Thursday, December 14, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide | For Him, Her, and Them

It's that time of year again! The stores are packed with shoppers, sales are popping up all over the place, and we are all brainstorming gift ideas for loved ones.  While I can't control the first two scenarios mentioned, I may be able to help you with that last one.  Here are some gift ideas for the men, women, and loved ones in your life.

For Him

Men are so difficult to buy for! Maybe I'm just terrible at it, but I have such a hard time thinking of gifts for the men in my life.  Here are a couple of great products I've found for the guys.

Van Der Hagen Traditional Safety Razor, Shave Butter, and Shave Oil

I'll give it to the guys, shaving your face every day definitely sounds like no fun.  I can't imagine experiencing knicks, razor burn, and ingrown hairs on my face. How uncomfortable! Thankfully, us ladies don't have to experience that...and now, neither do the guys. 

The Van Der Hagen Traditional Safety Razor reduces razor burn and skin irritation while using a single double edge blade for a closer shave.  The Shave Butter keeps skin hydrated without clogging pores and improves the razor glide. It's also perfect for sensitive skin. Finally, the Shave Oil makes it easy to see where one is shaving, provides a protective barrier, softens the beard, and contains no surfactants.  If you have a guy that loves a close shave, this is the set for him! You may not be able to decrease his shave time, but you can gift him these items to improve his shaving experience. 

 Brush Hero

Have a guy (or gal) that LOVES cars.  Are you sick of giving them the typical car cleaning kit found in most box stores but have no idea what other car-themed gift you can give? Brush Hero is the product you're looking for.  This brush, yes, is a car cleaning tool. But it's different than your typical shammy/sponge.  The Brush Hero simply attaches to your garden hose and can be used to clean not only your car but pretty much anything from your bicycle spokes to your dog.  It's truly something different that is sure to come in handy.  

For Her

Sphynx

It's happened to all of us, ladies. You're minding your own business, looking cute in your dress, skirt, or shorts, when you suddenly realized you missed a spot while shaving. Maybe you step into the sunlight and see the stubble more clearly. Maybe you scratch an itch on your ankle only to feel spikes. Most of us have no other option than to just endure and hope that no one else notices that one hairy, forgotten patch.  But now, there's an easy solution.

The Sphynx combines water, a shave bar, and a razor in one purse-friendly container. Now, all we have to do is excuse ourselves for a minute to take care of that unwanted stubble. This is also perfect for someone who is constantly traveling. Plus look how cute it looks!




7th Heaven Face Masks

I can not express to you how much I personally love these masks.  This cruelty-free brand offers affordable, luxurious face masks with something for everyone.  My personal favorite is the Hot Spring Sauna mask. I love how it heats up on its own and exfoliates my skin without drying it out for a brighter complexion. Honestly, there isn't a mask I've tried by 7th Heaven that I don't like. Plus, since they are typically priced at around $2 each, you can afford to try several different kinds. They make great stocking stuffers or you could even gift a bunch as part of a spa-themed present. 








Simply Scrub Coffee Body Scrub and Coffee Body Scrub


Oh, my goodness. If you know me, you know coffee and chocolate are two of my favorite things. And these scrubs smell exactly like a strong cup of coffee and a dark chocolate brownie. That's most likely because these 100% organic and natural scrubs are actually made of organic coffee beans and organic cacao. I LOVE  Simply Scrub. Not only do they smell great and leave my skin feeling amazing, I also understand what every single (organic) ingredient in these scrubs is.  I don't need to put on body lotion after using these scrubs. They exfoliate and moisturize. They are also very affordable. The scrubs pictured are currently $14 each.

For Them

Crated with Love

Whether you are looking to give a gift to a couple you know or to your own partner, Crated with Love is an amazing option.  We've all heard, read, and been told that it's super important to continue dating your partner even after the two of you have "settled down" (meaning after you've been together awhile, moved in together, had kids, etc.). But it's pretty difficult to get out of the house on a date when you have small children at home. So much coordination, planning, and scheduling have to be done just so you can have that all special date night out with your love. Not to mention the cost and stress of finding a responsible, reliable babysitter who is actually free. So, we've all tried the "date night in" after the kids have gone to bed. But let's face it...it's hard to continue to think up fresh, fun ideas that are 1. affordable and 2. doable without waking the kiddos. 

