Sew Littles Cloth Diaper Cover Review

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Review of diaper cover by Sew Littles, handmade in Sacramento, CA.  She also makes bibs & burp cloths and sets containing all 3 items, and is willing to do custom orders as well. I was sent the cover in the photo, which is called Blue Chevron, in a medium. As Baby Girl was 10# 2 oz. at birth I’m glad she didn’t send a small as it wouldn’t have fit very long. In general I’m a huge fan of one-size diapers as they last through the entire diapering needs of your child. What I don’t like is that they can be incredibly bulky, especially during infancy.  This is the only fitted/sized diaper I own and I do have to say, it’s incredibly trim! Baby Girl is 4 ½ months now, and ~17#, and this diaper fits her perfectly. The nice thing is I have plenty of extra inserts for my other diapers, so as long as the cover doesn’t get soiled I can just switch out the insert & reuse the cover until it gets wet or pooed on.  I just don’t like the idea of having to own several different sized diapers to get through the 1st few years.
About the diapers she makes: “Our diaper covers are made with a cotton “shell” and a breathable waterproof PUL lining. They are made with 12 snaps and elastic around the back to ensure a good fit that will outlast a lot of your baby’s clothes!” I know many of you aren’t fans of PUL, and that’s OK. There are plenty of options out there to meet everyone’s needs! At $15/cover, I think these are a great deal! She has several adorable prints to choose from, and as I mentioned will do custom orders.
Check out her work, and be sure to like her Facebook page for future promotions & coupons!
Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SewLittles
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/sewlittles/info

Every dollar spent is a VOTE!!

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A bit of good, encouraging news I think we all could use!  “If the market is any indication, a look at the share price and escalating growth of Annie’s versus the collapsing growth of Kellogg’s tells a story about our food supply that no marketing campaign can. In the last year, due to soaring consumer demand for products free from artificial ingredients, Annie’s growth has exploded. Annie’s most recent quarter saw $57.9 million in net sales, representing a year over year increase of 24%. Earnings per share were up 19.1% and consumption up 22%. Annie’s, which produces real food with real ingredients, also just made a $6 million plant acquisition to expand capacity.” Link to full text: http://organicconnectmag.com/gmo-non-gmo-tale-two-stocks/#.UpDoeNiA3cm

Seven Acre Toys Review

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Review of Seven Acre Toys, handmade in Providence, Rhode Island. Seven Acre Toys is making great quality wooden toys, including: Rattles, Blocks, Pull Toys, Mobiles, Teethers, Developmental Products, and MORE!!  From their website: “By using all natural materials we ensure that our toys are free from hazardous chemicals. All of our toys are made by us, start to finish, and are quality checked at every step. We want to make better wooden toys. That means better design, better materials, and more attention to detail. Our toys are made to promote creativity and imagination in an unconstrained and open way.”

They sent me a Star Stacker, one of their best sellers, which uses a gorgeous combination of Maple & Walnut. They don’t know this, but star items have special meaning to use as my son’s name is Orion, so we love connecting him with anything celestial 🙂  I tried to take a picture of the largest star to show you how beautiful the grains of black walnut are, but my camera takes horrible close-ups & the photo doesn’t do it justice at all, but this is an absolutely gorgeous toy. It has been sanded so incredibly smooth, you definitely don’t have to worry about a splinter. My son is 2 ½, and he has enjoyed using it to stack & un-stack. He’s still working on grasping largest to smallest, but this kind of toy will definitely help him work on that concept. I’m very excited to have this as part of our toy collection, and know baby girl will get lots of use out of it when her big brother outgrows it. That’s one great thing about wooden toys, they are so durable & can be passed from child to child, and to another family even, when we’re done with them. About the material used:  “We use only certified sustainable harvested hardwoods, which are sanded super smooth. We use our own food safe/ baby safe blend of beeswax and mineral oil to finish our products, so they are safe to put in the mouth (because we all know that’s where it’s headed anyway).” I really love this gorgeous, simple, safe, handmade toy, and can see why it’s a best seller for them! http://sevenacretoys.com/product/star-stacker/star-stacker-maplewalnut/#!prettyPhoto

I really, really like their teethers, and my baby girl is enjoying the one they sent very much! Althea will be 4 months old tomorrow, and all of the sudden wants to put everything in her mouth. She seems to really enjoy soft things, and will put any cloth she can get into her mouth. I like the combination of both hard & soft that this teether offers, and often catch her putting the wood part in her mouth too. The cloth portion can be frozen for those that like cold things to chew on (something my son never cared for, but maybe Althea will).It’s contoured so she can grip it easily with her adorable little baby hands. You can choose from a variety of woods, and shapes, and all cotton is organic, unbleached & un-dyed. I asked why some cotton is brown, and some white, and learned this: “different species of organic cottons grow in different colors; it has to do with the natural wax resins in the plant.” They selected different colors to add variety & compliment the wood used. http://sevenacretoys.com/product/2-in-1-teething-ring/2-in-1-teething-ring-cherry/

Rattles are what they started their business with, so they are near & dear to the owners. I really appreciate the beautiful simplicity of their rattles and they offer many to choose from. They sent me a Ginkgo leaf rattle in Maple. It’s easy to grip, super smooth, and you have to look very hard to even find the crease where they cut it to put the beads in. It makes a very delicate, peaceful sound when rattled, and of course doubles as a teether also. Althea is still a bit young for larger chunks of wood. She’s been OK with the smaller wood like what the teether has, but I’ve let her play with the rattle a few times, and she gets really excited and has bonked herself in the mouth a couple times. That’s the only safety concern with wood, so I’m waiting until she’s a little bigger to give her this adorable rattle to keep her entertained. withhttp://sevenacretoys.com/product/ginkgo-leaf-rattle/ginkgo-leaf-rattle-maple/

