Monday, September 21, 2015

Password Notebook

A long time ago I used the same password for every site.  It sure was easy and fast. But like I said that was a long time ago and we all know now (thanks to hackers) that we have to have a different password for every site. In order to keep up with all the different passwords I started a password notebook. My first pw notebook was a small 2 x 4 pad and not in alphabetical order. I just added the passwords to the notebook as I went along. That didn't last very long because I filled it quickly and started having a hard time finding the passwords. Over the years the notepads got bigger and bigger. I finally learned through trial and error what makes a good password notebook.  Here's what I learned:

1. Make sure your notebook is big enough to fit all the info so you don't have to start a new notebook every  couple of  years.  This is 5 x 7.5 notebook amd has 192 pages.
2. The notebook should be in alphabetical order according to the website name. Make a section for each letter in your notebook. It's so much easier and prettier if you use stickers.

3.  Write in pencil. I used to write in ink but when I had to change the password I had to mark through the old password making the notebook look messy and taking up unncecessary space.
4.  When placing the letter stickers in your notebook don't give every letter equal number of pages in between.  Some letters require more pages than others.  For example:  I don't have many accounts at sites that start with F but I go to many sites that start with S or T.  So allow extra pages in between for those letters.
5. If you have more than 1 email or your spouse is also using the pw notebook, make sure you also specify which email along with the password
6.  Make sure your spouse puts the notebook back where it belongs after using it. There's been many a time when I had to go looking for my pw notebook because "someone" didn't put it back in its proper place. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Star Wars Light Saber Father's Day Card

This is the Star Wars themed Father's Day card I made for my husband in 2014.  My original idea was that I would be able to change out the glow sticks. I painted the plastic holders black and glued them to the card. I didn't glue the glow sticks but they kept rolling off the card and therefore, was forced to glue them down. Another mistake I made was I didn't buy fresh glow sticks. They glowed but not very well in the dark. I should have tested the sticks before Father's Day. I was actually finishing up this card the morning of right before church and didn't have time to run out and buy new sticks. Oh well, live and learn.  It still turned out pretty nice if I say so myself.  

Sources:  Tim Holtz stickers, Dollar Tree glow sticks, glitter paper from Joann's

Old glow sticks don't glow very well in the dark. 

inside of card

My children do not smile for pictures. It drives me mad. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mineral Oils and Parabens In Mario Badescu Products

I'm feeling duped. I thought Mario Badescu was supposed to be a great company that I could trust. After using their products for almost a year I just now discovered that there is mineral oil, petrolatums and polyparabens in their eye creams and moisturizers. As I was brushing my teeth I glanced at the ingredients on the back of the Special Eye cream I had just ordered and was shocked to see propylparaben and mineral oil (they list it as Carnation).  I was quite taken aback by this discovery. With toothbrush still in my mouth I started rummaging through my medicine cabinet to look at the other Mario Badescu beauty products and I found paraffinum which is still another word for mineral oil. SERIOUSLY?! I can't believe I have been paying good money for mineral oil products. Mario Badescu eye creams are $18. I might as well have been using drug store brands at a much cheaper price. But money isn't the issue, I avoid using Equate, Vaseline and many other brands because of the mineral oils, petrolatum and parabens and their potentially harmful effects.

The only reason why I looked at the ingredients is because my friend posted a picture on Facebook and I thought that my eyes looked dry and tired which made start thinking about my eye cream. I wasn't sure if I was just getting old, it was just a bad picture or if my eye cream wasn't working. Low and behold, I think the eye cream might be the culprit of the dry skin around my eyes. Why? Because mineral oil does not add moisture to the skin, it only locks in moisture. But I am using the eye cream to get moisture, not create a barrier! There's no moisture to lock in. Duh! What a waste of time and money.

This is the pic that made me question my eye cream (that's me on the left)

I'm so mad at myself because I didn't do my due diligence. I started using Mario Badescu products on the word of a friend who has great skin. Over a year ago I was having some major problems with acne and skin irritations. My friend and I went to lunch and I was complaining about my complexion and my friend suggested I try using Mario Badescu. Naturally when she made this suggestion I looked at her face more closely and realized her skin was clear enough to not need base or powder. That to me was a testimony in itself. When we went to her apartment she showed me all her Mario Badescu products in her bathroom. Now prior to this she and I had some conversations about beauty products and what ingredients we should avoid like parabens. Because we were in complete agreement in our conversations I assumed that she and I thought alike and I completely trusted her suggestion on MB products. But we all know what happens when one assumes (ass-u-me). So I slowly switched to MB products. The very first item I ordered was Peptide Renewal Cream which does not have any mineral oil. Then I bought Peptide Renewal Serum which also does not any mineral oil. The next few products I ordered were also mineral oil and paraben free. So at that point I ass-u-me-d that MB was a trustworthy company that cares about what people put on their skin. Unfortunately, the next few products I ordered do contain mineral oils and parabens, but at this point I had already assumed all MB products are safe. I also thought that if my friend uses their products then it must be A-OK. On another note, I think I was also fooled by their sleek, white bottles and clean labeling. The white packaging looks so trustworthy like it's stating I am a pure and chemical-free product.  *thumps self on forehead*

Now if you're wondering what is this woman blathering about and don't understand why I'm freaking out then you must not have heard that parabens and minerals oils are bad for your skin. I suggest you Google the subject. Hundreds of articles and blogs discussing the cons of these ingredients will pop up. I am not a doctor or researcher so I can not explain in a scientific manner why they are bad for you.  So here is my assessment in my own laymen terms: mineral oil and parabens are cheap, crappy chemicals that companies add to products to lengthen the shelf life of the product and have a low manufacturing cost. It is no concern to them that their products are pore-clogging and potentially cancer causing because they are making millions of dollars in profit. Mineral oils may contain toxins because it is a derivative of petroleum. This is cheap, cheap, cheap. Any product made with mineral oil should not be high priced. As I mentioned earlier mineral oils only create a barrier between your skin and the air, it does not add moisture. The idea is that it locks in moisture by CLOGGING your pores so the moisture does not escape. But they won't advertise it clogs your pores, they will say that the products keeps your skin silky soft and moisturized.  As for parabens it could possibly be linked to breast cancer because they have found parabens in the removed tissue of women who have had a mastectomies. I suggest using a paraben and aluminum-free deodorant. They may not work as well but it's definitely worth it to be a little smelly and sticky as opposed to having cancer. When you shave your armpit, you may cut your skin, then you put on deodorant and the parabens & aluminum are in closer proximity to your breasts. (Full disclosure: I use 5 different types of deodorant and one of them is Secret. I still use Secret even though it has questionable ingredients. The other safer deodorants are not as effective and I use Secret in social situations that calls for something that will definitely work. However, I do try to avoid anti-perspirant altogether. I think anti-perspirants are even worse because they also clog your pores and you need to sweat to get rid of toxins.) So there is my view of parabens and mineral oil in a nutshell. Since I already deal with a myriad of other health issues I just don't want to take the chance on putting cancer-causing chemicals on my skin and clogging up my pores.

But this isn't just a woman issue, men should also be concerned about parabens.  From Readers Digest Best Health:  In a Danish study parabens could be detected in the blood and urine of healthy young male volunteers a few hours after paraben-containing lotions were applied to their skin. In conclusion since the chemicals could be absorbed, metabolized and excreted they "could potentially contribute to adverse health effect."   Read more at

So lesson learned, I will always read the labels of every product I put on my body regardless of a friend's opinion. Now I must find a new eye cream that doesn't have harmful ingredients and won't irritate my skin. Fun.

Back labels of MB products

Here are a few more "good" dermatologist-approved products that have bad ingredients. 

CeraVe Renewing lotion (this is a sample from the dermatologist)

Mederma (yet another sample from the dermatologist)

SebaMed Anti-Dry Night Intensive Cream

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