Health

Real Talk: We use the Diva Cup

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First off: WORST NAME EVER FOR ANYTHING.

Secondly: If you are squeamish, don’t like talking about lady issues, or just don’t want to know us that well – stop reading now.

If you do want to find out just how crazy hippie Emily and I have gotten, read on.

You might also be interested in an alternative to tampons, too (yes, that’s what we are going to talk about). Surprisingly, two of our friends have recently switched to using it too – hence the inspiration for this post. Maybe you’ll find it enlightening. Or maybe you’ll just find it hilarious. Either way, we’re glad you’re here.

So. Emily calls me one day and she’s like, okay. I have made another change to a super hippie product and you can laugh at me all you want. But you might be into it, too.

Me: “Okay, what is it?”

Em: “Well, please don’t judge it by it’s name. It’s the worst name ever. Like, I can’t even say it without laughing slash being embarrassed for being associated with it.”

Me: “Okay, just say it. I’m ready.”

Em: “Aaaahhh okay it’s called the Diva Cup. Blahdkawjefegkzdsfhaqfd”

She proceeds to tell me that she was looking into alternatives to tampons, because she was doing research on going totally chemical-free and wasn’t super into the idea of this bleached product hangin out in her body. Plus it’s also a huge waste of paper and plastic.

So she came across this product, which will be henceforth referred to as The Hippie Lady Product.

What it is is a silicone-like cup (ick) that is flexible and small enough to be inserted like a tampon during your period. It catches everything and is reusable.

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Here are the pros and cons, as I see it:

Pros:

  • No more buying tampons!! That shit is expensive! I got my Lady Hippie Product for like $30 online.
  • You can leave The Lady Hippie Product in for much longer than a tampon – you can leave it in for 10-12 hours at a time!
  • No leaks. I’m serious. I haven’t had a leak once since using it. Underwear saved!!
  • Warning, I’m about to get even grosser: You know when you use a tampon and there’s the string? Well, I hate the string…and all the surrounding issues of said string…like…smells. That is totally not an issue any more, and it’s fabulous. The Lady Hippie Product is basically a plug, so you feel like you’re just not on your period until you take it out.
  • No more moments that go like this: “Shit!! I don’t have any more tampons in my purse! I forgot to load up when I left this morning and now I have one left to last me til 5…? No way is this gonna work.”
  • You don’t have chemicals like bleach chillin in yo body for hours at a time – I don’t even wanna think what’s actually in tampons.
  • You will be so green! Imagine all the plastic and waste created every month using tampons, panty liners, or any other device we poor women have to deal with…
  • Did I mention no leaks?? Ya.

Cons:

  •  Um, it’s gross. Let’s get real: you have to empty it. And clean it. HOWEVER – I, personally, think it’s not that more disgusting than changing a tampon, and you totally get used to it.
  • It’s called the Diva Cup.
  • Your friends will laugh at you if you ever tell them you use it.
  • If your boyfriend/roommate/whoever somehow finds it in the bathroom, that’s gonna be an awkward conversation. But I have a cute little bag for mine (NOT the one that comes with it that says Diva Cup all over it with daisies and shit), so problem solved. Plus I live with my boyfriend and as you might imagine, I’m an over-sharer.

Okay. So you might be like, screw this, that sounds disgusting and I am going to be a normal person and continue to use tampons. Totally, I get it.

If you’re like, “Hmm, I’m intrigued…”, like a lot of my friends are when I come out of The Diva Cup Closet, then you can check out the website here. Please try to overlook all the daisies and princess fonts.

You can also ask us anything in the comments. We have both used it for a year or two and are not scared of graphic conversations.

Side note: I hope you still read this blog after this.

 

Do you have any weird confessions? Feel free to share as an act of solidarity… :)

 

 

What To Do if You Have Depression

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A few months back I did one of the scariest things I’ve ever done; I admitted to you guys that I struggle with depression. I have always felt embarrassed by my depression because it makes me feel weak and like I should have figured out how to deal with it by now. I was worried that if people found out about my depression they would think less of me and form negative opinions about me. I was so surprised by the reaction that my post received, and it made me feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful and supportive people. I immediately started getting private messages from readers and friends telling me how they could personally relate because either them, a friend, or close family member struggles with depression too. As sad as it made me to know how many other people deal with the same  issues I do, it also helped me to realize I am not alone and that I am not crazy or weak. I was proud of myself for taking a little leap of faith and opening up about my personal life. We share a lot of fun things on this blog from recipes to outfit posts, but from the beginning Steph and I made the decision to keep this blog real. It has made us both feel better on multiple occassions to open up about things we have been struggling with. Even if we don’t get a response from people, it still feels freeing to put our experiences and emotions out there.

