Shop Small – Found it on Etsy

I’ve always loved shopping on Etsy, and it is one of my favorite websites to find special gifts. A few months ago I shared a blog post about a few of my favorite businesses to shop local. Since we’re in the midst of the holiday season, I thought it would be a great time to round up some of my favorite shops on Etsy. In this post I will share shops that I have ordered from for myself or as gifts multiple times. Be sure to check out all of these great small businesses. You just might find the perfect gift for someone you’re shopping for (pups included).

Everthine Designs | San Diego, California: This year I purchased three wooden initials to add to our stockings from Everthine Designs. These initials were the perfect compliment to our neutral-colored Christmas decor. I love that they were affordable (shipping too) and came well-packaged. Aside from these initials, this shop has a variety of items for holidays, babies, pregnancy announcements, weddings and more. Definitely a great little shop to commemorate many life milestones.

Happy Mail Boutique | Newport News, Virginia: I purchased and received the most beautiful glass ornaments from Happy Mail Boutique. The two I have on my Christmas tree are wedding-related and I love them so much. The quality is excellent and they’re actually super heavy and durable. I also love that they came with cloth bags that help to keep them safe in my ornament storage box. Sadly this shop no longer makes the style ornament I have, but she has a new style ornament that comes in a lot of different designs; 2020 themed ornaments included!

Essentially Charlie | Brooklyn, New York: If you know me, you know that I have shied away from using candles over the last year (essential oil user over here). That’s not the case for a lot of my family and friends and candles often make a great gift. A few months ago I was specifically searching for Brooklyn-made gifts for a friend when I came across Essentially Charlie. Their candles are made with beeswax, coconut oil, and essential oils. The shop also includes more specific details on the quality of essential oils used. “We use pure, ethically-sourced, therapeutic-grade oils that are steam-distilled from plants or cold-pressed from fruit/seeds.” I felt more comfortable knowing I was purchasing a candle made without synthetic fragrances. The shop owner was super responsive via message and my order shipped quickly. To complete my Brooklyn-themed gift, I paired this candle with a book about Brooklyn (which I am sure you could find in a local shop too!).

Maywind Market | The Woodlands, Texas: I have purchased 3 or 4 personalized makeup bags for newly engaged friends and brides-to-be from Maywind Market. I love how I could customize the text, font color and tassel color. The size, quality and price are great too, which is why I have gifted from this shop multiple times. I think personalized gifts are so fun during the wedding stage of life. These would also make great personalized stocking stuffers, teacher gifts or co-worker gifts.

A Yellow Fish | Oregon: I love stationery and especially love custom return stamps. I have purchased a return stamp for myself as well as a gift from the shop A Yellow Fish. I think these custom stamps are great wedding, bridal shower or house warming gifts. Although I don’t send a ton of traditional mail, I really love using this stamp for cards and special occasions. I think it’s a stamp everyone should have in their drawer. This shop offers free shipping too!

Qualtry | Lindon, Utah: One of the most used gifts I received for my engagement are personalized cork hot plates. They are cute and always come in handy when we’re making dinner or entertaining. I know the ones I have are from Etsy, but I am not sure which shop they were from. Last year I ordered personalized cork hot plates for a friend from Qualtry. They were pretty much identical to the ones I have. I think personalized gifts are special and these in particular are extremely practical. Hot plates don’t sound like your thing? Don’t worry, this Etsy shop has tons of different items to chose from!

BARKnBABES | Parker, Colorado: One of the first bandanas I ever bought for Henry was from BarknBabes. This shop makes both tie and slip over the collar style bandanas in tons of seasonal prints. I really like that a lot of the prints are double sided, so it’s kind of like getting 2 bandanas in one. I have purchased from this shop several times over the last 2 years and the quality has been great each time. Sadly, Henry has outgrown some of my favorites. It may be Christmas time, but I am already eyeing a Valentine’s Day print for him. I most recently bought Henry a large flannel tie style bandana. His neck is about 19 inches around and he’s a lanky 50lbs. I have to roll the bandana a few times, but I would rather having extra room versus not being able to tie it. I really like the quality of the flannel bandana and Henry has been wearing it for over a year.

Stella Mae Co. | Kannapolis, North Carolina: Another really well-made dog bandana company I have ordered from multiple times is Stella Mae Co. I have purchased a few of these bandanas for Henry and as gifts. These high quality bandanas are made with thick and durable material which is important to me because my dopey dog likes to test my patience by trying to pull his bandanas off. I most recently bought Henry a tie style bandana in size medium. Even with size medium I have to roll the bandana a few times and it fits him great. I see many more Stella Mae Co bandanas in Henry’s future.

Natural Simple Crazy | Medford, NY: The newest addition to Henry’s bandana collection is from my friend at Natural Simple Crazy. This shop makes affordable bandanas that can be customized with your pet’s name. The bandanas from Natural Simple Crazy are slip over the collar style bandanas that come in holiday prints, plaid and camo. Each bandana has a frayed edge which makes them extra stylish for your dog. I ordered a size medium in the Christmas truck print, but I think I large would fit Henry better. These bandanas would be perfect stocking stuffer for you pup!

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Beautycounter Makeup Review – Everyday Makeup

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase an item through an affiliate link, I may earn a small commission.  All opinions/recommendations are my own. Thank you for shopping through my links!

In today’s post I am reviewing all of the Beautycounter makeup products that I’ve tried. I am sharing what I have loved and what I have not. When it comes to my everyday routine I keep it pretty simple. With that said, even if I am staying home, I like to have a little makeup on. Look good, feel good is my motto in this area. My everyday routine includes concealer, bronzer, blush, brow gel & lip gloss. When shopping for makeup I look for products that last all day, have buildable coverage (or pigmentation) and can be multipurpose. I also try to opt for “cleaner” and “safer” ingredients. If you’re in the market for new makeup or are looking for “cleaner options,” keep reading!

Over the last two years I ended up transitioning almost all of my makeup to Beautycounter. I have also made a point to declutter my makeup drawer and only keep the products that I love. Beautycounter is really transparent about its practices, values and ingredient lists. The company has over 1,500 ingredients on its “never list.” Beautycounter also advocates and lobbies for legislative changes that will make beauty products “clean for all.” The company is trying lead positive changes for the beauty industry as a whole and not just itself. These are some of the reasons I was drawn to Beautycounter in the first place. I have been really impressed with this makeup and can confidently say that others should give it a try too.

Skin Twin Creamy Concealer: This product was launched in fall 2020 and I could not be happier that it did. It’s a big improvement over BC’s original Touchup Skin Concealer Pen which I have also tried. Like its name implies, the Skin Twin Concealer is creamy. It also provides really good coverage that lasts all day. I have seen some bloggers say that this concealer rivals Tarte’s Shape Tape coverage. Although I know that concealer is a cult favorite, I haven’t tried it myself, so I can’t say for sure. I usually only wear concealer (no foundation), so finding a good one is important to me. This concealer covers darkness under my eyes, uneven skin tone and blemishes. The coverage is so good! I apply this with a damp beauty blender and it lasts all day.

My shade is Light 1.

Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer with SPF: This was the first BC product I tried. Unfortunately it was a huge miss for me. It made my skin dry, flakey and irritated. The consultant I purchased through at the time said zinc may have caused my skin to react poorly. I am so impressed by the Skin Twin Concealer that I would recommend trying the Skin Twin Foundation before Dew Skin.

My shade is Light.

Stain Powder Blush: This blush has great pigmentation that allows you to build up as much or as little color as you like. I have this in two shades which I use everyday and they barely look used. I have had one shade for over a year too. This is a great blush and that fact that it has lasted so long really makes me feel like I am getting my monies worth.

My shades are Nectar and Guava (my fav).

