Friday, April 18, 2014

My Love Affair with Marie Veronique Organics

I may have found my skincare holy grail!  No seriously this time!  I was lucky enough to try some products from Marie Veronique Organics and my skin will never be the same.  First a little about this amazing company:
Intelligent Ingredients" is more than just a tagline. It’s the overriding principle that guides every formulation at Marie Veronique Organics. That’s because science tells us that what goes on your skin ultimately penetrates your skin and goes into your body. The right ingredients can do a world of good and the wrong ones quite the opposite. Before an ingredient gets added to a product we make sure it does the right thing, efficiently and without causing harm to you or the planet.Using our deep scientific understanding of the aging process, we turn to nature for potent ingredients that will counter—and even reverse—the effects of aging skin. Our ingredients are selected to penetrate deep within the skin, working exactly where the aging action happens, rather than simply staying on the surface. And above all else, we stand by our philosophy that toxic ingredients, harmful chemicals, artificial agents and preservatives are not the solution for making your skin look and feel younger.It’s probably no surprise that our entire company is dedicated to sustainability. Wherever possible we use natural, organic and fair trade ingredients, packaged in 100% recyclable materials. And we source them as close to our Mill Valley headquarters as possible to keep our footprint super small.

The MVO Cleanser can be used on all skin types.  It washes away all impurities, but somehow your skin never seems tight after cleansing.   This cleanser gets big love from green beauties and magazines alike.  Why?  Because it works.  It uses a mild sugar surfecant that removes cosmetics without removing your protective layer of skin with harsh ingredients.  I use it morning and night and am loving the results.

The MVO Mist has the most perfect, indescribable scent.  I want to drink it, but settle for spraying myself a few times a day (out of want rather than need). It keeps my skin looking firm and it is a product I will never allow myself to live without.  It is that good!

The MVO Face Oil is one of the few face oils in this world that did not congest my skin.  I love how easily it goes on and no greasy-residue.  This oil actually dissolves the congestion that clog pores.  It also minimizes my pores and makes those frown lines a thing of the past.

To protect the great skin that Marie Veronique Organics has now given me, I am devoted to using The MVO Everyday Coverage with Spf 30.  This product is considered a beauty-world multi-tasker.  It protects your delicate skin and is just the right amount of moisture.

The whole line is so incredible and i cannot wait to delve into more of it.  Marie Veronique Organics has a fan for life!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Violent Volcano

Galt toys are wonderful for kids who are not only creative but curious!  Galt offers a ton of ways for children to play and learn.  The Violent Volcano set is no exception.  So many of us have done the experiment of using bicarbonate of soda with vinegar.  It never stops be thrilling to watch that chemical reaction, even as an adult.  The Violent Volcano set brings that fun to life.  It comes with goggles to protect the little's eyes, a volcano, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar as well as little cardboard running scientists to complete the fun.

The including information is a great way to discuss this scientific phenomenon and we had loads of fun making up our volcano scene.  We hunted for leaves and sticks to really make it looks authentic.

It was so cool to watch is "erupt" and since the first time, we have used some products from home to recreate the scene.  It is never too early to get kids interested in science and nature, and what a fun way to do it!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mermaid Hair

The mythical mermaid is one subject I can never get enough of.  My daughter joins me in this obsession.  Captain Blankenship is an amazing brand that is definitely more than a little inspired by the sea and all her beauty.  For me, a mermaid is the most beautiful sea-creature of all.  I wrote a review of Captain Blankenship here.  I am so excited to review the hair care items.

The aptly named, Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray has gotten lots of lip service, because frankly it rocks.
Imparts texture and life to hair,giving you a just left the seashore feel with a beachy rose scent. Spray generously into hair and scrunch to desired effect. 
Made with water, sea salt, organic aloe vera, organic essential oils of rose geranium and palmarosa.

