Tag Archive | "year in review"

2013 Year in Review {Video}

2013intro
There’s only one day left in the year 2013!  Instead of my typical end of the year post where I recount the top moments of the year, I’ve decided to put it in video format.  Covered in this video are highlights from the year in cloth diapers as well as a few personal reflections about 2013 from the blog’s perspective.  I tried to keep the video succint but there was a lot to cover, so enjoy all 10 minutes of it!

If you HATE watching videos here is a quick (I got long winded) summary of what is covered:

You saw it here first

 

In 2013 we saw new prints from bumGenius plus the introduction of their wool dryer balls, mama care product, and the newborn Econobum kits.  Thirsties introduced their new One Size Pocket and improved the hook and loop.  New prints, improved newborn diaper, and new leggings from GroVia. Happy Heiny diapers are back in business with new owners and a new All-in-One (review soon).  Bummis released their first One-Size option in the Simply Lite, a cover with a 3 Step Rise. A new brand emerged called Tidy Tots with a One Size System that uses no rise snaps or leg elastic adjustment (Lara is reviewing them now and will let us know soon what she thinks.)  There was also a new product introduced by Diaper Dawgs- the little silicone mits for your fingers come between you and the diaper inserts.

Overheard

 

In the “news” this year, or at least, in Facebook and forum world, bumGenius announced that they had a patent on the 3 Step Rise adjustment in conjunction with other attributes.  While I don’t know what all is happening with this, it did cause quite the conversations online.  This was back in October when things were at their most talked about.  Now things have died down so it seems.  We’ll see how it shakes out, or won’t, depending on how things go.

Up and Coming

 

Items that gained popularity this year, but that aren’t new, were discussed.  This includes Moraki diapers; they’re now being carried in many larger cloth diaper retailers and have a great following that is gaining momentum.  The Spray Pal, seen in the “Poop Avoidance Devices” film several months back, is also gaining a lot of new fans and winning over customers who want to keep the overspray down when using a diaper sprayer.  Hybrid fitteds by WAHM’s are also becoming a popular item.  These fitteds are not to be used over and over, rather, they are slightly “water resistant” thanks to their hidden layer of fleece beneath the outer material.  They aren’t waterproof but they can  go longer without needing a cover, unlike more traditional fitted diapers.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

 

This year also saw big changes here on the blog.  My son potty trained which meant I had to find a new mother/baby team to start reviewing diapers.  The show must go on!  After looking in a local cloth diapering group I found a perfect fit when I met Lara and her daughter Harper.  Harper is now 1 year old and Lara has reviewed over 20 diapers in their time here. Harper seems to be growing right before our eyes in videos and pictures.  Lara takes lovely photos to go with the posts and has been gracious enough to let me accost her every few weeks with a video camera.

It’s been a good year…

 

For the blog, 2013 has been another great year.  I’m always amazed and grateful at the opportunities that come about from my work here.  In the video I mention a few of the biggest accomplishments including the 3rd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge, the Everything but Cloth Diapers series that included several videos covering cloth diaper accessories, and releasing two free cloth diaper booklets for download or viewing online that address ways to cloth diaper on a budget.  I was also able to attend the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas for my third time.  This expo allows me to see the newest products, often before they release to the public, and is a great chance to meet or catch up with the brands and retailers that I work with regularly.  This year I made a little video about Menstrual Cups that has turned into one of my most viewed videos of all time.

Stay Classy, San Diego

 

The biggest news is more of an announcement!  I was asked to be a speaker at Baby Fest, an event hosted by Babies in Bloom.  Baby Fest takes place in San Diego on March 23 and all proceeds will benefit March of Dimes.  January of Birth Without Fear will also be a speaker (she is amazing).  Along with speakers there will be hands on workshops, vendors, raffles, and prizes.  If you are in the area I hope you’ll plan to attend, I would love to see you there!

I pinch myself some days because I’ve found a job that fulfills so many of my passions and rolls them into one.  I love educating people about modern cloth diapers, I love video editing, filming, and photography, I accept photoshop as a necessary and daily part of my life (way to go, Pinterest), and I especially love learning from and speaking with all of you through various social media outlets.  Some of you have watched my children grow (both of them!) from tiny babies into full fledged little people.  Many of you may have even been on Twitter with me during my homebirth, or perhaps you saw our birth story and photos.  I won’t get too gushy (I’ll save that for my 5th Blogging Anniversary in April) but just know that you are all a part of my online extended family and I’m so glad you have taken this journey with us.

