Tag Archives: organic

PHAMExpo Haul! (Professional Hair And Makeup Expo)!

Last weekend, I went down to Pasadena to attend PHAMExpo, which is a trade show for makeup artists, hair stylists, and any other beauty professionals!

I guess I am stretching it when I say “attend” – I worked it! I love going to makeup shows, but am not as much of a shopper, so I usually try to work at them and do just a little shopping here and there – that way I still make money, still get discounts, still feel the energy from and get inspired by the show, but don’t spend too much money, which is especially important now that we’re planning a wedding.

This time, I worked for my friends at Frends, an amazing beauty supply store! You should totally apply for their pro discount program – not only will it save you money, but it’s also called “Frends with Benefits,” so how can you resist? 

Anyway, I scoped out the exhibitors before attending, and there was one that I was really excited to check out – Stefania Organics. I am still in the process of finding makeup products that are natural and organic and still perform the way that conventional/pro products do, but I feel confident in using an organic brush cleaner and sanitizer! I was pumped when Stefania, the owner and founder, came over to the Frends booth to drop of some brush cleanser for the Frends team to try, because then I got to meet her without having to leave the booth! She is such a sweetheart and so fun to be around – so I had to go check out the booth for sure! So, my first purchase was a small bottle of her brush cleaner to try – review on the way!

The rest of the stuff I bought was actually all from the Frends booth, so I didn’t have to travel very far! However, I did have a seriously difficult time NOT buying this Zuca bag that is screaming my name in every way possible, from the Zuca booth!

Get behind me, Satan!

Perhaps I will get it for myself as a wedding present! 😉

One thing I knew I needed was a Z Palette and some new neutral eye shadows (I got some from Stilazzi). The palette that has been in my kit quite a while that I use most on corporate, commercial, tv, print, and even the rare bride (I don’t do much bridal makeup anymore) was in embarrassingly rough shape after a couple plane rides and roughness from well-meaning PAs on set – the plastic casing on it was broken and missing chunks, and at least one of the shadows had fallen apart. It was definitely time to move on! I salvaged some of the oft-used colors and put them into my new extra large palette, as you can see!

Closeup of my Z Palette, filled!

The thing I love about the Z Palette is that you can put your pans of makeup from any packaging in using metallic backing that sticks to your makeup, so you can customize a palette with your favorite brands, or if you aren’t a makeup artist/product junkie, you can even have your supplies for your whole face in one palette! Or if you are, you can replace just one color you use a lot, instead of having palettes with uneven usage where you BARELY use most of the colors but they have your go-to! I definitely see many more Z Palette purchases in my future!

Next on my list was a couple Nyx products – a pot of black eyeliner (I usually use Make Up For Ever, but thought it was low risk to give this a shot), and a bright pink liquid lipstick that I WAS going to wear to the wedding I’m attending this weekend, but changed my mind!

Recently, I have been doing a fair amount of makeup requiring lashes, but booking the jobs last-minute and ending up paying way too much at Walgreens for lashes, so I bought sixteen pairs from Frends in three styles so I am prepared for a while!

My last two items weren’t on my list initially, but I am so pumped about them!

They happened to be in the part of the booth where I was working, so after explaining how awesome they are to people, or hearing the other lovely artists I worked with do the same, I couldn’t leave behind! #NoMakeupProductLeftBehind

One is my “Manizer Sisters” palette. My current highlight/bronzer palette has hit pan, so it’s about time to buy a new one anyway! I didn’t know that these were sold together (it’s relatively new), and couldn’t resist the packaging. I mean, I was going to have to buy them anyway eventually, may as well do it when I can get a deal!

Finally, the most ironic product – something to take the makeup OFF! I am usually sad when I am doing this on days I actually take the time to do my makeup, but this makes it much more exciting! It is a special fiber cloth that removes your makeup by just wetting it! No chemicals, no wastefully throwing away wipes!

As I mentioned before, I am all about the natural products, so I was excited for that! And, I recently have started using an AMAZING organic skincare line that I love, but is a bit pricey, and I think this will save me money on cleanser and makeup remover in the long run!

It comes in black and pink, and I chose black – I’m not a pink person, except during the Susan G Komen 3-Day, and I felt like black would look less gross between washes! (You just throw it in your washing machine with your clothes)!

When I got back home, I showed Tommy what all I bought (bless his heart for sitting through it and seeming interested), and at the end he said, “You must be so excited that you were able to buy so many sustainable products!”

I recycled in my intro video as a way to show my passion for the environment! 😂

I hadn’t even thought about it that way! Organic brush cleaner is obvious. The Z Palette and buying individual shadows in very minimal packaging is sustainable. And the makeup eraser will stop me from using makeup wipes on my SUPER tired nights, and minimize the usage of cleansers – score!

I will update you soon with reviews on the makeup eraser, liner, liquid lipstick, and brush cleaners. I also have another set of reviews from my “Bloom” box from Influenster coming up, too, so stay tuned!

What’s the latest beauty product you bought?



Natural Products West Expo 2016 - Reviews, Haul, & Hot New Products!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim! I was like a kid in a candy store on my breaks!

I was working for a company I started working with later last year, Natural Value. They are based in Sacramento, and are a company I can really get behind!

They have a super wide range of products - from sustainable recycled paper products, organic groceries in BPA-free cans, to pole and line caught (one fish at a time) tuna - the white meat for humans, and the red meat for kitties! Meow!

Here I am with Gary, the president of the company!

Here I am with the Expo West team, including a silly face pic!

You can’t be mad at a company that spoils you and gives you champagne!

And it doesn’t hurt that I get to work with some very lovely people!

Here I am with my new friend Tanya, a sweetheart aesthetician and model in Portland! She’s also big into fitness like me!

And here I am with Neda, a friend from Milwaukee who was hired to do the same thing as me, but in the Midwest! This was at our training in Sacramento back in January!

Plus, when I worked with them at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, I got to meet Amy from Little People Big World! 

So this past weekend in Anaheim, we had our booth in an interesting spot! Since Natural Value’s product range is so vast, they were put in a spot between the food and the health and beauty products!

During the breaks, I went and checked out A TON of booths! Many were giving away free gifts and samples, so I got a lot of great stuff, as you can see here!

SO many things to try!

Not pictured:

The Bobble Presse I got for Tommy, which he says works fantastically:

Or the Vital Proteins grass fed liver pills I got!

Or, finally (and sorry if this is TMI), the Lunette Menstrual Cup (Use coupon code ExpoW3016 between now and 3/31/16 for 30% off!) I got - no more tampons and carbon footprint for that from me! 😉 

Yes, the inside of the box DOES say “Say hello to your little friend,” in case you were wondering! ;P

Let’s get to the highlights, shall we?

One of my favorite things I tried (but have not yet purchased) was Spoonk! Check out this video I did:

Another favorite product was this buzzing lip balm - I think I need it!

One overall brand that has me pumped is Dr. Tung’s! They have a whole suite of products to amp up your dental hygiene. Check them out!

Yes, the vast majority of the products I have tried or am trying are from the Health & Beauty department as opposed to the food department. While I definitely snacked on some tasty stuff, like Arctic Zero ice cream and A LOT of Greek Yogurt (Chobani is coming out with full fat whole Greek yogurt soon - YAY), and was working for a food company (with no questionable ingredients), a lot of what was there was food PRODUCTS. Not real food, but products.

One such company of products is one I took advantage of often in a pinch - Quest Nutrition. However, the other day, Tommy and I were studying the ingredients further on some of the bars, and we saw “sucralose” on the list! Not familiar? It’s also known as Splenda! And that’s recently been in the news for confirmed health problems - surprise surprise! Another fake sugar causing trouble - when will we learn?

I asked about it in the Quest booth, and though the girl I spoke to was very cavalier about the presence of sucralose in the bars, she was also pretty helpful.

Did you know that when there’s a swirl (like on the top label here), that means it’s part of the “natural” line, which doesn’t have sucralose!

Did you know this about Quest bars??

Isn’t that interesting?

I also had the delight of meeting Bob, from Bob’s Red Mill, who was such a sweetheart! He had a marching band that went through the show and played every morning! I will definitely be loyal to his brand when I am choosing almond flour, coconut flour, flax meal, and/or potato starch!

As you saw from the pic in the beginning, I have a TON of products to try! One I am excited about is a seaweed scrub I made at this booth:

If you’re feeling so inclined, head over to my instagram page and like this pic - it will help me win a gift certificate to The Seaweed Bath Co

Last night, Tommy and I tested out the Charcoal Detox masks from Dermae… They work great! 

If anything else is remarkable, I will either update this blog or write a whole new one about the product! 😉

I am so excited to go to Expo East in September and try even more new things, and see the friends I made at Expo West!

What is something new you have tried and loved?



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Fit Foodie Friday: How to Get Your Kids (or yourself) to Eat Liver!

This week, I cooked quite a bit, but it was primarily things that were not super photogenic… 

Like meat loaf. I mean, unless we are talking about this one: 

Most of the time, meatloaf is SUPER visually unappealing - but feel free to prove me wrong! 

The meat loaf I made this week loosely followed this recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple, which is where I get a lot of my recipes! What I did differently here was to put organic, sugar free ketchup on top instead of in the recipe! 

I also made this Primal Beef Stroganoff and covered with with green beans, since I was part of an “eating green” challenge this week! 

But the main focus of this post would be my Primal Taco Salad.

