Pacifica Beauty Review

Pacifica Review

One of my new favorite beauty brands is Pacifica. I have been using their lotions for years and I am thrilled that they have been rolling out a complete makeup and body care line. I love that they emphasis that their products are all vegan. All vegan brands make shopping much easier…no need to pour over every ingredient wondering if this one particular product is vegan.

Here is how Pacifica describes their own products:

Pacifica is known as one of the most innovative and sustainable makeup lines on the market today. At Pacifica, we are elevating the experience of natural beauty products and overcoming the common perception that naturals don’t deliver great results.  We make natural products that work as well or better than any non-natural line.  Our mission is complete when we have delivered the best performing products, using the safest ingredients, in recyclable packaging and components to the largest possible audience of beauty consumers. All Pacifica products are gluten-free, 100% vegan, and cruelty-free.

What I love about Pacifica

  • All Vegan – enough said
  • Available at Whole Foods and Target – 2 of my favorite, most frequented stores
  • Non-irritating to my sensitive skin
  • Scents that I actually like and aren’t overpowering

Pacifica Review

Favorite Products

  • Nail Polish – great color selection, excellent wear and 7 Free (Made without parabens, phthalates (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin, and animals.)
  • Concealer – Creamy under-eye concealer that does a great job covering up and brightening without sinking into my wrinkles 🙂
  • Lip Gloss – Non-sticky lip gloss that is hydrating and looks very natural
  • Waterproof Mascara – Love the brush in this mascara…absolutely no clumping
  • Ultra CC Cream – A perfect everyday, lightweight foundation with SPF 17
  • Indian Coconut Nectar Body Butter – Nice, thick lotion that smells like heaven
  • Indian Coconut Nectar Soap – Same great smell as the Body Butter and very moisturizing
  • Solid Perfume – I’m not a perfume person but I love this Spanish Amber scent. I also like the solid perfume for keeping in my gym bag or purse.

Pacifica Review

I’ve tried and enjoyed their eye shadow and blushes as well. The blush is a cream blush and I prefer a powder blush so I don’t use it as often as some of their other products.

I’m looking forward to watching the Pacifica line expand. They have a new foundation coming out that I’m anxious to try. I do hope they add more colors for their face makeup. They seem targeted only for people with pale skin and since vegans come in all shades I hope they expand their color selection as they grow!

Pacifica Review

If you like Pacifica I highly recommend subscribing to their list on their website. They send out information with lots of deals – available directly from their site.

Have you tried Pacifica brand makeup or body products? What are your favorites?

*This is NOT a sponsored post. I purchased all of these products on my own*

Meatless Monday: Vegan Teriyaki Bowls

Vegan Teriyaki BowlsTrey has been attending a camp this summer that offers lunch each day. Initially I was packing his lunch, assuming that the vegan options would be limited. Each day though there seemed to be plenty of vegan options that Trey was excited to eat. In particular he loved the Teriyaki they offered him. It was rice, tofu and snap peas in teriyaki sauce. Since he enjoyed it so much I decided to create Vegan Teriyaki bowls at home. In our teriyaki bowls I used a base of white rice, snap peas and broccoli and marinated tofu – all topped with teriyaki sauce. These bowls are a great Meatless Monday meal since many of the flavors are familiar and it can be ready to serve your family in 30 minutes or less.

For this particular recipe I used pre-made teriyaki sauce because I wanted this to be a quick meal. You can definitely make your own teriyaki sauce – it is not difficult and there are tons of great recipes available. I used a Teriyaki sauce from Organicville. I like that it doesn’t have any strange ingredients and flavor wise it isn’t overly sweet. I often find bottled teriyaki can be sickenly sweet. In this case it is the perfect balance of sweet, savory and spicy.

Vegan Teriyaki Bowls

To cook the tofu I used one of my favorite, low touch methods – broiling. I marinate the tofu for a bit and then broil it in the oven. I love the texture of broiled tofu. It is especially good for people who are new to tofu. It is not mushy at all and has a crisp outer layer. Be sure to use a super firm tofu, preferably one that is not packaged in a tub of water. I like the Trader Joe’s brand and Wildwood Organics. If you haven’t used your broiler before here is an easy how-to.

Vegan Teriyaki Bowls

The key for a good bowl is to make sure each component tastes delicious on it’s own. If you add one flavorless component, say plain steamed broccoli, it waters down the flavor of the whole dish. I saute the broccoli and snap peas with garlic and chili flakes. I also add rice wine vinegar to the rice to add a bit of flavor.

Do you have a favorite brand of teriyaki sauce or homemade teriyaki recipe that you love?

