Interview: Christa Martin, Editor of The Penny Rose

The Penny Rose

The Penny Rose

Interview Fridays are back! Today, we feature Christa Martin, who is the Editor of The Penny Rose, a fashion and beauty blog based in Santa Cruz, California. We first discovered The Penny Rose when we were looking for eco-beauty blogs last year, and found Christa a delight to work with. We’re beyond thrilled to feature her today at Wonderland Organics!

Wonderland Organics: Thanks for talking to us today, Christa! Tell us about your background.

Christa Martin: I’ve been a professional writer and on camera actress, ( for the last fifteen years in the Bay Area and I’ve been published in Oprah Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens,, and countless regional magazines and newspapers. I was the features editor of Good Times (a weekly magazine) in Santa Cruz, Calif., for 12 years and while there, I edited and created five fashion issues for the magazine. Producing those issues triggered an interest in me (and the community) for more fashion coverage in Santa Cruz and beyond.

Wonderland Organics: Very impressive indeed! How did The Penny Rose come about?

Christa Martin: I left my full-time journalism job after 12 years to become a freelancer. In March of 2012 I launched The Penny Rose—a Santa Cruz-based professional fashion and beauty blog and our reach expands far beyond the Bay Area.

The Penelope Bangle

The Penelope Bangle

Wonderland Organics: Happy almost three years! What’s the best part about being the editor for TPR?

Christa Martin: I work with a remarkable team of professional writers and industry insiders on a daily basis who are contributors to The Penny Rose. Also, I get to try out and discover new and upcoming brands and find some of my favorites in the process … like Wonderland Organics, Hipsters for Sisters, Legion (a boutique in San Francisco), or Acqua e Sapone (a skin care clinic in San Francisco). I especially love supporting independent fashion and beauty businesses.

Wonderland Organics: We love supporting independent brands too! What new things do you have planned for TPR in 2015?

Christa Martin: We’ll do seasonal photo shoots as we usually do, teaming up with photographer Nick Chao, featuring clothes from boutiques in Santa Cruz and San Francisco. I’d also like to expand our collaboration opportunities with fashion and beauty lines.

Wonderland Organics: We saw your photo shoots from Fall 2014- they look amazing! Tell us about the Penelope Bangle.

Christa Martin: The Penelope Bangle is a collaboration between The Penny Rose and Blank Verse Jewelry. Laamie Young (the owner of Blank Verse Jewelry) and I spent several months going back and forth with this idea. She’s a sweet friend of mine and I often use her jewelry in our photo shoots. The creative fusion of our interests seemed irresistible. We sketched ideas, came up with a product that would be affordable and adjustable and the Penelope Bangle was born. (It’s named after my mom, as is The Penny Rose.)

Penny Rose Shoot: image credited to Nick Chao

Penny Rose Shoot: image credited to Nick Chao

Wonderland Organics: It looks gorgeous- we’re sure that our readers will agree. Where do you find inspiration?

Christa Martin: Everywhere! I live in Santa Cruz right near the beach, so the ocean provides endless inspiration. Also, I go hiking every week. Being in the outdoors in the redwoods infuses my mind with all sorts of ideas. And then, of course: Pinterest, Instagram and all sorts of magazines.

Wonderland Organics: Definitely! There’s much inspiration to be found in nature. What are your current fashion and beauty obsessions?

Christa Martin: I’m rather obsessed with anything that Legion (a boutique in San Francisco) is carrying. The owner, Sydney Pfaff, has impeccable style and carries some of the most beautiful, classic, original, creative lines I’ve seen in a long time. I’m also obsessed with my hometown favorite stores, Stripe and Cameron Marks. Beauty-wise: I adore the Wonderland Organics Balance Serum, Acqua e Sapone moisturizers and Mandelic Serum, and my new discovery that I’m thrilled with is Matcha Scrub by Urb Apothecary. Your skin will feel undeniably soft after using it.

Wonderland Organics: We’re honored to be included on your beauty list! What is a typical day like putting together TPR?

Christa Martin: Emails roll in from writers on our team, blogs are sent to me, people query me to review products … so there’s definitely some time spent with the inbox. Besides that, I’m usually laying out at least one story every day (inserting images, editing text, writing text). And when I’m not doing that, I’m looking for new ideas, new brands to discover, and poring over what my favorite lines are creating for the next season.

