Spiritual Tools | In Times of Transformation

Spiritual Tools | In Times of Transformation

Spiritual Tools for Times of Transformation. 

A conversation with Astara founder, Crystal Healer & Herbalist Mariah K Lyons and Energetic Healer & Herbalist Julie Hovsepian

2020!?! Why is transformation so important at this time?

M – This has been a year of old systems and structures crumbling to be rebuilt and restructured in a new way. It’s been a root chakra year so on a very foundational level we are re-creating from the ground up (immune system!) and it’s been a massive year of systems in play and structures crumbling in order to rebuild a new.

J – I led a full moon event November 2019 and just saw this was the theme for that month that I had read somewhere “It’s a Moon to remind us of why we chose to incarnate at this tumultuous time and all the support available to us as we undertake huge transformation” and it’s incredible how timely that still feels for us today, and this conversation. To me, it’s so important for us to take this energy that’s building and essentially shouting at us with the turbulence of this past year and use it as opportunities for growth and expansion.  It’s so easy to resist change and stay numb to what’s happening around us, but we all have a fire within us that’s being lit right now to speak up, to change what’s not serving us individually, and to work together globally to help really shift us forward collectively.

What does transformation mean to you?

M: Changing form from one thing into another – energy is never destroyed it’s simply transmuted into something different – alchemically changes into something new. When we are transforming into new versions of ourselves there are certain ways of being that change over to create the new. Energy is shifted and alchemically changed to create something new. Nature teaches us about transformation – Winter transforming into Spring, leaves falling and becoming compost in the soil, and regenerating itself back up. We also learn it from the cycles of the moon, and transforming into different forms of ourselves as energetic beings.

J: Physical and energetic shedding of the old to step into an elevated space of being. It takes a lot of courage and trust to allow transformation to take place. It’s about letting go of the (un)comfortable state we are currently at by really leaning into that trust to leap into the unknown – because of that feeling deep inside of us that whatever is on the other side is soooo worth it.  For some it’s one small step in a unfamiliar direction that calls you – and then one day you look back and realize you are miles away from where you started and so much happier, and for others it’s a swift deep leap and taking the time you need to acclimate to your new grounds. The best part is there is no wrong way to do it, it’s always going to be in divine timing so it’s just about using your intuition and awareness that a change is needed and coming and having the courage to fly.

When you think of the word transformation – what’s the visual you get for yourself?

M: Butterfly – literally changes shape from caterpillar form to completely different version of itself and transforms into something new.

J: There is a visual that I got in one of my meditations of this other worldly version of me flying above – confident, at peace and assured – and it’s what I quickly connect to when I feel like I need to step into something that challenges and scares me.

What’s biggest fear for most people when it comes to transformation?

M: Safety – our brains understand certain ways of being and doing things and when we transform into something different some of the safety structures that we have created by habits, thought forms, ways of relating to other people and self – those change and can be scary and uncomfortable. By nature the reptilian brain wants to create safety and structure based on things it knows and is comfortable with which it then equates to survival – this part of our brain is not comfortable in the unknown or in a new form because it doesn’t have any previous information to base off of and “keep you safe.”

J: Control is another big one and if there is anything that 2020 has shown us over and over again is that we aren’t in control. As humans, we have a hard time feeling like we don’t have control of our present and our future. There’s a huge gift in the practice of being aware of who/what we are trying to control in our lives, and for what we think our future needs to look like and trusting that what’s coming our way is to help us transform, get stronger, and continue to align us on our path.

Moonstone

Best advice/support for people navigating transformation?

M: Finding a space of grounding and connecting with self and earth helps to remind oneself that they are always at home within their body regardless of what’s changing in their lives, relationships and the world. Always at home in their body and deep connection with the earth.

Working with minerals/crystals/herbs to ground the body but work on a subtler energetic system of helping to support stabilization and harmonization within one energetic field.

