Thoughts in a moment: mindful discussion book club

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I have decided to create a thoughtful book club! The reason is two-fold: I want to read more and engage in constructive conversation! There are no hard and fast rules to this book club and you don’t have to read every single book to participate! If there are a select few books you’d like to jump in on the discussion for, by all means! We are meeting here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/399791290395171/

I made this selection of books because I believe these are all issues that are affecting our present day and also issues that relate to the intentions of this blog — some are little known. I believe we will generate positive dialogue and perhaps learn something about the world, ourselves, and each other! Happy reading!

April

For April, I decided to choose two books. The first, The Little Book of Hygge – The Danish Way to Live Well is a quick read about this Danish way of life that you may already be partaking in without even knowing it!

The second book, In Defense of Food, discusses the industrialization of food as it relates to the decline of the environment. Pollan looks at food from a health perspective and discusses the multi-billion dollar food industry with facts.

May

“When thirty-eight-year-old New Yorker writer Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.

Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist traditional rules—about work, about love, and about womanhood.”

June

TBD

July

“Trayvon Martin’s parents take readers beyond the news cycle with an account only they could give: the intimate story of a tragically foreshortened life and the rise of a movement.”

August

“It started with a harmless quest for perfect wash-and-go hair. Every girl wants it, and Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt finally found it in a fancy salon treatment. They were thrilled—until they discovered that the magic ingredient was formaldehyde.”

September

“Your toddler throws a tantrum in the middle of a store. Your preschooler refuses to get dressed. Your fifth-grader sulks on the bench instead of playing on the field. Do children conspire to make their parents’ lives endlessly challenging? No―it’s just their developing brain calling the shots!”

October

“Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.”

November

“#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed”

December

“From the star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills comes an emotional and eye opening behind-the-scenes look at her descent into uncovering the mystery of chronic Lyme disease.”

January

“Even as seas rise against the shores, another great tide is beginning to rise – a tide of outrage against the pillage of the planet, a tide of commitment to justice and human rights, a swelling affirmation of moral responsibility to the future and to Earth’s fullness of life.”

February

“Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable.”

 

Personal Mission: Beautycounter

 

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Do you know what you are putting on your skin day in and day out? Our skin is our largest organ and therefore what we put on it goes in it and is absorbed rapidly! Because some products have harsh chemicals that can be absorbed into our bodies, they can cause our health harm by causing toxicity. Our bodies can become burdened  (body burden) with toxins resulting in potential illness.

 I made a personal commitment a long time ago be educated about what I was eating and what products I was using on my body. It has been a very trial and error processes and a huge learning experience! I have found some amazing products and some that didn’t do my skin any favours even though they were safer. As I have posted on this blog I have a few favourites but, nothing compares to Beautycounter. I have never come across a line of beautiful products that are also made safe!

Beautycounter is committed to quality products while keeping their commitments. They have a never list of ingredients that will never be found in their products, products that fair well on the EWG’s skin deep database, a B corporation with a commitment to people and society and a mission of education about harmful chemicals in everyday care products.

It is because of all of these points that I found that Beautycounter really represented what I am all about so, I have decided to join the safer product mission!

These products are not only safer, they perform really well! The Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation is my absolute favourite but all of their products are second to none in quality and performance.img_7113

I would be happy to help you get safer and beautiful products into your hands. Beautycounter offers skincare lines, makeup, and Kidcounter which is their line for children. I am so thrilled to share in this mission as it is my passion and one that affects all of us! Join me on this journey! To learn more visit

http://www.beautycounter.com/en-ca/shannongalley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEAUTYCOUNTER | Better products for the busy mom

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I am always on the hunt for better personal care products. My preference is to use products that are free from toxins which will not affect my health, now more than ever as I am breastfeeding. Our skin is our largest organ, therefore, what we put on it ultimately goes into our body and I want to make sure that what I am putting on to my skin is just as good as anything I would ingest. That being said, I want natural products that perform well and do what they claim they are supposed to do.

