Wednesday, December 5, 2012

PaperBackSwap...great ways to get books for Christmas gifts! My success story.

Two great books published by Inheritance Publications which I received from PaperbackSwap- costing me under 4 dollars for BOTH! And yes: I now OWN them. This is not a lending system. Rather a way of gaining books for one's own self!

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

With Christmas coming up, and many of you eager to buy special gifts for family and friends, I would like to recommend that you join the book site PaperbackSwap! (which is actually for hardbacks as well!)

 I first heard of it a few years ago, from a fellow blogger but never imagined it would be beneficial for me. However, since I signed up this year, I've been able, through swapping books I no longer wanted or books I picked up free or purchased for a minimal fee, with other members to gain several special books for myself and my family to permanently own. Now I suggest every book lover out there sign up themselves!  Around Christmas is probably the best time to begin listing books since many other members are likewise shopping for Christmas! In the last couple weeks, I've sent out more books than I did all summer. 
PLEASE say, on the sign-up page that mazzou referred you. This is very important, because I would then get an extra credit to spend on! :) Please and thank you!!!

Next...I will kindly explain how the system works on PaperbackSwap. It is unbelievably simple. No credit card information or anything required, because you don't pay for the books you request, rather for the shipping for books you ship out to other members who request them from you!

This means:
 If you only choose to list books that are very lightweight, your credits cost a greatly minimal amount and you save tons of money on books! Yay!
My success story: 
Two great books published by Inheritance Publications which I received from PaperbackSwap- costing me under 4 dollars for BOTH!
In fact, these two like-new Christian historical fiction books which I received  this year for two of my paperback swap account credits I would have paid over $12.00 each if I had purchased them from the company we usually do (Inheritance Publications).
However, through PaperBackSwap I ended up paying only $3.17 for both!(where do I get this $3.17? from the cost it sent me to mail out 2 books previously in order to obtain the 2 credits to spend on these two books I requested!) See what I's great! Read on....and see more examples of books I've received at the bottom of the post.
Yes, you keep the books you request! This is not a constant swapping system, unless you decide to re-swap the books you got....I hope this is clear!

The basics to PaperbackSwap are very simple. Of course there are more details involved, but nothing you can't conquer with a little help from the instructions on the site and from other members like myself. (I personally was given great tips by a friend)

When you sign up, through the below link, they will ask you on the page if anyone referred you. I would be SO happy if you would say I referred you!  (''Mazzou'')

More about the site....
You simply join, just start listing books you have which are in pretty good condition, and when a book is requested from you, you quickly package the book (in two pieces of paper, taped well) and pay for its shipping. (usually under two dollars) 
When the book is received by the other member, you will get a credit (1 credit per book!) to use to request any book off the site for YOURSELF! :)
As a special incentive, when you list 10 books, the company automatically gives you 2 credits as a gift.  And the referral system gives you 1 credit every time a friend lists 10 books.
I must admit that not all your favorite books will be available immediately. However, each person gets to add as many as 200 books to their wishlist which will enable you to wait in line for your desired book to be posted by another member. 
(I am sure this sometimes takes years, as it will for several of the more unusual books I long for....but oh well! I am grateful for the wishlist system.) I actually have received a couple books already, from my wishlist!

Book quality:
 I have, so far, received over 4 great books in like-new condition! Very exciting. (if you do not want any books worse than ''new'' condition, you can specify that on your PaperbackSwap club account! Or you can request a book, then send the member a personal message, as I usually do, making sure the book IS in great condition) You can swap books which are in good condition, or newer. There is even a forum on the site for swapping damaged books. And I do list damaged books if they are popular, BUT to follow the rules of the site, I ALWAYS send the member who requests the book a message informing them on the condition, and making sure they still want it. 

Choosing books to swap:
Note: If you don't have books in your home which you want to get rid of on PaperBackSwap, you can always purchase books from your thrift shop, library, etc. I suggest you look out for lightweight books, so you can spend less for your credit. Also, you might want to contemplate which books are highly desired in the club... by searching the titles and seeing how many members wish for it, or reading the ''top wished'' list of titles. (which I don't recommend doing since I'm sure there are many nasty titles on it.)

