Monday, August 31, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: HOUSE OF CITRINE



I connect so deeply with today’s feature of Sima Morrison, House of Citrine—land lines run through her sweet soul to mine from Iran to Turkey. Through my anthropologist’s looking glass, there’s something inexplicably interwoven in that. That, however, is not the only indefinitely special about Sima—palpable even through pixels. Sima has a thirst for not only educating herself to elevate her mind + spirit, but is devoted to uplifting others by sharing the work of mindful makers on her site House of Citrine. She has featured light makers such as the [also Persian!] goddess Shiva Rose  Summer Sanders of Local Juicery. Sima exudes and imbues clear confidence, support, + radiates loving light.

Bask in the charm of the house of her soul + site . . .

S I M A   M O R R I S O N , H O U S E    O F   C I T R I N E  |   l o s   a n g e l e s  ,  c a


Q: Tell us a little bit about you and what led you to create House of Citrine.
I wanted to build a platform that inspires, promotes and features conscious businesses.

Anyone from chefs, artisans, entrepreneurs, writers, farmers, health activists, and innovators, really anyone who has a passion for mindful living with a hunger to educate.


Q: What inspired the name?
Citrine has always been a stunning crystal to me, but adding the “house of” to Citrine resonated with me divinely. I started researching about citrine and it quickly became a part of me. It’s extremely powerful for women and the abundance of love that it radiates is uplifting. The yellow color of citrine is connected with the ability to perform logical thinking and intellectual work, and I could always use a little help from earth’s divine artifacts.

Q: How long did it take for you to craft your products to the state it is in now? What was that experience like for you?
When it’s right everything falls into place. It didn’t take that long. I just knew exactly what I wanted to do. I am fortunate to be working with some of those most talented co-creators in the country. The process happened very fast. When you appreciate other talents work on such a deep level and embrace each other’s skill set it just flows so organically. Constant synchronicities and alignment have kept my workflow magical.

Q: When you are not working on House of Citrine, what else do you like to do?
You can find me at a farmers market usually Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica. Hiking in the Santa Monica mountains (Los Leones Trail), spending time with my loved ones.
I love learning so I’m always researching online; right now my mind is completely enthralled with biodynamic farming. I am recreating my garden in my home so learning about permaculture and planting to execute the best eco-system for my garden.


I love spending time with my family, big family breakfast; lunches and dinners are essential for me. Makes me feel an abundance of love seeing the family pass around yummy dishes while sitting at a table together. 

Q: What keeps you going? Do you have a daily routine, ritual, or a mantra?
Gratitude keeps me going. Living in the present. Being mindful and not looking back is what pure bliss is to me. My husband is my rock and we live a harmonious lifestyle and we live for what makes us happy.

Q: What are some of your favourite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process?
I am a total foodie so food is makes me happy. I love REAL food. Right now my favorite snack in the world are figs, so happy they are in season. I eat them as a snack, throw them in salads, grill them with protein, have them with a beautiful charcutrie cheese plate. I’m obsessed.

I also love yams. I eat them throughout the day. With my eggs for breakfast, sweet potato fries in the oven marinated with ghee or grass fed butter and herbs, or just a loaded yam baked potato with grass fed cheese, broccoli and herbs and salt. 

I’m always snacking on seaweed, sprouted almonds and walnuts, fermented veggies with sprouted corn chips and avocado. I love a drinking coconut kefir throughout the day.

Q: What are your three staples for glowing health?
Do what makes you happy and makes your heart feel full, you will literally glow when you live your life in your true authentic spirit // Eat Real food, drink spring water and indulge on high quality fats. Your body is your temple, so only put the BEST in your body. Shop local, support your farmers and know where your food comes from. Always organic! // Balance is crucial for any lifestyle. Live. If you want a piece of cake, enjoy it with each bite. Love yourself and allow indulgences.

Q: What would be an ideal day for you?
Wake up to a warm reishi, ho shou wu, and pine pollen tonic with pumpkin milk, a jog, meeting my husband for lunch at True Foods in Santa Monica, working on emails, setting up interviews and having a family dinner together with quality conversation with my step kids.

Q: Who are some sources of inspiration for you?
Reading poetry by the great Iranian poets of the 13th century. Rumi and Hafiz always keep me inspired and grounded. I’m Iranian and I grew up with my father reading poetry; makes me feel like he’s still here with me and whispering daily affirmations in my ear.

