Nearly 20% of personal-care products contain at least one chemical linked to cancer, and yet the FDA has not regulated beauty ingredients since 1938. This, however, is evolving as consumers change their lifestyle and consumption habits. A 2004 study found parabens in 18 out of 20 samples of human breast tissue. Parabens are in almost 100% of drugstore skincare products and cosmetics. Finally, only about 10% of the 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products have safety data.

Now we can begin to understand why you must throw away your non-organic products. First and foremost, the toxic ingredients they contain can (and do) cause cancer. As the creams, lotions, serums, etc are absorbed through the skin, they are then traveling to your bloodstream and inside the body. Studies have shown that the toxic ingredients have been found in biopsy samples from breast tumors, ovarian cancer and more!

The chemical components of many products don’t break down and instead accumulate in our ecosystems, harming our environment. Most of the damage is done when we wash our face or body and these chemicals are washed down our sinks, which are then streamed to our lakes, rivers, and the water systems. But of course, the manufacturing process of creating nasty chemical personal care products can be harmful to the environment, too. Just take petroleum based oils, for example – these are byproducts of the oil industry. Most palm oil used in cosmetics is the result of razing rainforests to grow palm plants, and non-organic rapeseed or cottonseed oil is almost always the result of GMO farming.


1. Cosmetics Are Badly Regulated

Although the EU has stricter regulations and has banned many of the most harmful ingredients, cosmetic companies in the United States are allowed to use almost any new chemicals without government approval, with the exception of colour additives and any ingredient classified as a drug. Congress is starting to respond to consumer concerns and, for the first time since 1938, the FDA may be implementing restrictions on ingredients placed in beauty products. Not that that’s much help: after all, the FDA has approved aspartame, saccharin, human growth hormone in food products and many other artificial colourings, flavourings and chemicals which have proven to harm human health. For now it is up to you as a consumer to pay attention to the ingredients and do your research – especially if you have any favourite brands you’re ordering from the USA!


2. Most Mainstream Cosmetics DO Contain Harmful Chemicals

Let’s first start by identifying the toxic chemicals to look for in your products. The main toxic chemicals found in lipsticks, nailpolishes, skin creams and are as follows:

Lead – found in lipsticks, toothpaste, makeup, etc. Can cause neurotoxicity (brain damage), seizures, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive dysfunction and kidney dysfunction.


3. Mainstream Cosmetics Lack Nutrients

Vitamin C:  a superpower when it comes to antioxidants and it fights free radicals, which attack the skin’s support structure and leads to imparting collagen and the aging of skin.

Vitamin E: another powerful antioxidant that soothes out the skin and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin A: vital for the repair of skin. If you notice your skin is dull, flaky, or quite brass, look for products that include this.

Most organic and natural brands include these essential vitamins and more in their products and you can also purchase pure nourishing serums on their own.


4. You Could Be Harming Your Baby

What most people don’t realize is that non-organic products not only affect you, but also your children, especially when in the womb. Organic beauty products help protect our children so that they are healthy, strong, and don’t have any birth defects. According to The Lancet Neurology study, toxins in cosmetics can affect brain development and lead to neurobehavioral problems like autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. Disorders of neurobehavioral development affect 10–15% of all births and are steadily increasing. Of course, it’s impossible to know which percentage of these are related to toxic chemicals in personal care products, but why take any risk?


5. Value for Money

There’s a misconception that organic skincare and makeup is more expensive than mainstream brands, but that’s far from true. Have you checked the price of (highly chemical) Estee Lauder products lately? Lancome? Chanel? Sure, organic products may not be as dirt cheap as mass produced chemical supermarket brands, but think of it like this: junk food is way, way cheaper than organic food, but wouldn’t you rather spend $1 on a few organic bananas instead of a huge bag of free-radical laden, salty, MSG riddled crips? Better for you, and the same price! Some great lower cost brands include Weleda (which is amazing!), Naturaleve, Dizao, Greenscape and many more.

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Ready to Transform Your Health, Life and Body?

Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. is open for enrollment!

