Wednesday, February 25, 2015

21 Drops

I am a big believer in essential oils.  I have replaced certain medications and pain relievers with essential oils and had great success.  I am often heard saying "I have an oil for that."  21 Drops makes premium oil blends that you can use for anything from PMS to needing a little boost to finish that job.  
Quite simply, we are as dedicated to your health and wellbeing as we are to maintaining transparency and safety.
At 21 Drops, our commitment to purity in healing originates at the very beginning. All of the essential oils that go into our blends are sourced from sustainable, indigenous habitats and are held to a rigorous, self-imposed therapeutic standard:

Therapeutic Quality
All of our individual essential oils must be therapeutic quality, 100% natural, and organically grown or wild-crafted... We’re sure you think about the quality of the food you put in your body, so why wouldn’t you care about the quality of your essential oils too?
Fully Tested For Purity
All of our individual essential oils must undergo industry-recommended GC-MS quality testing to ensure their exact chemical composition.
100% Safe, 100% Organic
All of our essential oils are safely diluted in 100% organic jojoba carrier oil to ensure upmost purity, safety and effectiveness… It’s actually not safe to apply pure essential oils directly to the skin, so they need to be diluted in a carrier oil. We chose jojoba (pronounced ho-ho-ba) because it is 100% organic.

 I chose to review number 21 which is Inspire.  It is a blend of black pepper, cedarwood and sandalwood.
  I am addicted.  This oil blend is made to get your creative juices flowing.  I carry it with me when I need
 that extra boost.  I love the ease of the roll-on tube and I love how easy it is to grab this and take it with me.
This is one brand I plan on becoming devoted to.

Kiss Me Once

Ava Anderson makes some wonderful cosmetics.  If you read this blog, then you know I am a lip junkie.  I was anxious to try the glosses from the line.

I got to try a few and was duly impressed.

Moisturizing and conditioning lip gloss with vitamins and antioxidants to give you shiny, delicious lips.

 They are very sheer, but definitely build able color and I am addicted to the slightly fruity/minty scent.
I tried Pink and Red and honestly I cannot decide which one I love more.  Pink is subtle (perfect for spring), and Red is my everyday color (this from a woman who is just not brave enough for red lipstick).  I love the colors and I love that I can control the intensity (again I am color shy).

These are super moisturizing with ingredients like quinoa, avocado and beeswax.  Kisses!

Ava Anderson and Avoiding the Hairbrush Fight

My daughter has this way of getting her long (extremely thick) hair into the most baffling tangles.  We wash, we condition and yet we still have all out wars when it comes to hairbrushing time.  Ava Anderson has a selection of products that are made wtihout harmful chemicals.  I have written about this line before.  I will admit, I was a little skeptical that a natural Detangler could do the trick with my little Rapunzel.  Well, I ate my words.
It works like magic. It smells slightly herbal to me.  It is like a wonder spray.

Organic oils and extracts coat hair making strands smoother and less likely to catch on one another. Can be used as a 'leave-in' or 'rinse-out' conditioner or even between shampoos to tame flyaways and add instant shine

This is the only  Detangler  that allows us to comb and brush with no tears.  I am obsessed!  My daughter also actually allows me to use it on her (she usually complains about the scent of most sprays and detanglers).  Smooth sailing ahead!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Kahina Giving Beauty back to your Skin

We all know of my devotion to Kahina Giving Beauty.  This amazing line not only brings you amazing products, but it helps the Berber women of Morocco.  The skincare from this line is unparalleled.  I use a lot of the products and I love each one.

