Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs – The Answers

Last week, in celebration of Easter, the Grasshopper and I dyed eggs using food-based ingredients.   Here’s a quick link in case you missed that post.  It was so much fun and a few of the colors were so surprising that I decided to make a game of it and let you guess which ingredients produced which colors.

Here’s that list of dye ingredients again:

  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Turmeric
  • Purple Cabbage
  • Yellow Onion Skins
  • Blueberries
  • Paprika & Chili Powder

And here’s that picture with the numbered eggs:

Which egg is which?


I had a few people guess in the comments and several guess in real-life and via email.  So here are the answers!

# 1 – Onion skins. I love how the membranes of the onions left that pretty pattern on the shell.
#2 was blueberries. Look at the polka-dots left behind where the berries rested against the eggs!
#3 was spinach. I think if I had processed the spinach in a blender I might have gotten a greener color. But it’s still so soft and pretty.
#4 was a blend of paprika and chili powder. Mr. Grasshopper said that this one looked like marble.
#6 was beets. This one actually changed pretty significantly as it dried. It turned into a beautiful green and purple marbled effect which you can almost see in this picture.
#6 was turmeric. I loved how speckled this turned out!
#7 was purple cabbage. This one was such a pretty surprise! Who knew that the purple cabbage would turn blue!

I hope you all had a wonderful week this week!  Happy Easter, happy spring!

Happy Mail: JustFussy Cloth Pads!

I went ahead and ordered the rest of my JustFussy cloth pads.  Remember, these were the awesome bamboo velour cloth pads I was trying out to see if I wanted to use for postpartum.  And remember how I fell in love with them?

Well, I ordered enough for postpartum, and they arrived on Thursday!

justfussy mamacloth cloth pads


Aren’t they gorgeous?  And that bamboo velour is so, so soft.

So here is my cloth pad count right now:

All in the most gorgeous colors!  I love, love, love those deep, saturated colors.

She was also sweet enough to send me an extra wool-backed panty-liner as well.  I love the wool backing.  For some reason, it stays much cooler and feels more breathable than a cotton-backed liner.

Depending on how often I find myself doing laundry, I’m hoping that this will be enough to cover my postpartum needs.  I don’t remember how much lochia I had to deal with last time, but Christy’s got a fantastic turn-around time.  If I need more, I can always order more!

One more thing I can check off my to-do list.

Green Disposable Diapers – Part 3

Okay, folks.  My parents are in town from Texas for a visit, so I’m going to take the lazy way out of today’s post.  Actually, I really lucked into this.

Janet, over at A Pregnancy With Hyperemesis Gravidarum, did my homework for me today!  How cool is that?

She has done a fantastic write up of different green diaper comparisons.  She tried out all four of the ones I’ve looked at:

  • Earth’s Best
  • Nature Babycare
  • Huggies Pure and Natural
  • 7th Generation
Read this post!  It’s awesome!
Thanks so much Janet!  You’ve given me some fantastic information the help narrow down my diaper hunt!

Guest Post: Cloth Diapering – Part 2

I have mentioned before that my family doesn’t cloth diaper, but I do love the idea of cloth diapering.  It’s a great way to reduce your impact on the environment.  Because of this, I asked several of my friends to write guest posts about cloth diapering.  This is the second post in my cloth diaper series.  It was written by my good friend Jessica who owns Top to Bottom Baby Boutique in Omaha, Nebraska.  If you’re ever in the area, check out her new storefront!  She’s a fun lady and a great businesswoman.

Owning a natural parenting and cloth diapering store usually garnishes a lot of questions:  What started me cloth diapering?  Why did we decide to open the business?  And what do I find the most challenging?  Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of stories from moms and dads on why they started or what stopped them.  These stories, always intrigue me, because I love seeing what cloth diapering means to families.  One of the most popular questions I get is “How in the world am I suppose to use cloth when both my husband and I work full-time”.  This one always makes me chuckle, because it is my favorite topic!

Let me warn you, this always starts me on the discussion of laundry.  And just so we are clear, I hate laundry.  I’m not even sure that hate is a strong enough word.  Luckily, early on, I was able to convince Justin that it should be one of his tasks!  And I have dealt with shrunken clothes, things that have turned blue, etc in order to avoid laundry.  But diaper laundry I will do!  I love diaper laundry because I don’t have to sort, fold, or put away…though my good friend Maia does all of those for her diapers!

