Monday, July 15, 2013

A year of running tribute!

This blog post is in loving memory of my Grandpa Woody who passed away in November of 2011.  My grandpa was a very active runner, walker, hiker, bicyclists, and archer all of his life!!  Even after losing a leg to diabetes he continued to go, move, and stay active.  He didn't let not having a leg stop him!  My sweet and amazing Grandma still gets out and walks miles upon miles every day...even though the love of her life is not with her anymore!  I am so thankful for their example in my life of being fit, healthy, and staying active even in their later years! 

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of when I started running!!  If you don't know me I should tell you this is a huge thing to celebrate because I never thought running would become a part of my life like it has!  Running was for crazy people and didn't look fun in the least to me.  I was happy and content to sit on my couch thank you very much!

Since my first day of running I have put in 665 miles.  I have ran in a 5k, 8k, 10k, and half marathon race.  It has been a year full of challenges, overcoming obstacles, setting goals, running in the rain & cold, reaching goals, gaining speed, having personal records, surpassing what I ever thought I was capable of, growing in so many ways, did I mention running in the rain and cold, and developing a stronger work ethic than I ever had before running.  I wanted to take a moment and reflect back on this past year and the things I have learned and the people who have made such an impact along the way!
To start with I need to thank my sweet friend Rachel...if it were not for her I am not sure I would even be writing this blog post.  She was willing to meet up with me in the beginning, when running wasn't even in my vocabulary yet, and walk with me (and run for those 30 second increments full of huffing and puffing).   She believed in me!  She encouraged me!  She kept me accountable!  And she was willing to go with me at my very snail pace!  Rachel and I did not have a deep friendship starting out but running brought such an amazing bond and depth to our friendship.  We started out living in the same town and so running together was a regular we live several hours apart and running together is a special treat.  But we have managed to still get in a few runs/races together.  I'm so excited (and still in shock) to be running our very first marathon together!!  I am so thankful for you Rachel my sweet sista!!!  You always have uplifting and wise words when I am having a rough day.  I love our silly moments and late night laughter when we are together!  Looking forward to seeing you again soon!  Big hugs!!

There have been a few other amazing friends along the way who have been such an inspiration and encouragement to me:  Anna, Sandi, Sarah, Harmony, & Melanie....thank you so much for all the times you have ran with me, signed up for races with me, challenged me, and been such faithful friends in my life!  You each mean the world to me!

Anna-thank you for being my long run day "partner-in-crime" and for being willing to train with me for my marathon...and putting in some crazy long miles alongside me!  I am brought to tears thinking of your faithfulness and support in my life.  You were at my side for one of the hardest years of my life and I can not thank you enough for your support during that season!  It's been so much fun doing life alongside you!!  I am beyond blessed by you!!  You have the kindest, sweetest, most giving & sincere soul!

Sandi - I love running with you and spending time with you and your family!   I love running side by side and all of our conversations and laughs we have had.  You were there alongside me for my very first race as well as several others...and many more to come I'm sure!!  Thank you for being so genuine, transparent, funny, and a treasure of a friend!  P.S. I'm excited to teach our running class, "Got the Runs?" at our homeschool co-op together!!

 Sarah - Due to our husbands different working schedules we haven't been able to run together as much as I would like.  But when I think of my running partners you are high on the list!!  I love your energy and excitement for life.  You have the most contagious joy and personality about you.  You are hard working and do so many things I only hope/dream of doing someday!!  I also love to spend time with you and our families getting together!  I know running has had it's own challenges for you but you should be so so proud of what you have accomplished!!  Even when running isn't an option you still find ways to stay active with hiking, walking, riding your bike, etc...!!!  You inspire me in many thank you for that Sarah!!

Harmony.....oh my sweet friend of almost 15 years.  I admire you so much.  I wish we were able to run together more often but I am so thankful for every chance I have to come down and have coffee with you (and on a rare occasion run with you!).  I am looking forward to October when we get to run the Astoria bridge together!!  You bring a tremendous amount of laughter and love into my life!!  You are one of the most beautiful people, inside and out!!  So many memories with you that I hold close to my heart!

