My son and I – Photo Credit: Bryan Saums
This past weekend I had the great pleasure of attending the largest climate change rally in the history of the US. Some are saying it ended up being one of the largest environmental rallies in history as well. It was a humbling experience to march on Washington and stand united with others who share my concern for the environment and my frustration that progress on climate change has been virtually nonexistent. It was a doubly wonderful experience because I was able to take my 12 year old son with me and share the experience and the activism with him.
When I heard about the Forward on Climate Rally that was taking place in DC I knew wanted to attend. It works very well with my New Year’s goals for this year to be more involved with philanthropic activities and personal activism. I have a tendency to use my words more than my actual voice. I blog about important issues to help educate others, I encourage letter writing and petition signing, and I encourage voting with our wallets. What I don’t typically do is use my actual voice to get the message out. Trying to impact change with my blog is great but I also want my kids to see me going out and taking action as well. This year I want to step away from the computer and do more in person, for myself, but also for my kids who really cannot see what I am doing behind the screen.
I want to set an example for my children and show them that we must do more than gripe and complain about the issues and problems we see, that we have to take action. I took my 12 year old with me, so he could experience the rally and learn from those that attended it. We had many great conversations and I think he learned something valuable that he couldn’t get from just hearing mom talk or seeing a news story. I hope that it sets the stage for his own activism and that as a group we also made it clear to our political leaders that support for cleaner, greener action and legislation is in fact there. Attending this rally accomplished that and so much more.
Me (left) and some other Ohio moms, including Jenny Linn Confer of MCAF – Photo Credit: Bryan Saums
My son enjoyed just about every aspect of the trip/rally, except perhaps the biting cold, but who did like that? He got to hear Rosario Dawson speak and she makes an appearance in a few of his favorite movies. I think that had to make an impression on him. Also amazing was the energy and enthusiasm of the 40,000+ people there. We met many great people, including the amazing folks we carpooled with and roomed with. They made the experience so much more and I look forward to teaming up with them again on other issues. Big sloppy kisses to the Sierra Club and Moms Clean Air Force who made this experience possible.
Another aspect of the rally that really stayed with me is just how diverse the people and interests were at this rally but how united everyone was. They all had different reasons for being there and different “hot” issues that they cared about… Tar sands, Keystone KL, coal, fracking, clean water, clean food, clean air, species protection, toxic environments for children, etc. There were also people there from a variety of states showing how the issues impact them personally. The large Ohio group for instance was very concerned about fracking. It is big issue for us here in the Buckeye state.
The energy was contagious. If we want to impress upon young kids that these are important issues and causes then we have to find a way to reach them. There were people of all ages there and getting to know them and learn about why they care so much ensures that you cannot help but care too. It was a great experience for my son and has spurred many deep questions about issues and politics. It was important for him to hear it from other people instead of just me. Sometimes I believe he thinks I am being overly dramatic. Now he knows just how many other people are concerned and that he should be too.
It is amazing how often we can let life’s little problems blind us to all the wonderful things we have. In general I am a pretty thankful and optimist in my thinking about life but I think everyone can be guilty of getting caught up in all the things that stress us and cause anxiety and we forget to relish in the all the things that are good and right. On the eve of Thanksgiving I write out my annual list of all the things I am most grateful for this year…
I am THANKFUL to be 6 years cancer free.
I am THANKFUL for my family. It was a rough year this last one, with illness in the extended family but things are looking up.
I am THANKFUL for my husband…15 years married and 20 years together as of 2013. I love him more than ever.
I am THANKFUL that our journey with autism is not the struggle it has been in years past.
I am THANKFUL for the paleo diet. It has shown me a way to thrive like nothing else I have experienced.
I am THANKFUL for CrossFit. It has changed my life and given me a something really fun to look forward to each morning.
I am THANKFUL for my online friends, eco warriors, and green sisterhood and for getting to meet so many of these wonderful ladies this year IRL.
I am THANKFUL I was able to travel several times this year and have so many great experiences with friends old and new.
I am THANKFUL that we have good jobs and we do not struggle financially.
I am THANKFUL that I mostly love what I do for a living.
I am THANKFUL for the readers of this blog. You really are wonderful.
Have a joyous Thanksgiving!!!
Credit for the gif goes to a hilarious Tumblr blog about paleo living.
Ecocentric Mom is a monthly product subscription service. I have reviewed a handful of these services on this blog and have always really liked the concept. It makes me feel like I am getting presents when every month something is delivered to my door with surprise goodies. Even though you are paying for it, it is still tons of fun. This particular box is designed to provide you with an array of earth friendly goodies for mom each month.
I got a box from Ecocentric Mom to review this month…their first month in service. Let’s dig in shall we?
Orgain Creamy Chocolate Fudge Nutritional Shake – This is a really interesting product. It is part protein shake and part veggie/fruit smoothie. It is designed to be a meal replacement shake or just a nutritional booster. I think it will make an awesome post workout refresher after CrossFit today. It has 24 vitamins and minerals and real fruits and veggies, all organic. The only thing I don’t care for is the fact that it is sweetened with brown rice syrup. As a paleo I probably will not continue buying.
Natural Vitality Natural Calm Organic Cherry Flavor - We love Natural Calm products so this was a welcome addition to the box. We are big fans of magnesium supplementation.
