Monthly Archives

January 2021

  • DIY & Recipes

    DIY: Valentine’s Day Heart and Bead Garland

    diy wooden heart bead garland on mantle

    DIY crafts are a fun way to create sustainable decor as you channel your inner creative genius! This simple Valentine’s Day garland is not only a cute craft to create with your little, but also helps improve his or her fine motor skills!

    Here’s what you’ll need:


    • Wooden Hearts
      You have three options when it comes to the main focus of your project! 1.) Purchase pre-painted hearts 2.) Purchase unfinished wooden hearts and paint them yourself, or 3.) Upcycle some previously owned hearts! For this garland, I chose #Upcycling for the win and reused wooden hearts I already had at home.
    • Wooden Beads
      When it comes to wooden beads and DIY projects, the possibilities are endless. I used this set of wooden balls and they worked OK, but some of the holes weren’t perfectly round or cut through completely which made it difficult to thread the bead at times, but I was able to manage! Typically, I purchase wooden pieces from my favorite brand, Woodpeckers, due to their unmatched quality. Woodpeckers crafts beautiful wooden beads, peg dolls, cutouts, blocks and more, making them the perfect choice for a variety of DIY projects. Plus, Woodpecker sustainably sources their materials and most products are made in the USA. We especially love their wooden peg dolls (just $13 for 40) and dowels!
    • Cotton String or Natural Jute
      The wooden bead set I purchased came with jute (hence the reason I chose that set – I thought it’d be easy as 1, 2, 3) so I tried to use that; but as I mentioned above, I ended up making jute tassels and tying them to the ends of a cotton string (which was much easier to thread). FYI The jute did work much better with my Woodpecker beads.


    1. Cut string to desired length. I always leave the string a bit longer than desired – just in case!
    2. Layout your pattern. Originally, I didn’t do this and had to re-string all of my beads. Make sure you have enough materials to cover the desired string length. Repeat as many times as necessary. Here is the pattern I chose: small bead, medium bead, large bead, medium, small, heart.
    3. Add the beads and hearts to your string. Yay!
    4. Make tassels for the ends (optional). Here are easy instructions for tassel-making. For my tassels, I used jute and wrapped the string around the entire top portion of the tassel. Then, tucked it in.
    5. Hang and enjoy!
    diywooden heart bead garland on mantle

    P.S. Don’t forget to ‘share the love’ with your friends and family, juuuust in case they are looking for some V-Day inspo too!

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

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Beauty, DIY & Recipes

    Superfood Avocado Smoothie Recipe!

    Smoothies are an easy way to add vitamins, minerals, fiber and even healthy fats to your diet. This avocado smoothie recipe is packed with enough nutrients to keep you satisfied through-out the morning as you reap the many health benefits of avocados and MCT oil all day long!


    For inspo, I used Kourtney Kardashian’s Avocado Smoothie Recipe, but changed it up a bit! I chose to leave out the ‘Brain-on’ and protein powder because 1.) I haven’t had the time to research ‘Brain-on’ yet 2.) In general, I try to get my protein from natural sources rather than a powder (here’s why), but I did link a protein powder I would consider using below!

    If you want to make it exactly as Kourt does, add the following to the ingredients above:


    1. Add all of the ingredients and blend until smooth!

    Optional: For an extra boost of antioxidants, we sometimes add organic blueberries or organic spinach and kale for added vitamin-packed punch!

    Oh, and don’t forget to use your reusable glass straw and mason jar (plastic-free is the way to be) !


    Additional health articles …
    +Arsenic, Lead Found in Popular Protein Supplements
    + 7 Science-Based Benefits of MCT Oil
    + Why is avocado so good for you?

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

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Beauty

    7 Inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

    On the third Monday in January of each year, we celebrate and honor the life accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    As an influential civil rights leader, Dr. King fought for equality and human rights for African Americans and all victims of injustice through peaceful, non-violent protests. When he was just 35, King became the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, among his many accomplishments.

    The following Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes are some of my favorites that are meant to inspire us all for generations to come.

    “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

    “The time is always right to do what is right.”

    Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love…violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.

    “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

    “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

    Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?

    Final Thoughts…
    Let’s leave this world a little better than we found it and live by the golden rule… Treat others the way you want to be treated.

  • Babies & Kids, Beauty, Clean Living

    7 Natural Ways To Lower A Fever

    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. I am an Amazon Affiliate and earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

    A fever presents itself in the body when there is an abnormal reaction going on within. Overheating, immunizations, or a viral or bacterial infection may be the culprit of your temperature increase.

