I felt unbelievably proud getting to watch the love of my life complete his college degree- no small feat when you’ve consistently worked while being a student. Congratulations!
Last year, I had the privilege to shoot a pregnancy announcement for my dear friends Sam and Tyler, when they first learned the news about their little bundle of joy. Of course by now, they have their beautiful baby girl!
My camera hasn’t been doing much else besides gathering dust in the book shelf as of late. On Saturday morning, we ventured to Mavericks, the world-renowned (in)famous surf spot in Half Moon Bay, CA. Only one day prior to these pictures being taken, the El Nino-spurred waves had reached a height of 50-60 feet. Titans of Mavericks, an invite-only surfing competition held at Mavericks each year, was put on hold when a world class surfer had a particularly gnarly wipeout that left him in the hospital undergoing emergency surgery. I hoped to catch on camera the ocean’s fury, but it had clearly been tempered by the time I arrived the next morning at sunrise.
There is no underlying theme for today’s post. Well, that’s a lie. I take it back. The theme is excitement! I always feel such a renewed sense of health and wellness when my new Arbonne order comes in. Today’s includes the Arbonne FC5 shower set, (Nourishing shampoo and conditioner, and body wash) and the chocolate protein shake mix.
I have already used and love these products- so here is why I consider them staples.
FC5 Shower Set:
The nourishing shampoo (and conditioner too) is formulated without parabens, which are chemicals used as preservatives in many cosmetics and personal care products. The reason why Arbonne prides itself in avoiding the use of parabens in its products is because of the harmful interactions parabens have in the human body. A few years ago, many companies started widely advertising that they don’t use parabens, and like with many trends, people became obsessed with parabens, and came to regard it as the devil in chemical form. I don’t like to go with the court of public opinion alone, so I did my research on what parabens do to the human body. What I found was that parabens have the potential “to act like hormones in the body, in particular like estrogens, the female sex hormone” (http://copublications.greenfacts.org/en/parabens-cosmetics/index.htm). Um, yikes. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve got enough hormones flying around in here that I don’t want my shampoo or under-eye concealer to add to the mix. In addition to parabens, the list of things that didn’t cut it into the shower products includes phthalates (used to increase the flexibility of vinyls or plastics), propylene glycol (acts essentially as antifreeze in many health/cosmetic products- prevents them from freezing in cold weather or melting in the heat), mineral oil (basically crude petroleum- you’d be surprised how many products contain it), paraffin (a derivative of petroleum, coal or oil shale), and any animal-derived ingredients. But let’s talk about how it feels. Do you know that feeling when you wash your hair with super cheap shampoo and it’s almost squeaky after you’ve rinsed it out? It feels stripped of moisture and can be very staticky upon drying. This shampoo does not feel like it. While it has a very thin base (clear liquid as opposed to creamy), hair feels moisturized after using. It has a very light scent, which is reminiscent of citrus and mint. During the summer, nothing feels better after a day out in the sun sweating by the pool or lake than to wash off with the FC5 body cleanser. It’s extremely refreshing! Ultimately, I just love this set. It makes me want to go shower right this instant!
Chocolate Protein Shake Mix
Being an off-and-on athlete in my life (high school softball, college crew team), I have had several phases where I am extremely focused on improving my body and its ability to perform. I have tried every pre-workout, protein powder, protein bar, meal-replacement shake, and thermo-booster under the sun. The protein powders have always left something lacking for me. The Arbonne Chocolate Protein shake mix is not overly sweet or chalky like many have a tendency of being. It isn’t too grainy, so I can mix it in with a scoop of greek yogurt, mix with a spoon, and enjoy a creamy protein-boosted snack before or after a workout. With just 3.5 grams of fat in a serving, it boasts a 6:1 protein/fat ratio. Sure, there are protein powders out there that have more protein in a serving, but their fat and sugar content are typically far higher as well. The great thing about this powder is how many other vitamins you get in addition to the protein. It has between 8-20% of your daily recommended daily servings of Vitamins A, C, D, E, and B12, in addition to Biotin (great for skin, nails and hair), Magnesium, calcium, and Potassium. I love that for the fact that I’m not great about remembering to take pills, so if I can get my vitamins just by adding a couple scoops of this bad boy to my morning smoothie, which is my established breakfast habit, then that’s music to my ears. As someone who is medically prohibited from eating wheat products, I am so grateful for this product to be certified gluten free. Diabetics are limited in their protein product selection, and Arbonne’s is safe for them as well, as it is fructose-free, with a low glycemic index to ensure no effect on blood sugar levels.
I hope this is helpful for anyone who is thinking about making steps toward a more healthy life- not just by what you eat or by exercising, but also by being mindful of what we are putting into our bodies directly through our skin and hair.
More to come next order!
Near our apartment is a hill that seems like the highest point for miles. Nathaniel and I have tried to find the base of it to hike up in the past, but could never quite find it just by following our map. He googled around, though, and figured out that it’s a public park. Today we spent the afternoon hiking in the park. My heart rate was bumpin as I struggled to climb up the steep hill- but the view from the top was worth all the struggle!
While atop the hill, we noticed a low-flying Red-tailed Hawk. If you zoom in and look carefully, you can see that he was eyeing us as he loomed overhead.
On our way down, Nathaniel almost stepped on this guy, who was newborn and very much alive!