Bonjour Cherie!

Let's Talk Skincare 101

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In:Uncategorized

Comments Off on How do YOU celebrate Earth Day?

written by Raulla S. Mitchell “To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”    Jane Austen

Earth Day is today.  How do YOU celebrate Earth Day?

I’m interested, because there seem to be infinite ways to celebrate a day all about the planet on which we live, and conversely, without which, we couldn’t live, at least not yet, and certainly not in the same manner.

Years ago, I saw part of the film “The Martian” while my young daughter was watching it on Netflix, and I have to say, Mars is not for me.

The verdant landscapes, trees with abundant leaves, and flowers in bloom this spring hold the potential to transform our spirits.

In Minnesota, we deal daily with temperature and climate pendulum swings.  Is it spring, is it winter, is it spring, is it winter…?

Mushy snow that melts nearly on contact with the pavement mid-April leaves us waiting to unveil our charming (let’s hope so) personalities to our neighbors at our mailboxes, walking our dogs,…

By the way, isn’t it fabulous that several animal shelters currently report that they no longer have dogs awaiting forever homes?  Since we’re in extended COVID 19 isolation, it’s the absolute best time to train a new family dog!  The secret’s out.  And from what I’ve seen on daily walks, our neighborhood dogs are getting oodles and oodles of walks!

Back to Earth Day…Based on our empirical knowledge and faith, we know and believe that spring will eventually come, as it always does.  We’re adept at leaping from freezing winter temps, wind chills that threaten to push down my heavy Volvo trunk on top of my head while reaching for my purse inside (yeah, that’s right it did just that, and it was as frightening and painful as you might imagine when it happened at Costco), and a slippery mess of a rain-snow mix to 70 degrees the next day.

It can also feel a little like “En attendant Godot”, waiting for Godot or Mother Nature to brighten our yards and our spirits.  Come on Mother Nature, please hurry on over to Minnesota with your powerful feminine charms, we want to see daffodils, tulips, irises popping up!  I’d even be immensely grateful for a hosta or two pop up along the boulder wall and alongside my mailbox, even if soon to be munched on by our resident family of 10 or so deers already trekking through from our backyard to the front and roaming on over across the street to the woods behind.

I’ve been staring at colorful silk flowers (now fading) in pots outside my front door all winter, because I can’t bear life without color.  Still, I don’t for a sec believe they’re real, and I’m sooooo….ready for flowers that grow in the earth! → Read more

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In:Cleansing, Holistic Skincare

Comments Off on Time for a Detox? Try a Gentle Dandelion Detox

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Have you ever thought of trying a “detox”?  It’s a pretty loaded word – there are lots of different kinds of detoxes or cleansing programs.  Natural, holistic, or integrative healthcare practitioners may custom design a detox program for you based on the state of your current health.  There are endless books on the topic.  Detox packages may be purchased OTC at health food co-ops, spas offer “detox” on their menus, and you’ll find DIY detox tips on Pinterest boards.

Some are gentle though deliver effective long lasting results while others fall into the overhaul category, and may not be as safe, particularly if changes are abrupt and extreme.  It comes down to the question of how you look at your well being and lifestyle long term.

I fall into the kinder, gentler camp when it comes to integrating dietary and lifestyle modifications. I think incorporating elements of a gentle detox regime into your daily life is an excellent opportunity to shift into healthier living without disrupting your body chemistry or bringing about short term results only, and at risk that I regard as undesirable.  For example, results such as immediate weight loss related to detox may be initially thrilling, but cannot be maintained long term, and in fact, may be in part responsible for the weight gain subsequent to coming off a detox regime.  Then you’re back somewhere behind square one!  No one wants that.

So, let’s assume we don’t suffer from any major chronic illnesses that require supervision by a medical professional, and we’re going for a gentle detox, one that we can begin now, and continue on a regular basis if we choose to.  Nature’s seasonal transitions (spring and fall) are ideal times for detoxification to cleanse mind, body and spirit from

dietary toxins: refined foods and carbohydrates, hydrogenated fats, alcohol, caffeine, processed sugar, high fat meat and dairy, etc. environmental toxins: in our air, soil, water, cleaning and personal care products, clothes, etc. emotional and psychological toxins: chronic stress, anxiety, worry, juggling too many balls in the air, lack of relaxed “down time” and regenerative sleep

Detoxification is best supported synergistically from the inside out and the outside in. Gentle modifications to our diet and lifestyle have the potential to create the canvas for a healthier you.  When we cleanse our liver, kidneys and skin, we cleanse the body’s primary organs responsible for the elimination of toxins.

