Friday, June 25, 2010

The Hunt for Wool

While I’ve loved cloth diapers from the start, it’s taken me a little while to come around to wool. I admit it, I was intimidated, but I’ve been dying to try some wool ever since I found Ewe Wool Love It on Facebook. Of course, I went a little crazy buying cloth diapers this week and since we’re actually trying to SAVE $$$ by using cloth, I decided I would get some wool sweaters and make my own. Yeah…good luck with that!

I already get enough crazy looks when people find out we use cloth diapers. Add that to looking for wool during a hot, muggy Nebraska summer and now I’m the crazy cloth lady! I did leave my name and number at the thrift store and they’re supposed to set aside any wool sweaters that come in. Now I just need to wait patiently. For those of you that make woolies out of sweaters, do you just stock up during the winter season?? If I don’t find some wool soon, I suppose I’ll just have to break down and buy an already made wool cover. That’ll just break my heart! *grin*

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

That's Just Gross...

I was so excited to receive my bag of Lulu’s in the Fluff Glamour Wash in the mail yesterday. It came just in time too! I had a diaper pail full of diapers to wash. Now, I will be having a full review of this product in a couple weeks, but I just had to share this with you…

This stuff is AWESOME! I could not believe how yucky our diapers were. I let them soak for a few hours in the Glamour Wash and, seriously, the water was GROSS! But, they still weren’t as yucky as the towels I’m washing right now. Blech…I can’t believe that we were using those to dry our hands and bodies with!! I’m kind of weird and I’m always lifting up the lid during the wash cycle, and I’ve never seen this much stuff come out of our laundry before…with ANY detergent. Wait till I share the pictures in the full review, you will be amazed!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Am An Oxymoron...

A contradiction. I am Liberal. Religious. Spontaneous. Dependable. Traditional. Women’s Rights Advocate. I am a Modern Stay At Home Mom.

I never imagined I would be a stay at home mom (SAHM). I don’t know how many times I said, “I would never be able to be a SAHM. I’d go crazy!” Even when I was pregnant, I still planned on going back to work; on having some kind of career. I even remember one of my coworkers telling me that she could never imagine me staying at home with a child. And I agreed with her.

Then, my baby was born. Even though those first weeks were exhausting, it was wonderful! I loved being home with him and I cried the first day I took him to daycare. I was only back at work two weeks when they had company-wide layoffs. Guess what, I was one of them. I do believe that if I hadn’t gone on maternity leave, I would still have a job. Oh well, life goes on and I was able to be back at home with my little man. At least until I found another job. And I did – two weeks later. I was only at that job for maybe a month when my son developed a hyphema (hemorrhaging between the cornea and iris) in his eye. To this day we don’t know how it happened and probably never will, but the doctors said it was more than likely caused by some sort of trauma to his eye. We can speculate all we want, but we’ll never know the whole story. That was when my husband and I decided that the best thing for our son was for me to stay at home.

Do not take this post as a bash against working moms or that I think I am somehow better for being at home with my child. That is not the case at all. This was just what was best for OUR family and thankfully we were in a position where we could make it happen. I still have a twinge of jealousy when I see my working friends able to afford things that I now have to do without. Some days, I would almost welcome the ‘break’ that working gave me. I struggle to find an answer when people ask what I’m doing now. There’s nothing luxurious about being a SAHM. But then my son does something that completely amazes me – he rolls over, he crawls, he stands up, he says his first word, he takes his first step – and I know this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Surprise Giveaways!!!

June has been a crazy month for us! We celebrated little man's 1st birthday, our 5 year anniversary, father's day and had a million other things going on. So, I've decided to share the celebrations with you! These prizes aren't technically fluff related, but they are too cute to resist!

First up, we have a surprise set of Pretty Pretties from Pretty Pretties Hair Decor & More!

To enter for this giveaway make sure you're already a fan of I Heart Fluff on Facebook then share the fan love and like Pretty Pretties on Facebook. Just let me know that  you became a fan of Pretty Pretties by commenting on the giveaway wall post at I Heart Fluff and you'll be entered!

I know, I know, another girly giveaway! But I have something for you mamas with sons too!

I will be giving away an infant/toddler tie from my store, Tara Nicole Designs!

