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Never Been So Excited About Shampoo!

Silver Falls Sustainability Co

I have been on the search for products and companies who are concerned about their impact on the world, from the ingredients in their products to the production process and even down to the packaging. If I am going to support efforts to clean up our world from how we have polluted it, it goes to reason that I should want to stop that pollution from the top and choose not to support the companies who are trashing the planet. These large corporations have products for cheaper prices and on every shelf and display, but to get them there has cost our world a great price. The Greenhouse gas emissions from the mass production and transportation of merchandise has destroyed our atmosphere, melting the polar ice caps and increasing natural disasters across the globe, and we are drowning in plastic packaging! 

Greenpeace.org tells us only 9% of the plastic made is being recycled. Only 9%!! That’s atrocious! Some plastics, such as types 5,6 and 7, are difficult and inefficient to recycle. (These also happen to be what most single-use and disposable plastics are made from.) And since losing the use of recycling facilities in China, the US is now dumping previously recycled plastics into landfills! This is not the answer! 

The horrors humans leave behind!

I have heard the plastic pollution solution compared to the cleaning up of a flood: When the toilet overflows, you don’t stop the mess and fix it with a mop! That is essentially what recycling is in our plastic problem. It is only cleaning up the aftermath, not stopping the flow of the crap. We must get these companies to stop using so much disposable plastic by NOT BUYING IT! 

That’s right. You read that correctly. It was in all caps, so of course you got it. We have to stop bringing these plastics into our homes! I have seen some shoppers dispose of all the plastic packaging of the items they have purchased at the store. Make the company dispose of its own plastic. Stop buying brands that excessively use plastic packaging. Buy in bulk and bring your own containers. Yes, at first you get weird looks. But if more people shopped this way, it would be the norm. We can make that happen! 

We can also choose to find and support smaller, newer companies who have seen the way things have been done in the past and the trouble it has gotten us and want to do things differently. One such company I have found is Silver Falls Sustainability Co. I believe I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw their ad. What caught my eye was the fact that there was NO plastic whatsoever! All their products come in compostable cardboard containers or wrapped in paper. They even offer a no-packaging option when you order to avoid the paper and cardboard wrappings. They do not have a wide selection of products for the simple reason that minimalism tends to be less wasteful. 

Products featured include:

  • 3 kinds of All Natural Shampoo Bars
  • Naturally scented Conditioner Bar
  • 4 kinds of All Natural Deodorant
  • Lotion Bar
  • Sunscreen SPF 25
  • Tooth Powder
  • 2 kinds of Lip Balm

They offer a Zero Waste Starter Kit that includes 2 shampoo bars and a full size conditioner bar, both kinds of lip balm, a natural deodorant, tooth powder, and 2 free cedar planks for the shampoo/conditioner bars all for around $65. 

Shop the Starter Kit Here!

I have been using these products for a few weeks now and I really like them! The deodorant was an easy switch; I just had to adjust to rubbing it in with my hands. It is not an antiperspirant, so it doesn’t keep you from sweating, but I never smell. The lip balms worked well and are comparable to the stuff I make myself! The Tooth Powder is a bit of an adjustment… I would like it better if it tasted a bit mintier. It feels a bit strange to brush your teeth with powder, but the stuff works. My mouth felt clean, even if it didn’t feel minty fresh. 

I love the shampoo and conditioner bars! I read some reviews that were mixed and all were saying their hair had to “adjust” to it. I understand now what this means.  My hair tends to be dry at the ends (from old color damage), wavy, and a bit frizzy (thanks to Kentucky’s wonderful humidity), but I never realized how much liquid shampoos dried out my scalp! The first use of the bars, my hair felt a bit dirty, like I had put too much product in it before it dried. I don’t usually wash my hair every day, but I did a couple of days here when I was switching over to the bars. In a few washings, my hair was less frizzy and my waves were actually drying as curls! I recently used liquid shampoo again out of necessity one time. My scalp was so dry and itchy and I didn’t wash my hair for 4 or 5 days! I have never noticed this much of a difference in shampoo use… and I was a hairstylist for 8 years! The conditioner softens and smooths the hair without making it greasy. I have found that I need to use a bit more of it than was recommended, but again, I have dry, frizzy hair that needs extra moisture. They also last forever! I use so much less product with the bars than I did with bottled shampoo and conditioner. Definitely a win! 