That's where Crated with Love comes in.  Now we've all seen the date-night-in boxes before. And they normally cost so much money that most of us don't really feel comfortable spending the money every month.  But Crated with Love is just $19.99/month (and free USA shipping)! The boxes are also incredibly cute and made to help you and your partner build relationship skills. That means you will not only be spending time together while having fun, but you will also be actively working on your relationship. Crated with Love is so much more than just a subscription box, it's a relationship tool we could all use. 

Foreo Gift Sets - Mint to Be, Our Little Secrets


I am a HUGE Foreo fan. My son uses a Foreo toothbrush (it's the only one he will willingly use) and I use the Foreo Luna mini daily (and have for years). I even gave my best friend the Luna for Christmas last year...and she's used it daily ever since.  So it's not surprising that I think these gift sets are perfect for anyone. 

The Mint to Be gift set includes the ISSA Hybrid Sonic Toothbrush with 3 Marvis Toothpaste Flavors and a mouthwash concentrate.

The Our Little Secrets set includes a  LUNA mini 2, Tarte Brighter Days Highlighting Moisturizer, Tarte Rainforest for theSea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel, and Tarte Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost.








The Gift that Gives Back

TWLOHA Rain Jacket

Giving a gift that also supports a great organization is a win, win in my book. TWLOHA is a non-profit that works to help those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide and reduce the stigma around mental health. I've supported this organization for years and love how simply stylish their merch is. This TWLOHA Rain Jacket is perfect for men and women. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Chew On This! How To Survive Your Baby's Teething

Written by a contributing writer



Picture Source

Do you dread going to the dentist, especially if you've got a tooth coming through? Well, the issue with our children going through teething is just as bad. Imagine, instead of you having one wisdom tooth coming through, you've got a few. This is what our poor children have to go through all the time. So, it can cause a lot of stress, not just for your children, but for us as parents. And some of us feel ill-equipped to deal with the problems that come with teething, especially all those late nights, early mornings, and that constant feeling of uselessness that we can have his parents. But, here are the best ways for you to survive your children teething and how to help them cope better with it.

Be Reassuring

This is arguably too obvious, but your children going through teething is such a difficult time in their lives. They don't know what's going on, and they are scared. So be as comforting to them as possible. Some parents take the old-fashioned approach of letting them cry it out, and we've seen now that this doesn't always work...especially when they are teething!

Know The Symptoms


There are various symptoms of children teething, and this isn't just the physical signs, such as swollen gums, as well as drooling and nappy rash. But there are other things, such as them refusing to eat food because it simply hurts too much. Luckily with the vast majority of symptoms now, there are things you can use to help alleviate the symptoms somewhat. From diaper rash cream to chewable toys that can be put in the freezer, and topical creams and ointments that can be purchased for cheap. You need to keep on top of the symptoms, and especially with issues like diarrhea or drool, these things can add more irritation to your children.

Make Sure They Rest


Issues involving teething and any other signs and symptoms will make them feel tired and cranky. Make sure that they stick to their nap routines, and if not, and teething is especially painful, it's okay to ask your pediatrician if you can give them some pain relievers, such as Anbesol or Bonjela. A routine when they are miserable and in pain can be very difficult to honor, but it's always worth putting them down for a nap at their scheduled times. You can take the French approach to parenting, and if they are upset when you put them down for a nap, wait 5 minutes, and if their crying hasn't lessened, then you can take them out and cuddle them.

Encourage The Teeth To Come Through

Naturally, your baby will start to chew on everything they see, and this helps to bring the teeth through. There are products like Bickiepegs you can buy, which they can gnaw at, as well as the aforementioned chew toys, including Sophie The Giraffe that will all help to bring the teeth through. You can also apply gentle pressure, by massaging the gums, as long as you've got clean fingers, or use wet washcloths, and in doing this, it can help to prevent bacteria, which will lead to inflammation if left to fester.

Ride It Out

It can be very stressful if your child doesn't want to eat, especially if you've been working so hard to make sure they've been gaining weight, but naturally their appetite will reduce. And because they are drooling a lot, it's important to keep their fluid intake up. But lots of frozen foods can help, so, for example, if they like bananas, you can give them a frozen banana, and this is going to help with the pain, but also it will be food that they can tolerate, as opposed to hard, crunchy foods.

Don't Lose Heart

Yes, it's very stressful, but once their first set of teeth make their way to the surface, this is the hard part done. As time goes on, and more teeth come, you will know the symptoms your child has, but also they learn to cope with the pain a little better. Remember, this is all brand new to them, and from the comfort of the womb to being thrust into a bright world, every new thing is scary to them. The best thing you can do is to protect them as best as you can, reassure them, but don't feel like you are doing a bad job. This always needs reiterating.


