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How to Live a Mediterranean Lifestyle

“I’m glad I am a woman who once danced naked in the Mediterranean Sea at midnight.” 

-Mercedes McCambridge

When people hear the phrase “Mediterranean lifestyle,” most will probably think of diet, but it’s so much more than that. What we consume is what constitutes our lives, but it’s not just about food and drink: it can be culture, beauty, poetry, architecture, and that irresistible Mediterranean sunlight that drenches everything white.  

Maybe it’s the sheer beauty of the landscape that makes inhabitants of Mediterranean countries happier and healthier. These countries of Europe, North Africa, and Asia in the west are almost achingly beautiful; everything is old and kept in beautiful shape (they actually appreciate their culture and want to keep it intact). History is very important; old buildings are preserved and cherished, and monuments and statues are revered. Architecture and art are a way of life, and beauty is extremely important!

Europe especially reveres its artists. People can be seen dancing and singing in the streets; there are actual troubadours who will serenade you in the town plazas of Spain!

Greece, Italy, Spain, and France, oh my! These are some of my favorite places in the entire world (and I don’t think I’m the only one). 

Some tips on how to live like a local and reap that glow that only these countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea can offer. 

“I love Spanish food. My diet is the Mediterranean diet, which is good food. I eat well.” 

–Penelope Cruz

Indulge in food and drink (the Mediterranean diet): olives, olive oil (which is called “liquid gold” for a reason: it offers not only culinary greatness but is beneficial for silky, shiny skin and hair), freshly caught seafood, oranges, herbs and spices, whole grains, vegetables, paella, tapas, etc. Eat fresh! Go to the market every day and see what looks ripe and delicious (never eat processed food if you can help it, and everything in moderation). Take your time to really enjoy the flavors. Of course, France, Italy, Spain, and Greece are known for their little outdoor cafes that are so charming, and we all know more time spent outdoors is very good for our mental and physical health. Because the Mediterranean diet focuses heavily on fruits and vegetables and is low in saturated fats, it’s heart-healthy. It’s a way of life, not a fad diet.

  • Bathe in the sea, go for a boat ride, smell the lavender and rosemary, literally take time to smell the roses, so to speak. We all know that Spanish is the loving tongue, the French have a “joie de vivre” sort of attitude, and the Greeks are culturally steeped in the beauty of gods and goddesses, so it’s no surprise that they’re very sensual people. Living by the sea is also very calming and tranquil.
  • The Mediterranean light is so captivating and, because it gets very hot and arid during the summer, it’s customary for shops to close in the afternoon so everyone can take a little siesta. Then, in the evening, around nine o’clock, restaurants and cafes reopen so townspeople can enjoy dinner until late. Meals can last for hours. Enjoy wine or an Aperol Spritz and laugh easily and often. Try to take it easy so you, too, can live a laid-back life.

Community and family are very important. People actually talk to each other in the streets; meeting friends for coffee seems easier in these parts of the world.

  • Generosity and hospitality. Go somewhere where things aren’t mass-produced: try a tiny French bakery and see how much love goes into the sweet delights.
  • Walk a lot! Move freely. Don’t think of exercise as a chore but a way of life. If you do something daily, it becomes much easier. 
  • Adopt a zest for life, for conversation, and for meeting new people.
  • The décor is sublime, especially with colorful tiles everywhere.

Artists who have captured this Mediterranean feeling…

Isn’t it amazing that so many of the greatest fine artists the world has ever known are from Mediterranean countries? 

(Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “The Farm at Les Collettes,” 1914)

Some of our favorite painters—from Baroque to Impressionist—include:

  • Van Gogh (especially his paintings of Arles and Avignon)
  • Velázquez 
  • Goya
  • Cézanne 
  • Gauguin
  • Monet 
  • Renoir 
  • Matisse

For more tips and musings on life and beauty, see what’s on the blog.

#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg #nabilak #lifestylehacks #lifestyletips #mediterraneancountries #mediterraneandiet

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THE MAIN DESIGN AESTHETICS: WHAT THEY MEAN

“A Room of One’s Own”

Virginia Woolf wrote of a feminist freedom in her 1929 novel, A Room of One’s Own; she was way ahead of her time and said, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” How you wish to furnish that room is another story. 

What do your design preferences reveal of your personality? Are you into minimalism: monochromatic rooms filled with sparse furniture and blank walls?  Or maybe the baroque, slightly tacky vintage aesthetic (Tiffany lamps, lots of velvet, fainting couches, heavy drapes)? Perhaps you’re a bohemian at heart with a fun-loving spirit (with beaded doorways, a lava lamp, yoga cushions, and succulents) or simply an overgrown college student (bean bag chair, anyone?). 

“All I want is a room somewhere

Far away from the cold night air

With one enormous chair

Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely?” 

–Lerner and Loewe, My Fair Lady (1956)

(Ingmar Bergman’s bedroom in Fårö, W Magazine)

  • Modernist, Minimalism: Hello, Ikea! When it comes to functionality (and monochromatic color schemes), the Swedes are revered. Simple, modern, monochromatic: do you prefer solid white or beige? Most minimalists are, of course, very neat, organized, and efficient. They also enjoy space! The “Less is More” aesthetic is all about clearing out the clutter and only having maybe one throw pillow on the sofa. Also, you probably have a twig of eucalyptus in your bathroom somewhere.

