The 6 Sustainable Items I Use Everyday

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. I am not a medical skin care/esthetic professional. All of the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked or not worked for me. None of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any products in your own home. Use these at your own risk. Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by products or methods listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries or damages. Please seek medical or professional advice for personal issues should you or a loved one need it.

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Becoming eco friendly isn’t something that just happens overnight. You can’t expect success in these life long changes if you try to do a full-house overhaul in a day. It pays off to plan and start small with everyday items; those can make a huge impact for the environment.

It’s also worth noting that these changes should be viewed as investments; not only within yourself and your health, but also with our Earth and the environment.

I’ve compiled a list of 6 items that I use on the daily to make a greener impact. I hope you’ll check these out and that it may inspire you to make other changes in your daily life to help our planet.

Metal Water Bottle

There’s a ton of metal water bottles out in the market today but I tend to be pretty picky when it comes to something so important. I like my water cool and clean, so metal was a no brainer for me. I don’t want plastic leaching into something so vital as my H2O! I also knew I needed an extra large sized bottle; that’s just the only way I’ll drink all my water for the day. I stumbled on to Iron Flask and simply fell in love . The bright variety of colors, the various handles to switch out and the 2 straws in case one gets trashed, so so many sizes and styles-what’s not to love! I personally use this one with the goal to fill it up twice and finish it off by bedtime. They do have a gallon sized one for those of us who have a hard time remembering to fill our bottles too.

Reusable Razor

I’m not gonna lie, I’m a lil’ bit extra. So when I spotted this gorgeous razor I had to snag it. (Plus I’m a sucker for anything that’s rose gold #heretakemymoney). The reviews on these Viking razors really sold me too, so I gave it go myself. Man….you know those moments where you question what you’ve been doing your whole life? Using this razor was one of those. The shave is so smooth and there’s no razor burn and the blades are recyclable , and it’s pretty to boot! They have a whole line with different handle styles and colors but really any one you get is gonna be worth it!

Mesh Produce Bags

Shopping in bulk can be one of the biggest impacts on creating less packaging. However if you’re using the plastic bags in the store and throwing them away once you’re home, it sort of defeats the whole purpose. Enter MESH BAGS! These are great for holding produce and even things from the bulk section like pasta or snacks. (Don’t try putting flour or sugar in them though….the netting isn’t that tight). I tried making my own but they aren’t worth all the hassle honestly. They’re cheap to purchase and way sturdier than the ones I made.

Shampoo and Conditioner Bars

These are probably one of the toughest things out there to find a good replacement that is still eco friendly. And that is for a few reasons. Going green isn’t just about plastics, it’s also about ethics and knowing where these companies are sourcing their materials. This gets into fair wage, fair trade, ethical and sustainable practices, ect. That’s why I like this set from Ethique, you get a variety of samples to find which ones work best for you and they have a strong ethical practice you can trust.

Glass and Bamboo Tupperware

This was a newer purchase for me. We’ve been using the glass and plastic ones but the lids melted or tiny pieces went missing and we ended up throwing the lids out and just using beeswax wraps, foil, or plastic wrap to cover. Then I found these from Greener Chef. I love the product but also the mission behind the company. It’s a smaller scale family run company wanting to make a greener impact!

Bamboo Toothbrush

When I started making the switch this was one of the very first things I swapped. There’s so much plastic in traditional toothbrushes, from the packaging right down to the bristles. The entire thing is plastic! So I recommend these as a greener and fun alternative. The bright colors are a good way to differentiate whos brush is whose if you share a bathroom. They are completely biodegradable so I feel confident using them, knowing I’m making an impact for the better.

These are just a few of the things you can swap out in your daily life to make a huge environmental impact! I hope this inspired you to see where you can make some positive changes in your life!

Parenting a Person With ADHD: Chapter 3-The Calm Down Corner *Plus Bonus Craft!*

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

This is chapter 3 of the series Parenting a Person With ADHD. If you haven’t already, please read the prologue, chapter 1, and chapter 2 so you are up to speed on the information.

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Creating a calm down corner was one of my favorite things about the changes we made. We specifically made the calm down toys ourselves so it became a craft, rather than a chore or forced activity. It put a positive spin on a calming place and set the tone for how we wanted the area to function. It was also a good bonding activity for myself and my son to do together.

Calm Down Corner Craft

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We did 2 different themed bottles: one with water and oil and glitter; the other with water, water absorbing polymer beads, and glitter. For both, the water was colored with food dye. My son picked the colors of glitter and water because it’s important to include your child throughout the process of making changes in the household. That way they feel like their voice is still being heard and they are able to exert some control. Allowing him choices in a controlled setting shows him he does have power over his choices, which is a skill in and of itself!

Directions: add your water to the bottles then color it, shake with lid on to mix. Fill the bottles with water about half way for the oil one and 3/4 for the other. Add your glitter to each bottle. We did about 2 Tbsp in each, but add as much or as little as you like. Then add your oil to the one bottle and your polymer beads to the other. For the oil bottle leave a little bit of space for air. For the polymer beads add 5 at a time and allow to fully absorb the water. We ultimately added like 20 beads and topped off the water once we were done. Then use the super glue on the inside screw threads of each lid, tighten the lids on and allow to dry per manufacturer instructions before you play with them.

We keep these bottles in the calm down corner and they are only allowed to be played with if you are there. It helps to keep them feeling “special” while you’re in the calm down corner.

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We also hung up some pages from his therapist, like a thermometer of how high your emotion was that landed you in the calm down corner and of the S.T.O.P. skill (I’ll do a post about that soon). Here’s a different emotion chart that helps kids learn what emotion they are feeling.

The other big factor about the calm down corner is that it’s chosen by the child. We offer our son the option to go to the calm down corner when we see him beginning to get upset. He chooses to go of his own free will or not. If he doesn’t go, he usually gets more upset and makes choices that land him in time-out….which is by our appointing, not his.

This little action of letting kids pick their own consequence goes a long way. Plus it teaches children how to start self regulating their own emotions (which is a challenge for most kids, let alone one’s with behavioral struggles). When they are in the calm down corner, they decide when they are ready to come back to the activity at hand.

Occasionally (and when starting out) you’ll have to send them back because they weren’t actually ready to return to the activity at hand; they’re still too wound up but that’s just part of the process-it becomes sort of a natural consequence.

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Also, time-outs are used as a last resort and a no tolerance tool. Meaning that if my child does something that is absolutely unacceptable-like hitting, spitting, back-talking, breaking or throwing things, ect-he gets put directly to time-out and I decide for how long. We keep the rule of 1 minute per year of age starting at 2 years and that seems to work fine for us.

For most kids, you can explain briefly why they are there and that you will get them when their time is done. For my child I have to say nothing, any talking with him becomes a form of engagement in his eyes. I don’t want to reinforce that he gets my attention while in time-out so he gets the silent treatment or the one phrase treatment. “Go to time-out”, I say it once. If he squawks, I go put him to the garage which is right next to our time-out area.

This works like a sort of reset button for him, similar to the calm down corner. He decides when he’s ready to come back in and finish his time-out but if he keeps making poor choices he’ll keep being sent to the garage. It then gets put on him to manage his emotions to get out of time-out. Same thing for when he used to try to leave time-out; I physically and silently go get him and put him back. For as many times as it takes…..I’m glad he doesn’t do that anymore. The garage upgrade seemed to fix that.

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Retraining kids on what is expected and tolerated is tough work. But the right tools and planning can make it a lot smoother. Giving them the opportunity to try again with a calming environment they can go to helps them to seek out space when they need it and redirect their our emotions in a positive way.

Next time on Parenting a Person With ADHD: Deep Breathing and Other Tools

6 Items for Those Sunny Days

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. I am not a medical skin care/esthetic professional. All of the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked or not worked for me. None of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any products in your own home. Use these at your own risk. Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by products or methods listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries or damages. Please seek medical or professional advice for personal issues should you or a loved one need it.

We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays. But this can be extremely tricky when you have sensitive/eczema prone skin, which I and my kiddos all do. So I’ve gathered together some of my top skin protection recommendations.

Sunscreen

Of course this is number one! It’s one of the most important things you can actively do to prevent premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. I’ve struggled to find a good all around sunscreen that hits all the marks AND doesn’t make my skin react. I recently fell in love with Raw Elements SPF 30. It’s a non-nano zinc oxide-so it’s reef safe and without endocrine disruptors-it’s in a reusable metal tin, and it didn’t set mine or my kids skin on fire when we used it! (I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened with sunscreen, so I was seriously elated). They’ve also got a stick version, tinted version, and bottle version. Here’s the link so you can take a look. I really love this brand in general and they are EWG certified, so I feel confident buying and using this product.

