Cozy Weather

Just in time for soup weather I have introduced bowl cozies at SubEarthan Cottage.

Strawberry Bandana Red Microwaveable Soup Bowl Cozy
Strawberry Bandana Red Microwaveable Soup Bowl Cozy

My cozies are 100% cotton, so they can go in the microwave if you like.

Vegetable Print Microwaveable Soup Bowl Cozy
Vegetable Print Microwaveable Soup Bowl Cozy

There are tons of cute 100% cotton quilting fabrics available, so if you’d like one or a set customized to your tastes, let me know.

Blog-keeping

Just a few notes today:

1. I’m working on my website, https://subearthancottage.com. You can find my about page, blog and shop all in one place. Currently the shop is still through Etsy, so you need an Etsy account to shop there. If you have problems or concerns with that, please contact me so I can help you out.

2. Please, subscribe to my newsletter. I hate clogged inboxes as much as everyone else, so I send emails very sparingly. When I do, there’s usually a sale or coupon for my shop involved. Sign ups are to the right on Blogger and bottom on my website.

3. Usually when people talk about no-poo, they’re referring to the baking soda and acv variety. I finally found someone who goes the natural bar soap route like I do. Here’s her method:
http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2016/04/how-to-wash-your-hair-without-shampoo/. She has more awesome information for frugal, healthy living, so I encourage you to browse around.

4. In case you haven’t seen my take on soap as shampoo, here it is: https://subearthancottage.com/2012/11/shampoo-bar-101-revisited.html. I totally forgot about taking a break from it after B was born. Apparently that’s normal for me, because I’ve done it again since Thadd was born and now I’m paying the price. At least I know the transition period doesn’t last forever and I’ll be able to ditch the pony tail soon. Not that I’m going to want to. Summers are HOT!

Shampoo Bar 101 Revisited

I took a break from using my beer soap as shampoo after Beckett was born because there just wasn’t time to make it safely with him around. I have long hair, and the ends have been really dry. My scalp has been itchy lately, too. As soon as my recent batch of beer soap set, I switched back. Already my hair feels softer and thicker, and my scalp hasn’t been as itchy. I am having to go through a readjustment phase, but I wear my hair in a pony tail or bun 90% of the time anyway, so it hasn’t been too inconvenient. I’m hoping that it might go quickly this time, too, since I had already cut back on washing my hair before the switch.

For more information on using a bar soap for shampoo, I’ve reposted my original article after the jump.

———————————————————————————————————-
I began using bar soaps as shampoo about four years ago. Whenever I tell people this, they always look at me kind of strange or have tons of questions about how it works, so I thought I’d share it all here. Please keep in mind, this is all based on my personal experience and research.

What type of soap to use?While there are some bars that are specially formulated to be shampoo bars, I’ve found that just about any good quality natural soap will work. You definitely want to avoid most of the bar soaps you’d find at your supermarket, because they don’t have the same properties as natural soaps and can dry your hair.

Among natural soaps, I’ve found that bars with little or no waxes work the best. My hair tends to be oily, so I also avoid soaps with a high percentage of butters (shea, cocoa, etc.) as they seem to add too much oil to my hair.

Some of the oils that work well in a shampoo bar are coconut, castor, olive, jojoba, and avocado. Most of the bars I’ve used contain at least the first three. I wouldn’t count out a bar that didn’t have them, though, until I’d tried it a few times.

What are the some of the benefits of using a bar soap?

  • Natural bars don’t strip your hair like shampoo.
  • Hair feels thicker
  • Has eliminated my need for a seperate conditioner
  • No more scalp and hairline irritation like I had with many shampoos
  • Convenient for travel-no worries about leaky bottles or (as far as I know) airline carry-on limits
  • Same bar can be used all over-no need for a seperate body wash or soap cluttering your shower

Tips for using a bar soap as shampoo:

  • Expect an adjustment period of 2-4 weeks. Your scalp is used to producing more oil to make up for the natural oils that are stripped by the detergents in shampoos.
  • You may want to use a simple clarifying shampoo or even a baby shampoo prior to the first wash with a bar. I’ve found that this helps speed up the adjustment period by removing buildup from shampoos, conditioners and styling products, giving the bar a clean slate to work with.
  • Periodically doing an apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice) rinse can help improve shine and seems to help if I feel like my hair isn’t rinsing out as well as it should. I use about 1/2 Tablespoon of ACV to about 3 cups of water and pour over my just washed hair, then rinse. I used to do this about every other wash, but now I do it about once every week or two.
  • Many styling products seem to need the detergents in shampoo to be fully removed. I try to avoid products with dimethecone and other -cone ingredients as these seem to be the hardest to wash out with a bar soap. Hairspray doesn’t seem to be a problem. You can also use pure aloe gel as a hair gel that’s also great for your hair.

I’m sure there are many things I’ve left out. Feel free to ask any questions or add to what I have here.

Oh, and before I forget, here are my favorites from my shop to use as a shampoo:

Beer Soap

Pine Tar Soap

Tea Tree Oil Soap (especially great if I’m experiencing any dandruff)

Back to work

With Beckett getting better at entertaining himself for a few minutes, I’ve been able to make some new items for SubEarthan Cottage. After getting them listed this morning, I realized it’s pretty clear they have a “new mom” theme. Click on any of the images to see all similar items shop.

First, we have the coffee cozies, because, duh.

Is it just me, or does that look like a fried egg in the middle of the big flower?

Then we have bibs, because occasionally kids have to wear clothes while eating.

Mmmmm….

Finally, we have rice packs, because after bending over for the 5,740 time to lift your little ton of bricks bundle of joy, your muscles need a little soothing. Pick your favorite fabric!

My attempt at artsy.

And, of course I had to share a pic of my little model.

Doesn’t everyone wear a bib while sitting on the bedroom floor?

All items can be found in my Etsy shop: http://sophiecls.etsy.com

Cloth Diapering – Types of diapers

If you’re new to cloth diapering, it can be a bit overwhelming to navigate the different types of cloth diapers on the market. Today’s choices go beyond the pinned white squares our parents and grandparents used to include styles so user friendly even the most skeptical caregivers will be comfortable using them.

Here are the basics based on my research. If you have anything to add, please feel free to comment:

Flats: A large square of woven material, most commonly cotton, that have to be folded and pinned. They will leak unless you also use a waterproof diaper wrap/cover.

Prefolds: A rectangle of cotton or other woven material with a thicker, absorbent middle section. Most moms have a few of these around even if they don’t cloth diaper because they make excellent burp cloths. They still require a little folding to get the best fit for your baby, but nowhere near as much as flats. Like flats, they’ll need pinned and a leak-proof cover.

Prefold diaper from The Eli Monster

Fitteds: Fitteds are made from an absorbent material and shaped to fit without folding. They usually close with Velcro or snaps, so you don’t need pins. They do not have a waterproof layer, so you’ll need a cover to make them leak-proof.

Fitted diaper “Road Map” by Hen and Chick Cloth

All-in-ones (AIO): All-in-ones are essentially fitteds with the addition of a leak-proof layer. The leak-proof layer is most commonly made with PUL, a plastic laminated material. They close with Velcro or snaps.

Daisy Dots AIO from Hen and Chick Cloth

All in twos (AI2): Similar to all-in-ones, except that a separate absorbent layer is placed inside of the diaper. This helps them dry faster because each layer is thinner. You can also customize the absorbency by adding layers as needed. They close with Velcro or snaps.

Custom print AI2 from The Eli Monster

Pockets: Essentially a specific type of AI2. With pockets, the absorbent layer (insert) is placed in a pocket between a waterproof outer layer and an inner layer of fleece or some other material that lets wetness through to the insert and keeps baby’s skin dry. They close with Velcro or snaps.

Rockin’ Broncos Pocket diaper by Hen and Chick Cloth

One size (OS): Means that the size of the diaper can be adjusted to fit most babies from infancy to toddlerhood as opposed to sized diapers that fit a weight range.

Thank you to The Eli Monster and Hen and Chick Cloth for allowing me to use their product images for this post. Be sure to visit their shops for a variety of cloth diapers as well as other products for mom and baby. To visit the specific product pages seen here, please click on the caption below the picture.