DIY NON Toxic Sunscreen

If you’re eating organic and doing all the things but still using chemical laden products… well lets just say this blog post is for you!  Our skin is our biggest organ and absorbs 64% of what we put on it!

Also what even are those big words on the back of the bottles – the so called ingredients where you cant even pronounce the words!? Here’s the thing though, you can google it! With a quick google search I learned a lot about some scary ingredients in common sunscreens.

“EWG has reviewed the existing data about human exposure and toxicity for the nine most commonly used sunscreen chemicals. The most worrisome is oxybenzone, added to nearly 65 percent of the non-mineral sunscreens in EWG’s 2017 sunscreen database. Oxybenzone can cause allergic skin reactions (Rodriguez 2006). In laboratory studies it is a weak estrogen and has potent anti-androgenic effects (Krause 2012)” The article I found this info can be read here.

The article also mentioned how these chemicals are estrogen mimicking (like a lot of chemicals are) which in some studies, also listed in that article, showed men who used these sunscreens had a significantly lower testosterone level on days they used that sunscreen. Wow, scary right?

If you’ve been following me since last year you already know my love for Young Livings sunscreen and you have the info on why we need SOME SPF but not A TON … if you want more info on that checkout my other blog post on that here!

BUT my girls are in a daycare center – each in their own room, since they’re roomed by age, so this means they have to each have their own sunscreens/bug sprays etc and being the potion making DIY loving mama I am, I love being able to experiment recipes and make them my own. SO I do make sunscreen as well as buying it. The recipe in this blog post is perfect, it makes two 4oz mason jars of sunscreen! It was perfect, one for Ellie and one for Mila!

I have tried many recipes and this by far is the best one yet! Most other recipes I’ve tried were too oily and then other ones I’ve tried melted with any weather above 70 – that’s not good when you’re at the beach and its 95 degrees out! Am I right!?

DIY NON Toxic Sunscreen

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil — contains a natural SPF of 10 (Aldi brand is our favorite).
  • 1/4 cup sweet almond oil or Young Livings V6 oil — great for skin elasticity
  • 1/4 cup beeswax 
  • 2 Tbsp Shea or Cocoa Butter
  • 1 tsp Vitamin E
  • 2 Tbsp NON-nano Zinc Oxide powder  — contains a natural SPF of 20
  • Optional: I love to add lavender essential oil and carrot seed essential oil to mine because it gives it a wonderful scent and is very beneficial to the skin. I typically add about 10 drops each, after it is all mixed up and has cooled a bit. I only use therapeutic grade essential oils, so I am sure that the quality is to my standards (especially for use on my kids!)
  • I usually buy my ingredients from either Bulk Apothecary or Amazon. My Essential Oils I buy from Young Living.

Step one: Melt everything except the zinc and essential oils! Once everything is melted, I let it cool for a few minutes (watch it because it starts hardening if it cools too much!) I like to let it cool because of this next step.

Pour into your mason jars, if you do two 4 oz mason jars its the perfect amount – then I add 1 tbsp of Zinc to each jar. Close the jars and shake them vigorously, you might also want to use an oven-mitt or a towel as the jars might be warm still! Once I’ve shaken them to my liking, I open them up let them cool a bit more and then add my essential oils, I then stir it up so its a nice creamy mixture.

While I keep them right in these jars you can also buy silicon travel bottles on amazon that are so cute!

Happy DIYing mamas!!

XOXO Kate

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surrogacy, the beginning.

“Our girls are the best thing to ever happen to us, and for us to be able to help bless another family with that same thing, is amazing.” These were the words coming out of my teary eyed husbands mouth during our psych evaluation in one of the beginning stages of this surrogacy journey. Right then, I remember thanking god for bringing him into my life. Its not everyday someone wants to be a surrogate and I’m assuming its probably even less common for a husband to jump on board the first time a wife brings up wanting to be a surrogate. God has shown me more than a handful of times already that this is exactly what He wants me to be doing.

When I was pregnant with Mila I joked with a few of our friends how if I could have everyone’s babies I would – even theirs! Although all pregnancies are different, somehow I had two super easy pregnancies – I mean I think I was sick a handful of days throughout both of my pregnancies. I had fairly easy labors with both girls as well. Also while pregnant with Mila my husband and I had the talk about more children – were we done, were we not…. We even went to see our family doctor to talk about a vasectomy. I was struggling with the idea that I might never be pregnant again – I love being pregnant. Even though I am totally content with our two girls, never being pregnant again made me sad. Even with troubles that come with pregnancy, food aversion, cravings, stretching uterus pains, having to pee every 10 minutes and restless nights.

