Let’s be honest here for one second.  We all know Cancer Sucks!!  Am I right?  Of course, I am.  It’s a curse.  People like to spend their time pimping out the ribbons and the colors for us to “raise awareness.”  Is there a person in the U.S. above the age of 14 who does not know cancer exists?   If so, I want to live in their idyllic world.  I’m not against the ribbons and the colors.  If you have lost someone or watched someone suffer, it feels good to do something in honor of their memory or their struggle.  I get it and have the ribbon paraphernalia to prove it.  I’ve lost close family members and watched others suffer from cancer; my grandma, several aunts, uncle and my sister to name a few.  I’m not some cold-hearted wench against people trying to make a difference.  I was extremely close with my Great Aunt Katherine when she went to the hospital for her cancer when I was 12.  I remember vividly every single time I walked in and out of her hospital room as she slipped further and further away from us and writhed with pain.  It was my first cancer experience.  It was painful to watch.  Cancer Sucks.ovarian-cancer-ribbon-magnet

The problem I have is with it stopping at ribbons and colors.  That is not enough.  Raising money for some organization which may or may not be giving the money towards finding a cure is great if it makes you feel like you are doing something.  I’m not knocking those actions.  I am calling for people to do more.  If we really want to do something about ovarian cancer, we have to step it up.  I’ve made a list of suggestions:

First Step: Early Detection

Get regular (as in yearly) exams with your gynecologist.  The American College of Obstretrics and Gynocology guidelines suggest women over 30 who have had 3 consecutive negative (as in clear) PAPs only need one every 3 years, however, regular bimanual pelvic exams and clinical breast exams can detect serious issues.  If it has been more than a year since your last exam, call today and make an appointment.  Now is fine.  I’ll be here when you get back.  In fact, make the appointment, tweet/instagram/Facebook about it challenging ALL the women in your life to do the same.  The next best thing beyond prevention is early detection.

10390550_794585033905184_1453109993065814459_n Second Step: Prevention

I realize we can never be sure what does or doesn’t prevent cancer.  Sometimes it is genetics and there is not much we can do about genetics.  The only aspect of genetics we can deal with is to test for the BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation.  A woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits the harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2.  We have heard about the cases where some women after discovering they have the gene had their breast removed and/or a hysterectomy.  This is a drastic decision and one I’m positive they didn’t come to lightly.   With my family history, I have considered the test which is expensive for me but have not yet gone down that road.  While I still weigh this heavy decision, I do feel there are habits we can adopt which will help with prevention.  The catch-22 with this topic is we can’t prove you prevented cancer just because you don’t get cancer.  You might have been a person who wouldn’t  have gotten it anyway but I like to err on the side of caution.  I would rather not get cancer and will do what I can now.

Heath and Eating Habits

I recommend yogurt if you can for the good bacteria it introduces but other fermented foods such as Kombuchi is wonderful for your health.  Fruit and garlic are good for your bodies Ph balance and bacteria health.

Kegels.  Your body will weaken as you age.  Happy Happy Joy Joy.  Doing kegels lessens your chances of urinary accidents and improves your sex life.

Having an active sex life helps lower your chances.  If you are not in a relationship or otherwise active, there are other ways to reach the same result.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary with any part of your private area, discuss it with your doctor.  You will never regret over worrying but you will regret if it  turns out to be something and your chances would have improved with a quicker diagnosis.

Feminine Care

Women, we need to refocus our attentions on our feminine care.  The vulva (outside part of the vagina usually called the vagina but the vagina is the inside tube part of your organ)  may be washed with no-frills soap and thoroughly rinsed with hot water.  The vagina should never be washed with soap.  It needs to maintain a certain Ph level to promote healthy bateria and deter unhealthy bacteria.  It goes without saying don’t be douche.  Seriously they are never a good thing.  It totally screws with your Ph level.  HealthyHooHoo has a line of feminine freshness products free of harsh chemicals, fragrances and parabens.