What I did and do:
I officially began my PaperbackSwap account with listing 10 books I actually bought for 25 cents-75 cents a piece at our local thrift store. Thankfully, after the initial 10 books (which unfortunately, didn't go like hotcakes!) although I did buy a few more books here and there, and gave away several books from my own collection which I didn't main sources, surprisingly and excitedly are ''free boxes'' at book stores and resale shops. I hope you find free books to list as well! But any way you do it, BEGIN!

Comment on this post if you have any questions, or if you already use PaperbackSwap!

Now for some examples of books I have been able to request and receive through PaperbackSwap!
Each of these came in great condition....AND, counting up the costs of the shipping spent on the book with which I earned credit to order these books, every single one comes to under $2.00

Since these books are out of print, I am trying to get as many copies as possible!

A sweet book by an author I like- yes, it is a hardback book!

Just SOME of the books I've received so far.

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Great Book: Made In Heaven

Secrets of the Sixth Book Cover
Made in Heaven  by Ray Comfort and Jeffrey Seto
Hardback, 64 pages. Published by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group

''Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.'' -Revelation 4:11 
(quoted on pg. 4 of this book)

How often we close our eyes to the wonders around us. Everything, from the tiniest ant to the breath-taking expanse of sky above us, the world loudly proclaims a Creator! For centuries, man kind has been copying God's brilliant creation in order to create things for themselves to use. But does mankind give the true Creator the glory? Man is so proud; he would prefer to credit himself...but it is time to turn back to the real Designer and Creator: God!

''Those who look at the unspeakably wonderful design of nature and don't see the hand of the Designer are truly sense-less. They're not using their God-given senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. Nature screams of God, and for some reason, they turn a deaf ear, a blind eye, and a closed mouth.'' (page 5, introduction)

In Made In Heaven, you will discover what humans have gained from studying fish, spiders, squids, the human eye, the human immune system, mosquitoes, gecko feet, leaves, and even sunflowers and pine cones, not to mention the many more topics covered in this great book!

Sometimes difficult to understand because of the mathematical explanations, I would recommend this book for ages 12 and up.
 I think it would especially be grand for fathers and sons to read together! The thirty-two chapters could be spaced out over a period of weeks.
 I am sure my father, who is a mechanical engineer, will be interested in looking through the fascinating chapter, along with my 12-year old brother who loves studying nature! In fact, I plan on giving it to the latter on his birthday.

Buy this book!
After reading Made In Heaven, you will feel even more awe for our Creator!
And it's happily published in the United States!

I was pleased to receive this book free through New Leaf Publishers Book Reviewing Program, to read and review.

Link to book on site
Read more reviews here

And watch the book trailer below!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Great book: The Genius of Ancient Man

Hardback 108 pages Published 2012 by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishers Group.

 Myth, Legend or Truth?  Using wholesomely Biblical viewpoints, Don Landis and the Jackson Hole Bible College Ancient Man research team bring to light dozens of interesting geographical and historical facts. Prepare to be astonished as marvelous and never-before heard truths about ancient civilizations are carefully unearthed.
''...The Church has for the most part, been content to sit back and take no stand on the issue of [history]...But they don't have to be weak; the Church can stand firm on the Biblical record if only they will step up and learn the facts.'' (from the preface- page 5)

It is time for Christians to wake up and be instructed. What if mankind is not as ancient as ''science'' claims? What if man did not evolve slowly out of slime, completely ignorant and brutish, but rather was created in God's image with a likeness of His intellect?...'' (from the preface)

Instead of being confused about supposedly complicated topic ancient history and the character of ancient man, Christians, as people standing on the truths which the Bible presents and using presuppositions based on the Word of God, can see ancient history come alive!

Captivated by the Biblical approach to geography and history and amazed by the incredibly explanations brought forth, I found it difficult to put the book down, and finished reading it in three days.
I heartily and enthusiastically recommend this book to anyone!
The Genius of Ancient Man is not only a must for every homeschooling family's library- but also for ever Christian's bookshelf.
Since it so powerfully explains the true history of man versus unbiblical evolution theories, I would also hope that not only Bible-believing Christians, but non-believers as well would come across a copy of this book, since God could use it mightily to bring them to faith in Him.

