12 Days of Green Market Giving- Day 1

Situated in North Van’s popular shopping and dining mecca Lower Lonsdale,(7A Lonsdale, to be exact), nestled behind several beloved restaurants (namely The Distrcit, Raglan’s, and Anatoli Souvlaki), there’s a magical little place by the name of Green Market.

Appropriately painted a rich avocado, the artisan collective charms you before you even enter with its small but adorable square stature, flower box and seasonal details (like plants on the telephone pole, a mannequin sitting on a vintage bicycle, festive lights, etc.) Open the chocolate brown wooden door and you’re instantly swept up in the dizzying array of beautiful, locally made goods. You’ll find a selection of homespun toys, handcrafted jewellery, clean, green skincare, a diverse range of clothing, stunning art, and so much more in this North Vancouver treasure chest.

Owned by local legend Ingrid Doerr (the woman behind the famous Shipyards Markets, as well as her own clothing line, Infinity, and a range of upcycled furniture and homeware by the name of Resurrected), the Green Market brings you the best in local artisan gifts. Run by the artisans themselves, the place exudes a warmth and positive energy that steals your heart immediately.

*First three photos in this post are courtesy of Green Market. The rest are by Stephanie Edmonds/She’s So Eco (me!)*

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In May 2015, (just seven short months ago) Doerr took the leap into the ultimate retail adventure, snagging her own storefront to showcase and promote local makers, which is something she’s been passionate about for many years. She snapped up the quaint little space, (a heritage building circa 1908) and set up shop, filling it with eco-friendly, handmade and locally crafted gems. The combination of an amazingly well curated product selection and a charming shabby chic aesthetic radiates heart and down-home authenticity from the hardwood floors to the rafters.

Having experienced firsthand the delight the Green Market has to offer, I’m  pleased to bring you Twelve Days of Green Market Giving, in which I will feature a brand from the Green Market each day, highlighting my favourite gifts for anyone on your list.

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For Day One, I’m showcasing none other than North Vancouver artist Duane Murrin, whose work is heavily featured at the Green Market. From coasters to lanterns, candle holders to a wide selection of prints at various price points and size ranges (all of them affordable), Duane’s stunning work features the amazing scenery of British Columbia, processed through his keen eye and spun into artful magic via his talented hands with his own unique spin. Though Murrin’s exceptional and much-beloved work is a little bit reminiscent of the Canadiana landscape style made famous by the Group of Seven, it’s certainly not what you would call derivative- this artist’s most recognizable influences are (as evidenced in his work),  his own mind, his own vision, his own hands and his unparalleled passion for the beauty of British Columbia.
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 It’s the artist’s unique, vibrant, visually arresting style combined with his down-to-earth, extremely friendly demeanour that has made Murrin a success. I’ve witnessed -many times- people who have literally been stopped in their tracks by his work. People who’ve just wandered into a coffee shop to jack up on caffeine, unaware that there’s an artisan market taking place, have walked out with several of his prints upon seeing his booth and having a conversation with the man himself. I’ve seen people walk into the Green Market asking specifically for his work, looking for a certain print, finding it, and proceeding to fall in love with others, ultimately leaving with an armful for the simple reason that they couldn’t choose.
What better gift to give than a local artist who creates beautiful pieces and sells his prints at an extremely affordable price? And as if I haven’t given you enough reason to love this artist, here’s another- he cuts the wood for his prints, drills the holes, places the prints on the boards himself, and wraps the glass for the candle holders with his printed stickers. Murrin does not enlist a manufacturer for his work. He’s a self-made man through and through!
Here are a few of my favourites from Duane Murrin’s collection, found at the Green Market.

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8 x 8 print- $23
Murrin is a highly prolific artist, so you’ll find LOTS of his beautiful work at Green Market. This mountain landscape is one of my favourites- how spot-on is that reflection in the water? This one was painted at the Elfin Lakes. According to Wiki, “Elfin Lakes are two lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park that are popular for hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and mountain bicycling trail located east of Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.”
I have been compelled to visit this spot since I saw this print- that’s the power of art!
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Mountain Coaster Set, $17.25
Sweet little squares adorned with stunning B.C. scenery? Need I say more?
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Glass Candle Holders, $23
Grab a beautiful candle and give the gift of candlelight and beautiful local art. The ULTIMATE hostess gift.
I hope I’ve inspired you to check out Green Market’s amazing selection of Duane Murrin’s incomparable art. If you’re not local and are interested in Duane, check out www.duanemurrin.com
Pop by Green Market
7A Lonsdale Ave
North Vancouver
(604) 985-9694
Click HERE to visit the store on Facebook.
Which artisan will be featured tomorrow? Come visit again to find out!
With much local love,
Stephanie
P.S. Be sure to check out the awesome Shipyards Christmas Market!
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My small, PERFECT Eco wedding!

