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Monday, December 2, 2013

Meet our December 2013 Fan of the Month, Stephanie Chaparro!

I am so excited to introduce you to our December Fan of the Month!  Her name is Stephanie Chaparro and she is a super sweet, warm and welcoming member of our online community!  Thank you so much, Stephanie, for allowing us to get to know you better as our Fan of the Month!  Read on to learn about Stephanie and her beautiful family, and click here for information about the Fan of the Month feature, including how to enter to be FotM!  We are now open for entries for January 2014!  Emails can be sent to info@twinkietush.com with Fan of the Month in the subject, following the format in the post I just linked. :)

Now, about Stephanie!

What is your full name?

Stephanie Elizabeth Chaparro

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. With my husband being active duty Army when we were first married (now a veteran) I’ve lived all over, but we have found ourselves back in Arizona as it’s where both of our families live and our hearts are.

How many children do you have and what are their ages?

I have 4 children. Gabriel is 15, Ariana is 8 as of November 25, Jacek is 5, and my twinkie tush baby, Annika Jade (AJ) is 18 months.

How and when did you find twinkie tush?

I discovered tt when I posted an ISO on another CD page for girlie fitted diapers. I had a very generous tt mama offer me a NIP OS serged Electra and I fell in love! When I finally had it in my hands and on AJ’s bum, I couldn’t believe how great the fit was! I needed more! It’s like they were made just for her… the rest is history!

What is your favorite twinkie tush print of all time?

Every time I see this question answered by previous FOTMs I always wonder how they narrowed it down! This is such a hard question to answer! I’m going to go with OS serged Arwen! I was ISO of this print from the moment I discovered how well tt worked for us. I finally got my hands on one and it is just as amazing as I’d hoped it would be. Next would be my original print Mermaid Song. Everyone knows that tt has the most amazing collection of prints ever though, so my “favorites” are always changing!


Mermaid Song

Do you have an ultimate ISO print?

My current “Ultimate ISO” would probably be OS serged Venice or When in Rome.


When in Rome

What is your favorite personal non-parenting related, non-work related hobby?

Well, before life revolved around parenting related things, I danced ballet and contemporary. When escaping reality I love going to the ballet and getting lost in the pieces. I feel so inspired while watching it can literally bring me to tears.

What makes you feel most inspired or grounded?  How do you take care of yourself and your spirit?

Ha! Spoke too soon… While I do feel inspired watching ballet I also feel inspired watching my children grow. Man, I am just overcome with emotion most days watching them learn and grow and love. They just love and trust so unconditionally and innocently… I’m absolutely enthralled by them.

What is your favorite activity to do with your children?

We love to travel (by car)… ßthe mamas who know me, will understand that because I’ve shared that I have an insane fear of flying… growing up in my family we didn’t get to travel much, but my husband comes from a family who traveled all the time. He’s shared places and experiences with our children and I that I never could’ve imagined on my own.

What is/was your favorite place to visit?

My favorite place to visit is the Grand Canyon. We traveled to the Grand Canyon, the first time for me, a few years ago and have been several times since. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend planning a trip. It is breath taking! Walking up to gaze out over just a small portion of it for the first time, literally made me gasp. It’s like looking at a painted picture. It’s a beautiful reminder to me of how great and powerful God is. It’s amazing. I can’t say it enough!

What is your favorite book?  What about your favorite movie?

My all time favorite book would have to be Deadline by Randy Alcorn… Read it! You’ll be inspired. My all time favorite movie is Dirty Dancing… first because it’s got lots of dancing and second because… well, Patrick Swayze!

What is something surprising about you, that people might not guess upon meeting you?

Hmm… that I’m over 25?! LOL People often guess I’m much younger than I look, which isn’t terrible I guess! Other than that, I’m pretty open. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. I love animals! Dogs, specifically… & I’m a big advocate for pit bulls! I’d love to own a rescue one day!

What twinkie tush attribute and/or philosophy do you most appreciate?

“We value quality, honesty, positivity, and community.” This is my favorite sentence on the entire tt website! The twinkie tush community lives this sentence. I’ve become close friends with several other tt mamas since becoming a part of the tt community and am so thankful for them. Their honesty, positivity, and true quality friendships have seen me through some difficult times recently because some of us have SOOO much in common through our little ones! My family and I are currently struggling with an Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis for my middle son and without some of the love and support that these mamas have offered, I’m sure I’d be much more of a basket case than I normally am LOL Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those mamas (they know who they are) and I truly love you all so very much! I never would’ve thought that some of my very best friends could be women that I have only known online. Without the tt community, I never would have crossed paths with these women, so thank you to Gretchen and the twinkie tush team for that as well!

What would you tell someone who has yet to try a twinkie tush diaper?

I would say (which I say often when I’m trying to convert someone!) that while the price may seem intimidating, you will end up spending much more trying other diapers that won’t work. I truly feel that you get what you pay for and with twinkie tush it is such high quality, that you just can’t be left disappointed. Invest in something that will last. You’ll be glad that you did!

Tell us your funniest cloth-diapering or parenting story!

Well, I shared this recently on the twinkie tush fan page, but I’ll share it again, because it was hilarious. My husband was talking to the baby telling her to go grab a diaper so that he could change her. She walked over to where we keep them all and came back with a diaper still wrapped in plastic. Those who have been around awhile know I have NIP hoarding problem… Anyway, my husband looked at the diaper, looked at me, then looked back at AJ and said, “Nope, not that one. That one’s wrapped in plastic and I don’t know what that means… I don’t know if mommy’s buying it or renting it or selling it… it might be a collector’s item.” I died laughing. My husband is not huge on cloth diapering, but he doesn’t complain either because he knows it makes me happy. It was just a silly moment that has stuck with me since!

Tell us about one of the most meaningful parenting experiences you have had.

