Category: Spirituality


Feeling unsettled? Here’s a way to find hope.

As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, once said “change is the only constant in life.” Yet in our modern culture, we’re not raised to embrace the varying levels of uncertainty that this adventure called life guarantees us.

On top of our individual challenges, the world around us seems to be increasingly more distressing. Long before the nightly news took a backseat to online news outlets, I had already prohibited myself from watching the sensationalized drama. But even staying connected to more balanced news organizations like the New York Times and CNN is challenging. Last week, it took me several days to muster up the courage to look at some photos from the chemical attack in Syria.

Between our own personal paths and the struggles of the world around us, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed and powerless. So, how can we find faith in times of turmoil?

It might surprise you to hear the answer is quite simple: by connecting with your inner self. There’s an amazing power within each one of us to choose our reaction to a situation. To choose hope over despair, action over complacency, power over fear.

While it might sound easier said than done, there are many tools available to help you find that inner voice including one of my favorites: meditation. Just so you know, meditation is not something that comes easily to me. Like many people I know, it’s hard for me to settle my mind and connect with my higher self. But when I do, it’s nothing short of magic. I feel calmer, happier and more grounded.

Additionally, there are many meditation resources available for beginners as well as those who are more seasoned. Personally, I prefer to do guided meditations and love the 21-day meditations from Oprah and Deepak Chopra. There are 13 collections to choose from and each time a new one launches, it’s free for a limited amount of time if you’re a registered member of the site. Today, they released their latest series: Hope in Uncertain Times, which was the inspiration for this post and as they describe, “a way to embrace uncertainty as an opportunity to grow and evolve.”

If you’re looking to find hope, strengthen your sense of hope or just simply learn how to quiet your mind and connect with your inner knowing, I highly encourage you to check out this series. Even if you can’t find the time to do the meditation portion every day, the short messages from Oprah and Deepak at the start of each meditation are worth every minute!

With love, lipstick and lavender,





Young Caucasian woman facial massage

Craniosacral what?

If you’ve read my youngest daughter Sasha’s story, then you’ve already been introduced to the phrase craniosacral therapy. Until we moved to San Diego, I had never heard of it and I thought I was pretty well-versed in alternative approaches to wellness given my ongoing fascination with the mind, body, spirit connection.

As a quick overview, craniosacral therapy is a form of bodywork that uses gentle touch to manipulate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium. In other words, joints that permit little to no movement. Practitioners of craniosacral therapy may also apply light touches to a patient’s spine and pelvis. Practitioners believe this manipulation regulates the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid found in your brain and spine).

So what does all of this have to do with Sasha? In a nutshell, Sasha spent the first three years of her life with chronic ear infections which eventually led to tubes, RSV, two bouts of pneumonia back-to-back and some crazy mono-like virus that sent us in and out of the hospital twice with 106 degree fevers. Because of all of this, the slightest sinus congestion would turn into an ear infection and the slightest cough would move into her lungs.

While trips to the chiropractor paired with essential oils were doing their job in helping her fight through various illness (along with antibiotics when needed of course), we couldn’t get her immune system to a different place until Melinda came along. When my neighbor told me about Melinda, she promptly said “she’s expensive but worth every penny.” I didn’t know what the price tag was nor did I want to know. I was on my last nerve and would pay anything I could to help get Sasha to a better place.

After patiently waiting for two months to see Melinda, in walked a tall blonde woman in her 60s who looked like she had just come from a cover shoot for Vogue. Chic clothes, chunky jewelry and hip glasses were surrounded by a massage table, Chinese herbs and acupuncture needles. I knew immediately that I was going to love this woman.

After a thorough intake, the treatment began. Melinda applied light touches to Sasha’s head, ears, sinuses, neck, chest, lungs and even the inside of her mouth. She went as low as the abdomen and could tell that Sasha also suffered from constipation. That night, Sasha slept like a rock. Having never been a consistent sleeper before, I knew something had taken effect.

Following the initial appointment, we saw Melinda three more times as she continued to work on Sasha’s areas of need. Through it all, Sasha always laid patiently on the table until one session when Melinda touched the left side of her neck. Instantly, Sasha started to squirm and fuss in a way that I had never witnessed before. Melinda looked up at me and asked if the cord was wrapped around her neck at birth and I shook my head yes.

From there, she asked me to hop on the table with Sasha and lay nose to nose with her. Over the next three minutes while Melinda touched the spot, Sasha let out what I can only describe as a raw, caveman like cry. Tears immediately started rolling down my face as she released what I imagine was years of fear and emotion. A few days later when we were playing at home, Sasha suddenly stopped and said to me, “mommy, I was really scared when the cord was wrapped around my neck.” My whole body became covered in goosebumps as I hugged her tight and told her she was safe.

It’s been close to two months since our last appointment with Melinda and we’ve certainly noticed a difference. Sasha’s had two colds since then but neither one went into her ears or her lungs and she was able to fight them off. Knowing that health is always an ongoing journey, I know we still have a lot of work to do especially when it comes to getting her to take vitamins and supplements. But at least I can breathe a little easier knowing we’re making progress!

With love, lipstick and lavender,



i am

Bye-bye resolutions, hello beliefs

I know it’s only mid-January but it’s time to throw out your resolutions.

Yep, I really did just say that.

I love goals just as much as the next person, and I love working hard toward those goals. However, I find resolutions to be overwhelming, unrealistic and easily forgotten. Do a quick google search and you’ll pull up laundry list after laundry list of resolution ideas. With so many options out there and so many things for us to always be working on as human beings, even those with the best intentions are set up to fail.

Instead of going down the resolution rabbit hole, my advice is to take your intentions and channel them in a different way by replacing them with one simple phrase. But before I get to that, let’s do a quick lesson in spirituality to set the stage…

A few years ago, I discovered what are referred to as the Universal Spiritual Laws, one of which, is the law of manifestation. You’ve probably heard it described as “thoughts become reality.” We often forget how powerful the mind is. Whatever IT believes is what WILL happen.

Here’s a great example: I have a friend who’s constantly complaining about what’s “wrong” in his life—he always gets in the “wrong” line at the store, there’s always something “wrong” with his job and he never has enough money. Well, guess what? Like attracts like so if he thinks he’s going to get the short end of the stick then he will get the short end of the stick. If you want abundance in your life, you have to come from a place of abundance and not from a place of lack.

The idea of “like attracts like” is also part of another Universal Spiritual Law—the law of attraction. And this, my friends, is where our simple phrase comes in. In addition to your positive thinking, you have to act as IF something has already happened. In other words, instead of saying “I want,” you need to start saying “I am.”

Let’s apply this idea by thinking about some common resolutions and how we can turn them into beliefs:

  • Old resolution: I want to find the love of my life. New belief: I am in a relationship with the love of my life.
  • Old resolution: I want to be financially secure. New belief: I am financially secure.
  • Old resolution: I want to be at my ideal weight. New belief: I am at my ideal weight.

You get the idea, right?

While it’s easy to shift your resolutions into beliefs, it doesn’t mean that you can just sit back and not participate in the process of making them happen. Don’t panic as you don’t have to know HOW they will happen, you just have to be willing to TAKE ACTION on the opportunities that present themselves.

Remember in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy clicks her heels three times and repeats “there’s no place like home?” Visualize yourself in every aspect of the situation you want, repeat your belief over and over again, and start walking when your yellow brick road appears!

With love, lipstick and lavender,


Why gratitude is the best attitude and how to practice more of it!

When you don’t grow up with much, it’s easy to be thankful for the people, experiences and acts of kindness that come your way. I think (and hope!) I’ve been appreciative of everything and everyone who has helped make my life what it is today.

But even those who live their lives with consistent “thank yous” can lose site of gratitude when the stress of daily life kicks in. Admittedly, I’m one of those people who can be easily thrown off course by the amount of items on my to-do list as well as what I like to call “fear triggers.” These are the big anxiety inducers such as concern for the well-being of loved ones, personal health struggles, finances and fear of death.

With mindfulness becoming more mainstream, I’ve seen an influx of research around the relationship between gratitude and overall health. Many experts claim that actively practicing gratitude can create more optimism which in turn can reduce stress. Additionally, people who are grateful tend to exercise more, take better care of their health and are able to manage stress with more ease.