    Diagnosing A Fever

    With so many thermometers on the market, which one is best? Which gives the most accurate reading? Consider a few factors when checking the temperature of your little one (or yourself).

    • In children under 3, a rectal thermometer gives the most accurate temperature reading. Here is my pick for rectal thermometers and here is another good option.
    • In adults and children over 3, the most accurate reading is in the mouth or under the armpit. We’ve used many, many digital thermometers and they just aren’t as accurate as the traditional ones. Bonus: We use this thermometer at home which was more affordable and more accurate than our old $50 thermometer.
    • Avoid mercury thermometers which are toxic to our health and the environment.

    How to Naturally Lower a Fever

    1. Wet Sock Remedy.

    This is one remedy I was shocked to learn about, yet so many people claim it wonders! There’s no harm in trying, right!?

    First, soak your feet in warm water for up to 10 minutes. Then, wet a pair of thin cotton socks with cool water and ring out the excess water. Place the wet socks on your feet. Next, put wool socks over the wet socks. Go to bed and remove the socks in the morning.

    2. Epsom Salt Bath.

    Add a cup or two of pure Epsom Salt to a warm bath. Soak for 15 – 20 minutes. Be sure to increase fluid intake as well.

    3. Cool Wash Cloth.

    Apply a cool, not cold, washcloth to your forehead, neck, and the bottom of your feet. You may also take a cool (again, not cold) bath. When water is too cold, it has the opposite effect and raises your temperature rather than lowering it.

    4. Increase electrolyte and fluid intake.

    Good old H2O is a great way to hydrate your body! But, if plain water isn’t cutting it, there are other ways to increase your intake.

    1. Organic coconut water hydrates and provides your body with essential electrolytes – just make sure you purchase one without added sugars and artificial colors like this one.
    2. Add electrolytes to your water with one of the following clean brands: Seeking Health Electrolyte (my top choice), Pediavance (most similar to Pedialyte without the artificial ingredients), Ultima Replenisher, and Nuun are all good choices.
    3. Smoothies, homemade popsicles, and fruits full of water are other good ways to stay hydrated.

    5. Support your immune system with vitamins and minerals.

    Vitamin D/K2, vitamin C, and zinc are known for giving that much needed to boost to your immune system. As for these supplements, I have a specific brand favorite for each linked. I’ve found them to be most effective.

    6. Apply peppermint oil.

    Organic peppermint oil applied to the bottom of your feet, along your spine, and on the back of your neck can work wonders for a fever.

    But, err on the side of caution when…

    While there are natural ways to lower a fever, it is always best to err on the side of caution and contact your doctor when necessary. According to Healthline, you should seek medical advice in the following situations:

    • Ages 0 to 3 months | Rectal temperature is 100.4°F or higher.
    • Ages 3 to 6 months | Rectal temperature is above 102°F and is irritable or sleepy.
    • Ages 6 to 24 months | Rectal temperature is above 102°F (39°C) that lasts for more than a day. Consider calling sooner if they have other symptoms.
    • Children Ages 2 + | Temperature repeatedly rises above 104°F. Also, seek medical advice if your child has a fever longer than 3 days, can’t keep fluids down, exhibits poor eye contact, or doesn’t respond to medicine.
    • Adults | Temperature 103°F or higher that isn’t responding to medication or lasts longer than three days. 

    Stay well!


  • Babies & Kids, Crafts & Projects, DIY & Recipes

    How To Naturally Tie Dye Clothing

    Did you know leaves, flowers, herbs, and fruits can all be used to create beautiful, vivid, natural dyes?!

    If you’re looking to add some color to your wardrobe, try experimenting with natural pigments to create cool, unique clothing or revive older styles!

    Why use natural dyes?

    Made from materials found in nature, natural dyes are biodegradable, azo-free, and don’t contain any harmful chemicals or carcinogens… A total win-win for us and the environment!

    Learn more about the dangers of azo dyes here.

    Here’s what you’ll need:


    • Clothing or fabric made from natural materials like cotton, linen, or silk | For this post, we used plain white organic cotton pajamas from Hanna Andersson.
    • Dye materials to make the dye of your choosing (or plant based dyes)
    • Rubber Bands
    • Vinegar or Salt Fixative (see “Tips” below)
    • Stainless Steel Pots and Stainless Steel Strainer
    • Wooden Spoon or Tongs
    • Newspaper or Cardboard
    • Optional Squirt Bottles (you can even reuse old ketchup or mustard bottles) and Gloves if you don’t want your fingers colored!


