Interiors

The Non-Toxic Mattress We Love

1024 683 Lauren Kennedy

One of the biggest yet most important shifts to make in the nontoxic living journey is your mattress. Did you know we spend at least one-third of our lives in bed + your body is renewing the most at night? So, it is the most important time for it to be in a pure environment! In my opinion, it is one of the most valuable investments for your health.

According to Wellness Mama, mattresses can be a major source of chemical exposure. Mattress companies are not required to disclose all of the chemicals they use and are required to withstand an open flame from a blowtorch for over a minute. To accomplish this, many companies (over 90% in a recent survey) douse mattresses in flame-retardant chemicals like polybrominated diphenyl ether, better known as PBDE. These chemicals are highly toxic and do not have to be disclosed! They can accumulate in the body through skin and inhalation exposure and are associated with hormone, brain, and reproductive damage.

Mattresses can also contain harmful compounds like:

  • Formaldehyde – Commonly used in mattresses, especially as an adhesive in mattresses made from polyurethane foam (a toxic petroleum-based material).
  • VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) – Can cause lung and skin irritation and are often found in the glue in many mattresses.
  • Decabromodiphenyl Oxide and other Brominated Flame Retardants – These are linked to hair and memory loss and are listed as possible carcinogens.

These facts above always break my heart and initially made me want to run to the store and immediately replace our mattresses. And to add on to this, mattresses off gas, which in turn puts chemicals into the air we are breathing in our home. Off gassing is a term that refers to releasing chemicals from the object they reside in (in this case, a mattress that is not free of toxins).

I am so thrilled to tell you about a brand that I first came to love because of their bath mats. On my what felt like a lifelong hunt for comfortable and thick organic bath mats, my mom told me about Under the Canopy and I was immediately hooked. Then a few months ago, I saw they released mattresses and I was so excited. As we settle into our new home, my mission was to find the best mattress to replace in our guest room beds, and after reading through the quality and ensuring comfort, I knew these were the ones!

The fun little bullet points that I geek out over: these mattresses contain zero GMOs, toxins, chemicals or flame retardants. The natural silica exterior and the Joma wool top layer actually acts as a natural flame retardant and provides structure at the same time.

The Hybrid Organic Latex Mattress is designed to give the perfect amount of support and comfort for all sleeping positions. It is crafted with individually encased recycled steel coils with an organic latex layer and topped off with an incredibly soft pad made from organic cotton and Joma wool. This all makes a soft, sustainable, and durable mattress that provides both support and comfort.

Other fun facts that gives even further peace of mind:

  • 11” Organic Latex Hybrid Mattress
  • .5” Joma Wool Pad
  • .5” Organic Coconut Husk Pad
  • 2” Organic Dunlop Latex
  • 8” Coils made from 95% recycled steel
  • Surrounded in eco-friendly silica sock for natural flame retardant
  • No GMOs
  • Made responsibly in the United States

The mattresses are made to order in small, American factories, which limits waste because they are just created only when there is a need. And who else loves to know the time it will take to get to your house as much as I do? You will receive your mattress within 14 days of ordering. Also, these are available at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Another important note: mattresses are expensive, and nontoxic ones can cause a bit of sticker shock. As I discuss in The Clean Sweep, it is so important to take this journey at your own pace. Also, I think it can be so fun to set goals and set aside money each month specifically to save for a nontoxic mattress as it is one of the most rewarding and health-benefitting purchases!

Ensuring the Purest Air in our Home: Austin Air

514 686 Lauren Kennedy

NEW YEAR

First of all, happy 2020 to you all! We are incredibly grateful for the community that has developed on LSK. It is truly one of the greatest highlights from this past decade! As you guys probably know by now, I am so passionate about living a clean and nontoxic lifestyle. My life experiences, personal research and wellness journey has all led me to where I am now, which I am ultimately so grateful for!

NEW HOME

Okay, so…I have so much to fill you in on. We have been in a bit of a holding pattern as this past year was wild yet exciting, challenging, and quite adventurous to say the least. I will get into way more detail in blog posts to come, but a small portion of this year was digging into the renovation and remediation of our new home! 

MOVING FORWARD

Long story short, we were in escrow on a house we fell in love with, and it happened to be in the Woolsey Fire 4 days before we closed. We first made sure our house was still there as the house next door burned down, prayed if we should continue forward, felt extreme clarity to do that, and then the remediation and renovation process began! What an intense learning curve this last year has been. We truly had no idea what we were getting into, but I must say, it ultimately has been so rewarding and worth it. 

