Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Water Beads!

A little while ago, I read about Water Beads on the Play at Home Mom blog HERE and HERE. I had never seen them before and I just loved the pictures ...I was intrigued! They looked like so much fun! So, when I was at Walmart the other day, I bought a package of clear ones. It was awesome! Such a fun and unique sensory experience! I have never played with anything like it before and I can honestly say that hubby and I had just as much fun (if not more) with them as little man did. I definitely want to get some more colors for little man (and hubby and I) to play with. You're never to old to play with water beads! 

Here is little man discovering the fun squishy-ness of water beads for the first time! 

Time to add some utensils to the mix!
Stir, stir, stir!

Sooo cooool!

Happy Wednesday!


Ju-Ju Monkey Review from The Flats and Handwashing Challenge!

During the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, I was very lucky to have some amazing sponsors. One wonderful sponsor was Ju-Ju Monkey, who sent me two Hemp Babies Flat Weeds Diapers and a Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds Diaper to help me with the Flats and Handwashing Challenge!

Ju-Ju Monkey Inc. is an online baby boutique that offers cloth diapers and cloth diapering accessories as well as many other natural items for moms and their little ones.  Ju-Ju Monkey carries many brands that are well known and they also continue to branch out, offering new and noteworthy brands for their customers.  Ju-Ju Monkey works hard to provide their customers with a variety of products that are "green" and made in the USA. Ju-Ju Monkey not only has an amazing selection of products that you can feel good about purchasing for your family, but they have wonderful customer service and are so easy to chat with!

Ju-Ju Monkey sent me two Hemp Babies Flat Weeds Diapers and a Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds Diaper for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. Before the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, I didn't know much about flats. I didn't know the different brand names or what materials they were made from or anything else about them for that matter! Even though prior to the Challenge, I had used hemp inserts in little man's night-time and nap-time diapers, I had never heard of the Hemp Babies brand before. I learned that the  Hemp Babies line was designed by Jenn Labit of Cotton Babies, Inc., and they are sewn by women in the USA! I love supporting products that are made here in the USA! I was so excited to try them out when Ju-Ju Monkey sent them to me! Hemp Babies Flat Weeds measure at 27"x27" and are a  hemp jersey square made from 55% Hemp and 45% Certified Organic Cotton. I love this combo! I love that Hemp Babies uses organic cotton and the addition of hemp made these flats super-duper absorbent! 

Thin and trim, but it sure can do the job!
The material felt thin, but once you use it, you find out that it really packs a punch! The Hemp Babies Flat Weeds Diapers were easy to prep and there was about and inch (maybe less) of shrinkage when I boiled them. They also washed up very well each and every time during the Challenge and I didn't have any trouble with stains. They dried very quickly outside, which surprised me. I thought that since they were hemp flats that they would hold onto the water more and take longer to dry. They were a little stiff, but nothing noticeable and nothing that a bit of shaking out didn't cure! 

Overall, I loved the Hemp Babies Flat Weeds Diapers! They did an excellent job keeping little man dry and I particularly loved to use them when we were going out for the afternoon or for nap times. I never had a leak while I was using them and was repeatedly surprised by the amount of liquid that they could hold. Since the Challenge has ended, I no longer wash them by hand :) but I still use them. I love to stuff them in a pocket diaper or use them with a cover. I particularly like using the pad fold with the Hemp Babies Flat Weeds Diapers. For a nap, trip to the park or when we go shopping, I love using a Flip cover, Flip stay-dry insert and then a Hemp Babies Flat Weeds Diaper pad folded underneath. It is awesome! 
The Diaper Bag Fold!

