Here are the ingredients in Secret:
Active Ingredients:Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Gly 20% (Anhydrous).Inactive Ingredients:Cyclopentasiloxane; Mineral Oil; Polyethylene; Quaternium-18 Hectorite; Propylene Carbonate; Fragrance; Dipropylene Glycol.
Do you know what toxin Alzheimers patients have very high levels of when tested? You guessed it, aluminum.
The girls were so cute. They tried to carry the tree, but it was just too big for them.
I was so excited when Santa showed up. I really wanted them to sit on his lap, but they were not having it. I was really bummed because I wanted a picture. Santa was way cool. He said, "Go sit on the swing and I will come around behind you and you can take a picture". So that's what we did. Thanks Santa. We had a great time and I can't wait to do it again next year. A new family tradition has begun.
Maiya, Brooklyn, Sydney Kate, and Sammie. They love their cousins and they loved this turkey.
One big happy Darin family. We look a little worse for wear. We literally crawl out of bed, put sweats on and head out the door. We're lucky if teeth are brushed and hair is combed.
The original price is $29.95, but if you buy 1 item, it's $19.99. I bought a .99 cent card. Brian and I recorded it last week after the kids went to bed. We each took a different page and Brian did all the parts that needed a Santa voice. This is such a great idea. They even made it child proof as you will see in the video. Brooklyn hit the record button and it didn't erase. This is a great keepsake and I highly recommend getting one. This is also perfect for grandparents to give their grandchildren so they always have their voices around. Here is a video of the girls getting and reading their book.
We found out today that this room goes for $8000 a person for a 7 day cruise to the Virgin Islands. Needless to say we will never step foot on this ship again, so we're trying to take it all in.
This is the waiting area before boarding. We got to board about 2 hours early which was nice.
We were in a junior suite so we got to hang in comfy chairs while we waited. (Kathy and Duane Ward on the right and Tyler and AnaLee Ward on the left)
The party at night in the middle of the cruise. They were doing the YMCA dance.
This is the carousel that was handcrafted out of wood. It was simply beautiful. The girls would have loved it.
Brian talked me into doing the zip line. I do not like heights, but he told me to do it for the girls. To show them that their mommy can overcome her fears. So I did this for you B and Syd. It actually was pretty fun. We were 8 stories up and I looked straight ahead the whole time.
I was blessed to grow up with 3 amazing sisters. My mom had 4 girls in 5 years. I'm not sure how she did it to be honest with you. I know what it's like to have two girls 19 months apart and that's hard enough, I can't imagine 4 under the age of 5. Let's not forget about my poor dad who was surrounded by women. He got his little boys when we all decided to be jocks and play sports. We grew up playing soccer and softball in Southern California. I loved my life as a child. We had so much fun. My parents taught us to love and fear the Lord. They celebrated their 40th anniversary this past August. I am blessed to have them as parents and they are wonderful grandparents to our girls. My sisters were and are my best friends. It was so nice to have your friends constantly with you. Little did I know when we grew up we would sing together. For those of you that don't know me personally, I traveled with my sisters as Christian Recording Artists from 1999-2005. We traveled all over the country together and had a blast. We were blessed to record 2 albums and get to minister to so many all over the country. It was truly a family affair. Dad drove our motorhome, mom ran our merch table and Stacy's husband Bill ran our sound. I knew since I was in high school that I wanted to be a singer. So when it actually happened, it was a dream come true. The other artists we met and the people we came in contact with at the churches are embedded in my mind and heart. The best part about it was being on stage with my sisters. Lifelong memories I will never forget. There are days that I miss being on stage and getting to minister to people who are truly hurting. It was rewarding and humbling to know that our songs made a difference in peoples lives. I am thankful that God used me, used us, the way He did. Back in October we flew home to California to sing for our high school to raise money for their new performing arts center. It was so great to relive old times with my sisters once again. While we were out there we stopped at Costco to get gas and we were listening to The Fish in L.A. and on came "Can't Stop". We acted like it was the first time we had heard our song on the radio. It never gets old and I want to thank The Fish for continuing to play our music after all these years. Y'all rock!
My youngest sister Heather got married Nov. 7th. It was a fun time of the family coming together to celebrate their union. Brooklyn and Sydney were flower girls, along with Stacy's girls, Maiya and Sammie. They did a great job walking down the aisle and dropping the petals on the floor. Once they got down the aisle, everything changed. Sydney decided to lay down at the end of the aisle because it was 2:00 and past her naptime. Daddy had to take her out when she started to cry. I had to try to keep Brooklyn still while I was on stage. That is not easy in 4 inch heals and a short strapless dress during a 45 min ceremony. Thank God Heather and Phillip had their backs to us and didn't see the chaos that was happening. The rest of the church did though. A little embarrassing, but there was not much else I could do since I was a bridesmaid. I'm sure the video will be quite a sight to see.
It was a wonderful day and I am so happy for my sister as she starts her new life with her husband. I wish them all the best and many, many children. :)
Left to Right: My sister Stacy, not related by blood, but a sister nonetheless, Jamie, my sister the bride, Heather, my sister Rachelle and me. I had to be hidden because this was after the reception and I had already changed clothes back into to jeans and a tank top.
I love this picture of Brooklyn because it truly captures her personality. She loves life and loves being outdoors with the bugs and the acorns.
Sydney had more interest in playing with the sticks than picking up acorns. Not surprising.
