Without saying a word…

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pc @doveshore/mua @makeupbyveronica

A while ago I wrote “Paying My Dues“, when returning to modeling was a seed yet to be watered inside my head. I’ve recently forayed back into this world and remember why I was so passionate about it in the first place. The creativity, the collaboration with other artists, expressing emotions without saying a word…

xo beach girl

Kombucha recipe and other healthy girl stuff.

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Well, hello dusty blog.

We all know by now…I’m a “Let’s GO!” type of gal with a huge homebody side. Not a partyer, more of a daytime go go go-er who appreciates getting a good night’s rest, waking up early to seize the day, maybe go for a walk, do some yoga before real life takes the day over. I’ve also learned I need significant downtime time at home or my nerves get fried.

Let’s GO has been exactly the name of the game ON A WHOLE ‘NOTHER LEVEL since moving back to California in May.

Just a recap…to shake things up, I’ve moved across the ocean to Hawaii, Asia, and back to California. Life’s dynamic with shoots and work projects, travel, and time spent with fresh, creative, positive thinkers = happy girl. And no matter where I’ve lived, I enjoy my quiet evenings “in” as much as my roams “out”.

Fueling all this newness and positivity is tons of self-care and adequate downtime. This weekend’s been all about beauty naps in the sunshine, yoga with girlfriends followed by girltalk and a healthy dose of hermit mode, eating healthy food ala Traditional Eastern Medicine (Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine dietary philosophies), and brewing up one of my favorite health recipes, Kombucha!

“There’s no standing in the corner allowed”, one of my wise thinkers recently advised. So true.

So, get out there and shine, my friends!

When you feel amazing, you want to be nowhere but the center of the room.

Enjoy your kombucha, and shine!!!

Elisa’s Basic Kombucha Recipe

Kombucha is an amazing probiotic beverage for your digestion and overall health. And way cheaper to make at home than buy for $5/bottle at Whole Foods. At-home kombucha “babies” AKA S.C.O.B.Y. are traditionally passed down from friend to friend, peeled off the mother SCOBY to grow and create a new batch for a friend. You can also start your own SCOBY by saving 1/4 bottle of store-bought kombucha, covering with a cloth + rubber band, and letting it sit on the shelf for a couple weeks.

It’s also a great excuse to drink organic wine in preparation for kombucha bottling, in case you like celebrating in moderation once in a while :)

Materials:

Large Pot
Ladle
Funnel
Large glass jar (for 12 cups+), no lid necessary
Cloth
Rubber bands
Measuring Cup
Empty Wine Bottles with corks

Ingredients:

-SCOBY
-Organic Black Tea
-Organic Sugar (any kind is fine, white, brown, the SCOBY will eat it anyways. No honey because of its antimicrobial properties. It will kill the good bacteria in the culture :)
-12 cups water
-8 cups for boiling
-4 cups for keeping cool

Instructions:

-Thoroughly clean all materials as any lingering bacteria/yeast can hurt the baby SCOBY mushroom
-Boil 8 cups water in large pot
-Seep Tea bags in boiling water, the stronger the tea the better!
-Turn off burner
-Dissolve sugar into tea until super sweet to taste (don’t worry, the bacteria/yeast will eat the sugar as well as the caffeine as brew ferments)
-Allow tea to cool a bit
-Pour 4 cups cool water into large glass container
-Pour 8 cups brewed sweet tea into large glass container (the cool water saves you time in the kitchen waiting for the brew to cool ;)
-Add SCOBY
-Place cloth over large glass container
-Seal tightly with rubber bands
-Place jar on shelf from 2-4 weeks (warmer climate=faster fermentation and vice versa with cold)

Now…!
-Check on brew and SCOBY weekly. SCOBY will be growing, make sure it stays off-white, healthy-looking. Any dark spots of fuzz are danger signs of mold and time to start over from scratch :(. .
-Brew will smell more and more of vinegar.
-Taste test without disturbing the brew too much. When brew is to your liking, it’s time to bottle or even double-ferment!
-Set SCOBY aside on clean plate
-Grab your empty, clean wine bottles, ladle, and funnel in!
-Chill bottled ‘bucha in fridge and ENJOY!

