Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Costumes: Don't Buy 'em, Make 'em!

I know I said it last year, but I'll say it again...there is no better Halloween costume than a handmade one. I mean, anyone can go to the store,  but who can be creative enough to use what you have or buy supplies on a budget to be totally original? Well, any thriving wife (lady) of course!

Last year I whipped together a gorgeous little Fred & Wilma Flinstone costume for my TH and I to wear.  I purchased some cheap felt from the fabric store (costing all of $5) and used my low level sewing skills to make the perfect outfits.  I added a dog bone to my hair and made a necklace with Styrofoam balls and we were ready to go!

2 years ago Nic and our fellow TW, Mrs. D, created dead Thriving Wives costumes, and all they had to do was add some blood and props to their usual gorgeous selves.  They even found a horrific apron to complete their look. Easy breezy and yet cute/creepy, way to go girls! 

Don't think Nic stopped there, she got SUPER crafty last year with BK and made him the most delicious thing on the Chipotle menu...a baby burrito.  BRILLIANT!! A swaddled, happy baby in an amazing idea and I was very impressed.  All she needed was some foil, a printed Chipotle logo, a couple lettuce leaves and one adorable little guy.

So, what do we Thriving Wives have in store this year?  Well, I originally wanted to have my boys be recycled goods. That's right, Clarke was going to be an aluminum can (think crushed cans glued on a onesie and baby beanie), while J.R. was going to be a plastic bottle (same plan, bottles crushed on a onesie and hat).  I then was going to turn their stroller into a recycling receptacle while I myself was going to be, "Mother Earth".  But, alas, I am now going a different firefighters!  Since I already have their "uniforms" (they only stay so small forever, I need to capitalize) and adorable knitted hats and booties. My TH and I thought they might as well be like their daddy this year.  But next year, we just may make that gorgeously green statement! Nic is planning to have BK in a DIY Matador costume, like the below image, with their sweet pup Sandy as his "bull"!

So, while it may take a bit of brainstorming, a costume made by hand is always a winner in our Halloween books.  What ideas do you have this year?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Make Your Mondays - October 20th

Em had a great weekend filled with long walks with her babies, days by the beach in Laguna and even some vintage treasure hunting with Nic! With her TH away on a boys' weekend, Nic played "single mom" and spent the weekend full of activities. Some of which included: antique shopping with Em, a date with BK at SOCO, a 3rd birthday party and even a trip to the pumpkin patch!

Life is constant, it is always moving forward and new experiences are always coming. By choosing thoughts that make you feel good, you are able to enjoy life as it comes. With each day  move forward to a vibration that is pleasing to you. Since you are sending out energy regardless, why not make a constant effort to make that energy positive?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cloth Diapers...for twins!

Since I myself was cloth diapered in the 80's, I knew I too wanted to go that route for my children.  Even better, my Thriving Mommy had already done it once with me (and long before they had all the fancy stuff they have now) and I knew she would gladly support my decision to cloth diaper my twin boys. While my Thriving Husband knows I am passionate about being gorgeously green and doing all I can to help the environment, I had a feeling he wouldn't be as excited since everyone you talk to immediately tells you how much work they are (even if they have never done it). I decided to do some research in an effort to gather information regarding the environmental and financial impact our diaper choice would make.  I knew for me, I was more than willing to pay more to do what was best for my babies as well as our Mother Earth.

Despite knowing in my heart that we would definitely cloth diaper, I had to present my case to my TH. We had long decided that we were not going to use the regular old disposable diapers (sorry Pampers), so our only real contender was Nic's pick for diapers, The Honest Company. I was happy to not only talk to Nic about why she loved them, but also look into the brand since they pride themselves on being eco-friendly.  So the great debate was centered around eco diapers v.s. a cloth diaper service. I knew as a new mommy I wanted to start with a diaper service for the first few months (that's right, set the dirty diapers outside once a week and magically watch them disappear and get replaced with clean ones).  My hope was to eventually purchase my own inserts and wash them myself, but with two new babies it was a bit much to take on from the start. We had already accepted that no matter what, we would have to multiply by everything two, which was going to be an expense anyway you "wiped" it to keep our boy's tushies clean.

After doing the math, the cost for the Honest diapers was surely not going to get us a ton of extra savings, which would have been the major tipping point ($80/month for Honest v.s. $84-$88 for diaper service). I was pleased to find a cost break down about cloth diapers to help ease my TH's money mind and see that we would actually be saving money by using a cloth diaper service!  Now that we knew how much we would be spending, we moved on to the next concern, the environment. Even though Honest diapers are plant-based and made with fewer chemicals they would still be gong into a landfill and adding to our waste. I was making some serious headway with my case for cloth, but I wanted more. I contacted Pannolino OC Diaper Service  to gather additional information. They not only held group consultations, but the owner also made herself available for personal consultations at her home.  My TH and I scheduled an appointment, grabbed a notebook and set out to learn all there was to know about cloth diapers.

The owner took the time to not only show us the many different diapers, but also options her company offered. Did we only want weekly service or did we want add-ons such as diaper covers and wipes?  There was a lot to learn so I quickly wrote and asked questions as they popped into my head. I needed to learn not only about the company itself but also their cleaning process, delivery system not to mention how to even use a cloth diaper and choose the right cover. Trust me, there was A LOT to learn, but our goal was always to do what was healthiest for our babies and best for the environment.  Our decision had been made...all cloth all day! We left our meeting not only feeling full of knowledge but also ready to sign on the dotted line. But the best part? Pannolino offers a gift I'm sure you can imagine what was at the top of my list...DIAPERS!!!

