Apr

23

mullein + sparrow – a handmade, holistic apothecary

Mullein and Sparrow - Handmade, holistic, natural pampering body care

I have had an interest in natural health and holistic beauty ever since college, when I was spending my summers at home in the bay area. I was lucky enough to work at Smith and Hawken at their original store in Mill Valley. I was surrounded by beautiful, natural brands and living in an environment that embraced a fresh, organic lifestyle, and I soaked it in. It was nothing short of idyllic. The color of the sunlight, the flowers, the ocean, the coffee, the redwoods, that drive up Highway 1.

Still, since then my skin and body care has included all sorts of brands, I’ve searched the latest and greatest, tried the miracle potions, and scrubbed, slathered, massaged, and gently patted my way back to where I started. I now live in Vermont. It is beautiful and equally idyllic. We have the best of every season, most notably, winter. Unfortunately, by January my skin has had it. After trying all sorts of things, I finally realized that the only thing that fixed this was using natural and nurturing products. Now for my skincare I seek products which are made from pure ingredients, which are good for both me and the environment, and which add an element of beautiful ritual to my day.

Mullein and Sparrow - Handmade, holistic, natural facial care set

One brand which has caught my eye recently is Mullein and Sparrow, a 100% natural, fully plant-based apothecary line. Based in Brooklyn, the company was founded by herbalist and holistic esthetician Anit Hora who makes these products by hand, in small batches. Born in Mumbai, Anit grew up with the principles of Ayurveda. Her line draws strongly on the self-care regimens of Ayurveda and traditional, simple remedies that have worked for centuries.

Mullein and Sparrow is a whole body line which seeks to bring the purest, finest, plant-based beauty directly to your cells. The beautiful collections include facial care, body care, and hair care. The products are not limited to the topical, Anit believes that beauty and health start from within, and includes holistic teas to help detox and beautify.

Mullein and Sparrow - Handmade, holistic, natural facial care

What caught my eye:

The Body Exfoliant

I love taking the time to use a body scrub, it is such a pampering addition to skincare with a myriad of benefits. The Body Exfoliant by Mullein and Sparrow does not disappoint. This exfoliating scrub blends earthy and sweet coffee Arabica, shea butter, and coconut oil with the invigorating and uplifting notes of mint and orange. The coffee sloughs off dead and dry skin, while also improving skin’s texture – caffeine helps reduce the appearance of cellulite. The coconut oil strengthens and exfoliates and shea butter moisturizes and protects.

French Lavender Body Oil

A natural and pure lavender body oil is an absolute necessity. It is also surprisingly hard to find without a handful of other additives or false fragrances. This oil is simple and organic, just lavender essential oil in a sunflower oil base with vitamin E. I like to use lavender oil at night after a bath or shower. It is wonderfully restorative, hydrating, and soothing. A perfect way to end the day.

The Facial Steam

How luxuriously lovely. What could be more pampering, relaxing, and restoring than allowing yourself the time for this floral steam. I used to incorporate a facial steam in my face care and it is so beneficial. It opens pores, helps release impurities in the skin, and creates a sacred space of quiet breathing and swirling steam. This blend includes lavender, rose, chamomile, calendula, and herbs. A beautiful treat.

The Detox Tea

You had me at detox. I gravitate towards all things cleansing and detoxifying. I live pretty cleanly, I eat beautiful, real whole foods, walk in the Vermont woods everyday, exercise… but there’s coffee, and this, and well, who knows what. Like Anit, I am a firm believer that beauty and health start from within. In order to truly glow you must nourish and clean your inside as well as your outside. Your skin is just a mirror of what’s going on inside. This tea is a great way to cleanse and purify everyday.

The Tinted Lip and Cheek Balm

I have a love for lip balm and this multi-tasker hits all the marks. It is a natural tinted balm which adds a flush and a dewy finish to your lips and cheeks. It is easy, nourishing, and natural. Isn’t that what beauty should be?

To buy these beautiful products shop Mullein and Sparrow, or if you are in Vermont, they can be found at Clementine.

All images via Mullein and Sparrow.

