Small Steps Leads To BIG Change

2014-10-27 @ 11:47:00

  
Is it weird that I get anxiety from being absent on the blog? More than one week doesn't feel good. More than two makes me feel ashamed. More than three, I’m evil to not put something out there. Anyone feel the same?
But blogging more than two times a week makes me feel like I'm not bringing quality and thought into my posts. And I hate when I do "filler reviews" instead of admitting that I'm so full of ideas that I hit walls. – Yeah, filler reviews are those really straight forwards short reviews just to say something. Anything.

Living in a fast paced world makes you feel like you're disappearing into a crowd if you're not active and deliver in time or consistently and also of quality. How can someone be remembered or live up to that in this day and age?
 
If you take it seriously, it will stress you out.

My lack of posts lately has been majorly affected by the need to shift my focus and energy into making blogging something more than just a hobby. I have so many ideas but I'm mostly doing it all by myself and I'm the only creative person I know, so all details and design sits on my shoulders.  Well, I kind of have myself to blame because I'm a loner by heart with aspie traits, connecting with people or even turning to others for help doesn’t come very naturally to me. It’s probably some control issues that I’m dealing with too.

Two years ago I bought a domain for this blog with a vision. I also finally found a subject I'm passionate about and that brings me joy to share and write about. Buying that domain name was the kickstart, but when it comes to change and the unknown I’m pretty slow at start. I need to be 95% sure of things before I even try to do them. And I'm much so guided by feelings.
 
If I don't feel confident, it's probably not the right time. 

But something I've faced a lot this year and learned from is that you can't always wait for confidence to grow. You kind of have to water and tend to it.
"When things are perfect I will do this… When I have this I can do that…” When and when and when, it was ruining me from going after my dreams and living the life I wanted.  Truth is, there will never be a right time; things will never be perfect. What happens is that you get stuck in “Perfection Paralysis”.
In the end you have to put Action before Perfection.
I tell myself: I am not Coca Cola, I can always change my mind.
Not putting something out there, no matter how bad it may be the first time, is not doing anything for progress.
You don’t always have to believe in yourself at first, by watering and giving some occasional fertilizer (aka: action steps) belief will start to come to you.

At the beginning of this year in March I applied for Marie Forleo's B-School. Since then I've been testing and planning, dreaming and taking small baby steps. However, I need to do it in my pace, no matter how slow I am comparing to others.
The course was the final tool into actually knowing how to put my dream out there.

I'm probably one of the oldest bloggers out there and no one knows about it.
I've been blogging since I was fourteen, that's 2005 guys. I've had several blogs, one even more successful than this one, thanks to one famous blogger...
And one that I managed one night around 2AM high on coffein to accidentally completely erase. Yeah, I still beat myself up after that stupid double click I did back in 2009. And had to kind of start from scratch again. 
But maybe if I hadn't done that, maybe Frivolous Girl would have never been born?
Well I'm hoping there was some kind of greater purpose to make up for all the memories and thoughts lost in to cyber's vacuum.

I’m ashamed it has taken me two years to do this, but the almost-right-but-perfect-time has come, I’ll be moving my blog where I will have more control and I’ll be releasing all the fluff I always wanted to do. It will probably seem “B" at first, but keep in mind I’m a one woman show. As of the summer I’m actually registered as self-employed company, just to pressure me more to finish what I startedand get som money back for that expensive camera I bought for my blog. (high quality pictures has really payed off!)
 
When will the move happen?
As soon as my boyfriend manages to set up a decent site to blog on. In other words: the deadline is preferably before December, but I can't promise anything. My boyfriend has a fulltime job and my programming skills extends to source mapping which isn't enough to build a website. But I can do some wicked graphics with it.
But just the thing that my life brought an awesome programmer + my graphic design talents together shows that this is what I’m supposed to do.

I’m really nervous and excited to take you with me on this :D

So I’m sorry for the lack of content lately, but with the move I’ll be starting from scratch. Which means I’ll be manually, importing the most relevant content from this blog into the new site. I should really hire someone to do this, but the control-ist in me won’t and I'm not 100% sure on how I want things to look just yet.

I'm thankful for your patience!
Love you all and see you in future posts
XX

Which Companies and Brands Still Allow Testing on Animals?

2014-10-04 @ 12:23:00

 
In Sweden we celebrate Cinnamon Bun Day today, and in some parts it’s Taco Day from my understanding... But I wanted to shed light on a much more important day that occurs today: World Animal Day
It kind of gets forgotten behind all those buns and taco, if not of course your buns are vegan and so is your taco “meat”.
No one’s perfect, and we all make mistakes, and they are often forgiven when ignorance is involved.
I for instance feed my cat Iams, not even considering that a company that makes food for pets may conduct in animal testing and cruelty of some sort. I feel terribly sorry for that and all I can do is to do more research and make a better cat food choice next time. I've already found several kinder options even if cruelty-free cat food is scarce :)

So in dedication to World Animal Day I wanted to highlight popular beauty brands and companies that we’re faced with in the store that still perform animal testing or choose to sell in parts of Asia where animal testing is considered law.
 
I hope we can all use up that Maybelline mascara and go for a better cruelty-free option next time, or even better yet: write to the company about your disappointment and why you won’t be buying their products anymore.
If you want a bigger list of companies to avoid and a green list of companies that truly are cruelty-free and work for it, I highly recommend checking out Suzi’s blog Cruelty Free Kitten. She has a lot of good information and has taken contact with a few companies to get to know their true nature on the subject.
 
