Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Laundry Closet Make-over!


DISCLAIMER: the pictures in this post are not the best, in fact they are prompting me to upgrade to a "real" camera...very,very soon!

Am I the only one who had a laundry closet that looked like this? ALWAYS???

It drove me crazy! 
So I did what any "in" sane person would do, I demolished it! 
Okay, really I started the project then begged my hubby to "help"
Which thankfully he did, willingly. 
I guess it bothered him too.

I hated those wire type shelves, everything would tilt, spill or fall through. 
We decided on a pre-fab cabinet that just needed to be hung. Simple, right?
Hmm, that thing was heavy! 
Then we tried a cheaper version of open shelves (on the left) and it was way to flimsy, it had to go.
We decided on a crisp, clean but warm shade of blue, "BLUE SKYLIGHT" by VALSPAR.

As we pondered what type of open shelves to install, 
the new fancy-smancy washer & dryer were delivered.

Everyone was super excited to watch the laundry go round, 
and round, and round....you get the point.
We had declined those cool storage towers that go below the washer/dryer mainly because we figured a countertop where we could fold laundry would be more beneficial.

After much consideration (and lack of time), 
I gave my buddy, handy man extraordinaire a call, JEFF.....HELP!!!
He installed custom open shelves, another smaller cabinet below the one we installed and even designed a custom counter top. This countertop is so pretty! 
Jeff designed it on hinges for easy access to the appliances. 
He also made sure to include an access door to the hot/cold water spouts.


Then my creative, super intelligent (and ultra sexy....just incase the hubby reads this) husband, suggested build in shelving on the doors. 
"JEFF"...HELP???
Which he did once again. We really appreciate Jeff :-)
Jeff matched it to the counter top he built.

He installed hooks to hang things from such as the duster and one of those long reach grabby things (works great for replacing recessed lights)
Here is a close up of what I have on the shelves on the left side of the closet doors.
So neat & CLEAN!


Here is the right side of the closet. This side could only accommodate 1 shelf as I really wanted a place to hang my broom. The only problem is that my mop had to of into another closet, it was to bulky. It is one of those refillable libman mops that the cloth head can be washed and replaced. It has been great, very economical. Especially since I can fill it with the ultra frugal Basic H or for those nasty germs Basic G.

This is the mop we use! 

This is a view of the inside left. We really needed a place to hang items to dry such as items to by ironed or those hockey jerseys that cost more than 1 month of my car payment...sorry that was a little bit of grunting.

Did I mention that Jeff installed a light and switch? We seriously needed more light in there. He also installed closet doors. Before we had those bi-folding doors that seemed to jump off the the track all the time.
Now this so clean & functional, I love it.
Now to get Jeff to redo the rest of the house???? 



I wanted to hang something inspirational..what better to see & read when getting ready to tackle dirty laundry?

"Today is Going To Be A Great Day!"




What is the best feature of your laundry area? 
Do you have a full room dedicated to laundry?
Do you have a small laundry space?

Have a great day!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Breakfast has been served!



There is no denying it, I MISS breakfast...I mean the stacks of pancakes, links of sausage & strips of bacon dripping in syrup!! 
Okay now let's get back to reality, all that is part of what got my weight up to 298llbs and kept me there. It was the reality that my body could no longer handle the excess weight and my organs were starting to fail that prompted me to GET REAL!

So, here I am keeping steady at about 185lbs (that's a loss of over 100lbs!!). 

Although the two weightloss surgeries I had helped me lose weight, 
I also gained it back and became extremely unhealthy in the process. 

it wasn't until I was told I would have about 10-15 years before my organs would fail, that I decided right there and then that I would be the ONE responsible for my heath. I would no longer depend of medicine, doctors or any further surgeries to FIX my problem.

I started changing my diet. No more white sugar, processed foods, artificial dyes or sweeteners. 
We also rid the house of 99% gluten. 
I can thank my oldest son for this change, he has ADHD/Aspergers. Research told to me that eliminating these few things would help him become drug/medicine free & it DID!

I knew I needed to do something different to expect a different outcome
but I did not know what to do & neither did the Doctors. 

Today, I am the healthiest I think I have ever been in my 36 years of life.

I know my determination is the why I did not give up, 
however I know it was the products and the philosophy I learned from 
SHAKLEE that helped me on this road. 
For this I am forever thankful SHAKLEE is part of my life.

Today I am sharing my version of a SWAP-OUT for pancakes.
I hope you try them as a healthy alternative for those gluten, sugary pancakes we have grown up on.

