Posted in Beautycounter, cancer, health, Healthy Living, makeup, Paleo, personal care products, safer beauty, Uncategorized

My Beautycounter Life So Far

Dew___Tint_Skin

It has been three months since I joined the ranks of Beautycounter  as a customer and  consultant and I wanted to briefly share my experience.

In one word it has been positive. The improvement to my skin through the use of their Essential Nourishing line and their No.1 Brightening Facial Oil has been extremely encouraging. I’ve learned to love facial mists and oils, two products I never knew existed.  I’ve been using the makeup from their Flawless in Five collection and have never felt so put together in my life. The best part about all of these products is that they last. Beautycounter has made safer beauty super high performing so it takes a small amount to get results. I am still using all my original purchases three months in and from what my mentor is telling me I can count on around six months for most of the products in my regimen.

As a consultant I feel encouraged, valued and empowered by Beautycounter as a company and the mission they are on. Yes it is direct retail, because they feel their message is best shared one on one. Honestly as soon as I started using their products and learning about how much vigilance goes into the procuring and testing of ingredients, I wanted to share it with my family and friends. Having a little extra income is great, but knowing that I am helping to spread the word about using cleaner & safer personal care products gives me a sense of satisfaction. Doing drop offs so people can use before they buy is fantastic. Seriously, once you use these products you’ll be sold.

The best part about Beautycounter is their belief in the importance of transparency in regards to their ingredients. You should be able to find out from companies before you use their products if they avoid using ingredients linked to cancer. While it seems like common sense, companies are allowed to use endocrine disruptive and toxic chemicals in personal care products you use every day. Beautycounter is working to change that and has created a Never List to demonstrate that devotion to selling safer beauty & personal care products.

 

Posted in Beautycounter, conditioner, makeup, personal care products, safer beauty, shampoo

My Favorite BEAUTYCOUNTER Products Reviewed

With so many fantastic Beautycounter products to choose from it is difficult to pick some favorites. However I’ll do it for you guys. First I want to tell you WHY I use Beautycounter. Their intentional attention to the safety of their products continues to impress me. As I learn more about what beauty companies can get away with when it comes to the consumers safety, and how Beautycounter purposefully avoids those practices, I want all my family and friends to try it. I care about my health and longevity and I want to use the highest performing, safest products I can find. Beautycounter fits the bill.

First favorite Beautycounter product: Dew Skin Moisturizer $45   This light weight moisturizer is a 2015 Allure Magazine award winner and with good reason. I don’t notice it on my skin, it gives me plenty of protection from the sun (and my 50-year-old face needs that) and it lasts a really long time. I’ve been using the same tube since the middle of July and have given out two considerable samples to clients and it still feels over half full. Beautycounter invests a huge amount of time not only into the safety of its products, but the performance of them. Win win.

Second product that gives me a little thrill every time I use it: Volumizing Mascara $29 My eyelashes have grown thinner as I get older, fact. This mascara, in two coats, gave them so much volume my friend thought I had gotten eyelash extensions. And it stays put during the day, but is removed easily when I wash my face.

Third and final Beautycounter treat I’ll tell you about here: Repair & Nourish Shampoo and Repair & Nourish Conditioner each $25 These two products changed my opinion of what shampoo and conditioner can and should do. I washed my hair with a surprisingly small amount of shampoo that lathered impressively, conditioned with a smaller than usual amount and rinsed thoroughly. The spa like smell and luxurious lather was fantastic. How my hair dried and styled was awesome. The softness and how well the style held with absolutely no additional product completely wowed me. Seriously, my friends all heard about it.

Are these products worth the price. Absolutely and I’m a bit of a cheap skate. They last so long! And you can feel confident they are vetted for safety and performance. Never tested on animals, only people. Education driven, mission focused, environmentally conscious, Beautycounter is a company to support and believe in.

Feel free to comment or email me with questions about any Beautycounter products  or for more information about the state of the beauty and personal care industry in the USA. 2017-09-23-18-24-45

Posted in Beautycounter

Beautycounter Review

Believe me when I tell you that I am a skeptic when it comes to  the performance of personal care and beauty products. For years I’ve been trying to find healthy lotion, shampoo and makeup that was up to my expectations regarding ingredients and how well they worked.  I’m admittedly a bit of a high maintenance person when it comes to my health as I eat sustainably raised, local, organic food as much as I can. I cook in cast iron and stainless steel and store food in glass rather than plastic. And I make my own mayo and eat gluten and dairy free.  I put a lot of time and energy into optimizing my time on the planet. Finding more “natural” “safe” beauty care products was hard. They either were chemical free and sucked, or had all ingredients I could read and were okay.  Then I was invited to a Beautycounter social.

