Friday, April 4, 2014

Natural Cleaning Products - Radiantly You

     I've never really been a believer in natural products, especially when it comes to cleaning. I mean, if natural stuff worked, why would people turn to something artificial? If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? As such, I've been hesitant to try any, lest I end up wasting my money on products that don't work. Well, a couple months ago, a friend introduced me to a new company, Radiantly You, that makes 100% natural products, and given my growing chewy granola-ness, I figured I'd give them a try, and document the results to see if they really were effective. Much to my surprise, I have been very impressed!  
         So, if I can figure it out (the pics are on my phone, sorry for the quality) here is photographic evidence how awesome this stuff is! (They say a picture is worth a thousand words; I guess we'll see!)

Tub Scrub:
So, I cleverly remembered to take a halfway through cleaning shot.
I'm still figuring out the best way to use the Tub Scrub, but I
used it straight from the container, and scrubbed with a blue Scotch scrubby.


Yes, that is a onesie - the toddler got a hold of someone's wine. *sigh*
But what better way to test the laundry detergent?
This was after it sat for a day, because I didn't have enough laundry to justify a load.

This is after being thrown into the wash, untreated.
Luckily I remembered not to dry it.

And the "final" product, after I treated it with just the detergent,
and washed it a second time. I say a quoted final, because
I haven't checked the status of it since I've washed it again.
I was pleased enough with what I got.
It also removed armpit stains from one of my shirts
that had been there for I don't know how long.

     Well, there you have it. Proof all-natural products actually do work! In addition to their Cleaning line, they also have Beauty, Health, and Baby stuff. Click HERE to learn more about this amazing company started by a stay at home mom! For the laundry detergent and tub scrub, click HERE

*And, in the interest of full disclosure, since trying the products I have joined the Radiantly You team as an Independent Wellness Guide. My choice to do so was very much influenced by the effectiveness of their products, and their affordability. I will receive no compensation from Radiantly You for this review.* 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Stretchmarks

     Stretchmarks are the bane of every woman's existence, especially when it comes to pregnancy. I noticed my first stretchmarks somewhere in my teens, much to my chagrin. Lucky for me, they weren't highly visible, though it did not stop me from being ashamed of them. Fast forward a handful of years, and I'm a new mom with even more stretchmarks, also sort of a shock, as I could not see them at all when pregnant. You would think I would not have been that surprised to see them, considering I already had them elsewhere, but I had naively thought that perhaps I would fall into that category of women who do not get them as a result of pregnancy. Silly me. I was rather pleased when they faded from red to silvery, much less noticeable that way. So I was on the look out for them with pregnancy #2, and not to my surprise, but still to my disappointment, there were new ones. All of that consternation was really quite ridiculous, considering I have long been of the opinion that scars are cool, and what are stretchmarks but scars from where the inside of a person grew faster than the outside? 

     Yes. Stretchmarks are only scars which result from skin not growing with the rest of the body. Therefore, anyone can have them, and I'm betting most people do. (Clothes do an amazing job at hiding flaws.) Fat people who used to be skinny, skinny people who used to be fat, skinny people who never used to be fat, guys who build muscle too quick (language warning), everyone most likely has some. Hence, I have come to the realization that they really aren't anything to be ashamed of, and I'm not going to let mine bother me anymore. For what it's worth, I don't see them as anything to be particularly proud of, either; sure, I guess some are my "battle scars" from pregnancy, but as I don't see that as a particularly huge or spectacular feat, there's no reason for me to be proud of them. It is what it is. *shrug* No more, and no less. Little tangent here - pregnancy and lactation are about as natural and normal as eating, hence you won't see me with any "I make babies/milk, what's your superpower" paraphernalia.  

     So, I guess the basic gist is, stretchmarks shouldn't be something to be ashamed of, but neither do you have to feel like a loser because you aren't over the top proud of them either. I know it's hard when we are told to "Love your body"; in a world where extremes are touted as the best ideals, it is difficult to be comfortable with ourselves when we obviously don't meet those ideals, or even worse, when we have no desire to meet them. And I want to say that it is okay to live in the mean; Aristotle and Thomas would say it was preferable to do so. Thus, don't despise your "flaws", but know that it is perfectly alright to not be in love with them either.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Siren Song of the Au Naturel

(This is an "I'm trying to figure this out" type of post. If it doesn't make much sense, or isn't well written, that is why)

     I never thought it would have come to this. Never pegged myself to be the tree-hugger, crunchy granola type person, you know, the kind we made fun of growing up. But, well, it turns out I was wrong. Not that I'm a full fledged "natural is the only way to go" person, not by any means. I flip flop a lot on the subject, freaking out about how expensive I imagine going all organic, etc. really would be, while simultaneously becoming rather more disturbed by the things I learn in regards to what is allowed to be put in food and lotions and things, all the while reminding myself that we're all going to die some day anyway, and it's so hard to determine what really is good and healthy, so what's the point anyway?
     I understand the desire to and thinking behind wanting to only use natural products, but it seems to me that many people take this to extremes, and it is a bit of a turn off for me. You see, we live in a fallen world, and every time someone makes claims of this or that being the miracle thing which will save us all from cancer, it causes me to pause, because there is nothing in this world that will absolutely prevent/cure disease once and for all. Nothing is going to give one a super human immune system, quite simply because everything in this fallen world is flawed. Further, in spite of what many all natural proponents might think, just because something is claiming to be all natural, but has a "do not eat" warning on it, doesn't mean that it isn't all natural. I wouldn't advise eating uranium, but that is certainly a naturally occurring substance. Or when people point out that because X is an ingredient in, say, cement or chemical degreaser, that said ingredient is therefore bad for you, which is not necessarily the case. Water is a surprisingly popular ingredient in many things which would kill you if ingested, but that doesn't mean that water is toxic. Another annoying line of thought is that which states that all man-made/artificial drug/medicine is toxic and does more harm to the body than good. I personally believe that such thinking does much disservice to the human intellect, and by extension the Divine Intellect. Surely God knew what He was doing when He endowed man with the intellectual capabilities we have which allow us to delve into the mysteries of the universe; to say that any discoveries and developments that man has in the realm of medicine only result in things harmful and not beneficial in any way seems to me an illogical conclusion.  
(So I had to leave this mid-thought, which usually isn't a good thing...)
     In spite of all those things that irk me about the "all natural is absobloominlutely the best" arguments, I find myself falling to the siren song of the au naturel. I always thought it would be cool to make medicinal compounds of herbs and stuff, so it really isn't too much of an imagination stretch for me. Though I will say I won't go all crunchy granola mama any time soon; think of me more like a chewy granola type person. Anyway, I think I'll be moving more toward the all natural, at least in regards to cleaning and hygiene-type stuff. Food will most likely follow eventually. :) But I promise to try and do my best to remain reasonable in my thinking regarding such things. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

John Michael

John Michael was welcomed into the world Monday January 20th, 2014 at 10:08 a.m.
At 8 pounds 10 ounces and measuring 21 inches long, John is a whole pound heavier and half an inch shorter than Joe was.
Labor was very short and incredibly intense, with first contraction noticed around 5:45 that morning. We were able to make it to the Birth Center around 9, and also were able to have a water birth as well.