It really does give what my daughter refers to as "mermaid hair."  As I have aged, my hair has definitely gotten wavy or what some might even say is curly.  I love using the  Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray because it not only works like a charm to acheive that beachy hair look, but it does so without any crunchiness of hair that looks like your shower is broken, like a lot of similar products.  It smells like a beach rose.  My daughter who lacks my wave, loves using this and falling asleep with hair in a braid, and she wakes up to her "mermaid hair."

The Mermaid Hair Oil  is amazing for dry ends or a little scalp treatment. 
 Adds luster and moisture to dry locks with a powerful blend of nutrient rich nourishing oils. Rub a couple drops into palms and massage into hair, especially ends. Made with organic argan oil, kukui nut oil, organic jojoba oil, organic sunflower oil, essential oils of cedarwood, lemon and rosemary.
I love the scent and for a girl dry scalp from harsh winters and summer spent on the beach, I cannot get enough of this.  It has a very beachy scent that makes me want to use it all over my body.

Days at Sea Dry Shampoo completes this perfect trio.
A miracle worker. Sprinkle into your roots and work throughout hair to mask oil and
give hair body. Beachy rose scent. Made with rice powder, organic kaolin clay, organic arrowroot powder, organic baking soda, organic essential oils of rose geranium and palmarosa.

I love dry shampoo, but I had yet to find an all natural one that had a scent that would last and that worked. This  Days at Sea Dry Shampoo  is the ONE!  I use this whenever I have no had time to wash my hair.  It leaves my hair smelling clean and fresh, and it really does absorb excess oil.  A mermaid would be proud. This is a "cannot live without" product.

I cannot wait to discover more from this line.  Every product is a revolution for natural beauty.

Big Dipper Wax Works Light Up My Life

It is a rare day that you will not see at least one candle lit in my home.  I have this thing with scent, and there is not better scent than a pure beeswax candle!  I get my candles from Big Dipper Wax Works .

Big Dipper Wax works uses all natural, biodegradable ingredients: Their candles are made from locally sourced 100% beeswax, which undergoes no chemical processing. Their candles are scented with pure essential oils, and our wicks are 100%cotton. 

If you have chemical-sensitivities, then you know you cannot just spark up some cheap chemical-laden candle.  Beeswax has the most amazing comforting smell and it has the ability to burn for a long time.  I am a fan of the Tins  which burn for over 12 hours and come in amazing scents.  I tend to burn Clarity which is an intoxicating aroma of Lime + May Chang.  These Tins  are also amazing for travel and help you to make each space your own.

At home, we burn the Big Dipper Wax Works  Pillars.  They burn cleanly without soot and whether you choose pure beeswax or an aromatherapy pillar, you are one happy camper.  For me, Sweet Orange + Clove Bud is a favorite.  I burn it through all of fall and winter.  Depending on size, the pillars will burn for 40, 60 or 90 hours!

If fancy is what you crave, try the sculpted and molded collection. I am currently burning an artichoke sphere
which is has the most intoxicating beeswax aroma and can burn for 50 hours.  Plus, when it is done, you can enjoy these little masterpieces by putting a tea light or small pillar inside.

Candles are a great way to set a mood, or like us, scent the home.  We also use candles as a part of the process of winding down and getting ready for bed.  My daughter knows that once the candles are lit, we need to be settling down.  You can also make the switch to pure beeswax for special occasions and birthdays with Big Dipper Wax Works line of holiday & special occasion candles.  These are perfect for birthdays, Waldorf rings, Hanukkah etc.

Burn on readers!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Scented Journey

I heard about Olivine when looking for natural, beautifully crafted scents.  If you read this blog, you know I am obsessed with scent.  Like a blood hound, my nose guides me.  Nice imagery, I know.  Let me tell you about these little beauties...

I had the opportunity to try the seven scents currently offered by Julie, the creator of Olivine.  Her obsession began as a child and she is continuing with her craft.

