Healthy Baby Home Party #healthybaby

I am always trying to create a safe and chemical free environment in our home. It’s a slow process and hasn’t always been easy. Over the past two years I have moved towards removing toxic cleaners from our home and replacing them with DIY solutions containing lemon, vinegar and other ingredients. We use cloth diapers on our son as much as we can. We have also been trying to swap out some of the brands and foods we use for organic or most natural ones. 
Even though I am always making a conscious effort, sometimes convenience trumps those goals. With a deployed husband, toddler and baby on the way sometimes, you just have to take a shortcut to save your sanity. Seventh Generation products are the best of both worlds. Conveniently providing safe products for the home helps me get what I need in a pinch without sacrificing the quality. 
I was so excited when I heard they were looking for hosts to help spread the word through their Healthy Baby Home Party campaign. I was even more excited when I was one of the ones selected to host. Here are some photos and a little more about the party!

While everyone munched on some healthy snacks we watched the Healthy Child Healthy World’s “A Wake-Up Story” video to start off the party. 


I have to say as a pregnant mother, it was really hard to watch. Our lives are so busy that it’s impossible to stop and think about every little thing and how it could be effecting ourselves and our children. I always assumed there was someone out there monitoring this and watching out for this… Truth is, there isn’t!

Did you know that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was passed in 1976 and has never been updated? Some people might assume that the chemicals used to make products sold in the U.S., like toys and food containers, are regulated and tested for safety — but they are not. Over 80,000 chemicals are currently available for use in the market. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) grandfathered in 62,000 chemicals when enacted in 1976 and over 20,000 have since been added. The EPA has required very few of these to be tested for their impacts on human health and the environment. Now is the time to update the regulation on these chemicals.

After watching the video, we helped the movement by signing the petition to strengthen the Chemical Saftey Improvement Act.

The kits came packed with information, samples and coupons for all of the party attendees.

There was also a fun BINGO game with Healthy Home Tips. Who said learning can’t also be fun?!? While all the tips were great and informative, these were some of my favorites.
“Tackle weeds without pesticides. Spray them with white vinegar, smother with mulch, or douse with boiling water. Pesticides applied to your lawn leave toxic residue that can end up drifitng into your home and exposing your family.”

“Use a stainless steel water bottle, or a self-filtering water bottle system like bobble’s, to keep you and your baby hydrated on the go.”

“Consider asking guests to remove their shoes before entering your home or place welcome mats around doors to encourage them to wipe their shoes. Roughly 70% of household dusts, pests, pollutants and dirt (which often contains lead and chemicals) are tracked indoors on the bottom of shoes.”

“Instead of using room fresheners that contain synthetic chemicals, make your house smell fresh and clean by placing orange or lemon slices, cloves, or any other herb in boiling water on the stove.”

The winners walked away with several full size products to try at home.
This has been such an eye opening experience for me and even though I am trying to make changes in our home, I know I can do even more. It won’t be easy but every little step is in the right direction. The biggest part is spreading the word to let others know what is out there, why a chance is desperately needed, and what they can do about it. 
Will you spread the word?

Going Green With Your Spring Cleaning: Staple Items

I can’t believe it is time to wrap up this mini-series. I hope you have enjoyed reading along as much as I have had putting this together. It has been so much fun sharing all of the DIY recipes I have learned. I am no where near done making the journey to a green home. I am still in the market for a carpet cleaner and possible stain remover. Anyone have a good recipe?

You know I just couldn’t resist the chance to share my favorites. This certainly isn’t every cleaning product I love using but these are definitely my top 8.

Cleaning Cloths | Baking Soda | Unpaper Towels | Spray Bottles | Meyer’s Products
Green Works | Vinegar | Lemons

I ordered a set of 36 microfiber cloths from Amazon and absolutely love them. I divided them up so that I have a few in each bathroom and the kitchen. Along with that, I have a set of unpaper towels in the kitchen. We have not completely gotten rid of all paper towels in the house!

Spray bottles are great to have laying around if you have cats around the house for a rainy day. I found a wide variety of colors at Walmart. I have ended up using them for cooking, craft projects, travel and now cleaning products.

Baking soda, vinegar and lemons seem to be the latest fad in DIY home cleaning but they have been around for ages. What is great is that they are so versatile that I almost always have them around the house. Baking soda in the fridge, vinegar for when the hubs is craving Old Bay and vinegar fries and lemon for my Diet Coke water.

I like keeping Meyer’s products and a container of Green Works wipes around for those, just in case moments”. You never know when we have an, “uh ho” and I don’t have time to replenish.

That about wraps things up, for now. I can’t explain the feeling I have now when I am cleaning our house. I feel so much better about the choices I have made for my family.

My Crafting Attic 

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Going Green With Your Spring Cleaning: DIY Cleaning Agents

If you were excited about making your own dusting cloths, wait till you see this! I can’t believe how easy it was to remove some of our staple cleaning products and replace them with 2 spray bottles and a jar of dusting cloths!

For both of these cleaning agents, I picked up inexpensive iGo spray bottles at Walmart for a $1 each. I decided to get 2 sets of a few different colors for each room in the house that would need them.

First up is the All Purpose Cleaner that has now replaced Fantastik, AJAX and Soft Scrub. I can use this cleaner for our counter tops, toilets, showers and floors. I felt like a chemist making this one because the baking soda fizzed when it was poured into the bowl of vinegar.

