shirley

We love a woman who takes her skincare seriously, even on those mornings when time is scarce. If you would rather skip makeup than miss a step in your skincare routine, you’re in good company with this super clean morning routine!

Name: Eve

Age: 22

City: Toronto, Canada

Skin: Very light (RMS un-coverup 00), with yellow undertones. Very dry, prone to eczema with the odd hormonal breakout.

Hair: Long, dark brown and somewhere halfway between wavy and curly.

Favorite star from the past: I’d have to say Shirley Temple. When I was little I used to rent her early movies from the local video store and watch them over and over again. I found her tap dancing mesmerizing and incredibly impressive. Also, before my hair darkened, I had blonde ringlets just like hers. I hated them but when I saw Shirley Temple had locks just like me, my opinion changed quickly.

Like most of us, I’ve got many different morning routines that vary based on how many times I hit snooze on the alarm. On days I have an early lecture, I’m pretty low maintenance but also try to put in enough effort that I don’t scare my classmates.

First thing I do is jump in the shower with my extremely sexy, pink flowered bathing cap on. I only wash my hair in the evening as I let it air dry, which can take up to 12 hours. In the shower, I use either a bar of the Osmia Organics Oh So Soap, which is very moisturizing and gentle on my sensitive skin, or the deliciously almond scented Acure Organics Argan Cell Stimulating Body Wash. If I’m shaving my legs, I reach for Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Shave Gel, which forms a healthy lather and never irritates my skin. After my shower, I pop in my contact lenses using Clear Conscience Multi Purpose Solution, the only alternative I’ve found to conventional brands and never bothers my eyes. I brush my teeth with, Jason Powersmile Whitening Toothpaste, slather on a layer of Acure Organics Cocoa Butter + CoQ10 Ultra-Hydrating Body Lotion and some Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant.

One thing I never slack on no matter how short on time I am is skincare. My skin is extremely sensitive and after many tests and a few failures, I’ve found products that manage to hydrate, sooth and shield me from the icy winter winds. I spray my face with George’s Aloe Spray, and pat a few drops of Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil into my skin. I then come in with round two of cold weather protection with CV Skinlabs Rescue + Relief Spray followed by their Calming Moisture. If any of you suffer from severely dry skin, try CV Skinlabs. It has helped me so so much. I tell everyone and anyone who will listen about the company. I finish off with a dab of 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream and a swipe of Hurraw! Lip Balm.

I then head downstairs and start with a mug of warm lemon water and raw honey followed by either a green smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon and a healthy glug of almond milk. While I eat, I catch up on some Youtube videos. I’m currently obsessed with, CloudyApples, MakeupTIA and HolisticHabits’s.

If I’ve got 15 minutes to spare, I’ll quickly do my makeup. I’ve been using Physicians Formula Organic Wear CC Color + Correction Cream, which gives light to medium coverage. I’m almost out and although I liked it, it’s a tad dark for my winter skin. I’m looking to try the Gressa MINIMALIST Corrective Serum Foundation next. I then conceal under my eyes and around my nose with RMS Uncover Up and set my concealer with a light dusting of Honeybee Gardens Pressed Mineral Powder. I fill in my brows with the Logona Eyebrow Pencil in #2 and add some color to my cheeks with Kjaer Weis Blossoming. The cream formula of this blush adds a gorgeous dewy flush, making me look bright and healthy on the gloomiest of winter days. My top two picks for eye shadow right now are RMS Cream Eye Shadow in Magnetic or Red Apple Lipstick’s powder shadows, specifically, Oh Schnapp!, the prettiest rose gold shade. When it comes to lip products, I keep it pretty neutral. Red Apple Lipstick’s Audrey is the perfect everyday pink with so much moisture, I can’t believe it’s a lipstick and I also love Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Glace. As someone with dry lips, it’s the only matte product that is comfortable to wear the entire day. I don’t use mascara. I’ve got long, black lashes, so I give them a quick curl with my Shu Uemura Curler and I’m all set. One thing I have yet to find is a natural perfume scent that knocks my socks off, so please throw any suggestions my way! I love light floral scents, nothing too overpowering or sweet.

Right before running out the door, I tie my hair into a messy side braid, grab a book for the subway and I’m gone!

Lovely, right?! Can you recommend a natural perfume that really knocks your socks off? Share in the comments!

 

It’s our last Morning Routine of 2014, and this one does not disappoint! Jenny’s routine has so many fantastic products — some we’re very familiar with, and others we’re jotting down for future reference. Enjoy!

Name: Jenny

Age: 35

Current weather: Cold, rain turning to snow
Skin: Combination, more easily dehydrated and more sensitive since having children, tendency towards clogged pores/bumps but fortunately not heavy acne, never any cysts; fair but I don’t sunburn easily.

Hair: Honey-caramel blondish brown, wavy, long, scalp tends to be oily.

Favorite star from the past: Marianne Faithful

I’ve been following a cleaner self-care/beauty routine for 13 years or so (it all started with giving up regular deodorant), but have learned so much from this NMDL crowd. I’m so grateful for this community!

First things first…

I wish I started my day in a more conscious, graceful way, but usually I’m stirred from sleep by my 9-month-old crawling on me and batting my cheeks. I never want to wake up, but even after a rough night her wide smile makes me happy. I prefer to shower at night, so in the morning after nursing and changing said baby I head straight to the bathroom to freshen up. If I don’t do it in the early hour before my 3 year old wakes up and the day gets cranking, there’s a very slim chance I’ll get to do it later.

My skin does best with frequent but fairly mild exfoliation, so using a clean baby washcloth and tepid water I slowly, firmly but gently wipe my face, lingering on my eyes, letting my skin soak up some hydration. I do this year round, it really seems to reset my skin. My skin is happiest in a humid climate! But it’s cold now, the heat is on, and my old iron radiators really dry out the air, so it’s a crucial first step. Next I use a hydrosol. I love Blissoma’s Tone Intense Hydration Tonique. Next I follow this up with a moisturizing gel. I’ve used and like Arcona’s Hydrating Serum but am currently testing out a sample of Osmia’s Gel Toner and really like it. Up until about a month ago I was mixing the gel with a bit of Acure’s Night Cream, and though I like my new and improved routine better I feel like I need to give it a shout-out because for the past year or so it was really helpful. About a year and a half ago I tried, again (I find myself trying every couple years), to go more DIY, more minimal, and use more oils but this time my skin completely freaked out, so much so that it took many many months for it to calm down and be normal, and I have to partially give credit to Acure’s Night Cream for giving me moisture when my skin was so dehydrated and upset. The other godsend in this time period was Blissoma’s Pure — so very soothing. But I found if I used too much of either one I would get clogged pores, which is better than flaky and red skin, but still not ideal.

Flash forward to a month ago, I read Nicolle’s great post about her struggles with hydrating her skin, and in the comments somebody linked to a blog post about oleic and linoleic acid in oils. I wondered if this was why my skin had always seemed intolerant of oils. Shortly after this I saw that Blissoma (I love her products, can you tell? Thank you Rebecca!) was offering a couple free samples, so I snatched up her Restore, a very generous size I must add, because I noticed it was mostly comprised of oils that are higher in linoleic acid. And my skin likes it! Instead of getting more dehydrated and clogged, it is actually staying hydrated and clearing up. This is huge for me! After numerous attempts to employ oils I think I’ve finally cracked the code! So now after the hydrosol I make a little mixture of gel and oil, put a little bit on my forehead and bridge of my nose, and the rest is focused on my cheeks and around my mouth. If I still need more moisture I add a little dab of Blissoma’s Lift, another sample I snagged which is similar to the Restore oil. And if it’s a really dry day I use a little of Arcona’s Chamomile Balm (thanks Nicolle!) or Blissoma’s Pure. They both have a high amount of shea butter, so I use them sparingly, but so far I haven’t needed them often and it’s working out just fine. Next I apply Blissoma’s Eye Bright to my eyes. My eye skin doesn’t get dry, so I like that it is light rather than a heavy cream, and seems to help lighten up my sleep circles. I don’t use sunscreen daily because I haven’t found one that doesn’t upset my skin. During the summer I put it on my arms and backs of my hands, wear sunglasses and a hat or avoid peak hours, and I remember that vitamin D is important in combating inflammation and since the best way of getting it is through sunshine, I figure a little bit is good for me.

Finishing touches…

I don’t use much on the daily, but I do like to look fresh and awake, so I use a tiny bit of Haut’s Brightener on my under eyes. I use Jane Iredale’s Highlighter Pencil, the white side, on my top lid, and a little in the corner of my eye and lower lid, blending it in so there is more of a “I rested well!” glow. (I am not resting well, as the baby is continually cycling through growth spurts, teething, and colds her sister brings home from school.) If I have a red pimple I might use a little bit of my one dirty hold out, Neutrogena’s Skin Clearing Blemish Concealer. I’ve tried green concealers in the past (when I was pregnant with my first) and just hated them, so I switched back. This current tube is probably over a year old (gross!), I just don’t use it often enough to justify getting a healthier but more expensive alternative; when I go back to work and have more money in our family’s budget I will replace it with something better (I read somebody used Gressa’s Minimalist as a spot concealer, I’d like to try that). Generally I have nice color in my cheeks so I don’t use blush. Sometimes I use mascara, currently Pacifica’s Stellar Gaze Length and Strength. I haven’t noticed any strengthening, but I was excited to find a cleaner mascara at Target that was more in my price range. The effect is quite natural, it doesn’t flake or give me raccoon eyes, so that all works for me (though the application brush is HUGE). Sometimes I’ll use Pacifica’s Smolder Eye Lining Gel in Midnight, it’s easy to apply and buildable (also more in my price range and easily available at Target, can’t wait to see S.W. Basics there, too). A green beauty blogger looked up the ingredients for both of these products on EWG and the ratings were all very low, I think a 2 or 3 and under, and they look alright to me too, but if not I’d love to know.

After all that goes some deodorant, either Soapwalla’s or Greenbody’s (love the stick format) and then, because I have a stinky body chemistry, I use a spray of Cold Spring Apothecary’s Sea Salt Spray. It’s meant for your hair but I didn’t care for it, however I loved the scent and figured the salt content might help in the stink department, and I really like using it this way! After I’m done with breakfast and coffee (only now, with my second child, have I become a daily coffee drinker) I brush my teeth. I usually use Trader Joe’s or Tom’s because it’s easily available. My father is a dentist and after years of him insisting on fluoride and showing me studies about its safety I can’t go against him; I buy the kinds with fluoride.

In the shower…

Night time, shower time! I loooove taking a shower. The warmth, the sound, the hydration, it all feels so good. I love going to bed clean. And I found that my skin and hair all behave better when I do it at night versus the morning, so I’m pretty committed. Pre-kids I used to spend more time and take more care to comb in my conditioner, shave, exfoliate etc. Post-kids and especially with a baby it is usually a quick event, unless the kids are showering with me, and then I still don’t get to indulge myself. I wash my hair every other day in the winter, so I get wet and run Acure’s Argan Oil Conditioner through the lower half of my hair. I let that absorb while I use a baby washcloth (same one from the morning, I use a new one every day) to soap up my face with Acure’s Gel Cleanser. Over the years I’ve learned that there’s something about the washcloth and gel cleanser combo that works best to gently exfoliate and cleanse my skin. After that I suds my scalp with BWC’s Daily Benefits Shampoo, and rub a little diluted Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild liquid soap into my pits and bits, then do a big rinse of all the various soaps from my hair and body. I had been using almond meal leftover from when I make almond milk as a scrub, which was nice, but it was clogging my drain — no bueno. So now sometimes I swipe myself quickly with a little Bronner’s and those scrubby gloves. I’ve stopped shaving for the meantime because it’s winter, and I just don’t get to do it often enough, and the smooth feeling only lasts a couple days and then it’s the itchy stage of regrowth that makes me so dang uncomfortable. Plus I’ve been battling ingrown hairs from wearing slim pants and leggings, does this happen to anyone else? When I do shave, I just use conditioner.

Out of the shower…

I repeat my facial moisturizing routine from the morning. I have a little packet of L-Ascorbic Acid I keep meaning to use with my hydrosol or gel toner but keep forgetting. Then I smooth coconut oil all over my body (including my pits) and if needed some Acure Unscented Body Lotion, very nice. I let my hair air dry, unless I’m going to bed soon, then I’ll hit it with a warm dryer to speed up the process a bit. Sometimes I put some 100% Pure Brightening Balm that didn’t work out for my face on my feet before putting on socks. Lastly, I put a clean pillowcase on my pillow. I started doing this a few years ago when I grew my hair out again and started using thick conditioners again… and also started experiencing more breakouts on the side of my face again. It seems to be the only way I can use a heavy conditioner on my long ends without affecting my face. As long as I change it daily and am careful to use conditioner in my ends before I shampoo my scalp it all works together pretty well.

Once or twice a week I like to do a mask, usually raw honey, green clay and a tiny bit of turmeric because it’s what I have around, but I have some samples of May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt and Problem Solver (love both) that I’m slowly savoring. Sometimes I mix one of those with my sample of The Honey Mud and use as a spot treatment. I have to do the full mask on the sly because it really scares my 3 year old — it’s hilarious but so unkind that I do my best to hide from her.

Throughout the day and especially before bed I use EOS sweet mint lip balm — I really need it during these drier months, and I love it. I also apply Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hand Cream (also from Target) repeatedly during the day. I don’t love how heavily scented it is (though it is supposed to be an essential oil blend), but it has that thick but non-greasy feeling that comes with creams high in shea, and when I use it consistently it helps combat the insane dryness that happens from constant cooking/cleaning/diapering-related hand washing. Sometimes I’ll rub a couple drops of Soapwalla’s Restorative Face Serum on the backs of my hands too. It smells *divine* but didn’t work out for me (like so many before it!).

Other than that I do a lot of fairly clean eating and drinking, which really became important and honestly a fun pursuit when I had my first child, and it has had a positive impact on my skin, too. Aside from the time commitment (which isn’t always so much time), cooking from scratch is often enjoyable, interesting for my eldest kid, and so satisfying because I know I’m avoiding stabilizers, emulsifiers, thickeners, and artificial anything.

I’m interested in doing dry brushing but don’t have the time right now, something I’ll explore after my youngest is older and I can regularly spend more time on self-care. I’d also really like to look into some new perfume. I’ve made my own oil combinations in the past, and I have a bottle of Kate’s Magik Healing of the Heart Anointing Oil that I use as a perfume sometimes or add to unscented lotion, even though that isn’t its intended purpose, I just find the scent so comforting and uplifting. Since the meditation challenge I’ve really been trying to take a few minutes everyday to just breath, or if not that, then just stretch or do a little yoga while playing with my kids. Staying home with these guys has been awesome but I don’t get a lot of time to myself. I miss that quiet time, so it’s one way to tend to myself a bit whilst taking care of them, too. I find that when I’m tired and stressed, my skin is much more likely to show it than when I was younger. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t moved so far away from home so I could have more help with my girls, but then I’d never have met my sweetheart, so it is what it is. Most days are pretty good, and I’m thankful for all I have.

We’re thankful for all we have, too! It’s been a wonderful year for clean beauty. Here’s to 2015. Happy New Year lovelies!

marilyn monroe

We hope many of you are spending the holidays with your dearest loved ones. If you have a moment to curl up and read this lovely routine amongst the holiday crush, it’s worth it!

Name: Kate

Age: 23

City: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Skin: My skin is combination – sometimes it’s dry, sometimes oily, sometimes sensitive, and once in a while ‘normal’. I always have some sort of blemishes. I have spent years trying to perfect a routine that will keep my skin happy and calm. And I think I have just about got it down!

Hair: My hair is thick and wavy (well, wavy at the back and straight at the front, ugh!). I find it difficult to style, so I usually just leave it down. It’s about mid-length now, but I have had long hair most of my life, so I am happy now that I cut a lot of it off. I feel it’s healthier and a bit easier to style.

Favourite star from the past: Marilyn Monroe

I am usually in a rush in the morning. I always tend to assume it will take me way less time to get ready then it actually does, plus I enjoy spending every last possible minute it bed!

When I finally make it out of bed, I brush my teeth with Tom’s of Maine Clean Mint toothpaste and Spearmint mouth wash. I prefer to shower at night because my hair takes so long to dry. I don’t usually have time in the morning! Then I go make a cup of tea – I have been trying to cut back on how much coffee I drink because I get jittery and I find it makes my skin dehydrated.

Now, time to wash my face. I usually use One Love Organics Easy Does It foaming cleaner with my favourite Dr Sponge Charcoal Sponge to exfoliate and cleanse.  It is gentle enough for my skin, but works well to deep clean my face without leaving it dry or irritated. Next I use Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel as a toner. That helps to calm and soothe my skin. This works especially well for blemish prone skin because it’s antibacterial but doesn’t leave my skin greasy. Then I apply my 2 favourite serums: Kahina Giving Beauty Brightening Serum and One Love Organics Vitamin C Serum. The brightening serum makes my skin glow, and helps decrease the look of any post-acne scars, while I use the Vitamin C serum in place of a moisturizer during the winter months. Finally I apply my Consonant 100% Natural Matte Finish Sunscreen, which I wear every day in the winter, and it doesn’t leave my skin with a white shadow on it (plus it doesn’t clog my pores).

For my body, I put on Everyone Lotion in Citrus Mint, which I get from Whole Foods. Then for the really dry spots (i.e. elbows, legs) I apply One Love Organics Vitamin C Body Oil, which smells like summer and absorbs really quickly (so I can get dressed after without feeling oily!) 

When this is all done its time for makeup. I start by applying my Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation in 115. This foundation is moisturizing and lasts all day. I follow with Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (which I know isn’t the most natural, but it’s the only one I have been able to find that covers blemishes for the entire day without drying them out).  For underneath my eyes, I use RMS Un Cover in 11, because it seems to lighten dark circles really well, and it is lighter than most concealers (which I prefer for under eyes).  I use Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in Mimosa and then Satin Finishing Powder in Hanae to set my makeup and give a little bit of a bronzed glow. Finally for eyes, I use Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow in Venus (unless it is a really casual day) and W3LL People Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara. This mascara is great because I find it gives both length and volume and doesn’t become flaky later in the day.

If my hair is feeling a little dirty, I will use One Love Organics Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo. This stuff is a lifesaver! Once a week, or twice if my skin is not great, I will do the May Lindstrom Problem Solver, which really helps to fight blemishes and dullness.

Do you prefer to shower at night like Kate? Or do you need that morning rinse to wake you up?

 

Madeline-Kahn-and-Grover

Meet Tracy, a NMDL reader with a fierce love for Marie Veronique (us too!) and hot epsom salt baths (ditto again). This routine is short but sweet, and her morning sounds so peaceful. French press coffee, baby and kitties, eggs and veggies — a lovely scene. Read on for a glimpse into this clean beauty’s morning…

Name: Tracy
City: Los Angeles
Age: 35
Skin type: Fair and lightly freckled, normal/combination, clear but with super-annoying psoriasis on one eyelid.
Hair type: Dark brown and curly. It was very thick and frizz-prone until I had a baby. Now thanks to post-baby hormones, my curls are looser and shinier and not as thick, but I have little forehead wisps from post-partum regrowth.
Favorite Star From the Past: Madeline Kahn. My love for her started early when she dueted with Grover on Sesame Street, and then of course there’s Young Frankenstein and Clue.

I wake up each day at 6, make a pot of French Press coffee, feed my two kitties, and hopefully enjoy a bit of coffee before my baby wakes. I take him for a brisk walk and we eat breakfast together, usually eggs with veggies and maybe a bit of cheese for me. If I remember, I’ll take a multivitamin and a probiotic.

In the shower, I’ll use a konjac sponge and a natural shower gel like Acure Organics and then moisturize my body with jojoba oil. Every few days I’ll wash my hair with Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Stem Cell and condition with their Moisturizing Root Repair. I’ll add a few drops of Argan oil after towel-drying and lightly diffuse my curls or blow-dry straight if I feel like it.

For my face, I’m pretty devoted to Marie Veronique, which I discovered through this blog. My skin became so clear and glowing after I switched to her products. In the morning I splash my face with water and spritz her MV Mist, then follow with a few drops of MV Face Oil and Everyday Coverage tinted moisturizer. I’ve recently been trying Wild Naturals psoriasis cream on my problem spot.
I don’t wear makeup every day, but if I do, it’s mostly RMS Beauty and Tarte. I’ll use RMS Beauty Uncover-Up for casual days, and if I want to be more made up, I’ll use Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation, concealer, and bronzer. I add a touch of RMS Beauty cream blush in Smile. I curl my lashes and use whatever mascara my mom gave me from her department store gift-with-purchase, usually Lancôme. For a special occasion, I might swipe some RMS Beauty Living Luminizer on my browbones, cheekbones, and inner lids, and I’ll use RMS Beauty eyeshadow in Magnetic as liner and in the creases. I also use an eye primer by Too Faced under the shadow to prevent so much creasing. I never met a lipstick I liked until I tried Ilia Beauty Lip Conditioner. I love Nobody’s Baby, Dizzy, and Arabian Knights.

At night I remove makeup with jojoba oil and I wash with Marie Veronique cleanser. I use the MV Mist and Face Oil, and add an eye product from Dr. Alkaitis. I drink a big glass of water and use Weleda Skin Food on my hands whenever I think of it. I also love taking hot baths with epsom salts and oils and a good magazine, but with a baby, that’s more of a rare treat these days!

Lovely, right? Has anyone tried the Wild Naturals psoriasis cream or another option that has helped? Shout it out in the comments.

Fair-trade is near and dear to this reader’s heart. Anni has a no-frills routine that keeps her skin happy. She’s let’s you know where she’s shopping for fair-trade items, plus some great DIY tricks for self-care.

Name: Anni

Location: Chicago

Age: 29

Skin: Normal/combination on my face & very dry over the rest of my body, especially during the cold months

Hair: Short, thick, wavy, moderately oily

Favorite Star of the Past: I’m a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn, both because of her movies and the amazing humanitarian work she did later in life.

In the shower…

I suds up with Lime in the Coconut Vegan Soap from Greenheart Shop. I started using this a few years ago during the winter, and the sweet, tropical scent really perks me up in the morning. Most of the time, I also shampoo my hair with bar soap, but my husband just bought Acure Organics Argan Oil + Echinacea Shampoo (also from Greenheart Shop), so I sometimes use that on my hair. My legs are especially dry this time of year, so I shave them with a homemade soap that’s a mixture of Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, Palestinian olive oil, raw honey, and water. It’s super moisturizing and smells amazing!

Out of the shower…

I’ve been obsessed with using food products on my body lately, so I moisturize all over with coconut oil. It doesn’t take long to absorb, and it smells fabulous! Coconut is one of my favorite scents, and really makes living so far north and enduring long winters more bearable for me.

I have a different routine for washing my face almost every day. Some days I massage in coconut oil, before gently wiping the excess off with a wet washcloth. Other days, I use an apple cider vinegar + water mixture as a clarifier. If I’m having a breakout, I put raw honey on the pimples and let it sit for 5 minutes before wiping it off. And once or twice a week, I’ll use an Aztec red clay mask just to clear everything out. I have a huge stack of washcloths under the bathroom sink that I normally go through every 2 weeks!

I buy most of my food/beauty products at Trader Joe’s, because they have a pretty large selection of organic and fair trade products at a good price point. I also recently discovered that you can buy fair trade certified coconut oil, so I’ll be making the switch soon.

Hair & Makeup…

I run my own business out of my home, so unless I have to go out to meetings or visit a client, I rarely fix my hair or wear makeup. But on days that I do…

My hair is naturally wavy and currently cut in a bob, which is a recipe for major frizz. On days when I go out into the world, I usually straighten it. I’ve recently decided to grow it out so I can wear it curly again on a regular basis, though, and I’m taking suggestions for natural products for curly haired girls!

I’m not sure my makeup routine is very natural, unfortunately. I like to keep it simple, and just use a swipe of mascara (I’m currently using Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Mascara from CVS, which screams of green-washing…) and some Burt’s Bees lip balm. In the wintertime, I wear blush or bronzer, too, but I haven’t bought any yet for this year. Any suggestions?

Let’s help Anni out with some suggestions in the comments. Also, we’re curious — do you go out of your way to make sure the food and products you buy are fair trade?