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MY BFF IS A BEEKEEPER

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MY BFF IS A BEEKEEPER

elisa nordman

MY BFF IS A BEEKEEPER

Meet Elisa Nordman, a long time friend of mine who is an avid hobby beekeeper from Helsinki with a passion for sustainability, green thinking and a deep appreciation for nature and our planet. She keeps her two hives at a farm outside of the city and produces artisan honey under the brand name Hunter House Honey. I sat down with Elisa and picked her brain about her super hipster, yet actually amazingly impressive side hustle that she’s been doing for a while as I felt the urge to to introduce this insanely cool save the bees- gal with my fellow internet scrolling audience. Here goes.

Q: Who are you?

A: I am Elisa. I currently work as a graphic designer and in my free time I love to get outdoors and spend time in nature, read a lot, do sports and then of course beekeeping.

Q: What made you take up beekeeping and become a bee-person?

A: In all honesty, it was actually half a coincidence as I stumbled across an ad in beekeeping at a Christmas fair in Helsinki (Tuomaan markkinat). It immediately caught my attention and I took a photo of the ad and then the next day I thought to myself, what the heck, why not. I signed up for the course online, without truly knowing if I would follow through or not. Fast forward 5 months and I found myself in a beekeepers farm shopping for the gear. Once I had all the necessary items, I knew I would have to buy the bees as well. Even though there initially was some slight hesitation, I’ve always been aware of the role the bees play in our eco system and how they are struggling and declining in numbers due to the pollution, harsh pesticides and changing weather patterns. Since a very young age I’ve always loved the flavour of honey, so that worked as one motive as well.

Q: How did you get your hives, did you buy them?

Learn the difference: 1. Honey bee 2. Bumble bee 3. Wasp 4. European Hornet

Learn the difference: 1. Honey bee 2. Bumble bee 3. Wasp 4. European Hornet

A: Yes, I bought my hives from a beekeeping shop and the bee colonies I bought straight from a beekeeper I was referenced to through the beekeeping course. The beekeeping community is a quite small and there are forums online where you can exchange knowledge and buy equipment from people within the industry. So basically all the bee colonies are bought from another beekeeper, you can not buy them from a shop, or at least not that I know of.

Q: How do you get started in beekeeping?

A: Well, in my opinion the only way to start is to participate in a course and learn the basics. The other option might be to have a mentor who walks you through the step by step process of starting your own colony. I still highly recommend participating in a course as it’s quiet complicated and you’ll get into the community easier and learn to know other people within the community.

Q: Most people do not react well to the sight of swarming bees, were you afraid of the bees when you first started out as a beekeeper?

A: No, I wasn’t afraid of bees. Bees are actually really calm and they don’t mind us people if we let them be(e) in peace. I’ve noticed that people can not distinguish the difference between bees and wasps and most people easily mistake wasps for bees or vice versa. To clarify and in case you were unsure, bees and wasps serve different purposes in nature. Bees pollinate our food, our plants and produce honey, whereas wasps eat pests from flowers and plants, but their pollination value is lesser than their hairy cousins. I think it’s only relevant to be afraid if you know that you’re very allergic to the stings.

Q: Do beekeepers get stung by bees?

A: Yes of course, however not very often. I’ve only been stung while beekeeping less than 10 times through my gloves and suite. The stinger has not been able to penetrate my skin properly as I am always wearing my protective suite.

Q: As a beekeeper, do you become more sensitive or more in tuned to nature?

A: For sure. I’ve always been a nature lover, but now after beekeeping you have to pay more attention to the weather, to the seasons and to the flora around you as it all affects the bees and their behaviour. This is actually the part that I’ve enjoyed the most and it’s been very fulfilling to become more aware of my surroundings.

Q: What's the most fulfilling part of a beekeeper's job?

A: I’d have to say that the most fulfilling part of this job is to actually get to know your bees and to learn how to work with them as honey bees are not wild bees, even though they are free to fly, come and go as they wish. Honey bees need our help and I try my best to read their signals and their behaviour to my best ability and make the right decisions in being their caretaker. As an example, I need to prevent mites from invading the hives and when the season has ended it’s my job to feed the bees and prepare the hive for the winter.

Q: How long does a bee live?

A: On average a worker bee lives 40-50 days. A queen bee usually has a lifespan of 4-8 years.

Q: How much time does it take to take care of your hives?

A: Holy moly, it takes quite a lot of time. The general rule is to visit your hive every nine days, but usually I go there once a week. You never know what to expect, so it’s hard to know in advance wether you’ll end up spending an hour or five tending to your hive with each visit. In July I take a little more free time to myself as this time is usually the time the bees are collecting honey and you can actually let them be. That being said, this is not set in stone as it also depends on the weather. Many professional beekeepers are so good at reading the signs of nature that they can visit their hives according to weather (meaning less times), but I am not there yet personally.

Q: What has been the most surprising aspect about beekeeping?

A: The complexity of a bee colony. The system is totally astonishing and I am continuously learning more by each visit. For example, did you know that the queen is not the ruler in the hive, but the worker bees are. The worker bees make all the decisions collectively so if they see that the queen is not laying enough eggs, they will start to make a new queen bee by starting to feed an egg with royal gel.

Q: What do you have to say to anyone who is interested in starting beekeeping?

A: Find a course in beekeeping and you will get a good start. After my first course I was still completely and utterly lost because at that time I didn’t have my own hive yet as all the information was only theoretical. Slowly and after my first summer in beekeeping I took another advanced course in and finally things started making more sense to me. Just like with any new skill or hobby, learning takes time, so be patient! In Finland there are great courses in Työväenopisto, so make sure to check in with them.

Q: How much honey do you get per season and is it difficult to collect the honey?

