Blog, Health and Wellness, Home & Garden, Recipes, Uncategorized

Pre-vacation cleaning

My household is getting ready for a week of vacation. In preparation, I have spent time trying to fit two week’s worth of activity into one! There is always so much to do before leaving. Maybe some people can just pack and go. I’m not one of those people. A perfectionist of sorts, I like to have the house cleaned from top to bottom before departure. This is in addition to wrapping up all my work responsibilities, packing, last minute shopping, and laundry. I absolutely love returning to a clean house.

Something you might find of interest is what I am using since going on my chemical reduction spree. My all-purpose cleaner of choice is a water-vinegar-essential oil combo.

What you need:

All-Purpose Spray Bottle (Target had a 32oz bottle in stock)

12 oz water

12 oz vinegar

10-15 drops of essential oil (lavender, lemon, grapefruit are all great choices)


Combine ingredients and shake vigorously a few times prior to each use. Clean away as usual!

According to, “Common white and cider vinegar have a 5 percent acidity, which is why they make effective cleansers and home remedies.”

When used in conjunction with baking soda (as an abrasive) I’ve found it to be very effective at cleaning and freshening. Particularly useful for attacking scum buildup in sinks, bathrooms, shower stalls, etc. It is also fun to use this combo because it is reminiscent of a 6th grade science experiment the way that it fizzes and bubbles. It’s the little things in life that bring such joy.

Happy Healthy Cleaning! So.excited.for.vacation!!




Beauty, Blog, Health and Wellness, Recipes

I never thought it possible

Like most of you probably do, I buy my toothpaste from the store. Why wouldn’t I? It’s cheap, convenient, and probably created in a lab somewhere by a brilliant chemist who is trained in molecular compounds. I’m sure there’s some special formula derived from the periodic table of the elements used to create this minty-smile brightening- paste. Or gel. Sometimes it’s a gel. Miraculous nonetheless. Too advanced for me.

Or is it?!

If you’ve been reading my posts lately you understand that I’m developing a hunger for knowledge regarding the safety (or rather lack thereof) of personal care products. Harmful chemicals are abundant among us. Lurking in inoxious everyday places like shampoo, hand soap, eye shadow, detergent, and yes, toothpaste.

As a result of my newfound knowledge, I’ve been taking slow, but steady measures to reduce my exposure to chemicals. It’s a challenge. I’m always up for a good challenge. Game on! Last week, a friend upped the ante for me. Casually dropping a statement into our beauty product conversation about how she makes her own toothpaste. I was like, “Whaaaat?!” The idea of making my own toothpaste was sort of mind blowing.

Well, it turns out to not be so complicated. I didn’t even follow an exact recipe. I did a little browsing on Pinterest to determine what other DIY-ers were doing and went from there.

Making my Own Toothpaste

To make my own toothpaste, I used Coconut Oil, Baking Soda, finely ground Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, and Peppermint Essential Oil. I had everything on hand except the essential oil. A quick Google search pointed me to the only retail store in town that currently carries essential oil. It’s available from a number of places online, but I was too eager to wait for delivery.

I started with a heaping Tablespoon of Coconut Oil and added the Baking Soda until the consistency resembled the stuff I squish from a tube. A fork was my elaborate mixing tool. I used just a pinch of the Sea Salt to add minerals to my recipe. This was not consistently listed in other people’s recipes, but adding minerals just seemed like a good idea. I’d read a different article about the health benefits of sea salt so decided to roll with it. Super scientific.

The Peppermint Oil is 100% pure so I started with just 3 drops and kept mixing/tasting until I felt I had reached the desired taste. I’m sure everyone’s preference is a little different here, so add however much you want. Voila! I am now a natural health and beauty chemist making my own chemical-free toothpaste.

toothpaste final

For more interesting info on the benefits of eliminating, or reducing your exposure to fluoride, I’ve got another great link for you called the 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation.

(Not to be confused with being anti-Florida) because I’m not. Stay tuned for my next series of posts in which I will highlight the adventures of traveling to Orlando with two preschoolers, my husband, and my mom.

To your health!


Blog, Food & Drink, Recipes, Risk

Somebody had to try it

My breakfasts tend to be of the basic cereal and milk variety. It’s quick, convenient, and requires very little thought. (My go-to is Kellogg’s Special K Protein with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk.) Earlier this week I ran out of Special K and was challenged to leave my boring breakfast rut.

I almost just grabbed a pre-mixed Starbucks from the fridge and called it a morning. However, I knew that wouldn’t hold me over. Staring at the little glass container of caffeine, contemplating my options, I decided to try something creative. My goal was to create a unique, portable, filling, and breakfast by using that very Starbucks Mocha. A quick flash of inspiration and today I share with you my Breakfast 2.0. The Protein Mocha Energizer. Patent pending, of course.

What you need:

1- whole, firm, Avocado, pitted and cut into chunks

1- 9.5oz bottle of Starbucks Mocha Light Frappuccino

1- level scoop of chocolate protein powder of choice (I borrowed a scoop from my husband’s stash of Isagenix IsaLean Shake Creamy Dutch Chocolate)

1- cup of ice


Toss all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

The result will yield a creamy, frothy, chocolatey boost of energy and nutrition. All in under 2 minutes time.

Yes! Avocados and coffee! Somebody had to try it.

Clearly I do not subscribe to any particular diet with rules (e.g. Low-carb, no carb, high fat, sugar-free, paleo…). Instead I strive to eat a balanced diet of whole, unprocessed foods. I love health, eating healthy, and am using healthy products more and more. The use of my Starbucks Mocha Light in a “health” recipe may be subject to scrutiny, but I in no way claim to be perfect. Just perfectly human. In the future I’d like to try substituting the Mocha Light for ½ and ½ regular coffee and Almond Milk. I feel this would greatly reduce the sugar quantity. The chocolate protein powder should be plenty of flavoring to give it the Mocha taste. I couldn’t taste the avocado, but appreciated the enhancement it provided in texture. The firmness of the avocado probably contributed to a more neutral taste.

I use the Lose It app from time to time to check my daily balance of protein, fats, and carbs. As the recipe stands, the Lose It app calculated the following nutritional value:

27 grams of Fat (52% and mostly the avocado)

35.8 grams of Carbohydrates (30%)

20.7 grams of Protein (18%)

447 calories

This protein smoothie definitely kept me satisfied for about the next five hours. For the record, and anyone who knows me, this is incredible. I usually eat once every 1.5 to two hours. I am a #grazer and could #eatallday. Whether you run out and use this recipe tomorrow…or not, may you be inspired to try something new with your routine. Mix things up a bit. Throw out the rules as to what should go in a blender together, and enjoy!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve put in your smoothie?