Happy Thanksgiving!


I am so thankful for my beautiful family and the addition of my little bundle of joy this year. She has changed my life completely, it hasn’t been a pretty transition, but I wouldn’t change a thing! OK I might change a few things………

I’m also thankful that I was able to make the olive picking this year at my friend’s ranch, last year I was in my first trimester and super nauseous. Can’t wait for our homemade olive oil soon!

Hope everyone enjoys the day.

Lots of organic love,


Organic Baby Clothes: Hanna Andersson

hannaanderssonI am obsessed with this clothing line for my little one that has great organic options. Well that’s a lie, I did pin some organic pajamas for myself for Christmas. Yes my husband looks at my Pinterest boards for present ideas, take notes guys! But overall I have more fun shopping for my little one than for me.

Because babies have such underdeveloped systems it means their bodies are not capable of handling the same level of toxins as ours. And because she is in clothes all day everyday in one form or another I try to use organic cotton as much as possible.

As you may or may not know due to the pesticides used in growing and producing cotton, it is one of the most toxin producing crops out there. It is not known how much of the pesticides that are used end up residing in the fibers of our clothing. I’d rather not risk it though when possible.

Thankfully lots of popular stores are now carrying organic lines, like H&M and Gap. Personally I prefer to have a smaller wardrobe for little M that is made up of quality pieces. That’s where Hanna Andersson comes in. Everything  I have ordered from them has been beautiful. I bought two organic onesies recently and they were so incredibly soft. From the reviews I read online moms have said their pieces have lasted through several children, fingers crossed!

Hanna Andersson pajamas are the only ones that work for little M right now because they are organic, zippered (why would someone think it’s a good idea to have 20 buttons on an article of clothing you have to change in the dark?) and open at the feet. She is a long baby and also a very kicky baby! She kicks herself out of the footie pajamas and gets them stuck in the crotch area, it’s funny until she is screaming for the 3rd time in the middle of the night about it.

The main reason I was drawn to this company though is they have a ton of organic options. The clothing that is not organic is usually OEKO-TEX certified, meaning it has been tested for a long list of known harmful toxins (European standards which are much stricter than U.S. standards).

Oh also if you sign up for their email updates they have sales ALL the time, I think I have paid full price for only one item. Enjoy!

That’s what my baby is wearing lately so thought I would share, what is in your baby’s closet?

I thought you should know that I was not reimbursed in any way for this review, I just found a new clothing store and wanted to share. Enjoy mammas!

Non-Toxic Makeup Swaps

I don’t wear a ton of makeup but I was very loyal to the makeup I wore everyday. I had found an under-eye concealer that I swore I would take with me as my one personal item on “Survivor” should I ever make the show. I love it so much, I would chose it over a flint. Somebody else would surely bring that…..

However, when I started learning about all the harmful toxins in my makeup products I knew I would have to start making some changes. I will admit it took me a while because I was so scared about what I might miss out on. Would I start smelling like paculi and have to smash up my own charcoal for eyeliner? I am happy to report that none of that is true! I am walking around looking like my old self, just a little bit less toxic.

Essentially what you will find in your typical popular cosmetics are hormone disrupting toxins and carcinogens. I don’t think scientists know the long-term effects of hormone disruptors yet, but they have been linked to fertility problems, early onset of puberty and lots or other hormonal problems. You’re not going to be growing a third eye or anything, but you want to steer clear.

Now you might think, “Hey it’s probably a small amount, switching my makeup won’t matter that much!” But think about how much exposure you have on a daily basis. Say on a typical day you take a shower with your endocrine disrupting shampoo and conditioner. Then you apply makeup containing lead, phthalates and parabens. Let’s even throw in getting dressed with non-organic clothing containing residual pesticides and a toxic detergent! This is all before 9am.

You get the idea. You don’t have to change your whole life. This is about what would be practical for you. But if there is makeup out there that doesn’t contain those toxins and doesn’t leave you looking like Cruella De Ville………winning!

