While I appreciate the bottle of truth serum my toddler seems to over dose on each day, sometimes I wish he knew how to put down the bottle and step away. As someone who gets easily embarrassed in public, having a toddler is pure torture. I’ve definitely toughened up over the past two years, but still struggle to find explanations when he spews out the most inappropriate sh*t (excuse my language) at the most inappropriate times.

Why can’t they have an off switch? Or understand that when I look at them with wide eyes and am turning beet red, that’s code for: shut your mouth immediately.

In hindsight, all of these mishaps are actually quite hilarious – just not so much as they’re happening. On the bright side, at least they make for some good story telling.

Here are all the recent things my toddler said / did to embarrass the hell out of me in public over the past week. Enjoy.

  • At a recent dinner party while everyone was enjoying pasta and meatballs, my toddler exits the bathroom, goes up to the host who is sitting at the dinner table and exclaims, “Hey, I just pooped in your potty!” Awesome.
  • Same dinner party: I exited the room to nurse my baby and my toddler said, “Everyone be quiet brother has to eat mommy’s boobies!”
  • Same dinner party: My toddler turned into a wet noodle and slide out of his seat onto the floor because the host poured sauce on his pasta. Apparently that warranted a super dramatic response.
  • We attended a “Meet the Teacher” event at my toddler’s new school and another mom commented on how cute his shoes were. He looked at her and told her they were broken because a charm fell off. Next, without realizing the connection he said, “They were made in China.” I knew he said that because a few minutes earlier he asked me what the bottom of the shoe said – not because he thinks all items made in China fall apart. The mom just looked at me and rather than launching into a ten-minute explanation – I just let her judge me. Whatever.
  • Last week our water heater broke so I had to boil water to give my kids a bath. I kept telling my son we had to do that so he didn’t have a stinky booty. My mistake! The next morning at school he walked into class and told his teacher, “My mommy made water so I won’t have a stinky booty.” Again, no time for explanations. It is what it is.
  • My son has a newfound admiration for the word Not sure why. Whenever my son asks where he came from I tell him, “Momma’s belly.” I not even going there until he’s older. Recently while at Starbucks he told someone he was from Chicago. Then the person repeated, “Oh is that where you’re from.” My son’s reply, “No I came from mommy’s poopie.” Insert look of horror. Um, I assure you kid – you did not come from there.
  • Lastly, he told a stranger at the park that they were drinking poison because they had a soda in their hand. Yes, I may have said that in the grocery store one time because I didn’t want him drinking soda. However, I never thought that he would go up to random people and repeat what I said! Lesson learned.

While I agree that honesty is a virtue and something we should instill in our children at a young age, but come on, can’t I catch a break? My next plan of action is just to send him out in public with his father more often – or at least until he develops a filter.

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Want To Grow Your Business? Here’s How…

Almost two years ago I left the corporate world to start my own business as a writer and consultant. I loved the company I worked for but knew in order to grow both personally and professionally; it was time for a change. It was going to be a challenge going from a well-respected, globally known brand to a virtually unknown brand – me, Holly Rust. I definitely had my work cut out for me.

The first six months were rough and I questioned my decision daily. Luckily, I scored my first few accounts from leveraging my own local network. To grow my network further I tried to fill my schedule with coffee and cocktail dates and I attended local networking events. These activities were beneficial to growing my business, but unfortunately they took up a lot of time. With two small children and a traveling spouse, time was not a luxury I had. I needed to work smarter – not harder. I starting utilizing what little time I did have to build my network online, from my couch, and it usually involved ice cream. The Internet was always available and I was going to take advantage.

Almost two years in, I have a large network that now expands globally. My business is booming and has even opened doors to new ventures – all because I turned to the Internet to expand my network.

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Helpful tips to build your brand or business online:

Stay Active! If you can’t make it out locally, be active online. Potential clients need to be reminded you’re out there and you’re ready to work. Every day you need to reach out to people personally – even if it’s just to let them know about your new venture or to keep the connection alive. Consistency is key.

Use Social Media. Using free tools that expand your network ten folds – no brainer! Sign up on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., for your business. Use your personal accounts to promote your brand as well. Update your profile on LinkedIn often. Let people know what you’re doing. Be proud and passionate; this will translate to your audience.

