Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Go Green: Go Eco Beauty

Hellooooooooooooooo bloggers!!

Long time no see! Sorry I've been SO out of touch lately!! But I have been doing a LOT OF RESEARCH and testing a lot of different kinds of beauty products. And would love to share a few thoughts.

I'm aiming to go organic with my skin care routine - I've already started off with investing Burt's Bees, Aesop (an australian high end beauty line but I recently discovered that they use Denatured alcohol in their produce, which is toxic, so it's going off my list now), Becca (my recent discovery of this great australian beauty line and I'm still loving it). I'm actively trying to clean out all the chemical products and samples that I constantly get from friends and family.

Here's my list of organic skincare products:

Burt's Bees
Jurlique (though it's a bit too mild for me)
The UN-petroleum Jelly
L'Occitane (and have fun with their "find your ballerina look" online tool!)

They're awesome. I will vouch for them.

Of course there are a lot more organic products - click here and here. I haven't had a chance to try any of those yet.

While we're on the topic of beauty products, I've discovered a NEW nail polish that is organic and vegan!! The product line is called SpaRitual and it doesn't have the horrid chemical smell, and it's so gentle that you can wear it if you're pregnant! They also come in amazin gorgeous colours! I just tried on the shade called "Dreams Become Reality". And I'm totally in love it! I've also tried an orange red at my beauty nail salon. It's just wonderful to pamper yourself with the best and finest - the organics!

As for skin care routines, I've been watching a lot of different youtube videos on best ways to do makeup on my own at home. And I fell in love with Kandee Johnson, a celebrity make-up artist in L.A. and her generous tips on how-tos. She's a mother of four children, and she looks AMAZING. So I really appreciate her insightful know-hows, down-to-earth practical tips, and adorable upbeat personality.

Honestly, I had no idea women worldwide spend so much time, money, thoughts, and efforts into taking care of their skin. It's a LOT of work, but truly - we are worth it. I'm following skincare routines according to the products available to me (and there are A LOT of products I'm just getting familiar to).

I am now on a rampage trying to update my skincare regime with PETROLEUM-FREE products.

For a few months now, everyday I wake up and I get into doing a quick "natural" makeup routine. It takes me about 10 to 15 minutes (took me a while to get used to it, and I was wearing too much makeup at one point - almost stage-makeup look, so I had to tone down.) Now in 15 minutes, my makeup includes 1. primer, foundation/concealer, setting powder, 2. eyeshadow techniques with highlighting, and 3. lipgloss... Sometimes I wear eyeliners. I'm really enjoying looking my finest. And here in Hong Kong, I'm always on the run, and I hate it when my makeup just slide off by mid-day, and look terrible with melted makeup on. This routine really allows my makeup to stick to my face for over 12 hours. It's like wearing a beautiful mask to protect my face from the intense pollutants.

I really like Michelle Phan's tips on "Tightline" eye-lining. It's very natural to the point where it's no eye-liner look.

Now that's natural.

So another reason to be green, is not just for love of our earth, but love for ourselves.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Green TV Show for Kids

One of Little One's favourite TV shows is dirtgirlworld. I have to admit, that when we first started watching the show a few months ago, Dirtgirl really annoyed me. However, the music and lessons in each episode have kind of grown on me. My 17 ,month old really loves the show.

In one episode (entitled "SLUGS"), Dirt Girl teaches kids how to discourage slugs from eating the lettuce in her garden...naturally. She calls upon all the "green thumbs"/viewers to practice using crushed egg shells, onion water, hay, Nasturtiums, or a sandpaper doughnut (sandpaper cut into a circle and to be put around the plants) to ward off slugs. She also says, if all else fails, give the slugs their own lettuce patch to feast on so that they leave your lettuce alone!

What a great way to teach young children about gardening, the environment, animals, and even insects!

"My best worst bug is still the slug."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Brown Baggin' It For Lunch

Thinking of an eco-friendly way to have lunch? Tired of all those disposable dishes and cutlery from fast food joints on your lunch break? Not happy with all the wasteful packaging in your kids' packed lunches?

Here's a great way to bring homemade lunches to fill hungry tummies AND tread lightly on the earth at the same time.Laptop Lunches: A cool, fashionable, waste-free way to bring lunch to work or school. Available in several different colours and designs.

Monday, April 6, 2009

From the Garden to the Table

Hi everyone! Spring is here and I'm so excited! Spring brings on the beautiful weather, flowers, birds...and it's also time to start thinking of what you're going to plant in your garden. Having your own garden (and even some of my best friends in the city have patio or rooftop gardens since some of them live in apartments or condos) is a fantastic way to enjoy your own fruits and veggies, save a bit of money, and be green :) Just thought I'd share some recipes you can try:
Because we try to be as "green" as we can, we try to grow a lot of our own produce and we try to buy locally whenever we can. We are fortunate to a) live on a farm where we can grow most of our veggies and fruits, and b) live on an island where there are lots of farmers' markets and local growers.

