30 days to Going Green and Chemical Free: Week 1

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After reading the book Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children, I have decided to reduce the chemicals that I use in my home for the next 30 days!

The areas that have given me the most concern are:

  1. Household cleaning products
  2. Laundry Detergent
  3. Hand wash
  4. Cosmetics
  5. Perfumes
The reason I MUST make this change is the same reason we should all consider moving away from harmful chemicals…It is the overall “synergy” of exposure to these toxins on our bodies that causes longterm damage.

Synergy is defined as two or more things functioning together to produce a result not independently obtainable. Not just using bleach once-in-a-while, but using chemicals on the plates that we then eat off of…and then washing our clothes in the chemicals that we then wear on our skin or sluggle up with in bed at night…and how about the chemicals that I clean my dog’s chew toys with that are actually going in his mouth…and let’s not forget the makeup that I put on my face and then kiss and hug my sweet nephew Reef with that are linked to cleft palate in newborns (yes, this should make every woman feel like throwing up).

Today I focused on cleaning products and laundry detergent and this is what I came up with at Target! I’m not even sure if these are the best products, but I’m still one step closer to making my home a safe, chemical free environment!

My new cleaning supplies!

The products that are no longer going to be used in my house that I WILL REALLY MISS ARE THE FOLLOWING:

My dishwasher detergent- bye bye!

This stuff used to keep the bugs away from my porch....Not anymore!

These things will be dearly missed...I cleaned the counters, door handles, bathroom sink...practically everything with them!

Flu season was my favorite time to get crazy with the Lysol...It makes me sick to remember the one time when a sick friend had been at our house and I actually used this stuff on the couch!!! OMG what was I thinking?

I have literally Febreze-d myself before! Couches, Carpets, Curtains...and yes even me.

Rest in peace to my all-time FAVORITE cleaning supply! I am still not sure if there isn't something I can do to keep you around....but I do believe this is considered my strongest addiction.

I have not yet found organic dryer sheets...my sister says they exist, but the fact that I can't find them in Myrtle Beach can not be a good thing.

It comes in bulk, it works for HE machines, and it's a steal at Costco....but it must go! So far I haven't found a replacement:( Does one exist?

So these are the things I have conquered today! If you want some Febreze or a free bottle of fabric softener, then you know who to call because this girl is done with them all! Now it’s time to start cleaning…chemical-free cleaning, that is;) I’m sure I’ll discover some more horrific chemicals as I begin my journey…so here we go!

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day 12 to day 17


The last week has been crazy! I have not blogged and I have no excuse but the sheer guilt of it all is forcing me back to blogging!
Wow this wedding could not be coming up any quicker! It’s so exciting yet becoming very real! Today I took my sister courtney to the airport at 8AM, only to realize that she had missed her flight…probably from the pure exhaustion of our previous evenings events, which involved meeting our musician for dinner and music selection. All the same, we will try it again in the morning and see if she can make it back to Miami.
Monday I did hot yoga at 9:30 and two hours of dance class at 3! I am working out like a dog preparing for the wedding! I actually have to keep going at this pace because if I get too much built up energy right now my head will explode.
It was great having Courtney in town. We will get to spend next weekend together also, but this last weekend was more about her;)…and she knows what I mean. We thought it would be funny to make t-shirts for everyone for the wedding that say “it’s all about her” and then I can wear a shirt that says “her”. LOL…it’s still funny to me.
I officially purchased my dance shoes for our first dance yesterdsay! This was huge because I can’t imagine doing anything strenuous in my ‘real’ wedding shoes. Courtney was very helpful. Quick decisions are my favorites.
Tomorrow I have got to do the thing that I’ve been dreading the most…get these wedding programs done! It’s literally been driving me crazy but it’s now or never so now is the answer. I hate the rigidity of having them printed because then there are no changes. I’ve researched it and I guess that less info is the way to go.
Last Friday Olga helped me finalize the gifts for the bridal party! She was very helpful…and I can’t lie, she draws a mean Hello Kitty!
I can not sleep tonite! I’m in need of some serious serious progesterone!

day 11


Lots to do today! We have a two hour dance class where we will begin finishing up the first dance. This has been very fun for us over the last 6 months of learning all kinds of new dances, however today is the end of the fun and the beginning of focusing and memorizing the perfect first dance. We want it to be really special for everyone and even though our teacher Robert says you should only do the first dance for yourself, I’m pretty sure it’s for everyone else.
Yesterday we took a break from our wedding preperations. We woke up and opened all the presents from Florence and then headed out to the Dunes Club for a few hours. It was a perfect day.
After dance today we’re going to work on Brad’s wardrobe for the wedding and the honeymoon…it’s practically time to start packing!
The day has passed for RSVP’s and I’m gonna revise and finalize the seating chart today. Exciting!

