“I woke early, thrilled by the prospect of endless days to fill however I wished. I would read. I would explore.”

Tonight is for pjs, midnight coffee & streaming The Ice Storm on Netflix because I have 90’s Christina Ricci cravings and Mermaids is no longer available. So much pumpkin pie was baked and consumed I will probably dream about rolling out pie-dough and fire-places and snow. 
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Lately I have been talking and encouraging myself, and I encourage everyone to do it. You know when you feel like you want to do something, but sometimes theres an element that holds you back? I really believe fear only has power, when you give in to it. I think about the dreams I used to have that involved water, jumping into an ocean or another great body of water and since I cannot swim, I would feel terrified and grasp for the surface, never seeing what lied beneath
Maybe the real nightmare is living a life un-lived, or letting doubt consume us. What lies beneath that sea? Or on the open road ahead. Happiness is a journey. Its a museum full of various, numinous works of art that can never look the same because everyones is different and theres a beauty in the diversity. So whenever those thoughts, sentiments of doubt rise up like smoke, counter them. Push yourself to believe in your own dreams instead of leaving doors unlocked and possibilities unexplored

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Interview | Emily von Euw

Emily has a well known blog This Rawsome Vegan Life, which properly sums up the content. Beautiful, vibrant photography and her wonderful writing invites you in as if you already know her, as if she’s your next door neighbor ecstatic to share her kitchen alchemy with you. I adore people that have this quality to them, call it effervescent or contagious but it never fails to put a smile on my face. 

I don’t write much about my food allergies, but it has really become a constant in my life that prevents me from going out to eat without fear of contamination or getting ill. So I am very grateful for bloggers like Emily who provide us with ridiculously delicious recipes that are healthy, organic, and allergen friendly and plant based. I believe nature is the greatest tool for any artist and Emily’s creations are visual proof of this. She recently came out with a book that I can’t wait to get, as I am working on building up a recipe book collection 

While I completely believe that everyone should consume what heals + works for them, I firmly attest to that fact that everyone should definitely incorporate as much organic, plant based foods whenever possible. Please check out This Rawsome Vegan Life 

Who are you + what do you do
My parents gave me the name Emily von Euw. I have been on this planet for 20 years, inhabiting the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada – it’s a beautiful, vibrant place (though it doesn’t get as much sun as I would like). I am a participant in the universe, child of the stars, sister of the moths and mother of the trees. I am a brother to the wolves and father to the berries. I am organic and happy and sad and confused and nostalgic and present and curious and floating and cemented and bursting with ancient new life. Who knows where I came from.

I do a bit of everything: writing, reading, yoga, meditation, music, painting, dreaming, crying, laughing, university (history, philosophy, humanities, archaeology, geography, geology, psychology, etc.), kissing, running, sitting still… but I am most well-known for creating a blog called This Rawsome Vegan Life, wherein I make, photograph and share my own raw vegan recipes with the wonderful world and all the kind people in it. I have also just had my first book published called Rawsome Vegan Baking which focuses on raw vegan gluten-free desserts. People seem to like what I have to share, so I am eternally grateful that this will probably be able to be my “job”, although truly it’s simply my passion.

How did you get involved with holistic/organic living?
It is the logical place to end up, and I try my best to be a rational creature whenever I can. It’s the intelligent choice to lead a lifestyle that is cruelty-free, sustainable and healthy. I mean, we all like peace, right? We all want the planet to be in good condition for our children, yes? We all want to feel and look our best, correct? I’d answer affirmatively to all those questions and so that is why I follow a whole foods, organic, plant-based, mostly raw diet.  

Tell us a bit about the book you just released! Will there be a follow up?
Oh, yay! I am still so excited to talk about it. I was blessed enough that my publisher – a subsidiary of Macmillan – found me through my “popular” (hah) blog and asked me if I wanted to write a book with them. Of course I said yes! Whatta dream come true. Although a book was on my mind, it was a far-off goal and not necessarily a realistic one (in my mind). I wrote the book in four months, thankfully right when I was on summer break from university. There were then several months of post-writing work to be done, and it was finally published around the world a few weeks ago! It has already sold out of the first printing, and I cannot tell you how joyful this makes me. Not only because it means people are appreciating my work, but more so because it means people are grabbing on with a passion to vegan living! I am an optimist about the future and firmly believe the world is becoming more and more conscious as a species as time progresses.

I am writing my second book right now, and it is all about juices, smoothies and healthy snacks. I am very excited to share this one with the world because although if you look at my blog you will assume I eat only raw cookies and cake, the majority of my diet is juice and smoothies; so it shows more of the bulk of my daily food regime. Smoothies can save the planet.

