Pages

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A to Z Candles


Happy Wednesday! Hope everyone's week is going great. I got the fantastic chance to interview the lovely Amanda from A to Z Candles. Not only does she have an awesome vegan shop but is also pretty damn awesome herself. I cannot say this enough but we all need to support these amazing vegan centered shops. We the consumer are able to bring so much change to the system by using our dollar power for good. 


I even got my hands on her Man Cave candle! Which happens to be my favorite smell. I also got an incredible melt. My whole house smells absolutely fantastic. Well without further or due. Here is my interview with A to Z Candles.


Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Amanda and I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. I spend most days relaxing and spending time with my husband, daughter, and my dog, Max. I enjoy going to concerts, eating lots of vegan food, and of course, making candles!

I wish we had computer smelly sense because your shop sounds divine! How did you get into candle making?
I have been a fan of home fragrance for years. But the products I was buying began to give me headaches and irritated my asthma.  After realizing the ingredients in most candles and melts, I decided to move to soy wax from paraffin. I wanted more fragrance choices with the soy, so I decided I wanted to make them myself! I started with candles, then added melts. I now also carry car air freshener (sachets) and reed diffuser kits as well. To make sure I have something for any budget, my candles come in five different sizes.

I love love love that your products are vegan and cruelty free! How did you fall into creating vegan products?
I've been vegan since September 2014, so naturally I wanted to start a vegan friendly business. I did extensive research on the wax and fragrances I use to make sure nothing was animal tested or had any trace of animal byproducts. Once I knew my supplies were vegan, it was game on!  My wax is free of genetically modified materials, pesticides, and herbicides.  My fragrance oils are made with premium ingredients without harmful chemicals. Some of my fragrance oils even have essential oils mixed into them. My wicks are 100% cotton.

What are some future plans for your shop?
My plan is to keep growing!  Adding new fragrances, and possibly new products. I'm always finding something to change or to improve on.  I hope to be able to open my own website outside of Etsy in the next year as well.

Find the shop here


Toodles





Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Petit Vour July Unboxing

So excited for this month's Petit Vour box! I will be doing a monthly post review and a video unboxing. Super excited to try out so many great vegan and cruelty free products. 





This month's box was themed Summertime Minimalism, right up my alley. 

  • Lilfox Botanicals Kalahari Watermelon Eye Serum | $14 (full size $68) @lilfox.miami
    • Silky smooth serum that soaks right into the skin! No need to wait a million years for it to absorb. 
  • Fior Minerals Organic Ignite Illuminator | $12 (full size $24) @fiormineralcosmetics 
    • FOR EVERYWHERE. Haha. It's is one of my favorites. I use it to highlight the inner corner of my eyes, highs of my cheek bones, and as a eyebrow highlight. Highlight all of the things. 
  • Poetic Blend The Hero Oil | $10 (full size $50) @poeticblend
    • Super oil. I love products with multiple uses and this one is a must. I use it as a moisturizer by rubbing it in my hands before pressing into my face. Can also be used as a boxy oil as well! Woohoo!
  • Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk | $2.50 (full size $22) 
    • Great cleaner that gently removes my makeup and junk that I have accumulated on my face from the day. Gentle enough for daily use without irritation but tough enough to break down dirt. 


To check out Petit Vour click here!

Toodles



Monday, July 25, 2016

Vegan Mama || Julia @FreeSpiritMom

Happy Monday ya'll! I have another amazing Vegan Mama interview for you guys. Today I have Julia from @FreeSpiritMom on Instagram. She is such a wonderful inspiration not only for veganism but also for minimalism! Hope you guys go show her some love. Hooray for awesome vegan mamas!


-Tell us a little bit about yourself?

About me: My name is Julia, I am a wife to a handsome and devoted man, mother to three compassionate and loving children, and one loyal Australian Shepherd. I just started a vegan/health/beauty blog and you can also find me on Instagram as @FreeSpiritMom

I practice a fairly crunchy lifestyle, we co-sleep, breastfeed, baby-wear and attachment parenting (among others). I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and raised by a single mother who was Vegetarian (I was born into Vegetarianism). I moved to Texas at the age of 19 with a flight ticket and a piece of luggage. I had no car or job but God took care of all the details, thankfully. Because of my love for children, I decided to embark on my Career as a professional nanny working with various agencies. Was a career nanny in Austin for eight years until I met my husband had our own children in 2012. 

