Meet Angela Youngs and Glenn Forester, Creators and Owners of Ground Soap. This husband and wife duo hand makes cold-process soaps using ONLY natural and organic ingredients. From plant-based fats to local Canadian honey to the Indonesian Batik fabric packaging, no detail is left unnoticed. Continue reading “Excavating the Earth with Ground Soap”
If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, then you’ve probably heard the teacher reference a chakra during a certain pose, such as: reaching your crown chakra towards the sky during standing tree or opening up your heart chakra during camel.
Light incense – or make a drink. Or do both. Take a breath, grab a journal, and just start writing. There is something raw about writing down your thoughts in a physical journal as opposed to a blog. Ideas spill on to paper and there isn’t an easy way to punch a key to delete them. What you write is real, it’s tangible, and you can even see the emotion in the manuscript depending on the mood. If you’re angry, you may notice the pages curl from furiously pressing your pen down. If you’re excited, maybe your words appear rushed because you can’t contain what you’re feeling. So why should you start this simple act? The benefits are huge. Let’s look at how:
1. Helps Achieve Goals
Writing down thoughts and ideas forces you to visualize what you want from your future self. It provides a timeline you can measure and track day by day. Reviewing your progress is as simple as flipping through the pages and seeing your goals transform into reality. It holds you accountable and reminds you that yes, there will be days you fall but there will also be days you succeed. You learn to take the good with the bad and that it’s just a part of the process.
2. Improves Relationships
Have you ever said something to a friend, family member, or significant other you deeply regret? Word vomit is real and a journal is the trash bag we so desperately need. Instead of instantly reacting when something happens, take time to write it ALL out on paper. Write out what happened and how it makes you feel. Even write out what you hate about the person or situation. It may sound harsh, but it allows you to express yourself in private, gather your thoughts, and come up with something constructive to say so feelings aren’t hurt and resolutions are achieved.
3. It’s a Stress Reliever
According to the Journal of Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, spending 15-20 min. a couple of times a week can greatly reduce stress and emotional events. It allows you to focus on what you’re thinking and helps you recount the event so it becomes more clear, more like a narrative – and less of a cloud of emotion.
4. Encourages Gratitude
Due to our 24-hour news cycle and fast-paced lifestyle, we hardly take time to reflect. There’s a lot going on in the world and we constantly have negative things being thrown at us from every direction. Taking time to write out just a few simple things we are thankful for can make us feel warm and fuzzy instead of bogged down and helpless. It really is the little things in life that keep us going.
5. Removes Judgment
We are always connected. Whether it’s through social media or an article online, our society is constantly spitting out information, waiting to be chewed up by a human behind a screen. A journal is a space where you can completely let go and be yourself. You don’t have to worry about someone judging you for an opinion or mocking you for a belief. It’s a way to build up your confidence and self-esteem from within, instead of through a list of “friends”.
You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you. – Dodinsky
Have you seen benefits from journaling and writing down your thoughts? What do you like to write about?
When we think of death or about relatives who have passed, our automatic reaction is to often be sad and/or to avoid the topic all together. It’s understandable to feel down when talking about a deceased loved one but many Hispanic cultures take the opposite approach. Every year on November 1 & 2, known as “Día de los Muertos” or “Day of the Dead”, families prepare an altar-like set up in their home or town with offerings orofrendas for the deceased. The day is more of a time to celebrate the character qualities and personality of those who passed than to mourn. It is believed that the spirits come back to visit their living relatives and take time to enjoy their favorite earthly treasures, like tequila and tamales.
Instead of preparing for one of our own relatives, we decided to honor Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican painter known for her self portraits. Photos of the deceased are placed at the altar to help honor and remember their life.
Pan dulce, which means “sweet bread”, is a classic Hispanic pastry often eaten for breakfast. We picked some up at a local panadería for our altar. Many people leave their favorite candy, like de La Rosa, as a sweet treat for their loved one. After the long journey, the spirits will definitely be hungry and need to refuel. Although they don’t actually eat the food, the spirits remove all nutritional value from the offerings. It’s also important to leave a bowl of water to cleanse themselves with. After all, who knows how long their travels took and what they encountered along the way.
Incense and candles are always seen at an altar. The spirits follow the aromatic smoke of burning incense and use the candles to guide themselves to their destination.
Look, we all seem to enjoy a drink or two and we’re ususally craving one after a stressful roadtrip or flight. How do you think the spirits feel after WHO KNOWS how long without some libations? Tequila is a popular spirit (no pun intended) found throughout Mexico and is found at an altar.
Vast majority of Hispanics are Catholic and many families incorporate their religious beliefs into their Day of the Dead altar by placing a crucifix. All Saints Day, a Catholic holiday, actually coincides with Day of the Dead and many Mexicans view it as the same holiday.
Flowers, specifically marigolds, are placed around the altar so the spirits can find their way into the home. The vibrant colors and fragrant scent lure the spirits in and remind us how fragile life truly is.
Tamales are a staple in Hispanic culture and are often made during big holidays and celebrations, like Christmas, and Day of the Dead is no exception. Many families put out other traditional foods like mole and even pumpkin. However, if grandma hated tamales and preferred a greasy hamburger, then that is what you would leave out for her. The offerings don’t always have to be traditional and can definitely be something more modern.
Even if you don’t come from a Hispanic background, you can still celebrate the day. Honoring those who have passed and keeping their memory alive is a universal tribute we can all get behind.
Essential oils are all the rage right now. From tupperware-style parties in homes to health food stores, these plant-based oils can be found almost everywhere. If you’re like me, then you might have been a bit skeptical at first. Some people believe they can cure anything from the common cold to even cancer. I became curious about these potion-like oils and started experimenting. I will say they do affect my mood and some oils definitely help when it comes to clearing toxins in your skin and balancing sebum. As someone with sensitive skin that is prone to acne, this seemed too good to be true. However, they do come straight from mother nature so there must be some truth to it.
Come explore with us as we try out different essential oils throughout our daily routine.
No matter how much sleep you got the night before, waking up in the morning can be a nightmare for some of us (hi, yes. that’s me. I’m a bear in the a.m.) Many of us try to counteract the drowsy feeling with loads of caffeine, which can irritate sensitive stomachs and cause a horrible mental crash later. I like to start the morning on my mat with a diffuser by my side while I do a few simple yoga poses to get the blood and energy flowing. In the morning I especially love the scents of citrus like lemon, grapefruit and orange. Citrus is incredibly invigorating and will definitely help you wake up and give you the mental clarity that is so desperately needed.
1. Morning Pick Me Up Recipe: Use 10-20 drops total per oz. My favorite scent is lemon so I tend to use a little more.
After I’ve woken up my body with citrus essential oils and yoga, I wash my face to really feel recharged and ready to go. Many face washes and soaps can have chemicals that strip your face of its natural oils, which leaves you feeling either too dry or too oily. But unscented castile soap is known for having organic, all-natural ingredients like olive oil and coconut oil. Lemon is added to the face wash because it acts as an astringent and tea tree oil can help with acne.
Note: Lemon is a photosensitizing oil, meaning it can cause skin irritation after sun exposure so be careful!
2. All Natural Face Wash Recipe
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1/4 cup unscented, liquid castile soap, we used Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 15 drops lemon essential oil
- 1 tbsp tea tree essential oil
If you’re going through a stressful time or ate too much pizza the night before, then you may have a few acne flare-ups you need to deal with (we’ve all been there. And pizza is totally worth it). Tea tree oil is known for its anti-acne properties and lavender is known to calm irritated skin. The combination can be powerful so only add a small amount to the affected area with a q-tip.
3. Skin Care Blend Recipe
- 6 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 6 drops of lavender essential oil
- 2 drops of peppermint or lemon essential oil
Add to 1 ounce of jojoba and apply with a q-tip essential oil
We’re all too familiar with that dragging, tired feeling we often get in the afternoon. Around 3 o’clock everyday I start yawning and grabbing for the coffee. Caffeine is a quick fix but it can leave you feeling super sluggish and can cause trouble sleeping even hours later. For an afternoon recharge, I use a USB diffuser on my desk with the essential oils below to keep my mind sharp and on track.
Sidenote: This little USB diffuser is one of my personal favorites because of its size. If you travel you can pack it in your bag to use in your hotel after a long day.
4. Afternoon Pick Me Up Recipe
- 6 drops of rosemary
- 3 drops of lemon
- 2 drops of frankincense
After a long day when I simply can’t take anymore and I’m officially exhausted, I love unwinding with a warm bath (and a glass of wine. or three). Making your own bath salts is pretty simple and can have a huge impact on your mind and body. The scents help your mind escape to relaxation while the warm bath soothes aching muscles. This combination of oils, especially the eucalyptus, is perfect for alleviating symptoms of a stuffy nose or a sore throat.
5. Breath Easy Bath Salts Recipe: per 1 oz. of bath salts.
- 4 drops of Eucalyptus
- 3 drops of rosemary
- 2 drops of lavender
There it is, a day in the life with essential oils. Finding ways to add these oils into your life can be simple and doesn’t have to be a huge overhaul of your everyday routine. Since everyone is different, some oils may work better with you than others and some scents you may not like at all, and that’s okay. Take time to experiment and find what works for you.
What recipes have you come up with and how do you like to use them?
The art of smudging is an ancient cleansing ritual practiced by Native Americans to remove negative energy from a space. The practice is simple but requires mindful intention with each step. Ideally you should smudge your home on a regular basis, just like you would dust or clean it. But if you’re new to smudging then a good time to cleanse is when you move into a new place. This time of year is filled with students transitioning into new homes and gearing up for another year. We don’t want the negativity of the previous owners affecting your studies or relationships so cleansing is important. Also, if you have had an argument with a significant other or friend, then we reccomend smudging the area the fight took place. Purifying your space will not only rid the area of bad energy, but also energize your spirit and mind.
Before we begin, make sure you have a sage bundle, matches and abalone shell. Open up windows and doors so the negative energy can leave (and so you don’t inhale the smoke).
