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Unruly curls, damaged hair, or just want to get a deep conditioning treatment for your hair? Tired of using chemicals to do it? Does your scalp need some TLC, so your hair can continue to grow healthy?
Then this hair mask is perfect! My Husband & Daughter both have very curly hair, and it constantly dries out. I’m always looking for natural products for their hair, and while some products do the trick – I got tired of having to buy SO many different ones, for different purposes. Oils & creams for curls, detanglers, deep conditioners.. and so on.
You can find all the ingredients to this mask commonly in your kitchen!
Toxins Found in Hair & Beauty Products:
• Heavy Metals (lead, aluminum, arsenic, nickel, beryllium, mercury, cadmium & nickel)
• Diethanolamine (DEA)
• Proplene Glycol (Anti-Freeze)
• Sodium Laureth Sulfate
This mask is made of natural oils, a little mayo, cinnamon, and avocado!
(Odd combination, I know!) With all of these combined, it makes a wonderful detoxifying & conditioning mask. Here’s why I picked these particular ingredients:
• Cinnamon – Cinnamon exfoliates the scalp, detoxifying and cleaning hair particles to stimulate new growth!
• Olive Oil – Conditions, Moisturizes, and reduces hair loss by strengthening the hair at the root!
• Heated Coconut Oil – (Pours coconut oil on life) Coconut oil also conditions, and stimulates hair growth.
• Organic Mayo – Makes hair glossy & shiny, & repairs damaged hair.
• Avocado – Softens & adds shine to hair.
Now, Here’s the only catch to this amazing natural mask – It’s messy… And I mean, MESSY. I highly suggest laying down a couple towels before applying it to your hair. That seems to be the only downside of making natural beauty products that I have found. Nothing worth it comes easy!
I heated the coconut oil on the stove, then poured it into a metal bowl. I then added the olive oil, cinnamon, avocado, and mayo. Make sure you mash the avocado as much as humanly possible. I used a fork, then used my hands to mash up the tiny pieces. If you use your hands, you’ll feel how silky-smooth the mix is.
Next, lay down those towels! (Believe me, you’ll need them.) Then directly apply the mix to the hair, working it through evenly, and massaging it into the scalp. Make sure every part of your hair is covered, and you take extra time to exfoliate your scalp.
You can leave it down, tie it up, or put a cap over it. Leave in for anywhere from 30 Mins. to and Hour. (Or more, if you want!) The longer you leave it in, the better the results will be. My Husband & Daughter’s hair came out perfectly after an hour. Both of their curls were better defined, more moisture locked in, and no dryness! I’ll definitely be using this mask on both of them more often.
Natural Detoxify & Condition Hair Mask:
• 5 Tbps. Heated Coconut Oil
• 5 Tbps. Olive Oil
• 1 Whole Avocado (Mashed)
• 2 Tbps. Ground Cinnamon
• 2 Tbps. Organic Mayo
1. Melt coconut oil on stove over medium heat.
2. Pour hot coconut oil into heat-safe bowl.
3. Add Remaining ingredients & mix together.
4. Mash Avocado with fork / hands to make sure there are no small clumps.
5. Lay down towels, and apply to hair evenly. Exfoliate scalp.
6. Leave in for 30 mins- 1 Hour, and wash out with Shampoo & Conditioner.
– If any small avocado pieces are left when applying, mash pieces into hair with fingers until it is evenly mixed in.
– This mask is messy! Please lay down towels to prevent any major mess.
– The longer you leave it in, the better it will be!
– Use once a week for deep conditioning / scalp detox
With more information coming out about toxins used to make toys, low-health code standards, and the general issues of plastic pollution.. I have been trying to find more brands of children’s toys that are safe, and eco-friendly.
Did you know that about 90% of our children’s toys are made in China?
Why toys from China are NO good:
•Toys made from China contain lead paint.
•Known for making toys with loose small parts/ magenets.
•Hurts US economy, and takes jobs away from US citizens.
•Recalls for other harmful chemicals such as phthalates, and BPA.
