Saturday, December 31, 2011

Making New Year's Resolutions That Last!

Well, the new year snuck up on me just like every year, how about you? It seems every year I make the same new years resolutions.  This year I've decided to take a different approach that I have been working on with other goals (personal and professional). 

This year, I'm coming up wi th a new plan. It's a three layer system appraoch. First, I'm writing down my dreams for the next 5 years.  Am I heading in the direction that will help me reach these dreams. If not, I'm breaking it down into small parts. The second layer is to decide what big goals need to be met to ge closer to my dreams.  This puts it into something tangible that I can cross off a list.  This would usually include items I usually put on my new years resolutions. 

But that won't be good enough this year.  The third layer is to break these goals into small baby steps.  With small baby steps, I can cross things off sooner and the new changes won't be such a big leap that ends up failing after a week or month.  Let's come up with example to illustrate my point.

My dream is to live a more sustainable lifestyle. I'm already heading in that direction and to some people, I'm well on my way. Let's pretend this is a new concept that I want to integrate into my family life. I nstead of going the extreme direction and radically change my life (and my family's too), I'm going to make a list of things I'd like to work on this year. 

Eat local and mostly organic foods
Grow an organic garden
Switch to cloth diapers
Reduce my water consumption 30%
Reduce amount of plastic in my home 50%

Ok this is already a fairly large list for a newbie, but I wanted to give a variety of examples on the list. Next, I need to break this into bite size steps and work my way to these bigger goals.

So for organic foods, maybe I'd start by learning which fruits and vegetables are most important to eat organic. Then as the food already in my home gets eaten, I then add organic foods into the pantry. In the meantime, I'm going to start reading labels on the foods in my grocery store. What's in them and where did they come from? I'll build on this until I reach my goal and make it a slow process. 

Maybe with cloth diapers, I can start by attending one of our workshops or calling us up and using us to learn all I need to know. Then I would ask any friends or even strangers how it has been working for them and their preferences of diapers. Once I'm ready to take the leap, I might start with diapers and then work my way to cloth wipes.

So what are some of the changes you are thinking about making? Are you moving in the direction of your dreams? If not, how are you planning to get back on track?

Happy New Year,


Jen Starks, Owner 574.275.1235

Friday, December 30, 2011

Flip Trainers-Our Insight

We've officially been testing out these trainers for about 4 weeks now and have primarily been using them as added fluff to our cloth diaper stash.  Technically, they are designed to assist your toddler in moving out of diapers and using the potty.  I'm confident my son Tyler will get there when he's ready but we're both not ready to take that leap.  SO, I can only give you my input about the technical details and reasons I like them as a diaper and not necessarily as a trainer.

These trainers are by far the best designed trainers I've tested out yet.  They are very trim and adjustable to toddlers 20lbs to 50 lbs.  They can truly be pulled up and down by your toddler.  The kits that are available for purchase right now are offered for a limited time. I think this is a great deal for what it all entails.  I have 5 extra pads (look like a double) that are organic cotton and have used these inside the shell and also inside other pocket diapers for extra absorbency.  These trainers could also be used at night time as a diaper with 2 or 3 pads stacked inside the shell.  So basically you get 5 diaper changes for $25-not bad!!!

The pads attach to the inside of the shell with a hook/loop system and so nothing slides around.  Since the shell is a laminated polyester like most other covers for cloth diapers (e.g. Thirsties covers), it can be reused over and over again in one day.  The pads are also absorbent like a normal cloth diaper but since it is 100%, your toddler will feel wet.

Right now, we just have the "gender neutral" kits in stock which has the vanilla color with a turquoise blue.  It's nothing fancy or super exciting like our other printed diapers.  But it certainly gets the job done and works for boys and girls.

I'll post pictures of Tyler wearing them soon!



Jen Starks, Owner 574.275.1235

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Give Your Presence as a Present!

I don't know about you but something about the day or two before Christmas sends anxiety over me that I haven't given enough "gifts" to our kids or my husband.  I feel this burning desire to jump back into my car with credit card in hand.  It's not a good feeling!

I imagine that after opening all the presents, my daughter will say, "Is that it?" or "But I REALLY wanted..." But you know what?  She might say that even if I dash back out there and buy more.  This isn't what the season is about.  And what Rita Clare and Tyler and Brian (spouse) really want is quality time with me.  What good am I if I leave during this holiday and go shopping?  I come back tired, they've been having fun without me, and we now have less money to spend on other fun events together.

Today, I am making a few extra surprise gifts to add to the Christmas tree.  No wrapping necessary!  They are going to be those cheesy coupons we gave our parents (and I've been known to do this for Brian too).  With two young kids and a busy lifestyle, I want to plan out fun events of one-on-one time with each of them to use this upcoming year.  Spending intentional time together builds our relationship and creates memories that last a lifetime.  I know I can remember some of those moments growing up and still like to think back to those.  Maybe it's going out to lunch just the two of you.  Maybe it is doing an art project together.  Get creative and cater it to the interests of your recipient!

So, share a nice warm drink together and enjoy these next few days where we are given an excuse to do nothing but spend quality time together.



P.S. If you are making coupons like this, what are in yours this year?

Jen Starks, Owner 574.275.1235