OTBC Vegan Body Scrubs — December 27, 2017

OTBC Vegan Body Scrubs

Selecting a cruelty-free vegan body scrub that both exfoliates excellently and moisturizes magnificently…but without harsh chemicals, preservatives, dyes, and fragrances and produced by a company that is making a conscious effort to respect the environment… can often seem impossible.

The same can be said about most cosmetic and skincare product.

But there are a few things to keep in mind as you shop..


First of all, look for the Leaping Bunny Certification or the PETA Cruelty-Free Certification stampedon the back of the product next to the ingredient list.

Next avoid products that contain animal by-products, such as…

  • Beta Carotene
  • Biotin
  • Carbamide
  • Cetyl Alcohol
  • Collagen
  • Glycerin
  • Lauric Acid
  • Myristic Acid
  • Oleic Acid
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Stearic Acid

Finally check product labels for any other concerns you might have…such as silicones, preservatives, artificial dyes, fake fragrances, gluten, and GMOs.

1.  100% Pure All Natural and Organic Body Scrub

  • Availability…(See list here)
  • Best for…moisturizing
  • Contains…shea butter, cocoa seed butter…grapeseed, acai, pomegranate, and apricot oils.
  • Fragrances…Coconut,  Vanilla Bean, French Lavender, Eucalyptus, Pink Grapefruit
  • Price…$36
  • Product Review…Makeup Alley


2. Florida Salt Scrubs

  • Best for…damaged skin
  • Contains…coconut oil, all natural Atlantic sea salt crystals
  • Fragrances…Key Lime, Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lemongrass, Coconut, Coconut Mango, and Vanilla
  • Price…$30 for 24oz
  • Product Review…here

3.  Giovanni Salt Scrub

  • Availability…Target, CVS, Whole Foods
  • Best for…sensitive skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis
  • Contains…lemongrass, crushed mint leaves, vitamin E, grapefruit, organic sea salt! and safflower seed oil
  • Fragrances…Cool Mint Lemonade. Hot Chocolate
  • Price…$6
  • Product Review…


4.  Hugo Naturals

  • Availability…Whole Foods, Sprouts
  • Best for…acne and blackheads
  • Contains…Jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, Himalayan Pink Salt, grapefruit extract, and calendula extract
  • Fragrances…Brown Sugar, Creamy Coconut, French Lavender, Grapefruit, Sea Fennel and Passionflower
  • Price…$13
  • Product Review…

5.  Sibu Beauty

  • Best for…aging skin
  • Contains… sea buckthorn fruit extract, sea buckthorn oil, apricot seed oil, and aloe vera
  • Price…$25
  • Product Review…


Raw Foods Diet for the Skin — December 19, 2017

Raw Foods Diet for the Skin

 Even the best-reviewed and most popular body and skin care products often have significant amounts of harmful toxins, chemicals, artificial colors, fragrances, preservatives and stabilizers. These can easily be absorbed through the skin’s pores and cause a range of negative long-term health effects.

Is using such mass-produced, chemical-laden products worth the risk of developing health issues such as hormonal problems, irregular periods, infertility, allergies, and even cancer.

Especially when there is an alternative?

Women all over the world have been using natural skin care products for centuries…perhaps each of us should start using them also.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate natural ingredients  as part of your body care and skincare regimens.

More and more OTBC (over-the-beauty-counter) products are being added to brand lines regularly….a great plus for those of us without the initiative, time, and money to make every single item in their house from scratch.

When shopping for OTBC products, follow the same rules that you would follow for a healthy diet…hunt for unprocessed ingredients, without any harsh chemicals or anything artificial. Basically, the closer a given product is to actual nature, the better that natural skin product will improve your skin’s health and appearance, help your body absorb antioxidants, enhance your skin’s UV resistance, and stimulate your immune system.

The following is a list of  unprocessed, whole-food ingredients often found or included in natural beauty products. Many of these ingredients are already in your own kitchen, so I have included a link to a recipe for each ingredient on the list also.