Silver Falls Sustainability Co. is a husband-wife team based in the state of Oregon. When they were living in Panama, they were horrified by all the plastic garbage washing up on the beaches. They began to look for plastic-less options. Upon moving back to the States, they continued to work towards a plastic-free environment, but found the lack of options frustrating. When China stopped accepting recycling from the US in January 2018, Oregon obtained permits to dump previously recycled plastics into the landfills, and this was the last straw! (Pun intended…) They decided to start offering their own plastic-free options! They started with the bathroom. All those plastic bottles lined up on the shelf were bothersome. They have also let their customers guide them… the tooth powder and lotion bars were their idea. One of the couple is a cancer survivor, so they are sure to use only natural ingredients that will be safe for people and the planet, and they test their own product personally… nothing makes the cut that isn’t absolutely loved! They may expand their line in the future, since they are constantly looking for areas that don’t have plastic-free, zero-waste options and aiming to fill that gap. 

Finally, I have nothing but positive things to say of their customer service. They are very responsive, despite only being a husband-wife team who also happen to be expecting a new addition to the family at the time of this review! They love to educate people on their products and ways to reduce our waste and plastic use. I look forward to their next products and am grateful for now having zero-waste and plastic-free options! 

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Purging Plastic: First Steps

The other daymy husband and I were walking from a store to our car, and in the parking lot, I stopped to pick up some dropped food containers. I walked them back to the curb and threw them in the trash bin next to the door. Now, was that so hard? I couldn’t help but thinking. I wish I lived close to the coast and could spend my time picking up beach trash. But then, you put the word “beach” before pretty much anything and I will be game! Since I don’t have the ability to participate in beach clean-ups, I pick up trash wherever I see it. My husband gets annoyed with it sometimes… He says its takes me too long to get anywhere because I’m distracted by the trash! The large majority of it being plastic. 

On our last visit to the Caribbean,I was blown away by the beauty of the untouched spaces and appalled at the human footprint (trash, destruction, vandalism). Shortly after, I found a company called 4Ocean whose main purpose is to clean the trash from the ocean and prevent it from getting there in the first place. Add in my love of the ocean and ocean life, and I knew what my mission was to be! I began to observe our family habits in product purchasing and trash production. 

At first, I was appalled by our own footprint!We used to buy plastic cutlery and cups, single-use water bottles, K-cups, and brought home plastic bags every time we went shopping. (I would at least collect the plastic bags and keep the ones without holes to reuse and recycle the ones we didn’t keep at the grocery store.) We ate fast food pretty often and used the cutlery, cups, and straws when we did. I discovered we generated a lot of unnecessary trash!

I have begun the processof cutting down on our trash production and disposable consumption. My goal is to be nearly plastic-free by the end of the year. This doesn’t mean I am going to go out and replace all the plastic things we have… there’s too much plastic used in our daily lives to realistically be able to do that! I am, however, doing quite a few things differently. 

Here are the First Steps I have enforced upon my household (Insert evil laugh here!):