I registered for weeks upon weeks of diaper service.  Since one baby costs about $84/month, Pannolino graciously offers a discount for a second baby (thank you!).  Thankfully my amazing friends and family all got the hint and purchased tons for me!  I was going to have pre-paid diaper service for the first 4 months of their lives, YES!


As soon as we got home from the hospital (make sure you email to let them know your baby arrived), we dove into our stash.  The company sends out a projected "guestimate" of how many diapers you will need a week prior to your due date so you are ready to go.  I was so excited to unload the gorgeous bag of clean diapers. Once the cleans are emptied, it quickly becomes the "dirty bag" as the poopy/wet diapers pile inside waiting for the next pick up.

With three large bins in the changing table all dedicated to diapers, we never need to reach far to get what we need. We weren't sure what size the boys would be at birth so we decided to rent newborn covers just to be safe.  For only $4 a week, we went for it. Despite swooping some diaper covers from Craig's List, I also had registered for Thirsties diaper covers from Target (they have great adjustable snap options to accommodate a growing baby) to make sure we had plenty.. We had learned that these would need to be washed frequently as they were likely to get dirty on a daily basis. Since our boys were so big we only needed the rented covers for a week, then we were able to use our own brightly colored covers.  So far so good!

With my supplies and two cute baby butts I was ready to go.  Since there are a few different folds, we brushed up a bit before the boys came just so we could practice. The Pannolino website offers videos so you can always refresh your knowledge on the proper fold.  Just grab a cover, lie down the insert, fold in the sides, bring up the front and snap.  No muss, no fuss and surely no safety pins!

We not only love using cloth diapers, but can't get enough of these cute colored boy bottoms!  We look forward to continuing our service long after our gifted weeks expire and continuing to support Pannolino.  Since research suggests that cloth diapered babies potty train faster (the lack of chemicals in the diapers allows them to feel when they are wet/dirty and they don't like it) I am excited to continue to cloth until we make the big toilet transition.  Then, we will sign up again before the next baby!

Have you ever thought of cloth diapering? What are some of the concerns you have? Prefer "easy" disposables? Share your thoughts with us!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mommy Makeover

Nic - Pregnancy and motherhood have actually never made me feel better in my body, but being caught up in making a baby, buying a home, and working full time for the past few years put updating my wardrobe on the back burner. Sure I'd purge and shop, but I was never very thoughtful about my  choices and ended up with items that didn't fit right, or didn't go with enough, or were just not cute once I got them home. Never one to shy away from asking for help I knew Em would relish in this opportunity to give me a "Mommy Makeover"! 

Em -  When Nic sent me that fateful email asking for some fashion help as she was in desperate need of a closet re-org (my specialty of course) and a shopping partner (she knows my love of dressing my friends) I was pretty elated.  Not only has Nic morphed into skin and bones (thank you breastfeeding!) but she has also noticed that she wants to put this sassy mommy body on display (thank G!).  So, what is any Thriving Wife to do?  Make a plan and get things started.  We set a date to go through her closet and clean it out so we knew what we had to work with and what we needed to buy.

Closet clean outs are one of my favorite activities.  I suddenly become my own Thriving Mother, put in a sassy disgusted face and judge each piece of clothing that comes into my view as though I am cleaning out my 12 year old daughter's closet.  "When is the last time you wore that?", "Is that a stain? Gross", "I dare say I see a hole", "No Nicolle, you won't be keeping that trashy T-shirt, it is foul".

We soon had a huge pile of clothes in the middle of her bedroom that all had to go.  I reorganized the clothes I allowed her to keep by style (tanks, short sleeve, long sleeve, skirts and dresses) and swapped out the cheap nasty hangers with matching plastic hangers (that drives me nuts).  I also had her go through her drawers while we were at it and gave her some ideas for better use of space/storage for our future shopping date.

Before we hit the mall, we made a list of items we needed to purchase:
  • Jeans that actually fit (everything she owned suddenly was baggy pants magee...oh poor Nic, sucks getting super thin after having a baby...)We were looking for a trouser cut, skinny and maybe even a boyfriend.
  • Black fitted pants (think legging fabric with a jeans design, I have these from Nordstrom and LOVE them!)
  • Maxi skirts
  • A chambray top
  • V-necks
  • Cute tops that could be work both to work and for casual attire
  • Flats
  • Anything else Em found, made her try on and buy despite her protesting
One of the reasons Nic enlisted me was not only do I LOVE to shop on the cheap (one of my not so great habits, I know Mommy, "Buy quality items to build your wardrobe, not cheap shit!" I can't help it, I LOVE ME some one wear wonders from Forever 21...horrible.  But aside from my weekly practice of shopping, was my focus and dedication to crawling through the clearance racks, trying on loads of clothes and having the focus to narrow down outfit choices.  That and I while I in no way think I am a fashionista, I don't think I am totally a hot mess in the fashion department either.  So alas, Nic and I hit the town with a big budget in hand...Thanks Nic's TH!!!

We came away with just what we needed and spent nearly nothing, Holl-to-the-A.  Just check out our loot!

Black skinnies, dark denim, wide leg linen and two sassy maxis for bottoms...

 A selection of long tanks, light sweaters and even a chambray!
Standard V-necks which can be sassed up with accessories and pumps

Nic - Em was amazing at helping me make quick decisions while out (one of my downfalls is talking myself out of purchases), and thinking of what else each item could go with. We stuck to basics that I desperately needed, since it seemed I still clung to crap I wore in college. If I traded in my convertible Mustang for a mommy SUV, it was certainly time to update my closet! I am so grateful for her help, and now I feel like that "cute mom" instead of "dumpy overtired mom" despite how I feel on the inside.... Thanks Em, you are the best! I think we need another trip soon, my closet is feeling sparse! 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...