I’ve had so many of these; it’s difficult to narrow it down. We are a family that believes in God and tries to center Jesus Christ in the middle of everything that we do and teach. I don’t like using the term “religious” because for us, Jesus is greater than religion. I try to teach my children that just because people believe one way or the other does not make them or us less important than anyone. I want them to grow up respecting and valuing others opinions, views, and beliefs. While we do lots of teaching from the Bible, I’ve tried to never force them to think one way or the other. They attend public school and listen to “regular” music. They watch all the cool new movies and get into trouble just like other kids. They are not sheltered by any means and they know that the world can be a mean place at times. I try to just give them the information as I understand it myself and hope that my influence as their mother is enough for them to follow in my footsteps. I think that one of the most meaningful parenting experiences I’ve had is when my oldest children came to me, on their own, one morning before school, and asked how they would go about asking Jesus to live in their hearts. I had such an enormous amount of pride in them at that moment… wow! Gets me teary eyed just remembering it! It’s my hope that I can continue to lead them in the right direction for their lives. I want them to know that they can change the world just like anyone else can and I want them to touch everyone that they come in contact with.

Thank you so much twinkie tush for this opportunity. I’m so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful online community of mamas who all have at least one like goal in common: raising our children the best way we know how to and supporting each other while we all do that.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

End of 2013 Photo Contest!

I am so excited to announce the End of 2013 Photo Contest!!  I am not calling it the November photo contest because it will run into early December, but all entries will be due by the last day of November (Saturday 11/30).

As you have probably heard me say before, I absolutely LOVE photo contests and the fun and precious memories that are captured through them!  It is so rewarding and such an honor for us to see your little ones loving their twinkie tush diapers and growing through the years!! <3

Here are the photo contest details:

The contest will be open for submissions from today, 11/7, through Saturday 11/30.  That gives you just over 3 weeks to get your entries in!  :)  The winners will be announced on Wednesday, December 4th, at 10pm EST. Please read below for important details on how to win. There will be a first place and a second place winner as follows:

- First place takes home their choice of:
(a) a FREE custom twinkie tush diaper of their choice (based on availability of desired fabric, and SYOF is of course an option as well). Shipping of the diaper is also free. (Please note that the custom diaper will ship 4-6 weeks after a final print decision is made or SYO fabric is received.)
(b) an ULTIMATE Dibs Pass, which entitles them to select a single diaper during previews and take it home FREE, with free shipping as well.  This ULTIMATE Dibs Pass would be valid on any preview day in December 2013 or January 2014.  (Please note that occasionally there is a print offered that is not able to be claimed by a dibs pass.)  More info about Dibs Passes is below.

- Second place winner will receive a standard Dibs Pass which will allow them to select a single diaper to purchase at regular price on any one preview day in December 2013 or January 2014 without having to attend the stocking.  (Please note that occasionally there is a print offered that is not able to be claimed by a dibs pass.)  In addition, the second place winner will receive a twinkie tush accessory prize pack, featuring a replacement soaker in their choice of cv color and a set of 6 twinkie tush wipes!

- We will also draw an additional standard Dibs Pass winner at random from all photo contest participants at the close of the contest!  This random.org Dibs Pass will be valid on any one preview day in December 2013 or January 2014.)

So now that we’ve covered prizes, here is the process:

To enter, simply submit a photo of your little one(s) in a twinkie tush diaper or twinkie tush wool. twinkie tush blankets, hair clips and headbands by Hello Charlotte James for twinkie tush and/or twinkie tush collabs with Happy Hippo Knits or others we have collaborated with are of course welcome to be part of the photos, however a twinkie tush diaper or twinkie tush woolies must be featured.

Feel free to be as creative as possible - extra consideration will always be given for creativity! (Try to play off the "theme" of your diaper or woolies - you can use accessories and props to really amp it up - a guitar, an alien toy, a bouquet of flowers....) A simple approach is fine as well - creativity is just one of the things that will be considered.

Photos can be sent to photocontest@twinkietush.com. By submitting a photo you are giving twinkie tush permission to use your photo to promote or represent twinkie tush diapers and/or other twinkie tush products on this blog, the twinkie tush shops on Hyena Cart and Big Cartel, twinkietush.com, twinkie tush advertisements on HC and elsewhere, and the twinkie tush facebook pages.  Please do not submit a photo if you do not agree to these terms. :)

Submissions will be closed on Saturday 11/30/13 at 11:59pm EST. On Sunday 12/1 we will upload all submissions to a photo album on the main twinkie tush facebook page called "End of 2013 photo contest!" At that point, the contest really gets exciting!

First place will be awarded to the photo *in the "End of 2013 photo contest" album* that we feel best reflects the spirit of twinkie tush and the spirit of the individual diaper(s) pictured. Creativity, photo composition, brand reflection and of course FUN are some of the things that will be considered. :) Mike and I will choose the first place winner, and we will announce the winner at 10pm EST on Wednesday, December 4th.

Second place will go to the photo in the "End of 2013 photo contest" album that receives the most "likes".  Please note that "likes" on photos outside of the specified album will not count as votes for that photo. You, and your friends and family, may "like" multiple photos if you choose (you don't have to pick just one). Comments are welcome of course, but will not count towards a photo's "tally". Since it is possible to "like" and then "unlike" something on facebook, we will go with the count as it is at exactly 10pm EST on Wednesday, December 4th.

An important note: you cannot win both first and second place ;) While the number of "likes" a photo has will neither ensure a first place win nor preclude it from taking said prize, fan feedback is something that Mike and I may take into consideration to at least some extent in making our decision on a first place winner. In the event that we choose the "highest likes" photo for first place, that photo is no longer eligible to take a second place win. In other words if photo A has the highest number with 200 likes and photo B has 199 likes, and we choose photo A as our first place winner, second place will go to photo B. If we choose photo B, or any other photo in the album, as our first place winner, second place will go to photo A.  Please feel free to ask questions about this if it is at all unclear! :)

Please note that only one (1) first place and one (1) second place prize will be awarded.  Should you collaborate with another family to enter a submission you would need to settle the allocation of the prize between yourselves in the event that you win.

