Monthly Archives

March 2021

  • DIY & Recipes, Healthy Home

    6 Natural Eucalyptus Decor Ideas

    home decor uses for eucalyptus

    Eucalyptus is beautiful, natural and easy to care for, making it one of my favorite plants to use for home decor. Best of all, once eucalyptus dries out, you can use it to decorate your living space for years to come!

    Why I love Eucalyptus

    Eucalyptus brings a fresh, new vibe to your home! The evergreen can last approximately three weeks if you cut the stems every few days and regularly change the water. Plus, not only does eucalyptus hold its leaves well, but it smells great too!

    Additionally, decorating your home with natural decor rather than artificial decor is healthier for your home too! Think about it… natural materials like plants, cotton, hemp, and so on all bio-degrade and are compostable. On the contrary, plastic creates microplastics further contaminating our soil and our bodies for generations to come! Plus, so much plastic is never actually able to be recycled.

    Home Decor Uses for Eucalyptus

    1. Eucalyptus Fireplace Decor

    Throughout the Christmas season, I typically place live cedar, pine or fir garland around my home. But, outside of the Christmas season, I’ve struggled to find garland to compliment my faux candles within my fireplace. Now, I use fresh eucalyptus to decorate the inside of my fireplace and it lasts all year long. For a clean green look, you can decorate your mantle with eucalyptus too! Scroll down to check out my fireplace decor.

    2. Eucalyptus Vase Decor

    One of the most common uses for eucalyptus is simply placing it in a vase. Create a serene bedroom scene, freshen up the bathroom, or brighten up the kitchen with some live eucalyptus. You can even use it in the bathroom. Endless possibilities, peopleeee! See examples below.

    3. Use Eucalyptus in the Shower

    The healing aromatic properties of this plant help you breath easier. Simply place a bundle in your shower and let the combination of steam and eucalyptus go to work! You can even hang it with some wire or twine.

    4. Eucalyptus Wreaths & Garland

    Eucalyptus wreaths and garland are naturally so pretty! Create your own eucalyptus wreaths by weaving the branches between the natural vines of a wreath similar to this one or use a metal wreath frame and use floral wire to attach the eucalyptus (see my example below). Garland can be created with twine or wire and placed throughout your home as well!

    5. Eucalyptus Centerpieces & Home Accents

    Earthy eucalyptus can be used to create a centerpiece on the dinner table, alongside candles on a shelf, or even tucked alongside a picture frame or wall art.

    6. Eucalyptus as a Natural Bug Repellent

    Spiders, mosquitoes and other bugs aren’t big fans of eucalyptol which is found in eucalyptus oil. Place the evergreen around your home, in corners, or cabinets to ward off insects.

    diy eucalyptus
    DIY fresh eucalyptus garland in my fireplace.
    My DIY eucalyptus wreath. This was actually a lot easier than I expected!
    DIY fresh eucalyptus in a vase.

    Keep in mind…

    Eucalyptus can be toxic to pets, so place it out of their reach. I’ve always used live eucalyptus to decorate my home and while my dog has zero intentions of eating it, every pet is different!

    Disclosure: This post may contain “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.

  • Babies & Kids, Healthy Home

    The Best ‘Healthy’ Organic Candy 2022

    Organic or not, candy is candy… right? While excessive amounts of any candy are not healthy (moderation is key!), it is hard to avoid 100% of the time. The good news is, you can be reassured you are making a ‘healthier’ choice for your family by choosing organic and forgoing some of the questionable ingredients found in traditional brands.

    Organic candies have flavors and colors that come from natural ingredients like beets, turmeric, and pomegranates, yet they don’t sacrifice the sweetness of traditional candies. But, flavors and colors are not the only natural ingredients found in organic candy brands. Raw, unprocessed sweeteners and non-GMO ingredients are found in ‘healthier’ candy options that are *often* free of common allergens as well.

    Several yucky ingredients are typically found in traditional candies that are not found in organic candies:

    • GMO Ingredients
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup
    • Preservatives
    • Soy Bean Oil (Soy Lechin)
    • Canola Oil
    • White Sugar
    • Artificial Flavors
    • Artificial Colors
    • Artificial Sweeteners
    • Preservatives

    Whether you have a serious sweet tooth or are looking for healthier Halloween candy options, we’ve got your covered!

