A Wish For You

The holidays are here once again, and the frenzy is upon us. Cooking, baking, wrapping…oh my! So as we run around, trying to create the perfect, memorable day I have just one wish for you.

I wish you peace.

The peace of being surrounded by love ones.

The peace of a quiet evening by the tree.

The peace of sitting on the couch and watching your favorite movie.

The peace found when you take a step back, let go a little, and breathe.

The wrapping doesn’t have to be magazine picture ready. One type of cookie is fine. And let all those people who offer to help with dinner actually help. Because what gets remembered isn’t the trappings. What gets remembered are the moments of quiet. The feeling of peace.

May you have a holiday surrounded by those you wish to spend time with and full of memorable moments of peace.

Merry Christmas!

All About: Tamanu Oil

Welcome to the first in our ‘All About’ series, where we take a look at some of the amazing natural ingredients available out there.

So many of the ‘new and exciting’ natural ingredients we hear about actually aren’t new…but they are exciting. As conventional science begins to study traditional remedies, they are finding a plethora of quantifiable benefits. This is particularly true of Tamanu Oil.

The evergreen tree with fragrant white flowers that produces the oil is native to the tropics, although it can be found in Africa and North America as well today. Known as Alexandrian Laurel, Borneo Mahogany, Beautyleaf, Doomba, Tamanu, Kamanu, and Faraha among other names, it produces oblong fruits approximately 2 inches long. The kernel of this fruit is dried on a rack and then mechanically pressed to produce a thick, rich, deep green oil with a pleasantly nutty smell. This is a fixed, or carrier oil and absorbs into the skin completely and leaves no residue.

While the oil has traditionally been used topically to treat burns, scars, and infected wounds, until 2015 there had not been many studies done to verify these claims. The 2015 study verified that Tamanu Oil did in fact cause wounds to heal 1.3 to 2.1 times faster, and was also effective against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Not only that, but it was effective at dilutions below 1%.

So what does that mean for us? Well, it means that products containing Tamanu Oil are ideal for wounded or problematic skin. Chapping, minor cuts and burns, acne, and irritated or inflamed skin can all benefit. In addition, its natural anti-bacterial properties make it an excellent addition to deodorants.

Have you ever used Tamanu Oil? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!

Sources:  The Wound Healing and Antibacterial Activity of Five Ethnomedical Calophyllum inophyllum Oils: An Alternative Therapeutic Strategy to Treat Infected Wounds 

Oil of Tamanu:

Power of the Seed by Susan M. Parker                                                                                            

Modern Cosmetics Ingredients of Natural Origin A Scientific View Volume 1                                

This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Better Smell, Better Sex?

I think we can all agree that it is easier to focus on enjoying an intimate experience with a partner when both of you smell nice.  Most healthy and functional people don’t consider the scent of old shoes or a gym bag left in the back seat too long an aphrodisiac (not judging if you do…just saying).

Depending on which article you read, there are between 5 and 7 stinkiest parts of the body that need particular attention. The “big 2” most people have in hand:  the hair and the mouth.  Washing your hair and brushing your teeth have proven to be really good ideas, not just for an enjoyable evening encounter, but as a basic expectation of being in public (except for the emergency run to the grocery store in pajamas and slippers, which is allowed 4x / year).  There are a host of really good all natural options for both shampoos and toothpastes on the market today.  In addition,  natural food stores often carry several options of essential oil breath sprays that can help battle the side effect of your coffee addiction – and may even offer some anti-viral benefits.  I, for example, like an oregano oil based spray which I use before bed each evening, and before singing at church.  

The other stink zones, in no particular order, are the underarms, feet, and groin, with honorable mentions by the neck and ears.  I am going to throw in the under-boobs here as well, which while escaping most mainstream areas of attention, can (especially in later years of maturity) accumulate sweat and ‘funk’. While underarm deodorants are prevalent, there is a reason most name brand deodorants don’t strongly recommend applying them to your groin, boobs, and feet. First and foremost, many deodorants contain components too harsh for these sensitive areas of your body.  Many natural deodorants, while being free of harsh synthetic ingredients use high concentrations of baking soda as the primary bacterial fighting component, which in itself can be pretty harsh on the skin. Beyond deodorants to anti-perspirants… blocking perspiration isn’t the best idea for your body. It is accepted only as a necessary evil…a willing sacrifice of health for the sake of social acceptability.  Finally, who wants to contaminate their stick deodorant with toe, crotch or butt jam? Nobody…thats who. 

