Synthetics in Every Day Products

Guys, I’m bummed. I recently learned about the effects of synthetic fragrances (labeled as fragrance, or parfum in our products) on our hormone function. I had known about this in general for a while now, but hadn’t fully realized just how many products contain “fragrances” and that it’s not as simple as choosing an organic or “all natural” product. I’ve read several articles today about the true meaning of fragrances. It’s basically a nice word that companies use to cover up the chemicals they use to make our shampoo, lotions, deodorant etc. smell nice. One post I read said that fragrance is actually considered a neurotoxin and contains toluene which has been known to cause loss of muscle control, brain damage, headaches and memory loss among other things. Nice. This is just one of the ingredients in the products we use every day that are damaging our organs through contact with our skin. Others that we should be avoiding are:

  • parabens
  • phthalates
  • diethanolamine (DEA) used  in a variety of personal care/laundry detergent products to create lather
  • petrolatum (mineral oils and paraffin)
  • sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) found in foaming products (think of all the things we have that foam)
  • proplene glycol: actually antifreeze, and is linked to kidney and liver disease (lovely).
  • acrylamide: known to increase infertility and neurological problems.
  • phenol: think sink lotion
  • dioxane: more foaming. Linked to cancer.
  • formaldehyde: found in just about everything
  • heavy metals: (lead, aluminum, arsenic, nickel, beryllium, mercury, and cadmium) Aluminum is the number one ingredient in most deodorants, and at least one of these is probably in your makeup.

Something else I learned is that “oil” is not the same as essential oil and is most likely synthetic. Even products that have essential oils in them most likely purchase them (or merely chemical components of the natural oil) for cheap from a provider and they are not necessarily pure.

Here is a picture of all of the things I found in my house (most of which I don’t even use anymore) that have at least one of the ingredients listed. As you can see, just because they say all natural or organic, often doesn’t cut it: unnamed.jpg


Some of these are pretty obvious. But I was disappointed buy the alba products. Both of which contain synthetic fragrances. I had used Organix shampoo for years, but now it’s a no go. I even discovered that Mrs. Meyers has synthetic fragrance!  I had tried all natural shampoos and things (think Jason, or the stuff from Trader Joes) but it always dried my hair out, so I would go back to the bad stuff. Now I only use doTerra bath products and cleaning products, and not only do they smell amazing and contain pure essential oils which benefit the hair and scalp but they don’t dry my hair out, they lather well, and they contain ZERO bad stuff.


I wanted to include Dr. Bronner’s as well because it serves as an excellent base when making DIY’s with your oils.

My challenge for you is to check out the stuff you use in your home and make sure they’re really safe and good for you and your family. These ingredients can be pretty sneaky, but with what I know now about their toxic effects on my hormones, it’s worth it to me to rid my shower and under my sink of chemicals and synthetics, you should too, your body will thank you!




I spent a lot of time in this place growing up. From swimming in the pool with floaties to my 21st birthday. Here’s a photo I snapped last summer of the historic Hotel De Haro with Lime Kiln in the background. Reminds me of warmer days.

The mid 20’s crisis

My husband and I have been talking about lately about where we are in life and where we want to be. It’s confusing. Wild. Frustrating. Full of possibilities. Annoying. We know what we want, what our hopes and dreams are, but figuring out a path to get there is the hardest part, at least for us. We simply refuse to just make money, pay bills, and die. Most people would say that’s just how it goes, but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) we’ve both lived the other side of the coin. Both of us grew up up with dad’s who essentially worked for themselves, which obviously comes with it’s own set of challenges, and yet they were their own bosses.

And I guess that’s what we’re trying to do.

We have a bucket list as long as my arm. We want to build tiny houses and cedar hot tubs, go boating for months at a time.  Go to Thailand, and then maybe hop on a flight to Ireland and who knows where else, and not worry about when we have to be back. Volunteer. Road trip. Adopt like six dogs (me).

Is this even attainable? Who knows. But we’re gonna try. God gave us hearts for adventure, getting out of the box, and we want to live out the desires that Jesus placed in our hearts.

