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Brittany Walker

Product Reviews

Eco-Friendly Products for the Home

Eco-Friendly Products - www.intolust.com

This post includes affiliate links. This means, I may receive compensation for purchases made through this post.  That being said, I have personally purchased and used every item linked to on this post. All opinions are my own.

Going green: It’s a concept that has, for some reason, become much more important to me as I’ve gotten older. I think it is a combination of wanting to live more healthfully, save money, and do my part to ensure that our children will be able to experience a clean and healthy environment. And– it just feels good to not be so wasteful.

While I haven’t gone COMPLETELY off the deep end with “going green” (although, my husband may disagree), I’ve managed to find eco-friendly products for the home here and there that allow you to make small, subtle, yet effective changes in your daily life. We use each of these products below every single day, whether the goal is to reduce waste or to reduce the use of toxic products.

Eco-Friendly Products - www.intolust.com

1. Life Factory Glass Bottle w/ Silicone Lid – find it here.

This bad boy never leaves my side. We all know that we need to drink more water and I used to be a slave to buying multiple plastic water bottles each day (especially while out and about).  Buying so many bottles of water can get expensive and so wasteful… which is why so many of us have turned to carrying a reusable bottle, instead.  I personally prefer to use a glass bottle over a reusable plastic bottle due to the risk of harmful toxins found in many hard consumer plastics (even BPA-free plastic bottles!). Glass is safe, super easy to clean, and this version is surprisingly durable.

Eco-Friendly Products - www.intolust.com

2. Blue and White Herringbone Tea Towels – find it here.

Paper towels….. I’ve tried to quit using them SO many times.  But it’s never gonna happen.  The only thing I can do, is do my best to use kitchen towels for big cleaning jobs as much as I can.  I love these simple, herringbone patterned tea towels.  I snagged a couple dozen off Amazon and keep a drawer stocked full of them.  When they are so easily within reach, I find myself using them more often than paper towels, which is a step in the right direction, I suppose.

Eco-Friendly Products - www.intolust.com

3. Greenshield Organic Biodegradable Surface Wipes –  find it here.

Along the same lines, I am also hopelessly addicted to Clorox wipes (or at least I used to be).  At one point, I was ordering them in bulk off of Amazon, until one day I opened the trashcan and realized I had gone through about 15 wipes in one day — which is crappy for our landfills and crappy for my wallet.  To compromise, I found these biodegradable wipes which are better for the environment AND they don’t contain any toxic ingredients.  That’s a win in my book.

Eco-Friendly Products - www.intolust.com

4. SipWell Stainless Steel Drinking Straws – find it here.

Do you ever find yourself drinking more water if you use a straw? No? Well, I do and I used to buy large bags of plastic straws to keep around the house — that was until I found these stainless steel, reusable straws. Again, easier on the environment AND the wallet.

Eco-Friendly Products - www.intolust.com

5. Woolzies Wool Dryer Balls – find it here.

After getting pregnant, I started to reassess all the products I use around my house for their chemical safety. There are just SO many products we use on a daily basis that contain harmful ingredients — and we may not even realize it.  I quickly learned that dryer sheets contain all sorts of toxic ingredients, not to mention they are just another disposable item filling up landfills.  I ditched them altogether and started searching for a safer alternative. I found these wool balls and now I am kinda obsessed.  They are completely natural, kinda kooky, but so much better for you! You toss them into the dryer with your wet clothes to soften them as they dry AND they cut down on your drying time.  They are unscented, but you can use essential oils (like lavender) if you want to add a dash of fresh scent.

Eco-Friendly Products - www.intolust.com

6. Eco-Me Natural Laundry Detergent – find it here.

To go along with the dryer sheet alternative, I recently found this unscented, natural laundry detergent.  A little of it goes a long way and it is safe enough to use on baby’s clothing items.  For your whites, Eco-Me also makes a whitening product that serves as a bleach alternative.

Eco-Friendly Products - www.intolust.com

7. Worm Factory 360 – find it here.

Last, but not least, the worm farm.  Hear me out! I admit, taking the leap to begin composting is a huge commitment.  I didn’t like the thought of starting an outdoor composting system due to bugs and scavenging animals, but I always feel SO wasteful throwing away so many food scraps when cooking.  I knew I had to find something to do with all those potato peels, egg shells, and coffee grounds, instead of tossing them into the trash.  I came across the idea of using a vermi-composting system, which can be used indoors.  The Worm Factory comes with a great guide book and DVD to ease you into the worm composting system.  You just simply prepare the worm beds as directed and you can toss in most basic kitchen scraps (except for some fruits, meat, and dairy).  As a result, you get great compost which can be used on houseplants or your outdoor beds.  It’s definitely a commitment, but I’ve grown really attached to ensuring my worms are healthy and happy.  I know, it sounds weird, but try it!

