Beauty Heroes is offering up some awesome one-time deals here! These are past discoveries that will be available for one time purchase (no membership required). You can grab these until Monday 5/27 or until supplies run out. I personally recommend:
And be sure to check out the rest of the Memorial Day sales here!
New legislation in California will be the first of its kind to require disclosure of fragrances and flavors in cosmetic products. California knows WHAT’S UP! If you live in California, you can help get this law passed by calling your legislators and let them know you are in support!
A tiny tiny bit of my going gray story is included in this new book by Ronnie Citron-Fink – More about my Going Gray story here!
Um, Lesser Evil’s new egg white curls!? YESSSSSS! Can’t wait to try these. They come by the case BTW. Perfect.
Currently obsessed with the OGEE Sculpted Lip Crayons – Gardina is my everything!
The best way to treat Keratosis Pilaris (what some people call chicken skin) and it’s not just exfoliation!
What might arguably be the most effective Hyaluronic Acid (charged with drawing in and retaining moisture to the skin)…wear this under your moisturizer for ultra hydration PLUS this one repairs, renews and protects – and it smells incredible.
Have you guys tried LILFOX’s Jungle Glow? It’s a honey-based enzyme mask/cleanser all-in-one and one of my all time faves. As of TODAY! Get a 50 ml Jungle Glow gift with any LILFOX purchase $65 + here! Use code JUNGLE
Target debuts Verse on 5/19/19. Target is calling Verse a nontoxic skincare line where every single one of their products (19 products total) costs under $20. I couldn’t find any deets on ingredients yet but I’ll keep you posted!
If you are still mourning Noxzema pads since switching over to clean beauty – the new Odacité Cleansing Water is right up your ally! A “no rinse cleanser” that will have you feeling fresh in minutes. Code THISORGANICGIRL10 will save you.
Did anyone other than Bostonians vote in this survey?
If you’ve been thinking of signing up for Beauty Heroes – this is the month to do it! Sign up before 5/20 and you will start with over $250 worth of Ayuna followed up by another heavy hitting clean beauty brand next month. This subscription is about $43/month with a 3 month min. It’s one of my faves!
Giving away a Berkey water filter on my Instagram. No big deal. Just the best water filter money can buy. It can even filter stagnant pond water!
“Consumers may not know it, but they do have the power to improve the conditions of the people who grow their food. Armed with awareness, the modern shopper can play a major role in helping to ensure organic food starts to actually mean “healthy” for everyone.”
I was hosting an event the other night with Dr. Sarah from OSMIA and someone asked, What would you recommend for a body oil, something I can pick up from the grocery store? I immediately jumped to jojoba oil. Dr. Sarah (master formulator of body oils) agreed with jojoba and raised me one recommending sunflower oil as another great option.
I love this question because if you are a purest at heart and on a budget, this is a great way to save. Oils like jojoba oil and sunflower oil are often used as primary components in our natural skincare. So by buying and using these oils straight up, we are getting their active benefits without paying for all the additives. More budget recommendations here!
Each oil brings something special
Each oil brings its own properties and benefits to the body. For example…
Olive Oil is excellent as a skin + hair cleanser and moisturizer and it also has antibacterial properties (5). This is probably why you see components of it in the OSEA Malibu Ocean Cleanser – one of my all time favorite cleansers.
Coconut Oil is traditionally used as an emollient to improve skin hydration and to strengthen hair. This is why you will see a lot of hair masks formulated with coconut oil like Innersense’s Hydrating Hair Masque for example. Coconut oil has also been proven in clinical studies to improve dryness, roughness, scaling and itching (1). This is probably why you will see it in formulas like One Love Organics’ Skin Savior Multi-Tasking Wonder Balm. Plus it has antimicrobial properties and works to reduce the colonization of Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) on skin (1).
Jojoba Oil has anti-inflammatory properties and is therefore great for inflamed, irritated and acne-prone skin (1). And as far as application goes, it doesn’t leave skin feeling greasy AT ALL. The non-greasy factor is really the main reason I love when brands formulate with jojoba because I don’t want to walk around feeling like Slick Rick. Can I get an amen!?
Jump to the bottom of this post to see some clean beauty products that formulate with jojoba oil.
What is Jojoba Oil?
First of all let’s clear the air. It’s HO-HO-BA or HA-HO-BA ya’ll. Don’t be out there saying JA-JO-BA unless you are also ordering KAY-SA-DILLAS instead of quesadillas and blackened SAL-MAN FAJ-ETAS instead of salmon fajitas.
Jojoba oil is produced from the seed of an evergreen shrub called the jojoba plant which is native to the desert regions of Mexico, southwest United States, the Middle East and Argentina (5). And its seed contains 50-60% pure oil (1).
Native Americans near the border of Arizona and Mexico were the first to use jojoba. They knew the plant by hohowi, which in Spanish became “jojoba.” Indigenous people used jojoba as medicine and also in food – similar to how olive oil was used in Europe. And they attributed mystical powers to it claiming jojoba oil could alleviate a host of ailments and cure cuts, scratches and open sores (5).
