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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Friday Finds

Friday Finds 3.6.15

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

1. Love is love.

2. Northern California may be known for its wine, but it is also home to some awesome, natural beauty brands. 

3. After watching this I not only want to eat a massive amount of jelly beans, but I also want to make the most of my day. 

4. Fast fashion is out and slow fashion is in.

5. So what are you up to on Sunday around 1 o’clock (EST)? The correct answer is watching Emma Watson’s #HeforShe and Gender Equality discussion live on Facebook. I’ll bring the popcorn!


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Tea Time

I’m switching things up today. You might remember back in September I had Karrie from Karrie Oasis write a guest post for my blog and I wrote one for her. Well we’re at it again!

Every Tuesday Karrie writes a Tea Time Talk post where she reviews all sorts of teas. If you’re a tea lover, you have to check them out. I wanted to get in on the fun and thought she’d write a great tea post for my blog. Karrie discovered a really cool brand called Numi and here is her complete review. You can also head over to her blog to see my post about a photographer who’s made it her mission to spread awareness and inspiration through art.

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I was so excited when Annie asked me to do another guest blog post, and even more excited when she wanted me to write about tea! She asked me if I knew of any conscious-type tea brands. To be honest I hadn’t really thought too much about it before she asked, and I was surprised I hadn’t. When I was in Target one day, I decided to check out the tea isle to see what they offered. I was not expecting much, but to my great, and wonderful, surprise, I did find something–Numi. It is exactly what I was looking for–a brand that was conscious about their packaging, their tea, as well as the people that are apart of every step of the process.Numi 1

Numi’s vision is found on their front page: Numi inspires well-being of mind, body and spirit through the simple art of tea. Our company is rooted in the principle of creating a healthful product that nurtures people and honors the planet. In all of our company initiatives, we strive to foster a healthy, thriving global community while bringing you the purest, best-tasting organic tea.

Packaging:

The packaging of Numi’s tea is eco-friendly. They use recyclable cardboard, which is printed with soy-based inks, and natural biodegradable filter tea bags. Most items can be recycled or composted. They have even won a bunch of eco awards because of these actions.

Tea and People:

Their tea is organic, and what that means is that they don’t use chemicals. They use 100% real ingredients, and no artificial flavors. From the very beginning, in the gardens that these teas are grown in, they are nurtured and are made with love. Since there are no harmful chemicals, it means that not only is it good for the consumer and the environment, but it is also good for the workers. Numi values the people who work for them. They do this by having Fair Trade Certified and Fair Labor Practices. All the teas have different certifications and stamps on their boxes because many come from different gardens around the world, including in India, China, and Egypt. Every worker in each garden community can vote democratically on how they use their Fair Trade funds, usually for things like education, health programs and sanitation. Even if a garden may not be certified, Numi makes sure they get Fair Labor by direct sourcing, which ensures quality of the products and the fair treatment of the workers. Numi even allows their own employees to have 4 paid hours a month to volunteer-how awesome is that?Numi 2

One cool initiative that Numi is also a part of is called H2OPE. This is a charity in which they are trying to help people who are in need of safe and clean drinking water. They explain how important water is to people all over the world especially in 3rd world countries and what they go through to obtain water, which is usually not safe to drink. I think this is such a great idea, especially for this brand. Because what does it take to make a cup of tea? That’s right…water. You can donate money on their website, and you can even host tea parties to raise money as well. If you want to learn more, watch this video.

Now, on to the teas. I bought the Rooibos tea and the Chocolate Pu-erh tea. Both are delicious. The Rooibos comes from South Africa and is a type of herb that calms and has a vanilla-y type flavor, but, of course, no artificial flavors here-it’s all natural. Rooibos is also caffeine free which is great when you want a nice cup of tea before bedtime. The Chocolate Pu-erh is really good as well. Very velvety and yummy. It has a combination of pu-erh tea, organic cocoa, vanilla beans, orange peel, nutmeg and cinnamon. It’s a great combination of flavors. And hey, skip that bowl of ice cream and drink a cup of this for dessert instead-you won’t have any regrets!Numi 3

I love that you can find this brand at Target. It is easily accessible to most, which is really great. Although they don’t sell all their products here, including they’re flowering teas (they look so cool), and loose leaf teas, they do have a generous selection and I definitely want to try more. Can’t find them at your Target? Use their store locator to see if they sell it somewhere in your area. You can also order other products from their website, and the prices are truly reasonable.

I am so glad Annie asked me to do this post. I will now be more conscious about learning where my tea comes from and it truly is exciting to see what companies like Numi are doing to help the people and the planet we call home!


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Lotioning, Oiling

Winter came early this year. Up in Maine we got snow on Thanksgiving when usually the white stuff holds out until the end of December.

This was not good for my dry and sensitive (aka angry and high maintenance in the winter) skin. Everyone experiences some degree of skin dryness unless you’re lucky enough to live in the rain forest.

But for those of you that are stuck else where like me, Ive got you covered from head to toe. You no longer have to waste your whole winter lotioning and oiling because everyone gets to a point where you can’t take it any more…

So you don’t get to that point, I have come up with four products for your body, hands, face, and lips that will keep your skin satisfied all winter long with minimal applications. All of these products are natural, cruelty free, and really do work!

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For your body: Coconut Oil

Remember how in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Windex was considered a cure all? Coconut oil is kind of the same idea, but less chemically. There are soooooo many health benefits of coconut oil and ways to use it. Coconut oil can kill bacteria, it’s great nutritionally, you can use it in your hair, or what I like to do, use it on your skin. The fatty acid in coconut oil makes it easy for your skin to absorb. And there are obviously no artificial scents, which can irritate skin, yet the oil smells amazing. It’s like a tropical getaway.

You can find coconut oil at most grocery stores. When you’re buying the oil I would recommend getting unrefined because some refining processes use chemical distillation that use harsh solvents. I also like to make sure it is USDA Organic Certified. And as a personal preference, I like the pressed oil, which is come is a more solid form. I find its easier to put on, but again, personal preference. Bonus tip: don’t try to put spandex on right after you apply it. It will feel gross. Coconut oil usually need a minute or two to dry on your skin.

For your hands: Fig & Honey Bambino Lotion

Even though I have been searching for the ultimate hand lotion since November, I’ve only recently come across Fig & Honey. I was looking for something natural and with few ingredients and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. So after searching and trying lotions for a month or so, I finally stumbled upon Fig & Honey’s website and ordered this lotion out of what was most likely desperation. When I got it in the mail, I was beyond exited to find out it worked.

This lotion is made from olive oil, aloe, and neem oil with essences of yarrow, rose, chamomile, and vanilla. Because it has an olive oil base, it does take a second to dry and soak in, but after that you don’t have to worry about greasy residue. I love that it keeps my hands moist for a long period of time so I don’t have to worry about constantly reapplying. The smell is definitely on the earthy side, but I like it. I also like the fact that the smell isn’t overwhelming. I can apply a heaping amount and don’t have to worry about killing my coworkers with the overpowering perfumes most hand lotions have.

For your face: Josie Maran Argan Oil

Ingredients are very important to Josie Maran. With her cosmetic line she hopes to prove that make up doesn’t need to be bad for you and that luxury and conscience can come together in the cosmetic industry. What I love most about this moisturizer it that it is made out of one ingredient. It was easy to assure myself that I wasn’t slathering on something full of chemicals that weren’t safe. The oil is sustainably harvested, uses fair trade practices, and uses eco-friendly packaging. And on top of that it serves as a primer for your foundation.

For your lips: Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

I have tried tons of lip balm and chap sticks and in all my years and I don’t believe any come close to Burt’s Bees. I love the peppermint scent and how it tingles and soothes chapped lips. You can find it at most pharmacies and grocery stores, which is super convenient.

Ingredients are very important to the people at Burt’s Bee’s. They are committed to using ingredients that work with your body naturally. It is probably no surprise that this chap stick is made mostly of beeswax. I also love Burt’s Bees commitment to sustainability. In order to reduce their carbon footprint, Burt’s Bees use energy-efficient lighting, resource management software, and efficient production equipment.


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Friday Finds

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week…

Friday Finds 4

1. Check out the airplanes of the future and how they will be better for the environment.

2. This New Yorker doesn’t own a trashcan because well, she doesn’t need one. Read all about her “no waste” lifestyle. Think you could do it?

3. Vending machines that dispense natural beauty products are popping up in airports everywhere.  So cool! And so dangerous for my wallet.

4. Speaking of beauty products… Target has put together a natural beauty box you can order online for only $5! (and free shipping whoop whoop)

5. This is a heartwarming story about a homeless man who put out a personal ad to find someone to share Thanksgiving. I love happy stories like this.

6. When 3 year old Ariana saw a video of a sick girl without hair her response was, “Oh, she can have some of mine.” So cute!


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Conscious Box #1

About a month ago I found a deal on Ruelala that offered a 3 month Conscious Box subscription for 40% off and I couldn’t say no! A Conscious Box is like any other subscription box where it sends you a bunch of product samples once a month. The only difference is all the products are conscious/organic/natural/good for you. So it is only fitting that the conscious blogger tries and reviews the Conscious Box.CBox 1

Last Wednesday I got my first box and I must say I wasn’t disappointed. I got about 15 samples in my box, which I thought was a lot! So rather that go through every single product, I’m just going to touch on 4:

Runa Energy Drink– I will admit I was skeptical about this one at first because energy drinks can be really bad for you. And their “clean energy” slogan and the fact that there are no carbs, sugar, fat, calories, anything… seemed too good to be true. But alas. I did some research and it seems to be legit. The drink is made with a leaf from Ecuador called guayusa and it is brewed in the same way tea is and from what I’ve read it is as safe as drinking tea. In fact, it tastes pretty much like tea, but with some added carbonation. Since even the smallest amount of caffeine can make me the most obnoxious, jittery person in the world, I can’t really comment on the caffeine level. Let’s just say there is definitely caffeine in this.

Dr. Jacobs Naturals Soap– This stuff smells so fresh and crisp and pure and natural! This soap (I keep wanted to type soup, I think I need some soup) is made with olive oil so it locks in moisture and doesn’t dry your hands out. It is also very versatile. The packaging claims you can use it as: shampoo, body/face wash, toothpaste, dish soap, and laundry detergent. And it comes in so many lovely smells like lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus.

Wipe’n Clear Biodegradable Lens Wipe– I tried these on my glasses and they work exactly how they should. It cleaned them up real good and didn’t leave any streaks. The only difference between these and other lens wipes is the biodegradable cloth, which is an extra thumbs up in my book. Usually to clean my classes, I’ll just wear them while I shower… So you could say these wipes are definitely a step up.

Recycled Paper Greetings Card– The company behind these cards has 2 missions: 1) help save the environment 2) save the world from boring greeting cards. Can I get a hallelujah? When I look for cards, I feel like the good ones are few and far between, but these cards are actually funny and clever and edgy and good. This is actually one of the best cards I’ve found in a while.

CBox 2A few of the other things I got in my box were: an iron supplement, dog treats (which I can guarantee are doggy approved), a chocolate nutritional drink, moisturizer, and soooo many coupons. Can’t wait to get my next one!


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3 Cruelty Free Summer Makeup Must Haves

Saturday marked the first official day of summer. Maine still hasn’t gotten the memo. Could we get up to 80 degrees? That’s all I’m askin’. But in the meantime, I have decided to summerfy my makeup routine, so when (if) it does finally get hot, I’ll be ready! Here are three products that are cruelty free, paraben free, and will help you keep your summer makeup routine simple and natural.

3 cruelty free summer products

Item Numero One: Detox Eye Roller by First Aid Beauty

Got seasonal allergies? Mine are terrible.  Every year from the beginning of spring till the middle of summer, I wake up with allergy induced eye puff and it ain’t pretty. Being the busy working gal that I am, I don’t have time to put chilled cucumbers on my eyes or rub ice cubes on my face. Nor do I want to. So the solution: the Detox Eye Roller. This cooling serum uses caffeine extract to brighten, de-puff, and refresh your gross allergy eyes. I don’t drink much caffeine because it makes me crazier than a bag of raccoons, but it sure seems to do wonders on my eyes!

Item Two: Cinnamon Plumping Lip Oil by Bite Beauty

Ditch those dark lip stains and say “hello” to the only lip product you’ll need this summer. Like the name suggests, this gloss contains cinnamon oil, which does some cool things to your lips and is tasty enough to eat. The cinnamon makes your lips tingly and naturally flush. This gives your lips a natural splash of color and a fuller, plumper appearance. Because this gloss is oil based, it adds shine and hydration to your lips. Muah!

Last But Not Least: Limitless Liquid Liner Pen by Smashbox

This might just be me, but I have a serious preference to liquid eye liners. It took me my entire junior year of college to figure out how to use this stuff, but the practice paid off.

Waterproof liquid liners are especially convenient in the summer because wax based liners have a tendency to melt, smudge, and ruin your entire look in hot, sweaty weather. But have no fear, the Limitless Liquid Liner is here. This particular waterproof liner comes in dark brown and black. The pointy precision tip pen makes it easy to create looks that are subtle or dramatic.

You can find all of these products conveniently at Sephora (online or in store). So how does your makeup routine change in the summer? What are some staple products you like to use in warm weather?