musings from the studio
Smoke, smudging & incense burning are ancient practices that have been used in ceremonies across the world. Smoke has often been seen as an offering to deities, or the sacred, for meditation, and for cleansing sacred spaces, as well. From the incense of Asia and Europe, to the sage and cedar of Indigenous America, the smoke generated by plants has been part of spiritual practices for thousands of years.
Much of the smudging (all though not all) happening in the world right now is borrowed from the Indigenous populations of the Americas using native traditions. Since smudging is an ancient and ceremonial practice, it’s best to do so with awareness and in a mindful manner.
Be Where You Are (You can’t be where you’re not)
Like any great ritualistic practice, such as yoga and meditation, smudging brings you back to yourself. As I was often reminded by a favorite yoga teacher, “Be where you are. You can’t be where you aren’t”. Many people like to recite mantras or affirmations while smudging. My personal favorite comes from A Course in Miracles, “Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say, and to whom?”. Another favorite is, “I cleanse this space of any negativity or impure energy that does not serve my higher good”.
Clean Your Energy & Lift Your Spirits
Regular smudging is like taking an energetic shower. There is nothing better to clear physical and mental space when one is feeling energetically icky. Studies have even found that the smoke from smudging changes the ionic composition of the air, which, in addition to reducing stress responses, also kills airborne bacteria.
Some of my favorite times to smudge are:
- When I have started a new relationship, or a relationship has ended.
- When I have moved into a new home or office space.
- When I have started a new job or business venture.
- Before and after guests have left my house, especially if there has been some negative energy.
- Before and after a yoga class, meditation session, massage, or any other healing practice.
- Whenever I am struggling to let go of something.
- After an argument or illness.
- Anytime I return from a crowded space or situation.
To smudge your space: Open windows and/or doors to allow the release of any unwanted energy. Light the tip of the smudge bundle. When it catches fire, blow out the flame and allow it to smoke and smolder. Once you have a bit of smoke going begin to move throughout your space. Start at your front door, and moving throughout the space in a clockwise direction, use your hand (or a feather) to direct the smoke to all corners and walkways. Be sure to open closet and cabinet doors. Pay extra attention to room corners at they tend to accumulate stagnate energy. Once your space is cleaned, allow your smudge bundle to burn out or gently press it out in a fire safe bowl (or shell).
To smudge yourself (or someone else): As above, once your smudge bundle is lit and smoldering, start at the top of your head and gently move the bundle from top to bottom in a slow, mindful matter. Try visualizing the release of any negativity, or heavy, unwanted energy floating out of your body and home. Be sure to use a fireproof bowl (or shell) and gently extinguish your smudge stick when finished.
Now I would LOVE to hear from you. Have you performed a smudging ritual in your home or on yourself? If so, what did you think? I’d love for you to share your favorite mantras or affirmations (if you used them) in the comments.
(Shop cabine's smudge bundles HERE.)
Smoke, smudging & incense burning are ancient practices that have been used in ceremonies across the world. Smoke has often been seen as an offering to deities, or the sacred,... - Read More
Making all-natural perfume with essential oils is one of the easiest ways you can move towards a fragrance-free home & lifestyle.
Why does this matter? Aside from being good ol’ DIY fun, going fragrance free is the absolute easiest way to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals. Researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have found that more than 75% of products listing the ingredient “fragrance” contained phthalates, which have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts, and cause reproductive malformation. Phthalates have also been linked to liver and breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Additionally, studies by Dr. Philip J. Landrigan of the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center, link fetal exposure with autism, ADHD, and neurological disorders.
Is this even legal? So glad you asked. It absolutely is. The Fair Packaging & Labeling Act (FPLA) of 1967 does require all companies to list ingredients but it cannot force them to disclose “trade secrets”. As fragrance is considered proprietary information, companies have no legal requirement to disclose what is hidden behind the word “fragrance”. This dubious distinction allows a company to use the term “parfum” or “fragrance” as a placeholder for any combination of ingredients used in its formulation.
Here is a quick & easy primer for creating your own, all-natural essential oil “pure-fume” blends:
All perfumes are made up of top notes, middle notes and base notes:
Top notes (20-40% of blend): First impression of a perfume, evaporate the quickest.
