A Snowflake in Time

My Loves

when you are creating 

fervently

with all your heart

and the sheer expanse of it all seems impossible,

be still for a moment.

What is missing, you ask yourself?

Chances are, it is the Sensual You,

how easily lost in a whirl of mental activity she is

but she is just as easily found,

if you are willing...

Winter Flowers.jpg

As we go inward during the dark season

planning for Spring

incubating

(which can often take the form of intense work)

stop comparing yourself to others,

for you, my Snowflake, are a one-and-only

uniquely able to sparkle.

And yet,

with the awareness that we are here fleetingly

to do as we are meant.

So don't waste it.

With Saturn transiting Capricorn now,

for the next three years,

we are asked to step up

and do the work we are meant for in this lifetime.

This is BIG.

There are no shortcuts

and no indulgences

for these gifts do not come easily

but they are meant to last.

This is a hard-working pair

seeking perfection,

full of solitary energy

so take heed, Dear Ones,

to not forget to care for yourself,

and your loved ones

as you focus on the Big Work.

Feed yourself.

Light, clean plant foods.
Exercise.
Fresh air - even when it's cold outside!
Rest. Clear your mind. Sleep well.
Laugh. Play.

You know the drill.

Because these things work.

And,

as you focus on the task at hand,

embrace the feminine:

invite sounds, scents,

and beautiful vignettes

to join in this dance

which, by design,  

must be done alone.


Yes, there are times when tips are useful to get you moving. 

(I’ve laid out a few here, for scratching the surface.)

Planners, calendars, lists.

But then even these become a point of distraction.

And the time comes

when you must face the Beast.


All by myself, you ask?

Not really.


Some of my most cherished friends

have joined me 

as I go deep within

to give life to something most dear to me.

Allow me to share them with you:

a cornucopia of sorbet star lilies, 

gazing back at me with playful smiles 

bright little faerie faces to inspire


black velvet ears between my lips

and earth-scented fur to melt into

when thoughts become too heavy

 

Winter Friends-2.jpg

 

endless cups of bark decoctions to sip

(yes, I am officially ingesting trees)

for a vision of a Green Man, transformed into a Nordic priestess

then a Celtic one

gave firm word

that I must become one with them

as all the knowledge I seek lies within the Wood

 

a Spring moss candle burns throughout

yes, I know it is Winter

but the soft promise of creation 

offers me the shelter of the forest 

and the strength to carry on

 

Silken threads caress my skin

glowing and supple

from a petal scented bath

 

Weaving ragas soaring through crisp air

calm the sometimes uncontrollable fire

that courses through body and mind

 

And I direct my attentions

once again

to the work at hand.

___________

 

May you always be surrounded by delightful company

as you walk alone.

 

Happy Winter Solstice.

All my love,

xxx Alise

 

Blossom Lady

As days grow brighter,

and gentle rains rouse the verdant spirits

from their dreamtime adventures,

we prepare, Wild Ones, to make those dreams real.

Out we pop from our buds!

stretching in langor toward the Sun,

the sweet scented moss 

tickling our noses,

guided by birdsong...

Doesn't Spring, somehow, always feel like the first time?

Now, of course, an Elven Queen would be fairly famished after a long Winter's rest.

A bright-eyed forage through the untamed forest and her surrounding fields could offer a delightful array of beautiful plant gifts!

But let's get one thing straight: those of you know me are aware of my eye-rolling tendencies towards the "seasonal cleanse."

Is Spring a time of renewal? Of course.  

But the body actually operates on a detox cycle, followed by a nutritive cycle, on a daily basis.

Do you clean your house four times per year? Of course not.

Then why, oh why, would you clean your soul's temple so infrequently?

I've prepared for you, my beautiful hatchlings,

a nibble that not only cleanses, but feeds.

Making your body strong,

your skin and hair vibrant,

your mind clear and ready.

Everything comes alive.

Everything awakens.

For nature is the ultimate Femme Vitale...

Spring Faerie Salad

Serves One
*all ingredients must be organic or wild grown

9 leaves of fresh dandelion
1 C  baby spinach
1/4 C grated carrot
1/2 C sprouts/microgreens (I love a blend: radish, alfalfa, sunflower, etc.)
1/4 C sunflower seeds
1/4 C nettle leaf
Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
Celtic sea salt/fresh ground black pepper (know in certain circles as The Pinch-n-Grind)

Begin, my Loves, by grating several carrots. The easiest way? Give them a rough chop, then pulse in the food processor. Then you have some for the next few days. (You're welcome.)
Next, pull the dandelion leaves from their stalks, and tear gently with your fingers. Add in the spinach and carrots, and top with sprouts to form a gorgeous nest. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and nettle leaf. Give it a light drizzle of the oil and cider vinegar, a pinch of Celtic salt, a grind of pepper, and you're there!

Dandelion is a bitter green, designed to detoxify the body by cleansing the liver, kidneys, and the blood. It also encourages fat metabolism and stabilizes blood sugar, while supplying the body with calcium, zinc, potassium, vitamins A, B, C, & D. A total powerhouse! Magickally, as with all greens, it is consumed to attract money, which just might come in handy as you get your dreams off the ground. *wink* 
We''re using eight leaves to symbolize personal power, for this potent dark green goodness also assists in making wishes come true...

Sprouts and microgreens are part of this magickal mélange to symbolize new life force emerging, and for their tremendous nutritional value. Carrots are filled with vitamin A, amongst other major nutrients, which keeps the signs of aging and stress off your face, helping to keep skin preternaturally young. Oh, and they're all about sex. Spring fever, anyone?

Sunflower seeds are amazing little health bites, so full of crucial minerals and vitamin E, to keep you beautiful inside and out...with a magickal boost to ensure success. Whatever you're conjuring, know you've got plant power on your side!

And what might this mysterious little faerie boat be carrying?

NETTLE BOAT-2.jpg

Why, it's nettle! 

Long used as a protective herb, fiery nettle also gives passion a push in the right direction. Love it already? Here's more: nettle is an immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory wonder that supports kidney and bone health. Beauty-wise, our brilliant plant friend promotes hair growth and flawless skin, particularly effective in treating acne, psoriasis, and eczema. It's also a renowned female tonic (just use it with caution, or not at all, if you are pregnant.)

Allright, my succulents,

revel in this Spring energy!

All my love,

xxx Alise

 

 

The Dragon's Fire

"Dragons are fire made flesh."

-George R.R. Martin

Has ever a creature ignited so much fear and loathing, through the ages and across the lands, as the dragon?

World leaders aside, mind you.


The ferocious Fafnír has dwelled in the imaginations of children for centuries, depicted as a greedy, ruthless, fire-breathing slayer with nearly impenetrable skin. Quite a feather in the cap of anyone who could rid the land of such a beast.

To me, as a child, they were simply misunderstood.

Of course, there were all those tales, dark and foreboding: the terrifying Hydra who challenged Hercules, the stealth Greek drakones that served as the getaway car for the dark witch Medea, and the great Welsh Red dragon that defeats the White Saxon dragon right in front of the King (and has to have it all explained to him by Merlin...hmm...a ruler who is also an idiot...where have I heard that one recently?)
And then, there was the fierce foe in of the aged and frankly exhausted Beowulf's final battle.
But in amongst those famous stories, lesser-known legends of the beast lurked...

There are those worshipped by the ancient Chinese, who considered themselves descendants of the dragon, who, as the ruler of moving bodies of water and rainfall, had control over the weather. They were also considered the representation of the masculine yang, and held in high regard as a symbol of strength, power, and good luck for those who are worthy. This continues today, as benevolent people of high achievement are said to be "dragons."

Ah! And the lovely dragon sisters, Léana and Léas, of magickal lore. They are personal favorites of mine. Léana, with her sliver-white mane watches over your sleep, keeping nightmares at bay and replacing your fears with peaceful visions. She is never far from her sibling Léas, the Moonbeam Dragon, with her swirling silver sparkles, who can only be summoned during a Full Moon. (So don't bug her during any other phase. It's just bad manners.)

And then, last but not least for today's folkloric wanderings, there is good old Smaug. He's the greediest of all, isn't he? And pretty lazy. But, he is, nonetheless, the creation of our beloved J.R.R. Tolkien, and is therefore a delight to read about.  

I always knew wild creature spirits watched over me as a child. They still do. For it is said that a dragon will perch on your shoulder to protect you...if you are willing.

Loves, with Spring so newly upon us, you may be wondering where, exactly, your own inner dragon fire is lurking.

The Sun goes into Aries, the season shifts, and you figure you're going to be shot out like a cannon into your next creative adventure, yes? 

But these first few weeks of warmer weather and the long-awaited appearance of the elusive sunshine tend to make you feel a bit day-dreamy. "Yeah, I should really get to blah, blah, and blah...but...I think I'll just go sit beneath a tree, and..."  

Time to take long walks and deep breaths.

Read.

Listen.

And get ready.

Because the moment will seize you fast and hard, the momentum gathering you along with it, hair flying and heels dropping below you, as Spring begins to move you forward and upward in its whirlwind of new energies. And it's right around the next corner.

