For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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How To: All Natural Easter Eggs

Easter is right around the corner and you know what that means… Easter eggs! And while I don’t quite understand the connection to Easter and colored eggs, it is a tradition I love to partake in. All my life I have happily bought egg coloring kits and mixed chemicals and dyes together to make pretty eggs. This year I thought of something new. I thought there has to be a more natural way to dye eggs for Easter. So I did some research and here is what I came up with.

For each of the following colors, use 1 cup of water with one of the following:

1 cup chopped purple cabbage = blue

1 cup red onion skins = lavender

1 cup yellow onion skins = orange

1 cup shredded beets = pink

2 tablespoons ground turmeric = yellow

For a dozen eggs, you will need about five cups of dye. So you can make five cups of one color using the same ratio or split it up and make one of each. In order to make the dye, mix the coloring agent (cabbage, onion skins, beets, or turmeric) with water in a saucepan and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce it to a simmer for roughly 15 to 30 minutes. This timing difference depends heavily on how dark you want your eggs. As a rule of thumb, make sure the water is two shades darker than the desired color of your eggs. Once you have the desired color, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool before straining out the added ingredient. Add in a teaspoon of vinegar for every cup of water and you are ready to go!

All Natural Easter Eggs

Tip: Use white eggs to get the most color pay off. And if you didn’t already know, make sure the eggs are hard-boiled first!

Mix the dyes together for some fun, custom colors. Since all of the eggs are dyed with natural ingredients, they are safe to eat after. They might even have a little extra kick to them!


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Be My (Conscious) Valentine?

Valentines day is right around the corner and while giving gifts is fun, giving socially conscious gifts is MORE fun. Here are a few twists on the typical chocolate and flowers. All of the products below are socially conscious in a variety of different ways and are sure to make the guy or girl in your life happy.

Chocolate:

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To me chocolate is great any time of day, month, year, etc., but chocolate on Valentine’s Day is always a little extra special. It’s a great time to splurge on a pricy piece of chocolate that you normally might not gravitate to for your daily (or weekly/monthly/not at all if you have a better self control than I do). I love the Endangered Species Chocolate bars, which are in fact not made out of endangered species, but give 10% of profits to endangered species organizations. My favorites are the dark chocolate with espresso beans and dark chocolate with peppermint crunch. You can find this brand at a variety of grocery stores, but if you can’t find this particular brand, Whole Foods usually has a decent selection of socially conscious chocolate.

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This next one is a type of chocolate you might not want to eat. This Too Faced eye shadow palette is made with cocoa powder so it smells delicious. The soft texture, high pigmentation, variety of neutrals and statement colors, and the oh so delicious chocolate scent make this palette something special. Another thing that makes it special is because Too Faced is a cruelty free brand.

Flowers:

Before starting my blog I would have never thought to look into the flower industry’s effect on the environment. But with the upcoming holiday, the idea popped into my head and I started to do a little research. Did you know that 80% of cut flowers sold in the U.S. are imported? Between transportation costs and the pesticide usage, there are plenty of reasons to look into flower alternatives. Luckily there are some alternatives:

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  1. To ensure your flowers are local, stop by a farmers market. You’ll be supporting local business too.
  2. Order flowers from a USDA certified organic companies such as: OrganicBouquets.com, LocalHarvest.org, or Veriflora.com.
  3. Not into flowers? Buy some herbs! A potted herb is the gift that keeps on giving. There’s nothing like having fresh herbs for cooking. So convenient and so tasty.

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? Leave your plans in the comments below!

 

 

 


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Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

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1. When I was younger, I definitely would have loved one of these “normal” looking dolls.

2. A few things to start doing in 2016.

3. A trashcan for the ocean.

4. Rhode Island celebrated a great cause this week for a new holiday called D-Strong Day.


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Decluttering 2016: Out with the old

January is the month of resolutions and new beginnings. New year, new you, right? That being said, start of a new year is the perfect time to go through all of your things and decide what you want to bring with you in 2016. Out with the old and in with the new. Start off the year on a conscious note by clearing out and donating the things you don’t need/like/want, so you can focus on the things you love.

Often times once the hype of the New Year dies down, so does our motivation to keep to our goals for the New Year. Here are a few ideas to help you stay motivated in the first few months of 2016 while you clean out, organize, and declutter your life.

1. Read a Book:

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But not just any book… While I have yet to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I have heard WONDERS about it. Japanese cleaning consultant, Marie Kondo, gives you a step-by-step guide to organize, simplify, and store all of your belongings. Many organization methods recommend a room-by-room method, but Kondo explains a new category-by-category system that can help you achieve better results. She urges you to determine which of your possessions “spark joy” and which do not in order to minimize your possessions. The ultimate goal is to come to the realization that you have more processions than you need and it’s cluttering your life. This book will help you take the necessary steps to make a permanent change in your life.

2. Clothes Capsule:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z82_FIkosc4

Clothes capsules and mini wardrobes are a great way to weed out clothes you don’t need and figure out which ones you can and can’t live without. The idea behind a smaller wardrobe is that it saves you time when deciding what to wear, saves money, and simplifies your life. I recently heard about a clothes capsule challenge called 15 for February, which you can read more about here. Basically, you challenge yourself to choose 15 items to wear in the entire month of February. 15 for February is also tied to the charity Contact a Family, which is a British charity that helps families with disabled children. Get your friends involved, get sponsored, and get rid of all the clothes you don’t need!

3. Give Back:

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Now that you’ve successfully organized, cleaned, and de-cluttered, it is time to give back. Donate all the clothes you cleaned out to charity, which could be a homeless shelter, Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc.. You could even give them to a friend who will appreciate them. Or if you’re looking to make a buck, sell them to a consignment shop. All of these are a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Only discard of things that you KNOW no one in their right mind would want. Those stinky, scuffed up, full of holes, used-to-be-white-but-are-now-pale-yellow sneakers are probably good to go.

I hope these tips will inspire you to take a good look at everything you own and take the time to simplify your life. Happy 2016!


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Monday Motivation

Because Monday’s are hard and sometimes we need a little motivation…

 
With the New Year right around the corner, many people are looking to change themselves. And while change is good and necessary, it’s also important to appreciate yourself in every form. Remember that when your making your resolutions.  


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2015 Gifts That Give Back

Tis’ the season for giving! I’ve curated a fun list of gift ideas that give back in more ways that one. By giving these gifts, you’re also giving back to a great cause.

2015 Gifts That Give Back

 

1. The Gemma Hat by Krochet Kids: Krochet Kids supports women living in poverty in Northern Uganda and Peru by providing them with jobs, an education, and career counseling in order to create long lasting, sustainable change. This classic, gray pompom beanie is perfect for colder weather.

2. Dime Collection (tortoise frame with gold mirror lenses) by Diff Eyewear: These shades not only keep you from squinting on bright, sunny days, but also help to supply eyeglasses to rural areas in Africa. For every pair of eyewear that is bought through Diff Eyewear, a pair of eyeglasses is given (at no cost) to communities that do not have access to vision care.

3. Resilience Necklace by Made By Survivors: Made By Survivors provides jobs, education, and shelter to thousands of human trafficking survivors in Nepal, India, Cambodia, and Thailand. This particular necklace is inspired by vines that grow in Northern India. Like the women who make these necklaces, vines are very resilient. When you cut them down, they grow back even stronger.

4. Black and Gold Striped Vase by Ten Thousand Villages: Ten Thousand Villages is one of the world’s largest fair trade organizations. They are the founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization and strive to improve the lives of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries. This vase is made with a traditional Peruvian technique, but the black and gold stripes give it a modern twist.

5. Nine West Cross Body from The Fashion Foundation: Recently Nine West donated over 300 bags to the Fashion Foundation. So if you want to get a good quality bag for a fraction of the cost while also supporting a good cause, this is the place to do it. The Fashion Foundation has donated over $10,000 to schools in need of basic supplies like pencils, crayons, uniforms, and basic gym equipment. You can read more about The Fashion Foundation in this interview I did with the founder, Amanda Munz.

6. Maria Poncho by Moorea Seal: Moorea Seal is an awesome store that donates 7% of profits to a variety of causes. This poncho combines comfort and style and gives back to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I call that a win-win-win. You can also check out my Moorea Seal gift guides from last year: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

7. Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Crunch by Endangered Species Chocolate: There’s no better winter combination than chocolate and peppermint. 10% of the proceeds from each bar go to one of two foundations Endangered Species Chocolate is currently partnered with: African Wildlife Foundation or The Xerces Society.

8. On Purpose Blue Leather Tote by Kate Spade: What girl doesn’t want to find a Kate Spade bag under the tree? This particular bag is from the On Purpose collection, which provides jobs, heath care, and fair wages to 150 women in Masoro, Rwanda. The end goal is to positively transform the entire community of over 20,000 people.