  • Recycling!We have the option to recycle in our neighborhood and all I had to do was call and have that service added to our weekly trash pickup. It is only $2 more a month; I couldn’t think of an adequate excuse not to do so! I have now set up a bin and a bag in our kitchen: the bin for plastics, glass, metal, and paper that goes in the recycling bin outside, the bag holding plastic bags and wraps that can be recycled at the grocery store. Getting my family to use these two additions has been a challenge, to say the least! I am constantly picking things out of the trashcan saying, “This doesn’t get thrown away anymore!” But they’re learning. 
  • I purchased reusable straws for my husband and myself to try them out. I found some collapsible ones on Amazon that fit on a keychain for around $10 each. I wanted to see if it would even be worth spending the money on before I bought them for children who may leave them behind and lose them. I absolutely love mine and my husband uses and likes his as well. I have now ordered some for the kids since they liked them so much and want ones of their own. (I suppose the idea is catching on after all!) 
  • We say NO to disposable plastic straws and cutlery. This can be hard to do when you’re on the go and haven’t been able to plan ahead. Fast food places tend to put straws and cutlery in the bag without you’re asking (for convenience sake) and we have to stop them, tell them no thank you, and/or hand them back. I get lots of strange looks by the employees! I am also working on getting a few bamboo cutlery sets I can have in the car or a travel bag to combat this problem. 
  • We use reusable shopping bags, water bottles/cups.I have a couple of bags that roll up tiny so I can shove them in my purse or car and have them on hand for any impromptu stop that may be needed. I have a couple of foldable crates that (while they’re made of heavy duty plastic) are great for large shopping trips and hang out in the back of my vehicle until they’re needed. I make my own coffee in the mornings with my travel cup and take a metal water bottle also. My goal is for no more plastic bags or bottles to come in my house, but we will recycle any of them that sneak their way in!
  • Ditching the K-cup!I have a fantastically simple (but plastic) French press coffeemaker that uses hot water and a K-cup to make a 10oz cup of coffee. This contraption comes with a reusable coffee ground cup for you to use your own grounds. I have been using this thing for a couple years now and love it… mostly because it’s so simple. I don’t think they make it anymore so I will have to learn to use a real French Press once mine is no longer working. But it bothers me to throw away a used plastic pod every morning, so I have found some companies that make biodegradable pods to replace the K-cup. San Francisco Bay has a few good blends that I’ve tried. There’s also Glorybrew, Hill Bros., Cameron’s, and Faro to name a few more. These I can feel good about throwing away since they will break down and can be composted.
  • We now use wool dryer balls with essential oils instead of disposable dryer sheets. Not only are they something else to throw away and sit in a landfill, but dryer sheets contain lots of chemicals that coat our clothing and dryer and can clog up the lint trap. The synthetic fragrances in them are known carcinogens and our bodies absorb these chemicals in small doses each time we use dryer sheets and wear our clothes. I am also looking into refillable laundry detergents to eliminate the plastic laundry detergent bottles, but I have been curious about this “Laundry Egg” (which can be found here: Get Laundry Egg) and “Wash Wizard” (which can be found here: Get Wash Wizard), contraptions that don’t use detergent at all! That’s even less waste and mess!
  • We are making different choices at the storeto reduce how much plastic packaging we are bringing home. Instead of buying the individually wrapped packages, we try to buy in bulk and separate what we need in reusable containers. Changing our diet at the same time as trying to overhaul our plastic use and reduce our waste is just too much for me to take on. So our food choices have changed to reduce plastic use, but not dramatically, so we have a lot more room to grow here. Food packaging is one of the biggest single-use areas that can get pretty expensive to try to avoid. Junk is cheap and easy; quality, organic, whole foods are not. 
  • I am researching companiesthat are concerned about their impact on the environment in their production process and ingredient choices and trying to start purchasing our everyday needs from these companies instead of the mass retailers who have atrocious carbon footprints but sell at the lowest prices. I will be looking for local farmer’s markets and food stands for groceries instead so we are supporting local families. I will also be looking for the lowest prices among these quality retailers since we don’t want to spend more money on things just in the name of eco-friendly. And the point is not for us to buy more, but to buy less because we have things we can reuse rather than single-use disposables. 
wool dryer balls

My family has reluctantly gone along with this process. This was my idea, not theirs, they will tell you. So far they have been accepting, even though we’ve had more than a few eye rolls, and I am hoping that seeing these changes will get them more excited for taking better care of our planet. Once the weather warms up, we will be taking out that new-to-us sailboat we have purchased and cleaning up trash from whatever body of water we get to cruise around on! They know this is coming and this part has gotten the least amount of eye rolls to date.  The most complaining I have had, to be honest, is about separating the recycling from the trash. It will just take time for them to get used to that. 

