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My Healthy, Non-Toxic Nursery

October 24, 2019

Have you wondered if creating a non-toxic environment for your baby is worth the extra money and effort? Is it really necessary to spend the time browsing “GREENGUARD” or “Low-VOC?” Does it really matter if I find a cuter and cheaper crib that happens to be made in Asia?

Yes! It really matters!

I remember with my first baby, checking whether my nursery had products with harmful chemicals wasn’t even on my radar. I had new paint, new carpet, new mattress, adorable bedding, the cutest new crib furniture set…all coming together to produce an extra strength new-furniture/chemical/formaldehyde odor. Though I had good intentions, the amount of toxic chemicals I exposed my baby to was probably off the charts! (Talk about a baby in need of a baby-sized chemical respirator mask!) 

Fast-forward to two babies later and a bout with black mold that left our entire family incredibly sick and out of our home for nine months, I understand just how important a greener and cleaner home is to create and maintain. Our sicknesses, caused by the mold, dramatically improved when I did a complete non-toxic reboot to our home and lifestyle. Even now with all of us recovered, it’s impossible for me to ignore the information I’ve learned about the importance in shielding ourselves, especially children, from toxic exposures in the home whenever possible. Thus, by no surprise, when I became pregnant with baby #3, my top priority was creating a non-toxic nursery. Yes, it took additional effort and money, but for me it was worth every late night spent on my computer emailing my questions and concerns to various companies. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with how it all came together for Ava’s travel-themed nursery. Below are the products that made the final cut…

Crib Furniture: Romina

When deciding on our crib furniture, I wanted to find a set that my baby girl could grow with, (i.e. one that turns into a toddler and full bed). As for my criteria, I wanted Greenguard Gold certified furniture, (as products with this meet the strictest standards for indoor air quality and chemical composition). In addition, I looked for furniture made of solid wood, meaning the furniture does not contain harmful glues, veneers, chemicals, and formaldehyde. Lastly, I only considered furniture made outside of Asia as it’s been heavily reported that furniture in Asia often times contains lead. Clearly, lead and babies do not mix!

I found three companies that fit my above criteria, including Romina (made in Romania), Natart Juvenile (made in Canada), and Green Cradle (made in USA). All three make exceptional cribs, but I felt Romina stood a notch above the rest. I am convinced that no other furniture brand matches Romina in terms of health, safety, and style. With several gorgeous designs to choose from, we went with their Imperio Crib in white, the matching three drawer dresser and nightstand. Yes, these non toxic crib options are pricey, but for me, knowing I’m getting something non-toxic AND bedroom furniture to last my daughter a long time (18 years would be nice) makes it well worth the cost. My favorite features:

• Their finishes have an organic vegetable based coloring agent and are either water-based or oil-based. (Our white paint is a water-based finish with a 10-step multi-layered application process.) 

• Their ENTIRE product line, not just cribs but everything, is Greenguard Gold certified. 

• Glues are tree sap based organic.

• No VOCs or formaldehyde (nor any toxic fumes). 

• 100% solid beechwood. (I discovered some companies that claim to use solid wood may also use wood veneers in their products, which takes some digging to figure out.)

• Most impressive safety features (i.e. baby proof gliding drawers, anti-tilting hardware, plastic safety triggers for removing drawers, etc.).

Romina is truly the best in the biz. Their health standards are as good as gets. They make high-quality products that your child can grow with for many years to come. Their safety features are phenomenal. And their designs are gorgeous! From the country known for Dracula, medieval fortresses, salt mines, and women’s gymnastics, Romania should also be known for making the best crib furniture on the planet.

Glider: Como by Monte Design

When searching for a new glider, other than being non-toxic, my main concern was comfort and smoothness when gliding. My old glider had an annoying clicking sound and a quasi-jerky motion that both of my boys never liked being rocked in as babies. When my research and multiple reviews kept steering me to Monte Design, I decided to go with their Como Glider with a steel base. Words cannot express how happy I am with this gem, as it’s the first time I’ve experienced a baby who loves being rocked. On top of that, it’s sharp! I love their designs and quality materials. Be sure to check out their website as they have some fabulous designs and options. Based in Canada, this amazing company has gliders with the following features:

• Uses only high-density foam, free of chemical flame retardants with CertiPUR-US certification.

• Their Italian-made fabric is untreated and natural. (I chose their natural cotton/linen line.) 

• There is no noise associated with the gliding mechanism, (hallelujah!). It moves very smoothly overtop of the stainless steel base and swivels 360 degrees. 

• All glues used are water-based, biodegradable, and made in Europe.

Note: These Gliders are LEED, rather than Greenguard certified, as all the wood meets the requirements of the LEED Rating System for wood adhesives (no urea formaldehyde added), and the glue used in the frame construction is the water-based kind mentioned above. 

Runner-ups: Dutailier (also made in Canada with similar certifications). I like Babyletto, but since they are made in Asia (Tawian), I shy away from products made there simply based on the known lead levels.