And how about this. Jojoba is actually not an oil at all. Chemically speaking it’s 97% liquid wax – although you may see it named as either an “oil” or a “wax” on an ingredient label. In fact, there are actually two INCI names for jojoba but they can be used interchangeably as The CosIng Database does not provide a detailed difference in composition between the two ingredients (1). They will look like either of these:
And in case you were wondering, the CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) Expert Panel concludes both jojoba wax and jojoba oil are both safe to be used as cosmetic ingredients (2). If you are accustom to looking at the EWG Skin Deep Database to determine ingredient safety you will see the EWG uses the CIR’s recommendations/data to set EWG toxicity scores. Jojoba oil rates a 1 on EWG.
Benefits of Jojoba Oil
When you list them together, the benefits of using jojoba oil are pretty impressive and it’s easy to understand why jojoba oil is such a popular cosmetic ingredient.
To get technical, it’s loaded with fatty acids (linoleic, oleic, arachidic, 11-eicosenoic and palmitic acids). Fatty acid plays an essential role in the cosmetic industry as emollients, texture enhancers and as a cleansing agent. Deficiency of fatty acids can cause severe damage to the skin. Fatty acids serve as cosmetic base and prevent water loss from the skin, mainly by making a protective layer of the epidermis (4).
Along with delivering a cornucopia of fatty acids, here’s how all the benefits shake out…
Especially useful for moisture control, protection and emolliency (softening and smoothing) (3).
It has a long shelf life because it does not oxidize, become rancid or breakdown under high temps or pressures (3).
Improves skin’s elasticity and alleviates dryness (5).
Unclogs pores and lifts impurities from the skin (5).
It’s biomimetic meaning jojoba’s chemical composition is similar to sebum which is secreted by human sebaceous glands to lubricate and protect skin and hair (3).
Nontoxic and hypoallergenic (3).
It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-degenerative properties (5).
How to buy and incorporate Jojoba Oil
When you start checking out ingredient labels you will see jojoba used in almost everything including shampoos (oil dissolves oil so it can be highly effective as a cleanser), conditioners, lotions, cuticle and nail care, baby lotions, lip care, facial cleansers, moisturizers, bath oils, soaps, sunscreens lotions, makeup products and perfumes.
If you are buying jojoba from the store, look for one that is 100% organic (free from GMOs and harmful insecticides), cold-pressed and unrefined (which ensures the oil doesn’t lose any of its beneficial properties), and 100% pure (not cut or mixed with another low quality oil). Unrefined jojoba oil is a clear golden liquid with a faint nutty odor.
Jojoba oil is sustainable
In general, jojoba oil is considered a sustainable resource. It naturally grows in the desert and requires very little water compared to other high-water consuming crops like olive, almond and more. Vantage is a major jojoba oil supplier here in the United States sourcing their jojoba domestically from the Sonora Desert region in the US. Sourcing local means a resource does not need to be shipped from across the globe before it reaches your beauty cabinet.
Vantage jojoba oil is the jojoba oil you will see listed in the clean beauty products below from One Love Organics, Grace + Tonic, OGEE and more. Vantage owns every step of their jojoba supply chain from harvest to extraction and they follow sustainable practices from seed to bottle. Vantage supplies organic jojoba oil and they close the loop by using the remnants to fertilize soil or be used as compost.
Clean beauty products that formulate with Jojoba Oil
If you are pumped about jojoba oil and want to get in on the action, here are a few places to start.
OGEE Sculpted Lip Oil
The OGEE Sculpted Lip Oils are insanity. Formulated with jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil and castor oil – they are super moisturizing and won’t dry out lips. It’s like a color infused conditioner and I can’t get enough.
This formula comes in SEVERAL shades but my all time fave is Gardenia. It’s a peachy nude that looks stunning on my olive toned skin (shown above). Understated but polished. Apply a little for a hint of color or build it up to really make lips pop.
And there’s more! The Sculpted Lip Oils are actually formulated with a touch of peppermint oil too so they even taste good. Check out more of my favorite lip balms here!
One Love Organics Vitamin C Facial Serum
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.Vitamin C is crucial to all skincare routines! You will sometimes see it listed on an ingredient label by its INCI: ascorbic acid. Or you may identify it by it’s derivatives: ascorbyl palmitate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (1).
Why do we need vitamin c in our skincare? On the daily, exposing skin to ultraviolet radiation causes oxidative stress. This can lead to the degradation of collagen, the formation of inflammatory factors and more. The skin defends itself against the effects of oxidative stress by using antioxidants. These neutralize or prevent the harmful effects of oxygen and other free radicals (1).
Ascorbic acid (vitamin c) is an antioxidant found naturally in our skin. When we apply it to our skin topically, it:
Jojoba oil is one of the most popular carrier oils for aromatherapy products. It’s nourishing for the skin and hair, resistant to rancidification and can help extend the shelf life of costly essential oils (5) which is most likely why we see it as a base in EO’s Love & Flowers Essential Oil Perfume.
This fragrance is a match made in heaven for all the sandalwood lovers out there; woodsy, earthy and mellow.
