Two of my favorite non-toxic brands for babies (and you) 

When I was pregnant with Hudson in 2013 I wasn’t aware of mineral oil, phthalates, parabens, fragrance and all of the other “bad ingredients” in baby and beauty products. Soon after he was born (Christmas night 2013) I started doing my research, and found out that most brands contain these harmful ingredients as well as other chemicals. Since then, I have found several safe brands (thanks to Ewg.com ‘s help). Two of my favorite baby brands are The Honest Company and Babyganics. Some products I prefer one brand over the other, but I really trust and enjoy both brands, and use them for myself (pregnant or not) and Hudson daily.

The Honest Company- Organic Healing Balm

  
I use this for cuts, scrapes, diaper rash, zits, chapped lips, hands and cheeks. It is amazing and one tube lasts forever! This is a great switch from bad things like Aquaphor.

Babyganics- Bubble bath

  
I use this to shave my legs and wash with and to wash Hudson (hair and body)

The Honest Company- Organic Body Oil

  
I use this alone or mixed with body lotion for stretch marks or just to moisturize (body and face- yes I said face). Also, add a drop to foundation that is too thick to thin it out or revive it.

Babyganics- Daily Lotion

  
I use on my face and body (alone or mixed with the body oil I mentioned)

The Honest Company and Babyganics- Sunscreen

  
  
I love both!

The Honest Company- Multi-Surface Cleaner

  
I use this absolutely everywhere! Counters, floors, Hudson’s mattress after a leak, you name it!

There are many more from each company that I love and use but these are a great start! Hope you enjoy!

XO

Audra

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Gift Guide

Here is a great “Gift Guide” including gifts in all price ranges for you all to enjoy. Get these for yourself or for the woman in your life. I tried to incorporate many different types of items that all of us can enjoy.

 
1. Proactiv+

  
 

Proactiv has a brand new and improved line called Proactiv+ they have added advanced skincare ingredients including glycolic acid, prebiotics, kojic acid and other nourishing botanicals, to help heal skin damage related to acne.
 
*They have added medicine
Antimicrobial benzoyl peroxide (2.5%) in Steps One and Two kills acne-causing bacteria. Now, a different acne medicine, salicylic acid (0.5%), has been added to Step Three to help prevent breakouts by helping keep pores clear of excess oil and dead skin cells.
*Smarter way to heal
Exclusive encapsulated benzoyl peroxide with Smart

TARGET™ technology is designed to guide acne medicine off the skin’s surface — to help minimize dryness and irritation — and deliver it with laser-like precision directly into pores, the target site for killing acne-causing bacteria.
*Built-in hydration
Each step in Proactiv+ contains hydrating skincare ingredients formulated to attract, lock-in and help sustain healthy levels of moisture in your skin.
You can get the 3-step program for under $30! So this would be a great gift for yourself if you are an acne sufferer, or for someone you know that is having skin difficulties. While I am pregnant I am steering clear of as much medicine as possible, but as soon as I can try this new line you can bet I will be. Especially with the breakouts I am sure to face after the depletion of my pregnancy hormones. Can’t wait to let you all know my thoughts on this later! I will say I have used Proactiv for years and it has never ever disappointed me in the past.
 
2. Valslides workout “Hot In a Hurry” program, slides &/or travel kit with bands

  

For those of you that aren’t familiar with celebrity trainer Valerie Waters, just know she is the amazing woman behind bodies such as Jennifer Garner, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, Bradley Cooper, Charlize Theron, Ben Affleck just to name a few. Enough said right? Well she has these amazing slides that she uses to train such clients and amazing bands that come in a travel kit called the Hottie Total Val Gym ($59.95) that I have used and absolutely love! Here is a link to a little overview about how the slides are used which I find useful and hilarious. This is Jennifer Garner on Ellen showing her some of her workout secrets she learned from Valerie Jen Garner on Ellen. Plus she has a brand new 10-day workout plan featuring workouts catered towards and named after different celebrity clients that us normal people can do in our very own homes (which I will be doing after baby Hudson and let you know all the details about) called Hot In A Hurry ($47). Plus one lucky reader/follower will be winning a ValKit for Travel from me very soon so be sure to share/retweet this post!!!! Or if you just want the slides you can get them for just $29.95 in pink, green or black and it comes with workouts mapped out for you to do right away, you can’t go wrong with these Valslides.
 
 3. Suave Keratin Infusion Line

  

This line is perfect for winter weather frizz! I don’t know about you but I get some major static this time of year and this smoothing line is perfection for taming wild hair without making it greasy. The Keratin Infusion Line infuses hair with keratin protein and leaves it sleeker, smoother and easier to style everyday. I just recently bought the shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner and dry shampoo at Walmart for $9.88 in a gift set they have for sale right now. Here is a link to the Walmart Keratin Infusion Gift Set. Once you try out this line you will be addicted like me so stock up on the Walmart deal while it lasts, it would be an awesome stocking stuffer for your mom, sister, girlfriends etc.
 
