This is our newer email bringing you a bite sized fix of remedies, culture, recipes, quotes...
whatever takes Naomi's fancy.
This newsletter is brought to you by the mellow vibes of Khruangbin….I love their Texan/R&B/70s psychedelic/global music vibe which is perfect for summer.
So sit back and float away with Texas Sun.
I can wax lyrical about calendula. For many reasons it’s why I studied aromatherapy. As I started questioning ingredients in baby products, I landed on Weleda's calendula baby range which I still love using on myself & the children. Then I started learning about baby massage, which then led me to start the Neal’s Yard diploma course….
Anyway, calendula is a macerated oil, meaning the flower is left to soak and stew in a vegetable oil for 4-8 weeks. Wonderful for skin conditions like rashes, chapped skin, sunburn, eczema, it’s a great oil to have in your store cupboard for the summer months. You’ll also find it in my sensitive face oil Nefertiti II and my SOS balm. Shop here.
If you’re interested in trying out Weleda, look out for it in supermarkets. It can seem ££ but is also regularly on special offer like here.
HEALTHY MIND, BODY & PLANET
Good TV - We’ve just nailed Chivalry on Channel 4; the perfect storm of great script, humour, #metoo relevance and sunny LA setting, all delivered in short engaging episodes.
Good Juju - My first recipe book was The Pooh Cook Book and I have a strong sensory memory of the carraway biscuits in it (not v child friendly on reflection!). This popped into my mind recently when I was reading the June chapter of the Seasonal Almanac where the biscuit of the month is the confusingly named Goosnargh Cake with caraway seeds. 15 minutes later down an internet rabbit hole (know them?!), I discovered that the Ancient Egyptians started a trend for burying the dead with carraway seeds to ward off evil spirits. It’s also been used for stomach/digestive issues and features in a lot of Eastern European cooking like rye breads and cabbage dishes (makes sense!). So I suppose what I’m saying is, bake these biscuits and you’re both helping your stomach out AND protecting yourself from any bad juju :)
Very coincidentally, the marigold flower is also a protector against evil spirits too. This unintentional synchronicity makes me smile.
Good for the planet - It’s not sexy to share housework tips, I know, but bear with me…
I’ve been thinking about how to be more eco at home, so naturally the instagram algorithm is now delivering it in spades. If you want to learn to fold towels to save space, pretend you’ve ironed your sheets or wrap presents without tape, this lady can do that too. But I think these cleaning hacks by Chantel are more immediately useful (no idea how her house is SO white!).
Basically, what I’ve learnt is that the main 3 ingredients for a general purpose cleaner are; natural disinfectant e.g. vinegar or alcohol + abrasive e.g. bicarb or salt + essential oils or citrus fruit for perfume. It works, promise! You can also reuse /repurpose things like toothbrushes for cleaning grout and refill spray bottles with your own cleaning mix.
I’m also testing out these laundry strips which I found in Tescos recently. They’re compact and eco friendly (as far as I can tell). There are loads of alternatives out there but these can easily be added to a regular shop. And they work out at 18p per full wash but I've been cutting them up for smaller loads too.
JUST FOR YOU
As always I like to put a little present in my seasonal newsletter for you. This time if you spend over £40 in the heka store you’ll get 40% your total shop. Just use the code TEXAS40.*
Happy Jubilee Week.
*this offer has now closed
Tomorrow - 1st February - is the Gaelic celebration of Imbolc; a time to look ahead to Spring, light fires, declutter and get sowing. I think this energy - literally or metaphorically – is about right for February as we slowly step out of our hibernation (covid/winter/January).
Essential oils for emerging from winter
Bergamot - Mmmm the sweet, light, citrus-herby aroma. In my diffuser it transports me straight to somewhere warm and mediterranean like Southern Italy where bergamot grows. In practice, I use it for stress when it affects the skin, urinary system or psyche. Try this one.
