For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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Zoya Oh Boya!

I first heard about Zoya from my friend and nail enthusiast extraordinaire, Becky. Before she came across Zoya on Instagram, Becky was a die-hard Essie girl. She has accumulated 40 bottles of Essie polish, but it only took one bottle of Zoya to convert her. So when she told me it was the best polish she’s ever used AND they’re made without harmful chemicals, I knew I had to see for myself if this was too good to be true. IMG_1574
Zoya began in 1986 and revolutionized the nail industry by creating polishes that were free of toxin ingredients. All of their polishes are “five free”, which means that are made without: toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP. So what’s so bad about these chemicals? I’ll give you the rundown.

Toluene: When breathed in, this chemical can be harmful to your nervous system and can cause light-headedness and nausea. I already struggle to paint with my left hand so I don’t need any light-headedness to make it that much harder.

Camphor: In high doses this chemical can cause seizures. It also acts as a seal on your nails that deprives them of nutrients and can cause yellow staining. Definitely not something you want in your nail polish.

Formaldehyde- This is the stuff that’s used to preserve and embalm dead animals and humans. If that hasn’t turned you off, formaldehyde is also a carcinogen.

Formaldehyde Resin- This is derived from formaldehyde, and although it isn’t as toxic, it can trigger skin allergies and irritation.

DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate)- In 2006, companies began eliminating DBP from nail polishes because it is a suspected teratogen (causes birth defects). It is banned from children’s toys and should probably be left out of nail polish too!

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So after doing some research about Zoya, I bought a few (ok a lot of) bottles to try out. A couple weeks ago there was a buy one get one free sale and I took FULL advantage of it. They have a huge color selection so picking out a few favorites was definitely a challenge. A tip Becky taught me for buying nail polish online is to do an image search of the polish to see what it looks like painted on someone’s nails. When my products arrived, the first color I tried out is called Pinta and it is a so-dark-it’s-almost-black-purple. I love it. The color is super pigmented and the consistency thick enough to keep it from being runny and thin enough to make applying it manageable. IMG_1549 I’ve mentioned in other posts that I’m trying really hard to avoid harmful chemicals that can linger in beauty products. So I’m definitely trying to incorporate “five free” polishes into my arsenal. Of all the “five free” nail polished I’ve tried, I really think Zoya is my favorite. Other “five free” polishes I’ve used chip easily or never fully dry. That’s not the case with these. Zoya is definitely proof that you don’t need these chemicals to make a good polish.


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Friday Finds

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

Friday Finds 2.27.15

1. A reminder to always always always be kind to one another. 

2. “Marvel Comics made a movie about a talking tree and raccoon awesome, but you haven’t made a movie with Wonder Woman.” This little girl has a very good point.

3. Possibly the coolest toothbrush ever.

4. Check out which four celebrities wore eco-fashion to the Oscars.


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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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The Yoga Post

I started doing yoga about 6 months ago and as corny as it may be, yoga has changed my life. I can touch my toes now! But aside from that, I also love yoga for its peacefulness. I love that during each practice I am encouraged to only do what serves me, be conscious of my body, and declutter my mind. And I still get a good workout in!

So for all you yogis out there, I have put together a couple of conscious products that embody the thoughtfulness of yoga by giving back in different ways.

The Yoga Post

The Mat

“I am Free” Mat- Affirmat

Get it? Affirmat… affirmation? Clever. Life gets crazy sometimes and Affrimats are here to remind you to relax and stay positive. Each mat has a different saying on it that can serve as a reminder or mantra throughout your day. These mats are made out of a non-toxic, high quality, biodegradable blend that creates an ergonomically friendly and no-slip mat great for any yoga practice. They’re good for you and the environment.

Cimarron Mat (Cow Skull)- Wildlings Yoga

How funky, cool, and amazing is this mat? Each of these eccentric mats are named after and inspired by national parks. This one is inspired by New Mexican traditional folk art.

Wildlings Yoga believes in making the world a better place and being an example for others companies to give back. They truly embody the whole “be the change you wish to see in the world” thang. $3 from every mat sold is donated to Free Arts for Abused Children, which is a non-profit in LA.

The Treads

I’m Just Here For Savasana Muscle Tank- Spiritual Gangster

I mean let’s be honest, savasana is half the reason we drag our tired bodies through the cold to go to yoga class. Or is that just me? Anyway, Spiritual Gangsters believe in giving back every chance they get. All of the quirky apparel from Spiritual Gangster give back to national and international charities such as the Cambodian Children’s Fund, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Children’s First Academy, and Make a Wish Foundation.

