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Night Time Cruelty Free Routine

September 13, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

I’ve been slowly but surely adjusting my skincare routine to consist of quality products which are good for me and also for the animals that these items are not being tested on. Getting cruelty free products is much easier than it seems, especially if you don’t shop at drugstores (which is always tempting). Overall these are just good items in general, even if you don’t try to go cruelty free.

Glossier Cleanser/Makeup Remover – I’ve been looking forward to trying Glossier and I’m so happy that I gave this face wash a try. It’s very gentle and has the same kind of consistency as Cetaphil. However, it does an amazing job removing eye makeup and making my skin feel very silky smooth. It also has a very mild and pleasant scent, so the face washing experience is very good.

BWC Toner – This is a great company that produces all of their products cruelty free. This toner smells great and has been working well for me at night and in the morning. It’s a pretty mild formula so it’s a lot gentler than some of the other toners I’ve used in the past. My only problem with it is the fact that it’s not a spray top, because I’m trying to stop using cotton swabs because of the waste that they create.

BodyBeeWell Eyecream – This Etsy shop has some seriously nice stuff, and I decided to give their eye cream a shot. It comes in a tiny container but the eye cream is so rich so you don’t need a whole lot of it. I’m a big believer in eye cream, and this one is pleasant because of it’s earthy scent.

EmpireSquid Face Cream – I got the dry skin formula for the winter but it’s been working well in the summer too. This cream is rich, which is something that I look for in a night time cream and like other natural creams it has a light smell. No more dry patches on my skin after starting to use this stuff, and that shop has a lot of products to choose from.

FromTheEarthBodyCare Dry Shampoo – I’ve been putting dry shampoo in my hair at night recently and I feel like it gives me more volume in the mornings. This one is neat because you can get a brown dry shampoo for brunettes, which is a nice touch. I like using natural dry shampoo much better than the stuff that comes as a spray. This store has a lot of goodies that I want to test out in the future.

Have you tried any of these products before? What is your go-to night time product?

 

Books

August 2016 Reading Wrap Up

September 6, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

I’m back from my “hiatus” of sorts. I guess summer is over and I can finally get back into posting regularly. I can’t believe how quickly the summer went by and now before you know it it’s gonna be freezing cold and nasty out. August turned out to be a pretty mediocre reading month for me, I blame the good (blazing hot) weather and just the overall feeling of summer coming to an end. These books were decent, so I guess I did well picking out my reading material.

Sex Object by Jessica Valenti – (4/5) I liked this book because it was informative and really opened up my eyes to some of the most negative experiences that women (in this case Jessica herself) have quite often. It was well written and she shared a bunch of stories from when she was dating and the majority of those stories were pretty negative. The most shocking thing came at the end when she shared some of the emails that she had received from readers and just random people in general. It’s incredible how many ignorant people there are in this world. Overall it’s a great read if you like reading feminist books.

End of Watch by Stephen King – (4/5) I’m a self proclaimed Stephen King lover and I could read pretty much any of his books. I liked how neat the ending was, but I felt like it was all tied up a little too neatly in the end. Sometimes I like it when books end in an unpredictable and often times frustrating manner because as a reader that makes me feel something. With that being said, I for once had the satisfaction of the book ending pretty much exactly how I wanted it to, except for one thing. So it’s a good read if you’re a fan of King’s books.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub – (3/5) Basically if you didn’t like The Vacationers you won’t like this one. It was a book about nothing, consisting of characters that I couldn’t care any less about. They are all very one dimensional and boring and I honestly wouldn’t tell you what the point of this book was. To me it felt like a pretty mindless read, so I guess it’s probably a good book for the beach. But since the beach days are over I wouldn’t recommend it unless you know you like Straub’s writing.

How was your summer? Have you read any great books lately?

 

Recipe

Raspberry Vegan Nice Cream

August 16, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

I’ve been playing around with a lot of summery recipes after getting a blender last month. I’ve seen a lot on pinterest and most of them turned out tasting like banana even if I added other fruit or chocolate. To me this one tastes good, almost like a soft serve ice cream even before I add in the raspberries. I think the key is a to add a bit of vanilla extract to take away a little bit of that banana taste.

Raspberry Vegan Nice Cream
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 Frozen Bananas
  • 4-5 Tbsp Almond Milk (or milk of choice)
  • ½ - 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2-4 Tbsp Frozen Raspberries
Instructions
  1. Take out frozen bananas, let them sit out for 10-15 minutes
  2. Cut them up into smaller pieces
  3. Put into blender and add a few Tbsp of milk
  4. Keep blending until smooth
  5. Add vanilla extract & blend
  6. Add raspberries & blend until smooth
  7. Enjoy!

Please let me know if you have nice cream/ice cream recipes of your own that you enjoy. Summer is almost over but I’m still trying to get some summery desserts in!

