Women’s March – Detroit

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Borrowed sign from a fellow marcher. Wish I’d thought of it.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was reluctant at first to attend the March. I didn’t know what to expect/I don’t like the unknown, I don’t like crowds and I don’t like negative/angry energy.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I knew I needed to go. For my girls, for my conscience. On top of that, I knew a handful of friends traveling to DC. The least I could do is drive 30 minutes to my local March. I reached out to my sister-in-law and asked if she was going and we made plans to meet up for coffee beforehand.

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I left the house around 8:30am. It was a beautiful foggy morning.

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I really hate driving on the freeway, so if I can ever avoid it, I do. I took Jefferson into Detroit and then some weird backroad route via my GPS. There weren’t a lot of cars on the road yet. I wish I’d stopped to take more photos of the city that morning.

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After coffee at Shinola, we walked to Wayne State, where the march was set to begin. A bunch of people on the street were headed the same way.

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Not too long after we arrived, a full crowd had assembled in the square. A young gal heard us lamenting that we regretted not making signs, and she handed my sister-in-law an extra one she’d made that said, “keep your tiny hands off my rights.”  Soon one of the organizers made an announcement over the loud speaker and we began to march per her instructions.

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I was impressed with the overall vibe of the March. People were laughing, enjoying others’ signage, smiling at each other, being courteous. Not once did it get ugly or violent in any way. There were mostly women, but there were also men, kids, babies, dogs.

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People honked and waved as they drove past. People in shops came out to watch and some cheered us on through their windows. You can barely see, but this is a shot of two folks in a window clanking cowbells.

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We marched for about an hour, following a U-shaped route around the campus.

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We passed the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Public Library.

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And ended up back in the courtyard, where upbeat girl-power music was playing and people were dancing.

An estimated 4000 people showed up to the Detroit March. I wonder what that number would have been if all the people who were hesitant to show up didn’t show up. I wonder what it would have been like if all the people who wanted to show up did show up.

I marched in remembrance of the women who marched before me. I marched for little girls who will soon become women. I marched for my gay, lesbian and transgender friends. I marched for immigrants. I marched for the environment. I marched for science.

The challenge for a lot of us is going to be continuing to fight for our freedoms – calling senators/representatives (which I hate, hate doing), attending more marches and protests, donating to equal rights organizations, etc. If we believe that change needs to happen, we need to be part of the change.

Dan Rather, who has surprisingly emerged as one of the leaders of democracy on social media, says it perfectly: “Democracy is much more than just the right to vote. It is the duty to participate….you can’t forsake your voice and then complain about not being heard.”

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The December List – 2016

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Looking out at the Detroit River (beyond the tree line)

Happy New Year, all! December had the typical hustle and bustle of the holidays and then some. Here are the highlights…

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1)  Early December brought our first snowstorm of the season. The girls were so excited and played outside all day, and that night we got the call that school was cancelled the next day – yipee!

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2)  Everything looks more beautiful in the snow. When driving through Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmer’s neighborhood, I had to stop and snap a photo of this burned home. It looked so calm and peaceful surrounded by all that clean, white snow.

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3)  I’m a little less thrilled about the shoveling this time around. It wasn’t so bad once I got into it, but it does kind of suck being out there at night, huffing and puffing while you watch your neighbor fire up his blower and finish the job in a third of the time and minutes later, having to move aside as the city plows come through and throw wet, dirty snow on the driveway where you just shoveled.

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2)  I chopped my hair off! Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but was nervous about since I’ve had long hair for the last 15 years.

I scoured online for the perfect cut and made an appointment with my hair stylist. I knew the experience was going to be traumatic, but it was even more so when I realized that I’d been given a mom bob vs the chic cut I had requested! Oh. My. Word.

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What I imagined I’d look like vs. what I actually looked like. Nailed it!

My stylist was really nice to accommodate me the next day and put more layers put in, but there wasn’t a lot she could do because too much length had already been cut to achieve the look I wanted.

I made an appointment at another salon a couple weeks later, and the gal there fixed it up a bit so now at least I look more hip and less like a suburban mom. At least that’s what I tell myself.

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4)  For some reason (well, I suspect the reason, which was also probably the catalyst for my haircut – the cuckoo election! Gah!)  I have been really into murder mysteries lately. I hate gore and anything too psychotic, but I have been devouring the genre (escapism!?). I just finished the Robert Galbraith series (JK Rowling) which fit my mystery bill perfectly (not too icky, not too scary, great characters, good plot) and I just picked up these three titles from the library. Have read about 10 pages of “The Passenger” and am already sucked in.

My book journal (book title, author, number of pages, and a short review) says that I read 15 books in 2016. Not bad, but I hope to have a longer list this year. Some of my favorites this year were “Beer Money” by Francis Stroh, “Before the Fall” by Noah Fawley (so good. Don’t let the premise deter you) and the Robert Galbraith books. Comment with your recommendations!

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5)  Another hot-off-the-presses article from the local paper.

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6)  So I went to an event at the Yacht Club where a male model was walking around with Chanel shoes on a platter.

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7)  After eight years of a silvery Christmas tree, I switched it up and went gold this year. New glittery balls and a new star. Before I moved to Grosse Pointe, I pretty much hated gold anything and now I kind of love it.

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8)  Sometime around Thanksgiving, I brought up a couple boxes of Christmas stuff to sort through. I put a small box of gifted ornaments (ones people have given us over the years) in the dining room cabinet, so the girls wouldn’t go rifling through it after school.

I completely forgot about that box and when it was time to trim the tree, I started panicking that I’d mistakenly donated that box along with some other holiday items at the end of last year.

When I say we turned over the entire house, I mean I spent over a couple frantic hours going through all cabinets, closets, rooms, the space above the garage (okay, my husband did that one), the furnace room, everything. Except the back of the dining room buffet, obviously. After accepting that they were in fact gone, I found the box several days later while looking for a platter. Oopsies.

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9)  We made sugar cookies for Santa, as we always do, but this year I tried a new recipe that included vanilla and almond extracts, and cream of tartar, which I’ve never used before.

The first batch came out very poofy, but they were super delicious, so I will probably go with the same recipe next year and tweak it. The girls didn’t put up a fuss about it (it could have completely given them a meltdown, you just never know with these things), so it was all good.

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9)  I went to our youngest’s class Christmas party, which was also a pajama party. Holy cow, all those kids in their pjs = so much cuteness.

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10)  I made a sweet potato pie for my December book group. I usually don’t add the bourbon, but this time I did and whoa. The girls were so nice and pretended it tasted good but it pretty much tasted like alcohol! Hahahaha. Note to self. But it looked pretty. And the toasted maple pecans were yum.

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11)  The Garden Detroit’s new hoop house is almost complete! We are so excited. Thank you to all of you who have contributed towards the project. We still need about $5k more, so if you are feeling extra giving this season, you can donate through our website!

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12)  We rang in the new year at a friend’s celebration at the Dearborn Inn. A couple hours before we were supposed to head out, I tried my dress on (I haven’t worn it for about a year) and I don’t know if it got stretched out or if a year of yoga shaved some volume off my booty or what, but it was about an inch too long! Luckily the sweet ladies at our dry cleaners were able to fix it in a jiffy.

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We haven’t gone out on New Year’s Eve since before the kids were born, so it was quite a treat. And I haven’t stayed up til 2am since I don’t know how long. It was a fabulous event. Beautiful decor, dinner, dancing, cocktails, friends and lots of laughter. A perfect way to ring in the new year!

I am nervous but also hopeful for what 2017 has in store for us. Ready or not, it’s here and it’s already moving along quickly! Blessings to all of you for a wonderful year!!

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The March List – 2015

lucy.lakestclair1)  I loved winter, I really did. But it’s spring now and I’m officially over the cold (right after I posted the lovely photos of the lake thawing, it froze again, wah-wah).

2)  It has come to this: vacuuming in my underwear. Getting electrically shocked is pretty much number one on the things-I-hate list and I will do anything not to get zapped.

Case in point, my new vacuum routine:  hair in a bun, rubber flip flops (no socks), short sleeves and… no pants. I apologize to Marty the mail carrier and any of the neighbors who can see into our house (our first floor is 80% windows) and yes, even my children (“Mom. I can see your bottom.”). I see no other alternative.

Image via wikipedia.org

3)  So there’s this neighborhood pheasant. Very handsome, kinda like the guy above (I couldn’t get a photo of ours – he’s too quick). One day, our six-year-old yells to me (I was upstairs putting clothes away), “Mom! The pheasant’s outside!” Really? Cool. Then a minute later, “Mom? Why is the pheasant knocking on our door?”. What? No, sweetie, he’s not knocking on our door. “He is! Why is he doing that?!” Sweetie, he’s not…I don’t know, maybe he wants to come in. Eventually she stopped asking.

Fast forward two nights later. I hear a knock (three hard knocks) at our door. I get up, thinking it’s the UPS guy, who leaves packages on the porch and knocks before going back to his truck. I looked through the window, no package. Sit back down on the couch. Knock-knock-knock! Hmmm. I peek through the window again and still don’t see anything. Then I open the door just in time to see the pheasant running down our walkway.

Turns out, our front door has a gold metallic strip on the bottom about five inches high. Very shiny and reflective, like a mirror. Seems our little pheasant thinks one of his friends lives here!

strawberries4)  Organic strawberries are back! I’m pretty strict about not buying foods on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list (highest in pesticides) unless they are organic, so we haven’t had strawberries all winter. Seeing them in the store made me sooo happy. I knew they weren’t going to taste all that great (and I was right), but I bought three containers anyway and made strawberry shortcakes for breakfast one morning. Can’t wait to berry pick this summer.

IMG_9926 (768x1024)5) I took Sam on a very slippery walk (so icy!) to deposit a check, but the ATM machine was broken (it had been broken since the week prior). We walked behind the building to the drive-through window and I asked if I could make a deposit there, commenting on the broken ATM. “Well, it won’t be fixed until someone comes out here to fix it.” (Ummm, okay, thank you?).

When the tube came back through the chute with my receipt, there was also a dog biscuit inside. Sam was very appreciative.

Image from spotebi.com

6)  I am now proudly doing 25 push-ups a day (vs 20 last year). Clarification: 25 girl push-ups. The kind where your knees are on the floor (or in my case, where your knees are on the dog bed because ouch). I was feeling pretty good about this until I decided to research it…

One website describes the girl push-up as “a variation on the classic push-up that is often used by those who are not yet strong enough to do proper push-ups.” Oh snap! Moving on…

Bloody Mary Mix

7) I believe I’ve mentioned the delicious (and apparently, addictive) Bloody Mary mix by American Spoon. So maybe I went a little crazy and ordered 12 bottles (but I had to! for the free shipping!).

Many here swear by McClure’s, whose second ingredient is vinegar (pucker up) and if I remember correctly, whose first ingredient is water. On its own, it tastes like straight up pickle juice. Add a little vodka and the taste improves slightly, but it’s still not drinkable (the remainder of my jar went down the sink).

American Spoon’s first and second ingredients are tomatoes and tomato juice. It’s pricey (but I’m worth it, right?), so this summer I plan to try and replicate the taste in my kitchen. I’ve already bought the fresh ground horseradish. Keep ya posted.

IMG_9252 (1024x976)8) I was standing in the kitchen a few weeks ago and realized that the under-counter molding strip near the fridge was a different color white than the others. It was off-white vs. nordic white, such a slight color difference that you can’t see in the “before” photo. But of course after noticing it, I could see nothing  else. The great folks at Mutschler ordered a replacement straight away and the new piece has been put in. Easy peasy.

9) I lost my favorite glove. And then I lost the other one. :(

10) I can’t find C&H (California & Hawaii) sugar anywhere. I’ve never used anything but and I was hesitant to buy the bright yellow Domino brand (Michigan’s brand of choice, it seems) even though there was no other option. It tastes fine, but it feels so wrong. Plus, dumb slogan.

11)  Speaking of Hawaii, I used the last of my grandma’s ginger this week (my mom brought a batch over at Christmas). It was eons better than the stuff I can get here. Can one grow ginger in Michigan? I’ll have to look that up.

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12) Remember the time I bought a coconut drink from Drought? No, because I’ve been too embarrassed to speak about it until now. The story goes like this…. I was in Detroit and popped in to Willys (Shinola’s sister store, featuring American-made clothing and products). They also sell juice from Drought, a local raw juice company I’d heard so much about. The packaging was pretty and I was thirsty.

Me: I’ll take the coconut shake, please. (The ingredients, which I looked at later, were coconut water + coconut meat, so basically, a coconut).
Them: That’s one of our best sellers. People love it!
Me: Great! I love coconut.
Them: That will be FIFTEEN DOLLARS.
Me: Oh. Wow. That’s very…. okay, here you go.

Was it good? Sure. It tasted like coconut. But so does my breakfast smoothie that is made with a 1/3 of a can of $2 coconut milk. For $15, it had better taste like it was picked from the organic jungles of Thailand this morning. I get paying top dollar for a jar of freshly-pressed juice., whatever. But coconut water? I cannot deny the success of the James sisters. But I can’t help picturing them snickering with glee whenever someone purchases a bottle of their beloved coconut “shake.” High five, ladies.

scrimps!

Image via yelp.com

Bonus #13)  I might be allergic to shellfish, you guys!! Worst. Scenario. I mean EV-er. I have an allergy test next month and I’ll fill you in on all the drama in the April list.

Happy Spring!

Is Your Makeup Safe? Introducing Beautycounter

BCbeautyimageI was shocked to learn that cosmetics companies are allowed to use known toxins – ingredients linked to cancer, reproductive issues and hormone disruptions – without telling us.

I’ve been a long-time food label reader, and when I had my kids I became aware of the dangers of oxybenzone (found in most sunscreens). It was only after my cancer scare a year and a half ago (more about that some other time) that I started becoming more aware of the ingredients in beauty products – shampoos, lotions, lipsticks, eye shadows, moisturizers, you name it.

Kidscounter Bath CollectionI already knew there was a link between serious health issues (asthma, learning disabilities, cancer, infertility) and our exposure to certain chemicals (plastics, exhaust fumes, etc). What I didn’t know is that companies are allowed to use ingredients proven to be extremely harmful in the products we put on our bodies. Every. Single. Day. Formaldehyde in our baby shampoo, lead in our lipstick, neurotoxins in our lotions and perfumes. Unacceptable!

IMG_9718 (1024x910)Enter Beautycounter, a cosmetics company devoted to progress. Beautycounter has banned more than 1500 ingredients (the EU bans 1300 and the US? just 11), setting a new health and safety standard. Each product batch must pass strict internal testing guidelines before being put on the market (and yes, they have scrapped production batches that didn’t make the cut).

Take a look at The Never List, a list of ingredients you will never find in Beautycounter products (and the reasons why).

BCcollectionI spent two months testing their products and am happy to report that they look great, feel great, smell great and best of all, they perform beautifully. Organic coconut oil, shea butter, calendula, fruit acids and flower extracts are just some of the awesome good-for-you ingredients used in the line.

I’m so proud to be involved with this great company as one of their consultants. To learn more or to shop, visit:  lani.beautycounter.com

I will be offering specials and giveaways from time to time on the blog, so stay tuned!

The February List

IMG_97681)  Remember all that praying I did for snow back in December? The Lord answered my prayers on Super Bowl Sunday in the form of the biggest snowstorm (most snowfall – 16.7 inches) the area has had in 40 years, and the third biggest snowfall in Detroit’s history. Wowza.

This is me, getting some of the snow out of the way on Sunday afternoon. Snowfall continued through Monday morning. The girls had a snow day and of course spent a big chunk of it playing in the white stuff. Storm photos to come.

2)  Snow days. Meh. (I’m a planner. Snow days throw me off my game.)

3) The most I heard about the Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year) was that one of the classes in the upper grades at school held an “authentic” celebration (the teacher was Chinese, go figure).

In San Francisco, it’s a public school holiday. There are parades and celebrations all over town. If you don’t know it’s a new lunar year, you are living under a rock. I miss that. The cultural diversity of the City. Maybe even more than I miss good Chinese food. Okay, I lied. I miss good Chinese food more than I miss cultural diversity. I am not ashamed.

IMG_9964 (768x1024)IMG_9966 (768x1024)4)  Sledding rocks. Even in 18 degree weather.

5)  The stomach flu came through our house for the second time in three months. This time it was back with a vengeance. The good thing is that the girls both knew the drill. “Mommy, I feel like I have to throw up!” Sit up, lean over trash can, throw up, drink water, lie down. Go team.

IMG_99226)  My husband built a snowman for the girls when they were sick. His name is Sara (the girls name everything Sara) and he’s a Giant’s fan.

7)  I gave up Facebook and bread for Lent. I was going to give up Facebook, bread and alcohol, but I can only take so much sacrifice. Instead of logging in to Facebook, whenever I have a few minutes (or seconds) to spare I’m trying to either reach out to someone via email or text or phone, or say a prayer for someone. It’s been nice, and not as hard as I anticipated.

The bread thing has been relatively easy so far, or so I thought until I noticed an increase in my pasta consumption. And last night I had a dream about eating croutons. Forgetting about Lent, I’d accidentally eaten one. I stood over the plate of croutons feeling so guilty. My subconscious definitely has bread on the brain.

IMG_9842 (768x1024)8)  Let’s talk about snow plow etiquette for a second (and is there such a thing?). I’m pretty sure all the neighbors’ plow services are pushing the snow on our property. I’m not kidding! Compared to the whole street, we have the biggest piles of snow on our lawn, and on all sides of our lawn.

Maybe it’s some kind of new-kid-on-the-block initiation? I actually don’t even care. That much. The last time a truck came to plow my neighbor’s driveway, I was shoveling my own. I gave the driver a “look” (you know the look. The “I’ve got my eye on you” look). Guess what, no new snow on our property that day. Hehe.

IMG_9944 (1024x975)9)  So I made a Thai dish. Not from my new “Simple Thai Food,” but from an  easier-looking crock-pot recipe I got from my girlfriend (who got it online). It was promising – looked and smelled yummy, but in truth it was lacking. A lot. Even after I threw in dried chillies and sprinkled the crap out of my red pepper flakes into the mixture, it still tasted just okay. Next month I’m going to try to make something from my Thai cookbook. Keep you posted.

His name is “Cocoa Cutie.”

10)  Valentine’s Day was a sugar-fest at the girls’ school. I can hardly talk about it without hyperventilating. I was there doing a craft with the kids (which turned out super cute, I might add). During snack (which was served 10 minutes before lunch), I bit my lip as I watched my kindergartener chomp down a cake-pop covered with frosting and sprinkles, a pretzel covered with frosting and sprinkles and a white chocolate-covered strawberry (and we all know white chocolate isn’t even chocolate).

I drew the line, however, at the chocolate-scented bear she brought home. Its chocolate-scentedness filled up the house within minutes. He was quarantined for 24 hours (left outside in the bitter cold), which helped….until I started smelling it again and he had to go to the land of no return. Buh-bye.

11)  I hate getting shocked. As in electrically shocked. If I didn’t like snow so much, it would ruin winter for me completely. Out of all the people I know, I seem to get zapped the most. What is it about me that I generate so much static?

It’s even ruining my love of the central vacuum. The body part (finger, arm, leg, foot) that happens to hit the metal rod (which happens at least 10 times), gets a shock so bad, it makes me jump out of my skin. I can see the lines of electricity going from the vacuum to my body (see above photo). I also can’t even pet my dog, because if my hand touches him for longer than five seconds, I get shocked. Aggravating.

IMG_9863 (1024x1014)12) Even though it’s happened several times, I’m still surprised when I order a cappuccino and get this. A rock candy swizzle stick. Huh. I’ve only ever seen this done in Grosse Pointe (not Detroit or other suburbs), so maybe it’s a local specialty, don’t know.

I wondered, maybe this is how they do it in Italy? Although I don’t remember them when I last visited (about 15 years ago) and I had a lot of cappuccinos while I was there. I looked online for some clarification and only found that some claim the swizzle stick is “a sophisticated way to sweeten coffee and tea.” Yeaaah. Do you think this gentleman used a swizzle stick with his cappuccino this morning? I can tell you right now that he did not. Case closed.

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Top 10 Non-Toxic Products for Body and Home

I’ve been loving making lists lately (and you’ve been loving them, too, from the comments and emails I’ve been getting), so you’ll be seeing more on the blog this year.

This month I give you my top ten non-toxic picks for body and home – the start of a new year is a great time to re-evaluate our health and our environmental consciousness. Every little decision you make matters. Whenever you replace a harmful or potentially harmful product with a safe one, you are (even if in a very small way), helping to make the world a better place!


1)   Beautycounter All Over Sunscreen –  $26.00
When I learned a couple years ago that oxybenzone (the active ingredient in most sunscreens) was a potential hormone disruptor, I started using sunscreens with a zinc oxide base. Every brand I tried had a similar issue – a thick, white pasty consistency that was hard to apply (especially on the kids – they are squirmy!) and made us look like ghosts.

Not this one. Beautycounter’s lightweight sunscreen is smooth, creamy and goes on like a dream. And no white streaks! Safe for the entire family.

