Shampoo, a health hazard?

I was looking over health articles as I do so often now, and I read this one on hair products, I found it interesting so I thought I would share.

Do You Know What's in Your Shampoo?

By jmercola

It takes just a minute or two to give your hair a thorough washing, but when you multiply that by every day, or at least a few times a week, for a lifetime, it adds up to many minutes -- and loads of exposure to the chemicals in your shampoo.

During that time, you want to be sure that the shampoo you're putting onto your scalp is safe and non-toxic for your body, and this will take a bit of due diligence on your part because the majority of shampoos on the market are actually quite toxic.

There are no federal regulations for beauty products, including shampoo, so it's really a buyer beware market.

Just what might you find in your favorite brand?

5 Common -- and Toxic -- Shampoo Ingredients

(1) Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES)

Sodium lauryl sulfate [1] is a surfactant, detergent and emulsifier used in thousands of cosmetic products, as well as in industrial cleaners. It is present in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents and bath oils/bath salts.

Although SLS originates from coconuts, the chemical is anything but natural.

The real problem with SLES/SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic byproduct.

SLS is the sodium salt of lauryl sulfate, and is classified by the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database as a "denaturant, surfactant cleansing agent, emulsifier and foamer," rated as a "moderate hazard."

Research studies on SLS have shown links to:

* Irritation of the skin and eyes
* Organ toxicity
* Developmental/reproductive toxicity
* Neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes
* Possible mutations and cancer

(2) Dioxane

1,4 dioxane, a byproduct of ethylene oxide, received a "high hazard" rating from EWG's Skin Deep [2], and it is commonly found in shampoo and other personal care products. Even baby shampoo [3] often contains this cancer-causing toxin.

On the CDC site, 1,4 dioxane is described as "probably carcinogenic to humans," toxic to the brain and central nervous system, kidneys and liver. It is also a leading groundwater contaminant.

(3) Diethanolamine or DEA

In a recent FDA report, approximately 42% of all cosmetics were contaminated with NDEA, with shampoos having the highest concentrations. DEA also readily reacts with nitrite preservatives and contaminants to create nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), a known and potent carcinogen.

This is a big problem because DEA seems to block absorption of the nutrient choline, which is vital to brain development. Pregnant women actually require extra choline so they can pass it on to their fetus.

An associate dean for research at the UNC School of Public Health mentioned that choline is necessary to help provide proper nutrients for a healthy baby; stating that, "At this point it is a caution. But it would probably be prudent to look at labels and try to limit exposure until we know more."

(4) Propylene Glycol

This active ingredient is found in engine coolants and antifreeze, airplane de-icers, tire sealants, rubber cleaners, polyurethane cushions, paints, adhesives, enamels and varnishes, and in many products as a solvent or surfactant.

And guess what? Despite the fact the material safety data sheet warns users to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol as it is a strong skin irritant and can also cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage, it's more than likely in your shampoo.

(5) Parabens

Parabens, which are used as preservatives, may be listed on the label as methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, isobutyl paraben or E216. They have shown particularly troubling links to cancer.

Studies have shown that parabens can affect your body much like estrogens, which can lead to diminished muscle mass, extra fat storage, and male gynecomastia (breast growth). Other studies have also linked parabens to breast cancer [4], as researchers found traces of parabens in every sample of tissue taken from 20 different breast tumors.

The EPA has linked methyl parabens in particular to metabolic, developmental, hormonal, and neurological disorders, as well as various cancers.

Your Skin Readily Absorbs Shampoo Toxins

When you put shampoo or conditioner onto your scalp, the 20 blood vessels, 650 sweat glands, and 1,000 nerve endings soak in the toxins.

The truth is, while you wouldn't ever eat your shampoo, you may actually absorb fewer toxins when you eat something than you do when you apply it to your skin!

According to evidence presented at 1978 Congressional hearings, the absorption of the carcinogen nitrosodiethanolamine (NDELA), which is commonly found in shampoo products, was shown to be more than 100 times greater when exposure came through your skin than via your mouth.

The truth is, when you consume toxins in foods, such as pesticides in fruit and vegetables, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach often break them down and flush them out of your body. Food also passes through your liver and kidneys, so the toxins that make it through are detoxified to varying degrees by enzymes before they reach the remainder of your body.

However, when toxins are absorbed through your skin, they bypass your liver and enter your bloodstream and tissues -- with absolutely no protection whatsoever.

Even "Organic" Shampoos May be Toxic

Cosmetics and their ingredients do not have to undergo any type of approval process before hitting store shelves, and the terms "natural" and "organic" have no definitions. In other words, when it comes to cosmetics labeling, it's a free for all.

Some products may include a few organic ingredients along with several chemical ones -- and still claim to be natural or organic on the label.

In fact, in a report released in 2008, the Organic Consumers Association found at least one toxic, cancer-linked chemical in over 40 percent of products [5] that call themselves "natural."

What are Your Safer Shampoo Options?

Daily use of ordinary, seemingly benign personal care products like shampoo, toothpaste and shower gel can easily result in exposure to thousands of chemicals, and many will make their way into your body and become "stuck" there, since you lack the means to break them down.

So you will want to seek out pure and natural cosmetic products, and choose them carefully. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make your own personal care products using simple all-natural ingredients that you may already have in your home.

Finding recipes for your own homemade beauty products is simple if you have access to the Internet -- just Google "homemade cosmetics" for more than 400,000 pages of recipes and instructions.

If you'd rather not make your own, the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database [6] is an excellent resource to help you find safe natural personal care products. A newer site called Good Guide [7] is also helpful in finding and evaluating healthful, green products -- both personal care items and food.

