Tuesday, October 27, 2015

August Uncommon Teas

I am a tea drinker through and through.  I drink it iced all summer and hot all fall and winter.  I love when I find artisan teas.  August Uncommon Tea is an amazing company that will surely change even the most skeptical mind about how amazing tea is.  The tea flavors are anything but conventional and these loose-leaf teas are works of art.  With names like Cocteau, Midnight in the Garden and A Field in Innsbruck, you know you are drinking something amazing.

I can only describe the delicious brews I sampled, but hopefully you get the idea and order immediately.

Midnight in the Garden is a delicate pu-erh tea.  To me this tasted like early, early fall, like fresh hay and even a few grassy notes.

A Field in Innsbruck is a refreshing black tea with juniper and thyme.  This is herbal and pine.  It is a walk through a freshly iced wood.

Jet Black is a very bold tea with roasted mate and espresso bean.  Drops of milk make this a heavenly treat and will convert even the most staunch coffee drinker.

Cocteau is a rooibos tea with vanilla, grapefruit and mint.  It is refreshing and a little sweet from the rooibos.  Excellent warm, but I prefer this iced.  This is a lazy summer night in a cup for me.

My favorite of the ones I got to try was the Dolomite.  It is a green tea that is floral with almond notes.  Full disclosure, I love jasmine and I love green tea.  The floral notes in this are boosted by the almond and I find myself sipping slowly to make it last.  This is a love affair with tea.  It is spring and magic in a cup.

August Uncommon Tea makes it easy to brew on the go with their one cup infuser.  You are allowed to control the strength and flavor of your tea.  This is tea as an art-form.  The masters behind this vision are even offering up seasonal blends.  I find myself back on their site constantly.  Get yourself ready for this culinary tea journey.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Edgar for kids?!

The season of ghouls and goblins is upon us.  What better way to Usher in this wonderful time of year than with a fabulous new book.  Edgar and The Tree House of Usher by Jennifer Adams is another fun take on the famous Edgar Allen Poe raven and Poe's Fall of the House of Usher.
"It was a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year ... " when the mischievous raven Edgar heads to his friend Roderick's house to work on their tree house. Edgar dashes his sister Lenore's hopes with the ever-popular phrase "sisters are not allowed," until a storm starts to brew and the two boys realize that sometimes the best things happen when you decide to stick together. The third picture book in the popular Edgar series is sure to warm the hearts of kids and parents alike.

The story is delightful and parents get a kick out of introducing this "dark bird" to their children.  This book is one in a current series of three.  We enjoyed the story and its message.  I loved that my daughter and I could talk about where this funny raven originated from.  Perfect for Halloween and spending time with your little one doing the most important thing of all...reading.  Nevermore!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Time for fall activities

Apologies to my readers, between school and traveling, this writer has taken a break.  I am back to the blogging scene with some exciting reviews coming up.  We ushered out summer slowly this year (warm weather and cold are in a fight daily here on the East Coast).  One of my favorite companies released a new product, and I fell in love.  We use Hydro Flask products in our family, religiously.  I love how they keep my drinks nice and cool on hot summer days and warm on the cool ones.  My daughter thinks they are "magic cups."   Hydro Flask released a new 64 oz. bottle called the Growler.

This little gem was love at first site.  I used ours all summer and this fall to bring drinks to soccer games, the beach and even school.  Of course mine only contained water, but this jewel is perfect for bringing any beverage of your choice to the hayrides, cookouts and tailgating you may be contemplating participating in this fall. 

  • The first insulated growler in the market
  • Able to keep beer fresher, longer
  • Universal Benefits
  • TempShieldTM Protected
  • Keeps cold up to 24 hours
  • Keeps hot up to 6 hours
  • 18/8 Pro Grade Stainless Steel
  • BPA-Free and Phalate Free
  • Durable, sweat-free powder coat finish (or our Classic Stainless option)
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Wide mouth opening fits many third-party water filters
  • Compatible with Wide Flat CapHydro Flip Lid and Wide Straw Lid, and of course the Hydro Flask True Pint
I am not sure what could be better than this!  Maybe some hot cocoa filled Growler, a loved one and a blanket to gaze at the stars. Happy fall!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Butter Elixir Baby

I am a big fan of the entire BUTTER Elixir line.  So, when I found out they were making a body and hair oil for babies, I was the first one on board to try it out.  Devoted readers may have noticed that this is a line I have raved about before.  The new BUTTER Elixir Baby Body and Hair Oil is a treat for the senses and the body.

Light and ingenuous, BUTTERelixir baby is a concise and delicate formula that was designed to be gentle enough for the skin of everyone, including little ones. A trifecta of skin soothers work in tandem to soften, and invigorate the skin and the senses. Avocado Oil, embedded with a high ratio of proteins, fats, sterolin, lecithin and potassium, is a powerful carrier of hydration and stimulation that liberally supplies nutrients topically. The oil from this fruit is absorbed by the skins derma layer and is capable of penetrating much deeper than the surface. A powerful oil on its own, when paired with Calendula oil it tenderly addresses the skin and scalp with its comforting touch. Together the dynamic duo of Avocado oil and Calendula oil are pious enough to envelope the skin of oneself and those we love the most. The enlivening notes of tangerine dance subtly in the divine formula to uplift the spirit and senses. The scent of citrus rounds out the spirit leaving the skin not only refreshed and hydrated, but happy. The soothing qualities of the oil will pay off for both parent and child… Especially around nap time. BUTTERelixir baby is for all, without exception.

This little bottle packs a big punch.  It smells so fresh and uplifting and is a nice break from the influx of lavender scented products. It is perfect for infant massages (which do wonders for helping your new bundle of joy sleep).   I love how moisturizing it is and I use it on both my daughter and myself.   It moisturized without clogging our skin and the fresh, orange scent lingers in a non-obtrusive way.  This is a product I know we will use and love for years.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

W3ll People are Glowing People

For me, W3LL PEOPLE and I were love at first site.  I have yet to use a product I have not absolutely loved from this amazing line.  I recently sung the praises of the Bio Bronzer.  I practically salivated when I knew they were launching the new Bio Bronzer Stick.    I got the Bio Bronzer Stick and it has not left my side since (seriously, it is in my cosmetic bag that I carry in my purse).  This is the easiest way to give yourself a beautiful summer glow in seconds.

The W3LL PEOPLE Beauty Dream Team have created an innovative, effortless solution to give your skin a gorgeous sun-kissed glow: The Bio Bronzer Stick. This multi-use cream stick instantly creates a natural, healthy tan.The modern stick design is ideal for portability and easy, fool-proof application on the go. Organic aloe leaf extract and olive oil hydrate and protect skin. The Bio Bronzer Stick’s universal color adapts to virtually any skin type to warm the complexion, correct excess redness and create added dimension. 

I have never seen a more beautiful, nor universal bronzing color.  It makes skin glow, never glitter and it adds warmth. It is builable which is perfect for us pale ladies.  Like Depeche Mode once said "I just can't get enough."  Never, never stop making this!

Because I like to add a little brightness to my skin, I have also become addicted to the Universalist Multi-Stick in 7.  It is a gorgeous peony pink color that really looks wonderful on everyone.  Again, this is builable color.  I can see myself using this year round to give myself that nice fresh rosy glow.  It is a makeup bag staple.  It never creases and lasts even in this hot, humid weather.

I think it is fair to say that W3LL PEOPLE has made a big impact on my cosmetic routine.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Priti Summer Nails

I am obsessed with Priti NYC nail polishes.  They look amazing and as someone who constantly uses her hands to cook, clean and create, they last so much longer.  Best of all, they are safe!
Priti NYC polishes are all completely non-toxic and made without toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DHB) and formaldehyde- all known carcinogenic ingredients. The luxury polishes are fast drying, chip resistant, contain a UV inhibitor, and are extremely durable and glossy. They are also completely safe for use on children and moms-to-be. Available in over 100 different shades including metallics, mattes, bright neons, rich darks, classic nudes, and everything in between, limited color selection due to ecological restraints has officially become a thing of the past.

The new Summer in Stockholm collection may be my favorite one yet.  The colors are fantastically bright and I cannot get enough. Falling Raindrops is a purple cornflower blue that is easily one of the prettiest colors I have seen (sorry for the foot photo, but wanted to give you an idea).

