Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall 2012 Cloth Diaper Drive - Supporting The Tomahawk Sustainment Mission. . .

 Fall 2012 Cloth Diaper Drive

Fall 2012 Cloth Diaper Drive - Supporting The Tomahawk Sustainment Mission. . . 

Sign up's are OPEN! 

This is the first time I have been able to participate in a cloth diaper giveaway and I am so excited! Leettle Baby has hosted many other giveaways in the past and I have been lucky enough to win a prize in one of them. This is where I get to spread the love!

Leettle Baby will be hosting the Leettle Hands and Feet Fall 2012 Cloth Diaper Drive, which will run from November 1st - 30th, 2012. Not only will there be a giveaway for a stash of cloth diapers, but there will be charity auctions in efforts to raise money to start a cloth diapering program that will benefit at least 500 babies in the impoverished areas of the Kentucky Appalachia!
DID YOU KNOW? The Appalachia region covers 13 different U.S. states, encompasses 420 counties and includes 25 million people? Sadly, some of the most distressed areas have 150% poverty rate over the average U.S. rate.
Head on over to the Leettle Baby blog and sign up today if you are interested in participating in this giveaway hop event which includes a FREE blogger opportunity! The deadline for sign up's is October 30th, so don't hesitate to sign up for this wonderful event!
Also...sponsors for the giveaway and auction are still wanted and greatly appreciated! Please contact me (Alanna) at if you would like to help.
DATES:  November 1st - 30th (Giveaway will run from November 1st - November 30th), 2012
COST:   FREE with announcement post, $5 for 2 links, $1 each additional, & $10 for host follow pages
GIVEAWAY PRIZE:   A cloth diaper stash & accessory package...and more! Click here to view prize listing & sponsors

Sign & Learn More @ LeettleBaby

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bumby: The Ins & Outs

With Bumby pre-orders quickly coming to a close... are you still hesitating? If you're unsure what to get, what all those options mean, and what you should choose, step right up and be ready to be wow'd!

One of the awesome things about Bumby is the fact that they are open pre-orders, so you can order  something that will exactly work for your little one. Let's walk step by step through the ordering process and figure out what it all means together.

Fuzzy Wool

First, you are going to choose what kind of wool you want. Fuzzy or Silky... what's the difference? Well if you have ever had interlock wool before, you will be familiar to Bumby's fuzzy wool. It is the traditional wool that you will find. "Soft, fluffy, stretchy, fuzzy, thick, and super absorbent."

Silky Wool
"But Marissa, that is so thick! I live in a really hot climate and we just don't need thick, fuzzy wool!"
Solution: Silky wool! Silky wool is thin and super soft, silky soft. This wool is thinner and may tend to pill more if not treated carefully. However, silky is more likely to fit under your little ones clothes if that's what you need.

Second, you get to pick between longies (also can be customized as leggings), shorties, and soakers/covers. Well, hmm. That's pretty much a preference choice. They are basically what they sound like. Longies are the equivalent of pants, based on the inseam (we will get to that later, I promise!) they can fall anywhere to capri length to full pants (with the ability to be cuffed). Shorties are little adorable wool shorts. These are my personal favorites, I think they just look so cute on our little squishy babies! They can fall from capri length to above the knee. Soakers/covers just cover the diaper. These are your "basic" wool. They are diaper covers and cover the bum, but are still uber fantastic.

So, let's say you picked silky shorties (because I know I did!). All of a sudden you have even more options. Eek! Intimidated? I was at first.

Your first option is size. Well that's pretty easy right? You're given a choice between newborn, small, medium, large, and extra-large.

Newborn ~ Rise 13", Waist 11", Hip 13"-17", Inseam 6"
Small ~ Rise 16”, Waist 13", Hip 15"-20”, Inseam 8"
Medium ~ Rise 18”, Waist 15", Hip 17"-22”, Inseam 10"
Large ~ Rise 20”, Waist 17", Hip 19"-24”, Inseam 12"
XLarge ~ Rise 22”, Waist 19", Hip 21"-26”, Inseam 14" 

Ok, but after you see all those numbers... it can get a little scary again. What if that's too big? What if its too small. What if I just know that traditional sized items just don't work for my little one. Time to bust out the tape ladies... the measuring tape! Because, drum roll please, you can custom choose your measurements if necessary. (Let's skip over Color for now, we'll come back to it I promise!)

"Yeah that would work for most babies Marissa, but my little one... is really not so little when it comes to rise! She's kind of a string bean!" First thing you need to do is add some butter and munch away. Once you're done with some yummy baby kisses, head on down to Increase the Rise and you have the choice to add 1" or 2". Still not enough? Go ahead and pick 2" and then put in your notes how much you need to add.

