Electronic Detox For Children

toysMy daughter loves watching movies, playing on my tablet, and occasionally playing video games, and that’s OK with me.  I accept the reality that my resistance to these things would be futile in the 21st century.

But, because I know how valuable and important it is for children to also play outside, run around, play with non-electronic toys, listen to silence, and even experience boredom…I make sure there is a limit to the electronic stimuli in my daughter’s life.  I don’t have a hard and fast rule about how much screen time she can have – it varies from day to day depending on a few different factors.  I suggest some reading on the subject of kids and boredom with articles like this, this and this.  On the subject of limiting screen time for children (iPads, computers, television, etcetera) there are plenty of interesting reads like this and this.

A lot of times when my daughter is told that she can’t play on the computer/tablet/TV, she gets whiny.  However, every time she whines from not getting  her way, I always remind her, “Whining gets you nothing.”  She is getting very close to understanding this, except on occasions when she is more emotional or tired.

Other times she will tell me she is bored and that there is nothing to do, but I don’t fret over it at all.  I acknowledge that I am listening to what she is telling me, but then I get back to whatever I’m doing.  This lets her know that Mommy isn’t going to be her personal entertainer every time she is “bored”.  She has to rely on her imagination and other resources to entertain herself, and I truly believe this not only develops her creativity, but strengthens her character.  It’s actually very interesting and fun to see what she comes up with.  It can be harder in the winter when the weather is bad and going outside isn’t really an option.

Some of the non-electronic activities my daughter will engage in include:

  • board games (she loves Candy Land, Clue, Hedbanz, to name a few)
  • Jenga/blocks
  • crafts (she has a big clear plastic container with an assortment of craft supplies)
  • soft dough with plastic shape cutters
  • books
  • writing in journals and notebooks
  • playing outside, bike riding
  • playing with the dog
  • role-playing (doctor, teacher, waitress, mom, etc)
  • playing with toys/dolls
  • sitting around not doing much of anything (which is OK with me as long as she isn’t doing it for prolonged periods of time)
  • occasionally (not nearly often enough), she and I will make something together in the kitchen and we also enjoy attending mommy/daughter cooking classes, which are fantastic and I highly recommend

What non-electronic activities does your child most enjoy?  Do you try to put some sort of limit on their screen time?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


Date Night Makeup! All-Natural Non-Toxic Makeup


For a recent date night, I did my makeup a little more special than I normally would for a work day.  I really like the way it turned out so I decided to snap a picture and write a post about what products I used.  [As an aside, I really understand now why so many bloggers invest in better quality equipment.  My camera just doesn’t have the ability to take high-def, crystal clear pictures. Also, I deal with dreaded “lens distortion”, which often makes for unflattering photos.  For now, my camera will have to do.]  Enjoy!


Skin: I first prepped my skin by using Mahalo Body Vitality Elixir Serum and Laural Whole Plant Organics Eye Balm

Face: First, a layer of Coola Matte Tinted Mineral Sunscreen, followed by Silk Naturals HD Cream Foundation in N20 (I also have G20 which I think might be a better match for my skin tones) blended in with a damp flat top kabuki brush. After that, I followed with Christopher Drummond Duo Phase Concealer in Light under my eyes and on any redness using a damp Beauty Blender.  I then set my under-eye area and T-zone with pure silica powder.


Contour/Blush/Highlight: I lightly applied Alima Pure Sombra Contour Powder under my cheekbones, around my temples and hairline, and under my jawline. Then I lightly applied Silk Naturals blush in Carnal (a deep plum shimmer) towards the back two-thirds of my cheeks using the Real Techniques stippling brush.  This brush allows me to control the amount of product, which is important because I have very fair skin.  Lastly, I used W3LL People Bio Brightener highlight on my cheeks, cheekbones, and up around my eyes.


Brows: Lately I’ve been using Silk Naturals Kensington eyeshadow (matte medium brown-gray nude) for my brows.  I’d prefer something else, but can’t seem to find the product that is just right for me.

Eyes: First, Silk Naturals eye shadow in Kensington as a transition shade and under lower lash line, Silk Naturals eye shadow in Blanket Fort (a shimmery medium tan shade) on my entire lid, and Modern Minerals eye shadow in Lola (a gorgeous shimmery rose gold) on the center of my eye.  I used Tarte SmolderEyes eyeliner in Brown on my top lash line and top water line (I want to replace this but I am trying to use it up).  Finally, a coat of Lily Lolo black mascara  on my top and bottom lashes.

Lips: I lined my lips with the Jane Iredale lip pencil in Spice (a cool toned pink nude) and Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Retsina (pale pinky nude).

Hair: I did loose waves using a tapered 1 1/2″ curling wand

That’s it!  What are your favorite makeup products for a night out?

My Face Oil & Serum Collection

faceoilsAbout two years ago, I finally took the leap into all-natural facial oils after hearing about how many benefits they have for your skin.  I did a lot of research and reading about oils for the face and read experiences from those that used and loved facial oils. I don’t have any specific reading recommendations on the subject of the use and benefits of natural facial oils and serums – I’m a big fan of using your favorite search engine and falling down the rabbit hole for a while.  That, in my opinion, is the best way to get well-rounded knowledge of something.  Reading, and reading, and reading some more.  I suppose that’s the English major in me.

My gateway facial oil was argan oil, which, in my mind, is perhaps the most well-known of the facial oils.  One of the things I noticed after I switched to argan oil (from semi-clean face creams) was that I had significantly fewer breakouts, and the annoying little clogged pores (aka bumps) on my forehead cleared up.  Things were going well with argan oil for quite a while…and then I started wanting to try more brands of oils and serums with different ingredients, oils, herbs, essential oils – you name it, I was curious.

I have been loyal to only one face oil in two years – and that is the magnificent Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, but more about that in a moment.  We also always keep a bottle of Acure Organic Argan Oil, which my fiancé uses quite often.

This is my current selection of face oils and serums I’m using, along with a brief review of each.


Oil “swatches” from left to right: Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil, Skin Owl Beauty Drops in Geranium, TLA Ultra C Radiance Serum, Mahalo Body Vitality Elixir, Acure Organic Argan Oil, Meow Meow Tweet Face Oil, One Love Organics Love Springs Eternal Serum


The Little Alchemist Ultra C Radiance Serum – After falling in love with TLA Cacao & Banana Face Glow (here) that I received in a recent Petit Vour box, I read up on their other products and wanted to try out this lovely serum.  This is formulated to revitalize skin and boost collagen production, with fantastic ingredients like rosehip oil, vitamin C, Co Enzyme Q10, Squalane, and towards the end of the ingredients, Retinol Palmitate (Vitamin A), which encourages cell turnover and is a proven anti-aging ingredient.  [As far as my stance on the safety of retinol, I will say this – the retinol is at the bottom of the ingredients list for this product and I only use this serum about 3 times a week, and always at night].  I really have been enjoying this serum.  For me, this has a nice scent that isn’t overpowering, and the consistency is medium-heavy.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil – This oil is my love.  I am smitten with this simple but powerful product.  It only contains rosehip CO2 seed extract, rosehip CO2 fruit extract, natural vitamin e, and rosemary leaf extract.  It isn’t complex, but the quality is what makes this shine.  The grade of oil is superior and highly concentrated.  I can’t say enough about it.  If you’ve had success with other products containing rosehip oil, put this oil at the top of your “to try” list.  It has healed sun exposure on my daughter, pimples, dry skin…there is nothing this hasn’t been able to fix for me – it truly is a fantastic all-around oil.  When I purchased my first bottle of this oil, the scent was a bit much for me (OK – I didn’t like it at all) but I swear, I have not only adapted to the scent, but I actually like it.  Our senses are funny things, aren’t they?  For me, the consistency is medium-heavy.

Skin Owl Beauty Drops in Geranium – I heard a couple of natural beauty bloggers and YouTubers comment on this oil, so when I caught it on sale on Pharmaca, I decided to try it, and have not regretted it at all.  Only containing argan oil and geranium oil, this is another oil that while not complex in ingredients, is special because of the quality of those ingredients.  I can tell that the quality of argan oil is of a higher grade than more affordable argan oils.  There is also something about the geranium oil that just works for me.  Since I purchased it, I have actually been reaching for this oil quite a bit.  The scent is mild and nice, while the consistency is medium but heavier than the Acure argan oil.

Mahalo Body Vitality Elixir Facial Oil – Oh, mama, is this oil spectacular!  Seriously, just click on the link and read the ingredients…I just can’t handle its awesomeness.  I also have their amazing Face Balm, but that’s another post.  This oil is a gorgeous golden color and sinks into my skin like no other oil I’ve tried.  It is a luxury serum and an investment, no doubt (I actually scored a very nice discount code on my bottle), but the quality is stellar.  The texture is silken and the scent is complex and beautiful.