Grace + Tonic Moisture Cream and Eye Serum
Grace + Tonic’s Moisture Cream and Eye Serum are also formulated with jojoba oil. I discovered this line earlier this year which can exclusively be found at Target. It’s clean, luxe, packaged in glass and a step in the right direction for Target who is making really good skincare available to the masses. In fact The Zoe Report names Grace + Tonic one of the Drugstore Skincare Launches you need in your life in 2019.
Grace + Tonic currently has three products: Moisture Cream, Eye Serum and Cleansing Mud. And you can actually try samples of the entire line in their Discovery Set that goes for $29.99 at, you guessed it; Target.
What about you? Do you have any products you love that are formulated with jojoba oil?
1.Janeš, D. and Kočevar Glavač, N. (Ed). (2018) Modern Cosmetics Ingredients of Natural Origin, A Scientific View. Velenje: Širimo dobro besedo, d.o.o.
2. Winter, R. (2009). A Consumer’s Dictionary Of Cosmetic Ingredients. New York: Three Rivers Press
I love following this blog online called Space and Pause – This girl Andrea lives a “zero waste” lifestyle and she can fit all of her family’s landfill trash for the month into a small glass mason jar. She brings containers to the butcher, has an active compost and keeps her purchases to a minimum. It’s pretty exceptional and I aspire to be her!
It would be great if we all lived that way BUT that is some AP, senior level green living right there. And success always starts with a step in the right direction. So today I’m bringing it in and talking to those of us who want to take the first step toward living greener but don’t necessarily know where to start.
Photo by Monkey & Squirrel
Living responsibly can seem so overwhelming. There’s SO MUCH we can do, it’s hard to know where to start. Today I’ve rounded up 10 simple actions that have the potential to deliver a big impact on our planet and our health.
That’s right. I’m talking about you still doing you but with a few tweaks and substitutions – you will barley notice the difference in terms of convenience yet you will be on the road to better health and reducing waste. Plus these tweaks are cost effective, inexpensive and some even save you money!
#1 Don’t microwave plastics
Heating plastics causes chemical plasticizers to leach into our food increasing the food’s toxicity. Avoid heating plastic baby bottles, single serving cups of macaroni and cheese or noodles, Tupperware, food on plastic/paper plates, frozen dinners etc. Instead transfer food to a dinner plate or a glass container like a Pyrex or mason jar, before heating and serving.
Bisphenol-A-diglycidyl (BADGE) is a cold-cure adhesion used in plastic packaging and many plastic bottles. This is a toxic chemical for human consumption and was shown in a study published in Food Additive and Contaminants in 1995 to release small amounts of BADGE into food during microwaving. Benzophenone is a component of ink on printed paperboard. This toxic chemical has been shown to migrate from the packaging into the food. PVC plastic films have been found to release plasticizers into the food when microwaved according to a study done in 1996. – Building A Healthy Child, Melina Roberts, N.D.
#2 Use a reusable water bottle
The days of buying plastic bottled water need to come to an end. Not only are they junking up our oceans and landfills but plastic toxins are leaching into our water making it unsafe to drink. In addition most big brand bottled water is filled with good ol’ tap water. Yep, you heard that right. There are very few companies that are actually delivering true spring water – more here.
A simple workaround is to invest in a reusable water bottle and use it. I like a stainless steal or a glass one. Klean Kanteen has one that is totally plastic free. I have the one shown below and I LOVE it. If you are on the go all day you can make fill-ups at pretty much any fast food restaurant or grocery. And while you’re at it – try a reusable/travel coffee tumbler as well!
Klean Kanteen 27oz plastic-free reusable water bottle
#3 Stop your junk mail
Seems like there is no real easy way to do this so my solution is baby steps. Every time you get a catalogue or flyer in the mail, call that company to get taken off their mailing list. Even doing one call a week will make progress. Here are some online services I looked into that may or may not be worth trying – some are better than others.
41pounds.org – Will call companies on your behalf and reduce your junk mail by 80-95% for a 35.00 fee for 5 years.
DMAChoice.org – This one is easy to do and removes your name from lists companies use to find NEW subscribers for magazine offers, catalogue mailings and other mailings. It does not stop current mailings.
optoutprescreen.com – Will opt you out of rogue credit offers but I didn’t go through with it because it asked for my social security number.
Also consider reading the paper, your fave magazines and opting to pay bills online in lieu of getting paper delivered.
#4 Bring your own grocery bags
More than one billion single-use plastic bags are handed to consumers each day in the US and it takes a 15-year-old tree to produce just 700 paper grocery bags (source). I get a lot of my reusable grocery bags free from event swag and I keep a hodgepodge of them in my trunk so I always have them on hand.
If you are looking to buy some – my favorite one that I own is an insulated one from Whole Foods. They sell them in store for 5.00 each. Bringing your own bags not only reduces waste but they wont rip or break, you don’t have to double bag them and you can fit more groceries in each one = less trips bringing groceries in. Plus some stores give you money back if you BYOB. Whole Foods gives .15 which means in about 8 months the bag pays for itself and you start actually saving on groceries with out doing much! Plus you made no trash! A win win all around.
