Friday, August 17, 2012

CJ's BUTTer Review and GIVEAWAY!!--Winner added!

Image from
The August Brand of the Month at is CJ's. CJ's is a mom-run company based out of Colorado. The company began when CJ was looking for a cloth-safe diaper cream. She started experimenting, and, soon afterward, CJ's BUTTer was born! Since then, the company has expanded to include products like "Bug Banisher" and "Wool Wash."

When I first became a consultant with Diaper Parties, my kit included 2 CJ's BUTTer samples. I didn't want to use anything from my kit because I needed it to show at parties, but my daughter got a pretty bad rash when she was only a few weeks old due to being an exclusively breastfed baby and having poop in every diaper, which irritated her already sensitive skin (more on her sensitive skin and something I found that helps, coming soon). I tried using coconut oil, a tried and true cloth diaper-safe cream. It worked, but it was difficult to use since it went from solid to liquid without any rhyme or reason, and it always seemed 'wet' on my daughter's bum.

Finally, I decided to try one of the CJ's samples and just order a replacement for my kit. I am so glad I did this! It was creamy, smelled amazing, and went on easily, absorbing into her skin quickly. The redness was gone within a day, and, crazy as it sounds, I started to look forward to changing her diapers! Every time I change a diaper now, even if it has poo, I smell the CJ's butter and it smells wonderful! It has even helped my diaper pail smell yummy!
{Note: any time a mom says she looks forward to changing diapers, even poopy ones, you should run out and buy whatever product made this happen!}
I know sometimes lotions and creams can actually dry out your skin if it is scented, but I've had no such issues with this cream.

Now, some of you are thinking, "Ok, Deidre, that's nice, but I don't have a baby, so I don't need a diaper cream! Stop right there! CJ's BUTTer is for much more than baby bums. Check out all the other great uses:

Called a”A Miracle in a Tube” by some, CJ’s BUTTer® has been used on adults and children to help relieve …
·         eczema
·         rashes
·         dry/chapped skin
·         rug burns (sore ‘crawler’ knees)
·         mechanics’ hands and cuticles
·         hang nails
·         Lacerations and abrasions from rock climbing
·         rub a small amount on your hands and use as a leave-in conditioner for your curls
More uses for CJ’s BUTTer® include:
·         Use it for black/mixed hair!! Leaves hair soft, shiny and helps alleviate those ‘owies’ when trying to separate locks!
·         Melt a dollop under running bath water for a relaxing, soothing, and anti-inflammatory soak–provides relief for post-partum soreness and hemorrhoids!
·         Provides protection against windburned cheeks/face and helps to relieve windburn!
·         Promotes healing and provides a non-stick barrier when used after a circumcision.

I am pretty sure anyone can find a way they can use this product! I can add the following use: nursing elbows (the dry elbows you get from leaning on your elbows while nursing lying down) from personal experience! ;)

I am almost out of my 1.5 oz. sample now, and will be ordering a full size (4 oz.) tub soon. While I'm ordering, I might as well order someone a FREE SAMPLE while I'm at it, right? ;)

Here's the fun part...giveaway time! I want you to see how outstanding CJ's BUTTer really is, but you have to help me! I am currently in love with the "Viva La Juicy" scent (it smells fruity and just plain delicious). I also like the "Summer Sunrise" scent, but it's a bit perfume-like for my taste (or should I say, "for my smell"...?). CJ's has so many scents, I'm finding it hard to choose which one to get next!

To enter the giveaway, you must 'like' my DPBD Facebook page, then choose the scent you think you would like to try (if you win the giveaway, I'll send you your choice).

Here is the list of scents:
(Love the sometimes hilarious descriptions, by the way!)

Essential oils and EO blends:

  • All Natural Mango, Sugar & Mint
  • Caribbean Therapy EO blend (vetiver, bay & lime)
  • Frankincense & Myrrh EO blend
  • Intrigue EO blend (orange, lemon, petitgrain)
  • Lavender EO
  • Lavender & Tea Tree EO blend
  • Lemon Grove EO blend
  • Madagascar EO blend (vanilla & ylang ylang) Elitha’s Employee favorite
  • Narwhals & Unicorns (lavender & bergamot) *Because it’s MAGICAL!!!*
  • Sensuality EO blend (ylang ylang & myrrh)
  • Summer Sunrise (Bergamot EO)–CJ’s favorite
  • Sweet Orange EO
  • Tea Tree EO

  • FRAGRANCES (synthetic):

