Things I’m Loving: Thanksgiving Edition

It’s that time of the year! Thanksgiving is almost upon us here in the states, and I’m ready to relax, kick back, and enjoy some family (and shopping) time. There’s lots to love during the October, November, and December months and I figured what better time to start than now? Here’s what I’m loving this month: 

I’m a tad bit late on this since we went to a lot of farmer’s markets and flea markets before we got hitched in October. We scoured the markets for old books for our centerpieces, and we also found some amazing cruelty free soap artisans who are both practically in our backyard.  

The colors of her soaps are all so unique!

The colors of her soaps are all so unique!

First up was Handcrafted by Virginia, a local soap artisan out of Middletown, CT. We purchased her Cotton Candy soap and had a blast chatting her up. You can find her shop on Etsy and browse through her amazing soaps and creations. She also donates 15% of her Etsy profits to organizations that help those affected by Lyme Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Juvenile Diabetes. I love her “giving back” philosophy and her cruelty free, sustainable ingredients. 

It might be possible that I want all of these!

It might be possible that I want all of these!

We stopped next at Lovely Lathers, based out of Wallingford, CT. You can check them out on Facebook. We purchased their pumpkin spice soap (how appropro) and a “manly” scented clean soap for Keith to enjoy. I’m obsessed with having these amazingly creative ladies so close to home. Who knew I could snag some amazing cruelty free (and some vegan) soaps and skincare goodies? 

Give me all the apples!

Give me all the apples!

The Thanksgiving season also gives me some time to have fun with recipes. I’m loving that I can take some time to experiment in the kitchen. For the months of August and September, when I’m in crazy teacher prep mode, I don’t spend as much time in the kitchen as I would like. This bad boy is a double crisp apple crisp. Yes, I doubled the crispiness. I’m out of control!

Pacifica is my jam, son!

Pacifica is my jam, son!

Finally, I’m a total groupie for anything Pacifica, especially their nail colors. I fell in love with this color, Red Red Wine, and rocked it for all of October and November. Even my students liked my “vampy” hue! Next on my list is their BB cream. :)

What are you loving this month? This season? This minute? I love reading about your favorite things! 

Just the Goods Skincare Review

I fell in love with Just the Goods skincare when I received my July Vegan Cuts beauty box. Their lotions were so silky and gentle (to humans and animals). I had to have more! Milena, the brain behind the brand, is an amazingly sweet person. I ordered their Vegan Lip Balm in orange, their Vegan Sea Salt Body Scrub, and their Vegan Nut-Free Unscented Massage Oil. What I actually received was a bounty of amazing, natural, and vegan/cruelty free skincare products. 



This is the lovely, breath-taking, and amazingly generous package I opened up! Not only did I receive the products I ordered, but I also received the vegan home spa, unscented body butter, unscented body lotion, vegan cleanser, vegan toner,vegan facial lotion, and vegan facial scrub with kaolin clay! Each of these products was amazing in its own right, but here’s a break-down for you all. Trust me, this line is going to be your new BFF this winter (and all year long). 

The body lotions and butters are packed with gentle, natural moisturizers like cocoa butter & grapeseed oil. I love how this smells! The lotions come backed with comfy soft avocado oils. I loved how each of these was gentle and unscented. I used my regular fragrances with them and there were no scent conflicts. :) I used both of these after shaving and no burn! You all know that’s the test for me. The body butter was great on my feet before bed, too. I love how Just the Good’s body butters have a bit of cornstarch in them too. Unlike other butters I’ve tried, these are less greasy and apply easily. 

I enjoyed the facial products and having a cruelty free and vegan cleansing “system” to use. A lot of the product series sold in drugstores are not always cruelty free, so having a whole line of products to use was great. They have lines for oily and acne prone skin, but I used the normal/sensitive line. The cleaner lightly foams (which I like) and smells light and clean. The toner has a very thin consistency, but it absorbed quickly into my skin and made it feel completely clean. The lotion that followed worked as a perfect day cream and jived well with my primer and other makeup. As for the scrub, this took some getting used to! The scrub is dry and contains kaolin clay and cornstarch. I had to get a handle on how much water to add each time, but once I did the scrub worked its magic and left me matte and fresh!

Overall? I will be ordering from Milena and Just The Goods. This is a brand that puts its money where its mouth is and treats customers and clients to a little spa at home. 

Editor’s Note: The product(s) featured in this post were provided by a representative of the company named in this post for editorial consideration. I was not in any other way compensated for this post. All reviews are 100% honest and of my own opinion.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Review

You guys all know that I love snacks and toppings. I’m forever putting fun things on top of my yogurt and smoothies which is why I was so excited to participate in the Fit Approach campaign with Manitoba Harvest. I received a package of their delicious hemp hearts to try and I’m so glad I got these babies in my kitchen. They’re delicious! Because I’m a vegetarian, I look for ways to get my omegas and good proteins. I LOVE LOVE LOVE plant protein, so trying something new was exciting. 

Love this colorful packaging.

Love this colorful packaging.

 The first thing I notice about a product is the packaging. I’m a packaging nut. I love bright colors and I like seeing what the actual product looks like. This package looks fun and happy, no? I love the name of the product (I’m all about love and food), and I liked reading about the product on the packaging. I automatically knew the facts. Here’s what you can read on their website and on their packaging: 


Great tasting – Hemp Hearts have a slightly nutty taste, similar to a sunflower seed or pine nut.