Driving Gloves

This is one that I think skips most people’s minds. Even though some of us may apply sunscreen to our hands, it washes off as soon as you wash your hands. When I started to notice age spots on my hands I sort of freaked out, realizing my hands get way more sun exposure than anywhere else on my body. All those driving trips to destinations for hiking? Ya, my face was in the shade of the car but not so for my hands. Here’s some from Coolibar that are unisex with multiple sizes and have a 50 UPF rating and end at the wrist. Here’s the longer version to cover the forearms, still with that 50 UPF. Don’t be fooled by the cheaper alternatives, they are made from a cotton blend which only has UPF of 5-25. You’re not getting the protection your hands need from all that sun exposure.

Oversized Hat

Ok confession time: I love hats. ESPECIALLY stylish, over the top ones. The fact that they protect your face, neck, shoulders, and hair from sun damage is just a big bonus as far as I’m concerned. I’m a little obsessed with these from the San Diego Hat Company, the white is my fav. The extra wide brim gives you extra protection and extra pizzazz. It’s just all around extra! There’s also these from the SK Hat Shop if you’re looking for some additional styles in more colors. As an added bonus, these are the hats my boys use! And of course, I got them in matching prints because #twinning!

Light Jacket

It can be hard to find a cover up that gives sun protection without over heating. I know I’ve struggle with it in the past. I really love this one in white, and here’s a plus: white reflects light so it helps to push some of the heat away, keeping you cooler! There’s a lot of variety out there so whatever style you’re looking for, it’s likely that you can find it in a protective UPF fabric.

Sunglasses

It’s not just your skin that needs to avoid too much sun exposure, your peepers need it as well. Fact check: polarized lenses refers to glares being blocked (like from shiny things on the boat across the lake, or the lake itself), you still need to make sure they say UVA and UVB protection to reap the benefits of tinted eyewear. Also look for 100% UV protection to be sure all the light is being filtered. There’s literally thousands of styles for sunglasses that meet these criteria, so have at it my friends! Every bodies face is different so I’m not recommending anything specific on this one. Oh and don’t forget the babies too!

Parasol

This might be my favorite thing on this list. It’s got sentimental value to me since I still have the paper parasol from when I was 5. (I’ll share how I repaired a few rips in it another time) And it’s such a pretty accessory that really stands out in a crowd. Plus you can use it’s shade to cover a lot on your body or to help cover someone next to you! I’m warning you now though, you might get sucked down the rabbit whole that is handmade paper parasols. They are all exquisite and unique and UGH…I just love them. There’s fabric ones too and I can’t look at those or my husband will start questioning where all our money is going. Don’t be like me, do better lol.

And there you have it! Some really great products to keep you safe this season and for many seasons to come. One thing I’ve come to know: skincare and wellness are an investment. Not only in the items that help you achieve your goals but also and investment in yourself. You are valuable and should invest in yourself

Any sun protection tips you’d like to share?

Sanitation in Cloth Diapering and Wipes

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So you want to cloth diaper but aren’t sure about the germ factor or the cleanliness of your washing machine? Many people don’t realize a vast majority of sanitization for laundry occurs during the drying cycle, not the washing cycle. Yes you can use water 120℉ to help but most of the germs are still going to be killed in the dryer. HOWEVER this isn’t necessarily true if you don’t have that dryer set to high heat, which most fabrics can’t tolerate, especially not PUL cloth diapers. *PUL is polyurethanelaminate which is what most diaper covers use to keep moisture in the pad, not leaking through.

So how do you get them sanitized?! Well there’s a few methods

  • Solar Sanitization

This (and the next) is the method I use, even in winter. Hang your liners and pads on the line in direct sunlight and let them dry. UV sanitization is a great resource from our nearest star and it’ll cut down on your electricity. In winter, hang them on hangers clipped to one another and put in your sunniest window! Ta-da!

  • Dryer

You can put your pads and wipes in the dryer on high heat, just not your liners. You need a minimum of 25 minutes of heat but my pads don’t dry that fast anyway. If you have all-in-one diapers you’re better off using anther method.

  • Lysol Added to Wash

I have not personally tried this, but I if I smell bacteria build up I think I’ll give this a go over a bleach bath if the vinegar doesn’t do anything (vinegar hasn’t let me down before). First, verify that the Lysol you have is laundry appropriate. Then add 1/4 to 1/2 c to your laundry and wash like regular. For cloth diapers I would do this in your last wash so you already have clean diapers and the sanitizing can get in there and do its job.