A: Last summer I got around 30 kg of honey from only one hive. This season I am not sure what to expect yet, since one of the hives is very weak after the winter and the other is strong, but there has been some issues with the queen. Honey collecting is hard work. Firstly, the hive boxes are extremely heavy and it’s quite challenging to pick them up from the hive tower and your body positions while doing the labor can end up being super uncomfortable. In addition to the hard physical work, the bees usually get pretty upset with me fiddling with their home (understandable) , which adds an extra challenge to the whole process. That being said, last summer was my very first time collecting the honey, so I am hoping for it to run a little smoother this year. Fingers crossed. The bees do not hibernate during the winter, instead they curl up keeping warm and eat sugar water that we feed them in the autumn.

Q: Where can we find out more information about beekeeping and your bee endeavours?

A: I have an instagram account @beetvsuomi , where I share videos and posts about my beekeeping. I sell the honey after the summer and I have my small artisan label called Hunter House Honey.

Q: Any further plans for Hunter House Honey?

beekeeping

A: Not currently, my aim is to keep beekeeping and learning more as I go. I wish to spread awareness about bees and their importance to us humans.

Q: Tell us something weird about yourself?

A: I am extremely organised and well prepared when it comes to packing and my friends always make fun of me when we go on trips together, but I always have something they end up needing. I have issues with jello-like food textures and can not eat anything wobbly, slimy nor spongy, such as eggs, tofu or creme brûlée. Wherever I go I always make sure to check out the nearest exit route and I am passionate about whales. I have a degree in prosthetics & orthotics (prostatic legs.) I’ll just leave it at the list could go on for a while…

Q: Favorite quote?

A: I am bad with quotes but I guess you can’t go wrong with ”Always smile more than you cry, give more than you take and love more than you hate”.




Below an episode of BeeTv. Enjoy!

Thanks Elisa!

So long honey,

Evita

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SUMMER UPDATE: What I've been up to lately + how to listen to your body

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SUMMER UPDATE: What I've been up to lately + how to listen to your body

Dear reader, thanks for circling back to my blog even after this mini break that I’ve taken. The reason for the little pause is very simple: I’ve needed time to recharge, reset and relax. I definitely still believe in the practice of commitment and consistency with blogging, but what’s even more important than that (or more valuable than SEO optimising), is to truly learn to wind down when you need to. And I feel like this is something many of us can relate to. People (we) need to stop glorifying being busy and make room for, well, nothingness. Can’t we just please start a new trend where doing nothing is the coolest thing on planet earth 😅!? No but, jokes aside I feel that especially as a yoga teacher and someone who teaches people to unwind and tune in with themselves, I also need to practice it, not just preach it. And that’s exactly what I am doing right now, sitting in my summer cabin overlooking the Baltic Sea and simply taking it super chill without any schedule nor plans. Thanks to taking this time for myself I’ve now finally felt inspired and energized again to start writing and I started to reflect over how much I’ve actually needed this, to just be still without the hustle and bustle of the city life.

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time here at our summer cabin, which is just an hour outside of Helsinki. We are in the midst of remodelling a small cute summer cabin (the sauna house) and making it into a space for me and my boyfriend. It’s been a bigger project than we first anticipated but I won’t go too much into detail right now as I am dedicating a full blog post to it very soon (with before and after pics, so stay tuned!!). In addition to spending time here, I’ve also been to a friends summer cabin celebrating midsummer and then enjoyed a fun and wild weekend in Hankoo (the most southern city in Finland) with an amazing group of friends. I’ve also taught a few yoga classes, gone to an amusement park (Linnanmäki), but other than that it’s been down time and laying low. And lemme tell ya, it’s been very needed. I feel like I am still digesting my new life of living back in Finland and trying to rejuvenate from the heavy winter and the busyness of it all (my day job as an event planner can be pretty hectic). Luckily, I am planning to escape this winter for at least parts of it.

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So how do we make sure to stay energized, healthy and balanced without burning out or over exhausting ourselves? What it all comes down to is learning to listen to your body and knowing when to slow down. I wanted to share some practical tips I’ve found to be useful as I’ve learned that my body is often way smarter than my head let alone my silly ego. The thing with your body versus your mind is that the body is continuously giving you cues and subtle messages on what is good for you and what isn’t, the problem is just that we a) ignore them or b) don’t see these messages in the first place. The mind loves to come up with excuses, distractions and falsities. Listening to your body or yourself is applicable to not just your health, but any other area of your life as well. If you just learn to tune into your intuition and gut feeling more than staying in your head, you’ll start noticing how things unfold in a very different way.

But what if you don’t know how to listen or you don’t know what actually works for your body, then a phrase like “listen to your body” can feel like nagging or plain useless. The truth is we are all different. Not only through our unique lives, patterns, relationships, circumstances, jobs, living situations, rhythms, eating & sleeping habits, we also differ in what our idea of health is. So where does one start? I made a few key notes that I feel that can be helpful on this journey towards becoming more self aware.

  1. Every day make sure to have a quiet moment just for yourself where you ask yourself these three questions: What am I feeling, physically? What am I feeling, emotionally? What am I thinking? Pay attention to what comes up. Just like with any new skill, this will be a process and some days you’ll get answers right away when at times you’ll think about your neighbours dead cat. Lol.

  2. Journal first thing in the morning for 30 days straight. Commit to this practice and write two pages each morning before anything else. You’ll be astonished at how much will come up.

  3. If you feel like you need to learn to listen to your body more think about the why’s. Why do you want to listen to your body. What is it, that is not working for you? Do you perhaps already have some physical symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, bloating, insomnia, lack of energy, a disoriented body image, relationship issues, lack of drive or direction. Or anything else that does not sit right with you. Think about your goals. What are you hoping to achieve? Is there a specific goal you want to reach, such as a more balanced relationship with food or better stress-reduction habits? Why is this important to you? Any goal is most successful when grounded in purpose.

  4. Meditation, yoga or any other practice, exercise or hobby that helps you connect with yourself.

  5. SLOW DOWN. Your health is your greatest wealth and priority. If you don’t know where to start or everything else sounds like gibberish, this one is pretty simply. Just clear your calendar, baby steps.

Towards a healthier, happier mind body connection y’all.

Happy trails and summer smiles!

Con amor,

Evita

PS. I will be posting more often from now on now that I am feeling energized again, pinky swear!

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#BLESS #BLISS #BLAHBLAH

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#BLESS #BLISS #BLAHBLAH

#BLESS #BLISS #BLAHBLAH

I get it, it’s a lot of fluffiness out there but the other end isn’t cool either, so here’s what I have to say to people making fun of yoga, yoga practitioners and the yoga community:

First of all, may Spirit bless your soul and secondly go fudge (or smudge) yourself.

The end.

I’M KIDDING!!!!!!!! Well, kind of. Let me put it in a nicer package for you. Read on, if you will:

We all love humor and joking, it's is a big part of life and a way for us to connect and communicate with each other. Laughing is medicine and laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells, thus improving your resistance to disease. So it makes sense to be laughing and joking. Oh and as we all know (God I hope so at least) it feels freaking fantastic, we all love a good ole laugh and joke. That being said, being rude and making fun on someone else’s behalf or ridiculing someone because of their interests, way of life and passions can be offensive as fawk. Surely we see stand up comedians do this and a lot of humor is based on making fun of someone else, but sadly there seems to be an overflowing pattern that’s pretty repetitive, men making fun of women. This is upsetting and triggering on many levels. Some might argue it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s men making fun of women practicing yoga per se and it just happens to be that more women are into yoga. Dope, well for whatever reason it triggers the shiiiat outta me, which is why I am typing. Like there isn’t enough misogynist and sexist behavior out there already, sigh. It’s kind of lame to notice and see men even in my own circle of “friends” or social media friends making fun of women practicing and teaching yoga and about the stuff and pictures we post on social media. 

Here’s the problem I have with that: when did whatever you post on social media become more valuable or important than what I am posting? Do you see me making fun of fishing, golfing, surfing, photography, videography, banking, baking or whatever the heck it is that you love on my feed? Nah, didn’t think so. And for those of you who read my blog, I kinda touched on the subject in a previous post, but today I felt the need to actually dedicate a whole post on this subject. So homie, you clearly have a social media account for whatever reason (be it for communication/marketing/expression/stalking or all of the reasons) and most of you feel the need to share pictures of the things you like, be it a pizza, a pic from a vacation, your child or [insert whatever]. So my question in all honesty is:

What makes me silly or fake or whatever you think I am that makes you want to make fun of me and my fellow yogis out there?

Social media is a part of our lives now, this is fact. The digital revolution is here and we all have different ways of utilizing this insanely powerful tool. I and a bunch of other yogis out there happen to use it to post yoga stuff and why wouldn’t we when that’s what we love? I’ve never claimed to be a nun, nor an enlightened being or a guru of any sort. I simply love yoga, spirituality, self work (such as working with expression like what I am doing right now this very moment) and I am just trying my best to hustle and spread the joy in a way that empowers me and the people with the same interests. Putting myself out there is intimidating enough and I constantly struggle with the fear of being judged or ridiculed, so when it actually happens it feels pretty lame, kinda like being bullied. And in all fairness, I do agree that there’s definitely an overflow or overuse of words such as #blessed and #bliss and #grateful, but simultaneously there’s also huge amount of pics of big fish or the last NBA game out there (just examples). And isn’t it actually pretty amazing if someone genuinely feels grateful in a world where there’s a ton of sad stuff happening that we can cry about every damn moment. So WHY my dear hombre fellow human, WHY oh why do you need to mock us? I get it’s funny, but unless you are as funny as JP (because he is actually SUPER funny and does it from a space of LOVE) I suggest you stop shaming yogis, YOGA GIRLS and the practice of yoga or perhaps you need to find your way to the mat and practice some compassion.

Oh, am I a bad yogi for speaking my mind for expressing my feelings? I think not. Being a bad yogi is a good next blog post by the way.

Thanks for reading.

For my fellow yoga sisters out there, have you stumbled upon the same thing in your circle of peeps?

K bye now.

Eva

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BELOW you’ll find some really funny stuff actually, the difference is JP does it from a place of love as he is a dedicated yogi himself.



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Collaboration over Competition and (Comparison) + 10 reasons why to collaborate

Collaboration over Competition and (Comparison) + 10 reasons why to collaborate

Collaboration over Competition and (Comparison) + 10 reasons why to collaborate

Hear hear! I recently made a post about envy, if you didn’t give it a read, I suggest you at least eye it through to get an idea of my message. That being said, I completely understand your attention span might be below zero, so to save you some and effort and time I can briefly recap it here below in a few bullet points:

  • Don’t judge social media influencers or yoga teachers for posting pics on their feeds, they’re hustling just like you but in different way, they might feel insecure AF posting but do it to gain traction and biz. They’re simply using this channel for marketing (or at least I’d say many are).

  • Comparison is the seed for envy. Think about it. Yup, pretty darn accurate.

  • If you’re feeling envy: aim to emphasize instead of criticize. Remember errbody is a human and even if someone else’s life looks freaking glorious on the gram, EVEN they’ve had the worst raging diarrhea once (sorry not sorry I went there, lol). No, but for reals, my point is, we shall not compare as we have no idea of the whole story or their internal state. 

  • Fight the feelings of envy through cutting the wings of comparison. If you’re feeling envy, try using it as fuel towards your own dreams and always remember that, that you don’t know the reality of their (whoever you feel envy towards) lives, they might actually be in a really bad place with themselves.

K, cool, great, now that you’re all filled in on the envy part I want to take it one step further.  Collaboration over competition. Many of my friends are yoga teachers or at least work within the same field that I do. Some might argue that we’re competing with each other. The thing is though, that we all have something unique to offer, have a different vibe, our individual approach and a distinct way of teaching and we all attract a different crowd. That being said, you gotta play nice and fair and for instance being a copy cat is never cool. However, mistakes happen and one of my friends told me that she had just launched a Goddess Workshop (name changed) and was later contacted by someone with the exact same name, this was an honest mistake and not her intention at all. Communication, expression, honesty. It works, yup, the holy trinity once again.

