Deck The Halls: Wrap{ped}

Thought I would share some of the inspiration I’ve collected this year (via Pinterest) for gift wrapping… I’m sure you could have guessed that this is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.

Chalk Marker with Black Kraft Paper

White Kraft Paper with Green Ribbon

Sheet Music

Paper Flowers + Kraft Paper

Newspaper, Rosemary + B&W Ribbon

Featured Image Here

Momma Meg Loves: Pinterest

For my mom… who doesn’t “DO” Pinterest

I mean… who isn’t having a LOVE affair with Pinterest?  Only mildly distracting, my pinning obsession has actually made life a little bit easier. Pinterest is the only place I turn for new recipes – if I’m stuck on what to cook for dinner – I just refer to the many things I pinned at 11pm the night before… “That looks tasty”… What to wear? No problem – just ask Pinterest. The sole source of Olivia’s nursery inspiration… Pinterest. You get the idea…

5 recent pins…

Pinned Here

Coconut + Ginger Chicken with Jasmine Rice – I made this for dinner a few nights ago and would consider it a huge success. Kind of a nod to Thai Curry Chicken… but without the curry. The recipe is a stove-top/slow-cooker hybrid… but because I was determined to make it as EASY as possible – I slightly altered my method and went crock-pot all the way. Also – I added potatoes to beef it up just a bit. Although Dan was not as enthusiastic; “it was too exotic for him” – I thought it was deliciously out of the ordinary. Most ingredients were already stocked in my pantry… definitely give it a whirl, or repin for a night that you’re feeling uninspired.

Pinned Here

Vegass Leopard Print Flats by Steve Madden  – Pinned these Steve Madden Leopard VEGASS flats onto my Fall Wishlist. I just know I would get TONS of wear out of them. I’m always a sucker for leopard… and flats and tennies pretty much rule my footwear selection in this current phase of life. The price tag isn’t that bad – maybe I’ll wait until they’re slightly discounted. Kind of loving the pointed.. but slightly rounded point… toe. Nice alternative to these Sam Edleman Leopard Smoking Slippers I’ve also been eyeing. RWAR.

Pinned Here

Chambray Inspiration – And there it was… hiding on Pinterest. The PERFECT chambray shirt. I searched and searched earlier in the season and settled on this popover variety from Anthropologie… but I’m finding myself wanting a slightly heavier… more industrial? version. TinEye couldn’t find the origin of this beauty… so I’ll hold out for yet another substitute. Loving it layered with a chunky sweater and leggings.#READYFORFALL

Pinned Here

Photo Wall – I love this DIY photo wall – would definitely be super cute with Polaroid pictures – but because I’m not about to run out and spend $$$ on film for our camera – maybe ordering Instagram pics would work? I mean – Instagram is the new Polaroid, right? Would be fun in an entry, office or “mud room” – maybe even floor-to-ceiling bulletin board behind to make swapping for fresh photos a snap.

Pinned Here

DIY Cloth Diaper Detergent – Just in case you missed it… We are officially a cloth-diapering family. It might make us a little bit more earthy-crunchy… but hey, we’re comfortable with that. I did initially buy the Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper detergent – a little pricey, but worth it to start. When we run out, I think i’ll give this DIY concoction a go.

Do you Pinterest? Folow Me Here

Are you P(interested)?

Mom Life: Adventures in Cloth Diapering

There are plenty of blogs and websites out there that can explain the different TYPES of cloth diapers available on the market (so I’m going to spare you the in-depth explanation of each type and just briefly recap, as much for my  own understanding as yours, the types I would even consider)… Safe to say…These are NOT your momma’s cloth diapers. As Dan would say, “Dem is Fancy” (Translation: They are Fancy)… As if further clarification is needed – I only considered the fancy variety… no pins or folding.

Types of “Fancy” Cloth Diapers

  • All in One (AIO) – Most similar to a disposable diaper, all one piece, waterproof shell attached to absorbent material sewn in, fastens with snaps or velcro. Wash after every use.
  • All in Two (AI2) – Waterproof outer shell that can be combined with replaceable (sometimes disposable) inserts. Fastens with snaps or velcro. For most diaper changes – you only replace the insert, washing the cover after several uses.
  • Pocket – Waterproof outer shell with stay-dry inner pocket that you stuff with an absorbent liner (+ optional overnight doubler). Fastens with velcro or snaps. Wash both pieces after every use.

Other Stuff You’ll Need

  • Diaper Pail/Pail Liner for Nursery – Fits inside your trash can – usually with elastic banded top or drawstring closure (not necessary to buy a special can – anything with a lid works well)
  • Small “Wet Bag” for Diaper Bag – contains your dirty diapers while you’re out and about. Zipper closure keeps the stink inside. Usually PUL interior/fabric exterior. They come in a variety of sizes and designs – hold ing anywhere from 2-10 or so dirty diapers.
  • Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent – To prevent build-up, stinks + stains. There are a few brands of cloth diaper safe detergent on the market.
  • Cloth Diaper Safe Diaper Rash Cream – Regular diaper cream isn’t ideal for cloth diapers but compatible varieties are similarly priced and easily accessible.
  • A positive attitude and reliable washing machine.

