We’re Moving. Welcome to Golden Gate Greenista!

A Project Called Life.com is going through an exciting change – a new look for a New Year!  All content has been moved to Golden Gate Greenista.com, where you’ll get the same wonderful eco tips, reviews and information, but in a bigger and better way.

I hope you’ll continue to join me on my greenista journey in San Francisco and beyond!


January 3, 2012 at 9:03 am Leave a comment

Fresh Faced for the New Year

Image Courtesy of beautylish.com

In need of a beauty pick-me-up for 2012? Over the last five years I’ve switched all my cosmetics and skincare products to natural alternatives, and one product has always kept its prominent place in my beauty bag: rms beauty’s Living Luminizer cream.

When my skin is feeling a little dull or pale, I dab the non-toxic skin brightener on my cheeks and right below my brow bones. My complexion instantly becomes brighter and has a nice, healthy sheen. It looks like I just indulged in a long siesta and woke up to dewy skin!

Image Courtesy of outblush.com

rms beauty is hands-down one of the best clean beauty lines. All the ingredients used by founder Rose-Marie Swift are pure and organic, formulated to actually hydrate and heal the skin while providing coverage and color.  An added bonus is that one pot of makeup lasts a long time. rms beauty’s Un Cover-Up is the only concealer I will use, and I’ve slowly been building up my collection of the line’s Cream Eye Shadows (Seduce is a great everyday color).

Rose-Marie’s reason for starting the healthy beauty line is personal and inspiring. Read about her high-profile career as a makeup artist and her viewpoints on the beauty industry in my featured Greenista Chat.

**I purchased all of my rms beauty products directly from the online store. However, there are a few retail locations that carry the line. In San Francisco, a limited selection is available at Clary Sage Organics or International Orange on Fillmore Street. The Living Luminizer is $38, Un Cover-Up is $36 and Cream Eye Shadow is 28.

December 30, 2011 at 1:48 am Leave a comment

Put On Your Party Shoes!

Image Courtesy of TOMS.com

The holidays are a sparkly season!  There’s tinsel on the tree, shiny bows on presents and…TOMS Shoes on your feet?  Available in a glitzy array of colors, I’ve found the dazzling kicks from TOMS to be perfect paired with a party dress or slipped on to run holiday errands.  I’ve been rockin’ my silver pair for the last two months and am not-so-secretly hoping Santa brings me the black glitter ones.

In case you haven’t heard about this innovative social enterprise, for every pair of TOMS Shoes you buy a pair is donated to a child in need – what the company calls its One for One business practice.  Simple and compelling, TOMS has started a movement that actually makes ‘voting with your dollar’ count, showing that you can be fashionable and do good at the same time. So if you’re looking for one more wish list item or a great gift for someone special, you just can’t go wrong with a pair of TOMS!

Purchase TOMS Shoes online or at Nordstrom.  The silver pair I bought was $54.  If you’re stuck on what size or color to buy for someone else, TOMS has convenient gift card options.

December 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm Leave a comment

Greenista Homemade Holiday Gifts: Part 2

Soft, hand-knit scarves are one of the best homemade gifts to give – and receive!  Though they require some hands-on time commitment, the end result is always appreciated and treasured.

Never knitted a stitch?  Knittinghelp.com has easy-to-understand videos to get you started.  When purchasing yarn, go for thicker, chunkier wool that will cut down on knitting time and require larger needles, which are more beginner-friendly.

Photo and Design Courtesy of TenTenKnits.com

Experienced?  Infinity scarves are de rigueur this season.  Super versatile and fashionable, they can be worn long or stylishly wrapped around twice.  I’ve been busy working on the pretty 5th Avenue Infinity Scarf pattern by TenTenKnits, while a few women from my local knitting group have been enthusiastic about the free, downloadable Honey Cowl pattern by Madeline Tosh.

The quality of yarn, however, can make or break a scarf.  To make sure the wool feels luxurious – not scratchy – when worn, hold up the skein of yarn to your neck and the inside of your wrist for 20 seconds to see if there is any irritation.  ImagiKnit in San Francisco has an incredible selection of high quality yarn, including locally made and naturally dyed options.  Don’t live in the City?  Purchase consciously made and spun yarn online from Sincere Sheep.  Cast on!

December 14, 2011 at 7:03 am Leave a comment

Add a Little Ghee to Your Life

Goodbye, butter.  Hello, ghee!  Ayurveda is full of health secrets, such as the Buddha way of eating I recently wrote about. But my latest, tastiest discovery from this ancient science is incorporating ghee into my winter dishes.

A form of clarified butter popular in Indian cuisine, ghee is commonly referred to as liquid gold.  With quite a name to live up to, ghee is not only purer than butter (it doesn’t contain impurities like saturated fat or milk solids) but it has incredible medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties that have been touted for centuries.

The following quote from an ancient 16th century Ayurvedic text pretty much sums it up: Ghee is sweet in taste and cooling in energy; rejuvenating, good for the eyes and vision; enkindles digestion; bestows lustre and beauty; enhances memory and stamina; increases the intellect; promotes longevity; is an aphrodisiac and protects the body from various diseases. –Bhavaprakasha

So what have I noticed after cooking with ghee?  My hair is shinier, a minor skin irritation I had vanished and my digestion is happy.  Plus it makes my dishes heartier for the winter, which is important since I don’t eat meat.  But, like any oil or dairy product, quality matters.  My favorite ghee is made by Ancient Organics.  Though it’s slightly pricier than other brands, it is absolutely delicious – creamy and fragrant – and a little goes a long way.

Prepared in small batches the old-fashioned way, Ancient Organics uses the highest quality organic sweet cream butter by Straus Family Creamery and adheres to the ancient 14-day moon cycle for making the ghee.  The ingredients and technique ensure that the end product is healthy, natural, boosts immunity and helps eliminate toxins from the body.  Pick up a jar and start making ghee your cooking oil of choice!

I purchased Ancient Organics Ghee at Toby’s Feed Barn in Point Reyes, CA.  For a list of retailers, click here.  Retail price around $20.  For additional recipes, check out the More Ghee Please blog.

December 7, 2011 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

Greenista Homemade Holiday Gifts: Part 1

Now that it’s the first week of December and I’m finally on break from grad school, planning Christmas gifts is top priority.  Finding a great present is always exciting, but making gifts for friends and family is especially meaningful.

Since chapped lips are an unfortunate side effect of winter weather, mixing up an ultra-moisturizing lip balm scented with energizing peppermint or grapefruit is a perfect stocking stuffer.  Spend an hour in the kitchen and you’ll have plenty of beauty treats on hand for Secret Santa exchanges or Hannukah gifts.

I made pots of grapefruit balm last year and they were a hit!  Plan ahead and buy some nice packaging – glass pots are pretty for girls and regular tubes are good for guys.  For unique scents, try lemon or lavender. Or for a man-friendly version just skip the essential oils. Let the holiday preparations begin!

Moisturizing Lip Balm Recipe from GorgeouslyGreen.com

This recipe makes enough for 10 lip balm pots.  I bought the LB4B pots from Sunburst Bottle.com. The rest of the ingredients can be found at Whole Foods or via online retailers.


2.5 tsp* organic cocoa butter

15 tsp organic shea butter

100 drops grapefruit essential oil (chamomile, lavender and peppermint are other good non-irritating alternatives)

*One ounce equals 6 tsp.


Double boil the cocoa and shea butters – i.e. heat both in a large glass bowl over a pot of boiling water until melted.

Remove from heat and stir in essential oil drops.

Pour into the pots and allow to cool and set before putting on the top (takes about 2-3 hours).  To protect counters, I recommend placing the pots on wax paper or newspaper and using a funnel to pour in the balm liquid.

Shelf life of the lip balm is 6-9 months.  Be sure to make extra balm for yourself!

December 5, 2011 at 2:06 am Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

Image Courtesy of skatersadvocatemi.com, Copyright Charles Schulz

Take some time today to reflect on the many blessings in your own life.  Write in a gratitude journal.  Say a prayer before the Thanksgiving feast.  Thank someone who has positively impacted your life.  Extend forgiveness to yourself and others. Acknowledge the interconnectedness that binds us to one another and Mother Earth.

Giving Thanks

For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving! 


For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman’s hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving! 

For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the “Land of the Free”
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving! 

~Author Unknown, Poem Provided by Ancestry.com

November 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

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