Feeling

It's Saturday morning and I'm feeling. 

Truly, I was thinking, how do I open this little post? I woke up early, the sun is shining, I blended up a green smoothie and sat down to think. 

I used to write about feeling a lot. Well in some regard. Often it was more under the guise of creative writing, a strange poetic self expression, but truly, that's how I got all the stuff out of my head. 

All Illustrations: Kathrin Honesta

All Illustrations: Kathrin Honesta

A few years ago I wrote a little piece about New Year's reflections. I noted my intention to:

Reflect deeply * Create resolve * Be resolute

I continued:  

"All of those things seem like great starts to me, however "reflecting" is really my term for a momentary breakdown. And for the most part I don't think a little breakdown is a bad thing. When those breakdowns show up for me the fastest way to move past them is to take that same part of my brain that's making me feel a little crazy and engage it in something beautiful."

Since then I've expanded on that strategy. 

Backing up: I attended a series of workshops last year - the content was specific to creating your own future... how to live an extraordinary life... things of that sort of subject matter. It was a bit out there. However, it took. In that, I made a conscious decision to avoid placing blame... to stay out of word battles, to understand the stories we tell ourselves, and to take personal responsibility and move along.

Illustration: Kathrin Honesta

Illustration: Kathrin Honesta

Those workshops changed my brain. Why am I sharing this? In the state of the world right now we're all being slammed. There's no getting around it. 

And, sometimes it feels literally so...

 with messages and blasts that perhaps are intended to tumble into the abyss but instead land on us, it can be extraordinarily painful.

My Grandfather (in an email to me yesterday put it this way):

The phases we recently heard “America First” or “Lock Her Up” repeated do not reveal the personal concerns of the shouter. It also gives the utterer group (crowd/mob) protection. An open discussion within a closed group in most instances is a learning opportunity. You can ask why they feel that way. Often times that moves them from the three or four word political slogans to how they personally are concerned. They may disclose why they are afraid of impending change.  

I'd written to him to ask his advice. It was sparked from the same situation that many of us are likely experiencing. It was this: 

(and I'll preface - I am not someone that likes to get into controversial conversations on the internet... definitely not on Facebook, nor on Twitter or Instagram either. Those of you guys that have been in this space with me for a while likely know that about me.)

Lately, I've shared some things, with an intention of keeping the messages love filled... for example, I shared a piece on how to help the Native Americans out at Standing Rock, and I shared how to dial a senator if you're upset about a Presidential appointee...

And even in those cases - there's a few folks that come out of the woodwork to digital media "yell". 

You know it: lots of "!!!" or maybe it's a "???" and all caps - they're demanding that you listen to them.

The thing that happened felt strange. I didn't realize I was asking for an internet argument. We're all seeing this happen over and over again right? Two of my closest people have decided to delete Facebook because of it. 

I have a family member that distanced themselves from me years and years ago. It hurt tremendously then, however I became stronger for it. A few holiday seasons ago we reconnected for the first time in 5 + years and it's been a slow walk back to a relationship.

However, lately, she's engaging with me on the internet. And it's not what she's saying that hurts, it's what she's not saying. It's the fact that she's not interested in other parts of my life... my work, my friends, my dreams and goals ... I'm not even sure she knows what I do for a living or that I moved 6 months ago... she's never met my partner of 2 years... So whyyyyy in the world does she care to talk to me about this stuff? That's what feels bad.

I invited her to an "off line" conversation (as I often do)... She still wasn't interested in sharing our lives, just in making sure I understand her views. Alas. 

Here's a quote from John Wooden: "surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you."  I've been thinking about this a bit differently: how about surrounding yourself with great reads from the minds of people that did just that type of arguing but in a respectful way. Or, have a dinner party with folks of a variety of mindsets with active conversation that is born from a commitment of care for those within the conversation. 

I share all of that with you guys because it's on us to create those conversations and connections that boost our empathy and personal well-being. 

Illustration: Kathrin Honesta

Illustration: Kathrin Honesta

I also share it as a reminder - let's be mindful in our communication. We're all feeling what's happening in the world, and for most of us it feels awful. However, yelling into the internet ether likely won't create compassion.

Btw - I included this post in the "Beauty" column of Oui We because, truly, if we aren't feeling our best, and aren't taking good care of each other, we can't be our most beautiful selves. 

Ok, moving along. I've got book edits to attend to, and Ben and I are going for a jog (a new thing we're doing, cheer me on pleeaaasssseeee.)

Let me know what you think about all of this. How are you coping? Who's inspiring you to keep your sanity in check? 

Much love you guys. 

As always...

Wanderfully yours,

Andi

opening photo by Ben Alleman, shot in 35mm

p.s. all Illustrations featured are the work of artist Kathrin Honesta. More of her work is here

Golden Milk Tea Time

Slow Morning at Home

Golden Milk: An Ayurvedic Tea

Another Ayurvedic ritual that has quickly become a favorite of mine during the cold winter months here in Nashville is Golden Milk. This recipe (below) is nourishing and has all sorts of benefits, and truly it's been a good replacement for my second cup of coffee in the morning or that second glass of wine at night. I saw celeb nutritionist, Kimberly Snyder, speak at a beauty conference a few weeks ago - she has a similar recipe to mine (although she makes hers with hemp milk, definitely worth a try) and I've been committed to trying her beauty detox recipes on the regular.

The Golden Milk warming spices aid in digestion and circulation, and turmeric, which I talked about in detail here, continues to make the lists of 2017's wellness gurus. A few other reasons to drink Golden Milk: increase your immunity, cleanse your body of toxins and beautify your complexion from the inside. (I've used AVEDA products for years with turmeric as a key ingredient, no wonder, it's like magic in reducing inflammation.) 

I like mine first thing in the morning or right before bedtime.  

I shared my recipe before, however, recently I've upped the quantity of turmeric. Here's how to make it:

Golden Milk Recipe

  • 1/2 cup farm fresh milk, or sub almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric paste**
  • 1 piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ground cinnamon or cayenne pepper

Whisk coconut milk, turmeric paste, ginger, honey, coconut oil and 1/2 cup filtered water in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors combine, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon or cayenne depending on your preference.

** turmeric paste is a mixture of 1/4 cup of dried turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/2 cup filtered water - heated and then stored in the refrigerator in a glass jar

As a note: the paste can be used in all sorts of dishes. I add it to pastas in the evening and egg dishes for weekend brunch. 

I've loved sharing these little holistic health tips with you guys and am so glad you're enjoying them. The more time I spend in our new home the more I'm turning this place into my personal wellness sanctuary. I hope you guys are doing the same in 2017! 

p.s. thanks to those of you that emailed me letting me know what you wanted more of! Health and beauty tips were second to more travel tips so I'll have more of this coming your way!

Wanderfully yours,

Andi 

btw, can we just talk about the teacups below?!

3 Products That Are Actually Good For Your Face

Products featured in this post were received c/o the brand featured. As always, opinions are my own.

As the year winds down I've been taking a look back (as we all do of course) and thinking about the ways I evolved in 2016 - celebrating the high moments, releasing the low - and reflecting on how I intend to move forward with fresh possibility in the New Year.

IMG_1853 copy.jpg

As I mentioned last week I'm also thinking deeply about how this space will evolve in the New Year...

I spent most of 2016 traveling, researching and writing, and in 2017 I'll be home a bit more. As my book goes through the design, layout and marketing/sales process, there just won't be quite the need to see every single national park and every little artistic hideaway. It doesn't mean I don't have travels planned - however, the frequency will slow down a bit. 

And really, I'm good with that. 

I want to practice the art of slow traveling - slower living for that matter - holistic wellness, natural beauty routines, inspired nutrition and enjoy the experiences as they come. 

As I looked back I did a little research on the posts that attracted the most attention on Oui We this year. The #1 post? 3 Essentials for Timeless Beauty. It seems I'm not the only one considering new fountain of youth approaches. 

As I mentioned then I'm asked sometimes about my routine (I spent 10+ years in the beauty business so fair enough) and I shared a bit about my self care, my essentials to live a healthy life, and a few Ayurvedic techniques I live by whether out traveling or at home.

I also consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about the subject because - hey - I traveled for a year meeting the girls whose lifestyle, gorgeous good looks, wardrobes and beauty bags we all have a tinge of envy for. I excavated the bottoms of those bags and discovered secrets that girls with that effortless chicness all seem to know. 

So, in the new year I'm adding a new category to Oui We.

Beauty.

To make it into this category however, the products needed offer healthy care options, be harmful of toxins, cruelty-free and made with high quality, natural ingredients. 

So, the first company that made the list for my new category? Well with a name that's super fitting it's the color cosmetics beauty brand 100% PURE®.

100% PURE is a fruit pigmented organic cosmetics brand that meets those requirements. The brand offers a healthy line of nourishing personal care items, 100% free of artificial colors, artificial fragrances, synthetic chemical preservatives and all other toxins.

It's beauty, as pure as it is powerful. Truly, health food for your skin.

