Monday, May 31, 2010

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know.....

Alrighty asked for it. This may be entirely more than you all want to know, but once I get going, it's hard to stop. ;) I have become a fan of cloth diapers for so many reasons. The money-saving, the "emergency preparedness factor", the fact that they're just so darn cute, environmental reasons, the fact that my kids almost never have diaper rash now....I could go on and on. So for anyone who's interested in going this route, here's what I have learned.

First, a crash course in all of the different types of diapers, (who knew there were so many?!!).
Prefolds and flats: These are what most of us think of when we first think of cloth diapers. These are what our mamas used. Basically they're a rectangular piece of absorbent material that you wrap around baby's bum, fasten somehow, and cover with waterproof fabric. The difference between a prefold and a flat, is that the prefold has extra layers of absorbency sewn into the middle, the flat will be larger and you have to fold the absorbency where you want it. One thing to note if you go this route: make sure to buy DSQ or diaper service quality prefolds. DON'T buy the gerber ones from Wal-mart. DSQ usually means that there are about 8 layers of absorbency sewn into the middle. The gerber ones have like 2. They're really only good for burp cloths.

Even these kind of diapers have improved since our mama's day though. Gone are the days of poking with pins. Most diaper covers are now snug enough that many mamas just put the cloth and cover in place and don't worry. For those that feel they need a little extra something, there are these handy dandy "snappis" that fasten the diaper by gripping the fabric.
Prefolds or flats are definitely the cheapest way to go if cost is your main concern. There are kits sold like the "Econobum" from Cotton Babies that include 12 one-size fits all prefolds, and 3 one-size fits all covers, (enough to diaper for a day or two) for $49.95!!! Depending on how often you want to wash your diapers, you could go from birth to potty training VERY cheaply this route.

Covers: Oh, covers. These are not plastic pants ladies. There are so many different fabrics to choose from, all of which are way nicer that what our mamas had. And you can choose from covers that pull on, covers that snap closed, covers with aplix, (the cloth diaper world term for really nice velcro) one-size fits all covers, sized, you name it.

A lot of moms who like natural fibers choose wool covers. You're probably thinking, "Yikes! That sounds hot!" But really, I've seen research on this. It's NOT hotter than a plastic non-breathable disposable diaper. Think about's mother nature's waterproof covering for sheep....why not use it for bums?

I personally didn't want to hassle with the special laundry considerations of wool, (or the extra price) so I use the more typical fabric covers that have a layer of polyester urethane laminate (PUL) to make them waterproof, when I need a cover. And since I have two, soon to be three in diapers, I use the one-size covers so I don't have to worry about who they're for. Most covers can be wiped, and air-dried after use, (unless of course they're soiled) and used two or three times before washing. You'll be able to smell when they've had it.

Fitted/Contour Diapers: These are the next step up from prefolds. These are shaped like a disposable to fit your baby. A contour diaper can be fastened with a snappi or wrapped and secured in the cover, a fitted will usually have some sort of fastening of it's own, (snaps or aplix). These diapers are not waterproof, so you still have to have the cover, but they are more convenient in shape and less intimidating to dads and others who may be afraid of cloth diapers. These vary greatly in price, (usually starting around $10-11 each) and again come sized, or one-sized, but are generally still a pretty cost conscious option considering you only need a few covers to go with your diapers.

Pocket Diapers: These are my personal fave. I thought I would hate them at first, so I tried a few other things before I came around to them, but they really are awesome. These diapers consist of a waterproof cover or sleeve with a "pocket" opening into which you add the inserts, (of varying fabrics) to create absorbency. The inner lining is usually fleece or suedecloth. These materials are fabulous for two reasons. One, they wick the moisture through to the absorbent layers quickly so what touches baby doesn't actually feel or stay wet, and two, poop just flicks right off into the toilet rather than sticking, (usually).