What projects are you currently working on? + How will you celebrate Spring season?
I am working on new recipes (always), promoting my first book, writing my second book, attending school (final exams are coming up!), and trying to maintain a social life and a fresh, blooming romantic relationship. I am going to celebrate Spring by sharing some special recipes on my blog, soaking up as much sun and outdoor adventures as possible, eating banana ice cream, laughing with friends, and travelling around the continent.

Do you have a morning routine?
I am a Virgo, so I am ALL about routine and list-making. My morning routine is: wake up, think about the day and take a few deep breaths, drink filtered water, splash face and brush teeth, stretch, exercise, yoga, make a smoothie or juice and then wait until I am hungry again to gorge on organic fruits. I will then go to school, the farmers market or busy myself around the house depending on the day.

How do you spend your free time?
As touched on above, I do a great many things that give me joy. I love listening to records, cuddling other animals (human and otherwise), dancing late into the night (or anytime, really), crying about the elegance of the universe, hugging trees, reading (currently getting through Kurt Vonnegut), writing down poetry and thoughts, creating art (usually as gifts for loved ones), making and eating ALL the food… mostly organic fruit, raw chocolate and kale, asking questions about the meanings of life/ death., walking around the surface of the earth and being conscious of my role in it… The list never ends.  

Your blog is a compilation of delicious plant-based recipes and health tips, what are some tips you can share for people to implement more fresh healthy meals in their life?
Get rid of all the junk food in your home. Replace it with healthful whole foods that don’t bring about any guilt, only happiness. Stock your fridge with fresh vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, homemade hummus and nut milk, coconut water, almond yogurt, nuts and seeds. Stock your cabinets with organic tea, dried fruit, cacao powder, coconut oil, coconut nectar, oats, beans, quinoa and whole grains. Experiment with raw vegan entrees, desserts, sauces and soups and buy some whole food cookbooks to try out in the kitchen. Visit your local farmers market and talk to the farmers there, asking questions. Hit up your local health food store and do the same. Buy local and organic when you can afford it. Buy an inexpensive blender and have a fruit smoothie every morning (blend a banana with some frozen berries, and orange and some almond milk). For an easy and delicious meal: steam some vegetables and serve with a cashew “cheese” sauce or spicy peanut sauce, and brown rice noodles… with a raw vegan dessert to finish. Wink wink. (Just google any of those things to find recipes.)

What are some beauty tips + favorite places to shop?
Here is my “beauty” regime (although my opinion is that my whole lifestyle is a beauty regime, you are what you eat! I also exercise regularly): I wash my face every morning with a mix of jojoba, avocado and castor oils. Google “oil cleansing method” for more info on this. This also acts as my moisturizer. I sometimes use baking soda as a facial scrub. I splash my face with rosewater often. I moisturize my body with coconut oil and sometimes shea or cacao butter, scented with lavender and vanilla. I clean my teeth with baking soda on a bamboo toothbrush and use sesame oil as a mouth wash. Google “oil pulling” for more on this. I clean my hair with baking soda (“shampoo”) and apple cider vinegar (“conditioner”). I don’t usually wear make-up but when I do, it is from Earth Lab, Arbonne, or Urban Decay. My fave body products are from Just the Goods and Ellovi. I love to shop at The Soap Dispensary here in Vancouver.

Favorite books/online reading material
The classic: Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, Kurt Vonnegut, William Faulkner, J.D. Salinger, William Golding, Ayn Rand, Henry David Thoreau, Hermann Hesse, Sylvia Plath, Franz Kafka, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Gabriel Garcia Marquez… I love it all. When I am not in the mood to read deep, thought-provoking literature, I enjoy philosophy, non-fiction about nutrition, the nature of the universe and history.

Top 5 Necessities (can be culinary, clothing, makeup, etc.) for health
Coconut oil. 
My record player and collection. 
My current beau. 
My cat, Dante. – and sunshine! That was 6 or 7 but shhh.

For those who want live cleaner what are some tips?
Understand that you deserve it. Also look at my answer to the similar question above.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Living in Costa Rica or somewhere else sunny, in my tiny house on wheels with a pet pig and a human I love; along with an organic garden… and wi-fi so I can keep doing the blog. I cherish the simple life.

You live where + recommend these places for travel
I reside near Vancouver, BC, Canada and highly recommend you come hang out with me. I’ll give you hugs and raw vegan brownies. But also I LOVE Vancouver Island, especially Tofino and the gulf islands around Van Island. The majestic West Coast landscape holds a big piece of my heart in its dark, misty clutches. Most of Canada is pretty damn beautiful, and the lesser populated areas of the US are gorgeous as well. I haven’t been anywhere else, really. Although, I would love to travel much farther north, maybe to Alaska; and also much farther south… like Costa Rica.

