Sunday, February 18, 2018

Ditch & Switch : Cooking Spray Edition


I ran out of cooking spray this week... which is a big problem when you make pancakes every.single.day. When I got to the bottom of my Costco-Sized Canister, the kitchen was filling with spray-fog and only tiny drops of the oil were spurting out. I started thinking, "Hey, I bet that stuff isn't great for breathing." Turns out I was right! 

I found this article a nutritionist wrote for Fox News. Here is an excerpt on the ingredient list in a typical cooking spray:

Dimemythlpolysiloxane: What a mouthful that word is! This is a chemical that’s a form of silicone that helps keep the oil from foaming. I discovered that it’s also used in cosmetics, refrigerants and Silly Putty. After reviewing animal studies, the World Health Organization stated that they found no adverse health effects associated with Dimethylpolysiloxane. However, personally, I’m uncomfortable feeding my family a chemical that has uses in cosmetics and Silly Putty.
Diacetyl: Studies have shown that exposure to diacetyl (the butter flavoring that is often added to cooking sprays) can increase your risk of lung disease. With long-term or repeated exposure, diacetyl can cause serious respiratory disease. While many cooking spray manufacturers no longer use this chemical, researchers are still concerned about the risk of lung disease.  
GMOs:  Cooking oils such as canola (rapeseed), corn and soy are commonly made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or ingredients that have been made through genetic engineering to be resistant to weather, pests and chemicals that would damage an all-natural plant. GMOs are in high use in the United States and many consumers have concerns about their safety.
Propellants: When oil is placed in an aerosol can, you need to add some sort of force to get it out of the can and into your pan. That’s where propellants enter the picture. While most of the commonly used propellants are on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) list and considered safe to consume, I’m still uncomfortable adding chemicals like as isobutane or propane to my family’s diet.  Butane, isobutane and propane are colorless and odorless compressed gases that are derived from petroleum and natural gas.
Clearly that spray I love so much is just junk, so while at Costco yesterday I grabbed their dual-pack of Avocado Spray Oil. 

Ingredients in the Avocado Spray Oil: 

Avocado Oil. 

That's it.

We tested it this morning with our pancakes. DELISH! Boom.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

3 Simple Swaps

Many of us are starting to wake up to the fact that most of our household items are toxic death traps not made with the best ingredients. That was me!  I wanted to do something differently but it just seemed so overwhelming to start. I mean every single thing in my house was basically going to kill me right? Well, along came Ashleigh (hey girl) and she shared a super simple switch that sort of got the ball rolling (get it..ball rolling....haha you will) into other ones. I will start with her tip.

1. Replace Dryer Sheets with Wool Dryer Balls

Photo Credit: Emily Anderson

This was the fastest, easiest switch I've done and because it was such an instant win, it helped propel me to make other switches. First you might wonder why you should have any problem with your dryer sheets. I mean they smell fantastic, they make your clothes soft, Pinterest shows us 1,680 different ways to use them, and hey no more static cling! Well, just for funsies, download the Think Dirty App and go scan your box of dryer sheets. Hurry up, I will wait. 

Oh, don't have time. I got you.

"According to the health and wellness website Sixwise.com, some of the most harmful ingredients in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener alike include benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory tract irritant), ethanol (linked to central nervous system disorders), limonene (a known carcinogen) and chloroform (a neurotoxin and carcinogen), among others."Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/greener-laundry/



Y'all, this is the last thing we rub all over our clothes before we put them over our babies heads! Yuck! No wonder Isla had eczema all over her face. So the same day I discovered this information, I went on Amazon and bought some Organic Wool Dryer Balls. Got rid of my dryer sheets. Boom.

I've been using the dryer balls for about 3 months now and I haven't missed the dryer sheets one bit. These wool dryer balls are awesome. I put a few drops of my favorite essential oils on there (Lavender, Cedar wood, and Lemon Eucalyptus) and when your laundry is done it is soft, unwrinkled and smells heavenly. If you need help with static just add a safety pin to one of the balls. I've also read that the dryer balls reduce your drying time. Wins all around. I love that I don't freak out about the boys eating dryer sheets from the laundry pile and in fact they love to play with the dryer balls! Oh and did I mention they last YEARS?! So let's recap...saved money, no more toxic dryer sheets, shorter drying time and bonus baby toys!

2. Replace Chemical "Soaps" with Organic Castile Soap



Confession time -  I grew up a hippy. Sort of. Very naturally. Let's put it that way. So a lot of this stuff is going back to my roots and the smell of Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap is nostalgic for me. After downloading that app, I started scanning stuff (stuff I was willing to replace. not my makeup. not yet. its a process people!) and realized how so much of the stuff I use to make my body clean is quite the opposite. Even my Philosophy Purity face wash (gasp! horror!) was an 8 out of 10! My hand soap that is in every single bathroom (and I nag my kids to use multiple times a day) was a 10 out of 10! My body wash that smells so good was a 9 out of 10!! Y'all we can do better. Again it was a super simple switch and it saves me money!!! Like how much of a no brainer is that one.



I bought this 32 oz. bottle of Dr. Bronners Organic Hemp Lavender Castile Soap and these 8 oz Foaming Soap Pump Dispensers (I think the glass ones are so much prettier but I have way too many kids to keep glass). I filled each bottle about 1/3 of the way with the Castile Soap then put in a few pumps of Sweet Almond Oil (because it can dry your skin out) and filled the rest with water. It smells SO GOOD! There is an unscented one you can try and a mild baby one as well but this Lavender is delicious. I did that at every sink and even replaced my body wash, baby shampoo, and face wash with it. One bottle of the Dr. Bronners lasted about 3 months!

3. Replace Cleaning Solutions with Thieves Household Cleaner


photo credit: Emily Anderson

I did this one a while back after seeing this scientific experiment. Go look at it! I bought a bottle from my friend who I knew used Young Living last July and only just replaced that bottle this month. I LOVE the smell! I also love that I can let my kids help me clean without worrying about it getting on them. I also don't freak out if my kid licks the table, the side of the tub, or his high chair. My hubs is actually kinda obsessed with this stuff now too and loves it. 

You only use one capful per spray bottle full and it does such a great job. I think it degreases and cleans better than anything else I've used. For "swiffer" type mopping (I have a spray mop with reusable pads off amazon) I follow the same ratio. For slop-mopping (which is what I do in the bathrooms and kitchen) I put one capful in a sink of super hot water, I add 1 cup of vinegar and a little bit of dish soap. Before I mop, I use that water to clean all the surfaces (appliances, counters, sinks, walls, doors etc) then I mop with it. It just melts the gunk off. We probably have more than the average share of gunk so this is huge for me!


Okay, those are my 3 simple swaps. I hope you try them and are as shocked and amazed as I am that quality, natural products can not only replace your old one but be better at their job! It made me wonder what else I just do without thinking and spurred on so many changes in so many other areas but that's another post for another time. 

If you are interested in the Thieves Household Cleaner I am happy to order one with my membership account (placing my next order March 3) and give you the wholesale price I pay or I can help you set up your own account. Send me an email for more info! chrissydoucet at gmail.com

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Twins 5 Month Update

Well the past month has been a little too exciting! I honestly don't feel like reliving it which is why I will just keep it short and sweet.




"Can you believe we are 5 months old?!"




In summary, Cullen and Everett did indeed have undiagnosed TAPS at birth (a form of twin to twin transfusion) which caused Cullen to become severely anemic. That's why Everett was red and Cullen was so pale. Cullen got a blood transfusion a few weeks ago and his hemoglobin levels have increased and are heading in the right direction. I will feel much better once everything is in the normal range.

Now for the fun stuff! These boys are both rolling all over the place. They also are trying to crawl by tucking their knees up and then pushing. They grab their toys with their hands and put them in their mouth. They're such big boys I can't even stand it. They also both sleep on their bellies at night now (although Cullen starts off on his back and doesn't turn to his tummy until after midnight).

- Cullen -
Still my prince charming but definitely more lively now. He is catching up to Everett quickly. He rolls onto his tummy almost as soon as we put him down. He has started to do this long yell thing if we aren't paying as much attention to him as he would like. He loves to make me laugh and smile. 



- Everett -
Still a mam's boy and a cuddler. He is getting so big and so strong. Everett has started this growl thing that is hilarious. I always know when it's him crying now because it has a loud growl at the end. He is a little beast. He also loves his brother and will lock eyes with Cullen and try to get him to play. 

They are still so happy (almost) all the time. We got Everett to laugh a few times and Cullen is nearly there. He gets a giggle out every so often but not quite a full belly laugh. They both love to be tickled and surprised. They interact more and more with each other every day it is seriously just melts me every time.

I think they have begun teething because everything is going in their mouths and they have tons of drool.

Sleep. They were rockstar sleepers! They went to bed at 6:30 pm and only woke up 1-2x around 12 and sometimes again at 4 before waking for the day at 7 am. But...they have started to wake back up every 90 mins - 2 hours for the first half of the night (noooooo). I am experimenting with when to give their iron drops to see if that was causing some tummy issues leading to the wake ups. Wish me luck!

I just can't believe they are already 5 months old. When my hubby get back from work next month they will be eating solid foods and probably nearly crawling! Time is in warp speed around here.

I am still adjusting to the mom-of-four thing. I just cannot do everything I want to do. I haven't been to the gym at all since Cullen's hospital stay. I told Brandon that lately it feels like I'm failing at everything all at the same time. I need to wrap my head around the fact that I won't be able to live my life to the same standards that I used to. For some reason, that's a really hard pill for me to swallow. I want my house to be clean, organized. I want healthy, homemade meals every night. I want to be in great shape again. I want to be a great mom who loves playing and spending time with her kids. Unfortunately, most days it just feels like whack-a-mole where I am just running ragged but not actually solving or finishing anything.

One day at a time. I am experimenting with new systems to simplify things and help me get back on track. That's all I have time for now so I will leave you with more cute boy pictures!