Are you a busy, stressed out woman ready to finally get off the dieting train, the stressed out mindset, and the body frustration?  Are you ready to start living the gorgeous, calm, and radiant life you’re craving?  Well I created Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. just for you!

Over the course of this 12-week online transformational program, you will:Know how to eat for YOUR body, for the rest of your life — and never utter the word “Diet” again!Understand the roots of your cravings and demystify the workings and needs of your bodyBe empowered with stress management tools that will keep you more calm, balanced, energized, and happy — no matter what life throws your wayDetoxify your home, body, and life or harmful chemicals, patterns and practices that are making you sickStart living the GORGEOUS life you know you are meant to be living!Enroll by Monday, August 4th to get $400 worth of awesome bonuses, including:AN OPTIONAL EXCLUSIVE EXTENDED PAYMENT PLAN to make the program even more affordable!A GGG GIFT BAG full of my favorite wellness and beauty tools to get you started off right! (a $100 value)A PRIVATE 45-MINUTE SKYPE STATEGY SESSION WITH ME! We’ll discuss your goals in depth and develop a custom strategy to help you get the most out of your program! (a $150 value)PLUS, THE FIRST 10 PEOPLE TO ENROLL WILL RECEIVE AN UP24 BAND to help you track your movement, eating, and sleep, and keep you motivated throughout the program! (a $150 value)Click here to get all the program details, including a week-by-week breakdown of what we’ll cover.

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Mineral Beauty That’s EPIC

Epic Mineral Beauty

Finding high quality, effective, and natural makeup can definitely be a challenge.  We have our few favorite brands that we resort to, and we’re always thrilled to discover a new product line to add to our mix, especially since the availability of high quality, natural products pretty much dictates what we do and do not use in our beauty routines!

Because of this, we had all but given up on using mineral makeup over the last year or two. Discovering safe mineral products that were free of skin irritants and toxic ingredients like mica, talc, and titanium dioxide had proven to be all but impossible! So you can imagine how pumped we were to discover Epic Mineral Beauty, a beautiful line of mineral makeup products that is free of literally every questionable ingredient on our list!

To boot, the mineral foundations, blushes and bronzers come in a variety of lovely hues to perfectly match your skintone, and the eyeshadows come in some luscious must-have basic tones. We found that our skin looked beautiful, natural, and clean, with buildable coverage that lasted.  Plus, no irritation, clogged pores, breakouts or skin drama whatsoever!

To find your perfect hues, order the sample sizes.


Enter our Epic Mineral Beauty Giveaway!

You’ll get one full-size foundation and one full-size mineral veil — an almost $60 value!


Click here to sign up for our email list (don’t worry, we’ll never hound you with lots of emails!)Leave a comment below letting us know you signed up!

And our winner is: Aimee!!

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Chilled Cucumber Soup with Mint

This delicious chilled cucumber soup is super detoxifying, and is a perfect light summer dinner for those balmy nights.  The pine nuts add some bulk and healthy fats, giving the soup a super yummy consistency.  Due to the high water content of cucumbers, this soup is also amazing for beauty, hydrating skin, and weight loss!

Chilled Cucumber Soup with MintServes 2Cooking time: 10 minutes


3 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 lemon, peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups pure water
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil


Blend everything except fresh mint together until smooth — about 3 minutes in a high-speed blender. Add mint and blend for 15 seconds. Garnish with as extra drizzle of olive oil and a sprig of mint or dill.  Serve chilled with some rye toast.

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10 Rules of Longevity and Agelessness

Dr. Deepak Chopra, one of our favorite healthy living gurus, prescribes 10 simple rules for aging gracefully and beautifully in his book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind – A Quantum alternative to growing old. We absolutely love the simplicity of these rules… So spot-on, so intuitive, and so vital for staying young, healthy, beautiful and happy.

1. Intake fresh food, eat frugally, drink wholesome liquids, abstain from stimulants and sedatives, and have a bowel movement at least once a day.

2. Maintain a high level of personal hygiene, get plenty of fresh air, sunlight and rest, have enjoyable leisure time, and satisfying hobbies.

3. Exercise, meditate, practice balanced refined breathing (pranayam) and yoga, listen to the body’s signals of comfort and discomfort.

