Steph's Pick - Rainbow Cake

Jan 29, 2010

How fun is this!!! Aren't these colorful pictures drool-worthy? When I first saw this cake tutorial on Hostess of the Mostess (my favorite blog!) I knew I had to try it. I kept thinking of all of the fun ways I could use it.
Well - use it I did. One of my dear friends' birthday was this past Wednesday and I was having her over to celebrate (Happy Bday Laura!). I wanted a fun and easy cake recipe. Enter - Rainbow Cupcakes. Yes - I said cupcakes! Although these pictures are of a cake I thought I'd do cupcakes instead. And let me tell you - they turned out great!

White Cake Mix (and ingredients noted on back of box)
Food Coloring
Cream Cheese Frosting

This is so easy..... Make white cake according to directions on box. Divide evenly in small bowls (# of bowls determined by the number of colors you're making). Add food coloring to bowls and stir well. Layer in cake pan/cupcake pans one blob at a time :) Bake according to box instructions. Cool. Frost. Easy-peasy, huh?


Cloth Diapering Questions Answered - Mom to Mom

Jan 27, 2010

As a follow-up to my Cloth Diapering 101 post I want to share with you what I have personally discovered about cloth diapers. If, by sharing my perspective of CDs, I can encourage you or answer a question you may have had, then I have succeeded. The best thing I can do is share my experiences, and you can take them or leave them.

That said, after daily interactions with a little bum, here are a few cloth diapering questions that I encounter often, and my responses to them.

1. Isn't it a lot of work?
Honestly, if you’re concerned about a lot of work, maybe having kids isn’t the best idea for you! Heh!

Although it may seem like there are a lot of steps involved with CDs, they seem to simplify with practice. Remember when you gave your baby his/her first bath? It was a long process! There were all these steps to remember, many items to assemble ahead of time, and the slippery baby seemed so awkward. Now compare that experience to bath time now– it’s a cinch, right? In a similar way, cloth diapering soon becomes as easy as tying a shoe, and just one more load of laundry.

2. Don't Cloth Diapers cost a lot of money up front?
There are already so many purchases to be made that come with the arrival of a newborn that the cost of outfitting your baby’s bum can seem like a big hurdle. One of the advantages to cloth diapering that we have yet to experience is when other children come along - no start-up fee! Sounds good to me.

Remember, prices may vary, but my initial start-up cost was not nearly as pricey as most people think. At Wildflower Diaper Company, our local Cloth Diapering store, we spent around $400 to outfit Nora in CDs. And again - remember - we went with some of the more costly CDs. Yes - one must factor in the detergent and other costs, but still, you have to admit it is a fraction of the cost of disposable diapers!

3. How do you wash Cloth Diapers?
I know there are different care instructions for cloth diapers, so please note that this is solely the instructions the BumGenius Manufacturer's recommend.

Basic Washing Routine:
1. Wash the entire load on cold with ¼ to ½ (¼ for high efficiency machines, ½ in regular machines) of the detergent manufacturer’s recommended amount. Washing (a full wash, not a pre-wash) once on cold water is important to remove leftover BM (even if it is not solid yet) from your diapers. This step also goes a long way to preventing stains.
2. Wash the entire load again on hot (up to 120 degrees) – also with the above-mentioned detergent amount.
3. Do a second (any temperature you prefer) rinse.
4. You can dry everything in a warm/medium dryer.
5. You may use ¼ of a cup of bleach in your hot wash routine once a month, without fear of harm to your diapers. We do this the first week of the month and our diapers look brand new! It's awesome.

4. What do you do with the pooh?
The bottom line? Baby’s diapers are messy no matter whether they are cloth or disposable–it’s the pooh that is messy!

If cleaning cloth diapers conjures up images of kneeling in front of a galvanized washtub, scrubbing poopy diapers on a washboard, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. I was surprised when I first heard that for exclusively breast-fed babies, you do not need to rinse or spray your diapers off. Newborn poo is completely water soluble so it will dissolve in your initial cold rinse. For other babies, dump the pooh in the toilet or spray with a diaper sprayer. See below for a DIY diaper sprayer tutorial :) It's actually really easy - and not all that messy.

5. Why BumGenius?
I personally use BumGenius one-size pocket diapers and love them! I chose to invest in the BumGenius diapers because they have great reviews, are so easy to use and dry quickly. They are a one-size diaper and a snap adjustment system can be changed as she grows…and I can use the same diapers for more than one child, without having to think about different sizes.

