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This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!

When I first took an interest in green beauty one of the very first things I noticed was how crazy expensive some of it was! However, after three years of exclusively using natural beauty products I’ve found some of the most affordable green beauty products (without the crazy cost!)

Swap it Out! Affordable Green Beauty Products (That actually work!)

Pure Anada Mascara $14.00 CAD 

If you’re thinking about switching to natural mascara, this is the product you need to try first! I’ve tried my fair share of natural mascaras but nothing has performed as well as this one. Not only does it last throughout the day but it’s also no more than drugstore prices!

Tin Feather Lipstick $17.99 CAD

Soft, creamy and all-natural! This lipstick has beautiful colour and longevity. I own two shades, Vixen and Valerie. I also have swatches of both in this post.

Pure Anada Loose Mineral Glow Finishing Powder $12.00 CAD

This size is actually just a tester, but lasts a long time! If you want a nice glow to your look this finishing powder works wonders – see my post on getting the glow.

Avalon Organics Lavender Hand + Body Lotion $12.79 CAD

Looking to unwind after a long day? Treat yourself to a nice evening with Avalon Organics. The lavender scent is so relaxing and calming and this moisturizer really works! In fact, I even use this product in my own evening pamper routine.

W3ll People Brow Powder $16.00 CAD

Seems like a lot to spend for a brow powder, but this stuff LASTS. I bought it January 2017 and I’m nowhere near halfway through, so cost pre use is hella good. Oh, and if you’re wondering how a powder for your brows works – it does! I think the Jojoba Oil helps to keep it in place. This was one of my favourite green beauty products in 2017.

Burt’s Bees Blush $14.99 CAD

Burt’s Bees just released their makeup line in 2017 and it came with some hits and some total misses. Luckily the blush was a hit (in my opinion!)

Carina Organics Shampoo + Conditioner $13.99 CAD

Some of the best hair products I’ve tried that are all-natural. Not only do I love the sweet pea scent, but the peppermint is super refreshing as well!

Andalou Naturals Face Wash $18.49 CAD

Maybe on the pricey end of cleansers but Andalou Naturals has some fantastic skincare products. If you have super sensitive skin they also offer a cleanser specifically for that.

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm $4.99 CAD

This has been my favourite lip balm for years! It’s not glamorous but it works very well and that’s what matters!

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant $14.99 CAD

One of the best natural deodorants I’ve found. And trust me, I’ve tried a lot of natural deodorants. You can read more about the Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant here.

Acure Brilliantly Brightening Scrub $13.99 CAD

One of the most beloved facial scrubs in the green beauty community! Although I don’t have a review on this product yet, I plan to post one in the coming weeks. If you have tried the St.Ives facial scrub but want a more green option I highly recommend this.

The Ordinary Squalane Oil $7.90 CAD

Dry skin? You need to add Squalane oil to your skincare routine. This stuff is like magic. I use it every night during the cold, dry winter months.

Live Clean Face Mineral Sunscreen Lotion $15.99 CAD

One of the best natural sunscreens I have tried – if you are wondering why you should switch to natural sunscreen I have a post all about it.

Green Beaver Sensitive Toothpaste $7.99 CAD

When I first switched from conventional toothpaste to natural toothpaste I tried Green Beaver – and I’m really glad I did. They have a variety of delicious tastes and the formula is very similar in texture to conventional toothpaste… but without the SLS and Fluoride! See more about the Green Beaver toothpaste here.

Pure Anada Nail Polish $10.00 CAD

For a more natural nail polish alternative this stuff performs surprisingly well! I rarely paint my nails, but when I do this product lasts for a week easily! I have a review on the Pure Anada Nail Polish as well as some of the nasty chemicals in conventional nail polish and why to avoid them; read more here.

Pacifica Roll-on Perfume $18.00 CAD

I purchased this as part of a gift-set and immediately fell in love with the roll-on perfume. Unfortunately the vial is made of glass and last year I dropped it on a tile floor and it broke everywhere. I’ve been meaning to repurchase this product! You can read more about the gift-set here.

Pacifica Colour Quench Lip Tint $13.50 CAD

Another Pacifica product that was in the gift-set – it adds some lovely colour to your lips if you’re looking for a more natural lip tint. Perfect for those no-makeup makeup days!

Burt’s Bees Lipstick $9.99 CAD

Super affordable lipstick if you’re in the market for some more natural alternatives. The longevity is awesome – I own Blush Basin, Crimson Coast and Lily Lake. If you want to see some swatches, click here.

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes $9.99 CAD

Although I rarely use cleansing wipes, this is the brand that I reach for when I do. They are very effective at removing makeup (although I’ve never tried them with waterproof mascara.)

Earth Science Chamomile + Green Tea Eye Makeup Remover $10.99 CAD

I love the Earth Science skincare products – this is just one of the few that I have tried and find to be very effective as well. Their facial cleanser is also very good and pH balanced.

