Eden’s Garden Essential Oils HAUL


Online shopping is the best!

I’ve been dabbling in essential oils for a few years now, and recently put in an Eden’s Garden order to use for a bit of experimentation.

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As you can see, I ordered the following:

Rosehip, Camellia Seed, Cumin, and Peppermint

The peppermint was actually just a restock to help me battle the summer and autumn pests.  FYI, most pests hate peppermint, and using drops of it on cotton balls in cabinets, drawers and dark corners of your home can actually make it an uncomfortable place to be.  For the pests…not you.

As for the other three newly purchased oils?  I’ve decided to try to create my own “Oils of Life Intensely Revitalizing Facial Oil” from the Body Shop.  I bought the Essence Lotion earlier this year (which has become part of my Spring Skin Care edit), and received a sample of the Facial Oil…which I actually really enjoyed!  But…I’m all about skincare on a budget obviously, and spending $40 just felt unnecessary.  I’m not having a ton of trouble with my skin, and like I said, I’ve been dabbling in essential oils, so I thought I’d make a DIY version instead.

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IMG_0164Obviously it won’t be exactly the same, the ingredient list is a bit longer than rosehip, camellia seed, and cumin oils, but I wanted to give it a try anyway.  I normally use a blend of jojoba oil and rosehip oil during the winter, so why not try this blend for the summer?  I have pretty dry skin, even in the summer, and am hoping that this will do the trick.

I plan on using this all summer, then deciding whether I feel like it’s a good option, so watch this space if you’re DIY inclined!

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Spring Skincare on a Budget

Most experts agree that consistency is key when it comes to your skincare regime, and I believe them.  That makes perfect sense!  But it’s awfully boring.

As much as I would love to spend tons of $$$ on expensive skincare, I’m just not sure yet that it’s really worth it.  I think I’d have to meet someone who has extremely luminous and amazing skin that can honestly point to an expensive product for the results, and that hasn’t happened yet.  Which is fine… I love the thrill of a good deal, and am content to keep finding budget skincare that seems to work for me.

Mind you, I don’t use everything in this list at one time!  I use some in the morning, some at night, and the facial scrub once a week.  As a note, my skin is normal/dry, and for the past year or so, I’ve been experiencing a lovely lack of breakouts of any kind.  Yay!  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Neutrogena Naturals Acne Foaming Scrub: This is my exfoliant, and I use it about once a week (when I remember).  I like the scent, and how gentle it is.
  • Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser: My go-to cleanser, used every morning.
  • Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Make-up Remover: Seeing a pattern?  I love this line!  This particular cleanser works well for me at night, taking off my make-up while it cleanses…  I’m all for the two birds with one stone mentality.
  • Eden’s Garden Lavender Essential Oil: I use a dab of this morning and evening for any blemishes I might find, and also to prevent them.  I was using Benzoyl Peroxide for this step, and while it’s very effective, it tends to dry out my skin a bit, and I don’t need that.
  • Mario Budescu Facial Spray: Love the scent!!!  I use this in the morning before my moisturizer.  My skin seems to really respond well to rose skincare, so this is my daily dose!
  • Oils of Life Revitalizing Essence Lotion: What a cool name, right?  I couldn’t resist giving it a try, and my skin seems to like it, so I like it.  I use this at night before moisturizer.
  • Ives Formula Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer: I’ve been using this product for a couple years now thanks to a tip-off from my sister.  It’s incredibly cheap, and again…my skin seems to like it better than everything else I try.

I changed up my skincare about a month ago, and so far so good!  I tend to struggle with dryness, so I might add a moisturizing oil to the mix soon…a DIY oil based on The Body Shop’s Oils of Life line.  Watch this space to see how that turns out!

What about you?  Do you have any awesome budget skincare finds?

Misfit Update: So Many Flashes!

After ending my last Misfit Flash Review post on a high note, and with a brand new replacement tracker, I’ve come to feel like I’m in a pen-pal relationship with this company.  I can say with plenty of experience that the customer service reps at Misfit are lovely, but all of this correspondence wasn’t something that I was really going for when I bought one of their products.

The replacement tracker I received lasted another month, then stopped responding, just like the first one.  I contacted Misfit again, and went through the troubleshooting process before receiving another replacement.

48 hours later, my replacement-replacement Flash stopped responding (in record time!).  I emailed the company again with the news, and after a few back and forth’s, was informed that they would be sending me another replacement.  But not just any old replacement, a new Misfit Shine!  The much prettier (and more expensive) sibling to my basic flash.

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Fine with me!  Might as well try it out.

