The GAP sale starts today – are you going?

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When you walk in to get just ONE t-shirt, you will inevitably end up buying at least 3 or 5 pieces.  Trust me.  I’ve been there.

Plus, if you’re a GAP member, I think you’ll get additional 10% on top of your purchases.

I’m itching to go, but I just might not this year, because I need to curb my spending.  In addition, my GAP membership just expired last month. :P

Mothercare Carnival sounds like fun: wish I could be there!!

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Lovin’ my Envirosax

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Long before the “No Plastic Bags” trend began, I had already been using the Envirosax.  Long before they started the “No Plastic Bags on Saturdays”, I had been carrying my own reusable shopping bags.  All the way from Malaysia to the States and back again.  Yeah, me and my reusable bags…they really go a long way :)

And now in Penang, it’s “No Plastic Bags every day”, so my handbag contains at least 2 or 3 rolled-up reusable shopping bags all the time.

Recently I had the opportunity to review the Envirosax.  Being a long-time user of the Envirosax, I was, of course, curious to find out how it had “evolved” over the years.  After all, Envirosax had been creating and producing reusable shopping bags since 2004!  Founded in Australia, the people behind Envirosax aim to protect the environment and create a greener earth for the future generation by providing an eco-friendly and (may I say) stylish alternative to the plastic bags we see every day.

I was a happy gal a few weeks ago when I received the ABC design Envirosax from the Envirosax Kids Series.  Now one thing you will notice about the Envirosax is that it comes in gorgeous prints!  I was totally wowed over and could not decide which one to choose at first.

Read on for more…

Review: Classic Boba 2G Baby Carrier

In my almost 5 years of being a mom, I have used several different methods of carrying babies and kids.  First of all, I have used the conventional method of just using my arms.  While this method is quick to use, one tends to get tired very easily this way.  I’ve also used baby slings made using sling rings, and these are really cozy.  The downside is that you need to really adjust it for that perfect fit, and of course, some dads don’t like to wear the sling.  I’ve also tried the baby carrier.  We bought one years ago, and was sorely disappointed when our son didn’t really fit well in it.  In addition, it felt very unsafe, so it’s gathering dust in some corner in our house now.

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So when I was asked to test drive the Classic Boba 2G Baby Carrier, I was a little apprehensive, although I was also excited.  Although both my kids love to run around, I was keen to find out if they would be interested to take a ride in the Boba Carrier.  After all, they both still fall in the weight range of the carrier, i.e. 15-45lbs (7-20kg).

When I received the carrier, my first impression about the carrier was how sturdy it looked.  I loved the padding on the waist belt and the shoulder straps.  It definitely looked very comfortable and I could hardly wait to put it on.  This was certainly something you would want to put your kid in.  It wasn’t flimsy at all, and I was glad to notice that the instructions on how to wear it was very clear and precise, complete with pictures for ease of reference.  Definitely a plus point for me!

I tried it on immediately, and I was amazed at how comfortable it felt!  The waist belt, especially, was extremely comfortable, and the padding served to provide that extra bit of support.  The waist belt and shoulder straps are adjustable, so anyone can wear it.  Putting on the carrier was a breeze, and all it took were two buckles to secure it in place.

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It took me a couple of tries to get my 11-kilo daughter into the carrier at first, because I wanted to be sure she would be securely fastened and that she would be comfortable.  But once she was strapped in, it was smooth-sailing all the way.  I carried my daughter front-facing and there was absolutely NO STRESS on my back or shoulders!

Next, I tried carrying my son in the back-carry position.  My son is close to 5 years old, and he weighs 16 kilos!  Well, getting him into back-carry position was a little bit tricky, but with a little bit of help, I was able to securely fasten him up.  I had to adjust the chest straps a little so they didn’t ride up my neck, but other than that, it was awesome.  Imagine carrying a 16-kilo child on your back and not feeling the strain!  My son LOVED it, and so did I!

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Besides evaluating the Boba Carrier on safety, I tested it out on comfort too.  Our Malaysian weather which is typically scorching hot tends to be very unforgiving if a child is carried or wrapped up in fabric that is too thick or too warm.  With the Boba Carrier, however, I was pleased to note that the 100% natural brushed cotton the Boba Classic is made from is the ideal choice.  The Boba Carrier is also available in an organic range, which is made from 100% GOTS and OE100 certified organic cotton.

An important feature of the Boba Carrier is that it comes with removable foot straps.  These foot straps allow the child to *rest* his/her legs in them while being carried.  Read all about the importance of complete leg support here.

