Sunday, January 31, 2010

Baby's New Hat!

Finally found the "perfect" had for baby girl ... Its looks something like this (sorry for the "do not copy" sign on the pic but this is the only one on the site) ... only pink ... light pink and rose for the ribbon ... can't wait to see it!

Natural Baby Care Recipes

So, I've become obsessed with finding organic non scented everything for baby (toiletries) ... I have no idea of what her skin will be like ... sensitive or not so I'm kinda leaning toward being safe than sorry.

As a result, I purchased Dr. Bronner's organic unscented baby - mild pure castile soap ...

I've decided to "make" her powder ... can't seem to locate anything without some sort of a scent (i.e., lavender) so I'm just going to use plain old 100% pure cornstarch ... not only is it better for baby than talc but it won't ruin her cloth diapers. HOWEVER, I've also heard that it can aggravate existing yeast infections worse so beware of use if your baby has some issues with the yeast monkey ... Of course if you'd like you could add a little something for scent:

Lavender Baby Powder
1/2 pound cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon lavender essential oil

Place cornstarch in a self-sealing plastic bag and add the essential oil drop by drop. Tightly close the bag and shake it to distribute the oil, breaking up any clumps through the bag. Let stand 4-5 days to distribute the essential oil. Use as needed. Easy!

What about baby wipe solution ... I've heard and read that most people just use plain old water as a baby wipe "solution" in a spray bottle unless baby's mess is particularly gross ... lots of poop ... in that case, you might want something a lil mo potent ...

Baby Wipe Solution
1/4 cup of baby or olive oil
2 cups of Distilled water
1/4 cup Natural baby shampoo

Mix solution together in a large bowl. Cut paper towel roll in half, using a large, sharp kitchen knife and remove center cardboard. Slosh the towels in the solution till thoroughly wet. Squeeze out excess liquid and store in an old baby wipe container.

This is the "easiest" and least ingredient recipe of I've read about and been told about ... this is likely what we'll use ...

What about a relaxing baby bath that might cut down on any diaper rash related itch? Try this ...

Oatmeal Bath
1 cup of plain oatmeal

Grind 1 cup of plain oatmeal to powder form, in a food processor or coffee grinder. Add powder to running water and stir with your hand to dissolve in the bath water. Oatmeal relives itching due to chicken pox, poison oak, diaper rash etc. Also good for dry skin. Sounds easy enough ...

Diaper rash? I've heard that the following products are great for clearing up diaper rash and are also cloth diaper friendly:
Of course there are others but these are the ones that I'm most interested in ... I've purchased the Northern Essence Diaper salve (I went with the sensitive skin product just in case) ... but honestly, I've heard that plain old olive oil is excellent for red irritated skin in the diaper area ...

$80 for Longies?

Uh ... so I'd love to order a pair of these for my little one but honestly, $80 for a pair of Peruvian wool pants for a baby or toddler ... uh ... I don't know about that ... I mean $80 ... they're cute and everything but dang!!!! They are made with extra room in the bottom especially for cloth diapers and yes, they are draw string so that baby has some room to grow but seriously if I purchased a pair, I'd have that little lady in them every day. But on the other hand, they're so cute ... but honestly, I don't think I can justify spending that much on a pair of longies ... oh well ... maybe one of you can purchase a pair and I can live through you ...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Decoratin' for Baby ...

So, a few months ago, I agonized over making decisions about the baby's nursery ... generally, I'm really into antiques and anything vintage. At least I had that part of it figured out. I knew the baby's room would have a vintage look and feel. Colors ... had no idea. I actually didn't really want pink ... but that's about all I knew ... besides the fact that I didn't want to drop a few hundred dollars on bedding for a baby ... a waste in my opinion.

One day I was in Marshall's and found the cutest bedding set ... $69.99. Yes, it was pink and green ... it was cute and so I went with it ... that's it ... no more decisions about bedding to be made. One less thing on my "to do" list to accomplish. Of course, from there, the bedding dictated what the baby's room would look like. "Vintage Romantic" was the theme.

