Toxins and the Effects

Let me start of by saying this is just an informative post.  I learned early on in life that knowledge is powerful!

I’ve wondered for a while why my generation seems to have so many issues with infertility, maintaining pregnancy, birth defects, allergies and so many more health related issues.  Statistics show that these issues have increased in the last twenty/thirty years and we wonder why…

There are more and more toxins and chemicals in our every day products and our food is being genetically modified…creating so many issues for our body.

A couple of weeks ago I had a pedicure at the spa at my gym (I had to use a gift card).  Since it was my first time getting a pedicure with the nail technician and at the Health Spa, she wanted to fill me in on the products she used and why she used them.  She told me that all the products are all natural, certified organic, plant based…100% vegan.  I asked her what did that really mean…a vegan product…

A vegan product is a product that has been manufactured without animal by-products or animal-derived ingredients, such as fish scales as glitter in your nail polish or crushed up bugs in your lipstick. Umm…gross, right?  I was grossed out and kind of didn’t believe that.  When I got home I started googling.  It is TRUE and totally grosses me out!  These nasty ingredients are found in EVERYTHING…face wash, lotions, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, perfume, cosmetics, cleaning products, baby products…the list goes on and on.

I realized at that point I needed to start looking at the ingredients not only in my food, but in all products and really start to avoid these toxins and chemicals.  Here is a list of toxins/chemicals we should be avoiding.

Natural: Products that have been manufactured using only ingredients that come from the earth, without the use of chemicals or synthetics. Examples of these chemicals/toxins that you want to avoid: Sulfates (SLS), parabens, phthalates, sodium benzoate, PEGs, petrochemicals, chlorine, propylene glycol, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, phenoxyethanol, alkylphenols, benzene, Triethanolamine (TEA), phosphates, ceteareth-20, bronopol, nanoparticles, quaternium 15, sulfur oxides, mineral oil, triclosan, methylisothiazolinone (MIT), DMDM Hydantoin and so many more…

Vegan: Products that have been manufactured without animal by-products or animal-derived ingredients.  Examples of these ingredients that you want to avoid: Ambergris, Carmine/Carminic Acid (these are the crushed up bugs), Glycerin, Lactic Acid, Lanolin, Glycerides, Musk, Placenta, Retinol and so many more…

Cruelty Free: Products that have been manufactured by methods that do not include testing or experimentation on animals at any stage of the process.

NOTE: Just because something is vegan /cruelty free, doesn’t mean it is natural or organic…always check the label and if you have questions, contact the manufacturer directly.

Little by little I am switching to all natural/organic cruelty free and vegan products (hopefully by the end of the year).

I encourage you to research (knowledge is power) and switch to a natural/organic cruelty free/vegan lifestyle if you feel it is the best thing for you.  Who knows..maybe this is the cure to so may issues and diseases.

The saying goes…sometimes the simplest answer is right in front of you…

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This post has also been posted on my other blogs: Bunless in the Oven and The Modern Day Momma.

“C” is for Cleaning!

I have always loved to clean and organize…I appreciate my home more when it is spick and span.  Before my little one, I could clean my entire house in one day.  Now days…it takes a bit longer.  It has taken me a several months to figure out how to manage cleaning the house and running after my toddler, but I finally have it figured out. Once I created my cleaning routine and checklist, cleaning has become a breeze!

In order to keep our evenings and our weekends free of cleaning, I had to come up with a schedule of tasks we should be doing daily to maintain:

 Morning:

  1. Make Beds: I love the feeling of climbing into a clean, made bed at the end of the day, so after waking up each morning, I make our bed.
  2. Wipe Down Bathroom Counters:  Every morning after my shower, I do a quick wipe down of the bathroom counters and sink.  This helps in keeping the grossness (from toothpaste and makeup) from building each day.
  3. Empty Dishwasher: Every morning while my little one is eating or playing, I unload the dishes from the night before.
  4. Wipe Down Kitchen Counters, Stove Top, Cabinets, Coffee Pot and Kitchen Table: After breakfast, I wipe down the counters, stove top, cabinets, coffee pot and kitchen table.

During the Day/Evening:

  1. Sweep and Vacuum: We have a toddler and three cats, so we are always sweeping and vacuuming, especially after meals.  I counted yesterday…I swept the downstairs two times and vacuumed (rugs) downstairs three times. 
  2. Laundry:  I try to do one to two loads of laundry per day.  I fold and put the clean clothes away. I’m not a huge fan of laundry piled everywhere, but let’s be honest..sometimes it happens because I’m just so tired. I don’t have a specific day to wash linens or towels.  On Mondays I change the sheets (we have a couple sets) and put the dirty ones in the hamper to be washed, folded and then put away for the following Monday.
  3. Wipe Down Kitchen Counters, Stove Top, Table:  Just like after breakfast,  I wipe down the counters, stove top, and table after lunch and dinner.  Then, a quick sweep and/or vacuum to pick up crumbs.
  4. Load and Run Dishwasher: After dinner we load the dishwasher and start it, so it can be unloaded the next morning.
  5. Pick Up Toys: We are teaching our little man how to put his toys away. Before he goes to bed we put all his toys in the toy box and tell them goodnight and that we’ll play with them tomorrow.

It looks like a lot, but doing these tasks each day will keep the house feeling and looking clean. My morning/during the day routine (with no interruptions) is about 30 mins.  My evening routing is about the same if not less, because my hubby is home and helps out.

I then add in additional tasks to do once per week.

  1. Bathrooms (Mondays):  Since bathrooms are my least favorite chore and since we are home most Mondays,  I decided Monday would be bathroom and cleaning day.  It worked out great this way because it is the start of the week and if we have surprise guests come over, then bathrooms are clean and I don’t have to worry about doing a quick clean.
  2. Dust (Tuesday):  I dust over all surfaces upstairs and downstairs and clean all glass and mirrors (except for bathroom mirrors because they have already been cleaned).
  3. Mop (Wednesday): Before I mop, I sweep all hardwood floors and vacuum.  I then Swiffer just to make sure I get everything that the broom and vacuum didn’t pick up.

There you have it…my cleaning schedule for the week!  Seems easy enough right?

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I know this cleaning schedule may not work for you, so if you would like me to create one that does, please let me know! The cleaning checklist will be available in my shop soon!

Happy Cleaning!

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Introducing TWO new blogs

Happy Friday everyone!

I’m so excited to introduce two new blogs that I’ve created.  In addition to blogger here, I will also be blogging at Bunless in the Oven and The Modern Day Momma.

Bunless in the Oven is a blog where I share our story and talk about infertility and all the struggles and emotions that come along with it.  If you know someone who is struggling with infertility or even second infertility, please send them over to the blog. Please let them know they aren’t alone in this difficult journey.

The Modern Day Momma is a blog where I share my life as a mom to an adorable, active little boy who keeps me very busy. I will blog about being a first-time mom, parenting tips, staying organized, and so much more! The blog is very much like Planning Makes Perfection, except it is geared more to being a mom.

I hope you’ll stop by and check them out!

Hope y’all have a great and safe weekend!

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Zucchini and Shrimp

Last night for dinner I made Chachere’s Zucchini and Shrimp…simple and easy.

Prep Time: Less than 5 minutes

Cook Time: Less than 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 pound of shrimp (preferably peeled and deveined)
  • Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (this has some spice to it.  Sprinkle to your liking)

Directions:

In a skillet, add the chopped zucchini, Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning and 1/4 cup of water.  Cook on high heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the zucchini is tender. Place the zucchini in a bowl for serving.

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Add the shrimp to the already hot skillet you just used for the zucchini.  Season the shrimp with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning and 1/4 cup of water.  Cook on high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and look like the letter “c.”  Place the shrimp in a bowl for serving.

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Once my zucchini and shrimp were cooked and ready to eat, I spooned the zucchini onto the plate and poured the shrimp on top.IMG_6386

Are you ready to dig in? I did and it was delicious!

Suggested Side Dishes:

  • Pasta (linguini or spaghetti)
  • If you have time, instead of chopping the zucchini, you can peel the zucchini into thin, long strips, resembling spaghetti.

Bon Appetit!

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Taco Stuffed Peppers

The last few weeks, my hubby and I have put ourselves on a very strict budget. We were going out to dinner every night, shopping a lot and spending way too much money.  Putting ourselves on a budget is forcing me and teaching me how to cook, eat at home more and to create more DIY projects.

I’m excited to share with you recipes and DIY projects that I create while staying within our budget.

For dinner last night, I made Taco Stuffed Peppers…soooo good!

