This Brand Is Encouraging Everyone to #RethinkBeautiful

We all do things on the regular to help us feel more beautiful. From trying new beauty products every month (okay, maybe every day) to striving for perfect skin care habits, getting caught up in trying to be “beautiful” can be exhausting. But what if our collective beauty confessional was understanding that beauty isn’t something to strive for but instead is a feeling we all have inside?

Well, for one company, that’s exactly what they’re challenging people to do. Lycored, a leader in the research and development of carotenoid-based products, recently released the below video as part of their #rethinkbeautiful campaign, in an effort to create a conversation around beauty being a concept that starts as a feeling inside each of us.

“Similar to other bigger markets like France and Japan where nutrition and natural supplements are part of the social norm in the beauty space, we too are trying to change the conversation stateside, by going ‘skin deep,’ reimagining what ‘inner beauty’ can be, in more ways than one, and breaking beauty of its proverbial box,” said Zev Ziegler, head of global brand & marketing for Lycored. “We want to create an emotional connection to ingestible skin care to make it a mainstream success in the United States as well. And we want you to join us.”

The intimate, candid video highlights various individuals, male and female, sharing what beauty means to them. It aims to challenge the traditional notion of beauty and instead show that beauty means something different to everyone.

When asked what the catalyst of the campaign was, Zev shared, “Our biological, biochemical, and physical systems can at any moment invite our body towards beautiful skin. For example, the less stressed we are, the better we look. When we are calm, content or smile, you can see the difference. If your objective at any moment is to look beautiful, we should start with this energy within ourselves to power the way we look.”

And that’s a movement we can get behind.

Share how you #rethinkbeautiful with us @BritandCo!

Back when I was single with no kids, I decided to cancel Christmas, which meant not flying east from San Francisco to visit family and friends. I was having brunch with my friend Brian and we were lamenting the stress and cost of traveling home, shopping for holiday gifts, and how every year I’d catch some terrible flu, no longer used to the frigid temperatures of the northeast.

There were no kids yet in my family and my parents and sisters were never really up for flying west for the winter (despite my pitch for mild weather, wine tasting, and coastal hikes in December). So I announced that I would be canceling Christmas in the traditional sense, no gifts, no obligatory travel, no flu.

Photo by Barbara Zandoval on Unsplash

Instead, I said to Brian, “Let’s go to Buenos Aires!” The city was, at the time, pretty affordable and we’d be landing in SUMMER. Brian was game, and we explained to our families that we would be traveling for the holiday (both sides were pretty understanding, actually), and then immediately booked tickets and an apartment in the Recoleta neighborhood.

Photo by Eduardo Sánchez on Unsplash

The Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires

We landed on Christmas day and arrived at our apartment, which was modern and perfectly located. Recoleta felt like Paris with its Haussman-style architecture, high-end boutiques, and strollable tree-lined streets.

Photo by Eduardo Sánchez on Unsplash

We found one restaurant open below our apartment complex on Christmas day. We shared our first of many glasses of Malbec and a Buenos Aires-style steak frites (also first of many). Later, we explored the Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Perón and other Argentine notables are buried in fancy tombs.

Photo by Olivier Chatel on Unsplash

During the week, we walked around Soho Palermo and explored colorful and edgy boutiques and cafes, and popped into old-style bars, where we played gin rummy while sipping cafe Americano or more Malbec. We dined at steakhouses and watched people tango in the streets of San Telmo. It was summer after all!

Brian and I playing one of many games of cards on our trip.

Photo by Jeison Higuita on Unsplash

We visited El Ateneo Grand Splendid, known as one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world by The Guardian and National Geographic and told stories as we walked endlessly around the neighborhoods each day.

Buenos Aires reminded me of all of my favorite cities, Paris, New York, Rome, and I don’t regret skipping Christmas in lieu of traveling. I was with a good friend in a beautiful city and for once I was gifting myself something pretty special. Now with a kiddo, where my travel is limited to theme parks and hotels with pool slides, I'm pretty grateful I took the leap.

Me enjoying some papas fritas and warm weather

But before I sound scrooge-y, I will say I’ve come to love Christmas time. My daughter makes it so much more fun for me: her anticipation of it all, the gingerbread house-making, the tree lighting and holiday events in our town of Sonoma, filling her advent calendar with little trinkets leading up to the big day. It’s the best and we have created our own traditions, including staying in California to celebrate every year. (I opted to visit my family in the summer instead).

Next year, 10 years after visiting Buenos Aires, I will head back east to celebrate with my extended family again so my daughter can experience my childhood Christmas traditions – and perhaps even a white Christmas.

But sometimes opting out of a holiday because of stress, because you’re broke, or because your family makes you a little crazy, isn’t the worst idea. In fact, it can make you appreciate it so much more when you do something you love instead.

Have you ever skipped out on a traditional holiday? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Pinterest for more travel inspiration!

(Photo by Marissa Grootes on Unsplash)

In our Ask A Founder series this fall, we follow 10 female founders on their entrepreneurial journey. Thousands of women have experienced our Selfmade virtual business coaching program, led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and sponsored Office Depot OfficeMax. Here, we ask Selfmade alum Wendy Barbalinardo, founder of Acute Baby, products designed to tailor breastfeeding support for new moms, about staying organized, avoiding burnout, and celebrating the small wins as a new founder.

How would you describe your brand in five words? Supportive, Authentic, Real, Understanding, Relatable.

What mood do you want your brand to evoke? Encouraging, Relatable & Uplifting. As expecting moms, we are led to believe that breastfeeding is going to be this magical and amazing bonding experience, but nobody warns us about the possible struggles we may encounter. When a postpartum mom is unexpectedly hit with the harsh reality of breastfeeding struggles, it is easy for her to feel alone, discouraged, and like she is failing. Acute Baby Co. was created to elevate the breastfeeding experience for moms, both physically and emotionally, so that they can start experiencing some of those magical moments that they had originally been looking forward to. We want moms to know that they are not alone.

What was your aha moment before starting your business? As a newborn, my son was cluster feeding and constantly spitting up. It was recommended that I elevate him during feeding to help his digestion, but holding him up on an angle for 45 minutes at a time was causing excruciating pain in my arms and wrists. I tried rolling a burp cloth under the pillow as well, but after a few minutes, it always fell flat, leaving me again with no support. I went online and tried to find something to help support me and my son, but I could not find what I was looking for. There are a million nursing pillows out there, but in reality, they all give you the same result, a baby feeding flat, being held up by their mama. Somewhere in the middle of my newborn fog, my breastfeeding sessions turned into brainstorming sessions, and I began designing products to fill in all of the holes that I saw in the breastfeeding market.

What’s one thing you wish you knew as an entrepreneur? There were so many nights when I was getting started that I would lie awake with a panic attack thinking about how much I don’t know, and if I should just quit. What I learned is that every entrepreneur has had to start somewhere, and there are so many amazing people out there who have walked in my shoes and are willing to share their knowledge and experience to help me when I need it. So, if you don’t know an answer, just find someone who does, and ask for advice!

How do you get in the right headspace to start your day? A large cup of coffee and some cuddles with my son do it for me!

How do you balance the practical with the creative parts of your business? As a creative myself, that part comes much easier than the practical. I try not to let myself get too wrapped up in creative perfection and remind myself to focus on the bigger picture. But as a creative, “perfectionist” is my middle name, so this is not an easy task. I am still learning the more practical parts of the business, so I have to make sure I am prioritizing that side of things as well.

How do you celebrate the small wins? Since I am just starting out, my whole journey just feels like a series of small wins so far. I celebrate by recognizing how proud I am of myself, and then just keep going…maybe with a little dessert in between! I literally tear up and feel so much pride every time I hear how my products have improved someone’s breastfeeding experience. I try to soak in that feeling to remember how it felt so I can think back on it the next time things get hard.

What is the most powerful thing you do in your day? There are a couple of things. First, I try to put my phone down and play with my son for a little bit after he gets home from daycare with no distractions. It’s not always easy, but watching him play, knowing he has my full attention, is always a great feeling for me. The other thing is actually one of the last things I do. I tend to bring my lists and anxieties to bed with me, which led to a lot of sleepless nights in the beginning. I had read somewhere that you should ask yourself, “is what I am worried about a today-problem?” and “is this something I can fix right now”? If the answer is “no”, then it is easier to put it out of your mind for the night, take a deep breath, and relax.

What do you do on your breaks? Some days I will sit on our back deck for a bit during lunch and just soak in the sun. When my son gets home, we will play in his playroom, go for a little walk, or go get ice cream. Other than that, it’s always nice for me to get out of the house by myself for a bit and do a little retail therapy or spend time with friends.

What is your go-to productivity hack? Putting my phone down, turning on a good album on Spotify or streaming Sirius XM, and just getting to work. I also write A LOT of to-do lists. I always write my list for the next day at the end of the previous workday. It helps me know what and how much I have to do for that next day.

What is your favorite desk essential? Sticky notes 100%. I need them for all of my lists! I always start a new to-do list at the end of every day for the next day. It’s always a good feeling to rip off the completed list and start a fresh one.

Fill in the blank:Hearing how one of my products has helped improve another mom’s breastfeeding experiencegives me all the feels.

What has receiving the Office Depot OfficeMax scholarship to Selfmade done to help you grow your business? This was instrumental for me in putting all my thoughts about my business on paper, getting clarity on the bigger picture of my brand, and meeting other amazing entrepreneurs in the same boat.

