Keeping My Clothes Clean and Green

Recently my dad became really sensitive to laundry soaps. The kind my mom had usually been buying started to irritate his skin so she ended up switching to a non-scented soap. This situation got me thinking about how many harsh chemicals are in laundry soaps and how they affect our bodies and our environment. So what are the best ways to keep your clothes clean without making your body feel dirty?

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation is one of my favorite brands! They have a lot of cleaning products that I love and have talked about in another post, but this is one of the few products from them I have not tried. Seventh Generation laundry soap is amazing since it contains no fragrances, dyes, or brighteners. Their product is also cruelty and gluten free, which are some extra perks! I also trust this brand as a whole, they have been creating sustainable products for over 20 years and are very transparent about what is in their products. This will probably be the next laundry soap I buy!

Honest Company

Everything you are looking for in a sustainable product, the Honest company has! Not only is their laundry soap hypoallergenic and compatible with HE washers, but there are no ingredients in the laundry soap that you can not pronounce. But my favorite part? There’s more than just liquid laundry soap. They have pods, dryer clothes, stain removers and more. That way your load stays as green as possible from start to finish!

Is Your Laundry Soap Clean?

While I researching products for this article, I came across the Environmental Working Group’s website. The website has a guide to healthy cleaning where they grade the environmental quality of different products. I searched the laundry soap I use now, and I was able to find the overall grade for the product plus the grade for individual ingredients. Although my soap didn’t score an “A”, I really enjoyed learning more about my product. It’s also easy to search which products are in their database since you can search by brand, company, etc.

What kind of laundry soap do you use? Do you think you’ll want to make the switch after reading this? Join me, and let’s explore our options of green laundry soap!

Advertisements

Texas A&M Traditions – Somber Edition

From the Aggie Spirit to Aggie football, even to the Corps of Cadets, Aggie traditions are usually based around being fun and rowdy! But there are other events that express Aggie pride in a more somber way.

Silver Taps

silver

When a Silver Taps is set to take place, many people put this picture on social media to spread the word.

Silver Taps is a tradition that takes place on the first Tuesday of the month if it’s necessary, and it is usually good news when the event does not occur. This is because Silver Taps is performed to honor any current students that have passed away the previous month. It is a beautiful ceremony to honor the Aggies and friends that we have lost. During a Silver Taps ceremony a firing squad from the Ross Volunteers performs a 21 gun salute, and a small team performs a special rendition of Taps. The families of the students that have passed are invited to attend to honor their family members life, and they are surrounded by the Aggie family as well.

Muster

Aggie-Muster-Featured

Softly call the muster, let comrade answer, “Here!” – Roll Call for the Absent

Muster is an event that takes place on April 21st of every year, and while it is somber it is also filled with a quiet joy. Muster is similar to Silver Taps in that we honor those we have lost, but it includes former students as well. It’s also an event that can take place off campus – it is said that if you are near another Aggie on April 21st, you should get together, reminisce about your time at Texas A&M, and honor those we have lost. I love this tradition because it reinforces the idea of Aggie family. Whether you are on or off campus, young or old, Muster is a day that all Aggies come together to celebrate each other and our university. During the actual Muster ceremony, silver taps is played and the firing squad performs the 21 gun salute. But before that a candle is lit for each Aggie lost, and one person or all people call “Here”, to show that even though a person is absent we will always remember them.

Texas A&M Traditions – Corps of Cadets Edition

HOWDY!

I’ve already discussed the Aggie Spirit in one post and Aggie football in another. Each of these things are very unique to Texas A&M, but there is one thing that Texas A&M has that other schools don’t….

The Corps of Cadets

Corps

The Corps of Cadets is a student organization that teaches students leadership skills while they live, work, and study in units. Many people think that students in the Corps will join the military or are currently serving in the military, but this is not the case. It is a students choice whether they join the military after spending time in the Corps, and I know many people that do or do not join the military after being in the Corps. The one similarity though is that the leave with strong leadership qualities and high moral character!

Texas A&M originally started as an all male military school in 1876! A lot has changed since then, but Texas A&M is still considered one of the the top schools for producing military officers. Similar to Aggie football, there are many traditions within the Corps itself.

