In episode #21 we are learning what to do when your child has multiple chemical sensitivities from Steph Duford. Steph Duford is from Wisconsin. Born and raised a Midwest girl. Her husband, Larry and her have a 5-year-old fun and enthusiastic son named Frank. Recently, after 16 years, she left her profession as a hair stylist to be a full-time SAHM (stay at home mom) and homeschool Frank. There hasn’t been one defining moment that has made her passionate about lifestyle and wellness but a compilation of many. Knowledge is her power. Steph loves to learn and research…often times to a fault. By personality, she is passionate, strong willed and determined. Her biggest tool has always been self navigation. At 1 year, her son Frank was diagnosed with multiple anaphylaxis to both food and environmental allergies…36 to be exact. He’s truly the bravest and most inspiring human she knows. It has been her mission to focus on healing him from the inside out and there really is no limit to how far her and her husband will go for her son’s health and freedom.
Along with many allergies, she’s also become well versed in chronic atopic eczema and multiple chemical sensitivity. The saying, “The best detective at work is the mother of an ill child” is 100% accurate! One thing she very much prides herself in is how her and her family create normalcy. They focus on experiences that can safely be improvised and work around limitations while still building childhood fun/memories. Steph’s mission is to share experiences that have shaped her in hopes to reach and help others. Her biggest satisfaction is helping others build a happier, healthier lifestyle for themselves and their families.
Today is going to be a little review of The Golden Hour Podcasts with hosts Suzi and Rose. There have been 13 different health experts in various fields that have been on the podcast. From naturopathic doctors, dermatologists, natural bloggers and medical doctors. There have been so many golden nuggets we’ve gleaned from all the episodes. However, we thought it would be great to recap and review the episodes and share the biggest takeaways from each. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what was shared. It might be a good idea to even go back and listen if you need to.
I’m back talking about Sprouts Community Giving + Vitamin Angels! This company really gets better and better the more I learn about them. They really have created such an amazing place for people to learn about health from the groceries they buy to helping support their local community.
Sprouts has moved beyond just making healthy living accessible and really embraces the important idea of giving back. I love that! Every year Sprouts supports local nonprofit organizations from food banks and service groups though in-kind and direct donations. SO amazing! They are really showing that healthy living starts with us and we can make a difference in our local communities.
Food Rescue Program
I’m also a huge fan of their “Food Rescue Program” that helps those in need by providing food, plus feed for animals and nutrients for agriculture soil. Sprouts takes food that can no longer be sold but is perfectly edible and donates it to local hunger agencies. The agencies then disperse them to families in need. Since the Food Rescue Program started in 2013, over 43 million pounds of food have been donated! SO cool! That’s 35 million meals. Even if the food is not ok to give to hunger relief agencies, it is then donated to local dairy farms and cattle ranches as feed. This offers a more nutritious feed, plus lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, food is also donated as compost which makes the soil our crops grow in so much richer. Over 18 million pounds of food have been given since this was started in 2014. Sprouts is raising the bar when it comes to using all resources to create a positive change in the world.
Community Awareness + Giving
Sprouts really is all about being part of the community and giving back. They have supported 830 community events with volunteers and in-kind donations. This effort has reached over 2.75 million residents! I was also impressed with Sprouts efforts when it comes to national disasters. Sprouts has given over 16,000 pounds of food and water to those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma. It didn’t stop there, Sprouts also raised over $350,000 for the American Red Cross too! They also have this annual drive during the holidays called “Grab and Give” where they have provided over 2 million meals.
Vitamin Angels is a program that helps those in need and at high risk, such as expectant mothers, young children and new moms. It’s goal is to really serve undeserved communities around the U.S. and in 74 countries around the world. To learn more about Vitamin Angels, their financial transparency and accountability, head to vitaminangels.org.
The whole idea of Vitamin Angels was birthed out of a strong desire to give mothers and children the best possible life through nutritional help. Sprouts has committed with Vitamin Angels to help support their initiative to eliminate infant mortality due to vitamin deficiency disease by year 2030. This initiative will help mothers around the world get the prenatal vitamins they need to ensure healthy babies. What an amazing movement and cause to be a part of!
Since 2014 alone, Vitamin Angels and Sprouts have reached over 6 million kids with vitamin A and de-worming tablets. They are literally changing the course of these children’s lives one supplement at a time! Through August 29th at the Mill Creek Sprouts, every time a product is purchased from a list of more than 1,000 qualifying items throughout the store, .25 will be donated to Vitamin Angels. These add up quickly and provide change for so many!
As you can see, shopping at Sprouts is a no brainer. When you shop there you are creating ripple effects for generations to see!