I was greatly intrigued by Beautycounter’s mission to get safer products into everyone’s hands and the fact that the first social I went to was extremely low pressure to buy. The main message was educating yourself about what you are using on your own body as well as your family members. I went right home and used the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep database the Beautycounter consultant mentioned to see how the products I was using ranked. I had to throw away two of my chapsticks based on their lower safety rating and one of them was a brand marketed as “natural.” Then I ordered three Beautycounter products and waited. They were the Citrus Mimosa Body Bar, Citrus Mimosa Body Lotion and the Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer.

  1. The Citrus Mimosa Body Bar smells great, but isn’t too strong and the smell doesn’t linger which I liked. The soap has a nice creamy feeling texture as you use it and soaps up just the right amount. I used it for shaving while in the shower too.
  2. The Citrus Mimosa Body Lotion again has the light citrusy floral smell that you enjoy while applying, but it doesn’t leave your skin perfumed. It spreads well and absorbs quickly and provides non-sticky moisture to your skin. I would say it is perfect for normal skin. If you super dry skin you may need a heavier product. Which would be the Citrus Mimosa Body Butter 🙂  This lotion was perfect for me.
  3. The Dew Skin Moisturizer was the one that most surprised me. I used it on fresh washed skin and after my regular moisturizer as my face is dry (and getting old) so I find I have a higher moisture requirement. This glided on, provided excellent sun protection and felt so light I didn’t even know I had it on. It doesn’t really provide coverage, but my skin looks better after a week of using it. Less dry and softer looking.

My sister, who has extremely sensitive skin that will rash up at the wrong input (lotion, soap or laundry detergent) tried both the Citrus Mimosa products and not only liked them, but said her skin was fine and she would be able to use them.

Since then I have become a Beautycounter consultant, ordered more products and have been genuinely impressed with what I’ve tried. The Nourish & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner leaves my hair clean and I can dry it without any other product and it holds its style. My hair feels so soft and healthy and it smells salon fresh. The Color Outline Eye Pencil goes on smoothly, precisely and doesn’t smear and run which is why I had quit wearing eyeliner. The Peppermint Lip Conditioner got rid of the unsightly dry skin flakes on my lips. The Protect Lip Balm kept my lips moisturized and soft even after several days in the Texas heat.

The takeaway? Try it! You’ll be surprised and impressed. At the very least your contact with the company will leave you better informed as a consumer going forward. I can be reached for comments or questions either through this site or through at:  Beautycounter by Heather Clark And even if you don’t want to buy anything, look at the Never List of chemicals Beautycounter avoids as well as learn about what the company is doing on a national level to advocate for all of us consumers.

 

 

Posted in Healthy Living, Low Carb, Paleo, Primal, Real Food, Whole 30

When a Whole 30 Isn’t Enough

Starting your journey to health with a Whole 30  is a brilliant idea. The information and community support is tremendous. You will feel better and understand the power of eating REAL food. What I’ve learned though is sometimes it isn’t enough. What? Giving up all the food that makes you joyful isn’t enough? That’s crazy talk! Well, it is my truth. Would I go back to eating processed food and too much sugar? No way.

My “only” lingering health issue after several years of real food eating is migraines. I have abnormal ones. They come on first with a visual aura and last 2-4 hours. Occasionally I will go months without one. Sometimes I get a couple a month. If I had to guess, I’d say they have something to do with my hormones as I’ve addressed diet & lifestyle. However I haven’t had to take antibiotics for five years and I cannot remember the last time I was really sick. Oh wait I do remember; it was when the hospital made me get a flu shot before I could see my new granddaughter four years ago. I felt crappy for a few days, but was not bed ridden.

My point of writing this is to say even though your health might not be perfect after you clean up your diet, it will be improved in noticeable ways. The bottom line is you can’t take a pill or supplement and keep making poor food choices if you want to improve your health, lose weight or feel better long term. For improvement in your health to need to heal your gut. And for healing to occur in your gut, you have to eat real food, have good sleep and stress relief hygiene (yoga, meditation), and move. Walk outdoors and lift heavy things and surround yourself with good people. You have to do this for a long time before you “cheat.” Maybe a year, maybe two, maybe three. I was forty when I found out I was gluten and dairy intolerant and had what I now know was the beginnings of autoimmune issues. Real food, real activity, real sleep is a lifestyle, not a diet. You are kidding yourself if you think one Whole 30 is going to fix you forever. It is a stepping stone to get you on track for having a better quality of life. You have damaged your gut over a lot of years and you need to honor yourself enough to give it time to heal. Use the wealth of free information on sites like www.Robbwolf.com , www.thepaleomom.com, www.marksdailyapple.com, www.everydaypaleo.com, and www.radicatamedicine.com to get started. Check out the books links in my resource section for help too. You don’t have to pay for meal plans or shopping lists, because people who live this way (like me) want to help you. Recruit family and friends to do it with you and have planning dates and batch cooking parties. It is work, but it is beyond worth it. If you put in the work, down the road you can have some of the celebratory treats on special occasions, but you might not want them.

Posted in Blog, knit, Knitting, Primal, Real Food, Uncategorized

The Curse Of Knitting And Other Sedentary Hobbies

cropped-cropped-ascarf3.jpgWhile I have been knitting for almost two decades, it has only become an obsession for the past couple of years. As with many other needle crafts as well as sewing, reading, game playing on electronic devices, even blogging, this involves sitting. I’m astonished to find that many people don’t even take this into consideration.  Well, sitting a lot is a problem and you should care. It is very difficult for me not to rant about the amount of sitting crafty types do and how unhealthy it is, but instead I thought I’d write a few things down that I’ve done to keep me moving more and hopefully minimize the damage sitting does.

  1. Commit to getting up at least once an hour. Sometimes I’ll do 10 air squats on my way to get a drink of water or do lunges on the way to the bathroom. Even working through a few sun salutations helps loosen up my legs and hips and opens my shoulders a bit.
  2. Walk at least two miles a day. That is a  30-35 min walk. And while it is only half of the steps we should be taking in a day, I find it often inspires me to continue on to do a bit of weight lifting. Invest in a kettlebell or some dumbbells and internet search some beginning exercises if it is new to you. Or just stretch!
  3. Sit on the floor to knit. Horrifying to some, but it helps use more muscles to sit upright, gives us the opportunity to straighten our legs and stretch a bit while we knit, and requires an effort to get ourselves up off the floor.
  4. Get a doorway pull-up bar and hang from it to open up your shoulders. It also helps work on your grip strength. I can even do a couple of pull-ups now!
  5. Create a standing work station. I have a wood TV tray on top of a side table that I knit at, so no excuses. You could buy a stand-up desk if you aren’t into creating your own.

This is just a beginning of a list of how to incorporate movement into your crafting. The most important thing though is to start the conversation with yourself about how you are going to move more. And remember to be healthy you have to eat real food and move. There is no pill that takes the place of it.

I keep this book handy to refer to if I have a particular ache or pain. It has been an invaluable resource:  Becoming A Supple Leopard  It is a great addition to your health library.

Posted in Free Knitting Pattern, knit, Knitting, seahawks, Uncategorized

Chunky Button Scarf – Free Pattern

ascarf3

This scarf is for sale in my Amazon Handmade store:

http://www.amazon.com/handmade/HaHa-Knits

I’m on FB as HaHaKnits Hand Knits  https://www.facebook.com/hahaknits/

and Instagram as @hahaknits

Materials

Size 15 Needles

Heavy Weight Yarn – I used Cascade Chunky wool and Mushishi wool & silk blend which is a DK/Lt. Worsted.

NOTE: This pattern as written is for a rather wide scarf and you can adjust the width by simply casting on few stitches. Reducing by 4 stitches at a time so you can maintain the pattern and adjusting the buttonhole role to fit your stitch count.

Pattern

1             CO 26

2             *K2, P1* repeat ** until the last 2 stitches, K2

3             P2 *K1, P2* repeat ** through row

4             Repeat these two rows until you reach 2” shorter than desired length. Somewhere between 70-85 rows, depending on desired length. Shorter means a tighter fit around the neck. I usually hold it up around my neck to see when it is close to the length I want.

5             K two rows

6             –Button Hole Row–  K6, YO, K2tog, K10, K2tog, YO, K6

NOTE: You can choose the number of button holes you choose to make as they are a simple YO and K2tog for each button hole. I recommend doing this stitch more loosely if you are using a larger button or tighter for a small button.  Directions are for scarf as pictured with two button holes. You’ll have to do the math for three or more. 🙂

8             K3 rows

9             Bind off

-Optional-

10           Add I-Cord Trim in contrasting color with only the thinner strand of yarn. I did a 3 stitch I-Cord. (see video links to understand how to do I-Cord Trim as well as turning the corner in I-Cord trim). I started the I-Cord trim in the middle of one of the sides of the scarf. Take care when finishing the round to join as carefully and neatly as possible.

This is the newest technique I have learned and I love how it adds a nice finished look to any edge.

VIDEO 1-

VIDEO 2-

This is not the best quality video, but the easiest I found to help me understand how to make a nice 90 degree angle on the corner of the scarf. You can search on Youtube.com for additional videos to help you understand.

Posted in knit, Knitting, Uncategorized

Cable Button Scarf – Free Knitting Pattern

I’ve posted this as a free pattern as it is my first attempt at pattern writing. Please feel free to attach your suggestions for improving the pattern to the comments. You can find me on Instagram @hahaknits and on FB as HaHaKnits Hand Knits. I appreciate Follows & Likes respectively. 🙂 Please read the whole pattern before starting your knitting.

MATERIALS

  • Size 9-10.5 needles
  • Worsted weight yarn
  • Row counter (whatever you prefer)
  • Cable Needle

DIRECTIONS

Cast On 40

K 4 Rows

The pattern is worked over 40 stitches and consists of two braided cables with a six stitch spiral cable in between the two braided cables. The odd rows are all purl stitch as are the stitches in between the cables and at the edges of the work.

Pattern:

1-     P 40

2-     P4, K9, P4, [C2F] 3 times,  P4, K9, P4

3-     P 40

4-     P4, C6F, K3, P4, K1, [C2F] twice, K1, P4, K9

5-     P 40

6-     P4, K9, P4, [C2F] 3 times, P4, K9, P4

7-     P 40

8-     P4, K3, C6B, P4, K1, [C2F] twice, K1, K3, C6B, P4

Repeat until work measure at least 28 inches. The rainbow scarf was worked on size 9 needles and measured 28″. The grey and pink was worked on 10.5 needles and measured 31″. (See photos below.)

Button Hole Row:

K4, YO, K2tog, K13, YO, K2tog, K14, YO, SSK, K3

K2 rows

Bind off

BLOCKING

I used the wet blocking method and attached the buttons after it was blocked.

Buttons are attached on the right side of their work per photo, taking care to match their spacing up to your buttonhole locations. You can decide which side to attach the buttons to. I’ve included photos of both sides to help you decide.DSCN1016.JPG

scarfDSCN0986

Posted in Healthy Living, Low Carb, Main Dish, Paleo, pizza, Primal, Real Food

Zucchini Pizza

Azucchini

What to do with all those zucchini? That is the question. Every. Single. Summer. I always promise myself to plant only one, singular, solitary zucchini plant. Somehow I now have three. Plus one ‘summer squash’ plant, which let’s be honest, is really just a yellow zucchini. So long story short, I have at least 10 lbs of zucchini/summer squash and for some reason I have a hard time tossing it. This is where my 15 (or more) paleo cookbooks come in handy and I began scouring them for ideas. Zucchini Pizza was the best. I of course modified it to what I had in my kitchen and what I felt like putting in it. Yes, I’m going to post an annoying list of ingredients that I used, otherwise known as a recipe, and you will have to use your own expertise, tastes and culinary skills to mold it into your own. They turned out delicious and I highly recommend them as a way to use up the endless supply of zucchini you undoubtedly have growing in abundance in your garden.

Zucchini Pizza

* 2 Medium (9 inches or so) Zucchini

Cut in half long wise and cut out seedy section

* 1 lb Italian pork sausage

* 10 pieces salami

*10 pieces pepperoni –

Cook the pork until done, chop the salami and pepperoni and stir in with pork sausage

*add one small can sliced, black olives to meat mixture

Pizza sauce– buy premade OR…

* 1 cup of diced onion in olive oil until translucent (5-7 min)

Saute for 5-6 minutes

*Add garlic to taste and chopped parsley (about 1/3 cup)  and cook a couple of minutes more

*Add a can of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes  14 oz size

*Small can tomato paste (or drain the diced tomatoes and skip the paste)

*Tsp or so each of basil, oregano  and pinches of rosemary & thyme

*1/2 cup red wine

Cook, gently bubbling, for about 30 minutes

Mix the meat mixture with some of the sauce (you will have some sauce left over, freeze it for later) and spoon into the zucchini. I topped mine with fake cheddar cheese (Daiya brand) and my husbands with a bit of Parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until it all looks bubbly and the zucchini is soft.

Feel free to wing it on the sauce if you have a family recipe or want to use a jar of spaghetti sauce. Recipes are not fixed and the more you experiment, the better you’ll get. Be free and joyful in your cooking 🙂

Enjoy!

p.s. Tomorrow I’m making zucchini muffins or bread. I’ll post that too.