Odds and Ends


1. Use Gmail and/or Chrome? These tricks are game-changers.

2. Haha, love these comics illustrating the daily struggles of women.

3. Shel Silverstein quotes mean so much more as an adult, right?

4. OMG. You must read this and then tell me there’s no sexism in the workplace.

5. Gorgeous wildflowers. Purdy.

6. Photographer tracks down subjects of his photos 40 years later. So cool.

7. Hip hop + ballet. Amazing.

8. Really important read on protecting your child from sexual abuse.

9. Why a CEO shouldn’t run the country. Pretty much.

10. This song has been proven to reduce anxiety.

11. This box of cookies meant for Texas ended up in Guam. So funny.

12. Here are the ages you peak at everything in your life. Um, looks like those of us in our early forties are in for a lull.

13. This is simultaneously the WEIRDEST and oddly satisfying video ever.

14. The strongest girls are the ones with anxiety. Love this.

15. Hahaaa. Best post about dinnertime with kids ever.

16. A guy’s wife was fired from Cracker Barrel and the internet went crazy. Absolutely hilarious.

Happy weekend to you! It’s Friday! And Spring! What is there to be down about? (Wait. Don’t answer that.)


My Guide to Natural Fragrances


above, some of my favorites

Newsflash: government regulation of the beauty industry is super shoddy. Despite a few smallish amendments, cosmetic laws haven’t changed since 1938. Yeah. Think about that for a second. (Over 10,000 new ingredients have been introduced since then, ahem.) If you are interested in learning more, I highly recommend this book.

However, today, I want to talk about fragrance, which is a whole entity in itself.

I won’t go on and on about the intricacies of creating a fragrance (this post covers a lot of it!), but here’s a primer.

The biggest divide between natural and synthetic fragrances lies in the way they are created. Plants, trees or animals comprise the basic elements of natural scents and run the gamut from lilac to sandalwood to deer musk. Synthetic fragrances are created in a laboratory, and although it may not be common knowledge, Mother Nature has absolutely nothing to do with almost two-thirds of the most popular fragrances made today used in perfumes and other scented products.

The modern lab is their source, and basically, there are three different types. These include: full synthetics, which are composed almost entirely from petroleum by-products; semi-synthetics, or natural fragrances that have been modified by artificial means, and natural isolates, which are aromas which fall somewhere in between natural and synthetic because they are developed by isolating one scent from a more complex aroma base such as that of a red rose.

Additionally, in terms of government regulation, “fragrance” is considered a trade secret, so companies don’t have to disclose what it is. They just don’t have to. And so they don’t. Usually, it is a synthetic concoction that includes phthalates and synthetic masks, which are hormone disruptors, as well as chemicals that are allergens and neurotoxins.

In fact, because of these trade secret laws, the single word “fragrance” you see on labels can represent as many as several hundred additional chemicals that aren’t required to be listed. #WTF

But! It’s also important to point out that sometimes synthetics are a better choice for our planet. For example, massive deforestation has resulted from the production of natural sandalwood and rosewood, and the utilization of natural musk requires painful extraction from deer and other forest creatures. (Horrible!) All things to consider…it’s not so black and white. There are synthetics that don’t include phthalates, neurotoxins, and allergens, keep in mind.

Have I confused you enough? And, frankly, what does this mean for you? Well, it might behoove you to look into some cleaner fragrance brands – ones that are much more transparent about what they are using in their perfumes. Lucky for you, I’ve done some of the work already. These are some of the brands I’ve personally tested, which vary in their ingredients. Some use essential oils only, some use absolutes, some synthetics – so depending on how gung-ho you are, you might want to dig even deeper into the brands. (Frankly, after trying all these scents and writing this, I need a nap.)

Let’s get started!



Odds and Ends


1. Almost every successful relationship is successful for the same exact reasons. LOVE THIS.

2. Your name might influence the of shape your face? Interesting.

3. Speaking of face, I’ve been using this on my occasional “spots” and I love it…enter to win a free one for yourself!

4. Did you see this new statue on Wall Street? Good stuff.

5. The OG “Nasty Woman” got bangs. I like.

6. Newsflash: laziness isn’t why people are poor. And new iPhones aren’t why they lack healthcare.

7. What happens when bookstore employees get bored. Ha!

8. Don’t tell me you haven’t experienced this with a new highlighter.

9. Love the Avett Brothers. Can’t wait to see this documentary.

10. To raise brave girls, encourage adventure. Yes.

11. 12 things about being a woman that women won’t tell you. So flipping brilliant.

Happy Friday! Hope you enjoy your weekend. We’ll be packing and getting ready for our family trip to London and Paris next week! Any recommendations for either city would be greatly appreciated.

image credit: for all womankind