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  • Babies & Kids, Clean Living, Healthy Home

    The Ultimate Healthy Halloween Guide 2021: Costume Ideas, Organic Candy + Candy-Free Treats, and More!

    Every year, toxic ingredients pop up in holiday decor… and Halloween is no different. Exposure to chemicals found in vinyl costumes, masks, candy, and decorations have been linked to behavioral problems, hormonal issues, obesity and even cancer. At the present time, regulations are not put in place to protect us or our children from many of these health-altering toxins, but the good news is, as consumers, we can choose safer alternatives for both our families and world.

    In this guide, we will touch on the following topics:

    • Eco-Friendly Costume + Face Paint Ideas
    • Candy-Free Treat Ideas
    • Organic Halloween Candy
    • Pumpkin Carving & Decorating Tips
    • Switch Witch Idea + Where to Donate Leftover Candy
    • What to Avoid

    Eco-Conscious Costume + Safe Face Painting Ideas

    COSTUMES | Year after year, millions of costumes are mass produced for the sole purpose of being worn for just one day! In 2020, approximately $2.6 billion U.S. dollars were spent on Halloween costumes alone. These cheaply made costumes are often made from polyester with plastic accessories and components that break easily. Talk about ‘fast fashion’! The good news is, there are ways to have a more sustainable Halloween.

    Here are a few Eco-Conscious Costume Ideas that come to mind:

    • Make your own costumes using old clothing, sheets, cardboard boxes, and other households goods! has hundreds of easy DIY costumes for kiddos!
    • Borrow from a friend or neighbor.
    • Rent from a costume shop.
    • Browse a thrift store online or in-person. Poshmark, the Facebook Marketplace and Buy Nothing groups are great places to start.
    • Purchase cute hand-made options from Etsy if you aren’t ready to channel your inner creative genius.
    • Purchase a safer costume option. If you’re looking to purchase an eco-friendly costume this year, you’ll want to consider the following brands: Hanna Andersson, Monica & Andy , Sarah’s Silks, and Magic Cabin.
    • Sustainable Trick-or-Treat Bag. Pull out the pillow cases or purchase a cute, reusable cotton treat bag for your kiddos this year and avoid sending another plastic Halloween bag to the landfill!

    FACE PAINT | Traditional makeup and face paint are often full of some not-so-great ingredients. Ingredients like phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, lead, and other heavy metals pose a significant health risk to us, our children, and our Earth AND can be found in both face paints and everyday cosmetics. Since the FDA does not require the testing of cosmetic products or ingredients prior to them appearing on store shelves, we must be conscious consumers and choose products that are safe for our families.

    Here are a few safe Face Painting Ideas to try this year:

    • Go Green Face Paint is an organic face paint, made in the USA, and tested by Tamara Rubin, Lead Safe Mama. Learn more about her scientific-based testing here.
    • Earth Paint and Elegant Minerals are two other face paint brands that are made in the USA and use natural pigments.
    • Piggy Paint is a great toxin-free nail polish option for little ones.
    • Clean, non-toxic makeup of your own can be used to create just about any look you want to achieve!

    Candy-Free Treat Ideas

    If you’re looking for candy-free options for trick-or-treaters this year, consider the following ideas.

    1. Stickers
    2. Bouncy Balls
    3. Halloween Erasers
    4. Halloween Pencils
    5. Halloween Stamps
    6. Mini Halloween Notepads
    7. Mini Halloween Coloring Books
    8. Slap Bracelets
    9. Mini Bubble Wands
    10. Wikki Sticks
    11. Glow Sticks | Although glow sticks are not an eco-friendly solution, kids really enjoy them for the evening – and adults do too!
    12. Mini Playdough | Not as non-toxic as I’d prefer, it is still a good candy free Trick-or-Treat option.
    13. Granola Bars
    14. Crackers & Snack Packs
    15. Natural Fruit Leather
    16. Made Good Snack Packs
    17. Mini Pumpkins

    Organic Halloween Candy Options

    Whether you have a serious sweet tooth or are looking for healthier Halloween candy options, we’ve got your covered! The following organic candies are a “healthier” option and do not contain artificial flavors, artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup, or yucky, questionable ingredients.

    Pumpkin Carving + Decorating Tips

    Decorate using natural Halloween decor. Pumpkins, cornstalks, gourds and haystacks are a fall staple in (and around) my home! This natural decor simply screams fall! Best of all, it is compostable and goes right back into the Earth.

    Create DIY Halloween Decorations. Milk jugs, cardboard, and old clothing can all be used to make cool, eco-friendly Halloween decor! Checkout Pinterest for some ideas.

