I feel like I say this every month, but it feels like May has slipped through my fingers. I can’t believe that it is already June! June is probably my favorite month, something about the weather, all the delicious fruit that starts ripening, oh and my birthday…! Anyways, this isn’t all about June yet, so let’s get back to my favorites for May.
Uncle Harry’s toothpaste – This toothpaste has been absolutely amazing. I picked it up when I was starting to run out of my old toothpaste that came in a plastic tube. This comes in a glass jar, which I love, but when I first started it using it, it felt a bit strange. The essential oils make it extremely minty and the texture is quite different, but now I wouldn’t imagine going back to conventional toothpaste. My teeth have never felt healthier and it does an excellent job at leaving your teeth sparklingly fresh. I’m sad that I am nearly out, but before I rebuy it I am going to attempt a DIY version. But I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a pre-made zero waste or a natural version for conventional toothpaste.
Nubian Heritage Mango Butter Scrub – This body scrub is a m a z i n g ….. It makes your skin feel and smell amazing! I like to pair it with some baking soda to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize my skin. I honestly can’t get over how soft it makes my skin. It is another one that I would love to attempt a DIY version so I can avoid the plastic packaging, but I don’t think I could recreate the amazing smell. I would definitely give it a try, especially if you have dry skin. ( I have oily skin, so that is why I pair it with the baking soda)
Shea Butter African Black Soap (lemongrass citrus) – I just started using this soap towards the end of the month when I ran out of my liquid body was from Alaffia, and Oh Mah God. This stuff is amazing. I was looking for a new body soap that didn’t come in plastic packaging but wanted to stick with this brand, because I absolutely love their products. This soap delivers my friend, it is cleansing, yet still moisturizing and leaves me wondering why I didn’t switch to this bar soap sooner. For added benefit, I hang it in a mesh cotton bag, which keeps it contained and also exfoliates my skin. And it comes in wrapped in paper, which is pretty good as far as zero waste beauty products go. 10/10 would recommend, especially with the mesh bag.
Nature’s Bakery Strawberry Fig Bars – I know, doesn’t really fit with my movement toward living a less wasteful life, but they are so good…. They are a way tastier version of fig newtons and they’ve definitely been a life saver on days when I am too busy to pack food to take to campus. They are a still going to be a favorite, despite the waste they create. But I definitely need to a find a better solution for next month.
Home Brewed Kombucha – If you are a kombucha lover, then I highly recommend searching your local craigslist and investing a few dollars in a scooby. Brewing your own kombucha is really simple and in the end is so much cheaper than buying it at the store. And it also is way less wasteful because you can buy your tea and sugar in bulk, brew it and store it in glass jars. If you live in the Bellingham area, let me know if you need a scooby, with each new batch I end up with more babies than I know what to do with.
Still Water Earrings – I picked up these beauties at the farmers market, and they are the first pair of earrings that I actually love. They are dangly, yet simple, and most importantly comfortable and cute! Unfortunately, you can’t purchase them online, but if you are ever in Bellingham on a Saturday, hit up the farmer’s market and check out the jewelry stalls. There are tons of options and they are all handmade!
Merrell Mix Master Move Glide Trail Running Shoes – Does this even count as fashion? Probably better suited in the health category, but whateverrrr. These trail running shoes are my new fav closed toed shoes. Lab day was painful before these beauties entered my life and I hiking ceased to exist before I got these. I was a lucky duck and got these on sale at REI, but these shoes are so good that I would probably pay full price now that I know. They are minimal, yet still, give support and there was no “break in” period. You know, the time when you get ugly blisters and question if it is really worth it? Anyway, these are the first pair of running shoes I’ve ever loved whole heartedly. Summer trail runs here I come!
Salt Lamp – I had been curious about salt lamps for a while, but not due to their supposed health benefits, but rather for the warm and comforting light they emit. I bought this one off of a friend who was moving away and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s perfect to turn on in the evenings right before bed because it is a dim warm light that doesn’t mess with your body. I would highly recommend getting one if you are looking for some nice dim room lighting.
Rabbits – I stumbled across this podcast and I was instantly hooked. If you are into mystery and intrigue, definitely give it a listen. For added fun, listen to it while walking to it alone it the forest. Definitely, adds to the scary element.
“When Carly Parker’s friend Yumiko goes missing under very mysterious circumstances, Carly’s search for her friend leads her headfirst into a ancient mysterious game known only as Rabbits. Soon Carly begins to suspect that Rabbits is much more than just a game, and that the key to understanding Rabbits, might be the key to the survival of our species, and the Universe, as we know it.”
S-Town – Another great podcast, which I promptly completed in a couple of days.
“John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.”
Ponzi Supernova – These episodes are so short its a crime, but nevertheless it is another captivating podcast. It is still coming out, so a great podcast to start for the month of June.
Bernie Madoff Speaks.
“Was his $65 billion fraud a freak occurrence, or destined to be repeated? An exclusive audio investigation into the dark interior of our financial systems.”
I’ve always loved plants and the idea of taking care of something beautiful and living. When I was younger I used to spend long hours outside helping my grandpa garden or even just looking at a plant. Now I find myself completely enthralled with plants. It seems crazy that something so simple can be so fascinating. I often find myself stopping along a trail to look at a plant that I’ve never seen before. Even if I don’t pursue a career in botany, I’ll always be a botanist at heart.