Please note that you may enter only one (1) photo per household for this contest. Also note that photos must clearly show your twinkie tush diaper(s) and/or twinkie tush wool and must not be offensive in any way (obviously). Please send full size/high res images rather than "email" or "thumbnail" sizes.

If there is a problem with your submission you will receive an email response with suggestions on how to resubmit if applicable. If your submission is accepted you will receive a confirmation email within 48 hours. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 48 hours please email again to confirm receipt, in case for some reason your initial email did not come through successfully.

We are looking forward to your submissions! Thanks so much!! :)

More info and links:

Past photo contest albums on facebook:

I can’t tell you how excited I am to see your submissions!! <3  Thank you so much! :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The twinkie tush Wish List is open again!

The latest Wish List diaper has been delivered!  A fun fox-themed OBV turned fitted for the mama who sent that wish to us back in August!  This was so fun to make and we are so grateful for our wonderful fan community who all help us keep this so fun and special! :)

And now, it's time to open the Wish List again!!  Send your wishes to us starting NOW!  The Wish List will remain open for a few days only, with closing time announced on facebook at least 12 hours ahead of time.  Read this blog post for all of the details on how to enter!

Thanks so much and have a wonderful Sunday! <3

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Meet our October Fan of the Month: Samantha Harvey!

We are so excited to introduce you to Samantha, our October FotM! She is an incredibly sweet and fun mama and we love having her in our community! Read about Samantha and her son Luke below and read this post for information about our Fan of the Month feature and how to enter for next month! Entries are now open and can be sent to info@twinkietush.com. Remember, if you have entered before and would like to enter again you need only forward your original email! :)
Thank you again so much Samantha - it has been absolutely wonderful getting to know you better! And as an openly huge Harry Potter nerd myself, I feel even more connected with you now than I did before this interview!

Samantha and Luke

What is your full name?
- Samantha Rae Harvey
Where are you from? Where do you live now?
- I'm originally from Lincoln Park, Michigan. I currently live in Exeter, California due to my fiancé, Nathan, training to be a commercial helicopter pilot and a certified flight instructor. We moved here from Huntington Beach, CA (where he’s from) in Jan of this year and we miss it!
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
- One, his name is Luke. He is 14 months old.
How/when did you find twinkie tush?
- I found twinkie tush when I bought one used on a cloth diaper swap in April of this year. I used it, fell in love, and I haven't looked back :)
What is your favorite twinkie tush print of all time?
- Jonathan <3

Do you have an ultimate ISO print?
- I currently have several that I absolutely love and I CAN’T choose just one!  All Harry Potter diapers, Simeon, Milo, Santa Monica Pier, and Throwback :)


Santa Monica Pier



What is your favorite personal non-parenting related, non-work related hobby?
- Sewing, hiking in Sequoia Nat’l Park with my family, and yoga.
What makes you feel most inspired or grounded?  How do you take care of yourself and your spirit?
- I’d have to say my family and my dogs.  Spending time with them and making memories is the absolute best thing in the world to me.  Having family get togethers and enjoying their company simply fills me with happiness and peace.  Also, I absolutely love classical Christmas music.  I know, it sounds very odd, but it is something that completely relaxes me no matter how stressed out I am, I have no clue why.
What is your favorite activity to do with Luke?
- My absolute favorite activity to do with Luke is play/story time every evening before bedtime.  I sit in our reading spot in his room and read to him for about 30 minutes while he plays with his toys.  He’ll come sit in my lap and start to read the stories in his own way by turning the pages, pointing at the pictures, and babbling.  That one on one time that I spend with him is very precious to me and it’s my favorite part of the day <3
What is/was your favorite place to visit?
- My favorite place to visit is Grass Lake, Michigan.  I don’t go very often, but I love visiting my family, spending time on the lake, fishing, and sitting around the campfire sharing old family stories.
What is your favorite book?  What about your favorite movie?
- My favorite book(s) are all of the Harry Potter books.  My favorite movie(s) are the Harry Potter movies, I’m a bit of a nerd :p So much so that my 3 dogs are named after characters in the stories; Bellatrix, Narcissa, and Andromeda.
What is something surprising about you, that people might not guess upon meeting you?
- I love girly activities such as shopping and mani/pedis, but I also really love snorkeling, skydiving, hiking in the giant redwoods, kayaking, camping, and especially shooting guns.
What twinkie tush attribute and/or philosophy do you most appreciate?
- I love everything about twinkie tush!  I love that it is a family owned business and that the products are made with quality materials. One thing that is extremely important to me when purchasing from a company is their customer service.  I love the fact that twinkie tush has AMAZING customer service.  The personal touches are so appreciated!  
What would you tell someone who has yet to try a twinkie tush diaper?
- Buy one straight away!  They’re absolutely amazing cloth diapers and they’re so worth the money!  I love how squishy soft the diapers are and how they hold up to my heavy wetter.  The TTNN’s are the only diapers that my boy hasn’t soaked through at night after 8 months of wet sheets in the morning. TT simply makes superb products, I can’t promote the brand enough <3
Tell us your funniest cloth-diapering or parenting story!
-  My funniest cloth-diapering story is when Luke was about 2 weeks old.  It was about 6 a.m. and Nathan decided to change Luke while I slept a little, since I was up nursing Luke all night.  We were using prefolds and covers and it was Nathan’s 2nd time ever changing a diaper.  While he was changing the diaper, Luke started peeing all over the room.  Instead of covering up Luke’s boy parts, Nathan just ran to the other side of the room freaking out about how he was peed on.  He walked back to clean up the mess and to finish changing Luke, but then I heard a terrible sound and gagging…and Nathan ran to the other side of the room...again.   He didn’t get the diaper on Luke in time and our precious little baby had a huge, yucky newborn accident EVERYWHERE.  Boy was I mad at the time, but we laugh about that story now.  It’s so funny to think about a grown man running away screaming because he was peed/pooped on! Men are supposed to be fearless, right?! Haha...
Tell us about one of the most meaningful parenting experiences you have had.

