Updated: Apr 26, 2020
Wearing @Sage.larock & @ZEMEStudio
Well I've got some time so I thought that I would write...
It's funny how everything passes by us so fast! I cant believe it - I will be celebrating my 30th Birthday this year, in Goa, in isolation and living two minutes from a beach that I can not for the moment reach!
2020 was supposed to go alot differently than it seems to be going - but its ok. Things happen, changes appear and things just sometimes don't go the way that we plan! In fact it is these moments that I count my stars for my life and my health over everything else.
A few months ago I thought it was going to be a year of retreats and creating beautiful plant based cuisine. I was looking forward to the first scheduled retreat in Bali on the 20th March along with other retreats scheduled for the rest of the year taking me comfortably and happily through 2020.
What happened next? Well, Bali was the first to be cancelled and along with this came others and it got to the point where my earnings for the year and travelling and doing what I love to do were fast floating away from my new reality!
Very quickly I was the first to tell myself "its ok", we are looking forward and I am excited at the similar plans a little further down the line and for now I know that I have to just sit back, do the best that I can in the meantime and be patient - something I usually struggle with.
So I am sat here, upon reflextion that the Goa season, my third season here in India, is once again coming to her near end...
SEASON 2019 /2020
I was meant to come this season to North Goa to relax, to wait for my work to begin in March 2020 working with Akasha Yoga lifestyle and Lets be found with some amazing Yoga teachers and wellness entrepreneurs cooking pant based cuisine for their retreat guests and wellness trainings and between November to March was free reign for me in my mind and what better place to spend the time waiting for the retreats to begin than spending my time in my second home of north Goa.
I decided to dedicate the season to becoming a little more patient, doing less and practicing more Yoga as I had spent the summer months back in the UK working 50+ hour weeks as a head chef in a plant based eatery... after this I for sure needed a little cool down and knew, well thought that I knew, that work was coming in during spring time of 2020.
Well of course doing less didnt happen this season...
Instead, I spent this time with a jam packed daily routine including practicing or teaching Yoga in my mornings; being a supporting hand at my partners coffee shop making plant based desserts and serving coffee; taking as many daily walks on the beach that I could squeeze in all while keeping our simple home clean and beautiful.
All of my other time was spent supporting many wonderful brands by helping out where I can - creating content for and through collaborations with them...
From dessert recipe development for one of my favourite Cacao producers from right here in india (MASON & CO) to helping along side supporting local, independent or international ethical and sustainable brands - two of which were my favourite brands who are actually based here in Goa!
These brands are Studio Tia & FARA boutique....
I first was introducted to the brand FARA back in 2018 - I came into their store and just couldn't help but touch all of their designs; the silks; the tie dye; the hemp! I loved it all but it actually wasnt until that next season in 2019 that I bought a number of their pieces for a wedding I was attending in Koh Samui that Febraury.
Once I bought the clothes, which I could barely afford at the time, I didn't take them off the whole trip! From the city to the beach to the hen party to the wedding itself I was in FARA and I was smitten!
Since then I have done what I am proud to do and that is tell everyone about FARA's designs! in addition during this season stepped up my game with my support of the brand - In fact now, most of my wordrobe is FARA and daily I get to drape myself in their soft silks and even softer hemp designs!
You can hear more about the FARA story or shop the FARA collections of Hemp and RAW silks by visiting their online store https://www.faraboutique.com/ or alternatively if you find yourself in North Goa between the months of November - April you can visit their store Alchemy Goa, located on Ashvem beach front.
Tia is like FARA's right hand women. They both run the clothing boutique and sell their brands together during each and every Goan season.
They have been running this boutique for the last few seasons and I'm telling you everyone talks about these ladies designs - I found people travel for miles to come into this store - an this store, this season, was the space that I was lucky enough to be spending most of my time - wearing their designs, supporting their designs and then owning basically all their designs!
Tia speciality is in Indian handwoven cottons and in her LUXE collection in silks.
