Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info

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Free Thought Fridays: Know when you need a plan


Sometimes life can throw a curve ball to you. Most of us become lost, confused and frustrated. At times like these I like to sit down and write out a plan. It can start by writing down the current situation and then what I would like the end result to be. Then I can brainstorm things that can get me to the end result. I like to write anything that comes into my head, no matter how silly or out of this world it might sound. Thinking outside the box is exciting and helps relieve the doldroms of life. Making a plan can be applied to almost any situation. For example, a recent high school graduate is trying to decide what to study at university so they can get the job they want. So this person could write down the subjects they’re interested in and then brainstorm jobs that could be related. Then they can look at how in demand that job is currently or will be in the future. They can also look at jobs that are in a related field for broader reach. That’s just one example of how planning can help you. But my point is, when you don’t know to do with your life, know when you need to make a plan. When you’re frustrated, you can’t think straight and your mind will tend to jump all over the place for a solution. So take a deep breath (or more), take stock of where you are, where you want to end up and make a plan. When you start seeing the steps you need to take in order to make your goal a reality, you will feel prepared to deal with what comes along. Another good thing about having a plan is that when others try to dissuade you from your goal, you can make some valid points as to what you will do to make it happen. That in turn will help you to feel more confident about where you’re going.

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Product Review: @laveraorganic Lavera Style and Care Gel


Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Alcohol* , Sucrose* , Dehydroxanthan Gum, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract* , Shellac, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil* , Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract* , Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract (Sea Buckthorn)* , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil* , Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Vegetable Oil (Olus Oil), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter* , Olea Europaea (Oilve) Fruit Oil* , Hydrogenated Lecithin, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract* , Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract* , Tilia Cordata Flower Extract* , Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Fragrance (Essential Oils)** * indicates Certified Organic Ingredients

I wanted to love this clear gel. I bought it mainly for my brows but I’ve also been using this for my lashes. It makes my lashes clump together so I have to comb it through to ensure its being evenly spread. As for formulation there are some good ingredients in here for thickening and moisturizing the lashes. But I’m not sure why Lavera felt this product needed alcohol because it takes away from the moisturizing ingredients. Scent-wise, there is a very light, almost herbal smell to this clear gel which can be used as a mascara or brow groomer. It has a double ended brush for both lash and brow (see image below). The only thing I don’t like about the smell is that I can smell the alcohol in it. The mascara is clear, and feels cool going on my lashes. I won’t be repurchasing this product again. It doesn’t do much for my lashes and brows so I would rather spend $20.00 on something else.

Cost: $19.99 CAD, 9 ml / 0.3 oz
Available At: (CAD) Big Carrot, True Natural, (UK) Pravera, Ecco Verde, (USA) Amazon.com
Rating: 3/5

Have you tried Lavera’s Style and Care Gel? What did you think of it?

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Spotlight on: Flowers to Fragrance @f2fragrance

Note: Logo and farm images are from the Flowers to Fragrance website.

I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Morris of Flowers to Fragrance at the Green Living Show this year when I bought their lavender cleanser. He told me how he came from a family of farmers from Manitoba and about their passion for growing lavender (among other plants). Since they are a small company and wanted to get their name out to the green blogger community, I asked Nick if I could interview him. He happily agreed and I hope you all enjoy this interview. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live and work on a farm such as this!

Introduction to company:

Flowers to Fragrance is a fully functional farm and natural beauty shop run by the Morris family. They grow 20 different varieties of lavender as well as other medicinal and aromatic plants for essential oil. Aubrey and Shirley Morris have been growing lavender for nearly 9 years in Ontario, Canada. You can read more about their inspiring story here.

    Did the prospect of moving the farm from Manitoba to Ontario ever seem too daunting a task to complete?

    Yes it was daunting. As well as moving personal belongings we also had to dig up hundreds of plants, some lavender that had survived the Manitoba winters but a lot of Bee Balm. The Bee Balm essential oil is high in geraniol and is sought after by perfumers. We made many journeys to and from the two Provinces in vehicles packed with plants, pretty funny when I think of it now.

