Tuesday, July 30, 2013

CLOSED Giveaway: Little Flower Soap Co.

Hello! Here is a giveaway from The Little Flower Soap Co.  all ingredients from Little Flower Soap Co. are natural/organic based and plant derived, up for winning is the Spa Gift Set:

How to enter:
  • Visit Little Flower Soap Co. Come back here and leave a comment telling me your favorite item in her shop. Please include your email address 
Extra ways of entering:
  • Tweet about this giveaway mentioning @forestwanders and @littleflowerMI 
  • Like Little Flower Soap Co. on Facebook. Include your email address on this entry in a comment below.
*Please include your email address in each entry in the comments, this is how we will contact the winner

Giveaway will end August 9th! Good Luck 

congrats Catherine! I'll contact ya!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Interview / Little Flower Soap Co.

Holly Rutt is the sweet lady behind a floral design and bath & beauty line using pure essential oils and organic plant based ingredients. Beyond using nature for scent or color she uses them medicinally too: arnica for muscle soreness, lavender for its therapeutic scent - her line The Little Flower Soap Co. is a treat for the eyes (beautiful, ethical packaging) and Holly is spark of light, as well as kind enough to host a giveaway which will be posted tomorrow so look out for that!

Hello, my name is Holly Rutt
I am the brains and heart behind two indie ventures, The Little Flower Soap Co on Etsy and Sweet Pea Floral Design, a wedding and event floral company in Detroit, Michigan.

You can like and follow both here:
Sweet Pea Facebook
Sweet Pea Blog
Little Flower Facebook

How did you get involved into the craft of a beauty/body care line?

A completely kindred college roommate of mine, Anna Cools, had a family soap recipe that was absolutely to die for and after Anna moved away I suffered from awesome soap withdrawal.

I begged to learn the recipe. Anna and her sister Jen agreed to bring me on as an honorary family member and teach me the heirloom soap ways that their mother had perfected. I drove 8 hours North into Canada to a log cabin where a wood burning stove is used to cook all the food, heat the house, distil gallons of maple syrup and …… Make Soap!!

After my first few successful craft shows I was completely in love with the existentially romantic process of making and selling a product that my community embraced. It felt so Little House on the Prairie and way better than a desk job.

Over the years as a body care consumer I had stumbled over lip balms and tiger balms that were incredible but when they ran out I couldn’t find them again. So I decided to try and re create them myself by taking the lip balm recipes that everyone was passing around on Pinterest and jamming them full of the BEST ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, lanolin, vitamin E ,jojoba and more. Once these were a hit I was addicted to the thrill of making a product that people raved about so I just kept going.

How do you go about finding the perfect blend, scent, combination?

My husband is 3rd year DO (Med) student with a passion for herbs, vitamins, nutrition and natural health care. He helps me come up with my recipes using his incredible intuition (if you are familiar with kinesiology his process is similar). It may sound hippy dippy but I make Justin a list of the most natural and nourishing skin care ingredients available and he sits down and rights a killer recipe in ounces and grams. This process never fails and his recipes almost never need to be tweaked. Because he doesn’t care what the ingredients cost we end up with recipes that are kind of expensive to produce (full of st. johns wort and Arnica Oils) but arguably the best in our market.

I’m in charge of making sure everything smells great and looks pretty but is still completely natural. This is relatively easy because I prefer earthy essential oils and have always been grossed out by fake fragrances. True confessions I once put on Burts Bees bug repellent before a date because I thought it made a nice cologne (I’m a citronella fiend)

The color for the soaps is fun: Chlorophyll for green, Paprika for orange, Annatto seed powder for yellow, comfrey root powder for purple, French pink clay for red, Cambrian blue clay for etc.

I’m a nature o-holic so I wanted my packing to be minimal and any graphics to be au natural.To be completely honest I choose the papers that I found beautiful and just lucked into the fact that they were also 100% post consumer waste, acid free, and made completely from cotton scraps from garment districts in India and Thailand. So completely tree free paper.

Which flora/plant is your absolute favorite to work with & personal use

It sounds a little country kitsch but I LOVE lavender. My 3-year plan includes planting up my own mini lavender farm (maybe 50 or so bushes) to use in both soap making and floral design businesses. At stressful trade shows I catch myself picking up and deeply inhaling the lavender lemongrass soap over and over and I can feel my nerves settling when I smell it. Folks who use our muscle rescue balm have reported putting it on before bed or in the middle of the night and sleeping better… I think it’s the lavender oil.

Anyone who goes on your website will see you are also a florist, where did this bud from (pun!) 

Haha! Well as you can see I am long winded so this may be another story for a different day but the short version is that I hated my job and prayed to St. Therese of Lisieux A.K.A. The Little Flower, and the name sake for the soap business. St. Therese saw to it that I got a new better job as floral team leader at Whole Foods Market, that went well so they sent me traveling to open new WF flower shops in Chicago and Toronto. I took home spoilage and practiced designing until I was confident enough to tackle friends weddings and then the wedding business exploded and I had to quit my day job. I now design about 40 weddings a year.

What projects are you currently working on/will be working on? 

This is my favorite part, research and development is so rewarding. I am so excited to be working on a complete mama and baby body care line including belly balm, teething gel, mild soap, nursing balm, diaper creams etc. And on a separate note I’m hoping to release a few aromatherapy oils one for headaches and migraines, and one for help falling asleep.

My Lifestyle is 
Lets call it folksy chic (ha ha!) My husband and I love the good stuff: farmers markets, micro brews, tent camping and hiking, jumping in the lake, road trips in the key of life (Stevie Wonder). We had a Motown cover band for our wedding reception but we obsess ourselves with reggae, traditional folk, bluegrass, blues, and the occasional hip hop when the lyrics are progressive. The long term lifestyle blueprints include a hoop house for growing our food, 3 or so munchkins to lavish our love upon, a country home outside of Ann Arbor and a dog or two.

5 Things that Heal me

  • Going to Mass every week for a makeover
  • Silence when I have the courage to allow it
  • Sitting by a river the movement of the water kind of mutes my anxious mind
  • Arnica the homeopathic remedy for trauma and bruising (like in this rescue balm)
  • Snuggling, can’t get enough. 

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by nature in a big way lichens, feathers, nautilus shells, flowers obviously but specifically trillium, dogwood, ferns, moss, clouds and the like I think there is some universally beautiful math equation that we can all agree is easy on the eyes and since when can we all agree on anything?!

I’m inspired by Therese of Lisieux, The Little Flower and her little way in her autobiography The Story of a Soul Therese wrote, “ Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by …every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.” (I think of this when emptying the dishwasher).

And my Mom who made sure that my sister and I felt empowered to do and be whatever we wanted and then backed it up with an unending stream of support in the form of time and talent. Mom works with me one day a week labeling and packing orders for the Little Flower Soap Co. And my Dad who is constantly getting out of his chair to do any little task that will make us more comfortable even though he has had double knee replacement surgery!! (heroes)

What your vices?

Coffee, Beer both are good with Sea Salt Caramel while ogling Jeff Bridges (the dude) and I’m obsessed with my hammock + still sleep with a pound puppy.

Where are you located and what places to you recommend/frequent?

Justin and I live in a suburb of Detroit and I commute to Ann Arbor for weddings. This area is FULL of amazing places but I particularly love:

· The beer garden at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti for its simple small town feel,
· Cliff Bells jazz club in Detroit for the intoxicatingly glamorous art deco ambiance,
· The Ann Arbor Ark a non profit folk music concert space that hosts and has hosted ALL of the greatest folk musicians and remains my favorite date spot.
· Bandemer Park, Ann Arbor where the University of Michigan rowing team pushes off from but a great semi secret swimming hole right in Downtown that feels like a little lake in the country.

In 5 years I want to

Be a mother of 3 living outside of Ann Arbor on several acres of land with a garage converted to a 4 season studio where I can work while the kids play in the yard nearby. I want to be the proud owner of a hoop house and raised veggie beds as well as a little perennial lavender and peony farm. Hoping to use the property to host community pot luck suppers and bonfires in our folksy chic way.

Dream vision board, what would your ideal day consist of:

My ideal day would start with coffee and a good book then snuggling then maybe a bloody mary on the patio of some fantastic crepes place followed by a vigorous hike to a scenic view, a nap in the hammock, finishing with a bourbon barrel aged stout by the fire where I play union songs and lullabies for my little ones on folk guitar…. more snuggling the end. Well you did say IDEAL J

One piece of advice is

This is impossible as an aspiring philosopher there is no way to narrow it to one piece of advice but here is an attempt:

Be patient and kind with yourself, your happiness is a gift and a treasure for the people around you.

Professional Floral Design with a Unique Perspective

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tea Ceremony: Modern Chai #2

Awhile back i received my tea from Marble & Milkweed and swooned over the packaging and then of course the teas. I have never really have an "authentic" chai. So that being said I wanted something to warm my bones so I headed for the Modern Chai #2 sample (Organic, fairly-traded assam tea organic cardamom, organic ginger and organic ceylon cinnamon, saffron and organic, fairly-traded cacao)

I split this with my mother, hers without milk - just the tea as it is in its exotic, earthy, herbal essence and how delicious it is. Its balanced and not overly spicy (which is why I avoid the boxed ones) and I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow directions while making tea (too hot can make for bitter tea, over steeping can make it overpowering) But I added a coconut milk to mine which I feel is the best non-dairy milk because it is full in creaminess and flavor

p.s. as stated Marble and Milkweed uses ceylon cinnamon, which is the pure/nontoxic form of cinnamon, here is a post on the importance of imbibing pure ceylon cinnamon

it is always tea time
it is always tea time
it is always tea time
it is always tea time
it is always tea time

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Inspiration / Summertime Living

New banner kindly made by Hannah Graff, I love it so much, check her out!
I almost cried tears of joy: preview a song from Mazzy Star's upcoming album (!!!!)
gardening in small spaces & Moon Juice founder Amanda on health & energy
Lana Del Rey previews "Black Beauty" and its stunning
how to live without air-conditoning via the Boston Globe
creative  Q&A with Beth Kirby - inspirational
these amethyst skull rings from Macabre Gadget
a great guide on choosing herbal teas, & farm stories: calming herbs {heaven}
Leilani Bishop is so beautiful, as is her botanical perfume line
The images of this Los Angeles house visit is my dream way of living
Ashley Lebedev's UK Photojournal 
P.S. we will be having another giveaway soon, be sure you are following my blog to enter!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Interview / One Willow Apothecaries

As I type I am emailing Asia about a custom concoction from her magical shop. Asia is one of those people you gravitate to because of the way she lives and leads her life, this was the case when I stumbled across her blog Woolgathering and Wildcrafting. She is the physical manifestation of a healer with her organic creations and kind personality. I had the fortune to ask her about her journey into herbalism, light, and interviewing this lovely creature who puts her heart and soul into her budding foray. Take a gander at her shop the majority is grown and harvested by her and heal yourself (or treat yourself) to nature's bounty. I am testing my patience for that White Pine Honey only available in Fall/Winter. 

Asia Suler
Creator, Concoctress & Herbalist
One Willow Apothecaries

Hello my name is Asia Suler and I am an herbalist, writer, teacher, concoctress and dreamer. 
I am the creator of One Willow Apothecaries, a small Appalachian-grown business that offers handmade and gluten-free herbal medicine. Named for the weeping willow my grandfather planted for me when I was born, One Willow is a singular devotion of love. I am also the muse behind Woolgathering & Wildcrafting, a blog detailing the two passions that shape my days. [Woolgathering: the act of daydreaming, the gathering of thoughts and dreams as one might collect fallen tufts of wool. Wildcrafting: the harvesting of herb, root, flower or inspiration from the wilds].
I live in the rain-soaked mountains of southern Appalachia where I make my home in a little blue cottage with crooked floors and old doorknobs. I lovingly tend half an acre of gardens, all dug by hand. I grow herbs and flowers and weeds. When I’m not writing to one of my pen pals, photographing a newly opened flower or finding feathers for my room, I love to ramble in the woods, collect stones and eat wild food.

