Monday, December 28, 2015


T H E   G U I D E   |  N A U G H T Y ,  N I C E ,  +  N E W   Y E A R

Selections to welcome in the new year with a dash of naughty, nice, + clearance for a washed canvas . . . 

T O   W E L C O M E   I N   T H E  N E W 
benshen radiant sessions |  a session to open your eyes in and into the grace of who you are by the mind master Desirée Pais
ra ma institute | a tuning in to keep you dedicated to yourself + honour those who serve you through tapping into the technology of kundalini yoga
emotional freedom technique | the biohack of your new year that will rewire your neurological pathways
moon calendar | a calendar to cultivate a new relationship with time + attune to the lunar cycle transposed on the sun's annual cycle
smudge stick | a D.I.Y. to burn + sage the shit of the past into cinder + smoke . . .
zero waste | guide to a limited, clean, + clear lifestyle for zero waste

T O  B E  N A U G H T Y
holiday cocktail guide | bookmark this mindful mixer guide from House of Citrine to shake + elevate your tastebuds in your buzz . . .  
beauty cocktail water | to sip clean + pretty while playing dirty, mix this purifying blend of silica + rose petal into your drinks
sex dust | mix a teaspoon of this potion into warm homemade pumpkin seed milk [which supports libido + the reproductive system] or coconut milk to get the blood rushing to all the right places . . .
in love flower remedy | a master blend from the flower child herself, Alexis Smart,to fill your little heart with more love for yourself + everyone you interact with, deepen your precious relationships, + attract new healthy ones . . .
fabrics | to feel + move in beauty for yourself or a loved one, delicate selections from loup charmant, adore me, flora nikrooz, + free people with a little kitten mask—because, why not?
scents |a spritz of this or slow burn of these selections . . . 
chocolate + cookie collection | chocolate for ecstatic bliss + cookies [or make your own here] to be devoured in bed, down with the crumbs

T O   B E  N I C E
reishi | a packet of four sigma foods reishi, xoco blue, or spoonful of sun potion's in a tonic to zap away stress + ease into any coming interactions
mucuna pruriens | a dash in a nightly tonic to drop into an alternate universe with earthy caramel notes met with deep dreams [with a good dumb smile you won't be able to drink off]
slow mornings, sweet hearts | a guide to cultivate softer step into each new day . . . 
jun + kombucha | balancing acts of kombucha + jun come January 1st amidst the boozy indulgences that precede it
performing a puja | because only when we create space to honour ourselves can we allow the space to welcome in the abundance of a new year . . .

Monday, December 21, 2015


photos courtesy of Melissa de Mata

I fall mute over Malena. In a rapid-fire paced world where our conscience is detached from our capitalist consumption, this line is an awakening. Marrying modern design with styles embedded in ancient rituals, Malena's goal is to support everyone’s right to dignity and agency by providing the global opportunity for fair labour. Malena empowers artisans economically by growing their commercial enterprises, giving them a global market for their goods, and sharing their skills, their craft, and their stories with you. It's built on the premise of acknowledging the knowledge and dignity of people in developing countries rather than determining their needs from external perspectives. ​Malena's mission is of creativity that perseveres local culture and investing in investment in them for investment in all. ​​Here is Flynn Coleman, an international human rights lawyer, yogi, and a woman full of heart. Fostering a community ​of conscious consumption with intention​ . . .​

F L Y N N   C O L E M A N  |  M A L E N A 

Q: Tell us a little bit about you and what led you to create Malena

Hi! I’m an international human rights lawyer with a background in behavioral economics, international trade law, war crimes, reconciliation, economic development, and improving access to justice through innovative approaches to education and empowerment. And my conversations with people around the world have taught me me that we can have a huge impact on people and their communities by supporting their economic automony, so that they can make their own choices about their lives and futures. Investing in people and their creative and entrepreneurial endeavors is the foundation for Malena. We source beautiful, unique goods from all over the world. 

Each item tells the story of the people and process behind the product, and how it supports people’s economic empowerment and uplifts communities worldwide. We partner groups of people who have come together, often overcoming enormous odds, and who create gorgeous designs and empower their artisans economically. 

We support these groups and individuals through growing their commercial enterprises, giving them a global market for their goods, and sharing their skills, their craft, and their stories with the world. Ultimately, economic empowerment is the capacity to bring about economic change for oneself, including a fair, sustainable income and a raised standard of living, which are crucial for diminishing inequality and poverty, and increasing dignity. It’s about people being able to make their own choices about how they live their lives, using their hard work and creativity in ways that bring them security, self-expression, and joy, on their own terms. 

