Author: Paulina Kajankova

Powerful Mushroom Supplements, Tinctures and Skincare To Try Right Now

Foraging for mushrooms is not exactly art – it is a cultural pastime and a culinary adventure. In most Central and Eastern European countries, foraging was not only a skill pased down by our caregivers, it was at times a necessity. When I close my eyes I can still remember the earthy scent of drying mushrooms in our attic. The precious trophies were sliced and laid out on newspapers in the hottest and driest place in the house. It was a bounty any forager would be proud of and a promise of warm winter soups and a special cabbage dish for Christmas dinner. Among europeans mushroom picking can get quite competitive, and you never reveal the locations of your finds. Certain fungi typically grow in the same spot where you found them the year before. Immigrants brought this hobby with them to the US and never gave it up. Every fall my father still seeks out mushrooms and promptly makes a soup unlike any you will find at a fine restaurant. Foraging in the US …

Quaint ‘Land in the Sky’: The Best Upstate New York Getaways For All Budgets

The vastness of New York State beckons travelers to choose their own adventure. It is no secret, Upstate New York has a lot to offer. The recently renewed popularity of the Catskills is undeniable. The young and old alike go upstate in search of natural tranquility, lake cabins, fishing, hiking, historical site tours, art fairs, laid-back summer bungalows, Woodstock site concerts, and who can forget about nostalgia of the Borscht Belt resorts. The state has a history of being enjoyed as a vacation destination since the early 1920s, but it was not until the 1940s when the State Division of Commerce made it a part of their mission to attract even more tourism. The 1939 New York World Fair, held in New York City, took the opportunity to promote upstate with the help of the Barlow Advertising Agency. They suggested visitors to the city take a tour of the Catskills on their way to and from the fair. Their catch phrase described the Catskills as the “Quaint ‘Land in the Sky’ where Rip Van Winkle …

10 Best Natural & Organic Sunscreens for Healthy Summer 2021

Today’s sunscreen is not your grandmother’s sunscreen, which likely meant not using any. When I first started writing about natural and organic products the options for better sunscreen were limited. Then brands like COOLA came along. Those in-the-know already used organic and natural brands, but you had seek them out in stores that carried green beauty. Today we have many options to choose from, and I hope you choose well. Our tip to understanding skincare is learning to read labels and knowing what ingredients have all the benefits you look for. In the US the word natural has no concrete definition but when it comes to sunscreens the good news is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has updated its definition of what is deemed safe and effective sun protection. Elizabeth Mullans, M.D., Board-Certified Dermatologist at Uptown Dermatology provides helpful summer skincare tips for all skin types. The sun’s peak UV hours are between 10am to 4pm, so make sure to avoid extended time in the sun during this window. If you find yourself out …

8 Toxic-Free Dry Shampoos Honoring National Dry Shampoo Day

Yes, National Dry Shampoo Day is real. Our obsession with dry shampoo began about ten years ago, but little did we know of all the harm it can do to our hair, scalp, and the environment. No, we have not given up on dry shampoo entirely. In fact, giving our hair a break during the pandemic has made us want to use it even more. If you are in need of a cleaner dry shampoo, look no further. We compiled a list of our top eight brands to try, and fall in love with right now. Vegamour GRO Dry Shampoo Vegamour has become synonymous with hair wellness. This modern brand focuses on hair growth and their GRO Dry Shampoo is no different. The plant-based dry shampoo is fortified with the same proprietary blend of phyto-active ingredients found in their best-selling GRO Hair Serum. Using it will ensure a healthy hair ecosystem, plus the volume and texture you desire. It is 100% vegan, clean and cruelty-free. Lulu Organics Hair Powder Lulu Organics packaging will stop you …

Be Your Own Wellness Hero With These Natural Ways To Lift, Calm or Balance Your Mood

Mental Health Week might have come and gone, but for those who suffer with depression the battle continues. We know that self-care is important, but some days the relentlessness of the condition takes over. No matter what you try in order to keep your spirits high, you feel drained, your body aches and you might even be numb to it all. I’ve been there – and 2020 has not been easy for any of us. If you’ve been following along, you already know that I suffer from depression and anxiety. Even if you don’t, no one is immune to bad days. Be kind to yourself is a cliche statement, but when you take the words apart, it becomes your life raft. Be your own wellness hero by advocating for your wellbeing. Get yourself to therapy, there is no shame in taking medication if it works for you, and know that your vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness. Since some of our favorite spas (my personal space to escape) are still closed or only provide …

Product Highlight: Kansa Organics Kansa Wands

Kansa Organics Takes Face Massage To a Whole New Level PRODUCT HIGHTLIGHT | Kansa Organics Massage Wand Massage plays an essential role in the Ayurvedic healing system. In fact, the healing power of touch can be traced back to India as far back as 3000 BCE (or earlier). The Kansa Wand was born out of that belief, practice and love for massage. When it comes to facial, and body massage, we find this tool to be far more sophisticated than facial rollers and even Gua Sha tools. The reason for this is its history rooted in healing the mind and body and easy to use design. We find ourselves using it a lot more often than other tools, and adding it to our skincare arsenal has greatly improved our love for facial and body massage. WHAT IS THE KANSA WAND? The Kansa wand is a small domed tool (shaped like a bell or a cup) that can be used to massage the face + body. Kansa wands are made with India’s sacred and healing metal (Kansa). …