What projects are you currently working on/will be working on? 

Lately I’ve been daydreaming about publishing a book—a collection of herb writing, poetry, photography and recipes for living a sweeter life. Next spring I’ll be moving farther out into the countryside. I plan to soak up that delicious alone-ness with many books and long afternoons roaming the hills of my mind. As always, I am constantly thinking about new medicinal concoctions. In the future, I’m looking to focus on more energetic elixirs, allies for healing during great emotional states, moments of transition, and transformative shifts of spirit. Next year I’ll be helping to create and debut a gorgeous herbal education distance-learning course for the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. I’m excited about bringing this knowledge farther out into the world!

My love of nature, herbalism and apothecary came from…someplace I cannot name. 

The recognition of this love arrived during a very difficult time in my life. I was in the midst of a serious healing crisis and a seemingly endless maze of chronic pain. Inside my body it felt like everything was falling apart. Outside, the world was always becoming more whole. Nature was my solace. The sicker I got, the more I explored the underground stream of meaning, both within myself and beneath the world, in a way that forced me to redefine my concept of medicine. I needed answers, so I looked to the mysteries. I began to realize that everything I needed for healing was already around me. I fell in love with trees, held close counsel with my dreams, and sought out holistic practitioners of medicine. I learned how to truly listen to what my body and spirit were trying to communicate. Slowly but surely, I began to heal. One of the final pieces to fall into place was the realization that I had Celiac disease. This changed everything. My health went from a constantly slipping slope to something I could actually point to with pride. When I arrived on the doorstep of herbal medicine I was dismayed to find that most commercial tinctures are infused with grain alcohol (much of which is made with non-organic and gmo ingredients). And so, I began to make my own. This was the first seed of One Willow.

My work schedule is a mixture of pure joy and serious tedium.

 I grow a huge garden of medicinal herbs and spend at least one glorious day a week wildcrafting and wandering the woods. I make medicine in the wee hours of the night, before breakfast and anytime I can find a moment! I develop new classes and workshops, often in the quiet darkness before bed when I can’t sleep, and I push myself to say yes to every opportunity to teach. This, all of this, I love. Then there are the hours emailing, driving to the post office, figuring out sales tax, and endlessly reorganizing my small workspace. This, is not so much fun. I think part of becoming a graceful human being, however, is learning how to love the mundane. I am also fortunate enough to work and teach for the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, which has been such a fateful blessing.

How do you go about finding the perfect blend, scent, combination?
 First, I have a feeling. A resonant nudge deep inside of me that says “yes” (or perhaps, “oui” if it’s feeling Parisian). Sometimes I simply hold the names or images of all the herbs or essences in my mind at once, substituting one or the other, until something energetically clicks into place. Like a silent bell, ringing. Of course, I am always observing how others formulate and studying traditional herb combinations, but the ultimate decision seems to come from a place before words. Often times I feel like my formulas or blends have already asked to be made, and I am simply trying to follow the finesse of their delicate directions.

One thing I am definitely wanting to try are your honey blends
My honeys are available seasonally.... aka. whenever I’m in the season to make them! I recently ran out of my winter batches and have been dreaming up a summer concoction. I love to make both slow and quick infusions. I think honey is one of the true mannas of this earth. I once infused a sage honey for over a year, it was exquisite! This August I’ll be debuting a new honey, so check back to see what sweet new incarnation appears...

My Lifestyle is both quiet and constantly buzzing.
 I think about plants and flowers, the spirit of the world and the purpose of my life on a daily basis. I write poetry, ask for guidance, give gratitude, and consult the stars. I work constantly, and often feel as if I’m being propelled down a mysteriously dim, yet destined, path. I make time to camp out in the woods and congregate with good friends. I am a part of an incredible community of people here in the Asheville area. My friends are kind, compassionate, conscientious and seriously badass.  Some of my closest friends live off the grid, canning meat, collecting berries, building beautiful homes and processing animal skins into the most gorgeous buckskin clothing you’ve ever seen. I am constantly inspired by my community, not only its individual members, but by its closeness and communal dreaming of a better, more sustainable world. I am blessed to share a home with one of my best friends and serious soul brother. Staying in with him on a Friday evening is a real treat. We relish our time together, blending banana ice cream, picking tarot cards and coming up with new dance moves in on our tiny retro-tiled kitchen.  

I create blends that are non-GMO, gluten/grain-free
Medicine should be made from the purest, safest most loved ingredients on the planet. Part of what makes something medicine, is the intention and care behind its creation. All of my medicine is made with non-GMO alcohol and herbs because I believe in the perfection of nature. I don’t need to go into how scary genetically modified food can be – it is literally destroying our environment and our health. The rise of Celiac and gluten-intolerance is directly tied to the way in which we have modified, distorted, frankensteined and degraded our most ancient foods. I believe in honoring and respecting whole plants, and whole people, so I craft medicine with the most unadulterated ingredients I can find. 

We love tea! Tell us about your tea blends/processes & what are you own personal favorite types of teas. 
I absolutely cherish tea. One of my favorite things is to go to my apothecary and select herbs based on the whims of the moment: the smell in the air, the feeling I woke up with that morning, the conversations of friends at the dinner table, the season, or the hour. Creating synergy between herbs and water is like composing something akin to a symphony. One Willow’s tea blends all arose from common mixtures I make myself! Long Day Done is a direction translation of my favorite go-to tea combination for the close of a tiring day. My most adored tea herbs include: nettles, tulsi, anise hyssop, cardamom, chaga and whole vanilla beans.

When it comes to wildlife and plants, which specimen are you personally most fond of?
Oh, there are just so many! I fall irrevocably in love all the time, harboring minor obsessions with a particular flower, bird, vine or tree. Recently, though, I have fallen under the enchantment of Lady Slippers in a big way. A rare orchid, they only bloom for a few weeks every spring in these mountains. I wait for those weeks like the withdraw of the tide. When the Lady Slippers open, I rush out and veritably bathe in their sight. To me, it feels like the world of the fairies opens and magic, always possible, is right at your fingertips.

5 Things that Heal me

  • Candlelight 
  • Tulsi tea
  • Swimming in wild water 
  • Remembering my dreams
  • a Clean kitchen and the whole evening to cook

What do you find beautiful and/or inspirational?
Anyone or anything that lives directly from their heart.
The poetry of flowers, their exquisite differences, from budding, to opening, to falling.
Old baskets and hand woven rugs. Trees in winter, a full day of rain. Stones, Grandmothers and real-life love stories.

Books & film share your favorites!
[Films] Bright Star- This movie is piercingly beautiful. I can’t watch it unless I’m ready for a tidal wave of emotion, but I love it.
Before Sunrise- Now, then, and always.
[Books] The Secret Teachings of Plants by Steven Harrod Buhner – I love all of Steven Buhner’s work. He is constantly inspiring me to revel in my multitudinous nature. Feed all parts of yourself (herbalist, poet, mystic, shaman) and leave no stone unturned.
Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin – A must read for anyone looking to delve deeper into their unique path in this world
The Seth Material by Jane Roberts – These books changed my life. It was like finding the open door from which sailed my life’s most constant and blissful breeze.

Who inspires you?
I simply adore Mary Oliver and Rainer Maria Rilke. I’ve also recently entered into a deep fascination with the German mystic, writer and composer Hildegard von Bingen. Her music shakes loose something ancient inside me. I like to light candles and listen to her cantabiles before bed. Of living inspirations, I am thoroughly entranced by Robert Moss and his dream work. I am also deeply in love with the music of a dear friend of mine, Owen Scott Gibbs. I am constantly inspired by his songs. His music has been a place of profound catharsis for me. Everything that he creates is seriously, ridiculously, soul-achingly beautiful.

