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Odds and Ends

1. What does your state’s name literally mean?

2. 3rd row, 3rd across. Need this bag for fall.

3. The best explanation of the difference between racism, discrimination, and bigotry.

4. Happily-ever-after doesn’t exist. Realism in relationships…I really enjoyed this piece. (I also want to employ their siesta idea.)

5. I know you’ve seen 1,000 things about it, but how to safely watch the eclipse.

6. Taylor Swift killed it this week.

7. He’s #1 on my list. Who’s yours? #teamedward

8. Is America finally over midcentury modernism?

9. The unfortunate truth about being in a relationship with someone who supports Donald Trump.

10. Our yard is full of succulents. Here’s how to make them multiply.

11. Do you know what kind of hate groups are in your community?

12. Menstruation orientation. “Vaginas be communicating”…OMG I laughed so hard.

13. Finally, we should always listen to Tina Fey. Always.

Happy weekend to you all! Life is currently insane over here. Buying a house, selling a house, school starts Monday, a million meetings…man, when it rains, it pours. I’m so very grateful, though.

image credit: ashley goldberg

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OKC is For Families

Oklahoma City has surprised me in so many ways since moving here from Southern California. We have had such a wonderful experience so far, and here’s a short video detailing what I love so much about this city. (Don’t forget my Guide to Oklahoma City too – it’s a doozy!)

I hope you come see for yourselves! What a lovely place.

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The Best of The Best: True Botanicals

The Best of the Best is a series showcasing my favorite, tried-and-true, go-back-again-and-again green beauty brands. Being a beauty blogger, I’m in a constant state of flux with skincare, as I’m always trying new products. However, these brands are always in my rotation and are worthy of my highest recommendation.

photo by Ely Fair 

True Botanicals is the newest (to me) brand in my Best of Best lineup, as I started using them earlier this year. However, I spent several months using the products before writing this post to make certain my opinions remained very positive. (You never know in the first month, right? Things can change in the blink of an eye.)

Well, my love affair continues to grow as each week passes by, which I promise you, doesn’t happen often.

Let me give you a little rundown on True Botanicals as a company. Hillary Peterson and Christina Mace-Turner first crossed paths on the trails of Marin, California. Their shared love of nature and mutual frustration with an extremely outdated beauty industry soon sparked a partnership that would go well beyond hiking. With Hillary’s expertise in skin care and Christina’s deep understanding of tech, the two have dedicated themselves to disrupting the category, delivering superior results without harm to skin, health, or environment.

Hillary and Christina set out to create the world’s first line of luxury anti-aging products that were also certified MADE SAFE™. The result is a collection of super-concentrated, bio-active formulations that deliver clinically proven results without compromising your health. The products in the line contain a higher quantity of high-quality ingredients than even the most venerable luxury brands in department stores. They did that by eliminating the costs of the traditional distribution model (bye!) and embracing the next generation of commerce. This approach has another key benefit: they’re able to work directly with their clientele and offer a far higher level of personal service to ensure you achieve the results you desire. (And this is the truth – I have had many questions, and they are always addressed by the team. Superior customer service!)

My thoughts? Well, I have a lot.

First off, let’s just talk about the bottles. I am not ashamed to admit that the way a product line looks can make it or break it for me. As you can see in the above photo, the True Botanicals bottles are absolutely gorgeous. Brown glass, simple, sophisticated…they look beautiful on the shelf.

However, although a less desirable-looking brand can turn me off, a good-looking brand won’t keep me interested if the products don’t work. (And work WELL.)

What are my favorites from the line? Well, they all are wonderful, but I am especially drawn to the Vitamin C Booster, the Pre Cleanse Oil, the Resurfacing Mask, and the Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner.

The Vitamin C Booster is legit fantastic. I’ve had this ongoing thing with Vitamin C serums over the past year – as some of you may know, Vitamin C is super unstable once it’s in a liquid formulation. (Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are using a Vitamin C-based serum that started out pale in color but is now orange or dark orange? The Vitamin C isn’t even working anymore. You are basically using an expensive bottle of nada. I learned the hard way myself, damn you C-Firma Day Serum. Never again!)

The Vitamin C Booster is a powder; meaning, Vitamin C in its freshest form. Stored in a dark glass shaker, it retains its maximum potency until the moment it’s mixed with a serum. This is everything, you guys. It doesn’t activate until you mix it with your favorite serum. NO WASTED, INACTIVE PRODUCT. (By the way, their Cellular Repair Serum is great. I have the one from the Renew line. Although, I still use many other serums in my rotation. #beautybloggerlife)

But that’s the great thing about the Booster! Most likely, you can mix it with your favorite serum. It’s a game changer, I promise you. (And it’s potent. Oh so potent. #42yearoldsneedpotency)

The Pre Cleanse Oil is so great for loosening up makeup and nourishing the skin, but I love love love it when I have time for a face massage. Ever since Lisa Eldridge turned me on to facial massage, I haven’t looked back. And this oil is the perfect consistency for a solid 5 to 15-minute massage before cleansing the skin with your favorite cleanser. (Want less wrinkles, rub yo face!)

Need exfoliation? Try the Resurfacing Mask for instant glow. The gel-like consistency glides on the face, and after 5 minutes, you are looking all fresh-faced and dewy. (This is very similar to the Resurfacing Mask by Tata Harper, for reference.)

Finally, last but certainly not least, I need to talk to you about the Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner.

You guys, is it possible that I’ve found The One(s)? Thinking it might be the case. As you know, I’m no stranger to natural and organic hair care, but I’ve found I’ve been hitting a wall with many of my favorite brands this past year. What seems to happen is that they all start out great, but after a week or two, my hair just isn’t feeling it anymore. Meaning, within 24 hours of washing, I get that annoying, slightly grimy/dirty feeling in the roots of my hair at the nape of my neck. (Sometimes even while I’m blow-drying it after washing! I mean, COME ON I JUST WASHED YOU. You guys, I simply cannot stand that feeling nope no sirree bob NO WAY NO HOW NO. Dealbreaker.)

With True Botanicals? I can go 2-3 days without any sort of that dirty-feeling business. And the scent is awesome. Herbal and floral, but not too heady at all. Fresh would be the operative term. Fresh hair, fresh scent, freshity fresh prince of bel air fresh. Oh, and it actually lathers wonderfully, which is important to me. I need a lather, people. It comes from Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, which sounds anything but clean but is actually just a mild, coconut-derived surfactant. Bottom line, if you are looking for natural hair care, I am going to confidently point you in this direction.

And speaking of scent, every product I’ve tried smells so good. Fresh, herbal, not overpowering in any sort of way. (I get overpowered easily, as I am a delicate flower of sorts.) I am dying to try the Hydrating Basics Cleanser (it’s so popular there’s a waiting list!) and the Mist, and will report back when I do. Most of the skincare products I’ve used are from the Renew (anti-aging) line, but other lines include Clear (acne-prone skin…psst, it outperformed Proactiv+ in clinical trials), Calm (rosacea-prone), Pregnancy, and Basics (prevention). I’m actually super interested in the Basics line, as I’ve heard really good things about it AND it is less expensive than the other lines, which is a definite plus!

All in all, this is an extremely impressive line that I think many of you would enjoy. And thanks to the generous True Botanicals team, they are offering $20 off your first purchase of $40+ with the code WHOORLTRUE20. What do you have to lose? It’s the best of the best, you know.

As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have…just leave ’em in the comments!