So to all of my friends at the other end of the computer/phone/tablet I wish you a Happy New Year!  May it be filled with love, happiness, good fortune, great food, better friends, and fluffy new diapers!

Happy New Year

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2012 in Review- The Year of the Elf

Despite being the slowest year of my blog’s existence thanks to a LOT going on around the homefront 2012 was also the best year yet for DDL!  The blog has steadily grown since it started back in April 2009.  In fact readership has increaded 65% in 2012 compared to 2011!  That is with blogging a lot less than I did last year too.  Plus I had a little help from an Elf.

January was in insane month and thanks to the generosity of a lot of sponsors we raised enough money for the non-profit organization Giving Diapers, Giving Hope to help them apply for their non-profit status!  In case you haven’t heard of them yet GDGH provides cloth diapers for families in need who qualify.  In January something else pretty big happened- we bid on a home in Tampa FL and planned to move from our home in Syracuse.  At the time we had no idea what we would be entering into…

February was when I made an announcement here on the blog that we were moving.  I was unsure of how moving would impact the work I was doing here but I figured I would be around less during the transition.  I didn’t know then that the transition would take 6 months.  That month I also re-designed the look of the blog and did away with the old blue header in favor of what is still up today.

By March the boys and I had moved out to Charlotte NC.  Because the home we bid on was a short sale there was no timeline saying it would take 30, 60, or even 90 days until closing.  It was a stressful roller coaster ride of emotions as we waited for word.  We were in limbo- not in our old home where Everett was born and not yet to what we hoped would be a perfect home for our family.  March is also when I started taking a serious interest in learning how to use my DSLR so that was keeping me busy and giving me a hobby to focus on while living with my in-laws and impatiently waiting for news about our home.

April was a VERY big month.  Life had to go on and with no end in sight about our home I decided to find a NC screenprinter for a design I had made while still in Syracuse.  Then DDL Apparel was born and my dream of providing stylish cloth diaper advocacy shirts came to life!   I started printing in March but blogged about the new venture in April. April was a big month for cloth diaper advocacy as well thanks to the 2nd Annual Great Cloth Diaper Change.  I participated in the Charlotte location hosted by Jack Be Natural and even sold a few of my shirts there too.  To go with the vibe that month I also published one of my favorite posts of the year- “How to be a better cloth diaper advocate.”  This month I also hit my breaking point and vented about the frustrations of living 10 hours away from my husband and not receiving any word about the status of our short sale.

May.  The 2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge came and went even though I was living with family.  They looked at me like I had a third eye while I used a camp style washer and handwashed diapers.  They have always been a little wary of my regular cloth diapers so this was a real treat for them.  Once again we had a lot of participation and helped spread the message that cloth diapering CAN be done no matter what if you really need to.

June was the month I started working on another dream project of mine that I’ve wanted to do for years.  I set out to record a video interview with my grandparents about cloth diapering.  It was such an amazing experience.  It took me almost 6 months to actually publish the video after wanting to make sure it was perfect.  That month I also asked the question “Are Cloth Diapers Too Advanced?” and discussed why sometimes the simplest diapers are the best.

July 4th 2012 was the day my family was reunited.  We closed on the home at the end of June and packed into our car for the 10 hour drive to Tampa.  It was a very long 6 months; and even though I can’t say we didn’t enjoy the chance to reconnect with our families in Charlotte that we lived apart from for 5 years it was nice to be in our new home.  The waiting was the hardest part but what was to come was hard in another way.  Unpacking, and remodeling a home that was sold “as is” and needed a lot of TLC.  Still, it was so nice to have a place to call home.   That month I fit in very little blogging but did make time to make another video I really loved- “Washing Cloth Diapers is the Easy Part.”  Oh, and July 24 marked my 5 Year Wedding Anniversary.  I’m just glad we were together for that because it didn’t seem like that would happen the month before.

In August I left my family for a quick trip to BlogHer in NYC.  I had the time of my LIFE getting the chance to be with my other blogging friends and learning more about this craft I’ve been perfecting for almost 4 years.  It was difficult to move and then leave for a work trip because all I really wanted to do was conitnue beautifying the home.  August also became the month DDL started morphing into a “DIY” blog while I began documenting the work on our home.   ALready I had painted the entryway, the front livingroom, and the guest bedroom (which is designed to be a Golden Girls Room).  My husband and I also started working on remodeling the second bathroom and launched a 4 month long project that took that room down to the studs and back.  Lets just say it was difficult with 2 kids constantly at home.  

September was a month dedicated to Cloth Diapers in Daycare.  I was able to showcase the cloth diapers that work best for care providers and picked several that I loved.  I also had many guest articles that month from readers willing to share their experiences.  I continued sharing progress posts about our work in the house, this time about our entryway and my amazing thrift store chairs.  

In October my youngest baby turned 2.  I still can’t believe that.  When my babies have birthdays I’m usually busy making their epic yearly video and October was no exeption.  It was a great one!  We took a drive back up to NC for my Sister-in-law’s wedding and got to play around with my new camera- the Nikon D90.  We were still in love with our new house and getting close to the finish line with our big projects.

November was insane.  Steven and I were literally scurrying around like crazy people getting things wrapped up in time for visitors.  We had to complete the bathroom so that people had a place to use the restroom other than the one in our bedroom.  I painted the kitchen, the front door, and refinished 2 doors that month.  Plus we finished our huge bathroom remodel.    Then there was Thanksgiving AND my son’s 4th birthday and these fell on the same day!  That was fun.  So was working for 8 hours straight until 5 am on Fletcher’s birthday video.  It is my best one yet.

December has been a really amazing month.  Mostly because we are finally feeling settled in our new home after working tirelessly on it for 6 months.  We celebrated Christmas here as a family for the first time, and even though we didn’t have our extended family with us it was still really wonderful.  I did work extra hard to bring cheer to our home for the holidays since it is weird to wear a tank top in December.  This was also the month I finally got my butt in gear and completed the video interview with my grandparents.  I’m so proud of that video and consider it the best film I’ve done yet.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my Elf on the Shelf hack.  December was the biggest month for my blog thanks to a post from last year about hacking your Elf on the Shelf.  Thank you Wyatt and Pinterest for bringing gobs of new visitors to DDL.  The Elf also brought a lot of strife too after a photo of mine was stolen and went viral.  I was mad.  

With 2013 around the corner I’m ready to face it head on.  I’ve decided to devote more time to creating more videos beyond just cloth diaper reviews.  Video editing is something I very much enjoy and the most fun (and hardest) thing about this blog.  I’ll never be a huge blog like so many of my friends who began at the same time as me.  As much as I get down on myself about this fact as I watch others become household blog names I know that as a cloth diaper blog that will never be the case.   And I don’t think I want that either.  Blogging takes a lot of work and a lot of time away from my children.  By slowing down this year I’ve realized how much time away I spent when I was at a break neck blogging speed.  These days we spend most of our time playing outside and that is better than the headaches of running a huge blog any day.  I only have 2 more rooms to paint in our new home, a few doors to refinish, and some door trims to re-paint then it is done.  I’m really excited to eventually post a Before/After showing the entire house and how different it looks.

I have lots of video ideas and I really can’t wait to get started.  2013 will hopefully be the year I have no babies in diapers.  Then what?  I’m not sure.  Will I let others review diapers for me?  Will I continue filming diapers but not publish reviews?  Will I start focusing more on my life and less on cloth diapering?  I really just don’t know and I’m not a good planner.  It is a miracle when you see an event here because that means I planned ahead!

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My Top 11 Posts from 2011!

Baby New Year Fletcher in a bumGenius

2011 has been another banner year for Dirty Diaper Laundry and my family. I have finally succeeded at making my blog a source of revenue for my family and can now justify the time put into it!  I hit a LOT of bumps along the way, including one bout of malware, a completely deleted blog, and an update to my blog that turned into a domino effect of problems that almost made me end DDL forever!

In 2011 my babies turned One Year Old and Three Years Old.

In the cloth diaper world we have seen another great year full of new products and innovations.  One trend I noticed was that most big companies came out with new prints and/or training pants, which was covered in the Trend Alert post.

In the blog world I was very busy building the world’s first and only searchable cloth diaper database- the Cloth Diaper Finder.  I also released an Android and iPhone app that lets you view all of my cloth diaper videos.  If you are stuck nursing a baby and have a smart phone this might be your new best friend.

Let’s relive the past year on DDL.  I’m going to recount my favorite or most viewed posts in no particular order.

