Education · essential oils · food · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten free · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerant · health · henna · Herbs · natural beauty products · organic · supplements

New Blog Address

Hello everyone! I’ve been quiet here lately b/c I’ve been working on a new blog site which I can’t wait to share with you. I started Spice of Life Blog right after finishing grad school when I just wanted a place to write again in a way that wasn’t in the grad school genre and reclaim my personal voice. Now I’m ready to start putting more time into a blog and although I thought about just reworking this space a bit, it quickly became clear I needed a new look, new categories, new everything, and so instead of a remodel, I guess I’m moving houses. I so hope you’ll join me!

Much like this one, my new blog will be about herbs, food intolerances (both managing and healing them), essential oils, natural foods/products, and green beauty. In the future I hope to have links to other herbalists and wellness practitioners around the world as a kind of virtual healing center resource. I also intend to offer herbal classes and tutorials there as well, and perhaps even some products. This is just the beginning and I hope to see you there at my new site, Botanical Alchemy & Apothecary. Please subscribe and let me know what you think about the new look. I’m still in the setting up phase and welcome suggestions.

XOXO, Kristen

PS~ If you know anyone else who is interested in herbs, essential oils, food intolerances, natural foods and products, and green beauty, please share the address: www.botanicalalchemyandapothecary.com with them. I can’t wait to have a community of like-minded people sharing ideas and growing and learning together.

Happy October everyone!

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cosmetics · essential oils · health · henna · Herbs · natural beauty products

Natural Salon/Spa

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This is what I dream about making~ an all-natural salon and spa which only uses chemical-free dyes with henna and herbs,all natural hair products, and spa services with all botanical ingredients, nothing artificial or questionable or unpronounceable. I don’t know why these don’t exist already actually but I’ve searched and can’t find any place that is completely chemical free. Henna dying takes longer, so there would have to be WiFi so people can work while their hair color settles, and an organic coffee and juice bar for sure, and also the ability to do mani/pedis or other services to use the time well. I’d have all natural products to browse too, and be a real stickler on only bringing in the cleanest of the clean beauty companies out there, and really there has never been a better time for this because so many people are concerned about what is in their products that they slather on their bodies each day or soaks into their hair on a regular basis. Aveda started out trying to be as all-natural as possible, but if you look at their products now they may have a botanical component but the larger part is factory made chemicals. The book No More Dirty Looks discusses Aveda founder (the late) Horst M. Rechelbacher’s disappointment in what Aveda became after selling it to Estée Lauder. He went on to create Intelligent Ingredients  which went back to his all natural philosophy. The website for No More Dirty Looks is a great place to get good information for health and beauty products but I highly recommend reading the book if you are concerned at all about what is lurking in your daily beauty routine. I think it’s time to take these cosmetic industry concerns beyond the bathroom and level up to the salons and spas we use. It’s the ‘natural’ next step.

cosmetics · health · Herbs · modern life · natural beauty products

Natural Beauty vs. Toxic Beauty

I’m a sucker for a good infographic, especially one that details something I’m interested in and natural, healthy beauty is definitely on my priorities list. There are so many healthy alternatives to the toxic nastiness passed off as beauty products that it doesn’t make sense to put something poisonous, even just potentially poisonous, on our bodies and hair and nails. Make-up, masks, spa routines, and herbal enhancements have been around since ancient times so there is a wealth of history and tradition to draw upon when it comes to modern beauty routines, but we humans seem to have a tendency to want to replicate nature whenever we can to lessen costs, get a patent on it, “improve” upon it (though our bodies innately recognize what is natural and what is not), and therefore make more money. With these things on my mind, I’ve decided to start using Henna on my hair instead of the usual dye. (My brown hair has a large percentage of white or else I wouldn’t dye it at all, but I’m not ready for grey hair just yet, not when there is natural alternative anyway!) I’ll post my results soon because Henna has a bad rap which I think is truly undeserved because I’m feeling pretty positive about it so far. You’ll have to come back and tell me what you think. In the meantime, check out this infographic from Delicious Living and maybe think about what is in your cabinet that could be replaced with something that truly makes you feel beautiful and healthy. Once you discover how instinctively natural products work with your body you’ll never go back to triclosan and phthalates again. And I guarantee your hair, nails, and skin will thank you.

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cosmetics · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities

Natural Face Products

First of all, if you are new to natural beauty products, I highly recommend reading No More Dirty Looks or at least checking out their website. The authors, Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, have not only done the research of a whole team’s worth of people, they have also crowd sourced favorites and rare-finds from their readers and you can get all that information on their site. If you want to try a new natural foundation for example, you can read what people like best and at least have a starting point on what to try first. (And then you can add your own two cents.) I’m just going to write about two products now that I’ve recently been using, one is new and one is something I only use in the non-summer months, and when I realized that they are both by Alba Botancia I thought I’d write about them because their products are quite unique.

All my life I’ve been told I have ‘olive skin’. What do you think when you hear ‘olive skin’? Naturally on the darker side, right? Skin that tans easily and doesn’t burn~ yes, but have you ever thought about that term, ‘olive skin’…? I didn’t until I moved to a place where my skin didn’t see sun for 8-9 months of the year and that’s when it dawned on me that olive skin is called that for a reason.

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That’s not too far from my winter skin color, though add a touch more grey to the green and that’d be closer to it. I envy those with either porcelain white skin or naturally brown skin because both look lovely no matter the season. My skin looks seriously sickly when the sun doesn’t shine and living in the Seattle area means I’ve had to look for some help. I’m not about to go into a tanning booth and I’ve heard bad stories about spray tanning so luckily there is a natural sunless tanner that actually works really well~

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This sunless tanner is awesome and in the natural products realm, a rare find. I only use it about once a week because any more than that and people start asking me from what tropical place I just cam back from. It’s not expensive either, which is always a nice bonus.

The other product of Alba’s which I believe is fairly new that I’ve been using almost daily is this under eye cream:

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This works well although it comes out quite light and bright so I definitely need to add an all-over moisturizing tint to my face when I use this. (I like Dr.Hauschka’s tinted day cream the best.) It takes an awful lot of lightness and brightness to combat the blue/purple bags I guess. By the way, people with food allergies and/or sensitivities, including kids, are especially prone to the dark eye circles phenomenon. And now that you know that it’s going to be hard not to look at kids with those huge dark bags and not tell their parents to go get them food allergy tested so sorry about that~ but maybe it’ll help someone.

So those are my moving-into-winter essentials…what are yours?