Head Lice Bugging You? It Earnestly Bugs Me.

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Please note, I am not selling or promoting any specific products for profit – I only recommend what I use because I am sure of it’s quality and effectiveness. Also the recipe included is not certified to treat head lice, it only helps with prevention.

When I was in the 7th grade I got head lice so bad that my mother (bless her heart) cut my long hair above my ears with kitchen shears. I cried, I remember holding my ponytail recently separated from my body through blurry sobs. In 7th grade I knew not to share hats, brushes, sweaters or lay next to friends for worry I may get head lice – but I got it anyway. So I showed up one day after all the dreaded “Head Lice Memos” went home, with a boy’s haircut (we went to a pro once I was all cleaned up from lice). I was mortified, I had such bad head lice that I still cringe at the nick names I received from the whole experience, ‘lice queen, lice hotel,’ and other creative names I do not care to mention. My 7th grade self is still petrified of getting head lice, and now that I have a long haired daughter starting school – I have worries, naturally.

Before my 7th grade experience, I got head lice for the first time, in Kindy; I remember sitting to get my bum length hair french braided and sprayed before school. I can still taste the mist of that choking aerosol spray we used to help prevent any louse wanting to get to my scalp. Of course, I ended up getting lice and my first experience with that nasty, stinky shampoo and painful nit catching comb. God bless my mother, she had 4 girls and head lice was quite an event in our house.

I know when I was in school there was a lot of myth and misinformation about lice, and today I still hear the same stuff. Here are some facts, head lice are:

  • 1 of the top 3 reasons kids miss school
  • Extremely common! Between 6-12 million U.S. kids 3-11 years old get head lice each year
  • Not dangerous, but are contagious (and SO annoying)
  • NOT signs of unwashed or unclean hair – they thrive in clean hair
  • Unable to jump, fly or swim
  • Unable to live on your pets
  • Unable to live in your environment (couch, carpet, furniture, pillow, sheets, mattress, car, movie theater, airplane)

Now, I also know that there are A TON of sprays and solutions out there that promise prevention and they are CRAZY expensive so I am going to share my recipe that is super easy and effective, but also will not break the bank. I will also share the prevention tips I follow and so far so good while my littles have attended PreK, VBS and play dates!

Lice Prevention Spray

Recipe:

  • 4 oz Distilled Water
  • 1 tsp alcohol free witch hazel
  • 8 drops dōTERRA Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 5 drops dōTERRA Lavender EO
  • 5 drops dōTERRA Rosemary EO (optional)
  • 4 oz glass spray bottle (I recycled this one from Urban Oreganics Rose Water Spray)
  • Shake well and spray on wet or dry hair before and after styling.
  • I use this daily with my kiddos, lice can attach to any hair that is 2 inches or longer so if you have young lads with longer hair they can use the spray too!

    Witch hazel – Since head lice do not like clean hair, my kids wash their hair every two/three days, a very small amount of witch hazel can help reduce oil build up

    Tea Tree Essential Oil (melaleuca) – anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties make it effective for preventing lice, treating dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. It can clear the follicles and allow your hair to breathe; also moisturizes the scalp while preventing buildup of excess oil on the scalp.

    Lavender Essential Oil – has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which can prevent head lice and improve overall scalp health. Lavender is also known for properties that can generate the growth of cells and reduce stress.

    Rosemary Essential Oil – can counter hair loss by stimulating blood circulation in the scalp, which, in turn, promotes hair growth. Its high nutritional value and anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent ingredient for nourishing the hair follicles and soothing the scalp. It is also known to aid in lice prevention.

    Other oils that are good for preventing head lice – eucalyptus, peppermint and neem.

    Lice Prevention Tips:

    • Weekly lice checks, not sure what to look for? Google human lice/louse/nits
      Wash hair infrequently
      Style longer hair in braids or ponytails
      Use above spray daily before going to school/activities
      Encourage children not to share combs, brushes, hats or shirts
      Keep on the look out for frequent scalp itchiness or complaining of tickling feeling on scalp/hair

    Good luck mamas! If your kiddos end up getting head lice take a moment, breathe and do not panic. There are several ways to treat, kill and clean lice from heads and home. It can be quite a task but worth the work of preventing re-infestation; some natural and OTC treatments may not work as some are resistant; if necessary feel free to call and see your child’s practitioner.

