Toxin (täksin) / noun: 1. an antigenic poison or venom of plant or animal origin, especially one produced by or derived from microorganisms and causing disease when present at low concentration in the body.
It's 3:48am. I can't sleep. My mind is racing. Why? Because I'm so excited to share this with you.
My non-toxic journey began years ago. Fourteen, to be exact. I was a nanny. During my college summers. The family I nannied for was ahead of their time. Like way ahead. They had an organic certified farm about 20 miles outside of Boston. Total bliss, absolutely gorgeous. I lived with them all summer long. For three straight summers.
I learned about organic labeling. Why shopping at Whole Foods for everything under the sun is well, superior. I learned how quickly a grocery budget can add up too. But that's ok because you're purchasing premium and quality. I learned about gardening. And using detergent that has zero scent.
I learned all about the issues with eating an excessive amount of sugar and the harm it can do, on a cellular level. I learned how to make my own salad dressing. I ate a lot of fresh fish. I ate a lot of fresh vegetables. I used Tom's non-aluminum deodorant for the first time. I learned about Farmer's Markets and what they really stand for. I learned about CSA's and food co-op's. I learned. I learned. I learned.
But I didn't really practice all I learned. Except for those summers nannying. Being organic and green was expensive. I didn't have that kind of money. It was all fun and games while shopping on the boss's dime, right?
People, I had college loans to pay off (more on that HERE) and a house to buy. I had gas to put in my car. I had a crazy, wild, adventurous life to live. Fun to have. Thinking about my health and especially my BEAUTY PRODUCTS wasn't at the fore front of my mind in those interim years. I was a model. An actress. Beauty was the name of the game. At any cost. I didn't care what chemicals were slathered on my face. The more the merrier. As long as my skin was glistening and picture perfect, hook me up!
That was...until I met Walt. Something changed. Because I really began to love somebody, almost more than myself. To care for someone. Their health, their stamina, their well-being. To want the best for them. To make their health your mission. That's when the floodgates opened again.
So much of my non-toxic journey returned to fruition at the start of our marriage. And then gaining a huge amount of new momentum the day we learned we were expecting Nash. You start pondering changes you want to make for the next generation. Your generation. Your people. Your angels. Your heart and soul running around. All around you. Little people you only want the best for. Always.
And then I got my hands on THIS book. My friend Moggy sent it to me. Oh good gosh, this book. Don't read it! Well, actually absolutely do read it. Just...be prepared. If it doesn't call you to change in some way, some form, in YOUR life...then I'm seriously unsure if we can even be friends. (I kid. Well, kind of.)
All hell broke loose at CasaCullen after I read this book. I was throwing away hoards of beauty products and household cleaners. Getting rid of all our detergents and reading our body care labels. I remember doing it all one day when Walt was at work. A massive trash bag filled with thousands of dollars worth of products. Marching it right out the door. To our outdoor trash can and slamming the lid shut. I was so angry that I even OWNED so many products that were filled with toxins. Chemicals. Hormone and endocrine disruptor. Cancer givers. Unhealthy. Mother. Effing. Useless. Dangerous. Crap.
Done and done. No. Thank. You.
For a split second I thought I should text all my Austin girlfriends and see if they wanted the loot. But I didn't. I never wanted anybody I cared about to ever use those products again. I shut the lid, walked back inside and so began a much bigger journey of taking care of me and my flock. Reading labels like a boss. Buying locally grown organic produce whenever possible. Purchasing organic meats and dairy. Eating at home 99% of the time. Feeding our children real, whole, nourishing foods. Limiting our intake of processed foods as best I could.
And then I co-hosted a Healthy Child, Healthy World party. We played this video. It hit home in so many ways. If you have children, it's the best 3:38 you'll spend in a long, long time.
But the real kicker? My beloved, beloved BEAUTY PRODUCTS. That I just couldn't part with.
You think I'm kidding? I'm not. I used to dabble in makeup artistry. I was an actress. A model. I had hoards and hoards of free makeup and awesome products. I just couldn't part with them. I couldn't bring myself to throw out all my beloved stuff. My perfect hairspray. My beloved nail lacquer. My skin polishing exfoliating cream. Anything and everything that made my outward appearance better, chemically...I kept. Just for me. Like my own little naughty, secret stash. Pathetic, right?
So I kept it. The stash. And every single time I spray my hair with hair spray, I think about it differently. Every time I wash my face with a cleanser I know isn't free of toxins, I look in the mirror and cringe a bit. Every time Clover grasps my face riddled with makeup I know isn't clear of toxins, I pull her hand away. Yep. All of this adds up. Day in. Day out. Chemicals and toxins leaching into my skin. Into my body. Ugh.
