15 February 2014

The one with the 2014 goals update.

Make Today Lovely Notebook

On my Facebook page I posted some beauty/blogging goals I had for myself in 2014 - that was on January 2nd. Now a month and a half into the year, I thought I would list them and share how I have been doing.

// Figure out how to get the piecey, messy hair I always admire on other people (example)

Definitely not there yet. I have found, thanks to a suggestion from a reader, that alternating the direction of my curling iron really helps, as do texturizing sprays. I have used up a bottle of the Bumble and Bumble Bb. Thickening Dryspun Finish and started using the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray just this week. I will talk about both in my Empties video which will go up later this month.

// Redo my blog design

Complete! I could not have done this without the help of The Blog Boat. Robyn was a dream to work with, and I could not recommend either her templates or her custom work enough. I'm really pleased with the clean look and happy colors.

// Post consistently again (I'd like to have a mix of beauty & lifestyle posts on That is All)

This is still a work in progress. When I started YouTube, I never dreamed it would take the amount of time and effort that it does. The filming and editing are one thing, but the constant comments and messages with questions are both the most fun thing and the most time-consuming thing about YouTube. If I have extra time in the day, I would much rather respond to some of those questions than write a blog post, but I also missed this outlet during 2013. I am trying to find a good middle ground and make both a priority.

// Find a natural deodorant 

Currently I am using this one that my friend Joy sent to me from her own line. Here line is very new, but this product is already getting great reviews.

Let's have a TMI moment - honestly, I sweat a lot...like Degree Women Clinical Protection Anti-Perspirant Deodorant doesn't always work for me. So somedays with the Joyous Health deodorant I'm golden, and other days it's not pretty.

If you have made the switch to a natural deodorant, did you experience an adjustment period?

For now I will keep using the Joyous Health one, and I will also be testing out the popular Soapwalla Deodorant Cream.

// Learn more about ingredients so I can make better purchasing decisions and give better reviews

Probably the hardest out of all of these goals. I'm a little confused by all the differing opinions, and at this point I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed. I thought I'd share some resources I've been using (thank you to everyone who left recommendations over on Facebook!) -

No More Dirty Looks
Paula's Choice Ingredient Directory
Paula's Choice Expert Advice
EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database
The Beauty Brains

I'm trying to keep an open mind during this research. I did just place two small orders with Eco Diva Beauty and Spirit Beauty Lounge. I'm really excited to test out the products and samples to see how they compare with products I'm currently using.

// Complete the Joyous 10 Day Detox again

I want to dedicate an entire blog post to this very soon. The best thing I have done for my health was joining the Joyous 10 Day Detox last year. I'm am participating again and this time I've added the yoga portion and absolutely love it.

So that's my update for now. As always if you have any recommendations or advice, I love to read it.

Make Today Lovely


  1. Anonymous2/15/2014

    Hi Ashley!

    I'm glad that your new year is going well. Good for you that you're learning about ingredients! I'm doing the same, and I have to agree that it's all incredibly overwhelming and at times a little worrying. It seems like everything has been linked to some horrible disease! And on top of that, there's hardly any agreement over whether things are actually harmful. Especially parabens! What do you think about them? Will you continue to use products containing them? I've been on the fence myself, but honestly I've read so much conflicting "advice" online that I'm wondering what real women are doing, you know?

    I will pass a warning, however, about EWG's skin deep, especially if you're using it to decide whether to purchase a product. I've found that the amount of information they actually have on many products is extremely lacking. For example, I searched up one of the products I had recently bought, and the ingredients they had listed for it weren't even correct! This has happened several times. And if you're pre-researching something without knowing what the ingredients actually are, there's no way of figuring out if the information on Skin Deep is accurate. Just a little heads up! :)

    Anyways, good luck to you, and looking forward to more fantastic videos and blog posts to come!

    1. Thanks so much for the comment and for the warning about the EWG - I really appreciate it!

      The paraben issue is so confusing. Here are the two most clearly written posts I have found -

      pro-parabens: http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/myths/_/parabens-are-they-really-a-problem

      against parabens: http://fernandmoss.blogspot.com/2014/02/toxic-thursday-parabens.html

      I think I need to read more before I make a decision.