We all know the big tasks involved in the early years of any child's life, and teething is one of the big ones.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Holiday Family Vacation Idea: Rent a Luxurious Beavers Bend Log Cabin

Those wanting to find a secluded vacation or weekend getaway spot should consider Beavers Bend Log Cabins in Oklahoma. Imagine being in a gorgeous environment that boasts stunning luxury log cabins fit for royalty. The spectacular nature scenes can be your view while staying in an opulent cabin that brings the outdoors in. Situated close to Beavers Bend State Park and nearby Broken Bow Lake, visitors have a wealth of activities and adventures to choose from. The glorious log cabin rentals are reasonably priced and off-season bargains drop rental costs even lower. This is an ideal place to get away from the busyness of modern living.

A relaxing log cabin retreat may be just what an individual, couple, or family needs. These striking cabins are amazing inside and out. The interior design captures the essence of a tranquil forest setting. With varying rentals to select from, guests will enjoy the level of privacy that they desire. Some cabins are only rented to one to two people, ensuring those guests of quiet reflection. Those with children also have marvelous cabins available. Even pet owners can opt for a pet-friendly cabin. They need only pay a small pet fee.

Individuals wanting some outdoor adventures can choose kayaking or other activities on the lovely nearby lake and meandering river. There are outstanding hiking trails that wander through the lush forest location. Individuals can also rent bikes for a breathtaking nature ride that is so beautiful that it seems unreal. The fish are kept stocked so those that desire fly fishing will be in heaven. Guests can rent a boat slip or rent a phenomenal houseboat. Equestrian lovers can go horseback riding here and there is even a fun train ride that travels through the stables via Beavers Bend Depot.

Many take advantage of boat rentals to enjoy a peaceful day floating on the calming waters. For the more adventurous individuals, renting a fabulous jet ski will give lots of thrills. Individuals wanting an easy boat excursion can rent a paddle boat for an enjoyable ride. Family paddle boat rides are extremely fun. Tennis courts offer additional enjoyment and a miniature golf course awaits those golf enthusiasts and new recruits. The majestic natural setting provides pleasure for every personality. There is no need to drag along bikes or boats because they can be rented easily at this fine destination.

The decor inside these wonderful cabins continues the log cabin theme. Expect gorgeous wooden floors and paneling offset by natural stone or brick fireplaces. Beautiful light fixtures, like sparkling chandeliers and unique country fixtures, add warm ambiance to the already homey cabin design. There is no need to pack bed linens or cleaning equipment, as that is included in the rental price. There is no extra cleaning charge tacked on to the cost and there are zero hidden costs. Free wifi is available in the cabins and a large newer model television comes with the cabin rental. Inside the cabins, the natural wooden furniture lends a welcoming vibe. The beds are exceptionally comfortable and the other furniture accents the earthy and back-to-nature feel of these luscious cabins.

The naturally wooded locale, of Beavers Bend cabins, offers many amenities. The peaceful atmosphere makes for a stress-free getaway place.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Self-Care Holiday Gift Ideas For Moms




Mom takes the brunt of holiday stress. She is usually the one coordinating gifts, meals, social engagements, and any family drama that may arise (we all have some, don’t feel embarrassed!). Notice that mom is looking a little depleted? A little edgy? A little more tired than her naturally bright self?  Maybe she just needs a little love. Give the gift of wellness and inspiration to the mom in your life- it's the gift that continues to give because when you fuel yourself, you have so much more to give! Here are some of my personal favorite products that have spoken to all my senses, helping me not only look my best at all my motherhood phases, but helped me reach spaces of calm and focus during the busy times that I need it most. 



Doterra essential oil diffuser:  It’s simple and compact. You plug it into a wall and choose the blend to match the mood you want. 

Sam and Maddy Make Up:  An amazing makeup line made for women to feel their own natural glow. The company was also created by a Beyond Mom who named the company after her children.

Athleta Studio WrapCozy jacket, wrapped in good vibes can be dressed up or down.

Peleton bike: Get your sweat on and workout conveniently at home when time is limited or babies are napping!

Sip Bottle:  A stylish fun bottle that will help keep you hydrated all the time. 

Frends:  Jam out to fun tunes or take time for relaxing music with these Frends headphones.

HeadspaceA daily meditation app to help you connect with your breath and silence.

Intelligent Nutrients. All organic skin-care products and great for anti-aging.

Loyal Hana:  Stylish and affordable maternity through nursing clothing.

Pacifica Candles:  Candles set the intention for calmness and these are beautiful and smell lovely!

Going Beyond Mom: How To Activate Your Mind, Body, and Business After Baby:  This is my book, and I’m so excited to teach moms how to activate and engage with the new woman also born with baby!

Lively:  For mom’s intimates! Beautiful bra and panty sets, they just launched a nursing bra, too!

Beautiful ChorusWomen from around the world, all cancer survivors. Great for meditation, positivity, togetherness, community, and reminding yourself of the life you want to live.



Intention is everything! When we dress ourselves in ways that honor our beauty (inside and out), we feel beautiful. When we use products and tools to bring calm and focus to our lives, we feel those positive effects. When we get moving, we clear out negativity and stress! Help mom live the life she deserves this holiday season. And, of course, tell her how grateful you are for everything she does.



RANDI SOCIAL:




       Beyond Mom website

       Twitter: @randizinn

       Facebook

       Instagram



ABOUT RANDI ZINN:

Randi Zinn is the founder of Beyond Mom and BeyondMom.com. Born from her own experience of motherhood, and the desire for a more connected community- Beyond Mom offers: content, podcasts, mixers, events, and retreats for forward-thinking Moms. She encourages moms to cultivate a life “Beyond Mom”- one that embraces the gifts of motherhood but expresses all that they are as individuals: creators, businesswomen, thinkers, friends, and so much more.




Her writing has appeared in Honest Company Blog, FitBump, Epoch Times and Well Rounded NY. She is a certified yoga instructor through Laughing Lotus NY and has taught since 2008.


Randi’s first book Going Beyond Mom: How To Activate Your Mind, Body & Business After Baby, will be published on September 19, 2017.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Organic Makeup vs Regular Makeup

Written by a contributing writer


Organic makeup is beginning to make waves in the beauty world. More people are turning to organic options and rejecting the chemical-laden options have been conventionally popular. But is that the right decision? And is organic makeup really any better than other types of makeup? Let's explore the benefits of organic makeup and see what it really has to offer.



Image Source


They Usually Contain Natural Essential Oils

One of the best things about using organic makeup is that it often contains natural essential oils. These can help to keep your skin hydrated in a very soothing manner. That’s not something that we typically see in other types of makeup products. Some essential oils can also help brighten skin, prevent acne, or heal dry patches. Check the labels on your beauty products to see which essential oils they can contain.

It’s Good for the Planet

As well as being good for you and your skin, organic products are actually very good for the planet. That’s definitely one thing worth noting and celebrating. You can find out more about eco-friendly beauty products http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/organic-beauty-products-earth-day_n_5184712 if you’re interested. It always feels good to do your bit for the planet, so try to keep this in mind when you’re deciding which type of makeup you are going to purchase.

Lower Chance of Harsh Reactions

Compared to many ordinary makeup products, your chances of experiencing a harsh reaction from using organic makeup is lower. Of course, there is always a small chance that you could be allergic or sensitive to an ingredient in any makeup or beauty product. But the chances typically aren't as high as ordinary makeup and that’s one reason why organic products are rising in popularity right now. No one wants to deal with the nasty after-effects of having a reaction to the makeup you use.

It’s More Affordable Than Many Imagine

Many people assume that organic makeup will be a lot more expensive than it actually is. You can hardly blame people for making that assumption because it’s certainly true that the word ‘organic’ causes the price of food items to shoot up. That’s not really the case for makeup products, though. You can find organic makeup that suits all budgets. You can browse different brands and consider their affordability at https://soundbodylife.com/best-organic-makeup-brands/. See for yourself how affordable it can be.


There Are Limitations to be Aware of Too, Though

It’s important not to simply skip over the limitations that come with using organic makeup products. It’s not all good news. For example, because these products don’t contain preservatives, it means that they won’t last as long without becoming unsafe to use. Organic makeup is never really waterproof and that might be a major problem for some consumers. There are also limitations in terms of color compared to normal makeup.


All in all, as long as you’re aware of the bad as well as the good, organic makeup is worth trying out. You could find you like it more than the makeup products that you’re used to.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Updated Skincare Routine: Oily to Dry Skin (Vegan Skincare, Cruelty-Free Skincare Products)

Skincare is my FAVORITE aspect of beauty. So I switch up my skincare routine often...mostly because I like to try new products. BUT this time, I had to.  My skin has gone from super oily most of my life, to combination leaning towards oily over the past few years, to now becoming dry. I still have acne prone skin that breaks out (REALLY?!) but now my skin needs more moisture than ever. And finding moisture that is "enough" but doesn't clog my pores and break out my skin? That's difficult! On top of those challenges, I've also been making an effort to find more cruelty-free products. Through that, I've been trying more "natural" products. But here's the thing, natural or not, if a product doesn't give me the results I want, I won't use it.

