August Favorites

I realized that it was about time for me to do a favorites post. I'm not sponsored by any of the brands below, I'm simply excited about raising awareness about all of the good stuff that's out there =). It can take time to find great skincare, food items and other goodies, and I want this blog to be a resource for wonderful, feel-good things that will inspire you to function at your creative best. These items may not seem directly related to creativity. But I feel that anything that nourishes your mind, body or your soul, also nurtures your creative being. When we surround ourselves with items that make us feel good, we put ourselves in a space where we want to create. 

1) Eating Evolved Primal Chocolate

I love chocolate. So much so that I decided to dedicate an entire section of this blog to the art of chocolate making and enjoying. The result is Cacao: A Journal, a beautiful little 5-piece vignette written by my friend and collaborator Juliana Mariia Rose. I lived with Jules for a while, which meant I was fortunate to experience her amazing chocolate creations first hand. This was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I got to experience the bliss of being transported to chocolate heaven every time I took a bite of one of her creations.  And a curse because suddenly any type of store-bought chocolate paled in comparison. But I haven't given up on my hunt for finding an amazing chocolate bar! And I'm glad I didn't. Last week I finally found one that I really really like: Primal Chocolate by Eating Evolved. Needless to say, it doesn't replace Jules' amazing creations. But as far as great store-bought chocolate goes, it's certainly a contender. So far I've only tried the Almond and Sea Salt chocolate bar, but I love it. Whenever I'm considering any new food item, the first thing I always look at is the list of ingredients. Usually, the fewer the better. And the ingredients in this chocolate are stellar: organic cacao, organic coconut sugar, organic cacao butter, organic almonds and himalayan sea salt. I can't wait to try their other bars. The 85% Crunchy Caramel looks amazing. And the Midnight Coconut 100% cacao with no sugar added, well, I'll save that for a night when I'm feeling dark, stormy and adventurous ;-). 
 

2) Dried Longan fruit

I used to be iron deficient, so to keep this from happening again, I'm always on the lookout for foods that build up my blood and replenish my iron supplies. I worked at a health food expo a couple of years ago, and the person in the booth next to mine had a business that sold Chinese herbal remedies and tonics. He brought some Longan with him, and let me try some. I remember really resonating with it and loving the distinct smoky flavor. But I forgot about it until I recently came across a bag at a local yoga studio. I researched this quirky dried fruit a little more and found that the health benefits are plentiful. Not only is Longan packed with vitamins and minerals (think iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin A and C) but it also stimulates your circulation and iron assimilation (1). Score! Like I said, the flavor has this unique sweet smokiness to it. But I love it. I find that I only need to enjoy a small handful when I'm feeling low on energy and need a little boost.
 

3) Skincare by The Wonderseed

I've found that great skincare that has top-notch ingredients and is somewhat affordable is pretty tricky to come by. My skin is sensitive, so finding creams and cleansers that it jives with can be quite the challenge. I'm also a real stickler when it comes to the ingredients that hang out in my beauty products. I'm so grateful that I stumbled across The Wonderseed. All of their products are made with a hempseed oil base, which is immensely beneficial for the skin- my face is definitely soaking up and loving it. So far I've tried the English Daisy facial cream and cleanser. The cream is just the right balance between being moisturizing but not too oily or thick. And the cleanser is incredibly gentle, but still leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed. I've also tried their Sweet Orange shampoo and conditioner as well as their Spring Lavender hand cream and love them all as well.
 

4) Rosewater spray

Oh my, the many benefits of rosewater. I've loved rosewater spray for a while, but I especially love it during these hot summer months. I use it throughout the day to cool off and refresh; it's kinda like taking a mini rose petal infused shower. I've noticed that when I spray it on my face  it gives my skin this immediate glow. It's also supposed to help with acne because it reduces inflammation and bacteria (2). I've always loved surrounding myself with scents that bring me joy, and the delicate scent of rose petals is definitely one of them. There's scientific research out there that the scent of roses is stress reducing, and I'm not surprised(3).
 

5) Fave Song: I Got Life by Calma Carmona

This song. I heard it for the first time on NPR's Alt Latino, and I was enraptured. I'm not going to over-intellectualize it by going into a long discussion about the lyrics and what they mean to me. I'll just let you listen to it so you can see if it speaks to your heart as well.   
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Enjoy these goodies, my Friends! And feel free to share your thoughts and any items that you are loving right now in the comments section below =) 
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with Love & Creativity,

Leah 

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author: Leah Salinas

Sources

(1) http://thechalkboardmag.com/longan-fruit-superfood
(2) ttp://www.refinery29.com/rosewater-uses
(3) ttp://www.elle.com/beauty/a33931/rose-water-uses-and-benefits/