Justin and I have always both worked, and for the longest times we were on opposite shifts to avoid full-time daycare.  It made it very hard to avoid laundry duty.  When we began cloth diapering, we used a local diaper service.  After a couple of weeks we were having issues with leaks and I started looking for other options.  What I found was the wonderful world of fitteds, beautiful covers, and all around cute diapers.  Cuter than Cadence was wearing at that point.  As my research continued, we decided to move away from using the service and begin washing our own.  Two kids and three years later we opened our own store because there were no local options that allowed me to play with diapers (and as my husband tells everyone, I’m just not patient enough to wait for the mail to arrive).

With both kids in diapers, we knew we needed enough diapers to get through about two days.  Our diapers weren’t always pretty, but they were functional.  I would throw them in the wash after the kids went to bed and then into the drier before I went to sleep.  And inevitably, they ended up in a basket the next morning and that is where they stayed (I warned you, I don’t fold them!)  Diaper wash, in case you are wondering, is easy peasy–throw in everything, rinse, add soap (I love Rockin Green) and wash on hot, toss in the drier (or like our partner Robyn, hang up to dry).  I always warn everyone that it is a good idea to have a couple extra prefolds and a cover around for the inevitable time that you forget to do laundry until you put the last diaper on the kids (or when you are taking that last diaper OFF!).  Justin and I once had to fashion a diaper out of his t-shirt because I had managed to forget to switch the diapers to the dryer.  I’m not sure he found it as amusing as I did.

I’m sure at this point you are wondering about daycare.  We used two different daycares during our last 3 years and numerous trips to grandmas, so I have learned a very important lesson–most people think prefolds and plastic pants when you tell them you are going to cloth diaper.  We realized early on that it was easier to show them the types of diapers we planned to use then hope they knew what we were talking about.  I always tell moms it is important to take a diaper with you when you go meet a new daycare.  I usually also recommend using a Pocket or an All in One diaper because they are the most like disposables.  I am not a big fan of pockets, because it requires stuffing the inserts in the diapers.  I lose inserts like I lose socks (ie my hatred for laundry) so I tend to steer clear of these!  If I could, I would redo my stash in Bummis Tot Bots and Itti Bitti Tuttos but at this point with 2 kids who are potty trained except at night I am having a hard time convincing Justin that I need all new diapers!

Natural diapering is an option for everyone, working or stay at home parents.  Some parents go for the full cloth diaper experience, others use a mixture of cloth with disposable inserts (Gro-Via and Flip both make disposable inserts that can be used with the cloth covers), or the eco-friendly disposables (G-Diapers or Gro-Via bio diapers).  All of these are great options for parents.  There are so many options out there that everyone can find something they enjoy!

Update on the Green Disposable Diaper Search

A few weeks ago, I told you all how we are searching for a more earth-friendly/baby-friendly disposable diaper option.  You can read that post here: Green Disposable Diapers?

As a part of that search, I wanted to see, in person, the different diapers and wipes sold by the main producers of “green” disposable diapers.  To that end, I emailed the four companies requesting samples of their diapers:

At this point, almost two weeks have passed, and here’s where things stand:

I heard almost immediately from 7th Generation.  The emailed me right away to thank me for my interest and let me know that they had mailed me some samples.  Sure enough, within a few days, a large envelope arrived in my mailbox (hand addressed I might add) with 2 newborn size diapers, 2 size 1 diapers, and a small package of 3 wipes.  Perfect!  This is exactly what I needed!  This lets me get my hands right on the diapers and wipes to feel them, smell them, see if there’s a scent or fragrance that bothers me, and just generally get to know the product!  They included a few coupons for diapers and other 7th Generation products.

Thanks 7th Generation!  This really helps me!  I appreciate the quick response and I appreciate your willingness to go further than what I requested to try to accommodate and win a potential new customer.  As someone who works in customer service myself, I appreciate this.  It’s good salesmanship, and it predisposes me to feel favorably about the product.

I also heard back from the Nature Babycare folks.  Here is the email they sent me:

Thanks for taking the time to contact us.  We certainly appreciate your interest in Nature babycare as we do have the “greenest” diapers on the market.  (See attached FAQ’s)

We receive hundreds of emails from people requesting free samples.  We have limited resources as we are a very small company and want to keep the costs to a minimum so that we can pass that savings on to you.  The best and most environmentally friendly way “to try” Nature babycare is to purchase from one of our online retailers who offer our items at a very reasonable price, some offer additional discounts/specials and free shipping with qualifying orders.  Visit, or as well as others.

Please feel free to sign up at our website (envelope icon, use your email address) for postings regarding product announcements, upcoming news, specials and coupons.

So, okay.  I can understand this.  I get that they’re a small company.  Totally respect that.  On the other hand, part of me is thinking, “Really?  You don’t have one diaper sitting around there that you could pop into an envelope?”

