On The 9th Day of Blogmas: The LUSH Tag

Blogmas

To start, I am not a Lushie – there are two times each year that I shop at LUSH, Christmas & when I run out of Karma Kream. I am supremely annoyed that my beloved Karma Kream is being discontinued, again, when I know that it will just be brought back eventually. Anyway, I have enough for now but have yet to order any Christmas items which I was ordering today when I came upon this fun little tag & figured I would give it a whirl.

Sweet Husky

A former co-worker of mine was obsessed with LUSH & we would always stop in there when we went to the Mall of America which, used to be a lot more often than I do now. Over the years, I started to find products that I really enjoyed & find that they have the perfect gifts for just about anyone.

Sweet Husky

I don’t go to the physical stores any longer, I think they are too small & chaotic. These days, I usually place an order 1-2 times a year & mostly for Christmas goodies & gifts. I think the stores are very lovely to look at but why are they so small?!

Sweet Husky

Karma Kream! It is the perfect mix of sweet & musky plus it is a really great moisturizer for dry skin. I hope that they do bring it back at some point, I feel that this will be the second time that this product has been ‘discontinued.’

Sweet Husky

Karm & Goddess are my go to soaps but I don’t use them everyday, they are more of a treat. Unfortunately, essential oils wreak havoc on my skin if I use them continually. Karm is a bar of patchouli goodness & Goddess is a jasmine dream. Both scents are beautiful in all of the different formats.

Sweet Husky

I love baths, here’s the deal, the diverter on my faucet recently stopped working though so I have been filling the bath by running the shower. You know what sound I hate? Shower water spraying standing water. Drives me nuts. Now, how long do I let it ride without being fixed before I take that puppy off myself? Probably until my LUSH box gets here. I love all bath bombs from LUSH – Butterball & Shoot for the Stars are probably in my top though. Goddess is again, really fabulous & it makes the bathroom smell heavenly for hours. I think there has only been one bath bomb that I did not enjoy & it was because it made my skin so itchy.

Sweet Husky

Happy Hippy, not contest – it’s a light, fruity scent that is very pleasant at any time of year. Rose Jam is a winter time favorite, a lot sweeter than what I typically go for but still enjoyable. I have not used their jelly products, I’m not sure how they would last & if they would be messy.

Sweet Husky

I have used some of their skincare but honestly, was not impressed for the price. I feel as though LUSH capitalizes on the green beauty, clean beauty, etc. trend & I just don’t think some of the products were very effective. Their shampoo bars though are awesome – I have dry hair so my favorites are both softening bars. I have Honey I Washed My Hair and Jason & The Argan Oil on rotation in my shower. I’ve tried a couple of their conditioner bars but stick to Candy Rain for my dry hair.

Sweet Husky

The Full of Grace solid serum, I loved the concept & thought it sounded like it would be good for my skin but holy break outs. Also, it didn’t melt on contact like other pressed serums I have used do. It really took some tugging & pulling to get it onto my face which isn’t something I want to be putting my skin through on the regular.

Are you a LUSH fan, are all of the stores so small? I’m curious to know what they look like in other regions. I live in close proximity to 4 different locations & they are roughly the size of a modest master bedroom. Let me know what your favorite products are – thanks for stopping by 🀍

Blogtober Day 18: Cold Weather Body Care

Blogtober

The seasons have changed, fall might be over already. We had a very crisp high of 32 degrees today & are looking at 4-inches of snow this Tuesday. I know that Halloween is a toss up on whether or not we’re still having mild weather or a foot of snow on the ground but I’m not sure I’m ready! Good thing I work from home on Tuesdays because I cannot with these city slickers driving on bad roads. The air has been dry for awhile now which is torture for my already dry, eczema prone skin & I’ve already switched my body care routine. I’m trying some new things this year that are more luxurious than my usual Cerave & am really pleased with the results so far!

Shea Moisture is an awesome brand and has been for awhile. They were some of the first to offer products specifically for curly, coily, kinky natural hair. All of their ingredients are ethically sourced, fair trade & they are cruelty free. Over the years, they’ve expanded to body & skin care – I have been using their coconut oil line & am obsessed. Here’s my routine for soft, clear skin!

