casual days

Posted on Friday, 26 June 2015

Fridays are for casual jeans, pastel blue converse and vintage sequins tops. Unexpected pairings for unexpected outings, finding secret gardens and wearing a bright pink lip. Weekends are for exploring, setting aside time for yourself, biking around your own city like a tourist and drinking some beer on the porch. Go find some adventures and breathe in the moment. Happy Friday!

real beauty

Posted on Tuesday, 23 June 2015

This is one of my favourite things to talk about, I can't believe I never shared my favourite natural beauty products and routine on the blog. But with my sister sending me some products from an incredible skincare line based in LA it is the perfect time to divulge and hopefully encourage others with my secrets to real beauty. Ever since high school when I read a book called The Hundred Year Lie: How Food and Medicine Are Destroying Your Health I discovered how much synthetic chemicals really affects our health and I have been on a quest to find natural and organic alternatives. I am a big believer that less ingredients the better and when I can actually understand what is on the label then I am more prone to using the product. Basically we are carrying a "body burden" as our bodies do not recognize these synthetic chemicals and it's hard to determine what this will actually do to our health. Without going into too much detail I just want to focus on the great products made by conscious companies that really care about health and wellbeing.

Awaken My Senses Organics: My favourite argan oil because it is unrefined and organic. It is rich in vitamin E, carotenes, squalene, and essential fatty acids. It is an amazing moisturizer and has antimicrobial properties and is amazing for anti-ageing, sun damage and scarring. This brand is also super affordable and can be found at most of your local health food stores.

Earth Tu Face: I just started using their products and I am in Love! My favourite is their face wash, smells amazing and works like a dream. Knowing that it's non-GMO, organic and 100% plant based makes me really really happy. All of their packaging is reusable, recyclable and compostable which proves how strong their mission of sustainability really is. It also comes in beautiful packaging and amazing ethics behind their company, believing that "you should never put on your skin what you wouldn't put in your mouth."

Cucamanga: Handcrafted artisanal soap and body products harvested from the Canadian forests (yay!) sun infused oils and synergistic medicinal blends (information from their website). Coming from a belief that there are natural occurring healing and cleaning benefits that are used in the products. I am currently using the spruce mint lip balm made from organic sunflower oil infused with spruce buds, canadian beeswax, vitamin E and spearmint essential oil. It smells like an incredible Canadian hike and makes your lips super smooth and minty, now I just need some flannel and an epic camping trip.

Juniper Ridge: I discovered this company while visiting my favourite shop in Roncessvalles, Likely General. I saw their Big Sur soap and had to take it home to remind me of my favourite California getaway. Every time I wash my hands I am reminded of my time in Big Sur surrounded by those stunning redwoods. I researched the company and was just blown away by the dedication to their products, they actually crawl around in mountain meadows to capture the purest scents and use ancient perfume making techniques and each formula changes year to year and harvest to harvest based on location, rainfall, temperature etc. They are the real deal in artisanal companies and are extremely dedicated to the preservation of our wilderness. This company not only makes incredible products that they infuse their love of nature into but they also care so deeply about defending our wilderness and are using their product to start that conversation and create change, this is the kind of company I want to build! So great.

Trades Of Hope: For my birthday my brother's girlfriend, Marley, gave me the most amazing and thoughtful gifts so specific to my interests and ethics. She went to this amazing shop called Ten Thousand Villages which is the oldest and largest fair trade organization in North America. It is a non-profit organization that offers opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income from their products. I was gifted the sacred mark soap which is 100% natural soaps hand crafted by women in the red-light district of Bangladesh. They have made a clean break from their previous lifestyle as a sex trade worker (poverty is so high in the area that women see this as the only option). They create these products as an alternative source of income. Each soap packaging in marked with a thumbprint of the inspirational women who make them!

Toms Of Maine: I use their toothpaste and deodorant. They use natural ingredients and are committed to sustainability in their manufacturing. I really love their toothpaste and what is awesome is they give a list of everything in their products and descriptions for it on their website. There are definitely more natural products out there and I am tempted to start making my own toothpaste soon, baby steps.

Finding alternative and healthy beautiful products that can also make an impact into someone else's life just takes a little research and conscious consumerism. Supporting local initials is not a new concept but it can sometimes not seem like a big deal. I really believe every little thing you can do to live a more sustained life and alter the consumer world does make a difference. Think of it as a tiny drop of water into a lake, there is a ripple effect, and one small act made by each person combined together can make a really big difference.

the lily dale life

Posted on Saturday, 20 June 2015

In Lily Dale it's not only ok to be a little different, it's celebrated. A town made up of amazing healers and teachers that sometimes get criticized for their work from the sceptics and anyone who is a little afraid of different. But that hasn't stopped the thousands of people who visit this town during the summer season when the town opens it's arms for those who want to experience the life of a spiritualist through the outdoor assemblies, rieki, the healing temple and so many other amazing workshops. This town of light welcomes all, and it's not only their livelihood but their calling.

