WHAT’S REALLY IN YOUR BEAUTY CABINET?

09/28/2017

1As Beauty Editor at Mother, I have the privilege and opportunity to test a number of different products, from skincare to makeup, and everything in between. If I’m being completely honest, I love beauty, but especially skincare. And, I’m so thankful to have a career where I am exposed to so many wonderful, deserving brands and products on a regular basis. We’re only given one skin, and I think that it’s our responsibility to take care of it in the best way we possibly can. That said, the older I become, and the more that the industry starts to make a shift toward green beauty, the more that I begin to wonder what’s actually in a lot of the products that I’m testing, trying, and ultimately allowing into my body.

Did you know that the United States only has bans on 11 cosmetics ingredients? That might sound like a lot, but in places like Europe, they ban over 1,300, so the gap is actually quite staggering. That number isn’t just for adults, either. Baby product companies in America also lack the regulation and standards they’d have to adhere to in other countries. I don’t know about you, but I personally find it difficult to track and monitor ingredient lists and I can get pretty lazy when it comes to it. Even once I do know what’s in a product, I still don’t know what some ingredients actually do, or the potential harm that they may or may not cause. At the end of the day, it’s just a tough industry to monitor, and honestly, we as consumers shouldn’t have to do it.

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7All that said, I started to comb through my beauty closet and all of the products on my bathroom countertop to see if there were any places that I could improve. Now, I can’t say that I can or ever will make the switch to a completely natural or green regimen, but I have definitely started exploring more natural beauty products. If you’ve started the process toward going green with your own routine, you’ll know that its no easy feat. I was thrilled to discover that there are plenty of brands that I already own that hold themselves to a higher standard. One in particular being Biossance, which I have been a long time partner.

If you’ve been following along with Bleubird for a while, you’ll know that this is a brand I use and love, especially for its effectiveness of the main ingredient, Squalane. However, after doing a bit of research, I found that while the U.S. bans 11 beauty ingredients and Europe bans 1,300, Biossance actually bans over 2,000 potentially harmful ingredients from its products. To put it simply, Biossance takes the guesswork out of it, so that you can be confident in what you’re putting on (and in!) your skin. Because, let’s face it: we deserve better. So, as I continue to finesse my routine and dive deeper into the background of the brands I’m using, Biossance will remain, especially their Eye Gel, Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, and Squalane + Probiotic Gel. If you’re interested in checking out Biossance for yourself, stop by your local Sephora or visit online.

This post is in partnership with Biossance.

TEN THINGS

09/15/2017

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I couldn’t be happier that this crazy work week has come to a close. I plan to spend most of the weekend relaxing with my family and tackling the mountain of laundry we’ve managed to accumulate. Hope you all have a great one! Here are this week’s Ten Things…

1. It feels like fall here in Nashville and I finally get to wear my favorite sweater of the season.

2. Broad City is BACK!

3. How to talk to your kids about white privilege.

4. 2017 Emmy predictions are in.

5. Gucci’s new campaign stars share their favorite objects.

6. I want to try making a raw cheesecake this weekend. This recipe looks promising.

7. What you therapist really thinks.

8. I just received Karen Mordechai’s latest cookbook Simple Fare Fall/Winter. It’s gorgeous!

9. I am completely obsessed with this velvet blazer.

10. The best street style from New York Fashion Week spring ’18.

Photo above via Vogue.

EAT THIS: KIMCHI SPRING ROLLS

08/31/2017

KimchiSpringRolls_BleubirdKimchiSpringRolls_Bleubird2One of my favorite restaurants here in Nashville is a vegan spot called Avo. I eat there almost weekly because I just can’t get enough of the avocado margarita and kimchi spring rolls—both highly addictive and a must-try if you’re ever visiting Music City! I crave the spring rolls and Thai dipping sauce so often that I decided I needed to try to crack the recipe, so I could enjoy these insanely delicious, yet healthy, finger foods at home. After posting about my obsession with them on Instagram Stories, an angel of a follower shared the original recipe with me. HALLELUJAH!!! I immediately ran to the store to scoop up the ingredients and got to work in the kitchen. They were spot on and now I am sharing the recipe here, so you too can enjoy this fresh and bold flavored kimchi and cashew blend of goodness. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Thai Dipping Sauce:
1 cup raw almond butter
1 Tbsp freshly chopped (and peeled) ginger
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 small jalapeno (seeds removed)

