Posts in mused
Mused: Holiday Self Care Guide
Mused Holiday Self Care Guide

Last year I created a conscious holiday gift guide to suggest ethical items by independently owned brands for you to gift to your loved ones.  I felt called to take a break from providing you with more gift ideas this year.  We are so pressured during the holiday season to shop and consume, so I wanted to instead present a self-care tool guide for you to unwind and ground with.  You can find most of these items already in your home.  I’ve included a simple ritual you can perform with each object.  The rituals are meant to be simple and fuss-free, for anyone to enjoy.  While this is not meant to be a gift guide, if you do feel inclined to gift any of these items to friends and family members, consider hand-writing a note of the ritual listed (or create your own) to encourage self-care and nourishment this time of year to those around you or far away. Escape the whirlwind of holiday parties, unhealthy food, and uncomfortable family dynamics, and treat yourself to these acts of tension relief while listening to the dreamy playlist here.

One of my favorite simple practices is putting fresh, warm sheets on my bed.  The act of doing so always makes me feel connected to the place where I recharge my body. While I do this once a week for all of the linens on my bed, I change my pillowcases every few days to keep where I’m resting my head clean.  These pillowcases from Deiji Studios come in so many beautiful colors.  They’re made from 100% stonewashed French linen and will soften with wash/use.  They’re also hypo-allergenic and environmentally friendly.

Whether you’re grabbing pillowcases warm from the dryer or folded in your linen closet, familiarize yourself with the fabric.  Run your hands over the material, lift it up to your nose to get a sense of the smell.  As you slip them onto your pillows, set an intention for your evening of rest (regardless of the time of day).  Your intention can be as simple as getting a night of deep, restorative rest, or asking for your dreams to reveal some truth to you. 

Scent is a powerful yet often overlooked sense.  It is known to trigger memories and emotions and can take us to nostalgic and/or new places.  I love this incense from Haeckles - the only ingredient is lemon balm, which is used to reduce stress and increase calmness.  I also steep lemon balm into my daily infusions for a full body effect.  Read about Haeckles and their incredible story here, yet feel free to use any incense of your liking.

Take the time to light your incense and use it as a signal to pause for the day.  As the scent of your choice starts to fill the room, sit down and meditate.  Whether you do this for 3 minutes or 30 minutes, be grateful for the stillness. Pay attention to your breath, and as the thoughts come in, detach from them and release them.  Keep coming back to your breath, as it will connect you to your body.   

I light candles every night prior to going to bed.  It’s a simple ritual I’ve come to rely on, and it creates a bit of romance as an act of care to end each day. I’ve been lighting beeswax candles because they not only burn clean, but they also purify the air. Big Dipper Wax Works collects 75% of their beeswax from the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia because the crops there rank lowest in exposure to pesticides in North America.  They’re currently working on creating fair trade partnerships with beekeepers in foreign countries, where they source the rest of their beeswax.  Their product is extensively tested to insure high quality.

Prior to lighting your candles, plant your feet on the floor and breathe that grounding energy to every part of your body.  As you light them, ask for truth to be illuminated to you in anyway it needs to come through.

Simple acts we perform every day can become rituals that feed us, even in the smallest ways.  This comb by Une Heures is so beautiful that it inspired me to add hair combing into this post, yet the ritual below can be done with any comb/bush you already have.

Pay attention to the way the comb feels against your scalp and the way it catches strands of hair to smooth your locks as you brush.  Start out in front of the mirror so you can observe the process, but then close your eyes in order to feel into your body. Remember to pause each time you use an object as a tool to help serve you.

Taking a bath is perhaps the most referred to and obvious act of self care.  For those of us who have a tub and access to clean, running water - it’s truly an accessible luxury.   I was fortunate to try these bath salts by Vessel Surface Care, and I used them up in about a week (I took a lot of baths in that week).  These salts are enriched with bentonite clay, ginger, dandelion leaf, and essential oils of cypress and rosemary for aiding in the detoxification process.  This bath soak is perfect for this time of year, as we aim to unwind from all of the excess around us (sweet treats, alcohol, and perhaps even unwanted energies from family gatherings and holiday parties).  Each product by Vessel is formulated by Seattle-based health coach, Lizzy Ott.

Rather than checking your phone while waiting for the tub to fill, open your bath salts (or soap, etc.) and smell them.  Close your eyes and allow the aroma to fill your nostrils, and continue to breathe this scent into your chest.  Exhale and repeat until you feel calm and centered.  When the bath is ready, use your hands to administer the salts into the water, as opposed to pouring them directly from the bottle.  Get your body aquatinted with the product prior to soaking in it.  These acts enable a simple way to ground into your body prior to the even deeper grounding you’ll be doing when submerged in water.

I wanted to include bowls in this round-up because one of my favorite things to eat during this time of year is soup.  I’ve been making a delicious squash soup with garlic, onions, ginger, and thyme.  My body craves it.  Soup or not, eating out of a bowl is my favorite way to eat.  I have buckwheat cereal nearly every morning, and for dinner I usually make a warming mixture of veggies, grains, and herbs.   There are a ton of ceramic bowls in my kitchen cupboard (hand thrown by my housemate), and I love how irregular they are.  Each one has its own personality and feeling.  I often write about running hands/fingers over the texture of our objects, and ceramics are one of my favorite items to do this with.  The bowls featured above are by local Santa Fe artist, Kimmy Rohrs of Whiskey & Clay.  I adore all of her work.

As mentioned already, run your fingers on the surface of your bowl to take in the texture.  Notice how it feels against your fingertips and how that translates into the rest of your body.  Is it rough, soft, smooth?  Try to hold or touch the bowl with one hand as you use your other to fill it with your meal.  We can always slow down with our objects in the simplest ways.

I practice journaling nearly every day. Nearly, because I’m human and sometimes life happens, but I do commit to it as a daily practice. It helps me to center in a way that nothing else (not even meditation) does. I’ve been practicing this for over five years, and it changed the trajectory of my life when I started. These are the only journals I write in.

Check-in with your inner self. How’s your heart? When you answer, start writing with your non-dominant hand. This will feel weird at first, but it will help the truth to come through. If you don’t know where to start or if answers are not coming through easily, just scribble, draw, etc. (with your non dominant hand). It may trigger words to come, or it may be all you need to get your weirds out. Some other prompts that may be fitting for this time of year: “what do I need to feel safe?” “what would be true if I slowed down?” “how can I show up for myself in the most authentic way?” “how can I nurture my simplest needs?”

Mused: Sensual Healing
Mused_Sensual Healing_Object and Us

In last week’s post, I wrote a nightly shut-off ritual, where I suggested having a bit of a sensual experience with your sheets prior to going to bed. This exercise is truly about connecting to your body in order to ground before falling asleep. Sensuality is about awakening pleasure in the senses, and no, it’s not always related to sexuality. The reason I practice grounding with objects is because they are physical, and grounding is about physical connection to our bodies and to the earth. Yes, our objects can be machine made out of less than “earthly” materials, but you can actively choose to surround yourself with objects made mindfully. I encourage you to observe your objects, but I also encourage you to touch them. Run your fingers over the imperfect texture of your ceramic vase, your hands on the soft paper of your book. Awaken the pleasure in your senses, and feel into your body. We can choose to check-out and we can choose to connect - it’s up to us. Here are some recommendations of beautiful items to connect to your sensuality (all female-owned brands), and listen to the Sensual Healing playlist while you browse.

Lonely is “for women who wear lingerie as a love letter to themselves.” - Helene Morris, Lonely Designer. They are an ethically based company in New Zealand with stockists all over the world and celebrate fostering positive body image for all women. On their website, you will find their Lonely Girls series, where they feature women wearing their beautiful pieces in the comfort of their own spaces. I am completely in love with this beautiful set photographed by Kelly Geddes (one of my favorite photographers) for Anyonegirl, which is the perfect segue to the next item.

Anyonegirl is an online and in-print journal, with beautiful photography and insight. I first discovered them while shopping at Passenger (a lovely store in Echo Park) and picked up the first issue of Waist. “WAIST considers the ideas surrounding the female mid-section, both inside and out, exploring sex, movement, digestion and a woman’s GUT INSTINCT.” I am excited to explore issue 03.

I just discovered Nedda Atassi, a ceramicist whose work is absolutely stunning. I’m captivated by her use of organic shapes. The crinkled vase, featured above, is the perfect object to practice grounding with. It’s made of the earth, free-form, and there’s so much to explore in the texture. Browse more in her shop.

The work of Studio Mari is both interesting and timeless. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mari, and she is no different. Her jewelry pieces are like small sculptures, alluding to much larger references. Putting on jewelry can be a slow experience. Explore the piece as you slide it down your finger or clasp it around your neck. All pieces by Studio Mari are designed and made in Los Angeles. Shop here.

Willow feminine oil is about “embracing women’s sexuality through self care.” Willow is comprised of high quality oils to help balance hormones and PH levels, soothe irritation, and nourish the skin. Oh and I haven’t mentioned - it’s for your vagina. I need to get myself a bottle, but I did try the oil (on my hands) when Nicole, the founder and creator, let me try it prior to the launch. It smells incredible, and it can be used on other parts of the body as well. Vaginal health is so important, and we often neglect this area as a result of lack of information and understanding of the best way to care down there. Our everyday soaps can be very stripping to this area. Willow can help you to break this neglect with a simple, nourishing, and hopefully sensual ritual. You can purchase the oil here.

