What I'm Loving: September 2013

If you're a lover of Etsy, but sometimes find the vast array of awesome items on there overwhelming, you just might love Jones Design Company. Emily, the owner of JDC is a wife, mother, and creator extraordinaire. Her always inspiring creativity has been featured in many of my favorite blogs and companies, including: Better Homes and Gardens, Design Sponge, HGTV, The Huffington Post, and perhaps my most favorite of the list, Apartment Therapy. She offers adorable designs, some for download and others for purchase, that are sure to add some inviting warmth to any home or office. In fact, the adorable "Autumn Essentials" print below is offered as a FREE download for her subscribers! Her blog is jam packed with creative goodness. The first place I suggest starting on her blog is the ahh-mazing tour of her home decorated for Fall. You're welcome. (:

I don't know if you've seen the many raves about this Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay recently, but let me tell you, it lives up to its description for some deep pore cleansing. Immediately after my first mask, any blemishes I had on my face had surfaced for accelerated healing. It is 100% natural bentonite clay that you mix in a 1:1 ratio with raw apple cider vinegar. I recommend Bragg's Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother, which you can buy on their website here, Whole Foods, or I get it from our local produce stand. The Indian Healing Clay can be found at Walgreens and Whole Foods for roughly $7 (I ordered off of Amazon), which is a steal, because undoubtedly, the jar will last quite a while. I only use a teaspoon of clay and a teaspoon of vinegar for each application. I highly recommend trying this out!

Along with half of social media, I'm itching for Fall and all it's cozy goodness. I try my hardest to tame my urges to buy from the first, small wave of clothing that comes out, because year after year, I learn that the better stuff comes out in the more composed, second wave. However, I can't say this stopped me from getting a head start on some staples in the accessory department! I live a very short distance from both Target and Tjmaxx, which makes for quite the love-hate relationship.

Some items I couldn't pass up though, were:

BOXWOOD WREATH: I've been eyeing this baby up since the Spring, actually, but finally couldn't resist any longer. This wreath definitely fits in the "home staple" category for me, because I plan on using it accordingly to each season, year-round. You can see where I've placed it in my home by following me @kalinorton on Instagram!

BAMBOO GOLD TOE FLATS: I actually scored these at a Imagine, a local boutique. With long days on my feet shooting weddings, I'm always on the lookout for some stylish and comfy flats to see me through. I adore these!

MERONA BLACK SACHEL HANDBAG w/ GOLD ACCENTS: This structured bag from Target is similar to the popular Phillip Lim line one also released at Target, and sold out instantly, last week.

In an effort to find alternatives to the industrial strength deodorant, filled with aluminum and other chemicals, I've been toying around with a few. I still haven't found one that works for some hard core gym sweating, but I have found two that seem to work for my less intense moments of life. One is Tom's of Maine, which I will discuss later, and the other, which I LOVE for less vigorous days at home, is Lush's Aromaco Deodorant Bar and Powder. Lush products are made from organic fruits and vegetables, the best essential oils, and the smallest amount of safe synthetics. The deodorant is applied by rubbing the bar on the skin under the arms, then adding a bit of powder on top. I love this deodorant because I remain feeling fresh and fragrant on days of lighter activity and I know that I'm using a product that is non-toxic to my body. Plus, I even use the deodorant powder as a safe fragrance atop my coconut oil when moisturizing my body!

If you're not familiar with the awesome, equal rights, healthy foundations Lush builds their products and company upon, you should go read their rockin' mission statement. Seriously. Also, if you'd like to read more about the toxicity of antiperspirants, WebMD has a pretty informational article, here.

I've been experimenting and observing which non-toxic moisturizers work best with my skin type quite a bit lately. As I've recently decided to start ridding all toxic products from my regime, I started with Image Skincare's line. Due to many studies linked to the health risks of parabens in many cosmetics and skincare lines, I sought out to find a safe alternative. Luckily, one of my closest friends, Connie, is a licensed Aesthetician on a mission to provide her clients with the knowledge and tools for healthy, safe skincare. You can read her credentials, here. Although, I'm hoping she will start a blog of her own soon to share the wealth of knowledge she has on the topic. (;

While Image is an established skincare product line, Connie also promotes many natural, "from the Earth," if you will, skin health alternatives. After doing some of my own research and learning some things from Connie and her wealth of information in the department, I decided to try coconut oil, then another oil I bought from the local farmer's market for my facial moisturizer. While I still use and LOVE both of these types of oil for other uses on my body and facial regime, I've found Image's Vital C Hydrating Anti-aging Serum and Hydrating Eye Gel to be the best uses for my actual morning and night moisturizers. I have pretty dry skin, especially under my eyes, so I like the heavy duty moisturizers--although, still non-toxic! However, this really depends on you, as I have other friends who the coconut oil or other oils work perfectly for.

Hope some of my September favorites find their way into your heart, as well!