Microfiber was a bad choice…

I have been cloth diapering for over two years now and I’ve made a huge mistake.

I have been trouble shooting a “stink problem” for months, which I’ll spare you the details on.  I sensed that my diapers just weren’t getting clean enough.  I’ve stripped them, switched detergent, sprayed them down in my sink with hot water, soaked them in funk rock, literally sprayed them down with a hose in my backyard.  The problem always went away for a week or so and then came back with a vengeance.

One afternoon, about two months ago, M got a really nasty diaper rash.  I put Lusa all over her cute little booty before bed time and put a fresh diaper on her bum.  In the morning she cried when I took off her diaper and there it was:  ammonia burns.  She’s been in disposables for the past two months.  (The honest disposables are admittedly easier, and cute and all, but holy cow are they outrageously expensive!)

Here’s the problem.  My HE washer just doesn’t get the diapers soaked enough to agitate the ammonia out of them.  75% of my inserts are microfiber.  Those puppies do a great job of sucking the liquid in, but they don’t release it very easily.  They need lots of water and tossing and turning in the water to release the ammonia in the pee.  No matter how clean my diapers smell coming out of the dryer, as soon as any liquid hits them, pee or not, they smell like pee.

In hindsight, I NEVER should have purchased any diapers with microfiber because of my HE washer.  That was a bad choice.  With that said, I still really like my Bum Genius diapers.  The covers have held up really well, I haven’t experienced leaks, and the fit is great for a one size diaper.  I could have sold my diaper covers, but I am going to keep them and just replace the microfiber inserts with organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo.  It’s going to be a little bit pricey.  It almost pains me to think about this, but I’m going cut the microfiber inserts out of my Bum Genius Freetimes.  The thought just makes me cringe.  Probably because they are the easiest cloth diapers and were a little pricey… But, I would never sell them due to the ammonia burns M experienced.  Once I cut out the inserts, I am pretty sure I can just add a couple of inserts to them and have a great overnight diaper.  I continue to be a huge fan of my Best Bottom diapers.  I actually prefer those for older babes.  They are a little bulky on little newborns, but fit my kiddos from 6 months on like a charm.  I have 4 Best Bottom covers that I love and will get organic cotton inserts for.  The insert snap in and they are seriously a breeze.  I am not a fan of stuffing!

 

So there you have it.  More than you wanted to know about my cloth diapering situation.  Just wanted to put out a warning to all the Mamas with HE machines!  I’ve made a huge mistake, microfiber was a bad choice!

Natural Skin Care and 100% Pure

When I started eliminating toxic products from my beauty routine, I tried out many different brands to find what worked best.  (Honest Co, Lusa Organics, Dr Bronners Soaps, and 100% Pure, to name just a few)  I fell in love with 100% Pure after trying their cheek tint.  It inspired me to try a few more of their products and I was hooked.    100% Pure is leaping bunny certified.  I feel really good about using the products on myself and my kids.  No animals are harmed in their making or testing, they are 100% natural, and they WORK.

Considering making the switch to a natural beauty routine?  Through Tuesday, October 28th, If you spend $35 at 100% Pure, you will get a free 7-piece gift set!  The gift set includes some products I already own (LOVE the Coffee Bean Eye Cream!!) and some I am really excited to try.

Need some suggestions on things to try?

To get the gift set, just load up your cart with 100% pure goodies.  No code necessary!

If you haven’t checked out the EWG Skindeep Database to see what is in the products you use everyday, you should! Your biggest organ, your skin, will thank you for it!

