The Organic Beauty Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide 2017 | The Organic Beauty Blog

Without being too heavy handed and preachy, I like to give gifts that inspire happiness and health, that stay true to my values of sustainability, social consciousness, and wellness.  Kind of a tall order, eh? Well if you share any of those values, or just want to give your friends and family gifts that will help them live their best lives in the coming year, I’ve done all the work for you.  From the kitchen, to the bathroom, to the play mat, our holiday gift guide features my top picks for gifts that will inspire, simplify, and bring joy to those you love!

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Why I’m Embracing Minimalism This Holiday Season.. And Beyond

Embracing Minimalism This Holiday Season  |  The Organic Beauty BlogAnyone who knows me know that, at my core, I am anything but a minimalist.  Historically, I keep everything —  I have clothes, jewelry, notebooks, diaries, and trinkets dating as far back as elementary school.  I love stuff — I have stockpiles of unopened journals, stacks of books I’ve never read, and storage boxes full of trinkets, decorative items and pillow covers for seasonally swapping out.  I love to shop, I love presents, I love information, and I love options.  Needless to say, embracing minimalism does not come naturally to me.

But as I’ve gotten older (or, shall we say, more mature), and more tuned deeper into the wants and needs of my soul, I’ve begun to realize that not only does more stuff not lead to more happiness, but quite to the contrary, it leads to more anxiety, more distraction, and more physical and mental clutter.

Those of us with kids know that parenthood only exacerbates this phenomena.  Having children seems to mean an endless accumulation of clutter — physical, mental, emotional. I felt this keenly shortly after little M was born, and I slowly began the process of KonMari-ing my life (for the uninitiated, that is the Japanese art of decluttering your life and paring down your possessions to simply things that bring you joy.. It’s the best thing ever.  Even GOOP says so).  I’ve donated and sold mountains of clothes, books and jewelry that didn’t bring me joy; I’ve thrown away stacks of old papers and notebooks; I’ve allowed my (super minimalist) husband to throw away long-kept household items that were broken, old, or otherwise no longer useful.  It has felt great.  Liberating.  Clarifying.

But then the holidays roll around.  Between the shopping, wish list creating, decorating, cooking, and celebrating, it’s so easy to forget why less stuff equals more happiness, more calm, and a happier family.  So I am pausing my perusal of 12 Days of Deals on Amazon to remind myself (and hopefully inspire one or two of you!) of why I’m embracing minimalism, especially at this time of year.

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The Easiest, Prettiest Holiday Photos You’ve Ever Done

Minted Holiday Photo | The Organic Beauty Blog

Growing up, we were never a holiday photo card family.  With the exception of school photos, we never had any professional photos taken — as a Russian-Jewish family, it just wasn’t something that was done.  Secretly, I always envied our American family friends around the holidays — those adorable family photo cards that we received, with the little updates on the goings-on of the year just seemed like such a special way to celebrate family milestones and share holiday cheer with friends.

Now that we have our own little family, I finally have the opportunity to partake in this distinctly American holiday tradition, and every year since our little one was born, we’ve created our holiday cards with Minted. I love their beautiful designs, ranging from minimal and modern to traditional and glitzy; I love how easy the cards are to customize; and I especially love the awesome perks, like free address labeling and maintaining a digital address book.

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How to Fight Dry Skin This Fall

How to Fight Dry Skin This Fall | The Organic Beauty Blog

This time of year, a natural drying out tends to take place.  The air is dryer and cooler, we sweat less, and our skin is more sensitive to the temperature fluctuations indoors as well.  I, personally, go from having dewy, glowing summer skin to having dull, dry skin in a matter of weeks once fall hits (that is, if I don’t follow my own advice below!).

Even though many of us on the coasts have been enjoying an autumnal heat wave, it’s not too soon to autumn and winter-proof your skincare routine, to prevent and treat dry skin before it get’s bad.

Here are my 5 steps and fave products to fight dry skin and keep it hydrated, glowing, and gorgeous, even as the temperature drops!

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How to Have a Healthier Halloween.. and start to the holiday season

 

How to Have a Healthier Halloween | The Organic Beauty BlogHalloween marks the beginning of the holiday season — often a time of overindulgence, guilt, and then backlash come January.  This is a crappy cycle that I’m constantly working with my clients to break, but it’s a tough nut to crack, in part because it’s so deeply engrained in our culture. Here’s an interesting thought though, we can create the culture in our own families; we can literally create, right now, a paradigm of what our children know as “normal,” and we have a lot more control around it than we think.

We can’t shield our children from the big bad world of processed food, candy, and overindulgence, but we can 100% make healthier choices in our own homes that show our children an alternate path to what is essentially a two month food binge.