After my last post many people asked me for advice on how I deal with my depression. Now, that sounds easy enough, however I was worried about writing this post because I know everyone is different. Just because something has worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for everyone (or anyone!) else. Also, I felt a little apprehensive about giving advice because I’m still trying to figure this out myself! I know it will probably be a lifelong journey. I still have days where the only thing I can do is lay in bed and sleep it off.

I decided I would write this despite my concerns because if it helps even just one person it will be a win in my book. Also, it helps to remind me how hard I have worked to take care of myself. If you don’t have depression, I still urge you to read on. Why? Because I guarantee you that if you don’t know someone with it now, you will in the future. This will help to show you that it isn’t just us having a bad attitude or not pulling ourselves up by our boot straps. It is such a challenge to deal with depression, and if nothing else maybe this will help you to understand what it’s like to live with it.

  1. Don’t be afraid to admit it. Tell someone, anyone, and don’t be ashamed. You can read my first post about how it’s not your fault.

2. Ask to get your vitamin levels tested, your hormone levels tested, and your thyroid levels tested.

If your body chemistry is off somehow, that could be a major part of why you’re feeling crummy. After getting all of the above tested, my doctor realized I was very low in multiple vitamins and that I was severely anemic. It helped immensely to get certain vitamin levels up. No wonder I had no energy! It also helped to show me that I wasn’t just a lazy sloth; there was a legitimate reason why I wasn’t wanting to get out of bed. You might find out a major piece of your puzzle.

3. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re crazy.

You know yourself the best, so don’t settle on anything until it feels right. Just because one doctor doesn’t find anything wrong or simply wants to put you on antidepressants doesn’t mean they’re right. You have to be an advocate for yourself and keep pursuing answers. I went to many doctors until I found one who I felt understood me and who had an approach that I felt comfortable with.

4. Think about natural alternatives.

Even if you’re following a conventional approach, it can never hurt to add in some natural remedies into the mix. Talk to your doctor of course, but think about doing things like getting exercise, eating regular meals, and taking vitamin supplements.

I am NOT saying to not consult your regular doctor. Absolutely do. Please. However, along with that, I recommend going at this from all angles. After meeting with a naturopath, his suggestions of changing my diet, getting good sleep, hydrating, taking vitamins and exercising all had a major impact on how I felt.

5. Tell people you need help. Ask a friend to come over and take you to lunch. Don’t feel silly, stupid or weak.

I never wanted to ask for help because I felt like I should be able to do everything for myself. However, once I learned it was okay to ask the people who love me for a little extra support, it helped so much. I can’t tell you how much it helped to have family or friends bring me food or just come over and be with me.

6. Give yourself a break. Tomorrow is a new day.

It’s okay to have an off day. Sleep it off, watch a movie, do what you need to do to recharge. Just remember that tomorrow is a fresh start.

7. Take care of your basic needs, and if it’s too hard to do that, ask for help. It makes it worse to not be eating healthy regular meals, getting good sleep or drinking enough water. 

When you’re struggling with depression, sometimes these things are so hard to do! There have been times when making myself lunch and taking a shower might as well have been a hike to the top of Mount Everest. If you can’t do them yourself, refer to #5 and ask for help. If you’re not eating well and taking care of the basics, it will make your struggle all that much harder.

8. Get moving and get some fresh air. Even if you just sit on your doorstep and look at the sky

Once I got a dog I realized how important this is. I would go days staying inside without even opening my windows. Now, even just stepping out into the fresh air and sunshine to take Cooper to the bathroom picks up my mood. If you don’t have a dog and can’t get yourself to go on a walk, at least open a window and take a moment to consciously take in the outdoors and breathe in the fresh air.

9. Take a shower, do your hair, get dressed

I know, it seems impossible sometimes. It has been a complete game changer for me some days to do my hair and put on a cute outfit. Even if I have no where to go, it makes me feel like I did something good for myself, and I just feel so much better. Staying in pajamas all day is a serious downer.

10. Keep pursuing ways of feeling better. Don’t give up.

It’s so hard to keep going sometimes. I get so frustrated with myself and just start reverting back to thinking it’s all my fault and I’m just not trying hard enough. This is not true. Things will get better and you just have to figure out what works for you!

I hope this helps. Again, I know that just because something works for me doesn’t mean it will work for other people. Please let me know if you have any questions :)

xo,

Emily

All-Natural Summer Beauty Essentials

Wedding Vows Header_0020 I LOVE summer, but it can definitely get annoying sometimes. Don’t get me wrong; everything about this season is pretty perfect. The longer days, the fruity drinks, the warmer temps… we look forward to it all year. But the frizzy hair, dry skin, and sunburns? Not so fun. Don’t worry though, I’m here to help! As you know, I grew up along the California coast enjoying long days at the beach and pool (I was also a lifeguard for 8 years) so I feel like I’ve learned what works in terms of skin care and sun safety during these balmy months. Also, being green and using clean products is soooo important to me, so rest assured that these products are all safe for both you and our beautiful mother earth :) So without further adieu, my all-natural summer beauty essentials:

1. Big sun hat with a wide rim:  I’m sure you don’t want to hear from another person about how important sun protection is, but you don’t want to look back on these days of lounging at the beach and by the pool and wish you had covered up! Get a pretty sun hat that you’re excited to wear, and then it’ll be more fun. Lucky for us, it’s in style to wear these giant sun hats. I love this one from Target:

Target Hat

2. Cute Sunglasses: Next up is pretty sunnies to protect those gorgeous peepers of yours. It’s just as important as protecting your skin! I’m coveting these turquoise ones made by TOMS, but Target has more affordable options :)

Teal Tom's Sunglasses From Target: Target Sunglasses 3. I recently rediscovered some vintage scarves that my grandma had passed down to me, and they became one of my favorite ways to get my hair out of my face on a hot day. I found these at target and loved the colorful and playful prints. There are so many ways to use them- get creative and have fun! If you dye your hair they also protect your color from the sun.
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Lobster scarf target

 

 

 

 

4. Nature’s Gate Aqua Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Suncreen: Good for when you’re wanting to frolic around in the waves. My hubby uses it for while he’s surfing and I love it for beach days and stand up paddling. It stays put after being in the water much better than other all-natural sunscreens we’ve tried.

5. Kiss My Face Face Factor, Face & Neck Sunscreen SPF 50: The perfect all-natural sunscreen that doesn’t make you break out or leave your skin feeling greasy.

6. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream: Okay, I LOVE this stuff. It has seriously improved my complexion and makes my skin look pretty while it’s working it’s magic. It’s a very clean product and it protects you from environmental factors and the sun’s harmful rays. It doesn’t feel like you’re wearing sunscreen at all, though! This is my favorite product on this list. It’s a little pricey, but I’ve been using the same bottle forever. A little bit goes a long way with this stuff :)

7. Acure Facial Toner: For those extra hot days when you’re skin is feeling a little slick.

8. Acure Seriously Firming Facial Serum My skin tends to get dry in the summer, especially after exposing it to sun, salt water and chlorine. I use this at night and I wake up with pretty glowy skin.

9. Clarisonic Cleansing Brush: This is definitely a spurge, but I’ve had it for years and I still love it. It helps to deep clean and get rid of flakiness. I’m absolutely in love! clarisonic

 

 

10. Acure Sensitive Facial Cleanser: Works perfectly with the Clarisonic and makes my skin feel really clean without stripping it of it’s natural oils and drying it out.

There you go, my friends! Those are my go-to’s for these warm summer months. What are your must-haves? Are you thinking about switching over to all-natural products?

Now go out and enjoy this weather!

 

xo,

Emily

Operation Health: 5 Goals to Get Back to the Basics

I always have about 273 things that I want to do in my life, and about 200 of those are ways that I want to improve myself. “I should set up a studio in my garage and paint more. I should be more organized. I should work towards doing a headstand in yoga. I should drink a green smoothie every morning…”. There’s so much chatter going on inside my head that I often get super overwhelmed and I end up doing nothing. I have been feeling fed up lately with so much dreaming and “I should’s” and not enough reaching goals and taking names. Have any of you ever read The Happiness Project? In the book you follow author Gretchen Rubin for a yearlong journey in which she strives to become happier. She dedicates each month to a different goal. It was a little too structured for me, but the one thing I took away from it was to set goals and to break things down so they’re more achievable. I keep thinking about how I need to get back to the basics before I can move on to those 273 some odd projects that nag at me everyday. If I’m not feeling good and healthy both mentally and physically, I might as well give up now, because those things I want to accomplish will fall by the wayside. I want to concentrate on my health and then move onto other goals.

I consider myself a fairly healthy person, but I think I kid myself sometimes because it tends to be more like I intend to be a healthy person. Have you ever said to someone something like, “Yeah, I do yoga!” without even realizing you haven’t been on your mat for over a month? Sometimes I forget that I haven’t even been doing the things that make me feel my best. This month (yes even though I’m starting in the middle of it) I want to get back to the basics and set some goals for myself so they’re not just floating around with all my other to-do’s. Health comes first, no matter what.

My Health Goals:

1. Drink 65 ounces of water everyday (which can be in form of unsweetened tea, as well): You should aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces of good ol’ H20 everyday. For example: I weigh about 130 lbs, so I should drink 65 oz each day. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to drink about 16 oz of water right after you wake up and before you have anything to eat. It helps to flush out toxins and start your day on the right foot. As silly as it is, drinking from a pretty water bottle helps me drink more throughout the day. Here’s one of my faves:

water bottle

2. Start meditating every morning: I have tried meditating before and it’s usually short-lived. I have the usual and common complaints; I get bored easily and it’s hard to clear my mind fully. However, I’ve heard time and time again that it gets better with practice. I’ve read so much about the many benefits of meditation (especially if you have depression) and I want to cash in on them! I have an app on my phone called Calm and I’m going to give it a go. I’ll let you know what I think in next week’s update.

meditation

3. Yoga: It’s the best. Why do I fall off the bandwagon when I love it so much?? Every time I make the effort to get to class and put time in on my mat I am sooo thankful. I go to a hot yoga studio in San Diego, but if it’s not possible for you to go to a live class, try this app that both Stephanie and I love. My goal is to do it at least five times a week.

yoga benefits

4. Eat more veggies (and LOVE them!): Ugh it sounds so predictable, doesn’t it? In fact I must admit this whole list does. We’re always looking for some new flashy and easier way to feel better, but it really does come down to the basics. When you just tell yourself to eat more veggies it sounds less than appealing, even if you like vegetables like me! I like to find new recipes to try that get me excited to be in the kitchen. Also, with vegetables you definitely get what you pay for. It makes a HUGE difference to buy locally grown organic veggies that are in season. I feel a whole lot happier about eating my veggies if they’re colorful, fresh and beautiful. I am not, however, going to be very psyched about pulling out a 6 month old freezer-burned bag of frozen ‘vegetable medley’. Yuck! Visit inspiring veggie-based websites like Oh She Glows and The First Mess. In fact, while you’re at it check out some of my recipes!

Honey-Lime Glazed Salmon and Summer Salad

Superfood and Gluten-Free Shrimp Ceviche

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It’s so much better to buy quality ingredients that you’re excited about eating than forcing yourself to eat something that’s healthy, but less than inspiring. Veggies might surprise you, give them a chance!

5. Sleep Like a Baby: When we were kids our parents knew how important it was to keep us on a regular sleep schedule. If we weren’t in bed by a certain time, they knew we would get cranky and the whole next day could be thrown off. We don’t treat ourselves to the same luxury anymore, though. It’s so easy to watch just one more episode on Netflix and decide to go to bed an hour later, even if you’re still waking up early the next day. Sleep is one of the MOST important things we can do for ourselves, and staying consistent is key. I tend to be all over the map when it comes to my sleep schedule, but I want to make a conscious effort to make it a priority. Starting now my bedtime during the week is 10… (this might be the most challenging goal for me).

There you have it, folks! My goals for the month. I’m going to keep a little daily journal of how it goes each day. I’ll update you next week on how I’m doing, but you know what I would looooveeee? If you did them along with me! Even if your health goals are different from mine, I would love to hear about what you do to keep yourself happy and healthy. What are your health ‘basics’? Are you good at staying consistent with them or do you struggle like me sometimes? Do you have any apps that help keep you on track?

I would love to hear from you guys! I hope you have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend, and we’ll see you next week!

xo,

Em

Good habits are as addicting as bad habits, but much more rewarding”

 

 

 

 

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