    Here are the best organic candy brands of 2021:

    1. Yum Earth

    Made without artificial colors or flavors, these candies are also organic, allergy-friendly, gluten-free, kosher, and vegan — making them a top choice for my sweet tooth! Giggles (pictured above) are my favorite alternative to my former love, Skittles!

    Yum Earth Favorites: Lollipops, fruit sours, hard candies, chewies, chocolate and so much more are a few of our favorites from Yum Earth.

    2. Lovely Organic

    Made with natural colors and flavors, these yummy organic candies are also vegan, kosher, and gluten-free!

    Lovey Favorites: Lollipops, hard candies, chewies (similar to Starbursts)

    3. Justin’s

    The best responsibly sourced organic peanut butter cups on the market! Made with Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa and Orangutan Friendly Responsibly Sourced Palm Oil (RSPO) these organic peanut butter cups are better for you and the environment.

    No, they do not taste exactly like Reeces, but are the closest I’ve found.

    4. Wholesome Candies

    Made with organic ingredients, Wholesome Candies are Fair Trade Certified, kosher, gluten-free, and free of artificial colors and flavors!

    Wholesome Favorites: Fruit chews and the DelishFish!

    5. Surf Sweets

    Made using organic ingredients in a nut-free factory, Surf Sweets makes delicious gummies without artificial colors, flavors, or gluten!

    Surf Sweet Favorites: Gummies

    6. Annie’s

    annies organic healthy candy

    One of my go-to brands, Annie’s offers a few individually wrapped favorites (perfect for Halloween) including yummy fruit snack gummies, cocoa krispy bars and cracker variety packs.

    Annie’s Favorites: Fruit Snacks

    7. Wedderspoon Organic Manuka Honey Pops

    Made with organic ingredients, manuka honey, and zero artificial flavors or colors, these yummy lollipops are made by one of my favorite brands… Wedderspoon! These pops also contain 100% of your daily vitamin C.

    Healthier Non-Organic (or partially organic) Candy

    The following candies are better than traditional brands, but do not always contain organic ingredients (see below). However, they are free of artificial flavors and colors, making them a better choice for your family.


    unreal candy nontoxic

    Best for chocolate cover candies including peanut butter cups, milk chocolates, and chocolate covered coconut bars, Unreal candy is made up of partially organic ingredients without any of the nasty additives. *Made with some organic ingredients

    Unreal Favorites: Dark Chocolate Peanut Gems

    *Comvita Manuka Honey Pops

    Made with UMF 10+ Manuka honey and mostly organic ingredients, these pops come in three flavors: grape, lemon, and orange. They double as a sore throat soother and sweet treat and contain 150% of your daily vitamin C – perfect for when your little (or you) get sick with a sore throat! Free of artificial colors and flavors. *Made with some organic ingredients

    *Smart Sweets

    smart sweets healthy candy

    Smart Sweets candy isn’t organic, but is naturally sweetened without sugar alcohols or added sugar and doesn’t contain any artificial colors or flavors making it a much better choice than conventional brands. Smart Sweets is also soy free, peanut & tree nut free, dairy free, and gluten free! *Not organic

    Smart Sweets favorites: Fish, peach rings, and yummy gummies

    Where can I purchase organic candy?

    Organic candy is much easier to find now-a-days than in years past. Whole Foods, Amazon, local grocery stores and even stores like Home Goods and TJ Maxx sell organic options.

    Now, you have permission to indulge – at least for a day or two!
    Stay sweet and healthy!

    Looking for other vetted non-toxic products for your family? Check out my Amazon Storefront for my favorite go-to’s.

    Additional Reading: “Artificial Food Dyes: Are they actually harmful?”

    Disclosure: This post may contain “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.

  • Babies & Kids

    33+ Eco-Friendly Easter Basket Gift Ideas

    Spring is almost here! It’s time to break out those Easter baskets and prep them for your little bunnies!

    Below we’ve created a list of 33 eco-friendly, non-toxic gift ideas to inspire you this spring! But, that’s not all… we’ve also included 4 extra bonus tips to help you make this year more memorable than ever.

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    1. Haba Musical Eggs

    Look, listen and learn! Made in Germany, Haba use solid wood and non-toxic stains to create fun, musical eggs for your little one.