If your friends don’t want to support you or get annoyed by your posts, they can easily hide your notifications. Furthermore, if they can subject you to their life drama and political rants – then they can surely support you in your entrepreneurial aspirations. My rule: If my current friends will not support me, I’ll just find new ones who will!

Proudly display your accomplishments on social media for everyone to see! An old boss always told me, “No one will ever toot your own horn louder than you.” So toot away because this let’s people know your succeeding in your business and will want to follow you more.

Make New Friends. Connect with 5-10 new people a day from any outlet. Post daily if possible about what you’re doing and the services or products you’re providing. Don’t forget to continue with your regular lifestyle posts too if you’re using your personal accounts to promote; otherwise your audience will become desensitized to your business.

Ask Or You Shall Not Receive.  Ask for partnerships. Ask for business. Ask for referrals. Ask for advice. What’s the worst that can happen? They say, “No”? You cannot wait for people to notice you; you have to make them notice you. In my experience most people are willing to share their best practices and love to partner with others. You also must remember that to have a friend, you have to be a friend. Enter each conversation asking how you can help them first. Your good will always comes back to you in one shape or form.

Use Hash Tags. When posting on social media – make your posts work for you. Use hash tags! Hash tags, used correctly, make your posts easily searchable. Also, if you incorporate whatever topics are trending at the time of your post you will broaden your audience.

Become ‘Besties’ with Bloggers. Bloggers are great resources to help spread awareness for your brand or business. Businesses and individuals reach out to me on a daily basis to partner with them or to sponsor a post. Many bloggers also do reviews, referrals and cross promotions. I rarely turn down a chance to be exposed to another individual’s or business’s network.

Join Online Networking Groups. Even if the group has nothing to do with your business, you may uncover some business opportunities. These groups usually have rules about promoting yourself, so be sure to check with the admins before posting. You can, however, reply to other group member’s posts soliciting your business if the post applies to what you offer.

When building your brand or business online you first need to manage your expectations. Rome was not built in a day! Like with any investment, these things take time. Stay consistent and present in the online world, but above all – don’t give up.

Here's to your continued success!

Here’s to your continued success!

20 Parenting Tasks That Truly Suck

Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences life can offer. As a mom each day is an new adventure; some are filled with laughter, some are filled with chaos, but most are filled with both. The majority of the chaos stems from daily tasks that come along with the job of being a parent. These tasks test our patience, drive us crazy, and make the simplest action feel like you’re trying to figure out an algorithm without any mathematical training.

These obligations I could definitely do without and after surveying dozens of parents; apparently I’m not alone. Here are some tasks that parents say they would be happy to never have to do again:

  • Washing Bottles- What’s with all the parts? And those brushes that spray you in the face when you pull them from inside the bottle? I will never take my dishwasher for granted again.  This was the number one complaint of most parents.
  • Changing Diapers – Changing diapers sucks at all stages. Period.
  • Putting Their Shoes On.  How are you supposed to fit marshmallow man feet into those tiny shoes?  I use the twist and shove method.
  • Cutting Finger / Toe Nails - With paper thin nails and ninja reflexes, cutting their nails can be terrifying.
  • Dressing Them –  Once again, having to shove body parts into tiny pieces of clothing isn’t fun.
  • Feeding Them – Food ends up everywhere else but their mouth.
  • Bath Time – One question: Is bath time more for them or for you because I always end up soaked as well.
  • Putting Them In Car Seats – Between planking, screaming and wiggling, sometimes I’d just rather stay home.
My son the angel.

Late again, thanks to the plank.

  • Cleaning Baby Gear – How does a baby manage to fill every square inch of their high chair with something disgusting.
  • Cleaning a Baby’s Neck – You never know what’s lurking in those fat rolls. Beware.
  • Giving Medicine via Syringes – At least half of the liquid drips down their face and becomes a sticky hot mess.
  • Doing Laundry – Every day. 24 /7.
  • Leaving The House – Might as well pack a suitcase with all the stuff you need to take and don’t plan on being on time. Ever. But you know what sucks worse? Leaving the house in winter.
  • Bedtime Routines – Bath, jammies, water, pee, story, water, pee, water, another story, more water, sleep.
Bedtime excuses

Bedtime excuses

  • Cutting Food Into a Thousand Pieces – Most pieces end up on the floor, in your dog’s stomach, or wedged into a crevice in the high chair.
  • Doctors Appointments – Their fever or symptoms seemed to miraculously disappear once you arrived, or your kid has to get shots and hates you the rest of the day.
  • Helping With Homework - This only tends to make me feel stupid.
  • Brushing Teeth - They usually swallow the toothpaste before a single tooth gets brushed.
  • Wiping Their Nose – The snot usually ends up all over their face.
  • Teaching Them To Aim – This applies to boys. Constantly wiping urine up off the floor, wall, and toilet seat is not my idea of a good time.

