Monthly Archives

March 2020

  • Beauty, Clean Living

    Natural Supplements & Herbs to Boost Your Immunity

    Certain vitamins, supplements and herbs are known to boost your immune system and protect your body from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Along with proper nutrition and exercise, you can support your immune’s defenses by adding these supplements and herbs to your diet.

    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and the information on this website is for informational purposes only. As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any medical treatment. This blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or methods mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment.  Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

    Vitamin C

    This essential vitamin and powerful antioxidant plays an important role in cellular function. Vitamin C is needed to support immune function, enhance iron absorption, protect against environmental oxidative stress, and aids in memory support, skin health, and bone structure.
    Our go-to is this Vitamin C supplement by Seeking Health. It’s perfect for mixing in smoothies too!

    Vitamin D3/K2

    Vitamin D is essential to bone and cardiovascular health. It helps fights infections and bacteria, assists with calcium absorption, and may prevent heart disease, osteoporosis, and a host of chronic illnesses. It is important to take Vitamin D3 and K2 together for maximum absorption.
    My recommendation.

    n-acetylcysteine (NAC)

    NAC or n-acetylcysteine is a supplement composed of an essential amino-acid and powerful antioxidant that supports your immune system, respiratory health, kidney and liver function, reproductive system, brain health and is used in the treatment of various diseases. My recommendation.


    This naturally sweet substance, boasts both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Honey contains important antioxidants and is used for medicinal purposes as well as wound healing. Different types of honey contribute to their effectiveness. This Manuka honey, is high-quality, full of antioxidants and great for antibacterial needs.


    A nutrient that aids in digestion, hormone production, nerve function, metabolism and many other processes. While zinc is essential to a healthy, strong immune system, the nutrient is also needed to heal wounds, fight infection, and support normal cell growth. Additionally, numerous studies show, the nutrient may protect against respiratory infections. Did you know…approximately 30% of older adults are considered deficient in the nutrient?


    Magnesium is an crucial mineral that strengthens bones, protects your heart, fights inflammation, helps heal wounds and assists your body in the fight against viruses. It can also prevent migraines, lower your chance of getting diabetes, and plays a role in managing oxidative stress, nerve and muscle function, blood pressure, and immune health. We take this supplement by Natural Vitality Calm.


    High in antioxidants and nutrients, elderberry not only increase immune system function, but has respiratory benefits as well. Studies show, it may reduce cold and flu symptoms and inhibit the growth of bacteria, in addition to numerous health benefits. This natural supplement, especially when added to your vitamin regimen, is a great addition to your prevention routine.

    Apple Cider Vinegar

    Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar which consists of strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance which in turn can help kill harmful bacteria, lower blood sugar, boost heart health, promote weight loss, and provide skin care benefits.

    Add fresh spices & herbs to your diet!

    1. Cinnamon | loaded with antioxidants, fights inflammation, regulates blood sugar, heals damaged tissue, and may protect against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
    2. Ginger | a powerful antioxidant that rids the body of toxins with anti-oxidative properties, improves circulation, cleanses the colon, prevents nausea, fights bacteria, infection, and inflammation.
    3. Garlic | anti-bacterial/anti-fungal properties (although studies show this may not be as effective when heated), fights infection, increases antioxidant enzymes, may prevent heavy metal toxicity.
    4. Turmeric | contains Curcumin which is a potent anti-inflammatory, improves skin and digestive issues, heals your gut, boosts brain function, inhibits fungal growth, suppresses tumor cell growth.

    Other supplements and vitamins you may want to add to your immune boosting supplement list are…

    Selenium and Vitamin A

    Stay healthy and happy!


    8. cider-vinegar#section1

  • Clean Living, Healthy Home

    Top 10 Tips to Detox Your Home

    Simple changes can help you to “breathe a little easier” leading to healthier home life for your and your family!

    Environmental pollutants are a part of our every day lives. Cleaning products, pesticides, synthetic building materials, furniture, paint, and an abundance of other chemicals can wreak havoc on your home and your health.

    According to the EPA, “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors,1 where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.2

    Take steps towards a healthier, happier home with


    1. Open windows and air out house daily.

    This is a great way to release harmful chemicals from the interior of your home. Plus, who doesn’t love the benefits of fresh air!? Airing out new furniture is another great way to lessen the effects of chemicals which may enter your home – a few days outside or in the garage will do the trick. And lastly, if you’re looking to really take your indoor air quality to a whole new level while eliminating allergens, viruses, and pollution you can purchase a high quality air purifier like the Austin Air or Air IQ.

    2. Do not wear shoes inside.

    Wearing shoes inside brings in all sorts of “yuck” including pesticides, bacteria, feces, dirt, allergens, neurotoxins like lead, and so much more. This is one rule I am so glad I have in place.

    3. De-clutter your home.

    If you haven’t used it in 2 years or more, donate it! It’s basically just a dust collector at this point. Household items, flooring, cleaning products, and furniture all shed chemicals that end up in dust throughout our home. We breathe these chemicals in or may even ingest them accidentally by touching a contaminated surface, and then prepping food.

    4. Avoid plastic cookware and non-stick pans (AKA Teflon).

    Cook with stainless steel, cast iron, and glass instead of plastic or non-stick. Both plastic and non-stick pans are not only bad for our environment, but can leach harmful chemicals known to cause birth defects, reproductive harm, impair immunity among other health problems. Additionally, non-stick pots and pans, contain harmful PFOS chemicals which are known to leach during the cooking process. Learn more about safe dinnerware here.

    “The Devil We Know” is an award-winning documentary on Netflix which exposes the chemical industry’s cover-up of the detrimental effects of the chemical. And if you’re into documentaries, check it out! It is very informative and interesting!

    5. Eliminate disposable products from your home and switch to reusable alternatives – including water bottles!

    Globally, more than a million plastic water bottles are sold every minute! In the U.S., only 30% ever end up getting recycled which means the rest are tossed into landfills or pollute our ocean and waterways. Plastic bottles are known to leach chemicals too – use glass or stainless reusable water bottles instead. Plastic sandwich baggies, utensils, straws and takeout containers are great things to eliminate as well! All of these items can be replaced with eco-friendly, non-toxic versions – such as Stasher Bags, Glass, Silicone, or Stainless straws, and reusable glass containers, like Pyrex.

    6. Invest in a water filtration system.

    Drinking Water / Sink Filtration | A good water filter, filters out heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and an abundance of other chemicals. Most important of all is to be sure your home has a quality drinking water filtration system. We have the Pure Effects Ultra Under-the-Counter System, which filters out an extensive amount of contaminants and with every component made in the USA. The owner, Igor, is also very knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions you may have.

    Whole Home Filtration | Chemicals in your city’s water can irritate your skin causing eczema and other skin problems. Both Aquasana and Friends of the Water have excellent systems that I’d recommend for Whole Home Filtration Systems.

    Water Pitchers | Just looking for a good water pitcher rather than a whole system? Check out on Zero Water 10 Oz. Pitcher or this Zero Water 40 Oz. Pitcher!

