Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Review

Disclaimer: My product reviews are completely unsponsored and unsolicited. The opinions are my own from my own experiences.

I’ve long been a fan of Meow Meow Tweet which I first heard about ages ago in Brooklyn. I really enjoy that they have always had minimal and recyclable, plastic free packaging. And with the coolest drawings!

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When using up my old products, deodorant is one of the last of them I had to replace to be more zero waste. I love that MMT uses all natural, vegan ingredients, and has a lot of citrus fragrances.

We tried their Grapefruit Baking Soda Free cream deodorant, which is packaged in a glass bottle with a metal top. and comes in a paper box in the store. Despite still being all hand crafted, poured and packaged, you can find MMT in several big store, including Target. I really like that this deodorant is dry and creamy, goes on easily and doesn’t leave my hands feeling gross. I think this creamy works well and you only need a little pea sized amount to stay dry.

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My husband can’t get used to the cream and doesn’t like it quite as much as I do. We both agree that the scent is nice, citrusy but not overpowering or too sweet.

I would definitely recommend this deodorant for those looking to switch over to a more sustainable, low waste, hand made, chemical free option.

Chagrin Valley Soap And Salve Company Review

Disclaimer: My product reviews are completely unsponsored and unsolicited. The opinions are my own from my own experiences.

Last year, while spending time in Cleveland, I came across the Chagrin Valley Soap shop. I brought home one of their shampoo bars and very much enjoyed it! Since then, I’ve tried several different shampoo bars but none were as nice. Last month, I ordered a few more bars from them.

From start to finish, I had a great experience!
I chose the Citrus Chamomile Shampoo Bar, the Citrus Soapnuts Shampoo Bar, and the Cocoa Butter Hair Balm. Ordering from the site is very easy, and shipping was shockingly fast.

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I was so pleased to see that all the packaging was plastic free! One never knows what to expect with packaging, and it made me thankful to that I didn’t have to worry. The first bar that we opened was the citrus chamomile and so far we love it. We’ve used the hair balm a few times, and it’s also quite nice. The soap bars are large and judging from the one I got over the Summer, it will last a long time.

I look forward to using these products more. The plastic free packaging pretty much guarantees I’ll be purchasing from Chagrin Valley Soap again. I can definitely recommend these soaps if you’re looking for a reliable shampoo bar!

Everlane Undies Review

Disclaimer: My product reviews are completely unsponsored and unsolicited. The opinions are my own from my own experiences.

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I've been waiting to make another Everlane purchase for quite a while. I look thru the website every month or so, put things in the cart, take them out, leave, come back and do it all again. I've only ever bought from Everlane once before. 

There’s been a lot of debate on the internet and in the world of the low impact movement about Everlane. Once touted as the greatest and most assessable sustainable fashion makers around, Everlane has come under a lot of distain lately. Many people believe that it has out grown it’s title as Slow Fashion.

I’m on the fence. Everlane still says it upholds it’s sustainable standards, but it has been producing at a faster and faster rate. Is it possible that the level of care is being taken for each and every piece? Ultimately, I decided that at least they must be a better choice than regular fast fashion brands. Although I mostly buy everything second hand, there are some items that have to be bought new.

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Which brings me to underwear!! From the first moment that Everlane announced their underwear and bras, I knew I wanted to try them. Undies are really hard to buy sustainably without breaking the bank. But I have a lot of undies so it was almost a year before I actually made a purchase. I waited until some of my old panties literally fell apart and I had to get rid of them before I decided it was ok to buy some new items.

I bought three matching pieces; the Tank Bra, the Hipster, and the High Rise Hipster all in grey. Having matching undies still give me a thrill. I waited until Everlane offered free two day shipping so these items came really fast. The last Everlane purchase I made, I was disappointed that the pants and top I bought came wrapped in plastic and in a plastic mailer bag. I was happy when all the underwear came in recyclable cardboard boxes with paper info cards. They came in a plastic mailer which I recycled at a local drop off location.

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I like how simple, soft and easy these panties and bra are. The bra has a wide, tight lower band and straps that are about an inch wide. The straps sit far out on the shoulders which I wasn’t expecting, but I really like bc I do have quite a few tops that have wide or boat necks. The high rise panties are my favorite and sit right at or just below my belly button. The seat is a bit cheeky, which again, I wasn’t expecting. I’d love to get a full coverage bottom set of these, which they don’t make yet, but fingers crossed. I will definitely get more pairs of these undies when more of my current pairs wear out.

Overall, I’m still skeptical about how Everlane works and it’s impact. But as a middle ground of affordable, well made, and better than fast fashion, I’ll continue to use them for purchasing some items.

Have you tried buying the Everlane underwear line? What are your thoughts?

Everlane 1st Purchase Review

For the last few years, I've been trying hard to 1) not purchase too many clothes, and 2) not to purchase new clothes. I buy second hand bc it's better for the environment, bc I enjoy the mindfulness that goes into it, bc it keeps me from shopping in fast fashion, and because it helps save money. 

