Vegan Menu Plan

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Going from paleo last week right in to vegan is an adjustment. But we think it’s important to try different food lifestyles, to get a good idea of what you like and don’t like; what works and doesn’t work for you.

Most people are familiar with the vegan rules of eating-no animal products. No dairy, meat, or eggs, and some vegans avoid honey, silk, products with beeswax, etc.

So there is the list of “no”, but a great list of “yes” too- yes vegetables, yes fruits, yes grains and legumes, beans and herbs, nuts and seeds. So many yummy “yes” foods 🙂

If you want to try it out, check out our week of Vegan Menu plans and shopping list here.

Our Pinterest page has a board with all the recipes we use, divided by week.

We are excited to delve into vegan eating, and hope we can learn some new principles that we adapt into our eating lifestyles. Dive in and join us! Try it out for a week and see what you feel and think.

{Past food weeks include Mediterranean and Paleo.}

{My} Minimal Wardrobe Essentials

Just thought I would throw back to minimalism month, and keep the love going. I feel that it also fits with our “Live Like A French Woman” month, as French women seem to have quality, timeless pieces for their wardrobes (generally speaking here).

Disclaimer-your essentials might look completely different! If you are looking to minimize and simplify your wardrobe, there is no rule that says to stick to blacks and other neutrals like I have. This is just what I like, and feel comfortable in. But if you like teal and pink, with fun patterns, by all means go for it! You still can pair down your wardrobe to your most worn, and favorite pieces, to create your minimal wardrobe essentials.

What would you put as a “must have” on your list?

minimal essentials

PANTS: Leggings*High waist light wash jeans*Black slacks*Dark wash jeans

TOPS: Striped shirt*White v-neck T* Black v-neck T*Gray tank*White Blouse*Chambray button up*Black silk blouse

OUTERWEAR: Trench coat*Leather Jacket*Heather gray crew neck sweater*Over-sized navy blue sweater*Black v-neck cashmere

DRESS/SKIRT: Little black dress*Black pencil skirt

SHOES: Patterned flats*Black converse sneakers*Gray suede booties*Chelsea boots*Black Sandals

ACCESSORIES: Baseball cap*Black felt panama hat*Patterned scarf*Black purse*Navy and pale pink nail polish*Gold jewelry

 

Comment below if you want any particular links or ideas for any items for similar items! Our current favorite brands are also listed here.

Putting My Best Face Forward

It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with my skin for years. Off and on I’ve had acne, and have gone through the big treatments for it. I’m currently in a good spot for that particular problem, but years of acne have left me with some scarring. My dermatologist said he thinks it mostly all will fade over time, but I got impatient the other day, and went to see an aesthetic dermatologist for some options to quicken the process. Sadly it wasn’t the greatest experience, as the provider looked at my skin for about 7 seconds, and then quickly rattled off $3000 worth of treatments that would take a year or more, and boom, the provider was gone within minutes. The treatments certainly sound like they would help, but they came with side effects, time off of work, and a big price tag. Not to mention, I didn’t really feel like a person in her office. So, I humbly returned to my original dermatologist’s suggestion to be patient and do some simple things at home to help with the redness and minor scarring. I can be patient! (my constant mantra, as I am always working on it ;).

 

rachme, unedited, in all my glory 😉

I have recently made a plan to my skin, which if I am dedicated to, should help keep my skin looking and feeling healthy. I have found that consistency is key to see these results (just like with most things in life).

Here is what I’m currently doing to keep my skin looking as good as I can (talk to YOUR dermatologist before starting anything though):

