Best Beauty Buys at Trader Joe’s

When Trader Joe’s opened three (!) stores here in Colorado everyone was buzzing- even those who had never stepped foot into one were excited to see what all the hype was about. I knew what I was in for having lived in Arizona and California where I enjoyed all that TJ’s has to offer, but the things I was most excited about weren’t food (or wine..) related at all. It’s the cheap face washes, soaps, lotions, and oils in their concise beauty aisle. Here’s a rundown of a few along with their can’t-beat prices.

Top to bottom, left to right:

Spa Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil: This light castile-like soap cleanses skin and leaves a tingly fresh feeling behind from the tea tree. It’s a great basic cleanser for day and night and all skin types.

Moisturizing Shave Cream: This is one of my favorite shave creams. It’s so rich that a tiny amount goes a long way, this tube will last me several months.

Nourish Spray Sunscreen SPF 50: You can’t do much better than $6 for a big can of SPF 50. You can spray down the whole family all summer long.

100% Pure Jojoba Oil: I LOVE this oil so much that I used to buy several of and bring them back to Colorado whenever we’d visit CA. I don’t know what it is about this body oil but it’s a perfect balance of hydration and slip. You can even rub it on your eyes to pre-cleanse to remove eye makeup or use it on your face. It’s that good.

All-In-One Facial Cleanser: I haven’t used this cleanser but at $6, another great deal.

Coconut Body Butter: I bought this and I’m obsessed. The smell of coconut is intoxicating to me and this has a balanced scent that’s sweet and tropical.  It’s the best bargain I saw, $5 for a body butter that’s normally sold for $20 at other stores. A must-have for sure.

Nourish Oil-Free Antioxidant Moisturizer: A good, lightweight all-purpose moisturizer for those who are looking for something basic and effective.

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Vegan Aussie Bites

My fave food blog is at it again! Oh My Veggies inspires me daily with delicious and simple recipes often using ingredients I already have on hand. It’s a vegetarian blog but even meat lovers can enjoy her full flavored creations.

A few weeks ago when I saw their recipe for Aussie Bites inspired by the ones you buy at Costco (and nowhere else apparently) and I knew I had to make them. This version is gluten free, refined sugar free, and made with just a few pulses in the processor.

I used maple agave instead of maple syrup and dried cranberries as the fruit instead of raisins and apricots. So easy and way better than Aussie Bites because they’re less sweet but have more flavor. I’ll be making them instead of buying them from now on for sure!

Find the recipe HERE

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Benchic: The Best Chocolate I’ve Had!

Ah chocolate…

As a lifelong professed ‘chocoholic’ my taste in the sweet stuff has evolved over the years along with my tastes in most foods. In the course of 12 or so years, I’ve gone from a McDonald’s eating, sometimes cigarette smoking, never excersizing, meat and potatoes kinda girl to a vegetarian who’s always looking for better ways to feed my family healthy and delicious foods. (Follow my Pinterest board HERE to see the yummy recipes I’m trying!) After all of the effort I put into eating great stuff, it doesn’t make sense to eat a Snickers anymore. That sort of candy doesn’t even interest me, it’s overly sweet- and it’s filled with a bunch of scary chemicals (which you can read more about HERE.) So what does someone with a sweet tooth do when a chocolate craving takes hold? Thank God for Benchic.

I was introduced to Benchic through Dhru over at the Clean Program, a wellness ninja and really great guy who loves connecting people interested in health and healing. What I found was a company making delicious handmade chocolate that’s minimally processed and actually good for you. When I bit into my first square, I felt like I was tasking chocolate for the first time. It really is that amazing. The basis for the chocolates is raw cacao powder which has all sorts of huge health benefits like being high in magnesium, fiber, and iron. Their chocolate squares are silky and rich so just a bite after dinner is just enough to make me happy which is how it should be. I’d much rather nibble on these decadent and good-for-you treats (that lasted about a month at our house), than pay $4 for a bag of chemical-laden junk that makes me feel terrible. Companies like this that I’ve been lucky enough to come across have changed the way I think about what I put into my body and how much. We really shouldn’t be eating a whole box of crackers or whatever in one sitting, but cheap food sold in giant boxes suggest otherwise. These chocolates are such simple and delicious treats that will satisfy both a sweet tooth and a desire for better health.

benchic

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My Hair Is STILL Falling Out: Living Proof Haircare & Sibu to the Rescue

Of course I’ve totally fallen in love with Living Proof haircare – it’s expensive and I have to go to Ulta or Sephora to get it. However it’s one of those rare lines I want to shout from the rooftop about because it’s so crazy good. It’s magic, a game changer in the industry, and something you should try. In the short time I’ve used it my static is gone, my hair looks fuller, and I have to remind myself when it’s been 3 days to wash it because it always looks (and smells!) freshly washed. Their technology is so advanced that their shampoos help hair to repel dirt and oil so it stays cleaner longer and the conditioners improve hair’s health over time. This stuff isn’t just to wash and style, it’s a long term solution to get your hair healthy and looking great.

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And speaking of hair…

Mine is totally falling out still. In huge clumps. Everyday for 4 months. Last time (meaning last time I had a baby which was just a year and a half ago) it fell out for 6 months. It was just starting to grow back when I got pregnant again so it never fully recovered which makes this current loss even worse.

Here’s a shot of me from last weekend (left) and one from just a few years ago. Such a difference in the texture, sheen, and thickness of my hair. You can see around my part how thick it once was. *Sigh*

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Instead of relying on topical treatments alone, I’m also starting to take Sea Buckthorn from Sibu – the makers of that oil I use on my face. Their liquid supplement and Cellular Support with Omega 7 softgels both use sea buckthorn berry which is naturally rich in vitamins and omegas to nourish skin and promote growth of hair and nails. Ever since Dr Oz talked about its ability to signal the body to stop storing fat- making it a natural weight loss aid of sorts- sea buckthorn has become hugely popular.

So, longer hair, healthy skin, strong nails, and it melts fat? It’s like Gisele in a bottle. Bottoms up.

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Get Jennifer Aniston’s White Sneakers

I saw this pic of Jennifer Aniston recently and knew I had to have whatever shoes she was wearing. It’s such a cute look and very ‘her’ just a notch above casual, which is also as it turns out, very ‘me’ as well.

Luckily FabSugar.com had her whole outfit deconstructed so I found out her shoes were by a line I’d never heard of called Superga. I ordered the white ones from Zappos.com but had to hold myself back from ordering them in every fun shade they offered. Their color selection is so fun.

I’ll wear them as she did, with cuffed jeans and other cropped summer pants. They’re neater than flip flops and add more style than Converse. I’m so excited they were only $65!

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Jessica Alba and the Case for Wearing Corsets

If this woman can have the world’s smallest waist by wearing a corset for the last 15 years, then Jessica Alba’s recent confession about getting her waistline back in order after kids by wearing a corset seems likely.

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Alba told Net-A-Porter mag, “After birth I wore a double corset for three months. It was sweaty but worth it.”

I had a similar experience after the birth of my daughter when I wore a hospital issued binder to keep my cesarian incision compressed and comfortable. I instinctively wore it round the clock for months just for relief but my stomach did get back to its normal state fairly quickly. (Of course Tracy Anderson’s post-baby workout helped too, but I waited 6 weeks to heal before doing any exercise.)

Hourglass Angel has corsets and waist sinchers especially for this sort of thing. Next time around I think I’ll grab something like this that’s made especially for waist slimming which might offer better support for my incision as well.

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