inspiration

Goddess of the Month: Kristen Runvik of Lagom Body Co.

Natural skincare has been a passion of mine since I was in my teens. Last spring I won a giveaway with some items from a local natural skincare company: Lagom Body Co. I fell in love with the simplicity and clean nature of the products and reached out to Kristen to see if she would be willing to do an interview for my blog. I am so grateful she did because her story is super inspiring.

What inspired you to create your own business?

I'm an incessantly curious and creative individual -- so having my own business provides a sense of freedom to explore new ideas. With Lagom, I'm able to bring to life these ideas through physical products that are infused with the healing powers of plants which brings me so much joy and excitement. 

Why natural skincare?

I've always been a skincare junkie and I've always been into plants. I was raised in the prairies of the Midwest and most of my childhood was spent chasing butterflies, running through fields, and smelling flowers. Lilac and Queen Anne's Lace immediately come to mind. I never really considered combining the two interests until I started studying herbalism. It was at that point that I realized how truly effective plants are for bringing the mind, body, and spirit back into balance... and I found that making skincare was my "thing." It was something that I was naturally drawn to and connected with. 

Besides feeling connected to the plants, I also feel that we're at a pivotal point in society where women need more invitations to slow down and appreciate their bodies in a way that is natural, beautiful, and harmonious to our natural state of being. There are incessant demands from the outside world and I feel that natural skincare is a way to invite ritual into one's life in a way that turns what might be a boring daily routine into something precious and necessary.

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why?

It's hard to choose only one woman because I'm blessed to be surrounded by countless amazing women. If I had to choose one, I would say my aunt Karen. Throughout my life, she's shown me what it means to really walk your talk. She's optimistic and positive even in trying times. She's a master gardener and she's chosen to live life off the grid. Despite how hard that lifestyle is, she still always believes that the best has yet to come.

What is your favorite meal?

My favorite meal is anything made with love from fresh, local ingredients. 

What is your process in manifesting your dreams and your goals?

I'm a very visual person so I like to write everything down and hang it up as a reminder within my living space. I also love to lean on the wisdom of oracle cards as well as what's happening in the sky to make sense of life.

What is your morning ritual?

Most mornings, I wake up, make coffee, and read or pull an oracle card. If the weather's nice, I sit outside on the patio and if it's cooler or raining, I at least get my bare feet into the ground and face the sun. Being slow and intentional about my morning sets me up for feeling grounded throughout the rest of my day.

How do you honor your feminine body?

I honor my feminine body by both tending to my inner thoughts and ideas as well as moving my body. Lately I've found a love with running and, over time, seen how much my body's changed. It's stronger yet still soft. I could say the same thing about my mind. 

Where do you find bliss in your life?

Getting out in nature, especially near the mountains or the ocean. Surrounding myself with flowers. Creating art. Eating seasonally and wildly. Sharing sweet moments with my family. Embracing solitude and how much richness it offers my life, my mindset, and my heart.

What does self-care mean to you?

Taking care of my mind, body, and soul in a way that works best for me. Sometimes it looks like soaking my body in a hot bath. Sometimes it looks like setting healthy boundaries in my relationships. Every time, it's about honoring my inner wisdom about what's best for me... right now.

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be?

Look for small moments every day that bring you joy... and create more opportunities for that to show up in your life. You deserve happiness, health, love, abundance, and so much more... and it all starts with you, right where you are.  

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Bio:

Kristen Runvik is the founder and creator behind Lagom Body Co. She's an herbalist, writer, artist, life enthusiast, and world adventurer... constantly on a quest to uncover the best version of herself.

Goddess of the Month: Barrett Prendergast of Valleybrink Road

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I feel like Barrett was one of the first Instagram accounts that I truly connected with. No matter what I messaged her, she should always respond with such kindness. I am always inspired by the beautiful she brings to this world. From food to the most beautiful floralr arrangements you can imagine, she has definitely made her mark. She creates recipes that are simple and easy to follow, yet so incredibly delicious. I dream of one day receiving one of her gift baskets just to have an experience of her artistic touch. We have yet to meet in person, but I can't wait for the day when we can sit and have tea and talk about life.