    I think it was very clever of you to match the right plant to the right growing conditions, even though that probably took more time, effort and money. How long did it take to find the right plants for each part of your land?

    We didn’t always get it right. We lost hundreds of plants during the first winter/spring. It’s a nail-biting time during early spring when fluctuating temperatures can cause much damage to lavender.

    Was it always your aim to open up a natural beauty shop? Or did that idea evolve over time?

    After extracting essential oil from the plants it seemed a natural development to be able to share these wonderful oils in products we now sell. It was a chance meeting with aromatherapist Jan Benham that put us on the path of completely natural skin care.

    What one ingredient or product would you never, ever use and why?

    Anything that is artificial.

    What kind of image or message do you want Flowers to Fragrance to evoke in people?

    People should know where their products come from. Our customers have the opportunity to experience a working essential oil farm in Ontario. They can see the actual plants that make our products smell the way they do…fresh and fragrant.

    What are your upcoming plans for Flowers to Fragrance?

    Well we’re back in Toronto for the Total Health Show on the 17th of April. We’re working hard to bring the essence of the farm to the city. Our goal is to make our high quality skin care line accessible to Toronto and the rest of Canada.

My thanks to Nick for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions. I’m currently testing out their lavender cleansing lotion and really enjoying it! There you have it folks! Now get yourself on the Flowers to Fragrance to peruse their lovely products and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest! If you live in Ontario, you can tour their farm in person!

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The @yogaconference 2015


This past Saturday I went to the Yoga Conference with a friend to do a class on The Energy Body and Dragon Dance (see description below). It was my first time to attend the conference and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. I didn’t know anything about the Dragon Dance and some parts were quite challenging for me. But at the end I felt exhilarated, relaxed and peaceful. I slept really well that night. I just wanted to share with everyone how much fun the class was and some of the booths I visited.


The Energy Body & The Dragon Dance
Instructor: Bernie Clark

In this class we will dance with the dragon to stimulate the flow of energy throughout the whole body and remove any granthis, which are impediments to that flow. There are many different ways to model the flow of energy through our body: there is the Indian yogic map, the Chinese Daoist map and there are the continually developing Western medical maps. In our dance we will briefly touch on each map to see which one you may resonate with most deeply. This class is not intended to focus on theory, however, but on the experience of energy.

Toronto AcuBirthing
A shout out to my acupuncturist JoAnn Alafriz who was at the Toronto AcuBirthing booth. She’s amazing! If you need acupuncture, shiatsu, craniosacral, Tui-na therapy please see her website for more information.

Bee Keeper’s Naturals

I bought the propolis spray from these guys who were right next to Giddy Yo Yo. My friend bought a jar of raw honey from them as well. Carly and I had a very interesting conversation about yoga, reiki and bees. We’re going to do a little experiment with the bees to see how they respond. So stay tuned for updates on that in the future! Daniel, Carly, it was a pleasure to meet you. Your passion for the bees was palpable and profound. Most people don’t realize how valuable bees are to pollinating our plants and how effective they are at doing it. We need to make sure that the bees do not continue dying off at the rates they are.

Giddy Yo Yo

I had a sample of their raw chaga tea just before the class and it was really great! I’ll have to buy a bag soon!

Healthy Planet

Bought a Pure Hydration bottle from here that has a tea strainer & ice cube blocker with it. I like this bottle because I can also use it for infusing fruit! I’ve been drinking lots of lemon water lately and it would be nice to add in some other flavours.

Joyous Health

I have to give a shout out to Joy McCarthy whom I met at her booth at the show. Joy has some great health and nutrition tips. I have her book and it’s a great reference book to have around. When I love things I just have to spread the word around!

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods

I have their hemp hearts and love love love them!

As you can see I didn’t buy much at the Yoga Conference. But I’ll be coming back next year for sure. I want do another class!