Greetings, beauties! I’ve been away for a while, I know. Many things have been happening – all great things! I’ve been doing a lot of copy and content writing (press releases, product descriptions, etc.), while balancing full-time motherhood, aaaaaaand….being a newlywed!  Yes, I got married in May! It was a beautiful, sacred ceremony in Lighthouse Park where myself, my lovely groom, my daughter, and two close friends with their little man gathered with our officiant and we were united in marriage. After nearly seven years together, and a four-year engagement, my now-husband Jordan and I decided to start really digging our heels in and planning in February. Within our discussions, we discovered that the wedding we thought we wanted was not only out of our price range, but also not exactly what we truly did want in our hearts. We realized two major things – firstly, we didn’t want to wait, and secondly,  we wanted it small. Like, really small – mainly because we felt very compelled to DO it and not wait to make big plans. We planned our little wedding in four months. We chose friends to be our witnesses instead of family because we didn’t think it would be fair to have some family members and not others – and the ceremony we chose only allowed for a total of four people (not including small children).

The rings:

Our rings came from Etsy- I wanted something unique and beautiful, affordable and handmade by artisans as opposed to mass manufacturers or multi-million dollar companies. Late last year, my beautiful antique Birks engagement ring went down the drain (literally) while I was dip-dyeing my hair, so I decided to get two rings from the lovely Joanne Rowan, a Calgary-based jeweller, designer and metal worker who creates the most mystical, magical pieces with earthy nature vibes. I chose the “As You Wish” ring (see it here: HERE) and a simple ring fashioned like a twig. Both are made with recycled silver, and the “As You Wish” ring is made features a green amethyst. I chose these rings because the vine design on the bigger one and the twig design of the smaller one represent my love of nature and earth so deeply, and the engraving makes it extra special. I chose “Mrs. Edmonds”, my married name, as my engraving. I’m in love with these rings! They are simply perfect for me.

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Photo: She’s So Eco

Jordan’s ring was also handcrafted. From NaturalJewellery, a UK jewellery shop on Etsy, we chose a hammered, silver ring with a stunning thin copper band encircling the top. He gets compliments on it all the time! It was very affordable and extremely well-made. Find it HERE

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Photo: NaturalJewellery’s Etsy shop

The Dress:

I knew that I wanted a handmade dress right from the top. My budget was not huge, but I was not going to compromise on having the dress of my dreams, so I went on a hunt for the perfect wedding gown for me. In BLUSHFASHION’s Etsy shop, I found it, and I knew it was the right choice right away. I wanted a boho/garden fairy goddess vibe, and that’s exactly what I got with this dress. It’s a stunning dusty rose shade, with amazing bat sleeves. It’s flowy, comfortable, and super flattering. The best part is that I know I’ll wear it again! Made in Tel Aviv, Israel, this dress is made with Chiffon lyrca – not the most eco-friendly material on the planet, but it was just the perfect dress for me and I love that it’s handmade by an artisan, and I love that I was able to support a women-run small business by choosing this dress. I also went with the matching, satiny lining that is sold separately in BLISHFASHION’s Etsy shop. See it HERE, and find the dress itself HERE

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Photo: John Vis.

The Flower Girl:

Our sweet little girl looked positively magical in her custom handmade flower girl dress, by the one and only Jean of Little MoSo. Offering hand crafted, eco-friendly essentials and custom designs with a touch of whimsy and lots of heart, Little MoSo is based in Vancouver and is available online and at In Good Company in North Van. The care, time and effort Jean puts into her superior garments is simply amazing. The bodice of this dress is hand-crocheted with beautiful rhinestone embellishments, forested at the back with a stunning ribbon, and the skirt is comprised of layers and layers of soft pink tulle. To make matters even cuter, Jean added a removable sash that ties with ribbon at the back and features three crocheted roses, the middle of which has a jewel-encrusted centres. It’s just such a timeless, gorgeous dress that will get a lot of party and dress up wear!  littlemoso.com

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Top two photos: Suki Fox. Bottom photo: LittleMoso’s Instagram page.

The hair and makeup:

I was fortunate enough to have the very talented Hailey Avalon as my makeup artist. She is a dear friend and a very skilled artist- she gave me exactly the look I wanted, using clean, green products from brands like Elate Cosmetics (one of my faves- based in Victoria- you’ve seen them several times in my blog), Burts Bees, and Wildrose Magnolia.! She was a joy to work with-easygoing and sweet. I was so happy with my ethereal, pink-toned makeup! Get in touch with Hailey here while her website is under construction: https://www.facebook.com/HaileyAvalon She also does AMAZING lash extensions – best in Vancouver, trust me!

My hair was done by an equally talented lady, Laurie Richardson. A Vancouver Film School student and hair wizard, Laurie was laid-back, warm, and extremely skilled with those hands – let me tell you something, my hair is NOT easy to style, and she gave me EXACTLY what I wanted! Our officiant told me I looked like a maiden from A Midsummer Night’s Dream- precisely what I was going for!

