clean machine

Yesterday was my first day of being officially off the job. Because it was my own doing, I left with no parting gifts other than unused vacation pay. So what did I do on day one? A facial mask and a lunch date, of course.

The lunch date (I picked up Tom for lunch at Hungry Tiger) was just an overdue “Congratulations for giving your notice” date. My last two weeks of work were so draining that I didn’t even feel like heading out for food. So this was it, the last hurrah before the days of rice & beans—not really, although I do have a pot full o’ chickpeas soaking as I type. We both got Boca burgers, and their new focaccia is so much better than the sourdough toast of their pre-vegan menu days. It’s like a real, live burger now. I got sautéed mushrooms on mine to fancy it up a bit. And substituting sweet potato fries in the place of chips goes without saying. No photos, but picture an enormous plate with a larger-than-you-get-at-the-store Boca burger next to a mound of sweet potato fries you could form into a little Devil’s Tower.


l_papayaskinpeel11My face mask experiment is so out of character for me. I figured it might end up in the big box of stuff I never use, next to the Ecco Bella face powder (I tried, I really did, but I just can’t wear makeup), but whaddaya know, this stuff is pretty fantastic. It’s earthscience papaya-glycolic gentle skin peel. I thought it would be the kind you peel off like sunburned skin but it’s the mud kind you wash off. Not as fun, but my face does feel softer and happier.




I got to thinking about the limited beauty/body care products in our bathroom. We once lived with a girl who took up most of the bathroom cabinet/counter/ shelf space with all of her bathroom crap. Well, I’m just not that type of girl. And Tom’s not that type of boy. And we’re both allergic to practically everything from nickel to air to clowns. So here it is, our list of cruelty-free washin’-up standards.oleu32ea

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. Fair trade, 100% biodegradable, American-made, and always vegan, a 32-ounce bottle of liquid castille soap (for less than $10) will last you months and months. Not only will it clean you, but it’ll clean your shower/tub, floors, and the metal bar thing in your Ionic Breeze air purifier. DO NOT USE ON ACRYLIC SHOWER MIRRORS—it will eat them. I can’t wait to see the documentary on Dr. Bronner. If the stuff written all over the bottle is any indicator…



3255de_thorough_cleanDesert Essence. A couple times a week I use the Throughly Clean Face Wash. Again, right on the bottle it says “100% vegan.” I don’t know what 99% vegan would even mean, but anyway, thanks, Desert Essence, for making it a little easier. Without drying, this stuff makes my face feel like it could perform open-heart surgery (you know, really clean). And Tom uses the Blemish Touch Stick, which is also good for insect bites.





While I have pretty much given up on shaving cream (used to use Tom’s of Maine), since a washcloth can lather up castille soap just fine, Tom has switched over to Organic Grooming by Herban Cowboy. It kinda has that men’s grooming product smell, but it disssipates fast and is at least natural. The back of the tube also tells you it’s vegan in six languages.

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