FLOWEREVOLUTION: Royal Poinciana

Lotus Wei is crafting a gorgeous line of amazing and powerful flower based elixirs, serums and sprays for “a little re-tuning” of the body and mind. Everything that Katie Hess, creator of Lotus Wei, has to say about her flower remedies seems to just make sense. Taken from her beautiful website, “Flower alchemy is simply another way of receiving the nourishing properties of plants- but instead of taking in oxygen, you’re taking in pure flower essences, suspended in water- liquid energy that transforms your mood and your mind through your acupuncture meridians.” But it’s more than that. Her idea of a FLOWEREVOLUTION where transforming oneself is the key to transformation for all is not just poetic, but completely true. After all, we only really have control of our own self anyway. Where else is there to start?

We highly suggest you check out her site and try one or two of her products. You won’t be disappointed!! We both just started the latest 6 month FloweRevolution {Sky} program, that focuses on the powers of a brand new flower elixir each month. It seemed like a good idea to do some writing at the end of each month to track our own transformations and then share them with you, so expect a regular report from now through the Fall!

MAY’S FLOWER ELIXIR: ROYAL POINCIANA: FOR CONFIDENCE, CONVICTION,CLARITY.Wallpaper-Royal-Poinciana-2048x1536-Tablet
IMAGE COURTESY OF LOTUS WEI

SAMANTHA:
I participated in the previous 6-month FlowerEvolution program {Earth}. I found that the essences provided a unique kind of support for my daily life and helped me achieve some big goals I had set forth. Because of the profound effect I experienced, there was no doubt that I’d continue onto the second program {Sky}. Within the first week of taking the Royal Poinciana flower essence, I found that I was able to speak up for myself in ways I normally wouldn’t have before. Difficult conversations which may have resulted in stress, anxiety and potentially a fight, flowed with balance, purpose and a sense of calm. I was more confident in my ability to speak what was on my mind and ask for what I wanted without second guessing myself. Although these conversations were hard, they ended up productive and I felt proud that I was able to speak my mind with balance and ease. The end of the month was a bit of a whirlwind. I embarked on a 1-week Ayurvedic cleanse the week before my moon cycle. I was cleansing, pms-ing and just generally feeling like the world was against me. Not only did Royal Poinciana support my outward communication but it also helped me communicate with myself. I was able to recognize the outside factors affecting my mood without outwardly expressing what was going on in my head. The crazy in my head was a result of the cleanse and my hormones and it would have been unfair to unleash that on anyone. The support of the flower elixir helped me get through the week. I’m back to myself now and ready for the next month of getting to know the Peony flower.

CAITLYN:
I have always been interested in the idea of flower elixirs. (I highly recommend Bach’s Rescue Remedy drops for any kind of anxiety and/or sleeplessness. They totally work.) So when Sam started raving about the FlowerEvolution {Earth} program, I knew I had to get onboard for the next iteration. And I am so glad I did. I’ve committed for the next 6 months to carry a little vial and dropper around in my purse and drip liquid magic under my tongue, 5x a day. For someone like me, who forgets most days to eat lunch, stopping to do ANYthing for myself 5x a day in and of itself is a step in the right direction. The act of stopping, taking a breath and remembering what it’s all about, is a powerful thing. But looking back at this past month, it was more than just the ritual of it all that has me looking forward to the arrival of June’s elixir. I’ve really noticed an energy shift that is so subtle, that it’s hard for me to even really explain. Within 4 days of starting the program, I found myself  being more confident and assertive in situations where I normally might keep my mouth shut and regret not saying something later. It was like words were just falling out of my mouth before I even had time to think about not saying them. (I’m normally a BIG overthinker- the type that talks herself out of an argument before she’s even opened her mouth). I’ve been speaking more honestly than I think I ever have. And the response has been wonderful! It’s been a big month for me, with our house closing escrow and a move that tried to kill me, but throughout it all there hasn’t been a lot of double-thinking and useless chatter in my head. I’ve never felt so clear and confident. Whatever it is. I like it. I suggest you stop and smell the flowers today…

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Burgertime at In-N-Out.

I’ve been to In N Out countless times, but it just never seems to get old. The double-double is one of my absolute favorite burgers around.  It’s no hidden gem, sure. But they are reliably delicious, affordable and usually pretty quick! (If you live near one and have not been, then you are certifiably crazy, and you should go, right now.)

IMG_5763THIS TIME AROUND WAS DIFFERENT THOUGH. I decided that if I was going to blog about it, I should go big, and get the 4×4. Yep. You heard it. 4 patties & 4 slices of cheeeeese, please! When our ‘Guest Number’ came up as ’44’ I knew it was meant to be.

