My Green Beauty Basics

If you have been following me along on instagram, then you know our home renovation took a lot of steam out of my eco friendly engine. I just did not have the spoons (or a kitchen or bathroom) to stay as green as I would have liked. However, because my beauty regime is pretty minimal, I had no troubles in this department. I thought I would share my basics in case someone is looking for some inspiration.

Apple Cider Vinegar – In a glass bottle, this powerhouse can act as a skin toner, hair rinse and much more. It works great to balance out my low porosity hair, and added to a bath, it is incredibly soft and moisturizing for those with dry skin issues. I never go without.

Bar soap – Whether its for my body, or specifically formulated for my face. Unpackaged bar soap is what my family enjoys using.

Lip Balm – I have a compulsion to never ever have dry lips. Lip balm or lip stick  in a compostable or recyclable container make my heart and the earth sing.

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Lip balm in a compostable container

Rose hip oil – Not too long ago I realized that I needed to start taking better care of my skin. I tried to be a multi-product girl with the serums and the acids (all in glass bottles of course), but its just not me. Rose hip oil rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants which are essential in tissue and cell regeneration in the skin. After I cleanse my skin, I just throw this on at night and move on about my day. PS. It will stain your skin a bright orange, but it goes away as your skin absorbs it.

Almond oil – The least eco-friendly of basics, because I have only found it in plastic bottles (I buy the biggest size to make up for it). Almond oil can be used as a face, body, and hair moisturizer. It is my go-to make-up remover and probably the product I have used the longest.

Konjac sponge – New to me, this compostable face scrubby comes in clutch when I need to exfoliate my face.

Thats it folks! When I am scrubbed clean, and well moisturized I feel my most beautiful. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

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Stanley and my naked, moisturized face

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Peace.

Farai.

Minimalism, 3 years in

Fourscore and about three years ago, I got tired and overwhelmed by all the stuff in my life and began my journey into minimalism. Here is what I have learned so far:

It’s work – Once you get past all the decluttering, and figure out how you want whatever you minimized to look, you have to do regular maintenance to keep it that way. Things pile up, and if you don’t take stock regularly then you can slip back in to old habits. This was true for me with our home renovation. My home was a mess, everything was boxed up and stacked away and so I would find myself buying doubles of things, and making purchases I didn’t truly need or even like. The Target runs to escape the noise of the renovation waylaid all the work I did to disconnect myself from using retail therapy as a way to feel good. Luckily, I was able to check myself constantly because I know my goals and what I needed in my life because of minimalism.

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My baby crab and I, 2018

 

Its good for me and the planet – “Do you really need this?” Is a question I never used to ask myself. If I liked it, and I had the means, I got it. That ended up in piles of unused or discarded items. Now, I take into account the story of how the object that I am bringing into my life came to be. This makes for a lot less impulse choices, which is good for everyone.

Its easier – When you have less stuff, its easier to clean, to be honest, to be still, to take stock.

I am not a one handbag kinda gal – I like cute things, but with minimalism, I’ve learned to look at something and imagine how it would work for me through all seasons of my life. If I can’t see it withstanding some wear/tear then I don’t need it, but I am not stopping myself from owning/enjoying beautiful things.  Some minimalists have one utilitarian bag that they use for everything. I have a few vintage, adorable, and gifted bags that I enjoy wearing and switching out often. Not very minimal, but they bring me joy.

Everyone will look different – Living with less looks different for everyone. That’s it. No need/room for judgement.

I make room for beauty more – In a way that I never did before minimalism. Sure I had beautiful stuff before, but it got lost in the noise of clutter. Now I can look at the art on my wall and really see it. It has been great for my creativity too.

You see everything – Clutter does a good job of  hiding dirt. When walls and floors are bare of clutter, you see all the dirt and grime. When you have two scraggly dogs, a messy toddler, and a mechanic for a husband, the floors and walls hide nothing. But that’s just life.  If you come over, I am probably sweeping up dog fur, scrubbing at a grease stain or wiping blueberries from EVERYTHING. Or I am saying this let’s go outside and look at my garden and ignore my filthy house.

It makes me a better person – Clutter makes me anxious. Anxiety makes me controlling, angry, distracted, and unmotivated. That is not fun for me or anyone around me. So, bye bye clutter.

You don’t have to follow the norm – Your life and your space should suit YOUR life, your functional and emotional needs. Play with it and figure out what works for you.

You question everything – I am not quite sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, because it elicits a couple eye rolls from people around me every once in a while. It looks like me cuddling an item and thinking about whether or not it will serve me or bring me joy in the thrift store, or journaling to understand my thoughts and feelings about life’s many questions. Tedious? Maybe. Worth it? Yes.

