Testing the new DM Paper Liners

Recently, the well-known German drug store DM has started to sell paper liners for cloth nappies. The cloth diaper community seems to be quite excited about it, because up to now it was not possible to simply buy equipment for reusable nappies just around the corner. I bought our paper liners on the internet or drove all the way from Bonn to Königswinter, to the only store I know that sells the Disana paper liners.

So when I heard about the Pusblu liners, I started looking in the DM stores and found it directly in the Kaiserpassage near Bonn’s main station. You can find it near the Alana products and it costs 3,95 € for 100 sheets.


Of course I bought a roll and compared it to the Disana liners that we normally use. At first sight, they look alike, only the single sheets have a slightly different structure.

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The biggest difference is the length: the Disana sheets are 36 cm long, while the Pusblu papers are only 28 cm in length. Both are 16 cm wide. Here you see the two sheets next to each other and, for comparison, next to a Little Lamb fleecy liner:

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We are currently using nappy covers by Blueberry and Milovia in the one size version. Inside we stuff cotton prefolds, fleece liners, and the paper liner goes on top. The Disana sheets covers the prefold and can be stuffed into the pocket – the Pusblu papers however are smaller and cannot cover the inserts completely. You can see it in the pictures below, even though I did not stuff the diapers all too well: in the top row, the Pusblu paper liner is used in the Blueberry Capri on the left and the Disana sheet covers the inserts of the Milovia cover on the right. In the bottom row, the Capri is used with the Disana liners and the Milovia with the Pusblu sheet. In both cases, there is a part of uncovered fleece liner visible where the Pusblu paper is used.

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Both paper liners can be machine washed, then they crinkle a bit and thus get a little smaller again. The producers of both say you can also dispose of them in the toilet, which I usually do not – you never know what will happen and I do not want to risk a clogged loo.

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Personally, I will probably stay to the Disana paper liners, even though that means I have to order it online or buy it in stores farther away. Simply because it is longer and thus fits better into our diaper system. We also have shorter all-in-one nappies that go well with the short liners, but right now we are in the process of sorting them out because they don’t fit the big baby.

Maybe if I will use newborn size nappies again, I will change to Pusblu – on the other hand, you do not really need paper liners for breastfed newborns. Hence for us, another size of about 8-10 cm more in length would be so much better! If there was another size, I would directly change to the Pusblu brand because of the cheaper price and the better availability.

tl;dr: the German drugstore DM sells paper liners! If the sheets were longer, I would certainly use it.

 Disana  Pusblu
 Price  4,90 € for 100 sheets  3,95 € for 100 sheets
Availability in 4 stores in Bonn, according to Disana in many DM stores
 Size 36 x 16 cm 28 x 16 cm
machine washable; can be disposed in the toilet machine washable; can be disposed in the toilet


Here I am back again, after a long break in the flu season. And today I will even write a post in the long neglected category code!

During my maternity leave, I am not coding a lot. There is a lack of time, of concentration, and also of meaningful projects. Okay, I have a few ideas, but I cannot sit down and think about a problem whilst the baby cheerfully seeks for the next plug. Or eats lint she found in the carpet. Or cries out because she cannot crawl with her head into the next wall – literally.

Nevertheless, programming is not only part of my profession, but also kind of a hobby. And if I want to find a new job in summer, it cannot hurt to be a little bit in shape code-wise. So here comes Codewars: a platform that gives you tasks you have to solve by writing code snippets in a language of your choice. Currently, supported languages are Clojure, CoffeeScript, C#, Haskell, Java, JavaScript, Python, and Ruby.

Every task (also called kata) has a certain difficulty level expressed in kyu and dan levels, borrowed from Japanese martial arts. By solving katas, you can earn experience and in turn progress in your personal kyu or dan level. Gamification for the win! There is also a social component: you can comment on the solutions of others, grade them, create your own katas, and so on.

Given that I am not sponsored, I have done enough of advertising by now. Go and see for yourselves! You can directly follow me by using my referrer link:


Short Notice Baby Jackets

After I had knitted my first baby jacket from leftover yarn, I wanted to make something that actually fits my child. A little research on Ravelry patterns led me to the Short Notice jacket – a seamless and easy to knit pattern.

In my local yarn store, I bought Forte from Lang Yarns because I really liked the look of it. Instead of using the recommended 8-9 mm needle, I used a rather small one of 5.5 mm. This resulted in a very compact jacket, which I like to use on cold days in the stroller. Instead of making a buttonhole every 8 rows, I only made one in 12 rows, which is still enough (try to close seven buttons on a moving baby!).

