Favorites | Cruelty Free Products

I was inspired by a friend of mine who is in the process of becoming vegetarian/vegan, and has been asking me a lot of questions about the lifestyle. So, I decided to make a list of my favourite cruelty free brands to help anyone else who might be looking for suggestions. These are all personal care products that I use everyday.

First of all, all of the products below are certified cruelty free. Which means they all have either the Leaping Bunny  or PETA symbols.

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My list will consist of general brands that I like, and then a specific product(s) I use by them. One asterisk denotes that the product is also vegetarian, two denotes that the product is also vegan.

  • Alba Botanica
    • Acne Wash*
  • Avalon Organics
    • Balancing toner**
    • Lavender shampoo**
  • Burt’s Bees
    • Acne spot treatment
    • Light BB Cream
    • Lipstick
  • Hello
    • Toothpaste**
  • IT Cosmetics
    • Mascara**
  • Kirk’s Castile
    • Original Coco Castile soap bar**
  • Tom’s of Maine
    • Mouthwash**
    • Toothpaste**
    • Deodorant**

These are all my beauty products! Sparse, I know. I use many different brands for different things. Clearly, Burt’s Bees is the one I use the most products from. All of Burt’s Bees products are Leaping Bunny certified, but not vegan because they do use animal by-products such  as beeswax and buttermilk. Not in all of their products though, and if you’re curious as to which are vegan I’m sure they’d be more than happy to tell you if you asked! I’m working on that. I just love every product I’ve ever used by them.

Also, if you’re curious about something you already use or want to use, but aren’t sure if they are cruelty free, this list on the Leaping Bunny website and these lists on PETA’s website are very helpful.

Nostalgia // Vienna

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I just keep picturing myself walking through Volkgarten. Or sitting on the steps of the Kunsthistorisches. Or walking home in the rain with my groceries. Or strolling along the river.

I almost cried when I came across a picture from outside my Ubahn station. I can remember all the sights and smells, and the same man who sang there every evening at the same time.

They’re good memories, from probably what is the best period in my life thus far.

But I guess that’s what makes it so sad to think about them?

I’m not going to lie, it was actually quite hard for me to look through all my pictures for this. I try to avoid it as much as possible, or I get very emotional. But I’ve been missing Vienna like crazy recently (well, all the time. But it feels like more right now.) Anyway, these are some of my favourites that I rejected from previous blog posts. I don’t know why I rejected them, because they are still beautiful. Even if you took a picture that was completely out of focus, you cannot take a bad picture of that city.

Where I’d Rather Be, Vienna

Vienna is like my European home-away-from-home. (Hopefully one day I will simply call it home.) I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately, dreaming of being there and doing all the things I love. Getting pastries and coffee from the bakery, going to the Kunsthistoriches museum, speaking German. Standing in line for €3 opera tickets, people watching outside of Stephansdom, sitting on a bench in Stadtpark. Honestly there’s no place I’d rather be right now.

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Schonbrunn Palace gardens
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Schloss Belvedere

 

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Kunsthistorisches museum
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Stephansdom
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One of my favourite gelato places

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Austrian Parliament

Favourites #7 | Behind the Scenes of Munich

Flashback to the weekend of June 10, when I was travelling around Germany and Austria.

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It was raining when we trained into the city, but as soon as we exited the train station and realized that we forgot our umbrellas in our suitcases (which were in a station locker) it started to pour. We kept walking towards the Neue Pinakothek, but eventually we had to stop under a building and wait a bit because the streets were flooding and the skies were pouring down in buckets. But we made it to the museum, only slightly soggy. If you ever get the chance to go to Munich, I highly reccommend going to the Neue Pinakothek (in English: New Picture Gallery). It’s an amazing museum that has some amazing compositions. I crossed a lot of stuff off my Art Bucket List here, including more Van Gogh (!!!!!) and Monet.

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And we can’t forget the coffee. That would be a tragedy.

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I think I made it my personal mission to try the coffee at least twice in every city. It worked out pretty well, there was only a little shaking.

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Despite (or perhaps because of) the gloomy and cool weather, Munich was absolutely one of my favourite cities to visit this summer. Like a lot of cities in Europe, it’s a strange mixture of the very old and the modern. I was glad I got to see it, even if for only about 10 hours. Absolutely go if you ever get the chance.

Full Munich post here

Posts about my other travels this summer and beyond can be found here.

 

Favourites #6 | behind the scenes London & Vienna

Sorry It’s been so long since my last post – it’s been an intense summer thus far, so I’ve been taking a break and re-prioritizing, not to mention getting over jet-lag and culture shock. Now that I’ve absorbed my whole trip and gotten (mostly) used to everything again, I’d like to share some photos of what my trip was like beyond my travel diary posts. Here are some of my favourite behind the scenes moments that I think best represent what my travels were like.

London

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This was what our group looked like throughout most of London
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This was what I looked like throughout most of London
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This gorgeous liquid got me through London

Vienna

 

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I ate way too many Austrian pastries, I have zero regrets
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I went to an opera at the Vienna Opera House one evening
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some notes from class – this was a study trip
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Me, very excited, at the UN headquarters Vienna

Wow I’ve only been home for two weeks and I’m ready to go back already. I should really stop looking through pictures.

Favourites #5 | A Tea Lover’s Guide

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Just like there are “dog people” and “cat people”, there are “tea people” and “coffee people”. I suppose I’m a bit unusual considering I’m a “rabbit person” and an “all hot beverages are good beverages” person. However, if I absolutely had to pick between tea and coffee, I’m afraid tea would win. Sorry coffee- you just aren’t as flavorally (not a word but roll with me) diverse as tea is. I don’t know, there’s just something about it that I just love so much.

There are hundreds of different kinds of tea, and almost too many ways to prepare it. Cream or no? Sugar or honey? Herbal or fruit? Loose-leaves or bagged? Weak or strong? Or are you are like me and love it strong and steep it for ten minutes longer than it instructs?

My favourite teas:

  1. English Breakfast (black tea)
  2. Chai (black tea + cinnamon + ginger + cloves) 
  3. Peppermint (peppermint leaves)
  4. Earl Grey (black tea + bergamot)
  5. Chamomile (chamomile flowers + hibiscus flowers + rose petals + spearmint.)

Make your favourite, grab a blanket and a book, and enjoy.

 

 

Favourites #4 | Germany

Germany is honestly one of my favourite places. I love the German language and the culture and the history and definitely the food. Plus, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

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Hildesheim
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Hildesheim
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Hildesheim
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Schloss Marienburg

 

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Hamburg
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Now I will end with a quote from one of my favourite poets, who just so happens to be German, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Rest not. Life is sweeping by; go and dare before you die. Something mighty and sublime, leave behind to conquer time.

 

Favourites #3 | Two Things

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  1. People Watching: I acquired this taste while abroad. I love just sitting and watching the people around me, especially while immersed in a culture that isn’t my own. There’s so much you can learn from observing your surroundings, no matter where you are. I guess I also love imagining stories for everyone. Be your own version of Humans of New York. It’s something you can do anywhere. Go to a coffee shop, a park, a bus stop, a museum. We’re always trying to participate, just sit and observe.
  2. Art: I’ve loved art for as long as I can remember. If you are going to any kind of art museum, I’m there. But to tell you the truth, when I was younger, I hated modern art. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate it almost as much as classical pieces. One of the things I’ve learned from travelling is this: you don’t have to like it, but you have to consider it. The piece of art that you hate has an artist that put their heart into it, and someone else probably loves it just as much as you hate it. I’ve come to find that you can tell a lot about a person based on what kinds of art they enjoy. Go to a museum and find a piece of art you love. Why do you love it? Now find one you hate. Why do you hate it? Art has a strange, yet wonderful, ability to affect people. The artist put their soul into their art, while the people see a bit of their soul in what the artist created. That’s the most wonderful thing- the ability to make people feel something.

 

 

Favourites #2 | Classic Fiction

Hello and happy Friday. To celebrate, and to take a break from mind numbing homework, I’m going to share a list of my favourite classic fiction (mostly books, some short stories).

(In no particular order)

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Miss Marple Mysteries (series) by Agatha Christie
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • The Chronicles of Narnia (series) by C.S. Lewis
  • Anne of Green Gables (series) by L.M. Montgomery
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Tell Tale Heart (short story) by Edgar Allen Poe
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau

 

Favourites #1 | Neville

Honestly, getting this little fluff ball is one of the greatest things that ever happened.

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Rabbits are actually the greatest (and super soft and cuddly)

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They are afraid of everything, but that doesn’t stop Neville from being the most curious little nugget and sniffing everything. Anything and everything in the house must be bunny-approved.

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Being semi-nocturnal, nap time is sacred (unless apples are being offered).

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But I mean come on, look at that face.

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He’s certainly brought a lot of joy to my life.