EWG’s 2012 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an American environmental organization that works to protect the public from toxic chemicals in our food, water, and everyday products.  As busy moms with busy schedules, it’s often difficult to pay attention to or keep track of every single thing we consume and use.  Even if we do take the time to read labels carefully and thoroughly, at least half of the time we don’t know what to look for or what ingredients are red flags.  To guide us in making better informed and knowledgeable choices in our daily lives  -

Below are links to the EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, EWG’s 2012 Sunscreen Guide, EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, and EWG’s Tips for Safer Products:

Download the Guide | EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

EWG’s 2012 Sunscreen Guide

EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database

EWG’s Tips For Safer Products

Pick safer products

Your body

Your teeth

Your lips

Your skin + the sun

Your hair

Your nails

Your kids

For babies and young children

For teens

For women

For men

Over-the-counter drugs and personal care products

Buyer beware: Less common ingredients with significant health concerns

Ingredients derived from animals

in summer

 Ah yes, it’s officially summer.  Both kids are home now and the craziness has begun.  I have to admit, underneath the layers of exhaustion, sweat, sand, and fingerpaint – we are having a ball.  It seems as though we’ve already established a summer day routine at our house.  We all wake up bright and early, around 6:30 am to be exact.  Every. Single. Day.  Like clockwork, my kids are up and at ‘em eager to rock and roll the day ahead.  I on the other hand, pray a little prayer every night for extra sleep-in time, but it never happens.  Needless to say, I’ve learned to embrace the wee hours of the morning.  We start our day with a nice breakfast together and before I know it I’m blowing up pool floats, endlessly re-strapping swimming goggles (what is up with those things?), and judging gymnastics contests.  Between water tables, sprinklers, and playing tag, my kids are all go, go, go.  They are on a mission and the number one task at hand is to play, play, play!  Not even bathing suit wedgies, blinding sand in the eyes, or pool water up the nose can stop them.  And it’s only 10:00 am.  Seriously, if our day ended at noon, the only thing my kids would be missing is the sunset.

There’s just something about summer-time that makes everything a bit better.  After all, the grass is finally greener, the smell in the air is sweeter, and spirits are freer.  Why would anyone complain?  Life is good.  And life is especially good in the summer.

It’s energy.  It’s beauty.  It’s pure joy.

It’s what you make it.

Don’t you agree?

5 Signs of Summer at My House

1. Watermelon — Our fruit of choice this summer.  I swear I must have sliced and served at least three or four watermelons this weekend.  Not for a family party or a fruit salad for 25 guests, but for my two little, we-can’t-get-enough-of-it, watermelon-loving kiddos.  My kids will eat watermelon for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack.  Is this normal?

2.  Flip Flops — Flip flops are a sure sign of warmer days, but at my house the foyer looks like the summer shoe clearance section at Old Navy.  Flip flops, flip flops, everywhere!  Polka dots, pink, orange, green, Toy Story, stripes, red, white and blue.  Some with ribbons and bows and ties, others with flowers and sparkles and gems.  Where did they all come from?  Did I really purchase all of these freaking flip flops?  How many pairs do I think my kids need?

3. Little Bags of Crap — Bags containing plastic toys and pads of paper and super balls can be found year round at my house, but in summer they can be found EVERYWHERE.  We have little bags of junk around ever corner.  In the garage, in the family room, in the backyard, under the dining room table, in the kitchen (Don’t think Hoarders, it’s really not that bad).  I keep cleaning them out and they just keep popping up.  Bags filled with hair clips, plastic necklaces, pool toys, Squinkies, board books, crayons, Hello Kitty Band Aids, chalk, doll clothes, toy cars, hats, sunglasses – you name it.

4. Target — I LOVE Target.  Apparently I love it a bit more in the summer time.  From their fun dollar aisles to their awesome glass punch bowls and Tiki Torches – Target has me hooked.  I’m sure I’m hardly alone on this one.  Maybe if I stayed out of there, I wouldn’t have so many little bags of crap to worry about - duh.

5. Longer Days — My kids are early risers no matter what.  When school is in session, I can count on a stricter bedtime ritual.  When it comes to summer vacation, it’s no-holds-barred at our house.  In summer, I become more free-range with the kids which is great for them, but poops me out entirely.  At least we don’t live in Alaska where it’s sunny until 1:00am.  How do you guys do it up there?  Really, the lower 48 wants to know!