I've personally sampled the Maracuja Black Tea Mascara, the Semi Matte Lipsticks and the BB Cream. Each of the products are vegan and gluten free and infused with natural moisturizers to hydrate the skin (and the lashes in the case of the Mascara). I'm including those 3 products in my 2 minute day wear makeup routine. That routine? Simple:

BB Cream, Brow Definer, Mascara, Lip Color

If I've got even one extra minute I'll add a swipe of black liner. And voila! Done. 

To me it's so good to know that the things I'm putting on my face treat it as well as my skincare does. 

I hope you all enjoy this addition. Let me know if there's certain topics you'd like to hear more about of course. I'm listening! And, if you're interested check out 100% PURE here!

xoxo,

Andi

 

Cold Weather Remedies

In addition to traveling often, for the first time since I was super young I'm living in a climate that will actually be cold in the winter. New Orleans is so often still 75 degrees even in December and I've grown so accustomed to that humidity filled air. I'll admit I haven't typically loved colder climates, but my travels this year have given me an opportunity to grow to love spending time in cooler weather. 

I shared with you last week that I've been super mindful in keeping up on my wellness routine to avoid travel related sickness and season colds and flus too. I  have to say I've gotten much better at planning for snacks and supplements to travel with, as well as taking the steps to keep my beauty routine in check while traveling. 

This post is specifically focused on the changing seasons! And for those of you that live in places that get cold in the winter, it's time to prepare for  the environmental and seasonal changes the winter months will bring on.

Here's my tips for adapting to the cooler weather with ease (and good looking skin):

Hydration: I can't say this enough, adding in the appropriate skin care products to protect and nourish the skin in critical. I use an oil based moisturizer every morning as a pre-wash product and then layer on the serums and hydrating creams. 

I've mentioned before using a hydrating spray throughout the day to refresh the skin, the 5 oz. bottle of evian® Facial Spray is my current favorite! As soon as I turn the heat on in my house this stuff is a must. It's hypo-allergenic, with a neutral 7.2 pH and is compatible with all skin types. Spray a light mist right over makeup to revive your color throughout the day. And, if you're needing a quick refresh after yoga it can also help remove perspiration.

Live Foods and Supplements: I am a regular at my local farmer's market, and as often as possible prepare my meals at home. Adding probiotics to your supplement routine will help your body to fight off toxins, so between eating right and upping your supplement ritual you're likely to give yourself an immune boost that can ward off potential illness. 

Movement: I know, we all know we should continue our exercise routing no matter what the season, but I personally find it easy to want to curl up at home versus go outside for a hike. Be sure to plan some sort of physical activity, even if it's a dance party with your girlfriends to keep your blood flowing. 

Focusing on self-care as the climate changes can go a long way in lifting your mood and creating an enjoyable holiday season too! Let me know what tips you guys have and if you'd like more details on products I love! I'm so committed to only sharing products that I truly believe in, so I'd love to learn more about your favorites too. 

xoxo,

Andi

opening photo: Allister Ann

 

 

 

3 Essentials for Timeless Beauty

This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #youtheoryturmeric #CollectiveBias

I'm not as young as I'd like to think I am - or as old, for that matter. Personally, I'm with Sophia Loren on the topic of age:

"There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."

I have friends 10, oh 20 years older than me, and then others that are quite a bit younger. And it's their thoughts, wisdom, ambition, energy and humor that attracts me to them. You know those people right - "they're an old soul" wise beyond what their actual years could allow and you want to soak up so much knowledge from them. Or then there's that person who has the nonchalance of a child and you want to dance on tables and run loose in the street all night with them.

Queen B said it best: "The most alluring thing a woman can have is confidence." And there's something to be said for growing up a bit and knowing that your self worth comes from one source, and that source is you.

I was having a catch up with a group of girlfriends a while back and one of the girls who's in her mid-20's and who I absolutely adore, in mid-conversation about skincare and aging commented "Andi gives us all hope."

Hmm, "hope" ...well it hadn't occurred to me... uhm, thank you? I think? It got me thinking, I'm asked sometimes about my routine, I spent 10+ years in the beauty business so fair enough... so in support of the elusive fountain of youth and "hope" here's my guide to self care, my essentials to live a healthy life, including a few Ayurvedic techniques I live by whether out traveling (yep all of this can be done in an RV) or at home in day to day living.

Follow these tips and you'll be on track to looking the metaphorical age you already know you are.

