What are you reading this week? Here are three recommendations!

 

french

This week, I was excited to dig into French Coast by Anita Hughes. I read and loved Anita’s other books so I had high expectations for this novel. Here’s the 411:

Serena has the job she’s always dreamed of and Chase, the man her heart never dared to. As a new editor at Vogue, she bags the biggest interview of the year with Yvette Renault, the infamous former editor of French Vogue, in The Carlton-InterContinental Hotel during the Cannes Film Festival. She eagerly jets off to France while Chase stays home, working with her father, a former senator, on his upcoming mayoral campaign.

Everything feels unbelievably perfect…until it doesn’t. The hotel loses her reservation hours before her big interview. Serena fears that she’ll have to go home without her story, but then she meets Zoe, a quirky young woman staying in the suite below Yvette’s who invites Serena to stay with her.

Serena is grateful for her mysterious roommate’s generosity, but it seems that there’s more to her story than meets the eye. To make matters worse, soon after arriving in Cannes, Serena learns a shocking secret about her parents’ marriage, and it isn’t long before she begins to question her own relationship.With her deadline looming and pressure mounting, Serena will have to use her investigative journalism skills, new  friendships, and a little luck to get her life and love back on track.

I loved this book for the fact that its a fun, easy read that keeps you turning pages. Breezy novels with a good plot and some twists and turns are hard to write so kudos to Anita for mastering the challenge!

The author puts you right on the French coast, complete with shimmering water, warm sandy beaches and designer clothes. I cannot think of a more perfect novel to read poolside this summer! This is frothy fun at its best!

 

LIFELOVES

Switching gears, I’ve also been reading Life Loves You by Louise Hay and Robert Holden. You have zero to lose by adopting the practices Robert and Louise encourage you to do each day. I’m working on it, listening to Louise Hay online and spending time in meditation.

In short, ” Louise and Robert look at what “Life loves YOU” really means—that life doesn’t happen to you; it happens for you. Life is on your side. And when you understand and live in line with this philosophy of basic trust, you open yourself up to countless opportunities to experience greater happiness, creativity, prosperity, and love.

But the authors don’t expect readers to take their word for it. In fact, they outline seven practical and straightforward experiments that will help readers experience the loving universe for themselves.”

I am still in the beginning chapters so I haven’t fully begun to practice what the book offers but I am all about being grateful, having appreciation and doing positive affirmations… and more- to make life happier and more fulfilling.

wrong

I’ve long been a fan of Kate White, her suspense novels are hard to put down. I was completely enthralled with her upcoming novel, The Wrong Man. Kate’s mysteries are fun to read but keep you guessing. I really enjoyed this one, I think I read it in less than twenty four hours!

Here’s the premise:

Bold and adventurous in her work as one of Manhattan’s hottest interior decorators, Kit Finn couldn’t be tamer in her personal life. So, while on vacation in the Florida Keys, Kit resolves to do something risky for once. Flirting with Matt Healy–the rugged stranger she literally bumps into at her hotel–is one thing. Going back to his room after their date is another.

Instead, Matt offers to cook her dinner when they’re both back in the city. But when Kit arrives at his luxury apartment ready for the date of a lifetime, who is the man who opens the door?

Kit’s usually so good at reading people. How could she have been taken in by the deceptions of a con man? And why has he targeted her? Piece by piece, Kit realizes that this treachery goes a lot deeper, and gets a lot deadlier. Now the only way out is to expose the vicious puppet master who’s turned her life upside-down.

I appreciate a fast paced book, the worst thing is to be bored while reading a novel, especially a mystery! The Wrong Man was totally entertaining and I enjoyed reading it. Due out in June, this book needs to be put on your GoodReads or Amazon list right now!

 

Sunfood Super Foods: Skin Care

Sunfood

 

Have you heard of Sunfood? This brand offers lots of natural, green products from raw foods to supplements to oral care and everything in between. This is the kind of website where I can spend hours of my time reading about every single item.

Sunfoods has just launched their clean, non toxic skincare line and I got to try a couple of items. Let’s take a look!