Melanie - You are one of those crazy running people I mentioned above!!!  And when I grow up I want to be just like you!!!  You are a precious person with the biggest heart.  Thanks for all your inspiration and the example you set of loving the Lord and putting all your trust in Him, even while walking through some of the hardest and most painful things in the last few years!!  I am blessed immensely by you and your beautiful smile, heart, and personality!!

I am also blessed to have the most amazing and supportive family! 
To my sweet husband, who has been a long time runner himself, thank you for all your support, cheering me on, and help watching the girls whenever I go running or have a race!  I look forward to getting to run a race with you one day soon (that is NOT something I would have ever said a year ago!)  I love you so much babe!
To my girls, and future runners of America, I am so thankful for each of you.  You girls rock and I love all of our runs/races we have done and will do together.  I have no doubt you'll be passing me up very soon!!!   I love you so so so so much!

To my parents, you have also been such a major support, encouragement, and help with the girls so I can get my runs in!  Thank you for being there to support me at my very first 5k race and then surprising me and showing up to cheer me on as I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon.  Thank you for all the ways you bless my life!!  I love you both tremendously!!

As I look ahead to the next couple months and the year's a busy season.  I already have another few 10k's, one, maybe two, half marathons ahead, and something I never in my life would have imagined I would be doing...a MARATHON.   Wow I am tired just thinking of all that hard work and training ahead of me.  I wouldn't trade it for anything though...running has done so much to improve my life physically, emotionally, mentally, & spiritually.  I have learned how good hard work, dedication, commitment, perseverance, and not backing down even when it gets hard feels like.  It feels GREAT!!  Mostly, I have learned that I like being a part of the "crazy" running crowd...they are some pretty amazing people!!  One year of running down....only 50 more years to go!
Change your life
First you feel like dying then you feel rebornrun smart not hardTruth
The only thing that makes IT impossible is you saying it's not possible.
Ok time to find some tissue and wipe away all these happy tears!  I feel so incredibly blessed by the people the Lord has put in my life!!


A photo from the run I took on my one year running anniversary:

(Left to Right) Sandi, Anna, and myself


Please Subscribe here if you don't want to miss upcoming posts or find me on Facebook!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Homemade hand soap!

Over the past few weeks I have been really inspired to remove toxins from our home.  I am a pretty health conscience person and have strived to purchase products that I thought were the better of my choices.  However things are not always what they appear...and I am reading labels and checking how my products rate on the EWG database, and unfortunately many are not passing the test.

One particular product I wanted to replace and decided to make homemade (if you know me well you know I don't venture into the homemade area very often) was liquid hand soap.

I found a great recipe over at Thank your body blog and decided it was easy enough for a beginner like myself! 

So here are the steps to making your own non-toxic hand soap:

1)  Purchase a castile 5 oz bar of soap in whatever fragrance you prefer (naturally fragranced!).  I chose the Dr. Bronner's classic bar soap.   I found mine on sale for $2.99 at the local health food store so I loaded up on them!  For this recipe I used "Tea Tree Oil" scent.

2) Depending on how much soap you want you can either cut the bar of soap in half or use whole bar.  A whole bar would fill 8 - 16 ounce liquid soap dispenser.  A half bar would fill 4 - 16 ounce dispensers.
3) Next you grate the bar of soap, the smaller it is the faster they will melt! (make sure your kids don't come along and try eating it thinking it's grated cheese!!)
4) Bring either 1 gallon/128 ounces of purified water to a boil (if using a whole bar of soap) or 1/2 gallon/64 ounces (if using 1/2 a bar).

5) Once it is boiling, take it off the burner and add the full bar of grated soap, and stir until it's all dissolved.  It will have a murky look.

6) Let it sit for 12-24 hours, stirring occasionally!  I let mine sit overnight, from 6pm-6am.  Then I gave it a stir before going on a run.  It was still very liquidy and I thought for sure it hadn't turned out right.  But an hour later when I came back from my run and looked again, it had solidified significantly. 