9. Tiny Treasures Lil’ Zip by Dogeared: The makers of this adorable pouch are a little different than the rest of the companies on this list. Dogeared is a certified B-Corp, which means it is a for profit company that is certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

10. In-Ear Wired Sport Headphones by SMS Audio: These headphones help support Feeding America, which is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization. SMS Audio was founded by 50 Cent so you know they’ll be stylish, yield high quality sound, and will be appreciated by the music lover in your life.


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2015 Gift Guide for Makeup Lovers

The holiday season is upon us and that means the gift buying, wrapping, giving, and receiving is in full swing! I’ve picked out some of the chicest, trendiest, and luxurious products that are sure to satisfy everyone’s holiday fix. All the products below are great for both beauty gurus and beginners.

For an added bonus, all of the products I’ve picked out are cruelty free. Avoiding products that are tested on animals is very important to me and while I understand that it isn’t the most convenient way to shop, I wanted to show you that you don’t need to sacrifice quality for consciousness. I’ve done all of the research for you and all of my picks are from great brands that are committed to keeping their products cruelty free. If you’re interested in checking to see if your favorite brands are cruelty free, you can use this searchable database from PETA.

Whether these items spark your own interest or give you inspiration for gifts to give to loved ones, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy!

2015 makeup gift guide

1. Highlight and Contour Pro Palette by NYX Cosmetics: Contour palettes are all the rage in the beauty community. This one by NYX is high quality, but also affordable.

2. Tartlette 2 In Bloom Amazonian Clay Palette by Tarte: This palette has everything you need for the perfect smokey eye. The buttery smooth eyeshadows come in a mixture of colors and finishes (matte and shimmer), which make it a great buy.

3. Shimmering Skin Perfector (in Champagne Pop) by BECCA: Add a natural glow to the holiday season with this bright highlighter. It works as a cheek highlight, eyeshadow, and you can even mix a little into your lipgloss for a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

4. Jasmine Body Oil by Herbivore Botanicals: This plant based oil packs a luxuriously hydrating punch and smells amazing!

5. Lip Exfoliator by e.l.f.: Exfoliating can be a messy process, but not with this lip exfoliator. It is compact, very easy to use, and gets the job done.

6. Agave Lip Mask by Bite Beauty: I love Bite Beauty because they vow to make all of their beauty products safe enough to eat. And while I don’t recommend eating this stuff straight from the tube… I do recommend sleeping with this on your lips so you wake with a soft pout.

7. Oval 7 Brush by Artis: This new brush’s odd shape isn’t just for show. The curved handle mimics your hand and helps to evenly distribute and blend out products for a flawless finish.

8. Glitz & Glam Nail Lacquer Collection: This four piece set is the perfect way to prepare for New Years. The three pastel colors pair perfectly with the glittery gold polish for some blinged out, New Years nails. This nail set is also 5-free, which means it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals.

9. Butter Gloss by NYX Cosmetics: These glosses are extremely hydrating and the color is very subtle. I love pairing them overtop a lipstick or wearing it alone for a little extra touch when I’m wearing minimal makeup.

10. Clay Mask (Green) by Fig and Yarrow: Aside from a day at the spa, there are few things that are as luxurious as a good face mask. This all natural, detoxifying mask from Fig and Yarrow works on all skin types.

11. Everlasting Liquid Lipstick by Kat Von D: Along with contour palettes, liquid lipsticks are taking the beauty industry by storm. This version by Kat Von D is highly pigmented and lasts on your lips for hours (aka it won’t smudge during your New Years kiss *wink wink*).

12. Blush Palette by e.l.f.: This four piece palette holds a variety of extremely pigmented blushes that are perfect for mixing to create your own signature shade.

I hope this gift guide has given you some inspiration and gotten you excited to go shopping. Are there any beauty buys you’re currently obsessed with? Leave your favorites in the comments below!


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Friday Finds

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, food, and fun! Today while you’re relaxing and still digesting yesterday’s meal, check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

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1. This year’s CNN Hero of the Year goes to a very deserving young woman.

2. While most of Black Friday sales target traditional consumerism, here’s a Black Friday deal that saves lives.

3. Colorful foods are veering away from artificial dyes and towards a more natural solution. 

4. In the wake of the events in Paris, a reminder to hold onto hope and stay united.