Do It Clean

I heave a dramatic sigh as I say this: the New York Summer is an especially mucky one.
This has been the dubious trend of late,
for at least as long as I can recall.

And while there are, admittedly, a handful of stunning days,
absolutely purrfect for frolic,
most are unbearably humid.
I’m not talking a balmy, sultry, tropical moisture in the air,
one that stirs up a musky Brando sensuality...

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE KIND OF MOMENT THIS ISN'T.

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE KIND OF MOMENT THIS ISN'T.

I’m talking gross.

You know the kind. 
In the city, it’s everywhere. The streets literally assault you with it.
In the country, it’s a more organic, moldy kind of thing.
The strange odors that arise from nowhere, from ghosts of tenants past,
no matter how fastidious you are. They even lurk in your car.  

Two Summers ago, I kid you not, I was lounging in my clawfoot bathtub, 
when my eye caught the sight of something strange:
a vision of something white at the base of the pedestal sink.
I half-emerged to lean over for a closer look. I figured something had dropped or spilled there.
It hadn’t.  
It was mushrooms.
Growing in my bathroom.

They had, literally, shot up overnight.
I stared at them, fascinated for a while.
I love mushrooms.
But then it dawned on me that this wasn’t actually a healthy thing, for fungi to be sprouting up out of...tile. 
That’s the kind of humidity I’m talking about.

What’s a girl to do?
Bust out the magic, of course!

Time to reclaim your space as the Den of Sensuality it should be.
Time for natural cleaning with super powers.

Gather a few sparkly glass bottles,
strip down to your delicates,
and get it on, right?

Wait...you mean you never thought of cleaning as a fun experience?
Oh, honey!
It's all in how you approach it.
I call my version "Naked Disco Cleaning," which is exactly what it sounds like.
It starts out innocently enough. You begin by BLASTING 70's disco. Fully clothed, of course. And the beat pounds. And you start dancing. And cleaning.
It gets hot. 
So you take off your blouse. And your hair gets wild. You're singing.
It all just keeps getting hotter. Off comes the skirt. 

You get the picture.

Once, someone I worked with dropped by while I was in mid-cleaning frenzy. I answered the door drenched in sweat, wearing purple cleaning gloves, insane hair, and little else. With a bemused stare and a hearty laugh, she shook her head and said, "Only you...ONLY...YOU...!"

I guess you should always check to see who's at the door before you open it.
 

Desirous Cleaning Mist

  • 12 oz. distilled water
  • 2 Tbsp liquid castille soap
  • 30 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops orange essential oil

Just fill up your pretty 12 oz. spray bottle with the distilled water, add in the castille soap, then add your essential oils, slowly and with purpose. Feel negative energies leaving your precious space, old layers falling away, and fertile new ideas coming in. 

I absolutely love this blend, because it has a wondrously clean and lively scent, while remaining exotic and sensual. I think you'll love it too.

 And now, for my next number...

Lair Freshener

  • 4 oz. distilled water
  • 15 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 8 drops orange essential oil

Here again, this gloriously refreshing, sexy mix. Just like before, combine, enchant, and use to your heart's content! Just give them a little shimmy shake before each use to stimulate the oils.

Of course, you can adjust the oils to your liking. I always like to lay the cinnamon on heavily, for its lusty vibe and for its superior anti-microbial prowess. 

The best part? You can use these everywhere, my Darlings. On countertops, floors, sinks, tile...you name it! You wanna know an amazing little trick? Spray the Lair Freshener directly onto carpets, upholstery and textiles to freshen them. I even put some in my steamer in lieu of plain distilled water to deep clean my carpets and drapes. (This is also a fabulous way to gently clean your clothing.)