Q: What are your go-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet?
High quality salt is essential for me, I keep some in my car and in most of my handbags.
Living libations // best skin ever 
Perspective allows me to move through fear. When I find myself feeling overwhelmed with negative emotions I have to take deep breaths. I try to mediate as much as possible. I got into mediation last year and the past 6 months it has given me the most intimate connection with my mind and soul. It has made me find peace from within which is something I had been trying to achieve for several years.

Q: What is your next big vision for House of Citrine?
Spotlighting the holistic journey by raising awareness through education is the kind of momentum I love to create. A platform for roundtable discussions and knowledge shares where we can come together as a community and grow is what I see. I am passionate about organizing events on and offline, with some exciting planning talks in the works. Drawing others in to share their inspirations is where it all begins, leading to powerful community built on gratitude, love and peace.

Friday, August 28, 2015

BEAUTY BITES: ORANGE CREAMSICLE


I need to rest my little head that's spinning with how divine this orange creamsicle concocted by The Rose Journals is. I made these into a bar that were nestled under pillows of Sun Potion Tocos churned into raw coconut butter. The perfect treat to squeeze in a treat to enjoy the last juices of summer . . .


B E A U T Y   B I T E S :  O R A N G E   C R E A M S I C L E 
raw | vegan | paleo 




                                                                                                                    Photo courtesy of David Aragon
I N G R E D I E N T S 
1 1/2 C Orange Juice
1/2 C Stone-Ground Cashew Butter or soaked Cashews
2 TBS Honey
1 /2 TBS Coconut Oil
Pinch Salt

D I R E C T I O N S | Blend all ingredients except for coconut oil a high speed blender.  Blend until perfectly smooth, then stream in the coconut oil on low.  Blend until just combine.  Pour the mixture into popsicle molds.  Freeze overnight.  Enjoy the next day!  


                                                                                                                Photo courtesy of David Aragon

MAKERS + MOVERS: THE ROSE JOURNALS


Photo of David Aragon courtesy of David Aragon
The cup of my heart overflows with the love, admiration, + awe that pours out for The Rose Journals. Their touch unwraps my tender little heart. David's words here have moved me into the depths + crevices of words I have yet to string together in my own soul. 

Let your vision be vivified + heart be slain by these souls . . .

DA V I D   A R A G O N  +  N O E L L E   J O Y   |  T H E  R O S E   J O U R N A L S 


Q: Tell us a little bit about you and what led you to create The Rose Journals.
My name is David Aragon. I’m an artist based in the midwest. I am one half of The Rose Journals. The other half is my dear friend and soul sister, Noelle Joy. 

I met Noelle when she hired me to work in a cafe she was managing. We’ve always gotten along really well and shared many commonalities and interests, so I asked if she would be interested in collaborating on an online publication. She said yes!

At first, The Rose Journals was very focused around health and wellness, but I recently realized that I am interested in many other things and since we operate the site - we can do whatever we want! So now, it is just a general home & sacred space for creative collaboration...some of it wellness related….some of it not.

Q: What inspired the name?
After we declared our collaboration, we arranged a tea date at Noelle’s to plan out our vision. We each went over some names we had in mind - and it was pretty clear to us which one was the winner. The name is mostly inspired by the feeling that it brings. I’m very interested in trying to create or inspire feelings. “The Rose Journals” to me feels like a dance between sacred and casual….something that could be cherished or thrown away. I think that’s a beautiful thing.

Q: When you are not working on The Rose Journals, what else do you like to do?
When I’m not working (in general) - I enjoy playing drums, taking photos, reading and writing poetry, watching films, and adoring other people’s art. 

When Noelle isn’t working on The Rose Journals - she is a yogi, a manager, a wife, a new mom to the sweetest blue heeler (shout-out to Japhy), the best friend anyone could ask for, and the most hilarious jokester ever. I literally have multiple pages of one-liners from her written in my phone in case I ever need them for a screenplay.


Q: What keeps you going? Do you have a daily routine, ritual, or a mantra?
Death is my greatest muse. Knowing that my time is finite and that it could be all over tomorrow moves my perception away from life being a chore. 

