Archive of ‘Shopping’ category

Honest Company Product Review (Part 1)

I’ve been using Honest Company products for about 3 months now, and I think it’s time for a review. The Honest Company (founded by actress Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan) sells natural diapers, personal care items, household products, and nutritional supplements. The Honest Co. promises that their products are free of sulfates, phosphates, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde (a popular conventional baby shampoo still uses formaldehyde in its products!!!), chlorine, and other toxins.

honest co review

A little background before the review — I have a 1-year-old, and keeping harsh chemicals out of my home is definitely a priority for me as a mom. The Honest Co has a lot of great baby products and that’s how I first became interested in the company.

I also have really sensitive skin, chronic mild eczema, and indoor allergies. A while ago my skin started itching unbearably, especially at night. I would lie awake for hours before finally taking a Benadryl and finally falling asleep. I decided to switch to completely natural personal products and ordered the Honest Co. shampoo/shower gel, healing balm, and a few other products.

This review is completely my own opinion. I was not compensated for writing this, and I am writing this review on my own initiative. However, if you decide to purchase some of these products after reading this review, I would love if you would do so through my invitation link to The Honest Co., as I will receive a discount on future purchases. Use discount code INVITED10 to get $10 off when you spend $25 or more..

Honest Company Invitation

How the Honest Co works is that you’re encouraged to sign up to be a member and have a subscription of their products mailed to you either monthly or bi-monthly. I ordered the Essentials bundle and I get 5 products of my choice for $35.95 a month. That makes the price of the products very reasonable; about the same as buying Method, Seventh Generation, and other “natural” products in stores. Of course, you have to be smart about the items you order too. If you order five $5 items, you won’t get as great a deal as if you order five $8 to $12 items, obviously.

You can buy their products separately from their website without a subscription or bundle, although it costs a little more.

Okay, now to the review!

Honest Co Sunscreen SPF30

Summer in Southern California means my 1-year-old is going through tube after tube of sunscreen, and “natural” baby sunscreen isn’t cheap! I was buying California Baby sunscreen for $20 a tube! The Honest Co mineral-based sunscreen was half the price and I LOVE IT. First of all, it is the only sunscreen I’ve seen that claims to be safe for babies under 6 months, because it uses completely natural ingredients (although check with your doctor).

Second, it goes on super smooth and is moisturizing, unlike other baby sunscreens that seem to dry out my daughter’s skin. It is a little shiny, but doesn’t leave the white cast that other mineral sunscreens do. I happily use it on my own skin (which is usually dry) for extra moisture and protection. I’m going to order a few more tubes for gifts and stocking stuffers this year!

Rating: 5/5

Honest Co Shampoo + Body Wash

I’ve only used a few “natural” shampoos before, and they’ve always frustrated me because they don’t foam as well as conventional shampoos and I don’t feel that they clean my hair as well. The Honest Co shampoo and body wash seems to hit a happy medium. It doesn’t foam as well as the chemical-laden shampoos, it’s true, but it does seem to be more concentrated and foams better than other natural shampoos (for example, it’s a lot thicker than Burts’ Bees baby shampoo…though I love Burts too). I find it helps if I rub it between my palms with a bit of water to foam it a bit first.

I love that the whole family can use this shampoo and body wash — it really cuts down on the bottles in the shower! I love the scent, and my scalp is no longer as itchy as when I was using regular (conventional) shampoo. Is my hair incredibly soft and silky? Well, not noticeably more than with other shampoos. But I’m not itchy, and I’ll take it. The shampoo has a nice orange cream scent.

Note: Costco sells Honest Co Shampoo in packs of two in a larger 17 fl oz size for about $14, which makes it the cheapest place to buy this shampoo.

Rating: 4/5

Honest Co Healing Balm

Oh the healing balm. I can no longer go without it. It’s the first thing I pack when we go out of town. Needless to say, I love it. It is super moisturizing so I put it on dry knees, elbows, and baby’s face when it’s irritated and dry. I use it as a diaper cream on my daughter to prevent and calm rashes. It calms itching and soothes my skin in the middle of the night. I even put it under my eyes as a super moisturizing eye cream.

It’s definitely an ointment though, so if you don’t like that sticky feeling it might not be for you. It does tend to sit on top of the skin more than a cream or lotion (although that’s good for me, as it’s more protective). The consistency is like petroleum jelly, without the petroleum =). It has a nice subtle botanical scent. It’s not a miracle cream — if you have severe eczema you’ll still need to talk with your doctor, but it’s perfect for dry, irritated skin.

Rating: 5/5

Honest Co Conditioning Mist

This spray leave-in conditioner works really well for detangling and leaves my hair nice and soft. But the bottle is really small! I don’t think I’ll order it again in my bundle since I feel like I can get better value with other products.

Rating: 3/5

Honest Co Bathroom Cleaner

I was pretty amazed at how well the Honest Co Bathroom cleaner cut through bathtub grime! I sprayed it on and five minutes later wiped it off without needing to scrub. It works wonders on mildewy grout too. I was honestly impressed at how effective this natural product works — it works as hard as non-natural products do!

The first ingredient is alcohol (after water), and the cleaner has a pretty strong alcohol smell. Although alcohol is “natural” and not as toxic as other cleansers, it’s still not something you want to leave out where kids can grab it, and you’ll want to wash your hands if you get some on there.

Rating: 5/5

Honest Co Oxy Boost

Eh, kind of meh. I can’t really see a huge difference in my laundry between using the Oxy boost pods or not using them. My whites don’t seem all that whiter. I do think that it helps to deodorize cloth diapers slightly, but nothing mind-blowing.

Rating: 3/5

There are still many more Honest Co. products I want to try, so this product review list isn’t quite complete yet. I have the laundry detergent but I want to finish my old one first (All Free and Clear). I also just ordered the baby toothpaste, the conditioner, and the moisturizing lotion.

Overall, I think the Honest Co. products are definitely worth the money. They are good quality and really reasonably priced compared to other “natural” products out there. I know the subscription format isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but since you have the option to get the bundle every 8 weeks, and there’s a lot of variety to choose from, I find that it works fine for me.

Again, if you are interested in purchasing Honest Co products, I would love if you would click through my link. I don’t get any cash, just a discount on future purchases from Honest Co., but every bit helps! Use code INVITED10 to get $10 off $25.

Honest Company Invitation

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Honest Company Product Reviews!

The Best Cheap Kids’ Chairs

A wonderful surprise was waiting for us this afternoon when we got home from running errands! The two child-size chairs I ordered have arrived! Baby Brownie and I were both so excited to try them out.

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They are the Flash Forward Plastic School Chair from Amazon and they were just $10 each! I know, crazy affordable, and we LURRRVE them!

I had been looking for children’s chairs for a while but my search got serious when I turned our old bench into a child’s activity table for Baby Brownie. After I painted the bench, I was trying to find some affordable and colorful chairs so she could sit at her table.

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I knew that I wanted chairs with angled legs so that it would be harder for Baby Brownie to tip over backwards. Most of the options at IKEA were affordable but had straight legs. I had seen some chairs with angled legs online on educational material websites but they tended to be quite expensive and aimed at the school market. Finally I found these little chairs on Amazon! Guess I should have looked there in the first place!

The reviews were excellent and the price was right so I placed my order right away.

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I couldn’t be happier with these little chairs. I should warn you though, the description on Amazon says these are red, but they are really a hot pink/coral. This color was actually a pleasant surprise for us and go so well with the duck egg blue on the table, but just so you know, the pic online ain’t really accurate.

 

flash forward chair

 

Flash Forward Plastic School Chair

The chair is definitely more on the pink/coral side than red/orange as it appears above.

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They are a really saturated coral color. Really fun!

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It’s still a little tall for Baby Brownie (we got the 10.5″ version) but she can get on and off without much difficulty. And the chairs are really sturdy! Not flimsy at all. I can sit on them myself without the legs flexing at all.

She was very pleased to have her own child-sized chairs and she has been playing with her tea set, reading books, and playing with her puzzles while sitting on the chairs =).

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I can envision many tea parties to come at this table.

At just $10 each, I’m a satisfied mama!

Note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means I get paid a small amount (just a few cents really) if you buy the chair by clicking through my link.

Sharing at TatertotsandJello

(Under $100) Flush Mount Lights That Aren’t Ugly

The ceilings in our 70’s-era tract home are just under 8 feet. So one of the challenges we’ve discovered in renovating is that we have had to replace a lot of flush-mount ceiling light fixtures. Specifically, a lot of brass ‘boob’ lamps. Kinda like these, but imagine them in shiny 90’s brass:

boob lamps

Why is it so hard to find flush mount ceiling lights that aren’t ugly???

