Day Three Camino de Santiago

Aka Our one year wedding anniversary aka Easter!love you arrow

This moment is so magical, I am almost in tears. We are at the most incredible hotel with the best host ever, who told us that for today, this is our home, and I wish it was. We are at the Casas do Rio, a sprawling landscape of heaven. Green everywhere, it has beautiful trees, it is on a lake, there is a fountain, pool, jacuzzi, swans, a duck pond, chicken area, and a game house with billiards, a beautiful chess table, darts, and foosball. As I am writing we hear church choir music filling the whole valley. This is like nothing else. Our hosts José and Cristina are about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. When we asked for marriage advice, José (pronounces zho-zay) said that there will be troubles, but we should use our troubles as ways to grow closer. Our room is awesome, it has a fire place, orange canopy and a really nice bathroom. The rug by the couch felt like a cloud under back packinmy sore feet. We talked to José after walking around a bit and he shared their story. He was teaching at the university and worked for a company and he wanted to find a place that touched a river. They found this place, which was really worn down, and have fixed it up over a nine year period. The original Camino route passed right through the property as did a Roman route to an important Portuguese city. Back to their story, the quit their lives and followed this dream. He described it as doing something without knowing why you are doing it, so beautiful! José told us he was once told that there are three parts to our brains; instinct/ fear, pleasure, and affection/ happiness, and that affection and happiness suffer when the focus is on pleasure. Cristina told Paul that we have to come back for our 25 year anniversary. I say “yes, let’s do it”.

hotel beauty amazing breakfast

Our walking journey today: We were hungry when we left the albergue and wanted real breakfast (no more cafés). While asking someone where we can find a ristoranté and gesturing ‘food’ , a man drove up and asked if we wanted “comida” and he drove us to a place to eat. It was cool, but only had café and pastries. I wanted eggs so bad, but oh well. We started our Camino and Paul read from our guidebook, “Ask, and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find”. We walked through a pretty vineyard and the things I asked for in my mind were received. There was a café at the perfect moment. After leaving the café, we saw a fellow pilgrim we had met the night before (we think his name was Andreas). We walked with him for a bit and a pilgrim lady from Holland joined us. She dropped off soon, but we walked with Andreas (who is from Austria) until we had to veer off to get to our beautiful hotel. While walking I was in pain. My collar bones and feet hurt from the weight of my pack ad I have blisters on the pads of my two smallest toes on both feet. As I am writing now, we just got back from dinner (where someone who works there drove to pick us up and drop us off). Looking forward to a bath and a good night’s sleep. As we walked past many homes, including our hotel, we saw that a lot of people put flower petals leading up to their door. I imagine this  is for Easter, but want to research this further. Bath time.

Buen Camino!

flower petals to doorstep our dear friend Jose

There is no way I can ever put into words the magic of this day. We heard fireworks all day long, from morning until night. Paul said it was for our anniversary, but Easter may have had something to do with it. While we walked we heard people ringing bells and saw what looked like a priest with a small entourage walking through the towns. Apparently, the

Cheers to one year! In my homemade anniversary top.

Cheers to one year! In my homemade anniversary top.

flower petals leading up to the doors is an invitation for them to stop by and bless your home. So cool. I want to decorate the path to our door next Easter, I imagine the neighbors may think this is strange. At the hotel were other guests, who were dressed like they’d be staying in a nice hotel. I felt so dirty and scrubby in comparison as I only had the clothes I had been wearing on the Camino. I wanted to look nice for our anniversary dinner, but had limited options, so I started playing with the scarf I had brought and, with Paul’s help, managed to twist it into a one shouldered top which I wore with my black leggings. It was small, it helped make me feel like I was “dressed up” for a moment.

This is the coolest one year anniversary I can ever imagine.

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Day Two Camino de Santiago

laundry drying off my packI’m already forgetting to write down details. Paul just reminded me that I was going to write about a cool cemetery we saw yesterday. Last night we ate at the café near our albergue and met a nice woman called Carolina (as I write I am getting a flood of memories I want to capture, if only I could write so fast!) Carolina was born in Zimbabwe, lived in South Africa, now in Vilahreno for a long time. We both had spaghetti (bolognese and carbonara) and there was no sauce on it. We decided that if we were still around when the café opened at 8am, we’d have breakfast there.  That was not the case… I woke up at one point and Paul was wide awake. I asked him what time it was, 3:40 am. The dogs in the back yard barked all night. Even with ear plugs we could hear them. I tried, for a while, to go back to sleep, but ultimately decided to get up. We did some yoga, packed our things and started walking at 5:30 am. This was an adventure… it was still dark (with street lights) and as the sun rose we were walking in the forest and over an ancient bridge (the bridge was before he sunrise).  We thought we’d finish early in the day with such a head start, but we were wrong. At one beautiful scenery day 2 Typical mealpoint we noticed we hadn’t seen arrows in a while and stopped to consult our map. A friendly Portuguese  biker (who spoke French) tried to help us as did a woman (who also spoke Portuguese and French) who had stopped her car. They told us to head down a certain road and the woman offered to drive us 5 minutes to get us back on track (which I declined because ‘our’ Camino is a travel by foot- whether you are lost or not). As we walked down that road, we saw a yellow X indicating the wrong way, but which also meant there would be arrows nearby :). So, we found arrows and started following them, but after a while, we noticed that we were traveling northwest, when we wanted to be going northeast. Paul figured out that we had somehow gotten on the coastal route of the Camino Portuguese- Which isn’t “wrong” really, it is ‘our’ Camino and we were exactly where we were meant to be. We met a man who spoke English in his front yard who confirmed that we were near the coast. We had a decision to make… We were on route to Santiago, but how much longer would the coastal route take, would we be able to get back on track, what about our hotel reservations for tomorrow (I can’t wait for that)? We chose to walk our own path down a road that we knew would get us to the city Day 2 meal after being lostwe were supposed to end today at and get back on track. (“We chose” = I trusted Paul’s judgement even though I wanted to stay with my beloved arrows). It was a long grueling walk back eastward (we had the north part down), but eventually we got to town and saw little yellow arrows again! Barcelos is adorable and has a cool shopping street. It looks like it will light up at night, but I don’t know if we have it in us to venture back out. We are at our second albergue and it is similar to what I imagined (no more double bed and a room to ourselves). We had the choice of bunk beds in separate rooms, or cots next to each other in the main front room where people sign in. We chose the latter which means we let people in when they ring the bell. We walked more miles than planned today, but exactly as many as we were meant to. Very exhausted and very sore and blistered :(. I am looking forward to Easter tomorrow, our anniversary, and being able to eat sweets after giving them up for Lent. I hope we sleep well tonight and have a good journey to our hotel tomorrow. Oh yeah, as we were looking for our albergue, there was a lady who has a ceramic shop who was excited to see us and said that she’d stamp our credentials. There were a couple of people in the shop who spoke English and seemed excited that we were pilgrims. On our way out, Paul went back to give the woman one of his kindness cards and she hugged him and kissed him on the cheek, then she gave him a little ceramic thing with a man, woman and child on it. Did I get an answer on the Camino? Is that me, Paul, and Future Harwood…

Buen Camino

Tulips and bike

day 2 again

We walked down the city street tonight and it was not lit up. I assume the lights are hung for the big rooster festival that starts next weekend. There was a neat little carnival though and we walked around for a bit and Paul got a strawberry filled churro.

our room day 2

What a day this was. The day we got lost. In our frustration at being lost and determination to bet back to the path, we walked harder and faster than we should have. We would pay for this later. I still wouldn’t trade what we did for anything. While we were off the path trying t get back on, we ate lunch at a place called ‘La Bomba’ and it had a logo with a bomb on it. The waiter spoke some English, not much. I ended up ordering some type of meat platter and then being afraid to eat most of it. There was an egg on it, which I trusted, but the description mentioned lingua which made me thing of linguistics and then I was convinced that it was tongue, so I hid it under something else on my plate. Paul asked for salt and was given three different sauces instead, oh well. The waiter seemed impressed that we were going to walk to the next town. It is impressive, I suppose. My Story of the roosterpack was still heavy and it was killing my collar bone, but there was no choice but to carry on. The albergue was where we first saw other pilgrims. We slept in the lobby which was spacious, but had no privacy and there was an emergency light that stayed on all night. To get back in the albergue after leaving, you would ring the bell or get the key from the bar next door. I can vividly picture this place in my mind, but can’t seem to put it into words. Many details from the day were lost by the time I sat down to write at not, or I just didn’t have the energy to write everything down. Looking back at my journal entry made me laugh, the things that mattered to me at the time. It is fun being able to peek into my mindset when I didn’t know what lay ahead yet.