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To top it all off she has the most beautiful family (and one on the way). I am so grateful to Barrett for taking the time to do this interview and become part of the Body Bliss Family.

While doing this interview, tears came to my eyes. Barrett's authenticity and truth are so beautiful. I could go on and on, but I will let the interview speak for itself:

What inspired you to create your own business?

I was almost 30 and in the process of closing down the handbag line I had started with my husband, Andre. I was at a crossroads and needed to figure out if I was going to stay in fashion or take a chance on doing something else. I thought about it a lot and kept coming back to food, cooking, and entertaining…I was just uncertain on how to translate that into a career. So, I started working in a restaurant, then for some catering companies, and a few months later Valleybrink Road was born. It has now been 5 years and the business has grown in such a beautiful and organic way. I am so grateful I took a risk to create something of my own.

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What drew you to food styling and floral arrangements? 

I have always been pretty creative, making my own clothes and jewelry when I was younger. Cooking and flowers started more in my twenties and really stemmed from my love of having people over and entertaining. Everything about creating the entire experience has always brought me such happiness and fulfillment.

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why? 

My mom. Single mom who raised three kids all on her own, despite the fact that everything was stacked against her. Now being a mother myself and experiencing how challenging even raising and providing for one child is, I am just blown away how she did it for three with such grace and always with a smile on her face.

What is your favorite meal?

Does there have to be just one!?! I would probably say breakfast/brunch…I love the fact I can have sweet dishes like pancakes paired with things like crispy potatoes and sautéed kale. It is the best of both worlds.

What is your process in manifesting your dreams and your goals? 

I believe in saying yes. And, then figuring it out. I think that has really been a determining factor in the success of Valleybrink Road. Believe me, I didn’t have much figured out in the beginning but I had enough confidence in myself to know I could figure it out. Say yes first, and then problem solve to get it done. 

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What is your morning ritual?

I think the better question would be, what is my son’s morning ritual? Ha! It starts with Costa telling me its “wake up time” even though it is probably still dark out. He demands a quick piggy back right to the kitchen where we make tea and breakfast together. Mornings are my special mama time with costa so I really try to just focus on him and giving him my full attention. It is always a mad dash to finally get dressed and out the door so I can drop him at school and head to the office. 

How do you honor your feminine body? 

I think self care is so important…and probably realized this much more once I had a child. If I am taking a little time to care for myself, then I am not only a better mother but also, a better wife and overall human. I try to make time for simple things like a quiet bath soak, and once this next baby arrives, I will get back into my yoga and long walks routine.

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Where do you find Bliss in your life? 

I think bliss is everywhere we choose to see it. It is so easy to get caught up in the stress and exhaustion of it all….I am really trying to stay in the moment and remind myself that this all will pass sooner than we can imagine, so we better soak up all the goodness right now.

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be? 

Confidence is key. Believe in yourself first and so much will follow that simple action. 

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Bio:

Valleybrink Road is a floral design and luxury gifting company based in Los Angeles, CA. The vision of Barrett Prendergast, a florist, gifter, and lifestyle curator, Valleybrink Road is a natural extension of her love of entertaining and her passion for creating the perfect gift.

February Goddess of the Month: Sasha Mayer of My Willows

Another month and another amazing Goddess. Sasha is an absolute rock star. She is a single mother who has beat the odds. Her story is inspiring and beautiful. I originally heard about MyWillows through my friend Sophie. She told me she has created these amazing sunglasses that have crystals instead of arms. I, of course, had to buy a pair immediately. I loved them so much and was intrigued by the women who designed them. I reached out to Sasha to see if she would be a Body Bliss Goddess of the Month and she said YES! So grateful you took the time to do this, Sasha! It was lovely to get to know you a little more. 

What inspired you to create your own business?

