Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (not really)

Can you believe I've never done a Wordless Wednesday post? Like my friend Puglet, I always have so much to say so to be wordless for just one day is hard. And impossible. So there - I guess I can't do it.

I had a summertime post scheduled for today but I wanted to give everyone an update on my disc issues. I am doing better today than yesterday and even better than I was on Monday afternoon. I walked the entire length of the house this morning on the sidewalk because I was starving and wanted to get inside to eat. Unfortunately, I fell just as I got to the house but Dad was there to pick me up and take me inside.

I continue to try to walk around the house but most of the time I just take a few steps, stop, and then lay down - it's just too much for me. My right leg and foot just don't know what to do and it pains Mom to see me walk on my knuckles like my friend Walter use to do and like my friend Tuni still does. It doesn't really hurt me but Mom says it looks painful.

I am doing okay with my medicine and haven't had any tummy problems. I don't really like the pink liquid stuff but Mom says I have to take it to coat my tummy. I get all my other medicine wrapped in cheese so it's not that bad.

I'm going to have another laser therapy session tomorrow afternoon. The vet is adjusting my therapy so I'll find out tomorrow if I'm going to continue to receive it on my hips and back or just on my elbow, which feels better by the way.

I slept soundly last night and am back to taking naps throughout the day. Our July 4th party has officially been canceled and I'm super bummed about not seeing everyone. I plan on spending the weekend chilling in the house, eating Popeyes, and ignoring the fireworks.

A big thank you to everyone for sending healing vibes. I feel all the love from all over the continent. My friend Tweedles even sent her magic bubbles and they floated around the house, wrapping it in love. Between the healing vibes and magic bubbles I'm sure to be good as new in no time.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tsk-Tsk - It Might Be A Disc

Mom has been home for an entire week but for whatever reason, she doesn't want to turn the 'puter on. No 'puter means no blog posts so forgive me for being so absent, but know that it's not my fault.

Even though I haven't been on the 'puter, I've been super busy but not in a good way. I can't really tell you what happened while Mom was gone but suffice it to say I just haven't been myself since she returned. You guys know that I'm getting old and that I don't really get around really good but last week I could hardly walk. I mean I could walk but really slow, like a turtle. Mom knew that she had to do something so she called a vet that does laser therapy (a recommendation from a friend) and I went to see her for a consultation last Friday.

I really liked this vet despite the fact that she was bending and twisting me every which way during the consultation. The results? I have a bad elbow, not a bad shoulder. Mom and Dad have been told for years that my shoulder was bad but I knew all along that it was my elbow. I sure wish I could have told them because I could have been receiving treatment on it all along. The other news? The vet thinks I have a bulging disc - yuk! I covered my ears when she described the disc so I really don't know all the details.

After the consultation, the vet tech did the first session of laser therapy on me. I am scheduled to have 6 sessions to start and then be re-evaluated to determine if/when I need more. Each session consists of 3 points on my bad elbow, shown in the picture above, 2 points on each side of my hip, and 1 point on my back. I felt a lot better after the first session and was even walking better.

My second session was this morning and everything was fine. I got a nice treat after the session, enjoyed the car ride home, and took a nap while Mom went shopping. Then the trouble started. Mom took me outside to enjoy the nice afternoon sunshine and I couldn't walk. I would take a few steps and wipe out - boom! I would pick myself up and then fall again. I was walking sideways, or should I say trying to walk and would fall over on one side, staring up at Mom who would rescue me from the fall. Mom was hysterical, crying and crying. She picked me up and I wiped away her tears, telling her that I would be okay but that I needed to go back to the vet.

Mom calmed down long enought to call the vet who told her to bring me back to the office at 3:45. Mom then called Dad to tell him what was going on. He was on his way home from an appointment and said that he would drive us to the vet.

The vet was super nice to me again as I tried to walk around for her. She reiterated some of what she mentioned last Friday about my disc and how it's gotten worse. She told Mom and Dad that she thinks we need to be aggressive with my treatment so I just had my first dose of Prednisone. I just started taking Deramaxx last week and even had one this morning but the vet said I need to take the Prednisone asap so that my disc will calm down (usually you would wait 2 days after taking Deramaxx to begin Prednisone). She also gave me some Carafale to protect my GI. I don't know what a GI is but the medicine is suppose to coat my tummy so that the Prednisone doesn't upset it. Mom also needs to go to Walgreens to get me some Pepcid AC. Phew! Lots of medicines for me. I should be a patient at Smush Face General Hospital!

In addition to all the medicine I have to take, my exercise is restricted. I don't really exercise all that much anyway but the vet says I can only go out to do my business and that I must be carried out to do it. I'm totally okay with that since I want my disc to get better so that I can move around again. I need to be able to play in my yard and visit my friends, especially my Josie.

I also want to get better so that Mom stops crying. She, of course, blames herself for all my problems. If only she had done this or taken me to see that vet, etc. I don't blame her at all because she takes great care of me but you know moms. They accept full responsibility for the whole kit-and-kaboodle everytime something goes awry, even when it's not their fault.