- Luke’s birth, nothing can top it.  I had a fairly uncomplicated pregnancy, besides A LOT of false alarms.  Thankfully they were false, but it caused a lot of stress.  I went into labor at 42 weeks and 1 day while I was in the hospital having NST’s on July 23rd.  While doing practice pushes, Luke’s heart rate dropped from 150 to 40. I was absolutely terrified that he would get stuck and I wouldn’t get him out in time.  Thankfully, I got him out in 4 pushes at 2:10 a.m. on July 24, 2012 and he was absolutely perfect.  That cry was the best sound I’ve ever heard.  I had never felt so accomplished and relieved, but I have also never felt the joy that I felt when I got to hold him for the first time.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A year in review, and looking forward! :)

Here we are in mid September and I’m just sitting down to write the year in review blog post I have been mentioning since late August! :)  The fact that I have not had a moment to get to it until now is a testament to how busy things are around here, and how much has happened in the last 12 months!

On September 7th of 2012 we loaded a moving truck and began a huge transition for twinkie tush, taking what then seemed like an impossibly enormous load of the fabric, snaps, machines, shipping supplies, and SO much more that had been filling our house in NJ, and moving it up to our new studio in Ithaca, NY.  The days of our company bursting at the seams in our small house-turned-one-woman-manufacturing-plant were over.  It was the biggest step my little home-grown company had ever taken.  And on September 10th we began training the team that would evolve into the amazing group of fellow diaper-makers I work with now!  I cannot describe how grateful and humbled I am at the daily opportunity to lead this team, to bring jobs to the community we now live in, and to allow the team members’ individual expertise to drive the company forward as well.

In the past year we have followed through on our goal of increasing diaper production.  In fact we have increased production by over 400%.  We are so thrilled to be offering so many more diapers via stockings and custom opportunities now!  If you were with us before the expansion you will remember the days of groups waiting up to 10 months to secure a Group Custom slot!  Now we are delighted to accept the majority of groups who enter each month!  We continue to offer the unique prints and high quality we always have, and have explored new sources for our materials, refining and improving on our diapers all the time.  I am so proud of the fact that such an enormous production increase has in no way negatively impacted our well-known exceptional customer service record, nor our open communication and accessibility.  I am so grateful to be in direct communication with our customer community on a daily basis, to feel that I know so many of you so well and to meet more of you every week!

In the past year we have also introduced new products!  Shortly after our expansion we began offering replacement soakers, and you also met 2 new diapers: our newborn diaper, the twinkie tush teenie tush, as well as twinkie tush simplify, our line of solid cv and obv diapers!  We have made twinkie tush night-nights more accessible via our pre-order night-night 4-packs, and we will continue to explore ways to get night-nights into the homes of those seeking the best overnight solution!  More recently we introduced FUSION, our new hybrid fitted, and have been blown away by the positive response from our customer community!  This past summer we began offering wipes, and just last week we introduced twinkie tush blankets!  All of these are things I am incredibly excited about and I’ve been so thrilled to see you enjoying them as well!

We have some new products in the works, but I can’t spill the beans about them just yet. ;)  Let’s just say that within the next 12 months we plan to bring you a lot of surprises, along with more of what you already know and love!  I can’t thank you enough for the opportunities you give us every day, to grow and to evolve into the very best company we can be. :)

In January of 2013, the incredible amount of work that we (chiefly Mike) and our web developers put into building our web site finally allowed us to realize our goal!  We launched www.twinkietush.com, a one of a kind cart system that has improved our stockings immeasurably and allowed us to stand on our own two virtual feet for the first time! :)  We are so thankful for the hard work that went into the site, and so grateful to be using it every single day in all of the ways we do!

This past year we have continued to offer charity auctions, and in fact we have a charity event running on HC right now to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Make sure to stop by and get your bids in!  Thank you so much for helping us make a difference!

In writing this blog post, I read through the late August 2011 and 2012 blog posts, both of which reflected the state and the goals of the company at the time.  It has been amazing to look back at where we came from.  In August 2011 we were on the verge of introducing stretch fleece, developing a Group Custom drawing process, adding a part-time team member to help me with snapping, and getting ready to roll out the famous Harry Potter theme stocking!  In the post I said "twinkie tush has already grown beyond what I had ever imagined it could."  In August 2012 we were about to load the moving truck for the big expansion. :)  Both of those blog posts included an announcement about a price increase and I am excited to report that this post will not! :)  Throughout the history of the company we have only raised prices when absolutely necessary and I’m very happy to say that at this point we are able to maintain our current pricing structure.

The thread that weaves through each year’s post is one that has only grown and matured as the company itself has grown.  It is a love for cloth diapering, for unique and captivating prints, for finding our place in the world as individuals and as a company, for quality, honesty and integrity.  I said this recently on facebook, but it bears repeating:  As ever, I am brimming over with gratitude for our amazing customer community. Your support, your love, your feedback and your humor inspire us and propel us forward. Big things are coming in the next 12 months. I am so excited about everything that is in store, and so grateful for everything that has come so far. If you've known me for a while you know I can get a little mushy, but that is because every day of my life I have to practically pinch myself to believe that this once small dream has come true, and continues to realize itself in new ways every day. None of it would be possible without you.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

What’s next? See you Tuesday for previews! <3

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Our September Fan of the Month: Marissa Brown!

It's September, one of our favorite months here at twinkie tush!  We have a lot of exciting stuff happening this month, and we're so happy to be kicking it off by introducing you to our September Fan of the Month, Marissa Brown! :)  Marissa is an exceptionally warm and generous mama, and a huge part of our fan community.  We have loved getting to know her better through this interview, and hope you will too! :)

Read about Marissa below, and read about how to become twinkie tush Fan of the Month at this link!  We are now open for October entries! :)

Now, meet the beautiful Marissa and her adorable daughter Jillian!

