"Like a Girl" and Loving Ourselves

I was so inspired by this video done by Always (yes, the feminine protection company) about what it means to do things "like a girl." Have you seen it? I was beyond inspired by the young girls who aren't yet influenced by society's sometimes negative connotations about what it means to be a woman.

 

 

And then I saw this FANTASTIC video by singer/songwriter, Colbie Caillat, called "Try." Granted, I make perfumes and beauty rituals, but that doesn't mean I believe that women should be slaves to them, or are any less without them.

 

 

I love the message of loving yourself just as you are, being comfortable in your own skin, and not trying so damn hard. We all know what that feels like, and it doesn't feel good. You know what does feel good? Wearing the clothes and adornments (or none at all) that light you up. Speaking and carrying yourself with confidence because you know that you're of priceless worth and add value wherever you go. To move with comfort and confidence about the world is such a tremendous gift.

And then I thought about swimsuit season. Shopping for something to swim in is so often a dreaded act for women, myself included. How many times have we looked at the mirror and probed and frowned at every dimple, discoloration, voluptuous spot on our precious bodies and left feeling defeated? It's become so ingrained that it's natural that we all dread this season.

 I decided to stop the cycle for myself long ago, but I created my "You are Beautiful" lotion because I believe that we're all worth a daily ritual full of positive affirmation. It's packed with 72% organic ingredients, like skin-loving coconut, aloe, jojoba, and shea, and comes packaged in a reusable (you'll want to use it everywhere and I love seeing how creative customers get with repurposing this magical vessel!) glass bottle adorned with affirmations that remind you how amazing you are. 

Let's break the cycle of thinking that being female is a deficiency or that our bodies are targets for criticism. Today, this swimsuit season, and everyday, let's embrace being girls in these beautiful bodies, with our incredible hearts and minds. I honor you all!

xo,

Julie

May 12, 2016

5 Easy Ways To Have The Best Valentine's Day Ever

I LOVE Valentine's Day. Seriously, it's one of my favorite holidays. It took me a lot of years to realize that it was not up to any man in my life to make this holiday shine with love and romance, it was completely up to me. In all honesty, I don't know any men that actually even like this holiday, they just feel pressured to get the flowers and chocolate because they know we'll be sad if they don't. So this year, I want you to make the effort to seduce yourself on this Day Of Love!

So here are my top 5 tips to celebrate yourself this year on Valentine's Day...

♥ Buy yourself the most beautiful piece of chocolate and a dozen roses. If possible, this should be a weekly gift that you give yourself, but if you can only manage once a year then this is the time!

♥ Write "You Are Beautiful'" in red lipstick on your bathroom mirror the night before so it is the first thing you see in the morning. Put that same lipstick on yourself if you want to have a really saucy day!

♥ Call a special woman in your life (friend, sister, Mom, Grandma, etc.) just to tell her Happy Valentine's Day and how much you love her. This will make both of you feel so good!

Sign up for the special Valentine's Day edition of our Happily Ever After online class! If you like pink, red and chocolate then this is the one to sign up for! Keep in mind that the deadline to sign up for this class is February 6th and there are only 8 spots left as of today, so act fast!

♥ Make the conscious decision to remember that the most important love affair you will ever have in your entire life is with yourself. Cultivate that love affair the same way you would with your dream partner and your whole life will start to sparkle in ways that you can only begin to imagine!

Image by Archetype

 

January 31, 2015

What If Stretch Marks Were Sexy?

"Beauty is not fixed. We make the rules, and we can change them." - Sarah Jenks

I consider myself very fortunate to have female friends who inspire, create beauty, and provoke thought. Sarah Jenks, the founder of Live More Weigh Less, is one such superwoman. As I was packing and preparing for my family's upcoming trip to Hawaii, this article came across my feed, and with Sarah's trademark luscious turn-of-phrase, I felt it was a sign. And it's a provocative question: "what if I lived in a world where stretch marks were sexy?"

Damn. What if, right? As Sarah says, in this world, "I would wear a bikini with pride. I wouldn't be embarrassed when my shirt rode up. I wouldn't be so shy changing in the gym locker room. People would stare in awe at my amazing belly art, my tiger stripes, my badge of honor for bringing a life into this world." 

Sarah also went one step braver and posted a photo of her gorgeous post-baby belly. What do you see when you look at it? U see incredible strength, courage, perseverance, selflessness - and aren't those fantastically sexy qualities?

