Tag Archives: summer

Fun in the Sun

Mavens, I’ve been away for too long! This summer has been a busy one for me but I didn’t want you to think I had forgotten you. Here are some of what I’ve been up to for the last couple of weeks:

Visiting my Parents in Florida – I hadn’t been back to Florida in quite some time so I was very excited to head over there for a week. It was gorgeous! Super hot and balmy. We went to the beach every day and I ate tons of delicious barbeque and west indian food. It felt really great to disconnect from the rest of the world and hang out with family. My mum has an impressive backyard garden which consists of mango trees, banana trees, papaya trees and several other tropical fruit trees. The one plant that still amazes me is this little pineapple tree (bush? plant?) pictured below. Isn’t that the cutest thing?


Reading – During my relaxing vacation in Florida I got lots of reading done. I’m a huge bookworm but lately I’ve found that I don’t get to read as much as I’d like to. Here are some great books to check out:

1The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to Be Fabulously Green by Starre Vartan – great book full of fantastic green advice

2. Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano – love, love, love this book. It’s become my unofficial rulebook!

3. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates – now that I’ve read the book I can check out the movie. I’m weird like that – must read the book first!

4. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz – I’ve just started this book and so far I am enjoying it. Good, easy read.

Making oodles and oodles of soap – I’ve been quite busy churning out soap. I’m really pleased with how they’re turning out and am super excited to make more. I recently listed 8 new soaps to my Etsy shop. They’re olive oil based and contain other yummy ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter. Below is a picture of my fave of the bunch – it’s Kumquat scented which is such a fresh, tropical scent. Check them out – I think you’ll like them as much as I do!


Habitat for Humanity – I’ve always wanted to do Habitat for Humanity which is a charity that builds affordable houses for low income individuals. I finally got my chance last weekend. Me and two of my friends worked really hard all day putting up wood siding. It felt fantastic doing something that I knew would directly benefit someone in need. I would definitely do it again. If you’re looking for a way to give back I would suggest looking into Habitat for Humanity for sure.

So before heading out to my Habitat for Humanity build site I tried Burt’s Bees Natural Sunscreen. I hate to say it because I loooove Burt’s Bees but I did not like this sunscreen. I had to take it right back to the store. It didn’t rub in very well and left my skin completely white. To make matters worse, it smelled funny. I was quite disappointed. 

Whew! It’s been a whirlwind summer so far but I’m having a blast. I should be back to posting more regularly now.

What have you been up to this summer? Do  share!


Oh! Before I forget. I’m having a sale on my Etsy shop for this weekend. 20% off your entire order for this weekend only! Happy Shopping!

I’ve also recently been featured on some blogs: SatinDoll, Everyday Etsy and Ask Ms. Popular. Please take a look. Thanks!


Summer Styling Tips for Curly Hair

I stumbled upon this great post on The Organic Beauty Expert about keeping curly hair moist in the summer time. As a curly-haired bella myself, I thought it would be great to share these tips with you:

Kinky, curly or wavy hair? Summer styling tips from Urbanbella.com (written by The Organic Beauty Expert)

Summer can wreak havoc on hair, and curly hair is especially vulnerable.  Curly hair is naturally drier than other hair types.  Between the sun, heat, humidity, and chlorine, curly hair needs special TLC to stay looking smooth and gorgeous!  Keneesha Hudson, curly hair expert and owner of Urbanbella the curly, kinky, wavy hair salon & apothecary in Atlanta) shares her best summer hair tips to keep hair happy and healthy!

NOTE: I’ve left Kaneesha’s tips whole, but added green product choices for ya!

How to Fight Frizz!

Naturally frizzy hair is best controlled while it is wet.  Frizz can be greatly reduced by applying frizz control gels and mousses right after you have rinsed out any hair conditioner, essentially while your hair is still wet.  You do NOT want to towel dry your hair, as the friction of the towel against your locks just adds to frizz.

