She is also the founder of Love Mae, which is one of my all time favourite brands that I came across as a new mum myself. As some of you may have seen on my Instagram, I adore their bio-degradable, non-toxic, plastic free, bamboo dinnerware which we use daily for my daughter. I didn't know that their range is actually a lot more broad, including; lunch boxes, stickers, wall decals and kid's room decorations.
I wanted to know more about this ambitious Mumprenuer in Byron Bay, and I want you to know more about her as well!
WELCOME Peta!!!!! SO happy to have you!
A lot of people might not know that you used to be a photographer and a chef before starting Love Mae in 2008. What did you learn most about yourself when you were in these professions?
I learned early on that you can do anything if someone gives you the chance…. and that I work well under pressure. The pressure makes me tap into this "can do" space in my brain and all the noise of failure and insecurity disappears. At that point I can just do what needs to be done. It’s such an empowering feeling, and these days I feel like I can tap into that space whenever I like. My brain is wired to achieve.... some days that is good…. and others it is just purely annoying! he he
What's your house like in Byron Bay? Is it as perfect and whimsical as your designs?
Actually I think I’m a little in between styles at the moment. We moved from our renovated hinterland cottage about three years ago and headed back to the beach… worst house, best location kinda situation. I live about 15 minutes north of Byron in an old holiday house, that is small and desperately in need of a makeover. I’m not too precious though and I can easily wait while we work on the plans. Meanwhile, we can hear the waves and we’ve made it comfortable with relaxed furniture and landscaped the backyard. We spend our time on our large back deck where there is a huge table for hanging out with friends, as well as a lounge area for lazing…. although being winter we spend more time around the fire pit than anywhere else.
My favourite restaurant in Byron is Folk. What's yours?
Oh I love Folk, I could live there… quite literally. It’s hard to talk favourites… do you mind if I give you my Top 5? For lunch, they would be 100 Mile Table (The Best!), The Farm, Luscious, Barrio and the pop up Japanese that you’ll find in a caravan Tuesday to Friday out the front of the surf shop. We are spoiled for choice and that is not even taking into account the cafes and restaurants in the town centre of Byron.
Why did you choose bamboo for the dinnerware range?
We originally used to make our dinnerware in melamine. It took a lot of time to allow myself to free the guilt from producing something so disastrous for the planet and it’s oceans. That stuff will never break down, and I still cringe a little that we did it. When I went looking for an alternative, bamboo was the one that stood out for us because it ticked all the right boxes. What a brilliant thing that these sets will not cause the troubles that melamine and other products do.
What's the very first thing you do every morning?
Meditate…. it’s the only way my brain won’t self destruct. ;-)
Childbirth: Traumatic, transformative or ___________?
Interesting… slightly questionable that it needs to be like that (he he)…. but in the end, amazing! Nothing beats that moment of the last push and the sound of your baby realising they are filling their lungs with air.
My favourite time of day is….
This is hard, I love so many parts of the day. At a push my favourite part is my swim in the ocean. I swim almost every day of the year… including winter. Nothing beats the rush in winter and in summer it’s just pure weightless bliss.
The best thing about being a small business owner…..
Giving a shit about everything… employees, customers, products… even the layout and look of the studio. It feels so good to care and to ride the ups and downs of your own decisions. It’s not like I ever feel in control, but if I lean enough in a certain direction it steers the ship and that feels great.
The worst thing about being a small business owner….
I find hiring and firing very painful. I get so nervous interviewing and need help throughout the whole process. I’m a bit awkward at the best of times and in that situation I’m a mess. As for firing…. no words needed! No one enjoys that process and I’m lucky it's so rare I don’t usually have to worry about it.
How do you practice self care?
Every morning I rise before anyone in my house and sit still for 15 - 20 minutes (meditate), then exercise and finish off with a swim. I’ve only just gotten back to the exercise bit, and I’ve sworn to my body to never give it up…. even when I get back to fitting into my clothes!
Recently I fell off the wagon and it wasn’t pretty. I now find the strength to get up every morning and show the body and mind complete respect.
What’s the best book you have have ever read?
Again I’m sorry…. it’s too much pressure for something I have such passion for… I LOVE reading! Here’s my Top 5.