Let's end this with a tweetable:
When you know better, you should choose better.
 
 
And in the comments below, tell me if there's any beauty product you will stop buying because of their involvent in animal testing?
 
 
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Original Source & Biały Jeleń Shower Gels

2014-09-29 @ 13:38:00

 
Three soaps and three shower gels, guess my cousins from Poland must think I'm pretty dirt or what? The last of what I got from my cousins where shower gels from Original Source and Biały Jeleń (White Deer). Not completely something I would recommend ingredient wise, but one did pull me over.
(Read pt 1 here)
 

Original Source

"And try not to lick your lips because it smells so good, you’ll want to eat yourself!"
 
Brits are probably more familiar with this brand, but this is the first time I've ever heard of it. My mom got a coconut scented one, but I really do like the vanilla raspberry better. If only internet would let me send you a smellogram, because this gel smells edible. I've caught my tongue reaching for the syrup-like fluid a few times, and if you could smell this thing you wouldn't be judging. I know it says raspberry, but think more like strawberry ice cream. Exactly like strawberry ice cream. It seems to be their thing, "packed with natural fragrance" it says. Although it's not a totally green product (contains SLS) it kind of wins me over with that amazing smell. I don't eat processed sweets but I don't mind smelling like one. 
Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Fruit Extract, Polyquaternium-7, Parfum, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, C11-15 Pareth-40, C11-15 Pareth-7, Lactic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol, CI 14700, CI 42090  
 

Biały Jeleń

Their products are made for people with sensitivities and allergies and says to be dermatology tested. A bit weird that both then contains perfume? When a product says it's been dermatology tested I'm not the one to be wined over that easily. The black one is for men and has a common manly scent to it and B5 added to it, while the green is more neutral. I'm seriously not that fond of the INCI and are considering stocking them up for emergencies only when we're out on shower gels. I don't have so much more to say about these, it's not like I want to eat them...
Ingredients GREEN: Aqua, SLS, Cocamide DEA, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, C12-13 Alkyl Lactate, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Parfume.
Ingredients BLACK: Aqua, SLS, Cocamide DEA, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Glycerin, Parfume, C12-13 Alkyl Lactate, Panthenol Betula Alba Juice, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.
Any thoughts about these products?
Leave a comment below :)
 
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Alterra Naturkosmetik

2014-09-26 @ 16:26:00

 
My cousins from Poland was on a visit to Stockholm this summer and they brought me some natural skincare brands that’s not found in Sweden, like the German brand Alterra Naturkosmetik. Phenomé is also a huge brand there but considering that it’s available in Sweden I opted to test brands I’ve never heard of.
I was very interested in trying some Alva Naturkosmetik, especially form their make up line, and also Eostre and Speick that had okay ingredients. But being that my cousins comes from a small town, those brands were hard to find.
Either way I’m pretty happy with the selection, some things I personally would not have picked up, but I will be using them anyway.
From what I know Alterra is a budget brand (think Yes To or Nonique) and sells everything from skincare to even make up.
 
 
Shower Peeling with Papaya & Organic Coconut
 
Somehow I missed the word in big font “Dusch-Peeling" and thought that the Papaya & Coconut was a body lotion. I squeezed some and out came to my surprise a transparent fluid with coconut flakes. Very cool product indeed.
It has a spearmint-y smell to it and there’s tiny little beads, from papaya I guess. I would say it’s a very mild scrub that works great around the décolletage, but for legs I would prefer something more coarse like a sugar scrub. 
INGREDIENTS: Aqua, Alcohol*, Plant Glycerin, Coco-Glucoside, Cocos Nucifera Fruit*, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Oleate, Silica, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Parfume**, Limonene**, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Alcohol, Citric Acid
* Certified Organic, ** From Natural Essential Oils
 
 
Facial Oil with Organic Pomegranate Seed Oil
 
I also received some Raspberry Seed Oil, but that one I’m saving for its own special post. Pomegranate Seed Oil is also high in antioxidants and said to protect the skin from UV lighting. I’ve read it’s a favorite among acne sufferers, and helps with hormone-related acne and also helpful in repairing wounds without leaving scars behind. Pomegranate seed oil somewhat balanced with a slight higher level of linoleic acid, but not much. It feels much heavier than my other oils, but haven’t broken me out or anything yet. And it seems to do a great job in calming down any redness and keeping the skin plump. This has made me become very interested in buying pure pomegranate seed oil and testing it out. Alterra’s is blended with almond oil and sunflower oil both high in oleic acid. It also contains fragrance which is always suspect and I could’ve lived without.
I wished the packaging felt a bit more luxurious something that tells a story of the potent ingredients that’s inside. Other than that I think it seems like a great product for winter and price worthy. I’ll be definitely checking out some pure pomegranate oil too! 
INGREDIENTS: Glycine Soja Oil *, Punica granatum Seed Oil *, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil *, dodekanerna, tokoferol, Helianthus annuus Seed Oil, Parfum **, Linalool **, Limonene **, Geraniol **, Citral **, Citronellol **, Farnesol **
* Certified organic, ** from naturral essential oils 
 
Lip Care with Organic Chamomile
 
I didn’t actually look look at the ingredients until now and realize it has castor oil as base. Usually I try to avoid natural lip products with castor oil, which is hard, because it kind of creates an addiction to use more chap stick. But from the two weeks I’ve been using this one I have to say it’s the very first lip balm with a castor oil base that has not affected my lips negatively! It’s got some chamomile and carrot root extract in it, which sounds cool and calming. It does not have a scent so great for sensitive types. 
INGREDIENTS: Ricinus Communis Seed Oil, Cocos nucifera Oil, Cera Alba, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Candelilla Cera, palmitinsyra, stearinsyra, Butyrospermum Parkii, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil *, Tocopheryl Acetate, Helianthus annuus Seed Oil, Chamomilla recutita Oil *, Daucus Carota Sativa Root Extract, Beta-karoten, tokoferol
* Certified Organic
 
 
Soaps
 
These are as fragrant as a soap can be. I’m really into the orange scented one and it also got some orange peel oil and extract in it. I have not used the bar soaps other than for some aromatherapy-smelling, the pump on the other hand I’ve got some experience with. With extracts from Lavender and Mallow, and fragrance from natural essential oils, this soap gently cleanses your hands without drying them out. It just happens to be so that my Dr Bronner’s Shikakai soap just came to an end so I’m happy with the abundance of soaps to use in the near future. 
PUMP SOAP: Aqua, Glycerin, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Coco Sulfate, Lauryl Glucoside, Sucrose* Sodium Chloride, Malva Sylvestris Leaf Extract*, Citric Acid, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glycerin Oleate, Sodium Sulfate. P-Anisic Acid, Sodium Hydoxide, Alcohol, Parfume**, Linalool**, Limonene**
* Certified Organic, ** From Natural Essential Oils
SOAP ORANGE: Natrium palmate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Glycerin, Parfum, Citrus aurantium Dulcis Peel Olja, Citrus aurantium Dulcis fruktextrakt, natriumklorid, Tetrasodium Glutamate diacetat, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, CI77491, CI77482, CI77891
SOAP LAVENDER: Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Glycerin, Parfum, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Lavendula Hybrida Grasso Herb Oil, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Linalool, Limonnene, CI77007, CI77891

There’s a few more things but I thought I’d divide the post into two parts leaving the Raspberry Seed Oil alone for something else.
So stay tuned!
 
Ever used any products from Alterra?
Tell me your recommendations and thoughts in the comments below!
 
 
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Lily Lolo Clementine Swatch

2014-09-19 @ 18:06:00


From the top: Clementine, Alima Pure Leigh

 
I’m in Stockholm for the time being helping out my mom who’s undergone surgery on her foot. Meaning, she won’t be able to properly walk for a month and could need a personal assistant to do the groceries, cook and clean. Personal assistant sounds way cooler than what I really am for the next month: a slave.
So while in Stockholm I thought I’d visit the one pharmacy that carries the brand Lily Lolo here in Sweden, Apoteksgruppen.
Internet is great and all, but sometimes it’s lovely to get a proper look on all the colors and consistency. Lucky me, they were either preparing to get the new look of Lily Lolo, or they were discontinuing it. Either way, I was happy to see 50% off everything they had left.
I went straight to whatever blushes and bronzers they had and went home with Clementine.
I thought about South Beach bronzer for a long time, but felt Alima Pure’s Mauna Loa was more worth my money.

Clementine, as described, is a Matte Peachy Pink. And I would say that the color is more towards Ooh La La on picture than what is presented (and OLL is more towards Candy Girl if anyone wonders).
I couldn’t try it directly on my cheek so I went with whatever matched my hand the best.
After realizing I’ve been using the wrong shade of blush all this time I’m a bit on a discovery of what actually works. I’ve ruled out pinks, reds and corals, so I thought something peachy would turn out great, but to be honest with you… It doesn’t look bad, but it doesn’t look great either. It just looks like I'm wearing blush. Uh.
Maybe it’s because it’s got a hint of pink in it, or that I just naturally don’t blush. Like. Ever.
Oh well, I will continue wearing it, but my quest for the perfect blush continues...
Too bad they didn’t have Beach Babe, I’m almost convinced it would've changed my cheeks for the better. So next time I will try something more bronzer-like or just forget about blushes all together.

Any tips for a medium/yellow tinted babe who rarely gets flushed?
 
PS I accidently dropped my sample of Alima Pure Desert Rose all over the sink and the toilette. Therefore it's not swatched for comparison. I did cry and then I actually flushed. (Hehe Bad joke, I know.)
Check out my Alima Pure Sample Review!
 
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Acne Progress Update

2014-09-06 @ 14:43:00

Hey lovelies, I thought I’d give you a follow up on my acne progression!
(Read the last one if you've missed it)
As you might know, summer is a fearful season when it comes to my skin; I usually will get hundred little bumps all over my face that keeps on getting worse and won’t go away until spring and then the whole cycle repeats itself. Last year the summer treated me horribly and I felt like I I’ve tried literally e v e r y t h i n g.

Well, this year I didn’t change much neither in diet or protection, except for going 100% sunscreen-free and focusing more on cooling myself with either a hat or being inside or under the water. It was one of the hottest summers since 2010 so naturally I could only expect disaster. But do you know what? My skin kept on healing!

I did get some small eruptions, which shows, but compared to the usual pimple that will hurt and bug me for over a month until it suddenly erupts without giving me the slightest warning, these came and went quite quickly although leaving a spot behind. Oh lucky me huh?
 
 
Should You Go Without Sunscreen?
I’m not an authority, so going sunscreen-less isn’t anything I promote or condemn when suffering from acne, it’s really about personal matter. I just realized that no matter if it’s chemical or natural zinc oxide, when it comes to summer, I can’t have anything heavy on my face or it will talk back in a nasty way.
NOTE: I did use my special day potion with Carrot Seed Oil and Lily Lolo’s concealer (which contains Zinc Oxide) under my eye and solely on deep red spots (like those eruptions). But when trying to use mineral foundation my skin was giving me the evil pimple eye… if you know what I mean.

