Cleaning Product Round-up

When was the last time you went through the cleaning supplies under your sink.. It’s probably been a hot minute. I feel you. Before we dive too deep into our spring cleaning, let’s take a look at the cleaning supplies you plan on using and decide whether or not they are the best option for cleaning your home.

With a toddler around, it’s important for us to make sure cleaning supplies aren’t accessible to our little rugrat but it’s also important for us to do our homework and make sure we’re using non-toxic cleaning supplies. Today I will cover common household cleaners and their “cleaner” dupe for making your household safer for your family.

Standard Glass Cleaner vs. 50/50 Vinegar Water 

This alternative to common window cleaners is safe and also CHEAP. Mix 50/50 distilled water and white distilled vinegar inside of a spray bottle and enjoy a non-toxic, streak free shine on all of your windows!

Common All Purpose Cleaner vs Thieves/On Guard

I recently made the switch to using Thieves/On Guard (whichever you prefer, I use both!) all purpose cleaner. I had been using Method brand all purpose sprays but still felt like the scents were a little too harsh. It’s still a “cleaner” option over Lysol or Clorox sprays as it is plant derived, but it still contains ingredients that you wouldn’t want your baby putting in their mouth.. With your homemade Thieves/On Guard spray, you can basically clean anything. I have used it to clean the upholstery on our couches, disinfect toys, spray carpets and rugs to deodorize, cleanup spills, wash the high chair.. The list goes on! And the best part is that it’s completely safe for your little one. No need to rinse.

Disinfecting Wipes vs Green Works Wipes

Being mindful of the amount of waste we produce is so important. Did you know that almost all disinfecting wipes are not biodegradable? That’s right folks. They are made of synthetic fibers that decompose slowly in our landfills. And most name brand wipes use a solution that is to be rinsed thoroughly with water, especially if you are cleaning an area that will be in contact with food. I used these bad boys for YEARS until I learned the truth.. A better solution is the Green Works Compostable Cleaning Wipes. These wipes are made of natural wood-based fibers and are made with 97% naturally derived ingredients. They make quick clean-ups a breeze, they’re safe for our little ones and they are better for our planet. Win, win, win.

As you begin your spring cleaning, I hope you keep these swaps in mind. In the end, you will have a clean home, more money in your pocket and our earth will thank you. Friends don’t let friends clean with chemicals. Happy Cleaning!

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Chipotle Lime Chicken Salad

This recipe is one of my favorite meal planning hacks and is totally sustainable to whatever ingredients you have in your kitchen. Just a couple super simple ingredients and minimal effort for maximum flavor and it gets better the longer the flavors meld together. It’s perfect to make on a Sunday and eat throughout the week. Put it on a salad, in a wrap or just eat it on it’s own and you will thank yourself for this killer lunch option.

You will need:

Primal Kitchen’s Chipotle Lime Mayo: You can make your own chipotle lime mayo fairly easily but this is an easier hack and will last longer in the fridge than your homemade option. Plus, no cleanup!

Rotisserie Chicken or Two Chicken Breasts, shredded: If using chicken breasts, you can cook them in a crockpot and shred them ahead of time or just chill them before making the rest of the dish. Rotisserie chicken can be shredded easily and depending on your preferences, you can use both white and dark meat for more developed flavors.

Roasted, un-salted cashews: This is a go-to for me but slivered almonds, roasted peanuts, pecans, whatever nuts you’d like to give this recipe a little crunch. If you are nut free, then simply omit this ingredient.

Green Onion: I personally like green onions for this dish because they tend to be a bit more mild when it comes to sharp oniony flavor. But whatever onion you have on hand will be just as good.

Grapes, dried cranberries, raisins, whatever you like: I personally love a good fruit option. Fresh grapes will give this dish a nice crispness, dried fruit will give some sweetness but watch out for added sugars.

Toss it all in a bowl and mix! It’s really is that simple. The best part about this recipe is really no measuring is needed. Use ratios that make sense for your tastes and what you have on hand. Then start with 1-2 spoonfuls of the chipotle lime mayo and mix. Keep adding little by little until you get the creaminess you want. Store it in the fridge and enjoy!

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Simplifying Your Skin Care

As a mom of a very active infant who is currently refusing to sleep in her own bed, I need simple routines in my life. Complicated regimens with too many steps, to-dos or requirements don’t work for my current lifestyle, so when I decided to really focus on cleaning up my skincare products, I knew I needed less products that gave me the most bang for my buck. Here are four items that I’ve found to be “must-haves” for anyone who needs a simple and effective skincare routine.

I’ve written about collagen peptides before in our Collagen Smoothie Bowl Recipe and they have been a total game changer. I started adding them to my morning routine a couple month ago and I will be the first to admit I was skeptical. I wondered if I was just getting sucked into a fad supplement routine but I’m here to tell you this stuff works. I originally wanted to take them as a joint support supplement but the benefits I’ve seen go FAR beyond that. Hair and nails that grow like weeds are an added bonus but skin elasticity and overall complexion improvements are the real winners here. I put one scoop of beef collagen peptides in my morning coffee and I have seen a world of difference with my overall texture of my skin. Improving your skin from the inside out will make a huge difference in how you absorb topical products as well.

