• Medela Freestyle Pump Giveaway
  • 5 Things Every Happy Mother Should Do
  • Natural Alternatives to Sunscreen
  • 7 Hidden Dangers of Sunscreen
  • Slim & Sassy Boot Camp
  • doTERRA Intro Kit Giveaway
  • Why I Chose doTERRA Essential Oils
  • 11 Key Minerals & Why You Need Them
  • 25 Ultimate doTERRA DIY Beauty Recipes
  • The Ultimate Vegan Protein Smoothie
  • 15 Health Benefits of Drinking Smoothies
  • Top 6 Food Documentaries
  • 4 Reasons To Buy Organic
  • Essential Oil Revolution – FREE Online Summit
  • Homemade Bronzer

Medela Freestyle Pump Giveaway

Introducing Medela Recycles + Medela Freecycle Giveaway
Welcome to the Medela Freestyle Pump Giveaway sponsored by Medela and hosted by The Pistachio Project.

Recycling has become a pretty common activity in our everyday lives. We recycle at home, we recycle at work, we even have recycling bins on the streets now! But what about the bigger items that we no longer need? Take for instance, breastpumps. What do we do with breastpumps once we are done with our breastfeeding experience?

Introducing Medela Recycles

Medela has heard the voices of moms and taken the initiative to create Medela Recycles. Medela Recycles is a program which takes our old breast pumps and uses each one to support the donation of new hospital-grade, multi-use breastpumps to Ronald McDonald House Charities. Moms who have babies who need to stay in the NICU get breast pumps while in the hospital but once their time is up they often move over to stay at a Ronald McDonald House without a pump. Medela wants to help change that. Medela wants to give moms one less thing to worry about in an already stressful time.

Sending your used pump to the Medela Recycles program is free and lets you properly recycle your pump plus you get the bonus of knowing you are helping to support other moms on their breastfeeding journey.

Want to recycle your old breast pump? Click Here! 
 
To help promote this amazing program, Medela has graciously offered to giveaway one Medela Freestyle Breastpump!
Introducing Medela Recycles + Medela Freecycle Giveaway
The Freestyle is a compact, lightweight double electric breast pump with a rechargeable battery. Developed with the 2-Phase Expression technology, the Freestyle works more like breastfeeding babies to help you get the most milk. 

Open to the US only, ages 18 and up. Ends July 14, 2015 at 11:59pm EST
To enter, use the entry form below. Good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is hosted by The Pistachio Project and generously sponsored by Medela. The Pistachio Project and the participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. One winner will be randomly selected using the Rafflecopter random selector and notified via email. Once notified, the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google. Void where prohibited.

5 Things Every Happy Mother Should Do

 

5 Things Every Happy Mother Should Do

Mother’s Day was great wasn’t it? It came and went all too soon it seems. Hopefully your family showed a year’s worth of gratitude for all that you do for them. Hopefully everyone got along, did their chores, and perhaps even made you breakfast in bed. Most importantly, hopefully you took some time to love and appreciate yourself on Mother’s Day. After all, Mother’s Day is typically the one and only day of a year when we mothers are comfortable with handing over the reins and taking some time for ourselves.

Mothers do just about everything for everyone else in the family, day in and day out. We are the glue that holds the family together; the taxi driver, chef, maid, nurse, and handy man. We are the personal assistant to very tiny people, meeting many demands around the clock, and without benefits or paid time off nonetheless. Hands down, being a mother is the most rewarding “job” that one could ever have, but it definitely keeps us busy with little-to-no time to ourselves to do things like get dressed, hold a phone conversation, pee, or complete a thought. If this doesn’t sound familiar to you, then please, I beg of you, connect with me and share your bag of tricks. 😉

There is a common misconception that mothers aren’t allowed to have some “me” time. We often feel the need to put everyone and everything before ourselves, which is actually a great quality because we have a lot of people depending on us. However, to become a mother doesn’t mean that we have to completely forfeit ourselves and our needs. Ever heard the saying “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? If we are exhausted, stressed, and overwhelmed it is going to affect how we interact with our husband, our children, and even the family pet. Our patience may be thin, our eyelids may be heavy, and our parenting may be lagging. One of the most valuable things for us mothers to realize is that our needs are just as important as our family’s, in fact they are one in the same.

Every day, or at least a few days every week should feel like Mother’s Day to you. Maybe not all day, but at least a few minutes or hours (if you’re lucky) should be spent focusing on yourself and rejuvenating your beautiful soul. Self-love and self-care are very important factors in our physical and emotional health, and it should definitely be happening more than one or two days a year, if you count your birthday. What I am getting at, is that catering to yourself and your overall health should be a regular occurrence, not just once a year on that magical day in May.

Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be anything monumental. It doesn’t require you spending a full 8 hours at the day spa or literally shopping ‘til you drop. It can be small things that amount to huge improvement in your patience, happiness, and overall health. Here is a compiled list of five things that every happy mother should do on a regular basis.

  1. Eat healthy – Healthy eating is the key to your overall health. By eating a healthy diet and taking care of your daily nutrient needs, you will have better health, more energy to keep up with your little ones, experience weight loss, and have the most beautiful skin you can imagine. Skip the fad, crash diets and focus on eating real food. Eliminate processed junk and refined sugar from your pantry and start cooking from scratch. If time is an issue, try picking a day to prep your food for the week to minimize cooking time and keeping healthy snacks for you to grab on the go.
  2. Exercise – Despite popular belief, exercise is not optional. It is absolutely mandatory for many reasons. In some way, shape, or form, you need to squeeze in an exercise. Your heart and body will totally thank you and reward you later in life. It doesn’t have to be anything lengthy or strenuous, just something that gets your heart rate going. Short interval workouts are great for mothers because they can be done at home, they are quick, and they are effective. Check out Jillian Michaels if you haven’t already, she has plenty of great workout DVD’s.
  3. Get ready for the day – This is particularly important for the stay at home or work at home moms. Waking up and getting ready will set your pace for the day. Get ready as if you were leaving the house to go to work or somewhere other than the grocery store. Brush your hair, do your makeup (if you wear it), get dressed in real, non-jammie clothes, and begin your day.
  4. Enjoy quiet time – Take a bath, read, meditate, pray, or all of the above in a close time proximity. Whatever helps you relax and enjoy some peace and quiet, do that. No kids, no TV, no noise means no distractions from your “me” time. You can do this before the kids wake up, after they go to sleep, during nap time, or when your honey is on kid duty.
  5. Indulge – This could be shopping for something nice to wear, treating yourself to a juice from your favorite juice bar, take a drive around the block in a kid-less car blaring your favorite tune, or whatever it is that your heart desires. The purpose of this is to acknowledge and meet your wants and desires, just as you do everyone else’s for all of the other hours of the day.

By taking care of yourself, you will be taking care of your family. You will avoid the dreadful burnout, and your family will be ever-so-grateful that mommy isn’t Captain Cranky Pants by 6 pm. Your family would much rather have a refreshed, happy mother and wife than a tired and irritable one. Embrace and love yourself, and begin your self-nourishment journey today.

What is your favorite way to spend your “me” time? Have any additional thoughts or suggestions? Leave them in the comments below.

Natural Alternatives to Sunscreen

 

Natural Alternatives to Sunscreen

The concept behind sunscreen or sunblock is that it blocks the UV rays from being absorbed by the skin by filtering or reflecting the UV rays. While this all sounds fine and dandy, we actually need some of those UV rays for various physiological functions. Not to mention, modern day sunscreen manufacturers have decided to add dangerous chemicals to their sunscreens to make them more “effective” aka toxic.

So let’s say, for the sake of this article, you have decided to skip the conventional, chemical goo in tube (hopefully you do). The next step will probably leave you wondering what other options you have, especially if you have kiddos or your skin tone is a shade above Edward Cullen’s from Twilight. Never fear, my vampire friend, you actually have plenty of other options when it comes to protecting your skin from sun (UV) damage. These options are definitely less popular, but can be equally effective when combined with a few of my sun protection tips below.

Benefits of the Sun

First thing is first, the sun is not bad. Everyone makes the sun out to be the outlaw in an old western film, but that is simply not the case. In fact, the sun is great and we absolutely need it to live, just as the Earth’s beautiful green plants do. The sun contributes largely to our physical and emotional well-being. In addition to kick starting our Vitamin D production, the sun does many wonderful things for us.

  • Helps to regulate normal biorhythms (sleep/wake cycle)
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves bone growth/strength
  • May relieve skin irritations (psoriasis, eczema)
  • Supports the immune system

However, as we all know, too much of something can be a bad thing. Everything in moderation, right? We need sun like we need oxygen and water, but there is quite the difference between catching some rays and sunbathing. See where I am going with this? Fun in the sun = good, beach bum status = melanoma.

Sun Protection Tips

If you’re active outdoors for more than a couple of hours, it is important to take necessary precautions such as these to protect your skin from longer UV exposure.

  1. Wear light clothing, hats, etc. – Wearing light clothing can help reduce your sun exposure and minimize your chances of getting sunburn.
  2. Alternate time in and out of the sun – Example 30 minutes in and 15 minutes out of the sun.
  3. Wear sunglasses – Sunglasses protect the eyes from the sun’s UV rays.
  4. Avoid being outside in the middle of the day– This is peak times for UV rays, so accommodate your schedule around this time of day.