Eliana Rodriguez recently debuted her line of beautiful and simple comfort-wear, Gil Rodriguez - a clothing company designed and made in Los Angeles that adheres to ethical and sustainable practices. They source their fabrics from local mills and fairly compensate their workers. These are the Benton Leggings, made of 90% cotton, and they look incredibly comfortable and soft - to touch and against skin.

I recently came across Dehei, a New Zealand-based range of knit bedding made of 100% cotton marle. Dehei means “at home” in Swiss. Make these products part of your nightly ritual, and you’ll certainly feel at home within your bed and yourself.

Listen to the playlist here while practicing some of your new rituals.

Mused: Moving Through the Blues
Mused_Paige Geffen_Object & Us

The blues.  I've had a case of them for a few weeks, and I've taken comfort in seeing these moody hues all around.  Regardless of blue being “in” right now, it’s encouraging to be propelled by a color, especially when the color visually represents how I’m feeling inside.  Yet this representation hasn't been enough to get me out of the funk.  My wonderful friend and Ayurvedic practitioner, Meredith, always has beautiful insight into how I’m feeling regarding my doshas (I’m tri-doshic) and the seasons.  My kapha is abnormally out of balance due to some outside health ailments, but we are also currently in kapha season.  I’ve been feeling all kinds of heavy, slow, sluggish, cloudy, and stuck.  Meredith recommended dancing for 20 minutes a day to get all of this stale energy moving.  The first time I implemented my new “treatment” (the following day), I broke into tears about three songs into my crazy-amazing-solo-dance-party.  Why?  I realized that I hadn’t been experiencing much joy in my life at all…for a while.  I was so struck by how much lighter I felt, that my body naturally was ready to release some of the mucky, stagnant energy.  

Here are some beautiful objects for you to embrace the blues, as well as a playlist to get you moving through them.  We can support times of sadness, depression, and staleness, while we simultaneously acknowledge that it’s okay to be blue, and it’s also okay to move through the blues.  Meredith specifically suggested that I listen to metal and rap, as these are the genres that counter kapha the most, but this playlist is a little more my style (and still helps me counter that kapha).  Whether you're rocking out to Parquet Courts or getting down to Marvin Gaye, there's something for everyone.  I hope you laugh at the Datarock song as much as I do :).  Enjoy!

A Personal Uniform launches garments twice a year with editions of 15-20 items.  All garments are crafted from high quality material and produced in-house in their Bankok studio.  Simple in practice yet incredibly inspiring and interesting in concept, their pieces are quite stunning and captivating while still being wearable.  I’m drooling over their entire collection, including this navy wrap-dress.

You may already know how much I love Rachel Saunders Ceramics from my previous post about her work.  This love only keeps getting stronger with each new piece she releases.  This periwinkle vase has been giving me all kinds of feels.  Shop her pieces here.  

I recently discovered Ajaie Alaie, and I’m in love with the motivation and inspiration behind their clothing.  Here’s a statement from their website:  "Ajaie Alaie is all about mindfulness and reminding women to be mindful with their daily thoughts and actions. Each garment has an amulet on the inside of the garment at a specific energy point (a chakra), represented by a design detail, a knot, twist, dart etc... We believe keeping these energy points balanced is instrumental for our well-being and success. Each garment is reminding us to feel proud of our accomplishments, to love unconditionally, feel secure, grounded, and feel safe...Ajaie Alaie’s woman is aware of her surroundings, of world issues and is in constant strive to be a better version of herself. Ajaie Alaie's woman is in constant motion, flow, and always looking to broaden her perspectives."  This is perhaps the most beautiful description for a clothing line I've ever read.  I am in awe of the attention to detail, thoughtfulness, and spirituality woven into their garments and philosophy.   They are also extremely sustainable, ethical, and conscious - I encourage you to read about their fabrics and process because all brands should strive for this much consideration for the environment.  You can browse these powder blue beauties and the rest of their pieces here.  

I was scrolling through By Far’s collection, deciding which pair I would get once I could pull the trigger, and I immediately felt self-betrayal coming on for my typical gravitation towards neutral colored shoes.  These stopped me in my tracks.  The color on this shape is stunning.  Please buy them so I can google over your feet.  Made out of premium Italian materials, all of their shoes are handmade in a family-owned factory in Bulgaria  They now make a third of their collection from dead-stock leather.  YES to sustainable fashion.  I own a pair of their boots, and they are incredible chic (of course), comfortable, and easily blend into my everyday style.