These eco-friendly products are just a few things that you can incorporate into your daily life to make small changes —  as they say, every little bit counts!  Do you have any eco-friendly products you recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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DIY

Lemon Thyme Sea Salt Scrub

Lemon Thyme Salt Scrub - www.intolust.com

I am a devout self tanner. While I love the sun, I hate wrinkles even more.  Ever since college, I’ve tried different brands of self-tanning lotion and different kinds of spray tans. Regardless of which route you choose to achieve that summer glow, full body exfoliation is always a must.  With an overabundance of thyme in my (small) garden this year, I decided to stretch my DIY “muscle” and make my own exfoliating scrub — and I was pleasantly surprised.

Lemon Thyme Sea Salt Scrub

Ingredients:

Lemons

Thyme

Olive Oil

Coarse Sea Salt (I opted for Fleur de Sel)

Wide container with lid (for easy application)

The great thing about this scrub recipe is that you can’t really mess it up.  And you can make as much or as little as you need.  To start, I filled a sanitized and dry container with sea salt, about 90% full.  For every 1/2 cup of sea salt you use, I would add 1 TSP of lemon zest and 1 TSP of lemon juice.  Next, roughly chop some fresh thyme (make sure the thyme is dry before using). For every 1/2 cup of sea salt, I would use 1 TBSP of chopped thyme.  Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Finally, pour your olive oil, slowly, over the salt mixture. I personally like my scrub a little more oily, so I used almost an equal ratio of salt and oil.  Pour a small amount at a time and mix between each pour — stop once your scrub has achieved the texture you desire.

Lemon Thyme Salt Scrub - www.intolust.com

Pro tip:  Keep the scrub in your refrigerator. The cold scrub will feel AH-mazing in a hot shower… especially when its 106 degrees outside.

What have you done with your extra herbs this year?  I have a few more recipes up my sleeve for my oregano, mint, and sage.  So check back for more…

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Fashion to COVET

Summer Espadrilles — 5 Styles

summer espadrille - intolust.com

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There is something about a good espadrille that SCREAMS summer, and I love it.  It’s the only time of year you can pull off the coveted canvas shoe with its woven jute sole.  Espadrilles have been around for centuries (really!) and have never gone out of style.  While the original version was the flat style, you can find an espadrille today as a wedge, heel, sandal… you name it.

Hell, even the men have dabbled in the espadrille shoe art from time to time.  Recognize this gentleman?

summer espadrille - intolust.com

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Though, I’m not sure how many men could pull that off right now.  Maybe Jude Law. Or Justin Theroux… maybe.summer espadrille - intolust.comNordstrom – $54.95

I love this classic, clean, almost nautical version. I, personally, can’t get away with straps tied around my ankles (oh, the curse of being 5’2), but if I WERE tall and leggy, I’d be pairing these bad boys with a white A-line skirt and then call it a day.

summer espadrille - intolust.com

Net-a-Porter – $125

Here is THE classic, modern version, with a slightly elevated heel. The Spanish designer, Castañer, was one of the main reasons the espadrille has had such a huge resurgence during the 20th century, with the help of Yves Saint Laurent.  Yves came across Castañer’s hand-crafted espadrilles and made a special request: “If Yves Saint Laurent wanted a wedge espadrille, a wedge espradille he would have!” — Lorenzo Castañer.  This version has been a mainstay of summer shoe wear ever since.

summer espadrille - intolust.com

J. Crew – $128 (40% off right now with the code SHOPNOW)

Now, this is the one for the short girls — I have it in 3 different colors.  It lacks ankle ties, which would otherwise cause your legs to appear a bit shorter, at least in my experience.  I’ve learned that one key to visually elongating your legs (as much as you can, anyway) is to avoid ankle straps or ties. Nude pumps or heels also help to visually lengthen your legs by creating on long, nude illusion of sorts.

summer espadrille - intolust.comNordstrom – $135

A summer shoe post would not be complete without including Tory somewhere.  These are the perfect shoes to take on vacation, to do some sightseeing.  Don’t forget to sprinkle a bit of shoe shoe powder, if you are going to wear them all day.  As beautiful as they are, they lack a bit of… aeration, shall we say.  Even still, who doesn’t love a good slip on shoe.

summer espadrille - intolust.com

Bloomingdale’s – $262.50 (originally $375)

And finally, the summer heel to beat all summer heels – the espadrille heel. It is the perfect shoe to go from day to night, to pair with shorts or a long maxi, and to throw in your summer suitcase for your Caribbean date night. Nude is my heel color of choice, especially for the summer (in December, its all black, baby).

Tonight, the hubster and I are going to see Anthony Bourdain at the Majestic Theater.  What he is going to talk about — I have no idea — but I am way too excited to soak it all up.  You better believe I’ll be wearing my favorite J. Crew espadrilles – in nude, of course.

Do you have a favorite summer espadrille? Comment below!

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Product Reviews

5 Natural Deodorants: Reviews

Natural Deodorant Reviews - intolust.com

This post includes affiliate links. This means, I may receive compensation for purchases made through this post.  That being said, I have personally purchased and used every item linked to on this post. All opinions are my own.

I will be the first to admit: I am a sweaty girl.  Always have been. It’s gross, I know.  For as long as I can remember, I have loaded up on the “industrial strength” deodorant — anything that would prevent the mortifying sweat rings that would magically appear, every day, without fail.  It got to the point that I didn’t care what was in the formula: if someone claimed it worked miracles, I was going to try it.

As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve become more conscious of the products I use and the chemicals they may contain — especially within the products I use on a daily basis.  Over the last few years, you may have read reports on aluminum-based antiperspirants and their link to breast cancer or Alzheimer’s.  Now, whether such reports are fact or fiction– I have no idea.  Truthfully, I’m sure there is a lot more research that needs to be done before anyone can say a true causal link exists.

Regardless, I like the idea of using all-natural products wherever I can — just because it feels good.  There’s just so much crap out there today, and I like to know what I’m putting in or on my body (am I turning into one of THOSE??).

With my underarms constantly working on hyperdrive, I take my deodorant very seriously.  I have used each of these natural products for at least a week in order to give them a true test run.  Some I love, some not so much…

Natural Deodorant Reviews - intolust.com

Lafes Deodorant Stick in Lavender — I loved the texture of this gel deodorant.  It glides on easy and has the most amazing lavender scent.  It’s a local company (Austin, TX) and is made with essential oils, aloe vera, baking soda, among other natural ingredients.  While I love the scent, it just couldn’t keep up with me for the entire day.  I had to reapply after 4 hours, BUT they donate 1% of their profits to breast cancer prevention, which is great.  I’m definitely going to check out their other products.

Natural Deodorant Reviews - intolust.com

Earth Science in Mint Rosemary — This was an interesting scent combo that I loved.  I’m a sucker for mint anything (especially body wash).  The texture of this product was a bit tough.  It took a few days for the stick to soften up and become easy to roll on.  Unfortunately, it, too, failed to keep up with me all day.  Even after reapplying, I felt a bit musty.  I really wanted to like this one– its ingredient list reads like a recipe with such ingredients like rosemary, sage, lavender, and ginger.  I’m afraid my sweat glands are just a bit too aggressive for this one.

Natural Deodorant Reviews - intolust.com

The Honest Company Bergamot Sage Spray Deodorant — I was pleasantly surprised by this one! I’ve never tried a spray before, other than an aerosol deodorant.  I felt like I was spraying a facial tonic on my underarms (it contains witch hazel, which must be why).  BUT! It works.  I feel only a tiny bit of moisture, yet I feel so fresh and clean — no musty scent. This one is definitely my favorite and I am still using it today.  I find myself spraying it on other areas just because I love the scent so much…

Natural Deodorant Reviews - intolust.com

Schmidt’s Deodorant in Lavender + Sage —  This deodorant has amazing reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, and I really wanted it to work for me.  Unfortunately, I am sensitive to one of the ingredients and my underarms became red and splotchy (I have super sensitive skin, though).  The glass jar comes with a spatula, which requires that you scoop out a pea-sized portion of the paste, warm it between your fingers, and directly rub it on.  I wouldn’t recommend applying this right after shaving, as it may cause irritation.  I gave this deodorant two separate attempts (one week each), but I couldn’t avoid the redness.  If you don’t have sensitive skin, I would definitely try this one, though.

Natural Deodorant Reviews - intolust.com

Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant — I’m a huge fan of Malin + Goetz, especially their packaging (so minimalistic).  This deodorant works GREAT.  So much so, that I use it as my “high performance” deodorant (ha!). No, seriously, this is what I wear when working out or spending the afternoon outdoors.  The eucalyptus scent is fresh, not girly at all.  Even my husband uses it each day. It IS the priciest one of the bunch, but well worth the investment (if you’re as serious about dry underarms as I am).