Since during the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, I could only use the two Hemp Babies Flat Weeds Diapers, I spent some time after the challenge using the Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds Diaper on little man and getting a feel for how it worked. Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds Diaper have 2 layers and are made of 55% Hemp and 45% Organic Cotton. The 2 layers give the Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds 8 times the absorbency of cotton! These are definitely for the heavy wetter in your life! The Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds Diaper is very easy to use as a prefold with a cover. Once I folded it, it fit well into all of the different covers that I used during the Challenge and I have found that I can also stuff it into my pocket diapers! Size-wise, it is the same width and two inches shorter than a fully-shrunk, premium-sized, Chinese Prefold diaper. Once mine was prepped, it was approx. 17.5"x19.5". I have used this diaper a lot since the Challenge ended. It is incredibly soft and cozy feeling (I wish I could have a blanket made of it!) and it is a very reliable prefold. I have used it overnight with no leaks! Now, little man is a pretty heavy wetter, especially in the front since he is a stomach sleeper. I put him to bed with the Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds Diaper folded in thirds and a Flip stay-dry insert over the top of it and I put a Thirsties cover on him. I was sure that he would wake up soaked in the middle of the night or be drenched by morning. But nope! He was happy and dry in the morning! Yay! 

Soooo soft! (and absorbent too!)

Both the Hemp Babies Flat Weeds Diapers and the Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds Diaper are wonderful diapers. They are made here in the USA, they are made with organic cotton and they are soft and absorbent! I know that I will definitely be getting more Hemp Babies! I think that they would be really handy to have when you have a newborn - they are super adjustable of fit and they very absorbent! The Flat Weeds Diapers were very easy to fashion into the different folds and they both washed up very well. I would highly recommend either of these diapers - whether you are looking to ass flats and prefolds to your stash or you are just starting out with a newborn and wanting to cloth diaper!

Interested in buying some Hemp Babies Flat Weeds Diapers and the Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds Diapers (or any other cloth diapering/natural items for that matter) from Ju-Ju Monkey? You can buy Hemp Babies Flat Weeds Diapers for $7.50 each and the Hemp Babies Bigger Weeds Diapers for $7.49 each. There are plenty of other wonderful items that Ju-Ju Monkey carries as well and you can take a look at them all HERE.

You can also connect with Ju-Ju Money on Facebook and Twitter!

Special thanks to Ju-Ju Monkey for sponsoring me during the Flats and Handwashing Challenge! The items were sent to me free of charge for review and has not influenced my opinion of the product. I have sought to give my honest opinions and experiences on this product. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Thank you again to Ju-Ju Monkey for sponsoring me during the Flats and Handwashing Challenge!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hedgehog Diaper Cuteness!

Remember my review of Zookies from the Flats and Handwashing Challenge where I was drooling over the hedgehog print diaper cover and snack bag that Michele from Zookies had already sold?

Ta daaaa!
Michele offered to find some more of that wonderful hedgehog fabric for me! Yay! I chatted with her and decided to buy it as a one size diaper. (My logic was that when we have baby #2, I can use it sooner! Haha! Talk about planning way into the future!) The ordering process was super simple and Michele surprised me by telling me that she would be adding a free snack bag to my order!
XS setting ...awwww!
  I LOVE it! It is an a-dor-able diaper cover and I love the adjustable-ness (is that even a word?) of the one size cover. I was able to play around with some different inserts and flats - I found that I could adjust the size up or down depending on what type of insert or fitted diaper I used. It is such a versatile diaper cover! 


The snack bag is awesome too! I have been wanting to start getting some snack bags to fill up and take in my diaper bag for when we are out and about. It is so much better than a plastic baggie - way cuter for starters and you simply wipe it clean or wash it! Easy peasy! Little man loved it and was so fascinated by it! He kept trying to use it as a napkin to "dab" his mouth when it was zipped closed. Haha!

This is so fun to get my snacks from! *note the animal cracker crumbs on his little face*

Thank you again Michele! This is such a perfect diaper cover and snack bag for the Little Hedgehog and his Mama!


Wordless Wednesday - Sidewalk Chalk

I bought little man some sidewalk chalk that I found in the dollar section at Target! They were nice big chunky pieces...perfect for his little paws. I haven't played with sidewalk chalk since I was a kid and it was little man's first adventure with chalk! Such a fun way to spend some outdoor time and I'm not sure who had more fun with it, him or me! :)

Oooh! This is a cool texture to draw on!

Happy Wednesday!

Green Mama Blog Hop!

Welcome to the 16th week of the Green Mama Blog Hop!

Please only join this hop if you deem your blog as 'green'. It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or if you're a pro.. this Green Mama Blog Hop is for you!

My goal is to have more and more people join each week! But that can't happen without your help. If you could please post the button on your blog, as well as in a post, that would be great! Thanks so much for your involvement! I want us 'Green Mamas' to befriend each other and be there for questions or support.

~Lovely Hostesses~

Hopping Guidelines:


* Add your blog's home page to the Linky list! I will be monitoring the blogs to make sure we only have 'green', family-friendly blogs involved.

* Follow the 4 hosts, Featured Blog and the blog ahead of yours. Make sure to leave comments on each of the blog so they can follow you back! The more you follow, the more will follow you back!


* Grab the new Green Mama Blog Hop button and place it on your home page.

* Put the button into a post on your blog. Then leave a comment on this Hop post with the link.

This hop will be open all week but it will start over each week, so keep coming back each week to enter!

Welcome to the Green Mama Blog Hop! Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Eco Sprout Review from The Flats and Handwashing Challenge!

During the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, I was very lucky to have some amazing sponsors. One of my wonderful sponsors, Eco Sprout, sent me their awesome Sample Detergent Pack to help me with the Flats and Handwashing Challenge! Eco Sprout was started by a Work at Home Dad who wanted to create a detergent that not only got diapers clean, but was environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and 100% natural. Eco Sprout is a family run company and they hand make and mix each batch of Eco Sprout detergent to make sure that it meets their high standards.

Here is some more info about Eco Sprout from their website:
Eco Sprout Detergent is an eco-friendly, all natural detergent that's great for your entire family, and SAFE for cloth diapers and sensitive skin. It will clean and disinfect your diapers while rinsing clean. No more battling with eye-watering ammonia smell!

The Sample Detergent Pack came with 8 samples in it:
(Scent descriptions taken from the Eco Sprout website)
  • Sandalwood Vanilla - A powdery soft and sensual fragrance that blends the warm, woody essence of sandalwood with creamy vanilla.
  • Warm Vanilla Sugar - A wonderfully, sweet, warm and comforting scent with vanilla, coconut, and basmati rice.
  • Fresh Linen - Crisp and clean, reminiscent of linen sheets drying in the sun, with refreshing, light hints of apple, kiwi and violets.
  • Lavender Chamomile - A calming blend of true Lavender infused with chamomile.
  • Ocean Blue - Fresh, clean, and salty scent of the ocean. This scent is very light and crisp!
  • In the Buff - This soft unscented detergent is designed for the most sensitive of skin.
  • Baby Powder - Clean, light and airy and smells just like corn starch powder without being overpowering.
  • Seasonal - I'm not sure exactly which Seasonal scent I got, the current seasonal scent is Pink Lemonade, but mine is definitely not that. I think it was their winter seasonal scent. 
The scented detergents are all designed to be enjoyed while you have them in your laundry room and while you use them. (Or in my case, our master bathroom! It smelled great!) In my opinion, the scents are a nice little aromatherapy bonus! The scents have been created to wash out and when clean your diapers and laundry simply smell fresh and clean!  

I was really excited to try Eco Sprout, they all smelled so good! My favorites are Ocean Blue, Lavender Chamomile and Sandalwood Vanilla. Although, a new scent came out recently - Pink Lemonade! Perfect for summer! I love citrus scents, so I think I will have to try Pink Lemonade! 

My sample pack came with a really useful "First Time Users" guide. Eco Sprout HIGHLY recommends giving your diapers a good soak before you start using Eco Sprout detergent as your primary cloth diaper detergent. This is to give your diapers a good deep cleaning and to pull out any soap, grime, minerals and softeners that are lurking inside your diapers and inserts. This can also help to prevent rashes that sometimes pop up when switching to a new detergent. 