Cleanse & Exfoliate: to start, I’ve been using the Daily Hydration Body Wash that is absolutely delicious. It’s sudsy, smells amazing & cleans my skin without making it feel dry or tight. I haven’t had any issues with breakouts or skin flare ups since switching which is rare for my overly sensitive skin. It leaves my skin sweetly scented & nourished.

Next, as unpleasant as exfoliating dry skin sounds, I find that regularly sloughing off the dead skin really improves the overall appearance of my skin. The Daily Hydration Creme Sugar Scrub is just the right amount of grittiness & since it’s sugar, it just dissolves as you work it in. It’s a very hydrating body scrub, I use it all over & it makes my skin sparkle.

Moisturize: I have severely dry skin, I use an oil on particularly dry areas & then seal it in with an occlusive moisturizer. Shea Moisture offers a few lightweight, nourishing body oils but of course I went for the coconut. I have to mention that the coconut line smells like real coconut, very nutty & not that synthetic coconut that some might expect. Everything smells great but it might be a bit different than what some might be anticipating. Generally, a palm full is plenty for the areas I need extra moisture. I then work the Daily Hydration Body Lotion in all over my body. This stuff is thick, I don’t love the packaging & think it would work better in a tub. I put the bottle on my shower floor so the hot water can soften it up then it’s a bit easier to dispense. It doesn’t take terribly long to work in given the thick consistency & doesn’t feel greasy. This lotion keeps my skin comfortably hydrated all day & then some.

Shea Moisture can be purchased at ULTA, Target & on their website! They’re products are affordable & high quality. I cannot recommend them enough if you’re looking for something new.

Let me know what you’re go-to winter skin picks are. Have you tried anything from Shea Moisture? Thanks for stopping by πŸ§‘πŸ–€

Spring To-Do: Starting an Urban Garden

Sustainable Living

Food, food, food – it seems like I’ve been doing nothing but food shopping, cooking, thinking about food shopping, more cooking & worrying about a food shortage for the past three weeks. I can’t get a grocery order to save my life & then when I do, many of the items that I want aren’t available & I end up having to take a trip to the store. At least I have access to food, I know that others don’t but it has started me wondering how much food I could grow for myself if things continue to get worse. As a kid, we always had access to fresh veggies because we grew them & I honestly don’t recall it taking that much effort. Obviously, my parents probably started the beds ages before I existed & I didn’t see all of the heavy lifting that went into the operation but I’m itching to try my hand at urban gardening. I have a very small deck that gets sun for probably 80% of the day time hours & I’ve been checking out some small garden set ups. Apparently, everyone else has too because the pickings are a bit slim. I think that hanging bags & grow bags are going to fit the space that I have to work with best. Grow bags are good for; tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, root veggies & even some salad greens. Here’s what I ordered to get started, it will take a few weeks for everything to arrive & I will share my set up as soon as I can!

Root Pouch 3-Gallon BagsI chose these because they are reusable, breathable and small enough for what I have in mind. Also, I don’t know anything about gardening but the price seemed right for 10 bags!

Root Pouch

Bloem Bagz Hanging Deck Planter: I am using these for small herbs like mint, rosemary and basil I’ve had luck with growing these right on my counter top & think they will do well.

Bloem

Miracle-Gro Vegetable & Herbs: I don’t know if I believe that you need different dirt for different plants but this was on sale.

Miracle Gro

For potted plants, I ordered two tomatoes because I think that those should have already been in the ground & I’m not sure that mine will even take since I have heard that they are difficult to grow. For seeds, I chose basil, yellow squash, jalapeno, rosemary, spinach, green beans, green onion, and radishes. I am excited to get started, I still have some research to do but think that my deck is a great environment for these veggies.