Aztec, by Gary Jennings (History is so disturbing and intense and this is not for the feint hearted!)
Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter (my kind of bible)
The Signature of all Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Mallawindy, by Joy Dettman
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.
I know that as soon as I press send I’ll think of another 5 books I wish I had of put here. I love books so much.
In your opinion, what determines success?
Perseverance and endurance. You need to wholeheartedly want to complete things no matter the odds. Admittedly, sometimes the stars need to align and I have all sorts of personal theories on that. The important things it to know how to get things done and keep at it no matter how rough the road may seem.
Your work culture at Love Mae is “Family First,” which I love. Over the last ten years, has it been difficult to put your family first juggling life, work and two daughters?
In all honesty, it is easy to create that ethos for everyone that works here, but for me it’s the hardest thing ever. The assembly performance coincides with deadlines for the new range, or the NY trade show falls on my husband's birthday, my girls are sick when I’ve got meetings that took months to get… the list goes on, but I just take each day as it comes. I hope that my girls have memories of my being there for them despite the fact that sometimes I cannot.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to our readers who are new to the War On Waste
This shit needs to be taken seriously….. start making changes! There is so much more we could be doing. And why isn’t unnecessary packaging controlled? Imagine how many plastic containers are being opened right now, whether it be toys or fruit and veg, that are immediately put in the landfill bin. It's insane!
As a mum to two girls, what are your aspirations for them as young women?
I’m not sure this is my biggest aspiration, but it’s a theme in our house at the moment.
We are working on taking responsibility for our own reactions as no-one can make you feel anything unless you give them permission. Sometimes a tilt of the head, a smile on your face and a feeling of curiosity can get you through the most hurtful situations. When people hurt others, it’s because they are hurting. We can help make them feel better if we just know how to forgive and not take things personally. Concentrate on the good of a person and hopefully they will give you that same grace when you are having a bad day. Anything can be turned into a positive if we just leave our defensive responses aside.
What exciting things can we anticipate for Love Mae in 2018/19?
All going well, new products! You’ve no idea how much I wish I could tell you more…. but I’m seriously very excited about the processes we are going through at the moment to make this happen.
Chey Birch is making waves in the natural beauty community.
Her journey began in 2000 when she started mixing essential oils and botanical extracts in a small bowl with a black chicken painted on it. Black Chicken was hence created, and with it, a philosophy that really stands out. They don't make skincare with the intent to make people look, smell or feel good. Their skincare line is actually created to nurture the whole person and make a difference on a physical, mental and emotional level.
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Black Chicken. It holds a special place in my heart because it was my first deliberately handpicked non-toxic beauty item that started my family's transition to low-tox living. So, it goes without saying, that I'm also a huge fan of Chey.
Tell us, what was it like studying aromatherapy?
Life changing! I studied it as a hobby and when I learnt of the therapeutic properties of the oils I was hooked. I started making blends to every ailment I could think of! I remember sitting in class one day and the teacher said that Myrrh essential oil can eat puss!! Gross I know but also fascinating in healing wounds!
Who was your biggest supporter of Black Chicken in the early days?
It was actually a store in Jersey in the Chanel Islands in UK! Random I know but the owner of the store Emma absolutely loved everything I created and she sold so much it really helped me get started even before I was well known in Australia.
When did you make the transition to living a low-tox life and what was the catalyst for you to make the change?
It was around 2000. I’d been suffering with irritated skin and sinus problems for years and nothing I tried was helping. I went to see a naturopath and she suggested I take a look at all the toxins I might be unknowingly consuming. I began by looking at my soaps, cleansers, and scrubs. After a whole lot of research I was shocked to find that the ingredients in these household products were synthetic and borderline toxic. I had been covering myself top to toe with these chemicals every day, so of course my body had been trying to tell me something.
What is your most favourite Black Chicken product and why?
It’s a very tough question for me, but I’d probably have to say Cleanse My Face – it’s an oil cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin’s natural oils, it calms and balances your sebum production. Oil dissolves oil! Plus it smells amazing and after a hard day, massaging this into your face is just heaven!
What Black Chicken product was the most challenging to bring to fruition?
Both Axilla Deodorant Pastes took a lot of testing. It took a whole year of research and trialing different recipes before I came to the formula we have today. Then Barrier Booster was a whole other challenge. To create something without bicarb, that can be used on sensitive skin but still works just as well was no easy task.
