7 Mom Life Summer Hacks

7 Mom Life Summer Hacks

Oh, moms! Summer is HERE. Whether your kids are going to mommy camp or day camp, you’ll likely find yourself with plenty of hours to fill. Let’s be real– the “summer reading challenge” at the library is only going to take you so far. Letting them watch endless TV is extremely tempting but you know, in your heart of hearts, you need to get them off the couch, especially if you want them to go to bed before the sun goes down! (Summer survival tip numero uno: wear ’em out!)

Here’s Mom Life Collective’s round-up of summer activities to fill your kid’s cup and have fun with your kids this summer.

3 Exciting Ice Cube Activities

Who doesn’t have ice cubes handy? This activity from Red Crayon Imagination requires minimal effort and incorporates early childhood concepts as they play. As the weather warms up, moms everywhere are looking for fun activities to keep their kids cool. This minimally messy activity is perfect for indoor or outdoor play for children ages 12 months through 5th grade. It requires almost no prep work making it easy and fun for the whole family!

9 of the Best Rainy Day Activities for Kids

Some of you have been a verrrrry rainy spring, which may not bode well for the summer days ahead.  Be prepared for those rainy days with 9 of the Best Rainy Day Activities for Kids, from The Professional Mom Project.

Free Summer Activities for Kids

Keeping the kids entertained during summer vacation can easily add up (daily ice cream cones, I’m looking at you) but there’s plenty to do that is free. Hodgepodge Moments’  list of free summer activities to do with your kids will help you hit your summer bucket list without busting your budget.

The Advantage of Adventures Outdoors with your Children

You might be outside a lot during the summer but how much are you actually exploring the great outdoors? Enjoy summer at its’ finest by escaping to the woods. A hike is so much more than a hike, as Adventures of Abby Girl demonstrates in this post.

Homemade Bouncing Bubbles

Personally, I think the best way to avoid the summer slide is to have fun with science. Bonus points if it includes items that you probably already have in your house! This bubble recipe from A Little Pinch of Perfect uses only three ingredients, and no glycerin or corn syrup.

DIY Solar Oven

You don’t have to go camping to get your fill of s’mores. Kick up the fun a notch with a STEM twist on the gooey treat by cooking the s’mores in a solar oven. Kiwi Co. Corner tells you how to do it.

Encourage Independent Play

In my research for this post, I legit googled “How to Get Kids To Leave You Alone During Summer Vacation.” In all seriousness, though, we need some downtime and we can’t always resort to plopping kids in front of the TV or you know…just ignoring them!  If you’ve got a toddler, check out these ideas from Lazy Mom’s Blog.  If your kiddos are a bit older, these Quiet Time boxes from Teaching Mama are genius.

Simple Tips to Eliminate Toxic Skin Care Products

Simple Tips to Eliminate Toxic Skin Care Products

Women come into contact with hundreds of chemicals each and every day due to the multiple products we use.

These toxic chemicals can lead to skin irritation, infertility, cancer, injure our unborn children when we become pregnant, contribute to weight gain and much more!

 

While over 1300 substances are banned from personal care products in Europe, only 11 are banned from skin care products here in US! In fact, in the US there’s no regulation on labeling. Which means that a manufacturer can call their product natural when it isn’t, leave ingredients off the label, or develop alternate names for ingredients.

While it is never my goal to scare or overwhelm you, talk of toxins that harm our health in items we’ve been using for years can stir up some icky feelings. I will ALWAYS give you non-toxic options that will help to alleviate that fear and overwhelm. I’ve been there. I’ve used toxic chemical filled products for most of my life. I’ve definitely been overwhelmed! Take baby steps in your healthy lifestyle journey and know that each step is HUGE in decreasing you and your family’s toxic load.

 

That being said, we’re going to jump in and talk about the most common toxins found in cosmetics:

Phthalates. Phthalates can lead to birth defects, damage liver, kidney, lungs and reproductive system. They can also be found in at least 70% of our personal care products. Phthalates are substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. We are exposed to phthalates in skin care products, food, and many more household items. Personal-care items containing phthalates include perfume, eye shadow, moisturizer, nail polish, liquid soap, and hair spray. The Baby Care Products study found that “infants receive widespread exposure to a variety of phthalates found in lotions and shampoos. These exposures are especially concerning for young infants who are most vulnerable to harm”. (source)

Parabens. Parabens are a preservative. Neither parabens or phthalates are regulated in the US.  Both parabens and phthalates disrupt our hormones, contribute to infertility and are possible carcinogens…among other negative health risks. This study done from Environmental Health Perspectives that shares that parabens were detected in urine of 99% of women who were tested.