Super Simple Banana Pancakes

1 banana (smashed)
2 eggs
2 TBSP Almond Flour
*Almond meal works great too
1/4 cup Shaklee Protein Powder
*I used vanilla flavor
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
1. Mix ingredients together
2. cook on hot, greased griddle (flat pan)
*I used coconut oil to grease the pan

Add-ins
- mini chocolate chips
- blueberries
-strawberry pieces
-pecans (chopped small)
-walnuts (chopped small)

*In our house we mix agave nectar & maple line (maple extract) to make our version of maple syrup. Agave can be found at most food stores and even BJ'S!



Try these & let me know what you think,







Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Arm-Pit Danger?


Dangerous Chemicals in 
Deodorant & Antiperspirant: 
A Detailed Review of the Chemicals, Research & Avoidance Tips

Aluminum
Aluminum-based compounds are the active ingredients in antiperspirants. 
They block the sweat glands to keep sweat from getting to the skin’s surface. 
*It is our natural defense against over heating and releasing chemicals within the body when we sweat, blocking this natural defense may not be the best thing for our bodies!
Some research has suggested that these aluminum compounds may be absorbed by the skin and cause changes in estrogen receptors of breast cells. Because estrogen can promote the growth of both cancer and non-cancer breast cells, some scientists have suggested that using the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may be a risk factor for the development of breast cancer.
Parabens
Parabens in their many forms (methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, or butylparaben) are a class of artificial preservatives widely used in cosmetics and personal care products that are being investigated for their possible role in breast cancer. Parabens mimic the activity of estrogen in the body. Since estrogen promotes the growth of breast cancer cells and a woman is eight times more likely to develop breast cancer in the part of the breast closest to the underarm, scientists are studying the connection.
Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol—a humectant which means it keeps substances from drying out, and it was originally developed as an anti-freeze, but is now included in some deodorants and antiperspirants. It is a neurotoxin known to cause contact dermatitis, kidney damage, and liver damage. In propylene glycol’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), published by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, workers are urged to avoid skin contact with the toxic chemical as it may cause eye and skin irritation, gastrointestinal irritation and discomfort, nausea, headache, vomiting, and central nervous depression.
TEA & DEA
TEA and DEA (triethanolamine and diethanolamine) adjust the pH, and used with many fatty acids to convert acid to salt (stearate), which then becomes the base for a cleanser. They both could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time where DEA can cause liver and kidney damage and TEA can cause allergic reactions. 
*These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effects.
Triclosan
Triclosan is an artificial antimicrobial chemical used to kill bacteria on the skin and other surfaces. Triclosan is a skin irritant and may cause contact dermatitis. 
Recent studies suggest this chemical may disrupt thyroid function and other critical hormone systems. 

*The American Medical Association recommends that triclosan and other “antibacterial” products not be used in the home, as they may encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics that can allow resistant strains to flourish.
FD&C colors
FD&C colors are artificial/synthetic colors approved by the FDA for food, drug and cosmetics. Some are made from coal tar derivatives and have known to be carcinogenic; they also often cause allergic skin reactions.
Talc
Talc, hydrous magnesium silicate, is a soft mineral used in personal care products as an absorbent and color additive. It is classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer if it contains asbestiform fibers. 
*The quantity of asbestiform fibers in cosmetic grade talc is unregulated. 

*If talc is listed on the label, there is no way of knowing whether or not it contains asbestiform fibers.


What studies show:
Published in 2003 in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, interviewed 437 women with breast cancer about their past and present use of deodorants. The study reported that women who applied deodorant at least twice a week and shaved their armpits at least three times a week developed breast cancer almost 15 years younger than women who did neither. Neither shaving nor applying a deodorant alone was linked with a younger age of diagnosis of the disease. The study’s methodology has been criticized by industry researchers as it did not interview non-breast cancer deodorant users or account for the age of the women being interviewed.
The World Health Organization has linked exposure to aluminum to Alzheimer’s disease, with higher frequencies of deodorant use corresponding to higher risks of developing Alzheimer’s. Abnormal accumulation of aluminum has been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and when aluminum is injected into the brains of laboratory animals, the animals develop a neurological disease similar to Alzheimer’s.
Another study published in 2004 in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, looked at the synthetic chemicals, parabens. The researchers looked at 20 human breast tumor samples and found that parabens were present in 18 of them. They concluded that these results suggested that parabens in deodorants could be absorbed through the skin and increase the risk of breast cancer. Again, many experts have raised concerns about the conclusions of this study. For example, the study was very small, it did not look at the level of parabens in breast tissue of women without breast cancer, nor did it establish that the parabens actually came from deodorants or that they were absorbed through the armpits.
At the moment, all the study has shown is that the body can absorb parabens and that these chemicals are found in some breast cancer tissue. It does not show that parabens can increase the risk of or cause breast cancer.

The main conflicting research results from a epidemiologic study published in 2002 that compared 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women without the disease. The researchers found no link between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, deodorant use, or underarm shaving.


