Think You’re Smart To Invest in Target’s new ‘Smartly’ Line? Think Again or At Least Read The Ingredients.

Screenshot_20181213-110224~2.pngCute packaging, very affordable prices, made in the USA, fresh and new scents, what’s better than that?

I’ll tell you, not developing cancer.

Targets new brand, Smartly is definitely a new trend. I myself have jumped on the band wagon, but what’s that saying? Look before you leap. I’ll admit it’s pretty cool when Smartly comes to their new and inexpensive paper plates, bath tissue, and other around the household items EXCEPT Smartly’s cleaners.

Dish soap and All-Purpose Cleaner specifically.

Last week I was stocking up on my everyday cleaners and I stumbled upon Smartly and their all-purpose cleaner was under $2!! Among that perk, the bottle looked pretty, clean and safe. Plus the variety of smells was what made the buying experience more fun. Smartly 2

Being a stay-at-home mom, I’m always looking to cut corners and stretch my budget to the max. (But not when it comes to my family’s health.)

I used it for a few days, wiping down my counters, the baby’s highchair and whatever else. Then I turned the bottle over, dun dun dun, and read the ingredients. Pretty normal stuff at first glance, and then the last substance used to make this “awesome new product”… YELLOW 6.

For those unaware, Yellow 6 is a synthetic dye that has adverse effects and has been researched to have been linked with cancer. CANCER! No wonder these products are so cheap.

I’m disgusted. And I kick myself for not checking the ingredients prior to buying since I’m so conscious when it comes to animal testing on cosmetics and other harsh chemicals in laundry detergent and cleaners. I fell hard for the pretty packaging and inexpensive price. Damn you Target. Tricking their consumers. They know exactly what they’re doing.

The irony in all of this, and maybe it’s a stretch, but I can’t be the only person who recognize s…. One of America’s largest incomes, if not the largest income, is the medical field, sickness, specifically cancer. So Smartly is “Made in the USA” and producing products that they know people will buy…ones that cause cancer?? Coincidence? Probably not.

Coincidence? Probably not.

I immediately dumped my bottle of new cleaner and check the ingredients on the other Smartly products I purchased. Thankfully the shaving cream was culprit free, but the dish soap wasn’t. Either way I no longer support this brand and will rid my home of all of its products and tell others to do the same.

I’m flabbergasted.

Disappointed.

Displeased.

And disgusted.

Check your labels and ingredients thoroughly before buying (new) products, especially when it comes to items that will impact your young ones life.

I intend for this post to reach as many people as it can, please please please swallow and process this information and pass it along. Save a life and put these corporate enemies in their place.

NO.jpg

Advertisements

Cruelty Free Mom Face; And Other CF Beauty Routines

crueltyfree2 .png

I’m a firm believer that if I weren’t addicted to turkey sandwiches, and bacon, I could 100% devote myself to being a vegetarian, maybe even a vegan.

BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t take other important steps in being cruelty free.

If I can’t push myself to change my diet (fuck, I’m sorry animals, I truly am)… then I feel the need to at least do my part to save and protect my furry friends in another way; in my opinion the 2nd most effective way; by switching 99% of my beauty and hygiene products to 100% cruelty free.

Call my hypocritical if you wish but I’m trying I really am.

I started this process about two years ago and have promoted and shared bits and pieces of the products I use on my Instagram account, but now I want to share my cruelty free beauty routines / habits to show you that it’s easier to use Leaping Bunny products than you think. With the hundreds of cruelty free brands out there these days it is so much easier to practice than you think. I promise. It may take a lot of trial and error but once I found products that not only effectively worked for me, but were stamped with the cruelty free logo, I felt not only knowledgeable and cleansed. This could be you.

As mentioned above there are A TON of cruelty free brands available at any price point, but below are some of my absolute favorites that I use in my day-to-day routine.

Shower: Shampoo // Conditioner // Hair Treatments; Not Your Mother’s haircare and Lush‘s infamous Shampoo bars. Body wash// Exfoliation ; Lush‘s bar soap and body creams (which coincidentally I also use for shaving as well.) Tree Hut Body Scrub for after I shave my legs! Bath bombs play a huge roll in my hygiene routines, as well as my daughters tubby time; again they too come from Lush. Face Wash; h20 Plus Brand is literally the only remedy for my extremely dry and sensitive skin.

Hair: Dry Shampoo; Batiste. Hairspray; Not Your Mother’s. Heat Protectant Spray; Dove.