It is all worth it for these amazing little miracles.

 I remember trying to conceive with Ellie and man we tried and tried, so long that we even talked about what would our lives be like if it just wasn’t in the cards for us.

I am so thankful God had other plans! 

I remember when I hit send on my surrogacy application, I was so nervous and excited at the same time. Then I got a call from Julie, ABCs surrogacy intake coordinator.  We chatted about my application, she was so sweet, straight forward, down to earth and bubbly – just the kind of person you want in that type of a position. Then followed with a Skype call with a few other people from the company to get to know me, once they had all my information/medical records etc, Julie made me a profile and was able to share my information with intended parents! It was all happening so fast.

Devin and I had a Skype call with intended parents interested in my profile like legit the very next week! Since we all live in different time zones it was a struggle to make a Skype call work, Devin and I were able to do it on our breaks at work. I remember being so nervous. But you know when you’re so nervous for something and then you start doing it and you’re like wondering why you were so nervous because it turns out once you get going you’re so much more relaxed? That’s how I felt. I was so grateful.

On the call I shared my love for essential oils and prayed they would be okay with me using them. The intended parents joked about their oily witch doctor friend…. exactly what Devin calls me too! I couldn’t believe it, it was so great how those things just aligned. Again I thanked God and knew this was His plan for me.

Later that day, we were matched! They liked us as much as we liked them! Less than 2 weeks later Devin and I were flying out to Santa Monica California for my medical evaluation with their doctor – that’s where their embryo is frozen and waiting for me! This was my first time flying and let me tell you – I am not a fan! Not one bit. We will for sure be driving for my transfer, flying will be too stressful for me and I don’t want that stress around when I’m trying to become pregnant with someone elses baby, ha!

When we arrived in Cali it was all so surreal – was this really happening!? The sun, the warm weather, I mean it was still practically winter back in MN. The morning after arriving in Cali we met up with Nicole and Emily my case manager from Abundant Beginnings Surrogacy – These ladies and this company, they are amazing. If you’re ever interested in surrogacy, check them out.

After lunch it was time for my appointment!

 It was pretty easy actually, I had some lab testing and an ultrasound! The ultrasound was really cool though, they blew up my uterus with a balloon and some water and they were able to see it better and see my ovaries. This is where my mind was blown – I had 8 eggs in each ovary and one was soon to be released. Even my husband could make them out on the ultrasound. The crazy thing tho – years ago when we were trying to get pregnant, I didn’t even have a fraction of that….. That was before my natural/holistic lifestyle approach. I’m telling y’all something – there is something to that, I know there has to be a connection!  While my ultrasound turned out great – no polyps or anything suspicious that could interfere with a pregnancy, we have to still wait for blood work too.

I chatted with their doctor about essential oils, you know because I feel comfortable with them and have used them through 2 pregnancies but I’m not the renowned reproductive endocrinologist with 30 years of experience, so I had to make sure he was okay with me using them…. and he IS. The clinic had diffusers too!

Once again I stopped and thanked God, I thanked him for this amazing journey and I thanked him for placing me in this amazing position.

So now, we wait. We have to wait for all of our test results to come back. Once their doctor clears me then we have a few more things to tie up and eventually in the near future Devin and I will be traveling back to Santa Monica for the transfer of their embryo! I will have more on that in another blog post! Stay tuned for this wild adventure y’all, I will keep you posted along the way!

– XOXO Kate

All about why I broke up with dryer sheets.

Yesterday I posted a picture of my essential rewards order – my monthly wellness box I get from Young Living Essential Oils. In my box I had 4 dryer balls and I just put a little caption on the pic about how toxic dryer sheets are. Little did I know I’d get SO many questions about why! Let’s chat why these things will never be in my home again – and yes I broke up with conventional detergents and fabric softener too! There is a LONG list of why these items are on my do not purchase list.

Everyone is fooled by dryer sheets because of that cute little cuddly bear, how could he hurt us, right? Well technically it’s not him. It’s all the chemicals – formaldehyde, chloroform, air pollutants – what you’re drying is going directly out into the air!

This study done by Steinemann about fragrance found that acetaldehyde emissions from five of the leading scented detergents and dryer sheet brands “constitute about 6% of automobiles acetaldehyde emissions.” Ok, what? That’s insane. Why would these even be legal to put in our dryers to then contaminate our clothes, that we, and our BABIES wear on our skin. Ugh. So not only is it sitting on our skin all day but it’s also going right out into the air, drifting down to land where they seep into our bodies of water.

If you’re at all conscious about your reduce/reuse/recycle habits, change this one, and fast!

Did you know 95% of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are actually derived from petroleum (crude oil). Dangers of synthetic scents include things like migraines, asthma attacks, infertility, contact dermatitis and throat/ eye irritation. More information on that can be found here.

Dryer sheets are among the worst offenders of harboring chemicals linked do hormone disruption (infertility) and asthma.

How many people do you know who has one or more of these symptoms… on a daily basis? I can name a handful of people. My husband used to be one of them. Since implementing a chemical free life style and adding some much needed supplements to his routine he has headaches far and few between, and when he does get them, they’re typically just tension headaches now.

Want to know another CRAZY thing – I too was one of them! I had a fertility appointment (that’s a blog post for a whole different subject that we WILL cover in the near future – stay tuned!) anywho, 4 years ago I could barely ovulate on my own… at my fertility appointment this week, I had 8 eggs in each of my ovaries ready to go and follicles forming. I’ve been able to successfully conceive, on my own, my two Minnie’s. 4 years ago it looked nothing like that. 4 years ago was before I went on my holistic/natural minded lifestyle. I am proof that if you stop filling your bodies with chemicals and you detox them, amazing things can happen guys! It took a TON of time and diligence but it was worth it.

In other good news, YOU TOO can break up with your dryer sheets! It’s simple!

  • Hang your clothes
  • Use dryer balls like I do! You can even add essential oils to the balls – my faves are lemongrass and lavender!
  • Add vinegar to your rinse cycle

Xoxo Kate

Epsom Salts & Essential Oils

Do you take Epsom Salt baths? We’re big on epsom salt baths in our house. Epsom salts have many therapeutic benefits, they may help with detoxing, relaxation and even migraines!

Epsom Salts in water break down into magnesium and sulfate. They are absorbed through the skin and may increase the magnesium levels in your body. Epsom salt baths are popular for softening and exfoliating skin, relaxation, drawing impurities out of skin and may even help migraines.

The magnesium in Epsom salt helps relieve stress and improves relaxation and sleep when used in baths, according to the Epsom Salt Council. Stress can lead to reduced magnesium levels in the blood, resulting in the production of adrenalin.


The magnesium in Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and then binds with serotonin in the brain, helping you to relax.

The other amazing thing about epsom salt baths are essential oils! We use them together because oils don’t mix with water. They essentially just sit on top of the water, so instead we drop our oils on the Epsom salts then the salts help disperse the oils throughout the water evenly. 😍

Whenever my husband Devin starts getting a migraine we put a cup of epsom salt mixed with essential oils in a bath and this helps him immensely.

We also use Epsom salts and essential oils for detoxing, not only for my husband and I but for the girls too! The girls typically get 2 baths a week and with every bath they get 1/3 a cup of our Epsom salts/essential oil mixture!

Sometimes we will choose certain oils for our salts but mostly we just toss our empty bottles into the epsom salt container and let them soak up the left over oils that are coating the bottle. It’s so simple that way and we always have readily available salt for our baths!

Juicing is life

Juicing is good for so many things. Easily getting fruits and veggies in but also cleansing!

Growing up I was NEVER a picky eater. Legit I would eat just about anything my mother made for supper. I can only ever remember not eating brussels sprouts and liver. Now as an adult I love brussels sprouts, turns out I just needed to learn to make them in a way I would like them. Anywhoooo my girl Ellie and my hubby Devin are the pickiest eaters ever. Like legit they dislike more foods than they actually like. UGH – this makes it so hard for me because I am the one cooking the food but I like everything and want to cook veggies all the time right!? Well I still do, and Mila is starting to like what mama likes so now I wont be all on my lonesome.

So instead of stressing, I just let them pick and choose what they want to eat and I just make sure they drink their juice! Experts recommend at least 6 to 8 servings of fruits and veggies a day….. so there is a gap to fill and juicing can help fill that void.

But not all juices are created equal!

