Wednesday, June 4, 2014

GroVia: The Best Cloth Has To Offer

Good morning! 

About a week ago, my friend Rachel was telling our Mom's group how if you write companies and tell them you like their product, a lot of times they'll send you samples and freebies. I immediately accepted this challenge, because it's a great idea anyway. It got my brain thinking about what products I love and why. Two products immediately came to mind: the Yummi Pouch and GroVia cloth diapers. 

You see, cloth diapering has been quite the adventure for us. There has been a lot to learn. I bought most of our diapers used except for the last three: two Glowbug Diapers and a GroVia that I most definitely splurged on. The GroVia All-in-Two Hybrid was our very last diaper to arrive. Save the best for last right? Because we absolutely love it! 

The bicycle print is absolutely adorable! But it's so much more than just the print that I love. 

The inside is a mesh material. It is so soft and airy! And at GroVia they use only organic, sustainably produced materials. See that snap? That's where you can snap in an organic cotton soaker pad, or one of their disposable soaker pads. Hence, why it's called a "hybrid." 

I received this diaper and I could kick myself for buying anything other than GroVia. Our other diapers all have snaps, which I've learned the hard way are incredibly difficult to put on a wiggling baby that refuses to lay on a changing table. This diaper has super sticky Velcro, and it is so much easier to get on him! 

To make a long story short, we love this diaper. It fits Landon to a T. So I was happy to write GroVia and tell them how much I love this diaper. I really do believe it's the best out there. It most definitely is the best for us. I get excited every time this diaper comes out of the wash! 

I also told GroVia how much I love their Mighty Bubbles laundry treatment. 
There are a few diapers that would've been trash without this treatment. Peeyew! 

GroVia has quality products. End of story. So I told them, and you know what they did? They wrote me back! They asked me for my address so they could send me a little something. THAT is great customer service! 

What's even better? What they sent me! 

Yep, that there is a hand written letter, my friends. 
Those are their organic cotton soaker pads that snap into the diaper!!! I was just using a prefold or a bamboo insert before because the soaker pads are $20! They also sent a sample of their Magic Stick diaper creme which I love!! I love that I don't have to get my hands dirty. :) 

We now have the full hybrid package, thanks to the generous people at GroVia. Just because I told them I love their products. Because I genuinely do. They exemplify greatness in the quality of their products and the way their company treats it's customers. If you want to buy an awesome diaper for your little one and support an amazing company, buy GroVia. You won't be let down. They have gone above and beyond. 

There it is. The beloved organic, cotton soaker pad. Thanks, GroVia. You've made a believer out of me. :) 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lil Head Organics: Local, Organic Baby Food

A few months ago, I went to a MOBA (Mom Owned Business Association) event at the Lincoln Center. I stopped by a booth and had a nice chat with the owner of Lil Head Organics, a local organic baby food business that delivers fresh, organic additive-free baby food directly to your doorstep! Although I thought it was a brilliant idea, it was a little out of my price range. Then a few weeks ago, there was an online auction for a little girl with a head injury. I bid on the Lil Head Organics startup package and I won! I got a STEAL! I am so excited to get to utilize this awesome, local business!  

It totally escaped my mind that today was delivery day, so it what a lovely surprise when I went to take the dog for a walk and there on our door step was our cooler and first baby food delivery! 

Those coolers are pretty sweet, but what's sweeter? What's inside! 
Peaches and beets! 

And a little green pouch! 

Since it'd been out there so long (they deliver between 4AM and 6AM) it was a little melty. No big deal, I spooned some peaches into the pouch for Landon and he devoured it! I'd say it was definitely a great investment and we will continue buying fruit from them! 

If you're interested in checking out the company, please visit They offer several different options of fruits and vegetables and are working on adding more. I would highly recommend them! Plus there's nothing better than supporting a local, sustainable business. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kefir Madness!

I apologize beforehand if I'm a little scatter-brained. I am seriously sleep deprived and running on caffeine and adrenaline. Story of my life.

Anyway, with all my research on how to brew kombucha, the term "kefir" kept popping up. Kefir vs kombucha. Kefir this. Kombucha that. So I had to check it out. Turns out kefir is even easier than kombucha to make, all you need is some water or milk kefir grains (different types of scoby's). Where in the world could I find some of these? As it turns out, I just joined a Northern Colorado Crunchy Mama's Facebook group (after all, I'm getting crunchier by the day! Ha). I put a post up there asking if anyone had these grains. Bingo! A very sweet mama named Stacey offered to share her scoby's with me, and she just so happened to have both water and milk kefir grains. Score! 

So Landon and I went over to Stacey's house this afternoon to pick them up. It turns out her baby girl is just over a week older than Landon! They hit it off right away, and Landon enjoyed stealing her sippy cup while I got the down low on kombucha, water kefir, and milk kefir. 