  • Wash face daily–duh. Depending on the season and how my skin is, I swap between oil washing, and an organic facewash from Avalon Organics (you can get them at some grocery stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts, or on Amazon).
  • A topical antibiotic cream i was prescribed (usually every morning, or when I have little breakouts).
  • Retin-A. This I try to do nightly. It should help with light scarring and redness, and fine lines/wrinkles. Those sound like good outcomes; don’t mind if I do. It is not an overnight fix though, and should be continued long term.
  • Mandelic acid peels. I do a light version I get from MUAC. I love it. You do have to make sure to stop topicals like Retin-A a day or two prior. Don’t want to over do it on your sensitive facial skin! For me, mandelic acid keeps things clear, and gives me a fresh glow as it uncovers a new layer of skin. It’s not as harsh as some peels, and there is no downtime. I’m a fan.
  • Once every 2 weeks or so, I do a face mask. I like the masks from Eminence Organics, or sometimes I use a random one I picked up on a trip somewhere. Currently I have a stock of “snail juice” masks from a Korean beauty company, that I picked up in Thailand (random haha).
  • For moisturization, I currently am using Colonial Dames Vitamin E Cream. It is very thick and works well for my super dry Winter skin. The vitamin E in it should also help fade scarring. Sometimes I add a drop of pure lavender oil in it too, which is awesome for healing.
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. And a hat.

 

I have done most of the above interventions for a while, but haven’t been as consistent as I need to be. This month seems like the perfect time to really take the time and effort to care for my skin. After all, it will be with me for life.

 

begoodtoskin

 

 

Our Favorite Eco-Friendly {affordable} Clothing Lines

I have had a shift in my clothing mentality over the past few years. I never bought too many clothes, but I would try and get the cheapest, easiest things I could. As I have learned more, and changed some of my lifestyle habits, I have switched to buying better quality (and still small amounts), and more environmentally friendly. It really does make sense to me to spend a little more on higher quality, and buying from an eco-friendly company is very important to me. The effect of “fast fashion” on the earth, and it’s implications on human working conditions in different countries, has led me to strive to support companies with responsible business models and practices.

I’ve rounded up a few of our favorite companies to buy clothes from. I know “affordable” is a relitive term, but trust me, I’m pretty cheap financially responsible, so me saying these are affordable is saying something. Are they big box store cheap? Nope (well, expect for thrift stores!). But they are better quality, and way better for our beautiful earth.

Do you have any favorites stores that are not on our list? We would love to hear your reccomendations!

Everlane

We shop here for comfortable basics. They have really great prices, and the quality has been good. They are very transparent with pricing, the conditions of factories, and how they fulfill their mission to have “green fashion”.  They also have cool shoes.

Patagonia

Their business model is one-of-a-kind (listen to this podcast with an interview with the creator-it’s great!). Their pieces are investment pieces, and will last forever. They are also big into repairing, and you can take a piece in and they will fix it. Sport/outdoor centered style.

Amour Vert

Made in the US, sustainable, feminine pieces. Social responsibility is an their forefront, and they have lovely fabrics, some of which are recycled.

Grana

They have really nice fabrics like silk, and don’t inflate prices. A good place for some basics with great fabrics.

Tonlé

This is a zero waste company out of Cambodia, and they do some amazing things! They take remnant materials (which are plentiful and usually go to landfills), and create brand new pieces of clothing. Clothes are handmade by workers in Cambodia, who are paid fairly for their craft, and they sign each piece they make; it’s really lovely.

Thrift or Consignment Stores

One of the most Eco friendly of all is to reuse and recycle clothes! It can take some time to sift through so much, but it can pay off, and you can feel good about avoiding more consumerism and landfill waste. There are gems to be found!

 

Some of my current favorites from each company:

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Love It Or Leave It: Wardrobe Week

New week, new challenge for minimalism! It’s time to focus on clothing, accessories, and shoes for this week. This is a big one for most of us. I think the biggest thing to remember is that a minimal wardrobe doesn’t have a certain “one size fits all” number of pieces you should have-it’s very personal depending on where you live, what you do for work, and what your hobbies are. Your wardrobe also doesn’t have to be a certain color to be minimal and simplified. I go for black, grey, and navy, but that doesn’t mean yours has to be neutrals. You like pink and teal? Go for it! You like fun patterns? Fill your closet with tacos and birds. The key is to just keep pieces you love and wear all the time, and ones that can be versatile for your lifestyle.

Here is the printable for this week- Minimalist Wardrobe (click for PDF):ED157D6A-1769-41A8-8E4E-E8DA3EA26118Print it out, and follow along!