 I switched to using Eco Sprout at the half-way point during the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. I soaked my flats and covers for about 2 hours or so in the tub and I used about a Tablespoon of detergent. I was really impressed at how quickly the detergent dissolved! When washing in the tub, I always gave the water a good swishing to make sure that all of the detergent had dissolved. But Eco Sprout seemed to dissolve on contact with the water and it was also very low sudsing.

In you go!
Fill 'er up!

After their soak in Eco Sprout, I swished and scrubbed my diapers and flats. There wasn't too much "residue" in the tub, but I had only been using the flats for a half of a week, so I'm sure there wasn't too much "grime" to pull out. Then, I rinsed the flats and covers and hung them to dry outside. I was really interested to see if Eco sprout would do a good job at getting stains out. I had a "stained" diaper, now it wasn't a really bad stain, but still, I like it when my diapers look fresh and clean. So,  after soaking in Eco Sprout, being scrubbed and hanging out in the sunshine...the stain was gone! Yay!
Before! ...that stain was just glaring at me! Ok, maybe I'm the only one who can see it.
After! Can you see a stain? I can't!
When I brought my diapers in from drying outside, they smelled so clean and fresh! There was no scent left behind, they just smelled like the outdoors! I love the smell of laundry when it comes in from drying outside. It makes me so happy!

I love the bag that Eco Sprout comes in and I knew that I had to put it to good use! So, I re-purposed it to be my clothespin baggie! I had previously been using a plastic bag from Lowe's (classy, I know) and now I have a much cuter home for my clothespins. I think they are happier and I love using it! Another great thing that I found from the sample pack is that the sample sized bags of detergent are perfect for travel! They are resealable (genius!) and they were so handy to have when we were traveling to visit my family! It was great not to have to lug a whole big bag with me. So, if you are planning any summer trips, I would definitely recommend stocking up on some 2oz. bags of Eco Sprout or just order the Sample Pack and try them all!

I really enjoyed using Eco Sprout. I am so, so , so glad that I got the chance to try Eco Sprout, I loved the variety of scents and (more importantly) it got my flats and covers clean and stain free! I really like that Eco Sprout has one formula - no matter what your water type is. You simple add more or less detergent to your machine (or tub) based on your water type. They also have a great chart that helps you decide how much detergent to use, depending on your machine and your water type.  I appreciate that Eco Sprout tells you what they use for their ingredients. Little man has fairly sensitive skin and while I was using Eco Sprout detergent for little mans flats and covers, we didn't experience any rashes or break outs. Yay! Eco Sprout was a great choice to use with our hard water, it kept the stains away, kept little man rash free, it smelled great and got my diapers CLEAN for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge!

I really loved using Eco Sprout and I know I will be buying more! I have my eye on Pink Lemonade and In the Buff for little man's cloth diapers and I'm even going to start washing our regular laundry in it! I feel like their prices are very reasonable as well:
*This is from the Eco Sprout website: Our detergent is safe for all water types and is designed to work with both HE and conventional machines.

Our detergent is free from dyes, brighteners, enzymes, phosphates, & is SLS free. It is also 100% natural and biodegradable.

Interested in getting some Eco Sprout for your diaper laundry? You can SHOP their website for detergent (in a variety of sizes), bottom balm, bottom spray and pail freshener! You can also connect with Eco Sprout on Facebook.

Thank you to Eco Sprout who provided me with samples of their detergent to use during the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. These samples were sent to me free of charge for review and has not influenced my opinion of the product. I have sought to give my honest review and experience with this product. Special thanks to Eco Sprout for sponsoring me with samples to use for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge!   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Watering

We recently visited my family in Northern CA and one afternoon we went over to my Aunt's house for lunch and a fun little get together. Little man had a great time exploring a new space, running around, watering the plants and himself. It was a great day!

Ooooh! Little man found the water fountain!

Happy Wednesday!