Zero-Waste Farmer's Market

The farmer's market is church for our family.  On Sundays we enjoy waking up slow, making a pot of coffee, eating a light breakfast (to save room for fruit samples at the market) and heading to the farmer's market before the sourdough bread is sold out.  I covet these Sunday mornings with my family and love our Sunday rhythm.  This year, I have started focusing on sustainability so naturally, all of my shopping habits have shifted.  Rather than utilize the free single-use plastics at the market, I am well-prepared with a variety of bags to fit each offering.  This is somewhat new to our family but now that I am paying attention, I am hyper aware of how many people take home their beautiful vegetables in plastic.  Without passing judgement, I want to share my process and some of the items that I enjoy using with hopes that I will inspire others to use less plastic.  Plus, reusable bags and baskets just make everything more cute.  My process has been gradual, only recently getting the final pieces to the puzzle and now it feels great to welcome the nourishing offerings into our home, sans plastic.  This is one big piece of my sustainability mission, to use less plastic when I shop.   

At this point most of us have accumulated some version of a reusable shopping bag and this is a great place to start.  I keep the freebies in the car and will use these in a pinch, but I really enjoy well-made baskets for my weekend hauls.  I have accumulated quite the collection and after much use, my favorite is my tightly woven African Basket.  If you're in the market, here is a good one.  They also usually sell at larger farmer's markets or flea markets.  After I felt I had the necessary amount of baskets, I started researching sustainable bag companies and love these bags by Chico Bags for my leafy greens and bulk grains.  These keep my greens fresh in the fridge and I love the neutral color.  Next I grabbed these cute net bags by Simple Ecology, which are great for my loose items.  I love the variety pack which serves all of my market needs.  These are a great way to keep your items grouped together, which never used to happen!  Recently I have started taking my own container for berries.  This allows the berry stand to keep their containers and helps me transport without squishing any of my precious little beauties.  I use an old tupperware and recommend using any light-weight container that will fit your desired purchase amount.  Finding a way to bring bread home without a plastic bag has been tough since all sliced bread is sold in a plastic bag.  My husband loves a good loaf and doesn't think my slicing is up to par so the few attempts I have made at bringing home a whole loaf and slicing myself have not gone well.  I still think it's work it to try, even if it's only half of the time, that is two bags we save a month.  I recently grabbed these linen bread bags for our whole loafs and recommend also having a bread box to ensure freshness.  The final item needed for a zero-waste mission is a reusable egg container.  I just picked up two of these and take one to the market while the other houses any of the remaining eggs we have from the week prior.  When I remember to bring all of my containers, I leave the farmer's market without any plastic, it's super easy and if we all started making these small switches, it would have a huge positive impact on the environment.  

Did I miss any good items?  Tell me in the comments below...





Microblading | mother's best kept beauty secret

I have already mentioned my pretty minimal (not in a chic way, in a very apathetic, lazy way) beauty regimen, and the lack of effort I put into my skin, but if there is one thing I try to keep up, it's my brows.  Luck for me, I have the best brow girl and she has kept my eyebrows looking great for years.  With the risk of sounding vein, I have to admit that I feel so beautiful when I leave her appointments and am so grateful for her tinting and shaping capabilities.  You can imagine my excitement when Monica told me she has added the art of Microfeathering to her list of services, because now her stunning work will last longer than the typical tint-time.  I booked a session immediately and was surprised how easy the process was.  Monica is such a joy and her delicate touch made the actual Microblading painless.  The healing process is a little gnarly so I would not recommend anyone get their brows done a week before a special occasion but after two weeks, they looks stunning.  I would definitely recommend this procedure to anyone looking to have fuller brows without having to use daily makeup.  After Monica Microbladed my brows, I started getting compliments on them, which has never happened.  My eyes are a little offended because they have always been the show-stoppers, but I am going to let my brows have the spotlight for a little.  As a mother, saving seconds makes a difference in my day and the less makeup I need the better.  My brows look perfect when I wake up and don't come off in the pool or when Wally throws food at me!  Additionally, all of the dyes are organic vegetable dyes so they aren't toxic for the body.  My beautiful friend Kim was kind enough to let me hang around while she got her brows done so I photographed the process to share.  Check out her before and after below and also read a little about Monica's Microfeathering process.  Monica is so kind to offer my readers 20% discount if you mention Wallace & James so click the link below to book your session. 

About Monica:

L.A. native, Monica Varela has been practicing esthetics & brow artistry for over 14 years. She is an accomplished Certified Skincare Dermalogica Expert and Certified Microblading Brow Artist from Microblading LA Academy (founded and instructed by 2016 Microblading Champion Lindsey Ta).

With Monica's extensive knowledge in skincare and makeup artistry, her passion for brow design comes naturally. She always encourages her clients to grow their brows to their fullest potential while keeping them structured, bold, and natural for either the art of Microblading or Eyebrow Wax Design.

Microblading is the art of creating semi-permanent individual hair strokes through a manual tattoo procedure, also known as feathered embroidery, micro-feathering or 3D brows. 

Brow application will take between 2-3 hours. Anesthetic creams are used before and during the procedure, keeping discomfort to a minimum. Prior to numbing, brows are framed to the desired shape & pigments are discussed and agreed upon. 

All pigments are Cosmetic grade Organic Lakes and Inorganic iron oxides which are naturally occurring minerals known to be safe, gentle and non-toxic on the surface of the skin. As well as a high grade Vegan/Kosher Glycerin by Li Pigments.

Monica enhances beautiful Brows at the 5 star rated Union Salon located in Old Pasadena, CA. Take advantage of her Microblading Summer Promotion! $100 OFF initial visit! 


Consultation FREE

Microblading $500 ($400 if you mention Wallace and James). 

*Includes complimentary touch-up after 6-8 weeks.

Before and After of Microfeathering by @browartbymonica 

Before and After of Microfeathering by @browartbymonica 

For more information follow @browartbymonica or book an appointment here:

Holistic but Realistic

When I first started writing in this space, I wanted to create a journal that offered basic information on holistic wellness with an emphasis on motherhood.  I was inspired to begin because while I was pregnant with Wallace, I had a friend who was also pregnant and we often spoke about ways that we were loving our bodies (and babies) throughout our pregnancy.  However, because of our surroundings and life experience, our information differed greatly and I wanted to share the holistic tidbits that I was learning, without sounding like a judgemental asshole.  Initially, my goal was to share basic information that was approachable for all people at any level of wellness so it felt like inclusive instead of a confusing.  I find that sometimes when I am seeking out a remedy, I get lost in the details and get discouraged if I am unfamiliar with an ingredient or process, I didn't want to turn off the people that needed this information the most.  After receiving an email from someone who hadn't heard of quinoa, I knew that there was a need to create introductory information for wellness novices.  After all, not everyone lives in a place like Los Angeles, where juice bars and wellness gurus are around every corner, eager to share their knowledge.  At the time that I launched, I was pretty committed to living the a life full of practices to improve my health but gradually, I started cutting corners to compensate for the lack of sleep/time that has come with motherhood.  I am now at an authentic place and am finding the balance between wellness and fun.  Kale and pizza, meditation and concerts, tea and cocktails, This space is about finding that sweet spot between being good to your body and being good to your soul.  Compassion is a huge lesson I have learned on this journey and I forgive myself if I opt for take-out instead of making a home-cooked meal.  This compassion is a part of my wellness practice.  It's not a kale smoothie but it feels so good to give myself a break.  I will never be the type of mother who does everything perfectly but I am grateful for the mothers out there that inspire me to do better, be healthier and work harder on my own practice.  I am a mother who is seeking wellness for her family but also a mother who participates in the world around me.  Life is an ever-changing balancing act.  

That brings me to Holistic but Realistic.  Over the past decade, my relationship with my health has ebbed and flowed and I have enjoyed periods of very clean living and periods of not-so-clean living.  During those periods where I dedicated myself to my wellness practice, I would wake up and light my Palo Santo then say my thank yous to the universe and drink my green smoothy.  This life, although rewarding always felt inauthentic to me and was evident in some of my initial posts.  Like everything else in life, you don't know if it's what works for you unless you try.  I am not a person that can commit to that lifestyle but I am inspired by the people that can and love living vicariously through their beautifully clean worlds.  Holistic but Realistic is about enjoying organic wellness while enjoying our modern world.  I will hopefully always be a mother who reaches for an herbal remedy before over-the-counter medicine but I will not deprive Wallace of birthday cake at a party.  I will make organic meals but will indulge in Mexican Food too.  I will drink my golden milk in the morning and craft a cocktail at night because if you know me, you know I love both of these things so much.  Oh, and I make great drinks, please come over and have one with me!  This space has turned into an opportunity for me to be honest and hopefully a place that inspires others to be honest too.  In addition to writing about remedies, recipes, healthy products and other wellness musings, I look forward to writing personal pieces about my life and relationships with hopes that someone finds it funny or relatable.  I hope that I can inspire you to make healthier choices or if I simply make you laugh while you're reading something on here, that's great medicine too. 

I am starting a newsletter soon and would love to add you to the email list!  If you like what I do here, please sign up and forward to a friend.  Also, thank you so much for following along with me on my journey, I am so grateful for this amazing community that has offered so much support.

Photo Annie Shak 

Photo Annie Shak