Au Naturel Nut Job.

I’m kind of nutty. And obsessive. And prone to weird fits of anxiety. My husband calls me kooky. Which I guess I’ll take as a term of endearment? Since moving across the country to a place I’ve never been and with no one to hang out with during the day besides my dog, my kookiness has only increased. I think he’s onto something with that word. That makes me sound like a Zooey Deschanel type with fun glasses instead of Mia Farrow with a bad haircut circa Rosemary’s Baby.

One thing I’ve been especially focused on since the move is making sure to use healthy beauty and cleaning products in my home and on my body. Our home is brand new and with new construction the materials used are not so friendly. I was relieved to find out that all of our paint is low VOC and our cabinets were made with green materials, but our carpet(eww..I know..we rent.) is cheap builders grade and the framing and insulation is as well. To make myself feel better about breathing in potential harmful fumes day after day I started looking at all of the products around us that we use daily and trying to find the greenest and lowest chemical alternatives. It will probably make no difference since my mother recently informed me the granite countertops we installed in our last home released major levels of radon ensuring our future children will be born with three eyes, but they’re not going to be conceived anyway because the computer I place on my lap every day has fried all of my remaining eggs and P.S. you’ve probably got dust mites crawling all over you because you don’t swap out your pillows every 6 months so Beau will surely leave you when he spots them crawling all over your scalp and then you’ll be a childless spinster.

Thanks mom.

In an effort to not become more Liz Lemon than I already am, here are some products I use in our home daily that make me sleep better at night.

When I’m not scratching at invisible mites.

So aluminum may or may not cause breast cancer. Studies are inconclusive, but let’s just always err on the side of no breast cancer if we can help it and if there are products that are as good as their chemical containing counterparts. Let me be clear here though, THIS is the only natural deodorant I’ve found that works. I’ve tried many others, Crystal Rock, Tom’s etc… I swear to God they make you smell even worse as if you  hadn’t used anything at all. This works magically. It rolls on like an antiperspirant and leaves absolutely no white marks. Plus no one changes treadmills away from me while I do intervals, so it must be working.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is EVERYWHERE. And in things I’d never imagine, like toothpaste. Something you put in your mouth twice a day! No thank you. This is another chemical that studies have all different answers on. Some say it’s fine and plant derived (7th Gen.’s stance) others say it leaches estrogen and causes lady cancers. I looked at Tom’s but guess what? They even use it as an ingredient. But not my lovely Kiss My Face. Gosh I love that company. This toothpaste tastes great, is a gel so it doesn’t stain your sink or clothes, and doesn’t contain those nasty chemicals.

Alright lets move on to the body. I am in LOVE with my Clarisonic but fell even harder when I learned their cleansers contain no parabens. I use it daily in the shower, it has made my skin silky smooth, and I no longer break out during hormonal fluctuations. Put it on your Christmas list.

If you’re looking for a full line to use so you don’t have to go all over town or the internet to find things, I can’t recommend Say Yes to Carrots enough. I use their shampoo, conditioner, day lotion and SPF body lotion daily. Another great paraben free line that smells nice and won’t break the bank.

Chemical free makeup is something I didn’t start to think about until recently. I happily used my Chanel powder and mascara happily. But then I started thinking about if household products and body cleansers contain them, makeup must as well. Yep, yep they totally do. So I’m gradually switching over to Origins. Basically when one of my makeup products runs out now I buy the Origins alternative. My latest find is their Automagically Eye Liner. Works just as well as my Chanel Stylo Yeaux and HALF the price.  Done and done.

 

Lipstick is something I don’t want to risk buying online, but Walla Walla is severely limited when it comes to makeup alternatives. Honestly though, I haven’t really worried about it since I found Burts Bees Lip Shimmer at Walgreens. It does the job and and when I pair it with Say Yes lip balm and gloss it looks just as good as my old Nars stuff and once again HALF the price.

 

Whenever I would buy shaving cream growing up, my mama would yell  “You do NOT want those chemicals in sensitive places.” I should have listened to her. Shave cream is LOADED with toxic stuff. Throw it out today. I now only use  Aveda Rosemary Mint Body Wash. It works just as well, much better for you, and it smells lovely.

 

On the topic of shaving, use these please. I too was enticed by the Venus Breeze cartridges with their handy creme bars attached to the razor. Once again, FILLED with chemicals. Go back to basics with just a plain razor like the original Venus. (Side note: When on God’s green earth will Target make an Up&Up alternative to Venus razors? Those things are pricy!)

 

You didn’t think Beau was immune to my green obsession did you? No way. All of his products I make sure are Burts Bees for Men.

 

The mask is a little pricy but worth it if you have noticeable pores. Combined with the Clarisonic, my skin has seriously never looked better.

 

 

I make Beau use this too:) It’s so cute. I also put cucumber slices on his eyes and we giggle over romantic comedies while playing Truth or Dare. Marriage is fantastic.

 

Finishing up the bath and body category I have to include the most natural product of all. Plain old glycerin soap.  Get rid of the white bars and especially toss the shower gels. Those are HORRIBLE for you and your hoo-ha. When in doubt go the most natural way possible. Besides making your own with animal fat and lye (umm… I leave that to the original settlers.) This is the next best thing, and you don’t have to bust out a bonnet and hoop skirt to churn it.

 

 

I used to be an addict for Soft Scrub. Poured it over my stainless steel sink and rubbed my hands all in it. Gross. I recently found this little gem. It smells fabulous and is super natural.

 

I thought I was so cool. Dropping $9 a bottle on Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent. So what if I went through it weekly? It was super healthy and not covering all of our clothes in harmful chemicals. Yep not so much. While perusing the ingredients I was surprised to see it contains SLS. Once again I’m voting for the product that doesn’t include it just to be on the safe side. This stuff is magical. CHEAP. Buy it on auto ship on Amazon. You only have to use 1tbs a load although I’ve been known to sneak in another when I feel like the clothes are especially dirty.

The most pesky thing to find with little to now chemicals are dryers sheets. Your typical variety is extremely toxic and made from animal fat. Seriously. And they can poison your pets.  If a product can kill fluffy, It’s probably best to avoid it as well. Except for chocolate because then I will lose the will to live.  These squeaky green dryer cloths from Method are the only ones I’ve found that I feel like are the real deal. they’re water based so it’s like putting a a wet wipe in with your clothes, but I promise they work.

 

Ammonia is no joke and it’s in a ton of household cleaning agents.It may be a naturally occurring chemical, but so is arsenic. Use this instead of Windex, pretty please?

 

As long as we’re on the topic of cleaning products, lets talk dishes. These are the holy trifecta of my dishwashing routine. Dish soap, dish detergent, and rinse aid.

 

While I hesitate to use 7th generation for laundry soap because of the SLS, these two products don’t contain it and the Mrs. Myers Lavender  just smells lovely:)

Speaking of dishes, you need to throw out all of your rubbermaid, tupperware, etc… Do it now. I’ll wait. You’re going to click on this link and replace them all with glass.

My grandmother was a college chemistry professor. 40 years ago she warned my mom and her siblings about the dangers of cooking in plastic. Within the last 10 years people are finally coming around to realize the same thing. We only use glass in our home. They’re easier to clean(no red stains after marinara sauce) they don’t warp in the dishwasher and you can’t get more natural than glass. Yes I know all about the BPA debate, but why not just never have to worry about it all? When you use glass there is no worry about leaching. Sand and fire make glass. Can’t get more natural than that. Excuse me now while I head to the shore of Alabama with Josh Lucas to hang out on the beach in the middle of a thunderstorm.

 

Ignore my blonde hair and toned upper arms.

Actually I dumped him for Ryan. I really have a thing for making out in torrential downpours.

Hey girl.

 

Whew. I gotta cool down. With my fancy pants stainless steel ice cube tray!  Hands up for people with ice makers in their freezers that don’t work because no water line was run! Love you landlord. Plastic ice cube trays are yucky. Use these.

 

Also use this is you’re addicted to Iced Tea. Pouring hot water into plastic containers is a no go. Mine came with a pretty lime green lid.

 

 

 

Let’s wrap up with another beverage I’m an addict for. Protein Shakes! It’s super hard to find shake mixes that don’t contain soy. Sun Warrior is the most natural I could find. It can a be a little chalky if not properly blended, but add a dash of malt powder and cocoa powder and it tastes EXACTLY like a chocolate malt. Another tip: use frozen almond milk ice cubes. LIFE changing.

 

 

 

What green substitutes do you make? Did I miss anything? I’m still trying to justify the cost to switch over to recycled paper towels and toilet paper from my usual bulk buys. Costco is a tricky temptress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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State Love

I’ve been a little misty about my home state of Minnesota lately.  I feel like Minnesotans have more pride for their state than most. Probably because you have to have a team spirit to get through the winter. There are no 6 degrees of separation in Minnesota, it’s  like 1 or 2. The most common question you’ll get when meeting new people is “Where did you go to High School?” Everyone from Minnesota can be connected through their high school. I was missing my friends, lilac bushes, and Chipotle this weekend and started looking for Minnesota art on Etsy to add to our home and found a plethora(I heart that word) of state related art. The besties:

Vintage Texas State License Plate Art, Mounted on Barn Board, Upcycled License Plate Art

License plate art from AutoMatticArt

 

Bamboo necklace from truche

Carolina in my mind poster from birdAve

Love Oregon from thewheatfield

Wisconsin Earrings from purpleandlime

Customized College print from bandaprints

City Skyline Art from birdAve

Home Is Where the Heart Is from LilyGene

Custom Map and Stamp from LilyGene

12"x12" Customizable State Burlap/Felt Decorative Pillow

Customizable burlap pillow from localhoneyshop

I love you from here… from HopSkipJumpPaper

Typography Map from CApow

Michigan from thewheatfield

God Blessed the Broken Road State Art- Customized just for you :)

God Bless the Broken Road from CoCoStineDesigns

DIY PRINTABLE Custom State Art Print 8x10 - State Love

State Love from YellowBrickGraphics

Which ones did you love? Any other state art I missed?

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and I am here with fabulous gift ideas that aren’t of the candle, slipper, or robe variety. Come on people, your mom deserves something tailored to her interests, not something you grabbed at Target before brunch.

For the mom that bakes...

Is this not the coolest thing ever??? Give this and then guilt trip her to make you delicious treats. 8 layer cake slicer . $59

Throw this in with it and you’re going to Hawaii next year for Christmas, Mom’s treat. $10

For the mom that loves to beautify…

I was actually told about this blush from my own mother. She’s cool like that. It’s Nars Orgasm. Stop giggling like a school girl and buy it. It’s the best shade on the market and looks great on any skintone. $28

For the new mom….

I don’t even have children yet, and I’m already having nightmares about changing time. How are you supposed to snap all those tiny buttons while you’re busy trying not get kicked in the chest or peed in the face? (True story, that happens, and not just with boys…)

These ingenious pants replace traditional snaps with a fast acting zipper making changing time less a war zone and more a drooling, smiling zone. Until you encounter a blowout. These pants can’t help you there. $30

For the mom that entertains

These modern simplicity champagne flutes from CB2 look great with any table setting and the price is ridic. $2.95 each

Matches are smelly. Let mom light candles in style. Versailles Silver Lighter $63

For the mom that is green and also a little tech savvy.

A solar charger for her cell phone or anything with a USB port. Prepare to have to explain how to use it to her every time she calls. $50

For the mom that is stylish, a little tech savvy, and likes attention in airport security…

I’m obsessed with this Ipad case. If your mom has taste, she will be too. $120

For the mom that thinks she’s French…

Tres delightful! £10

For the mid-century mom…

A Charley Harper Iphone case. Pop in a Stan Getz CD and the first season of Mad Men and she’ll be sashaying around like Joanie in no time. $14.95

For the mom that loves a good monogram…

This cute tray can be personalized with a variety of designs and colors. Wrap it up with some Tervis tumblers and a bottle of Margarita mix and she’s set for summer. $49

These can also be personalized in a multitude of ways. Just think how impressed Muffie and Buffy will be when she sets these on the table during the monthly bridge game. $40

Speaking of Muffie, I guess she has personalized stationary. Your mom can have it too. $78

For the mom that is organized…

I love a good storage box and these are so chic. Organize her closet together as a special add-on.  No, you can’t have her scrunchies, they’re coming back in style. $65

Does your mom recycle with a paper bag shoved under the sink? Give her something sleek and compartmentalized with this trash/recycle duo from the Container Store. Then tell her to bust out the recyclable shopping bags and stop killing the planet. $129

For the mom that has everything…

Have a personalized piece of art work made featuring her home, cabin, chateau, or ski chalet. Price upon request, which means you probably can’t afford it, unless your mom really does own a chateau. In that case, I’m a wonderful travel companion.