Simple City Life

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Welcome Jen Schultz and her story to #SaferCosmetics. #rethinkthepink

In 1969, my mother was pregnant with her eighth child.  She began having complications early on in the pregnancy, and her obstetrician prescribed a synthetic hormone called Diethylstilbestrol, or DES. DES was being given to women in the mistaken belief that it would reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and losses. I was born in June of 1970, eight weeks early and weighing 3 1/2 pounds.

In 1971, DES was shown to cause a rare vaginal tumor in girls and women who had been exposed to DES in-utero, and research was beginning to show that the daughters and sons of women who took DES were at increased risk for reproductive abnormalities and cancers.  The drug was pulled from the market immediately.  Unfortunately for many, including myself, the damage was done.  Subsequent studies have shown an approximate 40-fold increased risk of vaginal/cervical clear cell adenocarcinoma in women exposed in utero to DES. As a consequence of this evidence, DES is considered an established human carcinogen. Daughters exposed to DES in utero may also have an increased risk of moderate to severe cervical squamous cell dysplasia and an increased risk of breast cancer.  I was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells of the vaginal wall when I was 18, and struggled in my adult life with fertility issues.  Luckily, I was blessed with two boys, but suffered at least two miscarriages during the time I was trying to conceive. 

Enter Beautycounter.  Because of this early exposure to synthetic hormones (which have the potential to have lasting negative effects on my health), I was hyper-aware of my exposure to hormones, including hormone disruptors found in our everyday products.  I was thrilled to find a company that is formulating effective products using safe, non-toxic ingredients, without links to cancer and reproductive issues, along with ADD, asthma, and allergies in children - just to name a few.Beautycounter is a relatively young company, founded in March of 2013 and based in Santa Monica, California - now with around 4000 independent consultants (and counting).  Yet their amazing growth (23% average monthly revenue growth and 424% sales growth since January 2014) speaks to the fact that we are ready for a change, and are less and less willing to compromise our health in the name of beauty. 

Only about 10% of the 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products have safety data.

Did you know that the government regulations governing personal care and cosmetics have not been updated since 1938?  Worse yet, the U.S. currently bans only 11 ingredients (the European Union bans 1300), and allows thousands of known carcinogens and hormone disruptors to be used in our personal care and skin care products - products we use every day. Beautycounter is setting a new safety standard, because we deserve better.

At Beautycounter, we've banned more than 1,500 ingredients setting a new health and safety standard—

The statistics are sobering:  1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. The incidence of breast cancer, infertility, ADD, asthma, and allergies have all increased startlingly in the last twenty years. Genetics aren’t changing, so what’s going on?  The evidence points to our environment as the culprit - “environment” defined as the world around us: the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the products we put on our skin each and every day.  As Oprah says, “When you know better, you do better”, and Beautycounter was an easy change for me and for my family.

I am so thankful for Beautycounter - for its founder and CEO, Gregg Renfrew,  its leadership, its mission, and for the opportunity it has given me to not only provide my family and loved ones with safe products, but to educate others and spread this important mission of "Getting safe products into the hands of everyone".

~Jen Schultz
check out Jen's site here

Thank  you so much Jen for opening up and sharing your story. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Keep The Lunchbox Rockin. #Naturebox

We have all survived the back to school rush. By now you have fallen into a lovely groove, or perhaps a slightly more organized chaos then seven weeks ago. Waking up is easier, the kids know what to expect most mornings and the homework is getting completed nightly, Congrats!! Everyday gets a little easier over in this house, so I am hoping that you are seeing the same rhythm in your house. Although, having a spouse traveling over seas has thrown things a little off, but that may just be my jealously talking. 

One thing is for certain, no matter what those lunches and after school snacks must keep coming. I absolutely love packing my children's lunches. I know, I know. I'm a little crazy or just controlling. I am a little obsessive about knowing what my children are eating. I also know that they are hungry after a hard morning learning. So, I say use that to your benefit. Stuff that lunch chalk full of crazy healthy foods, when that is their only option, they kinda have to eat it. We eat very healthy at home too, but it is amazing what I can get my kids to eat while they are at school. They also seem to have a love for bringing unique foods to tell their classmates about. Apparently, their friends love to learn about their lunches. Whatever it takes. 

As much as I love the healthy foods they are eating and that they are trying new things, it does get exhausting. Some mornings, my energy is zapped and I do not want to spend a lot of time of their lunches. These are the mornings that I let NatureBox take over. I stock pile out monthly box and wait for those days when I really need it. I know that even though I'm worn out and out of energy, they will still have unique and healthy lunches with very little effort on my behalf. Take a look at these delicious snacks: 
Who wouldn't love to open a lunch box full of these goodies! There is always something for everyone. You can customize your box or let them surprise you. No matter what, all the snacks get eaten and the kids are always full of surprises. Who knew that my 10 year old would love Sriratcha Rice Crackers so much? They are quiet spicy after all. Of course these is never enough Big Island Pineapple as that is everyone's favorite! If you are starting to get a little drained over the school lunch packing, check out NatureBox and let them add some creative flare back into those lunch pals.