During my first pregnancy, we opted out of the sonograms that our midwife offered. However, at 7 months along I was measuring "too large" as they put it and a sonogram was needed due to medical concerns. Turned out we were pregnant with TWINS and both babies were healthy as ever! At 37 weeks (full term for twins) I gave birth to our boy/girl babies. They didn't need any time in the NICU and had very high APGAR scores. They nurses were amazed over the fact when being weighed, both our newborn twin babies raised up their heads completely when on their tummies! 

Then, in 2015 we had another blessing addition to our family, Liam. He was also born healthy at 9 pounds 10 ounces. I have been breastfeeding since 2012 (with the exception of a four month gap when pregnant with Liam), It's easy eating healthy here in Austin. We love eating organic foods and frequent the farmers market often.

Since the birth of our twins, I have b
een a stay-at-home mama. I have a part-time side business that focuses on health and nutrition. We have three children under the age of three so there is never a dull moment in the house. But I am living the dream I always wanted :)




- What is your vegan story? Why and how you transitioned?

Because I was a life long Vegetarian, meat already turned me off on so many levels. However, my eyes were not opened to the dairy industry, unfortunately. I simply was not aware of the atrocities of treatment towards animals in the dairy industry. I thought and believed that I was doing my part as a Vegetarian by not eating meat my entire life. Not until having our last child, Liam, is when I began to research all hours of the night and learn more about Veganism, the industry that treats animals so atrociously and how to oppose such heinous acts. I will not support anything that goes against my moral belief system and treating animals cruelly is one of many I will not condone or stand for. During this time of being a new Vegan convert, I discovered that being Vegan was about so much more than for health benefits. I use social media to educate and make aware to those who were in the same position I once was. 

In 2015 I decided to become Vegan, along with our three children. I could not bear the thought of taking part in eating dairy for my immediate and short-lived pleasure. I will forever be a lifelong Vegan. 



- Did you have any opposition when you told your family and friends that your child would be vegan? 

Thankfully, no! My family and friends are pretty easy going and already used to (and acceptant of) our previous Vegetarian lifestyle as all three of our children were born and bred Vegetarian. Because our children were born and raised this way, it was a fairly easy transition. Our children eat healthy and actually ask to eat various vegetables. My husband was a omnivore when I met him but slowly became Vegetarian. He was the one who actually questioned if being Vegan was possible due to all the "limitations". Now he says he doesn't even miss dairy :)



-What is some advice that you can give to fellow vegan mamas?


Research all you can regarding a Vegan diet because you will eventually run across those against a Vegan lifestyle. I have learned much valuable information and saved my research in a Word document, in the event opposition comes my way, I am prepared to stand up for my beliefs. I am the type of person who likes to surround myself with positive and uplifting friends. I stay away from negative people who oppose Veganism with a closed-mind. If I see that an individual has a genuine concern or is truly seeking knowledge and insight on being Vegan then I for sure will help them in any way I can. I enjoy helping others and if there is anyone reading this who would like to learn more, please feel free to find me on Instagram and message me with any questions you might have. Thank you for reading and I wish you all the best in your Vegan journey. 



Toodles

Vlog || Loving Hut Feast


Toodles

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Schmidt's Deodorant

Smell good stuff! Not gonna lie ya'll, after the past few months I feel like I am kinda obsessed with deodorants. Haha. I mean how can I not be when there are killer brands like Schmidt's Deodorant out there?!



Schmidt's Deodorants is a company on a mission, to change the status quo on deodorants. By creating effective, cruelty free, vegan, non toxic deodorants why would anyone go for anything less? Founder Jame Schmidt got started with this deodorant when she was pregnant with her son. She was always very interested in more natural body care and new the incredible benefits that they had as opposed to their conventional counterparts. She then began to formulate her own deodorants being that so many natural deodorants on the market were indeed natural, but not so effective. After tons of hard work she finally came up with a formula that not only was natural and great for you but also left you feeling fresh all day long. 


I got to test out the tub and stick versions and I have to say I love them both. Of course the stick is something we are all more familiar with so it seems more practical but I love the idea of the glass tub, which is what I will probably stick with. The smells are delightful but not overpowering. And most important they work! Natural deodorants get a bad rep because there are so many natural deodorants out there that just don't work. Schmidt's has figured out a way to make it natural and super effective.


Schmidt's also offers a recycling club!! Yes! You heard me right. This is exactly the kind of mindset that we need from brands. When you save five jars of the deodorant they will send you a jar for free. They will even pay for the shipping. By creating incentives for people to be more zero waste, we are able to realize that things shouldn't be as disposable as they are now. Big props to them for thinking of an awesome way to lower their environmental impact!