Bassinet: Rockwell by Monte Design

Also from Monte Design, I went with their bassinet after initially learning about it when I was researching gliders. Their Rockwell Bassinet caught my eye immediately as it is a BEAUTY! My baby girl has slept in this for four months now and she truly sleeps like a baby in it…so clearly she loves it too! More over, the sleek, modern/contemporary design is lovely! My favorite features:

• Comes with a waterproof mattress, which passes all US, Canadian, and European Safety standards.

• It’s super quick and easy assembly.

• Foam is free of any flame retardant chemicals and CertiPUR-US certified.

• Fabric (made in Italy) is Oeko-Tex Certified.

• Did I mention it’s absolutely beautiful??

Crib Mattress: Nest Bedding

Considering ALL of our mattresses in our home are from Nest Bedding (the Ribeiro’s are their biggest fans…check out my blog about them here), it’s no surprise that I went with Nest for our crib needs. Hands-down, the best mattresses EVER! Like all of their other mattresses, the crib mattress does not disappoint. My favorite features:

• Made of GOTS Certified 100% Natural Premium Sheep Wool and GOTS certified organic cotton lining.

• Breathable.

• Contains natural coconut coir to evenly distribute weight.

• Antibacterial and water resistant.

• Allows natural temperature regulation and cooling.

• Zero pesticides and zero toxins.

In other words, it’s top-notch and one of the best crib mattresses on the market. Compared to other mattresses with similar certifications, it is more affordable at $299. (Naturepedic Quilted Deluxe is $399 and the Soaring Heart Organic Mattress is $418.) And if it’s time for a new mattress in your room, I HIGHLY consider their mattresses for an affordable, non-toxic, and comfortable option! (Note: Their BKB – Big Kid’s Bed is equally amazing and starts at $299 for a twin size. We have these in my boys’ room and LOVE them!)

Paint: Benjamin Moore Natura

Zero-VOC paints can SIGNIFICANTLY reduce toxic exposure to your little ones, often times more than 90% in comparison to low-VOC or regular VOC paints. Since I had painted the kids’ rooms last year with a zero-VOC paint (Benjamin Moore Natura), I decided to leave the light grey color. Other VOC-free paints include: AFM Safecoat, ECOS Paints, Sherwin-Williams Harmony, Lullaby Paints, Earthpaint, Colorhouse, and Valspar Zero VOC. 


I’ve been using FLOR carpet tiles for years, as all of our bedrooms and living room have these. For the nursery, I went with the Made You Look in Bone. I am obsessed with them! Since I have littles, I’m constantly finding stains on my rugs. Thankfully, I never have to sweat it since I can easily wash or replace tiles if need be. My favorite aspects of FLOR carpet tile rugs are:

• Sustainable, non-toxic, hypoallergenic and meet or exceed the Carpet & Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus standards for VOC emissions.

• Their commitment to clean manufacturing is commendable.

• Simple installation with non-toxic adhesive dots that stick to the bottom of the carpet squares. (No worries…they do not damage your floors!).

Tip: They usually have good sales throughout the year. If it’s not a rush, wait for the sale! Also, if money is no object, Curran is an amazing option! Their wool Wethersfield rug looks stunning! Their rugs are hand-loomed, 100% untreated wool. It’s safe, natural, and eco-friendly.

Monitor: D-Link HD

Three years ago, I had no idea that EMFs were the reason for my sleeping issues. Once we had our bedroom mitigated of EMFs, I instantly slept like a baby…no joke! Thus, after learning about EMFs, I knew I wanted a low-EMF option for a baby monitor. After all, baby monitors that use DECT or FHSS use the same electromagnetic frequencies that microwaves, Wi-Fi routers, and cordless phones use. All of these contain high levels of radiation (research has shown that digital baby monitors placed one meter away from a baby’s crib emit similar radiation levels of cell phone towers 150 meters away). INSANE! This level of radiation is simply BAD for babies (and adults, it’s just amplified in little ones) as it impacts their brain development, sleep (and Lord knows how much we want and need our babies to sleep!), weakens immune system, and disrupts their reproductive system. Why do they make it so dang hard to keep our little ones, let alone ourselves, healthy???

The monitor we chose is the D-Link HD Wi-Fi Camera with Remote Viewing (DCS-2132L). It’s one of the few you can hook up to an Ethernet hookup (our TVs and computers are hooked up this way in our home) which means no Wi-Fi and no harmful EMF emissions. (Note: You are easily able to disable the Wi-Fi on the device.)

As for all of the travel theme wall decor, I purchased everything on Etsy. My organic bedding and changing pads were ordered on Amazon. And as for an air purifier, I’m using the brand I have in all of my bedrooms, IQAir ProHealth Series, and I made my own plant wall with air-purifying plants.

Overall, it’s clearly more expensive and timely to create a healthy, non-toxic nursery, but the benefits are great and many. These tiny humans need to live a long time and by helping their bodies develop in a healthy way without any negative disruptions from VOCs, chemicals, and other various toxins, they have a better shot at better heath. Even if you can make a few changes to reduce the toxicity levels in your child’s nursery, every little bit makes a difference! Even though our black mold experience was a nightmare, especially considering how sick we all got, I view it as a blessing in disguise as it pushed me to educate myself about this area of our lives that we often overlook. So when you start creating a nursery or even make a few changes to your existing one or your own bedroom, do pay attention to those labels like “Greenguard” or “Solid Wood.” It makes a difference!