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Top photo: Suki Fox. second photo: She’s So Eco. Third and fourth photo: Suki Fox.

The Groom:

Well, what can I say- we can’t be 100 percent eco all the time! His suit came from a well known men’s clothing store- and it’s not made with eco materials, nor is it handmade- but we had to make sure it fit and was perfect, so we chose that route. Isn’t he dashing, though? Look for him modelling Green Embassy ties in the blog within the next few days!

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Photo: Suki Fox

The Jewellery: I wore two necklaces, one for the ceremony and one for dinner afterwards. The first one was classic and dressy, a vintage choker with pretty pink crystals borrowed from Suki Fox. (You can see it well in the photo of my makeup above, the one that is spot into two pictures). The second (below) is a handmade, stunning necklace made by Suki Fox by hand. She is one of my dearest friends, and in fact was one of our witnesses (along with hubby Rhys- who you’ve seen in the He’s So Eco section of the blog) and their lovely son. Suki is an extremely talented artist and she tapped right into my love of nature, the earth and wildlife by including a rustic swallow and feathers in this unique and gorgeous necklace. Find Suki at https://www.facebook.com/misssukifoxdesigns?fref=ts

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Above: Rhys, Sepher and Suki ❤ I love these people so much! Below: me wearing my handmade necklace by Suki.

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Photo: John Vis

The Flowers came from my mother-in-law’s beautiful garden. They were the perfect white Calla Lilies. I adored them.

So, there you have it. It isn’t going to win any eco awards, but I think we did really well. Almost everything was handmade by artisans, many of them local, our wedding did not produce any waste (no invitations, no programs, nothing was wasted or disposed of the entire day), and we did it in the beautiful Lighthouse Park, which celebrates our deep love of nature.

I’m thrilled to finally be able to share this post with you!

Consciously,

Stephanie

HUGE THANKS to our photographer John Vis: http://johnvis.wix.com

Here are a few of my favourites of the three of us, all by John Vis:

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One Year Later: Zoey’s Attic Review and Giveaway

Welcome to One Year Later, a feature in which I review a product I’ve owned and experienced for a full year. I think this is the ultimate test in quality and durability and I’m excited to share the first One Year Later post with you all! A year ago, I received a lovely raglan-sleeved kid’s t-shirt from Zoey’s Attic Personalized Gifts.

The soft, comfy organic cotton shirt was sent for my review, and since it was so close to my little one’s third birthday, I chose to have the number 3 printed on the front, in the perfect shade of pink to match the sleeves. Like everything in the endless array of novelty/milestone focused items from Zoey’s Attic, this sweet shirt is digitally printed (with water-based ink) by owner/mama/graphic designer Erin Delanty in her home.

My daughter has practically lived in this shirt for a whole year- I was so impressed by the quality that I ordered one in navy blue for my daughter’s little friend (he’s the same age), and they both rocked the shirts together at his birthday party (their birthdays are less than a week apart!).

I’m amazed when I look at this shirt now. My daughter STILL wears it (I’m DEFINITELY getting her a new one with a great big 4 emblazoned on the front this year!), and though it’s been through many a muddy/dirty/messy adventure, the print quality is still just as vivid and intact as it was when we received it. The shirt is soft and stretchy, the colours POP, and as if all that weren’t enough, it’s affordable, much like everything in Zoey’s Attic!

The customer service I received was wonderful, and communication was great. The online shop is packed full of tote bags, t-shirts, mugs, and more gifts- all customizable and personalized! The perfect gift for anyone can be found at Zoey’s Attic Personalized Gifts.

To prove my point, here’s a shot of my little one the first day she got the shirt (proud as can be to nearly be three!)

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Here are the two besties together, celebrating turning three in style with their adorable matching shirts!ymA1efmdG1x6so1RfF8HomnjYC7MC-06kVwjFvIPhDI

And finally, here is my little darling last week! See what I mean? I’m honestly so surprised that the print hasn’t faded or lost its colour! It hasn’t peeled one bit! And look how white it still is!

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The shirt I received can be found HERE

If you want organic cotton, make sure you send a message to indicate that you’d like organic cotton before placing your order, unless the item you wish to order already states it’s made form organic cotton.

One Year Later score: 10 out of 10!

This is an extremely high quality item. Soft, lightweight, and adorable! I highly recommend Zoey’s Attic Personalized Gifts. In fact, as a treat, I’m running a giveaway for a $35 gift code to Zoey’s Attic Personalized Gifts! All you have to do to qualify is click the link at the end of this post, Enter the giveaway and like Zoey’s Attic on Facebook! Giveaway is now OPEN and closes July 24th. Enter, tell your friends, and share!

