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  • 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

    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!