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Day One Camino de Santiago

April 18, 2014

We did it! 16.1 miles from Porto to Vilarinho. We got to hear the choir sing before the Found the first waymarkerservice started at Sé Cathedral. We said our prayers there and started our Camino. I was so excited when a bicyclist shouted “Bom Camino”, it was our first one.  Several people wished us a “bon viaje’ which is very nice. At the café where we had breakfast, Paul ordered us a lunch to bring on our trip (ham and cheese sandwiches). Many hours and miles later we ate them in a field by the side of the road. As we approached Vilarinho, the road was scary. It had no shoulders or sidewalk and the cars went so fast. We are now at the first Camino albergue- Casa de Laura. It is nice, we are the only pilgrims here and we got our very own room with a double bed (and ants). Resting for a bit, then we’ll find dinner and call it a night.

Buen Camino

P lunch on side of road day 1street view day 1

Ha! Ham and cheese, little did we know… The café where we had breakfast was cool, we saw a man sip and espresso and smoke a cigarette for what felt like a half an hour. This was our first taste of how much espresso was a part of life in Portugal and Spain. I remember how excited I felt walking along the Camino. This day was mostly leaving Porto so we walked through city streets. I had given up sweets for Lent and enviously stared in the windows of the pastry shops. I knew from watching the movie The Way and the documentary about the Camino that people would say “Buen Camino” and I was so happy to hear it for the first time. There wasn’t much to the town we stayed in that night, the restaurant that we had dinner at was right next to our albergue. The hosts of the albergue lived in the main house which was separate from the quarters from the pilgrims. They had a nice patio and a place to wash laundry in a sink, which Paul and I did. There were lounge chairs in the grass to relax at. There was a book to sign in and we received our first stamps in our pilgrims passports. While we were out at dinner, the hosts had set out a bowl with muffins and some house wine. The muffins were crawling with ants, but it was a nice thought, our first taste of the hospitality we were about to experience. They didn’t speak English, so they did not interact with us much at all. It felt a bit isolating, but I imagined that we wouldn’t have many other nights alone, so I enjoyed it. I wrote about the rest of that night in my day 2 post, so you’ll hear about it soon.

vineyardhandsome husband walking on the wall

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And Away We Go…

I am excited to share a small piece of the magic that was the Camino Portuguese. I’ll share my journal entry and then any additional reflections that I have about that day. I hope you enjoy it.

Harwoods by the Porto river

Thursday, April 17, 2014

On a plane from Lisbon to Porto. Very tired. We left Phoenix yesterday around noon, flew 4 1/2 hours to Philadelphia, 8 hours to Lisbon, and are now on a 40 minute flight to Porto, where we will start the Camino de Santiago. We are doing this pilgrimage as our one year anniversary/ honeymoon. I have tried to avoid researching and learning too much so that this journey will feel new and surprising. 

My pack feels heavy already and we’ve only walked through airports! I am confident (hopeful really) that the proper adjustments will make my pack more comfortable. If I could go back in time, I would have learned some basic Portuguese and more Spanish (or at least written down some useful phrases). When we land, we will be looking for a shuttle bus to Porto’s city center, we will take a regular bus if we can’t find one. Once we get there, the plan is to eat and find our hostel. I am tempted to sleep right away, but am going to try to stay up until nighttime to help adjust to the time here. I am very excited to be on this journey with Paul and hope to return home as a better version of my self.


Post from that evening…

Porto is awesome! I feel like we explored the whole city today! The teenager working the hostel desk pointed out a few points of interest, including the bookstore from Harry Potter!! Of course we went (they don’t allow photos inside) and it totally looked like it does in the movie. Who knew those scenes were filmed in Porto. There are beautiful old buildings and the city is romantic. There are a lot of lovers publicly displaying their affection. We fit right in :). Not everyone speaks English, which was expected, and we ordered our lunch by means of animated pointing. We did learn to say “thank you” in Portuguese – Obrigada (for girls) Obrigado (for boys). We walked so much this afternoon (as if the upcoming 150 miles isn’t enough). We ended up taking the light rail (metro) from the airport and walking to the hostel. We’ve managed to stay awake (Paul is “resting” with his eyes closed now) so far. We are hanging out in our room and will probably venture out for dinner and to get water. Oh yeah, in our adventures today we made it Sé Cathedral where the Camino Portugués begins (if starting in Porto). We got to see the first few way markers which was so exciting. We have a huge journey ahead of us, it isn’t going to be easy, but I pray it is going to be a lot of fun. By the way, you can see Sé  Cathedral from our room window.