    PRO TIP: If choosing between a whole house or sink filter, go with the sink (since it is most important to filter out what we are ingesting). Another good option is to use a bath filter or shower filter like these in addition to the sink filter if you cannot add a whole home system.

    7. Vacuum often to keep dust and dirt at bay.

    A true HEPA vacuum encapsulates the smallest amount of dust in a bag, forces all of the air through the HEPA filter, and allows none of the air to exit the vacuum. Dustless and VacMaster are two great options! We personally own this VacMaster which has a certified HEPA filter that is 99.97 percent efficient up to 0.3 microns and complies with the EPA’s new Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Act (RRP). While the vacuum is larger (and heavier) than a commercial vacuum, I do lug this thing up and down the stairs at least once per week – once you try it, you’ll know why! It really picks up every single speck of dust. P.S. Don’t forget to vacuum furniture and mattresses too! Dust often “traps” chemicals so be sure to dust with a wet rag rather than a traditional duster or dry cloth which will cause the dust to disperse back into the air.

    8. Use a VOC-free paint.

    Here’s the thing: just because a paint says “low VOC” or “no VOC” doesn’t mean it truly is and also doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain other chemicals which may be harmful to our health.

    Ecos Paint is my #1 pick and the cleanest I’ve found. Ecos also has safe varnishes, stains, and more. Plus, it is virtually odorless!

    Benjamin Moore Natura line is another good option that I use from time to time in my home. Just like Ecos paint, the Natura line is virtually odorless.

    Milk paint is harder to work with in my opinion, but usually very clean in terms of chemicals as it is made with casein.

    9. Replace your air filters in your furnace and maintain your humidifier.

    Air filter replacement should be at least every 2-3 months to keep energy bills low, prevent damage to your furnace, and discourage buildup in duct work, and effectively filter particles and contaminates. If you have allergies, pets, live in a larger home or polluted city, consider changing every 6-8 weeks. Additionally, it is important to ensure proper working order of your home humidifier since moisture causes mold growth and bacteria which is not only dangerous to your health, but can worsen allergies and cause an even bigger problem down the road.

    10. Test home for radon, mold, and other toxins.

    Fix accordingly. Radon is a odorless, colorless gas that is known to cause cancer and is the second leading cause of lung cancer is in the United States. Mold can cause allergies, asthma, and other ailments. The best way to control mold is to control moisture. Purchase home radon, mold, and lead test kits to ensure the safety of your family. Then, re-mediate, if necessary. Always consult a professional to be sure.

    Practice natural lawn care & safe pest control.

    Use alternatives instead of highly concentrated chemicals like the cancer-causing glyphosate that contaminates our soil and our food. Pesticides are harmful to not only the person spraying the chemical, but also to children, pets and people who play on the surface. Chemicals in pesticides often contain ingredients that are banned or restricted in other countries and are a threat to our environment in addition to being suspected endocrine disruptors, reproductive toxins, and probable carcinogens. For ways to practice ‘greener’ lawn care consider a rain barrel, composting, over-seeding and purchasing an electric lawnmower instead of gas. Be sure to check out my posts Natural Weed & Pest Control for a Sustainable Lawn and The Ultimate Natural Gardening Guide for Busy Moms.

    “If just 20% of US homeowners switched to electric mowers, 84,000 fewer tons of carbon monoxide would be emitted into the air each year, saving the average user 73% in total energy costs.” – GreenSeal.Org

    Looking for eco-friendly, non-toxic replacements to commonly used items, but don’t know where to start? Check out my recommendations on my Amazon Storefront here.

    Additional Reading:

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” Therefore, if you click on a link and purchase the item, we may receive a small commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we use personally and have extensively researched. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Babies & Kids, DIY & Recipes

    Best DIY Edible Play Dough

    My daughter LOVES playing with play dough so naturally we’ve gone through quite a bit of dough over the last year. While our usual go-to’s are natural, preservative-free Eco-Kids Dough and Green Toys Dough, one afternoon we were feeling “crafty” and decided to make our own! Not only was it super easy and fun, but in a little over 5 minutes later we had soft, flexible play dough!


    • 1 Cup of Flour
    • 1 Cup of Lukewarm Water
    • 1 TBS of Coconut Oil (or Olive Oil will work too)
    • 6 TBS of Salt
    • 2 TSP Cream of Tartar (this makes the dough soft!)
    • Optional: Food Coloring – we used India Tree Natural Vegetable Based Decorating Color (no corn syrup or synthetic dyes and preservative free!)


    Mix all of the ingredients into a pot. On medium heat, stir until a thicker consistency forms – it will basically LOOK like play dough. Place on a glass plate or parchment paper to cool. Then, add food coloring. Enjoy!

    P.S. I used our old Eco-Kids Dough containers for storage (eco-friendly upcycling!), but a re-usable air tight bag or container will work great too!

    Why purchase (or make) alternatives to the well-known “Play-Doh” brand? Isn’t it “non-toxic” as advertised?

    According to the Play-Doh website, the exact ingredients are proprietary (or what is also called, a “trade secret”). They do mention the main ingredients are water, salt, and flour and the compound does contain wheat. A 2004 patent revealed, that Play-Doh also contains a retrogradation inhibitor, mineral oil, a surfactant, preservatives, a hardener, a humectant, fragrance, coloring, a petroleum additive and borax. In my opinion, since we know kids are curious and love to put things in their mouths, these are not exactly “non-toxic” ingredients that I would be OK with my child ingesting. #FoodForThought

    *All organic ingredients were used in this recipe.

    Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

  • Clean Living, Healthy Home

    Best Plants for Purifying Your Indoor Air

    Indoor plants can boost mood, productivity, reduce stress, and make you happier. But, did you know, according to the NASA Clean Air Study, live plants can cleanse indoor air by reducing unhealthy toxins?

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, we spend 90% of our time indoors. This means, we spend 90% of our time breathing in toxins that have built up in our home over time. There are many causes of indoor air pollution including cleaning and beauty products, carpet, furnishings, synthetic building materials, dry cleaned clothing, paint, glues, mold, bacteria, and the list goes on! Adding live plants to your home decor not only filters the air we breathe, but also creates a fresh, new ambiance.

    Top 18 Air-Filtering Plants Recommended by NASA

    1. Dwarf Date Palm

    Photo Credit:
    • Cleanses the air of xylene
    • Plant Care: Indirect light | Easy Care | Drought-resistant | Water when top soil becomes dry.
    • Shop Dwarf Date Palms.

    2. Boston Fern

    Photo Credit: Costa Farms
    • Cleanses the air of xylene and formaldehyde | The Boston Fern is one of the top plants in removing Formaldehyde.
    • Plant Care | Low / Bright Indirect Light | High Humidity | Requires little watering 30% | Great for bathrooms!
    • Shop Boston Ferns.

    3. Kimberly Queen Fern

    Photo Credit: American Plant Exchange
    • Cleanses the air of xylene (vehicle exhaust) from the air
    • Plant Care | Medium light | Can be grown indoors or out |Regular watering
    • Shop Kimberly Queen Ferns.