Working together is powerful and so much more can be done in teams. I absolutely love projects and working with other people! Here’s a couple examples of what I’m doing/planning currently: co-hosting a retreat in Sayulita, Mexico this upcoming November (JOIN US!!) with my good friend & fellow yoga teacher Jonna Monola, co-hosting a singing bowl Yin + Sound Bath with Pauliina Kuunkajo this Saturday, soon launching a course with my friend Jasmiina Ojala from BärBar this fall (stay tuned), I will be teaching amongst a pool of other amazing yogis at the Magnesia Festival this summer, I am co-hosting a podcast (COMING SOON, launched this NEW MOON) with fellow yoginis Audra Rose Stanley and Sylvie Lacourciere and there’s a few more projects I’m not supposed to talk about just yet (aka keep your eyes open). So you, see, I LOVE co-creation.

An image from a collaboration I made with  Jenette Skin Care.

An image from a collaboration I made with Jenette Skin Care.

K, well, why you might ask? Well lemme give you 10 reasons right here, right now, so read on folks!

  1. First of all, there’s magic in coming together! Everybody has a unique skillset and different talents, you can just simply create SO MUCH MORE when joining forces with other people. Chances are you’ll also learn something new from them!

  2. Co-creation is the shit for marketing & PR! You double up the reach (or triple up the reach) in whatever you’re doing. More reach, more business, more dinero. Easy.

  3. It’s just so much more FUN! You get to share the workload and responsibilities PLUS it’s nice to have someone to hang out with. My friend Jonna and myself were recently at the Helsinki Yoga Festival with a stand promoting our upcoming retreat wearing sombreros and blasting banda music, imagine if I would’ve done that all alone. Lame.

  4. Brainstorming & new ideas. Two brains is more than one brain. It’s true. More effective problem solving happens when you combine resources in talent and mindset. This also means you can come up with better ideas, projects and workshops when you’re joining forces with someone PLUS you also have someone to discuss your ideas with and give you feedback.

  5. Your tribe/network/clients get more value. Damn right they do. For instance in a yoga workshop: having two yogis instead of one yogi is amazing since you’ll get more hands on adjustments and help in your practice. If whatever it is that you’re doing is not yoga, you’ll still get more insight and value from having more than one {insert whatever}.

  6. It’s time efficient. Delegating tasks, planning and implementation in a group or team is way more productive than doing everything solo.

  7. You will learn from your mistakes and what collaborations/projects work for you. Not all collaborations and dynamics work, don’t let this disencourage you. We are all different and it’s just like chemistry, everything does not work well together. Like oil and water = no bueno. Let failures be stepping stones towards finding the right people, organizations and companies that do work with you. Kinda like fuckboys towards Prince Charming if you will.

  8. Self awareness. When you work with someone new, you’ll quickly notice your skills and also see what you need to work on. Yay. #selfwork

  9. You’ll get inspired. Working together with someone new will most likely inspire you in some way or form, after noticing for instance your skill set and gifts and areas of improvement, you’ll most likely start working on the things you need to improve and start using more of your strengths to your advantage.

  10. Community building + new doors. You get to create a community and you’ll reach a broader network for future projects with new possibilities and opportunities. Dope.

Cool. So now that the ball is in your hands. What do you want to create? Let’s create some magic together.

There’s a few things I can help you with and things I am working with currently:

  • Yoga classes + holistic wellness + self work (here’s what some of my students have to say)

  • Copywriting (if you didn’t notice yet, I love writing; my strongest writing language is English, however I can produce text in Swedish, Finnish and Spanish as well).

  • Promotion & marketing; either working on your branding or marketing, coming up with creative ideas or then promotion through my own channels. I wouldn’t go as far calling myself an influencer just yet as insta has been killing my reach with its new algorithm), but nearly 5K followers gotta count for something 🤷🏼‍♀️ Oh did someone mention #SHAMELESSELFPROMOTION 💅🏽🙋🏼‍♀️

  • Event production (past wedding planner & currently working within this field).

  • Modeling (yup, I’ll smile to a camera).

Get in touch and let’s make shit happen.

With love,


Evita

My first poem online

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My first poem online

Making peace with the past - a poem by me (my very first online poem).

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There is so much, yet somehow nothing to say.

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It all took me where I am today.

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The tears. The loss. The pain. 

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I know, it was never in vain.

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Forever within me it will stay.

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And in all honesty I don’t even want it to go away.

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Because even if I broke,

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and wanted to choke.

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I somehow found my way home.

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To my safe little dome.

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The space that is within me.

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I learned to to see.

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The power that I hold.

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It made me bold.

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Now I am strong,

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and I know I’ve also done things wrong.

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This is not to blame.

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This is not to shame.

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And it sure the hell is not a game.

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I needed you, the past.

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You helped me cast,

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The path that I am on now.

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So let me just say wow and

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Thank you.

Picture by  Vuokko Salo  in Sayulita, Mexico

Picture by Vuokko Salo in Sayulita, Mexico

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Con amor,

Evita

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Envy

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Envy

ENVY

There’s a lot of hype around sisterhood, goddess power and the sacred feminine. There’s a big movement called Women Supporting Women and there are a lot of strong women out there yearning to co-create, support each other and collaborate. I am one of those women and I would go as far as to say that it’s even in my blood, my lineage and my karma. My grandmother was amongst the first women in Finland to get a driver’s license and a dedicated yogini (before it was cool & trendy) and my mom, whom I’m very proud of by the way, has always been an avid feminist and worked to support women. She served as the president of the Finnish Women Entrepreneurs for several years until she finally retired this year. Cheers to you mama ❤️ I recognize your hard work.

