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J'adore Ama la Beauty

"When it comes to skincare, you shouldn't have to sacrifice results for responsibility" - Ute Leube, Founder

The moment I became pregnant I sat down in my bathroom, studied all of the ingredients on every label and became ten times more anal than before about what goes on my skin, from the shampoo in my shower to the toothpaste by the sink. There are tons of things you need to learn when you are pregnant, ingredients that though are natural are not good to use for one reason or another while pregnant. While I've banished a few favorites to my "post baby" stash, I've been discovering some new favorites that may end up in my post baby repertoire.

I am constantly on the search for beauty products that fulfill my standards, they are as follows (and not in any order)

1. They work! I have oilier skin and need that perfect balance of moisture & dryness...always tough as most lines are on the extreme of both oily and dry.

2. Ingredients are natural as can be, the more organic the better. Our skin is our largest organ isn't it?

3. Environmentally and socially responsible company.

4. Smells and feels good on.

5. Is affordable

6. Great packaging (sounds weird, but I just love using products that are appealing to the eye)

and most recently

7. Can I use them pregnant?

Well I think I've found a new line. Ama la Beauty! I discovered online them a while back and recently received a loving care package from their PR company with their entire Purify line which is their skincare line for oilier skin types. I am madly in love. For a pregnant woman trying to save money, opening this box full of beautifully packaged, organic and wonderful products was like opening a birthday present! Thank you Ama la!

I started right away, I had been using up old stuff leftover in my cabinets and was happy to move onto something better. I began with their Purifying Gel Cleanser. It's a vitamin & mineral rich cleanser that helps remove clogged pores and helps prevent premature aging in the skin. To top that off 100% of the ingredients are of natural origin and 99% of plant ingredients are produced by organic farming! The cleanser totally passed my makeup removal test, score.

Then I moved on to their Purifying Toner, adore! The toner nourishes skin and helps absorb excess oil & continues to balance oil production. I am already trying to use less to save it!

I've got a daily tri-ritual of cleanser, toner and moisturizer. While it's only been a few weeks I was truly struck by how wonderful their moisturizer works on my oily skin. I have never settled on one brand of moisturizer, I've tried so many different brands, all promising to provide the proper balance while soothing and nourishing my skin. Ama la's purifying moisturizer is my favorite of their entire line, and the product I will be shelling out for for years to come I am sure. While preventing premature aging with white tea, promoting cell renewal with Tiger Grass it also clarifies pores and reduces sebum production.

While I know happier skin takes more than just a few weeks, especially when you're pregnant and your hormones are off the charts, I am happy to report that Amala is guiding me on that road to happier and healthier skin. You just must check out their website HERE for tons more information. Pick up something from their line, you won't be disappointed.


Oxfam Serves it Up

Check out this funny but very to the point Oxfam commercial promoting an end to climate change:

or click HERE to go straight to YouTube and watch.


Movin' on Up

My husband and I are moving next week and have been collecting used cardboard boxes from his work for weeks now, we're lucky, there's always an abundance of shapes and sizes. But if you're moving and can't seem to find boxes near you, please please don't go buy them! There are so many options for finding reusable boxes.

* Talk to your local grocer about picking up their used boxes, ask for egg boxes too as they are extra thick and great for heavy things!

* Find out what night your local community puts their cardboard trash out, for example in my hood one night a week the streets are covered in boxes!

* Check out the website BoxCycle to purchase reused boxes at a much cheaper rate, plus you're helping extend their life before being recycled.

As for packing papers, use old newspapers & magazines. So what if your hands get black, you're making use of trash, that's worth it!


Daily Candy DIY Project

As always, when I see something great, I bring it to you.....

My Daily Candy this morning had a homemade eye makeup remover recipe! Here it is:

Eye Makeup Remover
5 minutes; makes 1.5 ounces

What You Need:
(local and organic whenever possible)

* 3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 tsp castor oil (find at your local drugstore)
* 3 tsp grape-seed oil
* Measuring cup with spout
* Fork
* Small bottle (we reused an old toner bottle)
* Cotton balls to apply (try 365 Organic Cotton Balls from Whole Foods)

1. Combine all three oils in measuring cup.
2. Stir together with the fork and slowly pour into the bottle (make sure it's totally clean).
3. When ready to use, place cotton ball over the top and turn upside down.
4. Never double dip your cotton ball; use a different one for each eyelid

Thanks Daily Candy!!

Sites Urban Branches Loves

Time to gear up for summer with some eco-friendly choices...

I discovered an amazing eco-concious online store that has tons of drool worthy pieces and accessories for all. It's important that we do our part, not only in our homes and offices buy straight on our bodies too. I mean the skin does absorb what is on it doesn it? Don't you want to surround yourself with the most natural fabrics possibles, ya I thought so.

Click here!


Bake & Cook at Home to Save Green and Be Green!