For the last 20+ years I have been helping women look, feel and smell beautiful.
I make perfume because I love it.  
I love the way it makes me feel when I put it on...Sexy, Free, Alive, Sassy, Alluring, Comforted, Happy.
Somewhere along the way I learned with 100% certainty that SELF LOVE is the way to absolute happiness.  If you are madly in love with yourself then you can do anything and be anything.  
And if one drop of perfume puts a smile on your face...causes you to hold your head a little higher...puts a slight twinkle in your eye...inspires you to put a little swing in your hips when you walk...Then I have done my job.
All of the scents were truly ethereal experiences for me.  I will try to capture this magic (but don't count it, these are that good).  Each perfume is inspired by a story.  

Bluebird is a limited edition fragrance with neroli, stargazer lily and blood orange.  This is a very innocent and comforting everyday perfume for me.  Full Regalia is a musky vanilla with many layers (wear this to tempt even the most resistant).  Olivine is deep, earthy, like fresh earth covered in rain with a layer of ozone.  Oxley is romantic, with notes of jasmine, and and a tropical edge of gardenia.  It persuades people to want to get another sniff to see what that intoxicating scent could be.  While I love all of them, there were three stand-outs that fit me personally.  

She Belongs There smells like you just walked into a deserted island covered in gardenia, pikake and lush jasmine with vanilla thrown in to round it out.  It is your honeymoon, your romantic getaway and your me-time all in a fragrance.  More Than The Stars opens with almond, but the gardenia and lily come through.  I was surprised at how much I liked More Than The Stars.  It is one of the most comforting scents I have ever worn.  It makes me want to take in and enjoy how rich life is.  Among the Waves is my hands-down absolute favorite.  I have spent every summer on the beach and this is the beach captured in fragrance.  This is that wonderful feeling of sun-kissed skin after the shower washes away the ocean and sand and you go and sit on the beach and look at the beauty around you.  It has coconut, lily, and even salt. Among the Waves is as close to being on the beach as you can get without actually being there.

I cannot recommend these scents enough!  They are beautifully hand-crafted, and each one is a sensory experience.  You can buy them as EDP or Oil.  I opt for oil since it is pure scent.  If you want to try them all and see which one works for you, be sure and grab the EDP Sample Set, and sail away.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Vered Organic Botanicals

There are so many skincare and body care brands out there, that it takes a lot to get me excited to try anything.  Vered Organic Botanicals was one of those lines I have lusted after.  Vered Organic Botanicals gets a lot of lip service from green bloggers, major publications and word-of-mouth.

VERED organic botanicals is an organic skin and body care line integrating therapeutic botanical essential oils that are 100% chemical and preservative free. Creator Vered is a master esthetician and herbalist who brings 23 years of combined experience to VERED organic botanicals - integrating holistic modalities such as phytotherapy, medicinal plant research, skilled esthetician expertise, extensive bodywork and aromatherapy - to develop and share these high quality 85%-100% organic products for face and body.

Vered Organic Botanicals was created by Vered, and the story is interesting:
The inception of VERED organic botanicals started at the urging of her private clients, who begged her to bottle her customized facial oil blends. 
Despite the incredible feedback from clients, the true motivator to create the VERED line centered around her very own challenging health issues, which she faced years later after she experienced a sudden health crisis. 

Feeling defeated, she turned to her massive collection of organic herbal remedies and tinctures that she had been extracting for years. She opened her books, researched health websites, and held private sessions with a homeopathic teacher. She applied all her years of research and study about herbs, nutrition, and alternative medicine into practice on herself, leaving her fear at the door.

In short, she took control of her own health. 

Vered has a wealth of over 23 years as an esthetician and herbalist. I was fortunate enough to speak with Vered via phone and she is so knowledgeable about skincare.