Your Axilla deodorant paste has made waves in the holistic health community. Why did you choose a paste?
When I created Axilla it was perfect as a paste so I didn’t want to add anything to it to make it a roll on or a stick especially any chemicals so I left it as the most effective I could!
I’m currently working on a stick formula, but I certainly won’t be adding any nasty chemicals - all our products will always be 100% natural!
Essential oils are...
powerful remedial extracts from mother nature!
What's the very first thing you do in the morning and very last thing you do every night?
Haha good question – first thing I do is tongue clean with our copper tongue cleaner and oil pull with our oral swishing oil. The last thing I do is have a cup of sleepy time tea and a sniff of our Slumber nasalette!
Living in Sydney is wonderful because….
I love swimming and the ocean! I swim 1km every day and also paddle board on Sydney Harbour, so there really isn’t any other place like it for me. I have 2 Burmese cats who paddle board with me too sometimes! I know... crazy cat lady!!
One piece of advice for….
Our pregnant readers: There are a lot of fear around the use of essential oils in pregnancy however many can be so beneficial. All of our products are completely safe to use during pregnancy – all quantities of essential oils are way below required amounts deemed safe to use whilst pregnant. If in doubt ask the provider of your products about their essential oil dilutions and if in doubt avoid using them for the first trimester.
Our postnatal readers: Products rich in remedial oils are great to help relieve the skin caused by having a baby. The skin stretches and can also dry out especially as you aren’t the centre of your world any more. OurBalm of Ages is one product that is a multi purpose product. Use it on the baby for rashes and use it on your belly for stretch marks!
And the men and women still using “regular deodorant” : Aluminium is a common active ingredient in many antiperspirants, as it essentially plugs the sweat gland to minimise perspiration. Once in the body aluminium mimics the effects of oestrogen; a hormone that has been found in high concentrations in many breast cancers. Its not worth the risk.
Last month I received a sweet Facebook message from a follower that told me Bea Johnson was coming to Australia. I thought, "Oh yay!" Who is Bea Johnson...
Google Search... bam! Oh... neat, she is all about the War on Waste. She had started a Zero Waste movement that was growing fast. That's cool. I'm trying to learn more about that at the moment. I just so happened to get an email from my local Source Bulk Foods in Bulimba the following day announcing the early bird ticket sales. The event happened to be in Sydney at the Concourse in Chatswood. Hey I'm moving there, I think. It was going to a 2hr seminar, $15 and a 30 minute drive from our new home. I was keen as mustard.
* (I didn't know it when I booked, but The Source Bulk Foods gave everyone a reusable bag as well as a $20 voucher to use at their shop....so impressed).
I knew I would have only lived in Sydney for a few days by the time the event rolled around, so I booked immediately, hoping to go and make some friends, network and learn a bit.
Paul Medeiros the co-founder and owner of The Source Bulk Foods opened up the conversation before handing over the mic to Bea.
Let me be completely candid.
First thing that stuck out to me about her was how she looked.
I caught myself being superficial as I was looking at her thinking; great bod, fab outfit, nice hair ... she looks completely normal. Her clothes in particular stood out right away. "This woman is killing it. Her book has been published in 25 languages. Cha-ching! I bet that outfit cost a mint, she looks fabulous and professional," I thought.
Not long into her powerpoint Bea pointed out that she only shops second hand. Um, what? She added that her chambray top and crisp white skirt were both second hand and her designer (looking) black boots were a whopping $5. Gobsmacked.
Bea and her family moved into an apartment in California and needed to place about 80% of their belongings into storage. After the one year was up on their apartment, they visited their storage unit and quickly realized they had not missed much of anything stored there. They ended up selling most of their possessions and donated the rest. Her family of four (plus one adorable chihuahua), found that they were clutter free, a lot happier and more active. Something had switched, and Bea wanted more.
From there they started to be more aware of their water consumption, and then she proceeded to eliminate harmful toxins in their house, such as cleaning products and plastics. One thing Bea said which really stuck out in my mind was about household cleaning products. She said that these companies have tricked us all into believing that we need different cleaning products for different parts of the house. For example: a certain product to clean glass, another for grout, yet another for mould, another for the showers, bench tops etc. Bea simply uses vinegar and castle soap for all her home cleaning, and her space is spotless!
