May the Fourth be with you and yours, always. Yes to 2016!
Today is more than just a geeky holiday for those of us preoccupied with Star Wars as the totem of wisdom and cool. What could be more important than that?, you may ask. It's a pretty important day in my history, and that of Lance Bass, Randy Travis, Audrey Hepburn and many other relatively unknowns: it's our BIRTHDAY!
Photo: Legally Blonde
Instead of throwing on the orange jumpsuit and the side-buns, we are doing something a little different this year: having a BIRTHDAY PERFUME AND FACIAL SERUM SALE!
From 10 pm PST on May 3 until 3 am PST on May 5 (that's 29 hours of sale), all perfumes and facial serums are $29. Because, you know, I'm turning 29. ish. Okay, inaccurate. But the spirit is true, with only $5 shipping on mainland US for your favorite bottle, NOW is the time to act.
May the Fourth be with you and yours, always. Yes to 2016!
At some point in your self-care journey, you may have wondered what the difference is between a salt scrub and a sugar scrub. It's one of those things that can go unanswered for quite some time. If you 're reading this, you probably already know that a scrub can help smooth and tighten skin, give it a glowing, healthy appearance, improve circulation, and keep pores and follicles clear. Which basic ingredient is the best one for your needs?
I'm going to cover a few basics that should help you feel armed to make this decision! Sugar scrubs are gentler on the skin and is the only one you should use on your face. Sugar granules are rounder, and tend to be less jagged than salt granules, so they are best for the face and other sensitive skin that may be irritated by a salt scrub. Sugar also dissolves quickly in water, reducing the timeline for abrasion - which can be a really good thing when you are avoiding skin irritation! Sugar also contains some glycolic acid, so it uses mechanical exfoliation with the grains and a bit of chemical exfoliation as well. You can use finer-grain sugar scrubs two or three times a week. Unrefined cane sugar can be scratchier and less gentle, with coarser grains but this kind of sugar can also have the remineralizing effect of salt with calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium, which nourishes your skin. You won't want to use unrefined sugar on your face because it will be too rough, but it is much preferred over salt if you have freshly shaved legs or a scratch or abrasion, which salt will aggravate and sting.
Photo found at http://www.thekitchn.com/a-complete-visual-guide-to-sugar-ingredient-intelligence-213715
Salt scrubs are great for rougher, dryer areas of the body that may need more exfoliation such as feet, elbows, and knees. The granules are more angular and last longer in water, making for more time to use the scrub on larger areas, such as legs. Sea salt is detoxifying and will draw out impurities while also acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Generally, the use of salt on the body is therapeutic and mineralizes the skin. Enjoy the benefits of calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron while also being a natural antiseptic and killing bacteria. The use of a salt scrub can help the skin "breathe", glow, tighten and improve the appearance of skin.
Bottom line: exfoliate to keep the largest organ you have,your skin, debris-free, circulating, and nourished. It matters more when you're dealing with your face and lips, so be sure to keep sensitive skin unmarred by using small-grain sugar scrubs.
Salt stock photo online
399 BC Philosopher Socrates is sentenced to death by the city of Athens for corrupting the minds of the youth of the city and for impiety
1763 Austria, Prussia & Saxony sign Treaty of Hubertusburg, marking the end of the French and Indian War and of the Seven Years War
1804 New Jersey becomes last northern state to abolish slavery
1917 SF Public Library (Main Branch at Civic center) dedicated
1965 Canada replaces Union Jack flag with Maple Leaf
2005 YouTube, the popular Internet site on which videos may be shared and viewed by others, is launched in the United States.
Sometimes people ask me about Ambergris, an extremely expensive ingredient used in natural perfumery. It is a substance that has been discarded by the sperm whale. So, it's essentially whale barf...we hope. Apparently no one has seen it exit a whale's body, so its entrance to the sea could be more dramatic. We are certain, however, that the alimentary system is involved. Read on!
It is often harvested by searching for greyish, ovoid lumps on the beach or floating in the ocean, barely beneath the surface. Anyone can be a professional ambergris harvester! The color can range from black to brown to yellow to grey and seems to be produced only by large males. Perhaps Captain Ahab was actually just smelling ambergris, which led him to his targets.
It looks as though there is an end in sight, thanks to the mighty balsam fir tree gene:
It's interesting to note that real ambergris often has squid beaks embedded inside. The theory that has surfaced is that the stomach of the sperm whales produces a substance to "wrap" the sharp objects and protect the whale from any internal damage. Makes sense to me - although only being produced by large males seems to dispute this theory at the outset. Perhaps I'm still focusing on the possibilities of finding squid beaks a bit intensely.
This particular photo shows a nice range of coloration you may see in ambergris, thanks to ambergris.fr :
Next time you're at the beach, keep an eye out. If you see a squid beak sticking out, you definitely want to pick it up and bring it home. Vacation: just paid for itself. Remember to keep out of reach of pets. #ambergris #naturalperfume #wildharvesting #animalic #spermwhale
I took a small break to catch my breath from the end of 2015, which was all kinds of fascinating crazy. It went by so fast; but when I think about the beginning of 2015, that feels like a thousand years ago. My time perception is all over the place right now. So, hello to 2016! It's going to be a big one.
I had to think a lot in 2015, and hopefully the benefit is some growth. I began the process of letting go of things that don't work for me anymore. And I'm making more room for the things that I want more of in my life. On some level I/we are always doing this, albeit more sloppily or slowly or gracefully or rapidly. Without even being halfway finished, I can feel the results of the change, and concerted focus, and it encourages me to move forward even more.
Living a tactile life that can overflow with messy seems like the only real way to be. 2015 was rife with sticky situations and overgrown brush (metaphorically mostly and occasionally all too literally). There were many moments that I can't even believe worked out, almost as if I knew what I was doing! Some things are still in process. Some things had to sit. Sometimes, the mess and the dying can be pretty. In that case, I take a photo and post it.
Gingko at the DeYoung
Bodhi Service at the BCSF. See Buddha under the tree, experiencing enlightenment for the first time? In the midst of personal and professional growth, there is the practical and very real development of small people. Their gifts are great. I wouldn't miss out on my little human's experience for all the pickles and kimchi in the world.
Getting to do more. People coming out of the woodwork to support me personally and Elem, which insisted on its existence and defining itself in its own time. Finding new ways to accomplish more, with less. Experiencing a different kind of peace. Moving at the speed of light. The world has opened up.
You will find Elem in many places this year. Thanks for checking in!
For a daily injection of immediate ponders and sights and smells, follow me on Insta - which currently appears to be a combination of Star Wars, natural objects, street art, and photos of my daughter doing the everyday.
And by bear watching, I really mean I was just looking for them. I had high hopes!
Rain and wind and clearness and sun. Long bike rides, Oktoberfest, watching every Pixar film again.
Brought back a collection of rocks and wood.
The tree was cut down and its heart was revealed.
21% Waxing Crescent
We are ramping up production and inspiration as we launch Elem into the world of discerning eyes and critiquing brains. Overwhelming. In a good way.
Sometimes I think about making a new kind of San Francisco perfume. You may wonder what could possibly capture this essence? So do I.
Here are a few suggestions. Subject to edits:
Muni interior & car exhaust
flat beer & gastric juice
coconut & almond milk
excrement of all hues
and something else I can't quite name
Cool Grey City of Love Blog
Another perfect day in San Francisco.