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Archive for May, 2015

Garden Gratitude

Thursday, May 28th, 2015


If there is one place where I can while away my summer hours, it’s in the garden. Time just seems to stand still for me there. My mind clears, and my troubles drift away. It’s a living sanctuary.

I’ve planted a wide array of roses—my favor summertime flower—and they bloom one after the next. Their fragrance is soft, yet intense and so feminine. I cut some for my own bedside table, and little buds for my daughter Savanna’s room. Ever since Savanna was a baby, I've kept a small vase with fresh flowers in her room—one of the joys of having a little girl. She loves that they are always different, and I love teaching her all about the flowers.

In summertime, our gardens are the heart of our home. Everyday I spend time tending the French kitchen garden. It’s my joy. There we grow everything from culinary herbs to medicinal plants, and so many different kinds of organic vegetables, fruits and berries, which I harvest for our meals. How wonderful it is to walk by one of our newly planted Moringa trees and remember you can just pick the healing, nutritious leaves and eat them!

Savanna and I have also created a beautiful butterfly garden, one of my favorite spots in the yard. It shelters several dozen Monarch and Swallowtail caterpillars at a time, and watching their transformation is truly amazing. We can all get lost in time, just sitting on the log benches surrounded by all the fluttering butterflies. We also have a special spot where we keep our beehive, and, of course, we love discovering the honeybees as they visit the garden’s Magnolia blooms, or Orange Blossoms, or alight on the Pentas.

As you can imagine, the garden’s aroma is incredible. We have several varieties of citrus trees just now coming into bloom, and there is nothing quite like that scent of Orange Blossom. At the same time, the aroma of our blooming Almond Bush, which the bees and butterflies love, is intoxicatingly beautiful, which is why I’ve planted several under our bedroom windows. And then there is our Ylang-Ylang tree—a real treasure.  

I have to say whether I am walking the yard in complete meditation, just admiring nature, or sitting drinking herbal lemongrass tea fresh from the garden—at heart, I love being at home. 

Here Comes the Sun

Thursday, May 21st, 2015


We couldn’t live without our sun’s glorious radiance, but it’s that time of year when skin most needs protection from its rays. 

What’s the best strategy? When in the garden or at the beach, I use physical sunblock—a big hat, sunglasses, long-sleeved T-shirt and a sarong. While that might sound a little dreary to some, I swear it’s easier than ever to look chic and to keep skin safe this season. There are so many elegantly creative options out there, from classic broad-brimmed straw hats to fun straw fedoras. Super chic surfer rash guards are offered by swimwear designers from J Crew to Orelebar Brown. And there has never been such a range of cool beach coverups available. Have you seen Proenza Schouler’s tie-dyed sarong? 

During long days outdoors, I always include sunscreen as part of my daily skincare protocol, applying a thin layer over my Tammy Fender crème.  I recommend finding a sunscreen that lists Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient, as it protects skin from both UVA and UVB rays, and because it has a long history of safe use. It’s also important to remember that sunscreen is only effective for two hours, at most. 

I’ll post again later in the season about what to do when you’ve had too much sun. But in the meantime, I hope that your summer is truly wonderful, full of all the fun with friends and family that you’ve been hoping for. 

Wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 10th, 2015
This Mother’s Day, I find myself thinking a lot about rejuvenation—but maybe not in the way that you’d expect. While much of what I do is focused on creating formulas that enhance and restore skin’s youthfulness, all filled with the Pure Living Energy of plants that so lovingly sustain us, what I mean is something that goes much deeper—way down into the soul. A mother is someone who nourishes us, gives us care and warmth and love, fosters growth as new life unfolds. But creating support for what’s new, what’s growing and blooming within each of us, is also a gift that we can give to ourselves. Just like a child, or a sprouting seedling, clearing space for growth encourages the energy of rejuvenation. Mother’s Day—while a wonderful opportunity to show gratitude for all the people who have supported our growth—it is also a chance for each of us to ask, what nourishment and inspiration do I need in order create my own path, allowing rejuvenation to uplift the spirit? In this way, granting ourselves the space, time, ease and love to cherish what’s tenderly growing inside each of us, can’t help but create a rejuvenating wellspring that spills over into all we do, sharing that gift with everyone around us.

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