So, without further ado, this is the change in my skin since just before the summer until today.
 
 
If I look glossy it's because I've oiled myself up so to speak. I usually try doing these pictures in the mornings on "good days". I know I know, but some decency feels good on the blog.
 
I also want to mention that since the last two weeks, when it's been cloudy, I’ve gone back to using the Snail Serum at night to get rid of any remaining “summer bumps”, which it gladly takes care of.
I'm also writing this update because I'm adding something new to the regime! Exciting what?!
 
 
Acne Scar Solution?
A new natural serum popped in the mail yesterday, which is probably the most expensive skincare I’ve bought counting the price/ml! But hey, I’m an oil junkie and would happily pay like 55€ for 5ml of Essential Oil if I believed it was potent and of great quality. La Mer has nothing when it comes to natures essential oils!
It’s my first Living Libations product and it’s their little Dew Dab that’s a go-to spot treatment, or from the reviews I’ve read it seems miraculously good for everything! One even claimed it to heal deep scars that she was considering doing laser treatment for! I’ve been contemplating laser treatment for whatever remaining scars that will be left when my skin has completely healed. But I’m hoping to find something natural and powerful to not have to go through any expensive procedures.
I never did get my hands on their Everybody Loves The Sunshine-moisturizer before the summer ended, and even though the ingredients in there seemed just what my scars needed to fade, after learning about fatty acids I felt like a spot treatment/serum would do much better together with my new daily oils.
So enter solution: the Dew Dab. It’s got a powerful scent and a bluish hue to it like Blue Apatite. Blue has been my guide for a few months now so I’m definitely feeling that I'm on the right track, if you believe in signs and all of that.
I’ll be back with a 12 week-review! You'll probaly forget about it until then, lucky I'll be reminding you!
 
In the meantime, why don't you share your #1 natural product for acne scars or similar effect?
Leave your tip in the comments below :)
 
 
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iHerb Haul

2014-08-30 @ 13:15:00

 
It’s time again for another iHerb Haul! (Check out my other ones).
Another small batch with two reorders and two new things!

Earth Circle Organics - Raw & Organic Goji Berries
Okay, not a reorder exactly. We usually go for Navitas Natural’s Organic Goji Berries, but after a closer look we saw that the price had gone up, and that these were cheaper. Goji berry as Goji Berries, no? Not really. I have to admit, these remind me a lot of Buywholefood’s organic mulberries (which you have to try if you like mulberries!), they are bigger, juicier and sweeter in constancy and taste. These are the best goji berries that I’ve tried! They feel almost fresh and sweeter than regular that you’d almost believe they were covered with sugar. So I’m very happy with our switch of brands!
 

Coconut Secret - Raw Coconut Aminos Soy-Free Seasoning Sauce
After someone telling me that Tamari isn’t healthy and has tons of salt in it I kind of wanted to look for other options.
But let me explain a bit further:
1) Well duuhh, of course it contains salt! That’s why I use it! Who here thinks it's salt-free? 
2) I have never thought of Tamari as being a “health product”
3) I don’t use it daily. If I use it in a salad dressing I will at most get 1/4 of a teaspoon in me; counting that I use a little every day in over a week.
+) I did my own research and I could only find better and better things about Tamari (estimating it is made in traditional ways). Like did you know that Tamari is the oldest soy recipe, it’s been used for over a century? And that it is made in the process of making miso? And that the only way to digest soy products properly is to have the beans fermented at least 2 years?

Anyway, I knew there was something called Coconut Aminos that could be used as a soy substitute. Kimberly Snyder uses it, but I actually found it while searching for Coconut Nectar of the same brand. So no, she’s not allowed to get any credit for this find.
We still have to bear in our minds that it does contain salt. In fact, the thing is liquified salt. The only up-side is that it has an abundant source of 17 amino acids, minerals, vitamins and a nearly neutral pH. Also contains 2-14 times more amino acids than natural soy.
2-14 seems a bit misleading, but in context it just sounds much better than actual soy or Tamari.
But I’m happy to receive any opinions on this.
I haven’t used the Coconut Aminos yet, just sniffed it a couple of times. It smells a bit different, and from what I’ve read also tastes a bit different. Nonetheless I will come back with a review or recipe, well you choose which medium.
NOTE: I just want to give kudos to iHerbs great packaging! The soy had leaked and been shaken on it’s way to me, luckily it was in a bag that was in another plastic bag so nothing else got ruined! *kisses*
 
  
Nubian Heritage - Raw Shea Butter Infused with Frankincense & Myrrh
This thing is addictive! Not only did it save me and my boyfriend from getting sunburned this summer, but it managed to heal my boyfriends dry spot that he’s got on his hand. I tried everything on it, from Coconut Oil to Neem, nothing made it vanish as quickly as this Shea Butter! I even went and bought plain Raw Shea Butter from Akoma, but it wasn’t even close to as affective and smooth as this one.
I use it wherever I’m dry, it sinks in without leaving an oily residue so it’s perfect as a hand cream too. I just love this stuff and had to repurchase!  
 
 
Acure Organics - Ultra-Hydrating Body Lotion Unscented
My very first Acure product. I thought with winter coming soon I’d drop some body lotion into the basket. And because I’ve been having an eye on Acure since like 2012, I thought that body lotion would be a great product to get a feel on the brand.
So far I’m a bit disappointed, it says “Ultra-Hydrating” but sinks in faster than I can blink. The consistency is like body butter but when applied I melt in like body milk. To be fair, it does feel hydrating, but because it vanishes so fast you have to use more of the product, which I don’t like doing. In that case I have to say that I like Dessert Essence much better, but this one has a great ingredient list and is unscented!
 