Buen Camino!

Paul wanted to bring something to share with people we met along the Camino de Santiago. We brought some earplugs, which are very important when sleeping an a room with a bunch of snoring strangers. Paul also wanted to have something to think of his mom who had passed away a few months before we left. When Paul’s mom passed, a dear friend had given us a jar that was filled with 30 small envelopes that each contained a quote or positive message. Paul felt it in his heart that he was meant to bring these alongOur first hostel to share as well. We did not know what each card was going to say, but the right message got to the right people and the experiences were amazing.

We made our first friend on our journey on the plane. His name is Juan and he is from Cancun. Juan was the first recipient of one of these cards and he was nearly brought to tears.

Reading what I wrote in my post from the plane, I can tell that I was tired and hungry and making an effort to stay positive in my journaling despite how I felt, which was fine and excited, but also exhausted.

Porto street market 2Porto was a beautiful. It is located right next to a river and it is the kind of city I dream of living in where you can walk everywhere. Little old buildings crammed together and painted a rainbow of colors. Everyone hung their laundry outside.  There was a touristy spot by the rivers edge where there was a market out on the street. We ended up eating dinner on a patio at a nearby restaurant. It was fun to people watch and we saw a group of people doing a sort of double high-five which I now insist on doing with Paul and will no longer accept a plain old single high five from him.  In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have walked so much this day if we had any idea of what lay ahead. This was our first hostel, ever for both of us. It was a private hostel and we did not yet know the difference. We had our own room and bathroom, which we didn’t expect to have again, with the exception of our anniversary night. We were so afraid of bed bugs that we slept in our sleeping bags, which was probably unnecessary at this place. Our room was on the fifth floor which it was good this was before we started, I don’t know that we’d be able to walk up 5 flights of stairs any other day of our journey.

It is interesting the things that stuck out to me that seemed worthy of writing in the evenings.


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Hold On, I am Still Alive

I wanted to jump in with so many stories and things to share, but when I chose this title for the blog post I decided that I’d jump around in time and start there, the best birthday of my life so far.

Christina Perri concertPenguine selfie

I happen to have the best sister ever. I could, and should dedicate an entire post to this fact someday. For my 33rd birthday, my sister got tickets for us to see Christina Perri in concert on the eve of my birthday. Pretty amazing, right? But, that’s not all, she got us super special tickets that included early entry to the show, and autographed poster, and VIP meet and greet access. Told you, best sister ever.

If you aren’t a fan of Christina Perri‘s music, then there is probably something wrong with you and you should stop reading and get help.

Christina Perri microphone

We were that close!

Early access allowed my friend and I to be in the second row of people standing at the foot of the stage. I am a chicken about pushing through crowds and didn’t know if the rest would be able to get that close and join us, but I have charming and amazing friends that were able to get right up there and start chatting with the people they just stood in front of like pros. The show was absolutely amazing Birdy was the opener and Christina’s talent blew our minds. It was great to hear the old songs that I new and loved and I fell in love with the new stuff.

There was a moment in the concert where she had us break into three sections and each sing a part to the song I Believe. One section sang, “This  is not the end of me, this is the beginning”, our section sang, “Hold on”, and the last section sang, “I am still alive”. Hearing the room sing this song was incredible, the band got quieter and eventually stopped playing while the crowd continued to sing as the band slowly walked off the stage and our voices rang out. It was such a beautiful experience that the memory of it makes me tear up.

I have amazing friends, who are beautiful, but it is their beauty inside that makes me incredibly blessed. These are the friends that truly know me, truly care, and that I can always count on. A work obligation prevented my sister from attending the concert and she generously gave up her ticket to anyone I’d have fun with. Which ended up in the hands of a friend of mine who’s special bad day happened to be that day.

I met Christina Perri

She has a tattoo of a French Bulldog on her left arm. So cool!

Oh yeah, I met Christina Perri!!! While waiting in line for my chance to get an autograph and meet Christina, I tried to think of something clever to say. (I really didn’t want to say something cheesy like I imagine most of the teenage girls would). It hit me right before my turn. I decided to tell her that her cover of Roy Orbison’s crying was my favorite thing ever, which is a slight exaggeration because we all know Paul and Sunny hold the top two positions for that. She lit up, and told me a story about the time she got to sing it in front of the  man who produced that song. I nailed it, I didn’t get a quick “Thank you” I got a story.

