Naked: Are you brave enough?

Are you brave enough to bare your skin – well, your face, that is – without the embellishment of make-up? Can you show us your hair the way it looks BEFORE you pile on the mousse and gel, and before you blow dry, curl, and tease? Can you handle showing your naked, natural face to the world?

I had an idea to start this feature last week, and was delightfully surprised when Melanie at No New Plastic posted a picture of herself with no makeup! I asked if she would be willing to be my first “victim,” and she kindly agreed. I’m sure you will agree that she looks gorgeous!

Melanie of No New Plastic, a natural beauty!

I’m not sure this feature will have much of a future…I’m not sure many people would be interested in participating! I’m not even sure I’M brave enough! (I’m working on it.) But I’m going to give it a chance.

Are you brave enough to participate? If so, send a headshot of yourself, sans embellishment to Jewelry is fine, of course, but no makeup, and no hair styling. Just let it dry naturally.

Let’s see if anyone participates!! :)

Giveaway: French Green Clay & Green Tea Soap Bar

I’m excited to offer another giveaway for my readers for this beautiful French Green Clay & Green Tea Soap Bar.* The soap is made by Etsy seller Theraganics, and the giveaway is sponsored by the lovely Ruby of Naturally BeJeweled.

Here’s a little bit about Ruby, in her own words:

My name is Ruby Groves. I run a site called Naturally BeJeweled, that is geared towards soapmaking and using natural and organic products and ingredients. My site helps soapmakers, cosmetic makers, and everyday consumers understand natural and organic ingredients and the best ways to use them. It is a great resource for those wanting to move towards more natural or organic products, as well as providing soapmakers and cosmetic makers easy access to important information for their trade and hobbies.

The products I am giving away are just to show readers the types of products that can give your skin benefits without using harmful synthetic ingredients.

Ruby has generously offered three bars of this beautiful soap – which means THREE winners! Here’s how you can enter:

1. Visit Naturally BeJeweled, come back to this blog and leave a comment here describing something that caught your interest.

2. For a second entry, either become a NBJ fan on Facebook, or follow Ruby on Twitter. You must leave a second, separate comment for this. If you have BOTH Twitter and Facebook, and you decide to “fan” and “follow,” this still only counts as ONE entry. (We wanted to be fair to those who don’t have Twitter accounts.) If you make two separate entries, one for Facebook, and one for Twitter, the third entry will be disqualified.

3. For a third entry, you can do one of the following:

a. Blog about this giveaway. Be sure to leave a comment here linking back to your post.

b. Tweet about this giveaway using the following message: #Giveaway @5Seed from @NaturallyBJewel: Green Clay & Green Tea Soap

c. Post about this giveaway on your Facebook page AFTER you have become a Facebook fan of (or rather, “liked”) NBJ, and be sure to add the tag @Naturally BeJeweled, so it will appear on the NBJ Facebook page.

You only need to do ONE of these things to qualify for a 3rd entry. If you choose to do all three, it still only counts as ONE entry, and subsequent entries will be disqualified.


1. You must be a resident of the United States or Canada.

2. Any entry without a valid email address will not be counted.

3. Each comment counts as ONE entry. Each person is limited to three entries.

4. Entries that don’t follow the instructions will not be counted.

5. Comments must be made on THIS post, here at this blog. Not on Facebook.

This giveaway will end on Thursday, June 3, 2010, at 6 p.m., PST. Three winners will be chosen by

Good luck, readers! And thank you, Ruby!

Saponified oils of organic olive
Organic Coconut Oil
Organic Palm Oil
Organic Castor Oil
Aloe Juice
Green Tea
French Green Clay
Tussah Silk

True Beauty: Kombucha Mama Michelle Plantenberg

Jamie Danek and Michelle Plantenberg

I recently fell in love with kombucha, and was so pleased to find that we have a local company that brews the perfect blend! Meet Michelle Plantenberg, one half of the Kombucha Mamas (her partner is the effervescent Jamie Danek). Here’s what she had to say about True Beauty.

What makes someone truly beautiful, in your opinion?

A quiet mind, a love-filled heart, and a peaceful soul.

If you take away the traditional beauty props (makeup, clothing, hair styling, etc.), what makes you feel the most beautiful?

When my mind is quiet and my heart is open. fresh air, a morning walk, a smile from a stranger all help, and I’ve noticed that i only really see these things when my mind is quiet.

Thanks, Michelle!

Read more about Kombucha Mama here. You can become a fan on Facebook here, and be sure to check out their website if you live in Oregon and want to know where to buy their delicious kombucha!

Good Seed: Sempster Handmade Clothing

I am completely in love with these simple, classic dresses made by Amy Lou at Sempster Handmade Clothing. I can imagine throwing them on in the summertime – fashion without fuss. Pair them with tights and a belt in autumn. Wear them as tunics (belted or not) over jeans in the winter with a little cardigan. Heaven. A dress that can carry you through every season.

Photos used with permission.

Foulard Threads Giveaway Winner

I’m very excited to announce the winner of this giveaway, chosen by Congratulations to….Trish Dewald! Check your email tonight, Trish, as I will be contacting you soon.

Thank you all so much for participating and thank you, Kristin, for sponsoring this giveaway! Your scarves have made quite a splash!

Be sure to check out Foulard Threads for more great designs!

Photo used with permission.

True Beauty…in the kitchen

Anar (aka Zedral Z), writer of the blog Witchin’ in the Kitchen, recently contacted me about doing a True Beauty post.

Here’s what she had to say:

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I currently live in Istanbul. I’m a teacher.  I’m hoping to move back to the U.S. in the next year or so, though, because I think it will be much, much easier for me to finish my Witchin’ in the Kitchen cookbook there.  It’s been in the works for a very long time now and it’s high time I get some actual work done! :)

My interests include cooking, reading, belly dancing, attempting some Indian dance here and there, music (classic rock, oldies, a little classic country, Indian, other world music, etc.), and playing around with polymer clay.

What makes someone truly beautiful, in your opinion?

Personality really does have a lot to do with it.  Of course physical attraction comes into play as well, but if a person only looks good on the outside, their beauty fades very quickly in the eye of the beholder.  I think an open mind, some sense of empathy, and a willingness to believe that there is some good in the world (without being naive), helps.

If you take away the traditional beauty props (makeup, clothing, hair styling, etc.), what makes you feel the most beautiful?

I think my personality makes me who I am.  Whether or not people find that beautiful depends on the person.  Many of my friends think I’m a beautiful person, and I appreciate that.  So many of my friends are gorgeous people that it makes me feel good, albeit slightly out of place.

What do you think about beauty in today’s society?

I think it’s time for a change.  We’re sexualizing young girls and destroying the self-esteem of thousands, if not millions.  We need to show more diversity – in size, shape, color, etc.  Just because someone isn’t skin and bones doesn’t mean s/he can’t be seen as attractive by society.   One excuse is people don’t want to see what people *really* look like. They want an image of perfection, which usually means very thin, tall, and airbrushed to within an inch of her life.  I think some of us *do* want to see more of the “imperfect” people in television and magazines. Look at T.V. stars in Great Britain, for example. They’re average-looking people. Why can’t we do that in the U.S.?

I couldn’t agree more. Thanks, Anar!

Photo used with permission.

True Beauty with Good Green Witch

Meet Rhonda, author of the fiery, informative, Mother Earth-loving blog Good Green Witch.

I absolutely LOVE what she has to say about True Beauty:

Tell me about the Good Green Witch – the person and the blog. What is your background? What made you start your blog?

The Good Green Witch was “born” out of a desire to blend my spiritual Earth-based beliefs with instructing people on how to be a little greener. My love for Nature can be traced back to my favorite childhood television show, Hodge Podge Lodge. The blog came about because I wanted to be able to reach out more, to point out to people how they can be greener, and to try to raise awareness of what we do in our day-to-day lives that could be changed. It’s nice to have a place where I can say what I wish without censoring myself!

What were your greatest challenges and successes in greening your beauty routine?

Greening a beauty routine can be very challenging. There are a lot of plastics and chemicals involved in make-up and creams and skin products. That’s a nightmare for someone trying to be greener! I try to get around the greenwashing, find truly natural products, and avoid plastic when I can. For instance, why buy foundation in a plastic bottle when you can find one in a glass bottle? Jars, both plastic and glass, have many reuses once the cream is gone. My husband and I use baking soda for shampoo AND deoderant, and I use an apple-cider vinegar rinse instead of conditioner, so I feel pretty good about the plastic we are avoiding and the chemicals we are not using.

How do you define “true beauty?”

“True Beauty”… hmmm…. to me, someone who is truly beautiful lives in harmony with the Earth and Nature. It’s real. It’s not superficial. It’s within. It’s concern for the things around us. It’s something I need to focus on a little more. I tend to see too much ugliness around me, and I know it’s because true beauty is truly rare. But we see what we want to see, and we need to make sure we want to see the beauty around us. [YW: I added the bold here because this statement stood out so much for me.]

If you take away all the traditional props (makeup, hair styling, etc.), what makes you feel the most beautiful?

The thing that makes me feel the most beautiful is my husband’s expression when he looks at me with love, first thing in the morning, when my hair is all sticky-uppy and my eyes are all puffy and I need to brush my teeth. There’s just no marketing that! Plus, I can only improve on that after coffee and a shower!

Thanks, Rhonda!

Find more of the Good Green Witch on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo used with permission.

GIVEAWAY: Foulard Threads

I’m thrilled to announce a giveaway – for something other than my own products! I recently stumbled upon a beautiful store on Etsy called Foulard Threads. The designer, Kristin, is very talented and creative – her “ecouture” scarves are beautiful works of art! She very kindly offered to do a giveaway on 5 Seed, and I’m so excited. This is extra special, as she is giving away ANY ITEM IN HER SHOP that you like. That’s right – any scarf you want, or a t-shirt! Winner’s choice! Now that’s amazing!

Here’s what Kristin has to say about herself and Foulard Threads:

I’ve loved to create new and beautiful things out of discarded and unloved items for as long as I can remember. I spent my childhood in the country with a family of boys, a stay at home mom, and a dad who owned a small carpentry business. So needless to say, rather than making beaded jewelry or fuzzy key chains from store bought kits like my friends, I spent much of my time creating with whatever I could find. Whether it be pottery from clay I dug up from the creek running through our woods, little creatures constructed from glued together pieces of my dad’s scrap wood, or doll clothes made with my mom’s vintage fabrics, I was always looking for ways to fulfill my creative drive.

The years of creating from limited resources has made me the artist I am today. I love to find someone’s “trash” and see how many different and beautiful things I can create from it. It’s so much fun to stretch myself and force my mind to be as creative as I know how to be!

Foulardthreads is my newest creative venture; a way to share my creativity and to put it to work for me (after all, I am a 21 year old poor college student!) I hope that you feel beautiful whenever you throw one of these eco-friendly, handmade scarves on, as well as inspired to look for beauty in the old and discarded!

How do you enter to win one of these fabulous creations? Here’s the how-to:

1. Go to Foulard Threads, come back here and leave a comment about which item you’d like to win. (This statement does not commit you to an item. You may change your mind if you are picked as the winner. Please realize that the item you’ve chosen for this giveaway may sell out by the time the giveaway ends.)

2. If you tweet about this giveaway on your Twitter account, you will be eligible for a second entry. (Tweet the following so I can see it: #Giveaway @5Seed: Foulard Threads scarves & t-shirts. Remember, you must add a SECOND comment after tweeting in order to be counted as a second entry.

3. You may blog about this giveaway for a third entry. Come back and add another comment to this post with a link back to your blog – to the page where you posted about the giveaway.


1. You must be a resident of the United States or Canada.

2. Any entry without a valid email address will not be counted.

3. Each comment counts as ONE entry. Each person is limited to three entries.

4. Entries that don’t follow the instructions will not be counted.

5. Comments must be made on THIS post, here at this blog. Not on Facebook.

This giveaway will end on Wednesday, May 12, 2010, at 6 p.m., PST. The winner will be contacted via email, at which time he/she may choose his/her prize from Foulard Thread‘s inventory.

Thanks, Kristin! And good luck, readers!

True Beauty with Kate & Maggie from Eat the Damn Cake

Meet Kate (l) and Maggie (r), two amazing young women on a quest to help women love who they (inside and out) through their blog, Eat the Damn Cake. (I second that – eat it!)

Here are the results of our “email conversation”:

Tell me a little bit about yourselves.

Kate: I’m Kate. I live in Manhattan. I was homeschooled, and I grew up feeling really confident about my appearance and just about everything else about me. With the notable exception of my mathematical abilities. Those were always clearly lacking. I just graduated from a Master’s program, and I’m beginning to feel like a New Yorker.

The lovely Kate

Maggie: I’m Maggie. I also live in Manhattan. I recently moved back to the east coast in November. I was homeschooled with Kate but I went to public school after 6th grade. I developed an eating disorder (anorexia) in college. I’m curious about the connection between eating disorders, food, body image, and confidence. I’m also curious to discover how to balance my busy career with enjoying life. Kate and I want to share some of our deep conversations with the world because we feel like a lot of women secretly struggle with the same issues.

Maggie & fiance Bobby

Describe the purpose behind Eat the Damn Cake. What made you want to start this blog project?

Kate: I keep asking myself those questions. My memory is a little blurring about how it started. I mean, I keep looking at a lot of my friends and noticing that they’re really, really thin. I thought that we’d all feel great about ourselves by now, but the pressures surrounding beauty don’t ever go away. Maggie and I kept talking about eating disorders and unrealistic beauty standards, and since I’m a writer, and she is a food blogger, it seemed like we should start saying something together. I’m too opinionated not to. I’ve never learned to keep my mouth shut. Or in this case, to stop my fingers from typing. That doesn’t sound as brazen, somehow.

Maggie: Recovery from an eating disorder is an ongoing process, and while I’m going through all this crap I realized that everyone (or so it seems) struggles with these food and weight things, not just fellow eating disorder people. Kate and I started talking about it and we felt like we could help people if we got them talking more openly.

What kinds of responses have you gotten from the public?

Kate: All positive, so far. I’m just waiting for some guy to write in like, “You’re all UGLY!!!” You know how internet trolls like to do that… But so far, they haven’t found us. A lot of women have written to me and told me that they were desperate for a forum like this. And they’re so relieved to find it. That’s been extremely flattering, and tells me I’m doing the right thing.

Maggie: Great responses. I’m really happy.

What is your biggest pet peeve about the perception/definition of beauty in our society?

Kate: That only really young people can be gorgeous. That tight, sleek, young look as the epitome of beauty. Enough already!

Maggie: I guess mine is that people don’t value health as much as they value beauty. Someone can be gorgeous but living terribly – smoking, drinking, partying, etc… – but it’s “ok” because they’re gorgeous. I’d rather be healthy and happy. Happy mostly. I think if you’re healthy (as in, eating good foods, doing the things you love, having friends that you care about and who care about you) the rest of your life should fall into place and beauty shouldn’t even be an issue. You should be considered gorgeous automatically if you’re healthy and happy like that. But that’s not how it works.


What is “true beauty?”

Kate: Hmm…Physically, I’d say it’s the way in which absolutely every person is gorgeous. When someone’s face, regardless of how it’s composed, reflects so much love and joy that it can’t help but be identified as beautiful. When caring about someone reveals how beautiful they are. I don’t mean to sound corny, but I think corniness is a little unavoidable here. Your fault, since you asked the question. ;) [YW: I take full responsibility for any corny answers!]

Maggie: Being happy with yourself. Being the best friend/lover/parent/child/whatever that you can be.

What makes you feel the most beautiful? How does that feeling affect what you do?

Kate: Being loved. I guess that goes along pretty nicely with my last response. When I’m with people who obviously love me, I feel at my most lovely. And also sometimes when I buy a new, amazing dress and wear it out for the first time. Especially with heels. These things cause me to try to be around my fiancé as much as possible and also to buy new dresses ALL the time. Kidding. Not about my fiancé, though.


Maggie: I’m with Kate. Being loved makes me feel beautiful. When my fiancé grabs my butt and says, “wow,” that makes me happy and feel sexy. He does that a lot these days because it’s not just skin and bones anymore. Even when he’s not grabbing my butt, though, just getting hugs and being able to just be myself – those things make me feel really beautiful.

Thank you so much, ladies!

Be sure to check out Eat the Damn Cake and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Kate at The Huffington Post. You can also find Maggie’s health blog here, and follow her on Twitter here.