SQUEASY GEAR 

When choosing products for my kids, I am often frustrated with what is available. I was the highest quality, non-toxic products for them which either comes at ridiculous prices or just difficult to find.

My kids love smoothies, so I was searching for something non-toxic, unbreakable, and easier for them to eat them out of. Everything was plastic, and I was discouraged. But then I found Squeasy Gear bottles and completely fell in love! I was so excited to try them out and once they came, I was even more please with them.


Starting off with the bottle itself, they are made of food grade silicone that’s non toxic and when your kids throw it/drop it, it’s not going to shatter! The name explains it perfectly: it’s squeezy texture is perfect for little hands! They come in several sizes, so you can use them for all ages and needs. We use the largest size (sport) for water bottles, and the 6 oz. snacker for smoothies etc. They also make a smaller snacker size that is perfect for baby food and homemade applesauces!

When my kids were babies, I used these reusable pouches to make baby food for them sometimes, and I wish I had used these! They are amazing and would make the best shower gift.

The lids have a no spill insert you can put in or take out for older kids. My 1.5 year old uses the no spill and it works pretty good! I honestly didn’t expect it to work as well as it does. My 3 year old uses hers without the insert so she can squeeze water out, or tip it back.

Overall, I am very satisfied with these products. Since we got them, we have used them daily!

I also wanted to share one of my kids favorite smoothies we make to put in the snacker bottles!


Coconut Gingerbread Smoothie:

1 frozen banana

1/2 c. steamed then frozen cauliflower

1/4 c. frozen butternut squash

1 heaping T. shredded coconut

1 T. molasses

1 t. ground ginger

1 t. cinnamon

1 scoop Vital Proteins vanilla and coconut water peptides

1 1/2 c. filtered water or nut milk

Blend until smooth, and pour into Squeasy Gear bottles! I also like using these to store leftover smoothies and turmeric lattes for my kids. They save well in them.

*I use all organic items!

 

 

NON TOXIC SWAP OUTS


The bathroom is one place we don’t always think of that’s lurking with toxins. Convtional beauty and hygiene products are full of harmful ingredients, so if you haven’t swapped them out already, I’m challenging you to clean out your bathrooms today. Toss out all of the products that aren’t truly clean (watch out for those green washed items! They’re unfortunately everywhere) and replace them with something so much better for you and the environment!

  • Toothpaste. You can read my post here that goes into all the chemical ingredients in conventional toothpaste. I recommend a swap out for Davids or Dr. Bronners. For a baby toothpaste, we really like Jack and Jill.
  • Deodorant. I like making my own (recipe here) but if you’re not into that I recommend Pachi. They have men’s and women’s, they smell amazing and they actually work great!
  • Sunscreen. Just like many things, conventional sunscreen is chock-full or harmful toxins. I love BRAND and it works really well too. I would also recommend Badger’s. They both perform amazing and are very clean.
  • Lotion. I think here are a lot of non toxic lotions easily available, but I really like Acure and Dr. Bronners.
  • Shampoo. Read my post about oil training, and then swap out that toxic shampoo for Wild Willow (local company!) or Griffin.
  • Hand soap. There are quite a few decent hand soaps at regular stores now, but if you want something super-clean that smells amazing, works amazing, and lasts awhile I highly recommend Kosmotology.
  • Dry shampoo. Not many people know that there is a clean version of dry shampoo out there! I have good news for you, this one from Green and Gorgeous not only works incredibly well, but for me it doubles as finishing powder (for those rare times I wear makeup) and one thing lasts a really long time!
  • Eye makeup remover. I love this little kit from BRAND. It’s a great swap out choice for a clean product and the cloth is so soft it feels like clouds are washing your mascara off.
  • Skin care. You guys know my deep love (possibly obsession) with Cocokind Skincare. If you’re using a conventional cleanser on your face, swap it out for this brand. Their cleansers are oil based which is ideal for all skin types, yes even oily! If you are already using a natural oil cleanser, I still would recommend trying out Cocokind. They’re organic, well-sourced, high performing, and every item is priced so amazing!
  • Makeup. Head over to tour closest natural grocery store and pick up some cacao powder. This is now your eyebrow powder and bronzer. I also really like the makeup made by 100% Pure and BRAND.

There are so many non toxic choices out there, and many of them are great. Do what works for you. These are purely my recommendations for products I know and use.

These products are also SUPER easy to find. I like to purchase my stuff from The Choosy Chick because they carry all the brands I love in one place, making purchases simple and quick.

Here’s to getting all the toxic products out of your bathrooms, and a wonderful Thursday.

If you want to see the video from Good Things Utah that goes with this post, you can watch it here!

OIL TRAINING YOUR HAIR

So many people have been asking me about oil training lately, that I thought I would just write a post on it! I have been oil training my hair for quite a long time. I have made a lot of mistakes and learned so much about my hair along the way. I think I have a pretty good understanding know of what works and what really doesn’t work!

What is oil training? 

Oil training is teaching your hair to go longer between washes. The more we shampoo our hair, the more oil it produces. Conventional shampoos strip the oil from your hair and scalp, which causes the over-production. In turn this causes us to shampoo more often, therefore using more product. You see the cycle?

This is a hard thing to break, too, because most of us have been shampooing our hair this way since childhood.

Why should you oil train?

Training your hair to live off less shampoos is not only a huge time-saver, especially for those washing daily, but it’s healthier for your hair and scalp. Not stripping your hair of oils will leave your hair stronger, longer, and healthier. It can also help with itchy/dry scalps.

Pro-tips for oil training:

-Start slow. If you are washing daily, start doing every other day, then every third day. See what schedule works for you, everyone is different!

-Wear your hair up. When your hair is down, you are likely touching it more, creating more oil and leaving you feeling (and looking) like you need a washer sooner than you would otherwise. This is not a forever thing, your hair will learn to stop the over-production of oils no matter how you wear it. I love braiding my hair for this purpose.

-Switch to an all natural shampoo that won’t strip your hair. I use stuff from a local company, or make my own. (I will share this in another post!)

-Between actual shampoo’s, do an ACV rinse on your hair. I soak my whole scalp in my concoction (again, will post soon!) and rinse it well with water.

My experience with oil training:

As I mentioned earlier, I have been oil training my hair for a long time. When I started having kids, I didn’t always have the time to wash my hair so that is how it essentially began. I wanted to share with you guys some of the things I have learned, because I have been doing this for awhile.

-Use dry shampoo is rarely as you can. When I first started skipping a wash, I would go to dry shampoo. I was using SO MUCH of this stuff that it caused a massive build up and me having to start the oil training process all over again. I use dry shampoo in serious moderation now, and I recommend this all natural, organic dry shampoo.

-Do a coconut oil hair mask before you use the acv rinse. You can do this the entire day before, the night before, or even just an hour before.

-If your hair smells, or your scalp is itchy it is time to wash. When you get going and you are trying to build up more days between washing, these are the signs that it is time to wash your hair! Gross, I know, but even at this point it probably doesn’t look as bad as you think!

-DON’T do a rinse with water alone between washes. I promise it’ll come out looking worse than before.

-Be patient and give yourself grace. In all things, we are all so different. I know women who go 2 weeks between washes and others who go 3-4 days. Don’t push yourself (or your hair 😉) to be like someone else.

Do you oil train?

DIY: ALL PURPOSE (ALL NATURAL) CLEANER

Walking through the cleaning isle, reading all those ingredients. Toxins, chemicals, things you don’t even know how to pronounce. Cleaning products are so rarely “clean” themselves, leaving us all wondering: “what in the hell am I putting on my counter top?”

If you have ever been there, I have a solution for you. While there are many natural cleaning solution products (this one is what I would recommend for store-bought), making your own all-purpose cleaner is not only more affordable, but also you know exactly what is in it, and can customize the scent.

There are a few different ways to make your own cleaner, but this is my personal favorite, because it is really simple and really fast to throw together when you have procrastinated making a new batch. I don’t love to set aside a lot of time for making my own products,so the easier the better. I also really believe that less is more, and this recipe uses only 4 simple ingredients you might even have on hand already!