"But Marissa, I have a chunker. Like a super chunker. He has enough rolls to rival a bakery." First of all, squee! I love some chunky babies! Second of all, the only thing you need to do is list your baby's necessary waist size in your notes on check out! Easy peasy. (You can do the exact same thing if you need a smaller waist size for your delicious string bean.)

"Hey, its me again Marissa... with that yummy string bean of a baby girl. Great, I've got her waist and rise all sorted, but seriously, I don't want her shorties to be Daisy Dukes." Well, Bumby has a fix for that too! Next up is Increase the Inseam. Once again, you're given the option to make those shorties just the right size for you. Choose between a 1", 2", and 3" increase. Still not enough? Go ahead and pick 3" and then put in your notes how much you need to add.

"Well Marissa, that's all well and good, but you seriously except me to know my baby's measurements? What do I look like? A seamstress?" Nope! You look like a mama with a baby and a plan! Your first step to getting your baby's measurements are to striiiip dooooown, the baby that is... and to whatever diaper you are planning to put on him under the wool. Take your squirmy bean and measure first around those munch-able thighs (for soakers), then around his ticklish belly, then from baby boy's thigh down to where you want your longies or shorties to fall, and finally from the top of the back of the diaper to the top of the front, right through the middle. Still confused? Check out these handy dandy picture How to's:
(pardon the wiggly baby)

Measure around the thigh for soakers/covers

Measure around the waist

Measuring from the top of the back of the diaper for rise...

...and all the way around to the top of the front of the diaper for rise.

Measure from inner thigh to ankle for inseam.
Please do note that Bumby wool is stretchy and will stretch to fit over your diaper, so try not to overestimate unless you are trying to size up.

Have you ever heard the term "adjustable hem"? Time to blow your mind. You can specifically order an "adjustable hem" for your little one's longies/shorties for them to grow into!
"Why would I do that Marissa? When my little boy outgrows his longies, I'll just buy new ones."
But when your son outgrows his longies... what does he really outgrow? The waist or the length? Personally, we grow out of the length of things muuuuch quicker than the waist. This gives you the option to fashionably fold up your longies and extend them when you're ready! (Please add length in inseam and note adjustable hem and color preference in your comments on checkout)

Adjustable hem folded down
Adjustable hem folded up
Ok, now as promised, colors! Bumby has a large variety of colors for both fuzzy and silky wool, to see their options visit the Bumby site and view their colors here. To see color names click the i.

Let's move on to your next fun option and perhaps the most exciting of all... POCKETS!!!
"Now Marissa... what would my little girl need pockets for? She's only 13 months old!" Why for her Jellystone Smart Phone Teether of course! (Duh, Mom!) All kidding aside, pockets are a great cute way to customize and cute-ize your woolies even more. (Please note where you would like pockets to be located. ex: hip, waist, cargo style, booty. For 2 pockets order 2 singles and note that in comments at check out.)
Your pocket options include:
  • Single pocket
  • Patch pocket/Jean style - Patch pockets are 2 patch pockets that start in the front and wrap around to the back on both side to give the illusion of jean pockets.
  • Coverlock pockets - Please see picture below.
  • Full hidden pockets - Please see picture below.
Dragon Fruit Longies with Coverlock pockets
Full hidden pockets
After that option comes something just for those ordering longies and shorties, for Fuzzy this option is called "Hammock" and for Silky this is called "Peanut". This gives you the ability to add an extra layer in the wetzone for added bullet proof protection!

And last but certainly not least, your "cut". You know how you have those fabulous jeans but you only like boot cut... or maybe flared? You have that possibility for your wool as well. (As always, please note hem cut details in your notes at checkout.)

Flared hem, Standard straight hem and folded up and lightly stitched hem

"Hey Marissa.. thanks for all of this but I have a diva. This just isn't enough customization. She need something mind blowing."
Step right up and let me show you something out of this world. Two words. Bold. Longies. 

Example of Bold Longies
Bold longies are striped longies with multiple colors of wool. You can choose Girly, Boyish, or Gender Neutral. You have the option of increasing rise and inseam like other longies and you can also ask for more stripes. These truly are wool art!

Have a specific idea in mind? Want specific colors or for your longies to be leggings? Please note your preferences in comments at check out and Bumby will do their best to accommodate!

So that's that folks. Everything you need to know to fully customize your stylish little bean into a perfect pair of woolies! Still have questions? Feel free to comment below!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wool Diaries: How to Lanolize Wool

So you took the plunge, or you're about to, but wait. You don't know how to treat your wool. I mean, its cute and all, but once I get it... what do I do with it?

Here is your "How to" on lanolizing your wool!

