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_ clean beauty resources

March 15, 2011

A few good starting points if you’re interested in more natural cosmetics, or risks of certain chemicals:

+ No More Dirty Looks, blog and book. Accessible and engaging for a beginner. Be warned that some of their product recommendations contain the ingredients they say to avoid.  (In all fairness, cleaner is better than loaded up with toxins).

+ Chemical of the Day, from Stephanie Greenwood, who has a line of organic products. I’m not a scientist but I like to understand things and tend to be skeptical, so I like the scientific weight she brings to her explanations.

+ The Green Beauty Guide. I’ve started reading the book and highly recommend. While NMDL was a great intro, this book will be a lasting resource. Julie has a website, too.

+ Standout blogs for me so far have been Fig+Sage and Sarah’s Organic Skin Care Blog. Poke around for helpful information and natural skincare tips.

Do you have any favorite resources?


_ new blog fun

March 14, 2011

My friend started a brilliant blog called 7 Items a Week.  She’s getting rid of 7 items a week to declutter her life, and each week she shares photos with us.  I’ve started looking forward to her posts each weekend.  It’s definitely fun to get a glimpse at the types of junk in another person’s life, and to read the reasons she is ready to part with certain items.  Once I’m done with my beauty detox I just may take on a 7 items project of my own.

This weekend she shared a link to Food Connections, a blog featuring Pacific Northwest foods.  I love that most of the photos include the author’s dog Finn as a model.  So cute and creative.


March 13, 2011


If this is what your garlic looks like, you probably aren’t cooking enough.


_ beauty detox: the old guard

March 12, 2011

Can you tell that I like Clinique products?  I switched to Clinique a few years ago after using Proactiv for three years.  My skin wasn’t that clear and it lacked all signs of life. You know, elasticity, glow, that kind of thing.  I kind of wanted it back.  So I went to the Clinique counter for one of their skincare systems.  It’s taken some tweaking and blending but I’ve gotten a routine down that I like.  I always get questions when I buy a mixed bag of products.  Like, “You really shouldn’t be using that moisturizer with that toner” and “Are you sure you want to get #sdfkjdhsjhk instead?” Whatever, lady. I do what I want. 

My skin has been pretty great for the last year so this was by far the most anxiety provoking non-tox switch for me.  And alas, my skincare products that were about to run out first (remember my Beauty Detox rules).  More on the switch to come (love my new products!).

As for the rest, you can tell that I’m not a beauty product junkie (although the drawer that won’t close in my bathroom could contest  that fact.)  I don’t use that many products.  This makes switching to clean cosmetics a little easier for me than many women out there.  I’m not super attached to any makeup brands, shampoos, or anti-aging goos (something I’m going to add to the routine this year).

The Old Guard:

+Skincare: Various Clinque, some with blemish-fighting chemicals.  I wash my face in the AM, tone, moisturize.  In the evening I take my makeup off with toner (I know, weird) and moisturize. I have a couple Clinique eye cremes that I don’t use regularly.

+Makeup: Clinique tinted primer/SPF (love this; will be sad to give it up), Clinique concealer, drugstore eyeshadow (very attached to my silver-grey-black compact) and mascara (I switch brands a lot).  For my lips it’s usually just Burt’s Bees.  I also have some foundation I rarely use and a collection of blush, lip glosses, and lipsticks that I only touch for special occassions.  I’m looking to add a finishing powder since my face can get slick during the day.  I’ve started using blush more often with the recent (to me) pink cheek trend.

+Nails: I never paint my fingernails and haven’t managed to work regular pedicures into the budget so I do it myself.  I have a summer color (hot pink), winter color (deep red), and a clear top coat to give my toes the pedi look.  I’m great at pedis in the car, by the way, so let me know if you need some coaching on that front.

+Shampoo & Body Wash: I switch brands often and gave up spending the money on salon brands during the recession.  My current shampoo and body wash look very natural-oh-so-nourishing-and-non-toxic but they aren’t.  More on that later.  I don’t use conditioner or styling products.  You can go ahead and hate me.

+Lotions: I like the Vaseline lotion pictured, but I don’t use body lotion every day.  I keep hand lotion at my desk and I’ve recently become obsessed with the Look Ma New Hands lotion from Bath & Body Works.  I snuck some from a relative’s bathroom over Thanksgiving (my hands were so dry!) and fell in love.  But it’s on the chopping block for now (Ok, I have to say- no promises that I won’t judiciously choose some less-clean products to use in future winter-hand emergencies).  I completely love the scent of Dr. Watkins’ Lemon Creme body lotion, but it is greasy like many cleaner products can be (as in, leaves grease deposits on my desk.  Not pretty.)

+Teeth: Sensodyne ProNamel, tastes very odd at first but we got used to it.  I’ve had various uber-flouride treatments recommended to me because my teeth are TERRIBLE but I don’t use anything extra right now.

+Fragrance: Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf ain’t going nowhere.  I think it might trigger a little asthma (hot), but I picked it out for my wedding and I adore it.  I don’t wear it daily or ever to the office so I think it’s okay to keep.

+Static Guard: A category unto itself, this is an absolute must for dry Texas winters.  I keep some at home and in my desk.  I don’t know if I can give it up but it can’t possibly be good to inhale.  And believe me, I inhale a lot of the stuff.  Not for fun or anything like that.

+Deodorant:  Old Spice, baby.  Don’t judge.  It works and smells great and I wish it wasn’t slowly killing me.

_ shrove/fat tuesday

March 8, 2011


Pancakes and Real Housewives re-runs.  This is my debauchery.

The basic pancake recipe from Everyday Food needs no adaptation.  I added Land O’Lakes light butter with canola oil (love), real maple syrup, and applesauce.


February 28, 2011

I just attended a quasi-yoga class  at my gym which ended in a long savasana. It was neither well-guided nor very quiet, what with grunting juicehead gorillas in the background, but it was exactly what I needed. A relaxed awareness after stretching and twisting and balancing and posing.

I had read this post on savasana at Gorgeously Green and it put me in a mindset to really enjoy it tonight. Quiet and stillness are the kinds of things we need more of, don’t you think?


February 26, 2011

Oooh.  These Whimsey Chronicles designs are for upholstery fabric and wallpaper.  But oh, how I wish I could make maxi-dresses with them.

I asked the husb, “Wouldn’t you just looooove to have a chair with this pattern?”  He said no.  Whatevs.

I swear to you, one day I will have a formal dining space (that isn’t in the living room) and it will be festooned in unique and delicious wallpaper.

Click on the photos to visit her site or see The Whimsey Chronicles Etsy shop for more pretty.