The 10 BEST Natural Beauty Products You Need To Try Now…

We all should know by now that our skin is our biggest organ. I have tried so, so many products over the last few years to find you all the best items. Some are good..some are bad…some are great!! I’m here to tell you about the products I do not go without now. They are classics and hard to beat.

It’s hard to switch to a completely natural lifestyle. It’s taken me years to learn and I am still learning. And sometimes, it’s impossible to avoid chemicals it feels. BUT… we can try to avoid them. At least to even just bring peace of mind.

And one thing I love.. Beauty Products! I have never been a full on junkie. I usually bought a few quality things and loaded up on some cheaper goods for fun or variety. So when I realized I was having reactions to things I changed it up mostly! Now, I am a self-proclaimed minimalist and love natural products.

Here are some MAJOR first steps to take to change your skincare routine for something clean & green!

10 Best Beauty Items To Have Now

 

 

  • Major First Step: Your Deodorant

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant, $4.99 Target

 

Deodorant can contain aluminum. Why is this bad? Aluminum levels are linked directly to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s & even liver toxicity. So exposure to is definitely playing a factor here. I do like Arm & Hammers Essentials but Schmidt’s is now found at Target for only $4.99…shop link now!! This one doesn’t leave you feeling sticky or stinky. It’s perfect.

 

 

  • Your Soap

everyone soap 3 in 1 $9.99 Target

Changing to a naturally derived soap will help maintain a natural ph balance. This means your skin will stop working overtime trying to correct what toxins are doing to it. Using harmful soaps can leave you dry or even oily in some cases if your body is trying to repair the damage. So don’t lather on too many chemicals here. Plus it can be bad for the water!! I love this soap because it smells great, we can all use it & it’s not expensive but cuts out a lot of the harmful ingredients still. Plus it’s huge!! Score.

  • Your Face Wash (Hands Down..The Best Stuff Right Here)

ACURE Brightening Facial Scrub $9.99 Amazon

Oh me..oh my… I am hooked..never looking back. I have been reading about Acure for awhile. And on Amazon Prime day I scored a bunch for half off. And there is a reason the aisles of your local Target are usually sold out of it. It works and is amazing!!!! Clean, green and wonderful!! Try Acure Brightening Facial Scrub asap!!

  • Your Lotion

WELEDA Skin Food $12 Amazon

This lotion is ranked highly among all who have come across it. Not only is this brand great at natural products, they have created the perfect formula. I use this for major dry skin, pedicures, sun burns..you name it. I don’t have to feel bad slathering this on. Amazon runs sales on it too! I scored my last bottle for only $5 there.

  • Your Toothpaste

WELEDA Calendula Toothpaste $12 for 2 Amazon

 

I know what you’re thinking…how could Toothpaste be bad? Well it is. While I usually reach for Tom’s brand myself, I have learned recently that may not even be enough. Your toothpaste may can contain Triclosan in the worst cases too. It is toxic and can be linked to disease. Take a look Here..even the FDA is admitting it now and removing it from products. It hasn’t been removed from Toothpaste yet though!!! Other countries already have it banned from products. Just make sure you have a Toothpaste that is nice and natural. Dr. Bronner’s also makes amazing Toothpaste we all love.

  • Your Face Mask: The Best!!

Indian Healing Clay $9.99 Amazon

Yes it works. Combine with a little water and Apple Cider Vinegar and you have your self a miracle mask. This will actually get rid of black heads, clear your skin and keep you looking fresh and bright. Just check out the other reviews..thousands of people swear by this. And the price is phenomenal for what it does and how much it will make! Get rid of of the rest and stick with the best.

  • Your Nail Polish

Pacifica 7 Free Nail Color $9 Ulta

 

Our beloved nail polish can contain formaldehyde among many other hormone disrupting factors. Even the nail technicians wear masks!! Julep, Butter and even Jamberry have toxin free options though. The colors actually last. I stocked up on a few lovely colors to alternate on for each season!

 

  • Your Shampoo & Conditioner

yesto Shampoo & Conditioner $7.99 each Amazon

 

Your hair will actually work overtime to correct the damage done to it as well. It’s why I love to choose mostly natural options. Ever had dry ends and oily roots? Well this could help that. There are many harsh chemicals even in shampoo. So if you want healthy, shiny locks switch to a naturally derived option to protect yourself and the tresses. Avoid parabens and sulfates. Some chemicals in soaps actually do not break down in water. So they are bad for water too. I love Acure, Burts Bees and many others too!

  • Your Lips

Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer & Tints $4.99 each Amazon

 

This one of my favorite products of all time. Gorgeous colors with stunning results. The cost is amazing for these little beauties. Parabens, petroleum & oxybenzone are just some of the issues with chapsticks and lipsticks. They can be linked to cancer…and who wants that sitting on their lips to be ingested for the rest of their life?

  • Your Foundation

Physicians Formula Foundations $10-14.99

 

Another big way to care about your skin is foundation. Tarte, Lush and Origins all have awesome foundations you can use but this one is a decent start for someone.

Continue reading The 10 BEST Natural Beauty Products You Need To Try Now…

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3 Ways To Get Organized & Stay Organized: Daily Tips & Weekly Plans For Budgets, Chores and More

New year, new you! Ok..it is not a new you but you can improve anything or change anything that you desire. That is the beauty of this world. There are things I’m absolutely no good at and others I think I’m pretty decent at! For instance, I used to struggle to stay organized and usually found myself under so much pressure and stress! Now, I’m a planner-packing Momma with a plan for just about everything.

I like to call it organized chaos…

Do I always follow through on every plan?….Definitely do not. But making lists and goals will dramatically change the way you handle things and what you can accomplish. If you’re feeling run down, always busy, stressed, whatever it may be….I am going to share my secrets for you.. to keeping things mostly together to avoid that Hot Mama Mess! I’ve been there, it sucks. And I promise these little habits do make things feel easier.

1. Make a weekly plan for chores, workouts, meals, errands….

That’s right. Seems tedious but it works. And pretty soon you’ll have made such a habit from this, that you’ll have it memorized and accomplish tasks like a pro (even if you’re frowning, downing coffee..you’re getting it done like a boss) For instance, I like to grocery shop on Saturday mornings so I can relax the rest of the week.

I also like to tackle one daily chore throughout the weekdays too. That way once Saturday afternoon hits, I’m a free woman. No cleaning, minimal cooking and my house is wonderfully clean & stocked with food and I can rest till Monday. No questions about what to eat either!

When I complete every task each day, that I knew was on schedule, I feel happy and less like there is so much to do. It frees up more time in my day and keeps me from frantically trying to keep everything clean at once….which is impossible!!! So set real goals!

Weekly chores/tasks ideas:

  • Monday– Wash and fold all laundry from weekend, Clean Kitchen
  • Tuesday– Deep clean bathrooms
  • Wednesday-Dust & clean floors
  • Thursday-Wash sheets
  • Friday– Organize Toys, Books, and anything that was misplaced during the week hustle.
  • Saturday– Meal Plan For 1-2 weeks and grocery shop and meal prep a few things. Run errands. (Try to do this early so you’re free the rest of the day)
  • Sunday– Minor pick up/clean up from weekend

And get kids involved if you are a mom! There are wonderful chore charts and reward systems to implement but more on that later!

Of course, you’ll have to upkeep kitchen and laundry daily too. And some weeks just don’t go according to plan. But when you give yourself a schedule, you will tend to stick to it. So write up a plan that is realistic to you!

Meal Plan Ideas:

  • Man-Day Monday– my husband goes back to work on Monday..so he gets to pick (it is usually Mexican!) Or “My Pick Monday” works wonders too!
  • Taco Tuesday -get creative!
  • Italian Wednesday– all things pasta and bread
  • Thursday Kid Night– (usually classic kid items like homemade Mac n cheese..homemade “Hamburger Helper”, diy chicken nuggets) Bonus points if you let kids get involved and excited to be in charge! Even if it’s coming straight from the store let them help or set table/clean up. Don’t have kids?… make this your favorite healthy meal!
  • Fish Friday– salmon, fried, sushi…
  • Take out Saturday– we run errands early Saturday, so having lunch or dinner out helps a lot. Even if it’s fast food, take out, or just something from the deli..we cut ourselves a break.
  • Sassy Sunday– waffles, bacon, bake a cake, grill a steak, dips, enjoy a clean home and lots of food on this day. Have a glass of wine and enjoy! Reset before Monday!