Fish Drill Team

The Fish Drill Team is a competitive drill team made up entirely of freshmen – otherwise known as fish! The fish are trained by upperclassmen and perform military drill. Every year the team goes to a national competition and every year they win, making them one of the best drill teams in the country.

Ross Volunteers

The Ross Volunteers are another drill team, but they are structured a little differently. The RV’s are composed of juniors and seniors, and while they perform military drill they do not compete. The Ross Volunteers primary mission is service. They perform a lot of community service and volunteer at a lot of university events. This doesn’t mean they don’t have time for fun though! Although they do not perform competitively, every year they march in the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans and have a chance to party too!

Senior Boots

The one tradition all cadets get to participate in is wearing senior boots! Senior boots are not given, they are earned after participating in the Corps for three years. My sister participated in the Corps and wore senior boots her senior year, and it was one of the most visible signs of being a senior in the corps. It’s also one the biggest events for cadets in the Corps – it is as big if not bigger than actually graduating! Family and friends and former cadets all come out to watch rising seniors put on their boots for the first time.

 

Texas A&M Traditions – Football Edition

HOWDY!

In my previous blog post I talked about some traditions that honor the Aggie Spirit! And today I’m going to talk about an Aggies favorite thing… FOOTBALL! Every fall current and former students, families and friends, come to Texas A&M to spend a Saturday in Kyle Field watching our Fightin’ Texas Aggies beat the hell outta our opponents! But there is a lot more to A&M football than the actual game…

Midnight Yell

The Friday might before a home game, Aggies get together in the stadium for Midnight Yell! Midnight Yell starts at midnight and for thirty minutes the yell leaders (more on them later) lead the students in practice yells and tell jokes about the other team. At the end of Midnight Yell, all the stadium lights go off for mug down! Mug Down is when you have a chance to kiss your date! And if you don’t have a date, you have a chance to take out your lighter in hopes that someone nearby will give you a kiss!

12th Man

In the early 1900s, the Aggie team ran out of players due to injuries and were facing having to forfeit the game. But the coach called down a student, E King Gill, to stand on the field and be the 12th man for the team so the Aggies could go on to finish, and ultimately win the game. In honor of E King Gill standing as the 12th man that day, all students stand during the whole football game to show their support for the team!

Yells and Yell Leaders

During the football game the Aggies are led in yells by the yell leaders! Instead of having cheer leaders, Texas A&M has five yell leaders that tell the students when and what to yell! When the students yell they “hump it” (or bend their knees), and after they yell students do their wildcat! Wildcats are the yells for each class. For example, seniors yell “A-Whoop!”. And there are multiple different yells! There’s the Gig ’em yell, Locomotive yell, Farmer’s Fight yell, and a LOT more! The best way to learn about this is to come on down to A&M and experience it for yourself!

yell

The 2016 Yell Leaders

Does your school have traditions for football games? Do you think these are traditions you’d want to try? Join me and let’s explore Aggie Football!

Texas A&M Traditions – Aggie Spirit Edition

HOWDY!

I realized when I was writing my Senior Year Bucket List post that I had never written about my university before! I attend Texas A&M University, one of the best and largest schools in the state of Texas! Many Texas schools are known for football (which I’ll talk about in another post) but Texas A&M is much more than that! In this post I want to share the most essential traditions that anyone should know about Texas Aggies!

Howdy

Texas A&M has been named as one of the friendliest college campuses in the US! Why is that? One of the many traditions on campus is to greet your friends or a stranger that is walking by with a smile and a “Howdy!”. It’s also the most common way to grab people’s attention. In a class or a club meeting, saying “Howdy” lets everyone know that something is about to start.

Gig ’em

The Gig ’em tradition began all the way back in 1930! Before a football game against Texas Christian University, Aggies were encouraged to “gig” the horned frogs. Thus, “Gig ’em Aggies!” was born! Gig ’em is also associated with our school’s hand sign, a thumbs up. So when students are told to put their thumbs up in pictures, they are told to gig ’em!

Aggie Ring

The Aggie Ring is one of the most visible symbols of the Aggie Spirit. Once an Aggie earns 90 hours, they are able to receive their Aggie Ring. The Aggie Ring itself is adorned with symbolism – an eagle, a shield, the American flag, the Texan flag, and much much more! A student’s ring also has the year they are going to graduate on it. For example, since I am class of 2018, there is an 18 underneath the eagle on my ring. This way when I meet other Aggies out in the world they know when I graduated! Being given your ring is also a big deal. Once a semester is Aggie Ring Day, when friends and family come together to see their Aggie receive their ring! Another tradition that goes with this is that a former Aggie usually puts the ring on the student for the first time. When I received my ring in April my aunt, class of 1988, came all the way from Illinois to present my ring to me! The last tradition is how one wears the Aggie Ring. Current students face their class year towards their hand, and after they graduate they face their class year towards the end of their finger. This means they are ready to face the world!

IMG_5463

Does your university have any awesome traditions? Is there anything else you’d like to learn about A&M? Join me, and let me guide you through the world that is Texas A&M University!

Hurricane Harvey

Howdy y’all!

I hope everyone is doing well! I have been having a hectic ten days but they have been filled with joy. Friday the 18th I returned to the U.S. from Chile, and I immediately returned to my college town! I had the weekend to decompress, but on Monday I went back to work for most of the week to work on training new and old tutors for the semester! I didn’t have work on Friday, but my family did come to town to see me and my younger cousin that is a freshmen at my school! We all had a blast, but most importantly we were safe. Friday night Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, and my university is only about an hour or so away from Houston. Houston is truly experiencing a catastrophe at this time, but luckily my college town has not been hit as hard. My family was able to leave and get home before any important roads flooded, and thankfully my university has cancelled classes until Wednesday for the safety of the students. This is the first time the university has cancelled classes since I have been attending and I am really happy they put student’s safety first since the roads and campus will not be navigable the next couple of days. Although it’s an awful situation for many, the silver lining is that I finally have a couple days since July to relax! Hopefully this means that I’ll be able to binge write and get back on my blogging wagon! 🙂

I hope that everyone is staying safe and is ready for another week! Please keep Texas, and Houston especially, in your thoughts and prayers. This is very meaningful to me because now it isn’t just people being effected, but many friends and family. Happy Sunday night everyone! 🙂

Keeping My Body Clean and Green

My favorite feeling in the world is stepping out of the shower feeling squeaky clean! But I don’t enjoy this feeling as much when I know that what made me feel clean in the shower is hurting  my body inside and the environment outside. One example of this is triclosan, a common ingredient in shampoo, furniture, and pesticide. Yes. What is in your shampoo is also in furniture and pesticide. This chemical and many others can have harmful effects on your body and the environment after it goes down the drain. So, what kind of products can you use to avoid this? I’ll share what products I use in the shower to make sure my body is as clean as possible!

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap

dr.bronners

The first thing I do when I step in the shower is use body wash, and this one is my favorite! Dr. Bronner’s soap is totally organic, made with no synthetic preservatives, detergents, or foaming agents. It also leaves my skin feeling soft and all the scents smell AMAZING! I am currently using the citrus scent and it wakes me up every time I open the bottle. It can also be used for more than just body wash. If you’re out of face wash or shampoo, this soap will do the trick! And it’s potential isn’t limited to the shower. There are also instructions to help you use it as a dish soap and laundry soap! I can’t wait to use it around the house, but for now I love using it for my body!

Shea Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

shea

Shea Moisture is another amazing organic product! They are certified organic, cruelty free, and are even ethically produced! Their shampoos and conditioners do not contain any parabens, phthalates, parafins, petroleums, formaldehydes, or propylenes! I can’t even pronounce half of those words!!! Shea Moisture shampoos are also an organic product that works. Shea Moisture labels each shampoo and conditioner with the type of hair that it’s best for, like thick or fine or curly or straight, so you know what you’re getting will work with your hair. All the scents are wonderful too, the scent that I use smells like dragon fruit, green apples, and lychee berry and I am absolutely addicted to it! This is a product I’ll be sticking with for a long time!

Do you use organic soaps and shampoos? Organic face wash? Join me and let’s explore how to make our bodies as clean as they can be!

