Sunday, September 30, 2012

Review: Mountain Woman Lip Balm

I'm sort of a lip balm addict. I have trouble going through check out at the grocery store I shop at because they have a shelf of lip balms at the end... I mean really, how can you resist?

Due to my addiction, I have tried quite a few different balms. Recently, I had the opportunity to try three of Organic Mountain Woman's balms.

The balms I tried, as you can see, were mocha lattechai, and black raspberry. The products were sent to me by Shannie, the shop owner, for review. You can read my full disclosure statement here

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Well, It's not Wednesday: Dozer, Dogs, and Adopting

As you may have noticed, today is not wednesday. Furthermore, Wellness Wednesday was not yesterday. Fear not, wellness wednesday is on thursday this week. Yesterday was the first day Dozer came home after visiting my parents while Anthony and I went backpacking, and having a minor surgery. Dozer had  a small bump (smaller than a time) removed, but now has 23 staples on his side. He is healing just fine, and is only sad that he can't play with his puppy friends (he has tons) until his staples are removed. 

To brighten his spirits a little, this weeks Wellness Wednesday Thursday we're talking about adoption. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Let's Talk Tuesday + Giveaway

Let's talk with Heidi of Tree Tango Photography

I know I promised I would share the photos of my hiking trip with all of you. They're coming, I promise! In the meantime, I had the opportunity to interview Heidi of Tree Tango Photography on Etsy. If you're looking for a beautiful, affordable print to grace the walls of your home or greeting cards to send to someone special, you've got to check her out! Heidi shoots macro (close ups) photographs of natural themes. You'll get to see a few of my favorites, as well as enter a giveaway from her shop!

My Q&A with Heidi: 

Your photographs are beautiful, What inspired your work?
I just love nature and color. I love taking the time to notice the little details of things and the way the light affects what we see.

What is your favorite subject to shoot? What makes it so?
I love, love, love flowers! So many variations of color, both soft and bring. And all the details you can see when you get up close, like the curve of a petal or the veins in a leaf.

Monday, September 24, 2012

His and Her: My boyfriend blogs with me

Once upon a time, I read an oh-so-cute post by Jenna from Yours Truly. She asked her boyfriend, Justin, to participate in a little fill in the blank about each other. Potentially dangerous, right? But their answers are just lovely. This, of course, meant I had to contact her about the possibility of being  a little copy-cat. Then I just had to convince Anthony that everyone was doing it, and here's what I got:

Let's meet your lovely hosts,
Katie and Anthony

First Impressions: You were just another "smart girl" that just happened to be really cute. (We met in study hall in high school).

In this relationship, I am: Awesome. Um... The Instigator!

I love: Seeing Katie's smile. 

I hate: Seeing Katie's smile... No, Just kidding. When she says "nothing" when I ask her what's wrong.

Pet Peeves: When she asks what I'm thinking too much for god knows what reason.

Favorite Memory: The first time I went to her families cottage. We cuddled in front of the fire all night.

I annoy Kate when: she asks me to stop doing something and I don't, like when I tickle her. (His "tickles" are more like jabs... they hurt!)

I wish: That I could give her anything and everything she wants.

Dozer is: The awesomest dog around. And the best wrestler... he gives me a run for my money.

I'm better than Kate at: Where do I begin... driving, problem solving (yeah right!), telling jokes, 

Compared to Kate I suck at: Where do I begin... (that's more like it!) being beautiful, making it sound like you know what you're saying (communicating?), planning

I think: A lot. I just spelt "sunlight" wrong... And I think that Katie is the most wonderful girlfriend ever because of her un-human-like abilities to tolerate me everyday.


First Impressions: I thought he was a shy guy... Apparently he wasn't. I just annoyed him.

In this relationship, I am: The perfect one. Haha, not really. I am supportive.

I love: How excited Anthony gets when he's proud of something "boyfriend-y" he did. 

I hate: When he hugs me after a long workout (In a normal hug my face should never go near his arm pits! ewww)

Pet Peeves: When he plays on his phone when I'm trying to tell him something.

