valentine’s for her

02.05.2016

/ valentines gift roundup for her via observant nomad

Can you feel it? Love is in the air, and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. But if you’re riding solo it can be a little hard to see everyone handing out chocolates to their loved ones. Don’t let that make you forget that Valentine’s is just another day to celebrate all the people you love in your life.

Maybe get your bestie a little something to let her know how awesome she is. Or for Mom, because she deserves it too. Well I got your back. Check out my Valentine’s wish list, just for the ladies.

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01 Best Gal Valentine Card from Moorea Seal / 02 Moonbeam Deep V Ear Jackets from / 03 The Liza clutch from Moorea Seal / 04 Mast Milk Chocolate Bar / 05 The Heart Cleansing Sponge from FP / 06 Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist from Herbivore

 

retrospect 01

02.02.2016

I’m not sure if I’m the only one who loses track of the day to day as the month flies by. But the more and more I practice mindfulness, the more important remembering the small moments are to me.

I know as I repeat the same behaviors every day, the nuances can get lost in the repetition. So I want to get back to recording my present in a thoughtful and real way. I thought it might be nice to start putting together short reflections on the months as they come to an end.

/ observant nomad / january retrospect

So let’s start with January.

This month I’ve been focusing my attention in my new passion project, as well as shifting some habits for the better. I’m starting to develop a new morning routine for myself involving meditation, yoga, and reading. I’ve really enjoyed the slow start to the day and am excited to continue to develop my morning practice.

/ observant nomad / january retrospect

One of my other new habits to spend each Saturday morning at a local coffee shop. I like to take a bit of time journaling and savoring the start to my weekend. I live a few blocks from the new Allegro Roasters and it is such a calm, bright, and minimal space.

My friend bought me this new book, The Decision Book, for my birthday. And the analytical side of my brain I really loves all the charts, diagrams, and exercises. There have even been some exercises that really made me stop and look at situations in a totally new way. Very heady stuff.

/ observant nomad / january retrospect

I’ve gotten back into the swing of painting again. After taking my pottery class last year, I decided to take another class but this time for oil painting. I used to oil paint in college but have kind of stopped since then. This is an image of the first layer which is created with a basic quick sketch with a warm burnt sienna color. Next steps are to start layering in the color.

/ observant nomad / january retrospect

/ observant nomad / january retrospect

This month we finally got around to visiting a new hot spot in our neighborhood, the Bacon Social House. I loved the interior, it was so modern and fun. Most the western wall was made up of huge sliding garage windows creating an inviting and bright open space.

The food was very creative and tastefully done. And delicious! Don’t forget, delicious. I love that they have a theme and carry it throughout their food. There’s also some tasty gluten-free and vegetarian options too. Can’t wait to go back and try the dinner menu.

/ observant nomad / january retrospect

/ observant nomad / january retrospect

January started off with a little birthday celebrating with Mom including a meal at one of my new local favs, Brazen. Some friends and us decided to kick off the new year with a trip to Top Golf to get our Tiger Woods on.

But even better, I got to be a comfy seat to one of my favorite toddlers while his parents and I enjoyed the 65 degree weather. Shhh, don’t tell anyone that winter is actually pretty mild here in Denver.

/ observant nomad / january retrospect

One thing that hasn’t changed… cuddling this guy nonstop. #toomanycatpics

 

winter beauty favorites

01.27.2016

/ winter beauty favorites via observant nomad

This winter has always been one of the toughest seasons on my skin. Since I live in a very dry desert climate there’s about 0% humidity everyday. Great for maintaining your hairstyle, not so great for keeping moisture locked into your skin. So my winter beauty routine has to work overtime.

Because I have combination/oily skin I have to make sure that my skin stays balanced. Interestingly enough, when winter rolls around the super dry air actually makes my skin amp up oil production.

So to counteract the over production I’ve been using a more moisturizing night routine. And so far I’ve noticed a big difference. My skin is brighter, better balanced, and feels softer. Plus being able to wear less makeup doesn’t hurt.

/ winter beauty favorites via observant nomad

/ winter beauty favorites via observant nomad

My morning routine doesn’t vary too much from season to season. I start with a softly exfoliating scrub to remove any dead skin cells. Right now I love Aveeno Positively Radiant Scrub. After patting dry, I’ll follow that with a gentle toner.

I used to hate using toner because it always left my skin parched and tight, not anymore. My newest obsession? Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner. I love that it’s alcohol-free with aloe vera and rosewater. All that means that it’s cleansing without drying your skin. Rosewater has been popping up everywhere lately because it helps with acne and redness. Absolutely perfect.

/ winter beauty favorites via observant nomad

I like to keep my day-time lotion simple and additive-free. However, sunscreen is a must. Right now I’m using Everyday Coconut Daily Face Lotion. It’s a light cream that absorbs quickly and I like that it’s made with antioxidant rich extracts to fight damage. I’m not a huge fan of the scent since it’s very earthy and there’s no added fragrance… but hey, that’s a good thing!

Since I have combination skin some areas of my face are dryer than others. So lately after I put on my face lotion, I’ve been supplementing the moisture with some face oils. So far I’ve tried Desert Beauty’s Moringa, Jojoba, and Rose Hip Oil and I really love the scent and texture.

You’d think putting oil on my acne-prone skin would cause breakouts, but honestly it’s been the opposite. I only dab a small amount on my cheeks, where my face is the driest. It helps my skin stay soft, my makeup goes on smoother, and my coloring has evened out.

/ winter beauty favorites via observant nomad

My nighttime routine is a great balance between lazy 20-something and got-my-stuff-together-30. For instance, the 20’s side of me knows that it’s pretty much impossible for me wash my face at night.

When I do wash my face it just wakes me up, so I just stick to makeup removing face wipes right now. Currently I’m using Burt Bees Facial Cleaning Wipes with White Tea. They remove make-up, cleanse, and tone all in one plus I love the scent.

But the more responsible 30’s side of me follows that up with higher quality creams and moisturizers. I really love Garnier’s Miracle Anti-Fatigue Product. It’s super moisturizing and luxurious feeling.

Again since I have combination skin, I only use it on the driest patches of my face and neck. So a little goes a long long way. For the more acne-prone areas, like my forehead and jawline, I apply Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion by The Body Shop. I love it’s bright scent and it really works!

/ winter beauty favorites via observant nomad

And a final shout out to my favorite product right now, The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Eyes Cube. I apply this baby every morning and night. I’m kind of obsessed.

This tiny stick is full of Vitamin E and is a lifesaver if you’re like me and look super tired a lot. I notice right away that my eyes look brighter and more awake. I also like that it has a cooling effect which also helps my eyes feel refreshed.

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Well I hope you found a couple new products to put on your list this winter. I promise a good moisturizer is worth the investment and will improve your skin tremendously. I’d love to hear if you have items that comparable that you really enjoy too.

 

a new passion project

01.25.2016

I’m so excited to share with you what’s been on my mind lately and it involves this beautiful mood board above. The board is the latest inspiration behind my latest personal passion project. It involves a little travel, a little storytelling, and getting back to making things by hand.

/ moroccan moodboard via observant nomad

Ever since I decided to take a break from freelance I’ve been focused on other areas of my life that I had always put on the back burner. While I thought I would love the break away from all other creative projects I was surprised to find out this wasn’t the case. After a month or so off I was already itching for another challenge, another creative endeavor. But what that was I wasn’t exactly sure.

So with the thought resting in the back of my mind, I shifted my focus onto other important places. Like investing more time in self-care. I started setting aside time each week to journal, paint and read again. And every Sunday evening, I’d take a long relaxing bath to decompress and prepare for the week ahead.

/ moroccan moodboard via observant nomad

I quickly decided that if I was going to set aside time for my overall wellness, I would look into procuring products that would really make the weekly ritual feel special.

So I started with some basic aromatherapy to help me unwind, which quickly evolved into making my own all-natural products and bath soaks. Creating custom bath products with unique scents was a new and interesting challenge that I couldn’t get enough of.

My interest in creating my own products came to it’s height around the holidays. I was making all my friends and families bath soaks, soaps, and other goods that they could enjoy too. Each was made with all-natural (and pronounceable) ingredients as well as custom scents that were inspired by my personal travel experiences.

/ moroccan moodboard via observant nomad

At the start of the new year I was feeling creatively reinvigorated. It felt right to keep the ball rolling. I wanted to turn my new interest into something more. That’s when my brain perked up and exclaimed “I spy a new creative project!”