When you cook at home you are closer to the food you eat, you know the ingredients and are more inclined to choose natural and organic components. Plus there's nothing like filling the house with the scents of homemade goodies. In case you need more inspiration, check these photos out:

(Images: Oh Happy Day!, A Cup of Jo, A Day That Is Desert)

Daily Eco: Mail Greener

When you mail packages make sure you always use recycled materials! Pack fragile items in old newspapers, magazines and office paper balled up. Pick up recycled content packing supplies (boxes, mailers etc) at Staples. Click below for links to their products available.

Padded Mailers

Bubble Mailers

Shipping Boxes

As for what to mail, well that's up to you!


Inspirational Bike Picture

This picture makes me want to arrange my apartment around my bike, you?


I just heard about a new documentary on the food industry and I couldn't be more excited to share this with you all.

The film is called Fresh and focuses on the growing chemicalization of our food, the factory farming industry and what is going on to change that trend. The way we can get back to fresh, natural and healthy food. The trailer promises an educational and inspirational film.

The film features Joel Salatin, who if you've read Omnivore's Dilemma you remember, he was the farmer who used the rotational system on his farm. Each animal had its purpose and he was truly inspirational.

Click here to read all about it and watch the trailer.

Oh I can't wait to see it!

Farm Sanctuary Trip

The Beautiful Serene Farm Sanctuary...

Jack, a new addition and my personal favorite...

One of the many cows spending the day in the sunshine...

Some friends saying hello...

Kevin and I recently took a 2 day trip to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen New York. Upon arrival we stumbled into an office and none other than Gene Baur was sitting there in flip flops looking relaxed and happy. I was like a teenager again, blushing I am sure. As we turned to walk over to the cabins, I couldn't contain my excitement and grabbed Kevin whispering loudly "Oh My God, it's Gene!". I just couldn't believe he was actually there, he is the face of Farm Sanctuary, the founder and spokesperson and there he was!

We were the only guests while there, due to the weekday timing so we had personal attention from the staff, which was great. We took a 1-2 hour tour the first morning there and met dozens of animals, learning about their rescue stories and how they came to live at Farm Sanctuary. Stories included slaughterhouse escapees, called in abuse cases, Easter bunny/chick rejects (parents who bought their kids chicks & bunnies for the recent Easter then disposed of them soon after on the side of the road in cardboard boxes), animals from medical testing labs and many more. It was sobering to hear these stories while standing in front of the animal, imagining what they had been through.

We were struck by how serene and quit the farm was, yes of course there was loud ruckuses here and there, roosters crowing and mooing from the cow pasture, but all in all it was a quit relaxing place. I can imagine what a change this is for the animals from where they came from before arriving here at Farm Sanctuary.

I would recommend a visit if you can, it's worth spending a day there. They love animals and are extremely passionate about educating the public about the massive abuses going on at factory (and regular farms) across the country.

They've got a great gift shop, available online as well, so go visit, donate and shop. Click here for their website where you can find out more information, shop and donate.

Oh Lovely Blog & Cleaning Out

As my husband and I prepare to move, it's time to clean out, give away and recycle our old duds. We are planning on downsizing to give us ample space, something any New Yorker understands. But I can't help letting my mind wander to decorating, and how we'll set up our home...

Here is some of my inspiration for our kitchen. We'd like to purchase some reclaimed wood and turn them into useful and lovely shelves where we can display our china, cups & saucers, not to mention my extensive jar collection. I love organized clutter, and I plan on overhauling my wares and putting forth the brightest design attempt I can muster this summer. Oh it's so exciting!

Thanks {Frolic} for the images!

Eco-Mama Prezzies!

As Mother's Day approaches, it's time to think about what you're going lavish her with. There are many ideas that involve your creativity and just a little bit of cash. We all know the economy stinks right now (man am I sick of hearing about it!) but that doesn't mean your mama has to suffer, right!

Stock up at your local nursery and/or garden store. Organic Bouquet still can get your gifts to Mom on time! I love their 'Hens & Chicks' succulent plant, affordable and super easy to take care of.

Of course there's no need to order online, head to your local spot and pick out a beautiful plant that will last much longer than flowers. Make sure you ask about care instructions (you can write this on your card) and pick up any plant food that might be needed. Plants come in all prices and sizes, so you can't go wrong with this idea.

If you live near your mama, wake up early on Sunday and cook her a 100% organic pancake breakfast. Use the Internet to find your recipe, replace ingredients for organic ones, get farmer's market fresh berries and don't forget a cup of fair trade

Still stumped, don't waste your money on expensive cards, make your own. Get creative and use rubber stamps to personalize a beautiful folded piece of recycled paper, print a photo from your computer and write a loving message on the back or take the time to create a one of a kind card your own way. Whatever you just remember it's about Mama & it truly is the thought that counts.


Oh Lovely Blog!

I've spent the better part of the afternoon perusing a slew of delicious blogs. While they may not be eco-specific blogs, there's always room for beauty in my life! Here are some of my favorites, and images from them to entice you...

A Cup of Jo

Oh Joy!

Off to Farm Sanctuary

Kevin and I are off to Farm Sanctuary tomorrow!!! I will have many photos and stories to share. Click here to read about Fiona & Jack, two little ones we'll get to meet and play with.