Her creations are all gems, but for me, there are a few that really stand out.   As someone with hormonal, combination skin, you say "face oil" to me and I cringe.  I am one of those people who is torn with wanting so badly to try them and knowing oil is actually good for your skin (even combination skin), and scared I will be one big breakout.  The Therapeautic Balancing Facial Oil changed all of that for me.  This herb-infused oil is antibacterial and antiinflamotory.  It was created specifically for damaged, problematic, inflamed, oily skin.  It really is amazing!  It smells like a lemon drop.  I use it nightly and though the results were not immediate, by the second week, I had less bumps on my forehead and chin.  You only need a tiny amount.  I am a facial oil convert!

The other Vered Organic Botanicals winner for me is the Clarifying Detox Mask.  When I first opened it, I was not sure how I would feel.  It looks like mud, but when mixed with a little water, it is a anti-fungal, anti-bacterial treat for problematic skin.  It contains liquorice, walnut hulls, and neem leaf among other things.  It has a very herbal scent.  I use this 1-2 times a week.  I cannot get enough!  It clears up hormonal breakouts and keeps skin looking and feeling fresh.

Vered Organic Botanicals is also known for the amazing body oils.  My favorite of the three is the Signature Scent Body Oil, or as I call it, "heaven in a bottle."  It is the most gorgeous smelling body oil, with notes of rose, amber, jasmine and orange blossom.  Primrose, jojoba and almond oil make this the perfect moisturizer for dry, winter skin.  I wish I could drink this stuff, it is that good.  I usually get little bumps on the back of my arms and this miracle oil cleared them right up.

Vered Organic Botanicals did not disappoint in any way.  The formulations are well-thought out and come from someone with the experience and education to really change the way we care for ourselves and our skin.  Be sure and grab the Introductory Kit, which will give you nice sampling of all of the products and introduce you to this amazing experience.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Little Ballerina, A lot of Imagination

It is not secret that I am a huge fan of Corolle dolls.  The dolls do not have crazy (and lets face it creepy features) like wetting, eating and burping.  Corolle believes that children have enough creativity to make their own "real" babies.  I love that my child is able to keep that innocence about her.  I love that she still plays with dolls in a world where children as young as one seem more attached to an electronic device.  Children learn a great deal from playing with dolls.  They can mimic what they see their parents do in the care of them. This is because baby dolls are packed with potential for teaching children about themselves and the world around them. Baby dolls offer kids lots of opportunities for developing their cognitive, fine motor, and self-help skills. Kids often find it easier to practice these skills on someone (or something) else before they can apply them to themselves. 

Corolle: The Premium Doll Brand Designed in France
Corolle dolls are designed to be the perfect look, size, feel and scent for little ones to love and cherish. Pretty, sweet faces are sculpted after real babies. Fashions are inspired by current children's clothing and adapted for a young child's dexterity so they are easy to dress.

When I realized Corolle had come out with the  Les Chéries line, I was so excited.  My daughter could get a doll that was a little less baby and more child.  
Corolle's Les Chéries fashion dolls are perfect for girls ages 4 and up who love fashion fun and imaginative play! Budding fashionistas will enjoy dressing and redressing these 13-inch dolls according to the season or the occasion. They'll spend endless hours inventing new looks for them, mixing and matching from the stylish outfits and accessories -- shoes, bags, headbands and more -- that are part of the Les Chéries Collection. All Les Chéries fashion dolls feature sleeping eyes, long silky hair that can be brushed and styled and all-vinyl bodies that are delicately scented with vanilla -- a Corolle signature!
These girls are the perfect size to take along with you. My daughter fell in love the minute she saw her "Chloe" doll in the box. Her immediate response was, "Mama, she looks like me." There are a large selection of dolls to choose from and children feel connected because the dolls looks like them.   Even better is the large selection of clothing that children can choose from.  Children can change their dolls just like they dress themselves. It is a great way for kids to practice their dexterity as well. The faces on a  Les Chéries are just as irresistibly adorable as the award winning  Corolle dolls we all know and love.  

Chloe was renamed Rosa Belle by my daughter and "Rosa Belle" has gone everywhere with us. Rosa Belle is even tucked in at night in the Mon Premier Carry Bed.  Mon Premier Carry Bed is made of quilted bunny fabric and makes it easy for your little one to carry around their favorite Corolle friend.  There are also a whole selection of accessories that your prince or princess will also love.  Viva la Imaginacion!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Nyakio Lip Balm...Oh, honey, honey!

As a self-proclaimed lip balm addict, it is near to impossible to surprise me with a lip product.  I have that "been there, done that" attitude.  I have my favorites and I stick with them.  Until I was sent Nyakio Hydrating Lip Balm with Kola Nut!

First, a little about this incredible brand:

Nyakio Kamoche Grieco is the founder of the nyakio™ brand,a collection of beauty products inspired by her family’s secrets and created for all skin types, all ages and all ethnicities. Nyakio is a first-generation American of Kenyan descent. She was born in Buffalo, New York to Kenyan parents and grew up in Oklahoma, spending summers in Kenya.Inspired by her family of medicine men, farmers and educators, Nyakio created the nyakio™ brand to share her family beauty secrets. Nyakio was most influenced by her maternal grandfather, a medicine man, and by her namesake paternal grandmother, who lived on a sustainable coffee and sugarcane farm. Nyakio carefully selects naturally effective African ingredients that have been used by generations for their hydrating, revitalizing, smoothing and anti-aging benefits. Nyakio combines these good-for-you ingredients with modern, result-driven formulas to deliver superb multi-tasking products, formulated without parabens or sulfates. Nyakio’s authentic story and her one-of-a-kind products give everyone an enriching and luxurious experience that leaves skin more youthful-looking.

A brand with history is always a plus for me!   So back to this lip balm...Nyakio Hydrating Lip Balm with Kola Nut is a yummy, moisturizing treat for even the driest of winter lips.  I put it on at night and wake up with it on in the morning (it is that good). I can slather it on in the morning an return home from a busy day and my lips still feel moisturized.

Ivory Coast Kola Nut, the African Miracle Oil, Marula, South African Trichilia Oil and Honey combine in this luxurious lip treatment to immediately comfort and soften dry lips for the ultimate lip hydration.Nyakio’s family secret:
  • Nyakio’s paternal grandmother taught Nyakio her beauty philosophy of the energizing and invigorating benefits of caffeine.
  • The use of oils in skincare has been part of Nyakio's family rituals for generations. Oils were also often used in celebrations (baptisms, weddings, rites of passage) to adorn those being celebrated.
  • Nyakio’s medicine man, maternal grandfather was a farmer who would gather plants, fruits and nuts from his farm and extract the oils to treat and condition the skin.
  • Nyakio’s aunt cultivated bees and taught Nyakio to use honey in skincare for conditioning benefits.
  • Nyakio Hydrating Lip Balm with Kola Nut smells like pure honey (so if you do not like that scent, stay away!).  I happen to adore honey as demonstrated by the fact that we go through at least 1-2 jars a month.  It is a comforting smell for me, and I know honey not only conditions skin, it is also antibacterial.

    If you winter lips look more lizard than luscious, pop some of this little treat on and pack some punch with your new and improved kisser.

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Sailing with Captain Blankenship

    My favorite book as a child was called The Maggie B by Irene Haas.  In this book, Maggie wishes on a star for a ship to sail on with her brother.  They spend the day aboard the ship and eat delicious things and enjoy their freedom.  I always wanted to be careful yet imaginative Maggie.  When the book would end, I did not care that Maggie was safe at home, I imagined her still sailing the seas.  

       Captain Blankenship is a line of skincare, body care, fragrance and hair care by Jana Blankenship is exactly what my literary heroine Maggie would have loved!  The packaging is inspired by the sea.  As an ocean-loving lassie, this was what initially attracted me to the brand, and the fabulous products keep me devoted.  I am also a sucker for the hand-drawn logos!

