Five on Friday (Spark of Loves this Week)

It's Friday and that means another Five on Friday.  I've been on a little hiatus from the Five on Friday, but I'm back now and ready to tell you about all the fun things happening here on the west coast.  Here are the things that made my week, this week.

1.  These Halloween Finds:

Getting organized means finding things you forgot you had.  Could have used these at Halloween, but I just found them, so I will hold onto them and use them next year.  My goal for 2015 is for two simple things, get organized FINALLY, and get into shape.  Two simple goals should be easy to achieve.  *fingers crossed*

2.  This Karate Kid:


Skylar has been getting jiggy with it in karate class.  He is currently a purple belt, but moving on up in the colors to become a black belt.  I am so proud of him!

3.  Wrapping these Gifts:
It seems that Christmas doesn't end with my family until well after February.  That stands true for me, when it comes to mailing gifts to family and friends from Oregon to Arkansas.  I always say, it's great because it extends Christmas for everyone.  Funny enough, I will be mailing my parents their gift packages today.  

4.  This old Photo:

My Aunt Paula that lives in Oklahoma shared this old picture with my sister and me.  I love it so much!  I am the one that's second from the right.  My sister is on the far left.  My mom always dressed us in matching dresses for family gatherings and Easter.  
From left to right, Kendra (my sister), Kellie (my cousin), Kevin (my cousin), Sara (my cousin), Me, Chance (my cousin).

5.  This red Car: 

This Convertible Car is up for sale from us.  We have had it since Skylar was three, but it's just taking up space now.  If you're in the Willamette Valley, Oregon area, let us know if you can give this cute, fun car a new home.  Here's the listing on Craig's List with all the deets

One last thing.  I wanted to take this week and brag about one accomplishment I am very proud of.  I made the very last payment on my student loan recently and couldn't be more happy to be done with that payment.  After $58,000, I can officially say that I am student-loan debt-free.  Whoopee!

You can join this Five on Friday linkup by visiting Christina at Carolina Charm here!

The Honest Company

When my son was born I picked up on the Burt's Bees buzz and used it religiously.  I used every thing they offered from the diaper cream, to the Avocado Hair Repair.  Of course, since that time, Burt's Bees has changed dramatically.  Burt Shavez only owns a portion of the company now, and Roxanne Quimby sold her portion of the company to Clorox.  The day I read on their blog what was happening with the company of Burt's Bees, I literally broke down and cried.  I thought, "What is going to happen to my favorite products?  What will I be able to use on my son without making him sick?  What am I going to do?"

The Honest Company Essentials Trial Box

The Honest Company cleaners and toothpaste, along with Jessica Alba's book The Honest Life.

For people that don't have a go-to product that they use, this may seem a bit extreme.  For people that do have that all-time favorite and have used that product for over seven years, news of your favorite company discontinuing an item, or no longer carrying what you use, is heartbreaking.  With the overhaul of Burt's Bees, doesn't mean I love them any less, I just don't see them the same way I did when my son was little.

Over the period of 11 years, the age of my son, I've been on the hunt for a company similar to what I once loved in Burt's Bees.  After much research, I came across Honest Essentials Trial.

The Honest Company is owned by Jessica Alba, and I've always been a big fan of hers.  I read about this company for months before actually taking the leap and trying their products.  I backed up what they stood for, and backed up what they offered, and wanted to give to the consumer.  I love every product this company has, and I actually use the products that are pictured with this blog post.  The floor cleaner, the multi-surface cleaner, the laundry soap, the glass and window cleaner, and the list goes on and on for my favorites in the cleaning category.  One thing this company offers that Burt's Bees never did, was a selection of products that could actually get your home clean without irritants. Of course, Burt's Bees is more of a body products and baby-care company.

The Honest Company ships their products by way of what they call "Bundles."  You can get the "Honest Essentials Trial" similar to the one pictured below.

Honest Diaper Trial:  Comes with Diapers, Lotion, Body Wash and Shampoo, Healing Balm, Hand Soap, Surface Cleaner, and Wipes.

The Honest Company Laundry Soap and air + fabric freshners.

The Honest Company Dish Soap and Multi-Surface Cleaner.

Concentrated Cleaner refill to save on packaging cost and waste.

Give The Honest Company a try with no obligation.  You can start your free trial today with the Honest Essentials Trial, Honest Health & Wellness Trial, or the Honest Diaper Trial

Give their Snowflake Pizza a try while you're shopping on the Honest site!

Use the link below to start your free trial:

*This post is sponsored by The Honest Company*

The Dirty Dozen (Guest Post from Garrick Dee)

The Dirty Dozen (Plus Clean Fifteen) Infographic

When it comes to buying produce, I often shy away from organic because these items are expensive (it can be twice as expensive) and add a lot to my credit card bill every month. But after reading the article about the dirty dozen from the Huffington post and Health Trekker, it somehow changed my views because of the risks pesticides causes to our health.
So I did some research and came up with this infographic to guide you when to go organic or conventional. Also I have bonus tips at the end of the infographic on where you can buy affordable organic produce in your area and much more, so make sure to scroll all the way down.

Dirty Dozen Infographic
There is a lot of debate about the negative effects of pesticide, critics of the dirty dozen say that these effects are minimal and should not be taken too seriously but as I dug deeper in my research I found some startling facts that should not be ignored, particularly if you’re an expecting mother.
Over a billion pounds of pesticide is used every year in the United States along and most of these have one common ingredient – organophosphates. According to an article by Dr. Mercola, exposure to this chemical has been linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, even with minimal exposure because it all adds up.
Direct exposure to organophosphates has a terrible effect on pregnant women and their unborn babies. In a CHAMACOS study done, they followed pregnant women who live in Salinas Valley – a large agricultural land where half a million pounds of organophosphates sprayed every year. They found out that women experienced shorter pregnancies and their children suffered poor neonatal reflexes, lower IQ, shorter attention spans and poor cognitive function.
Pesticides are also known to be carcinogenic which can lead to diseases like cancer. Ever wonder why more and more people suffer from cancer every year? It’s because of the environment we live in – we are bombarded with pesticides from the air we breathe to the food we eat, if we can minimize our exposure to these chemicals, the better our chances of avoiding cancer.
The dirty dozen list helps us by ranking the foods with the most and least amount of pesticide residue on it. This serves as a guide for us shoppers on which foods to buy organic and which ones we can get away with buying conventional.
If you think buying organic is expensive, I’ve listed 5 tips on the infographic that’ll help you find affordable organic produce. By the way, if you’re looking for more tips head over to Foodbabe’s site where she has a monster list of 75 ways on how to go organic on a budget. Another great resource on money saving shopping tips is Bankrate where they list down 17 tips on buying organic on the cheap.
If you’re into eating raw foods or juicing you’d have to be more careful because pesticides with go into your system at full strength in the absence of heat from cooking. As always, right produce selection is paramount and don’t forget wash it well even if it’s organic.
Spreading the word!
Finally, please spread the word about the dirty dozen and clean fifteen so more people are educated when it comes to knowing which produce has most pesticide content so that they can make an informed decision whether to go organic or not.
For more information about this, check out these sources:
If you'd like to know more about Garrick Dee, visit his site at Juicing with G.