1/21/17

Great speech Angela Davis!

1/20/17

#WhyIMarch

I am marching to protect women's rights and bodily sovereignty. I am marching to reaffirm that women's rights are human rights. I am marching for women's financial empowerment. I am marching because we haven't had a woman president yet, because the ERA hasn't been passed, because we are judged more and paid less than men with the same knowledge and skill set, and because on top of that more and more having the choice of having and raising our own children has become a struggle or a privilege of the upper class. I am marching because although women constitute the majority of the population and are the gateway into the world to everybody, we are still considered a minority in terms of rights. I am marching because I see critical connections between the domination of nature and the exploitation of women. I am marching because the president-elect, the person now in the highest public office, has bragged about sexually assaulting women, contributing to the perpetuation of the disrespect and violence being committed towards women in what has been developing into a rape culture overseen for far too long. I am marching for the right to access safe, affordable birth control and abortion; because there are sisters who are getting sexually assaulted and raped who need to have those things available to them to overcome those unfair circumstances. I am marching because it's troubling to know the president-elect and his cabinet are trying hard to dismantle services and policies aimed at helping women. I am marching because I am not going to tolerate an infringement on the rights we've fought so hard to attain and maintain. #WomensMarch #WhyIMarch

1/8/17

7 TIPS TO PROTECT SKIN FROM SNOW

7 TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN DURING SNOW
We just got our first snowfall of the season where I live, and this morning I woke up to a Winter wonderland! So I took this time snowed-in to offer skin care tips and recommendations of natural, safe, and effective products to protect your skin from the snowy weather. 

7 TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN DURING SNOW

Love the snow but not so much the damaging effects it can inflict on your skin? Here are some basic tips and recommendations to take care of your skin while enjoying the beautiful snow.

1- Be sure to keep your face, hands, and any exposed parts of your body well moisturized. The cold and wind of snowy days dry out the skin. Lo & Behold’s ultra pure Coconut & Cocoa Whipped Body Butter is an excellent moisturizer for all skin types, including sensitive skin and those with eczema. Whipped to smithereens, this nurturing butter absorbs quickly and melts easily into skin.

2- Moisturize amply and more frequently during the first weeks of snow while your skin is acclimating to the new conditions. For an irresistible hydrating and extra nourishing experience, add variety to your moisturizing ritual. Using products like our exquisite Jasmine & Hibiscus Body Butter by Lo & Behold, with vitamin C of hibiscus, will aid in boosting the skin's reaction to the dry weather. It’s rich with mango and shea butter which strengthen skin’s elasticity and leave you smelling divine. And its uplifting scent of pink grapefruit essential oil will aid in your inner wellbeing.

3- Snow reflects 80% of the radiation of ultraviolet rays, so don’t forget to wear sunscreen and sunglasses when outside in the snow. Don’t be fooled by cloudy days, apply a healthy and effective sunscreen even if you don’t see the sun. The effects of radiation occur throughout the year. Sunscreen must be applied at least 15 minutes before sun exposure so that the product can be absorbed properly. But always make sure to read the individual product’s instructions, because prior time of application may vary by brand. The zinc oxide based baby sunscreen by Acure is pure, safe, and great for adults as well. 

4- For the face: The eyes, nose, and lips are areas that dry easily. To avoid dryness, use area-specific protective moisturizers like Acure's Sensitive Facial Cream which is a gentle, effective and ultra-nourishing formulation that can be used day and night, even by the most sensitive skin types. Lo & Behold’s lip balms offer excellent hydration for soft and healthy lips. 

5- For the body: The hands, knees, elbows, and hair dehydrate during cold days. Don't forget to take care of the rest of your body. 

Hands and Feet - Lo and Behold Natural’s Eucalyptus & Tea Tree Salve is a versatile product gentle enough for even sensitive skin. It’s perfect for hands, feet, elbows, knees, or any dry spot. This salve prevents and treats fungus in your feet, maintaining healthy skin. It even works well as a decongestant, rub on your chest during a  cold! The scent is soothing year round, but especially fitting for cold fall and winter days. C & Co Body Balms and Rosemary Moisture stick are other favorites.

Cuticles and Nails - The Ylang Ylang & Grapefruit Cuticle Cream by Lo & Behold not only helps nails grow healthy looking, it also moisturizes deeply, softens the cuticles, and heals ragged nail beds (the formative layer of cells underlying the fingernail or toenail). 

Hair - Lo & Behold also carries a lovely selection of Hair & Body Oils that can be used on the skin as a moisturizer or massage oil, as well as a daily hair oil.  

Also, avoid using harsh soaps of any kind on the skin after being in the dry weather, as it will dry and strip the skin's healthy acid mantle.

6- Playing in the snow? Use healthy and effective water resistant preventative products so that neither sweat nor snow disempower their protection. 

7- For your end of day ritual: Use a nourishing moisturizer that helps to restore the hydrolipidic layer of the skin responsible for moisturization, protection, and prevention of premature aging like Lo & Behold’s Neroli & Chamomile Facial Serum, which is a real treat for your night-time nourishing ritual and it’s ideal for all skin types. Herbivore’s Phoenix oil is also a favorite, as it dramatically rehydrates and rejuvenates your skin at the cellular level with its blend of luxe botanical oils and skin cell renewing CoQ10.

1/7/17

What About Conscientious Trade?


Got one of these beauties for Christmas and I'm in love with the exquisite craftswomanship! It was made by Manos Zapotecas: Southern Mexican textiles and accessories.

I was really excited that the label said it was fair trade. They even write the name of the artisan who made the purse on the label. I imagined Manos Zapotecas as a brand ran by a Native Mexican women with Native Mexican employers. But when I went to their website was so disappointed it wasn't so fair.

1- Except for their sales manager and operations manager (maintenance), their administration is not Native-Mexican, not even Mexican. Only the artisans with the folkloric craftswomanship are. And you know the artisans who do the skilled hard work are not making the bulk of the money we pay and are not doing their work sitting behind desks at air-conditioned offices. It's like if Donald Trump called his brand's men suits made in Mexico fair trade. #Exploitation is not fair trade and shouldn’t be advertised as such, because that’s just perpetuating racial injustice in the world. Even if it started with good intentions, and these artisans are getting paid more than they would by selling their artwork at art fairs and flea markets like we see them do when we visit their country, fair would be if there was a path to ownership. In other words, a learning path for these craftswomen in developing countries to direct their own artistic talents' operations. A cooperative system or social enterprise. That would be fair trade. Not incorporating a hierarchical corporate system ran by white women, making up an attractive brand, hiring skilled craftswomen to do the hard manual skilled work for less than you can find anybody to do it in the US, and selling it as if it was charity in a pretty package.

When a brand sells folkloric artwork but it’s operated by people from a different culture that is cultural appropriation – the ugliest side of it.

2- Another big problem is having all the models on the site being non-native, non-Mexican, white women. What message is that sending? To a conscious and cultured consumer it sends the terribly condescending message that there aren't beautiful native women or women of color, like the makers and originators of the beautiful folkloric artwork, that can model their own culture's folkloric artwork.

And we all know there are as many beautiful women of any color, of any race, in any culture.


What message is that type of marketing sending to native girls and all non-white girls that are underrepresented all over the world, yet could be the face of brands like this representing another kind of beauty?

When I visited Mexico in my teens I had $500 for leisure spending for my month-long trip and bought a whole bunch of beautiful accessories, shoes, memorabilia, and ate all kinds of amazing food that weren't tacos or burritos – with the satisfaction of paying directly to the makers.

Just because natives of all parts of the world are too meek to correct false world perceptions about them doesn’t mean that it’s okay to prolong dishonest, cruel, and sickening perceptions of inferiority; perpetuating a falsehood that they are less beautiful, less civilized, less capable, or inferior than.

Indigenous civilizations were established on spirituality, sustainability, and tribal (community) principles. In other words, their ways were founded on respecting the mystery of creation, each other, and their bigger home mother earth. Under such virtuous unitary value system it is unlikely they would care to achieve world domination, especially through cruelty, the gluttony of excessive material accumulation, and while damaging the environment for all.

Too many people are still sick with a dualistic colonial mentality, with the illusion of pseudo-superiority. Even after so many injustices have been committed in the name of colonialism, humanity hasn't achieved immunity to the epidemic. And although it hurts natives' ability to catch up with the technology and finance system that currently rules the world, it's still mostly hurting the consciousness of the oppressors who more and more are dying of different illnesses, and need antidepressants and all kinds of meds, illegal drugs, and therapies to sedate themselves and cope knowing (even if subconsciously) that they are participating in so much daily wrong-doing, abuse, and injustice.

Why is it so hard for so many people to accept the truth that we are all children of mother nature and should be looking after each other?

Seven billion different configurations of the same essential materials, but we are all one-of-a-kind works of art in the museum of the universe. Biological miracles experiencing the phenomenon of life. So why aren't we enjoying every minute of it as we could if we RESPECTED and cared more about each other and the planet we share?

If given the circumstances of healthy growth, we all could know what our individual purpose and gifts are. Humanity is missing out in the opportunity to learn what there is to learn from one another.

More people who consider themselves civilized, cultured, and intelligent consumers should familiarize themselves with terms like cultural appropriation, deculturization, and exploitation (especially gaining profit exploiting another culture).

What about creating organizations that trade skills instead? Where people interested in learning native craftswomanship could trade knowledge by teaching technical, administrative, and upper management skills. That cooperative approach would be a mindful trade worth of calling itself fair trade. If everyone could do a little of everything and get paid the same, since the product being sold is endangered-to-be-extinct, high-valued, hard-to-make handmade folkloric craftswomanship.

I still LOVE my purse and will wear the exquisite craftswomanship with great joy. But I really look forward to more conscientious commerce and trade.

1/1/17

#HappyNewYear!

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