      Right now, though, I have decided to be more conscience of fragrance in my personal care products. I don't have an issue with skincare, but there is a lot of fragrance in my body care and makeup.

      Thanks so much for reading! : )

  2. I can't wait to hear your reviews of the texturizing sprays. I'm just learning how to use products to get my hair to do what I want and online reviews have been really helpful.

    A book I would highly recommend if you're researching cosmetic ingredients is Jessica Alba's The Honest Life. It's much more down-to-earth than you might expect from a celebrity and very easy to read and understand. She discusses things like cleaning products and food choices too.

  3. I'm in the process of going natural with my makeup and skin care products, and I'm finding it pretty overwhelming too. A lot of the information out there seems biased (towards either the conventional OR natural side) and incomplete or somewhat indecipherable to the average consumer. I've personally been most comfortable taking a "simple is better" approach for now, with plans to learn more about which ingredients aren't as harmful as they've been made out to be and loosening my standards if I can't find natural products I love. But I'm not super experienced with makeup and don't have a ton of current non-natural favorites that would need replacing, so I'm hopeful I'll find natural products that will work just fine for me. Good luck to you!

    Besides Eco Beauty Diva and SBL, I also recommend Beauty Sage. They stock natural makeup and skincare brands and often offer 20% off coupons. I just picked up a One Love Organics sample/travel kit on sale and am excited to try those products! http://www.beautysage.com/

    I also sympathize with you on the deodorant issue... it's been a struggle for me. I found that I had about a 3-week "detox" period coming off of the clinical strength stuff where I was... awfully gross. It got a little better as time went on, but I still haven't found one I like (I want to try Soapwalla next). Natural deodorants definitely aren't anti-perspirants though, and that's been an adjustment.

  4. Anonymous2/20/2014

    I've used Alima Pure in the past as a natural cosmetic. I liked it and I guess they have more brick and mortar shops carrying them now.

  5. Anonymous2/27/2014


    I love your videos, I always get excited when I see a new one go up! It's funny that you mention trying to learn to get that piecey, messy look with your hair. I just cut my hair a few days ago (collarbone length) and that's exactly the look I'm going for! I've found that I get a more messy look if I use my 1 inch flat iron to curl my hair instead of using an actual curling iron. Not sure why, but it seems to achieve that look better. Also, it definitely adds to the messiness if you leave the last several inches of your hair straight. Check out this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkidfzKUt6o I found it very helpful!

    -Bree :)

  6. I love the Toms of Maine Natural Confidence Deodorant Crystal Roll-On. It allows you to perspire naturally which I feel is most important for long-term health but the naturally sourced potassium alum and zinc citrate suppresses any bacteria growth - so no smell. I always apply it straight after showering no there are no odours to begin with - the deodorant keeps it that way. In fact all our family use it - including two teenagers - with great success. I like how it is readily available here in the UK and the USA. I generally use the unscented version but actually the citrus one is lovely too - fresh and natural without interfering with whatever scent I am wearing. http://www.tomsofmaine.com/product-details/natural-confidence-deodorant
    If you are interested in completely natural perfumes, the Neal's Yard Remedies rose perfume is simply lovely. Like a summer's day in a bottle with the bonus of having calming aromatheraputic properties.

  7. Salut Ashley, have you tried the Soapwella deo yet? I'm a huge sweater too and have always had trouble with products lasting. But. Since I've been using the Soapwella deodorant my world has turned around completely. It last all (!) day (!) long (!) and I've even been able to wear outfits for a couple of days if I wanted to. Isn't it brilliant that next to all the chemical stuff this natural deo beats them all?! If you haven't tried it, go and do so, you won't regret it (I hope).


    PS: Sorry to have jumped in like that. This is my first comment but I've been enjoying your videos for a few weeks now. Great job! :)

  8. I just switched to Lavanila deodorant, I am trying both the Vanilla and Vanilla Lavender scents and so far,so good.They smell amazing. I exercise and sweat a lot and these have never failed me. I plan to try the Vanilla Grapefruit next. Very addicting!


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