Friday, June 28, 2013

"Help! I Want To Start Cloth Diapering...Where Do I Start?"

Cloth diapering can be a little overwhelming at first.  Most of us start off confused, unsure, and seeking guidance.  There are so many different styles of diapers out there, figuring out where to start can be a real headache!  I frequently see mothers asking more experienced cloth diapering moms, "Where do I start?"  But before you ask others where you should start, you might want to ask yourself  a few questions.

1. WHY do I want to start cloth-diapering?  To save money?  To save the planet?  Because they're cute?  Because you want to put something nicer than disposables on the baby's bum?  All of the above, or something else? 

2. What is my budget?  Okay, you don't need to give an exact number.  But if you're looking to start as dirt cheap as possible, let people know when you ask them for help.  If your budget isn't quite that strict, let them know!

3. How 'easy' do my diapers need to be?  I use the word 'easy' loosly, here.  No matter what type of diaper you're using, they can all be easy to use.  Some, however, take a little extra work to put on, and daycares or grandmas may not like this.  

4. What kind of environment am I living in?  How often do I want to wash?  This can have a big impact on what kind of, and how many, diapers you are going to want.  If you have hard water, you are probably going to need advice from other hard-water-havin mamas on what kind of soap to use.  If you want to dry all of your diapers outside on the line, you're probably going to favor thinner diapers, especially if you live in a humid climate.  

Just asking yourself these few questions can really help you get an idea of what direction to head in.  Getting started can seem hard at first, but sitting down and thinking a little about what direction you want to go in can help slim down your choices and open your eyes.  Letting other mamas know the answers to these questions when you're asking where to start, what type of diaper to buy or how many, can really help them help you!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Dermagist Skin Care Products

Disclaimer: I received one or more free products from Dermagist for the purpose of reviewing them.  I was not required to write a positive review or guided in writing my review, and all opinions are my own.

Also:  I would also like to apologize for the depressing lack of pictures.  My camera suffered a traumatic injury and didn't make it.  RIP. 

Last month, I received the Dermagist Clarifying System for Acne Prone Skin  from Dermagist.  This system is a two-step skin care system for those of us who get a few zits now and again.  Step one is a detoxifying cleanser (face wash) and step 2 is a clarifying cream (acne ointment).  Simply wash your face morning and night with some warm water and Step 1, then pat dry with a clean towel and apply Step 2 to your 'problem areas'.  The directions included with the system were very easy to follow and included plenty of information.  Everything was packed well, which is important when you're being shipping a small glass jar.  Nothing was broken and Dermagist was quick to ship to me.
I started using my Dermagist products about a month ago.  Before, I was using whatever was in my shower.  Sometimes regular soap, sometimes products for acne, sometimes for sensitive skin.  Whatever magically appeared in there, or was on sale, I was using.  I found out that I have really, really dry skin that gets quite angry when washed with most face washes.  I also found that when I don't use face wash, I get acne.  What a fun discovery, right?  Most of my acne pops up around my nose and chin.  Since I started using my Dermagist products, I have really noticed a decrease in my acne.  While I do still get zits occasionally, using step 2 really helps to clean them up quickly.  The Clarifying System was also very kind on my dry skin.  I do still get a bit of dryness from time to time, but nothing like I was getting when using some other facial cleansers.

While I don't think these products (or any products) are working miracles, they did what they were supposed to do.  They weren't as harsh on my skin as some face washes have been.  The cleanser did clean my face without drying it out, and the acne cream did clear up my acne faster than it would have gone away on it's own.  The products were priced decently for the amount I received, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy them out of pocket.  Dermagist also offers many other systems, which you can check out HERE on the Dermagist website.

I also would like to add that in addition to providing me wonderful products, Dermagist was a pleasure to work with.  Their customer service is great, which is hard to find in a big company.  The rep I spoke to was always kind, helpful and quick to respond to any questions I had.  When I'm buying from a company, there are two things that I absolutely need from them: products that work like they should, and great customer service.  Dermagist provided both of these things and for that reason I would not hesitate to recommend this company. lucky Blogs from a Single Mom is going to receive their own Dermagist system!  Yay, thanks Dermagist!  Anyone who has not previously won a Dermagist giveaway, is 18 years or older and lives in the US is eligible to enter.  There is no purchase necessary to enter, just use the Rafflecopter below, and thank you for stopping by!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogs from a Single Mom is not responsible for the fulfillment of prizes.  Winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be drawn.  Giveaway sponsored by Dermagist.  I received a free product for review and was not compensated for this post in any other way.   I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own honest opinions.  Facebook, Twitter,  and Rafflecopter are in no way affiliated with or responsible for this giveaway.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hey, Single Mom, Where'd You Go?

I know, I know.  You don't have to tell me.  I've been slacking lately.

A few of you may be wondering where I went.  What happened to all the giveaways, the DIYs, and the general rambling about cloth diapers?  Well, as hard as it is for me to write this, it's time.  I started this blog for myself.  I was bored, I needed something to keep me busy.  But now, this isn't just for me.  It's also for you.  So, here it goes.

I have severe depression.  I've dealt with depression for most of my life, starting as early as I can remember.  Maybe 3rd or 4th grade.  For a while, thing were better.  I was off my anti-depressants, I was getting out and doing things.  Then, I became pregnant with my daughter and found myself in an abusive relationship.  Getting out of it wasn't the hard part, the hard part was what came after.  I was verbally assaulted on a daily basis for months after leaving my relationship.  I won't repeat most of the things that were said to me, but I was called terrible names and even had my life (and the life of my unborn baby) threatened by my ex boyfriend and his friends.  I became afraid to leave my home.  I even had to move to a new neighborhood, because my ex would show up at my house uninvited.  So I moved in with my grandmother, but never felt any safer.  Finally, after changing my phone number, deactivating my facebook and moving, the abuse stopped.  I'm not sure why I never called the police.  I think I was too afraid that it would anger him more and he would act on his threats.  I just wanted him to leave me alone, and eventually he did.

But my life didn't go back to normal.  I was still pregnant and alone, and I had lost all of my friends in the process.  I held it together for most of my pregnancy, but once I gave birth, I couldn't hold it in anymore.  Ever since, I have been dealing with depression again.  I'm trying to learn to cope with it, and some days are worse than others.  Some days, I just sit on my couch and cry.  I'll go for weeks at a time without talking to much of anyone.  Other times, I'll try to keep busy.  A few months ago, I fell in love with plants.  And that helped, for a while.  At one point I did a lot of crocheting.  Now, I can't even look at my yarn.  Lately, I've been very lost and stuck.  The best way to describe how I'm feeling is laziness I can't control.  It isn't that I don't want to write for you, or go out and make friends, or even get into therapy.  I can't.  There is something inside me stopping me from doing it.

I hope that I can push through this and begin writing for you regularly again.  I have a giveaway planned for the next week or two.  I have a few more personal posts I'm working on, including how I feel about my daughter's first birthday and a little about the man I've been dating.  For the past few weeks, I haven't been able to make myself do much.  I've been sewing a lot of mama cloth/cloth pads(and selling off the excess HERE), baking a lot of cookies, and doing some extra babywearing.  Hopefully, I can squeeze writing back in there.

Thank you to everyone who has patiently waited for this post.  Thanks to all of you who enter my giveaways, subscribe to my blog, and like me on facebook.  You help me more than you know.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Peek At My Stash: Wipeable Diaper Covers

   I've got through a lot of diapers in my 9 months of cloth diapering.  Prefolds, flats, pockets, AI2's fitteds...I've tried almost everything, excluding hybrid fitteds and AIO's.  I've fallen in and out of love with pockets, flats, fitteds, and prefold.  I bounce around.  Some days I prefer side snapping diapers and sometimes I prefer diapers that snap in front.  Sometimes, I wish I had all velcro instead.  One diapering accessory has survived every single cut I've had to make.  You couldn't pay me to get rid of my covers.

The first real cover I ever used was a Flip.  I have used them in both snaps and velcro, and I will always have one of each.  Snaps are for daytime, when Midge runs around without any pants on.  She can pull the aplix apart and take off a velcro diaper, but snaps are like tiny padlocks.  Velcro is for nighttime, when I need to make sure I get a really good fit in the waist.  Flips are no longer my favorite cover, but I'll always have a few around.  They were the first covers I ever tried, and while they aren't perfect, they're beautifully functional and a little sentimental.

After Flips, I fell in love with Thirsties Cloth Diapers.  What I really love about them is the double gussets.  They were great at containing explosive breastfed poops, and I feel like they help keep peepee from wicking at the inner leg.  Thristies does not make a one-size diaper cover.  Instead, they offer both sized covers  'duo' covers.  The 'duo' covers are a two-sized system.  Size 1 fits from about 6-18 pounds and size 2 fits from 18-40 pounds.  These duo covers are nice and roomy, great for over a bulky fitted.  My favorite of the Thristies Diapers are the sized covers, because they're so trim and always fit great.

Last but not least, Wolbybug covers come into play.  Unfortunately, Mr. Wolbug is MIA right now and not available for pictures.  These are my absolute favorite covers for doing the pad fold with a flat or trifolding a prefold.  The back flap on the inside of this cover, unlike the Flip covers, has elastic to hold an insert into place.  This is very convineint because it allows me to fold a flat and and lay it in the cover without it shifting around, so I can pack them for Midge when I send her to grandma's house.

I've tried several other wipeable PUL covers, and so far these three are my favorites.  They're the only three so far that have survived destashes and have a permanent spot in my diaper drawer.

What's your favorite wipeable diaper cover?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ongoing Linky 6/1

This is an ONGOING linky.  That means you only need to submit your giveaway once!  I will be deleting expired giveaways and reposting the linky every Saturday, but the active giveaways will not be deleted.

If you love to enter giveaways, have at it!  You can subscribe to Blogs from a Single Mom by email or RSS so you don't miss any new Saturday linkys.  Please share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter to help us get out there!

 If your blog is hosting a giveaway, please enter it below.  FAMILY FRIENDLY giveaways only, please.   Most people use the format Blog name - Giveaway prize- US or US/CAN or WW - End date or something similar.   Link directly to your giveaway, or your linky will be deleted.  Please leave an end date or your linky will be deleted.  You can click here to see my list of other blogs hosting weekly or ongoing linkys!

Blogs from a Single Mom is hosting some giveaways!  

10 plant collection of Ionantha Air Plants from The Air Plant Shop 6/03

Le Petit Singularite DIY Kit from Twig Terrariums  6/07

 SproutWrap Fitted Flat from Urbun Sprout 6/19