Alamo City Moms Blog is excited to partner with Art of Green™ to bring you information about their amazing green cleaning products. This is a sponsored post.
You may have missed the memo or failed to notice the blazing heat wave, but judging by the mess in my house, summer is here and kids are out of school. The quiet days and clean mid-day counters are gone, and I found myself feeling guilty for constantly spraying cleaner all day long—until I came across Art of Green at H-E-B. I’ll tell you more about that later, but in the meantime, switching to healthier habits got me thinking: no matter what’s on the summer schedule, making an effort to live, eat, and clean healthier needs to be a bigger priority. Here are 10 habits I’ve changed to get healthier over the summer:
1. Take family walks.
The list of benefits for this one are endless, but what immediately comes to mind is the trifecta of quality time, tiring out the kids, and encouraging healthy habits for little ones. After dinner, I’ll load the baby in the stroller and have my daughter ride her bike with us for a stroll around our neighborhood. The movement of the stroller often rocks the baby to sleep and having an outdoor activity before bed distracts my daughter from asking for TV time. Despite the humidity and mosquitoes, I’ve really enjoyed this habit!
2. Make healthy snacks easily accessible for on-the-go adventures.
I swear to you, this has changed my life! I provide three meals a day, and everything in between is left up to my snack cart. When we make a last-minute decision to head to the zoo or the splash pad, all I have to do is grab a handful of treats from the cart and toss them into the diaper bag with our water bottles. I picked up our cart from Ikea for $30, and I keep it stocked with favorite snacks like granola, popcorn, applesauce, seaweed, nuts or trail mix, fig bars, dried fruit, and olives.
3. Clean green at home.
I clean every day, and sometimes it feels like all day, just little ol’ me against a messy puppy and kids!
A while back I began to move away from harsh and toxic chemicals to gentler cleaners, but I noticed that I felt like I was doing most of the heavy lifting, having to use elbow grease where a cleaner used to do the job. That changed when I found Art of Green cleaning products because they are tough on grease and grime (think massive spaghetti spills) but are still *green cleaners that are safe to use around my whole family. I love the convenience of the wipes. I keep them in the car to wipe sticky messes off of car seats or the stroller, but I also love to grab them for a quick bathroom countertop wipe-down. (Is anyone else in that stage of life at which your kids constantly leave sticky globs of goo all over your counter?!) The multi-surface cleaner makes it easy to clean every surface in my home—literally floor to ceiling—with one formula, and it leaves behind a refreshing clean scent that makes a day’s worth of cleaning so much more rewarding.
If you’re like me, you probably just want to hear the important info without all the fluff, so here is the scoop about Art of Green:
- Their products are 98% naturally derived, allowing you to ditch all the toxins and harsh chemicals.
- They are safe to use around pets and kids.
- They are gentle on sensitive skin.
- They are affordable.
- They are available at your local H-E-B. Add one to your shopping list on your next grocery run, or put it in your basket on Shipt or Curbside!
- Their bottles are made with recycled materials, and the formula they use is biodegradable, so their products are truly green from start to finish.
- Art of Green’s socially responsible commitment makes me feel really good about buying their products.
- Their products list all of the ingredients AND their use with sources on the back of each bottle, which immediately won over my trust.
To learn more, check out artofgreen.com. Bonus: they share some great cleaning hacks on their website!
Double bonus: Here’s a coupon for $1 off your purchase of any Art of Green product.
4. Load up on in-season produce.
Summer produce is, in my opinion, one of the few redeeming qualities of this season. As quickly as my small clan gobbles up fresh raspberries, blueberries, watermelon, mangoes, peaches, etc., I have started buying produce in bulk. A little tip: Costco has amazing fresh produce at great prices. At first I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to eat through a box of peaches or six mangoes quickly enough, but if I wash and cut it at the beginning of the week, we can easily snack on it throughout the day or take a bowl of fresh fruit to the pool or beach with us. I love adding fruit to our pancakes, cereal, or oatmeal in the mornings. At dinnertime, we like to grill up vegetables with burgers or chicken. If I have any fruit that looks like it won’t get eaten in time, I can freeze it for smoothies, blend it up to make popsicles, or bake it into muffins or tarts. Another one of my favorite ways to get our seasonal produce is through our Imperfect Produce subscription.
