Friday, October 13, 2017

Menstrual Products Right to Know Act

This is a mission that is important for all women, including daughters who might not even be ready just yet. And while talking about periods can be squeamish for some, there is helpful info to be shared.
Unbelievably, no federal law exists which requires disclosure of ingredients in tampons and pads. This means women are left in the dark about what ingredients they are putting on some of the most sensitive and absorptive tissue on their body.
That’s why Women's Voices for the Earth and Seventh Generation are happy to report that Representative Grace Meng has introduced the Menstrual Products Right to Know Act. And on May 23, women from across the country gathered on Capitol Hill to send Congress a message: It’s time to care about feminine care. Period.

What's the big deal anyway?
Vaginal tissue is very sensitive, which means we should be extra careful about what’s coming into contact with it. The walls of the vagina are filled with numerous blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, which allows for direct transfer of chemicals in to the circulatory system. In fact, there is considerable interest in vaginal drug delivery systems because the vagina is such an effective site to transfer drugs directly into the blood without being metabolized first.
One study found that a vaginally applied dose of estradiol (an estrogen proxy) resulted in systemic estradiol levels in the body 10 to 80 times greater compared to the same dose given orally. So, you should really know what the heck is in the products you use around the vagina.
The whole truth.
Right now, some companies tell you a little bit about what’s in their products. While tampon and pad manufacturers aren’t required to disclose ingredients, many do include some basic information on their packages about the ingredients — unless they use fragrance. A ‘fragrance’ in a product can be made up of 50-200 different ingredients, many for which health data simply doesn’t exist. This black box means that you could be exposing your body to fragrance ingredients without even knowing it.
We can do better.
Forward-thinking companies are already doing the right thing for women by voluntarily disclosing the ingredients used in their products. And leaders like Seventh Generation are taking the extra step to advocate for transparency industry-wide by co-sponsoring a rally in May.
Together, on May 23, women concerned about their health stood alongside business leaders and tell Congress that we have the right to know what’s in the products we use so intimately. Congress can do their part by enacting a very simple, common-sense law.

Thanks Generation Good for the Information! 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Fitness and Health Apps

There is an app for everything, or at least it seems that way.  I try to be very selective about the apps I put on my phone and only have ones I use all the time (Hello Target app).  So when it comes to health and fitness apps, I only have ones on my phone that I will truly use. Here are my current favorites.

This is my go to fitness app. I use it all the time. I check my steps, track my workouts, and make sure my sleep is going well. Seriously I love that it shows all the different aspects of your sleep! Have you checked that out? If not do it, it is so interesting.

This one will come down to if your Doctor’s Office uses it. Mine does not, but the kids pediatrician does and it is wonderful. I can track growth, medications, shots, print records, make appointments, and so much more. This app has saved me a number of times when Little B has gone to the ER. It is amazing to have all the kids’ medical information at your fingertips.

As we have moved into the word of glasses for the kiddos, this new app is awesome to keep in your back pocket. The best part of this app is that you can check your vision without going to the Eye Doctor!
I mean what could be better than a great app and saving you time!

Thanks to my friends at Warby Parker letting me know about this awesome new resource. What are your go to Fitness and Health apps?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

I wanted to share again about the importance of this day, in regards to Cancer Awareness.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that’s most often caused by asbestos exposure. It usually forms in the lungs of those who have been exposed to this deadly toxin, but sometimes occurs in the abdominal area or the area around the heart. There are a number of therapies available that can help prolong survival and minimize symptoms and discomfort, but in most cases the cancer is too aggressive and too advanced at the time of diagnosis to be cured. This disease specifically impacts a thin membrane that protects the lungs, heart and organs within the abdominal cavity and enables them to function properly. This is called the mesothelium and the majority of cases of this type of cancer affect the pleura, the mesothelium that lines the lungs. 

My husband's grandfather died of this years ago so it is something that is important to our family. 

Approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma of all types in the United States every year. In most cases, these victims’ exposure took place on the job and the cause of the illness can be traced to an unsafe workplace.

For example, in the past, an overwhelming amount of job sites across the nation used asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in buildings, equipment, products, machinery, insulation, electrical wiring, and more.

Workers were exposed to ACMs each time they went to work, inhaling tiny, odorless asbestos fibers. Once the fibers become lodged in the body, it’s literally impossible to expel all of. Over time, the workers began developing asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer.

With changing regulations and mitigation, exposure to asbestos is on the decline, but people continue to be diagnosed. This is because the disease has what is known as a long latency period. This means that the amount of time that can pass between the time of exposure to asbestos and the time that symptoms begin to appear can be as long as fifty years.

It is an unfortunate reality, but medical science has made great strides in understanding how this deadly disease progresses and various ways to prolong and improve the lives of those who have been diagnosed with the condition. Currently, however, there is still no cure for asbestos illnesses.

*** Information was provided by check them out for more information!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Planning to Pay for your Dream Wedding

Planning a wedding can be a fun time, but also one that is extremely stressful. Although my own wedding was a little bit ago (wait what, 10 year anniversary?!?), I think there always some pieces of advice that remain true no matter what happens. The big questions will always be how much are you spending and who is paying for it. My friends at Earnest, wrote a nice article on how to determine the real cost of a wedding (aka all the things we forget). Also you have to figure out who is paying for the wedding and how to afford the cost.


The first thing that I think really stands out to me is decide what is most important to you for the day and budget accordingly. Now I know this will be different for everyone, but for me the dress was not a huge importance for the day. I wanted to feel beautiful in my dress, but I knew I was wearing it for one day and I did not need to spend a ton of money to feel happy. I wanted to be sure that the reception was really fun and that all my guests enjoyed themselves. I set a budget for my dress and stuck to it. I actually got exactly what I wanted and loved it without getting near my budget!

Focus on the things that make you happy for that day. I come from a large Italian family so we needed a TON of food. That was important to both my husband and I. We had a huge selection of appetizer and stations at the cocktail hour, a nice dinner, cake and a dessert table. (Ok I might have wanted the dessert table!) Also we learned that sit down dinners are cheaper, because the catering company does not need to order as much extra food.

You can also save money on alcohol if you limit the options available to your guests. Again this goes back to how much extra needs to be ordered. We have been to several weddings with a signature cocktail, picked by the bride and groom, and a short list of beer and wine. Simple, classy, and budget friendly.

When I think back to my own wedding, there is not much I would have done differently. I was able to use my budget and get all the things that I felt I wanted or needed to make the day feel special.  To me the important part was that both my husband and I enjoyed the day with all of our friends and family.

I know that the budget does not work for everyone’s dreams of her special day, so sometimes you need to explore other options.  If you want to explore other options to help pay for your day to be everything you want, check out these great options from Earnest.

Friday, August 11, 2017

5 Things Parents Need to Know About Sleep

Check out this awesome Guest Post from Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck Sleep

Helping your child sleep is one of the most important things you can do to support their health. Healthy sleep is essential for development, performance at school, behavior, moods, and physical and mental health. When your child gets enough sleep, they avoid increasing their risk for behavioral problems, difficulty concentrating at school, and even more serious problems including depression, anxiety, suicide, obesity, and chronic health problems.

These five facts explain important things parents need to know about sleep, from ever-changing sleep needs to sleep disorders and the importance of avoiding screen time before bed.

  1. Good sleep habits must be taught. Sleep comes naturally, but good sleep habits may not just happen on their own. Establishing a healthy sleep routine is on you as a parent, and you can help your child create good sleep habits for life. You can do this by establishing consistent bedtimes, a regular bedtime routine, and healthy sleep hygiene, such as avoiding screen time before bed and creating a dark, cool, and calm sleep environment for your child.
  2. Sleep needs are different at each age. Teaching your child healthy sleep isn't a one-time task, as your child has different needs at every age. Newborns sleep up to 18 hours a day, much of it during the day -- and for short stretches at a time. School age children have less time in the REM stage of sleep, so they need to make the most of the deep sleep they get at night. By the preteen years, children are sleeping about 11 hours -- but it's all at night, so it's essential that kids this age have a schedule that allows plenty of time for sleeping. When teens hit puberty, they experience a circadian rhythm shift that pushes their bedtime back. This shift can make them feel like they have insomnia, and make it difficult to squeeze in enough sleep before it's time to go to school.
  3. Children can suffer from sleep disorders. Just like adults, children can suffer from sleep disorders. Parasomnias, including night terrors, sleepwalking, wetting the bed, and talking while sleeping are more common among children than adults. Children can suffer from dyssomnias as well, which include trouble getting to and staying asleep, particularly behavioral insomnia. Parents of young children may be especially familiar with behavioral insomnia, which can manifest as stalling and making excuses for not going to sleep. Children can also suffer from sleep apnea, reflux, nightmares, and narcolepsy.
  4. Screen time can interfere with healthy sleep. At any age, screen time can cause issues with sleep, especially when it occurs just before bed. Screens emit bright artificial light. This light can confuse your child's brain, telling it that it's daytime (time to be awake), even if it's just about time to go to bed. Set limits with screen time, avoiding screens for at least an hour before bedtime and never in bed.
  5. Most teens are chronically short on sleep. Parents often focus intensely on sleep during the infant and preschool years, letting older children manage their own sleep. But teens need just as much help as younger children in establishing and maintaining good sleep habits. In fact, nearly 90 percent of high school students don't get enough sleep on school nights. A lack of sleep in teens can result in poor grades, obesity, drowsy driving, and moodiness. Teens with a lack of sleep are at a higher risk of anxiety, depression, and suicide. It's important that you continue to focus on healthy sleep habits in school age children and through the teen years.

Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck Sleep. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.