I love me some In N Out, but I gotta say, I wouldn’t do the 4×4 again. Too much meat. I think maybe a 3×3 would be the way to go? UNTIL NEXT TIME! xoCait

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Conscious Consumption: Stone + Cloth

I first fell in love with Stone + Cloth at Unique LA where local artisans showcase their goods for a weekend of shopping bliss . Stone + Cloth make rucksacks and totes. You can feel the ruggedness and durability in each bag, plus, they simply look great. The best part? Each purchase helps provide scholarships to students in need through The Knock Foundation.

Click here to learn more about Stone + Cloth

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Beauty Recipe: Lavender & Sea Salt Toner

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This is one of my absolute favorite toner recipes. It’s the magic potion that always seems to keep my complexion clear. Suitable for all skin types, this toner hydrates, soothes, refreshes and nourishes. The addition of sea salt really takes this recipe to the next level because it gently treats acne and clears the skin of blemishes.

Recipe:
3 oz Hydrosol or Distilled Water (I used Rose Hydrosol)
1 oz Witch Hazel
1 tbsp Aloe Vera Gel
1/2 tsp Glycerin
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
4 drops Green Tea Extract
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Combine the hydrosol, witch hazel, aloe, glycerin and sea salt in a glass pyrex or double boiler.

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Place the glass pyrex in a pot of water and warm over the stove. Gently heat the ingredients until the sea salt dissolves.

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Remove from heat and add the green tea extract and essential oils. Pour the recipe into a glass bottle with spray top.

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I like to use two 2 oz brown glass bottles. I’ll keep one for myself and I’ll give one to a friend. This recipe will keep for 6 months without refrigeration. To use, simply spray the toner on a face, neck and chest after cleansing and before moisturizing.

Enjoy!

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Beauty Recipe: Anandamide Face Mask

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Sun Potion. Where to begin? I have so much adoration for this line of transformational foods and I admire the mission, passion and love that oozes out of the hands and hearts behind the line. Sun Potion superfoods and tonic herbs are  plant-based powders, extracts and whole foods. Always certified organic or wildcrafted and processed without the use of chemical solvents or additives of any kind, these potent foods have a transglobal lineage of healing properties.

My morning begins with a glass of homemade nut milk (either cashew or sunflower) and 2 tablespoons of Anandamide. The proprietary blend features raw cacao, turmeric, reishi, rose petals, Himalayan salt, chlorella and many more nourishing ingredients. This blend activates and harmonize the nervous, digestive, & immune systems. Additionally, Anandamide may help treat stress-induced anxiety, promote higher thought process and act as a messenger molecule that plays a role in pain, depression, appetite, memory and fertility. Not only is this blend incredible for your body and spirit, it can also be used as a face mask. When combined with honey and milk, you have a super mask that exfoliates, promotes cell repair, rejuvenates and increases blood flow.

Recipe:
1 tbsp Anandamide
1 tsp Honey
1 tsp Milk

Mix all ingredients together until a paste forms. Spread a thin layer over skin. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Beauty Recipe: Blossoming Face Oil

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I love Spring. Besides the fact that I’m a Taurus and my birthday falls within the season, the weather is perfect and there’s an overwhelming sense of possibility.  As the weather shifts, I like to change my skincare routine. During the winter months, I always find that my skin tends to be parched and I end up using The Peacock Apothecary’s night creme during the day for extra moisture. As the weather warms, I switch to a face oil which is lighter, absorbs into the skin quickly and acts as a great make up primer.

The recipe below was inspired by Spring and combines a nourishing blend of vegetable oils, therapeutic grade essential oils and a pink primrose flower elixir to create an incredibly fragrant, hydrating and healing treatment. Thanks to Lotus Wei, I’ve been on a beautiful journey with flower elixirs for the past 7 months. These incredible potions have been used for generations and you’re most likely familiar with Bach’s Rescue Remedy. Flower alchemy is simply another way of receiving the nourishing properties of plants. When you work with flower essences, you bring your body back in tune with a subtle electrical vibration. Each flower holds a different vibration reflective of it’s essence which is used to treat the root (not the symptom). I chose to include the pink primrose because it blooms in spring and grows prolifically. This flower has a wild spirit and can grow in challenging conditions. It’s a hard flower to contain because it spreads so rapidly. The pink primrose flower essence prepares us for “rapid growth” while magnifying a sense of fearlessness. The essence births new ideas, prepares us for next steps and helps us move from one stage to another. I’ve added the pink primrose to activate the face oil vibrationally and create an intentional ritual during each application. If you find another flower elixir that you resonate with, feel free to substitute.

