Sunday, September 30, 2012

Earth's Best Seasonal Veggies Giveaway!

Enter to win some delicious seasonal veggies for your little one(s) from Earth's Best!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I receive sample(s) for the purpose of testing and review. These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Thoughts Of Fluff is not responsible for shipment of the prize(s). 

Earth's Best Seasonal Veggies

Earth's Best is bringing some fantastic seasonal vegetables to help expand your baby's palate. Autumn is in the air, and nothing is better in the autumn than the delicious fruits and veggies that come into season!


Babies become pickier and more selective in their foods as they grow older, so it's always a good idea to introduce them to a variety of foods early in their solid-foods diet. (For more information, visit Earth’s Best website and check-out the article “Infants’Unpredictable Palates which discusses the natural progression of the tastes and interests of babies.)

Don't use jarred food with your little ones? That's okay, we did baby-led weaning with Bobble, so we understand! There are still great uses for these delicious little jars of food.... like adding the sweet potato jar in with some delicious macaroni and cheese, or using the bananas & strawberries jar to add to some muffins for flavour and moistness! There are many options for the yummy foods that Earth's Best offers!

So what are these awesome seasonal flavours that you can find? Earth's Best has created a variety of all-natural and organic products for your little one to enjoy, including:
1st Foods - Squash
1st Foods - Sweet Potato
2nd Vegetables-Carrots
2nd Vegetables- Green Beans and Rice

Check out the other Seasonal Harvest items (Earth's Best 2nd foods) for even more delicious foods for baby, and the other 2nd Vegetables that are available (like the winter squash)! Like the other Earth's Best organic products, these delicious seasonal veggies are made without the use of pesticides. Nothing like healthy foods grown organically!

Look for the seasonal flavours wherever Earth's Best  products are sold. You can find them at a grocer near you using the Earth’s Best Store Locator ! You can also enter my giveaway for a chance to win an assortment!

 Disclosure: I receive sample(s) for the purpose of testing and review. These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Thoughts Of Fluff is not responsible for shipment of the prize(s).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Coming soon!!!

Coming in October.... a Bunzi Balance Bike giveaway! :)

Attention bloggers! Sign up's are now open for the Kate n' Kaboodle Bunzi Giveaway. This is a free event to join! Prize: Bunzi Balance Trainer Dates: October 8-22 Sign up here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Snax Giveaway

Looking for a great snack idea for your little ones? Head on over and read my Happy Snax review!
Enter to win some below!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Earth's Best Happy Snax

Are you looking for some new toddler snack ideas? Earth's Best now has their new Happy Snax Whole Grain Cereal Snacks for you to consider! The fun (smiley) shape and delicious taste will keep your children smiling, and you'll be smiling knowing they are getting 12 grams of whole grains, 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber per serving and 25% of the Daily Value of Vitamin C.


Nothing is better than a wholesome snack the kids like, right? Well.... Earth's Best can make the snack even better! The Happy Snax are made with organic ingredients, meaning they are grown without any potentially harmful pesticides or herbicides. They are also specially formulated with an excellent source of iron, zinc, and six B Vitamins. Earth's Best Happy Snax, like all the other Earth's Best products, do not contain any artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, nor do they have any genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

With two delicious flavours, Graham and Apple Cinnamon, you can have a yummy snack for all palates. The Graham flavour is a simple, delicious, snack that tastes just like a graham cracker. The Apple Cinnamon actually surprised me with how strong of an apple taste it had in such a little nibble of a snack! If the cooler weather didn't tip me off, the Apple Cinnamon Happy Snax definitely made me feel like autumn was here!

These snacks make great snacks for car rides or just to grab on your way out the door to one of the many sporting events at your child's school. They come in resealable canisters that hold 2.6 oz, so they are a great travel size!

Look for new Earth's Best Happy Snax at a grocer near you that carries Earth’s Best products, or you can use the Earth’s Best Store Locator to find a location near you! You can also order them online at the Earth’s Best Store, from, any other online retailers where you can buy Earth’s Best products!

Disclosure: I receive sample(s) for the purpose of testing and review. These opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Thoughts Of Fluff is not responsible for shipment of the prize(s).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Loving Maternity Clothes

With maternity clothes, it seems to be people either love them or hate them. The main reason that I’ve found for people hating them? Because they get worn for such a small amount of time compared to the cost. You know, I find this to be the complete opposite for me, so I’ll give you a little insight into my clothing world. Granted, I’m no fashionista, but I do have to look presentable for work and I like to be comfortable.

