Friday, February 7, 2014

After Cloth Diapers: Herbal Infusions For Home and Health

My youngest son is now four. Cloth diapers are long gone but there are a lot of things that I am still learning about green living. My most recent experiment was making my own infusions at home using herbs, flowers and other natural ingredients. Check the bottom of my post for safety warnings if you are interested in making your own infusions at home! You can make lavender spray for just pennies and calendula ointment for just a few dollars.

My favorite was the lavender tincture. I filled a small half-quart Mason jar with lavender buds and poured vodka over the flowers. I let the covered flowers sit for about two weeks then strained the liquid into a different container. I use it for linen spray but there are lots of other uses. I just used a random bottle vodka that somehow ended up at my house since I don't usually drink alcohol or buy it. You don't need a specific brand and your measurements don't have to be perfect, especially if you are just using the mixture for cleaning or for a room freshener. You will notice that the liquid turns a beautiful purple color in just a couple days.

To make a spray, I add about three tablespoons of the lavender infused alcohol to about six ounces of water in a spray bottle. Smells really good! Lavender has antibacterial properties so I am sure there are dozens of uses for this type of tincture. I do recommend buying organic if possible!

I also make calendula infused sweet almond oil for ointment. I sometimes buy Boiron Calendula Ointment but, honestly, it costs about $12 a tube and I want something that is more affordable. We use a lot of ointment with small children and I don't want to spend too much or over-use commercially prepared antibiotic ointment.

Calendula ointment promotes healing and can be used for burns, scrapes and minor irritations. I just added about a cup of calendula petals to a jar then covered the petals with sweet almond oil. Let the oil sit for a few weeks then strain it. Sweet almond oil can be expensive so if you want to use something else I assume any oil would work just fine. I am considering using a combination of organic olive oil and coconut oil next time so that I end up with a balm instead of an oil. I usually stain using cheesecloth held with a rubber band over a jar. You can use the oil as-is or add it to melted beeswax or another solid oil base to make a balm if you like something a little neater.

I am really interested in herbs and other natural medicines but I do worry about whether I have made things properly. I generally never use herbal remedies that I have made at home internally, especially not for kids, and only use things that I trust for topical use. I would love some good recipes for herbal remedies, tinctures and balms. Frugally Sustainable has some great recipes if you are looking for something specific.

Safety:

It is recommended that you avoid taking any of the recipes listed here internally. Mountain Rose Herbs is a trusted site for oils, flowers, and herbs. Always know whether herbs can be used internally before taking them! Some herbs can interfere with prescription medications or cause health issues in even healthy people. Use caution and research, research, research before making and using herbs at home.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Recently Funky Monkey sent me a t-shirt to review. I will admit I really like the cute pink monkey design, and got lucky because they sent me a gray shirt. I am kind of particular about the colors I wear since I have red hair and don't like anything that clashes with my hair color.

The t-shirt itself is pretty much just a t-shirt, but it is comfy. I live in tees and shorts during the summer and I can say the cute Funky Monkey shirt livened up my closet a lot, since I tend to wear a lot of black clothes with things like monsters on the front. They are my husbands, and much more comfortable than my clothes for some reason ;)

The company, tshirtprinting.net, offers customizable tees, hoodies, vests and other clothing. You can add your own logo to their tees for any occasion affordably, but there is a minimum of 12 items to order. Overall, good quality, much more comfortable than I thought when I opened the package, and I've only had it a week and worn it three times.

You can order your own custom tees and more here: http://www.tshirtprinting.net/printed-t-shirts/. Have fun!

I got a free t-shirt for this review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Middle of Summer Blahs

Well, here we are. The middle of summer, also known as my birthday. Also, my least favorite season of the year. Don't get me wrong, I love the flowers and the swimming, and the butterflies and the fresh wild blackberries and blueberries.

But the heat. Oh. my. goodness. Not my favorite thing. I usually end up sweating so much my husband won't give me a hug or sitting in a pool of cold water for most of the day. It's aging, I used to love summer.

