Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ditching plastics and . . . the water bottle of all water bottles!

There have been many reports about the dangers of plastics and how its best to reduce exposure to them as much as possible.  Plastics are dangerous because they leach chemicals into our food and water, even plastic products which are labeled 'BPA' free (bisphenol A) are not as safe as first thought.  

BPA, which mimics the hormone estrogen, has been linked to a long list of serious health problems (cancer, diabetes, obesity, infertility, heart disease, developmental problems, ADHD, and the list goes on).  The latest research reflects that many of the chemicals used in BPA free plastics are just as (if not more) dangerous as BPA and contain synthetic estrogens as well.   

I wanted to created a safer, healthier home in regards to plastics. Water bottles always came to mind first when I’d think about cutting out plastics, but I could never find one that was 100% plastic free that I liked.

In the past, I used plastic water bottles but then I switched to glass ones, however, they still had some type of plastic on them - like a 'BPA free' lid or spout.  I had two of them and they both broke and I wanted something more durable and completely plastic free.  I have been on the hunt for the perfect water bottle for a long time for both myself and my kids.  

Here is the really embarrassing part.... my kids were WAY overdue (blush, blush) on graduating from sippy cups - ages 5 and 7 (cringe).  They love going to bed with a sippy when they get thirsty during the night, and they love bringing their water on the go.  I love that that sippys don’t leak or spill, but I don't love that they are plastic or have plastic parts.  So . . . I have done my research and found the bottle of all bottles!  

Introducing Pura! They are 100% plastic free and the cool thing is that they convert (with interchangeable tops) from bottle, to sippy, to straw, to a sport top (for kids and adults) to seamlessly transition with your children through the different stages of life.  They even have silicone sealing discs that are used as a lid to change the bottle into a snack carrier.  Their motto is ‘One Life . . . One Bottle’.   They are made of food-grade stainless steel and the spouts are made of silicone- which are really convenient to drink from and are considered safe. 

I found these online and I first ordered one for myself (I bought the 22 oz insulated bottle) to make sure that I liked it and that the stainless steel didn't give off a weird taste - and it didn't whatsoever.  

I loved it so much that I then got the 11 oz. straw bottles for my kids.  These bottles are easy to carry and grip because they have silicone sleeves on them (some of them come with the sleeve and others don't- but you can order the sleeve if the style you want doesn't come with one).   My kids and I are totally loving these and you can too - check the Pura bottles out here

When I first started reading about the dangers of plastics, I got thinking.... its not just about water bottles..... my kids are eating off of plastic dishes and using plastic utensils too.  So, I tossed them, later realizing I should have recycled them (oops, cringe, blush), and thats when my kids began using the adult ceramic plates and normal utensils.  My kids felt proud to be “so big” to be able to use the Mommy and Daddy plates and I felt so much better because I knew they were no longer eating with un-safe products.

Finally, I replaced our plastic food storage containers with glass ones (Pyrex).  The lids are still plastic, but I feel that’s ok because it not containing the food, it’s just creating the seal.  Also, I try not to run the plastic lids through the dishwasher because the high temperatures in dishwashers cause plastics to leach more - so I usually just hand wash them.

So, please learn from me:  Don't let your kids use sippy cups past the toddler stage (like I did), ditch the plastics in your home, recycle your old plastics (like I should have - cringe), and do your research too so that you are aware of just how dangerous using plastics can be - it's great motivation for ditching plastic.  Oh, and order some Pura bottles soon.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Get a15% off Coupon and H&M by Recycling...

I took my kids to H & M today and we got two 15% off coupons for recycling, here is what we did.... Earlier, I was going through my storage closet and found two bags of old sheets I no longer use. 

So, we hopped in the car and brought them in to H & M to get our coupons. If you bring in a shopping bag size of any kind of cloth (it can be old clothing - any condition, old sheets, rags, drapes - anything cloth!) you get a 15% off coupon for your entire order. You can bring in up to two bags at a time and get one coupon per bag.  Because it's getting recycled, it doesn't matter what condition or what kind of cloth it is - so now you know what to do with all those old socks that have holes in them! Get the details on their recycling program here.

After we turned in our two bags, we started back-to-school shopping and I was going to use one of my coupons but remembered to check my Retail Me Not app- which I highly suggest getting!  I checked it and currently there is a coupon for 20 percent off your entire order when you spend $60+.  Since we were back to school shopping we were definitely going to spend at least $60.  This coupon ends this Sunday, August 14th, so hurry up!

