Interview Friday: Natalie Smith of Sustainably Chic

Sustainably Chic

Sustainably Chic

What does sustainability mean to you? We ask Natalie Smith of Sustainably Chic today on Interview Friday! We first came across Natalie on Instagram as a blogger who focused on sustainability. These days, Sustainably Chic has become an online boutique, selling wonderfully handmade and sustainable products! SC is also a retailer of Wonderland Organics products, so be sure to purchase from the boutique here.

Wonderland Organics: Tell us about your background.

Natalie Smith: I have a background in Fashion Marketing and Management where I found my love for eco-friendly and ethically made clothing, and have been blogging about sustainability within fashion economics since July of 2014.

Wonderland Organics: That’s wonderful! How did Sustainably Chic come about?

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith of Sustainably Chic

Natalie Smith: I started Sustainably Chic, initially, as a blog and platform for any businesses that had adopted sustainable practices, and used the site as a place to share their stories. I had always wanted to have my own boutique, particularly a fair trade boutique, so one thing led to another and Sustainably Chic turned into something more.

Wonderland Organics: It’s great how you showcased smaller businesses working on sustainability! What’s the best part about running Sustainably Chic?

Natalie Smith: I can do it in my pajamas! Just kidding, even though that is a nice perk. The best part about running Sustainably Chic is networking with so many amazing people and businesses around the world. I have learned so much in the past 9 months, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Wonderland Organics: (We’re with you on the sweatpants). What new things do you have planned for Sustainably Chic in 2015?

Natalie Smith: For 2015, I plan to add several new brands to the online store, possibly some pop-up shops along the way, and, of course, sharing more stories about emerging sustainable companies. This is a one person show, so I don’t want to get too overwhelmed my first ‘real’ year of being a business.

Wonderland Organics:  We’re so excited for you! Where do you find inspiration?

Natalie Smith: With my own private label, La Petite N-Kay, all my inspiration comes from my love of vintage and anything dainty. I deal a lot with lace and and old buttons, which are quite feminine and lovely.

Wonderland Organics: Your organic headbands are gorgeous! What are your current sustainable obsessions?

Natalie Smith: I’m pretty obsessed with everything I carry on the site. However, I do put Wonderland Organics on EVERYDAY, so that’s a daily obsession of mine.

Wonderland Organics: So glad to hear it! What are your contributions toward sustainability? Why is it important to you? 

Indulge Lotion on Sustainably Chic

Indulge Lotion on Sustainably Chic’s boutique

Natalie Smith: The simplest thing any of us can do when it comes to sustainability is to start talking about it. We can all make a great impact in the world of sustainability is if we change the minds around us and do less of whatever we can possible. Sustainably Chic is a conversation, and if it is helping others become more sustainable or aware of their purchasing power, then I’m happy. It is important to me to discuss positive consumerism because we, as consumers, hold all the power when it comes to buying products. Most of us like to buy new things for our wardrobe and our home, and Sustainably Chic’s boutique offers a sustainable alternative to those wants.

Wonderland Organics:  This is a wonderful way of looking at it. What is a typical day like running Sustainably Chic?

Natalie Smith: I wake up at 8 am and go straight to the computer. I’m constantly updating the site, emailing businesses, and planning for the future. I swear, there are not enough hours in the day!

Wonderland Organics:  There should definitely be 30 hour days! Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs?

Natalie Smith: Put your whole heart into it, and never get discouraged about ANYTHING! There will always be ‘critics‘, negativity, and slow times. I’m always telling myself not to let things get to me, and to keep moving forward. Specially in the world of sustainability, there will always be someone calling you a hypocrite. I’m not perfect, nor am I completely sustainable – none of us are. I mean after all, I am selling you something you don’t really need. I love entrepreneurs because they are what promote a SUSTAINABLE economy. People forget that sustainability is not just about the earth, it’s about culture and economics as well.

La Petit N Kay Turban

La Petite N-Kay Organic Turban

Wonderland Organics:  What’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics blog/site?