NONTOXIC RENO

We aimed to do a fully nontoxic renovation + made sure to remove all toxic contamination in our home caused by the fires and smoke damage. We installed a special HVAC system, we painted the interior of our home twice with non-toxic, no-VOC paint, had several deep cleanings, replaced insulation, installed a whole house water filtration system, and did multiple toxicity examinations with solutions to follow.

CLEAN AIR

Even though we installed a rare and highly productive HVAC system to filter toxic air that could remain, I felt like there was more we could do to make sure we had the cleanest air circulating through our home. This has been my top priority. I did extensive research to find the most effective air purifier , and through many recommendations and research, Austin Air takes the cake. We chose to get the HealthMate Plus because it removes the widest range of gases, chemicals, VOC’s and formaldehyde. This broad-spectrum adsorption makes it the best choice for anyone exposed to smoke from wildfires and people living close to busy highways. The HM+ filters the broadest range of pollutants, so it totally won me over.

HEALTHY HOME

We run our filter 24/7 as they are designed to do. I love to know that our air is being filtered all day; it is the most settling feeling! They have three different levels of filtering strength, and we love turning it on high when we are out of the room or house so it’s extra productive when we are gone. At night, we put it on level two. For max health benefits, it is so great to run the unit in your bedroom when you sleep. And the best part is, it’s so easy to move, so we run it in other areas of the house during the day, but we always do it in our bedroom at night.

THE BENEFITS

My favorite part is seeing how pure air inside our home, thanks to Austin Air, physically affects our health!

-Eases headaches and reduces nausea related to chemical exposure

-Strengthens the immune system

-Eases coughing, wheezing and sneezing

-Reduces dry mouth and runny nose

-Sounder sleep

-Reduced snoring

-Lessens night time allergies and asthma attacks

Another bonus: it actually filters viruses and bacteria! What’s not to love?

THANKFUL

Jase and I are so thankful to have this running in our home. It is worth the investment as the air we breathe is one of the most important aspects of our wellness. Also, Austin Air is so kind and is offering a code for you to use to receive 15% off your purchase!! Use code: LSK15 at checkout

If like me, you’d like to clean up the air in your home, check out the Austin Air HealthMate Plus here. And its free shipping if you order direct with Austin Air. And thank you, Austin Air, for this collaboration! 

Five Things On My Christmas Wishlist

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I shared my gift guide recently of 100 gift ideas for those you love and hope that it has been a good resource for you during this season of gift shopping! Today I am  sharing a quick list of five things on my Christmas wishlist this year. Keep reading to find out what they are…

 

CASUAL-COOL SWEATSHIRT

I love the Anine Bing brand and this sweatshirt would be one I reach for on repeat with denim or sweats

BEAUTIFUL CUTTING BOARDS

These boards would go perfectly in our new kitchen and not to mention, V useful

PERFECT FLEECE PULLOVER

I absolutely love to be cozy in the winter, especially when spending time in Idaho, so this fleece is a must

NEW POTS FOR THE NEW HOUSE

Must-have pots for home-cooked meals now that we are settled in our new home

A VERY PRACTICAL AIR FILTER

Pure air in the home is so important and these are the best filters out there

What are you wishing for this year? Let us know in the comments! 

 

 

 

 

 

Our New Custom Closets

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When someone asks what my favorite part of the house is, I immediately think the kitchen and the master bath. But I realized that the closet is very high up on my list! It is such a personal space and if we think about it, so much time is spent there! We have been remodeling our home for the last eight months, and I must say, amidst the excitement of seeing everything come together, what I looked forward to the most was closet install day by The Container Store.

You might also know that organizing is such a passion of mine, so partnering with The Container Store to customize our closets was a complete dream. The Container Store Custom Closets is made up of 4 closet lines that fit any size, style, or budget. The particular line we used in both closets is called Avera, and it not only helped maximize the space in each room, but it created a relaxing and organized atmosphere. We were drawn towards the clean lines and peaceful color + the choice of adding LED lights under each shelf was a game changer. My sweet friends from The Home Sort came to completely finish our closets with the drawer organizers, shoe boxes, and in Jason’s closet (hence the extra space), beautiful wooden hangers.