In my search for flush mount lighting I’ve been dismayed at the lack of cute flush mount fixtures out there. Almost everything is a boob or a version of a boob, and most of them look dated and/or boring. That, or they cost several hundred dollars. Hmm…under $100 is more my cup of tea. So I thought I’d bring together some of the fixtures I’ve been considering in case any of you are looking for cute flush mounts on a budget too.

So here we go — stylish flush mount ceiling fixtures under $100!

flush mount light fixtures collage

1. World Imports Schoolhouse Semi-Flush Fixture (Amazon,$49.06): Schoolhouse style lights are classic and are really trendy right now, and luckily they’re not expensive. This one is available from Amazon but I’ve seen it at Home Depot too. It would look totally cute with a couple stripes painted on (perhaps with nail polish, a la Little Green Notebook).

2. Hampton Bay Edgemoor Semi-Flush Mount (Home Depot, $89.97): This may be technically a semi-flush mount but it seems pretty close to flush, so this might work in a space where you’re tight on clearance. I’ve seen this at Home Depot in person, and the black finish looks a little cheap, but I think the Moroccan trellis shade would look awesome if you could spray paint it a warm antique brass.

3. Hampton Bay Oxnard Nickel Flush Mount (Home Depot, $44.97): I love how this light can look clean and modern in the original brushed nickel finish, but imagine it spray painted a vintagey brass (I know, I have a problem) or even oil-rubbed bronze? Suddenly it would look totally vintage steam-punk. Check out how The Hunted Interior transformed hers.

4. Vanadin Flush Mount (IKEA, $39.99): I was so excited when I saw this new fixture at IKEA, and at such a great price too! I picked one up for our front entry. It has a great vintage-modern look with its white glass shade — almost like vintage milk glass reinterpreted into a lamp. It’s a little blah with the white base but I plan on painting that…you guessed it — vintage brass.

5. allen + roth Castine Outdoor Flush Mount (Lowe’s, $79.98): Who says you can only use exterior lights indoors? For some reason outdoor flush mounts have more variety — you’re not just stuck with endless variations on the boob lamp. Plus, the more industrial look is in now. I love the seeded glass and oil-rubbed bronze finish on this one.

6. Simple Classic Pendant (West Elm, $69): I think these simple white round lights would look awesome in a midcentury modern-style home, especially in a series. They totally have a Saarinen tulip table vibe.

So if you’ve been discouraged because you’ve been looking for a flush mount fixture for your low ceiling, there are some stylish options out there! Don’t settle; go out and get yourself one!

Quick Update with IKEA Cushions

I’m fortunate to live close enough to an IKEA that the words “IKEA run” are in my vocabulary. Although the giant home furnishings retailer is notorious for gobbling up entire Saturday afternoons (and destroying relationships, Re: 30 Rock), I’ve perfected the art of going straight to what I need, grabbing it, and little else. This time, the baby and I were in and out in less than 45 minutes!

I had been wanting to add more color to the family room couch and I thought some cushions would let me do so quickly and affordably:

Update sofa with IKEA cushions

I ended up going with the Sanela turquoise cotton velvet pillow covers at $7 and the Fjadrar feather-stuffed inner cushions at $6.99 each. So that comes to about $14 a pillow, which is pretty reasonable, especially for velvet. And since the inner cushion can be easily removed, I can switch the cushion covers easily without having to buy a whole new cushion!

family room sofa front 2

sofa with blue cushions

I really think those blue cushions add a certain je ne sais quoi to the room, don’t you? Hee hee. They give it a more coastal and relaxed vibe and actually help the red/brown design on the cream cushions to pop more (the cream cushions are made from World Market napkins). And I love how they pick up the shades of blue in the painting on the left.

I also grabbed the Emmie Kvist long pillow:

Guest bed

I was originally going to put it on the sofa but it didn’t work. It was too big and the pattern was too dark. So I threw it on the guest bed and liked it.

guest bed front

It’s a lot of pattern but this room kind of needs it. Those walls really need some art. And I’m kind of over the orangey-red nightstands. They’re fun but they’re starting to look a bit juvenile. I’ve been considering painting them a glossy smoke gray to make them look a bit more sophisticated.

Ok! Well, that’s just a quick little update with IKEA pillows. What great deals have you found at IKEA lately?

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