Please note: not all zinc oxide sunscreens are safe to use. CVS Pure & Gentle Baby Sunscreen, for example, contains BHT, a likely carcinogen, hormone disruptor and may cause liver damage. Definitely do not want that on baby.

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant - Cedarwood & Juniper
2)  Schmidt’s – Cedarwood + Juniper Natural Deodorant – $12.00

When I first saw my friend Susan, co-founder of Butch Basix, putting on this product, I was like… what are you doing? Turns out, it’s a deodorant you apply with your fingers. Sure, it takes some getting used to, but it’s a vegan, cruelty-free, propylene glycol-free, paraben-free and phthalate-free product. And it works!

It has a nice earthy scent that’s not overbearing (I’m very scent sensitive) and it comes packaged in the cutest reusable Butch Basix logo bag. If you can’t get over the application process, they also carry natural deodorant sticks.

Ology Bathroom Cleaner Spray Peppermint

3)  Ologoy – Bathroom Cleaner – $4.99

I love this cleaner as an alternative to Clorox, Lysol, Soft Scrub and other brands that contain bleach and other harmful ingredients. It smells wonderful (peppermint) and leaves countertops, sinks and toilets shiny-clean.

I must admit that when I need heavy-duty cleaning, I still use a couple drops of bleach and water (like the time I had to clean the workers’ bathroom after the remodel. Oy). Available at Walgreens.

16 oz Dish Soap – Further Glycerin Soap

4)  Further – Dish Soap – $17.99

This natural soap for dish washing is derived from the making of biofuel. The company picks up used vegetable oil from restaurants and then processes it in their warehouse. The biofuel goes into cars and the glycerin goes into their soaps.

If you’re not into spending $18 on dish soap (I bought Further as a new-kitchen welcome gift to myself), there are a bunch of less expensive options out there. I like Ecover, available at Whole Foods.

Color Sweep Blush Duo - Tawny/Whisper

5)  Beautycounter – Blush Duos – $36.00

Beautycounter makes it on the list again, this time for their powder blush. Before finding Beautycounter, I knew some cosmetics were safer than others, but was unaware how little the industry as a whole was regulated. Beautycounter has banned over 1500 ingredients (the U.S. only bans 11) and all product batches must pass a strict heavy-metals testing process before being put on the market.

These beautiful blush duos (there are three) deliver just the right amount of color for a perfect flush. I love how you can use just one shade, or layer the two shades or blend for a third option. Each compact contains porcelain flower extract, known for its antioxidant and moisturizing properties.

6)  Shea Moisture – Baby Head-To-Toe Wash & Shampoo – $8.99

A few months ago, I looked at the ingredients on the back of my Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and freaked out. The bottle I had purchased over the summer included the ingredient quaternium-15, a substance known to cause cancer in humans. Johnson & Johnson was supposed to phase out this ingredient (among others), but it obviously did not happen yet.

I found a much better alternative in this two-in-one shampoo and body wash. It has a pleasant scent, suds well and the kids don’t complain if it gets in their eyes.

7)  Babyganics – Stain Remover –  $4.99

This plant-based stain remover has never met a stain (in our house) that it can’t get rid of. No parabens, fragrance, sulfates or chlorine. The only weird thing is that it doesn’t spray very well (it only comes out in a stream) which can be remedied if you water it down (weird, but true). Available at various drugstores and Babies R Us.

Seventh Generation™ Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent - Free and Clear (100 oz)

8)  Seventh Generation – Laundry Detergent – $11.69

There are lots of great non-toxic detergent options out there. I’ve tried a bunch (including Trader Joes, which sadly did not clean that well), but always seem to come back to this Seventh Generation formula, which is biodegradable. I always get the Free & Clear, since my kids and I are sometimes sensitive to scents. Available at Target and various drugstores.

Jazz it Up

9)  Piggy Paint – Nail Polish –  $7.99

This polish was developed by a mom who wanted a safe nail polish alternative for her two young girls. These cute water-based polishes contain no toxic chemicals; they are free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate and acetone. They are also low odor, so you don’t have to worry about the kids getting dizzy on chemical fumes.

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10)  Mutt Nose Best – Hypoallergenic Shampoo – $15.99

Our pets deserve to be toxin-safe, too! When we were in Northern Michigan this summer, we popped into a local pet supply store, looking for a biodegradable shampoo we could use in the lake. We found Mutt Knows Best and it worked great. Free of parabens, sulphates, alcohols and DEA.