"Zero Waste helps me to invest in voluntary simplicity, so that my family can have a life based on experiences instead of things. A life based on being instead of having."
But, back to her story! Bea and her family moved again, but this time it was to a place that was more conducive to walking and riding their bikes around. Once again Bea felt inspired to live with even less.
She focused specifically on her family’s waste and here are her 5 R’s:
So to keep it simple, Bea and her family only put into the recycling bin what they cannot refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle or rot. Since plastic can't be reused more than once, (example plastic bottles converted into a park bench), Bea switched to items such as glass, metal, cardboard and wood. Her family of 4 fills ONE glass jar of trash a YEAR. Yes, you read that correctly, a year (see photo at the bottom of this article).
Bea became vigilant when it came to detail. A few things that stand out in my mind are:
All I could think of was:
How satisfying it must be to lead such a rewarding, low-tox, waste free life.
How I personally would find it hard not to buy brand new materialistic temptations.
How liberating it would be to live in a home without papers, clutter and unnecessary items.
And she must have known that most of us were thinking somewhat along these lines because she clued with this:
"Zero Waste helps me to invest in voluntary simplicity, so that my family can have a life based on experiences instead of things. A life based on being instead of having."
Cheers to that Bea!
Meet Keira Rumble.
Self confessed foodie.
I first "met" Keira in a private Facebook book about natural living and lifestyle that we are both members of. I subsequently found her on Instagram and was intrigued by her story.
You see, Keira wasn't always a health ambassador. During her Uni days Keira struggled with her weight and was feeling defeated because she felt continually unwell, unable to get answers from conventional medicine.
Keira took matters into her own hands, and sought other avenues to heal from within. This included an aggressive approach to getting the answers she needed, and a diagnosis FINALLY came after seeking dozens of medical opinions. Keira sprung into action eliminating all the junk food from her life. She became more active, picked up yoga, and also learned how to properly read the labels on the food she was eating.
Keira wanted to create healthy snacks that were actually healthy and didn't have hidden, unnecessary sugars lurking beneath the surface. She decided to make some from scratch for an upcoming event, and Krumballs was born! These snacks are high protein, low sugar, and low carb- the trifecta really!
Keira now owns her own food manufacturing business in Australia and is sharing her campaign with us all that #healthyishappy.
As I read more, I also learned that Keira was a fan of low tox living. This struck a chord with me because our little family has embarked on a low-tox living transition since our daughter was born. I'm also eager to learn more about ways I can lower my chemical exposure, and it's exciting when you find like-minded women out there who just get it!
As if that wasn't enough.... Keira is also a travel writer, sharing her inspiring content and stunning photography on her blog. But, be warned- her posts will be sure to ignite a serious case of wanderlust!
It makes you wonder, can you really have it all?
Well, for Keira, it seems you can! Let's dive in:
Welcome Keira, and thanks so much for being apart of this new series!
You went to a Chinese doctor when you were searching for a proper diagnosis. What can you tell us about this experience, and would you recommend chinese medicine and functional medicine as an alternative to mainstream doctors?
So, while I completely feel that mainstream doctors serve their purpose and save lives on a daily basis.... for me it wasn’t as black and white. My tests came back as normal for years (I am talking over 10 years) but I still had this issue lurking in my gut saying, you are not well. You need to find out what is wrong.
And so, my journey into healing myself began. Seeing my Chinese doctor catapulted me to understand that it isn’t a 1 size fits all approach to your health. I have turned to many different kind of doctors to help me with different aspects of my life.
Describe your personalty in three words.
Quirky, stubborn and driven!
What is your favorite culinary guilty pleasure?
Ooooo – I used to be such a sweets person! But I am obsessing over savoury at the moment! Can’t go past some cheese (goats cheese for me as cows milk doesn’t agree with me), tomato, hummus and veggie sticks!
What do you have to buy every time you go to the supermarket / farmer's market?
Tomatoes – I am obsessed.
Where do you seek inspiration and who inspires you?
I try and pull inspiration from all around the world, whether it is recipes, mantras, quotes or just a way of living. Right now I am obsessing over Lee From America – she is an absolute power house woman!!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Everything happens for a reason – trust the process
My favourite thing about yoga is….