Me at 26 weeks

The first thing I feel I should mention is that I started shopping maternity clothes before I was ever pregnant. It happened by accident, honestly. One day I was doing a bit of thrift shopping when I saw a very adorable shirt with a unique pattern on it. I tried it on since it was my size, and it fit. I loved it, it looked brand new, I bought it for a couple dollars. Later, doing laundry, I saw the label that said it was Maternity. I stopped and thought for a minute, then realized that was something I never considered. 

The next time I went out shopping for shirts, I looked in the maternity section. Granted, there are some very unflattering maternity shirts, the majority of what I found was very comfortable, looked nice enough to where I could dress it up to casual dress for work, or wear it with jeans and look good, and it wasn’t an unflattering fit on me. In fact, it didn’t look bad at all. Some maternity clothes just make you look pregnant (which is good if your old clothes are just making you look pudgy when you’re really pregnant), but certain clothes really didn’t look bad. Dare I say even flattering?

(Taken on 9-23-12)

This was proven to be my saviour one summer when I was at my wit’s end trying to find a pair of shorts. I am not 15, I don’t want half of my butt hanging out the shorts. I’m also not 50, I don’t want them coming up to my ribs. I was darn near ready to give up and accept I will never find a pair of comfortable shorts that had longer than a 1” inseam and a low rise…. And then I happened past a maternity store that had cotton shorts on the table at the front of the store. I looked at them, realized they were super comfy (I wanted them for working out/working around the house), noticed that they had a draw string at the waist in case I did gain or lose a little… they’d still fit, and then realized they were less than $10. Win-win-win!

My first (intentional) maternity shirt purchase pre-pregnancy (Pictures on top taken 9-23-12, Maternity photo taken at 30w)

I was hooked ever since then. I just shopped for what would be multi-purpose. It wasn’t too long after starting my journey with actually shopping 80% of the time in the maternity section that I ended up pregnant with Bobble. I’ll start off by saying this: Maternity pants are a completely DIFFERENT story. Yes, they are expensive. Yes, they are necessary after a certain point. No, you don’t want to wear them when you don’t have to. Shirts, dresses, sweaters, skirts, shorts…. Well, those are a different story.

(Top pictures taken 9-23-12, maternity photo taken with a horribly crappy web cam at 20w)

I spent time picking out clothes that I would be able to use 3 ways. My criteria was they had to be usable at least two of the 3 ways, but mostly I wanted all or nothing. (It better be a darn good sale or adorable article of clothing to have me buy it otherwise!) It had to be comfortable no matter what, so I didn’t even include that in the criteria mentioned above. If it’s not comfy, I’d never buy it. Plain and simple. So, other than being comfy, the clothes must:

  1. Be able to be dressed up
  2. Look flattering on me regardless of whether I am pregnant or not
  3. Be able to nurse in
I dislike lifting my shirt up for nursing, and I never was able to afford those awesome, cute tops like the Toni Top that make nursing super easy. I cringe at the thought of paying $20 for a shirt, so the nice nursing shirts were definitely out! Of course, something simple like an Undercover Mama nursing tank helps a lot. I love these shirts, and I know I will use them well after I stop nursing Bobble. They are great for layering any outfit, but I still only have the straps of my bra to deal with. I hate the double straps under a shirt, so this was really nice. The older version of the shirts have a hook that you just slide over the top of your bra (doesn’t even need to be a nursing bra!), while the newer shirts have both the hook AND a stretchy little ‘O’ that you can put over the plastic hook of your nursing bra and the snap your bra back together. The newer shirts are brilliant since they work with regular bras too, making this shirt fantastic for any layering. Of course, it makes breastfeeding easier too, as sometimes the necklines of a shirt I want (or a sweater) are not very stretchy and I simply can’t get enough (or anything) out for Bobble to latch on to. The Undercover Mama tank keeps my belly covered up for those times I have to lift my shirt.


