Monday, February 27, 2017

Changes: On Moving, Materialism, & Self-Care

Recently I moved into a new home. It was very sudden and everything worked well in my favor but I was reminded of how draining the process of moving can actually be. You begin to realize how many things you own when you move. How many boxes or totes of items you need to haul from one place to the next. Or what items hold more value to you compared to others. I questioned why I had collected things that I hardly used but set aside for a rainy day. 

This will not be my last move but it did give me a reason to recollect on purpose and meaning, something that author (who also holds a master of applied positive psychology) Emily Esfani Smith claims can help us achieve richer and more fulfilling lives in her book The Power of Meaning. To be clear I think everyone has their own individual perception on “things” or what makes them feel comfortable. When it comes to spaces. Mine just happens to align more so with aspects of minimalism and consciously consuming. 


I realize that moving causes me to personally come to grips with what truly matters to me. It is not objects but the purpose they serve. This can mean letting go of what no longer serves me but lingers like ghosts hidden in the attic. 

In a way I am thankful for the experience because it did cause me to reevaluate. Therefore I am working on incorporating this year is prioritizing my time and schedule. The past month I discovered what bullet journaling was. I didn't want to buy another agenda because I tend to use them and then forget them. Thankfully I still had an unused journal from my previous zero-waste office/back to school guide to use in place. I liked the open-spaced beauty that I wasn't confined to limited space. I could fill in what I wanted (budgets, list of goals, list of meal planning) and since I use refillable/erasable pens I don't have to worry about “errors”. I am also taking a cue from my beau and will use the calendar app on my laptop to fill in events, dates, and posting schedules. 


But there is another entity I am going to incorporate: self-care. While this was on my mind in the beginning of the year and in first page of my bullet journal, the sudden move caused me to do what I do best: put myself last. Therefore I am going to think of ideas and routines that I can integrate in my calendars such as guided meditation, solo nights-in (complete with binging Gilmore Girls & pizza), art journals, or visiting somewhere in nature. Self-care means a lot to me because of vulnerability. When you have autoimmune issues it causes you to reflect and hit the brakes. But you need not have any condition to participate in self-care. Everyone should. You matter. Nourish yourself. 


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

One Part Plant Cookbook Feature + Jessica Murnane's Journey with Endometriosis

There are plenty of reasons why someone may become interested in eating well. For Jessica Murnane the focus stemmed from her personal health issues. After years of struggling with physical ailments, misdiagnosis’s, and the emotional grind of not knowing what was “wrong with her”, a doctor (out of many) properly diagnosed her with Stage 4 Endometriosis. Though she was headed for a hysterectomy at the age of thirty-three, a friend emailed her some information about adapting a healthier, realer way of eating to improve her condition.

Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of endometrial cells outside of the uterus. This can be very painful for woman and There is no cure for Endometriosis and the accurate diagnosis is most commonly identified by laparoscopy which is what Jessica underwent.

one part plant cookbook x violet woods

I  feel we talk about health topically but we don't often discuss the real story behind it. Because often its not “pretty” and it may involve us becoming vulnerable to the reality of it all. Jessica took a different approach and opened up about her journey with Endometriosis. She’s had surgeries; she’s adopted a precious kid, and she’s not scared to open up about the lows on her popular podcast One Part Plant. I have spent the past year listening (and re-listening) to the One Part Plant podcast.  (notable faves include Amanda Chantal Bacon, Mckel Hill, and Laura Wright)

Through healing with eating more plant based foods, minimizing her stress and the importance of having conscious medical followups, she realized what fueled her passion in that stage of her life: health. She wanted to get real about health, individual wellness, and of course eating more plants. Which naturally coincides with the title of her amazing podcast and book One Part Plant.

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Jessica comes across as the kindest and realest person you’ll meet. In her cookbook this translates to her writing as well. What I appreciate the most is that her work comes from an innate passion to help others in owning their health.  She has a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and uses her whole-foods philosophy in an authentic manner.

The One Part Plant cookbook is filled with 100 bright and fun vegetarian recipes that range from savory to sweet  and in between. They are meant to simplify your life and don't focus on the a-word (avoiding) foods which is important because she’s not advocating a diet, guidelines, or specific routines, – she just wants you to eat more whole foods: plants, less sugar, and decrease your stress. I mentioned this year that I want to do more home cooking and minimize my waste. Cookbooks like One Part Plant don't revolve around packaged food, save for a few pantry staples like pasta, which is wonderful to have and look to as a guide. Personally I moved into a new home this year and while its been a mission to get everything settled in I have been lucky to have cookbooks like this one to reassess and create bountiful meals with.

one part plant cookbook x violet woods

One Part Plant is an excellent cookbook for those with allergies or eating consciously because of autoimmune conditions. Her recipes go from various regions of the world to the ever-popular well and good for you smoothies. Think vegan mushroom lasagna, baklava toast, and orange basil shots. Bursting with creativity and beautiful takes on classics like chia fruit toast and raw pies. Share this cookbook with your friend who wants to eat more vegetarian or vegan fare, share it with your friend who may have an autoimmune condition or health journey, share it with your coworker who needs some inspiration in the kitchen.  Coming soon I will be featuring a recipe from her cookbook along with a painted piece because food is not just for consumption, its creativity, it’s art. Or as the Gilmores would say “it’s a lifestyle.” Get yourself a copy here

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sustainable Shopping: Creative Energy Candles

I love the ritual of lighting candles. Lately we’ve had a very brisk, cold winter in Los Angeles and with the rainfall and overcast skies it makes it all the more beautiful and ideal for lighting candles and unwinding with a book or film on Netflix.

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But most candles aren’t really ideal. Conventional candles that are made with paraffin wax is essentially a petroleum waste product that must be treated chemically and then bleached. Artificially scented candles, even when they aren’t lit, can release chemicals like formaldehyde into the air around you because of simple evaporation and what’s worse is that the scents themselves are oils petroleum-based synthetics. Further more The American Lung Association says, “refrain from burning scented or slow burning candles that have additives.”

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Shop owner Kara started her company to create a safer product on the market. Creative Energy Candles are cruelty-free and vegan with a blend of soybean wax, certified organic extra virgin coconut oil and a variety of essential oil blends with organic cotton wicks. They serve a zero waste  multi-purpose use both as a candle and warming lotion – as well as aromatherapy. With various sizes (I prefer the larger ones for less materials used + more product) I no longer have a need to purchase lotion that I would hardly use.

Packaging is very important for the company, or rather reducing packaging. The candles themselves are poured in glass jars or metal tin – both re-suable or you can recycle the glass. An outer sleeve made up of 100% recyclable material is the only cover on the candle

creative energy candles x violet woods

The company also donates 10% of its proceeds to various charities and missions 

Featured here//

Moroccan Teakwood features notes of cedarwood, patchouli, black pepper

Bergmont & Oakmoss is one of my favorites with sage, lavandin and bergamot

Tarocco Orange (my beau’s favorite!) with mango and blood orange

Citrus & Wild Mint is springtime in a candle, channeling Persephone with geranium, lime, and basil

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Secondhand Shopping + Style Guide with thredUp

When going about a zero waste lifestyle others may think that's the end of shopping or expressing oneself. However this is not true: for me zero waste means I go about my life minimizing my trash output while making ethical choices. The fashion and garment industry are one of the top polluters of waste in particular “fast fashion” retailers like H&M, Forever 21, Zara, & GAP.  Because they mass produce clothing and shelve out the smaller batches of goods more frequently by the cycle we have too much clothing items lying around.

There’s a claim that not everyone can afford ethically produced garments but that shouldn't deter you from wanting to choose sustainable actions. What does one do to reduce waste but still participate with fashion? Personally I haven’t bought anything new, save for the occasional gift I receive that happens to be a clothing item (and if I don't genuinely want it, I will donate it). Instead I have been second-hand shopping for the past 6+ years with the focus of selecting pieces that I know I will want a few years from now so I don't continue the cycle of garment waste.

By secondhand shopping you take an action by buying items that already exist while saving them from a future in the landfill. Secondhand shopping is often priced affordably or at discounted costs. You aren’t limited to choices or styles. The great thing is that secondhand shopping is extending itself to an online platform such as thredUp

thredUp serves as an online secondhand store. People can donate their clothing items and accessories through the Clean Out program with the fees gong to charity or in-store credit. This helps prevent clothing from going to landfill. The store features various brands ranging from H&M, Free People, Brandy Melville and designer labels like 7 For All Mankind and Burberry. So basically they cover the bases. In my opinion you’re better off buying from thredUp than dropping full price at a mall or their online stores. All of the items on thredUp ranging from clothing to accessories and kids are at discounted prices and the Basement section that features fixer-uppers for the DIY enthusiasts. Thredup currently offers accessory and clothing items for women and juniors while including maternity wear, plus size options, and kids as well (both girl and boy). They also have a pretty cool blog called thredit (get it?) which includes one of my favorite posts featuring Emily Harteau a mom + wanderer of the blog Our Open Road

In the spirit of February, I think Valentines Day shouldn't be limited to one day. Whether you are dating, or single I recommend setting a day aside to spend time with those you care about, have a Galentine's Day, or even a day/night on your own and be kind. I partnered up with thredUP to create some outfits that feature pieces I received from their shop styled with my own personal thrifted finds! I encourage y’all to check out thredUp support secondhand shopping. You can curate any look from the diverse selection on the thredUp website be it: work, school, social events, or a night in. I also appreciate the company’s efforts toward sustainability by using recyclable packaging for your order!

+ enjoy 50% off first-time purchases of cocktail dresses with the code: COCKTAIL50 - only active by visiting this code

thredUp x cristina rose

Crop top by Brandy Melville c/o thredUp shop the brand here, thrifted denim jacket by GAP shop the brand here, and bag by Calvin Klein shop the brand here

thredUp x cristina rose

Caramel polka dot dress by Mink Pink c/o thredUp shop brand here, caramel jacket by NY&CO shop brand here

thredUp x cristina rose

Baby blue top by Glamorous co thredUP shop the brand here, thrifted bag by NY & CO shop the brand here

Final thoughts: My hope for fast fashion retailers is that: instead of incinerating or trashing their unbought items, they will donate it to companies like thredUp who can list the items for sale and find them new homes.