Every morning, I drink a smoothie. Plastic straws are a NO-GO due to environmental reasons, and paper straws become so soggy. I ordered metal straws a couple years ago thinking that they were the way to go. They’re reusable, which is what I was looking for.

But then my dentist found out that I was using metal straws every morning and told me to STOP. Why? Because metal can chip your teeth and can lead to metal toxicity.

And then I found glass straws (insert hallelujah music).

At first I was scared that glass straws would be too fragile, especially when it came to washing. But they are so sturdy. And digging deeper into how they serve as a vessel vs. stainless steel, I learned that the resistance of the glass to erosion from acidity from foods is so much higher than with metal straws…this is how stainless steel is prone to heavy metal problems.

The icing on the cake is that since glass straws are clear, you can be sure that they are clean.

Blog photo locations. This has been one of the biggest struggles as a blogger. If you are a blogger or have a personal brand, having a great backdrop/location is so important because it brings your aesthetic to life.

Before I go into all of my tips, I have to say that I am not perfect at this because I have a very specific vision for my brand, and I am unwilling to forgo that vision if the background is not right. To get specific, I shoot in front of walls quite often because the area I live in is not a prime place for cool looking buildings etc. Very recently, I have been making an effort to change this by driving to San Francisco, a 20 minute drive, to shoot.

1. VISION BOARDS

Create Pinterest boards for location ideas, whether it’s for a cohesive vision for your brand, or for a specific shoot. What I have found is that my vision boards involve a lot of black, gray, white, and pink. Many have intricate backgrounds.

2. CONSIDER COLORS

As I mentioned above, I always consider what colors will be in the photos. Think about what you’re wearing: will you blend into the background or stand out? Sometimes I’ll find a great place to shoot, but there are touches of a color that I don’t care to use. Don’t let that deter you! I simple desaturation or color fix when editing will do the trick.

4. DEPTH OF FIELD / BLURRED BACKGROUNDS?

Go back and look at your vision board(s). Do the photos you pinned have blurry backgrounds, or are the backgrounds in focus? If they’re blurry, they have a depth of field. If they’re crisp, they do not.

If you LIKE depth of field: You will need to stand at least 3 feet in front of the wall or backdrop that you want to be blurred by the camera. So, do not stand right in front of a wall if you want a blurred effect.

5. KEEP A LIST OF LOCATIONS

When it comes time to shoot, I always refer to my list! I can never remember all of the places I’ve ever shot and loved. So I keep a list and shoot at this spots on rotation. It is the WORST to drive around looking for locations…not efficient at all.

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