“Mom, when I grow up I’m going to have to find me a dog lovin’ woman!”
-Jackson, my 7 year old ♥
“Mom, when I grow up I’m going to have to find me a dog lovin’ woman!”
-Jackson, my 7 year old ♥
Strawberries are packed full of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants but when they’re sprayed with highly toxic chemicals, how healthy is that? Not so much! Some strawberries are doused with up to 13 different pesticides, such a shame since most kids love to snack on them. It’s criminal. Harmful pesticides can cancel out many of the wonderful health benefits we get from our delicious fruits and vegetables.
Toxic pesticides like the fumigant chloropicrin are sprayed on fields before planting and their harmful effects drift from farms into nearby neighborhoods, schools, day care centers, playgrounds, businesses, etc. posing serious health risks and threatening the environment. Crop workers are subjected to this harmful exposure on a daily basis.
The Environmental Working Group [EWG] needs our help. They’ve partnered with the Pesticide Action Network to deliver a petition to Brian Leahy, director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, demanding strong regulations for chloropicrin, recommending the phasing out of fumigants and using safer options by 2020. Please join me in signing this important petition and demand safer strawberries!
I love the smell of Coppertone… brings back fond memories of my childhood. Oooh and baby oil… I’d slather that stuff all over my body in hopes of achieving that deep dark tan. If we only knew! Not only were we damaging our skin but that pleasant smell of Coppertone is a highly toxic synthetic fragrance.
In my post, You Know The Sunscreen You’re Using Is Toxic, Isn’t Time To Make A Healthier Choice? I detailed the harmful chemicals that most sunscreen brands contain. Because the FDA does not conduct any safety testing on sunscreen, we consumers have to be savvy about what we use. It’s infuriating, we’re trying to protect ourselves from skin cancer but the damn sunscreen itself contains carcinogens. So what the hell are we supposed to do?!
Don’t worry, there are alternatives. There are brands that offer quality sunscreen without the harmful chemicals that get a good rating on the Environmental Working Group sunscreen report. Look for products that have zinc oxide made without nanotechnology. Zinc is a physical barrier against the sun’s rays that does not get absorbed by the skin. The sun’s rays break down chemical sunscreens and you have to reapply them frequently. The physical sunscreens do not break down so they protect your skin from the sun longer.
California Baby and Badger are good but they do leave a white film on the skin (which my 11 year old won’t tolerate!) , UV Natural is good but a bit greasy.
I like Solar Protective MoisturizerSPF 30 by Devita Skin Care. It’s good for us gals because it contains hyaluronic acid which gives a little anti-aging boost.
I know sunscreen sprays are convenient and easy to use but they are especially harmful because we inhale the ingredients as well as absorb them.
Protect Your Health, Protect The Environment
Avoiding sunscreen with toxic ingredients is not only important for our health, it’s important for the environment. After we slather ourselves with it, it washes off into the ocean harming sea life. According to a study conducted by Environmental Health Perspectives in 2008, these chemicals are killing the coral reef.
Research shows that octinoxate, oxybenzone, parabens and camphor derivatives kill hard corals which could have a negative impact on biodiversity and reef ecosystems. Help inform your friends – tweet this, share it on Facebook & send it to friends, especially those with kids. No one should use sunscreen with harmful chemicals and with all the safe alternatives, they don’t have to.
While away the hours this summer with these simple pleasures that won’t break the bank
Work deadlines, bills, housework, errands, chauffeuring the kids … there is always so much to do. Our lives are busier than ever, but don’t let the lazy days of summer pass you by without indulging in a little summer fun. Remember, autumn doesn’t start until the 21st of September so give yourself permission to enjoy some of summer’s sweetest activities while you can, because you’ll miss it when that first sign of winter appears. Escape and enjoy some simple pleasures this summer with these ideas that won’t drain your wallet.
Go Berry Picking
This is something my kids and I do every summer. Many local farms will let you go out on the field and pick your own blueberries and strawberries. It’s a fun way to teach them a little bit about where fresh food comes from and how it’s grown. This is also one surefire way to get them to eat healthy. They find it quite sweet to eat the fruits of their labor.
