Miraculous Marula Oil

Using oil on our faces has become quite popular lately, but for good reason — facial oils can improve hydration levels, elasticity and overall skin quality.  I recently tried ACURE’s Marula Oil, which is 100% pure and wildcrafted without pesticides. If you’re familiar with argan or jojoba oil, marula oil is less heavy than argan and more similar to jojoba.

What is marula and where does it come from? The Marula tree is in the same family (Anacardiaceae) as the cashew, mango, and pistachio nut and is indigenous to Southern Africa.

marulatree&fruit

{Photo Credit: ACURE ORGANICS}

The great thing about marula oil is that it works well for all skin types.  Aside from using it on my face and neck to moisturize and prevent fine lines, I’ve also loved using it as a split-end treatment and eye makeup remover.  When using the oil on your face or hair, a few drops go a long way so this bottle really lasts and is super reasonable at $15.99. The fact that it has no odor makes it an excellent choice for sensitive skin and/or sensitive noses.

marulaoil{Photo Credit: ACURE ORGANICS}

It’s also nice to know that purchasing ACURE’s Marula Oil supports The Marula Project, which provides economic empowerment to the South African women who harvest and process the oil.

Happy 4th of July!

Talk about a gorgeous piece of America — here are a few pics of my 1st trip to Montana and Wyoming last week.

Wow, just wow. I can’t wait to go back.

Gallatin National Forest, Bozeman, Montana

Hyalite Creek Trail, Gallatin National Forest

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Excelsior Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

Bradley Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Hope everyone has a great Independence Day!

Where is Spring?!

After saying “Happy Spring” last week and posting pictures of flowering trees, it was quite shocking to step outside this morning and see the beautiful, fully-in-bloom trees covered with snow! It was a pretty sight to see, but I’m REALLY ready for warm, sunny weather. My friend and fellow blogger, Lauren, was telling me that the St. Louis area also got some unexpected snow.  It really seems like winter has been especially long this year and now I know it’s not just in our heads!

How’s the weather by you?

Happy Monday

When I was in San Diego last month (can’t believe that was over a month ago already), the weather wasn’t as warm as I hoped for the first couple of days.. Then, on the third day, the sun was finally full blast and I found a nice place to sit out of the wind, looked up at the sky, and saw this. It doesn’t get much better than a sunny sky smiling back at you :)

Hope your week is off to a great start!

J’aime la France

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I was in France. It was such a perfect first trip. In exactly one week we were able to see three totally different places –  Evian, Aix-en-Provence, and Paris.

First up was Evian for one of my best friend’s wedding. We’ve been friends since we were five so of course I had to go to France to see her as a beautiful bride.

We flew into Geneva and took the ferry from Switzerland over to France (amazing how easy it is going country to country). The very first thing we did (before we even checked in) was have café on the dock of our hotel.

We looked out towards Switzerland as we soaked in the fact that we were finally in France. So breathtakingly beautiful.

Looking back at our hotel (Les Cygnes) from the dock — it was truly RIGHT on Lake Geneva.

The wedding location —Hotel Royal in Evian overlooking Lake Geneva…

…with the French Alps in the background.

Sunset over Lake Geneva.

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Next was Aix-en-Provence…

The city was founded in 123 BC.

Our first meal in Aix– a seriously legit Salad Niçoise.

Lots of lovely soap at the market :)

An incredibly relaxing afternoon at Thermes Sextius in Aix-en-Provence (a full review coming soon)

***

And then there was Paris…

Beautiful buildings like this everywhere you look.

Loved seeing this — a store closed until August 25th for very good reason :)

So cool to finally see this iconic structure in person.

Our view as we picnicked in the Luxembourg Gardens.

Another beautiful spot in the Gardens.

Bumped into Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) & her husband, Jeffrey, right outside our hotel!

In tea-smelling heaven at MARIAGE FRERES in the Louvre.

The Eiffel Tower from another angle.. hard not to keep snapping pics.

I can’t wait to go back.

Taking a Break

Hi readers! First off, if you are reading this right now then I want to thank you for being a reader of my blog. If you read on a regular basis, you may have noticed my posts have become less frequent recently…Well I had a realization last night — I think it’s time for a break from posts for a bit. I’m going to concentrate more on making products for House of Steep as well as my own line coming soon, Branch & Vine, and last, but not least, I’m going to visit France for the first time!

{via}

I’ll be back later this month with an awesome giveaway from Naturopathica. In the meantime, I wish you good health and lots of happiness! ~Annie

Back to San Francisco!

Happy Friday everyone! I’ve been meaning to share some pictures from my trip to San Francisco last week. It was my second time in the city (last January was my first) and I fell in love all over again.

First time going over the Golden Gate…

and then into the rainbow tunnel…

{Sausalito looking towards SF}

{massive amounts of rosemary growing along the sidewalk!}

{back in SF at The Fairmont}

{view from our room}

{scrumptious vegeterian pho from Grandehos Kamelkyo II on Hyde St.}

{walking down a typically inclined SF street}

{heavenly lattes made w/ogranic espresso & local milk from Blue Bottle (the Mint St. Location aka their best location, in my humble opinion :)}

{my favorite friends at Pier 39}

{green tea at Samovar in the Yerba Buena Gardens}

{nice surprise on Water St.}

{awesome new addition to San Francisco International Airport}

Happy Monday

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We just got back from a quick trip to Florida. It was a great weekend filled with family, food, the beach and lots of laughs. We spent three nights celebrating my dad’s 75th birthday with the ultimate celebration on Saturday night when we went on a dinner cruise around Sarasota into the Gulf of Mexico (pic below). It was hard to leave yesterday, but hopefully we’re going back down for Thanksgiving. Speaking of Thanksgiving – fall is definitely in the air!

 Have a great start to your week and enjoy the last official days of summer!