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written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Winter dryness leaving you feeling suddenly sympatico with Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s 3rd century B.C. terra cotta warriors? No worries. Nothing our gentle exfoliating sugar scrub and whipped body butter can’t heal and bring back to radiant life.  Isn’t it nice when this happens?  I mean the simple and real fix.

3 simple steps to heal and repair winter skin dryness: → Read more
written by Raulla S. Mitchell “A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘the universe.” Our task must be to widen our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein

Everyday we have the opportunity to celebrate the true gifts of family and friends. This holiday season, while expressing our heartfelt gratitude to our loved ones seated around our table, let’s remember to extend our genuine gratitude and love to the family of all living beings who occupy our planet, and to nature herself to whom we are inextricably connected. → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Want to shine, shimmer and dazzle this season, but feeling like you’re sliding into overdrive?  Thanksgiving travels, or family in from out of town?  Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday,…what’s next…marketing names and games to get you out of the house and into the stores (or on-line) for uber holiday shopping.  Entertaining family and friends, and parties sweep you away on a magic carpet of energy and excitement. You love all this, but it can also leave your head spinning and your skin fatigued and stressed out.

Skin, the largest organ of your body will show the first visible signs of lifestyle imbalance including excessive dryness, inflammation, acne, eczema, itchiness and irritation. Beautiful skin, at its foundation, begins with healthy lifestyle choices. Your skin is effected by every thought, feeling, emotion and action. If you are stressed out trying to do it all (in a seemingly effortless manner), chances are, so is your skin.

By the way, your mind can be comfy in de-Nile, but your skin will tell the truth.  Listen to your skin.

10 Ways to reduce and manage stress naturally this holiday season with healthy lifestyle choices (we’re talking big rewards for just a few common sense easy ideas, no major overhaul):

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written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Take a bath tonight, cherie.

The bath is your isolation tank. It’s where you keep it real!  An oasis to reconnect with your genuine self. Let go of all the stuff that you won’t remember next week.  Feel work, family and worldly you melt away, leaving only the real you that deserves the best bath ever!  We’re here to inspire you to create this super fab bath just for YOU.   → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”

Carl Jung (psychologist)

How do you celebrate Halloween?

Do you dress up in a fave silly or ghoulish costume for a party?

Do you toss together something last min to surprise unsuspecting trick-or-treaters when you open your door?

Do you chaperone the kids (and dog, in costume too), joining in their shrieks of laughter and calls to each other as they run in the dark from home to home in your neighborhood?

For years, I used to dress as Wilma Flintstone.  My husband as her stone age hubbie Fred.  Our next door neighbor created these costumes for us.

One year my Fred no longer wanted to go barefoot.  He determined that an oversized bright orange tunic with black patches and a royal blue tie were sufficient to signify Fred, without his big bare feet at the bottom.

That was the year of our descent from full-on Wilma & Fred,  as I recall it.

Who IS Fred with shoes on?  He’s NOT Fred, that’s who.

Wilma’s white jig-jag bottom white dress has shrunk over the years.  Maybe, I’ve put on a few, or things have shifted… No, it’s shrunk.

I choose to thrive in the land of deNile.  Free choice is a good thing.

My other sartorial option: a femme fatale vampire feline – homage to Don Taylor’s 1977 flick “The Island of Dr. Moreau”.

Cinephiles, or femmes d’un certain age, remember, Dr. Moreau, the mad scientist who experimented with inter-species breeding on his lost island filled with the sounds, dreams and nightmares of human-tiger-leopard-jaguar creatures, starring the gorgeous Barbara Carrera? Unforgettable.

I searched far and wide and finally discovered a beautiful faux fur black tail and leopard ears to pair with a royal purple velvet hooded victorian cape.  My ancestral Romanian-Ukrainian-Lithuanian-Russian DNA (black hair and anemic complexion, a natural Goth) brings me nearly to completion without much make-up beyond a good pair of fangs.  Not all fangs were created equal.   Some are better than others, and you get what you pay for where fangs are concerned.

