I'm BAAAACK...

And better than ever?

Have you guys missed me? Ready for another FRIDAY (Wednesday) Moment of Zen?

1) What I’ve been reading - (Connect with me on GoodReads):

  • The Wreckage of My Presence - Pat gave me the side-eye as I laughed out loud next to him while reading this. And then proceeded to cry in the next breath. It’s a collection of of essays by the comedian/actress Casey Wilson; and now excuse me while I go binge-watch Happy Endings from start to finish….

  • Washington Black - this month’s book club pick, I was meh on this one. And I’m likely in the extreme minority here as it was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize….

2) What I’ve been watching -

  • The Chair - PERFECTION. But Netflix, wwwwhhhhhhyyyyy only 6 episodes???

  • Modern Love - I’m only 1.5 episodes in but HOLY SHIT that first episode. Ugly sobs.

  • Ridley Jones - yes, this is a kid’s show and no, it’s not my favorite but it’s cute and these are some hard times, people. PLUS, I just found out that it’s the first Netflix kids’ show to feature a non-binary character!

3) What I’ve been cooking -

  • Anything with tomatoes and cucumbers (summer don’t go!)

  • BEANS! I just bought Dinner A Love Story’s new cookbook, The Weekday Vegetarians, and am inspired to up the number of non-meat meals we eat. Exhibit 1: “Pizza Salad” with marinated beans. Exhibit 2: homemade hummus.

  • This Kitchen Clambake, c/o my friend Jill, who made it for us ladies one night last month. I then made it on vacation in NH and will recreate it again for our annual Labor Day clambake. Jill’s tip: add Old Bay seasoning. Lots of it.

4) Beautycounter news!

Ladies/gents, there is so much newness happening over at Beautycounter!

  • MASCARA!

  • Cream Eyeshadows!

  • Primer!

  • Cream blush (coming soon!)

Last but not least, if you have ever thought you might want to join me - either for the 25% discount, for some extra pocket change or for a little fun (?!) now is a perfect time to join - for 3 days, it only costs $20.21 to join (get it?? :))

Lots of love!

Ali
alisonmbrady@gmail.com
beautycounter.com/alisonschramm
@alischramm_bc

Friday Moment of Zen.

And free shipping.

Oh hey, look! It’s me, updating this newsletter that I forget about for months at a time.

I mentioned way back in September that my last boss (turned friend) used to send out something called a Friday Moment of Zen, a combination of work reminders and light-hearted real world updates. Here’s my version….

1) What I’ve been reading - (Connect with me on GoodReads)

  • The Book of Lost Names - I can’t quit WWII books.

  • What Could Be Saved - Even though the storyline and writing were both great, the utterly unlikable characters just did it in for me.

  • Long Bright River - I’m only 100 pages or so into this one but wow. It’s a combination of a thriller/crime novel and a deeper story of family trauma and generations of drug addiction and poverty. It weaves its way between “then” and “now” and I’m totally hooked.

2) What I’ve been watching -

  • HACKS - Oh, Jean Smart is a national treasure. Watch watch watch!

  • Startup - I’m constantly on the hunt for something that Pat and I can watch together and this fits the bill. Adam Brody for me and crypto-currency / money laundering for him! We watched the first 2 episodes last night.

3) What I’ve been cooking -

  • Anything dairy-free. Including this cashew cheese ricotta recipe that was pretty damn great.

  • Anything with pasta (KIDS!) - I was amazed when my friend Coco, who is a bit of a foodie, didn’t know the joys of Marcella Hazen’s Tomato Sauce. It combines canned tomatoes, butter, salt and an onion and I don’t know exactly what happens but it’s pure magic when it’s done.

  • Also filed under magic - this Caesar Dressing that uses mayo instead of raw eggs but is still utterly delightful and homemade. I made this for my book club ladies with a big salad and some grilled chicken, steak and shrimp and it was a hit.

4) What else I’ve been doing -

  • Meditating. No, really. After my recent yoga weekend, I decided to really commit myself to a daily meditation practice. I’ve known for a long time that my morning routine was not serving me (aka wake up, roll over and immediately start scrolling social media). I’m 5 days in and it feels good.