In case you are wondering, I haven't included white vinegar here for two reasons: first, it can damage certain natural materials like marble, stone, and wood. Second? Um...the smell. It's pretty bad

While I only use DoTerra essential oils for medicinal needs, including food and elixirs, a health food store grade is fine for cleaning. But Lovers, do not under any circumstances ingest these lesser brands. There is a massive difference in quality. A certified pure therapeutic grade oil (CPTG) has been throughly tested through a strict protocol, and has been harvested and distilled carefully by highly experienced growers. This all ensures a maximum potency and composition. For this reason they are generally a bit more expensive, so, again, a lower grade is acceptable for household spiffying.

Oh, and don't forget, our animal friends are sensitive, too, so gently introduce oils to them. For instance, one of my cats loathes all citrus aromas if they are too near her, while my other cat enjoys them. Go figure. 
So get a feel for what they can handle before spraying the floors, carpets, and anywhere they like to lounge.

Enough chatting.
Let's do this.
The Moon is waning, and I'm feeling all Donna Summer's "Bad Girls."

Now where are my roller skates?

xxx Alise

 

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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


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!

Fly Me To The Moon

It's that time again...

Let's go-go!

Let's go-go!

Girlcat is packing her bags full of fetching garments, beauty potions, a few oddities, a massive amount of joie de vivre, and taking off... this time to a stunningly mystical land...

Wales, Darlings!

I'm heading over for the awesome Green Man Festival, and I cannot wait. 

This guy.

This guy.

What purrfect timing to share some of my Vixen Travel Tips! Whether you're camping or holed up in a No-Tell, in flight or on a train, in a city or countryside, these Secrets translate in every language:

Adorn Me.

I try to pack light. I really do. No, really.

But it's hard. I love outfits. And shoes. And coats. And accessories.

In my defense, I have, over the years, pared it way down. I used to literally travel with a caravan of steamer trunks. (I was an absurdist, clearly.) Now, the new, lighter moi takes pride in fitting pretty much everything she could possibly need into...a carry-on.

Whaat?! Yep.

I have it down to my version of science (ahem.) It goes like this:

  • One Travel Dress  - Yes, dress. Do not talk to me about jeans, stretchy pants of any sort, or (cringe!) sweatpants. No. Not ever. I always travel in something semi-loose fitting, like a slipdress, that can wrinkle and still look great, in a pretty color, to keep my spirits lifted on a long journey. Trust me, it works. It's just as comfy as the glorified pajamas disguised as athletic wear, but feels (and looks) pulled together and glamourous.
  • One Lightweight Coat - An evening coat, sweater coat, a trench...anything soft and drapey you can either wear alone, or as a layer. This actually comes in handy more often than you would think. And again, you always look and feel chic, which boosts confidence. And confidence is the sexiest thing you can possibly wear.
  • One Big Shawl - It's a scarf, a light wrap, a hood...fantastic. I like to run some sage incense through mine before I leave, not only to cleanse it from previous energy but to give it a yummy scent of home. The I like to douse it with a bit of whatever oil blend I'm digging at the moment. It's heavenly to breathe in, and will save you on a germy plane, or a polluted street.
  • Two Pairs of Purrfect Shoes - Good Goddess, only two!?  Painful, I know. But necessary. I bring one pair of impossibly sexy shoes, and one that can get rugged. For instance, this trip I've packed a sturdy (for me) pair of boots that can deal with grass and possibly mud, and stilettos that can go out to dinner and electrify the hotel room. See? Not so bad.

So, the idea is that you wear the lightweight coat with the travel dress, one pair of shoes, and the scarf (or hold them if it's too hot), so you don't have to pack these things, which gives you plenty of extra room for...more dresses!  And lingerie!!! YESSS!!!!!!!

My father was a sailor. He taught me early on how to roll clothes tightly, rather than fold, so I can always cram a few extra little confections into my bag, which makes me really, really happy. My guy appreciates it, too, as you can imagine...

Feed Me.