I discovered in another close label-reading session a couple years ago that most store-bought taco seasonings have sugar in them! Um, no thanks! (Read more label scariness here!)

So since then, I have been making my own, and you can read that recipe here! 

There it is all mixed up in a taco salad with kale, spinach, baby mixed greens, cilantro, cottage cheese, green peppers, tomatoes, Kerrygold cheddar, grassfed ground Kobe beef, and beef liver pate

Wait, what?! 

Yes, beef liver pate. Tommy and I try to eat as much organ meat as we can, for the health benefits of it (more info here from an expert). Hence the sweetbreads

We have tried to eat liver on its own, cooked in bacon fat, with onions, but even though it tasted good, it still made me feel like gagging - I am not sure why! So I discovered that if I sautéed it a bit and then ground it up and mixed it in with grassfed ground beef, I could get the nutrients without worrying about tasting it or gagging! 

I don’t think you’d ever know it is there! But don’t worry - I would never sneak strange (to some people) ingredients in food, so I don’t want my friends to be concerned that they don’t know what they’re eating if they came over for dinner - haha! 

That’s it! Dinner is served! And you can adapt it however - like spaghetti squash with home made pasta sauce and liver meat sauce, etc! Great way to “get it down” without gagging or tasting it or feeling like you’re on Fear Factor! 

What would you like me to “Primal-ify” for next week? I think I am going to revisit this for tonight’s dinner! 



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Fit Foodie Friday: Primal Taco Seasoning!

Oh boy… Three blogs in a row of Fit Foodie Friday means 3 weeks in a row of only blogging one day a week. I guess I have too much on my plate! (See what I did there? I’m sorry. I understand if you unsubscribe from my blog after that bad joke! 

I plan to write quite a few new blogs soon. I have the topics and content, I just need screen time! I bet that isn’t too common of a statement these days! 

Ok, enough of that! I will just say you have some great posts to look forward to and get on with it! 

Did you know that taco seasoning (and so many other things) bought from the store has sugar added to it? At least all the varieties I have found do! 

To avoid it, I found the following recipe a couple years ago, and have been making it ever since! 

(Well, that is for a whole primal taco salad - you can improvise the rest - seasoned meat, red onion, tomato kale, avocado, raw cheese from grassfed cows), but I will help you season your meat!) 

For every pound of grass fed ground beef (or chicken, I suppose!), add: 
2 tsp paprika, 
.5 tsp sea salt 
1 tsp chili powder 
1 tsp onion powder 
1.5 tsp cumin 
and .5 tsp garlic powder ! 

Then, like I said, mix it in a salad! I hope this opens your eyes to some creepy things on food labels, like added sugar. Here is an old blog that exposes some label sneakiness, as well as a new video* that has some other food label information that might interest you! 

*wardrobe provided by PrAna Palo Alto

What is your favorite healthy version of a store-bought convenience food? Are you aware of any other sneaky label tricks you’d like to share? 




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Fit Foodie Friday: CUPCAKE EDITION!

Before you get TOO excited, it’s probably not the cupcakes you’re thinking… 

THESE cupcakes are low carb, paleo/primal/keto, gluten-free EGG cupcakes! 

I did an experiment to see about skipping steps - how saving time would go! 

Almost a year ago, I made egg cupcakes and posted the recipe on instagram.  

Tonight, I made something very similar, but thought to myself “Why am I cooking the veggies twice?” 

So today, since I wasn’t adding meat to the egg cupcakes, I tried chopping up a bunch of kale, parsley and mushrooms and just putting them into the egg and milk mixture, then pouring it into the cupcake pan and baking it. 

Well, let’s say this. You know how when you cook any sort of leafy green thing, it shrinks down? If you try to put two whole bunches of kale in, you will have a lot of leftover kale shoved off to the side to sauté later and make something else. But other than that, I’d say it was a success! 

So, here’s what I did: 

Pre-heat oven to 400°. 

Whisk 11 eggs, and add 2TBS milk.  

Add raw, cut up veggies that you did not feel like pre-cooking and mix it up.

Grease a cupcake pan and put some cut up kale in it.

Pour the egg and milk and mushroom (those were my choices) mix on top of the kale.

Pop into the oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until the egg top is puffy and turns golden brown.

Put some Boursin on top (or into the middle - we think that would have been better, but I forgot until it was already in the oven)!

Remove from the oven & enjoy!

Some things I love about this recipe are that they are so versatile - you can put anything you want inside! Also, I love that they are portable - you can kinda just put them in whatever container and take them to go very easily for a delicious and healthy snack! 

What would you like to see my primal-ify next week? I have a primal challenge coming up the 12th! 

And this Monday, I am co-hosting a webinar about Beachbody coaching. Click here if you are interested!