One or two of these tasks would be manageable, however all of these are usually a daily occurrence for most parents. At the end of each day when the kids are finally asleep, give yourself a pat on the back because you, my friend, made it through another day. Kudos.

“Momnesia” Is Real – And I Have It

If you’re a mom you’ve heard of the term “baby brain” and have most likely even experienced it yourself. Lately I’ve been living in a constant state of Momnesia, so I can say without a doubt, “baby brain” exists. Ironically this brain fog commonly associated with pregnancy and new motherhood was something my friends forgot to share with me before I had kids. They were clearly suffering from Momnesia too.

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photo credit: Adrienne Hedger

Before kids I took pride in my ability to never miss a detail. I was that friend who actually remembered to send birthday messages before we had Facebook sending us reminder notifications. Now I can’t seem to remember anything. Recently I forgot it was Superhero day at my son’s school and he was the only one sans costume at drop off. I’ll just nominate myself for Mom of the Year. The sad thing is the forgetfulness and fogginess didn’t stop there. In the past two weeks I’ve worn two different shoes to drop my son off at school, I’ve showed up for a client appointment on the wrong day, I’ve frantically searched for my cell phone only to realize I was speaking on it, and yesterday I forgot how to order my coffee at Starbucks when I’ve been drinking it every morning for the past three years.

Doctors blame hormones for Momnesia, but I blame the pressures of everyday life as a mom. Motherhood requires you to be in 3 different places at once, all the while maintaining that other life you had before kids. Since I love my kids and they’re here to stay I figured it’s time to enlist the help of some great Apps and new procedures to get and stay organized – at least, of course, until I can hire a life assistant.

  • Visual Work / Chore Calendar – I hung a large whiteboard in my kitchen and on it scheduled my business hours because I work from home. I also schedule laundry, cleaning and workouts. This helps me focus on the task at hand without getting overwhelmed.
  • Cozi App – A great App where you can effortlessly manage your family calendar, shopping lists, to-do lists, and family journals while you’re on the go.
  • aCal Lite App – Another great calendar organizer which automatically syncs with all iPhone calendars. You can write your to-do list, create notes with photos, and even get your weather updates.
  • Square Hub – SquareHub is a social network that keeps your family connected, organized and happy. You can send private group messages and photos with each other, share calendars, share to-do lists, share child location information, and create those spontaneous moments of joy with the people who matter most to you – your family.
  • BillMinder – This App simplifies your life by bringing all your bills into one manageable place. You will know at a glance, which need your attention. The nerd in me loves that you can also track your expenses with comprehensive charts and graphs.
  • Moms Daily Planner – This is the ultimate universal family planner. It has all the same features as the ones mentioned above, but this App allows you to assign chores and share them with your family.

 

Now armed with all these great resources, I just hope my brain fog clears enough to remember to use them.

I say this to myself at least 12 times a day.

I say this to myself at least 12 times a day.

 

 

 

 

 

Things I WON’T Miss From The Baby Stage

Now that my little guy is about to turn one I find myself relieved to close the door on the baby phase. Not only do I look like a cast member from the Walking Dead, but I act like one too.  I’m exhausted – mentally and physically. At this point I would have to be insane to consider adding a third to the clan; but because I’m obsessed with babies I change my mind on a daily basis.  Since there are a million things I do love about the baby stage, I figured I would document all the things I loathe about the first year.  In doing so, I’m hoping it will motivate me to keep taking my birth control – every day.

Things I will definitely NOT miss from the baby phase:

Pumping – I hate pumping. I’m that freak of nature who produces enough milk to feed an army.  I’ve actually calculated how many hours of my life have been dedicated to pumping this last year – the total was 6 weeks.  That’s a lot of time.

Blowouts – Always at the most inopportune moments, right? Like right when you put them in their carseat and are already late. Who knew those little bodies could produce so much waste?