Another thing that deeply moves me is seeing other people’s creations - especially physical things. I love holding something that someone created. Touch is a really underused (and taboo) sense in the world - so it feels especially magical when you can have that intimate connection with someone’s creation. I think this is a common experience for all creatives -- because you know how difficult it is to create something...it’s literally a miracle that things get made.


Q: What are some of your favourite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process?
Raw chocolate is my one true love. Whenever I make chocolate - I am meditating. I forget who I am and just enjoy the process. My favorite bar when I want chocolate other than my own is Living Libations Vanilla Vibhutti bar. I almost cried when I first tried this it was so good. They grind their cacao on a matate like ancient Mayans. It is a culinary and ancestral experience.


Q: What are your three staples for glowing health?
I don’t consider myself a liaison for glowing health...but I can share what works for me: Try not to spend too much time focusing on negative aspects and searching for solutions. Rather, spend more time examining on what is working for your body - and augment that // Listen to your intuition - even if you don’t understand it // You won’t be wherever you are now very soon, so don’t worry about leaving or changing something - everything changes on it’s own. Find a way to appreciate what is now...it won’t be much longer.


Q: What would be an ideal day for you?
I read somewhere once that most people say that they could be living their ideal day by tomorrow...as in they don’t require any more resources than they already have - they just need to act on what they want to do. I’m not sure if that was a legitimate study, but I can definitely see this with myself.

An ideal day for me: I would wake up without an alarm feeling refreshed and excited. My mind would not pick up from where I left off last night, but it would be conscious and focused on what is today. I would make a warm elixir and go for a hike. If I saw someone, I wouldn’t wonder what they were thinking of me...instead - I would ponder their beauty and have gratitude for their presence. I would climb down to the water, meditate a bit and do a bit of journaling. My eyebrows would soften and my bones would sit without tension. I would come home, meet a friend, and share some tea & chocolate. I would look at them in conversation and wonder if there was any way my love could be deeper. There would be some creative collaboration happening, in which a vision I had in my mind was translated into physical - and it exceeded the quality of my vision. Later, I would consume someone else’s art, which would touch me in ways I’ve never experienced. I would wonder whether it was the creation that really moved me, or if it was me that moved me. My heart would be sore in the best way—like cheeks after a deep smile. 


Q: Who are some sources of inspiration for you? 
I have a really amazing community of friends who are doing such incredible things. They also are always willing to show up for me and my projects - despite my track record of constantly failing. 

Q: What are your go-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet?
Fresh, organic aloe vera, homemade rosewater, fresh turmeric, manuka honey, beta 1 3d glucan, colostrum, a slew of tonic herbs, and a lot of therapeutic grade essential oils. I recently spilled a cup of piping hot tea all over my stomach and immediately applied my rosewater, fresh aloe, and manuka honey...the next day the burn was completely healed. Having your first aid kit ready to go definitely comes in handy!

Q: What’s on your reading list currently?
I’m not reading much at the moment. I did recently read Switch by Chip & Dan Heath and I really enjoyed it. I also just got The Art of Attention by Elena Brower + Erica Jago in the mail - and although I haven’t done any of the practices in it - I’ve read all the text front to back and ogled at the amazing design and photography.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

FARMACY: SUNNY SIDE UP


F A R M A C Y  :  S U N N Y   S I D E   U P 
Mornings are such a sacred time. I delved into part of my morning routine for a slower + more intentional rise here. The continuation of that routine leads me into the kitchen, where I always make time for a quiet moment to break the fast + break into the day. Here are high-vibrational foods that will help you rise on the sunny side up . . .


A N I M A L  F A R E | I was recently chatting with Emily of HÄLSA about the difficulty I still experience about eating animal products in the morning. As someone who has avoided them for a significant period of time and even flirted with raw veganism at one point, eating animal products feels both heavy on my stomach and mind.

Dealing with autoimmune issues has made me aware that many in the community enjoy grass-fed and pastured meats for breakfast. These options provide high levels of heart + skin supporting Omega-3s. Grass-fed beef also contains one of the most important antioxidants glutathione, which is the most powerful antioxidant in our body—it removes toxins and protects your body from heart to gut.