For those of you who know me, any other ideas?

What about you?          

Any plans to dress up this year?

Please tell me that you still leap into the spirit of Halloween dress-up!

The last thing I have to say about dressing up for Halloween is “pourquoi pas?”

When is there a better excuse to dress up and pretend to be someone else, even if just for one night?

Come on, have some fun, let out those primal screams, giggles, roars,.. – You know you want to!

Remember: play is instinctual and vital to the creative spirit.  Why wait?  If not now, when? → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

You’ve had a wonderful busy week, and now it’s time for YOU.  

Halloween costumes for my daughter, myself and our dog (what can I say, HomeGoods had an irresistible canine cow costume, which I promise wasn’t the reason I went there –  it was a tablecloth which I couldn’t find, but the costume had our dog Sugar’s name all over it, in my vision, if not in Sugar’s), bags of Hershey’s, Nestle Crunch, Snickers, Red Licorice and Starbursts  (that should be anywhere but on our dining room table within my reach – I’m chewing a lemon Starbust as I write this – yumm…),Frankenstein’s illuminated head and hands rise from his grave of leaves along our walkway…

Squirrels know it’s over.  Our large oak tree sends acorns spilling everywhere, bounty for a bevy of bushy-tailed hearty squirrels who quickly discover our outdoor pumpkins every year.  They’ve make considerable progress taking apart my daughters ornately carved, painted and decorated pumpkins, pull off the wooden witch head inserted at top to make room for mucho nibbling.  They’ll eventually make a total mushy mess of no longer recognizable Jack O’Lanterns, and only then will I remove them from the stoop. Right now, I let the viewing and feast planning to gain momentum.

I adore the only holiday that encourages you to transform  yourself into someone else for a night.  It’s primal.  It’s creative.  It’s dreamy.  It’s freaky.  It’s whoever you are or want to be, just for a night.  Like fragrance, they’re memories that I want to linger.

Sometimes, my m.o. is why not flow from one holiday to the next?  Abrupt transitions imply that one can’t wait to be rid of something that brought joy just a short time ago.   I leave old Frankenstein’s head and hands crawling out of the ground out there, long after Halloween is over.  He makes me smile.  Why not make more days feel like holidays? The calendar may say one thing, but allow your heart to feel whatever it desires.  How about you?

Okay, back to YOU TIME and fragrance chat.  We promised.  We’ll deliver.

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written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Amidst all the spiritual gratitude, bliss and goodness we share with our family and friends at this time of year, our holiday schedules begin to rev up, responsibilities to others pile up, and potential chaos can quickly send our heads spinning, creating stressful or anxious feelings which we know are not good for our skin. Stress has been shown to be at the root of many chronic illnesses, and can not only result in skin sensitivities, irritations and eruptions, but is a primary cause of premature aging.  Who wants any of this?  Not us!

Our skin, the largest organ of our body, reflects what is going on below the surface physically and emotionally.   If you notice your skin acting up, don’t panic.  Maybe it’s just time to take a look at your lifestyle choices this time of year.  Your skin is your best friend, and she’s trying to tell you something important.

4 ways to reduce and manage holiday stress and recharge our emotional batteries: → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Autumn is a wonderful time to talk long walks in the woods (with a pumpkin latte in hand?).  I get so excited about pumpkin lattes coming around again.  It’s a little thing that’s part of the seasonal transition.

Nature is changing and you can see and feel it all around you.  It feels good when you have to grab your jacket for the first time before heading out the door.  The leaves changing to yellows, burnt orange, dark red before they turn crispy brown on the grass is a sight to behold in my older neighborhood with mature trees and canopies painted by Mother Nature.

