Montessori-Inspired Floor Bed

Over the weekend, Dave and I decided to transform Maddox's bedroom corner into something much more cozier. The crib was bulky and useless for a little man who never slept in it. So, instead of turning it into a toddler bed, we took it down all together and stored it away. We kept the mattress and purchased a comfortable cover with some plush to it, a soft blanket, and a couple pillows for decoration. 

We live in a small yet spacious one-bedroom apartment and organization is the key to staying sane. The way we do it is by practicing minimalism and keeping inspired for our son by the organization strategies of Montessori. I'm always going through and chucking out the things we don't need or things that don't give us pleasure. Everything has its place and it allows us to never be overrun with too much

Montessori usually skips the crib altogether and a floor bed is used since infancy. This helps teach children independence. It allows them to get up and out on their own, have their own space, and it's at their height - not too tall and intimidating or too small. Plus - it looks adorable. 

Once we move out into a larger living space, I definitely want to get him this Kura bed from Ikea. I love the versatility of it. One can be a little play space while the other can be the actual bed. 

We also purchased these spice racks from Ikea ($4!) and turned them into bookshelves. Two in the bedroom, two in the living room. They're amazing. Before, he had a bookshelf that only showed the spines which made it difficult to figure out which book was which. Now, he's able to simply look at the covers and know what each book is. 

I'm seriously in love with this simple, sleeping space. 

How To Make Homemade Reusable Cloth Baby Wipes

The Lovely Cicada | Homemade Baby Wipes

When I was pregnant with Maddox, I was extremely set on cloth diapering. I thought, "what's better than reusable diapers that create very little waste and are much more comfortable for my little?" I researched all different brands, all different types, learned about prefolds, fitteds, etc, how to clean, how many I may need, looked at all the cute prints, and so forth. Sadly, it was a short-lived dream. 

I knew it would be difficult for me. On top of having to clean the house, feed myself and my partner, feed my cluster-feeding little one, do the laundry, hang out with my little while he napped on my shoulder because he'd wake up otherwise, and find time to not lose my mind and feel human - I knew cloth diapering would be too much for me (don't let this dictate what you do, I am simply easily disorganized and overwhelmed). At the apartment we were living in at the time, the laundry room was two flights of stairs down into the basement and a slight trek . Add that to all the other laundry I had to do and I decided against it.

So, I went for disposable diapers. I don't have any regrets. My son has never had any issues with rashes although the guilt still lingers of how many diapers we've thrown out within the last year and a half. However, I knew it was a much better choice for my family. If I were to have another child, I would definitely cloth diaper. I'd be much more comfortable in my mama skin next time around to navigate everything. 

The Lovely Cicada | Homemade Baby Wipes

Anyway, a year and a half later I decided to switch to cloth baby wipes from disposables and my gosh you guys, why didn't I do this sooner? It's so simple, much softer on his butt, helpful to the environment, saves us money, and I'm slightly tempted to grab a couple cloth diapers as well. I have a friend who has switched over a few months ago and never has any issues.

The recipe is extremely simple and honestly, I eyeball it every time I make it so you can modify it as you see fit and depending on how many wipes you want to make at a time. 

Homemade Cloth Baby Wipes

  • baby washcloths OR cut-up flannels
  • tupperware container or old wipes container 
  • about 2 cups boiled or distilled water 
  • 1 teaspoon liquid Castile soap (I used Dr. Bronner's Lavender but they also have unscented)
  • 1 teaspoon of oil (coconut, jojoba, olive, or almond are great options)
  • 3 drops of essential oil (if you are using unscented and if your baby's skin isn't sensitive)
  • optional: 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl, starting with (warm) water first.
  2. Stir. 
  3. Add essential oils and/or vitamin E if desired. 
  4. Grab your washcloths and soak them in the mixture, one at a time.
  5. Ring them out.
  6. Fold them neatly and place in container. 
  7. Voila! Use as needed and enjoy. 

A couple other tips: if you don't want them to be reusable but still homemade, cut half a roll of paper towels, take out the cardboard center, place them in your container, and pour the mixture over until soaked. You can also carry the mixture in a spray bottle and wet your cloths as needed. When you're out and about remember to carry a wet bag with you so you have a place to carry the used wipes. I used one of my Ipsy make-up bags but you can get a wet bag here

Do you already make your own? Tell me about it in the comments!

Stuffed Toys

The Lovely Cicada | Stuffed Toys

When I was little, I carried around a stuffed Barney constantly and my sister always carried her blanket with silk edges. Maddox still doesn't seem "attached" to any one stuffed animal. He loves any cozy blanket and would rather curl up with his finger in his belly button to help him fall asleep. We have, however, received a bunch of cute plush animals and these are two of our favorites. I love the handmade feel of these and the sleepy owl is so soft. The fox is made by Esthex while the owl is made by Jellycat. They have so many cute and soft critters for your child to snuggle with. 

The Lovely Cicada | Stuffed Toys

Mr. Moustache Doll by Skripskrap. 

The Lovely Cicada | Stuffed Toys

Light Blue Radcliffe Doll by RadcliffeDolls

The Lovely Cicada | Stuffed Toys

Big Grandpa Whale by BigStuffed

The Lovely Cicada | Stuffed Toys

Lulu the Beluga Whale by TwoSadDonkeys

The Lovely Cicada | Stuffed Toys

Nayeli the Fox by LESNE

What was your favorite stuffed animal as a kid?