Natural Deodorant Test – My Favorites

March 24, 2017

Testing three popular natural deodorant brands

I have yet to jump on the DIY deodorant bandwagon only because I don’t like the idea of using my hands to rub deodorant on my armpits. Is that juvenile? Probably. I know I’ll get over it soon but in the meantime, I want to make sure I’m avoiding any pesky harmful ingredients in my store-bought deodorant sticks!

I conducted a natural deodorant test using three popular brands over the past three months. Each have their own pros and cons. I’ll go into more in-depth reviews below, but in case you want the sparknotes version and links for where to buy:

  1. Native
  2. Crystal Essence
  3. Schmidt’s (spoiler alert – this one was my favorite!)

Continue Reading…

Golden Rules for Cleaning Out Your Closet

March 8, 2017

Golden rules for cleaning out your closet

A few weeks ago I was visiting a friend and she asked me for help with cleaning out her closet. She had recently moved to a smaller apartment and wanted to de-clutter but was having trouble doing it herself. As a self-proclaimed purger I was happy to help!

It was an interesting process helping a friend decide what to keep and what to toss because there were multiple times when we would pull out an old T-shirt that she never wore outside of her apartment that to me was an easy “toss,” but to her it held sentimental value so she sincerely struggled with letting it go.

What ended up helping the most with this exercise was repeating the same couple of questions for each “maybe” item. Continue Reading…

Natural Cold Remedies

February 28, 2017

Natural cold remedies - neti pot

It’s that time of year again! Sniffly noses, coughing, sore throats, muscle aches… sound familiar? Instead of running to the cold and flu aisle, I like to first treat myself with the following natural cold remedies when I feel the first signs of excessive sneezing or a tickly throat. Continue Reading…

How to Clean a Suede Jacket and Liner

February 23, 2017

How to clean suede

This year, one of my personal resolutions was to buy ZERO new clothes. It’s my little way of not contributing to the over-production of clothing that so often ends up as additional waste in landfills. That’s not to mention the damaging environmental impact that results from irresponsible production factory pollution as well as the questionable work conditions for many factory employees (I went into more detail about this in a recent newsletter – if you missed it then I recommend first signing up so you don’t miss future issues and also checking out the documentary The True Cost to learn more!).

This might sound like I gave up clothes shopping entirely but that’s not the case. In fact, I am working diligently on improving my tired wardrobe and slowly replacing my old, sad pieces with items that I truly love to wear. So instead of buying new, I am buying second hand! Including this thrifted suede jacket.

This suede GAP jacket easily retailed for $200-$400 when purchased new. I bought it for $30 from a Crossroads in San Francisco.

With that said, the jacket showed signs of wear – the suede edges of the sleeves and areas around the zippers were pretty dirty. The lining had some minor stains as well. I bought it anyway and cleaned it up -now I receive compliments every time I wear it!

The moral of this story is don’t be afraid of suede! Suede shoes or suede jackets can be easily cleaned and cared for at home. See how to clean suede in the video and photos below.

Continue Reading…

Daily Cleaning Checklist + Free PDF Download

February 16, 2017

Daily Cleaning Checklist - printable PDF!

It’s hard to deny the fact that a clean space feels GOOD.

I am a person who is severely impacted by her surroundings. When I come home after work to a messy apartment (which happens way more often than I’d like to admit) my default behavior is to eat a bowl of granola or a box of macaroni and cheese, pour myself some wine then sit in front of the TV and binge watch something brainless on Netflix or Hulu.

However, when I come home to a clean and tidy apartment I am inspired to help my husband cook something healthy for dinner, write a blog post, or read a book instead. Most people feel more energized in a clean space but struggle with the process of regularly maintaining one.

This is why I created a printable daily cleaning checklist! Continue Reading…

How to Clean a Front Load Washing Machine

February 7, 2017

How to clean a front load washing machine

We live in an apartment with an in-unit washer/dryer – a MASSIVE luxury that I do not take for granted. Because of this, it’s pretty easy to keep up with our laundry so I was surprised (and a little grossed out) when I opened one of T’s drawers not too long ago and it smelled like a thrift store. You know that mildew-y, old clothing smell? Yes – that was coming from his drawer of CLEAN clothes!