Try Something New
Summer is a great time to swim in a lake, hit the beach, or take a long bike ride. Switch it up and do something different that you’ve been longing to try like rock climbing, karate, a yoga painting, or gourmet cooking class… Read entire article at Parent Society.
To go organic or to not go organic. There are many benefits to buying organic. The majority of experts in the scientific community believe pesticides have adverse effects on health and on our environment. Babies and children are at even higher risk when exposed because their delicate systems are not fully developed.
Certified organic produce is not grown with genetically modified seeds, fossil fuel or sewage-based fertilizers or manmade chemical pesticides. The same goes for certified organic meat and dairy and you can be assured the animals were not given antibiotics or genetically engineered bovine growth hormones. Organic farmers conserve water and soil, use renewable resources and do not irradiate their crops.
Research shows that we can lower our health risks by as much as 94% by choosing organic produce
There is no doubt about it, organic can be costly. Save some $$ by buying conventionally when it comes to what the Environmental Working Group [EWG] calls them The Clean 15: onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado, asparagus, frozen sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe (although other sources say that cantaloupe has a dangerous amount of pesticides so this one’s up for debate), kiwi, cabbage, sweet potatoes, grapefruit & papaya. Tests show that after washing these fruits and vegetables they were least likely to have pesticide residue on the parts you eat.
I always buy organic when it comes to the The Dirty Dozen. The Dirty Dozen are 12+(there are a few ‘bonus’ items added) fruits and vegetables that still have high pesticide levels even after having been washed: apples (pesticides pool around the stem & drip down inside through the core), celery, strawberries (because they are low to the ground, farmers typically give them a lot more pesticide to ward off bugs), peaches, spinach, imported nectarines, grapes, hot & bell peppers (they have the largest amount), cucumbers (can have as many as 35 pesticides), cherry tomatoes, summer squash, spinach (it can drink in pesticides through its stalks), potatoes, snap peas and kale/collard greens. Lettuce, sweet bell peppers, and blueberries didn’t make the list this year but were on previous lists so I still try to buy those organic. Some argue that pesticides are used on organic crops as well. Yes, naturally occurring pesticides may be used but they are less harmful than most synthetic pesticides.
If ingesting pesticides along with your food doesn’t phase you, how about the humanity aspect? While earning poor wages, hard working crop workers on conventional farms are working in extremely unhealthy conditions as they are subjected to heavy pesticide exposure on a daily basis. Consumers can buy organic but this doesn’t solve the problem for farmers, farmworkers or the environment.
The harmful effects of fumigants drifting from farms into nearby neighborhoods, schools, daycare centers, etc. is another dilemma according to The Pesticide Action Network.
Equally important is choosing household cleaners and personal care products that are truly organic. Our skin absorbs up to 60% of what we put on it. The scalp, groin, and underarms absorb up to 100% so keep your products clean. Check ingredients. Many companies claim to be natural but they are not. One name you can trust to be 100% free of toxic chemicals is Pure Haven, the entire line is pure.
Visit your local farmer’s market. Many may not be certified organic farms but they grow their produce organically without toxic pesticides. Plus there is the added benefit of supporting local growers. And of course, an economical and convenient option is to grow your own. We just put in a lemon tree, we have some herbs and a strawberry plant but it’s not exactly flourishing so I’ll have to learn more about it. Do you have any tips on growing your own fruits and vegetables?
The last few weeks have been quite emotional. My witty, warm hearted, charismatic Dad passed away. I’ve always felt lucky to have such an open, loving and warm father. Generous in spirit with a passion for life he was a great man in that ‘greatest generation.’
Psalm 42:7 says, “…the best response is a heart overflowing with gratitude,” this was my dad. He was truly grateful for the many blessings in his life. Even during the tough times he remained grateful, kept a positive outlook and persevered. As my brother said in his beautiful eulogy, my dad was genuine. I am blessed to be his daughter and miss him dearly. Losing a parent is a difficult rite of passage and now I’ve lost both of mine.