    Purchase a Pumpkin Carving Tools Set made to last! Most tools are made from a cheap metal and flimsy plastic and they NEVER last longer than a year! This carving set is made from wood and stainless steel – a much more eco-friendly alternative that will save you money in the long run!

    Choose a natural beeswax tea candle. Paraffin waxes are made from petroleum and pollute the air we breathe. Opting for a natural beeswax candle with a cotton wick is a much healthier alternative.

    Carve the pumpkin, eat the seeds, & don’t forget to compost!! Pumpkin seeds are full of vitamins and nutrients. Roast the seeds and enjoy a delicious snack after all of your hard work! When the festivities are over, avoid the landfill and remember to compost your pumpkin afterwards. Check out composting some tips here.

    What to Avoid this Halloween

    As an eco-conscious consumer, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid this Halloween:

    Costumes made from from vinyl/PVC. Often masks, shiny or flexible plastics are made from PVC which contains chemicals linked to hormonal problems, lower IQ, and numerous health issues. Costumes containing foam are not great for the environment and most likely contain toxic flame retardants.

    Cheap plastic jewelry. Plastic jewelry often contains are harmful chemicals such as phthalates, plasticizers, and may even contain heavy metals like lead and antimony. Plus, so many cheaply made plastic items break quickly, sending them directly into a landfill!

    Costumes labeled as “Flame Resistant”. This indicates flame resistant chemicals were most likely – unless the product is naturally flame resistant which is NOT the case with most costumes. Flame retardants are known to cause a host of health issues from behavioral problems to cancer.

    Rubber face masks. This may be difficult to avoid if your kiddo just HAS to be his or her favorite superhero… And I get it… it’s only one day, for a few hours. This is one of those “weigh-your-options” scenarios. A few thoughts to consider: 1.) Most are probably made with toxic chemicals and perhaps heavy metals. 2.) Not Eco-friendly and most are not recyclable. 3.) Smell Test: If you can smell that plastic-y smell as soon as it is opened, it is probably something you’ll want to avoid.

    Eh…Glitter. This is a hard one for me! Prior to learning about toxins, this girl was 100% all about glitter! But, the reality is, glitter is bad for the environment and most contain phthalates and other yucky chemicals.

    Faux polyester spider web decor. Not only can birds and other wildlife get caught in this type of web, but more than likely, you will dispose of it the same year you purchased it.

    The festivities are over… What to do with alllll that leftover candy!?

    1. The Switch Witch tradition is a healthy way to enjoy all of the fun, festive Halloween activities without all of the sugary sweets. As the tale goes, the Switch Witch visits your home on Halloween night and swaps out sugary treats for a toy or other goodies! If you don’t want your kiddo to miss out on all of the candy fun, you can throw in some organic candy or simply let them have a few pieces after trick-or-treating. Buy The Tale of the Switch Witch Book on Amazon today by clicking here!
    2. Donate to a good cause! Today wrote an article a while back that shared 6 organizations that accept leftover candy. Now, you can feel good about giving away the goodies! Here’s the list: Treats for Troops, Halloween Candy Buy Back, Operation Gratitude, Operation Trick or Treating for the Troops, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

    Looking for other non-toxic favorites for your family? Check out my Amazon Storefront for my favorite toxin-free products.

    Happy Halloween!!

    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.


  • DIY & Recipes, Healthy Home

    Homemade Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!

    As the cooler weather approaches and we are spending a bit more time inside, my little one and I are always looking for new, fun recipes to try! These “healthy-ish” Banana Muffins were delicious and easy to make! Plus, we had all of the ingredients at home so it was a no brainer for us.


    Banana Muffin* Ingredients

    Cream Cheese Frosting* Ingredients

    *All natural, organic ingredients were used in our recipe. All of the specific brands we used are linked!


    1. Prepare the cupcake mix. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line your stainless steel muffin tray with muffin liners. We use these parchment paper liners – non-stick without any chemicals!
    2. In a large bowl, mush a banana. Then, add two eggs, coconut oil (1/4 cup), maple syrup (1/3 cup), and vanilla (1 tsp).
    3. Now add the flour (2 1/2 cups), baking soda (1/2 tsp), cinnamon (1 tsp), and salt (1/4 tsp). Mix well.
    4. Fill each muffin liner approximately two-thirds of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes or so at 350°F, until golden.
    5. Prepare the cream cheese frosting while the cupcakes are baking. Using a hand mixer, blend together cream cheese, powdered sugar (1 cup), butter (2 tbsp), vanilla (1 tsp), cinnamon (1/4 tsp), and salt (1/4 tsp). Chill for approximately 30 minutes.
    6. Frost the cupcakes once they have cooled and enjoy!
    Our delicious homemade cream cheese frosting!

    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.

  • 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

    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.