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Weekend Super Saver

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Fluff Friday:
1-GroVia Shell Set
1-GroVia Cloth Wipes Pk
1-GroVia Biosoakers 20ct

Giveaway sponsored by the manufacturer! Thank you.


Question of the week:
What type of diapering system (cloth,disposable,or hybrid) AND brand do you use when you travel? Leave your comment before Thursday, July 29th at 7pm EST. (You can only answer the "Question of the Week" ONCE PER GIVEAWAY, NOT PER DAY.)

Other ways to enter:

  1. Head on over to our NEW The Cloth Diaper Whisperer Facebook Fan Page and become a fan. Leave a comment that you are a fan.
  2. Follow @GroViaDiaper on Twitter. Come back and post a comment that you are a follower of GroVia.
  3. Being a follower 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.
  4. 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!!! You must have your Blogger profile accessible to be selected as a winner.
  5. Fluff FridayAdvertising 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Being a fan of our Facebook group gives you one extra comment PER GIVEAWAY, NOT PER DAY. Simply post a comment saying that you are a Facebook fan.
  8. Being a follower on Twitter gives you one extra comment PER GIVEAWAY, NOT PER DAY. Simply post a comment saying that you are a follower and your Twitter ID.
  9. One entry for signing up for our newsletter at Kelly's Closet. Post a comment when you sign up or if you are already signed up.
  10. Tweet @diapershops fluff friday @GroViaDiaper #clothdiapers giveaway Enter at http://www.theclothdiaperwhisperer.com/. Then come back and comment that you tweeted AND the exact tweet (not tweet id status).
  11. Tweet any unique tweet with @diapershops #clothdiapers. Cut and paste your tweet (not tweet id status) and post as a comment. You can get 1 entry for EVERY unique tweet!
  12. Being an affiliate of Kelly's Closet. Please post your affiliate id in your comment.
  13. Place an order at any DiaperShops store between 7/23-7/29. Post your order # and order date in the comments.
  14. Leave a product review at Kelly's Closet and return to the blog and comment which product you reviewed.
  15. Start a thread about our giveaway or comment on a thread that is about or giveaway on any chat room (http://www.diaperpin.com/, http://www.diaperswappers.com/, etc) . Post the name of the thread AND the url of your comment.
  16. Start a new discussion (or respond to a current discussion) on either DiaperShops Facebook or The Cloth Diaper Whisperer Facebook. Come back and leave a comment with the title of discussion AND which Facebook page you posted on as a comment to this post.

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, July 30th. It is the responsibility of the winner to contact us to claim their prize.

Who can participate?
US Residents 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.

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 89

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This week's Fluff Friday winner is Soyager!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! Please, contact us ASAP so we can get your winnings out to you!!!
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Fluff Friday 88 WINNER!

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Hi, it’s Calley from Eco Chic Parties again! I hope that you’ve been enjoying your summer. I am excited to announce this week’s party sponsor is Rump∙a∙Rooz™. If you joined us for the last Rump∙a∙Rooz™ party you know we had a hopping good time after our Lil’ Joey’s were put to sleep talking about the new Kanga-Care website. This week – Thursday, July 22nd - Rump∙a∙Rooz™ has invited many of their retailers to join in the fun as they re-launch the www.rumparooz.com website. The new website will list all of the Rump∙a∙Rooz™ retailers and additional details on their diapers. As one of those retailers – Diaper Shops will be attending this week’s party and would like to invite all of you to join them.

Put your kids to bed early (or enlist other family members to watch them), grab some snacks, and get ready to have some fun in your pj’s! The Twitter party will begin at 9pm ET and continue for one hour. However – as we all know – there is usually LOTS of pre and post party chatter!

Use hashtag #Rumparooz and #clothdiapers to follow all of the action. And be sure to follow the entire Rump∙a∙Rooz™ team. @Rumparooz, @KangaCare, @Rumparooz_Holly, Rumparooz_Mike, and don’t forget to follow me - @EcoChicParties!

As always – we have some great prizes to be awarded to YOU! To RSVP for the party and for additional information please be sure to visit Eco Chic Parties.

