Stasher reusable silicone bag

I’m working on reducing the amount of plastic we use in our kitchen. I’m particularly concerned with using plastic free school lunch containers, so I bought a silicone storage bag to review. If you’d like to know more about why, please visit my previous post about this.

Today I’m reviewing a reusable, microwavable silicone bag called the Stasher. This is not a sponsored post, but any Amazon links below are referral links since I’m an Amazon affiliate.

The research out there indicates that silicone is safer than plastic, and specifically, it’s heat-safe. One negative is that it CAN hold onto odors. I wash our silicone containers, plates and bowls with unscented dish detergent. That seems to do the trick so far, but we’ve only been using these containers and dishes for a couple of months.

A web search will show you that there are tons of blog posts dealing with removing the smell from silicone. I guess that’s good and bad. Good because people have solutions; bad because it must be a common problem!

Some people use baking soda or vinegar. Others have success just putting the silicone in their ovens for 15 minutes or so there are different things you can try if you’ve discovered your silicone is starting to smell.

Stasher reusable silicone bag:

The Stasher bag currently comes in a snack size, a sandwich size, and a half-gallon size. They’re not cheap. It’s $11.99 for a sandwich bag, but you can use it over and over indefinitely, so eventually it pays for itself since I’m not buying plastic throwaway sandwich bags anymore.

Our Stasher filled with grapes. The green container is a Lifefactory glass container…review coming soon!

There are cheaper silicone bags on Amazon, but I chose Stasher for a couple of specific reasons:

One, silicone needs to be 100% food-grade silicone without fillers; otherwise the silicone could contain plastic fillers, the one thing I’m trying to avoid in the first place. There are nearly a thousand reviews on Amazon of people using Stasher, and many of the reviews mention doing a “pinch” test on the silicone, and that Stasher passes.

Now, I don’t know that the “pinch” test is entirely scientific. Basically, you pinch the silicone, or bend and squeeze it, if you see white, then the silicone has fillers in it.

But even if it’s not a scientific test, the Stasher is sold at Crate & Barrel, the Container Store, Bed Bath and Beyond, Bloomingdales, etc. It’s been reviewed by the Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, the Food Network, and so many more. Because of this, I do have faith this is quality silicone.

Two, the Stasher closes differently than most other silicone bags out there, and it’s easy for my 6 year old to manage. It’s a little difficult to explain, but if you look around at silicone bags on Amazon, you’ll see that most of them have a plastic stick-looking thing that slides over the top of the bag to seal it.

I read reviews saying that type of top was tricky for kids to handle on their own, so these kinds of bags may be better suited for food storage in the home than a school lunch container.

The Stasher closes almost like a throwaway plastic sandwich bag. It’s pinch-lock seal, and my son can open it and close it on his own.

We use the Stasher to send sandwiches and burritos to school. Occasionally I’ll put something like grapes in it. Since many people use Stasher for sous vide, I could probably put things like mac ‘n cheese in it, but I haven’t tried that yet.

The Stasher is microwavable. I explained to my son that first he needs to make sure the bag is opened to allow steam to release, but then he or his teacher can put it in the microwave. The first few times he used it at school, I wrote on it with a dry-erase marker, so his teacher would know that it’s microwavable. I also emailed her about it. We’ve had no issues using the Stasher as a plastic-free school lunch container for us.

Our Stasher with a burrito inside. The green container is a stainless steel container by LunchBots. I’ll be reviewing that one too.

I usually wash the Stasher by hand with unscented dish soap, but it can go through the dishwasher. When my son comes home from school, I immediately rinse the Stasher even if I don’t wash it right away. I think that probably helps keep the silicone from picking up a food scent.

For drying it, I use a spatula to hold the Stasher open to air out, and then I place it upside down overnight in a sink drying rack. I read a review online about a Stasher growing mold inside, but I think as long as you keep it open when it’s wet, that’s not going to happen.

I use a wood or silicone spatula (nothing sharp) to hold open the Stasher while it air drys.

So yeah! We like the Stasher! It’s also available in different colors and patterns, so that’s fun too!

Disclaimers again:

As I said up top, this review is completely independent. I did a lot of online research myself, scrolling through product reviews before I ended up purchasing this item at full price. I recommend this product, but that’s just my opinion, and you may find that this product doesn’t work well for your family. Also, the Amazon links are referral links. That means if you purchase anything through the links, I’ll receive a small amount of money from Amazon. When that happens, I save it all up until I have enough to buy…well, things like silicone bags and glass food containers to review!

Do you use silicone in your kitchen? Do you have any plastic-free products you really love and want to share with us?

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20 things I’ve learned after 20 months of infertility

1. I’m thankful that I have a child and that my infertility is considered secondary.

2. Secondary infertility (the inability to bear a child after you’ve had one or more) accounts for more than half the cases of infertility in the U.S.