Once again make sure you are a fan of I Heart Fluff then comment under the tie giveaway post to be entered. If you also become a fan, or are already a fan, of Tara Nicole Designs you will get an extra entry!! The winner will be able to choose the tie pattern from a selection of fabric.

You can enter in both contests and if you follow this blog you will receive another extra entry for each contest you enter. The contests will run until June 26th and I will announce the winners on June 28th. Have fun & Good Luck!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wipes Set Giveaway Winner!!

Thanks to everyone that entered the cloth wipes set giveaway! The winner is.....


Tiffany said "I love the wild animals wipes. We would use them instead of disposable wipes! So cute."

Thanks to for picking the winner!!

Tiffany, I will be sending you an email for your shipping information from

Monday, June 7, 2010

Giveaway!! **Updated**

My little man is turning 1 this week!!! I just cannot believe how big he is getting – I swear he grew at least another inch last night!! There were so many firsts this year, for all of us. First time parents, my first time not having a job outside the home, first serious injury (thank God that one’s over with!!), and I’m surprised I have not had my first gray hair yet!

So, since I will be getting everything ready for his 1st birthday party, I will be taking a little hiatus from blogging this week. But….I will be leaving you with something….


I will be opening my shop back up at the end of this month after a major overhaul and one of the new items I will be carrying will be these super cute, super soft cloth wipes. (Lovingly called ‘Ucky Wipes’.)

These 8” x 8” wipes feature adorably soft flannel on both sides and come in a variety of patterns. Ucky Wipes are extremely versatile and can be used to clean up many ‘uckies’. Use them on your baby’s bum as a gentle alternative to disposable wipes. Use them as face wipes to clean off the meal time uckies. Use them as tissues for those runny nose uckies (What kid wants to use those ugly, scratchy kleenexes anyway?). Fold these wipes in half and they fit perfectly in most disposable wipes containers.

Today’s giveaway is for a set of 4 Ucky Wipes in your choice of patterns!!

***UPDATED*** I will also be giving the lucky winner a customized travel wipes case to match their choice of wipes!!!

Browns & Blues

Wild Animals

Polka Dots

Little Ones

How to Enter: (You will be entered for each task you complete.)

1) (You must complete this first task to be entered.) Leave a comment on this post telling me what pattern set is your favorite and what you would use these wipes for.

2) Become a fan of Tara Nicole Designs on Facebook.

3) Write on your Facebook wall or blog telling about this giveaway. Leave a link to your post either on the fan page or on this post.

The drawing will be open until next Monday, June 14th at 12:00pm central time and I will announce the winner on Tuesday, June 15th. Good Luck!!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cloth Beginnings

When I first became pregnant, I never once imagined I’d be using cloth diapers. Put my baby in pieces of leaky cloth with pins and rubber pants? Are you kidding me?!? No thank you!

Of course, like any first time mom, I did my research on the best disposable diapers and I was a little concerned with some of the instructions and warnings – if you see pieces of gel on your baby, just wipe it off. Hmmm, is that really safe? What exactly is that gel made of?? Still, that had to be better then wounding my precious baby with those diaper pins!

I became slightly curious about cloth diapers when my son was around six months old. Due to a health issue with my son, I was now a stay at home mom and we were looking for ways to save money. Little man had also outgrown the Pampers Swaddlers by now and he had started getting rashes that we assumed were from his new diapers.

Fast forward four months later, after numerous diaper rashes, leaks, blow outs, and many brand switches, we decided to take the plunge into cloth. During all my research, I found out that cloth diapers had changed so much from the diapers our grandmothers used. No more pins and rubber pants with the same old dreary colors. In fact, there were so many choices that I was completely overwhelmed! There were All-in-ones (AIOs), pocket diapers, hybrids, fitteds, pre-folds, flats, covers…Ugh!! I had no idea where to even start! Through a friend (the one person I knew in the whole state that was using cloth!) and some ladies on the Cloth Diapering Board, I found out that some stores offer trial packages of cloth diapers. This is perfect for an overwhelmed newbie! You get to try out different types of diapers, keep the ones you like, and send back the ones that don’t work for you. I decided on a trial pack from Jillian’s Drawers. (You can learn more about that here.)