4. Work for a happy marriage, long-term relationships, cultivate the ability to laugh easily, to make friends and keep close friends.

5. Choose a congenial occupation, go on vacation every year, be optimistic about the future, feel financially secure and live within your means.

6. Develop an easygoing personality, cultivate nonviolent behavior, and have reverence for life.

7. Live in temperate climate, enjoy a reasonable sex life, and get proper medical attention in case of illness.

8. Live in the present – accept what comes your way, appreciate it, learn from it and let go. Resisting the natural flow of things causes negative emotions.

9. Relinquish external approval, avoid being judgmental, replace fear-motivated behaviors with love-motivated ones, nurture positive emotions and express them freely.

10. Always know the world outside is a reflection of your deeper intelligence – the real “you” is within.

Photo: DeepakChopra.com

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9 Herbs For Weight Loss


By: Stephanie Heino

Today we are drowning in supplements available to promote weight loss; most of them being dangerous and unhealthy. What people don’t know is that herbs can do wonder for weight weight loss, and they are all natural. Many are safe and effective in helping you lose weight without causing any side effects such as depression or other things that might occur with the processed pills available in the drugstore. But don’t think that solely consuming herbs will help you lose weight; they should be taken in conjunction with a nutritious diet and a sensible and regular exercise plan in order to succeed. Natural weight loss herbs contain tonics that boost your nervous system which makes you more capable of coping with stress and prevents you from emotional eating (one of the biggest culprits of obesity). Herbs make you feel positive and also give you the strength to exercise. They keep you feeling sated because of their high fiber content and since you don’t feel hungry, you aren’t tempted to indulge in snacks and junk food all day. Herbs therefore help you lose weight safely and effectively. Sounds amazing, right?

Check out this list of 9 natural herbs promoting weight loss to start your journey towards that beach body:

Guarana. Guarana is a diuretic that’s useful in helping you lose weight. It also stimulates the nervous system and helps you fight depression and cope with stress. Guarana thus helps you to avoid emotional eating, one of the chief causes of weight gain, but make sure to also include some meditation in your everyday life to deal with the actual cause of your stress and depression.

Guar gum. Guar gum is obtained from the Indian cluster bean. Since it contains lots of fiber, eating guar gum gives you a feeling of fullness that prevents you from overeating. It also decreases bad cholesterol (LDL) and helps control diabetes (amazing!). Make sure to pick up some Guar gum powder next time you go to your natural food store.

Ginseng. Ginseng increases stamina and helps you to treat fatigue. It increases your capacity to do physical activity, so you can no longer use the excuse that you’re too tired to exercise when using Ginseng. It’s also responsible for reducing blood sugar levels and helps you lose weight by increasing the leptin levels (the hormone that helps regulate body weight) which will lead to loss of body weight and decrease in blood glucose levels. Take a look at this guide on how to buy the best supplements.

Flaxseed. The seed of the flax plant has a coating that swells when exposed to water. If you soak whole flaxseeds in water and eat them, they act as bulking agents in your stomach and give you a feeling of fullness. They are neither digested nor absorbed by the body when soaked whole. By giving you a feeling of fullness, they prevent you from overeating and help you lose weight.

Ginger. Ginger (yes, it is an herb!) cleanses the body by reducing the stomach’s acidity and helps getting rid of the food stuck in the digestive system. This lodged food can cause weight gain, and the purging helps you lose it. I like to start my day with a lemon, ginger and cayenne shot to really get my body going!

Cinnamon. Cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels and cholesterol. The ability to regulate blood sugar levels makes cinnamon an important tool in the fight against fat. It also helps speeding up your metabolism!

Glucomannan. Glucomannan delays the absorption of glucose from the intestines and helps you lose weight. Glucomannan is a sugar (a healthy one!) made from the root of the konjac plant that has been used for centuries in traditional Japanese cooking as a thickener agent. Glucomannan creates a sense of fullness by absorbing water and expanding to form a bulky fiber in your stomach. The “bulky fiber” is then expelled from your body via the natural route. This cleansing effect has been said to help with a host of medical issues like reducing cholesterol, helping control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, and constipation. I would recommend using Glucomannan powder which is practically tasteless, thus great for mixing into smoothies and other foods.

Laminaria. Laminaria regulates the thyroid gland and helps you lose weight that you may have gained due to malfunction of the thyroid gland. Laminaria is a type of seaweed that is native to Japan. Laminaria contains iodine, an element that the body needs to make thyroid hormones. It is also a rich source of iron and potassium. Laminaria is used for weight loss, high blood pressure and as a bulk laxative for constipation. It is also used for preventing cancer. Laminaria forms a thick, sticky gel when it comes into contact with water, and can also be placed inside the cervix to expand the cervix and speed up the onset of labor.

To figure out which herbs are best for your body, talk to your holistic healthcare practitioner, or schedule a session with Natasha!


{Image: Pinterest}

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8 Holistic PMS Remedies To Reduce Symptoms!


By: Stephanie Heino

Ladies, you can feel in your whole body when it’s that time of the month. You are like a bomb ready to explode if anything doesn’t go your way. Even the smallest insignificant thing, such as waking up and getting ready for work finding nothing to wear, can make you just break down in tears and yell at your poor man (how do they deal with it every month?). The premenstrual syndrome monster makes a visit once a month and turns most of us into wrecks. Those physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience in the week or two before their period can be very severe in some cases, where as some women are more lucky. A holistic treatment approach for PMS addresses symptoms of the mind and body. Frequently occurring symptoms of PMS include irritability, mood swings, sadness, stomach cramps, bloating, headaches and muscle tension. These recurrent symptoms cause women a great deal of physical discomfort as well as emotional upset. In order to treat symptoms of PMS effectively, a combination of holistic treatments is recommended.

8 holistic PMS remedies to feel like yourself again:Calcium. It has been shown that calcium levels are much lower in women with PMS and that calcium supplementation may help reduce the severity of symptoms. Women with the greatest intake of calcium from food sources had the least PMS symptoms so make sure you stock up on collard greens and kale. It has also been shown through a study that 300 mg of calcium carbonate four times a day significantly reduced bloating, depression, pain, mood swings, and food cravings. (It’s best to take calcium with magnesium and zinc. You can get a combo single dose capsule like this one from Solaray or get higher dose capsules separately.  I like Essential Blend Calcium from Jigsaw Health. You also want to make sure you have adequate vitamin D for calcium to do it’s magic, and since it’s not possible to get enough in combined capsule, we recommend this high dose, sublingual vitamin D, Bio-D-Mulsion Forte)Chaste Tree Berry Extract. Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) berry is one of the most popular herbs for premenstrual syndrome. Studies found that chaste tree berry effectively reduced PMS symptoms over three menstrual cycles. Women taking chaste tree had significant improvements in irritability, depression, headaches, and breast tenderness (awesome!). The most common side effects of chaste tree berry are nausea, headache, digestive disturbances, menstrual disorders, acne, itching, and skin rashes– but these are all pretty rare. Chaste tree berry should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, and it may interact with hormones or drugs in your body. You can find this is in your nearest health food store or in our online store!  (Nature’s Way Vitex). NOTE: Vitex is not generally approved for breastfeeding moms, but the rest of these supplements are!Magnesium. The mineral magnesium, found naturally in food and available in supplements, has showing good preliminary results for PMS. Several studies have been done where it shows that the mineral significantly improves PMS mood changes. It was also found that magnesium significantly reduces weight gain, swelling of the hands and legs, breast tenderness, and abdominal bloating.  Take it with your calcium! I recommend the slow release Magnesium from Jigsaw.Acupuncture. In traditional Chinese medicine, the liver is the organ most affected by stress, anger, and frustration. Liver problem caused by emotions, alcohol, and spicy and fatty foods can lead to PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness and abdominal bloating and cramping. Acupuncture, exercise, expressing emotions, and breathing exercises are recommended by practitioners to relieve liver stagnation.Evening Primrose Oil. Evening Primrose oil is a plant oil that contains gamma-linolenic acid, which is an omega-6 essential fatty acid. Gamma-linolenic acid is involved in the metabolism of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins that regulate pain and inflammation in the body. You can find this is in your nearest health food store or in our online store! (Solgar Evening Primrose)Dietary Suggestions. PMS symptoms are decreased by consuming foods that are high in essential vitamins and minerals, including fish, green vegetables, whole grains and assorted nuts. Certain foods such as celery and asparagus help decrease bloating caused by water retention in the body. Whole grains are great for stabilizing mood. It is also crucial to avoid unhealthy foods, especially those that exacerbate PMS symptoms. Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars, excessive salt and fatty fried foods. If nothing else, try to eliminate caffeine as much as possible, which can aggravate anxiety, depression, and breast tenderness, as well as alcohol.Exercise. Regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling may help relieve PMS symptoms, as do stretching and twisting practices like yoga. Try to focus more on the frequency than the intensity of the exercise, which is what matters when trying to decrease PMS symptoms.Relaxation. Breathing exercises, meditation, aromatherapy, and yoga are some natural ways to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Many women feel more assertive and attuned to their needs in the weeks before their period. This can be used constructively by allowing for personal time to relax, reflect, and give priority to your needs and what nourishes you. Take a hot bath tonight, light some candles and practice your breathing exercises![Photos: 1]