I live in the United Sates and it is a new place, still trying to figure out how to forgive itself and reconcile it’s inexhaustible beauty and indescribable wounds. Of all the places I have travelled to in this country, a handful are burnt indelibly in my mind: the Olympic peninsula and the Grand Tetons, Route 1 and the Blue Ridge Parkway, the amber expanse of Northern New Mexico and the endless lakes of Minnesota.

Guilty pleasures?
Whiskey. Long Drives. Perfect Food Bars (this is actually a problem) and Taylor Swift.

In 5 years I want to be reveling in the beauty of my life. 

A big garden planned with many generations in mind. A fresh stream running across the land I call home and the time to linger with both feet in its cold flow. A shelf for every tincture bottle, herb, book and stone. A balanced existence full of home-cooked meals, fulfilling travel and lots and lots of time to wander the woods without aim. A life partner who inspires me and an ever-blooming understanding of love.  Continuing to work and live as healer, in new incarnations of purpose and place in this world. Pets! Poetry! Maybe children on the way...
If for a day, you could be any animal (of land, sea or mythical) which would it be?
A great whale I saw once in my dreams.

Dream vision board, what would your ideal day consist of:
Awaking with the memory of many powerful and uplifting dreams. A long leisurely breakfast with fresh greens and a good book. Packing a small lunch and exploring the woods alone. Meeting new plants. Finding a talisman that helps me to hear something I needed to know. Arriving home to the warm smells of a home-cooked meal, nice wine and the perfect mix of music for my given mood (expansive, happy, alight). Slipping into an outfit I love and dancing with my lover in the kitchen. Kisses, a bath, a long conversation in bed. Falling asleep with just the light of the moon.

One piece of advice is to find what makes you come alive

What allows the days to feel golden, your skin precious and new. Find your passions and cherish them like raw stones, for they are the guideposts to your most sacred life. You are meant to be fulfilled. You are meant to experience great joy...rhapsody. You are here to give the gift of yourself to the world, and that begins with finding the small delights that coaxes your inspiration into flame. When you are able to inhabit this terrain you come to know yourself in the most passionate way. You arrive at the impeccable and everlasting understanding that you, truly, have the power to create the life of your dreams.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Inspiration / MANIAMANIA

            A beautifully curated + captured film by MANIAMANIA. Skulls, owls, sinewy snakes & of course those jewels that could pass as unearthed pieces of armor from eons past.  Inspiration for this collection include: silent film noir muse Theda Bara & Babylon. I am so in love. Film & Images via MANIAMANIA

Sunday, July 14, 2013

hummingbird heartbeat

Sunday. Everyone is gone and I am painting. the table is covered in paints, glass bottles and teacups. I am dreaming. Dreaming about where I would like to be, live, breathing in mountain air and barefoot along the canyons. My mind is drifting with its fluttering birds wings and I can't keep up, galloping on. Today coffee lightly sweetened with coconut milk is my company. From my library, my books of poetry are echoing my name like a silent ghost only I can hear.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Interview // Mullein & Sparrow

               Mullein & Sparrow is an organic/sustainable plant-based apothecary. Anit takes great care in producing products that are ethical but effective. Her line ranges from teas, facial steams, and hair-care. Not only does she package her products beautifully as well as devote herself to her budding line, she is also an incredibly sweet person and that is why I bring you this interview. and she is offering a discount code- 15% off  at her shop & the code is honeywild13 Enjoy!

Hello my name is Anit 
 I am the founder of Mullein & Sparrow, an herbal based natural beauty brand.  I started out on this path in an unusual way.  I was fashion designer for many years and worked in a corporate setting.  One day I realized that it wasn't fulfilling me creatively so I decided to quit my job and I went traveling.  It was scary decision but I had to do it and I feel like it has changed me and made me feel like a more complete person.  I backpacked throughout South America trying to figure out what direction my life was gonna take and became inspired by natural healing and rituals.  When I came home to NY, I decided that i couldn't work in an office in that traditional sense anymore and I decided to study at the Aveda Institute.  After that, I started taking as many herbal medicine classes as I could and that became my new path.  With Mullein and Sparrow, I hope to combine my love of design and beauty with traditional herbal methods. 