Radiant All Over Bronzer: My thoughts on this bronzer are similar to the blush. This product is buildable, lasts all day and will last you a long time. I have also had this bronzer for over year and it’s still kicking. I use it everyday too!

Tip: Get more use our of your bronzer by using it on your eyes. I like to blend a little bronzer into the crease of lids for a little sun-kissed color.

My shade is Dune.

Color Pinch Cream Blusher: The name may imply blush, but you can use it on your eyes, lip and cheeks. This color is great for giving your cheeks a bronze-y glow or adding a little definition to the crease of your eyelids. Pair it with lip balm and it’s a perfect sheet neutral on your lips.

My shade is Caramel (on my lips I think this similar to the Lip Sheer in Twig).

Velvet Eyeshadow Palette: My eyes are so sensitive that they often get swollen, red, flakey and tear uncontrollably from eye makeup and skincare; it’s the worst! I have tired so many eyeshadows that cause irritation. This palette has yet to bother my eyes and I’ve had it for a year. It comes in 3 color palettes, but I think the bronze-y neutrals of the classic palette are perfect. A great swap for the Tarte eyeshadow palettes (which are great, but bother my eyes).

My shade is the Classic Palette.

Lengthening Mascara: Sadly this is a Beautycounter product I would recommend skipping. The wand and brush are thin and flimsy. Even after multiple coats, there is still very little product on my lashes. I am still on the hunt for a great “clean” mascara.

Beyond Gloss: My #1 makeup suggestion from Beautycounter is the lip gloss. I LOVE this stuff. It’s moisturizing, not sticky and lasts for a few hours. If you are trying to make the change to “cleaner” beauty, lip gloss is a good place to start because we actually ingest most of our lip products. This gloss comes is a lot of different shades now too!.

Shades I’ve purchased are Spice, Bare Shimmer, Blush Shimmer, Rosewood and Fig.

Beautycounter makeup that’s on my list to try next: the Brow Gel, Powder Highlighter, Skin Twin Foundation and Mattifying Powder!


While I am rounding up Beautycounter makeup, I thought this would be a good place to explain the Band of Beauty membership. Think of it as Amazon Prime for Beautycounter. You pay $29 to join and in return you receive welcome gift (when you spend $50+ on when enrolling — often valued at more than $29), earn a 10% credit on your orders and unlock free shipping on order of $100+. The membership lasts for 1 year. If you plan to order from Beautycounter more than once a year, I think it’s a good option to consider, especially for the free gift.

If you really enjoy using Beautycounter you may want to take the next leap and become a consultant. There are some costs to enroll, but being a consultant provides you access to exclusive products and a discount on your own purchases. Earlier in the year, Beautycounter offered a great deal for new consultants, so I decided to go for it. You can also earn a commission if others purchase through you. If you don’t meet the minimum sales requirements, you will be bumped down to a Band of Beauty membership – which is what will probably happen to me :). For more info on this, you can checkout the website or follow two of my favs on Instagram @afoodiestaysfit and @espressoandcreamblog — the first two Beautycounter gals I ever followed!

First Aid Beauty Review

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase an item through an affiliate link, I may earn a small commission.  All opinions/recommendations are my own. Thank you for shopping through my links!

As someone who has battled sensitive skin and blemishes for as long as I can remember, I have come to really value a good skincare routine. It is super important to me that I find products that keep my skin looking and feeling its best. Whenever possible I also try to opt for “cleaner” and “safer” ingredients. Three of my favorite tried and true skincare brands are First Aid Beauty, Beautycounter and Origins. I have re-purchased products from these brands repeatedly over the last four years.

In today’s post I am reviewing all of the FAB products I have tried over the years. I tend to call this brand “the plain Jane,” but for good reason! FAB products are made with sensitive skin in mind, so the ingredients are extra gentle; just what I like. The company is transparent about its ingredients too. FAB has over 1,300 ingredients on its “no-no” list, is cruelty free, dermatologist tested and always free from artificial fragrance (read more here). Many of the FAB products also earn the “clean at Sephora” label. Some products are great options for eczema and redness too. If you’re looking for gentle, hydrating and effective products, keep reading. You can still get 30% off your order and free shipping as part of their Cyber Monday sale with code Cyber30.