Recipe:

-1/2 c. apple cider vinegar 

-2 T. castile soap

-10 drops essential oil (of your choice, I like to go with things that are naturally disinfecting: tea tree, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, etc.)

-1/2 c. water

Instructions:

Add all items into a spray bottle using a funnel (pro tip: use an old ACV bottle to be plastic free, and really sustainable! A standard spray bottle top will fit on it. You can also re-use a bottle from old cleaner, etc.).

Gently shake the bottle (after putting the lid on) to mix everything together.

Use to clean your kitchen, floors, bathroom, windows, door nobs, car, kid’s toys, literally anything! I find that this cleaner works really well for disinfecting, and I use it daily for regular clean-up in the house, but when I am needing to deep clean the shower/tubs/toilets, I use something a little more powerful.

Have you made the swap to safer and “greener” cleaning products?

 

MODERN TWIST


Good morning! I have been loving on a brand lately that I want to share with you guys. I know most of us have heard of Stasher, their sister company Modern Twist has some of the cutest products for kids!

The first one is the tiny tote which has been so perfect for snacks at home, and on the go. My kids love it so much. I love that it’s re-usable, completely toxic-free, and easy to clean. This bag zips closed really easily, and my toddlers can open it on their own too. I love having a great option to put their snacks in when we leave the house!

We have the garden play mark-mat too that we love! It’s such a fun idea, and something my 3 year old has really enjoyed coloring on. Heck, even I love coloring on it! It’s so cute and for some reason coloring on silicone is way more fun than anything else. I love that we can use this as a place mat as well, and that it’s dishwasher safe! It’s amazing! I am looking at getting this one and this one next! They are all so cute.

They also have stuff for younger toddlers and babies, too. We have been using the bucket bib (on backorder in this print but the others are SO cute too!) for out 1 year old and he actually likes it! The silicone makes it a lot more comfortable, and its super easy to clean after (my favorite part!).

Like Stasher, Modern-Twist is out the make the planet plastic-free, which is something we should all be getting behind. I also love that with these high quality, easy to clean products, I don’t need a ton of them to get us through each day.

Have you tried them out yet? If you have, what is your favorite product?

xx, Chels

HOW I AM NATURALLY TREATING MY POSTPARTUM ANXIETY

Good morning babes! Hope everyone has had a great week, and that you are ready to take on Friday! I have been getting a TON of emails and DM’s asking about my postpartum anxiety and how I am treating it. I knew I needed to address it all in one post, because there is a lot that goes into this subject, at least for me! I want to mention first of all that I am not a medical professional and everything I do works best for me personally. That might not be the case for you. We are all so different and the biggest thing is to do what works best for you and your family! I have tried so many things before I got to this point where I finally know what works and what does not for me.

I share a little bit of my backstory on postpartum anxiety and depression here. I also shared in this post the things I did when I first noticed that I was suffering from postpartum anxiety. Our baby is now 15 months, and things have changed in how I address these things. Here iI share mindfulns what I am doing now:

  • Ashwaghanda I take two capsules daily, and if I am feeling off or having a hard day, I take more.
  • Maca I add 1-2 t to a latte or smoothie that I have throughout the day.
  • Collagen You can read more about collagen here. I take 1 serving of it daily, usually in a smoothie or oatmeal.
  • I limit my caffeine more than I used to. I will have 1-2 cups of coffee a day, on a good day. On a day I am feeling stressed or off, I will stick with a cup of matcha. Try swiss water method decafmatcha, or Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee.
  • I track my sleep, and stick to a consistent schedule. I use the “bedtime” feature on my iPhone to keep myself on track to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. I allow myself time to be up before my kids, too so I have time to start my day with mindfulness, exercise, writing, or whatever it is I need that day.
  • Mindfulness has played a huge role, too. I share mindfulness tips on Mondays, either here or on my Instagram. One of my favorite tools has been my Purposeful Planner. It is my space where I log all my to-do lists, keep my life organized, meal plan, brain storm, all that. It’s really been helpful with my anxiety because it’s an easy way for me to keep track of everything and make sure I am giving myself what I need. I start each morning in my planner and it gives me a great start to the day.

So these are the things I am doing now, at 15 months postpartum, and I am feeling really good! I am also going to be trying out hypnotherapy soon too, and will keep you guys updated there.

Thanks so much for reading,

xx, Chels

Disneyland Tips

Good morning! As many of you know, we recently went to Disneyland. I first have to say that we live completely clean, natural, organic, green, anything else you want to call it. But I definitely think there are times we need to let all the obsessing go, and just enjoy life as it is. Avoiding EVERYTHING can be really hard at times (like on vacation…) because there are unhealthy things e v e r y w h e r e.

So that is what we did, for one week, we weren’t concerned about all the horrible things that may or may not be lurking, because it would have been exhausting and taken away from the experience we wanted our kids to be able to have. I wish everything was 100% organic and clean, but it’s not.

TIPS FOR THE ORGANIC LIVING FAMILY:

1.bring your own snacks and food into the park

2.bring your own water!

3.if you do eat out, and avoid certain foods by choice (or allergy!) the hostess asks before you are even seated, and they bring you an allergy menu. Every place has great alternatives and a TON of vegetarian/vegan choices. They are very thorough about this, so you know you can trust it!

4.let yourself off the hook of being totally organic for a minute. I know how hard that is and trust me I cringed getting our kids some of the things we did, but it was ONE time. And it wasn’t TOO overboard, either. They ate churros, and some cookies, etc. There are some decent options there that I was really okay with, for one time. 😉

5. be sure you bring your own organic sunscreen, because you won’t find any there! We were so happy to have our Raw Elements Sunscreen that works really well, too!

6.for all my fellow booch lovers out there, glass bottles are not allowed in the park, so you better drink it up before you get there… or they will have you pour it into another cup before you go in.

TIPS FOR BUDGET AND TIME SAVINGS:

1.again, bring your own food and water.

2. pack a bag full of dress-up clothes and items and let your kids wear those each day instead of buying ALL the ones they have out. I recommend The Little Dress Up Shop for a great price and quality.

3.buy souvenirs from amazon before you go to the parks

4. when you do purchase stuff in the park, be sure you bring them with you the following days! Also, you can check your bags of purchases all over, so you don’t have to carry them around or worry about them being stolen.

5. use the Disneyland app for a map, wait times, character spotting, etc. This is your total guide!

6. there are great live shows and things like that on both sides of the park (Fantasy Faire for princess storytelling shows (DL), Enchanted Tiki Room (DL), Turtle Talk with Crush (CA), Frozen Show (CA),  and Disney Junior Live Show (CA), etc.) these are GREAT for a break. Our two toddlers loved all these shows, and they were so great for a little rest for them.

There are so many tips and guides out there that it can be really overwhelming. I wanted to keep this as short and simple as possible, because that’s how I like it! 🙂 Another thing I wanted to share was about our hotel situation.

We booked through Get Away Today by recommendation from everyone, working with them was great. However, the hotel they booked us was REALLY horrible. It was so close to the hotel, which was amazing and exactly what we wanted, but the hotel itself was not good at all. After the first night they switched our rooms, and it was honestly no better. The shower barely worked, it was loud, and the building itself was just awful.

I definitely recommend staying FAR AWAY from The Castle Inn and Suites. If you book through Get Away Today, be sure you tell them you DO NOT want that hotel. Refuse it. We actually left a night early to Newport because we were so sick of it. Get Away Today said they could change our hotel that first night, but recommended switching rooms instead, which I really didn’t like. So we did that. They said the other hotel they could change us to was pretty far away, which we then would have had to figure out transportation or parking to get to the parks. It was so frustrating!

We were told that many of the hotels in walking distance from the park (ours was directly across the street) are horrible like that. We did find out that The Marriot hotel there was wonderful, highly recommended, and only a bit further so walking COULD still be an option, or you could get other transportation. I would rather deal with parking than a bad hotel again. We were Disney-newbies, what are you gonna do?!

