Welcome to this week's giveaway!

What would you win:
1-AppleCheeks Envelope Diaper
2-AppleCheeks Inserts (bamboo or hemp-customer choice)
1-AppleCheeks Booster


Given directly by manufacturer

What to do? Simply leave a comment telling us which one of the AppleCheeks colors you think is cuter? (Click here to see them all). Don’t forget to leave a way for us to contact you if you're the winner. You don’t need to have a blog to win, but be sure to leave your email address if you don’t have one.

When? You should leave your comment before Thursday, June 4th at 8pm EDT.
What else to know? You can make ONE comment PER DAY. If you want to get more comments there are several ways to do it:
1 - Being or becoming one of our followers gives you one extra comment PER GIVEAWAY, NOT PER DAY. Simply post a comment saying that you are a follower.
2 - Being a subscriber of our blog or subscribing to our blog, gives you one extra comment PER GIVEAWAY, NOT PER DAY. Simply post a comment saying that you are a follower.
3 - Commenting in other posts during the week will give you ONE EXTRA comment PER EACH comment that you make. Simply post a comment on this one saying the title of the post where you wrote your comment. So, what are you waiting for?? Participating in other posts pays off!!!
4 - Advertising the giveaway in a forum or other blog gives you ONE extra comment PER GIVEAWAY, NOT PER DAY. Simply post a comment saying that you are a advertising and where.
5 - Using our button on your blog (or starting to) gives you one extra comment PER GIVEAWAY, NOT PER DAY. Simply post a comment saying that you are using it and where.
6 - Being a fan of our Facebook group gives you one extra comment PER GIVEAWAY, NOT PER DAY. Simply post a comment saying that you our fan.
7 - Being a follower on Twitter gives you one extra comment PER GIVEAWAY, NOT PER DAY. Simply post a comment saying that you our follower and your Twitter ID.
Have questions?? Visit our FAQ's.

How? We will draw one winner randomly with an "Online Number Generator" and will make a post with the winner on Friday, June 5th. It is the responsibility of the winner to contact us to claim their prize.

Who can participate? US Residents and Canadians* are welcome!

Important note about the winner: If we haven't heard from the winner by the closing time of next week's giveaway, we will choose another winner that will be published TOGETHER with next week's winner. We promise to do our best to get in contact with the winners. *Canadian winners will be responsable for shipping costs.

Good luck, and don’t forget to tell all your family and friends about the giveaway! In case that you don't win, what a better person to win than a friend of yours!!
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Fluff Friday Week 31 *** CLOSED ***

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Free shipping on your entire order with the purchase of an AppleCheeks diaper at Kelly's Closet. Use discount code APPLE when checking out.


Sorry, no previous or pending orders discounted.
Limit 1 coupon code per order.
Valid May 30th and 31st Only.
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Weekend Super Saver Coupon - May 30th & May 31st!

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Our first winner is our Fluff Friday winner from week 30... She is the mom of a gorgeous little boy and I had fun reading her blog... She is:



This week we have TWO Twitter winners... They are:

"momof3munchkins" will receive: 2-Wahmies one size diapers ... This is her SECOND win with Kelly's Closet. You can follow her on her blog.
"mommyandpedsRN" was the closest guess of the question: "Guess how many drawers of cloth diapers were moved?" The correct answer is 810. She will receive: won a Gro Baby Experience Sample Kit.

In Facebook we had a giveaway of 2-bumGenius One Size Fleece diapers, and the winner is:

Jamie - who wrote:
"We are moving to Alaska and with the elevated price of everything I thought that cloth would be the way to go! Plus I get to stay home with this baby (our second) and having two children in diapers, well it was a no brainer! Its better for the environment as well, and hopefully I can find a one size that they both will fit into! Just starting out though and it is expensive!"

Become our Facebook fan for exclusive giveaways, coupons, and more!
TO OUR FOUR WINNERS:
PLEASE, CONTACT US ASAP
SO WE CAN GET YOUR
WINNINGS OUT TO YOU!!!!!
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We have 4 winners today!!!!!

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Because raising a child in tough economic times can be expensive and financially challenging, many families are looking for ways to reduce their spending without having to sacrifice their family's well-being. This has resulted in a slew of families getting creative by making old items new again.

Shanaka Brown's family is one of many that is looking to save money by repurposing and reusing items from around the house.

Brown, a stay-at-home mom, says she believes the consumer-oriented society has prevailed for too long and has to stop. "I think a lot of people are doing things to change the spending mindset. Even if people just take baby steps in changing the way they do things, added up it all can make a huge difference in the long run."

Brown says that her family is doing a lot of unique things to save money these days.

"For one, I cloth diaper my children which I figured has saved us a ton of money and cuts back on our curbside trash," she says. Brown also says she regularly participates in clothing, toy and book swaps with the more than 60 moms in her playgroup, makes her own cleaning concoctions, and religiously uses refillable water bottles. After all, tap water is free.

"I also repurpose leftovers to make new meals and look for other uses for things in the kitchen such reusing empty food storage containers. Even my husband reuses milk and juice jugs in the basement to organize his stuff," she says.

Kelly Wels, the owner of Kellys Closet, a cloth diapering boutique that offers modern cloth diapering selections like FuzziBunz, bumGenius and Happy Heinys, has seen a huge rise in the number of families using washable and reusable cloth diapers. "I think that families are looking for ways they can save and cloth diapers are a surprisingly easy and sensible solution these days. Families can save thousands of dollars over the course of a few years by cloth diapering their baby," she says.

Kira Williams, a physician from California, says that even though she and her husband have stable jobs, they are still mindful of their expenditures.

"Cloth diapering has definitely saved us money. Even with the extra money we spend on the water bill, we're saving more than what we would have spent on disposable diapers. That said, while the cost savings are important, I am even more concerned with minimizing waste and streamlining our lives. I feel that so many of us have become obsessed with spending more and having more and it clearly hasn't made us better individuals nor a better society. I want to teach my daughter to be happy with less and to treasure the simple things in life," she says.

Williams says she prefers reusing items and says she was lucky to have inherited many maternity and baby clothes, as well as a lot of baby gear, all which she plans to pass along to others someday. She also makes her own baby food and saves the plastic souvenir cups she gets at NFL games, which have become one of her daughter's favorite stacking and nesting toys.

Texas stay-at-home mom, Amy Scott, is also one of those moms getting creative by repurposing items that she might have once considered throwing out. For example, Scott says she keeps a small bowl on the dining table where her family puts leftover sauce packets from take-out restaurants. "We'll never have to buy hot sauce or soy sauce again," she jokes.

Scott also says she and her husband repurposed old nightstands that were dangerously close to being tossed. When her daughter was born, they realized they needed extra storage space. "One of our old nightstands became a feeding station to store formula, bibs, burp clothes, etc., and the other went by my back door to store mail as to not clutter my kitchen counter," she says.

Wels adds that, with a little thought and effort, moms can save a lot of money by finding new ways to use old things.

"Think of all the new disposable products on the market that are touted as convenience items like disposable swim diapers, bibs and placemats. I don't understand how it's easier to keep buying new things only to end up throwing them away and buying more. If more people took a little extra time to wash items that we normally throw out, we can rack up a lot of savings and be much kinder to Mother Earth," says Wels. "Perhaps this tumultuous economy is just the excuse families need to spend less, reuse more and overall lessen their waste."

Brown agrees, "New is not always better or necessary. Reusing not only helps our environment but also my pocketbook because I don't have to spend money buying things over and over again. Being a family of four on one income was difficult at first, but now I feel that we are making it work."


By Jenny L.
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What's Old is New for Parents Looking to Save Money

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When I first announced I was going to be cloth diapering and NOT using a diaper service, I was met with incredulous looks and persuasive arguments about why it was a bad idea to pursue cloth diapering on my own. We have a business based out of house, and so time is a premium, and I was warned that with a newborn life was about to change drastically.

Well, the baby definitely changed things, but cloth diapering hasn't added to my workload at all! With a simple system, I hardly notice any added work in my day due to cloth diapering.

The main "knock" against cloth diapering that outsiders will bring up is the laundry aspect. In order to limit the amount of time I spend laundering, I think it's essential for work-at-home moms to buy enough diapers to have a solid stash. I bought enough that I only have to launder diapers about twice a week. For me, time is money, and even more importantly, I'd rather be spending my precious non-working hours enjoying our family and not laundering. To me, it is well worth the investment to buy an extra day or two's worth of diapers.

I always launder on Sundays, and then usually once in the middle of the week, either on Wednesday or Thursday depending on how things are going. Since my "whitest whites" cycle that I use on my washer takes awhile, I try to empty out my pail liner into the washer before I leave for church on Sundays and start the load, and then they're ready to switch to the dryer when I arrive home. I try to get them all put away promptly so that I don't end up having to dig through a laundry basket for wipes and diapers later. During the week, I have a similar routine; I try to take advantage of time that I know will be tied up elsewhere (either in work projects or before lunchtime, etc.) by loading the washer or dryer up so that I am killing two birds with one stone. On sunny days I'll hang the diapers up outside to get out any stains. Often baby Grace will ride in her baby carrier while I get her diapers ready.

When I'm putting diapers away, I prepare my drawers with diapers and then also a "downstairs basket" that I keep near our office. The downstairs basket is loaded with our favorite diapers (usually BumGenius all-in-ones!), cloth wipes, and a waterproof changing pad so that I don't have to constantly run up and down the stairs to change the baby. This helps keep me "on task" so that I can get my work done faster and still have my baby clean and freshly changed throughout the day.

With a little planning and a lot of diapers, cloth diapering and working at home can both be accomplished seamlessly and stress-free!
- By Sara A.
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Working out of the home & cloth diapering

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Regardless of what brand or style of cloth diapers you use there’s one thing we all have in common: dirty diaper laundry!

I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed doing laundry. Okay, I’ll admit – I’m not particularly fond of doing the loads of “white laundry” because I have to match and fold all those socks! When I first started cloth diapering I was frustrated because I followed all the general “recommendations” for laundering and my diapers were still coming out dirty/stained. If it wasn’t for my innate need to troubleshoot everything (I was oftentimes nicknamed Little Miss Fix-it) I would have likely given up on cloth diapering.

Thankfully after all my little “scientific” laundry experiments I found a routine that worked great (at least for me). If there’s one question I happily answer most it’s, “What do you recommend for washing cloth diapers?”

Simple enough question, right? Yes and no. Oftentimes you will hear people say, “It’s laundry not science!” but the fact of the matter is laundry is a science, and very few people understand, or appreciate it as much as I do. Detergents have been carefully formulated to be effective but not damaging. For instance, many “cloth diaper friendly” detergents contain sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and/or sodium borate (Borax) and/or sodium carbonate (Washing Soda). However, these ingredients, if used individually/independently, don’t necessarily make them cloth diaper friendly.

Additionally, very few people truly take into consideration all the variables involved with recommending a washing routine for cloth diapers. Are you washing prefolds and diaper covers? fitted diapers? pocket diapers with micro-terry inserts and/or all-in-one’s? Or, are you like me and you have a Smorgasbord of diapers? Do you have hard water? Are you using a top loading washing machine or a front loading washing machine? Etc…

First and foremost the standard recommendation would be to consult with the manufacturer’s directions for laundering your cloth diapers. If all your diapers are made by the same manufacturer, (i.e. bumGenius, FuzziBunz or Happy Heiny’s, etc…) then this is relatively easy. Give the manufacturer’s recommendations a try and go from there. If it doesn’t happen to work out well for you then you can make adjustments accordingly.

Laundry Routine
With that said, after all my trial and error, the routine I found that works best for both a top loading machine as well as a front loading HE machine, and regardless of what cloth diaper you are washing, is as follows:

1 cold, short cycle wash w/detergent*

1 hot, heavy duty cycle wash w/detergent*

1 additional rinse (warm water works best)


*Use the recommended detergent amount for cloth diapers according to your machine. Top loading machines usually call for ½ the standard amount while front loading HE machines require only ¼ the standard amount.

While many are able to get by with a simple cold rinse followed by a hot wash I’ve never achieved the desired results with a mere rinse. I personally prefer to use OxiClean (any oxygen based will work) in the short cold cycle wash – this does wonders for fighting the “organic” stains of poo! However, you’ll want to double check that the use of any additives (such as oxygen based cleaners) are ok per your diaper manufacturer.

If you opt not to do the cold, short cycle wash – at the very minimum you will need to do a rinse. This is essential for rinsing away as much debris and soiled matter from the diapers before washing them on hot because hot water typically sets stains (and essentially you’ll be washing your diapers in hot urine water – YUCK!).

When all is said and done give your diapers a whiff to ensure they’re clean. A clean diaper should have no lingering smells. If you get a faint whiff of anything questionable then the diaper isn’t truly clean. You’ll need to run it through one additional cycle.


Drying
The best way to prolong the life of your diapers is to hang/line dry your diapers. By drying in the sun you get the added benefit of not only whitening/brightening your diapers and removing stains – but this will also kill residual bacteria (if you’re having stinky issues with your diapers oftentimes sunning them will be a remarkable help).