Zodiac Dahlia is neon, and I mean neon Orange.  It is right in time for the coral colors of summer.  It looks great on both nail and toenails.  It also makes your skin look bronze and beautiful.

My daughter practically wrestled me for the Super Trooper Rose, which is a bright pink.  I have also had so many compliments whenever I wear it.  I constantly get asked where I got the color.  It just pops like you would never believe.  It also lasts on my little lady which is a feat unto itself.

My favorite of this series is the Blue Candle Cactus (note: my horrible pictures cannot do it justice).  It is like something a mermaid would wear.  Think aqua blue with some shimmer (shimmer, not glitter).  I keep coming back to it, and will wear this one year round.

Yes, summer is bright and beautiful!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Summer Skin and Tata Harper

I am a Tata Harper devotee.  Her whole line is natural, beautiful and even better, safe for skin you care about.  Summer plays havoc on my skin.  I may be dry on one patch and combo on another.  I knew Tata Harper  would have the perfect solution for me.

I tend to shy away from overly heavy moisturizers during the summer (until I inevitably fry my skin while catering to the littles and their sun protection).  I am in love with the Rebuilding Moisturizer.  It is made for oily and combination skin.  

This lightweight, fast-absorbing moisturizer contains a blend of natural humectants to deliver lasting moisture and an all-day matte finish. Biocompatible Hyaluronic Acid supports hydration retention, while gentle exfoliation helps to decongest daily surface buildup and regulate excess oil throughout the day for a balanced, fresh complexion. 

  • Biocompatible Hyaluronic Acid delivers antiaging hydration deep in the skin to support a plump, youthful cushion while stimulating natural moisture production
  • Safflower Oleosomes continuously draw moisture into the skin
  • Raw Honey preserves hydration while deeply nourishing and soothing
  • Menyanthes Trifoliata delivers a firmer appearance and reinforces natural lift

It smells amazing and is now my designated summer moisturizer.  It calms my skin down, and even seems to make my hormonal breakouts a thing of the past.  Every summer, sunscreen has my face breaking out, and this summer I have had clear skin!  When I feel I need extra moisture (after hours in a chlorinated pool and in the ocean, because I think I am part-mermaid), I have a Tata Harper solution.

The Replenishing Nutrient Complex is a lightweight facial serum that really changes your skin.  It can be used with your regular moisturizer, or on its own. It improves the glow, texture and hydration of your skin (plus it smells amazing!).

 A weightless blend of biocompatible micronutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals provides your daily dose of environmental protection while delivering visibly balanced, healthy skin. Helps relieve and stabilize vulnerable, irritated and chapped skin for a radiant complexion.
  • Arnica promotes balance by diminishing inflammation and redness
  • Alfalfa oxygenates the skin and helps nourish with Vitamins A, B, C, D, E
  • Jojoba deeply moisturizes and helps softens the skin’s texture
  • Rose Geranium improves appearance of skin tone 

I am usually found swimming in an ocean or pool all summer.  I also have the driest nose and cheeks but my forehead has other ideas.  This  Replenishing Nutrient Complex is so lightweight and wonderful and has become my new best friend.  It even improves the scars of pimples past from rearing their ugly heads.  I am talking foundation free and glowing all summer long.  This is light, so I am not sure if I would use regularly during an East Coast winter, but for summer, it is perfection!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ocean Dreams

Being an East Coast gal, I grew up spending every single summer by the ocean.  I seriously think I am part mermaid.  I love water and I love even the most frigid days in the North Atlantic.  I was pretty psyched to see that Red Flower has a line inspired by the ocean.  The Ocean scent captures everything you love about waves, crisp water and the beach.

vast, endless, the tidal force of the seacleanses the earth with each day anew.
awaken the senses. open the lungs and inhale the air off the coast. the notes that lift off the waters collect from flowers, herbs and trees that flourish near the sea. the moist balsam air of copaiba trees, a warm accord of crushed clove and cardamom oils, and the lush bay laurel leaf of the mediterranean coastline. open the body and awaken the mind with aromatic power of eucalyptus. feel the pull and life force of an unbridled ocean.

I got a chance to check out the candle, which is totally addictive.  It literally freshens my entire house.   It is also an immune-system booster (extra plus there).  I love the color and the feeling it evokes of floating on an ocean.  It is also made with natural-burning wax so I feel even better about my addiction to this candle.

A perfect night includes burning the ocean candle while soaking in my tub in the Ocean Bath Soak.  The Ocean Bath Soak is the scent I love in mineral rich salt, and it is made with 100% whole essential oils.  This scent truly helps me to sail away from my troubles.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Kiss Dry Lips Goodbye!

My lips get super-dry in summer.  I always use a sunscreen on them, but I still end up with lizard lips.  I was looking for a good lip moisturizer and I found Vapour Organic Beauty Lux Organic Lip Conditioner.  

Lux is the pure prescription for healthy lips. This luxurious formula glides on like a dream to restore vital nutrients and protect lips from moisture loss and environmental stress.Lips need moisture and purity above all else and Lux delivers. Jojoba oil nourishes and regenerates tired lips and restores a supple youthful appearance. Lux’s lip-specific infusion contains antioxidant Helichrysum Flower, restorative Lemon Balm, and calming Calendula Flower.
  • Heavenly, creamy, emollient texture
  • Naturally long-wearing
  • Light bright fruit flavor
  • Synergistic botanical blend soothes and protects the delicate lip are

It really moisturizes and it also smells wonderful.  It is extremely light feeling when it goes on, but I can wake up with it still on in the morning.  That is powerful stuff if you ask me.  Kiss those dry lips goodbye and pop this in your purse.  Your lips will thank you.

Bronzed and glowing

I have been a huge fan of Vapour Beauty for a long time.  I am in love with the scent of their products, as well as the performance.  I carry more than one Vapour Beauty  item with me at all times.  As you may have noticed, I am kind of addicted to bronzers.  I love the way that they make me look like I actually slept and I love how I can avoid the sun and wear tons of sunscreen and still look sun-kissed (win/win).

The Solar Translucent Bronzer is a great product to have on hand.  It is definitely buildable, subtle color (no Cheeto look here), but it does the trick.  I find that the color Simmer is perfect for me.  It is dark enough to notice, while still being light enough for me to not make a mistake in the bleary morning hours.
Solar is no ordinary bronzer — it offers sexy sun–free color with environmental antioxidant protection. Never streaky, orange or fake. It’s another Vapour stand–out for fresh-from-the-beach glamour.Solar is made with 70% organic ingredients and 30% natural mineral pigments. Solar is infused with sun-specific super antioxidants Pomegranate, Green Tea and Acai Berry, and nourishes skin with calming Calendula Flower and vitamin-rich Shea Butter.
  • Beautifully blendable
  • Never orange, streaky or fake
  • Not just for the face — use on shoulders, décolletage, legs
  • A light touch achieves a healthy glow
  • Apply more and blend for a dramatic sun-kissed look
  • Breathable and lightweight
  • Will not clog pores
  • Quick and easy stick application
  • No tools needed
  • Travels easily, especially in airports

I have this in my bag for whenever I need a little glow.

Another new favorite for me is the Siren Lipstick in Tempt. Tempt is a classic medium mauve, and 100% of the proceeds go to protect wild pollinators from harmful pesticides.  I love the scent of the Siren Lipsticks (fruity, yet not overpowering), and I adore the formula.  Beauty editors go crazy for this lipstick.
Siren is made with 70% organic ingredients and 30% natural mineral pigments. Siren is designed to protect lips from moisture loss and environmental assault. Siren’s botanical infusion contains nourishing Myrrh, calming Rose Buds, restorative Lemon Balm, antioxidant Pomegranate, hydrating Jojoba Oil and essential fatty acid-rich Camelina Oil. 
Siren is a long wearing lipstick and lip conditioner in one amazing chemical free formula.Cosmetic Features

  • Naturally long wearing
  • Superior texture, never sticky or dry
  • Palette flatters all skin tones
  • Wear Siren alone or layer with Elixir gloss
Skin Benefits
  • Revitalizes and moisturizes with organic emollients and antioxidants
  • Proprietary formula moisturizes while allowing skin to breathe
Organic Purity
  • Revolutionary non-petroleum, chemical-free formula
  • No chemicals to ingest by mouth or through the skin

This is an everyday, perfect color that any gal would adore.   Summer has never looked so beautiful!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Because I'm Happy

I have been searching for what feels like years for a certain cheek color.  Other cheek colors have promised, but never delivered this much-coveted color.  I have pinned image after image, and still my search was fruitless.  I have this one picture (seen below) from a Temperley Fashion show (please don't sue me anyone, I found this image on Pinterest), and I was dying to replicate this cheek look.  Think fresh English rose.