First introduced to the brand in 2017 where I bought a number of pieces and again, same story, I couldn't get out of them and wanted more!
An yes, the remaining part to my wardrobe is now that of Studio Tia's designs..
You can see Tia's story and shop Studo Tia online https://studiotia.co/collections/new-collection or in store at Alchemy Goa located on Ashvem beach front.
THE DENIM STORIES
The denim stories is an independant designer who takes Levi and other second hand denim jackets and then upcycles them with vintage indian prints - You can now shop their designs through Etsy!!
The moment I saw the jackets I grew instantly attached and new I had to work with her to get me in one of those jackets and I love exchanges - Lucky for me Tanya and I have known one another for a number of seasons and last year I had created some content for their page and this year I wanted to do the same - A number of days over the season was spent workin with my photographer to create more beautiful content with her newest range of jackets.
Overall this season It has been amazing to be supporting some very inspiring women by promoting, modeling and helping these ladies and their brands... Its also really wonderful to fel that after this season and what was experienced I now also get to call all these ladies friends...
I get so much pleasure when I am out creating beauty an with these ladies clothes - I mean how could I not come up with something beautiful ?
Its quite funny, sometimes I am asked why now clothing? People are asking me "Why not plant based" or "Why not Yoga" this season?
So why did clothing take up most of my time here this year?
For me living a more conscious and free lifestyle is very important to me - First it was my habits and hobbies - I would practice more Yoga, become vegan and start becoming overall more aware of who and what I was exposing myself to. After this I then moved onto working hard to try and find that living that makes me happy - I quit my Job and became a Yoga teacher in Melbourne city. I then also became a plant based chef with the school of Matthew Kenny in California - to compliment my new lifestyle choices and my new profession as a teacher.
During this time I also continued to spend time refining, learning and educating myself further in the world of Yoga completing 900hrs (which took three months of my Autumn) and leading 6 Yin yoga teacher training courses solo for a further six months which took me from 2016-Mid 2018.
An after this, where to turn my attention next?
It was here that I started to spent some time looking into a few other areas of my lifestyle that were still maybe slightly less concisous and this was where I recently turned my attention to what I was wearing and were did it actually come from?
I became more curious and wanted to know that the source of my consuming was fair, that every step was being given what they were due and that the end result that I was wearing was not exploiting any one or any thing in its process...
It was here that I decided to spend a little of my time in turning my attention to learning about and being involved in the world of slow fashion!!
When you begin to purchase ethical fashion you can feel the lightness in the clothes themselves. By lightness I mean that there is a certain sense of purity in the clothing that you wear...
You know that you are choosing to support the right companies and any company who's philosophy is to create pure, ethical, sustainable, natural, unique & expressive clothing with culture that encourages females to feel beautiful in their own skin and make them feel like they can own their femininity - These are the kind of brands I want to be supporting - So I went out and I found them!
Wearing ethically sourced Silks & Hemp by FARA & Vintage upcycled denim jackets by @denim_stories.
THE MARTA HILLFON COLLECTON
This season I also had the chance to collaborated on a one off shoot for the wonderful sweedish designer Marta Hillfon for her Gold plated Nature inspired collection...
Wearing Silks by @faraboutique & the @Martahillfon gold plated collections.
This season, of course, was not only about concious clothing, I also spent a large part of the season collaborating, creating content and developing recipes for a number of other international and local vegan brands...
A COLLABORATION WITH MASON & CO
I had been in talks for a couple of weeks with Mason & Co back mid way through this season and how we could work with one another creating beautiful plant based desserts..
We came to an agreement and when the products arrived I was so excited to get started!
It took a little bit of work so sure - I was to create ten plant based desserts for them to share on their blog and possibly for a future cook book for the brand and after a total of around three weeks I had created all these dishes and I couldnt believe how fast the time went!