6. What else do I need to get other than the diapers?
Pail Liners- a washable, reusable liner to line your diaper pail with, or hanging pail liners in lieu of the actual pail. A Wet Bag- to store dirty diapers in while you are out running errands, at playgroup, for the church nursery, daycare, etc. A Diaper Sprayer- A diaper sprayer makes this task quick, easy, and hygienic. I found this
great tutorial of how to create your own diaper sprayer for a fraction of the cost.

There are so many more questions I could get into on this post - but rather than cover everything I thought I'd hit on some of the "hot buttons." If you really are interested in learning more about cloth diapers there is a large amount of information on the internet. One of my favorite resources is
Wildflower Diapers FAQ page. Or you can always email us. We'd love to help you in anyway we can.

Again - like I said in the last post - Do I think that cloth diapers are for everyone? No. Has it suited my lifestyle and integrated well into my mothering? Absolutely. In the end, each mother (or father) has to do what best suits their lifestyle, and then be at peace with their decision.


Steph's Pick - Cloth Diapering 101

Jan 24, 2010

Before starting - please know that the last thing I want to do is discourage a parent and make them feel not up to par. If you've made the choice to go with disposable diapers, that's ok by me (frankly - both us agree that disposables are MUCH easier). So, these posts are not meant to make those of you who choose to use disposable diapers feel badly.

I'm new to cloth diapering, so I don't have all of the answers. And I'll be honest, we hesitated for the longest time, mostly because it seemed like so much work. I think it may have even taken us all 9 months of my pregnancy to come to a final decision to plunge into the world of cloth diapering. But, my experience thus far has been positive and because many of you have asked me why we chose cloth diapers I thought I'd post about it this week. Today I'll cover the reasons why we chose cloth diapers and later this week I'll answer some common cloth diapering questions.

Our Reasons to use Cloth Diapers

1. Cost
This was our main reason. Disposable diapers are expensive. If a child is potty trained at 3, he/she will wear an estimated 8,000 disposable diapers — and buying Luvs, Pampers, or Huggies in their economy-sized packs at stores like Target, Babies R Us,, or Costco works out to an average of $.19/diaper. That’s an estimated $1,520 per child, assuming I buy the diapers at this economic price every time. If I buy the diapers in a regular-sized pack at a grocery store, the average price is $.24 — that’s a whopping $1,920 per child. (and to be completely honest - this was the BEST CASE scenario as most $ numbers I've seen have been much higher than this)

The price range varies for cloth diapers, depending on what kind you choose. I’ll be honest — we chose one of the most expensive kinds, the Bum Genius All-in-Ones (see picture below), the average price for those are around $16 per diaper. Now we bought a couple extra items – a 12-pack of flannel wipes ($12), a scent proof bag for her dirty diapers ($20) and a smaller version scent proof bag for my diaper bag ($15). That totals a little more than $400. You can use these diapers and wipes for every child, too, so you’re looking at barely more than $400 for all your diapering years. If you had three kids in disposables, that’s $4,500.

2. Good Environmental Stewardship.
In the U.S. alone, 18 billion disposable diapers are thrown in landfills each year, taking around 500 years to decompose. Disposable diapers make up the third largest item in landfills, after newspapers and food and beverage containers–a big deal, since they are a single product, used by a limited portion of the population. Once I started thinking about that, it just didn’t sit well with me.
But what about water use? Isn’t it good eco-practice to cut down our household water consumption? Sure thing. But washing cloth diapers at home uses 50 to 70 gallons of water every three days–about the same as a toilet-trained child or adult flushing the toilet five to six times a day. They’ll start doing that once they’re potty trained anyway.

Do I think that cloth diapers are for everyone? No. Has it suited my lifestyle and integrated well into my mothering? Absolutely. In the end, each mother (or father) has to do what best suits their lifestyle, and then be at peace with their decision.


Nora Recommends - BabyBjorn Bib

Jan 20, 2010

Yes - in motherhood, the little things like Bibs make a world of difference :)
Pre-Nora I had seen various blogs highlighting this bib, but it wasn't until Nora started eating solids that I realized how wonderful it was to have a good bib. The BabyBjorn bib is superior to a number of other bibs for a few reasons. First, the neck is designed like a necklace with continous fastening, so it can be adjusted to fit your child perfectly. Second, the deep pocket really does catch most food spills. And last - it's FDA approved and dishwasher safe!


Steph's Pick - Photography Resources

Jan 15, 2010

I've had a handful of people ask me about photography resources that I'd recommend. I'll be the first to admit - I really don't know a lot about photography. Actually - there are nearly 2,000,000 folks out there that know way more than I do. But - I'm learning. I bought my first digital SLR camera (Nikon D90) about 9 months ago and quickly dove into the twisted, confusing and wonderful labyrinth that is Photography. I've taken more bad shots than there are grains of sand but I've also taken a handful of photos that I've loved - and they keep me going. And thankfully with the help of some incredible resources I feel like I'm actually getting somewhere.