Finding your inner balance and stillness while having a beautiful flow of movements
My favorite time of day is….
Morning! Before anyone else is awake!
My sleepless nights are spent thinking about…
Food, recipes, my dreams (while not dreaming!)
Social media, friend or foe?
Friend!! However, social media can be extremely toxic, and if I find myself being consumed by too many things or comparing myself to others, I put my phone down, walk outside and look up at the clouds. There is so much more to life than feeling bad about yourself when scrolling on your phone. I use it as a tool of inspiration now and to communicate with those that love my journey.
I firmly believe that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. Why is traveling so important to you and how have you been able to marry your passion for travel into a job?
For me, travel is such a huge part of who I am. I was quite nomadic growing up. We moved and travelled quite a bit. Which was good and bad (bad being that I never felt like I had a true home). I love discovering new cultures, new food, new amazing landscapes!
You recently traveled through Germany in the springtime! Do you prefer the European lifestyle or the “Aussie” lifestyle?
Aussie 100% - there is something so blissful about just being able to hear kookaburras and for me to live by the beach and the bush.
What does 2019 hold for Ms. Keira Rumble?
2019 is going to be insane! We are launching more flavours of my food products, launching a new range of food + I have created a bit of a clearer vision for my Krumbled side of things – so it's currently looking like 2019 is going to be HUGE!!
If you're looking for an eco friendly way to feed your children that's non-toxic and environmentally friendly, then look no further than Byron Bay based company, Love Mae.
These guys make the cutest baby food trays that are non-toxic, plastic free and biodegradable. They have numerous patterns and styles that are all to die for. My daughter has the 5 piece Flower Garden set pictured here. It comes with a cup, bowl, tray, fork and spoon. We are essentially set for her first two years of life!
If trays aren't your thing; they also have tumbler cups, cutlery and plates for older kids. Need a lunchbox? They have those too, and uber cute cases to carry them in as well. They are also dishwasher safe, BPA free, PVC / phthalate / lead free and 100% recyclable.
As a new mom that's continually looking to make low-tox, eco-friendly transitions in our household, these Love Mae products ticked all the boxes.
The designs are so precious that even I want a set of my own!
As a matter of fact, you can win a five piece set because I've teamed up with Love Mae to do a giveaway celebrating their 9th birthday! I'm giving away this adorable 5 piece Safari set (see below) on my instagram account. Click here to enter!
What are your favorite ways to make food fun for kids?
Tell me in the comments below.
I've hated my hair for years. That's not an over-exaggeration if you're wondering. I mean I've literally hated my hair for over two decades.
It's been a source of contention for me for as long as I can remember. It's fine, stringy and has zero volume. It's always been that way. I was mildly anxious after having my daughter because all the moms I knew said you lose hair by the fist full after having a baby. Thankfully that hasn't happen....... yet.
When I was a young girl, I used to obsessively brush and pull it back into such a tight ponytail that it practically gave me a brow lift. If there were any bumps or parts that weren't completely smooth, I'd have to start all over until it was perfect. This was such a mundane waste of my time as I have a pretty wacky cowlick. Makes me shake my head to think about all those insecure teenage years worrying about my hair. I wish I knew then what I know now.
In the middle of 2017, our family transitioned to chemical free body care, which included body wash, skin and hair care. I wanted to eliminate as many unnecessary chemicals as possible, so shampoo was the first in the trash bin because they can harbor some pretty nasty chemicals like SLS, SLES and parabens.
I personally found the switch to natural shampoo incredibly difficult. I almost gave up on a number of occasions and wore hats off and on for an entire month. I did homemade apple cider vinegar rinses and tried, in desperation, to be patient as all the GUNK and processed chemicals exited my scalp and hair. A lot of people go through the same process when switching to a natural deodorant... these things take time. After all, we have been bathing ourselves in these chemicals since, well, the time we were bathed by our parents as babies.
I found a shampoo bar from Beauty and Bee's, a company based in Tasmania that's fantastic. I have dark hair, so I use the rosemary and mint bar which costs about $14 and lasts ages. Once I had finally "reset" my hair, I was surprised to find that it was thicker and fuller than I'd ever imagined. Living in Brisbane, I never brow it dry, and my hair now air dries and falls naturally into beachy waves. I'd finally hit the jackpot.