What's your favorite natural body lotion?
 SHOP MY BAG
 
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Preparing Your Nuts & Seeds For Better Digestion

2014-08-25 @ 15:41:00

 
It’s pretty rare to see me snacking or eating any nuts or seeds, mostly because: 1) I kind of never crave them 2) eating too much fat makes me instantly tired and brings back my dizziness and 3) I don’t have the patience to soak nuts for when the craving ever do hit me! 
So eventually I came up with this awesome idea to just do a large batch of soaked and then hydrated seeds to make adding them easy and guilt-free!

But you would’ve thought that with a huge jar with pre-prepared seeds would make me more prone to use them in salads?
Unfortunately, no. But I thought I would share this non-original brilliant idea anyway!
Also, I'm going to get a hair-analysis in the near future, and thought that if I was missing something like zink, I know where to turn.

Want to know why soaking is important? Keep reading…
I trust Isabel enough to ignore the science part: just jump to the Salad Seed Mix Recipe!
 
Why Is Soaking Nuts, Seeds, Grains and Legumes Important?
Our clever Nature has set up an intelligent defense mechanism for the nut/seed/grain which is made up of nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances to ensure its survival until proper growing conditions are formed. This stops it from germinate prematurely or for predators to consume to the point where no seed is left, which equals no future plants.
These nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances are enzyme inhibitors like phytic acid, tannins and goitrogens. Fortunately, they can be minimized or removed by some good old soaking. Naturally a nut/seed/grain would fall to the ground, rain would pour and it would get wet which would then germinate to produce a plant. By soaking our nuts and seeds we’re mimicking nature.

Phytic Acid is one of the biggest enzyme inhibitors that’s on the outer layers of the bran. Every nut & seed has different levels of it and, if eaten raw, their phytic acid may prevent our body from digesting important minerals like calcium, iron and zinc potentially leading to severe mineral deficiency and bones diseases such as osteoporosis. - We don’t want this.

Benefits
So now that we know the importance of soaking, we can reap several benefits from this simple action:

  • Soaking encourage the production of beneficial enzymes
  • Increases the amounts of vitamins 
  • Improve vitamin and mineral uptake
  • Breaks down gluten and easifies digestion
  • Makes proteins more readily available for absorption
  • Helps neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean
 
By soaking we boost the production of beneficial enzymes like lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize a big portion of the enzyme inhibitors and toxins in grains. So we also get some good bacterias while we’re at it!

How Long and in What?
A minimum of seven hours in warm/room temperature water will neutralize the seeds natural defense.
You can enjoy your soaked batch wet, or store it in the refrigerator. Usually, to prolong their lifespan, anything soaked should be dried in a dehydrator or oven on the lowest possible setting 40-50°C to remove all moisture. 

Here’s a list on the most common nuts and seeds and their recommended soaking time:
 

Salad Seed Mix Recipe

 
 
Okay, so I just did this on a whim and don't know exacly how much seeds I used. Except I know for sure I used 200g organic pumkin seeds. The rest was done using eye-measurements. I did the pumkin seeds first and in an after thought I made the sunflower and sesame seed mix.

TIME
1-2 Days
 
APPLIANCES
1 1L Jar
1 Bowl
Dehydrater/Oven/Sunny & Dry Weather
A few bags of preferred nuts & seeds

 
1. Add your nuts or seeds in a bowl and cover them with enough warm/room tempraure water (Optional: with some sea salt ). Soak them over night for about 8 hours or time required.
 
 
2. When done soaking, drain and rinse the nuts and seeds.
Either refrigerate the soaked nuts and seeds and consume within 24 hours or dry them in a dehydrator/oven on the lowest setting.
 
There’s a lot information saying you should dry the nuts and seeds for about 12-24 hours. But I’m unsure, it probably depends on your oven. I have a convection oven which means it blows heated air instead of heating radiators from top to bottom. This makes the food dry faster. The pumpkin seeds and the sunflower/sesame seed mixture I had in the oven for about 3-6 hours with open door until they were completely dry. I also went once an hour to stir the seeds up for even dryness. After six hours they were moisture-free.
I then took them out, letting them cool before putting them in the jar. 

 
3. Finish off by storing in an airtight container.
NOTE: It’s very important that they are completely dry before going into a container, just the tiniest bit of moisture can set up mold to grow. Remember also that bigger nuts like almonds can take longer to dry if you don’t hack them up nicely.
 
So tell me, what's your favorite nut or seed?
 
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How To Find The Right Facial Oil For Your Skin Type

2014-08-16 @ 00:05:00

 
 I came across this very interesting topic through Minimalist Beauty (check out her post) and thought I would share!
We often times get recommended to use Coconut and Olive oil for problematic skin and the Oil Cleansing Method, but there’s also a few whom it has not worked out for, leaving their face with even more damage. I’ve been wondering for some time why this is and this may be the answer!

Why Coconut Oil may not work for you and what you should try instead!

As we all know, oils are typically made up by fatty acids, and it’s these fatty acids that are the key in determining how they will affect your skin.
I won’t go all in detail on all of the different ones, instead I will focus on the two majors: 
Oleic Acid (Omega 9) and Linoleic Acid (Omega 6).

◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
At the bottom of this page I’ve made a list on various popular oils and their Oleic/Linoelic ratio.
I’ve also made a Cheat Sheet for you guys that you can download and print to look at next time you are shopping for oils or recommending to someone!
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇

Oils with a higher balance of Oleic Acid are richer and heavier. This category includes the most popular oils like: Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Almond Oil and Argan Oil. These oils are most suited for very dry skin as they can seal in moisture effectively and are most potent to use in the evening.

As moisturizing high-oleic oils are, acne-prone and sensitive skin types might find that these oils exaggerate their problems. Still they are highly promoted to people with skin conditions, and are often the first oils people come in contact with when developing an interest in natural beauty.

Feel like giving up the oil craze, keep reading!
 

Oils higher in Linoleic Acid are often times called “dry oils”, they are lighter and thinner in consistency and feel, and usually non-comedogenic. They don’t feel too heavy on the skin and sinks in quite fast without leaving a residue. And will provide enough moisture for oily skin types, but certain oils like Castor Oil may feel a bit drying in the long run.
Here we have oils like: Rosehip Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Hemp Seed Oil and Evening Primrose Oil.

It is said that acne patients has shown to have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin’s surface lipids (source)
 
And when your skin lacks this fatty acid, our skin’s natural sebum will become thick and sticky like those oils high in oleic acid, which clogs pores and creates inflammation.
We can create a balance by applying oils high in linoleic acid on our skin. Because when our skin’s natural sebum is predominantly made out of linoleic acid we rarely get break outs.

High-linoleic oils are also good carriers of essential oils and oils high in oleic acid where they have the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin’s layers, making the oil blend much more potent.
 
 
Why Jojoba Oil isn’t fixing your acne?
It’s supposed to be similar to our sebum, and therefore it gets recommended to people with oily and acneic skin types. But when looking closer at its composition, Jojoba Oil is slightly higher in Oleic Acid.
Yes, it’s not a huge amount, but can still be the triggering factor to why it doesn’t work for everyone.
 

My Personal Experiment

When I first came across this theory, at that time, I was mostly if not only using oils high in Oleic Acid on my troubled skin, and I had just found some type of balance that I thought that this didn’t seem to apply on me. But after being so intrigued by this knew knowledge I had to give it a try, and little did I know that I would soon be proven wrong!
 

I decided to try it in the summer, because what other season if not the one when your face tends to get sensitive, produce more oil and become more break out-prone?
Together with Ayurvedan Cooling Anti-Acne tactics I switched to washing face with just Thistle Oil and Lavender-Tea Tree blend. Then using predominantly Hemp Seed Oil (day) and Rosehip Seed Oil (night) blend for protection and healing properties for possible sun damage - and just a small amount of Tamanu Oil (balanced but higher in Oleic) for protection and healing scars.
Since switching to only using high-linoelic oils my skin has rebalanced even more in a way I didn’t think was even possible! It has become much clearer and calmer. I just know it’s not just some after effects of probiotics, probably a combo if not.

Still, you can’t just pick an oil from one of the categories and assume it will work. For instance, Hemp Seed Oil should be a great match for acne-prone skin, but I personally favor Thistle and Rosehip Oil more on my skin.
Thistle Oil has actually become a new favorite of mine, and I’ve ended up using it not just as a cleanser but as a moisturizer too. It’s the perfect match for my skin (during this season) it just melts right in, not leaving me dry or too oily, just “being” is the right word. 
I still use Tamanu oil, which is a balanced oil but slightly higher in Oleic Acid, but I use it in a smaller ratio to the ones higher in Linoleic Acid. My evening acne-scarring potion consists of: 5 drops Rosehip Oil and about 1-2 drops Tamanu Oil.
 
 

If you got sensitive or acne-prone skin and/or been reacting negatively on high-oleic oils, it can make a huge difference to try switching to use oils higher in linoleic acid or avoiding high-oleic oils all completely.
 

Oils Higher in Oleic Acid (Dry Skin)

Avocado Oil  Oleic–63%  Linoleic–9.8%

Almond Oil (Organic)  Oleic–66.6%  Linoleic–24.8%

Apricot Kernel Oil  Oleic–64.2%  Linoleic–28.3%
 
*Buriti Oil  Oleic–70.55%  Linoleic–7.03%

Cacao Butter  Oleic–33-39%  Linoleic–1-6%

Carrot Oil   Oleic–68.4%  Linoleic–10.8%

Hazelnut Oil  Oleic–79.2%  Linoleic–12%

Macadamia Oil  Oleic–53.8%  Linoleic–1.8%

Mango Butter  Oleic–40-46%  Linoleic–3-4%

Marula Oil  Oleic–70-78%  Linoleic–4-7 %

Neem Oil  Oleic–25-54%  Linoleic–6-16%

Olive Oil  Oleic–55.28%  Linoleic–17.84%

Palm Fruit Oil  Oleic–41%  Linoleic–9.5%

Peach Kernel Oil  Oleic–55-75%  Linoleic–15-35%

Rapeseed Oil   Oleic–63%  Linoleic–20%

Sea Buckthorn Oil  Oleic–28.4%  Linoleic–6.8%

Shea Butter  Oleic–40-45%  Linoleic–3-8%

Shea Nut Oil  Oleic–73.15  Linoleic–13.71
 

Somewhat Balanced Oils Higher in Oleic Acid

Argan Oil Oleic–42-48%  Linoleic–30-38%

Baobab Oil  Oleic–30-40% Linoleic–24-34%

Brazil Nut Oil  Oleic–35-50%  Linoleic–25-40%

Coconut Oil (Unrefined) Oleic–5-10%  Linoleic–1-2.5%

Coconut Oil (Refined) Oleic–4.39%  Linoleic–0.95%

Flaxseed Oil Oleic–21%  Linoleic–16%

Jojoba Oil Oleic–5-15%  Linoleic–5%

Perilla Seed Oil  Oleic–18%  Linoleic–14%

Rice Bran Oil Oleic–38.4%  Linoleic–34.4%

Tamanu Oil Oleic–41.4%  Linoleic–29.7%

Tea Seed Oil  Oleic–80%   Linoleic–10%
  

Oils Higher in Linoleic Acid (Oily Skin/Problematic)