Kimchee Filling: Yields 2 quarts
4 cups cashews (soaked for 1-2 hours and drained)
1/4 cup Liquid Aminos
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup raw tahini
1T agave (optional. I omitted, since I prefer sugar-free)
1 quart pre-made kimchi

Fresh veggies of choice
Collard Greens and/or rice paper wrappers

Process cashews, liquid aminos, sesame oil, tahini, agave (if using), and ginger in food processor until chunky consistency is achieved. Mix with roughly chopped kimchi and set aside. Using rice paper wrappers (or try collard wraps!) roll 2 Tbsp of kimchi filling, organic spring mix and julienned veggies (cucumber, bell pepper, carrots, and purple cabbage are best!) For the dipping sauce, blend all ingredients in high-speed blender. So easy and incredibly tasty!

I hope all of you non-Nashvillians will give them a try. Seriously, you need these in your life! If you’re afraid of the kimchi being too spicy, have no fear—I don’t like too much heat and these are quite mild. The chef at Avo is pure genius! I will also be sharing the oh-so creamy and boozy avocado margarita with all of you soon! xx

COME SUPPORT A GOOD CAUSE WITH TIDE LOADS OF HOPE

08/16/2017

Tide-Bleubird-Loads-Of-Hope-4Tide-Bleubird-Loads-Of-Hope-6Tide-Bleubird-Loads-Of-HopeThe back-to-school rush has officially begun at our household. My big kids went back early last week, and my littlest ones aren’t far behind starting in just a few days. I can hardly believe that Plum is a freshman and Julian a senior in high school. Where does time go? Like clockwork, we were able to get all the kids new clothes for the start of the school year, in addition to the usual supplies. This year, however, in order to make room for their new digs, the entire family rounded up old clothing for donation as a part of the Tide Loads of Hope campaign. A few months ago, Aubrey and I had our closet redone by California Closets. I’m going to be writing more about that process and share it with you soon, but as a part of this effort, we too, rounded up some of our clothes to be loved and worn by people in need. We truly couldn’t believe how many things in our closet hadn’t been touched in years! It was incredibly rewarding, and a true family affair.

If you aren’t already familiar, Tide Loads of Hope is a mobile laundromat founded twelve years ago in direct response to the destruction and catastrophe caused by Hurricane Katrina. It aims to restore a sense of normalcy to the lives of those in need by providing the comfort of clean clothing. The Tide Loads of Hope mission extends far beyond natural disaster relief, however. That said, this year the brand is hosting a clothing drive, called “Driving For Hope”, to mobilize their efforts further and get even more people involved. The Loads of Hope truck that is making five stops on a nation-wide tour. Nashville is one of those stops, along with Philadelphia, Miami, Dallas, and the west coast! Our family is incredibly excited not only to donate, but to dig in, and really get involved on the ground level. It’s easy to teach your kids about opening your heart and volunteering, but putting action behinds those lessons is another story.

That said, we’ll be dropping off our donations on the day of the event in Nashville on August 18th. If you’re interested in attending, the truck will be parked outside of Walmart (7044 Charlotte Pike) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and word has it that country singer, Jessie James Decker, will be there between 10-11 a.m., as well. All collected clothing will be washed and the renewed items will then be donated to their new owners at Nashville Rescue Mission. So, if you’re looking for more ways to get involved, we hope to see you there with any unused or gently worn clothing. We’re really looking forward to helping our community with a fresh start and clean clothing, and teaching our kids more about giving to others.

If you can’t make it out to donate, you can support Tide Loads Of Hope by visiting TideLoadsofHope.com to donate directly or purchase a t-shirt, where $4 from each sale goes toward helping families affected by disaster.

DuoTide-Bleubird-Loads-Of-Hope-11This post is in partnership with Tide Loads Of Hope.