This exploration reminds me a lot of A Beautiful Body Project, which I've talked about before. If you haven't seen this incredible photo project, you are missing out. They're some of the most arresting and gorgeous images of women I've ever seen - authentic, untampered with, raw. 

In my Happily Ever After: A Self-Love Story course, I challenge women to be their most loving and honoring to themselves and their bodies - to appreciate every step, savor every lively jiggle, appreciate the sensuousness and utility of every sensation. I encourage you to read Sarah's article and accept her challenge to change the way you see and speak to yourself each and every day. It won't happen overnight, but the only way to catalyze change around negative self-perception, is with small, but powerful shifts.

And remember, no matter what, you are beautiful.

xo,

Julie

October 29, 2014

New Beauties on the Block: Autumn Rituals

As the weather gets cooler and the air smells heavenly of campfires and turning leaves, it's a good idea to switch up our beauties routines to ensure we're giving our skin proper care. Which is why I am so excited to introduce our new beauty on the block, Love + Roses Beauty Mist

What Is Love + Roses?

I created this mist from the ground-up because I wanted something that was part skincare/part precious ritual. An elegant part of any day that wasn't terribly time-consuming, but packed big benefits, both beauty-wise and for mood and outlook. I thought of roses - resilient, lovely, strong, and packed with nutrients your skin craves. Rose oil, ancient and nourishing, is the cornerstone of this exclusive formulation, which is also vegan and entirely cruelty-free.

Why Rose Oil?

With more than 300 organic compounds, Damask Rose Oil is one of the most complex natural substances on earth and is often called nature’s universal healer. It has no natural limits on its ability to tone, balance, and heal skin, and does so gently. It is non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing, and tolerated by all skin types.

The first references to the benefits of rose oil date back more than 5,000 years and include great ancient civilizations such as Persia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Classical cultures primarily placed value on the exclusivity and aesthetics of the rose, without truly understanding the complexity of the flower and its natural effect on the mood and its ability to enhance beauty.

I'll be spotlighting other ingredients in the Love + Roses Beauty Mist in subsequent posts (hint: they're all really amazing and thoughtfully blended with a purpose), but I urge you to try this magical mist for yourself. I only released it last week, and we've already received major love and raves from outlets like Refinery29 and PopSugar Beauty.

 

October 08, 2014

A Bath Fit for a Queen

 

Our Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story class is almost to an end, and judging by feedback, this was one of the participants' favorite days. If you're interested in being a part of the next class (starting September 15th), you can learn more about this affordable, gotta-have-it experience here.

What's the point of the course? Well, to create more magic, gratitude, and abundance in your life, darling. Without further ado, here's a taste of the indulgent self-love rituals you'll experience with Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story:

Fit for a Queen.

Cleopatra was known for her milk baths and her beautiful skin, and now you will be, too. We are going to make the experience even more amazing, though. Here's what you'll need:

Milk contains lactic acid which is an incredibly gentle, but effective exfoliant for the skin. It is a beautiful way to get rid of those dead skin cells. You will need ½ gallon of whole (preferably organic, pasture-raised) milk. Other options for our vegan friends include using full-fat Soy Milk, which is incredibly softening and full of antioxidants, or 1-2 cans of full-fat Coconut Milk, which feels like you're bathing in the most delicious tropical lagoon.

Honey is an antibacterial, antioxidant skin softener. You will need 1 full bottle of honey, preferably local, organic, wildcrafted, and un-fooled around with. I always try to buy local and organic honey because the enzymes are so potent and fresh that way. Another wonderful option is to use Agave, which the Aztecs have been using for thousands of years to treat skin conditions.

Salt is incredibly detoxifying, purifying, and relaxing for the muscles. Have fun with this. I love using Epsom salts for sore muscles, chunky Himalayan Pink Sea Salt or Dead Sea Salts for their remineralizing benefits for the skin, or check out your local health food or beauty store for the array of exotic salts. The only rule of thumb here is that if it makes you excited to take a bath, use it!

Candles, be they scented, small, large, without fragrance. Whatever floats your boat. You just need a real, honest-to-goodness glow from a flame to make this ritual truly decadent.

How does the Queen bathe?

Clean your bathroom. The best you can, that is. Cleopatra would never take a bath with dirty socks on the floor and a week’s worth of hair in the drain, and neither should you. You're worth this time and experience.

Light your candle. And put it in a safe place where you can see it.

Prepare your bath. Fill up the tub with warm water, when the tub is close to full, pour in your bath salts and swirl them around with your hand until they are somewhat dissolved. Then slowly and deliberately pour in your milk of choice and your honey/agave. I want you to do all of this with intention. I want you to feel sensual, deserving, anticipatory, relaxed, excited, and to savor every step of this experience. If you like, you can sprinkle some rose petals in the bath right before you get in. (I always like this idea in theory, but I can’t stand it when they get stuck all over me!).

Soak it all in. Get in the tub, close your eyes, and just be still for a few minutes. How does this feel? Can you feel the water warming and filling your body? Can you smell the luscious ingredients? Do you sense the undulations of the water caressing you? Really feel this bathing ritual.

Reflect on your blessing of a body and life. After you have reached a blissed out and relaxed state, think about your body and what a gift it has been to you in this lifetime. Ponder some of these questions, and have a little celebration for each answer:

▪ Have you experienced good health at any time in your life?
▪ Do your arms and legs work?
▪ Are you able to run, walk, swim, ride a bike?
▪ Are you able to see a sunset?
▪ Are you able to smell a beautiful rose?
▪ Are you able to feel how soft velvet is?
▪ Are you able to hear the sad song that a cello plays?
▪ Are you able to taste a delicious strawberry dipped in chocolate?
▪ Can you have an orgasm?
▪ Did your body create a baby?
▪ Has your body ever felt all tingly and excited with the thought of a first kiss?
▪ Are you ticklish?
▪ Are you alive? (This may seem like a silly question, but so often we forget that our bodies are the reason we are alive! Hallelujah, let’s celebrate that!)

Our bodies are amazing miracles, each and every one of them, flaws and all.

xo,
Julie
August 15, 2014

Phenomenal Women: Christy Turlington Burns

While I was creating my new course, Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story (juicy details on that HERE), I decided that I needed to find out what makes some of the women whom I admire feel their most abundant, walk the world their radiant best. And because we're all in a community of supportive sisters, it seemed only right that I share their inspiring, hilarious, and often resonant responses with you. Every few weeks, I will introduce you to someone whose work and spirit have been life-changing for me, and hopefully you'll find yourself touched and motivated, too.

I'm pretty sure that Christy Turlington Burns needs absolutely no introduction, but in case you have been living on a desert island, here are just a few buzz words to sum up this phenomenal woman: Supermodel, Mom, Health Advocate, Writer, Yogi, Producer, Director, Clothing Designer, and the Founder of mega-organization, Every Mother Counts. Although I have always been in awe of her beauty (how can you not?), the inspiration that I get from her mighty advocacy and philanthropic work on behalf of women, health, and this planet is overflowing and never-ending.

JW: You launched Every Mother Counts and have since done so much extraordinary humanitarian work ensuring that women and their children are healthy, safe, and well-informed. What's the standout moment to you in your work with EMC?

CTB: Interacting with mothers around the world and working with others committed to empowering girls and women every day is pretty exciting, as is earning the right to sit at the table amongst so many organizations who have been working on these issues for decades. I am proud of the presence we now have in the global maternal health community and of each action we have inspired by inviting more people to join this conversation.

JW: How did yoga change your life? And to extrapolate that, how did general mindfulness alter your life? Do you feel the things you learn through those practices help you to be a better mother, friend, partner, entrepreneur, humanitarian, etc?

CTB: Yoga is an integral part of my daily routine and it has given me so much more than I could ever have imagined. Not only is it an excellent form of exercise, it has given me perspective in so many other aspects of my life. I feel a great sense of connection and community with others because of this practice.

JW: For someone who has accomplished so much, what is the thing you are most proud of?

CTB: I’m really proud of the way we’re beginning to see a groundswell of interest and concern about the welfare of women and mothers in the world. When I had my childbirth complication ten years ago, there was very little attention being paid to the problem of maternal mortality and poor maternal health conditions. Now, we’re seeing and hearing more about it. I’m also really proud of the grants Every Mother Counts has been able to fund. Because of the generosity of our supporters, we’ve been able to fund projects that are making a significant and direct impact on women's lives in countries like Haiti, Uganda, Malawi, Indonesia, and the United States.

JW: …And my shallow, need-to-know question: How do you keep your skin looking so amazing? Please share your secrets!

