“List”en To Me… Top 5 Ingredients To Avoid

Here we are again, every week just gets better and better!  Last week we started a new topic – Toxic Chemicals.  Sounds so glamorous, right?  Don’t let the name fool you, click HERE to read the facts and statistics that will shock you!!

This week its going to get even better.  Go grab your face moisturizer or hand soap or deodorant or shampoo.  Seriously, go get it right now!

Now, turn it over and read your ingredients.  Scary, right?  Can you even pronounce half of the ingredients that are listed?  Well, on that note, let me take this time to help you decipher those words so you are FULLY AWARE of what you are using on a daily basis.

Top 5 Ingredients To Avoid

1.  Fragrance – Good smelly stuff, right?  I DON’T THINK SO!

  • That word alone can encompass so much, it’s considered a “trade secret” in the beauty/cosmetic industry.  By using this one word, companies can legally hide HUNDREDS of ingredients!
  • You need to watch out for synthetic fragrance as most are carcinogenic.  It’s a fact that 75% of the time that “fragrance” or “parfum” is listed PHTHALATES are being used, which is a chemical compound in the form of a plasticizer (think soft plastic, storage bags, food containers) and lubricant (mostly found in cosmetics).

2.  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) – Check that shampoo immediately!!!

  • It is derived from coconuts, how could that be bad?  It is the manufacturing process that turns it into a known CARCINOGEN – environmental factors that lead to cancer, changing your cell’s DNA.
  • SLES can be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane. You will never see 1,4 dioxane on a label, as companies are not required to list carcinogenic contaminants.

3.  Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, Ethyl) – Usually sneak in at the end of the ingredients list, still a BIG concern!

  • These are PRESERVATIVES used in cosmetics and personal care products for decades to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Linked to breast cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, and developmental defects.
  • A California medical study of BPA and methylparaben combination turned healthy cells into cancer cells, and rendered Tamoxifen drug ineffective.  Click HERE to read full article.

4.  Aluminum – What??? In our personal care items???  Go check that deodorant and antiperspirant!!!!

  • It is a NEUROTOXIN – causing damage to nerve tissue.
  • Metals in the body are bioaccumulative, when absorbed into the skin over a long period of time can lead to major health issues.
  • Linked to Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

5.  Synthetic Colors & Dyes – FD&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 33 – But it is such a pretty (TOXIC) color!!!

  • We are talking PETROCHEMICAL CARCINOGENS – made from coal tar, which is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum.
  • These colors may be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and some are combined with aluminum substrate.  As discussed above, aluminum compounds and many heavy metals are toxic to the brain.
  • In the UK products with synthetic colors and dyes are required to have a warning label, however most manufacturers clean up their products, using only natural coloring, before distributing throughout the country.

This information should be taken seriously.  You should be looking at every product in your home and checking for the ingredients listed above.  You need to be very concerned about the toxic chemical burden that we are putting our bodies through on a DAILY basis.  Think about it, even if health and wellness is not your top priority this information should still motivate you to make a step towards change!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!


Do you read your ingredients?  If so, which ingredient made you question a certain product and did you stop using it?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.


Reference: AANT – Did You Know? Brochure


Daily Dose Of Goodness

Rachel Zoe Quote

DIY Surprise… Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Thankful for this new week, nothing like a clean slate to get those creative juices flowing!!  Well, instead of my Top 5 lists of awesomeness, I’m going to branch out and share a great do-it-yourself project this week.  I’ll be putting this one under “Health & Beauty” since a good, solid, no kids waking you up, spouse snoring, dreaming away sleep is not only healthy but also makes you feel beautiful!  Plus your feet will be soft and smooth, always flip-flop ready!  You guys out there will want to check this out too.  Of course this project does involve my Young Living Essential Oils, love, love, love!  So, let’s get to it!

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Items Needed:

  • Organic Coconut Oil – 1 cup
  • Organic Shea Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Young Living Essential Oils – 10 Drops Each Oil
  • Glass Pyrex Bowl
  • Double Boiler (Small Pot w/Glass Bowl)
  • Fridge/Freezer
  • Small Glass Containers – 1 oz Each
  • Labels & Printer – Avery Address Labels – 8160

How It’s Made:

1.  Measure out the 1 cup Organic Coconut Oil & 1/2 cup Organic Shea Butter in the Glass Pyrex Bowl, both will most likely be in solid form.  I use Whole Foods 365 Brand Organic Coconut Oil.  I use REFINED because it has less of a coconut smell and is being applied topically.  If I was going to ingest the coconut oil I would choose unrefined as this is in its purest form.