Here is a tasty little recipe that can use up those browning bananas or other frozen fruit:
Frozen Banana “Ice Cream”
Instructions: Mix frozen fruit, milk, and vanilla in a food processor until creamy. Stir in nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips. Our favorite flavor is strawberry banana with chocolate chips and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. It’s the perfect healthy treat.
5. Stay hydrated—and in eco-friendly ways.
It’s no secret that our days are HOT in the summer. It’s important to stay hydrated in the Texas heat, even if it means constantly having to remind your kids to drink enough water, especially during outdoor adventures. Two things I have implemented to help my family go green AND stay hydrated this summer: (1) a quality water filter; and (2) reusable water bottles for every family member. I love that many places around SA offer spots to refill your water bottle, making it even easier to use. Clean Kanteen is our family’s preference for reusable water bottles so we can enjoy our H20 on the go.
6. “Think Dirty” to shop clean.
Anyone else mega intimidated by the multiple rows of sunscreen options out there? You can get one for your face, one for your legs, one for your baby, one that smells like tutti frutti, or one that’s all essential oils, and all of them range from 15–75 SPF. Half the time I can’t remember what I’m supposed to avoid vs. look for in a sunscreen. It’s times like these that I swear by the ThinkDirty app. It took me a while to jump on this bandwagon, but now that I have, I refuse to look back. Use the Think Dirty app to scan or search any given product in your home or a store and then receive a rating of how “clean” that product is. This app takes all the guesswork out of which shampoo, lotion, diaper ointment, teething gel, etc. are safe to slather on my baby, and boy, am I glad to get that weight off my shoulders!
7. Don’t forget your hobbies.
The idea of having time for a hobby can seem like a joke—nay, a chore—when you’re in the throes of mom life. But I will argue that you can pursue many hobbies with your kids, and still gain some refreshing “me time.” I don’t know what piques your interest, but as an example, I enjoy turning on some jazz and setting up “art classes” with my daughter. Or recently, we started quilling, and it makes for some very peaceful creative time that can be quite mentally and physically calming. Summertime is great for bird watching, hiking, fishing, gardening, birdhouse building, or s’mores roasting (definitely one of my faves!). Try something new, or get back to something you used to love. It’s good for your mental health.
8. Indulge in a one-minute spa for mom.
One of my favorite, oh-so-quick and easy ways to give myself a bit of extra TLC is indulging in five-minute spa time. I whip up a homemade sugar scrub and use it as a moisturizing exfoliant. This is also really helpful to use before shaving (for a closer or longer-lasting shave) or after a sunburn (to help slough off any peeling skin).
9. Limit screen time.
I recently discovered, and love, the screen time settings for iPhones and iPads. Simply go to Settings > Screen Time, and you can set limits for your social apps, entertainment apps, or games. You can set different time limits for each category, and you can change them anytime. Once you’ve reached your time limit for a day, you will receive a reminder that the apps are grayed out on your phone for the remainder of the day. Several times I have picked up my phone and noticed those gray apps, only to then remember that I didn’t really need anything on them. You can choose to ignore the time limit for the remainder of the day, or for 15 minutes at a time. Try it out, and see how easy it can be to start cutting back on screen time.
10. Practice deep breathing.
Simple and understated, but so important! In any moment, anywhere, you can stop and relish some deep, relaxing breaths. I’ve found that three long, drawn-out breaths provide me with a calming moment before I’m expected to react to or deal with whatever stressful situation may be arising. Or, better yet, when I want to really soak up the beauty of beach sunset and taste that salty air, I simply take a minute to breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Reset. Restore.
Thanks again to the Art of Green for inspiring us to live healthy, in this season and beyond. I am excited to see which of their scents is your favorite and how you use it to stay on top of your kids’ messes this summer. Feel free to tag us in your photos on social media, and be sure to use hashtags #artofgreen #acmb. Have a happy, healthy summer!
*AOG ingredients are at least 98% naturally derived with no harsh chemicals, and AOG products include a non-toxic formula free of parabens, phthalates, glycol solvents, artificial color, or phosphates.