Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spring Clean

Now that the weather has warmed up I finally have a chance to start cleaning again. I live in Southern California which normally conjures images of movie stars, Disneyland, and all year perfect weather. Well I live in the High Desert, about an hour away from all those lovely places which is awesome, but our weather is very extreme in my hometown. Right now we have "spring" which it will be in the high 90's on average. Wow! What is summer like? You can probably guess unbearably hot! Now this warm weather has been giving me a chance to send the kidos outside and out of my hair to get a little work done. This week I tackled the floors. We are by no means rich people so our floors have scene a lot of wear and tear which just makes it more important to take good care of them. I'm still on this quest to become a more eco-friendly Mama, so I did a little research to find out some natural cleaners. What kept coming up over and over? Vinegar!!! I had to try it and lo and behold it works wonders; it is tried and true. Oh and I love how
 it's non-toxic for the kidos; mine just love eating anything off the floors! lol What other natural cleaners do you use? I would love new suggestions!

shiny. shiny floor

the tools

**I used 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. Our floor is old linoleum, so I can use a little bit stronger of a mix. I read that if you have tile you need to be careful because the acidity of the vinegar can damage the grout. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

baby doll nightie

How adorable is this little nightie!? And guess what? I made it!! I am so excited to be writing this turtorial on how I made this nightie. I have been sewing since I was in Jr High but I have only recently tried my hand at clothing. This being my second garment I've made and we know how the first one turned out! lol (vintage-dress-fail) So the other day I was nursing Matty and surfing the internet and thought I need something new; maybe new pajamas. So I typed in "baby doll nightie" and I came across a this little number by Bernie Dexter.

As I was taking a look I thought now that doesn't look so hard to make so off to Joann's I went! It really is a simple design  I cut two pieces to be the front and back in an A-line.

 I cut the armpit holes and they turned and really wonky. I was able to fix them when I hemmed around the curve but that is something I'll have to play with and do differently next time. 

Then I stitched the two sides together. I was so happy to use my "new-to-me" serger. 

Then I hemmed around the armpits and the bottom.

 Figuring out the top was a bit tricky. I was contemplating on doing a mitered corner around the neckline. After playing around with it I found the easiest way is to cut the neckline at a 45 degree angle and sew the straps right behind.
                            Voila! I added the little black bow with a hand stitch and it was done.

When I was done with the top I went back to Joann's to get more fabric to make the bloomers. I was disappointed to find they were out of the fabric I used, so I bought some cheap muslin which turned out way better than expected. I am going to wait to show you how I made the bloomers until I get a nicer fabric. But here's a teaser I used the free downloadable pattern Madeline Mini Bloomers (madeleine-mini-bloomers).

I sure had a blast sewing my nightie and this time I feel a real sense of accomplishment!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

tomato woes

I had something truly unfortunate happen to me yesterday when I was watering my roma tomato plant. I have a terrible squirrel problem at my house and we have tried everything to get get rid of them. They are very destructive and for the last four years (ever since I quite smoking and don't go outside every hour) the squirrels will eat up my garden. I used to have beautiful gardens with lovely tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, and zucchini. So this year I got a topsy turvy! I just started with one plant, a roma tomato plant to see if I could grow in and those pesky squirrels wouldn't get into it. Sure enough it was beautiful and full. I probably had 20 little green tomatoes on there. Until yesterday when I was watering it. It obviously got too heavy and the whole topsy tuvy came down. Not only did it come down but the stock snapped right off! Oh I was so sad. Nic cried really hard (we were growing it together.) I put the remains into water and I'm hoping it can still be saved! Fingers crossed! 

tomato plant
look at those beauties

tomato plant in water
into a bowl of water

tomato plant
What's left of my plant. I wish I had a before pic to show.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Spectacular Giveaway

Since the release of The Great Gatsby to theaters retro lovers are all a buzz about the 1920's again! I am so happy to say that the 1920's are all the rage right now. I recently found a wonderful blog about the love of vintage and Jessica is hosting a book giveaway! Go take a gander at Chronically Vintage for this spectacular giveaway; the book, A Spear of Summer Grass, is set in the 1920's and sounds like a beautiful read. So go enter to know I am!

 photo aspearofsummergrass_zps9d45f0b2.jpg

Thursday, May 16, 2013

different diapering options

There are many ways to cloth diaper your babe. I am only going to tell you about the ones I use just because I want to let you in on the things I know. I wouldn't want to give advice or knowledge on something I'm just not knowledgeable on. lol Let's go right into shall we...

Flip Diapers
Here is Flip hybrid system. It combines the ease of  a pocket with the affordability of a prefold. Since you only buy one cover and three inserts its a little less money than buying one pocket. It has the snaps in front so you can adjust it for baby (birth to 35lbs) The way you use it is take the cover and line it with either a soaker (they come in reusable or disposable) or the organic prefold. The way I did it is disposable when we go out, reusable around the house and organic prefold at night. I don't use this system very much anymore no particular reason it's just not my favorite.

glow bug diapers
Glowbug Cloth Diapers

This is a very popular choice the pocket diaper. I have a lot of these because they are the first ones I got turned onto. They have adjustable snaps down the front so they can go from birth to potty training or 35 pounds. They come in all kinds of adorable prints. They use a fabric called PUL and this makes them waterproof. To use the pocket diaper you just stuff the inside with a soaker pad. When baby's done you take out the soaker and put both into your diaper pail. You can add more soaker if you need more absorbency. Great diaper but not favorite. 

homemade cloth diapers

The these are cloth diapers I've made. It's really pretty simple to make. I've made a few more and given them as gifts. I make mine with a hidden layer of PUL so I can have them waterproof and I can use the fun fabrics I find. I also really like the all in one so that's how I made these. I  do like them I've tailor made them just for me but they are not my favorite.

thirsties diapers

So here is my Favorite. I love these Thirsties duo all in one. Even hubby said  he wishes it was the first dipe we had bought. It's really all in stuffing, no covers, no prefolds just one dipe to do it all. You can see how the soaker is sewn to the inside and of course this is also made with PUL so it doesn't need a cover. I love the prints and colors. One little draw back  is it takes a little longer to dry. So not a big deal.  I definitely recommend these!

Well here it is folks I hope you enjoyed cloth diaper week and I hope it gave you a place to start your own cloth diaper journey!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cloth Diapering Top Fives

There is so much cloth diapering information out there that I thought I could break it down into a couple top five lists.

Five Myths About Cloth Diapering

  1. It will make your baby bow legged. What? Definitely No
  2. You can only cloth diaper at home, not out and about. Have a wet bag in your purse or diaper bag then when baby needs a change put the diaper and everything else in it. Then you can deal with it when you get home. Plus my diapers are so cute there is no way I'm not going to show them off! 
  3. Cloth diapers are so messy. They are no more messy than disposables. And way less messy than potty training. lol
  4. You have to be careful not stab the baby with the safety pin. The safety pin and prefold cloth diaper is not used very much anymore. Now you can use a snappi. There is also all-in-ones and pockets. They've come along way.
  5. You'll spend all your time doing laundry. One load every two days isn't so bad. I really don't feel like I'm washing all the time.

Five Questions I get about Cloth Diapering

  1. What do you do with the poop? I flush it down the toilet. Typically one shake and it falls right off. No biggie.
  2. How many do I have to buy? For an older baby (6 months+) you need about 14. 7 each day and you do laundry every other day. There are lots of bundle options out there.You can find good deals on Glow Bug and Thirsties. Now are you going to stop at 14 most likely no way. Cloth diapers are so addictive. I always need one more! haha
  3. Is it harder than disposables? Nope, one extra step when you changing and then the extra load of laundry.
  4. Can hubby do it too? Of course! Hector said he prefers cloth diapers.
  5. Does it stink? Not while you're changing but on day two if you open the diaper pail and put your face over it and smell...yea it stinks! lol Don't do that and you won't smell a thing. lol

Five Things To know About Cloth Diapering
  1. You cannot use regular butt creams. Vaseline based creams will clog your fibers and then the diaper won't absorb the liquid. 
  2. There are different kinds of cloth diapers and all have pros and cons that just depend on your preference. (all-in-one, pocket, hybrid, prefold, flat... more detail to come)
  3. Hook and Loop means Velcro.
  4. You cannot use regular detergent. You have to use one with no additives or dyes or perfumes.  The chemicals will clog your fibers and not absorb the liquid. It's really not a big deal anymore because Target carries plenty of choices like Seventh Generation. I've even heard Kirkland has a brand that is safe. Also no softener for the same reason.
  5. You do have to change the baby more often than disposables. About every two hours.