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Free Thought Fridays: Max Ehrmann Quote


Be gentle with yourself. It’s so true! We are often our worst critics. We often repeat the negative things that people have said to us over and over again in our minds. But why do we do this? That’s not to say that you shouldn’t own up to the consequences of your actions. But if you are constantly criticizing yourself for small petty things then maybe you should give yourself a break. You don’t criticize the trees for shedding their leaves in fall. It’s just what they do. It’s a part of what being a tree is. Similarly, remember that you’re only human. You don’t need to be everything to everyone. You don’t have to be anything but yourself. Someone will love you for who you are. If they don’t, recognize that you can’t please everyone and accept that you are worth enough in your own right. In a physical sense you can also be gentle with yourself by taking care of your body. Feed your body nourishing foods, give it enough sleep and rest. When it wants to dance or move, let it do so. When you feel like singing or screaming let it out. I’m a fan of letting it out rather than bottling it up. You need to experience your emotions to process them and let them go. If that’s what you need to do then do it. That’s how you can be gentle with yourself: by acknowledging the totality of who you are and accepting it.


Product Review: Herbaceutikals Decongestion, Lip Balm and Body Butter

My thanks to the lovely Vibe Veda of Vibe’s Beauty and Jenevieve of Herbaceutikals for sending me these products.

Decongestion Vapour Rub

Ingredients: Cloves and cinnamon infused grapeseed oil blended with coconut oil, beeswax and essential oils (rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus and mints). 100% organic

Thank goodness I received this in the winter time. Herbaceutikals Decongestion Vapour Rub has been a godsend. I had a stuffed up nose a couple of times and putting this rub on my nose helped me to get over my cold much quicker than normal. This might be TMI (too much information), but putting the rub on my nose would make it run. Having a running nose would then prompt me to blow my nose. In this way the congestion and phlegm got expelled from my system much quicker than if I didn’t have this rub. Cloves, cinnamon and eucalyptus help to open the nasal passages, while grapeseed oil, coconut oil and beeswax nourish my skin and keep it moist. I didn’t get tissue paper burn from blowing my nose so often thanks to this rub. This rub can also be used for lung congestion by rubbing this into your back. I love love love this rub! It’s a great general purpose product to have around all the time. I think I will add this to my All Natural First Aid Kit! I would definitely repurchase this.

Cost: $14.00 USD, 28 g / 1 oz OR $18.95 CAD, 57 g / 2 oz
Available at: (USA)Vibe’s BeautyHerbaceutikals, (CAD) Indie Beauty Shop 
Rating: 5/5

Smooth On Lip Balm

Ingredients: Calendula, comfrey, lavender, plantain, yarrow, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, beeswax, and essential oils (a blend of mints). 100% organic

This balm is appropriately named. Smooth On promotes nice, smooth lips. I must have the Sahara Desert of lips because when I would use this balm my lips would absorb it completely and I would reapply all the time. After a week of doing this my lips finally reached their optimal hydration point and now I only have to reapply after I’ve eaten.  I love the simple and pure ingredients of this lip balm. There are some stellar ingredients in this balm. Calendula, comfrey, lavender, yarrow and plantain are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and promote healing of the skin. Then we have the skin moisturizers: olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax which help to keep the skin hydrated. The price is really reasonable as well. My only teensy weensy complaint is that the balm is quite soft. I’m not sure how this balm would fare living in my purse during the summer time. Will it melt? I’ll have to repurchase this balm in the future to find out!

Cost: $4.00 USD, 4 g / 0.15 oz
Available at: Vibe’s BeautyHerbaceutikals
Rating: 4/5

Body Butter

Ingredients: Shea butter, coconut oil, calendula infused extra virgin olive oil and a mild blend of essential oils (ginger and a blend of mints). 100% organic

What a lovely body butter! In the jar it looks grainy but melts immediately on contact with skin. This balm has no strong scents. I couldn’t smell much of anything besides the olive oil and shea butter smell. I wish I had a larger jar because this 4 oz one went pretty quickly. My skin soaked up this butter quickly and thoroughly. Calendula calms inflamed or irritated skin, and shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil are wonderful skin moisturizers.

Cost: $16.00 USD, 113 g / 4 oz
Available at: Vibe’s BeautyHerbaceutikals
Rating: 4/5

Products were provided for review but all opinions expressed are my own.


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