To lend a dainty faerie hand, my Beloveds, is this impossibly pretty elixir I've crafted just for you, to ignite the creative fires stirring deep within, just aching to be released.

But don't be fooled by its beauty, it possesses a the power worthy of its namesake.

The dragonfruit is a gorgeous, tropical little creature that I must introduce you to. I first became acquainted with this one a couple of years ago on a balcony in Los Angeles, on a woozy afternoon that had followed an 18-hour film shoot. I woke up, wandered down to the farmer's market, hungry and feeling more than a bit surreal. I met these strange and fascinating fruits, and was completely bewitched by them. The name, first of all. I knew they would be intense. And whole, they actually look like cute little fishys doing weightless aquatic dances:

You can see why I fell in love. I took two back to where I was staying, opened them, settled into a deck chair, and experienced their magick. I dug in with a spoon to discover a flesh creamy and sweet, a bit like a nearly overripe pear, with an ever-so-slight slight tartness, and dotted with elegant black seeds of pure life force. Sunbathing that afternoon, I felt the fire reawaken. I was tired, yes, but filled with energies beyond the physical world. And I've worshipped these babies since.

Dragonfruit, or pitaya, is indeed a superfood, which always equates with beautyfood. It wields active antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, heaps of vitamin C, coveted B vitamins, fiber,  and immune boosters. Topically, a dragonfruit face masque will tighten and revive dull skin, giving you a radiant celestial glow. You can even apply it to your scalp, to keep hair smooth and healthy! 

I've added strawberries to the potion to conjure up a little Venusian love magick, and pomegranate for an extra shot of fire, all to fuel the fertility of your creations! The almonds combined with the liquids make for a fresher, creamier almond milk than the kind you buy...with the added touch of vitamin E for stunning skin and hair. Enjoy, Lovely Ones!

The Dragon's Elixir

1 whole Dragonfruit, flesh only
1/2 C pomegranate juice, unsweetened
1/2 C spring water
1/2 C fresh organic strawberries
1/4 C raw organic almonds
1 packet or dropper organic stevia, or to taste
Garnish with organic goji berries

Blend all these delights together in high-speed device (I always recommend a NutriBullet...it pulverizes everything.) Pour into a sexy cocktail glass and sip, drinking in all the energizing and beautifying energies it offers. 

I would concoct this potion, Beasties, during a Waxing Moon, when you need that push forward, and even nearest a Full Moon for an extra shot of manifesting prowess.

Happy Spring!

xxx Alise

 

 

 

 

 

The Girl That Got Away

Hello, Lovers.

It's been awhile. And you're thinking you've been stood up.

By a redhead who loved you and left you, sitting alone in the wee hours, knocking back yet another lonely drink in a smoke-filled room, playing that same sad song over and over...

But I'm back.

You see, I never left you for another.

Honest.

I've been off having wild adventures, true.

But it was all for you, babies.

I was called away on a secret mission.

It's name is LUNA VITA.

It's a show.

Food. Lifestyle. Beauty.

All infused with practical magick.

You can watch the first three episodes here.

And every week, for 13 weeks, a new show.

(with a few added delights tossed into the brew...)

And, in case you have any lingering doubts as to my affections,

I've got these to back up my story:

Peeking out at you from the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

Peeking out at you from the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

That's right. Your girl is featured in the October, November, and December issues of U.K.-based Vegan Food and Living magazine. And in the December issue of another sexy British publication, Vegan Life magazine. And in the November issue of NYC's Savor Life magazine.

And, for those of you with music in your soul, 

you just might hear my breathy little voice purring on these gems...

MERCURY REv's' "THE LIGHT IN YOU," AND THE AVALANCHES "WILDFLOWER." 

MERCURY REv's' "THE LIGHT IN YOU," AND THE AVALANCHES "WILDFLOWER." 

I'm gonna go home now, and kick off my high heels.

Girl's gotta get a little shut-eye once in a while.

If you want me, just whistle.

"You know how to whistle, don't you?"

xxx Alise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quench Me.

There they were.

Drought resistant warriors waving hello.

 


My plane had just landed, and once outside, I was greeted instantly

by beautiful feathered fans and their graceful, timeless embrace.

I had feared I would find my old friends dry, brown, withered. 

But they had survived.

And they would continue to hold space, stand with purpose. 

My man remarked that I hadn’t stopped grinning since we'd touched down. 

I couldn’t.

I was back in the Realm of the Gods once again,

and that can be a tricky place, full of illusion.

'Cause Neptune rules this city, 

and everyone here falls under the influence.

But the sheer power of nature overtakes all that,

if you are connected to her,

 and stay close, tethered to her truth.

Desert climates have birthed the wisest of species, haven't they?

Native to the Americas, the prickly pear cactus lives mostly in the arid West, storing rare rain water from widespread roots, and protecting itself from predators with a sharp external shield. Plants are so smart. 

You can imagine my squeals of delight when I saw a carton of cactus water in my health food store back in New York...can you even imagine the hydration? I didn't even know it existed! The water comes from the fruit, actually, not the leaves, and get this: it's loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, iron, calcium, AND has anti-inflammatory properties. The taste? Fabulous! It's fruity and light, and not a trace of sugar to be found. In fact, it actually lowers blood sugar. 

This calls for a cocktail!

Cactus Cordial

  • 6 oz. cactus water
  • 1 Tbsp organic hibiscus flowers
  • 2 drops lime essential oil
  • pure water
  • raspberries, for garnish

Start by making a little hibiscus tea ahead of time. You can either steep the flowers in cool water overnight, or heat the water, drop in the flowers, and let them rest there for 6-8 minutes, or longer. Hibiscus is an ancient remedy for cooling the body and moisturizing the skin (we can thank our Egyptian ancestors for that, Lovers). 

When the tea is cooled, strain it into a brandy snifter, or some such foxy late-night glass. Add in the cactus water, the lime oil, plop in a few berries...and enjoy! The lime adds a lick of refreshment in the form of an anti-aging tonic, the berries grace us with more antioxidants and beauty boosting vitamin E, so mingled with the flowers and the waters, we have a most exquisite potion!

Alright, Juicy Ones, have a gorgeous evening...

And, as for you, my dear city,

as you fade behind me,

I am missing you already.

'Til next we meet,

xxx Alise

Love You Live

When the leaves rustle
and the sky turns to orange,
crisp air caressing your face

it’s only natural to crave heat.

Warm foods,
hot brews,
fevered bodies.

Furry throws,
steam rising from moon baths, 
stealing sunshine kisses
wherever possible...

As many of you know, I'm a rabid fan of raw foods.
I feast all day on bright, shiny, radiant offerings from the Earth herself: luscious fruits, crisp greens, juicy veggies, crunchy seeds and nuts...it's an incredibly sensual diet. But, even I must admit the importance of adding cooked foods to your diet as your body needs them. And we do need them, as the wind grows cold, to balance us, to ground us, to nourish in an altogether different way than raw foods do.

Live plant foods, you see, have all their sexy little enzymes intact. Enzymes fight disease. Eating raw ensures that you're getting all the nutrients the plant has to offer (abundant as they are!), and supports your digestive tract. And, as strange as it sounds, that's exactly where good health and radiant beauty begin. 

That said, there are certain instances where the cooked version of a vegetable presents a higher nutritional value. The tomato, for example. This juicy, voluptuous, bright-red sexpot plucked right from the vine is surging with high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene, but her signature lycopene (which fights cancer and heart disease) shines only when cooked. Odd, but true.

The trick, my Darlings, is to satiate your needs in the chilly seasons, both physical and emotional, while still enjoying as much raw food as possible. Easy? Not so much.  It’s one thing to exist on a mostly or all raw diet when you live in a temperate clime. But so many of us don’t. 

The easiest way to get lots of gorgeous raw food into your life?

1. Green Shakes

Madly simple. Dangerously delish. It's like drinking pure energy.
Start this way: Blend 2 cups of spinach with 1/2 banana, 1 cup of pure water (or coconut water), a generous splash of unsweetened almond milk, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, a squeeze of lemon, and a few small bits of fresh ginger. Blend it all wildly until it's totally smooth. 
Congratulations, you just concocted a purrfect breakfast elixir!
From here you can add more greens, maybe 1/2 an apple...whatever fruits and veggies you like, but keep the greens ratio much higher than the fruit. You can use a little stevia if you like. And always add that little bit of good fat to the blend, either with a splash of almond milk, a teeny bit of coconut oil, or 1/4 avocado. This allows the body to actually absorb all those important vitamins and minerals in the produce.
Later in the day, feel free to add some soaked chia, hemp seeds, chlorella or spirulina, as the body can fully utilize them toward the afternoon and evening.

2. Green Salads

Yes! The old standby. Let's give them the respect they deserve by keeping greens dark, leafy, and plentiful. Avoid commercial dressing in favor of fresh lemon or apple cider vinegar and cold-pressed olive oil, or try a few of my go-to's here.
Add in plenty of organic cuke (skins on), red cabbage, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fresh sprouts, and any other bright and beautiful raw veggie you like.
Try to eat two of these each day.
Please, Beasties.
For me?

3. Raw Nibbles

And...easier than even a salad...raw sliced and chopped tidbits to peck on when you need a little bite.
Apples, carrots and bloat-banishing celery are my everyday faves, though I've been known to gnaw away at radishes and cauliflower in public. Maybe it does look a little weird, but who cares? The glow from your mega-watt skin will outshine any sideways glances you might receive, so go for it. 

So it is easy, after all, see?

Now, I’ve compiled some of my Autumn dishes held most dear on my Fall Magic page, but in the coming weeks I want to share some supremely sexy raw numbers that will excite and inspire you.

Like this one:

The other day, as I sometimes do when I'm feeling overloaded, I turned on my Mad Scientist in the kitchen.

(Or maybe I should say a Mad Physicist, random chaos theory being my specialty.)

I wanted something in the ubiquitous pumpkin spice flavor that did NOT come from a donut shop. 
And, while I threw together things that I knew would be at least passibly tasty, I had NO idea what I would experience when I lapped up a finger full of batter...

Pumpkin spice cheesecake?
Whaaaat?!
Oh...yesss...

Pumpkin Pleasure Bites

For the Crust:

  • 1/2 C raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
  • 6 large pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of Celtic salt

For the Filling:

  • 1-1/2 C organic pumpkin pureé, (NOT pie filling)
  • 1/3 C raw coconut nectar
  • 1/4 C coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

First, line a brownie pan with parchment paper. Now combine all your crust ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until everything is crumbly, but sticky. Not sure? Pinch it. If it holds together, purrfect. If not, add a few more dates until it does. Then scoop the whole mixture into your lined pan. Press it into place with your fingers. You want a smooth, even layer.

Pop it in the freezer, and make your filling. Just combine all the ingredients into a large bowl, and whisk it until it's smooth. Taste it. Add more spice or sweetener if you like.

Pour the filling on top of the crust, smooth it, and back in to the freezer it goes!

Let it chill for about 5 hours, or overnight. When you take it out, score it with a knife to make many little cakes, and let it defrost. Slice the pieces all the way through when it's thawed. Place it back the fridge, and keep it there until you want to devour them, as they need to stay chilled in order to hold their shape.

So there you have it: decadent little raw pumpkin cheesecake morsels that are loaded with nutrition, and so scrumptious that even a lover of traditional pumpkin pie will be coming back for more...and more! You can easily omit the cashews in the crust if nuts are an issue, and replace them with steel cut oats, or even additional seeds. Coconut nectar can be cast aside in favor of liquid stevia if you like. Oh, and sometimes in your health food store a bulk, organic pumpkin spice blend can be procured. If so, grab some! You can use it in everything.

And, really, why couldn't you do the whole thing as a pie?
I'm getting visions of holiday dinners...

But for now,
I'll leave you to your own devices,
for I have leaves in my hair
twigs everywhere
and a heart full of joy,
that sends it back to you.

xxx Alise

 

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The Cat's Eye Of The Storm

 

Spinning! Spinning! Spinning!

In between a pair of powerful eclipses

our quicksilver friend seems to twirl backwards

and Autumn rushes in to quicken our pulses...

Tell me, my Loves, are you feeling stressed?

the calm eye of the storm, always.

the calm eye of the storm, always.

Does everything feel like Iggy's "Lust For Life" pounding out of an amplifier in your brain
going 45 instead of 33?

For some it's back to school,
or back to work, after a holiday in the sun,
Or maybe it’s just Fall
and her sense of urgency to “do” something,
kicking up ideas like a child playing in piles of amber leaves...

No matter the why.

Your beautiful self needs a lifeline. And one just happens to appear.

A gift from Diana, Ancient Lady of The Beasts.
Mistress of Wild Things.

Her timing, as always, is purrfect.

Wild Things Brew

Per serving.

  • 1 tsp organic licorice root
  • 1 tsp organic cat's claw
  • 1 Tbsp organic Pau d'Arco
  • 1 stick organic cinnamon
  • 1 organic lemon wedge
  • Stevia to taste

Darlings, when your brain is overloaded, cortisol skyrockets, and your body begins to accelerate in its aging process. Are we going to allow that?! 
Hell no!

Your adrenals need support like mad right now. 
And this is almost too simple.
*wink*

Simply gather your herbs from the local health food store bulk dried section. (Unless, of course, you just happen to be a master herbalist with a garden that would make any witch envious.)
If you can't forage nearby, wonderfully wildcrafted herbs can be had online, from places like Mountain Rose Herbs. 

Now make your magical decoction: 
First, connect with the herbs. Touch them, sing softly to them, thank them. Listen to their whisperings.  Visualize yourself navigating the deep waters of stress with grace and ease. Feel strength and resilience within you.
Got it? Good. Keep it going while you brew.

Bring 1 cup of pure water just to a boil. Add in your herbs and roots. Reduce the heat to barely a simmer, and let the mixture gently release for 20 minutes. Make sure you cover the pot, so the essential oils don't escape during the evaporation process.
Now you can turn off the heat and allow the decoction to sit for another couple of hours if you like. The longer it steeps, the more medicinal it actually gets. 
Then a squeeze of lemon to allow absorption, a little bit of stevia to sweeten if you like, and you're ready!
It's actually quite delicious.

By the way....the difference, Beasties, between an infusion and a decoction is really just in the amount of time you let it stew. Infusions are best for leaves and petals, while a decoction gets to the insides of roots and bark. 

Are you wondering about these mysterious little plant beings?
Well, this legendary healing trio is unsurpassed for adrenal support, recovery, and immune function. Seriously. 
A must have for your natural medicine bag of tricks.

Get on it.

While your sipping your potion, consider the myriad things you can do to help manage during stressful times: yoga, getting outdoors, and getting your beauty sleep for starters. Concious breathing also helps immensely. (Can't get into that headspace? Try downloading the Buddhify app.) 


And steer clear of junk food. I mean it-NO CRAP!
Yes, for thirty seconds you might enjoy that sugar-laden brownie. Or at least the cellular memory of it.
But you know what? Feeding your negative emotions is bullshit.
Moments later, you crash. You feel lousy. Your skin looks like hell. Your belly bloats.
And you didn't solve a thing.

Why on earth would you bother?

Step it up. 
Eat some gorgeous fresh fruit when you crave sugar. Gnaw on nuts when you're so irritated you simply have to crunch on something. Wolf down a few kale chips when salt seems to be the answer. Exhausted? Drink water.

But feed yourself.

You are worth taking care of.

I wouldn't hang out with you otherwise, 
now would I?

xxx Alise

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One Last Summer Fling

As a cool breeze stirs the daybreak
and the sun opens up our hearts
to an afternoon of warm bliss
then back again
to nightfall
where we reach for a furry throw
and a heated body...

It is Indian Summer,
and it doesn't come any finer, my Darlings.

But these delectable days, so fleeting,
and so fair
make me want to to take what's left of Summer
and make love to it
endlessly.

So I reach for a sacred bowl
of earthly pleasures.

Simple. Sensual. Sublime.

Join me for one last salt water kiss?

 

Summer Lovers Salad

  • 1 ripe organic cantaloupe
  • 1 qt organic strawberries
  • 1/2 organic cucumber, skin on, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 5-10 organic mint leaves
  • 5 organic basil leaves
  • Celtic salt

Just dice the cantaloupe and slice the strawberries, toss in the cukes, splash the vinegar, tear the leaves, and pinch the salt, Lusty Ones. It couldn't be more playful!

Strawberries are bursting with vitamin C, antioxidants, and beautifying minerals. An ancient love food, they are ruled by Venus and sacred to the Norse goddess Freya. How's that for divine?
Cantaploupe is also a lunar love food, wildly high in vitamin A and B-6. And cukes, of course, have that wonderful silica and sulfur in the skins that promote radiant hair and skin.

Saucy fact: Moon-y cucumbers were once placed under the noses of women who felt faint, as the refreshing scent was believed to revive them.

Swoon-worthy, indeed...

 

You now have in your hands a magical, beautifying, libido-revving treasure that's purrfect for any time of day or night. Enjoy it to the fullest!

And savor every sticky sweet salty sassy instant left in this season.
For soon, we pull Autumn in for a wild embrace...

But for today,
I'll meet you under the boardwalk,
sand in my hair,

xxx Alise

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The Swinging London

My eyes slowly fluttered closed to the Teutonic rasp of Anita Pallenberg, reminiscing
about that most incredible time, 
when fashion, art, and music made love nightly
and the counter culture ruled the day.

You see, dreary, stodgy old post-war Britain had shape-shifted, seemingly overnight, into a colorful burst of youth and excitement, hell bent on shaking things up...

As Time magazine put it,"Ancient elegance and new opulence are all tangled up in a dazzling blur of op and pop."

Can you picture it?

biba boutique, the . mecca of 60's cool

biba boutique, the . mecca of 60's cool

Fading into kaleidoscope visions, 
each bat of my eyelash a click on an old Viewmaster scene,
dazzled by her smile
getting lost in Syd Barrett’s stare
lulled by Mick’s soft lion's purr…

I awoke to a misty rain, and a scented chill in the air.
Without even thinking I slithered into one of my favorite dresses - 
a deep blue curve-hugger, adorned with tiny wildflowers, a short, flirting hem, and a keyhole neckline.
I recalled the day I tried it on in a London boutique a few years ago. Sliding back the dressing room curtain, I saw the irresistible grin of my co-star. He said simply, “Oh yeah.”