I've posted a very short video on how easy it is to operate. http://www.ehow.com/video_2260499_jump-start-car-jump-box.html
Brooklyn loves chocolate milk. In our house we've switched from cow's milk to Almond milk for reasons I will share in another blog. One day I decided to look at the ingredients on the back of the chocolate syrup bottle and what I saw was not surprising really. The first two ingredients were High Fructose Corn Syrup and then corn syrup. There are a bunch of ingredients that follow and then end with artificial flavors.
I feel so much better giving Brooklyn chocolate milk than I did before the switch. I've tasted it myself and it's delicious. I also use it in the protein shakes that I make. The cost is more expensive. I'm not gonna lie. The Hershey's syrup is $1.89 at Walmart and this syrup is if I recall $5.99. To me it's worth it. I've decided I would rather pay more for great quality and good for you food, than put junk in my body that costs less. That's just me. The way I look at it we only get one body and what we put in it now affects our lives now and later down the road. I am so not perfect in this area believe me. I fall and stumble just like anyone so please don't think I have it all together. I just want to do the best for my family as I know you do, too. I want to challenge you to look in your pantry or fridge this week and find 1 item that you can make a switch to a healthier one. I'd love to hear what you come up with so leave a comment so I can learn something from you.
I have never needed an excuse to love fall. It's my favorite time of the year, especially living in Tennessee. The colors you see are just so amazingly beautiful. Now every time I walk out my front door and see these 2 trees I can think of my little Zoe. Oh how I miss you everyday.
Now off to do some projects around the house that need to be done. Happy organizing.
Detergent manufacturers are not required by law to list the ingredients on their bottles, nor will you find them on their website due to secrets in the way they are formulated. Here is what I have found doing some research as to what is likely in your deteregent.
Alkyl benzene sulfonates or ABS (also linear alkyl benzene sulfonates or LAS, linear alkyl sodium sulfonates).
Alkyl phenoxy polyethoxy ethanols (also nonyl phenoxy ethoxylate or nonyl phenol).
This is a general name for a group of synthetic surfactants. They are slow to biodegrade in the environment and have been implicated in chronic health problems. Researchers in England have found that in trace amounts they activate estrogen receptors in cells, which in turn alters the activity of certain genes. For example, in experiments they have been found to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells and feminize male fish. One member of this family of chemicals is used as a common spermicide, indicating the general level of high biological toxicity associated with these compounds.
Diethanolamines (also diethanolamine, triethanolamine and monoethanolamine).
Petroleum distillates (also naphthas).
Polyethylene glycol (also PEG).
An alkyl ammonium chloride used as a surfactant, disinfectant and deodorant that releases formaldehyde, a potent toxin.
Xylene is a synthetic that, when reacted with sulfuric acid, creates a surfactant. Slow to biodegrade in the environment and moderately toxic.
Here are the ingredients listed on the back of the bottle. They don't hide anything.
100% natural anionic coconut kernel oil-based surfactant, horsetail plant, lavendar, soy fabric softener, essential oils of magnolia and lily, purified water.
It's amazing how long I have used detergent and never bothered to find out what was actually in it until recently. You can also try making your own detergent. My sister-in-law makes hers to save money. (They have 7 year old twins and triplets due in April) She says it works great. Here is the recipe:
1/2 c. Borax, 1/2 c. washing soda and 1 bar Fels Naptha soap shredded.
Then add 1 TBS to the wash.
Here's to clean clothes, a healthier environment and a pocket full of savings.
This made me really think about what I am doing to make sure that my family and I are protected. As you know I didn't get the girls or myself the flu vaccine so I have to do the best job I can to help protect us from this nasty bug. I have definitely stepped up the hand washing that's for sure. I read that germs can get stuck under your fingernails even if you keep them short. So that prompted me to find nail brushes for every sink in my house. So that's my tip of the day. This is a cheap and easy one and I encourage you all to try this at home and with your kids. I bought my brushes from Dollar General for $1 each. They were the cheapest that I found and I liked these the best because they are small and easy to use.
Happy brushing and good health.
The switcheroo for today is my dishwasher detergent. A couple of weeks ago I poured some water into a glass that had recently come out of the dishwasher. As I drank it I tasted the Cascade detergent that I use. I asked Brian to drink some water to see if he could taste it and he could. It was pretty strong. So that got me thinking about what I was actually consuming from my so called "clean dishes". I decided to try an experiment and make my own homemade dishwashing liquid. Would it really work? All of the ingredients but one, I had in my pantry. The one thing I did have to buy was Castile Soap.
So off to Whole Foods I went to buy the soap. You cannot use regular soap in this recipe unless you wants suds all over your kitchen floor. Castile soap is a low sudsing soap. Like I said, the other ingredients I got out of my pantry.
The recipe is:
1/2 cup Tea Tree Liquid Castile Soap (they have different fragrances but you want to get Tea Tree because it's an anti fungal.)
1/2 cup water
1/2 white vinegar
1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
Combine water and liquid soap and stir. Add lemon and vinegar. Stir and store in an air tight container. Use 2 tablespoons per load. You will need to shake it before each use. It will liquefy and separate when stored.
I have loved this and my glasses no longer taste like Cascade. It was so fun and Sydney actually helped me make it. It's all natural, good for you and good for the environment so it's a win win. It's also very cost effective to make. I wanted to try out the castile soap before I bought a big bottle in case I didn't like it, but I will be buying the biggest bottle they have next time. Vitamin Shoppe also sells Castile soap.
So that's my switcheroo for today. If you try it, let me know how you like it.