When it comes to cleansing and moisturizing your girl has tried everything. Drugstore brands, Proactive, Dermalogica, natural remedies and I’ve always had some form of a breakout every few weeks. After having a baby, my skin went from oily to dry and everything I thought I had learned about my skin was useless. I knew I wanted to try Beauty Counter for a long time but the prices made me shy away, hoping I would find a cheaper option that would be my magic acne cure. I decided as a gift to myself for the holidays I would go all in and purchase the Countermatch Regimen to try out the entire line and see what products worked.  If you have the funds to purchase the whole kit, girlfriend DO IT! But if you’re looking for the essential must haves, the cleansing balm and Countermatch moisturizer are it. The cleansing balm is my all time favorite and they have a travel size for $40 that has lasted forever! It’s a mask, a cleanser, a moisturizer and heaven all in one little jar. I was super skeptical about cleansing with such a thick and “greasy” balm but it’s so soothing on your skin and leaves you dewey, not oily. I would 1000% buy it again.

My daily moisturizer for the past few months has been the Countermatch Adaptive Moisture lotion by Beauty Counter. I love their products because I can feel good knowing there are no harsh chemicals or additives that wreak havoc on your body over time. It’s perfectly lightweight and is designed to match the moisture needs of your skin which literally can change from day to day. I put this on my wet skin and allow it to fully absorb before putting on my makeup for the day. A little goes a long way and I love how lightweight it is. Perfect for any season too which I love because that means I’m not having to switch out products for the summer. 10/10 would recommend.

The last thing I’ve implemented is DIY Dermaplaning- basically shaving my face. Ya’ll this one is key because if your skin is covered in hair, dead skin cells and remnants of your makeup, those amazing (expensive) products you’re putting on top are not getting the chance to soak in to the deeper layers of tissue. I am NOT trained to do this but I watched a few YouTube videos and feel confident doing this for me, and only me. I use an eyebrow razor that I get in the makeup section at Target, my cleansing balm and warm water to give myself a little mini facial about once a month. After cleansing, I keep my skin moist and carefully shave away the top layer of gunk going both directions. It takes 10 minutes and my skin is left feeling amazing. I then apply a good layer of my balm to soak in for the evening.

Ya’ll I am by no means a beauty guru but I have a fine appreciation for taking good care of the only skin I’ve been given. As I get older, safer yet effective products that are not a massive waste of money are super important to me so I’m happy to share these picks with you in the hopes that you find them useful!

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Saying “No” so you can put yourself first

I don’t like to say no… Now, I’m not talking about to my toddler because we all know he hears that word A LOT. But you get it, right? Can you get this finished by Friday? Yes. Can you do dinner on Wednesday? Yes. Can you bake something for the potluck tomorrow? Yes. Can you design my friends sister’s wedding invitations? Yes… It’s easy to get stuck in the perpetual trap of saying yes but before we know it, we are putting ourselves and our families aside to accommodate others.

I love helping others, I really really do. And surrounding yourself with good friends who are willing to return your favors is so important. But sometimes we have to say no and that’s okay. Especially when it’s unlikely that your back will be scratched in return. Entering toddlerhood with our son really put a spotlight on this for me.

A toddler needs so much of your attention that you probably don’t even give yourself everything you need. I’m talking about crawling into bed without a shower because you’re too freaking tired, skipping lunch so you can take your babe to their doctor appointment, or reheating the same crappy cup of coffee 3 times because you haven’t been able to sit down and drink it. Forget pedicures, uninterrupted meals and warm coffee. Who has time for those anymore?! Can you see how adding all of those extra things to your schedule on top of your already busy life can really take away from not only your babe but yourself? Honey, you already come in last most days. Give yourself a BREAK!

Gone are the days that you could still make a lunch date or a shopping trip work because your baby would snooze in their little infant carseat and only wake for a bottle or diaper. Now you have this little personality that runs, throws food and decides for the whole household if it’s going to be an eating day or a non-eating day.

It’s okay to say yes, too. It’s fun to grab the babysitter and go out for dinner with friends or brave the restaurant with your kids on a good day. But you also don’t have to feel guilty if you want to stay home to catch up on laundry and not totally F up your child’s bedtime in the middle of the week. To each their own.

Long story short, it’s okay to say no. Because now you have this awesome excuse we call “children” and anyone who has kids of their own will understand when you have to say no. Don’t apologize or feel bad for putting your child or yourself first.

Say no to one thing this week and take time for yourself, you deserve it.

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Hi, I’m Emily.

The older, yet not always wiser sister, my name is Emily and I’m excited to be embarking on a new wellness endeavor with my built in bff. I’m the talker, the joiner and the over achiever but motherhood has changed my life so much and doing this thing alongside my sister has only added to the magic of being a new mom.

I live in southern Minnesota with my husband, our 9 month old, Violet, and a giant black lab puppy named Josie. I talk for my job, travel all across southern MN and office out of my home. This means I have to be creative and mindful in my wellness pursuits- our life is not built for routine! I spend my days learning about safer products & healthier eats, exploring new ways of fitness, drinking far too much coffee, loving on our girls and listening to all the true crime podcasts I can get my hands on.

Wellness to me means embracing the journey towards health in all areas of life. Balance is not something that comes naturally to me so focusing on doing what we can, with what we got while sharing that journey with others fills my (coffee) cup. So if you’re into that sort of thing, I think we’re meant to be friends. Take a peek at some of the awesome recipes, cleaner swaps, wellness tips and mom moments we have to share with you.

Cheers!

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