For the summer months, you want any frizz control product to be as lightweight as possible. The ingredient you want to look for in a good gel is Polyquaternum, a polymer that makes the strands of hair bond together and give a nice hold.  The result is hair that looks sleeker, and more defined, as opposed to frizzy strands flying all over the place!

Green choice (not organic, but more natural ingredients): Jane Carter Solution Condition & Sculpt

Can Your Hair Handle the Heat?

Everyone’s first reaction when dealing with frizzy summer hair is to whip out the straightening iron.  This leads to heat damage and just makes hair dryer and frizzier.  If you must use heating tools, be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect your locks.  Look for thermal protectant products containing amodimethicone and dimethicone.  These ingredients provide a protective film on the hair cuticle that prevents water loss and keeps the cuticle from cracking and breaking.  Apply these products to hair before heat styling.

Green choiceJohn Masters Organics Sweet Orange & Silk Protein Styling Gel

Don’t Sweat It!  

Whether you’re hitting the gym, or just window shopping in 90 degree heat, the sweat from your scalp will lead to hair oiliness.  When you don’t have time to take a shower (and remember that over washing will lead to more dryness) the best way to fight oiliness is by using a refreshing spray.  They leave hair feeling and smelling fresh and clean as well as adding volume without requiring a shampoo.

Green choiceErbaviva Relax Room & Body Spray

Limp Locks 

To keep curls bouncy and plump, use products that contain keratin, a natural thickening protein found in hair.  This product can be found in thickening shampoos and volumizing sprays.These products also thicken and lift hair with natural alcohols such as Beetroot Alcohol.

Green choice: Suki Hair Daily Shampoo

Chlorine Damage Detox  

Chlorine sucks up the sebum (your hair’s natural oil and protective barrier) from the hair, leading to dry and cracked hair cuticles.  Before you get in the pool, pre-treat hair with a conditioner that contains oil extracts.  The chlorine will suck up the oils found in the conditioner before it soaks up the natural oils in your hair.  This significantly reduces chlorine damage.  Apply the conditioner or spray liberally, concentrating on the ends of hair.

After you expose your hair to chlorine, wash it with a chlorine specific detoxifying shampoo to remove chlorine.  Because shampoos like these can be slightly harsh, I recommend following up with a soft, gentle moisturizing shampoo that  restores moisture to the hair. Finish off with a great, moisturizing conditioner.

Green choice: Carol’s Daughter Rosemary Mint Shampoo and Lisa’s Hair Elixir

Heat-Free Styling Tips!

Try these tips for air drying:

Use lighter styling aids such as mousse and light gels for faster air drying time.  Gently squeeze excess water out of the hair after applying styling aids to reduce air drying time.  Remember, avoid towel drying!!

Some really cute hair styles can be achieved without having to put a hair dryer, straighter, or curlers to your hair.   The three I mention below give really beautiful beach beauty waves that work with summer humidity and heat instead of fighting it:

–       While hair is still wet, apply your light gel or mousse, and simply wrap hair into a bun on top of your head.  After hair has dried at least 60%, remove bun and you’ll have soft and beautiful waves.

–       Another way to achieve that beach-y look, twirl damp hair around your finger, applying styling gel as you go along.

For the easiest way to get those waves, simply put your wet hair in braids, let dry, unbraid and voila!

Green choiceJohn Masters Organic Shine On

(written by The Organic Beauty Expert)

Do you have curly hair? What are you using to keep it moist especially in the summertime?                                                                                                                                     N-












Save Face

It’s officially the first day of summer! The absolute best season of the year (in my humble opinion). I hope you are all fully enjoying the longest day of the year today and hopefully you’ve adorned yourself with the summer’s most essential accessory–sunblock. I’ve always found it especially difficult to find a good sunblock for my face. And although I’ve been completely guilty of skimping on the SPF in the past, I’ve learned my lesson and am ready & willing to pass along some good nuggets to you all. Real Simple has listed 5 great sunblocks for your face for every occasion.  