    Please know, and I speak from experience, that parental reaction can have long lasting effects and staying calm, reassuring and supporting to your child who has lice is worth it’s weight in gold.

    You’ve got this!

    x. earnest mom

    Earnest Mom Comes Clean with Seventh Generation. #comeclean

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    What does #comeclean mean?

    #comeclean is a mission created by Seventh Generation, to demand transparency from companies about which ingredients are being put into our products.  Ingredient disclosure is not mandatory in United States and we are exposing ourselves to thousands of chemicals (toxic ones) daily, even if the package says “natural.”  That is why Seventh Generation is demanding Ingredient Disclosure be mandatory for all companies.  As consumers, we have the right to know what we are bringing into our homes, putting on our skin and exposing our children to.

    WHY IS INGREDIENT DISCLOSURE IMPORTANT?
    If companies don’t tell you what’s inside right on the package, how do you know what you’re bringing around your family and into your home?

    You have a right to know what goes into the products you use. Food and personal care products are required to have content labels, but there are no regulations in place for the ingredient labeling of household cleaning products – especially for the fragrances that scent those products.

    Chemicals of concern can hide behind the term “fragrance” in ingredient lists on your cleaning products – chemicals that have been linked to serious health effects including allergies, asthma, cancer, and reproductive harm. – seventhgeneration.com/comeclean

    Did you know? 

    • Under the FD&C Act, companies are required to list ingredients on consumer cosmetic, personal care and food products in descending order of amount, with the stipulation that flavor and fragrances can be listed under the summary description “flavor” or “fragrance”, and incidental ingredients at insignificant levels do not need to be declared. Cleaning products are not governed by the FD&C Act, and those ingredient declaration requirements don’t apply to them.
    • The term “fragrance” refers to a mixture that may be composed of any of over 3,000 chemicals, including allergens and reproductive toxins.  The Institute of Medicine equated fragrance to second-hand smoke in its potential to trigger asthma. Also, “unscented” does not mean a product is made without fragrance chemicals. This term can be misleading to consumers, particularly to those with allergies related to fragrance, natural fragrances can also cause sensitivities.

    As a member of Seventh Generation’s Generation Good, I

    #comeclean

    #comeclean

    have had access to free samples and coupons to use Seventh Generation products.  I love that Seventh Generation is committed to not only using only natural and safe ingredients, they also take pride in listing every single ingredient on their labels.  Their website also gives an entire glossary and description to every ingredient they have listed so there is zero confusion for consumers, and we can see what we are using in our homes and on our bodies.  Want to know more about Seventh Generation products and Generation Good?  Visit them here.

    Hope to see you join in the #comeclean campaign along with Seventh Generation to make a cleaner home for all of us!

    x.  earnest mom

    It’s That Time of Year! Host a Healthy Baby Home Party for Your and Your Friends!

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    As you may recall, I hosted a Healthy Baby Home Party last year via Facebook.  We had a great attendance and a TON of prizes.  Want to host your own?! Here is what it is all about!

    What is a Healthy Baby Home Party?

    Seventh Generation’s home parties are powered by people like you who are focused on creating a healthy environment for the next generation. Developed with input from non-profit partner, Healthy Child Healthy World, they are a great way to get together with friends, share helpful information, and make an impact!

    Healthy Baby Home Party kits are provided to all selected hosts and are filled with educational info about our environment, helpful tips, a fun game, and samples and coupons from Seventh Generation and other favorite family-friendly brands like bobble, American Meadows and Zarbee’s Naturals

    What is the Application Process?

