Plants, People & Places: My Local Sanctuary

My very favorite stretch of path.

My very favorite stretch of path.

I am grateful daily for the place I live, the people that color my life and the plant life I commune with in my everyday. Come visit my world...

Today's visit - my local sanctuary - Orion Oaks County Park. This park is located right in between my home and studio. It is 900+ acres of natural area, including a lake, a dog park and extensive hiking and biking trails. You could get lost for days here. So many beautiful open spaces and little nooks. Find your secret, sacred space.

A cozy space

A cozy space

Wee baby yarrow.

Wee baby yarrow.

Wild rose.

Wild rose.

Tiny grapes.

Tiny grapes.

A comfy log rest.

A comfy log rest.

Where do you find sanctuary?

Join me again soon. <3

Practice Safe Sun: 5 Easy Steps

While small amounts of sun exposure can help to boost Vitamin D levels, the reality is that the sun damages skin. This damage can present itself immediately as a sunburn or later as hyperpigmentation, wrinkles or skin cancer. 

Choosing a healthy sunscreen and taking steps to minimize your sun exposure can help keep your skin happy, while still being able to enjoy time outdoors.

1. Choose a clean sunscreen

Avoid chemical sunscreens, such as oxybenzone (a known endocrine disruptor) and octinoxate (octylmethoxycinnamate). These are toxins that can linger in the body long after you have used them on your skin.

Instead, opt for physical mineral-only sunblocks containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide with at least an SPF 30. These act as a physical shield against the sun by deflecting the sun's rays away from the skin, without the irritation and general creepiness that chemical sunscreens can bring. Zinc oxide is actually quite soothing and protective for skin.

And, Great Merlin's Beard, don't forget your lips! Lips should also be protected with a physical sunscreen lip product. 

Not sure which products to use? Check out the Environmental Working Group's Guide to Sunscreen for recommendations and reviews of the best and most effective products.

2. Apply properly

Using a physical sunscreen means that you have to have skin adequately covered in order for it to work. Take care to apply the product evenly and carefully. Mineral sunscreens can be thicker and a bit more difficult to apply, but this is by design. This allows them to stay on the skin and provide enough of a barrier of protection. 

Some mineral sunscreen formulas can leave a white cast on the skin, especially if they are designed to be worn while swimming, although many formulas entering the market minimize this effect. 

3. Remember to Reapply

When using a physical sunscreen, you must reapply it every 90-120 minutes and/or when you have been swimming or sweating a lot for them to work effectively. 

4. Watch the Time

Enjoy time in the sun earlier in the day or in the afternoon, avoiding the peak UV ray times of about 10am to 3pm. This decreased intensity can also decrease your risk of sunburn and sun damage.

5. Cover Up

Although being in the shade does not completely protect you from the sun's rays, finding a shady spot can offer some protection. Wearing a hat, sunglasses and a beach wrap can also provide some extra protection for the face and body, while keeping you super-fancy and stylish to boot. 

My Secret Life & 5 Reasons I'm Coming Clean With You

So, I've been cheating on you all. 

I figured I would come clean and share where life has been taking me over these past months.

You may have noticed that my blog posts have slowed to just a sprinkle. And my online store has been closed for a few months. 

It's because I've been leading a secret life.

As some of you know, last March I moved my skin care studio into The Mind Body Collective - a women's holistic health collective. Just a few months later, our building was sold, and, as our space was desired by the new owner, we were all displaced.  

After searching for a new group location for weeks, I made the difficult decision to leave the collective and branch off to a new location in my own community of Lake Orion, MI - a small suburb north of Detroit, which has been my home for over 15 years.

Having already drained every penny of my business funds opening my previous studio just months before, I was faced with the challenge of finding and funding a new location - all on my own.

F*CK.

Rewind about 20 years. I am a young, scrappy 23 year-old working at a high-profile automotive ad agency in Detroit. I spend my days working with clients from Chrysler Corporation and my nights (and early mornings) falling off of barstools with my co-workers. Rinse. Repeat.

Those days were some of the best of my life. I made friends for a lifetime on those barstools.

I also developed a taste for whiskey sours.

Fast-forward back to today. And here is the secret I am keeping.

As the stars had it, my barstool friends started a local marketing company a few years back. And just at the time that I put out the intention of creating a new studio space, I was called to go back to the world I left years ago. I accepted a freelance project manager position with them and have been working there part-time for several months to support the next part of the Autumn Moon journey.

Shortly after accepting this position, a new studio space nearly fell into my lap out of the sky. And for the past 6 weeks, amidst it all, I have been creating a new home for Autumn Moon. A cozy hideaway. A sacred space. The next part of the journey.

Why am I sharing this story with you? For so many reasons - but here are a few:

1. The Power of Intention

Intention is a powerful tool. When we put something out there into the world that we want to create (a new job, new relationship, etc.), it is not only an affirmation of our goals, but it sets into motion chains of events that help us to reach that goal. What are your intentions?

2. The Journey of Your Dreams Can Be Wonky

I think, too often, we look at following our dreams as a linear path - A to B. And that success always means moving forward. Sometimes it means getting off the path for a different perspective and to offer yourself the clarity to find alternate solutions to reaching your goals. This is NOT failure. 

3. Relationships are the Root of It All

These people we meet that become woven into the fabric of our lives. They are gold. Hold them preciously tight. I am so grateful for these friends from a lifetime ago who are helping to support my dream and my family. Seek out these people in your life who support you. And support them back in their dreams.

4. Everything is Cyclical

We return back to what we know. I never thought I would return to a corporate office job, even just part-time. Yet, here I am. Life flows in circles. Look for the flow in your life. How can it work in your favor to reach your goals?

5. You Gotta Do the Work

You've set your intention, you've got your support network, you are finding your cyclical flow - now its time to work, work, work, work, work. Although things can powerfully align, it is up to you to keep them moving forward and put the time and effort into creating.

The dream is free - the hustle is sold separately.

I opened the new Autumn Moon Holistic Skin Care Studio last week, including a new workshop that I am currently setting up. The online store will be opening again soon with classic and new Autumn Moon goodies - from lip treats to scent and more. The journey continues. 

Are you leading a secret life to reach your goals? Are you setting an intention for something meaningful to you? I would love to hear about it. Please share. <3

Much love,

Camille <3