Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday Talk

Can you believe today is the last day in May?

Where did the month go?

Yesterday, my parents joined us for lunch at our house. Hubby cooked SO MANY
BBQ ribs that we will have leftovers for days!

We actually remembered to take a quick family picture after lunch, but we are missing
one important person. Well, we are missing her, but she is at the beach having a ball.

Rusty had so much fun spending time with his grandparents that he needed a little nap
after they left heading home.

Hubby and I ended our day by heading to Lowe's to buy a new umbrella for our deck.
Our whole backyard gets shade in the afternoon, except for our deck. No shade in 
sight for the part that needs it most!

Once Hubby gets the umbrella put together and in place, I will share pics.

Guess I better get ready for work! I've got a busy day with work this morning,
and a client this afternoon. I am happy that we have plenty of leftovers from
yesterday. I should be able to skip cooking until at least Thursday! :)

Have a great day, and remember....

Tomorrow is June 1st!  I believe summer is officially here. The summer heat is
here, that's for sure.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Thank you for dropping by for what could possibly be the world's shortest weekend

Hubby and I took the Jeep out for a few errands on Saturday afternoon.

Since Miss S is off at the beach with her bestie, I borrowed her cute BHM hat to 
wear on our Jeep ride.

Beach bums or beach yogis?

While Hubby and I were in Home Depot, I found this to be some really sound

Simple message. Profound wisdom.

Today, Hubby is at the grill and my parents are joining us for lunch. We wish Miss S
was here, but I'm pretty sure she is exactly where she wants to be.

Beach > Home

Have a wonderful day with your loved ones, and pause for a moment to be thankful
for the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces, especially the ones who
gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom. 

I'm linking up with Katie for MiMM!

I will see you tomorrow.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Favorites...Going For Green

Happy Friday and Happy Memorial Day weekend to you!

It's time for...

Ever since my recent eye opening experience, I have had a lot on my mind.

I couldn't just learn information like this...

or information like this...

and just continue to live exactly the way I was before. The research is legit, and the 
products that we are allowing into our homes and on to our bodies is something to be
taken seriously. According to this site, cancer diagnosis rates in 1900 were 1 in 8,000
people. In 2013, the rate had risen to 1 in every 3 people. Ya'll. That is a scary statistic.

There is tons and tons of information out there, and I won't go into more detail about it
here, but I do encourage you to do some reading of your own and make the decision that
you feel is best for you and for your family.

I am loving this site, because it allows me to check the safety levels of products that 
I use in my home.

EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

For today's Friday Favorites, I want to share the safer products that I have transitioned
to using daily. I will also include the EWG safety rating for your convenience in case
you are interested in transitioning to safer products for yourself.

Just FYI... The lower the safety rating, the safer the product is. My goal is to transition
to as many products as possible that rate below a 3.

- one -

I am loving this Tom's deodorant. It has a EWG rating of 1 and smells and works wonderfully.

I have used it daily, both in and out of the gym, and am very happy with it. I will definitely
be buying this deodorant again and again.

- two -

I like this lotion from Burt's Bees. It smells delicious, but it's EWG rating is a 4, so I probably 
will not buy it again. The lotion that I was currently using had a rating of 9, so I figured
I would use this lotion until I can find one with an even better score.

This Burt's Bees lip balm also rates a 4. I like the flavor, but still would prefer 
a product with a slightly lower toxicity score. I wanted to include these two Burt's
Bees products to warn you that packaging and labels can be very deceiving.

I did not check the site before buying these product because the labels claim they
are 100% natural. I have learned that "natural" is a word that is extremely loosely 
regulated, so I will be more cautious with my next purchases.

- three -

This dish-washing liquid also received a score of 4, but the Dawn I was currently using
has a score of 9, so I figured this would be a better alternative until I can find one with
a lower score.

The Honest Company  has dish soap that has a score of 1, so I will most likely 
buy that brand next.

- four -

I have been using this liquid detergent and have been quite happy with the results.
Unfortunately it's score is a 5.  After more research I learned that the Purex Free & Clear
has a rating of 4, so I will purchase it next time, or I may even try making my own liquid
detergent using this DIY recipe.

These are small changes, and I want to soon make many more. Sometimes changes 
are difficult, so I am changing a little bit at a time to try to avoid completely
overwhelming myself.With the use ofa few apps for my phone, the process is 
becoming slightly less confusing and frustrating.

- five -

I am now using these 3 apps to check out products before I buy.

1.  EWG's Healthy Living

2.  EWG's Food Scores

3.  Think Dirty

Now I can simply scan the barcode on the product, or search for it by name, and I
will know immediately if I want to purchase a product.

My motto in this journey to a healthier, less toxic life is this...

Were you aware that there are toxic chemicals in everyday household products?

Are you interested in making changes to protect the health of you and your family?

Do you have any natural, chemical free products to recommend?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Three Things Thursday

- one -

After watching the videos mentioned in yesterday's post, I have been researching
a lot more to learn how to avoid this...

I have been using this informative site to learn which products are safest to use.

view site here

- two -

Products that I currently use that need to be replaced A.S.A.P are:

my face wash...

