As promised from my last post, I'm baaaaack! I surely did not anticipate my absence to be so long, but I can't lie: it felt really, really good. A few things that happened: got some much needed rest, focused on my online shop, looked for a new apartment, moved into a new apartment, did lots of shopping for things to fill new apartment (still continuing), spent time outdoors enjoying the summer, and just lived life (without having to worry about social media and blog posts)...so that's where I've been the past few months. What have you been up to?!Read More
Yeah, I know I'm not really a "regular" blogger, but hey, I try my best at getting a post out once a week...or two! Anyhoo, just thought I'd send a quick post to let you all know that I'll be taking a small bit of a break in July!Read More
Ah, hello, July!! I'm in a pretty good mood because as this post goes out, I'm strictly in vacay-mode (again). I LOVE vacation (yeah, well who doesn't). I'll be in Burlington, Vermont for a long July 4th weekend, enjoying small town life, biking trips, and everything that involves relaxing. I'll try to be better at keeping up with my travels on Snapchat (@JessicaKeala), Facebook and Instagram!Read More
Today is an exciting day! The awesome lettering duo, Tristan and Michelle, are so sweet to have me featured over on Besotted Blog! In fact, it's an honor because Besotted is one of (if not, my very top!) resource blog for everything lettering and calligraphy! They have amazing resources, tutorials, and lettering knowledge - so be sure to check them out and look around! They are also an invaluable resource in and of themselves: 1) they offer an amazing Skillshare class, "Photoshop for Lettering Artists: An Introduction to Photoshop", and 2) they created some of my favorite go-to, time-saving Photoshop actions through their FotoRx Etsy shop (I use the Lettering Rx action on practically every on of my lettering projects!)
This week, Besotted is diving into the wonderful world of Brush Lettering! It's a whole week of interviews and resources, so be sure to follow along!
Check out my Q&A over on Besotted blog - I'm chatting about my favorite brush lettering supplies, class recommendations, how I digitize my lettering, tips for newbies, my own personal lettering process, and more! Stop by and drop a line to say hello!
All brush lettering done by me for Besotted Blog.
I have had THE most amazing skincare regimen the past month or so. I wanted to wait awhile to disclose it on the blog so that I could talk honestly about it after regular use. I first learned about Leahlani Skincare through my sweet friend, Lauren, who raved about it on her blog (she is one of my go-to persons when looking for the best natural beauty and health products!) Lauren was SO kind to sent me a package of Leahlani Skincare and my face literally went all heart eyes once that box was opened. In fact, every time I use one of these products, I go straight to my happy place. And how can you not? The entire Leahlani Skincare line is made with organic cold pressed oils, essential oils, and natural botanicals straight from my most favorite place in the entire world: Hawaii.
First up, obviously: packaging. Spot on. Frosted glass containers. Beautiful mermaid blue labels. Gold touches. And perfect use of script and sans serif font typography. All your packaging dreams come true. I am definitely re-using all the containers!
To begin, I'm a huge fan of oils for skincare. I make my own Coconut and Olive oil concoction as my face "wash" and before using Leahlani, I would use this same concoction for my nightly moisturizer. The Mahina Evening Replenishing Elixir is amazing. It's got organic moringa and marula oils mixed with organic passionflower, chia seed, prickly pear seed, carrot seed, starflower, and vanilla bean oils. I love using it right before bed because the smells alone make me drift off to a happy meditation and sleep. The oils are so good at moisturizing my face overnight, and work great both in cold and warmer weather. My face is mixed (dry and oily) and this Evening Elixir has really helped to balance it out.
For the morning, I have the Aloha Ambrosia Morning Moisture Elixir. A lot of people may think it's weird to use oils as a daytime moisturizer, but I find that the skin absorbs this lighter oil quickly without leaving too much of a sheen, and keeps my face moisturized for a good part of the entire day! Again, even though it's an oil, I have used it in colder and warmer weather. You don't have to use very much (a little goes a long way!) The smell of this one is actually one of my favorites, because it reminds me of my childhood when I would sometimes receive these Hawaiian perfumes and lotions as gifts (this one reminds me of the Pikake fragrance). This light-weight moisturizer contains olive squalane and jojoba oils mixed with organic aloe, mangoseen, goji berry, passionfruit, kiwi seed, guava, and sunflower oils. As delicious as it sounds!
Lastly, the superfood Mermaid Mask! I think Leahlani created this just so that we can all feel like real mermaids! It actually takes me right back to Hawaii when I use it. The smells remind me of the ocean and beach rocks and soil of home. Ingredients include Hawaiian raw honey, spirulina, chlorella, green clay, sea clay, algae, and various essential oils. It's calming, soothing, cleansing, and purifying. Perfect for a girls night in!