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Aug

05

food for thought – dragon fruit smoothie

Dragon Fruit Smoothie

Hello beautiful! Well apparently I have been living under a rock… or in Vermont. I did not know that Dragon Fruit were this color inside. I’m blown away. I was ogling a cart that was overflowing with them in Chinatown last weekend, thinking that the outside was lovely. Had I known I would have bought them out. Luckily I found my way to Jennifer Chong’s blog to find her beautiful photography, this delicious Dragon Fruit smoothie recipe, and to learn about the #foodporn imbalance.

Dragon Fruit Smoothie Ingredients

What’s the #foodporn imbalance, you ask? Well, if you check the #foodporn feed on instagram you’ll see that things like donuts and ice cream are highly favored (yep, guilty). In an effort to shift this imbalance and to promote healthier food choices, Bolthouse Farms has created the #foodpornindex. So snap some pics of your healthy choices and add them to the #foodporn feed.

Dragon Fruit Smoothie Recipe

dragon fruit smoothie

Dreamt up by Jennifer Chong

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Dragon Fruits (scooped out of skin)
  • 4 Baby Bananas (or 2 regular)
  • 1 Cup Pineapple (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 Cups Coconut Water
  • Toppings: Blueberries, Bananas, Coconut Flakes, Granola

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a blender combine dragon fruit, bananas, pineapple, and coconut water and blend until smooth. I freeze my bananas and pineapple for this smoothie.
  2. Top with coconut flakes, granola, and blueberries (or any fruit of your choice) and enjoy.

Can’t find the pink Dragon Fruit near you? Order them here.

All images, inspiration,and recipe by Jennifer Chong.

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Apr

26

sort of coal – sort of awesome

White Charcoal is the highest grade of charcoal. It has an extremely high carbon content and has long been revered in Japanese tradition for it’s purifying, cleansing, and restorative benefits. Sort of Coal is a Danish company which was founded with the hope of bringing the power and beauty of these traditions to the Western world, introducing a sense of purity which does not attack the senses with scents and chemicals, but rather awakens them naturally. Their mission is to only introduce products which have this truth and purpose… and I am amazed at how much purpose White Charcoal has…
Kishu Binchotan, pictured in the two images above, are sticks of White Charcoal which are made from a very hard Japanese oak named the Holm oak which grows in the mountain forests of the Kishu region in Japan. Kishu Binchotan is an amazing purifier, it absorbs chlorine from tap water by up to 75%, softening it and improving it’s taste while also adding much-needed minerals such as potassium and magnesium. By placing a stick of Kishu Binchotan into a bottle of tap water, you can create your very own pure, mineral water… and do so in a really elegant, interesting, and visually appealing way. Each stick lasts for about a month of daily use, at which point it can be crushed and added to the soil to improve the nutrient content and aeration.
The purifying sticks are available in a number of different shapes and sizes, depending on the containers that you want to use. One of my favorites is the Chikutan Sticks, above, made from Chikutan bamboo, for stirring your tea or cocktails. How cool is that?
Not only to purify water, but also the air – the Hakutan, above, made from Korean oak, regulates humidity and absorbs odors… and again, looks simply amazing. Place it in your home to cleanse, detoxify, and beautify your environment The Kuro Cube, below, is made to purify and refresh the fridge, not only does it absorb and reduce odors, but also ethylene gas, keeping your food fresher longer.
White Charcoal also has many benefits for the body topically – it removes impurities and toxins, deep cleans, and stimulates circulation and well-being. Sort of Coal offers a number of different soaps and shampoos, like the Kuro Soap above. You can also add the Kuro Binchotan sticks to a warm bath to detoxify and improve circulation. Kuro Powder can be added to your food and cooking, to optimize the nutritional value and aid the detoxification from the inside out… and lend an awe-inspiring black hue to your food.
What resonates with me about the concept of Shibusa is the appreciation of the beauty of the element itself, being what it is, being as it should. It is an appreciation of form and material. Sort of Coal does just this… and so much more. They offer us the beauty of the element itself, to enjoy in its most basic state, and they do so in a way that connects us to ancient traditions and promotes health and balance in our selves and our environment. Thank you Sort of Coal!
To learn more and see more products from Sort of Coal click here.
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