Natural product review – Everyone Lotion

To remind readers, I have been looking for more natural products to use on my body and home. Meaning I do not want there to be toxins like aluminum, formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, paraffin, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, petroleum, triclosan, polyethylene glycol, ammonia, chlorine, sodium hydroxide, etc.. I have chosen to do so because I have always been sensitive to the use of many household products and have recently experienced a lot of hormonal issues. My doctor recommended I change up the products I use on myself and around my home to help with the imbalance we were seeing in my blood tests. I also feel an environmental responsibility to make better choices in product formula and packaging.

Whole Foods recently had an amazing sale on the lotion I have been using (40% off of $9.99 for 32 oz., which is the same price you can find it for at Target). I thought since I am loving it enough to buy 2 bulk bottles like I am stocking up then I should share it in this month’s natural product review.

I have been using Everyone 3-in-1 Lotion in the scent Coconut + Lemon for 8 months now and I really like it. I selected this brand particularly because I wanted to find something that could replace not just my body lotion, but my facial moisturizer to minimize the number of products around and my partner’s lotion. We both have extremely dry skin, but I am better about applying lotion regularly and therefore not letting my lotion go bad. I choose a scented lotion at first since I knew I would be testing out the first bottle solo.


  • Needs extra absorption time in the Summer. I apply lotion right after I shower and when I change out of my pajamas in the morning. In the Summer, there is actually some humidity in the air here. So it takes a bit more time and/or rubbing in for the lotion to fully absorb.
  • Sometimes you need to reapply in one day. Though the winter was mild this year, I still found myself needing to reapply before bed around my elbows and knees.
  • The Lavender + Aloe scent is bad. I did try each scent that was available at Whole Foods before repurchasing during the sale earlier this month. While I knew I loved the Coconut + Lemon and I found the Mint + Coconut and Unscented to be lovely, the Lavender + Aloe was strong like Axe body spray on a pubescent boy. I washed my hands multiple times, but my partner could still smell it on my hands when I returned home hours later. He did not like it either.


  • The formula. We both like the smooth feel and lack of residue it leaves. We used Vaseline brand lotions prior, while they kept us feeling well moisturized all day long and sometimes until the next shower we felt sticky at time and noticed residue would rub off us onto our keyboards, desks, chairs, etc. The Everyone 3-in-1 lotion leaves us feeling soft and comfortable once it absorbs.
  • I really can use it on my face. Though I use an SPF lotion in the morning to protect my skin from sunlight, this has been the best night time lotion I have ever used. I have pretty oily skin on my face (the exact opposite of the skin around the rest of my body) and this lotion seems to have helped with my overnight greasy face problem. My skin looks some what matte in the morning. O_O Never did I think that could be possible. I feel this proves their claim that it is for any skin type.
  • Simplicity. It replaces 3 items that cost us twice the price of this one item. Thankfully it works for both of us too!
  • Affordability. $9.99 for 32 oz that has lasted for 8+ months (I am still working on that first bottle) is pretty fantastic! I am curious how often Whole Foods might have this product on sale, but I figured buy two 32 oz bottles at such a low price while I can. Now that I am sharing it with my partner we will have not trouble using them before they go bad.
  • Accessibility. Available at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Whole Foods, but I have seen it in a some local natural stores as well.
  • Cruelty free. No animals were harmed in the making of this product.


Solar Eclipse

As I explained early on in this blog, I am an astronomer and educator, so occasionally that content might appear in this blog. Well, now is one of those perfect times for it! Tomorrow is an amazing and rare astronomical event for those of us in the States. We will experience a solar eclipse. Solar eclipses typically occur up to 5 times per year. However they are only visible from very specific locations on the Earth. This solar eclipse will be visible across the US It is something you have to try to get outside and experience if you can! #FingersCrossedForExcellentWeather

Total vs Partial Eclipse

For some it will be a total solar eclipse, meaning the Moon will completely block the Sun in our sky, and others will see a partial eclipse, meaning the Moon will cover only a portion of the Sun. Partial solar eclipses com in 2 forms. The first looks like the Moon when it is between its New and Full phases. The second is called an annular eclipse , it appears as though the Moon is not large enough to block out all of the Sun. This displays a ring of the Sun’s light in the sky.

Really, everyone in the continental US will see at least the partial eclipse, but only those in what we call the path of totality will see a total solar eclipse. To check out how the eclipse will appear to you follow this link and enter your location in the search feature on the right-hand side of the screen.

Image result for NASA solar eclipse totality vs partial

Image credit: NASA


How to View the Eclipse

I am sure you have heard this before, but just to repeat it because it is very important, DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN! It is not healthy for our eyes to look directly at the Sun. Even with sunglasses you should not look directly at the Sun. To view the eclipse you could pick up a pair of solar viewing glasses, see NASA’s recommendations for solar glasses.

You need to beware that not all solar glasses being sold are safe to use. However, since the eclipse is tomorrow and I know we sold out at the museum before the weekend, chances are you will not find a pair in time. If you have a pair, please share! You do not need to be staring up at the sky for hours, so share those solar glasses!

No worries, you can still enjoy the eclipse! Pinhole projection allows us to indirectly view the eclipse safely, something I remember doing in school during a partial eclipse. Also, it is affordable because you can literally just use your hands! NASA also has a brilliant page describing how to enjoy the eclipse through pinhole projection.


Share your experience!

Let me know how you have taken the opportunity to enjoy some time outside with your colleagues or family before the Summer comes to an end in a month (Autumnal Equinox or the first day of Fall is September 22, 2017) or in the case most US academic calendars, this week! Its great to be an adult out of school. Expect to see me sharing my experience via Instagram. Happy and safe solar viewing!


Farmer’s Market Inspiration

Since my move, I have been enjoying the local farmer’s market a lot more. This farmer’s market is open 3 – 4 days a week YEAR-ROUND! I love it! Plus, it is so close to our apartment that I can bike to it in about 20 – 25 minutes. With this amazing resource, we have been eating plenty of vegetable-heavy meals and I thought I would share them with you this week.

Baked Beans on Roasted Potatoes with a Soft Boiled Egg


For this, I roasted 2 potatoes sliced into wedges, soft boiled an egg and made Brand New Vegan’s Baked Beans in our new Instant Pot, but I substituted 1/4 cup maple syrup for the 2 sweeteners in the recipe. It was plenty sweet for us with half the amount of sweetener and we both felt that the Costco maple syrup was a great addition to the flavor. I picked up the potatoes ($1/lb), peppers (50¢), onion (50¢) and free range eggs ($1.75) from my farmer’s market. The navy beans I was able to grab from the co-op down the street from the market. All you need to do is pour 3/4 – 1 cup of the beans over your potatoes and slice your egg over the top.

Peach and Blueberry Chia Seed Pudding (as seen on Instagram)


Chia seed pudding is so easy and perfect for the days I commute 2 hours to work. To make it I just grabbed an old glass peanut butter jar I use for storage now and put one chopped peach, an ounce of almonds, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 cup unsweetened soy milk and filled it the rest of the way with blueberries. Shake it up really good and let it sit in the fridge overnight for a great breakfast in the morning. The peaches ($2.75 for a peck), blueberries ($3/lb) and raw almonds ($5/lb) are from the market.

Mixed Fruit and Yogurt


Another way we have used the new Instant Pot was to make yogurt. We could not believe how easy this was, nor how much better it was than store bought yogurt. Yes, it does take time, but it is mostly hands off time and you can make it while you sleeping or are at work. I enjoy taking a cup of yogurt and adding in peaches ($2.75 for a peck), nectarines ($2.75 for a peck), cherries ($3/lb), blueberries ($3/lb) and whatever fruit I get my hands on at the market.

Chinese Five Spice Veggie Balls with Zucchini Over Ramen Noodles

This is the one dish took work, mainly because it was the first time I prepared it and I made it up from different recipes I found online. I was trying to make veggie balls like the ones you can get at IKEA, but with an asian flare. I used 1 cup leftover brown rice, 1 cup cooked beans, 1/2 cup nut meal (this, oats and rice are great options to make meat ball or meat loaf type things gluten-free by the way), a chopped onion, a chopped red bell pepper, 1/2 cup corn, 1 cup chopped kale steamed, 2 tablespoons ginger, 1 tablespoon garlic, a lot of spices and salt and pepper to taste. I recommend picking up a Chinese 5 spice mix to simplify things.

Then, I sautéed the vegetables with the spices and then combined the beans and vegetables in the food processor for a few pulses. Using a cookie scoop, I made 1 inch balls and baked them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, making sure to rotate/flip them half way through. I placed them with some roasted zucchini over ramen noodles tossed with hoisin sauce, sesame seeds and green onions. Its not the prettiest, but for my first try at making these they were not too bad. I have some adjustments I plan to make. I picked up the onion (50¢), pepper (50¢), corn (5 ears for $1), zucchini ($1 for a 2 ft long zucchini), green onion ($1 per bunch) and kale ($2.50 per huge bunch, its double the size of the bunches I have picked up from Whole Foods) from the farmer’s market.

Chickpea and Eggplant Burger Salad with Tomatoes, Beet Hummus and Chèvre


I picked up romaine (3 heads for $1), eggplant ($1), tomatoes ($1 for a basket of 5 medium sized tomatoes), beets ($1 for 5) and locally produced chèvre ($8 for 8 oz) from the market to recreate the burger I told you about from Atlanta. I decided to put it into salad form though because they were out of the bread I love and I got a sweet deal on some romaine.

I started by soaking 1 cup dried chickpeas for at least 24 hours. In a food processor, I pulsed my well soaked chickpeas, 1 cup nuts, handful of fresh parsley, a few sprigs of fresh mint, 1 tablespoon cumin, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and salt and pepper. I formed the mix into 6 burger patties and baked them on a lightly grease baking sheet until golden brown on each side, I think it took 20 min on each side.

While the burgers were baking I made beet hummus by steaming 1 lb. of beets in the Instant Pot. Then I added the peeled steamed beets to a food processor with 2 tablespoons tahini, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cumin to blend until smooth. I then assembled the salad with the romaine, chopped tomatoes, dollops of beet hummus, crumbled chèvre, balsamic vinegar and the burger crumbled on top.

Mushroom and Kale Dip

The market has a great mushroom ($4 bag which varies in size based on type of mushroom) stand so I saw this as a brilliant opportunity to recreate a dip my friend brought to one of my last bingo nights before I moved. We had this with cheese and crackers for lunch one day. To make this I tossed cooked beans and lentils, lemon juice, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and sautéed mushrooms, kale and onion in a food processor and pulsed until it was a gritty hummus like consistency.

I will try to add the other picture on Instagram or to this post this week. I would love to hear and see your farmer’s market creations in the comments below or tag me on Instagram! 🙂 #FarmersMarketInspired

To end this post on a very real note, there is also a Jamaican vegan bakery one day a week at the market and this week I enjoyed a bag filled with mango passionfruit goodness in the form of something they called Caribbean tear drops. YUM! No picture because I inhaled before I even left the market. 😉 They reminded me of these Cuban pastries my mother-in-law gave us once, a pocket of juicy flavor in a small pocket of crispy pastry. ❤


Commuter Life

I wake up pretty early to catch an express train to get to work now, then I get home so late that I eat dinner and it is bed time before I know it. So my exercise during the week is now walking almost 3 miles per day going between work and the train station. I will do what I can to get in the most activity possible. Additional, how I eat throughout the day has changed up too.

At get up at 5 AM, I get dressed, wash my face and brush my teeth, then I am out the door to drive 10 min to the train station for the sunrise express train, a proper nickname since the sun comes up about 30 min into my ride. On the train I drink about 24 oz of water, take my probiotic and sleep as much as possible. When I arrive at the museum, I eat breakfast and get to work. I have lunch at the usual noon hour with my colleagues and leave with just enough time to catch the afternoon express train home. On the train, I continue to do work and have some fruit for a snack.

My first week commuting meals were:

  • Breakfast: Quinoa baked with whole milk, frozen cranberries and strawberries, cacao powder and cinnamon.
  • Lunch: Dal with brown rice at the beginning of the week and veganized summer corn chowder toward the end

IMG_20170604_112735_314          IMAG3915

  • Afternoon snack: Fresh peaches and strawberries
  • Dinner: French onion soup on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Jack-O-Lentil burger from the Bob’s Burgers burger cookbook on Tuesday and Thursday.


So far it is not a bad experience and I feel like I am getting more work completed. I feel like that has a lot to do with having the opportunity to be with my partner everyday and feeling like my personal life is whole again. Aw, how sickeningly sweet of me to say, but it is true. I say this change has been amazing for me. Of course, at the end of this month there will be the change of no job. I believe everything will work out though. 🙂

Please share any changes you have experienced or are experiencing in the comments below. It can be empowering to hear how others over came their challenges. Hope you have an amazing week!