The Penny Rose: image credited to Nick Chao

The Penny Rose: image credited to Nick Chao

Wonderland Organics: Studying upcoming fashion lines sounds fantastic! Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs?

Christa Martin: Go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back. When it’s hard, keep going. When it’s even harder, keep going. Carve out time every day for your passion. Give it time to grow. Find a genuine support system. Believe in yourself. Never let your dreams die.

Wonderland Organics: Brilliant! And last but not least, what’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics blog/site?

Christa Martin: The products! I am in love with the Balance Serum, so much so that I went through a bottle in no time on my first order. I’ve tried a lot of face oils in my time as a beauty blogger and this is by far my favorite. I’m a loyal fan and customer now.

Thanks so much Christa for talking to us today! Be sure to check out The Penny Rose for their great fashion and beauty posts! If you live in Santa Cruz, TPR posts plenty of local fashion shops to browse. What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Easy Steps for an Essential Anti-Aging Skincare Routine

5 Steps to Anti-Aging RoutineWhat better way to start the new year than to take the time to love your skin? Mature skin needs a specific skin care regimen that not only covers the basic cleansing, toning and moisturizing requirements, but also specifically targets the telltale signs of aging. However, we also believe in prevention. Since the age of 20, we’ve been on this anti-aging regimen, in hopes of delaying the wrinkles as long as possible. Following this routine isn’t just to minimize the signs of aging, but it will help your skin look well-groomed and glowing! We need consistent efforts  in order to see the best results, so be sure to follow this routine each day.

The important thing to remember is to use the lightest product first, and the heaviest product last. With each step, use a gentle touch, and apply in an upward and outward direction. Facial skin is much thinner than the skin elsewhere on our bodies. You don’t want to help gravity along by pulling or tugging downward on your skin, as it won’t bounce back. Don’t forget to use all of these steps on your neck as well.

1. Select a gentle cleanser that is made for your skin type that cleans away dirt, sweat, and makeup without stripping your skin of natural oils. It’s not as important to search for anti-aging specific cleansers, as they are just rinsed off of your face, and do not penetrate the skin. Massage gently into skin and rinse off with warm water. Gently pat the skin dry.

2. Use an antioxidant toner applied to a cotton ball to gently swipe across your face to remove any makeup or dirt that the cleanser missed. This balances the pH in your skin and leaves it as a clean canvas, ready for the products to be applied. On evenings that we’re too tired to use a cleanser, we love using makeup wipes instead! We love organic hydrosols, especially ones that are perfect for your skin type. Have normal skin? Rose hydrosol is perfect. For oily and combination skin, we suggest lime or geranium hydrosols.

3. Now that your face is refreshed and clean, apply a facial serum. This is the product that should be packed with antioxidants, peptides, vitamins and other age-fighting ingredients. Serums with these ingredients penetrate deeply into the skin and will stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, two elements critical to building a string support foundation for the skin.

4. If you’re using targeted treatments for fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, apply these now!

5. Finally, select a moisturizer for your skin type. Personally, we love using facial oils, as they’re effective for most skin types. Check out our Soothe or Sublime Oil Serums for normal skin types, or our Balance Oil Serum for oily and combination skin types. They’ve got antioxidants like d-alpha tocopherol, pomegranate seed oil, argan oil, and much more. Pump a small amount, and massage into your face and neck using gentle, upward strokes.

Follow this routine twice a day with quality products, and you’ll soon be on your way to feeling the difference that a quality age fighting skin care routine can bring.

What is your current skincare routine like? Let us know in the comments below!


New Product: Indulge Lotion

Wonderland Organics, Indulge Lotion, natural skincare, green beauty, indie, moisturizer, lotion

Wonderland Organics Indulge Lotion

Happy 2015 everyone! We hope that you all had an amazing holiday season, full of happiness and family gatherings. Here at Wonderland Organics, we’ve been busy in R&D, creating and testing out our new products that are effective, natural, and safe to use.