This month the Art of Organics June Box: Lagoon is SO special! I was pleased to see a mask that I’ve come to love, plus a new brand and product I hadn’t used but fell quickly for! It’s all about getting refreshed this month, with products that will help cool and calm the skin. If you haven’t heard of Art of Organics, keep reading to hear why I can’t get enough of this special green beauty box.
If you aren’t familiar with Art of Organics and this green beauty box, then keep reading as I explain why this box is one to get a hold of. Their belief is really simple-You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your health for beauty. I couldn’t agree more! Their goal is to bring people the cleanest, best, and most luxurious products. Claire the founder, has always been a beauty junkie and on the quest to purge her own makeup bag, she realized she wanted to share her journey with others and raise awareness. I noticed instantly after opening the box, the attention to detail. They name their boxes each month as well as follow a theme. The card inside describes the products in the box so well and gave directions for application. The box is $38, with a value of $70+ and features each month 2-4 full size products. They have high standards for their product selection, such as being cruelty free, organic and non-toxic. They have more specifics on the ingredients they don’t use here on their website.
Well, it’s not hard to talk about this mask! I have it in my top facial masks post here. It’s so good! This mask gets you glowing in 3 minutes flat- just like the name suggests. It’s perfect for the most sensitive skin types. Worried your skin might react to a mask? This may be the one for you. Using enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells, this mask does in 3 minutes what some some masks take 15 or 20 to do. It looks like a gel and feels lights and refreshing on the skin. If you’re perpetually running late, this may be the mask for you! I put it on before I brush my teeth and rinse off once I’m done. The perfect amount of time to get a quick glow for the rest of the day. Especially great for summer months when skin may need a pick me up but you want something cooling and refreshing. Also, since it’s so gentle it won’t aggravate skin that may have been out in the sun for too long. Get your glow on quick and easy with this mask!
Ok, I’ll be honest I wasn’t too excited when I saw this mist but then once I sprayed it- game over. Not that the bottle itself wasn’t beautiful- because it is! But I’m a bit choosy when it comes to mists and sometimes I’m just not impressed. First, the packaging it comes in is absolutely beautiful! Can you say gorgeous?! It looks so chic just sitting on my bathroom counter. It has a subtle spearmint scent from the spearmint essential oil. You guys know I’m a mint lover, so this is totally my jam! I love how refreshing it feels on the skin. A great summer pick me up. It leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. It really does revive the skin! You can even mist all over your body too. Great post sun if you’re need to be cooled off!
I would hop on this month’s box soon if you’re thinking about snagging one. If you haven’t signed up for Art of Organics box you can sign up here! Don’t miss out on this fabulous green beauty box! Not only do you get quality products each month but for a steal. You pay $39 each month and get access to some stellar products. You can sign up for 3 months, 6 months and 12 months! At 6 and 12 months you start saving. Also, each month a theme is chosen around the box.
I’ve rounded out my favorite organic/natural bedding on the blog today! So you all know I’ve been on the hunt for some non-toxic bedding options. As we’ve slowly renovated our bedroom it was a goal of mine to swap out our bedding. I did have some sheets that were bamboo but they were 5 years old and needed an update. Plus, they always came off our king size bed- not a fan!
I was able to test out a couple different sheet options. A higher budget option and a lower budget option. They both worked out great and I would recommend them each. Now you might be thinking why make the switch to organic sheets or bedding? Well, there’s a lot of factors at play. Allow me to explain.
Since we spend about a 1/3 of our life in bed it’s important to know what were sleeping on. Cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops. Being doused with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. However, that’s not the only thing we should be concerned about. Sheets often contain formaldehyde, and toxic dyes too. There are also toxic softeners that are used now on bedding, creating a recipe for a toxic sleep experience!
Obviously it can be hard to throw out all the old bedding at once but I recommend starting with one room and slowly doing it when you can. I recommend starting with your sheets and towels since they are right next to your skin.
What to look for when buying organic sheets?
Look for sheets that are certified organic by the GOTS- Global Organic Textile Standard.For more info. on GOTS click here. This standard ensures the product is made without any toxic chemicals and that at least 90% of fibers are organic. Also, no child or slave labor. It’s peace of mind when buying the sheets if you see this label. It means the sheets were made using pure and clean standards.
Avoid sheets or blankets that say “Wrinkle Resistant”, “Easy Care”, or “Permanent Press.” These words indicate that formaldehyde resin was used in the process and it will NOT rinse out.
BE AWARE- just because a sheet set says “organic cotton” does not mean they’re certified organic. It may indicate the cotton was grown organically but after that the fabric was processed with toxic chemicals.
