WEEK ONE: Straight up confused. . .
WEEK TWO: Okay, I think I’ve Got This!
WEEK THREE: I’ve finally got this! But oh shit, we have friends in town!
WEEK FOUR: Alright, back to it. Found my groove!
WEEK FIVE: I don’t want to speak to soon, but I think I’m totally getting this! I don’t suck.
WEEK SIX: Yep, I understand! THIS IS AWESOME.
Read more about the six week program that took me from Confused To Empowered by Fortitude Fitness!
SWITCHING TO ORGANIC MAKEUP
As I shared at the start of this year, I have deemed 2016 the year of INTENTION!
Part of my goal this year has been to become even more intentional with the products that I use. Choosing organic and REAL household products, food, etc has been important to me for half a decade. I want to know exactly what goes into my body, be aware of what I consume, what I use on my skin, etc.
Over the past five or so years, I’ve overhauled our eating habits (limiting sugar, eating all organic, whole foods), drinking habits (getting rid of soda + excess sugar), household products (getting rid of products containing sulfates, changing our laundry detergents + cleaning products), body products (shampoo, conditioner, body wash getting rid of lotions, etc) but the last thing on my list is something I use everyday . . . MAKEUP!
Sadly, it’s the last thing I’ve analyzed and switched over. I really wanted to have a better idea of the ingredients in my makeup because our skin is our largest organ and absolutely absorbs everything we put on it! With this in mind, I knew it was finally time for me to put my makeup under the same scrutiny that I put the other products in my life.
I said goodbye to drugstore + designer brands alike and instead sought out natural, organic makeup brands that I could actually read the ingredients! Sure enough, my skin has been way happier!
I’ve been loving ALL of the brands listed below and knew I wanted to share them with you. Whether you want to try out a new product for summer, or whether you want to overhaul your makeup bag entirely – I hope you find this post helpful! And as always, I am here to answer any questions you may have!
ALL THE BRANDS INCLUDED:
Colorescience | 14E Cosmetics | Kari Gran | COOLA | Lilah B
ENJOY. . .
No matter if you’re already a beach bum or have a tropical vacation in your near future, this list of beach essentials will help you keep it simple next time you spend your day by the ocean. . .
Have you ever heard of hypnotherapy?
When you did, were you like me + thought ‘Pssshhh! What a scam.’ ?
Well – after some of those famous ‘mother’s words of wisdom’ – I came to the conclusion that she was right, I had tried everything else. And I was tired of letting something so small control so much of my life.
What exactly was that ‘something‘? Well, this is a topic that I’ve never shared before besides with my closest friends and family. Why? Honestly, because I think I was embarrassed, ashamed even, of this habit that I found childish, in-cleanly and frankly, gross.
What am I talking about?
There, I said it.
The holidays can be stressful or they can be merry.
These last few years I have really focused on making them the latter.
I try to give my presence instead of stressing about presents and try to give from a place of intention rather than out of obligation.
When gifting out of intention, there is so much less stress to just get people checked off the list & more thought of what will bring unique joy to my loved ones! For me, it’s is all about shopping small, smart + savvy while still giving the highest of quality! Typically, I won’t gift something that I wouldn’t buy myself ( unless it’s a round of golf or something ;) ) because I believe that my friends & family deserve the same quality that I use myself. Think organic, hand crafted, local if possible + from small businesses.
The gifts I was struggling with this year happened to be for the women in my life.
I wanted to give them something experiential. Something to calm + soothe.
Because what they all really need is a serious break.
A spa-like escape from the busy schedules, the juggling, the stresses of everyday.
Last year we gifted my mom a massage from one of her favorite spas, although it didn’t get used until half way through the year. Now does that communicate just how busy she is or what? So, this year the gears were turning a bit differently for me. I wanted to be able to gift her and the other non-stop women in my life (you go #girlbosses) a little retreat that they can use daily. A little something to treat yourself, to remind you to slow down, to give yourself a moment of solace.
That’s when I thought back to one of my favorite gifts I have ever received. . .
My favorite fragrance from Kai.
Imagine a soft, dreamy scent of the most delightful gardenias.
Until this year, I had only known of their perfume but boy, am I glad that I took another look at this amazing brand.