Because of my ability to go down the rabbit hole in times of stress, I recently started a gratitude practice of my own and have seen a noticeable shift in my thinking to a much more optimistic and peaceful place. While I’m only a study of one, there are a few things that have made implementing this practice relatively easy that I think anyone can try:

  • Kick off every morning by saying one thing you’re thankful for. Yep, that’s it–one thing is all it takes to start your day off on a positive note. This morning, I said I was grateful for having a flexible schedule to take my eldest daughter to an eye doctor appointment. While that might sound insignificant to some, it’s a big deal to me to be physically present with my girls every day.
  • Find a guided meditation that makes it easy for you to get into the zone even if it’s just once a week. Our culture is constantly looking ahead and meditation is all about bringing us back to the present moment. When we’re truly present, we find joy in each day instead of thinking joy hasn’t arrived yet. Like many people, it’s an incredible challenge for me to quiet my mind so I prefer to use guided meditations. I love the 21-day meditation experiences by Oprah and Deepak Chopra. Not only do I relate to both of them as individuals and experts, but I also connect to their content and messages. When they release a new meditation series, which is usually a few times a year, the experiences are free for a limited period of time before a fee is charged. Make sure to register on their site so you’re given a heads-up the next time a new series comes around!
  • Place a gratitude jar in your home and make it a family activity! About a year ago, I came across these cool gratitude jars and thought they were a great way to start teaching my girls about what it means to be thankful and appreciative. Currently, our jar sits in the middle of our dining room table, and we’ll periodically write down what we’re thankful for on slips of paper and drop them in. While Sasha is still too young to make a connection, Natalya has seemed to embrace the idea and I always look forward to what she’ll come up with next. In 2017, my goal is to formalize the process a bit more by making it a weekly activity at the dinner table.

As you think about ways to carve out room for more gratitude in your own life, let me leave you with this final thought: the law of attraction. If like attracts like (and I’m a firm believer that it does), then the more you’re grateful for, the more goodness you attract back into your life.

With love, lipstick and lavender,





What’s on my nightstand: You are a badass!

While I love to read, I haven’t had much time to do it during the past eight years. I’m not complaining as I wouldn’t have it any other way, just stating a fact.

When I do find a few minutes at night before my head hits the pillow, you’ll always find me with a self-love book in hand. I prefer not to use the term “self-improvement” as I feel like it has a negative connotation even though it shouldn’t since life is one big playground for us to continuously learn and grow on.

Right now, I have three self-love books sitting on my nightstand:”Carry On Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton, “E3” by Pam Grout, and of course “You are a Badass!” by Jen Sincero. If you know me well, then you know I don’t believe in accidents which is the case with “You Are a Badass.” This badass book could’t have made a more timely entrance into my life.

About a month ago, I started to go down what I refer to as the “rabbit hole,” otherwise known as that dark place when fear overcomes your body. I started second guessing my decision to launch my own business, starting rethinking every option I could pursue, and starting driving everyone crazy around me including myself! Thankfully, my good friend and birthday twin, BethAnn, came to my rescue by encouraging me to run not walk to our local Barnes and Noble.

As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of self-love looks, I was curious to see if I would learn anything new. Talk about a moment of glass half empty mentality! But the author had me at the introduction with this profound nugget: “You’ll have to believe in things you can’t see as well as things that you have full-on proof are impossible. You’re gonna have to push past your fears, fail over and over again and make a habit of doing things you’re not so comfy doing. You’re going to have to let go of old, limiting beliefs and cling to your decision to create the life you desire like your life depends on it.”

As for learning something new, if you could see my copy right now, you’d probably laugh at how many pages have the corners turned in and/or are highlighted. Yes, it’s that GOOD. Admittedly, there are some insights and advice that I have heard before but I think it’s Jen’s approach and unique point of view that made them hit home a bit different this time around.

I seriously can’t get enough of this book and have a feeling it will be a staple on my nightstand for years to come. Nothing like a little self-love, essential oils, friends and family to get you through the rough patches!

With love, lipstick and lavender,






Earlier this fall, my yoga studio launched a social campaign called #whyiyoga. Of course there were the answers you’d expect to see like to balance, cleanse, connect and strengthen. All true and inspiring. And then there were the Chelsea Handler’s of the group who wrote things like to drink beer, empty pie tins and eat more pizza. My kind of girls!