5.0 from 1 reviews
Meatless Monday: Vegan Teriyaki Bowls
 
Savory, flavorful bowl filled with vegetables, tofu and rice. An easy weeknight meal for busy families.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Tofu
  • Teriyaki Sauce, either homemade or store-bought
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon Chili Flakes
  • 3 cups Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup Sugar Snap Peas
  • 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 3 cups White Rice, cooked
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • TOPPINGS
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Scallions, sliced
  • Cilantro, minced
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl or flat dish stir together 1 cup of Teriyaki sauce and ½ cup of water. Omit the water if your teriyaki sauce is already fairly thin. Slice tofu in ½ inch slabs. Place the slabs in the teriyaki mixture. Let tofu marinate for 5 minutes. You can marinate the tofu for up to 12 hours if you like. Move the oven rack to the highest possible position (about 3-4 inches from the heating element). Turn your oven on broil.
  2. While the tofu marinates, heat a large pan to Medium on the stove with olive oil. Add in garlic and chili flakes. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Toss in broccoli and snap peas and stir until the vegetables are coated in the garlic and chilis. Add in ¼ cup of water and cover pan. Let vegetables cook for 5 minutes, covered. After 5 minutes the water should be absorbed and the vegetables will be crisp cooked. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.
  3. Go back to tofu while vegetables cook. Place slabs of tofu on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Place under the broiler and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes turn tofu over and broil for an additional 5 minutes. Watch this carefully as every oven is different - check to make sure you don't burn the tofu. Once the tofu is cooked you can cut the slabs of tofu into cubes or serve the tofu in slabs.
  4. Toss cooked white rice with Rice Wine Vinegar. Start with 1 Tablespoon and add additional Tablespoon to taste.
  5. Assemble: In each bowl place rice, diced tofu, and vegetables. Drizzle teriyaki sauce over each bowl. Top with Sesame seeds, scallions and cilantro. Serve warm.

 

Saturday Shares 8.8.2015

Saturday Shares Header

Happy Saturday! Here are a few things I found interesting this week…

Goat

photo credit: Mercy for Animals

Award Winning Goat Cheese Farmer Goes Vegan – I loved learning about Julian and Carol Pearce. They are a married couple who have been producing award winning goat cheeses for the past 20 years. They recently have decided to turn their farm into a sanctuary and make 100% plant based cheeses. This article from Mercy For Animals highlights their transformation. My favorite quote comes from Carol: “The reason we have become vegan is being around our animals, knowing they have feelings; they love, have friends and family… how can you eat them?” I look forward to trying their vegan cheese when it becomes available.

Dinner with Dan Buettner – Dan Buettner is the author of The Blue Zones Solution, a book that explores 5 places in the world where people experience incredible longevity. This New York Times article is very humorous, but it also addresses the real fears people have about eating healthier foods. The good news is that coffee, wine, plant based foods and eating with good friends are all parts of what Dan Buettner says contributes to a long life.

green-fv-community-logo-long

Finding Vegan Community – Finding Vegan is a great resource for vegan recipes. Bloggers share photos of their vegan creations with links back to the recipe. Recently Finding Vegan started a community where anyone can join in and “discuss all things vegan”. The discussion topics are wide ranging and include things like: vegans in the news, traveling as a vegan, vegan fashion, and questions from non-vegans.

Vegan French Onion Dip – I am starting to get excited for football season (despite the fact that things are looking worse each day for my 49ers). We love to spend Saturday and Sunday afternoons on the couch watching football. I am always on the lookout for new snacks we can enjoy during the game. This French Onion dip from Oh My Veggies looks so creamy and flavorful. I’m fairly certain I haven’t had onion dip in the last 10 years so I’m looking forward to giving this one a try.

photo credit: Wild Mint Shop

photo credit: Wild Mint Shop

Wild Mint – Lisa Leake at 100 days of Real Food offers great advice about moving away from processed food. Her blog is not vegan, but I particularly enjoy her ideas for packing lunches. This week she introduced readers to Wild Mint. Wild Mint is a website filled with non-toxic and eco-friendly products. Trey needs a few new lunchbox containers for school this year and Wild Mint has tons of options all in one place. 100 Days of Real Food is offering a giveaway (through August 12) where you can enter to win a $50 gift card for Wild Mint.

* THIS PAGE CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. IF YOU PURCHASE A PRODUCT THROUGH AN AFFILIATE LINK YOUR COST WILL REMAIN THE SAME, BUT VEGAN GRETCHEN WILL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION. YOUR SUPPORT IS APPRECIATED.

Petit Vour July – Review

Petit Vour July

Petit Vour is a company dedicated to cruelty-free, vegan beauty. They offer a monthly box for $15 (in the US). In it they include 4-5 samples of fantastic, luxury vegan beauty products. The products include makeup, haircare and skincare items. Here is a bit more about Petit Vour’s background from their website:

Petit Vour is the luxury vegan destination for the decidedly fashionable, inspired by the finer things and curated for the modern, ethical woman. With a deep love for animals, and a knack for seeking the finest, Petit Vour brings you the crème de la cruelty-free. In May 2013, we curated our very first beauty box, filled with little luxuries, offering a taste of cruelty-free to our small membership. We’ve since grown quite a bit, but our values remain the same. Our mission since the idea came to life was to bring two worlds together: luxury and progressive values.

I learned about Petit Vour from my favorite resource for vegan beauty tips, Vegan Beauty Review. Vegan Beauty Review’s curator, Sunny, highlights vegan beauty products from all different companies. She covers everything from high-end makeup to drugstore finds. If you haven’t checked out her site, be sure to do so.

I ordered the Petit Vour July box for the first time. Now that I have had some time to play with the products I thought I would share my review with you.

Petit Vour July

Aila Nail Polish: The polish color is a fun coral color called Doolish. It is perfect for a summer pedicure. I wore my pedicure for several weeks and was impressed with the polish’s staying power. I received tons of compliments on the color. Aila nail polish is free of Parabens, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, Dibutyl phthalate (DBT), and Camphor.

Petit Vour July

Luxe de Mer Gentle Face CleanserI have incredibly sensitive skin and almost every cleanser I have tried over the last few years has irritated my skin. The one product I use all the time is a rosewater toner. I was thrilled with the results of this cleanser. It is very gentle and the rosewater is calming to my hyper-sensitive skin. I’m looking forward to trying some of Luxe de Mer’s additional vegan products. It looks like they have a great selection of high quality skincare products with minimal ingredients.

Petit Vour July

Routine De-Odor-Cream: This natural deodorant smells great and is made without any aluminum zirconium, aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, triclosan, or propylene glycol. I have been experimenting for years with natural deodorants with VERY mixed results. Recently I have been using JK Naturals (available at Whole Foods) and that has been working really well for me. I like the smell of the Routine Cream, which they call Sexy Sadie. It has a woodsy, vanilla type smell and it worked well. I will use the whole sample and consider ordering some in the future. I do hope they come out with a “stick” form, since I don’t love rubbing the deodorant in by hand.

Petit Vour July Nubian

photo credit: Nubian Heritage

Nubian Heritage Mango ButterI enjoyed all of the products in this month’s box, but this was the winner in my book. You may notice I don’t have my own picture of the body butter above and that is because Trey snatched this body butter as soon as he smelled it. The Mango Butter has a delicious orange scent that, according to Trey, “smells like orange ice cream”. The body butter contains a mixture of shea and cocoa butter and is incredibly moisturizing. I will be ordering more of the Mango Butter and a few of Nubian Heritage’s other body butters. The Frankincense & Myrrh Shea Butter sounds heavenly.

THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST. I PURCHASED THE PETIT VOUR SUBSCRIPTION BOX ON MY OWN.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Bars

Vegan Chocolate Chip Bars

As you have probably noticed I love a good cookie. I like mini cookies, loaded cookies and chocolate cookies. There are times, however, when I don’t feel like making the effort to create individual cookies. My solution is to make cookie bars. I make a quick cookie batter, add it to a greased pan and bake. You can relax or get busy on other kitchen tasks while your bars bake. The resulting vegan chocolate chip bars are delicious.

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Meatless Monday: Spicy Vegan Fajitas

Vegan FajitasWhen I was about Trey’s age my family moved to Dallas. In addition to the major culture shock (who knew 8 year old’s carried a purse!?!) we were introduced to Tex-Mex. My favorite Tex-Mex dish was fajitas. I loved the sizzling platter of food that arrived at the table and how you got to assemble each fajita on your own. Like most kids getting to add just the right amount of toppings for myself was ideal. I am always looking for easy weeknight meals that take less than 30 minutes to make, and vegan fajitas fit that bill. This Meatless Monday meal is a spicy, satisfying and quick meal for your family.

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Saturday Shares 8.1.2015

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How is it August already?!? Summer is flying by this year. Here are a few things I found interesting this week.

Elizabeth Gilbert Podcast – Elizabeth Gilbert is the wonderful author of Eat, Pray, Love fame. She has a new book coming out, Big Magic. This book is focused on the creative process. I am really looking forward to reading the book when it is released in September. In the meantime she has a new podcast, Magic Lessons, that I have been listening to this week. She focuses on helping people get over their creative blocks. These episodes are short and full of excellent advice. Highly worth a listen.