1. For the Natural Product Lover: Korres SPF 30 High Protection Sunscreen Emulsion – non chemical ingrediants such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide make a strong shield. www.sephora.com

2. For the City Slicker: Lancome UV Expert 20 – Lightweight protection that works well under make-up. www.lancome-usa.com

3. For the Beachgoer: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 85 – this powder-based lotion is sweatproof and water resistant and won’t leave the skin feeling greasy. at drugstores

4. For the Traveler: California Baby SPF 30+ Sunblock Stick – a compact but effective stick that can cover even large areas. Plus it’s made for babies so it’s non-irritating. www.californiababy.com

5. For Everyday Use: Aveeno Positively Radiant  Daily Moisturizer w/ SPF 15 – My own personal favorite. It’s clinically proven to tone skin and it has natural light diffusers. at drugstores.

There. You’re armed with plenty of sun protection options so now there’s no excuse for not slathering on the all important SPF before heading outside this summer.

Happy Summer!!




Snip, Snip…

Well summer is finally here and it’s time for a fresh, new hair do. Short, edgy hair is trés chic once again.  Ever since Rihanna bravely chopped off her locks, many others have followed suit making short hair stylish again.  Short hair can make you look younger, gives you tons of spunk and looks great on basically all face shapes. So I’m ready to throw caution to the wind and try out a new funky do!

This haircut is going to be very special because I’ll be celebrating my 44th birthday next month and I want a hot, sexy new look.  For the last 3 years I’ve been wearing my hair natural and curly and I’m ready for a short, straight, sleek look— a la Rihanna!

I’ll let you all know how it goes.





Looking Hot in the Summer Heat

We recently received this question from Nikki B. and wanted to share the answer with everyone:

I have a new question of the day for you, Vettie. The weather outside is frightening. It is beyond sweltering. Can you recommend makeup that won’t melt on my face for these hot, summer months?


On these hot summer days, it’s takes a lot out of us to wear make-up but we still want to look fantastic. Here are a few things you can use to look polished:

Diorshow Black Out Waterproof Mascara

What it is: A better-than-ever version of the best-selling Diorshow waterproof mascara.

What it does: Dior’s sensational new Diorshow Mascara knocks out any waterproof mascara you’ve ever tried. Never sacrifice intense color and thickness for waterproof protection again. Creamy new Black Out Waterproof creates incredible black kohl intensity and spectacular volume, stroke by stroke.100% smudge proof. 100% waterproof. 100% amazing.

Diorshow Black Out Waterproof Mascara

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer – Oil Free

What it is: This lightweight foundation that can be reapplied as necessary

What it does:  Offers sun protection for sensitive or acne prone skin, oil control, and provides hydration to prevent dryness.

Tinted Moisturizer - Oil Free

DiorKiss Luscious Lip-Plumping Gloss

What it is: A lip-plumping gloss in hot new shades.

What it does: Cocktails, anyone? Indulge in every one of Dior’s succulent lip-plumping “cocktail bar” shades this summer with lip gloss from the new DiorKiss collection. Designed to dazzle with a delicious scent and translucent multi-effect shine plus intense care and lasting wear, it comes in a sleek new tube, with an exclusive curved applicator that fits perfectly in the contours of the lip for ultimate precision.

DiorKiss Luscious Lip-Plumping Gloss

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Ex-press

What it is: The Brow Ex-press palette is the ultimate travel kit for creating flawless, Hollywood eyebrows anywhere.

What it does: The kit contains all brow essentials: four perfect brow stencils created by Anastasia to suit various brow shapes and styles (stencil results vary from face to face due to different bone structure and hair growth, no two brows will ever look the same); two brow powders in your range (blonde or brunette) to custom blend the most natural brow color; an angled brush for clean application; cream highlighter for application along the brow bone to lift and accentuate the eyes; and wax cream created to hold a perfect shape all day. 

Brow Ex-press