Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I wish you all a safe, happy and healthy new year! 2009 has been an amazing year, and I am so excited to see what this next year brings!

A year in (blog)words from 2009

My goals for 2010

  • Surround myself with positive people!
  • GIVE more!
  • Continue to detox our household
  • Expand our recycling efforts
  • Juice at least once a day
  • Eat 50% of our food raw and 90% Organic
  • Try a vegan diet for at least 30 days
  • Continue to spread the word about the "toxic" issue by writing letters and holding Ava Anderson Non-Toxic seminars
  • Continue with the Dave Ramsey plan and be on Step # 5 by the end of the year

Letter to regarding Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

I read this on the website and felt compelled to respond about SLS.

Here is my comment:

Regarding your response for "Sodium Lauryl Sulfate", I URGE you to reconsider your response and check the following sources:
This site lists this ingredient IS linked with cancer, and gives several sources. The website is run by the Environmental Working Group.
Also, another good source is the book "Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry", by Stacy Malkan. Or, the book "Toxic Beauty" by Samuel Epstein, MD.

There are numerous other sources on the subject.

The "Environmental Canada Domestic Substance List" needs to be mentioned in your response. Studies done in Canada have linked this ingredient with cancer.

If you research further you will also find that there are still contamination concerns for this ingredient.

Contamination concerns - ETHYLENE OXIDE, 1,4-DIOXANE

1,4-Dioxane is a KNOWN carcinogen

To simply site that the FDA and our government is protecting us from such substances is completely false.
In the US there are absolutely no independent studies being done on ingredients such as Sodium Laryl Sulfate before they hit the market. It is the cosmetic industry itself, not the FDA that makes determinations on ingredients. Cosmetics are a self-policing industry that the FDA does NOT oversee.

Your response gives full trust to our government and FDA, which seems irresponsible. Why does the European Union ban over 1,100 chemicals from their products, and the U.S. only NINE?! Please read the 1938 FDA mandate where industry lobbying succeeded in blocking the FDA from requiring testing of cosmetics.

I have used the site for years as a trusted source, I would hate to now view it as being inaccurate. I urge you to look into further studies on the subjects of toxins in products.

Thank you,


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Shopping Ideas

Were you given any gift cards for Christmas to Amazon or a book store?

Here are three amazing books that I highly recommend.

Toxic Beauty
by Samuel Epstein, MD

Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry
by Stacy Malkan

Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power by Mark Schapiro

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to our friends and family!

We hope you have a great Christmas and safe travels :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Happy Birthday to my Mom today!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The TRUE meaning of Christmas

Are you stressed this week and forgetting what this season is all about?

I love the messages in this video clip, it is only 3 minutes long --

What if we bought fewer gifts and instead gave our time to our family instead?

Spend less on gifts and more on relationships with our God, our Family, our Neighbors!

I pray that my family and friends can truly enjoy these last 10 days before Christmas arrives. I know it is something that I am struggling with!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Less Paper!

On an average day I could use up almost an entire roll of paper towels...

Cleaning the kitchen

Wiping down the table

Sopping up spills

Cleaning off toys

I was feeling like this was one area where we were being pretty wasteful, and I wanted to switch to cloth. I found these great bamboo cloths at Whole Foods, and so far they are working great! I just throw it into the laundry at the end of the day.

I think it's small changes that can add up to making a huge difference!
My next project is to finally finish sewing the cloth napkins I've
been working on...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sewing Projects

In preparation for Corey's craft show at his High School, I have been sewing a LOT. I should be working on Christmas gifts, but instead I am making bags for the craft show.

Here is Corinne modeling one of my bags...

* Update*

Some pictures from the craft show-

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Johnson & Johnson.... These products are made for BABIES??

Are you kidding me??

How does this product sound?

Johnson's Baby Nourishing Milk Lotion

Sounds pretty safe, right?

This product is rated "7" on the Skin Deep website (10 being the worst score).
  • 11 of the ingredients in this baby product are linked with causing Cancer
  • 7 of the ingredients are linked with Developmental/Reproductive Toxicity
  • Contains ingredients, such as parabens that are banned in Europe
  • Contains many other ingredients under the word "fragrance" that they do not disclose on the label.
What is going ON? It makes me sad that innocent babies out there are being slathered in this product several times a week. Their parents might trust Johnson & Johnson. Or, they might think that the government tests and regulates these products, which is not true. Or, they might be busy working parents that just haven't had time to look into it. Well, I urge you to make the time to look up your own products, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have children.

Here are a few other companies and the ranges of products that they have -

Avalon Organics: 0-5

Avon: 1-10

Bareminerals: 2-5

Cetaphil: 3-7

Dove: 2-9

Johnson & Johnson: 0-10

Monday, December 7, 2009

Caspar Babypants

Here is our favorite CD!! If you want to watch your kids dance around to something that you can actually enjoy too, this is the perfect CD!

Our children all love the songs on this and I am so excited that they just came out with a 2nd CD just in time for Christmas. I ordered several copies today to give to all the kids on my shopping list. Remember the awesome band "Presidents of the United States of America"? The lead singer, Chris Ballew started writing these songs once he had children.

Order your CD at

Thanks Chris for sending me this photo to use!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ava Anderson Non-Toxic

Ava Anderson Non-Toxic is the very first line of skin care and cosmetics in the country with ingredients that are ALL "0" on the cosmetics database website (run by Environmental Working Group). Not only are they safe and non-toxic, but also:



No Animal Testing

This week they came out with their skin care line. Next month they will have their cosmetics available, and soon after will be men's products, baby products and even household cleaners!

There really is nothing else like it! Check it out and let me know what you think! This is not sold in stores, but only on their website and you need to have a consultant and I just so happen to be one! I would love to hear your feedback & comments.

For the story on how this company was started (by a 15 year old girl in Rhode Island!), check out this article-

Here is my website:

Thank you!!

Independent Consultant
Ava Anderson Non-Toxic

Monday, November 30, 2009

Vitamin D & Questions about the Flu Vaccine

Why don't doctors recommend vitamin D for flu protection, especially when vitamin D activates the immune response far better than a vaccine?


Answer: Because vitamin D can't be patented and sold as "medicine." You can make it yourself. If you want more vitamin D, you don't even need a doctor, and doctors tend not to recommend things that put them out of business.

For more articles, check out-

** Update 1/21/10***

Drug companies have LIED about the H1N1 vaccine.. See the following article-

WHO and Big Pharma: Guilty of Blackmail and Extortion in Swine Flu Fiasco?

Food, Inc

Have you ever watched a movie or documentary that you wish you could FORCE others to watch?
This is one of those movies that I think everyone should see as soon as possible!
It was only released in select theaters over the summer, but it just came out on DVD.

Amazing information that everyone NEEDS to know!! If you live in the US and eat food (anything!) then you need to see this, PLEASE!!

I would love to loan my copy to friends or family members that are interested in watching, so please let me know if you would like to see it!!


Did you know that the European Union bans over 1,100 chemicals from cosmetics, and the US only NINE!!??

The FDA permits toxins in cosmetics! Most people assume their products are safe, when really there are many dangerous ingredients. Check out this article:

And of course the FDA also allows many toxic and harmful chemicals to be in our food! Our family tries to avoid all food dye (Red 40, Yellow 5, etc.), among other things, and here is why-

"Pigments from animal, plant, and synthetic sources used to color foods, cosmetics, and other products. Cochineal is from insects. Widely used FD&C and D&C colors are coaltar (bituminous coal) derivatives that are continously tested on animals due to their carcinogenic properties. Alternatives: grapes, beets, turmeric, saffron, carrots, chlorophyll, annatto, alkanet." (from PETA's Caring Consumer).

My husband has told me several times to stay away from bituminous coal substances (used in construction) that we've encountered while taking walks. He kept telling me that it causes cancer. So WHY is it in our food??

If you would like to read up more on the FDA, let me know I have a list of great books!!

PEG's and 1,4-Dioxane

If the chemicals in this title sound unfamiliar to you, please know that they are in products that you might use everyday!!

PEG's (or Polyethylene glycol) are also known as: PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-6, PEG-11 or Octoxynol-11, PEG - 3 Sorbitan Oleate, PEG-4 Dimethacrylate, Ceteareth-20, PEG-8 Laurate, etc...

  • are linked to causing cancer
  • Suspected to be environmental toxins
  • are a skin irritant
PEG's are often contaminated with 1,4 Dioxane a carcinogen.

Check out this article regarding PEG's and increased risk of breast cancer:

Would you like to find products that do not contain any of these chemicals??

Check out

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Letter to Mary Kay

Here it is!

I'll let you know how/if they respond.
Also, some very exciting news! I've found a cosmetics company that has all "0" products!! ZERO! Non-Toxic!! I am so excited!! More to come on that later...


Mary Kay Customer Service,

This letter is in regards to numerous Mary Kay products I have used over the years. I have recently discovered that many of the chemicals in your products are very dangerous.

The information below is from On this website products are given a score of 0-10. Ten being the most toxic and harmful, zero being perfectly safe.

Just to name a few specifically-

Mary Kay Waterproof Mascara (SCORE=6)

Mary Kay Eye Color (SCORE=8)

Mary Kay Signature Lip Gloss (SCORE=7)

These products all contain ingredients linked with:

1) Cancer

2) Developmental/reproductive toxicity

3) Violations, restrictions & warnings

4) Allergies/immunotoxicity and several other problems.

I would like to return my products immediately for full refund. It is my goal to rid my house of these very toxic products and start using all “0” or “1” rated products. I have 3 children and the oldest is starting to use more personal care products and cosmetics and I would like for our family to have safe choices.

Please send me the contact information for someone in your customer service department that I would be able to personally send a list to. Since I have purchased from 3 different Mary Kay Independent Sales consultants in the past few years I would like to deal directly with the company rather than harm their business. You are doing your consultants a disservice by using ingredients that are known to harm people and are banned in many other countries.

I URGE you to reconsider the ingredients your company uses. There are less toxic options available. Please sign the “Compact for Safe Cosmetics”.

I would also like to disclose to you that I am recording my letters and all responses on my personal blog and on Facebook.

Thank you,


Mary Kay Customer and past consultant


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


We are super excited to share with all of our family and friends that we are finally debt free (besides our house)!!

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us or even joined us along this journey to financial freedom! A special thanks to our friends Megan, Jenna & Mark!!

Our reason for sharing is not to disclose personal financial information or to brag. We want everyone to know that you can do it too! We paid off over $85,000 in less than 3 years by sticking to a written budget, living within our means, and doing everything we could do to earn extra money. We sold things, and worked extra hours and extra jobs (especially my husband who worked 2 or 3 jobs for most of this time!).

I first heard Dave Ramsey by accident, just flipping stations and listening to lots of talk radio on my drives to and from work. After listening for several weeks, I finally told Corey that he had to listen too and that we should look into reading his book. We decided to get his book on CD from the library and one day we had a long drive and decided to listen. We would pause, discuss, take notes, and make lists.
That day changed our lives.

A few more specific examples of changes we made immediately- we stopped eating out, we stopped buying new clothes, we put an end to all frivolous spending such as cable tv, magazine subscriptions, cd's, etc. We cut back our cell phone plans, got videos and books at the library, sold everything but the kids on craigslist, made homemade gifts, etc. We also used E-Mealz for the first two years to help us with the grocery budget...

It actually went rather fast! Of course, that is easy to say now that we are finished. But, we still have steps 3 through 6 to complete on the Dave Ramsey plan. It really does work! Check out or start listening to his radio show.
Or, if you have Fox Business Channel you can even watch Dave on TV. But, if you are in debt you really should cancel that cable plan!! ;)

Dave's plan is all about working the "debt snowball" with gazelle intensity. Our snowball order from smallest to largest looked like this:

1) my student loan
2) credit card
3) car
4) mini-van
5) my husband's student loan

Our kids might have missed out on wearing the fanciest clothes or having private dance lessons... but these 3 years of small sacrifices will provide them with a more stable future and hopefully an awesome college fund soon (baby step 5).
It is SO worth it and it really is an awesome feeling!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Celebrating 6 years of marriage...

My amazing husband surprised me with a trip to the Lake!
Champagne.... couples massage... wine tastings... nice dinner... LOTS of relaxation and quiet!