What is one very simple dietary treat we can add to facilitate our body’s own capacity to detoxify? 

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In:Holistic Skincare

Comments Off on The Best Bath Ever!

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Take a bath tonight, cherie.  For those of you who know me well, you know this is my modus operandi for just about everything.  And, I love to share it with everyone I truly love.  So here goes…

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!  Create this super fab bath just for YOU.   → Read more

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In:Fragrance

Comments Off on L’Amour Fou de Printemps

 

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

May is the perfect time to play with new spring fragrances.  Everything around us seems more playful, delightful and full of intoxicating natural fragrances and joie de vivre, so welcome l’amour fou (crazy wild love) of springtime into your heart!  Fragrance is all about happy little sensual pleasures, feeling fab in your skin and making beautiful memories that remain forever.  Franz Kafka said “Anyone who retains the ability to see beauty never grows old.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Fist bumps Franz and Andre (Breton), l’amour fou man. And the best part?  Crazy wild love and this genuine fountain of youth are available to you, everyday of your life.  Just choose to invite them into your life today. → Read more

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In:Cleansing, Fragrance, Holistic Skincare, natural skincare

Comments Off on Discover YOUR Springtime Bliss

written by Raulla S. Mitchell “All is a miracle. The stupendous order of nature, the revolution of a hundred million worlds around a million stars, the activity of light, the life of all animals, all are grand and perpetual miracles.”   Voltaire (1694-1778, France)

Bliss is a perpetual miracle. And what’s so fab about bliss is that we can discover it everyday within ourselves!

We cannot help but be reminded of the veracity of Voltaire’s eloquent expression, particularly after months of nature covered in snow and ice, green begins to expose itself once again, the initial sign of nature’s powers of miraculous rejuvenation and rebirth.  April’s wet grass, blossoms beginning to form in May, fruit growing on trees, and moisture in the air tells us that spring has returned. We are part of the cycle of nature, and follow her revitalization.

Even if Mother Nature decides to snow flower-sized snowflakes in Minnesota this April, we know from experience that they’ll quickly melt when the sun comes out.  Just a little reminder to be grateful for the spring when she comes to stay!

When I was a child, my grandmother used to call each April 1st with the same line “Look out the window, it’s snowing.”  I’d say “Grandma, it’s not snowing, don’t you know it’s April!”  She’d insist, so finally I’d put the phone down, go to the window, and when I’d return to the phone, she’s say the inevitable “April Fools.”  I miss her calls every April 1st.  I’ve always thought Mother Nature and my grandmother were conspiring to make me truly appreciate the beauty of spring.

What better place than a warm fragrant bath to discover your blissful rejuvenation this season? Your bath is a sanctuary for undisturbed reverie and meditation. Release all winter’s cares to be swept away by the uncontrolled beauty of your thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations.  Give in to wherever they lead you…Your bath is your bath.  I’d say your bath, your rules, but it’s more your bath, no rules sort of thing, a rule-free zone.  Your isolation tank or a shared space, whatever you’re in the mood for.  → Read more

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In:Holistic Skincare

Comments Off on Beauty Sleep

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

If you feel as if you’ve been hibernating most of the winter, the last thing you may want to think about is making sure to get enough sleep now that spring is here.  You’re ready to burst forth and enjoy, greet your neighbors, catch up with friends over outdoor lunches, and spend evenings out after bitter chills and early sunsets have kept you indoors for too long.

I dream of taking my beloved ’98 S70 lipstick red Volvo out for a spin, give her a turbo thrill anywhere but 30 mph Valley View Road (and I don’t mean 32 or 35 mph which is pushing a speeding ticket).

This I can no longer do.  She was forced into retirement last May when one of her cylinders unexpectedly went down.  I was in deNile, in part because everything else about her was perfect.  I don’t want to believe she’s gone.  Even now, I sometimes look for her in parking lots, wondering who might have brought her home, fixed her up, and now takes her out for a spin.

I wanted her back the moment I felt with little choice but to replace her with a computerized black Volvo S60 that has a bazillion features (of which I still have minimal comprehension), and lacks her colorful personality.  Without my Mimi magnets, I feel a little guilty saying this, but she’d be just another black car in a sea of black cars, undistinguished from all the others.

She’d been huffing and puffing (running rough they call it) for about a week before I took her in to Borton, thinking she might need new spark plugs. Don’t all of us older gals need new sparks from time to time?  Made sense.  Unfortunately, the problem lay deeper.  When we’re not on all cylinders, it’s a serious problem, one I wasn’t prepared to face.

Dan at Borton Volvo service told me to have a stiff drink and say goodbye.  She was no longer safe.  She could blow at any moment.  What does that even mean I remember wondering.  Would she just stop without warning on the freeway?  Would she blow up?  I didn’t feel she’d betray me in that way.  She’d give me a few signs.  Dan continued to impress upon me the severity of the safety risk.  It could be a day, a week, a month, maybe a year.  I didn’t want to let her go, but I couldn’t continue to hold on.  I drive my daughter around town.  Safety’s a big deal.

So, I took photos.  I stood next to her.  Wherever she went from the Borton Volvo lot, she remains ever in my heart.  I’ve not yet had the stiff drink, and don’t really think it would have worked anyway.  She was bigger than that.  She grows more special in her physical absence from my life.

I’ll never feel the same about another car.  She was my first Volvo, my signature red, a boxy handmade Swedish girl who developed a distinct personality with age, and carried on even after I blew out her ignition one winter, and someone pushed her gently in a parking lot, leaving a subtle barely remarkable dent in her otherwise perfect frame.  She proudly wore my kissing Mimi magnets till the end.

One never knows, but I can’t imagine ever feeling quite the same about my new (to me) Volvo S60 on whom Mimi blowing her kiss to passersby seemed sadly faded.  My new Volvo demanded new magnets. That’s the thing about changing one thing – other things seem suddenly old.  And who I am to judge.  I’m getting older too.  My parts will wear out.  Where will I go?  She deserved better.  I acted in haste.  I wished she were back.  It was too late.

I digress.  Besides, if I count out the years, I’ll have a few more Volvos enter my life.  Or I’ll leap into a hybrid.  Just must remind myself to get ready and prepare for it emotionally next time.

Back to our theme of beauty sleep.  Cherie, now is when you need your sleep more than ever, to handle the ups and downs of life, hopefully more ups…

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In:Cleansing, Fragrance, Holistic Skincare, Ingredients, Moisturizing

Comments Off on Jump into Spring Colors

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Winter drab be-gone. Perk up your thoughts, dreams and creative imagination with beautiful spring floral colors from palest pinks, roses, lilacs, mints, sea foams, melons, butters, and cocoas to the brightest fuchsias, limes, cherries, sunshine yellows and tangerines. Your favorite fresh spring colors are all here!   → Read more

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In:Uncategorized

Comments Off on Do not fear to make changes – Let’s go!

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

“Do not fear to make changes.  When it is making headway, a boat may rock.”  Chinese proverb

At today’s yoga class, my instructor’s words focused on breaking through our fears.  Yes, we fear that we may topple over in a pose (or in life), but break through this fear, just try it.  Fears created and sustained by our minds seek to disempower us, while yoga seeks to free our minds of fear, anxiety, worry, and breathe into the present moment of life free from self-imposed limitations.  Her heartfelt spoken word music coupled with her own words inspired me to let go just a little bit more, to trust in the moment.

Do you make changes with ease and joy?  Do you love change?  Or do you fear it?  Do you hear the word “change” and think “Hmmm… Now what?  Just when I was getting used to the status quo, looking forward to the ease of running on automatic pilot, I’m supposed to C-H-A-N-G-E?  Do you and David Schwimmer’s character on Friends, Ross Geller, share a similar “No one likes change” philosophy?

Let’s face it, everything is in a constant state of flux.  Life is all about change, expansion, growth and learning.  Stagnation and constriction aren’t very pretty.  So how do we leap forward with a rational mind, faith and a happy heart?

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In:Exfoliating, Fragrance, Holistic Skincare, Ingredients, Moisturizing, natural skincare

Comments Off on Seasonal Skincare Transitions – Winter into Spring

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Transitions are a natural part of life. Acknowledge and embrace transitions and the changes they bring as part of the mystery of life that offer you an opportunity to expand your horizons, try new things, learn and grow.  Remember last week’s blog post about jumping into new experiences and changes without fear?  Mother Nature herself is changing it up and setting the example for us to follow! → Read more

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In:Ingredients, Moisturizing

Comments Off on Lotions, Cremes, and Body Butters, Oh My…

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, a certified aromatherapist and herbalist 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 65-70% 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!…

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