My bestie, Lisa (side note: veg since age 12) is always put together—clothes, hair, and nails did. To paint you a picture—once, in the wee hours of the morning, I picked her up from the hospital after a minor medical procedure. As they rolled her out, whoozy in a wheelchair, I was amused, but not shocked to see that she was nevertheless wearing a classy large-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a beautiful wraparound scarf, an architectural weekender handbag perched on her lap. Every nurse she passed complimented her on different items head to toe. She struck up conversations and waved to them with perfectly manicured hands. I, on the other hand, was wearing the sweatpants I had slept in, juggling my jingling keys and ragged clutch, and was avoiding human contact. I was wearing glasses, but they were the seeing kind.
Lisa, even at 7 am, medicated and wobbly, had dressed to make sure she felt as good as she could, given the circumstances, and I appreciated it. She looked like a grown woman, and people treated her as such. She was having fun interacting with the outside world.
That's why, after Lisa nagging me to get nicer, grown-up-lady stuff, I started to listen.
I still feel most comfy in all black everything, but I know I can wear nice all-black-everything things that make me feel good, feel confident, and feel more me...things that make life a little more fun, too!
So I am proud to say that I found something great to continue my "adulting" mission: the GUNAS Naomi handbag. A) I love it, b) it's black, c) I actually need it for travel, d) it's good-lookin', sturdy, and practical, e) I feel ethically good about it, and f) it makes me feel okay about attracting some attention because g) it's vegan!
Also h) it's Lisa-approved. These are her custom-manicured hands handling my new bag...you don't want to see mine. I may have conquered getting a purse, but nails are another story.
The first time I wore it was to a business meeting and I tell you what! It actually did make a difference to how I felt! I was carrying all my meeting documents, my book, and a big camera in the Naomi and it still felt sleek. I wasn't juggling my keys and clutch, so my hands were free for greetings, and I found myself walking more gracefully!
It is just a bag—but truth to tell, I really did feel more put together, presentable, and confident carrying this accessory. And when I got complimented on my Naomi, I had the opportunity to mention that it's actually vegan—no cow, ostrich, or crocodile skin. The complimenter was further intrigued. Score.
So you can save the world and look good doing it. Sometimes we just need a nudge from our more fashionable friends...thanks Lisa and GUNAS!
GUNAS has been kind enough to provide my readers with the following coupon code—just in time for Valentine's Day, too! I highly suggest getting a gift for a grown-up lady you love...maybe that's yourself!
Through February 15, use code RUBYROTH at checkout to get free gift wrapping on orders under $100 and a free Farm Charm on orders $100 and up. Visit www.GunasTheBrand.com.
I know we hardly EVER get sick because we're SO healthy, but here are some tips for that rare occasion when careless holiday eating, stress, and/or the blues make you crash...
Weird phenomenon: when you are struck down with a cold, you often forget to do even the most obvious things to help yourself (<-- hey, that's the name of my upcoming kids' cookbook, pun intended!), am I right? Sometimes you need a reminder.
Here are my natural home remedy practices to help you kick the common cold and kickstart your immune response as quickly as possible (good for preventative care, too!)—cycle through these throughout the day:
• OPT FOR OREGANO OIL: This stuff is powerful and good to have around to use preventatively. In the midst of a cold, take 1-2 drops at a time a few times a day. You'll feel the burn, and it feels right—like germs are getting killed on contact. Get it at any health food store.
• SWISH SEA SALT: For sore throats, stir enough salt into some warm water to make it quite salty. Gargle, spit, repeat. You can also drink some salt water if you're feeling wheezy—asthmatic friends report it helps right away.
• GET NETI: At first I denied that this neti pot (or any kind shaped like a tiny tea pot) was special, but it really does make nasal rinsing so gentle and not horrible like other squeeze-bottle ones I've had. I add 8 oz of water to a pot, heat for just a few seconds to a gently lukewarm level, and stir in one NeilMed packet (PH-balanced, USP-grade sodium chloride) so your salt is always safe and properly proportioned to the water. The neti pot holds 4 oz, so you have at least two "doses" ready for the day. You'll be shocked by what will rinse loose from your sinuses when you're sick. WOW. If you've never nettied, watch a demo.
• STEAM STATION: For sore throats, coughs, and stuffy noses, set this up once and do it throughout the day as needed. Boil water in a pot with either A) lemon wedges and their juice, which are antibacterial or B) a few drops of peppermint and/or eucalyptus essential oils (these really help congestion immediately—alternatively, rub on your hands then hold them to your face). When the water is nice and bubbly, put a towel over your head like a hoodie, stand over the pot, and waft the steam toward you, taking deep breaths through nose and mouth. NOTE: if you're treating a child, pour the hot water into a bowl and set it on a table to be safer. Added benefit: your skin will look lovely, dewy, and rosy.
• POUND PROBIOTICS: Take a therapeutic dose every day, maybe even twice if it feels right. My favorite: Natren MegaDophilus Dairy-Free powder (mild taste, I like it better than swallowing capsules, easier to mete out your doses, too). My opinion: probiotics should come from the refrigerated section of your health food store only.
• LOVE THE LIQUIDS: Get some kombucha, raw juice, "breathe easy" tea, and/or mix the best Vitamin C into water and sip all day. If you feel hungry, eat high water-content foods only (raw food like citrus) and brothy soups (spicy helps the most, try a version of this gorgeous kimchee soup, ready in minutes). Skip breads, pastas, and sugar—obviously.
• MOISTURIZE YOUR MUG: Ugh, all that tissue use can make your face dry and raw and then besides feeling terrible you look terrible, nooooooo! Dampen your face with a warm washcloth, then lightly rub on a layer of your favorite botanical oil blend. I think the BEST is Living Libations Best Skin Ever Seabuckthorn. Let it soak in, then gently pat dry if you need to.
To your health!
Some season favorites, things you should know, gift ideas, items on sale in my store (at the bottom!), and good news:
• I just color-proofed my upcoming book The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids, out in April 2016 (I'll remind you then!). This is the one you'll be able to give to all the children you know without causing a fight with their parents or schools. You asked, I created!
• TODAY: Racing Extinction (from the director of The Cove) assembles a team of artists and activists intent on showing the world never-before-seen images that expose issues of endangered species and mass extinction. Premieres Wed. December 2nd at 9p EST on Discovery—to more than 220 countries!
• My little vegan athlete just became the Kid's Worlds Champion (look!) in no gi Jiu Jitsu in her division..against an opponent 15 pounds heavier! #veganpower
• Nom Yourself and I ate the most insane fresh jammy vegan pop tarts at this new spot. Thanks, Moby!
• Beverly Hills writes an AWESOME law for animals.
• This handsome world champ scales walls, dangles off buildings, and wants everyone to go vegan.
• J-Wro's Out of the Darkness course for healing the blues.
• It took 256 years for this company to make a vegan product, but see? Things can change! #veganpressure
• Amazing insight in this book on the government and environmentalists/animal activists.
• Decorate for the life you want (and see my kitchen featured!) in here.
• If you loved Blackfish, you'll love this even more.
• This goes in all of my smoothies. No winter colds!
• Brrr, even L.A. is cooling off! 10 vegan leather jackets.
• I love gifts like these that get used up and make the recipient feel the best ever.
• Very cute vegan message T-shirts from here.
• Do you need vegan holiday party shoes? Places that make the search easy: Zappos (filter your search for material!), GoJane (women's, all synthetics), Polyvore (search "vegan"!), Aldo and Call It Spring (both have lots of non-leather styles available), Bambi & Tramp, LC Lovechild, and Moo Shoes (100% vegan). That should do you good for a start!
• Check my store for deals on signed and doodled books, prints, and my custom pet portraits (which benefit Animal Rescue Corps through December!):