    1. Cover your workspace with newspaper or cardboard.
    2. Soak your fabric in a fixative for at least 1 hour. We used a vinegar to water ratio of 1:3 and soaked our clothing for 1.5 hours. Allowing the clothing to soak, helps the dye adhere to the fabric better and prevent fading.
    3. Make the natural dye, while your fabric is soaking. Chop fruits, veggies, leaves, or flowers (the smaller the better). Add natural materials to water (ratio of approximately 1:3). Then, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 60 minutes give or take.
    4. After allotted time, remove clothing from the vinegar and rinse in cool water.
    5. Tie rubber bands around the clothing to create fun tie-dye patterns! Check out some pattern ideas here.
    6. Dip clothing in the dye of your choice. You can also try pouring the dye over the fabric although, in some instances, this may not allow the dye to properly adhere to the clothing and result in fading.
    7. Allow clothing to soak for 1-24 hours. We rinsed after 2 hours. Depending on what natural dye materials you use, you may want to soak longer.
    8. Rinse clothing (and rubber bands) with cold water until the water runs clear.
    9. Dry. We dried it in the dryer, although some people say to air dry.


    The following are natural materials I’ve used to create fun dyes! Get creative with plants from your garden, veggies in your fridge, spices on your rack or anything else you’d like to experiment with!

    • YELLOWS | Marigolds, Dandelions, or Turmeric (2 tbs per 6 cups of water is what I used)
    • PURPLES | Red Cabbage or Blueberries
    • REDS | Frozen Cherries
    • PINKS | Avocado Pits and Skins or Beets
    • BLUES | Black Beans (soak overnight, drain beans)
    • GREENS | Grass, Spinach, or Nettle
    • PURPLE – RED – GREYS | Red Wine
    • ORANGES | Carrots
    • BROWNS | Coffee or Tea

    For the purposes of this post, my daughter and I used a grass and spinach mixture for green, turmeric and marigolds for yellow (although the turmeric is what really made the color ‘pop’), and a mixture of cherries and red wine for the purple. Be sure to strain the cherries (we didn’t – whoops!).

    We’re all ready for bed!

    Natural Dye Tips & Tricks

    • The longer you let your fabric soak, the better!
    • Repeat washings may cause the colors to fade. I noticed this a bit with my red/purples made from red wine and cherries. The turmeric dye has held up wonderfully!
    • For berries and fruits, use salt as the fixative with a ratio of 1/2 cup of salt to 8 cups of water. For veggies, use 2-3 cups of vinegar to 8 cups of water.
    • Avoid using dried plants.

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

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Healthy Home

    Safe, Non-Toxic Dinnerware

    Modern and vintage dinnerware all too often have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium and others chemicals. If you have little ones at home, are pregnant or trying to conceive, having safe dinnerware is a must. Toxins, like those listed above are known to cause reproductive and developmental harm among other health issues and dangerous levels can build up in your system overtime. It is especially important for children and babies to avoid these toxins as they are most susceptible to harm.

    Glass is one of my favorites in the kitchen – it is microwave and dishwasher safe, plus it won’t warp, stain, retain odors, or leach chemicals into your food or beverages. Check out other verified safe brands that we use in our home AND continue scrolling to learn what you should avoid!

    *All of the dinnerware items listed below are dishwasher and microwave safe.

    NEW Corelle
    Dinnerware, Drinkware, Storage, Serving & More

    NEW white Corelle is my favorite choice for dinnerware – we’ve accumulated quite the collection! Made in the USA, Corelle plates and bowls are made of three layers of a type of tempered glass called Vitrelle®. This dinnerware is durable, lightweight and most importantly free of toxic chemicals! Now, you might be wondering… ‘Are Corelle plates with those cute designs safe?’ According to Corelle’s website, “Decorations, if present, are made from low-lead enamels and fired at temperatures exceeding 1000 degrees F, which binds any heavy metals both physically and chemically so that their release is minimized.” Personally, I’ve found Corelle to be extremely transparent and while my family (including my little one) only uses plain white Corelle, I do have a few new plates with a decorative pattern along the rim that we use on occasion. *Important to Note*: Older / vintage Corelle has been found to contain toxic chemicals including high amounts of lead, just like many vintage dinner options. Corelle advises consumers to discontinue the use of older dinnerware. Additionally, according to the LeadSafeMama website, some newer Corelle patterns have been found to have cadmium concerns in the decorative pattern and their mugs – made from stoneware in China – are not always lead-free).

    Anchor Hocking
    Dinnerware, Drinkware, Storage, & Bowls

    Anchor Hocking offers glass dinnerware and storage containers at an affordable price – plus, all Anchor Hocking products are made in the USA! We currently own a few bakeware items from AH plus these plates too!