Take a deep breath, think positively and begin by lighting the dried sage. This can be dangerous so make sure you aren’t near anything that can catch fire. Carefully waft the flame to distinguish it. The smoke should continue and now you are ready to begin.
Windows and doors are especially important and require attention. Focus on these areas to cleanse the entrances to your home and to force negative energy out of your space.
Palo Santo incense sticks originated in Peru and began with the Incan Empire. The scent is very uplifiting and will definitely energize your mind after it is lit. Simply light a stick for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and waft or blow it out. Take it around a room to disperse the positve energy throughout your space and cleanse the area.
These incredibly detailed medallion tapestries hail from the bustling city of Jaipur, India. Jaipur is known for its skilled artisans and colorful creations ranging from jewelry and antiques to textiles and rugs. Each tapestry is screen printed by hand to preserve the intricacies and ensure vibrancy. We’re always excited to share our new finds with our customers and bring a bit of culture into your home.
Tapestries are a diverse textile that can be used in many different ways to fit your needs. Traditionally they’re hung on a wall to easily brighten up a room but they can also be used on a bed or couch to add a touchy of whimsy. It’s a simple way to change up the vibe of a space without spending a ton.
Pair a tapestry with interesting textures, such as these macrame pillows, to create diversity and warmth within your home. The unique color pallettes give us a lot of room to experiment with different hues and styles.
Release your inner child and build a fort inside or out! Make a bohemian fort by linking various tapestries together to create a cozy and colorful space fit for relaxation and meditation. Hang part or all of it in front of a window to mimic a suncatcher. We love how the sun peaks through to illuminate the tapestry and bring it to life.
We are excited to announce our new line of 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils! Unlike other oils, these can be used topically or in an aroma diffuser. They are highly concentrated liquids extracted from leaves, flowers, stems, bark or other aromatic plant elements.
Why use them?
Essential oils are known to have physiological and psychological effects on the human body. The aromatic scents can have a positive affect on our moods and feelings. Many use essential oils to assist in their meditation and prayer to create a deeper connection. Some oils have a cleansing action, which is useful in clearing toxins in the skin and balancing sebum.
Oils are packaged as individual scents or blends of scents, called “Synergistic Blends”. These blends are created to enhance everyday life and invoke a positive mood. You are welcome to experiment and create your own unique blend or try out pre-blended options, such as “Anxiety Release” or “Sleepy Time”.
The aroma or scents of a specific essential oil are often categorized in levels of “notes”: Top Notes, Middle Notes, and Base Notes. Levels are determined by how fast the oil evaporates. Top notes evaporate the fastest.
- Top Notes are fast acting and therefore release an immediate aroma but it dissipates quickly. They are made from flowers, leaves, and flower herbs, which create an uplifting, stimulating and energizing feeling. Recommended for acute conditions.
- Middle Notes are warmer and softer scents, made from spices and herbs, which creates balance within major systems of the body. It is usually the primary body of an aroma blend.
- Based Notes are solid, intense, deep-bodied aromas with the longest evaporation time. It can slow down evaporation of other oils and is the last to be smelled in a blend.
How are they made?
Plants, such as lavender, are harvested in a natural and pesticide free habitat. Experts then distill the plants through a steaming process. The plant material is added to a container where it is steamed, releasing the aromatic molecules. The vapor is then condensed from a gaseous to a liquid form. The oil is separated from the water, creating a super concentrated, aromatic, essential oil.
Obsessed yet? Get shopping.
There are a variety of uses for essential oils and they can be tailored to fit your needs. Use them in a diffuser to enjoy the aroma or on your body to create a deeper connection. Since essential oils are extremely concentrated, a buffer or carrier oil is recommended to dispense the scent and positive properties.
- Many people create their own lotion blends by using an unscented, moisturizing lotion and adding 3-6 drops of essential oils per ounce of cream.
- Carrier oils such as Jojoba oil, Sesame oil, and Sweet Almond oil are also popular options. These carrier oils are beneficial in controlling acne, and nourishing and relieving itching skin. Generally 5–10 drops per ounce of carrier oil is recommended to create balms or massage oils.
- Essential oils can be simply added to a bath or bath salts to enhance your relaxation and help you wind down. All it takes is 3 – 15 drops in the tub or 15-30 drops per 16 ounces of bath salts.
- Create your own room spray by adding 20 drops per 4 fl oz of water (shake well)
Obsessed yet? Get shopping.
Every time a customer makes an in-store purchase from Earthbound, there’s an option to opt-out of a shopping bag. When you makes that selfless decision, 5 cents is donated to the Arbor Day Foundation. A measly 5 cents might not sound like a lot, but each donation is crucial to the Arbor Day Foundation’s end result.
Each quarter these donations are made and this last one was pretty substantial. Because of our gracious customers, over $11,000 was donated. Just because you said ‘NO’ to bags.
This organization does so much more than simply plant trees. They’re responsible for aiding communities while they rebuild after a natural disaster. They work with utility companies so trees can be a part of our urban communities. The foundation also works to restore and maintain our national forests as well as protect our rain forests around the world.
So thank YOU, Earthbound customer! Without your generiosity, we wouldn’t be able to make this sort of impact on our world.