Here is what my old go-to makeup routine involved:


  1. Laura Mercier secret concealer. I use it as an under eye concealer (seriously the best, so creamy!)
  2. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum
  3. Clinique Airbrush Concealer in Fair. I use it as a highlighter under the eyes.
  4. Clinique Quickliner for eyes intense. In intense black.
  5. Nars allover stick in orgasm.
  6. Christian Dior Diorshow mascara in black.
  7. Anastasia Beverly Hills brow gel (if you aren’t using one of these yet, it will change your life)

So what I have found so far to make some swaps for everyday wear is:


  1. RMS beauty “un” cover-up number 11. It goes on smoothly and is pretty rich. It’s not quite as creamy as the Laura Mercier, meaning I can’t apply when my face is bone dry, but it is still a great replacement and comes in different shades.
  2. Andalou naturals cc 1000 roses cream, It’s a tinted moisturizer with SPF 30. Plus it smells so good I had to check the ingredients to make sure there weren’t harsh fragrances in it. I got this at Whole Foods but if you don’t have one of those near you, you can find it on Drugstore.com
  3. Jane Iredale “Active Light” in number 4 (LOVE THIS)
  4. I haven’t found a great eyeliner yet but I am using the Jane Iredale “Mystikol”one. It flakes a bit though so make sure you apply before running out the door. I found this out the hard way while out to dinner for a friend’s birthday, I walked into the restroom at the end of dinner and I had full on raccoon eyes! Thanks friends for the heads up! Their excuse was it was dark…..
  5. Mineral Fusion 3-in-1 color in Terra Cotta; this one took me a while since I loved my Nars stick so much. I found this at Whole foods (super convenient), but if you are not near one then you can find it on Amazon. I got a more pinky color than I wanted and there is a coral one that I need to try next – but the creaminess and quality is spot-on.
  6. I have been using the Jane Iredale “Purelash” mascara in black for an everyday makeup. And by everyday I mean when I am actually able to shower that day and when I have enough time after showering to put on makeup before the baby starts screaming.
  7. Jane Iredale “Purebrow” gel in clear. It definitely does the trick.

If the hubs and I are having a big night out then I hate to admit it but I still go for the chemical laced brands. They do perform better. But I figure that isn’t everyday so I have reduced my toxic intake significantly by using the non-toxic ones everyday.For more education I love this page from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, that goes through the most common toxins, what products typically contain those toxins, and why they are a concern. Also, if you get as angry as I do with the lack of regulations our government has in place for this industry, there is a Take Action tab on their website as well. It automatically populates letters to your congressman that you can e-sign and send demanding better laws for our protection. Interestingly, a lot of these toxins are banned in Europe and Asia, but some companies will actually make a different formula for the same product to sell in the U.S. that is cheaper (with more toxins!)

And if you want more makeup recommendations there is a great blogger, Organic Bunny, who is way more makeup savvy than I and is constantly reviewing organic makeup. There is also an incredible online store EcoDiva that is purely organic makeup.

Have fun!

Honest Company Carrier Review; First Plane Ride With an Infant

IMG_3863We survived our first plane ride with our 4 month old and I think baby wearing made it so much easier! I was able to go through security without even taking her out of the carrier. Because of this she stayed asleep until we started to take off and then I nursed her on the ascent.

I used my Honest Company carrier (which is essentially the Beco Gemini) and I love it. It is so easy to get on and off myself, I’ve had moms watch me who have the ergocarrier and ask me what carrier I was using. I don’t know how you ladies reach all the way up and clip those snaps on your back with a baby on the front! I am flexible but I am no contortionist. The Honest Carrier snaps on the sides so you hold the baby with one hand and snap with the other, easy peasy! There are also no extra accessories needed like and infant insert.

I am perfectly comfortable wearing her for a few hours walking around the mall, or through the airport. If I were going to go on a hike for a half day I would probably find a different carrier that is made for that kind of activity.

Well I hope your first travels go as well as mine did and let me know if you have found other organic carriers that are working for you!

P.S. I thought you should know that I was not reimbursed in any way for this review and was not provided with the carrier. These opinions are my own.



One of the most important items to me in the nursery beyond the paint (see past article here) is the crib. When I thought about what makes the most sense to be organic in her nursery, I figured she would spend a ton of time in her crib. I mean babies sleep almost the whole day right? Insert depressing joke here about my baby never napping……….

Since my little peanut will be in the crib for at least 8 hours a night (dear God, I hope eventually that is true) and going zombie baby (a term coined by my walking dead fan husband to describe our daughter chewing on anything from a toy to his arm) on the railings, safety is super important to me. So to me it makes sense to splurge on this item and go organic.

I started my researching journey with The Honest Company (you will see a pattern of this emerging) and their crib, which is made by Babyletto (a division of the Million Dollar Baby brand). I looked at other Babyletto cribs after finding out the reason Honest Company partnered with them, they make solid wood cribs with non-toxic finishes.

