Thursday, June 21, 2012

Project: Use Less Fake Stuff

I have been on a life project that I'm calling Project: Use Less Fake Stuff. It took a turn this week in two pretty simple but very imapactful ways.

1.) No Shampoo & Conditioner
2.) No Facewash

Now that you're all intrigued/disgusted, I'll tell you all about it!
I'm becoming more and more of a Nature-loving, Monsanto-hating dirty hippie by the day. I've been on a quest for two years to strip my diet down to include only/mostly all natural products. I pretty much have that down. But lately I've been desiring a more natural routine for hygiene and cosmetics. I was reading around the webz about ways to wash your hair and face with all-natural products.


And then I discovered that you really don't need to wash your hair as much as we've all been brainwashed to think! Shampoo and Conditioner EVERY DANG DAY is pretty much a marketing strategy that went very, very well.
Think about it... Back in the day, like in the 20's 30's etc. women washed their hair like ONCE A WEEK with natural products and they had amazing hair that could withstand all that wave curling with 1,000 degree curling rods and such. They styled their hair way more than we do nowadays and they washed it less...and they had awesome, healthy hair on any given day. Most days, my hair looks like I just finished running with the bulls and got trampled a few times. But times are a'changin'! I'm on a quest to get my hair longer, shinier healthier, and all-natural. And apparently a lot of other folks decided this "No Shampoo" thing is an awesome idea too because there are tons of blog posts about it. It's the No 'Poo Movement {poo:D} Check those out . And everyone, even scientists, agrees that all the harsh chemicals in today's shampoos are damaging to your hair and to your skin and almost entirely uneccesary. Most people break out when shampoo touches their back or forehead. There are so many other negatives to our over use of shampoo...All those plastic bottles and the money you spend and all that toxic waste going down the drain!!!! Oy Vay! Plus your hair is stripped of all of its natural, healthy, gentle yet potent oils so it becomes dependent on condidtioner just to be brushable. Ever noticed how frizzy your hair is before you straighten it or pile on serums and oils??? That's not the way it has to be! There is an alternative. You can break the shampoo/conditioner Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat...Cyle. Once and for all.

***Before endeavoring on this exciting journey, it's important to know some tips and best practices for going sans suds so you can avoid a dramatic intervention for you to wash your dang hair that includes your friends & family, Dr. Drew, and your mom...So. Read on.

How to Use ZERO Fake Crap on Your Hair & Not Gross Everyone Out & Have an Intervention Called  on You to WASH YOUR DANG HAIR That Involves Your Friends & Family, Dr. Drew, & Your Mom:

Step 1:
Prepare your new "products". You'll need some baking soda, and some apple cider vinegar.

Your new "shampoo" is going to be 1 TBSP of Baking Soda mixed with 1 cup of Water.
Add more Baking Soda if you are feeling pretty greasy.

Your new "conditioner" is going to be 1-2 TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with 1 cup of Water.

Step 2:
Use your new all-natural products 1-5 times a week. Don't use styling products.

It's nice to have your products pre mixed but you can also mix as you go depending on how your hair is feeling that day. I like to fill a mason jar with water and apple cider vinegar and put the ends of my hair in it for the 5 minutes of shaving I have to do for some extra soft ends. It's not too hard for me to hold the jar and also shave, but I am super coordinated and talented at multi-tasking like a ninja so attempt at your own risk.

Step 3:
Use Water Only...for a week. Then use baking soda & vinegar mixtures 1-2 times a week...forever.