Malena is a way for people to join us on this adventure! And we will continue to invest in creative ways to support dignity and economic agency in communities worldwide. When you shop at Malena, you help provide our partners with global market access for their gorgeous work, a fair, sustainable income and dignified livelihood, and support for their communities, changing lives worldwide. We like to call it (em)power shopping!

Q: What inspired the name and what is the meaning behind it?
While living, studying, and researching for my thesis in Chile, I worked with a women’s cooperative, helping to create an international market for their “arpilleras,” tapestries that depicted the era of dictatorship, and allowed a group of women to come together to heal as a community, create beautiful goods rooted in cultural traditions, and learn business and leadership skills. When I brought these arpilleras to the U.S., and shared their story, they were immediately embraced by people enthusiastic about the beautiful designs and the way to support this community. Working with this cooperative showed me the power of communities coming together to heal and work together, while also learning business, leadership, and other skills that support their empowerment.

I have seen that we can best support people when we can facilitate their own economic agency, so that they can invest in themselves and their local communities. That may mean advocating for trade policy changes, breaking down barriers for entrepreneurs in the developing world, creating more transparent supply chains, using technology to empower people, upholding an artistic tradition passed down from generations, or bringing local goods to new markets so that community members can better afford healthcare and education for their children, so those children can go on to choose among yet more opportunities.

Thus , the word “Malena” comes from the indigenous Chilean word for “girl.”

Q: Why is it so crucial to ethically source goods + simultaneously build community? How are Malena purchases empowering others?
My life’s work revolves around my core value that we are all equally, and intrinsically valuable. And we all deserve to have our basic human rights protected, and to have a life of dignity, freedom, and agency. My conversations with people around the world have always shown me that everyone has a story to tell, and one that deserves to be heard, which is one of the foundational concepts of Malena. This (very) short film about our story shows you some of the beautiful faces of the incredible people and stories behind our work, and why where we source our goods matters, and how the empowerment of the people behind what we wear and use every day builds, supports, and uplifts communities worldwide.

Q: How did you choose the countries that you are currently working with?
We choose our partnerships based on principles of human rights, supply chain transparency, economic empowerment, and ethical sourcing.  And we collaborate with our partners to create gorgeous, innovative designs and goods that celebrate a melding of their ancient traditions with modern design. For example, you can see exactly how our scarves are made here!

Q: What keeps you going? Do you have a daily routine, ritual, or a mantra?
One of my favorite daily mantras and quotes is: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ~Vivian Greene

Q: In addition to perusing the Malena shop, what are some other ways you would suggest Thirlby readers could support conscious consumerism?
Get curious and ask questions about where what you eat, wear, and buy comes from. As Rainer Maria Rilke says, “live the questions.” Find the causes that you are passionate about, and align your choices, decisions, and purchases around these values. Because ultimately we are not talking about “labor” or “consumerism” or “supply chains” in the abstract, we are talking about people, just like us, and we all deserve the same rights to freedom, dignity, opportunity, equality, justice, and joy.

Friday, December 18, 2015


T H E   G U I D E   |  H E A L I N G  H O L I D A Y   G I F T S  

Gift selections to welcome in the New Year blanketed in graceful luxury, buttered in soft shea, + notes of the desert airs of Marfa—give a gift, touch and be touched . . .