No Privacy – I’m looking forward to the day when I can go to the bathroom without little hands on my knees or a baby in my arms.

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Every day in my house…

Mimicking A Prisoner When Eating - Not only do you have to shovel every meal in your mouth because of time limitations, but you also have to guard your plate because they want whatever’s on it. Sometimes you just don’t feel like sharing or having your dinner thrown on the floor.

Playing Baby -Charades – Baby-charades is not fun and can be very frustrating. Just tell me what you want, kid!

Carrying Baggage - My diaper bag could double as a small carry-on. I hate carrying around extra clothes, diapers, bottles, snacks, toys, wipes, hand sanitizer, pacifiers and everything else those little minions need every where I go.

Everything Goes In Their Mouth - Dog bone.. sure why not. Dirt..why not? Every germ-infested item other than the toys I bought you to actually chew on.. sure why not.

Baby Gear - My entire house has been taken over by swings, jumpers, bouncy seats, high chairs and a pack-in-play.  I forgot I used to have an adult space.

And finally the worst of all…..

Sleep Deprivation – Babies don’t care if you have to work in the morning. I pretty much haven’t slept a full night in the past year, hence my acceptance onto the Walking Dead series.

I.m

I’m Holly, nice to meet you!

Now why would I want to go through this all over again?  It’s the smell, that damn newborn smell. It gets you every time.  Note to self: Stay away from newborns.

Tips For Road Trippin’ With Small Kids

Recently I embarked on a 15-hour road trip with my husband, my four-year-old and my eight-month-old. Before leaving I asked all of you if I was crazy or just stupid to think this could be done while still maintaining my sanity. Most of you answered “crazy” but I have to admit it turned out to be a little bit of both. I am happy to announce that we did survive, but to call it a “vacation” would be somewhat of a stretch.  Unfortunately road trips just aren’t the same with little ones – or at least with my little ones.  In my younger days I used to love road trips. I once drove from San Antonio to Tampa non-stop. I could stay up around the clock and compete with the truckers as to who could last longer. Not so much any more.  Now I get muscle cramps, nausea and spend most of my time counting down the seconds until we arrive at our destination.

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“Are we there yet?” – me every second…

This trip we did run into a few National Lampoons moments. Our hotel had a blackout and we had to entertain our toddler in pitch dark for hours. I also had to hand-express my milk because I forgot my battery charger for my pump. After about 30 minutes of pumping my hand felt paralyzed, so I had to enlist my husband to fulfill the remaining pumping shifts. My little guy had four diaper blowouts  explosions, which in turn ruined his infant car seat.  The disaster he created could only be cleaned up by The Ghostbusters, but unfortunately they no longer exist.  Let’s just say – the reminder of the trip our car did NOT smell of roses and we had to replace the carseat as soon as we got home.

Overall, the trip was worth it because we were able to spend time with family and make some wonderful memories, however until my baby gets a little older – home is where we’ll stay.

Here’s some tips to help keep your sanity on road trips with little ones.

  • Don’t do it. Just kidding, I know they can be fun and are much more affordable than flying.
  • Plan pit stops.  Check out fun stops along your route to break up the trip and let your kids stretch your legs.
  • Add a couple hours to your agenda. Your trip will take longer than you think, so just plan on it. You’ll have to make a lot of stops with kids to use the restroom, eat, stretch, etc.
  • Research your route. Look up major highways for any construction notices. This can shave hours off of your drive if you’re able to go around all the traffic delay’s.
  • Hot Spot. Having a hot spot in the car for our iPad was a life-saver for my toddler.  We played a lot of games, but when all else failed we handed him the iPad. We also downloaded some Apps that didn’t require an internet connection in case our hot spot went out.
  • Know when to stop. Six hours seemed to be the breaking point for my little guy. After six hours he became a ticking time bomb and it was difficult to console him. Next time this will be our stopping point for the night.
  • Take lots of food. Not only does this save money – but time as well. I took a cooler with several sandwiches and fruit along with a grocery bag of dry snacks. I hate eating fast food on road trips so this was our lunch and dinner.  My digestive system thanked me later.
  • Invest in baby gadgets. Buy one of these immediately for the car if your baby can’t hold his bottle that well yet. This little contraption prevented me from having to sit lodged between two car seats for an hour. Podee Hands Free Bottle

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If you have any tips to add please share in the comments section!

