Thursday Thoughts

It’s been a while since I did a random musings kind of post, so while I’m procrastinating making and photographing that kale salad I mentioned the other day, here are some (mostly) non-food related thoughts…

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– Barley is 16 weeks old and nearly ten pounds. How did this even happen?? This means we’ve had him for two months and he’s gained almost a pound a week. He still kind of smells like a puppy though, and he’s certainly in that lovely teething phase, only now his jaw is a lot stronger and the novelty of his toys has worn off, making people’s hands/faces/feet and Honey’s butt that much more enticing. We need to do another photo session before he’s suddenly a dog. Although, puggles do seem to stay puppies (at least behavior-wise) for a good five years. It’s both awesome and super annoying, depending on when you ask me. And what they have destroyed.

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– As of this week, I’m doing a gluten elimination diet. I’ve been dealing with itchy skin rashes on my hands and neck on and off for the last couple of years, but they’ve recently gotten worse. I’ve tried switching dish soaps, laundry detergents, and even making my own body and face wash (cheap and effective!), but it never completely goes away. This makes me think it could be food-related, especially because it was bad around Thanksgiving when I was eating seitan. I also read that citrus fruits can sometimes cause a reaction, but I would be really, really sad to have to give those up. Fortunately, since eliminating gluten these last few days, my hands are noticeably better and my neck is totally healed. It could be anything – stress, some other environmental factor – but I’m hopeful I’ve finally found the culprit.

– In other skin-related news, I’ve almost completely stopped wearing makeup after I had that terrible reaction to a new moisturizer. I got rid of the moisturizer, thoroughly washed my makeup brushes, but now I’m paranoid that it’s probably contaminated my makeup. I don’t wear a lot – just some eye concealer, loose power, eye shadow, and mascara, and most of it’s Clinique, which I’ve been wearing since high school. Remember those monthly promos where you spent x dollars and got a little makeup case with “free” samples? Do they even still do that? I couldn’t resist them at the time. Anyway, now that I’m older and possibly wiser, I’d love to trade out those chemically products for makeup that’s actually good for my skin. Any recommendations? Do you use any products that you love? I wish I could say I’m cool with never wearing makeup again, but that would be a lie. I’m a little bit vain.

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  1. says

    My sister used to work for Arbonne, and I loved their products – they were the best things I found for my sensitive skin (now I use Body Shop’s products, mostly). Arbonne’s claim to fame is that they don’t use all the extra “crap” in their products.

  2. says

    Oooo, that Barley is so, so sweet!

    I’m glad you asked the question about make-up—I’m waiting for the last few things that I’m wearing (eyeliner, bronzer and mascara) to be used up before I replace them, except I don’t know what I will replace them with! Will be checking back here for more reccs :).


  3. Liz S. says

    I love Bare Minerals! I am not a make-up person, but their starter kit gives you that natural, it doesn’t look/feel like I am wearing makeup feel. They have stores everywhere and you can have them put it on you (to test if you are allergy before you spend a penny!). Hope this helps!

  4. says


    I’m running low on my mineral foundation and am getting nervous about it lasting until I can get to Worcester in January. So I vote you meet me at the Living Earth and we take care of both our makeup situations together. Plan?


    Anyway, they sell Erth Minerals which are similar to Bare Minerals except the big jar (9g) is only $9.95 and lasts forever (as in I can’t remember when I bought my current jar but it was definitely before May). I have blush + foundation and love it. For mascara, I ordered Reviva Hypoallergenic off of Vitacost for ~$6. It works pretty well and the ingredient list is decent (especially for the price) but it isn’t vegan.

    And that’s all I got. See you in January? 😉

  5. Carrie says

    Hi! I wear Physician’s Formula Organic Wear makeup from Wal-Mart and love it’s lavender scent. For moisturizer I use either organic coconut oil or organic almond oil (or a mix of both) and really love this. (My cat likes it too – she loves to lick my face!)

    • says

      Thanks, Carrie! I’ve heard good things about Physician’s Formula, and the price is great (so many of the natural products are $$$). I’ll have to walk over to the Walgreens near me and look into that.
      I haven’t tried almond oil, but I started using coconut oil as a body and hand moisturizer and Barley LOVES it! haha I have to let it soak in before I get near him.

  6. Shelley says

    I second the recommendation for Bare Minerals. Sephora carries quite a few natural options, such as Bare Minerals as well as Josie Moran. The benefit of shopping there is that you can sample some stuff in store, as well as bring it back for a refund if it irritates your skin. They accept returns on everything!

    I’ve also self-diagnosed a wheat allergy. Specifically, I’ve been breaking out in itchy, maddening hives whenever I consume wheat. I feel your pain!

    • says

      Thanks for the recommendation! I think I will try to make a little stop at Sephora later today. I used to work right next to one – it was very dangerous for my bank account – but you really can’t beat their return policy.

      That sounds like what happens to me! I’d like to see a doctor about it at some point, but right now I have health insurance with a super high deductible, so no expensive tests for me.

  7. Deb says

    Hi Amanda:), I’m not a huge fan of a bunch of makeup on my face either but do believe a little can go a long way…I really like Bare Minerals blush line(use vintage peach). It’s really, really pretty. I use Josie Moran’s face powder and it’s nice as well. I’ve heard Arbonne is a good line, but that it may be a little more expensive(but maybe that’s because they use top notch natural ingredients?). I’ve bounced around with finding an eco friendly and natural face lotion(had tried Bare Minerals and Aubrey but not impressed with either, at least for me). By the way, Clinique was my go-to product for years but recently decided a couple years ago to start moving towards something healthier for my complexion. I loved their stuff though including the Dramatically Different lotion(maybe that’s why I’m such a snob when it comes to other lotions;). Good luck!

    • says

      Thanks, Deb! I used the Dramatically Different lotion for years – it had the perfect consistency! Now I use Daniel Kern face lotion (from, which was recommended to me from someone at Sephora actually, after I tried a Murad lotion that temporarily ruined my skin – I still have nightmares!), and a little jojoba oil at night. I may also start using coconut oil around my eyes since people seem to think it prevents wrinkles.
      I just picked up some Bare Minerals matte powder today, so I’m crossing my fingers for no weird skin reactions! Their blush looked really pretty. I may switch from my Nars blush if my skin likes the Bare Minerals powder. :)

  8. Jessie says

    I have been slowly transitioning my make-up and skin products to natural and paraben-free options as well. I really like bareMinerals and tarte for make-up and I’m a big fan of washing with baking soda and putting on coconut oil before bed. I started this routine a couple weeks ago and it’s really made a difference in my skin- more smooth and brighter. Some of the natural products still cause me rashes though- I tried a Yes to Tomatoes moisturizer and got terrible rashes on my face each time I used it.

    • says

      I’ve heard good things about exfoliating with baking soda, but hadn’t thought about using it as a face wash (it makes sense). Do you dilute it with water before you apply it to your face?
      Sorry about your reaction to the Yes to Tomatoes moisturizer! I know exactly what that’s like. My skin freaked out when I tried one from Mario Badescu and I basically didn’t leave my apartment for the better part of a week. Not fun!

      • Jessie says

        Yes, I use about a tsp of basking soda mixed with a tbsp or two of water in the palm of my hand. I don’t rub it too hard onto my face as I’ve heard that can cause irritation. Cheap, natural and easy!

        Face rashes, irritation and break outs are so not fun at all! Hope you’re able to find some products that keep your skin and you happy!

  9. says

    ohhh man, I just want to look at that pic of that cutie pie all day. I love the way puppies smell. 😉
    I barely wear make-up at all now that I stay at home. I both love and hate it. Love it because its easy and hate it because it makes me feel kind of lazy. Silly huh.
    When I do wear make up I put on just a little bare minerals and some mascara. That’s it.
    I’m doing some giveaways on my blog this week (starting today) I would love it if you would stop by and check them out. Not sure if its anything you would be interested in, but you never know! 😉

    • says

      I feel the same way about makeup! It’s weird to go from wearing it every day to hardly wearing it at all. It’s kind of a luxury though, and definitely a time-saver!
      I will make sure to stop by your blog! I saw that it’s your 1 year blogiversary – CONGRATS!!!

  10. says

    Yikes! I hope that you do find the source of what’s making you break out, etc. BUT at the same time- I hope it’s not gluten! I think that being a gluten-free vegan would be super tough. I mean, it’s doable… but just a lot of work!

    I like Bare Minerals, like some mentioned about, but LOVE anything made by Dr. Hauschka ( and my absolute favorite is Mineral Fusion. I just switched to their powder after using Bare Minerals for a while, and like it better. And their shampoo is my absolute favorite in the world.

    • says

      Thanks for the recommendations! I was initially really bummed at the thought of not eating gluten. I have an emotional attachment to being vegan, but eating gluten-free AND vegan just seemed like a pain. I’ve sort of settled into it this week and my skin is already better – no itchy rashes! So, assuming it is the gluten that’s been giving me issues, having clear skin will be worth it. Plus, it will probably encourage me to eat better when I’m not at home!
      I’ll check out your product recommendations – I hadn’t heard of those brands!

  11. Anya says

    I use to use BareMinerals when I shopped at major stores, but since I have transitioned to smaller stores and more localized companies I prefer The Body Shop.

    If you check out their websites The Body Shop breaks down what their company supports and what they do/don’t use in their makeup. I am still hunting through BareEscentuals’ site (they have the BareMinerals line).

    The Body Shop has stores dedicated to their product where you can test them and ask the retailers specific questions depending on your skin type. I found that the makeup isn’t ridiculously expensive and the customer service is definitely a perk.

    As far as face scrub/moisturizer… I use sea salt and olive oil in the shower. I get compliments on my complexion all the time and I often get a look of disbelief when I tell them what I use.

    And I also had a severe reaction to the YesTo products. What a bummer!

    • says

      Thanks, Anya! I’ll look into The Body Shop products (there’s one right up the street from me) and I’ll definitely be staying away from the YesTo products. Not worth the risk! haha

  12. Chris says

    Try Jane Iredale mineral based make-ups…the only FDA approved make-up you can buy. Everyone who tries it loves it and never goes back to anything else. It’s the highest quality mineral-based makeup you can buy.

  13. Jody says

    Have you tried any Lush products? They’re Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.. Some of the products are vegan as well. I love Imperialis Moisturizer… It’s a little on the expensive side but you use so little.. It’ll last a long time!


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