Category Archives: Shopping

Update: My itchy armpits

A few weeks ago I shared what has got to be my favourite (read: worst) pregnancy side effect – itchy armpits. I got pretty desperate when my doctor didn’t take it too seriously, and took measures into my own hands – I stopped shaving, stopped using my deodorant and started using anti-itch cream.

After about a week, when my itch was under control and mostly gone, I stopped using the cream….with success. The itch didn’t come back.

1958 Mum Deodorant Ad

photo source

A few days later, though, I caved and shaved. Big mistake. The itch returned with a vengeance for a day or two. I renewed my “no shaving” vow and attempted to embrace the current trendiness of women’s underarm hair. It wasn’t easy since the decision to channel my inner hippie was somewhat forced upon me.

After much research I found myself a natural deodorant that, according to many many reviews, actually works. Lavilin contains no aluminium, no alcohol and no parabens. And so far? It actually is working. Minimal wetness and no odour whatsoever (I’m still obsessively smelling my pits to check…habits formed from paranoia die hard). It claims to work up to 72hrs – I’ve yet to put it to that test – but am up to 48hrs without reapplying, and it’s going strong. Which is great, considering how expensive it is (it’s about $20 per stick – YIKES!).

It’s been going so well, in fact, that I got cocky the other day and tried shaving again……and you know what? No itch.

EUREKA!

I don’t think I’ll push it and shave all the time…but knowing that I can shave will open up a whole new pile of sleeveless wardrobe choices I just wasn’t feeling too confident in while attempting to embrace my underarm hair.

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Friday I’m in Love: Flamingos

In just over a month we’ll be having a baby girl. I decided we’d go very girly for her room colour – possibly to make up for the fact that I haven’t had a typically girly colour in my bedroom since I was 14 (once I painted over my childhood pink, I’ve had green, blue, blue and yellow, mint green, yellow, and now asparagus green…I don’t count the sick peachy colour that came with the temporary digs we occupied for a year while searching for a house to buy).

When picking the actual colour, I wanted something bold and colourful. Something that shouted out GIRL, but that wasn’t the typical pale baby pink. I drew my inspiration from this painting/print by Elise Blaha Cripe, and ultimately went with Benjamin Moore’s Coral Gables.

It’s stunning, and a little in your face. I love it. Once the room is actually complete, I’ll share it with you (for now, it doesn’t look at all like a nursery, as I’m using it as a temporary, somewhat bare and echo-y office).

In the meantime, though, I’m loving everything to do with flamingos and colours inspired by them:

Friday I'm in Love: Flamingos

print | science print | dress | headband | shoes | pillow cover

Cute? Too much? I’m thinking so long as I don’t go overboard (think plastic lawn flamingos) I should be ok!

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Diaper Covers

A little while ago I confessed to being a pretty crummy cloth diaperer – but a cloth diaperer nonetheless! In that same post I promised to share some of my thoughts on the products I’d used so far in my first year-or-so of semi-successful cloth diapering. So here goes:

Two-size diaper systems

Thirsties
These were the first diaper covers I tried. Before Boo was born I’d done some research and liked the idea of their duo wrap 2-size system. Not being sure how this whole cloth diapering thing was going to turn out, I also really liked that they weren’t too expensive. So I bought a few velcro as well as a few snap covers to see which I liked best. And that was it. As a novice cloth diaperer, I didn’t want to get in too deep.

As mentioned previously, it took awhile for me to get the hang of cloth, and to be satisfied that it actually fit my Boo Boo (I know I keep saying this, but he was so small…he wore the newborn sized disposables for several MONTHS before we moved him up to size 1). Once I had the hang of things….I liked them. I liked how the Thirsties never had blow outs. I liked that I could wipe down the interior. I liked that his prefolds could be soaking wet, and not a drip leaked out.

And I still like them. We’re now using size 2 and, with other covers to compare, I can also claim to like them for being among the most trim, and fitting really well but not seeming tight (Boo has comparatively few elastic marks on his skin when I take them off).

The only things I dislike about them? Sometimes the excess material that isn’t snapped (basically, the fabric holding the too-big snaps) shifts out of the diaper. And the white fabric covered elastic around the legs and top of the diaper is a little prone to staining. That’s it.

Two thumbs up.

Applecheeks
Another two (actually now three!) size system, I inherited a pile of these from friends. I was excited to try them out, as they’re a local company, and get very good reviews (I never bought their size 1 diapers because the price tag scared me away at the time).

What initially threw me off about AppleCheeks was that there are no snaps to adjust the rise of the diaper. It’s just a matter of how tightly you snap it on. I thought this might be a problem….but nope. They do a great job holding everything in. The “ruffles” around the waist and legs – which I originally thought were kind of girly – actually seem to help accomplish this. They also seem to keep things snug without being too tight.

These were also the first diaper covers I tried with a micro-fleece lining which I worried would require more frequent laundering. And though you can’t wipe the insides down, if Boo has only had a pee (or a well contained poop), then it isn’t an issue and I can reuse them several times (I should note that I just place my prefold on TOP of the micro-fleece – I don’t stuff it into the pocket).

As for dislikes? They aren’t particularly trim. As Boo gets bigger, I’m sure this will become less of an issue – right now he’s still at the lower end of the size 2 weight range. Also, I’m not so sure how durable the elastics are. I had to retire all of my inherited diaper covers, as the elastics gave out (you know…when you stretch an elastic, you hear a crinkly sound, and it doesn’t stretch back?). I’m not sure if it’s because they were getting old, if it had to do with how they’d been previously washed, or how I washed them? Or maybe if they’d been stored near a radiator (before or after they came into my possession)? But they’re dead. I still went ahead and bought two news ones.

Thumbs up.

One size diaper systems

Bummis
I really wanted to like Bummis so that I could support another local Montreal business…so much so, that I went to their physical store location on St-Laurent Street to check them out. But as soon as I walked in there, with Boo strapped into the ErgoBaby, I felt….out of place. Like I somehow wasn’t cool (or crunchy?) enough. When I spoke with a saleslady to ask a few questions, her answers were short and curt. She also gave me the impression she didn’t like talking to me. It was not a nice shopping experience.

But because I’d make the trek out there, I still went ahead and made a purchase. Only I bought less than I’d anticipated.

Impressions of their physical store location and salespeople aside, I’ve had one Simply Lite one-size diaper cover for a few months now and…I barely use it. It’s the second-to-last cover that I use when all of the other covers are dirty. Though I love the pattern (Elephant Tales), the fit isn’t particularly trim. I chalk this up to it being a one-size diaper cover and Boo being particularly slim – but that’s not really why I dislike it. I dislike it because the tags are on the front inside of the diaper – not particularly soft tags, that rub against Boo Boo’s belly. I also can’t stand how the diaper curls in upon itself. As soon as there’s no Boo to hold it open, the tabs immediately curl in and land in whatever happens to be on the prefold. Which means I either have to be extremely fast to catch them (and as an inept diaperer, we know that doesn’t really happen)….or else they get dirty and I have to wash what was a mostly clean and totally reusable cover. Finally, of all the diaper covers I have, the material on the Simply Lite seems the least breathable of them.

So yeah. Thumbs down on the Bummis.

GroVia
These are another one-size diaper cover, and what I initially noticed about them is that their overall shape is different from all of the other diaper covers I’ve tried. The wrap-around tabs that snap in front are much longer – making the sides of the diaper less bulky – and contributing to their being another rather trim cover.

Like the Applecheeks they have an interior lining – only theirs is just that – a lining. There’s no pocket. Rather, GroVia makes their own inserts that snap into place. I can’t comment on the inserts, as I don’t use them – I just use a prefold. The lining does seem to add a little extra friction, though, and helps keep the prefold in place.

The GroVia Snap Shells don’t have any leg gussets, ruffles or anything special to keep everything in….but they do (keep everything in). I sometimes worry that they’re not fitting tight enough at the belly, as there can be a slight gap when I’ve got a thick and folded over prefold in there. But so far, there’ve been no accidents, so I’m not complaining.

I quite like these ones. Thumbs up.

Blueberry
Yet another one-size diaper cover (yeah….I bought a bunch of one-sizes…I really didn’t want to have to keep buying larger diaper covers as Boo grew), the Blueberry Coveralls look very much like the Thirsties Duo Wraps…..only bigger. Much much bigger. These are probably one of the least trim diaper covers I’ve used. They tend to be pouffy, as there always seems to be a little extra fabric at Boo’s bum – even when they were snapped up to their smallest.

But apart from how big they look, they actually fit Boo pretty well. He has very few elastic marks on his skin when I remove them, and he’s had no accidents while wearing them.

Not an enthusiastic thumbs up, but thumbs up all the same.

Rumparooz
And finally the last one-size diaper cover in my stash. I have only one Rumparooz, and it is currently the very last diaper cover I use in my pile. It seems to have too much fabric. When I snap Boo into it, there’s always a bunch of folds bunching up where the cover is folded over to make it smaller.