Take the Flats and Handwashing Challenge

In April 2011 after reading many stories about families struggling to pay bills and afford food that took to reusing disposable diapers I decided to challenge myself, and YOU, to scale back your diapering supplies to JUST Flats. Not just that- I asked you all to HANDWASH your diapers for 7 days. I expected 5-10 people to sign up. Instead, I wound up with close to 900 interested individuals and 200 who actually participated. This was one of my most viewed posts of the year and I am still receiving thoughtful emails and comments from people thanking me for the challenge and proving that you don’t always have to have the fanciest diapers. Sometimes the simple things are the best. I may be thinking of a new challenge for us for 2012 so keep an eye out! Read More…

My Sons Don’t Match

The hardest post to write was this one.  I’ve been strugging with my decision to circumsize my first son.  After writing this post and receiving many heartfelt comments I am finally starting to feel some peace.  As so many of you wrote, “When you know better you do better.” Read More…


Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews

A few months after my youngest son came into the world I finally managed to do a vlog of my newborn cloth diaper reviews.  It remains a popular post here on DDL.  Read More…  

Pampers Prints: You Can’t Polish a Turd

Pampers always seem to know how to push my buttons.  When they re-released their “designer” prints and marketed them as being hung on a clothesline I got angry.  This was following the many articles about families reusing disposables and I felt their depiction of that was tasteless and misleading. Read More…  

I Love Cloth

This photo only post is one of my favorite photos of Everett.  I happen to think it is pretty clever too. Check out the photo…  

What’s a Cloth Diaper?  An Animated Video for Newbies

In an attempt to make a non brand specific video explaining the choices in cloth diapering I decided to “animate” one.  Frame by excruciating frame.  I spent days on this video, hand drawing each scene and stringing them together like Walt Disney did in the old days.  At the time I didn’t have software that would key frame animate so every image is something I drew.  I know… there was an easier way.  Still, I am very proud of the 1.5 minute video that took 12 hours to make.  It didn’t get near as much attention as I had hoped.  Maybe this post will give it a resurgence of popularity?  Wink Wink. Watch the video…

Who I am and Where I’m Coming From

After writing a “controversial” post about the Lifetime Show “One Born Every Minute” I had a few commenters that were upset with my take on the show.  I really try hard not to step on toes with this blog.  I decided to write about where my posts are coming from.  I’m not a pushy activist but I do have a desire to help people see that certain things in life are worth doing, such as using cloth diapers, breastfeeding, babywearing, and giving birth at home.  It doesn’t mean I expect you to, or think less of you if you don’t. Read More…  

The Introduction to Cloth Diapers Series

Because I like videos and how they help the visual learner more than just reading a list of cloth diaper styles I took to filming a video explaining each type of cloth diaper.  Pockets, All-in-Ones, All-in-Two, Fitteds, Swim Diapers, and so on.  I still have a couple of types to film before the series is finished. Go to the Series…

Introducing the Cloth Diaper Finder

2011 was HUGE for productivy.  My dream for many years has been to create an all encompassing cloth diaper database that would be searchable by many criteria.  To those families looking for a pocket diaper under 16$ that closed using snaps and had a natural fiber lining I wanted a search engine for that.  I came up with the plan, created a giant spreadsheet, and hired a developer to make it a reality.  Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking.  Thisdatabase is so complicated it costs a lot of money to run and even more to fix when things break.  Slowly it is getting more popular.  I love when I see people sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Messageboards.  Please keep sharing it and tell more families about this great way to find cloth diapers.  Read More…

A Look Back: 100 Cloth Diaper Video Reviews

In June 2011 I made it to my goal of 100 cloth diaper video reviews.  A proud moment to be sure.  I don’t think any other blog or single YouTube user has reached 100 cloth diapers.  I am now over this number and have not set a new goal.  One day I won’t have a baby to film in diapers and I will have a decision to make about the future of my videos and my blog.  For now I am going to keep on chugging and get as many under my belt as I can so that I have a video library legacy.  Read More…

Make Your Elf on the Shelf Bendable and Grippy- Tutorial

I knew when I came up for the idea to make my Elf on the Shelf bendeable that it was a good one.  I just didn’t know how good until I saw my tutorial all over Pinterest.  It is the 4th most viewed destination on my blog for the YEAR and it was just posted last month.  Who knew such a creepy little Elf would bring so much traffic to my blog? Read More…

 

So there you have it!  My Top 11 Posts of 2011.  If you’d like to travel back in time I also have posts for my Top 10 of 2010 and Top 9 of 2009.  I have big goals for 2012, including a new web design that will make finding the cloth diaper resources even easier.

I hope everyone has had a great 2011.  If you haven’t then I hope 2012 is your year!  Cheers!

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