***This post was not sponsored by 100% Pure.  I use their products because I love them and what their company stands for.  Also, if you think my blog is big enough to have sponsors, I am flattered.  I’m pretty sure only my Mom, and my Aunt Nan read this 🙂

Straight from their website:

“100% Pure is truly 100% Pure – that means all our products are healthy, nourishing and do not contain any synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, chemical preservatives or any other toxins. Another exciting thing about 100% Pure is that our cosmetics are colored from antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables (whereas every other cosmeticss company uses dyes or minerals to color their products). We love animals and refuse to support anything that hurts animals which is why none of our formulas are ever tested on animals. All our makeup brushes are from synthetic fibers. No animals were hurt for their fur and no animals were hurt for any of our ingredients”

{Super Easy} Honey Orange Body Scrub

Winter is super rough on my skin.  I am constantly lotioning, oiling, oiling, lotioning (name that movie line!), but my skin still gets scaly from time to time.  I started making a body scrub last winter that I thought would exfoliate and moisturize at the same time.  (because I can’t do just one thing at a time anymore apparently).

I found a bunch of recipes online, but most of them called for essential oils.  I didn’t have any essential oils or time to get to the store, so I thought why not orange zest instead?  And it worked.  And then I played around with the recipe until I got it right.  Then I decided to  google orange zest body scrubs and found out I wasn’t the first person to think of them.  (Why I googled this after I tried to make it, I have no idea).

Anyways, this scrub is completely organic and moisturizes and exfoliates without any weird ingredients or chemicals that some store bought brands include.  The best thing about it… it takes literally 5 minutes to make.

{Super Easy Honey Orange Body Scrub}

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Ingredients

1 C Organic Sugar

Zest of 2 Organic Oranges

1 C Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

1/2 C Organic Honey

1 tsp Organic Vanilla (optional)

Glass jars with lids.  I used mason jars.

*Make sure the mouth of the jars are wide enough to fit your hand in to scoop out the scrub

Directions

Melt your coconut oil.  Combine all of your ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.  Fill your jars.

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This will keep for up to 6 months if you store it in a dry place(as in do not keep this in the shower).  Keep it stored in your bathroom cabinet to maximize the shelf life

Gift away!

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{Favorite Things Friday} Beauty Products

I’ve been overhauling my beauty products in the past few years and I’m finally able to share some of my favorites that are both safe and effective.

Natural Beauty

1.  Honest Shampoo and Body wash–  I love the orange vanilla scent.  It leaves my hair smelling fresh and clean and it lathers better than any other natural shampoo I’ve tried.

2.  Honest Conditioning Mist–  I am in love with this.  I love conditioning mists period and this one is amazing.  It smells like vanilla with a hint of orange but a bit different than the shampoo and body wash.  I use this every time I wash my hair (usually every other day).  It makes combing through tangles a breeze and leaves my hair silky and smooth.

3.  California Baby Everyday Lotion No Fragrance, 6.5 oz– I use this on the kids and myself because it’s fragrance free.  I start with coconut oil and put this over the top to get rid of that balmy dewy feel that the coconut oil gives me.

4.  Organic Wear Mascara–  This is my every day mascara.  I have to be honest, it can’t even compete with my mac mascara.  When I don’t need to have va va voom lashes this does the job.  It makes me feel like I’m not putting chemicals in my eyes and darkens and extends my lashes.

5.  100% Pure Cheek Tint–  I LOVE THIS!  I use this on my cheeks and on my eyes instead of eyeshadow.  This beats out any cream blush I’ve ever tried.  As an eye shadow, I just use it for every day… not if I want to get glam.  I have the grapefruit color and it makes my skin glow and look sun kissed!  The company has some other products I’d like to try as well.  They never use parabens and do not test on animals.

6.  Honest Organic Lip Balm Trio– I tried this on a whim and am obsessed with all three of them.  My favorite is the lavender mint!  It smooths out my lips without being waxy if that makes sense.

7.  Honest Hand Sanitizer– I don’t know if this is really a beauty product, but It’s flu season and I have 2 small kids so I am a hand sanitizer maniac these days.  I guess if I’m not sick I’m prettier so I’ll keep this on the list.  It is on me at all times and I love that I can spray my toddler’s hands quickly while out and about.  The best thing about this is that it doesn’t dry out my skin like other hand sanitizers!

8.  Coconut Oil-  You probably know by know I’m obsessed with coconut oil.  It’s an amazing moisturizer with anti-fungal properties and can be used for so many things.  I use it as a moisturizer and also have made some yummy body scrubs with it(more on that later)  I melt it in warm water and then pour it into a pot with a wide top so I can get it out easier.   I have also used it for oil pulling in the past.  (what is that you ask?  more on that too I’m about to start it up again)

9.  Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer–   Tinted moisturizer is as close as I get to foundation.  I hate foundation because it feels so thick on my face so I’ve never really worn it.  I make this tinted moisturizer even lighter by mixing it 50/50 with California Baby lotion.  It gives my skin some breathing room but still gives a bit of color and coverage.

An Honest Review of the Honest Co: July Update!

July Update:  I’m so happy with the bug spray, sunscreen, and shampoo and body wash.  With that said, I think having a subscription service makes me like the products less.  I don’t want the commitment.  I’ve pushed my shipments out to every 90 days now instead of getting it once a month.   Bottom line, I can make a lot of this stuff myself, find it cheaper elsewhere, or would prefer to have a different brand.  I’ll give next months products a try and see how they go.  If I can find 5 products that I really love and can’t do myself, I’ll keep my subscription.

June Post with Updates in Red:
I have been using my Honest products for a little over 2 weeks now. Before I signed up I checked out the EWG to make sure what they said was legit.  While some of their cleaning products scored well on some scored average on safety.  Average is still better than what I was using so I decided to give them a try (and of course I had a coupon code!).  Their sunscreen and care products did much better on EWG.  Check out the EWG here for Honest Co cleaning products and here for Honest Co beauty products.

For the most part, I am pleased with my products.  Their customer service is outstanding too!

When I received my first shipment the shampoo leaked all over the other products.  Not a big deal, but I had read about that happening to other people so I emailed them to let them know they should probably change the top to the bottle.  They sent me a brand new bottle 3 days later with a response thanking me for the feedback.

1.  Fruit and Veggie Wash

This turned out to be one of my favorites in the first shipment.  It was quick and worked really well on the grapes, peaches, strawberries, and blueberries.  Vinegar in water is way cheaper, but you have to soak the fruit in the water for like an hour for it to be effective.  I probably won’t get this again just because of the cost compared to vinegar but if you can get past that it was great.

July Update:  Still like it, but not worth the money when you can make it for yourself for way less!

2.  Shampoo and Body Wash-  

I like this for myself, but won’t use it on Jack again.  It got in his eyes a little and he rubbed them and cried.  I’ll stick with California Baby for him (CA Baby got a better score on EWG anyways!).  I would actually get this again for myself though.  It smells like oranges and vanilla and is very sudsy compared to the other natural Shampoos I have tried.  I gave my extra bottle to our nanny and she liked it too! 

July Update:  Still like it!

3.  Stain Remover-

Jury is still out on this one.  It didn’t remove the chalk stain from Jack’s fabric covered chair after I ran it through the wash, but neither did the other stain remover I tried.  Time will tell!  I think the key with any stain remover is getting it on right away, which I suck at.

July Update:  I hate this stain remover.  It left a stain (yep a stain left by stain remover) on the one maternity dress that I love to wear!  Also, it hasn’t removed any of the stains I’ve tried it on!

4.  Dishwasher Gel-  

This works just as well as what we used in the past (Cascade).  It does leave a bit of a film on the dishes, but that could be our dishwasher since the Cascade did that too…

July Update:  Still like it!  It left a film because we needed rinse aid in our dishwasher apparently! 

5.  Hand Sanitizer- 

A little sticky and doesn’t take much to do the trick.  Of course how do you know if this actually works?  You don’t, but after looking at the label of the standard hand sanitizer, I’ll take this one any day.  We really only use this after diaper changes anyways. 

July Update:  Still like it!

Next month:

100% Organic Dishtowels (because they match my kitchen 🙂 )
July Update:  The dishtowels are very thin and I don’t love them…

Sunscreen (for me, Jack will continue to use Badger)
July Update:  I really like this sunscreen!  It is similar to the consistency of Badger and it got great reviews on EWG.  This is a winner!
 