For one full week, just use warm water on your hair. Rub your scalp lightly and use a wide tooth comb in the shower to keep it from tangling. You can air dry or blowdry on low heat. DO NOT use any styling products as they will exasterbate the issue of excess oil as you will entirely throw off the balance of natural oils your hair is trying to achieve. You will ruin everything and babies will cry.
When your scalp freaks out about this adjustment and over-produces oil and makes your roots look greasy and a little scary...don't freak out and jump back into the Lather. Rinse. Repeat Cycle of Doom!
If you are having a particularly awful grease monster hair day, apply a small amount of baking soda at the roots and comb through hair to absorb some of your excess oil. Or wear a hat. Or be at a pool all day.
Then use your baking soda and vinegar again, but now only once or twice a week. Your hair will be less greasy. This will take time. Your hair will be fully redeemed in a few short weeks. So keep calm and carry on until your hair is balanced and your natural oils have found their happy place. Your hair will be healthy, shiny in a good way, clean, less frizzy, and NATURAL.

I'm on board with this and I can already feel my natural oils working their way to the ends of my hair...which I never allowed them to do before because I would brutally attack and eradicate them with shampoo and then add some fake conditioner to the ends to compensate for my crime against all things moisturizing and good.  It is feeling good so far, I will let you know my end results!

Here's Day 1:

Now for the Face Wash that you don't need...


I used to work for a skincare line and I know all about the benefits of natural and synthetic ingredients on your skin, all about the woes of oiliness, dryness, flakiness, wrinkles and dark spots and I know fully well how products can help these issues lessen over time. But I implore you all, as someone who is a skincare junkie, to join me in using ZERO fake ingredients on our faces. This means we will buy only those products with very few ingredients that we can pronounce that are found in nature. Since we're absorbing most of what we put on our skin, this seems wise. And it also seems wise since what we don't absorb goes down the drain or off our skin and out into nature. So what's the alternative to ruining Mother Nature??? OIL.
Even if you have oily skin! Oil dissolves Oil. So by using the Oil Cleanse Method {OCM} you will dissolve all the dirty oil off your skin and replace it with clean, natural and beneficial oils. And you won't overdry your skin with harsh sulfates and alcohols and the likes. Interested? Read On.

How to Quit Face Wash and Still Have Awesome, Clean, Healthy, Moist Skin That Makes ALL the Boys & Girls Wonder What You're Using & Want to Touch Your Cheek:

Step 1:
Prepare your new cleansing oils.

You have a lot of options based on your skin care needs...
Castor Oil is for everyone, lots of cleansing power and antibacterial, astringent qualities
Avacado Oil if you have aging, dry skin.
Grapeseed Oil if you need a lift and some moisture
Sunflower Oil is for everyone

Everyone should mix some castor oil into the equation since it has such good cleansing power. I am currently using 1TBSP with 6TBSP of Safflower Oil, Almond Oil with Lavender and Ginger Oil. The Lavender soothes my skin and the Ginger is anti-aging and smells like my favorite things. All of these oils are failry cheap. Spring for the organic, fairly traded options for bonus points.

Step 2:
Apply Oil to your skin.

The OCM is for everyone because everyone needs a better relationship with their skins natural oil. Even if you have a crazy, crap-load of diva makeup on from your big night out, you can use oil to remove your makeup. I still use an eyemakeup remover because it is gentle on my lashes and quickly removes all the makeup. But for your skin, just apply a small {but decent} amount of oil to your palms and work it into your skin. Really get in there and massage your skin with it. It feels great and you are helping the oils work deeper into your skin to remove excess oils and dirt and replenish your thirsty skin cells. Let it sit for 30 seconds to a minute. Then take a clean, damp washcloth and soflty rub your face to remove the oil. Please rinse your towel with super hot water and hang to dry if you aren't going to use a new towel everyday!

In time, you may notice that your skin is so balanced and good at staying moist on it's own that you need less moisturizer...saving you some big $$$! I still use eyecream though.
You may also notice that you can just use water and a washcloth in the morning and still have fresh skin all day. I've been noticing that my forehead is a lot smoother and less oily! Can't wait to see the changes at the end of doing this for 4 weeks...
Here's Day 1:

I am now one step closer to being a tree-dwelling hippie that is one with nature. And if you take these steps to get rid of some FAKE THINGS in your life, you will be too!