Easy to use – Simply sprinkle Hemp Hearts on salad, cereal & yogurt, add to smoothies and recipes, or eat them straight from the package!

Nutritious – per 30 gram serving, Hemp Hearts contain 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of Omegas.

Hemp Hearts have more protein and omegas and less carbs than the same serving of chia or flax.

All of that makes me a happy girl! I tried some of them “straight-up” and they tasted like a milder sunflower seed. Keith even gave them a go! Then I decided how I’d prepare them. 


I did a lot of the “run of the mill” dishes with my hemp hearts. I sprinkled them on my cereal. I added them to oatmeal. I mixed them up with Coconut Yogurt and fruit and granola. All were delicious and satisfying! However, my personal piece de resistance was the avo-toast. 



Avo-toast makes me happy. It’s simple, it’s darn good, and it keeps me satisfied until 4th period when my kids leave me alone to eat lunch. 

With the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts, I kicked my avo-toast up a few notches and boy am I glad I did. I took sprouted grain bread (if you’re not eating this…wait until you finish reading and then run to your nearest grocery store and buy in bulk), and toasted it. I mashed my avo and topped with nutritional yeast AND hemp hearts. 

Let your tastebuds rejoice in the magic! The flavor of the hemp hearts and the nooch compliment one another. It’s a creamy, cheesy, nutty blast of flavor. I was full and felt amazing. I loved using the hemp hearts to add a bit of crunch to the toast and avo-mix. So delicious!

The best part of all of this is you guys get a deal, too! Manitoba Harvest is offering 20% off of your purchase when you use the code HHSweatPink14. Happy shopping! What hemp hearts recipes might you try? 

Editor’s Note: The product(s) featured in this post were provided by a representative of the company named in this post for editorial consideration. I was not in any other way compensated for this post. All reviews are 100% honest and of my own opinion.

I’m All Wifed Up Now!

Two weeks ago, Keith and I finally made it official and we tied the knot after 11 years of being together. Here’s an action shot: 


I have to say, we had a blast! We’re taking a honeymoon later in the winter so we took a few days off before and after the wedding to stay up at the casino and to relax. It was like a pre-honeymoon of sorts. The venue and church were perfect, my dress was perfect (I might be biased), and my dinner was perfect. We made sure to eat, we made sure to get to every table and say thank you, and we made sure to dance and have fun. 

I was strong going down the aisle, but when it came time to do our father and daughter dance, I got a little emo. We danced to “Daddy’s Little Girl” by The Mills Brothers. It’s a great oldie. Keith and I danced to “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine show, grinning and singing the whole time. The whole night was P-E-R-F-E-C-T. I wouldn’t have changed a thing except to make the whole event longer. :) 


Later on, we took a bathroom selfie at the casino because…why not? That bathroom was probably one of the fanciest bathrooms ever. It even had a phone in the toilet room. :P 

And if you were wondering, yes, my bridal makeup was done by yours truly and is all cruelty free and/or vegan. :) Happy two weeks to Keith and I! 



Strawberry Hedgehog Vegan Soap Review

Back in the summer, I received the most amazing care package from Ms.Tracy Perkins, the genius lady (and fellow educator) behind Strawberry Hedgehog. I was trying to expand my collection of daily soaps that were cruelty free and chemical free and this brand jumped out at me. After some amazing e-mail exchanges and chatting about vegan soaps and teaching, this beautiful care package (with a note…you know I love notes) landed on my doorstep. 

And might I compliment Tracy on her beautiful penmanship?

And might I compliment Tracy on her beautiful penmanship?

I really enjoyed trying these products, especially the deodorant! I’ll be honest. I’ve always been a bit more on the “potent” side due to my diet and my heritage, so finding a deodorant that is CF and WORKS means a lot. So, let’s dive in!

Strawberry Hedgehog soaps are all natural and handmade. I love the artisanal quality in these soaps. It’s evident that everyone at SH really takes the time to perfect their scents, ingredients, and procedures. You can see all of the soaps above, so I’m not going to break down every single scent, but I will say that these soaps hold up in the shower. Even the small sample size soaps were high quality and all came packaged in a wax-paper like wrapping. I love the attention to detail in the packaging. Sometimes samples aren’t packaged with the same amount of care. But, that’s not the case here. 

What ingredients will you be slathering on your sexy bod when you use these? Their vegan soaps are made with high quality amazing ingredients! I think the first is love, but in addition you’ll be bathing in coconut oil, palm oil, and a touch of veggie glycerin. My favorite soaps of this bunch were the Patchouli-Orange which gives a spicy scent that lasts all day and the Venus (Witch’s Brew) which also boasts a warm, spicy scent. The lavenders were nice for bedtime, but I’m more of a spice girl. :) Keith, on the other hand, loved the Coconut Almond vegan soap.

In addition to the soaps and deodorant, I also got to try their whipped body creme packed with almond, coconut, and shea butters. This lotion is THICK! I had no idea it would be so rich, so a little goes a long way. 

Overall, I loved the samples and soaps and I loved the safe, ethical ingredients that SH and Tracy choose to use. With the holidays coming up (and the cold weather), I’m sure I’ll be stocking up again soon!

Editor’s Note: The product(s) featured in this post were provided by a representative of the company named in this post for editorial consideration. I was not in any other way compensated for this post. All reviews are 100% honest and of my own opinion.

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