    • Sign up atgenerationgood.net to join the Generation Good community, or log in if already a member.
    • Accept the Healthy Baby Home Party Application offer on your Generation Good dashboard and complete the application.
    • Applicants will be notified by mid-June if they have been selected to host a party, via an email to the email address assigned to their Generation Good member profile.
    • All selected applicants will then need to confirm their participation by accepting the Healthy Baby Home Party Mission in Generation Good and confirming their shipping address.
    • Hosting spots are open to US residents only at this time. Canadian parties are planned for later in 2016!
    • Full terms and conditions are available within Generation Good in the “Healthy Baby Home Party Application” offer.

    So why not apply?  It is a lot of fun plus you will be helping to get the word out about toxins in our everyday lives that we can minimize for a healthier home for you, and a healthier home for baby!

    x. earnest mom

    La Petite Crème. An Earnest Review.

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    La Petite Crème is a diaper changing “game changer” for me.  As a mom who mainly cloth diapers, using cloth wipes was a very easy transition.  What was not so easy for me was finding a solution (other than plain water) to wipe my earnest babe’s derriere when needed.  Most of the solutions that I had concocted my self or purchased from other mama-makers often seemed to not last long enough.  They tended to develop an “old” smell after a few days.  I was so happy to have stumbled across La Petite Crème which helped to solve this problem for me.

    This French inspired, chemical free diapering lotion truly is easy to use, easy to transport and easy recommend to any mama out there, cloth or disposable diapers do not matter because this product can be used with dry cloth or disposable wipes – your choice!

    img_1073How does it work? Squeeze a small amount of La Petite Crème on to a cloth or disposable cotton pad or whatever wipe works for you, and simply use to wipe clean the diaper area.  No rinsing required!  It is that easy, not rinsing allows a clear protective film to remain on baby’s sensitive skin.  This diapering lotion is cloth diaper safe, fragrance fee and hypoallergenic while naturally cleansing and disinfecting.  Since it is chemical free, it only has six ingredients – water, olive oil, vegetable glycerin, beeswax, vitamin E and limestone. Best of all, I can pronounce all of them.

    Learn more about La Petite Crème here.  You should definitely give this mama-maker a try, moms supporting moms.

    x. em.

    Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1-7)

    With this week being Global Awareness Week, I got in contact with Cameron Von St. James to share as much information as I could with my earnest followers about asbestos exposure and mesothelioma cancer.  He shared the moving story about his wife Heather, who has been a 10 year survivor of mesothelioma after receiving a diagnosis and a 15 month life expectancy if she received no treatment.  I was so moved by her experience, I earnestly felt that her story and awareness to the risk of asbestos exposure needed to be shared.

    “Without treatment, I wouldn’t live past 15 months. In November of 2005 my doctor said I had malignant pleural mesothelioma. He said “cancer”, but all I heard was that I might not be able to raise my three month old daughter, and my husband might become a widower after just six and a half years of marriage. I learned that my father, a man who worked in drywall construction, had unknowingly exposed his own little girl to asbestos through his work jacket. Treatment options were limited and there was no guarantee. Today, I’ve outlived my original prognosis and continue to raise awareness of this terrible disease.” – Heather Von St. James, Beating The Odds


    According to Mesothelioma.com’s blog post 5 Ways to Show Support During Asbestos Awareness Week ,  exposure to asbestos was generally thought to be a risk only to workers on sites where asbestos was once used or is currently being used. However, secondhand exposure can occur to loved ones when workers come into contact with asbestos, they carry the fibers home on their clothing. Veterans, teachers who work in older school buildings, workers who renovate older homes, firefighters, people that live in areas with naturally occurring asbestos and many others are also at risk for exposure to asbestos.  Mesothelioma is primarily caused by asbestos exposure and there are many misconceptions today that we are no longer being exposed to asbestos, however reports are finding that we are.  With numerous older built schools still containing asbestos fibers, children and teachers are those among the most at risk of asbestos exposure.  Read more: http://www.healthychild.org/five-myths-about-asbestos-in-schools/

    This Asbestos Awareness Week, be informed, be aware and be safe.  Use the infographic and links below for more information on Asbestos Awareness Week, asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, and Heather’s beautiful journey, miraculous survival and inspirational story!