How have Office Depot OfficeMax services/products helped you accomplish more in your business? I will eventually use my Office Depot OfficeMax gift card for printing signage or purchasing shipping supplies.

What does the word “self-made” mean to you? To me, “self-made” means deciding to take the leap and believe in myself enough to turn the ideas in my head into real products and a real business, and to hopefully make a real difference in the world. But what “self-made” doesn’t mean is that I have to do it all myself. Instead, it means surrounding myself with the right people that believe in me and will encourage me to keep going any time the self-doubt creeps in.

Photo credit: @caraleerosephoto

Thanks Wendy! Doubt is a natural part of being a solopreneur. Finding a community of like-minded peers to support you on your journey is what Selfmade is all about. Office Depot OfficeMax can also help you organize & save time with a suite of business services & solutions to help you accomplish more. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations.

Sagittarius is the zodiac sign that can get along with most people they encounter. No matter what sign their friends are, odds are, they’ll be their besties, no matter what. However, there are some zodiac signs that don’t align particularly well, as they cause stress and aim to control the freedom-seeking, adventurous, revolutionary, and fun Archer. These are the signs that get along the best and worst with the jovial Sagittarius.

Sagittarius and Aries

What a saucy duo! These two fire signs genuinely enjoy each other's company, opting to spend nights talking about higher life pursuits. Aries loves Sagittarius’s intellectualism and Sag enjoys the boldness of Aries. United, they are great friends who share endless stories and passion. The caveat is that they can get a little competitive at times, as some fire signs do, which means that they can assert their emotions into arguments that can lead to major drama. The good news is that they’ll make up as fast as they got into the argument to begin with and be besties again.

Sagittarius and Taurus

These friends can only survive the test of time if they constantly keep each other in check and allow the other to grow. Grounded Taurus often doesn’t understand Sagittarius’s unpredictable lifestyle, which can lead to complications, such as misunderstandings and miscommunications. The Bull needs structure and won’t get it with Sag, unless the Archer agrees to let Taurus into the daily ongoings of their life and shares their secrets without any hesitation. However, they both appreciate the honesty that exists within the friendship; the truthfulness they find in each other keeps them together and unifies them through the years.

Sagittarius and Gemini

Sometimes opposites attract, however, this is not the case here. Sagittarius is too broad minded for Gemini, who likes to act on a smaller scale. They often don’t see eye to eye as friends and disagree on their perspectives of situations. Gemini likes to talk things out, while Sagittarius likes to move on fast — a major emotional difference that can cause conflicts in their friendship. Also, both mutable signs can be wishy washy as friends — going from highs to lows in the span of hours. These friends can get along if Gemini learns to control their unpredictable actions and Sag chooses to communicate sweetly.

Sagittarius and Cancer

The Archer isn’t one to mince words, which can bring their Crabby friend to tears. The friendship can evolve, if they both work on a higher vibration, sharing philosophical and emotional truths, which may be difficult at first. Giving the relationship time to blossom, without rushing it, will allow both to see if it’s worth the effort. These friends can eventually balance each other out — often relying on the other as their emotional soundboard—Cancer gives sensitive and supportive advice while Sagittarius offers a pragmatic and realistic perspective on matters. Their differences draw these two toward each other, creating a lasting friendship.

Sagittarius and Leo

Often matched together, these two start off strong, but, over time cracks begin to form in their friendship as they both find the other too fanatical for their palate. They’ll offer each other hopeful insights on life. Both signs love to take chances together, which gives this friendship the potential to become expansive and bigger than life. These two understand each other’s quirks and need for freedom — embracing their rebellious ways. Issues only arrive when both get a little competitive, creating a friendly rivalry. This idealistic duo celebrates their friendship through creation, opting to pursue artistic endeavors through art and music.

Sagittarius and Virgo

Careful by nature, Virgos do not enter friendships lightly. They often spend time deciding if the person of interest is worth their energy, as they like to only surround themselves with positivity. Their discerning ways allow them to see the true colors of others before committing to friendships. Honest and blunt by nature, the Sag friend can shoot straight for the heart with brutal truths when asked. The Archer is easy going and fun loving. Always up for an adventure, Sagittarius offers excitement to their friendships. At first these two will vibe, but they may end up parting ways due to Sagittarius’s reckless behavior.

Sagittarius and Libra

Both Libra and Sagittarius relish in high minded pursuits, which allows these friends to blossom in their relationship over time. Laughter is a key part of this pairing, as these thrill seekers unite. The differences between these two work in favor of bringing them closer. As friends, they help each other see different aspects of situations, broadening their scopes. Diplomatic Libra can bring innovative insights to thrill seeking Sagittarius, while the Archer cheers Libra on from the sidelines, offering support and encouragement. The bottom line is that relationship-oriented Libra will have to keep the partnership afloat and going.

Sagittarius and Scorpio

Although people want to believe that these two signs get along, the relationship can be super hard. These neighboring constellations do not see eye-to-eye. Sagittarius is more reactive and impulsive than Scorpio, who takes their time to meditate and plot their actions. Scorpio is more concise and seemingly impeccable with their astute intentions, while Sagittarius is all over the place by comparison. The Archer’s bow and arrow is aimed straight for the heart of the Scorpion — which means that their truthful words can either hurt or heal their friendship.

Sagittarius and Sagittarius

When two Sagittarians come together, the sky's the limit. This indulgent sign will have an excuse to party nonstop with their astrological doppelgänger and counterpart. When they connect, sparks will fly faster than they can finish chugging a beer. With their shared sense of humor and ideals, they’ll converse over many taboo topics and push the envelope further than one can ever imagine. Also, they will make the best travel companions as well as drinking buddies. They will visit ancient cities on a whim and foreign countries often due to their shared love of travel and exploration.

Sagittarius and Capricorn

Although they’re neighboring signs, Sagittarius and Capricorn rarely see eye-to-eye. The Archer is fun loving and lives in the moment while Capricorn is more regimented and practical. Sagittarius is extremely generous and Capricorn is more austere. It will take a lot of work for these two to maintain a long-term relationship. However, if both zodiac signs are willing, wanting, and able to do the work — by that, we mean compromise and find a middle ground on all matters — then the partnership can work. They just have to roll up their sleeves and put their best feet forward.

Sagittarius and Aquarius

These zodiac signs get along great on paper. They are both dedicated to changing and evolving the world. Plus, they’re the first to pick up protest signs and fight for humanitarianism. However, problems can arise very quickly and easily due to the fact that they’re both fanatical by nature. This means that they will speak over each other in an effort to be heard by the masses and won’t let matters go easily once they get started. As long as they are not quickly wound up, then the relationship can work. If not, then problems can arise fast.

Sagittarius and Pisces

Being that these two zodiac signs are ruled by Jupiter, they both like to learn about themselves and the world around them. Therefore, it’ll be easy for them to connect — as long as Sagittarius (who is a fire sign) has patience and the emotional bandwidth to be gentle towards Pisces (who is a water sign). Once they unite, the two won’t be able to stop talking about art, philosophy, music, and social justice. They’ll be two peas in a pod — but only if they are gentle and kind to each other, as they’re both sensitive at the core.

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Whether you're putting together a last-minute Thanksgiving menu or thinking ahead to the December holidays, it's important to consider what plant-based eaters are going to eat at your holiday soiree. Vegan fall desserts are hardly difficult to come by, because so many ingredients found in vegan cooking, like nuts, spices, and grains, tend to lend well to autumnal desserts. This vegan Thanksgiving dessert recipe (which could really be used for any holiday or occasion) is sure to please both herbivores and meat-eaters alike. If you're on the hunt for vegan fall desserts, we've got you covered.

Vegan Mini Chocolate Pies with Pecan Caramel

Ingredients

For The Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

For The Chocolate Pie:

  • 16 ounces vegan dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

For The Pecan Caramel:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink salt
  • Vegan coconut whipped cream, for topping

Directions

  1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake or muffin liners and set aside.
  2. Make the crust: In a large mixing bowl, sift together the almond flour and cocoa powder until combined, then add in the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt, and mix well. Take about 2 tablespoons of the crust mixture and press into the bottom of each of the paper liners. You may have some extra of the crust. Place the muffin tin in the freezer.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate chips in a sauce pan or double boiler over low heat. Add the melted chocolate to a clean mixing bowl, then stir in the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt until the mixture is uniform and creamy.
  4. Remove the muffin tin from the freezer and top each liner with crust with the chocolate pie mixture. Smooth the top with your finger or a spoon to make them even. Place the muffin tin back into the freezer while you prepare the pecan caramel.
  5. In a sauce pot (be sure to clean it if you are using the same one as melting the chocolate) add in the coconut oil, maple syrup, and coconut sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 1 minute, until it begins to bubble up and come together. Remove the caramel from heat and stir in the pecans, vanilla extract, and salt. Let it cool for a few minutes.
  6. Remove the muffin tin from the freezer again, and carefully add a tablespoon or two of the pecan caramel to each chocolate pie. Place them back in the freezer and let them solidify for about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Serve the mini chocolate pies with vegan whipped coconut cream and serve immediately. They can be stored in the freezer or refrigerator in a storage container with a lid.

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Recipe and photos by Sarah Anderson.