Two years ago I read an article in a prominent business magazine discussing the importance of having a blog for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. The article expressed how blogging not only builds brand awareness, whatever that may be, but it also broadens your network ten-fold. We all know it’s not so much about what you do – it’s who you know. Equipped with this new knowledge, my passion for writing and storytelling, and my desire to do something “more” with my life, I started Mother’s Guide to Sanity.  At the time I was still working around the clock and barely making my day-to-day obligations, but I knew if I made time for this new venture it would lead to amazing opportunities – and it has.  Not only has my blog given me a voice in the online world, but it has also renewed my faith and confidence in myself from a business perspective.

These last two years have been a roller coaster and opened doors for me I never thought possible. My continued success in the blogging world coupled with my extensive experience in the corporate world has allowed me to start my own freelance business where I write any business-to-business or business-to-consumer materials, as well as consult small businesses on how to grow their brand and network through blogging and social media. I’ve also been invited to host speaking engagements where I discuss topics ranging from budgeting and forecasting to marketing and product launch and establishing your brand in today’s market. Lastly, I landed gigs as a contributing writer for Dot Complicated by Randi Zuckerberg and Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler, both of which are NYT Bestselling Author’s.  As if this wasn’t enough, I launched a second business with Rodan + Fields Dermatologists.  This is all in just two short years.

bgsd If you are thinking of starting a blog (or a business) here are some helpful tips I’ve learned over the last two years.

  • Believe in yourself. The question you need to ask yourself right now is, “Why NOT me?” All you need is confidence, the Internet and a voice. Don’t depend on others to believe in you. At first many won’t understand what you’re doing or look at you like you’re crazy, but remember it’s not their job to believe in you – it’s yours. They’ll come around eventually.
  • Don’t be afraid of failure. Failing is relative. Make goals for yourself, which are attainable, and when you do meet some – it’s a win!  When you’re realistic with yourself and your timeline for success you’ll find it easier to meet your goals.  If you don’t meet a certain goal, pick yourself up and keep going. Your next big break just may be lurking around the corner.
  • Don’t take things personal.  Everyone has an opinion and that’s just what they are – opinions. When you put yourself out there, there’s always someone who will try to discourage or discredit you. Sometimes feedback can be a gift but it can also be a curse. Try to surround yourself with positive, likeminded, and supportive people.
  • Use the Buddy System. Work is always more fun when you partner with someone. I encourage you to buddy up with a person you admire and make them your accountability partner. My success would not have happened as quickly or have been as sweet if it wasn’t for my new friends and business partners encouraging me each and every day.
  • Network. Go out. Meet people. Join groups. Attend conventions. Every city has Associations, Fundraisers, Networking groups, etc. Spend a few hours a week connecting, whether that be in person or online. Be social and your business will grow. Also, always ask how you can help someone else, even if you’re unsure if they can help you. Karma is real – and helping others grow their business will only ensure the growth of yours.
  •  Talk – A lot. Always speak about your new ventures to anyone who will listen. Use social media to connect and inform. Even if no one responds with a “like”, don’t worry because they are watching.
  • Step outside your comfort zone.  I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Once you have the confidence to do this, you’ll soon find new talents you never knew you had. At first I was afraid to put myself out there because of how judgmental people can be, but for every negative comment there have been ten positive ones.
  • DON’T GIVE UP. This is MOST IMPORTANT! Rome was not built in a day. Those who only strive for instant success and gratification will not succeed. Look at everything as an investment. Do research on people you admire and I guarantee most of them were not an overnight success. You want to build a business with a strong foundation, not build a house of cards.  If you give up to soon or try to take short cuts, you’re just setting yourself up to fail.

give up Treat any new venture like a business and it will reward you like a business. Mother’s Guide to Sanity is far from being a profound pool of knowledge and it doesn’t dramatically change other people’s lives, however it does spread joy and has opened many doors for me. No, I haven’t found a cure for cancer (yet!), but I’ve met amazing people, sharpened my skills, started a business, and made a lot of parents laugh along the way. What more could I ask for?

Here’s to the dreamers!

XO, Holly

Now that I’m a mom of two boys, I’m slowly starting to realize how gross they really are. In fact, I feel like I’m re-living my college days when I was in a relationship with a fraternity boy.  Even though there are not any Greek letters hoisted above my front door; the smells and mess you encounter when you enter – will definitely have you questioning whether or not an entire fraternity lives here.  Hopefully one day, I’ll have my own private bathroom and space that will be off-limits to those grimy little minions – or at least have a live in housekeeper as soon as I win the lotto.