Homework: no more 'poo for you and try natural facewash too.
Class Dismissed!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Neon Party: + décor how-to

My lovely friends and I threw a totally RAD surprise engagement party for our friends, Melissa & Alex. They had no idea. They thought they were headed to a birthday party themed The White Party. So they wore all white {we.are.sneaky.} and looked like the perfect little newly engaged couple that they are. When they showed up, they were SHOCKED and there were definitely some tears and laughs. It was so fun to celebrate these two.
And even all the work that went into making the party happen created some great memories and good times. Everyone in the wedding party was helpful and lovely to work with as we planned and plotted and crafted and decorated until what looked this this:
...was turned into a beautiful festival of lights and neon and friends and love. I give you The Neon Party:

 {the happy couple!}

 {sara in her power blazer}

 {my man}

 {the lovely love birds}

 {Dionne in Neon :D}

 {the ladies! who knew glowsticks could be this awesome???}

{Josh and me}
Carly Ann Hilo Photography is amazing. And not just because Carly Ann Hilo is our newfound friend. She captured some really sweet moments and made sure everyone felt at ease in front of the camera.

But let's talk party décor!
All of the decorations were super fun and easy to make. We spent a few girlie nights crafting things to hang up so the day of the party we could breeze through set-up.
I also spent a good feverish hour in the corner with a glue gun and some feathers an hour before the party started...but that's neither here nor there!

 Let's break down a simple party craft:

Neon XOXO banner:

You'll need:
clothes pins
paper mache letters XOXO
neon paint: pink, orange, yellow, green
gold sparkle paint or spray paint
a small and medium sized paintbrush
neon yarn or string
neon construction paper

To make:
First paint your X's and O's in alternating colors of neon and gold {or silver}
Then paint your clothes pins. They look best when you don't paint the metal spring piece so take your time!

Then hang the clothes pins to dry. I used the neon string and tied them to my kitchen cabinets, but use whatever method you like best!

They're dry!

In the meantime you could cut out your words from construction paper. I freestyle cut out the word "Love" in a few differnet colors but you can pencil out a word to help you cut better. Try to draw the words in bubble style where the letters are smooshed together so you have one unified word with no weak spots where it's cut too small between letters. {see photo above for inspiration}.

Now for hanging it! Lindsey, Leah and Dionne were the craft wizards behind hanging it but I'll give it a go here. First, you'll want to get your X's and O's on the string and hung from two very supportive spots like a hook on the ceiling or around some awesome columns like we did. Give yourself plenty of slack on either end so XOXO is somewhat centered and then just lace the yarn or string through the shape of each letter so it is wound tightly enough to support it. Once the string is taute they'll stay pretty easy. Then hang the string securely on both sides and start adding your other pieces! Don't do things to perfectly but alternate colors as much as you can and have fun!{See picture above for some inspiration}

I hope you use this banner for your next event. It's customizable so you could put up the letters CATS and pin pictures of cats and cut out the word "Cats" and have a Cat themed banner! If you do, you should meet my friend Sara. You'll get along great.

Ok, you know your Homework: Make a sweet banner! Throw your friends {or your cats} a party!
Class dismissed.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Paint Like A Four-Year-Old

Sometimes you just have to throw paint on a canvas on the floor.

Aelita Andre is a very unique and special little girl {as all little girls are} with a gift for creating beautiful and inspired abstract paintings.
What a beautiful thing that her parents gave her a studio and encouraged her continue to explore this passion of hers at such a tender age.
Her most expensive painting was sold last year for $24,000.
She currently has an exhibit at the Agora Gallery in New York.
Watching her paint makes me long for childhood and creating and dreaming and playing and exploring.
And freedom.  
I think I'll have to work some painting like a four-year-old into my weekend.

So that's your homework something like a four year old. Freely. No restrictions on your creativity. No time. No fear of failure or rejection. No lines to stay in. No rules about color or form or sound.
Just make something. Who cares if it isn't worth $24,000 and a 4 yr old paints decidedly better than you. Just make something.

Class Dismissed!