5 Things for February – Birth Days

Each month, I share “5 Things” – a list of the tangible and intangible – the seen and unseen – little bits of inspiration, infusions of greatness and just general goodness. All things that sometimes get lost in the wash or not splashed across social media. The products I feature in these posts are not sponsored, just honest items I’m enjoying. 

Holistic wellness, sustainable style, great food, clean beauty and curated home – as they infuse my life – intersect here.

It’s my birthday month.

And, as you might know, I *actually* celebrate for an entire month (plus a little bit.) This time isn’t about spoiling myself rotten in the stereotypical, self-centered ways that might come to mind…though it is absolutely a self-centered practice and one that I look forward to every year. This way of marking my trips around the sun allows me to put less pressure on the actual day and instead to block off time to spend meaningful time with my people, do nice little things for myself, make intentional shifts, and remind myself that aging doesn’t always have to be about growing “older.” Here are a few things inspiring and coloring those precious Birth Days this year.

1. Yoga as Medicine

Once upon a time, I taught yoga in Japan. And, when I returned home to the United States after 5 years of joyful expatriotism, I went searching for a yoga teacher to learn from again. I found Tiffany Cruikshank and was inspired by her holistic, playful and practical approach to modern yoga. This is not the kind of practice where you’re going to find “core work,” in the middle, no random “namastes” being thrown around. This is a medicinal movement, rooted in yogic philosophy and Chinese Medicine; a movement that liberates, opens, heals, and grounds. I recently rediscovered my practice with Tiffany through her online platform and it’s been such a joy to reconnect with this part of my yogi past – and to have such an incredible teacher right in my living room.

2. Ancient wisdom for breakfast

By now I hope you can comprehend my love for ghee and, when my friends at Pior Living recently restocked their A2 free-range, grass-fed Ghruta I flipped my lid. The tender ancient traditions that are used in making this beautiful, creamy, precious ghee are edible and you can taste them whether you’re spreading this rasayana on toast, dolloping on porridge, eating in stuffed dates (as I do,) or by the spoonful. The designation of A2 milk is important here because A2 milk proteins (found in this ghee, and also some cow, all sheep and goat’s milk) are easily digested by humans, while A1 proteins (found in most cow’s milk in commercial livestock in the U.S.) are not. As  I’m “aging,” I’m being extra conscious of how much fat I’m getting in my diet to combat the incoming vata season of life, rife with it’s brittleness, lack of suppleness and dryness system wide. An obscene amount is the right answer, for someone who is moving, thinking, doing, mothering, working as much as I do. This isn’t just any old “butter,” it’s an elixir of life my friends.

3. Wild Sweetness

My cookbook collection is one of my most prized possessions and this title has recently become a favorite amongst the stacks. Thalia Ho’s incredibly beautiful, seasonally rooted book of gorgeous desserts, chocolates and treats is a treat in and of itself. I love the way the book is built out by subtle seasonal shift, and the recipes are ingenious on one hand and simply spellbinding without being fussy or silly-complicated. I most recently made her banana bread as well as the citrus cake (a first round of birthday cake – absolutely) and just about died with joy and seasonal delight. A must read for anyone who loves baking.

4. A little fresh canvas

I recently returned home from an impromptu trip to Paris with little Leo, and this beautiful, functional and versatile box bag came with us. It folds up neatly in my suitcase, then popped up as a proper purse during our little tour in the City of Light. We toted everything from diapers to waterbottles to multiple croissants and even indian takeout around in that sweet little bag that promised never to make me look like a tourist, braved the rain, was easily washed when we came home and popped right back into shape, eager to be stylish and unfussy in whatever adventure I could throw at it.

5. Love locks

Many women I know have suffered from substantial hair loss as they age, or transit through the post-partum period. I’ve been lucky to endure minimal amounts of hairfall, and instead my hair has become a wild jungle of thick curls. To be clear, I’ve never had hair this long in my life, and learning to care for it has been somewhat of an adventure. I have to brush it? I can’t just hop in the shower and expect it to dry in moments?! And on the days when I need to get into it, and don’t have time or really desire to sit with cold, wet curls, I use this lovely, gentle, clarifying plant-and-mineral based dry shampoo to amp things up, keep excess oil at bay, and infuse a little gentle scent into my beloved locks. OWay is an incredible Italian company that formulates their products with Ayurvedic medicine in mind and everything they make truly smells incredible, feels special, and makes hair really thrive. This shampoo was a lifesaver for our Paris trip, but I also use it on mornings when I don’t get into the shower till evening, and afternoons when my hair needs a little lift before an evening event.