I loved this one to the right from Babyletto . But you can find many others on Amazon, Buy Buy M6701QW_crib_angle_resize_gg_11Baby etc. Most of them say they are  non-toxic but I found that models with drawers of any kind either below or on the side use particle boards for the bottom, and that’s a no no in my book.

The reason this is a concern is that particle board, poplar wood, plywood, or any kind of glued-together wood typically has a host of chemicals in the glue. Most dangerously, they may contain formaldehyde. That’s right, the same stuff they use to preserve dead bodies. Beyond being creepy, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. What a great thing to put in baby furniture! Who’s wonderful cost cutting idea was that? If you would like to read more on formaldehyde there is a good Q&A by an environmental journalist who cites some good sources for you to research further at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-grayson/eco-etiquette-should-i-fr_b_814096.html

If you are feeling lazy or are an overwhelmed mom like myself trying to research this while nursing at 4am I will summarize it for you. It’s pretty simple when you think about it; babies have a weaker immune system, respiratory system, and pretty much everything system than an adult. However, most studies on the effects of formaldehyde have been done on adults or haven’t been done at all. So when a manufacturer tells you “our product meets all the CA or US government standards”, that is not sufficient. They do know that the off-gassing by products containing formaldehyde can lead to many health problems including an increased risk of cancer. I want a 100% formaldehyde free crib please! Keep the formaldehyde for the dead bodies.

So here were the best options I found:

  1. Honest Company Crib
  2. Babyletto crib with no drawers like the one referenced above
  3. Ikea’s Sniglar is a good option if you have a really limited budget. It is all solid unfinished wood (you can stain it whatever color you want) except for the board under the mattress. You would have to replace that or seal it since it is engineered wood.
  4. Baby Mod cribs from Walmart, like Babyletto they are owned by Million Dollar Baby as well. They supposedly have the same non-toxic, solid wood build, though I am a little skeptical
  5. Of course you can shop anywhere as long as you chose a solid wood crib with non-toxic finishes. Or better yet get an unfinished one and stain it yourself whatever color you like. You can check out some safe stains and sealants here: http://www.greenbuildingsupply.com/All-Products/Paints-Coatings-Wood-Stains-Sealers

I ended up choosing the Honest Company crib since it had a similar price tag to the Babyletto cribs but it converts to a full size bed, plus they donate to a fund with every purchase you make that supports kids. I’m a sucker for those. Let me know if you find other good cribs and show me some pics! Hope this was helpful :)



Of course since the main driver for me changing my lifestyle was my own little peanut I was going to make sure her very first room in this world was not going to cause her any harm. Cue my paranoid mom phase (adding in a dash of pregnancy hormones) and there was no way my husband was going to complain about the heftier price tag of the paint. So we found ONE bonus to raging pregnancy hormones, sweet.

We moved into a new house when I was five months pregnant (no stress there) and the room we had designated as the nursery was painted a pepto pink with a brown ribbon painted across every wall……….yeah……….no judgement, just soooooo not my cup of tea. So painting was the first step.

I read somewhere that there was a zero VOC (volatile organic compounds; read about them here http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html) paint at Home Depot. I thought, hey my husband loves Home Depot, win-win! So we grab a can of the primer and bring it to the paint guy, who looks like he has sniffed one too many cans of paint thinner, to have some color added to it. The older woman next to him (who will now be referred to as my fairy paint mother) says “you know once color is added to the primer, VOC’s are added back in?”

Uhhhh no I did not know that! What the hell is the point then?! The oh so helpful employee then tells me that I shouldn’t worry as VOCs don’t emit gas (known as off-gassing) once the paint is dry.

Now I may not be a scientist but yeah I know that’s not true. Before I could launch into a full fledged lecture on the dangers of off gassing my husband politely says we won’t be taking the paint and leads me out of his treasured homeland. I tell you this not to dis Home Depot (my hubby still drags me there for everything but paint) but so that you won’t be fooled by the greenwashing! Grrr it makes me mad in case you can’t tell.

MythicPaintTo make a long story short back to researching I went. I came across two brands that were zero VOC, Yolo and Mythic. Luckily for me they were both carried at a green building supply store in Berkeley (shocking I know). Check out their websites to see where you can buy them locally or you can order online; Mythic https://www.mythicpaint.com/searchDealer.aspx and Yolo http://www.colorhousepaint.com/store-locator/.

I went with the Mythic paint Black Label paint/primer in one. The guy there said it had slightly better performance. They even matched the color I had picked out from the hazardous brand. Score! I snagged some non-toxic chalk paint there as well to paint the closet doors with. Yes, I know I may be encouraging my daughter to draw on the walls, but it was an impulse buy. I will post pictures in a few years of my walls with markers all over them and we can all have a good laugh.

nurseryprimedWe were able to get all the painting done in one day and it only took one coat with touch-ups, which says a lot about the paint as we were going from pink with dark brown to light grey. We did however do a primary coat just on the brown ribbon before starting to prevent it from showing through. There was almost no smell, but I still used a mask since I was pregnant and also aired out the room for a full week before opening the heating vent or door.

I think it turned out great and I feel so much better knowing the paint will not be off-gassing for years to come. It was a more expensive paint for sure- about $50 in total for two gallons of the paint/primer and the quarter gallon of chalkboard paint. It turned out we didn’t need the second gallon of paint, but I’m glad we have it for future touch-ups. I also chose a color that will work for both a girl and boy so we don’t have to re-paint for the next child.

Do you like my rationalizations? My husband did :)

Good luck on your future paint jobs!


Buying a Non-Toxic Stroller


I’m embarrassed to admit how many hours I spent researching strollers. I think I lost track after a while as it just became part of everyday routine. Have some coffee, research a stroller, eat lunch, watch a YouTube video review and spill crumbs on my keyboard. You get the idea. It wasn’t just online either. When I was pregnant, I would stop moms on the street and ask them what kind of stroller they had and what they liked/didn’t like about it. To all the moms who helped me out, thank you  :)

One of the most frustrating things was trying to research what materials were in the strollers and who made a non-toxic one. You have to look out for PVC and flame-retardants. That’s the big one as most companies use polyurethane foam, which contains flame retardants (learn more about my concern here http://greensciencepolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/SafeKidsFlyer2014v2.pdf ). And no, I do not want to increase my child’s risk of bursting into flames, but the chances of that happening vs. my kid sitting in hazardous toxins every day………I’ll choose door number one!

There is a great series done by Organic Baby University; it’s a three-part series, so make sure to look them all up. Some of them are outdated, but it helps narrow down the field, and in the comments sections, some moms have updated results. http://organicbabyuniversity.com/blog/2011/07/toxic-flame-retardants-in-your-home-strollers-part-1/ Essentially it narrows it down to:

  • Baby Jogger
  • Phil & Ted (some strollers have PVC in the sunshade)
  • Mountain Buggy
  • Orbit (really expensive)
  • McClaran

There were some companies that did not respond to her inquiries so maybe if you got an answer they could be added to the safe list.

If you are curious about a stroller (or anything really) containing any dangerous flame retardant elements, you can send in a sample of it to Duke University for testing. (Check it out at http://foam.pratt.duke.edu/)phil&tedsmartlux

Baby Jogger is partnered with Honest Company, and I think you get free diapers with the purchase from them, so that is definitely worth checking out. I went with the Phil & Teds Smart Lux stroller; https://philandteds.com/us/Products/Push/smart-lux#.Vg1k2Wa-uDo

 I chose this stroller mainly because I liked that you could flip the seat to face forward or backward (even though my husband said the baby won’t want to be staring at me…Wrong!) and you can use it as a bassinet when they are infants. Since all car seats are required to have some level of flame-retardant (read this great article by Non-Toxic Munchkin to learn more) figure that the less time she spends in there, the better. Here are my thoughts on the stroller we purchased:

  • Super easy to put together and fold up for the car
  • It’s the same seat for bassinet and for an older child, meaning no extra parts to store
  • The seat is incredibly easy to adjust
  • You can steer it one-handed and it turns on a dime, very important when having to open doors yourself (ladies in the South, this might not be as necessary for you, since I’m told gentlemen are still in abundance)
  • The basket underneath is very accessible
  • While the large, air-filled back tires make for an easy ride, they are also prone to flats. I had two in the first three months. My husband fixed them with a simple patch kit from the hardware store but it wasn’t the easiest job.
  • It’s pretty heavy, only a few pounds less than the City Jogger City Select, and that can be a two person stroller
  • The canopy is sadly small when you are using it as a bassinet. Iit only goes down halfway, which sucks if you are facing away from the sun. When I use it as a seat, though, it should be sufficient..
  • It doesn’t have a tray option, so when the kids get older, I will have to figure out how to allow them to much on snacks etc.
  • I couldn’t find any stores that carried it, so I wasn’t able to test it out ahead of time.

All in all, though, I have been very happy with it and I get lots of compliments on it, since most people aren’t familiar with the brand. Anyone else with a great non-toxic stroller they like?

Happy Shopping!