Natural Beauty Recipes

If you haven’t discovered Pinterest yet (thanks again to my friend, Abby, who exposed me in the early days) then welcome to my favorite online past time – well next to blogging, of course.

Today I thought I would share one of my Pinterest boards that is highly relevant to this blog – NATURAL BEAUTY RECIPES <– Click there to see some of the recipes I’ve collected so far from a DIY Color Booster for Blondes to a Mocha-Frappuccino Facial Mask .

{Whole Living’s DIY Color Booster for Blondes}

On Pinterest already? Follow me here:


New Zealand’s Living Nature

I recently had the chance to ask Lorraine Downes, spokeswoman for Living Nature, a few questions to help my readers get an inside look at this natural skincare line. Hope you enjoy. This will be the first of many more company interviews to come!

  1. Please tell us a little about your journey and the founding of Living by Nature. Living Nature approached me to be their first ever spokesperson. It was perfect timing as at that time, I was seriously looking at my life and how I was going to approach my 40’s and the aging process. After making the decision that I was going to age naturally, and trialling the product for six months, I joined forces with Living Nature. Living Nature was founded in 1987 by Suzanne Hall who started using NZ native plants to make skincare products for her own skin as she wanted to use only natural ingredients. Today it is privately NZ owned.
  2. How does living in New Zealand impact the formulation of the line? NZ is known for its nature and its native plants which have been used medicinally by Maori (people of NZ) for centuries. So, the range is based on the unique native botanicals like Harakeke Flax, Totarol, Manuka Honey, Manuka Oil, Hallo Clay and Kelp found only here in NZ.
  3. What sets Living Nature apart from other natural beauty companies? Firstly, all the products are 100% natural and not many companies can say that. Living Nature’s products carry the BDIH Certified Natural Cosmetics Seal which is a world-leading independent auditor of natural skincare, and set some of the most rigorous standards worldwide for naturalness. The products are made here in NZ at the Living Nature’s own factory where all product development, formulation, filling and dispatching is done. Even the packaging has no nasties in it and is recyclable and 100% free from BPA and phthalates. The recyclable paper packaging uses vegetable dyes and inks and no chloride or dioxin.
  4. Could you choose one or two Living Nature products as your favorite(s)? I find this really hard to do as I love so many of the products equally! But I would say the Radiance Night Oil which my skin just loves because of the wonderful bouquet of naturally healing and restorative oils-calendula, jojoba, rose,rosehip oil, frankincense, the smell is blissful! Lovely to apply just before bed. The Extra Hydrating Gel is exceptional as it truly nourishes and balances the skin and restores the vitality to my skin which at my age is a must.
  5. What products would you recommend to someone trying Living Nature for the first time? Obviously, the products should be in harmony with a person’s skin and its needs ie dry/oily/normal/mature etc. But I think The Radiance Night Oil, Vitalising Cleanser which is a very gentle and effective cleanser, Eye Make Up Remover-again so gentle, no stinging or oiliness with this product and Firming Flax Cream- fantastic for softening fine lines.


Lorraine Downes, New Zealand’s only ever Miss Universe and former Dancing With The Stars champion, joined Living Nature in 2010 to encourage women around the world to turn to 100% natural skincare as the healthy, safe and effective alternative to synthetic beauty products. Lorraine’s love of New Zealand and the miracle properties of the ancient native botanicals is what propels her to help women discover what she has discovered — you can take the healing and rejuvenating properties of nature and apply them to yourself. As a professional image consultant, she has worked with women for 25 years.

  {Louise Henderson, Living Nature’s Global Marketing Manager

& Lorraine Downes, Living Nature’s Spokeswoman}

Today’s Guest Blogger – Lauren of Crumb Bums

I’m so excited for Lauren of Crumb Bums to be my guest blogger today (especially since it’s been forever since I’ve had a guest blogger). And especially since it’s Lauren!

Lauren is the wife of one of my old co-workers who I became fast friends with (mainly virtually since they now live in St. Louis).  I’m happy to say that since she and Andrew moved away over a year ago, our blogs and common interests (including natural child birth, healthy eating/cooking, and many more) have kept us in regular contact.

If you read her blog, you will quickly see what an incredibly energetic, loving, fun, creative and thoughtful mom she is to her three ridiculously cute boys (see the little Crumb Bums below). Lauren, you truly make me look forward to being a mom one day. Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your life and bread with us this morning!


Healthy Snacks for Kids

With 3 boys under the age of 5, we go through our share of snacks around here. And though we occasionally indulge in some not-so-healthy munchies, there are so many healthy options that are just as easy that we can feel good about giving our boys. Not only are we nourishing little growing bodies, we are also responsible for culturing a taste for healthy, nourishing foods for when our kids are adults.

This past weekend, be made a super-healthy banana bread with chia powder (if you’re not familiar with the health benefits of chia, check out Annie’s past post about it!) and whole wheat flour. It’s texture is dense and sweet, perfect for an afternoon snack!
My four-year-old Milo helped me with this one!

Banana Bread with Chia Powder (Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, Flaxseed Banana Bread)


1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt (you can use any flavor- this time we used banana mango)
3 ripe bananas (if you like yours less dense, omit one banana)
1/2 cup rolled oats, ground into flour
1/4 cup chia seeds, ground into flour (we used chia powder, but you can also use ground flaxseeds)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (bread flour works great too)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350. Oil a 5×9-inch bread pan
  • In a mixing bowl, mash bananas.

  • Add oil and brown sugar. Add eggs and beat well.

  • Mix in yogurt.
  • Grind rolled oats and chia seeds (or flaxseeds, if using)

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then stir with a whisk until combined.

  • Add dry mixture to banana mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Pour batter into bread pan and bake for about 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

If you don’t have an hour or more to spare, here are some good quick snacks to whip up in no time for the youngins!

Avocado on whole wheat toast with sea salt
Sesame tahini on a honey rice cake
“Ants on a log” (celery filled with natural peanut butter, with raisins)
Apple slices to dip into almond butter mixed with honey and wheat germ
A cheese plate with grapes and crackers
Veggie sticks and hummus

Enjoy your snacking! ~Lauren

Simple Strawberry Smoothie

A friend and I were recently venting to each other how we just can’t seem to find a flavored yogurt with a more reasonable amount of sugar – almost all of the brands have 20-something grams of sugar or more per 6-8 oz serving. That is a lot of sugar for such a small amount of food. Of course, some of the sugar (about 11 grams) is naturally occurring and plain yogurt will have about that much, but we’re talking about another 10-20 grams per serving! (Yogurts with artificial sweeteners were not even considered in the convo since they’re definitely not on the healthy list.)

Our talk inspired me to make a yogurt smoothie with just the right amount of natural sweetness last night.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 16 oz plain whole milk organic yogurt
  • 4-5 large ripe strawberries
  • 1 tbsp of honey (or less if you like)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender
  2. Mix for about 30 seconds
  3. Enjoy!

This smoothie turned out tasting SO similar to strawberry ice cream. It was really delicious, but it was also light and refreshing (unlike ice cream). Simple yet really satisfying. I thought it was worth mentioning. Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product – I was too busy guzzling it down :)

Gifts of Health & Beauty

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but I’ve been caught up in some week-long birthday celebrating.

Here’s a glimpse of a few of my favorite gifts — my friends and family know me oh too well.

{Terra Essential’s Aroma Roll On in Pink Lotus}

{Coconut Shampoo by Desert Essence}

{Rich Shampoo with Hibiscus and Honey by LOVE & TOAST}

{birthday card made by my 8 year old nephew :)}

Happy weekend everyone!

Drink to Your Health

Whether you have your own juicer or you get your fresh juices prepared for you, you must try this delicious combination next time around:


It is SO delicious! Even more delicious than I expected. And of course it’s super healthy — this combo is loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A. Perfect for the cold/flu season.

Ingredients (Serves 1):

  • 6 chopped carrots
  • 2 chopped grapefruits (peeled of course)
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger (amount depends on how spicy you like it. I opt for 2 inches)

Photo Credit: Dylan T Price