When it comes to overall health, I like to think of myself as open-minded but also balanced. I love learning about new ways I can make healthier choices for my family and myself. BUT I am also a mom who’s busy, on a budget, and honestly a creature of habit. While we do our best to make smart choices, I occasionally buy frozen chicken nuggets, boxed mac & cheese and once in a blue moon treat myself to fast food. Sure I know there are alternatives but like everything else I’ve ever been successful at, slow and steady has always been key to sustainability. Extremes just don’t work for me and when it comes to completely overhauling a lifestyle, this is especially true. However, in hopes to encourage my family to only grow in making better decisions about their health, we’ve started small and have begun incorporating a couple of things at home. Take a look below to see what changes these are and see for yourself because trust me, if we can do it, than so can you!
**please know that every product/brand I talk about in this post is reviewed out of true opinion. I wasn’t paid, sponsored, or compensated in any way for my reviews below**
For pretty much my entire life, dryer sheets were all I knew when it came to laundry. However, with more and more information and debate coming out about the safety, I started to do a little research of my own. Things from asthma, allergic reactions, lung disease, to even cancer have been floated around as possible results of long-term exposure to the fragrances & chemicals in dryer sheets. While more research is still needed to determine how toxic these dryer sheets can be, I decided not to take any chances and find a better and much safer alternative.
Cue the wool dryer balls! These are the ones I specifically purchased. On top of being made naturally, these balls work great, are cheap to buy and best of all, they are reusable! Sure, I’ll admit they don’t have the same fragrance you find with dryer sheets but fortunately, if you keep reading below you can see what can be done about adding in that lovely smelling scent you might miss.
I first got into using essential oils as a way to try and swap out from using house candles. On top of worrying about the fire hazard, I started to worry about the soot. After seeing more and more black smudges start to collect on my nice white ceilings, I started to question how safe they could be for us to breath in. Well, a little research later and once again I found out that unless you’re using 100% bees wax candles, the rest possibly have links to containing carcinogens and things like lung cancer. Can I get a big no thank you to that? I immediately threw out what I had and decided to try oils as an alternative.
After looking into the various big-name brands out there, I saw how pricey some oils could be. Guys I am a stay at home mama on a budget and there was just no way I could justify spending some of our hard-earned money on what I was seeing. Fortunately though, that’s when I found Revive Essential Oils. For nearly half the price and same quality, the idea had me sold but I was still skeptical. That is until I got my first box and the rest is history.
Now I am going to be honest and admit that I am still learning my way around oils and still really only use them for their scent, but slowly I’ve started to incorporate them more into my skin care and home care regimens. Again, if you keep scrolling down to read, I’ll show you how I did this exactly.
Wash Your Produce Right
Now this is something I really wish I started to doing sooner because the more I learn, the more disgusted I am with my past actions. Guys, as a kid I’m pretty sure I never washed any of my fruit. That’s gross and I want to punch my younger self in the face. BUT thankfully, adulthood has been good for me and I have learned a couple of things. From germs, bugs, pesticides and more, take a look at these couple of tips on how to wash your produce correctly so you can avoid all those yucky things.
- For canned goods, always rinse all contents well in a strainer. When you do, you will see bubbles. That’s all the chemical preservatives added to the can to keep your food fresh. Rinse until those bubbles disappear.
- For berries (strawberries, blue berries, black berries, etc), soak in a bowl of water with a TBSP of salt. Wait till you see the amount of nasty come off, including bugs.
- For grapes, rinse in a strainer and then add a mixture of baking soda and salt. Swivel the grapes around a good amount and then re-rinse. Watch how shiny they become once all the wax coating is removed. Did you know that wax coating holds onto those nasty pesticides?
- For all other fruits, use a 50/50 mix of 3% hydrogen peroxide. You can either use this as a spray or a soak before rinsing and serving.
Okay here’s where I will be honest, I LOVE bleach. I know there are debates out there for how terrible this stuff can be but I just can’t seem to pull myself away from it just yet. But like I said earlier, slow & steady. So with that and starting small, I have started with making my own all purpose cleaners, which is where the use of essential oils once again comes into play.
Here is my favorite all purpose cleaner recipe, that is safe for all counter tops:
- 20 Drops Immunity Boost (from Revive Oils)
- 1/4 Cup Dish Soap
- Rest of bottle is water
As for floors, I definitely wouldn’t recommend the above all purpose cleaner. Instead, the Bissel Steam Mop is the best. Using only steam to clean, this again can be another opportunity to add in a couple drops of essential oils. Tea tree, lemon or Immunity Boost are my favorites and can add in that extra boost of purifying action.
Oh, and remember that thing I mentioned about adding scent back into your laundry, if using wool balls? Try adding 20 drops of lavender or any other scent you like.
Lately, the clean makeup front has made big moves in educating people and developing new and exciting brands that aim to keep its users health in mind. However, like I said above, I still need a little more time to make that switch. I have my certain makeup staples which I am not quite ready to part with. Instead, in making little moves, I have started with swapping in my all-natural skin care products that I use at night.
These are currently my favorite concoctions and products, which let me tell you work amazingly well!
- All Natural Eye Make up Remover- Using coconut oil & witch hazel, combine equal parts of both and place in any container you’d like.
- Facial Oil- Supporting small business, check out my friend Jacelyn at Willow Rose Skin Care (click here) and see what type of oils she has brewing. Im currently using “true blue” and it’s made from a combo of all natural oils, this facial oil smells amazing, hydrates my skin and doesn’t leave me greasy looking or clog my pores.
- Under Eye Oil- Yarpom oil is my new favorite. I personally don’t dilute it because I dont have sensitive skin but if you do, feel free to dilute with a good carrier oil.
- Teeth Whitening- Using only baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, mix together until you can create a paste texture. Use with a tooth brush and brush gently.
Despite the fact that research seems to prove that a couple of house plants in your home don’t make a big impact when it comes to purifying your air, I still am a believer that something is always better than nothing. Taking it back to elementary school science class, we know that plants take carbon dioxide and turn into oxygen. Multiply that by a couple of plants and now you have new and more oxygen being created in your home. I don’t see how that can be a bad thing, despite what some may say.
I am in no way shape or form a plant expert but I am starting to learn and again, have started slow. While I have started to venture into more difficult specimens, here are a couple of the beginner plants I kicked off with and highly recommend. Trust me, with these plants, you can’t screw it up.
- Snake Plant
- Any of the pothos (also known as the devil’s ivy)
So tell me, how are you making cleaner changes in your home? While it is a long road, I am so happy we are on it and making strides to living a better, healthier, and toxin-free life.