Since I used the Retail Me Not coupon, I was able to use that and save my recycling coupons for next time (they are good for one year).  Back to school shopping is in full swing, so I suggest you do this too (recycle and get the Retail Me Not app, which can save you so much- check it at every store you visit before you buy anything).

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How to get all the toys in a McDonald's Happy Meal set...... without buying Happy Meals!

My kids (and my husband and I too) LOVED The Secret Life of Pets movie. McDonald's happy meals currently have little miniature stuffed animals as the 'toy' in the meal, and they are adorable!
I took the kids to McDonalds and they were loving the Secret Life of Pets toys and wanting to go back again to get more. Sorry kids, we're not eating that many happy meals to get all of the toys in the set. So..... my husband came up with an awesome alternative . . . he found the whole set on eBay for around $23, which is much less than buying that many Happy Meals.
So . . . the next time your kids want the whole set of a happy meal toy set, check eBay! You're welcome ;)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Lemongrass essential oil - Mom fail!

So I read that lemongrass essential oil can work as a mosquito repellent. Mosquitos LOVE me so I was excited to use this oil as a repellent. About 6 months ago, I dabbed some on myself before I went to an outdoor mountain bbq, and I had zero mosquito bites - hooray! So this year, my family and I were out watching fireworks on the 4th of July and we could see mosquitos flying about. I put the oil on myself .... and my kids. I was fine, but a minute later, my kids were screaming and saying that their skin was burning. I felt terrible!
Our neighbor (who's front yard we were in) invited us in and I remembered that water won't work to get the oil off (because water and oil separates), but olive oil will work to dilute the oil. So, my neighbors and I dabbed olive oil on my kids (you could see where I had dabbed the essential oil) and within a minute my kids were both calmed down and fine. I'm so glad that worked and that we were still able to stay out and see the fireworks (I was initially thinking we would have to leave and go bathe the kids).
Lesson learned..... kids skin is so much more sensitive than adults skin is. Essential oils are amazing, and potent, so remember to always, always, always DILUTE the oils with a carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil or olive oil) BEFORE applying to kids' skin. But there is good news.........none of us had mosquito bites that night, so the lemongrass oil really does work!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Easy chicken dinners for two days in a row!

So sometimes on Sundays, I will buy a rotisserie chicken from Costco. We have it for dinner that night along with a can of Bush's baked beans, corn on the cob, and whatever fruit we have on hand; watermelon, pineapple, peaches, etc.
I use the leftover chicken for the following night's dinner.  I use the leftover chicken with this recipe from Real Mom Kitchen, which has so many great recipes! It's so good and easy but most of all, my kids like it too! Here is the recipe, enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Easy curls without the damage

My hair is pretty damaged but I prefer it curled rather than straight. I have been trying other ways of curling my hair without using heat. Braiding it when almost dry and then sleeping on it while braided, or twisting it up into a bun after a shower and sleeping on it. But I recently came across Savvy Curls on Instagram and decided to give it a try. It's a thermal headband you wrap your hair into and it produces curls.
I just got mine and tried it for the first time last night. You can do it when your hair is about 70 percent wet, or you can do it from completely dry hair, with some mousse. I tried it last night with about 70 percent wet hair. This morning it came out VERY curly, which is fun and I got really bouncy curls. Granted, I did have to use the flat iron a little bit, to iron out some kinks (see third picture down), but other than that I left the house with bouncy curls without using hardly any heat at all.
Next time I want to try it with dry hair + mousse and see if the curls come out looser. You can even work out with the headband on and the body heat you produce while exercising helps curl your hair. It will be fun to experiment with. I am excited to see how long the curls I did last night will last. I usually go 5-6 days between washes and when I curl my hair with an iron, the curls last 1-2 (sometimes 3) days (by day 3 they are extremely loose). So... we will see! I wanted to pass this info along to my Know It Mom followers, because the more arsenal we have when it comes to easy hair, the better, right?
Here are some pics of my first time using my Savvy Curls headband. Oh they have one headband that is a single band, or a "convertible" band that has two bands to get curls that are a little higher, and I'm guessing makes your hair even curlier than just the single. I bought the convertible band and used it as the convertible. The cool thing about the convertible is that the second band is removable so it turns into the single band. Next time, I also want to try just using it as a single band to see how it compares to using the two bands that I did this first time. The website for Savvy Curls has easy video tutorials that show you exactly how to use the headbands. Check out the headbands here Savvy Curls