If you are following along on Instagram, you may know that Jase and I moved out of our first house together a month ago! We didn’t post a lot about it as it has been a bit of a whirlwind, but the circumstantial events that led to this move brought so much clarity and peace that it was time to leave. We are moving to a new area that is in the middle of nature and 15 minutes from one of our favorite beaches, so our excitement level is through the roof.
A little update: we are living in a hotel for a few months because we are about to fully jump into renovating our new house. This is a story all in itself, so stay tuned for that + we are doing a completely nontoxic remodel from the stones, tiles, and paint we use to the glue, furniture, and lighting we buy. I have learned a lot and will have so much to share with you guys!
Now to the topic I have been dying to jump into: purging the home before a move! I think we can all agree that although moving can be stressful in some ways, but the best part about it is cleaning out every inch of the house, from the closets to the kitchen cabinets to the office shelves.
I tend to clean out our home every few months because if you do it often, the process becomes super easy and far from daunting. But there is something about moving that sparks an even greater purge. Jase and I donated or tossed out about ten to fifteen super large bags of stuff. Isn’t it crazy to think that we had that much in our already non-cluttered home being unused? We donated loads of clothing and shoes, work out attire that sat in the bottom of our dresser drawers, beauty products, handbags, candles, books, lamps that were lounging in the garage, and we tossed products that were recently expired!
It’s easier said than done, right? But from implementing this and purging extra recently, doesn’t it lift such a weight off your shoulders when you empty your house of things that are unnecessary? I also read this article recently that connects clutter to health; it’s so fascinating!! Not to mention, it brings more intention when purchasing things because it feels so refreshing to live with less.
I would love to hear your experiences with tidying up in the comments below! xoxo
Has anyone else been struggling as much as Jason and I this season with allergies? Even my family in Dallas has been saying that it is the worst they have ever experienced.
We have tried everything holistic to bring relief – taking red ginseng, diffusing essential oils, keeping the windows shut – and nothing seems to be doing the trick. Until Molekule.
Molekule is a revolutionary new kind of air purifier. Instead of just trying to collect pollutants on filters, Molekule uses nanotechnology to actually destroy them at the molecular level (hooray!). Allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses and airborne chemicals are all completely eliminated, leaving nothing but clean, healthy air in your home.
Why we love it:
1) It’s aesthetically pleasing.
2) It has made a big difference in our allergies in just a week!
3) It can completely replace the air in a 600 square foot room once every hour.
This genius air filter destroys pollutants instead of just trapping them on filters where they can multiply and be released back into the air you breathe.
And the best part? They have an annual filter subscription, which ensures that you never run out of filters. Replacements are delivered to your door when you need them. It costs $129 a year, and the first year is free!
Hey, friends! As you guys know, we are BIG fans of the toxin-free, safe, plant-based cleaning products brand known as Branch Basics. We first talked about the brand here, and then last month we interviewed one of their founders, Allison, in part one of this Q&A series. If you missed that post, you must check it out! Allison’s words are so inspiring and will really open your eyes to the true significance and importance of ridding your home of toxic products. To follow up on Allison’s story, we have another one of their co-founders on LSK today for part two of the Q&A series with the Branch Basics’ founders. Also, they are kindly offering a promo code for LSK readers…use code LSK20 for 20% off at branchbasics.com!Now without further ado, meet Kelly Love. Scroll down to get to know her, her journey with Branch Basics, and why she is so passionate about toxin-free living.
How did you become part of the Branch Basic team and what do you love most about it?
Goodness, so much to say about this! Allison and I were roommates and best friends in college at The University of Texas at Austin. Our junior year, Allison turned to Marilee (her aunt) for health advice because her body was failing her and none of the many doctors she saw over a two year period could figure out what was wrong. She was feeling hopeless, depressed and was in constant pain. Within six months of changing her diet and the products she used everyday per Marilee’s recommendations, along with doing all kinds of cool detox treatments and taking food-based supplements, she finally started getting a lot better. I witnessed the transformation and was hooked. I wanted to know everything Marilee was teaching her and I started bugging Marilee with tons of questions for my own wellbeing. As graduation approached, we thought it would be amazing to live with Marilee for a summer before starting “real life”.. Thankfully she said yes! From my perspective, Marilee taught and modeled for us what it looked like to live as close to God’s design as possible. We filled ourselves with pure air, pure food, and pure thoughts. We meditated on scripture, spent time in nature, and didn’t put a single thing in our mouths that wasn’t part of our Food as Medicine prescriptions.