Natalie Smith: I love a blog that can give great tips and DIY tutorials, and Wonderland Organic’s blog has some wonderful information on cleaning green and skincare in some of their most recent posts. It’s definitely an area that Sustainably Chic needs to work on! Besides the blog, Wonderland Organics truly has amazing products. The scents, and the way my skin feels is lovely. Thanks so much, Alice, for being such a creative and sustainable entrepreneur.

Thank you for discussing Sustainably Chic with us Natalie! Have you checked out her wonderful boutique and blog? Be sure to do so here.

Our 8 Favorite Cleaning Green Tips

Photo courtesy of A Typical English Home (http://www.atypicalenglishhome.com/2014/09/my-favorite-natural-cleaning-recipes.html)

Photo courtesy of A Typical English Home (http://www.atypicalenglishhome.com/2014/09/my-favorite-natural-cleaning-recipes.html)

When we first embarked upon the natural path, skincare was the first thing that we started on. However, there was no way that we could stop there. It occurred to us that replacing conventional products for greener ones had to happen for our day-to-day lives. As a result, we opted for healthier food options as well as green cleaning. Today on the blog, we’re introducing our favorite green cleaning options!

Drains

The best part is that this natural drain cleaner won’t harm the pipes. To declog drains, we use either ACV or white vinegar and baking soda. If you’ve created volcanos during elementary school science class, you know that this combination makes terrific bubbles. We first sprinkle the baking soda on the drain, then add the vinegar. Make sure to sit back and watch the vinegar and baking soda do their magic! Afterwards, rinse well with water.

Fruits & Vegetables

We love using apple cider vinegar (ACV) to clean off our organic produce from the farmer’s markets and health food markets. Instead of your typical veggie wash, we use ACV that has been diluted to 5%. The best part is that it’s available at most stores like Safeway, Target, Whole Foods, etc. After first washing the produce, we let it soak in ACV for a minute, then rinsing it with distilled water (we use a reverse osmosis water filter).

Laundry

We use Dr. Bronner’s peppermint castile soap for laundry loads, diluted with distilled water. Not only do our clothes smell minty fresh, the scent is still there after we remove our clothes from the dryer!

Leaving Shoes At The Door

Instead of wearing our outside shoes all over the house, we opt for indoor slippers. The reason? This stops us from tracking dirt, bacteria, and oils into a clean house.

Line Drying Clothes

This is one of our favorite ways to save on the electricity bill for dryers. If the weather is nice outside, we line dry our clothes outside in the sun. While line drying clothes indoors may be easier, doing this may add mold and mildew to your homes. If absolutely necessary, hang the wet clothes in a room that is seldom used, and add an air filter to clear out any mold.

Refrigerator

The trick here is to reuse coffee grounds. Simply put into a muslim bag, and let the fresh scent of coffee waft over your nose as you open your fridge. We also scrub the interior with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.

Sink

There’s so many uses for lemons here: we scrub our sinks with half a lemon, and keep the other half there to help dissipate smells from dirty dishes. We also crush up a lemon into the garbage disposal to remove unwanted scents. As a bonus, citrusy scents are quite uplifting.

Soap

To save money on soap, we purchase foaming soap dispensers! We fill up the bottle about 1/8-1/10 of the way with our favorite organic soap, then the rest with distilled water. To keep the bottles sanitary, we replace every 2 1/2 weeks, and clean the bottle in between uses.

What are your favorite green cleaning tips? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Getting Rid of Those Winter Blues: How To Care For Dry Skin Naturally

Attributed to: Zima na Březině, ČR JKRiesová

Attributed to: Zima na Březině, ČR JKRiesová

Got those winter blues? The cold enhances dryness that affects us all throughout this season. It can be frustrating to deal with dry skin, especially when it comes to finding the right products or treatments to use. Have no fear: try these natural ingredients and tips to get softer skin.

Dry skin is caused by a lack of production of sebum, or oil, which is the skin’s natural moisturizer.  The lack of sebum decreases the skin’s ability to retain moisture, so dry skin is often dehydrated.

How do you know if you have dry skin?

  • It often appears delicate, with fine and small pores.
  • It can develop unsightly flaky or ashy patches that peel.
  • Can be triggered by menopause or other hormonal changes.
  • Needs plenty of moisturizers and protection.