Taco Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (you can use ground beef if you like)
  • 4 bell peppers
  • 1 – 15 oz. can reduced sodium black beans, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz. can whole kernel southwest corn with poblano and red peppers in sea salt (you wont need to add any salt to the dish), drain but keep a tablespoon of the liquid
  • 1 tomato, diced (1/2 package of diced tomato)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (1/2 package of chopped bell peppers)
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped (1/2 a package of chopped onion)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (2 tablespoons of garlic if you love garlic like we do)
  • McCormick Gluten Free Taco Seasoning
  • Cheese (I used Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar cheese)
  • Chicken stock (you can use water if you don’t have chicken stock on hand)
  • Scallions (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)

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Directions:

In a large skillet, brown the turkey. While the turkey is browning, add the diced tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and garlic in a separate bowl (keep the bowl for later).

IMG_6341Once the turkey is brown, add the mixture, black beans (drain) and corn (leave a little of the water with the sea salt to pour into the skillet), and taco seasoning.  Mix well and simmer on low, covered for 15-20 minutes, until all the liquid reduces.

IMG_6344While the mixture in the skillet is simmering, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise.  If the peppers are flat on the bottom, you can leave them whole.  Don’t forget to remove the stem and seeds.

Place the peppers in an oven safe baking dish (I used a coconut oil non-stick spray prior to placing the peppers in the dish).  Fill each pepper with the turkey mixture (there will be left over turkey mixture that you can use for another meal). Measure about 1/3 cup of chicken broth or water in the bowl that you used earlier and pour into the baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil, add cheese to the top of each pepper and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve hot, pair with a glass of wine and enjoy!

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Suggested side dishes:

  • Avocado Slices
  • Cilantro Lime Rice or Avocado Cilantro Lime Rice

 

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

I can’t believe it is already 2015.  Does it feel like the days, weeks, months, even years move faster and faster? I’ve particularly realized this especially the last few months now that I’m a mom to a beautiful little boy, who is healthy and growing up way too fast!

Every year I like to reflect and say what a great year, but what can I do to make this one even BETTER?!?!  For 2015, I’ve set goals for myself and the blog that I believe are achievable, all while realizing that goals and plans can change in an instant and that life can take you where you least expect it.

I have a lot planned this year for the blog and I’m so excited to share with you.  Stay tuned for a fun and fresh 2015!!

Happy New Year to you.  I wish you a fabulous 2015!

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Help Wanted – Looking For Contributors

I am currently in search of contributors to start October 1st (FREE..at this time not paid writers).   I’ve realized that this blog is suffering from lack of content.  So, in order to keep this blog going and my business running, I’d love to recruit 5-6 contributors to blog here on Planning Makes Perfection!

If you browse through my blog, you’ll see the kind of content I’m interested in:

  • Decorating
  • DIY Projects
  • Event Planning
  • Fashion
  • Organizing
  • Party Planning

I would also like my blog to start having additional content, such as:

  • Beauty Tips
  • Cleaning Tips
  • Couponing
  • Crafts
  • Food & Recipes
  • Gift Ideas
  • Holiday Traditions
  • Home Renovations
  • Parenting Advice and Tips
  • Photography Tips

 

Below are the details and what I would expect from my contributors:

  1. How often will you post? 1-2 times per month
  2. Will there be compensation? Not at this time.  However, there is a chance to gain exposure and partner up with Planning Makes Perfection!
  3. Resources –  All photos must either be yours or correctly sourced. It is imperative that ALL images are credited properly.  I am a stickler on this!
  4. BIO – I will need a bio and a photograph of all contributors.
  5. Please put effort and love into your posts!  Proper English is required.  Please use spell check prior to submitting your posts.
  6. The posts you write for Planning Makes Perfection cannot be posted on your own blog or website, but you can link to it from your blog/website.

 

HOW DO YOU SUBMIT – If you want to submit, send an email to liz@planningmakesperfection.com Please write ‘Contributors’ in the subject line.  Also, let me know what subject(s) you are interested in writing about and a link to your blog/website if you have one.

What will you get in return you ask?

  • All of my blog posts get sent directly to Twitter to create traffic.
  • I also use Pinterest to create traffic to my blog.
  • I manage all comments on my blog so that negative comments are not made public.
  • Please use your own social media resources to promote the article as well.

Thanks so much!  We look forward to hearing from you soon!