Here are a few inspiration posts that I am working from:

What’s on your spring to do list? I think getting outside to do anything is keeping me healthy and feeling mostly happy. Thanks for reading πŸ’š

It’s Been a Journey, Creating a Sustainable Life

Sustainable Living

Happy Earth Day, earthlings. Mother Nature celebrated the big 5-0 by cancelling the human race, apparently. Unfortunately, this means that many trash collecting, education events and other celebrations have been put on hold. So to the morons throwing their trash out car windows, please refrain until further notice. I think this pandemic has sparked an interesting discussion around how much our impact on the planet could be mitigated if we really only traveled when absolutely necessary. What if all the jobs that could be done from home just stayed at home? If the entire human race made cuts where possible, how would that be to our advantage in the fight against climate change? I dunno, it’s just been something on my mind lately. Anyway, nearing a year ago I made the decision to move to a more sustainable/minimalist lifestyle & to celebrate Earth Day will share a bit on how that’s been going.

ED1

Buttey Honey Regular

This has taken hold in some areas and other areas, not so much. I find myself still purchasing quite a lot of skincare/cosmetics but not clothing, housewares, things I just don’t need. For the clothing and housewares that I have purchased, they are more investment pieces that will last a long time. I’ve been couch shopping for months and just can’t seem to find one that I feel as though I will still love in 10 years or even last that long. I did recently overhaul my kitchen with bamboo dishes, green pots & pans and some new appliances. Most of my old stuff was still in good enough condition to donate but quite a bit went into the trash as well. When I cut my possessions by more than half, it was a struggle to just throw stuff away because it was so wasteful but I feel good about owning less overall.

Earth Day Calligraphy And Watercolor Flyer

Buttey Honey Regular

Thankfully, I didn’t grow up using a lot of single use plastic like baggies, food containers and straws. We reused a lot of prepackaged food containers, our milk was in glass jugs, etc. However, lots of beauty products and household goods come packaged in plastic. I’ve sought out more brands that offer refillable options or compostable packaging like Sapadilla, Humankind, Seed Phytonutrients and Dropps. There are loads of companies out there who are offering unique solutions to the human waste issue, it’s just a matter of seeking them out and finding products that work for you. I would love to see more mainstream brands that offer reusable packaging like Aveda does for their cosmetics.

ED2

Buttey Honey Regular

Again, not hard as I was raised eating a low meat/no meat diet. Veganism can be as exciting or as boring as you make it. Some weeks it’s just sheet pan veggies on repeat and others, I’m deconstructing gourmet recipes to make them vegan. I still hate nutritional yeast and many meat replacements weird me out. I have found a really tasty sausage and an OK cheese but I think it’s easier to focus on all of the things that I can eat rather than what I’m missing. Like, a really frothy coffee creamer and perfect grilled cheese πŸ˜€

2020-3-Feature-Earth-Day-At-50-Headline-Opener-WB

Buttey Honey Regular

Am I a sustainable goddess who somehow managed to replace all of my beauty products with a jar of coconut oil? Absolutely not and while it felt daunting and discouraging getting started I find that it’s best to not compare my lifestyle with the Instagrammable experts. I love scrolling through beautiful photos of perfectly sustainable homes but realize that some lifestyles are not accessible to me. Maybe today I am simply choosing to use a reusable water bottle but ten years from now I could be installing a backyard compost.

I hope that you are safe & healthy & just doing the best that you can wherever you are. Be sure to let me know if you’ve found some sustainable products that you love or what tips you have for living a more earth friendly life πŸ’š

Blogmas Day 6: Sustainable Gift List

Blogmas - 2019

It seems like everyone is talking about sustainability, which is awesome and introducing someone to the movement through gifts is a great way to help others get started. Especially for the person who has everything, there are tons of unique sustainable gifts that anyone can find use for. I’ve rounded up a few products that I have found tremendously useful since having started my zero waste journey.

Amilya Regular

This set includes silicone baggies, stretchy storage lids and beeswax wraps to replace plastic baggies, tupperware containers and plastic wrap. All of the components can be washed with soap and water and reused.

Amilya Regular

These probably seem boring in comparison to all of the cute reusable bags available but these canvas totes are washable which I find very useful because stuff spills. They also don’t take up much room in my car, I just roll them up and throw them in the trunk.

Amilya Regular

Super useful, these are really well-made drawstring bags for fresh produce, I’ve owned a set for a little over a year and they are great quality.

Amilya Regular

I love the weight and feel of bamboo dishes, the fun prints on these will add an eclectic pop to anyone’s kitchen. Now, some people think they are plastic and that I’m a 12 year old when they come over but I think they are cool.

Amilya Regular

I think that I’ve already talked about these, they are fabric rounds that can be used for makeup removal and then washed. A great alternative to cotton balls and a money saver over time.

Amilya Regular

I’m a big fan of the compostable coffee pods but if there’s that one flavor that you just gotta’ have and it only comes in a traditional pod, this little tool will help you dismantle the pod so that it can be recycled.

Amilya Regular

These glass spray bottles are pretty and practical alternatives to one-use bottles.

Some of these might seem a bit too practical for Christmas but I also think that Christmas is great time to give someone something that they might not otherwise purchase. Let me know what sustainable products you’d like to try or can’t live without and thanks for reading!

πŸ’™

What’s in My (Modcloth) Bag

Blogoween

I haven’t purchased a single item of new clothing in over a year! I have picked up a few items used but I don’t think I have done too shabby in being choosier with clothing. It hasn’t been difficult since I hate shopping for new clothes anyway but I have walked away from a few cute pieces that resulted in major FOMO. I actually do need some cool weather clothing and have a huge discount coupon from Modcloth to use. I’ve been curating my order for over a week, it’s getting a little ridiculous and I think it’s time to check out. If you’ve never shopped at Modcloth, it used to be an online-indie boutique that offered tons of different, offbeat designs from a variety of labels. Now, they are owned by Jet.com – yup, owned by Wal-Mart. I don’t love that they are owned by a store that I refuse to shop at. I don’t feel that the quality (for better or worse) or cost of the items has changed, I can still find all of my favourite labels there but I wish they were owned by anyone but Wal-Mart. Even before this, an issue that I’ve always had with Modcloth is that the quality doesn’t always match the price. I’ve purchased some shockingly cheap-feeling items, since they are primarily an online retailer, it’s a gamble but I’ve never had an issue returning items. So anyway, here’s what’s in my bag!

Pam Breeze-ly Long Sleeve Tunic –Β I love these tops and they come in a ton of colors. They are perfect with leggings, tucked into a skirt, with jeans – super easy to wear and so flattering. I have my eye on the olive and black.

Palpable Perks Knit Top –Β I have this top in the navy, I really like it and am surprised at the poor reviews! It’s a basic top with a touch of flare from the cute bow-tie embellishment. I tend to wear a cardigan or blazer over it as the fabric is on the lighter side but overall very comfortable. I’m picking up the basic black, shocking πŸ˜›

Ready to Ruffle Knit Top –Β The texture of this one looks totally adorable and I like the ruffled neck line. I’m torn between the tan or the green, I will probably go tan since I don’t own anything this color.

Admired Archivist Knit Top –Β I feel like I’m purchasing a lot of basic tops but most of my work tops are a little worse for wear (thank you, natural deodorant).

Spotted in Dots Mid SkirtΒ 

S1

Oh, Hello Polka Dot A Line Skirt

S2

Just This Sway A Line Skirt

S3

All or Nothing Pleated Midi Skirt

S4

Print Appeal A Line Dress –Β I have a weak spot for critter patterns such as this, more of my clothing is embellished with raccoons, dogs, elephants, cats, bats, etc than not.

T6

Crazy for you Leopard CardiganΒ – I mean, what can’t I wear this with?!

T7

I think I’ve made some solid choices, many of these items can be worn in winter as well. I’ll report back on what I think of everything, like I said, it’s always a bit of a gamble. Let me know if you’ve shopped at Modcloth before and what you thought!

πŸ–€

Vegan Things I Can’t Even

Sustainable Living

March 1 marks two months since I jumped on the vegan train and I’ve mostly been loving it. As with anything though, there are some aspects of the vegan lifestyle that I just can’t get into. There are things I wouldn’t eat prior to my lifestyle change like caviar, frog’s legs or quail eggs – there are odd delicacies in any diet, plant-based being no exception. I don’t care how nutritious these items are, I just can’t even.

