October 27, 2014

September Petit Vour Beauty Box

The September Petit Vour beauty box was co-curated by Logical Harmony, who also did the July box. When I heard that they were collaborating again, I was hyped.

Based on some hints on Instagram, I had an inkling that there would be a Yarok product featured in the box. I was expecting that to be my favorite, but I got a big surprise when I opened the box.

My favorite by far was the Ellovi tinted lip butter. I'm a girl who loves her lip products (as you may have noticed from my review of the Mi-Me lip butter). I was running out the door when my package arrived. Usually I like to open things when I have time, but I was too excited that day. I opened the box, and in no time at all, I was walking back out the door with a beautiful tint to my lips. Since then, it's always been in my pocket or purse.

Yarok is a brand I'm familiar with. I use their Feed Your Do styling whip on a fairly regular basis. Feed Your Ends is their leave-in conditioner. This came at such a great time because I've been dealing with some really dry ends. I've never had dry hair, so I have no idea what is causing it. I haven't even used conditioner in ages because I never needed to. Even though I've recently purchased conditioner, I was happy to try this product, too. I've used it a couple times and think it's great. I especially love that I'm getting some added protection while I'm blow-drying my hair. Now that it's getting colder and I'll be needing to blow dry more regularly, I'm glad I have this product. In addition, it works great as a detangler. My hair can get crazy tangled, so I've been using it for that as well. Lastly, just like the Feed Your Do, the blend of essential oils smell really good. It's an herbal citrus scent. I really like it.

The Lily Lolo mineral eye shadow I got was Sidewalk, a matte gray. I've used it a few times, and really liked using a small amount blended in to my eyeliner to create a smokey eye look. Not all of their products are vegan, so if you're interested in buying something, make sure you check it first.

The last item in this box was the Root Science face scrub. All you have to do is sprinkle some in the palm of your hand, add a few drops of water, and mix to form a paste before applying. It smelled really minty and felt really tingly. It was really refreshing and left my skin glowing, but an hour or so after using it, I noticed an uncharacteristic sheen on my face. It wasn't the biggest deal, but it did leave my skin somewhat oily after subsequent uses as well. On the website, they say it is for all skin types, so it's possible my skin is reacting to one of the ingredients or it's just not the perfect match for my skin. Despite that, I think this company is worth checking out. I'm interested in trying out their Youth Serum which was included in some of the other boxes.

Again, I have nothing but good things to say about the Petit Vour beauty box, and I definitely think that they should make this collaboration with Logical Harmony a regular thing. I know, I know. Broken record. But, what can I say? I really love this box.

October 24, 2014

I Like Toast by Stephanie Strowbridge

One day, I was browsing Instagram, and I came across the cover image of a new cookbook. I Like Toast, it read across the front. The cartoon image of toast with a heart cut out in the center was so cute and lively. I was really interested in this book. But what really drew me in was not the cute illustration, nor was it the title (though who doesn't like toast?!). The subheading of I Like Toast reads "Every morning is a GOOD morning!" That is what initially drew me in to this awesome cookbook by Stephanie Strowbridge.

Image courtesy of the author

I love that this book emphasizes the importance of morning routine in combination with a nutritious breakfast. I've found that there are a lot of things that can help deal with chronic illness, especially when beginning on the path to wellness or when reaching one of those frustrating healing plateaus. Creating a morning routine, having some structure to ease myself into a happy, productive day (whatever that means for each day is different), that's one of the biggest keys to not losing myself to the depressing things in this life.

A few really great points in the book:

  • Take care of yourself. Self-care is a practice. So keep practicing!
  • Honor your body. Acknowledge that what it needs will change through time. Be in tune with these shifts to best nourish yourself.
  • Get your kids involved. Learn and grow together in a fun way.

The book is filled with the most adorable illustrations as well as pictures of toast and toppings that will make your mouth water. Aside from the eye candy, I love that at the bottom of some of the recipes, there's a tiny blurb explaining why it is so nutritious. That gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about what they're eating and why.

The first part of the book outlines some ways to create a supportive morning routine as well as some ways that we may be sabotaging our day with unsupportive morning routines. Strowbridge gives a good deal of examples, so you can pick and choose what may work for you.

The recipe section is divided into 3 parts: Toast Creations, Jams and Conserves, and Breakfast Sandwiches. I like the variety of the recipes in this book; there's literally something for everyone. Plus, the toast recipes aren't only for breakfast. They can be eaten at any time. Using toast as a vehicle for nutritious foods is a great way to begin to healthify one's diet.

You can put pretty much anything on toast and it tastes amazing. It's no wonder that toast was the chosen focal point for this cookbook. I tried a lot of scrumptious recipes from the book including:


Cocoa Nut

Banana Nut Bread

Toast with Orange, Apricot, Banana Jam (my personal favorite)

Toast with Carrot Cake Jam

What is really great about this cookbook is that it's very relatable and most of the ingredients are easily accessible. Strowbridge's tone is very down-to-earth, and she comes across as very in touch with the realities of having a busy life.

image courtesy of the author

In addition to authoring this cool cookbook, she is also a hair and makeup artist. (I'm hooked on the retro chic pictures she posts on Instagram!) If you're interested in learning more about the author, I really enjoyed this interview with her on Chic Vegan. And definitely check out this book. It's one that you'll keep coming back to!

I received this cookbook in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.