The results were powerful and truly life-changing for both of us. Allison was a new person and I, the “healthy one”, was feeling better than I ever had in my life. My painful menstrual cramps, dry and itchy eyes, random headaches, and joint and muscle pain all disappeared. I didn’t even have body odor when I got sweaty! It was a snapshot of our body’s potential and also, sadly, of how so many suffer because of what they eat, breathe, put on their bodies, and focus their minds on. Allison and I now shared Marilee’s passion for wanting to help others live a healthier, fuller life and avoid unnecessary suffering. So again, Allison and I went to Marilee asking for something that seemed crazy to her: Would she start a company with us so we could get her knowledge out to the world? In 2010, we launched Three Branches Healthy Living, an online shop for all things healthy – the safest organic mattresses, air purifiers, food-based supplements, non-toxic cleaning, etc. and then that turned into Branch Basics, which focused on cleaning, in 2012. As for what I love most, it’s a tie between getting to work with people I love so much and having the opportunity to learn something new from Marilee everyday. My life, my husband’s life and my daughter’s life are no doubt better because of her and everything she’s taught me.
Tell us about your journey of ridding your home of toxic products. How did you become passionate about clean home products?
I could feel the difference! I can now 100% tell that my constant dry eyes were from the conventional laundry detergent and dryer sheets I was using up until my “detox summer.” When I got to Marilee’s she had me put all my clothes in the sun and wash them several times to get the chemical residues out of the fibers. After giving my body a break from that non-stop toxic exposure (clothes, towels, sheets – you never escape it!), I was finally able to realize how crazy strong those smells are. I was so used to them that I couldn’t tell before! It’s like smokers that quit smoking and then can’t stand the smell of cigarettes. The laundry switch was such an obvious difference for me, so it was a huge motivator to change everything. (In addition to dry eyes I now notice I get a stuffy head, tingly and tight muscles especially in my face and neck area, headaches and I don’t sleep as well when I’m around conventional stuff.)
It also just made so much sense to me that our homes should be a safe haven, free of products that put stress on our body’s detoxification and immune systems. Cleaning products are such a simple thing to change, and getting all the toxic ones out makes a HUGE impact on your indoor air quality and on your body. Understanding what is and what isn’t safe is so important, though. We want people to know what to look for in products so that they are using the safest, most effective cleaning products possible and ultimately to inspire the entire industry to make human health the #1 priority when formulating.
If there is one piece of information that you think people should know about the importance of using safe, pure cleaning products, what would it be?
It’s about so much more than being “green.” It’s important because it means you’re not exposing yourself to endocrine disruptors that can make it difficult to get pregnant, or neurotoxins that can affect brain development, or carcinogens that can increase the risk of cancer, or skin irritants that can contribute to eczema, or allergens that can induce nosebleeds. Our hearts long for people to understand the true weight and importance their cleaning and laundry products carry in relation to their wellbeing. This is the reason we do what we do.
How do you balance being an entrepreneur and a wife + mom?
This is a daily struggle for me! Still haven’t nailed it down yet!
Thankfully my husband is a very helpful, hands-on dad and also helps me make dinner most nights. (Green Chef has been amazing for us!) I’m also extremely thankful that my daughter has always been a good napper because I work during her naps and at night so I can focus on her while she’s awake. I have to be careful though, because too often I’ll tend to stay up way too late (since it’s a time I can focus without interruptions and distractions), and I’ve gotten myself into a situation where my adrenals are super fatigued and working on overdrive. (I’m kicking myself because it’s 1 AM as I type this!!) But I’m getting better and I’m also getting better at saying no to things so I don’t overcommit myself. It means Branch Basics isn’t growing as fast as it could, but it’s worth it for my health and time with my family.
In addition to using clean products, do you also value a clean diet? What are some of the grocery staples in your home?
Absolutely! A clean, nutrient-dense diet is so foundational and critical. One of the things I learned from Marilee and am totally on board with is that one diet does not fit all, and the body needs different foods, prepared in specific ways at different times of the year, during different phases of life. Especially for women. For example, there are various foods to emphasize when trying to conceive, while pregnant, and postpartum that aren’t as important in other seasons of life. Another example I love is that a person in Jamaica is not going to eat the same diet as someone in Alaska. Some foods are cooling and some foods are warming. Some people do better with little to no meat, while others should eat meat regularly. I am an O blood type and have been nursing my daughter for 16 months, so I try to get in a lot of healthy fat and protein.
