The end of a journey and the beginning of another

I started with this in 2011, I lived in Enfield and didn’t like driving 1 hr into the heart of Halifax to get cloth diapers.  I wanted a local shop to visit in the Truro area.  At that time, East Coast Baby in New Glasgow (used to be East Coast Diapers), was online only and I had a hard time getting in contact with the owner so I thought perhaps they were no longer around (sorry, Kim!).  I also didn’t know that in the exact same month that I registered my domain name, Andrea was starting the process of purchasing Enchanted Forest to bring to Truro.  I can honestly say, that I would not have started my business if I had known that.  I have enjoyed the experience, and helping introduce families to cloth diapering.  I have made many friends through this journey, and I do not regret any of it!  I feel like now is the right time to move on.  My husband has a new job in the city, and the possibility of us moving again is high.  I have also found my new passion…..

 

Independent Consultant_Vertical Lockup

If you haven’t heard of Jamberry Nails, you need to check them out!

Jamberry Nails are vinyl adhesives you can apply in your own home in fifteen minutes, for less than $5 an application!! Lasting up to 2 weeks on your fingernails and up to 6 weeks on your toenails.  They are non-toxic, gluten free, vegan, latex free, and not tested on animals.  They are made in the USA, and are a family owned company started by 3 sisters.  They launched in 2010 in the US, and just launched in Canada in September 2013, with Atlantic Canada’s soft launch starting April 1st of this year.  I am proud to say that I am a part of the nail revolution!

 

10001177_10201075416242260_465393881_oWith over 300 designs, plus a Nail Art Studio for you to design your own, there are options for everyone!  They are easy to apply at home, with tools you already have (hair dryer, nail file, nail scissors/clippers, cuticle pusher), they are also safe for children, and offer a junior line of designs.

You can shop online anytime through my website: http://www.mmaclellan.jamberrynails.net and have your order shipped directly to you.  You can also host a Facebook party, that’s right, I said Facebook party! No cleaning required, no bra required, sit back in your comfy clothes with your favourite beverage, and have some fun with your friends while you earn FREE Jamberry!  Once the soft launch is over, you will also be able to host traditional home parties and have a mani/pedi night with your friends!  Party spots are filling up quickly, May is already booked up!

Follow me on Facebook for product updates, open party spots, and to find out what shopping events I will be attending!

If you are interested in more information on becoming a host, or joining my team, please contact me through my page!

 

Thank you for following me! It’s been a slice!

A month of Birthdays and a busy Spring!

I’ve promised to try and keep up with the blog again, now that K is older I can sometimes manage to get some work done.

This weekend, D is turning 3!  What a crazy 3 years!  DSCN0305From a tiny 18.5 in. & 6#8oz bundle, to a (still on the small side) 35 in. & 27# kid.  Watching him grow and learn has been extraordinary.  We’ve had a lot of ups and downs, dealing with food allergies (milk, egg, & peanut) on top of the usual first time parent/baby problems.  We’re still navigating the food issues, now with new toddler-isms to tackle!

This weekend also marks the start of Spring trade show season!  I’ll be at the Glengarry in Truro on Sunday at the Spring Has Sprung sale with a selection from the shop and some specials.

Then, just 5 days after D’s bday, I am turning the “Big 3-0″.  I don’t feel any different?  Am I supposed to?  I’m going to be a real adult now right? Nothing special planned, but I have already decided that I must watch the Friends episode “the one with all the birthdays” :)  My “baby” sister also turns 14 just a week later, if that doesn’t make me feel old, I don’t know what will lol  Baby K looks a lot like her auntie and gets called her name more often than I like to admit!  Easter is late this year, so we get a small break, but then K turns 1 just a few days later (SHE’S 1 ALREADY???!!!!), followed by…..

THE GREAT CLOTH DIAPER CHANGE!!!!!smlogo

We’re going big this year!  It’s been a long stretch of planning, but the payoff will be fantastic!  We have 20 local vendors set up for a family shopping event Saturday, April 26th 2014 from 10-2pm to accompany the change (10:30am).  Along with Andrea of Enchanted Forest, we welcomed Jessica of Branching Out to our co-hosting team!  We have 27 pre-registered participants already!!  To register, go to http://gcdctrurons.eventbrite.ca

You can also like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/gcdctrurons

SO!  To celebrate all of the birthdays and GCDC, I’m going to be running some great promos and games over on our Facebook Page.  Starting March 22 and running until April 23, make sure you have our page set to “follow” and to “show in newsfeed”.  Coupons, prizes, and games!

Imagine Baby Products Review

We all like to “try before we buy”, and I’m no different.  Especially when it comes to making an investment in store inventory.  I can only feel confident selling products that I have used or would use on my own children.  I purchased some Imagine Baby products to try out before Christmas 2013.  Baby K was big enough to need a fitted diaper for over night, and D is still using his, so we needed to add a few to our stash.  Imagine Baby has bamboo fitteds in a one-size and also a newborn size, you can choose from hook & loop closure or snaps, and there are 5 colours.  You know me, I love snaps, so I scooped up a snap lavender fitted for K plus one of their cute covers (also H&L or Snaps, O/S or NB, and 8 designs/colours).  I also grabbed a H&L cover for D (how could I pass up a Dinosaur cover?).  The price point is middle of the road, and the quality so far is great.  IBP_Cover_Flutter

The fitted diaper looks small, but is very stretchy.  This also works well to accommodate K’s chubby thighs/skinny waist build.  This diaper is very absorbent.  We have not had to add any additional stuffing other than the included snap in booster.  On the flip side, that does make it take longer to dry.  It always comes out damp if we run our usual 50 minutes on low, nothing a quick 15 minute touch up or just hanging on the basket won’t fix.  I feel like it is a good trade off.

The covers have done very well for us too.  No leaks from either kiddo, the double leg gussets (a must in my opinion) do their job, and again, these are quite stretchy which helps get a good fit.  The H&L on D’s cover is doing good so far, I think the soft laundry tabs help with that.

IBP_Cover_Rawr_HLAfter having such success with these items, I decided to bring in a variety of Imagine Baby items, so with this latest shipment I also brought in their baby leggings,  training pants and muslin blankets to check out. I also have some of their bio-liners, fleece liners, and pre-folds on hand.  My resources are limited so quantities are not high right now, but these items can easily be ordered, so you can place special orders for them on the website if they are not in-stock.

Click here to buy your own Imagine Baby products at www.thefluffandstuffshop.ca, or come by the shop to check them out!

Planet Wise Products Review

I brought Planet Wise Wet bags and pail liners in last year, and also some of their new diaper covers and prefolds. Here are some quick notes from me on the products I have used so far.

Our Planet Wise wet/dry bag is the only wetbag we have left from our original stash purchase in February 2011 before D was born.  Our other bags have had issues with PUL delaminating, stitching coming out, or we just didn’t like them.  It is my go to bag for short outings where only 1 diaper is needed.  The dry section can hold that one diaper, some wipes and wipe spray.  It saves me from bringing our big diaper bag.  wetdry_topMy only “issue” is that the waterproof layer turns out in the wash and has to be tucked back in, and if you forget about it, the cotton outer can eventually start to get damp (not really sure why because no liquid actually escapes the inner, might be the zipper?).  Quality of the materials is great, as I said, this is the only wetbag that has survived 3 years of cloth diapering so far.  As a retailer, my biggest complaint is that there are SO MANY designs to choose from, I simply can not stock all of them at once.  However, they are easily special ordered in, so that makes up for it!

I haven’t tried the other size bags, but they are all made of the same quality, so I have no doubts about them what-so-ever.

Prefolds & covers: Again, you can’t go wrong with pre-folds, Planet Wise has a 2 size system (you fold short way for a smaller fit), nice fluffy diaper with lots of layers, no complaints.  I like that it is a 2 size system, but because of that they don’t really have a super small size for little newbies or preemies.  The covers I have a love/hate relationship with.  When I first bought them I PW_Cover_Landingthought they would be good for fitted diapers too, but that hasn’t been my experience.  They are fabulous with Prefolds, and have a flap at each end to tuck them into (or any insert really).  Those wonderful flaps wick moisture though, so when the cover is over a fitted diaper, it just sucks up liquid and the outside cotton becomes damp.  They’re also not as stretchy as I’m used to.  Again, they’re a 2 size system, and they adjust with snaps on the front.  The size 2 easily goes between K and D with no trouble.  There are a number of really cute prints that match the PW wetbags, so if you like being matchy matchy you have lots of choices.

You can find all of our Planet Wise products here.  If there is a product or design you would like brought it, let us know.

New Diaper Review

Now that I have the really super late reviews out of the way, I’ll be posting some reviews of the latest diapers we’ve been trying out and considering for the shop.  Again, if you love/hate these diapers, to each their own.  Cloth diapers are not a catch all (haha), different diapers work for different babies and different families.  I also apologize for the lack of photos on this one, I thought I had some, but can’t seem to find them right now.  If I do find them, I’ll add them :)

Blueberry Diapers

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this brand, so I decided to try them out.  The buy in as a retailer is significant, and there are quotas to meet, so I knew I would have to LOVE them in order to bring them in.  I ordered a variety to try, some pre-folds, covers, and AIO, wet bags and pail liners, so I this is more than just a diaper review.  Pricing on all items are in-line with other top brands.

I’ll start with the Simplex AIO:  I ordered the snap closure to try since that is my preference.  Quality on the diaper is good, nice PUL and snaps.  They design is similar to the Tots Bots Easy fit where it is an AIO with a tongue and pocket to help with drying time.  The inner is organic cotton and the tongue has a layer of stay dry fleece so you can lay it on top and have a stay dry layer instead of tucking it in the pocket and having the natural cotton touching baby.  Baby K has been the tester for this one, she has a tiny waist and chunky thighs, so we’ve had issues with fit on a lot of diapers.  This one worked better than some, but because there are only 2 vertical snaps for closure, we ended up with wing droop.  I am also not a fan of the absorbent cotton going to the edge of the leg opening.  We had a few wicking issues with that.  Even with the tongue out for better drying, I found this diaper was damp at the end of our usual routine and needed to hang a bit afterward.  This diaper made its way to the bottom of the pile after about a month. Pros: good quality, average price, decent fit, absorbent, natural fibres.  Cons: Longer drying time, wing droop, wicking

Cotton Pre-folds + Coveralls cover: Baby K tested both of these, D uses the cover for night time.  It’s no secret, we are a pocket diaper family, but pre-folds are always a good investment because they have so many uses beyond just being a diaper.  These cotton twill prefolds are good quailty, 4x8x4 layers make them nice and absorbent.  They fluffed up really nicely after being prepped and when we use them, they are more than enough absorbency.  Paired with the coverall (in hook & loop), no leaks were the result.  K pulls off any H&L diaper that goes on her, so not a great option there.  So, the cover made its way to D’s night time stash to be used over fitted diapers.  We are still using this cover after 6+ months.  The hook & loop is getting a bit stiff, but I’m still happy with its performance. Pros: average price, good quality. Cons: stiffening of H&L over time

Wetbag & diaper pail liner: We use a cloth diaper pail and line it with a liner on a regular basis, so this is our usual set up.  I was not impressed by this liner, the PUL is thinner than I’m used to, it didn’t function as well as I expected.  The bag frequently ended up wet on the bottom outside, and smells were not contained as well as our usual set up.  Same goes for the wetbag.  Smells are just not contained as well as other brands we use.  I also am not a fan of the strap not opening to hang somewhere.  We stopped using the pail liner after about 2 weeks, but we still use the wetbag if we are out of our other ones.  Pros: average price.  Cons: poor order control, poor wetness control.

Overall, it was kind of a hit or miss with the group of products we tried.  In the end, I decided to hold off on investing in this brand right now.  They are still on my list for future consideration.

Super Late Diaper Reviews

I really meant to do these ages ago.  I mean, almost 2 years ago!  Kids keep a mama busy!

Here are a few reviews of diapers that I decided NOT to carry or use for my family.  If you love these diapers, that’s great!  They didn’t work for us, and I can’t sell something that I don’t believe in wholeheartedly.  My reviews come from my personal use of the diaper as well as a business point of view, as both a mom and business owner, both factors come into play when I try out a diaper.  Therefore, both views are presented here.

Sunbaby OS

A friend gave us one to try out when D was smaller.  This is a “China Cheapie” brand, there are a few re-labels out there as well (a re-label means the exact same diaper is slapped with a different label and sold as a different brand).  They retail for around $8, and lots of co-ops open up so you can buy them for $4.  They are a pocket diaper with microfibre insert. My first thought, is “how can you sell a diaper for $4 and make money without cutting corners?”, but I guess other people aren’t so worry about those parts.  Just by touching the diaper, I can feel the difference in materials used, the PUL is very thin compared to the top brands.  Trying to use that diaper confirmed for me why I invested in quality diapers.  It wouldn’t even stay snapped long enough to get both sides snapped closed.  So, that is where the review ends.  We couldn’t get it to stay on.

Pros: Cheap

Cons: Wouldn’t stay on, low quality, re-label, possibilities of immoral and possibly illegal business practices to keep the price so low while still making a profit (this is not confirmed, just my own personal worry).

Go Green Champ 2.0

007This company approached me to carry their diapers, I wanted to try them first of course, so I requested a sample.  They gladly sent me one, actually, a week or so later another person from their company also sent me one.  Let’s just say, a little red flag went up in my mind when that happened.  So, we now had two, which meant I could compare th006em for quality!  These retail for about $16 and are a one-size pocket diaper with both ends open and the microfibre insert snaps in so it won’t get lost in the wash.  The colourful snaps are supposed to help with babysitters or other people who don’t normally change your baby, so you can say “hey, put them on the red snaps for the right size”, which is a neat idea!  From what I understand, they are also a brand that gets re-labeled, but I didn’t know that at the time.  The PUL on these diapers is thicker than the “China Cheapies”, but not as thick as the top brands.  It fit D nicely as you can see in the picture.  The snap in insert was a huge pain in my rear!  It never seemed to come out the right side, it always pulled the whole diaper inside out!  I would rather “search” for the insert than have to turn the diaper right side out again after every wash.  After about 3 weeks, these diapers landed at the bottom of our pile and didn’t get used.

Pros: Nice fit, rainbow snaps to help with fit, mid-range price

Cons: Turns inside out in the wash, re-label, 4 snaps for closure was too many for me

Ones & Twos

IMAG0107IMAG0108At the time, this was a new brand, so I gave them a try.  An All-in-one with a booster and a hook & loop type closure.  Retails for around $24.95.   The materials were nice, the laundry tabs were the soft “velcro” that’s used on kids toys and dolls so it wouldn’t scratch, the “hook” part was the kind that doesn’t get caught on random things.  This was both good and bad, the adhesion was so strong on the laundry tabs, that I couldn’t get them apart sometimes and it became a frustration.  I am a snap lover to begin with, but I had high hopes for this closure since it wasn’t the usual hook & loop.  The fit was ok, and I liked the idea of it being an AIO but including the additional absorbancy if you needed the extra soaker.  However, the built in absorbancy doesn’t come up very far in the front, with a boy, I didn’t feel that we could use the diaper without the booster to compensate.

Pros: good quality, average price

Cons: Adhesion to laundry tabs too strong, no absorbancy up front for boys

I’m Geeky and I know it!

Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a geek.  I always have been, and I always will be.  I get really excited over Ghostbusters, Star Trek, Star Wars, My Little Pony, Disney anything, 80s stuff in general, video games, etc.  D knows who “The Doctor” is, and his closet is full of super hero clothes and star wars t-shirts.  He also has a “life size” TARDIS play tent.  You can find Stay Puft, a Chocobo, a moogle, and a couple of Totoro’s in his room.  So, no surprise, I recently brought in some geeky baby and kid items into the shop!You can find these geeky goodies, plus some from my crochet hook, here.