Finally, if you're perusing your local health food store (or Shaklee website -inserted by me) for some safe, natural options, here are my top guidelines to keep in mind:

* If you can't pronounce it, you probably don't want to put it on your body. Ask yourself, "Would I eat this?"

* Look for products that are fragrance-free. One artificial fragrance [8] can contain hundreds—even thousands—of chemicals, and fragrances are a major cause of allergic reactions.

* Pay attention to the order in which the ingredients are listed. Manufacturers are required to list ingredients in descending order by volume, meaning the first few ingredients are the most prominent. If calendula extract is the last ingredient in a long list, your calendula body wash isn't very natural.

* Stick to the basics. Do you really need 20 products to prepare for your day? Simplify your life and rescue your bank account.

* Buy products that come in glass bottles rather than plastic, since chemicals can leach out of plastics and into the contents. Bisphenol A (BPA) [9] is a serious concern; make sure any plastic container is BPA free.

* Look for products that are made by companies that are earth-friendly, animal-friendly and green.

Vitamin D3 - To supplement, or not?

Vitamin D has been in the news quite steadily over the past couple years, but recently there has been some hullaballo about whether or not we really need it.

Here is a video from one of our local Doctors and his take on Vitamin D.

Shaklee recently came out with its own Vitamin D, which as with all Shaklee vitamins is whole food based, and safe and effective at breaking down in our system.

Put a little "sunshine" in your day!!

Hello December!

Well, November has passed by in a blur!

Those of you who know me, know that I do photo retouching, album design etc, etc, and November is by far the busiest time of the year for me.

Plus, with getting my Shaklee business off the ground, it was just a super busy (but very fulfilling) month!

I wanted to take a minute and update my Cinch journey, since its been 3 months since I started on it.

I will admit that the month of November was pretty lax for me, as I in the hustle and bustle didn't really follow the "plan" as well as I should have. I would say though, that I did keep up with the shakes at least 3 times a week, once a day.

My total weight loss is just over 25 pounds. Seeing as how I was pretty much at 20 after two months, It is apparent to me, that I could have done much better overall if I had stuck it out.

However it does still leave me positioned to hit my original goal of 30 pounds for Christmas, so, I need to really buckle down and do my shakes at least every day (except Sat/Sun) for breakfast, and take my supplements!

I love the Cinch pomegranate tea, its a great afternoon pick me up! Sometimes I drink it cold mixed with the Shaklee Performance lemon lime. This would be great for after a work out since performance rehydrates quicker than water and helps provide a great source of energy!

Overall, I am still very happy with the Cinch program. I find it easy to follow, and am able to continue weight loss even when I am not completely on track, which to me, is something I have never been able to do.

Shaklee is running a NEW YEAR, NEW YOU promo for December. Its a fantastic deal, and there is enough product there to last you a month (or two if you do it the way I do it) and you can choose from four flavors. My personal favorite is chocolate!

I think its a great way to PLAN for a better year next year! I'm looking forward to it.

What are your goals for 2011? Have you started to think about them yet? I am really excited about the possibility of a truly GREAT year! This is the best I have felt in a long time (and I honestly do attribute that to my Shaklee supplements, Cinch, and VIVIX) and so for me, feeling well, opens up so many doors of possibility!

Watch for my Goals for the new year post coming soon!

Im going to leave you with some festive spirit, one of my favorite christmas songs of all time.
It always gives me such a feeling of mixed joy and reflection...

May your December be filled with all the people you love, lots of joy and happiness, and health this holiday season!!

Get clean surface guide

Want to know just SOME of the ways to use our products? Check it out!

My friend Angie has posted a giveaway!!

Check out her blog for her review and giveaway details!

Thanks Angie!!

This contest is open to my readers too, so head on over there and get your name in!

Healthy Home for the Holidays

Why not do something this holiday season you can feel really good about? Our Get Clean starter kit is a great gift for the mom's and daughters on your Christmas list this year! Or maybe if your like me, it would make a great gift for your pre-teen son who is all about helping the environment these days!

Know someone who could use a boost of energy over the holiday season? (who can't?!) Consider our energizing soy protein, energy chews, Shaklee Core energy, or VIVIX.

Join the Shaklee family free in November with a purchase of 70.00 or more! Its the gift that keeps on giving, a lifetime long!

Basic H2 -General use

Basic H2- General Use

Shaklee Cleaners- Expensive?!

I had someone tell me the other day that they thought the purchase of Shaklee's Get Clean line was too costly, that when cleaners are on sale and they have a coupon they can get it super cheap or sometimes free.

As a couponer/frugaller I had to validate what they were saying because really, until months ago, I would have felt the exact same way!

When I lived in Manitoba, and was an active couponer/stacker/deal seeker extraordinaire I remember the days where I had literally hundreds of cleaning products in my basement. Those Lysol wipes I bought for 20 cents, or the myriad of smelly Glade products etc etc.

Since I started educating myself a bit more on what is in these products however, I realized there is more than one COST to a cleaning product.

I began to think about the cost of cleaning up our rivers, seas, land, landfills.
The cost of allergy medication every year for people who suffer from overly scented and toxic chemicals in their homes that they may not even REALIZE are affecting them.

The cost of asthma treatments, the cost of all the things that children are not able to participate in because they are not well enough.

The paperwork is there folks! There are clinical studies that PROVE that so many diseases and illnesses are linked to these things.

If you choose Shaklee's Get Clean cleaners, I can promise you that you will be saving money. WITHOUT having to build extra shelves in your basement to store all the stuff that by the time you get around to using it, you have no idea if it will even work anymore!

1 bottle of Basic H2 costs pennies per gallon and is the equivalent of 5,824 bottles of conventional glass cleaner.

