Nota bene: I am a Pura Vida Bracelets rep! That means I will receive a commission on all sales that use my coupon code (NAOMIDENSMORE20)! While my code cannot be used on Pura Vida Club subscriptions, it can be used for everything else. Thanks for your support! I love Pura Vida, and I think you will, too. 

Unboxing: Pura Vida Club January Review

It’s the first unboxing of 2017! I’m happy to kick this off with a review of the Pura Vida Club box for January. I wasn’t planning to pay any attention to this box whatsoever when it was unveiled last year, because I don’t really like surprises when it comes to jewelry and accessories. When teaser photos were shared of this month’s bracelets, though, I caved. I’m a sucker for anything with an ocean theme. Thankfully, this subscription is very easy to pause if you decide you need a break.

The Pura Vida Club box is $14.95 each month, shipped. Each month’s shipment includes three coordinated bracelets, which may include Club exclusive designs. Each bracelet is made by hand with wax coated cord, and is 100% waterproof. Charm and beaded bracelets might require a little extra care, obviously. Pura Vida provides jobs for Costa Rican artisans, supports a number of non profit organizations, and is a member of 1% For the Planet.

Unboxing: Pura Vida Club January Review

January’s Club included: Gold Wave Charm ($15 value), Braided Sea Nights ($15 value), Wave Chaser Original ($5 value)

I  already knew I was going to love all three bracelets (the wave especially), so obviously I couldn’t be happier. These bracelets make a perfect stack, but can also easily be paired with a number of Pura Vida’s other designs. My only minor complaint with the subscription is that marketing materials are sent with every order, and I wish there was a way to opt out. As a Pura Vida rep, I like being able to give away stickers, but the extras still seem unnecessary. Still, far less waste and packaging here than with many subscription boxes! So Kudos on that note. ♥

As evident in my photos, it snowed six inches or so yesterday, so the arrival of this package was timely and very much appreciated. I needed a little brightness and color! Besides, my love for the ocean is certainly not seasonal! Honestly, this southern Maine/New Hampshire stretch of seacoast is beautiful this time of year.

Tagged with:
 

2016 was a year of eco friendly and cruelty free discovery, for me. I thought I’d return from my lengthy and accidental blogging hiatus by sharing some of my new favorite beauty products.

While I am an omnivore, cruelty-free (no animal testing) personal care products are a top priority. The products listed below all happen to be vegan, too, but I do use products that make use of animal ingredients (like beeswax and goat’s milk) fairly regularly. I’d also like to note upfront that this is not a sponsored post. These are just companies that I feel really good about supporting!

  1. Hurraw! Balm Papaya Pineapple 100% natural / certified vegan & cruelty-free / GMO-free / made in the US $4.49

If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, or if you follow me on social media, you are probably familiar with Hurraw! I’ve definitely gushed about them before. This company is good people. The Papaya Pineapple was a new variety to me, this year. It’s a tube of tropical perfection in my snowbound New England. I want to keep one in my purse, and one in the car, and one… you get the idea. Whenever I order from Hurraw!, I order four or five tubes, and they have always included a free balm with my purchase. This time around, because it had been a while, I also received a very sweet handwritten note on my invoice that said, “Naomi’s back!” I can’t say enough good things. If you can’t find Hurraw! balm at a local retailer, it’s absolutely worth ordering through the mail.

  1. Trust Fund Beauty Nail Lacquer  vegan & cruelty-free / 10-free / GMO-free $15

My nail polish collection has been toxin free and animal friendly for about six years, now. It includes a variety of brands in all price ranges (proving that the way you choose to spend your dollar 100% counts, because ten years ago the options were incredibly limited). I discovered Trust Fund Beauty over the summer, and this brand is now at the top of my list when it comes to polishes. My first purchase was Hot in the Hamptons, an ultra bright shimmery pink, perfect for summer. I immediately fell head over heels for the coverage and durability of this product. This is the first polish I’ve used in ages that didn’t just chip off immediately. I’m looking forward to purchasing a couple nude shades (including pictured, Bitches Who Brunch) when I have the budget for it.

  1. Zao Organic Volume Mascara 100% natural / cruelty-free / free of petroleum derivatives and parabens $33.20

I’ve used a few different cruelty-free mascaras, but never anything quite so luxurious. The price point reflects the quality, and for the one cosmetic item I use almost daily, I do think it’s worth it. I love the bamboo packaging. I received this in a Love Goodly subscription box!

  1. OSEA Malibu Atmosphere Protection Cream 100% natural / vegan & cruelty-free / made in the US  $48

Oh my goodness. So. To be honest, the name of this product made me giggle a bit when I first got it (another amazing Love Goodly subscription box item), but it is so, so good. I will never giggle at it again. This is not something I can afford to replace at the moment, and I am incredibly sad to see that my bottle is nearly empty. This is honestly the nicest daily moisturizer I have ever used. It smells great, it feels great on my dry, sensitive, and aging (bwamp bwamp) skin, and it’s full of nourishing ingredients.

  1. Schmidt’s Deodorant Rose + Vanilla Stick certified vegan & cruelty-free / free of aluminum, parabens, and phthalates / made in the US $8.99

I finally found my dream deodorant. I’ve been using strictly natural deodorants for the last four years or so. It’s been a bit of challenge finding the right one for me. Flash forward to the release of this particular scent (in stick form), and I decided to give Schmidt’s another go, after not being 100% in love with their jar formulas. I am so thankful that I did just that. Natural deodorant is tricky, for a lot of people. It’s something that’s really important to me, so I’ve kept at it over the years. The price point is right, I love the ridiculously girly scent, and this product actually works.

  1. Acure Ultra-Hydrating Body Wash certified vegan & cruelty-free / paraben & sulfate-free / $9.99 (price varies)

I discovered this after searching for the “best moisturizing body washes” when it started to get cold. I’m never looking back. I do, admittedly, feel a little guilty about the plastic bottle (because we’ve been really good about using bar soaps with minimal packaging since I moved into the house), but this product really is incredible. And it smells so good.

I’m really pleased that I managed to discover some new things over the last year, even if a couple of them are definitely out of my price range right now. It’s important to me that I continue to support the companies that are ethical and genuine, and that the self care products I use regularly are ones that I can feel good about, in more ways that one.

 

Tagged with:
 

Just Some Words

If you’re reading this, bear with me. This is some serious, but short, word vomit.

I am hesitant, and fretful. This space has not been put to very good use over the last few weeks, despite my best intentions. I am feeling particularly down on myself, frustrated that I have so little to offer the world. I feel anxious and, admittedly, short-tempered.

I feel like I am definitely not the best version of myself I could be, but I don’t know how to change that, or even if I have the spirit to do so. I’m tired a lot. I have a bunch of grand ideas, and despite having nothing but time on my hands, I lack the energy and talent to implement them. All I want to do is curl up on the couch. I recognize this is not the best method to improve one’s self. I get it. Getting out of the hole you dug for yourself is not an easy task.

I’m not a wordsmith. I don’t know. I’m just saying I’ve dug myself a warm cozy burrow, but it’s kind of gross and dark down here and I’d like to come up, now. Obviously I’m not the first person in the existence of mankind to feel this way.

I’d like to think another PURGE OF ALL THE MATERIAL THINGS might help. It’s possible. It’s also possible that being back in class will solve some of my anxiety issues. Schedules are good. I need a schedule. Change of diet? Sure. That definitely wouldn’t hurt anything. But I don’t know if these changes are just bandaids, or if that even matters. What’s wrong with a bandaid, really? Let’s patch this mess up so we can focus on more important things.

Tagged with:
 

Nota bene: Friday Favorites post contain some affiliate links. I will receive a small percentage of the sales made through the use of those links below. If you’d like to have your product featured here, and feel like you’d be a good fit for girldust, please feel free to contact me! I’d love to work with you! 