What kind of ingredients should you choose in your skincare products to help the most with moisturizing? We list our top four types below.

1. Vegetable oils – Examples of vegetable oils that are beneficial to dry skin include:

Wonderland-Organics-Indulge-Lotion-White-Background

Wonderland Organics Indulge Lotion

  • Avocado Oil
  • Rice Bran oil
  • Argan oil
  • Olive oil
  • Rosehip seed oil
  • Coconut oil

2. Humectants – humectants attract moisture from the air, draw it to the skin and ‘lock’ the moisture in. Examples of humectants include:

  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Honey

3. Butters – these natural butters help to restore moisture and lay a protective barrier down on top of the skin to keep moisture from escaping.  Examples include:

  • Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter

4. Essential Oils – these are essences taken from plants, flowers, roots, trees spices, citrus fruits, etc.  Examples of essential oils used in products to make your skin silky smooth are:

  • Jasmine
  • Neroli (Orange Blossom)
  • Chamomile (both Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile)
  • Rose Otto
  • Lavender
  • Sandalwood
  • Geranium

    green beauty, natural skincare, Wonderland Organics, facial oil

    Wonderland Organics Sublime Serum: organic lavender, geranium, and rose absolute

Though it can be difficult to find products that work effectively on dry skin, this article has provided a number of tips and natural ingredients to try in your efforts to combat ashy, flaky and dry skin.  Reading the ingredient listing on products or making your own skin care products to include the ingredients listed above may be an easy way to use natural ingredients to bring about the desired change in your dry skin.

*Note that our Indulge Lotion contains organic olive oil, rosehip seed oil, and coconut oil, while our Sublime, Balance and Soothe facial oil serums include organic argan and olive oil. 

Tips:

  • Bathe less often: sometimes bathing every other day can alleviate dry skin.
  • Use warm instead of hot water in the shower or bath.
  • Use mild cleansers instead of harsh, drying ‘detergent bars’.
  • Use moisturizers regularly.
  • Try making a simple honey facial mask once per week to gently exfoliate flaky skin while also moisturizing.

Do you have any tips for helping with dryer skin types? Let us know in the comments below!

10 Healthy DIY Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Who doesn’t love Valentine’s Day? We remember our childhood years where we exchanged Valentine’s Day cards with all of our classmates. While it’s more about roses and chocolates these days, we like the idea of creating something healthy for the holidays.

We’ve rounded up some amazing healthy and fun Valentine’s Day ideas for your loved ones!

Healthy Heart Valentine’s Day (Frog Prince Paperie)

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie

Don’t these yogurt parfaits look heavenly? It’s the perfect combination of organic greek or plain yogurt, granola, and berries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pomegranate Ice Cubes (Two Loves Studio)

Photo courtesy of Two Loves Studio

Photo courtesy of Two Loves Studio

This is the most creative one we’ve seen: look how beautiful these ice cubes are! Best of all, they have pomegranate seeds, which have a large amount of antioxidants, and are incredibly fresh.

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Strawberry Snacks for Valentine’s Day (Modern Parents Messy Kids)

Photo courtesy of Modern Parents Messy Kids

Photo courtesy of Modern Parents Messy Kids

These healthy skewers house strawberries and grapes, though you can add any combination of fruits that you like. We recommend organic fruits, as strawberries tend to have higher amounts of pesticides on them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Healthy Banana Split (School Bites)

Photo courtesy of School Bites

Photo courtesy of School Bites

School Bites used Greek yogurt, as depicted in this scrumptious looking photo. This is a great take on a typical banana split!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Cheese (Celebrate the Big & Small)

Photo courtesy of Celebrate the Big & Small

Photo courtesy of Celebrate the Big & Small

Look at this fantastic grapes and cheese plate! To achieve these, you simply need a heart-shaped cookie cutter. The best part is that these work great for your kids’ snacks this Valentine’s Day, or to share with significant others or friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Printable Lunchbox Notes (Alpha Mom) 

Photo courtesy of Alpha Mom

Photo courtesy of Alpha Mom

This is a great idea instead of Valentine’s Day cards: as a bonus, encouraging your children to eat fruit never hurts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats for Kids (Spark People)

Photo courtesy of Spark People!

