Cloth Diapering in Minnesota

Is it just me or are we in a cloth diaper boom??? It seems to be the latest baby fad – one that I am totally into! I originally decided to cloth diaper my little one because of the money we could save. There are several estimators and calculators out there, but on average you can plan on saving upwards of $1000 over two years. PLUS the savings continue to add up if you have more babies! This was enough to have my husband sold on the idea… I just had to train him how to use them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The first trip we took to explore cloth diapers was to our local Peapods store in St. Paul. They have employees that know oodles about cloth diapering and are happy to answer your questions. They also have a good variety of cloth diapers you can check out and even practice putting on a baby doll! I thought this was all great – the hubby went straight to information overload and checked out after about 10 minutes. That was fine…I’d catch him up on what he missed later.

In his defense, there is so much information out there about cloth diapering that it can all be overwhelming at first. There are a million different types and brands of diapers, with a hundred different ways to wash them. To try to help simplify you, I’ll give youย My top 10 cloth diapering tips!

1. The best advice I can give a newby is get several different types of diapers and it will quickly become clear what you prefer. There is no one good choice that works for everyone.

2. Start out with the less expensive options. No sense splurging when you aren’t 100% sure you will like a particular diaper. Ebay is a great option to begin shopping for your stash. I also like the idea of second-hand diapers to start building your stash (although, not everyone is comfortable with this option). Check out the cloth diaper swap on Babycenter.

3. You will need diaper covers and diaper inserts. The type doesn’t really matter, although I would personally recommend the cover be water-proof (the cloth diaper term for this is PUL, and not all covers have this property – aka fitted diapers). When my daughter was still a baby, I used one insert in the cover. Now that she is older and the volume of liquid she puts out has gone up, I always put 2 inserts in the cover. For this reason, I recommend getting roughly twice the number of inserts as covers.

4. The number of cloth diapers you get depends on how frequently you want to do laundry. I personally am not a fan of doing laundry and am soooooo glad I have a good stash of around 25+ cloth diapers!

5. Getting one-size diapers that you can adjust as baby grows will save you $$! It is a bummer to have to pack up some of your favorite cloth diapers because baby has outgrown them. Although some of the sized diapers are just too cute to pass up! For me, it was gDiapers. These were definitely my favorite when LO was an infant.

6. There are a lot of different types of “cloth diaper approved” laundry detergents out there. It is hard to know which is best. Rockin Green is the most popular cloth diaper detergent I have come across but it is definitely not the least expensive (you can try a cheap sample to see if you like it). I personally have always used All Free & Clear and have found it works great!

7. What about the poop!?!?!?! I think this is probably the biggest deterrent to people using cloth diapers. And to be honest, it is the worst part about it. But it really isn’tย that bad. You can get a cloth diaper sprayer that hooks directly to the toilet that makes this messy job much easier. Unfortunately, I was too cheap to spend the $45-$60 on a poo-rinser. DH said he would instal one on his own (DIY instructions)… That never happened. So we went with the most simple option of using the bath tub and running the insert under the faucet – washing the poo down the drain. This worked well for us while we were dealing with infant poop. And luckily, as our LO got older her excrement got more solid and we could just shake it in the toilet and be done with it.

8. What if you are into the cloth diaper idea but just really don’t want to deal with washing them? Two words: Diaper-Service! In the Twin Cities area, Do Good Diapers or All Things Diapers will pick up your dirty cloth diapers wash them and return them nice and clean. They have several different service options to choose from so browse their site and see which appeals to you. (P.S. Check out their work-shops too, if you are interested! They’re FREE!)

9. I highly recommend having a small stash of disposable diapers to use as back-up. This could mean grandma is watching baby for the day and she has no idea why these crazy cloth diapers don’t need pins. Or you are going to be out and about for several hours and prefer to be able to throw a dirty diaper away and throw on a clean one. For us, we used disposables when LO was first born because she was so little (7 pounds) that her cloth diapers didn’t quite fit her right until she got a little bigger (the first 2 months or so). We also liked to use disposables when traveling. It isn’t necessarily difficult to do cloth diapers when traveling, it just takes up more space.

10. And finally, don’t be afraid to try cloth diapering! As long as you learn the basics, the rest will come with trial and error!

Have fun shopping for those adorable diapers and saving some moooolah!!!!

Love, Macy

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What Colors to Wear With Medium/Olive Skin Tone

Ah yes, the second part to my series of ‘what to wear with ____ skin tone’ posts. The first was the ‘What to wear with fair skin‘ post which was brilliant, naturally. And now you’ll find out what colors to wear with olive skin tone (or medium skin tone, they’re both very similar.)

If you’re blessed with a medium complexion, then you’ve got a wide variety of colors that you can wear, because lots of colors look wonderful with your skin tone. Here are a few great examples.

Fashion for Olive Skin

Some of the colors that you can wear beautifully with your skin tone include pale pink, coral, white/ivory, royal blue, navy blue, true purple, mint green, and black. Earth tones (and jewel tones) in general look gorgeous with olive/medium skin. One of my favorite colors ever to wear with a olive/medium skin tone is yellow. It just pops so well!!

Colors to avoid with this skin tone are few, but they include brown, mauve, and beige.
Much like fair skin tones, you don’t want to wear any colors that are close to the color of your skin because it can, and will, wash you out.

I hope this little guide helps for you! Though it’s important to experiment with your skin tone for yourself and see what looks good, and what might not look best! Only then will you truly know what colors are best suited for YOU! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hearts,
Ruby

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Macy: Blogger

To learn more about Macy, she answered the following questions.

  1. What was your favorite food when you were a kid?
    Anything chocolate…Surprisingly, not much has changed ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. What chore do you hate to do?
    Dishes!!! I don’t mind loading end emptying the dishwasher, but I hate hand washing dishes!
  3. What is your favorite way to exercise? I like competitive sports
  4. What is the most played song on your iPod?
    Ok, shame. I don’t have an iPod and no music loaded on my phone.
  5. What shoes did you wear today?
    Pink flats. Being pregnant, flats have become the winner over heals.
  6. What is your natural hair color?
    Dark blonde…I think?
  7. If you could only use one piece of makeup for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    Mary Kay concealer! There are always some imperfections to cover up!
  8. What is your favorite TV show?
    All time favorite is probably Law & Order: SVU. Love! But I can always go for some good reality TV ๐Ÿ˜‰
  9. Do you have a collection of anything?
    Heals? Does that count?
  10. What is your strangest talent?
    I can also touch my tongue to my nose (I didn’t know Ruby could do this too!)! I’m also pretty good at burping (Sorry, kinda gross)…
  11. What size shoe do you wear?
    Depends on the style. I range between 8-9.
  12. Do you have any relatives in jail?
    Nope – thank goodness!
  13. Favorite and least favorite mode of transportation?
    Favorite: Planes – Because they always take me somewhere fun. Least favorite: Car in traffic.
  14. What is your most embarrassing CD (or song) that you own?
    I don’t really buy CDs…but I did, when I was younger, buy a Spice Girls cassette tape and the first two Britney Spears CDs
  15. If you could be any animal, what would you be?
    Erm, a giraffe? Because they are tall and elegant?
  16. Do you have any tattoos?
    Yeeeees ๐Ÿ™‚ I got one with my (now) husband when I was 18. I like i!
  17. What is your dream job?
    Doing dentistry…
  18. What is something you like to splurge on?
    Date night with the hubby! Otherwise, I’m pretty cheap
  19. What’s your favorite cereal?
    I’m not sure if they make this anymore, but Rice Krispie TREAT cereal
  20. What is your biggest pet peeve?
    I’m pretty flexible, but I don’t like it when people are conceited.
  21. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
    Going to Disney with my family
  22. How many jobs have you had?
    Uh, 7 I think
  23. Have you ever run out of gas?
    Not while I’ve been driving
  24. How long have you been with your significant other?
    Almost 10 years!!! Whoa!
  25. When you go out shopping, what is the one thing you usually always end up buying? Something for the Little One

I guess that is me in a nutshell ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you feel like you know me a little better!

