Karlee

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DIY + Zero Waste | 5 Bathroom Essentials

Simple ingredients, zero waste, all DIY. I came up with a list of five bathroom essentials yo can make yourself and share with others. My favorite part about this post is the fact that zero waste comes from making all of these things. And what else could you really need in the bathroom besides toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo + conditioner, face scrub, and an all-purpose cleaner?

I hope this post inspires you to make your own products, that will save money & waste!

  • Peppermint Toothpaste

Ingredients: 2 tbsp. coconut oil, 1-2 tbsp. baking soda, few drops of peppermint essential oil.

Measure out coconut oil and stir in small dish, slowly adding baking soda to make a creamy texture. Add peppermint essential oil for a minty taste!

  • Deodorant

Ingredients: 1/3 cup coconut oil, 3 tbsp. beeswax, 2 tbsp. shea butter, 1/3 cup arrowroot powder, 2 tbsp. baking soda (optional), few drops of favorite essential oil. 

Measure coconut oil and stir in dish until smooth. Add shea butter and beeswax to mixture (it doesn’t matter if it’s all stirred in yet). Then add arrowroot and few drops of lavender essential oil. Double boil mixture until liquid (but do not boil). Pour mixture into empty deodorant casing and let air dry until solid. Enjoy!

  •  Face + Body Exfoliate

Ingredients: Slice of lemon, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp  honey/or coconut oil. 

Get a small dish and put honey/oil into bowl, making sure it’s liquid. Then mix in 1/3 cup brown sugar until creamy texture. Add a couple of lemon drops and wa-la done! Wet face before applying and massage face +/ body thoroughly. After 1 min wash mixture entirely off. Repeat weekly. 

Enjoy smooth skin for up to 1 week! 🙂

  • Shampoo + Conditioner

Ingredients: (Shampoo) 1/3 cup coconut milk, 1/3 cup castile soap, 2 tbsp. almond oil (optional), favorite essential oil. 

Measure ingredients and mix in dish and stir thoroughly. Mixture will separate with time, just shake it up to get it ‘all mixed again. Now you’ll smell like a pretty flower 🙂
(Conditioner) 1 cup coconut oil, 1/3 cup avocado oil, favorite essential oil.
   

Mix coconut oil and avocado oil together until creamy texture. Add almond oil (optional) and favorite essential oil (I use peppermint). Your hair will be silky smooth!

  • Toxic-Free All Purpose Bathroom Cleaner  

Ingredients: slice of lemon/or orange peels, 2 cups vinegar, dilute with water.
    

Mix all ingredients together and add to spray bottle (clean an old one and use that). Add slice of lemon or orange peels to get a consistent fresh scent. Use this spray for ANYTHING.

The baking soda, arrowroot powder, and coconut milk packaging will be 100% recycled and all of the jars used for packaging will be saved for my jar collection. I have included some almost-package free options to eliminate the amount of recycling even more so.

Unfortunately, almost all of my photo files for this post have been having some issues so I can’t upload photos of my results :/ After I figure out what’s wrong with them, I will most definitely insert them in here.

When I make something for myself, especially with my hands I feel more thankful for it because I had to create it myself. I greatly enjoy making my own products, as it makes me more present. I look forward to learning how to create more sustainable items in the future!

Have a lovely day xo

 

*Some links may be affiliate, meaning I may earn a small sum for you buying a product, of course at NO cost to you. These links help me run this blog and continue to share quality content with you. I only recommend + share products that I truly believe are good for you & our Earth!

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Ultimate Guide to Hiking in Washoe Valley

How long does it take you to adapt to a new area? Michael and I have been living in Washoe Valley now for just over 6 months now and we have found some unique trails all within 20 minutes or less from our house. I’ve got to say, I’m a little surprised at how vast the high desert is and how big the rolling hills can be. Hiking around Reno has turned out to be pretty incredible.

I’ve collected several hikes since I’ve been here and wanted to share some my favorites (so far) here. Oh, and of course all of them are dog-friendly 🙂

  1. Rattlesnake Mountain

           easy – quiet – city view

This is a hidden gem right in town! Located in South Reno, Rattlesnake Mountain is located in Huffaker Hills Park. It’s not a very long trail but it’s good for when you feel like hiking but don’t want to be gone too long. It seems to be a popular place to park for some people so don’t be surprised when there’s cars but no people around, even on the trails. The trail leads to a great overlook and you can see the Sierra Nevada mountainside so clearly. You also get a stunning view of downtown Reno; the best of both worlds 😀

Here’s a photo of Shadow enjoying her view on some rocks!

     

      2. Hunter Creek

            mild – popular – waterfall feature

This one is probably the most popular of all the trails on the list, but that’s because there’s a waterfall at the end (duh). We passed quite a few people on the way there but still had the majority of the trail to ourselves. When you go on this trail, you hike through a small valley between two giant hills. And did I mention, these hills are covered with rocks? (Photo below) 

“Can you see me up here?”

       

      3. Dry Pond

            incline – views – mountaintop 

One of my favorite places in all of Washoe Valley! I wrote a whole post about this amazing place, check it out by clicking here.

     

     4. Ophir-Davis Creek

           mountainside – incline – trail options

This hike is one of my favorites! It’s the farthest from Reno but it’s worth it for the scenery you’ll get in return. There’s all different types of trails to choose from here, but watch out, it’s also very easy to get lost too. There’s high incline options on Discovery trail which would be the best choice if you get cold easily. The other trails ascend into the mountainside and it gets chilly pretty easy. 

     

      5. Hidden Valley Regional Park

            residential – rolling hills – wild horses 

This one is close to a residential neighborhood but after you hike for ten minutes or so you can’t hear anyone else. You can choose to go up the hillside or through the valley, but whichever way you go watch out for wild horses! Michael and I spotted four last time we were here, and might I add this was my first time seeing wild horses and it was awesome. Wild mustangs just roamin’ wild Nevada. 

     

      6. Galena Creek

             green – not busy – long distance 

This is definitely be second favorite on the list because it’s located right in Toiyabe National Forest. It’s a short 10 minute drive from the city, but when you’re there you feel like you’re in a dense lush forest. A little creek runs through many of the trails and coming straight from the mountain it’s safe to drink (BIG plus). Shadow loved this hike!

 

Let me know what your favorite hikes are down below, I would love to hear them. 

Now get out(side).

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20 Important Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years

I’ve thought a lot recently about how much I’ve already experienced in these short 20 years I’ve been alive. I wanted to share a short list with you all that I feel have helped my become my truest self the best. 

1. The only thing we really have right now is this moment.

2. Don’t hold a grudge. The only person it will hurt is you.

3. Trauma will creep into your future until you make peace with it.

4. Let go of your ego; it will solve a lot of problems. 

5. Get out(side) more.

6. Help others, even when they can’t help you.

7. Be grateful for everything you have, including your life.

8. Someone out there is struggling more than you; keep your head up.

9. It’s okay to be confident.

10. Someone will always have something to say, but don’t listen to them, listen to YOU.

11. Be the person you are when no one’s around, it will make you happy 

12. The research is worth it!

13. Community can be so powerful.

14. Stop waiting for someone else to do it.

15. There is such a thing as good karma.

16. Good friends can take you anywhere.

17. How much are you willing to sacrifice for the good of others?

18. Your opinion won’t change anything, but your actions will.

19. Money isn’t worth your happiness.

20. Hate less, love MORE.

There are so many more things I’ve learned but I feel they all fall in one of these categories. Reflection is important because you get to realize how much you’ve grown and gotten to see, and to think… it’s just getting started! I love feeling excitement for life because we all deserve to be happy. 

What are some of the biggest things you’ve learned since you’ve been on this Earth?

Have a wonderful day. xo. 

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Backpacking to Havasu Falls

Guys, I finally did it! I finally got to experience Havasu Falls and all I can say is WOW! The water really is as turquoise as in pictures and the waterfalls were much bigger than I thought. I wanted to share my experience for others who are considering taking to the trek to Supai.

Getting There

It’s only accessible by foot, mule, or helicopter, so we decided to do the 10 mile hike in. In the first mile you descend over a 1,000 ft. You can imagine how difficult it was coming up on the back, but the views at the beginning of the hike are absolutely spectacular. As you’re make your way down, the trail overlooks a huge valley filled with shrubs and red rocks. What a start!

After the huge valley, we slowly began to hike into the canyon and were encompassed by breathtaking rock formations. The hike was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever done and being in the desert with no one but mules around was fulfilling. 

It took Michael and I about 4 hours to reach the small village of Supai, home of the Havasupai natives; I really wasn’t expecting the town to be as big as it was. It was amazing to see natives living away from society by one of their sacred spaces. I wondered how much of their way of life is still in tact, considering they are much more isolated than any other rez I’ve been to. 

After hiking 8 miles, we checked in at the camping office and got our tourists wristbands. Then we headed for the camp; this was the homestretch, only 2 miles left, but easily felt like 4. 

Navajo Falls

Michael and I were pretty tired at this point and we decided to stop near Navajo Falls, the first waterfall you see after leaving the village. I quickly grabbed my sour patch watermelons and took a seat right at the edge. 

After our little pit stop, we continued on to the campground. We decided to put our tent away from the water so we could be warmer during night. I loved our little campsite!

We set up our site in less than ten minutes, since I’m practically a pro at setting up/taking down tents. After our site was secured, we headed to Mooney Falls, the biggest waterfall of the four. 

Getting there we walked through the rest of the campsites and saw less than four groups. Going in February means NO crowds and plenty of space for solitude almost anywhere.

Mooney Falls

Approaching Mooney, the sound of the water hitting the bottom became louder and louder. I was surprised by how big Mooney actually is! I believe it’s around 150-200 ft. You have to hike down the side of a cliff to get all the way to the bottom and it’s a little sketchy.

We found a small overlook perfect for us to just sit and be

I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous of hiking down and my legs were killing me at this point, so we decided to go about half way down. Next time I’m going to force myself to make it down to the bottom so I can visit Beaver Falls! At least I’ll know what to expect and be ready for it.

We went back to our site and made some delicious Pad Thai (who doesn’t love Pad Thai?) and crashed afterwards. It was a jam-packed day and our bodies were just done.

The next morning, I woke up to the sound of waterfalls and birds and it made me so happy. Spending all winter inside has made my brain want to fall out. I cherish these moments where I’m outside and feel like I’m home.

Havasu Falls

Day 2 was all about Havasu Falls! It was the waterfall that was closest to our site and the one I was most looking forward to. Although it wasn’t as big as Mooney, the bottom of Havasu is surrounded by little pools that made it feel like I was in the ultimate oasis.

Look at how small I am! 

Getting Out

After enjoying the presence of Havasu we decided to get an early start on the hike back. I knew it was going to take us at least 5 hours with the terrain and I wanted to enjoy the scenery (unlike on the way there).

Headed out. We’ll miss you Havasu!

On the way back, we passed much more than on the way there probably because it was Saturday.

Some beautiful flora on the way back

Both of our legs were feeling the hike ahead, but hey no pain no gain, right?

A very flattering photo of us exhausted on a rock

After about 4 hours we finally made it back to the valley and the side of the cliff that we descended down on the way in. At this point I was feeling a little intimidated by going up 1,000 ft. in 1 mile after 19 miles of hiking in the last 24 hours. Just make sure you got plenty of water! #waterislife

Michael and I made it up the cliff about an hour later right before the sun was about to set.

Looking back, this was one of the most strenuous hikes I’ve ever done, and I only wish we could’ve stayed in Supai longer. I highly, highly recommend this trip to anyone who is willing to put in the work to see some of the most exquisite desert scenery out there.

If you’re already planning a trip to Havasu, I recommend checking out Bearfoot Theory’s Camping Guide. I used it before we went as a checklist to make sure we didn’t forget anything. And we didn’t!

See you next time Havasupai! 

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Sustainable Feminine Hygiene | Plastic Protest #2

Whether you call it your moon, period, or cycle, all of us women have this time of the month and we need the necessary items to do so. Women have endless options when walking down the aisle for feminine hygiene, tampons or pads? But wait, what about a menstrual cup?

Menstrual cups are becoming widely popular among young women who are looking for an alternative. And I have heard so many comforting things about the Diva Cup that finally made me want to try it out for myself.

Before I considered the Diva Cup, I would use tampons and pads, and I honestly couldn’t tell you how many of those suckers I threw away. So, I decided to look up statistics of average feminine hygiene and the numbers made me feel uncomfortable.

The average American woman will use over 11,000 tampons or pads in her life.

That’s 11,000 products that could avoid the landfill, just by making different choices as an individual. Well I have an alternative– a menstrual cup. That is the biggest reason I chose to switch to the Diva Cup,it’s reusable and significantly less wasteful (almost zero waste). Not only is it ethical, it WILL save you tons of money in the long run too!

I finally picked up a Diva Cup and even saved $7 with the Ibotta app. The retail price was around $30, bringing it down to $23! Keep in mind that this is a one-time purchase and the price is about the equivalent to only 3 tampon boxes.

My Honest Review of the Diva Cup

After my first time using it, I can say I’m never going back! No wonder people mention Diva Cup’s cult-like following because it’s the best alternative in my opinion. I’ve got to mention that before using it, I was a little nervous that it would feel uncomfortable. And although you can feel it’s there (somewhat) it’s actually impressed me with its comfort-ability. The only thing I haven’t figured out is how to get it out the easiest and non-invasive way.

Overall, I give the Diva Cup 9/10 for its sustainability and cost effectiveness. I highly, highly recommend this to any friends out there who want a rewarding alternative!

I decided not to post my own photo of the Diva Cup, but you can see exactly what it looks like down below.

See you next week for the third week of the plastic protest!

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