Photo courtesy of Spark People!

Healthy fruits (with plenty of antioxidants) in heart shaped bowls? Watermelon and grilled cheese in the shape of hearts? These are just some of the great ideas from Spark People regarding Valentine’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Bee Mine Valentine (Earnest Home Co)

Photo courtesy of Earnest Home Co.

Photo courtesy of Earnest Home Co.

Who doesn’t love a great jar of organic and raw honey? Earnest Home Co. offers a free printable for this Valentine’s Day card gift idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Valentine’s Day Decor (Today’s Every Mom)

Photo courtesy of Today's Every Mom

Photo courtesy of Today’s Every Mom

The heart garlands are especially adorable: all you need is red stock paper and a stapler!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Crafts for Kids (Real Simple)

Photo courtesy of The Celebration Shoppe

Photo courtesy of Real Simple

Arts and crafts always make for a fun activity: check out these beautiful Valentine’s Day cards. Real Simple includes free templates so you can DIY to your heart’s content.

Do you have any creative and healthy ideas for Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments below!

4 Healthy & Easy to Cook Meal Ideas

We hope that everyone has been having a great 2015 so far! What better way to keep those New Year’s resolutions than starting off the year with eating healthy? Today, we’re going to discuss a few options that are delicious and wholesome. We know it’s easier to reach for that tempting chocolate chip cookie as we’re watching Netflix, or to pick up takeout if we’re tired after work. But creating healthy meals can be fun and not take up all of your time (especially for moms with young children, and for you working professionals out there!)

Breakfast

Organic green juice: the before photo

Organic green juice: the before photo

To the right, we have a peek into what we have for our organic green juice each morning. Here, we’ve got organic kale, oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, bananas, pineapples, apples, and turmeric powder. All of the ingredients listed can be found at your local Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market. As for the organic turmeric powder, we purchased from Safeway. Of course, feel free to shop at your local farmer’s market too! Tip: washing and cutting everything the evening before will help save you time in the morning. We love using our Blendtec blender, though we know there’s quite a few blenders out there. Which one’s your favorite?

 

Snacks

Oatmeal with Red Beans

Oatmeal with Red Beans

This warm snack will be sure to keep you full during your workday! We love cooking with oats, but if you’re pressed on time, the quick-minute Quaker’s Oats are easy to use too. Here, we’ve added red beans into the oatmeal to make it tastier. It’s the perfect combination that will keep you satisfied and healthy! Other combinations include salted nuts (we get them from Costco for $14.99), organic cinnamon and honey (available at most grocery stores), and organic apples, bananas, and blueberries (the tart fruit juxtaposed with the warm oatmeal is sure to delight).

 

 

Lunch

Pork, broccoli, and rice

Pork, organic broccoli, and rice

Here’s something simple that we love to make: pork, organic broccoli, and steamed white rice. We marinated the pork in organic soy sauce and garlic, and baked it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes in our toaster oven. As for the broccoli, we boiled it for three minutes on high heat in a pot on the stove! (We washed it three times in a bowl, does that make us totally clean obsessed?)

 

 

 

 

Dinner

Ribs, organic broccoli, fish, clams, and rice

Ribs, organic spinach, fish, clams, and rice

To the right, we’ve got organic spinach, miso fish, clams, and pork ribs paired with steamed white rice. The clams were actually part of the soup that we made, and they’re easy to clean to cook! The pork ribs were marinated in garlic, organic soy sauce, and just a pinch of sugar added. As for the miso fish, we baked it for 15 minutes at 400 degrees in our toaster oven. Since spinach cooks relatively fast, it was the last part of the meal that we made.

 

 

 

Tips:

  • Purchase vegetables and fruit that are in season to help save money on grocery bills
  • Eat a wide variety of different colors and types of food
  • Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh, so pick some organic ones up next time at the grocery store!

These are just four examples of easy and delicious meals! As you can see, we used a wide variety of vegetables for optimal health. But why stop there? Organic green beans, cabbage, and winter melon are alternatives that you can find easily in grocery stores.What are your favorites to make? Let us know in the comments below!