Archive for Clean Living

October 11th, 2017

4 Sunscreen Mistakes You’re Probably Making and How to Fix Them

This post is brought to you by Goddess Garden. All opinions are my own.

When I was in my teens I worshipped the sun. That’s when the sunscreen mistakes began. Baby oil, reflectors and hours of free time left me in basking in the sun’s rays for far too long. Many vacations were spent with my grandparents in Florida. I would lay outside on a lounge chair with my grandmother acting as my timekeeper, yelling to me when it was time to turn over, all in the name of a golden tan.

Fast forward to the present. I am now an avid sun avoider. Slathered in safe sunscreen, I do my best to wear hats and seek out the shade. My annual dermatology appointment is a reminder that sun damage is real.

Over the years I’ve made my fair share of sunscreen blunders. Some of them are permanent and others are an easy fix.

How many of these sunscreen mistakes are you “guilty” of?

Forgetting to apply sunscreen over the summer

Guilty. Throughout the hot summer days, there were several times when I headed out without sunscreen. I’ve learned to keep a spare tube of Goddess Garden Organics Sunscreen in the car just in case. Thankfully I never burned, but if I had it’s good to know there’s Goddess Garden Organics After Sun Gel and it now comes in a spray!

Now is the perfect time to repair the damage with an easy nighttime routine including intense hydration and replenishing necessary nutrients to boost the skin’s ability to heal itself. Goddess Garden’s evening skincare products do all of that—naturally.

Forgetting to apply sunscreen in the fall and winter

With summer days behind us, it’s time to pack away the swimsuits but not the sunscreen. Here in the Northern hemisphere, we’re closer to the sun in the winter. The protective ozone layer is thinner in the winter as well. UVA damage happens year-round, even if you aren’t getting a sunburn. When you also consider snow reflects as much as 80-percent of the UV rays back at us, sunscreen is more important than ever. As we gear up for the winter, now is the perfect time to get into good daily sunscreen habits! 

I’m really loving Goddess Garden Organics Face The Day Sunscreen and Firming Primer. It’s light enough to apply every day throughout the year.

6 Sunscreen Mistakes You're Probably Making and How to Fix Them

Never applying sunscreen in the morning

As a kid, applying sunscreen in the morning was never on my radar. Since discovering that UVA is just as strong all day and all year long sunscreen has become a priority throughout the year. Goddess Garden Organics Face The Day Sunscreen and Firming Primer is so easy to apply before I step out the door.

Forgetting sunscreen on cloudy days

When the clouds are out the sunscreen still needs to be applied. UVA rays, which are known to cause the skin to age, can reach the skin through thick clouds and glass (think car windows). 

What sunscreen mistakes have you made? Do you remember to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day?

Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links meaning,at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support! 

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy my FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

September 12th, 2017

5 Ways to Combat Stress as We Transition to Fall and a prAna Discount Code!

Long gone are those lazy days of summer as we transition to the structured days of fall. Shifting from one season to another is no easy task. Many of us are feeling elevated levels of stress due to the changing of the seasons coupled with the upheaval happening in the world.

As we struggle to make sense of the world right now and as we scramble to wake our children in the morning stress levels are on the rise.

Feeling overwhelmed or stressed out can be caused by so many different scenarios. Being prepared for unexpected stress is important during this volatile time and throughout the year.

Here are a few ways to combat stress as we confront any transition.

Eat Well

The old adage, “you are what you eat” holds so much truth. Eating the right foods is the first line of defense when it comes to treating stress. Take the time to fill your body with good, unprocessed food including a wide array of fruits and vegetables (organic when you can!).

We always try to participate in a CSA in the fall. Community-Supported or Community-Shared Agriculture (CSA) is also known as “subscription farming.” We buy a subscription from a local farmer and receive a “share” of fresh, organically grown fruit and/or vegetables.

Reconnect With You 

It’s time to embrace your adventurous spirit. What do I mean by that? Take some time for adventure!

Reduce stress by embracing your adventurous spirit! @prAna #WhereDoYouprAna Click To Tweet

I didn’t write much this summer. I needed a reboot so I decided to take the summer off to spend time with my family. With three teen boys, it’s hard not to think about the short amount of time remaining before they head off to college. As the clock loudly ticks I’m craving more time. So the luxury of a summer off was perfect.

Now I’m back and kicking off the fall by jumping in headfirst. We went from zero to sixty this weekend doing activities that I love with my kids. Saturday was gorgeous and sunny for my son’s first soccer game. I’m not ready to give up my summer wardrobe so I mixed and matched. Check out my Brenna pants from one of my favorite companies, prAna.

5 Ways to Combat Stress as We Transition to Fall

5 Ways to Combat Stress as We Transition to Fall

Iconic Citgo sign in Kenmore Square, next to Fenway Park

Thanks to the Boston Red Sox I was able to take five (yes, 5!) teenagers to a baseball game this weekend. The day was beautiful and a good time was had by all. Unfortunately, the Sox lost, but they’re still in first place in the American League East.

My prAna Sage Joggers were perfect for a day at Fenway Park. I’ll be taking them with me on all of my travel adventures this year.

I’m a prAna fan and been wearing prAna for many years. This is a brand that I was initially drawn to because of style, but knowing that they truly care about our health, the environment and our planet makes wearing their clothing that much more appealing. At prAna one of their core philosophies is sustainability. You can’t beat that!

Drink water

We all know that drinking water is important for optimal health. When we don’t drink enough water it can cause dehydration and increase the cortisol levels in our body which can lead to increased stress! Fill that reusable water bottle and keep it close by throughout the day.


Now that my kids are teenagers it’s becoming more difficult to get enough sleep. The kids are up later and out later, which means that I’m up later too. Sleep is so important for maintaining a strong immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover from an illness.

Move Your Body

Throughout the year it’s important to keep active. Exercise could boost your immune system and possibly help it guard against cancer. Try to schedule regular activity throughout the day and make exercise a priority. It’s important to find a form of exercise that you love so you can stick with it.

Thank you and a prAna discount code for you!

As a thank you for being a loyal Groovy Green Livin reader you are eligible for 15% off at prAna by entering this code at checkout: MHMLA15

Please note that the discount is valid through October 10, 2017, and is not valid for Influencers, online gift certificates or with any other offer.

How do you handle transition?

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy my FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

 Disclosure: I’m a prAna influencer, which means I receive special pricing on prAna products as well as sneak peeks at their new collections and product releases.  I was sent the Brenna Pant and Sage Jogger for review. All opinions are, of course, my own.
July 26th, 2017

5 Ways to Create a Non-Toxic Dorm Room

5 Ways to Create a Non-Toxic Dorm Room Groovy Green LivinI walked into a store last week and found myself lost in multiple aisles dedicated to back-to-school “necessities” for a college dorm room. I’m still in full summer mode, so it’s hard to wrap my brain around anything having to do with back-to-school. I realize that someday in the not-too-distant future, I too will be embracing a dorm room set-up for my own children.

As families send their children off to college it’s important to think about their safety on many levels. Limiting a child’s exposure to toxic chemicals in their dorm room is a great place to start.

By taking the time to purchase non-toxic essentials for your college student’s dorm room you’re helping to foster a healthy few years away from home.

Here are a few areas to focus on when shopping for a non-toxic dorm room

Dorm Room Bedding

It’s hard to believe that we spend almost 1/3 of our lives spent in bed and it’s probably more for a college student! Since we’re spending so much time horizontal it’s crucial to focus on the safety of our bedding.

Many conventional bedding options contain formaldehyde and chemical dyes. Making the switch to organic bedding will help create a safer sleep environment.

While organic can mean pricey, organic bedding doesn’t have to cost a fortune.When looking for those extra long twin sheets for a dorm bed there are a few organic options out there for budget conscious college students.

PBTeen also has a few organic sheet and comforter options that are priced right.

Personal Care Products

Take the time to find safer personal care products for your college student.

Here are my picks for shampoo and body lotion. I also have a few personal care product favorites that can be found in my bathroom (click on the links for my suggestions).

Laundry Detergent

When it comes to laundry detergents, some really are safer than others. Send your child off to college with one of these brands:

Reusable water bottle

If your college student hasn’t made the switch to a reusable water bottle it’s time! My favorite is the S’well Teakwood Water Bottle. The bottle keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. It’s made from stainless steel and is non-toxic, non-leaching and BPA free. For every bottle sold, S’well will plant one tree through the American Forests Foundation. They are a bit pricey, coming in at close to $40 for a 17 oz water bottle.