Products Toddler Products

Choosing a Non-Toxic Car Seat Without Harmful Fire Retardant Chemicals

August 16, 2019

When I was pregnant with my first child and deciding on the ever-important initial car seat, the only criteria that mattered to me were the safety ratings.  After all, the physical safety of your baby should be prioritized above everything else. Now with my third baby, my criteria spread from not only the safety ratings, but also finding a car seat that isn’t exposing my baby to hazardous chemicals every time she is in the car. Fortunately, there are now options for parents to choose a car seat with great safety ratings AND free of harmful chemicals. This makes mamas like me very happy.:)

Why is choosing a carseat without fire retardant chemicals important?

First off, car seat manufactures add flame retardant chemicals to car seats to slow the spread of fire and, thus, meeting auto flammability standards. However, these chemicals are very ineffective and highly toxic creating serious health hazards (i.e. impaired neurological development, impaired child development, and endocrine disruption, to name a few). In addition to fire retardant chemicals, there are PFCs/PFOAs (Perfluorinated chemicals). These chemicals work as water, stain, and grease repellants in the fabric treatments. Unsurprisingly, these chemicals have been linked to other serious health concerns. In short, the majority of car seats are INCREDIBLY toxic with chemicals we certainly want to avoid putting our precious babies near.

From my research, I have discovered four fabulous companies that manufacture car seats without fire retardant chemicals. Fingers crossed that more companies in the near future will follow suit. These companies include:

  1. Clek. I was first introduced to the Canadian-made Clek car seat in the parking lot at my son’s preschool. We were wooed and wowed by their heavy-duty nature and unique look. (Yes, a car seat can produce woo-ing, believe it or not.) Not only do they have great safety ratings on paper, they look it in person! In addition to their great safety ratings, Clek has been known for their eco-minded, high-quality car seats. Their Infant Liing Car Seat, which just debuted in April of 2019, was my first choice. Since I was worried about going into labor early and wanted a car seat at least a month before my due date, I did not purchase the Liing since it hadn’t come out yet. However, I have replaced all of our convertible and booster car seats for my boys in our vehicles with Clek’s Fllo Convertible and the Oobr Booster (with a back) seats and could not be happier. The non toxic material they use is 100% merino wool. (Note: The Clek Foonf is also another non toxic carseat available by Clek.) 
  1. UppaBaby. The infant carseat we chose for Baby #3 was the UppaBaby Mesa Jordan, which has a Merino wool-poly blend making it naturally flame resistant. (Both the Mesa Henry and Jordan models contain no retardant chemicals, nor perfluorinated chemicals.) I love that the wool is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, (for those of you like myself who pay attention to the always important certifications). Since we use UppaBaby strollers, it’s super convenient as it’s compatible with the UppaBaby Vista and UppaBaby Cruz models. Additionally, the NHTSA rating is 5 stars for ease of use. Note: UppaBaby just came out with a convertible carseat last month called the UppaBaby Knox Jordan.
  1. Nuna. This European-based, eco-friendly company makes an infant car seat, Nuna Pipa Lite, with fabric made from wool and TENCEL (made from wood pulp). The nice thing about TENCEL material is that it is biodegradable, moisture absorbent, and anti-bacterial. Moreover, the Nuna Pipa Lite weighs less than 6 lbs and is the lightest infant car seat on the market. Their non toxic convertible car seat is the Nuna Rava (with the exception in the Verona option). I love Nuna products and even though I don’t have their car seat, I appreciate how all their products are responsibly made with smart designs.
  1. Britax. I had an infant Britax car seat for my second baby, and I was very excited to see they were among the companies to join in on the new trend. Their chemical-free infant seat, Britax Endeavors in Otto Safewash, is made with a polyester blend. It is compatible with all Britax strollers, and their fabric is fully machine washable. They also make a convertible carseat, Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB in Otto Safewash, in the same safewash fabric without chemicals. 

It’s truly a shame that most car seats use these harmful fire retardant chemicals and PFCs/PFOAs. Not only are the chemicals toxic, but they also accumulate both in the body and environment overtime, creating even greater health hazards.:( Thank goodness we now have options from manufacturers who are making chemical safety a priority in their car seats. When you spend time everyday in the car with your ever-so-precious cargo, nothing beats having a peace of mind in knowing they are in a safe and non toxic car seat. Lets hope more companies will start making car seats free of harmful chemicals the new normal.