We will continue to make more changes as we go. I know I want to invest in some produce bags so plastic produce bags won’t come home, etc. I will share information I find on some of these companies also so we can support the companies who are trying to take care of our world. If we stop supporting the companies who are wrecking our world, they will have less opportunity to do so. We can force their hand to make changes IF we work together. I am working on doing my part. Are you?

Purging Plastic: The Beginning

M​y family is on the journey to a plastic-free household. This is a huge change in our disposable modern culture! We have a blended family of six, so nothing is ever cheap for us. And there is always laundry and cleaning to do. I am now ashamed to admit that we (used to) be one of those families that bought disposable plates and cutlery and cups too often of the time. Life tends to be busy and we often go for what is convenient. But t​his habit is devastating for our world!

Single-use and disposable plastics are some of the worst inventions of man! Because of the type of plastic they are, they are difficult to recycle. This means they get thrown away, finding their way to landfills and, unfortunately into riverbeds and streams, and finally to the ocean. W​e have also known for several years that plastics contain ingredients that are harmful to our health. Most plastics are made with BPA (bisphenol-A), a compound that makes them stronger and more resilient. It is used in food containers, personal care products, CDs/DVDs, feminine hygiene products, household electronics, receipt paper, and even dental fillings and eyeglass lenses. There has been much public debate over BPA and its harmful effects, so you’ve probably heard of this stuff.

The problem with BPA is that it leeches out of the plastic into the substance contained in it. BPA mimics the structure and function of estrogen in the body, so it can influence a variety of body processes, such as growth, cell repair, energy levels, and reproduction (Petre, 2018). It may increase chances of infertility by lowering egg production in females and slowing sperm motility in males; It may increase risks of prostate and breast cancers by how it affects the cell structure of those tissues. It is linked to increased incidence of heart disease, thyroid dysfunction, and Diabetes Type 2, including insulin resistance, and obesity. Lastly, children raised on BPA have had higher incidences of hyperactivity, nervousness, and depression, and have become more emotionally reactive and aggressive (Petre, 2018). These are all changes over time that remind me of the frog in boiling water metaphor. There have been many studies on BPA and, over the last year, the FDA has said that BPA is safe. They say the levels of BPA found in people and in the test subjects of these studies are not toxic and do not cause obesity and hormonal changes or increase rick of cancer (Center for Accountability in Science, 2018). Perhaps these levels are normal now, but 50 years ago, before plastic was in practically everything we have, we probably would have been horrified by these same results. And, call me a conspiracy theorist if you really want, but I have a hard time calling it coincidence that, after years of research leading to proving the toxicity of BPA, now that the war on plastic is gaining some steam, it’s suddenly “safe” after… what? One study? That smells stink of corporate payoff to me!

I​ also find it interesting that several alternatives to BPA have been studied and developed and…. then gone nowhere! Such as the material developed by a graduate student from the University of Delaware, Kaleigh Reno. This material, called Lignin, is part of the secondary cell walls of plants and some algae and is part of what makes wood strong (Fischer, 2014). It is a byproduct of the process of making paper and can be made into a BPA alternative called bisguaiacol F (BGF). This research, and a couple other similar type compounds, were being developed around 2014-2016 but have disappeared from the media since. Sounds like more research is needed!

B​ottom Line: the jury is still out on the chemical safety of plastics in our daily environment. My house and I are choosing to purge them from our lives. Not only is the use of disposable plastic wasteful, it can be harmful to us and is burying our world in trash that does not break down fully. The way plastic breaks down, into micropieces, is even worse than big floating trash because of the way animals ingest it. So here are some practical steps to avoid the poison of plastic in the home:

A​void packaged foods: plastic or canned! Canned foods have a lining of BPA on the interior of the can to seal the food away from the metal and keep bacteria from entering the contents.

D​rink from a glass or metal water bottle. Some of the metal ones are insulated and can maintain your beverage’s temperature, while the glass ones are often more aesthetic. Reusable is best, avoiding reusable plastic is even better!

A​void microwaving food in plastic containers. Instead try a glass or ceramic dish or plate. When plastic substances are heated, they leech out more BPA.