During both pregnancies and also while nursing I really tone down the beauty product usage. Lots of makeup free days. Lots of coconut oil as my go-to moisturizer. And especially lately I've gotten even more finicky. I spent hours a few months ago looking up all of our products on THIS great website. And realized many of the products I thought were 'safe' actually weren't. At all. The products we were using on Nash and Clover were always great because I'd research the dickens out of products before I'd put them on the kids these last few years.
As for me and Walt, you get in your ruts. You buy your same brands. You don't think twice about that toothpaste. That deodorant. So I took the time. And I sat down for a few hours and checked them all. It shocked me. Changes needed to be made, again. So I started a Pinterest board HERE and started keeping track. And then I stumbled upon the Honest Company in my research and sampled a few of their products. I liked them. And I liked the idea of auto-ordering. And a one stop shop concept.
Then I ran into my friend Amanda. We started gabbing about referring people to places like Amazon, Whole Foods and the Honest Company's website and how they're making so much money off of our devout referrals. Fair? Sure. For those companies. Not for us. She mentioned Ava Anderson. I thought nothing of it. Ava what? We got sidetracked and never fully made it back to that point. Y'all know how it is. Gab gab gab.
Later that evening, I was laying in bed and told Walt that I wanted to create a company that had products similar to the Honest Company but in an MLM format. Where other women, parent's, people could share the joy of using non-toxic products all throughout their home, and get kick back for referring and sharing their knowledge with others. I just knew this didn't exist. I knew it. Because if it did, I would've absolutely heard about it. But how in the world would I go about doing this? My mind was racing.
We laid in bed for an hour past our normal bedtime talking about it. But I could tell Walt was tired. He turned off his reading light. He went to sleep. But I laid there. Staring at the ceiling. I couldn't sleep. I told him that I needed to get up and do the research now. To see if there was anything like this on the market. And guess what? THERE IT WAS AGAIN! Ava whaaaaaat?
Oh hey there, Ava Anderson!
Do y'all know how much I wish I would've known about this company before Nash and Clover were born? Just their baby and suncare line alone is enough to have me squealing in complete and utter delight. They also have skin care, cosmetic, bath and body, hair care, pet care, candles and home care products. One stop shop, HOLLA! I have your attention now, don't I?
No parabens. No PEG’s. No synthetic fragrance. No dyes. No hidden ingredients. No contaminants. No phthalates, nitrosamines or formaldehyde. No glycol, sodium laureth sulfate or petroleum byproducts. No animal testing. Gluten free. Recyclable packaging. Made in the USA.
Are you sold? It took me about 10 minutes and I was too! Hook, line, sinker...sold! I never do this sort of thing y'all. Dive in, head first. But I can't just turn my back on this. It's my passion, my calling.
How in the world had I not been privy to this absolutely amazing information before now? God's timing is perfect and now IS the right time. We got our tax return and I took the leap of faith. So here I go...as a consultant, a believer, a supporter. I promise I'll do a more in depth follow up post all about why I believe in Ava Anderson and which products are my favorite, etc. We are just scratching the surface today. I want y'all to be the first to know.
Join my team, host a party or just simply buy these products. WORTH IT, they are!
Or if nail care is your cup of tea...
Oh hey there, Jamberry!
Because guess what's behind all those chic summer mani/pedis that are on the horizon? Mega, mega, MEGA chemicals. And toxins. Ugh. But I love a good mani/pedi. Gone are the days of putting chemical warfare on my hands. Sorry, I'm not sorry. My hands are in children's mouths on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Many salons are notorious for their chemical usage, toxins that are just stagnant in the air. Seriously. Take a minute and google toxins and chemicals at nail salons. Gross, right?
So yes, I've also come on board with Jamberry and can't wait to rock killer nails all summer long. I've only worn one set of Jamberry nails and I probably got about 100 compliments on them. I kid you not. They truly sell themselves just by looking at them. And then you throw in the non-toxic, USA made, last for weeks and then my personal fave: NO DRY TIME! Seriously, these suckers will sell like hot cakes. Love, love, love them!
Ok, I'll hop off my non-toxic crazed pedestal for now. But this isn't the last you'll hear of it. I know y'all love a good finance story so I'll share with you my main goal financially is just to fund the kid's college savings accounts with these ventures.
I'd also like to save for our 10 year anniversary trip in 2016. Something big. Like a Mediterranean cruise. Maybe a few weeks back in the Caribbean. Or Australia for a month. It's also (don't you dare tell him I told you so) the same year that Walt will turn 50. The big five-oh! So 2016 is a big year in our house. That's my other goal. Something ridiculously awesome that year to celebrate those two milestones!
College funds! A big ol' vacation! And a non-toxic home for our family! Done and done!
Join my Ava Anderson team HERE for only $99!
(My consultant number is 5904 for orders, etc)
Join my Jamberry team HERE for only $99!
Go big or go home! Y'all know me, changing lives...one blog post at a time! (I kid. Well, kind of.)