Big Magic

Summer Fruit Galette – I am very guilty of buying too much fruit at the Farmer’s Market. This time of year everything looks so good! Lately I have been using some of my bounty to make freezer jam, but this Galette looks like a fantastic way to use up smaller amounts of stone fruit.

by Chloe – Chloe Coscarelli is a well-known vegan chef. She shot to fame a few years ago when she won the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars with her vegan cupcakes. This week she opened a new, fast-casual restaurant in New York City. This place looks delicious. If you are in NYC please stop-by so I can live vicariously through you!

photo credit: by Chloe

photo credit: by Chloe

Cherry Berry Coconut Limeade Smoothie – I love coconut and lime together. This smoothie combines both of those flavors with another favorite, berries. I’ll be giving this a try this weekend to beat the heatwave California is currently experiencing.

Dudley the German Shepherd – I received an email yesterday from one of my favorite organizations, Best Friends Animal Society, regarding a dog in need of a family. Dudley is a young, energetic German Shepherd who was rescued in Southern California by the Dirty Dog Squad. He was in terrible shape when he was found, but he has since been cleaned up and gained 10 pounds. He is now ready for a permanent home. Because of his energy and prey drive (typical in a GSD) he needs a home with an owner willing to train him. If you know anyone looking for a goofy, energetic boy to add to their family please pass along Dudley’s information.

photo credit: Dirty Dog Squad

photo credit: Dirty Dog Squad

* THIS PAGE CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. IF YOU PURCHASE A PRODUCT THROUGH AN AFFILIATE LINK YOUR COST WILL REMAIN THE SAME, BUT VEGAN GRETCHEN WILL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION. YOUR SUPPORT IS APPRECIATED.

 

Homemade Salsa

Homemade-Salsa-Labeled

Last week on my way to the Farmer’s Market I was dreaming of chips and salsa. I love good Mexican food and unfortunately we don’t have any great Mexican restaurants near us. Since I had Mexican food on the brain I decided to use the fresh tomatoes and peppers from the market to make homemade salsa. This is a delicious, smooth salsa that can be adjusted to your preferences. We have been using it in quesadillas and dipping chips in straightaway all week.

Homemade Salsa

I bought 3 pounds of beefsteak tomatoes at the farmers market. This is not the place to use heirloom tomatoes. Roma or beefsteak tomatoes work really well here. The first step is to seed your tomatoes. In my experience if you don’t remove the seeds your salsa will end up being very watery.

Homemade Salsa

I like smooth salsa, as does Trey, so I let the food processor do the work in this recipe. I added all of the ingredients to the food processor and pulsed it until it was the right texture. Then the real fun began…taste testing. This recipe, and most salsa recipes, are just a methodology. How much salt and acidity you need will really depend on the sweetness of your tomatoes and the spiciness of your peppers. You need to taste the salsa and adjust accordingly.

Homemade Salsa

I love the taste and texture of my salsa, especially after it has been in the refrigerator overnight. This gives all the flavors a chance to marry. Try making homemade salsa yourself this summer. It will be a perfect addition to your tacos, quesadillas and breakfast burritos.

Homemade Salsa

Homemade Salsa
 
Restaurant style smooth, spicy salsa. Delicious on its own with chips or added to tacos, quesadillas and burritos. Adjust the seasonings to your preferences.
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds Fresh Tomatoes, seeded
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 small Red Onion, diced
  • 2 Jalapeños, see note
  • ½ cup Cilantro, stemmed
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients to your food processor. Pulse until your ideal texture has been reached. Taste for seasoning. Adjust salt and lime juice to your preference. Serve!
Notes
Seed your jalapeños for a milder salsa. Leave some seeds and ribs for a spicier salsa.

 

Ultimate Vegan Toast – Homemade Butter & Jam

Vegan ToastToast is my all time favorite food. I can eat it morning, noon or night. It is the ultimate comfort food in my book. While I like almond butter and strawberries on toast or avocado toast, my favorite toppings are simple. Good (vegan) butter and good (not too sweet) jam can’t be beat. To make the ultimate vegan toast I bought my favorite bread and made my own vegan butter and jam.

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Meatless Monday: Spicy Peanut Noodles

Spicy Peanut Bowl

I like weeknight meals that fall into one of two categories: Ready in less than 30 minutes -OR- Components can be made in advance and assembled quickly.

My Spicy Peanut Noodles fit into the later category. This is one of my favorite meals to make when Trey has a late practice. Early in the day I slice all of the veggies, cook the noodles and make the sauce. When we get home from his practice I toss everything together and we can sit down to eat 5 minutes after walking in the door.

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