And hey, even if you don’t win, grab yourself an affordable/adorable gift from Zoey’s Attic. You won’t regret it. I know I don’t!

With luck and love,

Stephanie

Enter HERE (I can’t get the Rafflecopter widget to work so I have to use a link. Good luck!)

Flash favourite: Boske Kids Alpaca Knit Flower Clip

Recently, I received this gorgeous Alpaca Knit Flower hair clip by North Vancouver’s own Boské Kids Clothing. Actually, I was just the middle man – it belongs to its rightful owner, my darling little girl. Designed in Canada, made ethically with Fair Trade standards in Peru, this clip has quickly become a favourite not only because it’s beautiful and soft, but also because it has a really cool feature: There is a spot for the snap clip knit right into the flower. This is much better than a clip simply being glued to the flower, because it keeps the flower in place very well, without the use of yucky toxic glue (if my child decides to play with it or for some reason it ends up in her mouth, I’d much prefer her being exposed to Alpaca than a chunk of glue!). DSC_0886lo DSC_0878lo

All photos in this post by Stephanie Deline (She’s So Eco)

My wee one is growing her bangs out, and I had a lot of trouble convincing her to clip them back to keep them out of her eyes until Boské Kids clips entered the picture! She actually ASKS to have her hair pinned back with this clip! I was amazed after sending her to school with her bangs neatly twisted back and held in place by the clip, only to find that it hadn’t even budged when I picked her up from a very active day in the playground and doing yoga. MAJOR win!  DSC_0842lo

In bright sunlight, it looks almost indigo. It’s so pretty!

A local company with eco-friendly clips (among other things) that look so pretty, don’t tug at my daughter’s hair, and stay in place? Don’t mind if I do! Find Boské Kids Clothing at boskekids.com or In Good Company. The clips are on sale right now, so hurry over to the website and check it out! While you’re there, take a peek at all the other exquisite things in the collection.

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In the above photo, my wee one is wearing the other clip we received. It’s made of organic Pima Cotton, and is just as darling as the purple one! I LOVE that sweet button detail!

More about Boské Kids Clothing, from their website:

“Natural, eco-friendly material that is safe for little people’s skin is extremely important to us. We love our children and we want a healthy environment for them to grow up in. We also want to teach them that we are global citizens so it is important to treat one another as we would want to be treated… and that goes for animals too! We are a Canadian owned and operated clothing company for children ages newborn to 6 years.

The word boské comes from the Spanish word bosque (pronounced bOskay), which means forest. In the Pacific Northwest, we live in, play in and enjoy the lush, green forests. Our forests are dense, mossy, green woods, thick with evergreens (cedar, pine and fir trees) that keep their leaves, staying green all year long. In this magical playground, children are enchanted with the mystical animals and vegetation and further develop their imaginations.

MATERIALS WE USE:

Baby Alpaca is one of the most luxurious natural fibers worldwide! And a perfect all-natural material for children’s wear. It is warmer, lighter and softer than sheep’s wool. The alpaca fiber is naturally resistant to water, solar radiation and is thermal and hypoallergenic (contains no lanolin). The elasticity of the fiber helps maintain the garments shape and the silky smooth texture does not “itch” like other animal fibers. The alpacas (cousins to the llama) roam and graze the Peruvian mountainside and the industry contributes to sustainable agriculture in the Andes. Alpacas have 40 natural shades of fleece and are humanely sheared every 2 years. Baby alpaca is not from young alpacas but rather it is the fiber from the first shearing and refers to the fineness of the alpaca fiber. For the other colours, we use Oeko-Tex Certified dyes.

Pima Cotton is the highest quality of cotton worldwide. Due to its exceptional 1-3/8″ staple length, Peruvian pima cotton is especially soft, durable, absorbent and highly resistant to pilling. Our Baby Basics are made from 100% GOTS certified organic pima cotton which is hand harvested in farms in Peru. There are no chemicals, herbicides, insecticides or pesticides used during growth of the cotton crops or during the production process. The eco-white colour is naturally bleached with Hydrogen Peroxide and the waste turns into water. The other colours are dyed with Oeko-Tex Certified dyes. All print designs use water-based ink and snaps are nickel-free.”

Check out these adorable  Boské Kids Clothing booties! I snapped these at the In Good Company booth at the Healthy Living Expo in Vancouver last weekend.

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Find out more and shop til you drop at www.boskekids.com, and if you’re in the Vancouver/North Vancouver area, drop in to In Good Company and check out the Boske Kids selection, as well as other fantastic finds from local artisans.

In Good Company

67 Lonsdale Ave, North Vancouver

Consciously,

Stephanie

Rave Review – Woodpecker’s TOYS Handmade Wooden Sail Boat

Hey, fellow eco-parents! I’ve been waiting to release this post for almost a year now, because I wanted to see how this adorable, handmade wooden sail boat from Woodpecker’s TOYS held up. Well, the verdict is in – it still looks, floats and delights just as it did on the day my little girl received it!