 

My Senior Year Bucket List

At the end of the month I will be starting my senior year of college! AH! I felt like this day would never come as a freshmen, but it has arrived. I’ve done a lot during my time at my univeristy (such as joining clubs, starting a job, hanging out with friends, and studying abroad twice) but there is still SO much I want to experience! Here are 18 things I want to do before I graduate in 2018!

My Senior Year Bucket List

  1.  Go to as many football games as possible! Football is a big deal at my university and I usually only go to a couple each season. So this year I want to go to as many as I can!
  2. Go to a swimming event! I have never been to one and would love to see one!
  3. Go to a gymnastics event! I have never been to one and would love to see one!
  4. Go to as many baseball games as I can! I LOVE my univeristy’s baseball games, and I never go to as many as I say I will. This year is going to be different since it will be the last year I can go as a student!
  5. Go Pond Hopping! This is a weird univeristy tradition where you get your feet wet in every pond on campus! I haven’t done it yet and I would love to before I graduate.
  6. Celebrate Halloween all October long! This one may seem silly, but this is my last year of living with my roommates. Before we lived together a couple years ago we all got together on Halloween and spent the whole day watching scary movies. While we said we would do the same once we all lived together, our schedules kept us from doing this. Now I am determined to celebrate all month long with them watching movies and tv shows!
  7. Get accepted into Grad School! This is probably the most serious one on the list. Beginning in September I’ll start the process of writing personal statements, applications, and taking the GRE to apply to grad school. I am nervous about this but I am confident that I have the help and support I need to do well!
  8. Go to church more! Since middle school and high school I really haven’t gone to church. I still believe in God and everything, I have just gotten lazy about participating. But since coming to Chile I have started to feel reconnected to God, especially since my roommate invited me to so many church events. Now I feel reinvigorated about attending church and maybe giving a bible study a try!
  9. Try new hobbies! Lately I have been thinking a lot about trying bird watching and bullet journaling (kind of random, I know, haha). Although it might be hard to find time for things like this between school and work and blogging, I really like the idea of doing something different in my daily routine and to relax.
  10. Read before bed! I’ve always loved reading but since college I haven’t read very much. There are so many books that I want to read, I just need to be more disciplined about it! It’s also bad to be on your phone before bed, and with an 8 am in the fall I can’t risk a bad nights sleep!
  11. Have an exercise schedule! This is also that might be hard with class, work, and anything else I am trying to do on this list but it is definitely a priority! In the past when I have exercised daily I noticed better focus, a better mood, and a lot of other improvements! I have even missed working out while I have been in Chile, so I am excited to start again when I get home!
  12. Attend the Bonfire Memorial! This is one of the more somber traditions. On November 18th, 1999 the bonfire collapsed and killed 12 students. Now every year students attend the Bonfire Memorial to remember those we have lost. I haven’t gone before because the memorial is held at 2:42 in the morning (when the bonfire collapsed in 1999), but this year it is taking place on a Saturday so I will be there!
  13. Go on the Elephant Walk! This is a happier tradition! Every year seniors get together and take an “elephant walk” around campus to remember all of the good times they have had there! I am really excited for this one!
  14. Continue to get a better handle on my anxiety! While my anxiety is leaps and bounds better than it was two years ago, I still have a ways to go. I do not do well with changes and it is easy for me to feel stressed. It is important for to have this under control so I don’t worry about it as often and so I can face any changes life brings me with confidence.
  15. BLOG MORE! Obviously! I really enjoyed doing the challenge back in June and continue to want to blog more. The more I blog the more I love it and the more blogging ideas I have! I have so many ideas and cannot wait to share them with the blogging community!
  16. Spend quality time with my friends! This is my last year at my univeristy, and it may be my last year in Texas! Because of this I want to spend as much time with my friends and family as possible!
  17. Try new recipes! Last year I started cooking more and I am excited to keep cooking and trying new things! I may even share what I cook on the blog!
  18. HAVE A GREAT SENIOR YEAR!

Do you have a bucket list or big goals for this school year? For the semester? For the month? Join me and let’s explore our goals!

Keeping My Apartment Clean and Green

Now that I’m back from Chile and about to start school again, I am back in my apartment! YAY! I have the best apartment in the world. The furniture and layout are awesome, my room feels like my room, and I get to live with my best friends! What more could a girl ask for? Probably a clean apartment! Haha! Having a clean apartment is so important for me and my roommate’s comfort. But I hate using anything with harsh chemicals that aren’t necessarily great for me or for the environment. So how do I keep my apartment clean and green?

Seventh Generation products! Seventh Generation is a certified B corporation – B corporations have a better working environment, provide more for the working community, and have better standards for how they treat the environment. They list ALL the ingridients for a product on the label and the majority of their products are USDA Certified Biobased Product, meaning that the product contains a verified amount of renewable biological ingredients. I feel very safe using these products knowing that I’m not surronded by a lot of synthetic chemicals and that my apartment will feel clean and fresh afterwards! So which products are my favorites?

7gwd0130h.mov_.00_00_27_09.still001_0

Disinfecting wipes. I feel like these are a must for basically everyone! And these disinfecting wipes work just as well as any other! They kill 99.9% of germs and get rid of cold and flu viruses with a refreshing feeling afterward.

Narural dish liquid. Again, it works just as well as any other product, but you can feel assured that no harmful chemicals will be going down your drain. I also love the citrus scent, it smells amazing!

Toilet bowl cleaner. No one likes cleaning their toilet. I still don’t! But this product doesn’t have and strong fumes, so cleaning the toilet isn’t as bad anymore.

All purpose natural cleaner. I usually use this one for the shower and the shower in my apartment is a plastic tub and plastic walls since it is intended for students. The plastic doesn’t bother me, but I feel like it’s easy to see when it gets dirty. This product does the trick of removing all the grim so I can feel clean while getting clean!

Do you have some favorite green products? What are they? Join me and let’s explore how to make our homes a little greener!

Santiago Part 3: Neighborhoods and Districts

Santiago is a HUGE city, which means that there a lot of different neighborhoods with a lot of different styles! These were some of my favorites that I found from my time here in Chile!

Los Condes

Los Condes is sometimes called Sanhattan, since this district looks so similar to Manhattan! The area is full of high rises and banks, and they are all lined up on wide, clean streets. This area also has a lot of shopping with Mall Parque Aruaco. And because it is the nicest neighborhood in the city, you can see people making their way to the large golf course, Club de Golf los Leones, and others in very important looking suits. Because of the ritz and the glam Los Condes is able to stand out very easily from the rest of the city!

Providencia

I actually lived and worked in Providencia during my time in Chile! While Providencia may not look as fancy as Los Condes, it is still where a lot of people work and live. One of the tallest buildings in Providencia is the Costanera, the tallest building in Latin America! This skyscraper has a huge five story mall at the base, so there is a lot to do in the Costanera center. There’s a lot to see besides that though, with many local restaurants and bars around every corner. My favoorite part of Providencia is all of the cafés! My favorite thing to do on my way home from work is try a new café and have a pastry and hot drink! It is the perfect way to end the work day!

Bellavista

Bellavista is a neighborhood within the Providencia district, but it has its own distinct flare! Bellavista is separated from the rest of the district since it is across the Mapocho river. Once you cross the river, you are basically in Bellavista! This neighborhood is so distinct since it’s the part of the city where all of the clubs and bars are! But if you want to go during the day there is still a lot to do. You can grab a bite to eat at Patio Bellavista, an outdoor mall, visit one of the many lapis lazuli stores, take a tour of the Pablo Neruda house, stop by the zoo, or go to the top of Cerro San Cristobal!

Central Santiago

Central Santiago is filled with history! In this district you can find La Moneda, Plaza de la Constitucion, Plaza de Armas, the Metropolitan Cathedral, museums, and more! I took an hour tour around the area and learned a lot about the history behind many buildings, statues, and plazas. It was an amazing experience! I have also talked to others that have taken a four hour tour for tips around the area and they loved that as well! Did I mention that the architecture in this area is absolutely beautiful? I would say that this area is a must for anyone visiting!

Do you like exploring different parts of a city? What has been your favorite neighborhood that you have found? Join me and let’s look at the different parts that make up a whole city!