I wanted a pink that would work on my skin tone.  I finally found that pink.  It is the new Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Happy. This is touted as their most pigmented blush yet.  Creator Kristin Kjaer Weis named it "Happy" because those who saw it felt just that way..."HAPPY."  It can worn on both lips and cheeks and it truly brightens up your whole face.   I am in love with this rich pink color.

I will admit, the first time I saw Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Happy,  I thought "holy brightness, this will never work for me."  Thank goodness, I was so very wrong.  It gives me the perfect, and I mean perfect flush.  The swatch on the left is blended, while the right swatch is heavier to show you how gorgeous this color is.  I am kind of obsessed.  I use this more than any of my other colors at the moment.  It screams fresh-faced and I love it.  I imagine this would work on most skin tones.  Innamorato (in love)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Craft Camp

Caught inside with the kids?  Ready to pull out your hair if you hear one more "I'm bored!"?  Well I have just the thing for you.  Craft Camp by Lark Crafts is chock-full of ideas to keep the littles creating and occupied.

When school's out, it's time for camp—craft camp! Kids (and their parents) will love these 40 projects that include simple beading, sewing, felting, bookmaking, and so much more. Create colorful piñatas, eco-friendly mobiles, and up-cycled necklaces, hats, and T-shirts. Boys and girls, and children from 6 to 12, will all find something fun to do! Lots of helpful photographs, and how-to illustrations when needed, explain all the techniques in an easy-to-follow way. 

In fact, today we opted for the crayon stained glass.  Tomorrow we plan on making clay robots as paper clip toppers and pencil toppers.

I am so psyched to also make Milk Carton houses with tea lights.  Summer can be fun, even if you are caught indoors.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hopeless Wanderer

My mom used to call me her traveler.  I am more home-based now, but I still love an adventure and I have a whole Pinterest board where I dream about all of the places I will go. (Notice I don't say want, but will).  You could say I have a bit of wanderlust in me.  Red Flower  has an entire collection called Wanderlust that I cannot get enough of.  Wanderlust:

notes of aged paper, the smell of old books, indelible as the stories themselves.and glimpses of nature that grow between the cracks, of rare barks, white woods, wild grass and warm earthy resins. a space of comforting warmth amidst a snow covered skyline and the clean freshness of hinoki wood.

I have the Cleansing Hair Wash and the  Softening Hair Conditioner.  I had samples and after one washing I had to have full-sized.  The Cleansing Hair Wash effectively cleans hair, while leaving it smelling so wonderful!

turn ritual into release with red flower cleansing hair washes. the combination of coconut oil-vegetable glycerin, panthenol pro-vitamin B5, castor seed oil, whole essential oils leave the hair clean, lustrous and freshly scented. the uniquely high fatty acid content in coconut glycerin and castor seed oil work to attract and retain moisturize while preventing split ends, hair loss and dryness. panthenol pro-vitamin b5 adds lasting shine and protection. excellent for all hair types including color-treated hair.

The  Softening Hair Conditioner is like a drink for my hair.  I am naturally wavy/curly and I can use this and go without any product needed and my curls are soft, manageable and amazing.  This conditioner:
enhances shine and strengthens the hair, leaving it with lasting moisture. packed with vitamin b5 to prevent breakage, detangle and thicken strands. rich fatty acids from castor seeds and coconut glycerin restore shiny resilience, smooth ends and protect. whole essential oils soothe and balance, leaving hair soft and manageable, delicately scented. active ingredients: coconut oil-vegetable glycerin, olive oil, panthenol pro-vitamin B5, castor seed oil, whole essential oils.

To say I love the scent would be a great understatement.  I am infatuated with it. It makes me feel like I am walking through a glade with huge waterfalls and rich,fertile, moist earth.  Think after a summer rain storm.  This is truly the capturing of the smell and feel of Wanderlust.

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