November 20, 2013

Insipiring Home Decor

These are some of my favorite and inspiring pieces of home decor that I've run across over the years.
(via Studio 74)
I really love this lamp! Hahaha, I love lamp... Anchor Man? Anyone? Anyway, I love the leaf design on the base of the lamp. I'm not really a gold person, but I do love gold accents.
(via Down to the Woods)
(via Arts Delight)
Ahhh, garlands. I love that they can be so simple and that they are great for any holiday to dress up your space. I even love vertical hanging garlands!
(via Fab)
I love birds and these little bird hooks are just adorable!
(via Cdn)
(via h&a happenings)
(via Hometalk)
(via Julia Robbs)
(via ennaland)

(via From Ezter with Love)
(via Green Wedding Shoes)
If you can't tell, I'm a fanatic for all things nature! Especially when it comes to decorating your home, I love bringing nature indoors. It's so easy and simple and looks great. If you don't want a rustic look, this can still be achieved in a classic way, much like how the last picture shows.
(via A Beautiful Mess)
(via jojotastic)
(via A Beautiful Mess)
(via Little Green Notebook)
(via Fab)
(via Design Indulgences)
(via The Modern Historic)
(via Under the Sycamore)
I also reallllly love vintage, vintage anything really. I've always loved vintage but never really branched out into my love for vintage with decorating. I've always played it safe when it came to picking out home decor. Even then, I didn't have a vision in mind, I just registered for safe pieces for my wedding. I wish I could go back to spend more time on that part of putting our home together. With only a 5 month engagement I didn't have time to really worry about a vision for decorating!
(via Apartment Therapy)
I love stars (it was even the theme for our wedding) and these are awesome, old-timey looking stars!
(via Carothrift)
(via Martha Stewart)
(via Painted Home Designs)
(via Poppy Talk)
(via Annika von Holdt)
(via Jennifer Johner)
It's in the works, but I've been planning a gallery wall for a LONG time. Photography is a hobby and passion of mine, and I have so many photos that I'd love to hang! To be honest, ever since we repainted our entire house, I've been hesitant to hang anything for fear of putting holes in the walls. I know, I know...but what if I hung something and then changed my mind? Gasp! Now there's a darn hole in the wall that has to be spackled and painted! Ugh.

I really enjoy the bath photos in the bathroom, the traveling stairway gallery and the long photo shelves (so easy to switch out and mix up!).
(via Home Decor Report)
I like this back splash since it will give off great reflective color and shimmer, but it's clean and simple.
(via Following Friends)
Hanging towels on hooks? Yes please!
Mismatched knobs!
(via Bryn Alexandra)
I love the practicality of hooks, and this painted stripe gives the illusion of a simple boarder without having to mess with molding. 

Anyone else in the mood to decorate?!

November 13, 2013

Cloth Diaper Favorites

These are my Cloth Diapering Favorites!
1. Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag
I really like these wet/dry bags (I have two) because they have a wet compartment for soiled diapers, and a dry pocket on the front (you can see in the picture). I love the dry pocket for quick trips to public changing tables. It's easy to store a new diaper, wipes, cream etc. in there! These bags fit 8-9 cloth diapers which is the perfect amount for a days worth of diapers. PLUS, it also has a snap handle if you want to carry it on your wrist while also carrying the little one.
2. Clorox Bleach
There's a lot of controversy on using bleach with your diapers. However, my personal opinion is that using it is a must for a few reasons: 1) It helps sanitize your diapers, and especially is helpful if you encounter an ammonia problem and 2) Bumgenius even recommends it on their packaging for once a month! Make sure if you do buy bleach, that it states on the container "Kills 99.9% of..." This will ensure you have the disinfecting bleach. (For more information on actual cloth diapers strategies and techniques that work and are yes, indeed safe, for cloth diapers, head over to Stash & Supplies where I talk about an awesome Facebook group with mama's in the field just for this!)
3. Tide Free & Gentle Detergent
This is what I use for all of my clothes plus diapers. The Facebook group talked about in #2 above, also goes into demystifying cloth diaper myths, and cloth diaper detergent is one of them! Tide is good, so check them out.
4. Planet Wise Diaper Pail Liner
I like this pail liner because it has an elastic top, fits most garbage cans, has a PUL liner (instead of nylon which others use which is not as durable), and keeps most smells in. I use this for all of my diapers like a regular soiled diaper hamper.
5. Bumgenius 4.0 OS (one size) Snap Diapers
I love these diapers because the fit it great and the diapers (and inserts) are easy to use. I prefer the snaps better over aplix (Velcro), although they take a few seconds longer to put on baby. The snaps don't wear down the like aplix diaper tabs do, which eventually have to be replaced, as the snaps don't. Also, the replacement refresher kits for the aplix diapers do NOT include the long strip of aplix that the tabs fasten to around the waste...why not!?? These diapers come in cute colors and some patterns. Which leads me to really the only issue I have with these diapers, they don't come in enough pretty designs and patterns!
Runner Up: Kawaii OS Diapers! I love that they have the microfleece insides (because they are soooo soft), wider pockets (which is easier for stuffing) and they have a little flap to keep the inserts in. The only thing that I don't LOVE about them.... they have 3 snaps vs 2 on each diaper wing (eats more time), and they are a tad less trim because of the insert size. CLOSE call though!
*maybe I'll do a comparison post soon on diapers?!*
6. Biz
I'm loving Biz because it's a detergent booster that helps fight stains and soils. I use 1/2 cup of this for every diaper load! It really helps loosen up and clean stuff.
7. Coconut Oil
I really love this oil because it works wonders! It's a natural, cloth diaper safe option for a diaper rash cream! I found it at my grocery store, in the organic aisle. I've heard that you want to make sure to get the refined kind too. This is in a solid state, but once it starts to be spread on the skin, it melts into its awesome magic goodness.
8. Aquaus Diaper Sprayer
I love this diaper sprayer because it's easy to install (I watched the video on the link above), it's easy to use, doesn't leak, and saves me A TON of work! When I started cloth diapering I knew I needed a sprayer. I wasn't the type to dunk and swish in the toilet, so after reading many reviews I settled on this one. Others that I read about (including the Bumgenius sprayer) leaked and had problems. I also didn't want to make my own because I had heard from someone that they tried that, and it flooded their house. No thank you! One person with that story was enough to send me running. So I coughed up the $60 for this one from Kelly's Closet (and was awarded 60 points too!) and it was worth every penny! The one con about this sprayer is that you might need to purchase a part: a flexible water hose that connects the water from the wall to the toilet tank (unless you already have one!). I didn't know this, nor do they say on the package or when you make the purchase, so I was left with it half assembled until I could purchase the part (~$7) the next day. Not expensive, just annoying.
9. Kelly's Closet
Hmmmm, what is there NOT to like at this awesome cloth diapering website?! I talk about them more in my Resources post. I usually purchase from this family run business whenever I need cloth diapers or related products. They are awesome and you can return diapers after 30 days (yes used!) and rack up points for your purchases.
10. Fuzzibunz Hanging Diaper Pail
I like this hanging pail because I can keep it on the door in my bathroom. It comes in real handy when you have to spray a poo diaper. After I've wrung it out, I simply toss it in here. No traveling the house with a soiled diaper! It also has an awesome zipper bottom (and elastic top), so unzippering the bottom and dumping in the washer is easy! It's PUL liner also keeps smells in great.
11. 5 layer Charcoal Bamboo Inserts
I purchased mine second hand from a mother on a cloth diapering Facebook swap group, and couldn't be happier. They are amazing for night time since they hold a ton! You can also find these on ebay for a good price brand new. 
12. Wool Dryer Balls
These are easy to make and they cut down drying time! Since fabric softeners are a no-no, these work great and who doesn't want to be more green if it's easy and cheaper?? Check out my DIY link above.