If you’re using diapers that have Aplix/Hook and Loop closures then you will want to periodically dry them in the machine to “reset” the hook and loop. The heat from the dryer will cause the hook and loop to contract making them stickier/grippier again. It’s also important to clean out any lint/hair/debris in the hook which can also impair the ability for the tabs to properly grip/fasten.

Serena’s Tips/Tricks/Recommendations
Consider storing your soiled inserts separately from your pockets/covers, especially if you only wash a couple times a week. The longer soiled diapers/inserts sit in the pail, the urine will ferments and turn into ammonia; this can break down your diapers prematurely (mainly the elastic).

If you’re using prefolds in addition to pocket/orall-in-one diapers then it is strongly discouraged to launder these items together; doing so will cause excessive wear and tear to the pockets/all-in-one’s-Cloth-Diapers-_c_608.html”>stay dry lining during the wash. Therefore, it’s best to wash these separately.

Fasten your Aplix/Hook and Loop “laundry” tabs BEFORE tossing them into the diaper pail. This will make laundry much easier than having to sift through the diaper pail to make sure everything is properly fastened for laundering. Here’s an alternative way to fasten most Aplix tabs so they don’t come undone in the wash: pull the tabs to the back, twist one tab over and fasten onto the other tab – VOILA!

To prevent the scruffiness of line dried prefolds consider tossing them in the dryer for 20-30 minutes prior to putting out on the line. This will not only help to keep them soft but “quilt” them slightly as well.

From time to time set your diaper pail out in the sun while the diapers in the wash (I like to give it a quick hose down and allow it to air dry). I’ll use my Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag to store the diapers in while the pails are out of commission (I like how this wet bag has the attached handle so I can simply hang the wet bag from my changing table).

Since I store/organize my diapers by colors – I like to sort the diapers according to color and group items such as inserts and doublers together as I take them out of the washing machine or dryer before putting them on the line to dry. This is not only aesthetically pleasing but also makes pinning the diapers/inserts to the clothesline much easier since everything is situated in the right direction, etc… It also makes my “restocking” process faster too!


- By Serena
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Loads of Fun!

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* Brief intro about Baby Beehinds and the inventor
Baby BeeHinds was established in early 2004, by Davina, who still runs this energetic and customer focused company! Back in the early days, Davina had no plans to go in to business...rather, she simply liked sewing nappies for her new baby girl.

Eventually her baby had far too many nappies so Davina started sewing for friends, and then at their prompting, launched publicly with some auctions on ebay. In those days, the cloth nappy market in Australia was ultra ultra new...there were not many modern cloth nappy options at all available and so the public immediately latched on to Baby BeeHinds and all of a sudden Davina's fun little hobby turned in to a very busy home business!

Eventually, the demand got too great and so after much thought, Davina investigated outsourcing production, and with ethics in mind, found a fantastic factory to produce the qantities required with the quality she had in mind. Since this time, Baby BeeHinds has grown exponentially, branching in to wholesale, party plan and retail markets. Still, the fundamental values of the company remain- that is quality, excellent customer service, and ethical manufacturing standards.

Baby BeeHinds also likes to support those who are disadvantaged, with charitable contributions made financially and some 2500-3000 nappies donated thus far to orphanages in Africa.

* Short description of your products, when they were invented, the materials they're made of, etc...
We offer a range of products. Fitted nappies of a one-size-fits-most design, made from hemp or bamboo, one-size-fits most pocket nappies and stuffable all-in-one nappies made with lush minkee, wetbags, boosters, PUL and woollen nappy covers etc. Over the years, all of our products have gone through improvement processes where based on customer feedback, we make slight changes to a product's shape, fabrics, composition etc.

We take customer feedback on board to ensure our products meet the needs of parents. At present, we are confident our products have reached their peak in quality and reliability, and their popularity seems to be testimonial to this! At the moment, Baby BeeHinds is incredibly busy, which is fantastic!

* Why choose Baby Beehinds?
Ultimately, a customer needs to be happy with not only the product they receive, but also the service they receive from whichever company they choose to deal with. Here at Baby BeeHinds, we treat our customers how we ourselves would want to be treated, if we were the customer. When you're in business it is so easy to be so focused on what is right in front of your nose, and that is the day to day running of the business itself.

However, we feel it is important to maintain the reality that the customer sees our business from a different perspective to how we see it ourselves, and so we like to remain grounded and connect with our business from multiple perspectives. Our customers are very important to us, and so we aim to please however we can and maintain prompt, fair and polite service at all times!

In addition to this, quality is such a very high priority to us, and so while now and then, something may slip by with a fault, the majority of Baby BeeHinds products are sewn with impeccable quality. This leads on to our final priority- ethics in manufacture. Our products are made in Asia, and a very real concern for any products made in Asia have to do with the conditions in which the manufacturing is taken place. When researching the outsourcing of production, my number 1 focus was to find a manufacturer who looked after their employees and maintained safe working conditions at all times.

It took some time, however finally, we were blessed and found the most wonderful, wonderful factory. They are amazing, offering fantastic opportunities and incentives for their employees. They have a very low staff turnover (due to the excellent pay and working conditions) and everyone works together as a team. The maternity leave opportunities that they offer their employees are better than anything we even have here in Australia, and their wages are 20% higher than the average for the industry. They also receive benefits such as holiday and sick pay and each year, twice a year, all employees go on a group trip together to build their team skills and connect on a personal level. We make regular trips to the factory to ensure everything is functioning as it should be, and enjoy the trips immensley as it is wonderful to catch up with those we regularly deal with via email! So yeah, overall, we're pretty proud of our dedication to customer service, quality and ethics here at Baby BeeHinds!
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Product Focus: Baby Beehinds

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I am surprised over and over at how people react to the fact that both of my daughters are in cloth diapers. It's so normal for me now. But people, and moms in general say "Oh, that is so much work", "I didn't realize they still made cloth diapers", "I don't have time to worry with washing diapers", "Do you have a diaper service?", and other such incredulous statements. My personal favorite comes from my parent's peers- "Wow! I haven't seen cloth diapers since my kids were babies. I remember how much work they were. I don't envy you." My perspective is so much different. Like anything else I do, I researched first. I didn't want to jump in on the end of a fad, nor did I want to be different just for the sake of it. I needed valid reasons why I should spend lots of money up front, and then do something (yet again) that was not status quo. (Everyone already thinks I'm a little on the nutty side for birthing my two girls at home.) After going to many different websites, speaking with other cloth diapering families, and reading up, I found that using cloth not only helped save the environment, but also would save on our diapering expenses over the course of our daughters' "diapering careers". I read one stat that showed that families spend an average of $2600 per child on diapers. What?!? Do you know what I could do with that kind of money? So, after many hours of researching and discussions with my husband, we decided on cloth. Now, which kind to use? There were so many options available. We chose to go to one website that had diapers ranked on many different aspects, and went with the most popular. I am satisfied with my choice.

My family thinks I am a bit on the "granola" side of things, but have been very supportive of our decision to use cloth. My parents keep disposable "back-ups" at their house, just in case. But they seem to appreciate our desire to be good stewards of our money and the earth. The only dissenters seem to be my sisters without children. They screw up their faces at the thought of having to "dump" out my older daughter's stinky diapers, and sometimes they make gagging noises to which I tell them that they are ridiculous- one is a doctor and the other is going to medical school. I mean, seriously, cleaning out a poopy diaper is grosser than dissecting a cadaver? I think not.

When I show up at church and drop my girls off at the nursery, I have to give specific instructions, like, "I just put a fresh cloth diaper on my child. You won't need to change it over the next hour unless she has a stinky. In the event that she does have a stinky, please do not throw her diaper away. It is not disposable. I have a little bag (and I show the little bag) and you can just put it in here." For those who have never kept my girls, a little conversation about using cloth diapers always starts. First, the obligatory statements listed above are exclaimed, and then they say things like, "Awww! They are so cute." "Look at how easy they are", "They look just like "real" diapers", and "If I had babies now, I might try these." I deliver my standard response about how much less expensive they are over the long term and how my laundry time has really only increased by about 5 minutes per load. I explain that I do 4 extra washes each week and stuff and fold them (I have pocket inserts) during the commercials while I watch "Jeopardy" in the evenings. It's not much extra work and the savings are worth it. Then I point out the fact that my girls' little bottoms are rarely chapped and rashy- something that even the older kids in diapers seem to have issues with. And finally, I offer to let those with little ones try out some of my un-used diapers, just for a test ride... to which the majority make up excuses and kindly refuse. If only they could see it the way that I do. If the stats are accurate, then I will have saved over $4500 on diaper expenses and two tons of non-biodegradable waste in our local landfill... and that is definitely worth my time!


- By Mary K.
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Cloth? Why? That's too much work!

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Earn Free Cloth Diapers