Products Toddler Products

Ju-Ju-Be: Best Diaper Bag Ever

March 12, 2019

Being a mom and stepmom for the past seven years, I have lots of opinions about diaper bags. I’ve been through ALOT of them! I started with a shoulder bag and quickly changed to backpacks after realizing that although shoulder bags are cute and fashionable, they are soooooo inconvenient. As a mom, you need as many hands as you possibly can so a hands-free diaper bag is a MUST! Once I came to the realization that backpacks are the ONLY way to go, I soon became obsessed with Ju-Ju-Be’s line. These are hands-down my all-time favorite diaper bags. Some of my favorite features of their bags include:

  • Stain Resistant
  • Machine Washable
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Comfortable Straps
  • Insulated Bottle Pockets
  • Spacious
  • Easy to Stay Organized                

Below are my favorites and why…

Forever BackPack – Noir Rose Gold

This is my brand spanking new bag for my baby girl (due this spring), and I LOVE this bag. The main compartment has three open pockets, four gusseted pockets and one changing pad pocket. It also has a quick-each cell phone pocket, zipper side pockets and two insulated bottle pockets. Aside from the functionality, it’s gorgeous!!

Hatch – Gray Matter

My husband recently chose this as his ‘manly’ diaper bag. Personally, I’m not a huge hatch person, but my husband is and hence, why he chose the Hatch. Like all of their bags, it’s very organized with six mesh pockets and one zippered pocket in the main compartment. It also contains two insulated bottle pockets, microfiber glasses pocket, and a meshed diaper pad changing pocket. It’s definitely a clean, masculine-looking diaper bag with lots of organization and durability.

Be Right Back – The Monarch

This has been my go-to bag for the last three years. (We have two of them…one for me and one for my husband.) We have literally taken these everywhere and love the lightweight, number of pockets, and comfort with the padded straps. I can fit so much into this bag in an organized fashion, as this bag has the BEST pocket positioning and pocket sizes. In addition, this is an easily transitional adult travel bag when the kids are grown, as it doesn’t necessarily look like or scream “diaper bag.” I cannot recommend this one enough! LOVE IT!! I also have this one in the Black Ruby color which I enjoy just as much, (pictured below).

BFF Diaper Bag – Newport

I know I previously mentioned I am not a fan of shoulder diaper bags, but the BFF has the ability to transform from a messenger bag, backpack or tote bag with detachable, adjustable straps. Personally, I prefer the Be Right Back backpacks, but I do really enjoy this bag as well as I’ve gotten plenty of use out of it. It’s spacious, functional, and I love the pattern of this one.

No matter the bag, you can’t go wrong with Ju-Ju-Be. Their diaper bags, aside from the fabulous prints, are simply the most organized, high-quality, and functional I’ve found. I love the fact that they’re effortless to keep clean since they are easy to wipe down or machine wash. When mama life can get stressful and crazy, it’s nice to have products like a stress-free, organized diaper bag to help make diaper-changing and lugging around all of your little ones’ necessities on your back a little easier.


Mattress Review Update

January 30, 2019

Last year, I went on a mission to find a quality, non-toxic mattress with a strict criteria. It took me six months to research online, speak to mattress companies, and actually test mattresses. It was a long and exhausting process, but I was able to narrow our options down to a clear ‘winner.’ Nest Bedding came out on top for us with flying colors. (You can read about how we chose Nest Bedding for our mattress needs at the link below.)

After using the mattresses for over a year now, I wanted to provide a review update as I’ve had several inquiries asking whether we still like our Nest Bedding mattresses.

First, I’m proud to say that the Q3 we have in our master bedroom (although now it’s called the Hybrid Organic Latex), is still allowing us to get our best sleep ever! When my husband hurt his back and temporarily needed the mattress more firm, we simply took off our foam topper and it did the trick. Now that he’s better, we have the topper back on, and we couldn’t be happier. It’s honestly, hands down, the best mattress we’ve ever owned. (And a fraction of the cost to what we paid for our previous fancy, electric mattress.)

Hybrid Organic Latex

As for the kids room, they both have the BKB mattresses, and I’m equally as in love with these. When my husband and I lay down with the kids at bed time, even though it’s a different type of mattress, it’s so insanely comfortable. The kids sleep so well and we’ve never had any complaints from them. For the price of $299, it’s seriously the best deal for a non-toxic, comfortable, and GOLS and GOTS certified mattress.

BKB Kids Mattress

After ‘schooling’ myself about how important it is to have GOLS and GOTS certified, non-toxic mattresses, we decided to gift a couple of family members (suffering from sleep problems) new mattresses for Christmas. We bought the Signature Alexander Series mattress for them, with is more of a foam mattress but without the sink-into-the-bed feeling. When we tested it in their showroom, we had no idea it was a foam bed. Typically, I’m not a foam fan, but this bed has amazing support and a similar bounce to that of a traditional innerspring mattress. (Note: If you read my previous blog about how we chose Nest Bedding mattresses, you’ll see why we don’t use mattress with coil springs.) Needless to say, our family members said they’ve never had more comfortable mattresses and have been “sleeping their best sleep.” We also gifted them the Easy Breather Natural Pillows (made from Oeko Tex Certified Shredded Latex) from Nest Bedding. We have these as well, and they are unlike any pillow we’ve ever owned. They are adjustable as well, meaning you can make them more soft or firm to meet your preference.