We ended the night with a trip to In-n-Out, I was a happy lady. On my birthday, we went to Daily Dose in Old Town Scottsdale, my favorite place for breakfast, stopped by a tattoo shop (love tattoos), went to a movie, picked up a gift card that I won on the radio the day before (more to com on this later), and had dinner at Cibo (my special occasion restaurant of choice at the moment) with my family.

Best birthday ever!

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A Look Back at 2013…

My husband said it best when he said that this year was a year of big gains and big losses. I mean huge gains and losses. Over all it was amazing and I am grateful to have lived it and spent it which such incredible people.


I make fists when I am really excited!

So the year started with the best day of my life, my husband’s 35th birthday. At his birthday dinner he asked me to be his wife. I’m sure some people may say that our wedding day should be even better, but not for me. Knowing that this incredible man wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and be married was the greatest moment of my life.

In 2013 we also found a church that we absolutely adore and had many adventures. I ran both Ragnar Del Sol (a 200 mile relay race) and the Ragnar Trail Run. We say Alex Clare, who I’m slightly obsessed with, in concert. And as if my ass wasn’t lucky enough, I won tickets to see my all time favorite musician in the world…. Prince! -The man puts on an amazing show. We went to Vegas a couple times to celebrate with friends entering their 30′s and friends getting married. On one of these trips we walked away with matching tattoos!

Wedding pic 1

We got married and had a reception both here in Arizona and in my husbands hometown in Wisconsin. I hadn’t met most of his family until the wedding and so my family has grown.. a lot.

We lost my husbands mom this year, which was completely unexpected and a big loss for our family. I am so fortunate to have had the chance to meet this incredible woman. The timing of things is always fascinating and leaves me know doubt that we all have a purpose and that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment. We are so glad that we had her at the wedding and she could see us so happy and let her in on what are plans for the future were (hint: baby).

My husband started his own business this year and is now officially the best handyman and pool service man that ever existed. I ended the year with a promotion at work. This year has been crazy and sad and amazing. Life does what it does and we can just hope to be present in the moment, dream of bright futures and hang on for the ride.

Sunny Unicorn

Let’s see what 2014 brings…

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“Safe” Deodorant Reviews…

As you know from my Dangers of Deodorant post I have tried out a couple different deodorants that are considered to be non toxic. I am happy to share our experience and help you to make a decision about which brands of “healthy” deodorant you may want to try out.

The first non toxic deodorant I ordered was called “Pit Putty” from Bubble and Bee.

I ordered Orange Vanilla Pit Putty Organic Deodorant with Baking Soda, for me and Lemon & Clove Pit Putty Organic Deodorant with Baking Soda for P.


Ingredients: Organic arrowroot powder, organic coconut oil, aluminum-free baking soda, and essential oils (and organic vanilla extract in mine). That’s it… No “Bad” Stuff!         Their deodorant is certified organic. It is free from parabens, aluminum, and propylene glycol.

Smell: I love the smell of the Orange Vanilla; it is very fresh, and not strong or artificial smelling. The Lemon and Clove is a little too hippie smelling for me, but I should have known that when I ordered clove, again, it wasn’t too strong though.

Usability: It goes on well for the most part. Little clumps do come off, but I’ve never had a problem with it getting on my clothes. It is a little crumbly, but they do not use chemical binders which make it even more safe, so that is a fair trade for me. It seems to go on smoother with hairless armpits than it did on P’s manly armpits.

Performance:  It works for me! My armpits stay dry and smell fresh all day and this was tested during the summer in Phoenix. However, P did not have the same luck. It wasn’t very effective for him at all. Keep in mind that I work in a freezing office all day, P is in and out of his car and runs around as part of his job.

Overall: Good smell (Orange Vanilla). I LOVE that this is an organic product and does not contain toxic materials. I am happy with the product and would buy it again for myself, but it didn’t work well for P.