Once I returned home from vacation and had the baby's furniture delivered ... I have to stop and say that it was awesome working with Lazar's Juvenile Furniture ... they tend to sell higher end furniture and goods but the service and quality is worth it. That's where we really spent our money ... on the furniture ... we wanted quality that would last ... I plan on having it forever ... literally. The baby's Dulailier furniture is absolutely gorgeous! The sales woman who I ALWAYS work with has a great way about her ... she's honest with her opinions, funny, and gives you her complete attention. She will spend as much time as you need with her to make decisions. The guys who delivered the furniture were sooooo helpful! They moved furniture around a few times until we got it right and made suggestions. They told me exactly how to clean the furniture and we chatted about how to protect it. Really sweet guys. The next time I was in Lazar's (purchasing a rumble tuff changing pad for the dresser and a few other items), I shared my completely satisfied experience with the manager (sales, product, and delivery).

Anyway, I digress ... like I said, I absolutely love the baby's furniture and her bedding looks perfect with the furniture (including the bumper which I actually don't plan on using ... there has been some indication that bumpers can increase the likelihood of SIDS and unfortunately, African American baby's are at a higher risk ... don't want to take any chances so I'm opting out Once the furniture and bedding were in place, I immediately wanted to get the nursery completed. The glider arrived ... everything was coming together.

I was looking for a few things at Hobby Lobby last weekend and "discovered" the garden section ... THAT'S IT! Baby's Garden! That's the theme of the baby's room ... sorta shabby chik, romantic, vintage, garden kinda feel. Perfect! Birds, bird houses, flowers, topiary, garden inspired picture frames, planters, etc. From there, all of the baby's room accessories sort of fell into place! Still much to do but I think that it's coming along nicely!

Pictures to come ...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Constant Nester ...

What have I been doing lately? Nesting from afar ... still on vacation ... though that will SOON end (will return to Chicago January 17th) but I've been persistently coming up with "projects" and purchases that "must" be completed and made.

It's been a bit challenging ... my furniture is sitting all boxed up at Lazar's Juvenile Furniture in Lincolnwood, IL ( just waiting to be delivered ... I'm dying to see it ... after all its been two months. Also, the baby's UppaBaby Vista stroller was delivered and waiting for me ... huh ... I'm conflicted ... I'm dying to see the baby's furniture and other "stuff" but loving being away from the Chicago cold ...

A few baby related "things" that I've been able to accomplish while on vacation and some not so "baby related stuff?"
  1. Prepped previously purchased used Kissaluvs (size 0), new covers (thirsties), new AOIs (thirsties), new flats, new prefolds (green mountain), new hemp inserts, etc. (introduced myself to Allen's Naturally )
  2. Purchased Olive Jane diaper covers ( - I swear her covers are ADORABLE!
  3. Purchased and prepped Fuzzibuns and BlueBerry cloth Diapers from Nurtured Family ( - cool place but kinda pricey ... but that's consistent with most cloth diapering places that I've visited
  4. Purchased and prepped a few extra prefolds from green mountain diapers (
  5. Purchased my first used and new woolies (shorties and longies) from The Children's Carousel (
  6. Washed and lanolized wool for the first time!
  7. Purchased Sheepish Grins creamy spray lanolin for prepping and adding lanolin to woolies (
  8. Purchased Northern Essence Diaper Rash salve (just in case) (
  9. Purchased some super inexpensive (New Years Eve Sale) organic BumGenius 3.0 one size cloth diapers and prepped them of course
  10. I shopped for more cloth diapers (obsession)
  11. I shopped for and my mom washed all of the baby's "new" second hand clothes (new obsession ... I swear you can find the most fabulous clothes second hand!) AND ITS ECO FRIENDLY!
  12. Made bows for my lil lady's hair
  13. Had a 3D ultrasound session - breathtaking to see her ...
  14. Gained 2 POUNDS! Honestly, no one would believe it ... I look like I actually gained about 10 pounds ... 5 weeks is a lot of time to grow but in actuality, I only gained 2 pounds and I'm sooooo proud of myself ... honestly, I ate like there was no tomorrow while I was on vacation
  15. Got to spend some great quality time with my husband - breakfast, brunch, dinner (notice the trend) watching movies (e.g., Avatar, Sherlock Holmes), coffee (no coffee for me ... more like vanilla steamers = steamed milk w/a little vanilla), etc.
  16. Checked out some great Houston vegetarian restaurants (amazing that there are such great vegetarian restaurants here) - (not completely vegetarian but EXCELLENT OPTIONS); (yum! try the Eden burger w/a side salad instead of the sweet potato fries and make it extra healthy and add an extra side of steamed kale!); oh and you have try Ruggles Green (Houston's first certified green restaurant) ...truly outstanding ... a little pricey but totally worth it ... excellent veggie burger, gorgeous fruits and veggies, and the hummus ... honestly the best I've ever had
  17. My husband's idea ... we also frequented the Chocolate Bar in West University the cake is insanely AMAZING and HUGE! The ice cream is RIDICULOUS!
  18. Visited friends and family
  19. Had my baby shower (thanks mom and Tanesia)
  20. Collected lots of baby gear coupons ... purchased a pack n play (ready for pickup at a Chicago Baby's R Us location) for 30% off and a high chair (again, ready for pickup at a Chicago Baby's R Us location)
  21. My mom purchased the baby's quilt and had it monogrammed with her name (it's a secret :D)
  22. Died some of the baby's prefold diapers (pink, lavender, turquoise) ... cute
  23. Purchased some USED childrens' books by African American authors (e.g., homemade love by bell hooks)
  24. Purchased some USED "eco friendly" related books (e.g., Eco-Friendly Families, Live an Eco-Friendly Life, Feeding Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Program for Healthy, Safe Nutrition, etc.)
  25. Purchased a new duvet cover
  26. Mom purchased the baby a crap load of clothes and toys (we actually had to send a separate box that contained all of the newly acquired baby "stuff" to Chicago because it wouldn't fit in my suitcase ... oh to be a first time grandmother)
  27. Ate a bunch of Mexican Food ... yum ... Don Jose! My favorite Mexican restaurant since I was a child!
  28. Oh, and like I said earlier, the baby girl's furniture arrived in stock and was said to be ready for delivery whenever I returned to Chicago! Woohoo!
  29. Kept in touch with Jua (my cat's) baby sitter ... she was excellent! Frequently took pictures during her visits ... I felt comfortable knowing that my lil guy was well taken care of while I was on vacation
  30. Blogged endlessly
  31. Mom insisted on gifting me with more maternity clothes ("I have enough clothes mom!") ... I was secretly into it :D
  32. Oh and I can't forget ... I was waited on hand and foot by my mom ... :D
  33. Much more but I can't remember right now ...
It was definitely a great vacation ...