And there you have it! Even though I’ve found a couple that I love, I’m always itching to try new products.  Have you tried and loved any new natural products lately?  Let me know and add it to the comments!

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Product Reviews

Summer Reading Reviews

Summer Reading Reviews - intolust.com

This post includes affiliate links. This means, I may receive compensation for purchases made through this post.  That being said, I have personally purchased and used every item linked to on this post. All opinions are my own.

Unfortunately, at our age, we no longer get an “official” summer vacation, i.e. three months of carefree bliss, sandwiched in between naps and TV reruns.  Even still, I always look forward to summer and I always load up on new paperback books.  I know, I know– why not use a kindle? or an Amazon Fire? I am just one of “those” who love the feel of the pages between my hands (I also have a ton of built-in shelves that need to be filled with something).

Here are a few books that I’ve recently finished and loved.  Most of these summer reading recommendations have come from other bloggers and thus far, no one has done me wrong. Each one has something different to bring to the table and all are perfect summer reads.

Summer Reading: Reviews - intolust.com

You know that feeling you get when you turn the final page of a good book and you can’t help but close your eyes, hold the book to your chest, and let out a huge sigh of happiness?  No? Then, you’ll experience it at the end of this book — I promise.  It’s a story of an Italian romance spanning over 5 decades, commencing in the 1960s.  The story flashes forward and backwards; always keeping you on your toes.  I’ve been itching to go to an Italian coast ever since reading it.

Find it on Amazon here.

Summer Reading: Reviews - intolust.com

First things first: I am not a widow and this is not a “self-help” book.  I just wanted to make that clear… My friend saw this book on my kitchen island not too long ago and looked at me with a “wtf” face. I assuaged her concerns and let her know that it was fiction and it was a new book by Carole Radziwill.  If you aren’t a Bravo TV fan, then you probably won’t know who she is– but I am OBSESSED with her.  Her style. Her personality. Her story. Just, her in general. To be honest, this book was probably my least favorite of this bunch, but it was still good.  If you like the Shopaholic series, this story’s tone will remind you of it.  I love Carole, but I loved her memoir so much more (find it here).

Find this book online here.

Summer Reading: Reviews - intolust.com

I’ll be honest.  I judged this book by its cover.  I didn’t really get it, and it looked kind of adolescent.  I kept putting it off.  The story does initially feel a bit young (it takes place in high school), but you quickly realize there is a darkness to it and you get swept up in it. The story is told from the dual points of view of both main characters, which was interesting.  If you come from a divorced family or you were a bit “punk rock-y” in high school (was it only me?), then you’ll identify with Eleanor.  I couldn’t put it down once I got started.

Find it here.

Summer Reading: Reviews - intolust.com

Typically, you will finish a good book to later find out that it will be made into a movie or TV series; but, I discovered this book via the backwards route. I was looking for a new series to binge watch and saw a preview for Outlander on Starz. All of those premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Starz) have been pumping out some amazing series lately, so I gave it a try.  I think I finished the entire first season in just 2 days… I was hooked.  Historical romances, especially European ones, always get me.  I googled the show to learn more and found out it was an 8-book series!  Each novel is 500+ pages (and tiny print), but I’m already on the 4th one.  It’s so interesting– even though it is a sequential series and I recommend that you read it in order, each novel is meant to be a standalone, as well.  You can pick up any of the books and enjoy it just as much, without feeling that you are missing something.  Don’t let the heavy Scottish “accents” deter you (somehow the written text exudes an accent, I swear).

Out of all my summer recommendations, I recommend this series the most highly. Order it here.

Summer Reading: Reviews - intolust.com

Finally, a good lighthearted read.  If you love celebrity gossip, this book is chock-full of it. I have to say, I find myself watching Andy Cohen’s late night show every single night. He asks his guests ridiculous and crazy questions– I love it!  This book was an homage to Andy Warhol, whose personal diary was published after he died.  Both books simply detail their daily comings-and-goings, leaving no celebrity tidbit omitted.  Andy Cohen is BFFs with Sarah Jessica Parker, John Mayer, the Seinfelds, and Anderson Cooper, among others.  It’s juicy and the perfect poolside read.

Order it here.

What are you reading this summer?  I’ll be working on the Outlander series, but I need more suggestions!!

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