I definitely went through a phase where I killed all my indoor cacti and succulents, but this year I’ve finally mastered indoor gardening. My plant collection is ever growing and each month I am discovering new ways to better care for my plants. So here is my little or maybe not so little plant collection as of now.
A Pothos, loving named Phil
Succulents back from the dead
A Moondrop Schefflera that never stops growing
Three other cool plants that I’ve yet to identify
Two Spider plants
A Coleus plant that I grew in lab
A can full of lettuce seedlings
And a discounted Yucca tree from Lowes
P.s. If you ever have any dying, sick, or unwanted plants I will gladly take them!
It is finally June! I can’t believe summer is just around the corner, I just have to make it through my first finals week at Western. This weekend I am hoping the weather clears up a bit so I can go paddle boarding on Lake Whatcom, but if it doesn’t I’ll probably end up at a coffee shop drinking tea and hitting the books.
It has been said that sugar is the cigarettes of our generation and honestly I didn’t really realize how addictive it was until I tried to stop eating it. And this is even after I’d given up most refined sugars. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but I’ve always preferred more natural sugars. I’ve had several birthdays during my childhood where I had half a watermelon as my cake, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t consume my fair share of sugar. I often load up on lots of “natural sugars”, like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, dates, honey, coconut sugar… And even those are unhealthy if consumed regularly. So in the spirit of health, I’ve decided to share one of my favorite sugarless recipes that can still qualify as a dessert.
Coconut Chia Seed Pudding
1 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1 1/2 water
6-9 tb chia seeds*
1 lemon zested
frozen or fresh berries
Blend the coconut milk and water until smooth. Pour out into a container and mix in the chia seeds and lemon zest. Pour into storage jars and leave in the fridge until the chia seeds have soaked up all the liquid and expanded. Top with fresh or frozen berries.
*depending on how thick or thin you like your pudding
Acai Bowls are one of those standard hip health food things, but they can be really expensive if you buy them at a smoothie bar. Making them at home is less expensive and allows to you make them customizable to your own taste and preferences. It’s taken me many packets of pureed acai to get to this point, but I think I have finally figured out the perfect acai bowl recipe.
If you can’t afford the acai puree, just leave it out. I’m sure that if you had the right combination of blueberries and strawberries, you could totally fake the color and nobody on Instagram would know that you are a poor college student.
1 packet of acai puree (Sambazon is my favorite brand)
1.5 frozen bananas
1/2 frozen strawberries
1/4-1/2 of apple or orange juice and a little small of water
toppings: chopped fruit, buckwheat groats, coconut flakes, chia seeds, granola, flax seed meal… are just a few of my favorites.
Defrost the acai puree under hot water and pour into the blender. Chop up the frozen bananas and add in, along with the strawberries. Start with a small amount of juice and water and blend using the tamper. If your blender is struggling add more liquid. My advice is to start small with the liquid because once you add too much you can’t really take it back. When it is fully blended, transfer into a bowl, and place in the freezer while you get your toppings ready. Then decorate if you so please, otherwise just toss it on and enjoy!
Let me know if you have a favorite acai bowl recipe.
I can’t believe it’s May already! Last month was crazy. Between adjusting to my new life in Bellingham and starting my first quarter at Western Washington University, April just seemed to fly by.
First up on my list of favorites, is the ring pictured above. After living here for a couple of weeks, I noticed that a lot of people were wearing layers of lots of really cool rings. So when I stumbled upon this one at the farmers market, I knew I couldn’t leave it behind. Continue reading →
This week felt like it would never end or get better. Each day I woke up exhausted and unmotivated and today was just the icing on the cake. I was almost late to class, forgot close-toed shoes for lab, and forgot to eat breakfast and lunch. I felt like a complete mess, but I prevailed. I got up, I showed up, and I survived. And despite the terrible start to my day I decided to make the most of what was left. I went thrifting, ate dinner with friends, and cuddled a pupper. And thanks to those simple little actions I ended a rough week on a happy note.
Dealing with mental health problems isn’t easy, I would know. I’ve been dealing with them my whole life and many of the years I kept silent about it all. Sometimes people over look the fact that somedays people with anxiety and/or depression struggle to get out of bed. And no, they can’t just will themselves to do things. I wish it worked that way. So today, a gentle reminder that it is perfectly okay if all you did today was breathe.
Smoothies are a really great way to add nutrition into your body fast. Without them, I don’t know if I would be surviving college right now. And the great thing about them, is that once you get the hang of it, you’ll be a master at throwing stuff into the blender and having a delicious smoothie in minutes. But incase you aren’t that good at improvising, I’ve collected a few of my favorite smoothie recipes. And here is a cool green smoothie chart guide. Continue reading →
So this weekend, despite the impending doom of midterms, looks like it is going to be a good one. Saturday is Earth day, and here in Bellingham that means that there will be a myriad of events to attend. So many events to choose from, yet I can only be at one place at a time, bummer! After surveying my options I opted to March for Science instead of sitting inside listening to talks. When in doubt opt for action. Climate change is real my friends and I encourage you to get out there and March for Science this weekend! What are you doing to celebrate Earth day this weekend?