    Inspired by the smells of the natural world, Captain Blankenship set sail on her maiden voyage in 2009. The craft was built in San Francisco by me, Jana Blankenship, and now sails in the lush Hudson River Valley.  Since childhood I have had my nose wafting in the trees and flowers. As a young devotee, I mixed together my mother's perfumes to create signature perfumes like "Scents of Hawaii." This heavy mixing as a child led to an ongoing allergy to synthetic scents. My love of smells and desire for luxurious, natural products propels my exploration. All Captain Blankenship products are made with love by me using only organic, wildcrafted or natural ingredients.To me, scent is a marker of place, time, and memory, struck by colored notes that resonate. I hope these products bring you as much pleasure as they bring me. Put them on your skin and let them grow.

    I have been fortunate enough to try the line and there are some amazing creations that you all should try.  The Aloe & Rose Toner is a just magical.
    Refreshing, soothing and clarifying toner that will leave your skin hydrated and dewy. Made with organic witch hazel, organic aloe vera, non-gmo vegetable glycerine, white willow extract, organic essential oils of rose and lemongrass.
    This is more of an astringent toner because of the witch hazel.  But a gal on her maiden voyage needs a good toner.  I imagine Maggie would have used this to keep herself refreshed when the sea took a toll on her (I use it as a refreshing toner that keeps pimples at bay).

    I have combination skin, but the Rose & Pomegranate Face Oil is heaven.   I know you think "oil, on your combination skin?!"  I thought that too, but this converted me.  It smells just as good as you are thinking and it sinks right in.
    A blend of rich moisturizing and healing oils that absorb easily into skin. Just a few drops and your skin will be soft and glowing. Made with organic jojoba oil,organic sunflower oil, organic pomegranate seed oil, vitamin e, organic rose and wildharvested carrot seed essential oil.

    I cannot believe how much I have fallen for this facial oil!  I recently wind-burned my skin and one application of this and it was gone.   No oil residue and the scent, oh the scent!

       Captain Blankenship  is known for the handcrafted delicious scents.  I got the Scent Sample set, which is a great way to try them all out.  Jaune is probably my favorite with the notes of vanilla, ginger, cedarwood and roses.  Phosphorescent is the embodiment of cypress with a creamy vanilla.  For me, Lila is lilacs and lime (a perfect spring scent).  My other favorite is Wolf Moon for the orris  (iris root) and frankincense.  It is dark, yet sexy.  It is a a raw, earthy scent.  Sea Wolf smells manly to me with the patchouli and pine.  Mesa wears as a spicy jasmine.  Each scent is so natural and wears for a good 5+ hours.  They release their layers throughout the day.

    I like to think that Maggie would have been just as excited as me to use Captain Blankenship.  The scents of all of the products are amazing.  Stay tuned for a review of hair products from this beautiful line!

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    Sitting Still Like a Frog

    I became aware that maybe our life was getting too hectic when my daughter had no less than four crying fits in one week.  For some, this may be normal kid behaviour, but not for my daughter.  She is usually pretty chilled out, unless immensely provoked.  I had spent the week running around all day and not really spending time and sitting with her.  She was angry at me, angry at herself for being angry and it culminated in tantrums.

    Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises For Kids by Eline Snel is an introduction to mindfulness for kids (and adults).

    This introduction to mindfulness meditation for children and their parents includes practices that can help children calm down, become more focused, fall asleep more easily, alleviate worry, manage anger, and generally become more patient and aware. The accompanying audio CD has guided meditations voiced by Myla Kabat-Zinn, co-author of Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

    We all need to learn to take a step out of our days and just sit and process what is going on with us.  One of my favorite quotes from the book is, "You cannot control the waves, but you can learn to surf on them." It is something I repeat to myself.  The CD is a great tool to use daily because as this book reminds us, mindfulness can take practice.  Each chapter gives both parents and children exercises that help us all to become a better family.   Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises For Kids does not only encourage parents to sit and talk with their children in a controlled environment, but also to allow each other that time to breathe. (something I have never been good at). It teaches us to be kinder and notice our feelings and those around us.