So... through much trial and error, here are the products I've been using regularly. And if you thought my skincare routine was a little extra before, you're going to see I've only added to it. I don't know how long this routine will last, but my skin has been loving it.

Facial Cleansers

One of the first things I had to do was cut out my salicylic acid cleansers. Now that my skin is drier, they seemed to just cause more harm than good. I first started with Perfectly Posh's That's So Cuke! foam cleanser.

That's So Cuke! (Cruelty-Free, Vegan)

It's refreshing, gentle, and gives my skin a nice clean feeling without leaving it tight and dry. As I started trying more products, I changed my routine to using Perfectly Posh's Bright Young Thang in the morning (with my Foreo Luna Mini) and using Neutrogena's  Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser at night.

Bright Young Thang (Cruelty-Free, Vegan)

Bright Young Thang is creamy and moisturizing without being greasy. After 3 uses, I noticed a big change in how my skin looked and felt. It was smoother, more even toned, and a tad brighter. This cleanser is also from Perfectly Posh's Look Natural line. So the scent is light and there are no artificial dyes. The Look Natural line also tends to be great for sensitive skin.

Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser

I was surprised I liked this cleanser to be 100% honest. Normally my skin doesn't get along very well with Neutrogena. Yes, they have a few products here and there that my skin tolerates. But typically, the brand just isn't one of my go-to's.  But I decided to try this cleanser because it has glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is one of those hit or miss ingredients for many. I've known for years that it works really well with my skin. For me, it heals and prevents breakouts, evens my skin tone, and brightens my complexion. But for others, it can be too harsh and dry out the skin.  And even though I do like this cleanser and use it nightly, there are times when I do need to take a break from it and use the That's so Cuke instead. Just to avoid drying out my skin.


Next, I added two things into my routine: Toner and serum.  During my Proactiv days, I used toner regularly (and I really loved Proactiv's toner by the way). But eventually, I phased that out of my routine. I just didn't feel like doing it anymore. (That's what I mean when I say 'we'll see how long this routine lasts.') But I saw this Green Tea Serum Toner by Glow Recipe and I was intrigued.

Toner/Serum

Green Tea Serum Toner (Cruelty-Free, Natural Ingredient Focus)

Glow Recipe is a beauty brand located in the US that focuses on creating Korean beauty products using natural ingredients. Their products are cruelty-free and also free of Triclosans, BPAs, Parabens, Hydroquinone, Tar, Benzophenones, Talc, Aluminum, Laureth Sulfates/Sodium Lauryl, DEET, Formaldehyde, PABA, Toluene, Camphor, Phthalates and Microbeads, and PVC. Their products are pretty affordable (especially considering the quality) and can be found at Target.

The Green Tea Serum Toner got my attention because I know my skin tends to like products with green tea. I had also already tried (and loved) their Green Tea Clay Mask, so I figured this was probably a good bet. And I was right. It definitely does dry down like a toner but there is a smoothness to it. It leaves my skin very soft instead of squeaky, tight, or dry like most toners do.

Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum with Hyaluronic Acid ( Cruelty-Free, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free)

So this is a completely new step for me. I've never really used serums under a moisturizer before. My skin was oily so I never really felt the need to. But when I started trying to figure out how to combat the dryness my skin was experiencing, a serum seemed like a logical choice. I chose this serum because it had really great reviews. And I can see why.

First off, it smells like Fruit Loops. Yes, the cereal. It doesn't sound like that would automatically be a good thing...but it is. I typically don't like scents in my skincare. But this one is refreshing and not at all overpowering. I LOVE how this makes my skin feel. Super soft, doesn't break out my skin, and it makes it much easier to put my beauty balm (we will get to that) on. I use it in the morning and at night. And it seems to have added moisture without feeling greasy or causing a shiny look.

Moisturizer

We're almost done! After the serum, I put on my moisturizer. During the day I use Andalou Natural's Beauty Balm. At night I switch off between Ole Henriksen's Invigorating Night Creme and Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream (I have the Autism Speaks Limited Edition packaging).