Well, not anymore. Blah!

Anxiously awaiting September, and my favorite month, October,
Super Sweaty Cloth Diapering Mommy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mixbook Review and Giveaway (With Discount!) CLOSED! Winner emailed!

Like all moms, I have millions of pictures on memory cards. I literally have four FULL to capacity memory cards of my kids! I also never have went to get all these pictures printed, so I was absolutely elated when Mixbook offered me the chance to review their online scrapbook service.

Ok, I am going to describe Mixbook to you guys. Its like you have all the scrapbooking supplies that you need, but don't have to worry about choosing the right glue or cutting your photos crooked. I'm left handed, but cut with my right hand so everything is always crooked.

Mixbook lets you choose a theme if you have a lot of photos from a specific season or holiday, but everything is totally customizable. If you don't like one page in a ready made book, then you can just take it out. So cool.


They had my scrapbook printed and mailed to me the same week I ordered, too! Love, love fast shipping. I had so much fun choosing my images that it took me a couple days to get my book done, but you can easily upload your images and have a themed book ready to print in just a couple hours. You can also choose no theme and choose all your own backgrounds, stickers, text and photo embellishments yourself.

The resulting book is amazing. You can add text anywhere, so you could even make your own family story book for kids.

Mixbook has decided to provide one of you guys, my readers, a free 20-page, 11x8.5 landscape, hardcover Mixbook photo book for FREE! The winner will get a totally customized by you book printed and shipped. All you need to do is choose your photos and customize the book.

Mixbook is also offering everyone a 25% discount on their products! Just use the code MMYTO625 at checkout for the discount. The code can be used only once per customer.

Here is how to enter:

MANDATORY: Be a follower of my blog, and tell me your favorite Mixbook product.

Extra entry- Follow Mixbook on Twitter and leave your Twitter ID in a comment

Extra Entry- Follow Cloth Diapering Mommy on Twitter and leave your ID in a comment.

The contest is open to international readers, so everyone can enter! Winner will be chosen on July 1st. Mixbook sent me a free book in exchange for my review, but the opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flats Challenge: Why Am I Joining?

I love cloth diapers. Seriously, I love all cloth diapers in all shapes and styles. Let’s face it, though, flats aren’t the simplest thing to use. They do require more frequent changes than even prefolds and need a snappy or, in my case, pins and a cover. So why am I going to use flats exclusively and handwash them for the week of May23?

Why the Challenge?

Parents everywhere are struggling with the rising costs of gas, food and necessities. Disposable diapers add to this burden. There are parents who reuse their disposable diapers (which can’t be washed, remember) or who don’t change their baby as often as needed to conserve their resources. This can be devastating to a baby’s sensitive skin and can even cause infections from bacteria.

Flats are a viable alternative to disposable diapers. Parents can use their cloth diapers part-time at home, allowing their stash of disposables to last longer while still providing their baby with the safety and comfort they need to develop. There are some things to notice when using cloth diapers for the first time, however. Full time cloth diapering is ideal to save money, but even a part-time commitment can make a huge difference in costs.

I am joining this challenge so that other parents, especially those looking for an economical alternative to disposable diapers, can get some insight about flats and how to use them as a safe alternative for their child. You can get a FULL stash of flats and covers for less than $100. In fact, a dozen flats or flour sack towels from Target costs less than $15, so three dozen diapers plus a few covers can be less than $70 depending on the covers used.

I am going to cover all the basics of choosing and using cloth diaper covers next posting, so check back!

I would also like to give a huge thanks! to Diaper Junction for sponsoring my commitment by sending me a dozen flats for the challenge! Thank you! While I did get free flats for the challenge the sponsor doesn't influence my postings or opinions in any way. Everything I write is based on my own opinions and experiences!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Getting Lucky

Luck. It really isn't something we have been having a lot of lately. Both cars have broken down, our check that we were expecting has been delayed for up to a month and we had nearly two weeks where my husband couldn't get to work because of either the weather or the car breaking down.

But, what is luck? I don't think it is necessarily getting everything that you want or even having the best timing. Luck is chance, and like everything else it is random. I have had some great luck in the past. All my kids were born healthy thanks to random combination of DNA, I love my job because I was lucky enough to have someone teach me the basics, I love that I have become educated enough to type this blog post without a ton of spelling mistakes.

I also love being lucky enough to talk to other moms who cloth diaper and spend my time at home with my kids. Now, that is lucky. I do have some lucky things I carry with me though. I have to admit it. It's not luck I am thinking about but more of an OCD type of thing where certain items have to be on me at all times. Like, for example, an extra pair of baby socks. You never know when your kid will need another pair of socks!

And a deck of cards. I always have a deck of cards in my bag, even if I only have my diaper bag. Its like my lucky little thing that I always carry with me! I really feel exceptionally lucky every day. I am lucky to have healthy, funny, intelligent kids. That happen to also be hilarious. I am also lucky to have an AMAZING husband who does all the heavy lifting around the house.

Did I mention that he is awesome? He gets up early and takes the kids to school when they miss the bus, washes my cloth diapers and even cooks on occasion. Although last time he cooked I got VERY sick so I am thinking that his cooking really isn't that lucky. :| But, otherwise, I really hit the jackpot when I married him.

I think that luck has a lot to do with our outlook. Are we lucky because our car broke down? Well, we got to spend some extra time together. Are we lucky because our check was delayed? Maybe. We might need the money for something more later than we do now. Luck is definitely linked to your outlook, like a glass half empty, glass half full type of thing. I know I am lucky. I love my life!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Bookieboo and "Earthies Wants You to Feel Lucky" blogging program, making me eligible to win a pair of Earthies shoes and American Express Gift Cards. For more information on how you can participate, click here. http://www.bookieboo.com/forum/topics/earthies-wants-u-to-feel-lucky

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Seventh Generation Giveaway!

Winner has been emailed! Thanks everyone for entering!

Seventh Generation recently sent me a ton of their feminine care products to review and offered to host a giveaway package for one lucky reader! Let me start off by saying that I totally advocate cloth pads because they are reusable, but let's be honest. Most women are looking for the convenience of disposable pads and tampons.

Seventh Generation feminine care is a good choice because they are made from organic cotton and are 100% chlorine free! If you are looking for an alternative to use then Seventh Generation is much, much more eco-friendly than traditional pads and tampons and keeps more chemicals out of your body. 100% cotton, what's there to complain about?!?

I tried them out, and can say that:
1. They don't have that stupid irritating plastic that rubs and chafes like most commercial pads and
2. They are super comfortable and convenient. I will admit it. I love cloth, but these are easy which is cool.
3. I love the logo/motto "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations" a saying that is from The Great Law of The Iroquois Confederacy. When you have kids, nothing can be more important than thinking about the future and what kind of environment we are leaving behind.

If you want something to use while your are out and about, need a backup for your Diva Cup, or want a healthier alternative to commercially made pads and tampons then check out Seventh Generation. They are now available at Target, Wal-Mart and lots of other stores across the nation.

Now, onto the giveaway! If you want to enter to win your own feminine care gift pack of organic tampons and pads from Seventh Generation just follow these guidelines.

Mandatory Entry

Follow my blog publicly, and tell me something you learned about Seventh Generations line of feminine care products that isn't mentioned on this page. Go to Seventh Generation here.

Extra Entry
For an extra entry, tell me one reason that you prefer using organic cotton tampons and pads. You can check out the videos and other resources on the Seventh Generation feminine care website to learn more about reasons to use natural, organic feminine care products. Good luck everyone.

The winner will be drawn on Feb. 25 using random.org and entries will be verified before notification. Winner has 48 hours to reply by email to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.

Seventh Generation provided products to me free of charge, at my request, for this review and giveaway. The opinions expressed here are my own, and not influenced in any way by third parties.