Trashing the Toxins! – Week 5

May 29. 2019

Who’s ready to trash toxic choices with me?

What’s the criteria for this series? Products need to be:

  • A better (healthier, cleaner, etc) version of a product I would ordinarily purchase. Ideally organic, but we’re going for improvements that will actually be embraced by the fam (I live in a household that still eats toaster pastries, so… baby steps).
  • A readily available item that can be easily found (either online or via multiple retail locations).
  • Sold at a “reasonable” price point. While some items might be considered upscale or boutique, I’m not trading in a $5 mascara for a $70 mascara… we are about to do an expensive home reno…
  • A realistic, unintimidating option. Nothing that will add exponential time and bother to any mom’s already nutso schedule.

With an eye towards simple, sustainable swaps in our daily routine that will lead our family towards better health, this weekly post is an attempted “toe-dip” into smarter choices. Nothing radical – just some carefully considered substitutions that can be instituted gradually. Some featured products are new, others are just new to me. đŸ™‚

Three Cheers for Target’s Fab Browsing Filters – I love that some of our most convenient retailers like Target are riding the wave of conscious consumerism! You can now search Target online by both Health Facts (non-toxic, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, etc.) and by Sustainability Claims and Certifications (cruelty-free, non-GMO, biodegradable, etc.), making it simpler to choose a product with qualifications that are important to YOU. Just go to the category and product type you’re shopping and click the boxes to filter results. Rah Rah Rah Target!

A Darker, Craving-Crushing Chocolate Bar – As a confessed chocoholic trying to make better choices, I’ve turned to darker, richer options that will kill the craving without a crazy sugar count. Green & Black’s Organic 85% Cacao Bar and Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar (85%) are for serious fiends – they have an intense, cocoa flavor with a slightly bitter note – almost one step from a baker’s chocolate. When studies reference the heart-healthy benefits of chocolate, this is the kind they are talking about. I can have one square of either and the craving disappears without me wanting to eat the rest of the bar. You get what you pay for – the organic option sells for around $3.50 at most mass retailers and the TJ bar is a bargain $1.79, but with non-organic ingredients and with soy lecithin and natural vanilla flavor instead of organic vanilla extract. Both turn the sweet on its head.

Simple, soft everyday eyeliner

A Less Toxic but Still Luxe Eyeliner – You may not be so familiar with the BDIH-certified German brand Benecos if you live in the United States, but they’ve been big news in the natural makeup sphere overseas for a while. In 2016, Benecos’ Natural Kajal Liner was highly commended by Natural Health magazine’s International Beauty Awards, and it’s one of their many products that’s won accolades. Kajal, a natural kohl that produces a soft but intense line, is simple to apply and I love how the brown gives a defined yet natural look for everyday wear. All products from the line are non-GMO, soy, gluten and cruelty-free. I was able to find this liner at Target for only $7.99 and it also looks to be available directly through their North American distributor True Natural’s website for $8.99.

A safer choice for dishes
(See the magnets? lol)

An Alternative to Dirty Dishwasher Detergent – How has this never been a priority for us before? Swapping a product that we probably partly ingest seems like a total no-brainer. This week, I tried the Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Powder (75 oz for around $6.50) and was really pleased with the results. The dishes and glassware came out clean and sparkly with no residue left behind. I’m used to using a gel but chose the powder option from this brand due to the many favorable reviews (customers seemed to prefer the powder over the liquid). It’s not perfect – I haven’t found a dishwasher detergent that is – but it’s leaps and bounds better than the big box retailer jug that we were using before and it’s an affordable swap. The former says if ingested, call a Poison Control Center. This one just says drink water and consult a physician. LOL. It’s USDA Certified 87% Biobased and Seventh Generation is a Certified B Corporation. I’m a convert. Available at most supermarkets, drugstores and mass retailers – click here for a store locator (which includes price info).

A Swipe-able Baby Lotion for All-Over Softness – In Trashing the Toxins – Week Two, I swapped my eczema-prone daughter to this EWG-verified shampoo and body wash ($14.39 on Amazon) and loved how gentle it was for her skin (and for my makeup brushes!). This week, I ordered the New Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Fragrance Free Daily Hydra Lotion ($12.95 on their site) to accompany it – and I don’t know if I’m giving it back to her. It sinks right in and turns rough skin smooth with oatmeal, shea butter and jojoba oil. It’s not greasy, thick or sticky but leaves this lovely subtle soft glow and it’s truly fragrance-free (not one of those creams that says they are but really they smell gross). Honestly, I sounds like a sponsored ad but there are too many good things to say about this – EWG-verified, Certified B, vegan, even autism-approved? This is just pure, unadulterated love. This is a new staple in my bathroom, as well as hers. Babo, if you see this, please make a vat of this for sale. Or at least a gigantor-sized pump. This is totally this week’s winner.