P.S. I finally cracked and got SnapChat. Let me know your username or add me – kasikelley :)

Books

July 2016 Reading Wrap Up

August 3, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

Hooray you guys, July was an awesome reading month for me! I have to thank the Booktube-A-Thon that really gave me a push to read more. I have to admit that this month I’m feeling a bit burnt out so I doubt I will be able to read this many books any time soon but for now I will just enjoy the fact that I was able to knock a few books off of my TBR.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (4/5) – Just as anyone else I vaguely knew what this book was about. Yes, a creature that was created by Dr Frankenstein. But there is so much more depth to this book than I could have imagined. There is so much struggle and suffering, which is something that I didn’t expect at all. This book is filled with tough decisions and pretty brutal consequences. If you haven’t read it I definitely recommend it.

Girl at War by Sara Nović (4/5) – This one has been on my TBR for a while and I was happy to finally get to it in July. What a well written book! I could not put it down because it was so captivating and interesting. The main character was amazing, I really emphasized with her and had my heart broken so many times. A great book about such brutal human struggles and really overcoming the most horrible of events.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (3/5) – I bought this book when I started Lunar Chronicles so I finally got around to reading it. I can’t find too many faults with this book other than in my opinion it’s filled with fluff and lately I’m just not feeling books like that. It was moving along quickly and stuff was happening, but I definitely liked it less than Cinder. I want to finish the series so hopefully next one will be better.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (5/5) – What a read! I’ve been looking forward to it and it didn’t disappoint. The start was a tiny bit slow and you don’t get the full sense of what has happened until well over halfway through and it was so dark. A book about the lack of value for women really made me think about the world that we live in and how we are treated.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (3/5) – This was a quick read and it was for the most part entertaining. Books about a government that has gone rogue are typically pretty intense and this one is no different. I felt like near the end the action picked up more and things were getting a lot more exciting but in the beginning I wasn’t exactly loving it.

You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessie Klein (4/5) – Such a funny read. Seriously, if you like  reading memoirs of comedians I highly recommend this one. A lot of stories that are very relatable, and she doesn’t try too hard to be taboo. My biggest problem with this book was the fact that even though she’s trying hard to relate to your basic reader, chances are most of us don’t fly across the country for a one night stand. Things like that, I knew what she was saying but I also knew that she’s not just a regular person.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King (4/5) – Pretty creepy and dark, but not as scary as I thought it would be. If you like King’s writing this one is an excellent choice. While it’s on the longish side it’s a very quick read, I pretty much couldn’t put it down. And with a cemetery being involved, you know how creepy things got!

Carrie by Stephen King (3/5) – I guess everyone knows what this book is about, so going into it I had an idea of what I was in for. It’s written almost backwards, where you have the news articles and excerpts from books that were written after the “incident” took place. The book tends to jump around from past to present and as that happens you slowly gather what lead up to the infamous event. It’s not my favorite Stephen King book, unfortunately, but it wasn’t a horrible read.

What are you reading? Have you read any good books lately?

Clothes

Alternative Apparel

July 26, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

Since I’ve started getting more into yoga (aka doing it regularly for a few weeks) I’ve decided that I need to find more yoga apparel companies. I can’t remember which “yoga brand” list I looked through but that’s how I came across Alternative Apparel. Basically they sell clothes that is sustainable and more eco friendly than your other friendly neighborhood clothing stores. I can always get on board with a clothing brand that is willing to take it one step further and actually make something that I can feel slightly better about wearing.

They had a decent July 4th sale so I decided to take the plunge and try out some of their goods. I ended up getting their leggings and a sports bra, both of which were on an excellent sale. Unlike a lot of other stores their sale section is pretty full of great options and they had a lot of sizes available.

Birch Juice Blog

My experience ordering was good and the stuff shipped quickly. I’m always a tad hesitant ordering online because I hate having to track my packages and anxiously check the location of it every 5 minutes. My goods got sent back to the warehouse for some odd reason, I didn’t even know about it until their customer support contacted me. But they resolved the whole mess quickly and I got my stuff within a few days. The best part is that they have free shipping and free returns, because I hate paying shipping fees especially if it’s something I can get in store nearby.

Birch Juice Blog

I’m a fan of the stuff that I got, it feels very natural since my goods are made from cotton. Now I for sure have a few more things that I would love to get from Alternative in the near future, some of those things are their loose fitting shirt and their vintage shirt because I’m a sucker for comfortable t-shirts.

If you love comfortable clothes as much as I do you can use this 20% off discount to Alternative Apparel that you can use if you spend $30 or more. I would also be benefitting from it since they will give me a discount from referring friends :) thanks guys!

What is your favorite yoga clothing brand?

Life

Coldplay Concert 2016

July 19, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

As many of you know I don’t really like music, I barely have any favorite musicians but one band that I like very much is Coldplay. I happen to like a lot of their songs which is a rarity, but that just means that us going to see them in concert was meant to be. Alex also likes their music so this was perfect since no one was going to suffer (I wish the same could have been said about that one time we saw Mumford & Sons, mehhh).

Birch Juice Blog

I don’t have too many concerts to compare it to, but it was magical. They were so good live, which was great because that gave me more reasons to like them! Everyone in the audience was given a wristband that was controlled from backstage to light up whenever different songs came on. It was a lot to fun and we were standing pretty much the entire time, which my feet later didn’t thank me for.

So I would for sure go see them again and I hope they tour some more in the future. Now I’m more excited to see other concerts I’ll just have to find some artists that I like!

Do you like Coldplay? What is your all time favorite concert?