Favorite Memory: So many! I think my favorite memories less of a specific time and more when I think of him smiling. 

I annoy Anthony when: I ask the same question over and over because I didn't like his response.

I wish: I could be more like him. 

Dozer is: Awesome. He has the most personality of any dog I've ever met. 

I'm better at Anthony than: Pretty much everything, but specifically communicating, looking cute, being a girl, reading.

Compared to Anthony, I suck at: Fixing things (apparently beating the device with whatever tool I happened to get in my head goes to that part will not solve the problem), being patient, reaching things on high shelves

I think: A smile could save the world.

Does your boyfriend/significant other blog with you? Do they read your blog?
Do you want them to?

P.s. come back tomorrow for an awesome interview and giveaway from Heidi of Tree Tango Photography!

Motivation Monday: What's your Message?

Good Morning, Monday. 
Last Weekend, My boyfriend and I spend some time camping in northern Michigan. Michigan's Upper Peninsula is a beautiful place, should you ever get the chance to visit. The world moves slower here, and you get the chance to take a deep breath and enjoy the serenity.

While we were exploring the town, we caught the finish of a twenty mile canoe race. The winners finished in two hours, which was absolutely amazing to watch. Even more so, the fourth or fifth boat to finish was captained by two older adults. These gentleman finished the race in just over two hours and in the middle of  a group of young men and woman. The older of the two, probably in his late sixties, seemed to be the happiest contestant in the race. His joy was passed on to the other participants as they congratulated each other. While many of the racers were commenting on their disappointment in times, the pain or fatigue they were experiencing, or other negativities, this man just seemed happy to be here. 

While I hope I can remain as acting as this man when I grow older, what I took from the experience was his positivity and happiness. 

Seeing this man's simple enjoyment of the day was inspiring. Sometimes I forget that my life, as everyones, is my message to the world. What am I saying to those I meet, or even those I don't? 

What would you like your life to say? Does it?

Also, Stop by tomorrow to check out an interview and giveaway with Heidi of Etsy's
 Tree Tango Photography.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wellness Wednesday: Anyone can do Something

Saving the world can take time and money, something most of us don't have much of. For this week's wellness wednesday, I'd like to share with you a couple of ways you can bring a little more good into the world, even if you don't have the time or money for any big changes right now. You've got to start somewhere, right? These links all provide free and "less than five minutes" ways to do some good.

First up, check out Care 2's click to donate program. It's as easy as it sounds. All you have to do is head over to the website, click on the options on the left sidebar, or "start clicking" on the middle photo, and then the big orange "click to donate" button. The funds for these donations are provided by sponsors who's buttons are under the "thank you for donating" banner. Also on Care 2, you can find petitions supporting various environmental and social causes and sign them easily online. 

If you've finished these, click here to go to the hunger site, on the greater good network. This site has the same free click to give system. This time the links are located on the top banner bar. After clicking,  if you feel like shopping, you can browse the site for a variety of fair trade products, and other products donate part of their proceeds. 

Still looking for something to do? Try Free Rice. This site not only donates food to the World Food Programme, it helps keep your mind sharp! For every question you answer, ten grains of rice are donated. You can choose between humanities, english, math, chemistry, language learning, geography, sciences, or even SAT prep! It's great for a "mindless" (Ok so some of these questions get hard!) game, and whens the last time your solitare game fed the hungry?

What do you do when you need a doable way to help?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Motivation Monday: Working Together

"People who work together will win. Whether it be football defenses, or the problems of modern society." -Vince Lombardi

Some day's you can take on the world. Other days, you may need a little help. Look around, maybe you're having a conquer the world day, but that woman next to you, her day was yesterday, and today she's tired. Lend a hand. Maybe you help someone carry in groceries, maybe you show that freshman holding a map how to get to class (It's only the third week, they're still lost!), who knows?

Whatever you do, remember, there comes a time when we just can't do it on our own. The weight of the world's not so bad when everyone's got a piece. So this monday, I challenge you to work together, you can't lose. 

