vulnerable post ahead ↴

Formerly, I was a partner (fiancé) who gave up a teaching career to show up for her family as a stay-at-home mom. What I did not see coming was a break up after 7 years.

5 months ago I became a single mom with primary custody of my daughter (plus our two dogs). A daughter who I wanted to continue to support and show up for as I always had. What immediately ran through my head was:

1. WHERE are we going to live?

2. HOW am I going to support all of us, feed us, clothe us, without her dad’s income?

3. WILL I be able to do this on my own?

SIGH – 😞

Well, it’s all because of my toxin free business that I’ve been able to get us into our own home (that even has a small yard for the dogs), work around the needs of my daughter, and SHOW up for her as I always have!❤️❤️❤️❤️

It nearly brings me to tears each time I take a moment to truly reflect and be grateful 💫 for where I am and what I’ve accomplished. I am forever grateful to the direct selling industry as it has changed my life not once. It’s because of companies like this one that women have the opportunity to make part time income working less than part time hours or make career income and accumulate wealth working full time hours. Did you know that 80% of women who make six figures do so through direct sales?!

Now, I ask you… what could you do with an extra 400-600 a month, or even an extra couple thousand+ a month, or heck six figures a year?

I do it for her

Because 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime — I do it for her
.
Because more than 40,000 women will die this year of breast cancer — I do it for her
.
Because research is showing that 5-10% of breast cancer is actually genetic and the other 90-95% of breast cancer is due to environmental toxins — I do it for her
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Because of my daughter, my eyes have been opened and I’ve made changes I never thought I would make — I do it for her
.
Because of her, I’m conscious and aware and making educated decisions on the products we use in this house, on and around our bodies, that will impact our health.
.
Because of her, I have much less of a chance of becoming a statistic and a greater chance of living disease-free WITH her.
.
If not for yourself, who would you do it for?
.
.
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Sources // Breast Cancer Fund // The American Cancer Society // California Breast Cancer Research Program // BCPP //

Wegman’s Faves!

I’ve recently been asked what are my go to’s when grocery shopping at Wegmans. I love grocery shopping so I love this question lol. Below you’ll find what makes its way into my shopping cart often.

Kitchen Staples:

Wegmans Organic Beans

Woodstock Organic Oatmeal

Wegmans Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Thin Sliced

Pacific Foods Tomato Soup, Organic, Creamy

Banza Penne, Made from Chickpeas

Mighty Sesame Tahini, Organic

Cascading Farms Cereal, Organic, Cinnamon Crunch

Wegmans Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, Family Pack

Wegmans Organic Kosher Dill Baby Pickles

Pacific Broth Organic – different kinds

Wegmans Organic Spices

Wegmans Baby Cut Carrots

Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, Mini, Semi-Sweet

Wegmans Italian Classics Organic Pasta

So Delicious Coconutmilk Creamer, Organic, French Vanilla

Wegmans Organic Uncured Bacon

Wegmans Just peanuts creamy Natural peanut butter

Traditional Medicinals Tea

Special Treats on Occasion:

Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars

Kodiak Cake Waffles

Cliff Nut Butter Filled Nut Butter Bar

KASHI Frozen Breakfast Waffles

Black Forest Gummy Bears, Organic 

Alter eco Grass fed Collection Chocolate Bar, Organic, Milk with Rice Crunch 

Do you have faves from Wegmans?? Share in a comment! For live videos of my grocery hauls and more, make sure you join the community over at –> https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean

Wake up to Make up

Real talk time… the stress in my life has been a lot lately. My life has drastically changed within the last couple of months, and significantly within the last couple of weeks, in ways that I was not expecting. 

Because of this, my routine has been completely derailed, I haven’t been working out as much, and my diet has been garbage. Add all of these things together and you’ve got a break out. I will say I love that I know exactly why my skin is mad at me and I can fix the problem instead of it just being angry because of all the toxic products I had used on it like it used to be in the past. 