WF 365 Brand Organic Refined Coconut Oil

WF 365 Brand Organic Refined Coconut Oil

2.  In a Small Pot boil about 1 inch of water.  Once boiling, change temperature to lowest setting or simmer.  Place Glass Pyrex Bowl filled with Organic Coconut Oil & Organic Shea Butter on top of the Small Pot and melt down both substances to a liquid form.  This could take between 5-10 minutes.  I found that it takes longer for the shea butter to melt.

3.  Once both substances have melted, take the Glass Pyrex Bowl off the top of the Small Pot and set it aside to cool for about 20 minutes.   After it has cooled, add the Young Living Essential Oils.  I chose Lavender, Sacred Frankincense and Peace & Calming, which all promote relaxation, healing and rest.

Young Living Essential Oils Lavender, Sacred Frankincense, Peace & Calming

Young Living Essential Oils
Lavender, Sacred Frankincense, Peace & Calming

4.  After adding Young Living Essential Oils, stir to mix everything together then place the Glass Pyrex Bowl into the Freezer for 5 minutes or Fridge for 15 minutes.  After allotted time, the liquid should be getting hard on the edges as if to form back into a solid again, but the center should be more like the consistency of a raw egg.

5.  At this point take a fork and whisk the liquid, removing the harder pieces on the edges.  A paste will be formed since the mixture is still cold.  As it starts to warm up, it will take on a gel consistency.  It is now ready to be put into the 1 oz. Glass Jars.  I purchased these at The Container Store, my favorite organization store!!!  You can also find them online to purchase in bulk.

1 oz. Glass Jars  www.containerstore.com

1 oz. Glass Jars

6.  To fill the 1 oz. Glass Jars I use a fork, as the mixture is easy to manipulate because it is more solid from just whisking.  Make sure when filling the jars that all air bubbles are released, this will allow for more mixture to be used.  Once filled, take a damp cloth and wipe excess off the rim and seal with lid.

7.  Now it’s time to make these filled 1 oz. Glass Jars look pretty!  The labels that I chose are the Avery Address Labels – 8160 which were purchased at Staples.  The name, ingredients and directions for use have been typed onto the label.  Before applying the labels make sure the outside of the jars are clean and dry, free of any oily residue.

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve

8.  Since I was giving these Sweet Dreams Foot Salves as gifts to some very special people in my life I added an extra touch, a verse card that tied around the lid.  There are several other ways to decorate these from labels on the lid to ribbon around the jar.

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve With Verse Card

Sweet Dreams Foot Salve With Verse Card

Hopefully this DIY Surprise project will inspire you to make your own version!  It was both easy and fun!

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!


What are some do-it-yourself health & beauty projects that have been successful for you?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.


Be My Guest… Messy Messy Bracelets

This weeks guest blog post, Messy Messy Bracelets, is written by the Polka Dotted Blue Jay.  As our focus this week is organization, this post is for everyone out there that loves jewelry and needs some great ideas for necklace and bracelet storage. Hope you enjoy!!!

Messy Messy Bracelets – by Polka Dotted Blue Jay

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!

“List”en To Me… Top 5 Ways To Cut The Chaos

Well, I’ve been blogging for a month now and really enjoying it.  I’m hoping my posts on essential oils have sparked some interest and helped you see that there are other options!!  If you missed them you can read them HERE, HERE, HERE, & HERE 🙂

This week we are changing gears and talking about organization.  Ever feel like you’ve got a list a mile long and only an hour of time?  Are you always saying yes when you should be saying no?  Are you spending hours on Facebook or Pinterest yet your house is a mess?  Do you have a hundred projects started but can’t seem to finish one?  I get it, I’ve been there too and still visit every now and again.  Eventually you get to the point where you have to just cut the chaos, change it up and do a self check.  Here are my top five ways to achieve this…

Top 5 Ways To Cut The Chaos

1.  Wake Up Early – Yes, I mean EARLYYYYYY, before the family, the dog or even the sun rises.  Now what you do with that time, well that is what will set the whole tone for the day.  Maybe that is a large cup of coffee or some form of exercise like a quick run or it could be meditation or prayer.  Statistically, early risers have great success, optimism, energy and better sleep habits.  Personally, I struggle with being an early bird. I like to stay up late, get daily tasks done, write my blog, read a book or look through Facebook. However, I have challenged myself to make the change and go to bed earlier so that I can have that “me” time in the morning instead. I’ve found that my go to is prayer and setting my goals.  This allows me to organize my day, fill my soul with strength and be ready as inevitably challenges will arise.  So, what’s stopping you from waking up early?  Could you try this idea for one week and see what happens?  What way would you start your day?

2.  Clean Your Kitchen – I once read that if you clean your kitchen sink, not just the dishes, but the actual sink and make it sparkle you will feel a sense of accomplishment.  Well, I have to say that is completely TRUE!  Go ahead, I dare you to try it!  There is something about a deep clean, stripping away all the dirt and grime that has built up over time, that puts a smile on your face.  Especially when the rest of the kitchen or house for that matter is a mess.  Once you’ve tackled the sink, those counters will be begging to be cleared.  I have found that if I focus on one area a day, then the kitchen stays fairly clean throughout the week, which means less stress and more time to do other fun stuff.  Although there are many ways to handle this task of kitchen cleaning, the following example has worked in our house: Monday: deep clean sink – Tuesday: clean off counters – Wednesday: organize the pantry and throw out old items – Thursday: clean out fridge and freezer – Friday: take out recycling and trash – Saturday: clean the floor and baseboards – Sunday: finally REST and enjoy your day!

3.  Purge Your Closets – LOVE this one!  Think about it, you use this space every day, just like the kitchen.  It’s amazing how many clothes, shoes and accessories can accumulate over the years.  Have you ever looked at your closet and thought where is all my stuff?  Or you keep buying shoes because you can’t find the ones that match?  This is one area that is often neglected and becomes a storage unit instead of a functional space.  For this I say purge away!!!!  In addition to the awesome tips found HERE, I have a couple other ideas that have helped me in this process… Take your hanging items and place the hanger backwards on the rod so that the open side of the hook is facing you.  As you wear the items put them back in the closet with the hanger facing the other direction and within a month you will see the items that you are not wearing. At this point you can take those items out of the closet to sell or donate.  I recommend doing this for every season as clothes usually rotate.  Another great idea is to coordinate your clothes that are hanging or folded, putting short sleeves all together then long sleeves or you can sort them by color.  As you are going through these items to coordinate them take any that are out of date, the wrong size or looking worn and place them aside to sell or donate. When you know what you have and keep it organized, your daily routine will get easier, I promise!

4.  Simplify Your Social Media – Facebook?  Pinterest?  Instagram?  Twitter?  LinkedIn?  How connected are you?  As much as social media can be a blessing, it can also be a curse, a time suck.  It has been reported that our society is one of the loneliest yet everyone would tell you that through these sites they have a connection.  Honestly, why are you really using these sites?  Is it to tell stories of the life you have, the life you want or the life you want everyone to believe is your reality?  Recently, I read a blog post by The Humbled Homemaker – Making Facebook Interactions More Purposeful, she talked about downsizing her Facebook friend’s list after clearly deciding her purpose for using the site was communication with family and close friends.  I’ve also talked to several people that have put time limits on using these sites or have even taken a hiatus from these sites all together.  All these options are great ways to simplify and give you an outcome of more productivity and less distraction.  At the end of the day has your time on social media added to your day or wasted it?

5.  Write Out A Monthly Budget – In today’s debt filled society, the word “budget” is a whisper in the wind.  Did you know that the leading cause of divorce is due to money problems in the marriage?  True story.  Do you know where you are spending your money each month??  The majority of people would say that yes they do since they balance their checking account.  I used to say the same thing until one day I realized that there wasn’t enough money in the account to meet our needs.  Desperate times called for desperate measures which lead my husband and I to take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class in 2011.  I’ll tell you that this completely changed our way of thinking about money.   This involved writing that monthly budget and once we did a huge weight lifted, each dollar was assigned to a specific location and we saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  In fact, to this day we still follow his money management system.  We made the choice that we want to live like no one else so later we can live like no one else!  Just think about that, read it again and again.  To allocate your money is wise, alleviates stress and gives you the control instead of your money controlling you.  Who doesn’t want that??

Hopefully this list will inspire you to give a couple of these ideas a try and start to cut the chaos in your life.

Remember you design your days, so make each one count!


What are some other ways that you have cut the chaos in your life?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback in the comments below.