Easy Breather Natural Pillow

In addition to the mattress and pillows, we also purchased our lucky family members with the Brushed Microfiber Luxury Sheet Sets for Christmas. We have the Organic Cotton Sheet Set, but after feeling the microfiber in their store, I honestly was just as impressed. Better yet, they are only $34.99. Don’t get me wrong, their Egyptian Cotton and Luxury Bamboo Sheet sets feel UNBELIEVABLE, but I would be more than happy sleeping on the Microfiber Luxury Set.

I recently bought my husband a couple of Nest Bedding’s new Easy Breather Side Sleeper Pillows. These are are truly the best design and provide great functionality for side sleepers! My husband LOVES them! And I’m using one in place of my pregnancy side sleeper pillow because these are that much more comfortable. (And, like the regular Easy Breather, it’s adjustable to fit your comfort level.) They run at $119 each.

Easy Breather Side Sleeper

It’s amazing when you spend the time to do your own research and invest in your sleep, how much of a game-changer it can be. We spend more of our lifetime in our beds than anywhere else. It makes sense to make our sleeping environment as comfortable and healthy as possible for our own well-being. We can’t thank Nest Bedding enough for finally helping us achieve the best sleep of our lives. I still HIGHLY recommend them for your mattress or bedding needs.


Choosing a Safe, Non-Toxic Surface for Backyard Swingset

August 15, 2018

One of the biggest and most exciting days for our kids this summer was the day we built our new swing set. Since they’re older (almost five and three), we wanted a swing set that could grow with them for the next several years. Choosing a new swing set was relatively easy considering we knew what we wanted. The hard part? Choosing a surface to go under the new swing set.

There are several playgrounds in our area with a wide range of surfaces. My least favorites include: sand (mostly because they serve as raccoons, cats and other animals litter box…I will take a pass on the parasitic germs!), pea gravel (as my youngest likes to throw it and they both constantly complain about getting the pebbles in their shoes), and wood chips (for no other reason than I simply don’t prefer wood chips as a play surface). My favorite used to be rubber-based surfaces. However, after learning about the increasing concerns of the toxic chemicals emitted from both recycled tire rubber surfaces and new rubber/synthetic material surfaces, I knew I needed another option.

Thankfully, I came across Jelly Bean Rubber Mulch. It is the only 100% non-tire rubber mulch on the market made from non-toxic, latex-free rubber tiles. Thus, there are zero toxic chemicals or VOCs my children are inhaling during playtime. Moreover, there is no color leaching as it contains the natural color of the rubber, and it has the best test data in the industry to show it’s the safest playground rubber mulch for falls. In addition, the durability and warranty is better than any other surface option.

As for installation, we simply dug 4-inches down and leveled. We applied a mesh fabric on top of the dirt, and poured the rubber mulch via wheel barrel to fill the space with a 3-4 inch depth. It was fairly simple. The jelly bean mulch pieces are slightly smaller than I expected, but so far, we are incredibly happy with it.


Though it may not be the most esthetically-pleasing option (although I much prefer the look of this over wood chips or sand), the most important thing to me is ensuring a safe and non-toxic play environment for my kids. My wish is that more schools, churches, and parks remove their toxic rubber surfaces and replace with non-toxic options!



Swapping Out My Toxic Cosmetics

January 4, 2018

As I stated in my previous post, my main New Year’s Resolution from last year consisted of making our home as non-toxic and eco-friendly as possible. I swapped mattresses, cleaning products, personal care products, and most recently, I tackled my cosmetics. Yes, it was incredibly sad to say goodbye to my beloved mascara that added a whole new dimension to my lashes, and to my favorite lipstick that made my lips pop like no other. However, I’m happy to say that the transition has been better than I anticipated, as I’ve found some wonderful non-toxic alternatives.

On average, our bodies absorb seven pounds of makeup each year. This combined with the fact that the United States only bans 11 harmful and toxic ingredients in cosmetics, while Europe bans over 1,300, is very alarming! (A big thumbs up to you, Europe!) Clearly, if you’re an American, those seven pounds are most likely incredibly toxic. Sadly, the FDA, under current law, does NOT require cosmetics companies to perform safety assessments on their products. (Thank goodness for the, an environmental organization that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, that conducts product toxicity-level testing and shares results with the general public.)

U.S. researchers report that a majority of the ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products are mainly comprised of synthetic chemicals that are skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disrupters and carcinogenic. I won’t go into detail about the specifics of these, but there are several websites that break down the toxic ingredients and how they are harmful to our health, like

Over the past six months, I have swapped most of my regular makeup products for natural versions. I’ve used the website to check the toxicity levels of each product. (The EWG rates products from 0-10, with “0” being not toxic to “10” being highly toxic.) It’s been a bit of trial and error, but overall, I’m very happy with my current makeup products, especially knowing I’m not smearing harmful chemicals on my skin and into my bloodstream. Below are some of my favorite nontoxic makeup products…