LIPS– this lip balm contains: Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Cacao Butter, Shea Butter, Bees Wax, Tocotrienols (Vitamin E), MSM Powder, and Organic Sacha Inchi Oil.

Its very moisturizing and healing. This keeps lips totally hydrated and very smooth- I love it.  I apply extra on my nailbeds which are always dry. This product helps a lot! I would use it anywhere there’s dry skin, or even use as a balm on the face.

GONE- is the makeup remover, don’t you love the name?  Check out the ingredients-  Organic Coconut Oil and Tocotrienols (Vitamin E). 

Very simple  ingredients, right? You can use with a cotton ball to wipe away makeup, or apply all over face and use a soft washcloth to wipe away foundation, blush,  mascara. I feel that this is super nourishing to skin, doesn’t strip or over cleanse nor does it leave any kind of residue. Perfect!

YOUNG Nourishing Facial Cream is a terrific cream/balm. I use a couple dabs all over my face in the evening for a surge of moisture during the night when cells do their renewal.

Ingredients- Made only with Organic Cacao Butter, Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sacha Inchi Oil, Tocotrienols (Vitamin E), and MSM Powder

My combination skin loves this cream, its quickly absorbed and my skin has a nice glow when I use it. I especially like it for the eye area because it is so rich (but not heavy or greasy).

I am really happy to share this brand with you. When you go to the Sunfoods site (here) you will see so many products that look amazing. I already have a shopping cart FULL (chlorella, cacao beans, carob powder, apricot kernels…just to name a few)!

 

 

 

 

Wellness Wednesday: Make Your Own Deodorant

 

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One of the first things I did when going green was ditch the conventional deodorants. With a strong history of breast cancer in my family, I didn’t want any extra chemicals seeping into my system.

There’s plenty research out there indicating there’s a cancer-deodorant connection, mainly because aluminum can mimic estrogen in the body. Aluminum – a neurotoxin- which is in most deodorants, might also be liked to Alzheimer’s.

I went through many many products trying to find an effective, natural product and I found many- one of my faves is Green Body Deodorant which works amazingly well.

I also like making my own which is super easy and cost effective. You can add your own essential oils depending on which fragrance  you like.

Here’s the basic recipe:

6 tablespoons of coconut oil

1/4 cup of baking soda

1/4 arrowroot powder (or cornstarch but make sure its non-GMO)

I like to use tea tree oil for a little scent

Mix dry ingredients together, add coconut oil (I soften mine a little) then pour into a glass jar or container.

You can add Beeswax Pastilles- find them here which acts as an anti-antiperspirant. Buy empty containers on Amazon.com or here. There are all kinds of recipes floating around using various oils and clays but I like things simple and easy! If you have a fave recipe, send it my way so I can try it out!

 

Best Natural Products for Frizzy Hair

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Adventures in frizzy hair continue! What I’ve figured out and learned over this journey in hair care is that frizzy hair can be a God-given texture but what makes it worse is using synthetic products, heat styling, hair coloring, and rubbing wet hair with a towel instead of using a soft tee-shirt.

I’ve used many, MANY products over the years to combat frizz from specially formulated shampoos (which contain silicones, bad bad!) to using styling serums (more silicones) to deep conditioning and few things really work.

In the last year I have determined that using ultra-gentle shampoo and conditioner like Josh Rosebrook’s products, Just Natural Hair Care and Desert Essence really help. No sulfates, no silicones. As little chemicals as possible.

Here are my favorite products for fighting frizz:

Rosemary Oil– thickens hair, slows thinning hair, helps with dandruff and itchy scalp, increases circulation. I apply it to the scalp and give my hair a good massage. The scent is so uplifting!

Just Natural Vinegar Nutritive Rinse will rinse residue from hair and scalp. Removes styling product build-up so hair can flourish without being weighed down, also  balances pH. Use it once a week!

This Vinegar Nutritive Rinse Cleanser gently and  naturally cleanses your scalp and hair. It will leave  your hair beautiful while removing all residues, dirt,  debris and other build up that might be clogging  or choking off your hair follicles.