J: Meditation is one of the biggest practices that we all have access to, that’s free and the more we do it, the more we are able to create space to allow clarity to come through during times of so much uncertainty. As we commit to a daily practice (of even just 3 mins to start), our bodies begin to feel safe and grounded and our intuition/inner compass strengthens tremendously.  We also have incredible herbs, available globally, that are here to help us during times transformation.

Mariah’s Crystal Recommends for Times of Transformation

Malachite – This crystal helps transmute grief, sadness and past traumas held in the heart and helps create open space for the new

Moonstone – This is the stone of new beginnings and helps us attune to energies of the lunar cycle, our own cycles of life and moving through transition and transformation into the next cycle

Herkimer Diamond – A crown chakra stone – very high frequency that helps us imagine and re- envision/visualize our new way of being so we can create that in our physical reality

Smoky Quartz – helps to keep one grounded in times of change and helps transmute and transform dense energies thought forms and ways of being into new expressions of being.

Julie’s Herbal Recommends for Times of Transformation*

(among many other scientific and energetic qualities for each herb listed, here are some highlights specific to this topic):

Ginger – this is one we should all have easy access to in dried or raw form – it’s grounding but really opening, brings more chi/energy to the body, helps with emotional stagnation – really moves energy in the body, opens the breath and the heart (and is also incredible for immune support and migraines) – this herb is great support for the solar plexus

Shisandra – this super herb is made for times of transformation –  an energizing adaptogen (helps your body adapt to stress), great for motivation and helping positive change take place in your life, anti-depressant, playful energy that helps build chi in your body, cleansing, helps with clearer communication and creative expression, great for helping the visionary – this herb is great support for the sacral chakra

Rhodiola – this is a very bitter herb that’s very stimulating and uplifting, also great anti-depressant, it moves a lot of energy, great for mental clarity and focus, great for helping us get unstuck, great for resilience during transformation – this herb is great support for the root chakra

Blue Lotus – very sacred herb that’s a great spiritual ally for transformation and rebirth, very euphoric, crown and 3rd eye opener and also a great heart tonic – this herb is great support for the crown chakra

*Herbs: Ideal to infuse/decoct the tea leaves or roots for at least 20 mins before consuming.

All are available as organic tinctures as well.
You can click here to check out some of Julie’s custom tincture blends:

Please contact Julie if you have any specific questions about these herbs and their usage and would like further herbal support – julie@inagoldenstate.com

Top to bottom: Ginger, Shisandra, Rhodiola, Blue Lotus, Julie’s Herbal Tinctures

More on Mariah K Lyons:

www.astara.com

IG: https://www.instagram.com/mariahklyons/

MARIAH’S BOOK: CRYSTAL HEALING FOR WOMEN

More on Julie Hovsepian:

www.inagoldenstate.com

IG: https://www.instagram.com/juliehov/

+More meditations, including a 9 min guided and 30 min guided meditations: https://www.inagoldenstate.com/downloads

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Winter Wonders | Holiday Gift Guide

Winter Wonders | Holiday Gift Guide

What should you get for all the beloved but quirky, picky, fancy, practical or eccentric people in your life? The holidays are just around the corner and to make shopping a little easier we’ve assembled gifts for everyone on your list.    

1.Self-care/Wellness:  2020 is the year to invest in your self care and these gifts will help you relax and recharge.

Violet Grey Curated Kits
Curated kits for glow, clear skin, hair, and wellness. 

Violet Grey Curated Kits 

Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Kit

The Glow Kit is powerful, but mini travel sized versions to achieve the ultimate glow.

Love Sweat Fitness Resistance Bands

With all the holiday sweets, make time to get your holiday sweat on. Give yourself the gift of a cute booty. 

Sakara Discovery Kit

 A discovery kit of Sakara’s bestsellers for optimal wellness and beauty. 

MUD/WTR

An alternative to coffee with superfood ingredients; Masala Chai, Cacao, Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Turmeric, Sea Salt, Cinnamon.

Jade Roller & Gua Sha Set

Chic stocking stuffers in a variety of different gemstones for specific areas. Natural Rose quartz face massager, facial roller for face, neck and eye skin. Eliminates wrinkles and puffiness. 

Slip Silk Queen Pillowcase

Anti aging, anti sleep crease, anti bed head the highest grade (6A) long fiber mulberry silk commissioned by Bergdorf Goodman for the ultimate combination of shine, thickness, softness and durability. —  

Slip Silk Queen Pillowcase

2. Style: 

Classic staples to fulfill your friend’s and family’s holiday wishes.

Jennifer Meyer Necklace 18K Gold Mini Leaf Necklace

Simple, fashionable jewelry that you can layer with other charm necklaces. 

Jennifer Meyer Necklace 18K Gold Mini Leaf Necklace

Classic wardrobe staple for looking sexy by the fire while spending cozy evenings in doors. 

Milly Fion Cheetah Print Bias Skirt

This iconic skirt is ready for all the holiday glam.  

 

3. HOME & LIFESTYLE

Unique selections for the cook, host, and homebody in your life.

Le Labo Santal 33

Santal 33 never goes out of style and you can personalize the label. A perfume that would intoxicate a man as much as a woman. Cardamom, iris, violet, ambrox crackle in the formula and bring to this smoking wood alloy (Australian sandalwood, papyrus, cedarwood) some spicy, leathery, musky notes, and gives this perfume its unisex signature and addictive comfort. Santal 33 is an open fire, the soft drift of smoke, where sensuality rises after the light has gone.
 

Le Labo Santal 33

HUNU Collapsible Coffee Cup

Pocket sized coffee cup that you can stow anywhere and everywhere.

Lettuce Grow 24-Plant Farm Stand

Self watering and self fertilizing so everyone has the green thumb. 

ASSOULINE | Capri Dolce Vita

After all it is resort season right? Treat someone to a Capri getaway with this beautiful coffee table book. Capri boasts a rich Mediterranean spirit and style that encompasses a wealth of beauty, from gardens to villas to caves to the people walking in the lively Piazzetta, where cars are prohibited and the island’s playful attitude runs rampant. Capri Dolce Vita is a look at this fabled corner of the world through the ages and a celebration of paradise on earth.

D I V I N E Amethyst Crystal Water Bottle for Healing and Wellness

An elegant way to create crystal elixirs from your own home. Beautiful quality Glass Bottle, Gold engraving: GRATITUDE. Portable use, Large Crystals. Gift Ready.

Rivsalt Himalayan Rock Salt Grater

Bring new flavours to your signature dishes with this Original Himalaya and salt grater from Rivsalt.

Truffin Truffle Ranch Dressing and Sriracha

Fancy dressing for your holiday dishes.

Hermes 100mg Skateboard

For the person who has everything and has a bit of a wild side.

Edie Parker Ouija Board

Edie Parker transforms the classic Ouija Board with a hand-poured acrylic board and planchette with a galaxy design. Use yours to add some fun to after-dinner drinks with friends.

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This is a perfect picture of our Coastal Canyon life right now- random heatwaves that feel like Summer, while trying to rock Autumn looks because it’s October. This in-between weather and the stress of 2020 has me feeling dry, oily and irritable. Our Canyon vibes edit will have you glowing and beaming from within like the bohemian beauty you are.   

1. TOWEL GAME STRONG

Bathing Culture Cosmic Rainbow Towel
WFP- Work from patio is life. Laying out and taking cat naps makes everyday feel like Sunday. This towel is so soft and cozy and inspiring because the hand-loomed rainbow pattern has so many pretty colors. You can also use it as a cape for zoom calls and or a blanket to watch the sunset. 