(Gloria Vanderbilt and Diana Vreeland photographed by Horst P. Horst in their over-the-top NYC apartments)

  • Vintage: What about a chenille bedspread? If you’re into antiquing and thrifting, you probably have an old handmade quilt somewhere (at the foot of your bed) and gewgaws and tchotchkes everywhere. If you love kitschy décor, you’re probably an old soul who is very thoughtful, playful, and into the fun in life. Your drapes are probably a funky color, and there are definitely feathers and/or dried flowers somewhere to be found. The furniture (and tub) has claw feet, and the dining room table is made from Formica. You have a tiled bathroom and a percolator on the stove. There are also lots of picture frames filled with loving faces, art on the walls, and maybe even a sculpture or two.

(Eudora Welty’s simple, light-filled Southern kitchen, photographed by William Eggleston)

  • “Shabby Chic,” Classic/Traditional Farmhouse: Are you interested in repurposing old items? If you see a piece of sturdy craftsmanship on the curb you probably take it in, clean it, wax it, paint it, etc. Sound familiar? This means that you’re very much into quality and well-made furnishings. Furniture used to be made to last and families passed down pieces through the generations. Do you own a family heirloom, something that belonged to your grandparents or even great-grandparents? If your old grandfather clock is what makes your heart go pitter-pat when it comes to décor, well, you’re obviously into antiques and keeping memories alive. You have reverence for the past. You also probably have hardwood floors, a butcher block table, an Oriental carpet, mason jars filled with flowers, and a kerosene lamp. 

(Frida Kahlo’s kitchen, “La Casa Azul” in Mexico City: Note the traditional Mexican clay pots and unexpected splashes of color)

  • Bohemian: What does your sofa look like? Is it covered in layers of throw blankets and decorative pillows of all shapes and sizes? Do you have contrasting patterns, fuzzy rugs, plants galore, bright paint schemes, a Buddha statue and some incense on the coffee table? Well, you are most definitely a free spirit! Don’t forget that all bohemian style aesthetics include candles on just about every surface and an altar complete with personal effects. 

#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg #interiordesign

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MAKE WINTER YOUR FAVORITE SEASON

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” -William Blake

Winter—despite the shorter hours, less sunlight, and colder temperatures—is a magical time of year and, with the right perspective, a great season to embrace. Instead of dreading winter, enjoy all it has to offer!

Winter Holidays

Winter is, of course, the season that brings us the most wonderful time of the year. With Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and ringing in the New Year, there’s a seemingly endless barrage of festivities. This can seem daunting to many of us, so why not, this year, focus less on consuming and more on living in the moment and enjoying life? Instead of fretting over presents and getting the decorations just right, spend time with one another and do what makes you happy. If you enjoy flowers the most, make sure that garlands, holly, and poinsettias are the standout décor. If you enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas, string popcorn and cranberries, and don’t hesitate to let the children in the family trim the tree as well (haphazard ornament placement and all), you can tweak it later. 

Fashion 

Let’s face it: winter is a time for serving looks! If you’re not lucky enough to be living it up in a tropical climate, take advantage of it and, of course, keep warm with stylish layers. Whether you’re breaking in a new pair of chic leather boots, rocking an essential black turtleneck, or keeping cozy in cashmere and wool blends, you’re bound to find fashions to enjoy. Cute sweaters, cardigans, scarves, leggings, gloves, and a matching pom pom hat, oh my! Now, I know most people will shirk at the idea of real fur, so make sure it’s either vintage or faux. There’s nothing more stylish (or warm) than a shearling coat, and if you’re feeling really cute, take a cue from Ali MacGraw in “Love Story” and try crocheted knits as your new winter gear. Also, remember that winter white is always a good idea: it’s simple, understated, and always looks luxurious.

Nature 

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

– John Steinbeck

There’s nothing more beautiful or peaceful than freshly fallen snow. A walk in the woods in winter is one of the loveliest, most tranquil things a person can do. Listening to snow crunch underfoot while observing animal tracks on an otherwise untouched blanket of snow is any nature lover’s dream and also pretty irresistible. Watching the sun glint off of snow, through pine and cedar trees, illuminating snowflakes (none of which is alike) is pure poetry. Go ahead and look for the beauty in winter this upcoming season because, after all, there’s so much to find.

Time Spent Indoors 

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” -Edith Sitwell

Winter is the time for spending more time indoors. Not only does it get dark early, but the days and nights are cold, so there’s nothing better than cozying up by a crackling fire with a good book, a cup of cocoa or mulled wine, and relaxing with loved ones. Winter is also the season for comfort food! Hot, hearty meals and favorite desserts are one of the best things about winter: when your kitchen is filled with the aromas of nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves, it’s undoubtedly enticing and extremely inviting. Now is the time to start baking!

Sport 

Whether you’re usually into sporting or not, winter is always a good opportunity to at least observe others frolicking! If you don’t feel like skiing or snowboarding, sit back in the chalet and sip your hot chocolate. The same goes for ice skating: it’s just as fun to watch the couples at Rockefeller Center as it is to actually put on a pair of skates. If it’s a winter wonderland, you can always build a snowman, go sledding or have a snowball fight (especially if you have children in your family; they’ll absolutely love it, and you’ll feel like a kid again).

#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg #winter #makewinteryourfavoriteseason #itsthemostwonderfultimeoftheyear

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MAKING NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS AND KEEPING THEM

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” 

–L.M. Montgomery

We’re all guilty of making New Year’s resolutions and breaking them, but the important thing is to declare affirmations and plan for the future. These little rituals are hopeful and help make life a little easier. If you have a goal to work towards and something to look forward to, that’s all you need to give life meaning.

Make Affirmations

“Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.”-Emily Dickinson

To make resolutions for a new year is to believe in tomorrow. When we want to mend our ways or simply be a bit better, we turn over a new leaf. It’s also incredibly helpful to literally think of a clean slate: to see everything as blank and brand new is very refreshing. 

The most common resolutions are, of course, to lose weight, eat healthier, quit smoking, drink less, exercise more, etc. It may be time to rework these ideas. Of course, we all want to be healthier, but sometimes it helps to be less specific with goals. Instead of just losing pounds, think of the new year as an opportunity to begin new, better routines. Fad diets usually don’t work very well; it’s about changing habits and lifestyles. If you can cultivate a healthier routine, it’ll gradually take effect, and, most likely, you’ll see long-term results. 

Good New Year’s resolutions are all about intention. If you sincerely want to be more patient, loving, kind, and less anxious, it’s the desire that works as a driving force. It doesn’t really matter if you mess up one day and indulge too much in your vices, for every day is a new opportunity, a fresh start! 

Inspiration from the Greats

We celebrate New Year’s Eve with champagne, fireworks, funny hats, balloons, confetti, and streamers. It is thought that whomever we kiss at the stroke of midnight is who we’ll love and be within the coming months. Kiss any loved one; it doesn’t matter who! We say goodbye to the previous year and let go of old disappointments. 

“Each age has deemed the new-born year the fittest time for festal cheer.” – Sir Walter Scott

Mark Twain was a bit more pessimistic (but certainly realistic) than some of the other great writers and wits we’ve quoted in this blog. Saying that “Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever.” Let us hope that, by the end of January, we keep the hopeful, cheerful spirit of the New Year alive and well!

And, of course, there’s no greater witticism than that of Oscar Wilde: 

“Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”  

Even with a good heaping of cynicism to keep us warm, it’s really never too late to change, to better yourself, to be the best version of yourself!

How to Keep Them

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and the days of auld lang syne?”

Little good luck traditions can’t hurt. After you’ve had your New Year’s Eve dinner of ham hocks, black-eyed peas, and collards (for wealth), you’ll be ready to stay up all night until a whole new year ascends upon us. 

  • Most sing “Auld Lang Syne” (a Scottish poem from the late 18th century that literally means “old long since”).
  • In Colombia, people run around with empty suitcases to ensure a year filled with travel and adventure. 
  • Some people open all the windows and doors and even throw water out the window (in Puerto Rico to banish evil spirits).
  • In Denmark, people jump off chairs for luck.
  • Smash a plate and eat 12 grapes when the clock chimes midnight (to represent the 12 months of the year).
  • Some do the Polar Bear Plunge! Go swimming in ice-cold water. This has become a tradition but is a bit extreme! With all the germs and sickness floating around this year and most of us recovering from a bout of Covid, it might be wise to skip this one!
  • We all know that the Chinese Zodiac is very lucky; 2023 is the year of the rabbit.

“Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it well and serenely, & with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day…is too dear with its hopes & invitations to waste a moment on the rotten yesterdays.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

To help keep your resolutions, 

  • Write them down. Either where you can see them or, if it’s a more personal wish, some people write them on a piece of paper and tuck it away in a box, sometimes forgetting about it until years later. Some people even get a little pagan and bury their wishes and resolutions in the ground beneath the moon. Making a wish on a star is always a nice touch! 
  • Be open to change. If we don’t truly accept the natural progression of time and want to grow, it just makes it that much harder. This is why daily affirmations (all year) are good for the spirit and keep us focused.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Take a cue from Emerson and live in the moment!

For more inspiration, life hacks, and information on all things beautiful, check out Nabila Khashoggi’s blog!

For more information on the topics mentioned in this blog, consult the links below:

https://www.openculture.com/2016/01/mark-twain-knocks-new-years-resolutions.html

https://www.invaluable.com/blog/new-years-traditions/

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Auld-Lang-Syne

#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg

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READ MORE!

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” –Fran Lebowitz

There’s no question that reading enriches our lives. It is the optimal source for information. Living very busy lives filled with work, family, travel, etc. can make it difficult to unwind with a good book or almost impossible to become immersed in an escapist novel. There is so much information everywhere so, whether you prefer to get your news from the television, smartphone, podcasts, and/or audiobooks, there’s something to be said for an old-fashioned book (no E-reader) with dog-eared pages and notes in the margins. 

Tips for Reading More 

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” –Cicero

  • Set aside a half hour a day to start.
  • Have a stack of books to read on your bedside table. Make a list of books, authors, and topics of interest.
  • Read before bed. This will help you to doze off; a book is so much better than a screen.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself; you don’t have to have read all the classics.
  • Encourage reading in your home. Set aside time for your spouse and children to gather in the den for some quiet relaxation and reflection. Put down your phones, turn off the television, fill the coffee table with books and see what happens.
  • Skip around. Skip entire chapters if you’re losing interest. You’re not going to be tested on the material!
  • Read several books at once. This way, you’re more likely to find something you really enjoy.
  • A comfy reading nook requires good light and a big, overstuffed chair with a throw blanket, an ottoman, and don’t forget your favorite snack. This is a great incentive to read more!
  • Carry a small paperback in your handbag, tote, or backpack. While you’re on public transportation, waiting in the queue, or simply waiting, refrain from answering those texts and emails and read. 
  • Don’t make outlandish goals. Maybe don’t start with “War and Peace.” 
  • Any reading is good reading! Don’t let people tell you that one book is more worthy than another or that “guilty pleasure” reading is silly. That’s ridiculous! 
  • Magazines and tabloids count!
  • Try a new genre. 
  • The more you read, the more you want to read. It’s like exercising a muscle. It becomes habitual.
  • Go to the library. 
  • Visit rare and used bookstores. There’s nothing more charming than old books, and it’s so important to support small business.

Benefits of Being a Book Worm

“Reading brings us unknown friends.” –Honoré de Balzac

We live in a technology-fueled world, so the analog era is sometimes thought upon with nostalgia and longing. I’m not saying we should go back to using quill pens with a pot of ink but writing longhand, sending letters and postcards instead of texts and emails, and reading a book or magazine is so enjoyable and therapeutic. It’s calming and meditative to slow down, take a breath, and put down those screens. 

  • You’ll sleep better if you engage in less screen time before bed. Put your phone or tablet away (and turn off the television) at the very least thirty minutes before bed. You may even have better dreams (depending on what you’re reading). No news right before bedtime, either!
  • Of course, your concentration will improve. You’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll absorb all sorts of new, wonderful information. 
  • Think of starting a book club and, when you finish with a book, give it to a friend to lighten your load. There’s no greater gift than a good book, and this will help to cut down on clutter (even though shelves spilling over with books is a wonderful, cozy sight). Sharing ideas and stories is probably the highlight of a friendship so find a book you love and give the gift of literature. 

#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg #readmore #bookworm #readabook

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Winter Holiday Pastimes and Traditions

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas with every Christmas card I write; may your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be white.”

Winter Holiday Traditions 

There are so many festivities and traditions associated with Christmastime, some old and still in practice, while some have sort of gone out of fashion. As a big lover of Christmas and all the winter holidays, I enjoy all the merriments and celebrations. Why don’t you and your family try something new this season? 

Trimming the tree: most people—even non-Christians—put up some sort of tree for Christmas. It used to be tradition not to decorate the tree until Christmas Eve; this may seem a bit late for many of us, but it’s really a lovely idea to have a tree trimming party just before the official day of Noel, don’t you think? If you want to have an old-fashioned Christmas, try making your own ornaments using paper and fashion garlands out of popcorn and cranberries on string. Don’t forget to add dried fruit (especially orange slices) to your tree, and remember that it’s always charming and fun to cut down your own tree if you can. Before electric lights, people would actually place real candles on their Christmas tree branches. This is, of course, a fire hazard!

  • In the UK: Christmas crackers are a fun little offering that actually make a cracking sound when you open them! Good for stocking stuffers or holiday party favors, they make for the perfect little gift. Of course, in the UK, children refer to Santa Claus as “Father Christmas.”
  • In Iceland, children leave their shoes by the window in preparation for Christmas, hoping for candy and treats. If they’ve been naughty, they receive rotten potatoes! This is quite similar to the old adage that a badly behaved child will only get a lump of coal as a present.  

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” 

– Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”

  • Cozy touches: Watching a yule log burn and crackle on the fire, being kissed beneath the mistletoe, and caroling are all festive and merry ways to participate in the holiday season. 
  • Hanukkah is the Jewish winter holiday where the lighting of the menorah takes place and is celebrated for eight nights. 
  • Religious observance is, of course, very important. No matter what your religion, there are Christmas Eve services to attend, beautiful hymns to be sung, and, of course, it’s ideal to put charity into action.  Volunteering and donating to your favorite charities, local church, and food and clothing drives are really the best, most appropriate ways to celebrate the holidays. It’s a time, more than ever, for hospitality, compassion, love, and generosity.
  • Writing holiday cards is such a lovely gesture. This quaint act of kindness may mean more to someone than you know, and it’s much more charming than sending an email. 
  • Traditional foods and goodies are probably everyone’s favorite part of any holiday! Some of our beloved staples include a  plump Christmas goose, fig or plum pudding, homemade fudge, sugar cookies (in festive shapes) and milk for Santa Claus, marzipan fruit, ribbon candy, fruitcake, egg nog, minced meat pies, a Christmas Stollen, chestnuts, ham with pineapple, wassail, sugarplums, gingerbread men and, of course, a gingerbread house.
  • Stockings (always with an orange, apple, or candy cane inside): fresh fruit used to be a luxury for many people (and still is for some), and they could only get it at Christmas. An abundance of fruit at Christmas is just one of many sweet indulgences. 
  • A festival of lights: some neighborhoods go completely wild when decorating their homes; it’s always fun to go for a drive and check out the lights!
  • Secret Santa seems to pop up every year, whether it’s at work or among family and friends. This way, you only have to buy one gift. 
  • Keep an advent calendar counting down the days to Christmas!
  • A couple of surprises: did you know that it used to be, in some cultures, commonplace to tell ghost stories on Christmas Eve? It’s also tradition to appoint someone as the “Lord of Misrule” on Christmas Day! 

“Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings!”

  • Classic movies, books, and songs will always define our culture. Try watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” or reading “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens this year. Sing “Jingle Bells,” “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas,” “White Christmas,” and “Silent Night.” If you and loved ones can gather ‘round while someone plays the piano, all toasty and warm by a roaring fire with cocktails and glistening snow outside your window, then you’ve just achieved the ideal mise-en-scène. 

#nabilakhashoggi #khashoggi #lifestyle #explore #habits #nabilaK #spartanandthegreenegg #nabilak #christmas #hanukkah #santaclaus #fatherchristmas #winterholidays #happyholidays #oldfashionedchristmas #holidaygreetingcards #traditionsandcustom

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CLEAN BEAUTY FOR HEALTHY SKIN

Clean Beauty for the Holiday Season 

Clean beauty is a trend that has been growing in popularity in the United States since the early 1990s. However, it is also a beauty trend that isn’t always entirely understood or embraced. The hazy definition of clean beauty products in the early years and the many products on the market today have led to some confusion. That is why it is important to have a clear idea of what clean beauty is to make the best use of clean beauty products this holiday season. Here is a short overview of the clean beauty movement and the clean beauty products available to help you achieve the look you want this holiday season without sacrificing your skin health. 

Image of Make up brushes over white background

What Skincare Ingredients Are Bad for Your Health?

The main reason some beauty products are frowned upon is they contain chemicals and other ingredients that can potentially be harmful to your skin or your general health. Some of those ingredients have been eliminated in the United States due to Food and Drug Administration regulations. Mercury compounds and bithionol are among those restricted materials. However, other potentially harsh or harmful materials are still allowed in traditional beauty products. Some of those less desirable beauty product components include:

  • Parabens
  • Oxybenzone
  • Hydroquinone
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate

What is the Clean Beauty Movement?

The clean beauty movement is a movement away from traditional beauty products containing ingredients like those listed above. Over the last several decades, consumers and business owners alike have been steadily embracing healthier living habits. Many of those habits are more mainstream, such as sticking to regular exercise routines. Clean beauty, while lesser known in some circles, is equally important. It ensures that you can still maintain the same type of beauty regimen you always have while also maintaining your health. All you must do is make the important switch to using healthier beauty products. 

How Did Clean Beauty Start?

The start of the clean beauty movement in the United States can be traced back to the 1990s. Although, some companies produced healthier beauty products before that time. Most experts attribute the true birth of the clean beauty movement to Whole Food Markets. That company was one of the first to have a section devoted to healthy beauty products in its stores decades ago. Since then, many companies have begun producing clean beauty products. Some, like Nabila K, have dedicated themselves to healthy beauty product production since their earliest days in business.

Start Embracing Clean Beauty Products by Choosing a Clean Foundation

Image of Nabila K Foundation

A clean beauty routine is like any other beauty routine in the sense that it needs a good foundation. Foundation formulas like this one by Nabila K contain healthy ingredients without sacrificing function. In fact, water-based foundation formulas are ideal. Not only do they contain safe products for your skin, but they also help you hydrate it. Adding such a foundation formula to your daily skincare routine is a great way to start embracing clean beauty.

Sodium Hyaluronate Hydrates the Skin

Color correctors and concealers are types of cosmetic products you might use every day. They are designed to cover up and hide the blemishes you do not want the world to see. The best color correctors and concealers can hide everything from acne scarring to under-eye circles. That way, you can go out on the town with confidence in your appearance.

A good concealer can hide a lot of things, but one thing that should never be hidden is its ingredient list. Concealers produced with clean beauty in mind have ingredient lists the manufacturers can be proud to display. Those ingredients often have multiple skin benefits rather than just not being harmful. For instance, many color correctors and concealers, including those from Nabila K, contain sodium hyaluronate. Sodium hyaluronate is capable of penetrating deeper layers of the skin. It also attracts water molecules, which helps skin stay hydrated for a longer period. Sodium hyaluronate is also found in many other types of skincare products and cosmetics, such as:

  • Face Washes
  • Moisturizers
  • Toners
  • Body Lotions

Isododecane Also Offers Hydration Help

Another ingredient found in Nabila K concealers and many other products that provides hydration help is isododecane. Isododecane is an emollient. Emollients do not directly provide your skin with hydration. However, they do form barriers that keep moisture already in your skin from escaping. That is why using hydrating products along with emollient products is always a good idea. 

When you are looking to use clean beauty products this holiday season, emollients like isododecane are the types of ingredients your skin cannot do without. Locking in moisture is especially important during the holiday season because the holidays fall at the end of the year. That is a time when many regions have cold, dry weather. Emollients help to soothe rough, dry, damaged skin and restore it to its preferred soft, supple texture. 

Get Your Holiday Glow Back Using Glycerin

Nabila K products and other clean beauty products also often contain glycerin. Glycerin is a clear material usually derived from animal fat or plants. It is one of the powerhouses of clean beauty products because it is safe for all types of skin. Glycerin is a type of product known as a humectant. That means it can draw moisture from other areas. When you apply it to the outer layer of your skin, it brings moisture up from deeper layers and draws moisture in from the air around you. When you use products that contain it, you can keep your outer layer of skin well hydrated. Then you do not have to worry about losing your healthy glow over the holidays. 

The Best Way to Embrace Clean Beauty for the Holiday Season

The best way to embrace clean beauty this holiday season is to keep educating yourself about the products that are good and bad for your skin. Go through your bathroom cabinets and read ingredient labels. If you find products that are not meeting your clean beauty standards, throw them away. Trade them in for healthier options like those provided by Nabila K. 

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GIFT SHOPPING FOR CHILDREN

How to Select a Gift for Children in the Family  

Whether you are planning ahead for a holiday party with your family or getting ready for a birthday party, it can be challenging to purchase gifts for younger family members. While getting the right gift is difficult even if you are a parent, it becomes much harder if you are an extended family member. Some family members are reluctant to talk to the child’s parents to get advice for a gift. Do not feel ashamed to ask questions about what to buy. Parents often appreciate coordinating with other family members because it is a good way to ensure you do not both purchase the same item. Even if you do not want to outright ask for a specific purchase, you can at least get general advice on what to buy.

A picture containing canvas wrapped presents for the holidays!

Another consideration with children is how often their interests can change. While you should not wait until the last minute to make a purchase, you do not want to buy a gift months in advance. Children, especially younger ones, will often go through quick interest phases as they develop and learn more about the world. A fascination with dinosaurs or trains may only last a few weeks until it is replaced by something else. 

Reliable Gift Categories

Picture of FullCylcePublications' book Gus' Fortunate Misfortune.

Another option is buying movies. While this may seem like a go-to category, keep in mind that most parents also purchase movies for their children. Instead of picking something recent, consider a classic from your own childhood. Some of the top movies include films like Toy Story, Wizard of Oz, or the Muppet Movie. There are also classic Disney movies such as Lion King, Snow White, or Beauty and the Beast. 

Books are excellent gifts for children of all ages. Children’s books are not only great entertainment, but they also develop important skills and encourage children’s imaginations. Parents are as likely to appreciate a book gift as their children since it gives them a good opportunity to bond while reading the book to their child. More health experts are also encouraging children to read books because it provides a healthy alternative to digital devices, which are becoming more widespread among children.

Another benefit of buying books is they are often inexpensive. More children’s books also come in series, such as the Spartan and the Green Egg series. There are even additional gift packs based around the series for additional gift ideas, including pins, stickers, patches, and games.

Art is also a great category for children. This can include drawing books, coloring, and painting supplies. There are also products like Play-Doh or Slimy Sand.

Gift Longevity

When you are shopping for children’s gifts, keep longevity in mind. Not every gift needs to last several years, but both parents and children appreciate gifts with continual use. Gifts that can be shared are also appreciated. For example, Legos remain a popular gift because the sets can be rebuilt or combined with other Lego products. It is also a toy that can either be passed down or shared with other children. Because there is so much variety, there is also less of a chance of gifting the same set as another family member.

Think Outside the Box

Not all gifts require buying products. Children love to see and explore new places. For local trips, check to see what zoos, aquariums, planetariums, or museums are in your area. Many of these venues feature special events for children, which often include either free or discounted prices as well. This is an excellent way to bond with your family members, and many parents will appreciate having a few hours to themselves. If your family is comfortable with it, you can even arrange for a weekend trip.

National Geographic Geode Kit

National Geographic offers several different geode kits. The kits themselves operate in the same way, but the number of available geodes changes based on the size. The costs can range from $20 to $100, also based on the size of the kits. Each of the kits includes safety goggles, magnifying glass, a collection of geodes, and educational information about each one. The geodes must be cracked open to reveal the colorful gemstones underneath. Cracking the geodes is relatively easy, but adult supervision is still recommended. Geode kits are fun, interactive gifts that also encourage problem-solving and scientific learning.

Green Toy Bath Submarine and Tugboat

Many young children struggle with bath time, viewing it as a boring and unnecessary activity. An easy way to make bath time more exciting is by adding toys. While there are many bath toys to choose from, Green Toy is recommended for its exciting, high-quality toys. All Green Toys products are environmentally friendly, durable, and easy to clean. They also have practical purposes, such as doubling as a cup for washing hair. The toys are also reasonably priced, costing around $15 to $25 on average. Green Toy also has a variety of other toys available as well, including trucks, construction kits, shape sorters, and trains.

Build-A-Bear

Stuffed animals are a great choice for young children. Even as they grow older, many children continue to cherish their favorite stuffed animals. Some even grow into adulthood, keeping their stuffed animals on display. The stuffed bear is a classic option, but Build-A-Bear has many unique options, allowing you to completely customize your bear. For example, you can base the bear on a specific franchise, such as Harry Potter. The cost varies depending on the bear you want, starting as low as $15 to $25, but going as high as $50 to $70.

A picture containing a red teddy bear in front of a Christmas tree.

Magna-Tiles

Magna-Tiles are customizable, geometrically shaped building tiles. What makes Magna-Tiles so appealing is, due to the number of shapes and all the possible configurations, children can craft whatever sort of designs or structures they want. This gives Magna-Tiles greater longevity compared to other toys. The tiles also encourage critical thinking and problem-solving for a younger audience. They are also much easier to clean up after compared to similar building toys, something any parent will appreciate. The tile sets cost around $45 to $70.

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YOUR BEST LOOK THIS THANKSGIVING

The Best Thanksgiving Looks for this Fall Season 

Apples, Leaves, Fall, Still Life, Basket

There are many occasions when you may want to look your best. Thanksgiving is one of them. When you and your loved ones are seated around the Thanksgiving dinner table, many eyes may be on you. It can be hard to settle on the perfect Thanksgiving look. After all, there are a lot of possible choices. Here are some tips and possible looks to pick.

Apply Some Foundation to Enhance Any Look

Foundation is the strong base on which any cosmetically enhanced look is built. If you do not use it, your whole makeup plan can fall apart. You can use foundation to even out your own skin tone by covering flaws. Another option is to use a foundation color that is different from your natural skin tone. Doing so lets you establish a lighter or darker base for your Thanksgiving look. Foundation comes in several forms, including:

  • Powder
  • Stick
  • Cream
  • Liquid

Many types of foundation are purely cosmetics. However, some also have properties that are good for your skin health. For example, water-based foundation helps to hydrate your skin. That hydration prevents it from peeling or cracking. It also helps your skin cells to maintain general health. Hydrated skin is better able to maintain elasticity and stay looking its best. 

Maintaining skin hydration can be hard around Thanksgiving due to changes in weather patterns in certain areas. It can also be difficult because you have a busy schedule when getting ready for holiday gatherings. You can easily forget to drink enough water or maintain your skincare routine. Applying a hydrating foundation can help you make up for those issues.

Add Some Concealer to Keep Your Skin Looking Flawless

The next step in the process of achieving the perfect Thanksgiving look is putting on some concealer. Concealer is essential because it does the job of covering up any flaws in your complexion. Those can include 

blemishes and acne scars. You may also want to cover up dark circles under your eyes, especially if you have been too busy with Thanksgiving preparations to sleep properly.

A bottle of C85, Warm Tone concealer by Nabila K.

Picking the perfect concealer for Thanksgiving means understanding a few things about your skin and your other makeup. Keep a couple of different concealer tones handy because sun exposure can change your skin tone from day to day. When you are getting ready for Thanksgiving, consider your current skin tone. Then apply foundation and concealer tones that work well with it.

  1. Avoid Wasting Too Much Time on Your Lips 

An average person eats about 3,000 calories worth of food on Thanksgiving. It is nearly impossible to keep your lips looking their best while you are eating. Drawing attention to yourself while you are eating is also not ideal. Lipstick is still important at Thanksgiving, but it is better used as a side dish. It can act as an accent for the rest of your Thanksgiving look. You may even opt for a light lipstick shade to make it less noticeable when it needs reapplication.

Let Your Eye Shadow do the Talking 

A picture containing a model wearing eyeshadow in a dark room.

One of the most important parts of your Thanksgiving look is the eye shadow you pick. You will probably be talking with a lot of friends and family members during the holiday, and they are sure to make eye contact with you. Make a lasting impression with your eye makeup.

The look you choose for your eyes at Thanksgiving is up to you. Use your own personal preferences and the nature of the holiday to help you pick. For example, if you are invited to a formal Thanksgiving event, you may want to make a splash with some sparkly, glamorous eye shadow. A laid-back visit with your family may call for a more subdued look. You can also use the color palette of Thanksgiving itself for eye shadow inspiration. Some top options include various shades of:

  • Orange
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Gold
  • Purple

Browns are also great eye shadow colors for Thanksgiving. In fact, applying brown eye shadow can give your eyes a smokey, sexy look. If you want to flirt your way through Thanksgiving dinner with your date, it is a perfect choice. Select three slightly different shades of brown for your crease, highlight, and lid colors to get the best results.

Add Some Eyeliner for Effect

Using eyeliner to create the classic “cat eye” look is always in style. However, the new trend of a softer “kitten eye” is taking the makeup world by storm in recent years. It requires a little less work, and it is also a little less bold. Yet, it can really bring out your eyes when your loved ones are staring across the Thanksgiving table at you as you each tell stories about how your years have gone.

Brush on the Blush

Blush is a great addition to any Thanksgiving look. Choose a traditional rosy cheek color or go bold with an orange tone in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. If neither of those work for you, try an option somewhere in the middle. Just do not avoid blush entirely or you will be missing out on an opportunity. Not only does it help highlight the eye makeup you choose, but nobody will know when you are blushing over embarrassing family stories.

Another great thing about blush is its versatility. The most common place to use it is on your cheeks but think outside the box. You can use a little on areas like your forehead or your nose, too. Subtle application in those areas can give your look a little something extra.

Make the Makeup Statement You Want to Make

Think of your makeup as an extension of your skin. Your skin is the part of yourself most on display to the rest of the world. Keep that in mind as you select your Thanksgiving makeup. Use it to make the statement you want to make about yourself. Perhaps you feel more subdued this Thanksgiving and want to apply neutral tones. On the other hand, you might prefer to make a bold color statement. There is no wrong answer. All you have to do is experiment with a few Thanksgivings looks until you find the one you love.