Some of my staples are organic eggs, butter, coconut oil, and olive oil, Applegate Organics turkey, beef and chicken hot dogs (so easy and convenient!), Safe Catch canned tuna, wild-caught salmon, organic/grass-fed bone broth (Bonafide brand when I don’t have any homemade), organic and grass-fed yogurt with no sugar added, Go Raw sprouted granola, Once Again organic almond butter, Alvarado-Street Bakery bread and bagels, organic sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables, and plenty of organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. I also keep Amy’s Soups on hand for times I don’t have time to prepare food and spruce them up with Vital Proteins collagen, bone broth and butter.
Besides Branch Basics of course, what other clean brands do you love? They can be home, beauty, or anything else!
For those of you that know me know that organization is the key to my heart; the Container Store was my second home when we were moving into ours, label makers are dreamy, glass pantry containers are way better than packages, and organized closets and cabinets and drawers are top priority. #sos! All of that to say, when Home Sort reached out and wanted to ultra-organize my closet, I was all in and legitimately was counting down the days until the transformation. There was something about my closet that I couldn’t get fully right, so I knew their magical touch was all it was going to take!
First of all, the Home Sort sisters, Ryan and Brandie, felt like immediate friends when they walked in the door. They have the most contagious joy and they are just so much FUN. I love their love for people and organizing and serving others through their job. It is truly refreshing + they get the job done! I was so blown away when I walked into my closet that I held back tears (insert laughing emoji).
All of that to say, all Californians, call them ASAP. They are mastermind organizers and will exceed your expectations! I also love that if you are on a budget, you can pay for their master plan, and you do the work for such an affordable flat fee. See their services here. Also, scroll down to see the entire process! xo
Over the past few years, decor & interiors have become something that we are really passionate about here at LSK. Decorating a home is such a special, personal process and results in a haven that is uniquely yours. How cool is that? It is fascinating to us how everyone’s home is entirely different; a collection of one’s past, things that they love and are drawn to, plus items and pieces that they see as inspiring, practical, beautiful, and comforting, or a combination of all of the above.
We definitely believe that as people, we decorate our homes and make certain interior design choices with the goal of finding comfort. Consciously or not, we seek comfort in all areas of life; sometimes though it is just not possible, since the reality is that discomfort is a very normal part of life. However, our prayer is that all of our homes can be a little corner of comfort for us in this world. No matter what you call home, we pray that it is a place of comfort, rest, safety, and peace for you; a little sanctuary where you start your day and end your day, finding peace and hope no matter what sort of day you had or are having .
When we discovered this chair from Bakarian Studio, we knew that it had to be a part of our home. The unique design, beautifully simple aesthetic, and comfort factor caught our attention immediately. We had been searching for the right chair for this corner of our guest room and this one fits perfectly and finishes the room just the way that I hoped it would. My wish is that guests find comfort in this corner while staying at our home; curling up with a blanket to enjoy a cup of tea before bed, reading a book, or making a phone call. Thank you, Lauren, for this amazing addition to our home! Also, friends, be sure to follow Bakarian Studio on IG- their feed is so beautiful and inspiring.
It was so fun recently discussing the importance of a toxin-free home and hearing some tips and tricks from Molly Abrigg. I love her perspective that we have little control over the toxin exposure outside of our homes, but we do have that control inside our homes! I have learned so much about the power of toxin exposure through the book, Never Be Sick Again, and it has fully empowered me to limit my contact with toxins because they affect our health in such detrimental ways.
I am so excited to share my favorite all-natural cleaning product brand with you: Murchison-Hume cleaning products. The cleaning products are extremely productive and smell so delicious, even though they are free of all the toxins. Not to mention, this company is owned by the sweetest couple here in California! I love supporting a local company and am so thankful for their commitment to creating cleancleaning products. The Kennedy household is always fully-stocked with MH products!
Where do I begin? The sandalwood candle is so divine and has become a staple in our home; it alway brings me so much joy to have it burning in our house. Oh, and the counter spray is a dream. I am kind of known for the fact that I would take up counter cleaning as a second career, so a wonderful formula to help with that makes me happy. It really is true that cleaning is more enjoyable when you actually love, believe in, and trust the products that you are using.
Is it just me, or do you guys love when hand soap & lotion are next to one another in someone’s home? Cleaning and then nourishing your hands is such a healthy habit! Another thing about Murchison-Hume products that I love is the packaging- their bottles and labels are so beautiful and look very sophisticated on display on our countertops. Of course the ingredients and effectiveness of the products are most important, but good-looks are an extra bonus. Murchison-Hume has the winning, triple-threat combination: gorgeous products that are made with all-natural ingredients that work extremely well.
Also, I have exciting news! You can use the promo code LAUREN20 for 20% off your order. Happy cleaning, xo.