CTB: Thank you. But I really have my mother to thank for her genetics. My secrets aren’t really secrets. Sleep, water, and exercise! I also believe we are what we eat and think what goes into my body as as important, if not moreso for my health and wellbeing.

 
For more info on my exciting new course, Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story, click here! The class will start on July 22nd and run for 28 straight days. Registration will close on July 12th.
xo,
Julie

 

July 02, 2014

Phenomenal Women: Tali Edut

While I was creating my new course, Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story (juicy details on that HERE!), I decided that I needed to find out what makes some of the women whom I admire feel their most abundant, walk the world their radiant best. And because we're all in a community of supportive sisters, it seemed only right that I share their inspiring, hilarious, and often resonant responses with you. Every few weeks, I will introduce you to someone whose work and spirit have been life-changing for me, and hopefully you'll find yourself touched and motivated, too.

Tali Edut is one half of the the gorgeous Astrostyle Twins. I have gotten so addicted to the astrological talents of Miss Tali that it is hard for me to make a major decision without consulting her first. Their site is FULL of amazing information and I highly suggest subscribing to their daily, weekly, and monthly forecasts. If you are a Mom (or you love a Mom), then their new book, Momstrology, is a must. While you are at it check out ‘all of their books here

JW: How do you deal with your negative self talk?

TE: Negative self-talk usually bubbles up when I’ve hurled myself out of my comfort zone. Generally, it’s a sign that I’m actually on the right path—leading, creating, living by my own rules. It can be scary to wander off the marked trail alone, especially as a woman who innately craves community. When I’m down on myself, I stop the soliloquy in my head and call one of my sisters. Speaking the crazy thoughts aloud, dissecting them, and realizing how ridiculous they are fuels me back to maverick mode.

JW: How would you describe your spiritual practice?

TE: Spirituality, for me, is the experience of being raptly engaged—with people, with life, with whatever I’m doing—so much so that I almost forget I have a physical form. It’s art. It’s a practice of joy and can happen in any moment. A private karaoke room has been my chapel, a transcendent dance floor moment too. Divine creative flow connects me to a higher power.

JW: What is the most magical thing that has ever happened to you?

TE: When I was in my late twenties, a friend got a job at Teen People magazine. They were in need of an astrologer, and knowing how obsessed we were with the zodiac, brought me and my twin sister in to apply for the gig. (It didn’t hurt that our brains are bizarre databases for celebrities' star signs.) At the time, I had just started my own media consulting and web design company—never did I think I could turn this kooky hobby into any sort of career. But some cosmic force must have had other plans because I’ve been writing about the stars for over a decade now—a total gift because I get to feed people empowering messages every day.

 

For more info on my exciting new course, Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story, click hereThe class will start on July 22nd and run for 28 straight days. Registration will close on July 12th.

 

xo,

Julie

June 25, 2014

Phenomenal Women: Dara McKinley

While I was creating my new course, Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story (juicy details on that to follow!), I decided that I needed to find out what makes some of the women whom I admire feel their most abundant, walk the world their radiant best. And because we're all in a community of supportive sisters, it seemed only right that I share their inspiring, hilarious, and often resonant responses with you. Every few weeks, I will introduce you to someone whose work and spirit have been life-changing for me, and hopefully you'll find yourself touched and motivated, too.

 

The tag line for Dara McKinley’s business is "Empowering Modern Goddesshood." Isn’t that delicious?  I’ll admit, I have the attention span of a cricket when it comes to learning something new, but when Dara is teaching I can’t help but listen. I have been lucky enough to be a student at her live workshops, and now she has an incredible program called The Goddess Process that you can enjoy from anywhere. If you are a goddess (and I know you are, otherwise you wouldn’t be here!), then Dara is a true gem and your natural teacher.

JW: How would you describe your spiritual practice?

DM: I’m the type of person who feels extremely off-center without frequent communication with the divine and unconditional loving kindness. So I am a huge fan of prayer, meditation, and visualizations. I also love Tarot. Though if I had to sum up the heart of my spiritual “practice” these days, it is this: I keep my heart open by blessing the f#&k out of everything and anything my mind judges as wrong or scary. When I succumb to judgment and fear, it’s my own heart that takes the beating. I think living a life surrendered to the divine is a beautiful thing and the only true place where fearlessness exists.

JW: Who have been your greatest influences?

