Beautycounter: Moisture Edition

I often hear that people want to try Beautycounter but not necessarily purchase a regimen, which I understand. Purchasing an entire regimen can be intimidating! It’s smart to start off with a few staples to introduce to your routine!

For the entire month of April new customers (and email addresses used) get 30% off with the coupon code CLEANFORALL30. That’s a bigger discount than I get as a consultant! In the spirit of sharing the clean beauty love and helping you learn what products are right for you, here are my dry skin picks!
  1. Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream – This night cream is super thick & indulgent. It’s from the Countertime line for antiaging. It uses a safer alternative to retinol, Bakuchiol. With continued use, you’ll wake up to more radiant, youthful-looking skin for sure. You can slather this cream on top of any other treatment creams you might use for spots or discoloration. It’s definitely one to check out if you are looking to add something extra to just boost hydration at night.

  2. Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion – For your everyday, lasting hydration look no further than our Countermatch line. Perfect for sensitive skin, soaks in quickly, helps even out skintone. This entire line in the white bottles will deliver your skin so much goodness to keep it hydrated and supple. Just read the reviews.

  3. Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm – This is another favorite for dehydrated skin! The uses are endless: it takes off makeup, use it to double cleanse, use on cuticles and elbows, lip balm before bed…

Last but not least do not forget about moisturizing your actual B O D Y! I’m telling you, from internally to externally, hydration is our biggest problem! No matter your preference, Beautycounter has a safer but luxurious and high performing option!

If I have to pick a favorite I would go with the hydrating body lotion, the newly relaunched packaging is refillable and it’s a great everyday staple to hydrate the skin! The luminous hydration body oil also goes the extra mile and is great to pat onto damp skin right out of the shower. Lastly, if you’re just looking for summer in a bottle, look no further than the melting body balm, it will quickly become your favorite with the scent of summer and a formula that melts as you apply!

Don’t forget to apply the 30% off code and you can scoop up a lot of these hydration stars for under $50! That is a great clean additional to your hydration routine!!

Stay hydrated friends! xoxo

Gifts for a Cancer Patient

On more than one occasion I’ve been asked for a recommendation on what to get a cancer patient. Someone’s mom, dad, brother, friend, teacher, aunt, cousin has been diagnosed with something that has just flipped their world upside down. I’ve also been on the receiving end of many thoughtful gifts during my own cancer journey. Without further ado here is my list of things I just generally love, was gifted during treatment or wished I was gifted during treatment!

Cute loungewear set – No way around it. A cancer diagnosis likely comes with having a lot of time to sit around while in the infusion chair or getting extra fuilds after IV chemo. A cute set in their favorite color is sure to make them smile. I received several pajama sets and sweats that are so comfy!

Manta Sleepwear Mask – oy vey! If you are going to get them anything I will highly suggest this mask! It is oh-so-comfy with little love pockets for your eyes and it filters out every last ounce of light. A must for the hospital stays. I wish I would’ve had one during my stay!! (I did have lots of earplugs on hand, hey, add that in with the mask!)

The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen – My sister introduced me to this book and honestly, my sister and her chef husband are the main reason I ever ate anything out of it! It’s full of so much great information! Recipes are stuff you can make ahead and freeze for when you are on chemo weeks and just can’t stomach eating. I remember specifically eating leek soup and carrot soup. The mineral bone broth recipe is quite extensive but so very healing. Delivering a batch of mineral bone broth + a copy of the cookbook will be sure to lift their spirits. So very thoughtful!

No Cure for Being Human – While we are on the book front, this is another great one. Written by a stage IV cancer patient, Kate attempts to answer the question how do we move forward with a life we did not choose? Hard stuff. Important stuff. She is brilliant in everything she writes!

