Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tips & Tricks for Doing Giveways On Your Blog

1)      As soon as the giveaway goes live, link it up on as many outside sites you have time for., and are my favorites. Facebook groups and blog/giveaway friendly message boards are also great locations to list your giveaway at.
2)      Be sure to also send a link to the company when your review goes live, and if you had a problem with the product, give the company a chance to correct the problem before you even post the review.
3)      Use Rafflecopter to run your giveaway. It is free and is the easiest method to keep track of entries and draw a winner with!
4)      Make following your Facebook page a mandatory entry into the giveaway. I’m finding that more and more companies want you to have a large Facebook presence before they’ll work with you.
5)      Group reviews/giveaways in themes. This helps bring companies in, and creates a good “buzz” about the upcoming event among your blog readers. It’s also a bigger giveaway, so more people will take the time to enter!
6)      Consider giveaway blog hops. This is where the participating blogs will all start and end a giveaway on the same day and will all link up using a Mr. Linky. Most of the time, there is a theme or $ amount that you must comply with. A great place to find these events is the the Mom Powered Media Facebook group at .You can also find “low entry” places to list your giveaway at if you don’t have many entries and the deadline is near.
7)      Always ask the company to ship the prize directly to the winner. This will save you the cost, time, and headache of doing it yourself!
8)      Don’t shortchange yourself. Remember that you will be spending a good chunk of time on a review/giveaway, the resources and money involved in your computer and Internet, and that you are doing the company a favor if they send you a good product. Your time and writing talent is worth something!
9)      Don’t be afraid to review multiple similar products. This is an advantage to your readers because then someone has actually tried all of them and knows which one is the best investment!
10)  Link the product you’re reviewing to an account that will give you a commission of any sales made through your link! This might be done through becoming an affiliate with the company you’re working with, or through a generic merchant like

Be sure to read the rest of the series on reviewing products on your blog if you haven’t already, and good luck in your new endeavor!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Art of Contacting A Company For A Product Review

When I first begin researching a company for a product I want to review on my blog, I consider the following.
1)      What are my readers interested in learning about?
2)      Is this company legit? Remember, you will be tying your name to this company!
3)      Have they worked with bloggers in the past? If so, that is a big indication that they may be willing to partner with you, too.
4)      Does this product and company coincide with my blog’s mission statement?
5)      How do I contact someone about doing a review? If it’s via phone, I mark that company off because I just don’t have the ability to lock myself in a room without my toddlers so that I can have a phone conversation and sound half way professional. Even if I was at work, I don’t think an “—I’m sorry to interrupt, but apparently someone died. Can I call you back after CPR is done?” (I’m a paramedic, for those who don’t know) response would work well!

After I find a company/product that seems like a good fit for Life More Simply, I send them a letter like this:
 On my blog about natural living and parenting at, I commonly review products and host giveaways. I have just under 3,000 subscribers/fans/followers and average approximately 10,000 page hits a month. In the month of July, I will be hosting a “Green Home Decorating” event that will feature home d├ęcor products that are environmentally friendly. I found you while researching companies who would fit this upcoming event, and I would love to include your Upcycled Woven Table Cloth! I don’t charge anything for my reviews, as my goal is simply to bring awareness and inspiration to my readers. I can also pair the product review with a giveaway which would allow me to list the giveaway on other websites and thus create more PR and exposure for you!
 Please let me know if this is something you are interested in and if you have any questions. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to potentially spreading the word about Upcycled Creations!

Often, you won’t hear anything back if the company doesn’t already work with bloggers or if your blog is too small to make them notice. Don’t give up, though! Giveaways are an excellent way to increase your blog readership and to get linked in from other sites. Sometimes, starting with WAHM or other small businesses will get your foot in the door…and frankly, if I could review WAHM and Etsy shops all day long, I would, because I love supporting people who are working to provide for their families while still raising their own children! I want that to be me someday, and I’m glad to vicariously live through others until then. ;-)  On top of that, I love the relationship built with companies and I love knowing that exposing their product to my 3,000 readers could mean a big boost for their business.

