drunk elephant review

drunk elephant review

My birthday was last month and the freebie for it from Sephora was two Drunk Elephant minis. This is a brand that I was continuously seeing on social media and YouTube and even my best friend had splurged on their T.L.C Sakuri Babyfacial product. I had seen so many people raving about the skincare line how it had given them the best skin of their lives and I too wanted to try it. However, if you’re unfamiliar with this skincare brand (and if you’re into skincare you probably aren’t) then you know these are not drugstore priced products. And I just couldn’t rationalize spending $60 on one product when I could spend that same amount on three products. Or an outfit or a new toy and an outfit for my three year old daughter. It just wasn’t in my budget and part of me being a responsible adult. So, when I saw that it was a mini for my month I felt like it was fate and jumped on the chance to finally try the brand out.

What came in the birthday mini box was the Protini Polypeptide Cream and the Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser.

The Jelly Cleanser with cantaloupe glycerin honestly changed my life and mind about cleansers. I’m not gonna lie in my life of 27 years most of the cleansers I’ve used have been drugstore ones that were harsh and left my skin feeling dry. This is not that. Even after cleansing my skin didn’t feel dry but it did feel clean. I use the 60 second method and rub the cleanser for atleast 60 seconds into my skin paying close attention to my problem areas.

Besides the product being a game changer the packaging is really smart with a twist on and off top that keeps the jelly in the tube. I also got a months use out of this mini and was pleasantly surprised by this. I do plan on buying a full size of this next month. Plus the cleanser isn’t sticky like I find almost cleansers being. I can kinda be weird about textures so this cleanser is a good one if texture in skincare products is important to you. The jelly isn’t as expensive as some of their other products so I think I can swing it into my budget. It’s retailed at $32 at Sephora.

The cream which is a really light feeling but rich moisturizer. This product I used all of twice before I realized this is not something I need to use in this hot humid Atlanta weather. When I used it I instantly started sweating so I’m waiting to use it once the seasons change and am looking forward to the benefits. I’ve never really used a moisturizer and having one makes me feel even more like I care about my skin. I usually use almond oil or rose hip oil as my moisturizer but I know a cream will have many benefits in the fall/winter months.

Overall I would recommend Drunk Elephant to both my mom, sister, friends and my little cousins who don’t even have age concerns yet. The packaging the ingredients everything about this brand makes me want to give them my coins even on a budget.

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Vegan Banana Pudding

Vegan Banana Pudding

I’ve been craving banana pudding lately so I decided to make it the vegan way of course. I used a instant vanilla pudding mix, vanilla shortbread cookies, bananas (ofc) and dairy free whipped cream.

I made the pudding first. Following the directions on the back of the mix – using organic almond milk in place of the whole milk the recipe called for. For the pudding mix to not stick I stirred it the whole time it was on the heat, which was for probably a total of 5 minutes.

2 cups of almond milk

Omit the egg (or you could add a vegan egg sub)

I poured in the 2 cups of milk first then the powder while it was on medium heat. Stirring constantly then bringing the mixture to a boil and stirring again for 1 minute while boiling then taking it off the heat.

I poured the pudding into 2 ramekins and into 1 smaller mason jar.

I let them cool for 10 minutes on the counter then put them in the fridge for 90 minutes.

after the 90 minutes I poured all the pudding mix into a blender with vanilla wafers about 2 handfuls and 2 bananas and a little bit of milk.

blended it all together and poured them back into the containers and let them sit in the fridge for a little bit longer.

The banana pudding mix was actually way better than I expected and I’m already wishing I had bought more than 1 mix.

Go to Salad

Go to Salad

It’s basically summer in Atlanta and it’s hot as hell. So, I’ve been eating really large salads lately for lunch and dinner trying to keep myself feeling light and also just getting more fresh greens into my diet. Every summer I say I’m going to eat more produce and less processed foods.

A trick that I’ve been seeing from vegan youtubers and that I’ve gotten from my friend (who is also vegan) that when eating salads to add something that’s cooked to it (or just something with a little more substance than just lettuce and other veggie or fruit toppings).

I’ve been trying this out doing curry roasted chickpeas on top of salads (will show in another post) and my favorite thing roasted potato’s.

Mix of romaine and red leaf lettuce.

Sliced tomato.

Added roasted potato’s.