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Sweat Outdoors for a Mood-Boosting, Stress-Busting Workout!

by Nkechi Njaka, Msc.

I am not a gym person. I cringe at the very thought of having a membership to sweat indoors. When I have belonged to health clubs, it was more for the hot tub, the sauna and the occasional yoga class (before I discovered studios, and before I was a yogi). But yeah, the gym? Soooo not my thing. Never has been.

As a runner, I’ve always enjoyed my cardio done outdoors. And studies are showing that there is something to that!


There have been several studies done where researchers found that their volunteers enjoyed outdoor activities more than indoor activities. Furthermore, when psychological tests were administered, these same volunteers scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem. All great, happy things! They also happened to display lowered  depression, tension and fatigue after their outdoor activity. [Source]

few small studies have found that individuals, after an outdoor activity, displayed lower levels of cortisol–a hormone we know to be related to stress– when compared with with an indoor activity. Another cool thing that happens when being outdoors is that we are directly exposed to sunlight (oh hey there, vitamin D!) which has been known to positively affect mood. [Source]

Perhaps I am spoiled. I live in San Francisco, one of the most beautiful cities in the country and in the world. And in said beautiful city, I live in the woods near the beach. I mean, who needs a gym when there are trees and ocean? These are simple, natural things that our planet and our bodies need. Simple things that cannot be found indoors.

You know what would be cool?  An outdoor gym…

I live in a world (and a city) of possibility; I wonder if we can make that one happen.

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Eco-Friendly Boho Floral 1st Birthday!

Well, we did it! We pulled off what was essentially a mini wedding, complete with the ENTIRE family in town (including not one, but two great-grandmas). But it was all so worth it, for the memories alone.  It was so amazing so have our families, friends, and all of M’s adorable little baby buddies that we’ve gotten to know and love over the last year together to celebrate a year of her amazing life (and a year of us being parents). Let’s face it, babies don’t remember their 1st birthday parties, and honestly, 1st birthdays are really a big “we did it!!” for the parents, and an excuse for some great photos that we can all look back on for years to come.

Boho Floral 1st Birthday | The Organic Beauty

For the theme, we went for a boho floral 1st birthday, which we thought was appropriately girly, while still super stylin’, just like our little birthday girl! Check out our inspiration board, which I think we came pretty darn close to!

Our location was in the picnic area at Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades, which is a lovely little tree-lined spot near the horse stables and polo fields.  It’s our favorite hiking spot to hit up with little M (which we also visited a lot while I was pregnant), so it was super fitting to celebrate her birthday there!  Because we were in a state park (and because I’m all about walking the Organic Beauty walk), we strived to keep the party as eco-friendly as possible, using recycled paper products and sustainable bamboo serving ware.