_ So what's next you ask? _
Washing your hair daily strips the hair of its natural oils (and also wastes a lot of water). Even though I loved my new do, it was time to stretch out the hair with less "poo." I would wash my hair every second or third day to let it accumulate healthy, natural oils. Sometimes this made me look like a grease ball, and obviously that isn't a look I wanted to attempt to rock. So what's a girl to do if she doesn't want to wash her hair frequently and also wants to be eco-conscious?
Thankfully, Black Chicken Remedies just released their own brand new product of dry shampoo, and it's out of this world good. Per Black Chicken style, it's all natural and toxin free, helping my family to continue our low-tox lifestyle. The rosemary and clary sage essential oils make the powder smell delicious and also help to stimulate hair growth (yes please)! The bamboo powder adds volume and texture while the diatomaceous earth helps to nourish your hair and scalp.
For those of you who are wondering, what about me, I'm a brunette. No dramas love. I'm a brunette too, and the powder absorbs well, leaving no trace of white residue.
If you too are looking for something to implement into your daily routine, give this a whirl. It's fantastic for the busy mama, the person running late to work, or if you're headed out and about after a quick gym sesh. It's versatile, clean, and will make you feel good.... and I think you'll love it.
To read more or purchase, click here.
I'm seriously obsessed with Dr Bronner's since discovering them about six months ago. It's all we use in our house now! Our family even travels with it when we are headed out of town or going overseas. We use the organic sugar soap as our body wash and we use the pure-castile bar soap in our bathroom to wash our hands. To date, my favourite scents are the lavender and peppermint. (All Peppermint products are 15% off the entire month of February if you use the code PEPPERMINT before Feb 28th!)
My daughter and I also use their nourishing unscented balm to help combat dry skin, and their toothpaste is the BOMB. I've used the peppermint toothpaste and I have a tube of cinnamon to try next! I like to alternate daily between Dr Bronners toothpaste and My Magic Mud activated charcoal toothpaste.
As some readers already know, our family decided to transition to a chemical free household once our daughter joined our family. We started by eliminating harmful products that came into contact with our skin; such as soaps, shampoos, moisturizers and make up. With time we expanded that knowledge to household cleaners, choosing natural products with vinegar, essential oils, and no nasties.
I wanted to take things to the next level and try my hand at making some laundry detergent since I still wasn't 100% satisfied with the "eco friendly" one we were using. I knew Castile soap seemed to be a staple for environmentally conscious households like ours, and decided to pick some up. Two places to buy and pick up Dr Bronner's in Brisbane are Biome and Vive Health, but Dr B also has a fantastic website if you prefer online shopping.
First things first, I decided to clean my washing machine with a recipe I got from Jazze of The Calm Compound. It called for baking soda, vinegar and a few drops of lemon essential oils- super easy! Once the cycle finished, I got down to business making my homemade laundry detergent.
Use 1/4 cup per load of washing. This amount should do 48 loads of laundry!
It doesn't look fancy, like, at all . . . but smells so damn good and works wonders. We have no surfactants, fragrance, preservatives or sulfates! Pretty chuffed with my first ever batch. I wasn't trying to save money, but it's also SUPER cheap to make which is an added bonus if you're looking to tighten up on the household spending.
Have you ever made your own? What was your experience like?
Tell me in the comments below, or share another recipe of you have one!
DIY Coconut Coffee Body Scrub
(makes 3- 4 full body scrubs)
1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
1 Tbsp of coconut flesh
1 Tbsp of organic coffee grounds
3 Tbsp of organic coconut oil, liquid or room temp
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
Carefully add the wet ingredients, and then stir slowly.
Store in an airtight glass jar and keep in the shower or in your bathroom. If you saw my insta story, it also makes a great hand scrub too, so you can keep it next to your sink if you suffer from dry hands that need some extra nourishment.
Keep it out of the sun and try to use it within three months. I do a deep exfoliation every Sunday as part of my self care routine, but even twice a week would be fine!
TIP: This also makes a super cute gift! Just add a tag and some ribbon and you're all set with a super sweet, non-toxic present for a friend or loved one.