There are also a handful of styles of maternity shirts that fit all the criteria above, such as the Oh Baby! Motherhood Maternity line at Kohl’s (or at Motherhood Maternity). I’ve discovered that the V-neck shirts not only help make the shirt a bit dressier (just add a necklace and you’re ready for work!), but are stretchy enough to pull down to nurse instead of lifting up. They make ¾ length sleeves, t-shirts, and sweaters in that style (side-ruched v-neck), though the sweaters don’t have enough give to nurse by pulling down. I most recently bought myself a nice ¾ sleeve shirt from Kohl’s and I had a few co-workers saying how great it looked and asking where I bought the shirt. One of them is now going to start shopping in the Maternity section at Kohl’s. Keep in mind that Bobble is now 20 months old, so I’m 20 months post-partum. They were shocked because they didn’t think it looked like a maternity shirt (and it doesn’t!), but I know it will work in the future for me too.


There are also some super cute empire-waist clothes that are in the maternity section that can be flattering for anyone who happens to like that shirt! I got an adorable cross-front, empire waist tank top at Kohl’s (they are clearance now, since it’s no longer summer!) that looks great with jeans or work pants. I usually wear an Undercover Mama shirt with it if I wear it to work simply to cover a wee bit more since it is a cross-front shirt, but I don’t need to. I also found similar dresses at Kohl’s (Cross-front/v-neck, empire waist) this past summer that I’ve gotten many compliments on at work and from my hubby. Best of all, if I end up heavily pregnant during summer months, I know I have clothes I can wear and be comfortable without having to go buy a bunch of stuff!



So, frugal shoppers, take heart! Whether you are expecting, planning for the future, nursing, or just looking for some more comfortable clothes to wear that are able to be dressed up or down, you can find something you will like (that will work!) in the Maternity section of your favorite store (that carries maternity, of course). You’ll feel good that you bought multi-purpose clothes, better if you shop and hit the sales (like I do), and you’ll look great and be comfortable! (Also, they do *NOT* look like moo-moos!) 

(Top photos taken 9-23-12, maternity photos taken at 36w... 1 day before I went into labour!)

(This lone picture from 32 weeks is the exact same shirt as the green above, just in gray)

Also, don’t forget that’s a great place to go look for cotton shorts that don’t have your butt hanging out! (They didn’t have an elastic band that went up over your belly or anything, just a wide, stretchy cotton band with a draw string.)

Disclosure: The products mentioned above were purchased by me. None of the aforementioned stores or brands sponsored this post in any way. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


It is hard to believe that we are already nearing the holiday season. Halloween, being the first one of the bunch, is one I'm getting excited for. Bobble has a big head (heck, that's why I call him "Bobble"!!!), so I decided to go with something appropriate for that. I decided that him going as Charlie Brown would be rather appropriate. Last year we had a cute little onesie that had a hood and was a fuzzy material. He was a little frog. This year would take a bit more effort, but it will be fun none-the-less.

I found a great yellowish-orange polo for the outfit at The Children's Place, and I plan on putting black electrical tape on the shirt to make the zig. This way the shirt will be useable later on and not have a huge black mark across it. I will have to apply the "zig" while Bobble isn't around, however, as I don't want him to know that it can come off if he pulls on it!

We already have brown shoes for him, so the shoes are covered! I don't know if I will get yellow socks or not since he will likely be wearing pants instead of shorts. Speaking of pants, I did a few searches on Google to see what sort of bottoms I should get him. I was looking for black shorts initially, but then I noticed that Charlie Brown wears long black pants when it's colder out. Considering we live near the Great Lakes, it's not exactly going to be shorts weather when Halloween rolls around. Luckily for me, plain black pants are easy to find. I'm not certain we will be able to find a hat for him, but I'm okay with that. He's likely going to be inside the entire evening anyway. I also won't probably find a jacket for him (nor would I really look), but he'll have the shirt.

So, there you have it! Already planning our costume for our little Bobble! I think he'll fit the part just fine. Speaking of that, you have nothing to go off of with how big his head is.... so I figured I'd include a picture of him for you here. Granted this picture is from May and not the most recent, it's still a picture of Bobble. I would like to state that he is growing into his head slowly, so little by little it doesn't appear AS big, but still.

Without further ado..... Bobble! (don't mind the extra arms behind him.... that's a playmate! No, he doesn't have 4 arms!)

Now I know that he may seem a bit young for trick-or-treating, but I assure you he's not trick-or-treating. He was invited to a little Halloween party, and so we will attend that and let him enjoy playing with other little kids. I don't want him having those sweets. In fact, I don't know if I like the idea of trick-or-treating at all (in the future). I'm not opposed to people dressing up and having fun, but I dislike all the garbage (read: junk food) thought. I have been thinking that I'd rather start some little family traditions each year for various holidays instead of conforming to the "societal norm".

