Saturday, May 7, 2016

Little Houses Made Of Ticky Tacky

Is this a stoop?  Or just a front door / entry?  I don't know.  What I do know is that this sad sad entry stoop was plain and uninspired.  I live in a cookie cutter neighborhood.  Every time I drive down the street to my house I hear that song.  It goes:  "Little houses, on a hillside, little houses made of ticky tacky, little houses on a hillside, little houses in a row....." It was sung by Malvina Reynolds and is called "Little Houses".  It was the theme song to the show "Weeds".  Anyways, this space needed some personality.  I added a flower pot that I've had loitering in the backyard.  But, most importantly I added this awesome wreath!

Made with a dollar store foam 8" wreath and paper pinwheels. I just used straight pins and some hot glue to attach the pinwheels.  It only took 2 hours or so. The paper pinwheels took a while to cut and fold.  Wish it was bigger, but hey... it was what I had on hand.

I'm thinking lots more wreaths for different seasons is in order.  Don't you just love color in a boring space?  I know I do.  I'm happy every time I walk up those cookie cutter stairs now.

New Addiction - Coiled Baskets!

These seem to be all over the Internet right now.  I got addicted to these almost a year ago now.  I've made dozens (literally) since then.  My boys have many on our shelves of toys and I made 14 for Christmas gifts.  I just love them.  Easy and satisfying to make.  Not to mention pretty to look at and totally practical. 
This last basket got an addition of fabric. Why didn't I do this sooner! I can't get over that pop of color.  Such a great use of all my string scraps of fabric that I've got in spades over here.  This particular basket is using reproduction 1930's washboard fabrics left over from a quilt I made a few years ago.

More of these to come.  I'm planning on three smaller ones for the boys Safari Ltd. Toob animals.  We are desperate for some separation of species. I've noticed that I need handles on all baskets in the playroom.  It just seems to make it easier for little hands to carry.  Especially these larger baskets.

I also just want to mention that I get my cotton clothesline on Amazon.  $10.00 for a 200ft piece.  It's a steal!  I usually get one large basket and a few smaller ones.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cloth Diaper Review - Alva Baby & Kawaii Newborn

It's been a long time since I've reviewed or discussed cloth diapers. I thought now was a great time to do it!  We've just had our 5th baby.  He's 11 weeks old and just the most perfect thing ever!  If you've read my blog you know that we started cloth diapering with our 3rd child.  I sewed all his diapers myself and did some reviews here about my favorites.  When we moved to Spokane 2.5 years ago I decided to not cloth diaper our 4th. With the move happening so close to his birth I knew I wouldn't have time to make any and honestly I just didn't want to deal with cloth in a brand new house.  Big mistake! When we found out we were pregnant with our 5th I knew I wanted to start cd'ing again.  Our now almost 2 year old was showing signs of wanting to potty train so I got out the few cloth diapers I had. Our cloth diaper stash at this time consisted of 6 Kawaii diapers, 2 Medium Fuzzy Bunz, and a few of my pockets from cloth diapering Cael.
 AlvaBaby OS Pockets from Amazon.  This is two 6pc sets. One in the "Boy" colors and one in "Neutral" colors.
The last month of my pregnancy was supposed to be my "sew everything up" month.  But, a car accident rendered me to the couch for most of my last month and no sewing was done.  Thus, an alternative had to be found.  I ended up finding some size small gdiapers at my local children's consignment store.  I used some stuffers left over from previous diapering years.  I also found online a whole host of new "cheap china diapers".  I researched some and decided to try some AlvaBaby OS pockets.  So affordable and they come in a whole host of super cute prints and lovely solids. I purchased 6 (I think) for us to try on our toddler before baby arrived.  They have a USA warehouse and shipping was free with my order. When they arrived they looked almost identical to the Kawaii diapers.  The PUL seamed a bit thinner and I liked the bamboo inserts that I chose.  They washed up good and I really liked them.  We also purchased a diaper sprayer and it made it sooooo much easier to deal with toddler diapers.  If you don't yet have a diaper sprayer get one.  Get one now!!!
 Current stash for baby Henry.  (some not pictured as they are dirty) The far left 4 rows are all AlvaBaby OS Pockets.  The 6 minkies on the far right are the Kawaii NB OS Pockets.

Fast forward to 3 weeks post partum and I found that I didn't love the gdiapers.  They just didn't work well on my son.  They are awesome cloth diapers, just not right for me.  I'm a OS pocket girl.   I also saw that we were using our pockets on our toddler more than I thought we would. I tried the pockets on our newborn.  He was about 9 lbs or so.  The Kawaii baby diapers just seamed chunky and huge.  The AlvaBaby diapers fit much nicer so we decided to invest in more of those.  I ended up purchasing 3 - 6packs on Amazon of their OS pockets.  One boy colors, one neutral colors, and one boy print pack.  All came with two microfiber inserts each and were under $36 a pack!  Amazing deal!  They arrived and somehow Amazon had messed up my order.  Instead of the boy print back they sent and extra neutral colors pack.  Amazon refunded my money and said to "keep, toss, or donate" the diapers that were sent wrong.  Seriously!!!! I kept those babies and went to the AlbaBaby US website to purchase some prints.  I really wanted those prints.  I purchased some cute pocket prints and decided to try a few AI1's as well.  The AI1's that are cut the same as the pockets are awesome.  The ones that have the different style tabs and rise setting are terrible.  Stay away from those!
Baby Henry 10.5 weeks old and 15 lb.s 6oz. AlvaBaby OS Pocket diaper on the smallest rise setting.

 Alaina & Henry. Henry is 9 weeks old and just under 15 lb.s  He is wearing the Kawaii NB OS Pocket.  Medium rise setting with room in the waist velcro tabs to grow.
Henry in Kawaii OS NB Pocket. He's just over 14 lbs. here.
Another lucky find at the local children's consignment store were 6 Kawaii Baby NB Pockets.  I didn't know such a thing existed!  They were just $3.99 for 3.  So I purchased the 6 and brought them home.  All I have to say is AMAZING!  Where have these been for my past 3 babies?!  They are cut trimmer and are of course smaller all over.  Love Love Love them. (I'm adding that I've since looked on the AlbaBaby website and they to carry a NB pocket.  I bet I would love those just as much)

In conclusion I'm going to say this.  I've tried almost everything in the cloth diapering wold over the past 5 years. (I've never owned big name brand expensive pockets as they are out of my price range) If doing cloth all over again from the start I would purchase at least 14 NB OS pockets from either AlvaBaby or Kawaii. (maybe even 28) I would then also purchase 24 - 36 OS Pockets from AlvaBaby.  Would I sew my own stash? Probably not.  With the china diapers being so affordable I don't think I could make them for any cheaper.

*I know there is huge debate online right now about cheap china cloth diapers.  My opinion is this.  The big US brand diapers are lovely and I'm sure they are worth every penny. But, many simply can't afford them.  I think the china brand ones are still better for the environment, baby, and my pocket book.  These things make them better than paper diapers any day of the week in my book.