Please consider getting a menstrual cup and/or using cloth panty liners.   My pads are Pink Lemonade.  Another great place for pads and The DivaCup is Lunapads.  Many friends recommend the Luna Cup or a menstrual cup like the SckoonCup.  The Word of Nerd has a fantastic post on Cloth Pads.

If you do use tampons, change them frequently.  If you use pads, only use them as long as you have to and change them frequently.  I must tell you to read this article at Naturally Savvy by Andrea Donsky before choosing this option.  She explains the toxin issue so much better than I ever could.

Cotton underwear is best.  Your privates need air.  Let your vulva breathe.  At the very least, consider going commando at night to give your privates time to air out.

imagesThird Step: Now we talk Awareness

Before you give, know the organization.   I like Charity Navigator.  You can see exactly how an organization divides up its money, how much is spent on programs, fundraising and paying their head honcho.  I know some people can get hung up on a CEO getting paid $300,000 but if the organization brings in over $300 million it is really a drop in the bucket and I am more concerned about where the bulk of the money is going.  Information is power.  What is important to one person is less important to another.  Know your organization and give where you feel most comfortable.

The ribbon color for ovarian cancer is teal.  Wear it proudly if you feel called but please when asked share more.  Talk about early detection and prevention.  Do not partake in buying teal items from businesses where no money is going to a legit organization or even worse businesses such as conventional tampon and pads makers whose products they are unwilling to share what is in them and are unwilling to prove they are not toxic or harmful to vaginas across the country.

Full Disclosure:  I have not been asked by any of the companies, blogs or links I have provided to write this article. In fact, there are many more products you can find and I hope you do search for the right and SAFEST products for you.   I receive no kick back from this article.  I am simply an average Jane who feels passionate about this topic.  I don’t have a medical degree.  I’m not a scientist.  I search for information and share it.  I suggest you do your own research.  Let this be a jumping off point to learning more about being proactive in your health.

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Aug
26

Green Kid Fall Discovery Pack

by Junebug

I’ve made no secret of my love for the Green Kid Crafts monthly boxes.  The Green Kid Crafts boxes make great gifts for children (and parents who are worried they aren’t creative enough) or splurge on the subscription for your monthly dose of fun, education and engagement.  The Creativity and STEM Science box provides all the hands-on material needed to inspire creative and educational fun for kids 3-10.  For an exclusive sneak peek of their fall boxes, go here.  Must order by 8-31-2014.

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I have gotten the September Weather Science box before and loved it.  We still use the weather station and cloud identifier window.  My daughter will love the October Legends and Folktales.  She is constantly telling me she is a queen and will enjoy making her own crown.  November looks promising with gift ideas your kid can make.

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Full disclosure:  I am an affiliate for Green Kid Crafts.   If you click through my site and purchase, I might get a kickback.  However, I would recommend these boxes even if all I got was a wave and a “How do you do?”  The opinions are mine alone and if you doubt I have strong opinions feel free to contact my husband.

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Aug
15

Toddler Lunch Planning

by Junebug

Baby Bug starts school next week and I have been scouring the net for lunch ideas.  My child is weird and doesn’t care for sandwiches on regular bread, peanut butter or mac n cheese.  We avoid dyes and GMO laden foods.  As you can guess meal planning is one of my least favorite past times ever. However, her school does not provide food so it is completely up to me.   As I looked at all the options it dawned on me part of my problem was everything is presented in a full lunch.  I need a mix and match idea list so I created one.  My plan is to provide her lunch with one item from each list.  My categories are Main Entree, Vegetable/Fruit and Fun Factor.

 

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Main Entree Ideas: (I will start with the ones I know she likes but at dinner time practice the ones I think she will like before I send them to school.)

Tortellini Salad (Pasta and Peas tossed in Pesto)

Rolled Turkey with Cheese

Rice Balls (Cook short-grain rice and roll in small cooked vegetables)

Turkey, Lettuce and Tzatziki Sauce rolled into a wrap

Soba Noodle Salad

Tuna Fish on Pita

Rice with Polish Sausage or Ground Meat

Grilled Chicken Pita

Egg Salad in a wrap

Meatballs

Applegate’s Little Smokies

Lentil Soup

Salmon Patties

I’m most excited to try this Honey-Glazed bacon wrapped chicken strips from Paleo Cupboard.

 

Vegetables

Vegetables/Fruits: (If her main entree includes vegetables, I’ll add fruit otherwise it will be vegetables.)

Cucumber, Broccoli, Peach, Apple, Orange, Grapes, Melon, Pineapple, Green Beans, Blueberries, Strawberries, Carrots

Fruit kabobs

Roasted cherry tomatoes and mozzarella tossed in vinaigrette

Small Salad with dressing (My daughter LOVES salad!)

Frog Princesses and Princes Cupcakes

Fun Factor:

Raisins

Vegetable Chips

Air Popped Popcorn

Cheese Stick

Crackers

Apple Sauce

Natural Gummy Bears

Mini Muffins

What are some of your favorite lunch ideas?

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Aug
14

Picking a Lunch Container

by Junebug

Who knew it would be so freaking hard to pick a lunch container?  Not me.  The lunch pail was easy (sort of – I choose two because I couldn’t pick).

Baby Bug wanted the Owl one and I picked the Cow one.

But how do I decide what to put inside my adorable lunch pails?

I love the idea of a metal lunch box.  I’m not sure how easily my toddler can open one by herself.  Motor skills are not currently her strong suit.

Several of my friends recommended these easy lunch boxes.  They are supposed to be BPA-free.  I went with the last one here because of price.  I figured we can upgrade as I become comfortable with making lunches.

What is your favorite lunch box?  I would love ideas for the next time I have to buy.

Full Disclosure:  I am an Amazon Affiliate.  If you link to Amazon through my website and buy, I might get a small kickback.  I put all my Amazon monies into our adoption fund.

 

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Carpe Diem and Other Lessons Robin Williams Taught Me

August 12, 2014

Carpe Diem.  Robin Williams introduced me to this concept and more over my lifetime. I feel this completely irrational connection to a man I never met.  In many ways, I feel I grew up with him.  His body of work rode perpendicular with my life occasionally turning to intersect and knock me off my course. […]

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Plantar Fascitis is a Big Pain in my Foot

August 8, 2014

Last year I wagged (walk/jog) 13 races.  At some point my foot began to hurt.  It hurt mostly when I wasn’t even running.  In fact, right after I was resting and tried to use it.  It feels as if you foot is suddenly lame and you hobble like a 99 year old woman for a […]

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Whole Picture Wednesday

August 6, 2014

We went to a wonderful small zoo in Kansas called Tanganyika Wildlife Park.  It was amazing! The top highlights: 1.  Not crowded! 2.  Great interactive exhibits!  We got to feed a giraffe, a turtle, birds, a rabbit, goats, a llama and lemurs.  Plus, do a walkabout and pet kangaroos. I loved this exchange which happened […]

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The Benefits of a Low-Tech Summer

August 4, 2014

Feels strange to finally be sitting down and paying attention to my blog.  This month I celebrate my 8th year of blogging.  I have to admit I have not been feeling it lately.  Or should I say I’ve been feeling all those years weighing on me.  I’ve changed tons in the past last 8 years. […]

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Fitbloggin’ 14 was Inspiring and Fun!

July 10, 2014

It has been a few weeks since Fitbloggin’ 14 wrapped up.  I’ve seen many recaps and continued to be awed by the power of this group.  The determination.  The support.  The knowledge.  It is all so overwhelming to process.  I’ve attempted in my usual haphazard way to share a little of what I learned. 1. […]

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Eavesdropping on Myself – Birthday Edition

July 7, 2014

This birthday was the first my hubby had fun with Baby Bug helping to pick out my presents and cake.  They were both so proud of themselves.  I had to close my eyes and they brought out the cake.  I opened my eyes and they started singing to me.  I was already very confused. Me: […]

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