Boho Floral 1st Birthday | The Organic Beauty Blog

We partnered with Minted for all the paper products, which really set the tone for the decor and colors of the party.  I’ve always loved Minted’s beautiful paper products, designed by indie designers, but what appealed to me just as much was the option to print those lovely designs on recycled paper! (Scroll to the bottom to enter to win a $150 credit on Minted.com!)

Even though Minted has the absolute cutest Kids Birthday Party Decor, we ended up using a beautiful party decor collection that was intended for weddings (like I said, her party was a pretty much a mini-wedding).  I absolutely loved the pale, neutral florals on a black background of the Botanical Wreath collection, which felt super sophisticated, while still boho and rustic.

Boho Floral 1st Birthday | The Organic Beauty Blog

Once we had the palette and paper products all figured out, everything else just fell into place.  I found a print invitation that had a similar feel, and loved that we could include a photo from a recent photo shoot.

Boho Floral 1st Birthday | The Organic Beauty Blog

Minted also recently launched online invitations too, which we just HAD to try.  So we ended up going half print, half digital.  (I know, I’m crazy!)

In keeping with our boho floral theme, I kept flowers really simple and rustic — just some beautiful cream and peach blooms in mason jars and apothecary bottles, scattered around the space.  We decorated the picnic tables with flowers and beautiful, personalized table runners and table confetti.  And I got M and I matching floral crowns, which she (of course) refused to wear.  But at least I got to wear mine!


I extended the theme to include a couple of lovely cream colored teepees for the babies to play in, which I draped with some peach silk flower garlands.  I hung sweet little dreamcatchers from the trees (custom-made on Etsy, links below), which added to the dreamy atmosphere — and the coolest thing is that they doubled as our party favors!  As guests left, I just cut a dreamcatcher down and put it in a little muslin tie bag (also adorned with a dreamcatcher) for the babies to take home.  I thought that was such a fun little touch!


I also strung some twine between two trees and hung up photos of little M with tiny little wooden clothespins — on one side were her monthly photos I took throughout her first year, and on the other side were just some favorite photos of her growing and changing.


But I think the food table was the other star of the show (other than the birthday girl, of COURSE!).  Crowned by the loveliest custom bunting, I thought the spread was appropriately rustic, girly, and naturally, super healthy.  We ordered super healthy and delicious sandwiches and salads from Mendocino Farms, which prides itself in sourcing the highest quality, seasonal ingredients from local farmers.


Since we live in LA, the capital of dietary persnicketiness (of which I myself am probably the most guilty), We used the place cards from our Botanical Wreath paper collection to make little placards for each of the dishes, denoting the presence of gluten, dairy, or nuts ; )  I put these in little wooden card holders, which matched the tree trunk trays I used throughout.



The baked goods I made entirely from scratch, and all of them were paleo, and gluten and dairy-free.  I made little cupcakes and baby muffins, and of course, my crowning baking achievement, a paleo naked birthday cake with a vegan almond meringue and strawberries, that was entirely baby-friendly!  I am NOT a baker, so this is a pretty astounding achievement for me!  Check out my baby-friendly paleo birthday cake and cupcake recipes here.

For the plates and serving ware, we went with all-natural, eco-friendly, 100% compostable plates made from palm leaves and compostable birchwood flatware, which also contributed to the rustic feel of the affair.


We stressed out a bunch about how to keep the babies entertained, but in the end we settled for some scattered blocks and balls and a bubble machine (which we painted gold to match the theme), and honestly, the babies were perfectly happy!  Eating their paleo zucchini muffins certainly helped to keep them occupied as well ; )

I’m not going to lie and say the party went off without a hitch (there were bees!  Oh so many bees!) or that the process wasn’t a bit stressful, but just to see M’s sweet little face light up when we put her in her birthday place of honor, by her birthday teepee, under the swaying dream catchers hanging from the trees above, it was so worth it.  It was truly a day at least I will remember forever!



Please note, I include affiliate links within this post to support the maintenance and development of this site.  I received paper products from Minted to review for this post, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Ready to design your own gorgeous party?Enter to win a $150 credit to use on Minted!Click here to enter!GIVEAWAY ENDS SEPTEMBER 3RD, 2016

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