Until then, here are 10 reasons why living with a toddler (son) is like living in a frat house:

  • They Are Proud Of Their Bowel Movements. Every time my son goes to the bathroom he has to show me. “Momma, look what I did – Ta Da!” You know you’re a mom when you actually go look and then react by giving a high-five.
  • They Have Sub-Par Hygiene.   I have to threaten my son to brush his teeth.  I usually tell him his teeth are going to fall out if he doesn’t brush them.  Mean, I know, but I can’t stand his rotten caracas breath.  He wipes snot on his arms, his feet smell, and I’ll spare you the details and not discuss his butt-wiping capabilities.
  • They Have Poor Aim. Pee is everywhere.  Riddle me this – how hard is it to pee into a giant hole when you’re standing less than an inch away from the toilet? Why is this concept so difficult for men / boys?
  • They Pass Gas Anytime – Anywhere. Usually any breaking wind is accompanied by giggles so I don’t mind this as much. If you’re a grown man –then it’s not cute.
  • They Like To Touch Themselves.  Even my eight month old immediately reaches for his boy parts the second his diaper comes off. Just last week, my toddler pulled his pants down to show my mother-in-law his privates.  Men and their pride – I guess it starts at birth.
  • They Pull All-Nighters.  My son is going through a growth spurt and he’s a night owl, which means sleepless nights for me too.  Even if he goes to bed late he’s up by 6 am. I can’t wait until he’s a teenager and sleeps around the clock.
  • Their Rooms Are Trashed. I clean my boys’ room  at least four times a day and it still looks like a tornado ravished it. To find a pair of socks my son insists on pulling every piece of clothing out first and then proceeds to throw everything on the floor.
  • They Sneak In Your Bed. Always when your not looking too.  Every night my son goes to sleep in his bed, yet every morning I wake up and he’s in mine. Secretly I love this because one day he won’t want to cuddle with me, and I’m not ready for that just yet.
  • They Are Vomit Comets.  Toddlers are projectile vomit machines – in case you didn’t know. It usually happens when you’re wearing a nice outfit and it comes out of nowhere.
  • They Have No Filter. Leave it to your kid to embarrass you every chance they get. Offensive language is just part of their daily lives. Honesty is a virtue, but when you have a toddler – it’s a curse.

While I try teach my son to mind his P’s and Q’s now, I’m hoping as he gets older his manners will be more prominent in our daily lives. But first things first – we need to focus on his aim.

frat

 

 

Is It Time For A Social Media Makeover?

As social media becomes more of a permanent fixture in our everyday lives, I think it’s important to understand some unwritten rules. Social media’s sole purpose is to share information by connecting with others. It can be a very powerful platform for social change and spreading awareness, but it has also been known as a place where people introduce us to their alter egos. If you portray yourself online the same way you do when someone cuts you off while driving – it’s time for a social media makeover.

I spent the last two weeks asking friends, colleagues, family and strangers what they dislike most about social media’s alter ego’s and what etiquette tips they would like to share. Below are some of my results.

You know you need a social media makeover when:

  • You post negative comments about your relationship, marriage or family problems. This, not surprisingly, was the number one complaint. It’s not necessary to air your dirty laundry on social media. It makes your followers uncomfortable and it’s depressing – save the drama for your momma!
  • You send endless app invites. Not everyone is interested in Candy Crush. I appreciate you thinking of me but after the first two denials, it’s best to just move on.

candy crush

  • Every picture you post is a “Selfie”. Yes you are fabulous, but we already know that, so try and diversify your picture taking skills.
  • You only post pictures that you look amazing in, and then tag all your friends who look less than appealing. If your friends do not look amazing too, ask for their permission before you start tagging them.
  • You never comment on or “like” any of your network’s posts, but the minute something slightly political is posted you take the opportunity to rant and insult their beliefs. If you’re going to rant on someone’s page at least you could wish him or her a Happy Birthday or say the picture of his or her kid is cute too. Trolling is not cute.
  • You post ambiguous statements like, “I can’t believe that just happened.” Then – crickets. Don’t leave your followers in suspense or allow us to guess through dozens of comments.
  • You take every quiz available and post your results. A few are fine, but do we really need to know what Disney character you would be? (P.S. I would be Belle. Duh.)

belle

While social media has allowed our voices to be heard, we can agree those voices still need to follow the Golden Rule we all learned as kids: Treat others as you would want to be treated – oh, and lay off the Farmville invites.