You do not want processed juices with all that sugar. THOSE kinds are No bueno! I buy juice from a local juicing store – WYSIWYG Juice Co in Mankato, MN. They are raw cold pressed juices made with organic produce! Win Win! We also drink Ningxia Red Juice from Young Living Essential oils.

Juicing helps your body get all the vitamins, nutrients, fiber etc it needs without having to consume pounds of veggies everyday. Juicing can give your digestion a rest trying to break down all that fiber but still give you all the added benefits of eating the fruits and veggies. Juicing. Can also help fight cancer, give your immune system a boost, help remove toxins, and aid digestion. Juicing can also help fight inflammation and arthritis!

Ningxia red is chocked full of antioxidant power too! Have you ever heard of a goji or a wolf berry? They’re grown in China and the locals there insist it’s how they stay so healthy and how their skin looks so vibrant. Ningxia red also fights against free radical damage.

Flavonoids and anthocyanins are abundant in fruits and veggies which help your body guard against oxidative cellular damage – which comes from exposure to everyday chemicals and pollution!

If you’re wondering more about this whole free radical and oxidative stress damage here’s a good article to check out why it’s beneficial to help our body fight against these things!

Most of our lifestyles don’t allow for a lot of down time to make sure we’re getting enough of the good foods our bodies need, with processed foods being the norm, sometimes we have a gap to fill. We fill that with juicing in our household!

XO

-Kate

Homemade play-dough!

Why spend a bunch of money on play dough when it’s so easy to make!?

Literally it took me less than 15 minutes and I had everything in my cupboard to make it and all the ingredients are cheap! It even smells and feels like real play dough!

Homemade non toxic playdough!

1 cup water

1 cup flour

1/4 cup salt

2 TBSP cream of tarter

1 TBSP oil (I used olive)

Mix it all up in a pot heating on medium low heat, continuously mixing until it becomes a doughy non sticky mixture!

Plop it on some wax paper to cool then portion it out, add food coloring and essential oils if you want and bam! Done! So easy!

XO Kate

Water

There are a handful of healthy habits I try to stick to and one of them at the top of the list is water intake. How much water do you intake everyday?

I try and drink half my weight in water a day, more if I’m feeling sick, working out or if I’m getting a massage.

Dehydration can affect everything in your body from your brain function to how you handle stress. Did you know water makes up about 2/3 of your body weight! Also water is key in helping your body release toxins. It’s also vital for beauty because it’s essential for good circulation. It can help regulate body temperature and it supplies your joints and eyes with lubrication, and helps protect your tissues, spinal cord and joints.

Somehow drinking 4 cups of coffee seems easy, almost necessary for busy mamas but getting 80 oz of water seems almost impossible!? Am I right!? So I have some very important tricks I try to stick to!

I carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go. I keep water next to my bed and I try and drink a whole glass right away in the morning before I even get to my coffee. This helps to re hydrate the body after that long 6-8 hour stretch of no water consumption while snoozin. It also aids digestion and metabolism to drink a big glass first thing in the AM.

When I’m sick I like to take some vitamin C right away with a big glass of water in the morning. This helps it hit your blood stream quicker and boost your immunity. This is my favorite vitamin C brand, they come in tablets or chew-able form. Ellie loves the chew-able ones, they taste legit like an orange! Like I’ve mentioned before, you want a whole foods vitamin so you body can absorb it better. 🙂

When you’re doing a cleanse or getting a massage your body is trying to rid itself of toxins, for this reason you want to make sure you’re getting extra water to help push those toxins out! When you’re exercising your body loses 25-45 oz of water an hour! So extra water is vital on those workout days.

The other really important things I try and follow when consuming water is use glass or stainless steel when possible.  Plastic is a petrochemical and plastics can transfer toxins into water or food. This is one of my favorite water bottles, it holds 22oz of water.  I also love to add essential oils to my water in which case I also need to use stainless steel or glass, so its perfect to just keep one with me so I can at any time add EO to my water bottle.

The last HUGE necessary thing for me when consuming water is a good filtration system. Have you ever heard of Berkey filtration system? Its literally the most amazing filtration system, it filters out toxins such as fluoride (did you know fluoride was used in concentration camps to help keep individuals docile… yet its added to our water). BUT it keeps minerals in the water which is awesome because our bodies need those!

Here’s your reminder to always check with your doctor about any health/wellness questions. 🙂

XOXO

– Kate