My one minor issue about the Boba carrier would be that it is rather bulky to take along on outings.  With my baby sling, I can easily fold it and put it into the diaper bag, and simply retrieve it when needed.  With the Boba Carrier however, I found myself deliberating if I should take it along, because I could not easily fold it up and place it in a bag.  A workaround would be to permanently leave it in my car and use it when needed.

All in all, I have had a very pleasant experience with the Boba Carrier.  My kids love it too, and my daughter especially, will request that I carry her in it, even at home!  This carrier has certainly changed my perception of baby carriers, and in addition, it looks pretty darn cool too.  For long-haul travels when you need to move around from place to place and need your hands free while taking care of kids, the Boba Carrier is the answer.

You can find out more about the Boba Baby Carrier at their website.  And for product promotions, updates and contests, do check them out on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Disclosure of Material Connection

Review: The Bumwear NV Pocket Diaper

When I was approached to review the latest Bumwear NV pocket diaper, I was very excited to say the least.  Bumwear was the first brand of pocket diapers I used when I started cloth diapering my kids, and although I do have a love-hate relationship with the Bumwear Classic diapers, I must admit that the diapers really can stand the test of time.  My Bumwear Classic diapers still look as good as new, and now, I use my old Bumwear Classic diapers as pocket diapers and also as diaper covers when I use fitteds.  They are very versatile!

See what I mean?  The diaper in green is my old Bumwear Classic diaper, and the one in black is the new Bumwear NV.  Both look equally new.

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Okay, so back to the review…incidentally the “NV” in Bumwear NV stands for “New Version”. For the purpose of this review, I used the provided Bumwear NV pocket diaper together with the insert.  And since I am a user of the Bumwear Classic, you will find that I will tend to compare the Bumwear NV with the Bumwear Classic in this review.

The first thing I noticed is that the insert has been revamped.  My old Bumwear Classic inserts were just a plain piece of microfiber, but the insert that came with the Bumwear NV has a sewn-on fleece layer lined on top of it. 

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In addition, the insert had an opening, presumably to insert additional soakers or inserts, to increase the absorption power.  The insert on its own is a 3-layer microber insert, but based on my previous and existing experience with my heavy-wetter kids, one insert is never enough.

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One of the little problems I had with the Bumwear classic was that the diaper *wings* tend to droop at the sides when my kids put them on for long.  That being said, I was glad that the *wing droop* issue had been addressed with Bumwear NV, because it now comes with additional snaps on the sides of the diaper.  The front of the diaper also has 2 rows of snaps compared to just one row in the Bumwear Classic (see first picture above).

In my haste and excitement to test drive the Bumwear NV, I threw caution to the wind and put it on my daughter after just one prewash.  Well, that was a BIG MISTAKE.  And the diaper leaked big time.

As all cloth-diapering experts know, cloth diapers need to be prewashed several times before being used.  However, after prewashing the Bumwear NV for 5 times, I still experienced leaks.  Nevertheless, I perservered and I am glad I did, because after about 8 rounds of prewashing, the Bumwear NV diaper finally delivered!

Not only did it give a very complete fit on the child, there was no leakage!

Since my child is a heavy wetter, I buttoned the Bumwear NV insert on top of the pocket diaper’s fleece cover, and inserted a hemp-layered insert into the pocket diaper opening for added absorption.  You could also insert a traditional cloth nappy for extra absorption.

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Here’s where it gets interesting.  With the latest feature where the insert can be buttoned on top of the fleece layer, the diaper gets converted into an AI2 (All-in-2), where you could just unbutton the insert and replace with a new buttoned-on insert when the insert gets wet!  The pocket diaper can be reused!  How cool is that??!!

The Bumwear NV is still rather snug-fitting, unless you stuff a lot of inserts in it.  The elastic around the leg hole had been redone to ensure a very snug fit for baby.

I’ve tried the diaper on my child during the day and also through the night, and I am happy to report that it holds up really well.  It may seem as though the baby will feel too warm with so many layers, but I’m pleased to note that Bumwear diapers are made from materials which are well-suited for our tropical weather.  The PUL layer is breathable as well as waterproof.

So if you’re looking for a hardy diaper that works as well as it looks, look no further than the Bumwear NV.  Oh, did I mention that it comes in lots of cool designs and colors too? :)  

Conclusion

What I liked:

Great as a night diaper (if enough inserts are used), feature which enables insert to be buttoned on top of fleece layer to convert diaper into an AI2, gorgeous designs and colors.

What I disliked:

The fact that I had to prewash the diaper 8 times before it worked.