At the close of the party (10pm ET) @Rumparooz will announce the winners of the “What would you do” YouTube video contest. It’s not too late to enter the video contest either – entries will be accepted until Noon (any time zone) on July 22nd. Visit the Rump•a•rooz blog for complete rules and details on entering the video contest. Winners from the video contest will be among the first to see the NEW Rump∙a∙Rooz™ prints.

What are you waiting for? Hop on over to Eco Chic Parties and RSVP!
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Rumparooz Twitter Party Tonight!

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I have 3 in cloth diapers; Emma 4 months, Alea 3 years, and Riley who just turned 5 and only needs them at night. I have used cloth diapers on and off for 10 years now and I am amazed and dare I say it, in love, with cloth diapers that are available today. I started out with Motherease diapers 10 years ago, and they were good but the problem with them was me. I didn’t know about laundering them in the right detergent, not using store bought diaper creams, ect. I don’t think many other people did back then either, come to think of it. I stopped doing cloth diapers when I had the twins and had 4 in diapers. I felt that it was just too much for me, at the time. But when they did get rashes, I would give them a break from paper, I would put them in cloth. But I didn’t know how wonderful cloth was. I just thought of it as an alternative. That is until recently, when I tried cloth myself.

Disposables nowadays are super absorbent. So absorbent that they suck away natural oils that help protect and balance. I recognized this during the six weeks postpartum that I had to wear disposables myself. It got to a point that it was downright painfully dry and I didn’t want to use disposables at all this time around. I didn’t care how hard it is or what mess I had to deal with, I’m finally going cloth! But when the time came, I found out that cloth not only was pretty simple, it was WONDERFUL. It felt like not wearing anything at all. It cool, smooth, soft and just plain LOVELY! I mean no wonder; I didn’t have plastic next to my body anymore. And it was in that “ah ha” moment that I realized what I was doing to my babies. I only had to wear disposable on a small part of my body, at the most for 8 weeks continuously. My poor babies had to wear that non breathable, over absorbent, plastic for 3+ years straight! How awful!!!

I didn’t care what it took; they were going cloth exclusively, even if it was 3 children at the same time. And surprisingly, it really is just an extra load a day. Oh and I did find the right detergent this time, Rockin Green, of course! I love the smell of clean cloth in the morning. I love that my babies are getting that extra love of cloth every day. I love the cute fabric nowadays. So much so, that I think that I am addicted. In fact, today, my daughter proved that I am. A package came in the mail and Alea came up to me while I was opening it and said, “Is it a diaper for me? Is it pink?!”

Olivia Merrick
Mother of 8 children
www.pushingthesuburbanenvelope.blogspot.com
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Wonderful Packages..of Cloth Diapers

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When I had my first child, fourteen years ago, all I knew about cloth diapers were that they were gross - I remembered the crisp, bleached white prefolds my mom received from the diaper service when my sister was a baby and, surprisingly, I remembered how uncomfortable rubber pants were from my own toddlerhood. However, as an adult, I became more and more focused on sustainable, natural living and five years ago, while preparing for the birth of my second child, I became aware of the changes in the cloth diapering world. I stocked up on various types of diapers and had a collection of nearly everything available at the time. My son was born at home and we used cloth from day one. I was such a fanatic that the thought of a paper diaper touching his little bum was too much, I just couldn’t do it. I quickly learned that I wasn’t too fond of the polyester fleece linings found in most AIOs and pockets and my favorite diapering combination became a nice, organic (or at least all natural) fitted with wool.

During his diapering career I swayed a few times and tried various AIOs or pockets when I wanted to switch things up. For a time, AIOs lined in organic velour worked well but I decidedly became a fitted snob and felt that even the synthetic nature of PUL was not as admirable as putting the most naturally luxurious fabrics on my child’s rear.