S​witch to a beeswax wrap instead of plastic wrap for leftovers. It’s cute and reusable! There are several companies on the market now, so they are more affordable than they used to be.

M​ost of the time, the rule of thumb for avoiding plastic use is to plan ahead! If I bring my reusable bag, bottle, straw, and cutlery set when I am out and likely to need them, I will be prepared. Yes, it means that I’m carrying more crap with me, but since I carry a purse, I just throw it in there. It is not as convenient, but my planet matters more to me than convenience. Even just paying attention to our plastic consumption and trying to find small ways here or there (such as avoiding fast food) to reduce them is a change for the better. We can all take one step today. Just one.

R​eferences:

Center for Accountability in Science. (2018). “FDA says bpa is safe. What does that mean for you?” Center for Accountability in Science. March 1, 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.accountablescience.com/fda-says-bpa-is-safe-so-what-does-that-mean-for-you/

Fischer, K. (2014). “Natural, renewable alternative to BPA in the works.” Healthline.com Retrieved on 8 February 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/cancer-renewable-bpa-alternative-found-031614#1

Petre, A. (2018). “What is BPA and why is it bad for you?” Healthline.com Retrieved on 6 February 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-bpa#what-it-is

The Journey to Plastic-Free!

I​’m sure my family is so thrilled.

Y​ay! Mommy’s blogging about cleaning up the ocean and the horrors of plastic! So what does that have to do with us? Why do we have to change our daily habits and lives?!

Y​ou see, I have always had a special affinity for the ocean and ocean life. I wanted to be a marine biologist for the longest time as a kid… (Come to think of it, that might have been a better career choice from day one…) but life is what happens when you’re making plans, and the next thing I knew, I was a single mom and doing hair for a living. Not that there’s anything wrong with that career choice. It was just a long way off from where I started. C’ est la vie.

T​hat love never died, only got slightly buried and was revived a few years ago. I have to give a great deal of credit to a company called 4Ocean for getting my attention as to how bad the plastic pollution is in our ocean. (You’ll hear more about them.) I will never forget the first time I saw this video of some volunteers pulling a plastic straw that had embedded in a sea turtles nose. It absolutely broke my heart. And there are countless other stories like this one that haven’t gotten all the media buzz.

Our disposable culture is killing our planet. For convenience sake, we are poisoning our rivers and oceans. The amount of trash being dumped each year is staggering: 8 million metric tons, according to plasticpollution.org. The worst part about this problem is that we can fix this quite simply. We can change what we buy and how we live. I did not say easy… don’t confuse simple with easy! It takes a change in mindset and some planning to pull it off. And it is necessary.

N​ow I go about the tedious task of picking apart our daily habits to see where we are being wasteful and can make changes:

*No more plastic cutlery, cups, or straws. Not in the house; not when we’re out. We say “no thank you” to straws when we are at restaurants. I have reusable straws for the occasions when they are needed (we often don’t really need a straw, it’s more that we want one!) and I am investing in some reusable cutlery sets that I can also have in my purse for those meals on-the-go.

*No more plastic grocery bags. I have invested in a couple of fold able crates and reusable shopping bags. I made sure to get the kind that can roll up into a tiny ball and fit in my purse for impromptu shopping trips. I refuse to use a plastic bag because I forgot my reusable one again!

*No more plastic sandwich or freezer bags. For the adults in the house, I want to try that beeswax wrap. I say for the adults because I know if I were to send that stuff to school with my fourth grader, I would never see it again! Scientists have been researching a couple of different compounds that could be used in food packaging and storage: one using a protein called chitosan from crustaceans (Wang, 2017), and another based from sweet potato starch (Tahergorabi, 2018). These materials behave similarly to plastic wrap but actually protect the food from microorganisms and environmental elements more efficiently, and are not made of petroleum-based non-biodegradable material (plastic). They sound interesting but definitely won’t be readily available for a while. They probably won’t be cheap when they are available either. I’ll have to keep looking for food wrap alternatives.