Tree Hugger Bubble Gum - My kids rarely get gum (see why here) so they were all over the two bags of gum in this box. It is naturally colored gumballs, gluten free, cane sugar, nut free, dairy free, kosher, and made with a sustainable chicle gum base. I had some myself and adored the cinnamon. Yum!
Laura Brooke Cosmetiques Guava Lip Glaze – Made with organic, natural ingredients. I will testing this out at BlogHer next week but so far I like it.
Vaska Scent Free Laundry Detergent - I have used Vaska before and liked it. I am sure I will feel the same this go round.
Naturally It’s Clean Floor Cleaner - I love the orange scent of this. I typically just use vinegar/water or maybe some Dr. Bronner’s so it is nice to use something new. Made with water, plant based enzymes, coconut oil surfactants, essential orange oil, and natural orange color.
Green Body Green Planet Shampoo and Conditioner – I got four little bottles. Two are the Energy blend (body and fullness) and two are the Revitalizing (cleanse and nourish) blend. Their formulas consist of 13 organic plant extracts and oils meant to nourish the hair and scalp. They are also sulphate free! I plan to take these to New York next week (BlogHer) and will replace the hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles with these.
Lastly the box came with a 100% natural cotton sport pack, coupons, and a brochure highlighting the products and giving out online coupon codes for many of them for anywhere from 10% to 40% off online purchase.
You can join Ecocentric Mom here for as little as $17 a month and free shipping.
Over the years that I have written here on this blog I have rarely reviewed makeup or skincare items. I have turned down opportunities to review products along these lines somewhere in triple digit amounts. The reason for this is simple…I rarely if ever wore makeup, creams, lotions, or other skin enhancement products. I didn’t want to devote the time to skincare products and makeup application and since the world of beauty ingredients is so confusing and potentially toxic it just seemed a better idea to opt out. If I could’t or wouldn’t USE the products it seemed hypocritical to review them.
My attitudes about makeup and skincare lotions and potions began to change recently though and I am sure it is no coincidence that I hit the big 3-5 this year. I am suddenly more concerned with aging and appearance and more apt to pick up some of these products and yet I am woefully uneducated on which ones are the safest and healthiest to buy. I am playing catch up big time.
For the past month or so I have been using some items from the Style Essentials line by Lisa D Liguori. She has spent many years doing extensive research in the field of healthy beauty care products and has been involved in the industry in some capacity for over 30 years. After being disappointed in the offerings in the industry, Lisa founded Style Essentials, an online boutique to offer a truly healthy alternative. I feel confident that what I have been using from her store is safe and healthy for my skin. They are also effective and luxurious. Even with my minimal makeup exposure in recent years I know enough to recognize high quality products.
Lisa was kind enough to send me some of her products to try free of charge but before she did that she asked a bunch of questions to ascertain what type of makeup and skincare would work best for me individually. Even with my vague and surely unhelpful answers she managed to send me items that knocked my socks off, each and every one of them.
Here is what I have been using:
Pure Bliss Eye Cream – This is a very rich and soothing cream meant to help with wrinkles, loss of elasticity, puffiness, hyper pigmentation and the reversal and prevention of free-radical damage. I LOVE how creamy it is and it feels so good to rub this around my eyes, which are the first place I have seen some signs of aging. I would not have picked up something like this on my own but now that I have tried it, I love it. I like to apply it before applying the makeup because I tend to have dark circles and this seems to help with that. I also put some on before bed. 79% organic ingredients.
Pink Mineral Complexion Bar – This is a cleansing bar and it is the creamiest and most luxurious bar I have ever used. Ever. It lathers immediately and feels like pure silk. My skin does not feel dry after using it at all, which was a concern. It just feels silky. Other members of the family (like my husband) keep trying to steal it away for their own use so I have to hide it. I am also a fan of the pink color! Made of French Clay, Glycerin, and Essential Oil of Camomile.
Peppermint Lippy – Speaking of super silky, creamy goodness…this lip balm is another winner in that regard. I have never used such a silky, creamy lip balm before. I absolutely adore it and now consider it to be my new fave. I like to wear it on its own and also on top of color from a lip liner/pencil (usually nude).
Matte Finish Powder – This is a mineral makeup finishing powder that is perfect for skin that leans towards oily. I first tried it without any sort of foundation and it looked very ghost-like and made my skin feel tight and dry. Not so flattering. Then I tried it as “finishing” powder (imagine that) over top of foundation and found I quite like it. It gives you a bit of air brushing and absorbs oil. The brush is also the perfect size for just a light smattering of the powder.
Champagne Ice Mineral Eye Shadow Powder – LOVE the color! I am all for nude and barely there color and this one meets that criteria. You can use it as eye shadow, brow highlighter, and as a shimmer for your cheeks. I am kind of anti-blush because I think I look clownish in it, so I really liked this product.
All of these products served as a great introduction to the line. I would also love to try some of their other offerings such as mineral foundation, eye pencils, mascara, lip pencils, and lip color which are the other things I would generally use on those special occasions that call for makeup. There have been many more of those moments this year with my resolution to have more fun, more frequent date nights, and a surge of business trips and events. I meant to pick up some more items before I leave for Detroit later this month but the time got away from me. I am for sure going to have to place an order before Blogher12. I love knowing that I don’t have to sacrifice my health to look a little better and feel a little more confident in my own skin and no woman should have to make that trade IMO. Style Essentials is definitely one of the good ones. A++