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Woodpecker’s TOYS is a handmade toy shop based in Powell River, B.C. Run by a lovely and passionate husband and wife team, Woodpecker’s TOYS purveys fine handcrafted toys and imaginative costumes. (Think felt crowns, magic wands, mobiles and more.)

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(Banner from Woodpecker’s TOYS)

What makes Woodpecker’s TOYS eco-friendly?

Woodpecker’s TOYS:
* Use local products whenever possible.
*Do NOT use any plastic, in their products OR packaging.
*Do NOT use any harmful chemicals.
*Widely use wood from renewable sources, instead of petroleum products.
What makes this adorable sail boat eco-friendly?
*The paint is AP certified and conforms to ASTM D-4236, which, in simpler terms, means it’s non-toxic.
* Finished with 100 percent natural and certified food safe beeswax made in Salt spring island.
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Now, on to my thoughts and my daughter’s thoughts about this beautiful sail boat!
I LOVE that it’s handcrafted and made in B.C. The craftsmanship is obvious in the design, and though this boat has seen many sails, both in the ocean and in the tub (not to mention lots of play outside of the water!), I haven’t seen a single chip in the paint or tear in the sail (which is made of thick, strong fabric). My daughter never gets tired of playing with this finely crafted boat- the colour is vivid, it floats like a dream, and she loves to make her tiny toys go sailing in it!
Her thoughts: “Well, it’s pink and purple, so it’s really pretty. And it’s fun to sail!”
So there you have it, folks!  Who needs a mass-produced plastic hunk of junk when you can choose a custom made (pick your own colours!), wooden sailboat made to last and last, with non-toxic paint, a natural beeswax stain and plenty of heart for just $28? Yes. Your little one needs this.
 Nearly a year later, my girl still  treasures it, and it’s a bath-time staple!
Consciously,
Stephanie

All photos by Stephanie Deline (She’s So Eco) Product generously provided by the brand in exchange for review. This does not reflect my opinion, and these are my honest thoughts on the product.

Review- Pure Anada Princess Polish

As the mother of a three-year-old girl who is a total tomboy in a tutu (in other words, a wonderful eclectic mix between race-car loving, bug-inspecting and glitter-adoring fashion-obsessed), non-toxic products are important to me. As a green beauty blogger, I’m lucky that I get to try the best of the best in clean, green beauty.

Of course, as much as I want to minimize my three-year-old’s use of such products, (she is, after all, still so small, and I don’t want her using makeup and products of the like just yet), it’s impossible to completely eliminate her exposure to these things, since it’s what I do. And I have to tell you, she is just enthralled with it. More than once, she’s dug into my stash and ended up looking like a crazy, albeit adorable, fairy clown.

So what’s a green beauty blogger mama to do, especially when this fiery little three-year-old demands nail polish? Well, when you’re me, you turn to Pure Anada’s Princess Cosmetics and nail polish- a brand specifically formulated with less intensity and simple ingredients, geared towards the wee ones so that they feel a little glam with their own stash, and maybe, just maybe, keep clear of their mother’s for a while.

Now, I’m not super stoked on the idea of my little one wearing polish at such a young age, BUT once in a while, when she’s been really good, I’ll give in. When I do, my go-to isPure Anada Princess Polish. Why? Glad you asked.

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When I think of the ideal polish for little fingers, I think of this one. Here’s why.

1) The polish that goes on my daughter’s fingers must NOT have that nail polish smell. Because it is water-based,Pure Anada’s Princess Polish does NOT have that nail polish smell. A lot of polishes, even if they are 5-free, (free from the five main offenders in nail polish- Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor- still have that strong polish smell, and that’s NOT something I want my daughter inhaling. So the fact that this polish is not only 5-free, but water-based as well to eliminate the smell makes it perfect for my princess.

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*colour shown- Cherry on top*

2) Just because it’s water-based doesn’t mean it’s a weakling! Yes, water-based polishes with short ingredient lists tend to last for a shorter period of time than mommy’s polish, and yes, you may have to do some touch-ups, but come on- do we really need long-lasting, chip-free polish for our little ones? I think not, since it’s really just for fun at this point. That being said, I am still really impressed with how this polish holds up for a water-based kid-friendly polish. Make no mistake- the colour is vibrant and rich, and with two coats, your princess will feel like a star with gorgeous, glam nails.

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3) It’s virtually mess-free. The gentle, water-based formula means that my little girl can practice applying herself (and she does, as evidenced in the photos- but, for a three-year-old, she has a pretty steady hand!) under my supervision. Any drips can be easily wiped away, whereas with typical polish that’s not the case. I appreciate that when it dries on her nails, it hangs around for the party, but if and when we want it off, it’s simple to remove- I just soak her hands and then use a baby wipe. I kid you not, some of the polish dropped on my wood kitchen table and came off with ease with the use of a baby wipe. It even comes out of clothes! Bonus: It’s only $10 per bottle, which lasts for TONS of applications. You can buy it alone HERE or in a Princess Pack, which comes with a polish, a roll-on glitter and a slightly tinted lip balm- all of which are adorable and non-toxic. It’s only five dollars more to get the pack- which comes in a sweet little organza bag, so I recommend going that route. http://www.thepureboutique.com/princess-cosmetics-gift-pack/

So that’s my take on Pure Anada Princess Polish. It’s the perfect way to make my little one feel extra pretty during dress-up- without the toxins, smell, mess or commitment of regular polish. And the most important thing? How happy it makes her and how much fun she has wearing it. The smile says it all.

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Pure Anada Princess Polish ingredients: Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Butoxy Diglycol, Methylisothiazolinone, Hydroxxethylcellulose, Mineral Pigments: Ultramarines, Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, OR Chromium Hydroxide Green

*Disclosure- product was sent to me with hopes of an honest review, which is exactly what this is. I do not review everything sent to me, and only review the products I wish to. Receiving a product without purchasing it does not affect my opinion.*

all photos by Stephanie Deline (She’s So Eco)

3 easy ways to make every day Earth Day

Happy belated Earth Day, everyone! As an Eco-blogger and lover of all things green, Earth day is so much fun for me and the people I surround myself with. But I feel like the vitality, beauty, bounty and care of our Earth is something that should be celebrated every day, so I decided to wait and release this post  after the official Earth Day festivities. In this word of fear mongering, misinformation and trends, the word “ECO” is often thrown out at every turn, and it’s frequently nothing more than a sales tactic. So, how do you make your life more Eco-friendly? It’s a lot simpler than you might think.

Here are 3 easy ways to be a more Eco-friendly soul!

1. Reduce waste!

Bring cloth bags instead of plastic. To the grocery store, to your fridge, for snacks and lunches, etc! A great way to do this is with GoGo Bags. Founded by a North Vancouver Mother by the name of Anahita Sharvini, GoGo Bags are handmade fabric food storage bags made with locally purchased fabric and double-stitched to prevent crumbs from collecting. Zipper free, with an easy fold-over closure, these amazing food storage solutions are available in a wide variety of adorable fabrics. Anahita started GoGo bags as an environmentally sound solution for her children’s waste-free lunches. Tired of plastic that was full of chemicals and didn’t keep things fresh anyway, Anahita began making her own snack bags, lunch bags, mesh produce bags, even toothbrush bags, designed with an artisanal flair and plenty of heart. I have a sandwhich bag, snack bag, toothbrush bag, produce bag and lettuce bag, and can attest to the fact that these really do keep freshness and cleanliness intact. I use them for my daughter’s pre-school snacks every single day, and they are so easy to wash. They’re way more fun than plastic, and obviously a million times more Eco-friendly! I’m hooked. I feel SO much better using these Eco-friendly and beautiful reusable products. They are so durable, so cute, and such a simple, no fuss, no muss solution.

www.gogobags.ca

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Other ways you can reduce waste? Reuse bottles (buy glass over plastic whenever you can),go thrift shopping, use products with minimal packaging and buy refills!

2. Give your wardrobe an Eco makeover!

The fashion industry is notorious for employing unethical practices, using toxic chemicals in production, and leaving a hefty waste trail. But many fashion houses and designers are conscious and caring of the environment and the people who wear and the people who make their clothes/footwear!

Such as…..

LNBF (review/pictorial coming soon)

Salts Clothing (check my archives for an existing pictorial/review!)

Synergy (review/pictorial coming soon!)

Whiskey Dog Wares (check my instagram @shesoeco for the existing pictorial!)

Cocoze (check my archives for an existing review!)

Gaim (review/pictorial coming soon!)

Sole Rebels  (review/pictorial coming soon!)

Miik (review/pictorial coming soon)

Sprout Watches (review coming soon, check my instagram for the existing pictorial!)

Avatar Imports (review/pictorial coming soon)

And I need to talk a bit about Green Embassy, because I met the designer/founder at Vancouver Fashion Week and she has touched my heart and soul so deeply.

Designer/artist/farmer/Veterinarian (and the list goes on like you wouldn’t believe), Zuhal Kuvan-Mills designs and produces timeless, stunning Haute Couture pieces with the most thoroughly Eco approach I’ve ever seen. This woman goes way beyond the norm with her love and passion for animals, the environment, and true, honest slow fashion. She runs an NASAA-IFOAM Organic Certified Farm and GOTS certified studio in Perth, Australia where she does the washing, hand cleaning, carding, spinning, embroidery, and more. Zuhal Kuvan-Mills lives and breathes Eco, from first thought to final stitch, from farm to fabric. She crafts beautiful dresses, coats, skirts, etc.  As if all this weren’t enough to crown her a true Eco Queen, she is also an organic textile designer and inspiring multi-media artist who focuses on human and women’s rights in her thought-provoking, astonishing art. A powerful and inspiring figure, this compassionate and talented woman is going to create major change in the world.

http://greenembassy.com.au

http://atelierzuhal.com

Below, photos of Green Embassy’s Earth collection taken at Vancouver Fashion Week, March 2014 by Suki Love

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3. Go green with your beauty routine!

Y’all know this is a HUGE one for me. I’m obsessed with beauty brands that have an awareness of the earth and safe ingredients found in nature. For me, it comes down to one thing: Knowing that my skin is my largest organ, I don’t want to put things I can’t pronounce on it, especially when up to 70% of what goes ON, goes IN. Like, straight into the bloodstream.

It’s not a myth. It IS real. And as if the health dangers aren’t cringe-worthy enough, how about the fact that the chemicals in the makeup and skincare that makes you look so pretty now will actually accelerate the aging process (seriously! your skin doesn’t LIKE chemicals. It’s not MEANT to withstand chemicals day in and day out), and can cause acne and other skin problems?  Lastly, these harsh chemicals and wasteful packaging are doing nothing good for the environment either. I use cruelty-free, toxin-free, eco-friendly brands whenever I can. The best part? There is a whole world of makeup and skincare/bodycare out there that HONESTLY performs. My skin has never looked better since I switched to green beauty products. It’s easier than you think to make the switch.

Here is a list of my favourite green beauty brands. All of them care, all of them craft their products with Eco-conscious hearts, and all of them fill their cosmetics and skincare with non-toxic ingredients. Are they all perfect, organic formulas? Some are, some less so. But they all meet my standards of clean enough to use daily or clean enough to use on a semi-regular basis. Some do contain ingredients here and there that I typically avoid, but it’s not about being a hundred percent clean a hundred percent of the time. It’s knowing the risks, and most importantly, educating yourself on the ingredients and figuring out what you’re comfortable with and what works for you. What you’re adamant about avoiding (for me that’s parabens, Japanese Honeysucke extract, mineral oil, petrochemicals, sulfates, FD&C dyes, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, grapefruit seed extract, and more, but I don’t want to make this post all about that, because I have more stuff to write about).

My list of beloved green beauty brands keeps on growing, which is a great thing, because it means the market is expanding and allowing clean beauty products more time in the spotlight.

Delizioso Skincare – (Canadian!) Faves: Vanilla Buttercream pressed eyeshadow palette, Lip and Cheek Stain in Nude Rose and Dewy Raspberry, Creme de la Creme lipsticks in Tart Pomegranate, Guava Twist, Lychee Crisp (you MUST try these lipsticks) Mangosteen Acai Face Cream with SPF 30

TASTYFACE Organics – Faves: Peppermint white chocolate shave cream, Blood Orange Vanilla body butter, Rosemary Aloe Toner, Vanilla Mint Daily Moisturizer, Coconut Vanilla Cream Cleanser

Vapour Organic Beauty – Faves: Stratus skin perfecter, Atmosphere Soft Focus Liquid Foundation, Siren Lipstick in Au Pair, Aura Multi-use blush in Spark

Pure Anada –  (Canadian!) Faves: Tinted Moisturizer, Pressed blush in Strawberry Field and Bronzed Clove, Natural Mascara (this mascara is AMAZING), Fruit Enzyme Exfoliating Cleanser, lip gloss in Icy Pink (this brand is super clean, and very affordable!)

Ecco Bella – Faves: FlowerColor Lipstick in Cafe Au Lait, Pink Rose, Lip gloss in Peace, Pleasure, FlowerColor Natural Mascara

RoseMira Organics – Faves-: Moisturize Me Restorative Cream, Bella Rose I-Renew eye cream, Roses in Bloom hydrating toner, See me C Serum

Deep Steep– Faves: Brown Sugar Vanilla Sugar Scrub, Rosemary Mint body wash, Glossy Deep Conditioner, Peppermint Foot Spray

Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques – Faves: Creme foundation, creme concealer, Chablis lipstick, Love lip gloss

Red Apple Lipstick – Faves: Lipstick in New York, Mix & Mingle, Firefly, eye shadows in Twinkle taupe, Voodoo, Sancastle

Just Pure Minerals -Faves: lipstick in Merengue, Aruba, Natalia, Pinkie Swear, Ruby, eye shadows in Engagement ring, Pop the question, Coffee, 24K gold, fairy princess, blushes in Girly pink and Plum

Carina Organics – Anything from the Nature’s Blends line. This haircare is incredible.

