The Dangers of Dawn and the Perils of Palmolive

If you're anything like me, the most dreaded part of the evening is tackling the pile of dishes sitting in the sink after dinner. Food coma has set in, and all you want to do is plop on the couch and watch some Netflix. Dish detergents market products with fragrances like "Caribbean Breeze" and "New Zealand Springs"... as if they could transport us to a spa-like paradise while scrubbing baked on cheese remnants. As if this daily scenario wasn't bad enough already, I'm about to enlighten you on what makes this dreaded task even worse than you thought.  

POISON. And lots of it. Toxic chemicals abound in dish detergent. Of the 235 “hand washing detergents” listed on Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Healthy Cleaning Database, 58 scored an F. 88 scored a D. What does that score mean? Well it means that you're exposing your largest organ - your skin - to a petroleum-based mixture of chlorine bleaches and other harmful substances that can cause hormonal disruptions, lung and eye irritations, intoxication and even cancer. Everyone knows that our skin in porous, but we seem to forget that every substance you expose it to is taken into your body. When toxins are absorbed through the skin, they bypass your liver and enter the bloodstream and tissues directly, with no filtering. Not to mention the negative environmental impacts these toxins pose. 

Some of the scariest chemical ingredients in dish detergents are Formaldehyde, Methylisothiazolinone (try saying that three times in a row!), Triclosan, Phthalates, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, and Sulfuric Acid. I won't go into the details of each chemical, but if you're interested in further education on them, please visit the EWG website. Many manufacturers do not even list the ingredients on the bottle. How do they get away with that? The FDA doesn’t mandate ingredient disclosure on household products. And since there is no requirement for companies to list the ingredients, companies can choose to use catchall terms for highly toxic chemicals. But if these products are so great, what are they hiding?

Now before you throw your dishpan hands up in the air and start using disposable plates (which is NOT the answer!)... there are safer alternatives. Look for products that contain ingredients that are plant-based, as opposed to petroleum-based. Sensible Suds liquid soap is the perfect solution. Gentle on your hands, gentle on the environment, but tough on grease. All of our powerful, plant-derived cleaning agents are disclosed. Sensible Suds liquid soap is also fragrance and dye free. I don't know about you, but I have been turned off by many a glass that I went to take a drink out of, that still smelled of Caribbean Breeze. There is just no need for my dishes to have a fragrance left on them. Furthermore, that remaining scent is proof that the chemicals leave a residue behind. You are then eating and drinking said chemicals. No thank you!! 

Sensible Suds liquid soap does double duty as a hand soap. I use it in the bathroom, as well as in the kitchen. And should you desire a scent in your bathroom soap, just add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Sensible Suds liquid soap is packaged in a refillable or recyclable glass bottle, with an attractive, slip resistant shape.... what more could you ask for? Well, besides a maid to do the dishes, that is.

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Fido and Fluffy Beg You to Stop Poisoning Them!