For this recipe, you will need:
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tbsp baking soda
4 cups hot water
Lemon

Mix the vinegar, baking soda and hot water together into a bowl. Cut the lemon and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Then cut the lemon into slices and throw them in the bowl as well. Once the water is cool, pour the mixture into your spray bottle(s). You can also put the lemon slices in as well.

Then I moved onto the window cleaner. I was very excited about this recipe because it called for dish soap which meant I could bust out my Meyer’s which I love! This recipe has now replaced our Windex and will be used to clean all of our windows, mirrors and the glass in our stall shower.

For this recipe, you will need:
2 cups hot water
1/2 cup vinegar
A few drops of dish soap
1 lemon
This recipe is made pretty much the same. Mix the water and vinegar in a bowl. Add a few drops of dish soap and then cut and squeeze the juice of a lemon in. You can cut the lemon into rinds and throw them into the bowl as well. When it has cooled, pour them into squeeze bottles.
As I mentioned yesterday, it is extremely important to label your household cleaning agents with their ingredients. While you know what is in them, someone else doesn’t! Using the Avery Self-Adhesive Removable Labels (1 x 1.5 inches), Click here to download the template for free!

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Going Green With Your Spring Cleaning: Laundry Room

Today I am going to talk a little bit about the laundry room. Next to our dishwasher, the washer and dryer do a lot for this family. Whether it’s Parker’s talented stained bibs, my painted on clothes or Rob’s ABU’s our washer accepts the challenge without complaint. I am sure it would prefer a break once in awhile but a nice deep cleaning will just have to do, until we go on a vacation…
I made my first batch of laundry detergent about a month ago and have been very pleased with it so far. As I mentioned with the dishwasher pods, we did use Borax which some people may not want to use. We have fairly sensitive skin and haven’t had any issues so far. We are still washing Parker’s clothes with Charlies Soap or BabyGanics Laundry Detergent.
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax – $8.99
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – $7.20
1 (4 lb) Box of Baking Soda – $11.96/$2.99/lb
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean – $10.19
2 (7 oz) Bars of Octagon All-Purpose Soap (Zote Soap is also ok) I planned for 4 bars but only needed 2.
1 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals – $6.79
* Prices were gathered from drugstore.com
All together, this recipe yielded about 3 gallons of laundry detergent.
The hardest part of this was grating the soap. Once it was done, I layered the ingredients a little at a time and then mixed it all together in a 5 gallon bucket.
I strongly recommend doing this outside and using a mask. All of the dry ingredients create a smoke cloud. 
When it was mixed thoroughly  I poured some of the detergent into a container to keep in the laundry room. The bucket is stored in our garage out of the way and out of reach of curious, crawling babies. We have only used about 3/4 of the small container so far and do about 5-6 loads of laundry per week. No too shabby!
Although we have had a great experience using this soap, I turned to Rob the other day and thought outloud, “why don’t we just use the BabyGanics?”. He kind of looked at me, chuckled and responded, “because you like to do things the hard way.” Oy vey! I LOVE BabyGanics and since it is what I prefer to use for Parker, we might as well use to too. When we do finally switch him over, we will all go back to using this recipe.
Another way we have gone green in our laundry room is using purecosheets instead of normal dryer sheets. You can read more about my review of them here, on our family blog, and how to get 10% your order. Here is the abridged version of why I LOVE this product.
– They are reusable. Just throw them in the wash every month to keep them working strong.
– They are 100% safe on all baby cloths (including sleepwear) and cloth diaper inserts.
– They work just as well as the waxy ones.
– Are a great price!

My Crafting Attic
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Going Green With Your Spring Cleaning: Dusting Rags

Hey now, it’s getting pretty darn clean over here! How is your house looking?

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I am very excited to share one of my most recent finds, DIY Dusting Cloths, with you today. There are quite a few variations on Pinterest but I decided to make a hybrid recipe of my own. For this recipe you will need 2 cups water, 1 cup vinegar, 1 TBSP lemon juice, 2 lemon rinds, and a few drops of olive oil.

You will also want to gather some old t-shirts or invest in some cleaning cloths. I found a great deal for a set of 36 microfiber cloths for $21.49 on Amazon Prime.

Cleaning Cloths

In a large bowl I mixed the lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Then I threw in 6 of the microfiber cloths and let them soak up all of the liquid.

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While those were soaking I cut the rinds off of 2 lemons. For this project I just need the rinds but used the lemons for my All Purpose Cleaner I will be sharing with you on Saturday.

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After the cloths were completely soaked I took one out at a time and rung them out so they were still moist but not dripping. Then I folded 2 of the rinds into each cloth.

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I placed the cloths in a glass canister I found at Target for about $5.00. Then I made a label for the front to indicated what ingredients I used. One of the things I cannot stress enough when making your own home cleaners is to not only label them but include what is in them. While I am making sure to only use ingredients that are nontoxic if ingested, a family member or babysitter wouldn’t know that. If someone came across P sucking on one of these (yuck!) they could quickly see that it is not made with anything that would hurt him.

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I keep our dusting cloths in the laundry room with the rest of our cleaners, out of reach from Parker. You can read more about our laundry room revap here.

What I LOVE about this recipe:
– The recipe calls for common ingredients I usually have around the house.
– The recipe is really easy and only takes about 10 minutes to whip up a batch.
– I am still able to get that lemon fresh smell without the use of any dangerous chemicals.
– When I am done with a cloths I can wash them and then reuse them!

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