Look for Oeko- Tex Certified Sheets. These sheets may not be grown organically but they are tested for unhealthy chemicals in the final product. These often tend to be a little less expensive and easier to find. For more on Oeko- Tex Certification click here.
So what did I end up for my bedding?
SOL Organics-These sheets are what luxury is made of! They are made with fair trade certified cotton, and certified organic cotton. The second party certifications include GOTS, Oeko-Tex and FLOCERT- a global fair trade certification. These 300 thread count cotton sheets wrap you up in softness the minute they touch your skin! They come in a variety of colors too. We chose white and are happy with how crisp and clean they look. They also have 3 different sheet sets. You can get a hemmed version, classic or pleated. We got the hemmed version. Each set comes with two pillow cases, a fitted sheet and a flat sheet. And yes they stay on our mattress too! They also come in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cal King and Split King. Can’t say enough about these luxury sheets. They also offer organic duvet covers and bedroom sets that include the duvet and sheet set. They were kind enough to offer a discount for my readers. Use coupon code: GGG25 for 25% off all products over $99, plus free shipping within the U.S. Shop here for all bedding!
Target Organic Sheet Sets- Now you can find organic sheet sets at Target even. I bought a set to try out for you guys too. I wanted to give you a budget friendly option. These sheets are also certified by GOTS and Oek0-Tex. The king size comes in at $55.99- not bad for a toxin free sheet option. These also come with two pillow cases, fitted and flat sheet. They aren’t as silky soft as the SOL Organics. They have a stiffer feel and texture to them. Some people may like that feel, others may not. It’s obviously your preference. My hubs could tell a difference when comparing the Target sheets to the SOL Organics. I think these would be a great option for kids, who may not notice. However, for adults it might be nice to splurge a little on the SOL Organics! These come in some fun prints if your into printed sheets. We got the White- which does have some grey lines going across it but they call it White. Check out the Target sheets here!
Coverlet/Euro Shams- I ended up going with a West Elm Coverlet cover. I used to have a duvet cover and down cover but due to allergies and not having a big enough washer to properly wash it all the time(hello dust mites) I ended up going with just a bedspread. It’s organic and super chic if I do say so myself! They have shams as well that I got to match as you can see above. I got the euro shams. I went with the frost gray color and really love it. I really like how the coverlet isn’t stiff feeling and is soft and cozy. West Elm also has more options for organic bedding too. Check out the coverlet I got here!
Plisse Blanket- This is an organic cotton blanket my friend Steph from @stephdufordlifestyle had recommended to me from West Elm. She had raved about them and I knew once I started detoxing my bedding I was going to snag one of these for the bed. It’s such a perfect layering blanket. We have our sheet down first, then this Plisse blanket. It gets softer the more you wash it too! We got ours in the color white. I like having a couple layers of blankets on the bed and this is a perfect fit. Get your Plisse blanket here!
Oeko-Tex Blanket- Ok, so I wanted a warmer blanket for during the winter to layer on my bed. I knew in the summer I would take it off. I found one from Target that I like. It isn’t organic, however, I was ok with that. My biggest concern was that it was at least Oeko-Tex certified. As mentioned above they test for harmful substances once the product is made. I was excited to see how many options for Oeko-Tex were at Target! I was ok with it not being organic since it’s not directly touching my skin and it’s Oeko-Tex Certified. Check out all the blankets here!
Nightstands- The nightstands are from All Modern and they’re made from a combination of real wood and manufactured wood. I wasn’t as concerned with the nightstands since they’re a lot smaller piece of furniture. Plus, I let them air out in the garage for a week and outside when it was sunny to help off gas as much as possible. There wasn’t a strong smell at all once we brought them in. Here are the nightstands I got from All Modern!
Lamp- The lamps I got from All Modern too. I had been eyeing them for a while. I love anything with gold and these just make a statement! Check out the lamps here!
Bed Frame- I’ve been searching for a new bed frame for a while. I had some strict guidelines when looking. It had to be made of real wood- no particle board or manufactured wood because of the chemicals involved in the process. Since a bed is such a large piece of furniture I didn’t want it off gassing harmful fumes. It also couldn’t be cloth or fabric. Although I do like the look of the cloth headboards, from research I’ve learned how dust mites can live in them! Plus, I wondered how they would really get clean, since you can’t take the cloth off. After much looking I landed on the West Elm Mid Century Modern Bed. It’s not only made with real wood but fair trade as well. The price wasn’t so crazy either. I found most furniture made from all wood can be very costly. I’m SO happy with the purchase! It didn’t even have a smell when we opened it other than just a pleasant real wood smell. My hubs was impressed with how well it was made too. Can’t recommend it enough! Check out the West Elm Bed Frame here!
That sums up my organic/natural bedding review! Did you see anything you like?