Category Archives: Green Living

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

 

 

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?

 

 

5 Green Things I Did During Earth Week 2014

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1. Livin’ la vida local:  I love supporting “mom and pop” establishments in my area. My car, body, and garden thanked me for it too!

2. Drink my greens:  I enjoyed a Skin Rejuvenator juice, along with a vegan strawberry scone, at the inimitable Pomegranate Cafe.  This mother-daughter-owned vegetarian eatery is one of my faves!  And dining al fresco was the perfect way to spend the day.

3. Say “gracias” with green: Why not honor the Earth by showing some love to those with whom we share it?  I made a deliberate effort to give cash tips to all of the service providers who worked hard to make my life a little easier.

4. Grow some greens: I’m really excited about my Spring garden, and spent some quality time planting, seeding, pruning, and nurturing. Best. Therapy. Ever. *sigh*

5.  Grab and go:  When I purchased this cute top and scarf from Anthropologie for my Spring/Summer wardrobe, I declined a shopping bag and hand-carried my items.  Every little bit helps…

Truth be told, every week should be Earth Week.  However you choose to celebrate it, be creative and have fun!

Take care and have a great weekend!

 

Clean Green

There is nothing like kicking back and relaxing in a clean house.  To that end, we often turn to products containing harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances.  Despite our efforts to “clean up our act” with more eco-friendly products, we can still subject ourselves to questionable ingredients.  Be sure to read those labels, folks!

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Here are 5 budget-friendly cleansers that can help you to clean green:

1.  Baking Soda:  Sodium bicarbonate is a mildly abrasive cleanser and deodorizer.  I sprinkle some on my kitchen counters and scrub them clean with a damp cloth.  Done and done!

2.  White Vinegar:  Incredibly popular, distilled white vinegar is a deodorizer, mildew and stain remover, and unclogging agent.  I use it in a spray bottle mixed with water, to clean our mirrors and windows.  Don’t like the smell of it?  Add some citrus to the mix!

3.  Club Soda:  Use this versatile cleaner to attack stains, clean stainless steel, do windows, and more!  I pour it directly into my kitchen sink, wipe it with a cloth, rinse it, then dry it.  Shine on a dime!

4.  Salt:  Whether it is used on it’s own, or with other substances, salt is mildly abrasive, deodorizing, and helps to remove stains.  I combine a little salt with some club soda to wipe down the inside of my refrigerator.  Ta-daaa!!!

5.  Lemon:  A natural cleaner, de-greaser, and disinfectant, lemons are the epitome of cleanliness.  I cut the peels into smaller pieces and run them down the garbage disposal.  So fresh and so clean!

What are your favorite green cleaners?

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?

Clean Getaway

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When my husband goes away on business, I hold it down at home until he returns.  Recently, I took a few trips of my own, sans children, and the tables were turned.  So, what happens when it’s Mom’s turn to travel?  Like many busy mothers, I tend to be more in-tune with the day-to-day operations and details of our household, so I plan ahead.  Here are some things that I do to make a clean getaway:

1.  Stock up on food, so that Dad doesn’t have to shop with active kids after a busy work week…YIKES!

2.  Batch cook 2 – 3 meals like pasta, casseroles, soups, and stews that they can heat and eat.  And don’t forget the cookies!

3.  Prepare school lunches in advance by pre-bagging the non-perishables for each day.

4.  Use disposable dishes and cutlery temporarily.  There are eco-friendly options like World Centric.

5.  Clean the house and laundry, so that everyone has clothes to wear and I don’t return to a dirty home.

6.  Run errands to the gas station, bank, dry cleaner, and post office to help eliminate the need for extra stops in my absence.

7.  Leave gardening instructions to maintain the fruits (and veggies) of my labor.

8.  Pre-select outfits for the kids, and hang them accordingly in the closet, to take the guesswork out of getting dressed.

9.  Plan the kids’ activities and entertainment, such as play dates, sports, and dining out with Dad.

10. Choose low maintenance hairstyles for the kids: a fresh haircut for my son, and simple braids/twists/ponytails for my daughter.

These suggestions are based on my experience in preparing for my recent travels.  My husband always appreciates my efforts to make his time at home with our kids go smoothly while I’m gone.  Whether it’s business-related, a girlfriend getaway, or a family matter, it helps to have a plan in place for your next trip.  Feel free to share your favorite tips for a clean getaway in the comments section.

Bon Voyage!

 

Spring Into Action!

Do you need to drink more water?  I do.  But our tap water is gross; and our reverse osmosis water is stripped of everything: bad contaminants and healthy minerals.  And I would rather not buy bottled water since it’s not eco-friendly, the sources are questionable, and it leaves a plastic aftertaste in my mouth.  Ugh…

Harding Spring

Harding Spring

For a healthy way to quench your thirst, what you COULD do is find a natural spring near you.  Find A Spring is a resource dedicated to helping people locate springs worldwide, many of which have been tried and tested by others.  Spring water is cleaner than drinking water, mineral-rich, tastes great, and…wait for it…FREE!  So take your jug, bottles, canteens, and go get some of this cool, refreshing, deliciousness.  Your body with thank you, and beg for more.

Me filling one of my Eastar BPA-Free 1-gallon jugs at Harding Spring.

Me filling one of my Eastar BPA-Free 1-gallon jugs at Harding Spring.

Personally, I go to Harding Spring near Sedona, AZ.  When my family retreats to this area for some R & R, we make collecting spring water a group activity.  It’s fun for all of us, and we savor every drop.  We always meet locals there, who have been collecting spring water for years.  If we lived closer, I’d be there EVERY. SINGLE. DAY…TRUST!  In the meantime, I add fruit pieces, fresh-squeezed citrus, or other supplements to our reverse osmosis water; and I look forward to checking out other springs during my upcoming travels.

Another view of me collecting Harding Spring water.

Another view of me collecting Harding Spring water.

Stay hydrated, my friends!

7 Tips For Earth Day 2013

April 22nd is Earth Day, and the party for our planet is already underway.  Here are some things that you COULD do to celebrate:

1.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Simplify and buy only what you need.   Carry reusable containers for groceries, meals, and beverages.  Think before you toss and take time to recycle, sell, and donate items that you no longer need.

2.  Think locally

Keep your events, activities, and errands close to home.  It’s a great way to boost your community’s economy and conserve energy.  Plus, it saves you time (and who doesn’t want more of that?).

3.  Carpool/Bike/Walk

Oftentimes, whether by choice or necessity, we endure gridlock on our roads and freeways.  Carpooling saves you money, reduces air pollution, and helps to cultivate relationships.  For shorter commutes and errands, you can get exercise and enjoy time outside by biking or walking to your destination.

4.  Plant

You could plant a tree, a vegetable garden, and/or flowers, which helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cleans pollution, secures soil in place to prevent erosion, and provides homes for various forms of life.  Plants can help to beautify our communities and our planet, as well as nourish our bodies.  Visit a local grower, community garden, or nursery, and get inspired to plant!

5.  Go natural

Finding natural solutions to clean your house is a great way to go green.  Water, white vinegar, and baking soda are inexpensive items that are used in green cleaning recipes.  It’s better for you, and better for the environment.

6.  Pick up trash 

This sounds so simple, yet there is evidence all around us indicating that we simply don’t do it.  I am often amazed and appalled at the things that get blown and tossed onto my yard.  Gather your family members, friends, and co-workers together and “git ‘er done!”

7.  Join the party

Check your local calendar for events and activities near you.  Make it a group effort or a family affair.  Have fun learning about how to help the environment, and meeting like-minded people.

Truth be told, every day should be Earth Day.  What are your tips for green living?

 

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