What is your full name?
Marissa  Caitlin Brown

Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Southern California (Long Beach and Torrance). I bounced around a bit to Arizona (3 years), New York (2 weeks), Los Angeles (1 ½ years), and I’m finally back in Torrance… for now ;)

How many children do you have and what are their ages?
Just one Jillian Rose and she is almost 16 months!

How/when did you find twinkie tush?
My cloth diaper BFF Michelle bought Jilly her first twinkie tush (Cocoa Cozy) for Christmas and we were SOLD. Since then it has been an adventure.

What is your favorite twinkie tush print of all time?
Um…. Mermaid Song… or When in Rome… or A Thousand Ships… or Je T’aime…

Clockwise from upper left: Mermaid Song, When in Rome, Je T'Aime, A Thousand Ships

Do you have an ultimate ISO print?
Probably Je T’aime! I’ve been extremely lucky to be able to score and buy a lot of amazingly gorgeous diapers from twinkie tush so I have a pretty solid stash.

What is your favorite personal non-parenting related, non-work related hobby?
Reading. I’ve been a book worm almost since birth. In elementary school I would spend recess reading so when I got in trouble they would make me get up and play instead! I had special permission to sit inside reading usually. I also recently started making handmade cards, that’s pretty fun!

What makes you feel most inspired or grounded?  How do you take care of yourself and your spirit?
I am a stay at home mom by choice. It is what I wanted as soon as I found out I was pregnant. She will only be little for such a short time, I want to experience all of it with her. She inspires me some days with how incredible she is. Other days, her hilarity keeps me grounded. When I am too into myself, the computer, tv, mommy drama, etc, she reminds me that life is now and to live (and love) in the moment. That’s all we truly have.
I have trouble taking care of my spirit outside of being a mommy sometimes. I don’t like leaving her with anyone (other than short periods with my parents), so I try and take advantage of reading a book or playing a game when she is asleep. Baths used to be a source of relaxation but for her they are games!

What is your favorite activity to do with Jilly?
Shopping? Nahhh! Probably the park. I love the way her face lights up and she runs around (and usually tries to play with older kids). The world is a whole brand new fun exploration for her and it is such a wonderful blessing to be able to experience that. I could probably say breastfeeding too. She is such a go go go child that I don’t always get cuddles, but breastfeeding insures we get lots of cuddle-hugs.

What is/was your favorite place to visit?
Hawaii. I’ve only been there once and I really hope I can make it back there. I have a hard time relaxing and the idea of tropical beach and no plans is heavenly.

What is your favorite book?  What about your favorite movie?
I can’t pick just ONE!!! Honestly, I love Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, the Matched Trilogy, Hunger Games, the list goes on and on. I don’t always have enough patience for movies. Despicable Me? Wreck it Ralph? I like to watch a lot of documentaries.

What is something surprising about you, that people might not guess upon meeting you?
Online, I can be pretty outgoing and “loud” and opinionated. In person, I am really very shy and have a hard time speaking up.

What twinkie tush attribute and/or philosophy do you most appreciate?
Community. Many mommy or diapering communities can have a huge undercurrent of competitiveness or drama. Its rather disconcerting and off putting. That drove me away from a lot of places. As I was settling into the twinkie tush community, it became very obvious how friendly people were. How mamas truly wanted to look out for each other. One time one of my in search of diapers went up for sale and literally FOUR people tagged me. I got an amazing diaper and proof how much online friends are real.

What would you tell someone who has yet to try a twinkie tush diaper?
Just do it. I watched my friend love them and switch over to them for what felt like forever (in reality it was probably only a month or two!). You won’t regret it. Just take the (very fun, exhilarating, adorable) leap!

Tell us your funniest cloth diapering or parenting story!
One that comes to mind was this past weekend! I was working on body parts with Jilly and we were doing “toes” and “nose”. She has toes down, but not so much nose. So I asked her “Jilly, where are your toes?” She grabbed her toes and started grinning and clapping (yes she congratulates herself on a job well done!). “Good job! Now where is your nose?” She pulled her toes to her nose and started laughing SO hard!
On the cloth diapering side… I just think it’s funny/cute that she LOVES her diapers as much as I do (if that’s possible). She has to have them first and carries them around hugging them.

Tell us about one of the most meaningful parenting experiences you have had.
Birth. Hands down. I had an inspiring home birth after a fairly difficult pregnancy. My birth experience lasted about 12 hours and while it was a complete comedy of errors (went into labor on Mother’s Day, boyfriend was 2 hours away visiting his parents, got locked out of my apartment, water tub wouldn’t work), I wouldn’t change any of it. I started noticing contraction like feelings at around 3:30pm and I hid it from my mom for a few hours because I was pretty sure that it couldn’t possibly be real and I didn’t want to get anyone riled up for false labor. (Because at 40 weeks, 2 days that was likely right?!) I finally called my midwife at 7:30 (and hinted – not obviously enough – to my boyfriend that it was time to come home). Then I headed home at 9:30. I got home and couldn’t find my keys. Anywhere. 30 minutes of looking and nothing. Didn’t have the landlord’s number. Called boyfriend – he called the landlord and explained - landlord came over and let me in and proceeded to talk faulty plumbing with me. Boyfriend finally got home at 11pm and I sent my mom home figuring it would still be awhile. Contractions started getting more intense and I made him time them and then call the midwife. She said I didn’t sound very far along but came over to check me. 8.5cm with a bulging bag. Time to call my mom back an hour after she left! Finally at 2:43am Jillian Rose was born. My midwife actually told me that I was a natural. I was dozing between pushing and quite blissed out. Then to fall asleep in bed with my boyfriend and our brand new baby after, wonderful.

Thank you again Marissa, for sharing about yourself with us in this way.  It was wonderful to learn more about you and Jilly and we are so thrilled to have you as part of our community!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Group Custom drawings are coming up! :)

It's almost time for our August 2013 Group Custom drawings!  We will open for entries next Monday, 8/26, and stay open until Friday night at 9pm EST.  Please make sure to read the Group Custom info post, which was just updated today with information about custom fitted/FUSION options! :)

Thanks so much and have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

We are re-opening the twinkie tush Wish List today!! :)

It's been a while since we opened the Wish List!  It is one of my favorite things to do and I'm so excited to be opening it today!!  Make sure to read the orignial twinkie tush Wish List post (click here) for all of the details about how to enter!  We will randomly select a winner from the entries, and within 3 months the winner's dream twinkie tush diaper will be delivered, completely free! :)  Make sure you wish for exactly what you most want - anything goes!  Here are some examples of previous Wish List diapers:

Thank you so much for all of your love and support, and for allowing us to give back a little bit in this way!  We can't wait to make the next twinkie tush Wish List diaper!! :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

The official twinkie tush Group Custom info post! :)

Here is the official twinkie tush Group Custom information post!  We will keep this post updated with any changes to the process.  Most recent update is Friday, 9/18/15. :)

*If you are new to twinkie tush, welcome!  Please note that this is not the only way to purchase one of our diapers. :)  Visit our store to see the ready to ship diapers that are in stock right now!

1 – First of all, what are Group Customs?

twinkie tush Group Customs are group orders for 5-15 diapers in the same print, made with outer fabric purchased and sent in by the group (most groups use prints but some use dyed or natural velour).  Each member of the group can purchase as many of the diapers as they’d like, so one person can order an entire “group” of 5+ diapers themselves, but most often we see 1-2 diapers per person in groups.

2 – How do groups form?

Many groups form on our facebook fan discussion page, but they can form anywhere, online or offline, as long as they become organized and can submit a complete group information spreadsheet.  Anyone is welcome to lead a group – it is a relatively straight-forward process.  But the role does require organization and communication.  Please note that once you have taken on the responsibility of leading a group you should be prepared to guide your group through the process as needed, remind them of deadlines, and act as a liaison between twinkie tush and the group as needed.

We are including in this blog post a suggested format for group formation.  However please note that we do not police the forming of groups on our fan pages or elsewhere.  This format is suggested to avoid misunderstandings, but is only a suggestion:

When proposing a group, a leader (the one who suggests the fabric unless other arrangements are made), posts a photo of the fabric and asks for interest.  Since most of the time some replies are contingent on fabric costs, we recommend offering that info up front.  eg “Anyone interested in a large group with this knit fabric?  $4-$7 per person for fabric, including shipping to twinkie tush, depending on eventual number of group members.”  We also recommend offering the following format when posting your fabric photo: “If you are definitely in, please count off here starting with 2” (the group leader would be #1 on the spreadsheet).  That way, comments like “ooh, I like this” won’t be subject to interpretation.  If someone is definitely in, they would say “I like this – I’ll be number 2.” “Me – 3” etc. 

The group leader is then responsible for adding the member’s names to the appropriate lines on the group spreadsheet, unless (s)he elects to have members do it themselves.  We recommend using Google Docs to create your group spreadsheet.  Please note that in excel, your header row will be row 1, so unless you include a column with numbers 1-15 (or whatever size you would like your group to be), member number 1 would be on line 2, member 2 on line 3, and so on.

Once the group leader has added the member names to the spreadsheet based on the members counting off within the thread on facebook (if applicable), members are responsible to fill in their preferences as follows:

1 - Full member name
2 - Member name as it appears in paypal account
3 - Member contact email
4 - Member paypal email
5 - serged or turned preference.
6 – sizing preference (one size, little tush, or teenie tush)
7 - individual choice of cotton velour or organic bamboo velour (more info on this below *and please note that FUSION groups cannot choose OBV.  FUSION groups may elect to remove that column to eliminate confusion, if they desire.)

Here is an example of what that looks like in spreadsheet form:

Again, the notion of counting off is suggested to avoid misunderstandings but is not a required component of Group Customs.

It is very important that a Group Leader also specifies whether the group will be standard cutting, non-specific centered cutting, or specific centered cutting.  There is a price difference (outlined below) for specific (or "fussy") bums and there are different fabric requirements for each kind of cutting.  A group as a whole must either be one or the other - it is not possible for some group members to select specific bums while others do not.  If your bum preference is left blank in a specific bum group you will receive a centered bum of our choice (and, like all other members of your group, you will be invoiced at the specific bum rate).

If your group is a "fussy"/specific bum group the group name MUST include one of those words.  If your group is NOT a specific bum group it is important that you do not use the words specific or fussy in your group name, spreadsheet, or emails.  All groups must also include a single line on their spreadsheets which states whether this is a fitted group or a FUSION group.  Groups now have the option to choose standard fitted (what twinkie tush is famous for!  With premium absorbency this style is what we recommend most for heavy wetters, when paired with a good cover), and FUSION (our now very well-known and well-loved hybrid fitted )

When forming a group a leader should state if he or she has a strong preference for one style (eg "Starting a FUSION group with this print").  Otherwise the group can decide as a whole in whatever way they desire, but there MUST be a line either at the top or bottom of the chart that looks like this:

or this:

If that information is missing from your spreadsheet we cannot move forward with your group.

3 – My group is formed.  What happens next?

Update: September 2015: We are returning to a system of stocking large Group Custom slots on twinkietush.com! We are excited to be able to take on so many more of your groups now!

Simply purchase a large Group Custom slot on twinkietush.com.  After doing so, please send an email to groupcustoms@twinkietush.com. The email subject must include the Group name and all Group members must be cc'ed on this email.

Your Group submission email must contain a link to a google spreadsheet or an attached Excel spreadsheet containing the required information for each Group member that we just discussed above.  The sheet must be C&P-able by us. :)

*Please do not write “TBD” for your sizing, finishing style or cv/obv preference unless you want me to decide for you!  :)

4 – I purchased a Group Custom slot and sent my submission email! Now what?

Within 48 hours of your email, you will receive an email back from us with group payment links.  Your group payment link email will contain a link which allows all group members to purchase their Group Custom diapers.  There will be drop-down menu within the payment link for one size/little tush and teenie tush options where applicable.  It is important that you choose the correct option based on your preference as stated in your Group spreadsheet.  Group members will purchase their own diaper, including shipping, at this time.  These payments are due within 48 hours of receipt of the payment links.  Any diapers not purchased within the 2 day timeframe will not be made and there can be no exceptions to this policy.  Should multiple group members fail to pay, twinkie tush reserves the right to cancel production of the group’s diapers.

After securing the slot, the Group leader will send us (at the Group's cost) adequate yardage of the chosen print (or velour) fabric and all diapers will be cut from that yardage (please see the fabric requirement charts at the end of this blog post).  This fabric can be sent directly from a fabric vendor, or from a group member.  *Please make sure to include a note, or ask your seller to include a note, along with the fabric which references your Group Name.

*Please do NOT send in group fabric until your group has secured a slot.  We cannot store fabric for potential future groups.  Thank you for understanding.  There is no deadline for a group to send in fabric once they have secured a slot, however all group members must be made aware by the group leader of the fabric arrival schedule.

New in December 2013: We require that group leaders (or the other group member who procures and sends the fabric for a group) to provide tracking information for all group members.  This can be done via PM, email, or in the group formation thread on facebook.  We cannot police this, but we ask that you follow this guideline and remember that your group is dependent on you to send in the fabric so that production of their diapers is not delayed! :)

All materials not indicated on the fabric requirement charts below will be provided by twinkie tush.  Again please note that FUSION groups can only be made with cv, as opposed to obv.  For members of fitteds groups choosing obv we will use the natural color as opposed to dyed obv, and for cv I will choose a color that coordinates with your print.  Only one color of cv will be used per Group (in other words please don't designate specific individual colors on your spreadsheet). It is fine for a Group rep to share a Group's velour preference (eg "we'd really love aqua cv if it works" or "we definitely don't want black" or "something light like pale blue as opposed to dark like navy") but please note that final cv decisions will be made by me.  If you express a preference for a color that doesn't work well with the print we will not proceed with it.  However, if you say "we definitely don't want X color" we will honor that.  Please note that descriptions like “pretty” or “bright” can be subjective.  If you have a specific color in mind it is important that you tell us what it is.  We will do our best to accommodate your request if it is made clear, works well with the print, and is something we have available when producing your diapers.  Any requests made by the Group must be shared with us via email BEFORE we receive your fabric.  If you have not made a request by the time we receive your fabric, I will choose the color that I feel works best with your print! :)

*The best way to communicate a cv color request is to write it both in an email to us AND on your group spreadsheet, in a single line above or below your Group type line.

*Please do not ask for specific snap or thread colors as we are not able to accommodate these requests. Also please note that if a print contains pink or purple we reserve the right to use pink or purple snaps and/or thread.  We try our best to take note of “please do not use girly snaps” requests when they are made, but we are NOT able to guarantee that we will accommodate requests like that.  Thank you for your understanding!

*All fabric submitted for Group Customs becomes property of twinkie tush and may be used at our discretion (for stocking, drawings, giveaways, charity events, or anything else we deem appropriate) once the Group order is fulfilled.

     - Please note that we will price diapers made with remaining Group Custom fabric according to the cost of the fabric (based within our current pricing structure).  This is something that has been requested of us by previous Groups and we recognize that it is the most fair way to handle pricing.

*Once we receive your Group’s fabric, assuming all diapers have been purchased and/or the 48 hour purchase period has expired, we will put your diapers into production.  Group Custom diapers will ship 4-6 weeks after fabric is received (again, pending payment).

5 - What else do I need to know?

Here are some other key points regarding Group Customs:

*The price for each custom slot within a group using a knit or woven print will be $38 + shipping per each one size or little tush diaper within a standard OR non-specific centered bum cut group and $30 + shipping per each teenie tush diaper within either of these types of groups.  UPDATED 1/2015: The price for diapers within a Specific Bum Cut or "fussy bum" group will include an additional $5 fee per diaper, making the costs $43 for OS or little tush and $35 for teenie tush.
For Groups pursuing twinkie tush night-nights: the first fabric requirement chart at the end of this post shows how much velour you will need to send in to cover both inner and outer velours.  The cost per person in that case will be $43 plus shipping.  Should you prefer to only send in outer velour fabric and have us supply your inner velour, the cost per member will be $48 for cotton velour and $50 for bamboo velour.  It is important that you specify that preference in your Group spreadsheet so that we can set up payment links accordingly if your Group wins a slot.  night-nights are only available in our one size (OS) pattern.

*For Groups using woven fabrics all diapers will be turned.  Serged is not available as a finishing style for wovens.  If you write "serged" as your finishing style preference for a woven group please note that it will be made in turned rather than serged.

*Please note that serged/turned and sizing preferences must be finalized prior to entering your Groups.  We will make copies of Group spreadsheets via screenshot after group emails are received and all diapers will be made as dictated by the spreadsheet screenshot.  

*Sometimes fabric that is sent in for group orders contains flaws, printing or otherwise.  We always do our best to spot any flaws and cut around them whenever possible.  However, sometimes flaws are missed.  twinkie tush does not take responsibility for fabric flaws on fabric that has been sent in for group custom orders.

*We reserve the right to refuse any group fabric on the basis of our comfortability with the theme of the print.  Potentially polarizing political statements, nudity, or other themes which we deem inappropriate for use in our product lines may be refused.  If you think you may have a print which is questionable we highly recommend emailing groupcustoms@twinkietush.com before submitting your group.  While we would of course refund diaper payments if a group's fabric is refused, we are not responsible for your fabric payments or the shipping of your fabric.

*Should a Group member leave a Group in the time between winning a slot and paying for the slot, you may replace that member at the Group’s discretion.  If a member is swapped after screenshots have been taken, the new member’s diaper will be made according to the original member’s specifications.  Please make sure to alert us to any changes in the member list by sending an email to groupcustoms@twinkietush.com, ccing all accurate (including new) members.