Middle notes (40-80%): The heart of the perfume, appearing after the top notes evaporate (warm and balancing).
Base notes (10-25%): Appear after the others evaporate (grounding, deep, and rich).
For example: For a 5ml. rollerball, you would want to use between 10 – 30 drops of pure essential oil, depending on your desired intensity of the scent. So, if you decided to use 20 drops of essential oil, and were deciding on your top note, you’d use 4-8 drops of your desired top note essential oil.
To create your own “pure-fume” simply follow the above-mentioned guide based on your own personal preferences. Once you have created your blend, top with a carrier oil of your choice. (My favorite is fractionated coconut oil.)
Here is a list of some very popular categories and notes of oils for you to consider:
Citrus Top Notes: Orange, Lemon, Jade Lemon, Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Lime, Tangerine, Bergamot
Florals (Florals blend well with spicy, citrus & woodsy oils.)
Floral Top Notes: Lavender
Floral Middle Notes: Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Geranium
Mint (Minty oils blend well with citrus, woodsy, herby & earthy oils.)
Mint Top Notes: Spearmint, Peppermint, Wintergreen
Herby (Herby blends well with minty, citrus, woodsy & earthy oils.)
Herby Top Notes: Basil
Herby Middle Notes: Thyme, Rosemary, Fennel
Earthy (Earthy oils blend well with floral, woodsy & citrus oils.)
Earth Base Notes: Patchouli, Vetiver, Frankincense, Copaiba
Spicy (Spicy oils blend well with florals & citrus oils.)
Spicy Top Notes: Coriander, Cinnamon
Spicy Middle Notes: Clove, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Nutmeg
Spicy Base Notes: Ginger
Keep in mind this is only a guideline. Have fun. Play with different scents and combinations until you find the perfect scent that is just right for you.
Now that you've created an amazing all-natural "pure-fume", check out cabine's essential oil diffuser bracelets. Add a few drops of your custom scent to the lava bead part of the bracelet and enjoy throughout the day! Shop our diffuser bracelets HERE.
Making all-natural perfume with essential oils is one of the easiest ways you can move towards a fragrance-free home & lifestyle. Why does this matter? Aside from being good... - Read More
I thought I'd share a few natural ways to help make your house smell amazing.
Candles are the first place to start. Not only do they look beautiful when lit, they create a very specific mood and ambiance.
When looking for candles, be sure to choose a clean burning base. We use soy wax in our luxury soy candles so there is no black soot. Additionally, they burn longer and are grown by American farmers. Soy wax is also biodegradable and cleans up with soap and water.
Another important thing to consider is fragrance. By law, companies are required to list all ingredients. But, since fragrances are considered proprietary, they are a trade secret. This enables companies via the “fragrance loophole” to hide dozens of toxic chemicals without any legal requirement to disclose what makes up their “trade secrets”. Be sure to choose candles made with natural oils instead.
Palo Santo is next on my list. Palo Santo are small wood sticks from the Bursera graveolens tree of South America. Spanish for “holy wood”, these sticks' spiritual significance dates back to the Incas, and it has figured prominently in indigenous South American medicine as a sacred incense. The scent is slightly citrusy with pine and mint thrown in. They smell divine! To use, light the end of one stick, burn and smolder over a heat resistant plate and then allow the amazing scent to waft throughout your home. Don’t worry, these sticks don’t burn out after one use. Feel free to use over and over again.
Another thing I love is diffusing pure therapeutic grade essential oils. Add 6-8 drops of your favorite blends to a diffuser and diffuse away.
Some of my favorite combinations are:
• Lavender + Cedarwood to support a relaxing soak in the tub or an amazing night's sleep.
• Orange + Peppermint as a morning pick me up.
• Bergamot with pretty much anything. I love combining its citrusy scent with Jasmine + Lavender whenever we have friends over for dinner.
(I use Young Living Essential Oils. You can find out more about them HERE.)
What about you? What are your favorite ways to make your house smell amazing? Leave me a note in the comments.
