Baby Wishlist: Natural, Non-Toxic Items

Here are a few items from my Amazon Wishlist for baby!  I’m due in July, so while I have a few bigger items, there are still a lot of miscellaneous and smaller items still on my list to buy.

 

FridaBaby The Windi Gas and Colic Reliever – Worth a shot as an alternative to gripe water.  I looked at ingredients for at least a dozen gripe waters; for me, even the most natural were still not natural enough for a newborn.  Virtually all babies get gas, and when they do, it’s painful for them and can result in a lot of crying and distress for baby and everyone else.  I’m definitely willing to try this natural alternative for relieving gas.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Non-Scents Shampoo & Body Wash – This is the bath product I plan on using due to lots of great reviews and fairly wide availability.  I also wanted to use a wash that had no essential oils or scents added.  Newborn babies are very sensitive and there really is no need for me to make my baby smell like vanilla or oranges – babies smell good enough on their own!

Natursutten Natural Rubber Pacifier – So far, this is the most natural pacifier I’ve come across.  It’s 100% natural rubber instead of plastic, and actually has no plastic components at all. It also meets more stringent European standards.  This is definitely worth trying if my baby is a pacifier lover.

Natursutten Glass Bottles – I’m not completely certain which brand of glass bottles I’ll purchase, but this is definitely a contender, along with the Lifefactory Bottles. The goal and plan is to breastfeed, but I also want to pump so that my husband has the opportunity to bottle feed.  Not only that, but at some point when I go back to work, I’ll need to pump anyway. Glass is a vastly superior bottle material to plastic if one can afford it.  I actually used plastic with my older daughter and cringe every time I think about it. But I also believe in doing the best we can with what we know and what we have access to, because no one is perfect.

Snuggle Me Organic Baby Bed/Lounger – This is seriously a “wishlist” item, because at this price I’m not sure I can justify the purchase.  However, I want to get an infant lounger and this is my first pick.

HABA Rattling Max Toy – This is such a sentimental toy for me.  When my daughter was about 2 or 3 months old, this was one of her first toys.  I still have hers, though when she was older she broke the bottom wooden ring.  I digress. One thing I do not want in my teething baby’s mouth is a conventional plastic toy. I want another Max rattle for this baby because not only is it nostalgic, but it’s made by a great German company with sustainable practices using natural beechwood and natural non-toxic colors.  Oh, and it’s a beautiful toy.

These are just a few of the natural, non-toxic items on my baby wish list.  Do you have any recommendations? I’d love to hear in the comments!

 

My Favorite YouTube Channels

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I don’t have cable and don’t watch a lot of Hulu or movies (and when I do, it’s almost always in the evenings with my husband for an hour or so).  This means I get most of my “TV entertainment” from YouTube – which showcases a ton of quality content makers!  I’m always on the lookout for new-to-me channels.  What follows is a list of some of my favorite channels right now, by category.  I’d love to hear suggestions for your favorite channels!

 

Home (Design, Organization, Cleaning)

  1. AtHomeWithNikki – She has such a lovely personality and exceptional design taste.
  2. Do It on a Dime – If you like budget friendly home decor/organizing ideas, she is great.
  3. Molly Sims – I love Molly’s videos; topics range from home, kids, recipes, decor, and more
  4. VasseurBeauty – This girl is so likeable and has fantastic home hack/cleaning/DIY videos!
  5. Clean My Space – A recent find – I always love a good video with cleaning tips

Budget & Finances

  1. Sugar Mamma – Canna is smart, savvy, and fun to watch – lots of financial information
  2. Rachel Cruze – A mom who really knows what budgeting and financial freedom is all about

Natural & Inspirational Lifestyle

  1. Alli Cherry – This Cali girl hits on various topics, natural living being very prominent
  2. Christine Kobzeff – It’s beautiful to look at life through Christine’s eyes
  3. HolisticHabits – Although she sporadically uploads, her videos are all great
  4. Infinite Waters (Diving Deep) – Self-improvement from a West Coast vegan psychologist
  5. Kendra Atkins – Another lovable Cali girl.  Uploads are primarily beauty and baby related
  6. Laura’s Natural Life – A holistic nutritionist who also loves green beauty
  7. Shannon Sullivan – Well-rounded content on health, beauty, cooking, wellness, and more

Vegan Food & Recipes

  1. HealthyGroceryGirl – Registered Dietician with lots of healthy recipes and some miscellany
  2. Hot For Food – “drool worthy” vegan recipes
  3. SweetPotatoSoul – Unique and delicious vegan recipes are Jenné’s primary content

Beauty

  1. Caroline Hirons – International facialist and beauty lover who knows her stuff.
  2. Jenna Catherine – Natural beauty lover from Canada: tutorials, reviews, and more
  3. Kathleen Lights – By far the most loveable mainstream YouTube beauty guru
  4. L’amour et la Musique – Her words: “Beauty rituals as energy work.” Thoughtful.
  5. Lisa Eldridge – International makeup artist.  The REAL thing.  Amazing.
  6. MakeupTIA – Beauty lover with the best video and [occasional] vlog editing
  7. Sophie Uliano – One of the originals of green beauty and wellness.  Love her.
  8. ttsandra – I could listen to Sandra talk about makeup for hours.

ASMR

  1. Gentle Whispering ASMR – I love ASMR deeply.  Maria is classic!
  2. WhispersRed ASMR – Excellent quality, well thought out ASMR
  3. After A Fashion ASMR – Extended length ASMR with a great soft voice

Vitacost Order #3

A post where I share what I recently purchased on vitacost.com and why!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desert Essence Whitening Plus Toothpaste – This toothpaste was nice, but the downside for me was the cool mint flavor was almost overpowering.  It’s easily one of the strongest mint toothpastes I’ve tried.  For that reason, I can’t bring myself to repurchase, although we did use up all of this tube.

 

 

Dr Tungs Smart Floss® Natural Cardamom

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss – A frequent repurchase, this is the only floss I’ve used for about two years.  It just gets my teeth cleaner than any other floss I’ve tried.

 

 

Garden of Life Organic Kids Probiotics – Another product I’ve purchased over and over.  My daughter doesn’t love the chalky consistency, but she will take it every morning out of routine.  I actually take this as my probiotic as well.  The quality is very good and I like for us both to take a daily probiotic.

 

 

Source of Life Animal Parade Multi-Vitamin Gummies – I’m constantly trying to find a high quality gummy vitamin my daughter actually likes.  She greatly dislikes chalky chewables so I try to find decent gummy vitamins.  These are a pass.  We are still using them up, but she doesn’t like them.  I have to agree – they have a strong “medicine” type of smell and taste about the same.  I won’t repurchase.

 

Now Ultra B-12 Liquid – A solid B-12 supplement that is good to always have around.  My husband, who eats some meat, even likes taking this in the morning for an extra boost.

 

Natracare Baby Wipes – I always keep baby wipes in the car for sticky faces and hands.  This particular brand has some oils added into the wipes, so they are less drying than some other brands.

 

Honest Company Conditioning Detangler – Another staple in our house.  This is easily my favorite natural leave-in conditioning spray I’ve tried, and that includes some high-end leave-in conditioners.  The vanilla orange scent is light and fresh and it moisturizes my hair and my daughter’s without weighing it down or looking greasy.

 

Honest Multi-Surface Cleaner – Maybe this is a product that is easy to DIY, but it’s convenient to add it to my Vitacost cart when I run out.  It’s what I use for cleaning countertops and tables because it works and it doesn’t leave a film or streaky residue.

 

Vitacost Organic Microwave Popcorn – I’m not a huge fan of the microwave popcorn bags, but I pick up these every so often for convenience.  My daughter and I share one occasionally when we watch a movie.  This brand in particular seems to burn quite easily before all the kernels have popped, so I have to be very vigilant when I put it in the microwave or I get burnt popcorn.

What are your favorite items to buy on Vitacost?

 

My First Capsule Wardrobe: Fall

Like so many women, I finally reached the point where I was sick of looking in my closet and drawers.  There were lots of pieces, but I felt apathetic about many of them and disliked others.  Why was I holding on to clothes that I didn’t feel confident and pretty in?  It made absolutely no sense that I kept trying to justify items that didn’t make me feel great.  Not “just OK” or “eh, it will do” but great.  Also, as someone who strives to be environmentally friendly, it isn’t right to mindlessly buy cheap clothes just because I can.

So I purged my closet and dresser drawers.  What was left over was scanty.  I started shopping with intention and was shocked at how often in my life I had justified purchasing a pair of pants or a shirt that, even though I didn’t love it, it was worth buying because it was pretty on the hanger, or I wanted a new shirt, or it was on sale at a great price.  I found myself walking out of stores empty-handed more and more because there wasn’t anything I loved when I tried it on.  It was then that it started making sense to have a capsule wardrobe made up ONLY of items that fit well and I felt comfortable and pretty it.  No exceptions.

My wardrobe it is greatly inspired by the foundation outlined by Caroline at the blog Un-Fancy.  A “traditional” capsule wardrobe includes 37 pieces that includes tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes.  A capsule wardrobe piece count does not include other items such as lingerie, socks, scarves, jewelry and workout attire. Coincidentally, my wardrobe came it at a total of 35 pieces – a really nice collection with room for another piece or two if I come across something I love.

6 BLOUSES:

blouses

 

6 SWEATERS:

sweaters

 

7 CARDIGANS:

cardigans

 

3 MISCELLANEOUS PIECES:

misc

 

2 BLAZERS:

blazers

 

6 BOTTOMS:

bottoms

Note: there is an extra pair of jeans shown in this photo, but I’m planning to get rid of them

 

3 SHOES:

  • 1 pair black knee-high boots
  • 1 pair dark brown knee-high boots
  • 1 pair waterproof black ankle booties

2 JACKETS:

  • 1 knee-length mint green dressy jacket-coat
  • 1 chambray lightweight anorak (this one)

 

The task of paring down my wardrobe and adding in pieces I loved, and then taking a look at my “inventory” was very amusing and quite useful to me.  First of all, I feel I do have a certain style and color palette.  I gravitate towards black and pink more than any other colors (I knew that anyway, but this confirmed it again).  Also, I have a lot of classic cuts and styles, but with some nice textures (like lace and chiffon and knits) and a few patterns (like roses and polka dots).

I would call my daily style “business casual”.  I want to look polished and pulled together, but in the office I work, it’s not necessary to wear heels and dress pants.  Typically, my work outfit might be a pair of skinny jeans, a sleeveless blouse with an open front cardigan, and a pair of flats.  Once it gets colder, it might be more like a pair of skinny jeans, a light sweater, scarf, and black booties.  A few years ago, when I was teaching at a local college, my wardrobe consisted of heels, skirts, dresses, and dress pants, because those are the clothes I wore, but as my lifestyle has changed, so has my wardrobe.

My favorite pieces are clothes that are feminine, chic, and wearable.  If I had to pick my three favorite details to find in a piece of clothing, my honest response would be bows, pink, and lace.  The problem is, it’s difficult to find a piece of clothing that encompasses those details that is still work-appropriate and well made.  I think my favorite piece I now own is the sheer black long sleeve blouse with pink lip print and a pussy bow at the neck (shown in the top photo, second blouse from the left).  That piece embodies my style pretty well.

The only piece I can think of that I’d like to add to my wardrobe right now is the perfect long-sleeve black top.  I had one a couple of years ago that I literally wore to pieces.  But because I’m looking for the perfect fit and fabric, I’ll hold out until I find just the right one, or I won’t buy one.

It will be interesting to see how my wardrobe develops for this coming winter, and also into the spring of next year.  If all goes well, I will do a capsule wardrobe post for winter.  Additionally, I plan on incorporating more eco-friendly piece into my wardrobe in the future.  It will be interesting to see how that works, as it’s difficult to find such pieces in brick-and-mortar stores where I live, and I really need to try every clothing piece on before I buy because I am curvy.  Any tips for this?

Do you strive for a minimal wardrobe?

 

Recent Acquisitions: Non-Toxic Beauty

recentsI’ve rounded up the beauty products I’ve acquired over the past few weeks.  For the most part, these reviews will be short & sweet, as opposed to lengthy reviews.  However, I do plan on doing a dedicated post in the future on the two Fitglow Beauty products I have.

If you’ve tried any of these products, I’d love to know what your thoughts are!

eyebrightFitglow Beauty Eye Bright – I had super high hopes (i.e. expectations) for this under-eye corrector.  Not only does the company claim it covers under-eye darkness, but that it treats the eye area with peptides, oils, and vitamins.  This is not a one-product under-eye concealer for me.  I typically cover my entire eye area with Eye Bright followed by a just a bit of regular concealer. It looks great at first, but for me, the wear time is disappointing.  I always set my under-eye with a light dusting of natural silica powder, but for some reason within a couple of hours, the purple darkness under my eyes starts creeping out.  I need to keep experimenting with this product to have a definite opinion.shampureAveda Shampure Dry Shampoo – All green-brand dry shampoos I’ve come across have either made my sensitive scalp itchy, or I’ve hated the application.  Most powder dry shampoos dispense product via holes in the top of the container, and you have to hold the bottle upside down to get it out, which for me is messy.  So many times I would get powder all over my work clothes.  Yes, I should use the dry shampoo before dressing, but it just didn’t pan out like that in reality.  Thus, I’ve been sparingly using aerosol dry shampoo, and though the application is easy, I loathe the fumes and the ingredients.

Shampure Dry Shampoo is my compromise.  The applicator is genius.  It is powder, but you squeeze the bottle to dispense the product out of a single hole in the side of the cap, which then comes out in a sort of “smoke-like” puff.  Love it!  The first two ingredients are corn starch and a type of French clay, and none of the other ingredients raised a red flag for me. They claim their fragrance is natural and derived from flower and plant essences.  I actually really love the scent, if I’m being honest.  It’s almost like hair perfume, but not cloying at all to me. Best of all, it works really well without irritating my scalp.  I’d like to do more research into Aveda as a whole company. My salon is actually an Aveda salon, and where I picked this up.  It’s my best “clean” option in the area I live.  Overall, I’m happy with this so far and I feel that the bottle will last quite a while.

bitebalmBite Beauty Lush Lip Tint in Lychee – This has been living in my purse and I’ve used it every single day since I purchased it over a month ago. I wanted a hydrating lightly tinted lip product – not a lipstick, not a lip balm, not a tinted lip balm.  This hybrid product is just what I wanted.  It feels so comfortable and hydrating on my lips.  The color is a very sheer pale pink.  Perfect for when I want a touch of color that is hydrating.fitglowfoundationFitglow Beauty Vita-Active Foundation in VF1 – After I’ve used this foundation through the end of summer and early fall, I’ll probably have a better idea of my true feelings – especially if I use it in the winter when my skin is usually very dry.  However, I’ve been using this foundation for three weeks, and I really like it so far.  The consistency is light and watery, which makes it extra hydrating.  The coverage for me is light to light-medium (just fine for me, but if you have heavy pigmentation or scarring, it might not be full-coverage enough).  The wear-time seems better than average, and I’ve noticed it tends to break-up around my chin and nose far less than other natural foundations.  sutiSuti Honour Coconut & Roses Face Cream – I’m wondering if I should dedicate an entire post to my thoughts on why the best skincare routine includes a water-based lotion, oil, and serum.  With the green beauty market being absolutely flooded with face oils, face creams and lotions have been pushed to the back burner.  I think that is very unfortunate.  A face oil, no matter the ingredients, will never actually hydrate your skin, which is what your skin needs!  I’ve found that whenever I stop adding a water-based face lotion to my routine, my skin is lackluster and thirsty.  I got this Suti Honour Face Cream on sale at a fantastic price (and I love the glass bottle).  The ingredients are great overall, with the main ingredient being organic rose water. I probably would not repurchase, as I would love to try other face creams (I’m always looking for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!).brushesSonia Kashuk for Target Brush Couture Set – These brushes may be limited edition – I actually picked them up on clearance at Target one day.  It’s not the style or brand in particular, but more the size and shape of these brushes that I love so much. Now, apparently two of the brushes are goat hair, which I was not aware of when I purchased these (I’m making strides towards eliminating these types of products from my life, but I’m not perfect).  The synthetic hair orange brush is dense and very small, and much to my surprise, pretty darn multipurpose.  I have enjoyed using it for under eye concealer, cream blush, and cream bronzer.  The small size really helps me control where the product goes.

 

Even shorter reviews….

Pacifica Super Kale Shampoo and Conditioner – Exclusively available at Ulta, this combo claims that it is especially good for fine, oily, or color-treated hair.  It practically jumped into my shopping cart after I read that.  I’ve been using this combo for two or three weeks, and I like it really well.  The scent is minimal, and it does leave my fine oily hair clean, hydrated, and a bit bouncy.  I think it performs closely to the Desert Essence shampoo and conditioner, but I couldn’t say definitely which is better.

Dr. Brite Teeth Whitening Pens in Green Apple – Super short story, these truly work and they don’t hurt my sensitive teeth!  I truly have noticed a difference in my teeth.  I am a big coffee drinker, FYI.  After I’ve completely used these two pens, I might to a lengthier review.  I think these will absolutely be a re-purchase.

Kari Gran 365 SPF 28 – I like this – it is definitely super high quality with only the finest ingredients.  I just don’t like the greasiness of it.  Maybe that’s just because it’s summer.  I used to only use Coola sunscreen in the summer – that stuff has the absolute best consistency I’ve ever used in a sunscreen for summer – like light, whipped mousse.  I don’t think I’d repurchase this because of the heavy, greasy texture.  Then again, maybe I’ll change my mind later.

Farmacy Lip Bloom in Strawberry Basil – This looks like Vaseline in the pot and it has a similar feel, but this is petroleum free!  The scents are all so nice.  I keep this on my bedside table and apply it every night.  It’s not working miracles, but it is very nice.

RMS Beauty Coconut Oil – When it comes to makeup remover, I am a coconut oil convert.  It is typically affordable for the quantity compared to other green beauty makeup removing oils, and it feels and smells great.  One issue I had with other makeup removers was that they would sometimes burn my eyes, but not coconut oil.  I like this one as well as Cocovit.

Why I Only Use Natural Deodorants & Mini Reviews of 6 of Them

deodorantgroup

Giving up conventional antiperspirant was very difficult for me.  I tend to sweat easily under my arms when I get hot, so thinking about dealing with sweat stained shirts was unpleasant.  After a few years of going back and forth between mainstream antiperspirants and natural deodorants, I finally committed to only using all-natural deodorants for the rest of my life.  I’ve been aluminum-based antiperspirant free for several years now.

My unfiltered thoughts on this subject are this.  In the short-term, I loved using antiperspirant.  They work really well at keeping you dry.  Natural deodorants will never function like an antiperspirant.  They will not keep you from sweating…I’m sorry, I know from the outside looking in it is a pretty big bummer and a huge deterrent from switching to a natural deodorant.

But here’s the rub with antiperspirants – they keep your body from detoxing.  They make your body unable to release sweat, when nature has built us to do exactly that, and for good reason.  We are meant to sweat!  I’m not a doctor so just type “why is it normal to sweat” or some variation of that into a search engine and go on and educate yourself on that topic.  Why you’re at it, search “why conventional antiperspirant is unhealthy”.  It’s scary, OK?

One thing that many people experience with natural deodorant is a sensitivity to baking soda, an ingredient in many formulas.  I’ve used some deodorants with baking soda that left me with terrible, painful rashes that looked like the skin under my arms was raw…and I’ve used formulas with baking soda that worked really well with no irritation whatsoever.

In my humble opinion, I’ve found that the more indie, small brands making natural deodorant tend to be the ones with the highest probability of irritation and low efficacy.  What I’ve found is that some more “well-known” brands have really put a huge amount of effort into creating natural deodorants that are gentle and effective at the same time.  The deodorants I’m mentioning here are merely ones that I’ve tried that work decently without irritation.  There are others out there that have gotten lots of good press (one that comes to mind is the Agent Nateur Holi(stick).

Of the six varieties I’m discussing in this post, I’ve judged them based on these factors: effectiveness, cost, application, ease of availability, scent, and packaging.  I’ve also listed them in order from least favorite to favorite.  Having said that, even #6 is still pretty decent.

 

#6 Jason Naturally Fresh Deodorant

deojason

This deodorant is pretty easy to find in natural stores and online.  It’s pretty affordable and is super convenient because it’s in a typical plastic twist-up tube, just like mainstream antiperspirants.  The efficacy is OK – it’s not the best I’ve used, but it didn’t cause irritation and it worked OK for a day at the office or any other season besides summer.  The ingredients are not clean enough for my liking, but it will do in a pinch.  I won’t repurchase, primarily because I prefer a cleaner ingredient list.

 

#5 LaVanila in Vanilla Grapefruit

deolavanila

I really like LaVanila deodorant.  This was my first purchase and it has lasted quite a while and there is still product left.  This is not my heavy-duty deodorant – I keep this on my vanity and use it between using other deodorants on days I’m at the office.  I wouldn’t use this on a day I’m going for a hike, for instance.  However, the packaging is beautiful, the scent is light and pleasant, and it works just fine for normal days.  I would repurchase this particular variety, but I really want to try their Sport Luxe formula.

 

#4 Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant, jar

deommtpot

This deodorant is great – it works really well and smells amazing.  However, I do have a couple points to bicker about.  One: I don’t like applying deodorant with my fingers, and I never will.  I don’t care how good the formula is, I don’t want to scoop out deodorant with my fingers and apply and then have to wash my hands with soap.  It’s just inconvenient for me as a mom with a full-time job.  Two, it’s also a bit pricey for me personally, at $14 a jar.  For me it didn’t seem to last any longer than any other deodorant.  That being said, it is supremely gentle and very effective.  And the scent of sweet, subtle grapefruit is perfect.

 

#3 Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Stick

deommttube

When I heard MMT released a stick version of their deodorant, I bought two travel size sticks.  This formula does contain baking soda, but not so much that it is irritating.  So it works well, smells great, and comes in stick form.  Those are huge pros, but I have a couple of cons as well.  One is the price.  Full size is $22, and at this point in my life, I can’t justify a deodorant at that price.  The second con is the packaging and it’s a double-edge sword.  The packaging is actually bio-degradable cardboard and it scores major eco points for that decision.  However, I have had big issues getting the product to come out.  I’ve pushed and pushed with my finger to have it barely move.  Then I used a pen to help me out and a huge chuck of product propelled out – and once that happens, there is no way to put it back in.  If the packaging could somehow be made a bit more user-friendly that would be excellent.  Still, it is pricey.

 

#2 Blissoma Scentless Stick Deodorant

deoblissoma

At $16 for a full size, Blissoma is cheaper than the MMT stick at the outset, but you get more bang for your buck with MMT.  MMT full size is 4.5oz for $22 and Blissoma is 2oz for $16.  However, I still really enjoyed the Blissoma formula, which is saying a lot.  It has no scent at all for those who are sensitive.  The formula is much drier than MMT, which I actually prefer.  As far as efficacy, it worked really well.

 

#1 Schmidt’s Stick Deodorant in Bergamot + Lime

deoschmidts

For me, this is the cream of the deodorant crop.  It works damn well.  It smells amazing. It is conveniently in a twist-up tube.  It’s pretty affordable at $9 retail for 3.25ozs.  It fairly easy to find (believe it: I bought the one pictured at TJ Maxx for $4).  The formula glides on so easily without being wet or pasty.  It hasn’t caused me any irritation yet, but I typically only use it every other day.  I love this deodorant.

What is your favorite all-natural deodorant?  Let me know in the comments!

Wish List #1

wishlist

A list of some pretty things I would love to own.  These items are all-natural, where it applies.

Rainbow Moonstone Necklace – Because I work in the gemstone industry, I’ve been lucky enough to hold a variety of gemstones in my hands.  I’ve been drawn to a few crystals in particular, one of them being moonstone.  Moonstone has a quality that is best experienced in person, because the luminosity of it can only be really seen when you move it around.  I love this necklace and it looks like it would work well dressed up or down.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Sleep Set – Totally unnecessary, but isn’t that sometimes the point?  One, I actually use sleep masks quite frequently.  Two, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” has been one of my favorite movies since I first saw it around 16 years old.  I suppose $89 is a bit steep for a sleep mask, night shirt, and ear plugs (and the mask is silk which I plan on avoiding now that I’m vegan) but…still.  Truth be told, I’d love to have this set.

Leahlani Mermaid Mask – Now that I’m in my 30s I’m really, really babying my skin.  I’ve wanted to purchase this mask for a while.  If the cult status of this mask says anything, it’s pretty darn fantastic.

Minimalist Baker Cookbook – I’m on a vegan cookbook kick lately (I’ve bought 3 in the past two weeks), and this one has had a lot of great reviews.

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer – This is one of the superstar all-natural products I’ve yet to get my hands on, but the next time I’m in need of a new highlighter, this is the one I’m getting.  RMS Beauty products are just stellar.

Pop Flex Mermaid Couture Yoga Mat – I want this mat.  It’s gorgeous…like, the most gorgeous yoga mat ever and everything about it screams out my name. If they don’t restock this mat, I’d settle for their mermaid legging.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks – I already have Fig…and I need more lipstick like the ocean needs more water.  However, maybe someday I will find a way to justify more.  I really like the pinks and nudes, like Honeycomb, Sugarcane, Meringue, and Sake…and their Butter Cream Lipstick in Pecan is calling my name…

Pacifica Dream Big Mascara – This is the next mascara I’m trying when my others are used up.  I love trying out new natural mascaras, and I’m always looking for the best of the best.

Matt & Nat Vegan Leather Bag – I can’t decide which bag I like best, but I do plan on investing in one of their classic crossbody bags sometime this year.

Tibetan Singling Bowl – One of my favorite meditation videos is Tibetan Singing Bowls, and I think they make one of the most beautiful and peaceful sounds that I’ve ever heard.

What items are on your current wishlist?  I’d love to hear!

 

Natural Kid’s Products for Outdoor Playtime

outdoorkidsproducts

It’s almost summer, so that means the next few months will include a lot of sun and outdoor activities.  To keep my daughter protected from sun damage and buggies, here are a few things I keep close by.

Sun Hats and Caps – For me and my daughter, a hat is an absolute necessity in summer.  Both of us being fair skinned and prone to burning, I use physical “sunblockers” as often as possible – meaning I try to shield our skin with clothes, sunglasses, hats, and natural shade that things like trees provide. We also aren’t fans of tank tops because our shoulders would burn too quickly.  I am not a fan of being in direct summer sunlight; it somehow zaps my energy and makes me very uncomfortable physically.  There are lots of companies that specialize in clothing that have a sun protective factor that is essentially built-in to the garment.  I actually do not own any clothing products like that, so I can’t offer any feedback.  However, a good old fashioned ball cap works, too.

Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 – This is a great versatile, vegan, paraben-free sunscreen.  It’s lightweight enough to wear under makeup, or to slather all over my body and my daughter’s body.  It doesn’t have much of a scent and though there is a subtle white cast, it isn’t that bad (I’ve definitely seen worse).  The ingredients are great, too.

Honest Company Sunscreen Spray and Sunscreen Stick – At the risk of being controversial, I also have a couple of Honest Company sunscreens.  I actually purchased these a while ago, before the controversy over the efficacy of their products.  I’ve used their sunscreens many times, and personally, have never had an issue at all.  However, the responsible thing to do it to reapply sunscreen frequently.  If my daughter is swimming outdoors, you better believe I’m reapplying sunscreen every 30-40 minutes like clockwork, regardless of the brand.

Hurraw! Sun Balm SPF 15 – A lip balm with SPF?  How very 21st century!  When I was growing up, and indeed, until a couple of years ago, I’d never heard of a lip balm with SPF.  Talk about a product that makes you go, “Why wasn’t this widely available a long time ago?” I guess I’ll chalk that up to more and more awareness of the effects of sun damage on us, so there is more demand for sun protection.  Anyway, I love this balm.  I keep it in my purse because I have my purse when we’re out-and-about.  Smells pretty nice, too.

Badger Anti-Bug Spray – First, we don’t spend a lot of time outdoors. I have a deep appreciation for nature and we do go on walks, to parks, nature preserves, etc.  However, I don’t spend a lot of time outdoors except maybe in spring and summer.  My daughter and I are not only sensitive to heat and sun, but I am not a fan of bugs.  That’s me just being honest!  However, for times when my daughter is playing in the backyard or climbing the neighbor’s tree (which the neighborhood kids love to do), I have her spray her exposed skin with this bug spray.  It has really clean ingredients – only organic oil and essential oils, so I don’t have to fret about what is getting absorbed into my daughter’s bloodstream via her skin.  So far, it seems to work pretty well based on our needs.

What outdoor products are essential for you and your family?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!