Added a lil crispy tofu scramble on top and a creamy avocado dressing.

Healthy Lunch on a Budget

Healthy Lunch on a Budget

I went to Sprouts on Saturday and decided to get something for healthy but budget friendly for lunch so I’m going to share the details.

I love zucchini noodles. I eat a lot of pasta so when I want pasta without the carbs I usually do frozen zucchini noodles or I buy the fresh ones I really should just buy a spiralizer and make my own. Since there was salt already added to these noodles I just added crushed red pepper and basil.

This is the first time I’ve had this pasta sauce and it’s so good. I like spicy food and I needed new pasta sauce because I had bought some regular marinara sauce from Publix a week ago didn’t check the label and there was milk in it. At some point I’d like to also make my own pasta sauces too.

I’ve bought the regular naan sprouts brand plenty of times but wanted to try the garlic and I’m glad I did it was really good it had a earthy flavor to it. I’m really in love with bread and have been trying to cut back on how much I eat but with a low calorie meal like this I knew I needed something to fill me so I wouldn’t be hungry in 30 minutes it’s all about balance.

I had saved my receipt so I could take a photo of it and upload it so y’all could see how affordable this meal was but of course my daughter likes to play with the pouch I keep all my receipts in and when I found it in her play kitchen open the sprouts receipt was nowhere to be found.

Everything I used in this lunch was the Sprouts brand.

Zucchini noodles $2.99

Garlic naan $1.99

Arrabbiata pasta sauce $2.29

Total: $7.27

And the noodles had a nice texture they look mushy but they weren’t they still had some bite and crunch to them. After I finished my bowel I wanted to eat it all over again and that’s how I know when I really like a meal.

Dry Brushing

Dry Brushing

I’ve never had difficult skin and in the past two years the little problems I had I cleared up from being vegan, drinking enough water, and dry brushing. I get comments all the time on how smooth and soft my skin is and I know these 3 things are what help me maintain smooth skin. I know a diet change is a big thing and drinking water doesn’t solve everything so that leaves dry brushing a small self-care practice that everyone can do. I started dry brushing during my pregnancy but wasn’t very consistent with it. I dry brush every day now before I shower. I know people do it after a shower then apply oil but I find doing it before my shower more helpful for me. And I do apply oil after I shower. I usually use almond oil but any oil with skin benefits can be used.

I bought my dry brush from target I don’t remember how much it was but I know it was less than $15 cause I’m cheap. It works perfectly fine so don’t think you need an expensive dry brush to get smooth soft skin. You only need a natural bristle brush. I do recommend however that you have a separate dry brush for your face that’s just my preference my skin on my face is really sensitive and I just don’t want to mix the two. (I never use the same face cloth for my face and body too).

Dry Brushing is beneficial for a number of reasons. It exfoliates your skin while giving it a massage. You’re supposed to dry brush slowly in circular motions. And you are only supposed to do it 3 times a week according to some people but I’m not good at routines that aren’t everyday so I do it every night.

I do wash or clean my brush once a week with Dr.Bronners baby castille soap just to get rid of dead skin and whatever might be on the bristles.

  • Benefits of dry brushing:
    • It sheds dead skin cells
      Results in smoother brighter skin
      Helps with ingrown hairs
    • stimulates nervous system
    • Increases blood circulation
    • It is said but not proved to help with cellulite and aid in digestion

    I personally noticed how much smoother my skin is when I consistently dry brush. Also my skin seems brighter. And I just feel better because I’m going the extra mile taking care of my skin and my body.

    The firmness of the bristles from a natural brush don’t hurt or bother my sensitive skin but I’ve seen some people say it bothers theirs so keep this in mind if your skin is really sensitive. Make sure that you do moisturize after your shower because dry brushing can lead to dry skin.

    What do you do that’s a self-care indulgent but simple routine? Let me know and let me know if you have any questions about dry brushing or if you try it.

    Here’s a video of me demonstrating slow circular motions when dry brushing. Doing my whole body does usually take 7-10 minutes but you don’t have to go as slow.

    An Introduction to Astrology

    An Introduction to Astrology

    If you pay attention to my posts you’ll have noticed that I mention my sign or Sage’s sign sometimes even for minor things. So, I thought let’s do an intro to astrology post for those who don’t know a lot about astrology or feel like it’s not for them.