  • W3LL People Bio Brightener Invisible Powder – I LOVE this stuff! You can find it on or, (among other places). It has the best possible rating from the EWG with ZERO toxic or harmful ingredients. 
  • RMS “Un” Cover-up – This is my daily concealer/foundation. I apply it where needed and use the Bio Brightener directly after. It’s light-weight and effective, and RMS has a “1” rating at EWG. This can be found at The Detox Market, (although I’ve seen it at and lots of other websites).
  • W3LL People Bio Bronzer Stick – I just purchased this and have only used it a couple of times, but so far, I am a fan. Like the Bio Brightener Powder, the bronzer also received the best rating at the EWG. I purchased mine at They also have this at
  • Lily Lolo Mascara and Laid Bare Eye Palette – Even though they are not found on the EWG website (as they have yet to be tested), they seem to be wonderful products without any toxic ingredients. I buy mine at (They also have these at several other websites…Petite Four is the cheapest I’ve come across.) 
  • bareMinerals Blush – The bareMinerals Blush and Primer both tested well at EWG with a “1” rating. (However, my former bareMinerals powder and brightener both scored poorly with a “7” and “4”-rating.) I’ve been using this blush for years and was pleasantly surprised that I could continue using it with the good EWG rating.
  • Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream – This cream is incredibly light-weight and works as a great primer. I use the tinted option and absolutely LOVE the way it looks and feels. I buy this at
  • Kjaer Weis – I’ve tried their eye shadow and mascara and love them. Kjaer Weis is truly one of the more luxurious organic makeup lines out there. They are a bit pricey, but well worth the extra $. Sadly, they have not been tested by the EWG, but I’m hoping they do soon! I buy mine at
  • Skin Owl Eye+ – This is another product of which I am a huge fan (and sadly, it too isn’t on the EWG but hopefully soon). It’s a nourishing and youth stimulating eye concentrate that I apply every morning and evening under my eyes. I buy mine at The Detox Market ( or

Please let me know if you have found a healthy makeup line that you love. I’m always game for trying out new products, particularly those rated on the EWG or highly recommended by a place like the Detox Market who takes great pride in ONLY promoting and selling completely non-toxic, safe products. It’s impossible to avoid every single synthetic chemical, but you can do your part in limiting the amount of toxins your body is exposed to. I highly recommend checking out the to research toxic chemicals that could be in your cosmetic and personal care products. And if you happen to live in Europe, lucky you!




Our Search For A Non Toxic, Organic Mattress

November 29, 2017

One of my New Year’s Resolutions at the beginning of the year was to make our home as non toxic and eco-friendly as possible. I admit it. I’m a sucker for those articles that pop up on your Yahoo! homepage that scare the living daylights out of you by discussing the typical toxicity levels of homes and the impact of this on our health. Though I am a big believer of everything in moderation, I wanted to start this non-toxic reboot mission in an area that we would perhaps benefit from the most. For me, a good night of sleep is one of my top priorities. Thus, first on my plan of attack? New mattresses.

Let me preface this by saying, I do not claim to be an expert in the mattress field. Nor do I intend to make this seem like a research paper. The information below is merely brief summaries of what I’ve learned in the last six months of reading online and talking to countless mattress companies.

First off, I found it to be down right scary learning about conventional mattresses (including ALL of the mattresses we had in our home). Most conventional mattresses are made of toxic materials and chemicals like petroleum-based polyester, formaldehyde, polyurethane, flame retardant chemicals like boric acid, and typically covered in PVC vinyl. Essentially, this means your mattress is releasing toxic fumes over time that not only you breathe in to cause allergies, long-term diseases, and respiratory problems, but they can also get into our body tissues. (They’ve even been known to show up in pregnant women’s placental tissue!) No bueno!

I literally spent six months researching and testing mattresses before narrowing our option down to the one we eventually chose. I educated myself about the many different kinds of mattresses, what to look for in finding an organic and non-toxic option, which materials and chemicals to steer away from, which certifications are best and what they mean, and like with any big purchase, we read TONS of reviews. After all, we spend a third of our lives on our bed…why not take your time and ensure you’re making the best decision, right?

In terms of our needs and wants, we decided the following were most important to us:

  • Organic, eco-friendly
  • Comfort level
  • Natural latex (as it is much better for your body long-term compared to a coil mattress)
  • Meets certifications (i.e. GOLS, GOTS, GreenGuard, certiPUR, etc.)

The below mattress companies are those that met our ‘green’ and healthy criteria. All are awesome companies that offer mattresses made of natural latex, organic wool, and/or organic cotton, AND they’re all made in the USA.:) It’s important to know that the reason these beds do not need to use fire retardant chemicals is because of their organic wool material. Wool acts as a natural fire retardant. (The second great thing about wool is that it also works as a heat regulator. It helps keep you cool when it’s warm and warm when it’s cold.)

  • Nest Bedding
  • Plushbeds
  • Zenhaven
  • Sleep On Latex
  • White Lotus
  • Brentwood – (Note: The Ojai Mattress is their only coil-free mattress option.)

Runner Up: Avocado Mattress. I LOVE this company, however, the only reason we did not test out their mattress was simply because they do not offer coil-free mattresses. They have pocketed support coils rather than open coils, which is good, but nonetheless, we wanted coil-free. If coils aren’t an issue for you, this is a great company!

