Thursday, June 27, 2013

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!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June Moon Mom's Night In Winner's List!

Party time!

Tootiewilly soaker winner... Sarah Horst!

Kissed by the Moon gift certificate winner... Vana Goddard!

Snappi Baby winner... Rachel Garner!

Winners will be emailed to claim their prizes within 48 hours. Winners have 48 hours to respond or that prize will be redrawn.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Smart Bottoms Smart One 3.0 Review

by Sarah Jones

When I was offered a diaper to try made only miles from where I grew up, I jumped at it. The Smart Bottoms Smart One 3.0 arrived in the mail and I couldn't wait to put it on…my son of course! The instructions on the packaging of the diaper said it should be washed several times before use. I washed it once. I couldn't wait to use it. I found it to be very absorbent even after that one wash. No leaks.

This is a one size (8-35lbs), made in the USA, All-in-one diaper. This diaper has an inside made of 100% organic cotton, and an outer made of PUL. The organic cotton makes for a very trim diaper. The entire diaper inside is lined with the organic cotton. This helps the diaper lie closer to the skin and keeps red marks away.

This diaper is very similar to the bumGenius old elemental styling. The inside of this diaper is not attached though, and makes for a much faster drying. It dried in one cycle. I loved that I could take this right out of the dryer and use it right away again. I HATE removing some diapers and then having to turn the dryer back on.

The back of the diaper features very tight elastic. I was slightly nervous about this at first… it is REALLY tight. I was pleasantly surprised when I removed the diaper a couple hours later that it did not leave any marks on my son’s back. The Smart One 3.0 offers a very generous rise. This is a perfect diaper for a taller child. Which convinces me that this really will be a one size diaper, a diaper I can truly use from birth to potty training.

Price. I love that this is a one size, all in one, and organic. All for 23 dollars? Amazing.
Drying time. One cycle in the dryer!
Fit. Very nice trim fit, even on a chunky baby.
Absorbency. Worked well for us even at naps.

No hook and loop option. I have a very wiggly 15 month old. I much prefer hook and loop right now.

Over all I would rate this diaper at 4 out of 5.

Kissed by the Moon Asks.... Tell us what you think! Is this a diaper you would be interested in us carrying? (please leave a comment with your response!)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bummis new Potty Pants (training pants) Review

by: Tami Nelson

When I heard that Bummis was coming out with a new trainer, I was super excited to try these out! My son is almost out of cloth, but we are still potty training, so this would be perfect for us. I wanted to check out the sizing, as a lot of training pants are too small for my almost 40 lb. boy. Here are some of the features that Bummis advertises with the trainers:
Special features of the Potty Pant:
Very trim – can easily be worn under clothing. No fluffy bums here!
Looks like underwear – let your little one feel like a big kid! Easy on, easy off.
Accidents? No problem. Two hidden absorbent layers where it counts. One layer of long loop cotton terry and one layer of microfiber. Training takes practice!
Soft lining made of natural cotton-hemp fabric for maximum comfort and to allow for that helpful sensation of wetness.
Outer layer of waterproof fabric prevents leaks.
Stretchy lightweight side panels make for a trimmer fit, ultimate comfort and greater adjustability. Will accommodate wee ones of all sizes – from skinny minis to chunky monkeys!
Different sizes allow for a perfect fit. Most kids will potty train within a few months and will probably wear the same size throughout the process.
The Potty Pant is absorbent and was designed to prevent leaks when accidents happen. It was not designed to be as absorbent as a diaper, so may not be appropriate at nap time or bed time for some big-kids-in-training.
The potty pant is made in a Bummis factory in Montreal, Canada, so we know that the products are made fairly and are good quality. The fabric and parts are also sourced in North America, and are guaranteed to be free of BPA, lead, and phthalates.

And here is the sizing chart:

18-25 lbs / 8-11 kg
25-30 lbs / 11-14 kg
30-35 lbs / 14-16 kg
35 lbs and up / 16 kg and up

So my own thoughts about these…I am in love! The sizing seems true. We used the x-large and it fits well for us. Not loose or saggy at all, but not tight to where we have pain or marks- it fits similarly to underwear. It is stretchy so I am guessing that we could go a few more pounds with the same size (which is important because there isn’t a larger size!) The thing that’s good about the different sizing is that things fit well without having a huge bunching issue. That’s the downside with trainers that are one size. The Bummis Potty Pants are very trim and they DO fit like underwear. No poofy butt and very similar to the undies we use. The positive with this is that he feels like a big boy and calls these “underwear”. If he were to poop, it’s stretchy enough on the sides so that we could easily get these off of him without the grossness factor, (for trainers that snap on the side to alleviate the poop issue I recommend the Flip trainers, but more for medium/larger babies because they are one size), so I am not worried about this.
The thickness is enough that if he does pee, it won’t leak or go through his trainers. I like that it’s not totally waterproof like a diaper would be, because as we potty train, I want him to feel when he is wet, but I don’t want him to soak through his clothing. The Bummis Potty Pants are the perfect trainers for this.
The last reason I love these, other than functionality and design, is that these are made in Canada. The materials are sourced in North America and totally free of BPA and other harmful materials. I know that the workers at the factory are getting treated well and get fair wages, which is important to me.

I had a hard time finding any negatives with these. The only one I have is that currently there are only two color options- White and Pistachio dot, which is a bright green with pink dots. A Denim Dot will be released soon, which is a boyish dark blue dot version, but even so, if you like prints and want a gender- specific option, you will have only one color. If you don’t mind mixing with white or don’t really care, it’s not a big deal, but this was the only drawback I could find for these.

There are many trainers out there to choose from, but only a handful that I can say I truly love and these are one of them! Bummis Potty Training Pants are available from Kissed by the Moon
for $15.95.

June Moon Mom's Night In

This is our third month for Moon Mom's Night In and let me say... it has been FUN so far! Lots of ladies showing up and talking cloth diapers, parenting, and just hanging out. Moms don't always get "me" time so this is the perfect chance for you to sit down and have a glass of wine (or juice) and have fun with some of your fellow Moonies!

This month's prizes are donated by Tootiewilly, Kissed by the Moon, and Snappi!

The party will be taking place on the event page here on June 25th at 6pm PST/9pm EST. Please RSVP and fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cake Lingerie Review and Giveaway!

When I found out I was pregnant... I was so excited. And then came nursing bras and tanks. I visited a lactation consultant and picked out and purchased $300 worth of bras and tanks. Super exciting. But super boring. Then I had my little girl and all rational, sleepful, and fully formed thought went out the window. I wore what was clean (mostly) and didn't care. Finally one day (2 weeks later) I woke up and hated my nursing bras. They weren't supportive. They weren't cute. They definitely weren't sexy. I got over first time mommyhood and realized I still wanted to be hot! Before I was a mommy I was all about certain lingerie "secret" stores. Like really into them. Like single girl spends half a pay check at Vickie's.

But I digress. I fell so out of love with my nursing bras and tanks that I stopped wearing them completely and either wore my pre-mommy bras (not super comfy but supportive) or NO bra (super comfy but not at all supportive). Neither was a good option and neither worked. I had heard about Cake Lingerie before but hadn't tried them. I had lost faith in maternity/nursing bras completely. Then Cake Lingerie sent me this set to review and giveaway to a super lucky Kissed by the Moon fan!

When I first received this set my first thought was whoa. As in WHOA. Sexy. Hot. Oh my god. I was excited to bring sexy back... but a little nervous. A set like this required a special occasion! (Not really but I'm a little obsessive about "deNIPping" things.) So finally a few days later... date night. That's right! Mama got a date with the boyfriend. And let me tell you even HE was impressed by how hot I looked. I may not be a super model but everything was where it was supposed to be and looking good.

After my first wear and wash, I inspected the bra more carefully. Not only it is absolutely lovely but it is very well made. The fabric of the briefs is soft and smooth and the lace isn't that "oops I tore it by touching it" type. The bra held up to washing very well with just some pilling on the lace. Admittedly, I wasn't super gentle with it and it got washed with my daughter's velcro swaddles. So that is probably the cause of the pilling.

My Likes:

Attractiveness. This is definitely a 100% sexy set. I felt confident putting it on. I felt sexy wearing it. When I had this set on I felt like an attractive woman and NOT just a mom.

Quality. This set it well built and held up to my not so gentle wash routine.

Comfort. Elite comfort. Not so much that I didn't remember I was wearing it (see Attractiveness ;) ) but no bra strap indents, no too tight around the band. Pure comfort. A bra I didn't mind leaving on for hours and hours.

Luxury. This kind of goes hand and hand with quality and comfort but these are all around 100% luxurious pieces.

My Not So Likes:

Sizing. Cake Lingerie is an Australian company and uses a different sizing system so it takes a little figuring out.

Price. Before I had Jilly and I was a single free to spend girl, I had no problem spending $60 on a bra. However, now I am more hesitant to spend so much money on myself.

Overall I definitely recommend this set. And will likely be telling the boyfriend (*HINT HINT*) this is what I want for whatever holiday is next.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cloth Diapers at Daycare

My ten-month-old daughter is in full-time daycare. We’ve been able to keep her in cloth diapers since she began (about four months ago), and the experience has been great. Why did we choose to use cloth diapers at daycare? Cloth diapers had been working so well while we were home with her- few rashes, even fewer blow-outs or leaks, and we didn’t have to buy disposables. The cost of daycare is high enough-- it would have been financially difficult for us to add disposable diapers to our budget.

When I was looking into different daycares, every center and home daycare I contacted was willing to use cloth diapers on my daughter. The regulations at the center my daughter attends are simple: dirties need to go into a container with a lid, and must to be taken home every day. Here is the system that works for us:

  • Diapers: We send all-in-one (AIO) style diapers. Our stash is a mix of Blueberries Simplex (snaps), bumGenius Freetime (snaps), and Tots Bots Easy Fits (hook & loop). I haven’t found a single diaper put on backwards or incorrectly in any way, including the flaps on the Freetime. The morning teacher, who does most of my daughter’s changes, likes all three, but prefers the Tots Bots.
  • Quantity: She usually goes through five diapers in the time she is at daycare. We keep at least seven diapers in her cubby, just in case she has an extra... err... busy day.
  • Wipes: Yes, we send cloth wipes too! We dip the day’s wipes into a tupperware of water with a few drops of wipe solution, squeeze them out, and send them along in a disposable wipes container or the PlanetWise wipes-size wet bag. We send about 9 a day- she rarely uses them all.
  • Dirties: We bought a small bathroom trash can with a step-on lid at the local hardware store. Then, we bring a medium wet bag or pail liner with the clean diapers every day. The new diapers go in the cubby, and the wet bag goes in the pail. The daycare providers toss the dirty diapers and wipes into the pail, just as they would a disposable. Each afternoon, we take the wet bag out of the pail and bring it home (this is when we prefer a wet bag with a zipper!). At home, we plop poop, check laundry tabs, and dump the diapers and used bag into the regular diaper pail to wait for laundry day. If I remember, I count the number of dirties I bring home so I can send the same number the next day.
  • Diaper cream: I think this is important to consider. We make sure to send her with cloth diaper friendly rash cream- usually sample size pots of CJ’s BUTTer, since she rarely gets rashes. We made it clear to the providers not to use their regular cream with her. If/when she ever has a more serious rash and requires a medicated cream, I’ll prepare all the diapers with fleece liners.

When we were building our OS diaper stash, I had daycare in mind. I stuck with diapers that are most like disposables. I threw out the idea of pocket diapers initially, because I didn’t like the idea of pulling out dirty and wet inserts every evening. In hindsight, knowing how many dirty and wet diapers I touch a day, I think pockets would be fine. Since my husband and I both work full time, out of the house, I also considered dry time when choosing diapers. We don’t want to do diaper laundry more than every 2-3 days, and can’t add in an extra day to account for drying time. The three styles of AIO we have dry quickly on the line, in front of the wood stove, or in the dryer on low heat.

At this point, my daughter doesn’t need any extra absorbency for naps. If she did, I would have the daycare providers put her in the most absorbent diaper- of those three, the Freetime and Simplex have both been bulletproof for us. Or, if she needed even more absorbency, I’d stuff a pocket with hemp, and maybe put a post it on it, or choose a specific nap diaper color to make it easy for the staff.

This setup has worked well for us. The baby gets to enjoy the benefits of wearing cloth diapers, and we can keep disposable diapers out of our budget!

by Molly Dubois