While I am not super big into wearing makeup, I do have a certain routine that I follow and a few must have products but, I really am not one to go over the top, I simply want products that work well and won’t have any negative effects. And, as  busy mom, I want products that are safe and give an impact with little effort.

Recently I discovered Beautycounter, a beauty product/personal care product company with a mission: “To get safer products into the hands of everyone.”  Of course, this was something I could get behind and as I learned more, I was really looking forward to trying their products. I was a bit skeptical at first, it was a big promise and many better products I had tried didn’t always live up to what they were supposed to do. But, the more I looked into Beautycounter, the more I was intrigued. Their mission not only includes education about why their products are better but also why it is so important to not include thousands of ingredients that are often lurking in everyday personal care items.

At Beautycounter, we’ve banned more than 1,500 ingredients, setting a new health and safety standard— all while ensuring our products perform, and are as indulgent as any luxe shampoo, lipstick, or oil in the market.

http://www.beautycounter.com 

Their website includes an ingredient list as well as a never list of harmful ingredients that will never be included in Beautycounter products.

And while Beautycounter is definitely not the most bare-bones natural in regards to ingredients, they definitely offer great products which include much less in the way of harmful ingredients. Good news though, most of their products test fair-good on the EWG’s Skin Deep database. 

Here is what I’ve tried so far:

Beautycounter Nourishing Cream Cleanser

I love the feel and the smell of this cleanser. I like that it is a lightweight cleanser and it really leaves my skin feeling refreshed. It cleanses but is light and watery so it does the job without leaving a residue. I contains witch hazel, coconut oil, and aloe, and seems to be a perfect combination for my skin with ingredients providing cleaning and soothing at the same time.

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Beautycounter Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation

This is on my list of top foundations that I have ever tried. The foundation is light weight, full coverage, and it gives great moisture which can add to that dewy look! I really love the feel of this foundation and it definitely improves the look of my skin.IMG_6626

Beautycounter Sheer Lipstick in Twig

This is like a lipgloss/lipstick. It lasts fairly well and has some shine to it. It also moisturizes your lips which I really like. I am generally more of a matte lipstick person but I like this look for something simple during the day. I like the colour I chose as it’s neutral with a bit of a pinky hue so I think it goes with everything.IMG_6625

To order: www.beautycounter.com/shannongalley 

Beauty counter offers many products including a full line for kids! Check them out!

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My Latest Eco Diva Loves

Some new finds from Eco Diva Beauty!! w3ll people natural lover mineral complexion kit no.1 and ecobrow defining wax in penelope

Some new finds from Eco Diva Beauty!! w3ll people natural lover mineral complexion kit no.1 and ecobrow defining wax in penelope

So, since I’ve been pregnant I haven’t really been wearing much make up. I have really lucked out and unlike a lot of women, pregnancy is actually helping my skin instead of causing it to break out. Typically, I don’t wear a lot of make up anyway but foundation, a light eye shadow, mascara and bronzer or blush were generally my staples, other than that I never really do too much.


Because I have some skin concerns and because I want to make sure that I am not putting toxins onto my skin which are then absorbed into my body, I have always wanted to make sure that I was using a foundation that was free of unnecessary chemicals and toxins. I was using Jane Iredale foundation and as I mentioned in a previous post I really loved the coverage. I ran out of the previous foundation and decided that I wanted to try something new so I selected something off of the EcoDiva website, this foundation / complexion kit from W3ll People, and I am really loving it!  The colour description on-line was helpful to decide what would be my best colour option (I am usually the lightest colour but sometimes it can be a bit deceiving). The coverage is great and it doesn’t feel to heavy or like I am wearing anything on my face. The best part: the W3ll People products contain no harmful toxins and the company emphasizes the importance of organic ingredients. This is something I can get behind. You can read more about what their products don’t contain on their website. 

For $70 the kit contains foundation, a bronzer, and a soft brush.

Another product that I have just recently tried and love is EcoBrow.  My eyebrows are so light and I always knew that defining them might be a simple way to change my look without piling on the make up. I love this product. It is a mineral-based, paraben- free wax that is applied to the eyebrows with an angle brush. It is so simple and easy to blend and it doesn’t give the hard, drawn on eyebrow look. The colour that I selected is Penelope and I think it goes great with my hair colour and skin tone.