You'd have to spend more than $3,400 to get the same amount of clean found in the Get Clean® Starter Kit!

And when you purchase the Get Clean Starter Kit you also make a positive impact on the planet:

* Keep (49 kilograms) 108 pounds of packaging waste from landfills
* Eliminate 113 kilograms (248 pounds) of greenhouse gases

I understand the excitement of getting something free, or cheap, but now even more than that I understand the amazing feeling I get knowing I am doing something that will leave a positive impact for years to come!

Purchase these products direct from my online store, HERE:

Shaklee Cleaning Products, Safe for you and the planet

So why not get a "real" job?

Ive had this question tossed at me a few times by people who wonder why I don't just go out like the rest of the world and find something day to day that is more stable than what I am doing now.

(and by right now, for those who don't know, I work from home as both a photo retoucher/designer, and recently I became a Shaklee Distributor)

Well, lets start with some background about me.

I had my first son when I was 20. (Just turned 20) and I never went to college. When people were figuring out what they wanted to be when they grew up, I was growing up. I had to. I learned all about what it meant to be responsible for another life, far before I ever really experienced my own.

I have never regretted that. Having my sons when I did has given me a very full and amazing life. In fact, I believe that I had my boys exactly when I was supposed to, because just after the birth of my youngest, I was diagnosed with BIH/PTC, and told I would not be able to have any more children.

Both my boys are now in school full time, and I can say proudly, that for the most part, I was fortunate enough to stay home and be around for them for the majority of their young life.

So, why keep not go find a career now?

Well, its pretty simple. In the past 13 years, I have had the opportunity to make my own hours. (Even though they often occured at 3 am nightmares, 1 am flu runs etc)

I have been spoiled by the absolute amazing feeling of knowing if the day gets too hard I can do it in my pajamas, or if I feel the need to be creative I can cook a three course meal in the middle of the day for my family.

I enjoy knowing that if one of my boys are sick, I am here at home for them to come home to.

I have had jobs I have loved out of my home. I have worked as a florist, a child and parent resource worker, and several other little jobs in my life and I have for the most part enjoyed them. I have always had great relationships with co-workers and I do know that I CAN work in a normal environment, I just CHOOSE not to.

So, why do I make that choice?

Let's talk about the joy of self-employment.

If I wanted to start a business of my own, I would need:

-a building (rent/lease)
-a viable business idea

Working for myself, with both my retouching and Shaklee, especially with Shaklee, for my small investment, I get ALL of these things.

I don't make a steady strong income. Not yet anyway. I do believe that it is possible though, and I do believe that at some point my decisions to persevere will be rewarded.

I could go work at another Tim Hortons and make the same money, but then...maybe Ill just continue to sit here and sip my homemade Gingerbread Latte in my pajamas while the wind gusts outside, and be thankful and glad that I am...

A Work at Home Mom.

I am so thankful for a husband that is understanding and supportive in my life decisions. I could not do this without him.

Here is a video of another "Mom" who is an inspiration to me in Shaklee, after 10 years of being just a mom, she decided to take a risk...

My new (old) treasure :)

I used to LOVE garage sales, auctions, thrift store hunting, etc etc.
I still do, I just haven't had much time to devote to the hobby the past couple years.

When I lived in Manitoba, my BFF Michelle and I used to call ourselves the "Bandito's" We would scour the thrift shops, and stores for used treasures, and coupons, and deals to use our coupons. Oh how I miss those days! (and her)

Well yesterday I saw this candle stick at a second hand store. I LOVED its lines, but it was pretty badly beat up, and was covered in old wax, and dingy and gross. Ordinary I would have passed it by, but I thought "Ooooh a challenge!"

So, I brought it home and used my Shaklee Basic H2 Degreaser on it. Sprayed it on, let it sit for a few minutes and buffed it off. The change was pretty dramatic. It actually doesn't show up AS dramatic in the pics as it did in real life! I loooove it!

Fibromyalgia and Reservatrol

I have been taking Shaklee VIVIX for two weeks now.

I have noticed a SUBSTANTIAL change in the way I feel. People who know me, know I have a LOT of pain in my muscles. My husband can barely touch my shoulders without me cringing in pain. I have migraines, insomnia, stomach problems, and I generally catch whatever is going around as soon as someone sneezes.

Since I am doing supplements and immune boosters as well, it was difficult for me to be sure what it was that was helping me so much with the muscle pain. I used to have general soreness, as well as charlie horses every single night.

So, I set off to read more about the products I was using and WHY they may be helping me so much. I found this amazing blog (also set up by Shaklee Distributors) who have a WEALTH of information on Vivix.

So, I am going to repost with permission, her segment on Fibromyalgia and Vivix, since it has impacted me so much.

Is resveratrol a magic pill to cure what ails you, in this case, fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia Headache Pain
While not a magic pill—resveratrol is an amazing substance created by nature to protect the health of plants. Certain nutrients, such as resveratrol, are made within plants and are designed to help them thrive despite hostile conditions. Scientists made the incredible discovery that the same plant-made chemicals that nurture plants, can protect and revitalize the cells in our bodies as well.

Repairing damaged cells is the bottom line function of resveratrol. Disease, such as fibromyalgia, results from an increasing number of cells that are unhealthy and fail to function properly. The body is designed to accommodate a normal cell life cycle. When this cycle is compromised by damaged DNA, and the body can no longer reproduce healthy new cells, we begin to suffer from the effects of that imbalance. Adding pure resveratrol and other plant phytonutrients such as those found in the muscadine grape, elderberry and pomegranate, to our diets gives our body nutrients that are proven to repair and revitalize the cells.