Inspired by one of my newbie momma friends, Brandi over at Pigtails & Pacifiers, who recently began cloth diapering her sweet doll baby Brooklyn. And by this blog post over at MilkFriendly. Daniel and I agreed that we probably should have given more thoughtful consideration to the cloth diapering route before Olivia was born. We agree that the benefits (environmental, economical, adorable) outweigh the negative (yucky, time-consuming) and are slightly kicking ourselves for waiting so long to give it ago. In the same breath – I’ll mention that we’re just now (after 6  whole months) about to exhaust our supply of gifted (disposable) diapers. Therefore – I guess the timing couldn’t be more perfect! And here we go…

Before buying anything, I asked around and found that most people agreed that the BumGenius brand was the most accessible and reasonably priced… great quality and generally well-reviewed. Certainly not the cheapest option out there… but definitely middle-of-the-road. 

To test the waters, we ordered (1 “BumGenius Freetime All-In-One” and 1 “BumGenius Elemental Organic All-in-One“) from DiaperJunction (They offer a 30-day Risk Free trial period)… and picked up a couple of the “BumGenius 4.0 Pocket Diaper” at Buy Buy Baby; We decided that we preferred the design and fit of  the “BumGenius Freetime” and ordered 14 from CottonBabies (They we’re running the best promo – Buy 6, Get One Free – Lowest Price + Free Shipping).

BumGenius Freetime

BumGenius Elemental

BumGenius 4.0 Pocket

We had agreed that we would need to start with a minimum of around 20 diapers to make CDing practical. Our plan is to slowly build our arsenal to ~40 as we find great deals on sites like Zulily, Totsy, BabyHalfOff, EcoBabyBuys. In fact, Zulily featured a 50% deal on Lotus Bumz the other day and we snagged 2 more bringing us to our benchmark. Other (pricier) brands I’d scoop up if on sale: FuzziBunz, Swaddlebees, Itti Bitti, and GroVia.

Lotus Bumz

We also settled on 2 pail liners from Planet Wise (these have elastic around the top that work REALLY well with our trash can and 2 small wet bags from DiaperRite (the most simple + cheap!) We did order some Rockin’ Green – Motley Clean Detergent to get us started, although I’ve researched some EASY DIY recipes on Pinterest for further down the road.

**UPDATE** Today was our first day 100% cloth diapering… and we picked a challenging day to start. Olivia and I left the house this morning or a play date then ended up going straight to dinner with Daniel + MawMaw… basically, we were out of the house for 10 hours – 4 wets + 1 dirty diaper later and I still feel pretty good about it all… the ONLY (so far) hiccup… dealing with disposable wipes! I’m so used to discarding dirty wipes neatly tucked inside the diaper – clean & easy… and contained. Tinkle wipes – not really a problem. Poopy Wipes though… What if a trash can isn’t within arms reach? For Example – If you’re changing a diaper in the backseat of the car, on a picnic blanket… or in the middle of a friends living room floor? Thoughts?

 Featured Image Here

DIY: Bulk Trash Pick-Up Freebie Finds

Bulk Trash Pick-Up day can be better than even the best thrift store or estate sale, especially if you know where to look. And this goes without saying, but, you can’t beat FREE. Resale = 100% profit.

Our house is REALLY close to downtown Dallas (Technically “East Dallas”… We’re just South of Lakewood, just North of downtown) Our neighborhood, Peak’s Suburban Addition, is one of the oldest in Dallas. Our almost 100-year old (built in 1913) house backs up to one of those “vintage” mini-apartment complexes. Every third Wednesday of the month, on bulk pick up day, the owners discard any large furniture items left behind by their tenants. You can’t imagine the STUFF people leave behind. Sometimes it’s junk… Rarely treasures, but always potential.

Luckily Liv was patient enough to sit in her exersaucer while I snagged lugged these HEAVY pieces across the street. Hopefully I’ll have some sweet DIY projects to share soon.

Post Peanut Projects

My Big List of Post Peanut Projects

An ambitious (and growing) list of things I’d like to accomplish (this year) as a stay-at-home mommy

  • Create a Disaster/ Tornado Kit for the house and car
  • Take a Sewing Class, Finally take the sewing machine that I got for my birthday 3 years ago… learn to use it to accomplish several projects (Including… New Pillows for the Living Room Sofa, Curtains for Master Bedroom, Guest Bedroom and Liv’s Room)
  • Revamp Outdoor Living Spaces (New Planties, drought-friendly plants for beds, Cushions for Adirondack chairs, twinkle lights for arbor, porch swing, new grill solution, and of course… kill weeds.
  • Document Recipes for “Season’s of Love” Lifebook
  • Start Mommy Blog (whoohoo… I’m already making progress on this one!)
  • Update Liv’s baby book
  • Organize Photos in Picasa albums
  • Organize Office/ Re-do Office space so that’s it’s functional as Daniel’s “home office” with room to share for Music and Mommy stuffs
  • Put Wedding Photos in an Album
  • Order and Frame Wedding, Maternity and Newborn prints
  • Clean out craft closet, pantry/utility room, and kitchen cabinets
  • ReVamp Guest Bedroom
  • Open Etsy Shop to sell Found/Handmade (Read: things I sew) goodies
  • Replace fixtures throughout house (rather… remove. Rustoleum spray paint ’em and put ’em back on)
  • Postpartum slim down
  • Re-Finish + Sell old dining set