As we are approaching the holidays and the new year, right now is the perfect time to invest in a custom closet by taking advantage of the Avera and Laren spend and save! The best feeling entering the new year is a fresh space, especially a fresh closet!

Thank you, Container Store, for partnering with me! 

Old Jeans Can Insulate New Homes

476 634 Lauren Kennedy

Y’all have probably seen that Jase and I recently moved into a new home that we are so excited about. The renovation has been quite a journey (updates + lots of blog posts coming soon!), but the one thing that struck me the most happened this week. #ad

We moved out of our home in February anticipating a month of living in a hotel while our renovation was in progress, so we packed a month’s worth of our clothing to prep for our time away. One month turned to eight, and this week I started tackling the clothes in the garage; doing loads of laundry (pun intended) and processing the need for another purge. My denim is in major influx and to be honest, it astounded me. It’s almost like it took living on a minimal wardrobe to realize how we definitely don’t wear all of what we have.

To get to the crux, I struggled with knowing what to do with my old jeans! Did you know that since authentic denim is made from cotton, a natural fiber, it can be recycled and used to create something new? I became aware of the Denim Stack Challenge by Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green™ denim recycling program and was so elated! I had no idea that I could support sustainable living through recycling my denim + I never had any idea that my old denim could create natural cotton fiber insulation to help building efforts around the country.

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Want to join me? P.S. by participating, you enter to win a $150 gift card to Madewell.

• First, gather all of your unused denim, snap a pic, and share it on social tagging @DiscoverCotton with the hashtag #DenimStackChallenge.

• Tag your friends and encourage your peers to do the same.

• Drop off your old/worn denim for recycling at one of the many participating Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Greenprogram brands or retailers, or mail it in for free by downloading a prepaid shipping label from Zappos for Good.

• Any type of denim apparel can be contributed for recycling so long as it’s at least 90% cotton so be sure to check your labels.

Happy recycling! 👖

& thank you, Cotton, for partnering with me!

The Process Of Moving In

823 1024 Melissa Mayer

Hi friends!

Just wanted to chime in with a quick update on our process of moving in! If you follow Jase and I on Instagram you will have seen that it has been a lot of work with a lot of stuff (especially pillows…!), patience, time, help, energy, understanding, and LOVE. We are so thankful for this new home and cannot wait to see the chapters of life that unfold within these walls.

The main words I keep thinking about during this move are patience, grace, and gratefulness. My acupuncturist a few weeks ago talked to me about the act of “reframing,” which is taking a situation and turning it into a positive perspective rather than a negative. I keep saying that I am so grateful that I get to unpack and create a space for my family.

For instance, the dust has been a nightmare for me, and it’s somewhat helpless to avoid it at the beginning of the move and after a renovation (no matter how much you clean). The stores and dusty boxes bring in more dust, the items in the box that have collected dust do the same, and the foot traffic brings in all the things too! We just keep cleaning and continue being grateful for the progress!

I am the type that diligently finishes every project I start. And y’all probably know, my home reflects the Marie Condo theme that everything has a place. Organization, creating a home, cleaning, and feeling settled is in the heart of who I am so this process can be mentally tough. I keep reminding myself that this is a process and I am so grateful for this space now and what it will develop into. It’s such a parallel for life. We often want something to be complete, but the time of work and waiting is often times a struggle.

My parents came in to help and it was a game changer. My dad literally did over 30 hours of laundry (he is a pro!), and my mom is the best organizer of coordinating the rooms. She also set boundaries for us to stop when we were tired and to rest when we needed it so we didn’t fully exhaust ourselves every day. I could not be more thankful on how well we work together and how much they sacrifice for us, even though they just view it as a gift to help!

Our method in unpacking was to unpack everything first, and then organize it into categories in the appropriate room. We also first vacuumed and cleaned every cabinet thoroughly. And P.S. we are only using Branch Basics in our clean up! Then we organized drawers and cabinets + write a list of organizers we needed to order to make it fully complete.

It’s so nuts to me because we purged so much before the move, and so you think you are good to go with purging when you move, but this was not the case for us! We are continuing to purge items, which is the best feeling in the world.

Other keys to a successful move-in: blasting music throughout the house, laughing, making sure you get enough food and water, rest when you need to, and HAVE FUN!!

Also, last but certainly not least, I have been praying over our house as we unpack – such a special and powerful thing to do, inviting Jesus into the process.

Thanks for reading and share this post with anyone who is preparing for and praying over an upcoming move themselves!

xo, Lo.

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