    Asbestos Awarenes Week

    x. earnest mom.

    Read more:

    http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/jackie/5-ways-to-show-support-during-asbestos-awareness-week.htm#ixzz44ua5rgm5

    https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/learn-about-asbestos#asbestos

    http://www.mesothelioma.com/mesothelioma/

    https://www.ihadcancer.com/h3-blog/03-21-2016/celebrating-10-years-of-mesothelioma-survival%E2%80%90-lung-leavin-day-2016

    http://www.healthychild.org/five-myths-about-asbestos-in-schools/

     

    Host Your Own Healthy Baby Home Party. Earnest Mom Invites You to Apply!

    If We Can Get Monsters Out of Closets, Bring Toys Back to Life, and Heal Scrapes with a Kiss, We Can Get Toxins Out of Our Kids.

    Many of you have recently attended a great party (hosted by yours truly) with a GREAT conversation, Healthy babies and Healthy homes!  Our peer connections, support and advice during that party for me was priceless.  Well, I have GREAT news!  Seventh Generation is currently taking applications for YOU to host your own Healthy Baby Home Party in your community.  This is your opportunity, if you are selected, to be that friend that earnest mom is to you.  Let’s make that change!

    HBHP_5

    Earnest Mom Becomes an Honest Ambassador.

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    Earnest mom is very excited and blessed to announce that I have been chosen as an Honest Company Ambassador, this opportunity will provide me with exclusive access to new products, reviews and even more giveaways!  As an ambassador I will be compensated for any sales that may come from links on my blog and blog posts.  Although being compensated is nice, that is only a perk, I did not sign on because I want sales. I signed on because I am an Honest brand enthusiast. I absolutely love their products, their standards and their story.

    I remember my first purchase was three years ago Christmas, as stocking stuffers and gifts I had purchased the hair and body wash sets from Costco, and kept one for myself. I loved the smell, and the fact that it had no harmful chemicals. There. Right there, that is where my love for the Honest Company began.

    It would not be a few years before I ordered my free Essentials Trial and free Diaper and Wipes Trial. Once again, I was not disappointed, only complaint I have heard is if you order a free trial you have to call to cancel or you will be billed for a monthly membership.  The Honest Company makes you very aware of the automatic payments after the trial period, I did not mind calling to cancel the diaper subscription, as much as I loved the diapers, we use cloth during the day and disposable at night. I do not go through nearly enough disposable diapers to justify the subscription. If you are a disposable user, I earnestly recommend using the Honest subscription. The diapers come in fun, colorful, and adorable prints and are free from toxic chemicals. They arrive at your door for about 80 bucks a month or every six weeks. I know that a case of diapers from any big box store runs from 40-55 dollars depending on the diaper size, that does not include wipes. The Honest company provides toxin free diapers and wipes for 25 dollars more. I know with my first born, when we used disposable diapers we were using about a case and a half a month. I would say the price is quite comparable. Check it out at the link below and see for yourself! Remember any sales that are made through this link, earnest mom will be compensated.

    The Honest Company

    When earnest baby was born, I received an Honest Company diaper cake, I loved it! Especially because I loved the diapers, like I said earlier cute prints and free of toxic chemicals, great combination for this earnest mom; that being said we use Honest diapers at night and they hold…all night. I’ve always had to use the next size up for the earnest kids at night because they’d go so much, but with Honest it’s the first diaper that I use at their true size that keeps them dry all night! I now order two packs a month online, and I love them!

    What can I say?! I love the Honest Company and hope to be able to bring you earnest followers more information, more reviews and giveaways in the future, please stay tuned. In the meantime, use earnest mom’s link to check out some Honest goodies and try a few free trials!

    x.

    earnest mom.

    Earnest Mom’s Crunchy Journey

    Hello my earnest followers.  I am earnestly excited to introduce to you a new series to Earnest Mom’s Blog called Earnest Mom’s Crunchy Journey.  This series will focus on an aspect in earnest mom and family’s life where we are making the transition to a more greener version.  This series will appear monthly as the first post of the month.  It will feature and array of topics from cleaners to beauty products to baby products and some giveaways.

    Together we will take this adventure and see how far we can go to ridding our homes and bodies of unwanted toxins.  I am no billionaire…as a matter of fact I am not even a thousandaire (which is a word in the earnest dictionary) so my transition will be affordable, practical and reasonable so we can all enjoy this journey together.

    If there is anything that you earnest followers would like to see featured, please feel free to comment here or email me suggestions.  Stay tuned to tomorrows first edition of Earnest Mom’s Crunchy Journey where we will delve into the world of nail polish (which is really hard for me – I am an admitted polish-a-holic).

    x.

    earnest mom.

    Healthy Baby. Healthy Home. Earnest thoughts on Generation Good by Seventh Generation.

    As some of you may know, I was recently selected to host a Health Baby Home Party as a member of Seventh Generation’s Generation Good – I feel so honored to host this in Erie, and I felt to share with you why you might want to join too.

    Seventh Generation is a brand, yes.  It is an all natural and organic brand that provides household products (from paper plates to dish soap), baby products (from chlorine free diapers to body lotion), to health and beauty (feminine care products to hand soap).  They earnestly care about what you are putting in contact with your skin.  Their name is Seventh Generation because they are concerned about the next seven generations after ours and what things will look like for their futures.  

    Recently, Seventh Gen announced that they have teamed up with Whole Foods for a buy/give program.  From May to September 2015, for every package of Free and Clear Diapers that purchased at any Whole Foods Market in the US, Seventh generation will donate a pack of newborn or size 1 diapers to non profit organizations that donate baby essentials to families in need across the US – a program I find quite admirable.

    Seventh Gen’s Generation Good (which can be found at Generation Good ), there are resources for you to find forums of information and tips from parents who are concerned with toxins that our children come into contact with, you can also apply to host your very own Health Baby Home Party – where you will receive free products from Seventh Generation, Zarbees and Bobble, and a lot of information about cleaning toxins out of our homes. 

       

    I am very excited to host Healthy Baby Home Party this coming month – in fact if you are in the Erie, Pennsylvania area and are interested in attending the party please contact me at earnestmomblog@gmail.com.  If you are not in the area but want to participate, like Earnest Mom’s Facebook page to attend the online portion of the party where you will be eligible to win a Seventh Generation Home Prize Pack! (Giveaway open to both residents of Canada and the United States). Date and time will be announced on Facebook page. 

    Please know that Seventh Generation does not endorse this post nor am I receiving any compensation  – its just my earnest desire to share information on a such a global conscious company.

    x

    earnest mom

    I Screen. You Screen. An Earnest look at Sunscreen – plus an earnest give away!

    With the summer’s sunny season quickly approaching I have been doing some earnest research on sun safety and our skin.  According to the American Cancer Society, people who get a lot of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays are at greater risk for skin cancer – sunlight being a main source of UV rays.  If you have been burned once in your life, you may be at a greater risk of developing skin cancer; since our children are dependent on us – lets keep their skin safe.  Of course, this does not mean stay out of the sun completely but to follow basic sun safety.  Seek the shade on sunny days (you will still get UV exposure even in the shade), wear sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), cool long layers, and a hat.

    When it comes to sunscreen, most of us buy one of the major brands like the one with the puppy pulling on the girls bathing suit or the one that smells like sunny vacations – hot and tropical, but I would earnestly encourage that we turn that bottle over and read what we are slopping on our skin in the heat of the day.  Remember, our skin is our biggest organ and absorbs all chemicals it comes into contact with instantly – which is directly absorbed into to our bloodstream.