Acure Organic Argan Oil – A staple in our bathroom cabinet, this is the bottle of oil my fiancé most generally reaches for after he gets out of the shower.  I tend to use this oil only for my neck, décolletage, legs, and cuticles.  This is also the oil I use if I want to add an oil to my face masks.  It is affordable and does the job.  For me, this is a medium consistency oil with little noticeable scent.

Meow Meow Tweet Face Oil – I kept my eye on this oil during the winter, as I read that it was excellent for breakout prone skin.  My skin was almost completely free of pimples for several months when the weather was dry, but it tends to act up in more humid weather.  Since it is starting to get humid where I live, I’ve been using this a lot since I purchased it about five weeks ago.  It is really great considering the affordable price tag.  The hempseed oil is the star ingredient.  As far as consistency, it is a bit on the thicker side to me.  And the scent has never bothered me – I actually like the scent.

One Love Organics Love Springs Eternal – I’ve heard some people say this serum isn’t heavy enough, but for me, it is a heavier consistency oil.  It doesn’t immediently absorb into my skin the way the Mahalo Body Vitality Elixir does, for example.  It tends to “sit” on my skin and actually looks like I have a layer of oil on my skin.  This is actually my second bottle, but I’ve been reaching for it very rarely these days.  It’s not that it’s subpar – it’s actually a very nice oil.  I just have been having more success lately with other products.  I think maybe the watermelon seed oil is what I really like about this product.  I will definitely use this up at some point.

There you have it – my current collection, which is always rotating as I discover new oils and serums that I want to try!  Have you tried any of these with success?  Do you have a favorite face oil or serum?  Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!


A Few Favorites from my Bookshelf

bookshelfI’m an avid reader and every so often I read a book that will resonate with me long after I’ve finished reading.  These are a few random books that I enjoyed, including fiction, non-fiction, self-help, and parenting.

Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund – This is easily in my top 10 favorite books I’ve ever read.  It is a sweeping epic of a novel and Naslund’s intoxicating language is like reading beautiful poetry.  The setting is primarily the 19th century eastern seaboard and the story is told from the perspective of Captain Ahab’s young wife.  This book stole my heart.

Walden by Henry David Thoureau – If you are interested in nature, solitude, man’s relationship with himself, tranquility, finding peace – this book is a must read.  I loved it so much I wrote a short blog post on it here.

Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka – This is a wonderful book for a parent of a child who is “more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and energetic” as the tagline goes.  My daughter fits the bill and while the book notes that it is challenging to raise a spirited child, it is also a gift.  This book is full of helpful ways to help a spirited child best deal with the world around her.

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer – A self-help book that calmed my soul and soothed my fears.  I read this book with a highlighter in hand and need to re-read those highlighted passages.  Maybe this isn’t for everyone, but it absolutely resonated with me and made me feel so much better able to handle the anxieties and depression with which I often struggle.  This isn’t just for those with anxiety and depression, though – it would be excellent for any deep thinker who wants to become more at peace with his or her life and the world.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson – This is such a funny but insightful story about two men hiking the Appalachian Trail.  It’s about man vs. nature, man in harmony with nature, survival, and learning what you are really made of.

On Writing by Stephen King – It has been several years since I read this, but I remember really enjoying it as a writer myself.  King is very readable, even when writing about….writing.

Feel the Fear….and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers – This book has a soft spot in my heart.  My now-fiance recommended it to me in the first few months of our relationship, when I was struggling with a lot of emotions and turmoil.  It is an excellent book about not letting fears rule your life. Five years later, I still think about what the book says and try to remember to not let fear guide my life.

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle – A book about living in the moment, quite literally.  A book about not being remorseful about the past and not afraid of the future.  An excellent book to remind yourself that the only moment that really matters in the current one.

The 5 Love Languages – A book with a cult following and legions of fans, I bought this book right before going through a divorce several years ago.  Though it did not “fix” my marriage, it helped me more deeply understand the way men and women and all individuals have different approaches to what love is to him or her.  A very worthwhile read.

And one last book I wanted to throw in that isn’t photographed is a book I’m currently reading.  It was just published last fall and is called The Energies of Love by Donna Eden and David Feinstein.  Only 1/3 of the way through the book, I can already say it is fascinating and insightful.  Another book I would recommend, especially to those in long-term relationships.

Have you read any of these books?  What are some of your favorite books, especially non-fiction, parenting, and self-help?