3. Statistically, infertility is just as often caused by an issue on the man’s side as it is on the woman’s.

4. Shockingly few health insurances cover any fertility services at all.

5. I’m embarrassed by how many times in the past I ignorantly asked a couple when they were “going to have kids” or when they were “going to have another baby.” Don’t ask people that.

6. Savor the wine when you have another negative pregnancy test. Silver lining?

7. Some ovarian cysts are good! Eggs come from follicles which are actually cysts in your ovaries.

8. Despite what they imply in health class, if fertility is optimal, you still only have about a 20% chance of conceiving.

9. Other people’s pregnancy announcements are better on Facebook than in person. If it’s on Facebook, you can click “like” and mostly ignore it. If the announcement is in person, society expects you to smile and say, “congratulations,” even if you feel like someone just punched you in the gut. (EDIT: I truly appreciate the women who have pulled me aside and told me privately that they were pregnant, so I knew before the big announcement. This is totally okay, and your compassion means a lot to me.)

10. If twins run in your husband’s family, that has absolutely no bearing on whether or not you’ll have twins. Sorry, no, it doesn’t.

11. Fraternal twins are caused by hyper-ovulation (two eggs are released). Most often, medication causes this.

12. Identical twins are completely random and by chance. One egg is fertilized and then splits into two.

13. I’m thankful I’ve never had a miscarriage.

14. I’m aware that my son may always be an only child, and I worry about the disadvantages. Is he lonely? Is he spoiled?

15. I’m aware that if my son is our only child, he’ll have more opportunities than if he had a sibling. We probably couldn’t afford to put two kids through private swim lessons instead of group lessons.

16. “Your follicles look nice and ripe” isn’t weird to hear anymore.

17. I’m one “When are you going to have another baby?” question away from responding, “When my ovaries and uterus work.”

18. I’ve lost count of how many people have seen me naked from the waist down. Skirts are great.

19. The lab technicians recognize me when I walk in the door.

20. I have a really awesome little boy, and I am so thankful every day that God blessed me with him.

 

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Review: Avishi Organics Intensive Baby Balm for eczema

Avishi OrganicsWell, Winter Storm Gorgon has passed through our area. We only got a few inches of snow, but oh boy! did it shut this area down. Hubby and I both still worked, and Little J still went to day care, but it was treacherous getting there.

To give you an idea, in a 7 hour period yesterday morning, our local police responded to nearly 150 accidents. The roads were very icy, and people were still driving fast. The snow has stopped, but the temperature will continue to fall over the next couple of days. There’s one thing that the cold, dry weather always brings to our home- eczema.

Growing up in Canada, I often had terribly dry skin on my hands in the winter to the point that they’d crack and peel, but I never had eczema. It took me a while to recognize it on my son. Actually, I think my MIL first pointed it out, when I mentioned he had a really dry patch of skin that wouldn’t go away. This was last winter. It’s one spot in particular above his knee, and has reappeared this year. It goes away in the spring and reappears in the fall once the cold weather returns.

Little J’s eczema doesn’t disappear during the winter, but if I treat it consistently, the skin will at least stay only a little dry. It’s not bad enough then to bother Little J. One time last winter it did get out of control, and his skin cracked and peeled and almost seemed to blister?? It was the first time I’d dealt with something like that, and I was a little horrified.

The last few weeks I’ve been using an Intensive Baby Balm that Avishi Organics sent me to review. When it first arrived, I thought it was just for diaper rash, but then I read a testimonial on their website where a mother said she used it with success on her child’s eczema. So I started to use the balm for that instead, and it works! As I’ve mentioned, the balm (like every product I’ve tried) doesn’t completely get rid of his dry skin, but with regular use, the Intensive Baby Balm helps it get better (the dry patch is soooo close to being completely gone) and the balm definitely keeps the skin from getting worse. The balm does so without chemicals, fragrances, colors, parabens, and sulfates.

You can see the red patchy spot on his leg. This is when I started to use the Avishi Organics Intensive Baby Balm.
Avishi Organics
This is after 2 weeks of application, 3 or 4 times a day. I think it looks better!

I also like that it’s a stick, because I do get tired of having to wash my hands after applying lotions and creams. Yes, frequent hand washing is good when it’s flu season, but it also dries my skin out! Because it’s a stick, I also let Little J apply it himself while I supervise. As a busy 2 1/2 year old, he loves to do things himself.
Avishi Organics Avishi Organics has all the ingredients of their balm listed on their website. Ingredients include coconut oil, neem oil, plantain, organic beeswax, and vitamin E.

Overall, I’m pleased with this product. In fact, this reminds me to go put some on my son’s leg… Okay, I’m back and just took a photo, so you can see what his eczema spot looks like tonight (that’s the “after” photo that I stuck up above). A little goes a long way with this product, so I’m pretty sure this balm will last us all winter…probably two winters.

If you or your little one suffers from dry skin, I recommend you give this a try. And, of course, you can always use this as a diaper rash cream! Visit Avishi Organics to learn more.

Note: I received a free tube of Intensive Baby Balm from Avishi Organics. The opinions reflected above are my own and may differ from others.

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