Enter Baby #3, who was born shortly after my second son turned three. It may have been that he was born early, in a hospital, rather than at home, as planned. And the hospital, of course, sent us home with preemie Pampers. And I used them. And of course I’d like to blame the hospital for all manner of things, but I’ll take some personal responsibility here – they were easier. While caring for a newborn and toddler, especially while running errands, they were my first choice. I still used my organic fitteds at home but soon realized that caring for wool became the very last thing on my list of to-dos. Aside from letting my little one go coverless around the house, I relied on disposables about half the time and I kept telling myself “it was easier” and “there was less laundry” and “it was only temporary”. Then my son turned a year old and I thought, “Enough already!”

I asked myself why I was using disposables every few days and the only thing I could come up with was how convenient they were. I reminded myself why I chose to use cloth in the first place and it had very little to do with convenience. I was not happy about throwing away a diaper that would never “go anywhere” but rather, sit in a landfill for hundreds of years. I was not happy that I had somehow lost sight of my ideals for the sake of a little convenience as soon as my life became busier.

I had to find a way to make cloth worth for me again and decided to stock up on some AIOs and pockets. I wanted to know what the big bumGenius deal was, as so many of my friends can’t seem to get enough of them and I’d never tried them. I also purchased plenty of one-sized pockets and it didn’t take long for a full-on conversion! As soon as the first load of PUL lined diapers came out of the dryer, I packed a few in the diaper bag, along with a wetbag and we went about our business. Making the switch back to full-time cloth was easier than I’d anticipated and even at home, I find that I grab a pocket or AIO before a fitted, these days.

I no longer have any qualms about putting synthetics on my little one – because, when it comes down to it, they keep him drier than fitteds, they’re as easy to use as disposables (but way cuter) and this should go without saying, but they’re much better for the environment than using even just one or two disposables per day. Once I let go of the self-imposed wool and fitted standard I was able to find a cloth solution that provided the convenience I so desperately needed, as well as the sustainability our planet so desperately needs.

By Valerie B.
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Former Fitted Fan Turns Pocket Convert

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My first daughter, Ophelia, was born 6 weeks early and was so tiny that none of our cloth diapers would fit her. Even prefolds and covers were just too much for her tiny little body. So for the first 2 months, she was in preemie sized disposable diapers. But there was one item in our stash that was definitely one size fits all - our cloth wipes. We started using washcloths wet with warm water while we were in the hospital. They kept putting packets of disposable wipers in her bassinet and we kept taking them out, finally actually putting a sign on her bassinet drawer that said “No disposable wipes - please use cloth!”

We continued our use of cloth wipes when we finally were able to bring our little nugget home. At first I used plain white washcloths that I was able to buy for $3.99 per dozen at the local department store. I had 2 dozen in a stack and used them for everything from face wipers, sponge baths, to butt wipers.

Now, we were using cloth wipes for many of the same reasons we planned on using cloth diapers: we knew it was better to use a reusable product than one that causes more waste, it was convenient (just toss in the pail with the cloth diaper), and it was infinitely less expensive to do so. Little did I know that there was an even better reason for us to be using cloth wipes:

One day while were out shopping I had to do a quick diaper change and realized I had neglected to bring an extra cloth wiper - so I resorted to that back up packet of disposable wipes. By the very next diaper change, Ophelia’s bottom was irritated and splotchy. Yikes! Could it be the disposable wipes? What is in those things anyway? Preservatives! Parabens! Artificial Fragrances! Surfactants! And these were purportedly for sensitive skin! No way was I ever going back to that!

Over the years (Ophelia is now almost 3 and we also have a 10 month old daughter!) we have used a variety of different cloth wipes. My mom made me a giant stack of wipes that were suede cloth on one side and flannel on the other, and some that were fleece and flannel - all sewn, turned, and topstitched. I won a pile of cotton fleece wipes that were smooth on one side and nappy on the other. I purchased a stack of bamboo velour and bamboo terry wipes that are so soft and amazing! And I also made myself a dozen from bamboo velour and flannel - which are super fun because the flannel has some great prints! You can turn pretty much any soft piece of cloth in to a cloth wipe! Cut up worn out flannel bed sheets, cut up receiving blankets, washcloths, toweling, cut up old T-shirts, and fleece scraps - not to mention new yardage of any fabric you want. You can cut them to fit in a wipes warmer and place a days worth in the warmer each morning. Or keep them in a disposable wipes box dry or with a bit of water or wipes solution if you don’t mind a cold wiper on your baby’s bottom!

