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.




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.



Simple Ways to Introduce Minimalism to your Kids

Following my awesome live chat this past Monday over at the BlackMinimalists facebook page, I wanted to share 4 simple things you can do to introduce minimalism to your kids. I have a lot to say about this topic and like many things, I could talk about it all day. Find me on facebook or instagram and we can continue the conversation there.

minimalism with kids.png



10 Ways You Can Become A Part of Your Community


Humans need interaction with each other. Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert,or ambivert such as myself, we all need to get together and enjoy the presence of other humans for our sanity and well being. As spring is upon us, the phrase “bloom where planted” has been on my mind. Today, I wanted to share a few different ways you can get out there and be a part of your community and maybe reduce your carbon footprint a wee bit.

  1. Volunteer: Whether its at your local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, a reading to kids program or even a nursing home, get out there and volunteer. Find something that appeals to you and go do it. Its a great way to meet people, have some amazing conversations and give yourself the warm fuzzies inside.
  2. Patron Local Spots: Ditch the big companies and spend your money at local coffee shops, book stores and restaurants. Its a fact (I just made this fact up…but trust me) that local spots are great for people watching and great conversation. Plus there is the added bonus of stimulating your local economy and supporting small businesses.
  3. Ditch Amusement Parks for State Parks: Big amusement parks are fun. They are also expensive and crazy busy. State Parks are a fraction of the price, have fun activities,and give you a chance to be up close and personal with native fauna and flora. Camping is a fun way to meet new people and bond with the people in your life. Buy your camping gear second hand or borrow it to cut the costs.
  4. Host a clothing swap: This is especially a good idea as the seasons change and you are looking for a new wardrobe. Host a free clothing swap among friends and add some new to you pieces to your wardrobe for FREE. Its good for your wallet and the environment.
  5. Take a class: Places like community centers, libraries, and community colleges are great places to learn something new and meet like minded people. Whether its belly dancing, archery or composting there is always something new to learn.
  6. Go to community events: Food truck festivals, Pride parades, and city council meetings are great ways to get involved in your community.
  7. Carpool or ride a bike: Carpooling to work and different events are a great way to save on gas. If you can, riding a bike is an even better way to get places too. If you don’t already have one, get a bike second-hand from local buy/sell/trade group or from a local cycle project so you can save money. Remember, to always wear a helmet.
  8. Cook: Learn how to cook if you don’t know how to. The act of cooking for yourself and others may seem paltry but it is an amazing privilege that we take for granted when so many people go hungry worldwide. Be mindful, meal plan and prepare food that’s good for your body and share a meal with people you want to connect with.
  9. Create or admin a freecycle group or free items group on facebook for your community: I love the idea of a community that shares and barters for things that they need. Sometimes you may want to part ways with something that is in good condition that you don’t need anymore, online give groups are a way to pay it forward and find items you may need yourself.
  10. Visit your local farmers market: Talk to farmers and learn about where your food comes from. Better yet, if your county allows,  start a community garden.

Connecting with people, hearing their stories and sharing mine is integral to my experience on this earth. One of my most favorite online communities is blackminimalists.net . I’ve been working with 4 other brilliant women and our amazing contributors to bring publish an ebook and start an online community. It launches May 1st. I hope you can check it out.






5 Safe Online Spaces for WOC

These internet streets can be treacherous. Full of trolls, nazi’s and “I can’t be racist, my best friends are black/mexican/asian” type folks. Its annoying and frankly, tiring. If your timeline is full of trash, here are some of my favorite blogs and websites that I feel are safe spaces for everyone, but specifically WOC. If you feel like fixing your fingers to type “why cant this just be a space for everyone not just WOC” then this post and this blog are probably not for you. See yourself out! Peace!

Black Girl in Om : Chock full of content and images, Black girl in Om is an amazing space to see black women be vulnerable, thrive and just be.

Hey Fran Hey : If you know me, then you have probably heard me gush about Francheska of Hey Fran Hey. From her youtube channel to her podcast to her website. She makes health and wellness approachable.

Another Sunday : A blog by author and self care aficionado Alex Elle. I love her honesty and transparency. Her Instagram and blog are both serene and full of self care tips.

The Lazy Natural  : A tumblr blog run by Marenna, a great place for natural hair inspiration among other things.

Yolanda V. Acree  :  Fellow minimalist shares her travels and minimalism journey on her blog and YouTube channel and is very sweet, intelligent and down to earth

If you have any other blogs or websites you visit that you know are safe places, please share in the comments!




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.


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