    4. Spider PlantExcellent Choice

    Photo Credit: Hirt’s Gardens Store
    • Cleanses the air of formaldehyde and carbon monoxide | The NASA study found that spider plants removed 95% of formaldehyde within 24 hours.
    • Plant Care | Medium to bright indirect light | Allow 50% of the soil to dry out before re-watering | Prefer high humidity
    • Shop Spider Plants.

    5. Chinese Evergreen*

    Photo Credit: American Plant Exchange
    • Cleanses the air of formaldehyde and benzene
    • Plant Care | Easy Care | Low to Medium light | Slow-growing
    • Shop Chinese Evergreens.

    6. Bamboo Palm

    Photo Credit: American Plant Exchange
    • Cleanses the air of benzene and formaldehyde | Adds moisture to the air
    • Plant Care | Bright, indirect light | Misting and Fertilizing
    • AKA Areca Palm
    • Shop Bamboo Palms.

    7. Weeping Fig

    Photo Credit: PlantVine

    • Very Efficient at cleansing the air of formaldehyde, xylene and toluene
    • Plant Care | Easy | Bright, Indirect Light | Avoid Direct Sunlight
    • Shop Weeping Figs.

    8. Devil’s Ivy

    Photo Credit: Costa Farms
    • Cleanses the air of benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene | Devil’s Ivy is one of the best at removing these impurities.
    • Plant Care | Easy |Hardy | Filtered sunlight | Drought-tolerant
    • Shop Devil’s Ivy.

    9. Flamingo Lily*

    Photo Credit: Costa Farms
    • Cleanses the air of formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene and xylene
    • Plant Care | Avoid Direct Sunlight | Mist leaves | Water moderately
    • Shop Flamingo Lily.

    10. Lilyturf

    Photo Credit: Florida Foliage
    • Cleanses the air of trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia
    • Plant Care | Window sill plant (usually grown outdoors) | Bright, natural sunlight | Keep soil moist
    • Shop Lilyturf.

    11. Broadleaf Lady Palm

    Photo Credit: Khako
    • Cleanses the air of formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene and toluene
    • Plant Care | Tolerant of low light levels | Water regularly | Ideal for any corner of your home
    • Shop Broadleaf Palm.

    12. Gerbera

    Photo Credit: Outsidepride Store
    • Cleanses the air of formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene
    • Plant Care | Full sun | Water Often | Well-Drained Soil
    • Shop Gerbera.

    13. Cornstalk Dracaena

    Photo Credit: My personal Dracaena from Ikea!!
    • Cleanses the air of formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene
    • Plant Care | Indirect sunlight, but can handle low light | Mist
    • Shop Cornstalk Dracaena.
      Tip: Be sure to avoid purchasing the artificial plants online. The Cornstalk Dracaena plants are large and heavy therefore many are not available online at a reasonable price. I’ve purchased several 4ft plants in the past from Ikea for $30-$40.

    14. English Ivy

    Photo Credit: American Plant Exchange
    • Cleanses the air of trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene
    • Plant Care | Tolerates low light in intermittent watering | Great bathroom plant!
    • Shop English Ivy.

    15. Variegated Snake Plant

    Photo Credit: Costa Farms
    • Cleanses the air of formaldehyde
    • Plant Care | Indirect light | Thrives in humidity | Mist, as needed | Perfect for your bathroom or bedroom
    • Shop Snake Plants.

    16. Red-Edged Dracaena

    Photo Credit: Wekiva Foliage
    • Excellent at cleansing the air of trichloroethylene
    • Plant Care | Easy | Bright filtered to low light | Steady room temperature
    • Shop Red-Edged Dracaenas.

    17. Peace Lily* – My Personal Fave!

    peace lily air purifier
    Photo Credit: American Plant Exchange
    • Excellent at air filtration by releasing moisture back into the room and soaking up mold spores | Breaks down and neutralizes benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide.
    • Plant Care | Low, Medium, or Indirect Bright light | Allow top 50% of soil to dry before re-watering
    • Shop Peace Lilies.

    18. Florist’s Chrysanthemum

    Photo Credit: My Secret Gardens
    • Decorate your house and cleanse your indoor air with “mums” during the fall season to add a beautiful pop of color!
    • Shop Florist’s Chrysanthemum.

    *These plants may be toxic if ingested by dogs, cats, or children. Always double check with your pediatrician or veterinarian.

    More information on caring for your plant’s needs can be found:

    Last Thoughts…

    While every plant in your home works to purify the air, if you really want to quickly and efficiently cleanse the air of toxins, viruses, and bacteria, it is best to consider a home air purification system. My two favorite brands are the Austin Air and the IQ Air.

    Stay tuned for a post on ways to keep your indoor air pure!

    Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

  • Clean Living, Healthy Home

    6 Steps to Detox your Bedroom

    Although I always dreamt of a serene, spacious retreat, non-toxic bedding wasn’t something I considered as essential to making it just that. It was until I learned more about the manufacturing process and all of the chemical counterparts, that it finally “clicked”. Since then, I’ve made the switch and encourage others to do the same. You’ll be glad you did.

    1. Switch to organic bedding.

    This is especially important for babies and children who are growing quickly, sleeping often (hopefully!) and chewing on everything. But, as an adult, you too spend so much time in bed so you might as well not breathe in pesticides, chemicals, microplastics and who knows what else! We love these Burt’s Bees sheets for our toddler and Magnolia Organics have been our recent go-to for queen sheets. Other organic GOTS certified brands we are big fans of include Bioweaves, Whisper Organics, and Naturepedic.

    My Suggestions: Burt’s Bees sheets, Magnolia Organics, Bioweaves, Whisper Organics, Sol Organics, Naturepedic.

    2. Replace pillows.

    After biting the bullet and replacing my poly-filled pillows, I have to say, I cannot be happier! Knowing that every night we breathe what is on and in our pillow, I was thrilled to make the change. In our home, we have both 100% GOTS Certified Organic cotton pillows and shredded latex.

    So far, this is my favorite shredded latex pillow – it is literally so comfortable and best of all you can add or remove latex to adjust the pillow to your liking. Plus, I can honestly say, even my husband agrees – it was “lifechanging”! Don’t forget the organic cotton pillow case too!

    My Suggestions: cotton pillows and shredded latex

    3. Choose an organic mattress.

    Choose an organic mattress (no metal coils, if possible) made from natural latex, cotton, or wool. Avoid mattresses made of foam which often contain flame retardants and other chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene. This is on my list of items to purchase next!

    My Suggestion: A few reputable brands to consider: Naturepedic, My Green Mattress, and Avocado Mattress. Naturepedic is a well-known brand that crafts certified organic mattresses and other bedroom essentials made without toxic chemicals and pesticides. My Green Mattress is a more affordable brand made from GOLS, GOTS, and OEKO-TEX certified materials! Avocado Green is another excellent option. Check back for updates!

    4. Choose furniture made from solid wood or natural materials.

    MDF and particle board often contains glue made with formaldehyde and other chemicals that are known carcinogens. Even many “solid wood” products including doors, are often just MDF or various types of particle board glued together. Cautiously, choose finishes, glazes, and stains as some can contain potentially hazardous chemicals. Expensive doesn’t ALWAYS mean better!

    Pro Tip: When choosing items that are not solid wood, it is best if it does not contain any added formaldehyde. Ask the manufacturer if the item is certified as NAUF (no added urea-formaldehyde) or NAF (no added formaldehyde).

    My Suggestions: Many items from Pottery Barn are GreenGold Certified while Ikea offers more affordable yet safer-than-traditional options and many solid wood options too!

    5. Add an air purifying plant! or Air Purifier!

    Among the many air purifying plants we have in our home, the Peace Lily is one of my favorites! I love the ambiance live plants bring to a room plus the replacement of synthetic plastic plants really makes for a healthier environment. According to the latest NASA study, these 18 plants are best at cleansing the air of toxins.

    Through my research, I’ve found the Austin Air to be one of the best air purifiers on the market. The AA system removes “bacteria, germs, pollen, animal dander, dust, VOC’s, chemicals, odors, and other airborne allergens” and has been an extremely popular option for hospitals during COVID. The Air IQ is another excellent option.

    My Suggestion: Austin Air or Air IQ

    6. Choose rugs, curtains, and blinds without added chemicals.

    Avoid PVC completely… and upholstered products with wrinkle resistant, stain resistant or flame retardant finishes which contain formaldehyde and other carcinogenics. When choosing wood blinds, consider the type of finish as it may off-gas chemicals.

    Rugs can release an abundance of nasty chemicals overtime and most rug pads are no better. Many ‘non-slip’ rug pads are made from PVC, which often contains phthalates, lead, cadmium, and organotins, many of which are known to cause cancer, liver damage, developmental, respiratory and reproductive issues among many things. Look for untreated rugs made from natural fibers (like cotton or jute) that do not have a non-slip backing. Even some backings marketed as latex are actually made from PVC. Check with the manufacturer if you are uncertain.

    My Suggestion: I love Lorena Canals Rugs, but be sure to avoid the anti-slip rug pad they sell which is made from PVC. Made from 100% cotton or wool, they are non-toxic, eco-friendly, and can be washed in your washer! We have several in our home including this one in my daughter’s playroom. Other great options include: Earth Weave, Loloi, or Organic Weave.


    Disclaimer: Some posts on this site contain affiliate links. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we use personally and have extensively researched. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers. Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

  • Babies & Kids, Clean Living, Healthy Home

    6 Ways to Detox Your Laundry Routine

    laundry clean nontoxic natural

    The fresh scent of clean clothes may actually just reek of chemicals getting ready to penetrate your skin and irritate your airways! That’s the case if you are washing your beloved cashmere sweater or cute cotton cardigan with synthetic fragrances, butane, or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) – common chemicals found in detergents and other laundry products. Detox your laundry routine today with these 6 simple steps.

    1. Purchase a natural, non-toxic laundry detergent.

    Skin irritation, asthma, hormonal issues, and even cancer are commonly linked to harmful chemicals found in our everyday products… and detergents are no different. Using a safer detergent is not only better for our health, but also better for the environment too!

    Artificial fragrance, propylene glycol, ethanolamine, ethanol, laureth-9, sodium hydroxide, diethylene glycol, benzisothiazolinone, and FD&C Yellow 3 are a few toxic ingredients found in many detergents on the market today, including the widely marketed baby detergent, Dreft. P.S. Pleassee do not use Dreft!

    Best Non-Toxic Choices: In my home, we switch between my personal non-toxic favorites: Meliora (my go-to), Eco Nuts (made from just soapberries!), Better Life, and Molly’s Suds.

    2. Ditch dryer sheets and use wool balls instead.

    Harmful chemicals added to traditional dryer sheets include acetone, acetaldehyde, butane, fragrance, and quats. The EPA states that there is no safe level of exposure for specific carcinogens like acetaldehyde and butane.

    Wool dryer balls are not only reusable and environmentally friendly, but they are free of chemicals and will save you money in the long run! You can even add a few drops of your favorite essential oils for a fresh, natural scent.

    3. Avoid fabric softener and use vinegar, if needed.  

    Did you know traditional fabric softeners make clothing “softer” by using a array of not-so-great chemicals? These chemicals are known to cause respiratory problems, reproductive issues, skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, asthma, coma, and even death.

    Cleaning grade vinegar can be used as a natural fabric softener – and no, your clothes will not smell like vinegar!

    Note: It is possible to damage the ‘rubber’ hoses of your washing machine when using vinegar on a regular basis, specifically in front loading washers. If you do choose to use this method, always dilute cleaning grade vinegar and do not add it directly to the drum to protect your washing machine hoses. Special thanks to one of readers for sharing this article!

    4. Stop using “Scotch-Guard” and “Wrinkle-Releasing” products!

    These products contain chemicals, including PFOS, which are known to cause reproductive and developmental issues, cancer, environmental harm, and respiratory issues like asthma. Avoid!

    5. Don’t fall for marketing gimmicks AKA deceptive marketing.

    Greenwashing occurs when companies provide misleading information about how products are ‘clean, green, and organic’, when in fact, they are not environmentally sound at all. Just remember: Even if a product claims to be “organic”, “non-toxic”, or “free and clear” does not mean it truly is.

    Here are a few examples of greenwashed products: DREFT, All Free & Clear, Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent, and Mrs. Meyer’s Laundry Detergent.

    6. Wash your washer & clean dryer vents regularly.

    Chemicals linger in your washer and dryer, just as they linger on your clothes. Occasionally, remember to give your washer a rinse!

    As for the dryer vents and lint traps… Did you know chemicals from in and around your home all build up in the lint trap and dry vents? This includes flame retardants too! Be sure to clean these components regularly to prevent fires and eliminate toxins from your home.

    Don’t over stuff your washer!

    When you over stuff your washer, nothing is getting cleaned properly regardless of the products you use.

    The following non-toxic detergents are some of my personal favorites, that we use in our home. To learn more or purchase the product, click the image below or visit my Amazon Storefront for even more safe choices for your family. Thank you for reading!

    Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links.
    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.


  • Beauty

    Optimism: Are you a Tigger or are you an Eeyore?

    Let’s not focus on the negative. Somehow, try to be optimistic, always looking for the silver lining. Search for solutions, be energetic, be grateful, and do your best to make your life happier. Most importantly have fun.

    Today, I came across this photo from last spring. My daughter: running through bright, green fields, flowers blooming, sun shining…and not a care in the world. I remember this day – we had so much fun exploring, climbing on tree trunks, looking for animals, and laughing And then I thought, you know, I think we all just need a little reminder that it will all be OK… To look at the world through a child’s eyes and think POSITIVELY, explore nature, learn about ourselves, see wonder in the simple things, and keep dreaming. Remember what it feels like to have an imagination. And do not worry. Live in the moment… and believe, that anything is possible. ?

    “We cannot control the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand”, once said the late Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon University Professor and author of “The Last Lecture”. And I couldn’t agree more, especially during a time like this. 

    P.S. If you haven’t seen the full version of “The Last Lecture”, I highly recommend it. If you only have 10 minutes, check out the shortened version. It may change your perspective on life.

