Saturday, July 17, 2010

she's alive!

I'm back! I have been away on a lengthy hiatus (that's a word you don't get to use often) while traveling, being sick, cleaning, packing, and admittedly--being lazy. I haven't forgotten about my blog and I'm excited to share lots of new things with everyone.

Chicago was great, and surprisingly Iowa was as well. After my last few trips being abroad, it's really nice to experience my own country's heartland. This was my first visit to Chicago (outside of O'Hare) and my first trip to Iowa. I have pictures, hotel reviews, food reviews, and more to share from my travels.

To ease back into the blogosphere, I'll start with a shop and product review. My travel stories will be a bit disjointed--it's just how I roll.

While in Iowa City (home of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes...more on this later), I did some shopping downtown in the wonderful, unique boutiques. The first one I checked out was the very aptly-named Soap Opera. In case you couldn't tell, I love bath & beauty products, so I naturally loved this store. An entire shop full of soap!

Not only do they carry some more well-known brands like Crabtree & Evelyn and L'Occitane, they also feature organic and local products. You can find any soap with any possible ingredient. In case soap isn't your thing, they also sell bath toys, loofahs, nail care, moisturizers, face care, hair care, lip balm, fragrance oils and more. They even have their own line of bath and beauty products.

I had to limit myself to one bar of soap and it took me a long time to find that one special bar. Did I want one shaped like a Chihuahua? I couldn't justify spending $20, even if it did look like Carmella. Did I want one of those big bars of lavender L'Occitane soap? No, L'Occitane is readily available. An Iowan-crafted one? An organic one? A goat's milk one?

I ended up choosing a bar made by Vivo Naturals. It caught my eye because of the ingredients (100% African Shea Butter and bamboo) and the slogan of "Personal Care. Global Impact." They purchase their ingredients from a collective farm in Togo run entirely by women. Rather than donating proceeds directly to charity, they are directly improving the livelihood of people who need it.

I chose the Green Tea + Mint bar. I love the scent of mint and this one had crushed bamboo added for extra exfoliation. I was intrigued. This soap ended up being a godsend for my sunburned arms. It makes a rich, silky lather that is lightly scented. The bamboo, as promised, exfoliates very well, leaving your skin soft and smooth. The soap rinses clean, but moisturizes without leaving any film. I was very pleased with this product, especially for only $4.75.

This brand is surprisingly easy to find. They sell their products on their website, even offering a special of 10 soaps (and these are BIG) for $30 with free shipping. They are sold at Whole Foods and even, but I think I would feel most comfortable ordering from them directly. They offer five different formulas: Green Tea + Mint, Brazilian Acai + Pomegranate, English Lavender, Lemongrass + Verbena, and Rose Water + Jasmine. Another plus: they are packaged in 100% recycled materials.

Check out their website here (they're also on Facebook):

Visit The Soap Opera's website here:
You can order online from them!

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At July 17, 2010 at 8:45 PM , Blogger mamaquimby09 said...

Just from reading this, I somehow feel dirty and feel the need to shower with this soap! Oh man do I want to buy some now :)

At July 18, 2010 at 1:06 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

It's great! Sometimes the best cure for the blues is to take a long shower with some really nice soap.


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