Confession: Sometimes I lie and say that I forgot to put on deodorant, but in truth, I just hate it. Specifically the conventional, unhealthy kind.

I just can’t get down with putting those chemicals on my pits.

I have blogged about deodorants before, and I found some that did work. But that wasn’t enough. I’m always testing, always trying new things. I went back to unhealthy deodorant for a long time (shameful) because nothing was rocking my world. I needed something PERFECT, natural, with no BS ingredients.

The entire time I was using these “bad” deodorants in between, I was fully aware that they pose potential health problems such as: breast cancer, Alzheimers, hormone disruption, among others. Some studies say that the aluminum used in “bad” deodorants is not harmful, however I’d like to play it safe, thank you very much.

Here’s the problem with so many alternatives available: they are less reliable and many times, very weak.

Conventional antiperspirants work by reacting with sweat to create a temporary plug in your sweat glands; conventional deodorants work by killing the bacteria that live on skin (the bacteria break the fats and proteins present in sweat down into b.o., essentially) with compounds like triclosan.

That said, plugging sweat glands and depositing elements like fragrance, aluminum, and powerful synthetic antibacterial agents right where so many of the body’s lymph glands, critical to the body’s immune system, seems foolhardy to many. “I don’t want to use anything with aluminum because it mimics estrogen and I’m already estrogen dominant,” says Jena Covello, founder of Agent Nateur. “Western medicine is hesitant to say that aluminum causes breast cancer, but this toxic heavy metal is found in breast cancer tumors.”

Back to the story. A few weeks ago, I discovered Kopari’s Deo (that is what it’s called) and I fell in LOVE. Love at first smell. I love everything coconut oil, and Kopari is best known for their coconut oil based products. This deodorant smells just like coconut milk yet it’s very fresh smelling. I did some reading on the ingredients, read some reviews, and then I tested. I tested after running 4 miles on the treadmill, I tested during blistering hot bay area summer days, I tested when I was sitting at home doing work.

The result? NO B.O. I was shocked.

The magic of Kopari Deo is its perfectly calibrated blend of ingredients: coconut oil, plant derived Triethyl Citrate, Sage Oil, and coconut water. These ingredients provide odor protection while simultaneously warding off the bacteria that causes it in the first place. Did you know that coconut oil is antibacterial? Extra WIN.

The icing on the cake? The deodorant is clear, so no white stains on your clothes.

Have you tried Kopari? Let me know your thoughts!

xo, Lynn

 

Similar sweater dress (same brand) // Booties

Buying clothes, accessories, makeup, really anything brings out the consumer reporter in me. Anyone else? Before I go to make a purchase, I research the hell out of my options. Time efficient? No, but making choices that suit my lifestyle is important to me.

For example, say you need a new pair of rain boots and the options seem to be endless. Do you buy the pair that is in your budget, but aren’t vegan? Or do you choose a pair that are cheap but are not vegan? As you have probably experienced regardless of your lifestyle, these decisions can be tough.

There is rarely a perfect option, regardless of what you’re shopping for. But you can make the best decisions for your budget, code of ethics, and urgency. There are no right and wrong answers, but limiting negative impacts with decisions means we’re doing our best, right?

Here are the questions that I ask myself when making a purchase (I even did this with my CAR):

Is it a need or a want?

My list of ‘wants’ is a mile long…I am one who cannot get into the capsule wardrobe thing as hard as I try. Call me a big old consumer, because it’s true. Here’s the thing though, I always make a second list of ‘needs’ from that ‘want’ list so that they get priority over everything else. This saves time and a lot of money.

Is it cruelty free?

Purchasing cruelty free clothes, makeup, shoes, and even my car is a non-negotiable for me. If you purchase cruelty free goods, you probably feel the same way: lusting after designer pieces (or non-designer) only to find out that they’re made from leather. This is always such a huge bummer for me. I am probably throwing myself to the wolves now, but I do not live a full vegan lifestyle…I eat a lot of fish for protein. But that’s a different story for a different day. Personally, I just can’t get down with animal testing or buying products made from animal skin or fur. Plus there are always alternatives out there that are just as fabulous.

“If you want to find brands that are truly cruelty-free, you’re going to have to be critical. Never blindly trust a label and never settle for an incomplete cruelty-free claim. If it sounds fishy, it probably is. There are a ton of false “cruelty-free” claims being thrown around. In other words, there’s a lot of bullshit out there, so keep your guard up!” – Cruelty Free Kitty

The best way to find out if something is cruelty free and/or vegan (yes, there is a difference), google it. I’m always standing in Sephora googling something like “Is NARS cruelty free?”…and for the record, NARS is NOT a cruelty free company anymore.

Is It Affordable?

The cost of items is lowest on my list of priorities because I will wait for an alternative, for an item to go on sale, or I’ll use Honey for promo codes. After I’ve found some different options for an item on my list, I compare them to see what I like the look of best and what item seems to be made from an ethical company (this could be a main question to ask on your list).

I hope you’ll give this list making strategy a try when making purchases – it makes things so much easier once you can cut out the clutter or what you DON’T want. I recommend making a list of your own principles and things to consider. I promise you’ll feel more confident, chic, and badass while rocking items (or driving a car!) that you can stand behind!

SHOP

 

TEE // SKIRT // SIMILAR SHOES // SUNGLASSES

If you’re a blogger, you’ve probably heard over and over again that you need a niche. The more I hear it, the more annoyed I get. Before I get into that, let’s talk about what a “niche blog” is.