1. Eliminate Toxins

When you wake up the first things on your list should include a few moments of detox. This may seem obvious but the first thing you should do is brush your teeth and scrape your tongue (I have a copper tongue scraper that cleans easily). Don't wait until after coffee, you need to release the toxins first.

A morning ritual: warm lemon water. Sometimes I flavor with whatever other herbs I happened to have in the kitchen.

A morning ritual: warm lemon water. Sometimes I flavor with whatever other herbs I happened to have in the kitchen.

Next wash your face with cool water and before you even cleanse your skin spend 3 minutes massaging your face with oils. The massage activates your lymphatic system and releases endorphins. If you're not sure which oils are best for you an ayurvedic practitioner can recommend the right things for you. The spa I go to has a quick quiz available with a list of oils that are appropriate for each ayurvedic energy type. Once you've detoxed follow this 4 step system to create beautiful skin:

 Cleanse, Tone, Exfoliate, Moisturize

My skin is the thing I probably spend the most time on.  When I worked in the beauty business I probably said this 10 times a day "cleanse, tone, exfoliate, moisturize." All the makeup in the world won't do what this 4 step process will. (And as much as possible keep it organic. If you wouldn't ingest it, why would you put it on your skin?)

The last moment of detox (again pre-coffee!) comes with drinking a warm cup of lemon water. Just 1/2 a lemon offers all sorts of benefits and will start your day with energy and a healthy body.

2. Up Your Supplement Game

There's quite a few supplements that have been in my arsenal forever. Vitamins C and B, probiotics, omega 3's and turmeric. Each of these are absolutely foundational. There's lots of others out there of course, but these are my daily must haves, in fairly decent doses. I saw a vitamin expert speak several years ago (an orthomolecular doctor, fancier term) and the evidence is real. The best bet is to get on a preventative plan.

The first several are on lots of lists, however, turmeric has started gaining attention just recently. It has antioxidant properties, helps memory and neural functions and supports healthy inflammation response. These are all major for me. My body's natural stress response is greatly improved with this mix of supplements.

I personally recommend this one:

Why take supplements versus getting your vitamins and antioxidants through your food intake you may ask.... You simply can’t get the same benefits from an orange or by sprinkling the ingredients of your kitchen’s spice rack on your food. However, if you can do both it's even better. I've got a recipe below for Golden Milk. Similar to Chai Tea but with all the benefits of turmeric, it's a great way to add even more antioxidant power into your diet. 

youtheory® Turmeric is a 20x concentration, it's basically turmeric amplified. One dose of the new extra strength formula capsules (look for this particular new packaging with the orange label, I found mine at Costco) is 1,000 mg per two capsues. That's 3 times the amount of turmeric compared to the old 450 mg/ 3 capsule formula. It's also vegan and is free of gluten ingredients. It's so good for your skin, joints and general well-being.

3. Glow From the Inside Out

I've lived by the motto of practicing perfect imperfection for years! To seriously embrace the #wokeuplikethis approach, to be fresh, naturally you and a bit undone you have to start on the inside. When you're putting the right things in and on your body, your natural glow will shine through. Drink plenty of water, eliminate processed foods and sugars, meditate at least a few times a week, practice yoga or some sort of mind centering exercise and you'll be setting yourself up for beauty success. Remind yourself to laugh daily too. Laughing removes stress hormones and boosts your immune system. Like Audrey Hepburn said: "I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."

I'd love to hear your beauty tips girlinas. What's your routine?  And what's in your bag? Fountain of youth support all the way.

As promised, my Golden Milk Recipe is below!

xoxo,

Andi

Golden Milk Recipe

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
  • 1 piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Ground cinnamon

Whisk coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, honey, coconut oil and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors combine, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon.

pening photo in Marfa by Ben, photos of you theory by Chelle

 

Color Me Hydrated: 4 Summer Beauty Tips from Southern Girls

Ahhh pool days. It's really the only answer in the dog days of summer down in the deep south.

One of the things I love about southern living is the slow burn of summer's departure. And while it might be nice to hide away in the AC reading magazines and sipping cool drinks when the heat is barely burning off by 5 p.m. or so, I find southern locals are typically doing other things.

Summer at home: favorite magazines. beauty products and vitamin water


So if you're planning a trip down South here's what the locals are up to:

Typically it's either -

a. the aforementioned poolside hang (we've got lots of pools in New Orleans, I could write a whole post on the best pools to hit)

b. afternoon balcony parties (or a porch party depending on which Southern city you're in)

or

c. leisurely walks exploring the neighborhoods that are fairly tourist free in the summertime

But how does a girl keep her mascara from melting down her face during the straight up summer scorchers? Well, I've noticed that despite living in one of the most humid cities in the country, somehow my girlfriends always look impeccably chic, shine free and their clothes are surprisingly dry... They hustle about with a smile and no they don't have a magic shield that the rest of us have never heard of. Like how? ...