    2. Green Toys Watering Can

    Green thumb, little one? This gardening set is made from recycled milk jugs, making it not only eco-friendly, but durable too! I also love that this cute set comes in other colors like pink, purple, red and blue! If you’re looking for other great sand and water toys, check out the whole Green Toys collection here.

    3. Kite

    into the wind kite

    This brand has some really unique, colorful kites! Made from nylon right here in the USA, these kites are much more durable than your typical kite!

    4. Plan Toys Beehive

    Made from sustainable rubberwood and non-toxic dyes, this beehive game by Plan Toys is enhances your child’s fine motor skills while encouraging creative play!

    5. Begin Again Matching Egg Puzzle

    Made from rubberwood, this bilingual color matching egg puzzle encourages problem solving while your little one learning colors and counting at the same time!

    6. Green Toys Gardening Kit

    This cute gardening set comes complete with seeds, dirt and planters – everything you need to grow your own garden!

    7. Veggie Paint

    Get messy and spark creativity with these non-toxic, naturally pigmented paints made from organic veggies! Perfect for baby’s first Easter!

    8. Green Toys Play Dough

    Made from organic flour, Green Toys manufacturers natural play dough using colors from nature rather than synthetic dyes made in a food manufacturing facility. Made in the USA. Shop Green Toys on Amazon here.

    9. Micro Kickboard – Mini Deluxe 3-Wheeled

    This super sturdy, lightweight scooter is perfect for your little one age 2-5! Adjustable handle bars made with silicone grips make it easy for your little one to learn how to ride! Last year, the Easter Bunny brought my daughter this pink version, which includes LED light up wheels, and she absolutely loves it! Plus, they make a larger version for kids age 5-12.

    10. Green Toys Farm Set

    Made from recycled milk jugs, this eco-friendly farm is perfect for any age! It’s great for playing in the sand too!

    11. Non-Toxic Crayons

    These crayons are my absolute favorite brand! Filana uses organic beeswax and natural colors to make their crayons without petroleum waxes, paraffin, and GMO’s! I also love how smooth they color (you’ll know exactly what I’m talking) and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes – perfect for little hands! Made in the USA.

    12. Play Silks

    Made from 100% real silk and non-toxic dyes these silks encourage creativity as children use the silks as doll carriers, backdrops, superhero capes, or one of the many endless possibilities. They come in a variety of colors too!

    13. Haba Magnetic Farm

    Haba’s magnetic farm provides hours of fun for your little one. The magnetic pieces make it perfect for car rides too!

    14. Organic Stuffed Animal Bunny

    Who doesn’t love a brand new cuddle buddy!? Made from organic cotton, these stuffed animals are a safe option for your little one. For more options, check out my post on the Best Organic Stuffed Animal Brands.

    15. Green Toys Flying Disk

    Made from recycled milk jugs and non-toxic dyes, this durable disk is perfect for outdoor play! Use it in the sand, in the water, or on land (ha!)

    16. Green Crafts Kids Subscription

    green craft kids

    Green Kids Crafts delivers a combination of up to 6 creative crafts and STEM activities right to your door every month! Enhance your child’s imagination as they discover a love for learning. To purchase your 3 month, 6 month, 12 month, or one-time subscription, visit Green Kids Crafts here.

    17. Pustefix Bubbles 

    Pustefix Bubbles are the best (and most non-toxic) bubbles you will ever buy! Not only do they produce plentiful bubbles with just one blow, but even have an awesome refill available. Trust me – they will not disappoint! Made in Germany!

    18. Puzzles

    Ravensburger makes quality puzzles right here in the USA! Puzzles for little ones all the way through adulthood, come in a variety of colors, patterns, and shapes!

    19. Wooden Bowling Set

    Made from sustainable hardwood, this bowling set is the perfect addition to indoor / outdoor fun!

    20. Silk Streamers

    Inspire play-based learning and improve motor skills with these natural 100% silk wands, complete with a wooden handle.

    21. Coloring & Activity Books

    Coloring enhances fine motor skills and sparks creativity! We always gift my daughter coloring books with some of her favorite princesses!