Wellness Month: 10 Ways To Effectively Lower Stress and Anxiety

In 2020, stress and anxiety has become a universal issue. Let’s dedicate August, also known as the Wellness Month, to improving the health of our immune system by alleviating stress. While taking care of the mind and body is more important than ever, some of us hesitate to embrace tried-and-true ancient remedies. This is the time to keep an open mind, educate yourself, ask questions, and have a sense of adventure. No matter how silly you feel, using your common sense, and wanting to feel better, is at the core of all all our suggestions. As a mental health advocate, and depression sufferer, I know it takes saying “enough is enough” to start a wellness journey. Here is a list to get you started. Grounding – Grounding has become a type of buzzword in the wellness community, but this is no trend. Athletes, famous actors and doctors do it. I was lucky to grow up in a natural setting; in a village surrounded by mountains. As a child, running barefoot in grassy fields, or climbing …

Talking Stress, Grief & Anxiety During 2020 With Psychotherapist Asha Tarry

2020 forces us to take a real look at the disparity in our communities. Whether you see them or not, the problems in today’s society effect us all. Economic inequality can result in poor mental health and seeking help can be even harder in the midsts of a global pandemic. The health crisis has shown us what many already knew. Too many live with the reality of being one pay check away from not being able to pay their medical bill, from being homeless, from putting their mental health at the bottom of the to-do list. Maybe that one person is you. The coronavirus in particular has effected the black community in much larger numbers, but to people of color, these health disparities are not new. If you just started to wake up to these inequalities, if the pandemic effected your mental health, if you feel grief for George Floyd, if you know it is not about you, but you could not imagine the same type of treatment happening to someone you know, then keep …

Important & Useful Ways To Educate Yourself, Listen & Support the Black Community

Our world view is shaped by our environment, but we don’t have to remain within its bubble. Education is key. Let’s put some work into becoming better, more empathetic, and open minded people. If you feel like you have no idea how to feel, or what to think, then stop, and listen. This feels like what is hopefully a revolutionary time, one that will allow the black community be heard. It is time for change, the time has been long time coming. The beauty of life is that we can change and evolve. If you feel as if you have been living in ignorance of what the black community has endured, not just now, but for decades – this is what you can do. Amplify black voices and listen to their experiences, support black businesses, read educational books with different view points, get the facts and statistics of what goes on in your community, and provide a helping hand to the disenfranchised. The work will not be done in a day, but taking that first …

New York’s Art On Full Display: Talking With Moi One, A French Graffiti Artist Based In New York City

With New York businesses closed, the gates are down. The only upside to the pandemic lock down is endless street, graffiti and mural art exploration. We start to notice details we might have missed during the busyness of the hussle. The quietness of the city displays artwork like a gallery would, and I can’t get enough. On one of my most recent mental health neighborhood walks, I became attached to one particular mural. The artwork is located on St. Marks Street, known for its history of influential musicians and artists. It gets a lot of notice from locals and visitors alike. The artist is Moi One, and the artwork is called “Sympathy For The Devil”. The French artist agreed to doing an interview, and for me, that kind of willingness to be vulnerable makes his art even more powerful. In today’s climate of uncertainty we are yearning for more color and inspiration. We draw strength from escape, and art provides exactly that. Cultivated: Tell me more about your upbringing and how your life became immersed …

Talking Hair & Reinvention With Aveda’s Senior Vice President of Professional Global Artistry, Antoinette Beenders

No one understands reinvention better than a hair artist. Even in lock down, we reinvent beauty according to our feelings, surroundings and experience. The crisis of today’s pandemic calls for unwavering beauty and expression. Aveda’s Senior Vice President of Professional Global Artistry, Antoinette Beenders, captures the spirit of rebellious women with perfection. She gives us a fresh new take on defiant beauty and what she calls “Youthquake”. More and more we see our youth rallying to take charge, especially when it comes to climate change. Aveda SS20 creative collection, The Revolution of Reinvention, is a combination of punk, teddy girl, and 1950s French New Look. The women and men of past sub-culture and reinvention. Our Q & A with Antoinette Beenders takes a closer look at this award-winning hair stylist’s career with Aveda. The visionary explains how a new collection gets to be born, plus she gives us quarantine hair tips. Cultivated: I read that you started working with Aveda in 1997. What made you stick with Aveda all those years and how does the …

Flower Power: Mother Nature’s Bounty in Beauty Products

Welcome to May! A month when Northern Hemisphere gardeners eagerly plant their gardens – a month when earth truly laughs in flowers. From nettle, to rosemary – here are the botanical beauty and wellness products inspiring us in May. CALENDULA When it comes to natural and organic beauty, The Organic Skin Co. doesn’t mind taking the time to explain it all. They are as transparent as a skincare brand can get, and this results in truly beautiful and wholesome products. I love their impressive and environmentally-friendly line of makeup products, but beauty starts with skincare – and they provide it just as well. Whether you suffer from dry skin or have problems with acne, the moisturizing, yet antiseptic properties of the Task Force Nine Cream solve it all. It even works on my eczema. Calendula is hydrating, has antibacterial, antiseptic and antioxidant properties. Your skin will just drink it up. NETTLE Stinging nettle is a wild herb that’s near and dear to my heart. My grandmother picked it with her bare hands and swore by …