What projects are you currently working on?
We are currently in the process of redesigning all the packaging and also building a new website.  I want this company to be a place where you are able to find small batch, hand made products of the highest quality with the best organic ingredients.  I  love that all our ingredients are ethically sourced but I would really like to build a relationship with local farms to get our ingredients directly from them.

My work schedule is completely crazy!  
I am trying to find a balance that works and is actually sustainable.  There are days when all I do is work all day until 4 in  the morning just because i have an idea that I'm excited about.  Then there are days when things are slower and its hard to get motivated to do anything.  I actually find it  a lot easier to accomplish things when I have a million things to do and I'm on a strict deadline.  

What is your own personal beauty regimen
I use the  Mullein & Sparrow face wash everyday morning and night.  I love the combination of herbs and oils- it really cleans my face and the oils ensure that my skin doesn't dry out.  I follow that with a mixture of the lavender hydrosol and a few drops of my face serum.  I usually spray the hydrosol in my palm and mix the serum directly into it.  I love the consistency it creates and it makes everything spread so much easier on my skin. I use the tiniest amount of eye serum under my eyes.  I usually follow this up with makeup from RMS Beauty.  I love their Uncover up foundation/concealer and their Living Luminizer. I like to play with colors so that part of my regimen changes a lot according to my mood.

How do you go about finding the perfect scent/blend/concoction?
I experiment a lot. And I really like to keep things simple. Well, as simple as I can make them without sacrificing what make special or stand out.  I find simplicity and elegance very important in the design and production process.

And my Lifestyle is so all over the place.  
While I am creating this line full time, I also work as an esthetician part time in a really prestigious spa in NY.   I also still love making herbal medicine concoctions for my friends and family. I find balacing all these things to be a little challenging at times and it has forced me to get better at time management. Also, daily yoga practice has definitely saved me and kept me sane and grounded.

When it comes to wildlife and plants, which specimen are you personally most fond of?
Mullein of course!  Mullein was the first herb that I ever learned in my herbal education class and it was perfect because I have asthma and it had been such an ally for me.

5 Things that Heal me

We love tea! How did you come about making your tea blends? What is your personal favorite?
My tea blends came from experimenting in my herb classes and realizing that you can use teas to heal yourself.  It was kind of a revelation and I haven't stopped experimenting with them since.  Right now, I am a fan of the Divine Tea Blend that we make and I really enjoy the Tulsi Rose Tea from Organic India. I guess I'm in a rose phase right now.

What do you find beautiful and/or inspirational?
I'm constantly inspired by my surroundings.  From walking  in the park, to reading a book- my brain is always collecting things that I end up using later in my work.

Books or film? share your favorites!
There are so many that I cant even begin! I recently read an interview with Judy Blume and man, I really loved her books growing up! I kinda wanna revisit them as an adult and see if they still resonate with me at some level.  They also made a movie about her book "Tiger Eyes" so I think I have to watch that. 
I've also been dying to rewatch "Immortal Beloved".  Its one of my favorite movies- its all about the life of Beethoven and the underlying theme is unrequited love.  I'm such a sucker for that kind of stuff.  I guess I'm in a nostalgic mood lately.

I live in Brooklyn, NY 
 its still a very up and coming neighborhood.  It great since there are always bars/cafes/restaurants opening upend I feel like I'm constantly surrounded by creativity.

Guilty pleasures? 
Any kind of desert! I have such a sweet tooth, its super hard for have self control around sweets. 
Also, I really love horror movies(no matter how cheesy)- does that count?

In 5 years I want  Mullein & Sparrow 
To be a successful brand and I also want to be able to balance my work and my personal life.

Dream vision board, what would your ideal day consist of:
  • Wake up at sunrise- yoga and meditation 
  • Get the majority of my work done before or around noon
  • Take a class( herbs,art,music-anything to keep the creative juices flowing and to keep learning)
  • Tie up any loose ends with work
  • Family/Friends time!

One piece of advice!
Life is too short and I think you should do everything you ever wanted to do! So go out there and take that class or travel or do whatever has been your secret desire.  I will all work out in the end, it always does!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Inspiration / Bloom & Grow

Hello. I have been gone to the farmer's market, purchased organic produce and tea, green smoothies, taking tinctures and tea made by my sweet friend feeling much better with the help of these elixirs, and nature's herbal alchemy. Sleep & guided imagery helps when I'm laying in bed, while playing nature sounds (I'm a sucker for them) I dream of rain-forests and jeweled flowers and hummingbirds the size of my heart. That said, this post is dedicated to healing and growing. My love of gardening has perked up and i have been playing with our plants - even singing "moon river" to them. why? why not of course! + happy new moon!

Constellation Quilt from Public Record on Vimeo.

constellation quilts &  Hannah interviewed me 
I am going to make this fermented kompot with strawberries and raw honey
I want to visit Moon Juice in Silverlake and drink some burdock daikon citrine juice
a beautiful coconut dream cake
a how-to on herbal infusions and medicinal teas
Burdock & Rose and Roots Rose Rasdish
my dream gardening outfit
the "Proudly Made" section on Terrain's bulletin
I cam across this enchanting interview with Bellocq & Kinfolk, I want need their teas

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Morning Routine

A morning routine has become an essential and daily part when I wake.I find a beauty in doing things that not only waken and refresh my mind but jump-start my creativity and  set goals for that day or the week. Morning routines keep you grounded by being that time of the day you devote to yourself + mind. These daily morning routines can become that foundation on which your day will unfold.

morning routine / http://violet-woods.blogspot.com/
1. Journaling. - I have been obsessed with making lists and writing down little pieces of mantras or lines of poetry that come to my mind. Sometimes I'll write down my goals and plans. I have really loved journaling lately especially in the morning.

2. Gratitude stones - I use a rose quartz or spirit quartz, gratitude stones are stones which you you hold, and think about things you are grateful and thankful for, focusing on good vibrations and celebrating happy thoughts. It can be any stone your object that looks good and feels good to you.

3. Britanie's - Organic Rose Lavender Clay Face MaskI really love this handmade mask and I use it as a scrub in the morning and then again at night. Its full of organic and pure ingredients (lavender, honey) and the french green clay helps wakes my skin up. I have sensitive skin so this is a savior as it doesn't irritate me and it acts like an exfoliator. I also love the beautiful rose petals and its packaged within a mason jar for reusable storage. If you like organic + clean living go take a peek at Britanie's concoctions.

4 Bach Rescue Remedy Pastilles - Okay Sometimes I take this even if I'm not stressed/expecting an exam but I love everything by Bach and it truly relaxes you. I really like the black currant variety

5 Sidda Lung & Sinus Flower Essences - I struggle with a lot of respiratory issues. Winter and Summer and specifically harder for me but I always have this flower spray to help me out when I feel difficulty. In the morning I'll take 5 sprays and sit for a few minutes and breathe in and out. Its like a meditation and contain ingredients such as Eucalyptus, Jasmine, and Milkweed

6. Pukka Tea in Love or Harmonize - These teas are organic, and ethically obtained. I love both these teas, they have rose and other herbs that help and heal which is nice to have in the morning, it relaxes me and puts me in a peaceful mood.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Inspiration / Haunt Magazine

ethereal shoot via Haunt Mag
Lonely Hearts Club
Photography | Sofie Olejnik 
Make up | Kim Keusen 
Hair | Valentina Schwez 
Styling | Julia Quante & Jaclyn Bethany 
Model | Justyna @ Seeds Management and Elisabeth Ehrlic

Monday, July 1, 2013