Let’s be real, though.  I am writing these companies asking for free stuff.  I’m not asking for a ton of free diapers (just one!), but still, it’s a rough economy, so I respect that a company can’t necessarily afford to send a diaper to every single person.  It does annoy me–in that slightly unreasonable, customer is not always right kind of way–that basically told me I’m going to have to go out and buy a whole big pack of these diapers.

But, check out what I did manage to find just this very moment as I was writing this post:  You can go to and buy a sample of the Nature Babycare diapers!  For $0.99!  Who knew?  I wish the customer service rep from Nature Babycare had mentioned that in her email.  When I got her email, I imagined that I would have to get a whole pack of 70+ diapers.  Imagine my relief now in seeing that I can just get a little sample here!  Good news!  If she had said that in the first place, it would have been a lot more helpful.

I have not heard from the Huggies or the Earth’s Best folks, which annoys me slightly.  The good news again, is that I can pick up $0.99 Earth’s Best diaper sample from the sample area at  It comes with a free sample of their rice cereal.  We very adamantly do not do rice cereal, so that’ll get donated.  No biggie.  The bad news is that for the Huggies, I don’t see a sample option.  I’m not through looking, but it’s just not apparent at this point.

The lack of a sample from Huggies doesn’t break my heart, but I don’t want to have to buy 30 diapers just so I can look at one.  I know if I hate them I can just donate them, but we disliked Huggies so much when the Grasshopper was a baby, I’m not sure I’m interested in going out of my way to try these out even though I’m sure they’ve come such a long way.

Right now, I want to wait to get the diaper samples in before I really start trying them out.  I want to be able to look at them all side-by-side to see how they compare.  I want to do things like put them on one of the Grasshopper’s dolls to see how they fit, pour water into them, and just generally mess around with them to get a better idea of how they work.

Of course, I will keep you all posted, so stay tuned for the continuing saga!

JustFussy Cloth Pads

To my gentleman readers: If feminine hygiene makes you squeamish, you may want to skip this post.

Menstruation isn’t really an issue right now for me, but with the birth coming up, I wanted to go ahead and order a few cloth pads to try them out.  Since Diva Cups and the like aren’t an option postpartum, I need to find an alternative to dealing with lochia and other postpartum discharge.

With this in mind, I acted on a tip from an online friend and contacted Christy of JustFussy which is a mom-owned business specializing in cloth menstrual pads, cloth diapers, reusable nursing pads, and undies.

I wasn’t completely sure.  I’ve used cloth pads before to back up my diva cup, and they were nice, but I didn’t love them, if that makes sense.  What I wanted was something more like the really nice cloth diapers with the ultra-soft and cushy insides.

JustFussy delivers the cushiness I wanted and more!  I wasn’t sure what I should get, so I emailed Christy directly and explained that I was looking for something for postpartum.  She was fantastic.  She recommended trying a few of the pads first to get a feel for them and decide which ones worked best.  So that’s exactly what I did!

Here’s what I ended up getting from her:

She was also kind enough to throw in

With the exception of the ultralight daily liner and the cloth rounds, the pads I got from Christy are made from bamboo velour with a wool backing.

This worried me.  First of all, the only velour I’ve ever worn was polyester and it tended to be hot.  Also, wool?  ‘Scuse me while I drop an ice pack down my pants! *phew!*  Too much heat!  I’m a cotton girl all the way!  But I trusted my cloth diapering friends and I decided to give it a shot.

I am so glad that I did!

Let me tell you first of all how well these guys breathe.  Both the bamboo and the wool keep me feeling much cooler and fresher than even just my plain underwear!  When it comes to moisture (and yes, this is a serious issue during pregnancy), the bamboo wicks the moisture straight into the very absorbent wool backing.

What I’ve discovered is that the cotton pads I was using had been holding the moisture against my skin.  This left me feeling… not so fresh, let’s say.  It was quite a revelation to wear the Moonbow pads.  A very different  and much more pleasant experience.

Another thing I like about these pads is how they feel on.  I simply do not wear pads.  Before I switched to the Diva Cup, I used tampons.  Pads just were never something I liked.  For me they were hot, itchy, and smelly.  Gladrags were better, but they were bulky and still left me feeling gross and stinky.

I was pretty worried that these would be so bulky that I wouldn’t be able to deal with them.  Once again, Christy proved me wrong!  None of these pads feel particularly thick and bulky.  The velour keeps them soft and cool feeling on the fanny, and the wool allows them to be very absorbent without adding to the bulk.  Even the large, which really is overkill for right now, is still as comfortable as the thin little Moonbow liner.  I tried the XL pad last week because the others were all in the wash, and while that one certainly was bulky (4 layers of absorption anyone?) it was no more bulky than the Gladrags and definitely cooler and more comfortable.  I’m glad to know I don’t have to be scared of that one for postpartum.

