PUMPKIN SUGAR SCRUB

PUMPKIN SUGAR SCRUB

Happy Thanksgiving Eve friends!! I can’t believe how quickly the holidays are coming.  I know it will feel like a week until Christmas is here.  I love this time of year though and today we are officially decorating our house for Christmas!  Eric gets the bug before I do because I love my fall decorations and don’t want to see them go away too soon, but I have to be honest, all this week I couldn’t wait to get the Christmas ones up!!  Eric has today off and my parents are here to help watch Leyton, so we are decorating!  We are also baking/cooking all the things in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and that has led me to this post. Continue reading “PUMPKIN SUGAR SCRUB”

GROUNDING

GROUNDING

Okay friends, I think this may be it!  We may actually be entering Fall in a few days and it may finally start to feel like October.  Don’t get me wrong I love summer, but I am just ready for the crisp cool air!  The end of summer however, has brought me to this post because I realized that my days of being able to “ground” without getting frost bite are numbered.  So what is grounding you may be wondering?  Well I’m so glad you asked!  Today, Jill Comes Clean about this new technique I learned earlier this summer that I have truly fallen in love with, and felt its benefits.

IMG_3270

So plain and simple, grounding is just that….standing on the ground…barefoot, and yet, it’s so much more than that too!  Hear me out….

The Earth has an electrical charge to it, and we as humans, get our charge out of whack with everything we are exposed to all day long.  You’ve heard me talk about my love for Himalayan salt lamps, because with all the appliances and electronics in our lives we take on positive ions and they help neutralize us with their emission of negative ions, well this is a similar idea.

When you think about it, most life forms on the Earth, accept for humans, always walk barefoot.  Even back in ancient times humans walked barefoot or with leather shoes that still allowed conduction of the earth’s energy (the rubber soled shoes of today do not), and back then there weren’t nearly the health complications that there are in today’s society.  So there is the belief that there is a connection between some of our chronic illnesses and our disconnect from the Earth (Ober, Chevalier, and Zucker, 2018).

IMG_1171

When I first heard of this I was intrigued but admittedly a little skeptical, that is until the first article I read on this pointed out that when we spend days at the beach, we tend to sleep better those nights.  Why?  Because all day long we walked barefoot on the sand.  I still wasn’t totally convinced because, if I’m at the beach, I’m on vacation, and more relaxed in general so that could also contribute to better sleeping.  I will say this however…..when we went to Hilton Head Island this summer, Leyton hadn’t yet been sleeping through the night, and he did each night there.  Again, I chalked it up to us just wearing him out all day, which may still have been the case.  But, then I started doing it at home.  Several days this summer (when I remembered) I would take Leyton outside and we would ground.  We’d sit or stand in the yard for 30 minutes or so and just be.  And friends I promise you, I noticed a difference each time.  I’d become less stressed, more relaxed, and I swear he became less fussy if he was to begin with, and he slept better.  In short, after doing it a few times, I became a believer.

In this article found on Chopra.com, it states that when you are grounded you feel more:

  • Centered
  • Strong
  • Balanced
  • Less Tense
  • Less Stressed

And some health benefits according to the authors of that article, are:

  • Decreased inflammation and pain
  • Decreased stress
  • Better circulation

(Ober, Chevalier, and Zucker, 2018)

So, how do you ground?  It’s seriously the easiest health practice out there.  Simply take off your shoes and socks and go stand or sit on grass, sand, dirt, or concrete for at least 30 minutes.  All of those surfaces conduct energy (Ober, Chevaliet, and Zucker, 2018).  Now, the only thing I did hear from someone once when discussing grounding, was that you have to pay some attention to where you are doing this, in that you don’t want to do it anywhere that has a large electrical current from wires or “man made electricity” (if I’m explaining that right) running under it.  So the concrete in a city may not be the best choice, nor would the grass in say Central Park, because so much of the cities electrical current is running under there, and that’s not the energy you want to absorb.  Not sure if that’s totally true or not but I heard that and it made sense.

