Archive of ‘Natural Living & Beauty’ category

That Farm Life

Try Organic FoodWe’re going a little bit country again in today’s post, as I visit a farm that produces food locally and sustainably. It’s harvest time, and farms around the country are bringing in crops. There are a few weeks left of the local farmer’s markets here this season, so there is still time to enjoy fresh produce and locally raised meats and other goods.

 

On the farm

It’s important to me that the animals who make my food are treated well, and you can totally see how happy the animals here are! They have pasture, the best food, and humans who care about their quality of life. Just look at these content goats.

Happy GoatsWhat I’ve learned from visiting small family farms like this one is how hard farmers work to make food for us. It’s a monumental task to feed and care for all these animals and crops! It’s a job that really never ends–it means being constantly on call, working every single day, no weekends, no vacations!

Giant Kale Patch KidsCabbage like that didn’t grow itself! (Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a Cabbage Patch Kid? It’s fun! Enriching life moment for any child of the 80s.)

So thank you, farmers, for growing our food. We can all thank a farmer by patronizing farmer’s markets and shopping locally. Wondering if there is a farmer’s market or other source of local produce near you? Chances are, there is! Even many colleges and universities have them. Local Harvest can help you locate your nearest farms and farmer’s markets with just a few clicks.

Outfit details: Dress (Similar) Charlotte Russe  Necklace Forever 21

Top image: magnet available from Ephemera

Why Buy Organic Clothing?

Stylishly Eco-Friendly options are growing. Here are 4 reasons to consider stocking organic in your closet as well as your refrigerator.

Organic resort clothing

Being Eco in Style!

When I first started writing a magazine article on organic clothing, my own knowledge of Eco-friendly apparel was limited to the two pairs of organic cotton leggings that I bought through a group buying site only because they were a great price. I’d never considered the merits of buying organic clothing before, but after researching it for the article, I was a convert. Here’s why.

Reasons to Buy Organic Clothing

Organic style-The Environment

It takes an enormous amount of fertilizers and pesticides to grow conventional cotton. Did you know that cotton crops use 25% of the world’s pesticides? The insecticides used on cotton crops are among those the World Health Organization lists as the most harmful to humans. Not exactly what we want leaching into the soil and water! Organic cotton, hemp and bamboo crops don’t use these toxic chemicals, making the planet healthier for all of us.

-The Workers

Organic apparel is more likely to be made in the U.S. or with overseas fair trade labor. This can mean prices that are slightly higher than fast fashion retailer prices, but I was pleasantly surprised that the prices don’t seem too outrageous (that group buy deal I found was two pairs of leggings for $19!).

-The Snowball Effect

As demand for organic apparel rises, so too will the options available. So by buying organic clothing, you’ll be taking part in a movement that will mean more organic crops grown and more organic clothing sold.

-Style

When I think of organic clothing I think of things that could only be worn to yoga or an outdoor festival. And it’s true, there are plenty of hippie-chic, ultra-casual organic clothing for sale. But as awareness about organic clothing grows, the choices are growing too. I learned that Synergy organic fashions are sold on Ruche and Modcloth, and they’re really cute as you can see in the slideshow above. The photos shown in this post are from Prana, another fashion-forward organic retailer with a variety of styles available.

Vacation in organic clothingAfter I wrote the article I was inspired to start switching my wardrobe over to more organic clothing. Guess how long that lasted? Less than a week later I was at Forever 21. So maybe it’s more realistic to start adding organic elements to my closet slowly, like with another pair of organic leggings!

What do you think about organic clothing? Do you own any?

Photos courtesy of Prana, used with permission.

Tips for growing healthy nails, naturally

grow your nails naturallyHow to Get Long, Strong Nails

I’m blessed with healthy, fast-growing nails, almost to the point of annoyance since I need to trim them every week or two. Now before you get super jealous, know that this does not mean I have luxurious, quickly growing hair. Quite the opposite, I have brittle hair that refuses to grow past a certain point and I would trade my nails in a heartbeat to have better hair. But if you’re on a quest to get healthier, longer nails, there are some natural nail tricks that don’t require toxic chemicals or salon trips.

Everyone from nail salon artists to my dental hygienist have complimented my naturally long nails. I often get asked how I get my nails so long, which I never had a good answer to. I never did anything special to my nails, or really gave them much thought. I would shrug it off as good genes and explain that they just grew that way. But when I started putting some cause and effect pieces together, I realized that some of my habits were affecting my nails. Here are some tips I’ve found that can make a huge difference in your nail health.

5 tips for healthy nails5 Tips for Longer Nails, Naturally

1. Eat as healthy a diet as you can manage, filled with good fats and a variety of vegetables and skip the junk (especially sugar and highly processed foods). I’ve noticed that during times when my diet wasn’t the best, my nails constantly broke and wouldn’t grow long. What you put in your body really, truly affects how it functions and looks.

2. I started taking fermented cod liver oil capsules, and while it sounds gross you can’t taste it at all. After just two weeks, my nails have never looked better. And they haven’t broken or chipped, even though I’ve been gardening and cleaning without gloves.

3. Biotin, a B vitamin, is known to be great for growing hair and nails. I I try to take it every day for my hair. It’s fairly inexpensive and you can buy it at a health food or vitamin store. (Note: consult a health professional before starting any dietary supplements.)

4. Keep nails filed neatly, and if you do get a snag or rough edge file it smooth to prevent further breakage.

5. Go all natural: give your nails the chance to breathe by going polish-free at least one week every month.

Have you ever tried any of these? If you have a trick for healthy nails, I want to hear it! Thanks for reading and good luck growing those pretty nails.

Violet Flower Crowns

Violet flower crownThere’s a little flower that’s in season right now in the upper Midwest, and it’s been a huge inspiration to me this week. I had a throwback to childhood moment and decided to make a flower crown with real woodland violets as I used to do as a kid. I made a slip knot with each stem, then closed the knot around the stem of the next flower, and so on. It was a lot harder than I remembered! I had to use sewing thread to bind the flowers together and even so it was delicate and short-lived. But I was able to wear it for this photo shoot and it was a good excuse to play barefoot in the woods.

Violet Flower Crowns

DIY real violet flower crownBesides being a lovely accessory inspiration, violets have many other uses too! I’ll be covering that in a post really soon.

Shop flower crowns

Flowers aren’t in season where you live? Get a ready made flower crown at a good price at the shops I’ve linked below. And don’t forget my personal favorite source for handmade goods: Etsy, where you can find every style of violet flower crown you can dream of.

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