I also like the Hydro Flask insulated stainless steel water bottle ($28) which comes in a wide variety of matte colors and the exterior never sweats. The insulated stainless steel water bottle keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 6 hours. As added bonuses, Hydro Flask comes with a lifetime warranty and donates 5% back to a charity of your choice.


Parents secretly hope that their college student showers more than once a month while they’re away at school. Most conventional towels are bathed in chemicals that can be harmful to your body. When stocking up on bath towels for the dorm room try to buy organic when you can.

I really like Magnolia Organics Bath Towels and the price is right ($17).

Do you have any other suggestions for creating a non-toxic dorm room?

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy my FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links meaning,at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support! 
June 26th, 2017

Why Mineral Sunscreen is a Safer Choice

This post is brought to you by Goddess Garden.

This time of year most of us are slathering on sunscreen before we head out the door. We all know how challenging it is to get our kids to wear sunscreen, but it’s a necessity if we want to avoid skin cancer. I’ve been forced to make the switch to a non-aerosol spray mineral sunscreen since that’s all my kids will wear.

The skin cancer risk increases for those who had at least five blistering sunburns when they were 15 to 20 years old. They have a 68 percent increased risk for common skin cancers like basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and an 80 percent increased risk of the deadlier melanoma by the time they reached middle age.

Time to #GiveChemicalsTheBird and make the switch to safer sunscreens! Click To Tweet

Mineral sunscreens are great for those with sensitive skin

Most traditional sunscreens use toxic chemical sunscreens that absorb and scatter the sun’s rays into the skin. Along with those ultraviolet (UV) rays, the chemicals are absorbed and can get into the bloodstream. The skin is the body’s largest organ—let’s protect it! Sunscreen chemicals can trigger allergies and other skin reactions. Since natural minerals reflect the UV rays and aren’t absorbed into the skin, they are much less likely to cause irritation. This makes mineral sunscreens a great choice for those with sensitive skin or anyone who wants to avoid synthetic chemicals.

Why Mineral Sunscreen is a Safer Choice Groovy Green Livin

Mineral sunscreens are immediately effective and don’t break down in the sun

Most of us have heard that we should wait 20 minutes after applying sunscreen before heading into the sun. Do you know why? The chemicals go through a reaction with your skin before they’re effective. Chemical sunscreens also break down quickly in the sun, requiring not-so-safe ingredients as stabilizers. Liquid plastics are also often added to keep the chemicals from being absorbed too quickly. Natural mineral sunscreens aren’t as complicated. They’re immediately effective and stay that way—no liquid plastics or toxins required.

Minerals sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection, naturally

Chemical sunscreens guard against the burning rays (UVB), but not all of them protect against early skin aging. It’s important to check the label to be sure a sunscreen provides natural broad-spectrum protection from both UVB (burning) rays, as well as the UVA (aging and damaging) rays, as zinc oxide does.

Mineral sunscreens are reef safe

Chemical-based sunscreens can cause harmful damage to the world’s coral reefs. By making the switch to a safer, mineral sunscreen you can help stop this damage.

Why I love Goddess Garden mineral sunscreen

Every year I do my best to test out several sunscreens and share my findings with you throughout the summer. Goddess Garden consistently makes it onto my “favorites” list over and over. Last year Goddess Garden was one of my Top Picks for Safe Sunscreens for Kids. This year Goddess Garden showed up as one of the top Safer Spray Sunscreens for Kids, Teens, and Adults in 2017.

Here are a few of my favorite Goddess Garden products:

Have you made the switch to mineral sunscreen?

Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links meaning,at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support! 

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy my FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


May 17th, 2017

Buyer Beware: BPA Could Still Be Lurking in Your Canned Food

Do you eat canned foods? A recent survey found that over half of American families eat canned fruit, vegetables, beans, soups, or meat/fish. About 40% of Americans use canned milk.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who eat canned foods there’s a good chance that you are still being exposed to the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA).

We’ve been hearing about the harmful effects of BPA over the past few years and many of us have been trying to avoid products with this toxic chemical. If you’ve been hanging out with me for a while you know that I’ve been writing about BPA issues for years and was even interviewed by ABC World News about BPA.

Bisphenol A, often called BPA, is one of the most widely used and thoroughly studied toxic chemicals. Overall, progress is being made in reducing the use of BPA in can linings, but more work is needed by the nation’s top retailers to reduce the use of BPA and find safer substitutes.

If you eat canned foods you could be exposed to BPA. Read more here #kickthecan Click To Tweet

Recent testing by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) shows that BPA linings are still found in many brands of these commonly eaten canned food products.

BPA in canned food is harmful

BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that negatively impacts our hormonal systems. It can also contribute to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, type-2 diabetes, obesity, asthma and attention deficit disorder. Other studies have shown that BPA can migrate into food and then into people, raising concerns about low dose exposure.

Despite hundreds of scientific studies showing exposure to BPA is linked to significant health concerns – diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer – it is still used in food cans that millions of Americans buy every day. BPA in can linings can migrate into the food stored inside the can and expose us to this toxic chemical.

New report shows BPA continues to be a problem in can linings

A little over a year ago a report was released finding that two out of three cans tested have BPA in the lining. The report took a look at cans of vegetables, fruits, soups, broth, gravy, milk and beans from Campbell’s, Del Monte, General Mills, Kroger, Albertsons and more. As a follow-up, CEH tested cans purchased in 2017 to determine whether can lining materials have changed since 2015.

The testing of more than 250 cans from eleven states shows that nearly 40% of the cans tested contain BPA, a dangerous chemical that is known to cause birth defects and is linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other serious health problems.

BPA-free could be just as dangerous

There is little publicly available information about the complete list of ingredients used in either BPA-containing linings or alternative linings. PVC is commonly used as an alternative lining and is a plastic made from vinyl chloride, a cancer-causing chemical.

In the testing, 19% of the can linings contained PVC.

  • Albertsons – 17% of the cans tested (12/69) contained PVC.
  • Kroger – 16% of the cans tested (12/73) contained PVC.
  • Dollar Tree –25% of the What you can docans tested (14/55) contain PVC.
  • 99 Cents Only — 17% of the cans tested (9/52) contain PVC

What you can do

  1. Stay away from canned foods when possible and opt for fresh and frozen alternatives.
  2. When purchasing canned food, look for labels that say “BPA-free” and “PVC-free”.
  3. When purchasing canned food, ask your store about BPA-free canned foods. Let your store know that you care about your health and you want only BPA-free products.
  4. Ask Kroger and Albertsons to “mind the store” and do the right thing to safeguard our health and food.

Are you concerned about BPA and BPA alternatives in your canned food? 

Many Canned Foods Still Contain BPA #mindthestore

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE

May 11th, 2017

Here’s Why You Should Stop Using Dryer Sheets

Here's why you should stop using dryer sheets Groovy Green LivinWho doesn’t love the smell of clean laundry? When we take our clothing out of a hot dryer there’s an expectation that they’ll smell fresh and clean. That signature scent is usually from the detergent, dryer sheets and other laundry products we’re using.

For many of us, it’s almost second nature to throw a dryer sheet into the dryer with a load of wet laundry. We use them to prevent static cling, provide a fresh scent, and soften clothing. Dryer sheets have been around for a long time. They were originally created by a chemist way back in 1960 and were called “Tumble Puffs”. A few years later the patented formula was sold to Procter & Gamble who marketed the product as Bounce dryer sheets.

The use of conventional dryer sheets may come with a few perks but there’s a dark side: common ingredients in dryer sheets contain harmful chemicals.

What’s in your dryer sheets?

The Environmental Working Group gave Bounce dryer sheets a “D”, which suggests a high concern and a likely hazard to health or the environment.

Did you know that there’s no requirement in the United States for companies to disclose all ingredients in dryer sheets? One of the biggest loopholes is the use of “fragrance” which is generally a cocktail of hundreds of synthetic chemicals that legally don’t need to be disclosed and are protected as a company trade secret. Some of these hidden ingredients are known to trigger allergic reactions and other health issues.

There could be other harmful chemicals hiding in our dryer sheets that can cause a wide array of health issues ranging from skin irritations to cancer. The toxic chemicals leave a residue on our clothing which gives them a prime opportunity to enter our body through our skin.

A University of Washington study of top-selling laundry products, including dryer sheets, found the products emitted dozens of different chemicals. Each product tested gave off at least one chemical regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws, but none of those chemicals was listed on the product labels.

Alternatives to conventional dryer sheets

Ready to give up your addiction to dryer sheets? Don’t worry, you won’t have to give up all the perks. There are a few safer alternatives that do the job.

  • Here's Why You Should Stop Using Dryer Sheets Groovy Green LivinUse dryer balls. I recently started using Molly’s Suds Wool Dryer Balls ($19 for 3). I received a sample at ShiftCon and finally gave them a try. They’re fantastic! No perfumes, no dyes, and each one can last up to 3 years. If you want to infuse your laundry with a safe scent add 2-5 drops of your favorite essential oil directly to the dryer balls.

Here's Why You Should Stop Using Dryer Sheets Groovy Green LivinAnother option is Eco Nuts wool dryer balls. I’ve tried them and thought they worked well. They cost a few dollars more than Molly’s ($28 for 4).

  • Vinegar. You can also try adding 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar to each load of laundry during the rinse cycle. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar this option isn’t for you.
  • Hypoallergenic option. If you’re trying to stay away from wool there’s a hypoallergenic option: Life Miracle Dryer Balls  ($11).

If you’re looking for a safer laundry detergent I have three favorites.

Do you have any safe alternatives to dryer sheets to share?

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

 Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links meaning,at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support! 
April 5th, 2017

Sunscreen Spotlight: Goddess Garden to the Rescue!

Sunscreen Spotlight: Goddess Garden to the Rescue! Groovy Green Livin

This post is brought to you by Goddess Garden.

After too many years baking, burning, and blistering in the sun the damage is done…or maybe it’s not? I’ve gone from being a sun worshipper to a sun dodger. Having melanoma run in your family will do that to you.

Sunscreen has become an integral part of my daily skin care regiment and here’s why…..

The sun can cause skin aging throughout the year

Did you know that 90% of the visible signs of skin aging are caused by the sun? Yes, UVA rays can lead to wrinkles and dark spots, resulting in premature skin aging.

Those damaging sun rays are strong year round. During the summer months, UVB rays are strongest from 10am-2pm. Aging, damaging UVA rays are dangerous throughout the day. They can even damage your skin through clouds and windows.

Most sun damage occurs at times when we’re not thinking about sunscreen: walking the dog, playing in the driveway with the kids, errands at lunch, even your daily commute! The average American spends 100 hours per year driving to and from work. That’s the equivalent of 60 hours of UVA exposure just from going to and from work.

Did you know the majority of sun damage occurs after age 40?

A series of studies cited by the Skin Cancer Foundation shows it’s never too late to protect your skin. After age 40, skin gets thinner, so the rays penetrate deeper and show damage easier. It also takes longer to heal, which means sunscreen is more important than ever.

Retinol, a synthetic form of Vitamin A, is the most sought after ingredient for treating aging skin. Unfortunately, retinol comes with some nasty side effects. The good news is there are natural anti-aging solutions, and you don’t have to resort to retinol to see results. 

Goddess Garden to the rescue!

Every year I do my best to test out several sunscreens and share my findings with you before the heat of summer sets in.

I’m kicking off this season with a closer look at two products from one of my favorite sunscreen brands: Goddess Garden. I’ve recently started working with Goddess Garden as a brand ambassador, which means I help them get the word out about their products. Last year Goddess Garden was one of my Top Picks for Safe Sunscreens for Kids.

Goddess Garden recently introduced me to their dynamic duo: Face the Day Sunscreen & Firming Primer paired with Under the Sun Pre-Sunscreen Serum. Although we’re still patiently waiting for sun-drenched days, I’ve had a few opportunities to use both products.

Sunscreen Spotlight: Goddess Garden to the Rescue!

They both come in small, glass bottles and have a lovely, light scent. By using a small amount of Under the Sun Pre-Sunscreen Serum, mineral sunscreen will go on evenly and smoothly. Packed with safe ingredients, they are both easy to apply and don’t leave behind a white, sticky film. Using both products under facial powder seems to work well.

Through independent testing, Goddess Garden found that when Face the Day Sunscreen & Firming Primer and Under the Sun Pre-Sunscreen Serum are used daily for 90 days, the appearance of wrinkles was reduced by 23%. Sounds good to me!

What do you do to protect your skin from the sun?

P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.

 Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links meaning,at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support!

About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

Click HERE to contact Lori

Lori on ABC World News

Grab Button

Want to add a link back to Groovy Green Livin? Just place the following html code on your website.
Groovy Green Livin