I learned here that it contains chemicals that can cause organ system toxicity, and cancer.
Suddenly I am not liking this product as much as I did two weeks ago.

and my toothpaste...

I learned here that it can cause cancer, along with developmental and organ system 
toxicity. I just don't see any need to continue to use a product that I now know is not safe.

- three -

Making healthy changes is harder than I realized.

I bough two products that I thought were healthy. According to the labeling
and the packaging, it seemed I was making a smart choice.

I was hoping I had found a healthier snacking option with these "chips." 
Unfortunately once I looked them up, their health rating in a C-.

I bought unsweetened Coconut Milk thinking that it would be a healthier alternative to 
the milk we normally buy. Once I checked it's health rating, I learned that the Great Value
Lactose Free Milk received a better score.

Trying to be a smarter, and healthier shopper is going to be a little trickier than I 
had originally anticipated. Part of me is up for the challenge, but the other part is 
skeptical and discouraged.

Stay tuned and I will share the battle with you. I will share the good, the bad,  and
the ugly as I learn more.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

An Eye Opening Experience

Recently my eyes have been opened to a world that I was totally happy ignoring. I had
heard little tidbits here and there, and little warnings, but I suppose I felt like I had
other things to worry about, so I opted for the "ignorance is bliss" state of mind.


One day I was innocently watching a few YouTube videos in my down time. I clicked on
this one called 15 Awesome Cleaning Hacks and DIY Natural Cleaning Products. Life
hacks / tips seem to be all the rage right now, so I figured a cleaning hacks video certainly 
couldn't hurt. I clicked on the video, and as she was discussing how she cleans, she shared
the many reasons that she uses natural cleaning products, I was suddenly on the edge of
my seat. She had my full attention.

You can click here to watch the video.

When she said that typical household cleaners contain toxic chemicals, I listened a little
closer to learn more. Apparently the toxic chemicals in cleaning products not only effect
the environment, but they can effect the health of our family. These chemicals can effect
our hormones, our moods, our energy levels, and even lead to cancer and other diseases.

After watching her video, I was suddenly a bit concerned about just how many toxic
items I was allowing into my home on a daily basis. 

The next video I watched was this one, called 11 Hidden Causes of Inflammation.

You can view the video here.

Drew Canole is also talking about the dangerous toxic chemicals in normal everyday
items. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. 

And in this video called Beauty Starts on the Inside, Drew talks about 4 ingredients that
we need to absolutely avoid.

He explains that our skin is our largest organ and that what we are putting on our skin
is affecting us way more than I had ever imagined

View video here.

And also the beginning of this video.

Our skin absorbs 60% of what we put on it!

If we put lotions, face creams, etc. on our skin that have toxic chemical ingredients,
that means our skin has to process those nasty chemicals. Drew again cites studies that 
report links of toxic ingredients to headaches, mood swings, hormonal imbalances, and 
some diseases.

I knew if what I was hearing was true that it was time for a change.

I began doing my own research.

According to this site, Europe bans 1,300 harmful chemicals from personal care products 
while the United States on bans 11. As a matter of fact, the U.S. has not passed a major 
federal law to regulate personal care product ingredients since 1938.

One statistic says that 1 out of 2 men, and 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed
with cancer in their lifetime. 

1 out of 68 children born today, will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's.

I think these statistics warrant a closer look at the use of our typical household
cleaners and personal care items.

While I was researching, I found several natural living blogs written by women
who share my concerns and share what they are doing about it.

The world of natural living is a broad one. It is so much larger than the foods that we eat
and the household cleaners that we use. Stop and think for a moment about all the products
that we use in a day.

This site states that the average person typically uses 168 toxic products during the day.
Think about it...

Soap/body wash, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, deodorant, make up,
perfume, toothpaste, mouthwash, hand sanitizer, dish washing liquid, and the list goes
on and on.

Where I am today...

I am making a few small changes every day. This is not something that I can change
and completely remedy overnight, and to try and do so would be unbelievably

I will share with you in my Friday Favorites post this week some of the products
that I am transitioning to, and a couple of apps for your phone that is making the
process a little easier.

As I learn more, I will share with you on Wednesdays. I will also share
how I am making the change to natural cleaners, and safer beauty products. I
will keep you in the loop on what is working, and what is not working for me

Now that my eyes have been opened to the dangers of the toxic products that
appear in our everyday lives, I just can't turn the other cheek and pretend that
the dangers aren't there.

What are your thoughts?

Did you know there were so many toxic chemicals found in our kitchens
and bathrooms?

Would you consider making changes to live a healthier life?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Toe Socks Tuesday

I am bringing out my new toe socks today!

I had been wanting to order these socks online for a while now, so when I found
them in Mountain High Outfitters on Saturday it was a done deal that I was going
to buy them and give them a try.


This is what my feet look like today!

Why would someone want toe socks?

Toe socks are anatomically designed to the shape of the foot and allow the toes to splay
naturally. Toe splay allows the toes to align naturally and offers the wearer greater stability.