November 11, 2013

Favorite Baby Books

These are my favorite baby books for Christian, who is now 1 year old. We have a ton of books and it's hard to whittle it down, but here are some!

1. Touch & Feel books
We love these kinds of books because most of them have different colors, textures, shine etc. for baby to play with. They keep Christian entertained and they introduce reading nicely with shorts words such as colors, animals etc.
2. Action Rhyme books
These are fun for baby and parents! Rhyming songs paired with finger play is great play time for baby. It helps imagination as well as connect words to actions.
3. I Love You Through and Through
"I love your silly side, your mad side..." A very cute book that talks about different parts of the body as well as different emotions. There is also it's companion book How Do I Love You?
4. I Love You Stinky Face
A son asks his mother if she would still love him if he was a stinky face (insert skunk looking boy here), a dinosaur, a monkey etc.
5. Baby Photo Book
These books are nice because they are soft and flexible with the added perk that you can add your own pictures to it! Put pictures of mommy, daddy, the dog etc. and you can practice names and help recall relatives with your little one.

6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The soft covered book AND the original! The soft covered book comes with an attached strawberry teether and each page has a single picture, some with soft material flaps. The original book is very cute with little pages for each food that the caterpillar eats through.
7. Giraffes Can't Dance
A cute book about how a giraffe finds that he is good at dancing the way that he knows how.
8. National Geographic board books
I really like these nonfiction board books and so does Christian! He likes the real life pictures and colors and learning the different names of the animals.
9. Chicka Chicka ABC
This book is great for younger kids that have shorter attention spans and can't sit through the entire Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book. It goes through the complete first half of the book with all the letters running up the tree and then falling off.
10. Good Dog Carl (also awesome for older children, 2+)
This book is awesome although it doesn't have any words. A dog who takes care of a baby for a day, what could happen? It's fun to point things out in the pictures and help the babies discover visual clues throughout the book.
11. Forest Babies
We like this board book because it talks about babies and has real life pictures!
12. Christmas in the Manger
I like this book because it has rhyming verses about the different animals and people at the birth of Jesus. PLUS it mentions at the very end that baby Jesus is the reason for Christmas. It's never to young to teach them what's really important!
13. The Little Blue Truck
We LOVE this book! It's Christian's favorite and his first birthday party was actually themed around this book! It's has cute rhyming verses with lots of animals and their sounds. The message of the book is how it's important to be nice to others so that you can make friends, friends that can help you if you're in trouble.
14. Llama Llama Nighty Night
We read this book every night to Christian before bed, along with others. It's a cute book about llama's bed time routine.
15. On the Night You Were Born
This is the sweetest book yet that I've ever even brought tears to my eyes! It's a book that teaches children that if they ever doubt how special they are, or who loves them, they can take a look around at the geese, bears, wind etc. Check out this video that reads the book aloud and shows the pictures! So adorable and a good book that integrates faith.
16. Wherever You Are: my love will find you
There's a running theme here, I love author Nancy Tillman! This book is another sweet book about a mother's love always finding its child.

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