“The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) regulates the allowable limit of lead in children’s products. The current limit stands at 100 parts per million (ppm). While the CPSC mandates that products imported into the U.S. be tested for lead, many items such as plastic toys and costume jewelry still make it through our ports and onto our shelves. For example, in a 14-month period from 2006 to 2007, over 4-million voluntary recalls were made due to excessive lead in toys. The overwhelming majority of these toys were made in China.” (1)
With that said, I found a couple brands that I am VERY pleased with so far!
In addition to our beloved Melissa & Doug toys, we have found b. Toys.
b. Toys is a brand made in the USA, that contains NO harmful chemicals (Same for Melissa & Doug), and their packaging is 100% eco-friendly!
My little ones are obsessed with popular characters like Moana, Doc McStuffins, Cars, etc… So I thought it may be difficult to find toys that are safe, and that they would actually like and play with. (Big brands like Disney, Barbie, Vtech, Mattel, and many more all have their toys made in China… With MANY recalls.)
I was pleased to see that they actually prefer the SAFE toys we have been getting them. 🙂
My Son loves to count….Anything. He will kidnap our shoes and line them up, counting each one. So the b. Toys counter (Two-ty Fruity Toy) we got was perfect for him.
He loves all the cute little fruit pieces, and I can rest easy knowing if he tries to somehow put his mouth on it- It will be okay.
My daughter loves her new Melissa & Doug music toys. They have a “Band-in-a-Box” set that has SO much stuff in it! Not only are Melissa & Doug toys safe, and made in the USA, they are educational and fun. We now have little music class jam-sessions with our awesome toys from Melissa & Doug.
Another great selection we got from Melissa & Doug was the Catch & Count wooden fishing set. The twins absolutely LOVE to play with this one! It has tiny fishing poles (with a magnet on the end as the “hook”), fish with numbers & colors, and a spinning wheel with the matching numbers and colors. They can spin the wheel, and pick up the fish that matches the number & color. This helps with problem solving, and recognizing numbers and colors! Its so fun to play, and it helps them learn at the same time. Can’t ask for anything better!
Melissa & Doug and b. Toys are commonly found at Target, and that is where I purchase them for my family. I also used to work as a teacher for Gymboree Play & Learn, and I know they sell Melissa & Doug products, as well as other great educational & safe toys. (They are also a GREAT place for development for 0-5 year olds, meeting other parents, and help with things you can do at home to help your children… I HIGHLY recommend Gymboree for little ones! I loved it there)
You can also purchase the directly from the store online! Just click one of the links I have provided, and start shopping!
I’ll be on the hunt for more brands that are safe for kids, and I will update any new ones I find that are worth mentioning. 🙂
Since I am no longer a carnivore, and moved mostly to a plant-based diet… I have been looking for more creative and tasty ways to take in my veggies. One thing I have learned, especially with my kids, when in doubt…Cover it with cheese. (I use GoVeggie & Follow Your Heart brand cheeses. Daiya Foods is another great cheese-alternative!)
Not only does it give me my veggie fill, and cheese fix- It gives me a pasta fix as well! Just… Yum. If you love extra creamy, cheesy, pasta-like goodness, you’ll love this recipe.
If you absolutely NEED the real stuff- You can substitute the vegan cheeses with Parmesan cheese & mozzarella. Give vegan cheese a try if you haven’t already, you’ll be surprised!
This dish takes roughly an hour or so to make- So if you want a quicker meal, I suggest baking the spaghetti ahead of time..and storing it for later.
Gimmie that Cheese…Please…
Prep: 5 Min. || Cook: 60 Min. || Ready in: Roughly 1 Hour
• 1 Whole Spaghetti Squash
• 5 oz of Fresh Spinach
• 2 7 oz Bags of Shredded Vegan Cheese ( I used GoVeggie.)
• 4 Tbps. Olive Oil
• Seasonings (I used Sea Salt + Organic All Purpose Seasoning. About a tsp of each.)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
2. Safely cut the spaghetti squash in halves, and scoop out the “guts” and seeds from the inside of the squash.
3. Coat the inside of the squash with 2 Tbps. of Olive oil, and place them cut side down on a baking dish/pan.
4. Cook the spaghetti squash, face down, for 40 Mins. at 400° in the oven.
5. In the last half of the spaghetti squash cooking, prepare the spinach/”cheese” mixture.
Preparing Spinach / “Cheese” Mix:
• Heat 2 Tbps. of Olive Oil on Medium-High in a large sauce pan on the stove.
• Add 5 oz of Fresh Spinach to the Olive Oil, and stir until wilted.
• Add 1 1/2 Bags of 7 oz of Vegan Shredded Cheese
• Stir until fully mixed, melted, and creamy.
6. After the squash has finished cooking, remove from the oven, and drop the oven temperature to 375°.
7. Flip the Spaghetti Squash over, and with a fork- Fluff the inside of the squash to pull up all of the “spaghetti”.
8. Add Spinach/”Cheese” mixure directly into the squash pieces, and mix together evenly.
9. Add the remaining half a bag of vegan cheese to the top, and pop back in the oven for another 20 Mins.
10. Pull out of the oven, and Enjoy! Serve with optional garlic bread.
Recently, I decided to challenge myself to 30 Days of Yoga. I knew that I was in a mental-rut, and I needed something else to attach my thoughts to. The mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, mothering, and working were taking over my brain space- and something had to give. I also knew that if I just said “Do Yoga” to myself, I would most likely end up doing it for a day or two…and lose my drive and focus (as with several things I set out to do, and don’t.) I also needed to be more active. I was never really an active person, and I did not realize all the benefits. After facing several health issues all spring up at once- something had to change.
So, I decided to challenge myself. 30 full days of Yoga. For someone who barely stretched, took one Yoga class as a teen, and was never really active… That was a big chuck to bite off. Would I really be able to keep up? If I cant, what if I lose the confidence to continue? Can I really do this- everyday?
I was riddled with thoughts that tried to prevent me from taking on the challenge to better myself.
Our brains are designed to protect us from things that are scary- or difficult. Although sometimes this internal body-guard comes in handy, sometimes you have to tell it to back down and let you stand out & shine!
After telling the Negative-Nancy in my brain to shove it- I took the plunge and started my 30 Days of Yoga journey. I decided on a home practice for my 30 days, mostly because I did not have the ability or time to go to a studio everyday. Also, it would likely be rather expensive. I suggest a home practice if you decide to take on 30 Days of Yoga. It made me feel much more comfortable and motivated to get on the mat everyday. I do suggest if you are new to possibly add in some classes with home practice, just to be sure your form is correct & meet fellow Yoga lovers.
I started my home practice watching Adriene Mishler’s Yoga with Adriene 30 Days of Yoga Challenge! (Here is a link to her Youtube Channel — And Here is the link to the 30 Days of Yoga Series)
I LOVE watching her videos. She’s hilarious, weird, witty, and extremely helpful. Adriene moves at a pace that works for beginners, and advanced, leaving no room for anyone to be left behind. She clearly explains each movement, and even has MORE detailed videos of the moves. (Check out her Foundations of Yoga videos!)
Let me say, after a couple days… I was sore. Actually, it was every day a new body part would be SO sore. I had to take a few epsom salt baths, with essential oils. I thought it was never going to end, and that I would eventually give up. I stuck through it, loved myself a little extra, and sure enough… After a couple weeks- I didn’t feel it the next day. My body has adjusted to my new routine, and everyday was easier than the last. After a couple weeks, my body was able to stretch much further than when I started, and there was no more soreness!
My Favorite Sore Muscles Bath-Remedy:
• 2 Cups Epsom Salt ( I like Dr. Teal’s Soothe & Sleep with Lavender)
• 7 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
• 7 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil
• 7 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
• 7 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
• 1/2 Cup to 1 Cup of Liquid Coconut Oil
• 1/2 Cup Baking Soda
A month later- Not only had I proved to myself that I could challenge myself, and stick with it.. I felt BEYOND AMAZING! My body was significantly more limber, and I felt energy every morning to get up and get on my mat. The 30 day challenge made me EXCITED about Yoga, and what I could do to better myself everyday. My brain was finally out of the fog, back to stability and balance.. and my body felt better than it ever had before. I learned the tools to connect my mind, body, and energy… and it has been a freeing, wonderful experience.