What is your #1 tip?

xo, Chels

WILD RUMPUS FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY

My bestie!

Cal loves his God mother! We do too!

My babies and their God mother!

I will be posting this cake recipe soon!!!

 NAPKINS & TRAIL MIX BAGS: WITH LOVE INK

I’LL EAT YOU UP BANNER & CROWN CONFETTI: SMILE BEFORE OPENING

CROWN: MOSEY

CUPS: ALL ABOUT GLITZ AND GLAM

FOOD LABELS, INVITATIONS, HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEAF BANNER, COLORING BOOKS, CUPCAKE WRAPPERS, & PIN THE CROWN ON MAX POSTER GAME: OH WOW! DESIGN

 

The perfect theme for our little Gruffalo was obviously a wild rumpus! I was so happy to have found some AMAZING companies on Etsy to help fill that vision. The crown is from mosey, and it is such high quality material, I wish so badly Cal would have left it on the whole time! He has never had anything other than a beanie on his head, so he was curious what it was, haha! But it is ridiculously cute, and I recommend all of her beautiful products.

I loved that Oh Wow! Design sent me an entire PDF package full of the most incredible and unique printables. The game the kids played was so cute and simple, perfect for toddlers. I loved the little coloring books. They made fore a great activity between treats! They have a ton of great designs for all occasions, and I would check them out if I were you 😉

I loved all these brands that I worked with, and would HIGHLY recommend them for anything they offer! Idalina, from WIth Love and Ink was great to work with and has created the most adorable stamped bags and napkins that you could find some for any theme or occasion. The cups are from All About Glitz and Glam, and I loooovveee that they were all different! They are adorable. Her shop offers soooo many cute items for birthday parties!!

I thought of having a build your own trail mix bar only a couple weeks before his birthday, and quickly fell in love with the idea. It was a hit, and perfect for all the little kids! I loved that I could have a bunch of healthy treats to offer, and everyone loved it. The “I’ll Eat You Up I Love You So” banner is my favorite! I actually save it to be used in Cal’s new room even. I just could not part with it! Smile Before Opening has SOOO many cute things and even custom orders you can choose! Highly recommend!

Throwing parties is SUPER stressful, but so much fun! I love making my kids birthdays as special as I can. Thank you to all these amazing brands for helping me make that possible with your incredible talent! Next time you are planning an event, PLEASE check these out! I spent such a long time looking through everything on Etsy to find the best prices, highest quality, and the best people to work with!

XO, Chels

 

CLEAN EATING SMASH CAKE 


3 ripe bananas 

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 

1/4 cup coconut oil 

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1 1/2 cup flour 

1 tablespoon vanilla 

2 teaspoons cinnamon 

1 teaspoon Molasses 

I love minimal baking, so I toss all the ingredients in my mixer and let it go! Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes. 

It’s healthy and delicious! I top it with some coconut cream. 

RAISING TODDLERS

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BANNERS: I’LL EAT YOU UPA WILD ONE (provided by SMILE BEFORE OPENING)

MOCCS: FRESHLY PICKED

PHOTOS BY: SWEET CACTUS PHOTOGRAPHY

It’s our little gruffalo boy’s birthday today! He had a great day filled with fun, treats, and presents. Most importantly though, he got all the foods he loves! Haha! This boy could not have cared any less about his presents today because F O O D! 😂

Even though we have known for a long time that we were not going to have another baby, I think it’s really just starting to set in for me that we won’t have any babies again. Our kids are toddlers now! It seems so crazy. I know our kids will be little for a long time, but it’s starting to feel like a new season for our family. We are out of the baby stages.

Mixed emotions, mamas. I know so many of you can relate. But just look at that handsome face! Allllll the heart eyes. Now I have 5 million things to do before his party this weekend, along with the things we have to do before we move. In less than 3 weeks. Pray for me, you guys, ha I am going to need it!

xo, Chels