My father was a true American hero who served in World War II, receiving 3 Bronze Stars and a special medal for D-day. He was in the 121st Engineer Combat Battalion of the United States Army and battled in 3 major special series campaigns including D-Day where he was in the 2nd wave of American units to storm the beaches in Normandy. He married his high school sweetheart and love of his life 3 weeks after returning from duty.
Jake was a real man… loved baseball, horse racing & scotch! A true blue Dodger fan who watched every game he could. He was even a bat boy for the 1930s Yankee farm team where he met greats including Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig. He was a fine baseball player himself and might have played professionally if he hadn’t enlisted.
He worked in the car business most of his life and owned his own business where he had a large celebrity clientele but his true passion was entertainment. He was a great song and dance man. His talent, humor and great looks won him roles in plays, musicals and commercials. His resemblance to Jack Lemmon was uncanny and he had fun with it (so did we!) People didn’t just think he looked like Jack Lemmon, they often thought he was Jack Lemmon!
My parents had me later in life, they had three teenagers, and then had to do it all over again with me. They called me their ‘little surprise,’ as I got older I realized what that meant! They never made me feel as though I was an accident or that they had to make sacrifices to raise me. In fact, they told me that having a baby at that point brought the family closer together. He sure loved his family and we all felt that love.
Forever the optimist, my dad’s love for life was infectious. He was a master story teller and his great sense of humor stayed with him until the end. The outpouring of the fondness and affection for him from friends and family has been touching. He put people at ease, made them laugh and brought smiles to their faces, as did the clever nicknames he gave. I truly enjoyed his company, his presence was dynamic. He was fun and young for his years, he drew people in with his likable character. Kind and generous with, as my niece, Janessa, says, “… a whole lot of class and swag!”
I will greatly miss his quick wit, eager smile and loving way
In Loving Memory
Jacob Clifford Harper
March 10, 1923 – July 10, 2013
God saw you getting weary.
He did what He thought best.
He put his arms around you
and said, Come and rest.
He opened up His golden gates
on that heartbreaking day,
and with His arms around you,
you gently slipped,away.
It broke our hearts to lose you.
You did not go alone.
A part of us went with you,
the day God called you home.
Music lifts my mood, gives me energy and gets me going. I couldn’t live without it! My iPod is loaded with songs that make our parties more fun and my workouts, house cleaning and cooking more tolerable. My BassBoomz bluetooth speaker gets lots of use when we entertain and it’s small enough to throw in my beach bag so I can enjoy tunes at the pool and beach all summer.
I love my BassBuds earphones too so I’m excited to tell you about BassBuds big prize giveaway. Sign up here and become an EXCLUSIVE BassBuds VIP Inner Circle for your chance to win big in the FREE Prize giveaway in association with Choice FM.
Whether you live by the beach or are planning a seaside summer vacation,
play it safe while you’re having hot fun in the summertime
What’s more fun than a day at the beach?! I’m lucky to live in the lovely golden state of California where I can head to the beach for a day of sand and surf anytime. Boogie boarding, building sand castles, tossing a frisbee, surfing, soaking in the sun… there’s an endless amount of fun to be had at the beach but there are a few things that can put a damper on your fun in the sun.
How do you recognize a rip current and what should you do if you get caught in one? Karina Fraley of Mommywood.com gets the answers in her interview with Ventura County lifeguard Derek Doler. Derek shares some valuable tips on being water wise and sun savvy so you can enjoy your day by the sea. Be sure to share this with your friends who have kids. Surf’s up.
Motherhood has changed my life in fantastic and magical ways and has taught me more than I could imagine. It all started the day this sweet boy came into the world.
I am in awe of what a remarkable young man Joey is… kind, fun, funny, extremely thoughtful and easy to be around. He is also generous of spirit and very much in love with life and that love is contagious. He is a fine athlete and very bright straight A student! Since it’s his birthday I can gush a little, right?!
Joey exudes a positive energy that breathes life into the world and has a happy affect on those around him. I hear time and again from others what a kind, polite and engaging boy he is.
♥ I am truly proud & blessed to be his mom ♥