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day 8


I am writing this from the dinner table of my lovely bridesmaid Julie’s birthday dinner. Our rehearsal invites came in today and since it says RSVP by August 15th, i had to get them out asap…and I did! Also, made some phone calls and got the guest list very close to complete…which led me to working on the seating chart for the dinner…and yes, I did that too! Eyes on the prize!

Back to celebrating with Julie…

Brad and Julie showing off

day six and day seven


“I want you to say at least one good thing about me in this blog”…that just came out of my fiance’s mouth. He’s always full of himself while he’s playing his football video games.

So I was going to write last night when I became extremely distracted by the unveiling of our amazing Las Vegas Bachelorette party pictures on facebook! It was like we were all back there again! Loved it!

On Tuesday I met up with Jamie and Julie (two of my bridesmaids) and they both tried on their dresses for me. They’re amazing! I can’t believe we landed the hottest bridesmaid dresses ever! Note: Make sure you keep encouraging your bridesmaids to get those dresses fitted sooner than the week of the wedding! That was a disaster at my sister’s wedding…a disaster that I tried to fix, which only stressed me out. If your goal is no stress then you have got to be prepared.

I’m having to combine blogs for these days because I am fighting off a cold and there are so many things going on that it’s a little overwhelming. Four more days of collecting R.S.V.P. cards and we will finally know our final count. God knows, I have a newly discovered respect for R.S.V.P.’s! I will never wait to send one in again!

I already have my outfit for Saturday’s party in Florence all ready to go! Earrings, shoes, bag…everything. Note: It is very important to be prepared for all bridal parties. Have your outfits set out days in advance. Then dress your man, or at least remind him that this isn’t just another night out. You can’t help him if you’re scrambling around yourself…kind of like putting on your oxygen mask before assisting others.

I’ve taken my workout schedule up a notch as the wedding preparation continues. Today I did arms, ran on the treadmill, and then hit balls at the driving range. Brad is an amazing golfer! I am not so talented, but when I do occasionally make contact with the ball it really moves! (Golf should be my next endeavor!) Anyway, I can barely lift my arms right now…but I bet they’re gonna look hot tomorrow! That’s all that matters, right? Oh yes, and world peace.

Good luck to my friends Sarah and Jason who are getting married this weekend! Wow- time goes by quickly! Good night for Wednesday August 3rd!

day five


Olga and I watched Nick and Vanessa’s wedding special Saturday night during our sister’s-with-husbands-out-of-town-sleepover and although she was alseep within the first 30 minutes, I enjoyed every overly pageant perfect second of it! I especially love that Nick Lachey isn’t afraid to shed a few tears. I wish Brad would cry when I walk down the aisle, but I have to be honest with myself because that simply will not happen. The man just can’t cry. It’s practically unhealthy. On the other hand, I will cry over a Folgers coffee commercial. That is why we made the decision to do a “first look” before our ceremony. That way I will have plenty of time to cry like a baby and then reapply my makeup before any of our guests see me. Not that I am guaranteed not to cry again, but for me it’s all about avoiding the “ugly cry”.

Today I bought what I believe will be the last bridal magazine to come out before the big day. I was so excited because I thought I already had all of them! Note: it is very important to buy every single bridal magazine that you can find when you are planning a wedding! (Recycle them all afterwards so you don’t feel guilty for not being green). They are all basically the same on the inside, but if the cover is different then you must have it!

day four


My mom just called me “bridems” in a text. Funny!

Today is one of the rare Saturdays each year that are not a zoo at the Myrtle Beach Diet because the doctor is out of town. It’s wonderful! I’m still “single” this weekend and the boys are partying like it’s 1999 in Charleston for Brad’s Bachelor party. Yesterday I made sure to remind him that the whole party weekend would not be possible if it weren’t for me…hehe…he doesn’t think it’s as funny as I think it is. Sometimes I appreciate my humor more than anyone else. Feel free to quote me on that;)

My first eyelash extension fell off last night, which means that they have been on for almost two weeks! These things are amazing and they’re also only $25!!! I love them! They told me not to get them wet and they would last 3 weeks, but does anyone else see how that’s sort of a wierd thing to ask someone to “not” do? Okay lady, then I will just wash “around” my eyes…or just below the eyes, not the forehead. No problem, right?

In less than 30 minutes I’m off to the beach to meet my friends and their babies. Olga and I are going to bring Reef for our first girls and babies beach day! I hope it goes well. I will be wearing another one of Olga’s strapless swimsuits so that I don’t get tan lines for my dress. Note: There is nothing bridal about a tan line! If you think they are sexy, then I’m sorry but you’re wrong. It’s not a fact, but it is my professional opinion.