Please keep your paws crossed that the Prednisone works. The vet told Mom and Dad that if it doesn't then I might need surgery. Surgery that may or may not help. I know I'll be okay, but I need all of you to convince Mom. And please convince her that I need to update my bloggie more often and not about myself. I have so many cool things to post about that you need to know about that I want to tell you about.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm Back!

It's been two weeks since my last post because Mom left me to go hang out with the sea turtles and pug people. She even met some pugs and despite the fact that I wasn't with her, they welcomed her with open paws. Awwww!

Mom is not much of a photographer but the one night she did have her camera with her on the beach, this mama showed up. How cool is that? I sure wish I could hang out with the turtles because I'm sure they'd love me. Who doesn't love pugs?

This mama had just finished nesting and was heading back to the ocean. You can tell she's heading back because she is covered in sand. After laying her eggs, she covered her nest so no predators would find them. What a good mama she is! Mom had a great time on the island and told me that she did lots of dancing. I'm not sure if that's code for something but she sure looked happy when she got home.

Before Mom got to the turtles she made a couple of stops. When she told me she was going to visit Salinger I begged to go with. I told her that I would stay at Salinger's house and that she could pick me up on her way home. It sounded like a great plan to me but Mom wasn't buying it. So she went to Sal's house without me to party with the Indy bloggers.

Sal's mom Laura is the ultimate party planner. When she heard Mom was coming, she emailed all the Indy bloggers and invited them over for cake. All the pugs were invited too so Laura made little pupcakes for them. I don't need to tell you that Molly O'Mally had a few too many pupcakes. She told Mom "To haaaail with my waistline. I'm hungry!" What O'Mally wants, O'Mally gets!

Mom couldn't keep her hands off the puggies. Her she is with Lilo. How pretty does Lilo look in her Punchy dress? Mom said Lilo was an absolute angel but I heard she was hitting the bottle with you-know-who. I'm just saying.

Here's Lilo with her pretty mom Jess. Mom loved meeting Jess and can't wait to go back to Indy to hang out with her again. Of course I'm going with next time or else!

Lilo loved the camera and would twirl round and round showing off her dress. I bet Lilo has a closet full of dresses.

I bet you don't even recognize this guy without his drink of choice, do you? This is Hank and even though Mom took some pretty interrogating video of him trying to sing like Emmitt, she felt sorry for him because she's been around enough silly drunks. Hank dude, you need to lay off the PBR before your videos end up on YouTube!

Mom told me that Lola the low rider was even cuter in person. I totally believe that because pictures don't lie. Lola and Reggie Wayne were the only black pugs at the party. Mom didn't take any pictures of Reggie because he got sick and had to leave the party early. He's okay now and Mom promises that I'm going to visit him soon.
Apollo's mom Jami was also at the party along with Brutus and Miley's mom Stacy. Jami and Stacy left their pugs at home but promised to bring them next time. Mom had a great time with all the pugs and their peeps and can't wait to go back to Indy.

Sal was very sad to see Mom leave, but leave she had to because her next stop was Atlanta. I wish I had pictures to show you of Atlanta but Mom didn't really take any. Something about Bonnaroo and traffic. I have no idea what all that means but Mom said that everything worked out in the end and that she had a great time visiting with her friend Kerri Anne who is now somewhere in Africa.

After Mom left the island she had a great dinner with her BFF Carole, got some sleep, and took a hot shower. She then hit the road with one destination left on her trip - Birmingham! She visited the 'ham to visit with the ham and Lulu. So jealous! Heather and Mom took Harry and Lulu to Rojo for dinner and Harry couldn't help but clean crumbs off the ground. That Harry. He's such a helper!

Lulu wasn't interested in crumbs but she was interested in staying close to her mom. She's definitely a momma's girl and Mom could see why. Heather was just as sweet in person as Mom thought she would be. She's so glad she stopped in the 'ham.

Harry may seem like a tough guy who could care less about his sister but this picture proves how much he loves her. Mom couldn't get enough of them and hated to leave the 'ham. Mom invited Heather, Harry, and Lulu to Chicago to visit me and all the Chicago bloggers (you know who you are).

I bet you're wondering what I did while Mom was gone. I can't tell you everything I did because even Mom doesn't know. Let's just say I ate really well, got out a lot, and was a very good boy. Dad even took me in Mom's car to pick up dinner with the top down. I told Dad I could drive but he told me that he would be my chauffeur. Isn't he the best?

Dad was super busy while Mom was gone so I had to spend some time with the poodles. What was Dad busy doing you ask? He spent one day at the Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory parade and another day at the Cubs-White Sox game. Sheesh. You'd think these events would be pug friendly!

The handle and wheel for my buggy arrived while Mom was gone so Dad hooked them up and took me for a ride. I really don't like my buggy whether it's hooked up to Mom's bike or whether I'm being pushed around in it like a baby. I may be smiling in this picture but that's just to appease Dad.

I'm so glad Mom is home and life is back to normal. I missed her so much and don't ever want her to go away without me again. She brought me gifts from my friends but I didn't get to take any pictures of them because I've been so busy snuggling with her. All of you have an open invitation to visit with us any time you are in or near Chicago. Our door is always open and we'll leave the light on for you!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy World Oceans Day!

