Monday, January 15, 2018

Zero Waste Chapstick

Thrifted Sweater // 

Yay for FINALLY getting this post up! As part of this zero waste journey, I am always trying new recipes for beauty products. I love making my own beauty products because I can eliminate the waste by buying the ingredients in bulk, I know exactly what's in my products, it's a lot cheaper, and I have so much fun doing it! For this post, I am going to show you how I make my zero waste chapstick. 

What You'll Need: 
  • Soy Wax 
  • Coconut Oil 
  • Essential Oil of Your Choice (I used lavender because of its soothing properties, but my friends and family who tested it thought the smell was too strong. Instead you can try something sweeter like vanilla!)
  1. Measure 2 tablespoons of soy wax and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into a glass bowl. 
  2. Microwave in 15 second intervals until melted. 
  3. Add 10-15 drops of essential oil of your choice and stir.
  4. Pour into a small glass jar or leftover chapstick tube. 
  5. Place in refrigerator until hardened. 
And there you have it...a simple recipe for DIY chapstick! You can also use the soy wax and essential oils for DIY candles (blog post coming soon). Happy DIYing!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

How to Respond to "You've Changed a Lot"

Left Picture: Taken 3 week ago
Right Picture: Taken 5 years ago
Over the last few weeks, I've had many people tell me, "You've changed a lot". When I first started receiving this comment, I didn't know if I should interpret it positively or negatively. I knew in my heart that I had made positive changes to reflect my true self (which is always changing by the way). However, I was getting a lot of negative stares and facial expressions associated with this comment, whether these stares were a reaction to my fashion or sustainability choices, I'm not sure. Regardless, I've received this comment enough that I've finally formulated a simple, yet powerful response..."I sure hope I changed!". I say this because I sure as hell hope I changed after no longer spending hundreds of dollars to get my nails done, tan, and whiten my teeth, getting heartbroken one too many times, mourning the loss of my beloved brother, living in a foreign country for 9 months, traveling to a total of 20 plus countries (5 of these solo), and transitioning to veganism. To me, if you're not changing and growing, then you're not living. To expand on this topic, I recommend reading this article by The Minimalists.

If you ever receive this comment or a similar one, as long as the change you made is positive, reflects your true self, and makes the world a better place, then I encourage you to own it and say, "I sure hope I changed!"

Friday, January 12, 2018

Life Update - From Living in the Past to Saying "Yes"

Taken laying on the floor in my new office! (:
It's been a while since I wrote a life update on here. A lot has happened in my life, especially the last 30 days! Before I delve into these specific days, I wanted to rewind to the start of my fall semester in August. After a summer working long hours at S'well and being too busy to really think about abroad, I found myself utterly lost when I arrived back to Villanova University. I never fit into the culture at Villanova, as I find being surrounded by privilege to be absolutely appalling. However, to my dismay, I found that I not only didn't fit in as before, but I actually felt like I stood out. This could be because I wore clothes that stuck out in a sea of coral-colored Vineyard Vines pants and Bean Boots, or because I had picked up new ways of doing things while I was abroad. Regardless, I realized that I had to change my attitude and truly focus on what I wanted to make out of my last college year. This sounded easy on paper, however, I often found myself spending hours alone, dreaming of Milan and the friends I made there instead of making plans and living in the present. I even booked a flight to Milan my first day of classes! While there was nothing innately wrong with dreaming of Milan, there was something wrong with living in the past. A few weeks passed as I applied to jobs and interviewed at big fashion houses hoping this would ease my heartbreak with Milan. However, my dismay still continued. It's like I was searching for the next big thing, the thing that society and Villanova was guiding me towards, rather than what I knew to be true in my heart.

Flash forward to December 15, almost 30 days ago. I finished my last exam of the semester, turned down corporate interviews, and told myself I would spend the next 30 days only saying "YES" to opportunities that fueled my passions and dreams, allowed me to live in the present, and would allow me to one day be closer to the life I lived in Milan. Let me tell's been some of the most challenging and rewarding 30 days of my life!

....................envisioned an office in my house where I could blog, vlog, write, and inspire others
....................learned how to remove wallpaper (who knew water and softener could work magic?)
....................learned the difference between eggshell finish and semi-gloss paint
....................painted for over 80 hours
....................watched my office vision start coming to life (still in awe!!!!)
....................taught myself how to knit a sweater the most powerful books I've ever read - Minimalism and Everything That Remains
....................prioritized relationships by getting coffee with old and new friends
....................started writing my first book
....................witnessed my father turn 93-years-old (yes, you read that correctly)
....................minimized 3/4 of my wardrobe
....................questioned God and prayed (a lot)
....................had my heart skip a beat from someone who used to be a big part of my life
....................laughed like a little kid, the kind of laugh where your belly hurts
....................attempted to discern the feeling I get from traveling and the feeling of falling in love
....................decided I would no longer pursue anything that didn't make me 100% happy

Cheers to the last 30 days, and cheers to all that 2018 is going to bring!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Minimalist & Zero Waste Gift Ideas

Similar Wholesome Christmas Tee (100% Sweatshop Free) //
Old Hat & Jeans // 

If you're searching for some last minute gifts, I'm here to help! This year, I bought minimalist and zero waste gifts for family and friends that were focused on making their lives more sustainable and happier, or allowing them to have new experiences. My goal was to rid Christmas of the materialist association that it has developed in recent years. That being said, most of the following gifts do not focus on materialism and can even be made or bought immediately if you're in a time crunch:
  • Amazon Gift Card - I like the idea that someone can buy whatever they want or need with this option so that they don't receive something that will end up in a landfill.
  • Groupon Tours - There are many amazing Groupon tours, restaurants, and travel options that are offered at a steep discount. 
  • Micro Loans - This is one of my favorite gift ideas because you are supporting a real person starting a business that will allow them to support themselves and promote economic growth in their community. 
  • DIY Gifts - I made a few different DIY zero waste gifts including lotion and chapstick (blog post coming soon).
  • Coupon Book - I made two coupon books this year dedicating my time to the person that I'm giving them to (I used Canva to make them).
Do you have any creative, minimalist gifts you're giving this year? For more inspiration, check out this video from The Girl Gone Green! 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Zero Waste Gift Wrapping

Thrifted Sweater // Old Jeans // 

As Christmas approaches, it's time to wrap my zero waste gifts in sustainable wrapping paper! Just the thought of all the wasteful Christmas wrapping paper and bows that can't be recycled makes my inner zero waste spirit cringe. Thankfully, there are many sustainable options when it comes to gift wrapping:
  1. Newspaper 
  2. Paper shopping bags (picture above) 
  3. Odds and ends that you already have 
    • Jars, ribbon, wrapping paper, bows, boxes, fabric, Christmas tree branches
  4. Eco-Friendly Wrapping Paper 
Check out the photo below and this post from Ecocult for more options and inspiration!