I love this scrub so much! It was inspired by a recipe that I found in the DIY beauty bar book at Biome. The coconut oil and olive oil leave your skin feeling super smooth after sloughing off all that dead skin.
I would not recommend using it on your face as it's quite course and abrasive. I intended it to be a body scrub only. If you're looking for a face polish, look no further than Black Chicken's face polish. It's much smoother and more appropriate for the delicate skin on our face.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Olay hit the nail on the head with their tag line, "Love the skin you're in." Isn't that something we all want, to not only feel good in our skin but to love it as well?
Gosh, that would be such a nice place to be. I have to admit, it's been somewhat of a struggle for me lately. I've entered my early thirties, and call me insecure, but I've become much more aware of my skin and what it's trying to tell me. I know I need to allow myself some grace, but my body has been though a lot the last few years. I was on a plethora of drugs to help maintain my pregnancy, then add that to the natural occurring hormones of growing a human, AND THEN multiply that by postpartum fluctuations of prolactin and oxytocin .... and shucks, my body AND my skin are feeling pretty schizophrenic of late.
Like a lot of mums out there, having our daughter made me reevaluate what products we were putting on her skin during the day and at bath time. I became obsessed with reading labels, doing research and trying to find the most natural, non-toxic products out there.
Then it hit me.
Shouldn't I be taking the same precautions for myself?
Shouldn't I make myself a priority as well?
But isn't that often the way of it? Women eat the best they've ever eaten when pregnant and use the best of the best for their bubs, even if that means they have to go without.
I not only needed to take more initiative in my own non-toxic skin care routine, but I also needed to carve out more time for myself.
After all, you can't pour from an empty cup.
Non-toxic skin TLC + me time = Cue Kindred Toxin Free Facials. I'd heard of Natalie (owner of Kindred), before I met her while teaching yoga at Inna Bliss in Bulima. People were always singing her praises in the waiting room or while leaving her appointments as I was puttering around cleaning up after my classes. I also knew she was voted best facial in Brisbane and that I should book in for a healthy dose of "treatyoself."
There are a lot of spas and facialists in Brisbane, but how many can promise you a luxurious experience where all the products used are organic, eco-friendly, toxin-free, and kind to animals? Not many.
Yesterday I had the Glow Ritual facial with Lily of Kindred and it was, hands down, the best facial I've ever had. I've had a fair few in my day, but they were usually Endota-esk and a more mainstream spa, cookie cutter experience. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed those facials, but they pail in comparison. I had no idea what else was out there and how comprehensive a facial could be in terms of nurturing the mind, body and spirit.
We opened the facial with a Audra James sleep grounding blend and three deeps breaths. Lily placed one hand on my heart and gave me some direction to focus my breathing and my thoughts. We had a brief chat about my skin and then prepared my skin for diamond-head microdermabrasion, a personal favourite of mine. Each step of the treatment seemed to build to something even more wonderful, and as the serene music played, I let my mind drift off into a deep state of relaxation.
Highlights of my Glow Ritual treatment
The pressure of the cool rose quartz on my face was so soothing and felt outstanding. I had to ask what was being used because it felt so foreign and (surprising) physically stimulating. Later in the treatment she also used a rose quart roller which felt divine. I guess if you're like me and only your own hands as tool when treating your face, it makes for an incredibly unique experience.
► Burning Palo Santo Wood.
After the mask was applied and the eye pillow secured over, Lily burned some Palo Santo. Palo Santo is harvested a few places in the world; Mexico, Central and South America. Palo Santo actually translates to "holy wood," and it derives from the same family as Frankincense and Myrrh. It's been used for centuries for spiritual, religious, and medicinal purposes. Lily burned the wood while walking around the room, and she gave me some breathing cues and an uplifting affirmation before leaving the room. I had the space to myself for a few minutes and I didn't even move. It was as if I were in the ultimate savasana, but on a plush bed instead of a wooden studio floor.
I'm so glad that I finally got to experience Kindred and understand, first hand, how exceptional their services are. What made my time even more special was that all of Kindred's products aligned with my own values.
I practiced a bit of self care, and didn't feel selfish... quite the contrary. I returned home to my family a better version of myself, more whole, more rested and with a healthy, radiant glow.
I am loving the skin I'm in.