1  Almond Oil…

  • Great for…used to naturally treat skin rashes, acne, and dryness… anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties…great carrier oil for essential oils because it blends easily with many different smell
  • Recipe…Natural Moisturizing Almond Body Wash from Blooming in Bedlam

2.  Almonds

3.  Aloe Vera

  • Contains…more than 75 potentially active ingredients including anti-inflammatories, vitamins, and minerals
  • Great for...treating sunburns, skin diseases, infections, fungal diseases, wounds, burns, frostbite, psoriasis, cold sores, inflammation, redness, and itching
  • RecipeSoothing Body Butter with Aloe Vera–Modern Hippie


4.  Apples

5.  Apple  Cider Vinegar


6. Argan Oil

  • Contains…vitamin A and vitamin E, various antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acids, and linoleic acid
  • Great for…moisturizing skin, boosting the shine and health of your hair, and helping to heal skin irritations such as acne, bug bites, eczema, and psoriasis
  • Recipe…Organic ARGAN Oil Scrub–Feelgood Style


7.   Avocado

 8.  Baking Soda

9.   Citrus

10. Coconut Oil

  • Contains…antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties
  • Great for…strengthening underlying epidermal tissue, exfoliating, preventing sunburn, cleansing, moisturizing, removing makeup, healing wounds or scars quicker, and preventing razor burn
  • Recipe…Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub–New Leaf Wellness


11.   Coffee

  • Contains…caffeine, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Great for…exfolianting, decreasing puffiness around the eyes, eliminating debris and excessive oils from the face, repairing damage caused by the environment and pollution
  • Recipe…Coffee Body Scrub with Coconut Oil–The Coconut Mama

 12.  Gram flour


13.  Honey

  • Contains…18 amino acids with antiseptic and antibiotic properties…also rich in vitamins and mineral, nutrients, enzymes, and skin-boosting acids
  • Great for… moisturizing your skin, reducing breakouts, fighting skin allergies and rashes…and healing bacterial infections, dandruff, diaper dermatitis, psoriasis, wounds, and more
  • Recipe…Brown Sugar Honey Body Scrub–Simply Shellie



14.  Jojoba Oil

  • Contains…polyunsaturated wax
  • Great for…burns, sunburns, chapped skin, sores, scars, dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, and wrinkles
  • Recipe…Homemade Body Scrub–Dr. Axe


15.  Lemon Juice

16.  Milk


17.  Oatmeal

  1. Great for…exfoliating sensitive skin
  2. Recipe…Sugar and Oats Body Scrub–Curious Nut


18.  Olive Oil


19. Pineapple

  • Contains…vitamins and enzymes
  • Great for…loosening the dead cells, removing the substances that clog pores on the skin, softens wrinkles and revealing fresher, younger, healthy-looking skin
  • Recipe…Pineapple Sugar Scrub–Style Me Pretty


20.  Rice

  • Contains…antioxidant, exfoliating, emollient and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Great for…exfoliating oily or sensitive skin, opening skin pores, absorbing excessive oil, cleansing, and moisturizing
  • Recipe… Grounded Rice Body Scrub–Viva Woman


21.  Salt

  • Contains…trace elements and minerals such as sodium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and calcium
  • Great for…exfoliating and moisturizing
  • Recipe…Salt Scrub–Trip Savvy

22.  Sea Salt…

  • Contains…tons of minerals and nutrients like magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium
  • Great for…exfoliating the rougher parts of your body, such as elbows and feet…and helping to balance, protect and restore the skin
  • Recipe…Salt Scrubs–Tree Hugger


23.  Shea Butter


24.  Sugar




















































  • Contains…glycolic acid
  • Great for…exfoliating, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles
  • Recipe…
  • Source…

25.  Tea Tree Oil













































  • Contains…essential oils from approximately 230 different plant species
  • Great for…acne, breakouts, redness and inflammation on the skin.
  • Recipe…
  • Source…

26.  Yogurt.

















































  • Contains…alpha hydroxy acid
  • Great for…exfoliating
  • Recipe…
  • Source…


  Rub-a-Dub-Dub…Why Use a Sugar Scrub?! — December 16, 2017

  Rub-a-Dub-Dub…Why Use a Sugar Scrub?!