Pure Skin Face Cleanser: This cleanser is one of my most repurchased skincare products ever. It is gentle, fragrance free and takes off the majority of my makeup. I first started using this cleanser about 4 years ago when I was looking for a good cleanser to pair with my Clarisonic. Even without a cleansing brush it works up to a good lather and leaves my face feeling clean, but not tight or dry.

Ultra Repair Cream: This moisturizer has a light, whipped consistency and it really packs a punch in the hydration department. It can be used from head to toe, which initially made me skeptical of putting on my face, but it is an excellent facial moisturizer. Depending on the season/weather and the other products I am using, I can use this both morning and night for my moisturizer. Its great for soothing dry, chapped or irritated skin and is also a great option to have on hand as a nighttime moisturizer.

Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum: This serum is super hydrating thanks to hyaluronic acid and a few other super star ingredients. It is also non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) which I perfect for me because I have dry, blemish prone skin. It can be a challenge to find products that are very hydrating yet don’t cause breakouts. I can use this product all year-round, but I especially love it in the winter months.

Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer: This is a great daytime moisturizer or if you are looking for something lighter than the Ultra Repair Cream. This moisturizer is hydrating and non-comedogenic; another great option for dry breakout prone skin. I often use this during warmer and more humid months.

Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream: I was drawn to this night cream because it’s non-comedogenic and claims to combat signs of aging. It does its job as a hydrating cream, but I can’t say this particular product wowed me or actually combated aging. Although I have purchased it more than once, this would not be the first FAB product I recommend.

FAB Skin Lab Retinol Serum: In the “cleaner beauty” world, retinol has a bad reputation, but if you do some research you’ll also find that retinol is a often hailed as a must-have to combat fine lines and wrinkles. I was prescribed retinol by dermatologists as a teen to fight breakouts, but it was way to harsh on my skin. Since I love FAB so much and know their products are gentle, I gave this serum a try. I tried incorporating it 1 day per week for a few weeks, but this product was still too much for my skin.

FAB Skin Lab Resurfacing Liquid with 10% AHA: This product is similar to a serum and is one of my FAB favorites. It’s gentle enough that I can use it every night, but I may rotate it with another product depending on what else I am using. After using this for a weeks I definitely felt that my skin was brighter, smoother and more even toned. It helped to fade dark spots left behind from pimples and my breakouts cleared faster too.

FAB Pharma White Clay Acne Treatment Pads with 2% Salicylic Acid: I don’t use these pads regularly, but I have used these to clear stubborn breakouts when my skin has been in a funk. I use them in place of a toner and have found them to be effective, yet gentle on clearing up my skin. I definitely recommend these if you’re struggling with breakouts. Note: The last time I purchased these the packaging was different. I am hopeful that the ingredients are still the same.

Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream: This is a great oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer. It’s soothing and hydrating too. If you’re breakout prone or just looking for a something light weight, this is a great option.

Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer: This moisturizer helps to “blur the appearance of pores and imperfections” gives your skin the prettiest glow. It can be worn alone or under you makeup as primer and has a light coconut scent. I love the look and feel of this product on my skin, but each time I’ve tried it, I felt that it lead to a breakout. Don’t rule this one out due to my finicky skin though, it’s definitely still worth a try.

Ultra Repair Oatmeal Mask: This mask is great for soothing and nourishing dehydrated skin. I love to use this when my skin is feeling dry and/or irritated. I have purchased it multiple times too.

10 Day Trial Kit: FAB always has great kits, but I especially love this small kit for travel. It lets me bring all my basics without having to bring my full size bottles. It’s also a less expensive option if you want to try a bunch of the products I’ve included in this post.