I decided to dig into their summer weather secrets and share a few with you guys.

Girls on a New Orleans balcony

1. The Hair Tricks

Every one of the girls I spoke to mentioned keeping it light in the summer. The humidity helps to define waves, and too much product would melt right out. If you're bold enough go for a shorter style, like my friend Lauren. Long hair girls, can you imagine how great that would feel? (That's me up there being jealous of Lauren's cropped locks).

No matter the length apply a light leave-in conditioner into wet hair and pair with a light hairspray. Keep a dry shampoo on hand and the style can last a few days.

2. The Beauty Routine

A liquid eyeliner will melt in the humidity. So instead, accentuate the brows. Think fresh faced with a neutral lip. Pick products with a powdery finish, something that will stay put without creasing. Stick to a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer and finish with a tinted lip balm - it's so much more low maintenance and all you need when wearing a strong brow like Michelle (below).

p.s. Blotting papers are a great secret weapon. Stash a few in your bag to keep the shine at bay.

3. Wardrobe For the Win

Let it breathe. Say it with me you guys: let. it. breathe. Any fabric that's clingy...  silks and poly blends - they'll leave you showing the sweat in minutes. Choose dresses with linings, and when in doubt pick a light cotton fabric to keep things cool and breezy. And if you're like me, always on a pool hunt, layer your one piece swimsuit under a pair of shorts and keep a light sweater for dipping in and out of the AC.

4. Color Me Hydrated

Here's perhaps the most important part -- the real deal beauty trick is staying hydrated and looking good while doing it. When you're an on the go girl out in the blistering summer heat the hydration of choice in every one of my girlfriend's bags is vitaminwater zero.

vitaminwater zero is perfect for pool, balcony and neighborhood hopping all day. It's zero calories (no sugar!) and is packed with vitamins and electrolytes too. Flavors of choice:

 I mean, who doesn't love an açai-blueberry-pomegranate combo?!

Lauren's art project - I love color coordinated hydration.

Lauren's art project - I love color coordinated hydration.

Now that we have that covered, let's get back to pool time.

p.s. I'll have a follow up post with the full list of the products I'm finding in my girlfriends' beauty bags next week. I've been on a serious Target shopping mission and I'm compiling a list, send me your secrets too, we're in this together you guys. Sound good?

xoxo,

Andi

opening photo: Hunter Holder

This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #ColorMeHydrated #CollectiveBias

#WhatMatterstoU: For My Ladies!

This campaign has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and U by Kotex®. All opinions are mine alone. #WhatMatterstoU #CollectiveBias

This diary is for my ladies. Real talk for my girls.

So, I've been following along with U by Kotex®'s #PeriodProject over the last several months... you know we all have that #OMGPMS moment, and I love how U by Kotex® is inspiring women to embrace it. It is after all what makes us uniquely special girlinas!

As a woman that's spending the summer months out road tripping, glamping and sometimes, seriously roughing it with the boys I was super excited to partner up with U by Kotex® and Wal-Mart to share the products that are important to me during that time of the month. 

Our periods are personal and it can totally affect our lives. I try to be prepared for it especially when I'm out on the road. When I know I'll be off gridding here's the things that make my travel bag that keep me feeling pampered and cared for even in the craziest conditions.

1. My bundle of sage, calms the nerves and remedies PMS stresses.

2. Huckleberry body cream I picked up on my Northwest travels.

3. A good face mask to purify and clear skin during breakouts.

4. A dry brush loofah, keeps the circulation flowing.

5. U by Kotex® Barely There® products, I stash the Cleanwear® Ultra Thin Pads and Barely There® Liners in my pocket or hiking bag, they're so tiny and discreet.

On this particular morning, I woke up in the coziest little Airstream and I was feeling it - who wants to go out hiking when it's omg pms time?!

And then, I'm like, ok ok little camp cat, you're right! It's time to get back out there.

The thing about living this outdoor life, is that even when it's that time of the month, what's important to me is to take the time to care for myself and then to get back out there and enjoy every second. Honestly, it's one of those things that once the bag is packed and I'm out the door back on the trail I always, no matter what, feel better!

So ladies, I'm asking you! #WhatMatterstoU? Share with me here and on social, it's a movement you guys. Let's inspire each other, from one girl to the next!

Thanks for following along you guys!

xo,

Andi