Rustic Maka Review + Giveaway


I am so so so excited to write this blog post! I first tried Rustic Maka in 2016 and have loved this company ever since! They are a small natural deodorant and body care company based out of Michigan. Their products are vegan certified and cruelty-free. I am so happy with their mission to find and use ingredients that are clean and great for your body. This company does not use Aluminum which blocks your pores, not allowing sweat to leave your underarms. Rustic Maka uses natural ingredients that allow your underarms to breathe while neutralizing odor. Are you ready for this? Let’s get into the products!


The very first deodorant I tried from Rustic Maka was the “Calming Fields” natural deodorant. I also currently have a bottle of this scent. Calming Fields really is such a calming scent of lavender and spearmint. This scent is feminine and fresh. I am not a florally kind of girl, but this deodorant is not overpowering at all. It is very balanced. I have only used the original formula in this scent, but they do have a baking soda free formula as well. Another big positive for this deodorant is that it stands up to my day of moming. I usually do not need to reapply deodorant throughout the day. I have always reapplied (even with conventional deodorant) prior to working out, but other than that I don’t need to reapply with the Rustic Maka deodorant. I love how clean Rustic Maka’s ingredients are! Check these out:

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Powder*, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Shorea Robusta (Sal) Butter, Zinc Ricinoleate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Extract, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil
*Certified Organic


The second deodorant that I tried from Rustic Maka was “Rough Rivers“. I had been using this deodorant for a couple weeks, and then it was stolen. My husband confiscated it LOL. This scent is very unisex to me, even though it does say it’s a mens deodorant on the label. Rough Rivers is a blend of citrus and nuttiness. It’s not heavy, it’s very fresh. Both me and my husband love this scent! Rough Rivers comes in the original formula, NOT the baking soda free formula. Here are the clean ingredients:

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Powder*, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Shorea Robusta (Sal) Butter, Zinc Ricinoleate, Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot) Oil (Bergaptene-Free), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Extract
*Certified Organic Ingredient


The most recent scent that I have been using is the “Mystic Garden CBD” natural deodorant. This has become an instant favorite of mine! I absolutely love the smell of this one. You can smell the hemp, but it also has fresh almost minty notes to it. Mystic Garden is another deoderant that I would say is perfect for men and women. The ingredients list contains “natural fragrance” which I chatted with the company about. They said that it is a blend of essential oils and plant based isolates. No harmful synthetic fragrances would be used by this company. This one I was not able to find on the site, so I’m not sure if it’s available yet.

I have also tried one of Rustic Maka’s bodycare items. I have been using the “Purify Exfoliating Mask“. If you follow me on Instagram you have seen my face mask pictures, and know that I am a face mask addict. So of course I had to try Rustic Maka’s face mask! This mask comes as a powder that you mix with water to activate it, and then apply it to your face. It contains mineral rich clays and activated charcoal that help detox your skin. When you put it on, you massage it on in circle motions. You seriously only need this on for a minute or two like the label says. I then gently wash it off with warm water and a soft cloth. The Purify mask left my skin smoother than any other mask I’ve used! I truly feel like it gets all the dead skin off and leaves my face silky smooth. Then I continue with my skincare routine of toner to seal in moisture, and serum with full spectrum SPF.

Something that I think is so cool is that you can use this mask on your face and you can also detox your underarms with it. Rustic Maka has a “Detox Underarm Care System Kit” that contains the purify mask along with a cleansing product and a moisturizing primer. Love that it is a multi-use product!


Ok, here we go! I am so excited to say that I will be giving away one deodorant to 2 winners! I will give away one on Facebook, and one on Instagram. The scents that I am giving away are “Calming Fields (Baking Soda Free Formula)” and “Rough Rivers (Original Formula). Head to my Facebook page “The Lil Things Blog” and my Instagram “@thelilthingsblog” for details on how to enter!

Thanks so much for reading! Like, comment, and share this with your friends!

Dental Health Favorites

The past few days I have been going to doctor appointments that have made me think about my mouth injury from high school. Which led me to think about my dental health and the products that I use. I have tried many toothpastes searching for something to replace my conventional favorite. I also went on a search for mouthwash options. I narrowed it down to three favorite “toothpastes” and one favorite mouth rinse.