Info about their mineral oil finish: “We researched many different plant based oils, but were never happy with any of them.  Our biggest problem with the plant oils is that all of them have the potential to go rancid- especially when heated, which we have to do to incorporate it into the wax.  And since we cannot guarantee how long a tin of it might sit on a customer’s shelf in between uses, it was a risk we didn’t want to take. The mineral oil that we use is food grade light mineral oil, a higher quality than many baby oils on the market.  The purpose of the oil in our polish is basically just to thin the bee’s wax to a consistency that can be applied to the wood more easily, the 2 waxes (bee’s wax and carnuba wax) are what do the heavy lifting. Our recipe is based on a traditional salad bowl/cutting board polish that has been a staple of woodturners for decades.  For those who are vegan or would like to paint or apply their own finish, all of our products are available without our wax finish upon request.” NOTE: Mineral oil contains petroleum (which yes, is a natural substance, but many like to avoid it), so if that makes you uncomfortable, order it unfinished & use whatever you’d like!

They have very generously created the coupon code “ecobaby” that will give you 10% off your total purchase. This code is good the remainder of this year. I hope you’ll take advantage of this code and include Seven Acre Toys as part of your Holiday shopping this year. Please feel free to share the code with friends/family who are looking for great quality wooden toys as well!

Website: http://sevenacretoys.com/contact-us.aspx FB page: https://www.facebook.com/sevenacretoys?fref=ts

Arbonne=the longest ingredient lists I’ve ever viewed!!

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FB post on this topic: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=764507046898271&id=397517646930548

Melaleuca: the very definition of GREENWASHING!

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The following statements are my opinion…
More on Melaleuca, and why you couldn’t PAY me to use any of their products.  In my opinion, they are the very definition of Greenwashing. If you go to their website you see a  green forest in the background. Their symbol is a green leaf. They’re pitching their products to the green/natural/organic crowd. BUT their products are no better than conventional lines on the market, there are tons & tons of product lines with much safer ingredient labels. I know this is shocking info to some, but this is a perfect example of not being able to trust what any company tells you, you have to read the ingredient labels, which speak (very clearly) for themselves!! Here’s my entry for them on my Greenwashers list: One of the worst of all greenwashers! Next to Arbonne, the worst ingredients I’ve seen in a baby line marketed as safe. I truly despise the misleading that this company is doing! Line not in EWG.  The following ingredients from their Koala Pals baby shampoo/wash is nothing short of horrendous- you couldn’t pay me to use this on my family. Rest of the labels I’ve viewed are more of the same: “Aqua (water/Eau), Sodium trideceth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, PEG-150 Distearate, Benzyl Alcohol, Parfum, Polyquaternium-10, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, d-a-Tocopheryl Acetate (Natural Vitamin E), Avena Sativa (Oat) Extract, Butylene Glycol, Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Amylcinnamyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methypropional, Hexl Cinnamal, Linallol.  Is it possible they make one or 2 safer products– of course. BUT, any company that would make this toxic of a baby wash, what should be their mildest formula, is not a company I would trust to make anything safe. Cleaning product labels are extremely vague, which many cleaning labels are. Things such as non-ionic surfactants, buffering agents, non-disclosed preservatives, doesn’t disclose what IS actually in there, which is very important to know.. Can tell nothing about what they actually do contain by their labels…
Additional FB threads on this topic: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=763962246952751&id=397517646930548

Review of The Washcloth Shop reusable cotton Swiffer pad

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Review of a 100% cotton, reusable Swiffer pad sent to me by TheWashclothShop, handmade in Greenville, NC. Go take a look at Anne’s Etsy shop & I’m sure you’ll agree with me- her products are GORGEOUS!! When I received my Swiffer pad I was hesitant to use it to mop my dirty floors! She makes beautiful washcloths, dishcloths & Swiffer pads. I bought a Swiffer several years ago, and it has been sitti…ng in my utility room ever since, not being used as I didn’t care to keep buying disposable pads for it. I’d thought about tossing it in the garbage several times, but thankfully didn’t get around to it. When Anne asked if she could send me some dishcloths to review I declined because I have a huge stack of them as a local lady knits them & donates them to my food co-op. They hand them out free with a $20 purchase, which I do almost daily, so I’ve quit accepting the free cloths as I have so many. However, browsing through Anne’s dish & washcloths makes me want more, as they’re just gorgeous! I always like to highlight unique items people are making, and when I saw the Swiffer pads I thought it may interest several of you also. Anything we can replace a disposable product with, in favor or a reusable one, is a huge change for the better. I love the Swiffer because it can get underneath some hard to reach places in my house that I’ve neglected for a long time. It can also be used dry to dust and remove cobwebs from high places. Her prices are very reasonable, with the Swiffer pads costing only $4.50, or a set of 2 dishcloths are only $5.00! She uses 100% cotton. You can flip the Swiffer pad inside-out to use that side before tossing it in your washer & dryer to clean & reuse.
Please, take a look at her Etsy shop. If you have a Swiffer-lover in your family, I think these would make a lovely Holiday gift!! Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWashclothShop?ref=shop_suggSee More