Sunday, May 23, 2010

We Heart Itzy Ritzy - Review and Giveaway


I've been meaning to review Itzy Ritzy for a while now because my 2 daughters have been enjoying their Snack Happened Reusable and Washable Snack Bags for a few months and we love them. My daughters each have a few of the prints and we mainly use them for school and daycare snacks and lunches. We have drastically cut back on the use of plastic wrap at our house and I feel way better sending them with litter-less lunches.

For school snacks and lunches, we use Snack Happened for sandwiches, quesadilla slices, grapes, apple slices, goldfish, veggies, crackers, cheese, etc. The bags have a waterproof lining and a zipper. They are very easy for the girls to open up on their own if needed.

To wash our Snack Happened bags, we turn the bags inside-out and use a dishcloth or scrub brush to clean the bag. Then we air dry them and toss in the wash as required. Once a week we wash on hot, in a gentle-wash cycle and then hang dry. You can put them in your dryer but as with most items, line drying or hang drying your Snack Happened bag will keep it looking new longer.

How are the girls enjoying using their Snack Happened bags? They absolutely love the fun prints. Maya's favourite is Perfect Princess and Keira's fave is Rocket Man. They will sometimes have 2 - 3 different patterned snack bags and their lunches look so adorable. Another mom in the class who has Itzy Ritzy snack bags gave us the idea of filling a Snack Happened with carrots and then tossing a little closed container of dip inside with the carrots. That way, when it's snack time, kids only have to pull one item of their lunchbox and don't need to match up containers.

Perfect Princess:

Rocket Man:

We have also been using Snack Happened for birthday gifts for class friends, as they make a great gift that children can actually use. And just recently, my daughters have started toting around crayons in Snack Happened for colouring on the go and the size of the bags is perfect.

I haven't personally used their snack bags, but I do have one medium Itzy Ritzy Wet Happened bag that I use whenever we go swimming or travel. On the way to a pool or hotel, I use the wet bag to store shampoo, conditioner, etc to keep my purse, totebag, or suitcase dry. When we are are near a pool I then keep my camera, room card, etc in the wetbag to keep them dry. And finally when we are leaving I place our wet swimsuits in the wet happened bag for transport home to the wash. The fabric that I have been using for my Wet Happened is Central Park West and I love it.

Central Park West:


Snack Happened™ Reusable & Washable Snack Bags:
-FDA approved & BPA Free! Unlike the others!
-Ideal for little hands, snacks, fruit, sandwiches, picnics, school lunches, mini first aid kits, cell phones, car & plane trips, crayons, toiletries, iPods, cameras, hiking, camping, travel, beach gear & more!
-Lead free YKK zipper top keeps crumbs, drips & contents securely inside - Zipper not Velcro for SILENT Snacking!
-100% cotton designer fabric exterior with thick and lush PVC-Free waterproof lining interior - No cheap nylon here!
-Reusable + Washable + Eco-friendly + Fashionable
-7 inches x 7 inches
-Machine washable
-CPSIA tested and compliant
-Patent Pending



GIVEAWAY:

For our next giveaway, we are offering (1) Itzy Ritzy Snack Happened bag and (1) Itzy Ritzy Medium Wet Happened to one lucky winner.


HOW TO ENTER:
There are five ways to enter this giveaway; you may do any of the following and leave a separate comment for each one letting us know what you did (each comment equals one entry):

  • Go to ItzyRitzy.com, then comment here regarding which products/fabrics you like best.
  • Follow WPGCLOTHDIAPERS on Twitter
  • Tweet or RT about this giveaway
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post
  • Follow our blog

This giveaway will close at 5pm CST on Sunday, May 30th. One winner will be chosen randomly from all of the comments. The winner will not be notified by email, so be sure to check back to find out if you’ve won. The winner will be announced on Sunday, May 30th. All prizes must be claimed within one week of the announcement.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Are you composting yet?


I got all excited about composting again this week after talking to a co-worker who purchased composting bins on a great sale at the City of Winnipeg Compost Bin Sale. My spouse and I used to compost but then sold our house and now that we have bought a new house and have a huge backyard again, it's time to compost again! Yes, I know that I should have kept on composting while I was in my apartment and wish that I had.

Composting is so easy to do. When I first started 6 years ago, I did some research online and then also attended a free workshop on composting. I even lucked out and won a free little kitchen scraps compost bin.

Basically, you just toss all of your fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grinds, and leaves into the bin. You can add in shredded newspaper strips if you have. I remember that the Winnipeg Free Press used vegetable ink (non-toxic) so their newspaper was compost friendly. Every once in a while you turn the compost pile to keep it working. Add water if the compost pile gets too dry. And remember to never put in dairy or meat products. That last part is easy for me as I'm vegetarian but there are some meat lovers in my family so I need to remind them. See Resource Conservation Manitoba for more detailed composting instructions.

When your composting is complete, you will have nutrient-rich soil to put on your garden or lawn. There is so much we do that depletes soil and nutrients, so this is one easy, easy thing you can do to give back to the earth. It's so important. You can also reduce the amount of trash you toss by 50% each week. This is defintely something you can feel good about.

Myth: Won't these same items compost in landfills?
Truth: No, items that will compost in a compost pile will not compost and breakdown properly in a landfill because the conditions aren't right for composting. You need a mix of brown materials and green materials.

