Safe-ing Face: What’s In My Makeup Bag?

I consider myself a makeup minimalist, who is a little obsessed with organization.  I used to maintain two makeup bags: one containing conventional products for my acting and modeling work, and the other containing green beauty products for my “off-duty” use.  This year, Melissa, owner of Citrine Natural Beauty Bar, introduced me to some ah-mazing non-toxic product lines.  So, I made it my mission to address all of my makeup needs in one green beauty bag.

Looking to “green” your makeup routine?  What you COULD do is toss out the toxic products, and replace them with safer substitutes.

The variety of green beauty options available now makes it easy to do a swap.

IMG_9660After searching for a travel-sized cosmetic bag to hold my brushes and makeup, I chose the Stephanie Johnson Grace Brush Case in Galapagos Grey. This textured faux reptilian case has 5 slots for makeup brushes on one side, with a protective flap to cover them, and an open compartment for makeup. Love. This. Case.

IMG_9664Face

Cheeks

Eyes

Lips

Tools

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The tools listed above stay in my makeup bag, so that I can grab it and go at anytime.  I also have a set of Ecotools brushes for at-home use.  Unless I need it for work or travel purposes, I apply my makeup at home and leave the majority of it there.  In my purse, I usually carry a smaller pouch with my lip color of the day, lip balm, and blotting papers inside.  I tend to change my lip color the most, depending on the time of day, my outfit, or my mood.

Which green beauty brands and products have you tried?  Which ones are your favorites?

Please comment and share!

XOXO

 

 

Juice Ranch

image9Are you in Southern California, and thirsty for 100% organic, locally-sourced, glass-bottled, cold-pressed juice, in bountiful blends?

What you COULD do is mosey on over to Juice Ranch!

image2Recently, I visited the Westlake Village location (twice) and tried some of their “beverages with benefits.” These drinks are green-based, fruit-based, carrot-based, beet-based, or nutmilk-based.  Sooooo many choices…so little bladder capacity…*sigh*

image5Yeah…I did that.  The folks at Juice Ranch support sampling, and are generous to boot!  Notice the number of empty sample bottles in the above pics…*hangs head in shame*

image1I love how they organize their menu!  You can pick your potion based on the blend or the benefits.  This, combined with samples, makes the decision process a little easier.  Greens N’ Ginger, Jalapina, and Strawberry Pearl are just a few of my faves.  YAY and YUM!!!

Juice Ranch also offers a variety of shots and cleanse packages, to help meet your health needs, all served with a smile.  And, when you consider their glass bottle credit offer…

Y’all have to go back now, ya hear?

XOXO

 

 

 

Seek the Unique

Daring enough to decorate differently, and in search of something special?

What you COULD do is bypass the beaten path, and seek other sources for home goods.

Here are 3 places that I turn to for unique pieces to add to my home:

1. Travel: I love finding decorative objects, while exploring other countries, and bringing them home with me. They add interest to my space, and serve as a souvenir from my trip.  Love that!

IMG_8896While vacationing in Greece, I found a ceramics shop in Chania, Crete, where I purchased this little lady…

IMG_8893She currently lives in my master bathroom, along with some other Mediterranean and Moroccan treasures, for an exotic spa feel.

2. Independently-owned import stores:  I love supporting small businesses.  Oftentimes, the owners will personally travel to specific countries to select the ethnic handicrafts that fill their stores.  I can get lost while shopping at these types of places because I feel like I’m treasure-hunting in foreign lands!

IMG_8898I long to return to Morocco.  Until then, I live vicariously through the Van Lith family; and explore their showroom at Tierra del Lagarto.  As I drooled over the contents of their most recent Moroccan container, I was fortunate to find this beautiful plate in a rare teal color.

3. Ethnic restaurants:  On more than one occasion, my husband has taken me out to dinner, and I’ve fallen in love with the decor.  He usually ends up negotiating the sale of an item with the owners, and having them add it to our bill.  Poor Hubby!  Lucky me.

IMG_8331 After dining at a Kurdish restaurant in Agoura Hills, California, I was convinced that I needed one of their beautiful table cloths…

IMG_8409What can I say?  I love ethnic textiles…*sigh*

So, the next time that you’re looking to add some accents to your abode, think outside of the big box stores, and seek the unique!

XOXO

 

Coptic Cross

Fashion is where you find it, and I’m all about the hunt.

In my minimalist wardrobe, I am fortunate to own a few luxury items. However, one of my absolute favorite pieces is an unexpectedly-acquired accessory.

IMG_8809In a world that’s filled with mass-produced merchandise and cheap knock-offs, what you COULD do is seek the unique.

IMG_8815This beauty came into my life, years ago, while dining at one of my favorite Ethiopian restaurants.  As I paid my bill, I casually asked the owner where I could purchase an Ethiopian Coptic cross necklace.  After processing my payment, he reached into his cash register drawer and pulled out an Ethiopian Coptic cross pendant.  A local artisan made it, and gave it to him.  He, in turn, gifted it to me.  As a loyal patron, who has nearly a decade of memories at his now-defunct establishment, I feel grateful to have this special piece.

IMG_8806And do you know what???  I have received more compliments on this necklace than any other item that I own…HANDS DOWN!!!

So, whether you’re traveling, or at home, I encourage you to step off of the beaten path to find treasure beyond measure.

Take care, and have a great holiday weekend!

XOXO

 

 

Nightly Rituals

I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time relaxing and quieting my mind at night. Ironically, I work hard to ease into a restful state.  In doing so, I’ve noticed that there are certain rituals that I must follow.

Do you have a restless mind, and need to unwind?

What you COULD do is establish nightly rituals that let your body and mind know that it’s time for bed.

Here are 3 things that I do, before I go to sleep:

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1. Treat my feet: I always wash my feet before bedtime. I have a deeply-rooted need to crawl into bed with clean feet. In addition, I moisturize them with organic jojoba oil, then cover them with socks. It never fails to relax and reassure me.

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2. Diffuse essential oils that make “scents”: I select one, or more, essential oils to scent my room at night.  Lavender is my favorite, due to its sleep-promoting properties. However, lately, I’ve been using frankincense for its meditative benefits.  Each of these oils has served as a base for my calming combinations.

3. Cue the music: I play relaxation music in my bedroom, which also helps to create a calming atmosphere.   I’m currently loving the Calm Radio Om, Spa, and Sleep channels.  Their soothing sounds help me to drift-off to dream land.

What are YOUR nightly rituals?

Please comment and share!

XOXO

Wellness Woes: Back-To-School Edition

Sooooo…my children are in a year-round school, and they’re already in their 5th week of classes.

I know, right?!?!

Overall, they’re off to a great start.  Then, the other day, my daughter handed me these…

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*THUD*

Um, yeah…that noise you just heard?  It was me passing out over these two…TWO…Parent Alert Letters about the school cooties du jour.  What can I say?  Mommy is a total germaphobe.  LAWD HELP US ALL!!!

If back-to-school illnesses are threatening your child’s attendance flow, what you COULD do is give ’em a pro-active punch.

Here are 5 things that I’m currently doing to help keep my peeps in their classroom seats:

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1.  Step up their supplements:  In addition to their daily multivitamin, I’m doubling-up their probiotics and vitamin C.  Our naturopath encourages us to do this, especially during flu season.

2.  Let them drink…water:  As challenging as it may be, at times, I encourage my little ones to stay hydrated and flush their systems with H2O.  We’ll often add a twist of lemon, or a few chunks of fruit, to encourage consumption.

3.  Rejuvenate with rest:  I try to wrap things up, and get the kids to bed early.  This way, they are ready to tackle the next day, mentally and physically.

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4.  Find victory in the Vitamix:  Yep, that’s right.  When all-else fails, I know that I can sneak some immune-boosting supplements and *gulp* greens into a fresh juice or smoothie.  More power for my little people!

5.  Help ’em develop healthy habits:  I diligently train my littles to wash their hands frequently, use their hand sanitizer, and refrain from rubbing their eyes and noses to help keep bacteria at bay.  It’s an on-going process, but well worth the effort.

What do YOU do when school illnesses infiltrate your child’s classroom?

Please comment, share, and take care!

XOXO

 

 

Travel Tips: Las Vegas

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Ravenous for a romantic getaway?

Longing to luxuriate in Las Vegas?

Eager for engaging entertainment?

In search of a veg-friendly vacation venue?

What you COULD do is cut the Craps, hit the Strip, and go for the Wynn!

The majority of my trips to Vegas have been for business purposes.  Recently, I returned for a romantic weekend getaway with my husband.  This was my Mother’s Day gift, and I had a FABULOUS time!  Here is a rundown of recommendations, based on my visit:

IMG_7928Stay

We thoroughly enjoyed our accommodations at the Wynn Hotel.  Spacious suite + vegetarian/vegan menus + spectacular spa = WYNN-ING!

IMG_7890Sup

One of my favorite meals was on the patio at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway.  Here, I ordered the vegan Mushroom Tortellini with Arugula and Cashew Cream Sauce.  Sooooo good!

Other noteworthy vegan meals included:  Le Cirque at Bellagio (we splurged on their Vegan Menu, with wine pairing); Botero at Encore (we ended one of our evenings here with a vegan dessert); Terrace Pointe Cafe (Wynn) for breakfast; and Tableau (Wynn) for brunch.  It was nice to not have to stress-out over where to eat, or agonize over the menus.

IMG_7842Shows

Ooooo YES I DID!!!  I finally got to see “O” by Cirque du Soleil, and I loved it!  This was the second part of an amazing date night with my husband, after dinner at Le Cirque.

IMG_7869Spa

During our romantic getaway, we treated ourselves to 80-minute Custom Massages, and marinated for more than half of the day at the Wynn Spa.  The facilities were beautiful, and the amenities were plentiful.  As someone who worked in the spa industry, with a passion for all things spa-related, I appreciate that.

Shop

The primary focus of our trip was experiences, versus stuff.  However, I had the opportunity to pick up a couple of items while exploring The Shoppes at The Palazzo and The Shops at Crystals.  I received excellent customer service in both places.

During this romantic getaway, we were inspired to plan a kid-friendly Vegas summer vacation.  Stay tuned for more details in another post.

It’s great to be back on the blog.

Thanks for reading!

XOXO

 

 

 

 

My “Surgi-versary”

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

One year after my surgery saga, I’m healthy and feeling incredibly blessed.  At the same time, I’ve felt emotional as I recall where I was this time last year.  I met and worked with some amazing health practitioners and business owners, who helped me through this ordeal.  So, to celebrate my “surgi-versary,” I planned to visit each of my “health heroes” to personally thank them for the specific ways that they contributed to my surgical outcome and overall well-being.  Although I was unable to connect with everyone, today’s results were very encouraging…

IMG_7615My first stop was The Center for True Harmony Wellness & Medicine.  Here, I expressed my heartfelt appreciation to Christine Brass-Jones DO OB/GYN and Dr. Denise Grobe ND.  Dr. Brass-Jones referred me to the right gynecological oncologist to perform my surgery.  She listened carefully to my concerns and persevered with me, as I weighed my options, trusted my gut, and moved forward in this process.  Dr. Grobe gave me some excellent advice on how to prepare my body for surgery and how to manage my recovery in different case scenarios.  In addition, she had the insight to have me take a cancer gene test.  Both of these ladies were caring, supportive, proactive, and informative.  Women empowering other women…YES!!!