I believe that there’s power in numbers and union and supporting each other is absolutely beautiful and we should definitely co-create, collaborate and work together. Unfortunately, however, there is something we fail to talk about openly, the big underbelly of sisterhood called envy. It’s understandable, I mean who would want to bring up the nasty, big ole’ envy with its ugliness, and it surely isn’t something to use when marketing. But envy is real and as much as women would love to have the support of each other, unfortunately they (we) are the first ones judge, criticize, belittle and smack talk each other.

I’m going to use myself as an example. When I first started my blog a few years ago I decided I needed to write at least twice a week and post on specific days. Consistency was key and every marketing savvy person would advise new bloggers to do this as it was considered to be the best method for SEO optimizing and gaining more readers. This was in 2016. The blog scene was already pretty established and I was kinda late to even be jumping on the bandwagon. I decided to give it a go anyways as I thought it’d be cool side project and something that would help me build my biz in Mex. Well, It didn’t really go as planned and life happened, I lost interest, dropped the project and stopped writing altogether. I felt a lot of insecurity in my writing and felt as if what I had to say wasn’t valuable, interesting or good enough. I was reading other blogs and felt that my posts where silly, unimportant or just shitty compared to the other stuff out there.

Fast forward three years, a lot of craziness and rapid growth and I suddenly find myself typing again. Unexpected, unplanned and unintentional. But this time it’s not forced, this time it flows, it feels good and I feel like I can stand behind everything I am writing without feeling insecure, without worrying about what other people think. Because I know better. Because I know myself. Because I’ve grown. But perhaps most importantly because I’m not comparing my writing to anyone else’s. It feels like I am finally using my own voice. It feels good to write and it feels good to share my opinions, thoughts and learnings. And if I can touch someone with my writing, or make someone think, even better.

We are all unique and have something different to offer.

We are all unique and have something different to offer.

My aim is to be real, genuine and write about the hard stuff too. Like envy. Not just the picture perfect life that social media can portray (and I am very aware of that my own insta feed displays this, hence the blog with more depth), but more about lessons, growth, life, whatever comes to my mind really. There’s no guidelines or restrictions. It also feels very therapeutic and more free as I have no set rules on how often to post, I simply do it whenever I get a splurge of inspiration, like right now at this very moment. And right now I feel like talking about envy. Everyone’s felt it, everyone knows what it is, but nobody really talks about it. So let’s.

So what is envy? Well, it’s thinking that what someone else has or is, is somehow better than what you are or have or are doing. The root to envy is comparison. It’s counting someone else’s blessings instead of yours. It’s feeling less than someone else. It’s the feeling of lacking. It’s not being happy with who you are or with what you have to offer. Heavy stuff huh.

So there are two very likely outcomes of feeling envy, either you’ll start feeling resentment towards the person or then other nasty side effect: you’ll start talking shit. But does either method make it go away? Hardly. So how do you make it go away? Perhaps the most important thing is: to stop comparing yourself to others. The saying “comparison is the thief of joy” truly is the truth. Comparison will not take you anywhere and you are only comparing yourself to an perceived image, not the actual truth. “Don’t criticize, emphasize” is a good one, because you have no idea of knowing what the person you’re envious of is dealing with, what they’ve been through or about their struggles or issues. So recognize their mundane humanness and simply stop.

Okay, so if there’s no way that you can stop comparing yourself with someone else or emphasize with them, there’s one more way: start working towards your dreams. Use the feeling of envy as fuel towards your own goals and start making shit happen. And this, ladies and gentlemen is empowering AF.

Lastly I would like to say that if you notice that you’re feeling envy towards a friend instead of a random Joe, try be open and honest about it and talk it out as difficult and even embarrassing it might feel. It takes a lot of courage, but the truth is energy doesn’t lie, and most likely your friend already felt it. Communication is key, to absolutely everything, even in dealing with envy amongst friends. Because if not, you’ll start wishing them to not be so successful or good or whatever it is you think they are, and eventually your friend will have to turn to people that wish them the best.

Life is hard, support each other and recognize your uniqueness. We all have something to offer and we are all just trying to figure it out.

Thank you for taking the time to read my typing, it’s nice to know someone out there is reading this.

Con amor,

Evita



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Friends with businesses: Cosmic Collage by Lori Menna

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Friends with businesses: Cosmic Collage by Lori Menna

lori_menna

Meet Lori Menna, a graphic designer based in La Cruz, Nayarit originally from Philadelphia. Lori is a talented artist who has lately been working on a creative project called Cosmic Collage. Cosmic Collage is a collection of stunning pictures she embellishes into vibrant images that invite you into another world. Her inspiration stems from the mystical world we live in, sacred geometry as well as other dimensions.

You can currently find her art in Sayulita in Zafiro Shop, Don Pedro's Restaurant and Calaverita de Mita in Punta de Mita. Her art is also available in her online store. She recently started crafting Cosmic Collage pendulum boxes and journals. I've been lucky enough to be featured in some of her spectacular pieces and it goes without saying, I am completely obsessed with her artwork and the ravishing colors and concepts.

Lori has also created my logo, my business card and a flyer for my website and company. You can see hints of her cosmic collage style in my company look combined with the Flower of Life along with my favorite color; purple. I am very grateful for her work and for using me in her artwork. I sat down with Lori and asked her a few things about her art and about where she gets her inspiration and how she ended up doing what she is doing. Enjoy the art and make sure to also check her out on IG under the handle @cosmicollage

Q: What is your background and how did you end up in Mexico?

A: It was 2008 in San Diego when I made the decision to move to Mexico. I had already started my migration south from Philadelphia. After several visits, I began to tell my coworkers, friends and family that I was packing up my Volkswagen convertible beetle and driving down to Sayulita to live. I was in love of course. It was the sunshine, the waves, the ceviche & cervezas, the warmth of the sea and it was the life I wanted. It wasn't exactly an easy task explaining and convincing most, but I did it and I don't regret it for a second! 