 Sugar is an excellent ingredient in skincare that has many beauty benefits to offer. This is why so many brand-name body scrubs are on the market.

So  incorporating sugar into your regular body care routine adds to the recipe of overall natural beauty.

Several of the enefits from exfoliating the skin on your body at least twice a week are…

  • 1.  Sugar scrubs help hydrate your skin. 
  • 2.  Sugar scrubs help speed up the cell regeneration process.
  • 3.  Sugar scrub help you to have fresher, younger-looking skin.
  • 4.  Sugar scrubs remove dead surface skin cells from the top layer of skin. 
  • 5.  Sugar scrubs help moisturizers work better and longer.
  • 6.  Sugar scrubs unclog pores from excess oil, dirt and dead skin cells     without drying the skin.
  • 7.  Sugar scrubs can help reverse early signs of aging, such as fine lines and uneven skin tone. 
  • 8.  Sugar scrubs enhance blood circulation. 
  • 9.  Sugar scrubs increase collagen production.
  • 10.  Sugar scrubs help prevent acne, whiteheads, blackheads, breakouts and other skin blemishes. 
  • 11.  Sugar scrubs refresh tired, dull looking skin.
  • 12. Sugar scrubs can decrease the symptoms of skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.
  • 13. Sugar scrubs help maintain younger looking skin. 
  • 14. Sugar scrubs tone and tighten the pores of the skin. 
  • 15. Sugar scrubs help prevent ingrown hairs and make hair removal easier
  • 16. Sugar scrubs smooth razor bumps.
  • 17. Sugar scrubs reduce stress.
  • 18. Sugar scrubs help protect skin against harmful toxins. 
  • 19. Sugar scrubs can actually improve the health of your skin. 
  • 20.  Sugar scrubs make excellent gifts, especially homemade sugar scrubs in classy, well-labeled jars.
  Muffins and Magnolias Book Club — December 15, 2017

  Muffins and Magnolias Book Club



Each year I make out a reading list based on the goals that I have set for the upcoming year.

    Through the years some of the topics that I have studied have included holiday traditions, cooking techniques, and underwater basket weaving.

      This upcoming year my main goal is to de-clutter, organize, and embrace a minimalist lifestyle.

        Here are the books that I have chosen for this upcoming year.


          Clean My Space: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster, and Loving Your Home Every Day

            Author…Rachel Hoffman

              Topics include…cleanIng each room or space in your home more efficiently and effectively, sorting and scheduling laundry, choosing the right detergent and products, using the various washing machine and dryer settings, stocking a simple and effective cleaning kit, creating a cleaning routine and schedule 

                Table of Contents…

                • CHAPTER 1: Welcome to This Book
                • CHAPTER 2: The Basics
                • CHAPTER 3: The Entryway
                • CHAPTER 4: The Living Room and Dining Room
                • CHAPTER 5: The Kitchen
                • CHAPTER 6: The Den
                • CHAPTER 7: The Bathroom
                • CHAPTER 8: The Bedroom
                • CHAPTER 9: The Home Office
                • CHAPTER 10: Hallways, Staircases, and Other Passageways
                • CHAPTER 11: Storage Spaces
                • CHAPTER 12: Laundry
                • CHAPTER 13: Routines and Schedules

                Each month I will attack a new book, and once a week post about the things that I have learned the previous week. I also plan to create worksheets that can be used as you read so that you will be able to “read with purpose.”
                The books that I have chosen for the upcoming year are…

                February……Design*Sponge at Home…(Grace Bonney)

                March..Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life…(Erin Gates)

                April…Flea Market Style…(Emily Chalmers)