  • Bleach

This one is iffy with cloth diapers. Some manufacturers will void the warranty if you use bleach so do your research and be warry. You fill your bath tub half way with cool water, 1/2 c to 1c bleach, and CLEAN diapers. Stir them around and let them soak for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Then you drain the water and rinse with HOT water and put the diapers through another wash cycle. There’s lots of variations on this method throughout the internet.

  • Vinegar

One of my personal fav’s and a go to if my baby’s diapers start to get that stink caused from bacteria build up (it just sorta comes with the territory of cloth diapering until you get your wash routine down). I do my first 2 washes and then add white distilled vinegar to the fabric softener chamber until full. I set the setting to extra rinse with fabric softener and voila!

Always check your manufacturer warranty and what they recommend using. Also, cloth diaper groups on Facebook can be helpful when solving wash problems.

Also if you’re interested, we use these diapers and these diapers and here are the main pads we use, plus these heavy duty pads as our little got bigger. We use planet wise for wet bags and have NEVER been let down. Love them, love them, love them! Plus you can use the wet bags as swim gear holders and water protection when the kids are older!

Which way do you sanitize your laundry?

DIY Themed Kids Room: Ocean Edition

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any crafting equipment in your own home. Use these at your own risk, Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by attempting the DIY crafts listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries.

So after tackling my older son’s bedroom(this will eventually be linked to that post), I decided to go with the ocean theme for our little’s nursery. It was sentimental to both my husband and I and I had a lot of creative juices flowing over from my previous exposé. I went with a lot more simple ideas because well…I was growing a human inside my body and had no business being on a ladder. So instead, we purchased some cute but realistic wall stickers that my son helped me place. And we framed some pretty prints that we bought, I can no longer find the exact prints but here’s some really cute ones and here’s some frames similar to the ones we used. We also got some 3-D wall art, a sail boat for the shelf, and a beach themed wall hanger to add some texture to the room. My personal favorite was this mermaid and merbaby picture. It hangs over his changing table. It’ll be a keepsake when I’m old and gray.

My mom also found at a thrift store, two really cute framed prints that sort of had a “Rainbow Fish” vibe to them. But the room still felt incomplete. I had seen some DIY light up jelly fish lamps that could hang over the crib but I worried that as he grew he would likely climb up to reach them and could get hurt (I was right he was a climber!). Plus I wasn’t sure about having the lights on all the time in his room (an issue I faced with battery operated lights in my older son’s cloud lamp). So instead I opted to make a jellyfish of my own design, one that had no light source but sticks on the wall completely, with the tentacles secured up and out of the way. I happened to also have some seashell fabric that I was DYING to use and this was a perfect project for the texture it created.

I ultimately did this project after I had given birth, I do NOT recommend doing it while pregnant because you will need a ladder to get it up high enough.

So I gathered my materials and set to work.

I included links to materials I thought would work well. However, all of my materials I found at the thrift store. If you’re interested, go in the linens section because you can find great fabric for cheap! Brand new fabric off the bolt is extremely overpriced in my opinion; plus what better way to find other uses for all those textiles that humans have been wearing and tossing for decades. Why not repurpose some things into decor you love!

I’d say ribbon would work best for the highly textured tentacles and seriously, drapes at a thrift store are like one of the best purchases you can make. I’ll post some more drape projects later . Go for the white or pale colored semi sheer as you want the sort of translucent effect jelly’s have naturally. The solid material will be under the sheer fabric on the body. You could even skip this step but I found the top fabric didn’t drape quite right unless it had some additional substance beneath it. Plus you can adjust your color scheme with the solid fabric. I did blue hues: the tentacles were white/light blue and cream, and the body was vibrant dark blue with cream overlay. I recommend you play around with the layering a lot to get a feel for how your end product will look.

Once you’ve decided on colors and layering, start cutting. You’ll need roughly a 18×8 rectangle of solid fabric and 20×20 square of sheer fabric for the body. Don’t worry about the measurements or the cut being perfect, you won’t see the edges when you’re done. Staple the solid fabric loosely in a sort of oblong rounded shape (think how a jellyfish body looks). Don’t pull the fabric tight, you want slack so you can play around with the draping. Next, take the top of your sheer square and fold it under about 1/4 inch so the edge is rounded. Staple the fabric to the wall so that it surrounds the solid fabric in an overlay sort of fashion. Keep rolling the edge of the sheer fabric under as you work your way around the jellyfish body. Remember: dome like shape with soft, rounded edges. NOTE: Either leave the bottom open or leave larger spaces to get your hands through for adjusting the fabrics and for placing the tentacles! Once you have your outline done, begin draping and stapling the center of the body fabric to your liking. You’re going for a flowy under water look, so focus on creating soft rounded texture.

Next, cut your tentacles from your 2 (or more) fabrics/ribbons. I did roughly 18-24 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. I had a total of 9 tentacles. You want them longer because you will be folding and stapling sections to add movement and texture, therefore shortening your fabric. Please note how high your lowest tentacle is! You do not want your child to be able to reach the lowest tentacle, keep it at least 4-6 inches away from their grasp. Should they get ahold of it, they could pull the fabric and the staples would come out potentially causing a hazard to your child. Be cautious and aware!

Once you have your pieces, take them one at a time and tuck one end under the bottom of your jellyfish body, stapling it in place. Remember to fold the fabric of the jellyfish body so it keeps the rounded edge. I did my bottom of the jelly sort of wavy too to help blend and create a more natural look. Then work your way down the tentacle draping, curving, and shaping as you please to create movement. I also did mine with a slight angle so it appears that the jelly is moving. Continue this method until all the tentacles are in place and you are pleased with your end result!

Show me your jelly pictures!

Next DIY will be…

OMBRE LETTER PAINTING!

Cloth Wipes, Plus DIY Wipe Solution

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Maybe you cloth diaper and want to use cloth wipes as well. Or maybe you use “Family Cloth” and need a solution to create a wet wipe for personal use. Either way making a DIY solution to spray onto your fabric pieces is a great way to create the multi-purpose efficiency of traditional wet wipes without the environmental toll of disposables. If you’re unsure about the sanitation of reusable cloth, you can read more about it here.

I’ve been cloth diapering for over a year now and we also use cloth wipes. But we didn’t always. I am not ashamed to admit that I used (and still use when traveling, and washing just isn’t an option) disposable wipes and diapers when my littlest was brand new. I was well aware of how much time I would no longer have and I didn’t want to be stuck washing so many times in a week just to make it through the newborn-3 month old phase. Plus we certainly didn’t have the budget to buy newborn and one-size diapers, because apparently one-size isn’t exactly what it sounds like. So we opted to wait until he was roughly 4 months old and his urinary patterns changed to less frequently and with a little more volume.

At that time, my husband (bless him) convinced me that we should just continue using disposable wipes to lessen the workload on me that had already increased by doing cloth diapers. I agreed, and disposable wipes worked for time. Until the pandemic hit. And both diapers and wipes were a scarce commodity all over. I was so pleased with myself that we cloth diapered and didn’t endure the struggle so many other parents did, but I had to become self-reliant in the wipes (and toilet paper) department, FAST.

So I hunted down some older, but still in good shape towels and burp cloths, pulled out my fabric shears and got to cutting! I created more than enough for my little guy and myself from just a items laying around the house that were close to being turned into garage rags (because convincing my husband he has enough of those is a battle I’ll never win). We each ended up with roughly 40 wipes (probably more). Being the only female with 2 legs in my household presented its own problems during the pandemic so I resorted to cloth wipes as well; aka “Family Cloth” but I’m the only one using them.

I found that I preferred cloth for both myself and my little guy. He stopped getting these weird rashy dots that the doctor said presented sort of like eczema but looked very different from my older son’s eczema rashes. As soon as we started using our own wipes and solution those red dots were gone! And he seemed to be more comfortable during diaper changes as well. He cried less during them which made me really wonder if those disposable wipes had been perhaps stinging his skin. I will likely never know for fact.

At this point, I don’t see us going back to toilet paper or disposables ever! It saves a ton of money and produces less of a carbon footprint than TP too.

DIY Wipe Solution Recipe

Add the coconut oil to the hot water and stir until melted. Then add in the soap and stir gently until dissolved. Try not to make big bubbles. Optional: add in 2-3 drops of essential oils, such as lavender or eucalyptus. Avoid this step if your child is under 4 months of age or has extremely sensitive skin. I personally skip this step. After all ingredients are mixed well, pour into a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

Note: if the coconut oil makes little clumps or a layer in the bottle don’t worry. Just shake it up vigorously and those will melt once they come into contact with the warmth from your babies skin. Also we use Puracy for both baby shampoo and lotion, we love the products and the company.