If you haven’t tried Eco Diva Beauty yet, I highly suggest you get on it! Their products are delivered very quickly and I have not been disappointed!

What is your staple beauty item?

 

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything through these links I may be compensated. 

Green up your makeup with Eco Diva Beauty


As I have mentioned in previous posts I am really conscientious when it comes to products that I put on my body. Now, in pregnancy, I am even more cautious. I even have brought my own soap to work to avoid the triclosan ridden variety at times as extreme as that may be to some. Beauty products can contain so many unnecessary chemicals and we all have a body burden for toxins that can be flushed out and I’d rather not have them accumulate in my body.

I have talked about Eco Diva Beauty on the blog before but I feel like they are always worth another mention.

If you are looking for great new beauty products for fall but don’t want all of the harsh chemicals, I highly suggest checking out Eco Diva Beauty.

Some of my favourite brands are:

Alima Pure

Tata Harper 

Ten Over Ten

One Love Organics 

*Affiliate Post Disclosure: I may receive compensation when you purchase an item through the links in this post.

My favourite less toxic, skin perfecting products

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As I have talked about in previous posts, my skin is not exactly perfect. It has been a struggle to find products that actually help it instead of harm it. It has been hard to find products that will help to hide some flaws on my face without having to pile on so much make up only to have it get stuck in my pores or scarring, making it look so much worse. I also don’t want products that contain too many toxins and I always opt for more natural products, where possible.

I think I have finally found the best combination for me in addition to what I use to cleanse my face.

Read about my favourite skin care products, here. 

Previously, I have written about The Natural Art of Skin Care Spa in Calgary. This is where my healthy skin journey began. The routine facials have done wonders for my skin and being introduced to the Eminence Organic Skin Care line has been a life saver. More recently, I was struggling with my make up clogging my pores but my skin could also look oily if I used a liquid foundation, and good luck finding one of those that is more natural (there are a few, but tough to find). I had used Jane Iredale products in the past and I really liked them. They are a bit pricey, and as a university student, it was hard to justify. I decided to go back to them though, knowing the foundation a better choice as far as toxins go and the company really values creating less toxic, more natural, quality products.

So, I thought I would share a few of my favourite products that I use every day to try to get my skin to the best place possible.

1. Eminence Organic’s Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer. I find not only does it moisturise it works to heal and detox my skin in between facials. Since using it I have noticed less black heads and my skin’s overall appearance has seen an improvement. It isn’t exactly an every day product but I tend to use it every other day alternating with another Eminence moisturizer. The Eminence skin care products are super high quality and are mostly plant derived from the company’s gardens in Hungary.

2. The Jane Iredale Super Pressed Mineral Foundation. I find it hard to find a clean foundation but Jane Iredale offers some stellar products. I love this super pressed mineral foundation. It is light with amazing, even coverage and it is rated a 2 on the EWG Skin Deep database which is pretty good. It also includes an SPF, which is key.

3. Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener. Primers make all of the difference in my make up routine. If I don’t have a primer on, it is easier for my pores to be clogged by the foundation and throughout the day my makeup gets into the scars and pores on my face making it look uneven and just nasty. A primer is really the first step (after moisturizer) to a flawless face and the Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener helps to give me a bit of the dewey look.

This one isn’t perfectly non-toxic but it is definitely a better much better option than others out there.

4. Jane Iredale Botanical Brush Cleaner. If you’re looking for a quick way to give your brushes a quick clean up each day? This brush cleaner is awesome. It smells like grapefruit and a few quick sprays and a few dabs on a paper towel are all you need. It helps to keep bacteria off your brush which could be causing break outs. It’s a great option in between thorough brush cleans.

5. Tata Harper Very Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint. I’ve been using this product for quite a while now. I love it. I love that it can be used on both your cheeks and lips and that it is easily blended into your cheeks. I love the subtle colour it can add to your cheeks or you can make it more of a bold pop. The best part is scores a 2 on the EWG Skin Deep database.