Trying to maneuver through anywhere as a vegan can be a challenge. Even with a cosmopolitan metropolis as your destination, there are still moments and situations that can frustrate to the point of despair when it comes to eating clean. I literally never leave home without some kind of nibble on me, particularly when traveling. Stash ziploc bags of these in your purse, and some in your luggage:

  • Trail Mix - My own homemade. Usually a blend of walnuts, almonds, goji berries, raisins, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and cacao beans.
  • Dried fruits - I love unsweetened apples, mango, and pineapple.
  • Power Balls - Make these up ahead of time, and play with the ingredients to suit your mood. They'll keep for a week if they are stored someplace cool.
  • Gluten Free Crackers - Excellent in a jam when you're craving bread, but don't fancy the bloating that goes with it. 
  • Avocados - I take a few ripe ones with me for a filling meal, in case you're somewhere that can only conjure up a salad. Slice them and bring them along in a plastic container if you're traveling overseas, as technically I don't think you can transport them whole. Don't make a guacamole, though. It's considered a "semi-liquid", and can be confiscated before you board. Absurd, I know, but I had my hummus - commercially packaged even - taken just before a super-long flight, making for one cranky gal.
  • Sweetener - I always have a bottle of liquid stevia on me. It saves my ass. For travel, I swap it for a hefty amount of stevia packets. Stock up. You'll never be tempted, or forced, to use sugar.

Anoint Me.

Oh, dear Goddess...the other painful reality: The Paring Down of The Products.

Sighs.

Well, if I can do it, anyone can.

With the help of 3oz. travel bottles and jars, the beauty fairies, and a few multi-purpose rockstar potions, it can happen.

Moisturizing Oils - If I'm gone a while, I stash a full, unopened jar of organic coconut oil in my check-through luggage to handle a multitude of beauty needs. Read this, and you'll know why I love it so. 

If I am on a short trip, I load up a couple of travel sized bottles with argan, jojoba, or avocado oil. It goes a long way, and takes care of removing makeup, moisturizing my whole body, nourishing my face (particularly at night), infusing the dry ends of my hair with conditioning, and acts as an excellent carrier for my essential oils.

Travel Cloths - Though I love a nice, complicated face ritual, I have to simplify it when I'm on the road. The easiest, and best way? Acure Organics Argan Oil Face Towelettes. These are not your average, or even somewhat elevated face wipes. They actually clean incredibly well, with a light finish...no soapiness or residue and they leave a beautiful, soft, glowing complexion. It's the argan oil. It's magic. And they work on every skin type. Bonus: They're so gentle, you can use them on all your beautiful parts, should you happen to somehow find yourself, say, on a tour bus. Or at a body painting soireé.

Essential Oils - My Mojo Bag, located in my purse at all times, is equipped especially for travel with these most precious nectars, all available here.

Peppermint - My fave on-hand cure for so many ills.  A few drops in your water as an instant mouthwash, or right on your tongue as a breath freshener/digestive aid, mixed in your carrier oil for a fabulous foot massage before and after walking all day and night (particularly in heels!), and to breathe in when you're feeling fatigued from your non-stop adventuring. Get on it.

Clove - I love the spiced earth aroma, and it does wonders for teeth and gums.

Cardamom - I always keep whole cardamom pods in a tiny bejeweled Indian box in my Mojo Bag, for their amazing digestive properties.  Customs agents do not love this. I've learned to simply carry the oil, which has the added benefits of being an antimicrobial (germ killer), and boasts an exotic scent.

Lemon and Wild Orange  - Delightful any time of day in spring water, tea, or juice to cleanse your system and boost your vitamin C. I love to drink TONS of water on a plane, as they are notoriously dehydrating, and add these oils to counteract the germy-ness of the flight cabin.

Past Tense Blend- This slim little roll-on oil hits all the points of tension when you're cramped up for way too long. I roll it on my temples and across my forehead, and onto my heart chakra for a cooling, loosening sensation, and a healing scent that lingers.

I also always bring along a small vial or two of my own potions, to make magic everywhere I go. Lots of blends will be available soon...so stay with me!

Green Man Festival grounds, Glanusk, Wales.

Green Man Festival grounds, Glanusk, Wales.

Well, Precious Ones, 

I'm off!

I'll write you from the road...I love you!

xxx Alise