Lip care: Chapstick // lip balm; Hempz & Butt Bees. Lipstick; Urban Decay, NYX & Elf.

Make-up: Foundation; Kat Von D. Highlighter; Anastasia Beverly Hills & NYX. Eyeshadow; bh cosmetics. Mascara; NYX & IT Cosmetics. Eyeliner; if and when I wear eyeliner, again it’s always NYX. Blush; NYX. Makeup Setting Spray; Urban Decay. Eyebrows; Ulta Brand.

Make-up Tools: Brushes; Elf, EcoTools & Real Techniques.

Make-up remover: Face wipes; Yes To.

Teeth: Toothpaste // Tooth Powder; inVitamin All Natural Activated Charcoal Peppermint Flavor Tooth & Gum Powder, made in the USA.

Body odor preventive measures: Deodorant; Dove. Perfume; Kat Von D & L’occitane. Body Lotion; Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Lavender & Cedar-wood sleep lotion.

Nails: Nail Polish; Pacifica! If you have tried it, need I say more? If you haven’t tried it, YOU NEED IT, it’s literally the best brand. No chipping, depending on the color you only need one coat, *cough cough it’s cruelty free* It’s just purely amazing. I don’t stray from this brand of nail polish. $9+ a bottle is a bit pricey in my opinion but you pay for what you get – which is quality.

If you’re anything like me you like a variety of beauty products, scents, or just trying new and pretty things when you spontaneously see them in a store. But being conscious is the best thing when it comes to that. When and if I’m out and I come across something new, I whip out my trusty smart phone and google if the brand is ‘safe’. Being mindful is truly the first step when it comes to thinking and using cruelty free. Even though I have a big list above of CF, unfortunately there are a few items I still use that aren’t. For instance my Listerine mouthwash or my Rimmel Bronzer…but really that’s it; which isn’t to say I’m not making a conscious effort and always looking for alternatives.

I know cruelty free make-up didn’t pop up overnight – but the push began when people

cruelty free.png

started protesting the brands / products that were tested on animals, and that’s what we all should continue to do, and only buy from companies who create products with cruelty free methods.

It is so easy not to contribute to such an outdated and disgusting practice. Make noise on social media, write an email or letter to your favorite brands, talk to your friends. It’s our job as privilege citizens, and consumers to cut this crap out. It won’t happen overnight (but neither did cruelty free makeup) we play a roll in this endless cycle of oppression, and it’s our job to make sure it ends. I’m inspired, I hope you are inspired and stay inspired to keep fighting the good fight!

I firmly believe that we’re going to see a global end to animal testing cosmetics in this lifetime.

How To Nest For Less

Hot To Nest For LessI find myself constantly rearranging the furniture in my house within four walls, or ultimately from room to room. Switching out wall art and decor to improve the Feng shui. Maybe I’m just bored? Nah! I am just continuously inspired and like to create a fun, comforting space within my environment; after all my home is a reflection of me. Plus it makes me feel warm inside when family and friends come over and admire all of my personal touches; especially when they were hacks that I was ever so pleased with.

Interior design has always been a passion of mine, originally learned from my mom but was able to pursue my sentiment ages ago by working at Pier 1 Imports for five years. Making little to no money there, and spending my paychecks on their merchandise…. I learned that I needed to start cutting corners on how I dressed my home. Years later, now a stay-at-home mom, and not wanting to waste my fiance’s hard earned money on overpriced home goods, I’ve learned how to nest for less, but still maintain a unique, personal beauty in my home.  First it starts with shopping at lower cost places, such as Goodwill/Savers, or The Christmas Tree Shop, TJ MAXX, Amazon, Tag Sales, etc.  But another important key that I’m currently working on is that you also have to improvise and be crafty! (That’s my new thing, working on being a more crafty mom!)

So here are some of my (home) projects I’ve been working on lately. Hopefully they’ll inspire you, or help you save some money next time you want to rejuvenate a room in your home!

