Saturday, July 1, 2017

Plastic Free July

Hey hey!  I'm back, and for good reason! I miss sharing all my beauty product knowledge (still my #1 hobby but alas, being a crazy career mom doesn't allow me hours a week to document my findings and share them with you).

But do you know what my #2 hobby is?  Its trying to live a plastic-free and low-waste life!  Its sort of my own spin on minimalism (which is a huge goal of mine but I have a lot of things to overcome first before I am ready to commit to minimalism!)

Years ago I discovered that the chemicals, GMOs, microbeads, synthetics, etc in the food and products I was using were poisoning me, and I believe it that was causing my anxiety and migraines.  It was not long after I started eating organic and got rid of chemicals in my home did I make a huge recovery from debilitating migraines and got my anxiety under control through holistic healing practices.  I've nearly abandoned western medicine in my life, and my family's life, and we have never thrived more!

One of my biggest discoveries was realizing that plastics, or really, non-natural materials, around me were suffocating me.  Waste and excess gave me the mental feeling of chaos and it contributed to my anxiety.  I'd say that 5 years ago, I was having 2-3 panic attacks a week, bringing me to my knees and making it unsafe for me to drive!

I've come full circle with my understanding of plastics and waste in general, and I'm learning new tricks and becoming more aware of the World on this journey.  I'm by no means perfect, but I strive to achieve my own version of success with plastics, and I want to take advantage of "Plastic Free July" as an opportunity to share with my beauty community what I've been up to and how you can get involved too!

If you've read along so far, and you're interested in hearing more - consider at one point that you might want to make this pledge:

Over the next month, I am going to share with you some great tips and what I'm doing to live plastic-free!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fighting the Flu

I never thought I'd be reviving my blog, my last post was a week after Rocco was born, and that was 2.5 years ago!  Ok, so even if I thought there might be a re-vamp, I NEVER thought it would be on the topic of vomit.

Yep, I said vomit.  Or, the flu more like!  I have been reading SO many posts about my favorite friends and families falling victim to the flu, starting with their poor kids and it spreading like wildfire.  Well, as a working mother I can sympathize that there quite literally is not time for us to get sick, and even if there was, why would we want to!?  So I am reviving the blog for a special public service announcement on my proven flu stopping remedy!

The flu stopping secret you've never heard of, but need to get familiar with, is ACTIVATED CHARCOAL

You're thinking, charcoal?!  But yes, the same concept behind using it for poisoning/drug overdose can also rid your body of foreign toxins and virus strains of the flu that is in your digestive tract, but you need to act fast and early!

For adults, take a capsule every few hours on a totally empty stomach and not at a time that you take medication or supplements.  Do this at the very first sign of being around people with the flu.  Most recently, when Rocco started throwing up, I immediately took a capsule.  I kept at it every 4-6 hours and while I did get the flu, it was mild and I never vomited.  (Proof: Don got it too, didn't want to try the charcoal, and threw up violently.)

For kids, break open a capsule and sprinkle in a cup with an iced beverage (I find the ice somehow disguises the grit).  In the middle of a vomiting episode, I do it with nearly frozen pedialite.  If someone else had the flu, and Rocco was exposed, I just do it in a regular drink but I keep the quantity small so I can ensure that he got the charcoal ingested.  Its safe for children as young as 1 (half capsule)
Since you're in the charcoal game now, check out this awesome article by Dr. Axe about 10 uses for charcoal!  In my house we have the capsules for ingesting and the powder for tooth whitening and facial cleansing.

My other FLU REMEDY is Elderberry Syrup. Basically, this is my equivalent to the flu shot.  In fact, some studies have shown that consuming elderberry syrup during flu season had a higher prevention rate against the flu than the flu shot.  (FYI- I do not support or promote the flu shot, as for me personally, the risks outweigh the benefits.  I very much encourage you to read the package insert of a flu shot to make an informed choice for yourself and your family).

Since flu viruses cannot replicate themselves, they use DNA from living cells to survive. To achieve their destruction, flu viruses puncture living cell walls with spiky features called hemagglutinin. This flu virus invasion can be completely prevented with elderberry because elderberry effectively disarms the spikes and halts the action of their enzymes.

Essentially, elderberry's cytokine production prevents flu virus invasion before it ever takes hold!!  AKA: Start taking it today, there's no downside!

quite seriously, I turn to Elderberries for energy, PMS, viruses, flus, colds, coughs, allergies, sore muscles, etc.  There's also safe children's versions, for kids under 5.  
(my trick, add in a serving to very sweet juice on ice as a treat, or put in a smoothie!  At this point, Rocco actually likes the taste because he is so used to it.)

My other flu busters are oil pulling, apple cider vinegar and manuka honey - but for now, these two tried and true flu prevention and fighters is JUST what is needed in your house!  Check out my amazon shopping list for you to order today, and get going on beating the flu in your home!