Now, roughly 2 months later… I am still practicing Yoga on a daily basis. I made it a routine to get up, take a shower, put on some chilled-out music, and get on my mat. I never focus on exactly how long I do it, or move like a “Yoga Robot”- I just get on the mat, and move with the flow. I find what feels right, what my body needs that day, and move with it. I feel more empowered everyday, and feel better physically and mentally.
If you haven’t challenged yourself lately.. Give yourself one. It can be anything, 30 Days of Yoga, 30 Days of No Meat, 30 Days of Journal Entries, 30 Days of Whatever you what to improve in your life. Just the fact that you give yourself to the challenge will bring improvement into your life & mind. It gives you focus, drive, and helps show you that you really are capable of whatever you set your mind to!
I took the Challenge. What are you challenging yourself to do?
We all want the best for our children. We all wish to make a positive impact on the world, and we want that for our children as well. Sometimes, we can’t change the views of others… But we can try to raise children who value living a more conscious life. Small differences can bring about big changes. Ultimately it is up to the individual on the changes he/she wishes to make, but we can be the guiding force for our children. We are the first ones they look to for learning how to live, what is important, and how to go about each day. These small differences can teach your child to be more conscious, and grow a lasting bond that is not only beneficial to the child and parent- But to the Earth, as well.
The Earth has been around for 4.6 billion years, but in the past 100 years, people have caused a great deal of damage. We have destroyed 80% of the Earth’s forest and 40% of the Earth’s tropical rainforests. (1)
More than toys, more than going out to eat, more than playtime, more than anything… Children need love. Although stores want us to have this painted picture of love and family being gifts, and lavish things.. This is not what brings happiness or contentment to our children. It doesn’t even bring happiness to us… It’s a mere distraction. A marketing technique. Our kids need our attention, our understanding, explanations, knowledge, teaching, our affection… They need for us to be the guiding light that shines bright for them to follow. You can show your child more love not only with showing them more understanding and attention, but giving it to others as well. If your children see you having more compassion and care for other individuals, they will see it as the normal for how their behavior should be to others. We all get upset, and frustrated… But taking a moment to breathe instead of blow up could be the difference in our children seeing love in a moment, or anger/hate/fear. Taking the extra time to explain a question our child has asked 9 million times today, or stopping to properly explain what seems like a silly question.. Makes a big difference.
Anxiety disorders affect 25.1% of children between 13 and 18 years old. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse. (2)
Meditation is such an amazing tool for all different areas. It can teach our children to have more focus, stay in the moment, and clear all of those tiny clouded thoughts. Do you remember how wild your mind was as a child? It’s no wonder why children move around so quickly, and are so excited… Their little brains are on overdrive! Meditation helps your little one to quiet the mind, and even run off with their imaginations. Try out some fun guided meditations that are geared towards children.. or make your own! Gently guide them through a blissful and fun journey that grabs hold of their attention, and gives mediation an exciting element.
A Few Meditation Benefits:
-Improves Focus & Attention
-Improves the ability to regulate emotions.
-Increases social connection and emotional intelligence.
-Decreases Stress & Aniexty
-Promotes positive moods.
-Increases immune function.
There are plenty of ways we can demonstrate how to live a more sustainable life to our children. We can teach them the benefits of saving water, and several ways to do so. Simple, small changes that can create a big impact. Have them turn off the water while they are brushing their teeth to conserve water. Collect water while washing food, hands, or even cooking…and use it to water plants.
Conserving energy is also a huge way to help in the path to becoming more sustainable. Make sure that you turn off the lights when you exit a room, over time.. Your children will also pick up the habit. Make sure that anything that is not in use, in unplugged. (Only explain to unplug to children who are at a responsible age to plug-in and unplug electronics..Please!) Making sure all doors are closed in the house also conserves energy!