Learn more about my minimalist journey here: Why Minimalism

An interview with Black Minimalists : Black Minimalists

A 15 minute intro to minimalism I did for my Minimalists of Color facebook groupIntro to Minimalism

Peace,

Farai

My Summer Diaper Bag Essentials

Summer is my SEASON. Growing up in Botswana where it is hot for the most of the year  makes me LOVE this season so much. I like to spend my time outside exploring or swimming and since I prefer babywearing over using a stroller, my diaper bag has to be functional for both my partner and I.

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I am a fan of multi-purpose items and the Kavu Rope Bag works great for us because its spacious, with multiple pockets and has one strap, which is perfect for me when I carry my daughter on my back. It fits all my essentials that and still has room for more items.

Diapering 

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Bag of wipes in reusable wipe bag. We cloth wipe at home, but use disposable wipes on the go.

A wet bag to store dirty diapers

2 pocket cloth diapers. I prefer pocket you because I can adjust the absorbency  and its still a simple snap and go diaper.

A changing mat, because we go places that don’t always have a safe changing table.

Body

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A change of clothes, homemade sunscreen, some diaper cream and hand sanitizer.

Miscellaneous 

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Daniel Tiger never fails to put a smile on my daughters face so we almost always have a DT book and one other toy to keep her amused.  A Kid Kanteen bottle for her water, burp rag and my wallet which has a pen,  cards and chapstick and thats it!

My diaper bag changes with the seasons. I add warmer clothes in the winter and I rotate out her toys weekly too. Not pictured is my water bottle and hat that I shove into the bag when it is sunny too.I don’t like to be weighed down by unnecessary items so I’ve streamlined the bag to the necessities and it works for us.

Peace.

Farai

 

Why Minimalism

In early 2016, several months pregnant and as big as a house, I was overcome with the inexhaustible need to nest. To prepare a place for my little nugget.  I looked at the 3 bedroom home that I shared with my partner and two dogs and panicked. We had NO space. The baby room was full of various unopened baby gifts and we hadn’t even added a crib to her room yet. I toyed with the idea of renting a storage space but it did not fit into my budget. I was flabbergasted that at 25 years of living, I had already amassed such a large amount of crap that I needed extra space to hide it away.

This was unacceptable to me.I decided that I needed to get organized. So like any good millennial, I took to google- specifically, YouTube where I discovered an entire movement dedicated to organization. I was HOOKED. I watched countless videos of women changing clutter-filled rooms into DIY heaven, Pinterest-worthy masterpieces. I knew I had found my people. I learned about the Life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo and applied its principles to some of my life. I threw out, sold and donated gobs and gobs of stuff. It felt great. For the first time, I felt in charge of my belongings. I said bye bye to gifts I had received (that were not my style) from well-meaning relatives and friends that I had kept out of obligation. All my mismatched socks and dresses that used to fit me kicked the bucket. I let my closet be a space that held things that I loved and brought me joy. So what if that meant I had only two pairs of socks?

Minimalism made me question my spending habits. It made me wonder where my money was going when I made a purchase.Before I swiped or hit buy, did I really need or love the item I was about to bring into my life? It reconnected me to my public library after I realized I never touched the books I had purchased after I was done with them. What a waste. It made me fall back in love with DIY’s and crafting. Enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done after creating something for my family.

A home is supposed to be your sanctuary, but for a long time, my home was a place that brought me anxiety and shame. I did not know what to do with my gobs of stuff. Minimalism helped me make my home a sanctuary that I loved being in.

Minimalism is not a strict set of rules that you can follow. It looks different for everyone. For me, it looks like the William Morris quote – “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” It is a journey. Since I’ve had my daughter, my closet has filled back up with clothes (most of which I do not wear…again, how wasteful) to accommodate my changing body and my kitchen is in need of a good spring cleaning from all the random mismatched lunchboxes and plates that my partner and I apparently attract like magnets. But, I can look around my house and tell a love story about almost everything there.

All this brings me to why I am blogging about this. In all my research and countless HOURS spent on the interwebs learning about organizing and minimalism, the number of POC I found who were having these conversations has been small. Like under 10 people small.  My background in media and the fact that I am a black person makes me super passionate about the representation of POC in all avenues. This blog and information is for everyone but I do want people of color to know that there is someone like them out here engaging in this predominantly white space, and they can too. Everyone deserves freedom from stuff. To quote the minimalists, love people, use things.

Peace.

Farai