Buying locally is so important because we not only support local farmers, but we also cut shipping and fuel costs, and reduce our carbon footprint. There is a long list of reasons why buying locally has its benefits. I may ask Hubby to blog about it on here when he gets a chance.
Here are two things that I made "from the garden to the table" (or perhaps I should say "from the garden to freezer to table!"):
Asparagus and Zucchini Ribbons Salad
We have lots and lots of asparagus in our garden(s) and my MIL and my Dad both grow zucchini (so I didn't bother planting any zucchini last year). This recipe is an adaptation of FoodNetworks' Giada De Laurentiis' Asparagus and Zucchini Crudi. I didn't have any shaved Pecorino Romano, so I just omitted it. I'm sure it would have added a lovely zip to the dish, but it tasted just as delicious without it.

Raspberry-Apple-Rhubarb Pie Because we have an abundance of raspberries, apples and rhubarb on our farm, I had to figure out as many ways of using them in recipes.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup shortening
6-7 tablespoons of cold water
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1 medium cooking apple, peeled and shredded (about 3/4 cup)
1-2 tablespoon of milk
2-3 tablespoons sugar (optional)

1. In a medium bowl stir together the 2 cups all-purpose flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening until pieces are pea-size.

2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to sides of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, until all of the dough is moistened.

3. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball.

4.On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the pastry into a 12-inch circle, line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry.

5. Trim pastry 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry.

6. Line pastry with double thickness of foil. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 to 6 minutes more or until golden brown.

7. Cool on a wire rack. On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining pastry into a 12-inch circle.

8. Using a 2- to 3-inch cutter, cut pastry into desired shapes(leaves are a nice choice), cover cutouts loosely; set aside. I used snowflake cutters from Watkins, but Hubby said they looked more like stars when they came out.

9. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons flour and stir in rhubarb, raspberries, and apple.

10. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until fruit begins to juice out then increase heat to medium and cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.

11. Transfer to the baked pie shell. Brush edge of pie with milk and place pastry cutouts over fruit filling and around the edge of the pie.

12. Brush pastry cutouts with milk and, if desired, sprinkle with sugar.

13. Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown, cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 servings.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Save the Earth. Drink Beer.

Well, not really. I don't advocate drinking and gardening (drinking while relaxing in your garden is all together different though!), but did you know that by leaving a dish of beer in your garden, you can save the earth?

Okay. Once again, not really. BUT, beer is a natural solution to warding off slugs and snails! Yes, my friends! Beer! Slugs and other garden invaders can do serious damage to any garden. Instead of going straight for that bottle of commercial slug killer/pesticide, opt for a friendlier alternative. BEER.Icky!

Just put a bit of beer in a shallow jar and bury it in the soil with only the neck exposed. Use the lid to partially cover the jar opening (so that when it rains, you won't dilute the beer). You can prop the lid up with sticks or soil...or whatever works best. The slugs are attracted to the beer and will go straight for it instead of your lovely veggies! The poor things will just drink themselves into oblivion...or just drown.

Personally, I'm not a beer drinker. I'm a girlie girl and like girlie drinks. It's good to know that beer has its purpose though! :) Okay, if you are a beer lover, I don't recommend using your best ale on the slugs. I don't think they're discriminating in their beer preferences.

Have a great day! Remember to try to do at least one green thing a day!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bamboo Fibre Baby Blanket

Hi everyone!
C here with Little One, who wants to say that
"Even the tiniest of people can be green" :)

Little One has received lots of amazing presents from our friends and family, but the latest gift that has got me excited is the Perlimpinpin bamboo fibre blanket she received.

The blanket is made of ecological bamboo and it is the softest material I have ever laid my hands on.

Bamboo fibres are excellent for babies (okay, and adults too!) because:

Protects against ultraviolet radiation

Hypoallergenic, even after being washed several times

Naturally antibacterial

Extra-soft and satiny fabric

Easy to clean

Absorbs and evaporates sweat in a split second

Assures baby's comfort, no matter the temperature

What I love even more is that the bamboo fibre is grown without pesticides or fertilizers and is 100% biodegradable.

Check out the Perlimpinpin site for great green gift ideas for the little ones in your life. Make sure to enter their contests for some very cool prizes too!

Monday, August 25, 2008

How COOL is this???

Hi! It's C again! I know we seem to go for ages without a post, and then all of a sudden we hit you with a couple in the same week :)

I recently wrote a post on the Green is Her New Blog site about "Green Gadgets for Summer Fun". Randy from Algonquin Outfitters left a comment and mentioned other "green gadgets" that are available at Algonquin Outfitters. One of the gadgets that caught my attention was the ball that makes ice cream! How cool is that?Although summer is coming to a close, who says you can't have ice cream year-round? I'm not sure if this is the same ice cream ball that Algonquin Outfitters has, but I found this one online. The Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker is portable and compact, so you can make ice cream anywhere. This is great for picnics, family BBQ parties, and camping! There is no electricity required (except for a little human power). All that is required is rock salt and ice in one compartment and in the other compartment, cream, sugar and vanilla (or whatever ice cream mix you prefer).To make your ice cream, all you need to do is shake or roll the ball. Have a blast and toss or pass the ball around with the family. After a little fun, you can enjoy some homemade ice cream!

Thanks for sharing this product with us, Randy!

(This post is cross-posted here)