Without a doubt, there is something for everyone. With numerous options in multiple dietary needs, you are sure to be snacking happy very soon. We are able to choose from over 70 gluten free varieties and more than 65 non-gmo snacks there is always a variety in our shipments. If you are vegan, soy free, dairy free or nut free- you have options!

Let me know if you decide to give NatureBox a try. Already subscribe, what is your favorite snack?

Happy Snacking!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

so #shifthapened.

I am not a blogger who spends my time traveling to conferences. For the most obvious reason, they are expensive. Flights, hotels, transportation, meals, adds up fast! I also tend to stay away since it is really hard to be in a place where the hairs on the back of your neck are standing up due to the anxiety you are having. Anxiety over the sponsors who missions is completely opposite of yours, products that scare you and a competition to be the most fashionable blogger ever. For me it is like throwing a baseball player in the middle of a ballet class. I just don't feel like I fit in. When ShiftCon was announced, I knew that this was my chance, my kind of place, my people. People who also have anxiety in the grocery store and really could care less as to where you purchased you outfit. I had to go, without a shadow of doubt, I needed to be there. I worked my way there and couldn't be happier. 

If you are a reader if  Simple City Life, then you most likely would love Shift Con as well and really should join me next year. Here is why:

You will meet amazing people. 

It's impossible not too. The fellow bloggers are wonderful, the sponsors area blast to hang out with and the speakers are passionate and supportive of you and your efforts. Not only will you meet these fine people you have the chance to meet and make new friends like I did. My roommates were so great! Lori and Nicole were great to meet, spend my days with and walk away with new friendships. I am so thankful that I was able to meet these ladies and journey together as we watch this Shift Happen. You will be able to meet the amazing panel of speakers like Gary Hirshberg, Robyn O'Brein, Vani Hari, and so many more. 

You will eat amazing organic, non-GMOfoods.

Leah was extraordinary. She it this conference out of the park. Every provided meal was above and beyond all expectations. Each ingredient was carefully picked out and held to the highest standard. It was unbelievable and comforting to know that I was not sacrificing my food standards while away from home. It was a dream. Even down to the yummy and fancy cocktails. We are talking organic alcohol and specialty Kombutcha Cocktails. 

 You will have opportunities to do yoga with Travis Eliot. 

Yes. I'm serious. Waking up at 6am, not so great. Doing a great workout with Travis, the Ultimate Yogi, worth it. His class was wonderful! I am so glad I woke up and made myself head down. He is a great instructor, I really want to get his workouts now. 

 You will be able to squeeze in time to see the Ocean! 

This small trip would not have happened if it wasn;t for my wonderful roomate Lori. Since she was kinda local and drove to the conference, I was able to hitch a ride with Lori and Lisa from Naturepedic. We loved every moment on that beach. My heart longs to live out west again. 

You will meet some of the BEST brands on the market for all your families needs. 

It's one thing to follow these great brands on social media, but it is so much better to meet them face to face! Although we have been ambassadors for Molly's Suds for just about a year, I have had meet Monica. It was wonderful and she is so sweet. I am so glad that I was able to spend time with her in real life. Of course, I LOVED hanging out with my favorite Stonyfield ladies, Kristina and Melanie. hey are a absolute blast and always keep me laughing. Meeting Shari from Nordic Naturals was another wonderful moment for me. We have worked together several time over the years. They have some wonderful new products coming out. Chatting with Heidi while resting on the luxurious Naturepedic mattresses was a huge highlight. Such a great line of organic mattresses starting from birth right through adulthood. Every interaction was wonderful! 

You will learn so much! 

From how to be a better advocate, to how to run your blog better, you will be amazed at how much information you will have access too. My favorite sessions were The future of GMO labeling, Google+, and the legals of blogging. If you are bummed you missed out, fear not- you can buy the entire recorded conference here

You just might win big! 

I'm still in shock of my HUGE win! I was in disbelief when Leah announced my name as the winner of the Year Supply Of Breakfast, sponsored by Applegate, Natures Path, Rudy's Organic Bakery and Organic Valley. It was a unbelievable win and I am so thankful to these companies.  This is huge for our budget this coming year. 

Bottom line, this is the one conference I will attend this year and most likely the only one next year too. Being able to walk inspired, supported, passionate and confident is a incredible feeling. Blogging can be defeating if you are not surrounded by a fully supportive tribe. I found that at Shift Con and I couldn't  happier! 

Until next year, 

**apologies for some of the blurry phone pictures!