    As a parent, I often find myself yelling.  I wish it was as easy as telling myself to stop, but like anyone, I get frustrated.  After teaching a class of 22 second-graders, I can come home cranky.  My response will often dictate my daughter's day. With Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises For Kids I have learned to process and do things differently.

    For a fun, eye-opening activity called "Noticing Your Unkindness," you wear rubber bands on one wrist, and if you are unkind to yourself or others, you take notice of it (no one need point it out) and you move the band to the other wrist.  It gives you a visual about yourself.  For each kindness, you move the band back.  I did this and it made a huge difference.  My goal is to end the day with bands on the "kind" side.

    Check this book out and take a minute to become a mindful parent and help you child to become a mindful child.  You will both love the results!

    Monday, March 31, 2014

    Gressa Skin is Beautiful Skin

    As more and more people get the memo that our skin matters and what we put on goes in, more all-natural and organic companies take note and create incredible items.  Gressa Skin  is a fantastic line that I fell in love with the very first time I was privileged enough to use the products.  The creator, Svetlana as a philosophy that  is simple and beautiful:
    Expect the unexpected.  Refine your daily skincare routine. Make those few precious minutes each day ever so precious.Gressa adds true luxury of ancient traditional skincare by bringing you the most unique sensory experience.  Emerge in warming spices, clays, precious oils of rarest, most exotic plants our Earth has to offer.Time stops. Gressa makes this time your own.Pure, calm, evenly toned skin is the revealed upon continuous ritual.Glowing, balanced, well-taken care of. You.

    This seems so simple to say, but do, well that is a different story.  There are a few  Gressa Skin  that I cannot live without.  I am the first to admit that when I tried Dirty Pretty Things, I was not prepared to love it as much as I did.

    Going back to the roots has never been this cutting edge. Regenerate, renew, re-mineralize and revitalize your skin with this blend of traditional herbs and spices loaded with antioxidants for your skin to eat up.
    It comes as a powder that you add water to an apply to face.  It does wonders for skin.  I have sensitive skin and this was no issue for me.  My skin really did "eat up" and the goodness.  I have combination skin with a tendency to redden, and this left me positively glowing.  It smells, feels and works in an amazing way.  I look forward to those days of the week when I am going to use this.  It feels like a special ritual just for me.

    Another Gressa Skin  huge winner for me is the Rejuvenating Mist.

    For a perfectly refreshing experience, this all natural moisturizing facial toner is infused with pure Neroli. Skin is refreshed, rejuvenated and soothed.

    ~Neroli calms and restore your skin and mind
    ~Rehydrates, refreshes and softens skin
    ~Restores natural pH balance

    No lie, I could practically drink this.  It makes skin glow and look so fresh and young, but, even better is the delectable scent.  I spray this for the skin benefits as well as the aromatherapy.  I use this morning, noon and night and have even brought it to class to pep me up.  I will never travel without this.  (Do you think I like it?!)  All I can really say is this is amazing on all levels.  

    I finish up my Gressa Skin  routine with the Lip Boost in Bare.  

    Non-toxic glamour is serene, sheer confidence. It means your love for yourself doesn’t harm the planet. It is grace, elegance, and inner peace coated in sensuality.

    Glam your pout with Gressa Lip Boost. Light, non-sticky and moisturizing, it feels like a balm yet looks like a gloss.  It looks and feels amazing and really plumps up lips.  It goes a long way in showing you that beauty does not have to be toxic.  It imparts a nice "your lips but better" tint that I really love.  It is a clear winner. 

    Gressa Skin  is a company that will soon get sick of my multiple orders from them.  These products are affordable and really work.  This is luxury, organic skincare at its best!

    Sunday, March 30, 2014

    Winter Session Medium Zip Bag Giveaway!

