10 things I have stopped using.

I wanted to share a few products I stopped using a few years ago to inspire people to question what exactly they are bringing into their houses and putting on their skin. Thanks to great marketing from the creators of these products, I used to feel that my house, my cleaning routine, and my beauty regimen was incomplete without these products . I can honestly say I do not miss them. Some of them may have been convenient, but their impact on landfill waste or just how toxic they actually are did not make them worth it to me.

Perfume : I used to be all about body sprays and scented items when I was younger. But they always made my skin feel dry and itchy. Once I became aware of the toxic ingredients in most perfumes I stopped purchasing them. Every so once in a while I’ll make myself a spray using essential oils but I never remember to use it  so it’s rare.

Antiperspirant:  Your body is supposed to sweat. Anything that stops you from sweating clogs your pores, which is dangerous because your body releases toxins in sweat. I use the Herban Cowboy deodorant sometimes, but mostly nothing.

Conventional menstrual products: I’ve written about my experiences with menstrual products here. But other than postpartum, I prefer cloth pads because they are much more comfortable.

Shaving cream: Coconut oil or soap is a much friendlier, gentler, less wasteful way to shave if you choose to.

Air freshener/febreeze : Nasty, harmful air fresheners and fabric fresheners have been replaced with an essential oil mix in my house. A spray bottle or mister with water or witchhazel and your favorite EO is a great replacement.

Underwire bras: This one was hard because we all love the shape that underwire gives, but we never discuss the discomfort and health risks it has. I try to only wear tank tops and soft bras or nothing.

Fabric softener or dryer sheets: Also laden with toxins, I either use nothing, or my wool dryer ball sheets. Unfortunately, my dog Stanley thinks the balls are his toys and they somehow always end up going missing.

Stanley, the wool dryer ball thief

Lip Balm in Plastic Tubes : This has been such a fun switch for me. I detest chapped lips and always have to  have a lip balm near me. My friends over at TheEcoBaby.Co have lip balms in compostable tubes and my problem has been solved. The code HILLBILL10 will give you 10% off and free shipping from this plastic free store.

Shower Gel : Wasteful plastic packaging. I use an unpackaged bar soap I get from my local health store and it is much better for me.

Paper Towels : More unnecessary landfill waste. I use cloth napkins instead and  throw them in the was as I go.

I hope this inspires you to get a little more free.

Peace,

Farai

 

Simple & Refreshing Coffee Scrub

Pregnancy left me with some rough and raggedy skin on my body. I chalk it up to negligence on my part combined with some hormonal changes. I’m working to combat it.  Anyway. Once upon a time I tried out a sample of this amazing scrub from a company that shall not be named. I loved the scrub, and once I finished the sample I made my way to their website to order a full size for myself. Lo  and behold, the scrub and the shipping cost were ridiculous. Back to the drawing board I went and recreated the same simple scrub with the same (if not better) quality ingredients.

What you will need:

  1. Fair trade organic ground coffee
  2. Wild Orange Essential Oil
  3. Almond Oil (organic if you can find it )

Mix a cup of ground coffee together with a few tablespoons of the almond oil till you have a consistency that feels good on your skin. Add 10+ drops of the wild orange oil and keep the concoction in a sealed glass jar. Use whenever you need a moisturizing and invigorating body scrub down. Fair warning, coffee grounds are messy AF in the shower but I love how I feel after using them.

Peace.

Farai

Eco-friendly Baby Product Review

I am always on the lookout to support small businesses. When I came across The Eco Baby Co™ I was over the moon. A small business, run and owned by a woman of color with sustainable practices and products to boot. I was in love. I fangirled hard and slid into their DM’s where I was lucky enough to talk to meet with the owner and gush over our love of all things #crunchymom . Long story short. I am a proud ambassador for The Eco Baby Co™ where they share my love of all things zero waste and plastic free.

On the blog today I’ll be sharing some items I picked out on the site. I waited about a month since I have received my package so I could share fully incorporate the items into our lives and give an honest review. All thoughts, and views are my own and not that of The Eco Baby Co™

My package came neatly packed with no plastic waste. Everything was compostable or reusable and it made me smile. I detest ordering stuff online only to have the items covered in plastic packaging or wrap that takes up space until I can find  another use for it.

1. Best Bottoms Diaper Cover and Bamboo Insert– I have some best bottom diaper covers in my rotation but this one is the first new to me cover I own. Best bottom diapers are trim and have the cutest prints and this one was no different. The hemp inserts are so absorbent and soft and I love seeing my babe in this diaper and print.

 

2. PT Pure Organic Baby Stick – Made with coconut oil, Shea butter and beeswax in a compostable package. This cream was perfect as a moisturizer and diaper cream. I love how small it is so it fit in my diaper bag and I loved the packaging and pure ingredients.

3.  Fable Naturals Vanilla Orange Lip Balm–  Another plastic free product. I love that I can compost this lip balm when I done with it. I have a bunch of empty plastic lip balm containers sitting around that I need to reuse but this guy makes my heart happy because I use lip balm several times a day. The scent is light and favors citrus more than the vanilla  but the balm is nice and creamy and moisturizing and price point is great.

4. Rhoost brush and comb set – I was really excited about the wooden hair utensils because I’ve read that wooden combs are a lot gentler on fine hair. Thandiwe has a thick lush of curls that are somehow still very fine and tangle at the blink of an eye. I’ve been using my hair tools on her and was excited to get her her own set so when she starts practicing grooming she is ready to go. The comb was too small for her thicket of hair IMO but the brush is perfect for taming her hair down for ponytails. I love the look and feel of these products.

5. Brush with Bamboo Kids toothbrush – Plastic toothbrushes are a huge perpetrator of plastic waste in our landfills. These tooth brushes are compostable after their life span has been met. Thandie and her 8 teeth love the brush and I love them for her and plan on switching the whole family to this kind soon.

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If only I could get her to use the right end to brush with #teethingwoes

6. Butterbean Organics SPF 30 sunscreen – I loved the reusable container for starters. But I loved the product more. Conventional sunscreen has SO many toxins and I looked high and low for a non toxic cream based sunscreen I could rub onto her because a spray bottle was just not feasible with her royal squirminess. This one was perfect. Yes it leaves a white tint, but I’d rather her be safe and pale in the sun than burnt and exposed to harmful rays.

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7. Amethyst Amber Necklace – Thandiwe already had an amber necklace, but I was looking to add a second one as she got older and explored more. The Succinic acid secreted by raw amber helps boost immunity. They are also said to help with teething and drooling and I never had to deal with biting or drooling while she teethed since she’s had it on so I’m happy. The amethyst has calming properties and I just love how it looks on her skin. I kind of want one for myself now.

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If you are interested in trying out some items or switching  out some of your baby essentials for a more eco-friendly options. I have a coupon code HILLBILL10 for 10% off and free shipping. Happy Ethical Shopping!

Peace,

Farai

Curly pro-tips

My natural hair plays a big role in my path to living a more eco-conscious lifestyle.Going natural is what started it all.  I have been accosted enough times in the natural hair section of Target to know that its a big deal to other moms and women out there. After being natural for 9 years, here are my pro-tips that make my life a lot easier.

Hair is just hair – I have shaved it all off, braided it, colored it and attempted to loc my fro. At the end of the day, I love my hair, but it does not define me. Remind yourself of that when your twist out flops. Throw a scarf on and move on with your day sis.

Find realistic hair goals -Sadly, the most popular natural hair gurus and online accounts tend to have a loose curl pattern. We all don’t look like that. Don’t waste your time coveting a pattern your hair will never confirm to. Find people who look like you and support them. Representation matters.

Get you a bonnet or silk pillow case – Cotton absorbs moisture and our curls need all the moisture they can get. Make sure to sleep with a satin scarf, bonnet or pillow case

Be kind to your fro – braids,weaves, and wigs are cute but if you are not careful, when you take them off, they will take your edges and sometimes even your hair with them. Give yourself time off between protective styles and make sure to do a deep treatment.

Simplify your routine – It is easy to waste money on products that you don’t need. Especially since the natural hair community is inundated with sponsorships and native advertising that suckers us in. Find people that give honest product reviews, find products that you can use on more than your hair (like shea and mango butters, almond and coconut oil) .

My routine looks like:

  1. A deep conditioner or oil treatment
  2. A shampoo
  3. A conditioner or leave in conditioner to detangle with.
  4. A butter to moisturize with after i’m done. Right now I am using a homeade mango butter mixed with a drop of melacula oil.
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Embrace that fro

Dassit. I like to keep it simple.

Peace,

Farai

 

 

 

My Beauty Regimen

Beauty is more than what you look like on the outside. How you feel on the inside is a big deal. With that in mind, I felt like sharing my favorite parts of my beauty regimen that make me feel beautiful inside and out.

Keeping a journal – Whether it is handwritten in a notebook, a poem, a weird thought I add to my notes on my phone, or a blog post-  writing my thoughts is extremely cathartic to me. I enjoy going back and reading past thoughts and seeing how much I have changed. Many people faithfully journal everyday but I journal when I can.

Therapy– Soon after Thandiwe was born, I started seeing a therapist. Not only because of my postpartum anxiety, but also because I wanted to put my best foot forward as a new parent and that meant dealing with some emotionally heavy stuff. POC rarely speak about mental health issues and African’s speak even less about it (we tell people who are mentally ill that they are bewitched or they have demons #gottalovemypeople) Getting  help was amazing and made me feel so much better.

Floss Gloss – Most nail polishes are toxic and smell terrible. Up until a year ago I was on the look out for a great nail polish. Floss gloss is made in the U.S.A., cruelty- free, vegan and 7 free! I’m a fan and they are the only polish I use.

Probiotics – When everything is running smoothly internally, I feel great. I try to take a regular probiotic or eat fermented foods to aid my digestion and boost the health of my microbiome.

Almond oil – I know that coconut oil is having its moment in the sun, but almond oil is an unsung hero. I use it on my face, on my body and my hair and I find it more moisturizing than coconut oil .

Shea moisture – I cannot sing enough praises about range of this products other than that I wish their packaging was better. I’ve used their body creams, hair products, soaps and I love them. I am currently using their low-porosity conditioner on my hair and my fro is loving it. A happy afro makes for a happy me.

Homemade body spray – Several years ago I used to be a Victoria’s secret body spray junkie. I stopped after I discovered just what I was spraying on my body. Now I create my own body sprays with my essential oils and tailor them to my mood. My current favorite recipe is below.

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Whenever I incorporate these things into my life I feel amazing and look amazing. What are some things you have in your beauty arsenal?

Peace

Farai