For example, for Halloween I could hold a little party for him and some friends when he's older.... but while he's younger (at least until he asks for something more), I thought it would be fun to watch a Halloween-themed movie, bake pumpkin cookies/pie/bread/whatever he wants, and build some sort of themed decoration that could be used for autumn in general. Maybe we can make leaves via finger paints and hand prints and hang them up, or any other number of craft ideas. When it's all said and done, I'll be happy if he's content sipping apple cider (or hot chocolate if he prefers), baking something with mom (maybe making caramel apples!), and watching a movie. The memories will be worth it so much more than having him out collecting candy I don't want him eating (and, actually, don't like even buying for handing out!).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cloth and Childcare

This past Thursday Bobble finished up his third week of childcare at the Montessori School. This has been a big transition for us as he had never been in the care of someone else for any real period of time. My husband drops him off in the morning and I pick him up on the way home from work.

Each night that is a "school" night, I pack up a cute little backpack for Bobble. Inside I have a change of clothes, a couple cloth diapers, cloth wipes, a sample size of CJ's, spray solution, a wet bag, and some disposable wipes (in case they happen to run out of the cloth ones for that day -- I imagine that could happen if he has a couple of nasty diapers). It has worked out pretty well so far, though we have had a few unexpected issues.

Now, honestly, these "issues" might have been easily foreseen by someone, but I guess I just figured I covered all bases with the teachers already, and there would not be any issues. At the end of last school year I had gone in and showed the different diapers to the teachers, showed them a wet bag, and showed them the wipes. I explained that any diaper sent for him will be ready to put on (pre-stuffed, pre-snapped in, pre-whatevered to make it ready-to-go), and that he would always have a wet bag for dirty diapers. They were impressed by the changes in cloth since they last used them, and requested that I please try to send only aplix/hook&loop/velcro diapers since it's hard to get a wiggly toddler to hold still for the change, much less figuring out which snaps they needed. That was fair. I purchased a couple extra aplix diapers (oh darn!), and made sure I had enough to cover all 3 days of childcare since they are all in a row and I probably wouldn't have the diaper laundry ready to go in time. (I might have washed the load, but not dried it yet, or not stuffed something in time to run out the door so I'm not late in the morning, etc etc etc.)

So, the issues!

Issue #1: I picked up Bobble to find that he had one dirty diaper in an empty s'posies package to be sent home.

*blink* Really? I check to see if I forgot a wet bag. Nope. I stare in disbelief that he had ONE dirty diaper from 8:30am until 4:30 when I picked him up. I spoke with the husband about this and he agreed that if they are only doing one diaper change, then we have a problem. He spoke with them the next morning and we found out that they check at 9, noon, and 3pm (and if they smell something or see a diaper issue!). He had a clean diaper when he got there, changed at noon, and I guess it didn't seem dirty at 3pm or they got confused. It was their first day and a different teacher changes them each time. I figured I could overlook this since it was day one and they were trying to get things straightened up and in order. The teacher that did change him did a horrible job putting the diaper on! He didn't leak, but I feared a future visit with a diaper changing 101 theme to it. She also didn't realize what the wet bag was. I later learned she thought it was a cute shirt since she saw a cute dinosaur print (never took it out) and just figured she needed to find a bag.

Okay, so none of those issues were ever "issues" again. He is frequently sent home with 2 diapers dirty (which makes sense since he gets there 30 mins before a check), and the wet bags are almost always used.

Almost always.

Issue #2: I was so proud of my adorable wet bags with prints that by the time I finally sent a plain (solid white) wet bag, they didn't realize what it was without the adorable print, and put diapers in plastic bags to send home. D'oh!

The next time I sent that wet bag, it got used.

Issue #3: Wipes. It didn't dawn on me that I didn't have to replace the cloth wipes in his bag until after week 2. I asked my husband if he had put more wipes in, and he said he hadn't. I mentioned that I haven't noticed any wipes in the wet bags. Then I noticed a note. That same day they had sent home a note asking for more wipes. I then realized they had been using the disposables only. I purchased another pack of disposables and placed them in the bag, but wrote a little note requesting that they please use the cloth and spray solution since he tends to break out when using disposables, but that I will keep disposables in there in case there is something too difficult (for them) to use cloth on, or if they run out. Granted, he is much better with the disposables since we started buying Earth's Best wipes, but that doesn't mean I want to use disposables regularly. If they had put up a fight, I would have conceded since they were still using cloth diapers (which I'm thankful for!).

They have not used the last few disposable wipes, and the new package isn't open. I have had to replace the cloth wipes though. Awesomeness.

And finally, an issue that is 100% MY FAULT:

Issue #4: I have a horrible tendency to take the wet bags from childcare out of his backpack, throw them next to the pail in his room, and then grab the clean diapers and wet bag to refill his backpack with and place it near the door for the next morning. I do this so I won't forget to put the stuff in there.... but I forget about the wet bag. What's worse, I forget that they CANNOT empty any diaper into the toilet, even if it's a ploppable poo. I guess it's a hygiene issue (the poo could splash water up, they might miss the toilet, where they would have to set the diaper until they got the child re-diapered, dressed, cleaned up and out of the room... ), and I understand that, but I forget about that possibility.

A lot.

Bobble normally goes first thing in the morning, before school and everything. This fact makes me forget that there is the possibility he could have gone at school. A couple of times I've grabbed one of the bags and taken it to the washer along with my hanging pail and pail liner, only to find a nasty diaper in there. Yep. Those are fun to clean out the next day. Heck, those suck to clean out at the end of that same day, let alone any amount of time past that!

Looking at those issues, they all resolved themselves except for #4, and #4 is totally my issue, not the school's issue. We've had great luck with cloth and childcare so far, and I look forward to the rest of the school year going even more smoothly. They've noticed when he was a bit red and applied the CJ's cream I had in his bag. Their diapering abilities with these diapers have DRASTICALLY improved (you wouldn't know they were newbies anymore!). They use cloth wipes and spray without hesitation. I really couldn't ask for more. Well, aside from use of a diaper sprayer, but they turned down my offer to supply one (the whole hygiene reason, remember?).

In case you're curious, here are the types of (APLIX) diapers I send for him on any given day:
BumGenius 4.0 with just the large insert
BumGenius AIO
Kawai'i Baby (just 1 insert)
Grovia (with a liner already laying across the snapped-in insert to help keep wetness away from skin)
Thirsties DUO AIO

Friday, September 7, 2012


I hate being unable to write much, but it's been the norm the last week or so. Unfortunately for me, not only has Bobble started cutting his two upper canines, but he had a bug last weekend, seems to be getting a cold now, and also decided to break my wireless router. This means I have very limited use of the internet at this point in time. My husband is back in classes and he needs to be using his computer for those, so I understand. He is on his way back from class now, Bobble is sleeping, so I'm letting you know where I disappeared to!

I also wanted to let you know of a couple of blog topics I am going to be writing about in the near future:

  • Baltic Amber
  • Maternity Clothes (Get the most out of your money!)
  • Healthy (/healthier) food ideas for your little one
  • Using Covers (with prefolds/flats)
  • Stuffing Pocket Diapers (quickly, even when the PUL is sticky!)
  • Halloween
  • Our Experience With Cloth at Childcare
If you have any other topics you would like to see covered, or simply have something you want me to  simply talk about, let me know! I always read all comments left.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Baking With Earth's Best Rice Cereal

Earth's Best sent me a box of their Organic Whole Grain Rice Cereal to try out, but like the infant formula, it's not something I've ever used with Bobble nor is it something I wanted to start using now. I opted to give this to another (different) local mama to try out, and she's written up a review of the product. Here's her review!

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So I am trying out the Earths Best Organic rice cereal with my now 8 month old baby Evelyn. When I first tried this cereal with Evelyn, I mixed it according to the directions with my breast milk. It came out very smooth and smelled good. I tried spoon feeding her and she turned her head, rejected! I then offered it to her to see if she would self feed....she tried it and spat it out. Mind you, she does not like any brand of baby cereal or purée, she wants the real thing! I gave it a couple weeks and tried again....still not having it! I was about to throw out all the baby food in my house and I feel bad wasting good baby food! 


I searched online for a recipe that uses baby cereal and baby food purée. I found a couple yummy cookie recipes! Excited, I began to gather the ingredients for the first one on the list. It was a banana oatmeal cookie recipe. I didn't have oatmeal, but rice cereal worked just fine. I substituted some items and made adjustments to the original recipe. I used half the sugar, coconut oil in place of shortening, whole wheat flour in place of bleached, and jarred banana mixed berry baby food purée in place of mashed bananas. 