*No more plastic water bottles. We have reusable bottles… (even the children!) and travel mugs, etc for all our beverage carrying needs. I wish that I could just carry a 20 oz. tumbler and restaurants would fill that and not give me a disposable cup, but so far they haven’t taken to that idea.

*No more K-cups. This is kind of a given, I suppose, since we have been up in arms about pictures of landfills full of little white plastic cups form the popular coffee maker for quite some time now. I, unfortunately, have still been using them. (Hanging head.) They are easy when its early in the morning and I have to get myself awake for work. I have a little french press single cup coffeemaker that is easy and simple and only uses a K-cup and hot water. I love this thing! It comes with a plastic reusable filter to use with your own grounds, but the coffee doesn’t come out as strong that way and I have to double press it. K-cups work best with it. Now they have compostable single-cup coffee pods that work in place of K-cups. San Francisco Bay has a few good ones, Glorybrew, Hill Bros, Cameron’s, and Faro also have compostable pods. They tend to be a bit pricier than the plastic, but it is worth it and the difference is less than you think. (Give up one cup of Starbucks a week and that will more than cover it.)

Titanium reusable straws

T​hese are the easiest changes to make. I will be turning our household upside down over the next several weeks and months to seek out more changes we can make. The idea is that this change will be more cost-efficient rather than costing us more money, so I will not be in a hurry to buy a bunch of new things. The point of recycling is to reuse what you have, not spend money on more! But we will need to purchase a few things that can be reused…straws, shopping bags, beeswax wrap, etc. I’ll let you know the goodies we find. We should spend less money in the long run, however, since we only purchase these things once.

We will also look more at what we can do to recycle and dispose of the excess things and trash we have kicking around. I wouldn’t say we’re going minimalist, but we can at least declutter! We will be looking into the types of materials we can recycle and how to safely dispose of whatever cannot be. I am steeling myself for all the moaning and groaning my family will do in response to this upheaval in their lives. I’ll be the bad guy. That’s okay. My ocean is worth it.

References

Tahergorabi, R. (2018). “Healthy fresh produce in a sweet wrap.”  Food Safety Magazine. October/November 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/octobernovember-2018/healthy-fresh-produce-in-a-sweet-wrap/  

Wang, Hongxia & Qian, Jun & Ding, Fuyuan. (2017). Emerging Chitosan-Based Films for Food Packaging Applications. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 66. 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b04528.

Write More #2

W​here to begin. That tends to be the hardest question to answer, doesn’t it? I need to find a niche: what is it that I can focus my writing on that will be both profitable and personally rewarding?

Writers often rely on personal experience to get their start, right? I don’t know if I will be able to do that.

I used to be a hairstylist. I spent years doing hair, nails, and makeup. I used to enjoy it too. I loved making people feel good with what they saw in the mirror. They would sit in my chair and tell me their problems (beauty related or otherwise) and we would often have a small “therapy” session. I had been playing with hair and makeup since I was young, and was the person who styled all the girls’ hair for dances and special events, so it was no surprise to my parents when I wanted to go to beauty school. It was fun and I found that helping people was what I really wanted to do.

Fast forward through single-parenting, some bad relationships, and a divorce later, I discovered I needed a more lucrative career if I wanted to be able to support myself and my 2 kids. So back to school I went, this time to be a Registered Nurse. I still wanted to help people, and that seemed to be the best solution for all of us: I would make better money and support my kids while still getting to make a difference.

I now work in a local hospital in a Cardiovascular ICU. It is busy, fast-paced and intense most of the time. We get lots of surgical patients and some very sick medical patients, and we are the open-heart recovery unit for CABG surgeries. I am blessed enough to have a job that I get to see the difference that I make in my patient’s lives on a daily basis. I love my job and wouldn’t change it for the world. The people I work with and for can see that I want to be there.