Dream Vision Board: what would your ideal day consist of?
Sunny, warm weather. Hiking up a small mountain with my lover and animal companions to enjoy a fruit picnic on top. Hiking back down, having a bath together. Going to a farmers market, an art gallery or used book store. Reading poems and listening to records. Making love and dinner. Watching a documentary about ancient civilizations or a Kubrick movie. Going dancing. Rubbing myself down with coconut oil and meditating before slipping into a freshly made bed. Drifting off to sleep to enter my subconscious world. I think I’ll do all that this weekend.

One piece of advice
Do what works for you, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.

“The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.”

Where has the time gone? Truth be told I am so happy its Spring, which coincides with my birthday (the 26th) and I love the idea of winter, more than winter – which I find to be more isolating but Spring has been really kind, full of the promise of blossom and release. My birthday was unexpectedly beautiful. I got to meet friends I have known but live terribly far, I have explored beyond my city and traded stories for dreams, totems and smiles. My best friend Kayla and I joined in the #100HappyDays challenge on instagram under the #westcoastdiaries tag. I think social media can be overwhelming but also positive at the same time. In this case, we both feel inspired to search for something that make our days a bit more sweeter. I have been planting and reading about gardening. Its a dream of mine to someday grow my all of my own produce, as much as I can. Theres a serenity and hard work in gardening, its outwardly caring for something that will sustain you – its no different than painting a work of art or creating in general. I really love the Garden In the Koop boxes because they make it so practical yet attainable whether you have limited or vast space and its all organic + ethical!

So where has the time gone? Its gone in memories, laughter, story telling, escapism, creating, resting, growing and walking. Its a detachment of the concept of “time” and simply just living day by day seeing where it takes me.

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Interview | Alyssa of Random Acts of Pastel

The beauty of technology is that you can come across genuinely wonderful people who inspire you regardless of how for away you might live. Through catbird I stumbled upon Aly’s sweet blog Random Acts of Pastel and reached out to her for an interview. What made her stand out to me were her dreamy California/Weetzie Bat personality, a desire to promote local & vegan/gluten free eateries as well as her seeing the world though rose-colored glasses outlook + style. Akin to a spoonful of sugar, everyone should have a pal like Alyssa in their lives. Enjoy!

+who are you/what do you do?
Hi! I’m Alyssa, also known as Random Acts of Pastel. I’m a writer, a blogger, a dog mom, a housewife at heart, and a (mostly) vegan. In the past I’ve written for WORN Fashion Journal, and I currently write for XO Vain and XO Jane, as well as randomactsofpastel.com of course!

+who/what inspires you
All the pastel princesses out there! Lana Del Rey in her National Anthem video as Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Katy Perry (circa Teenage Dream), Kirstin Dunst in Marie Antoinette… there are so many! I’m also really inspired by bigger picture things too, like peonies, ponies, Oscar Wilde poetry and the Rococo Movement. Above all though, I’d have to say mermaids, unicorns, and fairytales. 

+explain/introduce us a bit into your pastel lifestyle 
I suppose I live in a bit of a daydream? I’ve never really liked reality all that much, so as I grew up I sort of shaped my life into a special magical world that made me happy instead. In my world, pink is considered a neutral, and glitter is an everyday occurrence. Flowers bloom year-round, animals are friends, not food, love conquers all, and sugar is an important part of every balanced meal. I think people are either really drawn in to this sparkly, confetti filled lifestyle, or totally confused by it!

+what projects are you currently working on?
Well, I just started my own little Society6 shop which I’m super excited about! Making housewares is super fun, and Society 6 makes it really easy for artists and creative folks to make their throw pillow dreams a reality! Other than that, I’m shooting a sneak peak post for a new Toronto Pop up called Toujours x Fidele tomorrow, and I designed a special pink lemonade cocktail for their opening night too. I really love this project specifically because it supports local designers, brings together a unique community of makers, and the business plan is super eco friendly (minimal waste, using re-purposed materials or dead stock, etc.) 

+do you have a morning ritual?
Tea! I am a total tea addict, and my day cannot start unless I have a hot cup in front of me. I really love the way tea both energizes and relaxes me at the same time; it’s truly a miracle beverage. 

Oh, and when the weather warms up I plan on going for daily morning runs with my dog Honey, but for now it’s far too snowy!

+what do you do in your free time?
That depends on the season! This winter has been particularly brutal here in Toronto, so I’ve been spending a lot of time with tea, a good book (currently reading “The Diary of a Nose”), and my very sleepy and cuddly dog. Once it gets warmer though, I plan on spending most of my free time cycling around the city in search of tasty vegan treats, having picnics in the park with my partner, and working on my garden!

+ favorite blogs/shops online 
I love Fieldguided for her brilliantly curated life and local insights, Wish wish wish for her glamorous outfits and wonderful beauty tutorials, and Bicyclette for their fairytale-inspired online shop and lovely lookbooks. I’m also always excited to see what Vivetta and Sretsis are up to! 

+ 5 things that heal you
The ocean
A hot cup of Lavender tea
Mid-day cuddle breaks
Hot Yoga classes
Any music by The Head and The Heart
+top five beauty products/or brands
Everything from Too Faced
Deborah Lippman Glitter nail polishes 
MCMC fragrances (Kept is my current favourite)
Davines hair products
Ilia’s entire line, especially “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” illuminator. It gives your skin such a subtle shimmery sparkle!

+you live where / and recommend these places 
I currently live in Toronto, but I’m a west coast girl originally. If you’re in Toronto, make sure to check out Kitten and the Bear for tea and treats, La Cubana for Brunch, and Bicyclette for clothing! There are so many charming little spots in this city, you just have to know where to find them or it can be a bit overwhelming. 

+dream vision board what would your ideal day exist of?
Not too far off from my daily life now! I always wanted to be a writer, so getting up everyday and sitting at my cute desk to dream up new stories is pretty much perfect in my books! I suppose if I had to make changes, I’d have a small animal sanctuary, go horse riding every morning, live near the ocean, and grow all my own food in a massive garden. I think all of this will totally be possible when I’m ready to make a big move to the country, but for now, I’m happy with busy city life!

+one piece of advice
Never stop believing in magic

Winter + Respiratory Remedies

Needless to say, it has been one very strange winter indeed, regardless of what coast you live in. In Los Angeles, we’ve been sadly spared of rain, moisture, and grey skies but given wind, cool air and sun (a lot of sun). Still, winter manages to affect us so I stocked up some tried and true products that helped me this season. Potency and organic ingredients, to soothe the conundrums brought on by the changing seasons be it dry skin, colds, sinus troubles or to keep you warm.

These products I have been using for awhile so I can safely say I find them as go-tow in my ever-growing herbal first aid kit. Before you use any products make sure they are suitable to your needs/conditions!


Badger Aromatic Chest Rub I first got this because I deal with a lot of nasal blockage, especially in autumn/winter when it gets significantly drier at night. This is a chest rub but I apply it atop + around my nose. Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary, & Tea Tree are a few of the wonderful essences in this blend. Personally, Apply generously tot a greater effect (its a balm)

Moon Valley Organics Moon Melt Lotion Bar : The prettiest packaging, organic and absolutely yummy (it smells like a vanilla birthday cake) ingredients, and the kindest customer service,  I never buy lotions but as the years pass I notice the drier my skin tends to get in dry climate so I found this wonderful West Coast based company who answered my questions with quick response + kindness. It smells heavenly, keeps my skin happy and is botanically derived, I really love that the Vitamin E in this is derived from sunflower, and not synthetic. Vitamin E is an important factor for skin, hair and overall health because of its antioxidant and moisturizing properties. It’s an amazing bar for dry skin

Honey Gardens Wild Cherry Bark with raw honey, propolis and ginger root its a heaven-sent product for scratchy throats and has calming properties, mostly organic-derived.  Wild Cherry bark was used by Native Americans, by stripping the bark and grinding it, learn more about Wild Cherry Bark here

Sequoia Beauty Purity Balm – This is best for the face + neck, I didn’t think I would end up using it much because because my skin isn’t dry so much as it is sensitive, however when I started getting irritated dry patches on my face I was grateful to have this near. Organic, raw and features Rosehip Seed and Tamanu oil that soothe damaged and sensitive skin.

Wish Garden Herbs Kick Ass Immune I really only started using medicinal botanicals such as elixirs and I find them to be really helpful way to ingest all the herbs & botanics. Like tea, except more variance and easy to take with you wherever you are. I love that this features herbs that are great for respiratory health as well as immunity. This features Yerba Santa leaf, Baptisia root, Yarrow and Elderflower which contain a plethora of nutrients! Osha root (a relative to carrots and parsley) is recognized as antibacterial and immune boosting

Fawn Lilly Botanica Facial Steam (c/o) If you’ve never tried a facial steam, please do! I think they are safer alternative to nasal pots, the heat opens up your pores, airways and stimulates the skin. However this is not recommended for irritated skin/rosacea/windburned. I like to also use it in the bath (mine came in tea bags, however, you can easily steep with a strainer or tied up cloth.

Nature’s Rite Sinus Support This features Grapefruit Seed, Yarrow for respiratory health, and Aloe leaf to soothe dry sinuses and bring back moisture. Another great product is Olive Leaf Spray which also features Grapefruit Seed Extract. Try out some botanical based sprays to help allergies and sinus pain just remember consistency is key.

Marble & Milkweed Forest Tea  I have written about this tea before but I can’t help but rave about its wonderful taste and woodland vibes. along as a tea I actually also used it as a facial steam. Completely organic based.

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