The kicker is that we have to make these choices for ourselves too.  We don’t want to be those parents that hide our kids Halloween candy and then eat it ourselves after they go to bed.  We’ve gotta practice what we preach, and that takes a general reframe around this fun, sugar-drenched holiday, and the holiday season in general.

Now we all have to decide where to draw the line and what works for our respective families, but here’s what I’m doing in our house to have a healthier halloween, and by extension, holiday season!

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GIVEAWAY: A Sensitivity Scan from Balanced Health

Do you ever feel like there is some mysterious force keeping you from feeling your absolute best? How sometimes, you just wake up in the morning feeling like crap.  Or you eat a normal (not even super unhealthy!) meal and end up bloated and sluggish.  Or you get the sniffles seemingly out of nowhere.  Or your skin is an unpredictable mess.

Food and environmental sensitivities may be the culprit.

Reactions to often otherwise harmless foods or hidden toxins in your environment could be wreaking havoc on your health, mood, hell… your whole life!  So figuring them out is key.

I’ve long been a big fan of Balanced Health Bioenergetic Scanning (read about my experience with the Full Scan here).  It’s an amazing tool for figuring out what is throwing your body off track and can be a crucial step in getting your health and wellness back on track (or just on track to begin with).

The cool thing is that discovering your sensitivities isn’t the same thing as testing for allergies.  Sensitivities can come and go depending on your immunity, inflammation, exposure, digestion, and so many other factors.  Often times, just removing the triggering food or environmental factor for 30 days or so can make a WORLD of difference.  And unlike allergy testing, bioenergetic scanning reveals what you are sensitive to RIGHT NOW, which is such a potent tool in regaining control of your health.

I’m so impressed by this science and so excited to share it with you, that I’ve partnered with Balanced Health to give away a Sensitivity Scan to one lucky beauty to help you understand your body and reclaim your health. Enter below!

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Never Ask “What Do I Wear?” Again

Never Ask What Do I Wear Again | The Organic Beauty Blog

I don’t know about you, but picking out my outfit every day feels like a gigantic inconvenience, especially now that I’m a mom.  I totally understand why so many mamas default to their signature easy, comfy leggings and t-shirt combo — we just don’t have the brain power to dedicate to fashion right now.

But I, personally, am not content to just give up and go for the easy way out.  I want to look good, I want to feel good, and having a time/brain/emotion draining little human in tow is no excuse not to make it happen.

My solution for the last two years has been to shop.  I buy more and more stuff, thinking that just this one new addition to my wardrobe will freshen everything up and motivate me to look the way I want to feel.  But the reality is that now my closet is overflowing with clothes, and every morning, I’m still plagued with the eternal question: What do I wear?!??!  (Followed immediately by: “I have nothing to wear!”)

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3 Berry Recipes to Help You Take Advantage of Summer’s Superfood

SPONSORED POST: I’ve partnered with Milk & Eggs, an amazing farm direct grocery delivery service, to bring you guys some delicious, super seasonal, and always healthy recipes a few times a month.  I’m so excited to share some of my favorite dishes and health food products with you!

3 Berry Recipes |  The Organic Beauty Blog

Berries are my favorite part of spring and summer.  They’re everywhere, they’re delicious, and they are loaded with amazing health benefits.  One of my favorite summertime treats is opening up my grocery delivery box to find tons of fresh, organic berries that I get to enjoy all week long.

We all know (hopefully) that berries are loaded with antioxidants, which make them an amazing anti-aging and anti-cancer food, but perhaps we could use a little reminder about why these colorful little treats are so great?  Behold:

8 Awesome Health Benefits of Berries:

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Grain-Free Cherry Crisp (paleo, vegan)

Grain-Free Cherry Crisp | The Organic Beauty Blog

Ahhhhh cherries…. These little puppies are so good (and good for you!) that they don’t last long in our house (check out my recent post on all the amazing health benefits of berries here).  But after a few weeks of traveling and insanity, I found a bag of forgotten, nearly-past-their-prime cherries in a dark corner of my fridge, and knew I had to get them into our bellies right quick.

Enter: the trusty crisp!  Crisps and crumbles are such a quick, easy, and healthy dessert, but one I typically reserve for fall/winter… Apple crisps, pear crumbles, something about these humble desserts just elicit images of cozy evenings by the fire in the colder months.

But with summer upon us and berry season in full swing, I thought, why not make a summery version of this favorite, in a perfect size just for two?

I opted for a grain-free cherry crisp as opposed to a crumble since it’s easier to omit oats (which are more of a fall/winter grain) in favor of nut flour.  And instead of cinnamon (which is a warming, cold weather spice), I used cardamom (a cooling, digestion-boosting summer spice), which lends a different flavor profile to the dessert, and complements the cherries beautifully. The whole thing ends up being totally grain-free and the use of maple syrup as a sweetener makes it paleo as well.  It’s pretty much the perfect healthy dessert!

Enjoy!

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