The next “safe” deodorant we tried was Lavanila: The Healthy Deodorant Vanilla Lavender


Ingredients:  Aloe barbadensis leaf juice (Aloe juice, water/aqua), Propanediol (Corn derived), Zea mays (Corn) starch, Sodium stearate (Coconut derived), Silica, Carrageenan (Seaweed derived), Stearyl behenate (Coconut derived), Citrus medica limonum (Lemon peel oil), Inulin (Artichoke derived), Saccharomyces ferment, Alpha-Glucan oligosaccharide (Sugar derived), Yeast beta glucan, Lonicera caprifolium (Honeysuckle) flower extract, Usnea barbata (Lichen) extract, Valeriana officinalis root extract (Valerian), Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal) extract, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea tree) flower/leaf/stem extract, Lycium barbarum fruit extract (Goji berry), Botanical fragrance blend. It contains NO: Parabens, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Silicones, Propylene Glycol, Mineral Oils, Synthetic Dyes, Sulfates, Chemical Sunscreens, or Aluminum.

Smell: Very clean and fresh. Not overtly feminine, so P has no problem wearing it either.

Usability: I was expecting a similar experience to the Pit Putty assuming that “safe” deodorants were going to be the same. The Lavanila is very smooth, it has a round shape and glides on so easy. It feels a little wetter, but it isn’t wet. I instantly feel like it is covering more area. It is smooth for hairless and manly armpits.

Performance: This also works for me. I do not feel sweaty and smell fresh all day. This works much better for P. He does feel like he needs to add more halfway through his day, but smells good all day long as well.

Overall: Pretty packaging, glides amazingly, smells great. We will be buying this again as it works for both of us.


The Pit Putty from Bubble and Bee is less expensive and worked for me, plus I love how few ingredients they have, but the performance and smooth glide of the Lavanila are worth the extra price and additional ingredients in my opinion.

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To be honest, I thought sharing my approach to preconception health, future pregnancy health, and parenting would be met with a response of “goof for you” or “that is awesome” or my dream response of, “you’re gonna have one lucky kid with a mom that loves them this much already”. I thought I would share my experience and what I’ve learned through this blog and hoped to inspire someone or to teach them something they didn’t know that could positively impact their future child’s life.

Is that how this is going so far? Not exactly… I will say that my readers are AMAZING and have kept me motivated. However, in face to face conversations with people that I share what I am doing with (friends, family, acquaintances) I feel like I get more pushback than anything. (There are some people in my circle who support me 100% and to these few, I will be forever grateful.  I don’t know that I’d be able to get through this journey without you.) There are some well meaning people that just warn me not to get too carried away or put too much pressure on myself. There are also others that seem to think that my sharing my approach and what I am excited about is somehow a judgment about the way they approached or plan to approach their pregnancies, or how they raised their children.  This is not the case, I am just excited about my future child and am planning to take an approach that is the healthiest for ME, and falls along MY approach to life. If your kids turned out just fine and you smoked crack throughout your pregnancy, hallelujah, I’m glad they are fine, but please do not be offended that I share a different view.

I am not perfect, my preconception and pregnancy plans are not perfect. I’ll never be able to learn absolutely everything there is to know about creating a healthy, smart, happy baby, but I am going to try, I am going to take what I am learning to heart and if it turns out that epigenetics is a bunch of crap (which I don’t believe at all because I strongly believe in epigenetics) then, oh well, I tried my best and if anything, I made myself healthier.

I guess what I am asking is that you please support me, please educate me, and please share what has worked for you. Please don’t think I am judging you or that I think you did it wrong, and please don’t judge or suppress me.

Did you experience this when you were planning your family?

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Dangers of Deoderant… with a Happy Ending

If there is such a thing as learning too much before you get pregnant, then I am in danger of it, but Oh Man, let me tell you I’ve learned some interesting things. For example, did you know that you should not have Lasik eye surgery within 6 months of conceiving or while breast feeding. I don’t really know why, but I read it and believe it and have temporarily put my dream of laying on the couch without my glasses going all wonky on my face to bed. It is all for a very good cause.

bad deodorant

bad deodorants

So, Deodorant/ Antiperspirant…. the silent killer. OK, not that extreme, but it isn’t very good for you pregnant or not, but especially when you are expecting.

WHY?: Most deodorant/ antiperspirants (to make things easier for myself, I’m just gonna call it deodorant) contain one or many of the following ingredients: Aluminum, Parabens, Phthalates, Propylene glycol, and Triclosan.