-M

25 Things You Never Knew About Ruby: Blogger

To get better acquainted with us as bloggers, we thought we should probably share some fun facts about ourselves with you, our readers ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s only fair right? No, Donald Trump didn’t ask us to release this information, but we wouldn’t mind a $5M donation to a charity of our choosing.

To learn more about Ruby, she answered the following questions.

  1. What was your favorite food when you were a kid? I loved cherry tomatoes. My grandparents would bring me old butter tubs filled with them from their garden, it was my favorite thing ever!
  2. What chore do you hate to do? I hate doing dishes. And we have a dishwasher, but I still hate loading and unloading. Thank goodness I have a husband for that.
  3. What is your favorite way to exercise? I love going to zumba and latin hip hop at the gym. Dancing to music is by far the best exercise a gal could get!
  4. What is the most played song on your iPod? Right now? Probably Bruno Mars’ song “Locked Out of Heaven” or Adele’s song “Make You Feel My Love” mostly because I love singing along to both of them ๐Ÿ™‚
  5. What shoes did you wear today? My Toms, they’re my go-to shoes.
  6. What is your natural hair color? I have a light brown color that usually comes through. It gets darker in the winter and lighter in the summer.
  7. If you could only use one piece of makeup for the rest of your life, what would it be? Mascara, I hate the feeling of being without it! And it’s the single most makeup item that makes the biggest difference.
  8. What is your favorite TV show? Well, it was Desperate Housewives until I finished them all, and the series ended!! I still cry myself to sleep at night. But for now, I watch Raising Hope and Modern Family, and they seem to give me my TV fix.
  9. Do you have a collection of anything? I guess you could say that I have a collection of shoes, and handbags. I don’t really try to collect them, it just happens.
  10. What is your strangest talent? I can touch my tongue to my nose!
  11. What size shoe do you wear? I wear a 6.5
  12. Do you have any relatives in jail? Not that I know of, but it wouldn’t be completely out of the question.
  13. Favorite and least favorite mode of transportation? I love to ride motorcycles (note: ride, not drive) and my least favorite would be taking a bus. I get tired of all the stops, and I don’t like people all up in my business.
  14. What is your most embarrassing CD (or song) that you own? Um, well I still own the first Spice Girls CD but I’m not embarrassed about it! One song I’d probably hide from people on my ipod would be Justin Bieber’s “One less lonely girl” lol
  15. If you could be any animal, what would you be? I’d totally be a zebra. They’re beautiful, strong and fast!
  16. Do you have any tattoos? Nope not me. *looks at Macy*
  17. What is your dream job? My dream job would be to someday do something in fashion. I always wanted to dabble into fashion writing, but it’d be amazing to help market or advertise designs or fashion shows. I’m getting all excited just thinking about it.
  18. What is something you like to splurge on? I occasionally splurge on a deep tissue massage. They leave me feeling absolutely rejuvenated – which is sometimes exactly what I need.
  19. What’s your favorite cereal? Rice Krispies – fooor shooo.
  20. What is your biggest pet peeve? Anything that makes bodily noise such as chewing with your mouth open, clipping toe nails, oh and dog panting. Yuck.
  21. What is one of your favorite childhood memories? I have so many favorite childhood memories, I always had a big imagination and that always made for some fun times. But I think one time that stands out is when I dressed up as a man from the local news when I was maybe 6 and rang the doorbell thinking I would legitimately fool my mother into believing she was to be interviewed for the news. Bless her heart, she went along with it. What a good mom!!
  22. How many jobs have you had? I believe I am on my fifth job now.
  23. Have you ever run out of gas? No, thank goodness.
  24. How long have you been with your significant other? Oh boy, I suppose almost 4 years now.
  25. When you go out shopping, what is the one thing you usually always end up buying? I usually always come home with a pair of shoes. I shop clearance sales like it’s my job, and can usually always find something cute and cheap!