The wingless Moonbows are really nice.  Later on they’ll act as boosters, but for now, I can just stick them in my undies like a regular pad.  The wool on the back keeps them from crawling out the back of my jeans, which has happened with the Gladrags when I use the boosters alone as a liner.  I have to be careful when I use the restroom so that they don’t fall in the toilet, but like the others, they do the job.  Right now they’re back up pads, later they’ll be boosters.  Christy also recommended soaking these in witch hazel and placing them in the fridge to help soothe that sore postpartum bottom.  Sounds like a fantastic idea to me!

Aside from the comfort, these pads are really pretty.  I’m such a sucker for color and JustFussy Moonbows deliver on that end as well.  I mean, it’s in the name!  Get it?  Moonbow?  Rainbow?  The fabrics are all hand-dyed, and I can tell you that several washings later, they’re still the same rich jewel tones that they were in the beginning.  Now I’m not saying you should throw your raspberry pads into the washer with your white shirts.  That’s just never a good idea.  But they have, thus far, not caused a problem in our laundry.  If you prefer, there is an undyed option as well.

I really, really love these pads.  I can’t wait to get more.  In addition to the one that I tried there is a Large Extra Moonbow pad that looks like it would be great for those heavier days.  It’s the size of the large, but has the same four layers as the XL.

All-in-all, I really can’t say enough good things about these pads.  I’m so glad I got brave enough to give them a shot.  They really are wonderful and you should definitely give them a try.

Green Disposable Diapers?

I’m feeling crummy today from overdoing it yesterday walking all over UCLA and the La Brea Tar Pits.  So this post may be short.  And not particularly well researched.

I think I’ve mentioned before that we do not cloth diaper.  I’d like to talk a little more about that and share my thoughts with you on reducing our diaper footprint.

Let me start by saying that I love cloth diapers.  The fabrics are not only beautiful, but they’re so incredibly soft.  The thought of that cushy organic bamboo velour cradling my baby’s tiny, delicate rump just makes my heart go pitter pat.  Cloth diapering is very, very doable, even for families where both parents work outside the home.  It just means a little extra laundry.  But here’s the deal:  I don’t do the laundry.  My husband does the laundry in our house (God bless him), and this means that ultimately the decision is his.

You know, we all have our hills that we are willing to die on:  Those aspects of life that are so important that they must be done the way you want.  For me, those hills include breastfeeding, solids, and child sleep.  I will breastfeed my children, I will make their own food and delay solids, and I will not leave them alone to cry it out.

That’s a whole lot of hills.

Mr. Grasshopper doesn’t have as many hills.  He’s just a lot bit more laid back than I am.  But cloth diapering is where he draws the line.  And quite honestly, as much as I fantasize about those beautiful and soft cloth diapers on my babies’ bottoms, I recognize that I need to be okay with this.  This is something that wouldn’t affect me in a huge way, but would have a terrific impact on the amount of work he has to do.  Considering how much hard work he does around the house anyway (the guy is a housework machine!), I respect his choice.

That leaves me wondering, though, what I can do to help “green up” diaper time for the newest member of our family.

Thankfully, environmentally friendly diaper options have started to become more and more available.  There are a couple of hybrid cloth/disposable options like the gDiaper, but having had friends who tried and didn’t like them, I think these might not be the best option for us.  Plus, these would still leave Mr. Grasshopper doing diaper laundry.

At this point, I’m looking at three possible choices for us:

Now here’s the thing:  Natural and Eco-friendly is great and all, but these puppies have to perform.

We used the 7th Gen diapers a few times with the Grasshopper when she got a bad diaper rash. They were pretty good, but they were a little stiff.  My husband did not like them.  I’ve never used the other kinds, but with the packaging it’s really impossible to tell much about the diapers.

I’ve emailed each of the three diaper companies to request that they send me a sample diaper.  I just want one of each.  I want to get the feel of it.  I want to see how stiff or how soft they are.  I want to pour some water into them to see how they react and absorb the fluid.  I do not expect any diaper to contain an honest-to-goodness poopsplosion, but I do expect them not to completely disintegrate when pee hits them.

I haven’t heard back from the companies as of yet on my request, so please stay tuned.  I’ll let you know if they’re willing to send me a sample or not.  I’d rather not have to shell out for packs of each.  These puppies aren’t cheap.

In the meantime, have any of you, dear readers used these natural disposable diapering options?  Does anyone out there in cyberspace have anything they can share with me about how these work out?