Next post: Blog Review Tips and Tricks

Friday, July 27, 2012

How To Get Products To Review On Your Blog: Part 2

There are four methods of receiving products to review on a blog (there are other ways to get products to just review in your home but not on a blog):

1)      Sign up with a PR company. I’m affiliated with a few of them, and have good success. It works like this: a company who has a product they want reviewed by bloggers contacts the PR company. The PR company contacts you, and if you meet the criteria and are interested, you get sent a product for review. I have done everything from entire baby equipment reviews to little stuffed animals. The two I work with the most are:

2)      Sign up with an individual company’s blogger relation team. Some companies, like Kraft, Whirlpool, and Freschetta Pizza, have their own pool of bloggers that they work with for reviews, giveaways, and press releases. These are generally more difficult groups to get in to. I am a part of Freschetta’s blogger team, and, I must admit, the prospects of free pizza excite me to no end. J

3)      Wait for companies to contact you. They generally find you from blog lists that you might be on. Always indicate that you are “PR friendly” when adding your blog to a list! You also might be found from someone looking directly at your blog, so be sure that you have some information about yourself, how to contact you, and that you are PR friendly clearly indicated in an easy to find location on your site. I have scored some really amazing stuff with this method, including a rope swing from NOVICA! Just search for PR friendly blogger directories and submit your information.

4)      Contact companies directly. This is the most time consuming method, but can also lead to the best success because you are seeking out specific products that appeal to you and your readers. Be prepared to contact at least ten companies for the product you want though, especially if you have under 10,000 readers. You will also need to be checking your SPAM folders often, and may have to spend time even finding out how to contact some people/companies since that information can be difficult to locate! It’s definitely worth it though, as you will be exchanging PR for something that you really need or want.

Next post: The Art of Contacting Companies Directly for Reviews. Yup, be prepared to read the next post as I’ll break down how to actually get what you want to review on your blog!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Turn your WAHM dream into reality! Huggies Mom Inspired $15,000 Grant

Do you have a dream of being an entrepreneur? Do you have an idea that's ready to go but needs the funding to do so? Make it happen by winning a $15,000 seed capital grant from Huggies! (I wonder if they would support an idea that involved reusable diapers?)

Here are the details:
  • Grant recipients will receive $15,000 in seed capital as well as business resources to help turn innovative ideas into real-life inventions.
  • Applications for the 2012 Huggies MomInspired grant program are currently being accepted through July 31, 2012.
  • Moms can learn more and submit original, innovative and viable new business and product ideas now at
  • Grants will be announced and awarded in fall 2012. 
I checked out the ideas from previous winners, and I must say that there is some good stuff in there! I haven't had the time yet to check out the application process, but I really wanted to let ya'll know about this opportunity ASAP since there are only six more days to get your application in. Good luck, and let me know if you apply!

Already own your own business? Let me know about that, too. If I like your products and believe in your mission, I *might* be able to give you some free advertising space on Life More Simply to help get the word out! ;-)

Disclosure: by telling you about the MomInspired, I am entered to win a gift card. I do want you to know though, that this is NOT why I posted this post. I think that we all need a balloon to float our dreams, and I'm hoping that this will be YOUR balloon. Or mine, if I have time to apply. ;-)

Tips for Stain Removal + Win your own Frigidaire Affinity Series!

The following is a guest post sent to me by the Frigidaire team. I must be honest--the only reason I opened the email is because new appliances by Frigidaire make me drool. I have a vision of having a beautiful laundry room some day, and I want a washer and dryer from them to be a part of it! Well, I started reading what they had sent me and I was impressed enough to share it with you as well. So without further ado, here are some great tips on getting cleaner clothes and how to get tough summer stains out (I'm thinking that we can all pretend we have the new Affinity series to do our laundry and then apply the principles below to the machines that we ACTUALLY have). Be sure to check out the last section of this post as it tells you how you can help get money donated to Save The Children, and also how to enter for a chance to REALLY own your own Affinity washer and dryer!


10 Steps to Cleaner Clothes for Frigidaire  
by Tara Aronson
  1. Immediately rinse or blot away spills on your clothes with cool water to prevent stains from setting.
  2. Read fabric care labels before you wash. Your clothes will last longer if you know how to treat them.
  3. Sort laundry by color, wash cycle needed, and water temperature required. The Frigidaire Affinity’s Permanent Press cycle washes with warm water and less agitation, resulting in less wear and tear on your sturdy jeans, khakis, and sweaters; the Delicates cycle uses cold water and light agitation to gently clean swimsuits, workout clothes, and lingerie.
  4. Before washing stained garments, pretreat or prewash the spot using the Affinity’s Rinse & Spin cycle. If at first you don’t succeed, wash, wash again.
  5. To keep snags and lint to a minimum, zip zippers, button buttons, empty pockets, and brush away lint before tossing duds in the hamper.
  6. If your clothing is heavily soiled, your load large, or the water cold, add extra laundry detergent. Use the Affinity’s Heavy Duty cycle for sturdy but really dirty items like jeans and towels; choose the Sanitize setting to use the hottest water available to get rid of germs and grime as thoroughly as possible.
  7. Check wet garments for remaining stains, and re-treat as needed before drying. Heat will set stains.
  8. Dry only full loads. Tumbling a handful of garments prolongs the drying time by reducing the tumbling.
  9. Fold shirts and T-shirts to prevent wrinkling. If the shirt has buttons, button it at top, middle and bottom. Lay facedown. Fold both sides of the shirt so they meet in the back, with the sleeves aligned with the side folds. Fold the tail up to the cuffs, making a straight line at the bottom. Then fold in thirds crosswise. For T-shirts: a child’s T-shirt needs only one crosswise fold in half; an adult’s should be folded into thirds.
  10. Fold shorts and pants by aligning the inseams and outer seams of the legs and fold so that a crease forms at the front center of the legs. Fold in half or in thirds, depending on the size of the garment.

5 Summer Stain Tips for Frigidaire
  by Tara Aronson
Smudges, drips, drops and smears – no matter what their source, the key to keeping them from ruining your favorite shorts or T-shirt is to take quick action – before it gets a chance to dry. For most fabrics, this means blotting up the excess or rinsing the discolored area with cold water (hot can set a stain.) 

Don’t rub: this spreads the spot and grinds it deeper into the fabric.

Summer spills are especially tough. Here’s how to remove the five most common:

1. Crayon.
Scrape off as much of the colorful surface as possible using a plastic picnic knife. Apply laundry detergent directly on the stained area. Gently rub the detergent into the fabric then let sit several minutes. Launder using the hottest water the fabric can handle - or the Sanitize setting of your Frigidaire Affinity washer. Dry as usual.

2. Iced coffee.
Sponge the stained area with cold water. Apply a pretreater to the blight. Wash as usual and air dry.

3. Grass.
Prewash the garment in warm water in your washing machine –the Rinse & Spin cycle on your Affinity washer – and a laundry detergent containing enzymes. Launder as usual (normal setting) with detergent and chlorine bleach if safe for the fabric. If the garment’s care label instructions advise against it, use oxygen (color safe) bleach instead. Dry as usual.

4. Juice.
Soak for a minute or so in cold water. Remove excess water, and then apply a pretreater directly on the stained area. Wash with detergent as usual. Air dry. Do not place in the dryer until the blight is completely gone – otherwise the stain is likely to set.

5. Chocolate (or chocolate ice cream).
Prewash the garment in warm water with a laundry detergent that contains enzymes using the Affinity’s Rinse & spin setting. Launder as usual, using the washing machine’s Normal setting. Dry as usual.

Make a Difference And WIN your own Frigidaire Affinity washer and dryer!

When people visit and share their personal Adventures in Clean, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children, as part of its $750,000 commitment to the cause. It’s simple to share your Adventures in Clean – just upload a photo and the online app turns it into your very own movie poster! Plus, to help spread the word, everyone who participates will be entered for a chance to win a new Frigidaire Affinity® washer and dryer featuring Ready Steam™.

Disclosure: I was entered to win $50 or something (I can't actually remember, haha) by sharing this post with you. What I am really hoping to do though, is to enter the Facebook contest there and win a washer and dryer. ;-) Oh, and of course, the opinions mentioned are all mine. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Don't Stay Where You Are

I've been hearing a lot from people lately that they want something that I have...a work at home job that actually makes lose weight change employers...and every time, my response is "yeah! So take it!" But then, they don't, even though it's free for the taking.