5) Beautycounter News -

Free shipping goes through end of day today (Friday 6/11). The shipping sitch at Beautycounter is my least fave part of the company so please, please take advanatage of this offer. AND, if you’re a new customer (or have a new email address ;)) you can use code CLEANFORALL20 for 20% off your order.

As always, reach out with any questions you have. Lately, I’ve been loving the Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser with the Vitamin C serum to start my day (even if it’s at 3 pm!) Oh and Dew Skin is a must for pretty much everyday - little bit of dewy coverage plus SPF. Please and thank you :)

Hope you are all enjoying the unofficial start to summer. Lots of love to all.

xox

Ali
alisonmbrady@gmail.com
beautycounter.com/alisonschramm
@alischramm_bc (insta)

February.

We're almost "there."

February is hard. February 2021 is even harder.

In 4 days, it will have been 9 years since my mom died. I wrote a little bit about it recently here.

I don’t have any good answers for you on surviving (thriving in?) the next 3-6 months. It’s different for all of us. I can tell you that for me, my must-haves are:

  • Fresh air

  • Moving my body (running/yoga)

  • Coffee, tea & wine (in that order :))

  • Non-stop text chains with friends and family

You also might have heard that I really like (and sell!!!) Beautycounter. Kidding, obvs. As Frank the Tank’s wife told him in Old School: “The whole town knows you sell Beautycounter.”

So, my point is let me know if I can help you with the surviving/thriving thing. For your viewing pleasure, here’s a video of my morning skincare routine, VT style (click on picture for video!)

Music by The Avett Brothers, for my mom always and forever.

“…If it's the beaches
If it's the beaches' sands you want
Then you will have them
If it's the mountains' bending rivers
Then you will have them
If it's the wish to run away
Then I will grant it
Take whatever what you think of
While I go gas up the truck
Pack the old love letters up
We will read them when we forget why we left here..”

Xox

Ali

@alischramm_bc

beautycounter.com/alisonschramm

alisonmbrady@gmail.com

"CLEAN" START...

Deodorants and other things.

“Clean” is a controversial term in the beauty industry. Mostly because the FDA doesn’t regulate the term (OR the terms ‘natural,’ ‘green’ or ‘eco’ for that matter - and while we’re on the topic, should we mention that the FDA has only banned 11 ingredients from use in beauty products in the US versus around 1,300 in the EU).

And so like everything these days, companies have taken matters into their own hands with branding and marketing (what we would call “greenwashing”). Jessica Defino, a very bare-bones beauty blogger who I follow, has THIS to say about making your own determination on what “clean” is. And, of course, Goop has some thoughts on the matter too.

Personally, I think Beautycounter’s stance on safety in personal care/beauty products is one of the most robust out there (and hence why I support them the way I do).

The key here: educate yourself. Read! Ask questions! (I’ve been known to email companies asking them about the ‘fragrance’ listed in their ingredient list). And to quote Pat Schramm, incremental changes are good. You don’t need to throw out every piece of makeup, skincare, household cleaners and toxic candles on the same day. Start small. Make a list. You’ve got this.

One way you can do just this is by swapping your traditional anti-perspirant for a “clean” non-aluminum deodorant. Here’s the thing: yes, there are some links between aluminum and breast cancer. But ultimately more research is needed to reach a consensus. I’m not big on fear-mongering and I’m not going to start here. But what I can also tell you is that aluminum prevents your body from its natural detox process: SWEATING. Anti-perspirants work but in the process your sweat glands are essentially getting jammed up and your body isn’t allowed to DO ITS THING. Deodorants, good ones that is, work by letting your body do its thing but neutralizing odor too. And let me tell you, Beautycounter’s new one is not just good - it’s GREAT. Not only does it neutralize odor but it absorbs sweat (through cornstarch and baking soda). People, it’s a win win.

And in a twist that fills my eco-conscious heart with so much joy, it’s REFILLABLE. Fuel, water and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 47% because of this little fact. JOY TO THE WORLD!

Ok, I’ve written way too many words on deodorant.

Go take a look here. And let me know how I can support your journey towards “clean” (whatever that means for you).

xox,

Ali
beautycounter.com/alisonschramm
@alischramm_bc
alisonmbrady@gmail.com

September.

But also: "Back to School" during a Pandemic // FMOZ // FREE GIFTS

Here in New Jersey, we are ‘preparing’ for virtual 1st grade (if by ‘preparing’ you mean not knowing what day school actually starts OR how to log into the district’s platform BUT with one very-stylishly-dressed-almost-7-year-old). The picture below is me…but how are YOU?

My prior boss (who will forever go down in history as the best boss ever - and I’m not just saying that because she sometimes reads this.. :)) used to send out something to our entire team called Friday Moment of Zen. It was a collection of work reminders plus fun / light-hearted-real-world-updates. I thought I’d share something similar here even though it’s Thursday and I’m not your boss.

1) What I’ve Been Reading:

Colson Whitehead’s critically aclaimed “Underground Railroad” and “Nickel Boys.” The former was pretty incredible yet I lacked the insight to realize there was this whole allegory thing going on and so half of it went over my head. The latter was so tightly written and I so quickly read that I’m afraid I missed half of it. Verdict - I might need to re-read both.

Pachinko - the most incredible, sweeping story of multiple generations of Koreans living in Japan. The story spans from the early to the late 1900s and I’m embarrassed to say I knew so little of the persecution that Koreans have faced in Asia throughout history. Verdict - recommend, recommend, recommend!

2) What I’ve Been Eating:

Roasted tomatoes. No, this is not earth-shattering but actually, maybe it is. Tomatoes are so good right now (especially if you get your bootie to a farmers’ market) that you really don’t even need to roast them. But just do it anyway. Preferably with lots of olive oil, salt/pepper, basil and garlic cloves (and a pinch of sugar). I used them this week to top some rice bowls with but my friend Cheri made a killer pasta with them this past weekend - and I’m also thinking of a little burrata and bread action for this weekend.

3) What I’ve Been Listening To / Watching:

Armchair Expert, always. Preferably with Jason Bateman. ALSO very on brand: Jason Bateman’s new podcast SmartLess, with Sean Hayes and Will Arnett - go listen to our girl Kamala and/or Melissa McCarthy. 2 smart and bad-ass ladies.

COBRA KAI!!!!!! OMG I am GIDDY about this show. This Karate Kid re-boot is equal parts cheesy, nostalgic and maybe even brilliant television. Watch it now.

4) Beautycounter updates (did you think you’d get through this without a BC mention??)

  • Right now through Sept. 8th - get a FREE GIFT with purchase ($125+). The free gift is the Melting Body Balm, which will get rid of all your dry spots as we enter this colder/dryer season (WAAAAAHHH) while it transports you to that tropical island you never visited this year. It’s a $42 value and worth every penny. Not sure how to spend that $125? Reach out and I will help!

  • Get 10% off your order with code CHANGEBEAUTY10 (NOTE: this is for new customers or for customers who use an email address that they haven’t used in the past :) :) :))

  • Band of Beauty!! Make sure to add this perks program at check-out for 10% back to spend on future orders, free shipping on $100+ orders and the Think Clean welcome gift (travel-sized versions of the Mask and Peel). DO IT.

  • Last but not least - are you curious about the business opportunity with Beautycounter? I will say that this has become a really nice, steady, side stream of income for me. And it’s fun. Not a terrible combo.

    Take a look at this chance to win a package worth $1400 (which includes products to start your BC biz and the upgrade to consultant).

    https://www.beautycounter.com/leadersincleancontest

    I’m also offering my own incentive for the month of September. I will pay for one person to upgrade to a consultant. So tell me, who wants in?

    Sending love to you all!

    xox,


    Ali
    beautycounter.com/alisonschramm
    alisonmbrady@gmail.com
    @alischramm_bc

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