We ended up keeping the whole trial package plus we bought some more diapers to set up our stash. We now have:

4 Grobaby shells + 8 inserts, 2 soakers, and 50 disposable biosoakers

1 BumGenius! 3.0 AIO

2 FuzziBunz Perfect Size Pocket Diapers

1 Thirsties Duo Pocket

1 Rumparooz Pocket

1 Bum Genius! Pocket Diaper

2 Blueberry Pocket Diapers

1 Ecobumz Supreme Stuffable AIO (2 more on the way)

1 DreamEze Organic AIO

1 Baby Beehinds Fitted

2 Bumboo Fitteds

1 Thristies Fab Fitted

4 Prefolds

4 Diaper Covers

20 Gerber Prefolds to use as extra inserts and soakers

Considering my addictive personality and ADD tendencies, it’s no surprise that I couldn’t decide on just one type or brand of diaper!! My favorite dipes so far are the Rumparooz and Ecobumz. I also use the prefolds more than I thought I would and the Grobaby Diapers a lot less than I thought I would. The diapers with the velcro are easiest to put on our little man, but the diapers with the snaps are easier to wash and stay on better. The pocket diapers with extra soakers or the fitted diapers and covers have worked best for nighttime diapers. My hubby’s favorites are any of the diapers with Velcro and I make sure that there are AIOs or Pocket Diapers always stuffed and ready for him.

All in all, we have enough for at least 26 diaper changes with 2 more diapers on the way. Plus, I ordered some fabric so I can start sewing some diapers. I am washing about every other day right now and I’d like to have enough diapers so I only need to wash every third day. When I wash the diapers, I use a cold rinse/hot wash/cold rinse cycle. I dry the inserts and soakers in the dryer and line dry the diapers. I bought some flannel fat quarters on sale and made them into 8”x 8” wipes by sewing two pieces together. I bought an adorable hedgehog print wetbag from Monkey Foot Designs and I am just using a $4 nylon laundry bag from Target for a pail liner. I did splurge and get a diaper sprayer for some of the messier diapers.

Of course, it wasn’t smooth sailing right away. We had quite a few leaks the first couple days due to user error and/or the diapers not being completely prepped. We had one big leak at church and I had to strategically hold little man and his blanket so people couldn’t see the wet spot in my lap! After a few days, we had it pretty well figured out and we may have a leak now and then, but we still had more leaks (and rashes and blowouts) with disposables.

Something that really surprised me about the switch to cloth was that little man started sleeping better. He was taking longer naps and sleeping better at night! We all know that a well rested baby makes for a well rested Mommy and that makes everyone happy! : )

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday's Tutorial - Barn Window Message Center

Living on an old farm, I always have a great variety of old materials that I can use for crafting.

I found a whole stack of these windows just sitting in one of our old farm buildings a couple years ago. I dug them out, cleaned them up and I was planning on making some sort of cold frame or small green house with them. Turns out, old and extremely weathered windows don’t hold up to any sort of construction very well. I set them aside and moved on to my next projects, figuring that I’d find a use for them sooner or later…

I’ve wanted some sort of message center for our kitchen for awhile now and it hit me that this would be a great way to repurpose these windows. Because I still wanted to hold on to the weathered and distressed look of the windows, I didn’t bother using primer. By skipping that step, the paint really soaked into the wood showing off the grain and cracks. I used a bluish teal color for my base and then a thin coat of white on top. I finished it off by sanding the edges and adding a couple coats of polyurethane.

I used some fabric covered cork to replace the window panes. I just cut an old corkboard to the sizes I needed and then used some spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the cork. I used my hot glue gun to fasten the panels to the window.

I painted a hanging basket for our mail and used a couple thumbtacks to hold it on one of the panels.

On another panel I used my glue gun again to attach a magnet strip. Then I glued some fabric on one side of another magnet and we use this to hang small items like business cards.

I used some little screw-in hooks on the sides to hold keys and some bigger hooks and a dowel on the bottom for a towel rack and apron hanger.

I think it turned out pretty good! Even hubby likes it! I love the distressed look of the wood and the fabric is the perfect color. The only thing I might have changed would be to make a chalkboard panel using a thin piece of plywood or panel and chalkboard paint. There’s always next time. :)

The Girl Creative
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