Category: Guides

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Non-Toxic Toys

This post contains affiliate links. You can read about my disclosure policy here.

Over the years, I have done a lot of research into the best non-toxic toy companies for babies and toddlers. I have also had the opportunity to accumulate toys from most of the brands featured.

Several factors that I use to evaluate safe non-toxic toy brands include, among other things, whether the toy company is reputable, has a proven safety track record, uses non-toxic finishes and materials, or is based in the USA. (Note that I did not disqualify a company solely because their toys might be produced in another country.)

I have broken down my list into companies that focus primarily on wooden toys versus other safe materials.

Non-toxic wooden toy brands:
Other non-toxic toy brands:


The Ultimate Gift Guide: Best Toys for Toddlers (2-3 Years Old)

This post contains affiliate links. You can read about my disclosure policy here.

A list of the best toys for toddlers that have been mom-vetted and toddler-approved! Any of these toys would make great birthday or holiday gifts for kids ages 2 to 3 years old.

Since we are approaching the holiday season, I figured it’s a good time to compile my ultimate gift guide regarding the best toys for toddlers, ages 2 to 3 years old.

This is the beginning of my favorite age because you can finally start getting kids more interesting toys that they won’t grow out of as quickly. And what I really mean by that is: You can get toys you might want to play with too!

My guide includes all the toys that we already own and love or toys that are currently on my wish list. Keep in mind that this list is geared more towards non-electric and/or educational type toys. I’ve found that I naturally gravitate towards STEM toys or the ones that inspire creative play. 🙂

Also, the toys on this list are not going to be what’s the hottest, trendiest toys of the year but classics that should withstand the test of time. (Then again, time is relative because kids can be so fickle.)


The Ultimate Breastfeeding Gear Guide

I am grateful that I was able to have a breastfeeding relationship with both my children. I nursed Max until he was 8 months old and I’m still nursing Alexa at almost a year. Throughout that period, I’ve used a lot of different gear and equipment for nursing. This is my checklist of all the breastfeeding supplies that I’ve ever needed.

the-ultimate-breastfeeding-gear and supplies-guide

1. Vitamin D drops – Most pediatricians recommend that you administer vitamin D drops to your baby if you are breastfeeding. They usually prescribe Enfamil D Vi Sol. Stay away from that crap. Use pure vitamin D drops instead. (You can read my review comparing the different brands here.)

2. Lanolin cream – If you are like 99.9% of the breastfeeding population, when you first start breastfeeding, it will feel like “someone” took the coarsest piece of sandpaper he/she could find and viciously went to work on your nipples. And by “someone,” I do mean your angelic, darling, newborn baby. You will need lanolin cream (a.k.a. wool grease).

3. Breastfeeding bra – For the first few weeks, when you are stuck at home, and basically breastfeeding 24/7, don’t bother wearing anything at all. However, once you are required to face humanity again, you’ll need a good breastfeeding bra. If at all possible, stay away from underwire when breastfeeding. The last thing you want is plugged ducts.

4. Nursing pads – Some women leaks and other don’t. You won’t know until you start breastfeeding the extent to which you might leak. But if you do leak a lot, you can’t go without nursing pads.

5. Breastfeeding top – You need to wear tops that allow easy access to the goods. You can buy tanks like these that are designed for that purpose. I bought a few when I was pregnant with Max. But, the second time around, I just wore a lot of low cut tanks.


How to Make Money Blogging – Part 1: Create a Killer Website


I have been blogging for almost two years now. In that time, my “mom blog” has grown to the point where it is earning at least four figures each month. (You can read my latest traffic and income report here.)

As you can see, my blog is making a decent amount of money despite not having a ton of traffic. Most bloggers who publish similar income reports have significantly more page views.

Learn how I quintupled my income in 6 months to 3K/month without even doubling my traffic!

But before I can begin talking about how I monetized my blog, I have to start at the basics.

I plan to post a several part series – for beginners – sharing exactly how I started my income-producing blog from scratch with limited computer knowledge and zero design experience. (This will be very mommy product review blog focused since it’s my area of expertise. Nonetheless, most of my tips can apply to any type of blog you want to create.)

This first part here is about how to set up a good foundation in which you can grow your traffic and income.

Before I begin, know that growing this blog has been an intense labor of love.

It requires an immense amount of time, effort, and patience. I can’t stress enough how much time you will need to put into a blog so that you can actually make money. Blogging is one of those things where you should only do it if you love to write and can write about something you love. Otherwise, it’s truly not worth the effort.

When I was starting off, I benefited greatly from other bloggers who wrote this exact type of post. I figured I would do my own version where I share my personal strategies and experiences to help others – including some of my mistakes!


Best Non-Toxic Crayons for Toddler Guide

I recently started researching non-toxic crayons because Max, the toddler, loves to draw with crayons and Alexa, the baby, loves to put said crayons in her mouth.

Let’s just say I was more than appalled to learn that crayons have been a source of lead (1994), mercury (2013, Philippines), and asbestos (2000 and as recently as 2015)!

Most commercial crayons (e.g. Crayola) are made mainly from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum byproducts. It starts as a grayish-black sludge that is left over after the petroleum refining process, once all of the other petroleum-based products (gas, pavement, oil) have been extracted. It is then bleached and processed, both steps that require the use of toxic chemicals. Paraffin is generally considered to be non-toxic but the process of making it certainly is not!

With that being said, these are the three main waxes from natural and renewable resources that can be used to make crayons:

Beeswax – made from the honeycomb. It can be a little sticky but pure beeswax crayons smell delicious!

Soy wax – made from soybeans. Soy wax is the softest of the three waxes and may be less durable. It is also worth noting that soybean wax is likely non-GMO and may contain pesticide residue.

Carnauba wax – made from the leaves of a Brazilian palm tree. It is the hardest of the three waxes so it may be more brittle and prone to breakage.

Keep in mind that the main drawback to these natural waxes is that they will not perform as well as paraffin wax. You’re not going to be an art major drawing with these crayons. But, for babies and toddlers, they are the safest options.

List of Best Non-Toxic Crayons: