Category Archives: Nature

…But Is It Vegan?

Vegan means a lot to me.  I had a six year adventure in the world of vegan.  My return to non-vegan was more about finding things that worked for my body and less with missing meat.  Unable to find the magic formula, I added some meat back into the mix and many issues I was experiencing cleared up.  It makes no sense to me, but I’m still playing with the balance.

That said, when I first learned of Willing Beauty, one of my first questions was, “Are the products vegan?” I’m happy to report that most of them are!  Three products contain beeswax and are not considered vegan.

leaping bunnyWilling Beauty does not participate in animal testing, and the products are cruelty free. At launch, you will see that our products contain the Leaping Bunny™ seal.  Leaping Bunny™ is a big deal!

The three products that contain beeswax are Zero Shine Mattifying Moisturizer (from the Willa line,) and Partner in Time Age Defying Night Serum and Sleepover Replenishing Night Cream (from the HY+5 line.)  Basically, my night time regimen.  I can live with that.

I happen to have friends who have bees. I have seen how the bees are handled, how honey and beeswax is harvested, and the loving kindness involved in maintaining the hives. I’m ok with a bit of beeswax.

Ethical products.  That was a HUGE deciding factor for me.  It’s a question I ask often, and often am not pleased with the answer.

An added bonus? The packaging is recyclable!

Are all of the products I use vegan?  No.  Do I try?  Yes.  Do I have friends who walk the walk and talk the talk?  Yes.  I will find my balance again. For now I am thrilled to be a part of this company, and to use such wonderful products!

You can read the full list of ingredients for the HY+5 Regimen here.  If you’d like to take the 30-Day Challenge, click here to shop.  Our 100% Happiness Guarantee makes it easy!  Follow me on Facebook.

 

 

Summer Means…Sunscreen Part 1

sundamage2

I am terrible about wearing sunscreen.  Terrible.  I have sun damage all over my body to show for the years of abuse I put my skin through when I thought, “There’s plenty of time…I’m young…I am invincible…”

I wasn’t allowed to use suntan oil as a child.  We had a pool, and I had SPF 15 sunscreen.  All my friends had gorgeous tans, and my wicked mother insisted I be protected when I laid out.  I really did think that was wicked of her.

What’s a teenage girl to do when she’s being denied the glorious, oily, tropical smell of Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic, or St Tropez? She snuck into the kitchen and slathered on the Wesson Oil before heading out to the pool, that’s what she did!

Insert horrified face here.  

I got away with it for years.  I became a master. I could time it so I never got too burnt (I’m lily white, I burn!) I worked on that “base tan” all summer.  I looked GOOD when school started!  All the while, the mother was impressed with my tan, thinking I was safely slathered in SPF 15, saying things like, “See how good sunscreen works?” and wondering why her tan wasn’t as good.  In fact, when SPF 30 was invented, thought she would wet her pants with excitement.

My senior year, I did a LOT of tanning.  I skipped sunscreen as often as I could.  I was stupid.  Yes, I said stupid.  I sustained several severe sunburns that year.  1984 was the year I learned the joys of Noxema and White Vinegar, and how they took the sting out of a sunburn.  God bless my Home Ec teacher for the vinegar trick!  I kept white vinegar in the house for years for just that reason.

Spring break 1984 was spent at Pismo Beach.  A week at one of my favorite beaches with the family.  I was in heaven.  I laid out every day, and every day the weather was kinda yucky.  No tan was developing. I began to panic.  The day before we left, I used the Wesson Oil.  It was overcast.  Do you know what happens to a lily white girl slathered in Wesson Oil at the beach on an overcast day?

She burns.  Badly.  So badly that she can’t take her swim suite off.  So badly that the seams of her t-shirt cause excruciating pain upon her shoulders.

I got in trouble for not using the sunscreen.  She never knew about the Wesson Oil.

We left Pismo and took a side trip to Yuma Arizona to visit the grandparents.  From there we drove to a dry lake bed in the Mojave Desert to watch the space shuttle land.  It was pretty dang hot in that dry lake bed in the middle of the desert.  Too hot for clothing.  Ya, I wore the swimsuit and shorts.  After-all, I felt better, and the tan was building.

Oops. Burn on burn, not a good thing.  Apparently the desert is just as bad as the beach on an overcast day.  Eventually it was necessary to cut the swimsuit of me.  The burn was that bad.

I blistered and peeled like I never had before.  It was at that time that I noticed…freckles.  Not a lot, but a few, on my shoulders and on my chest.  Hmm, they kinda looked like a tan, so I didn’t care.  Freckles were cute as long as they were minimal.

Soon it was graduation week.  We went water-skiing the weekend before graduation.  Now, no matter how much sunscreen one slathers on, it washes off every time you fall down on the skis.  Boy did I fall down a lot.  I am not meant to stand on water-skis.  I’m not mean to be in the same body of water with water-skis. I spent a lot of time in the water that day.  I also burned again.  Really, really bad.

I clearly recall a trip to the doctor who declared a first degree burn.  I remember my mother placing huge gauze pads on my shoulders under the straps of my dress which I wore under my graduation gown.  I remember my boyfriend being both fascinated and grossed out at my shoulders. When the pealing and healing was done, my shoulders were covered in freckles and a lot of damage. They still are.

Do you think I learned my lesson?  Heck no!  I tanned all through my 20’s and a good chunk of my 30’s.  Then, a trip to the salon changed my wayward tanning ways.  More on that tomorrow…

Osprey and Heartache


I drive past 12 osprey nests on the way to and from work. Most are within a one mile stretch of road. Every day o see the nests, and often times I see the birds, beautiful, magnificent creatures that amaze me. 

I wish them good morning each day. I count how many I see. They make me smile. I know it will be a good day when I see them. How can it not be?

Friday night I happened upon an Osprey Cam for one of the nests. According to the blog, there were two babies and a third egg waiting to hatch. My bank has adopted these osprey and had ensured them a safe home. The story of this family is heartwarming. 

Saturday I tuned in periodically throughout the day. I saw the mama and the babies, the papa bird bringing them a fish, the feeding. It was magical. 

When I got news that a wonderful person I know received a devastating cancer diagnosis, I pulled up the osprey. When the work day ended and I was tired and overwhelmed, I pulled up the osprey. It was then I noticed one baby was motionless. I cried. The other baby was active and I clung to the idea that it was the bright spot of the day. New life, so cute, so sweet. Hope in a nest. 

Over dinner I learned that a second wonderful person’s husband received a devastating cancer diagnosis. No way! Back to the osprey. As the sun began to set, mama and baby were settled in, and again, the adorable life in that nest was a bright shiny spot as I thought of my friends. 

Sunday morning I tuned in. I couldn’t see the baby. My heart dropped and I became concerned. An hour later I saw the Facebook post: both babies had passed. 

Mother Nature let me down. 

I cried for an hour. I assumed the fetal position, snuggles with my cat and cried the loud, ugly cry. I cried off and on the rest of the day. I have tears now, even as I type this. What happened? Why? How do the parents feel? How will we go on?

Mother Nature had other plans for those sweet babies. Mother Nature can bite me…letting me fall in love then ripping my heart out. Heavy sigh. 

Some days you need more baby osprey and less real life. 

I checked the Osprey Cam yesterday evening and the mama was eating a fish. The nest looked so…quiet. Sadness washed over me again. 

Today I will see the 12 nests I’ve become an expert at spotting. If I time my commute right I will see 4-8 osprey hanging out watching commuters go by. Eleven is the record. 

I’m not sure my heart can take more bad news right now. May today be free of death and disease. 

If you’d like to see my friends the osprey, you can tune into the live feed anytime. They are fascinating creatures that will continue to enchant me.