What is your motivation today, and who will you help?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wellness Wednesday: Walk With Me

Last week, I introduced you to a new series. If you missed it, check it out here. As usual, you guys were awesome, encouraging, and excited for something new!

I thought through each of the posts I've come up with so far, and couldn't decide what would provide the perfect start to this series.

Then I was introduced to a video in a course I am taking at my University. The course is on the functioning abilities of older adults in late stages of life, and the video is about "blue zones". These are areas of the world where it is common to see individuals over 100 years of age living healthy, active lifestyles. One of the cultures featured has woman over 100 years old who sit on the floor, and get up, multiple times throughout the day. Have you seen an american elder do that lately? or ever?

I couldn't help but think this video would be the perfect start to a series on wellness. 

You can watch it here on ted talks. (It's short!)

 If you don't have time for that, basically it says to eat a plant based diet with small amounts of grass fed animal protein. It includes the importance of social support throughout development and older adulthood. What I found most interesting, however, was the stress put on "natural exercise", or incorporating physical activity into your daily life. (These cultures don't go to the gym!)

This brings me to why I'm here. One of the cultures in the video, in addition to natural exercise,  takes a nature walk each week. This is noted as a factor contributing to their longevity. 

If you've seen my last motivation monday, you already know I'm heading out to the woods this weekend. I'll be camping and hiking in northern Michigan, or one of the most beautiful places in the world (I may be bias...). I firmly believe in shutting off your phone, heading to the closest bit of nature, and hiking for awhile is good for your health. It may even help you live to 100!

So for this Wellness Wednesday, I challenge you to do something good for yourself. Something easy and enjoyable. Take off to the nearest nature and go for a walk. 

Can't find any nature near you? 
Check here to find a national or state park. 
(For Michiganders, when you get new tabs for your car, invest an extra ten dollars for an annual state park pass. If not, in Michigan, state parks are five dollars for the day or $25 for an annual sticker pass)

Too natural for your liking? 
Try rails-to-trails here. 
Most of the trails are paved, and those that aren't are remarkably well kept up. Also, these trails are made on, you guessed it, old railroad tracks, so they are pretty darn flat. 

If your up for some adventure? 
Try Singletracks to find a mountain biking trail near you. 
This site has reviews and trail maps, with great directions to the trail head.

Still can't find anything? 
-Check your local university. Many have property away from the main campus for environmental sciences students that is often open to the public. 
-Take a walk through your neighborhood. Shut off your phone and enjoy being outside.

So for week one, lets start out easy on the road to wellness.
Will you walk this week?

(While your getting ready for the weekend, check out some natural sparkle!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pucker Up with Dle Cosmetics Product Review

As many of you know, I've been slowly working to make the contents of my makeup bag more natural. If any of you have tried this, it's hard. Many natural brands are either too expensive for my college student budget, or too boring for my college student lifestyle.

For these reasons, I was excited to work with Dle Cosmetics to provide a review of their light up glosses. Right now, Dle sells three shades: Poison Apple, Pink Fetissh, and Jess Barely.

I received Poison Apple and Jess Barely for review. As always, this does not affect my opinion of the product or company in any way. You can read my full disclosure here.

The first thing I noticed was that these glosses don't look like most natural glosses. The packaging and colors look more like what I would use traditionally. 
Their is a mirror on the side of the tube for "on the go" application, and as the name "light up gloss" may imply, there is also a light. The led lights are located inside the lid, and illuminates immediately when you unscrew the top. 
Now, the light does add a minimal amount of weight to the tube. I wouldn't have noticed it until curiosity got the better of me, and I compared it to anther (Buxom) gloss. When comparing them, the weight difference is immediately apparent, but alone it won't be noticed.

As for the light itself, it is remarkably bright, and I imagine would last the life of the gloss. The light did help with application when I used this gloss at night, most noticeably with "poison apple", as the red shade could cause mishaps in the dark. That being said, I did feel a little awkward applying this gloss in a crowded bar, as the light is extremely bright, and the bar... not so much. This was mostly because I'm secretly shy, and the light did draw some attention (all good!). I did use the gloss at other times during the night (walking, in the car, etc) when the light was great. (I may or may not have also used the light to find my keys. It was dark.)