I just dropped my cell phone so hard that it literally split in two! Unfortunately for me, I didn’t break the damn darn thing. I hate Sprint. Hate is a strong word and I have thought it through and can confirm that I really do hate Sprint.

Gotta run but will have plenty more to say later…

day three


Yesterday I got a little ahead of myself by thinking it was day three, but it was actually day two! Funny.

This morning I experienced 90 minutes of the most amazing workout ever at Shanti Yoga on 39th Avenue! (click here to checkout their website) I am not flexible…but I make up for it with effort! (On the other hand, Olga is more talented than most circus people). I have not weighed myself but I am sure that I have lost 5 pounds! Now I am spending the rest of the day with my sister and we are going to shop and giggle and pretend we’re 21 years old again…for at least 3 hours!

I might write more later this evening, but the most important thing I did today was workout like an olympic athlete! Now it’s party time….

day two


This morning I woke up to my neighbor revving his mustang’s engine at 5AM (how adorable)! So it is fair to say that my day started with a “bang”.

Today marks the beginning of Bachelor Party weekend for Brad and the boys! Brad turned on “The Hangover” last night, which was really cute since they’re going to Charleston, SC for the big blow-out! All the same, those boys are really ready to “let the dogs out” and I certainly hope they do just that!

My Noni once said it best when she said “While the cat’s away- the mice- they will-a dance”…and yes we will! I am getting ready to head over to my sister’s house to show her my newly unveiled bridal portraits with the fabulous Lynn Cole Daly! I am so excited because I LOVE THEM ALL- however, I need some expert sister advice as to which ones to choose. Also, have several hundred push-up and tricep dips to do before the wedding day! It’s amazing how much the camera really does add on! That’s okay because it’s all about timing, and that my friends is why I started this blog! I have spent plenty of “hungry days” in my life preparing for pageants and formals but nothing gets you more focused than getting yourself right for your wedding. After all, it is the only pageant that you know you’re gonna win! Fact!

I also think I’m going to give in to a little “YOlga”, which is what I call my hippie sister Olga and her yoga passion combined. Anything that makes your arms look more trim is something that I am willing to try. Bottom line: You have to be open to what works in order to achieve success! How do you know it works? Simple…it’s results are appealing to you. Who knows what you really can do in 30 days!

Ciao, Soon-to-be Tosca Norman Taylor (TNT)

day one

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I hate secrets! I am not good at keeping them (which we all know is a true sign of a Gemini)! When I think about it, weddings are all about secrets. Don’t show anyone your dress…don’t tell anyone about your first dance surprise (did I make that rule up?)…and don’t show and tell your bridesmaid’s gifts to them!

Today I found the perfect gifts for my bridesmaids and I was so excited that I immediately picked up the phone to call someone and tell them…and then I realized that they were the people I was wanting to call! Annoy!!! Let’s see how long I can keep this secret! Maybe I’ll just tell Olga…or Julie…oh dear! Opps…did I just set myself up for failure? Oh well!

Now about the dress…I have done everything but draw a picture of it and show it to Brad. I haven’t shown it to him, but I sure wish he would ask to see it. I’m glad he’s not as desperate to see it as I am to show it or we would definitely be cursed!
Today’s Progress Report: gifts for the bridesmaids and flower girls are done! I love them and they will for sure! I went to dance class and sweated it up for one amazing hour at “Let’s Dance”- my new favorite dance studio! Loved it!

I’ve already packed up most of my wedding attire in pink and blue rubbermaid boxes, which I have also labeled in paint pen. Side note: I love my handwriting, so I use paint pens on everything but Gucci and LV.

Brad has apparently been bitten by a spider and his foot is swollen and red even after two days of antiboitics (oral and injections). His Bachelor party weekend starts tomorrow and the poor guy can’t walk! I hope it feels better so he can play golf with his friends and get lap dances from strangers…hehe…or maybe just the golf;) Thank God for my wonderful daddy, Dr. Norman, who has been making sure he is well taken care of. Having a doctor in the family is a luxury unlike no other. God Bless you daddy!

Day one ends and I will be Mrs. Brad Taylor in 30 days! Today a lady at the gas station told me that my ring was amazing and it made me feel like doing a cartwheel…I’m glad I didn’t since the random bruises from Vegas are still residing on my legs.
Oh well- enjoy this silly picture of my sister and I playing around in Miami last year…oh yeah, and she was 4 months pregnant! Yep, that’s how fun we are! Ciao for now!