Kelly’s Closet Turns 14 {and They’re Giving Away Mama Cloth!}

KC14yrPinkLemonade

We are so excited to help Kelly’s Closet and DiaperShops.com celebrate 14 years of cloth diapering! KC has been my go to for modern cloth diapers and accessories since we started adding to our homemade stash a couple years ago.  Through them we have discovered CJ’s BUTTer, our favorite Thirsties diapers, and a plethora of other brands and products.

Kelly’s Closet first opened its doors back in April 2001 well before bumGenius, Rumparooz, GroVia and Thirsties even existed.  Kelly’s Closet is now home to almost 100 brands of cloth diapers, diapering accessories, and eco-friendly products for the entire family.  They are truly more than just a shop.  While located solely online, they give AMAZING customer service and product support that you won’t find in many store fronts.  They reach through the computer screen and engage with customers every day, providing cloth diaper education and support to thousands daily.

KellysCloset14yrsOn April 1st, Kelly’s Closet kicked off 14 days of giveaways to celebrate. Each day new items have been added and today I’m proud to bring to you a set of two Pink Lemonade Minky Pads.  These pads are fleece backed and are truly my favorite cloth pads!  They’re comfortable, stain resistance, and absorbent.  Not to mention, they’re super soft and pretty.  An even bigger bonus for me is that they were created by a WAHM, and that always gets big props in my book.

Be sure to follow both Kelly’s Closet & Diaper Shops social media pages for more chances to win.
Facebook: Kelly’s ClosetDiaperShops Cloth Diaper Support GroupThe Cloth Diaper Whisperer
Twitter: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Instagram: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Pinterest: DiaperShops
YouTube: DiaperShops1

Each giveaway will end at midnight ET on April 14th.

Use the link below to get entered and good luck!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b995e59b284/

 

*This post contains some affiliate links.  You can view our full disclosure policy here.

Five Ways To Cope With Morning Sickness

Five Ways To Cope WIth Morning SicknessIf you’re a follower of the blog, you noticed the sudden decrease in posts last month.  And then hopefully you saw that I didn’t just go AWOL, I was being held captive by a little alien invader :) .  I’m happy to report that thanks to my doctor and lots of supportive family, I’m slowly returning to myself.  Week nine and Diclegis have brought some relief that will hopefully have the blog back up and running full steam ahead.

My morning sickness had me sidelined for about a month.  There were days that I barely moved from the couch and where caring for my two children truly felt like a struggle.  My sewing room has been empty and there hasn’t been too much excitement going on in my house lately.  But ya know what?  It’s okay!!!  I cut myself some slack to rest and feel yucky.  I let my body and my mind cope with all the changes going on and guess what?  Life went on!  Nothing catastrophic happened.  I learned that while life is much more fun when I’m participating fully, once in a while when there are more pressing concerns, you can take a break and things will turn out just fine.

Of course, there were times when I couldn’t just sit by and watch.  I still had two children to cook for, play taxi too, and just generally care for.  I still have a house on the market so there was still much cleaning and laundry to do be done.   I shared a few tricks for handling diaper changes when you’re pregnant over at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer last month and many of those tips apply to just generally surviving morning sickness the first couple of months.  Here are the some ways I’ve coped with morning sickness that will hopefully get you through too.

Five Ways To Handle Morning Sickness

  1. Extra sleep.  I know, I know. I have two kids still under 5. I get that midday naps don’t often happen.  But if you can go to bed a little early or catch some weekend naps, it will help.  Being tired only exacerbates the nausea.
  2. Pleasing scents.  We’re all different, if you can find a scent that calms your queasiness, use it.  Citrus and mint are usually the most effective, but if watermelon or your favorite Bath and Body Works lotion brings you relief, rub, burn it, infuse it…just sniff it!  An essential oil diluted with a carrier like coconut oil or scent free lotion can be a god-send smeared under your nose or dabbed on your wrist.  You all know I loooveee some CJs BUTTer.  The minis are great to grab and sniff.
  3. Juice, soda…whatever stays down.  I gave up soda a year ago…don’t miss it.  But during my first months of pregnancy, plain water doesn’t work.  I gag, I throw up almost every single time.  After finding myself dehydrated and constantly dizzy, I tried having a soda. And it stayed down.  I found small sips of cold juice stayed down too.  So I did what I had to do to stay hydrated.  Getting myself back to functioning was more important than keeping up the anti-soda streak.  Once my morning sickness eases, I’ll be back to drinking boat loads of water, but until then drinking it and vomiting isn’t worth it.
  4. Eating less…more often.  If another person ever tells me to eat a cracker for morning sickness, I might get sick on them.  Even thinking about a cracker turns my stomach. Crackers don’t work for me.  But, I found that having about 6-8 small meals a day does work.  Cereal, sandwiches, jello, fruit cups….whatever eases your stomach, try having something to eat every couple of hours.  The minute my stomach gets empty, bam, nausea sets in and it is HARD to break.  Sadly the first trimester is not a glowing picture of health food for me.  But it’s okay.  When your main concern is keeping anything down, you can cut yourself some slack and do the best you can.
  5. When all else fails…call the doctor.  I spent almost four weeks a sick, shaky mess.  My doctor put me Diclegis at a very small dosage and after just one week, I felt brand new.  My blood pressure came back up, I had more energy, and I was not throwing up twelve times a day anymore.  If medicine isn’t your route, it’s okay.  But if you aren’t functioning, getting help from your doctor is an option.  They see pregnant women every single day, they will likely have some tricks to help you.  You don’t want to wait until you’re dehydrated as that isn’t good for you or baby.

*This post contains some affiliate links.  If you make a purchase from one of the links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  You can view our full disclosure policy here.

Why So Quiet?

The blog’s been quiet this month…mainly because of this.

Announcement

And then we got to see this…

8w3dUltrasound

So I’ve spent a lot of time with my head in a toilet the last month or so.  This baby was a BIG surprise.  Most of my plans for the year have been thrown for a loop as I’m in the midst of some pretty awful morning sickness that keeps me close to the couch or bathroom lately.  If you’ve never experienced severe morning sickness, I hope you never do.  It is truly exhausting.  But, Baby Boo is growing right on track so far and that is indeed reason to celebrate.

I’ll be back…

St. Patrick’s Day Cloth Diapers

StPattysDayCDSt. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and whether you have Irish heritage or not, it can be a fun day to be festive with green and rainbows.  Children love to do festive crafts and pick out festive outfits.  Babies and toddlers don’t have to be excluded and can be decked out down to their diapers.  Here are some of my favorite cloth diapers for St. Patrick’s Day.

Bumgenius always offered fun colors and prints available in all their diaper lines.  Whether you’re a fan of the 4.0, Freetime, Elemental, or Newborn you can catch one of the St. Patty’s Day appropriate diapers.  Grasshopper is a muted, spring green while Hummingbird is a deep, rich green.  You could also grab one of the limited edition black and white prints like Osa and color it in with fabric markers for a festive rainbow diaper.  Flip fans can get the same colors in a fun, versatile cover.   Or you could opt for just a colorful trim with Econobum.

Thirsties is a personal favorite of mine.  I just love their diapers, they fit my children so well and hold up fantastically.  Celery and Meadow are available in a One-Size Pocket, Covers, All In One, and Duo Wrap Cover. If you have a newborn you can grab Celery and fitted lovers can pick up Meadow.

Rumparooz One Size fans can choose from Lazy Lime or Spring.  Or they could sport Invader, Jeweled, Preppy, or Quinn for a rainbow look.  These colors are also available in Lil Joeys, Covers, NB Covers.  You can even grab Lazy Lime and Spring in doll diapers!

Blueberry brings us Kiwi and Geo available in One Size, Covers, and Bamboo.  You can grab Meadow Green or Geo for your newborns.

AppleCheek’s Appletini brings a little fun to the St. Patty’s Day party.

Babykicks gives a punch of true Green.

Best Bottoms covers give us several options:  Dragonfly Ripple, Key Lime Pie, Green Giraffe, Camo, GI Jane, Open Season, and the beautiful rainbow that is Tie Dye or Dragon Scales. Even your potty trainer can have a festive bum with Pistachio and Playful Panda.

Bottombumpers brings us the appropriately named Shamrock as well as Kiwi.

Bummis has you covered with Kale and Pistachio Dot.  If fitteds be sure to grab be sure to grab green chevron.  If you prefer fun prints check out Green or Celery Dot.

Funky Fluff offers a Stay-Dry  or Bamboo Option in Green & Purple or Teal & Lime.

Imagine Baby brings you a bit of luck with their wool cover,  PUL cover, or pocket in Emerald.  Their Rawrgyle leggings are sure to complete the look.

Itti Bitti’s Wasabi and Seaweed offer fun punches of green while Shazam and Chilin’ bring us a rainbow of fun.

Kissaluv’s Grassy Green is the perfect St. Patrick’s Day Cover.  Lime Green is available in a soft fitted.  They can cover your Newborn with Spring Green.  If you’re looking for a print, consider Happy Bugs, Monkeys, Summer Dots, or Zoo Blue.

Moraki’s Green and Hippie are two more great choices.  Their shamrock bottom Celtic Pride was MADE for St. Patty’s Day.

Smart Bottoms offers a fun mix with Bloom, Ella, Emerson, and Tiedye.

SmartBums Sprout is bright and fun.

Tidy Tots gives us several more options with Lime Green, Spring Green, Sea Mist, and Dinosaur.

Tots Bots offers us Sweet Pea and Hey Diddle Diddle.  The striped Thistle is available in a fitted.

Which diaper(s) will you be choosing for St. Patty’s Day?

*This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase via one of the links, I will receive a small portion of the sale.  You don’t have to use the links when you make a purchase, but we appreciate when you do as it supports our blogging efforts.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Sewing Inspiration: Fat Quarter Shorts

My absolute favorite thing to sew is children’s clothing.  It’s small, it begs to be cute, and it’s fun!

I make my children a lot of light weight pants from cotton fat quarters.  The elastic waist is potty training and cloth diaper friendly and they’re super comfortable for all the moving around and playing kids love to do.

Here’s a little sewing inspiration from my Sunday sewing…

FQPants2

FQShorts

Graphic Art Freebies: Printable Grocery List

This week’s graphic art freebie has a practical use – cute, printable grocery lists that coördinate with our kitchen art freebies from a few weeks ago.  Enjoy!

*Click the photo to make it larger and print.

Printable Grocery Lists

 

Sewing Tutorial: Personalized Cup Cozy

Personalized Cup CozyLast week we created our own reversible cup cozy.  This week, we’ll learn how to embellish that same cup cozy to make even more personalized.  The embellishment will be done with removable discs so that you can change the look of your cozy to suite your mood.

To embellish your cozy you will need:

  • Fabric.  You can use a fabric that coordinates with the fabric we used for the cozy body or the same fabric.
  • Sewable, fusible stabilizer. I use Heat N Bond Lite sewable.
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Snaps – I use KAM snaps
  • Iron
  • The illustrated and detailed Personalized Cup Cozy PDF:  Personalized Cup Cozy.Embellished Cup Cozy

How To Handle Menstrual Cups In Public

Menstrual Cups in PublicIf you’re new to menstrual cups, I highly recommend reading this post first:  Menstrual Cups:  A Newbie’s Perspective.

I’ve used menstrual cups for about a year and I would NEVER go back to tampons.  They are far more comfortable and convenient to use than their disposable counterparts.  I don’t have to worry about buying menstrual supplies each month and I don’t deal with pain from inserting a dry, scratchy tampon.  Menstrual cups have made my periods much more manageable and less of an interruption to daily life.

When I broach the subject of menstrual cups with other women, the question that seems to always come up after how do you insert them, is how do you deal with them while out and about?  It’s a valid question, and an easy one to answer.

First of all, you can wear a menstrual cup for up to twelve hours before it needs to be emptied, cleaned, and reinserted.  TWELVE HOURS guys!  That means you may only need to insert your cup in the morning, empty it in the evening, and reinsert and forget about it until the next morning.  Compared to tampons which need to be changed every 4-6 hours, that’s a big change!  Twelve hours typically works for me.  If my flow is unusually heavy, I’ll go ahead and empty around the six-hour mark, but the Lunette I use has never been full at that point.  Since I typically only have to empty the cup once a day, I am almost always able to do so at home.  This is highly convenient since I have the privacy of my bathroom to empty, clean, and reinsert.  I do recommend doing several trial runs of emptying and reinserting the cup at home before you venture into public  restroom changes of the cup just to get yourself familiar with how it all works.

If you do have to be out and about when your cup needs to be emptied, it’s manageable and easy!  You used to carry a  bag with tampons or pads right?  Well, technically you can use that same bag for these disinfecting wipes.  However, the wipes are so tiny you could easily slip one in your pocket and no one would ever know.  To empty your menstrual cup in a public restroom:

  • Wash your hands (just as you should before changing a tampon!).
  • Remove the cup and empty the contents into the toilet.
  •  Wipe the inside and outside of the cup off with toilet tissue.
  • Once wiped well, use the cup wipe to finish cleaning and disinfecting your cup.
  • The wipes can be discarded in the trash or flushed if no trash can is readily available.
  • Let the cup air dry (it only takes a few seconds, you won’t be left sitting there for several minutes waiting).
  • Reinsert your cup.
  • Wash your hands.

See, no more complicated than changing a tampon.  If you’re worried about getting blood on your hands, you could easily put an extra wipe or an individually wrapped regular wipe in your bag or pocket to clean your hands before leaving the stall and washing them.  Once you’ve practiced emptying the cup at home several times,  you generally won’t have to worry about blood on your hands anymore than you would with tampons.

Have you made the switch to reusable menstrual care products yet?

*This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase from one of the affiliate links, I will receive a small portion of the sale.  You don’t have to make a purchase using the links, but I appreciate when you do as it helps support my blogging efforts.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.

What Makes A Family?

There’s always been a lot of talk about what makes a family.  Now that times are changing and more people are coming to realize that the traditional components of a nuclear family are not what we once thought they were, the view of what makes up a family is changing too.

I believe the most important component to any family is love.  Without love, support, and compassion a group of people who live together is just a group, not a family.  Family loves you without conditions and provides support when you are struggling.  They offer compassion and try their best to be understanding of each other’s goals.  When a member of the family, or the family as a whole, is faced with an obstacle, true families stick together and persevere.

The type of people involved have nothing to do with who makes up the family.  It could easily be two men, two women, siblings, even friends.  There could be children, or not.  Children could be biological, adopted, or blended from past marriages.  There could be legal documents binding the members together, or not.  The family could own their home – or they could rent.  They may even live with extended family to make up a bigger family unit.

What Makes A Family
What families don’t do is judge and criticize.  A family is not a unit who puts you down and makes you feel bad about yourself.  A family unit is not cruel and their love for you does not depend on the life choices you make.  Sure, families who love and support you want the best for you.  They don’t want you to make bad decisions that lead to a bad life.  But choices like who you choose to marry (in healthy, non-abusive relationships) are not put down or judged.  Things like sexual preference, race, religion, and politics are not taken into consideration.  The character of one’s heart and the content of the soul are what matter.

So what is a family?  It’s love. Support. Guidance. Acceptance. A hug when words don’t suffice.  A shoulder to lean on when life throws a curveball you weren’t ready for.  Family is realizing that life is not perfect but as long as you have each other, it’s doable.  Even enjoyable and can be pure happiness. Family is a group of people who make you want to be better, not just for yourself,  but for those you love.  Family pushes you to try new things when you’re scared and they offer to catch you when you stumble.

Simply put, family is love.  What/who makes up your family?

Back to Basics: Lemonade and Sweet Tea

Lemonade & Sweet TeaWhen I first moved out on my own, I didn’t know how to make ANYTHING in the kitchen.  I could open a can or a package and that was the extent of my culinary knowledge.  I even needed a recipe for lemonade and sweet tea!  I can make many things without a recipe these days, but I’ve had eleven years of practice.

It’s okay to need a recipe for the basics when you’re just starting out.  Or maybe sugary sweet southern drinks have never been part of your kitchen routine.

Here are some very basic recipes for Lemonade and Sweet Tea.  You may want to add more or less sugar depending on your personal taste.  You can always add in other flavors to create more complex drinks.

Lemonade

Ingredients

  • Fresh lemons (6-8)
  • Filtered Water
  • Sugar
  • One Lime

Directions

  1. Juice lemons until you have 1c of fresh squeezed lemon juice.  The number of lemons will vary, usually 4-6.
  2. Juice one lime.
  3. Bring 1c of water to a rolling boil and dissolve 1c of sugar in the boiling water.  Remove from heat once sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the lemon and lime juice to a pitcher with the simple syrup we just made.  Add 4-6c (more or less depending on taste) of fresh, filtered cold water to the pitcher and stir.  Slice one whole lemon and add to the pitcher.  Stir and serve well chilled.  You can add more or less water depending on how tart/sweet you like your lemonade.

Sweet Tea

Ingredients

  • 2qt pitcher
  • filtered water
  • ice
  • Orange/black pekoe tea bags (approx. 7-8 small bags or 3-4 family size bags depending on how strong you like your tea)
  • sugar

Directions

  1. Bring a small pot of water a rolling boil and add 1c of sugar until dissolved.
  2. Add the tea bags to the boiling water/sugar solution and turn off the heat.  Let tea steep for 7 minutes.
  3. While tea is steeping, fill the pitcher with ice all the way to the top.
  4. When tea is done steeping, pour it into the ice filled pitcher.  Continue to pour water over the tea bags and fill the pitcher until it is full.  Stir well.
  5. You can serve immediately as the ice should sufficiently cool the tea.  Any tea served right away will be stronger and generally sweeter than tea served later as the ice will melt and dilute the tea further as it sits in the refrigerator.
  6. You can add lemon, mint, or raspberry syrup for a yummy treat.

One of my most FAVORITE drinks is an Arnold Palmer.  Simply fill a glass half full with lemonade and half full with tea.  It is simple, yet divine for the taste buds!