As recognized in the last post, fibromyalgia is a condition recognized by the pain it produces. Even though the exact cause may not be known, the impact of the disease will be reduced as damaged cells within the affected part of the body are rejuvenated. To do that, cells need to receive a regular supply of critical, health producing nutrients. Whether low energy, damaged DNA, or other genetic regulators are involved, resveratrol in Vivix is perfectly suited to slow the damage and repair the affected cells and body systems.

Our bodies have amazing recuperative abilities, but complete recovery is only possible by providing everything the body needs at the cellular level to thrive. Recovery also may call for lifestyle changes as well as a healthier environment. Tomorrow, read how adding resveratrol found in Vivix eliminated pain from fibromyalgia suffered for years for a woman named Isabel.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be free of fibromyalgia pain after years of suffering? I can tell you that it will make you want to shout the good news to anyone who is suffers from the same condition. That is how Isabel felt. Read what Isabel had to say about her experience with Vivix, an anti-aging product that uses resveratrol and other plant chemicals to build healthy new cells.

I do not know where to begin on how Vivix has changed my life. I have been in constant pain for the last for years suffering with Fibromyalgia and Lupus. I was on all sorts of pain meds and nothing seemed to work. I also tried several prescriptions to help with the Fibromyalgia still a complete disappointment.

I heard guest speakers from Shaklee at our Wine Night speak about the benefits of Vivix. Of course I am very reluctant to try anything when the Doctors couldn't even prescribe anything to help me. I figured why not if it doesn't work I just won’t order it again. I was excited to hear the presentation, signed up that night and waited anxiously for my Vivix to come in. Deep down in my heart I thought this stuff isn't going to work - well I made my self a liar.

Within five days of taking Vivix I stopped hurting. I would get massaged three times a week before I took this just to keep functioning. I am on my second bottle and I can honestly say I am pain free when I went to the Doctors my blood pressure had dropped to 106 over 60 compared to 170 over 90 wow what a difference. I would recommend this to anyone that I meet that is in pain.

~ Isabel

Want to read other ways VIVIX is changing lives?
Kathryn has listed tons of testimonials over on her blog here.

If you suffer from any of these things, why not give it a try? Take it for a month, if you honestly notice no improvement, you get your MONEY BACK! Nothing to lose :)

I may seem overzealous in my efforts to share this information, but trust me, if you live with constant pain and someone offers you something that helps, you just want to tell everyone, so please know that my efforts here are genuine!

You can purchase VIVIX here:


Phthalates....What's the big deal?

When I sat down with my coffee and began Shaklee University, I thought it would help educate me on the products I was selling.

What I didn't realize was it would educate me on life.

I got into Shaklee because I wanted to get healthy. After years and years of being obese, tired, cranky, depressed, sore, diagnosed with fibromyalgia, Benign Intercranial Hypertension and generally feeling like a hypochondriac.

I felt like SOMEWHERE in between my trip to Doctors, Chiropractors, Massage therapists, Physiotherapists, and Psychologists, I was missing something.

Turns out I was...

Did you know that we live in a TOXIC world? That every day we are breathing hundreds of chemicals? Did you know that we not only ingest chemicals, but we lather them on our skin?

When I really started to think about it, and research it, It was a HUGE wake-up call!

I have been reading the book "Green goes with Everything" by Sloan Barnett (who is also the wife of Roger Barnett, CEO of Shaklee) I would highly recommend it. In her book she writes"

"The total amount of chemicals and pollutants in one's body at any given time, is called one's "body burden." She had a lab in British Columbia - one of only four in the world, she writes, which does such testing - perform a body burden test on her and discovered that she had nearly four times the level of PCBs in her blood as the average U.S. level (even though PCBs, a probable carcinogen used in electrical devices, WERE BANNED 30 YEARS AGO!!!!), nearly twice as much triclosan - an antibacterial linked to thyroid problems, allergies and skin irritation - as the average U.S. level - and higher-than-average levels of organochlorine pesticides (used as insecticides and which can be possible hormone disruptors and neurotoxins).
She was stunned at the levels of chemicals in her blood and decided to make changes"

Seriously??? Chemicals that were BANNED 30 years ago, still in her blood at such dangerous scary!

So what exactly are Phthalates?

Phthalates are a class of widely used industrial compounds known technically as dialkyl or alkyl aryl esters of 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid. There are many phthalates with many uses, and just as many toxicological properties.

Phthalates crept into widespread use over the last several decades because of their many beneficial chemical properties. Now they are ubiquitous, not just in the products in which they are intentionally used, but also as contaminants in just about anything. About a billion pounds per year are produced worldwide.

Intentional uses of phthalates include softeners of plastics, oily substances in perfumes, additives to hairsprays, lubricants and wood finishers. That new car smell, which becomes especially pungent after the car has been sitting in the sun for a few hours, is partly the pungent odor of phthalates volatilizing from a hot plastic dashboard. In the evening's cool they then condense out of the inside air of the car to form an oily coating on the inside of the windshield.

What are the health concerns?

I am going to paraphrase here, so if you want to see the actual article I am using as a reference I will link to it at the end, but basically, in high doses they are proven to cause cancer in many forms, but the new studies show that even at low doses they are affecting our unborn babies while in utero. They have been proven to "Produce dramatic changes in male sexual characteristics"

One line in the article really stood out to me too, "DEHP's ability to exacerbate allergic reactions to an allergen, providing a possible clue as to why allergy rates have gone up so much in the developed world"

We all know these statistics, Cancer is at an all time high, infertility, allergies, athsma, but maybe you were like me and didn't realize WHY, or what you could do to change it.

Ive included some links here if you want to further research this yourself.

Phthlates and Parabens

The Problem with Phthalates

The article I quoted above

If I can help just one person become aware of the dangers we have lurking under our kitchen sink, in our shower, in our kitchen cabinets, than I will be happy.

We cannot change the world all at once. We cannot undo all that has been done, but we can make small changes that added together WILL impact the rest of the world, for our children, and theirs.

Have a great night.


My sweet husband (it was our 12 year anniversary yesterday by the way) decided he wanted to "challenge me" to see if my "Shaklee stuff" could beat HIS tests...

So he wanted to do some motor oil, which he gladly went and got from the lawn mower, and red wine. This is the results.

*Note- I can upon watching it on the video see a faint outline of the motor oil on the trim of the towel, however, I am washing it in my washing machine now to see if it all comes out. I am confident it will, but will post a picture when its done!

I LOVE how enthusiastic my husband was when doing this video, its nice to see a man get excited by cleaning products.

Thanks Darlin!

Purchase these products direct from my online store, HERE:

Shaklee Cleaning Products, Safe for you and the planet

Soak the Impossible!!!

Everyone gets stains!

It happens...

Everytime I sit down to eat I drop stuff on my chest, its inevevitable. I am the girl who sits on the ketchup packet she accidently dropped when eating a burger at a fast food place, the girl who trips while she is carrying coffee, you get the picture.

So, for me, a decent stain remover is a godsend. One that is not riddled with chemicals is even better!

So, for your behalf, here is my blog video debut.

(and by the way, the camera DOES add 20 pounds ;) if I wasn't passionate about you getting the info, and helping you make clean and green choices, there is NO way I would publish this on the internet)

So here is me, in all my geeky glory, helping you make better choices!

Purchase these products direct from my online store, HERE:

Shaklee Cleaning Products, Safe for you and the planet

One Paste to rule them all.....

I don't enjoy cleaning. Never have.

I do however, find great joy in besting an opponent. This, everyone, is how I became a Shaklee Distributor.

Once upon a time there was a girl who moved across the country back to Ontario and moved into a nice new home. This home came with a fancy new stove from Maytag, that apparently was supposed to make her new life a culinary delight.

After the first week in her new home however she was already frustrated with the new stove because it would not come clean. It was one of those ceramic top stoves and it didn't matter WHAT she cooked with, EVERY time it would leave awful black marks and she would scrub and scrub to no avail.

She thought she had it beat when she used Magic Erasers, Razor Blades, Ceramabrite, Vim, Ajax etc etc, she even tried the PC Green cleaners but nothing worked!

So this sad new homeowner just decided it would remain this way.


Like a hero from a book, this little cherry scented paste saved the homeowners sanity and worked not only on her stovetop but on her oven as well (its safe for self clean) It also cleans many other areas of her house too!

After falling in love with this product she set out to try the rest of the Get Clean line and then began to educate herself on the harmful chemicals and toxins in the stuff she had been using, and is now an advocate, trying to get the word out to others who like her, perhaps didn't realize how dangerous and harmful these things can be!

1 MONTH on Cinch!

Ok, so here is the one month mug shot! I plan to update it every month ;) Eventually I will get to actual photos too, but this is just super easy with my webcam!

So, today is one month on Cinch....

I am proud to report I am down 9 and a half pounds with 12 inches GONE! The inches blow me away ;)

In case you care here is the breakdown!

waist- down 4 inches
hips- down 2 inches
bust- down 1 inch
Thigh-down 2 inches
Upper Arm-down 3 inches

So here are this months goals:

I need to start exercising. I did this without exercising at all really, a couple walks but that was it. So, this month I want to aim for at least 30 minutes of activity three days a week. Small goals, but now that I feel I have some more energy, I may increase that.

Also, I need to stick to the Cinch plan a bit more. I keep forgetting my vitamins, I guess that is why Vitalizer is a better option!

I LOVE the chocolate shakes (last month I did Vanilla, so this month I am trying the Chocolate) and a chocolate shake with frozen banana in it, tastes like a Frosty from Wendy's. No kidding!

Those of you who have been toying with trying the program, I really do recommend it. I have noticed a great change in the month. Shaklee has a money back guarantee so if you do try it and after a month really notice no difference, you really have nothing to lose! And the starter kit is 10 percent off (savings of 20.87) until October 15th!

Check out Cinch here:

Cinch Weight Loss

Im feeling....

Hopeful :)

I think that the word Hopeful, is an amazingly powerful word. Especially when it seems to be absent from your vocabulary for any amount of time.

Its amazing to me how much feeling better can effect your life. I have been generally unhealthy for so long that it makes even the smallest change noticeable right away.

I feel like someone turned on a light in a dark part of me. I can't really describe it in a way that would make sense to someone who has never been there, but for the first time in a very long time, I WANT better for myself. I used to write a lot, I sort of stopped for a long time, but this is something I wrote recently. Thought I would share.

(stock photo)

The Train

Picture sitting in a train, watching as the world passes all around you. You interact with the people on the train, and admire all the beauty of the world outside. You eat the meals provided for you daily, and have the stretch of the train to walk up and down, but you never actually go outside. You exist only in the safety of this train, your not really sure why, but its always been that way.

You watch as people continually board the train, some stay for awhile, some only ride for a day or two, and you admire them because they can leave, you daydream about what it would be like to be outside, to have no fear, but at the end of the day, you are just as glad to curl up on the chair of the train with a good book.

And then, one day, you decide to just step off for a moment. Just to get a breath of fresh air, and you realize maybe its not that scary, but you return to the train because you get all nervous and afraid. And then every few days you venture out again, and its always scary, but you have had a taste of it, and all of a sudden you realize the colors of the fall leaves are so much brighter when you can touch them, and that you are feeling angrier and angrier at how much time you have wasted riding the train.