After some thought and reflection I decided it only made sense to combine this new interest with what I already loved doing… branding and running a business. So how does all this come together? Well the natural overlap became clear when Etsy came to mind. It was the perfect place to start a small e-commerce business that I could brand.

A New Shop

And I’m so happy to share with you that I will soon be selling all-natural bath & beauty products online!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting to open the doors and all of a sudden be an overnight success. There are already so many wonderful shops out there that deliver thoughtful products with all-natural ingredients. I believe whole-heartily that brands need to be unique, different, and stand out in their own ways.

A great brand always reflects it’s true passions. And for me, that passion is travel.

/ moroccan moodboard via observant nomad

I’ve had the good fortune of visiting so many places in my life. From the foggy cold cliffs of Ireland, to the dusty hot sands of Morocco, and a lot of places in between. Which is exactly where the inspiration behind my new shop, comes in. All of the products that I create will be inspired by experiences from my travels.

This is where the mood board comes in.

The first line I’ll be launching with is entirely inspired by my trip to Morocco from several years ago. Taking a closer look at the mood board you’ll notice sun drenched peeling white plaster walls. Soft swirling blue ocean panoramas with the sense of crisp fresh air. Fragrant spices and colorful tapestries. All of which will work itself into the first few products.

Each product will be tied to a specific memory, place, and time. All of which is not only evident in the scent that they invoke, but also some of the materials themselves. For example, I already know one of my products is inspired by the scent of a sandstorm I was caught in, and will be made with Moroccan Red Clay!

Sign Up

If you want to hear more when the shop launches, I’ve created a brand new newsletter sign-up. I promise no spam, no constant emails, only updates when the shop opens.

download_link

/ moroccan moodboard via observant nomad

Right now my goals with the shop are very humble. I’ll be opening with a very limited line and testing slowly as it hopefully grows. It’s an opportunity to more deeply understand product driven brands. I want to use it as a chance to learn about styling, product photography, seasonal promotions, and how to really run an e-commerce business.

Hopefully in the future the line will expand with cold-process soaps, candles, and other home goods. Maybe I’ll even grab a few extra souvenirs on my trips to share with you all. Who know? I’m just thrilled to have a new door open with different possibilities.

download_link

Well I hope you’re as excited as I am! I can’t wait to share the final branding and product launch with you once it’s ready to go.

 

diy muscle recovery soak

01.21.2016

/ diy muscle recovery soak / observant nomad

So how are your New Year’s resolutions going? Maybe you’re like me and hoping to be more active and fit this year. Yeah, get it!

But it’s no surprise that after some long runs or challenging yoga poses the body tends to ache something fierce. So when I’m feeling especially worn out I’ll toss a few cups for epsom salt in a warm bath to help my muscles recover quickly. Epsom salt is rich in magnesium which reduces inflammation and helps muscle function. Win, win!

/ diy muscle recovery soak / observant nomad

/ diy muscle recovery soak / observant nomad

It wasn’t until lately that I’ve taken my recovery soaks up to the next level. Being the generous person that I am, I thought I would share my favorite recipe with you too. If you’re interested in soothing some sore muscles of your own, keep reading.

Ingredients:
. 2 cups epsom salt
. 1 cup baking soda
. 2 tsp moisturizing oil (my favorite is sweet almond)
. 10 drops peppermint essential oil
. 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
. 5 drops lavender or your other favorite essential oil (optional)
. fresh mint or eucalyptus leaves (optional)

This recipe makes enough for 1-2 baths.

/ diy muscle recovery soak / observant nomad

/ diy muscle recovery soak / observant nomad

After you’ve gathered all your ingredients the rest is pretty simple. Mix the epsom salt and baking soda very well in an airtight container. Next mix in the essential oils and sweet almond oil. Use your finger tips to press out all the clumps.

It’s not necessary but I like to add some fresh mint leaves to the final mix. When the lovely green leaves float around you, it adds a nice bit of atmosphere to your bath.

/ diy muscle recovery soak / observant nomad

That’s it! This is a really simple way to elevate your bath into something a bit more relaxing and rejuvenating. I know your muscles are going to thank you after using this.