Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bogus Terms

Some very popular products may include label claims using these terms:
  • 100 percent natural
  • Contains organic ingredients
  • Cruelty-Free
  • Earth-friendly
  • Environmentally safer
  • Essentially nontoxic
  • Hypoallergenic/Dermatologist Tested/Allergy Tested/Non-Irritating
  • Made with nontoxic ingredients
  • Made with organic essential oils
  • Vegan

Seem legit right? None of these terms are actually regulated. That is why you have to look for the certified seals on products. And even then you have to watch out for the order in which ingredients are listed on the label. The first five ingredients listed are the most prominent in the product. So the "Hypoallergenic/Dermatologist Tested/Allergy Tested/Non-Irritating" is really up to the individuals skin condition and allergy. Most of the products saying, "contains organic ingredients" have only one certified organic ingredient. The "100 percent natural" product can still contain preservatives and parabens. The same goes for products claiming, "cruelty-free". That doesn't mean it doesn't have any harsh chemicals. The "Made with organic essential oils" would be misleading because the USDA only regulates actual food in products, not including plant derived ingredients. And how the heck can you be "Essentially nontoxic"?
Now days you have to basically be your own doctor and teacher. I'm all about people making their own decisions, but I rather be an educated consumer at the same time too.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What's for Breakfast?

Bacon Egg and Cheese Melt Sandwich


1 ounce Fontina Fontal cheese
2 slices extra-smoky, extra-thick cut bacon
1 English muffin, split (I love English muffins)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large egg

Yield: serves 1
Difficulty: Easy
  1. Place cheese in freezer until well chilled, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place bacon on a griddle over medium-high heat; cook until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  2. Remove cheese from freezer, cut two slices, and grate remaining cheese on the largest holes of a box grater; set aside.
  3. Place English muffin split-side down in skillet; cook until toasted. Turn and top each half with a slice of cheese. Reduce heat and cook until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Melt butter on griddle; crack egg onto melted and fry until whites are set; turn and top egg with grated cheese; continue cooking until yolk has reached desired degree of doneness.
  5. Carefully transfer egg to large muffin half. Top egg with bacon in an "X" and sandwich with remaining muffin half; serve immediately. DELICIOUS!
Source: Murrays Cheese via Martha Stewart

Ingredients to Avoid


Isopropyl alcohols are very drying. Alcohols in general very bad for eczema.

Cetyl alcohols are good alcohols. They are derived from coconut or palm oil and can help conditioners and hairsprays evaporate into the hair shaft.

Artificial fragrances

Most perfumes and colognes aren't legally required to list ingredients to protect their trade mark. Artificial fragrances and synthetic dyes are a carcinogenic, which can cause illnesses in children. They have been linked to certain types of hormone imbalances, especially in young men. Phthalates can contain fragrances and are the most dangerous. Avoid them at all costs. Not the best idea to use or even be around perfumes if you have eczema, allergies, and asthma.

Paraben preservatives

Examples include: butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben. They have been linked to certain types of hormone imbalances. Parabens mimic estrogen which is also linked to breast cancer. Pregnant mothers can pass along the effects of some chemicals to their unborn offspring, like testicular abnormalities in little boys or obesity in teenage girls.

Petroleum Jelly and Mineral Oil

They clog the skin. Mineral oil does when it isn't in purest form.


Avoiding products with phthalates can be difficult, because they aren't always labeled clearly. DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate) and DEP (diethyl phthalate) are two to look for on labels. They can be found in items from shampoo to shower curtains. Phthalates are linked to reproductive problems, cancer, allergies, and asthma. Pregnant mothers can pass along the effects of some chemicals to their unborn offspring, like testicular abnormalities in little boys.


Dimethicone and simethicone are heavier silicones that coat the hair and prevent moisture from getting into the hair shaft. Also avoid dimethicone and simethicone in body lotions if you have eczema.

Good silicones are water-soluble and help make products slick. They are great in conditioners and they don’t build up on the hair. In either instance, you want silicones to be toward the end of the ingredient list which means there are less of them in the product overall.


Sulfates make cleansers foam and become sudsy. Sodium laureth sulfate is a poison commonly used in soaps, shampoos, detergents and toothpaste.Women with natural hair should really avoid using shampoos that lather and use a cream-based shampoo instead. It causes skin irritation and hair loss.

Synthetic dyes

Anything with F&DC preceding it, usually followed by a color and a number. F representing food, D&C representing drugs and cosmetics. Other color additives include: caramel, lead acetate, manganese violet, and more.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Green Beauty Product Labels

If you are planning on going green with your makeup, then these are the trustworthy labels you want to see on beauty products:
  • USDA Organic certified
  • Paraben/Phthalates/PCB-free
  • BDIH Certified Natural Cosmetics
  • Whole Foods Premium Body Care Seal
  • Biodynamic
  • IOS Natural & Organic Cosmetic Standard
USDA Organic certified is the most trustworthy, especially on foods. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also regulates food ingredients found in cosmetics. Plant-derived ingredients and essential oils are not regulated and ingredients like honey, avocado, cinnamon and other foods are regulated. The USDA only has jurisdiction over farm-raised ingredients, meaning, not all beauty product ingredients are regulated under this program.

The term "organic," as it appears on beauty labels, has four variations.
  1. 100% Organic: The product must contain only organically produced food ingredients, and the label will display the USDA Organic seal.
  2. Organic: The product must contain at least 95% organically produced food ingredients, and the label will display the USDA Organic seal.
  3. Made with Organic Ingredients: The product must contain at least 70% organically produced food ingredients. While the front of the product can list up to three organic ingredients or one organic food group, the label will not have the USDA Organic seal. Individual ingredients on a product's ingredient list will be labeled as "organic".
  4. Organic Ingredients: Products which contain less than 70% organically produced food ingredients can only include organic ingredients on its ingredients list, but these products cannot display the USDA Organic seal.
Paraben/Phthalates/PCB-free means there are no traces of these harsh chemicals. Parabens are especially found in shampoos. Phthalates are used to soften plastics. PCB refers to the plastic used in a bottle. These three have been linked to cancer.

BDIH Certified Natural Cosmetics is an independent German certification association (Association of German Industries and Trading Firm) that regulates health care products, food supplements and personal hygiene products, including cosmetics.

To gain BDIH certification, brands must use natural (not synthetic) raw materials such as: plant oils, herbal extracts, essential oils, fats and waxes. The ecological impact of each product also plays an important role in certification. More than 2,000 natural cosmetics are certified BDIH in Europe and North America.

Whole Foods Premium Body Care Seal Whole Foods regulates their own self-certification of cosmetic products that contain safe, gentle ingredients and are free from synthetic dyes and fragrances and harsh chemicals. Sunscreen is made with chemical-free alternatives zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Look for the premium Body Care seal in the Whole Body section of your local Whole Foods store.

Biodynamic is holistic in its approach to farming and food production. No artificial fertilizers or pesticides are used. Instead, farmers seek to achieve a natural harmony with the earth through an acute awareness of how weather and climate patterns and elements of nature (like the sun, earth, and air) work together to create a harmonious balance.

IOS Natural & Organic Cosmetic Standard requires that all food ingredients be organic and that the company follow a strict set of eco-friendly guidelines, including use of recycled and fair trade materials and production methods with small environmental impact. The first IOS Natural & Organic certified company, Eaurganic, launched in 2008.

Source: The Daily Green

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When it was so Un-thinkable

Happy birthday to Alicia Keys! This music video reminds me of The Loving Story. I think it is very fitting that Alicia Keys being biracial in real life, played the role of a young African-American lady in love. She can't be with her love (played by Chad Michael Murray) because he is a Caucasian man and that was just so unthinkable to others back then. The video progresses in time, yet, features the same issue through different time periods to present day. I'm sure close-minded people are still giving interracial couples problems today. Why do other people always feel like it is their job to stick their noses where it doesn't belong?

“For the first time, I could put my arm around Mildred and publicly call her my wife.” - Richard Loving, in 1967 after the Supreme Court unanimously decided in their favor.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


OMG I just got hip to Curly Nikki and I like her style! She offers great hair tips and DIY home treatment ideas for the au naturalle hair type, think curly-fros, twists, and braids.

At the House of Rush beauty launch in London,
Noisettes’ singer Shingai Shoniwa
swept her natural coils to one side,
topping the look with a jaunty fascinator.
Alicia Nicole Walton, the writer and psychotherapist, can be found giving advice on multiple websites:
  1. Her natural hair care blog, 
  2. Thursdays at Essence in the Hair category.
  3.  in Black Voices.
I'm a new naturalista! Yes, I've been relaxer free for almost a year honey! I would say I'm just about at 70% natural. Meaning, you may have a natural look but that doesn't mean all of the products it took to get that look were 100% organic. That would be an pretty accurate assessment of my whole lifestyle right now too because it is not totally holistic. Holistic to me is on a completely different level. Let's face it! If I were to give birth for a second time, then I would so get an epidural again! I just know I want to incorporate some healthier ways into my daily life. I definitely use 100% organic hair treatments on my daughter though. Especially, because she is a curly girly and at two years old African-American hair can get out of control, plus, she has eczema! Right when I was just about to give up on the maintenance of my own natural hair, I stumbled upon Curly Nikki's website through googling the subject of her latest article on Essence  for "benefits of henna gloss for natural hair". Ironically, I found this encouraging post on her blog.

At the Inspiration Awards for Women,
Kim Coles added a sparkly accessory to her
 short, springy natural curls.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cleaning Scribbles

My tot just drew all over the wall while I was folding clothes! I knew she was up to something because it was a little quieter than usual. So, I walk into the other room and there is Baby Picasso contentedly singing to herself while scribbling all over the white wall in dark blue jean crayon.

For any marks on the wall I love using the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponge. It really does get the marks off the wall!

Then I had the good fortune of using it again because Baby Picasso decided to do it a second time!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

RetroFlirt has been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by Kat and Mel of Two Moms a Little Time and a Keyboard! This is RetroFlirt's first blog award, so yeah, it is a big deal!

Thank you to Two Moms a Little Time and a Keyboard!

Recipients of this award are asked to:
  1. Thank the person that nominated their blog for the award with a back link to them.
  2. List 7 things about themselves.
  3. Award 15 newly discovered blogs with the award and notify them of the award.
7 interesting facts about me:
  1. I've attended an exclusive Native American Sunrise Dance ritual at the Wind River Indian Reservation, WY. The Shaman pray and sing while dancers dance to the beat of drummers until the sun comes up.
  2. I've camped out at Yellowstone Park for two days with buffalo and bears freely roaming around. 
  3. I touched a stingray last year on my daughter 2nd birthday. 
  4. I used to be in the school choir in elementary school.
  5. I've been appreciating the realm of homemade, handmade, and organic goodness since last year.
  6. LOL I think I may have a wee teeny tiny form of extrasensory perception (esp) but it doesn't work on command! Which kinda runs in the family from my Great Great Grandmother (who is Native American).
  7. I'm totally obsessed with my blog! And I probably would not still be using Facebook had it not been for the existence of my fan page!
15 blogs I am awarding with the Versatile Blogger Award are: