Tag: Family

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!

Best Camping Gear for Babies

bridal veil falls

Over the long weekend we took an awesome trip up to Yosemite National Park with a group of friends. I was feeling a bit of trepidation about the trip because A) it’s a long drive with a 1-year old and B) I was nervous about how Baby Brownie would do sleeping at a campsite. It turns out, I worried for nothing. I guess Baby Brownie is just an amazing night sleeper because she went right to sleep at 8pm every night and woke up at 7:30am.

We had an awesome time biking around the valley, admiring the view at Glacier Point, cooking meals at the campsite, making s’mores around the campfire, and spending lots of quality time with friends.

We did bring some key baby gear, however, that made camping much easier, and I thought I’d post about them here in case some other brave parents are taking their babies camping this summer!

essential baby camping gear

baby camping gear

1. Baby Bjorn Travel Crib

I’ve posted about how much I love the BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light before, when we flew to China and Baby Brownie was just 8 months old. I still love it, and at 14 months, my daughter still fits in it just fine. The Baby Bjorn Crib takes about half a minute to set up, and maybe a minute to fold down once you have it figured out. It’s lightweight (though it is a bit bulky, but that’s not really an issue when you’re car camping) and folds down into a convenient carrying case.

I like how the fabric and mesh of the crib is breathable but comfortable and soft. It’s not a plasticky, rustle-y, tent fabric like many of the other travel cribs out there, so it doesn’t make noise when the baby moves. I also like how the mattress pad is an actual pad, rather than an inflatable mattress; it helps to keeps baby warmer. I added a fleecy plush crib sheet to help keep Baby Brownie warm. You can just have the travel crib right in your tent or camper, and baby has a nice, enclosed place to go to sleep.

2. Sleep Sacks

Baby Brownie is used to the HALO Fleece SleepSack, so that’s what we used. They’re not as warm as I’d like, especially for camping in the mountains, but Halo doesn’t make padded sleep sacks (you can buy padded, duvet-style sleep sacks online, but we just used what we had). I just layered lots of PJs on Baby Brownie — first a long-sleeve onesie, then a fleece footed sleeper, then an extra fleece pullover to keep her arms warm, and then the fleece Sleep Sack. I had an extra blanket to put over her but by the morning it was bunched in a corner of the crib, so it wasn’t much help.

3. Wee Ride Kangaroo Bike Seat

One of our favorite parts about camping in Yosemite was riding bikes around the valley. We’ve tried bike trailers before but found that our toddler didn’t really enjoy them because she couldn’t see anything. With the WeeRide LTD Kangaroo Child Bike Seat, our daughter could see everything and was safely strapped in front of her daddy. Although this seat won’t fit an older child, it was perfect for our 1-year old. We loved that sitting in front, she could see everything, and it seems safer in case of a fall, so my husband could catch her and keep an eye on her.

wee ride collage

4. Baby Food Pouches

I’m so glad we brought plenty of baby food pouches like these Happy Baby Organic Baby Food Pouches. They were so handy when we were on the trail (or in the car) for a snack for our toddler, or just to supplement a meal and to add fruits and veggies. Although Baby Brownie is eating solid food, sometimes camping food isn’t the most nutritious. We also brought healthy finger foods like cheese sticks, bananas, grapes, and crackers.

Are you planning to go camping with your little one this summer? What’s your baby camping gear essential?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Turn Your Kid’s Pants into Shorts (in 3 Easy Steps)

Here’s a quick project that took me all of 15 minutes, and helps reuse something you would otherwise give/throw away, use as a rag, or lose in the bottomless black hole you call the closet (or is that just me?).

With the warm weather we’ve been having, I’ve really been wishing that my toddler had fewer long pants and more shorts. She’s going to outgrow her long pants before the weather gets cool again. Well, duh, I told myself, why not just shorten the pants?

turn kids pants into shorts

You’ll need:

1 pair of jersey cotton pants
sewing machine
thread that matches pants
scissors

I love the neon pink polka dots on these pants but they were kind of a weird shape on my girl. She has skinny legs so the pants ended up baggy around the thigh, but weirdly tapering at the ankle. So I decided that this pair would be a perfect candidate for a redo, and if it didn’t work out, oh well.

IMG_4043

Warning: I am not a seamstress. Not even close. I’m a total amateur who has to look at the manual every time I try to thread my sewing machine. So if I can do it, you can too!

Turn the pants inside out. Fold the pants in half lengthwise and snip off the bottom portion. I just eyeballed it, but remember that you’ll lose more length after you hem the pants.

cut off pant legs

Fold up the cuffs at the bottom of the legs. You could be all fancy and zigzag stitch them, but the knit t-shirt material won’t fray, so don’t worry about it.

diy baby shorts

Besides, who’s going to be snooping in your baby’s wardrobe criticizing your hemming skills? (uh…don’t answer that question.)

Just sew around the hem with the sewing machine. Let the machine pull the fabric through to avoid stretching the fabric. Just make sure you don’t sew the leg shut. If you want to be fancy, you can sew in a double seam (just add another seam next to the first).

hemming shorts

(I forgot to take a picture while I was sewing, so I faked the above picture.)

And it’s as easy as 1…2…3!

turn kids pants into shorts

Is it perfect? Nope. I’m incapable of sewing a straight seam. Does it work and are they comfy? Oh yeah.

I tried to get a pic of my daughter modeling the shorts but she moves too fast. This is the best I could do and it’s a little blurry.

IMG_4062

Of course, when you hem your shorts you will use a matching thread instead of white, unlike me, right?

The shorts are a little loose and flowy which is actually nice for this warm weather. They are the perfect play pants now.

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