And that’s just annoying. It also makes it feel bulky.

I do make it to my last diaper cover every once in awhile, though, and once I don’t need to snap it up so small, I’ll have to reassess how much extra fabric there is. I’d love to use it. It’s got to be the softest diaper cover I own.

So….I guess a temporary thumbs down until I can re-asses.

And that’s it as far as diaper covers are concerned. Because I’ve always seemed to struggle with the overall bulk/size of the diapers, I’ve never really used any of the boosters I’d purchased. They felt like overkill. I will, however, try to share my thoughts on the prefolds I’ve used, as well as cloth-friendly rash creams and detergent!

Stay tuned! (Well…only if you’re into that sort of thing, I guess.)

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Makeup fail: my eyebrows

I’ve got pretty good eyebrows.

Sure I plucked the hell out of them in high school (didn’t everyone pluck their eyebrows down to nothing in the 90s?). And I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with them throughout my 20s and early 30s due to the fact they took so long to maintain.

Since I had Boo, though, I kinda eased up on their maintenance, and allowed them to grow out….and I love them! They’re thick (but not ridiculously so), quite full, and have a nice natural shape to them. Apart from trimming them every two weeks, plucking any unibrow-threatening hairs and the odd hair below their natural/reasonable line, I can mostly leave them alone.

But it somehow got into my head that I could make my great eyebrows even better. Maybe even amazing! How? With eyebrow makeup….just to fill in those few sparse areas and better define them overall.

Green super macro eye

(these are not my eyebrows – image courtesy of Courtney Rhodes)

I went to Sephora one weekend to see what I could come up with. I was initially thinking an eyebrow powder would work best, just because I read about powders online and am apparently quite impressionable. But the lady at the store told me no….a gel would be much better, and last throughout the day, whereas a powder would wear off. Seemed reasonable to me. So she sat me down in a chair, and found an eyebrow gel colour that worked with my brows, and applied.

My eyebrows looked GREAT! The same, but better!

I bought the gel and an angle brush to apply and went on my merry way.

Fast forward a few days to when I decided to try applying the gel myself. Hmmm….it seemed to take me much longer than it took the Sephora beauty consultant lady – but she’s had lots of practice, right? I seemed to keep needing more from the tube, whereas I couldn’t really remember her needing so much. It seemed darker than I remembered.

When I stepped back to look at my brows, my worst fears were confirmed. I looked silly. I mean, completely and utterly ridiculous. I washed it off immediately, and began pondering what I had done wrong. Too much gel? Applied everywhere rather than only where I really needed it?

I’ve decided to try again. Repeatedly if I must. But only when I’m home alone and Boo is down for his nap, so that NOBODY can see me.

Until I get it right, that is.

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First Haircut!

Boo was born with a significant head of hair. He never lost any of it, so it just grew and grew. Though I tried to trim it a little from time to time…mostly his bangs, and sometimes at the nape of his neck…I kinda liked his hair long, and generally just let it be.

I thought his long hair was cute. A sort of messy surfer look that I loved running my fingers through when we cuddled.

Boo with his long hair

Boo playing with his hair

But ultimately it was constantly in his eyes (I sucked so bad at trimming his bangs that I’d wait far too long between attempts)…and it was starting to look pretty scraggly and dishevelled. So I made the decision to get it cut. Eeep!

On a recent visit to my parents’ my mom and I took Boo to Illusions Hair Design in the Kemptville Mall, where my mom’s hairdresser (Monique) gave Boo his very first cut:

Boo getting his hair brushed

Boo all prepped to get his hair cut

He was an absolute fidget, but a comb and my iPad (with the Peekaboo Sesame Street app) helped to distract him just enough so that he was manageable. His hairdresser only went “Oops” once when he moved abruptly just as the scissors went SNIP!

Boo behaving while having his hair cut

Mama and Boo looking at the hairdresser

The best – and most surprising – part? Apparently at Illusions, a baby’s (or toddler’s) very first haircut is free! When she told me there was no charge I stood there with my mouth hanging open for a few seconds while I processed the information. FREE! Plus, she took a small lock of Boo’s hair and put it in a little pouch for me, along with a cute little poem:

I got my first haircut,
as you can plainly see.
Mom says I look wonderful,
and that she is so proud of me.
I sat so tall and proud,
in that hairdresser’s chair.
And they even gave to Mom,
a small lock of my hair.
She says that she will keep it,
to remind her of this day.
Another milestone I’ve crossed,
in my life along the way.

Back at Nana and Gramps' house with his new haircut

I sure was proud of my little man!

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