Sappho Cosmetics – (Canadian!) Faves: Liquid Foundation, Tutz blush

Sante– Faves: Coverstick, Eyebrow pencil, Soft Cream Foundation

Logona– Faves: Lipstick in 01, 02, 03, Double lip pencil in 03 (Berry), Liquid Eyeliner No.1 (black)

Celtic Complexion – Faves: Celtic Complexion Creme, Winter Skin Balm Bar, Youth Infusion Serum

Authentic Skin Remedies – Faves: Enrich Nourishing Lipid Serum, Balance Seawater Facial mist, Replenshing Intense Hydration Masque

Trust Fund Beauty – (Canadian!) -nail polish, 5-free, cruelty-free- Faves: Made of Money, Do you know who my father is? Pretty in Kink, Virgin??

HANA Organic skincare – Faves: Eye oil, Lavender grains, Luxe Serum

Josh Rosebrook– Faves: Active Enzyme Exfoliator, Hair Spray Firm Hold

The All Natural Face – CRAZY affordable! – Faves: Diva Styx in Dusty Rose, Creme Brûlée, Milk, Cream Blush in Dusky Rose, Peachy Rose

Pure Fusion Cosmetics – (Canadian!) Faves: ALL their eyeshadows are amazing!

I could keep going and going, but this is getting really lengthy and I want to give some relief to those brave souls who are still with me here.

Listen, as a certain frog once said, it’s not easy being green. But it doesn’t have to be arduous, either. Start small. Do what you can. Every little bit makes a difference.

Consciously,

Stephanie

Little MoSo kid’s clothing review

I’d been to In Good Company, a stellar North Vancouver shop that features local, handmade and Eco-friendly gifts and treasures at Christmas time, and was super impressed with the amazing service and beautiful selection of clothes, jewellery, body care and more. So I wasn’t surprised when I found myself just as dazzled the second time I popped in a few weeks ago. This time around, I met Jean Stenhouse, the founder, owner and designer/seamstress for the adorable children’s organic clothing line Little MoSo, which is featured at In Good Company.  This line combines two of my favourite obsessions: Eco-friendly and local products. I love love love when I can connect with local artisans. It gives me such a sense of community to support local, and there’s certainly no short of talented artisans here on the West Coast. Jean Stenhouse is no exception! Here’s a bit about Jean and Little MoSo, from the In Good Company Website:

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Owner and designer of little MoSo, Jean Stenhouse is, first and foremost, a mother to three wonderful little girls, who just happen to be her inspiration.  In addition to the achievement of the title of “Mum”, Jean is also a professional accountant, and self taught designer/sewing enthusiast.  Coming from a long line of crafty ladies, she has pursued her dreams of making beautiful, practical, and most importantly, comfortable childrens’ clothing and accessories.  Jean prides herself with choosing timeless, original, and mult-use designs and marrying them with the most comfortable, eco friendly and unique fabrics.  They combine to create the extremely versatile and fun littleMoSo lines.  The proof is in the pudding, as littleMoSo continues to grow in popularity, and gains respect for offering high quality, Vancouver, BC made, stylish designs.  littleMoSo is truly for little people, and their followers.Wrap your family in some of the softest fabric available. Our products are made from 70% Viscose of Bamboo / 30% Organic Cotton and are natural in colour, with minimal dyes and no bleach so they are sure to be a favourite!  Ultra comfortable Bamboo has wonderful qualities that make it moisture wicking, temperature regulating, antibacterial / hypoallergenic, odour resistant, and eco-friendly!Website: www.littlemoso.com Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/littlemoso Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-MoSo/161195837229069 Twitter: @littleMoSo Email: jean@littlemoso.com
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We got to talking, and Jean generously gifted me (well, technically she gifted my little girl) with a super cute pair of leggings/pants and a matching tank top from her line. I’m thrilled to report that not only do I adore this outfit, but so does my picky wee one! The purple colour is rich and vibrant, the fabric is supersoft and doesn’t irritate my toddler’s fair, sensitive skin, which is prone to blotchy rashes from some clothing. Made with 66% Viscose from Bamboo fiber, 28% Organic cotton and 6% Spandex, the pieces are very versatile; my daughter has worn them a number of ways, including:

*As long underwear under her clothes

*As separate pieces (the leggings with a different top, the top with different pants)

*As a full ensemble, all by itself

* With a tutu a for dress-up

*For PLAY, PLAY, PLAY! These pieces are VERY durable and no matter what rough and tumble wear/staining my tomboy in a tutu puts them through, they easily wash and stains don’t hang around! They move with my daughter, and she will grow with them!

*As PJ’s! Perfectly adorable and super comfy for sleep!

To make the outfit even cuter, my daughter has a sweet little Reindeer hair clip, handmade by Jean’s own daughters, also available at In Good Company! (It’s featured in these photos)

I absolutely adore this outfit, and I will definitely be collecting many Little MoSo pieces for my little girl’s wardrobe! I highly recommend Little MoSo.

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All photos by Stephanie Deline/She’s So Eco