The desserts included; Orange chocolate cake; Almond butter nice cream sandwiches; Caramel Almond slice; Caramel truffles; Cacao & Coconut truffles; rose cacao cake; and Espresso chocolate brownies!
It was such a pleasure to create these desserts for a company that I have been sourcing from and been in love with for a number of years!
Each of these desserts created will be available on my blog in "PLANTFEED" and also available on the Mason & Co website https://www.masonchocolate.com/blog/
You can shop all the Mason & Co products and hear more about their story by visiting their site https://www.masonchocolate.com/
Plant based dessert recipe developments for Indian Cacao company @Masonandcochocolate
A LET'S GO LESS HEMP COLLABORATION
I first met the owner of Lets go less hemp back in January and the darling kept bringing me Hemp hearts and Hemp flour to create some Plant based dishes...
I agreed and ended up and continue to develop recipes for the company (both sweet and savory dishes) like Matcha & Hemp truffles and grilled aubergene and Hemp oil & hemp heart parmasan - these recipes will be featuring in their 2020 cook book!
I eat their heamp hearts with breakfast daily!!
Plant based sweet & savory recipe developments for company Let's go less Hemp & one of my favourite adaptogen & ancient medicine producers "ANIMA MUNDI"
Shop their range of edible hemp products by visiting https://www.letsgoless.com/
A COLLABORATION WITH KAPPI LIFE
When Kappi agreed to work with me on this project I was so excited! For me it is very important to practice what I preach and keep a really good standard when it comes to my profession and overall way of living...
As a travelling plant based retreat chef I want to always make sure that my travelling kitchen is professional and as ethical & sustainable as possible - It has taken me almost the last year to refine the most important tools and ingredients needed that are the most sufficiently organised, helpful and overall professional when working on retreats.
When I created a shoot for Kappi it was very fun for me of course to try and capture these products well but also it was very exciting that I got to keep the items I was shooting afterwards!!!
Once the shoot was over, once the content was sent to the brand and they were happy with what was created I was able to use the items freely and I completely reorganised and transformed the look and the function of my travelling kitchen pantry!
I had all handy, really useful reusable bags, further more smaller individual, good quality silicone lids & organic cotton bags to keep the food separate and organised as well as having storage for the equipment I bring with me on all these trips!
The brand offers really great products and I stand by this forward thinking company. I can vouch for them as I am actually using their products with pleasure and the companies offerings has made a really positive impact into the way I store at home and how I structure and organise my travelling kitchen.
Kappi were really happy with the content created and even more pleased with my reaction to their products!
I look forward to a further collaboration with this brand in the future...
You can shop the Kappi life reusable bags, cotton bulk bags and there ranges of bamboo products by visiting their site https://www.kappi.com.au/
Very exciting and new collaboration with @kappi.life this season.
COLLABORATION WITH MVP SHIRTS
A fun shoot created for MVP tees - a company I came across as they offered these really simple, cute designs that always come with some kind of nice ethical message, snippet or statement!
They were very happy when they heard that I was interested in creating content for them!
You can look at MVP shirts offerings and their story by visiting their website https://www.mvptshirt.com/
COLLABORATION W SAGE LA ROCK & SANA TERRA
I couldn't be more excited when I found out that Sage LaRock wanted to work with me - They sent me a number of really beautiful items, like their Mocha active wear set and two swim suits that are all sustainably and ethically made in LA - Its magic, each piece is actually made from old fish nets and old ocean debris!
They are an amazing brand that work heavily with many Ocean specific charities like "Healthy seas" and "Ghost fishing" and has a partnering label Sana Terra that create really beautifu and stylish activewear.
I Love these women and they were so impressed with the content I created that they want to work with me again when their 2020 summer line drops which I cant wait to start creating for!!
For SANA TERRA you can visit http://www.sagelarock.com/sanna-terra-activewear
For Sage LaRock swimwear you can visit http://www.sagelarock.com/
Zeme studio I met the designer only this last month and wasnt it just an absolute pleasure?!
