November 2014
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Remembrance

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In the summer of 2000, I told my mom I wanted a pet that “does more”. I went through a few fish, a frog, and had an English Budgie. When my mom walked into a bird store to get our first bird, Kiwi, some seed she saw a woman holding a beautiful little bird that looked like a miniature parrot and asked her what type it was. The woman replied that it was called a lovebird. My mom then proceeded to ask something to the extent of “Oh, what do they do?” The woman simply answered, “They love you.” My mom caved and Paulie came home with us that day.

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In honor of Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1st – 7th), I’m happy to share with my readers an inspirational couple who has beat the odds of mesothelioma, an aggressive and rare cancer that can kill within two years.

Heather and her husband Cameron have made it their mission to spread the word about mesothelioma, after facing the diagnosis at a young age of 36. Heather is the sweet woman who was faced with this diagnosis eight years ago, soon after the birth of their daughter, Lily. Heather was only given 15 months to live, and after undergoing a risky procedure she has beat the odds and has been blessed with more years to enjoy life to the fullest with the ones she loves, all while giving back to others in any way she can.

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The only known cause of this cancer is from exposure to asbestos. So, here are some facts that you may not be aware of, that could save lives, as knowledge is power.

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To watch Heather’s story click HERE.

 

As a blogger dedicated to natural living, I was compelled to rally up behind their cause which has affected them personally and to help spread the word. Heather and Cameron have also created a webpage HERE, dedicated to raising awareness about this deadly carcinogen and Heather continues to give speeches at conferences as a way to give back to others. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affecting the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen.

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I know from personal experience that many older homes (most made before 1979) almost always contain asbestos based products unless they have been removed. Sometimes removing it from a home is more dangerous than letting it be, as these fibers we cannot see are released into our air. It’s a costly and dangerous project. One thing that I ask myself is, why isn’t asbestos banned in the USA by now?!

FACTS

  • The U.S. and Canada are the last two industrial nations not to ban asbestos completely. (Let’s get busy people!)
  • Over 30 years ago, the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared asbestos a known human carcinogen.
  • The Word Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos in the workplace
  • The Word Health Organization (WHO) also estimates that one in every three deaths from occupational cancer is estimated to be caused by asbestos, and it is estimated that several thousands of deaths each year can be attributed to exposure to asbestos at home (YIKES!).
  • In 2010, U.S. consumption (or use) of asbestos was 1,010 tons (that’s a LOT of asbestos!)

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‘Tis The Season

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With 10 days left until Christmas I rounded up 10 things that caught my eye this season. Some tasty, others creative and some ideas that I find special.

 

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Sweet Something Designs: Acorn Cap Ornament

There are so many DIY ornaments out there for the holidays, but I’ve never seen this until now. I love creative ideas that are cheap, and made out of things from nature. I just love the acorns with the glitter on the edges. Find out how to make it HERE.

2 paleo gingerbread house

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Just when you think something is impossible, someone out there proves you wrong. My favorite part of this paleo gingerbread house is the gumdrops made out of gelatin. I might just want to make those all by themselves. See how HERE.

3 dairy-free hot cocoa with peppermint

The urban poser blog always has great recipes, and everyone needs a drink to warm them up during this time of year. Coconut milk hot cocoa is ordinary, but add in homemade peppermint marshmallows and you have something special. Find out how to make them HERE.

4 apple cranberry crumble

I’m always up for a side dish that tastes like dessert. You can make this grain free apple cranberry crumble, and if you want to stay away from sugars you can always try it with stevia. Check out this delicious looking recipe HERE.

5 crochet elf slippers

Aren’t these the cutest things ever? I don’t believe there is an age limit to these adorable crocheted elf slippers. You can attempt this project HERE.

6 birch bark log tea light holder

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I bought one of these delightful crafts a couple ears ago and still love it just as much today. It’s handcrafted and a cozy centerpiece for these dark days of winter. Check out the artist on Etsy HERE.

7 candle lit yoga

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To find something new and fun to do, and also good for your body try candle lit yoga. Or any yoga for that matter.

8 photos by the Christmas tree tutorial

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If you are not a photography expert (like me) and want to learn a few tricks here, learn how to make Christmas lights an awesome background for a unique photo. I attempted a little bit with Ralphie. Check out the blog that teaches you how HERE.

9 DIY heart shaped bokeh

I’m not done marveling at these photo tricks yet. ”Bokeh” is a photography term that essentially means blur. Learn how to make your own heart shaped bokeh, and then you can pretty much make any shape you can think of. Start learning how HERE.

10 the best things are free

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Remember during the season of consumerism, that sometimes the coolest, more special treasures are found buried away in the corners of our own closets or attics. My Great Aunt Jean’s vintage cutting board is something special that I found this year, especially since 1. they’re expensive and 2. I’m a poor college student. It’s more than the cutting board though. It’s a reminder of her, a special person. Don’t get caught up in the gifts (although they’re fun and nice). Remember to cherish the people around you more.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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