Admittedly, I never filled out a card to share on Instagram. Not because I didn’t want to but because I felt like whatever I said wouldn’t be unique enough. How’s that for irony?! What’s even more ironic is how I always tell people to speak their truth. So I’m going to take a piece of my own advice and speak my truth however normal and unexciting it might be!

Here’s #whyiyoga:

  • To stay strong for myself and most importantly my girls. I hope I’m always able to keep up with them and that one day we’ll be in class together. We do yoga at home but it’s not quite the same experience.
  • To clear my head. There’s a tremendous shift that takes place in my body from the opening sun salutation to the closing savasana. It’s almost as if I can physically feel the clearing and cleansing running through my veins. I always feel lighter, more free and more centered when I step off the mat.
  • To spiritually connect. Because yoga is an active meditation, some of the best information and messages come to me during class. There’s a reason why the “word” flow is so prominent in yoga. When we’re in the flow, we’re completely open to receiving whatever information needs to come our way.
  • And last but certainly not least, to be able to have an extra glass of red wine without feeling guilty! There. I said it.

With love, lipstick and lavender,



Starting Your Spiritual Journey

When I meet people who are interested in exploring spirituality, the first question I get asked is “where should I start?”

Over the past 10 years, I’ve come across so many amazing resources it’s hard for me to refrain from spewing out a laundry list of my favorite things. For those of you who know me personally, I could talk about this stuff ALL. DAY. LONG.

While I try to tailor my recommendations based on what little I might know about each individual’s interests and needs, I always find myself coming back to one of the first resources I was turned on to—a book called Spirited by Rebecca Rosen.

Rebecca is a psychic medium who is a modern gal just like me. In the first paragraph of her book, she says: “I’m not your stereotypical woo-woo. No flowing robes, no lingering scent of patchouli. I look and talk just like many of my ‘normal’ clients.” (For the record, I couldn’t stand the smell of patchouli until I started using Young Living. In its purest form, patchouli smells completely different than what you’d find in the products sold at hippie boutiques and is one of the key ingredients in my favorite roller).

While I haven’t had the opportunity to meet or work with Rebecca, I can’t tell you how central this book has been to developing my understanding of spirituality, and learning how to tap into my own intuition. As Rebecca says, “Spirited is all about you learning to find the answers within and around yourself.”

To this day, Spirited still has its place on my nightstand and I recently started re-reading it with two girlfriends who are just starting to dip their toes into the world of spirituality. We’re meeting soon to discuss it, and I can’t wait to report back on their experience!

With love, lipstick and lavender,


White soft angel's wings and paper heart pinned on wooden light turquoise background.

Building a self-love tool box: Angel wings

As the mother of two young girls, I’m already bracing myself for those oh-so-fun “transformative” teenage years. You know, the ones where hormones take over their bodies and they repeatedly test your vow to love them unconditionally? Yeah, those ones.

Little did I know I’d start getting doses of those hormones at the ripe age of seven. Instead of testing my love, those sweet little emotions broke my heart.

Similar to me, my eldest daughter is a very sensitive soul and easily wounded by the world around her. Perhaps I was being naïve in thinking that she would be sheltered from how challenging this journey called “life” can be until at least the fourth or fifth grade. But unfortunately, she’s already started experiencing what I would describe as the early stages of bullying.

How do I explain to a seven year-old that the world is set-up this way? That it’s one big training ground for all of us to evolve and grow, mean people included?

Since I don’t know the answer to that question yet, I decided to start with what I do know and what I know she can understand—angels.

Before we left the Bay area to move to San Diego, I gave each of my best girlfriends an angel wing necklace with the following inscription: “Angels help us rise above all that tries to hold us down.”

When my daughter’s tears started flowing, I promptly took off my angel wings and gave them to her as a reminder that she can rise above anyone or anything that tries to hold her down. Of course being the essential oil lover that I am, I also rubbed a blend of joy, orange and fractionated coconut oil on her wrists and neck.

It’s been a few months since she started wearing her angel wings and she seems to be less bothered by the daily trials and tribulations of life in elementary school. That’s not to say we don’t experience doses of those emotions, but at least we have some tools in place to help her work through them.

