Category Archives: Favorite Products

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.

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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

 

 

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

 

 

Rainbow Grocery

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*singing*

“Sooome-WHEEERE, o-ver at Rainbow, are greaaat fiiinds…”

From herbs to housewares, there is so much to explore.

 

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And so my anti-Black Friday experience began at this AMAZING, worker-owned co-op in San Francisco.  No crazy hours, no camping-out, no crowds, no ridiculous lines, no pushing or trampling , no BOGOs or desperate discounts, and no commercial hype.  Just good people, with positive energy, offering great products, with smiles.  Sign. Me. Up.

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The spices and teas tho’…

I could [literally] stop there; but I didn’t, and I won’t.

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I live here, in the Bath and Body Department.  And THIS, my friends, is where I nearly lost my mind!  It happens every time.

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Despite my desire to [permanently] move in, I had to keep it moving.  So, I made my final selections and checked-out.  I appreciate the sweet employee, who suggested that I include one of their reusable canvas bags in my purchase.  It’s a souvenir that’s guaranteed to make me smile.

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But wait!  There’s MORE!  Did you know that they recently added a cafe???  Oh yes, they did!!!  I concluded my experience with a custom-blended Pumpkin Spice Latte, from their special Holiday Drinks menu.  YAY and YUM!

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Wanna see what I got???  Here’s a look at some of my loot:

Sjaak’s Almond Butter and Peanut Butter Bites

Matcha Green Tea & Spirulina and Coconut Ash & Banana Super Dark Chocolates by Vosges Haut-Chocolat

The Big Yummy Double Chocolate Brownie by Wholesome Chow

Herb Pharm Calendula Oil

Valentina’s Home-Brewed Magickal Mineral Bath Salts (True Love, Sweet Dreams, and Prosperity)

Propolis Extract by Y.S. Eco Bee Farms

100% Pure Virgin Coconut Hand Buttercream

Evan Healy’s Whipped Shea Butter for Lips

*singing*

“If happy, lil’ ole me can find…great stuff at Rainbow…

…GOOO…EX-PLOOORE…THOOOSE…AIIISLES!!!”

A Healing Oasis At Home

Me in my master bedroom on Mother’s Day 2014.

During the weeks prior to my surgery, I was in major nesting mode.  Seriously!  You would have thought that I was having another baby!  NOT!!!  Since I knew that my hospital stay would be short-lived, in comparison to my recovery time, I planned to create a “new and improved” environment  where I could rest and recover, while surrounded by friends and family.  Although I added extra errands to my pre-surgery schedule, I was quite pleased with the results.  In fact, I was so excited to get home to my sanctuary, that it motivated me to do whatever was necessary to be discharged from the hospital as soon as possible.  Here are some things that I did to create a healing oasis at home:

1.  Add aromatherapy:  I purchased an aromatherapy diffuser and a “Calming” essential oil blend of lavender, bergamot, and clary sage from Desert Sage Herbs.  I plugged the diffuser into the wall and took my room from blah to spa!  In addition, I treated myself to Cire Trudon candles in the Abd Al-Kader and L’Admirable scents, and placed them in my entry and living areas.  *sigh*

2.  Plant placement:  What better way to liven up a space than with plants?  I visited a local nursery and brought home a Dracaena ‘Janet Craig.’  Low-maintenance, air-purifying, and health-promoting, I am loving it, and I look forward to adding more greenery to my mix.

3.  Bring on the bedding:  Knowing that I would be spending a lot of time in bed, I felt that it was important to make mine as comfortable and inviting as possible.  I managed to keep things budget-friendly by doing a “spruce-up,” as opposed to an “extreme bed makeover.”  I bought this sheet set in Midnight/Ivory during a sale at West Elm.  Yesssss!  Then, I found a Peacock Alley coverlet set at Tuesday Morning.  Score!  Finally, I purchased a duvet set at Home Goods, which had all of the right colors to tie my master bedroom together.  Gotta love it when that happens!

4.  Clear out the clutter:  I believe that clutter to the eye is clutter to the mind.  So, I purged and organized my space before surgery because I knew that I wouldn’t have the energy to do it afterwards.  I’m so glad that I did because I am enjoying my space that much more.  For me, a clutter-free, organized space produces a calming effect.  Ahhh…

5.  Let there be light:  I sleep next to a large window in my bedroom.  Everyday, I open my shutters to let in sunlight and to enjoy my backyard view.  It’s so simple, and it [literally] brightens my day!

6.  Soothing sounds:  I have surround sound speakers in my master bedroom.  So, I asked my family to play smooth jazz, classical, and relaxation music for me to enjoy.  One of my favorite Internet radio stations is Calm Radio Om.  Sooo nice!

How do you create a healing oasis at home?

 

 

The Herbalist

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Sooo…how does someone who chooses to live life off the beaten path navigate one of the most commercialized days of the year?

Well, I can’t speak for everyone; but I started my quest to “enhance the romance” early this year with a trip to The Herbalist.

Located just a few minutes away from U-Village in Seattle, I found this holistic slice of heaven…

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When you walk in, the aromatherapy welcomes you. The interior is clean, contemporary, bright, and organized. I could have set up a cot in the back and moved in…

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Oils, flower essences, and herbs…OH MY!!!

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They always have a “tea of the day” for customers to try. I tried the Aphrodi-Tea.  Delicious!

So many goodies, so little time. *sigh*

They had a special display in the front of the store, specifically geared towards Valentine’s Day. And this, my friends, is where I went in for the kill…

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BAM!!!  Unrepentant Rose Soap, a box of the Aphrodi-Tea, the Sacred Union flower essence, and Rose Hydrosol came home with me. I could have acted a fool in there, but I managed to control myself.

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The owner, Tierney Salter, and her employees are so helpful and knowledgeable about their products. I will definitely return. Until then, I am glad that they take orders and ship.

If you’re in Seattle, check out The Herbalist. Or place an order and have them ship it to you. However you choose to do it, just do it!

Here’s to your holistic health, and have a great weekend!

World Breastfeeding Week 2013

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme is “Breastfeeding Support:  Close to Mothers,” with an emphasis on breastfeeding peer counseling.  As a mom, who nursed two children for a combined total of 4 years, I am so grateful for the support and encouragement that I received from holistic practitioners, mommy-friends, and family.  Here are 4 things that helped me to have a successful, long-term nursing relationship with my little ones:

1.  La Leche League International (LLLI):  I attended my local chapter meetings one month before my daughter’s birth, which helped tremendously.  I met other moms in the group, and learned what to expect postpartum.  These ladies stood by me when a conventional pediatrician called my little girl “failing to thrive,” and insisted that I supplement with formula (Who says that to a new mom?!?!).  They also referred me to our naturopathic pediatrician, who we LOVE.

2.  Lactation Consultant (LC):  After my daughter’s birth, a friend of mine from LLLI referred me to a lactation consultant.  The LC helped me to breastfeed successfully while dealing with sore nipples and thrush.  After home birthing my son, I paid my LC for a home visit to make sure that we got off to a great start.  In both cases, her wisdom was invaluable.

3.  Breastfeeding Support Group:  During my phone consultation, my LC invited me to join her breastfeeding support group.  The group met weekly to discuss nursing-related topics, and to help meet individual needs.  I also picked up some useful baby accessories from one of the mompreneurs. The information and camaraderie were just what I needed.

4.  Tools:  My Brest Friend, Bebe Au Lait’s Hooter Hider, and the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump were among my favorite items; and I would recommend them to any nursing mom without hesitation.

For more breastfeeding resources and information, check here and here.

 

 

 

Back-To-School

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School is in session; and, this week, we are adjusting to a new environment (in my son’s case), new teachers, and new routines.  So far, we’re off to a great start.  In an effort to make our back-to-school routine more eco-friendly, here are two items that I purchased for my children:

1.  Eco-friendly water bottles:  I picked up two Kid Basix Safe Sporters in the 16oz size at my local Whole Foods Market.  The mud cap is a great protective feature for the sport top.  Also, I LOVE the wide mouth, which makes it easy to add ice cubes.  And the sleeve helps the kids to “get a grip.”  These bottles come in fun colors that I easily coordinated with their lunchboxes and backpacks.  Yep, I’m OCD like that.

The Safe Sporter 16oz in Marigold and Sea Green.

2.  Reusable sandwich and snack bags:  Earlier this year, I ordered the Reuseit Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bags in two 3-piece sets (1 sandwich bag and 2 snack bags).  This week is our first time using them, due to my anxiety about the kids accidentally throwing them away.  A quick training session took care of that, as we wean ourselves off of plastic bags.  Again, I gave each child the set that best coordinated with their lunch box (I know, I know…).  Remembering to clean and dry them after school keeps me on my toes, that’s for sure.  Overall, I’m thrilled to have found this alternative.  Reuseit has great products, and helpful customer reviews to boot!

Reuseit Reusable Sandwich Bags in Black and Blue.

What are your favorite eco-friendly back-to-school products?

Cuckoo For Coconut!

I. have. a. problem.  (Admission is the first step…RIGHT?!?!)

I love all things coconut, and I don’t see an end to my obsession.  Some of the benefits of this tropical treat include:  fiber, vitamins, minerals, as well as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and other healing properties.

Here are 5 of my favorite coconut products:

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1.  Everyday Coconut Super Hydrating Body Wash by Alaffia:  I have a bottle in every shower at my house.  I use it as a shampoo, face and body wash.  Check it out in your Whole Foods HABA Department!

2.  So Delicious Coconut Milk Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert:  So many flavors, so little time.  These frozen treats are great by themselves, or as an accompaniment to cake, cookies, or pie.  You can find this line in the frozen section at Whole Foods, natural food stores, and some supermarkets.

3.  Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:  This is a staple in my pantry, and I ration it out for food and cosmetic use.  Specifically, I use it for baking, stir frying, and moisturizing from head to toe.  Costco carries this “supa-sized” 78oz container.

4.  Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut Chips:  Crispy and sweet, these are great for snacking, right outta the bag.  However, I specifically buy them to sprinkle on top of my chia seed pudding.  You COULD roast your own; but if you don’t have time, then TJ’s has you covered.

5.  Zico Pure Premium Coconut Water:  You can find this at natural food stores and supermarkets.  I drink it straight, or add a splash to a glass of water with fruit pieces.  I also use it as a base for my fruit smoothies.  It’s so hydrating!

One of the best ways to enjoy coconut is to crack open a fresh one, insert a straw, and drink the water.  Afterwards, you can scoop out the meat with a spoon and enjoy.  If you don’t want to DIY, then you can try your local Whole Foods Market.  There you can find fresh coconuts in the produce department, already cut, and ready to consume.  Stay nourished, my friends!

 

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