Stylishly Clean Living

Sharing my journey of cleaner living and better health without sacrificing style.

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5 Steps Towards a Nontoxic Kitchen

Many of the toxic chemicals found in our bodies are known to come from the foods we eat. That means that the kitchen is harboring a ton of toxins, risking the health of our families. Here are 5 ways to remove those dangerous chemicals and continue on your journey of toxic-free living.

1. Switch Your Cooking Utensils– BPA is a common component in plastic, so the plastic spoons and spatulas you’re using for cooking could be leaking BPA in to the food your family eats every day. Metal utensils can scratch your pans causing them to potentially release more chemicals into your food.
Make the nontoxic switch: Many cooking utensils are now made out of bamboo which is safer for your health. It’s also a renewable resource so it’s also good for the environment.

2. Recycle Your Plastic Food Storage Containers– If your specific ones can be recycled in your area. Your food sits in the plastic, absorbing dangerous chemicals, once again putting your family’s health at risk. Have you ever heated food in these? Those toxic chemicals have an ever better chance of leaking into your food.
Make the nontoxic switch: Switch to glass containers. Yes, they are more expensive and heavier, but its worth the safety of your family. Plus, you can go back to heating foods in the same container you use to store them in making for less clean up.

3. Stop Buying Canned Foods– the epoxy resin that lines cans is made with BPA, making it one of the leading causes of BPA in our bodies.
Make the nontoxic switch: Many of the foods commonly purchased in cans can be found in alternative packaging. Buy fresh or frozen veggies, boxed broths and dried beans. If you can’t find an alternative then avoid it all together- the benefits are not worth the risks when it comes to canned foods.

4. Eliminate Non-Stick Pans From Your Home– Non-stick pans are extremely popular. I’ve been a fan for years, as are many people who want to use less oil and butter when cooking. Plus they are extremely easy to clean. But they are known to release dangerous chemicals at temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit and according to Web MD, that’s not an unusual temperature for cooking. And the Environmental Working Group has reported, “at 680 degrees Fahrenheit, Teflon releases at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens.”
Make the nontoxic switch: Many makers of nonstick pans have agreed to start phasing out the use of PFOA (Perfluorooctanic acid) by 2015 but PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) still remains. Consider cast iron or stainless steel. Xtrema Ceramic Cookware carries a line of ceramic cookware that is Lead and Cadmium and Heavy Toxic Metal Free. PFOA & PTFE Free with no unsafe non-stick coating. It is also versatile, easy to clean, can with stand high temperatures, durable and long lasting (it comes with a 50 year guarantee against scratching.)

5. Avoid Bleached Paper Products: Coffee filters and parchment paper are found in just about every kitchen in America. Check your cabinets. Are you using white filters and paper? They get the white coloring from bleach, which creates highly toxic dioxins.
Make the toxic free switch: Don’t fear! You can still enjoy your coffee and favorite cookies. Switch to unbleached filters and parchment paper for safer coffee and baking.


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Fall Fashion Preview

I’ve had a blast this summer. We were jam packed with swimming and parks and weddings and vacations and everything that makes for an amazing summer. But I’m having a hard time coming to terms with it being September. I’m doing my best to not think about the freezing weather and early sunsets and getting back into blogging is just the thing to help. So here we go. I’m hoping to share a lot of great info on living stylishly clean as the daylight hours get shorter and shorter. I have make up reviews, fashion & tips for nontoxic living already in the works.

You can’t do clean living without “stylishly” so here are some fall fashion trends that I’m loving at the moment.

I love grey any time of year but during the fall I naturally think of browns, reds and purples. But this year is different. Grey is all over the runways and fashion magazines this season so Break out your grey garb and stay in style.

20140822-094149.jpgFaux-Leather Scrunch Flats $24.94, Old Navy

20140822-094156.jpgSloan-Fit Texture Slim Ankle Pant $89.50

20140822-094203.jpgGrey Chambray Shirt $26.94, Old Navy

This might be my favorite of all the trends this season. The poncho is making a come back. I love the versatility of this piece. Pair it with shorts while there are still a few more warm days and then swap the shorts for leggings or skinny jeans as the weather gets colder. I’m all about inexpensive pieces, but this is one you can splurge a bit on since you’ll get so much use out of it!

20140822-100318.jpgEileen Fisher Asymmetrical Poncho $158, Nordstrom

20140822-100634.jpgHollow Out Knitted Tassel Poncho Sweater $23.50, Ali Express

Slouchy Wide Leg Pant
This look has Kardashian written all over it. Once you get past the MC Hammer visual, you can actually take this look seriously. Great for a casual day look or dress it up for an ultra-glam evening look.

20140822-103608.jpgZippered Crepe Drawstring Joggers $22.80, Forever 21

20140822-103829.jpgFaux Leather-Trimmed Joggers $22.80, Forever 21

PURES & SHOES: Clutches, Structure & Fringe
There are some amazing accessories trending this fall. As a purse fanatic, I’m dying over some of these.

Clutches are HUGE this season. Any shape, size or color will do and the runways were filled with every possibility. Have a smaller clutch? Carry your wallet and essentials in it and keep it in your larger bag when needing more room. Makes for quicker and easier transition between purses.

20140822-105918.jpgBlack Clutch with Hand Strap $38 (pre-order), Fabriek

20140822-110215.jpgFold-Over Convertible Clutch $39.90, Express

Another big trend in purses this season is structure. These are classic styles that never go out of style so it’s ok to splurge!

20140822-112103.jpgMilly Sienna Tote $485, PiperLime

20140822-112309.jpgRalph Lauren $268, Lord & Taylor

I’ve never been a big fan of fringe, but there are some great ways to incorporate fringe into your wardrobe this year with these to-die-for accessories.

20140822-113013.jpgIsella Fringe Sandals $139, Bebe

20140822-113141.jpgSuede Mesh Fringe Point-Toe Pump in Scarlet $625 (pre-order), Neiman Marcus

20140822-113441.jpgFringe Tote Handbag in Cognac $29.99, Target

20140822-113745.jpgCruz Studded Suede Fringe Bucket Bag in Blue $54, Urban Outfitters

For even more Fall Fashion, check out my Pinterest page here.


How to Easily Choose a Nontoxic Sunscreen

With the unofficial start to summer just behind us, it’s no doubt that we are all seeing ad upon ad and product recommendation upon recommendation for sunscreen. I can’t begin to count the number of articles and blogs I’ve read that list the “best” sunscreens to use. But what does the “best” mean and if they’re the “best” then why is each list different?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve arrived on several beach vacations to find that you’re sunscreen never made it in the suitcase, leaving you left in an unfamiliar store trying to remember those endless lists of sunscreen recommendations.

I put together 3 easy steps to buying safe and effective sunscreen wherever you are.

Choose an SPF of 15-30 SPF refers to the protection against UVB rays. An SPF below 15 will not provide you with enough. Anything higher than 30 will not provide you with significant more coverage and can actually put your health even more at risk.

Look for zinc oxide listed in the ingredients Makers of sunscreen have many options to choose from when deciding what to use to block the rays. Chemical ingredients are a hassell because you have to wait for them to be absorbed before going in the sun. This also puts your health at risk. Of the physical barrier options, zinc oxide is the only one that will fully protect you from the sun.

Avoid products with retinyl palmitate According to the Environmental Working Group, “Scientists have found that vitamin A can spur excess skin growth, known as hyperplasia and that in sunlight retinyl palmitate can form free radicals that damage DNA (NTP 2000).” (See The Problem with Vitamin A)

Additional Tips
-The EWG each year selects sunscreen recommendations based on their high standards. You can purchase these sunscreens by clicking here
-Most people do not apply enough sunscreen. Use enough to fill a shot glass for adequate coverage.
-Reapply sunscreen after getting out of the water and hourly.
-When in doubt, go with your gut. Anything is better than nothing!


Looking to party? Check out this link party here.

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Smoothies make a healthy on-the-go delicious breakfast and a refreshing treat any time of day. But if you’re too intimidated to create your own blends or stuck in a rut making the same recipe day after day then here are some easy combinations to help keep it simple yet the varieties are endless.

These instructions make about 2 (generous) servings, or as it works in my house, 1 serving, 1 toddler serving and 6 popsicles. You can cut the amounts in half if you’re only making one serving or increase it as need be.

Pick your fruit (2 cups)
I prefer frozen, but you can use any combination of fresh and frozen. For convenience, I often buy cut frozen fruit.

Pick your yogurt (1 cup)
For a healthier smoothie choose plain Greek yogurt. For a thinner
texture or if you prefer not to use yogurt you can skip this step.

Pick your liquid (1cup)
Green tea, coconut water, juice or almond milk (or whatever type you

Pick your veggie (1cup)
Spinach, kale or anything soft enough to blend. This is a great way to
sneak veggies into a picky eater’s diet!
Pick your super food (optional, 1 tbsp)
Chia seeds, flax seed, almonds, cinnamon,

Other tips:
-Add left overs to popsicle molds & place in freezer for a yummy treat!
-Use fruits and veggies that you have on hand. Strawberries about to go bad? Toss them in!
-If your fruit isn’t frozen, add a few ice cubes
-Be creative so you don’t get stuck in a rut. Think mango/banana, peach/mango/coconut, mango, strawberry/banana, banana/pineapple/peach,
-If you prefer to use fresh fruit, freeze juice, green tea or coconut water in ice cube trays the night before to get the frozen texture

What creative smoothies have you tried?


Skin Deep- App Recommendation

I came across Skin Deep while researching the safety level of different products. I instantly fell in love with this app because of its easy use and rating system. I immediately ran to my shower, cosmetic bag and medicine cabinet to scan all my products and wow- was I surprised.

What is Skin Deep?
Skin Deep is an app that allows you to scan cosmetics and personal care products to determine how safe it is to use. Each product is rated with a number score (1 to 10) and a level of low, moderate or high.
EWG, the maker of Skin Deep is an organization with boat loads of information on how to avoid harmful chemicals and toxins from both foods and products.
Scan or type in your favorite products to see if they are safe or potentially put your health at risk. It’s also great on your smart phone. It allows you to scan products in the store before you buy. Best of all it’s free!
The app is available for IPhones and Androids. Get your app here.

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Basics of Essential Oils

I was first introduced to essential oils when I worked in the spa industry. I learned about the benefits of several oils and incorporated them into my work often. If a client was stressed or had troubled sleeping, I would always recommend an essential oil added to their massage. Since I had access to oils, on occasion I would try smelling one to help release my headaches. When I was past my due date with Sloane, I spent most of the work day smelling lavender because it is believed to help bring on labor. Unfortunately, I never had any good results until about 6 months ago.

As a part of my effort to lead a cleaner and greener life, I started using essential oils again. This time I used them to clean my home and added them to scentless candles so that my family wasn’t breathing in whatever chemicals are in candles to make them smell so good. Since I was having better luck using oils I wanted to research more ways to use them.

Essential oils are a great way to easily make the cross-over to a cleaner, non-toxic lifestyle. Since they are 100% natural you always know what you’re working with and don’t have to worry about any unwanted chemicals being added to your products.

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Non-Toxic Nail Polish

Non-Toxic Nail Polish

If you have a little girl, you know how much fun it is to paint their nails. When I first painted Sloane’s nails she was so excited that she insisted on showing everyone she saw over the next few days. At 2 years old, her fingers were always in her mouth and the polish quickly wore off. Because I was concerned about what she was ingesting, I made it a rule only to do her toes from then on.

I don’t feel comfortable wearing nail polish either. Baby Joey is teething and always trying to chew on my fingers so I worry that he could also take in harmful chemicals.

Fortunately there is a solution. Many companies have started to come out with non-toxic nail polishes that are safe for girls of all ages.

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