The whole week I do the same things for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is granola bars, bananas, oatmeal, fruit,overnight oats, frozen waffles etc…

Lunch is usually leftovers or salads, soups & sandwiches. And snacks are usually the same as breakfast/lunch….granola, berries, veggies. Just keep ingredients clean when store buying! I love Aldis for cheap, healthier quick snacks like travel trail mix, healthy popcorn packs for kids, rice cakes and so on..

Just make sure you write down your meal plan and bring it with you. It will create a budget and simple trip for you every week! And buy fruits and veggies that are in season so they are fresher and cheaper & to save even more money!

Weekly Workout Plan:

  • Monday– arms
  • Tuesday– abs
  • Wednesday– legs
  • Thursday– cardio
  • Friday– Yoga

Find a groove and keep to it. Hop on YouTube after work or in the morning and squeeze in a small video routine. If you want to keep going then definitely do! But I love to just turn on the Tone It Up girls and do something of theirs that suits my time and daily task. It’ll keep you moving and having basic strength and endurance you might be missing.

2. Get Rid of Clutter. For real.

Honestly, how many of you have clothes from years ago that you haven’t touched? Or way too many junk drawers? Or 3/4 empty bottle of soaps etc that have sat in the back of a cupboard? Cluttered fridge? Cluttered bathroom cabinets full of old makeup etc?

Keep it minimal! And donate/throw away things that are wasting your space.

Only buy and wear clothes that bring you joy and will have great use. (I wear the crap out of stuff but it’s all I need!) And don’t overspend! You only need a few cleaners for your home so try buying a universal soap or just keeping the main ones that will do the job mostly everywhere.

Just keep things minimal. There will be less laundry to do, less to dust and less to put away. And keep up on it too!

Donate any old movies, books, toys, or anything that truly is wasting space in your home. Someone else may be really happy to find a deal on it and all it did at your house was collect dust.

3. Have a place for every belonging. That’s Right, everything..

Keep books on shelves. Keep toys in baskets. Keep papers in folders/files. Keep blankets in baskets. Keep cabinets organized.

Keep items with other items that are the same. Have a place where everything you own belongs…

Seems simple until you have way more than you need or just don’t like to clean!

Sure I have baskets in all rooms but I feel great about it. There’s a drawer for kids in the bathroom. There’s a drawer for myself and then my husband. There’s a basket for my throw blankets. There’s a basket for books and a basket for toys in the living, that always fills up with what the kids carry around that day.

See, perfect organized chaos. Sometimes I have to take those drawers and baskets and get rid of the junk or put things back in their rooms. But it gives us a space to put things in a hurry. There will be less stress. Everyone knows their places for things. And my home looks and feels clean, which makes me feel like there’s balance to the busy.

And there will still be things out of place of course. But at-least you know where you want to put it when you’re ready 😉

Stay tuned for more ideas on getting the chaos under control!

The Timeless Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

Ah that time of year again! Where you’re scoping out all the latest and greatest items to buy your little loved ones

I used to fall victim to all-things-toys when I was a new mom. I thought for sure they’d love it all. I mean how could they not?! They love it when we are at the store…I couldn’t have been more wrong. Those toys were usually always donated after some short time.

Now don’t get me wrong..we have some goodies that have stuck around and made it through each kid. But their favorite things are usually items they can create & pretend with. So now I focus more on that than the coolest new robotic action figure…

Now there are a lot of things we already have ( just like I’m sure you have a lot already too!).. So I’ll share my ideas of some of the classic, best things to buy that will stick around during those playtimes for years to come. They will make great additions to things you may already own or they make great toys that you can add to.

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

1. Lincoln Logs $20-$50

These will stick around for years! I loved playing with these and our kids love making new homes for some of their small figurines. This bucket is at the top of their Christmas list this year. Include some cute animals & their favorite small action figures to go along with it! You can get smaller versions of this too.

LINCOLN LOGS – 100th Anniversary Tin – 111 All-Wood Pieces – Ages 3+ Construction

2. LEGO Sets $5-$100

This will keep kids entertained for quite some time and always can add their favorite character sets to it as they grow. Classic! We still love the LEGO Duplo Sets too especially for our younger littles. They play with these almost every day and get so creative. It is relaxing item for children too and really keeps them engaged. Great toys!!

I recommend starting with a box set and building baseplate like this oneLEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box& Set of 9 Lego Compatible 5X5 Building Boards for the smaller LEGO sets.