                May…New Order: A Decluttering Handbook for Creative Folks…(Fay Wolf)

                 June…Organized Enough: The Anti-Perfectionist’s Guide to Getting—and Staying—Organized …(Melissa Maker)

                July…Sage Living: Decorate for the Life You Want…(Anne Sage)

                  August…The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place…(Jennifer McCartney)

                  September…..The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify 

                  October…The Things that Matter …(Nate Berkus)

                  November…Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess …(Stephanie Bennett Vo)

                  December…Your Spacious Self: Clear the Clutter and Discover Who You Are …(Francine Joy)

                    Blessing the Bibliophiles — December 13, 2017

                    Blessing the Bibliophiles


                    For those of us book lovers who have a nightstand piled high with books, subscribe to the local bookstore’s newsletter, and always keep a paperback close at hand, we belong to a special breed of people called bibliophiles.

                    And this year why not share your love of reading with other bibliophiles by making a big deal out of this shared passion and giving a literary-themed Christmas gift such as the perfect coffee mug, pair of comfy socks, or a nice and warm blanket. 


                    Blanket…Musical Background in Retro Style Throw Blanket ($40)by Cafe Press

                    Bookmark…Music Beaded Bookmark ($3) by Peter Pauper Press


                    Library Stamp…Monogram Stamp ($20) from The Stamp Maker


                    Mug…”Kindly Go Away, I’m Reading” Mug ($16) by Zazzle


                     Reading Socks…Fur Tipped Cable Knit Reading Socks




                    Sweatshirt…The Great Gatsby Sweatshirt ($42)…Out of Print Clothing

                    Tea…The Literary Tea Collection ($51) from First Edition Tea Co.


                    Tote Bag…Keep Calm and Read On” Tote Bag ($21) from The Library StoWith Love

                      Actually I Changed My Mind…You Stink!!! — December 6, 2017

                      Actually I Changed My Mind…You Stink!!!

                      Thankfully there are many alternatives to such traditional bar soaps available… alternatives that are actually safe and natural, vegan, and cruelty-free. These include…
                      1.  100% Pure Butter Soap 

                      • Ingredients…pure vegetable soap enhanced with shea butter and coconut oil…scented with steam distilled essential oils
                      • Kudos…all natural, 100% vegan, and gluten-free… 
                      • Price…$10
                      • Scents…Eucalyptus, Apple, Peach, Lavender, Seaweed, Coconut, Meyer Lemon, Mango, Caffeine Olive Oil, Mandarin, Green Tea Olive Oil

                      2.  Christina Maser Handmade Goats Milk Soaps

                      • Ingredients…food grade olive, palm, coconut, sweet almond and castor oils, natural clays, goat’s milk, honey, herbs, grains and natural pigments…scented with only pure essential oils
                      • Kudos…no synthetic ingredients, no phthalates, no chemicals of any kind
                      • Price…average of $10 a bar
                      • Scents…Almond, Citrus Eucalyptus, Citrus, Espresso, Geranium, Grapefruit, Green Clay Lavender, Honey Milk & Oats, Lavender Citrus, Lavender, Lavender Milk, Lavender Oats, Lavender Patchouli, Lemon Wasabi, Patchouli, Peppermint Poppy, Rosemary Clay, Rosemary Mint, Signature, Spa, and Tea Tree Citrus


                      3. Dr. Bronner’s

                      • Availability…almost anywhere
                      • Best for…
                      • Ingredients…extra virgin coconut, jojoba, and hemp oils, and pure essential oils
                      • Kudos…certified organic and fair trade, completely biodegradable and vegetable-based
                      • Price…average of $5 a bar
                      • Scents…Peppermint, Almond, Lavender, Tea Tree, Unscented, Rose, Citrus Orange, Eucalyptus