And that’s it! 20 Green Beauty Products that are under $20. Hopefully this helps if you are looking to make the switch to green beauty but don’t want to spend a fortune!

What’s your favourite beauty product under $20?
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My lips are always chapped, whether it be in the summer or winter. I just can’t seem to apply enough lip balm to keep them hydrated; luckily I was gifted the Everyday Agave Lip Collection set from one of my friends for Christmas. So does it provide the hydration my desert-dry lips so badly need?

A quick background on Bite Beauty

Bite Beauty was founded by Canadian Susanne Langmuir who has always had an interest in natural makeup. After a couple failed attempts at other natural beauty businesses including a facial oil and custom fragrance store. When she came up with the idea for Bite she approached Sephora. Since then Bite has been exclusively sold at Sephora and Bite Beauty.

Everyday Agave Lip Collection $20 CAD 

The Everyday Agave Lip Collection contains a lip scrub, lip mask and lip balm.

The lip scrub is meant to exfoliate, the lip mask is to hydrate and the lip balm is to continually nourish.

Agave Lip Scrub Ingredients Click to see Ingredients
    • Sucrose. Sugar.
    • Squalane. Likely derived from a plant source, it is used for it’s hydration properties.
    • GlycerinCan be derived from natural resources (animals or plants) or man made. It helps to moisturize.
    • Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Naturally a good source of Vitamin E which moisturizes and works as an anti-bacterial ingredient.
    • Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate is used as an emollient and helps to moisturize.
    • Flavor. Unknown blend of ingredients.
    • Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Fruit Extract Most likely used for flavour and fragrance.
    • Leuconostoc/Sorbus Aucuparia Fruit Ferment Filtrate Filtrate of the fermented mountain-ash shrub leaves which is used for moisturizing.
    • Water
    • Bromelain is a mixture of protein digesting enzymes from pineapple juice and stems. It is most likely used for it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Vanilla Tahitensis (Vanilla) Fruit Extract Most likely used for flavour and scent.
    • Maltodextrin derived from starches, it is has a variety of uses including binding, absorbing, skin-conditioning and emulsifying.
    • Agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) Nectar is used for moisturizing and exfoliating.
    • Trans-Resveratrol is derived from the skin of grapes and works as an anti-oxidant.
    • Tocopherol is Vitamin E and is used for skin-conditioning.
    • Caramel most likely used for flavouring.
    • Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Skin Extract is used for flavour and as an anti-oxidant.
    • Sodium Benzoate. A natural preservative. Skin irritation concerns.
    • Sodium Metabisulfite. Another natural preservative. Skin irritation concerns.
      Natural Organic
Agave Lip Mask Ingredients Click to See Ingredients
    • Lanolin (medical grade) is derived from the oil of the wool of sheep, it is used for moisturizing.
    • Organic Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil used for it’s emollient properties.
    • Organic Agave Tequilana (blue agave) nectar used for moisturizing and exfoliating.
    • Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables used for moisturizing.
    • Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax) is used for skin conditioning and viscosity.
    • Flavor. Unknown blend of ingredients.
    • Vanillin. Used for flavouring and scent.
    • Siraitia Grosvenori (Monk Fruit) used for sweetening.
    • Vanilla Tahitensis (Vanilla) Fruit Extract used for flavouring.
    • Organic Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax used to control viscosity.
    • Trans-Resveratrol is derived from the skin of grapes and works as an anti-oxidant.
    • Vitis Vinefera (Grape) oil is used for skin-conditioning.
    • Tocopherol acetate is Vitamin E used for skin conditioning.
    • Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract used for skin-conditioning.
    • Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract used for skin-conditioning.
    • Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil used for skin-conditioning.
      Natural Organic
Agave Lip Balm Ingredients Click to See Ingredients
    • Lanolin (Pharma Grade) is derived from the oil of the wool of sheep, it is used for moisturizing.
    • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter used for moisturizing.
    • Hydrogenated Soybean Oil is used for moisturizing.
    • Glyceryl Rosinate is used as an emulsifying ingredient.
    • Cera Alba (Beeswax) is used for skin conditioning and viscosity.
    • Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil used for it’s emollient properties.
    • Stearyl Alcohol is used for emulsifying and as an emollient.
    • Hydrated Silica used as a viscosity controlling ingredient.
    • Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Sterols skin conditioning and emollient.
    • Copernica Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax is used to control viscosity.
      Heptyl Undecylenate Fragrance ingredient. Limited data.
    • Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil derived from the mustard plant and used for skin-conditioning.
    • Mica used as a bulking ingredient.
    • Kaolin used as a bulking ingredient.
    • Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables is used for moisturizing.
    • Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Cera (Wax) used for moisturizing.
    • Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil Is used as an emollient. There are contamination concerns such as a mercury, lead, arsenic and pesticides.
    • Flavor (Aroma). Unknown blend of ingredients.
    • Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax used as an emollient and for viscosity control.
    • Glycerin used for moisturizing.
    • Tocopherol Vitamin E is used for skin conditioning.
    • Sorbitan Stearate A naturally occurring fatty acid that is used for emulsifying.
    • Vanilla Tahitensis (Vanilla) Fruit Extract used for flavour and scent.
    • Agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) Nectar used for moisturizing.
    • Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Fruit Extract used for flavour and scent.
    • Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil is used as an emollient.
    • Acacia Decurrens Wax derived from the black wattle shrub it is used for skin-conditioning.
    • Polyglycerin-3 A glycerin polymer that is used as a humectant.
    • Trans-Resveratrol is derived from the skin of grapes and works as an anti-oxidant.
    • Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract is used for flavour and as an anti-oxidant.
      Natural Organic
My thoughts on the Everyday Agave Lip Collection