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I received it yesterday, and true to the website pics, it is beautiful!  I chose the sea glass version, and it definitely is an aesthetic step up from the Flash.  Beyond its looks, this tracker says it can go swimming with me, and it responds to light tapping to check my progress and the time.

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As far as first impressions go, that’s all I’ve got.  I’d like to buy a nicer wrist strap for it, but experience tells me that I should hold off for a bit.

I will be holding my breath for the next 2 months.

The Search for the Perfect Fitness Tracker: Misfit Flash

After months of hemming and hawing, I decided to take the plunge into the fitness tracking sea with a Misfit Flash.  I weighed the many options, and ultimately was swayed by the affordability of this little gadget.

I, like many aesthetically-minded women, eyed the Bella Beat Leaf for months and months, becoming almost obsessed by the need to attain what seemed to be an unattainable perfect fitness tracker.  The brand new product was being distributed in phases, and it seemed like it would never be available to my section of the waiting list.

So why am I not reviewing the lovely Leaf?

Well, thanks to the LONG waiting list, I was able to read a ton of reviews when the 3rd group received their Leafs, and could see that although the tracker was prettier than most, it was lacking in functionality.  It seemed to me that a cheaper alternative that performed just as well (if not better) than the expensive Leaf was better for a Rookie such as I.

On to the Misfit Flash review!

To be fair, I actually didn’t buy the Flash per say…  I bought the Misfit Link, which is essentially a Flash without the wrist band.  It was much cheaper, and according to online reviews, I wasn’t missing out with the flimsy wristband.  Not that I even entertained the idea of wearing this little guy on my wrist…remember my aesthetically-minded personality.

The Link comes with a little clip, which so far has worked perfectly for me.  I’m quite the casual dresser, and so far have always been able to clip my tracker to my waistband, whether it be on jeans, leggings or slacks.  I’m not one to bare my midriff, so the clip is always concealed and unobtrusive.  I already have jewelry, so there’s really no need to display the little guy.

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Now on to functionality.

After 2 weeks of wearing my Flash day and night, I woke up one morning to an unresponsive tracker.  It wasn’t responding to clicks, a battery change, or an app reboot.  I contacted Misfit via email, and let me tell you, the responded quickly and had shipped off a replacement in no time!  I was so pleased with the customer service!  They emailed me a UPS return label, and I sent the dud back.  I’ve had the replacement about  a month now, with no issues.

True to it’s online description, the Flash tracks my steps (which compared to my iPhone tracker seems accurate), my weight, and my sleep.  Pretty simple and basic, but that’s all I’d been looking for really.  I will admit that the sleep tracking is a bit inaccurate, with midnight trips to the bathroom (on the other side of my house) being completely missed and recorded as deep sleep…  So yeah, I’m taking the sleep tracker seriously at all at this point and continue to use the Sleep Time app on my phone.

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The Misfit app itself is also a bit basic, and I find myself wishing it provided more data.  I have no idea what I’m missing or looking for, so I honestly can’t criticize the app too much.  A feature I do like on this app is the Total Distance tracker.  For instance, since I’ve started tracking my steps, I have traversed 9.6% of the California coastline and 1.2% of the moon’s circumference.  Neat right?

I haven’t tried to use the Link app or features at all, so I can’t attest to the functionality of that side of things.  This app apparently allows you to use your Flash as a button for selfies, slides and music controls.  I will say that from what I read online, it’s nothing to write home about.

All in all, I give this tracker a 4 out of 5 stars after a month and a half of use.  I’m pretty happy with it, and think I will be able to resist the Bella Beat call indefinitely.

My Top 5 Podcasts Playlist

Over the past few months, I’ve joined the ranks of the somewhat annoying podcast listening masses.  I’m now one of those people that start 80% of sentences with “So I was listening to a podcast, and…”  Just ask Mr. Brown, he will back me up here.

So yes, I know that I’ve become slightly exasperating, but I just    can’t    STOP!  Why?  Here’s the top 5 reasons why:

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1)      This American Life

Considered the grandfather of podcasts, this story-driven radio show has commanded the top spot of the podcast charts for as long as I have been a member of the masses.  It wasn’t the first podcast I ever listened to, but it’s probably the most solid favorite I have.  I landed on this after Serial – the would-be favorite if it was available right now, and a spin-off of This American Life – ended.  I love the stories on this podcast, and how they tie them together with a theme every week.

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2)      The Lively Show

I’ve already done a bit of gushing about this podcast on this blog, so I’ll try to keep it short.  I LOVE THIS SHOW.  This was my first foray into the inspirational/educational podcast world, and it just makes me feel good when I spend my time listening to this.