    Stay healthy and well everyone.

  • Babies & Kids, Beauty

    Cold Sore Prevention & Treatment Remedies!

    If you are a cold sore sufferer, you EXACTLY what I am talking about…the itchy, burning sensation followed by a painful, unsightly sore that seems to “pop up” right before your next big event! Worst. Nightmare. Ever.

    For as long as I can remember, I have suffered from cold sores. These little sores can be be both physically and emotionally draining, so much so, that I refused to leave my house! Over the years, I’ve researched everything from prevention to speeding up the duration of a cold sore. And today, I’m going to share everything I know AND what actually works for me!

    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and the information on this website is for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are based solely on my opinion and personal experiences. As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any medical treatment. This blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or methods mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Any opinions are my own and all products have been used by me personally.


    According to, “Cold sores — also called fever blisters — are a common viral infection. They are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips. These blisters are often grouped together in patches. After the blisters break, a crust forms over the resulting sore. Cold sores usually heal in two to four weeks without leaving a scar.”

    Cold sores are highly contagious even if the sore is not visible and are spread by person to person contact. They are tiny fluid filled blisters, that appear on and around your lips, not to be confused with canker sores which appear inside your mouth. Cold sores are caused by a herpes simplex virus, HSV-1, which is related to, HSV-2, the virus that causes genital herpes. Once an individual has the virus, the virus never leaves the body. It simply lays dormant until it is able to re-emerge. There is currently no known cure. While the cold sore virus lays dormant in 80% of the world’s population, symptoms do not occur in most people.


    Reducing cold sore triggers can help prevent outbreaks in the future.

    1. Stress
    2. Exhaustion
    3. Hormonal Changes
    4. Illness / Fever
    5. Weather | UV Exposure; Extreme Cold, Heat, & Wind
    6. Contact with someone who has spread the infection
    7. Unhealthy Diet | An unhealthy diet aids in the suppression of your immune system which can cause an outbreak. Eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies is key!


    Prevention and treatment can ease the pain of cold sores.

    1. The most effective way to stop the virus dead in its tracks, has been Valacylovir. While I always try to use natural alternatives whenever possible, I always have a filled prescription on hand. This has been the most effective treatment method for me personally. The drug is most effective when taken at the first sign of the virus, can prevent a sore from emerging, and cuts the duration time in half! As soon as I start to feel a tingling sensation, I take the recommended dose of 2 grams now and 2 grams 12 hours later. If you don’t have a prescription, your doctor can prescribe one for you. Other prescriptions include: Famciclovir Penciclovir, and Acyclovir, but Valacylovir is what worked best for me.
    2. This FDA approved red-light device has been shown to help reduce or eliminate cold sore outbreaks. This works by deadening the nerves and Studies have shown this treatment is effective for over 93% of people and cuts duration to 1-2 days. According to their website, they also offer a 6 month 100% money back guarantee, so as a cold sore suffer, it seems like a win-win! Red-light treatments for cold sores are offered by some dentist offices as well. And while I haven’t tried red light therapy yet, as I haven’t had the need to (knock on wood!), I have done a bit of research on this type of therapy and it seems promising.
    3. ABREVA and other over-the-counter ointments haven’t worked well for me, but that is not to say they won’t work for you. Each person is different. When in doubt, try it out!
    4. Consider a lysine supplement. Take 3 mg per day AND consume foods high in Lysine / low in Arginine when you have an outbreak or feel one coming on. Arginine is an amino acid that triggers cold sore outbreaks.
    5. Try a cold sore bandage to keep the virus from spreading and help conceal it. When my daughter was almost 3 months old, I developed a cold sore and was hysterical! Even though I never touched it and constantly washed my hands, I was so worried I would spread it to her so I bought these patches. They did the job and helped put my mind at ease (a little bit!).
    6. Ideally, use a lip balm that contains zinc or SPF 30.
      • Year-round I use this lip balm to protect my lips from the elements to help prevent an outbreak.
      • When I am experiencing an outbreak, I apply the lip balm with a cotton q-tip to the affected area. Then, use a new q-tip to apply to surrounding areas to prevent cracking. The key is to not cross-contaminate anything!
    7. Apply ice to help suppress the virus and soothe the area. Repeat every half hour for 10 minutes.
    8. Apply Vitamin E oil or a healing ointment when the sore is in the healing stage especially. Vitamin E can also provide itch relief.
    9. Use tea tree oil to dry out the sore. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties which really help soothe the sore!
    10. Apply aloe vera. Known for its healing properties, aloe vera can soothe and accelerate the healing process. Be sure to use 100% pure aloe.
    11. Consider hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and other remedies. Proceed with caution! Using these remedies may be painful, but from my experience, has helped with the duration of the sore. I’ve even used toxic acetone when I was desperate which DID work, but I don’t recommend it.
    12. Throw out your toothbrush and lipstick, and anything else you apply to your lips, AFTER the sore has healed – you don’t want to risk it coming back. I also err on the side of caution, and sanitize my makeup brushes or replace them all together.


    A proper diet can give your immune system the nutrition it needs to keep viruses at bay. Be sure to incorporate high lysine foods into your everyday meal plan.

    1. Stay hydrated. Drink at least 2 liters of water per day. Avoid sugary, processed drinks.
    2. Eat organic foods. Organic foods aren’t overloaded with pesticides and chemicals like conventional foods. This can all wreak havoc on your immune system and the effect way your body functions.
    3. Strengthen your immune system with immune boosting herbs and supplements like garlic, cinnamon, and ginger. Learn more ways to boost your immune system by visiting my recent blog post.
    4. Incorporate a healthy diet, rich in foods with high lysine/low arginine content. My go-to’s are: apples, pears, cherries, apricots, mangoes, cauliflower, and green peppers. Flounder was my choice of fish prior to becoming a vegetarian because it is very high in lysine. Other fish are good options as well. See ‘Lysine’ above.
    5. Eat yogurt with live cultures which are said to help prevent the virus from replicating.
    6. Limit alcohol intake and quit smoking. Alcohol depletes your immune system of essential vitamins and nutrients, leaving room for the virus to begin brewing! Beer, especially can trigger an outbreak due to the yeast it contains. Smoking is overall bad for your health, but your fingers harbor bacteria and viruses which may trigger an outbreak as well.
    7. Avoid processed sugars, acidic foods, greasy foods, nuts, processed meats, beer, and chocolate (I know, I know!)


    • DO wash your hands often and avoid touching the area all together.
    • DO use caution around to babies as it can be fatal and do not let anyone kiss your baby!
    • DO NOT share drinks, utensils, plates or towels if you have a cold sore or if someone else has a sore.
    • DO NOT kiss anyone until the sore is completely healed.
    • Avoid triggers in the future as much as possible.

    Comment below and let me know which remedies work best for you!

    Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

  • Babies & Kids, DIY & Recipes

    DIY: IKEA Play Kitchen Hack

    ikea kitchen diy play

    After searching high and low for a “cute, actually non-toxic, less-than-$1000-Play-Kitchen”, I decided to get CrEaTiVe and try my hand at an “IKEA Play Kitchen Hack”.

    After a quick internet search, I realized all of the “hacks” I found used the same materials with toxic chemicals: spray paint, PVC backsplash, foam board, and more spray paint. I wanted something different… something better… so I started to brainstorm cute and creative non-toxic solutions. And here’s what I came up with…



    Paint knobs, handles, and kitchen prior to assembly.
    I was so excited to get started on my project that I had my husband put the whole kitchen together prior to painting, and even though it turned out perfectly, I recommend painting BEFORE you assemble. This will save you time taping.

    Tape & Paint
    After assembly, I used this Painter’s Tape to tape the areas I did not want painted. Then, painted the remaining areas with 2 coats of ECOS Paint in Eggshell. For this project, I did not use a primer and so far, after 2 years of daily play, the kitchen still looks just as good. But, you may want to use a primer just in case!

    Drill Hole & Attach Knobs
    After the paint was dry, I removed the tape and created “knobs for the burner” by drilling four holes, slightly larger than the size of the screw, into the base of the kitchen. By making the holes slightly larger, you are allowing the wooden knobs to turn once they are attached. Then, attach the knobs. Pro-Tip: If you are going to paint the knobs like I did, painting prior to attaching will save you time.

    Attach Handles
    Next, I attached the unfinished beech wood handles, to the microwave and lower cabinets. Smaller screws may be purchased or simply add a couple washers to the back like we did. Another alternative may be these wooden handles, but they do have a finish so you may want to sand it off. Pro Tip: If you want the handles to fit perfectly in the pre-drilled IKEA Kitchen holes, look for handles that have a 5″ Hole-to-Hole Distance.

    Attach “back-splash” and create matching towel!
    I pinned a piece of 12.5″ X 26.5″ 100% cotton fabric to the back of the IKEA kitchen using a regular push-pins. Then, I cut a 20″ X 32″ piece of fabric, folded it in half, and sewed the seams together to form a matching towel! The nice thing about using fabric is there are so many options! Plus, should your little one get bored, you can easily switch them to a new theme or color. Pro-Tip: While you can use other backings, this is the least toxic, I option I found. The problem I had with many of the “super cute” IKEA play kitchen hacks was they often use PVC (vinyl) and other toxic backings that may contain lead, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and who knows what else!

    Insert the stainless steel pan into the “sink” hole! And voilà! There you have your non-toxic IKEA Play Kitchen Hack!

    Now onto the really fun part…
    Must-Have Kitchen Accessories!

    1. Plan Toys Wooden Fruit & Vegetable Cutting Set
      This is my daughter’s favorite. Excellent quality, wooden fruits and veggies are attached with velco and able to be sliced. plays with it everyday! I highly recommend it!
    2. Tender Leaf Ice Cream Cart
      Another favorite that is used daily! Love the magnetic ice-cream and cones.
    3. IKEA Stainless 10-Piece Cookware and Utensil Set
      Kitchen Must-Have for the little chef in your home!
    4. Green Toys Tea Set
      Perfect accessories for this cute, little kitchen.
    5. Green Toys Cupcake Set
      One of the most popular items in our “kitchen”.
    6. Plan Toys Food & Beverage Set
      Adorable set with lids that come off the jam and honey!
    7. Plan Toys Breakfast Menu
      Eggs, bacon, salt and pepper with a “shake”! Love, love, love!
    8. Plan Toys Baking Utensils
      Great for the “kitchen” or play dough fun! P.S. Looking to make your own natural dough at home? Check out my DIY Play Dough post.

    Looking for more imaginative play ideas?
    Shop our Amazon storefront faves!

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” We only recommend products or services that we use personally and have extensively researched as we pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Clean Living

    Plastic: Why I Avoid It As Much As Possible

    plastic, waste, pollution, recycle

    Plastic is EVERYWHERE. Think: cups, plates, bags, lined soup cans, shampoo bottles, toothbrushes, toys, baby teethers (yikes!), furniture, food containers, shoes, cars, jewelry, phones, clothing, even cosmetics … and the list goes on and on. 

    Plastic not only is bad for our environment, animals, oceans, OUR water, but it is also not good for our children or our bodies. Tiny bits of micro-plastics are created which often end up in oceans, are then eaten by aquatic life, and later end up in our bodies through many forms which include ingesting fish and other animals. Research shows, “Americans ingest at least 74,000 microplastic particles every year,” according to the Washington Post.

    It takes hundreds of years for plastics to biodegrade and the sad part is, approximately only 9% of plastic is actually recycled. Most plastic is not able to be recycled, contrary to popular belief, and ends up in landfills, our oceans, and water ways.

    With so many resources in today’s day, there are much better AND safer alternatives which include: clear glass, stainless steel, and silicone.

    IF you MUST buy plastic… here’s what you should know…

    PVC is the most toxic. I avoid it whenever I can. It is not only toxic to consumers, but extremely toxic to those who manufacture it and the surrounding communities who breathe in the pollution it creates.

    The 7 Plastic Numbers & What It Means For Your Health

    Plastic items are often coded with a recycling number 1-7. This number indicts the type of plastic and is used in the recycling process. Unfortately,

    1, 2 – Usually recyclable
    3,5,6 – Some recycling companies are able to recycle it
    4, 7 – Not usually recyclable.

    Plastic #1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
    PET is considered a safe plastic, but can leach the toxic metal antimony, and brominated compounds. Water bottles, soft drink bottles, sports drink bottles and condiment bottles are some products that contain this type of plastic.

    Bromine is known to cause acute paranoia and other psychotic symptoms while antimony causes a host of health issues ranging from heart and lung issues to vomiting, diarrhea and stomach ulcers. The longer a bottle of water sits on the shelf, the more antimony it contains. This may vary based on exposure to sunlight, temperature, and pH levels.

    One study that looked at 63 brands of bottled water produced in Europe and Canada found concentrations of antimony that were more than 100 times the typical level found in clean groundwater (2 parts per trillion).3

    Plastic #2: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
    HDPE is considered a low-hazard plastic, but like most plastics releases estrogenic chemicals. Milk, water and beverage bottles, cleaning supply bottles, shampoo bottles, grocery bags, cereal liners and many others contain this type of plastic.

    HDPE and other plastics disrupt your hormones and structure of your cells, posing risks to both infants and children. Even products that claimed to be free of BPA, have tested positive for other toxic estrogenic chemicals.

    Plastic #3 or “V”: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
    The MOST toxic plastic for consumers, manufacturers and our environment and should be avoid as much as possible. PVC is often used for shower curtains, bags for bedding, shrink wrap, deli wrap, cooking oil bottles, plastic toys, play-mats, flooring, table cloths and blister packs used to store medications.

    PVC can be rigid (unplasticized) OR flexible & clear (plasticized). During the production process, plasticizers, including phthlates are added to increase flexibility and soften plastics. DEHP is a type of phthalate often used in PVC that causes cancer.

    Toxins enter your body as they are released into the air we breathe and food we consume, causing a number of health issues including cancer, deformations, low sperm count and infertility.

    Tip: If the plastic is soft and flexible – it is probably PVC.
    Avoid children’s playmats made from PVC/Vinyl. You can choose a latex mattress topper as an alternative, Corkimat, or a fun pile of cotton blankets!

    Plastic #4: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
    LDPE is considered a low hazard and does not contain BPA, but may leach estrogenic chemicals similar to HDPE.

    Bread bags, squeezeable bottles including condiment bottles, fresh produce bags, household garbage and frozen foods bags, as well as in paper milk cartons and hot/cold beverage cups are all common uses for this plastic.

    Plastic #5: Polypropylene (PP)
    Polypropylene is one of the “safest” plastics you can buy. It is said to have a high heat tolerance making it a good choice for outdoor toys and storing food, although I personally wouldn’t recommend any plastic containers for food. PP is unlikely to leach chemicals, but evidence is still inconclusive.

    PP is used for containers including yogurt, deli foods, medications and takeout meals. 

    Plastic #6: Polystyrene (PS) AKA Styrofoam
    Avoid polystyrene as much as possible. This type of plastic leaches styrene into your food, damages your nervous system, and has been linked to Cancer. Benzene, a known human carcinogen, is used in the production.

    Everything from cups, plates, meat trays, packing peanuts, and more can be made from Polystyrene (Styrofoam). Hot food and beverages very well may be the most dangerous due to the amount of styrene they leach from containers. Therefore, AVOID if possible coffee cups, to-go containers, etc. that are made from polystyrene (Styrofoam).

    Plastic #7: Other
    Plastic #7 is often made from a combination of plastics and resins. It most likely contains BPA and/or BPS and most likely other toxic chemicals. Technically, there is only a partial ban on BPA (for example, in baby bottles), but research shows there are much greater concerns and a full fledged ban should be implemented, as described here.

    The reason BPA and BPS are so dangerous is because...

    • They mimic, interfere, and disrupt with your body’s hormones and endocrine system which regulates mood, growth, development, metabolism, reproductive processes, sexual function and tissue function.
    • In utero exposure to BPA compounds, can lead to chromosomal errors in the developing fetus, causing spontaneous miscarriages and genetic damage.
    • Strong evidence shows these chemicals are effecting adults and children, too. Leading to a host of health issues including, but not limited to…
      • Early puberty, decreased sperm count, and cancer.
      • Obesity
      • Insulin Resistance – an underlying factor in many chronic diseases
      • Stimulation of mammary gland development
      • Disrupted reproductive cycles and ovarian dysfunction
      • Heart disease


    So, what are the “safest” plastics?
    #1, 2, 4, 5 But, only #1, 2, and 5 are most likely to be recycled which means the others will end up in a landfill. Avoid PVC Plastic #3 at all costs – the entire duration of its life cycle is toxic to humanity. Also, avoid Polystyrene #6 (styrofoam) and Plastic #7 Other as much as possible.

    Where can I find the number(#) plastic on items?
    Often found on the bottom, side, or inside plastic items will be a number. If the number is not present, you can contact the manufacturer for more information.

    How can I tell if something is silicone or plastic?
    If silicone contains plastic (or is plastic), when it bends, it will turn white-ish in the area where it was manipulated.


  • Clean Living, Healthy Home

    The Toxic Item You Use Everyday

    TEFLON: America’s Dream or America’s Nightmare?
    The True Story.

    Years ago, I’ll never forget when my now-husband was flabbergastered that I was stirring my pasta with a stainless steel fork… in the Teflon pot. I thought he was crazy and had no idea the health impact I was truly causing.

    What did he know about cooking anyway? After giving him the sarcastic “side eye”, I continued to swirl. Little did I know, the pot itself was leaching toxic chemicals and with every knick, scratch, and stir even more chemicals were being released into my delicious Italian cuisine and then… again later when I cooked our next meal for days, weeks, months, and years to come.

    Imagine my surprise, years later I came across the award-winning documentary, “The Devil We Know”, which confirmed everything I had known, but didn’t want to acknowledge. Teflon. Is. Toxic.

    As mentioned in ‘The Devil We Know’, according to numerous studies…

    • “It only takes 2-5 minutes on a stove top for Teflon cookware to overheat and create toxic particles and gases, according to numerous studies.” Source: EWG
    • “American babies are born pre-polluted with more than 200 chemicals in their blood, 180 of which are known to cause cancer in humans or animals.” Source: EWG
    • Drinking water is the primary route of exposure [to PFOA chemicals] in some populations, but exposure sources are not well understood. PFOA has been used to manufacture such products as Gore-Tex and Teflon. PFOA does not break down in the environment.” Source: National Center for Biotechnical Information.
    • “The chemical used in Telfon has been linked to 6 diseases including testicular and kidney cancers.Source: New York Times

    From “The Devil We Know”: The Chemistry of a Cover Up
    “When a handful of West Virginia residents discover DuPont has been pumping its poisonous Teflon chemical into the air and public water supply of more than 70,000 people, they file one of the largest class action lawsuits in the history of environmental law.” The chemical caused cancer, death, and birth defects in unborn children of pregnant workers among other devastating consequences. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), “99% of American’s have the toxic chemical, PFOA, in their blood, including babies. This is the chemical used to make Teflon.” It didn’t stop there though, the spread of PFAS chemicals has gone global to China and beyond. FACT: PFOA is one of more than 80,000+ untested chemicals that have been approved for use, their dangers unknown.”

    What can I use instead of toxic Teflon Cookware?

    Stainless steel, clear glass, and cast iron are safe options. Avoid ceramic due to possible lead contamination in the glaze. Avoid aluminum due to harmful health hazards it poses as it has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s among other things. I also avoid GMO oils.

    • STAINLESS STEEL: As long as it is 100% stainless steel, it should be safe to use. Calphalon, Cuisinart, and All-Clad are brands I use and recommend.
    • CAST IRON: For the best of the best, I love and recommend Finex. This skillet in particular is perfect for our everyday cooking needs. While I do recommend and use this Lodge Cast Iron skillet as well, I strip and reseason Lodge Cast Iron with organic flax seed oil before use due to the original seasoning containing GMOs. Both of these brands are made in the USA.
    • GLASS: We use this Pyrex baking tray in the oven all the time and it works great! Typically, clear glass without any writing is best, as oftentimes the writing on glass can contain lead or cadmium.
      What about Coringware Visions Cookware? Visions Cookware is perfect for the stove top, but unfortunately after rigorous XRF testing by Lead Safe Mama, Tamara Rubin, some of them have tested positive for low amounts of lead and therefore, I cannot recommend them here.

    What other products besides pots and pans use PFAS chemicals?

    PFAS chemicals are found in water-proof, stain-proof, and wrinkle-proof clothing, furniture, home goods, carpeting, food packaging, and even dental floss! Worst of all they have contaminated our drinking water and our air! Fortunately more and more brands are starting to phase out these chemicals as their toxic effects become more prevalent.

    Which brands and products are PFAS-Free?

    Below are several brands and/or products that are free of PFAS chemicals, according to For the full list of brands and products thus far, click here.

    For the full list, click here.

    Learn more about PFAS…

    Looking for safe, non-toxic products? View our favorite products here!

    This post contains affiliate links. Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Babies & Kids, DIY & Recipes

    Quick Healthy Snack Ideas For The Whole Family

    In today’s world, so much of our food is processed, so when my little one started to eat solids, I was looking for healthy alternatives without the preservatives and additives. The recipes below are not only super simple to make, but as my 2 year old would say, are “delicious and nutritious”! Enjoy.

    Frozen Bananas Slices

    1. Slice bananas.
    2. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cocoa powder.
    3. Place on a glass plate. Freeze (30 minutes or more) and enjoy!

    Easy Banana Oat Bites (Egg-free!)

    1. Add 1 Banana, 1/4 Cup Quick Oats, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
    2. Sprinkle in cinnamon, cocoa powder, & raisins – depending on preference. Mix.
    3. Pour mixture into 6 muffin liners and press flat. Bake at 350 Degrees F for 6-10 minutes depending on your texture preference (softer vs. firmer).
    4. Let cool and enjoy! We usually double this recipe to make the bites a bit thicker.

    Nutrient-Packed Popsicles & Smoothies

    1. Blend water or coconut water, bananas, mango, berries, carrots, celery, spinach, kale or any fruit/veggie combo together.
    2. Optional Nutrition: Add Vitamin C Powder, Beet Powder, Magnesium, Chia or Flax Seed for an extra boost!
    3. Then, to make the smoothie Popsicles… Pour into a popsicle mold, like the one we have, and enjoy!

    Our favorite blend: Banana, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, carrots and chia seeds! If you’ve never had carrots in a smoothie before, start by adding just a few. Blend well.

    Kale Chips

    1. 1 Bunch of Fresh Kale – thoroughly wash and dry the kale. Then, cut off stems and tear into bite sized pieces.
    2. Toss with olive oil and salt.
    3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place kale on sheet.
    4. Bake at 350 F, turning half way, for approximately 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown – not burn!

    Yogurt Bark

    1. Cut fresh strawberries into tiny pieces.
    2. Mix in a bowl with yogurt.
    3. Pour mixture onto a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper) an freeze for at least 2 hours.
    4. Break apart into smaller pieces and enjoy!


    • Ants on a Log (celery, peanut butter or almond butter, and unsweetened raisins)
    • Carrots Sticks & Almond Butter
    • Apple Slices with Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
    • Bell Peppers & Hummus
    • Cucumbers & Hummus
    • Pumpkin Seeds
    • Toast with Avocado and Tomato
    • Unsweetened Applesauce & Cinnamon
    • Nuts & Unsweetened Raisins
    • Hard-Boiled Eggs
    • Caprese Skewers
    • Kefir or yogurt
    • Almond Butter and Jelly Tortilla Roll-Ups
    • Hummus, cucumber, cracker sandwiches
    • Almond Butter & Banana Sandwiches (just those two ingredients!)
    • Oatmeal
    • Avocado Slices
    • Healthy Blueberry Muffins
    • Oat Energy Balls

    Looking for non-toxic kitchen items? Cups, plates, utensils, mixers, and more? Check out my personal recommendations of products I use in my home! Free of BPA, lead, cadmium, heavy metals and many other toxic chemicals.

    Full disclosure and disclaimer here.

  • Babies & Kids

    10 Essential Toddler Travel Tips

    travel toddler

    I remember the days leading up to my beautiful Hawaiian vacation… with my adorable 18 month old…

    Traveling with a toddler, can be… a bit… of a challenge at times. From mid-car ride meltdowns to plentiful potty breaks, even a quick 10 minute trip could potentially end up disastrous. But, here’s the good news… you have some of the best tried and true methods for traveling with a toddler right at your finger tips!

    Here’s all you need to know before you go…

    1. Distractions, distractions, distractions!

    Bring new toys, travel games, stickers or books along with some of their favorite comfort toys. Here are a few of my favorite travel items for toddlers: Tegu Magnetic Blocks, Haba Farm – Portable, Haba Magnetic Dress Up Doll. Check back for my upcoming blog post on Best Travel Toys!

    2. Snacks & Water Galore!

    Pack all of the snacks, water, breast milk, formula, and even a lollipop or two (especially if you are flying and experience pressure change)! We always try to eat healthy (and organic) as much as possible and even road trips, if you prep in advance, it can be simple to do! We usually bring berries, bananas, frozen fruit pouches, crackers, freeze dried fruits, & raisins.

    3. Double Up on Diapers & Toddler Toiletries

    Make sure you always have extra diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes. You never know what can happen!

    4. Hand Sanitizer & Wet Wipes

    I always have hand sanitize, wipes, hydrogen peroxide on hand when traveling. There are so many germs everywhere – the last thing you want is a sick toddler on vacation. Personally, we love the Cleanwell wipes. We bring them everywhere from dining out to destination vacations. We also always make sure we have wet wipes on hand, which are perfect for wiping sticky hands and faces, and of course, for the occasional diaper blowout! Eco by Naty are my absolute favorite; they are fragrance free, cruelty-free, 100% compostable, and contain zero plastic and zero nasty chemicals!

    5. Don’t forget a sound machine and cozy blanket!

    Cuddle your little one with his or her favorite blanket (and lovey) to bring the comforts of home to the wide open road! Sound machines, like this portable one, are helpful little devices for when your child really needs to get some R & R.

    6. Consider a Kid-Friendly Tablet.

    Although, in general, we limit screen time (to as little as little as humanely possible), we did purchase a Kids Fire Tablet for our flight to Hawaii. But, to be honest, we really just wanted it as back up and our 18 month old really only used it for less than 20 minutes. With that being said, I think if she were a bit older, it could have definitely been a lifesaver. We also purchased these kid-friendly headphones so everyone on the plane didn’t have to hear “Moana”!

    7. If you are flying, book a direct flight.

    Less time traveling = less time stressing. Layovers create chaos at times, not to mention, you may have to wake your little one from their slumber.

    8. Boarding a Flight – Avoid Pre-Boarding.

    This may or may not be the popular opinion, but I do not take advantage of the pre-boarding. My toddler loves to run around and doesn’t want to sit still resulting in total chaos on the plane prior to departure. We usually always board near the end and are still able to wipe down seat trays and get situated before the last passenger boards.

    9. Purchase a seat for your little one.

    Even if your child is under 2, it may be beneficial to purchase a seat. This is especially important if the flight is a longer one. Not only does the FAA urge parents to use a child safety restraint or device, such as the FAA Approved CARES Harness or your child’s car seat, but the extra space really does come in handy for activities, storage, and snuggles! As a safety pre-caution try to always keep your child buckled in, as much as possible

    10. Gate Check Strollers and/or Car Seats

    This. Makes. Travel. So. Much. Easier. Just do it!

    FINAL TIP: JUST RELAX & ENJOY THE RIDE! They are only little once.

    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, but do not suggest giving Melatonin or Benedryl for travel. As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any medical treatment. This blog has not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or methods mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment.

    Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are “affiliate links.” Therefore, if you click on a link and purchase the item, I may receive a small commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we use personally and have extensively researched. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers. Thank you for your support!