And these LEGO Duplo sets are fantastic for beginners….LEGO Pink Duplo Set , LEGO DUPLO My First Cars and Trucks

3. Melissa and Doug Stamp Set $5-20

The possibilities are endless here too. Kids can create their own images of animal kingdoms, princess castles, dino lands & so much more. So grab a big poster board or blank sheets and let them create their own little world to play on. This is something that requires no batteries, is simple and fun. Help them design their own playscape!

Here are my favorites…Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Stamp Set: Animals,Melissa & Doug Wooden Stamps Sets (2): Dinosaurs and VehiclesMelissa & Doug Drawing Pad

4. Board Games $5-25

What great way to spend that cozy holiday break….drinking cocoa, watching the snow fall and playing games with the family! We love games. Especially when the winter gets to be a bit boring, these can lighten the mood! This is a wonderful way to kick off Winter.

Buy these classics like Jenga, Operation, Candy Land, Mouse Trap, Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots, Clue & Battleship… and so much more!

5. Little People Nativity Scene & Noah’s Ark $24 & $29

I love Little People Sets. The princesses, the animals, the barn..we have so many. But these two are adorable! And perfect for the season. It inspires storytelling for your little ones and something that can be used for so long! Plus, it’s special to explain the meaning of Christmas.

Get them here..Fisher-Price Little People Nativity

Noah’s Ark Playset

6. Melissa and Doug Jumbo Stuffed Animals $25-35

These cute things are nearly 2 ft or more in size and make great play companions. Kids can tackle and play their little day away. There are lot of adorable animals to choose from and can even go bigger and bigger!

I love the Dino, Shark, & Orca Whale

7. Green Toys Build-A-Bouquet Floral Playset $12..On sale!

My daughter, and even sons, love this set! It’s so cute. They create all different kinds of flower scenes and use their little bugs and nets along with it. Great for motor skills and creativity. A must have!!

Buy Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet Floral Arrangement Playset here..

8. Green Toys Wagon $15..On sale!

Green Toys wagon

This wagon is oh so adorable and amazingly sturdy. My boys even tested it out by riding in it and it withstood them..despite its smaller frame! Green Toys make amazing products that are very durable and timeless. Get this to haul around all the goodies this Christmas!

Buy it here.. on sale!

9. Teepee Tent $49

Give the gift of space…play space that is.. Let your child set up their own little play room in this tent and get creative! Put some blocks inside or their favorite games and let them set up and design the inside. Plus they can snuggle up with cozy blankets and watch a good Christmas movie when they are done with presents & dinner. Or even camp out by the Christmas tree!

This one is on sale now…get it here!

10. Whatever their heart desires..

Ok ok… we gotta buy at least one of the overpriced items they beg for each year. I always take them to stores and let them look at the Holiday catalogs to see what kind of toy they will really go nuts over having. Picking that one thing they absolutely love, actually makes them appreciate it more.

I have done this each year now and those toys are the ones they still get out and remember exactly when it got it.

So go ahead and buy that big toy they think is the bees knees too!

Happy Holidays Loves!!

Up next is The Gentleman’s Christmas & The Ladies List!

A Lovely Little Party..Crafts, Appetizers & More..

This most recent party I planned was one of my favorites. So many cute ideas that can easily be used for the upcoming holiday gatherings!

I have had a blast the past few months! My daughter turned two and just so much going on as a family. We have really taken steps to just lay back and enjoy the small moments as a family. And we love to celebrate birthdays here!

I have always been a fan of brunches & lunches for my friends growing up. My best friend and I would go all out, even on a Saturday morning after a night of mayhem in our younger years. Plus party planning just runs in my blood. So I love that I get to channel that enjoyment into my own children’s parties now.

They get to help with the crafts, the baking and so much more. The end results and their pure fascination with it, is bliss and worth the busyness.

My little cutie loves Tinkerbell, so she had a spread that was fit for a fairy. It was such a fun variety of flavors and so many things to try.

 

The Food: Bite Size Appetizers, Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, Cheese & Meat Plates, Fruit Kabobs, Mini Pancake & Berry Bites..

