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0 In FYI/ Wedding

Our Engagement Photos: Ironwoods Beach, West Maui

Hello there! Today I’m excited to finally share some photos from our engagement photo shoot with our incredibly talented wedding photographer, Rebecca ArthursWe took our engagement photos back in May while vacationing and doing some wedding planning on Maui. I cannot speak enough praises for Rebecca. Aside from her obvious talent, her grace and friendliness made this shoot so effortless and comfortable. The entire experience, from the location to the perfect weather to my handsome fiance, truly felt like a dream. The day was so magical that I can’t even begin to imagine what our wedding day will be like.

It is finally starting to hit me that our wedding is approaching and I am so excited! My future sister-in-law just got married to the best guy and Ryan and I had the honor of being in their bridal party. It was as close to perfect as a wedding could be so we can only hope our day is filled with as much love and beauty! 🙂 Now that she is married, I am officially next (254 days to go)! After a year and half of being engaged, I think it’s finally starting to hit me! (For those interested, I wrote all about our proposal story and Maui engagement in this post!)

Engagement Photo Shoot Details

Photographer: Rebecca Arthurs

Location | Ironwoods Beach, West Maui

Blue & White Stripe Romper | Urban Heritage (no longer available, similar here & here)

Lace Crop Top | Grace Loves Lace (no longer available, similar here & here)

Linen High Waisted Beach Pants | Mahina (not available online, similar here)

Elastic Maxi Dress in Rose | Keliki

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Location: Ironwoods Beach, West Maui

When we started planning our shoot with Rebecca, I told her I wanted the location to be somewhere that showed off Maui’s natural beauty. I knew I wanted some photos on the beach but also wanted some dramatic cliff shots. She recommended we shoot at Ironwoods Beach in West Maui and it was perfect! It’s a popular location for elopements and we actually witnessed a wedding taking place and another bride & groom taking pics on the beach.

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Outfit Planning

Rebecca encouraged us to plan a few different outfits/looks and I’m so glad she did. I was obsessed with making sure our outfits complimented each other and that the colors didn’t clash that I laid them all out on the floor and took my time pairing them up until I was happy. 😂It was important to me that I pick muted colors that would blend well with our natural surroundings and not compete with Maui’s beauty.

First Look: Casual

For our first outfit, we decided to go with something casual that we would wear on a regular day in Hawaii. I opted for a lightweight linen romper and Ryan went with a plain t-shirt, shorts, and short sleeve button-up. This style was a great one to start with because we felt comfortable which helped us warm up to the camera!

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Second Look: Dressy Casual

For our second look, we went a little dressier but again kept it comfortable. I bought this crop top from Grace Loves Lace on Tradesy when we first got engaged hoping I’d be confident enough to wear it for our engagement photos. I’m not one to typically wear a crop top but I’m proud I pushed myself outside my comfort zone because I love how these pics turned out! I loved the color and fit of these linen beach pants I found at a boutique on the island the day before our shoot. For Ryan’s outfit, he wore blue chinos and a cotton blend polo (both from Bonobos).

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |


Succulent Bloom Stacking Ring Set | Local Eclectic

Engagement Ring: Lauren B Jewelry

Earrings: Mahina Boutique (not available online)

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Third Look: Bold & Romantic

For our final look, I wanted it to be a little bolder but still look beachy. Our outfit colors reminded me of vintage Hawaii and the sunset cast the prettiest filtered lighting over us. Ryan dressed in navy chinos and a light-weight cotton button down (again, both from Bonobos). I found my dress at another local boutique on Maui the day before our shoot. I loved the front slit, open back, and flowy skirt. The wind on the cliffs was stronger than down on the beach so it made for some awesome dramatic shots.

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

The back of this dress 😍

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

Maui Engagement Photos by Rebecca Arthurs |

After an incredible couple of hours shooting, we got to enjoy this beautiful Maui sunset. We feel so grateful to get to enjoy this beautiful island together and we can’t wait for our closest family and friends to be here to enjoy it with us next May.

We would like to thank Rebecca Arthurs for making our engagement photo shoot dreams come true! Be sure to check out her work and follow her on Instagram (@rebeccaarthurs)!

As always, if you have any questions or would like to say hello, you can leave a comment down below, on my Instagram, or message me on my contact page.

xoxo Caitlyn |

0 In FYI/ Home/ Wellness

Safe Pet-Specific Shampoo featuring Earthbath

natural & cruelty-free pet-specific shampoo _ (1)

This post is for all my green-lifestyle pet parents out there! I wanted to share a bit of useful information concerning pet-specific shampoo and how to find one that meets your pet’s needs.

I learned the hard way the importance of pet-specific shampoo after I followed the advice of a popular green beauty blogger who recommended using Calia shampoo on pets. When I ran out of my pet shampoo, I foolishly decided to take her advice without doing my own research. My chihuahua mix, Belle, was unaffected but my Jack Russell, Ollie, developed extreme itchiness immediately after his bath that lasted a solid 2 days. I felt SO guilty to have put him through that but I learned a valuable lesson and it led me to write this post. I hope you find this information helpful!

Disclaimer: This post is in NO way sponsored. There are no affiliate links in this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own (as always)! 

pH scale | pet shampoo

Why Pet-specific Shampoo is Important:

Our pets rely on their hair/fur for protection because their actual skin is extremely sensitive. Their skin can be so sensitive that even baby shampoos can be too harsh for them.

Humans and Pets Have Different Skin pH:

Here’s a quick middle school chemistry refresher: On the standard pH scale, any value <7 is considered acidic while any value >7 is considered alkaline (or basic). A value of 7 is considered neutral. A human’s skin has a pH value of 5.5 while our pets’ skin has a pH near 6.5 – 7.5. In order words, a human’s skin is more acidic than that of a cat or dog. 

This explains why it’s important to never use topical human products on your pet unless instructed to do so by your vet. Our shampoos and conditioners are designed to match our skin’s acidic pH and therefore could be harmful if used on your pet’s neutral skin. (Source: earthbath)

Possible Dangers of Human Shampoo on Pets:

  • Skin Infections – Due to their acidity, human shampoos and sItchy Dog Cartoon | Pet Shampoooaps strip away our pets’ acid mantle that is supposed to protect their skin. Without this protective barrier, bacteria, parasites, and viruses can flourish and ultimately lead to skin infections and/or wounds.
  • Dry, Irritated, Itchy Skin – Applying an acidic human shampoo to your pet’s neutral skin will cause burning and dryness. The more acidic the product, the worse this will be. When the skin becomes dry, your dog or cat will scratch at his/her skin, creating tiny abrasions that bacteria and germs can invade. This makes your pet that much more susceptible to skin infections.
  • Overall Discomfort – We love our pets and want them to live happy, comfortable lives (they are family after all). You know how uncomfortable it feels when you get a sunburn or have a dry scalp so why risk putting your pet through that? (Source: Pet MD)

Choosing a Pet-specific Shampoo:

If you are a fan of green beauty and home products, you understand the multitude of benefits to a non-toxic lifestyle. If you wouldn’t use a chemical-filled product for yourself or child, why not do the same for your pet? I’m not saying you have to spend hundreds of dollars on your pet (although I totally don’t judge you if you do – I’m a passionate dog mom myself), but spending a little extra on a quality product will have nothing but a positive impact on your beloved pet!

pH Balance is Key!

Look for pet-specific shampoos that advertise a neutral pH or state they are “pH balanced” for pets. Reputable brands will advertise this on the bottle or have the information listed on their website. My favorite clean, vegan, & cruelty-free pet-safe shampoo is from earthbath!

Red-flag Ingredients to Avoid: 🚫

I doubt you will be surprised by this list of red-flag ingredients for pets because it overlaps with those for humans. Although the FDA claims these ingredients are safe in low doses, I personally find them unnecessary and choose to avoid them.

  • Artifical fragrance – hormone disruptor; often contain phthalates (listed below)
    • Examples: parfum, fragrance
  • Parabens (preservative) – endocrine system disrupter; mimic hormones; linked to allergic reactions in dogs
    • Examples: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, & butylparaben
  • Phthalates (solvent, dissolving agent) – endocrine system disrupter; mimic hormones; linked to thyroid issues, liver cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, & obesity
    • Examples: diethylphthalate (DEP), dibutylphthalate (DBP), dimethylphthalate (DMP)
  • Sulfates (emulsifier) – skin irritant; pulls most of the natural oil from your pet’s hair and skin which has an extreme drying effect
    • Examples: Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), & Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)

Fulfill Your Pet’s Needs 🐶🐱

Just like humans, pets can have varying degrees of skin sensitivity meaning no one shampoo will work for all pets. Also, our pets come in all sorts of hair and fur so it’s ideal to pick a shampoo that fulfills your individual pet’s needs.

My Favorite Pet-Specific Shampoo

Earthbath pet-specific shampoo |

When picking a shampoo for my pets, I wanted something that met the same standards as the products I use on myself. That meant the shampoo had to be 100% cruelty-free and as natural as possible. After TONS of research, I decided on earthbath!

Why I Love earthbath: 🌎🛁

  • #1 reason = it doesn’t irritate my pets’ skin and it leaves them looking/smelling super clean!
  • 100% cruelty-free
  • contain NO animal ingredients or byproducts
  • 100% human-grade ingredients
  • pH balanced to be safe on your pet’s almost neutral skin pH
  • made in the USA
  • 100% natural
    • no synthetic fragrances or artificial colors
    • paraben & sulfate free, phthalate free, and phosphate free
  • various products to meet your individual pet’s needs
  • will not wash off topical flea applications
  • offer up to 2.5 gallon jugs!

Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo Formula:

  • Purified water
  • Colloidal oatmeal (3%)
  • Renewable plant-derived & coconut-based cleansers
  • Organic aloe vera
  • Vitamins A, B, D & E
  • Glycerin (natural hair conditioner)
  • Allantoin (natural skin conditioner)
  • Natural preservative

What natural pet-specific shampoo do you use? I would love to know! Leave me a comment or any questions in the comment’s section below. I hope you learned something new from this post!

xoxo Caitlyn |

0 In Beauty/ FYI/ Gifts

2017 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales (Cruelty-free Edition)

2017 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Cruelty-free Sales

Hello all! I don’t know about you, but I’m keeping a Black Friday wishlist of all the products I have (1) ran out of and (2) had my eye on! I typically wait to buy a lot of my favorite green beauty products until now because this week tends to be most brands’s biggest sales of the year.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Advice = create an account for each brand you are planning to purchase from and add your desired items into your cart or wishlist now. This will save you time & stress this weekend and help you check out in a timely fashion (before your fav products sell out)!

Disclaimer = This list contains some affiliate links from which I can earn a small commission. I appreciate you going out of your way to use my affiliate links to help support my blog and fund my giveaways! ❤️

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales

100% Pure

  • When: NOW! Black Friday (11/24)
  • $10 items! Various items for just $10 each with any sale over $45! Perfect for stocking stuffers!

14e Cosmetics Black Friday Sale14e Cosmetics

  • When: Black Friday (11/24)
  • 25% off entire online store with coupon code “14eholiday”

Acure Organics Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Acure Organics

  • When: Black Friday – Cyber Monday (11/24 – 11/27)
  • 40% off sitewide with code “SNOWFLAKE”

AILA Cosmetics Black Friday

AILA Cosmetics

  • When: NOW (11/23) through Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • 20% off entire order with coupon code “BLACKCYBER”

Alima Pure Black Friday

Alima Pure

  • When: Black Friday (11/24) – Sunday (11/26)
  • 10% off entire online purchase with coupon code “STAYCOZY”
  • Free shipping on domestic orders
  • Free mascara and eyeliner with all purchases $75+

Angela Roi Black Friday

Angela Roi (Vegan Leather)

  • When: NOW through 11/30
  • 10% off entire purchase with code “2017Holiday10”

Au Naturale Cyber Monday

Au Naturale Cosmetics

  • When: Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • 25% off sitewide! No code needed. Plus, free gifts with purchases over $50!

Beauty by Earth Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Beauty by Earth

  • When: Black Friday (11/24), Small Biz Saturday (11/25) & Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • Black Friday: 30% off entire online store
  • Small Biz Saturday: Buy One, Get One Free (Excluding Bath Bombs)
  • Cyber Monday: 35% off entire online store

Buckaroo Organics Small Biz Sat and Cyber Monday

Buckaroo Organics

  • When: Small Business Saturday (11/25) & Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • Small Business Saturday: Site-wide sale of 20-40% off! All products will be on sale – no code needed!
  • Cyber Monday: Starting on Sunday, 11/26 at 12am MST enjoy 20% off entire website with code. Discount code revealed to World of Buckaroo email subscribers on Saturday. Sign up here!


Calia Natural

  • When: Black Friday – Saturday (11/24 – 11/25)
  • 15% off entire purchase with coupon code “BLACKFRIDAY15”

Casetify Black Friday


  • When: NOW through Saturday (11/25)
  • 15% off $35+ with coupon code “BLACK2017”
  • 20% off $75+ with coupon code “BLACK2017”
  • $10 off your first order! –> If you’re only buying one case, this will save you more money than their Black Friday Sale!

Clove + Hallow Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Clove + Hallow

  • When: Black Friday – Cyber Monday (11/24 – 11/27)
  • Site-wide sale of up to 30% off! Every CLOVE + HALLOW product will be on sale – no code needed!

Crunchi Black Friday Sale


  • When: Thursday (11/23) 6pm EST – Sunday (11/26) 11:59pm EST
  • Up to 30% off select items!

Dr.Brite Black Friday


  • When: NOW!
  • 40% off entire order with coupon code “BlackFriYAY”

 Erin's Faces Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Erin’s Faces

  • When: Black Friday – Cyber Monday (11/24 – 11/27)
  • 20% off your entire online purchase with coupon code “THANKYOULOVE”

Fitglow Beauty Black Friday

Fitglow Beauty

  • When: Now through Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • 15% off all orders with coupon code “BF15”
  • 20% off orders over $200 with coupon code “BF20”
  • 30% off orders over $300 with coupon code “BF30”

Freedom Deodorant Black Friday

Freedom Deodorant

  • When: NOW!
  • 30% off select items – no coupon code needed!


 Good Being

  • When: Black Friday (11/24)
  • SIGN UP HERE to receive PRIVATE Black Friday Deals in your Inbox – for Subscribers Only!

Good Juju Apothecary

Good Juju Apothecary

  • When: Black Friday (11/24): ends at midnight!
  • 50% off entire online store with coupon code “THANKFUL”

Go Organik Box

  • When: Black Friday (11/24) only!
  • 20% off your first subscription box with coupon code “GREENFRIDAY”
  • 20% off entire online store with coupon code “GREENFRIDAYSHOP”

Gunas Black Friday Sale

Gunas New York (Vegan Leather)

  • When: NOW through 11/26 midnight
  • 20% off entire website with code “THANKS20”

Hynt Beauty Black Friday

Hynt Beauty

  • When: NOW through Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • 30% off your entire purchase excluding lipstick, sets, and samples with coupon code “BLACK2017”

Kiss Me Honey Black Friday

 Kiss Me Honey

  • When: NOW
  • 20% off entire online purchase with coupon code “THANKS”

Kosmatology Black Friday and Cyber Monday


  • When: Thanksgiving – Cyber Monday (11/23 – 11/27)
  • 30% off entire purchase with coupon code “CLEAN30”

Know Foods Black Friday

Know Foods

  • When: NOW!
  • 30% off your entire order with coupon code “BLACKFRIDAY”
  • Get Free Shipping On Orders $40 Or More!

Lauren B Beauty Black Friday & Cyber MondayLauren B Beauty

  • When: Black Friday (11/24) and Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • Black Friday: 50% off all products & free shipping over $5o with code “BLACKFRIDAY50”
  • Cyber Monday: 40% off all products & free shipping over $50 with code “CYBER40”

lily lolo black friday

Lily Lolo

  • When: NOW (11/23) through Black Friday (11/24)
  • 15% off your entire purchase with coupon code “Black17”

Little Barn Apothecary Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Little Barn Apothecary

  • When: Black Friday – Cyber Monday (11/24 – 11/27)
  • 20% off entire website!

Little Words Project Black Friday Little Words Project

  • When: Thursday (11/23) 6pm EST – Friday (11/24) midnight EST!
  • 30% off the entire online store plus free-shipping (yes, you read that right!)

Luxie Beauty Black Friday

Luxie Beauty

  • When: NOW (11/23) – Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • 50% off entire online store with coupon code “BF17”

Matt & Nat Black Friday

Matt & Nat (Vegan Leather)

  • When: NOW!
  • 25% off select styles (prices as marked in online store)

Mineral Fusion Cyber Monday

Mineral Fusion

  • When: Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • 35% off the entire online store!

OLO Black Friday

One Love Organics

  • When: Saturday (11/25) 8am EST – Tuesday (11/28) 12pm EST –> this is their only sale of the year!
  • 25% off online purchase with discount code “OLOCYBERSPREE”

Orgain Black Friday


  • When: NOW through 11/29
  • 15% off your entire order or 20% off orders over $100!

Organically Becca Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Organically Becca: Organic Is The New Black T-Shirts!

  • When: NOW through Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • 15% off your shirt purchase with coupon code “BLACKFRIDAY”
  • While you’re at it, check out Becca’s amazing blog and follow her on Instagram!

organic bunny

Organic Bunny

  • When: NOW (11/23) through Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • 15% off entire online store with coupon code “LOVE” (Kypris & Crunchi products not included)
  • FREE 2-day shipping on orders over $125!
  • Orders over $450 will get a bonus FREE gift automatically added.

Original Beauty Box Black Friday

Original Beauty Box

  • When: NOW
  • 60% off entire website with code “blackfriday60”!

Osmia Organics Cyber Monday

Osmia Organics

  • When: Cyber Monday (11/27)
  • 20% off your entire purchase!

Petit Vour Black Friday

Petit Vour

  • When: NOW
  • Prices as marked on various skincare, haircare, and more! Plus, mystery beauty boxes!
    • Spend $100 and get a free Sculp & Glow Contour Duo by Lily Lolo

Prim Botanicals

  • When: Black Friday through Cyber Monday (11/24-11/27)
  • 25% off your entire order plus free domestic shipping! (after the 27th, the 25% off sale will continue but you will be charged for shipping)
  • Coupon Code: “YAYBLACKFRIDAY”

Red Apple Lipstick Black Friday

Red Apple Lipstick

  • When: Black Friday (11/24) beginning at 10am CST
  • You must register (click here to do so) for their VIP where you will receive a link and coupon code! Various deals, coupons, and bundles to be revealed then!

Simply Gum Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Simply Gum

  • When: Black Friday – Cyber Monday (8am 11/24 – 11/27)
  • 15% off your order when you buy (3) 6-packs with coupon code “CYBER”
  • Read my review of this brand here. Mint & Cinnamon are my faves! 

S.W. Basics Black Friday and Cyber Monday

S.W. Basics

  • When: Black Friday – Cyber Monday (11/24 – 11/27)
  • 10% off already discounted prices (already up to 40% off!) with coupon code “BLACKFRIYAY”

Urban Originals Black Friday

Urban Originals

  • When: NOW!
  • 20% off cruelty-free bags and wallets with coupon code “BLKFRIDAY”

Vanity Planet Black Friday

Vanity Planet

  • When: Black Friday (11/24) – presales in days leading up!
  • Up to 90% off the entire site!

Vapour Organic Beauty Black Friday (1)

Vapour Organic Beauty

  • When: Thursday (11/23) – Sunday (11/26)
  • 30% off entire online purchase!

Vera Bradley Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Vera Bradley

W3ll People Black Friday and Cyber MondayW3LL PEOPLE

  • When: Black Friday – Cyber Monday (11/24 – 11/27)
  • 25% off your entire purchase!

Wet Brush Black Friday

Wet Brush

  • When: Now through Saturday (11/25)
  • 25% off entire online store!

Wholesome Culture Black Friday

Wholesome Culture

  • When: Thursday (11/23) – Sunday (11/26)
  • 10% off purchases $25 and over with coupon code “BF10”
  • 15% off purchases $50 and over with coupon code “BF15”
  • 20% off purchases $80 and over with coupon code “BF20”
  • Free shipping on orders $75 and over to the U.S. and Canada

Zoe Organics Black Friday

Zoe Organics

  • When: Black Friday – Sunday (11/24 – 11/26)
  • 25% off entire purchase. No code needed!

I will do my best to update this page with sales as I hear about them and get more details. Happy Thanksgiving and happy shopping!

xoxo Caitlyn |

0 In Food/Supplements/ FYI/ Resources

Allergy-Friendly & Vegan Halloween Goodies: 2017

Allergy-Friendly & Vegan Halloween Candy |

Halloween is right around the corner so I thought it would be fun to share with you what I’m handing out to the kiddos this year. 🍬🍫🍭 Working as a nurse, I meet so many children with life-threatening food allergies. It seems like nut, gluten, and dairy allergies are only becoming more common. With those kids in mind, I decided to seek out various Halloween treats that were allergy-friendly. I also made sure to pick products that were 100% vegan as part of my personal preference. I’m a firm believer that all of our favorite treats can be made without the use of animal products (i.e. gelatin, dairy, eggs, etc.).

What do I mean by allergy-friendly? I’m referring to products free of the top 8 most common allergens:

Allergy-friendly Halloween Treats |

I was pleasantly surprised to see so many yummy vegan and allergy-safe options this year. I bought most of the products at my local Target too! My friends over at free 2b were kind enough to send me a bag of Halloween treats after I reached out to them!

🎃 For those of you who have not bought Halloween candy yet, I hope this post inspires you to pick some allergy-safe options. There is still time to order online or head to your local Target to purchase some of the products featured in this post. Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and I am not being paid to feature any of these brands. This post does not contain affiliate links. As always, all thoughts/opinions are my own! 

Allergy-friendly & Vegan Halloween Goodies: 2017

Allergy-Friendly & Vegan Halloween Candy |

Allergy-Friendly & Vegan Halloween Candy |

Sun Cups for Halloween |

free 2b Sun Cups

Finally, a replacement for the beloved peanut butter cup that is safe for those with nut allergies. Allow me to introduce you to Sun Cups, a top-12 allergen-free candy filled with roasted sunflower butter and coated in vegan chocolate! I can’t even begin to put into words how yummy these are. Plus, free 2b offers a wide variety of other allergen-free candies – check them out here!

Ingredients: Dark Chocolate (Cocoa Mass*, Sugar, Cocoa Butter*), Sunflower Seeds, Organic Powdered Sugar (Evaporated Cane Juice, Tapioca Starch), Organic Palm Fruit Oil**, Sea Salt.

Certifications: Vegan | Top-12 Allergen Free | Rainforest Alliance Certified |Project Non-GMO Verified | Fair-trade Certified Ingredients | Kosher

free 2b Sun Cups |

Buy Online: Thrive Market or free2b Online Store

Yum Earth Organic Gummies for Halloween |

Yum Earth Organic Gummy Candy

What kid (or even adult) doesn’t love gummy snacks?! I specifically love these gummies because they are made without gross gelatin (an ingredient derived from various animal body parts 🤢). Therefore, these are one of the few gummy products available that are 100% vegan!

Ingredients: Organic Rice Syrup, Organic Cane Sugar, Pectin, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Natural Flavors, Organic Color from Concentrate (Apple, Carrot, Pumpkin, Blackcurrant), Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Carnauba Wax.

Certifications: Vegan |Top-8 Allergen Free | USDA Organic |Project Non-GMO Verified | Gluten-free | Nut-free | Dairy-free

YumEarth Organic Gummies |

Buy Online: Target

Yum Earth Organic Lollipops for Halloween |

Yum Earth Organic Lollipops

These organic lollipops taste so yummy without all the artificial flavors and colors found in conventional lollipops. Every flavor tastes great so I know all of the kids will love them!

Ingredients: Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid, Colored with Concentrate (Carrot, Blackcurrant), Colored with Organic Concentrate (Carrot, Apple, Blackcurrant), Turmeric (Color) Organic Annatto (Color).

Certifications: Vegan | Top-8 Allergen Free | USDA Organic | Project Non-GMO Verified | Gluten-free | Nut-free | Dairy-free

YumEarth Organic Pops |

Buy Online: Target

Black Forest Organic Sour Heads for Halloween |

Black Forest Organic Sour Heads

How awesome is it that there is an organic alternative to Sour Patch Kids?! Formulated with 100% natural ingredients and free of artificial colors/flavors, these are definitely a better option for the sour candy lovers out there.

Ingredients: Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Potato Starch, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate, Cornstarch, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Colors (Black Carrot Juice, Carrot Juice, Turmeric).

Certifications: USDA Organic | Project Non-GMO Verified | Gluten-free | Dairy-free

Black Forest Sour Heads |

Buy Online: Target

BOOMCHICKAPOP for Halloween |

Angie’s Boomchickapop (Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn)

This popcorn is seriously addicting! I have to admit, I may have eaten a bag or two before putting them aside for the trick-or-treaters. I love this Kettle Corn because it is lightly sweetened so it is not overwhelming or as unhealthy as other options out there. With such a clean formula and great taste, these single serving bags are perfect for handing out on Halloween!

Ingredients: Popcorn, Sunflower Oil, Cane Sugar, Sea Salt

Certifications: Vegan | Top-8 Allergen Free | Project Non-GMO Verified | Kosher | Gluten-free

Boomchickapop Kettle Corn |

Buy Online: Target

Happy Halloween! |

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions/comments, feel free to comment below or contact me through my contact page.

Check out my other Halloween Posts too: Peanut Butter Cup Spider Cookies | Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups Review

Happy Halloween! Be safe and have fun!

xoxo Caitlyn |

0 In Beauty/ Face/ FYI

Everything You Need to Know About Hydrosols

Everything You Need to Know About Hydrosols |

Hydrosols (aka herbal distillates, hydrolats, or floral/herbal water) have become a common staple in many people’s skincare routines. Personally, I have fallen in love with rosewater and use it multiple times a day. Whether you use hydrosols or not, I would bet you have seen them advertised in stores or online by your favorite beauty bloggers. So what exactly are they and do they actually do anything? Below I answer these questions while filling you in on everything you need to know about hydrosols and which ones I recommend!

What are Hydrosols?

In the beauty and health worlds, a hydrosol is the water left behind after extracting an essential oil from a plant through water/steam distillation. In other words, it is the natural byproduct of making essential oils! They are distilled from various parts of plants such as the leaves, petals, roots, seeds, etc.

How Hydrosols Are Made |

Photo: LisaLise

Essential Oils vs Hydrosols

When you water/steam distill a plant, you are left with 2 products: the essential oil and the hydrosol (see picture above). The essential oil is the fat soluble elements of the plant while the hydrosol is the water soluble elements of the plant. Both essential oils and hydrosols provide us with countless therapeutic uses and benefits!

Key Difference: Unlike pure essential oils that must be diluted prior to application, hydrosols are naturally very gentle and can be applied directly to your skin without any sort of dilution. That is why you will usually see them sold in spray bottles or advertised for facial use.

Quality Matters.

Not all hydrosols are the same. Sometimes, companies will manually blend essential oils with water and sell them labeled as floral waters or falsely as hydrosols. The key to finding a high quality hydrosol is to read its ingredients.

What to Avoid

  • “Water” as the 1st ingredient – This is the #1 sign of a poor quality hydrosol! Either the product was not produced from distillation or the company diluted the product to save money.
  • Added fragrance or perfume – A true hydrosol is naturally aromatic/fragrant so it does not need fragrance added back in. Plus, who wants to be spraying a synthetic fragrance across their face?! Not me.
  • Added colors or dyes – Not all hydrosols will have a color and that is okay! Colors can vary from batch to batch or depending on the specie of plant so don’t worry if you notice subtle colors differences. However, added color is completely unnecessary so avoid products that have it.

What to Look For

  • “Hydrosol” is listed in the ingredients! – A high quality hydrosol’s primary ingredient should be the actual hydrosol and not a mixture of water and essential oil! Genuine hydrosols are listed as “____ (plant name) hydrosol”, “____ (plant name) hydrolat”, or “____ (plant name) distillate”.
    • I want to note that it is okay if there are other listed ingredients in your hydrosol. Many companies add additional essential oils for their therapeutic effects.

Rosewater Safe Swap |

Mario Badescu vs. Little Barn Apothecary

Shown above is a popular conventional “rosewater” product versus a true rosewater hydrosol. Both advertise the same beauty benefits but which one is better? Let’s take a look at their ingredients:

  • Mario Badescu Ingredients
    • Aqua (Water, Eau), Propylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Rosa Canina Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Leaf Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Parfum (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Citronellol, Geraniol, CI 17200 (Red 33), CI 42090 (Blue 1)
  • Little Barn Apothecary Ingredients
    • Aloe leaf juice*, Rose damacena hydrosol**, witch hazel distillate*, Leuconostoc (radish root ferment filtrate) ((*Organic, **Sustainably wild harvested))

The Mario Badescu product lists water as its first ingredient while it’s only mention of rose is from rose extract. It also contains synthetic fragrance and artificial coloring. In comparison, Little Barn Apothecary’s first two ingredients are organic aloe leaf juice and rose hydrosol which happen to be exactly what is advertised on the front of the bottle. There are no artificial fragrances or colors. While the Mario Badescu may be more popular and affordable, its overall formula and quality doesn’t come close to Little Barn Apothecary’s!

Common Plants Used For Hydrosols |

Helichrysum (aka Everlasting or Immortelle)

  • Natural antibiotic/antifungal which helps fight acne & other skin conditions
  • Reduces the appearance of scarring
  • Assists in skin renewal
  • Sunburn relief (hydrating & soothing)


  • Helps control oil production & pH balance of face
  • Works as a lightweight moisturizer
  • Anti-imflamatory benefits which reduce redness/puffiness
  • Naturally antibacterial to help fight acne & other skin conditions
  • Rose aroma is a natural mood enhancer


  • Soothes irritated skin (great for sunburn or bug bites)
  • Helps to heal/repair so can be used to clean minor cuts & burns
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits which reduce redness/puffiness
  • Natural aroma is relaxing

Witch Hazel

  • Gentle astringent which protect skin cells
  • Natural mild cleanser
  • Soothing and calming to skin which makes it great for use on eczema and psoriasis
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits which reduce redness/puffiness


  • Gentle astringent which protect skin cells
  • Helps fight blemishes
  • Reduces the appearance of large pores
  • Helps prevent wrinkles and smooths out tiny lines
  • May decrease the appearance of scars

How to Use Hydrosols |

Rosewater is my favorite hydrosol and I use it multiple times a day. Here are a few ways you too can integrate hydrosols into your beauty regimen:

  • Sprits on your face throughout the day to replenish your skin and relieve dryness.
  • Apply to your face after showering to help your skin absorb the products you apply afterward (facial oils or moisturizers).
  • Spray on your face to set your makeup! This is perfect after applying powder makeup so it stays in place and lasts all day.
  • Use it in place of water when mixing your powdered masks for added benefits!
  • Use hydrosol on a cotton pad to remove makeup.
  • Each hydrosol has its own therapeutic effects so choose one based on your skincare needs (see above)!

My Favorite Hydrosols |

Shop My Favorite Hydrosols

I hope this post was informative and you learned something new about hydrosols! As always, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below or send me a message on my contact page. Thanks for reading!

xoxo Caitlyn |

4 In FYI

What I Learned My First Year Blogging

1st Year Blogging Lessons:

Exactly one year ago, I took a big leap of faith and published my first blog post on (read it here). As I celebrate my blog’s birthday, I can’t help but reflect on everything that has happened over the past year. Being that I run this blog while trying to balance a full-time job and normal social life, I am quite proud of what I was able to accomplish. That being said, I have learned A LOT over the past year and thought it would be fun to write a post about the lessons I’ve learned during my first year of blogging. Hopefully, this post will help those of you who are considering starting a blog of your very own!

Here we go! 

1st Year Blogging Lessons:

Lesson #1: There is never going to be a perfect time to start, you have to just go for it!

I delayed launching my blog for months because I kept convincing myself I wasn’t ready yet. I had this false belief that one day I was going to wake up feeling super confident and ready to put myself out there. In reality, that day never came and I had to just pick a launch date and stick with it.

Lesson #2: Blogging takes more work than you think.

Before I started Smell the Roses, I never realized most of the bloggers I followed ran their blogs as their full-time jobs. I constantly compared myself to these super successful bloggers and couldn’t figure out how they made it all look so easy. The more I researched and the more I developed my own blog, the more I realized how involved blogging was.

For a typical blog post, one needs to come up with the idea, write the post (may also include setting up collabs with companies/other bloggers, researching your topic/product, making your post SEO friendly), either photograph or hire someone to photograph your content, edit your photos for each social media platform, and then finally share/advertise your post with the world.

Aside from that, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes such as learning how to operate your website, insert plugins, prevent/block spam, respond to emails, respond to comments on social media, and probably the most difficult, try to gain a following! I don’t write all of this to scare anyone, I write this so you will be informed and better prepared for what lies ahead in the blogging world. 😊

Lesson #2: Success is not instant or automatic.

A blogger’s biggest hope is that people will like his or her content and keep coming back for more. It was hard for me to realize not everyone who came across my blog was going to be interested in what I was writing about. This is what makes it so hard for a blogger to build a following in the beginning. I’ll be honest, the first few months I’m pretty sure the only people reading Smell the Roses were my family and friends! I’m glad I didn’t give up because I eventually found people in my target audience, it just took some time to find them!

Lesson #3: The key to a successful blog is consistent & original content.

If you want to gain a dedicated following, you need to be posting quality content on a consistent basis. While I feel each of my posts are high-quality, I struggle to keep up with a consistent post schedule. I believe this is partially due to the fact that I am not willing to post something just for the sake of having a new post up. I put a lot of time into each post and do everything myself so that slows down the process.

The most successful bloggers post on a weekly basis at MINIMUM so keep that in mind when analyzing the success of your blog (many of them also have people working with them behind the scenes). For me, I write Smell the Roses as a creative outlet/hobby so I don’t stress too much about my statistics. That doesn’t mean I don’t want my blog to be a legitimate blog, it just means I don’t get too hard on myself. However, I am working to increase the number of posts I write each week (so stay tuned!).

Lesson #5: Don’t be afraid to reach out to companies you want to feature!

Anytime I decided I wanted to write about a specific product, I made sure to email the company to see how we could collaborate on the blog post. Most often this resulted in me being able to offer my readers a giveaway or an exclusive coupon code. I was pleasantly surprised how almost every company I contacted was interested in working with me on some level, despite my blogs small size. For that reason, I urge you to reach out to your favorite companies or companies you have always wanted to try. You really have nothing to lose! I have met some amazing business owners and have discovered many of my favorite products this way!

Lesson #6: Be true to yourself 100% of the time.

If you take anything away from this post let it be this. As my blog has built up a following, I have been contacted by numerous companies asking if they can be featured on my blog. Typically the brand will offer to pay you for a review or send you free products. When I already know/love the brand and have used their products, it’s easy to say yes. However, most times I have never heard of the brand. In these cases, I always request detailed information about their products and conduct my own research into their brand. If I feel they do not align with my values, I decline their offer.

Bottomline: Do not accept anything from or feature a brand if you are not passionate about them. Your readers will either see through this or be mislead. Always remember why you started your blog in the first place and that your blog is a direct representation of you!

Lesson #7: Don’t forget to have fun!

Blogging can be an amazing hobby or job if you create a healthy work/life balance. I believe blogging should never feel like a chore! If it does, reconsider the content you’re writing about and go back to the drawing board.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you would like to see more posts about blogging please let me know in the comments or send me an email through my contact page. To those of you who have supported my blog at any point this year, I cannot thank you enough! 💕 Thank you for allowing one of my dreams to become a reality. I am so grateful for each and every one of you!

xoxo Caitlyn |

52 In Beauty/ Body/ FYI/ GIVEAWAYS

Beauty by Earth Suncare Giveaway & Review

Beauty by Earth Suncare Giveaway |


Jaime D.



*This post contains affiliate links in which I earn a small commission. The products in this giveway were supplied by Beauty by Earth but I have not been paid to feature them. All opinions are my own. 

I have teamed up with my friends at Beauty by Earth for an awesome Suncare Giveaway! 🌞  If you read my post on staying safe in the sun, you may have noticed I recommended their sunscreen as an alternative to conventional brands and for good reason! Their products are completely natural, cruelty-free, reef-safe, non-toxic, and, most importantly, effective! I used them on my last trip to Hawaii and quickly fell in love. I have no doubt whoever wins will love them too!

What We’re Giving Away…

Enter the giveaway using the Gleam plugin below and then keep scrolling to learn more about each prize! 😊

How to Enter the Giveaway:

  • Complete at least one entry option in the Gleam plugin provided on this page. Remember, the more entry options you complete, the better your odds of winning but additional entries are not required. Certain entry options are weighted more heavily than others.

Beauty by Earth Suncare Giveaway

Rules & Disclaimer: 

  • Open to the U.S. and Canada to anyone 18 or older with a valid mailing address.
  • You may enter the giveaway anytime between March 22th and March 31st 11:59 pm EST.
  • The winner will be randomly generated using the Gleam Plugin and announced April 1st at approximately 12:00 pm EST on this blog post, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • All entries requiring following/liking will be checked and verified before the winner is drawn – any missing likes/comments will not be credited as an entry.
  • I run giveaways for my readers who are genuinely interested in the products I am offering. Entries completed with social media accounts used solely for giveaways will not be counted. Although the giveaway winner is randomly generated, if you are chosen as the winner and I see you did not follow this rule, I will manually invalidate your entry and have a new winner randomly generated.
  • Once a winner is selected, I will personally contact him/her with the email address he/she used to enter the giveaway in order to obtain his/her shipping address. If no response is made within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.
  • The products in this giveaway were supplied by Beauty by Earth. I have not been paid to feature this brand.
  • No purchase necessary.

Beauty by Earth Sunscreen Review |


If you have been following my blog, you know I love Beauty by Earth. They are passionate about creating products that are not only safe for you and your family but also effective. They leave out all of the chemicals and harmful ingredients found in conventional products and use only the best natural, non-GMO, and organic ingredients! On top of that, all of their products are proudly made in the USA and cruelty-free. 🌿

Beauty by Earth Sunscreen Bundle |

Beauty by Earth Suncare |

Beauty by Earth’s Sunscreen

While looking for a green sunscreen option, I came across rave reviews for Beauty by Earth’s Sunscreen. Already a fan of their products, I immediately ordered their Sunscreen Bundle and packed it for my vacation. Here’s why I fell in love with it…

Broad Spectrum Protection

As covered in my sun safety post, one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing sunscreen is whether or not it provides broad-spectrum coverage. Both the Beauty by Earth SPF 25 Sunscreen and SPF 20 Facial Sunscreen are labeled broad-spectrum!

Reef Safe & Biodegradable Formula

Since they do not use synthetic ingredients like oxybenzone, their sunscreens are deemed reef-safe! Feel free to wear these products in the ocean without stress or guilt. 🐠

Cruelty-free Formulation

As with all of their products, Beauty by Earth’s sunscreen is certified cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny Program. 🐰

Immediate Protection

Although it is recommended you apply your sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure, one of the benefits of Beauty by Earth’s sunscreens being formulated with Zinc Oxide is that they work immediately. While chemical sunscreens need time to be absorbed by the skin, physical sunscreens work like a shield to the sun’s rays.

Environmental Working Group Recommended

What I consider one of the best sources for product safety, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has included Beauty by Earth on its list of “Best Beach and Sport Sunscreens”. Both products scored a squeaky clean 1 on their scale! Read their reports here: SPF 20 Facial Sunscreen | SPF 25 Sunscreen 

EWG Rating - Beauty by Earth Sunscreen |

EWG Rating

SPF 25 Sunscreen (Body) | Beauty by Earth

Beauty by Earth Sunscreen SPF 25 |


Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide (Non-nano)

Inactive Ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Vegetable Glycerin, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Organic Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Organic Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Fruit Extract, Organic Camellia Oleifera (Japanese Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Pulp Extract, Vanilla Tahitensis (Vanilla) Fruit Extract


This sunscreen is the best Zinc Oxide-based sunscreen I have found so far. The formula is definitely going to seem thick to someone who is used to conventional sunscreens but that is normal for Zinc Oxide-based sunscreens (I’ll take a thicker formula that is clean over a thinner chemical filled formula any day). Still, I do find the sunscreen fairly easy to rub in. It can leave a very subtle white tint on the body but I found this only happens when my legs are very dry. When I was on vacation, there was no whiteness if I had moisturized that morning. However, I actually liked when it was slightly visible because it showed me if I missed a spot or needed to reapply!

How to Use: Apply a liberal amount to all exposed areas of the body. Rub in until sunscreen is no longer or barely visible.  Reapply every 2 hours or after prolonged time in the water.

Why I Love It!

  1. Rubs in easily compared to other Zinc Oxide sunscreens.
  2. Doesn’t leave you looking like a ghost. 👻
  3. Effective immediately!
  4. Water resistant up to 40 minutes.
  5. Provides excellent sun protection!
  6. Mostly organic ingredients.
  7. Gentle enough for kids!
  8. Reef safe 🐠  & cruelty-free 🐰
Beauty by Earth Sunscreen Review |

Initial Application | Beauty by Earth SPF 25 Sunscreen


Beauty by Earth Sunscreen Review |

Almost rubbed in! | Beauty by Earth SPF 25 Sunscreen


Beauty by Earth SPF 25 Sunscreen Review |

Fully rubbed in! No white appearance! | Beauty by Earth SPF 25 Sunscreen

SPF 20 Facial Sunscreen | Beauty by Earth

Facial Sunscreen |


Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide (Non-nano)

Inactive Ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Vegetable Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Organic Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C), Xanthan Gum, Organic Argania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil, Organic Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Organic Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Leaf Essential Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Pink Grapefruit) Essential Oil


This facial sunscreen is light enough for everyday wear but strong enough for a full day at the beach.

Beach Day: I use one pump (about a pea size amount) and spread it all over my face until completely rubbed in. If I feel I need to add more, I do so only after the initial application has been rubbed in. Using this method prevented my face from turning “white” like we are all afraid of! Reapply every 2 hours while in direct sunlight.

Everyday Wear: Apply one pump to the entire face until completely rubbed in. Wait 5-10 minutes for sunscreen to dry. Apply makeup as usual and set with a finishing powder to prevent shine (I recommend the “Un” Powder by RMS). *If exposed, apply to neck and chest too!

Why I Love It!

  1. Great for sensitive skin!
  2. Rubs in easily & feels lightweight.
  3. Doesn’t make my skin feel greasy.
  4. Leaves no white tint – perfect for under makeup.
  5. Effective immediately!
  6. Water resistant up to 40 minutes.
  7. Mostly organic ingredients.
  8. Pump dispenser prevents waste.
  9. Gentle enough for kids!
  10. Reef safe 🐠  & cruelty-free 🐰
Beauty by Earth SPF 20 Facial Sunscreen |

The amount I use on my face at a time. I build up the coverage a little at a time to prevent whiteness. | Beauty by Earth SPF 20 Facial Sunscreen


Beauty by Earth SPF 20 Facial Sunscreen |

Completely rubbed in on my face! No whiteness! | Beauty by Earth SPF 20 Sunscreen


Beauty by Earth Facial Sunscreen Review |

Light enough to wear under your makeup! | Beauty by Earth

Aloe Vera Gel | Beauty by Earth

Beauty by Earth Aloe Vera Gel |


Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C), Xanthan Gum, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Citrate


For Burns or Sunburn: Apply a thin layer over burned area. The burn will immediately feel cooled and soothed (some people like to put the aloe vera in the fridge for additional relief). The aloe vera will keep the skin moisturized and help speed the healing process. Reapply 2-3 times a day until the burn has healed.

For Minor Cuts: Apply a thin layer 2-3 times a day. The gel will act as a natural disinfectant!

As a Moisturizer: Apply a thin layer to the area you would like to moisturize. The gel is nongreasy so it can be applied before makeup. It is also a great aftershave product – softens skin and will heal tiny cuts!

As a Makeup Remover: Apply a small amount of gel to a cotton ball to gently remove makeup around your eyes and face.

For Hair: Treat dandruff and dry scalp by applying the gel to roots/scalp at nighttime. Wash hair normally in the AM. Some people also use the gel as a hair styling product!

Other Uses: diaper rash, acne treatment, eczema, bruises, poison ivy/oak, soothe bug bites, etc..

Why I Love It!

  1. Can be used for so much more than sunburn!
  2. Non-sticky, fast-drying formula.
  3. Love using on my legs/armpits after shaving.
  4. My fiance can use it as an aftershave too!

Beauty by Earth Aloe Vera Gel Review |

I hope you loved this review as much as I loved writing it! Make sure to enter the giveaway and come back each day for bonus entries. If you’re interested in shopping for these or other products from Beauty by Earth, code “SMELLTHEROSES” will save you 15% off your entire order in their online store.

Want to learn why I ditched conventional suncare products? It’s not just because they weren’t cruelty-free… Read this post! 

This suncare giveaway ends March 31st at 11:59 pm! Good Luck!

xoxo Caitlyn |

0 In Beauty/ Body/ FYI/ How to...

Staying Safe in the Sun: Nontoxic Sunscreen & Sunbathing Tips

Staying Safe in the Sun: Nontoxic Sunscreen & Sunbathing Tips |

Aloha, Smell the Roses readers! Spring is officially here and that means it’s time to start preparing for warmer weather! For some, that means wanting to slim down or get organized. For me, it means making sure I have everything I need to keep my skin healthy and protected when outside in the hot sun. ☀️️  This post outlines my sunbathing tips and recommendations for nontoxic, cruelty-free, & natural sunscreen.

The Importance of Proper Sun Protection

Skin Cancer

It is common knowledge that excessive sun exposure expedites skin aging and increases your risk of skin cancer. In the United States, skin cancer is the most common cancer. Despite this knowledge, rates of melanoma are on the rise. As seen in the graphs below, rates are steadily increasing and highest in white men and women. Although these demographics are at highest risk, anyone of any race can develop skin cancer. (Source: CDC)

Melanoma Rates (CDC) -

Sources: CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries and National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program.

Melanoma Rates (CDC) -

You may have noticed incidence and death rates are higher in men. In 2013, almost twice as many American men died from melanoma as women. A suggested explanation comes from a survey that showed only 48% of men report routine sun avoidance, compared to 68% of women. (Source: EWG)

Skin Damage

Even if you do not develop skin cancer, excess sun exposure will show in your appearance. What’s the worst part about it? The damage does not show up right away. It is a cumulative effect that develops over time and is worsened by every incidence of sun exposure.

Pictured below is a side by side comparison of the same person photographed in both regular and UV lighting. Although UV images do not predict skin cancer, they still highlight the consequences of excess sun exposure (ex. wrinkles, sunspots, red blotches, texture, pore size, etc). By visualizing skin damage normally invisible to the naked eye, these photos raise awareness to the gradual and drastic damage caused by the sun. (Source: EWG)

Canfield UV Camera Photos - Your Sun Damage Wake-Up Call -

Source: Canfield UV Camera Photos (EWG)


Growing up, we were warned to not stare directly into the sun and for good reason. The sun is extremely damaging to the eyes and can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium. To keep our eyes healthy and vision strong, the National Eye Institute recommends we wear sunglasses that block out 99 – 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation. The addition of a wide brimmed hat is helpful too! Now you have an excuse to wear more accessories! 🕶️  👒  (Source: NEI)

Infants & Children

Infants (0-6 months) – Babies under six months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight because their skin does not contain enough melanin to protect them from the sun’s harmful rays. Their skin is also too sensitive for sunscreen. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that small amounts of sunscreen can be used on infants only as a last resort when shade cannot be found.

Toddlers & Children – Proper steps should be taken to prevent sunburn.One blistering sunburn before the age of 18 can double a child’s risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF 15+ are best to use in addition to shade and protective clothing. Avoid spray sunscreens due to the dangers associated with inhalation. (Source: Skin Cancer Foundation)

Buying & Using Sunscreen

Our skin is the largest organ of the body, and it absorbs nearly everything we put on it. Let that fact soak in for a minute. Although applying sunscreen seems like a health-conscious action, it all comes down to which one you are using. If you are not careful, I believe your sunscreen can be causing more harm than good (for both you and the environment)!

Ingredients To Avoid

Sunscreens can provide one of two forms of protection; chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens contain synthetic ingredients that are absorbed by the skin to block or reflect UV rays. These have the highest incidence of skin irritation and cellular toxicity and therefore should be avoided.

Try to avoid these harmful ingredients: 

  • Oxybenzone | Sunscreen Agent – UV light absorber
    • Hormone disruption (i.e. mimic or alter hormone levels)
    • Linked to reproductive and developmental issues
    • Endocrine disruption – associated with endometriosis in women
    • Known skin allergen
    • Accumulates in people – difficult to excrete
  • Octinoxate | Sunscreen Agent – UV light absorber
    • Hormone disruption (i.e. mimic or alter hormone levels)
    • Linked to reproductive and developmental issues
    • Endocrine disruption
    • Produces free radicles that contribute to premature skin aging and skin cancer
    • Accumulates in people – difficult to excrete (has been found in mothers’ breast milk)
    • Ecotoxicity
  • Vitamin A (aka Retinol) | Skin-conditioning Agent
    • Tumors and lesions develop sooner on skin coated with creams containing vitamin A when exposed to direct sunlight (Source: EWG)
    • Produces free radicals that contribute to premature skin aging and skin cancer
    • Known human reproductive toxicant
  • Homosalate | Sunscreen Agent – UV light absorber
    • Hormone disruption (i.e. mimic or alter hormone levels)
    • Accumulates in people – difficult to excrete
    • Endocrine disruption
    • Ecotoxicity
  • Methylisothiazolinone | Preservative – Paraben
    • Linked to serious allergic reactions (especially in children) (Source: EWG)
    • Named Allergen of the Year in 2013 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society (Source: EWG)
    • Hormone disruptor
    • Linked to reproductive and developmental issues
    • Ecotoxicity
    • Neurotoxicity

Ingredients To Look For

Physical sunscreens are generally considered the safer form of sun protection. They are made from natural minerals which sit on top of the skin and are not readily absorbed into the bloodstream. Be aware, due to the nature of these ingredients, they do tend to have a white appearance on the skin (some brands are better than others – my recommendations are listed below).

Safe sunblocking ingredient to seek: 

  • Zinc Oxide (non-nano) | Sunblock Agent – Colorant
    • Offers moderate broad spectrum UV protection
    • Low skin penetration – low health risk in lotions

Other Factors to Consider

Broad Spectrum Coverage There are two types of UV light that can harm your skin — UVA and UVB. Too much exposure to either can cause skin cancer. A broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum, sunscreen protects your skin from both. Sunscreens will have this labeled on the bottle! (Source: Mayo Clinic)

SPF Protection There is a misconception that higher SPF levels equal better sun protection. Unfortunately, SPF only applies to UVB rays (those responsible for burning) and does not take into consideration the harm associated with UVA rays (those responsible for age spots and wrinkling). For this reason, the Mayo Clinic recommends rather than focusing on a sunscreen’s SPF, choose one that is broad-spectrum. They state, even the worst burners will get adequate protection using a broad-spectrum SPF 30 when applied properly! (Read more about this topic: Mayo Clinic)

Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 but no greater than 50!

Reef Safety

Over the years I have seen first hand the effects of sunscreen on our oceans. While vacationing on the tourist-dense beaches of Waikiki, there were days you could see a film of sunscreen on the top of the ocean water. I couldn’t help but feel immense guilt as I watched little fish swimming through their chemical infested home. The pollution in our oceans from Oxybenzone has had toxic effects on our coral reefs and has contributed to coral bleaching.

Hanauma Bay Infographic - Reef Friendly Sun Protection |

Hanauma Bay Education Program | Hawaii Sea Grant

Pictured above, is an infographic from Oahu’s Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, a popular snorkeling spot known for its vast coral reef and diverse sea life. I found this posted when vacationing on my most recent trip and was so happy to see them making a stand against chemical sunscreens. I hope chemical sunscreens will eventually be banned but for now all we can do is try and educate the public on the importance of reef safe sunscreen.

Zinc Oxide has no known negative effects on our oceans and its inhabitants.

Application Types

Lotions | good for dry skin, best for application on large areas, can be messy

Stick | good for application on areas that require precision (i.e. around the eyes)

Spray | extremely dangerous if inhaled (apply in a well-ventilated area and be conscientious of those around you), easy to apply (especially on children), must apply a generous/even coating to ensure proper coverage and to tell where it was applied, great for quick reapplication after an initial coat of lotion

How To Apply

  1. Pick one you like because you’ll be more likely to use it. If it’s hard to apply or messy, I doubt you will be reaching to reapply it as often as your should!
  2. Apply your sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure. Physical sunscreens are typically effective immediately where chemical sunscreens need time to be absorbed.
  3. Reapply at least every 2 hours and after swimming or excessive sweating.

Extra Sun Bathing Tips

  • The best sun protection is avoidance! Always have a beach umbrella or shaded area to retreat to during the hot hours. ⛱️
  • Sunscreen should still be applied on a cloudy or overcast day! ☁️️
  • The sun is strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. At these times, try to avoid direct sun exposure! (This is the perfect time to go grab lunch in the shade or indoors). To put it into perspective, the following exposures may result in the same amount of solar energy:
    • one hour at 9:00 a.m.
    • 15 minutes at 1:00 p.m.

Non-Toxic Sunscreen

Search for Non-toxic Sunscreen

Listed below are two databases that offer a color-coded rating system for product toxicity. Scores are applied based on each products’ ingredient composition. As a general rule, any product that falls in the green range is a safe choice!

EWG Rating System |

EWG Rating System

Think Dirty Rating System |

Think Dirty Rating System

My Recommendations!

Beauty by Earth Sunscreen |

Beauty by Earth

Facial Sunscreen SPF 20 | Sunscreen SPF 25 | Face & Body Bundle | Aloe Vera Gel 

*Code “SMELLTHEROSES” saves you 15% on your online purchase

Badger is made in the USAEWG Rating | smelltheroses.cpm

Badger Sunscreen -


Rose Face Sunscreen SPF 25 | Unscented Sunscreen SPF 30Sport Sunscreen Stick SPF35

Badger is made in the USAEWG Rating | smelltheroses.cpm 

I put a lot of time and research into this post because I am so passionate about this topic.  I hope you learned something new and will improve your sunbathing habits as a result of this post! If so, please let me know in the comments section below!

xoxo Caitlyn |

2 In FYI

Ethical & Conflict-free Engagement Rings

Ethical & Conflict-free Engagement Rings |

When it comes to shopping for engagement rings, there is a lot to learn. From the four C’s, to the diamond shape, to the ring’s setting, many details have to be taken into consideration. However, far too often one very important detail is overlooked. This detail is not something that affects the appearance of the diamond or the ring at all. Yet, I consider it the most important detail when shopping for an engagement ring.

Any guesses what this detail may be? 

The diamond’s origin. 

Back when my fiance and I started discussing getting engaged, I told him the only detail that mattered to me was that my ring was sourced ethically and had not contributed to human suffering in any way. I told him it mattered so much to me that I would prefer a plain gold band or a man-made stone if a conflict-free diamond was too difficult or expensive to find. Up for the challenge and determined to buy a diamond ring, Ryan started researching all of the available options.

This post outlines what we learned about diamonds and engagement rings during the process. I hope it will help others who share the same values find the ring of their dreams!

Brilliant Earth | Diamond Origin

Brilliant Earth | Diamond Origin Map


Why does a diamond’s origin matter?

Unfortunately, the diamond trade is highly controversial and the cause of much suffering in our world. It is estimated about 65% of the world’s diamonds come from Central and South Africa. In these areas, diamonds are commonly referred to as “blood” or “conflict” diamonds because they are used by rebel forces to pay for wars that have resulted in horrific human rights abuses (including but not limited to rape and the use of child soldiers). Sadly, approximately 3.7 million people have died as a result of the diamond trade. (New York Times)

You may have gained some insight into these issues if you saw the 2006 movie, Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo Dicaprio. At the end of the movie, it reenacts the historic meeting that led to the development of the Kimberley Process, an international diamond certification scheme that was created to stop the trade of conflict diamonds and help certify a diamond’s origin. Sadly, although almost all diamond retailers use it, the Kimberley Process has been deemed ineffective.

Ethical & Conflict-free Engagement Rings |

Brilliant Earth Rings


What is the Kimberley Process?

The Kimberley Process (KP) is an international joint initiative of governments, industry and civil society formed to stop the trade of conflict (aka blood) diamonds. They define conflict diamonds as “rough diamonds used by rebel forces to finance wars against legitimate governments”. Any country can join as long as they meet the Kimberley Process’s “minimum requirements” regarding the export/import of rough diamonds (diamonds that have not been cut and polished). For example, they are supposed to only trade between other KP members and attach certificates to their exports/imports.  Approximately 99.8% of rough diamonds are sourced fromKP approved members. Read more about the Kimberley Process on their official site. (Source: Kimberley Process)

Why is the Kimberley Process ineffective?

If you have been shopping for engagement rings, you may have noticed retailers advertising their diamonds were sourced using the Kimberley Process. Although they mean well, this certification is extremely flawed and may be doing more harm than good.

The Kimberley Process does almost nothing to stop violence, worker exploitation, and environmental harm tied to diamond mining. – Brilliant Earth

The Loopholes:

  • The Kimberley Process ONLY applies to rough batches of diamonds and not individually cut diamonds.
    • Once a diamond is cut into its intended shape, it is no longer tracked, making it impossible to verify where the diamond was sourced from or what practices it was involved in.
    • If you were to ask a jeweler where a specific Kimberley Process Certified diamond came from, he/she would not be able to verify its country or mine of origin. (Source: Global Witness)
  • Their definition for conflict diamonds is extremely narrow and does not encompass all human rights issues.
    • Problems such as child labor, forced labor, rape, extremely low wages, dangerous working conditions, corruption, and environmental devastation do not prevent a diamond from earning a “conflict free” certification by the Kimberley Process’s standards. For example, more than a million diamond diggers in Africa earn less than $1 a day.
    • Despite these loopholes being brought to their attention, they refuse to broaden their definition to protect those individuals affected. (Source: Global Witness)

What you see outlined above is just a couple of the major flaws of the Kimberley Process. Here is some additional reading I highly recommend:


How to Ensure You Are Buying an Ethical & Conflict-free Ring

Ethical & Conflict-free Engagement Rings |

Brilliant Earth

Brilliant Earth

After much research, I have found Brilliant Earth to be the best place to purchase ethical and conflict-free diamonds and engagement rings. From loose natural diamonds to gemstones to lab grown diamonds, they have the largest selection of verified conflict-free & ethically sourced stones. Want another reason to love this company? They donate 5% of profits to education, environmental restoration, and economic development (learn more here). Brilliant Earth |

How do they ensure their natural diamonds are conflict-free?

They hand pick each and every one of the mines that supply their diamonds to ensure their stones originate from sources that adhere to strict labor, trade, environmental, and ethical standards. They then track every diamond from the time it is mined, cut, polished, and transported. By doing so, at no time is the stone unaccounted for or used unethically. As proof of this process, Brilliant Earth uses SCS Global Services, a trusted leading third-party certification/auditing company, to independently certify that all Brilliant Earth diamonds are fully traceable to their origins and demonstrate a strong chain of custody.

SCS Certification |

Natural Diamond Alternatives

When shopping for engagement rings, it’s important to know all of your options. While the vast majority of people opt for a natural diamond, there are tons of beautiful alternatives! Whether you are going for a nontraditional look or want a traditional look without the hefty price tag, Brilliant Earth has a wide array of options with their same conflict-free guarantee.

Gemstones | Brilliant Earth

Gemstones | Brilliant Earth

  • Moissanite – lab created (eco-friendly & ethical), affordable, durable, rainbow-like sparkle
  • Lab Diamonds – lab created (eco-friendly & ethical), less expensive than natural diamonds, durable
  • Gemstones – vary in color/toughness/price, offer a less traditional look

Ethical & Conflict-free Engagement Rings |

Brilliant Earth

Vintage Rings

While their origin is impossible to track, some couples choose a vintage stone for their engagement ring. The logic behind this is that it’s like recycling or reusing a diamond. Although the diamond may have had a dark past, couples are comforted knowing they are not contributing to the current controversial diamond trade. Vintage rings are easier to find and are unique in design.

Shop: Brilliant Earth Vintage Rings

My Ring

Center Stone: Round natural diamond sourced from Brilliant Earth

Diamond Origin: Russia (see certificate below)

Custom Setting Designer: Lauren B Jewelry

Band: Pave, Rose GoldWatch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Setting: Cathedral with pave along basket & bridge area, 2-tone, 6-prong

Russia Origin Card - Brilliant Earth |

Lauren B Jewelry

Ryan and I went engagement ring shopping a few months before getting engaged. Initially, we went to Lauren B Jewelry just to get a feel for what I liked but ended up custom designing my dream ring! I highly recommend their services to anyone in the tristate area. All of their rings are handmade and 100% customizable. Check out their designs on their site or Instagram!

Please note, if you want to work with a designer like Lauren B Jewelry to create your ring but desire an ethically sourced stone, you or your jeweler need to purchase your stone from a source like Brilliant Earth.

Above: Lauren B’s video of my ring before Ryan picked it up!

Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored by Brilliant Earth or Lauren B Jewelry.

Thank you for reading about ethical & conflict-free engagement rings. Please leave any questions or comments in the comments section below this post!

3 In FYI/ Wedding

Our Proposal Story: Haiku Mill, Maui

Surprise Proposal at Haiku Mill, Maui, Hawaii | 📷: Angela Nelson

Hello, everyone! I apologize for being a little MIA this past month but it is for good reason. Some of you may have seen on Instagram, but my long term boyfriend proposed during our vacation to Hawaii! Since returning home, between the surprise engagement celebrations, working full time, and my best friend’s wedding, February has come and gone in the blink of an eye! I have so much to share with all of you from my trip. I thought it would be fun to jump back in with a post all about our proposal story and how he asked! But first, a little background story…

How We Met

Looking back to when I met Ryan, it’s hard to believe it was almost 8 years ago. It was the summer break before I would enter my senior year of high school and I was hanging out with a group of friends at one of their houses. Little did I know, that seemingly ordinary summer day would be one of the most significant days of my life.

Ryan came over with a few others to hang out with all of us. We all lived in the same hometown but went to different schools so I had never met Ryan before. I remember thinking he was cute but didn’t have much interest because he was a year younger than me. I figured, if the guys my age were immature there was no way anyone younger would be any better! Lucky for me, Ryan was persistent and continued to show up every day to hang out with us. It wasn’t long before I fell for him.

Ryan had the perfect opportunity to ask me out on our first date when my best friend left for a month long vacation. The funny part is, he was only 16 and didn’t have a driver’s license yet so I had to pick him up for our date! A few weeks later on September 5, 2009, he asked me to be his girlfriend. We have been together ever since!

Years Leading Up to Now

Roses have always been a special symbol in our relationship. Ryan left a single red rose for me to find on my car after school on our 1 month anniversary (I was a senior in high school). He continued to surprise me with roses each month that added up to the number of months we had been together (2 roses on our 2 month anniversary, 3 on our 3 month anniversary…etc). Each month was a new creative surprise presentation which are some of my favorite memories to look back on. After our 1 year anniversary, I told Ryan he didn’t have to buy me roses anymore because it was going to become too expensive! 😂

Now, anytime he buys me flowers there are always roses included. I still have every single rose he ever gave me, dried and stored in boxes. ❤ So aside from loving the definition of “smell the roses”, the phrase definitely has special significance in my life!

My Proposal Story |

The first rose Ryan ever gave me from our 1 month anniversary on October 5, 2009!

We have such an abundance of amazing memories together. Although I like to think we are still just like those young and in love teenagers, we have both grown up so much over the years. We have gotten to experience being high school sweethearts going to prom together, to working our first minimum wage job together, to attending each other’s high school graduations, to graduating college together and watching each other start real adult jobs. We would both not be where we are today without each other’s help. The best thing about us is that we want nothing more than to see the other happy and fulfilled.

My Proposal Story |

Ryan’s Junior Prom (2010)

How He Asked: The Proposal

Before I tell you exactly how he asked, let me give you a little background info. I have traveled to Hawaii every year since I was a little girl. It has become a second home and is undoubtedly my favorite place in the world. Once Ryan and I began dating, he started coming on these vacations every year and quickly fell in love with Hawaii too. I believe our love grew the strongest during these trips and we are so grateful to have so many beautiful memories there together.

When Ryan started to plan how he was going to propose, the only thing he was certain of was that it would be there. I have to admit, I didn’t think Ryan was going to be able to surprise me. (Spoiler Alert! He proved me SO wrong!)

The Plan

We were a few days into our vacation on Maui and planning out everything we wanted to do while there. It was our first time on this specific Hawaiian island so we wanted to make the most out it. I had heard of this place called Haiku Mill that was known as one of the most beautiful wedding venues in all of Hawaii. I figured while on Maui, we should go on a tour of the mill so we could see for ourselves just how beautiful it was. Ryan thought it was a great idea and told me he would set it up. In reality, Ryan had already blocked off all of the tours for January 24th so he could pull off a surprise proposal!

Surprise Proposal at Haiku Mill, Maui, Hawaii | 📷: Angela Nelson


My Proposal Story |

Haiku Mill, Maui, Hawaii | Photo: Angie Nelson

The Big Day!

The day of the proposal, we spent the morning at a botanical garden and then came back to our room to freshen up before the tour. I was feeling lazy and enjoying being on vacation, so I decided to pull my hair back into a ponytail and go make-up free (if only I had known I was about to take a million pictures.. lol!).

We drove over to the mill and I remember Ryan saying with a big smile on his face that he was “nervous”. I laughed at him because who would be nervous for a tour?! (You would think this would have given it away, but I was still completely clueless!) When we arrived at the mill, it was raining! However, our tour guide, Shelby, was waiting for us with beautiful white umbrellas. Haiku Mill was breathtaking even in the rain. It’s hard to put it into words but it I felt like we were taken back in time to an enchanted tropical forest.

Shelby led us around the property, including under a 100-year-old giant mango tree, until we got to the ruins of the historic mill. Ryan held my hand as we walked through the doorway until we stopped under a crystal chandelier hanging from the mill’s glass ceiling.

My Proposal Story |

Seconds before the proposal! | Photo: Angie Nelson

Shelby told us she would be right back because she was going to go turn on the chandelier. I was looking around in awe when Ryan took my umbrella from me and set it down. He held both my hands and said, “I have to let you in on a little secret. We are not here for a tour”. I immediately knew what was happening but couldn’t believe it. Next thing I knew, Ryan was down on one knee and asking me to marry him. I started crying the happiest tears I ever had and said, “yes, yes, of course!” I had never been so surprised in my life.

My Proposal Story |

The moment I realized what was happening! | Photo: Angie Nelson

My Proposal Story |

The moment he asked! | Photo: Angie Nelson

My Proposal Story |

She said yes! | Photo: Angie Nelson

Seconds later, our photographer, Angie, and videographer, Caleb, came out of hiding with a beautiful bouquet of red roses mixed with local tuberose (he couldn’t forget my roses!). Ryan told me they had documented the whole proposal and that we were now going to take photos all around the mill and then off-site at the beach. Throughout the photo session, I had to stop for a minute because I kept crying! I thought I couldn’t love Ryan more than I already did but what he did to surprise me made me fall for him all over again. It was a truly magical day.

Surprise Proposal at Haiku Mill, Maui, Hawaii | 📷: Angela Nelson

The newly engaged couple! | Photo: Angie Nelson

My Proposal Story |

Of course he had to get me roses! | Photo: Angie Nelson

My Proposal Story |

So many happy tears that day! | Photo: Angie Nelson

Surprise Proposal at Haiku Mill, Maui, Hawaii | 📷: Angela Nelson

On cloud nine! | Photo: Angie Nelson

My Proposal Story |

My ring from Lauren B, NYC | Photo: Angie Nelson

My Proposal Story |

Rain or shine, Haiku Mill is breathtaking! | Photo: Angie Nelson

Surprise Proposal at Haiku Mill, Maui, Hawaii | 📷: Angela Nelson

Outside the mill’s cottage | Photo: Angie Nelson

Surprise Proposal at Haiku Mill, Maui, Hawaii | 📷: Angela Nelson

Under the 100-year-old mango tree | Photo: Angie Nelson

Pictures in the kitchen of the mill’s cottage (cutest place ever) | Photo: Angie Nelson

My Proposal Story |

Fun fact: The mill’s cottage also serves as the bridal suite for weddings. | Photo: Angie Nelson

My Proposal Story |

The rain finally stopped when we got to the beach! | Photo: Angie Nelson

My Proposal Story |

Maui, Hawaii | Photo: Angie Nelson

Surprise Proposal at Haiku Mill, Maui, Hawaii | 📷: Angela Nelson

Ring: Lauren B Jewelry | Photo: Angie Nelson

My Proposal Story |

Maui, Hawaii | Photo: Angie Nelson

My Proposal Story |

Ring: Lauren B Jewelry | Photo: Angie Nelson

There are several people I have to thank for making this day so spectacular.

First and foremost, thank you so much to Angie Nelson for helping Ryan plan the most beautiful proposal I could have ever asked for. Thank you for coaching me through the entire photo session since I could barely think for myself considering I was still in shock/crying. The pictures are absolutely stunning and I will cherish them forever!

Another big thank you to Shelby Carlson from Elements Luxury Events for coordinating the proposal at Haiku Mill! Thank you for ensuring everything ran smoothly and for playing along as our tour guide.

Thank you Caleb McLellan from Areca Film Company for capturing our proposal on film! I am so grateful to have this video to look back on in future years.

Thank you Lauren B Jewelry for making me the ring of my dreams.

Finally, thank you Kahului Florist for providing my lovely bouquet of roses and tuberose! 


Photographer & Planner | Angie Nelson (Engaged on Maui)

Videographer | Caleb McLellan (Areca Film Company)

Site Coordinator | Shelby Carlson (Elements Luxury Events)

Ring | Lauren B Fine Jewelry & Diamonds

Flowers | Kahului Florist 

Venue | Haiku Mill

I hope you have enjoyed our story! Thank you for reading <3