1 CASHMERE WRAP | This wrap by Equipment blankets in graceful luxury. It's crafted from 100% cashmere + comes in beautiful, simple colours. The perfect travel companion, it can be used as a wrap or even as a blanket. Plus, it's now on major sale . . .
2 SHEA BUTTER | I have baby-bottom-soft-skin thanks to dipping myself whole into a jar of this unrefined, wildcrafted shea butter—it melts on après-shower, wet skin and locks in moisture to protect against billowing Northeastern winds . . . 
3 PYJAMAS |Pyjamas in elegant silhouettes + candy colours are a necessity for 3 a.m. style. We can all dream of these by Yolke, but these from J.Crew + this silk sleepwear set from Everlane equally induce daydreams. If you click through here for Everlane, you can enjoy your gift with free shipping . . . 
LAND BY LAND INCENSE | This Japanese incense is hauntingly intoxicating + made with natural ingredients rather than the toxins that most incenses contain. It burns clean + clears the mind. Here are some of my other scentual staples . . .
5 STACKING RINGS | I love having a boxful of stacking rings to spruce up any simple outfit. They make great little stocking-stuffers! Catbird + passed-down pieces are my staples, but I also adore Spark + Pepper's handcrafted rings such as this + thisAnother Feather's dainty selections, + the über chic BRVTVS line . . . 
6 LACEY PROVISIONS | The beauty, elegance, + comfort that dainty lingerie imbues is indescribable when we let it. A relationship with another is not necessary to do so—we can cultivate one with our own selves. These bralets would invoke a sensual ease in any woman, the delicacy of these are a fairy's dream. They are perfect worn underneath light tissue tees for a subtle yet sexy look . . .
7 CRYSTALS | I collect crystals + have them peppered around the house + hidden in my bag pockets to elevate my vibrations, calm my nerves, + attract abundance. Stop by your local crystal shop to pick up one or three to stock your stockings . . .
8 HARIO COPPER KETTLE | I have always been obsessed with copper kitchen utensils, predominantly because of their Ayurvedic healing energetic properties. For anyone who is constantly sipping on herbal teas + tonics as I am, this is the perfect eye candy + gift. Tom Dixon also has exquisite serving ware pieces, such as this copper French Press. These milk + sugar servers will begin the day golden, this pitcher will pour the day out flowingly, and these Spanish wine glasses are the last piece to set the table for a date night in . . .
9 STRANGE INVISIBLE | Fragrances are my only vice + have been so since I was a little girl. I have a boxful of perfumes that I have used + collected over the years since the age of seven. I can even recall my first perfume: L'eau de Sonia by Sonia Rykiel—if we don't count my Mustela. I have been coveting the Strange Invisible line thanks to House of Citrine + William Charleton. I love musky scents that often are attributed to colognes as well + am dazed by El Cosmico's notes that pull the desert airs of Marfa, cosmic axis of West Texas. Swimming in 11-year-aged Sri Lankan organic nutmeg, oak-aged French cognac, Peruvian Palo Santo, + the first distillation of gentle rose . . . 
10 HANDMADE HORN COMB | An utter, utter, utter beauty that is handmade in Germany by a fourth generation family of comb makers. Combing the hair moves around the body's energy + stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. This comb is a perfect stocking-stuffer for curly and wavy haired people on your gift list . . .
11 TOTE WELL| I am a self-professed bag lady—rugged + rough with all that I tote around and that with which I carry my provisions. Elegant bags of mine are now in softly clothed, set aside for special occasions. This tote is a go-to for those on a similar run as well as these handsome handmade ones from Agnes Baddoo in California that are more of a worthwhile investment.
12 CASHMERE, WOOL, + SILK SOCKS | Another luxury item but one that I feel can be considered a necessity after four years of enduring MA winters. These would have been perfect when I had snow inside my Bean Boots + almost froze my little toes off last year. So, this year I'm prepped with a pair + a thousand and one from Madewell, such as this trio. Socks are items most people forget to buy over the years. A tear may be shed in recognition of drawerful of pair-less socks in finding them gifted in a stocking.
13 GET DUSTED |Welcoming in the New Year with rushes of blood to the right places + brain buzzes with dreamy Moon Juice dusts . . . 

STOCKING THE STOCKINGS | other last-minute provisions . . .
sakara life snacks // four sigma foods reishi for tranquilising tonics // poppy & someday lip stain // addictive wellness chocolate // omica organics stevia drops // zenbunni chocolate // benshen rosewater toner // grapefruit by yoko ono // rms coconut cream // moon phase domino set // wild-harvested tea // la tierra sagrada salt spray // binchotan body scrub towel // na nin studio perfume oil

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


B E A U T Y   B I T E S  |  S P I C E   C O O K I E S   W I T H   P O M E G R A N A T E   C R E A M
These cookies are the ultimate morsels of spice spread with dollops of pomegranate cream that I shared with Whole Foods Market and worth getting your hand stuck in the cookie jar for . . .

I N G R E D I E N T S 
g i n g e r   s p i c e   c o o k i e s    |   y i e l d s    h a l f   a   d o z e n
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour
3 Tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Arrowroot Flour
2 tablespoons raw coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup or sunroot syrup [I prefer latter]
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
1 inch knob of fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of maca powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

p o m e g r a n a t e   c r e a m
1 tablespoon of raw coconut oil
2 teaspoons of coconut butter
1 teaspoon of pomegranate powder

D I R E C T I O N S 
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gather all ingredients and mix thoroughly. The consistency will be quite moist but still sense enough to roll into a ball. If the dough is too moist, add a small scoop of arrowroot powder to thicken it.
Scoop out slightly larger than a tablespoon of the dough, roll into a ball, then press on it lightly to flatten. Spread the cookies onto in leached parchment paper, making sure there's ample space between each to allow for expansion and avoid undertaking the cookies.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool on a rack and enjoy!

G E T    B A K E D  | festive recipes from my favourite women in food . . . 
Eat, Heal, Thrive's Lemon Herb Cookies
Colorful Eats's Spiced Breakfast Cookies
Vidya Living's Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spiced Donuts + Chocolate Dipped Cardamom Rosewater Biscottis
Joy-Filled Nourishment's AIP Tigernut Cookies
It's Me, Charlotte's Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Empowered Sustenance's Ginger Fennel Cookies
Heartbeet Kitchen's Morning Glory Muffins
Beyond the Bite 4 Life's Double Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Whole Life, Full Soul's Lavender Tigernut Scones

Monday, December 14, 2015


B E A U T Y   B I T E S  |  S A U T É E D   S H I I T A K E   W I T H   T O A S T E D   S A G E

This shiitake and sage recipe will pepper the palate of both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike with umami and warm winter flavors. The delicacy of sautéed shiitake mushrooms are wed with a teasing sweetness of coconut oil and smoky aroma of toasted sage. When lain on a bed of cauliflower purée or greens massaged with fruity olive oil, these mushrooms taste as indulgent as a plate of scallops but are incredibly easy and foolproof to put together. Hop on over to the Thou Swell site for the recipe!

Friday, December 11, 2015


F R E E D O M   F I R E   |  N E W   M O O O N  I N  S A G I T T A R I U S

Just as we burn away our tendencies, reservations, and blocks on paper under lunar light, so too will this new moon bring to ashes our hindrances to rise into our freedom. The energetic compass of the New Moon in Sagittarius points nowhere and anywhere, fueling us with the fire to take on dreamy challenges, opportunities, and projects. We must take caution, however, since this hyperbolic rosy haze of adventurous decisions can burn us out through overcommitment and overzealousness. 

Our freedom lies in stepping into the ring questioning through the contractive energy of Saturn—What is your reality? What is your truth and that which blocks it? What is truly your realm of possibility? We must tread and burn our path for clearing with equally clear eyes and heart, seeing all there is to see within our true selves and our environment sans delusions or romanticism. We must make space within these realms in order to expand the opportunities that with which this New Moon is capable of gifting us. Peeling away into reality then stepping into the stage of possibility . . .

In order to set foot on this path, we must also clear the energies stagnant or blocked in our subtle bodies. Here are specific poses for each chakra that you can incorporate into your yoga practise today to open and elevate yourself.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Achy groans travel down the hallways; achoo’s echo in the bathroom; and coughs from labored throats are abound. I have been finding myself holding my breath, passing through a cloud of germs.

Here is a list of anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic immune-boosters from lush, pine-scented oils to woodsy herbal tonics to get your body back into balance + activate your immunological defense system . . .

F A R M A C Y :   I M M U N I T Y 

o r e g a n o  |  anti-bacterial / anti-viral / anti-fungal / anti-yeast / anti-histamine / rich in vitamins a + c, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, niacin, iron, potassium, copper, + boron. The main components in oregano essential oil are carvacrol, thymol, terpenes, rosmarinic, and naringin. 

Carvacrol is a powerful anti-microbial against a range of diseases such as candida albicans, staph, salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. 

Thymol is an immune system booster and aids in tissue-regeneration and flushing of toxins. It's also anti-fungal, which is an issue quite a number of people deal with during and following the summer months with the exposure to fungal infections from swimming pools.

Terpenes does not only give oregano oil its lush, pine scent but also provides antibacterial qualities.

Rosmarinic acid is an antioxidant that is even stronger than Vitamin E and a powerful tool in prevention of free radical damage. It is also effective against carcinogens as well as for the treatment of allergic asthma with its antihistamine properties.

Naringin, a component that provides grapefruit its bitter taste, is boosts the power of antioxidants such as Rosmarinic and has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells

USEAGE | mix two drops in water, preferably before bedtime, or rub a drop diluted in 2 oz. of oil such as fractionated coconut oil to rub on the soles of the feet.

o n  g u a r d  +  t h i e v e s
I rub a drop of on guard or thieves diluted in fractionated coconut oil on the soles of my feet before bed whenever my exposure to toxins or infections is increased.

m u s h r o o m s  |  reishi, cordyceps, + turkey tail
Reishi has a long range of benefits from suppressing the growth of cancer cells to its anti-inflammatory uses for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. It is deeply healing for the respiratory and circulatory systems as it strengthens the lungs + improves blood and oxygen flow the the heart.

