My Travel Essentials

I’m traveling this week, so I figured I would share with you guys the items I take with me on a flight.

A Good Book


Nowadays, I never travel without a good book. I feel that when I’m sitting in airport for waiting for my flight to board is the perfect time to catch up on my reading.  This time I’m bringing along  I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi.  I’ve heard so many good things about it, I can’t wait to crack it open.

Zzquil


Ok one thing about me is, I love to sleep when I’m on a plane.  I take a Zzquil right before boarding and I’m out before the flight even takes off.  For me, airplane sleep is the BEST sleep.

Something to Keep Me Warm

 My favorite blanket scarf from ModCloth is a frequent travel companion of mine.  Yea, I know they hand blankets out on flights, but I don’t trust them (germaphobe)… so I bring my own.

Moisturizer

Cabin air makes my skin so dry so I always keep a good moisturizer on hand.  Since I’m traveling I opted or these thin mask packs.

Snacks

Airplane snacks are always wack and super expensive to me, so I bring my own.  This time I’m bringing: Kind fruit bars, dried fruit, vanilla almond butter and I’ll probably make some kale chips.

Headphones

  Anti-bacterial Wipes

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I watched a documentary once that made me question the cleanliness of planes.  So, now I bring a pack of wipes with me to wipe down my seat prior to me sitting in it.  You never know what occurred in that seat prior to you boarding the plane… GROSS!

My personal bag is filled with a few other things like extra underclothes, a first aid kit, hair pins and other toiletries.  I always feel overpacked, but at the same time I’m ready for anything!  What do you guys travel with?

International Power Source

So, usually I would bring a power source with me so that I could charge my phone and other electronics overseas but I left my international charger in Australia, and I completely forgot to order a new one.  I’m hoping I can stop by Best Buy or something before I leave to get one.  I’m sure they cost an arm and a leg at the airport.

Until next time…
@myproductaddiction

Essential Items in My Daily Routine

I love discovering new products, but there are just some items that are a staple for me.  While I don’t always buy the same brands of these items, I do like to keep them in my routine.

Cleansing Oil

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If you’ve tried one cleansing oil, you’ve tried them all.  I love using cleansing oil to remove my makeup prior to washing my face.  Currently I’m using this Citrus & Tamanu cleansing oil from Birchrose + Co.

Body Scrub

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Body scrubs are a major key for me. My skin is so super dry in the winter, so the scrubs help me get rid of the dead dry skin and get my skin back to feeling really soft.  Right now I’m using this Coffee Butter Body Scrub from Blaq Roses.   Coffee scrubs improve the moisture of the skin and with this fickle weather we are having in DC, I need all the moisture I can get!

Body Butter

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As I mentioned before, my skin is so dry during during the winter and spring  so a good body butter is a must have.  I like body butters that are whipped and filled with essential oils that hydrate my skin and make it smooth.  Right now I’m using Deame’s Bettah Buttah its really thick and perfect for my dry heels.  I have the Orange Moon scent, but I really want to try the Vanilla Lavender and the Sleep Butter.   Orange Moon has a slight citrusy scent, but I still like to add a few drops of citrus oil to give it a little boost.

Micellar Water

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It’s no secret that I love matte lipstick, but it can be extremely hard to get off because of its dryness.  I struggled with removing my lipstick for a while but then I discovered the magical wonders of micellar water. Micellar water gently removes makeup and boosts the hydration of the skin.  Many people have even completely gotten rid of skin cleanser and only use micellar water.   Right now I’m using this one from Dirty Works.  I got this one from TJ Maxx, but you can purchase it at stores like Target, CVS and Walgreens.

Essential Oils

I don’t really use essential oils too often in my daily beauty routine, but I love to keep it in my home.  Boiling essential oils on the stove is something I learned from one of my really good friends (follow her blog The Narrow Way).  Now, when I get home after a long day I love to boil water on the stove and add a few drops of lavender oil to calm myself.  If I’m sick, I like to boil eucalyptus oil to clear my sinuses and help my breathing.  The scent flows through my entire home and I actually find myself using this method instead of lighting candles.  I just have to remember to turn my stove off… Currently I’m using this eucalyptus oil from Thursday Plantation and this lavender oil from It Works.

