I recently picked up painting and wanted to share a few tips for getting started. I've always been artistic (mainly into drawing), but had let the hobby dwindle in recent years. After picking it back up again, not only does my house look more fabulous, but I feel more creatively fulfilled and excited to pursue new things. I'm looking at the world through a "could I paint that?" lens. Here are my tips for getting started.
Being an environmental scientist, I've spent years of my life living out of a tent in the field, and through extensive trial and error now have a pretty solid and stable repertoire in my pack. If you're new to backpacking and are planning a trip, here are my recommendations for reliable but affordable gear (just the basics!). These have all been field-tested by the pros (i.e. me and my field assistants :) ).
Click through after the break for many more gear recs!
When I went vegan five years ago, there were very few animal friendly purse brands to choose from. Over the years, it has been amazing to see vegan accessories enter the mainstream fashion world! Still, when it comes to leather-free bags it seems that most brands are either very high-end and overly expensive, or very low-end, à la Forever 21. It took me years to find high-quality vegan bags that don’t break the bank, and I am incredibly excited to finally share my go-to vegan-friendly purses with you. I am frequently stopped on the street and asked about my bags and people are consistently shocked to hear that they aren’t real leather. I’m here to tell you that you most certainly do not need to sacrifice fashion to live cruelty-free! Read on to see six amazing bags that are animal-free, affordable, and chic.
What is Retinol?
Retinol is a vitamin A-derivative that is commonly used for its acne fighting and anti-aging properties. It is available in many forms, with stronger concentrations requiring a prescription. There is a good reason why retinol is touted as a miracle product for numerous skin ailments: it works. Retinol is widely regarded by dermatologists as the most effective tool for clearing pores, preventing acne and diminishing the signs of aging. Retinol works by boosting cellular turnover in the epidermis, effectively creating bright, smooth, and glowing skin.
Numerous harsh chemicals are lurking in the ingredients lists of the most popular nail polish brands. Not only are many of these ingredients potentially harmful to our health, they also cause brittle, dry nails that are highly prone to splitting and breaking. Additionally, common nail polishes are rarely cruelty-free. Popular brands are routinely tested on animals and animal-derived ingredients are frequently used to provide pigment and shine.
Unfortunately, many natural nail polishes are low quality, difficult to apply, and poorly pigmented. We tested over 20 non-toxic brands, and found 5 excellent polishes that are as beautiful and long lasting as their harsh chemical-laden counterparts. These polishes give gorgeous manicures with ease, while nurturing your nails back to their healthiest state.
A high-quality area rug is a great way to quickly and easily transform a room from cold and sterile to warm and homey. After all, a rug can really tie a room together, can it not?
There are plenty of cheap rugs available out there at places like Target, Amazon, and Home Depot, but most of these are made of synthetic fibers. These tend to wear out quickly and, to be honest, always look kind of cheap. I've put together a list of my favorite natural-fiber rugs that can warm up your living room, bedroom, or dining room. For great tips on how to place and size rugs in different rooms, see this link. And click through to after the break to check out my list of rugs!
I am 100% crazy when it comes to sun protection. I'm super pale skinned, and look back upon my childhood growing up in southern California with a mixture of fear and horror. I recall getting at least five horrible, peeling sunburns, and remember putting on sunscreen only rarely. And hats? No thanks!
That all changed when I turned about eighteen and went crazy with sun protection, wearing SPF 100 sunscreen every day. Of course, since then it's turned out that high SPF sunscreens aren't totally legitimate, and that many sunscreens could actually be doing more harm than good with carcinogenic ingredients. Plus, being someone with very sensitive, acne-prone skin, a lot of sunscreens out there make my skin oily at best, and a disaster zone of zits at worst. So many sunscreens give me pimples by the end of the day, and unfortunately many of the more natural, mineral-based options that I gravitate towards are the worst culprits. So while I'd use brands like Jason, Badger, Babyganics, and The Honest Co. on my body, I've found that I simply can't put them on my face. Over the years I've compiled a list of sunscreens that I like and that work well for my face...Here they are!
A few weeks ago I visited a friend in Pennsylvania and we had the opportunity to spend a few days hiking the Black Forest Trail. This beautiful trail in central PA is a 42 mile loop, but we decided to just do the top half of the trail - the "North loop" - an easy (just kidding!) 23 mile trek that we tackled in about 48 hours. This is one of the views that met us near the end of our journey: the most amazing cairns I've ever seen! I guess these huge structures are built by decades upon decades of backpackers coming through and carefully piling one rock on top of another. They looked like ancient structures, and at first we wondered if they might be natural. After looking back on this hike, I wanted to type up some of my favorite camping recommendations