I thought I'd share a few natural ways to help make your house smell amazing. Candles are the first place to start. Not only do they look beautiful when lit,... - Read More
For many years, I thought a lot about the food I put in my mouth, how it was grown and under what conditions. But I didn’t think too much about my home environment. I knew eating the wrong foods could make me sick, but what about my home?
The fact is, our home can be filled with 500+ different chemicals. Experts say that in many cases our homes are 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Many of these chemicals can have a devastating effect on our nervous and immune systems, on our reproductive systems and on our endocrine, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Thankfully awareness is growing and there are many steps you can take to “detox” your home. I’m including five easy steps below.
- Remove Your Shoes at the Door. Reduce your home to a variety of toxic chemicals such as lead, dust from contaminated soil, lawn and garden pesticides, fecal matter from public restrooms and animal waste, industrial toxins, dust mites, allergens and mold. This becomes even more important if you have little ones crawling around the floor.
- Ditch Nonstick Cookware. Overheating nonstick pans causes their coating to break down which can result in the release of surface chemicals and/or toxic gases. This is because nonstick cookware is made up of a carcinogenic compound called perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. These chemicals become airborne when heated. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) discovered that roughly 98% of Americans have traces of PFA’s, PFC’s or PFOA’s in their bodies.
- Switch from Plastic and Vinyl to Glass and Stainless Steel. Vinyl releases some of the most toxic chemicals such as phthalates, lead and cadium. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and other serous chronic issues. Phthalates are also hormone disruptors which can interfere with the production of testosterone.
- Ditch Anti-Bacterial Soaps and Gels. These products contain triclosan, a toxic chemical that interferes with hormone regulation which is currently being phased out but still readily available in many store shelves. In December 2017, the FDA actually banned tricolasn from anti-bacterial soaps and gels but it is still readily, and legally, added to body washes, toothpaste, cosmetics as well as products not regulated by the FDA such as furniture, clothing and kitchenware. There is some research that suggests long term use affects your hormones, prompts cancer cells (such as breast cancer) to grow, and makes it easier for antibiotic-resistant bacteria (like MRSA) to grow inside your nose and throat.
- Avoid Fragrance. Going fragrance free is the absolute easiest way to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals. This would include your personal care products, your household products, and in your laundry detergent. Though companies are required by law to list their ingredients, fragrance is considered proprietary information, a trade secret. This enables companies via the “fragrance loophole” to hide dozens of toxic chemicals without any legal requirement to disclose what makes up their “trade secret”. Fragrance is considered one of the top five allergens that can cause and trigger asthma attacks.
Now back to you: What are your favorite ways for detoxing your home? Let me know in the comments!
Interested in diving deeper? Join our private Facebook group, cabine’s lifestyle community, where we dive deeper into green living and clean beauty, home and personal. We’d love have you there!
For many years, I thought a lot about the food I put in my mouth, how it was grown and under what conditions. But I didn’t think too much about... - Read More
Thank you, Friends!
Just did our year end Cabine charity donation…. always one of my favorite days of the year.
Thank you for helping us LIVE OUT our mission to put 5% of all sales back into our community. This year, thanks to your purchases, we were able to lend a little support to the Mustard Seed School of Sacramento.
Mustard Seed School (a division of Loaves & Fishes) is a free, private school serving homeless children, ages 3-15, with the goal of preparing and enrolling them in public school. They provide a safe, nurturing environment, a positive learning experience, and survival resources such as food, clothing, medical care and counseling.
I am excited to walk alongside you as we continue to cultivate what matters in 2018.
Founder | Cabine Monde
Thank you, Friends! Just did our year end Cabine charity donation…. always one of my favorite days of the year. Thank you for helping us LIVE OUT our mission to put 5%... - Read More
cabine's clarity smudge bundle contains a selenite crystal wand, a sprig of yarrow, lavender, marsh-rosemany and two Palo Santo sticks.
It's perfect for supporting and deepening your meditation practice, as a gift for holiday housewarmings and hostesses, or for anyone who needs to energetically cleanse their space as we approach a brand new year.
cabine's clarity smudge bundle contains a selenite crystal wand, a sprig of yarrow, lavender, marsh-rosemany and two Palo Santo sticks. It's perfect for supporting and deepening your meditation practice, as a gift for holiday housewarmings... - Read More
Empowering Communities & Recycling Used Materials
cabine's bestselling Eclipse earrings are made of recycled glass beads (and upcycled Ethiopian metal) that are handmade in Africa by the Krobo tribe of Ghana. Honoring a centuries old technique, the Krobo crush glass into a very fine, dry grain and heat so pieces begin to form together. Using the stem of a cassava leaf for the hole, it is then baked in a furnace causing the stem to burn away. The end result is a beautiful, completely upcycled bead transformed into our ever-popular Eclipse earring. Available now in rose pink, ocean blue, grey, white and black. Ethically, beautiful every day…
Empowering Communities & Recycling Used Materials cabine's bestselling Eclipse earrings are made of recycled glass beads (and upcycled Ethiopian metal) that are handmade in Africa by the Krobo tribe of... - Read More
Let Your Values Guide Your Spending
As we inch towards what will become a busy shopping season for most of us, I thought I’d get a jumpstart on sharing a few of my favorite socially responsible, female-owned businesses.
These five companies have moved beyond simply offering products and services but are striving to make the world a better place.
Shop Compliment: 5% of every sales goes directly towards the Compliment Scholarship Program which benefits young women with great potential but little means to break generation cycles of poverty, abuse and addiction through education.
Beautycounter: Did you know that the United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of the ingredients used in personal care products since 1938? Over the past two decades, the European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products while the United States has only partially banned 30 to date. Beautycounter is on a mission to get safer beauty and personal care products into the hands of everyone.
Etkie: Stunning hand-beaded bracelets created by Navajo artisans using traditional beading methods while creating jobs in communities where work is scarce. The essence of Etkie is creating quality jobs in underemployed native communities that honor the customs and traditions of its makers.
Refill Madness: Sacramento, CA, based shop dedicated to zero waste living. Customers are encouraged to bring in their own containers and refill them with name brand items as opposed to purchasing single-use plastic. As of this writing, Refill Madness has removed 10,330+ plastic containers from our waste stream.
Brush With Bamboo: Over 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes that will never biodegrade are dumped in landfills and oceans every year worldwide. Brush With Bamboo was founded on the belief that little changes can make a big impact for our health and the health of our planet. Brush With Bamboo’s goal is to replace plastic toothbrushes with ecological bamboo alternatives.
What Else Can I Do?
Vote with your dollars. Let your money make a statement. Support companies that have a triple bottom line – people, planet, and profit (not just profit). Make a list of the products and services you buy most. Do their business practices align with your values? Ask yourself if there is another option.
Interested in Diving Deeper?
Join the Cabine Lifestyle Community group on Facebook. The Cabine Lifestyle Community is a high-vibe private Facebook group celebrating Earth-friendly beauty, wellness, and lifestyle choices. Interested? Join us HERE.
Find out more about cabine's social mission statement by checking out our about page. Together we can make a difference.
Let Your Values Guide Your Spending As we inch towards what will become a busy shopping season for most of us, I thought I’d get a jumpstart on sharing a... - Read More
Make This Day Count
September 21st is World Gratitude Day. First celebrated in 1965 it was officially adopted by the United Nations the following year. It is now recognized each year as a day to show appreciation for all things, big and small.
Because Our Mindset Determines How Our Day Will Go.
Feelings of appreciation not only make you feel happier but they also boost your immune system. Here are five easy ways to incorporate gratitude into your life. Try them. I promise, you’ll be much happier… and you’ll make the people around you much happier as well.
5 Easy Mindful Way to Celebrate
- Practice self-care as a little love note to yourself.
- Show respect for those around you. Treat other with the same level of courtesy you expect to receive: Smile, show kindness, exhibit patience and listen.
- Write a letter. Yes, by hand.
- Create a gratitude ritual.
- Say thank you. It may seem trivial but a heartfelt thank you goes a very long way.
Give it a try and let me know what comes of it…
What other gratitude practices do you have? Please let me know in the comments.
Make This Day Count September 21st is World Gratitude Day. First celebrated in 1965 it was officially adopted by the United Nations the following year. It is now recognized each... - Read More
The equinox is when both daytime and nighttime are the same length, which has long been interpreted to mean the world is in balance. Once the autumnal equinox (in the northern hemisphere) passes, the nights begin to get longer and the temperatures will start to fall. Autumn is a time of dual purpose - it is time to gather the main harvest and determine what is needed for winter. This season is also about balance and as such, fall is considered a time when you can restore balance in your own life.
A Season of Roots
Fall is a season of roots. The energy of this season invites pondering, long term planning, and expressions of gratitude. Seeds of ideas planted now can burst forth next spring with renewed vitality.
3 Easy Rituals to Honor the Equinox
1 | Plant Some Bulbs
Crocuses, daffodils, iris’… oh my! Force a few Red Lion amaryllis for holiday décor. Add colorful bulbs around your home, or in planter boxes on your porch, for pops of springtime color.
2 | A Fall Version of Spring Cleaning
Clear clutter. Ask yourself if what you have is really creating value or adding joy. If the answer is “no”, get rid of it. (Check out the documentary Minimalism on Netflix. It is life changing.) Smudge your entire home. Regular smudging is like taking an energetic shower. There’s nothing better for clearing physical or mental space. (Use code FALL until Sunday, 9/24/17 for 20% off our smudge bundles.)
3 | Create a Gratitude Ritual
Take some time first thing in the morning, or perhaps before bed, and spend five minutes pondering all you are grateful for. Your brain LOVES confirmation bias. It seeks to prove what it already believes is true. Once you start seeking things to be grateful for, you will train your brain to look for even more things to be grateful for. It feels great too!
Balance The equinox is when both daytime and nighttime are the same length, which has long been interpreted to mean the world is in balance. Once the autumnal... - Read More
Shop sweet Mother's Day treats from cabine...
A Mother's Day giveaway...
Lifestyle and fitness blogger, Delphine Winter, of A Hint of Health is holding a Mother's Day giveaway, featuring (among other items), cabine's limited edition recycled glass bracelet with freshwater pearls. Find out how you can win by checking out her latest blog post here.
On my nightstand... (great Mother's Day gifts too!)
Truth...I've loved every cookbook she's ever written. Her garbanzo cauliflower recipe from her last book, It's All Good, has been a go-to the past year. Looking forward to digging into It's All Easy for some new easy-breezy mom-on-the-go dinners.
Just started, Facing East, but have been a fan of Norma Kamali's forever. Iconic designer, successful business women and she looks amazing too!
Our April on Instagram. Follow us @cabinemonde.
P.S. Don't forget to join cabine's private Facebook sale page. This is the only place you will find our reduced price and end of line items.
Shop sweet Mother's Day treats from cabine... white recycled glass bracelet white recycled glass earrings sky blue recycled glass necklace bone & recycled glass bracelet (How much do we LOVE... - Read More
Adding to our house & home collection, we are excited to share with you cabine's Palo Santo incense bundle.
Palo Santo, also know as "Holy Wood", reportedly dates back to the Incas. It has a fresh, evocative scent similar to frankincense and myrrh, but with notes of citrus. Like sage, wood from its branches have been used as part of indigenous cleansing, smudging and healing ceremonies for centuries.
Our eco-friendly Palo Santo bundle is wild harvested in Peru from naturally fallen trees not cut for wood. Trees are allowed to "rest" 4 - 10 years while the natural oils "sweeten" and scent the wood before harvesting. Each cabine bundle contains four Palo Santo sticks. Shop here: Palo Santo
Adding to our house & home collection, we are excited to share with you cabine's Palo Santo incense bundle. Palo Santo, also know as "Holy Wood", reportedly dates back to... - Read More
Our candles use domestically grown soy wax, cotton core wicks and are housed in reusable glass apothecary jars with white lids. Each candle is hand-poured, hand-scented and made in its entirety in the USA. Find our Gardenia & Amber, Teakwood & Leather scents here.
Perfect holiday gifts!
Introducing cabine's luxury soy candle collection! Excited to share with all of you, the first two scents in our luxury soy candle collection: Gardenia and Amber, Teakwood & Leather. Our... - Read More