I love that second hand clothing is already broken in, easy to wear, a fun challenge to find, and I feel good about wearing it out, rather than worrying about saving it. But I generally buy second hand fast fashion (think Gap, Uniqlo, Urban Outfitters) clothing and it does wear out faster than buying new (if your buying well made new clothes) and I have found myself really burning through the jeans I have thrifted lately. I knew that if I wanted to buy a better quality, ethically and eco friendly made pair of jeans, I wanted to try Everlane

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I first heard of Everlane through Erin at Reading My Tea Leaves but so many blogs I read rave about them. I liked that they fit into a new way of thinking about the fashion industry, conscientiously and transparently. 

I chose the High Rise Skinny Jean. On the models they are sleek, but sturdy looking. In person, they are mom jeans. Don't get me wrong! I like them! A lot! But they remind me of the older style of jeans with less spandex, less give, and more stiffness. On the models and on blogs I've seen, they look like they hug your curves and wear like more modern skinny jeans. They may be true for the skinny and the tall, but for my 150lb, 5'2", nearly 40 year old frame, they wear like a mom jean. I'm not complaining! But I thought an honest review would be best. I like the way these jeans make my butt look, they are soft and comfortable (and seem like they will get way more soft and comfortable!), I like the wash I chose. I would, and mostly likely will, buy more jeans from Everlane. But I feel a bit old in them, if stylishly old. 

I've worn these jeans about a dozen times now, and I can see them being a staple in many of my capsule wardrobes going forward. I'll continue to check in as they wear to see how they hold up. I also purchased a shirt along with the jeans but have only had the chance to wear it once. When I feel I have more data, I may make a review of that as well. 

Overall, I waas happy to support a company working to change the way we think about fashion and happy with what I got and how it fits. Have any of you tried this brand? What sustainable, ethical, eco friendly clothing companies do you buy?

Something New: Bullet Journaling

I'm a list maker. I make a list everyday. I like to cross things off, to add things in, sometimes to add things in just to then cross them off.

But lists get lost, they get full, new lists need to be made. I'm also a note taker. But where to keep these notes? How to find them?

Even with my notes and lists, I'm not so great at self motivating for well, myself. Give me a job, at work, I'm all over it. But me telling myself I need to do some laundry, or complete a project, or any number of tasks I'm doing for myself, just isn't the same.  
When I realized that I would be working less, and being home more, I knew I needed a real system. 

That's when I discovered Bullet Journaling. I first found it through a link on Rowdy Kittens, and thought it was intriguing.

Bullet Journalling is an analog way to keep your to-dos, appointments, lists, events, personal notes, calendars, habit tracking, reminders, etc.... in one place and away from the internet/phone. It really appealed to me bc it's physical, simple, and easy. 
The idea behind BuJo is simple, keep every thing you need in one place, a single notebook. But the possibilities and variations are endless.

You can find everything you need for the basic set up in the Bullet Journal video. I really love that you don't need any special supplies, you only need a note book and a pen (of course, there is a special BuJo notebook you can buy if you want to). 
Bullet Journal suggests you set up 4 basic things in the journal: An index (where you keep track of everything in the journal), a six month over view or Future Log (where you keep track of large events, holidays, birthdays, etc...), a monthly calendar with checklist (which you make at the beginning of every month and where you keep an overview of that moths events and tasks), and a daily log (which you make day of or a day or two in advance and contains tasks, notes, etc... that pertain to each day). There is a set of symbols to use for each item on any list: a dot for task (to be crossed out when finished), a circle for events, and a dash for notes. It suggests covering these with a forward arrow to move to the next day or month, and a backward arrow to go far in advance (onto the six month overview). 
In addition to the basics, you can take notes (classes, meetings, etc...), make lists (movies to watch, books to read, shopping, and so on), track your habits (water intake, exercise, whatever!), set goals, track social media, log expenses, make charts, graphs, note the weather, draw, practice your calligraphy, and pretty up your journal however you want, to name a few. 
Many people fancy up their journals, making them sketchbook, inspiration book, note book, calendar, appointment book, scrap book, and diary all in one. They use washi tape, markers, fancy headers, stickers, mantras, and anything thing else one can think of. There are tons of site and videos to watch for inspiration and ideas. Some creators have reached near guru status.  

Most people seem to use either a Moleskien or the Leuchtturm 1917 journal but I just rummaged around until I found a blank book with graph paper that I already had. I use a black pen (either a uni-ball, or paper-mate). I don't make any attempt to make it pretty, I really use my Bullet Journal in a utilitarian way.