The Agave Lip Scrub Lowdown

Although I love the scent (and taste) of the lip scrub, I’m not a huge fan of it. And it’s not Bite’s fault at all because I’m just not a lip scrub person. I find that trying to rub the scrub in circular motions on my lips tedious and messy. It gets all over my face, which I’m sure isn’t the intended use.

If I were to use it properly, then yes I think it may work. But even if I pretend that I know how to use a lip scrub properly I think that $20 is a high price for the individual lip scrub. Especially when you can easily make a homemade lip scrub with coconut oil, sugar and some vanilla extract yourself.

Just telling it how it is, don’t hate me Bite!

The Agave Lip Mask Lowdown

On a completely different note than the Agave Lip Scrub, I absolutely love this lip mask! I apply it at night and wake up to hydrated and happy lips in the morning. The scent and taste are not overwhelming (in fact I don’t really notice a scent from this product.) Although this product on it’s own costs $30 I think that it is a must-have in the cold, dry, winter months. Perhaps even in the Summer if you want to make sure that you have well-moisturized lips all year long.

I’ve been using the lip mask almost every night for a month and it’s still over half full. You don’t need a lot and therefore I think you can easily get a few months worth of the full size.

TL;DR Even at the $30 price tag I can definitely see myself repurchasing this product.

The Agave Lip Balm Lowdown

I’m not going to sing praises about this lip balm when I have tried other lip balms that are just as moisturizing for a more economical price point. If you have $20 to shell out for lip balm then this product works – it does what it advertises. However, I think there’s a better way to spend your $20 bill.

TL;DR It’s pricey but it works.

Final thoughts on the Everyday Agave Lip Collection

As a collection, I think that the $20 price point is pretty good. Especially if you are a big fan of lip scrubs. The collection is also a great way to give the products a test and make sure that you enjoy them before spending your money on the full-size.

I’m just really glad I was able to try the lip mask because I didn’t realize how much I needed it in my life before trying it. There’s absolutely no way you could have convinced me to spend $30 on a lip mask before, but now I am a changed woman! (With hydrated and happy lips )

Have you tried any of these products from Bite?
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Stinky pits are an unfortunate fact of life – for most of us. Luckily the invention of deodorant has helped to combat some of the absolute worst (thank goodness for that.) But finding a natural deodorant that is effective throughout the day is actually really hard (which is why I have SO many reviews of natural deodorants…)

A review of Freedom Natural Deodorant

I stumbled upon Freedom Natural Deodorant while browsing my local Homesense. It’s a brand that I had seen on Instagram, but nowhere else… so of course I had to pick it up! (Plus the price was pretty darn good.)

Have I mentioned how much I love Homesense/ Winners?

Behind the Brand

Freedom Deodorant was founded by a Mother, Ira, who had many friends suffer from Breast Cancer. The resounding theme from doctors was to avoid Anti-perspirants and try to use more natural products; after failing to find a natural deodorant that worked Ira decided to make her own deodorant.

Freedom Deodorant has a wide variety of scents ranging from Amber to Lavender Citrus (the latter being the one I own.) They come in different forms as well: sprays, roll-ons and as a conventional stick. They are all made in the USA.

What’s in the Lavender Citrus Freedom Natural Deodorant?

The freedom deodorant website lists these ingredients but doesn’t fully state what they do. For example, their description of Shea Butter is “Magic for the skin.” So here’s a list of what each ingredient actually does (hint: none of them are actually magic.)

  • Arrowroot Powder absorbs moisture
  • Baking Soda deodorizes and absorbs moisture
  • Coconut Oil keeps bacteria at bay and controls viscosity (texture)
  • Beeswax controls viscosity (texture)
  • Kaolin Clay absorbs odours and toxins from the skin
  • Shea Butter moisturizes skin
  • Lavender Oil used for fragrance but also anti-bacterial
  • Lemon Peel Oil used for fragrance but also anti-bacterial
  • Coriander Seed Oil used for fragrance but also anti-bacterial/anti-fungal
  • Cypress Oil used for fragrance but also anti-bacterial
How does the deodorant work?

I switched to using this deodorant from using an anti-perspirant because I just couldn’t find anything that kept my pits as undetected as I would have liked. During the switch to using this deodorant rather than the anti-perspirant I was using I had a detox.

The detox symptoms included: swollen lymph nodes and pimples in my arm pits. I would wake up feeling extremely sore only to find out that I had a huge lump in my armpit.

I’m not going to lie, the detox was absolutely miserable. I didn’t have the same symptoms with the Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant. But for some reason this just wasn’t getting along with me (I tested this for a couple weeks.)

Which is a real shame because…

This deodorant works for the whole freaking day, but I think the essential oils may have be just a tad too strong for me.

Instead of using this product everyday I alternate it with the Schmidt’s deodorant. I find the Schmidt’s deodorant doesn’t last quite as long, but I definitely want to avoid the painful symptoms that arise from using the Freedom Deodorant everyday.

Will I repurchase?

I so badly want to say yes, because I think it works extremely well. But unfortunately living with painful pits is no fun and therefore I think I have to pass.

If you are thinking about switching to a natural deodorant I highly recommend testing this out – but buy a tester instead of a full-size version. If you have had previous sensitivities to these essential oils I would certainly pass.

If you’re interested in reading about other natural deodorants, I’ve tried just a few more:

Tom’s Natural Deodorant Review

Crystal Natural Deodorant Review

Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant Review

Penny Lane Natural Deodorant Spray Review

Nivea Pure and Natural Deodorant Review

Have you tried any natural deodorants? Do you have any recommendations?
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It’s often debated whether natural toothpaste is really a better option than more common toothpaste brands which have fluoride in them. There are a lot of Dentists and Dental Hygienists which aren’t a big fan of more natural toothpaste brands; but if there’s one thing I’ve noticed since switching to natural toothpaste it’s that I haven’t had a canker since. 

Magic Mud Toothpaste Review

I’ll admit that I’ve fallen prey to the sponsored instagram posts and ads about charcoal toothpaste and brushing with activated charcoal to whiten teeth; which is why I decided to pick up the My Magic Mud Toothpaste when I saw it on sale at Homesense. Who doesn’t want whiter teeth? 

Prior to this I’ve been using my trusty go-to which is Green Beaver – I’ve tried their Peppermint, Sensitive and Spearmint flavour toothpaste. 

What is My Magic Mud Toothpaste?

My Magic Mud was created by Jessica Arman for her daughter who had more trips to the dentist than she had the doctor due to tooth sensitivity and cavities; after creating the perfect blend she began giving it to friends and family and eventually decided to make it into a business.

My Magic Mud uses natural ingredients without fluoride, SLS and Glycerin.

What’s in My Magic Mud Toothpaste?
  • Distilled Water
  • Diatomaceous Earth is made from the fossilized remains of aquatic creatures called Diatoms and is used for it’s abrasive qualities.
  • Non-GMO Xylitol is a natural sweetener, but unlike regular sugar it does not break down in the mouth and helps to maintain a balanced pH level.
  • Bentonite Clay is used for it’s abrasive qualities to clean teeth as well as help re-mineralize.
  • Coconut Oil is probably used for viscosity purposes and for it’s antibacterial qualities.
  • Activated Coconut Shell Charcoal is used for whitening, it’s abrasive and adsorption qualities.
  • Peppermint Oil, Wintergreen Oil, Cinnamon Leaf Extract, Clove Oil are used as flavouring agents.
  • Citric Acid is used to inhibit bacterial growth in the mouth and as a preservative.
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract is most likely used for it’s antibacterial properties.
  • Sweet Orange Oil can help whiten teeth and flavouring.
  • Potassium Sorbate is used as a preservative.
  • Rosemary Oil is used for antibacterial properties and flavouring.
  • Stevia is a natural and sugar-free sweetener.
  • Tea Tree Oil is a natural anti-bacterial.
  • Vanilla Extract is most likely used for flavouring.
  • Xanthan Gum is used as a thickening agent.

My Magic Mud Toothpaste Review – My Thoughts

I’m going to get this out first: I hate how messy this toothpaste is. The sink is black after you spit it out and it takes a few rinses to actually clean out the sink. Not only that, but you’ll stand there spitting out charcoal for a few minutes even by rinsing with a glass of water.

I didn’t really plan this out properly because I don’t have a before and after shot to show, I know… bad blogger. However, I do like the consistency of this toothpaste as it is quite similar to the consistency of regular toothpaste.

If you’re wondering about the taste…

Have you ever tried brushing your teeth with just activated charcoal? It doesn’t taste good and it’s pretty darn awful. The My Magic Mud toothpaste tastes pretty good (considering.) With the addition of the stevia and essential oils it’s pretty close to using regular toothpaste. 

Would I repurchase?

Maybe. I haven’t really decided and I’m trying to get over how messy this toothpaste is (I mean, what did I expect from a black toothpaste?) It works well, but it’s definitely not made for someone who has OCD and needs their bathroom sink to be perfectly white without a ton of rinsing (which is me…)

In terms of charcoal toothpaste, I think that this is definitely a good one to try because it’s so similar to the consistency of regular toothpaste – and it doesn’t taste bad at all.

My Magic Mud Toothpaste is available from Well.ca for $13.29 CAD or from iHerb.com for $12.64 CAD

Have you tried an activated charcoal toothpaste?
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It seems when you’re expecting a child people are quick to tell you that you’re probably going to be a zombie from lack of sleep for a few months (which is totally true, unless you have an angelic baby that sleeps throughout the night at two weeks!) But they fail to tell you a number of other things to expect as a new parent…

10 Unexpected Things to Expect as a new Parent

Diapers

Newborns go through a lot of diapers, or at least mine does. Even after three weeks we’re changing her diaper at least every 1 1/2 hours. Make sure to stock up if you’re using disposables! For the first couple weeks we were probably going through 15-20 diapers a day. Including those fun times where you remove the diaper and then the baby decides to dirty the brand new diaper you’ve literally just placed under their bum.

If you’re using Cloth Diapers…

I overestimated how big my baby was going to be and all of the cloth diapers we own weren’t able to be used until she was three weeks old! If you’re planning to cloth diaper then it might be a good idea to invest in some newborn-sized diapers as well as the one-size. Oh, and get lots of inserts.

Breast Pads

If you’re planning on breast feeding make sure to get a good stash of breast pads. The first night after my milk came in I woke up in a pool of breast milk in my bed! If you’re using reusable cotton pads I would recommend at least having two pairs per day. Keep some extras at your bedside too, because milk production seems to be at its heaviest around 11pm-7am.

Feeding

Expect to feed your baby non-stop for the first couple days and then at one week old; these are called cluster feeds and it happens when the baby hits a growth spurt. This is both bad and good (because you’re probably not getting much sleep but it means baby is growing!)

When you’re breastfeeding I recommend folding a receiving blanket into your bra to catch any milk that spills from baby’s mouth – this prevents you from getting an awkward wet patch and smelling like sour milk at the end of the day.

Invest in a Baby Swing or Carrier

Because realistically you’re not going to be able to hold the baby the whole darn day. At some point you’re going to need to get up and use both your hands.

My baby doesn’t really enjoy the baby swing yet because she’s still quite small, but the Boba wrap has been working really well! She’ll nap for a couple hours in there – which leaves lots of time for you to do laundry or just sit and watch tv while enjoying some snacks (with two hands!)

Kegels

If you had a natural childbirth it’s likely that you’re going to need to strengthen your bladder – do some kegels while nursing your baby.

Adapt

What might work one night might not work the next; you’re going to be doing a lot of experimenting when it comes to getting your baby to sleep.

At first my partner and I traded off our baby and let each other catch some z’s but after a while it started getting difficult. We tried co-rooming by placing our baby in a playard/bassinet but she wasn’t a huge fan of it. Then we tried a rocking cradle, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. No two nights are the same and it’s always a matter of figuring out what your baby will want.

So far I’ve found that my baby sleeps best in the bed beside me – it’s not recommended… but when you’re exhausted you gotta do what works best for you!

White Noise Works

Newborns can’t stay up much longer than 1-1 1/2 hours before they start to get overtired. You don’t want to let them get overtired! However, if they do then we’ve found that rocking them and turning on white noise really can help to get our baby to fall asleep.

Wipe Warmers

Wipe Warmers probably aren’t necessary in a warm climate, but if it’s winter time they help keep baby from crying during late-night diaper changes. No one likes a cold wipe on their bum right after waking up! (We got ours second-hand from one of our friends and I’m glad we did!)

Track your Feedings and Changes

For the first couple days the hospital will probably ask you to track when your baby is eating and soiling their diapers. An easy way to track their stats is by using an app on your phone – I use one called Baby Tracker. It records how long each feed is, helps remind me which breast baby nursed off of last and how many pees or poo’s baby has had.

Plus, it’s weirdly satisfying to look at the charts!

It’s okay to be paranoid, but not too paranoid.

I remember reading blogs about what to do after baby was born and plenty of them said to take their temperature multiple times a day. You don’t need to do that. You can feel your baby’s forehead with your wrist and if you feel that they’re too hot then you should check their temp. Otherwise you’re going to go crazy!

When new people meet your newborn they may not think to wash their hands or stay away when they have a cold – it’s okay to ask them to wash their hands or ask if they’re sick (or been around someone who is sick!) The last thing you want is your newborn to get a fever. Don’t feel like you’re being paranoid, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry!

And that’s that! 10 Unexpected things to expect as a new parent – hopefully this helps prepare your for your little one… or was just an interesting read!

If you’re a parent, what would you add to this list?
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I regret to admit that it took me a long time to figure out the power of Castile soap; it’s one of those green cleaning products that has so many different uses you absolutely need it in your cupboard if you’re planning to live more chemical-free.

In fact, in my post on How to Green Clean your Home Castile soap is a very prominent ingredient.

What is Castile soap?

It is named after it’s birthplace in Castile, Spain where Castile soap was first derived from olive-oil. There are plenty of different versions of Castile soap now and most of them are derived from vegetable oils such as olives, almond, avocado, sunflower etc. Castile soap is also available in a liquid or bar form.

Castile soap easily tackles grease and dirt with it’s sudsing action – don’t be surprised by how runny the liquid form of Castile soap is either. It is very concentrated and you rarely ever use it without diluting it.

Castile soap has a similar pH to baking soda; they are both alkaline products. Therefore it’s not recommended to blend Castile soap (nor baking soda) with Vinegar otherwise it cancels out the potency for each…despite what you may read on Pinterest or DIY recipes! (Research is important.)

I also mentioned this in more detail on my post for How to Green Clean Your Home

So… exactly how many uses of Castile soap are there?

According to Lisa Bronner (the granddaughter of the founder of Dr.Bronner’s) there are 18 different uses for Castile soap in your household; everything from personal care to home cleaning.

Uses of Castile Soap in Personal Care

There are some redundancies on the original list created by Lisa Bronner, so I’m going to sum up a few of the different uses. You can see the whole list here.

NOTE: your skin’s natural pH is slightly acidic (around 5.5) whereas Castile Soap’s pH is around 8.9. Therefore using it as a face/body wash may not be advised as it can throw your natural pH off balance.

  • Face Wash. Dilute 1:3 mixture of Castile Soap and Water, wash accordingly.
  • Body Wash. A few small squirts on your favourite scrubbie (also works for shaving.)
  • Shampoo. Mix 1/2 Cup of water to 1 Tbsp of Castile Soap, rinse thoroughly. It is not colour-safe.

Toothpaste was listed in Lisa Bronner’s guide… but I don’t think anyone likes the taste of soap in their mouth, so I am omitting that use. I guess if you’re in a crunch it could work.

Uses of Castile Soap in the Home

I did mention a few of the things that I use Castile Soap for when cleaning my home in my How to Green Clean Your Home Post. Therefore I’m going to list some of the uses not mentioned there and link to the ones that are.

  • Handwash + Dish Soap. Dilute a mixture of 1:3 Castile soap and water.
  • Floor Cleaning.
  • All-Purpose Cleaner.
  • Toilets.
  • Laundry Soap. I haven’t personally tried it and therefore think it’s best not to share any particular recipes (there are lots out there!) I prefer the powder laundry soap from J.R Watkins (Review Here)
  • Dishwasher Soap. Again, there are many different recipes floating around out there but I have yet to try them – this is what I use.
  • Fruit & Veggie Wash. 1/4 teaspoon of Castile Soap in a bowl of water, rinse.

My Favourite Castile Soaps
  • Dr. Bronners is a well-known and loved brand, though I do find that their products can be a bit more pricey for Canadians than the alternatives.
  • Green Beaver is a Canadian brand which makes their Castile Soap out of sunflower oil (you may also be able to find this at your local Homesense! )

Castile soap has a variety of uses, but it’s important to do your research and make sure that you find out if there’s any natural ingredients that do not work when mixed together before you decide to DIY (which is why I have yet to try making my own Laundry Soap and Dishwashing Detergent.) But when I do, I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!

Have you ever used Castile Soap?
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I’ve seen this term floating around on a few different mommy blogger social media pages; the Crunchy Mom. Now, before taking any interest in anything baby related (because let’s be real, if you don’t have a baby you probably don’t give a rats ass about baby related content) I had no idea this term even existed.

I feel ashamed to say that I had to look up the term…and to save you the hassle of figuring out what the heck a Crunchy Mom is, I’ve done the work for you!

So, what’s a Crunchy Mom???

A Crunchy Mom is a mother who believes in and practices living 100% naturally, for example: using cloth diapers instead of disposables. They believe in eating Organic, they do not believe in vaccinating, they believe that there are a few products that could be considered holy grail (coconut oil!) They exclusively breastfeed (there’s no other option.) And they believe in a completely natural childbirth… just to name a few things.

Well, that seems a bit extreme doesn’t it?

But there’s more…

There’s a Scrunchy Mom (I kid you not.)

A Scrunchy Mom is a middle-ground between a Crunchy Mom and a Silky Mom (who came up with these terms?) A Scrunchy Mom has beliefs that fall in between each category; like cloth diapering over disposables but still understands that vaccines are important. A Scrunchy Mom may know that eating Organic isn’t always possible and that pain medication is 100% okay during childbirth (or not, it’s your choice!) Basically, a Scrunchy Mom wants to live more naturally but not to the extreme.

And then there’s…

The Silky Mom

A Silky Mom uses disposable diapers, does not breastfeed, never feeds organic, believes in vaccines and doesn’t have any particular interest in living more naturally. A Silky Mom takes advantage of our scientific advancements and modern conveniences.

So where do I fall?

Let’s be honest, the Crunchy Mom is a crazy extreme. I’m 100% on board with living a more sustainable lifestyle but would never even think of refusing to vaccinate my children (there’s a reason we don’t die of the plague anymore… or at least as frequently.) But I do believe that breastfeeding is the most important form of food for a child and unless dire circumstances required it, I would never think of feeding my baby formula.

Therefore it’s safe to say that I’m a scrunchy mom…

I think it’s important to note that there’s nothing wrong with the way that anyone chooses to raise their children. I completely understand that we all have different beliefs, backgrounds and circumstances; I hold nothing against someone who uses disposable diapers for convenience or decides to feed their child with formula because it’s their choice.

What type of Mum are you, or do you want to be?
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The post Crunchy Mom | What is it…am I one? appeared first on Sustainably Savvy | Green Beauty, Health and Lifestyle.

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I know everyone and their grandmother is saying it at this time of the year – but another year come and almost gone! Looking back it’s crazy to see how much can change in the course of a year. I know mine has! So today we’re going to look back on my Green Beauty Favourites for 2017; this year I tested out quite a few new products and I’m ready to share what I liked best!

What’s on my top shelf for the end of 2017?

Top Green Beauty Foundation:

It began with a rocky start, but the Fitglow Vita Active Foundation really grew on me. It was a different texture than I was used to using but performed really well and lasted throughout the day. It provides a nice medium coverage and doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily unlike the Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation. 

Top Green Beauty Powder:

I tried quite a few powders this year – starting with W3ll People, Pure Anada, Dr. Hauschka and my current favourite which is the Sappho New Paradigm Setting Powder. Sure, it’s definitely not the most cost-friendly option but it works the best; in fact I would say it’s the closest I’ve come to finding a powder that works as well as the Rimmel Stay Matte.

Top Green Beauty Concealer:

I have to admit, this year I didn’t really use too much concealer. Is that a bad thing? Well kind of. A majority of the time I was using the Bare Minerals Concealer which works well enough but I would not consider it a green beauty product. I am looking forward to giving the Hynt Beauty Concealer a try in 2018 after reading so many rave reviews on it.

Top Green Beauty Brow Product:

I’ve had my eye on the new brow products from Plume… but have yet to try those (hopefully that will change in 2018!) There’s been one product that’s lasted me throughout most of the year and it’s the W3ll People Altruist Brow Powder. Cost per use it works out to be a really great product and lasts throughout the day much better than I had anticipated.

Top Green Beauty Mascara:

Mascaras in the green beauty world are so hit and miss! Needless to say I’ve been through my fair share trying to find just the right one. Don’t believe me? I’ve reviewed the Benecos Mascara, W3ll People Expressionist Mascara, Dr. Hauschka Volume Mascara, Beauty Counter Lengthening Mascara and last but not least the Pure Anada Natural Mascara. The latter of which turned out to be my favourite – even though it began with a very rocky start.

In fact, the Pure Anada Natural Mascara is a winner due to the cost and how it wears. Unlike most natural mascaras I have tried it doesn’t smudge easily, it isn’t flakey and it both volumizes and lengthens.

Top Green Beauty Eye Shadow:

If there’s anything I lacked trying this year it’s green beauty eye shadows; I can only name the Dr. Hauschka Eye Shadow trio and the Beauty Counter Desert Sunrise palette as eye shadow products I have tried. If there was a product I’d want to try more of, it would be the Dr. Hauschka products.

Top Green Beauty Blush & Contour:

Again, I was really lacking this year for trying green beauty blushes. Therefore by default the winner of this category is the Beauty Counter Desert Sunrise Palette. I do actually enjoy their blush and I wear it on a daily basis; I just absolutely hate how expensive the products are (but you can read more about that in my review on the palette.)

Top Green Beauty Lipstick:

This is a difficult category for me to pick a winner for! There are two brands that really stand out to me this year; Tin Feather and Boosh. They are both Canadian companies that create amazing products.

Boosh packaging is more luxe and feels like a higher end product, but it does cost more. Tin Feather is a little bit more cost friendly and the packaging is more conventional. If you’re a fan of a very buttery lipstick then Boosh is the way to go, and if you’re more focused on longevity of wear then Tin Feather reigns.