Black Seed Oil Oleic–22.6%  Linoleic–55.6%

Emu Oil  Oleic–1-2%  Linoleic–20%

Evening Primrose Oil Oleic–8.4%  Linoleic–72.6%

Hemp Seed Oil Oleic–10.71%  Linoleic–56.48%

Grape Seed Oil (Organic) Oleic–16.2%  Linoleic–70.6%

Maracuja Oil (Passionfruit Seed Oil) Oleic–12%  Linoleic–77%

Papaya Seed Oil  Oleic–13%  Linoleic–72-77%
 
*Prickly Pear Seed Oil  Oleic–20.6%  Linoleic–60.5%

Pumpkin Seed Oil Oleic–23.3%  Linoleic–57.2%
 
*Red Raspberry Seed Oil  Oleic–12%  Linoleic–54.5%

Rosehip Seed Oil Oleic–13.9%  Linoleic–44.1%

Safflower/Thistle Oil (Organic) Oleic–8-30%  Linoleic–68-85%

Sunflower Oil  Oleic–30%  Linoleic–59%

Soybean Oil  Oleic–22.72%  Linoleic–52.97%

Walnut Oil  Oleic–25-35%  Linoleic–45-60%

Wheat Germ Oil Oleic–12.1%  Linoleic–58.4%
(Not suitable for people with gluten allergies)
 

Somewhat Balanced Oils Higher in Linoleic Acid 

Borage Oil  Oleic–6-20% Linoleic–35-38%

Castor Oil  Oleic–3.93  Linoleic–4.32%

Chia Seed Oil  Oleic–8%  Linoelic–21%

Kiwi Seed Oil  Oleic–12%  Linoelic–15%

Kukui Nut Oil  Oleic–25.4%  Linoleic–39.8%

Pomegranate Oil  Oleic–6.2%  Linoleic–7.1%

Sesame Oil  Oleic–39.21%  Linoleic–45.69%
 
DOWNLOAD PDF
 

If you have acne-prone/sensitive skin and tried using only high-linoleic oils, would you like to share your experience?
And if you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter with the sidebar on the left :)
 
*= Added on demand after post was published and is NOT added in the PDF!
 
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Mádara Cosmetics Northern Herbarium Review

2014-08-05 @ 14:29:14

 
One of my favorite things I got in my Naturalbox (review) was this kit from Mádara. I saved this set to use in the summer where we usually spend it at our summer house. Rose seems to be the common thread in these three, which I thought was complimenting from what we've learned from my latest post on Ayurveda and summer skin (☛ check it out).
Even though I will always be faithful to my oils, I do like to go back and test the conventional skincare to see if I’m missing something.

Madara Eco Face Deep Purifying Foam

★☆☆☆☆

I’ve practically moved away from foam cleansers but thought to give this one a try when it’s basically just rose water with a foam pump to it (so not technically a foam cleanser).
If you like when it foams a lot, look the other way, this one dies pretty quickly. The honest truth, there wasn’t much I liked about this cleanser. It did nothing to remove my make up, even when used together with a Konjac Sponge. And well, if a cleanser can’t do just what it’s supposed to do, then it’s no point to use. 
The foam is very gentle and feels nice to work with, so it’s too bad it just doesn’t clean. I ended up using it only on days when I had no make up on, just to “freshen up”. But it would work much better as a mist.

INGREDIENTS: Aqua, Sodium Cocamphoacetate, Rosa Damascena, Alcohol, Glycerin, Lactic AcidSucrose Cocoate, Achillea Millefolium, Calendula Officinalis, Chamomilla Recutita, Aroma.
 

Madara Eco Face Deep Moisture Fluid 

★★★☆☆

Okay, so I didn’t hate this one, but I didn’t love it either. I’ve also tried the Deep Moisture Cream that’s for dry skin during the winter, and that one I kind of liked a bit more, nonetheless the fluid-kind suits better in the summer. It keeps moisture well and your face feels smooth and soft. This is probably just personal preference, but I did reach for my oils to use instead, mostly because I feel allergic to the many ingredients I can’t pronounce. With that said, if I were stuck on an island without my oils and only this, it would be a good substitute. But I just feel cleaner with only oils on my face.
 
 
INGREDIENTS: Aqua, Rosa Damascena, Alcohol, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis, Helianthus Annuus (Oil), Trifolium Pratense, Rubus Idaeus, Cetearyl Alcohol, Persea Gratissima, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Tillia Cordata, Artemisa Vulgaris, Lecitin, Betain(-e)Stearic Acid Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Xantan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Mica (CI 77019), Lactic Acid, Aroma, Citral, LimoneneLinalool, Sodium phytate, Palmitic Acid.
 