If you can handle and are hungry for such a breakfast spread, listen to your body. Cravings for foods are wise signs from our system for extra nourishment. A way to balance the acidity of meat is to also have lightly steamed vegetables with raw organic coconut oil or, if tolerated, grass-fed ghee. Cruciferous vegetables are great to increase our intake of sulfur, which is the number one beauty mineral. Root vegetables such as parsnips, carrots, or sweet potatoes also allow for balanced blood sugar levels and healthy adrenal function to combat mid-morning or afternoon fatigue with a dose of unrefined carbohydrates. Choose to your heart’s content!

My alternative for this is a warm cup of bone broth with all the vegetable bounty, heaping spoonfuls of coconut oil, + fresh herbs. It's a lighter option that is warming, gut-healing, + immune system-boosting, which is essential with the upcoming cold season. 

Everybody is different, every body is different. The needs of our bodies fluctuate over time. A friend might thrive on a vegan diet while my body, as difficult it was for me to accept, did not. Let’s have respect for one another’s dietary decisions so we can cultivate that respect for our own bodies. Except for one thing—let’s all just please eat more mother-loving plants . . .


E A T  T H E   Y O L K | I miss eggs dearly, so I infuse all the love I have for them into the decadent French omelette I make for my mother every Sunday morning. Although if I were to eat an egg, it would be slowly poached in low heat as to not denature its delicate proteins. Here in D.C., we source our pasture-raised eggs from the local farm Polyface available at the tiny yet incredible The Organic Butcher. These babies have the ultimate golden yolk porn—feast your eyes. Whole Foods also carries pasture-raised eggs from Vital Farms, which is our second option. I prefer supporting local farmers and having fresh eggs whenever I can. You can find local farms that provide them in your area over at Eat Wild or simply take a trip to the farmer’s market!

If you tolerate dairy, top your eggs with raw, grass-fed cheese—ones from sheep or goat are a dream! Also whip them up with fresh herbs for additional hormonal support with parsley and rosemary or digestive support with bitters such as detoxifying dandelion, fennel, and nettle. Serve it with my favourite tortillas made with Otto’s Cassava flour by simply mixing 6 tablespoons of the flour with 2 ½ tablespoons of water and put it on the cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of coconut or MCT oil.

A little tip I learned at the household of the lovely Ariel of Chaia: whisk your eggs at room temperature in a copper bowl as the French do for fluffier fare.


T O N I C S | I love herbal tonics—I’d say they’re a signature on Thirlby and a highly-requested offering amongst friends. My favourites include the Morning Moringa Rose Latté + Golden Moon Love Potion. A way to boost these tonics if you tolerate dairy is making them with raw, grass-fed dairy. This is an incredibly medicinal incorporation in Ayurveda as raw dairy supports hormones and nourishes the body to the bone. It builds up our ojas. Fermenting raw dairy provides an extra boost with higher digestibility, bioavailability, and healing for the gut. Again, Eat Wild is a great resource for finding some raw dairy products. A spoonful of good fats such as coconut oil or coconut butter as well as skin and joint fueling grass-fed collagen are perfect pairs.


S W E E T S | Sometimes I just crave a sweeter wake up. In that case, I serve myself a bowl of cultured coconut cream with a side of stewed stone fruits such as plums + cinnamon. A dash of tocos and I’m in vegan heaven. This tigernut granola from the incredible Gabriella would also take this breakfast onto higher planes.

Another option is a warm sweet potato—my favourite are the Korean purple ones—with a drizzle of coconut oil, but I have eyed Elena Brower’s bowl of pairing it with tahini + sprinkling of pepitas. Just make sure they’re sprouted for digestibility and to avoid anti-nutrient phytic acids—I love these JEM sprouted nut butters + the Moon Pantry stone-ground sprouted almond butter.

Monday, August 24, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: BRIGETTE MULLER / HUMMUSBIRD

What bohemian babe does not dream of twirling around in featherlight gowns + don the airy pieces of Free People? The line is fit to make you feel like a goddess casually strolling amidst alleyways and streets—confident yet humble, beautiful and simple, elegant yet playful with a dash of whimsy  . . .

Today's maker Brigette embodies all of that. You can find her creating + crafting magical snippets through her work at Free People and her blog Hummusbird, but also talking to her cat or musing about 50 Cent diapers on her Snapchat. She's quirky, down-to-Mama Earth, and a fuel of creative force. Peel back the light lacy curtain + mosy into Brigette's world . . .