Worry Dolls – I was gifted some of these from a good friend and I thought it was so sweet. Honestly, I had never heard of the tradition before. According to legend, Guatemalan children tell their worries to the Worry Dolls, placing them under their pillow when they go to bed at night. By morning the dolls have gifted them with the wisdom and knowledge to eliminate their worries. The story of the worry doll is a local Mayan legend. It’s a unique gift, an unexpected treat sure to make them smile.

Ohyouresotough – This shop has the cutest funny cards and gifts for cancer patients. Seriously. Go check her out. She is funny and brilliant and support small bussinesses!

Additional ideas to consider: gift card for acupuncture (often helps with side effects of chemotherapy), starting a meal train (be sure to ask about any dietary restrictions, preferences etc.), a pretty journal with a pen, or what about a random snail mail letter letting them know you are thinking of them? I cannot make this up that a friends father clipped out comic strips for me and mailed them to me every week. Religiously. I never forgot it. I still have them.

If you click on any of the links above, I am going to receive a tiny commission. YOU, most of the time, will receive an offer, so it’s a win-win! The products I talk about on this platform are the ones I truly love!

Galentine’s Day 2022!

Hi friends!!

There are so many exciting things in the works this year to share!! I hope to ramp this blog up a lot to detail them all. Of course I always love to share my passion for clean beauty, but there’s more! I’ve also applied to graduate school! Are you shocked?! I think I have shocked myself by finding something I am actually interested in for a career…now if we can just help fund this little venture…

If you are in the market for changing up your beauty routine or just simply want a little treat yourself for Valentine’s Day gift then look no further. Perhaps you’ve never tried Beautycounter before and just wonder what the products are all about?? Enter the Galentine’s Day Spa packet!!

I’ll be packaging three of our best sellers:

So, Valentine’s weekend you can treat yourself with a face mask (honestly, you can easily get two uses out of this sample), followed by the resurfacing peel overnight, and then wake up to glowing skin with the Vitamin C serum! These guys are our best sellers for a reason! The charcoal mask and overnight peel work gloriously together to purify and clear up skin. You will not be disappointed! I promise…these products have an annoying cult following for a reason!

If you’d like to be dropped a packet fill out the form below:

Favorite Cleaner Hair Hacks!

In the spirit of sharing more clean hacks this year, I thought I’d share my favorite go-to hair products now! Cleaning up my products has been a journey and I’m certainly not perfect. I still use some that probably aren’t the cleanest but I’ve definitely cleaned up my hair act! I use products sparingly these days.

I dyed my hair for years going from blonde to black. Honestly, I probably should make a personal amends to my mothers bathroom cabinets for all the hair dye I inflicted upon them! Shortly before I was diagnosed with cancer, I decided I was over dying my hair.

It was so much effort, so much money and so much time when my time now is extremely limited after kids! I just couldn’t stand sitting in that chair! So. I chopped it all off! I chopped off all the dye left in my hair and started off with fresh virgin hair. I really do have fun with my hair and have embraced a lot of styles.

Here are my go-to’s in the hair department when it comes to cleaner products!

Primally Pure dry shampoo – clean, crisp and it works great! They have a version for dark & light hair. I guesstimate I wash my hair approximately once or twice a week. (Use code ‘wonderfully10’ to save 10% on your order!)

Less heat! I know we’ve all heard less heat is better but let me introduce you to The Sway. Yes, you need one now and if you have long hair, it is fabulous! I will add my hair is naturally on the thin and wavy side and does not typcially hold curl well. I have heard fabulous reviews on this working for thick hair too! I use this on both damp and dry hair. When I’m sleeping and I also wear this bad boy out because hello…it’s cute!

The sway in action

Beautycounter Shampoo and Conditioner – Ok I have to admit that hair is not my strong suit and I typically use just whatever cleaner drugstore shampoo I can find…typically Acure brand. Recently, Beautycounter had these full size on sale for $13 so you know I had to scoop them up! My hair has never been so soft! Honestly, I only wash my hair once to twice a week so it might not hurt to splurge a little more on my shampoo. The really fun thing about this is that Beautycounter has recently relaunched their entire body care line to include refillable and recyclable containers! They are aluminum which are easier to reycyle than regular plastic. The fillable part means you recycle your body container, keep the pump and reorder just a new can of product! Beauty should be good for you and the planet! You can check out the entire newly relaunched body line, including shampoo and conditioner, HERE!


I am not much for styling products at all, the only one I have reached for lately is the Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray, this works amazing actually, I am going to upgrade to the full size for sure. It adds both texture and volume! Another great dry shampoo pick is this R+Co dry shampoo paste…if your hair is on the shorter side this is so great to add volume and texture! I use about a pea-sized amount and just rub into scalp.

What cleaner hair care products are you embracing these days??

Top 3!

Standouts from each skincare line

Beautycounter has been running some killer deals lately in the skincare department! In honor of our upcoming flash sales all this week, I thought I’d detail my TOP 3 products from each skincare line at Beautycounter.

Skincare can definitely be a cocktail of different lines and products so it might take some time to nail down what works for you. Honestly, part of the fun of skincare for me is trying new things!!

Here are my TOP THREE from each line we carry:

Countercontrol is our line for acne or blemish-prone skin. This line is all about clearing up the skin without irritation while balancing skin. If you’re looking for the clean equivalent of the Clean & Clear Pore Cleanser, look no further! The Countercontrol Cleanser is where it’s at! This is an amazing, lightweight, exfoliating cleanser that is great for everyday use in the morning & at night. It has a great lather and just leaves my skin feeling fresh! I was slow to try this line because I thought I didn’t have oily skin but this has been a great addition to my routine every morning! It’s helped to clear up some small under the skin bumps I didn’t even think were an issue. Definitely a standout for me!

Countermatch is our line for more normal to combination skin that’s all about long-lasting (but lightweight) moisture and an everyday glow. Can’t argue with that! This Countermatch Overnight Recovery Cream is super rich and will leave your skin feeling ultra moisturized. You can mix this with our No. 1, 2 or 3 oil for even more hydration at night! Sometimes those nighttime cocktails are the best! I think we often underestimate how thirsty our skin is and this line is great at providing that rich moisture without feeling greasy! This has definitely been a constant in my routine ever since I got it a year ago. I have reordered it a few times!

Countertime is our anti-aging line made safer with the use of plant-derived Retinatural Complex. No more worrying about going out in the sun or harsh ingredients. This Countertime Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence is what you would use as your toner step. It’s honestly like botox in a bottle! (Ok, full disclosure, I’ve never had botox) BUT it does work to tighten skin, minimize pores, and prep the skin for the next step! It’s a different feeling product to apply than your usual toner but you can definitely feel a difference in your skin after applying! A small amount in your hand and press into skin…guarantee if you add this to your rotation it will quickly become your favorite! My bottle of this has lasted me a ridiculously long time as well, a little goes a long way!

What products have you been curious to try? You can take a skincare quiz here to find the line that’s right for you OR let me curate your cart for you!

Stay hydrated!

xoxo

Adventures in a Gallery Wall!

I did it! Me! This ultimately isn’t what I had in mind and maybe isn’t finished really? But that’s not the point. It looks good! THAT’S the point! The wall is an odd slope shape and I’m not sure how to treat that extra space? Maybe this gallery wall will grow but for now here she is, I’m proud of her!

gallery wall in kitchen/dining area

Created with a few simple things:

  • Gold frames that come in a pack together in variety of sizes (I bought two)
  • picture hanging set, hammer, nails
  • tape to hold the photo frames in place*
  • Gather your favorite art – from your children, local artist, make it yourself, create your own theme, this is the fun part! My own gallery includes art drawn and painted by my children and neices, some purchased from a local artist in my hometown (https://www.pressreliefprints.com/ – shout out!), some photos I took of my own garden and some art taken from a coffee table book I own that can be found here

First of all, don’t be intimidated because the wall can always be repaired; however, we are adults so planning is nice! I outlined all my frames to get an idea of where I wanted them placed.

Once I felt more comfortable with where they were to be placed, I hammared away, making sure each was level in between.

*If you have children you will find any frames you have on the wall rattle with doors being slammed. I secured the photos to the wall with this heavy duty wall tape, it works great and assures the photos don’t move!

I’m sure the artwork will rotate here and there. My additional ideas are to add some type of wall decal (geometic? I don’t want it to took too elementary) up in the corners where there is extra space. Or perhaps some larger sign with farmhouse vibe and/or saying above the gallery.

Give me all your suggesitons, what do you think?

5 Tips to Reduce Your Toxic Load

Long before cancer creeped it’s way into my life (well, long before I knew it was growing inside me) I had already begun to make lifestyle changes to help to reduce my toxic load. At the time, I didn’t realize this is exactly what I was doing, I just knew I had been becoming more aware of how toxic so many things in my environment were. The processed foods, meat industry, personal care products, even baby food has been found to have high levels of arsenic! “Toxic load” refers to the accumulation of chemicals and toxins in our body that are ingested or absorbed.

I think it’s also important to point out that we are far from perfect as a family on this. No one can practice perfection in this area, it’s too hard! We make safer swaps where we can all while remembering we are human trying our best to navigate this. My kids nutrition is not perfect and I’m sure there will always be areas to clean up. Progress over perfection my friends!

Here are five ways I help to reduce our chemical exposures in our family

  1. Eat vegetarian whenever possible & buy organic fruits and vegetables

    This one is kind of a no-brainer as we’ve all heard it a hundred times. I get it, buying all organic everything isn’t financially possible and that’s when you stick to buying organic items that are on the dirty dozen list. Buy organic when you can and be sure to always thoroughly wash produce (we use a 3:1 water/vinegar solution). In addition, I always lean towards recipes that are vegetarian. Eating vegetarian is cheaper, better for the planet, your health etc. My favorite cookbooks that got me into plant based eating are The Happy Herbivore and Everyday Detox

2. Transition personal care and makeup products to safer alternatives

Our skin is our largest organ and believe it or not, we are absorbing all the products we slather onto our skin and face. I have been using Beautycounter for over a year now for my skincare and makeup products. Beautycounter delivers high performing personal care products while banning a plethora of ingredients. In addition, they are also a B Corp, meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance. I will also link a great article by one of my favorite beauty bloggers, This Organic Girl, that goes over cleaner beauty options available at Target. Cleaner, safer options are out there and I hope to continue to share all those things I come across on this platform!

3. Never wash plastsic in the dishwasher – switch over to glass storage containers instead of plastic tupperware

Did you know that back in 2018 the American Pediatric Association stated to, “avoid microwaving food or beverages (including infant formula and pumped human milk) in plastic, if possible, don’t put plastics in the dishwasher, and use containers made from alternative materials like glass or stainless steel whenever possible.”

That means that all those cute plastic kid plates, cups, snack containers you have should never be going in the dishwasher. Ever. Even if plastic is labeled ‘dishwasher safe’, it is not. On a personal note, we do still have and use plastic kid plates and cups. I wash them by hand and yes, it is a pain in the butt. We have some stainless steel kids cups we use as well. Will slowly transition over to stainless steel but it’s a process.

4. Take care of your gut

This perhaps seems like a random one but I have never been more aware of how my own gut functions since getting my permanent colostomy. Your bowels are how your body expels waste and toxins from your own body. It’s imperative to keep them working regularly and treat them well. This means drinking a lot of water (I personally aim for a gallon a day) and basically not killing yourself with crap food. I don’t think I need to go into this further. Another huge component of this is getting adequate exercise so your gut can actually process and absorb what’s needed and expel what’s not.