The human body has always fascinated me. So intricate and delicate yet at the same time so resilient. Wouldn’t it be natural for me to write about something Nursing related? I have been working as a nurse for the last 4 years and have my BSN, yet I still feel so much of the time that I still have too much to learn to have any insight worth reading on this subject. Plus I hate Evidence-Based research projects and that seems to be all you get to read and talk about in Nursing. Believe me, I want to know that the procedures and policies we follow are there for good reason, but digging through scholarly journals for reliable information to support these protocols is such a pain. I also have NO desire to write anything for the Pharmaceutical companies. I’m sure they would pay great money, but to me that would be like taking a bribe from Satan himself! Perhaps I will make a separate posting about the evils of “Big Pharma”, God knows there’s PLENTY to say there! That doesn’t leave much left to write about in the Nursing world. At least not for a Copywriter. (If I’m missing something there, please let me know.)

I don’t think that I can write about the beauty industry either, since I have been out of it for awhile. Those trends are constantly changing, and I lost patience with that around the same time I lost patience with doing hair. I felt like my “helping” was superficial and meant very little in the broad scope of life. How can I worry about this shade of color or if I should take off 1 inch or 2 when my client can barely hobble to my chair and physically can’t get their head in the shampoo bowl for a good shampoo? It just didn’t seem like the right priority to me.

N​ow I don’t even wear makeup. I haven’t colored my hair in so long that it is two-toned due to grow-out! (Can I still claim the ombre look?) I wouldn’t even know where to begin to try to get back into that world, and I definitely lost the desire to do so. I dislike the fact that makeup is so comparable to a mask. I don’t want to feel like I need to be someone else for the world, or that I should look like someone’s idea of beautiful rather than looking like me. I don’t want my girls to grow up thinking they need to either. My daughter’s friend is very “into” makeup trends and is quite good at it too. And still I can’t help but thinking how much more beautiful she looks without all the makeup. It makes me sad that she thinks the artificial face is better than the real glow of her smile and the light in her eyes. If anything, the makeup is a distraction from the real beauty there. So I can’t even say that I’m a fan of the beauty industry… I think that our culture has a sad definition of beauty. The recent trend of the “loving the skin you’re in” campaign is promising…(maybe I could write for Dove?)

T​hose are probably the two areas I have received the most training and have the most experience in, so I hate that it seems they will go nowhere. Maybe I’m just missing something. Hopefully I’m just missing something. Because if I’m not, that only leaves the current interests that I have recently started pursuing, and I’m learning, in this industry, that means more research. I don’t have a problem with research, mind you. But sometimes it’s hard to know what questions to ask and where to ask them. I also don’t want to intentionally make my job harder.

W​hen my husband and I got married in 2017, I got to have my dream wedding and honeymoon. We went on a Caribbean cruise and, not only did I get to leave the country for the first time and be on the ocean for a week for the first time, but it reignited my love for the ocean that had long been buried. You see, I fell in love with the ocean as a child the first time I went to the beach and even planned to be a marine biologist when I grew up. I watched all the National Geographic shows on the ocean and ocean life that I could find and checked out books at the library on marine animals. I absorbed all the information on ocean life that I could because that world fascinated me.

I​t still does.

Our trip to the islands reminded me of that. It also reminded me that I left part of my heart in the ocean and won’t feel whole until I get to go back.

Now we are learning to sail. We plan to head to the coast once we have empty nest and become live-aboard sailors from there. I would love with all my heart to write about sailing, and some day I’m sure I will. But right now we haven’t even been able to sail. I’m pretty sure I have no business writing about something I’ve never even done!

I would also love to write about ocean life or ocean conservancy. It would be awesome to totally ditch single-use plastic in my house and promote companies like 4Ocean. (I’ll also have to figure out how to do the hyperlink thing for this kind of occasion!) I would also love to reach out to newer companies that are focused on ethically producing and packaging their goods so we are reducing our devastation to the environment with the long-term picture in mind.

This means my focus for this site will lead it’s evolution to support that niche. There’s no telling how long these little blog-mutterings will even be on here. I guess if you’re one of the few that reads this junk… thanks for being a part of the process! We all have to start somewhere, right? As always, I know I have a lot to learn and have had very little guidance through this stuff, so constructive criticism is always appreciated and welcomed.