So the first thing you will need to do is gather your mad scientist supplies!
  1. Bottle (This is optional, you can stir, I prefer shaken not stirred)
  2. Baby soap. I use CJ's Carcass Cleaner.
  3. Solid lanolin. Yes, you can use spray lanolin or wool wash with lanolin incorporated, but generally that is not enough lanolin to full lanolize your wool. Pictured is Crow Mountain Crafts Solid Lanolin.
  4. Wool wash (bar or liquid). Pictured is CJ's Wool Wash and Crow Mountain Crafts Wool Wash Bar.
  5. Large bowl. You can also use your sink but since I don't like monopolizing my sink with wool, I use a bowl.
  6. Tea kettle (optional). I use this to get my water hot enough to emulsify the lanolin. You can also boil water in a pot or microwave.
  7. Cup to mix lanolin in. I use a measuring cup.
  8. Spoon and knife. To mix lanolin and to weigh wool down in water if needed.
  9. Wool! You have multiple options. Bumby pre-orders just opened and sustainablebabyish|sloomb has instock and pre-orders available.

The first thing you are going to do is wet your wool. Be sure to give it a nice squish (squeeze) to get it nice and wet. It is best to wash/lanolize your wool inside out so the wet zone can get the best of your mix!

Next, you are going to take your wool wash bar (or liquid wool wash if that is your choice) and gently rub the wool down. You don't need to rub with the bar too much, just get a nice layer of wash onto your wool. Once you have a nice layer of wash, work it in gently with your fingers.

To finish prepping your wool for lanolization, place it back in your bowl of water to sit until your ready for it! This helps the wool adjust to the water temperature and be ready for lanolin.

Now on to lanolizing! I have a heavy hand in lanolizing because I use my wool often. For overnight/bullet proof use you are going to want to be heavier with your lanolin. This was for 2 pieces, one of which has been lanolized before. In general, you need to lanolize twice to get full strength. I took a heaping teaspoon of my Crow Mountain Crafts Solid Lanolin.

I put the teaspoon of lanolin my measuring cup and filled it halfway with water (about 1 1/2 cup) I boiled in my tea kettle. I added 2 squirts of CJ's Carcass Cleaner to help the lanolin emulsify.

Because I shake my lanolin mix, I only stir it in the water until it turns completely liquid. Still greasy and not emulsified, but no lumps!

Next I pour my mix in my bottle. I put some extra (1/2 a cup) of my leftover boiled water in the measuring cup to get all the lanolin out of the cup and pour that in as well. Then I shake shake shake shake. (Since your water is very hot, it makes the glass hot, so I wrap a kitchen towel around the bottle.) You'll know when to stop shaking because the lanolin will be completely emulsified. It will look like whole milk, so no "floaties" (lanolin grease spots) and will be nice and smooth.
Alternative: If you plan on stirring your lanolin, you will skip the bottle and pour into a bowl and stir until you get the desired consistency. 

I poured the lanolin mix back into the measuring cup so you can get a view on how your lanolin mix should look. The white "foam" on the top is just from shaking and has no effect on the mix. You'll want to take your wool out of your bowl and gently squeeze excess water out

Now your mix is still pretty hot and in order to avoid felting you will want to lower the temperature of the water to lukewarm, you don't want to shock your wool with hot water. To avoid this, I have found that the best way to gradually cool your lanolin mix down is to pop in a couple ice cubes! I put 2 in my mix and slowly stir until they have dissolved. The white ring in the pictures is just from flash.

Now my mix is cooled down enough to add warm water. You'll want it just warm enough that you can feel it on your wrist. Add it slowly and stir while you add it. If added too hot/cold or too fast, your lanolin might get a little shocked (eek!) and separate a little bit.

This is what my lanolin mix with water looks like. It lightens up some but not much.

I only add enough water to fully cover my wool.

And alas! Its finally time to give your wool a nice lano bath! Put it in and give it a nice squish and gentle swish to get the lanolin mix all up in your wool's business!

Now is the really hard part. You have to wait. And wait. And wait. When first lanolizing my wool, I do a full 24 hour soak. If its been lanolized before I only soak overnight. This gives the wool lots of time to soak in that milky goodness. If your wool has been lanolized repeatedly or you aren't planning on using it for night time, you may only need to soak for 30 minutes to couple hours.

24 hours later

Your wool is ready to drain! Pour your lano mix out and gently squeeze the excess out of your wool. Try to avoid twisting as that can felt wool. If you ended up with "floaties", don't worry, you can use your finger to spread them on your wool and lanolin dries clear. That area will just have a little extra protection.

To help my wool dry faster I lay it on a towel to roll out excess water.

Gently roll and squeeze out the excess water from your wool.