Andalou Naturals Vitamin C BB Beauty Balm Sheer Tint SPF 30 (Cruelty-Free)

I wasn't too sure about this one when I first tried it out.  First off, I was expecting it to have the texture of a moisturizer like a BB cream. But it truly is a balm. I also have to really work it into my skin to get it to absorb. But once I got used to the texture, I really started to love this beauty balm. SPF 30 is hard to find in skincare moisturizers. And one that doesn't cause an extreme break out on my skin is even harder to find. It does work as both a moisturizer and a primer. It smooths out the look of my skin when applied.

 Ole Henriksen's Invigorating Night Transformation Creme (Cruelty-Free)

Full disclosure: I did not pay full price for this night cream. I found it at Marshall's for $12.99. If you're going to try new skincare, check your local discount stores first to see what they may have. And if you see anything you may like from Ole Henriksen - grab it! I LOVE this brand. I've tried a few of their face masks in the past and their products just seem to work. This cream has AHA's in it - including glycolic and lactic acid. So you know why I picked it up initially.

This cream makes my skin glow and, as a bonus, quickly heals any breakouts. I use a very small amount each time. It doesn't take a lot of product for this cream to be effective. Though I do use this cream most nights, I don't use it every night.  After a few nights of use, my skin craves more moisture.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

I use this cream when my skin needs a break from the Ole Henriksen's cream above. I love it because it's moisturizing, not greasy, and unscented. It's seriously a very simple face cream. I would recommend this one to anyone who is just starting to use night cream and not really sure what their skin's needs are yet.

Perfectly Posh's As Good As Gold Skin Stick (Cruelty-Free, Vegan)

This really isn't a cream. But it's what I use under my eyes every night. It's super moisturizing so I only need to use a little bit each night. It also doesn't irritate my skin or give me those little white bumps that I get from most eye creams. I've already repurchased this twice! If Perfectly Posh ever discontinues this, I don't know what I'll do for my under eyes.

And now.... for my favorite part...

FACE MASKS! 

They are the best part of skincare in my opinion.

Envy This (Cruelty-Free, Vegan)

Envy This by Perfectly Posh has become a tried and true. I love this mask. It's a little moisturizing, refreshing, and "brightens and tightens" my skin. My skin tone is visibly more even after each use.


Green Tea Clay Mask by Glow Recipe (Cruelty-Free, Natural Ingredient Focus)

This was the first product I tried by Glow Recipe.  I saw a video reviewing face masks by YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen and she mentioned how this mask was the only drugstore face mask she really liked. I made a mental note and when I came across the Glow Recipe section during my next visit to Target, I purchased the mask. I tried it that night and immediately saw why Ingrid loved it so much. It makes my skin glowy and silky smooth. Even taking the mask off is a different experience than usual.  Although it does dry like many other clay masks, the way it washed off felt different. As soon as water hit the dried mask on my face, it turned back into its original creamy goodness for a very soothing experience.  I'm so glad I watched that YouTube video!

Andalou Naturals Coconut Milk Firming Mask (Cruelty-Free)

This was the first thing I bought when I realized my skin was drying out ("Why does my skin always feel like it's burning?!") It is very soothing and does add moisture to the skin. Is it super hydrating? It wasn't for me. It's a light mask that smells good and did seem to calm my skin. It didn't cause a breakout and after I used it my skin stopped feeling like it had a million little paper cuts all over my face.





Thursday, October 5, 2017

Mommy Must-Have: Minos Moka Pot

It's no secret that I'm a coffee lover. I have three different kinds of "coffee machines" at my home. But, one of those machines stands out. When I really need a boost, when I really need something more than just a standard cup of coffee, I go for my Minos Moka Pot. Why? One word: Espresso. That beautiful beverage that is somehow relaxing and energizing all at once.

Now, I've had other stovetop espresso makers in the past. And, to be completely honest, I shied away from using them regularly. Not because I don't like expresso (clearly, I do) but because they were either slow to brew, difficult to clean, or just a hassle to use in general. But the minos is much different. Although it seems to work basically the same way, it's somehow more efficient (no waiting around FOREVER for my coffee) and much easier to take apart and clean (no weird vacuum happening). It's also a just much prettier pot. I can leave it out on the countertop for display instead of having to hide it away in the cabinets. I also love how you can change the silicone on the handles. It's a little touch, but one that makes this Moka pot feel much more customized.

The finished product is also, of course, important. The espresso comes out smooth (no grounds present at all!) and rich. Just how expresso should be.  Overall, this little pot packs a whole lot of punch. Effective, pretty, and all around easy. Perfection!