*Please make sure to note that, as indicated on the charts below, special cutting needs mean larger yardage requirements. If you require any sort of special cutting at all (centered bum cuts, a fabric element right side up OTB, more floral OTB, etc.) that constitutes special cutting and will require more than the standard amount of fabric. We do our best to keep the fabric requirements low and reasonable so that you aren't spending extra money on extra fabric that we won't need. But that means that we can only work with what you send in and while we always try for amazing cuts, our focus is on fulfilling your group order with an appropriate buffer. If you are concerned about getting a specific cut of any kind it is important that you follow the SPECIAL CUTTING chart.  That said, please remember that while we will do our absolute best to accommodate special cutting requests when appropriate quantities of fabric are sent, we cannot guarantee that your diaper will look exactly as you may have envisioned it.  We go out of our way to exceed expectations, but we are limited by the constraints of a function-based pattern, and the element of subjectivity.

Below are the aforementioned fabric requirement charts.  I believe that we have now covered everything you need to know in order to get started with twinkie tush Group Customs!  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and have fun forming your next group!  We can’t wait to make your diapers for you!

For knits that are 55-57" wide, please send in the following amounts for standard cutting:

5 diapers - 2 yards *must be continuous
6 - 2.5 yards *must be continuous
7 - 2.5 yards *must be continuous
8 - 3 yards *must be continuous
9 - 3 yards *must be continuous
10 - 3.5 yards *must be continuous
11 - 3.5 yards *must be continuous
12 - 4 yards *must be continuous
13 - 4 yards *must be continuous
14 - 4.5 yards *must be continuous
15 - 5 yards *must be continuous

Should you require special cutting with a 55-57" wide knit, please follow the knit columns on the special cutting chart, adding 1/2 yard to the total (eg a group of 12 using a 56" wide knit and requesting centered, non-specific bums would need to send in 5 yards).

Friday, August 2, 2013

Our August 2013 Fan of the Month: Bonita Kazmir!

We are so excited to introduce you to our August Fan of the Month, Bonita Kazmir!  Bonita is a long-standing member of the twinkie tush community and an incredibly sweet and generous mama.  Thank you so much, Bonita, for sharing your story with us! <3

Read about Bonita below and read about the Fan of the Month feature here!  We are now open for entries for September!! :)

The beautiful Bonita, Corbin and Piper!

1. What is your full name?

Bonita "no one needs to know my middle name" Kazmir

2. Where are you from? (City/State/Country) Where do you live now?

I grew up in Baytown, Texas (east of Houston), and live there now after a stint in the city and a time in the boonies.

3. How many children do you have and what are their ages?

I have 2 skin kids Corbin, who will be 2 on the 16th and Piper, 10 months and 2 rat terrier children I'm obsessed with, Nibbler (6 years) and Laika (4.5 years).

4. How/when did you find twinkie tush?

When I was pregnant with Corbin in 2011I frequented the Cloth Diaper board on The Bump. Every Wednesday everyone would go crazy trying to stalk TTs. I finally figured out what TTs were and got a used one shortly before Corbin was born. It ended up being perfect for him as he has extremely sensitive skin and was allergic to suede cloth and disposables. We are pretty much 100% TT for both kids.

5. What is your favorite twinkie tush print of all time?

When in Venice, the various colors of scorcher, countess/marchioness/josefine... I could go on. Oh and my name sake, of course. 

(When in) Venice




6. Do you have an ultimate ISO print?

OS When in Venice (pictured above)

Oh and Tainia's Hulk custom

7. What is your favorite personal non-parenting related, non-work related hobby?

I read a lot and enjoy crocheting. I am currently learning a new language, and really enjoy it.

8. What makes you feel most inspired or grounded? How do you take care of yourself and your spirit?

I am most inspired and grounded by my closet friends. It might seem cheesy, but every single one of them is an amazing person who has qualities that I strive to have in myself. I try to be very giving. That makes me feel best about myself and my spirit.

9. What is your favorite activity to do with your child(ren)?

There isn't much I don't enjoy doing with my kids. Anything water related is fun for all of us, swimming, the beach, sprinklers haha. We visit aquariums a lot too, they love watching the fish!

10. What is/was your favorite place to visit?

My favorite place to visit is anywhere with a beach! I love everything about the ocean.

11. What is your favorite book? What about your favorite movie?

I don't really have a favorite book. It's usually whatever I'm currently reading haha, which today is the first in the Game of Thrones series. My favorite movie.... Again I don't have one. I love historical fiction/romance Gone With the Wind, Sense and Sensibility... Etc.

12. What is something surprising about you, that people might not guess upon meeting you?

I think, because my children are so close in age, many people are surprised that I struggled with infertility. It changed my ideas of being a woman, my body and what amazing blessings children are.

13. What twinkie tush attribute and/or philosophy do you most appreciate?

I love how giving TT is. Gretchen and crew honestly care about the people buying their products, they take the time to answer questions, no matter how mundane they may seem. When someone needs help, they always try to lend a hand in any way they can.

14. What would you tell someone who has yet to try a twinkie tush diaper?

Just do it already! Besides being an amazing quality, they are adorable and you can't find better customer service.

15. Tell us your funniest cloth-diapering or parenting story!

When Corbin was about 3 months old he was fighting nap like a champ and winning. I took him into our bed so maybe he'd fall asleep next to me. He cried. Next thing I know, my husband walks in, lays on the other side of him, used his fingers to close Corbin's eyes and said "Go to sleep."

Guess who didn't open his eyes back up for 2 hours.

16. Tell us about one of the most meaningful parenting experiences you have had.

I think the most meaningful was when we brought Corbin home from the hospital. We struggled to get pregnant with him, I waited all those long months feeling 97 months pregnant in the Texas summer and he came at 38w exactly. All of the preparation for his arrival. We came come, laid him to sleep in the pack and play, sat down and looked at each other and my husband asked "Now what?" We are still figuring it out as we go. :)


Thank you again Bonita!! It has been so wonderful getting to know you and your beautiful family!