August is just around the corner and for many its time to hit the cottage for the last few long weekends of the summer. This post is about all the things you ought to pack for your mini nature trip and some great beauty tips so that you can make the best of your outdoor adventures. At the end I offer my personal DIY Mosquito & Tick Repellent that is super easy to make, natural, deet-free, and at a FRACTION of the price you’d pay for it in stores.
First, You’ll Need Some Comfy (yet, Stylish) Nature Shoes
I’m in LOVE with the Sorel Lakeboot in Pebble:
The soft leather hugs your foot while at the same time providing cool ventilation through the warmest parts of the day. They are extremely comfortable straight off the bat and are designed to offer even more with use. You can do as much walking as you please as its leather footbed and sole conforms to your foot over time for a custom fit, making each and every wear more cozy. In my opinion they are a great piece to turn laid back into sexy with a great pair of shorts and loose tank. The color “Pebble” (my fav ) falls into the Pantone list for this season making it a chic find and it pairs well with almost anything!
Some Hot Reading Material
If you are now all done with your 50 Shades of Grey…. Might I recommend what I think is the PERFECT book to read while you are basking in nature, yet still probably fantasizing about sweet, beautiful Christian and all the mind-blowing stuff in between?
I came across this great book called ECO-SEX which ironically combines everything that philanthropic Christian Grey advocated (making the world a more sustainable, eco-friendly, healthier place). It gives you the low-down on just what is in all of the products you use daily (yes, even sexual products) and what effect they could be having on your body. Also, Stefanie Weiss provides a thorough guide on how to green your life not just between the sheets but all around. She includes some great recipes for both cooking (Nutrition: Eating for your Orgasm–very interesting!) and smelling good (DIY alternatives to Deadly Synthetic Fragrances–with one two of her specialties “Scent to Seduce a Man/Woman”). While you are reading this you literally want to pause after every page to try whatever it is that she is talking about!
Weiss also provides very valuable information such as: where to get the best in any eco product out there (How ’bout some Eco-chic fashion, ladies? Or where to get the safest paint-based natural nail polish?), how to not fall for “Greenwashing’, What is the Carnal Cleanse?, Eco-safe sex, and alternative options to enhance you or your partners libido. The research is all done for you!
It’s quite the interesting and fun read that will teach you practical and useful way to improve your life, especially in the bedroom! It’s also perfect for your cottage getaway since you are embracing nature–your eco wheels are already spinning in the right direction.
Dry Shampoo, because you may be roughing it
Oh Em Geeee I’ve finally found an Organic, Heavenly Scented Dry Shampoo!! It’s called skinnyskinny and it’s a dreeeeeeam. “Because it’s no one’s business if you overslept. Sprinkle a dime-size amount throughout hair. Wait a few minutes, then comb through. There….you’re done.” And that’s EXACTLY how easy it is. This is especially perfect in case you may not be shampooing your hair in a lake (that’s if you aren’t ‘glamping’, of course). But I love this FAB product on a daily basis because you always want your roots to look fresh. Since its certified organic, eco-friendly, and contains no synthetic ingredients (Weiss would be proud!) its guilt-free and simply the perfect solution to great hair–no matter what your environment happens to be.
Some Wildly Natural Lip Care, because chapped lips are never fun
I came across this great line of natural lip conditioners and body care called Mad Gabs. It’s a super cute product line and utterly DELICIOUS to put on your lips. These lip butters are whipped up with Shea and Mango and come in a variety of yummy flavors: Lavender-Vanilla, Juicy Mango, and Coconut Lime. Their packaging is also eco-friendly and recyclable–I’m loving this all this environmental awareness! This will be the perfect outdoor treat for your lips this cottage season.
A Silk Eyemask, because why shouldn’t you sleep in style?
I am a firm believer in all the positive benefits of sleeping on silk so when it comes to what I place on my eyes before turning in—yes, it’s got to be silk! This is the perfect travel companion because you never know when you’ll want or need to get some beauty sleep. And c’mon you’ll look so great doing it. Also, for the cottage or camping this is a must–unless you are a SUPER early riser and don’t mind getting up at the crack of dawn.
The trusted line I use for my silk sleep essentials is cilque–their products are authentic 100% mulberry silk and are top of the line quality. It feels so light and soft against your face, not like others I’ve tried that are either itchy, don’t stay on well, or don’t completely cover. This is the best I’ve found—and right now they are having a sale!
Aluminum-Free 72 Hour Deodorant, because nature isn’t always so kind
I think almost everyone has heard about the importance of using an aluminum-free deodorant (aluminum is linked to a wide variety of serious health issues, read more on that here). Before this product called Lavilin, I never knew there could be a deodorant that lasts for 3 days or even up to a week straight. For most, this makes life a whole lot less stressful when it comes to strenuous physical exercise, traveling, and of course cottage country! Their line is healthy, natural, and simply awesome.
Solar Power Running Gear, because the sun shouldn’t stop you
So now that you can exercise and smell great for days, how about the smartest running gear ever? Columbia Sportswear came out with the Women’s Solar Polar™ 1/2 Zip which is nothing short of genius. I mean the incredible features embedded within this cool shirt seem endless. It has a three-pronged defense system that protects you against: overheating (Omni-Freeze ICE for advanced cooling), harmful UV rays (Omni-Shade® UPF 50 sun protection!) and vibe-destroying perspiration (its anti-microbial and vented!).
Wow, c’mon–how could wear anything else now? This is a PERFECT item to bring to the cottage or camp grounds since you can enjoy an outdoor run in full comfort or even just lounge around….in full comfort. Not to mention it’s a stylish workout piece, looks effortlessly FAB on I must commend their color choices–I have the Clematis Blue, its so complementary to my olive skin tone–but orange is just so hot this season also. Absolutely love this Polar 1/2 Zip.
A BPA Free Water Bottle, because chemicals are NOT for drinking–Ever.
The major and unsettling problem with bottled water is that the plastic (polycarbonate) is manufactured with the harmful chemical BPA (Bisphenol A). Its toxic effects over time can cause MANY serious health issues including: neurological effects, infant mortality/defects (when consumed by pregnant women), cancer, disrupted hormone function, and the list goes on. Makes you wonder why it hasn’t been completely BANNED from consumer reach–but then again, there are tons of other controversial ingredients out there.
The good news is there are many great companies that offer BPA free water bottles, like this pretty green one over here from Land Art (it’s only $5.50!). I love this one because it has measurements on the side so you can measure your water intake to make sure you’re getting your daily needs. Learn how to calculate your recommended daily water intake here. It even has a clip on the side so you can clip it onto your belt if you’re bike-riding or doing other fun cottage stuff . Saves you from having to carry it around. It’s also biodegradable–yay for all these green items!
DIY Recipe for Natural (Deet-free!) Bug Spray, because it doesn’t have to cost much to be good
We all know that if you plan on heading up to a cottage or campground, you better have a great bug spray to soak yourself in. Because nature can be cruel! There is the added worry of ticks and other bugs carrying vector born diseases. So MUCH better to be SAFE. Also, you must have a bug spray that is Deet-Free—geez these harmful chemicals seem to pop up everywhere, don’t they?
“Although DEET is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is a known eye irritant and can cause rashes, soreness, or blistering when applied to the skin. Additionally, DEET has been linked to neurological problems; according to the EPA, at least 18 different cases of children suffering adverse nuerological effects, as well as the deaths of two adults, have been associated with DEET. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that DEET causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats.”–Cornell – DEET Mosquito Repellent: New pharmacology study of impacts
SO, in favor of what is most natural–I’m going to share with you my personal favorite: Mosquito & Tick Repellant. It costs next to nothing to make and will only take you 5 minutes to prepare. Best part is, it works (doesn’t smell too bad either)!!
All you need is:
- 3 ounces Distilled Water
- 1 ounce Witch Hazel
- 0.5 ounce Apple Cider Vinegar
- 6 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 3 drops Citronella Essential Oil
- 3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
- 3 drops Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin (optional)
Directions: Sanitize a glass spray bottle and mix in all the ingredients–that’s it.
**if you’d like, you can “marry” the essential oils for a better aroma, you can first mix them together separate form the rest of the ingredients and let it sit for a week before completing the recipe.
You can buy all the ingredients at a local health/organic store. First time I used this recipe I went to “Noahs.” But then I wanted to make larger quantities and so I came across an amazing supplier that offers all the ingredients at a fraction of the price (New Directions Aromatics–they are worldwide).
Before we go, I bet you didn’t know…
Ever wonder why mosquitos are attracted to certain people more than others?
It could be due to the fact that some people have higher levels of Vitamin B1 (a.k.a. thiamine) than others. This is a vitamin that you need adequate amounts of daily and if you ever take a B1 vitamin on its own you will notice that it has a mild odor. This odor is what repels mosquitos since they can pick up the scent from your pores. So, always remember to take your B-Complex before you hit the cottage country