Hawaii Dreaming

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It’s been about three weeks since my family returned from Hawaii ‘s Big Island and I have to admit that our trip is kind of haunting me. Not in a bad way, just, I keep finding myself turning to the tropical. For example, I finally gave in and bought a jar of organic coconut oil to keep in my kitchen and hopefully use in a great handmade Mondays treatment — my hair could use some help! So look for that post soon. I’ve given up on flip flops (slippers, as the Hawaiians say), because it’s too cold here, but one thing I’m loving from my time there and using daily are these great products I discovered from a little company called Kohana Big Island Organics. (There are actually two companies that make skin care named Kohana but I’m talking about the one from the Big Island.) Lotion, balms, salts, and more are all part of their product line, which I picked up at a darling little boutique in the Kohala Coast town of Hawi, Olivia Clare. Some of the items clearly had a mix of essential oils and phony fragrances, which I can’t take, but I focused on lips, because I’m always having trouble finding natural lip balms that aren’t loaded with cheap ingredients, or flavored with irritating mint. The Mai Tai Lip Balm is delicious… glides on smooth and shiny (they use organic Hawaiian Island beeswax!) and the flavor is a little bit of citrus, a little bit of coconut, just like a tropical drink. The taste of their tinted lip balms, called All Natural Lip Shimmers, is sweeter, kind of like berries, but the colors are natural and nice… they even have one called Nearly Nude that’s a perfect shimmery skin tone. The ingredient decks on all of these are so, so pure as well. Really can feel good about putting this stuff on your kisser! And the prices cannot be beat. The balms are just $3.95.

Baby Soft Review Week – Erbaviva Baby Shampoo

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So, um, yeah. I had a baby. And I’ve been more or less offline as a result for, like, a year? But I got this great opportunity to blog about skin care for MISS (Make It Simple Sister) this month, which means I needed to fire up the blog. That way all their fantastic readers who come check me out have something pretty to look at.

At any rate, what I’ve been most steeped in over the last year, of course, is all things kiddo. My great friends at NaturesBasin.com send me a huge care package of great natural kids’ care when baby boy was just a few months, and I’m also hooked up with the gang at Pregnancy magazine, the digital resource for all your pre and post natal info (find their mag on the App Store or Android), who gave me some great items to try. I’ll be reviewing all week so if you have a baby or are about to have one, stay dialed in here to get your simple baby care regimen down. I promise it will be basic, it will work, and it won’t have nasty ingredients or synthetic fragrances (can I say how much I dislike the very idea of baby perfume?).

Speaking of fragrance, my first and favorite product, Erbaviva Baby Shampoo, actually smells amazing without anything fake. I like leaving it on my baby’s hair for a bit before rinsing so he’s even more delicious than usual. The blend is simple, essential oils of lavender and chamomile. I have no idea how it comes together to be so wonderful, but it just is. This shampoo lathers really well (probably the combination of a regular mild detergent ingredient and the soap bark extract they add), so you only need to use a small amount. In fact, be careful to keep it small: My only complaint is that it might be a tad irritating to baby’s eyes. They even say “small amount” on the label. They mean it!

The preservative is a basic anti-fungal, potassium sorbate. It’s food grade so even though it’s synthetic I think it’s a pretty safe choice. Even though about 10% of the population gets a warming, redness reaction from this ingredient, it does go away and if you find out you have the sensitivity, just skip products with potassium sorbate in the future. One other interesting ingredient is the decyl glucoside surfactant (that’s the other ingredient that makes the bubbles!). I’ve learned from being in the industry that ingredients can have the same name but be made in different ways. I’m trusting that Erbaviva, which seems like a really reputable company with lots of organics in their products, has chosen the cleanest version of decyl glucoside out there.

Handmade Mondays: Slumber Party Beer Hair Rinse

I’m posting this entry from a girlfriend’s house—three of us are staying together for a couple nights. I told them I needed help with a homemade cosmetic recipe for my blog, and one immediately remembered putting beer and mayonnaise on her hair when she was a teenager. She and her girlfriends then wrapped their heads in Saran Wrap and laid out in the sun. She thought we’d easily find it on Google, but we came up with lots of refs to beer and mayo alone but none together.

After reading that mayo can have similar rinse-out problems to the olive oil conditioner I tried a couple weeks ago, we decided on a simple beer rinse. It seemed easy for a relaxing night, and we could all help each other apply and rinse, thanks to the spray head in the kitchen sink. It was fun giving each other amateur scalp massages, and to keep things interesting we each tried a different beer. The one with the darkest hair, J, got Guinness. I (K), took a micro-brewed pumpkin ale that smelled like cooking spices, because I’m a redhead. L got a Hefeweizen.

We left the beer out to warm and get flat, but it was still chilly on our scalps. Even a strong beer smell seemed to rinse away easily with water after, but we aren’t sold on beer’s rep as a good detangler: Two of us had knots afterwards. More tomorrow on the results. But for now, J thinks it’s a good excuse to get together monthly, since the recipes we found recommended a beer rinse every four weeks.