Thanks for reading guys!! If you made it to the end, congratulations. I’m so glad to have wonderful readers like yourself ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hearts,
Ruby

Fashion: Clothing Colors For Fair Skin

This is going to be one of many posts I do about what colors to wear with your skin tones. First though, I’m starting with fair skin. I see a lot of women with fair skin who don’t realize that some colors wash them out, and other colors make them look drop-dead gorgeous.

Here are some color options I put together for fashion for fair skin. As you can see, basically anything that is bright or just colored in general is a wonderful choice.

Fashion for Fair Skin

With fair skin, what you should avoid is pale oranges, light browns, and other flesh tones. They’ll just blend in, and not make a statement. These bold colors emphasize your body and give you some distinction.

So in short, with fair skin, consider these colors:

  • Maroon
  • Green
  • Red
  • Fuschia
  • Purple
  • Navy
  • Blue
  • Aqua

Hopefully this helps address any concerns or questions! Did I miss any colors? Let me know!

Hearts,
Ruby

Halloween Costumes on a Budget – Goodwill Finds for Less

Halloween is quickly approaching – and I am so excited for this fun holiday!!! I love Fall and getting dressed up to parade around the streets at night just sounds like a great time! There is only one problem… Halloween costumes can be SO expensive, especially now that I have a little one. Not to mention, these budget-busting costumes are only worn for a several hours and then stored away until you get the chance to make it to Goodwill to donate them.

*Light in head goes on* Goodwill would be the perfect place to outfit my family for Halloween!!!! Um, brilliant! Since Halloween is only a couple weeks away, there was no time to spare – Off the Goodwill we went!!! Here are some tips to get the most Bang for your Buck…

1. Plan ahead of time: Do some research and find some ideas of what you and your family would like to be for Halloween. I did a quick Google search of DIY costumes. First for my little one, then for me (which I happen to be prego right now, so this needed a specific search), a girl teenager costume, and then for hubby. There are so many great ideas online!

2. Make a list: Be sure to make a list of several options for each person and everything you will need for your costume. This way, if you are unable to find a certain thing, you can quickly switch to a different costume idea (or have a plan B for costume parts!)

3. Let the hunt begin: I don’t know about you, but I love the thrill of the hunt! I love to hunt down everything I am looking for and get it for a great price. Goodwill is absolutely perfect for this!!! Lucky for us, we was able to find EVERYTHING we needed for our top costume choices for the entire family of four!

4. Assemble your costumes: Not sure if you all know this about me but I am so.not.crafty! This little fact contributed to my costume choices and I was able to choose costumes with minimal assembly required.

Some of you may be able to get a little more creative and have a great time with this step ๐Ÿ™‚ In that case, oh boy, the options you will have here!

This year’s Halloween costumes are…

LO #1 – Thing 1

Materials:

– Red long sleeve t-shirt ($1.50 on Toddler Thursday)

– Red sweatpants ($1.50 on Toddler Thursday)

– Blue hairspray ($2.99…will use this for baby-bump/my Thing 2 costume)

– Cut-out from white t-shirt ($1.00…will use this same shirt for the other 2 costumes also!)

– Black Sharpie Marker ($0.00 – had this at home)

– Face paint ($3.99 – shared with hubby and me)

Me Pregnant with LO #2 – Thing 2

Materials:

– Red long sleeve t-shirt ($2.99 – extra-large to fit my belly!)

– Black yoga pants ($5.99)

– Blue hairspray ($2.99 – shared with LO#1)

– Cut-out from white t-shirt ($1.00 – shared with LO#1 and hubby)

– Black Sharpie Marker ($0.00 – had this at home)

– Face paint ($3.99 – shared with LO#1 and hubby)

Teenage Girl – Pink Power Ranger

– Pink long sleeve shirt ($6.99 – bonus points for Juicy Couture, can wear again!)

