I've taken a much needed break from the blog because I've been pushing through life's hardships recently. While I struggle through things, however, I've been savoring the joys as well. I've been spending time at farmers markets, eating vegan food, laughing at comedy shows, sweating at volunteer work, watching new tv shows, reading bittersweet books, practicing yoga, turning 21, reconnecting with friends, moving towards zero waste and taking part in the never ending process of paring down my closet. (Find me on Poshmark to purchase some items!) I'm so incredibly grateful for all the wonderful friends and family in my life who continue to have my back and the little victories of making personal connections with strangers. One way I've enjoyed those connections is through handmade goods and personalization. When you make things yourself and buy handmade or personalized goods you treat them better. There's a pride you take in those products because there's a real connection to it.
CANDLE – I found this candle at the store Often Wander in Ocean Beach, San Diego. The store features local handmade items and the candle was actually made in their store. Often Wander also offers free candle refills once the one you bought has run its course. A nice handmade candle can be a great way to relax after a busy day, just don't forget to use matches instead of lighters!
SALT SCRUB (not pictured) – I recently made my own salt scrub and am really satisfied with the results. I found a great recipe online at homemade-gifts-made-easy.com and have been using it little by little to exfoliate and moisturize my skin. On her website Stephanie and Tobias say to use it before you shave in place of shaving cream but I found that can clog the razor head. Instead I like to use the scrub in the shower, one or two days before I shave and use soap to shave. To each their own, however there really is no need for shaving cream, soap works just as well!
BULK SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER AND LOTION – I finally made a trip to the Refill Shoppe in Ventura the other day and filled up on shampoo, conditioner and lotion. The shop has containers for purchase but you are also welcome to bring your own. They carry a bunch of amazing products that are all organic- it was hard for me to leave! The best part about the experience though is getting to personalize your bull purchase with scent. The shop has a wide variety of essential oils and incredibly helpful salespeople who can help you decide what works best for you. (I'm forever a lavender girl!)
YOGA MAT SPRAY – I'm a lover of yoga, I know that it's obnoxiously trendy right now but I feel that it is truly great for the mind, body and soul. I have been enjoying the YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene this year because sometimes it's most comfortable to practice in the comfort of your own home. Before I decided to attempt zero waste (check out Bea Johnson's book Zero Waste Home if you get the chance!!) I would use Clorox wipes to clean my mat. Not only were those chemicals harmful to the environment but probably not great for my mat either. I was wanting a more natural product to use and Adriene has a nice video on how to make your own cleansing spray! The steps are simple and results are wonderful. I highly recommend it.
I love the personal touch or connection that these products can give- however that doesn't mean that sustainable rules should go out the window. Even handmade goods should be acquired in moderation. It is still so important to make thoughtful and purposeful purchases! That being said: I encourage you all to seek out local and handmade items or do some research and make products yourself, trust me, it's worth it!