The first resource is what I'd consider a must-have for any photographer. Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure was recommended to me by a coworker (who happens to be a MUCH better photographer than I will ever be) and it truly has been the most influential read for me. After reading this I feel so much more confident shooting in manual mode.

Next - a couple mom blogs. It's amazing the free resources available online. If I had more time I could pretty much find everything I'd need to know about photography on the internet. Thankfully I've stumbled upon a couple of great blogs that have helped me tremendously.
Check out Becoming Mom and The Pioneer Woman (who also happens to have a great looking cookbook out now too!)

Last - Adobe Photoshop - in any form really. I have the CS3 version and am seriously considering using my husbands current student status to purchase the CS4 version. This program performs miracles (maybe not the Jesus type miracles but photography miracles).


Nora Recommends - Sophie le Giraffe

Jan 14, 2010

Why yes - this is a new series!!! No promises in terms of how many "Nora Recommends" posts you all will receive, but I figured it was about time to start telling some of my other mommy friends about all of the great infant and child gear out there!
Trust me when I say - every infant - correction - teething infant - needs a Sophie Le Giraffe. I first heard about Sophie from a friend who said her son just couldn't get enough of this little giraffe. Not shortly after having this conversation I also saw Martha Stewart highlight Sophie on her show. And then much to my surprise my very thoughtful MIL sent Nora Sophie as a gift upon her birth (thanks Nana!).
At $16 I couldn't imagine that this little teething toy was worth the money. Boy was I wrong! Not only is Sophie french (which is always fun), she also appeals to all of your child's five senses.
She really is Nora's favorite toy.
You can get Sophie in various children's boutiques or online. At this point I haven't seen it at BRU or Target.


dedication pics

Jan 12, 2010

I'm finally getting around to posting dedication day pictures (sorry for those who have been asking when they are coming). As I mentioned in a previous post, Alan and I dedicated Nora at our church (Scottsdale Bible Church). A baby dedication is essentially an opportunity for us and our families to acknowledge publically that Nora is a gift from God and that we will commit to raising her in a Christian home and will teach her to love and serve Jesus. We were blessed to have many family and friends present at her dedication and her party afterwards. Despite my love for photos I took NO pictures of people - just food. I'm so sad about that. Thankfully Amy snapped a quick shot of Alan, Nora and me with Joy, Kevin and Reagan before the service. details...

favors: Small Magnets with picture of Nora and verse. Just a little reminder for guests to pray for Nora as she grows.

Yogurt Parfait Bar (great granola recipe to come as Steph's Pick one of these weeks)
Mini Quiche
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Mini Caprese Skewers
Assorted pastries
Pita Chips and Dip
Punch, Water and Coffee

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Joshua 24:15


lots of Iowan love

Wow! I apologize for the lack of blogging lately. For those of you who read our blog frequently - you know that a week and a half of no posts is a long time for us :) Well, the last week and a half has been full of lots of highs and lows. We started last week off with nasty colds (102 temps) for all three of us. I would not recommend that. After a couple fun days of recouperating we were back in the saddle again and took a trip to Iowa to see some of our loved ones. Although not all are displayed in the photos below we were able to see Aunt Amy and Uncle Erik, Gma and Gpa Triggs, GG and GG Triggs, GGG Vivian (yes - that's five generations still living!), Great Aunt Peggy, Nana Flies, Aunt Sara and Uncle Kyle, Aunt Abby and Uncle Nick, Cousin Adelyn (for her birthday party)and dear friends, Liz and her son, Easton and Brian, Allie and their daughter, Reese.


Steph's Pick - DIY Fabric Flowers

Jan 1, 2010

Last week I was trying to think through all of the details of a party we were hosting after Nora's Dedication at our church (more pictures to come). I came across this idea on one of my new favorite blogs and had found my inspiration :) DIY Fabric Flowers - perfect!!! Here are the steps I took to make these beauties...

1. Start with your different sized circles (I used 4 circles)
2. Squish the fabric in a little ball.
3. Iron the fabric balls. This helps them maintain their creases.

4. Smooth them out a little and stack them (alternating colors/fabrics).
5. Here is where you have options - either sew the circles together - or if you don't have a sewing machine (like me), use glue dots or hot glue to attach them to one another.
6. Sew or Glue a Button in the middle.
What did I use these for you might ask? See below for one example. I'll be sure to post more pictures of our party sometime this weekend which will highlight other ways the flowers were used. Until then I'm off to attach magnets to the back of a handful of these flowers - they will look perfect on our fridge!!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by 2008

Back to TOP