My Top 5 Cloth Diaper Brands

I had such a hard time collecting my top 5 cloth diaper brands. And yes, I’ve tried out that many. Diving into the cloth diaper world can be completely overwhelming if you let it be, and I know that personally, I had no idea where to start in the beginning. My biggest help was choosing at least one cute print that I was in love with, and going from there. Cloth diapering can be a lot of trial and error in the beginning, but having prints that I loved really helped me stay motivated to make it work. It’s like those favorite pair of jeans that you’re determined to hop back into after pregnancy. They’re cute! They’re perfect, you could never give up and let them go to waste.

1. Alva Cloth Diaper

Alva Cloth Diapers definitely make my number one choice. They probably take up the majority of my cloth diaper collection. They’re in the lower price range (between $5 – $10) and they carry a TON of beautiful prints for little ones. I also love how easy they’ve been to purchase when I’m looking for new prints. They sell directly through their website, and they’re also available on Amazon. I was originally hesitant to purchase from them, thinking that maybe I should bite the bullet and spend more for quality, but we diaper 3 littles on a daily basis and these bad boys have held up GREAT. The pockets are a good size for stuffing the diapers, and we have never had any leaks, and no need for repairs as of yet. I’m nothing less than pleased with every purchase thus far.

2. Bitty Bum Baby

I can’t say enough about Bitty Bum Baby. I only own 3 of their diapers so far, but their prints (can you tell I’m a print snob?) are completely adorable. I was actually extremely pleased to find out that they’re a small owned business. Not only was I able to shop small, but I was also able to support a local business in the process. She had great customer service, and I love the relatable story behind her business being that she’s a work at home mom. The pocket size was perfect and I also got a few organic hemp inserts during a sale. When I say these inserts are my favorite hemp inserts, I mean it. No exaggeration. The diapers go for only $6.50, so right up alley for a mom trying to cover 3 booties.

3. Mama Koala

I could start by telling you that Mama Koala is the place to be if you’re looking for a wide variety of prints, but I’m sure you could have guessed that. I feel like Mama Koala Diapers are probably a great option for smaller babies. My twins always had the tinniest little legs, and even though these don’t have the hip adjustments like a lot of my other diapers, they still manage to fit them perfectly. I like the large pocket opening, but I must say I wish it elastic on both sides of the opening. It hasn’t been an issue for us thus far though, so no worries. I got my first set of these for $40 from Amazon. It came as a 6 pack with 6 inserts. All beautiful prints.

4. Lighthouse Kids Company

As much as I love my lower priced diapers, I had to give a little love to Lighthouse Kids Company for their amazing diapers. I only have one, (yes one) single diaper in my stash, but it’s been so sturdy and reliable. I love the elastic around the waist of the diaper, it’s equip with adjustable snaps, and hello guys, the prints! A downside is that I only see these diapers retail for around $20, which is more than I normally spend considering I try to buy multiple diapers at a time, but I would totally pay for the quality. Another downside is having access to these diapers to purchase them. I’ve yet to discover a direct website for them, they’re only located at other stores around The U.S and Internationally. So, while it is one of my favs, and I would totally recommend the purchase if you find one, I can’t say I see myself adding too many to my stash in the future.

5. Bum Genius 5.0

I didn’t start my journey buying a lot of Bum Genius diapers, even though I’ve always heard great things. It was just that they’re priced between $15- $20 and that wasn’t something I wanted to spend just in case the cloth life wasn’t for me. Now, being more experienced with cloth diapers, I’ve finally purchased a few and I love them. They’ve been great overnight diapers, the adjustable snaps are great, and the solid colored diapers are vibrant. I really feel like they provide enough options to fit just about any cloth mama, and her preferences for her little one.


Interested in more of my cloth diaper posts!? Looking to get into cloth diapering all together? Check out Part 1 of my “All About Cloth Series” to get you going, OR, read all about “What’s In MY Diaper Bag. Cloth Edition.

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Meal Plan Menu #6

I’m sure you guys have been missing my Meal Planning posts! I’ve loosely been sticking to my family’s meal plans but lately, life for this mama has been incredibly hectic. I’ve also been focusing on really committing to meal prepping our meals during the day, and planning out our nightly dinner meals. It’s been trial and error, but I’ve been going strong for 2 weeks now, and I really think it will be easier for us long term. My husband comes home starving and ready for lunch, so it’s been the best thing having home cooked meals that he can just heat up and eat.

Now, outside of that, if you happen to have been following my blog for a while, you know that I love meal planning for my family of 5. It’s been one of the most beneficial things that I’ve started doing to stay in budget when it comes to groceries. I check in weekly to break down my weekly meal plan, and explain my thought process in planning and scheduling things how I do. If you’re interested in getting started, check out my blog post HERE on how to start meal planning. It’s a great read, really easy explanations, and full of really great tips.

I meal plan on Wednesdays because I like to check out what’s on sale at my local grocery stores. If I lost you just now, no worries I’ll explain. The average grocery store prints their new sales ads every Wednesday. They normally come in the newspaper if you get one, but you can also check them out online if they have an official website. If you’re a couponer, even better! You should already know the importance of matching your coupons with weekly sales to maximize your savings. I do my plans from Monday to Sunday for the following week, just for schedule purposes. I normally grocery shop on Thursday or Friday every week.

I normally plan out breakfast meals for my kids, a various list of lunch options, and our family meals, but as of late I loosely plan for various breakfast options for my kids, a meal prep menu for lunch, and I do a full meal plan for family dinners.

This week I’ve planned the following

Monday: Cesar Kale Pasta Salad
Tuesday: Wings, Asparagus and Roasted Potatoes
Wednesday: Salisbury Steak, Asparagus,
Thursday: Grilled Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Salad
Friday: Taco Salad
Saturday: Mongolian Beef and Brown Rice
Sunday: Shrimp Fried Rice

An important reason to meal plan is so you’re wasting less. Less food, less money, less time. In my Meal Planning 101 article, I explain the importance of using leftovers, sides, and extra condiments in other dishes throughout the week. I’ll be using Tuesday’s leftover asparagus in my Wednesday meal. My Thursday meal will also use potatoes like my Tuesday meal, because I hate not making it through a bag of potatoes. I plan to make Wednesday’s Salisbury steak with ground turkey vs ground beef, and I’ll also use ground turkey in Friday’s meal of taco salad. Last but not least, I plan to male extra brown rice on Saturday so it’s already cooked and cooled for my fried rice on Sunday.

Meal planning doesn’t have to be as complicated as you would think. Spending 30 minutes to an hour worth of your time, can save you lots of time (and money) over the course of your week. So why not start? Save yourself some much needed time, and money and start planning.

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10 Ways to Cut Your Household Expenses

With our new year already in full swing, everyone is interested in getting their fresh start, decluttering, organizing, and cutting their expenses to better be able to keep themselves on the straight and narrow for the next 12 months. I am definitely one of those people! I try to stay focused on my fabulously frugal goals always, but having that cliché “New year, New me” feeling really kicks that into high gear. I always get a ton of questions about ways to cut back and save less, but most of the time the outlook is only about cutting a monetary number in half, or decreasing the value of a bill.

I’m here to share 10 ways to cut your household expenses, just by making a few simple lifestyle changes, and switching up how you look at your everyday life.

1. Reuse, Repurpose, and Do It Yourself

Every Frugal OG knows the life of reusing, repurposing, and learning to do things yourself! This is a very broad category for frugal living, but it can definitely be applied nearly everywhere. Apply this philosophy to furniture, car maintenance, carryout containers, mason jars, beauty and grooming, simple home renovations, the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, because I’m not saying that you should be so frugal that you’re electrocuting yourself, or causing a home flood for trying to do it all yourself, but a little research and a Youtube video or two could definitely get you out of a few costly expenses, and it could also have you on the road to learning a new trade, or creating yourself a side hustle.

2. Cut the Cable, Cheaper Phone Plans, Read for Fun

Cut back on electronics! Taking up reading instead of watching is an easy way to cut an expense. The less tv you’re watching, the less you need tv and cable at your disposal. I was one of those people that always said that I couldn’t do it. I would NEVER get rid of my cable. I’m a stay at home mom, and after a long day sometimes a girl just needs a good dose of trashy reality tv! However, I did it. I’ve done it. I invested in a fire stick, and I’ve always been a faithful Netflix and Hulu user, so I’ve been happy with the household expense difference ever since. This expense cut won’t fit everyone, but this is normally a BIG expense that can make a difference if it’s an option for you. There are now so many options to still get access to great shows or the channels that you enjoy. A great way to cut electronic expenses are cheaper phone plans, and no contract phones. I’m still team iPhone, I haven’t had to give up smart phone life (I’m a blogger, so it isss actual conducive to my business) and I’m not trapped into a contract, and I can upgrade whenever I want, and I’m more likely to do so when I actually have the money.