I am not a fast knitter and I have only little time to knit (the short hours after the baby went to sleep and before I am all too tired myself), but still it took me only one week to make the jacket. I love these things that are finished before I lose motivation! Actually, I was so thrilled that I made another one in a smaller size for a friends’ child. This time, I used the Forte yarn only for the border and made the rest in Lana Grossa Superbingo, and I used a 6 mm needle. Both yarns are 100 % virgin wool, so they are warm and cosy for the babies. In the second jacket, I made one buttonhole every 16 rows and crocheted the buttons. Admittedly, I like the look of the second one more, because the Forte yarn changes color too fast for the seamless pattern.

So, two jackets in three weeks! If only all my projects went that fast… At the current temperature, my daughter really wears the jacket quite often, so it was worth the work. Except financially, because the jackets’ materials were about 30 and 20 Euros, respectively. You could buy at least one jacket for the same price, even all virgin wool. Still, it is a nice gift for children at the current time of the year.

We have some issues with the web hosting, so I can only show one picture right now. I will update once we have everything figured out! In the meantime, you might want to check out the respective projects on Ravelry here and here.


Farm Yard Friends Blanket

Remember the pastel pink cake I made for a baby shower? Guess what – the child is born, and she is the sweetest little thing. I visited this brand new person yesterday, and of course I brought a gift.

Since the proud mother is one of my best friends, I knew quite early she was pregnant and had a lot of time to think about and prepare my birth gift. So I decided to crochet a baby blanket and bought the farmyard friends pattern from Mary Maxim.


The pattern calls for Mary Maxim Worsted Weight yarn, but I did not know where to buy this yarn in Germany and did not want to order from overseas. So I decided to use Myboshi No. 5. The next problem was to find out how much yarn I would need. This was particularly challenging because the Mary Maxim Starlette yarn comes in balls of 180 yards on 3.5 oz and is crocheted with a 5 mm needle. Myboshi No. 5 calls for a 6 mm needle, and has 50 yards on 0.88 oz. So even with the knowledge that I would need one ball of yellow Mary Maxim yarn for the sun, I did not know whether the full ball or only part of it was needed, which made a difference in the number of Myboshi yarn balls to order.

So I tried to make an educated guess and ordered the following colors (where I replaced the original color of the sky with a nice blue):

  • 2 x cocoa brown
  • 6 x white
  • 6 x cloud blue
  • 1 x beige
  • 4 x black
  • 4 x grass green
  • 4 x emerald green
  • 1 x signal red
  • 2 x dandelion yellow
  • 3 x curry
  • 3 x raspberry
  • 2 x ocher
  • 2 x silver
  • 1 x magenta

I turned out, I overestimated my yarn needs a little. I bought one ball too much of curry, grass green, raspberry, ocher, black, and silver, and I had two full balls of white left in the end (which I later used for the unicorn hat). Because I decided to use different colors for the border as well, I needed to buy one more ball of cloud blue in the end.


Apart from guessing yarn quantities, the pattern was easy to follow and I really like the result. It was a long-term project though – I started in August and finished not until January! Still I was on time before my friend gave birth, so everything went well. Actually, the hardest work was to weave in all the ends.

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After I had finished the blanket, I went to a local store and bought some fleece, which I sewed as an extra layer to the bottom of the blanket. Sewing by hand is not my strongest ability, but I am still happy with the result! Now I hope my new baby friend likes her blanket as well.


Welcome to the world, L.M.!

Number Cake

Of course I had to bake for the first children’s birthday of 2016. And what would be better for this occasion than a simple rectangular cake with a colorful number surprise? The recipe is all over the internet, for example here or here, and the idea is easy: you bake a colorful cake, cut out the desired number or any other shape, and again bake it into an uncolored cake. Voilà – you got a surprise cake!

I still have Wilton food colors from my rainbow cake, so I only needed to get a cookie cutter with a number shape. I used the number one, so I could cut out several numbers from each slice of cake. Still, there is a lot of leftover cake.

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Of course you can use the remaining cake to make cake pops. But after a few failures, I have to say that I hate cake pops! So I made muffins from the colorful rest and decorated them with some leftover numbers.

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Since this cake not only has to bake two times, but also needs to cool completely in between, I had some time left. Furthermore, I also had leftover frosting from my baby cake. So I also made some confettilicious cupcakes. Maybe they are a little less suited for small children, but delicious for grownups.

Happy first birthday, J.!

Carnival Hats

Only 10 more days until my daughter’s first carnival will start. Unfortunately, I cannot sew at all, but we could rely on her grandmother to make a costume. My task was to make the carnival hats.

One of the family’s children will be Yoda this year. I crocheted his hat loosely after the instructions from Nerdspirations (in German). For my little unicorn, I bought one of the great unicorn headbands from Graciosa, a very nice woman from Colombia. I know her shop for two years now, because I bought carnival headbands for myself from there. So I only had to knit a colorful hat and did not have to think about unicorn ears or a horn.

Now carnival can start – Alaaf!

Pastel Baby Cake

Ever since I got the Sweetapolita bake book, I wanted to make one of the delicious sprinkly cakes out of it. I decided early for the pastel vanilla birthday cake. This cake is pastel pink and blue, so what better occasion could there be than a baby shower?

My friend will have a baby girl, so I switched the colors and made the cake pastel pink with a blue border. Also, I made the cake flour myself by this recipe and used whipping cream instead of heavy cream, as you cannot buy these ingredients here in Germany. For the coloring, I used Wilton’s red red and royal blue.

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I made the vanilla bakery frosting some days in advance and was really pleased with its consistency. It has a really nice and smooth texture. However, it is also really sweet, and by this I mean you can hear the sugar crunch between your teeth. The frosting is then put between four cake layers together with cookie dough pieces and sprinkles, creating a really high cake (the online recipe has three, but the book features a four-layer version).

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In the end, I even had to make more frosting – I guess I just used too much for the crumb coating, as I am lacking practice in the cake frosting department. Nevertheless, the cake looked nice in the end. Still, it was way too sugary for our taste – I like sweet stuff, but this was even too much for me. But for its great looks, I certainly will make this cake again, only with a few changes I already have in mind.

Baby Jacket

It is quite some time ago that I knitted something. Since I wanted to start again and we could use a baby jacket, I took some wool scrap and looked for a very easy pattern. I found it (in German) at wolldiskont.

The pattern calls for Schachenmayr SMC Baby Super Soft, which has 163 meters on 50 grams and recommends a 3-4 mm needle. However, I wanted to use a thicker yarn, since I do not have as much time for knitting and the baby grows so fast. Also, I still had bulky yarn – admittedly in black and white, which is not so appropriate for baby clothing. Still I started to knit.My daughter wears size 80 and is growing rapidly, so I used the maximum size of the pattern, which is 92/98. I started with Wolle Rödel Multi on an 8 mm needle. According to the gauge, I had to use about half of the stitches in the pattern. But the yarn was only enough for the jacket’s back and a part of the left front. I had another skein of wild wild wool, which required another gauge and was enough for both sleeves on a 7 mm needle. When I tried to get new black yarn for the remaining front parts, I had to learn that Multi is not sold any more. So I bought Wolle Rödel’s Big as the shop assistant told me. To sum up, my very first knitted piece after a long time included three different yarns with different gauges and a lot of roughly estimated stitch and row numbers.


According to the pattern, the jacket in size 92/98 should be about 32 cm in the back at a length of 30 cm, and the sleeves should be about 28 cm long. My jacket is 30 cm in both width and height, and the sleeves are 25 cm long (22 cm if rolled up). Fair enough. I made a simple blue border instead of the one the pattern called for. To make the black and white jacket a little more suitable for children, I found owl buttons.

In the end, the jacket is way too big for my daughter – I pretty much overestimated her size. Still it was a good project to get back in the knitting business. And maybe I find someone who needs the jacket…

Pear Poppy Seed Cake

Once again, I made a cake for a birthday. This time, it should be something without whipped cream, but rather with fruit and a little lighter. At the current temperatures here in Germany, you might not know it, but it is actually winter. So I decided for a cake with pears. I did not want to exchange the whipped cream with butter cream or something similarly fat, so I made a pear poppy seed cake. The recipe (in German) is once again from Dr. Oetker.

The recipe asks for a ring cake, and many times, my attempts to get the cake out of the baking pan destroyed it completely. Hence, I used my silicone baking pan this time. If you let the cake cool completely before turning it out, you get a beautiful ring cake, even without greasing the form. At the time being, I am a huge fan of silicone baking pans.

The cake is decorated with white chocolate and more poppy seeds, creating a nice effect. I hope it was tasty!