Continue to rise above my little one, rise above.

With love, lipstick and lavender,



Listening to your inner guidance

The past few days have been funky. Nothing is “wrong” per se. In fact, if I could stop judging every aspect of my life and look at it from a 1,000 ft. spiritual perspective, I’d say everything is moving right along as planned. But it’s true that my energy has been off, my to-do list has been growing and my mind feels murky.

Eager to get my day started as early as possible this morning, I dove right into work at 8:05 a.m. At 11:37 a.m., I realized I was still in my pajamas. I felt uncomfortable as if I was crawling out of my skin, and I found myself second-guessing my decision to become an entrepreneur. Instead of letting myself go down the rabbit hole as I so often do when my mind feels murky, I took a deep breath and followed my instinct to get out of the house.

To help ground myself, I slathered my new ‘Magnify Your Purpose‘ oil all over my wrists and headed down to the beach, which is usually a guaranteed sweet spot for clearing my mind and reconnecting. However, about five minutes into my walk, I still felt uncomfortable so I went back to the car and started driving. I didn’t know where I was going but I saw two sevens (my soul number!) along the way so I knew I was pointed in the right direction.

With my computer and notebook in hand, I ended up at my favorite café where I proceeded to ask for my food to go. As I was waiting for my food, I changed my mind and sat down to eat there. When my food came, I changed seats again. At this point in time, I thought I was losing my you-know-what until I tuned into the conversation next to me and overheard the following:

“I just keep BREATHING and praying…”
“I feel really UNCOMFORTABLE right now…”
“I know I just need to be with this experience and keep pushing FORWARD…”
“I’m a holistic life coach, author and speaker…I’m in the MASSIVE CROSSOVER space where all things health, wellness and spirituality connect…”

Talk about a direct message from the Universe! I literally wanted to jump up and hug this man. He was my mirror, a reflection of everything I had felt that morning, a reminder that I was on the right path.

It turns out these two strangers were both entrepreneurs in the health and wellness space who had met just minutes before I changed seats. As they said goodbye, my mirror hugged his new friend and said, “there are no accidents.”

While I know it’s cliché, the phrase couldn’t have been more poignant in that moment. It wasn’t an accident that I was there. I was meant to hear that conversation but I never would have heard it if I wasn’t listening to my intuition.

Are you listening?

With love, lipstick and lavender,



Welcome to my Middle Ground

If you’re reading this, we’re probably more alike than you think. Are you someone who starts her day off by sweating out the toxins in a hot yoga class and then proceeds to replace all of those toxins with a glass of pinot (or two!) that same evening? Have you taken a shot of kimchi to promote gut health and then washed it down with a slab of blue cheese and crackers? When your kids are having trouble sleeping for the bazillionth time, have you tried rubbing lavender on their feet and then given up and busted out the benadryl? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we’re well on our way to becoming fast friends! Here’s the deal: I’m not a free spirited, crunchy-munchy, earth mama. I believe Western medicine serves an important purpose, and I’m a foodie that can’t seem to find my “off button” with certain bad-for-my-gut goodies like cheese (clearly there’s a theme here!).  At the same time, I’m super invested and passionate about the mind, body, spirit connection. I believe that Western medicine could learn more than a thing or two from Eastern medicine. I stalk spiritual gurus on Instagram, make regular visits to my acupuncturist to unblock all the work I’ve done to block my chi and practice hot, stinky yoga. Simply put, I fall into what I like to call the “middle ground”–a space where lipstick meets lavender.

The “middle ground” is exactly why I founded this site. I believe there are many like-minded, modern women out there like me who are curious about exploring different elements of holistic living but who find it intimidating or unattainable within their current lifestyles. My goal is to show you there can be an easy middle ground based on what that middle ground looks like for me.

As someone who has been exploring the mind, body, spirit connection for ten years, I have a lot to share with you that falls under the “umbrella” of holistic living—everything from face readers, intuitives and numerologists, to meditations, blogs, books, cleanses, retreats and essential oils. The list is endless and there are many funny stories to go along with it.

So buckle up my friends…let’s get this journey started!

With love, lipstick and lavender,