Happy Anniversary honey, I love you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just Peachy!

Until recently, I really loved the whole pink ribbon madness! I thought the fundraising and awareness it brought on was great. Then, I started reading more about it's roots and now I'm pretty angry!! I've shared this with several people and no one has really heard this, so I'd like to share the story of the original breast cancer ribbon, which was actually PEACH...

In the early 90's a woman named Charlotte Haley started making peach ribbons in her home. She had seen several family members battle the disease and she was trying to spread awareness. Each peach ribbon she handed out (at local stores) had a note attached that said "The National Cancer Institute annual budget is $1.8 billion; only 5 percent goes for cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon". Later she was contacted by Estee Lauder and Self Magazine. Estee Lauder wanted her ribbon to be on all their products as a marketing tool and Charlotte turned them down. In order to not be sued, they changed the color to pink and proceeded with their marketing plan and the rest is history.

We've all heard a story here or there about a company that joined a cause for the publicity of it and not with the sole intention of helping people. But, what really is maddening is that some of the same companies that sport the pink ribbon on their packages, actually use chemicals in their products that CAUSE breast cancer!

These companies should make a decision!
Either 1) you remove the pink ribbon or 2) remove the cancer causing chemicals from your products!

I would love if there was a movement to bring back the original peach ribbon. It is so important to keep researching for cures and treatments, but we also need more funding going towards PREVENTION!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Small Changes

Check out the following numbers on these products.

Any guesses as to what they mean?

The number represents how TOXIC these products are!!

Shocked? So was I when I sat down to look them up. This is a scale of 0 (being perfectly safe and non-toxic) to 10 (being very toxic/hazardous). This is all from the website called Skin Deep

I first used this website over the summer when I heard that you could look up sunscreen. I have always had a feeling that some skin cancer is maybe caused by the chemicals in sunscreen. We used the website to try to purchase a few less toxic sunscreens for our beach vacation. When you are slathering your children and babies in sunscreen all day you start to really wonder what is in these products!

The website tells you about the ingredients and if they have been linked to causing cancer, immune problems, if they disrupt hormones, cause allergies, etc.

The good news is that there ARE safer products in almost every category! If we all refused to buy these toxic products, eventually they would stop making them!

I challenge you to look up your most common products- deodorant, soap, baby wash, perfume... Then leave me a comment here and let me know what your NUMBERS are!

I must warn you that once you start, you will not like what you find. I am trying to not only buy safer products, but write letters to some of the companies I have been buying from over the years... More to come later and I will be blogging about my letters and all responses!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chemical Overload

I've been very busy lately trying to detox our household. First we started a few years ago with buying mostly organic, then almost all organic, then targeting avoiding chemicals, preservatives, soy, GMO food, food dye... It has really expanded recently and my latest quest is to find safer cleaning and personal care products.

Just like the food industry, I am finding time and time again these chemicals are KNOWN to cause cancer, and they are banned in several other countries. WHY are Americans still subjected to these things, despite our ever growing cancer rates? WHY is no one doing anything about it? I urge you to get involved, spread the word and contact your local legislators!

Please watch this video!

And then look up your own personal care products on

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

BPA Found in Canned Food! Yikes!

Just another reason why we need stricter testing and labeling in the U.S!!
BPA has been found in canned food and baby formula!

Click on my title to read the full article.

Canned tomatoes are especially a problem and right now there are no canned tomatoes for sale in the US that are BPA free. Since tomatoes are so acidic it takes special packaging to put them in cans. Even the glass jars of tomatoes have lids that are lined with a substance that contains BPA.

BPA is a problem because it is a known hormone disruptor, similar to phthalates. They have been linked with causing low sperm count, infertility, and genital malformation. In studies, women with high amounts of phthalates had babies with high amounts... the baby boys were also more likely to have smaller penises and undescended testicles. (Study done in 2005 by University of Rochester).

Phthalates leach out of products and end up contaminating our food and environment. They are found in many products such as COSMETICS (anything that says "fragrance"), vinyl shower curtains, toys, and now we find out they are in canned food as well! The question is, with this many products containing the chemical, how much is inside our bodies?