Tips to Avoid Harmful Chemicals: Go Green
If your goal is to avoid all suspicion of harmful chemicals, than using traditional deodorant or antiperspirant will make that very difficult. The easiest way to keep your body safe and healthy is to avoid entirely all chemical laden deodorants and antiperspirants, and begin using natural deodorants.

SHAKLEE ESSENTIALS ANTIPERSPIRANT CREAM



DESERT WIND® ROLL-ON ANTIPERSPIRANT


With so many “organic” or “green” products on the market it can be a difficult task to choose wisely. 
We chose to partner with Shaklee mainly because they have a 100 year record of honesty & integrity. 

Shaklee was GREEN before being GREEN was COOL
Shaklee has been producing quality products for so long, that many independent studies seek out Shaklee to be a part of the studies, including UC Berkley & Harvard school of medicine.

Here are a few other facts about who really believes in our products and mission:
NASA has so much confidence in the products that Shaklee was asked to design a hydration drink upon reentry into the atmosphere, ASTROAIDE, today we know it as PERFORMANCE.
Trusted by many Olympian athletes to fuel their bodies for optimal performance without enhancing drugs or traces of drugs.
Oprah & Dr. Oz & Rachel Ray to name a few have gone on national TV to support the products and the mission behind the company......A Healthier Life for Everyone and a Better Life for Anyone

Maybe you’re looking for a way to get healthier. Or a way to make a healthier income. Maybe you’d like both. Maybe there are things that matter more to you than money.
We get it. Life can be better. You can live healthier, you can make a healthier income, and you can do it by making people and the planet healthier too.
So, before you roll on or par on that deodorant, do you think the company who made that product has the same philosophy as SHAKLEE? 
Do you believe they have your best interest in mind when they designed and manufactured that product?

Have a great day!

~Stacey

Monday, July 15, 2013

Give Away!!



Giveaway


This week I am giving away the BEST ever all purpose, cleaning product ever! Ok, ok I am being just a bit biased, but seriously, I clean way too much (kids) to tell you a fable.

Since I want all my Mommy's out there to give this a try, I decided to offer a giveaway of our famous Basic H, household cleaner. This stuff literally has 1,000 uses, too many to list here. The giveaway is for Shaklee's Basic H all purpose household cleaner, but I wanted to show you what I use, daily in my home.



How I Clean 

The way I clean and sanitize my home and Childcare setting is not like the average person.
(oh, yeah have I mentioned that I also run a home based licensed daycare?) 
I have 3 main cleaners in my home, yes 3 that is it! Okay and the liquid dish detergent & the powder for the dish washer.


From left to right: All-Purpose Cleaner, Degreaser, Window/Glass Cleaner, Liquid Dish & Powder (dish washer)
order HERE 

The 3 spray bottles are made using the same concentrated super cleaner, Shaklee's Basic H.


Here are the measurements:
All-Purpose is 1/4 tsp to 16 oz water 
COST: 21cents
Degreaser is 1 1/2 tsp Basic H to 16 oz water
COST: 25cents
Window/Glass is 1 to 2 drops (yes rips, anymore it will streak!) to 16 oz water
COST: LESS THAN 1cent

I use the all-purpose on everything, except windows and mirrors for those I use the window/mirror cleaner. I find that the degreaser is best for the really tough spots like maybe the microwave if someone (not mentioning any names) heats up spaghetti without covering it and it explodes and that someone says nothing and it is not cleaned for many days.
(I know the suspense is killing you, its the older child who can now reach the microwave, THX Aiden!)

Cleaning Dishes:
I use a very small amount of the liquid dish detergent to clean an entire sink of dishes.
Let's be truthful, me washing dishes by hand doesn't happen all the time, in fact I use my dish washer a minimum of once daily. With all the zippy cups & bottles in this house, you can't blame me. Shaklee recommends using 2 TBSP of the automatic dish powder per load. Well, if you know me by know, I'm not the best at following "rules", so I experimented and used only 1 TBSP per load and my dishes come out clean and sparkly! 


Shaklee's Basic G and the course spray Bottle

The next in line of my Favorites is the Shaklee basic G disinfectant. This stuff is amazing. It kills almost twice as much pathogens as Clorox bleach!  
My state requires licensed child care facilities to use Clorox Bleach or another EPA registered and Department of Education approved product. I wish they would go a step further and add non-toxic. I will need to go further into this topic in a blog all on it's own (in the near future!).
This can be used where ever bleach can be used and beyond. I use this on my floors, carpets, dog beed, sheets, clothes, table tops, toiling area, diaper changing area, trash cans, sinks......you get the picture. I have never had this product stain (or bleach) my clothes, carpet or furniture. The best thing about this product is that once it is diluted into the spray bottle it is no longer considered toxic. Because it is highly concentrated (to save the consumer money on packaging), the concentrated form should be considered toxic, but the diluted form is not, it is safe to use, be around and will not pollute the water (like bleach). 
I have had many daycare homes & centers convert to the Basic G as a bleach alternative and they love it!

The mot cost effective way to convert your home or childcare to NON-TOXIC is to purchase the Get Clean Kit and purchase the Basic G and the course spray Bottle




This is what you need to do to enter this drawing, leave a comment about your current favorite all purpose cleaning product, why you love it so much & why you would like to swap it out for a non-toxic cleaning product like basic H. 

Plus when you follow me on any of the below listed links you get an extra drawing!
Follow me on:
Pinterest




I will close out this giveaway on Monday December 9th!
GOOD LUCK!

~Stacey

Monday, July 8, 2013

Men?





I often get asked if Shaklee is for men too?
YES!
In fact, many of the top Shaklee athletes are men.

I'll go on to further say that many of the top business leaders in Shaklee are men as well.
(This does not mean us women aren't great too! LoL)

The mountain biker pictured above is my husband, he is breaking out into competitive biking...and guess what he is almost 40! 
He is running circles around bikers half his age. I am so proud of him. I am so happy he is living out a dream and accomplishing a goal he has had for a long time. 
I'm even happier that Shaklee has been there to help him achieve his goal.

My Hubby uses Shaklee 180 products daily.
His favorite is what my family calls a "Monkey Shake". This is chocolate protein, banana and peanut butter. 
He blends it all in the vitamix blender with a ton of ice, sometimes it looks and tastes like ice cream! 
(my boys really love that!)

The other product he takes daily is Vitalizer for men.


This product was part of a 20 year long landmark study that proved Shaklee users were healthier after those 20 years than non vitamin users or synthetic vitamin users. Shockingly enough, the non vitamin users were better off than the folks who consumes synthetic vitamins. 
AIN'T THAT A KICK IN THE PANTS? 
Those poor folks thought they were doing good by taking vitamins and they actually were hurting themselves. 
NOT ALL VITAMINS ARE CREATED EQUAL!

The other products that my Hubby loves are is from the Sports Nutrition Line.


These are the products many Gold winning athletes use & trust and for good reason. With all the quality tests Shaklee does and guarantees the safety of every product. The Athletes are confident they will put in the best and get out the best of every product they use from Shaklee.

My Hubby loves the energy chews.
He takes then before he workout. 
He also uses them while he is on duty when he is feeling tired due to shift work.  
Did I mention he is a Police Officer? And a Bike Cop too. 
Yes, we lead a crazy life, but it's our life :-)

The Performance pure hydration drink works better than any sport type drink or water alone. 
I swear he drinks gallons of it during the hot months. 
He is probably the #1 customer of Performance!!

After a hefty workout, to repair his muscles and keep from being sore, he will make a protein shake using Physique. Although he consumes the 180 smoothees regularly, it is a good change to introduce the Physique formula once in a while too.


Well, there you have it! Is Shaklee for Men? What do you think?




Friday, July 5, 2013

Swap it Out! Peanut Butter Cheese Cake




Brownie Crust
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup xylitol
1/4 teaspoon stevia
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons cacao 
1/4 cup + 3 Tablespoons of almond flour
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Liberally grease a 9″ springform pan with butter or coconut oil.
  3. Mix all of the above ingredients together until well-blended.
  4. Pour the batter into the springform pan, being sure to spread evenly.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is set up. Let cool.
  6. After you take the crust out of the oven preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Cheesecake
1 pound cream cheese (2 blocks) at room temperature.
1 cup peanut butter
3 Tablespoons sour cream
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup xylitol
1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Cut your room temperature cream cheese into 1″ cubes and beat for approximately 1 minute. Scrape the sides of your bowl with a rubber spatula. ( I used me kitchen aid mixer)
  3. Add 2 eggs and beat for 1 minute. Scrape your bowl again.
  4. Add 1 egg and 1 egg yolk and beat for 1 minute. Scrape your bowl well.
  5. Add peanut butter and cream cheese. Beat for one minute and then scrape your bowl.
  6. Add the xylitol, stevia, vanilla, and salt. Beat for at least 1 minute, scrape your bowl being sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  7. Pour your cheesecake batter into your springform pan.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees. (Do not open the door to check on the cheesecake!)
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  11. After you remove the cheesecake from the oven, run a knife between the cake and the pan.



                        *Be sure to cover your cheesecake tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 
We pretty much ate it as it was cooling...what can I say we are impatient folks!

I am a huge fan of a delicious, New York style cheesecake, thick, cracked on top, super creamy...you get the picture, right? I must say that after it was in the fridge for a bit, it resembled a New York style cheesecake :-)


You could top this with fresh berries or whip cream. 
We opted to eat it just plain...like I said we are impatient folks. 




It did not last very long, the Hubby & kids devoured it!


Try this out & let me know what you think.