Anyway, I was going for a run yesterday, so I didn’t want to do a full face of makeup, but I also had some other errands to run and I wanted to cover up this breakout. All I’m wearing on the right is foundation, mascara, and gloss (and of course my skincare including primer). I’m not even wearing concealer! This foundation is literally life you guys. Let me know if you want to try some!

Are you cleaning your hair with dirty shampoo?

Shampoo and conditioner has been one of the hardest things for me to master in the past almost 3 years. 😭

 I’ve always struggled with shampoo and conditioner anyway (even in my pre-toxin free life) because I have an incredibly dry scalp and very sensitive skin and have been known to have reactions to different hair products.

Years ago I tried the “no poo” method and used only Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda. That was not my idea of fun. 😅 

Then, I found Function of Beauty and I was so excited, I loved it, I thought it was toxin free… then I became a clean beauty advocate and learned how to read labels and realized I had been green washed. 🤦‍♀️ 

So, let’s break down why you need to read those hair care labels and my experience with the 3 I’ve tried since starting this toxin free journey. 👇

Common Ingredients in store bought shampoo/conditioner such as (but not limited to) Herbal Essence, L’Oreal, OGX: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Fragrance/Parfum, BHT, Methylisothiazolinone, PEGs, Propylene Glycol, Artificial Dyes, and many many more

What about the more expensive hair care though? 🤷‍♀️ That must be better right? Wrong…

Common Ingredients in more high end hair care such as (but not limited to) Monat, Melaleuca, Arbonne, Modere: Urea, Fragrance/Parfum, PEGs, Phenoxyethanol, disodium EDTA

When you dig deeper into these ingredients, you will find:

👎Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive) – classified as expected to be toxic or harmful

👎The European Food Safety Authority reports that this substance can cause liver cancer in animals

👎This peer-reviewed study reports this substance is a tumor promoter

👎Upper respiratory tract irritation

👎Development/Reproductive Toxicity – A peer-reviewed study found this substance caused adverse developmental effects in rats.

👎Skin sensitizer – can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin

👎Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmetics – Canada – Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients

👎Neurotoxicity – In-vitro study demonstrates this common biocide is highly toxic to neurons

👎The US EPA reports the LC50 value is very toxic to aquatic life

I had to actually stop researching this here friends, the post was getting too long.

TIME TO SWITCH!

I have officially tried 3 toxin free shampoos/conditioners and am excited to share the winner with you.

My reviews:

Carina Organics: 12 fl. oz for $10.99 – I had to use a tonnnnn to feel like it was doing anything in my hair. My hair felt more dry while using as well. I did really enjoy the smell though. Would not order again.

Evolv: 8.5 fl. oz for $26 – By far the most expensive in the toxin free world (but still cheaper than some of the toxic ones above). Again, enjoyed the smell. Felt it worked much better than Carina and would have continued using had I not found a more affordable option.

Attitude: 16 fl. oz for $9.95 – Clearly the best option looking just from a cost standpoint. Even better is that it performs better (in my opinion) than the other two. This one worked the most like conventional hair care products I’ve used in the past. I don’t personally like the smell of the Soothing and Volumizing one but I love the smell of the Nourish and Shine. I don’t feel like I have to use too much and my hair and scalp feel great.

I love testing out different toxin free products for all of you, so if you know of others you want me to try, let me know. Or, if you want me to check the ingredients in your hair care (or any other products), just comment below, I’m always happy to help!

Why?

🤷‍♀️ Such a simple question, one word, that we talk about a lot in my line of work. Why do we wake up in the morning and spend the day sharing clean beauty?

My why has changed since I clicked “join now” 2 and a half years ago. As we enter the new year, I find myself reflecting on my why, what keeps me working my business. It isn’t why did I join anymore, it’s why do I continue to share day in and day out…

So why…

❤️To be able to support myself and Adeline on my own, no help.

❤️To share something I am beyond passionate about to women who have no clue just like me 3 years ago.

❤️To show women that safe AND high performing cosmetics really do exist.

❤️To share the joy with my teammates when they hit new goals and start to see their own lives changing.

My why isn’t because I like selling makeup, I never imagined I would sell makeup. My why is the income to change mine and my daughter’s lives, the platform to change other women’s lives, the knowledge to reduce body burden and help that couple have a baby, help that mama with chronic fatigue, rid that young woman of cystic acne, etc. And the responsibility to have success that is duplicatable so I can help change the lives of the women who join me in this mission.

If you don’t have a reason that could bring you to tears for doing what you do everyday, it might be time to reevaluate what you’re doing. I’ve been there and I’m so happy I made the change!

Safe Swap Sunday – Tissues

I do not purchase tissues. I’ve never had a need for it. I have toxin free toilet paper auto shipped in bulk and that works just fine! For those of you who do love having a box of tissues in your home, though, it’s time to ditch and switch for sure!

If you go with a conventional brand, Kleenex for example, you’ll be getting a daily dose of:

❌ Mineral oil  

❌ Formaldehyde

❌ Chlorine bleach

❌ Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLF) 

❌ Dioxin

🙅🏻‍♀️ That’s gonna be a no for me…

If I were to buy tissues, I would buy them from the same place I buy TP, Who Gives a Crap. 

✅ No trees harmed – made with 100% bamboo

✅ 50% of profits donated to help build toilets

✅ Biodegradable 

✅ No inks, dyes, or scents

Good for the world

They’re B Corp™ certified for the highest standards of social and environmental impact, making them a company I’m proud to support.

Remember, we vote with our dollars. Companies are going to continue to sell and make toxic garbage if we continue to purchase it. Ready to ditch the toxic tissues and grab some toxin free? Here’s a link to grab $10 off for ya: https://www.talkable.com/x/kYIJPf

The Chances Not Taken

“Original thinkers feel fear. They’re afraid of failing but they’re even more afraid of failing to try. They know you can fail by starting a business that goes bankrupt or by failing to start a business at all. They know that in the long run, our biggest regrets are not our actions, but our inactions. The things we wish we could redo, if you look at the science, are the chances not taken.”

I heard this quote on a Ted Talk I was watching and knew it was one I wanted to remember. 

I don’t know if I’ve shared much about where we were at in our lives when I hit the join button on to partner with an incredible clean beauty company, but it was terrifying! 

We had just spent a large chunk of our money to move across the country from Arizona to New York. We were pregnant and had the huge expense of raising a human being on the horizon. We had ZERO income coming in… We were both teachers. It was June. Neither of us had paychecks coming in. Then there was the fact that Christopher hadn’t even gotten a new teaching job yet and I wasn’t planning on going back to teaching so our financial state was very up in the air. We didn’t have our own place. We were living with my parents. Our life was seriously so unpredictable at the time when I sat down and talked to Chris about this opportunity after it was presented to me and we both knew it was the right choice. It was a massive risk and we really did not have the extra money to put into my initial investment, but we made it work because we knew it would be worth it. 

So watching this Ted Talk and hearing that quote, made me think to myself, what if I had not become a clean beauty advocate…

*I would not be home with my daughter every day.

*Adeline would be in daycare with a person we don’t know.

*I would be working a job that is not in my field or a passion of mine while I spent all my free time getting my NY teaching certification.

*If we did decide for me to still stay home with Addie, we would be pinching pennies trying to make ends meet.

*We wouldn’t have been able to buy a house and would still be in a tiny apartment we hated.

*I wouldn’t know all I do now about ingredients and toxins.

*I would probably still unknowingly be using incredibly harmful products and putting them on my baby.

*I wouldn’t have hit a new leadership promotion last month and started bringing in real, career level income.

It’s amazing to me how much this opportunity has changed and blessed my life and I know there are still so many more blessings to come. Don’t be someone who looks back and regrets the chances you didn’t take. Very few people start businesses because they have more than enough money to or because they have all this extra time to. They do it because they NEED the financial freedom or they NEED the time freedom. I needed both if I wanted to be home with my daughter every day and both are what I have received. 

I’m an open book for anyone who has any questions!

Be A Blessing

Hey my gorgeous friends!