We have always just wet a new wipe with warm water from the sink when it’s time for a diaper change. We started using a wipes solution with Ophelia after she stopped breast feeding and her poops became ‘real’ - as in real stinky and real sticky. I found that a wipes solution helped to get her bottom cleaner. We use a soap like cube that I dissolve in 2 cups of hot water. I keep it in a spray bottle (after it cools, of course) and spray it directly on her bottom and then wipe with a warm wet wiper. There are many options for wipes solutions, including making your own. You can purchase premade solutions that you can spray on a wiper or directly on the bottom, or glycerin chunks or liquids that you can mix and dilute yourself.

Now, there IS one time that I will reach for a disposable wipe. If either one of my girls has a diaper rash that requires me to use creams that are not cloth compatible, I put them in a disposable diaper and use disposable wipes to wipe them. I have made the mistake of using my cloth wipes to wipe diaper cream bottoms - and the diaper cream on the wipes ended up migrating to my diapers in the wash and I had a heck of a time scrubbing and stripping my cloth to get it in usable condition again. I have found that Seventh Generation Disposable wipes are fine on my girls bottoms - there are no artificial ingredients and are very mild. You can also find disposable cloths that you can wet in the sink just like a cloth wipe.

You can find many great cloth wipes and wipes solutions at Kelly’s Closet!

- by Heidi M.
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WIPEOUT!

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New moms are faced with lots of choices: Breast or bottle? Crib or co-sleep? Cloth or disposable? To circ or not to circ? etc, etc...

As I eased into motherhood, I answered these questions, one at a time, in the best way I knew how, and with the well being of my family in mind. One that didn't require much thought was the question of baby food: Homemade or store-bought jars? From day one, I fully planned to make my own baby food from scratch. I strive to eat homemade foods myself, so it only seemed natural that I would feed my baby that way, too.

I knew it would take a little more time than just opening a jar, but I didn't care. I'll admit that it's easy to get caught up in the SuperMom must-do-it-all mentality. Like other moms, I want the best for my son and I like as much control as possible over all the things that effect him, including his food. I get all squishy over the idea of growing some of his food and carefully selecting the rest from local farmstands, and preparing it with love with my own hands (If some moms do it, then I should be able to, too, right?)

But I have to be realistic. I work just shy of 40 hours a week, I blog, I have several other projects that I'm trying to bring to life, I have a house to take care of, I have a husband I like spending time with, and I like to shower once in a while. It keeps me hopping, to say the least.

So, as much as I like the thought of making my own baby food, I seem to have fallen into a groove I didn't expect – semi-homemade baby food. At first, I felt a little guilty each time I put those little jars into my cart, but over the past few weeks I got to really thinking about it, and it occurred to me that I really like this idea! I'd been beating myself up for not making everything 100% from scratch, but then I realized that this way just makes so much more sense!

Here's what's working for me:
We have a pretty large garden, but there are lots of variables. The weather has ruined some crops, some didn't produce as much as we had hoped, and some things just aren't in season yet (butternut squash!) So, we are picking what we can when we can and pureeing it up as our son grows into the need for it. In the beginning when he was just eating single purees, this was OK. But now that he's been introduced to several things, I want a bigger variety in his diet.

I've also been hoarding coupons for Earth's Best organic baby food. I won't budge on the organic, and it can be a little more expensive, so coupons are a nice bonus. The website has coupons, and you can find them on Earth's Best cereal boxes and, occasionally, in a multipack of jars (Usually $1 off either 7 or 10 jars.) I like to buy Earth's Best in single fruit and veggie purees, like pears or carrots, so I can use them in recipes for my son or even for the whole family (add to pasta sauce, casseroles, or use as an egg replacement in vegan baking recipes.) Plus, Earth's Best offers these in value packs, which are a great value if you find a sale and use a few coupons.

I also really like Sprout baby food.

It's very well made, all organic with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The founder of the brand is Chef Tyler Florence and the flavors are really creative, like baby carrot, apple and mango, or peach rice pudding. These are fun because they provide interesting flavor combinations that I can base my baby food creations on.

When I first started out making purees, I made peaches, peas, and a few others, but I really had trouble finding the items I wanted in an organic option. And sometimes, when I did, the prices were sky high. This is where the jarred baby food comes in handy. If you are careful about checking price per ounce, you may find the organic jars cheaper. (Like fresh organic pears vs. Earth's Best stage 2 jars...the jars are often a much better bargain!) Now that I'm stocked up on jars, all I have to do is pay attention to the local organic scene and stock up when I see things at good prices. Like today, I found organic peaches at a lower-than-usual price, so I grabbed a few to add in a mix with the bananas and a mango I already had.

As for grains, I like to buy these in bulk. We haven't introduced many yet, but brown rice and oats are favorites right now. They can add fiber and nutrients, along with bulk, to stretch out your more pricey fruits and veggies (don't stretch too much, of course.)

Here are a few examples of semi-homemade baby food:

Peach & Brown Rice Breakfast: Tonight we are having pulled pork, brown rice and mango wraps, so I'll cook up extra rice for my son's food. I will then add that to the fresh organic peaches I bought, along with a little cardamom and nutmeg (a recipe inspired by Tyler Florence's Sprout.) This will be frozen in ice cube trays and use for breakfasts...I expect about 8 servings.

Peas and Brown Rice: We still have a bag of peas from the garden in the freezer, so any leftover brown rice with be blended with those, frozen into cubes, and blended with breastmilk whenever I thaw and serve. A jar of apples or squash could be added, as well, for variety and nutrient value.

Avocado, Pear and Oat: I have an avocado to use up, so we may use that, too, in our wraps tonight. We only use about 1/2 between us, so the other half will be blended with a few jars of Earth's Best pear puree and some of the organic oats the husbo and I use for breakfast. Again, this will be frozen in cubes, and probably mixed with a bit of breastmilk to thin after thawing. The avocado has super healthy fats for a growing baby, but the pear and oats help stretch it out a bit so it isn't served all in one high-fat meal.

Roasted Banana and Sweet Potato: I have some organic sweet potatoes that I plan to use later in the week (I plan to stuff them with black beans and a Sunshine Burger.) Since the oven will already be on, I'll throw in an extra potato and a banana to roast until they are both sweet and flavorful. When they are finished roasting, I'll blend them with some organic applesauce and freeze into cubes. (Once my boy is a bit older and I introduce beans, I might leave out the banana and blend the potato with carrots and a few mashed black beans.)

Get the idea? It's all about using what you have, adding what's in season and what you can afford, and planning your meals and your baby's meals so that they synch up. And when the day gets away from you, as it inevitably will on occasion, you will always have a few jars of organic baby food on hand, and maybe a few servings of one of your recipes in the freezer, so you'll never have to say, "Oh, I'm too busy, I'll just give him ________." and feel badly about it later.

And, as anyone who eats local, seasonal foods will tell you, you do sacrifice variety when you choose to eat this way. When a certain fruit or veggie is in season, you eat it–lots of it–until it's gone, and then you move on to the next. So, actually, in my quest to provide my son with as much colorful, flavorful variety as possible, I could actually be doing him a disservice by relying solely on whatever happens to be plentiful in my local area. By incorporating some organic jarred foods, I can round out his diet in a way that would otherwise be nearly impossible, or at the very least, quite expensive.

I find making baby food to be just as rewarding as breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and all the other things that I feel are best, even though they consume a little more time. But I allow myself to bend a little, without ever having to bend so far as to give my precious boy anything processed or full of pesticides.

So I'm hanging up my cape. I'm surely not SuperMom, but I guarantee you that I feel good about every bite that goes into his little mouth!

By Wendy K.
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Getting Over the Guilt: Semi-Homemade Baby Food

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