OUR WINNER:  Nest Bedding!

We ended up going with their Q3 Mattress and the BKB mattresses for our children. Here are some of the main reasons why we chose Nest and what makes their mattresses so amazing:

  • CERTIFICATIONS. The Q3 Latex is both GOLS and GOTS certified. (Nest only uses materials that have a third party certification whether it’s foam or latex.)
  • COMFORT. Both the Q3 Latex and BKB mattresses are incredibly comfortable! Upon our first time lying on a Q3 in the showroom, my hubby and I looked at each and simultaneously said, “This is the one.”
  • AFFORDABILITY. Both mattresses were very affordable for organic, non toxic mattresses with proper certifications. The BKB mattress starts at $299 and Q3 starts at $999. (Note: We did choose the Alexander Signature Cooling Topper to go on top of our Q3 which runs at $159.)
  • SHOWROOMS. They have a showroom here in Los Angeles (along with ten other cities around the country) which made testing out the mattress easy and convenient.
  • ALLERGY OPTIONS. Nest provides the option to have an Oeko Tex certified blended latex mattress for those with latex allergies.
  • FAMILY OWNED. Being factory direct and family owned, you can get higher quality for less than major brands with better warranties and better service.

I’m happy to report that after a month of use, we are still in love with our Nest Q3 Mattress. We’ve been getting some of our best sleep ever! It has met and surpassed all of our expectations, and we highly recommend it as a fantastic option for a high quality, affordable, non toxic, organic mattress.

Birthdays Products

2nd Birthday “Rock” Party

October 20, 2017

After fixing some website issues, I am finally back up and running! HOORAY! With that said, I am now able to post some of my saved posts from the last six months. I’m starting out with my favorite…Anders’ 2nd Birthday “Rock” Party!

I don’t know what it is about rocks, but my Anders is OBSESSED! Small, big, rough, smooth, ugly, pretty…it doesn’t matter what they look like, he loves them all! Thus, when I was trying to figure out a theme for his 2nd birthday, I asked my husband, “Why don’t we throw him a rock party?” I knew it sounded strange, but I couldn’t imagine him loving anything more than a party centered around his passion for rocks.

Since the party-goers consisted of his fellow two-year old music class pals and their siblings, we kept the rock activities very little-kid-friendly. We had large bins filled with cereal in the shape of small pebbles/rocks and provided small shovels to scoop the ‘rocks’ into little dump trucks and buckets. We also had a rock painting table which seemed to be the favorite among the older siblings. In lieu of gifts, we asked everyone to bring a cool rock. The actual invitation read, “In place of gifts, please bring a rock of any shape, size or color. Whether it’s from your backyard or off the side of the road, anything will do!” Needless to say, Anders LOVED his new rock additions to his collection. Some of the gifted rocks were quite impressive! He received some awesome geodes, a large rock with his name painted on top, and one that was bedazzled. Who knew an actual rock party involving rock-gift-giving could be so cool?!

A big thank you to our photographer Ashley Burns for the awesome photos! And thank you to Stephen Joseph Gifts and Hape Toys for the great party favors, as well as our beloved Polkatots for the AMAZING cupcake cake (with edible rocks)! And I can’t forget my son AJ who helped his mama decorate the night before and make the Oreo dirt cups…he loved putting the gummy worms and mini dump trucks on top of the “dirt” topping. This party theme truly “rocked.”:)

Pics below by Ashley Burns.


Our simple table decorations of cheap work hats, cones and Hape dump trucks.


Our lovely street-table runner made out of construction paper.


Our party favors were these adorable Stephen Joseph activity books and pull-string backpacks. Dump truck-theme for the boys and a pink garden/owl-theme for the girls.


Polkatots never disappoints! How awesome is this dump truck cupcake cake with edible rocks?!?


Rock painting table.


The pebble/rock table (i.e. Cheerios and the healthy version of Cocoa Puffs) with small scoops.


Our awesome Oreo ‘Dirt’ Cups, which was one of my personal favorites as a kid. AJ took great pride in decorating them with the worms and dump trucks.


Dessert table consisting of Polkatots cupcake cake, two cakes (red velvet and strawberry), and “dirt” pudding cups.







The Cutest Personalized Gift Wrap

April 28, 2016


I just wanted to share a new awesome find that I am absolutely in LOVE with! Recently, I was introduced to Stardust Prints at the Los Angeles SpringFest a couple of weeks ago. They had used a photo of my boys from my Instagram and gave me a roll of their personalized gift wrapping paper. Since then, I have ordered several more as they have some ADORABLE themes. (I’m beyond excited to utilize them for Christmas!)

Here’s how it works. Simply, log on to their website at, pick from one of their charming designs, upload a photo (of you, your child, your pet, family, etc.) from your computer, Instagram or Facebook, select the quantity, and in a week you have the cutest personalized gift wrap (with free shipping!).  The ‘Center of the Universe,’ ‘Fairy Dust,’ and ‘Whoos Watching Over Me’ themes are my favorite. I am using the Center of the Universe gift wrap (shown above) for some Mother’s Day gifts. Clearly, my mom and mother-in-law are going to ADORE them! After all, don’t all grandparents love getting anything that is adorned with their grandchildren’s photo?