Q: What is Cosmic Collage?

A: Cosmic collage is a fantasy world that I've created that invokes a surreal and dreamlike wonder. It is a window into another dimension. My intention is to alleviate some of the heaviness that's going on in the world and make a contribution of beauty and light. 

Q: Where do you get your inspiration for Cosmic Collage?

A: I am inspired by the great mystery of life, fractals in nature and sacred geometry. I am drawn to the healing patterns of indigenous people. My ideas and visions come to me in mediation. My creativity is something that travels through me, it is a gift from the spirit world.  I create when I am open receive a natural flow of spiritual and creative energy.

Q: What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

A: Daily meditation, Ceremonies and Plant Medicine are a big part of my life. I practice lucid dreaming. I wake up in the middle of the night a lot and create or write down my ideas. I make sure that I spend time everyday creating something that is apart from my job as a web/graphic designer.

Q: Do you remember the time when you first realized that creating was something you had to do?

A: As a child I was always creating. I knew that was my outlet and that I would pursue it at a very young age of 7 or 8.

art_lori_menna

Q: What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever created?

A: My children, Oliver and Claudia and our home full of Love and color.

Q: What superpower would you have and why?

A: I would rid the earth of GMO’s, I would stop drilling and fracking, I would clean the plastic from the oceans and the toxins from the rivers.

Q: What is your dream project?

A: My dream project is to clean up the soil and the land in the town that I grew up in from cancer causing toxins, to rebuild the school and give back hope to the children that live there.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

A: To trust and surrender.

Q: Professionally, what’s your goal?

A: I would like to have some books of images published, I would love to work on an animal spirit deck and master plant deck. I would love to see large installations in hotels and homes all over the world.

 

Muchas gracias Lori <3

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Beach yoga sesh with Vuokko Salo Photography

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Beach yoga sesh with Vuokko Salo Photography

I wanted to share these stunning images Vuokko Salo captured during her stay here in Sayulita. Vuokko Salo is not just an amazing, talented photographer who's got an extremely good eye, but she is also a beautiful mama of two adorable kids, a loving wife and has a heart big as a whale. I am lucky to call her a friend and to work with her! Without further ado, enjoy these gorgeous shots we recently took. Make sure to give her a follow on IG @vuokkosalo

PS. The beautiful mat is by Yoga Design lab and pants by Solo Sol

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Friends with businesses: Manyana | Quality Peoples

Friends with businesses: Manyana | Quality Peoples

The master mind behind Quality Peoples &amp; Manyana, Ed Fladung.

The master mind behind Quality Peoples & Manyana, Ed Fladung.

Meet Ed Fladung, one of the coolest cats you'll come across around these corners. Ed is a photographer, designer, surfer, the brainchild behind the rad t-shirt brand Quality Peoples and a recent shop owner here in Sayulita. His store, Manyana, is one of the most stunning boutiques in town with a clean style that reminds me of home with its Scandinavian feel. In addition to his own t-shirt brand, Quality Peoples, Manyana also carries an interesting mix of both international and national brands. I asked Ed a couple questions on how he ended up in Mex and to tell us a little more about the cool things he's doing... We also did a fun photoshoot with photographer home girl Jessica.

Clean, beautiful and stylish.

Clean, beautiful and stylish.

Q: How did you end up in Mex/how long have you lived in Mex?

A: My family has vacationed in Mexico since the early 80s, first on the east coast and then on the west coast. My parents bought a piece of property here in Nayarit, in the late 90s and built a vacation house. In early 00’s they retired and moved to Nayarit full-time. A few years later they started a small business designing and building houses. At the time, I was creative directing and producing online marketing for the movie studios in Los Angeles and slowly burning myself out. In 2004, I came down for a few weeks to help my parents with their business. We had some family friends staying with us. I worked in the mornings and our friends taught me to surf in the afternoons. I was hooked. I went back to LA, put all my stuff in storage, rented my house out, sold my car, told all my clients I was going to take 6 months off, bought a surfboard and went back to Mexico. And that was 12 years ago.

I met Marcia about 3 months after I moved here. She was in town, taking some time off from her family business in Guadalajara. We got married two years to the day we met. Two years later, we had our son, Luca. He’s 8 years old now.

Q: How did you get into design?

qualitypeoples

A: I’ve always looked at things from a design perspective, in high school my friends and I had a small skateboard collective and brand. We designed and printed t-shirts, stickers and hats, anything we could put a logo on. I studied graphic design at CalArts and over the years, I’ve applied the ideas I learned there to various different mediums and projects. At some point, in my Mexico adventure, I began to think about what was next. I remembered the t-shirt graphics I had done in high school and college. The idea of creating some kind of t-shirt brand seemed like a fun project. Around that time, I met John Esguerra, a graphic designer and art curator based on the North Shore, Haliewa Oahu Hawaii.

Q: What is the story behind Quality Peoples? Where does the name come from?

A: John and I began collaborating on a small art zine he curates, called Chinese Wax Job. I was heavy into surf photography at the time and with no formal training, my surf photos tended to be more arty than functional. More like water landscapes. We talked about the idea of doing a surf t-shirt art project and collaborated over instant messenger. Quality Peoples was born in 2010. I’ve used the name Quality Peoples (QP for short), for various different things over the years, and as we were putting together the brand, we went over a million names and QP just kind of stuck. It seemed to work for what we were trying to do with the project. We put together our first season of graphics and started talking to stores. That proved hard with two guys living in Hawaii and Mexico, so we were fortunate enough to have a showroom in New York that agreed to handle our sales. And we’ve been growing QP slow and steadily ever since.

Q: You’ve recently opened a hip shop called Manyana in Sayulita, what is it like to have and run a shop in Sayulita?