– Pink skirt ($4.99)

– White gloves ($2.99)

– Gold belt ($4.99)

– Pink boot covers ($3.99)

20121101-073832.jpg

Hubby – The Cat in the Hat

– Black zip-up ($5.99)

– Black cotton pants ($3.99)

– Cat in the Hat packaged costume ($6.99 – this is the only packaged costume we got so we could use the hat and the big red bow. Lucky for us it was from last year’s stock and a great price!)

– Cut-out from white t-shirt ($1.00 – shared with LO#1 and me)

– Face paint ($3.99 – shared with LO#1 and me)

All our extras to make the costumes complete!

;

The grand total for all 4 costumes (Including a 6 bags of Halloween candy and a spooky hanging ghost that we couldn’t resist): $79.35!!!! That’s a steal! We managed to spend less than $80 on all these essentials for costumes, and the plus side is that we can use the different pieces again after Halloween on an everyday basis, unlike the packaged items you’ll buy in store.

I hope you all enjoyed our costume choices! We can’t wait to show you the gang when we are all put together and ready for action!

Now, find the nearest Goodwill and get your budget-friendly Halloween costumes!

Haaaappy Halloween!!!

Love,
Macy & Ruby

Disclosure: All opinions here are our own. We were not paid for this post. We were however given an $80 gift card to Goodwill to shop for thrifty Halloween costumes.

Mia Mariu Cosmetics: Review & Giveaway!

NOTE: This giveaway has ended! Congratulations to Laura S! You’ve won $40 worth of Mia Mariu cosmetics ๐Ÿ™‚

I recently had the opportunity to review some amazing makeup courtesy of Mia Mariu, and let me tell you I am so excited to share it with you guys! I’ve been super busy over the last week so this is way overdue, but without further adou, let me introduce to you….

*drumroll please*

Mia Mariu!

Mia Mariu is a health and beauty company that promotes beauty inside and out. They offer great products like mineral cosmetics (which I’ll be sharing with you today,) natural health supplements and botanical skin care.

So when I picked out the items on their site to try out, I went with the basics, because those are what you use every day. So here’s what I chose to review:

The nice thing about this makeup is that it’s affordable. The total cost for these three products would be $40, which is a nice price for mineral makeup. But beyond price, they also had their own benefits as well.

First off, the intense eye liner pencil was nice! I usually use a thin brush and black eyeshadow as my eye liner, but when using this pencil I was impressed. Even for someone who doesn’t typically use eye liner pencils. It was very smooth and easy to use, and it had the perfect mix of not too dark, but not too light. After going over it a couple times, it looked great! And the nice part is, that it stayed put – no smudging. That’s a big plus for me.

You can say that I am a skeptic when it comes to mascara. I’ve been using the same brand since high school and I’ve never found anything that I’ve liked more. So before I first tried the Mia Mariu mascara, I had my doubts, but it actually worked wonderfully! I couldn’t believe how nicely it separated the lashes and there were ZERO clumps. That’s a rarity!! I absolutely loved that about this mascara. The only thing that I would’ve liked to see was a waterproof type but despite that, I really liked it!

Last but not least, the bronzer. I will quote the old-age saying that, “a little goes a long way.” That is definitely true with the bronzer here. Even just a little bit on my brush dusted my cheeks, forehead and chin. And it gave me a beautiful sun-kissed glow that looks really nice. Along with a little shimmer, of course. I didn’t know it until I was browsing their website, but the bronzer also contains Vitamins A, C and E. Love that!!

With these three essentials all by themselves, I could walk out the door and feel beautiful. It was that easy! So here comes the surprise (well maybe not such a surprise if you read the title…) Mia Mariu is going to give away the products that I reviewed here to one lucky winner!! A $40 value!! Are you pumped?? I am!!

TO ENTER: Leave a comment for each option you complete below.

(+1) Visit the Mia Mariu website and leave a comment below with your favorite product of theirs that you would like to try.
(+1) Like Mia Mariu on Facebook
(+1) Like the Real Housewives of MN on Facebook

Note that the giveaway will end on October 22nd at 7:00pm CST

Hearts,
Ruby

Disclosure: I was not paid for my opinions in this review. Mia Mariu did provide me with the samples to review, but all opinions are my own.