Nutritional Yeast – This deactivated yeast was a staple of my childhood nightmares. My dad used it as a popcorn topping and I’d forgotten about it until I needed it for a recipe recently. Once I cracked the seal, all of those years of foot popcorn came flooding back. Yack. Apparently it’s a staple ingredient in cheese substitutes which probably explains my aversion to them 😭

Black Bean & Most Plant Based Burgers – Now, I’ve tried some good ones but the vast majority of these burger substitutes have total gag-worthy texture.

Tofu Hotdogs – Another delicacy from my youth, tofu pressed into any unnatural shape is off-putting. It tastes delicious without having to masquerade as something else.

Cheese’ – Vegan cheese is literally the worst, how does it smell 100 times more like cheese than actual cheese?!

Kombucha – I don’t think this a vegan thing as much as it is an everyone’s lost their fucking minds thing. My first kombucha experience, I ended up with all the globs of fungus coming in the first swallow 🀒 Just gagged a little thinking about it.

Eggs – I’ve tried one soy egg product that was amazing and one that was just what you’d think soy eggs would be like. I’m steering clear for now, the good ones are incredibly hard to find.

Toona – Mostly because this plant-based tuna tastes like an old folks’ home smells – don’t act like you don’t know what that means 😝

There are loads of delicious recipes and vegan treats available, I find that I just don’t like the ones that are trying to imitate something else. I much prefer hodge podges of veggies and legumes to any processed stuff but it’s all about personal taste. Let me know what food aversions you have.

πŸ–€

February Favorites

Random

Before we get into the handful of favorite products that I have, has anyone tried Lularoe leggings? What’s the tea? Are they good quality? I’m down to my last couple pairs of workout leggings and need some that will hold up. Let me know!

My first favorites are these Blush Bomb liquid blushes from Flower Beauty. I’ve become more cognizant of fine lines which tends to happen when my skin is dry, I’ve been trying to use more cream products. These are awesome, super easy to use, I just press them on with a damp sponge and done.

Continuing with the anti-aging theme, I’ve not been wearing foundation and opting for this Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream instead. It doesn’t have a ton of coverage but enough to even my skin out. It’s very lightweight and doesn’t emphasize anything or settle in creases.

These are naked cleansing balms from Lush in Jade Roller and Tea-Totaler. I think they’re pretty new and are basically solid cleansing oils. Once you start to work them into your skin, they soften up. They remove makeup really well, smell lovely and are totally package free.

This cream shadow from Charlotte Tilbury is all I’ve been wearing on my eyes since getting my new lashes. It’s so creamy and long-wearing, I love that it has the appearance of being a whole eye look but it’s one shadow. I don’t know what the shade is because I’ve probably had it for too long and the label wore off πŸ˜‚

I’ve tried Schmidt’s deodorant before and didn’t love it. I gave it another shot because my psoriasis has been real bad on my underarms lately. Applying deodorant over broken skin is the worst and you aren’t supposed to do it anyway. I grabbed this out of desperation, this flavor is really good! I don’t think it feels nearly as wet as other ones I’ve tried and it doesn’t burn my irritated skin.

Already raved about it, still loving Karma Kream and waiting for a bigger tub!

Let me know what your you were loving this month, have you tried any of these?

πŸ–€

Death of a Paperback Romance

Minimalism

No, this post is not about my non-existent love life πŸ˜‚This weekend I went to a used bookstore that I frequent on the regular. I haven’t purchased anything in awhile and mostly just go to check out their enormous collection of unusual sci-fi novels with hopes of picking up my very own Fox Mulder 😝 It’s a very cool shop operated by some old hippies and just one of those peculiar places that are disappearing. There are literally thousands of books in this store and this weekend I got to thinking about all the stacks of unwanted books and if books are becoming too much of a good thing.