5. Switch to a natural laundry detergent

After trying quite a few more natural laundry detergents I have finally found one that is unscented, comes in small recyclable packaging and actually works on kid stains and sweaty clothes, Earth Breeze laundry sheets! You can get $10 OFF your first order here. This company is great, focusing on zero waste products that actually work. Ditch the scents and opt for unscented as well. I practice this in most products, when there is an unscented version, I will grab that. The less synthetic fragrances, the better.

Small and steady action cleaning up our toxic load can go a long way in improving the health of our families! What are some of the ways your practice this in your home?

Skincare Roundup

Over the years my skin issues have morphed just like everyone else. I’ve gone from oily teenage acne to dry combination to hormonal pregnancy acne – fun! Today I’ve rounded up my skincare favorites I currently rotate! The main thing I’ve learned over the years is…hydrate! Do you know I never used moisturizer until college?! I haven’t landed on a face wash I currently love yet so feel free to throw some clean options my way! My current favorites are below:

 

  • Foreo Luna – I got this device in a subscription box and let it sit in my cabinet for months! I finally pulled it out after seeing something about it online. Wow, what a difference after just one use! I use this every night in the shower – it exfoliates and leaves my skin so soft!


  • Drunk Elephant – This is an amazing, albeit pricey, skincare brand! Hot tip is that Sephora & Amazon sell mini sets of daytime & nighttime duos that you can buy for roughly $20. I usually always buy the mini bottles because they are a better deal for the amount of product and it’s a great way to test it out before committing to a full size product!


  • Lavido Facial Serum – Another serum that is frequently on rotation is this all natural one from Lavido. When I use serums at night, I keep my skin a little damp and then pat the oil on. This one is a tad greasy and I only use it at night. It hydrates very well!


  • Shea Moisture Coconut Oil  – Did you think I was going to leave coconut oil off the list?! I slather this on after getting out of the shower. I also use it on my cuticles, hair, feet etc. When I use my Vitamin E oil, I mix it with this coconut oil to dilute its thick consistency.


  • Vitamin E Oil  – Vitamin E is so good for the skin. Pure vitamin E oil is extremely thick and will need to be mixed with another oil so it can be applied to the skin. I always use coconut oil. I put this around my eyes, on my forehead – basically any place I get wrinkles.


  • Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil  – Pretty sure I came across this from a beauty influencer but this is a great, cheap option! After pregnancy I suffered with melasma and using this regularly at night has helped lighten my super dark spots. It’s also clean with minimal ingredients.


  • Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay Mask – If you haven’t heard of this you have been living under a rock! It’s a powder and when mixed with apple cider vinegar (always look for ‘the mother’ on your apple cider vinegar) it creates a great detoxifying mask! It does dry my skin out so I slather oil on afterwards, what’s new!

 

Let me know your current favorites and anything I need to try out!

 

 

 

Full disclosure that some links are affiliate links. I review and recommend only products I personally use on a regular basis. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

 

Friday Five – Podcast Edition

It’s time again for another Friday Five! This week I’ll focus on sharing my favorite podcasts. I should do a whole other post on strictly personal development podcasts that I love; however, I’ll just focus this one on my five main ones I always have on rotation. Some are informative, inspirational and some are strictly for entertainment.

I always get asked how I have time to listen to so many podcasts! Hah As a stay-at-home mom to a toddler and another on the way, I keep busy. But I always make time for my podcasts! I put them on in the morning getting ready, in the car, at the gym, walking my dogs, cooking dinner etc. Continue reading “Friday Five – Podcast Edition”

Friday Five!

In my little corner of the internet I wanted to start a segment where each Friday (or rather, the Friday’s where I have my life together), I share some of my top 5 favorite things! These will range in category from beauty and wellness, kid stuff, gadgets, recipes, podcasts, blogs etc. I’m always coming across new products and stuff I love and what better way to share the wealth! I’ll share how I use the product, why I like it & why you need it in your life!

So, without further ado, these are a few of my (current) favorite things…

 

Continue reading “Friday Five!”