Ingredients
5 tsp Apricot Kernal Oil
3 tsp Jojoba Oil
1 tsp Seabuckthorn Oil
8 drops Rose Essential Oil
5 drops Sandalwood Oil
2 drops Palmarosa
15 drops Pink Primrose Flower Elixir (contact Lotus Wei)

This recipe couldn’t be any easier to make. Simply mix all ingredients together and pour into a glass container of your choice. I prefer to use two 2oz brown glass bottles with dropper. I’ll keep one for myself and I’ll gift the second to a friend.

 

 

 

Burger(&HotDog)time at Carney’s.

Carney’s will always be a special place to me. Yes, Carney’s, the hot dog slinging train car on Sunset Strip. It was one of the first restaurants in Los Angeles that I fell in love with. Why?

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1. Delicious food at affordable prices 2. They have been serving the same thing, in that same spot since 1975 and 3. it’s proven to cure even the worst of my bad moods (and hangovers).

I suggest going with a friend. Each of you order a hot dog. And split a cheeseburger and fries. You can’t lose. xo Cait

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Home Apothecary: The Essentials

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Treating your skin to natural, handmade recipes is much easier than it may seem. If you can cook, you can whip up a good number of skincare products at home. Just like your pantry, you’ll need to stock up on a few essentials. Once you get going, you’ll build upon these base products as you start to experiment with new and natural ingredients. We’ve put together the following list of essentials, their potential uses and a few places that you can source from.

Vegetable Oils (Organic):
At all times, we keep a mix of about 15 different vegetable oils. For starters, we recommend Olive and Grapeseed for use in body products and Almond, Apricot Kernal and Jojoba to use for face products. These oils will serve as a base for about 75% of the products you’ll likely make including body oil, face oil, cleansing oil, lotions/creams, salves and hair masks.

Coconut Oil (Unrefined, Raw, Organic):
This super oil is incredibly moisturizing and highly emollient. We love the buttery consistency, especially when the oil is in its solid state at temperatures below 76 degrees. Coconut oil is a versatile ingredient that can be used for lip balms, scrubs, lotions, balms and even oil pulling. You can even use coconut oil to wash your face.

Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter:
You can start with one or the other but we love both. Cocoa butter is more solid than shea butter so we recommend purchasing the wafers for ease of use. If you’re looking for an ingredient with a milder scent, go for the shea butter since cocoa butter smelts like chocolate. Both add a thick consistency to body butters, balms and salves.

Beeswax (Unrefined, Unbleached):
We recommend purchasing beeswax pastilles to avoid the step of grating. Beeswax is used as a thickener to creams, lotions, salves, butters and balms.

Aloe Vera (Fresh Gel, 99% Pure):
Aloe is soothing and relieves skin irritations from burns, rashes and bites. Plus, aloe helps restore the skin’s natural pH balance. We like to use aloe in toners, masks and face cleansers.

Hydrosol (aka Flower Water):
Hydrosols are the natural by-product of the essential oil distillation process. These fragrant waters retain the compounds present in the plant used and provide a great alternative to distilled water. You can find lovely hyrdrosols made from lavender, rose, chamomile, calendula and more. We like to use these flower waters for toners, refreshing face spritzers and lotions.

Clay:
You can pick from many different varieties depending on the source of the clay and your skin-type. Clays are extremely mineral-rich and have great absorbent powers for clearing pores. Plus, clay masks are so easy to make and a great addition to your weekly skincare routine. We also use clays to make exfoliants and face cleansers.

Honey (Raw):
This sticky sweetener acts as a humectant which helps lock in moisture when used on your skin. We use honey for masks, lip balms, body butters and even cleansers.

Sugar (Organic, Cane):
Our absolute favorite exfoliant used for scrubs.

Essential Oils:
The soul of the plant, essential oils embody the plant’s aromatic hormones and chemical compounds that can regenerate the skin and emotionally impact our mind state. There are so many to choose from, each with their own essence and use. Getting to know each essential oil takes time but there are a few that are great starters including lavender, lemon, bergamot, tea tree, ylang ylang, rose and sandalwood. We use essential oils in almost all products we craft, plus, you can play with your oils to make lovely, natural perfumes.

Tools:
Pyrex
Double Boiler
Measuring Spoons
Hand Mixer
Spatula
Brown Glass Containers for Storage

Resources:
Mountain Rose (vegetable oils, waxes, butters, essential oils)
Rivendell Farm in Ojai (essential oils, hyrdrosols)
Agbanga Karite (shea butter)
Global Goods (coconut oil)

Happy Crafting!
xx
Sam

 

 

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Beauty Recipe: The Ultimate Dry Skin Cream

This recipe was created specifically for my husband, who, at the time, was suffering from eczema. Having dealt with allergies his entire life, he eventually broke out in dry, itchy patches all over. The poor guy was so uncomfortable and felt like he basically wanted to rip his skin off. We dealt with the problem both inside and out focusing on anti-inflammatory foods and super moisturizing creams to protect the skin. One thing was certain, the over the counter treatments wouldn’t cut it and we didn’t want to treat the problem with chemicals.

I formulated this healing cream with the richest butters and oils in my apothecary  to protect the skin from environmental irritants. Not just for eczema, this cream is great for areas that need extra moisture like rough patches, elbows, knees feet and hands. I love to slather it on before I go to sleep during the winter months when the air is particularly dry and my skin needs the extra love.

This all purpose cream is also great for babies! My son’s skin has always been on the dry side; he gets dry patches on his biceps and calves. This cream has worked wonders since he was born, plus, I feel better knowing everything in that little jar is completely natural.

The best part is that this recipe couldn’t be any easier to make. Seriously, if you can melt ingredients, then you can make this cream.

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Ingredients
1 tablespoon cocoa butter
2 tablespoons beeswax
1 tablespoon shea buter
1/3 cup coconut oil (organic, unrefined)
1/2 cup sunflower oil (alternatives: olive, almond, apricot, grapeseed)
10 drops of roman chamomile essential oil (therapeutic grade) – calming essential oil for the skin
8oz glass jar

To Make
Add all ingredients (except the essential oil) to a glass pyrex or double boiler. If using a pyrex, boil water in a pot and place the pyrex into the pot. Warm all ingredients until the solid ingredients are just melted.

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Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Add the essential oil and stir. Pour the mixture into your glass jar and allow to cool. Let it set overnight to give the ingredients plenty of time to harden into a creamy texture. If you’d like to speed up the process, you can let the jar cool in the fridge.

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Enjoy!
xo
Sam

 

 

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Beauty Recipe: The Absolute Best Body Scrub

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You may think it’s crazy of us to give away our trade secrets but we’re happy to share our recipes and we hope you’re inspired to create all-natural skincare products at home. This recipe is so easy that even the most novice can master our coconut body scrub. The ingredients are simple, yet they pack so much punch. For those who love to cook and craft, this recipe makes a great gift when you’re looking to give something with a personal touch.

Here’s the basic rundown…

We opt to use sugar instead of salt. Salt can sting, plus, we find that sugar provides a bit more grit to exfoliate the skin. The ingredient that really makes this recipe shine is the coconut oil. When it’s cold, you’ll find that the coconut oil hardens to a buttery consistency (which means you may need to bring a spoon into the shower). I’m sure I don’t need to wax poetic about coconut oil, you most likely already know this is a super oil. It’s so incredibly moisturizing that you won’t even need to use lotion when you get out of the shower. And of course, you won’t find any artificial fragrances in this recipe. Just a few drops of therapeutic grade essential oil is all you need.

So let’s get to the recipe.

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Ingredients
1 cup sugar (preferably organic cane sugar)
9 tablespoons coconut oil (preferably raw, unfiltered)
20 drops therapeutic grade lavender essential oil
8oz glass jar

To make the scrub:
Make sure your coconut oil is in the liquid phase. If it’s solid, or partially solid, melt the oil over the stove in a double boiler or glass pyrex placed in boiling water. Place 1 cup of sugar into a mixing bowl. Pour the melted coconut oil over the sugar and mix.

consistency-2You’ll want the scrub to have a moist consistency with a thin layer of oil sitting on top of the sugar once it settles (if you need to add a little more oil to reach the consistency you prefer, add it now).

Count the drops of the essential oil as they sprinkle over the top of the scrub mixture. Mix again and scoop into your glass jar (preferably amber or violet glass).

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Variations:
Once you get acquainted with the recipe, you likely won’t even need to measure the sugar and oil and you’ll simply be able to eye the consistency of the mixture. You can even infuse your coconut oil with herbs (more to come on this process later) or you can vary the essential oil blend. Some of my favorite blends include Lemon/Rosemary/Sage and Orange/Clove/Cinnamon/Ginger.

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Happy scrubbing!
xo
Sam