I just completed a 2 week cleanse (one where you eat food)*. I've done this particular cleanse a few times and it always leaves me feeling refreshed, invigorated, and just generally better. I'm trying to pay more close attention to my body and, when my allergies are flaring or my skin is acting abnormally, I'll do a cleanse to give myself a fresh start. The first 2 days are torture (think Boo Box and you are Glenn Close in pirate drag), but the last few though I haven't watched this movie can best be summed up by that scene in Titanic where they are standing at the helm of the ship. 

I eat fairly healthily and treat my body relatively well on a regular basis, but I never stick to as strict a diet as I am on this cleanse so by day 14 I'm kind of king of the world. There are a lot of things I love in life and most of them are food related, but, if you are what you eat, try not to turn yourself into a Sausage Egg McMuffin with Cheese.

So if you are in need of some healthy recipes or inspiration for a balanced lifestyle, these are some of my favorite places to look: My New Roots, Naturally Ella, The Hungry Australian, and A House in the Hills.

*I purchase the 365 Whole Body Cleanse that comes with a regimen of Fiber, Milk Thistle, and an herbal supplement while eating a diet of only fruits, vegetables, nuts, and brown rice as my only grain because of its high fiber content and some science reasons why that's helpful blah blah science blah.


My mom has a habit of letting me know about every possible danger in the world. I get frequent emails regarding the things in my house that may kill me. Though I know it is coming from a good place and I should welcome the knowledge that could change my current habits for the better, it can be pretty annoying. Recently, I was showing her some plates that I was contemplating purchasing for my home and she said they were nice, but that there's been a shipment of toxic yellow dye and I should stay away from all things yellow right now. 

. . . . . . . Noted.

Over the past few years, I've received many an email / voicemail about the toxins emitted from paraffin candles (the most common candle in existence). Most people know this by now, but they release carcinogenic fumes and create indoor air pollution. This was one warning I did heed and now I've switched over entirely to soy + beeswax.

There was a point between the 6th & 8th grade where I was obsessed with candles. It was all things Bath & Body Works and candles in "cool" shapes. It was a weird time for 12 year olds. I went a solid 10 to 15 years without caring about them at all and now I'm back on the wagon. My home feels warmer and more inviting with a candle burning and a scent that's not too overpowering.

I realize that scents are very personal so my favorites may not be yours, but here are my recommendations for clean-burning soy candles for your home:

Mrs. Meyer's Lavender

Mrs. Meyer's Basil

Paddywax Pineapple Ginger

Atelier de Lait Milk

Good Candle BK

Paddywax Sweet Cream & Honey

Soy candles burn cleanly and last longer. Beeswax candles do the same while also being beneficial to those of us with allergies and environmental sensitivity - so I encourage you to make the switch if you haven't already. I can have my mom leave you a 3 minute voicemail on why you should do it.


Some plants can improve air quality - so if you are going to share your home with a roommate of the leafy green variety, why not choose something that takes away some toxins while making your house look pretty?

I did a little research and found out that I already own a few plants that do just that - Gerber daisies (a benzene remover) to name one, but I wanted to add a few more because heck - why not? I went to the store and ended up coming home with these beauties:


SNAKE PLANT . Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii' . Filters formaldehyde (commonly found in toilet paper, cleaning products, & personal care products) and nitrogen oxides. Thrives in low light and humidity.

SPIDER PLANT . Chlorophytum comosum . Fights benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide & xylene (among other toxins). Thrives in bright indirect sunlight / Also very hard to kill. Perfect for me.


ALOE . Aloe vera . Eliminates benzene & formaldehyde / gel inside leaves can be used to heal burns and minor abrasions. Thrives in sunlight.

If you don't like the looks of the plants I chose or just want to make your house have the cleanest air on the block, here are some more alternatives:

+ Baby Rubber Plant

+ Bamboo Palm

+ Philodendron

+ Golden Pothos

+ Weeping Fig / Ficus

+ English Ivy

For more information about improving indoor air quality through the use of houseplants, visit the Mother Nature Network or Sustainable Babysteps.