Beauty Review: Cloud 9 Bath & Body Products

Posted in Crafts, Feature, Reviews | 0 comments

Beauty Review: Cloud 9 Bath & Body Products

Oh, summer, where did you go? I had such big plans of blogging and a huge calendar of ideas and then the pool opened and wedding planning happened (I can’t wait to show you pictures of my DIY wedding!) and absolutely nothing happened on this poor, neglected space. I truly admire everyone that manages to keep up with their blog regularly; I used to have the discipline and I’m slowly getting this space back together, but nothing like I used to when I first started!

cloud 9 display

In honor of getting it together, I wanted to feature someone who has gotten it together and feature one of my new favorite lines of products! Last winter, my friend Veronica started making whipped body butters as a fun DIY (most of my friends and I are really big DIY/craft/cooking dorks) and gave me a beautiful jar of whipped tea tree and lavender body butter. It was AMAZING. I get really dry skin in the winter and most products just irritate it further, but I can just slather this stuff on, smell like heaven (pun intended), an go about my day being a non-itchy and flaky productive member of society. I also use it to soothe razor burn, because I still cannot shave my legs properly. Her whipped body butters are made with all organic coconut oil, mango butter, Shea butter, and olive oil and essential oils. 




After several people raved over her body butter, she expanded into a few other things, and Cloud 9 Bath & Body Products was born! While they don’t ship just yet, you can order and have local delivery or pick-up (which I take advantage of quite frequently).



I’ve tried a bunch of other Cloud 9 products – currently I’m carrying around a coconut oil lip balm in my purse and my FAVORITE Don’t Bug Me! Insect Repellant in my hiking backpack. I started hiking this past summer and I absolutely hate using bug spray – (we all know that DEET isn’t good for you) but I also hate bugs swarming my face when I end up in an inevitably swampy area. I just bring the bottle of Don’t Bug Me! in my bag, spray as needed and I don’t have to worry about DEET or bugs. And I smell pretty good, too.

Cloud 9 also makes bath bombs, sugar scrubs, salt scrubs, & deodorant – so basically everything you could possibly need to smell good and have great skin. I love being able to support a small business and also get great products that are good for my skin. You can see below several of the other products – and make sure to check out their Facebook page for updates, too!

I’ll be featuring other products I’m currently obsessing over – both local and beyond! Keep up to date with Return to Sender by signing up for my newsletter (just enter your address  on the right sidebar!).

















Read More

Organize It! The KonMari Method: Getting Starting, Slowly (and easily!)

Posted in DIY, Feature, Organizing | 0 comments

Organize It! The KonMari Method: Getting Starting, Slowly (and easily!)


I’ve talked to several people about the KonMari Method since I read the book and implemented parts of it in my own house. I know that one of the main complains is…

“Where do I start? How do I start? It’s too much at once!”

I can see how it is intimidating – taking everything you own and tossing it in a pile doesn’t sound very appealing to most people – I know I didn’t have an urge to empty all of my clothes on to the floor of my dressing room and watch my dogs dig around and create nests. (Which they do under any time of cloth – and frankly, they’re hard to find when they’re buried.) And frankly, I know some of it isn’t realistic! Most people have hobbies! I can’t get rid of all my paper – paper IS my hobby! I can’t get rid of every tiny thing that doesn’t bring me joy immediately, because I’m also a person that goes through phases with my hobbies. Right now, I’ve been making perler bead figures. Three months ago, I could’ve donated them because I hadn’t used them in ages.

So here’s my proposal: Let’s start again and let’s start small. And let’s start with a game.

Let’s Play a Minimalism Game!

I first saw the #minsgame on Instagram and couldn’t figure out what it was at all. A quick google search let me to this description from The Minimalists:

Find a friend or family member. Someone who’s willing to get rid of some of their excess stuff. This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day of the month. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

It’s an easy game at first. However, it starts getting challenging by week two, when you’re both jettisoning more than a dozen items each day. Whoever can keep it going the longest wins. You both win if you can make it all month. Bonus points if you play with more than two people.


Sounds fun, right? And a little less daunting than throwing away everything at once? I think this is a good way to ease into the KonMari Method – after all, you have about 6 months to get your house in order with the KonMari Method. I propose we all start on July 1st, 2015 and play the #minsgame together! Post your pictures on Instagram and tweet about it – and add #organizeitRTS so I can see your progress!

I know it sounds a little challenging – e.g. two weeks in, FOURTEEN things to get rid of? Well think of all the little things in your house:

  • nail polish
  • old utensils
  • board games you never play anymore
  • books
  • makeup or lotion you don’t use
  • tattered linens you don’t need anymore (am I the only one that keeps saving junkie, bleached towels?)
  • Dog toys (just kidding – Hami would never let me throw away any of his toys)
  • Maybe SOME of that stationery and paper we don’t need…

Or adjust it as you need to – get rid of one thing a day everyday of July! Just join me! Let’s start decluttering for the summer. Leave a comment if you plan on joining in – I can’t wait to get started!


Read More

Product Review: Block Island Organics

Posted in Feature, Reviews | 0 comments

Product Review: Block Island Organics

I have pretty terrible skin. I thought I’d open up this post with some brutal honesty. I’m that nearly-30-year-old that is still struggling to achieve clear, perfect skin. Teenagers have got nothing on me – I’ve been working toward this dream for 15 years. FIFTEEN YEARS. (Ugh, suddenly feeling old.) Basically now I just try to contain it – aka not make my skin any worse and hope for the best. But there are a few things I have discovered that make my skin worse (with the claims that it will get oh-so-amazingly-magically-ready-for-TV-clear!) and that’s anything with harsh chemicals in it. And I’m not using the word “chemicals” in the Food Babe way – there are specifics: benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxy acid, salicylic acid. And it’s actu
ally a bit of a challenge to find a facial cleanser that doesn’t have one of those or another anti-aging or anti-acne agent in it.

So when Block Island Organics contacted me to ask if I’d like to try their cleanser, night cream, and sunscreen I was more than thrilled!  Also this is a a family-owned startup business and everything is made in the USA – which I love! And lucky for you, the lovelies at Block Island Organics have a discount code for my readers – 15% off your purchase! (Please note, it is not combinable with other offers.) Just enter the code: sarahr at check out – hurry, it expires June 14th!


Block Island Organics


Purifying Facial Cleanser – $17.99

I really like this cleanser – there’s no heavy scent, it’s very gentle, it takes off my make-up, and it doesn’t irritate my skin at all. It’s a tiny bit drying for me, so I only use it at night which works out perfectly with my skincare routine. I think that for someone with less sensitive skin than me, it could definitely be a twice daily cleanser.


Organic Revitalizing Night Cream – $26.99

I actually use it as my daytime moisturizer instead – it really moisturizes my skin without being too heavy or greasy, and without adding oil to my already oily skin. I’ve also struggled with moisturizers – it’s hard to find one that balances out my combination skin – but so far, I’ve been using this in the morning and it hasn’t irritated my skin and has really left it so soft all day. Again, it doesn’t have as strong scent and a little goes a long way.


Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 – $17.99

Okay, this is my favorite product. I love it so much I had to track down what bag it was in so I could take pictures! I hate the feeling of greasy sunscreen, and it often breaks out my skin and causes a rash. This doesn’t feel like sunscreen at all – which is amazing! It absorbs immediately, and there is absolutely no fragrance. I often forget I even put it on. It’s also lightly moisturizing with ingredients like aloe vera and coconut oil in it. I’ve been using this regularly for my morning walks and the only thing I will note, it does leave a very slight white tint due to it being a Zinc based sunscreen. I barely notice it and frankly would rather have a white tint than greasy, smelly sunscreen on anyway! I’ve also used it on my face (which is always terrifying) and it’s not irritating whatsoever.

And as you can see from my picture I’ve been a bit busy wedding crafting – coffee filter flowers! I can’t stop making them – I was thinking of doing tutorial post coming soon. Also, if you entered the Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden giveaway I’ll be choosing a winner very soon!

Read More

Oh, plant babies, I love you – and a gardening giveaway!

Posted in DIY, Feature, Food, Life | 1 comment

Oh, plant babies, I love you – and a gardening giveaway!

SPRING! Spring has arrived in the mountains and it did not come one single moment too soon. I don’t know if I remember a winter that went on as long as this one – it just seemed like I would never feel warmth or see grass ever again. As a kid, I spent my summers entirely outdoors – from swimming in the pool and making forts in the woods to reading books in the hammock and eating dinner every night outside on the patio. I didn’t realize how much I missed all the outdoor time until A and I got our house. Apartment living is never conducive to outdoor activities – my last apartment had a tiny frontyard that was close to a very busy street. But now, I have this whole fenced in backyard at my disposal! From the moment the warm weather hit, I’ve been toiling in the yard laying mulch, planting dahlias, creating a brick lined pathway, setting up our patio! And my pride and joy of all of this?

My vegetable garden.


Last year I had a…uhh, rather unsuccessful tomato garden. First year in our house, I was still trying to figure out how we were going to turn our field of grass into a YARD.  This year I knew I wanted to do it right and supplement my CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) share I am splitting with a co-worker. (VEGGIES FOR DAYS!) When I saw that newest edition of The Postage Stamp Garden was up for you review, I snatched it.

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden was first published in the 70s (how appropriate for me) – it’s all about growing as much as you can in a small space so you always have an abundance of food from your garden. The typical size of a postage stamp garden is only 4’x4′ – my garden is smaller than that, so I had to scale back a bit. The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden is such a great guide for both beginning gardeners and old pros – it can act both as a complete teaching guide and a useful reference. I have mine tabbed and marked up already! My favorite highlights include:

  • illustrations of different ways to plant your postage stamp garden
  • how to prepare your soil mix
  • a complete index of veggies – how/when/where to plant them, potential problems, and even what to choose as companion plants!

This year I planted seedlings early inside with a seed kit – bush beans, basil, cucumbers, zucchini, and lettuce. I used my handy (and ever growing) collection of washi tape to label them in their little greenhouse:


I was a bit nervous that nothing was going to happen – and sure enough out of 18 beans I only had three sprout and it took them over three weeks. My zucchini and cucumber were also late bloomers – but they’re now all happily planted in my garden and doing well. I sowed kale and carrot seeds directly into the garden bed and the kale shot up in less than a week. I credit this to the huge bucket of compost I got for free from a local goat and chicken farm. This is also what I call adulting.

Plant babies!

I’ll round out my vegetable garden this weekend when I pick up my heirloom tomato plants from my CSA farm – so excited for tomatoes! And in other exciting news: Blogging for Books was kind enough to give me an extra copy of The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden to giveaway to my readers! And it’s the perfect time of year to get your garden in shape so…

Click Here to Enter!

The giveaway ends of June 2nd. Open to USA only.  Good luck and happy gardening!


*This book was provided to me by the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.
Read More