Baking Ingredients


Getting ready for the oven...

All baked!

They are easy to make, easy to adjust and taste very good! So I put them to the ultimate picky eater test. They were a hit! They were so good that Evelyn and her father devoured them! It makes me happy that I can bake something yummy & healthy, and I look forward to making more of the recipes that I have found. I am glad that Earth's Best Organic is non-GMO and is something that I can feel good about serving my child. It  is wholesome, healthy and organic! Even though she doesn't eat it the way the box says, she still gets the nutrition she needs from it.


PhotobucketBio: Amanda is a stay at home mother to her 8 month old daughter, Evelyn. She cloth diapers, breast feeds, practicing baby led weaning and baby wears. She is an animal lover who has 2 cats, a dog and lots of fish. Her dream is to be a homesteader some day. :)

Disclosure: The product mentioned above was given to Amanda in exchange for a review. This did not influence her opinion of the product in any way. These opinions are Amanda’s and may differ from those of your own. 

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You can find 6 different kinds of Earth's Best Organic Rice Cereals, along with many other Earth’s Best products, online at the Earth’s Best Store, from, many other online retailers, or you can use the Earth’s Best Store Locator to find a retailer near you!

Monday, September 3, 2012

November "Win A Stash" Sign-ups Now Open!

Signups are now open for November's Win A Stash Of Cloth Diapers!
The winner will receive a stash of 12 Glow Bug Cloth Diapers!
Free Facebook link with Blog Post about the signups, otherwise, $3.00 / link.

Secret Garden Playhouse Giveaway -- Coming in October!

Secret Garden Playhouse Event is hosted by Mom to Bed by 8.

Prize: Little Tikes Secret Garden Playhouse
The event dates: 10/1 - 10/22
Free Event ~ Sign-Up Here – Bloggers Wanted Secret Garden Playhouse Event

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The 'Scoop' on Powdered Laundry Detergent

When we started using cloth, we switched detergents for all of our laundry. I did lots of research and already knew we needed to stop using fabric softener (thank goodness wool dryer balls softens everything up!), but I hadn't considered the residue left behind from using different detergents. At that time, we were using a Free & Clear liquid detergent for laundry, and powdered detergent for our diapers. I got samples of BumGenius detergent, Rockin' Green detergent, and Tiny Bubbles.

It wasn't too long into our cloth diapering adventure when my husband washed some massage sheets with the 'cloth diaper' detergent, Tiny Bubbles. Okay, so it's not only for cloth.... we just only used it on cloth. For the first time in years, his massage sheets smelled clean! They looked better, smelled better, and had less chemicals on them because the 'cloth diaper' detergent had very few ingredients. He then asked me if we could just use that detergent for everything from that point on. We sent the liquid home with my mother (might as well not waste it!), and used our Tiny Bubbles on everything after that.

Since then, I've gone through trial and error with the amount of my detergent. I wasn't using enough at first because I cut the amounts in half (I have a front-loader, HE machine)... but Tiny Bubbles is apparently formulated for HE machines, so I shouldn't have done that. *sigh* Then I had too many bubbles and was running a ridiculous amount of rinse cycles to ensure all the bubbles were out. That's when simplicity really should have been looked at: HOT WATER. Sure, the diapers got washed on HOT, but I had read a long time ago that dissolving the detergent before adding it would work wonders.

It does.

I just heat up some water in the microwave now (or even hot tap water) and stir the detergent in. When it's mostly dissolved (note I said "mostly" and not "completely"), I just add it into the detergent spot. I'll add a wee bit more hot water to the container to get the residue out and voila! So you could totally dissolve the detergent, but I never seem to think about it when I would have enough time to bother with it. My diapers are getting every bit as clean, and now need none of those extra rinse cycles!

As far as detergents go, I'd like to say that I like ALL THREE detergents mentioned above. I just went with the Tiny Bubbles as our main detergent in the beginning because my husband said he wanted to use "only this detergent" (meaning what got his sheets clean), so I bought that one. I would highly recommend any of the above detergents, however. Also, while Tiny Bubbles and BumGenius Detergents have the exact same ingredients, Rockin' Green has the awesome scents!