When I began Charm & Magic I knew I wanted to be able to support a meaningful cause, but since I am still in the ‘investment phase’ I felt like I couldn’t really give financially at this point.
A few months ago I met an amazing new friend, Eileen, who spent two years living in Africa and is returning to Kenya to take a group of girls, now known as the Girls on Fire, on a leadership camp. Her mission is incredible and her strength and determination to make a difference was so inspiring I really wanted to support this project in some way. So while Eileen was raising money (and continues to do so) I was making 19 mini malas for the girls who are about to embark on this life altering journey.
By the time I finished designing + making + packaging these gifts I was completely depleted – but in the very best of ways, and I was reminded how incredibly rewarding it is to give from the heart.
And so I am thrilled that in 2015 Charm & Magic will have the opportunity to partner with The Human Plant Project, an organization offering yoga to underserved communities in NYC! More on that to come.
So I’d like to leave you with two things:
#1. Know that when you purchase a Charm & Magic mini mala you are also supporting these growing organizations.
#2. If you are feeling tight on money this holiday season and still want to give beautiful, meaningful gifts – remember the best ones come from the heart (as corny as that sounds – it’s true!) – you can always make something, bake something, write something, record something, organize something… in a way that only you can do.
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I have been making mini malas for the past 11 months – but really they have been in the works for years. This seed may have been planted when I started making jewelry for my friends in high school, or when I started practicing yoga and meditation. Either way, I have loved building this handmade business with roots in creative expression + mindful awareness.
Behind the scenes it’s just me, in a little corner behind the couch in my living room. Wanting to create and make a difference. My beads are in baby food jars, bags, and boxes in an IKEA medicine cabinet and in metal tins on the window sill. I sometimes find an incredible flow and mini malas just pour out of me, other times I spend hours creating and destroying.
This year has been filled with the best kind of learning curves, and now I have a mini collection that I’m thrilled to share with you in the Charm & Magic online shop!
Have a most magical last month of the year – filled with intention and charm!!Post a comment
I’m not the best at following recipes, sticking to exact measurements, or using required ingredients for that matter. Instead I prefer to ‘intuitively’ throw things together – which sometimes works, and sometimes just really doesn’t.
Last night I (kind of) followed this recipe from 101 cookbooks for a cauliflower rice bowl (which also included a lovely insight into blogging + the process of creating recipes). I made a few alternatives based on what I already had in the kitchen.
I swapped the spices for fresh thyme, the radishes for roasted carrots, hazelnuts for walnuts, goat cheese for brie with bread on the side, and added the whole juice of an orange… instead of 1 T (oops) and it turned out just fine.
It reminded of me that I can use recipes as a guide to PLAY, which takes the pressure off – and leaves me with an edible dish.
So do your thing just as you do and enjoy the feast that follows. And if you are in need of a few guides / recipes for fall squashes, these might just do the trick for :
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This recipe from Wellness Mama guided me to make the most delicious little chocolates. The only problem is they are REALLY good at disappearing… like I made them on Tuesday and they are practically all gone. Oops.
This recipe is simple and waaaay better than any processed halloween candy you may or may not have lying around the house. So throw that out – and make this instead, or just get yourself some good quality chocolate.
Here’s what you need:
1 cup of cocoa butter
1 cup of cacao powder
1/4 cup – 1/2 cup of coconut sugar (or your sweeter of choice)
1 t vanilla
optional: sea salt + peanut butter !! These make them rock extra hard!
some kind of mold (I used a rubber ice-cube tray and this chocolate mold – I suppose you could also make a bark in a sheet pan too)
Here’s what you do:
Melt the cup of cacao butter in a double boiler. Once it is melted, take off heat and mix in cacao powder + vanilla + sugar. Mix, mix, mix. Taste – and adjust as needed.
Get a cookie sheet and line with parchment paper – place molds on top. Pour liquid chocolate into molds. If you want to add peanut butter – fill mold with a bit of chocolate, then add some peanut butter and cover it up with chocolate. Add a sprinkle of good quality sea salt to the tops and let rest to harden. You can transfer to fridge – or let sit until it’s ready.
I put mine in a tupperware in the fridge… so they’d keep well and they would kind of be out of sight out of mind… that only kind of worked.
Let me know how it goes if you try it!
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This month I took part in a recipe exchange and a bunch of amazing recipes landed in my inbox – including this one.
Pumpkin Bread Recipe
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup coconut sugar *
1 cup pumpkin puree **
2 large eggs, room temperature ***
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
Optional: 1 cup of oats + 1 cup of chocolate chips
* I modified original suggestion of 1/2 cup brown sugar + 1/2 cup sugar
** You can feed the remaining pumpkin puree to a baby!
*** Oops! Mine were not room temperature – but it was OK
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
- In a medium bowl mix the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla. Mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, gently fold in, and add in 1/3 of the buttermilk. Continue working in thirds until all of the flour mixture and the buttermilk is incorporated in the batter. Mix in oats and chocolate chips.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 1 hour before removing and slicing.