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3)      TED Radio Hour

This podcast belongs to the NPR family, and can I just say, I really really appreciate NPR.  I’ve been listening to this station a bit on the radio for the past few years, but am loving the podcasts it puts out.  This podcast follows the “This American Life model” by choosing a theme, and supporting it with multiple parts.  It’s all interviews with all kinds of TED Talks people, from scientists to artists to explorers.  Very very cool.

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4)      Good Life Project

I made it to this podcast by way of the Lively Show, and I’d say it’s like a sibling of that show.  Like hosts Jess Lively and Jonathan Fields are fraternal podcast twins.  What I love about this show is that it comes at these interviews (sometimes the same people!) from the male perspective.  Jonathan is so easy to listen to, and he gives me a way to see things with new eyes.  Also very inspirational, even if he is a man!  Kidding… sort of.

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5)      Pop Culture Happy Hour

In the podcast world, this show is the guilty pleasure.  Obviously.  This is not the show for someone in search of serious soul-searching or intellectual growth, which is what I love about it.  Don’t get me wrong, this crew is intelligent (did I mention that this is another NPR child?), but they are so funny!  I just love listening to them bounce off each other, and just enjoy discussing things with each other.  I’m not gonna lie, I don’t necessarily agree with every conclusion they come to, and I often don’t have a clue who or what they’re referring to in their discussions, but they are just so likeable!  It’s also a great place to get some book/film/music recommendations.

Do you listen to podcasts?

Where is the possibility?

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Lately I’ve been struggling with a minor case of discontentment.  Not the exciting restlessness that comes before a huge leap towards something new, but the languid kind.  You often hear people talk about going out and pursuing your passion.  “What is your passion?” they ask. “Everyone has a hidden passion that is just needs to be allowed to reign.”  It also seems like the people giving this advice conveniently have a passion that makes money…

What is my passion?

That, I cannot tell you…  I know what I like, or am interested in…  I like to travel, to see new places and people, and I like creating beautiful things.  I like taking walks on pretty days, and sitting with a kitty curled up in my lap.  I like spending time with people that I love, and I like blueberries and granola.  I have my likes, but passions?  Passions that I could pursue full-time in lieu of a safe and secure, but boring, job?

When I think of passion, I think of:

1) the covers of romance novels I see when I’m walking through a flea market or garage sale

2) obsessions that people spend hours and hours lost in…in their basement

3) beautiful & inspirational artwork sold at sweet, gift shops

I think of artists, geniuses, and courageous people living out their dreams, and using their talents to help mankind.  I’d like to think that I’m a person capable of passions, but it’s hard for me to think of what my passion is.  I want to live out the purpose that God has for me, but at the moment, it all seems a bit foggy…a touch out of sync…so marginal that you barely notice.

So…  In the meantime, I’ll ask, “Where is the possibility?”  Maybe I can decide to find some rabbit trails of interest, and walk their length for awhile, just see where I end up.  I must admit, that often in my off-hours, I see my interests as unimportant in the face of household chores and they are consistently skipped.  Even a raging fire dies out without a bit of stoking, right?  I’d better start stoking my little fires.

I’ll keep you posted.

A Paraben Free Make-up Starter Kit

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This week, I made the decision to purge my Health and Beauty stash of items that fell into the following categories:

– does not “spark joy” 

– contains parabens

– contains sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate (I have no idea what the difference is either)

Easy peasy right?

In case you didn’t know, parabens/SLS’s are in SO MUCH STUFF.  I had to say goodbye to many of my favorite products, and this was by far the hardest purge yet.  The only way I made it through without losing a bit of sanity was the future promise of make-up shopping.  Which I can definitively say did “spark joy.”  So much joy!

Meet the new team!

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And that is all of the make-up I own at this point!  Ok…why am I lying to you???  There’s one more thing…  You might’ve noticed a gaping hole in this line-up.  Turns out, drugstore concealers without parabens are extremely hard to find!  In her amazing paraben-free make-up post Paraben Free Drugstore Make-up Kit, Christine admitted that she could only find 2 drugstore possibilities – neither of which I wanted to buy.  I’m going high-end on this one, but I have to decide carefully.  I actually bought the Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer during my shopping spree, but took it back the next day without trying it.  It’s a lot of money to spend just to get something to fill a gap…  I’ve always wanted to try the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, and apparently that’s on the list as well… Gotta think about this one!

So what am I doing in the meantime?

I know, I know…not on the GOOD list, but I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!! Not going to part with it until I get a replacement. And that’s a fact.

Thanks for reading!  Looking through ingredient lists can be maddening, so if I’ve missed something in my GOOD list, let me know!

So pretty…

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