 I left an unhealthy marriage without any income and a 2 1/2 year old.  I really took a leap of faith and trusted that the universe would take care of me. I quickly got a job but realized the hours were incredibly challenging and inflexible when it came to school hours, sick days, holidays.  I knew I needed to create something of my own so that I could be home for my little boy and have a flexible schedule. 

Why sunglasses and crystals?

The seed of this idea was planted many many years ago but at the time, I honestly had a lot of fear surrounding starting a business on my own.  I love accessories, used to work as a sales rep for accessories brands and so, I had a very strong sense of what building a brand looked like. I think having a son and seeing how strong I was to leave my marriage, gave me the confidence boost I needed to start MyWillows!  

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life?

My mom!  She raised me alone as my father was out of the picture.  She also took care of my sick grandmother so it was us three girls living in one small 1 bedroom apartment in NYC.  She worked SO HARD and put her life aside to ensure that I had a great education and that my grandma was taken care of properly.  She raised me to share, love, be honest and kind and loving.  She is my number one supporter and honestly my hero. 

If you were stranded on an island and could only take two things with you, which two would you choose and why?

Things or people?  Number 1 would be Gavin (my son) but if we are only doing material things…probably a pocket knife and some sort of lighter or water purifier.  I think for me, making a home/shelter would make me feel safe so anything that would assist me in doing that! 

What is your Morning Ritual?

My morning ritual is usually - wake up, make a cup of coffee, spend 15 minutes trying to get a sleepy boy out of bed, dressed, fed and out the door to school.  It’s always a bit jarring which is why I tend to come back from his school and do yoga if my schedule permits.  

How do you honor your feminine body?

When you are a mom, your feminine body honestly takes the last seat…but I don’t think I could do anything without hot yoga. For my soul and body…I just need it!  I eat a clean diet and most nights I pass out close to my sons bedtime so I get plenty of sleep which I also need!  Occasionally I like to the Korean Spa and pamper myself.

Where do you find bliss in your life?

I find bliss when my son and I spend quality time together, when I travel, when I do yoga, when I have friends over for dinner and we laugh until we cry.  I find bliss in my work, in the product i’ve created and when I receive validation for my creation.  

If you could give one piece of advice to women, what would it be?

Love yourself.  Hard.  And know that it’s okay to be alone instead of in the wrong relationship.  Whether that’s a friendship or a lover.  It’s never to late to let go of things that aren’t serving you and you will see that amazing things will unfold if you do. Trust it.  When I got divorced, everyone told me “we aren’t worried about you - you’ll be ok” but with no money, no job and a toddler I really was doubting it. But it was okay and it is okay. In fact, it’s better than ok! So, whatever that voice inside your head is telling you, listen and do it.  I promise, it’s worth it. The answers are already inside you :) 
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Goddess of the Month: Amy Colville of aMYLK

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Amy is a beautiful soul inside and out. She has created a company out of her passion for living a healthy and whole life. When she agreed to be a Goddess of the Month I was thrilled. I knew that my readers would love to hear her story and how she started a delicious nut milk company. She is down to earth and has so much wisdom to offer. Amy, thank you for sharing your truth and for being a part of the Body Bliss Life Family! <3

 

INTERVIEW:

What inspired you to create your own company?

I’ve always had a creative mind when it came to business.  Even as a small child I loved coming up with “inventions” with my dad.  We came up with a lot of original concepts that actually eventually ended up being brought to market by others.  That’s the thing with ideas, you have to act on it right away, or someone else will!  I find the creative process really fulfilling, I love business, I love learning and I love self directing my life. I think if you interviewed most entrepreneurs you’d find they share similar traits.

Why nutmilk?

My family and friends have all asked the same thing!  Nut milk?  The simple answer is that I found something I’m passionate about that I LOVE enjoying and producing AND there was a hole in the market!  Globally, no one is producing and selling nut milk (soon to expand to seeds and possibly grains) that compares in taste, quality and nutrient density to aMYLK.  People love it and that lights me up inside!