A niche blog is refers to a blog that stays with one specific topic and target market.

Some examples of niche blogs would be a blog that focuses only on affordable fashion, a blog for girl moms, a blog for gluten free recipes, etc.

There is a lot of noise out there on the fact that you can only be successful if you have a niche. I disagree.

Why? Because most people and bloggers are multi-passionate and can experience burnout talking about just one thing.

Blogger burnout is a real thing. I experienced it when I only focused on fashion, because I felt like there wasn’t much else to say other than, “I love these jeans because they’re SO soft!”…not knocking fashion bloggers in the slightest, but I felt so repetitive. Simply sharing my outfits with everyday was just not enough.

I wanted and want you to read my blog to find tips and tricks that bring value to your life.

Putting yourself into this tight little corner vowing to only write about one certain thing from now until eternity will make you feel VERY restricted. At least I felt that way. I felt like I had way more to offer. This leads me to talk about being multi-passionate. I have many passions that include: fitness, style, wellness, cruelty free beauty, and business. My guess is that you, too, have many interests and passions.

If you restrict yourself to one topic, you’re leaving a multitude of other topics behind that could lead to something amazing.

Now let’s get into HOW to have a non-niche specific blog and KILL IT.

Pick your passions

Make a list of everything that you are passionate about. Next, which of these passions could you talk about with your BFF for hours? Once you’ve narrowed them down, you’ve selected your blog topics. Make sure that these topics all relate back to your mission for your blog.

♡ Serve your audience

Think about your audience. Who are they? Why do they show up everyday or every week to consume your content? If you do not know the answer, ask! I have used Instagram Stories for this, and it works great!

♡ Branding

First and foremost, if you have a cohesive BRAND, your niche does not matter. Your ideal readers/customers will come to you if your brand resonates with them. I like to think of blog branding like a magazine. Take Martha Stewart Magazine, for example. The voice is consistent throughout, the colors and fonts are elegant, warm, and pleasing to women with a median age of 52 (this demographic is confirmed in their media kit). You will not read curse words, see jarring designs, or anything beyond a subtle sexy photo in Martha Stewart Magazine. But Cosmo? Different story. You see where I’m going.

Personally, I love for branding to flow like a story.

So…whether you choose to have a niche or not, you can create a successful blog.

If you like posts like this, please let me know because I love sharing these kinds of things.

xo, Lynn

CLOSET CLEAN OUTS. These can be anxiety inducing and refreshing all at the same time. At least that’s how it always feels for me. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have watched my closet clean out that I did on stories. I hadn’t purged and edited my closet for years, and it had been nagging at me for awhile.

There were a few things that I did differently this time, and I’m pretty pleased with the results. So, let’s get right to my top tips for cleaning out your closet!

♡ Get your mindset in check

You might be thinking, “oh, shut the fuck up” about the mindset piece, but this really is an important step before you start the clean-our process. If you’re anything like me, you are easily attached certain clothing items because they were gifts from someone special, or they bring back certain memories. Most of the time, keeping something in this instance doesn’t mean that it’ll ever be worn again. For example, if your grandma gave you a sweater that you think is just hideous, but you feel bad about letting it go. Just let it go. When it gets hard to let something go, remind yourself that when you get rid of something that no longer serves you, you are making room for pieces that do. And: one woman’s trash is another’s treasure. So, think of it as being generous!

Empty your entire closet

Yes, the whole thing, shoes and jewelry included. Don’t worry about sorting yet. Just get it all out. If you store any of your clothes in containers, your dresser, or other areas of your home, get those too. Dump them on the bed.

♡ Make piles

Start 3 piles. Mine are: Sell, Donate, and Keep. As you gather items to sell, I recommend setting up an account on eBay, or taking your clothes to a local consignment shop. My preference is eBay – the process is so easy. I prefer to donate over selling, however my personal rule is that if I want to get rid of a designer or pricey item, I will usually sell it. For nice, non-designer pieces, I donate to a women’s shelter or I ask friends and family if they are interested in any of the pieces. Separating everything into specific piles will help the process flow more smoothly, and the clean up will be a lot quicker once you’re done going through your entire wardrobe.

♡ The 1-year rule

There are certain items that will be hard to decide on which pile they should go in. If I need an extra push, I ask myself if I’ve worn that item in the last year. If the answer is “no”, I put it in the sell or donate pile. If you haven’t worn something in a year, chances are you won’t wear it again.

♡ Wash your closet

Yes, actually scrub, wash, and vacuum your closet while everything is out.

♡ Organize & restock

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to keep, being strategic about organizing makes getting dressed so much easier. I like to color code my closet like this: White to black, tanks to sweaters. For example, I’ll start with all of my white shirts and sweaters. I add them into my closet in order of lightness, so tanks go first, then tees, then light button-ups, then sweaters.

Now the really fun part: take inventory of what is missing from your closet. When I did this, I felt so much anxiety because I had gotten rid of 1/2 my closet. I am still slowly adding pieces back in. Tip: Write a note in your phone of everything that is now missing, and check them off as you add these items back in.

Charleston is one of my favorite cities – its charm and southern comfort food are just amazing.

While in Charleston, Drive Shop and Toyota lent us a 2018 C-HR to drive, and it was the safest, coolest looking car around. So many people stopped to ask what it was and if we liked it. I loved the performance, the sculpted interior and exterior as the car looks like a total hot rod, and the safety features were just top notch.

Let’s dive in: