Raw Stories – arielleestoria

Sharing Raw Stories is a way for us to connect, acknowledge the beauty, strength and perseverance involved in every journey. We hope these stories enlighten, inspire and encourage you as you walk your own path and help you to know that you are never alone.

What is your Raw Story?

I think that this journey of listening to, loving on and coming home to these homes we have the honor of calling bodies is honestly less about positivity and more about gratitude. Somedays, we will not always feel positive about our homes, some days we will feel nothing, some days we will just exist and not acknowledge only flaws or only goodness we will just-be. I think that’s the goal of this body “positivity” journey and the point of it – less negative self -talk and more that leads you to holding yourself a little closer and being thankful that you have what you have and learning to embrace the wholeness of who you are.

 

Photographer: @karenmarieco

Valentines Day Gift Guide

 Give some Sugar. Give some Love. 

 

Raw Sugar is a gift of love. To your partner, your Galentines and to yourself.  Here are some of our best gift ideas no matter who you’re sweet on. 

 

Man Love: Raw Men Body Washes and Bar Soaps come in the most amazing scents.  Pick your favorite and let him know how sexy he is when he smells good! Bonus, try a His/Hers Gift Exchange and let him pick out a new body wash for you too.  

 

Pure Romance: Create the ultimate romantic bath basket with a Sugar Scrub, Body Butter and Foaming Bath. Then light some candles, grab some champagne and enjoy a foaming bath for you — or for two.  

 

Keep Things Fresh: Give our brand new White Grapefruit + Rosemary scent in Body Wash and Hand Wash. It’s brand new and will keep the love and vibes alive.  

 

Fizzy Love: Our Bath Fizzers make bath time fun, fresh and relaxing. The bright colors and scents are mind boosters and body refreshers.  

 

Gift of Time: Put a bow on our brand new dry shampoos and you’re giving a free pass for days of great hair with no washing.  

 

Hair Detox: Create a beautiful gift box full of our new Scalp Restore collection. It’s a detox for a healthy scalp and full bodied beauty.  

 

Remember, whenever you buy any product, Raw Sugar donates a bar of soap to a family in need. Let’s spread the love. 

Goals for 2020 ( how to make reachable goals)

The pressure is on to make resolutions, come up with your new year mantra and define your goals for 2020.  All well and good, until February hits and then where will you be. If you’re like 80% of the population, your resolutions will have already been broken and forgotten.  So how do you set goals that are actually attainable?  

 

The key is to think small. Instead of grand resolutions, try small micro-goals as a strategy. Setting smaller goals for yourself fosters success and puts you on the road to larger change.  Instead of saying you’re going to run a marathon this year, try creating a weekly training schedule and commit to running 4 times a week.

 

The problem with bigger, all encompassing statements is that they are erroneous and we don’t break down the actionable steps go in to getting us to our goals. Break it down and your chances to create permanent change are much greater.  

 

Don’t start the year expecting to transform every single area of your life.  By focusing on one or two key goals, you can really affect change on a deeper level and naturally, that is a catalyst for other positive changes to take place.  

 

So what small goals will you achieve this year?

5 ways to boost your self confidence

Lets face it. Confidence is sexy.  We admire people that have it and we all want more of it.  We’re talking about the kind of confidence that is self-assured, self-aware, unintimidated, doesn’t try to impress and lives without fear and negative talk.  So how do we get more of it? How do you cultivate confidence and inner strength?   

 

Understand that no-one is perfect.  Even people that you think are perfect are not.   Everyone struggles with something. Start seeing yourself as equal to others and not less than.  It is what you do with what you have everyday that makes you who you are.  

 

Gain knowledge or get good at something.  

Challenging yourself by learning something new or committing to knowing more about a particular subject, or doing one thing really well.  Becoming good at something makes you interesting and being interesting boosts confidence.  

 

Silence your inner critic.  The first step toward self confidence is self love.  This is huge because it’s something most people don’t even realize they’re doing.  Even positive thinkers can walk around criticizing themselves all day long and it’s one of the most destructive barriers to self confidence. 

 

Pay attention to the thoughts you’re having. Just observe and listen to yourself.  Then question every thought. Is that true or is that a habitual reaction — then, reject the negative self talk. Truly reject it by saying I reject that thought — “I’m not stupid, I just wasn’t paying attention.”  Or “I’m not a loser, but I am overcommitting and neglecting to pay attention.” Or “I’m not fat, I have strong arms to carry my babies and legs that I can use everyday to take me places.“ Replacing negative talk with positive thoughts or solutions is key. 

 

Move.  When we are stagnant and unmoving, we don’t get the body confidence that comes from being strong and capable.  This doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon or become a body builder — just move. Whether its walking, dancing, running, yoga, stretching, taking the stairs, becoming stronger and allowing your body to perform increases confidence.  

 

Affirm yourself.  Affirmations are positive and uplifting statements that we say to ourselves. We tend to believe what we tell ourselves constantly, whether positive or negative.  Make sure you’re affirming yourself and envisioning the confident person you want to become.  

 

Care for yourself.  This quote says it all; “Self-care is never a selfish act — it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” — Parker Palmer

 

Self-confidence depends on a combination of good physical care, emotional health and social fulfillment. It is hard to feel good about yourself if you are not taking care of yourself.   Make time to shower, spend an extra few minutes lovingly massaging a rich, beautiful smelling lotion in to your body, try new products that nurture you and uplift you, get sleep, dress in something you’re proud of and build your self-confidence by making the effort to look after your own needs.

 

Lastly, set yourself up to win.  Make small goals and keep track of your wins.  Your confidence will begin to creep in every day you are aware of what is derailing your confidence and every day you do something good for yourself or someone else.  You got this!

7 best self care practises you need to introduce to your life right now

Sugar, you may already know that you are the only one that can control your environment and what you allow in your life. That premise is what sparked the whole self-care movement. The realization that there are things you can do every day — both mentally and physically — to promote a sense of greater well being in your life.  

 

So what are some simple things that promote a more peaceful, loving relationship with yourself and in turn creates a more positive life for those around you?  Here are seven simple ideas to start you on your self care journey.  

 

 

  1. Practice gratitude.  Starting a daily gratitude journal or a morning meditative practice where you think of all the things you’re grateful will nurture a deep sense of well being in your life.  Not only that, the more gratitude you show and practice, the more things that come in to your life that you’ll be grateful for. You’ll attract an avalanche of abundance.

  2. Draw your boundaries like a [email protected]&8$# f-er.  Yep. Said it. Not taking it back.  Protecting your boundaries simply means learning to say NO to things you commit to that drain your energy.  You don’t have to accept every invitation. Be honest with yourself and look at what drains your emotional bank and what fills it up.  Are there things you need to let go of? Overcommitting, being sleep deprived and constantly busy are not badges of honor. They are a symptom of a person that is not protecting their emotional well being. 

 

 

  1. Sleep! Being sleep deprived affects your mood, your productivity, your focus, your memory, your food cravings — literally every aspect of your being. Making sleep a priority in your life will affect you profoundly. Creating a peaceful environment and regulating the time you go to bed and wake up every day is a good place to begin your new state of restfulness.   

 

  1. Move.  However you want and whatever you like to do — just move your body.  Dance in the kitchen. Walk barefoot on the beach. Adopt a morning stretch or yoga routine.  The key to moving and self care is that if your body isn’t strong enough as you age to handle the everyday demands, then you’ll feel it emotionally as well.  When you move you strengthen your body, mind and spirit. 

 

  1. Create a morning ritual that nurtures your body and feeds your soul.   Take 10 minutes to yourself to care for your body.  Cleanse then moisturize to start detoxing on a cellular level and nourishing your skin. Treat yourself to a face oil and spend a full minute massaging in to your face. Use a body wash that smells uplifting and fresh.  Caring for your body sparks feelings of love and nurturing rather than the self criticism that seems to be our default.  

 

  1. Unplug.  Whether it is for a day, an hour or while you take a long, warm bath. Turn off the phone, put down the laptop and just be. The freedom from being unavailable for a period of time allows you to get out of “reactive mode” to focus and be in touch with your own ideas, desires and needs.  

 

  1. Do something new.   Have you ever wanted to try reiki, sample a new type of cuisine or stand up paddle board?  Maybe you’d like to take a dance class or hike to the Hollywood sign or ride a horse on the beach.  The point is that trying new things inspires joyful living. Get out there and expand your horizons.  The more experiences you have in life, the more you have to contribute.  

 

Self care will never happen unless you intentionally make space for it. It’s not selfish.  It’s the only way to truly live your best life and be your best for the people you love.  

Broke and In Love? What to do for no-budget or low-budget date nights.

You don’t want anyone calling you a cheap date, but the truth is, dating is expensive.  When your budget calls for no or low cost solutions, the key is doing some homework, getting creative and bringing a spirit of fun.  We’ve compiled a list of date ideas that will help you connect without breaking the bank. Who knows, your date might even like the out-of-the-box thinking.  

 

Free Concerts, Farmer’s Markets + Festivals.   Do your homework and look for free community events in your area and build a date around that. There are tons of free concerts,  outdoor festivals and farmer’s markets that are a lively, fun and don’t cost a thing.   

 

Beach Day.  Nothing is more relaxing or intimate than a day at the beach.  Bring a blanket built for two, some beach chairs and a cooler of your favorite snacks.  Even better in the evening, have a bonfire and make S’mores. Campfire talk is especially romantic.  

 

Take a Hike.  Plan a scenic hike.  Exercising together is a great habit to get into and being out in nature is good for the soul.  Bonus points if you bring a backpack with a blanket and some picnic fare and surprise your date with a romantic little stop at a scenic spot.  

 

Geocaching.  It’s a thing.  Couples are doing it in droves and it sparks a spirit of fun, quirky adventure.  Basically, it’s a real life treasure hunt using GPS coordinates and geocaches are literally everywhere. In fact, you probably pass by scores of geocaches hidden on a daily basis and don’t even know it!  Begin on the official Geocache website — all you need is your phone with the free app downloaded. https://www.geocaching.com/play

 

Cook Together.  Even better, shop and cook together. Yes, there is a small cost of groceries, but it’s so much less expensive than eating out and often a much better experience.  How someone is in the kitchen tells you a lot about them as a person. If they are light hearted about burning the garlic bread, you know they can deal with speed bumps with a sense of humor. If they fall apart, you know you may have a perfectionist on your hands.  

 

Game Night.  What’s more fun than playing games? You’ll laugh, you’ll experience a little spirit of competition and create a playful connection. Be creative and throw a twist in to your games.  

If someone loses a hand, they have to tell you something about themselves you don’t already know, or, if you’re intimate, has to lose a piece of clothing.  Game night can be sexy and a blast.  

 

Backyard “Camping”.  Pitch a real tent in the backyard (or a blanket fort inside) and make it extra cozy with tons of pillows and soft blankets.  Make your night complete with lanterns, stargazing and ghost stories.  

 

The point is, when you “do” something together, there is a level of intimacy that creates a much deeper connection than spectating.  So even if you have money, you may want to try something from the list for that reason alone. Now go be a cheap date!

Do good, feel good – How to make a positive impact

Do good. Feel Good. 

How to make a positive impact. 

 

What does it mean to “do good?”  Any unselfish act you participate in that benefits another human being is doing good.  It can be as simple as holding a door for someone, volunteering for a beach clean-up, picking up groceries for an elderly neighbor or as involved as weekly mentoring.  Whatever it is, the impact you have when you do good reaches far beyond the actual act itself.  

 

When you do good, it does YOU good as well.   It improves not only your psychological health, but your physical health too.  Think of it as a karmic domino effect of good vibes.  

 

So how do you begin having a positive impact?  Start with what you know and go from there. Look at your community and what you’re passionate about.  Starting close to home can give you a real live view of the impact you have.  

 

Work is another place you can do good. Oftentimes, resources at companies are something you can tap in to.  As an example, Raw Sugar Living decided from the start that doing good would be part of its company culture.  The mantra “Lead with Love” is a rallying cry for acts of kindness in which the whole company participates. Their give-back mission, The Raw Sugar Initiative,  donates a fresh bar of soap to a person in need for every product sold. Simple concept, amazing results. Over 5 million bars of soap have been donated based on the simple premise that  everyone deserves to feel clean and fresh no matter what their economic situation.  

 

Aside from what it does for the recipient of your good deed, helping others is a step toward creating your own happiness, inside and out.  It releases positive emotions in you, can reduce stress, boost your immune system, help your body fight against disease and may even help you live longer.  Now that’s a positive impact. You see, kindness really does matter.  

 

 

A few simple ways you can do good. 

  • Volunteer 
  • Mentor 
  • Sign up to help a worthy cause
  • Donate resources you may have 
  • Participate in random acts of kindness 

10 Expert Ways to Tame Frizzy Hair

From bold ringlets to effortless beach waves, we’re all about embracing your hair’s natural texture. The only thing is, that texture is often accompanied by a side of frizz. While there’s nothing wrong with rocking a few flyaways (they’re only natural, after all), we suspect you’re reading this article because you’re keen to keep your locks looking smooth and shiny.

woman lying on bed covering her face surrounded by photos and white camera

While you probably know exactly what frizz looks like, you may not yet understand what it is and why it happens. When your hair’s cuticle is lifted, moisture can penetrate the strand – causing it to swell up and become ‘frizzy’. That’s why you notice your hair reach peak frizz in the rain or humidity.

So, what’s the solution to keeping your hair free of frizz and full of oomph? Here are 10 effective ways to keep frizz at bay.

 

Pick a Nasty-Free Shampoo

Sulfates are your hair’s arch nemesis, so try and keep them away from your cherished tresses. Shampoos that hide sulfates as an ingredient work away at stripping and dehydrating your strands, which is not what you want when you’re looking to lock in moisture. For a natural, sulfate-free shampoo, try Raw Sugar Truly Unruly Shampoo.

 

Use a Nutrient-Rich Conditioner

When warding off frizz, the key is to keep good moisture inside your hair cuticles so that they don’t go looking for outside sources of moisture (hello humidity). Get friendly with a nutrient-dense, vitamin-packed conditioner that will hydrate and nourish your strands from root to tip. We recommend the Raw Sugar Truly Unruly Conditioner.

 

Masque More Than You Do Now

Hair masks are so important for thirsty, frizz-prone hair. Feeding your hair a weekly masque will fill the holes in your hair shaft that penetrate moisture in the air that result in frizz. Raw Sugar’s Healing Power Hair Masque in Avocado + Banana Oil + Coconut Milk + Agave has a formula that is made with ColdPressed ingredients that helps to repair overworked hair that’s in need of a little raw lovin’.

 

Skip your Next Shampoo Day

Psst. You’re about to learn a pretty big secret. You don’t actually need to wash your hair every day to keep it clean. Most conditioners include ingredients that cleanse your hair, so skip every second shampoo day and only condition instead to avoid your hair getting stripped of its essential oils.

 

Brush from the Bottom Up

Well-hydrated hair blocks humidity from reaching it. So next time you brush, flip your head down and do so from the bottom up. This will distribute the natural oils from your scalp into your ends – resulting in healthier looking locks.

 

Switch to a Silk Pillow

Cotton pillows tend to suck moisture out of your skin and hair. To help retain healthy levels of moisture, switch to a silk pillowcase. If that’s not an option, try a silk scarf around your pillow and let your frizz-free hair reap the benefits.

 

Wait a While Before Blow-Drying

It may sound counterintuitive, but blow-drying your hair can actually cause frizz to become worse. Too much heat on your strands will dehydrate them, especially if they’re soaking wet. If you have time, try to let your hair dry naturally before blasting hot air onto it – it’ll be left looking slicker and shinier.

raw sugar living truly unruly set

Make Pins Your Friend

If you’d like to avoid loading your hair up with too much product, try smoothing out flyaways with pins instead – especially if you’re rocking an up-do. Have a box on pins on hand and within easy reach for when you need them.

 

Use the Body Lotion Trick

If you get caught in the rain, or if it’s a particularly humid day, avoid frizz from wreaking its havoc on your hair with a simple pump of hand or body lotion. Tie your hair up in a ponytail, squeeze some lotion into your palm, and smooth the ends of your hair out with it – being careful to run your fingers through it gently. It will look beautifully poised and polished.

 

Wrap It Up Into a Bun

Hot tools and hair appliances aren’t the best for your hair’s health. Keep it natural by wrapping your hair up into a bun while it’s still damp and allow it to dry up there. You’ll get beautiful, natural waves minus the frizz – or burnt out strands.

 

spring cleaning

Spring Clean Your Bathroom in Less Than an Hour

Spring is almost upon us, and along with the flowers, pollen and sunshine – this season means it’s time to do all the cleaning we’ve been putting off for the past three seasons.

 

And while that’s not exactly exciting, the feeling of accomplishment you get after a good spring clean are priceless.

 

The first place to start your spring clean is the bathroom. Why? Because it’s probably full of stuff you don’t really need anymore.

 

To give you a hand, we’ve rounded up a few easy ways to clean out your bathroom in less than an hour. Yep, you read that right. Your bathroom will be looking fresh in less than the time it takes you to watch a movie.

 

 

Keep the must-haves, but refresh where needed

We all need cleaning tools – they’re essential for the health and hygiene of our bathrooms. Keep the essentials you use that are still in good shape, and get rid of anything that’s seen better days in favor of a new item. Trust us, the small investment will be totally worth it.

 

Say sayonara to the harsh chemicals

Did you know there are so many effective cleaning ingredients hiding in your pantry right now? Instead of inhaling harsh chemicals like bleach, why not use lemon, vinegar or bicarb soda to clean your bathroom? It’s an easy way to free up space (where bottles of chemicals would once go) and ensure your home is a haven of health.

 

Beauty reboot

 

All those empty bottles on the shower floor? They’ve got to go. The ones on the windowsill too. And even in they’re not empty, if you haven’t used a shampoo, face wash, or body wash in a few months – it’s probably time to let it go.

 

Clear out any unnecessary decor

An empty diffuser. A dust-coated candle. An artificial plant. Bathrooms are a retreat – a place to go to refresh and rejuvenate, so they shouldn’t be filled with anything that can’t be used. Move, or give away, any decor that doesn’t serve a purpose other than collecting dust. It’ll make the space feel lighter, and make cleaning a lot easier.

Organize, organize, organize

Give everything in your bathroom a home. Use a cabinet organizer to store beauty products and cleaning products, and use a caddy in the shower for your shampoos, treatments, and body washes. Keep the cabinets looking tidy, and if you keep towels in the bathroom – place them somewhere they’ll be easy to reach.

 

Get down and dirty

Finally, it’s wipe-down time. Using your natural cleaning products, a sponge, cloth and cleaning brush, get into all those hard-to-reach places and give the entire room a thorough clean. If you work from the back of the bathrooms forward, you can do this strategically and quickly – it won’t take you more than 20 minutes to have the whole place sparkling.

plant based beauty

The Plant-Based Beauty Guide Your Wallet Will Love

Many people associate plant-based beauty products with being tough on the bank account – but we’re here to bust that outdated old myth.

 

The truth is, using healthy, nature-derived products that are good for you doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny. In fact, with nothing over $15, Raw Sugar’s range of nutrient-packed, ColdPressed skin, beauty and hair care products shows that you can have your cake and eat it too.

 

We want everyone to feel good in the skin they’re in, all our products are made to be accessible – we want the sweet feeling of pure self-love beauty products to reach as many people as possible.

 

If you haven’t experienced the #rawlovin effect of our products, here’s an easy guide to the natural beauty products your wallet will love.

 

Personal Care

Let’s get personal. Our line of plant-based Body and Hand Washes not only cleanse your skin, they nourish it too. Just like all our products, our personal care ingredients are processed through ColdPress Technology® – which basically means we squeeze the maximum amount of fruit and vegetable extracts we can, out and feed them straight into your skin.

 

To start your Raw Sugar routine, choose the body and hand wash that best suits you. Our Heritage line has our fan favorite that many love, the ‘Moisture Loving’ line is designed to hydrate drier complexions, and the ‘Sensitive Skin’ line uses gentle, soothing ingredients perfect for delicate skin. The best part? There are a variety of incredible scents to choose form.

 

For those who enjoy a massage while they bathe, our Bar Soaps have nifty little nubs that gently massage the skin for a spa-like experience every time.

 

Beauty Care

raw sugar living body lotion

Once you picked your base, it’s time to move on to beauty. First off, choose a Body Lotion that best matches your skin type. Just like our personal care products, they’re designed to suit unique needs. What they have in common? They’re crafted with care to gently spoon-feed your skin a ton of natural skin superfoods – leaving it well hydrated and moisturized.

 

If your skin gets a little dry or flaky, especially in the winter, pick up a Body Scrub and Body Butter. The scrubs will exfoliate your skin and rid it of any dead skin cells, perfectly prepping it for a moisture-rich, ultra-nourishing body butter.

 

Bath Fizzers and Foaming Bath Washes are there to pamper you when you need to unwind at the end of the day – easing your body mind with a healthy, vitamin-rich soak.

 

Hair Care

raw sugar living truly unruly set

Once you’ve got your personal and beauty products, you’re ready to graduate to hair.

 

Our vegan, sulfate and paraben-free hair care products are a healthier new way to keep your hair looking fierce and flip-worthy. For dehydrated locks, pick the Moisture Smoothie Shampoo and Conditioner – they deliver thirst-quenching ingredients directly to your hair. Strands that could use a little extra oomph will love the Bounce Back regimen – made to revive and shine with weightless moisture. Have curly hair that can’t be tamed? The Truly Unruly set was made for you! They deeply condition and hydrate, smoothing out frizz but keeping your hair’s unique character in tact.

 

Make sure you also pick up one of our Hair Masques and use it at least once a week for extra nourishment that’ll give you shinier, stronger, visibly healthier hair.

 

Lip Care

raw sugar living lip care

Lips need lovin’ too! Our 100% natural Lip Scrubs exfoliate and condition dry, chapped lips for a perfectly soft pout. Keep them well-hydrated with a nourishing Lip Balm – protecting your lips from harsh weather conditions and locking in moisture for delicious, kiss-ready lips.

Find Raw Sugar at your nearest Target or Walgreens and enjoy a beauty routine that really works.

A little Raw Sugar Love

Crafted and produced in sunny SoCal, Raw Sugar Living is a natural lifestyle brand on a mission to promote clean and healthy living through products that are good for the body and nourish the soul.

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