pink Lime – Top notes of lime, dewfruit, peach, orange, apple, and mandarin blend with middle notes of lily, berries, jasmine, and lavender into a sandalwood, raspberry vanilla, musk, coconut base.

Pink Sugar – Lively floral with top notes of bergamot, orange, strawberry and licorice. The heart blends red fruit, lily of the valley, fig leaves and soft powder notes. The base is a cotton candy, vanilla, caramel, musk and woody blend.

When I eventually get the rump solution, I’ll probably stick to butt naked, oatmeal milk & honey and baby powder.

Other scents that aren’t in stock now, but caught my eye before are moonlight path, winter candy apple, pink watermelon, white tea & ginger, white nectarine & pink coral, and nectarine mint.

You can’t waffle around on this because if a scent is in stock now, it might be sold out when you check again in an hour.  It makes it fun to try new things, but also frustrating sometimes.  She is offering fragrance sniffies now, but by the time you decide, it will probably be out of stock!

The good thing is that since shipping is included, you can order one bag here and there as scents you like come in stock.  I’m sure my husband would kill me if I bought any more though.  Hee hee.

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Cloth Diapers One Size Diapers Pocket Diapers Snap Closure

Rumparooz with snaps

>I’ve tried a few diapers with snaps and velcro is still my preference.

I like that snap diapers seem to look new longer, no snagging & diaper chaining either. I also hear that although you may have to replace a snap or two at some point, you will have to replace velcro, no question. However, I think I could handle sewing some velcro on, I don’t have a snap press or pliers to do snaps though! People also say snaps are harder for their toddler streaker wannabe to undo.

This Rumparooz diaper has a cute kangaroo print (my daughter still thinks they are dinosaurs!) and I chose the snap option.

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It’s fine. Other than the snaps, it’s exactly like the other Rumprooz I have. The snaps do take an extra few seconds to do, and you can’t get quite the custom fit that you can with velcro.

For now, I think I’d continue to choose velcro over snaps. Not sure if that will change later!

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