The first favorite I’m going to talk about is “David’s Natural Toothpaste”. This is definitely the most expensive of these tooth products, but I REALLY liked this one. It gives you nice minty breath and leaves you feeling super clean. David’s toothpaste is vegan, gluten free, and cruelty free. There are a couple of things that are really cool about the packaging and production of this toothpaste that sets it apart. The metal tube is 100% recyclable unlike conventional toothpaste tubes. The paper for the box is sustainably sourced, and is also created using 100% wind power. How cool is that?! Definitely a top pick of mine!


The second product I’ll chat about is “Crunchy Mama Bear’s Remineralizing Tooth Powder”. This is completely different than anything I have ever tried for my teeth! Due to the injury I sustained in high school, my teeth aren’t the healthiest. I have a retainer that has 3 fake teeth on it that has slowly caused my other healthy teeth to slowly decay (because I wear my retainer 24/7). I wanted something that would help remineralize or heal that decay. So I decided to give this powder a shot. It is this dark gray powder that smells like Cinnamon. It took a little getting used to because it doesn’t foam or feel like a conventional toothpaste, but it ended up definitely being a favorite of mine. My teeth felt very clean and whiter after using this product.


The last toothpaste I will talk about is the “Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint All-One Toothpaste”. This paste is very accessible because I can pick it up at Target. I have also found it when I go to ROSS! I love getting a little bit of a deal on what I buy. This toothpaste has a good peppermint taste to it, and leaves my mouth feeling clean. It is made of 70% organic ingredients. If you are looking for a more affordable but well performing option this would be it.

Mouth Rinse


While using the David’s Natural Toothpaste, I started using “Dr. Brite Cleansing Mouth Rinse in Mint”. I absolutely loved this combo of products. This rinse was not harsh at all! With conventional rinses I always felt like my mouth was burning, but not at all with this one. It’s free of so many harsh chemicals that you would usually find in your rinses and contains lots of organic ingredients. Dr. Brite mouth rinse is also vegan, gluten free, and cruelty free.



The other part of my dental routine that I decided to throw in here is the “Dr. Brite Whitening Pen in Mint”. I always wanted to use strips or something like that to get a whiter smile after my injury, but never did it. So glad I didn’t use those conventional whiteners now. But I saw this pen on Instagram and right away wanted to try it. I have not tried the apple flavor since I am deathly allergic to apple, but the mint flavor is great! You guys…this pen really works! I can tell a difference just after a couple days of using it. This pen is also made of lots of organic ingredients just like the mouth rinse. This pen has super clean ingredients and works, so it is definitely a must try.

Thanks so much for reading! Have you tried any of the products I talked about? What’s your favorite? Comment below 🙂

Spring 2019 “Just Between Friends” sale



If you follow me on Instagram, then you know this week was the JBF Issaquah sale. I go to JBF sales every year to stock up on clothes for E. I’ve gone since I was pregnant and have never stopped. It is more affordable for my family to buy everything Echo needs at the rate he is growing. “Just Between Friends” is a huge kids consignment sale (they have them all over the country) where you can get practically anything you might need for a child for 50-90% off retail. I seriously love this sale, and find such great things. Now I’ll show you everything I picked up and how much I paid.

First thing, I go in with a budget every single sale. I don’t just spend whatever I want. My budget is $100 to get what Echo needs until the next sale. Drumroll please… I came in at $100.65! So this sale I got all the spring and summer items he will need.


We picked up 4 pairs of shorts at the sale. 2 were jean shorts, one khaki pair, and then 1 athletic pair.


We found 9 t-shirts. The really good deal I found with the t shirts was 3 plain white tees for $2! No stains, just little white shirts that we can use to layer under everything!


Another summer necessity we grabbed was tank tops.


I found one cute pair of fleece footie pajamas and got them even though it will hopefully be getting warmer soon.


I always check out any coats at these sales because they are just so expensive brand new at stores. This sale I found 2! One was a London Fog fleece lined red jacket. The other was a blue Old Navy jacket. Both are ones that Echo can use now and next fall/winter.


The next two items were my favorite finds! I found a Burt’s Bees grey and white zip up jacket for $5. Then I found a pair of grey distressed jeans for $5. Together they are super cute (pic at the end)!


Summer means playing in the water, so I picked up a brand new swimwear set.


The last random things I picked up were Elf, a soccer ball light, a firefighter hat, a batman mask, and a couple pairs of shoes


Buying kids clothes and toys shouldn’t have to break the bank. This sale has been such a great thing for my family. We can get Echo good quality clothes and toys within our means. We also don’t directly support fast fashion. We are able to “reuse” items and stop one less thing from going in the trash. If you haven’t checked out “Just Between Friends”, head to their website to find a sale near you.

Comment below with your favorite JBF find? Thanks so much for reading!

Favorite Clean Lip Balms



Do you carry lip balm with you everywhere? I do! I am that person who has one next to my bed, in my purse, in my backpack, and sometimes in my coat pocket. I’m obsessed. In this blog I’m going to breakdown which lip balms have been my favorites since switching to healthier options.


First up is “Osmia Lip Doctor“! One thing that makes this lip balm unique is that it has NO essential oils in it. Most green options I have found contain essential oils. This is perfect for those with sensitive skin (like me). I loved that this balm was smooth and absorbed into my lips really well. Also, you get a good amount of product for the $12 and it is made of very clean ingredients.


Another favorite was the “Splurge Lip Buttah”. Splurge is now 28 Litsea. So the comparable product would be the “28 Litsea Petala Balm“. The lip buttah is so buttery on the lips, it just melts when you apply it. I love putting this balm on at the beginning of applying makeup, so that my lips are super soft when I go to apply lipstick. This balm is your average size for about $7 and has great clean ingredients.


Next up is “Dr. Bronners Peppermint Lip Balm“. I pick mine up from Target for just under $3. It is super affordable and easily accessible. This lip balm is made with all organic ingredients and beeswax. This is the one I keep in my purse 24/7 and always take it on the go. I love the mintyness and how moisturizing it is.

It’s wintertime and our lips could use a little hydration. These lip balms would be my go to products, and are ones that I own and use regularly. Thanks so much for reading. Like this post and share.

Ditching the Paper Towels


How many paper towels do you use in a day? I have been taking a look at the amount that we use as a family, and I have been shocked. Paper towels are not able to be recycled so that is a lot of waste that we are creating. Here is a look at a typical day in my house:

*we use the choose your size paper towels

Morning: 3 sheets

Lunch: 3 sheets

Dinner: 2 sheets

Dog: 2 sheets


Total: 10 sheets/day, 310 sheets/month, and 3,720 sheets/ year

That is a lot of waste to be making everyday which makes me think twice about using paper towels. On top of that, I struggle with the chemicals that they are treated with to make them white and hold together. I want our food and bodies to have the least amount of contact with these chemicals as possible. There are a couple things I still use them for: bacon, dog messes, and cleaning the bathroom.


I decided to make “paper towels” out of fabric, so that we can cut down on waste and chemical exposure. I used flannel to make 13×13 towels. To make them I cut out 13×13 squares, then folded the edge over about 1/4 inch, then used a zig zag stitch to sew the folded edge. I washed them after sewing the edges, and then cut off the strings from freyed edges.


I love using them! They are gentler on Echo’s skin (I feel like) when I clean him up after meals. They are just as easy to grab as a normal paper towels. I keep them in a big jar on the counter. I felt like it was a great small step to take in the kitchen to go a little greener. This is something we will definitely continue to use going forward.


I have had this post sitting in my drafts for so long, because I wanted to add a bunch of statistics on paper towels but I just never did it. So now it has been a year since I made these fabric towels. We absolutely love them still! The jar is still on the counter and they are just as convenient to grab as paper towels. This step of cutting out waste made me feel good. I’m all about taking little steps forward and switching things out as you go. Every little step matters 🙂

Thanks so much for reading! What is one little step you have made to help the environment? Comment below 🙂

DIY Popcorn Costume


Every year I really enjoy making a homemade costume for Echo. One year he was a duckling, last year he was a Lego block, and this year he was a bucket of popcorn. The town that we live in does trick or treating at the businesses, and everyone loved Echo’s popcorn costume! He looked so cute!


-Large cardboard box

-brown packing paper

-packing tape

-white string

-white tissue paper

-red and white acrylic paint

-yellow watercolor paint

-hot glue gun

-tacky glue

-painters tape

My first step was cutting the box to fit Echo. The box we used was long, not square. I taped the box shut like it would be if i got a delivery. Then i stood it up lengthwise.  I cut the bottom off so it hit right above his knee. Then I cut an opening in the top leaving about an inch and a half around the edge. I then took two long pieces of scrap fabric (or you could use sturdy string) to make straps to hold the box up. You can secure it with hot glue or tacky glue. Before recycling the remnants of the box, cut two small (about 6″x4″) pieces to make signs for the front and back of the box.

The part that took me the longest probably was painting the stripes on the box. For one color you can section off the stripes with painters tape to get straight lines. For the other I had to freehand it, because the painters tape peeled off what I already painted. Oops! The stripes should be about an inch apart. I think I did three coats of paint on each color stripe. While you’re at it with the paint you can paint your small sign pieces red. After it dries, paint on the word “POPCORN”. Then attach it, using tacky glue, to the box once it is completely dry.

For the popcorn kernels, I rolled up 6″x6″ pieces of brown packing paper into balls. I then used the packing tape to tape completely around it to make it keep its shape. I probably made 30ish of these balls. I then took the white tissue paper and cut it into 6″x6″ pieces.  I took one of these pieces and wrapped it around a ball, pinching just below the ball. That is where you tie a piece of string to keep that shape. You can then take the ends of the tissue paper and fold them under and tape them to the ball. This creates dimension. And then you have your popcorn kernel! Then you just repeat that a bunch of times.


Next was attaching the popcorn kernels to the box, a shirt, and a beanie. I used safety pins to attach them to the clothing items, and tacky glue for the box. For the red shirt I only did one row of popcorn around the collar. On the inch and a half edge at the top of the box I attached a row of popcorn using the tacky glue. Then I grabbed one of E’s beanies and safety pinned more popcorn to that.

The last step was to paint a little bit of yellow watercolor onto each of the popcorn kernels to mimic butter. You do not want to drench the tissue paper in water otherwise it will fall apart and rip.

This costume does not hold up in rain, so make sure you have an umbrella with you if there is a chance of rain.


This costume turned out so cute! Hope you and your little ones enjoy this DIY Halloween costume! Thank you so much for reading! Like and share this post 🙂 what was your little one for Halloween this year?

Third Birthday!


Beep Beep! This year I did a cars & trucks theme for Echo’s third birthday party. He is obsessed with them! So here are the snapshots of the celebration! I shared some pictures on my Instagram page, but wanted to write a blog post too (even if it is really late).


Traffic Cone Banner



Street Tables



Lunch from Chipotle & Chalkboard Birthday Sign



3rd Birthday Sign (one of my favorite things to do!)



Birthday Boy





Happy Birthday! E isn’t a fan of cake, so we do cookies.




Time for presents!


We had so much fun celebrating Echo with family and friends! What has been your favorite party theme for your child? Share below 🙂

Baked Kale Chips


I searched around the internet for an easy kale chip recipe that I can do in the oven. I do not own a dehydrator (YET!). Most recipes had a lot of steps in the recipe, so I threw a couple ingredients together and hoped it worked out. It did! These kale chips have become my favorite crunchy snack! They are hubby, toddler, and friend approved. I took these to a superbowl party and they were all gone very quick. I have also taken them to church groups and they LOVED them! Hope you enjoy the recipe!



-1 bunch of organic kale

-Herbamare seasoning salt

-Sari Foods Company nutritional yeast

-organic olive oil (or avocado oil)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Destem and cut 1 bunch of kale into bite size pieces. Place kale in a large mixing bowl.


Drizzle 2 Tablespoons olive oil over kale. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon Herbamare over the kale. Then sprinkle 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast on kale.


Mix to make sure all the kale is coated.


Pour onto a cookie sheet, and spread the kale out into a single layer.


Dust all the kale with a little bit more Herbamare and nutritional yeast. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.


Watch the kale closely, it will start to burn pretty quickly after the 15 minutes. Enjoy!

I personally eat the chips on the same day I make them. They are so addicting! I did try storing them for a day or two and they start to lose their crunch. So I would recommend eating them the day you make them.

Let me know what you think of them! Comment below and tell me how they turn out! 🙂 What is your favorite healthy snack?

The Third Year


We celebrated Echo’s third birthday! One thing I love to do after his birthday every year is write a post about what we have learned and positive things from this past year. So here we go!

  1. Holy Rollercoaster of Emotions! This was definitely the year that E found more of his voice. That meant that he was using more words and talking more (YAY!), but there was also the tantrums and testing. I’m going to speak to our situation for a minute and share what worked for us. Pretty early on when he was yelling at me, flat out saying no to me, and having complete meltdowns, I realized that Echo responded better when I was firm but calm. He didn’t respond to me or my husband yelling at him. We were just basically telling him that yelling was okay by doing that. Not to say I don’t have my bad days and lose my patience completely. For us, I give him the “mom look” (you know the I mean business look) and firmly correct him.                                                                                                                                                                      IMG_1641
  2. Next Level! To go along with the first point, Echo found a whole other level of energy. He is always doing laps around the house, his school, and exploring outside. This is honestly something that I love. We can go to the park, play outside, go on errands and E is totally up for it. Sometimes it can get him in trouble (point number 1), but I honestly love that he is an active energetic toddler. We have daily dance parties, and love being outside.
  3. Unique! Each kid has their own personality. E has always been very observant and slow to warm up to people. That’s just how he operates. I was so happy that he has made friends at school! It took a little adjustment period, but he loves playing with his friends now. There are still moments where he gets overwhelmed and will pull back. For the most part though he is becoming more social. We just had to take it at his own unique pace.
  4. Treasure Each Moment! This is a personal one. A few weeks ago I wrote about our losses in 2017. I think it just made me treasure each moment with Echo more. He is our first baby, so every moment is a first with him. Time is going by so fast! I love our little adventures, everyday moments, the rare toddler cuddles, and conversations with him. Everyday I try to be present with Echo and soak up these moments.                                                                                                                                                                IMG_1656

I really enjoy doing these recaps of our year. Sharing little thoughts as we head in to the next one as a family. I’m ready for more firsts and learning lots! What was your favorite thing this past year? Comment below.


December 2017 Glowing Beets Box


I’ve been really excited to share the December 2017 Glowing Beets box with you all! I look forward to getting this box every month, and I really enjoyed the December box! I am an affiliate with Glowing Beets, and share my 100% honest thoughts about the boxes. If you want to subscribe, enter “TLM10” at checkout and it will save you 10% on your first box!

Johnny Concert Eyeshadow Brush


How chic does this brush look? I absolutely love the look of it! To me the matte black handle and the black and white brush makes it look amazing. This brush is vegan and cruelty-free. It is so incredibly soft too. Another great thing is that it is $6! I have been shocked at what makeup brushes cost in the past, but this one is definitely more affordable.

Johnny Concert Amplified Eyeshadow in Skull


The second product in the box was a full size Johnny Concert eyeshadow in SKULL. It’s a slightly off-white metallic color. It is very glittery to me, so I would wear it on top of another color. I also thought it added a good highlight to the inner corner of my eye. I was very impressed that this eyeshadow is made of lots of organic ingredients. It’s also free of talc, synthetic fragrance, parabens, dimethicone, and lots of other bad ingredients. This eyeshadow is vegan and cruelty-free. Overall it’s a great clean product.

akar SKIN Nutrient Boost Eye Serum


This is a power packed little bottle. The Nutrient Boost Eye Serum is 100% organic and wild harvested. It has ingredients like goji, pumpkin seed oil, rosehip seed extract, and then Shiitake mushroom extract (which I have never noticed in a product before). This serum is not floral smelling at all, it is very earthy/musky. The price tag is high, but you literally only use 1 drop so the serum will last a while. My under eye area soaked this right up, one of the better eye serums that I’ve tried.

akar SKIN Ruby Tint Lip Butter


I opened this little jar up and immediately thought of jelly. It has more of a gel like consistency, than other lip butters I have tried. You just need a small amount to nourish and hydrate your lips. Just like the eye serum, it is 100% organic or wild harvested. It is pretty sheer, so there isn’t a lot of tint to it. It’s a great natural color. I like that it is not super pigmented. It has a floral-citrus scent. Overall, a really great product that melts onto your lips.

Such a great December box full of good quality products! Can’t wait for the January box! Don’t forget to enter “TLM10” at checkout for 10% off your first box. What kinds of products do you like to read reviews on? Comment below. Thanks so much for reading!