#5 Ditch the dryer sheets
Dryer sheets are filled with toxic chemicals that make their way into our clothes and homes. A simple solution is to stop buying and using dryer sheets – how easy is that!?
These chemicals include Alpha-Terpineol which causes central nervous system disorders, depression and headaches; Campor which is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and causes dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions; Chloroform which is neurotoxic and carcinogenic….and that’s not to mention Benzyl Alcohol, Ethyl Acetate, Linalool, Pentane….and the list goes on. Living Healthy blog did a good job of breaking it down you can check it out here. I ended up making my own dryer balls which is a fun, safe and cheaper alternative or I sometimes dry using nothing. I followed the Seasoned Homemaker tutorial to help guide me – try it!
D.I.Y. dryer balls
#6 Mason jars
Use these instead of plasticware to store and freeze food. Again – just say no to plastics. Mason jars come in a ton of different sizes to accommodate whatever you need to store. I have tiny ones for left over dressings and even a gallon size for when I make a stock. I love the 16oz size for storing chili, soups, noodles or salads because it makes it so easy to grab and take for work lunches or dinners. A simple and cheap alternative to storing in plastic. You can buy a case for around 10.00-15.00. (I just picked up another case at Whole Foods for 11.00 on sale).
For the days when I grab a smoothie on the run or I stop and pick up lunch on the go – I love carrying a set of utensils and a reusable straw in my bag. In the US we use 500 million straws A DAY! That is enough straw waste to wrap the circumference of the earth 2.5 times or to fill Yankee Stadium over 9 times in a year. And that’s only the US! (source).
Something as simple as reaching into your own bag and using your own reusable straw or your own reusable fork can make a HUGE impact on our planet.
I like these glass straws by Hummingbird that come with a lifetime guarantee. If it breaks, they will replace it for free! If you like this idea and want to take it to the next level, considering bringing your own to-go containers to restaurants or insulated reusable tumblers for smoothies….or ice cream frappes.
Also, Beauty Heroes is currently offering a super cute set via the Living Lighter Lifestyle Discovery – you can opt to grab these two items only. You don’t have to opt-in for the full discovery. Have it, love it!
#8 Read labels
I’m talking food, personal care and cleaning product labels. There is a ton of crap going into our food and into the products we use. For example, preservatives in our foods like BHT that affect the neurological system of your brain, alter behavior and have the potential to cause cancer (source).
Or the toxic chemicals in your hair color, body washes, cleansers, makeup, detergents and toothpastes which has shown links to irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, possible mutation and cancer.
We are being exposed to hundreds of toxins daily though or toothpaste, soap, cereal and hamburgers and it’s the gradual cumulative effects of long-term exposure that are the real concern. Read labels, Google ingredients, know what you are putting on your body and make healthier decisions. If you want a place to start, I have a list of products I love and use daily here. And I also have a list of clean pantry staples here and here.
And here are some additional resources I use often:
EWG.org has a Skin Deep Database and is a good place to start when looking up personal care products, makeup and ingredients.
#9 Stop buying and using anything with “fragrance” listed as an ingredient
I’m talking car fresheners, candles, air fresheners, plug-ins and room and furniture sprays. This applies to personal care products too like lotions, perfumes, shampoos as well as cleaning supplies like laundry soap or cleaning sprays but lets take this one step at a time and focus on air fresheners. Not only does this tip save you money but it saves your health too.
Although companies are required by law to disclose all ingredients in a product per the Fair Trade and Packaging Act – they can not be forced to disclose “trade secrets” which includes fragrance materials. The word “fragrance” on a label can house complex mixtures of up to thousands of materials. Studies show these chemicals may be linked to a variety of health problems including allergies, skin reactions, endocrine/hormone disruption and possibly even birth defects (source).
#10 Filter your water
Ditch the bottled waters or plastic water dispenser. Real spring water is best. You can try searching for a local spring here but if nothing pops up in your area; filter your tap…and your shower.
Chlorine is often added to city water as a disinfectant. Unfortunately as if chlorine wasn’t bad enough, it reacts with the organic matter in our water forming toxic compounds called THMs – known carcinogens. These chemicals vaporize in the hot shower so they are not only absorbed into your skin but you are also breathing them giving them direct access to your blood stream. Several studies link these chemicals to cancer, birth defects, respiratory issues, impacts on the immune system, gut heath and more. Study. THM Fact Sheet.
In addition, we have to consider lead, fluoride and the other hundreds of chemicals in U.S. tap water. If you want to get woke, pop your zip code into this database which will tell you everything detected in your local municipal water. Filtering your water is a simple step you can take to better your health without much change in lifestyle.
If you are interested in seeing where a lot of our plastic waste is landing, check out this video on The Pacific Trash Vortex.
Just a quick note on plastics. There are essentially two types of plastics; ones that can be recycled and ones that can’t. Ones that can’t are obviously not preferred because they are used one time an then sit in our landfills or oceans and do not break down.