Here I am….grounding at the beach…..which looks a whole lot like walking on the beach, because it is!  That’s all it is 🙂

IMG_0943

It doesn’t get any easier than that. So give it a try!  What do you have to lose?  And next time you do it take note as to if you feel any different.  I think you’ll find you do.  It’s a clean, natural way to help heal your body from the inside out.  Even if you don’t have ailments, it’s just beneficial and supportive to our health to neutralize our charge anyways.  And it’s an easy practice to start implementing into your life regularly.

Have you already tried grounding before?  If so drop me a comment with your thoughts.  If not here again is the article from Chopra.com with more detailed information about this centuries old practice.  Happy grounding!

signature

 

 

 

 

Source: Chevalier, G., Ober, C., and Zucker, M. 2018.  Grounding the Human Body: The Healing Benefits of Earthing. https://chopra.com/articles/grounding-the-human-body-the-healing-benefits-of-earthing

 

KEEPING BATH TIME “CLEAN” WITH MARAMA NATURALS

KEEPING BATH TIME “CLEAN” WITH MARAMA NATURALS

 

This post is sponsored by Marama Naturals, however the opinions are my own.  I only produce content for brands I actually use and love.

Leyton turned 8 months a few weeks ago and I swear he’s been on the move ever since, crawling and trying to cover every square inch of this house.  And while he’s literally turning corners, I feel like we have figuratively turned them, and finally entered the “bath time is fun!” stage.  I don’t know about you other mamas out there but before now, I dreaded bath time because he was either too little and hated them, or liked them but still needed held upright and squirmed all over!  But now he not only loves them but he sits upright and still for them!  And we no longer dread the nighttime bath routine.

Something else I dreaded?  Trying to find quality, safe products that I could feel good about using on his brand new baby body.  In my pursuit to live as clean and natural a lifestyle as possible, I vowed to never bathe him in products with harmful chemicals or questionable ingredients as long as I could help it.  I may have spent years bathing in toxic products, but once I learned better, I was certainly going to do better, for him and myself.  Luckily, I’ve been able to find some brands on par with my vision, but I’m always on the hunt for more options for us both, so when I discovered Marama Naturals (and realized they have safe products for mom and baby), it was a match made in heaven.

IMG_2949

Marama (pronounced Muh-rah-muh – rhymes with “mama” ) first stood out to me because they not only offer safe products for mom throughout pregnancy and after, but for baby too!  Then when I discovered their products are natural, organic, don’t contain sulfates, phthalates, or parabens, are vegan and cruelty free AND they donate 10% of profits to non-profit organizations, I was sold!  Any product that is safe and trustworthy gets my attention.  But safe and trustworthy for me and Leyton while giving back , gets “added to cart.”

So far we’ve tried the Baby Shampoo & Wash for Leyton and the Lavender Shortbread Cookie Scrub for myself.  First, lets talk the baby wash….

IMG_3554_Facetune_18-09-2018-17-55-17

Friends, this face says it all!  If Leyton could convey my thoughts on these products, this would be it.  Prior to using this baby wash, I used some other safe, natural brands that I love so I was nervous how this would stack up, but you guys, it’s every bit as good!  It gets the job done and gets it done well and with an incredible light, clean scent.  Plus, it lathers so well, which can be hard to find in natural products.  Marama prides themselves on having products that pull double-duty and this one does just that!  He sits still for baths but let’s be clear, he’s still 8 months old so he doesn’t sit still for long, so I love that this is a wash and shampoo and gets the entire job done in minutes with just a pump or two.

IMG_3551_Facetune_18-09-2018-17-56-21

IMG_3552_Facetune_18-09-2018-17-56-53

And while I only started with their baby wash, they have so many other baby products to choose from including lotion, diaper balm, dusting powder, and baby oil that doubles as a belly oil for mama to be.  And expecting moms they don’t stop there.  They also have nipple butter, bath bombs, and cooling leg & foot lotion among other things.

Now, lets talk this Lavender Shortbread Cookie Scrub…..

IMG_3556_Facetune_18-09-2018-17-53-50

If you are looking for a great exfoliater, this is it!  You guys, this scrub is appropriately named a shortbread cookie scrub because it looks and smells good enough to eat.  The texture is the perfect gritty consistency and the smell….ohhhh the smell!  If you know me, you know lavender is hands down my favorite scent of all time, but I am soooo picky with my lavender.  I can sniff out a fake, lavender imposter a mile away, and so so many brands get it wrong.  But Marama got it right!  It is exactly how lavender should smell.

IMG_2964

The other thing that blows me away with this scrub is the way it not only exfoliates but also moisturizes my skin.  I’m a girl that has to apply lotion after getting out of the shower and have been for as long as I can remember.  But I kid you not, every time I use this, it leaves my skin so silky smooth that I don’t even need or want lotion.  Maybe it’s because it sloughed off all the dead skin down to the point of having skin as fresh as Leyton’s or maybe it’s some genius, magic potion, but either way it allows me to skip the lotion step.  And these days, I’m all about as few steps as possible.

So that’s the latest addition to my clean living arsenal.  These products have helped make my and Leyton’s bath times more enjoyable and I can’t recommend them enough. Click here to head to their site to check out all their products for yourself. Happy bathing!

signature

4 Ingredient Face Serum

4 Ingredient Face Serum

Hi friends!  It’s a dreary, wet day here in Ohio (thank you Florence) although I can’t complain because some people in the path of this hurricane definitely got much worse, so a little rain I can handle, and honestly, rainy days make it feel like fall and I’m all about that! Anyways, rainy days are a great time to stay indoors and whip up some more homemade recipes. I have a bunch I’m working on, but today I have to refill my homemade face serum because it’s low and I can.not.live.without.it!  So I thought I’d share.

Last week I shared my homemade body butter using just 3 ingredients and today’s recipe is just as easy and with only 4 ingredients.  This is often referred to as “glow serum” in the “oily” world and it’s made up of 3 essential oils (lavender, frankincense, and copaiba) and jojoba oil.  It helps reduce the signs of aging and for me has also really helped cut back on oil (I know it seems weird to apply an oil if you are oily, but trust me there is a science behind it, and it works!).

Before I get to the recipe below, lets touch on each ingredient and why they are great for skin, and what other uses they have!

First up, my tried and true, best friend (if oils can be your friend)….lavender!

IMG_2526

Lavender is often referred to as the Swiss army knife of oils because it has soooo many uses!  It’s not only calming, balancing, and relaxing for you, and your emotions when diffused, but it essentially works the same way for your skin when used in lotions and serums.  I love it in my body butter, especially in the summer after being in the sun all day, but it’s also great in the winter when our skin gets dry and chapped.

Some other uses for lavender include:

  • Sleep Support
  • Calming/Emotional support
  • Relaxation
  • Respiratory relief
  • Skin Support

IMG_2519

Copaiba is one that often gets a weird reaction because it’s hard to say and it’s not one many have heard of so you immediately think, “what the heck is that for?”  At least, that’s how I was.  Copaiba is actually an oil that comes from resin in trees found in South America and Malaysia.  So, like the a sap from trees if you will.  Peruvian and Brazilian cultures use it as a natural pain remedy, as well as an anti-septic and anti-inflammatory.  In fact many will mix the resin with warm water and drink it or gargle it to soothe sore throats (Life Science, 2016).  Those anti-inflammatory properties are what make it great for skin.

Some other uses for Copaiba are:

  • Pain
  • Teething (use the Young Living vitality line, dilute 1:30 and rub on gums or jaw line)
  • Bug Bites (helps with the inflammation)
  • Skin Disorders

IMG_2516

Most of you probably know Frankincense as one of the gifts given to Christ at his birth and yep friends, this baby is still around.  Frankincense has lots of uses including immune support, and emotional support, but it is also so amazing for skin!  It was a jack of all trades back in ancient times and still is today.  This also greatly helps reduce the signs of aging and fine lines which is why it’s a key component of this face serum.

Other uses for Frankincense:

  • Sleep Support
  • Immune Stimulant
  • Emotional Support (use vitality line and place a drop under tongue for balance and focus)

Finally, Jojoba oil (the carrier oil in this serum) is also a key ingredient because of it’s many skin benefits.  It not only moisturizes our skin but it also removes buildup and excess oil, balances oil levels, prevents irritation, removes dirt and makeup and is safe, hypoallergenic, and natural.  Best yet, it doesn’t clog pores, it smooths fine lines and wrinkles, and contains iodine, which helps prevent breakouts due to its bacteria fighting properties.  I buy mine from Amazon.

Lastly, as I’ve mentioned before I only use Young Living essential oils because they are the only brand I know and trust to be 100% pure.  There are many oils out there that claim to be pure, but FDA regulations only require those sold in stores, spas, etc. to be 50% pure and the rest can be filled with harmful, synthetic ingredients, and the company can still claim to be safe, pure, and all natural.  Young Living has their Seed to Seal promise which guarantees their oils are of the highest quality with no questionable ingredients added.  Just pure essential oils.  They are involved in the entire process from planting the seed to sealing it up and shipping it out and therefore can regulate what does and doesn’t go into their products.  Read more about Seed to Seal here.

Okay, so now that you know about all the goodness in the oils that makeup this serum, lets get to the recipe.  It’s so easy…..

IMG_2730

Using a 2 oz. dropper bottle (I buy mine from Amazon) add –

10 drops lavender

10 drops copaiba

10 drops Frankincense

Fill the rest of the way with jojoba oil

That’s it!  Obviously, if using a smaller bottle, cut the recipe down.  You could also make this in a roller bottle and roll on your face.  That makes it a little easier to put on and it’s more travel friendly that way.  All oils in this serum (except for the jojoba oil) come in the Premium Starter Kit.  To get a kit click here or email me (jillcomesclean@gmail.com) so I can get you started.  I hope you love this oil as much as I do!

signature

 

Homemade Lavender Body Butter

Homemade Lavender Body Butter

Hi friends!  I apologize that it has been a hot minute since I last posted.  This summer has been a whirlwind and I’m still navigating baby land (8 months later) and trying to prioritize and juggle mom-hood, wife-hood, and still have some sort of life-hood.  But I’m back and ready to hit the ground running. So with that said, I have been promising you guys my homemade body butter recipe since the start of summer, and since it’s almost fall I figured I should make good on that promise.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for any and all lotions and body butters. However, since learning of all the harmful ingredients in many store bought lotions I refuse to be a sucker that slathers toxins all over my body.  I have discovered safe, natural brands that I love and will continue to share those here and on Instagram, but I have also found that it’s actually pretty darn easy to make yourself too. Plus, given my love for essential oils, I like making my own from time to time to play around with scents and switch it up a bit.

I made this lavender one at the start of summer because of it’s fresh scent and because it has been soothing to my skin after being out in the hot sun all day.  I’m going to play around with some fall scent options, but this lasts so long that it will carry me well into the chilly months too, and that’s okay because lavender will also go great on my dry, chapped skin come winter.  So without further ado here is the recipe.  As always email me if you have questions or direct message me on Instagram: jillkoch620.

So, the best part about this body butter…..it only take 3 ingredients!

IMG_0597 (1)

Pure, unrefined shea butter (I buy mine from Amazon), coconut oil, and essential oil of your choice.  Now, I only use YoungLiving essential oils because they are certified safe and natural, and with their Seed to Seal promise that you can read about here, I know there are no synthetic fragrances or questionable ingredients added, which is often the case for oils you can buy in stores.  You can shop YoungLiving oils here.

The first thing you’ll want to do is melt 1 cup of the shea butter and 1 cup of the coconut oil in a double boiler until it’s a liquid consistency.  I use a glass bowl on top of a pot with about 2 inches of water.

IMG_3058

After that you will place it in the refrigerator to solidify either for a few hours or overnight.

IMG_0620

IMG_0630

Once solid (above pic) you will use a hand mixer to whip it…..whip it good.

IMG_0632

IMG_0634

It is going to be so creamy and smooth!  Next, add your oil of choice.  In this case it was lavender.  I start with 15-20 drops and then add more if I feel it needs it.  For this batch I added 25 drops.

IMG_0637

Once the oil is added then either mix it again with the hand mixer or simply stir with a spatula.  Now, I have also seen some people add their oil at the liquid stage.  You could definitely do this too, but it’s easier to test scent strength if added to the whipped mixture because then you can apply some to your hand to see how it smells.

