I usually mock consumerism, but that's hypocritical. Because we're all consumers. And we're all hypocrites. But, when I come across something I love, I want to share it. All of these things I naturally stumbled upon on my own. I didn't receive any products for free. Also, I don't monetize my blog and I'll probably never break even on my book. Because money is the root of all evil. Because I don't really make any money, I'm kinda frugal about how I spend it. Now that that's established, you may want to go out and buy some of this stuff. Or not, whatever. It's not like I'm invested in what you do with the information that I give you in this post. Only that I give it. Cause I'm a giver. Don't make me shove it down your throat.
1. Biore Scrub
Full disclosure: I have naturally disgusting, super sensitive skin. I had acne until the age of 40 when that was magically replaced by age spots. Also, I am a drug store product whore. I will try almost anything on my face if it's relatively cheap, in attractive packaging and makes me feel inadequate. (See slogan: don't be dirty.) I'm pretty much guaranteed to buy it's marketed as natural. I have tried straight up baking soda on my face before, but the Arm & Hammer packaging isn't appealing, nor does it smell good. Maybe they just add fragrance to the baking soda, I don't know, but whatever it is, it makes my skin smooth and doesn't irritate it or dry it out. Plus, it smells good.
2. Shade Sunscreen SPF 30
As a brunette I feel completely gypped that I don't have that gorgeous Mediterranean olive skin tone that should naturally accompany it. Instead, I'm pasty white. And I live at nearly 7,000 ft elevation in Colorado, putting my pasty white, sensitive, combination skin even closer to the sun. And I have tried tons of sunscreens. So, I can tell you that Honest brand stuff, honestly does not work. Oh, I totally wanted it to, but it doesn't. But, hope will not protect you from age spots and skin cancer. I read about this sunscreen in a fitness magazine which said a lot of female surfers wear it. And if it's good enough for Malia Jones, dammit, it's good enough for me. (I don't know if she in particular actually wears it or not.) But, this is the best, water resistant sunscreen I have ever found. It has a slight tint, but you won't even notice it once you put it on. And it doesn't feel greasy. I promise you. (You can find it where you can find everything else, including my book, on Amazon.)
3. Green Tea Tea Tree Oil Mask
Over on instagram, I follow this twenty something woman with gorgeous porcelain skin who posted this mask. I've used it ever since. Because of course my skin is going to look like hers and I'm going to magically be twenty years younger. It's ridiculous I know, but I still think it. Ok, here's the recipe. However, please note: The matcha tea WILL STAIN your clothes & wash cloths. Also your skin if you leave it on longer 15 minutes. So there's that, but I love how my skin feels when I take it off.
Green Tea Tea Tree Oil Mask
1 tsp. matcha green tea powder (Found at your health food store & kinda expensive)
1/2 tsp. honey
2 drops tea tree oil
1/2 tsp. water
On-line I found Jessica Alba's Greek Yogurt & Coffee Mask and tried it out last night. And I can say while her Honest sunscreen sucks, this mask is pretty good. And cheap. And you might even have all the ingredients in your cupboard.
Greek Yogurt & Coffee Mask
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tsp. coffee
1 tsp. coconut oil
Unfortunately, I don't look any more like Jessica Alba this morning. Also note, this recipe makes enough for like 4 people. So share it and have a slumber party with your girlfriends or something.
4. Skinny Taste Recipes
I have mentioned Skinny Taste recipes on here before. If you haven't yet checked out the Skinny Taste blog out, go now and do it. All of her recipes are real food, low calorie and big on flavor. I make her recipes at least twice, but probably three or more times a week. The above picture is her White Bean Caprese Salad, which is absolutely fantastic. She also has a cookbook out and is in the process of getting a second book out there on the shelves. But really, if you're cheap, just check out her blog, it's all on there.
5. Veggie Balsamic Flatbread
Ok, so here's what happened. My favorite NY style pizza place closed down. I was in a panic. What do I do for Friday night pizza night? I tried TONS of pizza places. Fresh, frozen, packaged, I tried them all. And while I love making fresh pizzas on the grill, it's a time consuming process for a family of 6 on a frantic Friday. It was that desperation that lead me to Walmart. I know, I know...I'm embarrassed to admit it, but it's true. That's where I came upon this flatbread located right next to their pizzas, which are pretty bland. But, this bread? It tastes gourmetish. They also have pepperoni and other flavors. But, the veggie one stands out. So, go do the walk of shame to Walmart and give it a try.
'Tis the season when these peppers are in supermarkets everywhere. I can't buy enough of them. And while you can eat them raw, I love them grilled. I'll grill the whole bag and have plans to use them in other dishes like scrambled eggs, on nachos and in pasta throughout the week. And then they'll be gone. Because my kids even like them. And they are fantastic paired with steak. Or sausage. Or chicken. Or portabello mushrooms. Oh, and poblano peppers on the grill earn an honorable mention, but some people in my family (who shall remain nameless) have delicate palates and don't take to the slight heat in them. Wimps.
7. Listerine Ultra Clean Dental Floss
I know, you're thinking dental floss? I don't even know the last time I flossed. But once you have those peppers and steak, you'll have a hunk of meat stuck back there in your molars and you're going to need some floss. Trust me, I know. One thing in my marriage, my husband and I have never agreed on, is dental floss. My husband used the waxed kind and I used the tapeish kind. Until, he went to the dentist and came home with this free sample. And we both love it. (Yes, it's possible to love dental floss.) And now, I have 4 more packs of the kind I loved before I got at Costco to use up while he uses this. Damn him! (Also, I just put a pack of dental floss in my purse and felt like a freakin' genius. Also, if you don't have tweezers in your car to pluck those eyebrow hairs you notice only when you're looking in the rearview mirror, you're missing out.)
8. Arrowhead Sparkling Water
Again, you're thinking boooooooooorrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnggggg! I'm always looking for a healthy low calorie drink free of artificial sweeteners for summer time to keep me hydrated. It's usually ice tea without sugar. But, sometimes you want bubbles. Bubbles make things feel special. And you deserve to feel special in a way that won't give you diabetes or cancer. Put it in a fancy glass with some ice and some fruit even. You could get really crazy and mix in some wine and it could be a wine cooler sangria even. Bonus: antioxidants. Just sayin'.
9. Crocs Sexi Flip Sandals
Again, you're like crocs, really? crocs? YES, crocs! Stop judging me! A few summers ago, I had to quit wearing cheap $3 Old Navy flip flops cause they hurt my feet. Enter crocs. They have a slight arch support and are super light weight. Also, they make everything look a bit more dressed up than your standard flip flops. And they pack like a dream. I even accidentally hiked 20 miles in them, through mud even. Although I wouldn't recommend that, my toe crotch was raw for days. Is toe crotch a term?
Did you realize you can get books at the library for free? FREE, I said! I love books and the last one that I read that I think is worthy of mentioning is this book. All about the phenomenon of public shaming in the age of the internet. I couldn't help but think of a friend who was in a situation similar to this book in which she was wrongly publicly convicted over an issue so small it was hardly an issue at all except to internet trolls. Which resulted in her receiving anonymous death threats on line. It was horrifyingly unbelievable. And I didn't realize how rampant it was in our culture until I read this. What's scary is how easily it could happen to you. In case you needed some light summer reading. For other book recommendations you can check out what I've read recently on my Goodreads here.
Happy summer prepping!