Today, I’m kicking off a new feature I’m calling “Mom on a Mission” with a closer look at a blogger I love, Estelle of Pink Moon Daily. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what I want to write about here, and something that really speaks to me are women who are working to make a difference in the world because they want to, they feel it’s important, they need to. I’m in awe of women who run nonprofits, who influence others through writing, art or music, who volunteer for causes because it’s a passion, not for money. I’m going to be highlighting a few of these women from time to time, and I hope you’ll find them as inspiring as I do. We all have the power to bring about change and influence the next generation, but I know I often need that reminder in the midst of a life spent looking at the small picture more than the big one.
Estelle is a blogger I discovered last year before I went to Alt Summit. At the time, she had a lovely lifestyle blog where she wrote about motherhood, recipes, beauty and life. Not too long after the conference, she changed the focus of her site to reflect her passion for environmental safety and awareness. She brought on a terrific slate of columnists (all of whose blogs I read daily) and covers natural beauty, healthy living, organic gardening and recipes and so much more. I’m always informed and inspired by her tips as well as by her common sense approach to moving toward a toxin-free existence. And I just love her mission statement: “Live naturally. Live beautifully. Live long.”
I asked Estelle a few questions about what prompted her to devote her site to raising environmental awareness, how motherhood has played a role, and of course, to share a few of her favorite organic beauty products. I hope you enjoy her thoughtful responses!
What caused you to change your blog focus from personal to natural living?
Oh, this is a good and loaded question. For me, blogging started as a way to share my creative passions and keep me motivated and honest about starting projects, sharing the outcomes and generally living a more authentic life. After having a baby I was really craving a place to express myself and it evolved into a place to keep me focused on things that really mattered to me. Creativity, healthy eating, gardening and parenting seemed to be common themes and I saw myself focusing more and more on those aspects of my live with a clean and green bent. It felt really natural to shift my online space in that direction.
How has becoming a mom influenced your focus on clean living and a safer environment?
I guess my “a ha” experience came when I gave into Emerson’s request to buy “Dora” bubble bath. It was a real moment of weakness and I was completely overcome by her genuine toddler enthusiasm. She was so excited to have that at bath time and I felt tremendous guilt. Here I had been so focused on eating organic, whole food throughout my pregnancy and introduced a similar diet to her as she grew and yet, I was letting her sit in a bath filled with parabens and toxic dyes and fragrances. We used up about half the bottle and then I sucked it up and explained to her that even though, I too, loved me some Dora, the stuff inside was simply not good for her body. Without scaring her, I told her that my job was to keep her safe and healthy and that we couldn’t use bubble bath with “yucky stuff” in it. I was surprised at how well she took it. That experience led me to examine all the labels in our home.
What are your top three “green” beauty products?
I’m still learning and constantly trying new products. Right now, I’m loving 100% Pure products for my face. I use their cleanser, moisturizer, eye cream, mascara and lip gloss daily. I also alternate Acure and John Masters for shampoo and conditioner. I also just replaced my body lotion with almond oil.
If I only change one thing I’m doing/using, what would you start with?
This is a tough one. I know you’re already using Soapwalla for deodorant and that is great switch. Well done, there. I’d start next by looking at all the “fragrance/perfume” in your life. This is a huge issue in the beauty business. Synthetic fragrances are protected in the US as trade secrets. So, we have no idea what makes up those pretty smells. And believe me, you probably don’t want to know. I would suggest giving up perfume for an essential oil. There are great selections at Whole Foods and a little goes a long way. You could also look for fragrance-free versions of your conventional products. That would be a good place to start.
What are your “cheats”?
I’m a big believer in baby steps when it comes to making lifestyle changes. So I do have a few cheats. Overall, nail polish is pretty toxic. Even the 4-free brands. There’s nothing “natural” about coating your nails, right? But I do indulge in a pedicure a few times a year. Usually it’s leading up to a special event where I’ll be wearing open-toed shoes, but sometimes it’s just for the fun of having sassy red toes. The rest of the time I feel pretty happy about my buffed and bare nails. I’m also searching for a high-quality, clean tinted moisturizer.
What’s the best thing that has happened to you as a result of starting a blog?
Hands down, the best result of blogging has been the real-life friendships. I never expected to find such a supportive and genuine group of like-minded people on the internet! But it just continues to happen and I am encouraged and inspired by people all over the world. I’m honestly grateful for this community every single day.
What do you hope your daughter learns from your example?
I hope she learns the value of expressing your truest self with as little fear as possible. I think that’s what I’ve attempted to do since the day she was born and the blog has been a way for me to document some of that experience.
I have to admit, I loved the piece Estelle recently ran on making over your beauty routine so much that I sent her a VERY long list of every single thing I use daily so that she can help me detoxify my products. I’m a little bit nervous to see what she comes back with! I promise to share the post when it’s ready.
What little changes have you made to become more environmentally friendly? I’d love to hear. And if you have inspirational women you’d like me to profile, shoot me an email. I have two more amazing moms coming up soon but I’m always eager to learn about more!