B R I G E T T E   M U L L E R  /  H U M M U S B I R D | f r e e   p e o p l e 



Q: Tell us a little bit about you and what led you to create Hummusbird.
I had just come back from an around-the-world trip that lasted an entire summer – my perspective was fresh, the future was mine, and I was feeling incredibly inspired. I knew I needed a way to share my thoughts with the world.

Q: What inspired the name?
The inspiration was almost embarrassingly simple, to be honest. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my sister Gretchen, brainstorming different ideas… At the time I was totally infatuated with bird décor, and eating about a tub of hummus a day. When I put the two together and said Hummusbird out loud, Gretchen’s response was, “Yup. That’s it. It has to be Hummusbird.” I wasn’t convinced, but I went with it anyway… and I guess it stuck. ;)

Q: When you are not working on Hummusbird, your shop, or Free People, what else do you like to do?
I’m a homemaker by nature. I absolutely love being home alone, candles & incense burning, music blasting, rearranging every little piece of décor until it feels just right. I’ve also been known to start projects on a whim. One minute I’m cleaning the kitchen, and suddenly I’ll find myself painting designs all over my wall. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Q: What keeps you going? Do you have a daily routine, ritual, or a mantra?
I have a desire to create that never seems to burn out. If I’m creating, I’m happy. So I stay creating all day, every day, whether it’s a captured image, a physical piece of home décor, or a ridiculously dumb Snapchat story. 

Every day I take time to make myself feel beautiful. I’m in love with natural oils and scents, and I make sure to incorporate them into my morning and nightly beauty routines, as well as use them throughout the day. Scent is so powerful, and it really has the ability to transform your mood.

My mantra: You’re as happy as you want to be. I learned it from my mom – the happiest angel I’ve ever known – and have never, ever forgotten it.

Q: What are some of your favourite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process?
This is an interesting question! I’ve never really thought of food as having an effect on creativity, but it certainly does. When it comes to food, I try to fill myself with the purest ingredients out there. As soon as I made the switch from processed nonsense to the good stuff, I noticed a difference both physically and mentally – and being in a good physical and mental state puts your body at ease, allowing creativity to flow. 

If we’re talking specifics, Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread is the bomb. I also just started making this crazy good black bean soup that’s so simple: black beans (cook your own!), sprouted brown rice, purified water (filtered with ZeroWater filter), pink Himalayan salt, and salsa verde. You will not know what to do with yourself.

Q: What are your three staples for glowing health?
Pure foods, natural oils, and an intuitive doctor who does applied kinesiology. 

Q: What would be an ideal day for you?
Wake up in my bedroom, surrounded by plants, with my adorable cat right next to me. Be magically transported to a hidden spot surrounded by lush greens, plants, and a flowing stream. Spend some time there alone. Bathe in the stream. Talk to some animals. Explore a little. Go meet a group of my favorite people somewhere outside where it’s just us. Laugh and eat and laugh and eat. Dance. Laugh. And fall asleep in my bedroom, surrounded by plants, with my adorable cat right next to me.

Q: Who are some sources of inspiration for you? 
In terms of aesthetics, I’m mostly inspired by nature – sunlight, shadows, and plants, to be specific. In terms of living life to its fullest and allowing oneself to be unique, I’m inspired by everyone. My friends, my family, people I catch a vibe from on the subway… Everyone has something to offer; something we can learn from. It’s our job to find out what each of those things is.

Q: What are your go-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet?
Standard Process Antronex (helps the body detox), Aromabliss facial cleansers (get the Varnya and the Polish and use together as an exfoliating scrub – it’s heavenly), and Apoterra Skincare Rose Nourishing Serum (absolutely divine facial nourishment – available soon!)

Q: What moves you through fear + brings you into bliss?
Stopping. Breathing. Taking a moment to step back and realize it’s all okay; it’s all happening the way it should. I’m working on giving my complete trust to the universe.

Q: What’s on your reading list currently?
Fine, I’ll admit it: I’m not a reader! Since I’m so aesthetically-minded, it’s always been hard for me to focus on words alone… although I don’t really watch movies, either. I think it’s just that I’m scatterbrained – I lose interest very quickly. But one of my best friends just recommended I read Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. I might have to give it a shot. ;)

Q: What makes you feel free as a (hummus)bird?
I feel most free when I have absolutely nothing planned and can take my time living the day out as it comes. That’s when the most magic happens.

images courtesy of Brigette Muller