Today is the day we celebrate the oceans and despite the recent oil spill in the Gulf Coast, there's still so much to celebrate. They give life to us land animals and even if you've only seen the oceans in pictures or on tv you still have so much to celebrate. The world is blue and we couldn't exist without the oceans.

I love the ocean so much and so does Mom. She loves it so much that she's leaving tomorrow for the Atlantic ocean. Yep. It's that time of year again - turtle time!

Mom is heading back to Wassaw Island to assist the Caretta Research Project with loggerhead nesting. You can read about my post from last year here for details on Wassaw Island. Mom said it's the most magical place on Earth and since I've never been there I'll have to take her word for it.

Mom will be spending the week with this gorgeous lady, the original turtlebabe, Kris. She's the director of the project and Mom loves her like a sister. Mom once told her that she wanted to be just like her when she grew up. This is funny because Kris is just a little younger than Mom!

This picture is from Mom's first year turtling. She was on Wassaw in August helping with hatchling season. She helped so many little babies to the ocean that year and was instantly hooked.

Mom will also be with these lovely ladies. Okay, so Carole will definitely be there but Trixie the loggerhead turtle might be too. She nested a couple of weeks ago and should be ready to nest again next week. Keep your paws crossed that she makes an appearance because she's Carole turtle.

This picture is from Carole's first year on Wassaw. Mom was an old pro by this time and was showing Carole the ropes with this beautiful momma. In case you're wondering, they are checking the turtle for tags. If a turtle isn't tagged then they tag her, one tag on each of her front flippers. They lovingly refer to the tags as jewelry and imagine all the mommas returning to the ocean to show off their jewelry to all the other turtles.

Mom and Carole hit it off right away and this will be their fifth year together on the island. Mom can't even imagine Wassaw without her and Kris. This is them last year in the main cabin getting ready to head out to the beach.

This picture of Mom and her crew is from 2005. This momma decided she wanted to nest at sunrise and everyone couldn't have been happier. Called a dawn turtle, this is the best time to take pictures of turtles. The guy standing behind Mom is Jason and he will be the assistant on Mom's week.

Mom says one of the reasons Wassaw is so magical is because of its natural beauty. This is one of the roads on the island and you can see that it looks like a movie set. It's organized chaos with all the moss hanging from the live oaks. Mom claims that Wassaw also smells like no other place she's ever been. As soon as she steps off the boat and onto the dock she smells the island and knows that she's arrived - in utopia.

Mom's hoping to see lots of these guys this year too. There are lots of them on the island but some years she sees them and some she doesn't. This picture is from a few years ago and was taken as they were heading to the beach. Joe is holding the alligator after finding it in the dark.

So this is what Mom is going to be doing next week. Patrolling the beach every night looking for mommas just like this one. This momma had just nested and was heading back into the ocean. Notice all the sand on her back. This is from her covering her nest so that nothing will disturb it. Don't worry momma, Mom won't let anything happen to your babies.

Mom said that even after all these years, it never gets old seeing sea turtles nest. It almost always brings a tear to her eyes because these gracious creatures face so many perils in the ocean. It saddens me so much to think of them swimming through all the oil that's spilling into the Gulf Coast. I've asked Mom to tell all the mommas to swim around the oil and to tell all their friends to do the same.

But what about me? I want to thank all of you for the sweet comments you left on yesterday's post. Mom was a little freaked out last night waiting for the doctor to call. The doctor called this morning while Mom was out getting prettied up so Dad talked to the doctor and guess what? My blood work came back totally normal. I'm okay! It's true. Dr. Chung told Dad that not only am I okay but that he should feed me a little bit more because she doesn't want me to lose more weight. Feed me more? YAY!

Since Mom is going to be gone for twelve days you know what that means. I asked her to leave the 'puter on for me but she reminded me that that would be a waste of energy. So no computer means no blogging. In lieu of blogging I will be eating. Eating Popeyes, french fries, hamburgers, watermelon, hot dogs, etc. Dad said I can have whatever I want. We are going to party like rockstars while Mom is gone!

Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm Too Skinny!

I usually don't do two blogs in a row about myself but everypug has been asking how my vet visit went. To borrow a phrase from my good friend Tweedles, what's a Stubby to do but tell everypug what the vet said?

First I have to tell you that Dr. Chung tried to convince me that Dasuquin was a new treat that I would love, but I wasn't buying it. I know what treats smell like and this thing was mediciney. Pooey! One lick and I turned my cute pug nose up in the air and asked where the Popeyes was. I know that eating these mediciney things will help me walk better but why can't they make them Popeyes flavored?

Okay, so back to my visit. The first thing the vet tech did when I arrived was weigh me - on a cat scale. Why I wasn't weighed on a normal dog scale I have no idea. Mom thinks the scale was a little off because it said I weigh 16.3 lbs. OMD! The last time I was on the scale it read 19.1 lbs. That was back in December so I've lost almost 3 lbs. without even trying. That's not good.

Dr. Chung was so excited about my weight loss saying over and over again how great I looked. She was also concerned that I haven't been dieting to lose weight. She asked Mom if she could take my blood just to make sure that I'm okay. Mom said yes of course before I could say no.

Mom also asked about my cooties. The only one that Dr. Chung was a little worried about was my arm cootie. She took a real good look at it, scratched it and then remarked that it was raised. She mentioned something about melanoma and said that dogs get it just like people do. I immediately thought of my good pal Salinger when she mentioned melanoma because that guy is constantly tanning. His belly is as black as tar and I don't think he wears sunscreen. Dr. Chung's advice was to watch the cootie and call if it changes.

I couldn't wait to get home because Mom said she'd give me a real treat. I was very tired after my treat but I had to help Mom with some planting. She is trying to get everything in the ground before she leaves for her trip.

When Dr. Chung asked about the Tramadol Mom told her that I refuse to take it. Dr. Chung said to put it in butter. What? Butter? Are you kidding me? Mom just shook her head and asked if there was something else she could prescribe so now I have a sample of little Tramadols that are supposedly beef flavored. We'll see if I take one tomorrow morning but I wouldn't bet the house on it. Beef flavored or not, it's still medicine and I hate it.

Dad does not want me to mention that I may or may not have poopied in the house when I got back home. Mom asked me ever so nicely to poopy outside but for some reason I decided to go inside - in the living room. I know that Pearl is super proud of me but Mom is concerned. I never poopy in the house - never. Okay maybe I have a few times in my entire 13 years on this planet but never after having been outside all day. Dad found my poopy and told Mom that it was really hard. Hmmmm. I just thought the living room was looking a little empty and that it needed some shartwork. Sheesh people!

I'm so sorry Mom. I didn't mean to maybe leave you some shartwork in the living room. I'm also sorry you got teary eyed after the vet tech weighed me. I know that you take the best care of me and that you do everything in your power to keep me healthy and safe but I'm too skinny. You need to feed me more and more often. We can start right now with a quick trip to the Popeyes drive-thru. I promise not to tell Dr. Chung when she calls tomorrow with the results of my bloodwork. It will be our little secret, okay?

Thank you to all my friends who have left comments about my cooties. I will let you guys know if my bloodwork shows anything strange and if my arm cootie gets any bigger. I asked Dad to take a picture of me and Mom because we don't have a lot of pictures of the two of us. Please excuse Mom's hair, face, and body because she had just come in from gardening.

Please excuse Dad's awful iphone photography skills. I put this picture in here because I look, in the words of my good buddy Puglet, extrasupercute.

Friday, June 4, 2010


I received this disturbing notice in the mail a couple of weeks ago. I have told the mailman a million times that Stubby Block doesn't live here unless he's delivering a card/package/gift from my friends. A notice from the vet is definitely not welcome and will not be accepted! Unfortunately, Mom is the one who accepted the notice from the mailman and upon receiving it rushed in the house to show me. Ugh!

Mom has decided to take me for my exam/semi-annual consultation (read: $$$) on Monday because she is leaving for her turtle trip on Wednesday. Huh? Monday is June 7th and I'm not scheduled until June 16th. What gives? Well, she thinks I have cooties. Do I look like I have cooties? It may look like I have some cooties on my chin but that's just scrambly eggs. I always save a little breakfast eggs for a mid morning snack.

Mom thinks I have cooties on my ears because my hair is falling out right on the edge of them. This has happened in the past and magically stopped happening, thus no ear cooties.

This cootie on my head has been there for about a year. I don't think it's a cootie but simply a kissing spot. Mom always kisses me on my head and - hey wait! Maybe she gave me this cootie! Ewwww!

This arm cootie is new. Mom noticed it earlier this year but thinks it has gotten bigger. Again, I don't think this is a cootie but another turkey-popper-thingy like the one I have on my thigh. My Aunt Laura (Salinger's mom) came up with the turkey-popper-thingy and it just stuck (no pun intended). She said it looks like the thingy that pops out of the turkey when it's done cooking. I love turkey and maybe I got this cootie from eating too much of it.

So while I was trying to take my mid morning nap, Mom called the vet and got me an appointment for Monday afternoon. Great. Right after lunch is when I take my first afternoon nap. Now my whole day is going to be thrown off by a visit with Dr. Chung. Nice. I sure hope she's happy with me when I get on the scale because I'm skinny. Maybe too skinny? Not for Dr. Chung!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday Wag Out! - Beauty Edition

My good friends Sequoia & Tuni left a comment on my bloggie during Earth Week asking me to post some of my favorite eco friendly products. I hope they don't think I forgot about it but never in a million years did I think it would take this long to put this post together. I blame Mom because she's in charge of the 'puter. I would have had this post done weeks ago but like Puglet always says I have no thumbs.

I totally understand the confusion regarding which products to buy. Not only is there so much greenwashing in the marketplace but the labels on the products are so confusing. Here's just a sampling of concerns you may see labels for when shopping for products:

Fair trade

Natural ingredients

100% natural

Recycled packaging

Certified organic

Not tested on animals



The cosmetics industry is not as regulated as you might think. Most products are proprietary so manufacturers' claim that listing the ingredients is giving away the secret. Um, okay, but how are you suppose to know what's in something if it's not labeled? You won't. In fact the industry is so unregulated that all of a product's ingredients don't have to be listed. This is troublesome so I suggest not buying any product that doesn't list its ingredients.

I have a question for you - what's natural? Companies can label anything natural because that term is not regulated. Natural what you ask? Good question. And what about 100% natural? If something is not 100% natural then what is it? 1% natural?

It's important to purchase products that use fair trade ingredients because peoples' livelihoods are attached to the products. And certified organic ingredients means no pesticides reside in your product. This is probably not even something you think about but many ingredients in health & beauty products are plant based. These plants, like food plants, get sprayed with pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides. Those 'cides are passed onto you via the products you use.

If garbage is a big concern for you, looking for packaging that contains recycled materials or that can be recycled is important. Please remember that most health & beauty items though seemingly safe, should always be disposed of properly. Nail polish is a good example of an item that should never be tossed in the garbage because of the toxic ingredients it contains.

No one wants to use products that have been tested on animals, do they? Most products are tested on animals and the labelling for not tested on animals is a bunny. This label is highly regulated but that doesn't mean that other products that aren't tested on animals are labeled.

If you are vegan then you won't use any animal based products. You'd be surprised just how many ingredients are animal based and I'm not just talking about honey. They don't say cow this and sheep that because if they did then no one would buy their products. Most perfumes are made with oil from whale blubber but I bet many consumers aren't even aware of this.

Since I don't use beauty items because I don't need them, I'm turning the post over to Mom. She uses this stuff so she can best speak to them.

I decided to focus this post on beauty products because they are products I use every day. I don't want to offend any males readers Stubby may have, but truthfully I know that most of you are women. Some of these products are unisex but most are not.

Whenever I'm at the store or shopping online, I consult at least two sources before making any purchases: the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetic safety database and the Good Guide. I also have the Good Guide app on my phone, but I've gotten some conflicting data between their online guide and their app. I also check online reviews of products, read blogs, and get recommendations from friends. Basically I do my homework. I also try lots of products because let's face it many eco-friendly products don't work as well as traditional products. This is largely because of their ingredients and our definition of what works and what doesn't. We have gotten so use to products working a certain way that when something works a little different we think it doesn't work. All this requires a lot of time but when your health is at stake, the least you can do is devote some time and energy to product selection.

These are the products I use on a daily basis. After taking this picture and putting everything away I realized that shaving cream and sunscreen were missing so I will blog about them another time. Insect repellant is also not shown but during the summer I do use it every day. Stubby did a post on insect repellants a couple of years ago and I've asked him to do one on sunscreens next month.

At first glance it may look like I use a lot of products. I don't consider myself a heavy product user because I feel that I use the bare minimum. I wear minimal makeup and hardly ever use hair spray, but I know that some of you are not like me. Everyone is different, we all use this and not that, but I cannot stress how important it is to pick your products wisely. I've organized the products by use to make it easier to follow along and where available, products will have a color coded score from the Skin Deep database. 0 is the best score with 10 being the worst.

I have truly struggled with shower soap and I've tried so many different brands. No sooner do I find one that I like and all of a sudden my husband won't use it. Or I'll try one and hate it for various reasons. Many soaps are wrapped in plastic and I try to avoid plastic and packaging like the plague. You could spend all day researching soaps because there are so many out there but this soap seems to be the right one for me right now.

The first thing you'll notice about this soap is its packaging. It's recyclable and that's a good thing. Kiss My Face makes so many great products and this is one of their best. It has a score of 0 because of its ingredients and it suds up just fine for me. Some soaps do not make suds because they don't contain SLS (sodium laurel sulfate). Everything comes with a price, right? SLS is found in most health & beauty products but I avoid it at all cost because it has been linked to a host of health problems including cancer. The SLS found in soaps and shampoos is the same as is found in car washes and garages. It cuts through grease on car engines and on you.

I have struggled to find a shampoo at an affordable price that's not harmful to me for many years. Many eco friendly products cost more than traditional products because of their ingredients. That's not to say that your health isn't worth spending extra money on but in this economy it's harder than ever to spend money on personal care items.

I can't tell you that these products aren 't cheap but what I will tell you is that you don't have to use much. I have unruly, curly, shoulder length hair and these products last me a couple of months. One reason is because a little goes a long way and I only wash my hair every other day. Both of these products score have a score of 1 and while there is only one brick-and-mortar store I know of that sells them, they are available online.

This is the one product I knowingly use that is bad for me. Those of you that know me know living with my hair is the bane of my existence. It has a mind of its own and it never wants to cooperate. I had most of my hair cut off a couple of years ago and my short 'do required a new styling product. I HAVE to use something on my hair or it will be completely frizzy. I used TreSemme mousse for many years and when I wasn't using it I was using various gels. I have tried everything and when I found this Bumble & Bumble Styling Creme it worked really good but I knew it was bad for me.

Here I am two years later still using it or should I say using it up. I'm through with it once this bottle is empty. I hate to even admit it but this scored a 7 and it even contains parabens. Parabens, like SLS are another ingredient that I completely swear off but loe and behold they're in here. YUK! There's even fragrance in here but the worst part about about this product is where it's used - on my head. No more my friends. I've started my search for a truly green product so please leave me a comment if you have any suggestions.

I've been using Tom's of Maine toothpaste for quite some time and I love it. You may have noticed that I'm not brand loyal across a line but I am brand loyal when it comes to specific products. This particular toothpaste was not on the Skin Deep database when I checked today but I swear I've seen it on there before. I believe it may have scored a 3 or 4 but this is the end of the road for this toothpaste for me. The Whole Care line has been upstaged by the Natural Care line which, unlike the toothpaste shown above, does not contain SLS. Yep. SLS is found in most toothpastes and unless you use good old baking soda (or you're Jessica Simpson) you're probably brushing your teeth with it. It did have a Good Guide rating of 8.1 (10 being the best) which makes me feel a little better but I can't wait to use the tube of Natural Care that I bought a couple of months ago.

Not only is the box the toothpaste comes in made from 40-65% post consumer recycled paperboard (which is recyclable) but the tube is made from recyclable aluminum. You have to remove the plastic threading (#4 LDPE) before recycling it, but kudos to Tom's of Maine for making a recyclable tube. The cap is #5 so don't forget that Aveda will recycle that for you.

I recently switched from Glide floss which I used for years, even before it became Crest Glide. I loved the minimal feel of the floss as it glided (pun intended) between my teeth but then I started to investigate Glide and decided to switch. Glide does not list the ingredients on their website but they do say it's made from natural waxes and contains a natural mint flavor. They say that a minimal amount of wax is used thus it's primarily made from polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE), which is a slippery material. PTFE? WTF?

The Tom's of Maine floss is naturally waxed. There's that word again - natural - but in this case Tom's of Maine tells you exactly what natural means. There's beeswax, carnauba wax, jojoba wax, and propolis which is a tree resin gathered by bees. Obviously this is not a vegan product but it's a good product. It's not listed on the Skin Deep database but it received an 8.8 on the Good Guide. And the plastic container is recyclable which makes me sleep better at night.

Another Kiss My Face product that I love. Kiss My Face was founded on an organic farm in upstate New York back in the 80s. It's still privately owned and operated by the original founders which is amazing in this day and age. Tom's of Maine is an independently run division of Colgate and has been since 2006. Many eco brands have sold out to large conglomerates but that doesn't necessarily mean the products have sold out too. I understand that it's hard to back a brand made by a unfriendly-to-the-planet company, but many brands have retained their strict ingredients while increasing their exposure to the masses.

This scored a 2 which is really good for a deodorant. There have been so many studies published about how heavy metals in deodorants cause breast cancer so you can never be too safe when it comes to what you put under your arms. Last summer I tried using baking soda for deodorant and it was awesome! I never smelled, even after a long workout. Why aren't I using it now? I got a yeast infection and even after medications, switching baking soda boxes and applicators, I still cannot use it. It makes me very upset that I didn't take the right precautions (like drying off properly) because baking soda is the least harmful and least expensive deodorant you could ever use.

I'm sure I'm no different then most of you when it comes to lip balm. We all use it and try them all we do. I apply some after flossing and this is the most recent brand to grace my medicine cabinet. I came across Dr. Hauschka a few years ago but this is the only product I've ever used from them. While I'd love to tell you that this lip balm is good for you, I'm afraid I can't. The Skin Deep database doesn't have it listed but none of the Dr. Hauschka products scored very good. All were at least 3 with some scoring as high as 8.

So let me back up a bit. I buy lip balms on a regular basis. Way back when, when I wasn't green or even semi-green, I bought this lip balm. For whatever reason, I stopped using it and it left the medicine cabinet only to be brought back when I ran out of whatever it was I was using. Surprisingly enough, this lip balm received a rating of 8.5 despite a list of ingredients that's almost as long as this description. I guess I don't need to tell you that when it's gone, which it almost is, it's gone for good.

With a name like Eco Lips it has to be eco friendly, right? Yes and no. The Skin Deep database doesn't list this particular flavor of Pure & Simple lip balm but the flavor they do list, coconut, received a score of 0. That's not to say that this kiwi-strawberry would receive the same but my fingers are crossed that it's okay. One of their products, a SPF15 mint lip balm came received a 5 . The Good Guide doesn't list Eco Lips (surprise, surprise) but all the ingredients in this lip balm are certified organic: organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax, organic kiwi flavor, organic strawberry flavor, vitamin E. And it is sold as is meaning it doesn't come in a box.

I found this product last year and I'm in love with it. It is a multi use product meaning you can use it on so many parts of your body. The package says it can be used on nails, knees, neck, lips, cuticles and anywhere else in urgent need of attention. I've only used it on my lips but it's great to know that if I have any areas that need attention, this olive butter is ready to serve. Almost half the ingredients are organic including the top three and this is a good thing since ingredients are listed in order of concentration. Packaged in a recyclable paper box, this product received a score of 1 and is priced under $10. This is one of the best kept secrets on the market and I recommend it to everyone I meet.

This is a recent find. I can't remember how I found about it but I wish I'd found it years ago. I have to confess that I haven't tried that many eye serums but I recently discovered that I really needed something because my eyes were looking tired. So wherever I found it I'm glad I did because it's a miracle worker. The fact that it has 80% certified organic content and is vegan friendly makes me so happy.

The serum claims you will feel renewed and that it will nourish and protect while helping to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Works for me! It does all this with essential fatty acids, botanicals and hibiscus peptide to target expression lines and help firm and tighten. I swear my eyes look much better than they did before using this serum and that's saying a lot.

Stem Organics is an Australian skincare company and like Keys, was inspired by its founders personal experiences with skin issues. The serum is not rated on the Skin Deep database but none of their products are. This isn't necessarily a bad thing and could just mean that they haven't joined the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics yet. Again, the database is not the end-all-be-all and shouldn't be used as such. You must still do your own research when deciding what to use on your skin.

For those of you who have never heard of Keys, please check them out asap! It was started by a husband and wife team after the wife developed skin cancer. Together they developed a soap for ultra sensitive skin and an entire line of skincare products shortly followed.

Eye Butter is an anti-aging eye cream that I apply after the eye serum. It tightens and and tones eye tissue but how? Keys claims that the secret is distilled organic cucumbers. We all remember putting cucumbers on our eyes. They relieved the puffiness, didn't they? Well the same principle is at work here. In addition to the cucumbers, there's avocado oil, shea butter, carrot seed oil, black cumin oil, aloe vera, purified water, vegetable glycerin, vegetable wax, and rosemary extract. The ingredients are 87% organic and 100% vegan. The EWG score of 1 is even listed on the ingredient list. This stuff is the bomb!

I can't even tell you how many face lotions I've tried because I lost count years ago. I use to think they made my face breakout but then realized it was the various cleansers I used that were the culprits. They would strip my face of essential oils and cause it to produce more oil, thus leaving me with an oily mess of pimples.

I found this moisturizer, or should I say it found me, at a store in Racine, WI called Upurea last year. Upurea is a natural and organic skin care & beauty retailer carrying thousands of organic skin care, natural beauty & organic cosmetics, mineral makeup, natural baby and home products. I stopped in there on my way home from Milwaukee, after reading about it in many magazines. After talking with one of the skincare consultants, she recommend Trilogy. I had never heard of this brand but was willing to try it. And I'm so glad I did.

This moisturizer is so light but so effective. Packed with phyto-lipids, amino acids and proteins from pure plant ingredients this super-lightweight lotion actively energizes and revitalizes skin and helps fight the aging effects of environmental aggressions with its antioxidant-rich formula. It firms skin and boosts skins moisture levels by simultaneously replenishing both oil and water requirements. I totally love this stuff!

Even though this product is not listed on the Skin Deep database, I feel it's okay to use it. Founded by two sisters who grew up on an avocado orchard in Australia, this New Zealand company is committed to being green. They began sourcing Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, the key ingredient in their products, in partnership with a fair trade cooperative in Lesotho in 2002 and now purchase Certified Organic Rosehip Oil from a Certified Organic source in the mountainous regions of Chile. They use non-GMO ingredients, never test anything on animals, and use recyclable containers. Did I mention they're a carbon neutral company? The list of great things they do just goes on and on. I look forward to trying many more products by Trilogy in the future.

In addition to eye serum and eye butter, all eyes need concealer, right? This is never more true as you age and I think I've found the perfect concealer, at least for me. I'm not sure where I found this but it's a keeper.

It's Un Cover Up by rms beauty but cover up it does. You can use it as a concealer anywhere on your face, but I use it under my eyes. My raccoon eyes, that is. I love the way it glides on, stays on, and makes me look like I've gotten lots of sleep. I have to confess that I haven't tried that many under eye concealers in the past but that's only because I didn't really believe that any of them would truly work.

RMS Beauty is another company that's doing the right thing. Just check out what they have to say about the ingredients they use: "We proudly report every ingredient used in rms beauty products, because we have nothing to hide." And what about the ingredients? They use minerals in their raw form, organic oils, and non-GMO vitamin E. They even disclose that one of their products, Lip2Cheek color "smile" uses the tiniest bit of synthetic pigment because this particular color could not be created without it. Wow! They are disclosing one little ingredient that may be of some concern to some while most traditional skincare companies use ingredients that are known to be harmful to you, yet they won't even disclose of these ingredients.

I guess it should come as no surprise to you that this product received a score of 1. Even if you aren't in the market for an under eye concealer, I suggest you try this amazing product.

I don't use foundation, preferring tinted moisturizer instead. It just feels lighter and goes on smoother than foundation. I started wearing tinted moisturizer a few years ago when my neighbor sold me some Mary Kay. Yikes! Did I really just say that? Yep, that was right before I got with the green program!

After the Mary Kay stuff, I started researching natural tinted moisturizers. One brand I researched and almost tried was Josie Maran. It gets a lot of great press but I found some undesirable ingredients in their products. That's what lead me to Jane Iredale and this great tinted moisturizer.

This Dream Tint uses unique algae extracts that moisturize and soothe, while the tiitanium dioxide provides SPF 15 with UVA protection. It goes on smooth, never feels heavy and blends in with ease. Despite the fact that the ingredients aren't organic, I still love it. The fact that it received a score of 2 makes me love it even more.

I swear I read about Vapour Organic Beauty on a blog. Wherever I read about it I'm glad I did. This Illusionist Concealer is just what I needed to hide new and old blemishes. I had been using a great concealer whose name escapes me at the moment. I do remember that I bought it at Walgreens and that it worked so good I used it all the time. I put it on pimples and it not only concealed them but dried them out as well. I have no idea what made it work so well but I'm sure whatever its active ingredients were, they were bad for me.

And then I read about Vapour and bought the Illusionist Concealer. While it doesn't conceal quite like the old stuff, it does a pretty good job. It's made with 70% certified organic ingredients and the other 30% consists of natural mineral pigments and vitamins which are not available as certified organics.

Vapour has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, but none of their products are on the Skin Deep database - yet. I believe it's just a matter of time before all their products are listed and I feel confident that they'll received great scores.

I'm a girlie-girl when it comes to my lips. I like lipstick but love lip gloss even more. I believe that you aren't really dressed unless you have some color on your lips. I have to admit that I've tried lots of different brands but these two are currently at the top of my must have list.

Nvey Eco Organic Lip Lustre is another product from Upurea. I had read about Nvey for quite some time before trying it but I'm not sure why. I will tell you that it's not cheap. $24 for a tube of lip color is not in most people's budgets but it's well worth it. I don't use it every day and even when I do use it I only put on a little and either put something else under or over it. It scored 2 and

Nvey is committed to using organic ingredients, no talc, no preservatives, no parabens, and non-GMO ingredients. Would it surprise you to learn that they are an Australian company? Yep, it's true. It seems like Australia is the new place for skincare companies and while that's not local, skincare is not something you buy all the time. Frequent use doesn't mean frequent purchases since most products last a long time. And just in case you were wondering, this Lip Lustre scored a 2.

100% Pure is a company with a great following. They make lots of fruit pigmented color cosmetics but I think they're best known for their lip gloss. Made with 83% Vitamin E from organic rice bran and beautiful colors from fruit pigments, this pomegranate wine lip gloss provides a perfect tint for my lips.

I was surprised to find only two 100% Pure products on the Skin Deep database, with lip gloss not being one of them. The Good Guide didn't provide an overall score but only a health score of 10 which makes me feel a little better. I know that 100% Pure is a trusted brand that is vegan, doesn't use perfumes, fragrances, thickeners or emulsifiers, but I'm confused about why their products are absent from the database.

I don't use body lotion as often as I should but when I do I use Dr. Bronner's. You may know the name because it's synonymous with greenness. Most of Dr. Bronner's are too hard core for most people, especially the pure castille soap, but the organic lotions are more like traditional lotions without all the traditional ingredients.

I discovered this lotion at the Green Festival last year and couldn't be happier with it. Synthetic scents bother my asthma so I steer clear of them whenever I can. Not only are the ingredients organic, but the main ingredient (besides water) is fair trade. Never tested on animals, Dr. Bronner's is brand you can really trust. A little goes a long way, keeping your skin moisturized and smelling great. And with a score of 2, you can rest assured that what you're putting on your skin isn't disrupting your system.

When I want a little scent on my skin I turn to Tsi-La. I wore traditional perfumes for my whole life before discovering that the ingredients in them were really bad for me. And when I say really bad I mean really bad. I will never wear traditional perfumes again. Ever.

Tsi-La Organics (pronounced chee-la) are 100% natural, made with over 96% organic ingredients, and are made with 100% renewable energy. But what they don't contain is even more impressive - NO parabens, genetically modified organisms, dioxins, synthetic fragrance, petrochemicals, synthetic colors, propylene glycol, or sulphates. Their products are never tested on animals and this is a claim few traditional perfumes can claim. If you stopped to look at the ingredients (if you could find them) in traditional perfume you'd wonder why anyone would wear it. Choke full of sythethic chemicals, I'm convinced that some of my health problems are due to their long term use.

This mini collection uses a moisturizing base of select coconut oil infused with botanical extracts of pink orchid flowers which fights free radicals. I hate to sound like a broken record, but a little goes a long way. I change up the scents I wear, sometimes wearing the same scent for an entire week. I've been using these little bottles for at least a year and have yet to use them up. Since they are small they are the perfect size to throw in your purse or to travel with. Even though Tsi-La is listed on the Skin Deep database, their products aren't.

I welcome all feedback on the products I use and look forwarding to hear about your favorite products. I'm constantly on the hunt for organic, fair trade, less packaged, etc. products, so if you come across one I might like, please leave me a comment. There are so many health and beauty products on the market that it's confusing for consumers. Together we can make the right choices for our own health and for the health of the planet.