Shea Moisture Smooth & Repair is easy to find at Target or online, its not expensive and it smells amazing.  I use a tiny amount to smooth frizz when I am done blow drying my hair and it keeps flyaways down, removes static and decreases frizz. Great blend of oils and it smells incredible.

MILK is probably my  number one pick for smoothing frizzy hair. This stuff is miraculous and I use it sparingly so I don’t run out too quickly. Its like a magic potion that transforms my fine, frizzy hair into something smooth and pretty.

Milk is infused with a rich blend of 16 essential oils that imparts a fresh, herbal scent that is beloved by men and women.

Carefully handcrafted in California using the finest organic ingredients from sustainable from around the world.  MILK protects hair and scalp, while promoting growth and restoration.

Not only does it smell fantastic but its the only product that no matter how much I use, it keeps my hair voluminous and healthy looking.

Badger Sea-Buckthorn Hair Oil  is a nightly treatment for dry locks. This product drenches your hair in nutrients. You can use this every night or just as a treatment for an hour. I like to put it on the ends of my hair which tend to be very dry.

If you’re hair is dry and frizzy, you want to soften it up without silicones or harsh ingredients which might work temporarily but won’t cure your condition long-term.  I’ve dabbled with enough products over the years to recognize coating hair in silicone does not help the cause, it makes it worse.

Seabuckthorn and Pomegranate promote hair strength and elasticity, and Apricot is a potent emollient, imparting moisture and shine. Rosehip possesses regenerative properties, helping hair to return to its healthiest state.

Isabella’s Clearly LONG is a product that’s relatively new  to me but I’ve been using it and loving it. A blend of oils that condition the hair and encourage growth, it restores the health of dry hair and promotes healing and growth. This is an oil that I leave on overnight and the next day my hair always feels softer and appears healthier.

A proprietary blend of Almond oil with essential oils including: Peppermint, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Peppermint, Lemon, Sage, and Rosemary, Cypress, Geranium.

If you are suffering from dry, frizzy hair or hair that’s in poor condition, I would highly recommend using only natural, organic products and skipping anything with sulfates, silicones, or any chemicals you cannot pronounce. Clean, pure ingredients will feed your hair and scalp and promote healthy locks.

*

That  being said, I had a sample of Leave-In Repair Serum from Rene Furterer and decided to give it a whirl. I used a small amount and wow, I had great results! My hair was softer and zero frizz. I used less than a penny sized amount and only applied to the lower portion of my hair.

This is an example of an extraordinary product that would be sheer perfection with a few tweaks to the ingredients.  I did a quick search of the ingredients via Skin Deep and this product ranks as a 5, meaning moderate hazard.

As with everything, research ingredients and make the best decisions that suit YOU!

 

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Grand Opening

1SF9

 

1SF11

 

Laurel’s jars of magic.

 

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Etta + Billie

 

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Lurk

 

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Josh Rosebrook

I’m not shy about telling people how much I love Laurel Whole Plant Organics.  I’ve been a  huge fan of her organic formulas for a long time, so when she opened up her new place in Sausalito, I was thrilled to go!

Nestled in the perfect spot between a marina on one side and lush, piney trees on the other, Laurel’s studio is an open, airy place where you can not only buy products but receive facials. Laurel also handcrafts her potions in this spot. If I lived in the area, I would be dropping by often for facials and to visit with Laurel. Just being in her place is inspiring!

Laurel hand-picked green, clean products to sell in her shop from the following brands: La Bella Figura, Lurk Beauty, Etta + Billie, R. L. Linden and Josh Rosebrook.  You cannot go wrong with any of these!

I chatted a little with Victoria from La Bella Figura and met Alana, the owner of Etta + Billie, a stunning brand that’s new to me.  The place was buzzing with activity from start to finish, everyone was so excited to share in the grand opening!

I am absolutely filled with happiness with Laurel, a beautiful and talented soul who literally radiates beauty! I met her years ago when her brand was called Sequoia and was so impressed back then.

Today she still maintains the highest standards and integrity but has tweaked everything to perfection. I wish Laurel and her team nothing but abundance, good fortune and success with this new place!

You can go here for more information!

By Hello Dollface