Archive for December, 2011

December 10, 2011

winter necessities

Since the high temperature in Minneapolis was 9f on Thursday, I thought it might be time to share my favorite winter products used for fighting a dry, Minnesota December, January, February, etc… Once I pull out the Uggs, I know it’s time to update my bathroom with minty, organic products to keep those cold, winter conditions off my skin and outta my hair!

1. Alba Botanica Very Emollient Body Lotion: I’ve been using this lotion for years mainly because I love how it smells (the “unscented” smells much better than scented) but also because the jojoba, sesame and avocado oils keep my skin looking more porcelain than paper maché  as winter rolls in (available at Whole Foods and local co-ops).

2. TwinLab Na-PCA Spray: I just started using this spray last winter and let me tell you – it is AMAZING! If I’m feeling lazy, I’ll just use this (no lotion) and it never fails. I know the exterior doesn’t look very fancy, but this stuff is like a dry-skin miracle in a bottle! The ability of skin to hold moisture is directly related to its Na-PCA content, which pulls water out of the air, moisturizing the skin. I told you it was amazing (available at local co-ops and at online drugstores).

3. Burt’s Bees Chapstick: Who doesn’t use this stuff? With Vitamin E and peppermint, it’s like a little facial for you lips. Tingly too! (available basically everywhere)

4. Aveda Botanical Kinetics Purifying Cream Cleanser: I love this face wash as an alternative to my exfoliating cleanser. It’s mild and gentle on my skin, which is why I like to use it in the winter when my face is getting beat up by below-zero temperatures. And it’s Aveda, so … what’s not to love? (available at JUUT)

5. Aveda Active Composition Oil: I started using Aveda’s Active Composition oil a few years ago when I first got into yoga. I initially bought it to help soothe my sore yoga muscles, but now I love to use it in a hot bath when it’s freezing outside or even as a body oil in the shower. It makes my winter skin soft and supple. The Composition oil comes in other “flavors” but Active is my favorite because of its wintergreen and menthol essences. There’s something about the cooling + heating sensations that I love during the dead of winter (available at JUUT).

6. Kiss My Face Eucalyptus Menthol Bath & Shower Gel: My love of mint in the winter stems from a mother that loved Vix Vapor Rub, so if I can get that smell in a daily product, let me at it! Aside from the lovely aroma, this body wash contains olive oil and aloe vera making it a winter skin must (available at Whole Foods, local co-ops, and Walgreens)!

7. Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Face Lotion: I use Weleda Wild Rose Face Lotion year round to increase the vitality of my skin and for added softness. It’s extra beneficial in the winter due to the gentle, but effective jojoba and rosehip seed oil that keep everything moisturized (available at Whole Foods and local co-ops).

8. Aveda Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser: Jojoba once again! This cleanser uses exfoliating jojoba beads which I find helps eliminate dry, winter skin. It also contains creamy mango butter which makes my skin feel oh so soft! And it smells awesome – more like summer (fruit), but by this point my nose could use something other than peppermint! (available at JUUT)

9. Dr. Bronner’s Organic Body Balm in (of course) Peppermint: I was first introduced to Dr. Bronner’s Body Balm after receiving my latest tattoo at Crimson Heart Designs. The balm protects the tattooed area of your skin and helps it heal faster which is exactly why it is extremely beneficial for fighting dry skin conditions. In the winter when your knuckles are chapped or you have that annoying dry patch on your bicep, use Dr. Bronner’s Body Balm (also good for keeping elbows extra soft)! After using the Body Balm on the effected area for two – three days, you will definitely notice an improvement in your skins conditions (available at Crimson Heart Designs and online).

10. Aveda Color Conserve Shampoo: Breaking news – I color my hair. Once fall hits, I like my hair to be dark and rich, so to keep it from fading I use Color Conserve. The lovely smell of this shampoo is made from 100% organic aroma which makes me want to use it even more (available at JUUT).

11. Aveda Damage Remedy Restructuring Conditioner: This is a MUST-have all year round, but especially in the winter when most of our hair looks like it needs a big glass of water. You’ve heard that quinoa is good for your body? Well, this conditioner uses quinoa protein to keep your hair strong and resist the breakage caused by cold, dry, winter weather (available at JUUT).

*This information is purely opinion – I am not a licensed esthetician, dermatologist, etc.

December 5, 2011

cookie party

I got a jump start on adding that extra layer this weekend at the first annual Christmas Cookie party.  The girls and I gathered ingredients, recipes, all sorts of goodies, and baked away the afternoon. I was hoping baby Stoks had a sweet tooth and was going to venture out amidst all the cookies, but he actually didn’t bother.  Amy has about 3-1/2 weeks to go (babe is due on Christmas Day) but I swore he told me he was planning to come out this week.


After successfully dipping pretzels, rolling oreo balls, laying caramel, sprinkling cookies and placing kisses, we each ended up with about 5-dozen treats to take home! Needless to say, none of our husbands / boyfriends / buddies minded the 5 hours we spent in the kitchen.  This year was the first year we all got together to bake cookies, but I can guarantee you it will be happening again. The six of us seem to always come up with new traditions at this time of year. We’ve been having “Critchmas” for over 10 years now, last year started our annual ornament exchange (hiiiilarious!), and this year kicked off the cookie party. Every time I look at all of us and think about how we have grown from skinny little swimmer girls to mature working women, wives, and mothers, I am so thankful to have friends like this. Despite the craziness of life, we have somehow managed to stay as close as we were before boys, babies, and bills. This new tradition was a perfect start to this sweet season with some super sweet sisters!

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