DM: I love Marianne Williamson, Riane Eisler, and Anne Lamott. Besides being phenomenal spiritual teachers, they all take the gifts of their spiritual perspectives into the realms of politics, economics, and public policy. I obviously think is it amazing and essential for women to individually reclaim their feminine power— it’s my line of work— but until feminine power is respected and revered on the political level, feminine freedom will be on the defense. These women dare to speak for the feminine side of the political equation, and I think that is incredibly hot.

JW: What is the most magical thing that has ever happened to you?

DM: I had this really auspicious week when I was 29 years old. I had just finished a three week cleanse where I lost 15 pounds. I met my super awesome husband, and I inherited enough money to pay for graduate school. The cleanse ending, the first date with my man, and the inheritance arriving all occurred in the same week. I would pinch myself in the mornings.

JW: What movie do you watch when you need a good cry?

DM: Whale Rider.

 

xo,

Julie

June 18, 2014

Phenomenal Women: Shauna Haider

While I was creating my new course, Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story (juicy details on that to follow!), I decided that I needed to find out what makes some of the women whom I admire feel their most abundant, walk the world their radiant best. And because we're all in a community of supportive sisters, it seemed only right that I share their inspiring, hilarious, and often resonant responses with you. Every few weeks, I will introduce you to someone whose work and spirit have been life-changing for me, and hopefully you'll find yourself touched and motivated, too.

Shauna Haider is my graphic designer and she is the best darned designer that I have encountered in my 20 years as a business owner. I LOVE her! She also is one of the creators of The Blogcademy and the oh-so-stylish lass behind the Nubby Twiglet blog. My crush on Shauna runs very, very deep and she’s lucky I don’t live in Portland because I would probably stalk her daily.

JW: What 3 things are always in your purse?

SH: 1. My YSL black patent leather wallet. It was one of my first big post-college splurges and I bought it at the boutique while on vacation in Honolulu. I remember feeling a little nauseous handing over my credit card but after using it daily since 2008, it has turned out to be one of my best ever investments. Sometimes, you just have to take the leap and splurge on yourself!

2. My iPhone so I can keep up with the social media accounts across my three businesses on the go! I'm always traveling so in a way, my phone is my security blanket, reminding me that I'm only a call or text away from my family and friends back home.

3. A mirror. I have an old heart-shaped one that I keep tucked away, just in case. There's nothing worse than meeting someone new, forgetting to check your reflection and realizing you spent an hour talking to them with something caught in your teeth!

JW: Who have been your greatest influences?

SH: During my teenage years, Marilyn Manson was a huge influence. I grew up in the suburbs of Portland and my high school wasn't very welcoming of anyone who was different so I latched onto folks like him that reminded me to stay true to myself and embrace a personal style that might be viewed as unconventional to the mainstream but made me happy.

Later, my influences became other bloggers. I started blogging in 2001 and my family didn't really get what I was doing early on so I looked to other bloggers for guidance. I ended up making some of my best friends through other blogs and eventually built a blogging workshop with two other bloggers I met so it all worked out! To this day, reading blogs is one of my favorite escapes.

JW: What beauty products can you not live without?

SH: I keep things pretty basic in the beauty department and rarely splurge but while in Australia, I discovered Grown Alchemist, a line of skincare that is free of artificial fragrances, animal products, parabens and everything else that's bad for your skin. The packaging is beautifully minimal and the scents are surprising combos, like vanilla and orange peel. I'm completely obsessed!

xo,
Julie

 

June 12, 2014

Phenomenal Women: Moorea Seal

While I was creating my new course, Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story (juicy details on that to follow!), I decided that I needed to find out what makes some of the women whom I admire feel their most abundant, walk the world their radiant best. And because we're all in a community of supportive sisters, it seemed only right that I share their inspiring, hilarious, and often resonant responses with you. Every few weeks, I will introduce you to someone whose work and spirit have been life-changing for me, and hopefully you'll find yourself touched and motivated, too.

Moorea Seal has been a huge inspiration to me for quite some time.  She is a blogger and jewelry designer, a (quite famous, almost 900,000 followers!) Pinterest maven and the curator of the most perfect online shop, as well as a brand new boutique in Seattle.  I dare you not to fall in love with her after you read her interview and visit her sites!

JW: What is the most magical thing that has ever happened to you?

MS: I think the most magical thing that ever happened to me was during a summer when I was my most broken and vulnerable. One of my dear college friends, Patrick, was killed in a bike accident right before I left to go work at a camp and I wasn't able to attend his funeral or mourn with my friends in Seattle. I had known many people before him who had died, but his passing felt like it brought up everything for me, every mourning I had experienced and every person I had lost.  

But I have two experiences that were so powerful and healing for me during this time. First was when he visited me in a dream. I was swimming in the ocean, my favorite place to be, and the waves were incredibly rocky. I could see just the top of his head swimming in front of me, guiding me with his beautiful big blue smiling eyes and curly hair. The happiness in his eyes made me feel like wherever he is now, he is joyful and at peace. I felt so comforted when I woke up, knowing his presence would guide me through tumultuous waters for the rest of my life.

The second experience was when I was meditating with my high school kids that I was leading at the camp. One of the other counselors put on one of Patrick's favorite bands and I closed my eyes to free my mind of all thought. Suddenly, with my eyes closed, I saw a deep dark indigo color and a flash of bright blue just out of my line of sight to the upper right. I had this immediate feeling of experiencing Patrick's presence so fully and I just broke down in tears and had to open my eyes. It was incredibly moving sensing so powerfully the presence of someone who had passed away.  And I felt joyful knowing that he would visit me while I was at my most vulnerable, honest, open, and peaceful state.

JW: Who has been your greatest influence?

MS: My grandmother has been my greatest influence. She was an extremely determined, wise, and ambitious woman.  She was definitely the Matriarch of my family.  She never doubted herself, her will, and her strength and she knew she could do great things for others with her skills.  She started the first three bilingual schools in the LA area. And the Nationwide English as a Second Language Program is based off of the program she created. She was a Spanish teacher. She did incredible things for refugees in the LA area, especially the Thai community. At her funeral I was blown away by the amount of people there, the diversity of people there, and listening to all of their stories of how my grandmother helped them moved me so deeply knowing they were and are as much as a part of her family as I was and am.  She was head of the PEO and the Red Cross at various times of her life in Long Beach, CA and worked with them up until she was unable to walk.  She expected the best out of others and of her self, a tough cookie and a sweetheart and believed everyday was a day to get dressed up. Everything I do, every choice I make, every way that I try to improve the person that I am and every kind act I seek to do for others is because of her.

JW: How do you deal with negative self talk?

MS: The best way I have learned to deal with negative self talk is to contradict my inner thoughts with healthier outward words. At age 18, I was so incredibly depressed and filled with self hatred on top of being bullied by my peers my freshman year of college. I started to sleep in until 4pm everyday to avoid those bullies and stayed up till 6am getting my homework done.  I hated myself for my looks, my acne, my glasses, my shy and introverted personality, you name it. I hated that people called me "that weird girl with big boobs" or "that artsy girl with big boobs." I felt so depressed, alone, and embarrassed by myself. The cracking point was when I was writing a song about what it feels like to experience depression. When I was getting towards the end of the song I realized I couldn't end it on lyric that is still so sad and depressing and dark. I realized I had the choice to make my song end on a hopeful and positive note and lyric. And just like the song, I had the CHOICE to make my life better.  I started making myself to say "I love myself" out loud every day. At first, it felt impossible to do and untrue. But as I forced myself to look in the mirror everyday and say it out loud, watching myself with all of my flaws saying I love myself, I started to care less about the flaws and more about the bigger picture. My flaws weren't changing, but I was changing my perspective, learning to take things like my looks that shouldn't be the main focus of my attention out of the spotlight. I learned to love myself in spite of any little nit picky things about myself that I wanted to change. My perspective changed from constant beating myself up about any little thing to, screw it!  There are more important things to focus on right now!  After awhile, anytime someone would tease me about anything, I would just say with a air of nonchalance, "eh whatever, I love myself." And to this day, I still keep myself in check whenever someone teases me or when I am starting to nit pick myself by halting my inner chatter by remembering, "eh, screw this, I love myself!"


xo,

Julie

June 07, 2014

Phenomenal Women: Sarah Von Bargen

While I was creating my new course, Happily Ever After: A (Self) Love Story (juicy details on that to follow!), I decided that I needed to find out what makes some of the women whom I admire feel their most abundant, walk the world their radiant best. And because we're all in a community of supportive sisters, it seemed only right that I share their inspiring, hilarious, and often resonant responses with you. Every few weeks, I will introduce you to someone whose work and spirit have been life-changing for me, and hopefully you'll find yourself touched and motivated, too.

 

First up in this installment is the inimitable Sarah Von Bargen, who helps women focus and polish their presence and businesses on the internet. Seriously, the woman is magic. And in her spare time (like she has any?), she has a lifestyle blog called Yes and Yes which is a daily must-read for me and thousands of others.  She's a traveler, visionary beyond her years, superstar writer, and I speak from experience when I say that she's a rare find, a true delight. Is the mutual admiration society open for business, or what? 

JW: Do you have a morning and/or evening ritual?

SVB: Every night I write in my gratitude journal. The things I list are frequently tiny or silly ('pink hedgehog eraser' comes to mind) but it's a practice that helps me appreciate my life and it's wonderful to look back through my many notebooks, listing all the things I love.

JW: You're absolutely radiant. What are your secrets for healthy hair and skin?

SVB: I live in Minnesota where the winters are six months long and the air is drrrrrry.  The best winter moisturiser I've found is grapeseed oil (like, from the grocery store) mixed with a few drops of lavender oil. Now people regularly comment on how soft my skin is!

JW: Sounds lush! What is the most magical thing that has ever happened to you?

SVB: When Richard Simmons touched my hair, looked into my eyes, and said "You know what I like about you? You're not materialistic.  Your friends and family are what's important to you. That's what I like about you."  

I cried about it.  OBVIOUSLY.

 

xo,

Julie


X
May 29, 2014

Scent Story: She Belongs There

"Over time, I’ve come to realize that contortions are unnecessary. That doing my best is better than worrying about whether I’m doing it right."

Each week, I want to share with you the stories behind my hand-crafted scents. Why? Because every perfumer has a story for their fragrances, and I think it helps you to spin your own when you know mine. The fourth scent in this series is one of my favorites, She Belongs There. It’s amazing what happens when a woman realizes that wherever she is, wherever she goes, she’s perfect, and She Belongs There is my personal declaration of belonging. Just like you, I don’t need to do anything at all to fit into my world. I already belong right here, right now.

Scent Story:

About 10 years ago, I was visiting a friend in Nashville. He was a great person who dedicated some of his time helping an older woman who farmed vegetables in the country, so during my visit, we went to check out the farm and give her a hand. Despite my adoration for flowers, gardening is not my thing (maybe someday!), so instead of toiling in the soil, I decided to take a walk through a path that wound through a beautiful grove of trees. As I was walking I realized that I was all alone on a hillside surrounded by these beautiful trees and, I can't really explain why, but I suddenly felt a little scared, out of place. I sat down with my fear for a few minutes and came to the conclusion that I totally belonged right there, exactly where I was, and there was nothing to be afraid of. "I Belong Here" became a bit of a mantra for me for whenever I found myself in a new, tense, or challenging place.

This mantra and knowing has helped me through more experiences than I can count. Parties where I don't know a soul? I belong here. Competitive work environments with tough-to-crack people? I belong here. Getting hitched, giving birth, launching and nurturing a growing company? I belong here. 

Over time, I've come to realize that contortions are unnecessary. Sure, life requires flexibility. We have to bend and occasionally stretch to chase our dreams and hold on to those dear to us. But changing yourself, or rather feeling like you need to change in order to fit everywhere is completely defeatist. Now, I focus on doing my best, rather than worrying about whether or not I'm doing it right, looking perfect, or fitting in to a certain expectation or mold. And that realization and constant reminder to myself is incredibly freeing. It's helped me be more me and feel more myself no matter what life may bring.

What Does It Smell Like?

A mystical, awakening evening walk through an exotic garden. A bit unfamiliar and frightening, but familiar scents waft in to remind you that no matter where you are, you are home. A warm, sexy tangle of gardenias, pikake, night-blooming jasmine, and lush, smoky vanilla keep you firmly planted in your self-knowing.

When to Wear She Belongs There?

To any of life's more challenging, exciting, electric occasions where you need a little nudge to remember that it's okay to be yourself. First dates, big job interviews, public speaking engagements. Our social media gal, Ashlee, wears She Belongs There every time she does a television segment (and she receives unsolicited compliments like this, when she does).

Where to Apply?

Near your heart and nape of the neck. At the small of your back, so the fragrance is like a gentle hand guiding you with confidence through any situation.

Custom Affirmation:

"I don’t need to do anything at all to fit into my world. I already belong right here, right now."

xo,

Julie

May 20, 2014