    Ball Mason Jars
    Multi-Use Jars

    Ball Mason Jars are one of my must-haves! These durable, inexpensive jars are so versatile and come in a wide variety of sizes! We use them for baby food, salads and smoothies AND I loveee using these 32 ounce jars every single day to help keep myself hydrated! Tip: My Target had a pack of 12 for for just $12!!

    NEW Pyrex
    Storage Containers

    Glass Pyrex containers are perfect for cooking, storing, and baking! We use our Pyrex literally every single day for anything and everything and really love our rectangular set – they easily fit into the fridge for organized storage! Lids are available in glass, silicone, and BPA-free plastic. *Important to Note*: Just as older Corelle is a ‘no-go’, the same goes for older Pyrex including the popular colored vintage bowls which have tested extremely high for lead and should absolutely NOT be used.

    Glass Drinkware & Plates

    Just have to get this out there… These glass mugs are my all time favorite!! Libbey makes lead-free glasses that are durable and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Plain, clear, unpainted glass is your best option, especially considering stoneware, especially mugs, often contain heavy metals. Check out these cute pineapple glasses!

    Plates, Bowls, Glasses, & More

    Duralex glasses and plates are durable, free of heavy metals, and made in France! Duralex offers a wide range of kitchen staples including glass mixing bowls, plates, cups, wine glasses and more!

    Stainless Steel Utensils

    Simply put… 100% stainless steel forks, knives, and cutlery is your safest bet AND should be free of heavy metals, especially if you buy from a reputable brand. Be sure even the handles are 100% stainless and not made from a resin or plastic.

    Liberty Flatware, is made from 100% stainless steel right here in the USA, and after owning the toddler utensil set (see below!), I would definitely purchase a full set from Liberty Flatware whenever I am in the market for a new set of utensils.

    Currently, we use 100% stainless steel forks, knives and spoons from Cambridge that have tested free of all heavy metals (as expected with anything 100% stainless steel).

    As for baby and toddler utensils, I absolutely LOVE this set by Liberty Flatware. Made from 100% stainless steel made in the USA, this set is adorable, sturdy, and safe for your little one – my daughter still loves it! Another 100% stainless steel brand made in the USA is Kleyanimals. While we don’t have the flatware set, we do have the Kleyanimals key set (truly heirloom quality).

    What to Avoid At the Dinner Table

    Dinnerware is most often affected by acidic food and heat which can cause paints, glazes and other materials to break down with regular use causing them to leach into your food. If you use dinnerware containing toxic chemicals or heavy metals, chances are you’re ingesting them, so it is best to avoid the following whenever possible.

    Leaded Crystal

    Oh, leaded crystal… Yes, I registered for leaded crystal wine glasses. Yes, I drank from them. Yes, I have/had other leaded crystal items including a vase, bells, creamer, and several others. But, since finding out that my Mikasa Wine Glasses contain 401,000 ppm of lead (or are composed of 40% lead), I no longer use these glasses and store them in an enclosed glass cabinet. Also, this should go without saying, but I never let my daughter touch or drink from crystal. Please read this article explaining how this crystal glass is likely the source of a child’s mysterious blood poisoning, from the Lead Safe Mama, LLC website.

    Vintage Plates, Bowls, Mugs, & Cups

    It wasn’t until the 1970’s when the FDA began to testing dinnerware for safety (gasp!). Therefore, vintage paint and dinnerware are often contaminated with lead, cadmium, arsenic and other toxins. As time goes on, the paint may chip and the finishes wear off, leaving the consumer exposed to ‘what lurks beneath’! Additionally, overtime these materials can breakdown causing dust and heavy metal contamination within your home. In general, I avoid pretty much everything vintage.

    Paints & Glazes
    Glass, Ceramics, Porcelain, & China

    Be wary. Not all painted or glazed dinnerware contains heavy metals, but unfortunately MANY do. Lead and cadmium are the main culprits found in these types of paints and glazes, therefore it is best to avoid this type of material unless you are 100% certain. For example, my ceramic plates tested lead-free and my porcelain plates that had low levels of lead on food surface side of the plate, yet higher levels on the logo. Check out the results here.

    Recycled Glass

    Recycled glass often contains lead, antimony and other chemicals that do not belong on your dinner table! These heavy metals can leach into your food and drinks – especially when scratched, stored for long periods of time, or used with acidic foods and beverages. Check out the XRF results of my mom’s recycled glass cup here.

    Non-Stick / Teflon

    Non-stick cookware is coated with toxic chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects and many other health issues. This type of cookware uses any combination of the following substances: polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), “GenX” chemicals or most commonly used in non-stick cookware, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).  I always use stainless steel, glass or cast iron when cooking. If you want to learn more, check out the documentary, “The Devil We Know”.


    Different types of plastic contain different chemicals such as BPA, BPS, phthalates, and many more hormone disrupting chemicals which can easily leach into your food. Plus, plastic is bad for our environment just as non-stick products are! If you do choose to use plastic, choose plastic with a recycling code of #2 (High-Density Polyethylene) or #5 (polypropylene) which are less likely to leach. Also, never microwave plastic and avoid the dishwasher too! In general, plastic is something I try to avoid, but especially when it comes to food use. At home, we do not have any plastic kitchenware, with the exception of Pyrex lids!


    Aluminum is highly reactive when mixed with acidic foods such as tomatoes, making it a poor choice for the kitchen. While a small amount of aluminum may not cause health concerns immediately, you still don’t want aluminum leaching into your food. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s and Dementia too!

    And In Conclusion …
    It’s extremely difficult to decipher which dinnerware contains heavy metals and which do not unless you have your dishes tested with an XRF device or contact the manufacturer requesting a certificate of analysis (COA). In general, new white Corelle, new Pyrex, Duralex, Libbey, and 100% stainless steel options are your best bet for the purest dinnerware possible!

    P.S. Don’t forget to check out my post on vintage dinnerware your should DEFINITELY avoid!

    Note – Putting things into perspective: To new items manufactured for children containing 90 ppm of lead or higher in the finish, paint or coating, is illegal. Substrates, in items intended for children, containing 100 ppm of lead or higher are considered unsafe and illegal. YET, at this time, there are no regulatory standards setting lead paint limits on consumer goods intended for use by adults. Some items I’ve had personally tested, that were NOT vintage, tested well anywhere from 300ppm of lead to 400,000 ppm!


    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which does not cost you anything. 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.

  • DIY & Recipes, Healthy Recipes, How To's

    Best DIY Electrolyte Recipe

    Preservatives, artificial flavors, synthetic colors, and an abundance of sweeteners are found in many electrolyte drinks on the market. Making your own homemade electrolyte drink is a healthy, cost-effective way to provide your body with the essential nutrients needed to stay hydrated throughout the day.

    If you’re looking to replenish and rehydrate, this DIY homemade electrolyte drink is for you! Enjoy!


    Feel free to play with the ratios or perhaps even add a dash of orange juice or lime for a more citrus-y flavor.


    Combine all ingredients in a mason jar. Shake or stir well. Pour over ice and enjoy!

    Other Sources of Electrolytes

    When our bodies are recovering from a work out or fighting off an illness, the above electrolyte drink can really help replenish our body! In addition to hydrating drinks, you may want to incorporate foods that provide large quantities of each electrolyte.

    Medical News Today provided the food source chart below:

    Electrolyte neededSources
    Sodiumdill pickles
    tomato juices, sauces, and soups
    table salt
    Chloridetomato juices, sauces, and soups
    table salt
    Potassiumpotatoes with skin
    plain yogurt
    pumpkin seeds
    collard greens
    Source: Medical News Today

    Stay healthy and hydrated!


  • Crafts & Projects, DIY & Recipes

    DIY: Salt-Dough Fruit

    salt dough fruit recipe

    Let’s get creative with salt-dough! You’ll have a blast with your little ones as you create colorful fruits and veggies that harden once baked. Not only is this project inexpensive and eco-friendly, but you most likely have all of the ingredients in your kitchen cabinet!

    This recipe was adapted from Green Crafts for Children.



    1. Mix the flour, salt, oil, and water together in a stainless mixing bowl. Mix with your hands. Too watery? Add more water. Too sticky? Add more flour.
    2. Create shapes that resemble your favorite fruits and vegetables by molding the dough with your hands. When making the cherries and strawberries poke a small hole on top (later, you will insert a pipe cleaner as the “stem”).
    3. Place all fruits and veggies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Reshape if necessary.
    4. Bake in the oven for 1.5 – 3.5 hours at 210°F (depending on the thickness of the fruits and veggies).
    5. IMPORTANT: Turn off the oven and let cool prior to removal. This will prevent cracking.
    6. Once cooled, begin painting!
    7. When the base layer has dried you may want to add a second layer or additional details.
    8. Optional: Paint a layer of glue onto each piece. We skipped this step.

    Now, enjoy!

    EVEN MORE SALT DOUGH IDEAS! Get creative and try making letters, shapes, ornaments, beads, cups, dolls, and so much more with this recipe!! Check out one of my favorite books for eco-friendly craft fun, Green Crafts for Children.

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”
    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.