Who can resist pumpkin anything this time of year? Especially when you add chocolate chips to it… as I do with about anything I bake. Thank you Emily for sharing this recipe!
If you are in the mood for more things pumpkin – these pumpkin cookies seem to be a hit.Post a comment
When we first moved into our apartment I went through each room of our apartment with dried sage to clear the energy. Now I am starting to cleanse and clear the air on a regular basis.
I read this amazing post by Gala Darling and was inspired to make my own energy clearing room spray. I used an old Pangea spritz bottle, covered it in washi tape (of course), and added water + drops of lavender and tea tree oil + a splash of vodka and voila! It’s nice as it lightens the smell of the burnt sage and can be used as a quick spritz whenever you need to ‘clear the air’.
So go ahead and get your potions, candles, and dried herbs out – or whatever you need to make your space and your life super charged and super magical.
P.S. If you’d like some more ideas on home rituals… This post by Clementine Daily is great.
What rituals do you have – or would like to have in your sacred space?
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I make mini malas - a necklace strung with 108 beads and a unique charm. They are a playful spin on the traditional japa mala, which is used for meditation and prayer. They are smaller, and might be slightly more fashionable than they are functional. They are asymmetrical. They are handmade.
These mini malas have become a physical representation of my love for yoga + spirituality and my desire to express myself and make things. I create these necklaces as a tool for people to be able to connect with themselves in a world that is moving so incredibly fast.
Lately, I have been unearthing a lot of questions and I am craving answers regarding my business and my general life purpose… you know the usual. I wonder how I want these mini malas to live in this world – in the most meaningful way possible.
- How can these mini malas add the most value in people’s lives?
- How can they be packaged beautifully, functionally, and eco-conciously?
- Where can they be so the people who would love them most will find them.
If you have ANY insights, any questions of your own, or anything else that comes to mind I’d LOVE to hear from you. Like really love it. And if you’d like to see if anything catches your eye in my online shop – you can click here.
So I will be sitting here with uncertainty, waiting for answers to reveal themselves and continuing to wish that these mini malas support people to find peace and presence within their days. Thanks so much for reading and sharing whatever thoughts you might have!Post a comment
Being a mom is complex! I finally have the morning to myself and I feel guilty. But even when I am with Luca I still feel guilty. These thoughts constantly circulate:
- Am I talking to him enough?
- Am I providing enough stimulation for him?
- Am I feeding him nutritious and nourishing meals?
- Am I keeping him on a good schedule?
Which all boils down to:
- Am I good a mom?
Judging by his smiles I probably am, but it’s nearly impossible for me to FULLY believe it. I doubt, I wonder, I question, and I feel guilty for having time to do my own thing every now and then. I want better information for my heart and mind to process. I want to release this guilt that holds on so tight.
I noticed if I change the order of the words from AM I a good mom? to I AM a good mom! Well then…I am sending myself a completely different message. I am going practice this order and remind myself even new moms need time for themselves and their dreams.
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Before it passes – stop and look – because it just might not be there tomorrow.
I know you’re busy. You have big dreams, schemes, and a baby to keep track of – but whenever you can – stop and look. Notice the incredible beauty of life RIGHT NOW. I know you might not have all you yearn for (yet). But you DO have exactly what you dreamed of (and more) 1, 3, 10 years ago. So before you bound off to the next thing, project, email, playdate… savor whatever – whenever. And you will find yourself exactly where you need to be – here.
If you want to meditate about it all, here is a mini meditation I made for you when winter was turning to spring.
“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” ― C.S. LewisPost a comment
It has taken a month. But now I am back in love with you (for now anyway).
When I returned I was initially repulsed by your speed, your noise, and your crowds. I was bitter about how tricky it can be to navigate a stroller, a baby, and groceries around your skinny streets and up 10 stairs to our apartment. I was resentful towards your abundant collection of small spaces.
Luckily for the both of us, something has shifted. Maybe you grew on me, or I grew on you – but everything you represented that I hated I am now smitten with. Your energy of promise and the creativity collected in coffee houses, subway cars, dinner parties, and city blocks are actually intoxicating if I stop to take it in and forget about alternate side parking. You hustle and bustle like no other which I see representing possibility and opportunity for the incredible people that live in your zip codes.
Even though certain things still feel condensed and frantic, I am (kind of) back in love with your break neck speed. I’m extracting moments of clarity and bliss and I’m incredibly thankful to be back in love with this city that I call home. So thanks for the tough love – always.
LeahPost a comment