Every time I have been to this energetic city, it's been a blast. I’ve scored incredible clothes from Carnaby Street to Camden market, danced in chic nightclubs, lounged in groovy bars, and, despite it’s reputation for horrid fare, always managed to secure London’s one culinary treasure: amazing Indian food. 

So, to celebrate this glorious city, an era like no other, and my darling Mick’s (slightly belated) birthday, I give to you a lively, sexy chilled drink that's purrfect for a wet Summer day.

Or, in Mick's words, let's "drink your health in scented jasmine tea."

Shall we?

The Swinging London

Serves two

  • 1 tsp organic Earl Grey tea
  • 1 Tbsp organic jasmine pearl flowers
  • 2 C pure water
  • A splash of unsweetened almond or cashew milk
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • Stevia to taste

Loves, we can easily make this into a caffeine-free libation by losing the Earl Grey...but, if you want a little extra charge for a labor-intensive day (of shopping?), leave it as is.

After all, black tea has its benefits. It's full of cancer-fighting antioxidants, and can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease. Way better for you, my sweet Beasties, than coffee. 

Fire up your pure water until its just warm, but not boiling, then submerge your loose teas down deep for about 3 minutes. (If you leave the jasmine in too long it will be bitter.) Allow it to cool. 

When it's ready, add the vanilla, lemon essential oil, and stevia. Pour it into an appealing glass. In goes the ice, and a splash of almond milk to your liking.  Fabulous!

Jasmine not only possesses an incredible scent and taste, but holds the magical prowess of attracting spiritual love. If you burn it in the bedroom, it ignites prophetic dreams. And lemon, of course, invites warm friendships and sensual love, as well as a healthy dose of vitamin C. This is why it's so important not to overheat the water - you get the full wild benefits of leaves and flowers when they remain in a technically "raw" state, nutritionally and otherwise.

But enough talk. Just get loose. Enjoy the seductive aroma, the sensual flavors, and the way it makes you feel.

Beautiful, yes?

Dig it!

xxx Alise

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Mediterranean Nights

There was a large box awaiting me.

Covered in silver foil paper, and bound with a satin bow, it shone like starlight. Too large for a dress or shoes. And it weighed a ton. What on earth could it be? 

Beneath the petals of colored paper lay a most exciting surprise.

Not a tiger print coat.
Not a tiny sailboat.
Not a collection of rare books. 

(But a divine gift for one who cooks.)

An earthen clay cazuela. A beautiful, coveted kitchen accomplice from a faraway land.

As a lover of Spanish everything, 
I must admit that I have a mad little obsession with the traditional clay cookware of the region. And though I’ve dragged countless plates, bowls, lanterns, and cushions across the sea, I’d never once considered a cooking vessel amongst my swag. 

Probably because it would take up valuable shoe room in my valise.

I travel light. Sort of.

I travel light. Sort of.


These sultry Summer nights always make me dream of Spain.

I’ve been craving a classic: the ubiquitous and wildly tasty tortilla de patatas, a tapas staple found absolutely everywhere. Hearty, delicious, and somewhat resembling a potato fritatta, it's come-hither comfort food bar none. The trick? Doing it justice without using eggs. 

But you know how I love a challenge.

So, on a 90 degree day, what does a Lioness do? Fires up the oven, of course.

Tantalizing Tortilla

  • 6 small organic red potatoes, sliced thinly (skins on)
  • 1/2 organic green pepper, chopped
  • 1 C organic chickpea flour (besan)
  • 2-1/4 C pure water
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp smoked black salt
  • Olive oil 

Now, of course, you can make this without any imported pots and pans, but I do suggest a shallow baking dish once it's ready for the oven, in order to get the purrfect consistency. You could even use a pie dish. And it absolutely must be round. For the Sun. For the Moon. Just because.

Warm up a generous swish of olive oil on a low flame until you can feel the heat just above. Toss in the garlic, and allow it to dance just until it turns translucent and releases its heady aroma. Now place the potatoes in, separating the slices with your fingers. Next sprinkle in the green pepper. Give it a gentle tossing to mingle the flavors and coat the potatoes. Let it gently cook until the potatoes are tender.

In a small saucepan, pour the water, and gradually whisk in the chickpea flour on a low flame, until it becomes frothy. Add in the nutritional yeast and black salt, and keep whisking while the mixture gets hotter. It will thicken as it heats. Be careful not to make lumps! If you do, add a teeny bit more water and whisk like mad until it becomes smooth again. Pour it over the potatoes, and mix it well.

Now, pour it into your baking dish, and pop it into the oven for a good 45-50 minutes.

When you take it out, let it cool, Loves. It needs to rest after such a  passionate romp! If you dig in too soon, it won't have a firm texture, and will be jiggly. Take a nap for an hour, then come back to it. 

Oh, and when you do...

You're not going to believe how tasty this is! I was revved when I first took a bite.  So flavorful, and so close to my memory of it's non-vegan friend I'd known in my travels. For eggs, you see, were the last thing to go on my menu.

It even smelled eggy! Mmmmm! The secret? Black salt. 

Those of you who have followed my adventures for a while know that I consider smoked black salt quite the magical ingredient. (You can read about it here.) Somehow, combined with the nutritional yeast and the chickpea flour, the scent and flavor of a baked egg dish is right on...with MAJOR nutrients to boot! Loaded with quality protein, beauty-boosting minerals, B vitamins, fiber, and iron, its a most purrfectly satisfying dish that's easy to pack for lunch or a picnic, and just as easy on your wallet.

My fave way to enjoy tortilla? On a warm Summer evening beneath the stars.

Try it with a tossed dark green salad and my Amorous Ajo Blanco for a sublime supper on a balmy night. And share it with someone you love.

Estar bien mis amores!

xxx Alise

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The Cosmo Girl

It’s no secret that I love all things glamorous and sensual.

The pure joy of making every small detail special, sexy. 

The art of everyday glamour, if you will. 
It’s the little things. 

The tiny embroidered pouch that holds a jewel-hued vial of magic oil, nestled inside a velvet bag, to arise with langor from your purse, a pleasure to the touch.
The silken robe you wear just to check your emails in. The sparkly treasure boxes displayed regally upon your dressing table, whose only secrets are the mundane necessities they house. The gilded etched plate from which you nibble your gluten-free toast. 

I’ve always admired Dita von Teese for that.
The rituals of a glamorous life.
Once you get a taste, you’ll fall madly in love with it.
And the fact that you don’t need Dita’s bank account or social circle to create such beauty.

Of course, you do need to put some effort in. But it’s worth it.

When I was little, my young mother and her girlfriends all read Cosmopolitan magazine. It was, of course, a very different glossy back then. The cover girls were insanely gorgeous and sparkling, a mix of amplified glam and natural beauty. They weren’t famous, with the rare exception of a high-level bombshell film or tv star. And there were certainly no "famous-for-being-tacky" reality stars or manufactured pop silliness on those covers.
Inside the pages were secrets and stories, cheeky how-to’s, feline fashion spreads, ads to swoon over, and, of course, a very saucy monthly astrology guide, all aimed at a most bedazzling creature: The Cosmo Girl.

Vintage Glamorpusses.

Vintage Glamorpusses.

The Cosmo Girl had it all: a chic apartment, a great career, fab friends, and a sizzling love life. Oh, and the wardrobe for every possible situation. Everywhere she went, she brought style, smarts and sex appeal. I was madly in love with this idea. I didn’t even know what half of it referred to at that tender age, but I knew I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. 

In honor of this iconic gal, I’ll share with you one of my personal favorite Everyday Glamour Rituals:

A beauty potion in an impossibly sexy glass. With garnish. Mmm-hmm.

I’m a heavy drinker, you see: I knock back at least two each day.
And I’m talking the hard stuff.

Vitamins. Antioxidants. Minerals.

Oh, I love a real drink as much as anyone, of course. But skin needs hydration and craves nourishment…so this sexy little indulgence has major benefits.

So for you, my fluttering Butterflies,

I’m bringing back the Cocktail Hour.

Let me intoxicate you.

The Cosmo Girl

  • 8 C pure water
  • 3 Tbsp organic hibiscus flowers
  • 2 Tbsp organic rose hips (both found in natural food stores and online)
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • two slices of fresh organic orange
  • a good splash of unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 1-2 packets of stevia

Warm up the water in your little cauldron just to the point of heat, Loves, it doesn't need to boil. (Boiling actually can negate some of the beneficial properties naturally present in herbs and flowers.) With love in your heart, and a strong vision of the life you wish to create, sprinkle in the hibiscus and rose hips, and let them float on magic waters for...well, for as long as you like. Maybe overnight under the Full Moon tonight? 

When they're ready, add your lemon oil, oranges, and the pomegranate juice. Mix in the stevia to sweeten, chill, and you're ready to serve. I like to make a large batch, and keep it stored in a glass jar in the fridge. it keeps well for a few days, and over time the oils from the orange rind are released, deepening the flavor. 

In addition to powerful doses of vitamin C from the citrus, the pom provides super antioxidants, more vitamin C, A, E,  and a gorgeous color. It's actually one of the few fruits whose juice is as as beneficial as the actual fruit itself! It's also a rich source of myriad beauty minerals. 

Rose hips are the sacred fruit of this most treasured flower. Isn't that gorgeous? When all the petals have fallen, the rose hip remains, full with more vitamin C than an orange, and swelling with vitamin A, which keeps skin's elasticity, prevents wrinkles, and keeps those already formed from getting deeper. How's that for hot?

Speaking of heat, hibiscus tea ("karkady") was consumed by our wise ancient Egyptian ancestors to cool down on an arid desert day, as it carries the ability to lower body temperature, and is naturally moisturizing.  

So when you come in after a long day, grab a foxy glass and pour yourself a refreshing Beauty Cocktail. Don't have a selection of pretty drinking vessels? You need to get on that. Great ones can be had for pennies at dollar stores, flea markets, and discount housewares shops. See? Easy.

To your health, My Darlings!

Happy Full Blue Moon!

xxx Alise

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Tropical Temptations

I bit into the tender flesh of a nectarine this morning.
The first of the season.
The sweet nectar ran down my lip and I smiled.
Summer is waiting in the wings for her cue.

As I wrapped myself in a furry sweater on this chilly mountain morning, I smiled at the irony. Shaking off a late-Spring shiver while devouring a summer gift.

I am not a patient woman, as we all know. And the recent warm spell has had me in full-on tropical mode. 

So I've been concocting.

Inspired by “A Taste of Puerto Rico”
snagged from my dear friend, and borrowed indefinitely (thanks, Carlito), I've been playing, adapting classic treats from this fascinating food culture traditionally overflowing with dairy, wheat, deep frying and sugar...but nonetheless blossoming with colorful culinary delights.
I actually relish a challenge like this...l love to delve into regional cookbooks and find ways to Vixen-ize beloved, but usually unhealthy dishes.

My first offering to you? An exuberant, luscious cold soup that you can whip up in an instant as it makes your heart sing out like a vibrant bird of paradise...

Sopa Fría Diosa

Serve chilled.

  • 2 organic mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 organic papaya, peeled/seeded and chopped
  • 4 small cloves garlic, chopped, skins on
  • 1 C organic orange juice
  • 1 C unsweetened almond or cashew milk 
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • A good pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Celtic salt

Just blend it all until it's smooth as your cocoa-buttered skin, and let it chill for a while. I've been obsessed with my new NutriBullet Rx, if you're looking for an excellent blender that doesn't require the existential (and financial) leap that, say, a Vitamix would. 

And, yes, Lovers, you heard me: leave the skins on the garlic. Not the outer papery layers, but the tight one closest to the clove. Why? Because that's where the volatile oils live, the ones with all the natural antibiotics, the ones with all the flavor. You can get away with it when you're high-speed blending, so try it.

Orange foods boost immunity, so together with the garlic, you have a recipe timely for a change in seasons, and the sniffles that sometimes come with them.

Behold a sweet, refreshing potion with the savory bite from the garlic tickling your taste buds and giving you unbridled pleasure with every spoonful. 
The magic ingredient? The almond extract gives it a hint of rum, my Darlings.

Garnish with fresh mint, and maybe a sprinkling of shredded coconut. Pair it with my Cheeky Ceci Pane for a more curvaceous feast. This is Goddess-worthy, so ladle it with love into a gorgeous bowl honoring the sun and sea, warm Summer breezes whispering, the sultry rhythms of voluptuous lands...

Honor the healing power,

Open up,

It's your time to SHINE!

My heart to you,

xxx Alise

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Seasonal Produce: Spring

And, it has happened.

Her petals have opened

to the sun, and to the wind

Botanical poetry, alive and well

bringing us back to joy,

with a creamy mocha center

and soft vanilla sage whispers.

And if the impossible beauty of the flowers have arrived,

then it must be time for...

Spring fruits and vegetables!

Oui! After eons of tubers (no offense, little underground starchy Darlings,) the new Spring collections are in!  

The mantra is always this: buy local, by organic. Produce that has to travel a long distance is invariably picked too early in order to look good upon arrival, so we end up with flavorless, nutrient-deprived food. Of course, depending on where you dwell, some things will never be in season, so when you crave, say, a mango in winter, just follow these tips to enjoy the best possible version of your plant loves. Go ahead, enjoy your old favorites, and make a few new friends while you're at it.. And use your senses! Does it smell luscious? Does it look vibrant and alive? Does it feel good in your hand?

Allright, Loves, let's see who's strutting down the primavera runway...

VEGETABLES:

ARTICHOKES - Look for tightly packed, intact leaves. Splayed leaves are a sign of not-so-fresh chokes.

ASPARAGUS - Once harvested, asparagus deteriorate rapidly, so place them in cool storage to retain freshness and nutrition. Look for firm, slim stalks and beautifully formed tips. Thick stalks can taste woody and kill your experience.

BELGIAN ENDIVE - I love Belgians! (wink, VK.) Choose endive with tips that have a pale, yellow-green color, and avoid wilted or browning heads.

BROCCOLI - Broccoli should be heavy for its size. Steer clear of dried or browning stalks and yellowing florets.

BUTTER LETTUCE - Bring home heads that look full of life! No wilting or browning.

CHIVES - You want graceful chives, uniform in size and color. Stay away from any wilting or yellowing.

COLLARD GREENS - Yesss! Collard wraps! Pick dark green leaves, but eat them quickly...once they turn yellow they're done.

CORN - Look for bright green husks, and don't be shy about peeling their clothing off. The corn beneath should be unblemished and juicy looking.

FAVA BEANS - If you are able to snag fresh favas, grab them! Young favas can be shelled, are usually small, and smell like Spring herself!

FENNEL - Another amazing addition to your repertoire! Licorice-y fennel grows wild all over Southern California and the Med-rim countryside...maybe that's why I love it so? (Actually it grows wild all over the globe.) Choose bright green feathery leaves and white, even bulbs. Add it to salads and raw savory dishes for a sexy kick.

GREEN BEANS - These should be crisp, firm, and vibrant. Stay away from dark spots and dried-out ends.

MUSTARD GREENS - Look for pretty, lacy green leaves, sans browning or wilting. And eat them quickly!

PEAS - Fresh English peas just scream Spring! Look for pods that are full, but not bulging. As soon as they mature, they become starchy and way less flavorful. Try to find ones at a farmer's market that have been just harvested.

RADICCHIO - Choose compact heads with tight, fresh-looking leaves. 

RADISHES - Go for bunches that are deep in color with solid roots. You want them firm and blemish-free. Avoid cracks.

RED LEAF LETTUCE - Select the ones that have fresh-looking, tightly packed leaves. Red leaf gets wilty quick, so enjoy it the day you market.

RHUBARB - Rhubarb (only eat the stalks, Loves) are quite tart, but when sweetened actually work as more of a fruit. Select unmarred stalks.

SNOW PEAS - You want the ones that are a bright green with flat, small seeds. They should snap when you pop them. Put them back if they look shriveled, dry, or discolored.

SORREL - If you haven't tried this delicious, citrusy green, do it now! Same rules of thumb as apply to all lettuces and greens. But these, in particular, need to be eaten the day you buy them. Let them sit and they become compost.

SPINACH - The younger the plant, the sweeter the leaves, so go for bright baby spinach. Hint: check the stems. If they are flexible, it's young.

SPRING BABY LETTUCE - So many gorgeous greens! Again, look for vibrant leaves, no wilting or discoloration.

SWISS CHARD - Grab dark green leaves with bright stems. And eat them fast!

VIDALIA ONIONS - The flatter the onion, the sweeter. Try it.

WATERCRESS - Choose bright green watercress that isn't yellowing or slippery. A fantastic addition to your salads or green shakes.

FRUIT:

APRICOTS - Choose ones that are rich in color, firm, and plump looking. These little ones bruise easily, but those can be used in jams, sauces, pureés, etc., so don't dismiss them. Their feelings will be hurt.

CHERRIES - The best ones are large (an inch or more in diameter), plump, firm, and rich in color. The deep, black cherries are always the sweetest! 

CHERIMOYA - You really have to strike while this baby is hot. This absolutely delicious, pineappl-ey/banana-ey/mango-ey fruit shouldn't be missed, but has a short shelf life, so seek it out, in all its dragon-skinned glory!

HONEYDEW MELON - The skin should be a an even cream, yellow, or white color, it should smell fragrant, and a tap should ring a hollow, not dull sound. Also, press into the area where the stem was. If it's mushy, bid it adieu.

JACKFRUIT - Another exotic yum! A ripe one will have a beautiful fragrance and yield to the touch. An unripe one will be hard with no perfume.

LIME - Easy: give them a squeeze. If they yield, they will be juicy.

MANGO - Color doesn't matter here. A ripe mango will give slightly when gently squeezed, and often a lovely sweet aroma. If it's hard as a rock, let it be.

ORANGES - Here's another example of a fruit that doesn't give it away by color. A ripe orange will look and feel juicy, like it's about to burst. Go for the plumpest ones.

PINEAPPLE - Are you ready? Smell the base of the pineapple. If it is ripe, it will grace you with its signature scent. 

STRAWBERRIES - These beauties should be plump, firm, well shaped, and uniformly colored. Avoid white tops, a tell-tale sign of being picked too early.
 

BLOSSOM LOVE. IMAGE BY  VK-RED DUVIVER.

BLOSSOM LOVE. IMAGE BY VK-RED DUVIVER.

Well now,

all that abundance should keep you busy for a while, no?

Let's get outside and have a little picnic together.

Is that a...rhubarb in your pocket...or...?

xxx Alise

As You Wish

“I want this SO badly...

 I’m gonna make it happen!”

How many times, my Loves, have those words 

hissed from your tongue?

Be honest.

Ever create something despite the warning signs, and ended up with a mess? To find that it wasn’t really what you wanted after all, that the reality was actually quite different, or sadly, you lost something precious in the process? Maybe the whole thing was loaded with mishaps, every step of the way, or you ended up having mind-blowing, arduous delays?

This is because we ignore timing.

That is the arrogance of the Craft, if you will.  

And, yes, we do make it happen. High-level magic can make anything happen. There is power there, for sure. But it lacks in wisdom.

We push, conjure, manifest the fuck out of what we want, and we work hard, but if we ignore the rhythm of the Cosmos, it’s gonna bite us. It may take a while, but rest assured it WILL bite.

Particularly if it’s ego-driven. 

Reading Kitty Cavalier’s recent post, "Lay Me Down To Rest," made me smile so big my cheekbones hurt. Because I knew exactly where she was. Had she ignored her wisdom, her inner rhythm, she may have jumped a bit too early. It doesn’t mean anything drastically terrible would have occurred, but you can find yourself launching a rocket into a decidedly less than stellar atmosphere, because you simply cannot wait. Or because you have fear.

Thing is, Darlings, we have seasons. Some are entwined with the Earth, and some are our own. We look to our stars for guidance, we ask, and we watch for signs. 

But do we always listen?

I was complaining about a freeway jam one day, and my man said to me,”If you are stuck in traffic, it is because you are meant to arrive at exactly the right time.”

Hmmm. Where have I head that before?

“A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He always arrives precisely when he means to.”

I’m with Gandalf. Literally, it seems.

After an absurdly long Winter, I’ve been ready to HATCH. The eggshell has been tight to the point of near-suffocation, and I just need to burst open and fly! As some of you know, I’ve been in various stages of production on my beauty/cooking/lifestyle show the past several months, all set to premiere on the Vernal Equinox.

That didn’t happen.

And It made me insane. Because in my reasoning, that was the one and only possible purrfect date this Spring to launch. The Spring Equinox, a New Moon, AND an eclipse...IN MY SUN SIGN, for Goddess sake!!!! No two ways about it, THAT was the date.

Sounds like a wise plan, no?

Here’s why it didn’t work: I picked a date, based on fear, and PUSHED. HARD. I looked to the stars, but not to the reality of how big of a project it is. I just bent my head down, and charged ahead with my Ram’s horns will all the force of Thor's hammer.

When the location fell through, shooting went awry, and it seemed that all my hard work, all my passion, was failing me...I had a total internal meltdown. And then I had an understanding.

I had to look at it, and ask myself: Am I shooting of this date because I feel that I’ve been dormant for too long? Am I afraid of becoming stagnant? Old? Is someone gonna beat me to it?

And then the even tougher questions came up.

Was I doing this for my ego, or is the point, Ms. Marie, to help people? To share what I know? Is this coming from my heart, or that wicked little place where we compare ourselves to others? 

Because, beautiful Birds, if it comes from anywhere other than your heart, it will ultimately fail you. You can achieve, for certain, but it will ring hollow. 

And, really, it’s coming along beautifully, as it should be, and on its most eloquent, divine schedule. But as with all projects that are near and dear to us, it takes time to develop. And, though I am not a patient woman (see “Manifesting” above,) I have learned to trust.

Think of it this way: when it's right, YOU don't do IT.

IT does YOU.


And now, Beasties, I am off.

Because tomorrow is not only a Full Moon Eclipse,

but it is also...

My Birthday.

And this Cat is ready for some action!

I love you!

xxx Alise

 

Taste The Sun

There is the tease,

and then

there is the diabolical.

beautiful, but unbearably frigid upstate new york. but see that sky? i've been working on it...

beautiful, but unbearably frigid upstate new york. but see that sky? i've been working on it...

Here in the Northeast, climate change has given an over-the-top performance,

as we cheer wildly for a rare day above freezing.

Of course, early Spring often plays with us,

coyly giving us a warm spell,

only to revert to her old Winter habits.

But this time around, 

it's much more intense.

Cabin fever happened ages ago.

We're way beyond that.

And, with all the respect due to Nature

(as she's been given a lousy script, and a far worse production crew,)

isn't it time we make some heat?

That's more like it!

That's more like it!

Bossa Nova has been filling my rooms.

Island flavors mingling in la cucina.

Bright colors dancing front and center from a forgotten recess of my closet.

You know what I mean?

TIME. FOR. ACTION.

I'm calling in the Sun King, honey.

And I've got one hell of an offering.

Do you know about sun butter? Beasties, you've got to get on this. It tastes like creamy peanut butter, but is made from sunflower seeds. That's right! So it's wicked nutritious, nut-free, and absolutely the tastiest thing ever. Sunflower seeds are the gifts of the deliriously happy-faced sun flowers, and are loaded with beauty nutrients. They have insane amounts of vitamin E, Lovers, which your skin adores, crazy high amounts of B vitamins and beloved minerals, one of whom is magnesium, which has the ability to calm your nerves. 

Stress-busting, beautifying, AND delicious? I'd call that a purrfect food.

Let's make a Vixen-ized version of the classic peanut sesame noodles, with a spicy mango salad as its date.

Sunshine Noodles 

  • 1 9oz. package of pure buckwheat noodles (or quinoa noodles)
  • 3/4 C sun butter (available in your health food store. If they don't carry it, they can order it.)
  • 3/4-1 C pure water
  • 2 Tbsp Nama Shoyu
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated or chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped super fine
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or stevia
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, as you like
  • 1/4 raw cashews, chopped
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Celtic salt, to taste

Spicy Mango Salad

  • 2 organic mangoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 organic carrots, julienned
  • 1 organic cucumber, julienned, skin on 
  • 1/4 raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • handful of fresh organic basil, chopped
  • zest of 1 lime
  • Good pinch of Celtic salt

Make the salad first, so the flavors have time to mingle. You want to make the buckwheat noodles at the last possible moment, because they become wallpaper paste if they sit too long.

Combine all the ingredients in a pretty bowl, toss, and let it do its thing.

Now, in a large bowl, whisk together all of the Sunshine Noodles ingredients except the salt. Keep working the sun butter into the water, adding a little water at a time, until the mixture had a fairly thin, creamy consistency. Add more water if you need to. I like mine drowning in sauce, but you may prefer it a little thicker.

Make the noodles. Drain and set aside. (**You can make this totally raw by using zucchini noodles if you like. Just run them through a spiralizer or use a potato peeler.)

Add the sauce to the noodles. Using tongs, toss the mixture together, making sure to coat all the noodles. Taste it. Mmmm. Add your salt here, and adjust the fire from the pepper flakes if you desire.

Top it with the chopped cashews, and enjoy. Eat the salad first for proper digestion. Always raw before cooked. Remember that. 

It is sooo good, you won't believe it's healthy.

the real-life "girl from impanema," héloise pinheiro.

the real-life "girl from impanema," héloise pinheiro.

Bring on the tropics, Mama.

We're all waiting. 

Impatiently.

xxx Alise

Alise In Wonderland

The Sensual Shower

Why is it that when we bathe

it's a languid, sultry affair

while a shower in an in-and-out

hurried rush of graceless movement?

Well now,

we all know how much fun a quickie can be...

Time to give the shower the seductive power it deserves.

I'll share a delicious secret with you: It's all about layering scent. A spell of sensuality is immediately cast, and remains with you, to be shared, like handing out single flowers to everyone you meet from a voluptuous bouquet you hold close to your heart.

All it takes is a little magic.

You will need:

  • 1 bottle of castile soap
  • 1 jar of unrefined, organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cute spray bottle, filled with pure water
  • 1 bottle of organic flower water (Rose, Orange, Lavender, etc.)
  • Your fave essential oils
  • A few gorgeous containers (see below)

As you gather your essential oils, pause for a moment to really feel what you want to create. What blend would make you feel amazing and beautiful all day long? What oils can heal any maladies you may be having? For instance, right now I am using a frankincense/myrrh treatment with fresh vanilla bean. It's deep, musky, and wildly sexy, and it is curing a few ills. Mix together your essential oils, with enough drops to use in a few different potions. 

Of course, making this blend is a ritual unto itself, so be sure to infuse it with powerful energy.

Divide your mixture equally into the castile soap, the coconut oil, and the spray bottle. Shake and mix each one. Add some flower water to the spray bottle, and use it for misting towels, your robe or clothing, the room...anything you like!

If you can, transfer the coconut oil and the castile soap into glass containers. Scour flea markets and Etsy for special ones to display. They make the ritual even more enticing, don't they? Running your fingers along the graceful neck of a bottle, removing the stopper, placing it on the tile to catch the light, and pouring the nectar from it onto your heated flesh...

Instant. Shower. Spa.

Now you have scent-infused body wash, shave cream, spray, and moisturizer for every sweet part of you. Now each moment you have to linger beneath the spray will be joyous, even if it's only a few. Breathe it all in, really feeling the water on your skin, and give thanks to your gorgeous body. After all, it carries you everywhere. It deserves the love and attention you give to it.

It's these little moments we take for ourselves, Darling Ones, that set the stage for the entire day. Or night. Bewitching treats. Like movie star lingerie beneath our uniforms, they are a constant reminder to feed ourselves as women. Try it.

You may just find yourself hooked.

xxx Alise

Alise In Wonderland


The Moon, The Goat, and The Flowers

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Year of The Goat. 

Fantastic.

My beloved friend, Mario, not really digging the idea of leaving his house this Winter. I hear ya, baby.

My beloved friend, Mario, not really digging the idea of leaving his house this Winter. I hear ya, baby.

The story goes that Buddha invited all animals to join him on the Lunar New Year, but only twelve showed. Can you imagine? I can only guess that they were off doing very amazing things to miss such an auspicious gathering. So he named a year for every animal present, bestowing the characteristics of that animal, with its corresponding element, on each year. 

2015 comes sweeping in as the Year of The Wood Goat (also Sheep and Ram), and with it the promise of positive emotions and steamy erotic encounters. Mmmmm! 

We can also look forward to a peaceful home environment, a more laid-back vibe between people around us, and...are you ready?

Soaring,

Sparkling,

Enchanted

CREATIVITY!

No matter what art form you choose, if it comes from down deep and makes your butterfly heart sing, it's got Lunar-powered success written all over it.

See? It's happening! GO. FOR. IT. RIGHT. NOW. 

Well, ok, so he ventures out to see little ol' me... I LOVE this guy.

Well, ok, so he ventures out to see little ol' me... I LOVE this guy.

As Chinese New Year celebrates wealth, longevity, and happiness, my offering to you, sweet Horned Ones, are delicate, tasty blossoms, filled with love and life, just bursting open with symbolic traditional talismans, and adorned with petals of magical significance...

This vibrant and very pretty dish can be eaten as an appetizer for a party, or as a full meal for two - with a raw salad first, of course, for easy digestion and maximum health and beauty benefits. 

It begins with a dark and delightful black rice. 

Black foods in the ancient Daoist tradition contained the most amount of Jing, or life-force, so whenever possible choose them over their pale counterparts. (It's all about the Jing, Lovers. Trust me on this.) It is said that rice carries the magical gift of wealth, and if, when cooking it, a ring forms around the edge of the pot, the owner will become rich! A purrfectly logical reason to fire that cauldron wayyy up...

Adding fortune's fire to our ritual concocting here are sesame seed, cabbage, ginger, and lettuce. (Lettuce is also always included in Chinese New Year celebrations for prosperity and a fresh start.)

And how about a bit of garlic for good health? Orange and lime for love?

You got it.

Prosperity Flowers

Makes 13 Flowers

  • 4 oz. black or wild rice, organic
  • 1-1/4 C pure water
  • 1 Tbsp raw organic coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 organic red pepper, chopped
  • 1-1/2 C. organic red cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp organic ground ginger, or 1/4" piece fresh grated
  • 2 Tbsp organic Nama Shoyu (a healthier version of soy sauce, found in health food stores)
  • 1/2 C cilantro, chopped
  • 2 sprigs mint, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 drops Lime essential oil
  • 3 drops Wild Orange essential oil

For the Sauce

  • 3/4 C organic Nama Shoyu
  • 2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 drop Lime essential oil
  • 1 drop Wild Orange essential oil

This dish comes together easily, so light and energizing, but don't mistake that for fluffiness in the power department. That holds true for all plant foods, especially when they're raw. So, light your candle, set your intention, and let the energy build...

Boil the water in a small saucepan, then add in the rice. Return it to a boil (remember that "ring around the pot!") , then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover it, and let it cook for 20-30 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. 

While the rice is coming into it's own, fire up a large pot slowly, adding in the coconut oil when it's hot, and letting it quietly melt. In goes the chopped garlic, sizzling gently until just translucent and madly fragrant.

There's something indescribably rich about the scent of garlic warming in coconut oil. It's absolutely mouth-watering.

Sprinkle the ginger on top of the garlic, give it a stir, and let it mingle a few minutes. Then add in the cabbage and peppers. Move it all around. Splash in some Shoyu sauce, and give it one more good stir.

While the vegetables cook, whip up your sauce. Whisk together the shoyu and coconut nectar until they are blended. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and oils. Whisk it again, then set it aside. (By the time you're ready to plate, the flavors will be mingled.)

Oh, and toast the sesame seeds. Just warm them in a little pan on the stove until they brown and smell outrageously nutty. Try not to burn them.

When the veggies are cooked to your desired tenderness, remove the pot from the flame. Let it cool somewhat. You want the mixture to be warm going into the lettuce flowers, not hot. Toss in the fresh cilantro and mint (more love and money!), and, finally, the oils. 

Spoon it into the lettuce flowers, and arrange them beautifully on a plate with the sauce. Sprinkle the sesame seeds around like little wishes...

These are so flavorful, fresh-tasting, and yummy you'll want to make them all the time!

To you, Beloved Beasties,

I wish a most energizing New Moon, 

and a Lunar year filled with everything your heart desires.

And goats.

Goats are fabulous.

 

All My Love To You,

xxx Alise

 

 

 

Tipping the (Red) Velvet

Perhaps you've heard the expression, "Tipping the velvet..."

Those naughty Victorians.

They came up with it.

Repression being the mother of invention, I suppose.

It really does conjure up an image of something wonderfully sensual.

"What is it?" you ask?

I'll let this vintage illustration provide the answer...

Mmm-hmm.

And this was the least explicit depiction I could find for you,

but certainly not the most beguiling.

She really doesn't look so enthralled,

but I'll say that's quite a way to embrace your...art.

*ahem*

Which brings us 'round to Venus' Day.

I couldn't think of anything possibly cheekier for you, my Dirty Things

than a Red Velvet Tart,

in honor of the day, and night

so full of sexual rapture...

CLOTHING? OPTIONAL. SIREN SHOES? MANDATORY.

CLOTHING? OPTIONAL. SIREN SHOES? MANDATORY.

Isn't it pretty? Wait 'til you taste...

Isn't it pretty? Wait 'til you taste...

Tipping The Red Velvet Tart

Makes two tarts. Feel free to double the recipe.

For the Crust:

  • 1-1/2 C raw almonds, soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 C coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 Tbsp raw coconut nectar

For the Red Velvet Filling:

  • 1 large super-ripe avocado
  • 1/4 C raw, unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/4 C full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Madagascar vanilla powder or extract
  • 4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp beet powder or crystals
  • 1 tsp organic pure chocolate extract

For the Adornment:

  • 1 pt fresh organic raspberries

Lovers, this is almost too easy. You have to gather a few oddball ingredients, like the beet powder and the chocolate extract, but it is sooo worth it. This tart is seduction in its purest form: lush, rich, decadent and deep chocolate, ripe, lusty raspberries, positively tingling with beauty fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Guilt? Never heard of it. 

Pure pleasure. Our kind of night.

You will find the beet powder or crystals in your fave health food store. It's pricey, but can be used to your advantage in shake elixirs for a naturally sweet flavor, a gorgeous color, and all the myriad health benefits of beets, such as fighting inflammation (the root of all ills), detoxification (awesome for your belly and skin), and boosting your stamina, to name a few. I especially like them paired with strawberries and a little vanilla.

You can, of course, swap the maple syrup for stevia or raw coconut nectar if you have candida, diabetes, or an intense sugar sensitivity. But if you can, use the maple. Paired with chocolate, it's nothing short of a religious experience.

I don't love a ton of crust, and this recipe makes a good amount of it, so my advice would be to just create a thin layer in each tart pan, which will give you four crusts. Pop two in the freezer for future dessert ecstasy. I promise you I have much in store for you, my Darlings.

But for now, it's time to begin our love ritual...

Start with music. Anything that makes you feel slinky.

Place a red candle inside a beautiful bowl or tray, adding herbs, flowers, stones, lingerie...whatever feels good to you and conjures up visions of sensuality, love, and feverish erotic encounters, should you so desire. Create your altar. Some suggestions? Sprinkle rose petals, jasmine flowers, carefully place a vanilla bean, a rose quartz (to open the heart to receiving love), a rhodocrosite (for loving ourselves), and perhaps a saucy little personal item to add extra sizzle.

Visualize, feel, breathe deeply, lower your shoulders and hold your head high. Invite Aphrodite and Inanna into your sacred space. Keep going. Are you there? Whisper your your prayers, light the candle, and get ready to channel your Kitchen Witch super-powers.