Pockets fit and fasten like disposables, (again with choice of snaps or aplix, sized or one-sized) they just require a little more work, because you have to stuff them. They're a pretty good middle of the road option for Dads and babysitters, especially if you leave them stuffed and ready to go! Again, they vary in price, but I get most of mine for around $17 each depending on the brand. You can really spend as much or as little as you want in this category. I'll tell you a couple of my faves so far......

Again I like one-sized diapers, so I use usually either the BumGenius 3.0,
or the Katydid diaper. Check out the link to these. The features photo wasn't one I could paste here. They have a couple of really nice features that I think make them better than a lot of other pockets. One, they have a side snap that gives a little extra snug fit for smaller babies, and a wrap and snap feature that allows you to wrap up the diaper and snap it shut like you would a disposable if you're out and about and can't immediately dispose of it. I also think that because of the side snap these are one of the very few one-size diapers that would actually fit a newborn. These adjust very small. That said, they do have a shorter "rise".....(meaning how high up on the belly they go) than some other pockets, so most people might not feel like they fit bigger babies. Trust me, they do. They fit my probably 30 lb. almost three year old who is not yet potty trained. I didn't think they would, but we can go all night and wake up with dry jammies, which we couldn't always do even with disposables. These are worth a try.

So, all of that said, another nice thing about pockets is that you can customize the absorbency because you choose what to stuff them with. Most pockets come with two inserts, (usually microfiber) but you can always buy extras if needed. I have also heard about, but haven't tried hemp inserts which are supposed to be crazy absorbent. The one thing is that they take time to absorb, so you have to have the microfiber closer to babies bum to soak up the initial wetness, (otherwise it would run off the hemp) and then the hemp will soak up through that with time. One that I've heard lots of good things about is the Joeybunz insert.....(Em, I think this would help with your night-time issues). Hemp is also very trim compared to the microfiber, another reason people like to use them.

AI1/AI2 Diapers: And now we come to the Cadillac of cloth diapers. The All-in-one or all-in-two diaper. These are for mamas who don't have a budget when it comes to cloth diapers, or who are really afraid of cloth. The AI1 is exactly like a disposable. Put it on, use it, take it off. No fuss. Many of these come with the option of extra stuffing, but it's not needed, especially for daytime use. A lot of moms will keep a couple of these around for going out and about or for Dad to use, or daycare, whatever. The AI2 is a little different, you reuse the cover part, but snap in a new insert for each use. Examples of these are Softbums, or Best Bottoms.
AI1's tend to be the most expensive of diapers, (usually around $25 each....AI2's are a bit cheaper) but you get deals when you buy in bulk, and for example, even if you were to buy 24 of the BumGenius Organic Cotton, (organic fabrics cost more) AI1 diapers, you would still only spend around $530, (with the bulk discount). Pretty cheap compared to an average three years of disposable diapers.

Hybrid diapers and flushable liners: Flushable liners are just that....flushable. For those that don't want to deal with the poop. Hybrid diapers are similar to the AI2, and you can usually buy cloth or flushable/disposable inserts. Examples of these are the GroBaby and Flip diapers. Again, once you've bought the cover, a pack of 18 Flip disposable inserts is only around $5. Compare that to 18 disposable diapers. Same convenience, cheaper cost.

Okay, so the next thing one thinks of when it comes to diapers is wipes, right? You can go all sorts of crazy and buy all sorts of fancy wipes when it comes to cloth diapers, and solutions to go with them, but I have found that the cheapest, easiest option is the cheapest pack of regular cotton washcloths I could find at Target. I think I got a pack of 12 for $6. Simply get it wet with water, wipe, and toss it with your diapers. I totally didn't think I'd switch from disposable wipes, but plain warm water does the job and is way less harsh on baby's bum. Plus, think about many times have you gotten poop all over your hands with disposable wipes that are thin, little squares? Now think of a nice, big, thick washcloth forming a barrier between your hand and all that poop. What are you going to choose? Plus, if you're not wrapping the wipes in that disposable diaper to throw away, you've just got a bunch of stinky poopy, wipes to carry to the garbage can alone. You might as well wash wipes along with your diapers rather than deal with that.