(All products were chosen by me independently and all opinions are totally my own… I started this blog about three seconds ago… so obvs nothing is sponsored- I just love sharing great finds)

– Till next time! xoxo TheMomReno

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Favorite Finds!

Just sifting through the superfluous and sleuthing out some smart stuff, so you don’t have to...

(Super lighthearted roundup this week! Fun Memorial Day weekend material, since this is the season where moms are juggling ALL THE THINGS (no joke – we’re like circus clowns about to freakin’ drop the balls).

VERB energy bars
a palm-sized pick-me-up

Fave New Snack to Pack (it’s caffeinated!) VERB Energy Bars are like mini bars of mommy magic. They’re gluten-free, vegan, and mostly organic 90-calorie energy bars that claim to have the same amount of caffeine as a cup of espresso (except in this case it’s from organic green tea caffeine). I could totally see grabbing one of these when I have zero minutes in the morning (no time for a daily brew!) or keeping one in an office desk for a mid-afternoon slump pick-me-up. I tried all three flavors – I really liked the Salted Peanut Butter and the Simply Cocoa and will plan to re-order those. You can try all three flavors for just the cost of shipping by going to their website, and the orders get shipped to your door. Three young entrepreneurs putting yummy goodness into the world – sign me up.

Blister-free flip flops

Favorite Fashion FindREEF Ginger flip flops – What’s a Memorial Day favorites round up without a pair of flip flops? This is less a “find” and more of a “seasonal re-discovery.” The REEF Ginger flip flops have been my go-to flop for years, and if you have not tried them, I’m here to say that you can walk NYC for hours or an entire amusement park with these suckers and NO BLISTERS. That’s saying a lot for someone who struggles to find comfortable shoes. There’s something about the weave of the soft poly on the straps and the arch supportive rubber bottoms that makes them super wearable. Plus, they look good with everything from jeans to leggings to dresses (not too clunky). They come in a variety of colors (for around $28) and can be found at multiple retailers (including surf shops), on their website, or Amazon. Bonus points if you can find the slim ginger studded version from last year, which kinda make me feel like I’m wearing a version of the Valentino slides I can’t afford.

Favorite PodcastDad and Buried, by Mike and Pete – For a light and funny listen, this podcast is a laughable, brutally honest parent perspective by two sarcastic, snarky Brooklyn-based dads. Put it on as you shuttle around in your car – it’s like you’re grabbing a drink with friends after an exhausting, stressful, expensive and unrewarding day as Mom or Dad. The episode titles reveal the tone of the content – the most recent is “The Playtime Paradox: How can playing suck so much?” and ones prior to that are titled, “Are pet moms the same as a human moms? Also, what’s wrong with everyone? and Traveling with Kids- Fun times!!!” To be clear, they love their kids. They just hate parenting. Follow them on Instagram @dadandburied and listen the the podcast when you are feeling bedraggled. You’ll feel a kinship. [No, you never feel this way? Bull-doody :-)]

Fail-proof false lashes

Fave Innovative ProductLashbinder – It’s lash-tastic, people! When celebrity make-up artist Cassandra McClure witnessed how many clients struggled with applying false lashes themselves, she decided to create a product to make the process fool-proof. Literally, FOOL PROOF (because I just tried it and I’ve never put on fake lashes before in my life, and I didn’t glue my lids together or anything- LOL). It’s a little clipper that hold the lashes evenly while you apply your adhesive and then helps you to place them evenly on your lid and hold them in place until you release. You can purchase it for $29.99 on the website (lashes and glue not included). Feeling fancy.

Great photos, interesting features

Favorite Read – Have you come upon the fabulously styled read, Atelier DorĂ©? What a fun collection of articles compiled by some amazing artistic minds and headed by notable French photographer, illustrator and author Garance DorĂ©! From style photos, to lifestyle (When in Napa…), to features (feng shui, anyone?), to beauty (digging this roundup of non-toxic nailpolish), I love when a new post pops up in my feed reader.

Fave Inspiration (If you are also a writer or pursue ANY type of artistic talent, you MUST watch this). It’s comforting. It’s inspiring. It’s everything. I’ve been watching it since David Shiyang Liu created it eight years ago, with the words from distinguished radio personality Ira Glass (who I’m sure said it and felt it way before that) – such timeless advice. [Now that I’m new to blogging, I felt like I needed to watch it again. Stick with me- in the words of Glass, “I’ll fight my way through it!”]

Liu’s representation of Ira Glass’ words on creativity

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All opinions in this post are completely my own… I started this blog in April 2019 (so about three seconds ago) because I love to share… obvs nothing is sponsored – If you love what you read, share the link! Moms are all each other’s best resource.

Till next time! xoxo TheMomReno