We’re excited to unveil our newest product, a lotion that we’ve named the Indulge Lotion. Now that temperatures have dropped drastically, there is no better way to moisturize your skin. We’ve included organic rosehip seed oil, which has antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene. Also present is organic rooibos extract, which is rich in ascorbic acid, also has plenty of antioxidants. The Indulge Lotion is scented with rose absolute, organic lavender, organic geranium, and vanilla bourbon, which intertwines in a sweet and combination. We’ve packaged our lotion in a gorgeous opaque glass bottle, so sunlight will not oxidize our product as quickly as traditional amber glass bottles.

Directions: Indulge in our richly scented lotion that is handpicked from the flowers in wonderland. Use on clean skin: apply all over body, focusing on areas that are in need of moisture. Great for face and heels as well. Keep out of direct sunlight and hot places like bathrooms. Discontinue use if allergic reaction.

Ingredients: *Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Juice, *Cocos Nucifera (Organic Coconut) Oil, Organic Extracts of *Aspalathus Linearis (Organic Rooibos) (and) *Salix Alba (Organic White Willow) Bark Extract, Emulsifying Wax NF, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Rosa Mosqueta (Organic Rosehip Seed) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), *Olea Europaea (Organic Olive) Oil, Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Rosa damascena (Rose Absolute), *Lavandula angustifolia (Organic Lavender Oil), *Pelargonium Graveolens (Organic Geranium Oil), Vanilla planifolia (Vanilla Bourbon CO2 Oil), *Azadirachta Indica (Organic Neem) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum

*certified organic or wildcrafted

Size: 3.38 oz (100 ml)

You can find our Indulge Lotion here on the website, which retails for $29.99. For a limited time, use coupon code “indulge20” for 20% off! We’re excited for you to try our lotion, as many of you have been asking about one for the colder months.




Holiday Gift Guide 2014

‘Tis the season to be jolly! We’re excited to bring to you our first annual Holiday Gift Guide here at Wonderland Organics. Most of the items listed here are handcrafted. We encourage our readers to order early for your wonderful presents to arrive before December 24th. This holiday season, we hope that you’ll support your local businesses that manufacture here in the United States!

 Wonderland Organics

Wonderland Organics Soothe Serum

Wonderland Organics Soothe Serum

Love natural skincare? Our Soothe Serum, 15 ml, makes for a fantastic holiday gift (perfectly sized for stocking stuffers). Scented with organic lavender essential oil, this facial oil will moisturize your face and neck with just two to three drops. We’re offering it for 20% off with coupon code happyholidays20 just for the holidays, make sure to get yours here before we run out!

Blank Verse X Penny Rose

Blank Verse X Penny Rose -Penelope Bangle

Blank Verse X Penny Rose -Penelope Bangle

We’re always on the lookout for affordable and fashionable jewelry, and we’ve discovered it in the form of the Penelope Bangle, available here! This hand-forged brass bangle is eye-catching as a standalone, or layer it up with your choice of bangles. You know it’ll look fabulous at your company’s holiday Christmas party.

Kladis Lamps

Kladis Purple Table Lamp

Kladis Purple Table Lamp

Tired of the typical IKEA lamps? Consider investing in this lavender shade! Our friends at Kladis Lamps created these lamps that are sure to delight for everyday usage, whether it’s for reading or yoga. The best part? It’s 50% off here with coupon code 502014.

Tiny Hands

Tiny Hands Scented Candy Cane Necklace

Tiny Hands Scented Candy Cane Necklace

Tiny Hands makes the most realistic looking food jewelry out of polymer clay: we purchased their rose macaron necklace earlier in the year, and absolutely love it. The best part? The jewelry smells just like the food they resemble! For people with sensitive skin, you can also choose to opt for the scentless option. You can get their adorable candy cane necklace here! If you love their seasonal necklaces, we know you’ll also be eyeing their maple syrup waffle necklace too.

Cirque Colors 

Lullaby, Cirque Colors

Lullaby, Cirque Colors

We interviewed Annie Pham of Cirque Colors earlier this year: wouldn’t you go ga-ga over their beautiful nail polish from New York-based handblended nail lacquer company? This rainbow confetti looks best over other colors– just the perfect color for Christmas and New Year’s. It’s available here on their website.

Sparklefly Candle Company

Sparklefly Candles Candy Cane Medium Tumbler

Sparklefly Candles Candy Cane Medium Tumbler

Do you love sparkling stone tumblers? Sparklefly Candle Company offers this fantastic alternative to candles, and their Candy Cane Medium Tumbler will be sure to waft the dazzling scent of candy canes throughout your home, just in time for the holidays! Be sure to order here for the holiday season!

Botanica Basics

Botanica Basics Footsy's Farmacy Gift Set

Botanica Basics Footsy’s Farmacy Gift Set

The best part about our trade org, the Indie Business Network, has to be the camaraderie that our fellow entrepreneurs share. This year, we did a Secret Santa, and I received this wonderful gift set from Sandra of Botanica Basics! This feels like true luxury after a shower, and we know that you’ll love it too. Available here on their website!

Adriana Soto

Adriana Soto Turquoise Earrings

Adriana Soto Turquoise Earrings

 Turquoise is one of the birthstones associated with December: these handcrafted earrings are the perfect gift for those of you celebrating your birthday this month! Adriana Soto offers these earrings in either 14K gold or sterling silver.  These backings will be great for women with more sensitive earlobes. Aren’t they gorgeous? Get your pair on Etsy here!

The Root Theory

The Root Theory Bamboo Makeup Brush Box

The Root Theory Bamboo Makeup Brush Box

Have too many makeup brushes? With The Root Theory’s makeup brush box, you’re able to let your brushes air dry properly. It’s best to wash your brushes daily, as bacteria tends to build up. Not only are these boxes beautifully handcrafted, they’re also made of sustainable bamboo sourced locally in California.

Basil The Girl

Basil The Girl- Infinity Scarf

Basil The Girl- Infinity Scarf

There’s something amazing about people who make clothes in the United States! We purchased a navy cardigan from Basil the Girl earlier this year on Etsy, and loved its warmth. We know it gets dark and gloomy in the winter, so why not brighten up your outfit with Basil’s adorable navy blue anchor knit infinity scarf? It’s available on Etsy: we know you’ll love it!

What’s on everyone’s Christmas wish list? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Best Ways of Keeping Fit During the Winter

6 Indoor WorkoutsAs the weather becomes colder, we know we’re looking for reasons to stay in and watch Netflix with a hot cup of organic tea. To stay healthy, we’ve compiled our favorite list of getting your endorphins indoors. Read on for great ideas that you can do at home!

Youtube Channel workouts: There’s no shortage of great videos on Youtube. We’ve been grooving to ReFitRev for the last year, and love it. Their channel has fun and easy dance moves to songs like Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. Currently, we’ve been on the lookout for their holiday tune workouts like Santa Baby and Jingle Bell Rock. Guilty pleasure: their routine to Justin Bieber’s version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Another channel we love to follow is Cassey Ho of Blogilates. Her channel has great workout videos targeting troublesome body parts using Pilates and specialized moves. We love her Cardio Ballet and Alive Krewella videos: they’re incredibly difficult! As a bonus, she also includes Cheap Clean Eats, which are simple and inexpensive recipes to cook after working out.

Equipment: Looking to strengthen your arms and upper back? Use weights or water bottles for curls to add to your lifting routines. If you invest in an Elliptical, that may mean that you don’t have to purchase a gym membership to use!

P90X: Looking for exercise that is extremely challenging? Tony Horton’s P90X workout is best done with friends! Back in college, we would work out in a group, and motivate each. It’s available on Amazon here with free shipping, and will arrive in 2 days if you have Amazon Prime.

Cardio Dance: Love to dance? Create your favorite playlist, and rock your heart out in your room or apartment. Our current favorites: Selena Gomez’s Slow Down Smash Mode Remix, any holiday music,  and Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud. Apologies if you have neighbors, this is best in the early mornings.

Yoga: Love free classes? Be sure to look up community classes near you, as they are often free! Granted, this one isn’t located in your home, but it’s a great alternative to a gym. For online yoga classes, Lululemon has two great videos here.

Workout image courtesy of

Workout image courtesy of

Wake up! & make it happen workout: We found this fantastic workout, courtesy of It’s got all of our favorites: burpees, planks, mountain climbers, and pushups! Are you a beginner? Start out with one set, then slowly increase the number of sets.

As with all exercise, be sure to stretch, begin moderately, and stop immediately if you feel pain in any part of your body.

What’s your favorite exercise to do during the winter? Let us know in the comments below!