Fragrance. Fragrance is made from chemicals. I feel like that’s ’nuff said because our body is not meant to come into contact with chemicals. But understanding is important so I’ll elaborate. In the US, there’s no regulation on labeling of food or personal care products. Manufacturers that use ‘fragrance’ on their label can be hiding hundreds of chemicals behind that one word. I’d like to add that some companies are try make fragrance seem natural by saying that it was derived from essential oils or flowers. Don’t fall for it! If the word fragrance is on the ingredient list, you now know without a doubt that there are several chemicals. Per a report by the Committee on Science and Technology 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxics and sensitizers—capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.

 

Back to my mention of taking baby steps in your healthy lifestyle transformation. Fragrance is the #1 word I teach my clients to look for on the ingredients label. It saves you from having to search for dozens of other possible chemicals listed. Know that if you see “fragrance” on the list, it’s toxic.

 

What can you do?

Head to www.EWG.org. They also have the free ‘Healthy Living’ app. Enter (or scan using the app) some of your current skin care products. If it rates 1 its awesome (non-toxic) and 10 is horrible!

The most important thing to do to live a healthy lifestyle is to read the ingredients; whether it’s on skin care products or food. You have to know what’s in it! If you see phthalates, parabens or fragrance on the ingredients – don’t use that product.

Also, don’t be embarrassed to ask professionals what is in the products they’re about to use on you (ie massage therapists, aestheticians, health care providers). For example, a while back I went to have my womanly checkup with my doctor. I asked to see the lubricant they use which had only two ingredients listed on it and they were both in the parabens family! I politely declined that exam, then booked again when I could bring my own non-toxic lubricant (aka lubricant).

 

I want to make transformations as easy for you as possible so here are some brands that I KNOW are non-toxic:

 

  • Makeup: Be Pure Beauty, Alima Pure and Beauty Counter. Alima Pure is the brand I’ve been using for a couple years.
  • Sunscreen: I use and recommend Babyganics and Goddess Garden. (I love ALL of Babyganics products, by the way. They have cleaning products, laundry soap, diapers, wipes).
  • Shampoo & conditioner: Desert Essence Fragrance Free and then I like to add my own essential oils.
  • For more of my fave non-toxic products, head here to my ‘Fave Stuff’ page!
  • My short e-course, Beautifully Safe Skin, goes into more detail about how to have the best skin you can have using food, clean skin care products, essential oils and stress reduction. I share more of my favorite products and some DIY recipes.

 

Health & Wellness For The Whole Family

Bri is a mom, wife, RN, and Certified Health Coach. She started doing research to find the possible causes behind her brain fog, fatigue, depression, anxiety, migraines and infertility and what she found surprised her! She found that she was overloaded with toxins from products and food she was using everyday. She has transformed her lifestyle to be as toxin free as possible and is happier and healthier than ever! Her passion is guiding you through your own healthy lifestyle transformation so that you can experience true wellness.

Family Travel Tips For The Holiday Season

Family Travel Tips For The Holiday Season

Travel Tips For The Holiday Season

The holiday season has arrived, which means many families will soon be traveling. For some, travel brings new adventures and happy memories. For others, travel can mean headaches, meltdowns, and frustration.

Our two girls have always been happy travelers, even when we lived 15 hours away from their grandparents. Here are 13 of our favorite family travel tips that make the journey easier for parents and kids. (more…)

Health & Wellness For The Whole Family

Health & Wellness For The Whole Family

There are over 1 billion overweight people in the world, and the number continues to grow. In 1992, American’s spent an estimated $30 billion on weight loss programs and products. We have since doubled that number! Yup over $60 billion a year is spent on programs, foods, drinks, and supplements that are destroying our health and sending the wrong message to our kids.

So many people still think skinny = healthy. Yes, when people are overweight that is a outward sign that they’re not healthy on the inside. BUT skinny people can be unhealthy also! I know skinny people that have high cholesterol, migraines, fatigue and even cancer.

Let’s set our sights higher! Make your goal to be healthy….to feel the best you’ve ever felt, to have a normal blood pressure, to never have a headache again (my personal health goal), to run around with your kids without getting out of breath….for the rest of your life!

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Can Your Job Be Part Of Your Self-Care Routine?

Can Your Job Be Part Of Your Self-Care Routine?

The topic of self-care seems to be everywhere. It’s important to take some time for yourself, but it also depends on how you are currently treating yourself. I started to feel guilty after reading articles about how you “should be” getting pedicures and going to yoga on the weekends. It felt like one more thing was added to my to-do list. How am I going to sneak in some self-care?

It was then I realized the articles I was reading was missing something, the mention of work. Work at first has nothing to do with self-care. But I like to work, and I choose to work for a myriad of reasons. (more…)

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