3. Utilize Your Local and Public Resources 

While you’re cutting cable and becoming a reading warrior, you should also learn to use your public resources; like the library. The library has options for books so you can save a few pennies before purchasing your own. It also has movies for rent while you’re learning to live your new cable free life. Also, did you know that a lot of local libraries provide cool (and FREE) events for your littles throughout the month? While you’re looking for kid friendly fun, you can also look for local Rec and Community Centers and invest in an affordable membership. Many places will work with you and base your monthly cost off of your household income.

4. Buy Reusable vs Buying Disposable

I like plastic and paper plates just as much as the next person that occasionally hates washing dishes, BUT it really doesn’t save you any money at all. I remember living in my first apartment with my husband and never buying real baking dishes. I only needed them once in a blue moon, so I always chose to buy disposable instead. Years later .. still never bought a baking dish! The amount of times I ended up using a disposable option, I could have just bought a reusable dish (or two) with all of that money instead. Plates, utensils, water bottles, whatever the case may be, buy them all reusable, and not disposable.

5. Cook at Home, Cook From Scratch, Plant When Possible

My favorite thing to talk about when it comes to saving money on groceries and cooking is to start Meal Planning. I have a great break down for it here on my blog. Planning your meals helps to prevent over spending, cooking those meals from scratch help cut costs on premade and prepackaged items, and learning to be sustainable with your fresh produce by learning to plant your own saves cost (and possibly even your health) on your fresh ingredients.

6. Laundry Times, Laundry Temps, Laundry Frequency

I’ve heard once that doing dishes, laundry, and using your electric essentials between certain hours of the day can actually help to lower your energy costs. It didn’t make sense to me at first, but I became genuinely curious so I started to research it. I even went as far as trying it out for a while and really going over my energy bill at the end of the month and surprisingly I actually saw a difference. I started cautiously doing laundry after 7pm, which was the little energy trick that I picked up. I also washed in only cold water, and tried to decrease our laundry frequency (which is surprisingly hard with a family of 5!) but I tried to make it work.

7. Paying Off Credit Cards to a $0 balance

Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise that massive credit card debt is absolutely necessary for daily living. It’s NOT. I do however believe in them for emergency purposes (Although emergency savings should always come first) and building some sort of credit history, but if you’re looking to decrease your household expenses, a great way to do that is to pay down the unnecessary debt that’s wallowing over your head. Once it’s paid off, stick to the 30% utilization rule, and keep your monthly payments low.

8. Buy Used Cars

I know it seems nearly impossible with all of the fancy and flashy cars on the road, but say it with me, and more importantly start saying it to yourself when it’s time to car shop, “The value of a new car depreciates as soon as you drive it off of the lot.” More importantly, after you’ve paid a car payment between $300 – $400 for a year or two, how’s it feel knowing that it still won’t technically be yours to own until another couple thousand dollars are paid? New cars also mean higher required car insurance, on top of your regular gas and maintenance. Buying used isn’t always a taboo. It shouldn’t be. Any car can break down, any car can throw you curveballs, but a car that’s bought outright makes it yours. Yours to sell with no lien, and yours to junk if need be with no burden of still paying a remaining balance. One of the worst feelings is having something happen to your car and still having your loan creep over your head for something you aren’t even enjoying anymore.

9. Date Nights In

My husband and I are just natural homebodies (A match made in heaven!) so it’s always been pretty easy for us to get creative and just enjoy time together from the comfort of our own home. No lines, no crowds, and no extra spending! If you’re a couple that naturally likes to be out and about, that’s fine too. To cut back on expenses, start incorporating more nights in by renting a movie at home vs seeing one in theaters, or cooking your own romantic dinner together vs sitting down at a restaurant. For the times where you do want to get out of the house, check Groupon for local events in your area, or opt to grab cheaper prices by doing a lunch date vs a dinner date.

10. Kids Day “Out”

This same concept of “Date Night In” can even be applied to fun times for the kids. Let them do movie night in the living room, where you create fun treats, and make them their own movie boxes for snacking. You could also plan a scavenger hunt around your house or backyard, do a paint night for kids where you invite a few other friends over, and if the weather permits, the backyard possibilities could be endless for affordably fun times.