I keep hearing things like "I've been doing xyz to lose weight and it hasn't done anything yet, so I'm going to keep doing this until it does, and then I'll do a wrap to lose more weight, etc." or "I just started this other business. I haven't made any money yet, so I need to try harder and wait until I am making money at that before I start this." The best part is when I hear this next: "and I really want to have a party so I can get a free wrap, but I've been trying to get my friends to buy what I'm trying to sell, and they are all going to want a body wrap if I have a party, so I would rather pay you $25 instead of get one for free." Um...why don't you become a distributor then and make money on things that your friends want or need, instead of hiding it from them and beating your head against a wall because you don't have a market for what you already offer?

I see people all the time who are running as hard as they can, trying to go uphill on a treadmill that is going downhill. They aren't making any progress, and all the while there is a staircase right next to them.

Working smarter is more effective than working harder. You might develop more self discipline by working harder, but if the goal at the top of the hill is something other than discipline, like financial freedom or weight loss, then you are missing the mark by staying on the treadmill.

Choosing the staircase wasn't something that I have always done. I used to stay on the treadmill in relationships and jobs because of guilt. Because of fear. Because I thought it was a risk to change...sometimes, it's easier to stay where you're at because at least then, you are familiar with your surroundings.

Pursing change often requires valor. Courage is needed when you don't have everyone around you approving, supporting, and promising that your decision to use the staircase is going to be the best decision of your life.

Stop wasting time. If there is a better way to accomplish whatever goal you have, then get off the treadmill in life and go get it! Let today be your day of valor.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Before and After Pics of the Ultimate Body Applicator Wrap

I used my first It Works! Ultimate Body Applicator and...It Works!!!!!!!

My result photos are after using one body wrap on my abdomen. I did not exercise, take any supplements, or anything else. I left it on for about 8 hours and drank a lot of water over the 72 hours following putting the wrap on. I did drink a coffee drink and also ate an ice cream sundae during those 72 hours which apparently you aren't supposed to do because they cause toxins to build up in your body which the Ultimate Body Applicator is trying to work against. I did not remember this at that time. :-\

DISCLAIMER: Before reading about my results and seeing my photos, please know that the PURPOSE of the wrap is detoxification--the inch loss that many experience is just a side effect. It is not  promised and some people don't have inch loss as a results of the detoxification. It Works! does not advertise inch loss--what they DO advertise is that you can "tighten, tone, & firm in as little as 45 minutes with the Ultimate Body Applicator". Ok, moving on now that you understand this. ;-)

My results: I lost 3.5"after only 45 minutes of putting the wrap on. 
Photos: well, you can see for yourself!

Before Photos are on the left; After Photos are on the right and were taken about 74 hours after initially putting on the wrap.

Now, I know that the ingredients in this wrap do NOT produce a diuretic (water weight loss) effect, but I still I watched for it while this process was going on...and I found no evidence of it. I had no sweating, and my feet were just as swollen after wrapping as before. And I haven't had any changes except my skin isn't as tight as it initially was after wrapping at the one week post wrap mark. You can see how each of the ingredients works to detoxify and shrink your adipose (fat) tissue here: 

This is the first thing that has worked for me post-pregnancy. I did the INSANITY workout program. I did an 800-calorie medically supervised diet for a month. Nothing helped. Until now! I actually cried after I took my 45-minute measurements!

My plan is to do a few more wraps (you can do them every 72 hours) until I reach the shape I want to be (belly and thighs, baby!). I'll be using the Defining Gel daily, taking the Greens supplement to alkalize my pH and detox my body systemically, and will also be taking the Thermofit formula to help my body burn fat instead of just leave it on me!

To come: further results. :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Check out all of the products on my personal distributor site here:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How the Ultimate Body Applicator Works (Ingredients)

Been wondering how the Ultimate Body Applicator body wrap from It Works! actually works? Too magical sounding, right? Here is the breakdown of ingredients and what they do! I loved reading this because it reminded me of the benefits of things that I have used in the past, and of how EXCITED I am to detoxify and lose weight IMMEDIATELY by using these ingredients again!

The Ultimate Body Applicator is a non-woven piece of fabric that is covered one the inside with a mixture of these ingredients. The active ingredients are all natural and they absorb into your skin, resulting in a noticeable difference in only 45 minutes. The bodywrap shrinks your fat cells because it detoxifies them--this is not a water loss wrap! 

Live life simply in the real world--use natural botanicals instead of chemicals to achieve the body and health that you want!