2. CLEANSE

Bathing Culture Mind and Body Wash

Take the morning off for an at home spa-day to get in the zone. Cleanse your mind and your body with this yummy Bathing Culture wash that smells like you’re in the redwoods. It’s packaged in a plastic-free refillable glass bottle, made with Aloe, Shea and Guar. I love Dr. Bronners, but this makes me feel magic in the making with the natural forest scent and rainbow wave design, it’s a whole mood. More on the new Culture of Bathing from their website:

“We celebrate the simple necessity of bathing. How it bonds humanity and cultures across time and space. We embrace the power and peace of bathing. Its ability to transform and bring joy. We believe in the art of bathing, the traditions it holds, and the future it will bring.

In health and happiness. Bathe in culture.”

3. STIMULATING VISIONS

The NEW NEW AGE Mind Magic Nootropic Tonic

It’s super hard focus these days. The monotony of days at home blending together, the distractions of fly memes and all the screen time has me zoned out. This magical tea gets me back in the game. Nootropic herbs to enhance focus, mental clarity, creativity. The Ingredients are sage, rosemary, lavender, lemongrass and the tasting notes/ sensory feeling is: floral, high vibes, stimulating.  

 4. SAVE FACE 

The NEW NEW AGE Turmeric and Honey Face Mask

When your skin is angry soothe it with this super lovely ancient combo of superfoods that has been used cosmetically for thousands of years to moisturize, exfoliate and reduce redness and inflammation. It has been used to treat issues like eczema, rosacea, acne, dark spots and for softening wrinkles. I have rosacea, and most ‘soothing’ skin products irritate my skin, but the simple ingredients make this safe to use. The turmeric is certified organic & the raw wildflower honey is from the brand’s family farm and other local beekeepers in the region of Southwestern Ontario, Canada. They keep the honey in its RAW form to maintain beneficial enzymatic actions. Apparently this formula is also traditionally used by a bride on her wedding day to obtain a radiant glow. The NEW NEW Age says “the practice of combining powdered herbs in honey is called an electuary and we like to think of this special combo as an electuary for your face.” Yummy honey and radiant skin, I’m here for it.

5. AIR TONIC

Juniper Ridge Coastal Pine Room Spray

Obviously not a legit disinfectant, but this spray really helps clear the air in so many ways. The essential oils help clear the energy and refresh your scent-scape with a deodorizing natural fragrance of coastal pines and cascadia firs- evoking sticky pine needles, citrusy conifer and crisp ocean air. All of the plants are harvested with the utmost respect for the existing wild-scape. 10% of their profits go to a portfolio of Western Wilderness Defense organizations. Also try the white sage for super charged energy cleansing. 

6. BALMY AFTERNOONS

Glyph & Ivy Rose Seal the Deal Skim Moisturizing Balm

To keep your skin feeling smooth and plump after your facial try this moisturizing balm. It also has anti-inflammatory turmeric, as well as moisturizing Shrubby Sophora, soothing Licorice. This is healing, nourishing, soothing and protecting with cruelty free ingredients and made in small batches without phthalates, sulfates, parabens, or synthetic fragrances.   

7. HIGH VIBE LOUNGE LOOKS

CALPAK Womens Relaxed French Terry Sweatshirt

Is it just me or is everyone wearing tie dye sweats on their IG rn? From Bella Thorne to Kylie, it’s a vibe. We love this set from CalPak. The fabric is locally milled and dyed. This looks perfect for all seasons, so basically never taking it off.  

10. DREAM TIME

Slip Pure Silk Sleep Mask

Number 1 most important thing to remember is to get enough rest, especially during this crazy time. Have you ever noticed models always say their pro-tip for beautiful skin is resting? This takes it next level, because anti-aging. Cotton dries skin and absorbs your skin cream. This helps keep anti-aging moisture products in, cuts down on creases in your face and blocks light so you can fall into a deep deep dream and awake in 2021. Haha we wish. 

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Natura | Lumina

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Bertie Body | Back To Bath Rituals

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London Love | Frankie’s Guide to Food + Culture

London Love | Frankie’s Guide to Food + Culture

Francesca (‘Frankie’) Reddin is the Communicator // Founder of A+F Creative and Black Book. Frankie is a media consultant with a background in restaurant PR- she weaves cultural histories travels the world via ingredients, dishes and voices. She is focused on a ‘smart lifestyle’ which sits at the intersection of food, design and literature and searches for projects that share diverse stories and champion the personalities. She thrives on connecting the dots between people and the audiences craving to hear about them and mapping the journey a campaign will take. She is dedicated to engaging both traditional and digital media platforms to make the lesser-known voices heard. This is her guide to eating, drinking and being part of a cultural movement in London and beyond. 

1. Island Social Club (London, UK)

Marie Mitchell and Joseph Pilgrim have become very dear friends since I pushed my way into their lives after reading about Island Social Club online. Their restaurant and bar is part of a wider concept which centers on a space aimed at filling the void left by the erosion of London’s once thriving Caribbean social scene. As a Londoner – yes I am a rare breed, there are only few of us left – who works predominantly within the food and drink world in London, it was refreshing to see myself presented in such a culturally intelligent way that was both exciting, engaging and delicious. They brought the London vibes with a Caribbean twist, not from my parents generation, but mine. A generation that lived and breathed the capital city and by way of life experience, formed our own genre and era, if I am to be that bold. ISC hosts great parties, a supperclub series, Nyamming, that explores the diasporic community further through poetry, arts, music and collaboration, and will be popping up in the next few months with various events. If you ever get to experience ISC, make sure you order Marie’s rotis and her aubergine curry and ask Joe for something rude and naughty – usually a Scotch Bonnet Margarita or Ti’Punch. Cheeky.

2. Ombra (London, UK)

For four years running, about the same time that Head Chef Mitshel Ibrahim has been at the helm, Ombra has been my favourite Italian restaurant in London. To the naked eye, it can look a little dive bar-esque, especially in winter, which to me makes it even more precious. The Venetian bacaro and outside terrace sits alongside the Regents Canal in Hackney and serves up super sexy plates of pasta amongst other wonders. It’s the kind of sexy that is cerebral, stimulates your tasetbuds, and keeps you up until the early hours delving deeper into the wonders of textures and flavours. Mitshel cures all of his meat in house, forages for herbs locally, curates the wine list – all natural, and always greets me with a gnocchi fritto & mortadella which melts in the mouth, just like it did when I was kid.

3. Singburi (London, UK)

I was introduced to Singburi by a friend. It’s a tiny Thai restaurant and takeaway in Leytonstone – a far away ungentrified place in East London. Family run but now taken over by the son of the family who’s culinary intelligence is phenomenal. I honestly haven’t had Thai food like this in London before. The dishes are chalked on the blackboard everyday and there are some staples like the Moo Krob – bitesize crispy pork belly tossed in fresh chillies, garlic and coriander which are so so naughty and moreish – and a whole bunch of specials depending on chef Siri’s ingredient list that day. There’s no holding back with spices, flavours or ingredients. The last time I was there, it was the baked glass noodles with smoked eel and foie gras that tipped me over the edge. It’s BYOB and on Monday’s the restaurant fills with all of East London’s hot young chefs and their teams who muse over the dishes in between gulps of natty wine.

4. La Buvette (Paris, France)

I have a silly tradition when I travel: my last meal should always be a McDonald’s. I love trying each country’s ‘own’ burger and put it down to anthropological research. A few years back when I was in Paris, a city I visit at least once a year, I decided to mix things up and go to La Buvette. Long story short, I missed my Eurostar back to London. The reason? The smallest wine bar offering a list of low-intervention wines, intimate hues of soft pinks and mirrored glass, plates of bergamot-zested giant white beans doused in new-harvest Sicilian olive oil, charcuterie and wine, wine, wine. I stayed in Paris an extra night.