I already had collected one or two of her pieces back in 2018 however I got the change to meet this Israel beauty just this March...
I made desserts for an event at the Alchemy Goa store, it was a pop up event for Zeme and her collection and when I saw one of her, what is signature chocker, I knew I had to have it - It was instant love!
A few days after the event we met for coffee and I told her I have to have this choker and after a little negotiation we made a deal - An of course I couldnt wait to show it off!
I can't wait for her new collection, this lady is really inspiring and I cant wait to see what Nature, earth inspired designs she comes up with next!
You can look at or shop ZEME pieces by visitng their beautiful website https://zeme-studio.com/
Wearing @ZEMEStudio collective piece & @Sagelarock activewear and swimsuits made from old fish nets. Made sustainably in LA, USA.
When it came to connecting, when it came to my goal in learning more about the world of slow fashion I think my intention has been forfilled and then some. An it doesnt stop there, the snow ball keeps growing and growing and it seems I'm just getting started...
I'm currently praying on a collaboration with two of my favourite brands Anima Mundi and Sun potion to go through - two of my favourite superfood and adaptgenic brands and for both I am waiting to arrive back in the UK to create recipes and content for the companies - I am also very excited to announce that I will be using their products to create my newest plant based fluid art series "MOTHER" that will hopefully be launched Mid-late 2020.
This is something I am also very excited to have the oppurtunity to be apart of and cant wait to start creating recipes and content using such products like Animundi's Reishi mushroom powder or Sun potion's pearl powders eeeeeekk!
Learn more about the Sun Potion's story and shop the full range of natural suppliements and superfood products by the brand by visiting their website https://www.sunpotion.com/
Learn more about the Anima Mundi's story and shop the full range of adaptogenics by the brand by visiting their website https://animamundiherbals.com/
I'm very much looking forward to working with many more eithical, sustainable & vegan companies to collaborate with during the rest of 2020 and to keep building on the relationships already made during this season...
I am still continuing to look for a further collaborations with various companies offering sustainable activewear, underwear and companies of organic, vegan ingredients and superfoods for further recipe developments in both sweet and savory plant based cuisine so always keep a look out to any brands that catches my attention.
The season was so unexpectively but not surprisingly busy! No matter how busy my time has been I usually always think how more could have been achieved but then, in times like these where there is actually time to reflect and think, I remember and I can see actually how much has been achieved in such a sort space of time and I am so impressed and grateful!
The season isn't quite yet done for us but it is the end of the season as we knew it now a full lockdown has been placed upon the country.
For now, the remainder of my time in Goa is looking like that quite slow paced which I was seeking = It's looking like daily wakes to stretching and sitting on the balcony; Fresh ground coffee, with not long after a well rounded breakfast usually consisting of barley porridge & honey granola, coconut cream & hemp hearts; Updating oneself daily with the world news and where everything is at that moment and where it looks likes it headed; Taking some time to read, write or create some online content all while eating grapes and watermelons - while they last...An when it gets a little cooler outside and the sun begins to go down I'll find myself on my balcony to take a little time to be quite, look at the palms, listen to the birds and the ocean in the not too far distance... Its looking like early evenings of movies and series, cooking beautiful dinners and keeping low key in the middle of the Goan jungle for the unknown forseeable.
I've recently been feeling all the more grateful for the last five months and what was experienced during this time. I am also feeling very grateful for this present moment and the fact we are in isolation lucky enough to be in our beautiful simple home, tucked away close to the ocean and as much away from the chaos as we can be during this time.
This is my second home and I wasn't ready to leave so soon so we made the choice to stay and ride out the rest of the season with this new, slightly slower paced routine.
For the future, I just don't know yet and I dont want to spend my minds time thinking up all of the possibilites of what could or might happen for now...
For me all I know is these final few months in Goa will be appreciated and enjoyed until I return back to the UK in the spring / summer months.
Turning the page from this season. Stay safe. Stay well. Stay Sane. Until the next chapter....