7) Pour the soap into all 4-8 liquid soap containers, add any essential oils you'd like, and decorate as you please!  I didn't have much to decorate with but took some photo paper and cut to size.   Wrote on with sharpie pens, and glued the backs as well as used ducktape to hold on the paper.   I also wrote the date in small print on the back so I can remember how long they last.

On the EWG database it rates skin care/cosmetics from 0=no toxins to 10=highest level of toxins.  And the household cleaners from A=no toxins to F=highest level of toxins. 

The original hand soap that I had purchased from Trader Joe's cost $3.99 per bottle for a total of $17.33 w/tax for 4 of them and $34.66 if I were to purchase 8 bottles .  The soap included ingredients/toxins such as fragrance/parfum (which you can not give an accurate rating because there can be up to 600 hidden chemicals in that name alone), cocamidopropyl betaine (rates a 4), cocamide DEA (rates a 7), phenoxyethanol (rates a 4), citral (rates a 7), limonene (rates a 6).

The cost to make 8 soap dispenser was $2.99 (plus tax).  I did add some essential oils but already had those so it wasn't any additional cost.  That is approximately $0.41 each!

Last week I shared about the new skin care line I am switching too.  In case you missed my previous post, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, you can check that out too!  I plan to share more of the things I am replacing as well in the coming weeks! 

I hope to encourage others to stop and take the time to read labels, to be educated and informed on harmful toxins, to see how your products rate on the EWG database, and to do what you can to switch out toxic products for better ones.  Do it for the health of you and your family!  (and remember better for you doesn't always mean you have to pay might be surprised to find you can replace products and save or at least come out even!)

And if you are on Facebook, join me over at A non-toxic lifestyle!

Please Subscribe here if you don't want to miss upcoming posts or find me on Facebook!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ava Anderson Non-Toxic

Ava Anderson Non Toxic Catalog
Over the past few years I have wanted to find skin care/cosmetic products that are EVEN MORE safe and non-toxic than what I and my family are currently using.  Why?.....
Our skin is our largest organ and what you put on your skin (make-up, skin care, deodorant, lotion, shampoo, etc...) goes directly into your bloodstream.  Sadly, in America there are only 9 chemicals banned by the FDA compared to Europe where there are 1,342 ingredients banned.  The FDA does not regulate personal care products and hopes that cosmetic companies will do their due diligence and issue safe products.  In the word "fragrance", companies can legally hide any of 600 ingredients under that one "trade secret" word.  Companies market products as "organic", "pure", "natural", "botanical", and many other catchy words to make us THINK the products are safe to put on....but the reality is most are not 100% free of toxins. 
I knew there had to be something out there that was truly free of toxins, but the thought of sorting through the 1000's of products out there felt overwhelming.  Then a few weeks ago, while hanging out at a good friends house, I was introduced to a product line that is truly non-toxic!!  The product line is called "Ava Anderson Non-Toxic".  Ava Anderson is a 19 year old gal from Rhode Island.  She started the company at age can read her story HERE.  Unlike many skin care/cosmetic companies, you CAN see all the ingredients in every product BOTH on their website and directly on the product containers.  (And you can actually understand what the ingredients are!).
Ava Anderson - not toxic products for your home, body and baby
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Cosmetic Database rates over 65,000 products for their toxicity levels.  The categories it rates are: overall hazard, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity, and use restrictions.  Ava Anderson products all rate at a 0-1 on the cosmetic database website (0=safest and 10=highest level of toxins).  Feel free to see how your skin care/cosmetic products rate on this site.  Be aware though if the word "fragrance" is listed in the ingredients the rating is most likely much higher than what you see, as there is no way to know all the chemicals hidden behind that one word.
So what is so great about Ava Anderson products?  All organic ingredients from the earth/essential oils!!!  NON-GMO sourced, NO parabens¸ NO PEGs or SLS, NO synthetic “fragrance” and NO hidden ingredients or contaminants. NO phthalates, NO nitrosamines, NO formaldehyde, NO Glycol, NO Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and NO Petroleum Byproducts and NO animal testing. All products are Gluten free. Most of Ava Skin and Ava Body lines are Vegan. Recyclable packaging too!
For those of you that haven't heard of these products, you may want to read about them.  This young girl is a genius and these products are amazing!!!!  Please do yourself a favor and read about them!!!!!                 Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Beauty Products
If you are health conscious and care about things like this (and making homemade everything isn't something you have time for), I thought Ava Anderson Non Toxic products may be of interest to you!   And I need to insert in here that I am LOVING the products...very light, fresh, with a delicate and natural scent.  A little goes a long ways too!  They have skin care, cosmetics, sunblock, non-alcoholic hand sanitizer, no deet natural bug spray, pet products, household cleaners, Dish soap/laundry soap, baby products, anti-aging, deodorant, body butter/sugar scrub, 100% coconut oil candles and shampoo/conditioner.

Please take the time to do your research!  What we put on our skin and on our children's skin does matter. 
Here is a product review of Ava Anderson products from a naturopathic doctor:
Here are a few links addressing the issues of toxins for anyone who wants to research this in more detail:




Please Subscribe here if you don't want to miss upcoming posts or find me on Facebook!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Thank you Georgie!

Nothing like your running buddies
This past weekend my family went to Pacific City, Oregon.  My mom had decided that for her 60th birthday she wanted to rent a beach house and have her children and grandchildren all together for the weekend.

I was suppose to run 8 miles this weekend as part of my training plan for the Every Girls Half Marathon.  It can be a challenge though to figure out a route to run in an unfamiliar place.  I did some research  and came up with a plan to run all the way down the beach, which happened to be a peninsula, to where the ocean goes inland into the Nestucca Bay.  It was 4 miles down and 4 miles back.  Perfect!!

The day before we were suppose to leave on our trip, however, I came down with the worst sore throat.  It came on fast and without warning.  I started gargling insanely with my DoTerra Oregano and Onguard oils.  Thankfully by Saturday I was feeling much better and ready to hit the road...or rather, hit the sand!!  But I wasn't sure how far I would actually end up going.

I began my run from the beach house and made my way to the beach and onto the sand.  I told my husband I would probably just run a few miles and meet up with everyone afterwards.  But not too far into my run I was itching to go much further...I sent him a quick text that said, "I'm gonna run 8!"  It was the most incredible feeling running on the beach, especially on such a perfect day!!!

The further I ran though, the less and less people I saw.  It was broad daylight out but I tend to veer on the "way to cautious" side and finally I decided I should probably turn around and head back towards civilization.  I checked my RunKeeper and was less than 3 miles into my run.  I figured I would get close to 6 miles in by the time I got back, not bad, but it still wasn't my 8 mile goal. 
I turned around to head back, feeling disappointed that I didn't make it to the end of the peninsula, when within a few minutes I saw a female runner coming in my direction!!!  I had a sudden thought...maybe she was going to the end and I could tag along behind her!  I approached her as she got closer and explained I didn't want to run alone but had hoped to run all the way to the Bay and back.  She was more than willing to have me run with fact she went above and beyond and asked if I wanted to run and talk.  We introduced ourselves and began talking and sharing with each other!  Her name is Georgie, a sweet 55 year old gal, married for close to 30 years, with two grown sons!! 
Georgie and I (photo taken at the end of our run!)
We talked as we ran...we talked about running of course, but also kids, husbands, hardships, etc...when we reached the end of the peninsula we stopped for a few minutes to take in the beautiful scenery!

small canoe sitting along the waters edge of the Nestucca Bay!

The specks down near the water are a bunch of seals!!  And look at the beautiful home overlooking the ocean!

Then we began the 4 mile run back...again talking the entire time.  I was so thankful for the company and how much it helped the run to go by quicker.  By the time we reached our stopping place and I checked my RunKeeper app on my phone...I had run 9.41 miles!!

Georgie, thank you so much for being willing to not only run with me at your side but for being a person who went above and beyond to extend such kindness to me!  I was so blessed by our run.  I love the running community and how two strangers can become instant friends!! 

If you are a runner/walker (or would like to be) feel free to be apart of my running page on Facebook: Isaiah 40:31 - Running Mamas

Happy Running!!!


Please Subscribe here if you don't want to miss upcoming posts or find me on Facebook!