Kefir is wayyyy easier than kombucha and just as healthy, so I am pretty stoked about it. 
Water kefir grains are also a type of scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). 
So to get this going, you add 1/4-1/3 cup of organic cane sugar and 1 teaspoon of molasses to water and shake it until it dissolves. 
I used an old peanut butter jar my mom gave me. 

Add the grains and then you put it in a warm, safe spot (for me, this is the top of our pantry) and you let it ferment for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you strain the kefir into another jar. Use the grains to create new kefir. With the kefir you just brewed, you can add fruit juice or fresh fruit, and go for a second ferment in order to get the fizzy, bubbly goodness. I can't wait for this second part which is just a few hours away for us! I bought a plethora of fruits from the Amish grocery store today, and I stopped by Goodwill and purchased a few more jars. 

I am going crazy for all things fermented! I am so happy that I finally made a friend who is into all this kefir madness! The fun is just beginning!! 

Coming soon: how to make milk kefir! :) 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Kombucha: The Second Ferment

Good morning!
I told you to keep an eye out for the second part of my kombucha brewing. Here it is! 

Yesterday I took a taste of my kombucha. It was still sweet but definitely sour. It probably could've brewed a few more days, but I got really impatient and decided to go ahead, flavor it, and start the second ferment. 

I added blueberries, a couple chopped strawberries and a pomegranate. Then I drizzled them with honey before adding the kombucha. Yum!

I removed the scoby and put it in a glass bowl with a little over a cup of the kombucha. This thing is so weird. I showed Jay and he was totally grossed out. I love it! :) 

Then I poured the fermented tea in with the fruit. I still had a lot leftover after the first three jars, so I started experimenting with fruit combinations. I did it one jar at a time to make sure I had enough. You don't want to leave too much air in the jars because you want it to carbonate. 

From left to right, blueberry, blueberry/pomegranate, strawberry, lemon/strawberry, pomegranate, and cucumber. 

I love jars. I am so happy I found a good use for all of the jars I've been hanging on to for months! 

So now we continue to wait. Roughly three days, and my first batch will be DONE! 

Who wants to come sample it with me? :) 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Cloth Scramble

I am calling it a scramble because we (meaning I) are scrambling to get it together! My word. There is a lot to this cloth diapering stuff, at least to me there is, because I had zero knowledge when I started and no guidance. I just dove head-first into cloth diapering, and though we've experienced some setbacks, we (as in me) are finally getting the hang of it. 

First of all, I had no idea what type of diapers to buy. I assumed All In Ones would be the easiest, but they're not... At least not when you have a small stash. They take forever to dry, and I'm really not exaggerating. So we started out with three Thirsties All-In-ones. 
I do like these when they're dry, and I have been using them as our nighttime diaper with an extra insert. We've still had some leakage issues, so we are sorting this out. 

Our next, and so far best purchase, was seven Sunbabies off of eBay, 

These are pockets and they've worked pretty well. I've had some issues with leaking, but I think it was mainly because I wasn't snapping the legs together. I have started using the snaps for the leg holes and so far, so good. 

My next purchase was a doozy. I really wasn't too thrilled with the condition of these, but I did get a few good things out of it. Mostly knowledge. 
Maybe it's just me, but if I'm buying used, I'm going to stick to snaps from now on. The Velcro just looks like crap when they've been used. 
However I got this Flip cover from her, and it is in great condition. She also threw in two other covers (one the elastic is shot), a couple of prefolds, some snappis and a diaper sprayer... So really for what I paid I still got a good deal. 

Well, we have had some MAJOR issues with detergents. My poor boy has super sensitive skin. 
^^^ that's the rash he got from the Country Save detergent. I stripped, and went to All Free and Clear. Somebody told me not to use the ALL on the cloth diapers because it has brighteners in it. I had just received a bunch of Bumgenius samples, so I decided to give it a try. MISTAKE!!!!! 

You can't see the rash, but you can see where he scratched his bottom until he BLED! As you can see, I had to switch him back to disposables until I got this sorted out. The Bumgenius made him soooo itchy! I had to give him Benadryl and put Calamine lotion on him. To make it worse, the poor boy got diarrhea and got a terrible diaper rash. So I caved and took him to the doctor. 

Eczema on his arms, though I'm not convinced because it has been there for months! 

Eczema on his legs. 

The poor child is just so itchy all the time. I felt really guilty about the Bumgenius because I felt like this whole cloth diapering thing is my venture to be more sustainable, and he is just along for the ride. My test subject. The poor kid has been through the ringer, and I do feel really sorry about it. In my defense, I just didn't know. There's no way to foresee that your kid will be allergic to the detergent. I'm sticking to the ALL Free and Clear. I just don't have the heart to try anything else on him. 

The doctor gave us prescription eczema lotion, put him on Claritin, and told me to put conditioner (that's right, hair conditioner) in his bath water. He said its a cheap way to get a moisturizer in the water. Great idea! He said to use Suave, but all I can think about is all those chemicals. Plus I'm afraid to try anything else on his sensitive skin. However, I may try this for myself. :) 

All of this detergent mishap has resulted in a LOT of laundry. 

Which made me realize I really need a better drying system. I have diapers and inserts hanging EVERYWHERE!! I am working on this.

So a couple days ago I got flat RIPPED off by a lady. She didn't even give me the right diapers. She handed them to me zipped up in a wet bag and off she went! So there really isn't a lot I can do. I didn't even noticed the two diapers were completely ruined inside until after I'd stripped them. The inside is abrasive, like it got melted or something. Bummer. Total bummer. 

They're really soft on the outside. The one with pink is totally fine. If it weren't for the fleece lining being messed up, they'd be great diapers. I'm a little bummed and not sure if there's anything I can do to fix it. 

Lastly, I want to show off my collection of inserts. Haha, nerd alert! 

The black one is our new five-layer, charcoal bamboo inserts, and we LOVE it. They work really great. The others are microfiber, a hemp, and I'm not sure what else. They're all really different, and I don't know which is which. I'm just happy to have them. 

I have three more diapers in the mail. Then my stash will be complete for a while. I'll have to save up and keep an eye out for deals. :)

The end. 

My Lastest Venture: Kombucha

I am back from a wild week of sickness and taking care of the sick! My little family has been through the ringer, but we are finally well again and I am caught up enough on my duties to pause and write this! 

Exactly one week ago, I met up with Rebecca, the mom of one of my preschoolers from Young People's Learning Center! It was so fun to see him again, meet his new baby sister, and catch up with Rebecca. She sweetly gave me one of her kombucha scoby's (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Thus my adventure has begun. 

There's really not a whole lot to it (yet). I made a gallon of black tea, dissolved a cup of sugar into it and let it cool. Then I added the scoby and some of her kombucha liquid. Then I covered it with part of an old tshirt and a rubber band. Now I've just been waiting, and reading up on Pinterest about different benefits, recipes, and so on. 

Basically, kombucha is the bomb. Why did I wait so long to get into this? It's EASY-peasy and the health benefits just go on and on. It's a probiotic. It aids in digestion. It can help reduce stress and help you sleep! It's packed with vitamin C and B vitamins... Score! And it's also full of antioxidants. It can even help you lose weight. Need I say more? This stuff is amazing! 

This is what it looks like today. Sorry about the glare. It's formed a layer across the top of the jar. 

It reminds me of a jelly fish. I wish I would've known about this as a kid. Talk about an awesome, fun, and tasty science experiment!! 

So the wait continues for about 3-7 more days. Then phase two begins and I am planning on making apple-ginger kombucha. Seriously, how good does that sound? 

Thanks, Pinterest. :) and thanks, Rebecca for getting me started!! 

Keep your eye out for a follow up post when everything is complete! :) 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cloth Diaper Update

Cloth Diapering has become quite the adventure! I have talked with a lot of women and am finally developing the hang of it! 

Here is our stash so far: 
Three Thirsties All-in-Ones

Seven Sunbabies with hemp inserts

And this really cute, fuzzy green with white stars one that a woman from Facebook gave us for FREE! So sweet of her! 

We had a little setback because it turns out Landon is allergic to Country Save detergent. 

It kind of freaked me out that he was allergic to the diapers, but the rash is all over his legs and on his chest too. 

Poor little booty. 

So I spent yesterday stripping all of his diapers, and rewashing all of his clothes. I've got him back in cloth diapers and he seems to be doing okay. Whew! 

Rashes make me really nervous for some reason, and Landon is like the rashiest kid ever! Between eczema and the weird bumps he has on his forearms, I should be used to it by now. I always get nervous when I see a new rash. When this one first popped up, I had no idea what it was. I'd also used a series of new diaper rash creams that day. 

Oh man. I need to slow down... Start using one new thing at a time. Ain't nobody got time for that!! Haha! 

I am really hoping to get a few more cloth diapers. I have a friend who said she would give us some of hers which would be amazing! Right now I've pretty much got laundry going continuously. It would be so nice to have a little break. Hopefully we will be getting our diaper pail soon (it got mailed to my old address, so I'm really hoping that those kids are honest and actually call me when it gets there). I desperately need more wet bags! I have one, which is being used like my pail.. So I'm just using grocery bags as my on the go wet bag. It'll be nice to get everything situated. 

I'm hoping to get a few night time diapers as well. I'll be on the hunt for these things once our finances stabilize. We are the brokest we've been. People have been so wonderfully generous lately, and I am beyond grateful. I can't wait to get a chance to blog about that specifically! We are blessed!