Click here to book your next treatment.
Christmas has gotten out of control if you ask me.
I'm a firm believer in not spoiling kids. My 10 month old doesn't need lavish gifts she can't even open, couture clothing or designer shoes under the Christmas tree. I also don't like the notion of bribing kids to behave well when they should always behave well twelve months a year.
This is a guide that I like to follow for gift giving in our home for adults and children
"Something you want, something you need, something you love, something to read."
Just how I like it. It isn't over the top or pretentious.
I'm not sure what Riley wants, but I know of a few things she loves, needs and some great books for her ever growing collection. And since making the change to chemical free, I've become more aware of what toys she has and plays with as well. So below I'm sharing with you a few of her non toxic, plastic and chemical free presents, AS WELL AS alternative options for different price points.
Kangaroo Ornament from HomeGoods
It's our daughter's first Christmas, so how appropriate that we start her Christmas ornament collection! I would love to give her eighteen special ornaments on her 18th Christmas for her to have when she moves out. Secretly I'm hoping she lives with us until she is 35, but still.
Plastic free and sentimental, made of ceramic and the perfect heirloom.
* Alternative: You can also get a bargain with these super cute ceramic ornaments which are handmade in Brisbane. Plastic free and made with the intention of keeping in the family and out of landfills.
Beaver Puppet from Target
Set me back a whopping $10 and she lit up like a kid on Christmas (how appropriate) when she saw it. I'm going to clock hours of entrainment with this fuzzy little friend during story time.
* Alternative: Or you can try these adorable puppets from Biome in Brisbane. These puppets are made fairly in Nepal by ethical/sustainable businesses run by Nepalese women. Pretty neat and they will last a lot longer. The wombat puppet is a personal fav.
Headbands from Nordstrom
My daughter has been wearing headbands since she was 7 days old. She is used to wearing them thankfully, and I simply adore her in them. She doesn't have a lot of hair yet, and they make her look super girly which I love. These bows are well made, affordable and last for a long time.
* Alternative: Looking for an Aussie owned and Aussie made company? Check out Little Raya Sunshine. She hand makes gorgeous baby accessories in Melbourne, VIC.
Dr Bronner's Magic Balm
A great stocker stuffer for the little baby who has it all, but just needs a little extra moisture. I love this balm, we all use it in our house. I use it when she has cradle cap, or when she just needs a bit of hydration.
Let's Sign, Baby Board Book
BOOKS! I'm obsessed with children's books and I'm always giving them to other people's kids as presents. They are practical, great for learning and easily passed on to friends or donated when you're done with them.
I wanted to teach our daughter sign langue for a long time, and I finally got the perfect book. It covers the family members, eating, playing and the basic hand gestures alphabet as well.
Santa's Aussie Holiday by Maria Farrer and Anna Walker
Since it's our daughter's first Christmas, I want to start new family traditions for the three of us. One of which is reading a festive book in the lead up to Christmas as well as Christmas jammies. I haven't found any pj's yet, and I would love if you could comment below as to where I could hunt some down.
But back to the book! I have two favourite Australian illustrators, Rod Clement and Anna Walker. I've emailed with both of them and they are, no surprise, fantastic people. Anna is so talented across a variety of mediums. In my opinion, her best work can be seen in her new book, Florette.
You can find her on Instagram if you're a nerd like me and into following authors and illustrators on social media.
Wooden Story Blocks from HomeGoods
(not shown in photo)
Totally plastic free, so one tick in the non toxic column. There is just something about wooden toys that really romanticizes having a wee baby. These colorful blocks are made of wood from certified suppliers, treated with beeswax and botanical oils and packaged in a gorgeous eco friendly canvas bag. This 50 piece set is free from chemicals and handmade in the Beskidy Mountains of Poland. My husband and I lived in Poland for two years, so I think I'll like watching her play with these pieces of Poland and reflect back to a different time, before her, that now seems like a lifetime ago.
* Alternative: I also love the company Noc Noc Wooden Toys if you are looking to support Aussie made. They sell personalized toys (swoon), rattles, tethers, and blocks.
What are you looking forward to this Christmas? What are your go to places to shop for your loved ones?
This little corner of the internet is for non-yoga topics like motherhood, low-tox living and green beauty products I love.