Since the season hadn't started yet the town was pretty quiet (we were the only guests at the angel house) and a lot of buildings were closed. But we did get to check out a couple cool treasures in town, like the pet cemetery. All kinds of animals are buried there, with their own tombstones, located in a beautiful part of the woods leading up to the inspiration stump. We did find the inspiration stump thanks to the directions kindly given by Jane from the crystal cove shop where I bought a stunning opal ring. At this stump demonstrations from mediums are still held to this day and have been given since 1898. It is suppose to increase spiritual energies and is held as a symbol for the town.

Katie and I both received readings during our stay and all I will say is that they were pretty incredible experiences, many times giving me goosebumps and furthering my curiosity into the world of spiritualism. There is so much to explore in this town and everyone will get a different experience. It's all about making the experience your own and opening yourself to all possibilities.

I really believe the best parts of visiting a new place is the experiences you make with people. It was so much fun to travel with Kaite and geek out over all things witchy and paranormal; we even tried to get the spirits to talk to us through the wind chimes on the porch, it could have been the wind or the spirits, we will never know. One of my new favourite quotes sent to me by my dear friend Katelyn who moved away to Australia for the year describes it perfectly.

"Road trips are the equivalent of human wings. Ask me to go on one anywhere. We'll stop in every small town and learn the history and stories, feel the ground and capture the spirit. Then we'll turn it into our story that will live inside our history to carry with us always. Because stories are more important than things." Victoria Erickson

welcome to lily dale

Posted on Tuesday, 16 June 2015

"No one dies in Lily Dale" is the title of a documentary that sparked the fascination of this magical town for my friend Katie. She watched it years ago, promising to herself to one day visit this lush spiritual town tucked away near Lake Erie. Our friendship was ignited from this shared fascination of all things ghosts, witches, mediums and towns that held the secrets of generations of spiritual practices. We planned out mini road trip and somehow knew we would be instant best friends, it's like that sense you get when you meet someone and know that you were meant to be friends, and for Katie and I that friendship was cemented from many lifetimes. 

Folks travel from all over the world to come to this place, for closure, spiritual awakening, curiosity or even a search for some kind of divine revelation. Lily Dale is considered one of the worlds largest centres for spiritualism and started out as a summer camp for spiritualists in the 1870's. Stepping into this town you do feel as though you are stepping back in time and there is a calm tranquil feeling that washes over you, it feels safe, peaceful and full of light. With Victorian houses preserved for all their glory, angel statues and garden gnomes, wind chimes on every porch, vintage flags, colourful buildings, charming gazebos, string lights and flowers everywhere you look - the charm of this place equally matches the anticipation you would have going there, it fits the spirit of the land in every way and is too beautiful to describe. 

Our road trip had the classic ingredients of a trip you would likely never forget. We had great tunes, especially Kendrick Lamar who just wanted to pop up every time we turned on the car, little mishaps like a bank machine literally eating Katie's debit card, so many unhealthy food options for two girls who are all about the health, small town charming mini marts where we stocked up on blue moon and trail mix and our inability to use the GPS that was built into the car - so we went by Katie's feelings that we were going in the right direction ha! Luckily we were. 

We arrived to a quaint looking cottage town and drove up to our B&B for the night, The Angel House. As it's name suggests it was covered with angel pictures, statues, even  angel bedding! We were given the star and moon room, totally appropriate given my obsession with moons. The creaky floors, large porch filled with wicker furniture, wind chimes and candles - we were in Victorian living heaven. Before our readings we scoped out the town, walking through the quiet streets with umbrellas in hand; it was raining and misty which only added the right amount of mysticism to the whole experience. Everyone in town was eager to talk to us, kind and helpful. You can tell this is a tight knit community, the eclectic kind you always wanted to be a part of but only thought existed in Stars Hollow or Bluebell (big fan of The CW).  We were excited for it all, to soak up everything we could in our short 48 stay, and what we definitely found were people who wanted to share their gifts, had so much hope and love for the future and a friendship with so many LOL moments. 

More on the blog and this trip coming soon. Photos are taken by myself and Katie Boland, dresses by Freepeople. 

love angeles

Posted on Thursday, 4 June 2015

I have a serious love affair with America. Don't get me wrong I also love Canada, for it's wildness, it's safety, it's beautiful nature and really rad people. I cannot leave out my true roots though, Croatia is my heritage, where my parents grew up, it's in my blood and it's definitely what I look like - not to mention the most stunning country I have ever been to. But there is something about America that always draws me in. With so many beautiful landscapes there is so much to explore, and so many road trips I have yet to add to my list, although another one is coming soon to Lily Dale, New York. 

This past february I took two weeks off from my life and explored one of my favourite places of all time, California. It's pretty convenient that my sister now resides there, in the hip neighbourhood of silver lake, so whenever my heart calls me back its only a plane ride away. Seems like Emily and I have started a tradition when travelling together to LA, photo shoot with Sarah Shreves is at the top of our list. Sarah is such a generous spirit and crazy talent, in her presence she makes me want to be a more compassionate person and a better artist. Her character is so humble and hopeful, it's infectious and she inspires the people around her. You must check out her website and blog, I know that she will be sharing more photos soon of her travels, I cannot wait to see the ones she took in Guatemala. 

These are photos by Sarah Shreves in her downtown LA loft, there is a really cool casual vibe about them and I love how Sarah captures little moments, nothing seems forced or posed, just beautiful little moments of time.