But when your skin takes a turn for the drier, it can feel a little scary.  Autumn DIY skincare to the rescue.  We have the perfect, non-scary, totally fun, simple, vitamin and antioxidant rich pumpkin face masque with 4 ingredients you’ll find in your kitchen:

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written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Are you a Lebenskunstler?  It’s one of the most beautiful words I know, and no it has nothing to do with Oktoberfest.  The first chill in the air, falling leaves, autumn storms, and a recurring desire to make my hibernation nest cozy and warm makes me want to get in touch with my inner lebenkunstler.  

It’s too good a feeling to keep to myself, so I want to share this feeling with you.  Maybe it’s time for you to discover YOUR inner lebenkunstler too?

Leben (life) and kunstler (artist) combine to make a yummy word that describes someone who makes an art of her everyday life.  Now, who wouldn’t want to be a lebenkunstler?

Don’t worry if you’re not feeling it right now, or never thought of yourself as an artist.  No one is born a lebenkunstler, and it’s not at all hard to become one.

We’re not talking about a visual (Picasso) or dramatic artist (Meryl Streep).

A lebenkunstler is more of a ritual artist, a decorative artist in the way she decorates her moments, hours and days, as well as the space in which she lives.

Elements of everyday life touched by creative rituals add love add meaning to our lives.  As it becomes clear that colder weather has come to stay, our indoor environments, where we spend more of our time until spring (in Minnesota where I live and in other four season climates) send out a siren call to become the most inviting, genuine expressions of our unique selves.

What are some of the everyday little rituals that add meaning to your life?  That make you feel excited to jump out of bed and start your day, or happy to slip between the covers of your winter duvet, read, binge watch Anthony Bourdain eating strange foods in amazing countries you might never otherwise visit and experience (or maybe you’ve been there and relive the memories),…

Whatever you choose, remember, they don’t have to be monumental to be meaningful and memorable.

I feel my inner lebenkunstler smiling right now?  How about you? → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

ONE OF THE MOST OFTEN ASKED QUESTIONS: What are the differences between a lotion, creme and body butter? And most importantly, what’s best for my skin?  

There’s no better time to take a deeper individual look at what YOUR skin needs as our seasons transition.  

You’ve probably heard the chat about “seasonal skincare”?  It’s been in the beauty industry news everywhere we turn.  It should be.  Mother nature changes, and as she does, so does our skin.

I’ve always talked about understanding the essential nature of seasonal skincare needs, and specifically, learning how to listen to what our skin wants and needs as the seasons change.  If you live in the midwest with four seasons, the ideal treatments to cleanse, moisturize, protect and heal our skin are not the same year round.

So Red Note Botanica, the fresh natural luxury skincare line for the bath that I formulated, based on my training, knowledge and experience as an holistic healthcare practitioner and a certified aromatherapist is founded first and foremost as a healthy product line designed to rejuvenate and bring out the best in your skin, and secondly to delight and celebrate your beautiful playful spirit with uniquely fresh fragrances all year round.  It’s founded on seasonal skincare from the start, and always will be.

Our skin, as the largest organ of our body, absorbs at least 60-70% of what we apply to it topically.  That explains why patches and dermatological creams, ointments, serums, etc. are very effective at healing and protecting troubled skin, and even ceasing addictions like smoking.

With that in mind, it’s essential to formulate and use skincare products which have vitamin and nutrient rich oils, butters, and other healthy ingredients that will treat our skin gently with effective results.  Skincare that keeps its promises is a must.

It is my personal feeling that all skin is sensitive, and should be treated as such.  Treating your skin as anything less is not something I advocate.  Even if you are blessed with great skin now, it’s essential to protect it to ensure that it retains its natural beauty for years to come.

On that note, let’s chat about some of the things your skin might be trying to tell you as we head into colder weather temps, dry air, indoor heating, and other stuff that can dry out our skin, leading to potential irritation, inflammation, eczema, and less than healthy skin from which we absolutely do not need to suffer if we treat our skin gently on a regular basis – hey it’s fun, pampering, and the results couldn’t be better, so why not?  Let’s go!…

→ Read more