Here is a breakdown of the ingredients and what they actually do for you:

Glucose is a carbohydrate, and is the most important simple sugar in human metabolism. When oxidized in the body it produces carbon dioxide, water, and some nitrogen compounds and provides energy which can be used by the cells. The energy yield can be used to do work or help keep the body warm.

Caprylic Capric Triglycerides are a specific fraction of coconut oil fatty acids resulting in only the more stable, and skin loving, caprylic & capric fatty acids which gives the oil a dry, powdery feel. They are specially processed to achieve superior oxidative stability and low color and then are further refined to remove residual fatty acids, resulting in a product with essentially no odor or flavor. The unique metabolic and functional properties of MCT’s, a consequence of their chemical structure, make them versatile ingredients in numerous Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic applications. MCT’s, were developed over fifty years ago as an energy source for patients with fat malabsorption syndrome and they still find use in medical nutritional products. Due to their low viscosity and excellent oxidative stability, , MCT’s, are efficient solvents and therefore act as carriers for fat-soluble vitamins and actives. Their emollient properties enable Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, MCT’s, to improve the aesthetics of topical products while functioning as a component of the delivery system.

Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin. Alcohol Denatured is widely used on the skin as a disinfectant.

Stearic Acid in general these fatty acids are used in the production of hormones that regulate a variety of functions, including blood pressure, blood clotting and immune response.

Stearyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol that generally is not damaging to the skin, unlike other chemical-based alcohols. Fatty alcohols can, in fact, be quite beneficial for the skin and are excellent moisturizers. It is derived from coconut oil. In skincare products, it functions as an emulsifier and an emollient. Emulsifiers binds the liquid together in the product and the emoliant softens the skin, by enhancing the skincare’s moisturizing properties as a humectant, which allows water to bind to the skin.

Ceteareth 12 is used as an emulsifier and a thickening agent.

Horse Chestnut Seed Extract is used to treat chronic venous insufficiency (a condition in which the veins do not efficiently return blood from the legs to the heart). This condition is associated with varicose veins, pain, ankle swelling, feelings of heaviness, itching, and nighttime leg cramping. The seed extract has also been used for hemorrhoids. Urea Physicians can use urea levels to detect diseases and disorders that affect the kidneys, such as acute kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Centella asiatica Leaf Extract Summing up the benefits of Centella asiatica is difficult, as there are so many, but in short it is wonderful when used to boost circulation, improve the collagen foundation of the skin, and fight oxidation – thereby making it a superb ingredient for anti-ageing skin care products as well as improving skin firmness and elasticity.

Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract The tannins interact with proteins and are astringent and also have antioxidant activity. One of the polyphenols in green tea – Epigallocatechin galate (EGCC) is thought to be 200 times more powerful than vitamin E for neutralizing free radicals. Since free radicals can attack and damage the DNA of the cells, the antioxidant effect of green tea has a protective role to play as well, since it prevents free radical damage and possible skin tumors and cancers and can be used in confidence as an anti-aging ingredient in skin care preparations. It has also been showed that the EGCC in green tea is effectively absorbed via the skin. Green tea is a potent anti-inflammatory agent thereby reducing inflammation in the skin, and most importantly having an inhibitory action on collagenase, which is a collagen-reducing enzyme that breaks down collagen. Since green tea helps to inhibit collagenase, the topical use of green tea helps to promote the health and quantity of collagen, thereby maintaining a firm and elastic skin. The flavonoids and catechols in green tea provide it with vitamin P its chemical composition give it astringent properties, whereas the polyphenolic compounds also act as an astringent, but also protect the skin. The Methylxanthines contained in green tea also stimulates skin microcirculation and therefore positively influence the tone and health of the skin. Green tea also exhibits a photo protective effect when applied to the skin and reduces erythema formation. In some studies it also showed that polyphenols found in green tea limited cell death when exposed to radiation, thereby showing that these polyphenols have a cell-protecting function as well.

Fucus vesiculosus Bladderwrack The use of the herb has been for the stimulation of the thyroid gland as a treatment for obesity and cellulite. The high iodine content of the herb stimulates thyroid function which boosts metabolism. It has a reputation in the relief of rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis and may be used both internally and as an external application for inflamed joints.