(NOTE:  Stardust Prints did not ask me to blog about them…I just love their product so much and wanted to spread the word!)


Favorite 2015 Baby & Toddler Products

December 17, 2015

Earlier this month, we had the great pleasure of attending the 2015 Secret Santa’s Workshop here in Los Angeles. It was a fun family day of photos with Santa, great activities for the kiddos, delicious food, learning about amazing new products, and supporting a great charity–the L.A. Family Housing. Bill Horn and Scout Masterson of Marque Communications did a phenomenal job putting on such an enjoyable and entertaining event! We’ve had some time to try out some of the amazing products we brought home that day. (It was an early Christmas for the Ribeiro family!) I wanted to share some of my favorites with you…

  1.  Ju-Ju-Be Monarch Diaper Bag. Prior to my new Ju-Ju-Be “The Monarch” Diaper Bag, my previous bags were never quite large enough for everything I needed, especially for two little ones. With my Ju-Ju-Be bag, I can fit everything I need with ease. Additionally, the special features truly make this the ultimate diaper bag. To name a few, it contains a memory foam changing pad, picture pocket to keep photos handy (or in my case, I’ve been currently putting the hard copies of Santa photos in there or polaroids from birthday parties), exterior insulated bottle packets, color-coded tabs to designate a pocket to each child, crumb drains, quiet magnets (no loud velcro!), a super-organized mommy pocket that is big enough to fit all of my needs, and it’s machine washable. Best. Diaper. Bag. Ever. Period.

Ju-Ju-Be The Monarch - Be Prepared

  1. Chatbooks. My son AJ is constantly trying to take my phone to look at photos of him and his siblings. Now he is perfectly happy taking one of our Chatbooks and flipping through it to see all of Daddy and Mommy’s Instagram photos in the past year. Essentially, Chatbooks is an easy and affordable way to keep your Instagram, Facebook or any phone photos in a book. Aside from that, they are great little entertainment books to add to the coffee table! Best yet, they’re only $8/per book!


  1. 4moms Origami Stroller & High Chair. Even though my favorite strollers have long been the Uppababy Vista and the Orbit (both for different reasons), there’s a new one that I am in absolutely in LOVE with! The Origami from 4moms opens and closes at the touch of a button. Yes, you read it right…you simply push a button! How much better could it get than that!? (My husband’s jaw literally dropped to the floor when he saw it work). But the impressive features don’t end there! The Origami includes a LCD dashboard (with thermometer, speedometer and trip odometers), four-wheel suspension, self-charging generators in the wheels, and pathway lights. It’s like a stroller straight out of an episode of The Jetson’s. Their highchair is just as revolutionary. The 4moms High Chair alleviates all of the challenges of most highchairs –or at least the ones that I’ve ever used. It has a seat insert (making it incredibly easy to clean), adjustable height with three different settings, magnetic tray top (making it easy to slide on and helps keep bowls in place minimizing a mess), and a removable tray liner that is dishwasher safe. Can you say “dream highchair?”

4moms Origami blue   Screen-Shot-2015-10-16-at-5.41.01-PM

  1. Mini2Go Micro Scooter. The Mini2Go is a rido-on that converts to a stand-up three-wheel scooter with a T-bar. It’s an indoor/outdoor ride as it has non-marking wheels. (Hallelujah!) In addition, while it’s in the ride-on phase, there is a drawer that slides in so that your toddler can put toys inside to bring along on a ride. AJ is on this day in and day out right now.


  1. Joovy Boob Baby Bottle. My 7-month old has been a bit of a stinker when it comes to taking a bottle. Whether it’s water or breastmilk in a bottle, it doesn’t matter to him. He ALWAYS prefers being nursed and will hold off for the ‘good stuff,’ even if it leaves him hungry. (It’s never fun when you’re on date night with the hubs or at an event and you get a text from the sitter saying “Anders won’t take his bottle…again.”) Since using the Boob Baby Bottle, Anders has been drinking from the bottle with no issues or fussing. AMAZING! I realize all babies are different with different preferences for bottles, but this has been a godsend for us! The nipple is designed to simulate natural breastfeeding. In addition, it keeps liquids at the desired temperature for longer periods of time with an insulator in the bottle. Very cool!


Some of my other favorites from the event: Orbit Baby Stroller (we’ve had ours for over a year now and love, love, LOVE it! The ease of this stroller with the carseat for Anders, and the protective covering on the handle bar for an ipad is awesome!), Ergobaby Four Position 360 Baby Carrier, Modern Burlap (these swaddles/blankets have the BEST designs…my favorite is the world map design), Build-A-Bear (the holiday season reindeers they have are utterly adorable), Joovy’s Spoon Walker (Anders personal favorite), and Weangreen’s Modern Glass Storage (these are amazing recyclable material-glass baby food/whole family containers with the best lids ever)! Please let me know if there are any new products from this year that you love. I’m always intrigued with new baby products!