Top Green Beauty Nail Polish:

I don’t regularly apply nail polish because I often cannot be arsed to touch it up. However, I was happily surprised at how well the Pure Anada Nail Polish wore. I wasn’t expecting much from a more natural nail product, but it really performs!

Favourite Green Beauty Brand:

This year I tried plenty of different natural makeup brands, but the one that stood out to me the most was Pure Anada! I started off on the wrong foot with the brand after receiving a mascara tube that was way overfilled and spilled everywhere when I closed it. They were quick to respond to my rather unhappy ramblings and sent me a brand new one.

I’ve repurchased their mascara a few more times since then and I haven’t had a problem since; I even went on to try their lipstick, nail polish, powder and concealer. While not all of their products have wow’d me – many of them are really good and worth giving a try. (But if you try anything, I urge you to try the mascara!)

What are your top beauty picks for 2017?
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We welcomed Madison Rebecca into the world on December 4 at 8:35am, three days early! (Which is apparently somewhat uncommon for first time Mum’s.) I was hoping that she would come in November, but she obviously had other plans.

My Birth Story: When Labour Began

I think I knew that she was going to come in the following few days on Friday December 1; it was the kind of instinctual motherly feeling. In fact, I told my spouse that the baby was definitely going to be out before December 7.

On December 2 I began feeling cramps, similar to menstrual pain. They weren’t regular but they were happening more often – I was worried that my labour might start while at my work Christmas party that night(luckily it didn’t.) However, it was a late night and after only a few hours of sleep I woke up at 5:30am December 3 knowing that the baby was going to come – it was just a matter of when!

If there’s anything I would change about the beginning of my labour it would be trying to sleep more on December 3. I was too excited to finally get this baby out that I only had 4 hours of sleep until the morning I gave birth on December 4. (and i haven’t had much sleep since.)

So the whole morning of December 3 I dealt with some mild cramping that was starting to come more often, finally around 11:30am I decided we should head to the hospital and see what was going on. Turns out I was only 3cm dilated and they ended up sending us home.

My Birth Story: Admitted into Hospital

Nine hours later we went back to the hospital and I was 4cm – which is the minimum dilation for them to admit. The night is a bit of a blur now, but I’ll try my best to share what happened (I’m not sure when things happened in terms of the actual time.)

For the first few hours after being admitted I walked around, bounced on an exercise ball and was monitored with the fetal doppler every once in a while. Things started to progress and halfway through the night I was about 6cm dilated.

Up until this point I hadn’t taken anything for my contractions. They weren’t very fun, but they weren’t intolerable either. When they had the monitor on me to track the movement in my uterus and I remember it going up from 0-80 pretty quickly; the nurse kept asking if I needed Morphine or laughing gas but I kept denying it. For me, the pain was like the absolute worst period cramp I’ve ever had.

The baby was slowly moving her way down, but apparently not fast enough and the Doctor decided to rupture the amniotic sac. Knowing that I didn’t want to feel the pain from actual childbirth (and my expectation of an episiotomy or tearing) I opted to take the nurses advice and receive an epidural before they ruptured the membrane.

Unfortunately, when I received the epidural the dose was too high and I couldn’t feel anything from my neck down. They ended up turning it off until I could start to feel the rest of my body again. During that time my labour had slowed down and they started me on Oxytocin to try and get my uterus to contract regularly again.

My Birth Story: Active Labour

I’m not sure what time my active labour actually began, but I know that it came on pretty quickly. Eventually the epidural had worn out and when it came time to turn it back on again only half my body received the drug. Meaning the left half of my body couldn’t feel anything, but the right half was essentially natural childbirth. 

I was ready to start pushing the baby at 7:30am, but my doctor didn’t start until 8am. Therefore I had to stick it out and try not to push until he arrived. At around 8:15 he came in and we began.

By 8:35am there was a little baby sitting on my chest.

My contractions were long, so I was able to get quite a few good pushes out of one contraction. It made the delivery very quick, but also meant that I ended up getting a second degree tear and required stitches (but I’m much happier I didn’t have to have an episiotomy!)

Welcoming Madison Rebecca to the world!

When the nurses first set my baby on my chest I remember saying “what do I do with it?” Obviously in a delirious state from both the pain and the lack of sleep… Needless to say, I quickly caught on and realized that newborns do all of three things: eat, sleep and poop. Caring for her has been relatively easy although very tiring.

Unlike most newborns she decided that she didn’t want to sleep at all the first night and would rather suck my boobs completely dry. As of writing this, she’s eleven days old and her eating hasn’t really slowed down at all. She also likes to pull this really fun trick where you take her diaper off to change her and she decides to open the floodgates (peeing and pooing everywhere.)

It’s exciting to see how Madison is growing every day right in front of our eyes. I can’t wait to look back on this and remember how she came into the world!

If you’re a Mum, how long was your labour?

The post My Birth Story | First Time Mummy appeared first on Sustainably Savvy | Green Beauty, Health and Lifestyle.

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