Hedera helix Ivy Leaf Extract This plant has great anti-fungal, anthelmintic, molluscicidal, anti-mutagenic as well as cellulite control properties extract contains Hederin (Hederine), an active saponin which is responsible for blood vessel protection and permeability decrease. Ivy further helps to reabsorb the edemas present in the initial stages of cellulite. It has a great application in cosmetics as a cellulitic agent due to its properties as an anti-inflammatory and pain killers. A major action of this herb is that of a circulatory compound which assists other components to be absorbed by the skin, whilst also helping to remove waste products and fatty build-ups from the tissue and helps release fatty deposits from the cells.

Horsetail Leaf/Stem Extract is high in vegetal silica and has diuretic, astringent and wound healing properties REF 45 and is useful for improving circulation, as well as boosting and rejuvenating the connective tissue – the foundation of your skin and regenerating skin cells.The high silica content also has a softening and smoothing effect on the skin.

Butchers Broom Root Extract is claimed to be helpful in treating arthritis, hemorrhoids, leg edema, peripheral vascular disease, and varicose veins. It has also been used as a diuretic and a laxative.

Guarana Seed Extract releases it’s caffeine gradually causing sustained energy over a long period of time. Other benefits discovered are increased mental sharpness , and enhanced long-term memory. Traditionally, it has been used for headaches and migraines. It is also used as an antibacterial agent.

Jojoba Seed Oil contains such microelements and nutrients as zinc, copper, silicon, iodine, chromium, Vitamins E and B group, acids and other natural ingredients. When used externally, this natural product allows us enjoy its antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and soothing properties.

Decyl Oleate act as lubricants on the skin surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance. These ingredients also form a thin film on the skin that is neither greasy nor tacky. The unique properties of Decyl Oleate facilitate the application and removal of makeup.

Magnesium Aluminum Silicate Many silicates occur naturally and are mined; others are produced synthetically. The common aspect of all these clay-like ingredients is that they contain silicon, oxygen, and one or more metals. All silicates, especially the clays, have a great ability to absorb water.

Glyceryl Stearate acts as a lubricant on the skin’s surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance. It also slows the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on the skin’s surface.  

PEG 7 Glyceryl Cocoate is an emollient surfactant, foamer and skin conditioner.

Tocopheryl Acetate or more commonly known as Vitamin E, is a natural preservative, anti-oxidant and moisturizer. It reduces trans-dermal water loss and helps maintain connective tissue. It is effective as a natural defense against harmful UV rays, preventing hyper-pigmentation and sun damage.

TEA-Hydroiodide is an iodine compound which has lypolytic properties. It also stimulates the metabolism, clearing excess fluids.

Methylsilanol Mannuronate is an organic derivative of seaweed that binds moisture in the epidermis therefore firming and strengthening the skin. has long-lasting moisturizing properties that help combat the deterioration of collagen and elastin fibers, giving it skin firming properties; it is also known to fight free radicals. Also known to act as an anti-oxidant to actively prevent premature aging. In vitro studies have shown that MM normalizes cellular metabolism, is a tissue regenerator and aids in the reduction of cellulite. Seaweed has also been shown to have detoxifying properties.

Menthol produces the sensation of temperature change.

Camphor stimulates the heart, breathing pattern, and blood circulation. Is effective in cases of hypotension or low blood pressure. Helps in clearing of congested lungs, making us breathe easier. Heats or cools our body according to our body’s needs. Has been also found effective in treatment of arthritis, muscle aches.

Panthenol is a derivative of vitamin B5 and is sometimes advertised as pro-vitamin B. It penetrates deep into the layers of the skin and keeps natural moisture there. It can help skin to stay healthy by stabilizing the skin’s metabolism. Panthenol can aid in evening your skin tone by stimulating skin pigment formation. Skin creams with panthenol in them lubricate the skin and can help make it look soft and smooth.

Phenoxyethanol the molecule is most commonly used in the field of medicine known as dermatology. It has properties that make it useful for skin protection as well as providing healing factors.

Retinyl Palmitate is Vitamin A which is known for its anti-aging applications.

Triethanolamine used primarily as an emulsifier and surfactant.

Carbomer a rich cream that holds it shape. If you look at an ingredient list, if you see carbomer listed you will almost always see either sodium hydroxide or triethanolamine listed as well. These are neutralising agents used to neutralise the carbomer.