So, you continue riding, trying to make your stops longer and longer in between while you gather the courage and strength to leave the train for good.

Because everyone deserves to feel the rain on their face, the warmth of the sun, and the grace to dance to their own music.

End of week 2

Hey all!


I have just completed my second week doing "Cinch".

Cinch is a Shaklee product, used to help us to maintain healthy weight, or lose weight.

I purchased a starter kit that gave me the shakes, some snack bars, the Cinch vitamins, a pedometer and a measuring tape.

So it has been 14 days, I have lost almost six pounds, and 7 inches!!! The 7 inches part I am really, really excited about. Have you looked at how much 7 inches is? I am not a genius, but I have done a zillion diets, and so far I am really noticing a few things with this that totally stand out in my mind..

I have more energy-even though I'm not into superwoman mode, I can definitely feel a big difference.

My headaches are less frequent (I am a constant sufferer)

I NOTICE when I decide to substitute, let me explain...Sometimes as a woman, I want more variety so I say, Julie, you don't want a shake this morning you want a bagel. So I eat the bagel, and then, miraculously one hour later I am hungry, shaky, and generally feel crappy.

My appetite is less. With Cinch you can eat a full dinner, and while they recommend a very balanced, healthy meal, I don't ALWAYS manage that, but even when I don't I do not need nearly as much food to fill me up.

All these things aside, I have had a few struggles, unfortunately like last nights stressed out Oreo eating marathon, but, I just turn the page, and today is a new day! I know I could be losing faster if I was following it to a tee, but I am already sooo impressed by what I have accomplished so far! As a pretty much professional dieter I am feeling pretty optimistic!

The science behind Cinch is very compelling, and Shaklee has done a great job of putting together something that is easy to follow and that creates great results! If you want more info please feel free to contact me!

As with all Shaklee products, its backed by a 100 percent money back guarantee.

Check out Cinch here:

Cinch Weight Loss

The dreaded closet!

I truly think this closet keeps me up at night. One of these days I am going to paint it. I realize that painting cedar is a silly idea, BUT its TOO dark! I don't like it!

Now, you may wonder why I would let it get like this. Good question, but you see, I have this YOYO thing that goes on with my weight, about 20 pounds worth. I go up, I go down, I go up, you get the picture. So, I have a SUPER OVERABUNDANCE of clothing. It gets overwhelming.

So, I packed up all the stuff I am no longer wearing, anything that was in there for "when I fit into it again" and tossed anything that was crap. Leads to a much more ZEN like closet, wouldn't you agree? ;)

Next up...

THE DRESSER....duh duh duh.

Shaklee Cleaning Products, Safe for you and the planet

Fall Cleanup!

Ok guys! This is NOT my finest hour. If you know me, you probably know that I am a) a bit scattered/disorganized, b) procrastinate and c) have trouble sticking to a routine.

So, I have decided that starting today, Sept 16- till next week is FALL CLEANING WEEK!

So, I will attempt to post photos every day of my progress, but for today, I will show you the first thing I tackled. My work desk. I have two desks, but I only took a picture of the REALLY messy one, the one with my monitors stays quite tidy, but the one beside it sort of became a catch all.

Here is my before and after! Feels much better! Tomorrow I am tackling a BIGGIE, my closet. Shudder. You really have no idea. I feel like I could be on HOARDERS. Seriously, I have a clothing problem.


Congrats Michelle! Must be a bonus since its your birthday!!


Ok folks, to kick off my new venture into Shaklee products I am going to give away, one free membership to Shaklee (15 dollar value) and SCOUR OFF, my FAVORITE cleaning product! The membership does not expire, and allows you a fifteen percent discount on all Shaklee products, a shipping discount, and access to all kinds of monthly and promotional specials!

To enter you must be a Canadian or American, and not currently a Shaklee member.

To win: simply comment on my blog (make sure you leave your email, or that it is in your profile.

To get an extra entry, post this on your facebook page and let me know you did!

I will draw for the winner Wednesday the 8th at 8 am!


Julie goes.....Green? ;)

I just recently became an Independent Shaklee Distributor. Have you heard of Shaklee? I had heard of it, mostly because I already run in home party circles ;), but also I had heard that Oprah had endorsed it a couple years ago, in her "My favorite things" show.

Which to be honest, didn't exactly make me want to run out and try it, haha.

So, how did I, someone who really knew nothing about this company, go from that to now being a Global Ambassador with the company?

Well, its kind of funny, actually, it all started at the Green Living show in Toronto....

I was RUNNING to go another booth (because Colin Firth was speaking, and I wanted to get back to him, since I knew he would miss that I was gone) and literally stopped in my tracks and did a double take. This woman at the booth looked a lot like a friend of mine, so I naturally swooped in for a closer look!

And then, the inevitable happened, she sold me stuff! ;)

I purchased the Shaklee Scour off, and the Laundry set (detergent, fabric softener, brightener) and off I went, sort of wondering how I just parted with my money without intending to (I am sure we all do that sometimes)

Included with my purchase that day was a membership, so shortly after I got home I received an email from the company and some more information on Shaklee, and its products.

The first thing I wanted to do was try the Scour off, on my ceramic stove cook top. If you know me, you know that I HATE that thing. I had literally used EVERY cleaner, razor blade, etc etc to get that sucker clean and short of my friend Stacey scrubbing it for an hour with the aid of razors, I had never been able to get it clean.

So, I opened the Scour off, and rubbed it on (and at the same time marvelled that it smells like Twizzlers) and to my SHOCK, it rubbed right off. All that baked on grime and crud, I was SOLD!

I knew right then and there, that I would peddle this stuff on the street corner...Anything that made my life that much easier, and my stove shine was good in my books.

