Little River Roundtable | Winter 2015

What’s going on in Brooke’s world??

I. Think Dirty

Ever wonder what’s REALLY in your makeup? What about your lotion, or favorite shampoo? If you’re anything like me, reading the ingredients listed on most of our common toiletries makes about as much sense as quantum physics. If we’re to take the advice of intelligent articles like this one, which caution users of beauty products to be aware of and educated about what they put on their skin (some of which does get absorbed below outer protective layers), then it would help if someone could just translate all those bizarre ingredients into understandable consequences (preferably in English).

Enter Think Dirty. Thanks to the wonderful people involved in this neat project, one can finally make sense of their toiletries with the simple click of a button. All you have to do is download the app onto your handy smart phone (unfortunately, it’s iOS only right now, but the Android version is in beta!), scan a barcode or type in the name of one of your beauty products (include company + product name), and within seconds, the app will list out all of the known health risks associated with that product’s ingredients. The app will then rate the product on a scale of 0 (“No health risks whatsoever!”) to 10 (“throw that thing out, it has cancer written all over it!”) using this methodology.

“How depressing…” you might think. “Do I really want to know? Ignorance is bliss, right?” WRONG! Sure, Think Dirty is definitely eye-opening (and a tad shocking, at first – even brands I’d thought were “safe” turned out to be just as bad as some of the commercially mass-produced ones), but it’s also hopeful and encouraging! While it certainly does reveal the dirty secrets behind some of your most beloved beauty products, it has a “you may also love” category that provides you with safer alternatives related to the product you searched or scanned, so that you can revamp your makeup collection or bathroom if you so choose. See? Not so bad!

Naturally, many people will, of course, think this sort of thing is a bit too dramatic, and will continue to take risks and use the same products they always have, and hey, that’s their prerogative and power to ’em! But I’m a very sensitive person, with equally sensitive skin, and I’d rather not take any health risks for the sake of beauty, thank you very much. So out with the old; in with the new! This past weekend I threw out almost my entire makeup collection (lucky for me, it was on the tail-end of needing to be replaced anyway, with a few products basically completely gone), my shampoo and conditioner, and my daily lotion and replaced all of it with 100% Pure  and Acure products. So far I’m loving everything, and I feel way healthier too!

I urge you to check out Think Dirty if you’ve ever thought about what might be in the things you use daily and don’t mind a (helpful!) shock to the system. I’m definitely glad I did! If you don’t have an iPhone/iOS device, feel free to leave a comment on this post, and I’d be happy to look up products for you (I’m sure those people close to you with iPhones would also be happy to!)

II. Headspace

You know what they say: 10 minutes of meditation a day keeps the crazy away!

Jokes aside, this is one of the most mind-blowing (pun intended!) initiatives I have ever come across, and it’s, quite literally, been changing my life. Headspace is, as the website advertises, “meditation made simple.” The Headspace program offers a 10 day trial for free, in which users are taught the basics of mindfulness meditation, and taking 10 minutes out of every day to sit quietly and train the mind.

I’ve suffered from an anxiety disorder for pretty much my whole life…and while meditation kept getting recommended to me as a way to ease that anxiety and stressful triggers, most of the meditations I encountered on Youtube and iTunes just never did it for me. They were too long, or too wordy, too inconsistent, or the guide’s voice was just ALL wrong. After a friend recommended Headspace, I decided to try it, but wasn’t really expecting anything too different from all the rest that I had tried.

Boy was I in for a treat!

First of all, Andy is awesome. To me, his voice is the perfect mix of engaging and calming, and he speaks just slowly and deliberately enough to understand perfectly, but not so unnaturally that it doesn’t feel like a real conversation he’s having with you and your mind. Not only is his voice great, but he’s a real trained Tibetan Buddhist monk! Talk about some meditation legitimacy. In addition, it was his dream to make meditation accessible for normal, everyday people, so that anyone could benefit from the scientifically proven benefits of meditating…so the entire Headspace journey is crafted to be consistent, accessible, and able to fit perfectly into any schedule or lifestyle one might have.

I’ve been able to keep up with Headspace for 22 days straight now – and I’m loving every second of it! I’ve noticed a considerable difference in my anxiety and stress levels (i.e. how non-existent they are!), I’m more mindful and aware of my body, surroundings, and emotions, and I’m more calm in general. I only had one panic attack during that 22 day period, and I was able to handle it much better than in the past! That isn’t to say I’m “cured”, but the Headspace meditation is definitely helping. I look forward to starting every day with it! It makes me feel centered, grounded, and ready to take on anything.

Unfortunately, Headspace is only free for the first 10 days. Then, you do have to pay to unlock all of the other meditation courses. However, it’s not a bad price, and there are usually coupons floating around. I think it’s been worth every penny so far, and I’m sure it can benefit anyone, not just people with anxiety disorders, stressful jobs, or other health factors.

III. The New Nintendo 3DS XL Majora’s Mask Edition 

If you were as excited as I was last year to hear that The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask was FINALLY getting the updated handheld remake it deserved, then you were probably as equally psyched to hear about the gorgeous golden Majora’s Mask New Nintendo 3DS XL edition that would be coming to the States (and other countries worldwide) this winter along with the game.

Sure enough, as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it.

And so did thousands of others worldwide.

I’m not really one for Internet drama, special editions, or losing sleep. And yet, early 2015 turned out to be the perfect storm of finally giving in to all three. When the New Majora’s 3DS sold out in less than 15 minutes the first day it was announced by GameStop online, I felt an odd stirring deep inside me. Perhaps all I needed was a little excitement in the midst of a cold and dreary winter; perhaps I’m just insane. Either way, once it had sold out, instead of giving up with an “oh well, you win some you lose some” mentality, I became obsessed with the ensuing controversy, drama, and emotional upheaval that quickly spread across the worldwide web’s gaming community.

This article became my lifeblood. I, along with thousands of others, raged hard at the injustice of scalpers snatching up 20 consoles at a time and posting them on sites like Ebay at double the price. I checked articles, forums, and websites constantly. I refreshed online sites of major retailers I knew might get it the minute I got up in the morning, every hour at work, and right before going to bed. After somehow still missing the Best Buy, Fry’s, and absurd 3 am Target pre-orders, my unlucky streak finally broke – a single comment made to this website alerted me to a unique situation happening a week after the first GameStop pre-orders, in which GameStops were again taking pre-orders but in store only. And they weren’t advertising it, in hopes of decreasing the likelihood of scalpers attempting to buy multiples.

I have never driven anywhere so fast in my life.

The real hero of this story is the nice young man who dealt with a very giddy, nervous me, the only customer in his GameStop, as he rang me up. Because yes, my dear friends, this story ends happily: I was indeed able to pre-order a Majora’s Mask 3DS! Emotions were high, adrenaline was rushing, but the receipt is tucked away in a safe spot, eagerly awaiting 2/13/15. Nintendo: you got me!

(And for heaven’s sake, online retailers, limit one per customer next time!

So what’s been going on in your lives?? Leave me a comment and tell me all about it!!


2 thoughts on “Little River Roundtable | Winter 2015”

    1. Awesome!! Yeah, it shocked me too when I first used it, like “Oh man, really!? All of this!?” But I’m now so glad I got rid of all that crap, and I love the new organic, chemical-free products I’ve acquired. Makes me personally feel really healthy and more vibrant ^_^ Good luck with your own bathroom overhaul!


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