Recycled plastics on the other hand are used once and then recycled into clothes or textiles BUT once those clothes or textiles are disposed of they then sit in our landfills and oceans and still do not breakdown. We can get rid of these plastics by stopping the demand. We stop the demand by refusing to buy and use single use water bottles, plastic straws, utensils, to-go containers…etc.
Of course there are a million ways to live a greener life. These ones that I’ve highlighted today are simple, doable, affordable, they don’t require much effort yet they are capable of making a huge impact.
Ditch the Dove and go with this Castile soap which is also fragrance free and formulated with natural, minimal ingredients.
Instead of EltaMD UV Clear Sunscreen grab this which also lightweight and is easy to layer makeup over.
Um, heeeeeck no to La Proche-Posay! Oxybenzone!? If you need a clean beach day SPF for your face, look no further than this.
NO. If moisture retention is the goal, there is nothing better than this cream that can be worn both day and night. But for something on Amazon, I would recommend this which is also moisturizing and versatile.
This Glytone Rejuvenating Mask LITERALLY has parabens in it. For a clean and effective swap, the new Maya Chia The Refresh Mint also relies on acids for resurfacing and totally takes the cake. But for something on Amazon, this is a clean option.
May is about grounding all of the recent “a-ha’s” (or high frequency downloads) into our bodies and the Earth. Taurus season is through the 21st and you might have felt as we slid into it over the last week or so with lethargy, slowness or an inner voice of idonwanna…yes? It might have felt as if you came to a screeching halt in some aspects of your life.
This is only an illusion.
Aries is fire. The beginning. The spark of creation. And if you read my report for April, we had quite a bit going on.
Taurus is Earth, physical, sensate, slower AND if you calibrate to the energy, you’ll find there is much happening under the surface. What seems slow at first is actually determination, cultivation of value and steady progress towards goals. It’s what has been percolating these last few months for you and is ready to be fleshed out into form.
Moving from fire to earth can feel abrupt.
If you notice an inner restlessness, agitation, or “boredom” with your life circumstance, shift perspective and settle in a bit. Take three deep breaths and LEAN IN to the feeling. Where do you feel it in your body? Can you breathe with the sensation? Instead of moving really quickly away or through, can you hang out in it until it passes? Emotion is simply energy in motion. When we resist it or grasp to figure out why it is here, we hold the energy trapped in our bodies. When we stay with the process and allow it to move through, many times profound awareness comes afterwards.
May IS a slower month than we’ve had in awhile though there’s still plenty to talk about…
At the end of April, Saturn went retrograde (planet of karmic responsibility + the inner guru), meeting Pluto (planet of subconscious) + Jupiter (planet of larger than life processes + deep wisdom). These together are supporting us (through Aug, Sep + Oct of this year) in reflecting on our power complexes. This is the inner power vs. outer power where we give our power away and the responsibility we take for our own lives. It’s where we step into leadership in our lives and in the world.
Taurus new moon was last Saturday 5/4/19; a rich and fertile space for planting seeds deep into the Earth. What signifies foundation for you and where do you vision yourself in the coming year(s)?
The Pluto/ Saturn conjunction that will be direct in the beginning of Jan 2020 and around until December 2020 is affecting some aspect of your life… you will find (or have found) yourself tearing down old scaffolding and rebuilding new strong solid foundations. It can be intense work as it’s linked to your karma… something that you came here to clear, to learn, to evolve beyond. With this comes much shadow work. This is the unearthing of our individual and collective shadows and bringing them into the light or acknowledging and accepting/integrating them.
This is deep work that most likely has been or will be unsettling. Making inner adjustments, one at a time as new information comes in is the best way to handle it. Patience, trust, placing one foot in front of the other, breathing, noticing your body and listening to it’s wisdom, sensate awareness are all in support of this looooooong transformation.
MAY PLANETARY EVENTS(to better understand the astrology, download my free toolkits here).
5/4 – New moon in Taurus
5/6 – Mercury enters Taurus
5/7 – Venus square Saturn
5/8- Mercury conjunct Uranus in Taurus
5/15 – Venus enters Taurus
5/16 – Mars enters Cancer
5/18 – Scorpio full moon / Venus conjunct Uranus
5/21 – Sun enters Gemini / Mercury enters Gemini
5/30 – Mercury square Neptune
5/31 – Mercury opposes Jupiter
6/3 – New moon in Gemini
Mercury, Venus + Uranus will all be be in Taurus this month. Mercury likes to move fast while Taurus is a bit slower. TRUST that if an idea comes, you can do a quick trial run, putting the concepts into place without having to flesh every detail out just yet. Use the feedback from the universe to adjust and refine. Venus LOVES to be in Taurus. Venus in Taurus will reveal what you value, what you hold close to your heart which it might surprise you.
And at the end of the month, Mercury moves into Gemini (conjunct the sun). Mercury LOVES to be in Gemini and will support you in speaking from your newly revealed heart values.
TIME FRAMES TO WORK WITH
5/2 – 5/7: Breathe and get back to body based practices, slow down a bit + pick up any of the lost pieces from moving so quickly. This week, make plenty of time for nourishing self care, play and setting intentions that bring you joy.
5/8 – 5/14: Be open to clarity and inner direction. Use these few days to sift and sort through the ideas or “a-has” from the last few months. Write down all of them and speak aloud the ones that hold the most energy for you to see if they resonate. The voice is a great way to see if we are on the right track and in alignment with our truth.
5/15 – 5/16: As understanding dawns around what you value, you will find the impetus to act and move beyond your comfort zone; to cultivate more of it in your life. Allow yourself to vision, dream, follow your inspiration and complete tasks that bring you closer to your desires.
5/17 – 5/20: Stepping into personal power comes with great responsibility. Whatever we focus on grows. Simply notice where you’re still hiding from your own strength or running old programming. Set the intention to release that which does not serve. Choose carefully how and where you direct your energy moving forward. The full moon can bring some emotional intensity. Use the practice above to work with your emotions as they arise.
5/21 – 5/31: Allow for more beauty into your life and experience through your senses….fresh flowers, a hot bath, time in nature, a massage. List out the things you are grateful for. Once you feel grounded and alive in your body, use the buzz to focus on new projects. Reach out to those you want to have conversations with and share your ideas with them. Collaborate, connect, communicate in all ways.
6/1 -6/7: Continue to be social, yet spend more time listening and receiving new perspective without the need to think about your response. Practice healthy boundaries and if appropriate, process and express your feelings with others. Let the people in your life know that you love and appreciate them. Honor your intuition this week and listen to your gut.
What is your relationship with your body? In what ways do you listen (not listen) to it? In what ways do you feel the most connected with it?
What are your top 5 values?
Do you keep finding yourself in similar uncomfortable situations or relationships? If so, what are these repeating patterns showing you? What are you learning from them?
Do you find time in your life to laugh and play? If not, why? Add 3 things this month that bring you joy.
12. 20% off your entire order at Pharmaca with code WELLNESS20 – they have a ton of clean beauty!
Maya Chia’s The Refresh Mint
13. Can’t get enough of the new Maya Chia mask: The Refresh Mint. Four different types of acids as well as enzymes and hydrators work together to resurface, brighten and moisturize. I love how you can really feel it working plus you can use this as a spot treatment too. Not only that, it dries down matte so you CAN totally wear it as an overnight mask without it rubbing off. Incredible.
I don’t have any social media and just look at your IG once in awhile. I read your blog regularly though and I want to say thank you! I have wanted to go gray for years but had allowed myself to be talked out of it so many times. Your hair looks AMAZING au natural – so last week I went and got a punk rock pixie, threw all the hair dye away and am not looking back! I am already loving it. It’s such a feeling of liberation and self-empowerment.
Boxwalla – Boxwalla is a bi-monthly subscription. The next box will be the June box.
Clean Beauty Box – The CBB is also now a bi-monthly subscription. The next box will be the June box.
Beauty Heroes featuring Ayuna
May is delivering two full size Ayuna products. A $252 value for $42.95 with a three month initial commitment. Here’s what’s included…
VELO 6-in-1 Suprastratum Protection ($156) – Say hello to Ayuna’s latest innovation. On the surface this looks like a tinted moisturizer but like Clark Kent, take off the glasses and we see a Superman of protection that guards against daily aggressors including pollution, oxidation, dehydration, light (includes zinc and titanium dioxide), dryness and the proliferation of bad bacteria. This wears beautifully and is an active addition to anyone’s skincare routine. Although fantastic year round, this is especially great for the upcoming summer months. A GEM.
THE FACIAL (Low) ($96) – This is the closest thing you will get to a professional resurfacing treatment. Made with a series of alpha amino acids including glutamic and succinic acids to support the feeling of healthy skin cell turnover. The consistency here is a milky liquid. And you can layer this day or night under moisturizer for smoother, softer skin. This dries matte so you may find that you need more moisturizer than usual.
Okay like I mentioned Boxwalla does not have a box this month BUT they are offering a limited edition and it’s all about Sigil. This is a $180 value for $84.95 – no subscription required.
Sigil has been around for years but they are back and better than ever with a FULL branding redesign and fragrance reformulation.
Sigil now has four scents: Anima Mundi, Prima Materia, Solutio and Amor Fati. Now, let’s get right down to it. Many clean fragrances/perfumes tend to smell a little too much like essential oils to me but not Sigil 2.0. These fragrance blends are complex, sophisticated, layered and alive. You may even find these fragrances evolve as you wear them throughout the day as they react with your chemistry.
These wear as high end fragrances but guys read my lips: they are all natural formulated with: essential oils, absolutes, CO2 extracts and house made tinctures all blended in a certified organic sugarcane alcohol.
This is how this limited edition works:
Receive a flight of all four Sigil fragrance blends (a $50 value)
Test, try, wear and pick a fave.
Receive a full size of your fave sent directly from Sigil ($120 value)
I love this limited edition because it’s such an efficient way to try before committing. Fragrance is so personal and it can be hard to recommend online but I think you will find something you like here. And, you can rest easy knowing these formulas are truly clean.