Getting down to business, how about the gloss? Poison Apple is a red with gold shimmer. This photo makes the shimmer seem much more "glittery" than it is. When applied, the shade is a lovely, subtle red with some shimmer. Now when I say subtle, I don't mean that it doesn't show up, as many of the natural glosses I've tried do. This is definitely a red, but a subtle enough red that I felt comfortable wearing it to class.

Jess Barely is much more subtle. It is a very light peachy-pink with gold shimmer. Both shades are glossy, as a lip gloss should be, but neither give lips that thick plastic-y gloss look. They each give a very natural gloss look. The third shade, not pictured here, is a natural pink.

When it comes to the "stickiness factor" these glosses are a hit. I have battled through wearing quite a few sticky glosses (the ice cube trick, anyone?) but these never had that problem. They even passed the kiss test without a disgusted look on my boyfriends face, and the color didn't transfer, though some shimmer did. Both shades have a long wear time compared to most glosses, and wear off evenly without leaving you with the odd ring of color around your lip. Lastly, my lips actually feel softer after these glosses wear off!

So what's the "but"? 
If I could choose anything, I would say that the led lights could be dimmer and just as effective (though this might take from the lifespan of the light). The range of colors, while all gorgeous, is quite limited. I have heard, however, that more shades are in development. Lastly, I can see some individuals not liking that there are no matte options. The shimmer is extremely subtle, and would be suitable for someone who does not generally go for shimmer, but for the diehard "matte" fans, these may not be appealing. 

The Final Verdict
These glosses are lovely natural shades that put the fun back into natural cosmetics. The glosses are smooth and never sticky, and each have lovely shimmer. The light is helpful and very effective, but for the shy girl, may be too bright. 

You can purchase Dle glosses online for $8.95, or all three for $19.95 at their website.
and you can check out their facebook page here, be sure to "like"!

Which shade is your favorite, which new shade would you like to see, and how would you wear them?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Motivation Monday: Quiet Places

Good Morning Gorgeous, 

I know I usually have a pretty picture and some motivation for you monday mornings, but today's a little different. 
Today I have a crappy instagram photo and a word on when life gets to be too much. 

Lately, I've been a little overwhelmed. I realized I wasn't happy with how parts of my life were going. I decided I needed some time to clear my head and start over.  This weekend, I'll be headed to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a camping trip with my boyfriend and favorite aunt and uncle.

Heading out into the woods is a great way to put yourself back together. If you don't believe me, good images "paradise, mi" or "lake on the clouds, mi" or wait for a photo post next week! How can you not feel grounded, happy, and wonderful in these places?

What do you do when you need a complete "reset"?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wellness Wednesday: A New Series

Once upon a time, I was an optimist. I was hopeful, enthusiastic, and believed the world was good.

And then I grew up. Little by little, life wore away at my optimism. Tragedy, people, and places broke took away pieces of what was good. Eventually, the world didn't seem like such a nice place.

I soon came to realize that once you stop looking at the world through a child's eyes, you have to search out the good. You have to work to notice it. 

That is what Wellness Wednesday is all about. 
Each week I will share with you something good. 
It could be a bit on a charity doing wonderful work, a note on how to become a better person yourself, or a word on using your purchase power for good. 

Your week is half over. Whether it started good, bad, or ugly, today is the day to turn it around. 

Get your good on with Wellness Wednesday.

The first post will be up next wednesday, hope to see you there!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Motivation Monday: Attack the Day

Today's going to be one of those days.
I arrived back at home last night, classes start tomorrow, and there's a whole host of "to do's" starring me down.

It's one of those days where your to do list looks more like short novel. But none the less, it is one of those days to face head on in a take no prisoners sort of way. 

 So today I challenge you, 

take the day and accomplish something great.

Maybe it's preparing yourself for the week. Maybe you'll check off that last item that's getting stale on the bottom of your to do list. Maybe it's even that project you've been meaning to find the inspiration for. 
Whatever it is, today is your day. 
Seize it.

What will you do today?