What else are you going to need? In my opinion a diaper sprayer is a must. Get this one:
They hook up to the fresh water supply of your toilet, (like so easy I did it myself, no plumber required) and all you do is turn it on, hold your diaper over the toilet, spray, and flush. No dunking, no swishing, no hands touching toilet water or poop......done. I do recommend pointing the sprayer down for best results. ;) This baby will only cost around $45 and makes the whole experience well worth it. I did cloth for about a week without one, and would never go back to not having one. Yes the fleece repels the poop, but on the instances it doesn't.......well, be glad you've got this baby. The reason I recommend this particular one is that the pressure is adjustable, I've heard this is not the case with all brands.

You will also need a diaper pail. You can buy them from any diaper store specifically for cloth diapers, or honestly you can use a garbage can with a tight fitting lid. Same thing. The only thing different about the specific diaper pails is that they come with a slot for deodorizing disks that help with smell. But really, you could drop the disk in the bottom of a garbage can and get the same results. You can also get fancy ones that have carbon filters, but I haven't had smell problems to the point that I'd want to spend that much. Honestly, wash at least every other day, change your deo-disk once a month, and it still doesn't smell as bad as the diaper genie in my opinion. I never even notice the smell until the pail is open.

Then of course you'll need a wetbag to go in the pail. Simply a laundry bag that holds the diapers. It has the PUL lining like the covers to keep wetness from leaking through the bag into your pail. I like this one. Get at least two, so you always have one in the pail while washing.

The last thing that I think is necessary is a travel wetbag. This is so you have something to keep the stinkies in when out and about. Really, no less gross than carrying around a poopy in a grocery sack until you find a garbage. Plus, these babies really keep the smell in. So you CAN use cloth ANYWHERE. Especially if you carry a water bottle that you can always use to wet your wipes. Again, here is my recommendation. I also have this larger version that I use instead of a pail while traveling. And you CAN do this while traveling. When I visit family, (as long as they don't mind you washing diapers in their machine) I just make sure to use pockets only for ease of poop disposal. In a hotel, I've even used the coin laundry to wash cost me a few dollars, but that was cheaper than buying a pack of disposables to use. Other than that, there's no difference in my opinion.

Speaking of washing.....please note, you can't wash cloth in regular detergent. But that's fine, because we're going green here anyway, right? Your detergent just has to be free of dyes, perfumes, brighteners, and enzymes. You can make your own, (1 c. borax, 1 c. oxyclean free, 1 c. washing soda mixed together, use 1-2 Tbsp. per load) or buy it at any cloth diaper store. To wash your diapers, do a cold soak or rinse first with no detergent, (to avoid stains) then a hot wash with detergent, cold rinse, extra cold rinse. Water is your best friend when washing diapers. You really don't need that much detergent, and if you use too much, you'll get a buildup on your diapers and they will repel moisture instead of absorbing. Also, sunshine is your best friend. Line drying outside will make your diapers last longer and will bleach all those stains away. It's amazing. And it makes you happy. :)

So how many diapers should one have on hand? Most recommend 24-36 diapers....but I'll tell you what; I have about 18 pocket diapers between two kids and I do just fine. More would be nice, but I just haven't gotten there yet. I wash at least every other day, but you'd probably want to do that anyway to keep stinkies at bay. Just think about how many diapers your baby wears each day, divide that by how many days you want to go between washings, and that's how many diapers you'll need. (Keep in mind drying time. ;) )

So, let's think about it really cheaper? Let's see....if I were to buy 24 of my very favorite Katydid pockets, (at bulk price) it would cost about $420; add in the sprayer, at $45, two wetbags, at $17 each, the pail, $24, (again you could do a cheaper garbage can) the large travel bag, $30, the out and about bag, $16.50, wipes, (let's say you buy two packs of washcloths) $12, you're sitting at about $581. Again, compare that to the cost of three years worth of disposables and wipes, and you're saving a lot of money. Not up front, but it is SO worth it. Plus, you can really shop around for the best prices. And if a site doesn't offer a bulk price, don't hesitate to ask about one before you buy. You'll most likely get it.

So where do I shop? The better question is where don't I shop! Here's a few of my favorite sites: (Always free shipping over $75) (Free shipping over $75 and always free shipping on certain items like pocket diapers, which is nice if you just want to try one or two things. Plus, excellent bulk deals.) (BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER and super fast shipping) (Local to Utah, $1 shipping, and has a store location at the Provo Quilted Bear. Also usually has a coupon and better pricing in person. Offers cloth diaper classes, and diaper parties, {like for showers or even just like a tupperware party}.) (makers of BumGenius, Econobum, and Flip)

Really, shop around and do some price comparisons. It doesn't hurt. Also, a lot of these online stores have a "test drive" program where you buy one of several types of diapers until you find what you like, then you send back the ones you don't for store credit. I HIGHLY recommend this. I didn't do it, and wasted quite a bit of money trying to find what I liked. You can read all you want about it, but you never really know what you'll like until you try it.

Also, check out It features reviews on different diapers, and will post sales for different diaper stores. is a forum where moms can ask questions, and even swap or sell diapers. You can get some great deals on used, (get over the's not that bad).

Sorry for the monster post, but I figured I might as well tell all! Any questions?! Go look at these sites....seriously, these diapers are SOOOO CUTE you'll be hooked!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Katie, Please post cloth diaper info on our blog. I like mine but I would really like to invest in more and the hose thing that hooks up to the toilet. You said you got your Katiedid diapers at the Provo Quilted Bear? How long ago?

It was also so nice to meet you. I did not get the chance to tell you what a cute pregnant mom you are. I love pregnant moms and I did not even get to tell you that. I am a little obsessed with it. Anyways, it was fun seeing you and your little girl. If you are ever out this way let me know and maybe I can come meet up with you and Whitney.



Thursday, May 13, 2010

South of the Border Pasta

I got this original recipe off of, and have switched it up a bit. Also, I renamed it, I like the sound of 'South of the Border Pasta' rather than what they had it called.

South of the Border Pasta

1/2 pound whole wheat pasta
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 onion chopped
1 pepper (red, yellow, orange or green) chopped
1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
1 (15 ounce)can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes
1/4 cup salsa
Juice of one lime
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1/4 cup olives
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Cook Pasta until al dente

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook onions and pepper in oil until lightly browned. Stir in corn and heat through. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, salsa, olives, taco seasoning.

Cook until heated.

Transfer sauteed veggies and noodles into a baking dish.
Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil.
Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and let cheese melt (about another 5 minutes)

We serve ours topped with green onions, avocado, sour cream and halved grape tomato.

Also, the great thing about recipes like this is that you can put anything else into it, or omit anything. I was thinking that a fajita one would be good too, with fajita seasoning and all three kinds of peppers and then onions.

(Oh, and, can someone teach me how to make my words red? I can't seem to figure it out, since I don't have that option on my blog layouts, and I don't know where to go to change it.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tyler's Mahi Mahi and Guacamole Salad

Yesterday we went to Ed and Cindy's (Corey's Parents) for dinner. It was delish! Absolutely delicious, and from the event I got two recipes I wanted to share with ya'll.

The first one is not technically a recipe because Corey's brother just kind of made it up on the fly... but I called him later that night and said... 'okay I don't care if you don't know perfectly what you did, you still have to try and tell me because it was SOOOO good!' which thankfully he obliged and told me.

The second recipe is totally healthy, totally scrumptious, totally eat to live, and comes from the most unlikely of sources. Ina Garten... aka the Barefoot Contessa... from the Food Network makes the best food on the planet. Hands down. Her stuff is guaranteed delicious, but it is usually insanely indulgent and bad for you. When Cindy told me where she got this particular recipe I was like 'Whaaaaat?' She's worse than Paula Deen usually! But this one is totally healthy and still manages to taste as good as a Barefoot Contessa recipe should taste! Wonderful!

