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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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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

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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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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