 

 

 

My New Obsession

I have a newfound obsession. Wait for it…..cloth diapers! I’ve been considering cloth diapering for a while now and always knew in the back of my mind it would save a lot of money and Miss Mother Earth. I’m not sure what my initial apprehension was besides admittedly being lazy.  With a toddler and a baby my time is money. I thought cloth diapering would be too time consuming and – for a lack of a better word – gross.

My only knowledge of cloth diapers was what our moms used on us back in the 70’s and 80’s. They used a tri-fold cotton rectangle fabric that was pretzel(ed) around our little waists and secured with safety pins – then topped off with some plastic under ware. This method did not appeal to me. Trying to put a regular diaper on a squirmy baby is sometimes torture, I couldn’t imagine having to pin it too!

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Wanting to learn more I reached out to a few friends to seek advice, but my curiosity eventually faded. It wasn’t until I actually saw a cloth diaper on a baby that made me immediately change my mind. Why did I change my mind? Because they are so freakin’ cute! The stylish girl I once had the time to be – had to have them!

Being an over analyzer, I did do some research before jumping into cloth diaper land. I wanted to make sure I had the patience (and stomach) to handle washing my own diapers, or if I needed to hire a service. I also wanted to calculate all expenses to make sure it was worth the investment. In the end, I decided to go for it and I haven’t missed disposable diapers yet!

In fact, since receiving my cloth diapers I’ve become very protective of my stash. It’s actually kind of weird. I count them everyday to make sure I know where they’re at. I also coordinate them by color and keep them on their own special shelf. My husband thinks I’m crazy, which is partially true, but I want to safeguard our investment since they have to last for the next few years.

In case you were on the fence regarding cloth diapering or didn’t know much about them (like me); I’ve complied a list of helpful tips below:

  • Watch Youtube videos! There are hundreds of tutorials on how to use and wash your diapers, along with reviews for all the different kinds of cloth diapers on the market.
  • Join Facebook groups on cloth diapering. They provide a lot information and there is always a live person to answer any questions. It’s like having your own personal customer service!
  • Try a couple from different brands to see what you like best before buying a full stash. I have G Baby, Bum Genius and Thirsites. So far I like them all. G Baby has cloth inserts and disposable inserts (which are flushable) to put inside a plastic insert. Bum Genius have pockets to insert the cotton insert or built in ones, and Thirsties you will need to by pre-fold inserts.
  • No blowouts with cloth diapers! This is amazing. I haven’t had any blowouts or leaks. They are a little more bulky than disposable diapers, but it hasn’t been a problem in regards to baby’s clothes fitting properly.
  • Buy a sprayer for your toilet. I have one made by BumGenius and it is very easy to install. You can use this to ‘spray’ off any residue from number 2’s, instead of dunking it in the toilet. It makes the clean up so much easier! They are $60 and worth it. Plus you can sell it later.

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  • Buy some odor / spot remover. You’ll need this if you launder yourself. I use Babyganics.
  • Buy a wet bag to store the diapers in until you do your wash – usually every two days. Try to let air in the bag otherwise the diapers get stinky.  You can find these on Diapers.com or Amazon.
  • Regarding washing – I do a rinse cycle (cold water), then wash with ¼ cup of laundry soap in hot water. Then I line dry or lay out to dry to save their life span. For stains, either do the above twice or lay them out in the sun. The sun naturally bleaches! It’s like magic!
  • You’ll need about 16-20 diapers to complete a stash, otherwise you’ll be doing laundry more often. Be sure to buy the diapers and inserts.
  • My electric nor water bill has increased from using the washing machine.
  • You can use the inserts as wipes to save money too.
  • A Chicago diaper service I would recommend (if you go that route) is Green Diaper Babies. The owner is Shannon, she’s awesome!
  • If you get diapers with Velcro make sure to close them before washing, or they fray any other items in the wash.  I learned this the hard way.

Overall, I love them! My only regret is not starting earlier! Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments or share your tips for our readers!

Here’s to saving money and the earth!

alex diaper model