Archive of ‘Natural Living & Beauty’ category

Nature-Inspired Fall Nail Colors

Nature Inspired fall nail colorsDraw inspiration from nature for your fall nail colors

When you’re searching for perfect fall nail colors, you might be drawn to darks and neutrals. Don’t be fooled by the gray skies and browning leaves–autumn is a rich season for color. To be reminded of all the hues fall has to offer, I have to look no further than the pile of mini squash on my table that grew unbidden out of the compost heap this year! (That’s my kind of gardening–crops that grow themselves!) This post is inspired by their vibrance, so take a closer look at the colors below. All colors featured are free of the common nail polish toxins.

Nature Inspired Fall nail colorsThis canary color is from Mineral Essence brand, available at many natural food stores. You might think of yellow as quintessential for spring and summer, but what about autumn’s yellow leaves, golden sunsets and yellow-orange pumpkin pie? Yellow and gold tones are actually quite perfect for fall.

Nature-inspired fall nail colors You can’t go wrong with a dusty red for fall. This is one of my favorite brands, Water Colors by Honeybee gardens. The vegan, cruelty-free polish is one of the least toxic available. It barely even smells like nail polish when you open the bottle.

Nature-inspired fall nail colors It may be fall but green’s not gone yet! This Mineral Essence green really pops against a dark fall wardrobe.

What are your favorite nail colors for fall?

Merino Wool Sportswear

Grunard Wool HoodiesAfter the success of my Organic Apparel post, I found out about a start up company that aims to make a full line of sportswear made from 100% Merino Wool. That’s right, wool. Sustanable, organic, fire-resistant, water-repellent, moisture wicking, body temperature-regulating wool. Sounds like everything you’d ever want in active wear, right? (Fellow Irish dancers take note! These would be perfect to wear around those always-chilly feis venues!).

Grunard Apparel is currently crowd funding pre-orders for their first product, a classic hoodie, and they have plans for an extended line of men’s and women’s gear down the road. I’m hoping for fitted racer-back tanks and leggings in the near future! During the backing period, which runs until October 26, you can pre-order the revolutionary hoodie for half off. You know how I love a good deal

For more details on the product, the crowd funding page really lays it all out nicely. And make sure to watch their creative and funny video. You gotta love when companies know how to have a sense of humor.

What do you think of wearing wool performance wear? Would you try it?

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.


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.

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