California Dreaming Leggings- Zuvi

Believe it or not, the craziest thing about these pants isn’t the colorful print. These pants are actually made out of recycled water bottles. Crazy, right? Zuvi hopes to help the Earth become more sustainable by reducing waste in landfills… and making awesome leggings.

The Bling

The Doreen Bracelet- The Neshama Project

I love jewelry that has meaning, whether someone special gave it to you or it symbolizes something meaningful. The hamsa hand on this bracelet represents blessings, power, protection and strength. You can wear it on or off your mat to serve as a positive reminder. Also, 10% of each bracelet purchase goes towards an orphanage in Kaliro, Uganda. 

Ganesh Om Necklace- Relevee

This necklace design is a merge between the ‘Om’ symbol and Ganesh the elephant. It represents Zen. Even when you’re off your mat, this necklace can serve as a constant reminder to remain calm. I wrote about Relevee in one of my first posts, but as a refresher, the company works with women who have been rescued from human trafficking and 100% of the proceeds go to supporting human rights.


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Lollipop Lollipop Oh Lolli Lollipop

What if I told you there was a lollipop that tastes good and is good for you? I know, I know. I’d be skeptical too, but hear me out.

I had no idea such a thing existed until my boyfriend’s mom (hi Theresa!) introduced me to Dosha Pops and the Ayurvedic lifestyle.

Now, I’m not a doctor and I’m still fairly new at this, but I would love to share with you what I have learned so far. I think it is exciting stuff.

The Ayurvedic lifestyle is all about being conscious of your individual body and needs. It is a 5,000-year-old science of natural healing with the theory that health exists when there is a balance between the three doshas, which are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

Three Doshas

The doshas are dynamic biological energies found in the human body and mind that govern physical and mental processes. They constantly change in response to our actions, thoughts, emotions, foods, the seasons, and any other sensory input that feeds our mind and body. To figure out your doshas you can take a quick quiz here or an extended one here.

Now how does all of this relate to lollipops? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Whether or not you follow or believe in the Ayurvedic lifestyle, Dosha Pops are still a great candy alternative to satisfy your sweet tooth. Dosha Pops was founded with the vision that candy doesn’t have to simply be a guilty pleasure. Instead it can be a way to lead a balanced lifestyle by having healthier indulgences. All of the lollipops are handmade with ingredients that support a healthier lifestyle and balance your doshas.

The lollipops are made with Non-GMO pure cane sugar, which may get you thinking, “Uh sugar? How can this be healthy?”.  While cane sugar is still sugar, it offers essential nutrients and minerals that refined and white sugars do not, such as magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, iron and B12.Cane sugar is also easier to digest and lacks the harmful chemicals often used in the refining process. On top of that each flavor hosts its own benefits from a variety of wholesome ingredients such as hibiscus, pomegranate, turmeric, and chai to name a few.

I tried the Chai Me Up pop and thought it tasted great! It was unlike any lollipop I’ve ever had. It definitely gets my stamp of approval. And while I may not be a health expert, I am a candy expert.

Dosha Pops

Dosha Pops also believes in giving back. In the past it has been a sponsor for the Women In Entertainment Luncheon, Mount Holyoke Club of NY, the New York Methodist Hospital Red Stocking Soiree, and Women Organized Against Rape. Last fall the people at Dosha Pops decided to run a non-profit nomination campaign to find an organization that best aligned with their company. They discovered Bent On Learning, which teaches yoga to public schools in New York City, and decided to give their end of the year donation to this organization.

So if you’re trying to get healthy this year, try incorporating Dosha Pops into your diet to satisfy sugar cravings. It’s much better than having a Snickers! And if you’re interested in learning more about the Ayurvedic lifestyle and diet, the book Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra is a great place to start.


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Presents With A Purpose: Health + Wellness

More gifts galore for day number 4!

7% of proceeds from today’s Presents With A Purpose picks go to the Our House Grief Support Center. The center was founded on the premise that grievers need understanding, support, and connection. Their missions is to provide the community with grief support services, education, resources, and hope.

This Moorea Seal category has a lot of scarves, bags, and sunglasses. So if you don’t see one here you like, definitely check online because there are many many many options.

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1. Morley Hat / 2. Small Glass Diamond / 3. Waxed Canvas Tree Tote / 4. Westward Scarf / 5. Mackenzie Sunglasses / 6. Newsprint Scarf / 7. Punched Mini Pouch / 8. Tiny Trees Cards / 9. Leather Dot Tote / 10. Rectangle Dish / 11. Clare Slip Ons / 12. Splatter Clutch 


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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!