All photos by me.
Wow - it's been a crazy month so far! I spent the first two and a half weeks back home in Hawaii, which was refreshing and renewing! I really needed the time back home to reconnect with family, friends, and Hawaii's beautiful nature. And although it was a great vacation, it was also a very busy one for me. It's been a week back in New York City, and I'm still trying to get over my jet lag! For example, it's 3:00 AM and I'm still wide awake, working on this post! But then again, I'm also naturally a night owl and do all my creative work during the wee hours of 11 pm and 2 am, so blah.
I've literally been in need of a vacation from my vacation. I never really thought that was a thing until just now. It's been hard re-adjusting back to city life. I've been so off-balance, having to re-adjust to not only a different time zone, but different types of people, work, and lifestyle. I can literally feel the changes within my body trying to re-balance itself, and struggling. These are the times when my personal routine of "me-time" is so important: meditation, yoga stretches, inner reflection, reading, journal writing, and tea. It helps me to re-balance, re-center, and re-focus. People may think it's strange that I include "tea" in my personal balancing routine, but it really does the job! Having and focusing on a cup of tea places you in that present mode. It brings contemplative thoughts to the surface.
So it was perfect timing to be teaming up with Turvani tea! I was sent a sample package of Assam Golden Tips, Earl Grey, and Organic Pinhead Gunpowder. And although my daily routine is all about calming and balancing, I do love having tea that "picks-me-up" and offers a bit of zest when I need it most!
My favorite out of the bunch is the Organic Pinhead Gunpowder (Green Tea), but then again, I'm also completely biased towards green tea. I've had a lot of different green teas, and can say that this one is delicious! I love how the little pellets unfurl as it brews! It's refreshing, not too strong in flavor, and organic, which is always a plus in my book! Perfect for breaking the fast first thing in the morning.
The Earl Grey smells divine. It is blended lightly with bergamot oil which immediately pops with citrus flavor. I could not stop smelling it! The bergamot oil combined with the natural black tea brings all kinds of robust tastes and smells that immediately act as a get-happy-now drink! My thoughts wander to bright, sunny places with this one.
The Assam Golden Tips (Black Tea) are from the Assam region of India. I love this tea because it tastes so delicious with a splash of almond or coconut milk! It's the perfect 3:00 PM pick-me-up tea at work, and at the same time, even though it is black tea, it delivers a strangely calming effect. It's also the perfect tea to drink when you're curled up reading a good book.
Since it's warmer months, I'd recommend you enjoy these teas both hot or cold!
All photos by me for Turvani.
02. Clear Quartz
One of my favorite crystals is also one of the most common: Clear Quartz. It is a natural form of Silicon Dioxide and can be found as transparent or translucent. It can be found throughout the world, but most notably in Brazil and Arkansas, US.
Clear Crystal Quartz is also known as the "master healer" or "universal crystal" due to its many uses and healing properties. It is said to be an amplifier of energy and thought. When paired with other crystals, it is also said to amplify the effects of them. It has a very strong vibration and excellent metaphysical properties. It absorbs, stores, releases, and regulates energy. It clears negative energy and balances and harmonizes the environment.
Although Quartz is associated with the Crown Chakra, it also works to balance and energize all the other Chakras. It is a perfect stone for ultimate enlightenment and spiritual growth.
Today is June's Full Moon! I love Full Moons and always use them as a powerful way to apply their strong energy into re-aligning and balancing rituals for myself. A Full Moon acts as a time of releasing, and a good reminder to sit and re-focus or re-apply your goals each month. Is there anything that you would like to release and anything new that you would like to bring in? Now is the time to release what does not serve you and start focusing on the direction you would like to move in.
Full Moon Ritual
- Sit quietly and reflectively. Write down on a piece of paper a list of things you would like to release.
- Create a sacred space either inside or outside under the Full Moon. You may use and surround yourself with your favorite crystals, smudging Sage or Palo Alto, and light at least one candle.
- Read through your list, with the thought of letting go and releasing.
- Sit with your eyes closed and imagine yourself letting go of your list of paper into the universe.
- Blow out the candle(s) and feel the release along with the flame.
- Tear up the piece of paper.
Full Moons are also a good way to cleanse your crystals of their stale or old energies. Crystals and absorb negative energy, so cleansing them (energetically) allows them to return back to their original vibrational frequency.
Full Moon Crystal Cleansing
- Place your crystals into a shallow and wide bowl and leave it outside under the Full Moon. Or, place your crystals directly on dirt outside under the Full Moon.
- Bring inside the following morning.
- If you forget to place your crystals outside on the night of the full moon, it's okay! The Lunar energy is strongest for 3 days - before, during, and right after a Full Moon. Any one of these nights will work!