Haiti ...

The recent tragedy in Haiti is unfathomable and definitely has me wanting to do something for our Haitian brothers and sisters in addition to prayer ... for anyone interested in making any sort of a contribution, go to for a list of organizations that are specifically aiding Haiti ...

Monday, January 11, 2010

32 Weeks and Counting!

How far along?: That's 32 weeks along! WooHoo! Times-a-flyin'!
Total weight gain: I have no idea but I fear ... its not good ...
Maternity clothes?: Yep ... doin it up maternity style
How big is baby?: Glad you asked! 3.75 pounds and about 16.7 inches in length ... she's such a big girl!
Stretch marks?: still nothing ... keep your fingers crossed ...
Sleep?: No ... on and off throughout the night ... it sucks!
Best moment this week?: Well ... in a weird way ... Braxton Hicks ... these little short lived contractions just remind me of how close I'm coming to seeing my little lady!
Movement?: Yeah .... she's all very the place and she's a strong little thing too ... she stops me in my tracks at this point from time to time.
Food cravings?: Just food in general ... LOL
Labor signs?: Nope ... that wouldn't be good but like I said, I am experiencing braxton hicks contractions at this point but not labor
Belly button in or out?: still in ... again, lets keep our fingers crossed ...
What I miss: feeling like it's okay to "diet" a little when I'm feeling like I'm "gaining too much weight" ... although I will say that my long southern vacation did nothing for my waistline ... I feel like I've gained 50 pounds ... I know I've gained a little too much and so when I go back home in a week, I'll be returning to my usual "healthful" eating habits ... hopefully, my weight will even out a little
What I'm looking forward to: The arrival of our little lady & of course, maternity leave of course!
Milestone: During my research ... I came up with the following:

How your baby's growing:

By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.

How your life's changing:

To accommodate you and your baby's growing needs, your blood volume has increased 40 to 50 percent since you got pregnant. With your uterus pushing up near your diaphragm and crowding your stomach, the consequences may be shortness of breath and heartburn. To help relieve your discomfort, try sleeping propped up with pillows and eating smaller meals more often.

You may have lower-back pain as your pregnancy advances. If you do, let your caregiver know right away, particularly if you haven't had back pain before, since it can be a sign of preterm labor.

Assuming it's not preterm labor that's ailing you, you can probably blame your growing uterus and hormonal changes for your aching back. Your expanding uterus shifts your center of gravity and stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, changing your posture and putting a strain on your back. Hormonal changes in pregnancy loosen your joints and the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. This can make you feel less stable and cause pain when you walk, stand, sit for long periods, roll over in bed, get out of a low chair or the tub, bend, or lift things.

I can't stop! Eco Friendly and Such ...

So, since I began my slow journey toward living an eco friendly lifestyle ... actually initiated by my pregnancy ... I've been obsessed with second hand everything. Now I will say that I've always been into antiques ... love and can't get enough of them but its gone way beyond that. I'm constantly shopping for something eco friendly, etc. My first purchase ... cloth diapers ... used! Score ... those things are expensive and besides that ... I really, really, really like the idea of "gently loved" any and everything. I love the idea that these gently loved items have a past ... a prior owner, many memories, and that my family will be contributing to the cycle of things in this way. Its really wonderful if you think about it. I think what I love most is the fact that being pregnant has caused me to do a lot of soul searching ... my contribution (and even my baby's contribution from the very beginning) to the world and making it a great place for our little one to live, love, and be joyous.

I recently invested in some reusable produce bags, purchased eco friendly detergent and organic and eco friendly toiletries for the baby, bought some second hand clothing for my little one (e.g., wool shorties and longies to go over her diapers, etc.), recycling, purchased used books instead of new, I've been trying to make good decisions about what baby related items to purchase (where were they manufactured, etc.).

Its the little things that I can do each day that will make a contribution ... I spend much time researching what I can do in order to do my part ... I've started to do my best to live consciously (in every since of the word) each day ... I can't wait until it's "second nature" but for now ... I don't mind the extra effort.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

So, today, on one of the websites that I frequent, a few ladies were discussing raw honey as a facial cleanser ... uh ... really? You can wash your face with raw honey? Uh, how the heck does that work ... what they said was just to slather it on your face and then wash it off with warm water ... they swear by the stuff ... huhm ... gotta try it ... as usual, I decided to do a little homework and that this is what I found (


1 / 3 cup finely ground oatmeal3 tablespoon Really Raw Honey , or enough to make a smooth paste1 tablespoon rose water or orange flower water
Blend oatmeal with honey until well mixed. If too thick and unmanageable, add a little rose water or orange flower water. Spread over clean face with the exception of your eyes and leave on for ½ hour. Relax while it is on. Remove this, a good astringent should be applied to tone the skin.

2 tablespoons finely ground almonds1 tablespoon Really Raw Honey1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Blend almonds, honey and lemon juice. rub gently into face. rinse with warm water

1/2 cup warn water1/4 tablespoon saltDab of Really Raw Honey
Mix warm water and salt. Using a cotton ball, apply mixture directly to blemish. Maintain pressure with cotton ball for several minutes, to soften blemish. Using a cottton swab, dab Really Raw Honey on blemish; leave on 10 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. You can use a dab of Really Raw Honey anytime on blemishes!

1 peeled cored apple1 tablespoon Really Raw Honey
In a blender puree apple and honey. Smooth over face. Leave on 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water.

1 egg white1 tablespoon Really Raw Honey1 teaspoon glycerinFlour
Wisk together egg white, honey, and glycerin. Add flour to form a paste. Smooth over face and throat. Leave on 10 minutes. Wash off with warm water.

1 tablespoon sweet almond oil 2 tablesppons honey
Blend together. This lotion should be used after the skin has been thoroughly cleansed. Leave on skin for ½ hour. Remove with a soft cloth and tepid water.

1 / 2 cup almond meal Really Raw Honey
Mix to form a thick paste. Scrub face with paste, paying close attention to oily areas. Leave on for a few minutes. Remove with tepid water and a soft cloth. Your skin will be soft and refreshed!

Add 1/4 cup of Really Raw Honey to water for a fragrant silky bath.

1 teaspoon almond oil 1 teaspoon Really Raw Honey1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix oil, honey, and lemon juice. Rub into hands, elbows, heels, and anywhere skin feels dry. Leave on 10 minutes. Remove with tepid water and a soft cloth. Your skin will be soft and refreshed!

4 cups (1 Quart) Water1 teaspoon Really Raw Honey1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
This recipe is for those who wish to use shampoo in addition to honey but shampoo is not necessary. Honey cleans in addition to aiding the health of the hair and scalp.Mix water, honey, and lemon juice. After shampooing, pour mixture through hair. Do not rinse out. Dry is normal

Speaking of Grapefruit Seed Extract ...

I found this article by Sarah Mojtahedi on a natural medicine website ... ( that had some really great information about the beneficial uses of grapefruit seed extract ... before doing my homework, I knew that grapefruit seed extract was a really strong disinfectant but I really had no idea of how to actually use it ... other than on cloth diapers ... here is some of what the article had to say ...

  • I didn't know that a few drops of the stuff can actually strengthen any cleanser’s ability to counter bacteria

Disinfectant of Personal Items/Clothes

  • Make-up brushes: soak brushes for 15 minutes in a cup of water with 15 drops of GSE mixed with gentle soap. Rinse, squeeze water out and leave to dry for germ free makeup application.

  • Toothbrushes: soak brush for 15 minutes in a ½ cup of water with 10 drops GSE to eliminate any bacteria.

  • Laundry: 15-20 drops added during the rinse cycle gets rid of mold, odor and any residual grime not removed by soap alone.

Treatment for Skin Irritations/Ailments:

  • Razor burn, folliculitis (infection of the hair follicle), ingrown hairs: apply a few drops to a washcloth along with 4 drops of tea tree oil and thoroughly rinse out with water. Wash area daily with mixture instead of soap and conditions should improve.

  • Herpes: GSE is known to inactivate the virus after 10 minutes of exposure; application during an outbreak helps to lessen the severity of the attack and reduces the time it takes for sores to heal. When applied directly to sores, dilute a few drops in olive oil before rubbing into skin.

  • Diaper rash (really?): dilute 5 drops of GSE in 4 ounces of water and use as a wash in between diaper changes to eliminate rash. It is important to dilute appropriately so not to hurt a baby’s delicate skin.

  • Acne wash: a few drops of GSE on moistened fingertips may be used to massage into face as a deep cleanser. Rinse with cool water. Can help rid the skin of toxins and bacteria that cause acne.

Yeast Fighter:

  • Systemic yeast: take 15 drops in 8 ounces of water or juice to get rid of yeast in the body (Always dilute well before ingesting)

  • Vaginitis caused by yeast: women can take GSE orally (as described above) and/or apply it externally as a wash. Instead of soap, GSE in combination with tea tree oil washes the delicate area so that a woman’s delicate pH balance is not disturbed. Place 4 drops of tea tree oil and 3 drops of GSE on a wash cloth. Soak cloth liberally with water. Apply to area as a safe and effective cleanser.

Huhm ... very cool!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fluffy Mail!

Well, today I received my bumgenius one size organic diapers! WooHoo ... I purchased 3 ... again, recall from an earlier post that I'm a little leery of the Velcro but we'll see what happens! I couldn't help but invest in a few ... just to see ... after all, they were on sale New Years Eve for $10!!!! They were originally $19.95! Amazing Deal!

Off to prep!

Stinky Diaper Pails! Nervous ...

So, as usual, I'm always thinking about any and everything cloth diaper ... today's concern ... stinky diaper pails ... I've heard that you can use a bit of baking soda or tea trea oil to get rid of the stinkies ... diaper dust perhaps ... but does it go in the actual diaper pail ... or the wetbag? Huhm ... I've asked that question of presently cloth diapering moms and I've actually gotten varying responses ...

BUT ... I did come across this solution in my pursuit for an answer ...

Stinky Diaper Pail (

Combine 1 cup baking soda, 5 drops tea tree oil, and enough water to make a thick paste. Press into ice cube trays (or muffin tins - harder to get out later) and set out to dry for 24-28 hours/ Store cubes in ziplock bag. Throw crumbly cube into bottom of diaper pail, then add liner. Replace when stink returns.

Huhm ... I'm definitely gonna try this one ...

Friday, January 1, 2010

For anyone interested ...

I've been trying to find a great deal on the utopia pack n play by Graco ... appears that it's on sale ... 30% off (in store only) until tomorrow (1/2/10). Get it while you can!

Oh ... and ( was having a sale on bumGeneius Organic One-Size Cloth Diapers. They're regularly priced at $19.95 and they were on sale this morning for $10!!!!! Honestly, I'm not a fan ... the velcro issue really freaks me out ... I've heard many complain about the fact that the velcro doesn't last very long ... BUT ... the company seems to be great about replacing the velcro for you if you send your diapers back to them ... I just keep thinking ... "do I really have time to worry about returning cloth diapers so that the velcro can be relplaced?" Anyway, everyone raves about them so I thought I'd order a few ... ordered them last night and when I went back to order a few more this morning ... SOLD OUT ... you live and you learn ...

Happy New Year!!!!!

Happy New Year Everyone!