IMG_7617Next, I went to Pomegranate Cafe for a friend’s birthday lunch, and to express my gratitude to owner Cassie Tolman.  Before and after my surgery, Cassie and the “Pom” staff were my “anti-inflammatory allies.”  They kept the Abundance Juice flowing, with plenty of lemon, ginger, and turmeric, along with a whole lotta healthy food options.  Their team always serves with smiles and promotes positivity.  LOVE THEM!!!

IMG_7618IMG_7620You didn’t think I’d leave out my lunch, did you?!?  Today, I celebrated with an Abundance Juice (naturally) and Mermaid Salad.  YUM!!!

IMG_7622Finally, I stopped by Desert Sage Herbs to thank Brittney for an herbal consultation that had me armed and ready for my surgical procedure and healing process.  The teas, tonics, and essential oils that she custom-blended for me, along with her compassion and concern, were a tremendous help.  Today, Andrea graciously accepted my sentiments on Brittney’s behalf…and re-filled my french lavender oil.  Mission accomplished!!!

Do you personally, and specifically, thank those who have helped you overcome life challenges?

Encourage others, and be encouraged!

XOXO

Sound Off

During Easter weekend, I developed laryngitis. Sooooo bad for business, in my industry. With commercial auditions, and possible bookings, I had to do something. In a desperate attempt to regain my voice, I chose some natural, over-the-counter, and home remedies (Thank you, Google, and Mr. Whole Body Team Member) that helped me to get back on track within a week…just in time for a commercial shoot.

Here’s what I used:

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1.  Chamomile Tea:  Calming, soothing, and anti-inflammatory, I enjoyed sipping Pukka’s Chamomile/Vanilla/Manuka Honey blend.

2.  Homeopathic Medicine:  I was told that Boiron’s Roxalia Tablets are a customer favorite for hoarseness at my local Whole Foods Market.  So, I gave them a try and got some relief from my symptoms.

3.  Lozenges:  Nature’s Way Sambucus Organic Zinc Lozenges helped to keep my throat moist, and give my immune system a boost.

4.  Water:  When it comes to hydrating and moisturizing from the inside out, it doesn’t get more natural than this.

5.  Humidifier:  I placed several drops of eucalyptus oil in my warm humidifier’s reservoir, and breathed in the vapors overnight.  The anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties of eucalyptus oil definitely helped my cause.

6.  Rest:  Keeping still and being quiet were the hardest “pills” to swallow throughout this ordeal.  Ironically, they were probably the most beneficial.

How do you handle hoarseness, holistically?

Please comment, share, and [as always] take care!

XOXO

 

Travel Tips: London

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Are you looking for a more urban, international travel experience?

Are you lousy with languages, yet longing for a taste of Europe?

What you COULD do is visit London!

I have visited this fashion capital and economic epi-center twice; and there is still sooo much more to explore.  Here are some of my recommendations, based on my most recent trip:

Eat

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Flat White – This is a cool little cafe with good coffee in the SOHO area.

Busaba Eathai – Here, they serve tasty Thai in a modern-ethnic setting.

Princi – A Milanese bakery and pizzeria, serving Italian dishes, baked goods, and delicious desserts.

Brown’s Hotel – Choose from a variety of teas, pastries, and sandwiches, for a traditional afternoon tea experience, in an old-meets-new setting.

Pray

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St. Paul’s Cathedral

Westminster Abbey

Look

National Portrait Gallery

National Gallery

Tate Britain

Watch

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Queens Theatre – It was a short walk from my hotel, and Les Miserables was playing.  I HAD to go!!!

Shop (window or otherwise)

Harrod’s

Harvey Nichols

Oxford Street

Bond Street

Stay

Soho Hotel – An urban retreat with cute decor, cozy atmosphere, and a convenient location.

How do you like to experience London?  Please comment and share!

Cheers, and have a great week!

XOXO

 

 
 
 

 

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