Their products are–
paraben, sulfate, phthalate, phosphate & gluten free.
packaged in recyclable materials.
made in the u.s.a.
& smell like heaven!
I can’t get enough & they carry all of these amazing products. . .
It is my great pleasure to announce that I have the honor of sharing my love for essential oils on GlitterGuide.com today! I have loved Glitter Guide forever (way before I started blogging) & it’s truly an exciting day for me to see myself up on their site!
*cue dancing around the room*
For anyone who hasn’t used essential oils before, or is curious how I use them in my day-to-day life, check out their post. . .
As most of you know, I am an avid user of essential oils + it was a really fun experience to break down how often I use them in my routine + to see how many nasty products I have replaced in our home with these oils! I am very grateful for the role they play in my life.
To help you understand the beautiful impact essential oils can have on your health and beauty routines, I’m sharing my thoughts on integrating oils into our everyday lives with the Glitter Guide readers + would love to share them with you too . . .
Here’s one of the questions I answered–
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PASSION FOR ESSENTIAL OILS.
About five years ago, I heard about essential oils. I heard that Tea Tree did wonders for acne and that peppermint was amazing for treating headaches and helping to increase people’s focus. I jumped on them immediately! Now, looking back, I laugh at how little I knew and how naively I entered the world of essential oils. I was so lost and just bought whatever I could find from wherever they were sold (aka big box stores that didn’t specialize in essential oils and that sold low-quality products). Since those naive times, I have done extensive research and have used essential oils to overhaul my life—ridding my home, beauty routine and medicine cabinet of nasty chemicals. I am passionate about them, to say the least! I love sharing about what I’ve found and what works for me.
+ another. . .
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR ESSENTIAL OIL
ROUTINE WHILE TRAVELING?
Because I teach social media marketing workshops and have family located throughout the country (literally from Maine to Hawaii), I am gone at least once a month and am so thankful that I can take my oils with me! They totally help balance me in the mess of traveling. Some of my vital essential oils for trips are my Thieves spray and hand sanitizer (say sayonara to the nasty ones that dry out your skin), Stress Away roll-on for my not-so-calm airplane moments and Progressence Plus for my hormones.
To see the rest of the Q+A, hop over to the article. . .
Also, keep an eye out on my Instagram for a fun giveaway spurred from this feature on Glitter Guide! Wahoo!
Here are my 5 Tips To Stay Focused Working From Home:
1. MAKE LISTS
Am I the only OCD list maker out there? I can’t be!
Seriously though, my life would not function without lists! Here’s what works for me:
A weekly/monthly list – things that need to get done in this timeline
A daily list – only put enough things on here that you can accomplish in one day
(or you’ll feel as if you didn’t achieve everything you ‘had’ to do)
Also, depending on how my week looks, I will separate these lists into ‘work’ & ‘other’ so that I’m not trying to do things for the house in the midst of work. It’s easier if you can block out your day to work in the morning & then get other things done in the afternoon. Or vise versa! Whatever works best for you.
2. STAY FUELED
Again, I can’t be the only one who forgets to eat unless force fed? Right?
It’s something about the nature of working from home, I think. There’s not someone telling you to clock out & you don’t have co-workers jonesing to get out of the office as soon as the clock strikes 12:00!
But, as we all know, keeping fueled + hydrated is vital to success! I want to stay focused all day, so I try to start with a tall glass of water first thing in the morning. Then, throughout the day, I try to eat breakfast, take a break for lunch + then eat dinner once I’m wrapping things up or buckling down for a late night.
My saving grace on days that feel like I have a million things to do? ProBars. When you’re hungry but don’t have the time to make a meal at the moment, our minds naturally go to snacks. Problem is, in our organic household where we try to eat whole foods as much as possible, there aren’t many ‘snacks’ that I will eat. I used to love protein bars or granola bars until I started to read the labels–EEK! Since then, I have steered clear of bars of any sort, until I found ProBar. *major heart eyes* They are made with sustainable, organic + nonGMO ingredients. Totally making my heart sing & leaving me with a happy belly to continue working!
3. STICK TO A SCHEDULE
Are you a morning person? Or a night owl? Do you feel most creative mid-day or in the evening?
These types of habits can throw your focus out the window or keep you dialed. That is, if you understand them!
I know that I am a morning person, through & through. So, what that means for me is that I know as soon as I get up + make my coffee, I get to work. It’s when I’m most productive + focused.
Mid-day I tend to get a little antsy, wanting a break from what I’ve been doing all morning. So, I will always schedule client meetings during this time. Or I will dive into a creative project–editing client photos, shooting product photography, blogging, etc.
Later in the afternoon is when I check back into my daily list + see what else I need to accomplish for the day. Wrap that up. & then move onto what ‘other’ things are on my list! Do I need to go to the grocery store? Laundry? Meet friends for dinner? I devote my time to these things during the later hours of my day.
By having a ‘schedule’ based around my own habits, I am able to know when I am most productive + plan around it. Without a schedule, I tend to lose track of time, get distracted + feel unaccomplished at the end of that day.
4. TAKE DEEP BREATHS
Working from home can be stressful at times! Point blank.
Your day goes differently than planned, something unexpected comes up, you’re feeling overwhelmed/exhausted/lost . . . These days will happen! More so if you are not serving yourself, taking care of yourself + honoring yourself.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Seriously. You’re a rockstar. (Repeat that to yourself)
I love to diffuse essential oils while I work–ones that uplift my spirit, promote a positive mindset + keep me focused! One of my favorite blends while I work is Peppermint, Joy + Clarity. Peppermint to promote energy + stimulating the mind. Joy to promote a happy, loving feeling. Clarity to promote memory retention + mental alertness.
5. GET UP & GET OUT
Going back to my post about how being social will SAVE you as an entrepreneur–GET OUT THERE! Make a coffee date, have meetings with your clients outside of your home, go work from your favorite co-work space! Take a hike in the morning, ride your bike to break up the day, switch up your routine to include a fitness class. See other humans! In theory, this will mess up your schedule + distract you, but in reality–this balances you, keeps you sane + allows you to really focus when you are working!
(BONUS TIP: Take it one day at a time. These are words straight out of my partner Aaron’s mouth. He is the one who reminds me to slow down, focus solely on the task at had + remember–one step at a time.)
How do you stay focused + productive working from home?
Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please DO NOT STOP.
Today I’m bringing you my FRIDAY FAVORITES!
These are the things that I’m currently obsessed with using or the everyday essentials I’ve used for years! Hope you enjoy. . .
PROi HAIR DRYER | I’m an air-dry type of girl––or at least I used to be! Maybe I used to prefer air-drying because admittedly, I still had a Conair Blow Dryer from 10 years ago up until I found this baby! (Yikes! I know!) Now, drying my hair is fast & easy. The PROi Hair Dryer is enriched with negative ions for professional-level styling, leaving my hair feeling silky after & cutting down on my dry time on those mornings I don’t have time to air dry!
WHIRL TRIO CURLING WAND | I am really particular about styling products + tools because I don’t use many! So, if I’m going to use something, I want it to be spectacular. This curling wand is the BOMB! What I love is that with the whirl trio from t3Micro you have the one base + three interchangeable heads–all different sizes. It’s perfect for travel–only making you to bring one unit even if you want multiple looks! If you want smooth curls, beachy waves or textured volume–you’ve got it!
I also recommend the defined curls attachment + the polished curls attachment!
31 BITS NECKLACE | This gorgeous piece seems to get slipped over my neck more than not lately. It’s dainty, simple + goes with everything! I just love 31 Bits’ designs. They are my jam!
PRIMALLY PURE BODY BUTTER + TONER | I’m not a big fan of lotion at all. Most leave your hands oily or are filled with a bunch of gross chemicals (yea, check your label next time you go to put some on!) so, when I found this body butter from Primally Pure–I fell in love! It has the loveliest scent, ingredients + feel on my hands! & the ‘Everything Spray’ – *major heart eyes* – is jam-packed with awesomeness & you can use it for everything (as a facial toner, after shave to prevent ingrowns, underarm refresher, or to soothe an inflammatory skin condition). I can’t recommend both highly enough!
SMILE SCIENCES | For those of you who are seeking out whitening products (outside of the natural oral care I recommend) I would say this brand over any others I’ve tried in the years passed! My biggest complaint about other brands was the sensitivity it causes–well, Smile Sciences prides themselves in offering a product that is pain & sensitivity free!
AERIE CLASSIC BRALETTE | For those of you who read my deodorant post, you know that I believe in doing everything I can to lower my risk of breast cancer. One of the things I do is give myself a break from the underwire as much as I can! Thank goodness for these darling, comfy bralettes from Aerie! I wear many of their different bralette styles on repeat. Oh & they’re on sale for $20 right now–what a steal!
YL TEA TREE OIL + FRANKINCENSE OIL | I have sworn by these two little beauties for years now! Tea Tree is perfect for blemishes (I replaced nasty acne creams with this). Frankincense promotes healthy cell regeneration + keeps existing cells and tissues healthy. It’s wonderful for your skin health by helping treat dry skin, reverse signs of aging + reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars!
If you want more info on essential oils, shoot me an email!
KAIA NATURALS BAMBOO TAPIOCA BEADS | This is a cleanser + exfoliator + mask made from 100% natural ingredients: coconut, chickpeas, deep cleansing clay and a touch of tapioca to absorb oil. Simply activate the concentrated powder by adding water to leave skin feeling soft and hydrated. It’s even great for the most sensitive skin-types! The more water you add the more gentle the exfoliation. & if you’d like to use it as a mask, mix it with less water & leave it on for 10 minutes! Kaia Naturals has made this product with no additives, no fillers or preservatives. It’s 100% natural, vegan and ocean-friendly. That makes me one happy lady!
KAI FRAGRANCE | The smell of Kai takes me straight to paradise–truly. It’s light & airy yet mesmerizing. The exotic scent is also amazing because it is paraben, sulfate, phthalate + phosphate free. It’s also cruelty free + vegan. Also, years ago I once heard that Jennifer Aniston wears this scent (I have no idea if that’s true or not, but if Jen loves it, I knew I had to try it ;) )
SCHMIDT’S DEODORANT | This clean, herbaceous fragrance of Lavender + Sage deodorant is soothing + subtle. So gentle on the skin too! It provides all-day odor protection and wetness relief! & if you read my deodorant post, you know that it’s so important that it’s free of aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens & phthalates. *insert hands up emoji here*
HUMBLE HILO BAG | I love this carry-all bag! It’s come along on many trips with me. It’s super functional as well as beautiful. The bags from Humble Hilo are individually handmade, handcrafted from one of a kind huipiles from Guatemala. A portion of your purchase supports your choice of humanitarian projects–I love products that benefit something greater.
(I’m now eyeing their Hilo Backpack)
TAN BABE SUNLESS TANNER | . . . I haven’t used self-tanner since a very bad attempt at using some as an adolescent. Although when I stumbled upon Tan Babe on Instagram, I noticed that it was all-natural, vegan, organic and oil based which totally caught my eye! All of these things proving so different from the grocery store brands pumped full of crap. My first thought was, ‘hey maybe I’ll give it another go!,’ because who doesn’t need a little help during the winter months? The amazing thing about this brand is that it dries instantly, didn’t stain my clothes or sheets & didn’t turn me orange or streaky! So, now I just wish I could tell my eighth grade self that I did, in fact, conquer the self tanner finally!
Also, here’s the polished curls attachment I briefly touched on earlier! Love the versatility of this curling wand!
Well, that’s what I’m obsessing over currently!
I hope that I pointed you in the direction of something that can be of benefit to you! Which things caught your eye?
What are your current FRIDAY FAVORITES? I’d love to hear!
Photography By Aaron Haynes
Deodorant’s scary? What? Why?
Well. . . I have used deodorant or antiperspirant since adolescence–wanting to smell fresh & not have underarms stains. I can remember commercials on TV persuading me to buy this glorious scent or the competitor’s; arguing that their product ‘lasted longer’ or ‘smelled better.’
I always thought it was an essential part of my beauty routine until a few years ago when I started reading + hearing things about deodorant–not good things. The use of antiperspirant deodorant formulas has been subject to a lot of controversy due to the aluminum base and parabens (which are chemicals used as preservatives)–among other harsh and toxic substances like solvents + unnatural fragrances.
YIKES! When I started reading this information from different sources, I really dived into why I thought antiperspirant was essential to my routine & looked for alternatives that were safer for my body.
HERE’S THE SKINNY:
What’s the difference between deodorant + antiperspirant?
Deodorant minimizes body odor.
Antiperspirant prevents sweat by blocking the ducts that release it with aluminum.
Y’know, cause that’s super natural. . . NOT! Seriously, does plugging ducts sound like that’s good for your body? Sure doesn’t to me. . .
& you want to know what was the strongest factor in me changing my routine? I started reading about the link between aluminum in the antiperspirant + breast cancer. Yes, I said breast cancer.
Since breast cancer runs in my family, with both my grandmother + aunt living as survivors (so happy to say that), this was a huge red flag for me! I understand that I’m at a higher risk due to my family history so I want to do everything I can to reduce my risk.
It’s said that important breast cancer prevention strategies include choosing natural personal care products, being aware of bra risk factors, limiting your fructose/sugar intake, exercising + optimizing your vitamin D and animal-based omega-3 fat levels.
Aluminum is usually the first ingredient listed on antiperspirant labels. For anyone who reads labels, or wants to start understanding what is in the products they buy, ingredients are listed by the highest percentage to lowest percentage. Over the counter antiperspirants contain between 10 and 25 percent of their “active ingredient,” which is usually an aluminum-based compound. Aluminum may be absorbed into your breast tissue where it could potentially increase your risk of breast cancer or other health problems.
Women with breast cancer have higher levels of aluminum in their nipple aspirate fluid (NAF), a fluid present in the breast duct tree. Studies show aluminum from antiperspirants is deposited in breast tissue and animal studies have also found that aluminum can cause cancer.
Aluminum has been associated with a variety of health issues–
- Breast Cancer
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Kidney Problems
The few other ingredients to be mindful of are fragrance, triclosan + propylene glycol.
I want to stress that I am not an expert on these ingredients nor a doctor. I am just someone who believes that our products shouldn’t harm us but instead help us. My rule of thumb is if I cannot pronounce it or do not know the origins of an ingredient–I won’t buy it, eat it or use it. I believe in natural products that are truly natural & most of all, educating ourselves as consumers.
So, are you feeling a bit more aware of what’s in this (no longer) ‘essential beauty product’?
Before you get too freaked out, know that there are alternatives!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING SAFE DEODORANT:
Make sure it’s aluminum-free.
Make sure it consists of essential oils and all natural ingredients.
Aluminum free alone may not be enough (some aluminum-free deodorants are still high risk) so make sure they also don’t contain chemicals like triclosan and propylene glycol.
Here are my favorite brands that I recommend. . .
Schmidt’s, started by their founder Jaime, has set out to break the reputation of natural deodorant’s being ineffective–and succeeded. By refusing to compromise any effectiveness when formulating her deodorant, she invested in research and testing which then allowed her to create a product that legitimately worked all day, felt great on the skin + smells awesome. I love the bold, vibrant smell of the Bergamot + Lime & Aaron’s obsessed with the Cedarwood + Juniper stick.
You can find their whole line of amazing products here!
Primally Pure is a brand that matches their love for organic products with aesthetics! Bethany, the founder, believes that skincare and beauty products should enrich your life by providing you with noticeable results without sacrificing your health or well-being. After discovering the power of eating real food, she subsequently purged her home of toxic skincare products (much like my story) and began formulating her own replacements made with real, recognizable ingredients.
Her pride stems from providing safe, organic, and 100% natural skincare products made with the absolute best and most nourishing ingredients on the planet. She strives to create effective products that work by nourishing the skin, body, and self – products that promote health and vitality instead of taking away from it.
I love that she has created two formulas of deodorants, one for anyone’s skin & one for sensitive skin. Both in such a lovely (newly launched design) package! You can find the whole Primally Pure line here.
With new findings staring us right in the face, it’s extremely hard for me to ignore the potential dangers of many health + beauty items. But what can we do? We can make conscious + intentional choices to actively search for + buy products that are more beneficial to our health.
Do you use organic or natural personal care products? If you do, share them with me in the comments! I would love to learn about new products + brands that you recommend!