IMG_0641

Once you’re done mixing simply transfer to a jar and you’re all set!  Just a few things to make note of….initially it may seem really runny when you transfer it to the jar, but don’t worry it gets thicker and more solid as it sits.  In fact, my first batch I ever made I put into a squeeze bottle because it was so runny.  That turned out to be a mistake because once it set it was then too thick to squeeze out of the tube.  So a jar is definitely the way to go.  You also want to use a glass jar because plastic will most likely absorb the smell of the oil permanently.  The picture below shows it in it’s more thickened state.

IMG_0650

Lastly, when you first apply it, it may seem really greasy but don’t worry!  It blends into your skin quickly and doesn’t remain greasy like a lot of lotions.  That is the worst!! This will leave your skin silky soft and smelling divine!  And that’s all there is to it.  My next batch might have to be peppermint for winter.  You could also do lavender, copaiba and frankincense, which is the blend I use in the homemade face serum that I can’t live without.  Copaiba and frankincense are wonderful oils for your skin and help reduce the signs of aging. The options are endless!  Be sure to let me know if you try it!  Have a great rest of the week.

signature

Why I Love Essential Oils

Why I Love Essential Oils

Hi Friends!  In my efforts to lead a cleaner, safer lifestyle, and transition toxic, harmful products out of my life, I have discovered (and fallen in love with) essential oils. And since I’ve been incorporating them into my life, and sharing with others, I have gotten so many questions about them, (how I use them, why I use them, etc.), and I figured a blog post would be the easiest way to answer it all.

Let me first just say that if you don’t know much about oils (like I didn’t in the beginning), then you probably have many of the thoughts I did….

“Aren’t oils a crunchy/granola/hippie thing?”

“What the heck are oils good for?”

“Do they work?”

“Aren’t they expensive?”

“If you use oils, does that mean you don’t believe in modern medicine?  You’re a nurse!”

“I have no idea what I’m doing.”

 

….and the list goes on.  So let me just address these thoughts/questions to 1). debunk any oil myths or confusion and 2). express my love for them because, you guys, they truly are SO GOOD, have so many uses, have completely changed my opinion of oils, have helped me ditch soooo many toxic products, and have made me a believer – an “oily” as we are sometimes called.  I’m obsessed and could talk about them all day long.

Okay, first, “aren’t oils a crunchy/granola/hippie thing?” – You guys, this was what I always thought too.  But then I realized that in my efforts to go green/clean/safer, I AM a little crunchy and granola.  Not a lot, but some aspects of my life are that way.  But hey, if that’s the label I’m granted by ridding my life of harmful, toxic crap (like chemicals that cause hormone disruption, cancer, skin irritation, organ toxicity, etc.), then so be it.  But to answer your question….No, oils are not just for the crunchy.  They are for anyone looking to have safer alternatives in their life.

“What the heck are oils good for?” – Okay, so this is the one that has surprised me the most.  A few years ago, I got my first starter kit as a gift and at the time all I knew to do with the oils was diffuse them.  So I used like two of the oils out of the 11 in the kit. It made the room smell good, and that was it.  Much of the starter kit sat unused and untapped into.  Then, fast forward to when I had Leyton and I got serious about starting to live a cleaner lifestyle.  I went back to those oils and started doing some research and WOW was I blown away at how many uses, aside from diffusing, these oils have!  I broke the starter kit back out and haven’t turned back since.  I have made face serums, bug spray, anti-itch rollers, swapped all my cleaners to homemade natural, safe versions, added oils to my drinks and food, diffused them to help with sleep, to help me wake up, to help me ward off a cold, to feel better, and the best part is, I’m still finding new uses!  The little saying by oil lovers is always, “there’s an oil for that!”  And friends, there is….for everything.  So just to give you an idea of what all oils are good for….. Health and wellness, natural remedies, weight loss, stress, sleep, cleaning, cooking, household uses like laundry, hand soap, dish soap, toothpaste, shower products, disinfectant wipes, jewelry cleaning, immune support/boost, gut health, skin care, anti-aging, relaxation, travel, and of course amazing smells (goodbye toxic candles)!  The list goes on and on, which leads to the next point…..

“Do they really work?” – Well, it’s safe to say I wouldn’t be shouting from the rooftops and dedicating an entire blog post to them if they didn’t, but just to be clear, yes they work, and they work great!  I definitely was skeptical at first.  I for sure thought there’s no way the Thieves cleaner (Thieves is the mother ship of essential oils) is going to perform like my Clorox cleaners do, or adding peppermint oil to alcohol and vinegar is going to clean my glass/mirrors like Windex, or that diffusing oils while sleeping can help me fight a cold or get great sleep like over the counter stuff does, and yet here I am, eating a big ole slice of humble pie, hearing “I told you so” by all my oils (okay they don’t talk to me….the one thing they can’t do I swear haha).  But yes, they work.  Now, I’m not going to sit here and say I sprayed my shower with my all natural oil cleaner and it took up the soap scum just like my Kaboom cleaner did.  No.  I’ll be honest, it took a little more elbow grease.  But was I lightheaded afterwards and exposed to toxic fumes the entire time like I am with chemical cleaners?  No.  Was I comfortable using them around Leyton? Yes.  And for that I am happy to maybe have to scrub a little harder or wipe the shower doors down twice.  But that’s not everything and overall the majority of things I’ve swapped for oils have measured up or surpassed what I was using.  And this leads into the next question….

“Aren’t oils expensive?” – My answers to this is….yes and no. Sure, when you first look at the Thieves dish soap for example and see that it’s almost $19, your initial reaction (like mine) is “for dish soap! No thanks.”  Until you realize that that one bottle is actually meant to be divided into 3 (because it’s highly concentrated more than regular dish soap) so now it’s roughly $6 a bottle.  Still slightly pricier than Dawn, but it also doesn’t have fragrance and other harmful chemicals like store bought soaps do. So as I always say, pay now or pay later.  Overall, the oils last such a long time and have so many uses that if you were to break down the cost between things you can make with them versus things you’d buy at the store that are the equivalent, then no, they aren’t expensive.  Plus, since making my own cleaners, face products, etc. with oils my trips to Target have cut down immensely (which we all know means a lot more money stays in my wallet, as I’m not there getting tempted by a ton of things I don’t need) but also, I’m not spending on oils in addition to all the things I usually buy.  I’m buying oils IN PLACE OF all the products I used to buy.  So it all evens out.

Now, are there some oils that are $99 plus?  Yes.  Do I buy those?  I haven’t yet and don’t foresee ever doing that (but with enough product credit built up some day who’s to say I won’t gladly use points to get a free one), but my point is, the majority of oils that I use on the regular aren’t expensive.  Example:  I could probably make 30 bottles of my glass cleaner with one bottle of peppermint essential oil.  In the long run, that’s going to be MUCH cheaper than buying 30 bottles of Windex.  Lastly, I should add that tons of plants are needed to produce oils. For example – it takes 4000 pounds of roses to get 1 pound of oil which is why rose essential oil is one of the more pricey ones.  But, lavender for example only takes about 100 pounds of plants to produce 1 pound of oil, thus making it a less expensive oil.

Next question….”If you use essential oils, does that mean you don’t believe in modern medicine?” – This is a common misconception (again probably due to the thought that oils make you an instant hippie), but by no means do I claim or assume that oils are a cure all or that they can fully take the place of medicine.  Modern medicine still very much has a place in this world, but I will tell you that for most every day ailments, colds, upset stomach, headaches, etc.  I will reach for oils first.  I would rather try an all natural remedy first, and if that doesn’t work/isn’t enough then I will most certainly use medication.

Some of examples of this:

♥ For headaches, I’ll try peppermint oil on my temples before Advil.

♥ For an upset stomach, I’ll try rolling DiGize on my stomach before reaching for Imodium or Pepto.

♥ For colds, I’ll try diffusing Thieves while I sleep or making a wellness tea with thieves and lemon oils before taking Nyquil or Tylenol Cold and Sinus.

♥ For aching muscles/joints,  I’ll try rolling PanAway on them before using Bengay.

…and the list goes on.  I am a nurse.  I most definitely know there are instances where medicine is absolutely needed, but again if I think all natural might work, I try that first.

And last question….“I have no idea what I’m doing!” – Friends, this was me 100%.  I had no clue how to use oils, how to dilute in instances that require dilution, how to incorporate them into uses other than diffusing, and it overwhelmed me.  But then I found resources (there’s soooo many resources out there to help and you always have me to help answer questions, and give recipes and tips).  There’s books you can buy, Pinterest has so many great tips, there’s apps for your phone and most of all I have found the best community of people that have helped me a ton along the way.  Just have fun with them!  And what’s so cool/crazy to me is that now, I’m answering questions and giving tips and sharing because I love learning all about these powerful, awesome oils and I love sharing that with others.  So if you ever want to know more about oils, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  I could talk about them all day long (clearly) and would be happy to answer any and all questions you may have.

Oh and one little disclaimer I should point out….I only use YoungLiving essential oils.  If you do the research (although I have so you don’t have to) they are the best, most trustworthy ones out there.  They have all their own farms and grow their own plants. They have the “seed to seal” promise which is their way of saying their oils go right from plant to processing to bottle.  They are all-natural with no fragrance or other harmful ingredients added.  You will find there are many essential oils out there (many of which are very cheap, thus their appeal), but the majority have added synthetic ingredients making them not pure and natural, and therefore not good quality.  So those oils you see at the store…yeah, no good.

IMG_1296

So to sum up this loooong post….why I love oils is because they have truly transformed the way I do things.  They (along with a few other safe products I have found) have allowed this desire of mine to live cleaner a reality.  I’ve been able to rid my home of seriously probably 90% of toxic junk, and I have such peace of mind that what I’m using in my environment and Eric, Leyton, and even the dog’s environment is safe.  Plus, I have become part of such a fun community along the way.  I’m hooked you guys.  And have no plans of turning back.  So check them out.  Make some safe swaps.  But beware, they are awesome, and addictive, and you’ll become obsessed.  But honestly, there’s probably an oil for that too.

signature

 

 

Spring Cleaning (part 1)

Spring Cleaning (part 1)

Hi friends!  I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but Spring has officially arrived here and it’s looking like it’s here to stay!  Being cooped up in the house all winter (along with my type A personality and OCD tendencies) have me itching to do a good ol’ spring cleaning of the house.  I can’t wait to purge things!  Does this excite anyone else?  I for one get so much satisfaction out of pitching, shredding, organizing, and deep cleaning.  I’m talking ‘wiping down baseboards and washing shelves’ type of cleaning.  This time of year, I’m like Danny Tanner when he cleans his cleaning gloves. Does anyone else remember that episode of Full House?  I honestly remember watching that as a kid and thinking it wasn’t THAT outlandish that he did that.  I mean they do get dirty!  Anyways, I decided to do a post on spring cleaning, not to bore you beyond repair, but to tell you that I have discovered some things in the past few months that have me cleaning in a whole new (safer) way and I had to share.  I’m coming clean about cleaning.  About ‘clean’ cleaning.  Okay I’ll stop.  But first, something funny I found on Pinterest that totally resonated with me….

IMG_8815

So, let me first say that I Spring clean every year, but this year I have been catapulted to a whole new cleaning level by this book…..

Facetune (3)

Has anyone else read this?  I’ve heard so many great things about it and decided to give it a try and you guys, so far, I am hooked!  I’m only a few chapters in, but I can tell you that this book has the potential to make me sell everything except Eric, Leyton and the dog and buy a tiny house.  Like a renovated school bus tiny house.  It’s making me realize just how much crap we accumulate and how unnecessary so much of it is.  It’s making me a more conscientious shopper too.  I may actually be able to leave Target one of these days with only the items I went in for (Well maybe.  It’s a book, not a hypnotist).  So I’ll keep you posted, because like I said, I just started, but so far it.is.good! So stay tuned.

The main thing I wanted to post about it terms of cleaning  is what I’m cleaning with.  Now that I’m trying to rid my life and household of as many toxic chemicals and ingredients as I can, I’ve been examining everything and let me tell you the first thing to go, has been allll the cleaners.  I have found so many great, natural cleaning recipes that I’m gonna share with you today (and they work!) that it makes me wonder why any of us ever use the hazardous stuff.  I literally had a laminate floor cleaner that said right on the bottle, “this is a hazardous material.”  Great, why don’t I just spray that over every square inch of this house!  But no more!  Over the past month, I have eliminated all the store bought cleaners and replaced them with homemade, natural, safer ones.  I have replaced all of this…..

with this…..

IMG_8785

The only thing missing from this picture is an all natural toilet bowl cleaner I bought, and an all natural bathroom cleaner (but even that I’ll probably ditch because I have a homemade recipe for that too).  I’ve been amazed and just how much simple, inexpensive items like rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, baking soda, castille soap, and water, can clean.  Add some essential oils to that and you get more tough cleaning action and better smells than the overpowering, chemical filled products bought at the store.  The best part is I don’t have to worry about using these around Leyton because I know they are safe.

When I was researching about the harmful chemicals in cleaners, I came across this article “8 Hidden Toxins: What’s lurking in Your Cleaning Products” by Jessie Sholl and was blown away by some of the things I learned.  You should definitely read it, but allow me to point out some of the information Sholl includes that I found particularly concerning about our every day household cleaning products.

  1. There are no regulations on cleaning products, meaning they don’t have to meet any safety standards or test products before selling them.
  2. The average household is exposed to 62 toxic chemicals.
  3. “Ingredients in household cleaners are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive disorders, and neurotoxicity.” 

(Sholl, 2011)

Now just a side note, but as someone who struggled with fertility issues, reading things like that definitely makes me step back and say, “hmmm could all my years of exposure to harmful chemicals and ingredients have been the cause?”  I may never know.  But you best believe I’m working to eliminate them now.  Also, this article points out something I’ve talked about before.  Beware of fragrances!  If you haven’t read, “Fragrance is the New Second Hand Smoke,” you need to!  It’s extremely eye opening!

I should also point out that you have to check labels because even products that you think are safe (or that claim to be organic/safe….again, no regulation so they can say that) might not be.  I was shocked when I discovered both Honest Company and Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products have some bad ingredients like Methylisothiazolinone, a preservative that’s a known irritant and cause of skin allergies.  Yes, skin irritation isn’t as serious as cancer or hormone disruption, but it just shows that you have to check your products because they aren’t always as squeaky clean as they are promising.

So that’s my spiel.  I just found that article interesting and wanted to share.  Okay, so on to some recipes for safe, all natural cleaners.  The best part is that a lot of the ingredients are ones you probably already have around the house.  And these are inexpensive.  The ones that call for oils, you could leave the oils out if you don’t have any (although in some, the lemon oil is a cleaning aide, although I’d imagine you could just use lemon juice).  Also, the gray cloth in my picture is a stainless steel cleaning cloth.  You literally just use water and the cloth and it gets stainless steel perfectly clean.  I got mine from Mightynest here.  And the Amber bottles are my favorite.  I found those on Amazon.  I have been using these cleaners and loving them!  I can safely say I don’t miss those toxic, harmful products one bit. Happy cleaning!

**All of these recipes I make for a 16oz. amber spray bottle, unless stated otherwise**

All-Purpose Cleaner

1/2 Cup White Vinegar

2 Cups Rubbing Alcohol

Fill to top with water then add 1 tsp. of dish soap (do this last otherwise the whole thing will suds up when you add the water.

**This makes 1 gallon.  You can either cut down the recipe to fit your spray bottle or, what I do is make the gallon and then just pour into a spray bottle and as you run out just refill from the gallon jug.

Dust Spray

1 3/4 cups water

2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp lemon essential oil (or I’m guessing lemon juice might work)

1/4 cup vinegar

**I spray onto a dust cloth, microfiber cloth, or piece of an old white tee shirt, instead of directly onto the furniture.

Laminate Floor Cleaner

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup rubbing alcohol

1/3 cup white vinegar

3 drops of liquid dish soap

5-10 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Lemon Degreaser (All purpose except for wood)

2 cups water

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. of castile soap (I love Dr. Bronner’s)

1 tablespoon baking soda

**This makes a 24 oz. spray bottle.  So I would just half it if you only have a 16 oz. bottle.

Glass Cleaner (This, with the peppermint oil is my favorite!!)

2 cups water

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol

5 drops peppermint essential oil

**This makes a 24 oz. spray bottle.  Just half it for 16 oz. and I did 3-4 drops of the peppermint oil.

Hardwood Floor Cleaner

1 gallon, hot water

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 – 3 drops essential oil (any scent but lemon is probably most used)

**Mix in bucket and clean with mop or cloth

signature