    I’m just going to do a little back history and cover the very basics of astrology. The sun sign, moon sign, and rising sign. I’ll talk about my own. What astrology books I read who I follow on social media that has the best astrology advice and even tackle mercury retrograde which goes direct today.

    Sun sign:

    the sign that the sun was in at the time of your birth is your sun sign. The sun is the most important “planet” to earth. It sustains us. It is also the most important influence in your zodiac or birth chart. And in many ways determines how others see you. It is the very surface layer of who you are in terms of signs. Your external self.

    Moon sign:

    In the most basic terms your moon sign is your emotions. It’s where the moon was in the sky at the time of your birth. The Moon is the part of you that you see. The moon is your personality. It is your subconscious. The you that reacts. Your instinct. In many ways your moon personality is what you keep hidden from others.

    Rising sign:

    Your ascendent or rising sign is a very important part of your horoscope. The rising sign is the sign that reflects your outward demeanor and to determined how the outside world looks at you. This sign represents your outer personality. Your “image”. The rising and sun sign usually blend together giving a unique outward personality which is why some people of the same sun sign can be totally different as the rising sign is crucial to the personality. Your rising sign is the sign that was rising over the eastern horizon at the time of your birth.

    That explains the gist of the signs that I find to be the most important in a birth chart but the Venus (love) and the Mercury (communication) signs are very important too in my opinion (maybe a second introduction post next month).

    I am a Gemini sun-Scorpio rising-Capricorn moon. And I’ll talk about these signs a bit because I think these 3 signs are some of the most misunderstood of the zodiac.

    As a Gemini I know the stereotypes are that we’re flighty, two faced, wishy-washy. But I think Gemini’s are the misunderstood sign because we want to be understood so much by our peers. We wrap so much of our worth into this feeling of being understood by others we forget to understand and learn ourselves. I honestly think Gemini’s are the child of the zodiac they (we) need so much reassurance, love, support and connection from those we love. Y’all know the problematic Gemini’s but some other famous gems are: Prince and Bob Dylan.

    Scorpio’s I know are seen as secretive, the whole sex thing, and mysterious these qualities aren’t necessarily bad but explain very little about the Scorpio. Who is very self-conscious and afraid of being hurt so keeps people at distance (secretive) afraid of showing their real selves. Some famous Scorpio risings are Prince (again) and Diana Ross.

    Capricorn’s like most earth signs I know are said to be practical and emotionless even boring (rolls eyes) but this is way far from the truth. As a Capricorn moon I’m insecure, I overthink everything, I analyze everything. I make everything emotional even when it’s not. Some famous Capricorn moons are: Anais Nin and Ernest Hemingway.

    That’s my little insight on those signs so if you are one of these 3 there ya go.

    On to the history of astrology for y’all who don’t believe it’s real.

    Astrology has been studied for the past 5,000 years. Greek philosophers formulated the theory of Man in Microcosm that is, the human being is a miniature version of the cosmos. According to this concept everything in nature has a parallel in human beings, and thus humankind and the universe are linked together in a system of correlations. The study of the Sun, Moon and stars began well before recorded history. Ancient astrologers charted the movement of planets and stars and made predictions about eclipses, upheavals, famine and fortune. In ancient societies religion and astrology were linked. Astrologers were usually priests. Most ancient societies studied astrology like the Egyptians, Babylonians, and the Greek and Roman empires. After the fall of Rome astrology went into decline. And didn’t recover until after A.D. 1200. Astrology became very linked with superstition during the Roman era where Christianity was becoming widespread and astrology was thought of as the work of the devil. Though astrology wasn’t practiced in Europe during this time it was still practiced and remained a serious science in other countries. During the Renaissance there was a resurgence of astrology. And throughout history it has declined and bloomed again and again as times and people have changed.

    Now astrology an old practice is becoming even more popular mainstream where they’re are astrologers working even on social media (as I’ll list below)

    Mercury retrograde. Mercury is the planet of communication, intelligence, perception and intellectual energy. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo. When a planet is in retrograde it is the backward motion of a planet traveling through the zodiac. During mercury retrograde things dealing with communication, perception and intelligence can be thrown off. And can turn into deceit, coldness, and argumentativeness.

    Mercury was in retrograde but is now direct starting today. So, if any issues arose for you during this last retrograde of the year look for the lesson and if you can mend what can be fixed. (November 16-December 6).

    So, that’s a lot of information to process and I think that’s all I’m going to talk about in this first introduction of astrology. I was into zodiacs before astrology. And would read my horoscope everyday in middle and high school. It wasn’t until maybe 3-4 years ago I learned of birth charts and all the other signs that we each are that astrology and zodiacs and horoscopes started to make more sense. As a introverted sometimes shy Gemini just reading my sun sign doesn’t really relate to me. Plus there’s way more insight in horoscopes and astrology now than there was 10 years ago and it’s not just you’ll meet someone new today stuff.

    I probably will do a follow up post on Venus and Mercury signs and also talk about the houses and why they are important in understanding the birth chart.

    Some astrologers that I follow on Instagram are: @jaliessasipress , @thehoodwitch , and @thevoluptuouswitch.

    And on Twitter @audrykitching and @mysticxlipstick

    This is the astrology book where I get most of my information on charts and understanding the signs.

    Potty Training

    I began potty training Sage over the summer but I’m not going to lie I wasn’t consistent at all. Between work and other things potty-training wasn’t a priority on my list of daily things to do. We transitioned to pull-ups with no fuss. Then started sitting her on the potty to get her used to it. And it kind of became a game for her. She liked sitting on the toilet and saying she had to go potty (even though she wasn’t yet) and she liked feeling a sense of independence and saying “I do it”. She did get really interested in her female parts during this time too and would ask me what things were down there for the first time.This led to print out coloring sheets with labeled body parts.

    So, potty training is just an overall learning experience I wasn’t prepared for. My sister suggested (because she did this with my niece) that I should give Sage a reward like candy for using the bathroom in the toilet but I didn’t really like the idea so I never started it. Sage found it enjoyable without the “treat” and is now telling me when she has to go potty on her own without me asking her.

    She still wears pull-ups to bed (haven’t figured this one out yet) but during the day she doesn’t (this includes during naps) and she hasn’t had many accidents once she got the hang of it. In the beginning she did have a couple accidents and wet herself while wearing underwear but she fully understands now and can feel the difference between her pull-up and undies- and if she’s wearing undies will say she has to go potty.

    We got to this stage of understanding by having talks after she would have accidents me telling her I wasn’t mad at her and reminding her to tell me when she had to go potty. I also just started taking her to the bathroom every hour when she had on undies. This got her in the habit of knowing okay when I feel the urge to go I need to go to the bathroom. Talking and explaining things to Sage repeatedly really helped her to understand and get the concept of using the bathroom.

    Getting her to use the bathroom to go poo I knew would be hard I don’t know about other toddlers but Sage would always go to the same spot squat down and poo then tell me she had. But the transition to her using the toilet and pooping really wasn’t that bad.

    Every time Sage uses the bathroom in the potty she exclaims “I did it” so it is fun for her she likes knowing she can do something with her body on her own. Still working on the wiping but I’m so proud of my baby. Sage does use a separate like booster toilet seat because she’s dramatic and swears she’ll fall in the toilet without it. So, if you’re having trouble getting your little one to be comfortable sitting on the toilet seat I suggest purchasing a kiddie one.

    I’m going to leave some tips that I found helpful and links.

    1. You should definitely purchase toddler flushable wipes. These were a game changer because Sage would go through the motions using so much tissue when she didn’t even use the bathroom. Also it helps them be able to wipe themselves more efficiently. I get mine from target they’re the up and up brand and super affordable.

    2. Like I said I suggest getting a training seat for an actual toilet but there also are those toddler/baby toilets that could be helpful in the very beginning with just helping your child get used to the act of sitting on a potty. You can also let your child personalize this mini toilet with stickers, paint, etc.

    3. Help your child get comfortable with the toilet. So, whatever they need to feel comfortable using the bathroom do it.

    4. Kids learn by imitation so having an open door policy is a good start to showing your child how to use the bathroom and correctly wipe. I did this even before potty training because I’m usually the only one home with my daughter and need to be able to keep an eye on her even when nature calls.

    5. Let your child pick out their underwear Sage has trolls and poppy and of course that motivated her to want to wear undies instead of her pull-ups. The little things will help your child get used to this change smoothly.

    Here’s some links I used while potty training with more tips to help ya potty train your little one.

    https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a548953/potty-training-for-girls

    https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/potty-training/tips/potty-training-tips/