It all boils down to LOVE.  I felt guided to this place.  I spent a lot of time soul searching, connecting with Source and seeking joy.  Many years ago I experienced some heart break and consequently some health issues that lingered for many years. Through the process of trying to heal, I explored a lot of dietary changes and life and mindset changes. I introduced daily smoothies, elixirs and protein shakes to my diet. When I learned that the nut milks that I was using were filled with synthetic vitamins and stabilizers and very few actual nuts I started to think about making my own.  One day, it all just came together and I knew. I thought, THIS IS IT!  One week later I had formed a company.  I LOVE what I’m doing.  This is my passion and I[‘m so excited, hopeful and happy to share it with others.  Finding and passing on what works for me brings me more joy than I can express.

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why? 

My mother. She is giving, graceful and kind to her bones. It is hard not to admire my mom for her elegance, sophistication, intelligence and beauty.  She’s got all these hidden talents and is incredibly hard working.  The most wonderful thing about my mother is that she has never faltered in her faith in me.  I have always felt supported. She has made home making and child rearing an art form. Her life is art to me.

If you were stranded on an island and could only take two adaptogens with you, which two would you choose and why?  

Pine Pollen and Mucuna Pruriens.  Amen. I am in love with Pine Pollen and I imagine pine trees would be hard to come by on a tropical island.  Pine pollen is gold. It makes me feel like my body is humming.  A simple sniff of it and I feel all tingly. I love it. It can act as an aphrodisiac, but I find that it is highly energizing for me.  It can help balance hormones which is especially important for both men & women as they approach middle age. 

Mucuna Pruriens is my second choice because of it’s ability to help elevate one’s mood. If I were stranded on an island I think I might feel a lot of tension from fear and loneliness. Macuna Pruriens can soothe the nervous system and elevate your mood. It takes the edge off and supports your overall well being.  I can just see myself now, cracking open some coconuts and making aMYLK elixirs with a big smile on my face sitting on a sandy beach somewhere. Yes.  I would be just fine.

What is your morning ritual? 

Journaling.  My life is very full.  With four children ages 8-16 and a start-up company the ONLY me time is very early in the morning and this is sacred time for me. My children all know that if they wake up and mommy is writing, they need to let me be.  It is in this space that I remember who I am and connect with my soul and decode all the daily occurrences that life presents to me as opportunities for growth.  This is where I speak to God.

How do you honor your feminine body? 

I have a lot of Venus in me and I don’t diminish it for anyone.  We are really funny in America about our attitudes toward sexuality and sensuality. On the one hand we are bombarded by media to be sexy and to look amazing, and then on the other hand we are not supposed to “show off” or be too sensual or we might give people the wrong idea.  What if we could just BE without SEEMING to be anything at all? I have come to love, cherish and celebrate my femininity. I let my hips sway when I walk because I am a woman! I’m proud of my curves and how I feel when I own them.  In a world of Yang, it feels good to let myself be Yin. 

Where do you find Bliss in your life? 

I am a joy seeker. “Seek Joy” is the number one tenet of my life. In everything I do, I aim to feel joyful.  I have found that happiness isn’t the destination, it is the journey. It is following the trail of breadcrumbs which are the tiny sparkles of joy in life that lights me up. I try to follow the tiny sparkles every day. I smell the flowers. I read. I hike. I make aMYLK smoothies. I swim in waterfalls & I travel as often as I can. I do these things for the simple reason that they bring me joy.  When I feel joyful, I light myself up and I radiate the world with my happiness.  I have designed my life so that even the things I have to do, I feel pretty happy to do.  At a minimum, I aim to feel grateful, because even things that seem hard, painful and challenging have purpose in our lives. It has taken some time for me to realize this. LOL.  

If you could offer one piece of advice to women, what would it be? 

Let love lead.  

About Amy:

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Amy Colville is the Owner and Chief Joy Seeker at aMYLK, a plant-based mylk company located in Portland Oregon. A  mama of four, former collegiate soccer player and lifetime entrepreneur, Amy now finds her bliss making and delivering the world's best plant mylk.

Goddess of the Month: Alyssa Melody of Root & Bones

When I was pondering the idea of starting a blog, one of the things I knew I wanted to do was honor kick-ass women. A huge part of my platform is honoring and uplifting women, giving tools to help them live their best lives and feel good in their bodies. So here marks the first monthly "Goddess of the Month." I could not be more thrilled about this interview:

On a super hot Summer afternoon I sat down with my iced cold brew to interview Alyssa Melody of Root & Bones. I was drawn to her and her company for so many different reasons. Her high quality herbs and mushrooms are truly some of the best I have come across. They are high vibration and affordable. Since discovering Root & Bones, I have used them every single day and sometimes multiple times a day :). Alyssa is truly an amazing woman. She knows her stuff, she has passion for what she does, she is connected, conscious, grounded and is unapologetically herself.  I could have talked with her all afternoon. Check out what she had to say below and don't forget to hop on over to my instagram @bodyblisslife for a fun giveaway!

What inspired you to start your company?

I was truly inspired by the herbs themselves. I started using them during acupuncture school to help deal with the stress of a 3 1/2 yr Masters program. I was really focused on finding things that were going to keep me sane, healthy and keep my mind at ease. I dove right into tonic herbs. It was love at first sip. I've been taking them for over a decade now, and am so grateful to them for transforming me. What made me want to offer them as a product is that it is a way of reaching more people than I can just reach my my acupuncture practice. Its a simple, and effective way to increase your daily routine into something that can benefit body, mind and soul. 

Why tonic herbs/adaptogens/mushrooms?

Society is stressed out beyond belief. We have the fight or flight instinct for a historical reason, but we react the same way whether we are thinking about our 401k or if we are in a traffic jam and someone is honking at us. We are deteriorating because there is such a host of symptoms that come from stress. In Chinese medicine when we give herbs they are very specific to the person and condition, whereas these adaptogens are good for everyone.

Who is the most inspiring woman in your life and why?

My Grandma. She is a kick ass little lady. She  just lives her life the way she wants to. She is a no-apologies kind of lady. 

If you were stranded on an island and could only take two adaptogens with you, which two would you choose and why?

I would take Reishi. It is the first one I tried and is the most well known for calming the nervous system down. He Shou Wu to keep my skin moist on this hot island. 

What is your morning ritual?

I do lemon water, chlorophyll, stretching, breathing and then make a bomb-ass coffee adaptogen drink. I try to drink it outside no matter what the weather is to have that time in nature and get started with my day. I try to do most of movement in the morning: Walk in the woods, weight lifting or stretching. I love doing that in the morning.

How do you honor your feminine body?

Movement and dancing around. It doesn’t have to be a certain kind of music. I could get down to Enya or Rihanna. Giving myself acupuncture every week is something that really helps me reconnect with my body and get out of my mind. I also think its really important to masturbate, even if it’s not even a sexual drive, its more just loving on the yoni. 

Where do you find Bliss in your life?

Nature!  I grew up in Oakland in a cement warehouse. My brother and I shared a room with no window to the outside. I feel like my childhood was deeply deprived of nature. I feel so invigorated and inspired by nature which is one of the reasons I live in Arcata. Being around thousand year old redwood trees is incredibly humbling. Any stressful day I can go into the woods and feel like better. Almost everything starts to feel trivial when you are in nature. It puts things into perspective I love it and I love being alone in it. It is where I get some of my best thinking done. 

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Iced Root & Bone Rooibos Latte

  • 1 cup strongly brewed rooibos tea
  • 1/2 cup nut milk
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1 T coconut butter
  • 1 tsp R&B Reishi
  • 1 tsp R&B Cordyceps
  • 1 tsp R&B He Shou Wu
  • 1 tsp local honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Blend in a high speed blender and pour over ice.

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Don't forget to use "bodybliss" at www.rootandbones.com for 15% off your order