Secrets of the Sixth Book CoverI don't dare reveal to much of the rich truth in this book, since I want you to discover it for yourself, but here is just a sampling:
''The apparent backwardness of some modern native cultures and the extreme simplicity of the tools and artifacts of Paleolithic Man are not, in either case, evidence of inferior intelligence but more probably due to a historical circumstance which is well worth examining.'' (page 45)

Read more in the chapters of the book which include ''Perspectives''; ''Priority of God in Sequence and Time'', ''Pre-flood Man''; ''Worldwide Travel''; ''Religions and Legends''; ''Babel is not gone''....and more!

Hours of researching, trips to various sites around North and Central America, visits to museums, and meetings with experts have provided the team with an overwhelming amount of evidence for the intelligence of these early innovators. A jumble of anomalies and magnificent structures continue to confound archaeology and anthropology today, yet as the dots are connected, one finds history as described in the biblical record.

I was thrilled to receive this book free through the New Leaf Publishers Book Reviewers program.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Review: The Truth About the Lordship of Christ

The Truth About...The Lordship of Christ
By John MacArthur, paperback 140 pages.
Thomas Nelson 2012
I was pleased to receive this book free to review from the BookSneeze blogging for books program! I was encouraged to state my honest opinion.

I found the cover, size, font and layout of the book appealing and conducive to enjoyable reading and studying.

A breath of fresh air, this book is Biblically-sound, clear, deep and yet easy to read! Through 6 chapters entitled Lord of the Universe, Lord in Our Lives, Daily Submission, Holy Living, Confession and Restoration, and Ultimate Destination, John MacArthur tackles with wisdom such topics as justification, love and hate, God's perfect love, God's view of sinners,  the lifestyle of a true Christian, daily living in Christ, the joy of Christianity, maturity and glory in suffering, sanctification, confession, repentance, assurance of salvation, etc!

Although a small book, I found it to be worth the read. I think this book would make a good gift for a new Christian friend, and for anyone unused to reading books on doctrine or Christian living which are more than double the size. Additionally, this book would be great for a child to read. And lastly, although this book is addressed to a Christian, I do recommend it for anyone; it would therefore also be a good gift choice for your unsaved acquaintances as well. It explains very clearly salvation, and how God views sin, how we must repent in order to be saved, etc.
I assure you I will not be discarding this book!

However, I did run in to two problems in the book, which I'd appreciate you reading about, especially if you are going to read the book....

Near the beginning of the book, in fact on pages 5-8, I ran into something that disturbed me. I trust John MacArthur's teachings as Scripturally-sound, but here I quote MacArthur quoting Arthur W. Pink:
''God loves whom He chooses. He does not love everybody. Is it true that God loves the one who is despising and rejecting His blessed Son? God is Light as well as Love, and therefore His love must be a holy love. To tell the Christ-rejecter that God loves him is to cauterize his conscience, as well as to afford him a sense of security in his sins. The fact is, the love of God is a truth for the saints only, and to present it to the enemies of God is to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs...''
 page 246 The Sovereignty of God by Arthur W. Pink
 Read more here!

John MacArthur, surprisingly, does not support this paragraph. And neither does Banner in Truth publications, supposedly as they edit this paragraph out of their publication of The Sovereignity of God! I was disappointed to hear that, because I don't know about you, but I support Pink's statement. Read an amazingly clear article here! It's wonderful. 

He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father...If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him” (Joh 14:21,23)

Thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Psa 5:5)

Ps. 135:6 Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in seas and in all deeps.

Contrary to what I would believe is right, MacArthur says: ''Pink was attempting to make the crucial point that God is sovereign in the exercise of His love. The gist of his argument is certainly valid: it is folly to think that God loves all alike, or that He is compelled by some rule of fairness to love everyone equally...
Unfortunately, Pink took the corollary too far. The fact that some sinners are not elected to salvation is no proof that God's attitude toward them is utterly devoid of sincere love.'' 
(pg. 7 The Truth About the Lordship of Christ)

I don't believe what Pink stated was ''going to far''!

Turning now to John 3:16, it should be evident from the passages just quoted that this verse will not bear the construction usually put upon it. 
“God so loved the world”—many suppose that this means the entire human race. But “the entire human race” includes all mankind from Adam till the close of earth’s history: it reaches backward as well as forward! Consider, then, the history of mankind before Christ was born. Unnumbered millions lived and died before the Savior came to the earth, lived here “having no hope and without God in the world,” and therefore passed out into an eternity of woe. If God “loved” them, where is the slightest proof thereof?
 Scripture declares “Who [God] in times past [from the tower of Babel till after Pentecost] suffered all nations to walk in their own ways” (Act 14:16). Scripture declares: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Rom 1:28). 
To Israel God said, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth” (Amo 3:2).
 In view of these plain passages who will be so foolish as to insist that God in the past loved all mankind! The same applies with equal force to the future. 
Read through the book of Revelation, noting especially chapters 8 to 19, where we have described the judgments which will be poured out from Heaven on this earth. Read of the fearful woes, the frightful plagues, the vials of God’s wrath, which shall be emptied on the wicked. Finally, read the twentieth chapter of the Revelation, the great white throne judgment, and see if you can discover there the slightest trace of love.  But the objector comes back to John 3:16 and says: “World means world.” True, but we have shown that “the world” does not mean the whole human family. The fact is that “the world” is used in a general way. When the brethren of Christ said “Shew thyself to the world” (Joh 7:4), did they mean “Shew Thyself to all mankind”?  
When the Pharisees said “Behold, the world is gone after Him” (Joh 12:19), did they mean that “all the human family” were flocking after Him? When the apostle wrote, “Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Rom 1:8), did he mean that the faith of the saints at Rome was the subject of conversation by every man, woman, and child on earth? When Revelation 13:3 informs us that “all the world wondered after the beast,” are we to understand that there will be no exceptions? These, and other passages which might be quoted, show that the term “the world” often has a relative rather than an absolute force.  (A.W Pink- read full article here)

MacArthur, I must say, sometimes DOES sound confusing...because after stating that he thought Pink took the corollary too far, he does end up saying: ''Nor should we imagine that such hatred is any kind of blemish on the character of God. It is a holy hatred. It is perfectly consistent with His spotless, unapproachable, incomprehensible holiness. We must remember that God is Lord of the universe, and He can do whatever He wants.''
Yes! Very true. And in agreement with Pink! 

In the section about ''Assurance of Salvation'' (chapter 6), I was a little tense during my first read through it since the author gives the impression near the beginning of the chapter that it is wrong to question your salvation (by examining your life and your relationship with the Lord) too much, as ''the Puritans did'' which, according to the author, encourages ''morbid introspection and utter despair.'' However, later, to my relief, MacArthur does support self-examination and explains why it is crucial. So I am willing to overlook the flaw, especially since Mr. MacArthur does assure the reader that he admires the Puritans generally. 

Anyhow: I was pleased to receive this book free to review from the BookSneeze blogging for books program! I was encouraged to state my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Review: What Matters Most

What Matters Most

What Matters Most by Leonard Sweet 2012. Soft cover, 244 pages. 
Published by WaterBrook Press. I received through the Blogging for Books reading program.
I was encouraged to express my honest opinion, whether negative or positive!

This book had a bad start with me since I was not attracted to the cover, size of book, layout or style of writing. However, obviously I could ignore those factors, if the content of the book proved to be Biblically sound!

The point of this book is relationships. The author comes from the viewpoint that Christians follow rules, but have forgotten how to cultivate relationships. While I agree that relationships just don't seem to be successful now-a-days, I don't believe this author was qualified to address the subject. I know of a score of better books and messages, and even blog posts which cover the subject wisely and Biblically. 

I suspected something was wrong with this book when I saw at a glance that there were hardly any Bible verses quoted in the book, but many quotes by people like Dominican friars, Mystics, Dostoyevsky, Aristotle, Richard Cranshaw, Mystic Nicholas of Cusa, James Hillman, HOmer Simpson, Lily Tomlin, Emily Dickinson, etc. while only a few quotes from Charles Spurgeon, hymns and the Bible.  

The book turned out to be almost blasphemous as the author constantly stated wild beliefs and un-Biblical thoughts. 

For example, I quote the author: The center of gravity of global Christianity is shifting from the North to the West to the South and East. Western Christianity was tutored by Greece and Rome. It will now learn from Asia. 
What Christianity learned from Greco-Roman culture (Stoicism, neo-Platonism) was how to express itself in rhetoric and reason. When we start learning from Asia, and the cultures of India, Tibet, and China, we will move beyond the rational to the mystical...God is a mystery, not a master's thesis...Jesus was not a Greek, nor was he a classical thinker. He was a Hebrew, Eastern in thought and culture, relational in practice, and mystical in spirituality. 

See what I mean? The author is almost....New Age? Later in the book, he mentions relationships with his ancestors, and favorite famous (not all Christian) people from the past. Bad, bad, bad.

Lastly, chapter 3 was terrible as the author totally twisted the meaning of Abraham's relationship with God. This chapter states that ''God never wanted Abraham to kill Isaac and was hoping (yuck) that Abraham would argue with God and ultimately refuse to carry out the directive.''

The author also quotes a favorite paragraph from Conrad Gempf which is so blasphemous I hardly dare share it, but which says that God is interested when we argue with Him, and He likes losing the arguments even more than He likes winning them. Excuse me? The conscientious reader will now slam this book and send it to it's death via the recycling bin!

So, I simply close with the warning to beware of this author, Leonard Sweet's writings. Usually Blogging For Books offers Christian material, but I guess I need to be more careful, and not just hastily choose a book to review based on the title! I hope these thoughts helped you.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The best way to wash your hair: safe, frugal and effective!

Dear readers both ladies and gentlemen:
After you have read the previous notes on the poisons in your typical shampoos and conditioners, you may be looking for a healthy alternative. There are plenty of homemade natural and organic products for sale, but since those tend to be pricey, I am glad I can offer you a frugal method which you can use daily without harming your budget! Simply: 

Baking soda and vinegar- healthy hair, healthy bodies!
I switched over to using strictly baking soda and vinegar over a year ago now, and haven't touched shampoo or conditioner since! Although each person is different, I have had satisfactory results with this method. There are a few benefits to using these items in for your hair
1) None of the poisons or harmful ingredients listed in the previous post
2) Cheaper than most shampoos and conditioners, especially cheaper than all-natural ones!
3) Gentle on all types of skin, scalp; will not harm your eyesight if you get some in your eyes. 
4) Both ingredients known to heal dry skin, sunburns.
5) Extremely speedy to use: cleans quickly and effectively and rinses out in no time at all!
6) You've seen it written on dozens of shampoo ads; people are always searching for products to
  deep-clean their scalp and to restore health and shine to their hair: here it is! The two most cleansing ingredients. 

So, let's get started! I originally heard about this method long before I actually tried it. The only reason why I waited so long was because the original post said you needed a small spray bottle in which to mix the baking soda and water...and I didn't have one. So it took me a little while to realize I could come up with my own ways of doing the preparation! Below, I have many pictures to illustrate the variety of ways you can have a quick and easy cleansing shower!

All you will need is a tablespoon of baking soda, and a tablespoon of your choice of vinegar: white distilled or apple cider. Although both kinds are suitable, I have heard that apple cider enhances the color of dark-haired folk. So I now usually use white vinegar.

The photo below explains all that a beginner may use for a washing: 
*A tablespoon measuring spoon
*A 1 cup measuring cup
*A plastic cup (photo shows 3 for varieties' sake)
*Box of baking soda
*Jug of vinegar

(see end of post for instructions)

Or, for a more manly look:
 your preparation might look more like this:

Or perhaps you prefer a dark green measuring cup:

Okay, enough of that :)

Here's what you need to do: 
1. Measure 1 TB of baking soda, dump it into your choice of cup or small plastic container for mixing.  Leave measuring spoon in there. Set in a corner of the shower where it won't too filled with water from the shower.
2. Grasp a jug of lidded vinegar and place it in the shower as well. 
3. Place your empty 1-cup measuring cup in shower too.
4. Moisten your hair, then add 1 cup warm water to the baking soda in the container; turn off shower and mix baking soda and water with spoon. 
5. Slowly pour on your scalp and hair while rubbing and scrubbing or massaging it in with the other hand. (Vary your energy from wash to wash; you only need to do a major scrubbing every two weeks, otherwise: massage it in)
6. Let it soak into your scalp/hair for 5 minutes. (Again, although this is idea, it is not necessary every wash.)
7. Simply rinse it out! Comes out like a dream, in less than 1 minute! 