I’ve decided this year that I would once again like to 𝙱𝙴 𝙰 𝙱𝙻𝙴𝚂𝚂𝙸𝙽𝙶 to others. I am hoping and praying to be able to generously gift the NICU in the hospital where Adeline was born with holiday Blessing Bags in time for this holiday season.

My daughter, Adeline, was in the NICU for the beginning of her life and I will always remember the nurses in there who helped me through that time and took care of my newborn baby. My goal is to start with blessing the nurses and then if we have enough sponsored, to be a blessing to the mamas as well because I know first hand how hard it is to be a mama to a NICU baby and I know so many moms have it much much harder than I did. I can imagine with the world right now, that this is a more stressful time for the nurses and mamas than it has ever been and I hope to be able to bring a little light into their day.

I am so excited to once again put together bags and will be consciously selecting toxin free items as opposed to simply whatever I can find.

I am asking for you to please consider sponsoring one (or more!) of these nurses/mamas at $25, which is the cost of one Gentle Cleansing Bar, plus funds to put towards the contents of the bag. I will purchase the other items for the bags (personal care, toiletries, cozy socks, tea bags, adult coloring books, etc,). AND if you have a small business and would like to contribute a donation (which your own clients can sponsor just like we’re doing here), please reach out to me. I have seen clothing shops donate leggings, oil reps donate lavender roller bottles, and I have a friend sending toxin free candles for the bags, the possibilities are endless. Just let me know if you’d like to contribute something!

There are 38 NICU nurses total and I would love to be able to bless each one of them, and even have extras for some of the mamas. Lofty goal, I know. But I believe in this cause.

If you are willing to sponsor, please comment here in this post or email me to sponsor one (or more!) of these ladies who need to feel loved 💖 at derico.jessica@gmail.com

Payment can be made by cash, check, PayPal, Venmo, or FB Pay. I’m shooting to have all slots filled this week so that I can get them ordered and made up ASAP.

✨There is a lot of darkness in the world right now. Let’s be the light!✨

A Different Kind of Educator

👩‍🏫 Fun fact about me: I actually went to college to be an English Teacher (well I went to college for psychology but changed my major when I realized I hated it 😅)

I discovered a passion for educating my junior year while working in a Job Corps for the month of January as part of my degree.

I have taught grades 1, 6, 7, 8, and 10 plus subbed in all different grade levels.

I have taught on the border of Mexico🌵 and upstate New York🌳.

I never thought I would do anything other than teach.

Then we got pregnant for Adeline and both Christopher and I were on the same page that we didn’t want to put her in daycare if we could avoid it, but my “side hustle” at the time was not bringing in the income we needed.

🤞I joined my clean beauty company when I was 4 months pregnant because the mission aligned with my beliefs, the products were amazing, and we needed another stream of income.

It was always the plan for me to go back to teaching when Addie goes to school.

That’s no longer the plan. I have no intention of going back to teaching. The income we are getting from Crunchi and the growth we know is very close is more than our wildest dreams.

I often think about that degree I paid a ridiculous amount of money for and that passion and love I used to have for educating and wonder if I’m making the right choice. 🤷‍♀️

Then I do a workshop, or I research a topic and share it here or in my clean living community on Facebook, or I have a conversation with someone about what the ingredients in her products are doing to her chances of getting pregnant, and I realize I’m still a teacher. I’m doing what I love now more than ever. I’m educating about something I believe in so much and getting to stay home while I do it. I have actually found my dream job.

To say that I love the fact that my company leads with education is an understatement. I’ve never seen any other company with this kind of education forward model and if this was not who they were, it is very likely I would have missed being an educator and went back to my day job.

So, all of that being said. Thank you for being my students. Thank you for being here with an open mind ready to learn. And thank you to everyone who has ever or will ever host a workshop and allow me to educate your friends and family. I truly appreciate you and am so passionate about this blog and I wake up excited every day to share more education with you!

For daily education about all things clean living, make sure you join the community on Facebook 👉 https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean