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Why did I move back to Finland?


Why did I move back to Finland?

Why did I move back to Finland?

Yes, why!? I guess it’s a fair question and a question I have received a lot. I mean, why would someone trade the tropical breeze, warm weather and an easy lazy lifestyle for slush, darkness and the 9- 5 grind? Why oh why would one leave a life of sipping margaritas on the beach and dem delish tacos for a society where the norm is not to say hi to their neighbors.. And lemme tell ya, dem tacos sooo good. So yes, I get it, it’s a legitimate question to ask and I understand that it might seem odd, and rightly so. But before spearheading into the why’s, I just want to acknowledge that it’s kind of impossible to write this post without spilling the beans on some sensitive and personal stuff. I will do my best to not dive into the details of things, partially to protect the people I have crossed paths with and also to protect myself as I don’t see it necessary to vomit my private life all over the interwebs. That being said, my aim has always been to be honest and to express my truth, so there obviously will be some personal sharing along the way. I also want to emphasize that life isn’t always what it looks like and this needs to be addressed more and more and more. The images we see on social media or in blog posts are merely little, snippets of framed perfect moments, so next time you see a chick posing with a coconut on the beach, don’t be fooled, she might actually be lost.

I mean, look at that beauty.  By Jess Leigh.

I mean, look at that beauty. By Jess Leigh.

Perhaps the first step towards answering this question is revealing why I originally moved to Mexico. Well, I moved there right after having graduated to help run my exe’s (important notice, he obviously was not my ex back then) family businesses in a small little beach town, called Sayulita, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. I had been to Sayulita twice before moving there and I had also spent one semester in Bali, Indonesia, so living in a tropical climate was not new to me. Even so, moving somewhere with the possibility of never returning can be a little intimidating. And that it was indeed. Initially, I felt a little anxious, ungrounded and lonely without my tight group of friends and my only support at that time was my partner. I’m a Capricorn and my people are my everything (you might know this if you’re into astrology, however if you think it’s complete woo-woo, well, let’s just say my friends and fam mean a lot to me), so the start was not just smooth sailing. I was surrounded by a new culture and a language that I did’t speak nor understand. I sometimes felt like a sore thumb as I stood out with my light blonde hair, even though Sayulita has a fair share of blonde expats and even more so nowadays. So, what I’m trying to say is, I was faced with some challenges in the beginning. But slowly, just like with anything else in life, I started settling in and making friends and gradually I learned to understand Spanish and then finally later to speak it. Life became easier, things started flowing and all of a sudden I was living the dream in a beautiful, vibrant, boho beach town of Sayulandia (a nickname for Sayulita). My life felt good and things were looking up.

My days consisted of co-leading my exes family businesses (hotels, surf school and shops), practicing yoga, surfing and watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, not too bad, huh? So it’s only fair to say that I had a few truly magical years. I was also running my co-owned yoga & surf company, hosting retreats and working for a handful of interesting businesses in a completely new environment. Boy, did I learn a lot and this time definitely shaped me. But as some of us might already have learned in life, life is not always a walk in the park, nor is it always a bed of roses and sometimes it can throw you curve balls. And as you might have guessed, a curve ball was thrown at me. Hard. Eventually it led to me and my ex parting ways.

Okay dokay, so there I was all alone on the other side of the world in a small Mexican beach town. Life hack: do not live in a small town with your ex. Ha, no, but seriously, you can imagine it might just be a little challenging. Also, rumours travel very quickly in small communities and I with all do respect, there’s definitely some cultural differences in how men view women and wether or not it is appropriate to move on (or even be seen out) after a break up (stay tuned for our next podcast on Machismo!!). In the grand scheme of things, I was was alone in Mexico living on the other side of the world far away from my fam going thru a break up in a place that felt like the Big Brother house and everyone was watching the show. As I had worked with my ex (we had a company together) and also with his family biz, it didn’t feel appropriate to continue working with them, so besides to dealing with a break up, I also had to figure out what to do business-wise. Luckily, I quickly found myself on my feet, working with new projects and clients and running my own mini one person company. I also started working within wedding production and for a big luxury hotel along with my private yoga clients. Life was okay…ish, but in all honesty my heart was broken and I felt lost. Fortunately I had a group of amazing friends to share my days with and the distraction of living in a party town. In lack of better phrasing, I had a semi-good time for a while, but as I didn’t fully have a direction in life and was kind of floating in this in-between state of not knowing what to do, I eventually started drifting just a little too much. Unless you have the discipline of a true christian, Sayulita will suck you into the mañana mañana lifestyle. Even tho the easy tropical party paradise lifestyle can sound like all fun and games, it kinda gets old after a while. Not to mention the non existing dating scene in Sayulita that is, well, extremely limited. Slim pickings y’all. Another coping mechanism I had was traveling, which I did to distract myself from the reality of things, and the truth was that I was completely lost. Being lost and ungrounded led me to a couple of very interesting picks on the dating scene (🙈). But they did serve a purpose as they also pushed me towards the direction I needed to go. Which was, back home.