I have two Sigil faves. First, Prima Materia. This is a play off of the Sigil OG Ground. It’s musky, smoky and sexy with a scent that goes straight to the belly. Formulated with Neroli, White Sage, Vetiver and Oakmoss, Prima Materia will draw you in and leave you wanting more. I love this on my husband and myself. I get asked a lot about cologne swaps for men – this is it ladies!
My other fave is Amor Fati which is on the other end of the fragrance spectrum IMO. It’s light, pretty and intriguing. Formulated with Bergamot, green pine needles, Palo Santo, and Resinous Galbanum. I love this as a daytime fragrance.
Welcome to the #betterforyoucrew series! I’ve teamed up with my girls Suzi, Kate, Caroline, Sarah, and Kristina to highlight green and effective food, beauty and lifestyle products that are rocking our natural worlds. This series will publish the last week of every month so check back for the latest. You can also search #betterforyoucrew on our blogs and Instagram to access the entire series. Wanna join in? Tag #betterforyoucrew on social with your picks. We want to see your faves, too!
When I started making intentional decisions about the food I was feeding my family, THINGS GOT REAL. Real hard. For us, this meant a lot less convenience items and a lot more cooking. At first this was time consuming because I had to look up recipes, double check cook times and re-read gadget directions. But now that I’ve had several years of practice, I’ve found some kitchen gadgets that really streamline cooking at home – especially when cooking healthy. Here they are..
So long nut bags. There’s a new girl in town and she goes by the name of Almond Cow.
The Almond Cow makes plant based milks in 30 SECONDS. Did I just blow your mind or what!? Gone are those devastating moments when you pour yourself a bowl of granola or are in the middle of making pancakes only to realize there is no milk. From now on, you will ALWAYS HAVE MILK!
Not only that, the Almond Cow also gives you full control over what goes into your milks. Most store bought plant-based milks have a lot of flavor and/or consistency enhancers like Organic Whole Foods Unsweetened Almond Milk:
But with Almond Cow you can literally make a milk that has just almonds and spring water ONLY. No added junk!
But the fun doesn’t stop there. You can make artisan milk blends or create milks that you can never find in the store. I’m talking macadamia, brazil nut, pumpkin seed, or almond/cashew/coconut. Or how about 100% nut free blends like oat/hemp/coconut/vanilla!?
Almond Cowrecommends soaking nuts for 4+ hours before blending but if you are making nut-free milks you can blend instantly and legit have a batch ready STAT. I do this all the time with oat milk. From the time you turn on the machine to the time your batch is done it’s 30 seconds.
And the best part? There is no messy clean up, no gunky nut bags, 10 containers or elusive cheese cloth. Just a couple of stainless parts that need a good rinse immediately after use. I love storing my milks in a cute container like this.
This became an essential for one reason and one reason only. Making RAW VEGGIE BREAD. Raw Veggie Bread literally tripped my veggie intake and changed the way we eat as a family overnight.
Raw Veggie Bread is essentially purred veggies, nuts and oils spread thin on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrated overnight for 10-12 hours. It’s gluten free, raw, nutrient dense and super healthy. My kids crush batches of raw onion bread like it’s going out of style and I just sit there like; Is this really happening!?
Raw Veggie Bread
You can sub raw veggie bread for bread, wraps, taco shells, burger buns, sandwich thins, pizza crust, crackers or just eat it straight up – it lasts on the counter, in the fridge and freezes good too. The one thing is, you can’t make it in the oven so you need a dehydrator. Here’s the scoop.
You can learn how to make Raw Veggie Bread by the one and only Deanna Mutzel here. She has been making veggie bread for YEARS and her book will have you pumping out RVB in no time. You really only have to watch the first 5 minute video and then you can jump into the 70+ recipes for breads, pizza crust, crackers, keto treats and more. She even has recipes for FERMENTED raw veggie bread too.
Oh, I also want to mention, there are basically two kinds of Excalibur 9 Trays. You can get less trays and spend less money but I love the 9 Tray because you can do several batches at the same time – and anyone who loves to save time knows that BATCH COOKING is where it’s at. Same effort, double the gain. Anyways…one has a timer and one doesn’t:
The savings here is about $100 if you opt for the model without the timer. I bought one without the timer to save money and then bought this external appliance timer so I can still let the batches run overnight or during the day without having to be home or wake up to shut it off in time.
Berkey Water Filter
When most Americans drink a glass of tap water, they’re also getting a dose of industrial or agricultural contaminants linked to cancer, brain and nervous system damage, developmental defects, fertility problems or hormone disruption (source). That’s why it’s super important to have access to clean drinking water.
As a family of four we have and LOVE the Royal Berkey water filter. Berkey is the queen bee of water filters removing the most junk from our tap out of any other water filter. This is taken from their website:
The Royal Berkey Water Filter removes viruses, pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces rust, silt, sediment, foul taste and odors and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove red food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance.
Click here to see a full list of the contaminates the Berkey removes.
With the Royal Berkey, we fill it up at night and that generally lasts us throughout the day.
Royal Berkey Water Filter
Set up was pretty easy although my husband had to fiddle with the assembly because our spicket was leaking but after taking tutelage from Youtube we got it up and running without too much trouble. Also, I don’t love that this takes counter space (and also, the Royal size won’t fit under most cabinets) so I ended up using a vintage salad stand to house ours in the corner of our kitchen. It works for us and it’s super cute.
Use filtered water to drink, cook, boil pasta, steam veggies, water plants, make coffee + tea! Berkey also has a smaller travel size filter that is great for road trips, camping and longer stays away. I’m thinking of getting a travel size one for our condo up north.
Nontoxic cookware. Also super important. Two great options are Xtrema which is 100% ceramic and a recent find of mine: MILO. MILO is cast iron coated in glass. And it’s not only practical but super cute too. It has that practicality and look of super fancy French cookware without the price tag.
Milo Dutch Oven
I talked with the owner a bit and this is what he had to say about MILO:
On being nontoxic: One thing that led us to choosing enameled cast iron as our weapon of choice in the kitchen is that the coating doesn’t wear down like a non-stick, or something of that sort. The enamel we use has been tested and engineered to last for generations, unlike other synthetic coatings you see on less premium cookware. So, we’re able to use our cookware in our kitchens on a daily basis cooking a wide variety of foods without concerns of the material breaking down or even worse leaching toxins, chemicals, etc.
Lots of traditional nonstick cookware has a chemical coating that works temporarily. They have a fixed count of “releases” where food can come off of it without sticking, and these coatings can come off over time onto food. In contrast, we use a glass coating around the cast iron, so it’s kind of the same as eating out of glass Tupperware.
On manufacturing in China: In our opinion, our factory makes some of the finest cookware in the world. They also have excellent working conditions. We tend to visit the factory about 2-3 times a year.
Before deciding on China, we visited factories in Italy, France, Portugal, Mexico, Turkey and the USA, and the one we use now stands out as one of the most overall impressive operations we’ve seen.
I went all in on this Kitchen Aid Pro after being fed up about not being able to pulverize frozen fruits and veggies in my Vitamix S30. I mean enough is enough. It’s a blender. It has one job to do. Just blend me a smoothie already!
Kitchen Aid Pro Line Blender
So after going straight to the top and opting for this BPA-free Kitchen Aid Pro blender, I have to say, I’ve never looked back. This blends ANYTHING and EVERYTHING and I have the smoothest, thickest smoothies on the block.
My only complaint is the barrel is super wide from top to bottom. You can see the canister is not tapered at the bottom which means it’s hard to blend small batches like if you were trying to grind 1/2 cup a coffee beans, it would struggle. Other than that, it’s gold.
An immersion blender is so simple yet so effective. For less than $40 you can have purred hot soups, gazpacho…get ultra smooth mashed potatoes and more – all with out dirtying another dish or pot.
Cuisinart Immersion Blender
You just prepare whatever you are cooking and then literally immerse this hand-held blender and watch the transformation happen. One of the best things I ever bought for my kitchen. And easy to clean too. This is the one I’ve had and loved for years.
More things I love…
Some more gadgets I love and use just about everyday:
Meat thermometer – Get ready to cook perfectly done meat for the rest of your life.
The crown jewel of pressure cookers. I’m talking boiled eggs in 3 minutes, pulled chicken in 15 minutes, raw beans to bean soup in less than an hour…plus it’s a yogurt maker, slow cooker, rice cooker and so much more!
A lemon juicer – Best $8 you’ll ever spend. I use this for my lemon water daily.
Micorplane – Once you have this you will never look back. Great for grating super fine ginger, turmeric, parmesan…
New Mini’s at Vapour! These multi use sticks (lip, cheeks and eyes) are the perfect size AND a great price. I love Spark and 24K Halo.
And to make sure you get to the bottom of your mini or any makeup tube – grab this!
How to make friends in your 40s. #1 Learn how to make one good casserole and one sugary treat. #2 Don’t fall for the hipsters. Yes, they are very cool with their tattoos and fedoras and Instagram-ready lives. But they aren’t your people anymore. #3 Go dancing: Pretend you’re young, have some shots of Jägermeister. Flirt. All friendships need some good stories—and secrets……more.
Sugar free, additive free, organically farmed, low in alcohol, lab tested, low sulfites, irrigation free, wild yeast only and virtually hangover free WINE! Someone needs to buy me these 3 rosés or 3 reds for Mother’s Day here – and by someone, I mean my husband.
30% off of the all-purpose cleaner I use for my entire house with code THANKSMAMA30 – It kills pretty much all germs but is safe enough to use on a pacifier. See my before and after pics here! *Code applies to Year Supply Bundles (Starter Kit + 50 extra Capsules).
Follain came out with their own line – cue the eco friendly confetti – and their Instant Glow Body Oil is sick!!!
Celebrate Mother’s Day with an unforgettable dinner at Atlas. Moms will be treated to a complimentary glass of bubbly, a single stemmed rose and are invited to enjoy a spectacular three-course prix fixe menu for $75 per person. Find out how to order natural wines at Atlas here! By the way, Atlas has an art installation featuring 30 pieces from esteemed artists including Foujita, Monet, Chagall, Modigliani and Soutine. It’s like a night out at the museum!