A: Marcia and I had been stealthily looking for a store front to rent in Sayulita, for the past few years, but it had proved difficult to find and rent a space. At various points, I had thrown in the towel, always with a small, vocal group of friends urgently pleading with me to open a shop. When I was approached about renting our current space, I jumped at the opportunity and turned to concepting the shop.

Find these tees at Manyana, Sayulita.

Find these tees at Manyana, Sayulita.

Marcia and I have complementary skill sets, I am the creative and she is the business lady. She’s keeps Manyana running smoothly and I keep things fun and interesting. It’s been quite a change in our lifestyle, opening the shop and being there on a regular basis. But it’s also very exciting. It’s been great working with Marcia to make Manyana a special experience for our customers.

One of the things we’ve tried very hard to create, is a sense of calm in the shop, from the minimal wooden fixtures, to the music, to the scent in the air and the air conditioning. Sayulita is a busy, colorful place and we wanted to make the shop a place for people to come and rest their brains and eyes a bit. We probably should have opened a cafe instead :)

We work closely with all our brands and projects, to make sure that the items you can find in Manyana are unique to the area and that the concept is original. We hope it shows.

Q: What other brands do you carry in Manyana?

A: Quality Peoples is our cornerstone brand and Manyana shares a lot of DNA with QP, as they are both projects that I’ve poured my heart into. We carry a small curated collection of imported clothing and accessories. All people I’ve met over the years of doing QP, or brands who I think are doing something interesting and unique. To name but a few: Industry of All Nations, Battenwear, Alex Crane, Sunbuddies, Scout & Catalogue.

We also carry a curated collection of contemporary home goods and objet d’arts made here in Mexico. These projects are created by people I know personally, or have been introduced to through friends. Most projects are by young architects and designers working with artisans to create a more contemporary or modern take on everyday Mexican objects with traditional production techniques. Most of the projects are dedicated to fair-wages for the artisans and made by hand or in small batches. Some of the items we carry: tablecloths and placemats, copper vases, beach towels/throws, ceramic bowls and cups, wool rugs, ceramic candlesticks and palm baskets. I’m really proud of the selection of projects we carry, to name a few: Diario, Estudio Pomelo, Pop Dots, Kino, Taller Revez

Q: Any exciting collaborations/projects or plans for Manyana in the near future? What is your vision for Manyana?

Calle Marlin 18, across the street from Naty's Tacos.

Calle Marlin 18, across the street from Naty's Tacos.

A: As far as vision, we see Manyana as it’s own brand or experience, and we’re definitely exploring ways to expand it. Nothing solid yet, we’re been open for about 3 months now, and I think we’re still getting our sea legs. But we’re constantly thinking about it.

We’re just getting started with curating contemporary design from Mexico and Latin America. That part of Manyana is a lot of fun for us. We’ve been meeting a lot of talented people through curation and and look forward to finding new projects and sharing them with Sayulita.

We’re also working on a few different things for Manyana at the moment. Marcia and I are both interested in the idea of doing clothing, accessories and home goods in Mexico with the Manyana name. And so we’ve begun exploring different areas of Mexico for their possibilities. This takes me away from the shop a bit as I hit the open road, but I think we both really want to push the idea of making quality goods in Mexico, especially clothing.

I love this shot.

I love this shot.

Q: How often do you get to surf these days? What else do you do during your free time when not working?

A: I still get to surf a fair bit, not every day. I suppose I could surf more than I do, if I dedicated myself to getting out there. But it’s definitely been a bit harder now that both of us are working in the shop. A balance will come, nothing stays the same, so it will all eventually work out.

These past few months I’ve been taking a small break from surfing in the mornings, in favor of practicing yoga. Marcia and I have been practicing together at our local yoga joint. It’s nice to do something with her, that we can share, that isn't family and isn't the shop. She doesn't surf, so it’s something we can do together that is both external and internal. I’m a reluctant yogi. My teacher probably would refer to me as a yoyo: one who only does yoga every other day. That’s a little dharma joke there :)

When I’m not working on Manyana, I’m usually working on QP or vice versa or sometimes even concurrently I’m working on both projects. When not “working”, I’m usually just hanging with Luca, he’s learning to skateboard which is something that I grew up doing, intensively. So it’s fun to watch him learn.

Q: Favorite quote?

A: I don’t really have a favorite quote at the moment.

Times are kind of crazy now, so I’ve been keeping my mind limber on a steady diet of Noam Chomsky lectures (Chomsky is my spirit animal), Arcade Fire (I really get into their “preparing for the apocalypse” vibe) and when I’m feeling optimistic, I listen to Elliot Smith Live recordings. Haha.

One last thing: both Marcia and I would like to mention that we are humbled by the reception of Manyana by both Sayulita locals and visitors alike. Every day people come into the shop and say how wonderful they think the shop is. We appreciate that beyond words. Manyana is a labor of love for us both and in a lot of ways, we’re both putting ourselves out there in ways neither of us have done in the past. It feels good to see that people can connect with the shop and enjoy it, especially local Sayulita folk, that’s golden.

So thank you, Sayulita, con mucho cariño. From Ed & Marcia.

When in Sayulita, make sure to pop into Manyana on Calle Marlin 18 (just across Naty's Tacos, next to the town plaza). You also want to follow them on their ig accounts: @manyana.co and @qualitypeoples

Girls just wanna have fun (and be pampered)

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Girls just wanna have fun (and be pampered)

Last Sunday was a really relaxing day. I had been busy with work and other commitments lately, so I really felt like I needed some well deserved down time with my gal pals and maybe a couple glasses of Cabernet. I spoke about my need to relax with Carmen (a local chef in town) and she said she could come to my house and prepare a healthy delicious dinner for a group of friends. We started playing around with the idea a little more and sure enough it turned into something way cooler: a pampering day.

Home made cacao facials.

Home made cacao facials.

I reached out to a couple friends to see if they felt the same need to just relax and have a good time and get facials, manicures and pedicures while sipping wine and eating and sure enough you guessed it, they absolutely hated the idea (just kidding).

Shelby feeling like a princess.

Shelby feeling like a princess.

Carmen ended up making us amazing organic cacao facials and a beautiful healthy dinner consisting of spring rolls, a pomegranate goats cheese salad and a dessert of passion fruit heaven (not really sure what it consisted of, but sure was yummy)!

Everything was amazing, however, the facials did steal the show. So why would you want to smear cacao on your face, one might ask. The things is, cacao is super rich in antioxidants (flavenoids), which are great for smoothing your skin and giving you a rosy glow. Cacao is also anti-inflammatory and its antioxidants improve and aid in collagen production and it also helps in restoring skin cells. Did I mention it smells divine? That alone, is a reason in itself. If you want to know more, check out this. Carmen was very attentive and made sure no one kept their facials on for too long, which was a very important part of the whole procedure.

I also ended up asking another girl from town to come give us manicures and pedicures, which was another huge hit. This turned into my casita having these different stations for different pampering experiences: kitchen for facials, back patio for card reading (yes, card reading!) and pedicures and living room for manicures. If you're in town and in the need of manis/pedis in the privacy of your own home or villa, make sure to reach out to Manicure Sayulita.

If you feel inspired to try this facial yourself,  it's super easy and this is all you need: 

  • Rose water (to clean and wash your face before treatment)
  • 1 Avocado (ripe)
  • Mint and sage (salvia sylvestre)
  • 1 tbsp organic raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)

How? Very simple, just mix everything together and voilà!

So what's the lesson in all of this? Pamper yourself more. And in groups, it's way more fun ;)

Fresh faced girls after the facials.

Fresh faced girls after the facials.

Until the next pampering moment,

X

Eva

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Friends with businesses: Zafiro Jewelry (my favorite jewelry)

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Friends with businesses: Zafiro Jewelry (my favorite jewelry)

Rocio Akrish, founder &amp; designer of Zafiro jewelry

Rocio Akrish, founder & designer of Zafiro jewelry

Priscilla,  looking mighty fine rocking Zafiro

Priscilla, looking mighty fine rocking Zafiro

Meet Rocio Akrish, designer and founder of Zafiro Jewelry. Rocio was introduced to the jewelry industry at a very young age as she started helping her father sell jewelry at street fairs. In 2008 Rocio opened a tiny jewelry store together with her mom here in Sayulita and recently took over and gave it a complete facelift and new look. Today the shop carries mostly her own line, Zafiro, but also still sells her mom, Doris's jewelry.

Rocio style is elegant, yet edgy and she uses various different materials and gemstones from all over the world. She has always been very creative and designing jewelry and sourcing gemstones throughout Asia and Indonesia are her biggest passions. I sat down with Rocio to ask her a few questions about her jewelry and store here in Sayulita.

Q: Why is your jewelry called Zafiro?

Me showing off my headband, bracelets and rings

Me showing off my headband, bracelets and rings

A: I was born to hippie parents who gave me the middle name Sapphire. Zafiro is Sapphire in Spanish.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration to design your jewelry?

A: I've always been really curious about ancient civilizations and made my first round of jewelry after I saw the King Tut exhibit, so it was super Egyptian inspired. Since then I've mostly concentrated on stones rings and made some animal pendants like snakes and  Raven and Humming bird skulls because I love their symbolism.

Q: Who wears Zafiro? What are your customers like?

A: Its the biggest compliment to hear my friends say they love my jewelry and see them wearing it.  I also really like when guys buy my rings and necklaces. Anyone who likes to wear stones can be my customer, no limitations.

Q: What is it like to have a jewelry store in Sayulita? Lots of competition?

A: There are A LOT of Jewelry stores in Sayulita  considering its size, but I think I have something different to offer. I carry a big variety of stones and most of my jewels are set in brass, plus I use different materials like bone and fossils.

Q: What plans do you have for Zafiro jewelry?

A; I want to expand my store next year and I'm forever working on a shopping cart website, but I swear it will be done. 

Q: Favorite quote?

A: Notice what you notice.

Thank you Chio!!

Love this image of Kelea

Love this image of Kelea

All the images are from a Goddess meets Amazon Warrior photoshoot we recently did for Zafiro jewelry. And were shot by Jessica Leigh.

Make sure to give @zafirojewelry a follow on instagram and to stop by Zafiro Jewelry when in town (a beautiful pink wall), you'll find the shop on Avenida Revolucion (main street), just across from Chocobanana.

 

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Friends with businesses: Calaverita De Mita

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Friends with businesses: Calaverita De Mita

Emilia showing off her pom poms.

Emilia showing off her pom poms.

So, you'd think being a Finnish girl in Sayulita is pretty rare... wellp, there's actually three of us! Meet Emilia Kaufmann, my friend and amazing business owner of a beautiful boutique in Punta De Mita. Punta de Mita is another cute little beach town just a short 20 min ride away from Sayulita with an amazing long right hand break called "the Mexican Malibu".

Emilia moved to Mexico about 7 years ago after doing an exchange program in Queretaro. She visited Sayulita and immediately fell in love (how can you not?). Today Emilia owns a colorful home decor/gift shop and spends her time in between Punta de Mita and Sayulita. Her shop, that is called Calaverita de Mita (the little skull of Mita) is located on the main strip in Punta de Mita.

Emilia focuses on Mexican design and sources many of her products throughout the country, she also creates and designs her own clothing, jewelry and clutches and has lately been into tie dye. In Emilia's free time you will find her catching waves, relaxing and enjoying paradise, or as we call it, home.

If you're around the Punta de Mita, Sayulita or the surrounding area, visiting Calaverita de Mita should definitely be on your to do list.

These beautiful clutches are hand died by Emilia and the interior material is plastic, which is super handy for shoving your wet bikinis!

These beautiful clutches are hand died by Emilia and the interior material is plastic, which is super handy for shoving your wet bikinis!

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