Let's talk about blood sucking parasites. No, no... this is not a conversation about our ex's. I'm talking about the bane of every pet owner's existence. F*!#ing Fleas! These little bastards have plagued the household of pretty much every pet owner at one time or another. Unfortunately, most well-meaning pet parents wage a chemical warfare against these pests, while not fully knowledgeable of the implications these toxins have on the health of their homes and their families. Many of today's synthetic insecticides are powerful poisons that had their origin in the development of chemical warfare agents. Organophosphates and carbamares are two of the most common synthetic pesticides found in flea killers. Both are nerve-paralyzing agents capable of causing convulsions, nausea and respiratory arrest in host animals as well as in the insects they're intended to destroy. Fipronil can cause organ damage, thyroid cancer and damage to the nervous system. Ethanol can cause birth defects. Butylhydroxytoluene causes cancer, and carbitol can cause nerve and organ damage. These chemicals, especially in liquid form, are absorbed through the animals skin and taken up by the blood. Consequently, there are many cases of pesticide-related poisoning each year, involving not only pets, but also children who handle pesticide-treated animals. I'm sure most people think to refrain from cuddling with Fido immediately after application.  But remember, these products are designed to last 30+ days on your pets skin and fur. Every time you pet your pup, you're exposing yourself to a chemical S%$tStorm. In addition to the scary potential for immediate poisoning, long-term treatment with synthetic pesticides can eventually lead to kidney failure and other medical complications. It's no doubt that some of the cancer seen in companion animals is related to the use of chemical pesticides against fleas. As Dr. Dressler explains in his book, the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, the development of Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC) is particularly linked to exposure to insecticides. Nobody makes a pet a part of the family, only to intentionally give it cancer! As if all of that information wasn't scary enough... here's another little fun fact. As fleas become increasingly resistant to the synthetic chemicals science has produced for their control, pesticide manufacturers are making their products increasingly stronger — and more dangerous — in an attempt to keep pace with the parasites. Add to that, global warming making the pest season increasingly longer in most parts of the country. It’s a tough position to be in, because we must protect our pets from the dangers of pest-borne illness, but we also want to protect them from hazardous chemicals.
Have I scared the bejesus out of you yet?? Good! Now throw away all of that nasty pesticide, and let's discuss ways that we can fight nature with nature. Remember, even in the midst of a flea invasion, it's important not to let the urgency of your need to get rid of the pests, override concern for the safety of your pets and household. I have been there, trust me. It's exactly what started the development of these products. My dog wound up infested. The temptation of the poisonous quick fix was unbearable. However, I am stead fast in my belief in an organic home, and was absolutely blown away by the results which far exceeded my expectations. It has been over a year now that my dog has been flea free using the methods I'm outlining below.
Like other parasites, fleas target less healthy hosts, as well as puppies and kittens with undeveloped immune systems. Therefore, the first defense for our pets is to optimize their health and immunity. Feeding them the best diet possible with a sprinkling of Bugger Off! Nutritional Supplement on top is priority number one. Bugger Off! Nutritional Supplement is a 100% natural and organic supplement fortified with a full range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and essential omega fatty acids that are beneficial to the overall health of your pet. This formulation is a natural, effective, flea, mosquito, mite, lice, and blood sucking insect control remedy for pets. Another effective boost to not only flea fighting, but also general health, is to add a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to your pet's drinking water or food. Not only does it deter fleas, it improves skin and coat condition from the inside-out.
Also, don't forget that the ultimate weapon in the battle with fleas is the Flea Comb. Pamper that pet... they will love it! Daily flea combing may sound tedious, but it is a very helpful step while you are working on your companion's health and taking environmental action. Don't forget to add a touch of soap to the water that you'll be dropping those buggers in, just to ensure that they drown. I must say, it's pretty satisfying watching them fall to the bottom of the bowl.
Bathing your companion regularly is an excellent way to kill fleas. Remember to use a natural shampoo and to lather the neck first, so fleas can't run up onto the head. Leave the lather on your pet for a few minutes to help smother any persistent fleas, and then rinse well. After towel drying, spray generously with Bugger Off! Herbal Defense Spray, a formulation of 11 Organic Essential Oils that make fleas run for the hills. This spray can be applied daily to not only your pet, but also bedding. Remember, any time you use a flea repellent, be sure to put the treated pet outside for a few hours so that the fleas won't re-infest your home as they abandon ship!
Most of the flea population lives and develops in your house and yard, not on your pet. Treating the environment is essential if you want to win this war. Vacuuming and washing hard-surfaced floors often – daily during the height of flea season – is the least toxic way to control fleas. This will remove most of the adults, and some eggs and larvae. Keep in mind the larvae don't like light, so vacuum under furniture and around baseboards, anywhere near your pet's favorite places to hang out. Don't forget to add some Bugger Off! Herbal Defense Powder to the vacuum canister or bag, and to dispose of it's contents immediately.  After a thorough cleaning, sprinkle Bugger Off! Herbal Defense Powder onto your flooring, carpets, and pet bedding. Work it into all the cracks and crevices. This powder is completely non-toxic, and can even be applied directly to your pet's coat as a dry shampoo.
Finally, Beneficial nematodes are a natural way to control fleas in the yard, especially during wet weather. Beneficial nematodes are a flea parasite. They are tiny little critters that prey on both adult fleas and larvae. They are applied with a hose sprayer or, in a smaller yard, with a watering can.
Using natural methods takes more effort than dropping a blob of pesticide on your cat's or dog's back, but in the long run, your pets, your family, and your environment will be healthier!
Now is the perfect time to start the transition over to natural parasite control. The cooler months are still upon us. If you start supplementing with Bugger Off! now, the beneficial compounds will have plenty of time to build up in your pets system before Spring and its bounty of parasites abound once again.