Paloma Wool is always coming out with items that feel fresh, interesting, and wearable.  This blue backpack is no different.  It will add the perfect pop of color to any outfit, and it’s small enough to easily carry around while still being roomy enough to fit everyday necessities.  This bag is 100% leather and made in Barcelona (the brand’s home).  

I have always loved wearing socks with heels.  A college roommate of mine once told me she just didn't "get" the look, but that didn't stop me from wearing them to preppy parties.  I'm seeing them a lot more (and not just with casual sneakers), and I am particularly loving the delicate style of these sheer Darner ones.  I have a pair in white, and they give any outfit flair (sexy flair in my opinion).  These blue mesh socks remind me of the sky - they're super dreamy.  Browse Darner's instagram here.

I'm a sucker for anything linen.  I wear it.  I sleep in it.  I would bathe in it if I could.  This 100% linen table cloth is made by IN BED, a conscious, Sydney based bedding (and extras) company.  Their linen is grown and harvested in France and then transferred to their family-run factory in Shenzhen China.  As an ethical brand, they also use natural, reusable, or recyclable fabrics to package their products in.  Browse the rest of their beautifully simple products here.

Cienne's instagram tagline is "Deliberately discerning (practically poetic)."  I feel like I can stop writing now, as this is such a beautiful description of their brand and also of how I like to dress and live.  Their collections are designed by Nicole Heim and Chelsea Healy and made in New York.  Their mission is based on three pillars - empowering people, producing responsibly, and elevating & preserving craftsmanship.  They source natural and sustainable fibers from global communities and employ craftspeople in developing countries.  This doesn't stop them from creating high-end, editorial worthy, and gorgeous clothing.  The texture of this blazer is incredible and the fit is impeccable.  Shop their current collection here.  

Don't forget to listen to and DANCE along with the playlist. 

Mused: Spring Awakening
Mused Spring Awakening_Paige Geffen_Object and Us

Spring came quickly this year.  Not early, but it seemed to come suddenly.  My eyes are itchy, which means things are in bloom.  I feel ready to be out in the world again -  to learn and to explore.  Here are some of my favorite items for this season with a playlist to go along.

Girlfriend Collective makes their leggings and activewear out of recycled water bottles.  The coolest part (other than saving the planet) is that their products are so soft and durable.  You can read more about their process and mission here, and browse through their goods here.

This pillow is by Brooklyn based company, Afternoonswim.  All products are ethically hand-crafted with natural fiber materials by the founder, Hanna.  Her pillows are beautiful, and she is set to launch rugs and artwork in the near future - I can't wait to see!  You can purchase the pillow shown above and browse other items on the site.

I am so in love with this bracelet by Alexa de la Cruz, as well as all of the pieces in her collection.  The jewelry is handcrafted in Mexico City by local artisans.  I have also had the pleasure of getting to know her through Instagram, and she is such a warm, kind, and lovely soul.  Shop her stunning, unique pieces here.  You will also love her personal Instagram, showcasing her impeccable taste, beautiful home, and journey with motherhood.

As you may already know, I love St. Agni, a Byron Bay based ethical and sustainable company.  I own these sandals, and I started wearing them as soon as temperatures rose in Los Angeles.  When not barefoot (I often am), I've been living in these - they are incredibly comfortable.  I love pairing them with both pants and dresses.  I also suggest browsing though their beautiful clothing.

The Bodysuit of Barcelona makes the most beautiful, simple bodysuits.  I have yet to own one, but I gush over their products every time they post on Instagram.  I love their photography and the way they capture the women wearing their clothing - they embrace the female form effortlessly.  You can browse their products here.

I have been wearing my 1930's bandana by Ozma of California nearly every day, so it felt necessary to include in this month's mused post.  They are 100% silk and hand-dyed and printed locally in Los Angeles.  All of Ozma of California's items are ethically made in Los Angeles - check out their beautiful clothing here.  

I recently posted about F. Miller Skincare, and I still can't get enough of these luscious products.  Here is a note from their website:  "F. MILLER is entirely free of synthetic fragrances and colourings, harmful preservatives, sulphates, parabens, pthalates, PEG's and SLS's.  All products are formulated from the finest raw, nutrient-rich ingredients which are consciously sourced and cruelty-free."  This body oil feels especially appropriate for spring, with sweet almond oil, neroli, bergamot, and grapefruit - it's as refreshing as it is soothing.  I'm currently in the desert and slathering this on after every shower to keep my skin moisturized and happy.

Listen here.