Friday Favorites // 055 :: girldust.com

  1. Being a PrAna Influencer means I get a sneaky peek at new styles. Lucky me! The new Cascade top in Gray Indigo is on my fall wishlist. I have a feeling I’m going to own the whole leggings and sweater thing this year. I’m getting older, and I just want to be comfy all the time. PrAna has an incredible selection of recycled and sustainable materials. I absolutely adore this company.
  2. I may have treated myself to both color ways of the new lotus pin from Inner Decay. That was a good mail day.
  3. Vena’s Fizz House is one of my favorite Portland spots, primarily because it’s one of the few adult places I’ve seen with an extensive (and beautiful) non-alcoholic drink menu. On our last visit, I got an orange shrub with house-made chocolate syrup. It was amazing. They have a great cocktail selection, too! Check out their infusion kits.
  4. The new fall collection from SpaRitual, Feminine, is out, with a few good neutrals. Spontanenous is probably my favorite.
  5. I’m a sucker for a classic hoop earring. I like a good mix of silver and gold when it comes to jewelry.
  6. I love these limited edition Chandra slip ons. These shoes are a collaborative effort between Bucketfeet and Piece & Co., a company that provides the fashion industry beautiful hand-crafted fabric ethically made by female artisans around the world.
  7. This underwear set from Thief and Bandit is the cutest. It looks super comfy, too.

Happy Friday, friendos! Have a great weekend!

Nota bene: Friday Favorites post contain some affiliate links. I will receive a small percentage of the sales made through the use of those links below. If you’d like to have your product featured here, and feel like you’d be a good fit for girldust, please feel free to contact me! 

Friday Favorites // 054 :: girldust.com

  1. Alex and Ani’s Deep Sea collection is stunning. I love the Marina Deep Sea wrap bracelet.
  2. I appreciate that this incense holder from Free People is suitable for both stick and cone incense.
  3. This muted mint shade, called Lush, from LVX is summertime perfection. LVX polishes are 7-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
  4. I ran out of notecards recently, and it was a sad day. Check out these sea life cards!
  5. Tj dragged me into LUSH a couple weeks ago (because I kept insisting I didn’t need anything), and they had this new(ish) soap, Outback Mate, at the register. It smells SO GOOD. Eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemongrass.
  6. This journal is on my wishlist.
  7. I love Loyal Citizen Clothing out of Portland, and this Maine state flag tee. #VerMainer

There’s an Ingress event coming up at the end of August in Portland (the one in Maine), so I’m currently a little bit obsessed with accessorizing. I play on Enlightened, which is represented by the color green. Thus, that nail polish and tee. Team spirit, friends!

While we’re kind of on the subject, I want to take a quick moment to speak in defense of games like Ingress and its baby sibling Pokemon Go. Games that get people, especially painfully introverted people like me, out of the house and socializing are great. Nerdstuff has often kept me inside and away from people, but instead I’ve climbed mountains. I’ve been to the edge of the world in the middle of the night. I’ve explored local cemeteries under a dusting of snow. I’ve run like a mad-person around Brooklyn, getting sunburned and blistered and giving people high fives. And I’ve gotten to do most of it with my best friend. I’ve also met some genuinely great human beings I would never have otherwise met! Maybe don’t be so quick to judge people on what they choose to do for fun. That says more about you than anyone else, and the world is already a pretty terrible place. Why make it worse? You might not get it. Well, I don’t get Game of Thrones (or any other popular television show TBH), but I don’t expect you to explain or defend your evening leisure activities to me. I’m cool with you watching TV.

* If you’re an Ingress player who plans on traveling to these parts at the end of August, stay tuned. I’m going to round up some friends and put together a girldust approved places to eat and drink list. Or you know, if you’d like to meet up and say hullo that weekend, I am so down.

More…

  • This Playing for Change “Hawai’i Aloha” video from April is a new favorite.
  • Local folks: The Woodman Museum in Dover is teaming up with the UNH Marine Docents for a day of learning. The event is free, and a $5 discounted admission cost per person is available to visit the Woodman Museum. Thursday, July 28, 2016, 10 am – 3 pm. More information here.
  • My obsession with hooping has returned, full force. I haven’t had much luck tracking down a local hoop maker, but Hoop Mamas has a great online selection. Saving my pennies.
  • The traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a will be stopping in Mount Desert Island Maine, as part of her leg through the New England area. This sail is part of a historic worldwide voyage covering more than 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations. Read more about the schedule of events at the Abbe Museum blog, here.
Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.