Lilacs + Longer Days! Welcoming Spring w/ Bridge Nine Candle Co.

Despite the chill in the air and the combination snow/thunderstorm that hit Seattle this week (yes, what a bizarre day that was…) the Pacific Northwest is starting to show signs of Spring! As an avid flora and Vitamin D lover, I’m eager for the longer days of Spring and the colorful growth that surrounds us all during this unique season.

Speaking of Spring, it seems like I’ve happened upon a luxurious little tradition -testing and reporting my seasonal scent pick from Portland Oregon’s Bridge Nine Candle Co.! For the last month I’ve been enjoying burning the most authentic Lilac candle that I’ve ever smelled, and I’m here to tell you all about it!

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The Dirty Side of Cleaning Products + My 3 Must-Have Nontoxic Swaps!

When you think of household cleaning products, do you think of something that is making your home safer for yourself and your family? I guarantee that most people would answer ‘yes.’ Would your opinion change if I told you that there is no federal regulation on the ingredients used in these types of products? I’m talking all-purpose cleaners, oven cleaners, glass and mirror cleaners, floor cleaners…the list goes on. None of these products or the chemicals that they are comprised of are tested for human safety. It is not required. Luckily, you don’t need to risk your health for a clean home! I’m covering my favorite nontoxic cleaning solutions and why you should switch to them too below!

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Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Creamy Garlic + Herb Avocado Sauce!

So, my Mom got me a spiralizer for Christmas and it has become one of my absolute favorite kitchen gadgets! The concept of being able to make noodles out of my favorite vegetables is a novelty that I don’t see wearing off any time soon. Obviously, I’m using the term “noodle” here loosely; a spiralizer cuts veggies into the shape of a noodle so that you can effortlessly swap out traditional pastas for veggies in your favorite dishes. Most spiralizers fall around the price point of $30, so they’re an affordable and convenient option if you’re looking to sneak more vegetables into your diet.

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Why I Don’t Believe in New Year’s Resolutions Anymore + What I Do Instead!

Happy New Year everyone! Personally, I have a good feeling about 2017. I do have to admit that ringing in the new year got me thinking though…The tradition of setting resolutions for the year on New Years Eve is a long standing one, but after years of always setting lofty goals that left me feeling poorly about myself, I started analyzing whether or not it was a positive practice. I’m a strong advocate for personal work, self reflection, and always striving to be a better version of myself, but my resolutions never made me feel anything other than more critical of myself in the end. While I know that the tradition itself has good intentions, in this post I’m going to talk about the thought process behind why I no longer participate, and what I do at the beginning of the year instead!

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Skincare Spotlight: Canada’s Urban Alchemist!

Skincare and body care are definitely part of my self-care routine, and I want to start writing about them more here! I can’t think of a better way to start than by introducing you to a small-batch brand that I’m thoroughly impressed with…Up North in Toronto, a little brand called Urban Alchemist has been blossoming. I first connected with the creator when both my blog and her website were in the budding stages. We’ve both grown, and now I’m thrilled to finally be here to tell you about her thoughtfully created, earthy, and majorly-nourishing skincare products! If skincare for the modern hippy sounds like something that’s up your alley, keep reading!

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Green-Beauty-Only Halloween Recap!

On Halloween, men and women cover themselves in body paint, fake blood, and all kinds of other heavy cosmetics! You might not realize it (I know I never did) but these cosmetics are full of carcinogenic, allergenic, and just generally harmful ingredients like synthetic dyes, petroleum-derived ingredients, and Fragrance to name a few. That’s why I decided to do a series of Halloween looks on my Instagram this year to prove that you don’t need to turn to toxic products to create great Halloween looks!

Read on to see the detailed how-to for 6 Halloween looks of mine that relied purely on clean cosmetics from some of my favorite brands, such as Root, RMS Beauty, and 100% Pure!

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Holiday Home Scents ft. Bridge Nine Candle Co.’s White Pine!

The trees in Seattle are just barely clinging onto the last of their leaves, and even though it’s just November 1st…I’m already thinking of the holidays! I love the holiday season in the Pacific Northwest – little white twinkling lights adorning city streets bustling with shoppers, crisp, foggy mornings, bundling up in scarves and sweaters in hole-in-the-wall coffee shops…

I grew up in a household where ‘fake’ was a forbidden four letter word when it came to Christmas trees. My family always went out to cut our own tree; my Mom spent ages circling tree after tree trying to find the perfect ratio of limb separation and fullness. So, when I think of Christmas, I immediately think of the scent of those freshly-cut trees filling the house. That fresh, somewhat spicy pine aroma will forever be the single most nostalgic holiday scent for me! Without it, I don’t feel like I’m fully in the holiday spirit.

Getting a Christmas tree into my 500 square foot Seattle apartment is an ordeal, but I like to enjoy this scent throughout the holiday season…my solution? My favorite, local candle company, Bridge Nine Candle Co., has come to my rescue again with their seasonal White Pine scent! Here’s why I’m enthusiastically recommending it!

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‘No Makeup’ Makeup Look Tutorial with Root!

Two things are undeniable right now – I am completely obsessed with Root, and the ‘No Makeup’ makeup look is majorly trending. So, I thought it was fitting to show you my take on this currently-coveted look using 100% Root products!

Truthfully, this natural, youthful look is not reserved for those with flawless skin, but is actually achieved by carefully choosing cosmetic products that let your natural beauty shine! Not familiar with this trend? Think your bare face with a tune up; a glowing, even skin tone, lightly manicured brows, and defined lashes. This is a great look for busy mornings, or every day for minimalistic makeup routine lovers!

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Green Beauty Brand Spotlight: Araza Natural Beauty (Paleo Makeup!)

You should know by now that non-toxic, natural beauty brands have come to be a major love of mine. But how did I come to make the switch to non-toxic beauty? Well, as a teen I began struggling with panic attacks and other unexplained and life-altering symptoms. Illness suddenly became a part of my day-to-day and along with it, so did the choice to truly learn how to take care of my health. I was lucky enough to cross paths with some truly passionate practitioners at a functional medicine and chiropractic office, where I began to learn about whole food nutrition, my dietary sensitivities, and mind-body wellness. It was there that I first became inspired to somehow make a career in health someday. I had always been an artist, never a scientist, so I eventually pulled away from that dream thinking that my lack of a traditional science background would hold me back. Then, sitting in a freshman year English class at my community college, I saw Food Inc. for the first time and that passion for health was reignited. I left that classroom that day so angry and inspired. After some time I drifted from that passion, again due to doubt, and transferred to a state university to study Fine Art…where I ended up picking up a Nutritional Science minor…that I have now taken almost double the required credits in haha. Long story short, I’ve run away from what I now see is my calling countless times and I’ve repeatedly been brought back to it. My growing interest in and knowledge of nutrition and our food system inevitably lead me down the rabbit hole of cosmetic and personal care product ingredients, and the rest is history!

Why did I just tell you that? Because in the holistic health world so many of us have similar stories; bloggers, authors, medical professionals, and cosmetic line creators alike. So many of us are lead to this lifestyle because we’ve been touched by illness that is caused by or worsened by the chemicals and impurities that we are exposed to daily at the hands of the American food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries. Many people, like me, can’t just sit still knowing what we know – we want to create something to inform or help others to also make healthier decisions we uncovered on our journeys.

Araza Natural Beauty out my beautiful Pacific Northwest (yay for local brands!) is the creation of founder Lindsey, a Celiac Disease sufferer turned health coach and personal trainer who wanted to bring women a cosmetic collection in line with her whole-food nutrition beliefs. Araza is a line that takes its inspiration from the guidelines of the paleo diet, turning to healthy fats, whole food ingredients, and truly natural minerals to create pure and effective cosmetic formulas – how cool it that!? I had the pleasure of trying their 7-1 Coconut Cream Foundation, Green Tea Cream Concealer, Raspberry and Citrus Infused Eye Color, and their Coconut Lipgloss – which I’ll be detailing below!

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Bridge Nine Candle Co. Fall Scent Spotlight: Pumpkin Spice!

I’m not sure about you, but in my neck of the woods fall already seems to be in full swing! As soon as September 1st came around the clouds poured in, the iconic Seattle rain made its debut, and the temperature dropped by about 20 degrees. I’m not sure if I should be unpacking my scarves and buying a new pair of rain boots yet, but I am definitely not complaining about having an excuse to welcome back the warm and cozy vibes that fall is all about!

I love practically everything about fall, from the clothes to the seasonal fruits and vegetables (roasted squash anyone?!) I’m always the one orchestrating trips to the haunted corn maze, the pumpkin patch, and local farms for fresh apple cider and concord grapes while other people are still trying to wear dresses without leggings underneath.

Call me ‘basic,’ but I also just cannot contain my love for a certain seasonal staple…I’m of course talking about Pumpkin Spice (yes, that does need to be capitalized!) Whenever this time of year rolls around I get a little unreasonably giddy. I can’t help it! But, while I might get excited when I see that first advertisement on the Starbucks door, I’m not running inside to get my fix; we should all be aware that the cult-favorite PSL is completely composed of artificial flavoring and about a 3 days’ allowance of sugar with zero natural pumpkin or spices anywhere to be seen. What I am doing is looking out for new ways to bring the flavor of Pumpkin Spice into my kitchen and the scent into my home with my natural and non-toxic preferences in mind!

We’ll leave the kitchen endeavors for another time, but on the topic of home scent…I’m about to tip you off to an amazing and non-toxic Pumpkin Spice scented candle that deserves a spot in your home asap! Spoiler: it’s from my favorite local & clean candle company, Bridge Nine Candle Co.!

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