Lemon - With a more punchy and tangy aroma than bergamot, lemon is a great detox oil for sluggish bodies and minds. It’s also a fantastic immune stimulant, making it perfect for this time of year. You’ll also find it in my Bright Moon [hormone balancing] Pulse Point oil to offset the rich, heavy jasmine aromas. I like the Neal's Yard Lemon.
Did you know?
Ancient Eyptians were very particular about staying moisturised; they were even paid in oil or had it as part of their wages. Proof that moisturising your skin is not just a marketing gimmick! Remember to look after your skin; it's the largest organ in your body so keep it hydrated, inside and out.
Healthy Body ←→ Healthy Mind
Have you heard of a massage gun? I hadn’t until Christmas morning. OMG I am loving mine and it’s also very popular with the family too. Think of it like a supercharged foam roller or mini physio session. They’re great for muscle recovery but please check with a professional if you’ve got injuries. Info & reviews here.
Need to shake up the breakfast routine? I bring you Joe’s Wick’s overnight choc orange oats. These are a big hit in my house as they taste like they should be a treat plus they’re a time saver in the morning. Soaking oats is meant to hold more of the protein and fibre in, so you stay fuller for longer. Use cocoa powder if you don’t have fancy cacao and switch plain yoghurt for kefir for an even more gut friendly alternative. More overnight oats ideas here.
In the spirit of Imbolc, I'm trying to sow some 'brain seeds'…Here's what's on my radar; wildlife photographer of the year with the children & Peru at the British Museum with a friend. Cold war /rock conspiracy podcast Wind of Change (more exiting than it sounds!). Brene Brown’s new book Atlas of the Heart is up next in my non fiction pile.
Just for you
I’ve finally got the Bowie tattoo I’ve wanted for ages… so can now add >tattoo moisturiser< to the endless list of things the heka SOS balm is good for! To celebrate my new inking, I’m giving away a FREE Bright Moon Pulse Point oil with every purchase of SOS balm from now until the end of February*. Use code VIPPULSE at checkout. Count this as your Valentine’s day gift reminder folks;) THIS OFFER HAS NOW EXPIRED.
Excitement levels here are H-I-G-H!
As you may have spotted on the heka instagram feed, we’ll be at the Seekology pop up in Notting Hill, London this Christmas. The shop will be stuffed to the brim with lovely independent beauty and wellbeing brands and I'll be popping in to offer Christmas shopping advice with other brand founders, along with the highly experienced Seekology team. AND there will be a rather good special offer on heka products :)
So, if you're in the area, please do come and say hi at 2 Blenheim Crescent W11 1NN from 16th– 24th December.
I'll be doing most, if not all, of my Christmas shopping in the pop up and surrounding area; Notting Hill is just oozing with gorgeous independent shops and if you're a fan of the films Notting Hill or Paddington 2, you'll see some familiar sights too. I've also been inspired by Holly Tucker's colourful new shop independent campaign (see above pic). Here are some tips to help you plan your festive outing...you'll be rewarded with the most unique and colourful finds for your loved ones.
Once you’ve ‘done’ Seekology it’s literally a couple of steps to….
Ceramica Blue; from jewel coloured glasses to lava beakers and bold platters, this shop is pure heaven for homeware enthusiasts.
And then in no particular order…
Couverture is close by and is an inspirational concept store packed with things you just won’t see anywhere else (fashion for men & women plus homeware).
Jessie Western on Portobello Rd is a treasure trove of sustainable Native American Indian fashion & jewellery for the boho babe in your life.
The Cloth Shop on Golborne Road for gorgeous vintage fabrics, blankets and beautifully curated homeware.
Lisou where bold, happy, African inspired prints jump out at you. Pricey but stunning to look at! Head to 302 Westbourne Grove.
Sezane is also on Westbourne Grove and is a Parisian haven selling gorgeous women’s & men’s fashion.
Book lovers will love rummaging in the dedicated Oxfam bookshop or the more specialist Lutyens & Rubinstein, while vintage lovers need to head to Portobello Market for antiques and more. Remember to check out which is the best day for you.
And for truly sustainable shopping there are tons of fantastic charity shops around including Fara on Elgin Crescent.
After all that refuel at Ottolenghi. I mean, who can resist anything in those window displays?!
If you aren’t able to get the pop up then a few of the above stores do online shopping PLUS we’re shipping from our website until 20th December. Don’t miss our fantastic yoga bundle; get 15% off when you buy our Neteru Yoga Mist & any Palms In the Wild mat. Shop here OFFER NOW CLOSED.
As many of you will know, I love drawing inspiration from music in these newsletters. This Autumn edition is no exception and is brought to you by Earth Wind & Fire’s ultimate boogie track; (Dancing in) September. I feel this is quite a high energy month (unlike January; bleurgh) and personally it’s been a busy few weeks with heka featuring in a central London pop up, sending my youngest off to school and living in the dusty end of a house renovation. The days are still kind of sunny and I sense that people are buzzing with a sort of post lockdown energy. So as the evenings draw in, join me in getting in the d-i-s-c-o mood (even if it's just in your kitchen) → “Ba-dee-ya, say, do you remember?"
Healthy Body ←→ Healthy Mind
Now that we're spending more time socialising inside, commuting to an office and/or sharing school germs with children, it's time to focus on our immune systems. To give yourself the best chance of being fighting fit, aim for a holistic approach; quality sleep and a colourful diet, minimise stress and listen to your body.
I had the start of a cold recently and was determined not to be taken down. So I tackled it from all angles: juices (a.m), teaspoons of honey & turmeric (p.m), a few steam inhalations, salt baths and early nights and I managed to keep it under control.
These are just a few suggestions but whatever you do, stock up now with your ammunition kit!
My 3 autumn essential oils are;
Lavender – often referred to as the mother of essential oils, it's an amazing all round 1st aid for skin, mind and body including the respiratory system. Incredibly there are 450 types but usually we use English Lavender or ‘angustifolia’
Eucalyptus – the 2 main types are ‘radiata’ (more anti viral so great for colds and flu) and ‘globulus’ (stronger, more anti microbial & anti bacterial; good for slowing the spread of an infection). Either of these would be ideal in a diffuser or a steam inhalation. Instructions here.
Rosemary - a stimulating, high energy oil for clearing heads and boosting memory. One to help you stay focussed at work and stop dreaming of that Greek beach (that you did or didn't get to this year). It’s included in my punchy Clear Pastures pulse point oil. Shop it here.
Our family, grandparents included, are very into The Green Roasting Tin recipe book by Rukmini Iyer. Full of easy, nourishing dishes that taste the biz like this miso aubergine with chilli and ginger. The kids don’t eat much from it yet it but I’m working on it ;)
Having just finished the West Cork podcast - forensic journalism at it’s best but an investment at 14 episodes: OOF! - I’m now turning to more bite sized morsels. As The Season Turns is a delightful monthly compendium by Lia Leendertz, capturing the energy of each month so well. I really love the range she covers nature, folklore and …cheese for this month! The podcast is produced by the English perfume brand Ffern which I hadn’t heard of but am now intrigued by; they release limited edition batches by season. Listen here.
I’m reopening my aromatherapy consultation service and, as a valued member of the heka community, I’m offering you the chance to win a free 121 video session for 2 lucky subscribers before I open my books. Enter here disco friends! Keep your eyes peeled for more subscriber offers as we get closer to you-know-what time (under 100 days to go, apparently). COMPETITION NOW CLOSED.
And I'll sign off with the lyrics from another great disco/funk classic…
“Here's a chance to dance / Our way out of our constrictions / Do you promise to funk? / The whole funk, nothin' but the funk”
(Funkadelic One nation under a groove)