My bedroom is probably the room that I am most unhappy with and constantly want to change. Well, was unhappy with. I was lacking the proper closet space; well not so much the space but a lack there of organization and closet doors. After running to HomeGoods & snagging a wood and metal shelf with four different compartments on clearance, and ordering some 3-drawer plastic bins on Amazon for less than 10 bucks each, hanging my clothes neatly and in order on my industrial clothes rack, my nook was half way to my dream closet. Next came my predicament with the missing doors. The next best thing to hide away the space was via a curtain. As I’m sure many of you know curtains are super expensive. So rather than spending $40+ on just one panel (I’d need two to cover the closet in full), I Closetdecided to go a different route. Maybe a tapestry? Nah. #1 most of my tapestries are kind of old and worn, #2 new tapestries are expensive and #3 I didn’t feel like punching holes or sewing anything to fit on a curtain rod. BOOM IDEA. A shower curtain. That way I could get exact measurements to cover the frame, it’s way less expensive than actual curtains and with the shower rings being connected to the curtain rod, it’d be easier to move it back and forth. So that’s what I did. Went on Amazon and ordered a $21 beautifully printed fabric shower curtain! Not only did I save myself $60+ but I added a bright and vibrant flow in my dark navy colored room. For finer touches I spray painted the generic rings gold since that is the color most accented within the domain.

My next unsatisfactory element of my bedroom is my bed, or I guess the accent wall behind it. I have enough wall art and knick knacks to fill the space but it still always felt a bit…empty. I realized I needed a headboard. Again, here we go with things that are overpriced. I looked on Pinterest for DIY headboards, or for headboard decals, great and beautiful ideas but again super costly. So I put on my thinking cap and thought well crap what can I do instead? HeadboardAgain, BOOM IDEA. A throw rug as a headboard. Ingenious I thought. On the same shopping trip in which I acquired the shelf for my closet I found a perfect rug that matched my room and loved enough that eventually when I switch it out, I can use for its actual purpose. A woven piece embroidered with dark navy blue, just like my walls. Again, another clearance item! I’m a bargain hunter that’s for sure. Along side my wind chimes, prayer flags, mirrors, Himalayan salt lamp and cozy bedding, I found my ever so longing for zen. Needless to say I was thrilled to have achieved the look and comfort I was going for, for less nonetheless!

Let’s face it if you’ve ever gone into a store, or wandered the web, or have gone on Pinterest…there are some freaking cute and awesome home decorations out there! One of the most popular things I’ve been seeing as of late are these adorable geometric Geometric Hangingsshelves. In fact I have a few triangle ones that I bought at Hobby Lobby for my daughters nursery last year. And I wanted more. I want more. Geometric ShelvesThe dollar store, specifically The Dollar Tree is truly one of the most underrated places, I firmly believe that. Especially their craft section! One day I bought a bunch of popsicle sticks with the intention of doing crafts with my baby. Well after putzing around on Pinterest I figured I could actually make those geometric shelves myself with the remnants of the long gone tasty cold treats. My first batch wasn’t perfect, but my second one was a bit better. I’m perfecting my craft each time. So far I’ve done two tiny shelves by layering popsicle sticks and gluing them together one by one. They now sit happily on my living room wall. My second attempt was pretty much the same, but thinner, resulting in a simple wall hanging to fill the corner behind my bedroom door. Both batches were covered in spray paint, some gold and the others yellow.

Lastly, I’ll touch on something else I’ve recently made and intended to play around more with. Monogram letters are great for yourself, your kids, or even better, as a gift. So I went with the cliche monogram idea and something I loved, a cactus! All you need is cardboard, toothpicks, paint/a paint brush, and a flower or succulent. (Whether purchased or handmade! I purchased mine for $3 at Michaels.) I’m a plant whore, haha. Or I guess you could say plant mom. Anything that has to do with flowers, succulents, Cactus Mcactus’s, I need it. And need is an understatement, I kid you not. In my opinion plants bring this literal life to your home. Such a serene and calm homey feeling. So I made myself a ‘Cactus M’. Now the M can be for Morgan, or for my daughters name, or my soon to be new last name. Ooooo something versatile, even better! I’ve always been an artsy fartsy type of gal, but mainly when it came to writing and photography, I’ve never been artistic in the sense of hands on and literally making things. So since it gives me great pride to actually make something with my own hands, and I’m trying to save us money — that’s my biggest technique on nesting my home and making it 100% the way I want it to be.

Despite these being just a handful of quick tips, I hope they’ve helped or inspired you. In the future I’ll be doing more posts on DIY things, especially since I’ll be making lots of Christmas presents this year. Any questions, or ideas to pass on of something you’ve done DIY for cheap, please pass it on, I love the input. Thanks all xX.

 

 

 

 

Birth Control Blues

TIME.com stock photos

It is amazing how a certain medication can take anywhere from one to three months to 100% fully be embedded in your body to do what “it’s supposed to do”, yet when you stop taking said medication it only takes a maximum of 48 hours to clear completely out of your system. Pretty astonishing and scary but in my case a very good thing.

Let me start from the beginning, but I’ll give you the short version, well shorter version.

Like a typical teenage girl, at 15 I went on birth control. Eight years and hundreds of debilitating, harrowing and agonizing migraines later, I stopped because I learned there was a connection between my “headaches” and the pill. I was getting aura migraines which was beyond tedious and apparently extremely dangerous on many levels. So at 23 I was off birth control. No more light periods, or predictable periods for that matter but also no more migraines, thank goodness.  In my case, and as I understand it’s the same for many others too, the estrogen in the medication is what sparked the steel poker through my brain. Good to know right? I wish this was disclosed to me when I went on the pill in the first place. But we all know how doctors can be… they just want their money. *insert eye roll here.*  

Skip forward to December of 2017, at 25, I gave birth to my daughter. At my six week follow up appointment, I knew I needed a new birth control, for obvious reasons. I went on Camila – a birth control which contained 0% estrogen, so I assumed it was safe and wouldn’t impact me in any way other than advertised. (Plus it was really my only option unless I wanted an IUD, and trust me, I DID NOT want an IUD.) At the time, silly stupid me didn’t look up any side effects, because it was something the doctor said works, is safe and has little to no side effects. I needed it and couldn’t afford to say no, so that’s what I started ingesting at 7 o’clock pm every night on the dot.

Lately I’ve been noticing peculiar changes in my body. Peculiar but oddly specific changes; physically and mentally. When I googled the side effects I was shocked.

“Sever changes in facial skin” / “increased acne”

“Trouble sleeping” 

“Weight gaining” 

“Confusion”

“Problems with vision” 

“Depression” mood changes

“Changes in your menstrual period” 

“Mild headaches” 

As noted earlier, it takes one to three months for Camila to fully embed itself in your body. So at first I felt fine, I looked fine, I “was fine.” The only thing that changed in me at first was not getting my period all together. To me that was normal because the doctor said that would happen. To be honest, but not to be gross, I got my period for the first time last week since going on Camila. And boy oh boy did I just feel….good? Fresh? Rejuvenated? I mean it makes sense since my system hadn’t been flushed out in a while.

Actually getting my not so monthly visitor made me feel very good and very alive. Surprising I know. But so good in fact I started to realize that not getting my period, as nice as it was, wasn’t healthy. And I then started to realize how messed up my depth perception is, even though I just went to the Optometrist and got new eye glasses. Or how disgusting my skin had become, even though I had never suffered from acne in the two plus decades that I’ve been alive, or even a few pimples at a time for that matter. Or how my confusion was going a bit beyond “mommy brain.” I was losing moments and couldn’t recall them even within minutes.

Looking up the side effects, and having a talk with my significant other, I chose to stop taking my birth control. Crazy and scary in a way, but something that is better for me. Today marks 48 hours pill free and not once have I been moody, no painful pussy pocket zits that I’ve been suffering from have popped up, I’ve slept great the last two nights, I’ve had no blurred vision or anything. Amazing how one tiny little dose of something that is simple and that’s supposed to be good for you, help you, affected me so negatively. Weird to say but it made me lose myself in some aspects, actually in a lot of aspects.

Happy to announce my progress and self realization, and grateful to have the opportunity to share my experience if perhaps this sounds similar to something you’re going through personally or someone else you know.

Much love all xX

 

 

 

Little Miss Strawberry

strawberryMENstration, MENopause, MENtal breakdowns. Notice how all women’s problems begin with men! I’m mostly kidding but isn’t that the point of a joke; that there’s some sort of truth in it; that’s why it’s humorous? As noted, I’m mostly kidding, I do love men. But on the real women are amazing and they put up with a lot- I mean they do deal with men on the reg. (again joke) – mentally and especially physically. Women go through periods. PMSing. Period cramps. Side effects of Birth Control. Pregnancy. Morning sickness. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and 3 months+ postpartum. Birth. Pap smears. Menopause. Like holy crap ladies we’re really that fucking strong. We are really that fucking amazing and powerful. And we do it with a smile on our face, with a baby on our hip, working a 10 hr. shift, and any other tiring activity you can think of. Lady friends, we rock, hard. So shout out to myself and all of my fellow female warriors out there!

Ok end rant.