    • Sweet Memories (Awapuhi):  Have you ever encountered a scent that just takes you back to a special time and place?  This Awapuhi (Ah-vah-poo-hee) scent is named for CJ’s mom.  It’s a dreamy, clean scent used in many salon shampoos.  Technically a fruity-floral scent, it stands out from the rest as it is light, airy,  super clean,  and not particularly floral.  Give it a try….it’s simply beautiful—just like mom.
    • Lullaby Baby Lotion: This is a gorgeous, soft, irresistible designer baby fragrance! With soft notes of leafy green, peach, melon, coconut and honey, and reminiscent of Johnson’s Baby Magic lotion, this fragrance is a tribute to the softness and innocence of babies.
    • Monkey Farts:  You asked for it and we listened!!  For once the rather unattractive name is not an indicator of the quality of this excellent fragrance.  A truly unique fragrance that begins with top notes of fresh banana and juicy grapefruit, middle notes of kiwi, bubblegum, and strawberries; and a hint of vanilla as a base note.
      • My Pixie Pie:  Named after CJ’s pet name for her little girl…A beautiful mixture of cherries, toasted almonds and finished with a touch of vanilla and coconut, this sweet fragrance is aptly named.  BOTTOM LINE:  A princess in pink, with some fairy wings and a tutu, poised and ready to tackle big brother when the mood strikes.
      • Cucumber Melon: A hot afternoon, and a blend that cooled the warm summer day!  This baby is fantastic!!  Top notes of fresh cucumber, ripe melons, apple, and pear lead to a floral heart of muguet, rose, jasmine, and cyclamen. A rich, sweet drydown is provided by oakmoss and vanilla.
      • Honeyed Patchouli:  Okay all you Patchouli haters, you’ve got to try this! All of my testers gave it 2 thumbs up!! The sweet smell of honeycomb wrapped around patchouli twigs. With light notes of candied fruit & lemon peel. (Elitha’s Employee “second-favorite”)
      • Warm Vanilla Cake: Quite simply the richest, most buttery vanilla in the entire universe!  (Mark’s employee “second favorite”)
      • Oatmeal, Milk & Honey: This blend is a perfect marriage of oatmeal, milk, and honey — mellow, soothing, with just a hint of sweetness — the comfort food of fragrance.
      • Coconut Lime Dream: A luscious blend of creamy coconut and tangy lime.
      • Pink Sugar:  This boutique best-seller begins with notes of sweet, sugary lemon drops and pink cotton candy. A fruity-floral middle of red fruit, fig leaves, caramel and raspberry leads to a sweet vanilla-musk base. BOTTOM LINE: Here’s your chance to smell like sugar, Sugar!
      • Bamboo & Lotus Blossom (light and flowery)
      • New Mown Hay — the perfect combination of earthy and sweet! A best seller! It is an unpretentious, down-home blend of fresh hay notes brightened by a touch of citrus and floral. Did I already say unpretentious? Good, because there’s no perfumey, show-offy, big city hijinks in this here scent.
      • Blueberry Crumble–A pleasing blend of plump summer ripened blueberries, and crispy oatmeal topping warm from the oven. Rich and buttery, with a hint of spice and vanilla.  (Mark’s employee favorite)
      • Love Spell–Top notes of peach, mango, strawberry, and mandarin flow into a complex middle of apple blossom, rose, tamarind, and coconut milk. The fragrance is completed with smooth notes of musk, vanilla, and precious woods. Bottom Line: A very likable scent — bursting with juicy peach and mango — perfect for the hot, hot days of summer.
      • Viva la Juicy– golden amber, egyptian musk, citrus, lily of the valley, pink jasmine, and warm woods
        ^My current favorite...but I've only smelled 2 scents!

        Especially for men:

        (LOVE these descriptions, ha!)
      • Fireside:  Super sexy yet subtle combination of cedarwood, sandalwood, leather, rich amber and cashmere musk  BOTTOM LINE: Tom Selleck by the campfire in “Last Stand at Saber River”
      • Green Irish Tweed:  Who couldn’t adore this light, but masculine fragrance type from Creed? A fruity top note of lemon verbena, middle notes of iris & violets & at the base is sandalwood & amber. You will not be disappointed with this refined, gentleman’s scent.   Masculine, yet light enough for your baby boy!! BOTTOM LINE: Cary Grant in “His Girl Friday”
      • Nomad: A rich combination of sandalwood, carnations and musk.  BOTTOM LINE:  Heath Ledger in “Casanova”
      • Sea spice: A truly gender neutral ocean scent sure to please!  Rugged, yet refreshingly light.  Fresh top notes of ozone (“fresh air”) and citrus lead to a soft middle of sea kelp and champagne. This shore essence is completed with soft notes of driftwood, musk, and just a hint of Indonesian clove oil. BOTTOM LINE:  *George Clooney in “A Perfect Storm”
      • Tuscan Herb: Intoxicating aromas of fresh-picked tomatoes, red currants, leafy greens and Italian basil, with underlying tones of earth and sandalwood   BOTTOM LINE: Brad Pitt in “Ocean’s Eleven”
    This is a Raffle Copter Giveaway. You can log in using your Facebook ID (that's what I do when I enter this type of giveaway). This giveaway is not sponsored by Facebook, CJ's BUTTer, or Diaper Parties, LLC. I am doing this on my own volition because I think if you try this product, you'll love it just as much as I do! :)

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

    Deidre Davis, Cloth Diaper Connoisseur

    Yeah, I should totally go with that title... ;)

    Just kidding.

    But on the serious side, I have been very glad to help several of my friends "make the switch" from disposable diapers to cloth ones, and I feel pretty good about that! I do get a lot of the same questions a lot (sometimes from the same person), and I'm so glad I can be helpful.

    I remember when I first started researching cloth diapers, I was so nervous to buy anything because I wanted first-hand knowledge before I bought something. This is really hard to do with cloth diapers because they aren't typically sold in stores. In fact, the only time I've ever gotten to see some in person before buying them was at a consignment sale, when I found an amazing deal on some pocket diapers.

    I was lucky enough to have a friend in Tennessee (where we were living right up until Ezra was born) who helped me get started considering cloth. She had cloth diapered her first two children and wanted to do the same with the third, but was very disappointed when she bought a pack of Gerber flats and found they were so thin they were see-through. She had used them with the first two children, but didn't think the quality available to her now would hold up for a cloth diaper. (FYI: I'm not trying to be negative to Gerber on this change. They probably very rarely have anyone use their flats for cloth diapers anymore--they are mainly used for burp cloths. Also, they may have changed again by now, because this situation took place roughly 2 1/2 years ago, and I have noticed that some of the bigger companies are starting to notice the popularity of cloth diapers is increasing once again. Maybe I can get some and do a comparison blog once Ellie is born.)

    Anyway, in the midst of trying to help my friend find some suitable flat diapers, I discovered the "amazing world of cloth!" I was finding new things with every Google search and became more and more intrigued about the new options for cloth diapering. It actually looked...easy. The products were decidedly more affordable than diapering your child with disposables (although, depending on what you use, you will initially pay more in the beginning, you will continue using the same ones, so you definitely end out on top). And to top it all off, they were so cute! The cuteness factor didn't really get to me until much later. All I could think about was price. I remember looking at sites that offered pocket diapers or all in ones (AIOs) and thinking, 'well, those are really cool, but I'd never be able to afford them.' (Now I have a pretty decent stash of them, thanks to savings, patience, time, and sales!)

    Around the same time, my friend and her husband decided to start a home-based business. When he asked me for suggestions on a business that would be in demand, but not highly available, I immediately said, "Cloth diapers!" He laughed and said his wife had been saying the same thing. Thanks to them, I was able to see some products they carried in use on their new daughter, and even got to change her a couple of times. I remember the first time I changed her when she was wearing a flat with a cover. Her mother was smart enough to forget all the fancy folding and just fold her flats into a rectangle. I remember I took out the rectangle, put in a new one, and snapped the cover back. Then I looked up and said, "That's it? Did I do it right?!" She laughed and said I had. When Ezra was young, I had a similar moment once when Josh's youngest sister (16 or 17 at the time) saw me changing Ezra's diaper--again, a flat with a cover (no fancy folds required)--and she was shocked it was so easy. I remember her saying, "Well, gosh, I thought there would be pins involved and all this crazy stuff."

    (Note: I realize some people really like using folds for cloth diapers, and I say more power to them. For me, it was much easier to just fold clean diapers into rectangles, stack them on the changing table, and be ready to go when it was time for a change. I tried the origami fold and a few other flat folds, but found it was much more time consuming for me, they didn't hold in messes any better, and sometimes Ez would get creases on his bottom from the folds, so I figured the rectangle fold might even be more comfy for him.)

    Eventually, I was able to get some pocket diapers (once again, thank goodness for clearance sales) and now I have all the diapers I will need with Ellie (maybe even some extras, if I'm totally honest). Allow me to share some pictures... :)

    My first 'stash'--3 dozen flats, 3 newborn covers, 2 small covers (I only put a few flats in the picture for reference):

    Additional covers I got for him from Diaper Swappers:

    The larger covers he used towards the end of our cloth journey (he's potty trained now):

    New covers bought especially for baby Ellie (the first 3 I was being gender neutral about, the flowers one in the front was when I was really hoping for a girl, and the pink polka dots was the girl version of a cover we always wanted for Ezra but was always sold out--the only cover I bought actually knowing we were having a girl)...

    Ezra's pocket diaper stash (we have 14 Bum Genius diapers, but I just showed one of each color).

    Pockets bought for baby girl at Rhea Lana's (even when I wasn't sure we would have a girl, these were too good a deal to pass up!)

    Newest addition to our stash...Bum Genius Newborn All In Ones. I ordered a 'gender neutral' assortment, and these are the colors I ended up with. I'm looking forward to trying these!

    You cannot really grasp the utter cuteness of these diapers unless you see a size comparison. here they are next to Bum Genius One Size pockets (if you are considering buying all one-size diapers, pay attention to the size difference--most 'one size' diapers don't fit babies well until around 10 lbs.)

    Our flats and covers stash in the dresser...

    Our all in ones/pockets stash (aka, 'easy' diapers--great for daycare or family members who are less comfortable with cloth)

    I feel so incredibly blessed to have such a 'huge stash!' I'm pretty sure other people have me trumped by several dozen diapers (or maybe hundreds!) but we have come so far from our beginning! :)


    The Cloth Diaper Connoisseur ;)

    {This post was originally featured on my personal blog, here.}

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    World Breastfeeding Week: My Breastfeeding Journey

    August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week, so I thought I'd share a bit of my breastfeeding journey. Enjoy!

    I always wanted to breastfeed from day one. It is the best for your baby, so I knew I would do it. However, it was extremely time consuming (especially with my first-he would nurse every 30 minutes sometimes!) and it took a while for my son to get the hang of it. I gritted my teeth and maybe even cried a bit through those first few weeks, but it was SO worth it! He self-weaned and was completely weaned at 17 months (he'd gotten to where he only BF'd at one bedtime feeding before stopping completely). He never had a single ear infection, and he was able to avoid most bugs I brought home from school (I taught public school at the time), even when I had them! All that said, I was surprised by how difficult breastfeeding was with him. I was up every hour at night in the beginning, with him eating for 20 minutes at a time, which meant I only had a half hour after feeding and changing his diaper before getting up again. It was exhausting! I stuck it out, and suddenly, he was eating less often and quicker! It seemed like it happened overnight, and I was even worried at first, but it was just the result of him becoming more efficient at eating--and man, was I thankful!

    Right now, my daughter is almost 2 months old and she's doing great with breastfeeding. She was nearly 2 pounds larger at birth and has a great appetite, both of which have been a big help! We've progressed faster than her brother and I did, but it hasn't been without its challenges. I had mastitis during week 2 and that was one of the hardest things I've ever been through. I refused to give up, and I'm so glad I didn't stop. We are doing great now and I look forward to giving her the best nutrition possible for as long as I can!

    I have to say, I have had some friends who couldn't breastfeed, no matter how much they tried, and that makes me even more thankful that I've made it through the BFing challenges I've faced. I don't think formula-feeding mamas are failures...I think there is a lot of negativity out there about that, and it's not good. There is a fine line between being a breastfeeding advocate and offending those who couldn't or wouldn't breastfeed their children. I try to keep in mind that most women don't have good information, hospitals aren't very breastfeeding-friendly in my area, and it's not always supported by the woman's family and friends. It's not my job to tell people what to do with their children. I can provide information and tell what has helped me in my breastfeeding journey if they want to hear it, but pushing my opinion on someone isn't going to help--if anything, it will harm! I wish everyone would give breastfeeding a good, 6 week effort. I think if you know that it's going to probably take that long to really get the hang of things and get past the initial pain (yes, it will hurt some--your body has never been used in that way, so it has to adjust!), you would hang in there and be SO thankful that you did! If you have tried your hardest, and still decide you can't breastfeed, you should be proud that you stuck in there and did your best! :)

    What breastfeeding tips can you share? 
    Keep it positive, please! This isn't a post to argue which is better, but to encourage those who are currently breastfeeding or may want to breastfeed in the future. :)