Friday, October 24, 2014

Party In a Pinch: All Hallows Eve



Since I am a bit too old to go trick-or-treating (yes, I am sad about it) and my babies are a bit too young to go out this year (yes, the world is on to you parents pushing strollers, pretty sure that baby isn't going to eat that Snickers...) we prefer to stay in. I always love passing out candy and turning the night into a costume contest for all those who stop by. So, what better way to judge the groups of kids that come passing through than inviting over some friends and whipping together a party in a pinch?!

 

With the outside of the house decorated, the mood was already set. Now, just to set the main table, get some Halloween tunes going and enjoy getting dressed up. First, I went to the garage to assess my party supplies and see what I had going on. Lucky for me, I happened to have some orange fabric for a table cloth aaaannnnnd I even found some purple glittered black "shwag" fabric...OH YEAH!


With the color scheme on point, I decided to add a few DIY ghosts hanging from the ceiling to make sure my ghouls and guests could spend the evening together.


While I prepped my spooky spread for the evening, I decided to create some "Bubbling Pumpkins" to drink. I mixed up some pumpkin puree with pumpkin spice seasoning and added a nice dollop to the bottom of my glass and poured on the champagne.


With a drink in hand, it was time to head to the kitchen and knock out my devilsihly delish dishes.  But first, a sweet trick-or-TREAT! 


Don't miss next week's post with quick and easy party snacks!



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 route...baby 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. 

 http://beautythroughashes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Honest-Diapers-Bundle.jpg

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.

http://www.planetwiseinc.com/locator/locationimages/image_1e4_BrookeaseLogoBanner.png

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 registry...so 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!


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