Friday, March 29, 2013

Pale Is Pretty: Tips for Embracing Fair Skin

If you're anything like me, you have probably struggled between what the media touts as "beautiful" when it comes to complexion- bronzed, tan, sun-kissed, call it what you may- and what is healthy for you and your skin in the long run. My heritage is mainly German and Scandinavian (Norwegian), so sun-kissed is not a term best used to describe our complexion. I have been inside tanning beds, stood awkwardly naked for professional spray tans, and had chemicals spewed in my face during machine sunless tans, all in an effort to achieve that perfect "glow." And this is all despite the awareness of the harm that I was inflicting upon myself. Thankfully as I get older I also grow smarter, and I no longer subject myself to this nonsense.

We all know that tanning beds cause an array of health issues ranging from skin spots to melanoma, but now the word is out that spray tans are not necessarily any safer. Spray tans contain a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that has been shown to "cause genetic mutations" on cells in a lab. So why are we still doing this to ourselves? The only way to break this self-destructive habit of trying to achieve a look that is simply not natural is to learn to embrace what we were born with. For some of us that means accepting that pale is pretty.

I am enamored by celebrities and other women out there who own their paleness and prove that it is just as beautiful. Kirsten Dunst is one that I find does this extremely well (shout out to a fellow Dunst!) Below are some photographs that I hope will help prove to you all that pale is indeed pretty.

Another reason to love your fair skin is that we rock bold makeup trends like no other. Recently I have been into the deep plum lip color like Ilia's Ink Pot paired with a neutral blush or bronzer such as Tarte's amazonian clay blush in Exposed.

These eco beauty finds work great for porcelain and ivory skin tones:

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface // Exposed // Peaceful
Ilia Organic Lipstick in Inkpot // Wild Child // Neon Angel

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Healthy Chicken Salad

What I love most about experimenting in the kitchen is creating new recipes from not-so-healthy classics and discovering that they end up not just healthier, but even better tasting. This recipe is a healthy spin on the classic Waldorf salad which can be enjoyed entirely guilt-free. In place of mayo I used all natural almond butter for my healthy fats, with a touch of honey for some added sweetness. This recipe is super easy to make and can be enjoyed all week long for a quick, easy meal. For a low cal, high-protein lunch that will keep you satiated throughout the afternoon, wrap 1 cup of this chicken salad up in a romaine lettuce leaf.

Also, feel free to make tweaks of your own to suit your preferences. Because I used almond butter in place of mayo, I decided to leave out the chopped nuts that are typically in a Waldorf salad. But hey, if you're feeling nutty you go right ahead and throw some pecans in there! (or almonds, or whatever else is hanging out in your pantry). You could also use apples in place of pears- whatever is in season is your best bet.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring '13 Eco Footwear Finds

1. Atlanta Coral Leather Ballet Flat by Julie Bee's // 2. Beaded Leather Sandals by Olsen Haus // 3. Megumi Wedges by Coclico // 4. Amina ballet flats by Neuaura // 5. Emerson Ankle Cuff Sandals by Cri De Coeur

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Giveaway: Parakeet Water Bottle

Today I am offering everyone a chance to win this charming BPA-free water bottle with "three little birds," so you can step into Spring in style! It's almost time to pack away those winter boots and break out the sandals. Take these charming little birds on your bike rides around town or on a run to stay hydrated.

All you have to do is log on and "like" us on Facebook then share the link with all of your friends. A winner will be chosen at the end of the night.

Happy Friday and happy first week of Spring everyone!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review: The Honest Life

On my flight home from Los Angeles this past weekend I was looking for some new reading material when I remembered Jessica Alba's newly released book The Honest Life. I've always thought Jessica Alba to be incredibly beautiful and talented young woman, but in learning how dedicated she is to green living my admiration for her has grown exponentially.

What I really loved about this book is that it leaves room for flaw, with no judgement and no patronizing. We are all doing our best to create a greener, more ethical environment around us but a lot of times life gets in the way and we end up making not-so-great choices. This book isn't about being perfect. Rather, it's about the small steps we take in our day-to-day lives that over time add up to something big. It's about better educating ourselves on what types of products we're allowing into our homes, our family's lives, and our own bodies. Jessica has done an extensive amount of research on the harmful ingredients that make up much of everyday consumer products, and offers safe alternatives. Which makes our lives a whole lot easier- now all I need to do is whip out my Nook and refer to Jessica's helpful notes when I'm struggling between two different "natural" cleaning products (FYI- something that's labeled "natural" on its packaging isn't necessarily safe or environmentally friendly).

I highly recommend that anyone who's trying to lead a greener lifestyle pick up a copy of this book (or better yet, download a copy to your e-reader. Save a tree!). It's like the Green Living Bible for the fashion-conscious or simply for anyone who wants to make improvements in their daily life without drastically revamping their entire world. It's just like when you're starting a new diet to try and lose weight. You don't just go cold-turkey and completely eliminate entire food groups in hopes of a quick fix; you make gradual improvements and adjustments every day until you find a good, sustainable balance. I feel that green living is very much the same. If we try and do too much at once, eventually we get discouraged, give up, and go back to our old way of living. This all-or-nothing mentality rarely works in any new endeavor, and I really do discourage you from taking this approach.