Here's what I have in my Journal so far:
The Index - My index is a mess! I wasn't really sure how I wanted to set this up so the first page is ugly. That's OK! One of the great things about BuJo is when you "mess up" you can just move on, keep going, and not worry about it. I changed the way I made my index from the first to second page, and I will most likely change the whole thing when I start a new journal
The Future Log - Since I started this journal in April, I made mine until the end of the year. I keep birthdays, holidays, and major events here. It's nice to reference back to when I'm like "when is Calvin's christening?" or "what month are we seeing the Violent Femmes?"
Monthly Calendars - I started this book in mid April and used that month as a test for how I would set up my monthly calendars. So far, I'm making them just the way BuJo suggests; I list the dates of the month, what days the dates fall on, and fill them in with events, appointments, and birthdays. I reference back to this when I need to see only one month, not my entire Future Log. 
Monthly Tasks - Next to each month, I put a list of larger tasks that I want or need to accomplish that month. These are mostly items that do not have a specific date to get done. I refer back to this list to see what I've finished without realizing it (cleaning the microwave) or to add to a daily list if I think I can. 
Daily Log - I use one page for each day of the week (except Sat/Sun, they share a page) to list the tasks I need to or want to get done each day. These can be as mundane as doing the dishes or laundry, cleaning the cat boxes, etc... I use this space for my work schedule, events for the day, and keeping track of getting work at home done. I use the bottom of each page for making notes about that day. I like to keep track of when I took a nap, when interesting things happen, or anything I think I might want to reference back to like "won at cards with Al and Sienna" or "opened all the windows today" etc... My Daily Log is by far my most used and most helpful pages. When the day is over, I make sure to move things forward and cross things off.
Habit Tracker - This is where I keep track of things that I want to get done or things that I do on a very regular basis, or that I want to keep track of how often I actually do them. I list things like exercise, quilting, drawing, juicing, watering the plants, and other things for each day of the week there. When I have completed it, I fill in the little box for the appropriate day and item. I have been doing a weekly habit tracker this month, but for May I'm moving to a monthly one. A nice thing about BuJo is that it's very easy to try new methods of keeping track. You can find what works for you. I think a monthly tracker will give me a better overview of which of these tasks I get done and when I do. If I see I'm not doing something on the regular, I can add it to my Daily Logs. 
Expenses/Earnings - I keep a weekly record of everything that I spend and everything that I earn. I divide one page in three parts, at the top I put my expenses and the date they were purchased, and in the middle I put my earnings for the week (from work, web sales, etc...). At the bottom of this page, I make any note I want to look back on. I'm working on a monthly overview for this as well, to see what I made, spent, and saved, what went to bills, eating out, etc... I haven't worked out how to best log this yet. Any ideas?
Lists and Notes - I keep a few running lists (my yard wish list, things I need my husband to help me with, long term goals...) and a few reoccurring lists (groceries, food that needs to be eaten, dinners for the week...). I keep some notes on budgeting (expenses and time), future projects, and other things.  I add to these whenever necessary. 

These are the symbols I use:
Dot ( • ) - I use the dot for an and all tasks.
Circle - I use this for events such as "work (10am - 3pm)", "drinks with Mike", "rummage sale". 
Dash - I use this for notes in my daily logs, expenses, lists, etc...
X - I X out all finished tasks and events. If I do a task twice, I add an additional X next to it (say washing the dishes twice in one day).
Forward Arrow - I use this when I'm "migrating" a task, when I move a task from one day to the next, or one month to the next if it's a monthly task. I use a double forward arrow when I'm moving something far in the future (more than a day or two). 
Box - I use boxes for habits. I also use them on daily tasks when the task was halfway completed. I fill in boxes as I go. 
Eyeball - I use the eyeball for a research task. Bc I might not need to get this done in a specific time frame, or bc it's easier than writing " • research how to make a bullet point with the keyboard". 

I've only been Bullet Journalling for about three weeks now, but I'm pretty sold. I'm excited to have a small, simple space for all my planning, and to add to it in the future. I can see it being becoming an essential tool in my lifestyle journey. And I can see improving on how I use it to an almost infinite degree. I like it as a day to day tool, but I also like seeing my progress, process and evolution in work and home life I can't wait to see that on a larger scale as weeks and months go by. 

Who out there uses a bullet journal? Share your experiences and links to pics in the comments!

Artifacts Uprising Review

Disclaimer: My product reviews are completely unsponsored and unsolicited. The opinions are my own from my own experiences. 

Just the week before xmas, I decided I really wanted to send out new address cards for the xmas/new year season. I've always wanted to try Artifacts Uprising so I thought this would be the perfect time. 

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I decided to use two photos I had taken of the wreath on our door. I logged on easily and chose the cards I wanted. I opted for the simple Everyday Photo Cards in size 3.5 x 4.9. It was a little confusing bc although I opted for 20 cards in the quantity section, the editor section only let's you edit 10 at a time. You also have to edit one card at a time, but you can choose 10 different designs, one for each card. I did my first batch of 10 cards all the same photo, the next batch I did 5 and 5. Since I ordered them so close to the holiday, they let me know there was no guarantee I'd get them in time to send for xmas. 

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Artifacts Uprising was very quick and the cards arrived with in a week or so! I imagine the wait would be longer if the order were larger. The cards themselves are really lovely, printed on heavy, soft, textured, card stock. The images are crisp and the colors are bright. I love the minimal use of the company logo on the back of each card.  Overall, the quality is very high.
Artifacts Uprising is a little more pricy than some of the other makers out there (each card came to about $1.83) but I will definitely be using them again. I would highly recommend them!

Has anyone else used Artifacts Uprising?