4. Hunter Original Tall Rain Boots (Glossy in black)

  
I have been wanting some of this high-quality brand’s wellies for quite some time now. They will run you about $140 at Hunter-boot.com but they are so worth it in my opinion. They are very well-made, high quality boots that you can purchase fleece liners for to turn them into hardcore snow boots as well. They aren’t just for wearing in the rain or snow either, they can be worn just like any other boot you wear on a day to day basis (all the celebs do it). I am in love with mine (I got black) and I would highly recommend them for you or for the woman who has everything that is difficult to buy for. 

  
 
 
5. Wrapped In Red by Kelly Clarkson CD

  

I am in love with this cd by one of my favorite all-time voices (Kelly Clarkson). Anyone would be happy to add this Christmas cd to their collection (under $8 on itunes by the way and Amazon). I personally think this is the best thing since Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas album from the 90s (maybe even better). Don’t miss out on this one yourself, and give it to the Christmas-lover in your life.
 
6. OPI Nail Polish Sets

  
What girl doesn’t love cute nails? They just make you feel put-together and complete…and while other brands like Essie and China Glaze are amazing too, OPI still stays on the longest in my opinion. Here are some gift sets that you cannot go wrong with at Ulta. Most of these will run you just $10-$20. The first one, however, is $49.95.

7. Sexy Little Things Noir Spray
  

Everyone wants to smell nice, but some perfumes are so expensive! Sexy Little Things Noir packs all the punch of an expensive perfume in an affordable price at Victoria’s Secret. It smells amazing and will only cost you $25! I have several expensive perfumes but this is what I always seem to grab on a daily basis, I always get compliments on it as well. I am addicted and maybe you will be too. Also, a great Christmas gift for friends and loved ones!
 
Happy shopping everyone!
XO 

Audra

LovingYou.com

As many of you know, in addition to Audra’s Picks, I have begun a new job as a Contributing Writer for LovingYou as well. My first article just went live so you can click here to read it (please) Audra’s LovingYou article. I will not post on Audra’s Picks about every LovingYou article…so if you want regular updates please follow me on Twitter (because I am on there all the time) @AudraMcElyea Click here to follow @AudraMcElyea. Thanks for all the support and I hope you enjoy my first article. I will have three more coming next week! Also, for Audra’s Picks I will have a special guest post for me very soon…so keep your eyes peeled for updates on that by following Audra’s Picks on Twitter or Like my Facebook page (info. on this on the right sidebar of the blog)! Thanks for all the support!

XO
Audra

Reinvent your old furniture

If you are like me and are in need of some new furniture think twice before you throw things out. I chose to clean house and get rid of several things but I thought I may try to salvage and revamp some old pieces. There is a local business called Missy’s Treasures that buys and fixes up furniture at garage sales, estate sales etc. I had them paint some old end tables and my kitchen table and chair set black and distress them. Our home and furniture mainly have a country feel so I thought this would accomodate the theme well. I couldn’t be happier with how they all turned out and all for under $200! That is way cheaper than buying even one new end table! Maybe it can work for you too! I included before and after pics although the before pic of my kitchen table isn’t mine just really similar (couldn’t find a pic of mine).

Xoxo
Audra

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DIY Wreath

We have been really busy doing lots of updates on our house lately. One thing I decided I wanted was a summer wreath on our new storm door. I was surprised when I went shopping for them and they were all around $40-$120! I wasn’t really planning on spending that much so at Hobby Lobby I bought my own plain wreath for $4.99 and starting designing my own add ons. At the end of my shopping trip I came out just under $20!!! And I have to say for not being a crafty person it turned out really well! Just thought I’d share!

Xoxo

Audra

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A Sticky Situation

Alright this is one of those reviews where my inner dork comes out to play. Yes, I realize most people do not normally get excited about items that help you clean your home but I do. As some of you know Daniel and I are living in a hotel suite for a while due to a move for his work (very long story). Anyway, I don’t have my normal household items such as a vacuum cleaner etc. We do have Jack (our cat) with us and he of course sheds like most cats do and leaves trails of litter outside his box (this infuriates me to clean up). When I was at CVS last week I saw the “Sticky Buddy” set for $9.99 and thought why not? It comes with a large buddy and a small buddy and I have not bought a lint roller in my life that works this well and easily. It really does work and it even picks up food and litter on the floor! I was very impressed and the cleanup is easy…. simply rinse with warm water and let it dry. I would strongly recommend it for those of you that buy endless amounts of lint rollers like me. Also you can find at CVS so you don’t have to buy off of tv or online where something sketchy may or may not happen with your credit card number. Thanks for listening to my inner dork, enjoy!

Xoxo
Audra

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