In The Honest Life, Jessica Alba discusses several different topics including fashion, beauty, food, cleaning products, and for those mothers & mothers-to-be out there, how to create a safe environment for your little one. No matter where you're at in life, I assure you there is much to be taken out of this book. Now that I have it conveniently stored in my e-reader, I know that I will be referring back to it time and again.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Cost of Ethical Fashion

 [image via]

The higher-than-average prices associated with most ethical fashion brands raises a lot of questions and concerns when customers are shopping around. "But I can get a top that looks just like this from Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters for one third of the cost, so why would I spend more on this one?" If this is a question you find yourself asking, you're not alone. I admit, it's tempting to go to a fast fashion store where you know you can walk out with five new items of clothing rather than spend it all on one item elsewhere. What we all need to realize, though, is that these fast fashion retailers must cut corners in order to be able to charge the prices that they do, and a lot of the time this comes at the cost of company ethics and social responsibility. 
I'm going to get a little 'Economics 101' on you, so I apologize in advance since taking Econ once is more than enough. Fast fashion and mass producers of apparel benefit from what we all know as 'economies of scale.' They are producing single items of clothing in quantities in the thousands and more. But in order to pull this off, they must outsource to countries with workers who are willing (and desperate) to work for next-to-nothing wages, using materials that were created in ways that are not environmentally sustainable. I can promise you that if a shirt is costing you $20 or less, the workers involved in making that shirt were not earning $8 an hour. Another thing to take into account is the fuel and energy required to create these mass amounts of clothing and then have them shipped halfway across the world and redistributed throughout the United States. 
The beautiful thing about this industry is that us consumers ultimately hold all the power. If we continue to choose to buy dirt-cheap mass-produced clothing, then manufacturers are going to keep making them. But if we choose to invest a little bit more money into something that we know was made with some love, compassion, and a sense of responsibility (even if it means we can only afford a few new items each season as opposed to fifteen), then the fashion industry will be forced to respond. 
I'm not asking anyone to go out and spend $150 on a shirtdress instead of paying rent this month. We all know what prices we are realistically able to pay, and if ethically-made fashion just does not fit into your budget then that's for you to decide and for no one to judge. All I want to do is urge consumers to think on a slightly deeper level about how their lifestyle and purchase decision impact other people and the environment. I am always on the lookout for more affordable options in terms of eco-friendly, organic, fair-trade fashion brands, and I am honored to be able to offer brands like Groceries Apparel and Reco Denim which are a little easier on the wallet. However, you will never see anything on unless I am assured that it was made without damaging the planet or exploiting others for their labor.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Refined Hippie Is Back In Action

First off I would like to take the time to apologize for my shameful eight-month hiatus from the blogging world. To anyone who feels personally offended by it (I’m guessing I haven’t deeply upset anyone with my internet absence), I am sincerely sorry.

Eight months ago I packed up my car and moved down south to the charming old Southern city of Charleston, SC. I launched an online boutique called where I sell eco friendly women’s fashion apparel and accessories. In October I participated in a local fashion show to help get the name of my business out in the community. I am now also working as a cocktail server at a beautiful 5 star resort while working on growing and expanding my online business. These past few months I have experienced first-hand the insufficiency of merely 24 hours in one day, hence my anti-commitment to social media. It may not be an excuse, but it’s all I’ve got.

Just last week I received a call from a marketing company revealing to me that I was chosen as a semi-finalist for a contest I entered a couple months back. The contest is called Scion Motivate, sponsored and organized by Toyota’s child company Scion, which is geared towards a younger audience. Fifty young entrepreneurs were selected as semi-finalists to be flown out to Los Angeles for a week of business related workshops, as well as the chance to win a brand new car and $10,000 to help grow our businesses.

So here I am, just one week after receiving that call, sitting in a beautiful beach-front resort in Santa Monica, California, excited and anxious to see what the next few days bring.

While a brand new car and an extra $10,000 in my business’ bank account would be fabulous, I will at the bare minimum benefit from a resurged sense of motivation and determination to make Treetie a success, expert advice and priceless mentoring from the best of the best, and a reminder to dedicate more time to some of my hobbies that have been pushed to the backburner these past few months, like writing, cooking, and photography. Okay, I’m definitely not complaining about a free trip to Los Angeles and four days on the beach either. I look forward to meeting and befriending other like-minded, hard-working, passionate souls that will be in attendance, and to networking with individuals who have the power to help make my business dreams come true.

I promise you will be hearing more from me from here on out, and I look forward to updating you all on this mini-adventure, and to hopefully post pictures of my new fuel-friendly Scion xD that I hypothetically win.

Peace out ya'll.

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