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Beginning of the Journey

A year ago I didn't even understand what a blog was, yet now here I am with one to call my very own. Honestly, I still don't even really understand blogging. Something about having a whole lot of ideas floating in your head, and finding a way to put them out there for all of cyber universe. Ask anyone that knows me and they will be shocked at this venture. Mind you, I lived perfectly fine without a cell phone for many years. Smoke signals were the best way to get a hold of me. Carrier pigeon perhaps. So now I have to jump outside my comfort zone… where I keep totally private and I’m a complete introvert…. to actually discuss my life. Ugh…with complete strangers. (Seriously, my nickname in college was “hermit”). Good, Bad, Ugly, Beautiful, Funny, Sad… I’m putting it all out there. This is part of the journey...the transformation...the whole new me. Blah blah blah. How many times have you heard that before? And why should you follow my journey when there are a million others out there begging for your attention? Well because part of this journey, my journey, involves sharing what I learn along the way. And what I’m learning is amazingly cool. Life changingly cool. Life lengthening and breadthingly cool! 

So where did this whole transformation start, you may ask? Good question. I have no friggin idea. I think it has always been looming in the background. But like most people I got caught up in the day to day, the month to month, the year to year. I liked things. Tons of things. Pretty things. Expensive things. New things. Old things (because I can’t get rid of ANYthing). More and more things, things, THINGS. (Lol I sound like Dr. Seuss)  We are all products of the media... churning out consumers and padding the CEO pockets on the backs of our declining health and happiness. They sell us the idea that we gain happiness by having all those things. We bust our butts working for these companies…. slaving away, just so we can then turn around and use our meager paychecks to buy those same companies products. Why?... well because we have been brainwashed into thinking we needed their crapola. It’s an endless cycle where the rich get richer, and we get sicker. Totally on a tangent right now. Get used to it though… if you choose to follow me you’ll be getting those regularly.

Screeeeccchhh….. OK back on course. So in a nutshell, pre transformation, this was my life. Single mom, horribly draining divorce, busting my butt, commuting 3-4 hours a day to get to a job that I didn’t even enjoy... but, it kept me in my Lexus, and my Calvin Klein dresses, and oh how I love jewelry, and shoes and purses, and I needed a big ol house with a pool (for all my STUFF of course). I was running myself ragged and I was miserable. I was medicated for depression and anxiety and insomnia and migraines. I was a damn mess. But all I could do was keep going. Day by day, month by month, year by year. Hamster in a wheel. Until one day… I simply no longer had a job. Poof!... just like that. Very quickly I was spinning out of control…. down that deep dark well of depression and anxiety. My bank account dwindling to nothing was the beginning of the transformation. Unbeknownst to me at the time, life was getting better... not worse. As the zeros in my bank account disappeared one by one, so did the superfluous things in my life. The first to go was cable TV. I had always contemplated cutting the cord, but had never been brave enough to do so, until I was absolutely forced. Also known as... you haven't paid the bill in months. A tear may have been shed the first few days, but I quickly realized that I had so much more time for other things. The pile of books on my nightstand that I had been meaning to read but never got around to. Going outside in the sunshine and enjoying time with my son. And the best part of being unplugged? You are no longer plugged into the constant feed of commercials and product placement and brainwashing that the media force feeds us. “BUY THIS, DO THIS, LIVE LIKE THIS.” It’s like being in an abusive relationship where you feel like you need the other person in your life… despite them always making you feel like crap. TV “programming” is a perfect representation of a narcissistic relationship. If you’re unfamiliar with narcissism, you’re either lucky that you haven’t encountered it… or more likely, you’re a victim of it and don’t even know what it is. Either way, look into it, that way you can recognize it and avoid it like the plague.