Who cares?: I do and you should. Here’s why… Let’s start with aluminum, this is a heavy metal which can become a neurotoxin when absorbed in the body. Aluminum and Parabens can mimic estrogen’s hormonal effect and throw things off balance. Phthalates also alter hormonal systems and have been linked to a higher risk of birth defects. Phtalates can cause low sperm count in men  and genital reproductive abnormalities in male fetuses and babies.    Scared yet? I’ll continue, in large quantities, Propylene glycol can cause damage to the central nervous system, liver, and heart. Triclosan is classified as a pesticide and probable carcinogen.  No thank you deodorant! I don’t want any of it, not before I conceive, not while I’m pregnant, not in a boat or on in a moat, not ever!

So what’s a girl to do? Be stinky?… Luckily, there is hope in the form of non toxic deodorant. Have you tried researching the best kind of non-toxic deodorant? It is no easy task let me tell you. Based on a lot of time, research and review reading I made two purchases which I will review in an upcoming post. 

and we all lived happily ever after… see I said there would be a happy ending :)

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Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself…

In case you are wondering “Who is this chick? And why should I read her blog”, I’m happy to fill you in. I am 32 years old and currently live in Phoenix, Arizona. I am married to an amazing man, P, and we live with our Frenchie, Sunny, and cat, Thomas. I currently work full time, outside of the home, for a financial institution, but my purpose for working is to pay the bills so that I can live the life I love. I am a life driven person way more than a career driven one.

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I have a desire to live in the moment, but often fail to do so as I am always thinking about the future (and what I’m going to eat next- I know). In thinking about the future though, I get so excited! When I want something or am on a kick, I can put all my energy into it. When I get into something, I get a mini obsession with it (hello, pre-baby planning). This can make me a little impatient at times, I don’t like waiting on people or for things when I’m on a mission or super excited about something.  I get inspired by things I see on TV and movies a lot and often think I’m going to start a new career or hobby because something looked cool. I truly believe that I can do absolutely anything I set my mind to. I wear my heart on my sleeve and have a horrible poker face.


Love – Love of life, people, and passions. The pursuit and maintenance of happiness is also very important to me.
Disneyland – My absolute favorite place in the world!!!!! I skip around with a goofy grin on my face like a kid.
French things – I am a Francophile. I love French people, French Bulldogs,  French culture, French landscape, the French language, croissants…
Music- I love music. Prince is my absolute favorite, I am currently digging Alex Clare a lot too.
Food- Candy is my favorite food right now (I’m working on changing that to prepare for future baby). I also love sushi and strawberries (not at the same time though, because eww)
Games – I love playing games and having game nights. I also like playing Texas Hold ‘Em


Food- Pizza meats and breakfast meats, also butterscotch
Mean people- no comment needed there
“No” – I don’t like being told no. Usually because I don’t ask for something unless it really matters to me.

Fun Facts… go devilsI call these fun facts, because unless you knew me extremely well, you’d probably never guess. I am quiet and not initially outgoing, but once I am comfortable, watch out!

I used to be a Showgirl. I am a dancer and was lucky enough to get a change to do so professionally in Las Vegas. I was a background dancer in an Impersonator show and a variety show and spend a few years as a dancer/ magician’s assistant. My illusion was getting cut into nine pieces!

I tried out for professional Women’s tackle football. Like I said, I get inspired by stuff a lot and I was at a college football game and thought that I should be down there playing because it looked so cool. I stuck out like a sore thumb at this football tryout and made it to a couple of practices before I decided it wasn’t for me. Plus, I wanted to tackle people and the coach took one look at me and said “receiver”.

I skated with the Roller Derby for a while. I watched a movie about roller derby and decided I had to try it. I skated with them for about six practices, but wasn’t very good or extremely comfortable with the speed at which we were going, so when it came time to be drafted for a team, I stopped going, plus I never really clicked with the girls. (I guess you shouldn’t assume that roller derby girls would be especially warm and welcoming)

I have trouble turning down challenges and dares and feel compelled to prove people wrong when they say I can’t do something.

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Right Now…

I am a girl who is happy about life and excited for her future. I feel incredibly blessed. My current mini-obsession is (you guessed it)planning for our future baby. I have a hard time concentrating on anything but that subject. I am loving the research and daydreaming about what life and future baby will be like. As much fun as that is, I also want to enjoy this very moment, where I am writing and indulging my passion and enjoying life just as it is.

{Note: If the title made you get a Rolling Stones song stuck in your head, then I think you are cool and we should be friends}


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