Trashing the Toxins! – Week 3

Week Three – May 16, 2019

Who’s ready to trash some toxins with me?

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.

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.
Everyone 3-in-1 Lotion

Everyone 3-in-1 Lotion (in Coconut + Lemon) – If you regularly slather on body lotion upon stepping out of the shower, it makes sense to choose a non-toxic option – your skin is super absorbent and you’re covering a lot of it! Everyone Lotion costs about $10 for a huge 32 fluid ounce pump, so it doesn’t break the bank (at that price, you can share it with the whole family :-). It’s rare to find a product that’s economical, non-GMO verified, cruelty-free and also free of gluten, parabens, polysorbate and disodium EDTA. It does still have phenoxyethanol and dimethicone, but seriously, it’s a WHOLE lot cleaner than what our family was opting for before. It’s got a nice, lightweight finish, five star reviews on many sites, and there are a slew of other scents to choose from, including Lavender Aloe and Citrus Mint (there’s an unscented version too). You can find it in most supermarkets and mass market retailers, and for around $10 online at Thrive Market and EOproducts.com (where you can get 20% off if you sign up for their newsletter and free shipping over $50). I’m excited to try more from the EO brand- there’s so many products on their site that I was unaware of!

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm – As I’m always on a search for new clean lip color favorites, I decided to see what the local drugstore had to offer. The answer was… not much. But they did thankfully carry Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm, which boasts being paraben, phthalate, petrolatum and sodium lauryl sulfate free. After a quick check on the Think Dirty App (a free, user-friendly app that will scan a barcode and score product ingredient concerns), I snatched up the Rose shade (even though I usually run from any lip color called Rose). It was just right – a super sheet hint of color without any weird sparkly bits that make me feel ridiculous for about $5. It kind of looks like I’m wearing nothing and my lips are just a moisturized, pretty, “bitten” color (instead of my natural, invisible nude). I’m trading in my longtime cult favorite (and any fears of petrolatum contamination from refining) for this shea butter and botanical wax blend. It’s available in six shades at many locations – if you don’t find it in your local pharmacy or Target, you can click on their website link for a nearby store locator.

Seventh Generation Free & Clean Unscented Liquid Hand Soap – I picked up this USDA Certified biobased hand soap because I generally trust the Seventh Generation brand, and because (in truth) it was the cheapest clean option on the supermarket shelf last time I shopped. This gentle cleanser is free of dyes, triclosan, phthalates and fragrance, and leaves your hands feeling fresh and not stripped of moisture for the bargain price of around $2.99 (that’s nominally more than the chemical-laden choices – a no-brainer)! It does contain sodium coco-sulfate, but that’s at least a little more natural than the more common sodium laureth-sulfate (SLS). In addition to the unscented pump, it’s also available in Mandarin Orange + Grapefruit, Lavender Flower + Mint, and Lemon + Tea Tree scents. (Those of you who know me well might be wondering how a self-diagnosed germophobe switches to a non-antibacterial soap – the answer is that I’m having the kids use an antibacterial with claims upon arriving home from school and then we switch to this option for the rest of the evening. I’d hose them down in a decontamination tent if they’d let me- LOL).

A vetted-by-my-son organic spread!

Crofter’s Organic Premium Spread in Strawberry – I’m feeling pretty smug and sneaky with this one, because my VERY picky 10-year old has not realized that I’m making his sandwiches with this spread instead of his usual jelly, and he notices everything. This brand popped up at my supermarket for $3.79 and I gave it a whirl since it’s made with organic strawberries (seemed like a smart decision) and has 33% less sugar than a preserve. It’s gluten-free, vegan and non-GMO project verified, and I like that the taste is still sweet but a bit truer to the actual fruit. I’ve also tried the Wild Blueberry flavor myself, stirred into some Fage Yogurt – YUM. Note: Since it’s organic, you have to use it within 20 days (a sign it might actually be something you should eat, not a drawback). They also offer an even healthier Just Fruit Spread Organic option for $4.50, which skips the organic cane sugar. Next round, let’s see if I can get away with THAT! (I invite you to laugh at my formica background – this is why we’re doing the home reno, people 🙂

Beware of BPA-laden glossy receipts

Did You Know This? I Didn’t! – Thanks to the blogger from Starts With Mom, it was brought to my attention via her Instagram account story on Tuesday that you should handle your cash register receipts as little as possible – Say What? Apparently it’s not new information, but it was new to me (that’s why we mamas gotta share)! Turns out that a lot of receipt paper still contains BPA or BPS (not any better) and if you use hand sanitizer before handling them, your fingers absorb even more of it. Reduce your exposure by going paperless when possible, touch the non-glossy back part (not the front) of receipts, and keep a separate envelope in your purse for them so they don’t rub around your wallet. Think it’s old news? The California legislature has even introduced a “skip the slip” bill that’s scheduled for a committee hearing literally as I write this.