BugSpray (for the fam)
July Update:  I really like this too!  It smells great and there is no deet in it.  It does keep the bugs away for the most part and I don’t feel like I’m spraying straight up chemicals on myself or Jack.

Dishsoap
July Update:  It’s ok.  I won’t get it again.  I’m trying out a Babyganics dish soap the next time I need it for washing kid stuff.  I think I’ll go back to regular free and clear for our dishes.

and Free Trial of Diapers Bundle.  I’m considering doing a NB bundle before cloth diapering so I’m trying out the big ones on J before he is fully potty trained (more on that later!).  Looking at the price it’s almost as expensive as just buying NB sized cloth diapers so we’ll see.

July Update:  The diapers leaked every time Jack wore them.  The customer service rep was extremely nice and offered to send me a new size to try out, but cleaning up pee in the middle of the night was enough for me.  They are also insanely expensive…adding to my cloth diaper stash instead of doing this makes more sense. If I need disposables for the first couple of weeks, I will use regular disposables.

Coming Soon: An Honest Review of The Honest Company

This is what happens when I find a crazy coupon code online.  I join things.  So after I scored a 10 dollars off your first month and free shipping, I joined Honest.  I was already on the search for new, healthier cleaning options for our family, so the coupon came at the right time.   Also just in time for me to finish The Honest Life!

I enjoyed most of The Honest Life.  While I don’t care that she has an obsession with retinol and that she organizes her scarves according to color, the book was an enjoyable, informative read… especially if you have kids.  Her index at the back is very helpful when investigating product labels for ingredients you don’t want present in your products (but you can find those here too for free)  She was pretty honest about the things she just can’t or doesn’t want to go Eco on.  I found that refreshing.  I wouldn’t run out and buy it, but definitely give it a whirl as a library or borrowed book!

We got our first month shipment yesterday.  Yay for new Stain Remover, Dishwasher Detergent, Shampoo, Hand Sanitizer, and Fruit and Veggie Wash.  I’m not sure why I picked Fruit and Veggie Wash.  I already know that filling the sink full of water and adding vinegar probably works just fine…

Cloth Diapering Updates: 1 Month In

We are a month into cloth diapering and I couldn’t be happier we made the switch.  It is a little more laundry but you don’t have to fold and put it away so it’s not that big of a deal.  I told you about my essentials list in my last post.  Well, that has changed a little bit.

Updated Essentials:
1.  The cloth wipes just weren’t working for me.  Back to disposable wipes.  Maybe we’ll use them before we start solids with the next bambino.  For now, they are collecting dust on my closet shelf.

2.  Upping the Number of Diapers.  I’m going to add a couple more to the stash so I don’t run out completely when I do laundry.  This will put us at 14 bumgenius freetimes and 16 diapers total.  (we have 1 bumgenius 4.0 and 1 best bottom from attempts #’s 1 and 2 and I detest when I have to actually use them)

3.  Diaper Sprayer.  I waffled on this purchase.  It seemed kind of pricey to me.  Let me tell you it’s an absolute must for us.  That thing really gets the poop off of the diapers.  It makes me feel better that the diapers are free of most of the poop.  Let’s just be honest here, I am basically washing poop in the same machine that I do my clothes in.

My washing method is pretty simple and it works really well for us.  I do the diapers at the very end of the day so I can get them hung up to dry overnight on my handy drying rack.

Washing Steps

1.  Cold Rinse on normal setting with “water plus” button pushed.  No detergent in this cycle.  I’ve found that this works best and the extra water allows the diapers to get super soaked and rid of all of the pee.

2.  Hot Wash on normal with “extra rinse” button pushed.  Country Save detergent on this cycle.  This sanitizes them.

3.  Cold Rinse on speed wash.  This really isn’t necessary, but it’s 15 minutes and makes me feel like they’re cleaner so I’m going with it.

4.  Hang overnight to dry.  Take time to admire your cute little colorful diapers!