Madara Eco Face Regenerating Night Cream 

★★★★☆

This one isn’t cleaner either but the feeling of it was more pleasant. Mostly because my outbreaks happens during the day, which makes me less worried of what I put on in the evening. Usually on those days when I would use the night cream I would wake up with a much calmer and hydrated face - looking more “plump” which we all want to look like when we wake up.
So yes, I spent using this one more than the other two, because I felt like it really works!
I also tried blending it with my rose hip oil, which usually leaves some flakiness, but this combo just left me looking young.
Don’t ask me if I’ll re-buy it, because the only thing I usually restock is pure oils, but I wouldn't mind getting another sample of it.
 

INGREDIENTS: Aqua, Alcohol, Simmondsia Chinensis, Persea Gratissima, Rosa Damascena, GlycerinPolyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Theobroma Cacao, Helianthus Annuus (Oil), Cetearyl Alcohol, Hordeum Vulgare, Algae, Humulus Lupulus, Hippophae Rhamnoides, Lycopersicum Esculentum, Plantago Major, Calendula Officinalis Chamomilla Recutita Stearic Acid Palmitic Acid, Sodium HyaluronateTocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Xantan Gum, Sodium phytate, Lactic Acid, AromaCitronellol, Geraniol, Linalool.



Have you tried something from Mádara? Do you agree with my review?
Share in the comments below!
 
 
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Summer Cool With Ayurveda

2014-07-25 @ 13:43:00

 
The summer is the season of Pitta in Ayurveda. Think hot, fire and steam. And if you’re already Pitta dominant, this season can overload you and put you off balance which usually shows in the face. But no matter what constitution, anyone could benefit from some Pitta reducing tricks in the summer!
 

How To Cool Down Both Body & Mind

 
 
Foods
 
The Summer is the perfect time for living on raw food and it’s quite cooling for the body too! Think of fully ripe sweet and juicy fruits and leafy greens to be at least 80% of your daily diet, and cut down the fat intake. Sipping on cooling water (not ice cold) throughout the day will also keep the fire low. Avoid onions, garlic, spicy and hot foods, rather indulge in cold soups or wait until the meal has gotten to room temperature.
 
 
 
Yoga & Exercise
 
It can be quite tempting to have fun in the sun, but it’s best to avoid exercising during the hot part of the day. If you like biking or running try doing it early mornings and evenings instead when the temperature is slightly cooler. Otherwise, favor peaceful and relaxing walks in nature, light gardening, swimming and gentle yoga.
 

As for gentle yoga, Moon Salutations are more appropriate than Sun Salutation during this season. Keeping the practice fun and light with plenty of twists and side body openers. Try to not sweat and focus more on your exhalations!
 
 
 
Pranayama
 
Practicing cooling pranayamas after asanas or when you feel a build up of heat can help.
Shitali (cooling breath) and Left-Nostril breathing will calm the hot quality of Pitta. The left nostril is associated with our body’s cooling energy, and by breathing through it it activates the Ida Nerve Ending in the left nostril, which relates to calmness and relaxation. 
 
 
Moon Bathing
 
Limit sunbathing and try moon-bathing. The moon’s cooling light helps to balance Pitta.
Engage in full moon beach walks, hikes, strolls or even sitting outdoors under the rays of the moon infuses the body with the moon’s cooling nature.
 
 

Cooling Skincare

 
 
Neem Oil
 
Neem has a bitter taste, which gives its powerful cooling effect. It’s one of the most cooling herbalized oils used in Ayurveda and this makes it most balancing to Pitta. One prominent location excess Pitta is shown is the skin; the heat from the sun can much likely aggregate it.
By applying Neem, either topically or orally, you can sooth the skin/body, and cool the inflamed bits. It's even very good to have against mosquitos and to sooth itching bites.

COOLING & CALMING NEEM MASK

2Tsp Raw Buckwheat Honey
1Tsp Neem Leaf Powder
5 Drops Neem Oil
A few drops of Roman Chamomile
+ Too thick, add some water
Mix, apply and let set for 20 minutes.
 
Coconut & Sunflower Oil
 
A cooling massage with these oil and an addition of some cooling essential oils of: Rose, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Jasmine or Lavender will keep you calm and collected throughout those hot summer days.
This both nourishes the skin and protects it against the heat and sunny days.
 
 
Rose Water
 
Pitta benefits from regular hydration especially in summer to counter heat. Rose is considered cooling for mind, body and emotions, and is used topically, orally and even inhaled to relax the spirit. Keeping some chilled Rose Water Mist on hand to spray during the hot days can be helpful, and works just as well in smoothies. Agni (Fire) shows in the eyes, and it can be a good thing to soak a cotton gal with some Rose Water and cleanse the eyelids with, this will bring Pitta down.
 
 
Hope you have a lovely summer! :)
 
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Summer Break

2014-07-07 @ 15:00:00

 
It’s time for the yearly summer break in the blog-o-sphere. I always see visitor-stat decline around this time, and usually I’m not that active either. After making it a mission at the beginning of this year to post at least once a week, I think I can do that this summer.
But as always, I will try to focus on the three F’s: Family, Friends & Fruit! Leaving only room for some occasional Instagram and answering any comments!
I also have some other plans for this blog that I need to concentrate on so stay tuned for that! ;)
 
In the meantime I would love to hear what you would like to see more on the blog!
Tell me in the comments below!

Otherwise I’m wishing You the best Summer and all the luck for your plans!
Peter and I are starting this summer out with a Watermelon Feast for two days before heading to Stockholm for one week to see my mom, then it's back to our summer house to finish building our carport.
 
Lots of Love & Fruit <3 
 
 
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