5. Aux deux Amis (Paris, France)

I’ve had some great nights here, the first of which I ended up meeting two household names (in France), a French rockstar and a French actor who I then had a whirlwind Parisian love affair with. It’s a great bar. 70’s décor, formica tables, crazy wine list, amazing cheeses and charcuterie if you want to enjoy your apero there. The clientele is super cool, the kind of place the people who don’t want to be seen are seen and hang out undercover in plain sight. This is perfect place to go to after dinner too as it’s usually a launch pad for the next party…

6. Mei Mei Market & Deli (London, UK)

Borough Market is one of the most iconic places in London and within it is a Singaporean food stall specialising in Hainanese chicken rice and Singaporean Nanyang Kopi – Mei Mei. Mei Mei means ‘little sister’ in Chinese, and is an ode to the chef, Elizabeth Haigh’s, Southeast Asian heritage, as well as her home of London, and brings to life the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s Kopi Tiams of her childhood memories. Elizabeth has a Michelin background, earning the restaurant Pidgin Hackney, a couple of years back, so you already know what you’re going to have is something above and beyond. There are two things on the menu here that I literally salivate over (and also have to curb my cravings and limiting myself to only one monthly visit): the Kaya Toast and the Fried Chicken. The Kaya Toast is traditionally a breakfast dish and consists of a thick layer of Kaya spread in between two thickly cut slices of sourdough, lightly toasted with wads of salted butter lathered on each side, served with a soft boiled egg that you can then dip the toast into. Honestly, I can’t explain the euphoria you feel when you have it in the morning as the first thing inside your mouth! It has a cult following of its own – cue endless reels of Instagram photos. The great news is, throughout lockdown, Elizabeth pivoted and now you can BUY KAYA JAM ONLINE. So you can feel euphoria without anyone watching.

7. Diogenes The Dog (London, UK)

Diogenes The Dog is a new-wave wine bar and shop in Elephant & Castle inspired by the infamous Greek philosopher who founded the philosophy of Cynicism. This guy Diogenes apparently questioned everything, lived his life in a huge amphorea, drank wine constantly, ate raw meat with his bare hands, while stumbling around the village naked and taunting people. Quite a guy. Of course, I had to check it out. Sunny Hodges, the owner, is perhaps not as uncouth as Diogenes but definitely has a character to match. (He’s the son of an

Olympian and Commonwealth Games Silver medallist, Graduate of Mechanical Engineering

from UCL, author, survivor, explorer, award-winning Front of House professional, and drives a motorcycle). Sunny shares the same challenging and inquisitive nature of Diogenes, questioning what we know about wine, discarding common trends and bringing to the table lesser known and better drunk alternatives. It’s here that I tasted a Hibernal 2017 from Winnica Turnau from Poland, Messina Hofs Blanc du Bois from Texas, and an Ixe Tempranillo, a grape usually found in Spain, from Tuscany.

8. Other places to visit:

CAM (Paris, France)

Au Passage (Paris, France)

La Prosciutteria (Bologna, Italy)

9. PROJECTS & COMMUNITIES

Sourced Journey’s (London, UK)

SOURCED is a public research project founded by Dr Anna Sulan Masing (my work wife) and Chloe-Rose Crabtree, both of whom are writers and academics with experience in the restaurant industry. They believe that food and drink are biological and cultural rights and want the global food and drink systems to reflect that through empathetic, transparent and inclusive practices; and they’re seeking to decolonise culinary experiences. They are dividing the year up into ‘seasons’ to focus research on specific ingredients, with reading lists, monthly tutorials, articles and commissioned research so others can have access to the learning. You can support their project and the research through their paid for newsletters at £3.50 a month. 

www.sourcedjourneys.com // @sourcedjourneys  // www.sourcedjourneys.substack.com

10. Black Book (London, UK)

At the end of June 2020, myself, Zoe Adjonyoh and Dr Anna Sulan Masing founded Black Book: a global representation platform for Black and non-white people working within hospitality and food media. With a mission to inspire and empower through enhancing visibility, equality, equity and wealth creation worldwide within these communities, Black Book will raise global consciousness of the issues affecting their ability to thrive in these industries. As a team, we will do this through representing emerging talent; offering consultancy services to companies and brands wanting to align better with a vision for a more inclusive industry; securing brand partnerships around Black Book content; and building a holistic mentorship programme.

 

We’re about to host our second series of events celebrating Black History Month, which will take place every Tuesday throughout October. There’ll be a full day of workshops, masterclasses, cook-a-longs and discussions that explore the four pillars of Black Book in meaningful and dynamic ways. You can see the full line up and grab tickets here. We’ve also signed our first client within the representation arm of Black Book – the wonderful, Elainea Emmott who is a chef and photographer. Her website is here. We’ll be launching our Crowdfunder campaign at the end of the year that will act as a springboard for our mentorship programme launching in 2021. Plus there’s talks of Black Book memberships, podcasts and global outposts… you’ll have to sign up to our newsletter to keep abreast of all the news!

www.blackbook-global.com // @blackbook_2020 // Patreon

11. Flock Together (London,UK)

I found this group on Instagram, like most things these days. But Flock Together isn’t like most things. A bird-watching collective founded in London which serves the BIPOC community, it is as much about the actual past time of bird-watching as it is about making a statement about reclaiming space. There is a destructive narrative and assumption that PoC are not meant to be seen in public and if they are, they are automatically deemed a threat. There are so many examples in the past 6 months alone that validate that. As a closet birdwatcher myself, Flock Together is a thing of beauty and a symbol of progression and power. I joined a walk in Epping Forest and after 5 months of lockdown and hardly seeing a soul (IRL), cycling up to the edge of the forest to be greeted by 50+ brown smiling faces, binoculars in tow, still fills me with all the sensations of overwhelming pride and joy. The two pioneers/founders, Nadeem and Ollie, are in the process of launching chapters globally so give them a follow on IG and read up about them here:

https://hypebeast.com/2020/8/urban-birdwatching-flock-together-london 

https://www.vogue.com/article/meet-flock-together-london-birdwatching-collective 

 

12. PRODUCTS

Liha Beauty (London, UK)

I have bought so many of the Queen Idia candles I’ve lost count. For myself, girlfriends, family, they’re beautifully scented. It’s made with a coconut wax blend with base notes of Geranium and Frankincense, top notes of Lavender and hibiscus invoking the fragrance of soft African Moss. I’m yet to try the Idan Oil which is cold-pressed coconut oil into which a Tuberose flower has been immersed, so that you have the wonderful scent of the night-blooming flower, naturally absorbed naturally into the oil, all over your body. Ultimately an aphrodisiac!  Idan is the Yoruba word for magic, and amongst the other products that Liha Beauty sells, I think their whole offering is simply ethereal. 

Golden Editions (Ghana + France) 

This is my sisters company and I am super proud of what she has created. The aim of GOLDEN is to work closely with makers to create contemporary pieces that pay tribute to timeless craft in Ghana and beyond. Sara has always wanted to create something that resonated with her childhood and her mother’s passion for crafts, who was born in Ghana. Sara’s light collection, which was the first to launch, is made by skilled weavers based in Bolgatanga in the North of Ghana. A team of which she found on her many personal travels and research trips across the country. The Lamps are carefully hand-woven using Elephant Grass grown in Ghana, dyed naturally and then hand-twisted. The shapes are evocative of colours and forms seen on road trips through Ghana; the rich red colour of the earth, pots stacked along the roadside, traditional houses with thatched roofs. Sara’s always had an eye, and her Golden Editions perfectly encapsulates her admiration for subtly, gentleness and elegance offset by her practical and grounded character.

 

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Sideways Infinite: #Quarantini – Ladies Night

Sideways Infinite: #Quarantini – Ladies Night

Mood: #quarantini ~ Ladies Night

 

The other day,  at the end of a video conference, an associate threw out that it was #quarantini time. It caught me off guard, mostly because it was only 11am,  and ultimately #quarantini got stuck in my head. I realized how much I miss the simplicity of grabbing a drink at happy hour or the occasional cocktail party. So when I had the chance I grabbed the closest adult beverage, which happened to be a Pomegranate Shell House from Trader Joes, and started a #quarantini cocktail playlist. I realized two things. 

 First – I need to level up my adult beverage game. 💯

Second – Sonically, I kept gravitating to tracks with women singing lead. 

Maybe as my beverage game improves, I will find new inspiration and revisit the cocktail playlist again. Until then, here’s #quarantini – Ladies Night: 

Koop ~ “Summer Sun” (L)

Pre-Little Dragon Yukimi! It’s still hard to believe that Yukimi was only a teenager when she recorded the vocals for this track. 

“Love had never got a hold on me

Until you stepped out of a dream

My life once a misery

Now your love has set me free”

Vagabon ~ “Water Me Down” (L)

Vagabon has a Sade kind of vibe going, and I’m here for it.

“Never meant to be you

Never meant to be me

Never meant to be us

Never meant for all of this

Never meant for you to love

Never meant for you to trust

So I’ll take my time, next time

And I’ll do it right

And I’ll take my time

Next time”

Zero7 ~ “Swimmers” (L)

Zero7 featuring Jem Cooke on vocals.

“Do you know

We are the young ghosts

In reverse

Our stories unfold

Moving slow

We’re just killing time

And we know

This fear is a crime

Surrender to your love

Surrender to your heart

Surrender”

Nina Simone ~ “Baltimore” (L)

Baltimore” has a nice reggae/funk vibe mixed into it. The High Priestess of Soul covering a Randy Newman track produced by Creed Taylor from an album she apparently disliked. Eclectic, destructively talented, and beautifully dysfunctional, Now that’s as #BMore as it gets…

London Grammar ~ “Baby It’s You” (L)

This new track from London Grammar is solid.

Cut Chemist ~ “The Garden” (L)

It didn’t feel right doing a cocktail party mix of any kind without somehow mixing in Astrud GilbertoCut Chemist does his thing, but this song is made when the vocal track from “Berimbau” melts in around the 1:50 mark. Cut also makes sure you are paying attention when the drums pick up at the 2:45 mark.

Waldeck ~ “Why Did We Fire That Gun” (L)

Waldek on the groove. Zeebee on the mic. Who said Lawyers can’t make art? Lol

Janelle Monae ~ “Sincerely, Jane” (L)

Such a good track from Janelle Monae.

Are we really living, or just walking dead now

Or dreaming of a hope riding the wings of angels?

 

The way we live, the way we die

What a tragedy, I’m so terrified

Daydreamers please wake up

We can’t sleep no more

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Late Summer Mix | Water Sport

Late Summer Mix | Water Sport

This is a 40-minute dive into tunes that I’ve been particularly enjoying during this Great Reset. While mostly containing music released in the last month or two, I wanted to inject some older ones, since nostalgia has played such a prominent role while we find ourselves meandering down memory lane more than ever. A mixture of some pop, alt, garage rock, ambient, choral, and bolero. 

Quarantined – Atlas Sound
Legends Never Die – Orville Peck and Shania Twain
Lucid Dreams – Brandy
King For A Day – George Clinton and Nick Hexum
Loner – Dehd
Surf’s Up – The Beach Boys
Poinciana (Song Of The Tree) – The Four Freshmen
Anuque Pasen Mil Años – Toña La Negra
Look – Duval Timothy
Going Home – David Allred
Liam Casey (DJ Watersport) is a writer, editor, researcher and cultural producer in Los Angeles. His work has been published in AQNB, Autre, Berlin Art Link, Flaunt, i-D, and Office. As co-Founder of interdisciplinary evening, Bubbles, he’s hosted the likes of Yves Tumor, SOPHIE, Juliana Huxtable, Total Freedom, Physical Therapy, and others. In quarantine, Liam began a garden and is currently writing a screenplay.

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