Easy living in Mex.  By Jess Leigh.

Easy living in Mex. By Jess Leigh.

Slowly but surely I started playing more with the idea of moving back home to the motherland. I even flew to Finland in January just “to see” if I could cope with the darkness and cold weather after having lived in the tropics for so long. My conclusion and field research prove me that it was doable, however not ideal, so I needed to think some more, I reasoned. After my trip to Finland in the winter, I returned back to Mex to now in hindsight, seal the deal and confirm my exit. Another few negative challenges took place of which I can name these few; my house was broken into, my safety emptied (yes they use a lot of cash in Mex and the nearest bank was a 35 min drive away) and I got stung by a venomous scorpion. The latter one was pretty gnarly and almost felt like I was being kicked out of Sayulita. Or as my friends like to put it, I graduated from Sayulita. So being the intuitive spiritual tree hugger that I am, I finally listened to that little whisper inside of me that actually at this point was more like a scream than a whisper, saying “buy a one way ticket to Finland” and so I did. And after that, things just aligned.

Okay, if you spent any time in Finland last summer you probs know that last summer was pretty darn stellar. Some people might call it false marketing, but it surely lured me in. People were happy and smiling, the sun was shining and the weather was almost well, tropical….. but most importantly, it felt right. When you are aligned with your direction, things have a tendency of falling into the right places and sure enough I met an amazing person that summer as well. He might have helped with the whole marketing campaign of Finland being pretty cool 🤩.

So here I am, now 7 months later after having relocated back to Finland (I had to go back to Mex after the summer in Finland), feeling grounded for the first time in a very long time. And, yes, of course the winter sucked, and yes of course I miss Mexico and yes of course I miss my friends and yes Mexico holds a place in my heart forever, but YES, this is where I am supposed to be right now. And it feels freaking fantastic to FINALLY feel like you’re where you’re supposed to be. Because I haven’t felt that in a very long time. And at the end of the day, Finland is such a great place to live in (and we also just won the world championships in ice hockey!!), regardless of the grumpy, non saluting neighbours. And luckily I am privileged enough to be able to travel (yes, I know climate change, but there’s a blog post about this) and visit Mex, which I am planning to do in November (the suckiest month in Finland, come with?).

So if there’s only one thing you take away from reading this whole long story, it’s listen to your gut. Because it knows. Sometimes it’s hard to hear, but the whisper is always there. So pay attention.

Con amor,



Get to know the girl behind the screen // 15 random facts you (probably) didn't know about me

Get to know the girl behind the screen // 15 random facts you (probably) didn't know about me

15 facts you (probably) didn’t know about me

and didn’t care about in the first place…

Or maybe you do or did. Either way, I recently saw a post on my insta feed of my good friend and talented photographer, Jessica, where she posted a list of funny things about herself as an introduction. This inspired me to do the same, so without further ado, I decided to give it a whirl.

Proof of me juggling, well kind of. Pic: Jess Leigh

Proof of me juggling, well kind of. Pic: Jess Leigh

  1. I’m Finnish Swedish

    I am from Helsinki, Finland and a part of the 6 % minority of Swedish speaking Finns – I speak Swedish with my dad, Finnish with my mom. In addition to these two native tongues, as I lived in Sayulita, Mexico for nearly 7 years; I learned Spanish, I also understand French semi-fluently and well, English is a given. Another randomness for good measure: I lived in Bali, Indonesia, during my studies and during that time I could understand Bahasa Indonesia pretty decently (today, not so much, I only remember Terimakasahi).

  2. In addition to yoga… I also like the gym, cute surfable waves, swimming, short runs (not marathons), long walks on the beach and berry picking (does that count as a sport?).

  3. My favorite TV shows include…

    Game of Thrones (duh) and The Office. Actually, if you’re in a dark place in your life or need any anti depressant, try watching a couple seasons of The Office and I can assure you, you’ll be in a better place.

  4. I am highly sensitive and perceptive and have razor sharp intuition. I usually get a pretty good feel on wether people and situations can be trusted. That being said, there’s definitely also been some misjudgment and I’ve been burnt a handful of times.

  5. I know how to juggle.

    Only with three balls tho. Still pretty cool if I may say so myself.

  6. I love to paint and draw!

    I usually paint naked women and eyes. Why? Go figure.

  7. I have a Master’s degree in Science (Economics)

    Yup, I graduated from the Swedish School of Economics (Hanken) in Helsinki and I studied Marketing as my major, my minor was Spanish and Business Mgmt & Organization. I wrote my thesis about wellness tourism (no surprise there).

  8. I’m currently working on or working with…

    Event production (day job), various collaboration projects including the podcast I co-host, a yoga retreat in Mexico, corporate yoga classes, revamping our summer cabin by the sea and a secret super cool project that will be launched later this year (stay tuned, will ya).

  9. I’m not allergic to anything (as far as I know)….

    And my plan is to keep it this way. I’ve never been tested tho (well I don’t remember at least).

  10. A lion once wanted to eat me as a snack.

    True story. We were in Zimbabwe on a safari, luckily my mom’s friend pulled my down a cliff and there was a feeble fence in between.

  11. I’ve been stung by a scorpion

    And it hurt like a mother*** Seriously, worst pain I’ve ever felt. Imagine neuro toxin running through your body in waves and not being able to breath simultaneously. Ouch.

  12. I am a cat and a dog person and my cat got eaten by a python.

    And yes, you can be both a cat and a dog person. And yes, my cat got eaten by a python in Mexico. I know. It’s pretty dark.

  13. My favorite color is…

    purple, lavender, lilac, magneta, violet, plum. You get it.

  14. My favorite flower is…

    THE SUNFLOWER. GIMME. I love the Spanish name “Girasol” the one who turns towards the sun.

  15. I love warm water.

    The ocean or a hot tub, I’m there.

Warm water, yes please. Pic: Jenn Farmer

Warm water, yes please. Pic: Jenn Farmer

K, that’s all for now.



10 things I’ve (re)learned after having relocated to Helsinki


10 things I’ve (re)learned after having relocated to Helsinki

10 things I’ve (re)learned after having relocated to Helsinki, Finland

Some of you might already know that I spent a big chunk of my twenties residing in a beautiful vibrant little beach town called Sayulita. Sayulita is located in the state of Nayarit on the Pacific coast of Mexico, just an hour North of Puerto Vallarta. Sayulita is a very magical town and holds a strong energetic pull. I can talk about Sayulita for days, so I’m just going to leave it at that for now and make a completely different blog post about Sayulita and its magic later on. So when I say that Sayulita is a small town, I mean REALLY, really small. If you go visit and ask a random person in town (given that it’s a local, not a tourist), “hey do you know Eva from Finland”, the odds are quite high that the person does know me or know of me. This will perhaps give you a better idea of what I am referring to when I say small.

Living on the other side of the world in a completely different culture, mindset and country with a different language, different customs and traditions truly left its mark on me and it definitely shaped me as a person a lot. In all honesty I am somewhat Mexecuted (all my Sayulita friends will understand this expression) for the rest of my life. What that means is I am kind of “fucked” as my heart is torn between two different places. Life tends to have a plan and I am simply following it as it is, so you will never know where it will take you, you’ll just have to flow with it.

So flowing with life is what I did. It’s funny now thinking back of a time when I swore I’d never return to Finland, well, I guess they’re right when they say never say never. It’s been an interesting journey to come back to this lifestyle and there’s definitely been some adjustment issues and challenges trying to mold back into this kind of living. I mean for starters, it’s cold as FUCK or at least right now. Well, luckily there are good things too. So I made a fun little list of some of the things that I’ve noticed after having returned back to Finland. Some of them I obviously knew before too, but I guess I am wearing a new pair of goggles after having lived in Mexico.

The funny thing is though, that Helsinki, Finland and Sayulita, Mexico are the complete opposites, in every.single.way. Lemme give you a few examples for starters: Finland: cold Mexico: hot, Finland: organized, Mexico: not organized, Finland: don’t salute your neighbors, Mexico: tell the coconut man about your dental issues. And the list goes on and on. So this blog post is a collection of these little observations and differences for you to enjoy. Please keep in mind that these are my personal remarks and I hope you take them with a grain of salt. My intention is not to offend anyone that represents either part of the two cultures and I truly love both cultures, countries and customs a lot. So here ya go:

1. People expect you to always be on time, they get upset if you’re 5 min late

Okay, seriously Mirkku, take a chill pill, scroll thru the gram, 5 minutes is only 5 minutes. If we were in Mex, I wouldn’t have even left my house yet. Sure sure sure, some of you might argue that it’s selfish and rude to make someone wait and I get it… but 5 minutes, seriously!? Anyways, I’ve noticed as a custom you’re supposed to let the person know that you’re meeting that you’re 5 minutes late. This will make it more tolerable and acceptable. Anyways, some of you Sayulitans might smile.

2. People mean what they say

So you know when you bump in to a person on the streets of Sayulita that you somehow (weird huh) haven’t seen in a while and you say to each other “we should catch up and hang out sometime, maybe grab a coffee”. When you say this in Finland they will literally pull out their calendar and set a date. It’s kinda nice to know that you can trust what someone is saying they actually mean and people don’t just say things to because it sounds nice.

3. There is no small talk

I love small talk. I love chit chatting about random things, talking to strangers and I truly enjoy it. It’s a nice way to acknowledge the other person and exchange some words or thoughts. Not just that, it will make time pass way faster if you’re in a bus, elevator or anywhere were you might be waiting for something. But unfortunately Finns don’t do it, they keep to themselves and think that you’re crazy person if you talk to them. I am trying my best tho and will keep chatting, even if they think I am crazy and have no friends (sometimes that’s the assumption). Luckily, however, there has been some positive change lately as Helsinki is becoming more international and the traveling Finns might not be completely turned off if you start talking to them.

4. November equals death, it’s simply the worst month. Run. Escape. Avoid it at all costs

As much as some people in Sayulita might hate the rainy season of July through Sept, lemme tell ya you haven’t experienced November in Finland. I made the novice mistake of coming here in November (dumb dumb) and holy fuck, what the actual fuck was that. Not only was it cold, but the worst thing was the lack of light. Because there is none. NONE. Let me repeat that and let it sink in. No daylight. Well, maybe like a couple hours each day, but nearly no day light. It’s the complete opposite in June though, the sun won’t set and the sun is shining 24/7. The thing for me is that the amount of light has a direct correlation with my mood and energy level. I felt as if someone had just pulled the plug on me. So my advise is, if you live in Finland and want to feel like a human being, escape November. There’s not really any other way. I already made my escape plan and next November you’ll find me in Sayulita sipping margs, doing yoga and soaking in the sun. Come with if you also need to escape this crazy month that people somehow survive. Srsly how do they do it?

5. The tap water is pretty amazing

The drinking water in Finland is the cleanest water on planet earth. I shit you not. It’s cleaner than the bottled water you buy in grocery stores anywhere and we even use it to flush down the poo poo and pee pee. Yes, that same drinkable, beautiful, delicious water goes down the toilet. This is one of the cool things about living in an organized place, little perks like drinkable, clean water. In Sayulita there are days when there just simply isn’t ANY water in the entire town, for days. When you live in a place like Sayulita, you learn to truly appreciate the things Finns take for granted. So wow on the tap water in Finland.

In Finland always loving Mexico. Photo taken at  Flow Festival  last summer.

In Finland always loving Mexico. Photo taken at Flow Festival last summer.

6. The trash bins are super small 

This might be a weird observation, but why the heck are Finnish trash bins so tiny!? I mean, you have to constantly be emptying them. In Mexico and the US they have BIG trash bins that can take a lot of trash. Anyways, minor detail but still something I’ve noticed.

7. People are afraid of germs

I don’t know if this is just me, but I’ve noticed that when people in Finland drop something on the floor (in their homes) or even on the table, they decide that it’s not edible anymore. Maybe I’ve acquired a stomach of steel living in Mex, but why wouldn’t I eat something that just fell on the table for a second? Another weird thing is how people obsess over the best before dates, I mean, they’re recommendations. It’s just something printed on the product because of legislation, but it doesn’t automatically mean that the item has spoiled at that specific date. Smell it, taste it and you’ll figure it out. I don’t know, this might be a personality thing and has nothing to do with culture.

8. There are systems and apps for everything

Finnish people are Very (with a capital V) efficient. There are apps for everything and systems for everything. Every process is simple and quick and user friendly. Mobile Pay this, order your bus card with that, order food with Wolt and book your yoga class with that. I mean holy smokes.

9. Everything is so clean, there’s no dust

So fresh and so clean clean. Ha! Well, yes, in Sayulita you see people constantly sweeping the streets and watering the streets for dust control. Nope not in Finland, there are machines for this too.

10. You don’t get cat called

Even if Sayulita is a melting pot for many different cultures and has a lot of expats (or immigrants, however you wanna look at it), as a blonde woman you’ll most like encounter some sort of sexual harassment, cat calling or machismo nearly on a daily basis. Not in Finland though. Even if it’s not completely equal and there’s still a lot of work to be done, such as equal pay and the employment of women in a fertile age, I’d say it’s still a pretty decent situation to be a woman living in Finland. You very seldom have to worry for your safety or get annoyed by someone whistling at you when walking down the street to go buy an ice cream (funny weird lil fact: Finns eat the most icecream in the world).

So those are just some of the things I’ve noticed. If you have some observations yourself feel free to drop a line in the comment section below.

Con amor,



Where to stay in Sayulita


Where to stay in Sayulita

Greetings all,

my apologies for the silence, I escaped Semana Santa and did an amazing trip to Mexico City and ever since I returned I've been pretty slammed with yoga privates & other work.

I've been wanting to write this blog post already for a long while, since this is THE QUESTION I get the most. And as most of you already know, Sayulita is growing very very fast and there are also lots of amazing places to be found on Airbnb or Vrbo. This list is just a selection of my fave places I've hand picked for you to explore as your options for your next trip to Sayulandia. 

In no particular order:

Hotelito Los Sueños

Hotelito Los Sueños (the little hotel of dreams) is located on the north end of town in a more quiet neighborhood. It has recently been remodeled with the addition of a second gorgeous HUGE yoga studio (can fit more than 40 people), a second swimming pool and x number of new rooms. The hotel almost feels like a beautiful garden as they've the walls are beautifully covered with wall climbing vines. They also have a smoothie bar and surfboards and bikes for their guests to use. All rooms have AC. Room rates vary from their Premium room (91 USD/night) to their Villa (178 USD/night). 

AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓ Yoga Studio ✓ @hotelito_los_suenos

Casa Love

Located next to the surf break, Casa Love this gypset styled boutique hotel is your go to if wanting to stay both close to the beach and town centre. The hotel is upstairs from the famous Pachamama Gallery and has a super cute roof deck to check out the surf. This spot has gotten loads of coverage on social media and rightfully so. There are six rooms to choose from, all uniquely decorated with big mandalas and hearts. There's a big living space with a kitchen and colorful hammocks to lounge in. Room rates vary from 90 USD per night to 190 USD per night. 


Petit Hotel Hafa

Petit Hotel Hafa is a  bohemian Moroccan styled boutique hotel located in town centre just above the famous "Wine Bar" (Le Zoave) and about two blocks from the beach. This family owned hotel has a beautiful roof deck overlooking the town colorfully decorated with vibrant pillows and cactus plants. With 6 different rooms to choose from ranging from 50 USD per night to 85 USD per night, this is the spot if you want to stay in the heart of Sayulita.

AC ✓ @hotelhafasayulita

Amor Boutique Hotel

Amor Boutique Hotel is a luxury hotel located on the south end of the main beach in Sayulita, yet perfectly secluded from the towns hustle and bustle. They offer complimentary daily yoga classes, free use of surf boards and SUP's as well as push bikes. Service on point, great location and stunning oceanfront views with 21 unique villas to choose from. All the villas were built honoring nature leaving big trees growing into some of them (Villa La Paz and Arboles). Room rates starting at 195 USD, if money is not an issue Villa Arboles (850 USD/night) and Villa Romance (850 USD/night) are to die for. Room rates starting at 195 USD/night. All rooms have AC. Definitely the most romantic pick.

AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓ Yoga studio ✓ @amorboutiquehotel

Aurinko Bungalows

Aurinko Bungalows is located in the heart of Sayulita, just next to the town plaza. This charming boutique hotel is colorfully decorated with art from local artist and is a family owned business. Last year a wooden yoga studio along with a salt water swimming pool was added to their facilities. This hotel is your green choice as all the water runs through a filter so even the shower water is drinkable! They recently put in a solar panel for them to earn another feather in their cap. Nearly all rooms have AC. Room rates from 90 USD (one bedroom) to 150 USD (two bedroom units). This would be the greenest choice.

AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓ Yoga studio ✓

Casa Ilusion

Situated on the north end of town, Casa Ilusion is a premier beachfront house with four bedrooms. The house features its own private beach with high palm trees situated atop a high seawall giving you privacy from the public beach, however if you were to want to  frolick by the waters edge, you can easily walk down to the public beach. Another option would be to nap in on of the big hammocks in between the high palm trees. The house went through a huge remodeling just a few years ago, so the house has a very modern feel to it with its new kitchen and bathrooms. High season rental price 1,357 USD/night and Holiday season (Christmas) 2500 USD/night. Not for the budget traveler ;) but a vacay here will definitely we one to remember.

 AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓  @casailusionsayulita

Villa Pelicanos

Villa Pelicanos is a luxury oceanview property located just next to Los Muertos Beach. The main house of the property is located on the top of the hill providing a breathtaking scenery overlooking Sayulita and the ocean. There is a huge infinity pool along with a beautifully decorated palapa livingroom. This property is best enjoyed with a large group of friends or family that want to spend quality time together but also some privacy in their own casitas. The house can guest up to 14 people with its 7 bedrooms. There are four separate casitas on the property and each one has its own bathroom. There's also a separate casita for the kitchen and dining area. High season price at 1,900 USD per night. 

AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓ @villapelicanossayulita

Casa Santander

Casa Santander is a beautiful property in downtown Sayulita, just one block away from the beach and town centre. With four different units to choose from, this choice is perfect for the surfer as it's so close to the main surf spot in Sayulita. The property also has a swimming pool overlooking the beach and town. The four units can also be rented in its entirety which makes it a good pick for friends looking to stay together, yet having their own privacy. All rooms have their own kitchens and AC installed. Rates vary from 65 USD a night to 250 USD night depending on size & location.

AC ✓ Swimming pool ✓ 


Saludos desde el paraiso,



Friends with businesses: Cosmic Collage by Lori Menna


Friends with businesses: Cosmic Collage by 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.


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


Beach yoga sesh with Vuokko Salo Photography


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


Yoga privates in Sayulita | Blog post by SayulitaLife


Yoga privates in Sayulita | Blog post by SayulitaLife

[This is a guest post by Stacey Elkins for SayulitaLife]

A Relaxing Treat in Sayulita: A Private Yoga Class with Eva Estlander Yoga

Photos: Camilla Fuchs Photography

Savasana love.

Savasana love.

It was early Thursday evening and it had been another busy day, leaving me feeling exhausted and drained. As I took my place on the yoga mat at Don Pedro’s Brisa Mar Palapain Sayulita, I could feel the day’s stress already start to melt away. A gentle, cool breeze, the scent of incense, and the sound of waves hitting the shore further enhanced my relaxation as I prepared for my first private yin yoga class with Eva Estlander Yoga, in which she is in high demand.

Eva explained that yin yoga is about relaxing the body, not activating the muscles. It’s about working with the body’s connective tissue, which is a thick, white layer of tissue that holds the parts of the body together. It’s about finding your edge, how deep you can go in a pose (most focusing on the hips, glutes, and inner thighs), without feeling any pain or tingling. It’s about using your breath to move deeper into each pose, which is held between two and eight minutes. Relaxation in yin yoga is the ultimate goal, offering a nice balance from the active lifestyle in which most of live.

For the first pose, Eva had me lie on my back, a yoga bolster placed under my knees, my arms spread out on each side. Her soft, gentle voice acted as a meditative guide as she had me visualize a bright orange wheel of light filling my body and spinning as I inhaled, tension leaving my body as I exhaled. She explained that the body has seven main chakras (energy centers), and that two of them are the main focus in yin yoga: The root chakra at the base of the spine (represents feeling supported and grounded) and the sacral chakra just beneath the naval (represents creativity and sexuality).

Throughout my private class with Eva Estlander Yoga, I felt extremely relaxed as Eva guided me through the poses, which included pigeon, cow, half moon, and more. Eva was very attentive, offering gentle adjustments as needed, which further enhanced the experience. For the straddle pose, she encouraged me do three levels of stretching, which was made possible by utilizing a yoga bolster, yoga block, and a blanket. Each pose offered a nice stretch as I found stillness and enjoyed the solitude of the practice.

During the final pose, savasana, Eva incorporated two natural oils, which are made for the elements of the chakras in which we focused during the class. The scent of orange, as well as a nutmeg mix filled the air, as the sound of a singing bowl and hand drums created beautiful, inviting tones. Eva gently pushed on my shoulders and arms and massaged my temples and between my eyes as I lay on the mat completely relaxed and feeling rejuvenated. The sun had set, the night was silent, and I couldn’t have felt better.


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?


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: and @qualitypeoples

Girls just wanna have fun (and be pampered)


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,




Friends with businesses: Zafiro Jewelry (my favorite jewelry)


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.



Sayulita Shopping


Sayulita Shopping

Gifts, souvenirs or home décor, Sayulita has numerous vibrant and stylish boutiques displaying hand-made Mexican crafts and bohemian garments. Make sure to walk down Calle Delfin to find the colorful pompoms, which so often symbolize this lively little beach town. I've listed my top picks here for you to enjoy, if you feel like I forgot an amazing gem: please comment below!


The beautiful and bohemian Mignot family

The beautiful and bohemian Mignot family

This world-renowned gallery, started by the famous Mignot sisters, is a destination in itself. From gorgeous dream catchers to designer dresses and Tahitian pearls, entering this store is must while in town.

Address: Calle Delfin 9

Gypsy Galeria

A bazaar-style shop filled with Mexican and Guatemalan fabrics and trinkets, this is the perfect place to find your souvenirs.

Address: Calle Marlin 13

Revolucion del Sueno

Colorful, stylish and vibrant would be the three words to describe this French Mexican shop. With posters and t-shirts of Mexican icons, this is another great option for gifts.

Address: Calle Manuel Navarrate 50

Manyana, one of the coolest shops in town

Manyana, one of the coolest shops in town


High quality t-shirts and clothing for the modern man in bohemian garb. This boutique has an interesting mix of international and national brands and beautiful textiles from young Mexican designers.

Address: Calle Marlin 18

Vibrant and colorful, Artefakto is a must see in town.

Vibrant and colorful, Artefakto is a must see in town.


When you step into this store, you’re immediately transported to a world of bright, bold colors and beautiful, handcrafted arts, crafts, antiques and home décor items. Most of the collection is sourced from indigenous people in from culturally-rich regions within Mexico.

Address: Calle Delfin 15

Debbie de La Cueva

Feminine, delicate and stunning. The namesake designer hand-crafts each piece with antique beads, precious and semi-precious gemstones. This beautiful store feels very zen and it might be challenging to enter without buying something.

Address: Calle Delfin 8

Santos yarn painting

Santos yarn painting

Evoke the Spirit

Yarn-painted skulls made by the local Huichols, hand-woven wool rugs with natural fibers and dyes, and beaded jewelry. What differentiates this shop from the others is the soft earthy tones. This boutique also offers workshops on how to make macramé hangings. Where else can you get that?

Address: Calle Jose Mariscal 12


In the heart of Sayulita, this shop is petite yet filled with great finds. From cover-ups to locally-made bikinis and art, this unique shop should definitely be on your shopping trail when hitting town.

Address: Calle Marlin

Love Zafiro Jewelry

Love Zafiro Jewelry

Zafiro Jewelry

Elegant and edgy. Zafiros’ beautiful rings, earrings and necklaces are uniquely made with materials and gemstones from all over the world.

Address: Avenida Revolucion 45

Sininen Surf Shop

This cool little surf shop carries lots of international brands such as Billabong, Roxy, O’Neill and The Seea. If you’re looking to buy a bikini or a pair of flip-flops, this is your go-to.

Address: Calle Delfin 4

Buddha Gallery

Offers an interesting mix of national fabrics, tie-dye and Indonesian garments. You’ll also find home décor here as well as jewelry and accessories.

Address: Calle Marlin 10

Happy shopping ;)!!!