Rosmarinus or Rosemary Leaf Oil has analgesic, astringent, diuretic, rubefacient, stimulant and tonic therapeutic properties in skincare.

Eucalyptus Leaf Oil has a cleansing effect on the skin and reduces redness and irritation. It is reputed to aid in wound healing and is antispetic and anti-parasitic.

Caprylyl Glycol is a mild humectant and skin emollient with a unique skin feel. Additionally, it can contribute to the antimicrobial stability of cosmetics formulations and improves efficacy of traditional cosmetic preservatives. Glycols are known to be antimicrobial and show antimicrobial efficacy against typical germs found in cosmetic formulations. Soluble in glycols and alcohols, to increase solubility in water propylene glycol, emulsifiers or surfactants are necessary.

Sorbic Acid used to kill microorganisms, or prevent or retard their growth and reproduction, and thus protect cosmetics and personal care products from spoilage.

BHT acts as an antioxidant by preventing or slowing the deterioration of cosmetics and personal care products caused by chemical reactions with oxygen.

Limonene readily oxidizes when in contact with air. The oxidized form of d-limonene is a known skin sensitizer.

Linalool is a naturally occurring fragrance substance produced by a wide variety of plants such as mint, cinnamon, citrus fruits, and birch trees.

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*Original ingredient information found here.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stop the attitudes about breastfeeding

I still remember, quite vividly, the day when my family doctor handed me literature at my firstborn's 9-month checkup. It was a photocopied group of papers dated in the 70's, and it was about breastfeeding. What is said about breastfeeding, was that if my child was still nursing by the time she was a year, then I was doing her psychological harm. Oh, yes.

I found a new doctor (after pointing out the problems with that literature, supported by today's current research, of course), and then left the facility completely when a different doctor told me that I was not allowed to get any more vaccinations for my children until I started bringing them for well-child visits again. (Oh, ok, sure, Doc, I'll get right on that!)

Then there was my husband at the time. I had to always cover the baby entirely with a blanket or something else while nursing in public. It was terrible. My baby was sweating, I couldn't see what was going on...sometimes, he was so uncomfortable that I had to leave the room while nursing our baby. He wasn't the only one, though. There were times when I would be nursing my beautiful baby in public (well, if you consider a comfortable chair tucked into a semi-private room in a department store "public") and a passerby would "politely" let me know that there was a restroom a little further down the hallway.

And then (oh no!), my daughter kept nursing after she was a year old! The audacity of me, right? You would think that this was a disgusting, abnormal, non-human practice the way that some people spoke to me about it. And you know what? I sometimes adapted the "it's my business, not yours, so don't talk to me about it" attitude. After all, it's not anyone else's business but my own, and it's not worth my time or effort to defend myself to everyone. I can nurse my child until any age I please. I can even do it without a blanket over her head.

But what if, instead of daring people to look our way while breastfeeding in public, we invited it? I'm not saying that we flash the girls at anyone. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be respectful of our bodies and other people's eyes when out in public. I'm not saying that we should force our breastfeeding ways upon anyone.

Woman nursing her child while talking to the president of Venezuala
What I am saying, is that if we want breastfeeding in public to be considered normal, we should treat it like it is normal. We should not go into any separate areas unless that helps us our babies nurse. We should not be so concerned about keeping our nipples from showing that we will cover our babies heads, hold blankets up with our teeth, and make our older children stand in front of us to create a human wall. Who says our breasts can't be both beautiful and functional? And anyone who looks at my breasts and finds them sexual while my baby is latched on has bigger problems than I am causing.

We need to be willing to discuss why we do what we do, and to not feel intimidated by those who "dare" speak to us about it. Greet them with gladness, because you are making a gigantic step in "normalizing" public breastfeeding to that person. Just think of all of the horrible fashions that have come out in the last few years. Interestingly, with enough exposure to them, most of us will start thinking those "horrible" fashions aren't so bad any more, and will often even start liking them! It's a fact of social psychology: when we are exposed to something new and told it's "normal," with time, we will accept it as "normal".

Stop the attitudes about breastfeeding. We don't need to picket, have "nurse-ins", and so on and so forth. We don't need to pass out breastfeeding symbol pins, or have designated breastfeeding areas. We just need to treat it like it's normal, because, well, breastfeeding is normal. And nursing in public is normal, too.