Another way to teach our children to be more sustainable is growing your own food. This is not only an amazing way to bond with your child, it also saves you money, and ensures the safety of the food your family eats. You don’t need a ton of space to grow more than enough vegetables for your family, a small spot works just fine!
-Running the tap while brushing your teeth can waste 4 gallons of water.
-Americans consume 26% of the world’s energy. (3)
-18% of total emissions comes from operating our homes. (4)
-Since around 1940, we have seen a decline in produce nutritional value of up to 40 percent. (5)
Another thing that goes hand in hand with gardening is composting. A good portion of the things we normally just toss in the trash, can actually be composted! Compost can be used to garden, and even landscape. From fruit & veggie scraps, to cardboard, to pizza crust… There is an array of things that we normally trash that can be added to a compost. Composts are easy to build, and low maintenance. (Click here for a FULL list of Compostable Items!) Recycling also cuts out a significant portion of our trash. Wash out all recycling, and toss it in the bin! Make a game for your kids to practice what should be recycled, composted, and what should still be thrown away. Try to get the amount of things you toss down to little to nothing…And reward yourself and your child for doing so. Grocery shopping can also be altered to adjust the amount of waste your household produces. Try taking cloth bags with you, instead of using plastic or paper grocery bags. Shop in bulk! Take mason jars, and fill them up with your favorite bulk products. Many places who offer bulk products will let you try out a sample, let your children sample and find their favorite natural foods.
-An average American creates 4.5 pounds of garbage a day. That amount has doubled from 30 years ago.
-The EPA estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it.
-We generate 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. If we composted that food, it would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road. (6)
Did your parents always tell you not to talk to strangers? Of course they did. We have all heard it as a tactic to keep us safe from predators, or anyone we just shouldn’t talk to. Now while I do NOT believe children should talk to strangers unsupervised, I do believe that we need more connection and compassion for the people we interact with. We miss so many connections, dehumanize so many individuals on a daily basis, all because we have been conditioned to keep moving. Rarely do we actually stop to connect, and really communicate with any person we come into contact with. My daughter loves to wave at literally every single person she sees while we are in a store… At first, this bothered me. I was afraid that it would upset other people, and I realized that was a silly fear. Why should they be bothered? She was only extending her kindness to the people around her in the moment. We should be teaching our children to be more polite.. Hold the door open for the next person, no matter who it is. Smile at the person walking past you. Ask the cashier how their day is going. These small acts of humanity are so far and few, and we need more of them.
Why We Should Talk To Strangers:
1. Because they are.
2. It can spice up that moment.
3. It can be a good story.
4. You never know who you might meet. (7)
Not only do I love Yoga- My little ones love it! Yoga is very beneficial physically, and mentally. It also can be an enlightening spirtual experience. With proper form and breathing, Yoga can connect the mind and body to work together in amazing ways. I’ve noticed that it can help ease and soothe a busy mind, and for kids – That’s all the time! They run back and forth, so excited and full of energy… Yoga can help create focus and help them become a little more mindful of the present moment. Yoga increases flexibility, and aids in balance & coordination. I highly suggest Jaime (Cosmic Kids Yoga ) from Cosmic Kids Yoga! She has a YouTube channel where she tells fun stories along with her Yoga moves. My kids LOVE watching her, and I enjoy it too. For Adults, I LOVE doing my home practice with the guidance of Adriene Mishler. (Yoga with Adriene & Find What Feels Good) Check out her YouTube channel here!
Benefits of Kid’s Yoga:
1. Increase in the relationship of mind & body.
2. Increased Flexibility.
3. Helps with Balance & Coordination.
4. It can be a fun experience for child & parent!
1. Environment Facts: https://kidskonnect.com – KidsKonnect, October 26, 2012
3. Water: Use Less—Save More, by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert.
5. Davis, Donald R. “Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What Is the Evidence?” HortScience. The American Society for Horticultural Science, February 2009. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/44/1/15.full