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Little Ocean’s Fluff Cloth Diaper Review

*DISCLAIMER* This is a sponsored post. While I was compensated for this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information, please refer to my disclosure page.

I had the pleasure of working with Little Ocean’s Fluff to provide you with this post and quick review. In case you’re unfortunately out of the loop, Little Ocean’s Fluff is a small Etsy shop that specializes in affordable cloth diapers. They also sell T-shirts, totes, stickers, and buttons. All to represent a little bit of cloth diaper love. They also work with a few other Work At Home Moms to create and design some of their accessory products, so shopping with them means support for a few hard working Mompreneurs (Which I am ALL for) and helping them to support their families.

It was such a pleasure working with Mala. She’s friendly, she responds to questions quickly, and she definitely delivers. These are all things that I normally look for when I’m shopping small, because I love the feeling of a personable purchase. It’s nice to feel like the owner is really working to provide you with a positive experience and a quality product. Something that can often get lost with larger companies.


My Honest Review

The Print

I received their I Pump Love Diaper. They also have a few other prints listed in their shop, but I chose this one specifically, because I exclusively pumped with my twins, and that’s something near and dear to me. I spent the first 2 ½ months away from my preemie babies, so initially nursing wasn’t an option, and eventually latching was a struggle. They were able to get breastmilk for a solid 8 months without nursing, so I’m all for the support of pumping liquid gold for your babies. Much like nursing, pumping is hard work, and some bodies don’t respond as well to a pump as it naturally would to your baby. So yay for pumping, and yay to Little Ocean’s Fluff for selling this print!

The Cut

It’s a one-size pocket diaper with snaps for both the rise and the waist. I cloth diaper 3 little ones, so this is the type of cover that we prefer to stick to for flexibility. It really provides the opportunity for a custom fit for each one of our children. For example, one of my twins has slightly chunkier thighs, and definitely a larger waist than my other son, and my daughter. I’ve used this cover on him, and also on my daughter to test out the fit.

Durability/ Quality

At this point I’ve washed the cover (two times from after use, one initial wash). I unfortunately also got to test out how the cover takes both pee, and poop. Nothing like breaking in a new cloth diaper like doing it with a diaper full of poop, right? I obviously haven’t had a ton of uses out of it, but the cover held up great during the few washes it did endure. There was no staining on the cover, which I always have to jump for joy for when trying out a new cloth diaper brand. Apartment living isn’t always conducive to sunning your diapers, so it’s great that everything came out with a simple wash. I didn’t notice any fading from the cover. In fact, it essentially looks the same as the day that I got it.

The overall quality of the diaper is a 10 in my book. I see no issues with the snaps, or the lining of the cover. I often see more affordable diapers get a bad rep for quality, but affordable DOES NOT mean cheap. Especially when it comes to this diaper.

The Price

Little Oceans Fluff specializes in cloth diapers of a more affordable price point, so this diaper is listed for only $8.50 along with their other prints. That’s a price that I can’t complain about. When I do cloth diaper purchases, that’s the price point that I try to stay in. Diapering of any kind can get pretty expensive when you’re covering 3 booties.

Overall, Little Ocean’s Fluff gets 5 snaps from me. I love supporting family business, shopping small, and finding a new quality diaper to add to my stash is just icing on the cake.


Please feel free to use my coupon code CHICDOMESTIC10 for 10% off your purchase with Little Ocean’s Fluff.

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Potty Training a Child With a Speech Delay

I’ve finally reached the dreaded parenting hurdle that is potty training. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely want a potty trained toddler. In fact, I can’t wait! The only problem is, I would want it even more if I could blink my eyes and have it happen without my floors taking a hit from the accidents, or that feeling of a mini heart attack when you think its “go time” when in reality, their tiny bladders won’t be ready until exactly 5 seconds after you get them off of the toilet. Fun times, fun times. If potty training isn’t a huge hurdle within itself, I knew that potty training my little one with a speech delay might add an extra bit of complication.

I started doing some research, because I really plan to succeed. My daughter will be three in a few months so, no pressure, and I’m also not expecting a potty trained in 3 days sort of success story. However, what I plan to accomplish is for her to nail the concept that peeing in the potty: good, Peeing on the rug: bad. Even though we haven’t consistently attempted training yet, she does know to sit and stay on the potty. I’m just not so sure she understands why, and I’m absolutely positive that she doesn’t know to ask when it is time to go. All in all, my biggest issue I foresee in the process will be communicating. This will be where I get to be the innovative mommy that I am, and find out just what works for my little one.