Ideally, you will want to finish with a vinegar rinse. 
8. While still in the shower, turn off the water. Pick up your cup and measure 1 Tablespoon of your choice of either white or apple cider vinegar into the mixing cup; add 1 cup water. No need to mix. 
9. Slowly pour mixture onto your scalp and comb through your hair with your fingers! You will be pleased at how slick this makes your's amazing how the tangles disappear! Add more vinegar and water if your hair is super-tangley. 
10. Option 1:  Leave it in. However, apple cider vinegar leaves a slight residue of smell....not the best thing if you're attending a wedding or the like. Also, if you are planning on doing up your hair while it's wet, if you don't rinse out the vinegar it will smell pretty strong when you let your hair down at the end of the day....kind of fermented. ;)

Option 2: Rinse briefly.This is accomplished in a minute or that to how long it takes to rinse out commercial conditioners!

Option 3: What I generally do is to rinse it out completely. Takes a couple minutes.
Vary from time to time!

I want you to encourage you to try this. If it looks complicated, that's my fault for writing out the instructions to long. In reality, it's simple, Read the instructions above a few times and then write out your own condensed ideas. By the way: I don't use measuring cup for water measuring, since I know by sight by now. Besides, it's rather flexible. For myself, I use 2 Tablespoons of baking soda to 2 Cups of water ever other wash, too. It's all about variation, and finding your best method. 

Lastly, be patient! You may not love your hair until you have consistently used this method for over a few months! But I can say assuredly, I have used it over a year: And I'm sticking with it! 
This is important! This is health for the future. Ladies: Do not ruin your health as future mothers by using poisons on your body....keep your body safe for your future as mothers!!!

Who will join me in using simple baking soda and vinegar? 

I've seen some really beautiful results on other ladies who are using it! (links to come in a future post)

I wish I had some incredible ''before and after'' pictures of myself.... but I DO still have plenty of hair. :)
2013 UPDATE: And it's getting easier and easier to keep my hair clean and lovely! :) Yay! Now 5 of my 7 sisters are using it as well. It REALLY works. Never has my hair felt so clean.... :) 

Ladies....I encourage you to join this ''club'' of people switching to better things for their bodies! And encourage your brothers to do so as well. It's important. And actually, I think it will be easiest for the boys to switch since they don't have a love for sweet-smelling shampoos anyhow! ;) But it's obviously ESPECIALLY important for the ladies to not use reg. chemical-laden shampoos.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shampoo....the truth behind it!

Dear readers both ladies and gentlemen! 

Do you know what is in your shampoo? You will be absolutely shocked to see some of the blatant poisons with which you are lathering yourself every week! Dr. Mercola states: ''The truth is, while you wouldn't ever eat your shampoo, you may actually absorb fewer toxins when you eat something than you do when you apply it to your skin!''
Do you know what is in your shampoo?- Dr. Mercola (this link is for ladies only, please!)

5 Common -- and Toxic -- Shampoo Ingredients
  1. Diethanolamine or DEA
    In a recent FDA report, approximately 42% of all cosmetics were contaminated with NDEA, with shampoos having the highest concentrations. DEA also readily reacts with nitrite preservatives and contaminants to create nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), a known and potent carcinogen.
    This is a big problem because DEA seems to block absorption of the nutrient choline, which is vital to brain development. Pregnant women actually require extra choline so they can pass it on to their fetus.
    An associate dean for research at the UNC School of Public Health mentioned that choline is necessary to help provide proper nutrients for  a healthy baby; stating that, "At this point it is a caution. But it would probably be prudent to look at labels and try to limit exposure until we know more."
  2. Dioxane
    1,4 dioxane, a byproduct of ethylene oxide, received a "high hazard" rating from EWG's Skin Deep, and it is commonly found in shampoo and other personal care products. Even baby shampoo often contains this cancer-causing toxin.
    On the CDC site, 1,4 dioxane is described as "probably carcinogenic to humans," toxic to the brain and central nervous system, kidneys and liver. It is also a leading groundwater contaminant.
  3. Parabens
    Parabens, which are used as preservatives, may be listed on the label as methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, isobutyl paraben or E216. They have shown particularly troubling links to cancer.
    Studies have shown that parabens can affect your body much like estrogens, which can lead to diminished muscle mass, extra fat storage, and cancer.
    The EPA has linked methyl parabens in particular to metabolic, developmental, hormonal, and neurological disorders, as well as various cancers.
Your Skin Readily Absorbs Shampoo Toxins

When you put shampoo or conditioner onto your scalp, the 20 blood vessels, 650 sweat glands, and 1,000 nerve endings soak in the toxins.
The truth is, while you wouldn't ever eat your shampoo, you may actually absorb fewer toxins when you eat something than you do when you apply it to your skin!
According to evidence presented at 1978 Congressional hearings, the absorption of the carcinogen nitrosodiethanolamine (NDELA), which is commonly found in shampoo products, was shown to be more than 100 times greater when exposure came through your skin than via your mouth.
The truth is, when you consume toxins in foods, such as pesticides in fruit and vegetables, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach often break them down and flush them out of your body. Food also passes through your liver and kidneys, so the toxins that make it through are detoxified to varying degrees by enzymes before they reach the remainder of your body.
However, when toxins are absorbed through your skin, they bypass your liver and enter your bloodstream and tissues -- with absolutely no protection whatsoever.
Even "Organic" Shampoos May be Toxic

Cosmetics and their ingredients do not have to undergo any type of approval process before hitting store shelves, and the terms "natural" and "organic" have no definitions. In other words, when it comes to cosmetics labeling, it's a free for all.
Some products may include a few organic ingredients along with several chemical ones -- and still claim to be natural or organic on the label.
In fact, in a report released in 2008, the Organic Consumers Association found at least one toxic, cancer-linked chemical in over 40 percent of products that call themselves "natural."

POSITIVELY, there are alternative routes to your hair-cleaning routine, my readers! I will share some of those healthy and safe ways within the following week! Stay tuned. 

-Miss M.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Giveaway on my other blog

On my other blog, I am doing a giveaway 'in honor of' my blog's second year of being a blog and because September is coming up! So please visit the giveaway here!

cherry, fuchsia and gold blossom notecards - set of four

Saturday, August 18, 2012

In which I 'ruin' your life....and save it! ;)

Dear readers, both ladies and gentlemen,

I have been wanting to share certain interesting (to put it mildly) health truths with you for a while and it has been hard to choose just one subject a week! 
 I shall begin with one of the most crucial.....the truth behind most of your skin care, hair care and for the ladies: your beauty care products! 
Including many 'natural' or organic items. 

Of course it's not the most comfortable thing to read about, 
since you will have to do a major clean-up of your home; 
but if you heed the warnings you will be able to drastically help your health. 
Most of the items listed below have been proven to be linked to cancer, and several other problems. You will be absolutely surprised if you start reading the ingredients labels on even your 'natural' products. A few years ago my mother printed out a list she found on Dr.Mercola's site, and I threw out several items which were too much in collusion with the following items. But over the recent years, several things managed to creep back into my drawer/purse. Well. I found the following list again this past week: And out to the garbage went many little items again! I know many of you girls already by really natural items. We have found a few good sites featuring truly natural and safe items.
 I will share them with you in the next post! Feel free to also pass on your suggestions. 

Here are a few of the most common suspicious ingredients:
(Thanks to Dr. Mercola for compiling and explaining them!)

Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – Petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to dermatologic issues. Slows cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity. By the way, when there's an oil spill in the ocean, don't they rush to clean it up – fast? Why put that stuff on your skin?
Parabens- Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including moisturizers). An estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. Studies implicate their connection with cancer. They have hormone-disrupting qualities.....
Phenol carbolic acid- Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure. 
Fragrance:Fragrance is present in most deodorants, shampoos, sunscreens, skin care, body care and baby care products. Many of the compounds in fragrances are carcinogenic or otherwise toxic. "Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients. Most or all of them are synthetic. Symptoms reported to the FDA have included headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation. Clinical observation by medical doctors have shown that exposure to fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes.' Home Safe Home

Propylene glycol (PG) – Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation. As a 'surfactant' or wetting agent and solvent, this ingredient is actually the active component in antifreeze. There is no difference between the PG used in industry and the PG used in personal care products. It is used in industry to break down protein and cellular structure (what the skin is made of) yet is found in most forms of make-up, hair products, lotions, after-shaves, deodorants, mouthwashes and toothpastes. It is also used in food processing. Because of its ability to quickly penetrate the skin, the EPA requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles when working with this toxic substance. The Material Safety Data Sheets warn against skin contact, as PG has systemic consequences such as brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. Consumers are not protected nor is there a warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the concentration is greater than that in most industrial applications. 
This active ingredient is found in engine coolants and antifreeze, airplane de-icers, tire sealants, rubber cleaners, polyurethane cushions, paints, adhesives, enamels and varnishes, and in many products as a solvent or surfactant.
And guess what? Despite the fact the material safety data sheet warns users to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol as it is a strong skin irritant and can also cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage, it's more than likely in your shampoo.

Acrylamide- Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to cancerous tumors in lab research!!!

Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)- Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners......and in over 90 % of personal care products! 
SLS becomes a ''nitrosamine'', a potent class of carcinogen. It can also cause hair loss. SLES is sometimes disguised with the labeling ''comes from coconut'' or ''coconut-derived''. Although SLS originates from coconuts, this chemical is anything but natural!
Used as detergents and surfactants, these closely related compounds are found in car wash soaps, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers. Yet both SLS and SLES are used more widely as one of the major ingredients in cosmetics, toothpastes, hair conditioner and about 90% of all shampoos and products that foam.
 Mark Fearer in an article, Dangerous Beauty, says " tests, animals that were exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, along with depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation and corrosion and death." According to the American College of Toxicology states, "...both SLS and SLES can cause malformation in children's eyes. Other research has indicated SLS may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties. It is possibly the most dangerous of all ingredients in personal care products. Research has shown that SLS when combined with other chemicals can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens, which causes the body to absorb nitrates at higher levels than eating nitrate-contaminated food." According to the American College of Toxicology report, "SLS stays in the body for up to five days...Other studies have indicated that SLS easily penetrates through the skin and enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, the liver, the lungs and the brain. This poses serious questions regarding its potential health threat through its use in shampoos, cleansers and toothpaste.

Toulene- Poison!Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. 

 Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include 
benzoic and benzyl.

Dioxane– Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin.
    Dioxane's carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965 and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by "vacuum stripping". Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as "comes from coconut"

*I suggest that you print out the above list, or jot down all those chemicals so you can make sure your home is poison-free as well! *

Dr. Mercola says: ''We believe containers when they show a "danger" warning, or a "skull and crossbones" to warn of toxins in a product. And we respond by not applying them to our skin or eating them!
   Yet many skin care products use ingredients with unrecognizable and unpronounceable names.

   Personally, I rarely put anything consciously on my skin that I wouldn't be willing to put in my mouth.
   It is well-proven that when you apply these chemicals to your skin, they enter your bloodstream and become integrated into your body tissues, In fact, it is probably safer to eat these ingredients than to rub them on your skin (although I strongly recommend you don't do either!).
   However, if you do happen to eat these chemicals, your digestive system can produce specific enzymes to break down these toxins and excrete them… something that doesn't readily occur when you absorb them through the skin.
   Potentially harmful ingredients continue to be used. Why? Because they are cheap, readily available, and easily diluted.''

I close with the promise that in the near future I will share some resources and ideas to replace some of the products which I hope and trust you are going to make haste to throw away now....!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Re-opening of this blog!

Hello readers!
I know you aren't exactly reading this blog yet....but I don't blame you, because there isn't much on it yet! In fact, although I have millions of ideas racing around my brain, I haven't yet decided in what order I will share them all with you. Therefore, the quiet blog. But I would LOVE it if you would start following, sharing your thoughts on life, health, etc.

Thanks, and have a great day!

-The blog author
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