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Boho in Ojai

We literally stopped by the side of the road, snapping photos and giggling like, well, five-year-olds, when we stumbled upon the Ojai Music Garden. We were welcomed by a piano, wild herbs, and a lone musician playing his flute to the tune of our shoot…

On my recent trip to California, I had the opportunity to shoot with my friend of 10+ years, Stacey Millet of Love, Oliver + Michelle.

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On a Ventura Botanical Gardens hike, we tossed around ideas for a shoot. So many ideas and so little time. Not to mention lack of wardrobe on my traveling part.

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Later that day, Stacey (or as I endearingly call her, Bobacey), sent me a text saying “we should definitely shoot. Whatever you’re wearing, who cares, just casual. Then cook dinner”. Twist my arm! Sold! All the above entail my version of the perfect day: creativity, food, and my best friend.

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Feeling about five years old again, I rummaged through my Mother’s closet. I have one very cute Mama…and as sparkly as she is to my boho, the perfect white hippie dress hangs in her wardrobe.

So, Stacey and I set out to Ojai. No locations in mind. We literally stopped by the sides of the road, snapping photos and giggling like, well, five-year-olds, when we stumbled upon the Ojai Music Garden. We were welcomed by a piano, wild herbs, and a lone musician playing his flute to the tune of our shoot.

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A highlight of Ojai: picking sage bouquets!

 

Love, Oliver + Michelle  is a husband and wife photography team available for California and Destination Weddings, Lifestyle, and Food Photography.

Ventura Botanical Gardens: 4328 Westmont Street, Ventura, CA 93003

Ojai Musicians’ Garden: Somewhere off Rice Road. I promise to post more details if I can find any online. However, it just may be an Ojai boho secret.

Be Beautiful, Naturally: Mulberry Leaf for Fresh Eyes & Skin

Sang Ye  Mulberry Leaf

Sang Ye
Mulberry Leaf

Us lucky devils, Springtime has arrived! Simple, natural beauty leaves you in perpetual Spring Fever craving more and more time outdoors.

Another kind of Spring Fever permeates the air: allergic rhinitis, or seasonal allergies, resulting in upper respiratory distress and red, dry, itchy eyes. All we can do is blame Mother Nature for her unpredictable winds, temperatures, and rainstorms for kicking up allergens while simultaneously knocking our immune system down a notch. We’re left groggy and bleary eyed.

Wait a sec. We can do better than denunciate Mother Nature. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this:

Nature always provides. Always. Why not get in tune with Nature, using abundantly available herbs to ease our seasonal allergic distress?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your eyes directly relate to your Liver. Sang Ye, Mulberry Leaf, clears internal wind-heat in the body (read: possibly nomadic and sudden onset inflammation). This bitter, sweet, cold herb also acts on the Liver channel, the channel of Spring, which just so happens to open into the eyes. Green is the color of Springtime in TCM; simply gazing at the lush green leaves of Mulberry (or any greenery) is soothing to your peepers as well as your heart chakra.

Bonus? In Oriental Medicine, especially Korea, Mulberry is famous for detoxing acne and clearing brown spots. You’ll find it in masks, eye creams, and steam rooms. So, make sure to boil enough leaves/tea to apply to your face as well as your eye compress!

Mulberry Leaf Eye Compress and Facial Treatment:

Forage around your neighborhood for this common herb, or find it in the form of  your local health food store in loose or bagged tea form.

Boil about 30 mins. Allow to cool to comfortably hot.

You can apply the boiled leaves directly on the eyes, or soak a cloth in the tea. Spread extra leaves or tea on face.

Sit back, close your gorgeous, soon to be fresh eyes.

I’m feeling inspired to play around with facial concoctions…Mulberry-Papaya facial post coming up, perhaps?