Cordyceps is a potent yang tonic that oxygenates the body, stimulates the immune system, protects against free radical damage, + tones the muscles of the organs and body.

Turkey Tail targets chronic illnesses and cancer cells, aids in the regeneration of bone marrow, + is a strong antioxidant.

T R E A T   +   H E A L 

v i t a m i n  d   |  immune system boosting / bone strengthening / beautifying / cancer fighting / mood enhancing / liquid sunshine

Vitamin D is yet another holy grail of the immune and lymphatic system. Killer T cells require certain level of Vitamin D in the body to attach to in fighting against infection, maing it necessary part of the healing protocol. The sun is the optimal source of natural Vitamin D and only ten minus of sun exposure sans sunscreen/sunblock can aid in necessary daily requirements. This can be difficult, however, as we move into the darker, colder months of Autumn and Winter. I then would recommend boosting the body with food sources high in Vitamin D such as cod liver oil; organic, local, pasture-raised eggs; grass-fed butter or ghee; shiitake mushrooms; and fatty fish such as salmon or sardines. Supplements are also beneficial in liquid form,  but be careful of overdosing. Vitamin D3 is fat-soluble, which means that its excess will be stored in fat tissue, accumulated, and become toxic. The Premier Research version is the best out there as it's not suspended in inflammatory vegetable oils and/or artificial flavourings like most other brands.

a l l i u m s |  garlic / onions / shallots / leeks / scallion
Garlic is the king of anti-bacterials. I reach for it to treat a cold but also for topical issues such as a stye or pink eye that can come along with an alerted and compromised immune system. Microbes of any kind hate it as much as your nose does. Other alliums are also powerful in not only fighting colds and the flu while reducing its duration but also in preventing it. Traditional healers often recommend supplementing with a concoction called Fire Cider in times of high exposure to germs.

u s a g e  | I love Rosemary Gladstar's recipe. If you're up to it and also won't mind public isolation, you can also make a tonic of two cloves of garlic with two ounces of apple cider vinegar . . . and chug. Placing a handful of garlic cloves in boiling water and inhaling its vapors also is great in dealing with nasal congestion. I recommend following it with an herbal tea compress + sinus drainage massage.

t u r m e r i c  | blood and liver purifier / powerful anti-inflammatory / ant-cancer / anti-bacterial / digestive + heart protector / immune-booster / cell-activating / tissue regenerating / lymph-draining

I have blogged extensively on the powers of turmeric. It heals the immune system by decreasing the cytokines that block the appropriate drainage of the lymphatic system and immune response.

T U R M E R I C   S H OT  |  r a w /  v e g a n  /  p a l e o 
3/4 cup of alkaline water
juice of one lemon
⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
a grind of fresh, coarse black pepper
½ teaspoon of raw Manuka honey, optional 

Form the turmeric powder, black pepper, and ½ teaspoon of raw honey into a paste. Add the lemon juice + apple cider vinegar, and slowly add the water. Stir and chug!

p r o b i o t i c s |  digestive / immune system booster / beautifying / energising
I'm not a proponent of taking a medicine cabinet's worth of supplements and out of the few that I advocate for, probiotics are number one. Our gut is considered our "second brain," impacting through voluntary and involuntary thought processes everything from energy levels to metabolism to the condition of our skin. Doubling your probiotic supplement dosage to both morning and night while increasing fermented foods such as sauerkraut, coconut kefir, kombucha, and other cultured foods will increase good bacteria to activate the immune system.

u s a g e | add or increase the consumption of living, fermented, raw + unpasturized foods such as sauerkraut, cultured vegetables, miso [if tolerated], kombucha, and coconut kefir; supplement with high-quality probiotics that contain at least 20 billion living organisms.

o s c i l l o c o c c i n u m  | homeopathic blend for flus + cold
Even my skeptical family members swear by this homeopathic remedy that comes in easy platelet shots taken every fifteen minutes—they look like sugar pills but have the potential to turn your hand away from the Theraflu.

b e r r i e s  +  e l d e r b e r r y  |  inhibits the growth of cold + flu viruses

A staple component of many naturopathic cold + flu medications, elderberry is a strong inhibitor of the growth of viral infections and at shortening their duration.

u s a g e | eat berries, cherries, grapes or take Urban Moonshine's Immune Zoom.