Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Approach

For sometime I have been interested in a "greener" way of life and have been successful at effecting some change in my home.  I have either disposed of all plastic items or swapped out for a healthier option -- it seems that no matter how much I get rid of, I still have a need for some plastic but it is far less than I used to have.  I have experimented with making homemade laundry detergent which I still do and I prefer cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients rather than using processed foods.  My bread maker has had a good workout this past year although I have had to cut down on making bread because my diabetic husband can't seem to control himself and he over indulges.  However, because of the bread baking, I can't eat loaf bread anymore.  I just don't care for the taste.

So, in light of recent health issues I have turned my attention to personal care products.  I have done quite a bit of reading on the chemicals that go into what we put on our skin and since our skin is our largest organ, everything that goes on also goes in.  I learned in high school that I am allergic to formaldehyde so I can't use nail polishes that contain formaldehyde so, rather than use and pay for a product that doesn't work very well, I opt to not use it at all.  Once in a while I will go for a pedi but not often.  I have never dyed my hair because I have always been concerned about the health concerns involved so I started turning gray at 19 and never covered it up.  I am still ok with that.

So, that brings me to cosmetics and that is a whole new world of toxicity.  Now, I would love to just wash my face, moisturize and go but the reality is that I am a Baby Boomer and if I don't do a little something I run the risk of scaring small children while out and about.  However, I have pared down what I do.  I used to do a lot of exfoliation, cleansing, moisturizing, toning, and treating the wrinkles and fine lines which aren't so fine anymore.  However, after researching many of the drugstore brands I have pretty much banned all of them.  I have been using a lot of Origins products and I can't find much on cosmetic database sites about them so they probably won't be coming back into the house either.  So, I am using this:

 It is castile soap which has an oil base so I am not needing too much moisturizer and what I do use is Aveeno -- plain Aveeno without the soy.  It is working fine and I don't see any ill effects to my skin -- plus I feel squeaky clean.

So, that brings us to makeup.  I have a love/hate relationship with makeup at best.  I love it.  I love to look at it, buy it, organize it but I don't love to use it.  However, there is that thing about scaring children so I need to do something.  I have tried many of the natural/organic makeups and they are all lacking in some way -- mostly that they aren't as natural/organic/pure as they claim to be.  So, after doing some research on (cosmetic database) I chose to try Rejuva Minerals (  and sent off for some of their samples.  I received them yesterday, minus one of the items (I don't know why) and I tried them for the first time this morning.  They have a large selection of colors and I, surprisingly, hit on one that works well.  I ordered two different shades but feel that one will be way too light and I haven't tried it yet.  I ordered an eye shadow and a blush but the blush wasn't included and I have sent an email to their customer service.  I hope to hear from them today.  So far my impression is favorable.  The packaging is very pretty -- little cardboard containers with sifter lids.  The product went on well and I haven't itched or gotten red at all.  There doesn't seem to be any scent to it, or none that I have picked up on -- that means I don't smell like dirt.  I wish I could download a photo  because they are really adorable little boxes.  The samples are a bit pricey -- $10 but there is a lot of product in there and definitely worth it.   Since I don't wear makeup every day the sample will last me a while.  If I like the blush when I get it I am going to try the mascara and then will probably purge my entire stash and just switch over.  That approach fits my new "minimalist" mindset and I will be glad to have less to keep up with, especially if these new products fill the bill.

I have been following a blog -- - and it is very interesting and informative with lots of idea about how to simplify your life and declutter.  I have started paring down in many areas and will continue to do so as I like the peace and quiet of having what I need and nothing more.  But...that is another blog entry.

To South Carolina

I have been enjoying the novels of Dorothea Benton Frank since earlier in the year when I listened to "Pawley's Island" on audio book while commuting to my daughter's house daily.  Shopping my own bookshelves -- I always have unread books there waiting for me -- I noticed that I had picked up a copy of "Return to Sullivan's Island" sometime back and since it is the second in a series I decided to pick up the first book and read it.  "Sullivan's Island" was a great read for me -- it switched back and forth between the present and the past -- the past being in the 50's and 60's which brought back memories for me.  It was a very engaging book and I enjoyed it very much but I always enjoy books about families and interpersonal relationships and how they deal with difficulty.  So, when done, I immediately picked up "Return to Sullivan's Island". 

It takes up with all the children in the first book grown with families of their own.  The main character is Beth -- the daughter of Susan, the main character in the first book.  This book is a bit more light hearted with a bit more comic relief even though Beth goes through some rather difficult growing pains.  This is a great book for curling up with on a cool, rainy day because it is an easy book to get "into".  Both books are easy to get into, actually, and I high recommend them both.

I have to say that reading these books about the Lowcountry have made me want to visit Charleston, SC.  I must be on the right track because in a survey discussed on the "Today" show this morning says that Charleston is the number  one choice for smaller city vacation spots.