Rise and Grind.

Back to baseline after Spring Break

We did not go away for Spring Break this year, so I don’t have the excuse of luggage laundry. However, as a result of the kids milling around for a week, hosting play dates and running out for family day trips, we are living in a post-apocalyptic scene that I have been diligently trying to work us out of before packing for construction. This week is also filled with appointments to pick out kitchen appliances and design layout. I should film it so I can watch myself exceeding budget in record time. Could be historic.

Working on working out

Motivating to get to the gym has never been easy for me, but I’ve re-committed to it – again. In addition to my health and having energy for my kids, I have about 20 extra pounds that I’ve been toting around for way too long. I’ve reached peace with them over the years, but I’ve never felt comfortable and confident the way I’d like to. The MAX Challenge program has provided me with a new feeling of accountability, since I attempt to attend five days a week at the same time, surrounded by supportive members of the community (each at their own fitness level). I like that it’s not intimidating and I don’t feel like I need to “dress up” or feel particularly skilled to participate. It certainly pushes me harder than I would push myself left to my own devices, even though I modify the heck out of every move and cheat on the suggested diet (shh…). Since it’s a 45-minute class and a quick 10 minutes away, I head there after dropping the kids off at the bus and can do the whole she-bang, including the commute, in just over an hour. Then on with the day…

But it’s not always that simple. I admit to having taken several “before” photos and have yet to take an “after.” Life gets in the way often… a sick child, a pressing project, a small injury, or just a lame excuse. That’s where the accountability of this blog will come in handy. I will always be honest, and that will sometimes sound less than aspirational.

“Clean”-ing up my makeup bag and shower caddy

The more that is written about the ingredients that our makeup and body products contain, the scarier things get. The good news is while “cleaner” beauty products have been around for years, there has been a recent explosion of new, alluring brands and options ranging from bare budget to luxury. Even the more mainstream drugstore brands seem to be slowly sensing that they need to revise certain formulas if they plan to keep competing in the ever-growing beauty marketplace.

In fact, California Assembly Bill 495, if passed, will prohibit 20 of the most dangerous chemicals and contaminants currently being used in beauty products. Read an easily digstible summary about it on the Environmental Working Group website. This page will let you download a copy of the report and read more specifics. They list the following chemicals amongst those to be banned:

  • Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
  • Chemicals that release formaldehyde.
  • Mercury, which can damage the kidney and nervous system.
  • Lead, a potent neurotoxin.
  • Asbestos, a known carcinogen.
  • Isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben.
  • Toluene, which is toxic to the brain and nervous system.
  • Triclosan, which affects the thyroid.
  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been linked to cancer.

Here is a link to the chart of the full 20 ingredients with details.

While it is not realistic to toss all current favorites in one fell swoop, I am heeding the advice of Indie Lee on the recent Bad on Paper Podcast (episode 48) and subscribing to the 80/20 rule. I plan revise a majority of the products in my regular routine, seeking out more responsible substitutes as my current products empty. I’ll be sure to report in on favorites as I go!

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