The European Union has already banned some phthalates from toys & cosmetics. When the City of San Francisco banned several phthalates & BPA from children's toys (in 2006), they were then SUED by the chemical industry trade association!! It is easy to see why it is such a struggle in this country to protect ourselves and our kids. As consumers, we have very little rights compared to powerful industries. Instead of waiting and hoping that someone else does something, try contacting your local legislators and telling them that this issue is very important to you!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mommy Milk

Many people are starting to ask me when I will wean my youngest daughter who is now over 18 months old.

I was thinking about it a few weeks ago, but my instincts told me that I should wait out this flu season just so that she has the added benefits of the immunities from the milk. I found many articles supporting that thought --

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

18 Months

Now that Corinne is 18 months old, here are some updates. She is growing up too fast!

She weighs 26 lbs, only 4 lbs less than Elise!

She sleeps through the night in her crib and takes only one nap a day, usually from about 1:00-3:00pm.

She loves to brush her teeth!

Her favorite animals are cows, monkeys and of course dogs. She is a little scared of cats, and small dogs that she sometimes mistakenly calls cats. She recently said "No cat! No cat!" to a yorkie.

She loves to climb!

She loves to swing!

She will eat almost anything - any vegetables, jalapeno's, hot salsa,... Her favorite foods are bananas, apples, cheese, raisins, and avocado.

If any music is on she HAS to dance. She is learning new moves all the time.

She is a very sweet, loving toddler!

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 22nd

Two exciting things on October 22nd...

My little pumpkin turned 1 and a 1/2 today!!


we visited the Circleville Pumkin Show!

It was VERY, VERY crowded, but we had a good time. We did not wait in line to get any pumkin pie or donuts, but we had some pumkin ice cream and saw the largest pumkin- 1636 pounds!
We also checked out the largest pumpkin pie at Lindsey's bakery!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Drink your Veggies!!
The girls LOVE carrot juice! Corey said last night he is scared we are all going to turn orange. Who knew that the girls would be so excited about fresh juice? Our awesome next door neighbor, Jeff loaned us his juicer. It was brand new, still in the box. We've had our eye on a Breville Multi-Speed Ikon juicer for about 2 years. Instead of waiting any longer, I took Jeff up on his offer and we finally started juicing!
Elise was a little worried about the apple juice because it looks so different from the normal processed/ from concentrate kind sold in stores, but once she took a sip I did not have to convince her to try many other combinations.
Here is our favorite (with all organic ingredients of course):
1 large carrot
1/2 apple
1/3 lemon
Next we tried adding celery & cucumber too. Easy and so healthy! I only wish we hadn't put this off. I've been reading about organic food, juicing, and cancer prevention for a long time and I feel confident that we are headed in the right direction. This is one huge step for our family!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


If you drink milk, you HAVE to watch this!

I know some of you reading this have already heard me going on and on about Monsanto and GMO food, etc. I am sure I'll have many postings on this topic in the future. For those of you that aren't as familiar, Monsanto is a huge company that is responsible for the creation of things like Agent Orange, RoundUp & rBGH. They created and have patents to almost all genetically modified seeds and have purchased countless seed companies.

They basically have way too much control over our food supply!


What can I say about my wonderful husband? He's been hard at work lately, but still makes time for his family. Between teaching three different science classes, tutoring, and coaching soccer, he doesn't get a whole lot of sleep! He enjoys it, but I am looking forward to us returning to a normal schedule soon! In the midst of his craziness he still takes the time to listen to me at the end of the day and he is very supportive!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Our happy little kissy climber!

Corinne is now 17 months old! . She loves to do everything with her big sisters! She can say so many words now, we can't even keep up, but here are a few new ones- pumpkin, monkey, poop, welcome...

She loves pointing at airplanes, swinging at the park, climbing onto our kitchen table, and giving everyone dozens of hugs and kisses. She is the loviest (I know that's not a word) and most polite baby ever! Her most common words are "please" and "thank you". Also, she is our little baby dancer! Put on some music, especially her Caspar Babypants CD and she breaks it down! Hopefully I will figure out how to post a video on here soon of her dancing. It is hilarious!