Five (well six) Reasons to Cloth Diaper
  1. You save a grip of money. One time I put in my information to a cloth diaper calculator and factoring in how I line dry and even with early potty training I will have saved over a 1,000 dollars. Wow!
  2. You don't put all those nasty chemicals on your baby's bottom. I was changing Matt and his diaper had exploded (again) and there was these gel like beads all over him. That's when I made just made the change to cloth. 
  3. No more diaper explosions. Poop running up your baby's back is one of the grosses things to clean. I have never had a leak or explosion.
  4. So much better for the environment. Like no joke better for the environment. Disposables take between 200-500 years to break down. Plus all that untreated waste going into our soil. I'd like to have some usable space left on this planet for my children. 
  5. Piece of mind. When I had Nic in disposables I was always worried we'd run out. It was irrational we never got close but how horrible would that be?! I've even heard horror stories about people reusing disposables or letting baby go for long times in them to save on money. Now if I start running low on clean diapes I just do laundry. One less mom thing to worry about.
  6. They are so cute!!! There are so many prints and colors I never want to put pants on my little guy. It's summer now and you can believe he won't be wearing anything but his cloth diaper!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cloth diapering for the vintage gal

The more I dive into the green lifestyle the more I see how it also coincides with my retro lifestyle. Cloth diapering, cooking at home, shopping the farmers market are all things of yesteryear that we are starting to do again. Hey even the super fabolous Joan Holloway cloth diapers her little one and every knows Ms. Holloway can do no wrong.
That being said I am going to finally talk about my cloth diapering experiences.  There is so much information and everyone is so curious that I'm dedicating a week to cloth diapering. I'm sure you've heard about how much better for the environment it is. How cloth diapers don't have all the chemicals that disposables have. How they can save you hundreds of dollars. But have you seen the diapers of today they are so cute! We have taken Joan's diaper and revamped them!!
On this first post I'm just going to give you a run down of my routine: 
So you put a clean diaper on your baby just like you would a disposable  little one will wear it until he poops or no longer than two hours with just pee.

When it's time to change LO I take the diaper off shake any poops into the potty. Then stick the dirty diaper into my diaper pail.
Sometimes if the poops kinda of loose I will have to hose it in the sink. The only added thing with that is I will disinfect the sink when I'm done. Then about every two days I take my whole diaper pail and dump everything straight into the washing machine.
You pre-rinse in cold, wash hot water with a cloth diaper safe detergent. (There are many on the market, but the one most recommended in the cloth diapering community is Rocking Green) Lastly you need to do one more cold rinse to get any residue left. Cloth diapering has taught me a lot about my washing machine. lol!! I line dry my diapes because I love to line dry everything except my towels (makes them too crunchy) and living in California I have more days where the weather is perfect for this then not.
And that's it!!! Clean diapes ready to go onto babys butt once again. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Vintage Dress Fail

I started wearing dresses after Nic was born. My whole body shaped had changed and I just didn't feel comfortable in jeans anymore, and a pretty dress will make you feel so... pretty. Some days when I'm being short with the kids and I'm feeling overwhelmed trying to accomplish everything I will just put on a dress and my whole attitude will change. I'll smile more, sit up taller, and just feel happier. I think because it's a small thing I do for myself.
Now I am always on the hunt for beautiful, affordable retro dresses. We do not have a rockabilly or retro store nearby so I go online; which can mean ending up with a lemon or two. I bought this one vintage house dress on etsy and I absolutely love it. Well....the hubby hates it! lol So the dress doesn't flatter but it's really comfortable.
So I thought maybe it's the colors and if I could change that he'd like it a little better, and I set off to make another one myself. I'm pretty good at the sewing machine but I've never sewn a dress and especially without a pattern. I do like a challenge.
I have to say I did a good job! It is a really well put together dress...that I hate! I get it now why Hector doesn't like it. With the color change it totally showed the lack of shape. Boo! Oh well it was great sewing practice and a major sewing confidence boost. I can't wait to try another dress! Now what to do with the dress?!
the original

simple A line for the bottom

the hardest part was measuring and cutting

don't you love the pattern

oh yes the ironing

turning out so cute

ummm....not so much! lol

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mustache First Birthday

I'm so sorry! I have been gone for way too long! Matty turned one! Hooray! Boo! One already...No not yet. I love watching my little guy grow up, but sometimes I wish he would do it a little slower. The big day still happened, so we had to party in style. The hubs and I decided to go with the trend and have an awesome mustache party. Here are the highlights.


What to wear? My mom went down to the craft store and picked up  half a yard of mustache fabric and the possibilities became endless. I ended up sewing two mustache tie shirts for the boys and one mustache cloth diaper for Matt.

What's for dessert? I made mustache cookies(yummy). The cupcakes are basic yellow cake, but I made the mustache toppers of milk chocolate, white chocolate and butterscotch. Then for a little extra I got some suckers added a mustache sticker then headed to the dollar store. There I picked up floral sponge foam to put into the bottom of  tupperware that I covered in mustache duct tape. A little colored grass on top and perfection!

What to eat? I decided not to make all the food and we just had the local Mexican food market cater. Can we say muy  delicioso! (Sorry no pic)
What to give my guest as a thank you? Jelly belly and Skittle filled  bags.

Most importantly we had our big birthday boy there!!!