Other composting tips:
If you are a Starbucks addict like me, ask your Starbucks barista if they have any extra used coffee grinds for your garden. They have a program called Grounds for Your Garden.

It looks like the City of Winnipeg has extended their compost bin and rain barrel sale until June 30th with pickup on July 11th!

Do you have any composting tips to share? Are you involving your children in composting? If so, how are they enjoying composting and what do they think of it? Please let us know.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The winner for our contest....

The winner for our contest was Sarah from Mt. Vernon!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered our first twitter contest. Thank you very much for your feedback on cloth wipes versus disposable wipes. Good luck to everyone who enters our next contest.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Our first Twitter giveaway! And a discussion on what type of baby wipes are best to use with cloth diapers.


We are on Twitter (@wpgclothdiapers) but have never done a giveaway. Late is better than never so we are jumping on the Twitter Giveaway bandwagon and are giving away one $50.00 gift certificate to our store, ClothDiaperMom.com. Use the gift cert for cloth diapers, baby carrriers, or anything on our site.

Our Twitter contest ends Sunday, May 16th at 5pm Central Standard Time.
The winner will be emailed a gift cert code for our store, valid on any in-stock products and valid on shipping.

To enter, RT (retweet) our tweet announcing this contest.
For additional entries, follow us on Twitter, http://twitter.com/wpgclothdiapers, follow our blog, 
or comment on this blog entry giving us your feedback on baby wipes for cloth diapers. (see below)


I'm wondering what type of wipes everyone is using for their baby because I know we are all gradually becoming more eco-friendly and because the options out there for wipes is starting to increase.

Disposable wipes are one commonly used option, but after you have changed your baby you are left with a cloth diaper that goes into the laundry, and a used disposable wipe that needs to go into the... garbage? If that wipe has more than baby pee on it, then what do you do with it? I'm betting that too many people then put that wipe into a plastic bag to contain odors and into the trash..... creating more garbage than most cloth diaperers feel comfortable with.

Then there is the question of how many wipes you use and toss (they add up!) and also the concern of what chemicals are in standard disposable wipes. I'm sure a lot of us go through an 80 wipe package a week and also never stop to read the ingredient list.

I'm starting to see more options for parents now. In addition to cloth wipes, there are now cloth wipe kits, bio-wipes, and bamboo wipes. Every cloth diapering company seems to offer cloth wipes and now more are offering wipe solution as well.

If you use cloth diapers and cloth diaper wipes, both end up going into the wash, simplifying change time. When we switched to cloth diaper wipes, I found it easy to keep the wipes dry and just wet them at the sink before diaper changes. Using a cloth wipe gives you the freedom to use as much water as you want for really dirty diaper changes, so you can wring warm water out on to your baby's bottom, making clean up easy and very gentle on your baby's skin. We also found it convenient to use natural baby bottom sprays at changing time. You could spray the dry cloth or your babies bottom and clean up was easy.  A pump bottle makes it nice and easy to use. Maybe a little too easy though because my husband once mistook our Happy Heinys - Heiny Wash for hair detangler and had sprayed our then 1 and 4 year old daughter's hair with it after bedtime one night.

We recently found one kit (http://www.bottoms-up-baby.com/baby-wipes-kit.html) that has everything you need and I can see how having a wipes 'kit' would appeal to parents making the switch from disposable wipes to cloth wipes. 
The kit includes:
25 - all natural cotton terry cloth baby wipes (5.9" x 5.9")
1 - clean baby wipes container
1 - clean baby wipes essential oil blend – lavender & chamomile
1 - dirty baby wipes container - with mesh bag insert
1 - dirty baby wipes essential oil blend – tea tree & lemon
1 - clean baby wipes waterproof travel bag
1 - dirty baby wipes waterproof travel bag - with mesh bag insert

We don't carry this product yet. Please comment or email if you would like more info. We've been talking with Bottoms Up Baby and did a poll recently to gauge interest in this product and would like to add it to our store shortly. We may add it as a pre-order this week. Updated! We have added this product in - Bottoms Up Baby Washable Baby Wipes Kit in Canada

What about the new bio-wipes and bamboo wipes that are available?

GroVia offers BioWipes. GroVia™ All Natural BioWipes™ are made from renewable material, free of harsh synthetic chemicals and parabens. You can feel comfortable using a wipe that is gentle on baby as well as our environment.
Made from plants, not oil. Fragrance Free, Chlorine Free, Dye Free, 80 Unscented 100% Natural Wipes, 7.1” x 8.9” (20cm x 18cm) Canadian MSRP $7.99
    Another new, eco-friendly option is Bum Boosa™ Bamboo Baby Wipes. 

    The convenience of a disposable baby wipe is now available in a natural, biodegradeable and renewable alternative! Our Bum BoosaBamboo Baby Wipes are made from renewable bamboo, are soft, absorbent and naturally scented with lavender and sweet orange essential oils. Your baby deserves the best!


    This isn't a product that we carry but we would if there was interest. I love that they are natural and biodegradeable, even though I'm not a huge fan of the logo. They would probably retail in Canada for similar price as the GroVia wipes.

    I am curious to know what wipes system moms are using for their babies, and to know what everyone is finding works best for them. Please let us know or ask away if you have any questions about cloth wipes, bio wipes, or bamboo wipes.

    Don't forget to comment, retweet, or follow us (blog or twitter) to gain entries for our $50.00 gift cert Twitter Giveaway!