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SKIN SAVING THANKSGIVING FOODS

Thanksgiving Can Affect Your Skin: Here’s How to Keep Your Glow… 

Holiday Table, Thanksgiving Table

According to an old saying, you are what you eat. That is why you might be concerned about Thanksgiving affecting your skin health. Your concern is certainly justified. Indulging in overeating on holidays does have an adverse effect on the skin. However, not all Thanksgiving foods are bad for you. Some can actually contribute in a positive way to your skin health. Here is what you need to know about protecting your skin while enjoying your favorite Thanksgiving foods. 

Set Yourself Up for Skincare Success

The best way to keep your skin healthy over Thanksgiving is to set yourself up for skincare success before you start eating anything at all. That means creating a good daily skincare routine and sticking to it, despite the hustle and bustle of the holidays. A good cleanser is the foundation of any skincare routine. The cleaner your skin is, the more likely it is to stay in good health.

A picture containing two differently sized bottles of Nabila K Collagen Milk Cleanser.

A second major component in any successful skincare routine is using at least one type of moisturizer. Hydrated skin is healthier skin. Hydrating your skin around Thanksgiving is particularly important if you live in an area with cool, dry November weather. Moisturizer can help you prevent or reverse some of the damage incurred by exposure to that weather. Once you have laid the foundation for skin health with a good daily skincare routine, you can start to examine the pros and cons of the foods you are going to eat at Thanksgiving.

Protein-Packed Thanksgiving Food Options

One of the best things you can do for your skin is eat foods that are high in protein. In fact, a protein called collagen is a major component of skin cells. When you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner and eat foods that are high in protein, you help replenish collagen supplies. Some of those foods include: 

  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Roast Beef
  • Ham

Vitamin-Rich Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Many vitamins are excellent for skin health. Two of the best are vitamin A and vitamin C. Both are found in sweet potatoes, which is a side dish that is on the rise as a Thanksgiving favorite in the United States. The other staple of almost any Thanksgiving gathering that is rich in vitamin A is pie. Specifically, squash and pumpkin pies contain high amounts of it and other helpful vitamins and minerals. Here are some more Thanksgiving foods packed with skin-strengthening vitamins:

  • Fruit Salad
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Apples
  • Collard Greens
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Green or Leafy Vegetables (Cabbage, Green Beans Etc.)

Antioxidants Found in the Spices of a Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving meal menus vary in homes, but there is one thing most homes have in common. Their Thanksgiving feasts usually contain foods full of spices. Many spices contain antioxidants. There are compounds known as free radicals that can destroy your skin cells. Antioxidants fight those free radicals off, much like soldiers defending a castle. They are special healthy molecules your skin needs to stay strong. 

Some antioxidants are found in foods already mentioned above, like pumpkins. Many are also found in the common spices used during a Thanksgiving feast. For example, the cinnamon you might add to an apple pie recipe is high in antioxidants. The same is true of the garlic or rosemary you might infuse into your Turkey. Many of those spices also have secondary health benefits besides the positive impact they can have on your skin. One is garlic, which is good for heart health. 

Spices, Jars, Herbs, Herbs And Spices on a rustic wooden table.

A Thanksgiving Superfood

Foods that have many healthy qualities are often called superfoods. Cranberries are among those. They are rich in antioxidants and contain high amounts of multiple vitamins. Those vitamins include vitamin C and vitamin E. Cranberries are skin-strengthening superfoods because they are excellent at moisturizing and tightening the skin. Studies have also indicated that consuming cranberries or using products that contain them can help to limit acne outbreaks and other unhealthy skin conditions. 

Cranberries are also known as general superfoods because they provide more than just skin benefits. When you enjoy cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, you might be helping to protect your heart and reduce your cancer risks. Cranberries are also known for reducing urinary tract infection risks and lowering the risks of developing cavities. However, they start to lose some of their superfood nature when unhealthy sugars are added to them. Be aware of that when you choose what type of cranberries to eat on Thanksgiving. 

Put Down the Mashed Potatoes

If you want to maintain healthy skin during Thanksgiving, avoid mashed potatoes. They are far too high in skin-damaging carbohydrates. Instead, reach for some sweet potatoes. They are much better for your skin. Just avoid heaping them high with brown sugar for marshmallows. 

Say “Bye” to Pecan Pie

Maintaining skin health over Thanksgiving does require a little bit of willpower. Many foods that are part of an average Thanksgiving feast are safe to eat, but pecan pie is not one of them. It is so high in sugar that a single slice can provide you with more than half of your daily allotment. That sugar can contribute to acne outbreaks and may lead to the development of premature wrinkles over time. Reach for pumpkin, squash, or apple pie instead.

Swap the Eggnog for Some Apple Cider with Cinnamon

A picture containing warm apple cider on a table with candles and spices.

Even though eggs are good for your skin, eggnog is not. It has a high-fat content. The calorie count of eggnog is also quite high. However, one of the biggest problems with eggnog is that it contains a lot of hormones. The introduction of those hormones can lead to oily skin and acne outbreaks. A mug of apple cider is a much healthier choice in general and for your skin, specifically.

Don’t Let Fatty Additions Destroy Your Thanksgiving Skincare Success

If you follow the tips above, you can maintain healthy skin and better general health throughout the holiday season. That is if you avoid one final trap. Do not let fatty additions to your Thanksgiving feast derail your skincare plans. The two biggest culprits are butter and gravy. It may be hard to avoid them entirely but be conscious of how much you consume. By monitoring how much of each you eat, you can avoid going overboard this Thanksgiving. 

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