So, first pulse your almonds in a food processor or high-speed blender until it becomes fine and crumbly. Add in the coconut nectar, and the oil, and give it another blast. (Either oil is purrfect, it just depends on your taste preference. If you don't love coconut with your chocolate, then use the avocado oil, it will simply taste buttery.)

Spoon out a heaping tablespoon for each tart pan, and press around with your fingers to get an even layer on the bottom and up the sides. Set them in the fridge while you make the filling.

Ohhh...the filling. Wait for it.

Cream the avocado in a high speed blender until it is very, very smooth. Now add in the rest of the ingredients, blend well, and...you're done. It's that easy. But don't let its simplicity veil you: this is powerful stuff. Avocados are ruled by Venus, and have long been revered for their beauty and love magick. And chocolate, no less. The manifestation of edible elemental fire so key in giving and receiving love.

Go ahead, give it a little lick. *ahem*

Spoon the filling into the tart shells. Arrange the raspberries in a circular pattern, even more of a Venusian love charge for adding the last touch of sparkle, like jewelry, to your spell. And don't forget to give thanks to your cosmic cohorts and fruits of the Earth.

Leave them in the fridge until you're ready to serve and devour. I cannot promise that you won't end up on the floor, writhing in ecstacy...

Oh, you deserve this one...

Savour it.

xxx Alise

 

In The Flesh

These harsh winds,

and their bone cold fingers,

can take us,

forcefully,

in their clutches,

and strip us bare 

of our juicy-ness.

Flesh

We can't let that happen.

We need our flesh ripe and soft,

our hair shining,

our glow undimmed.

My Loves, here are my five most potent, yet simple Winter rituals to restore your shimmer, and make sure the tides of sensuality rise ever-so-high, even when the mercury plummets. Even if you don't live in a harsh clime, you lucky little devil, these are purrfect tips for any dry environment.

GET STEAMY. If you don't have a humidifier in your Lair, go out and get one. Immediately. They range in prices and functionality, but you can pick up a little portable one that gets it done for about $60US. It's worth it. (Look for the kind that gives off a cool air mist - you'll sleep like a baby.)

Why? Because dry, stagnant indoor air drains precious moisture from you, inside and out. Not only does it leave your hair brittle, your skin parched, and your lips cracked, but it also dries out your sinuses, leading to a full-on bout of sniffling, congested grossness. Sinuses, you see, are fickle things. When enough moisture isn't naturally produced, they take the reins and begin to produce it themselves, putting you on the fast train to a never-ending cycle of stuffy-head misery. To hell with that. Use your new best friend the humidifier (I've dubbed mine "Froggy" for the little bullfrog sounds it occasionally makes) as an essential oil diffuser, and you've got what you need to add aromatherapeutic divinity to the air. Try a few drops of eucalyptus to clear nasal passages, chamomile and lavender to help you sleep, peppermint or citrus to get you moving, or something extra sexy like frankencense to spice things up in any room.

Your animal familiars will love it too. My felines  like to lie at the end of the bed with the mist rising behind them. In a dim light, it looks like they're in front of a dry ice machine. Hilarious little rockstars.

BLESSED NAKEDNESS. Now, more than ever, we have to take special care to keep our skin soft, touchable, gorgeous. Even under many pounds of clothing, isn't it our delicious secret weapon? 

The tendency is, of course, to shower or bathe in scalding water just to get the chill off, then rush madly into a strange dance with a towel so we can get back into our swaddling layers before the cold air hits us. This will never do for our Goddess (and God) selves. We need to connect with our bodies, especially during these frigid months of covering up like mad.

Here are a few little ticks I employ: Let a space heater work its magic in the bathroom 10-15 minutes before you enter. (And, yes, shut it off before you start running your bath water.) The warm steam will rise and fill the air, taking over where the heater left off. I like to warm my towels and my robe on the radiators while I'm in, reminiscent of those fantastic towel heaters in UK hotel bathrooms. (Why are these not standard features in every bathroom?)  Soak for a while in very warm water, but compensate by adding lush oils to your bath, then further up the moisturizing magic by coating your skin twice daily (do the space heater thing in the morning also, to get the chill out of the room) in a lush body butter you can make in no time at all...

Naked Body Butter

Naked Body Butter

At room temperature, this should keep at least a month. If it gets melty, just refrigerate. You can find the butters online, just shop around for the best deal, as it changes. 

  • 1/2 C coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 C shea butter, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 C cocoa butter, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tsp vitamin E oil (optional)
  • 13-30 drops essential oils

Combine the coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter in a small saucepan on a gentle flame. Allow it all to melt slowly as you stir it, sending beautiful energy into your potion. When everything is melted and combined, remove it from heat. Mix in your vitamin E and essential oils. Pour it into a bowl, and chill in the fridge for two hours.

Now the fun part: Take a hand mixer and WHIP IT! Once you get a fluffy consistency, you'll know it's ready. Spoon it into pretty jars...your skin is waiting...

WHAT YOU PUT INSIDE.  Hydration begins and sustains by what you choose to eat and drink. It's so easy to forget to drink enough water in the cold weather, but, Beauties, you absolutely MUST. Make sure you are getting at least a few good glasses of pure water in every day. Add some high quality, food-grade essential oils (see end of post) to your glass to keep it interesting. My faves? Lemon, wild orange, and grapefruit. Instead of going for that second (or sixth) cup of coffee, consider that caffeine is dehydrating, and dehydration causes fatigue, creating a vicious cycle. Oh, and it's hell on your complexion. Drink water instead. 

You can also hydrate from within by adding chia, fresh aloe, and coconut water to your shake elixirs, which you drink every day...right?

Hot, brothy soups and herbal teas also have a dual function: not only are they warming and nourishing food medicine, but they also open up and moisturize the sinus/nasal/bronchial passages and clear the way, fighting colds and other horrid nonsense. We have no time for that.

FACE IT. Your sweet faced is exposed to the elements, all the time. This is particularly ravaging during Winter months, when most of us forget to wear sunscreen, or skimp on the moisturizers. My fave products for giving good face are:

Shikai Borage Oil Hand Cream (Travel Size)- This is precious. It's inexpensive and potent as hell. Borage oil penetrates, feeding your cells directly with a major Omega-6 fatty oil called gamma linolenic acid, which lets skin retain its moisture. I use it not only on my hands, but on my face before heading out into the elements. These tiny tubes are so affordable, you can stash one pretty much anywhere. Bonus: It can repair chapped lips gloriously. Magic Bonus: Borage brings courage those who carry or wear it.

Derma E BB Cream - This goes on top: light and dewy, with a subtle foundation effect and a 25 SPF. It's so good, I use it all year long!

Acure Organics Seriously Firming Facial Serum - Ohhh, this is a most delightful potion! Day or night, alone or under a moisturizer, this baby is about to become your intimate friend. You two will have sensual rituals together every day.  Its velvet texture and your flesh were meant to be together, to revel in a dew-like glow of complexion purrfection...

 Acure Organics Eye CreamAnother gem from the alchemists at Acure. Stimulating new cell growth (!) while delicately drenching your eye area with feather-light moisture. You'll look so refreshed, people will think you actually slept last night. You're welcome.

HAIR TODAY... Tresses get hit hardest of all it seems. The constant in and out of dry indoor heat and cold outdoor moisture forces the hair shaft to expand and contract at a maddening pace. It's exhausting. And it weakens hair. You can condition to your heart's content, but you still need reinforcements.

My secrets? Always, always, always cover your hair when you are going in and out of doors. It helps. A hood, a scarf, even a hat if you pile the bulk of your hair into it. It will protect the outer layer from damage, and keep you warm.

Second, you cannot have enough moisture on the ends. I'm in lust right now with Holistix Light Argan Oil Treatment. You know I've been obsessed with argan oil forever, but oils in general can weigh hair down. I've got a massive mane, but the strands themselves are quite fine, especially around the face, and can get lank and gooey all-too-easily. If your hair is coarse, go for the straight oil. But if you have a medium-to-fine texture, this is it. 

Lastly, whenever I can get away with it, I coat my ends with conditioner, and make multiple braids. My weapon of choice is Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Oil + Stem Cell Conditioner, assuring my mane of not only intense conditioning, but protecting it with a layer of heavenly-scented armor. Bonus: when you take them out at night you look like a Norse goddess. *wink*

And on that note,

I will leave you to beautify and hydrate yourselves,

while I consult the runes...

All my love, always.

xxx Alise

P.S. All the essential oils I've mentioned can be found here, in their absolute highest quality. ENJOY!

Friday's Child: Perspective

"There are no facts, only interpretations."

-Friedrich Nietzsche

As we dance into the next phase,

together,

what shall we create?

What wonderous things will we put forth into this year?

How shall we see it?

I'm excited.

More than anything,

I want to share them all with you.

My Loves, my blessed Beasties.

I send you all the joy 

all the energy you need

to make your dreams come true,

and the stillness within

to stay in harmony 

with the ebb and flow

of the stars...

Kisses and moonlight,

xxx Alise