    22. Stickers

    Stickers are so much for for little ones! Dover is a great brand, made in the USA. And while these stickers ARE sticky, I love that they easily come off surfaces unlike most other brands!

    23. Tegu Magnetic Blocks

    Tegu magnetic blocks are made from sustainably sourced, FSC-certified Honduran hardwood and come in an assortment of colors and sizes! Water-based pigments and paints, making them a safe option for your little. We’ve added several sets to our collection over the years and they really do become addicting once you begin building with them!

    24. Green Toys Jump Rope

    Made from cotton and recycled milk jugs, this lightweight jump rope is a great way to help your little one burn off some extra energy!

    25. Books

    Books make a great gift anytime of the year! My daughter loves these Mercer Mayer books (and I do too!)

    26. Wooden Magnifying Glass

    Made from beech wood and shatterproof glass, this sustainable magnifying glass enhances bugs and beetles with 3X magnification!

    27. Hevea Natural Rubber Duck

    Perfect for the bath or playtime, these 100% pure natural rubber duckies come in a variety of pretty pastel colors and sizes! Each duck is hand painted and contains zero holes – leaving out the potential to trap water and mold. Hevea ducks are completely plastic-free, pvc-free, bpa-free and even compostable! Hevea also makes unpainted options like these and cute whale/turtle combo sets.

    28. Water Wow!

    The Melissa & Doug Water Wow is great for staying busy on-the-go and fits perfectly into your kiddo’s Easter basket too!

    29. Honeysticks Bath Colour Drops

    Made in New Zealand, these non-toxic drops make bath time so much fun and you can even use them for outdoor play too! I love that they are fragrance-free and free of chemicals. Tip: We split these in half so that they last even longer!

    30. Honeysticks Bath Crayons

    Honeysticks crayons are made from 100% New Zealand beeswax and food grade pigments without paraffin wax, synthetic fragrance, or fillers. My daughter is obsessed (literally) with both the bath crayons and bath drops and I love that they are non-toxic and clean up easily!

    31. Crocodile Creek  Ball

    crocodile creek

    Crocodile Creek Balls are heavy-duty inflatable balls made from natural and synthetic rubber. While these balls are PVC & BPA -free, and the best “non-toxic” ball I’ve found, I personally wish they were made from natural rubber only, which is virtually impossible to find for this size. Let me know if you find one! Check out Crocodile Creek’s whole collection here.

    32. Experiences

    A trip to the zoo, planetarium, children’s museum, beach, a local park, forest preserve, or nature center are all great ways to create new memories!

    33. Chic Spring Clothing

    Babies and kiddos grow so quickly! Festive, seasonal clothing is always a great option! Here are a few of my favorites:

    4 BONUS TIPS!!
    Eco-Friendly Basket, Grass & Egg Hunt Ideas! Plus, a sweet treat…

    1. Eco-Easter Baskets & Grass Filling

    This Easter, opt for reusable, natural materials for your child’s Easter basket rather than plastic alternatives. Remember, every bit of plastic makes a difference!

    2. Eco-Eggs

    Egg hunts are fun for little ones and even adults too – my mom used to put money in our eggs when we got older! Unfortunately, so many plastic eggs (and grass) end up as one-time use products, polluting our planet even more. If you are using plastic eggs this year, choose a better alternative and be sure to save them from year-to-year.

    • Made from plants, Eco Eggs are 100% compostable and the best plastic option I’ve found. Not only are they made in the USA too, but they’ve also held up well for us year after year.
    • These paper mache eggs may be a good eco-friendly alternative as well!
    • Another option is to hide wooden eggs around the yard. You can even paint them with your kiddos and have each color correspond to a specific treat.

    3. Eco-Egg Dye + Grass Growing Kit

    This eco-friendly egg dyeing kit is made from all natural plant and vegetable extracts! This kit takes sustainability a step further and includes everything your little one needs to grow their own grass.

    4. And if you’re looking for sweet treats this year…

    If you’re looking for festive treats this Easter, Annie’s Bunny Crackers and Yum Earth Lollipops are two organic options we love. Yum Earth also has this cute Easter lolli / gummie combo. All of these options are free of artificial dyes, flavors and other yucky ingredients!

    Hoppy Egg Hunting!

    Still need help completing your non-toxic Easter Basket? Check out these helpful articles:

    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.