So maybe people will say that we’re crazy. Or irresponsible. Or whatever. But really, I’m not ready to settle down and commit (except to my amazing husband/partner and crime of course) no matter what people assume or say about where we should be.

Working is essential, important, and good. We both value hard work and good work ethic, but at the same time we’re not going to apologize for having goals outside of having a career and making all the money and paying all the bills and only having time for all the adventures after we’re old and tired.

I honestly want nothing more than for my husband to be thriving.  To get to see his aspirations become reality. Because if you don’t know him, he’s a dreamer. He’s passionate. He works so hard and I’m so proud of him. All he wants is what God wants. He has so many amazing and creative endeavors and he never lets go of them. And it drives me crazy that I can’t just give him a million dollars and most importantly all the free time he could possibly want and say “Go for it, whatever you want to do first.”

We’ve had only a glimpse of what is possible when work and free time are in balance. Lately for some unforeseen reasons that has been nearly impossible for us to achieve.

So, we pray, we keep trusting our sweet Jesus and savior, we work hard, and do our darnedest to create opportunities for getting away and doing those things we’re always talking about.



Prières pour Paris

The news from Paris breaks my heart. I am at a loss for words… I am at once filled with anger and deep, unspeakable sadness. It’s awful, heart wrenching, and makes one feel hopeless for humanity.
But we know this is not true. My comfort in all of this is that Jesus has already won. He told us we would have trouble, but that he has overcome it. He is our King and protector, all powerful and all knowing. He holds us in his hands and draws near to the brokenhearted.
So I mourn for that beautiful city and the loved ones of those precious lives lost, but at the same time we turn to God and thank him for fighting for us and already winning the battle. We pray that he would empower and strengthen those left in the aftermath, and give wisdom to those in leadership. We pray for those on the ground, for their energy, stamina and protection. We pray. And continue to praise Him.


I’m sure if you’ve been alive for longer than five minutes you’ve heard people poke fun at western Washington weather. I mean, who would want to live somewhere where the record of sunny days in a year limits out at 58? Honestly though, I kind of love it. The wind, rain, occasional hail storm and the special “snow years”. Today it’s blowing out of the South with 41 (now 50) mile per hour gusts and it’s completely exhilarating. I actually had to wait to wash dishes because the boat was rocking so much I kept losing my balance. I walked out to the point with my crazy dog running everywhere and just watched the storm happen. It was beautiful. I feel like not a lot of people get to see water act like that. The colors of green, blue, and an angry stormy grey all rolling together, it was amazing. When we lived on Shaw we were on the edge of a fairly sheltered bay, and yes the water would get bad but our main concern were the trees surrounding our house, and we thought that moving our mattress downstairs to be further away from falling trees was an adventure… Now we check lines, fill water tanks, make sure everything is properly fastened and fendered, and thank God that we have lots of good strong line and that the dock isn’t that old.
We got a lot of mixed reactions when we decided to live aboard. Everything from “That’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard,” to “Wait you did what?” The number one question people ask is if we stay warm, which is perfectly reasonable. But to be honest I don’t really think of that. I think about whether or not we’ll find another leak this week, I hope that the water hose doesn’t freeze, and I PRAY that we catch the mouse so I can use my drawers again.
That being said, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, that we could pretty much only do right now. It’s an adventure without even stepping out our front door, unlike Bilbo.  So even though I did find another mysterious water mark and an infuriating mouse poop today, I’m thankful. We’re cozy. We have layers, and we have each other. And we’re learning so much about taking care of things and living with less, and we’re going to come out of it with tons of stories to tell our kids some day. Probably more than they will want to hear. 


Sandy Point gust free.


The last couple of months have been quite the ride for us. We moved off of a rural island in the San Juans, back to the “big city.” We miss it terribly, but we’re both trying to stay positive and just wait and see what Jesus has for us in this season. We are learning a lot about patience, faith, and trusting. All good things to be learning more of… but it’s not easy. By nature not a very patient person, I struggle, and try to figure out for myself where God wants me, what he wants me doing, even who he wants me to spend time with. I take control because I feel pressured to find my “thing” when really I need to just look to him and ask him and he will show me in his time. Classic, right?