To see more awesomeness check out Schmidt's shop here!
Happy Thursday ya'll!

Toodles


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ellison's Organics

Found the perfect polish ya'll.  Ellison Organics carries the most amazing polishes ever.I crave a matte black polish year around and I found one that comes right out of the bottle! To get my nails matte I would usually gave a top coat that I would apply over my polish and it was always such a mess because of how thick is usually comes out. Has anyone else had that problem? Well I don't have to worry about that anymore. This polish is a natural alternative to conventional polish but also has a beautiful formula and spectacular finish.


One of my pet peeves about painting my nails is when the formula of the polish is off. If it is too thick it is a damn mess and if it's too runny it takes days to get the correct opaqueness. This polish gave me the perfect coverage with two coats so no need to wait a million years for it to dry, which is another issue with me. I am so impatient that I usually mess my nails up on the spot. Haha.  


Carleigh is the beautiful mind behind Ellison's Organics created her shop with the mind set that she didn't want crazy ingredients in her products. She wanted to create natural, non toxic products that she would be proud to share. 


To find all of Ellison's Organics incredible products check out the shop here.
Hope ya'll are having a great Tuesday!



Toodles

Friday, July 15, 2016

Vegan Mama || Katharine Toyne

Happy Friday ya'll. I hope everyone's week was awesome. I found Katharine while on Instagram and am so thrilled to have been able to interview her. By sharing these stories I am able to learn so much from every single person. I am so ecstatic at the turnout for my vegan mama interviews. Katharine is a sweet lady with an amazing prospective when it comes to rising vegan children. Hope ya'll enjoy the interview! 


-Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm a full-time mom to my 10-month-old little girl right now; her brother is due in almost 2 months, so I will have my hands full with 2 babies less than a year apart!

Before my daughter was born, I was a private music teacher in Toronto, Canada. I loved teaching, working for myself, and living in the big city. But when my daughter was born,  I really felt the lack of support and found myself wishing for a family dynamic, both for myself, and for her growing up. So we moved to rural Manitoba, close to her dad's big extended family, about 6 months ago. 

Moving from a very liberal, multicultural, vibrant city to a quiet, conservative rural area far from any major urban centre (Winnipeg - the closest city - is pretty small) has been a big adjustment. But I'm glad I moved, because I feel more connected to a community here - in all ways but one: I have yet to hear of, never mind meet, another vegan here. Reaching out via Instagram to a world-wide vegan community has made me feel more connected to fellow vegans. It's also provided me with more motivation to learn to recreate the favourite vegan dishes that I can't just run out and buy anymore. 




- What is your vegan story? Why and how did you transitioned?
I stopped eating meat when I was 13, realizing that eating the animals for whom I felt such love and compassion was hypocritical. I began to cook for myself and explore veggie dishes; by 15, I was ready to take the plunge: I went vegan. That was 20 years ago, and I have been happy with my choice ever since.

As a teenager, I was outspoken and militant about veganism. I counted people I'd "converted" to a meatless diet as battles won for the animals and the planet. As an older teenager and through my 20's, I participated in dog and cat rescue, caring for older animals whose lifetimes of love for their people had been rewarded only with abandonment when they were too sick and old to be convenient. Unfortunately, after caring for well over a dozen older animals (sequentially - not all at once!) and helping them live their remaining years (or months) in comfort and peace, I suffered serious burnout. My heart was heavily invested in each of those animals, and despite knowing I had given them a much better end than being euthanized in a shelter or dying on the street, I was emotionally exhausted from the parade of deaths.

I decided that, for a while at least, I would take a different approach to my commitment to animals. I would take a mental-health break from rescue, and, instead of confronting people to change their ways, I would try to lead by example instead.

I still feel passionate about the cause, though; and some day, I might return to front-line activism.




- Did you have any opposition when you told your family and friends that your child would be vegan?
I never questioned whether my children would be vegan. I have been for so long that I forget it's anything unusual most of the time. Their dad (we're amicably separated) is also vegan; so I think people naturally and rightly assumed our kids would be, too. In Toronto, vegan kids were not uncommon. Here in conservative small-town Manitoba, they are, but people seem mainly polite and interested, rather than judge mental or worried, when they learn we're vegan.

The only person who ever said anything remotely negative was a very distant relative in her 80's who opined that I could never have a succesful vegan pregnancy. I found it funny rather than offensive; both my pregnancies have been easy, my daughter's natural home birth was lovely, and she weighed 8 lbs 10 oz when she was born - so the negative opinion is even more hilarious to me in retrospect.




-What is some advice that you can give to fellow vegan mamas?
I'm going to say something here that, understandably, might not go over well with some in the vegan community (considering how much nonsense some vegans have to put up with from naysayers), but, here goes: for years, I was severely protein deficient, and I didn't know it. It really impacted my health and energy level. Eventually, in my mid-twenties, I made a conscious decision to investigate and solve my health issues; I did a lot of nutritional research, changed and improved how I worked out - and learned about vegan protein. I began counting grams of protein in what I ate, aiming for at least 100 grams per day. I started deliberately including a wide variety of vegan proteins (from whole foods like beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and from vegan protein supplements) with each meal. I saw my health issues disappear and my energy levels skyrocket. 

It's not difficult to get enough protein as a vegan, but it is something I think everyone - vegan mamas perhaps especially - should educate themselves about. We mamas have to be healthy to run around after our wonderful vegan babies, and we need the nutritional knowledge to feed our kids a healthy vegan diet and teach them how to  (eventually) feed themselves. So my advice would be, educate yourself! Don't just be kind to the animals; be kind to yourself, too, by making sure you're eating the most nourishing vegan diet you can.


Toodles

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wild Fawn Jewellry

While perusing throughout Etsy I stumbled upon Wild Fawn Jewellry. I am a huge fan of minimalism the lifestyle but also of the ascetic. This beautiful shop creates some spectacular pieces that I had to share them, not to mention that the shop strives to be as eco friendly as possible. 



The beautiful pair that I got was the hammered earband. They are super comfortable in the ears and are able to be dressed up or down. Being that I don't own an abundant amount of jewelry I like to be able to have versatility with the pieces that I do own. I had also never really considered an eco side when it comes to jewelry, then I realized the terrible ecological effects that go on with conventional jewelry making. I am very glad to know that there are shops out there that strive to make environmentally conscious jewelry. And I honestly cannot get over how beautiful these pieces are and cannot wait to get my hands on a necklace. Just an over all amazing shop.



Here are some more of Wild Fawn Jewllery's work. Check out the shop here for more beautiful pieces.






And I will leave you with a few words from the shop.

Wild Fawn is a sanctuary for me; being based in London means that after the hustle and bustle of the day, I love to unwind and relax by creating beautiful pieces with beautiful materials. My favourite part of being a silversmith is the feeling when I sit down to make a piece of jewellery that's been developing and evolving in my mind - there's something very exciting about not knowing quite how an idea will turn out. 

I strive to make my jewellery as eco-friendly as possible and is handmade using eco friendly methods. These include using recycled sterling silver and chemical-free alternatives in the manufacturing process wherever possible. Before I made sterling silver jewellery, I had no idea about the detrimental impacts that mining for silver has on the environment and those living around mines which is why I use ecosilver as much as possible in my work. Ecosilver is 100% recycled sterling silver, which means that there hasn't been any negative environmental impact to extract it from the Earth. 

Toodles

Friday, July 8, 2016

Vegan Mama || Calina

Hey ya'll! Today I have the pleasure of sharing with ya'll an interview that I did with Calina a radiant vegan mama. She shares so many of the same parenting values that I hope to one day apply. I am so incredibly inspired by her positivity and glow. I hope you guys enjoy the interview as much as I did! 



-Tell us a little bit about yourself?


My name is Calina and I have the vegan blog and Instagram "NeoHippie.dk". I'm 27 and I live in a small city apartment in Copenhagen, Denmark, with my husband, my almost 2 year old daughter <3 

I'm an authorized nurse, but as we are planning to keep all of our daughter out of institutions, I will probably not work as a nurse for the next many many years.

We practice natural and attachment parenting - meaning our daughter will naturally wean, we don't use strollers, but babywear with wraps instead, we co-sleep, and we take care of our own daughter fulltime.


I try to eat as natural, healthy and unprocessed as I can - meaning all organic, no refined sugar, oils or processed foods. Furthermore I try to live as sustainable as I can - I'm a non shopper, I make my own natural beauty products, cleaning products, live by Zero Waste principles and so on.


My husband and I are both vegans, and we're raising our daughter vegan as well.  




- What is your vegan story? Why and how you transitioned?

I have been a vegan for 6 years - ever since the shootings in Norway. I was mortified when I heard about them, and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like traditional hunting to me - which I despise. However I think the meat industry is even worse, and when I first got that thought, there was no turning back. I haven't eaten meat since that moment, and within a few weeks I had researched enough to know, that the egg- and dairy industry is even worse - therefore I went vegan - for life.

My husband was not a vegan when we met and he is really no animal lover at all (and he actually uttered "ehhhm, but bacon" on our first date). But he is a very rational and intelligent person and when he heard my arguments for veganism and did some research himself, he quickly turned vegan too.



- Did you have any opposition when you told your family and friends that your child would be vegan

Not much - my family expected as much and haven't said anything. I had one friend who thought it was sad, that my daughter would be "different". But she really isn't. I know a lot more vegans than non-vegans, so she'll grow up among other vegan children.

Furthermore - if you have a network of loving and supportive people in your life, they will of course always make sure, that there's food you can eat, if they invite you over to eat. I have chosen to only have loving and supportive people in my life, and therefore there's always something for my daughter to eat, when we're out.
And when she's old enough to be on her own and make her own decisions, I hope and expect that I will have raised her to be around loving and supportive people too. And of course to be selfless enough to be able to be okay with the fact, that she on rare occasions have to eat something different to help the earth. 

A lot of kids are picky eaters and are used to eat something else than other people - and they are okay with that. It's usually only adults who creates problems, where there isn't any.



-What is some advice that you can give to fellow vegan mamas?

Be firm about your values. Being vague and allowing your family to give your children animal products "sometimes" will only result in people not taking you seriously.
And get to know other people who share your values - you and your children will quickly realize that you are not alone <3



Toodles 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summer Give Away || Red Panda's Closet

Well it's summer time and what better way to start the summer than with a give away! I have partnered up with the wonderful folks at Red Panda's Closet to bring these goodies to ya'll! Red Panda's Closet is a local Texas Etsy shop with some incredible vegan jewelry. 

So for my giveaway I will be gifting:

  • 2 pieces from Red Panda's Closet
  • A wonderful polaroid picture of Mowgli
  • And a cute coloring book! 


Rules: In order to win these goodies go to my Instagram: WhyChoosevegan and tag a friend in the photo of the giveaway and head over to RedPandasCloset and give them a follow. Simple right! 


Best of luck to everyone. Remember the more friends you tag the higher your chances of winning! <3

Winner will be announced on July 11th.




Here's some words from Romina: 

Hi! I'm Romina, I'm 1/2 of the team here at Red Panda's Closet. Welcome to our little corner shop on the internet!

Red Panda's Closet is a product of our creative passions and hard work. We are inspired by animals & nature (like our name!) and we continually create new products that are a match for our cruelty free, vegan lifestyle.

We live and make our jewelry right here in Austin, Texas, and we buy all of our supplies in the USA. We are committed to a cruelty free, vegan lifestyle so that means we no longer carry any leather products and we are making sure all of our supplies are ethically sourced (No animals harmed for fashion!). We also try to reduce our environmental imprint, so our office supplies & packaging have changed (ex. more eco-friendly bubble mailers instead of 100% plastic) without skimping on quality. The materials we use are either recyclable or recycled to the best of our abilities. An example of this is saving bits & pieces that would normally be "trashed" during production. Aluminum metal scraps & sterling silver is collected then sent out to be recycled instead of simply throwing it away.

We give back to our community by donating: goods in kind, symbolically "adopting" animals through non-profit organizations, monetary donations and by giving our time to volunteer (either on site or by fostering) at local animal shelters. For details & updates, please visit our blog at www.redpandascloset.com or through social media.

Here in our shop, you can browse through engraved gifts and jewelry with meaning. We stamp items with love & by hand, one letter at a time. Some of our metal designs are engraved or etched. We create jewelry with meaning, so that means you can customize the designs. We've worked in the past with customers to set their preferred gemstones on rings and necklaces, or to inscribe their own message on our engraved pieces.

The product that you see in the photos will be the exact same product you will receive, and customers with special / custom orders still get their pictures via e-mail. We have fair shop policies regarding shipping, returns, & refunds, don't forget to check those out when you place an order. It takes us longer than big department stores with mass produced goods to create new items, so please check our current turnaround times or message me if you have a timeline for a special event in mind. (Note: Creation and Handling time is different from your selected shipping time.) We are pretty flexible and we do our best to make deadlines.




Toodles