10 SIMPLE WAYS TO START YOUR PERSONAL WELLNESS JOURNEY

08/15/2017

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As soon as summer hit, I decided it was time to rethink a couple of things. One: I needed to balance my workload quite a bit (see workaholic) and make more time for things that are important to me. Two: I needed to get healthy—like really, really healthy. I have always been very good at the work hard, play hard mantra, but playing hard often ended in one of two things—eating out at fancy restaurants and eating all the things or one hell of a hangover. My ideal night-off included dinners at fancy restaurants with my girlfriends, and way too much wine, which isn’t the best idea when you have to wake up at 6am to be mom and work all day. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with either of the above (in moderation, of course), and neither of the two interfered with my daily responsibilities, I kinda felt like shit—physically. Plus, I wasn’t working out or moving my body regularly. I decided that I needed to make some changes. Real changes, not just a temporary fix. Easier said than done, of course, but it definitely CAN be done. That was nearly four months ago and I’m still going strong. Here are ten tips that I have found incredibly helpful on my path to personal wellness.

1. Get more sleep. That’s right! You snooze, you definitely don’t lose! I don’t know about you, but I have never been an early riser or one to wake with the birds. I think I was born a night owl, which often times finds me up late working (or watching reruns of That ’70s Show) until ungodly hours. I started forcing myself to try to be in bed by 10:30 on weeknights. Lately, I’ve been getting to bed a little earlier than that, so I can spend some time reading. It’s a great way to wind down and decompress the stress of the day.

2. Drink more water. You’ve heard it hundreds of times before, and for good reason. Water is vital to a healthy, well functioning body. When we don’t get enough, we become dehydrated, which can effect us in more ways than one. Fill a large water bottle up each morning and keep it by your side all day long. You’ll be surprised how much water you drink when it’s right in front of you. Set a goal! I started with 32 ounces a day and am now getting in right around 64. You will hit up the bathroom much more often, but you’ll be feeling great.

3. Kickstart with a cleanse. I have jumped on and off of the wellness train for more years than I can count. I’ve tried everything from new fad diets to the latest and greatest workout craze. None of them stuck longterm. I started this summer off trying something new after some friends of mine recommended a cleanse from Clean Program and it was incredible and life changing. I can’t recommend it enough.

4. Get active. Move your body. Everyday. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, get that body moving. When I started out, I would get up 30 minutes early each morning and head out the door to run/walk/jog my neighborhood. Then I started adding in workouts I could do at home like Ballet Beautiful and LEKfit. Once I got into a regular routine, I tried a month of local Pure Barre classes and other new ways to work my body, tone, and build muscle. Baby steps are fine, just get moving!

5. Educate. It’s so important to understand why certain things are good for you and why others are not. Of course, the plethora of information out there is endless and a lot of it is based solely on opinion and much of it is false, but so much of it is right. Start small and learn about something that sparks your interest in the wellness world. Fact check and be your own judge. I wanted to know more about adaptogens about a year ago and started researching, trying them out, and deciding for myself if they were for me.

6. Get inspired. When I was in high school, I would tape a photo of Nikki Taylor (really showing my age here, guys!) to the refrigerator in hopes of seeing her supermodel body and refraining from grabbing the box of Hot Pockets from the freezer. Ha! These days I prefer to stay motivated by following inspiring accounts on social media that align with my lifestyle preferences. Healthy eating and wellness feeds help keep me motivated, so I stay on track and don’t get bored.

7. Meal prep. Finding my meal prep routine has been a complete game changer and keeps my eating habits in check, at least most of the time. I spend my Sundays in the kitchen prepping clean foods, so I can throw quick meals together on the fly during busy work days. I just posted a bit about my weekly meal prep routine, here.

8. Get new gear. Whether it’s a new healthy cookbook you’ve been eyeing or the latest color combo of leggings from Outdoor Voices, getting a new little something that can excite you and motivate you towards your goal is 100% encouraged.

9. Setting goals. Mapping out your journey and setting realistic targets and rewards for yourself is a great way to keep your eye on the prize. That may be in the form of a chilled glass of rosé on a weeknight, a new adaptogen from the Moon Pantry (Here’s a code for first-time shoppers), or that brand new pair of sneakers you’ve had your eye on—your prizes are completely up to you. Just make sure you reward or bonus yourself for all of your hard work. I like to set small weekly goals for myself along with bigger, monthly goals. I am still working on my one year goal reward. I’m not sure what it will be yet, but you better believe it’s going to be good.

10. Join forces. It’s so much easier to make healthy choices when you aren’t at it all alone. Bring your partner or friends on board with you for support. Make healthy dinners together and meet for workouts a few times a week. This will not only help hold each other accountable, but it’s way more fun when you have teammates.

Photo above via Outdoor Voices.

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