Be well!

Shopping List Links:

Activated Charcoal Capsules

Activated Charcoal Powder

Elderberry Syrup for Adults/Big Kids

For Young Kids

Friday, September 5, 2014

My Birth Story

My birth story really starts around 36 weeks, when I finally decided that I needed to manifest the birth that I’ve always wanted even before becoming pregnant, a homebirth.  I wasn’t able to pursue a homebirth when I was first pregnant due to having a new high profile job, and there being no local homebirth midwives for me to easily slip out and see for visits.  I was seeing a wonderful group of local midwives that deliver at the St. Joe’s birth center, and I kept telling myself that it will be fine, even though it wasn’t what I truly wanted.

I sought out Sandra, a homebirth midwife out of Ithaca at the suggestion of someone I met after a Mama Birth Yoga class.  When she agreed to take me on at 36 weeks, it was like a weight lifted off me and I was instantly at ease and at peace with my pregnancy and birth.  I was so thankful that I listened to myself and sought out what was right for us.

At 39 weeks and several days, I woke up at 5am with some period-like cramps.  At 7am I lost my mucus plug.  Being my first pregnancy, I figured it could be days or today – so best that I clean my house one last time (prepping for a homebirth takes SERIOUS work!) and I also spent hours in my home office working and making lots of calls.  I actually noticed I was having contractions mid afternoon while going through a legal brief with my boss.  I smiled and thought about how cool that was.

By dinner time, the contractions were a bit more consistent, but I didn’t have to pay attention to them.  As my husband and I were about to go out and have a nice Friday night dinner, I decided that they were just a BIT too intense for me to go out of the house, despite my initial denial.  I decided to time them and they were exactly a minute long, 6 minutes apart for an hour.  By 10:30 pm they were 4 minutes apart and intense.  I called my Doula and I told her to come at her own pace and not to feel rushed.  At a bit after midnight she arrived and we went upstairs to labor on the ball and bed.  She was very pleased at how I was totally giving in to the contractions and I was 3 minutes apart.  Her presence was instantly comforting and anchored me to my confidence. 

She encouraged my husband to fill the birth tub downstairs, he was thankful for a job to do.  I called my midwife and she asked if she could listen to me labor on speaker phone while she got ready.  Ironically, I got a couple of major contractions back to back while she was listening.  That was intimidating but she was reassuring that she would leave her home, about an hour and a half away, right then.

I got in the tub at around 1am, it was INCREDIBLE!  The buoyancy of the water was a great compliment to my Doula’s soothing touch and Don’s strong presence.  My midwife arrived, calm and quiet.  She knelt down near me and just witnessed.  When I noticed her I smiled and greeted her, and she smiled back. 
After a while when I was catching my breath between contractions she asked how I was and she asked me when I would be ready to let her check some vitals.  It really hit me then, that this was MY birth.  I was in control and what I did was assemble a close group of people that were there to be on the journey with me, and love me through it.  I felt to secure and so in control.  I continued to labor and ride the contractions.  I remember them being very intense, I never registered pain or negative feelings.  It turns out that of all the hypnobirth music I prepared, what really chilled me out was Tom Petty and his whiney voice.  Ha!  When my nurse arrived in the 3am hour or I asked, “Is that Morgan Freeman here to narrate my birth?  Cause this is going to be epic!”  HA!  At least there was a few chuckles.  Perhaps my happy state is what prompted my midwife to suggest exiting the tub and using the toilet to see if we could intensify the contractions.  Well, the laugh was on me, because it SURE DID! 

I never understood the need for a cervical dilation check in labor, I wanted to trust that if I listened my body would tell me what I needed to know.  Additionally, my midwife didn’t push or require them to assess my status.  She offered to check my cervix if I wanted to know where we stood.  But I really didn’t want to know.  As I stood up my water broke, and I figured that was enough of a sign that I was progressing, no centimeters need be known!

I got back in the tub and everything continued to intensify, I started to have to use horse breath during the entire contraction to keep myself from resisting.  Up until then I have to say that lions breath and very deep moaning really got me through.  I doubt I took a single wave in silence the whole 20hrs!!!  Hours later, after 7am, my midwife again suggested that I consider a cervical exam, because I was showing signs I was ready for Stage 2.  I was totally ready for her to check, she did, and I was fully dilated!  How proud I was that I trusted my body!  How much encouragement my midwife, nurse, Doula and husband had on their faces when they looked at me!  My husband called my bestie, a photographer, at 7:30am to tell her to come on over – the baby would be here REALLY SOON!  It was 14 hours in and I was almost done.