Natural Skin Protection

Now, lets get down to the nitty gritty, here natural ways to protect your skin from UV damage and allow your body to safely absorb the UV rays that it needs for all of the amazing benefits I listed above. There are many to choose from, and I encourage you to give them a try and find which works best for you and your family. As far as the recommended foods go, everyone should be eating those regularly for reasons beyond skin protection, but I think that is a given. :)

Essential Oils

First let’s start with essential oils, since, as we all know, they are my passion. Helichrysum, arborvitae, and Sandalwood all help to provide natural skin protection. When applied the ear of a mouse, a therapeutic property of the oils called, B-thujaplicin,  decreased sunburn cell formation by 40% and inhibited UVB skin damage.

Soothing essential oils such as lavender and Roman Chamomile, are also great for skin repair after sun damage has occurred.

Avoid using citrus oils before sun exposure, as they can enhance photosensitivity.

Foods

Foods rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, and omega fatty acids are great to add to your diet for skin protection. These properties can typically be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. A few examples of great foods to eat that protect your skin are:

  • Green tea
  • Berries
  • Flax, hemp, chia seeds
  • Spirulina
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Orange/red fruits and vegetables

Of course there are many foods that fall into these categories. If you are eating a well-balanced, plant based diet, you can rest assured that you are getting these vital nutrients to help prevent sun damage.

Food oils also fall into this category as well. Oils such as, carrot seed oil, coconut oil, Vitamin E, sunflower seed oil, and even olive oil can provide skin protection.

DIY

If you still want something of substance to rub on the skin during lengthy exposures to the sun, I have great news for you. You can actually make your own sunscreen. Sounds crazy, right? Scratch Mommy has an amazing DIY Sunscreen Recipe, which is actually what I use on my children during long or peak sun exposure. It works beautifully and is very easy to make.

Safe Sunscreens

Not much of the DIYer but still want to lather up? No biggie! Luckily, there are a few safe/safer options on the market to buy. A few companies that have been deemed safe/safer by the Environmental Working Group and other credible sources are:

I can’t promise that they will be cheap, but they sure as heck beat the alternative.

Just remember to always check the active and inactive ingredients (if listed) before you buy. Not sure what to look for in the ingredients? Here are a few sunscreen ingredients that you will want to avoid.

What do you use to protect your skin from the sun?

The Ultimate Green Mom

7 Hidden Dangers of Sunscreen

 

7 Hidden Dangers of Sunscreen

It’s the middle of summer and most people have sun, sand, and swimming pools on their mind. Skin protection against long exposure to the sun’s UV rays is usually a close second on their mind. But wait! Before you grab that sunscreen off the drug store shelf, there are a few things that I want to share with you.

Just like most other conventional skin care products on the market today, sunscreens are filled with synthetic chemicals. These chemicals may pose a number of health concerns for us and even environmental concerns for our beautiful Earth.

Our skin is our largest organ with an abundance of pores absorbing and soaking everything in. Once our skin has absorbed said substance (sunscreen), it enters our blood stream and is taken on a wild and fun roller coast ride throughout our body, courtesy of our circulatory system. Buckle up!

After the circulatory roller coaster ride is over, the real trouble and mischief begins. These little culprit and co-conspirator chemicals have been charged with crimes against;

  • Endocrine system (hormone mimicking and disruption)
  • Reproductive system (toxicity)
  • Dermal (skin) irritation
  • Respiratory system (irritation)

As you can imagine, what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. Would you gulp down a Venti cup of toxic chemicals? Me either.

If you didn’t catch the Starbuck’s reference and lingo above, Venti means large in the sad world of Starbuck’s. Speaking of synthetic chemicals and junk going into your body, Starbuck’s creams and flavorings are full of it, but that’s a post for another day.

 

Hidden Dangers of Sunscreen

The dangers of store bought sunscreens, really comes down the harmful ingredients that they contain. These ingredients are typically synthetic and can accumulate to toxic levels in the body. A few of these ingredients and side effects are;

  1. Parabens – Perhaps you have already heard of these potentially carcinogenic bad boys? These are the culprit for quite a bit of controversy going on right now. Typically found in most conventional skin and beauty care products, parabens have been proven to cause hormone disruption, skin irritations, allergic reactions, and reproductive toxicity.
  2. Homosalate – An added ingredient to help the skin absorb the sunscreen, can accumulate to a toxic level causing hormone disruption.
  3. Oxybenzone – Works as a UV filter in sunscreens has been proven to play a role in hormone disruption, reproductive issues, and cause an allergic reaction on the skin.
  4. Octinoxate – Another common UV filter, causing hormone disruption, reproductive toxicity, and even eco-toxicity is of concern.
  5. Retinyl Pamlitate – A synthetic version of Vitamin A, this ingredient actually may induce the appearance of aging, skin legions, and tumors in the presence of sun.
  6. Fragrance – We know that synthetic fragrances aren’t great for our respiratory and endocrine system, not to mention, not too kind to the olfactory system (sense of smell).
  7. Spray-on sunscreens – The latest spray on screens sure do seem convenient, but have actually been linked to many respiratory irritations. For the sake of your family and the families around you, skip the spray-on’s.

 

Do Some Research

Thanks to the Environmental Working Group, we consumers have access to public, online access to the safety of each of these ingredients. I highly encourage you to look more into each ingredient, as well as ingredients of other products that you use so that you can base your sunscreen and personal care product decision off of risks vs. benefits.

They also offer annual sunscreen reports and resources, which have raised some alarming red flags in changes that need to be made in the sunscreen industry. Until then, you can plan on saying “au revoir” to your Aveeno and kiss your Coppertone goodbye.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying skip the sunscreen or skin protection altogether. Depending on where you live or what your skin type is, it may be an absolute necessity. The point is that we should make educated decisions as to how we protect our skin and our bodies and avoid any of these harmful (and typically unnecessary) chemicals in sunscreens on the store shelves.

There are many safe and natural ways to protect yourself against the sun (post coming soon). By using these alternative methods to sunscreen you can improve your health, protect yourself from the sun, and avoid toxic chemicals all at the same time. That sounds like a win-win-win to me!

The Ultimate Green Mom

Slim & Sassy Boot Camp

 

Slim & Sassy

I am so excited to offer you this amazing opportunity to be a part of the Slim & Sassy Boot Camp coming up! This Slim & Sassy Boot Camp has been in the works for a while, but I just couldn’t keep it a secret any longer. If you have been thinking about getting in shape and meeting your ultimate health goals, read on my friend. Consider this a formal invitation from me to you.

WHO?

You! Are you serious about getting in shape and staying healthy? It’s time to join other awesome and motivated ladies to lose weight and feel great with the Slim & Sassy Boot Camp.

WHAT?

The Slim & Sassy Boot Camp is a 60 day boot camp that focuses on creating a healthy lifestyle to help you lose weight and get in shape the natural way. Our goal is to help you look AND feel amazing!

With the Slim & Sassy Boot Camp you will have complete access to two months of;

  • Weekly (healthy) meal plans with grocery lists
  • Weekly exercise routines
  • Online support and community
  • Inspiration, motivation, and accountability
  • Fitness, nutrition, and health experts
  • Weekly giveaways
  • Grand prizes

In addition to the healthy meals and workout routines, we will be using doTERRA’s all natural Trim Shakes and the Slim & Sassy Metabolic Blend, which is an essential oil blend that work with the body to curb appetite, manage cravings, promote healthy metabolism, and keep you feeling full and energized. This doTERRA duo will be a powerhouse in helping you achieve your weight loss goals, and an absolute must-have for the Slim & Sassy Boot Camp.

WHEN?

This will be the first round of this new and exclusive boot camp starts, which makes you a VIP! It’s time to ditch the donuts and tie your tennis shoes because we are going to start revolutionizing your health on July 1st.

HOW?

This session of the Slim & Sassy Boot Camp is open to new doTERRA wholesale members.

One of the many perks of becoming a doTERRA wholesale member is that you will receive a free Slim & Sassy Boot Camp registration with the  purchase of the 1 Month Basic Package or the 2 Month + Premium Package. A few other doTERRA wholesale membership benefits include;

  • 25% off retail prices
  • No minimum orders
  • Easy online account access
  • Earn 10-30% back in free product points on all of your orders with the Loyalty Rewards Program
  • Earn 100% back in free product points on all shipping costs with the Loyalty Rewards Program

Slim & Sassy Boot Camp

1 Month Basic Package

  • doTERRA wholesale membership fee (25% discount for a year) – $35
  • 1 Trim Shake (Vanilla, Chocolate, or V-Shake) – $39.50
  • 1 15 mL bottle of Slim & Sassy (essential oil blend) – $24.50

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TOTAL                                                                                                                                                          $99

 

Slim & Sassy Boot Camp

{{{BEST DEAL}}} 2 Month + Premium Package

  • doTERRA wholesale membership fee (25% discount for a year) – $35
  • Slim & Sassy Trim Kit (2 Trim Shakes & four 15 mL bottles of Slim & Sassy) – $150

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TOTAL                                                                                                                                                          $185 ($27 SAVINGS)

After your doTERRA wholesale account is set up with the 1 month or 2 month package, you will receive an email with the registration form for the Slim & Sassy Boot Camp along with additional resources.

There is limited space available, be sure to order your Trim Shake and Slim & Sassy Metabolic Blend and register to reserve your spot today! See you at the start line!

 

Slim & Sassy Boot Camp Registration

 

Need more information? Join the informational webinar this Wednesday at 9:30 pm EST to learn more about the health journey and benefits of our upcoming Slim & Sassy Boot Camp. Register for the Slim & Sassy Boot Camp webinar here.

The Ultimate Green Mom