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A hopeful message for today…

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” —Fred Rogers

Mr. Rogers was from Pittsburgh (one of my hometowns), and his hope-filled quote about “looking for the helpers” is making the rounds again today. I’m sharing it here because I don’t have anything better to say after what happened at yesterday’s Boston Marathon. My thoughts are with those in Boston—and other places of the world—who are suffering in the wake of violence. —Aleigh

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A little help from my friends…

Lately I’ve been thinking about making some smallish changes to Indigo+Canary. I’ve been realizing that my little blog tends to get somewhat neglected when my other writing responsibilities and deadlines pile up. Truth: although I started this blog as a hobby to share my research and love of natural cosmetics, I have to spend time on the projects that help pay my bills—and Indigo+Canary is not one of them. Which means that in order to be able to spend more time here with all of you—and maybe even bring on a paid contributor on occasion!—I’m considering hosting a few ads and/or accepting some (very carefully selected*) sponsored posts.

But first, I’d love to get your thoughts. We’ve built a bit of a community here, and it turns out I don’t know very much about my readers! And so, without further ado, here is the link to my first ever (and very short) 2013 Indigo+Canary Reader Survey.

As a thank you, I’ll include everyone who fills out the survey in a random drawing for a $25 gift card to Spirit Beauty Lounge. Thanks so much! —Aleigh

*If I do decide to add advertising or accept sponsored posts, I promise to use the same careful consideration before I accept them that I do for my Beauty Obsessions.

(Image via Ememem)

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Wishing you a happy, healthy, beautiful 2013

(Image via Thomas Hawk; text added by moi!)

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Link Love Friday: Tis the Season

A charming window display from the early 1940s.

I have a few more posts planned for the last few days of 2012 (including a review or two!), but posting will continue to be light at Indigo+Canary until January, while I slow down a little to celebrate the holidays and get ready to welcome 2013.

For now, I’ve collected some nuggets from around the web to share with you. Here’s what I’ve been reading+enjoying lately:

Apparently Oprah is planning to get in on the organic thing—including, potentially, beauty products. Here’s hoping she gets it so right that I stop hearing the phrase “natural cosmetics don’t work,” which I have dubbed Natural Beauty Myth #2.

3 Wreaths to Make for the Holidays, from Oh Happy Day. (How gorgeous is that kumquat and bay leaf wreath?!)

This Eco ATM seems like a pretty great idea.

The train to Versailles has been painted to match the actual Versailles, and I am really coveting a seat on it. These gorgeous photographs are making my longing to visit even worse—but aren’t they lovely?

Happy holidays, all! Hope yours are merry and bright. —Aleigh

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Let’s Talk About: Celebrating Birthdays

Mom with Milo. Aren't they cute?

Today is my mom’s birthday, and it’s a big one. (Happy birthday, Mama!) Since I don’t want to be disowned, I won’t tell you her age. But I do think it’s worth talking about this whole aging thing and how upset people can get about turning a year older.

Here’s the thing: I think birthdays are for celebrating, whether you’re turning 10 or 100. I’ve felt strongly about this since one of my mom’s best friends died of breast cancer more than a decade ago. She was in her mid-thirties, and I’m pretty sure she would’ve been thrilled—elated, even—to be able to celebrate another birthday.

I just can’t take birthdays for granted anymore. There’s no good reason to be sad about getting a year older. And honestly? I don’t think this whole aging thing is as bad as some people might want you to believe. (Sometimes I feel like it’s all a ruse get us to buy a bunch of anti-aging products!)

Recently, though, this whole don’t-take-life-for-granted outlook of mine has become even stronger. The past few years haven’t been easy for most people—or, frankly, for me—but surviving some really difficult times has actually given me a huge gift. I’ve realized the best way (for me) to get through a challenging time in my life is to look forward with positivity and cultivate a sense of gratefulness. It’s not easy, especially when times are tough, but I work at it every day.

Mom and me in the '80s.

It may sound like a cliche, but this new outlook has kind of changed my life. I’m grateful that I have a job that I love. I live in a city I enjoy. I’ve been to so many beautiful, inspiring places. I get to talk about one of my favorite topics—natural beauty—on this little blog, and with all of you.

Life can be messy. Sometimes it’s awful. But mostly, I think it’s pretty fantastic. And I’m so happy to be able to celebrate another birthday with my adorable mother. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

So happy birthday, Mom! It’s going to be a good one. I just know it.

I’ll leave you all with one last link: this post from No More Dirty Looks, with six reasons why aging isn’t as awful as the cosmetics industry claims. Well said, Siobhan and Alexandra! I’m with you. —Aleigh

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