Hand Lotion

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I try my best to keep hand lotion on me at all times.  I’m the person that takes the travel size products in hotel rooms home with me just so that I can have lotion in my purse.  I remember one year my mom gave me a bag of hotel lotions as one of my Christmas gifts and I thought it was the best thing ever!  Currently I’m using these hand & body lotions from Leanne Grace.

Coconut Oil

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If you follow me on Instagram then you know I loooooove coconut oil (I refer to it as BAE).  Coconut oil is good for pretty much everything!  I love using it to cook, wipe my makeup off, oil my hair, fix squeaky door knobs and moisturize my skin.  I promise you there is a jar of cold pressed coconut oil in every area of my home!  GETCHU SOME!!!

Yoga Mat

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My yoga mat is a huge part of my daily routine.  I love to do early morning yoga on weekends and a nightly stretch right before bed.  It gives me a sense of calm before I begin my day and before I end my night.  I’m blessed to have the option to attend free yoga classes in my neighborhood on Mondays and Saturdays. But when I’m not attending classes I like to do videos on YouTube from my favorite yogi Yoga w/ Adriene.

As I continue clearing the abundance of products in my bathroom I can’t help but notice that I tend to be drawn to the same types of products.  I’m always open to trying new brands of my favorite items so please, don’t hesitate to tell me about products you think I’ll love!

Until Next time…

@myproductaddiction

Blaq Roses

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In 2016 I decided that I would fall back a bit from purchasing products from mainstream companies and start purchasing from small businesses when possible.  A vast majority of my hair and skin care products come from small businesses owned by African Americans that I’ve found on social media, and  I always let you guys know about the ones I do and don’t like.  A few months ago, I found out about Blaq Roses, you may remember me posting about their Hemp Oil Moisturizer in my post last week on keeping my skin clear.  Blaq Roses is a beauty company that promotes self-love and creative freedom.  Their products offer a holistic approach to self-care, and you guys know I’m all about holistic approaches to beauty and after years of soul-searching, I’ve finally learned how to love myself.   I had the opportunity to try several of their products and I have to admit, there was not one item that I did not love. Continue reading “Blaq Roses”

You Don’t Have to Go Broke to Be Vegan (Budget Friendly Grocery Haul feat. Aldi)

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As many of you know, this year I switched to a plant-based diet.  A lot of times when veganism comes up in conversation, people always mention how expensive it must be for me to be vegan.  This couldn’t be further from the truth, I actually spend less money on food being vegan than I did when I wasn’t.  So, to debunk the myth I decided to share what I purchased during my latest grocery trip.

Since I’m balling on a budget, I tend to shop at more economical stores like Aldi.  Occasionally when I need something specific like vegan cheese, vegan yogurt, Larabars or tahini I may stop by Trader Joes (Subsidiary of Aldi) or Whole Foods, but for the most part Aldi is my go to grocery store.  If you’re a YouTube junkie like me, just look up cheap vegan hauls.  Vegan YouTubers like Caitlin Shoemaker, TheChicNatural and More Salt Please frequently post videos on eating plant-based without breaking the bank.

This past Saturday I decided to do my weekly grocery shopping. Typically when I grocery shop, I only shop for enough food for the week.  However, this time I made the mistake of going to the store hungry and without a grocery list, so I came out with a little more than I planned and I had to get really creative to make meals out of what I got.

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Here’s what I got:

2 Bags of Carrots  $2.98
Organic Kale $3.49
Quick Grits $1.29
Fresh Strawberries $1.39
Frozen Peaches $2.09
Taco Seasoning $0.49
Hot Dog Bugs $0.85
Steak Sauce $1.19
10lb Bag of Russet Potatoes $3.99
Organic Fare Trade Raw Sugar $2.89
Organic Olive Oil $3.99
Chipotle Black Bean Veggie Burgers $2.49
Cinnamon Apple Straws $1.99
Rosemary & Olive Oil Quinoa $1.69
12 pk Belle Vie Seltzer Water $2.99
Onion Powder $1.19
Fresh Pineapple $0.99
Bag of Lemons $3.49
2 Cantaloupes $2.18
Cauliflower $2.49
Cilantro $0.89
2 Packs of Blackberries $1.98
2 Cucumbers $1.18
Total Spent $48.19

I really feel like $48 is pretty inexpensive, but I also went overboard in the store.  Usually, my grocery bill at Aldi is right around $30 a week.

I’m sure by looking at my grocery list, you may be wondering how I’m going to make meals with just the items on the list.

Here is the menu for this week:

Breakfast
Fruit Smoothies
Fruit Bowls
Grits

Lunch
Southwestern Quinoa Bowls
Greek Salad

Dinner
Cauliflower Wings w/ Roasted Potatoes
Veggie Burgers w/ Fries

Dessert
Carrot Souffle
Peach Icecream

Snacks
Apple Sticks
Fruit
Kale Chips

Weekend Meals
Carrot Hotdogs

Note: several ingredients required for my meals I already have in my home

And there you have it, one weeks worth of groceries and I didn’t break the bank.   I’ll be sure to do another grocery haul when I actually stay within my budget.

Until Next Time…
@myproductaddiction

How I Keep My Skin Clear

When I started  this blog two years ago, my skin was terrible.  I suffered from severe cystic acne, I had massive amounts of blackheads and my acne scarring was ridiculous and embarrassing.   My skin has come a long way since then but since I’m my own worst critic, I didn’t realize how clear my skin is.

Recently a friend of mine asked me what foundation I was wearing and when I responded and told her that I didn’t have anything on, she was shocked.  She asked me how I got my skin to be so clear… I went through my entire routine and then I realized, I’ve never shared with you all how I care for my skin.

Continue reading “How I Keep My Skin Clear”

Spilling the Tea… Best Teas for Skin Care

Skin Detox Tea
Yogi Tea Hibiscus Rose Tea

Good skin care isn’t just about the products you are using on your skin.  Good skin care starts from within, and if you’re caring for yourself on the inside then the outside will certainly show it.

My obsession with tea started as a way to ween myself off  sugary juices and sodas, then I noticed how it was transforming my body and my skin.  The main ingredient in tea is water, and water is a major key for healthy skin.  Tea is filled with many antioxidant and free-radical fighting ingredients that promote clear skin and prevent wrinkles.

Green Tea

Green tea is packed with sun-fighting ingredients.  Green tea contains free-radical fighting ingredients like catechins and EGCG that reduce skin damage and prevent wrinkles from forming.

Kombucha

Kombucha is a tea made from fermented black tea.  It’s an excellent replacement for soda, but it also is great for detoxifying the skin.  Kombucha has a ton of antioxidants and probiotics which help with the clarity and suppleness of your skin.

Matcha

I have to admit, when I first discovered matcha tea I was turned off by it because it was bright green. I couldn’t imagine what it would taste like, so I automatically assumed it was gross.  I was wrong, it’s actually really good.  Matcha is a tea that originated in Japan, and is known for its natural antibiotics and antioxidants.  Matcha contains catechins which helps trap and inactivate free radicals and stopping signs of aging.

Oolong Tea

While oolong tea has a… well lets say a unique taste, its filled with beauty and health benefits.  Oolong tea can reduce dark spots, improve the clarity of your skin and can even help fight damage from smoking and the sun.

Dandelion Tea

This is definitely not my favorite tea, but it does have a lot of health benefits which aid in having healthy skin.  This tea like many other teas is chocked full of antioxidants, aids in digestion and detoxes the liver all which improve the skin.

White Tea

This is my absolute favorite tea! It has more antioxidants than green tea because it is the least processed type of tea.  Our skin contains an enzyme MMP (matrix metalloproteinases) that increases as we age.  White tea prevents MMP from decreasing collagen and elastin which are necessary for healthy skin.

Hibiscus Rose Tea

This combination of rose petals, hibiscus and green tea soothes the skin and supports a healthy glow.  This is a tea I typically drink when it is that time of the month and I’m suffering from painful cystic breakouts.

These are just a few of the teas I keep in my home to aid me in my journey to clear skin.  Are you a tea drinker?  Which ones are your favorites?

Until next time…

@myproductaddiction

Online Grocery Shopping? My thoughts on Amazon Fresh

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Modern technology makes everything so much easier for people, I mean you don’t have to leave your house for anything these days.  You can have just about anything delivered to you thanks to companies like Go Puff, Uber Eats and Amazon.

Recently I received an Amazon gift card in the mail, and since there wasn’t really anything I needed to buy, I decided I would use it to try out AmazonFresh.  AmazonFresh, is a grocery delivery subsidiary of Amazon.  Its been around since 2007, first in beta and then it slowly spread across the country.  I first heard about it during a segment on some national news broadcast back in 2012 but of course it wasn’t available in my area so I had long forgotten about it.  Then recently I noticed my neighbors receiving deliveries, and a few people I follow on social media were trying it too so I was excited to see that it had finally made its way into the DC area.  I’m the typical busy millennial so I’m always willing to try anything that will make life a little easier.

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For my first order, I got bananas (a little brown here because I took this pic a few days after ordering), a case of LaCroix sparking water, a bag of cuties, almond milk chocolate pudding, strawberries, bell peppers, avocados, Larabars, blackberries, basil, vegan cheese and broccoli florets.  My total came to about $40, I’ll talk more about that later.

There were definitely pros and cons to using AmazonFresh, so here’s what I think:

Pros

I placed my order late Wednesday night, unlike many grocery delivery services AmazonFresh let me schedule my delivery for the very next day… I thought I would have to wait a few days for my delivery.

They give you the option of scheduling an Attended Delivery so you can be home when your groceries arrive, or you can just have your groceries left on your doorstep.  I chose to have my groceries left in the parcel locker in the basement of my building.

I scheduled my delivery to arrive between 4pm and 8pm and at 4:30 my phone was ringing letting me know my delivery had arrived.

You don’t have to worry about your food spoiling if your delivery arrives and you’re not home.   Your AmazonFresh delivery comes in refrigerated bags, and they can be left out for a few hours.  I didn’t arrive home until 4 hours after my delivery arrived and all of my items were still cold.

Refrigerated Bags

While a few items were a little on the pricey side, I was able to snag some really good deals like a 3 pound bag of cuties for only $0.25.  I thought it was a mistake but sure enough I got the whole bag for TWENTY FIVE CENTS!

Cons

Even with Amazon Prime, you still have to pay $14.99 a month to use the AmazonFresh service.  Amazon Prime is already $99 a year, I really don’t think people should have to pay an additional fee.  They do offer a free 30 day trial though, just like they do with Amazon Prime.

While some of the products were pretty cheap, I do feel like I didn’t get $40 worth of groceries.  The price for their organic produce was a bit more expensive than what I usually buy and a lot smaller.

I still found myself going to the grocery store because they didn’t have certain things I needed as far as seasonings, specific produce and condiments.

Oh, how could I forget?  If you don’t spend $40 guess what… you have to pay $9.99 for shipping.  If this is a benefit of being an AmazonPrime member… why isn’t shipping free???

Would I Use AmazonFresh Again?

The pros do out weigh the cons for AmazonFresh, but because of the $14.99 fee and the cost of shipping  I don’t think I’ll be using it monthly, because the way my budget is setup…

 If I’m ever sick or I have an extremely hectic week, I may consider using it because of the convenience.

Have you tried AmazonFresh?  What do you think about it?

until next time…

@myproductaddiction