That's enough chatty, chatty though. Here's the recipes:

Tyler's Mahi Mahi

Olive Oil
Fresh chopped Garlic
1/2 red onion, sliced and ringed
1 Orange, juiced and the rest chopped
Lime Juice
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
Fresh chopped Cilantro
Mahi Mahi fillets

Comine the oil, garlic, onion, orange juice, lime, and spices to make marinade. Marinate the Mahi Mahi in it for a couple of hours. Then grill.

Simple and delish. He did it outside... we'll have to settle for George Forman when we make it here. It was seriously SO good. It was the first fish that I didn't feel like I needed to dip in something to make it taste good. Kate- I know you wanted to try fish- Mahi Mahi is a great one in my opinion. It handles more like chicken, and it even tastes more-- meaty than fishy. Whit would you agree?

Guacamole Salad (please try this... I have several recipes that are similar, but to me this was the best!)

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup small diced red onion
2 tablespoons minced jalepeno peppers (about 2 small peppers)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1/4 cup freshly sqeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 ripe avacados diced

Place tomatoes, bell pepper, black beans, onion, jalepeno, and lime zest in bowl. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and cayenne. Pour over veggies and toss well. Just before serving fold in avacados. Serve at room temp.

This was such a fabulous side dish, and even though it's supposed to be eaten right away, I have been snacking on leftovers of it, and it has held up just fine. For the original recipe click HERE.

Love you ladies! Have a good night!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spicy Black Bean Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo

Yummmmm!!! We were such fans of this. I will say though that we used more chipotle peppers than was called for, and a bit more of the other spices too because we are just kind of spicy people. Even my boys like it that way.

Spicy Black Bean Sandwhiches with Chipotle Mayo

1 tablespoon mayo
3 tablespoons sour cream (I have heard of this stuff called vegonaise-- if you wanted to make this vegan you could substitue all 4 tablespoons and I bet it would be good!)
2 teaspoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (every walmart I've ever been to carries this in a tiny can in the mexican isle- usually by the diced green chilies)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt, to taste
Pita Breads (We used Arnold Thin's-- a splurge on $ but we love 'em so)
Shredded Lettuce
Sliced Tomatoes
Sliced Avacado

Combine mayo, sour cream and chipotle peppers to make the chipotle mayo. Combine black beans through salt and mash a bit with a fork so that it's easy to work with getting it to stick together on a bun or in a pita. Put bean mixture on bun forming a semi-patty (just so it doesn't fall apart while eating), top with lettuce, tomato, avacado and your chipotle mayo.

Hope you enjoy! I think this makes a great no-oven, summer meal!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

FYI and a question...

I don't know if you guys will even care about this or not... but today I made my whole wheat biscuits and used the original recipe and it really was so much better. It calls for 3/4 cup white flour, 1 cup wheat flour, and 3 tbsp. wheat germ instead of ALL whole wheat with the wheat germ. If you are completely boy cotting white flour you have my praise- but in case you were willing to bend a bit I wanted you to have the really yummy version.

As a bit of an update- we are not doing Eat to Live 100% right now. We are trying to incorporate it into our life in a level that is comfortable, but I'm not stressing about it. Has anyone been withholding recipes because they are not completely ETL appropriate? If you are... please don't. I personally would still love to hear them when you have time to post... like Whit: didn't you say you had a good pasta recipe?

I decided yesterday that I really WISH I was a vegan. But it's really hard! So maybe someday.... but for now I am just taking it slow and making healthy changes at a rate that is comfortable for our hectic life. Although I must say that I am SO grateful for what I have learned from ETL, and I am still SO excited about it. We have made a few permanent changes so far and I hope to keep making more. So if you have anything to share from ETL still do! Em, I am SO impressed that you have been able to be so dedicated! Please keep sharing your success and your recipes with us!

Much Love to you All-