Mini PB&J Shapes Bites, Local Popcorn & Cheeseballs in Bags, S’mores Snack mix, Veggies Tower with Buffalo Dip, Cramberry Cinnamon Apple Dip, Ranch Dip & Crackers

The Dessert: Mint Chocolate Chip Icing cupcakes, Strawberry Vanilla Cake and cupcakes (the best I have had, no joke)

The Crafts: Wooden Tinkerbell Fairy Wands, pompom ball toothpicks for appetizer bites & “You are Loved” pumpkins, Butterfly Banner

The Drinks: Water, Lemonade, Soda & Berry Bellinis

Decor: things I already owned around house, like flowers, vines and wooden platters, lace tablecloth & photo frame from her room with free print out

It was so much fun! The food was so good and the kids loved it. Check local produce and deli and just pick variety of fruits & veggies, along with fun dips to try. The deli should have lots of cheeseballs and meats like prosciutto, salamis & more to add to your spread.

The blue cheese stuffed olives I found in my local super store and they were amazing! A lot of places have good stuffed olives.

I used a lot of Anthropologie bowls, wooden serving platters & decor I already had around my house. So the woodland fairy theme came together nicely!

I also had a play station set up for boys and girls. There was a pink fairy table & pirate table with crafts my kids made & party favors. But I got too busy to remember those pictures! And a drink station that I loved. But again, I was too wrapped up in my cutie and it was so rainy so pics didn’t have good lighting!

The crafts…were so simple!

Wands– wooden dowels, hot glue gun, ribbon, bells & stuffing…

-Cut desired shape and glue together (I chose heart shapes) , leaving a little hole to poke the stuffing into..

-Insert wooden dowel and glue the hole shut once stuffed

-Tie a ribbon onto the dowel just below the shape, tie an additional piece of ribbon that has the bell on it to the dowels and glue the knots on ribbon to dowel.

I added a little Pom Pom ball to mine to resemble Tink’s similar little fluffs. I also plan to make a Christmas themed one too so stay tuned!

Pom Pom Toothpicks -Pom Pom balls and toothpicks

Simply insert the toothpick into the Pom Pom ball. Then use as utensils for the bite size cheeses and meats like picture. Also to stack mini pancakes etc… cost $2 total & made a ton! So cute too.

“You are Loved” Pie Pumpkin for decorating craft to take home- pumpkins, tags and twine, stamp & paint

 

Take tag and just stamp your desired message and paint choice onto gift tag, then tie to pumpkin stem. I get my paint and stamps from Hobby Lobby and many to choose from.

– decorate with glitter, stickers and more at the party for a project the kids will enjoy.

 

Then they can take it all home!

Childhood Art Project: Glow in the Dark Pillowcases

We love making things for our home. So for Halloween this year we decided to make Glow in the Dark pillowcases with each child’s artwork.

I drew little outlines for them to color in. We did our favorite shapes and colors. And they look oh so cute in the dark!!

The kids beg to sleep with these now. You can make cute Halloween themed ones or just makes ones to keep year round like we did.

You can find fabric paint at just about any store in the craft section. So get started for some family fun!

What you’ll need…

  • Glow in the Dark Fabric Paint
  • White Pillowcases
  • Paint Brushes

Have kids get creative or if you have toddlers draw a design for them and help them.

Let it dry for 24 hours and gently wash before use.

I love how they came out. It’s such a fun thing to see them get excited about. I want to see what designs you guys come up with too!

The Skinny Pasta Salad…


We all know, our best self really glows when we eat right! This is a staple in our home year round now. It’s a wonderful way to keep lunches simple and healthy. I pack it with veggies so I don’t have to feel guilty when I need a little extra😉 My kids even love it!! It’s inexpensive and quick. So check out this way to spice up your lunch today!


Ingredients: rotini pasta, spinach, pepper, tomatoes, Gorgonzola cheese, Italian dressing, cucumber, bacon bits, fresh herbs and pepper

First boil your pasta & chop your veggies..

Once pasta is drained and cooled…add 2 cups of your dressing, pepper & Italian seasoning or herbs of choice to add a little extra flavor.


Then simply add your bacon, cheese & veggies to the pasta salad and stir. Viola! 

 

Such a simple way eat right. You can add so much to this or put your own twist on it. For instance, lemon pepper carved chicken..cheese of choice..even more veggies would be perfect!! Store remainder in large bowl in the refrigerator.

Top it off with some lemon water & pair it with some fruit. You’ll be feeling and looking great in no time when you make simple changes to your diet!!