The Rosemary Lavender Argan Soap can be used on face, body and even hair.
• Antioxidant-rich argan oil with olive, coconut and shea oils leaves skin soft, smooth and moisturized• Coarse-ground rosemary polishes skin and stimulates circulation• Fresh scents of rosemary and lavender uplift and invigorate with natural antiseptic properties• Paper wrap inspired by Moroccan tile designs and created by Archive New YorkThis Argan Soap cleanses, exfoliates and conditions for a supple, toned finish.
I have not used it on my hair yet, but I can tell you that this is wonderful for face and body.  It has a rich herbal scent and it really exfoliates skin.  It leaves me glowing and very happy.  I feel like I am in an exotic spa every time I use it.  My husband has tried to nick it more than once, but he knows better now.

 When my skin needs a little extra TLC, I have been happily using the Antioxidant Mask.
Argan oil and silica-rich rhassoul clay from the Atlas mountains in Morocco combine with extracts of pomegranate and acai to:• Detoxify by drawing out impurities at the deepest level, replacing them with nourishing trace minerals• Stimulate collagen production and improve skin strength and elasticity• Deliver potent antioxidants to fight free radical damage and reduce signs of aging• Gently exfoliate while leaving skin toned, smoother and more suppleScented with invigorating eucalyptus and mint, this multitasking treatment mask is an essential component to any weekly skin care regimen.
This mask will not dry your face out.  It is gentle while still giving you major results.  It cleans my skin thoroughly while giving me back a glow.  My skin is so soft every time I use this.

Kahina Giving Beauty has come up with so many amazing skincare and body care items.  I love supporting this brand and I love the results.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Isun Skincare

Isun Skincare is a line I have become truly enamoured with.  As I use it more and learn more, I am amazed.  The mission of this company is a noble one close to my beliefs.  Bunnie Gulick has founded a company with skincare that will truly change your routine.  The Isun mission:

To create true, high performance products in harmony with nature and our bodies that do no harm. To produce the most advanced, highest integrity wildcrafted organic and natural skin care products teeming with life and energy, for the purpose of restoring, rejuvenating and giving pure vitality to one’s skin, senses, health and total well-being. is a great place to find a wonderful selection of Isun Skincare. I am kind of obsessed with the masks.  I use the Dead Sea Mud once a week to clarify my skin.  For those who feel that clay masks are too drying (think in winter), but still want the clarifying, check out the Rhassoul-Neem Mask.  It does the trick wthout drying you out and it really purifies the skin.  It also smells Ah-mazing.  The Chlorella-Algae Mask is perfect for red skin (think too much time in the sun or harsh cold).  That in conjunction with healthy doses of the Soothing Relief Mask will make peeling, hurt skin a thing of the past.

The Vegan Moisturizing Mask is great for when you need a big does of smooth skin.  
Raw superfoods high in antioxidants enliven this deeply penetrating and delicious vegan moisturizing mask. Raw shea butter from Ghana and extra virgin coconut oil are blended with agave nectar, goji berries and raw cacao with concentrations of acai berries, raspberry and cranberry oils to create excellent moisturizing & nourishing benefits.
This mask is thick and dense which scared me at first (especially with combo skin), but it was amazing and I definitely cannot live without it now.

If you crave an even bigger hit of pure moisture, then the Honey-Goji Berry Mask is the treat you crave.  It plumps skin, repairs it and provides moistruzing protection.
100% active ingredients, this delicious, rich moisturizing mask is teaming with live enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to soften skin, plump up the tissues with lasting hydration and nourishing moisture for healthy, rejuvenated skin. Phyto-antioxidants from goji and acai berries, raspberry and cranberry oils help repair skin and provide protection. Raw shea and mango butters blend in to enhance the moisturizing benefits.

Yeah, see my dilemma, I cannot decide which one I love more either.  I do know that now that I have found this line, I intend to be a lifelong fan.  They need to stop making such amazing products or I may go broke.  After giving my skin such treats with these masks, I am embarrassed to tell you that within weeks I am almost out of my favorite product yet, the Neroli Hydrosol Mist.

The Neroli Hydrosol Mist has become my favorite way to perk up my skin.  It smells like heaven (seriously) and I travel with it too.  I even use it on my body after the shower because I love the scent so much.

Each plant distillate is infused with herbs that enhance its properties, aloe vera for its moisturizing and healing benefits, panthenol for its soothing and regenerating properties, aspen bark extract for its soothing, microbial and natural preservative qualities, and a small gemstone inside each bottle that matches the energetic qualities of the distillate.

 Isun Skincare is so amazing.  I cannot get enough.  Which reminds me, stay tuned for my review of the Gemstone Body Oils.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Make you up with Tata

Tata Harper is a genius of skincare and now cosmetics as well.  During the holiday season, she released a set of Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tints in Very Naughty and Very Nice.  The set did so well, that both tints became a part of the permanent collection in their own right.  If you have read my other review, then you know I adore these Lip and Cheek tints.
Our 100% natural & nontoxic Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint delivers a more modern beauty experience, by combining lush natural pigments with the latest in antiaging skincare technology. These tints deliver the perfect pop of natural color to lips and cheeks while helping to fill the look of fine lines, for skin that has the irresistible flush and volume of youth. Long-lasting and multi-tasking, these shades combine rich natural color, softening moisturizers and nourishing minerals with Spanish Lavender and Lipoamino Acid Technology to promote a plump, volumized appearance. These smooth, easily blendable formulas adapt to compliment all skin shades.

Very Nice is a creamy pinkish-nude.  Very Naughty is a rich ruby red with a glossy finish.  They both are my new addiction.

Very Nice  is perfect for everyday.  It was like it was made for my skin.  Of all of the tints, this is my absolute favorite.  It is just so wearable.

Very Naughty  is definitely more dramatic, but so easy to work with.  This color leaves them wondering what you were doing to give you such a gorgeous flush. Think playing outside in the snow and coming into the ski lodge for hot chocolate.

I had to get a bigger cosmetic bag because I cannot get enough of these tints.  They are in a class of their own and really do work on lips and cheeks without drying you out.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ava Anderson and the Skin Saver Extraordinaire

When enough of your  mommy friends are raving about a product, you start to realize that maybe you need to check out this "wonder" cream.  That was the case for me with Ava Anderson  and her Baby Diaper Cream.  I know, you are thinking okay, diaper cream; aren't they all the same?  Well no.  With Ava Anderson's Baby Diaper Cream you have a thick, rich cream that can be used not just on the diaper area, but the whole body with amazing results.  First a little bit about this  Ava Anderson  person:

Always true to Ava’s ideals, we develop and produce cutting-edge, SAFE products to the highest performance standards. We are leaders in providing wellness information, while sharing the dangers of toxic chemicals in personal care and home products with families across America.

 Ava Anderson  became a crusader to make what we put on to our bodies safe.  The website is chock-full of information on how skincare products we use everyday are so harmful.

The Baby Diaper Cream is amazing and is made with all-natural ingredients.  It moisturizes skin like a dream.  We suffer from bouts of eczema in our home, and this has cleared it up within days.  It smells slightly citrusy to me, but nothing strong or overpowering for the scent-sensitive.  I find myself reaching for this little dream constantly.  It really makes a huge difference.  We are out of diapers in our home, but I can imagine with the results I see on irritated skin, that this would work wonders.  This product is definitely cult-status for me.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Kahina is the Balm!

I have a few brands that I am quite loyal to.  Kahina Giving Beauty is one of my all-time favorites.  Each product delivers major results.  When I heard the news that they were releasing a Lip and Face Balm, I was first in line.  I think it is safe to say that I love me so lip balm.  With -4 degree Fahrenheit weather, my lips need some major pampering, and this new Kahina addition is the one for the job.

This little black container packs a big moisturizing punch.

Soothe and protect chapped lips and dry skin with this restorative treatment balm.• Immortelle aids in healing and cell turnover and is known to relieve headaches and bruising• Infused with calendula, known for its powerful healing, soothing, and calming properties• Blue Tansy, sourced from a women’s cooperative in Morocco, is a powerful anti-inflammatory• Carrot seed oil, argan oil and sea buckthorn seed oil deliver antioxidants, tocopherols and essential fatty acids to nourish skin• Velvety base includes shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, beeswax and mango nut butter to deeply moisturize while preventing future moisture loss• Petite jar can be tossed in your bag or kept deskside or bedsideDelicately scented with geranium and neroli, Kahina Lip & Face Balm should be used as needed on dry, chapped lips and skin in need of recovery.
It is lightly lavender scented with and herbal undertone.  I swear this relaxes me every time I put it on.  You may have heard that the East Coast was slammed with some serious snow.  I put this on my lips and cheeks before shoveling myself an igloo, and I came in with glowing (read: non-chapped) skin and lips.  It eliminated those little dry patches that winter lips get.  I really cannot get enough of this little beauty.  It lasts all night as a lip balm (my own secret test of efficacy) and it smells wonderful.  It seems to melt into skin.  Thanks Kahina Giving Beauty, you have added another addiction from your line to my list.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Blurring the Lines

As a lip balm addict, it takes a lot to impress me.  It has to work well, smell good and be made with pure ingredients (after all, you ingest what is on your lips).  I have fallen hard for Be True lip treatment by Tata Harper.
This lip treatment helps visibly restore vitality to lackluster lips by fighting all signs of aging. Volumizing formula reduces appearance of expression lines caused by constant motion while helping to plump the appearance of the lips’ natural cushion. Deeply conditioning for dry, chapped lips. 
  • Wheat Extract helps plump appearance of vertical lines and increase volume for a fuller look
  • Date Palm Extract boosts collagen to decrease visual effects of aging
  • Spanish Lavenderhelps inhibit muscle contractions to decrease look of expression lines
  • Rhubarb, Acai and Green Tea oils infuse the lips with rich antioxidants for environmental protection and deep hydration

The smell is fruity with a little floral thrown in.  This is the very grown-up version of the lip balm you carried through junior high (without the chemicals and with major benefits).  It makes my lips feel moisturized and plumped. A swipe last me a long time and it passes my test of falling asleep with it and waking up with it still on.  I don't leave home without it.

Beautiful and Beautifying

Readers you know I love Tata Harper.  I mean what's not to love?  The ingredients are pure, and the efficacy is unmatched.  I got my hands on the new Beautifying Face Oil and it is another home run for Ms. Harper.
This luxuriously lightweight, fast-absorbing face oil helps to instantly energize the look of the skin, leaving a silky-soft, hydrated surface with a brighter and firmer appearance. Powered by Brown Algae Extract, this oil helps turn back the skin’s age clock to reduce the appearance of dullness and fatigue for a toned, radiant look. Camellia Flower oil deeply moisturizes with essential fatty acids, while a blend of botanical infusions delivers long-lasting hydration and glow. Makes the perfect primer for makeup application. Product Benefits:
  • Energizes the look of the skin for a brighter, more radiant appearance
  • Delivers a revitalizing effect to the skin for a firmer and more lifted look
  • Delivers long-lasting moisture and barrier protection while improving the natural hydration factor
  • Leaves skin with a dramatically smoother and softer feel 

Now be aware this is pretty scented.  So if you do not like scent, steer clear.  I happen to love everything scented.  This is a bouquet of Jasmine.  I have an oily t-zone and this is the perfect amount of moisture for me.  A little goes a long way. It's like buttah!   It works perfectly under makeup and I am a sucker for the gorgeous little green bottle.  This is a must-have for any Tata Harper fan or someone newly discovering this line.

Friday, January 30, 2015


I am so happy to finally have found a deodorant that does not irritate me.  I have had the hardest time lately.  I want to avoid aluminum in the conventional brands, and cream versions are not my cup of tea. That is why I was thrilled when I got to try the deodorants from Blissoma .   Blissoma  was created by Julie Longyear as a way to bring natural skincare without the additives and chemicals.

Blissoma is different because our ingredients and our formulas are different. We have chosen to work with a much stricter ingredient palette than even most "natural" brands. An initial feel of our products demonstrates the difference as the texture, color, and smell all distinctly tell the story of the nutritive ingredients contained therein.The entire line eliminates petrochemical ingredients, parabens, and synthetic colors and fragrances while maintaining a sophisticated feel. We do not use "vegetable emulsifying wax", pthalates, neuropeptides, or other artificial "beauty" chemicals.Instead we choose active, potent ingredients that are based on nutrients, antioxidants, and advanced phytochemistry. Generally our ingredients are just 1 step away from the original plant material from which they came. We carefully research each of our botanicals to determine their most active principles and then each is extracted and added to our formulas in a way that preserves its most effective medicinal components. All products are 100% natural and with the reformulation of our natural deodorants our entire line is now Certified Vegan, packed with certified organic botanicals, bioavailable vitamins, essential fatty acids, and skin-soothing seed oils.

The deodorants come in three scents (Lavender, Citrus and Juniper).  There is also a solid unscented deodorant.

After nearly a full year of testing, retesting, revising, and testing some more we are super excited to share our new formulas with YOU. The new formulation has completely eliminated the sprayer breakdown problem that was occurring with our previous recipe. We've worked our hardest to create a recipe that should be effective and easy to use for many people. The recipe still allows you to sweat naturally - there are no pore blocking ingredients or antiperspirants, but the action of the ingredients causes sweat to not stink.

I can attest that these sprays are effective and that I smell wonderful morning, noon and night.  I love that natural ingredients and I am over the moon for the scents (especially citrus).  These also work great to eliminate and even prevent shaving irritation.  At the risk of too much information, conventional deodorants give me an underarm rash.  These beauties from Blissoma make everything right!  Clean up your act!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tangram Race

Like building blocks, tangrams can teach kids about spatial relationships.  They may help kids learn geometric terms and develop stronger problem solving skills.  They might even help children perform better in general mathematics.  I am the first to admit, that Tangrams never really came easily to me.  I wanted to make sure my daughter was better at them than me, so I was pretty excited to see Tangram Race by Tactic.  Anything that lets us have fun without my child realizing how much she is learning is always a good choice.

The ultimate fast-paced puzzle race! With three difficulty levels, Tangram Race presents fun challenge for both beginners and experts! Look at a puzzle card and try to form the same shape out of your tangram pieces. If you complete the puzzle first, you win the card! The first player to collect five puzzle cards wins the game.

We have so much fun playing this, and my daughter puts me to shame.  The pieces are made of sturdy wood.  This game is fast-paced and so enjoyable.  The race is on!

Monday, December 29, 2014


Rooibos tea is made from a plant related to rooibos or red bush.  These bushes only grow in South Africa.  It has a slightly sweet flavor and is chock-full of antioxidants.  The leaves are green, but they turn red after fermentation.  One company has had the amazing foresight to capture the flavor that South Africans have been enjoying for centuries. Kromland Farm  captures this goodness and has been in my tea cup for weeks now.

Kromland Farm is a 100% organic, single estate Rooibos tea grown on a pioneering farm in the area of South Africa noted for producing the world’s finest quality Rooibos.We decided to work with one of the leading traditional South African growers to bring a truly authentic South African rooibos to the UK & USA.Our teas are naturally caffeine free, low in tannin & high in antioxidants made from 100% organically grown ingredients.

The range includes an Earl Grey, Vanilla, plain Rooibos, Berry and Chai.  I am particularly fond of the Chai because it captures the perfect spicy flavor and I don't even need to add sugar.  My daughter is in love with the  Berry and she drinks it every morning.  They are all naturally sweet and rich teas that anyone will love.

Grab a box of Kromland Farm  and makes someones holiday season a little brighter!

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