I re-washed everything from that drawer, re-folded it and put it back into the drawer until the next week when there it was AGAIN – thrift store smell.

After some research, I discovered what the problem was… our washing machine!!!

Luckily it is easy to clean a front load washing machine with just one ingredient: vinegar. Keep reading for the video and how-to.

Continue Reading…

When to throw away old makeup + Makeup Expiration

February 1, 2017

Minimizing your makeup collection - when to throw away old makeup plus a guide to makeup expiration

We all know that our makeup has a shelf life, but I am willing to bet that 95% of us (myself included) tend to ignore those expiration dates. Additionally, it’s very easy to collect way more makeup than necessary – I know I have fallen prey to beauty blogger and youtube recommendations more than once! After years of collecting eyeshadows and concealers I had to finally ask myself the question, “How long do I have before I need to throw this makeup away?”

After doing some research, I compiled the most commonly accepted makeup expiration dates along with some helpful tips for making smart makeup purchases in the future. Continue Reading…

DIY Body Butter

January 26, 2017

DIY cocoa body butter recipe

This body butter recipe is actually magical. I know that there are a lot of “DIY Beauty” recipes floating around on the internet and a lot of them are just not as good as the store bought versions, but THIS is seriously worth trying.

I have been experimenting with DIY body butters since last summer and some recipes were too firm and difficult to scoop out of a jar, some were too soft and oily and wouldn’t absorb into my skin, some were too heavy on the cocoa butter (I am personally not a huge fan of smelling like chocolate) but this recipe really did it for me.

What’s interesting is that in between my last batch of body butter and this one I started using Aveeno body lotion after my showers and I started getting dry bumps on the backs of my arms and my legs were flaky and dry by the end of the day – and I’m not a person prone to dry skin! Two days after using this DIY body butter, my arms were COMPLETELY smooth again. See? Magical.
Continue Reading…

DIY Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner

January 16, 2017

DIY natural yoga mat cleaner recipe

Oh yoga. One of my favorite ways to treat myself during the week is with 1-2 relaxing yoga classes. I am lucky that I work at a company that offers lunch time yoga classes twice a week (EVERY company should offer this – such a game changer for my productivity!) and I do my best to take advantage of it.

With that said, I am totally guilty of rolling up my gross mat at the end of class without cleaning it and putting it away until the next class (yep, even after hot yoga classes – I know, so gross). I recently un-rolled my nose told me that this bad habit had to end.

I did some research on natural yoga mat cleaner recipes and just about every source had the same or similar ingredients. Continue Reading…

How to deep clean your shower and bathtub

January 11, 2017

How to deep clean your shower, chemical-free! DIY shower cleaner recipe gets rid of dirt and soap scum

I have a confession to make. I didn’t deep clean my shower or bathtub for a solid 5 months… (If my mom is reading this I am sure she is horrified – sorry mom!) to the point where there was a RING around our drain and the tub walls were turning BROWN. Barbaric.

How could I let such a thing happen? Shower cleaning has historically been my least favorite chore. In the past I never had a good shower cleaning system – I always ended up soaking wet dealing with the lingering scents of harsh chemical cleaners.

It was only after I researched this DIY shower cleaner recipe (dish soap and vinegar – none of the harsh environmentally damaging chemicals in other super strength cleaners) that I decided I was ready to brave the storm.

And wouldn’t you know, it was one of those projects where afterwords I kicked myself for not having done it sooner. Our shower and bathtub are GLISTENING. As they should! Doesn’t the idea of using a dirty shower to make yourself “clean” seem a little bit wrong? Absolutely yes because it is.

I’m proclaiming this to be a 100% judgement-free zone, if you haven’t properly cleaned your shower in months I get it. This chore can be terrible, but it’s necessary if you are attempting to behave like a real adult. It’s really time to clean your shower.

Read on (or watch the video!) for how I conquered mine.

Continue Reading…