(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

Love this post? Share the link and follow me on Facebook or Instagram @themomreno! Have any suggestions for future toxin free swaps? Email me at themomreno@gmail.com! Feel free to leave a comment below

Favorite Finds!

Wall art outside the Johnny Was store on Wooster Street in NYC

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

First off, a huge Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!

Second guessing your sparkles – how socially conscious are your cosmetics?

Fave Media Link: If you are looking for a site with some quick, compelling reads and you are not familiar with Refinery 29, they have been getting things right lately. There’s fashion, entertainment and beauty roundups to spare, but they’ve also been publishing some deeper digs. like the eye-opening exposé article, The Makeup Industry’s Darkest Secret is Hiding in Your Makeup Bag (revealing child labor mica mining in India). Lots more social responsibility in their coverage lately, and I’m thinking that’s a great thing.

Fave Fashion Find: – I came across Lisi Lerch’s chic and affordable accessory line after following Alexa Anglin on Instagram – not only are her earrings on trend and reasonably priced, but I love her backstory – she left the Wall Street world to pursue her creative passion and fill a void in the millinery market (affordable, fashionable hats), and then became a mom specializing in unique jewelry. (A second, less affordable find this week is Longchamp’s Mademoiselle Studded Leather Camera Bag ($495 at Nordstrom) – it’s not happening for me but someone buy it so I feel better – or so I can borrow it – LOL).

Fave Insta-Influencer: Vani Hari, aka @thefoodbabe, is a NYT best-selling author who is dedicated to descrambling food labels and teaching the masses how not to be duped. She pulls back the mask on the many products masquerading as natural, healthy options- I would go so far as to call her a modern muckraker and a brave consumer advocate. I’m greatly admiring her courage in standing up to big corporations and challenging their attempts to muddle the public’s knowledge, and I learn from her Instagram posts every time. Her book, Feeding You Lies, can be found on Amazon in hardcover or for the Kindle. It’s in my cart.


Fave Useful Item: Warmer weather is upon us, so the shout out goes to France Luxe’s L. Erickson Grab & Go Pony hair elastics ($18 for a tube of 15). These are not new and many of you may know of them already, but if you don’t, they are life-changing. I’ve given up using all my other elastics for both my daughter (who has fine, flyaway hair) and myself (fuller, naturally curly hair) – these are by far the most comfortable, effective and stylish of the bunch. They come in a variety of colors and are a bit pricier than what I would ordinarily pick up at the drugstore , but also half as likely to get lost. You can find them at specialty boutique stores, a full array of colors on their site, or a smaller selection of 8-elastic tubes on Amazon ($10).

Do you need a measles booster shot?

Fave Hot Topic Answers: The conversation outside my daugher’s gymnastics class this past week amongst parents revolved around the resurgence of the measles, and what’s required to be protected against it. Here’s a link to the CDC website with the FAQ. In short, the answers are: Kids should be following their vaccination schedule and receive two doses, properly spaced. No, you don’t need a booster as an adult if you are confident you received both doses as a kid. Yes, you can take it again if you are unsure that you got both doses way back when – it’s not worrisome to get an accidental third dose.

Fave Laugh: The Accidental SuperMom on Instagram is hysterical and has three young kiddos to gather material from. Her blog is filled with equally funny writing, and also identifiable perspective (like Past, Present and Future Mom). If you have young kids and are feeling the motherhood mayhem, she is the best comic relief. Here, she lists “What We Really Want for Mother’s Day.” Sing it, sister.

(All opinions are totally my own… I started this blog three seconds ago… so obvs nothing is sponsored) – If you love what you read, share it! Moms are all each other’s best resource. Till next time! xoxo TheMomReno

Trashing the Toxins! – Week 2

Who’s ready to trash some toxins with me?

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.

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.

Did you know that you could easily find safer products on Amazon by typing EWG-verified into the search bar? I didn’t! (The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit watchdog, dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.) Talk about an effortless way to find great choices! I also learned, thanks to following celeb makeup artist Cassandra McClure on Instagram, that the EWG has a Healthy Living app – download it and you can type in a product name or scan the barcode to get an ingredient scorecard (flagging the ones with allergy, cancer or developmental concern) – Conscious consumerism? Check!

RMS Beauty “Un” Powder – Reporting in on the translucent setting powder that I purchased from clean beauty mecca Follain’s online site… two thumbs up! I’m a definite convert to this completely toxin-free (no talc, no perfume, no parabens) setting powder – its invisible finish maximizes makeup staying power and absorbs excess oil. After having an allergic response to one of the more cult, mainstream brand setting sprays, I was willing to ante up ($34) to try a fear-free option from one of the hottest lines in this sphere. RMS Beauty’s mission is pretty impressive, and the brand was dreamed up by a leading makeup artist, so they know their stuff (Those J. Crew model glowing faces? All Rose-Marie Swift). Looks like new customers can snag a 15% discount on their website if you subscribe to their newsletter. I plan to do so with my next product try, since I imagine it could be a good resource.

Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Fragrance Free Shampoo and Wash – I swapped my eczema-prone daughter to this EWG-verified shampoo and body wash ($14.39 on Amazon) this week and I’m really pleased with it. It gives a decent lather for a sulfate-free option and boasts natural oat proteins, organic calendula and shea butter for a soothing soak that won’t dry out sensitive skin. I believe they are also dairy, soy, gluten and nut-free. I want to try their new sunscreens next. You can get 25% off your first order if you visit babobotanicals.com and join their family rewards program- sometimes Amazon’s price is more competitive, but the full product line offering is available on their site. I’ll pretend I didn’t steal this wash to also clean my makeup brushes this weekend (I’ve always used baby shampoo so as not to strip them) – it worked great for that too!

Budieggs Wool Dryer Balls Organic XL 6-Pack – I’d heard about the idea of throwing a few of these in the dryer instead of scented dryer sheets, but I was still buying those in bulk at Costco. I finally took the plunge with these babies. Our clothes came out soft and fluffy and no longer smell like an imagined version of the great outdoors. Fewer chemicals coating our clothes, rubbing onto our skin. Can’t be bad. They are hypoallergenic and good for 1,000 loads – I chose the Budieggs brand because almost all Amazon buyers gave them five stars, they were only $11.76, and who doesn’t love a good sheep graphic. (Also good for indoor impromptu “snowball” fights with your kids?)

Cape May Honey Farm Wildflower Honey – I picked up this honey pot while vacationing as a family last summer – we passed the Cape May Honey Farm shop in West Cape May while driving out of town and I yelled to stop the car. I’ve been using honey a lot more recently – drizzling it on top of yogurt, mixing it into Shalice Noel’s energy ball recipe (prior post), and sweetening up other yummies in lieu of refined sugar. Many people believe that local honey can improve allergies (thanks to exposure to local pollen, building immunity), and the count is so high outside right now that I’m ready to submit to anything worth trying. This wildflower honey is some of the best I’ve had and comes in a generous 16 oz. pot for $9.99. The farm also sells flavors like cinnamon infused NJ clover (which I tried there… delish!) and NJ Blueberry Blossom. They ship, or you can simply find some local honey in your area. A natural alternative that supports local business!

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

Have any suggestions for future toxin free swaps? Share them with me below or email me at themomreno@gmail.com. Help a girl out!

Trashing the Toxins – Week 1

WEEK ONE

Who’s ready to trash some toxins with me?

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. (All products were chosen by me independently and all opinions are my own.)

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.

Swapping My Daily Brew

San Francisco Bay Organic Rainforest Blend K-cups – These K-cups are not only organic but are also made with a compostable lidding and ring, and make me feel like I am not filling a landfill with non-biodegradable plastic. The best part is that they taste richer than the big box retailer blend I was drinking and end up costing only about 10 cents more (about .41 cents) per cup. Win, win, win. I started buying it off Amazon because I wanted to try it without buying the biggest box, but now that I know I like it and learned that the company offers free shipping over $50 on their website ($30 for recurring orders), I’ll order it direct next time – I want to support this brand.

Trading in Toxic Toothpaste

Burt’s Bees Clean and Fresh Toothpaste with Fluoride in Mint Medly – I was excited to find that there is a more natural option available that still contains fluoride, since the elimination of it was kind of a deal-breaker for me. It’s ADA accepted and has a gentle minty taste that’s not as strong as a mainstream brand paste. My teeth seem happy and it’s around $4.99 and available through Amazon (higher price point than their website) or retail – I got mine at the local Walmart (also on their site).

Shielding with Safer SPF Tinted Moisturizer

BeautyCounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 – As the sun starts peeking out from behind the clouds, I’m looking to leave my fuller coverage foundation behind for a tinted SPF moisturizer. This one is a best seller on the BeautyCounter site and I feel like it won some accolades a while back when I first tried it. I was tempted to try a new CC cream that I read about this year, but after seeing the ingredients I’m heading back to this lovely- maybe with extra sunscreen underneath for more brutal days. It evens out skin tone and leaves a dewy, natural finish. $45, but it’s not coating my whole face in toxins.

Glossing my Lips With Less Guilt

bareMinerals Gen Nude Patent Lip Lacquer in Dahling – I’ve been seeking a better lip gloss option that’s the perfect neutral shade for every day – just a shiny, pretty version of my natural lip color. It’s a little tacky (as many glosses are), but the color is right and it’s also kind of moisturizing. For $19, it’s no more expensive than my typical department or beauty store choices, so this will be my current go-to. It’s available on the bareMinerals website and also at their multiple retail locations.

Have any suggestions for future toxin free swaps? Share them with me below or email me at themomreno@gmail.com. Help a girl out!