There are a couple of conventions when considering nether sweat and foot funk…application of corn starch, to help dry and contain sweat, and an avoidance of over “perfuming” the sensitive areas to cover the stink without addressing the underlying issue: fungal or bacterial odor generation.  Beyond corn starch, there are some specialty formulated talc, calamine powder blends used by runners and marketed as a better baby powder alternative.

There are, however, natural cream deodorants that offer some advantages worthy of consideration beyond use in the armpit.  Look for products with minimal baking soda concentrations, and those that use arrowroot (a common alternative to cornstarch in “gentle” baby powder alternatives). Additionally, look for creams that use mild concentrations of anti bacterial and anti fungal essential oils, and avoid synthetic fragrances. These essential oils not only offer fresh scents, but serve as a mechanism to fight the actual odor creating bacteria. Finally, cream deodorants offer a potential advantage in application.  While I would never offer to help my wife apply stick deodorant to her under arms,  I am more than willing to help in the application of a soft cream for under boob and ‘upper thigh’ area sweat.  As to foot sweat…some partners like massaging feet and some don’t.  Your mileage may vary, but it’ s worth asking.

Wishing you…

My family starts arriving this week, which means I won’t post again until the new year. I want to take this time to say thank you for reading,  and share some of my wishes for you. See you in January!

I wish you (in no particular order):



Children that go to bed early on Christmas Eve



The ability to eat ALL the holiday treats without consequence



A family dinner without drama



Pants with elastic waistbands

Time with family

Time with friends

A parking spot and empty register line at the shops

Merry Christmas!




The Clean Beauty Conundrum

Clean. It seems to be the word of the decade. Clean eating, clean living, and now clean beauty. The problem is, no one can seem to agree on what it actually means. Ask one person, and it means washing with soap and lukewarm water and using coconut oil as a moisturizer. Ask another and it means going makeup free. Ask for a third opinion, and be informed that it means everything that touches your skin should be 100% natural.

So what the heck is it? What is ‘clean’?

That, my dears, is the conundrum.

Clean beauty is…well, subjective. There are



Sixteen years ago, I was 8 months pregnant with my youngest. My husband called me on his way to work, said to turn on the news, and I watched the towers fall. Sixteen years ago, a friend was supposed to be on one of those planes. By the grace of God, he caught an earlier flight and was safe. Sixteen years ago, a friend’s husband was supposed to be at a meeting in the twin towers and was running late for the first time in his life. He was safe. Some of his colleagues weren’t. Sixteen years ago, firefighters, policemen, and people from the street worked frantically to save as many as they could.

Today we remember and honor the lost, the rescuers, and the survivors. Today we remember what hatred can do, and how love responds. Today we choose love.

10 Things You Might Not Know About B.O.

Body odor. It’s an odd thing to make a list about. But when you sell a natural deodorant cream, people expect you to know things. Weird things. Disturbing things. Gross things. Things that once known can never be unknown…

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So in honor of all things sweaty and stinky, here are 10 things you may not (want) to know about B.O.


To preserve, or not to preserve…

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If I were Shakespeare, I would continue on with “…That is the question.”

But I am not Shakespeare, and it’s really not a question.

Preservatives have gotten a bad reputation. And let’s be honest, many of them deserve it.


Signs of Aging? Nah – those are Signs of Living!

Go into your local store and you see it. Row upon row of beautifully packaged potions all claiming to ‘Reduce visible signs of aging!’, or ‘Erase fine lines and wrinkles!’ or some other phrase designed to make you insecure and shell out mega bucks for the promise of looking eternally young.

I admit, I’m a sucker for those fancy packages and slick marketing.

I gaze on them, pick them up and read all the wonderful descriptions and fancifully named active ingredients, dream about having the perfect, wrinkle free, smooth skin that only this product…or maybe that one…or what about this system?…can provide. But why?