There used to be a time when printed books were incredibly hard to acquire and treated like precious commodities. In the era of the mass paperback though, every household tends to have a few dozen books laying about. As a former educator, I certainly understand the importance of reading and literature being accessible to everyone. However, clearly there’s a lot of waste when it comes to books. While it’s important to ensure equal access to books, does there really need to be 20 copies of one Danielle Steele novel in existence?! Books can be recycled but it feels a bit wrong to throw a book away no matter how trivial the subject matter might be or how well-worn it is. Unwanted books can be donated which seems like a great way to waste not but are they really being purchased or rather sitting on a shelf in triplicate?

Even if the rest of the world doesn’t recognize what I refer to as book-waste or, seemingly doesn’t since I can’t find a single statistic on it, it’s something I’m trying to be more cognizant of. I rarely purchase physical books but always buy used when I do or simply check the book out from the library. I still absorb a ton of literature though through other mediums as well like audiobooks and yes, even the sacrilegious e-reader 😝 I don’t love the e-reader, I only just recently started using one and it doesn’t feel like a real book to me. That aside, my library offers a service where I can check out most any book digitally and access it on my device. There are also loads of free books available through my Amazon Prime subscription. My favorite zero-waste book though has to be the audiobook which I never would have thought possible since I love reading so much. Listening to a book though somehow makes me feel more immersed in the story. Even though I’m sure it’s more beneficial to my brain to actually be reading I still love a good audiobook. I’m still a total book junkie, whenever I need my book fix, I’ll visit a bookstore, do some browsing and then download the titles I’m interested in. It’s not quite the same but having consumed so many book already in my lifetime, I feel better about not creating more waste.

What are your thoughts on book-waste, is it even a thing to be concerned about? Tell me if you prefer a physical book or are fine with digital media! Does it make you a bit melancholy to see stacks if unwanted books or am I just a bit odd πŸ˜‰

QuiteSimplyStella(1)

Current Shower Essentials

Clean Beauty

I say current because I often get bored with the products that I am using and only have 1 or 2 that I must have in my routine. Especially when it comes to body and hair products, I am not terribly fussy. I love Lush and trying new things from them, I’ve generally had really good experiences with their bath/body care. Lush has definitely received some bad press over the years, not all of the ingredients they use are natural, they use essential oils, many of their products are heavily fragranced – you might even call them a green-washed beauty brand. While all of their products are vegetarian, they aren’t vegan and you get into the grey area if that means they can be truly cruelty-free, and I certainly understand some of the skepticism. I choose to shop at Lush because they have a large variety of package free products and their pots are made in the US of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. Also, I don’t believe that just because something is natural that it’s automatically good for you, I have used a couple of bath bombs that irritate my skin and tend to avoid those but most of their products work for me. They aren’t the most cutting edge products and they tend to be a bit costly, some are worth the money and some simply aren’t.

P1

Delicious Yellow Regular

This has been my go-to body cleanser, I have repurchased it twice now and it’s amazing for dry skin. It doesn’t get terribly sudsy but enough to feel like I’m cleansing my skin, it also leaves my skin feeling soft and soothed. It smells mostly like nothing but does have a bit of a tea tree scent to it, nothing luxurious but does what it’s supposed to. It is packed with skin-soothing ingredients like rose water, oats, cocoa butter and olive oil. The 8 ounce pot lasts me about a month, I actually wish it came in a larger pot but I feel it’s a pretty good value.

Delicious Yellow Regular

I haven’t tried a shampoo bar from Lush that I haven’t liked but this one has the most beautiful, long-lasting scent. I have normal hair, it isn’t dry and it isn’t oily – I can pretty much use anything on it and it’s fine. This bar cleans my hair without drying it out or leaving any residue behind and the lather is crazy amazing. Since these bars are concentrated shampoo, I think you get about 80 washes from them and there’s no plastic waste.

P2

Delicious Yellow Regular

This is a product that I have to have, I’ve used Karma Kream for years – I love the scent and it keeps my skin super moisturized. It’s is fragranced with just enough patchouli, subtle and smoky and so lovely. The texture isn’t too thick and goopy like other natural creams that I’ve used, it’s a very nice texture and a little goes a long way.

That’s my current shower routine, simple products that get the job done πŸ™‚ Let me know what your favorite Lush products are!

QuiteSimplyStella(1)