    I love nothing more than a bag.  I have bags in every single shape, size and brand you can imagine.  This stems from my childhood where my mother tells me I carried everything I could with me.  That has not changed much into adulthood.  Even if I may not use something, I carry things with me "just in case."  Winter Session is an incredible company based in Denver Colorado.  A group of friends in  Chicago, IL 

    began sewing bags and aprons as a way to explore new creative ideas and channel their past experiences in art, design and architecture. What began as a side project gathered momentum as they forayed into leatherwork, acquired heavier sewing machines, and brought on friends and acquaintances to help with production. In early 2013, Winter Session left Chicago to establish a new home base in Denver, CO.Our ongoing mission is to design and produce thoughtful, well-made things in a responsible manner. Operating on a flexible scale, we combine traditional methods and innovative technology to find a balance between utilitarian function, durability and aesthetic appeal. We work hard to create affordable, high quality products meant to last. As for the story behind the name Winter'll have to ask us in person sometime
    Winter Session  bags are a dream for someone like me: a hard-working mama.  They are sturdy and will last forever, and better yet, the look so good!

    I was sent the Medium Zip Bag in Cobalt to review.  I immediately switched and made it my cosmetic bag of choice.  It is gorgeous in person and tough does not even begin to describe it.

    It's made from a sturdy 20 oz water-resistant cotton canvas (as opposed to waxed canvas). You can spot clean the bag with warm water and mild soap.   You can also submerge the bag (leather loop and all) in warm water. Then let air-dry. The leather will stay nice and supple with daily use (the oils from your hands will keep it in tip-top condition). It will also darken over time.

    The Zip Bags are constructed start to finish in the Winter Session  workshop  in Denver. They are a small team of 6 people. The Bag is made on an industrial sewing machine and finished with a solid brass YKK zipper. The leather zipper pull is made from vegetable-tanned leather (from a tannery in St. Louis) that is die-cut, oiled, stamped with their logo, and fixed onto the zipper with a solid brass rivet.

    For someone like me who cannot do delicate anything (I am like a bull in a china shop), this bag is a dream.  I also have my eye on some other Winter Session pieces of art (including this Garrison Bag).

    Want to win a Medium Zip bag of your very own?  Enter below!

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    R.L. Linden and the Beautifying Mist

    I am someone who loves trying new brands and when I hear of a product getting lots of hype, I have go check it out.  R.L. Linden & Co. is made up of two friends, Robin & Lynn, who have over 30 years combined experience in creating all natural skincare, bath and body products and teas. As Nature Lovers, Product Nerds and Purveyors of Pretty we are passionate about using, creating and sharing the highest quality natural beauty products available.  I was lucky enough to try the sample pack  which contains the amazing Thousand Petal Beautifying Mist and La Balmba Rose Healing Rose Balm. 

    I love the  Thousand Petal Beautifying Mist because it not only smells amazing, it is a great way to keep skin looking daisy fresh (pun intended).
    Abundant with beautifying flowers, this mist tones and hydrates all skin types, offers anti-anxiety aromatherapy benefits and encourages you to feel radiant as your most gorgeous self!

    I am currently at the end of the sample and plan on grabbing a large bottle of this nectar of youth.  Made with flower essences and essential oils, this is one mist that it at the top of the beauty list.  You cannot find anything more natural.  This has made the grade for many "must-have" lists this year.

     La Balmba Rose Healing Rose  is a great combination of delicate roses and delicious vanilla.  It smells amazing and works even better.  It is soothing for lips, smoothes my fly aways and saved my winter nails.  I had dry, cracked, peeling nails when I started using this.  I smooth it on while catching up on news and chatting with my husband.  The oils in this balm do wonders for skin.

    Stay tuned for some exciting new products from R.L. Linden & Co. that are coming your way this spring, including a makeup remover that will rock your natural world.  Until then, stock up on these lovelies.  

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