And finally you can hang your wool to dry! If you want to dry it faster, you can point a fan at it. It is also suggested to turn your wool over to allow each side to get enough air time to dry.

Easy Peasy right? Well it may seem complicated, but once you do it the first few times it becomes second nature!

♥ Rissa

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wool Diaries: Kissed by the Moon - Bumby Wool Pre-Orders


Bumby pre-orders are officially open at Kissed by the Moon!
For the second round of pre-orders, Bumby and Kissed by the Moon have brought you even more options. In addition to silky (smooth, soft, sleek, thinner than traditional wool) and fuzzy (thicker and more durable) wool options you have options for leggings, soakers, shorties, longies, and bold longies!

Bumby Silky Wool Soakers
Bumby Silky Wool Shorties
Bumby Silky Wool Longies
Bumby Silky Wool Leggings

Bumby Fuzzy Wool Soakers
Bumby Fuzzy Wool Shorties
Bumby Fuzzy Wool Longies
Bumby Fuzzy Wool Leggings

Bumby Bold Longies

Bold longies? What are bold longies? I've never heard of these before... Wait... bold longies are your normal, adorable longies but with cute bold stripes? Seriously? YES! Awesome! You can request Girly, Boyish, or Gender Neutral colors, you can request specific colors in notes. This means your little wool fashionista will have custom only one in the world like them wool longies. Where can I sign up?? (In case you missed it its right up there ^^^ or > Bumby Bold Longies)

Now on to colors... have you ever seen so many pretty colors? And you get to choose! Have that adorable shirt that pretty much matches nothing? Or maybe it just is lacking a perfect match? Right here is where you find it. Is your little diva demanding only purple? Right here.

Are you ready to plunge with me yet?

♥ Rissa

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wool Diaries: Intro to Wool

With Bumby pre-orders opening at Kissed by the Moon, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about wool! At first glance, it's intimidating, but with a little research you will find it's really not that hard at all.

"It's just SO expensive!"
"Isn't it hot?"
"What do all those weird words and phrases mean? Lano? Knit? Interlock? Felted? Soakers? Longies? Shorties?"
"I don't use fitteds, there's no point in me using wool."
"I could never use wool... I wouldn't even know where to begin to care for it!"

Let's start by answering a few of these common questions and concerns.
"It's just SO expensive!"
Well... yes. It is. But, you know how cloth diapers maintain a decent resell value? Wool does even better. If you treat your wool properly (I'll get into how later) and take care of it, it will likely maintain a very high resell price. As in only losing 20% or less. That 20% is worth the use of that wool while you have it.

"Isn't it hot?"
Actually, no. Wool isn't hot. It is breathable. In the summer it helps against heat rash and has more airflow than traditional PUL covers. In the winter it helps retain heat so your little one doesn't get too chilly. And there are options! Soakers, longies, shorties. Depending on what you want to put your baby in and what the temperature is, you can pick!

"What do all those weird words and phrases mean? Lano? Knit? Interlock? Felted? Soakers? Longies? Shorties?"
Lano is wooly speak for lanolin. I could give you the long detailed explanation that is frankly kinda boring... but I won't. Basically sheep produce lanolin to make their wool water resistant. Since our squishy wool covers are no longer attached to these sheep, this is what we treat it with.
Knit and Interlock. Knit is what is sounds like, a knit fabric. You can see the knit basically. Interlock is intentionally felted wool.
Felted. Felting is when the wool fibers are matted together. On interlock this is obviously expected, on knit it isn't always desirable. Non-felted wool tends to be stretchier, however felted wool tends to be more water resistant.
Soakers, Longies, and Shorties. These are just basically what style of cover you are getting. A soaker is just a cover, pretty much diaper shaped. These generally cut below the tushie and show lots of thigh (if that's what you're into!). Longies and shorties are just what they sound like, long pants and shorts. These can vary in inseam depending on the brand. Everyone has their own personal preference where they like shorties and longies to fall. If longies are too long you can cuff them, this help extends how long your little one may be able to wear them; they can also be worn as flood pants. Shorties can go capri length to mid-thigh.

"I don't use fitteds, there's no point in me using wool."
It is actually a misconception that you *only* use wool with fitteds. A majority of wool users probably do use fitteds or flats/prefolds but it isn't necessary. You can lightly lanolize and use over a pocket or AIO diaper if you want. And of course you can use over flats or prefolds. If you have a Potty Learner who isn't completely there yet then wool might be a great option for you! Your little munchkin can wear big girl/big boy undies and your wool can hold in any accidents if necessary.

"I could never use wool... I wouldn't even know where to begin to care for it!"
For this question... please tune in tomorrow for a special edition of SP&tDQ! We are teaming up with Kissed by the Moon to bring you "How to Lanolize Wool"!