She does a little bit better with receptive language, so getting her to understand. “Do you have to use the potty?” or “Do you have to use the bathroom?” and what that really means will be my easier communication task. After all, that’s normally where you start anyway. Constantly asking and playing the guessing game with timing, and then eventually they start to understand and come to you when they need to use the bathroom. The bigger task will be getting her to respond with appropriate answers (or answer me at all) and then eventually using her expressive language to come to me on her own to let me know that she needs to go.

How to Know They’re Ready

A big part of beginning the potty training process is knowing that your child is ready. If they aren’t ready, you won’t be getting far on the success train. You want your child to be willing and open to learning, and not trying to avoid the potty at all costs. No one wants a child with potty trauma, and toilet paper nightmares. If your child will at least sit there for prolonged periods of time, start there. Things will eventually progress from there, just remember to listen to your child and what they’re ready for.

A Few Easy Signs
• Pulling at a wet or dirty diaper
• Being noticeably uncomfortable in a soiled diaper
• Hiding to pee or poop
• Interest in others using the bathroom (Not to be confused with them stalking you in the bathroom)
• Telling you when they have to go, or have already gone to the bathroom
• Asking to be changed

My Potty Training Game Plan

My daughter shows a few clear physical signs that she might be ready to officially start potty training, but again, I’m not looking for a potty trained in 3 day success story. Who knows, she might surprise me! At the very least, I know that she’s more than capable of working towards our end goal. She has no problem sitting on the potty for prolonged periods of time. This is something that we’ve done with her off and on for a few months now, just not consistently. She physically just wasn’t completely ready.

Now that we’ve made it to that point, I want to start to remove her attachment to diapers in the daytime. We have to teach her to slowly become aware of her body’s elimination signals first, and then we will move on to teaching her how to respond appropriately to those elimination signals by either coming to one of us to communicate, or going straight to her potty. If you’ve been tuned in to my blog for a while now, you’ll know that I’m a cloth diaper mama, so we’re opting to try out cloth training pants for this portion of our potty training journey. This also works just fine with throwing on regular underwear, or just cutting down on dirty underwear laundry all together, and just letting them run commando. Unfortunately, we have carpet and we currently rent, sooo no thank you!

*Mom Tip!* If you’re choosing the commando route (and even if you aren’t) keep a bottle of cleaner handy for accidents .. you’ll more than likely need it.

What You Need To Start
• Potty or Potty Seat
• Underwear or Cloth Training Pants
• Step Stool (Optional)
• Potty Visuals
• Positive Reinforcement (The Potty Box of Rewards)

I have both a potty seat for the toilet, and a regular mobile potty for my daughter to use. I prefer the toilet seat, because I find it easier for her to make the recognition that this is where using the bathroom happens for everyone, and she also really likes to flush the big toilet by herself. I’m going to be placing her on the potty between 15 and 20 minute intervals, and I plan to keep my schedule flexible, but as consistent as possible. She’s also in part time preschool so I’ll also be working around her school schedule a bit as far as time of day goes, but our rough time frame schedule will always be first thing in the morning, 10 minutes after eating and drinking, and immediately before and after naptime and bedtime.

I want to start my daughter out using potty visuals. She uses visuals a lot in preschool to communicate with her teacher, so I want to incorporate that into our potty routine. I created a 123 step poster to show Step 1: Got to Go, Step 2: Potty Time, and Step 3: All Done. I will also be incorporating some sign language, so that she can sign things like “Potty” and “All done” to better communicate when she is ready to go on her own.

Last but certainly not least, I plan to create a fun box of rewards for her to utilize positive reinforcement, which she loves. Along with lots of claps and praise for going successfully, I bought some fun items like stickers, and tiny toys from the dollar store, and food is always a great motivation for her, so sometimes I plan to offer her small snacks like gold fish crackers when she uses the potty successfully. Eventually she will realize that using the bathroom in the potty is a good thing, and she will be more compelled to continue to use it when good things happen and she’s rewarded for it.

*Mom Tip!* A good must have if you’re planning on frequent outings, and potty training on the go is a travel potty.

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