leaping bunny

As you all know, I love animals.

I mean, how can you not love this face?

But I don’t just love dogs, I like all animals. Well I don’t enjoy bugs and spiders but I’m wimpy so yeah.

A couple months ago Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point wrote a post on where to find a list of cruelty-free household and beauty products. (I can’t find the post again to save my life but I know it was her.) Here’s an article on animals and how they’re used for the testing of certain products if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Depresssssing.

It got me thinking. If I love animals so much why don’t I help them any way that I can? I should support the companies that support the animals.

The website is called LeapingBunning.org. Here’s a little blurb from the site to help you understand the coalition’s concept:

‘By 1996, ‘cruelty-free’ shopping had become popular, but it was also confusing, sometimes misleading, and ultimately frustrating. Companies had begun designing their own bunny logos, abiding by their own definition of ‘cruelty-free’ or ‘animal friendly’ without the participation of animal protection groups.

In response, eight national animal protection groups banded together to form the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). The CCIC promotes a single comprehensive standard and an internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo. We are working with companies to help make shopping for animal-friendly products easier and more trustworthy.’ source.

After reading about the company, I didn’t go out and search for the brands listed but I DID look for the little bunny logo on the back of products. You can find the logo at the top of the website.

Target has a great selection of organic and cruelty-free products if you’re interested in trying some out.

You can kind of see the bunny logo on the turquoise bottle above. Once you know what it looks like, it’s easy to spot when browsing.

I thought I’d tell you a little about what I’ve used and what I plan on using.

Recently I ran out of shampoo so I decided on this new line of hair care products from Burt’s Bees. I like it so far. It has a nice smell – not too strong, not too weak and it cleans well. The conditioner is thick which I haven’t seen much in natural haircare products (I’ve found that they’re usually runny). Another plus is that it’s a little cheaper than the regular Burt’s Bees brand! There’s also a variety of smells which is fun. I like to change it up once in a while.

Jason’s is what I use for body wash – it lathers great and has a nice, strong smell. The bottle is giant so I’ve had it for a while and I have no complaints so far.

And lastly for my face, I currently use a Burt’s Bees face wash. I’ve used many of their face products and had good results.

I think the only other cruelty-free brand that I’ve tried is Yes To. I’ve used the shampoo, conditioner, and make-up remover. Like Burt’s Bees, it has a huge variety of products which is great.

As I was thinking about what to write for this post I thought to myself, ‘How the heck is someone going to remember all these products?’. No one’s going to want to write them down before shopping! Then, I saw a link at the bottom of the website for a Cruelty-free App. Perfect! I downloaded it right away and now I’m set (and you can be too)! Whenever I head to the store I can just browse the isles and see if the companies are listed on my phone. Easy Peasy.

In regards to makeup, deodorant, toothpaste, cleaning products, and anything else I might be missing, I haven’t converted to the cruelty-free products yet. BUT now that I found that great app I plan on using it regularly and replacing my old products whenever something runs out.

Sure I’m just one person and I might step on a few toes with this post but oh well! These are my thoughts and I’m stickin’ to them. 🙂 I’m glad that I’m able to help support these great companies in hopes that one day animal testing will be no more. No act of kindness is too small!

Do you have any cruelty-free products in your arsenal?

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refreshing the fireplace

I took the following photo of our den when we were first house hunting. Notice the gold fireplace, brown brick, paneled brown walls, and wood grain (?) tiled brown floor. 1970 as I live and breathe.

We’ll be tackling this room project by project. Course it’ll probably be sporadic since I already went from the master bathroom window to the den but it’ll all get done in time! Shall we begin?

I decided to start on the easiest thing first which was the fireplace cover. I like gold in jewelry form but definitely not on my fireplace.

To keep the project ‘green’ I painted the existing cover instead of buying a brand new one. I used this paint from Lowe’s that withstands high heat. We have black fireplace accessories so that’s the color I went with to tie it all together.

To start I took the cover outside and detached the doors from the frame.

Then, per the instructions on the can, I sanded any rough spots with a fine sandpaper first.

I used this ugly blanket because I didn’t want to get the drop cloth, a material that is supposed to be used to catch paint drippings, dirty. My husband was confused and you probably are too.

The next step was cleaning off all the dirt and debris. I used my homemade all-purpose cleaner which worked fine.

I then started on the spray painting. After the first coat of paint, I had the great idea of putting some of those garden stones in the background of the next photo underneath the blanket to elevate the cover. It saved me some time since I was able to spray paint the sides as well as the front. I did the same thing with the doors using flower pots that I have yet to plant anything in.

I protected the glass on the doors with paper I had laying around and painter’s tape.

The front side of the doors were a little tricky because of the curved edges. I cut up small slivers of the tape and curved them along the gold.

I did two coats of paint and finished off the can. I think I’ll need to add one more coat to smooth out the look. It’s a little blotchy due to my spraying ability the windy conditions. Joking aside, it was a bit windy so I should have moved my project to the carport to help make the spay more consistent. Alas, I did not.

If you can tell from the next photo, the ‘black’ of the fireplace cover is much different than the ‘black’ of the fireplace accessories. I’m not sure if it’s because of the matte finish or what. When I head back to Lowe’s for another paint can I might see if there are any other options that would help with this issue. Maybe I need a glossier finish.

Next it’s on to all those brown elements. We’ve got a lot of painting to do!!

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Oh and this lady is still around! She’s still screaming up a storm when we leave the house but I THINK she’s getting better. She wags her tail once in a while and is getting used to us and our routine. Pretty darn cute.

That’s a cat bell collar she’s got on, it really helps to know where she is! Ha.

She decided that since none of the blankets were readily available, a pillow perch would have to do. Five minutes later she screamed because she wanted the Snuggie. I gave in to shut her up. 🙂

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Have you painted a fireplace before? What color did you use?? I’m thinking white for ours.

5 ways to keep DIY projects ‘green’

My husband and I have only lived in our house since December. It’s a cute Dutch Colonial Split-level from 1970. There are no modern updates besides our fridge that we replaced as well as our oven which I talked about in the oven incident. Needless to say, we have a lot of updating to do!

the house before we moved in - can you even see it with all that greenery?!

I want to keep stuff as earth friendly as I can. There will be times when I buy new things but I’m going to try my best to keep most of it ‘green’. With that said, I thought I’d put together a little list of ways I hope to go about doing that!

5 way to keep my DIY projects Green:

  1. Buy used furniture and decor items – We’ve already found this amazing store called Class & Trash here in Richmond where we’ve bought a couple pieces of furniture and some lamps. There are a lot of other stores in the area that we have yet to check out. It’s really fun to dig around in antique stores! American Pickers anyone? We LOVE that show in this house.
  2. When building a new piece, used reclaimed supplies – My husband and I have a Lowe’s credit card but I recently found out that Habitat for Humanity’s Restore Richmond has a ton of wood and nails that are dirt cheap. Our house has very little storage so I’m thinking my husband will be making a couple shelving units.
  3. Refinish furniture that we have already have – About two years ago I went on a new furniture shopping spree. Everything is a similar style and therefore pretty boring. What the heck what I thinking? I’m planning on refinishing a couple pieces to give them new life and bring more character to the space.
  4. Use supplies I have around the house – This will be a little tough in the beginning because we’ve only done a handful of projects BUT I was successful with this for my first DIY project that I’ll be posting next week.
  5. Deal with what I’ve got – Sometimes you THINK the grass is always greener on the other side – a new stylin’ couch, table, art, etc. but sometimes you just need to look at what you have in a different light. (Wow that line could be applied to everything in life!) If I’m sick of a certain room maybe I just need to rearrange it or switch out the decor! I’ll only need a little time and creativity.

It might be easier to hop in the car and drive to the big box store but I believe it’d be so much more rewarding to creatively find a way to repurpose and reuse old items. Like a design challenge from HGTV!

little ladies

What’s wrong with the picture above? No, it’s not the mess on the bed with dogs, three different blankets, and pile of toys. 🙂 It’s also not that my buds look miserable and half asleep. Think RED (yuck) and stay tuned for my DIY project next week!

Enjoy the weekend!!

the beginning

This blog is called Hippie Itch. The name came to me one random night when I couldn’t sleep and realized that I needed to fulfill my ‘hippie’ appetite. This includes a little this and a little that – going ‘green’, DIY projects, volunteering, maybe more?

I plan to volunteer at a variety of places and document my adventures here. I’m hoping this will help me really get a feel for what I might like to do with my life since my current career is unfulfilling (and not ‘hippie’). Next Saturday is my first event. I’m heading to BARK (Bandit’s Adoption and Rescue of K-9’s) Farm to volunteer. I can’t wait to see what happens!

This morning I started off 2012 with a 5k. It was awesome! At points I felt strong, weak, woozy, exhausted, excited, and proud. I’m thinking my new journey is going to be similar. I love me some change but changing careers after all that schooling? Yikes. All I know is I want to help someone or something. I want to do something that matters. I want to be proud of my contributions.

I hope you can join me in my adventures towards a more fulfilling life!