                      4.  Farmaesthetics Organic Bath & Beauty Bars

                      • Availability…Nordstrom
                      • Ingredients…organically grown herbs, flowers & grains 
                      • Kudos…organic and handmade, hypo-allergenic, non-irritating & dermatological tested
                      • Price…an average of $12.99
                      • Scents…Saltwater Rain, Cinnamon & Rose, Blood Orange & Calendula Petals, Chamomile Flowers, Field Lavender, Aloe & Lemongrass, and Beach Rose & Vetivert



                        5.  Hugo Naturals Bar Soaps 

                        • Availability…Natural Wellness, Whole Foods
                        • Ingredients…pure and natural ingredients such as all-natural vegetable glycerin, nutrition-quality Vitamin E, natural botanical extracts, and a mixture of moisturizing coconut, castor, and safflower oils
                        • Kudos…gluten free, vegan, cruelty free, and free of harsh chemicals like propylene glycol, parabens, and petroleum products
                        • Price…$4
                        • Scents…Mexican Lime & Bergamot, Spearmint, Geranium & Indonesian Patchouli, Creamy Coconut, French Lavender, Geranium and Indonesian Patchouli, Grapefruit, Indonesian Patchouli and Sandalwood, Oatmeal Mint, Shea Butter and Oatmeal, Unscented, Vanilla & Sweet Orange, Clove

                          6.  LATHER Natural Soap

                        • Ingredients
                        • Kudos…For every olive oil soap sold, LATHER will donate the equivalent of five bars of soap to Clean The World, a non-profit organization that recycles and distributes soap around the world to people in need. 
                        • Price…$8
                        • Scents…Patchouli Olive, Orange Peel, Vanilla Bean & Shea, Eucalyptus & Clay, Honey Almond, Oatmeal Lavender, Rose Tangerine, Lemongrass, Rosemary Peppermint, Lavender Lime, Mint, Wild Mint, Vanilla Bean & Shea, and Barbao & Shea

                        7.  Plantlife

                        • Ingredients…pure essential oils and organic botanicals
                        • Kudos…free of artificial fragrances, dyes, and harmful chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, and phthalates…vegan, gluten free, and never tasted on animals. 
                        • Price…$6
                        • Scents…Coconut Vanilla, Sandalwood, Rosemary Tea Tree, Ambrosia, Carrot & Vitamin E, Cassia Clove, Coconut Lime, Comfrey Root with Aloe, Double Mint. Eucalyptus, Green Tea, Lemongrass, Lavender, Oatmeal Almond, Patchouli, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Vanilla Orange, Rosemary Tea Tree, Cocoa Mint, Frankincense Myrhh, and Pumpkin Spice

                        8.  Poofy Organics

                        • Founded…in 2006 after a family member was diagnosed with breast cancer
                        • Ingredients…no toxic ingredients such as synthetic fragrance, parabens, triclosan, PEGs, Triethanolamine, Oxybenzone, and GMOs …fragranced only with essential oils and extracts 
                        • Kudos…partnered with and support BREAST CANCER ACTION which educates and empowers women by demanding transparency and accountability in pink ribbon marketing.
                        • Price…average of $6 per bar
                        • Scents…Leaf and Cloves, Almond Clove, Lemony Lavender, Eucalyptus Spearmint, Enchanted Vanilla, Orange Ginger Patchouli, Sweet Lemongrass

                        9. Soap for Goodness Sake

                        • Ingredients…certified organic base oils, pure grade essential oils, Hot Springs Thermal Water-known as some of the cleanest and purest water on earth
                        • Kudos…no unsafe synthetics, preservatives, artificial dyes, parabens, or synthetic fragrances
                        • Price…average of $6 per bar
                        • Scents…Shea and Oats, Balancing Act, Extra Gentle, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil


                           10.  Tom’s of Maine

                          • Ingredients…only naturally-sourced, plant-derived ingredients like coconut, olive, and jojoba oils
                          • Price…$4
                          • Scents…Creamy Coconut, Lavender Tea Tree, Orange Blossom, Morning Mint, Fragrance Free Sensitive, Deodorant, and Daily Moisture