    The majority of big brand labels (non-mineral or organic based) sunscreen’s active UV filter ingredients are Oxybenzone, which acts like estrogen in the body; alters sperm production in animals and is associated with endometriosis in women; Rentinyl Acetate, a synthetic vitamin A ingredient – the FDA has raised a concern that daily skin application of vitamin A creams may contribute to excessive vitamin A intake for pregnant women and other populations; Octinoxate which creates hormone-like activity in the reproductive system, and linked to thyroid and behavioral alterations in animal studies.  These ingredients are among only some of the concerning ingredients (others are parabens and fragrances) that have been proven to attribute not only to hormone disruption, but have been found to be linked to cancer and skin allergies.  So – whoa, earnest information overload I know, and if you are interested in learning more I urge to you to do some of your own research, start with the Environmental Working Groups website article The Trouble With Sunscreen Chemicals, and from there check out their other links that are helpful and informative.

    Okay, so now what?  Well there are sunscreens out there that are mineral based, which on the whole are much more safer for you than the ingredients already listed. When shopping for a safer sunscreen use the following criteria:

    1. Stay away from ALL aerosol spray screens – the inhalation factor raises too many concerns.
    2. Natural does not always mean safe – check ingredients and avoid the ones listed above.
    3. Stay with mineral based – look for the following ingredients Titanium DioxideZinc Oxide or Mexoryl SX.
    4. Avoid SPF higher than 50, there has been little evidence of the increased protection once the SPF has reached 50. (According the EWG – High-SPF products may give people a false sense of security, tempt them to stay in the sun too long, suppress sunburns but upping the risk of other kinds of skin damage. The FDA is considering limiting SPF claims to 50+, as is done in other countries.)
    5. NO tanning oils – the offer minimal sun protection and placing oil on your skin only magnifies the harmful rays we are trying to protect ourselves from.

    If you are not in the mood for looking and researching all ingredients here are some of my favorite, low toxicity exposure sunscreens that I love (and will also be giving away).  For the earnest kiddos, I like BabyGanics, not only is it mineral based but is also friendly on the checkbook.  BabyGanics offers 2 cream based sunscreens (one in a tube, another in non-aerosol, pump spray form) both go on nicely and are fragrance free for sensitive skin, water resistant (80 minutes), tear free, hypoallergenic, and have NO PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nano-particles.  BabyGanics can be found at Target, Babies R Us and other big box stores that have natural or organic sections.  For the whole earnest family I like The Honest Company‘s Sunscreen Lotion.  It is a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, it is also a bit higher in cost.  If you are already a subscription holder you can get it at a discounted rate, and can also be found at Target stores.  This sunscreen is hypoallergenic, non-Nano, mineral-based, biodegradable, reef-friendly, water resistant (80 minutes)  and pH balanced.

    For my everyday facial lotion, I am sure to use a face cream that contains SPF 20, I use UrbanOreganics Green Tea facial moisturizer (you can find my review of the item here).  This cream contains no harsh chemicals and leaves your skin feeling soft and well moisturized, without feeling greasy. It is thick, but not heavy, and will fully absorb into your skin in a matter of minutes. Perfect for all skin types. SPF is from Zinc Oxide and the cream is vegan, organic and contains non GMO ingredients.

    Earnest followers, get out and enjoy the sun, its vitamin D, its light and its warmth – but let’s be safe and choose mineral based coverage in addition to covering up when we can. Have fun in the sun!

    To Enter To Win Sweepstakes:

    Please share your sun safety tips in the comments below (one entry per person) to enter to win an earnest sun safe prize pack that will include my favorite sunscreens listed in this post (UrbanOreganics SPF 20 facial cream, The Honest Company SPF 30 Sunscreen lotion and BabyGanics SPF 50 mineral based sunscreen lotion – valued at over $50.00). Earn extra entries by sharing on Facebook/Twitter and come back and comment “shared” in the comments section.  The earnest giveaway closes 5-31-15 and is open to residents of Canada and the USA. The winner will be drawn at random and notified on 6-1-15.  **Participants must 18 years of age or older.

    x.

    earnest mom.

    Earnest Tip:  SPF cannot “add up” – if you use SPF 15 facial cream, then apply SPF 30 suncreen, the protection factor is 30 – it does not add up to 45.  This is a common consumer mistake so lets spread the word and be sun safe.