Wait...whats that?  I WASN’T almost done?!  Not even close?!  Aww man!!  Yep:  I pushed for 5 hours and 15 minutes.  In hindsight I wonder if it was because I held back a bit.  I could have been pushing three times during a contraction and I did one good one and a half assed one.  I just couldn’t surrender.  It brings tears to my eyes to think of how my midwife supported me.  She always encouraged me, she helped me gain confidence and above all – she kept telling me that this was my journey.  Nothing was wrong with me, I was doing right by trusting my body and taking my time.

We tried the toilet for an hour, and that really helped me focus on the right type of pushing but the intensity was taking over me.  It was so tough to surrender and truly push.  Eventually we moved to the living room for me to hang on my husband’s knees and squat. 
I was pushing more effectively but I was so weak that my legs couldn’t squat anymore.  I started to panic internally that my body would give out before my spirit would.  My team moved me on to a leaning back position on the couch with my legs up and supported – essentially, it was the position I was always SURE I wouldn’t deliver in!  But it was all my body could support. 
I pushed for a few hours in this position.  The baby had a great heart rate the whole time, and I had 100% support & attention of my team.  I finally felt the baby crown and I resisted pushing to let my body adjust and soon I was able to push the baby out!  It was impossible for my brain to process the sensation, since it had been such a long time coming!  My warm sweet baby came right to my chest. 
 Over a minute later I looked around and said, “Well, what IS it?!”  Wouldn’t ya know?  Nobody thought to look!  We were just so happy!  My midwife looked and said it was a boy and my heart exploded with joy – mainly because I assumed he was a boy all along and I love being right!  We stared at him.  I delivered the placenta no problem (FYI – I encapsulated it and I highly recommend consumption of it in this form, it has helped me immensely during post partum!)

My husband asked me what his name was, and I definitively said “Rocco!”


Rocco Eraldo Pinti was born at 12:45pm at 7lbs 14oz and 20” long.


I was dunked back in the birth tub to clean off and my loving team carried me up to bed and tucked me in.  They cared for me and Don and they cleaned up my house.  We ate a snack and smiled at the baby.  It was exactly the journey I manifested in my mind.  Soon our parents were in our bedroom, all of us sitting on the bed staring in wonder at the next generation!  For me, being able to recover at home was critical, because I truly struggled those first few days from the toll that pushing took on my body.

If I could share anything with you, its that you should birth without fear.  Its also that you deserve to have a safe empowering birth, where you’re supported and respected.  It should not matter where you birth, but how you birth.



Thank you to:

Sandra Londino of BirthRoot Midwifery

Megan Crossgrove, RN

Doulas of CNY, Cristina Reed & Chris Goldman:

Sarah Oakley of MamaBirth Yoga

The Synergy Center Practitioners,

Dr. Jessica Sielawa, DC, CACCP (Chiropractic Care)

Kari Gardner, L/AC. (Acupuncture)
Erika DeSocio Photography

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Oxybensone and avobenzone free sun protection

Here are some product recommendations for you and your family to avoid what could be, a potentially harmful (and popularly used) ingredient: oxybensone

Oxybensone has been linked to free-radical (re: cancer causing) damage in adults.  Although the Skin Cancer institute will not confirm that this is true, they can confirm that this chemical should not be used on children or pregnant women.  Additionally, it is ALWAYS better to use a form of sun protection, even with this ingredient, than ever going a day without using SPF!

My favorite: Honest Co's chemical free SPF ($8+) and Target

Super smooth with tons of application options available: Supergoop Products
Sephora and Ulta $15-$45

Hydrating and great for makeup wearers: Coola sun care $8-$25

Friday, May 9, 2014

My latest obsession

As Spring is finally here, I am totally obsessed with funky color eyeliner - particularly mint green and yellow!

I while back I got my hands on Stila's "Mint Julep" waterproof liner, and I loved it!  I can't wait for the fun outfits to start so I can accentuate my eyes with the perfect mint (NOT turquoise) shade!

Then suddenly, I came across the most PERFECT product - something from my dreams!

a pencil that has BOTH amazing colors of the moment in one pencil?!?!!?!?!

Its true, Smashbox's limited edition collection called "Santigold" has two dual ended pencils in 'in the moment' shades
The mint pencil is perfection, a true mint and not a turquoise - and the yellow that goes with it is a metallic yellow, so its funky, and quite honestly, more versatile than the matte sun yellow on the other pencil (paired with the blue)

The Santigold collection is worth mentioning, because its Egyptian-inspired and super funky and the packaging makes you feel a World away when you use it!  (PS- the gold pyramid ring that houses a pink balm is incredible and totally a fun splurge!)
When attempting to do the mint or yellow eye - you can be more subtle and just add accents (I like accenting the inner corner of the eye)
or you can go full drama!  But there is no question, the yellow eyeliner look is on trend and for good reason - it defies traditional makeup logic while being simplistic at the same time!

Flashback Friday!

Flashback to my Smokey Eye Tutorial on Bridge Street