I will be all about the "toe splay" today. Altra Running shoes (which I LOVE) have a 
foot shape toe box to allow the toes to spread naturally and with these socks I should
now have some seriously happy feet.

Toe socks make sense when you stop to consider that there are 26 bones, 31 joints, and
20 muscles in the foot. Toe socks allow your toes to move freely, and so does the extra toe
room in the Altra shoe.

If this combination of toe socks and Altra Running shoes can get and keep my feet
totally pain free, I will be a proud supporter of both for life.

Stay tuned!

And remember to check back tomorrow as I will begin sharing about a topic that has
completely gotten my attention lately. I am looking forward to sharing my new knowledge
and interest with you.

* This was not a sponsored post, or an ad of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Weekend of Firsts {Weekend Recap}

Oh hello Monday. Back so soon?

Before we get going with a new week, I want to recap our weekend.

Overall, I think it was a good one!

- Friday -

Miss S was home with us for dinner Friday night! Her boyfriend had to work so
she decided to stay in Friday night to finish writing a paper, study for her exams,
and do a little ACT test practice. I can't even remember the last time our 17 year old
spent a Friday night in and with us. Needless to say, Hubby and I were beyond thrilled.

Hubby got to work at the grill and grilled flank steak, and chicken breasts.

While Hubby was grilling, I was inside trying to figure out how to cook quinoa. Definitely a
first for me. It took about 15 minutes to cook, but I found it very hard to flavor. I learned later
that quinoa takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with, so cooking it in water, like the
directions on the container said, probably wasn't the best idea.

We ended up adding low-sodium soy sauce to it for flavor, so my healthy side dish kind of
took a slightly less healthy turn. It tasted okay, but I will do more research on cooking it
before I serve it again.

- Saturday -

While Miss S was shopping, hanging out, and then swimming with friends, I decided to do
a little shopping for myself. I have had these shoes on my wish list for a while now...

Miss S has a pair and loves them. She wears them with everything! Hers are so soft and
comfortable that it's almost like wearing house shoes everywhere. I was intrigued, and
wanted a pair for myself.

I called Mountain High Outfitters and they had them in stock and in my size, so I
hopped in the car and was on my way. I came home with Birkenstocks, a new pair of
socks for work, and a new "Life is Good" t-shirt. I was a happy girl!

On my way home, I saw this...

Holy bumper stickers, that's a lot of stickers!

Miss S has heard me talk about wanting cotton to decorate with, so she brought me home
some from her shopping trip. The cotton was wrapped in plastic, and someone immediately
wanted to play on it.

Shelley loves anything that makes a crinkling sound. Paper, plastic, she doesn't care
she just loves walking on it, and laying on it. Funny kitty!

- Sunday -

Sunday was church day. Miss S and I snapped a quick pic after the service.

I want to soak up every moment I have with her because her senior year of high school
is just weeks away.

Sunday afternoon I decided to try making my own cashew butter. I don't like buying
nut butters from the grocery store because of all the added ingredients. I wanted a nut
butter with no salt, no sugar, and no added oils.

Here's how I made it:

1.  I added about 3/4 of a large can of unsalted cashews to my food processor.

2.  I ran the food processor on low for about 4 - 5 minutes, and voila.

In the first minute or so, the cashews look like crumbs in the food processor. After
about three minutes, the cashew butter starts to form a giant ball of nut butter.

Keep grinding...

After 4 - 5 minutes, you have delicious cashew butter with no added ingredients!

It is absolutely delicious! Pretty excited that my 1st attempt turned out so well.
Miss S said she probably prefers it over peanut butter, that's how yummy it is.

Hubby and I wrapped up our Sunday night by catching up with Blindspot episodes
on our DVR, and Miss S went to dinner with her boyfriend to celebrate their 4 month
anniversary. They are just the cutest!

I'm linking up with Katie for another Marvelous Monday link up.

I hope your week is off to a wonderful start!

Thanks for reading today and Happy Monday!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Favorites Switch Up

Happy Friday!

I don't have my typical Friday Favorites link up ready for you today.

The week has speed by in a bit of a blur of busyness, and to be quite honest, 
I just haven't stopped long enough to photograph favorite products.

I am however working on one for next week!

I've got a particular subject that I am working on to share with you on Wednesday,
and then I will be continuing to talk about the same subject on Friday by sharing
my favorites. The research is underway, but sometimes the important things in life just
take a little extra time to accomplish. I really excited to share these new ideas with you!

Be sure to check back with me next week, especially on Wednesday, and again on 
Friday and all of this babbling will make sense, I promise. :)

I'm not sure what our weekend holds just yet. I have a Personal Training Expo
to attend on Saturday morning. (It's kind of like a "meet our personal trainers"
event where people can get to know our faces, and register to win a free 30 minute 
training session.)

Hubby of course will play golf, and Miss S will spend time with friends, as usual.
Also, with final exams coming up on Monday and Tuesday, Miss S had better be 
planning to spend time studying, or I may have to make some plans for her. ;)

I hope you have a great end to your week, and I will see you here on Monday with
a weekend recap!

What are you doing this weekend?

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