Screeeeccchhh…. So no more TV, no more phone, no more shopping, no more eating out. But a funny thing was happening. Instead of being angry or resentful, I was actually starting to embrace these changes. I saw the positive impact that it was having on my life. It was like a cloudy haze was lifted and I wasn’t merely a consumer zombie anymore. I loved being home with my son. I loved having the time to enjoy the little things. And I mean really really little things. I started planting seeds, and watching these amazing sprouts come out. Whoa! I needed to learn more about that!
I loved cooking dinner every night. No more drive thru meals… mama was in the kitchen cooking with real ingredients. One day I decided (or maybe the glass of wine decided) that I should smear some of those ingredients on my face. So there I am cooking up a meal with a bit of leftovers facial. I think it was lemon and banana. The wine logic was that it was an all natural skincare remedy. And even after the wine wore off… it still surprisingly seemed logical. So I decided to start researching the active ingredients. What was in the lemon or the banana that made my skin feel so wonderful? This was the opening of Pandora’s box. Down the rabbit hole I went. All of a sudden I’m smearing ingredients on my face and hair every night as I cook. My son thought I was ridiculous, so naturally I held him down and gave him a pineapple and turmeric facial as well.  Now we both look ridiculous kiddo. One ingredient led to another, and another, and another. My days were spent researching every component of every product I have used on my body and in my household. I was in awe of the toxins that the products lining the shelves of every store are laden with. Multiply that by 30-40 products that the average person comes in contact with on a daily basis. We are a walking science experiment. A chemical shitstorm is going on inside our bodies, and yet we wonder why disease is rampant. 

The closest approximation I can use to describe as to how this transformation journey of mine went, is the pulling of a loose thread on a sweater. The more I pulled the more it all unraveled around me. Everything I had been conditioned to perceive as normal was not. We are not living our lives. We are dying. At an alarmingly diseased and rapid pace. We have lost control of our health at the sake of convenience. How could we be so completely uneducated when it comes to truly living a healthy life?  A life in tune with everything that nature provides for us. Our ancestors would totally be facepalming right now. So I guess there was my real turning point. I decided that I was done using prepackaged chemical laden products. I was going to get down to the basics and research the hell out of everything I could get my hands on. I threw out all the products I had stockpiled on my shelves from my couponing days. A side note on that, by the way… those are the worst of the worst. Anything that you can hoard with a coupon is going to give you cancer. Ditch it all!  Ok I don't really expect you to ditch it all at once. But at least start integrating, little by little, more natural alternatives.

You may be thinking "But who has time to research all that stuff? Is there really someone crazy enough to look at every single ingredient and test run every healthy alternative?"  Who is going to read stacks and stacks of alternative medicine books? Pore over ancient texts and modern case studies?  Does anyone really have time to dedicate their lives to this? You betcha... that would be me.  I would be that OCD imbecile.  At your service :-)

So down the rabbit hole I go.  And I invite you to come with me. Yes... i will tell you to "Drink This" and "Eat This".  (Total Alice in Wonderland pun intended)  But I will tell you to do so only because I have already done it and had fabulous results.  I'm your own personal independent test facilitator. Well that's the fancy label I gave it, when in all reality I'm a guinea pig.

I know many people that start a blog get compensated for endorsing products.  For the most part, the products I endorse can be found on my Pure Home Essentials website. I truly truly believe in everything I sell... as I use it in my own home, on my own family. My goal is to educate everyone into living this healthier lifestyle... little by little... by going along on the journey with me.  Let's start living healthier and happier lives.  Let's start teaching our children the basics. Basics that have been lost over time, but desperately need to be implemented for the future of our planet and generations.

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Lau Tzu