What I didn't know, was that when I tried the Laundry products, I would have similar results. My whites, often dulled by my well water, were bright! My clothes smelled great and the stuff went a lot longer than the original 32 loads it was supposed to make.

So, I naturally started to think these would be products I would both use, and promote. I did some research on the company, and asked the poor girl I bought everything from literally a zillion questions, and decided that a company that produces such amazing products was a great investment!

So, I have now ventured into the world of Shaklee, and its a great world! Let me tell you why!

Shaklee is the first Climate Neutral Certified company with the achievement of a net zero impact on the Earth's climate.

Shaklee's products are eco friendly, and good for you! They don't have all of the chemicals that most of the products we are currently using do!

Anyway, I have rambled enough for now, but I do plan on sharing more as I discover the many uses for the products and also as I get started with my supplements and the Cinch plan. I have a lot of weight to lose, and am excited to give Shaklee a chance to help me accomplish that.

If anyone would like more information, or would like to try these products, I will offer them at my discount so that you can try them. You can view the products on my website, or contact me via

Today I am grateful for...

The birds chirping outside my window and the nice cool breeze gently flowing in. AAAAHHHH, so beautiful.

You know, as I was walking this morning with Wesley (this is a new thing, he gets me up every weekday morning for 6:30 so we can go for a walk, to which I try to convince him that its tooooo early, or I am sick, or I'm too tired, to which he proceeds to quietly sit on my bed and stare at me, until I give in and go walk with him, cute kid, I think he is aspiring to be Bob Harper, ok I digress forgive the spiderwebbing (you know a story within a story, oh boy here I go, what is this three branches now?) anyhooooo...

I was thinking about my Gratitude challenge this morning, and realizing that when I first started it, it was almost difficult to think of things, just that I found it harder to put myself constantly into that frame of mind. I don't know if it is easier now because I have really connected my Gratitude to my thankfulness to God, or if I am just becoming a less self centered person, but really either way its pretty great.

This was a FANTASTIC weekend. Let me be clear though, there were moments in which I would *not* have said were great, such as when I was literally crawling UNDER the pool while trying to manually pull the wrinkles out of the liner, while enjoying the creepy crawly bugs living in the sand using my arms as a possible new home. Not special.

Or, pumping water in from the lake to fill the pool and realizing THAT was not a great idea (and quickly working to filter out the ickies) or having an intense migraine, and poor dave with a pulled shoulder that made him so hard to take seriously because he couldn't quite look at you straight, hehe.

But, you know, if it hadn't been for those moments I wouldn't have had the chance to feel so grateful for when we managed to get those wrinkles out, and there wouldn't have been the moment when we threw our boys in the pool so they could vacuum out said ickies, and I wouldn't have had that moment of sheer bliss after the headache passed where I could remember just how amazing the gift of health is. And well, Dave's shoulder is still bugging him, but if it hadn't been for his head being offset when he was talking to me, he wouldn't have the chance to read here that every time I looked at him like that, I felt sad that he was hurt, but I also giggled a bit to myself and fell in love with him all over again....

We got to take the boys to a fantastic concert this weekend (the Newsboys) where I was inspired and awed, and as usual reminded how good our God is. I sang my heart out with my little man beside me (who knew all the words to some of the new songs) and truly was grateful the whole time for that moment.

We had a barbecue with my parents to celebrate David's birthday, sunshine, fantastic food, a crazy puppy and an old doggie trying to run from the over-enthusiastic puppy, lots of laughter, a few splashes in the pool (and my dad getting hit in the head by the long pool cleaner rod by Dave, that was pretty funny) a bunch of great memories, and cherished "grateful" moments for me to carry into my new week.

Im including a clip from the newsboys concert (I didn't have a video camera so this is actually from another concert, but I thought it was worth posting anyway) this was how they started it, I LOVED the mix of Black Eyed Peas "I gotta feeling, and Life is Beautiful"

I hope you enjoy your week, and that you have some things you are very grateful for today!


One week became two, and so on, so forth.

I have dreaded writing on here at all, as sometimes the sadness in my heart over what seems to be my special talent of never finishing anything was wearing on me pretty deeply.

Over the past 30 (something ;)) years, I have spent so much time looking at all the things I am not...All the things I need to change about myself so that I can be truly happy. Spent years trying to force myself to make new habits, develop skills that frustrate me, get my "act together" so to speak.

The past couple months have been a real growth experience for me. I recently returned to church and God after many, many, many months away. I truly did not think I would ever go back. But, I have discovered in life there are a few constants...and Thankfully, God is one of them.

I think I am (slowly) beginning to realize, that I was CREATED the way I am. For a reason. What a thought that is! I may be scattered sometimes, messy, cluttered, unable to do anything regimented, BUT....

I am creative beyond words, I SEE things others cannot. I can revel in the breeze on a hot day, and I can truly embrace the beauty that God creates everyday. I can empathize with others, and am generous and kind. I have STRENGTH. I have endurance. I am beautiful, even if its not always in the ways I want.

I am gifted with a voice that can sing and express my feelings in ways that most cannot. I can look through the lens of a camera and see beyond the snapshot. I can look at a plain photograph and see its potential. I can create meals that are different and daring, just because its ME. I am quirky, and witty, funny, and a bit eccentric at times. I take joy in the small things, and really my GREATEST frustration, the things that make me unhappy, are constantly trying to be what I am not.

And, so while I have fallen away from posting my gratitudes EVERY DAY....I will still post them when I get to it. Because ultimately, I am grateful. EVERY DAY. It just doesn't mean that I need to share that every day....

oops, busy week!

9/365- Thursday's with Mom

I love Thursday's! I spend the day with my mom. Sometimes we do the mundane things like grocery shopping, sometimes we do fun things like craft shows, or deal hunting at a favorite store, but ALWAYS it is a special day that I look forward to every week! This pic is our fav greek lunch we sometimes go to.

From Making Lemonade

10/365-Good Friday

I am thankful for this day...
Not just because my kids don't have to go to school, but because it is a reminder to me that no matter where I am in my life, no matter what struggles or awful things I am facing, someone else had to face much worse. So, today, I am grateful for the ultimate of sacrifices, and that SUNDAY is coming. This pic I did up last year but thought it deserved a replay :)

From Making Lemonade

11/365-Hail the conquering hero

The family went for a hike. It was a beautiful day, and I am glad to have spent it with them. I am grateful that I made it up and down this crazy "rock chasm of doom"

From Making Lemonade

12/365-Easter Sunday and great Worship

Today I am putting up a video instead of a picture (I know, I am a rebel) but I loved this song so much, and this is why I am grateful today.

13/365- Vita top Muffins

Love these things! Full of fiber and healthy stuff, but delicious with a smidgen of ice a low cal/fat brownie sundae :)

From Making Lemonade

14/365- Date night

Tuesday nights Dave takes me out to do groceries or any errands, and sometimes we just go have fun and watch a movie. I love that my boys are old enough to allow us this evening...

From Making Lemonade

15/365- Ice breaker Sours

As some of you know, I spend a lot of time on my computer- with work, and with my insane addiction to all things facebook/blogger. These little sugar free candies are constantly on my desk. Just be careful you don't eat the whole thing. Then you won't be quite as grateful, ask me how I know this...I dare you!

From Making Lemonade

16/356- Split pea soup with Ham

I'm grateful for the left over Easter ham bone from my wonderful dinner with my parents, and for the soup I get to eat! YUM!

From Making Lemonade


8/365- The "Paul Bunyan"

Ok, seriously. This is the world's best sandwich. Comes from a little store next to one of our best deli's here in Sudbury. Cara's is the store, and Torini's is the Deli.

Look at that thing! Seriously YUM! All made on homemade bread and homemade pickle!
I don't eat it all, I can barely tackle half!

From Making Lemonade


7/365-My fireplace and my painting.

This is one of my favorite areas in my home. A cozy fireplace that keeps me company when I am downstairs working on the computer, and a beautiful painting that reminds me of both my Grandfather, and my dad. My parents and my grandfather both had this picture, so now that I have one, it reminds me of them both, and I am so grateful for anything that makes me think of them ;)

From Making Lemonade


6/365- My *pink* cellphone.

Ok, I know that everyone and their brother has a cell phone. I also know that I sort of never really got into it, since I am so prone to forgetting them at home anyway. Although a few months ago, my sweet husband took me to get a new phone that was a little bit more user friendly. So, I got my LG dare, with a PINK case, that I love so much.

I love this phone! It has a calendar feature, I use it as an alarm clock, It has all the bells and whistles, and I can browse online, (which annoys the aforementioned husband since I have a slight facebook addiction)

Nevertheless, I am grateful for this little bit of technology that makes my life a little easier, and definitely a bit more pink ;)

Oh...P.S. Tasha if you are reading this, that is a 1.5 TB external hardrive in the background ;)

From Making Lemonade


Ahhh, busy weekend :)

Still did up my photos for my gratitude project though!

3/365- New decor for my living room, and the story behind it.

Well, my little sister took me out shopping for some stuff to "spruce" up my living room. I spent an obscene amount of money on a cushion, but just like she said, it has become the focal point of my room and I LOVE it. It is so ME :) So, grateful for the beautiful springy inspiration in my living room, and for the time I got to spend with my sister. Can't wait to see you again soon!

4/365-Mr Snoop Dog

My dog Snoopy was a rescue. Some people know that but some do not. He came to us as a skinny little foster dog who wouldn't even walk up the stairs, we had to carry him since he was so frightened. He has been with us for five years now, and we sure love him a lot. Here is an artsy photo I took of him that I just love.

5/365-My egg and tomato sammy.

I LOVE everything about this sandwich. Seriously. It is to die for. It starts with the world's best bread (well, only if you toast it) it comes from costco and its old fashioned breakfast bread or something like that. Anyway, I toast it up, add a half a slice of ham each, half a cheese slice, some egg whites done up with Epicure 3 onion, some fresh ripe tomatoes and some salt and pepper. It is so good. You need to try it. Oh, and yes, thats a *smidge* of light mayo on there.


Day 2 was an easy pick.

Some of you may know that I had an unwanted house guest (or guests) this winter. A couple of field mice decided they wanted to live in my pantry. Well...this led to me having a serious case of the heebee jeebies, and a lot of thrown out food and frustration. My loving husband and wonderful daddy decided to build me a shiny new pantry. I LOOOOOOOOOVE it. It is the sexiest darn pantry I have ever seen. It has rounded shelves to make great use of space and I can actually step into it to see what I have. THANKS to my special men...even my boys helped! VERY grateful :)

From Making Lemonade

Gratitude 365

I have wanted to get back into blogging for some time now. I used to do it all the time, but have found myself either lacking material, or motivation.

So, upon reflection of how I have been sort of miserable a lot lately, I decided I needed to focus on the things that are great in my life. The many wonderful things that I love and am so thankful for every single day.

I heard of Project 365 years ago....its basically a way of documenting your life with a photo, one day at a time. So, I am going to combine that with my "Gratitude" journal, thus the idea of "Gratitude 365"

Here is Day 1:

I am so thankful for my Keurig Coffee maker. Seriously. Its art. And isn't my mug just the cutest?! In fact, I love my whole coffee bar area. Those Sugar die for. Yup. Awesome!