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Living, Wellness

a return to growth + renewal {april 2018}

April 6, 2018

Springtime represents rebirth and renewal — in our surroundings and in ourselves. So, we’re embracing this notion of a season-in-bloom to focus on our love for the earth, practice everyday sustainability, clear out the literal and metaphorical clutter, and to grow our foundational product ingredient knowledge so we can make smart, educated decisions about the daily impact we make on others and on the environment.

Food • for • Thought

What is one thing you can do every day to minimize your environmental footprint?
How can you clean up your beauty routine — one product at a time?
In your home: where do you feel most calm? Where do you feel most chaotic? Why?
What is one small kindness you can do for another person daily? Weekly? Monthly?

 

 

Living, Wellness

maintain + sustain the good in your life

March 1, 2018

As the year progresses, so does our personal journey to detoxify and simplify our lives. With each month, we turn our focus to another crucial element in this process. For March, we will solidify into place the good habits and rituals we’ve identified as the ones that are integral to our daily lives and our daily happiness. How do we maintain and sustain the routines that ground us and, simultaneously, lift us up? How do we continue to do them so that they don’t slowly turn into dreaded chores? Let’s create the space we need to think thoughtfully about the routines we rely on day in and day out. In doing so, we can — and will — optimize our experiences for a happier, healthier life.

 

food • for • thought

What’s one thing you do every day that you wish were simpler?

What’s one thing that brings you joy every day?

How do you keep yourself organized? On time? 

Body, Massage, Wellness

reconnect with your physical self

February 19, 2018

In this day and age, connectivity is a funny subject. In a way, we’re more connected than ever. From FaceTime to Facebook, we’ve been provided with countless accessible tools to keep us in touch. The catch? Sometimes we forget to stop and reconnect with ourselves — our own physical being.

We spoke with licensed Massage Therapist and milk + honey Product Representative, Shannon Perry, to discuss ways to reconnect with your physical self.

 

On the importance of stretching:

“If you work at a computer screen all day, there’s good chance you’re not getting up enough. Email after email piles up and meetings can make your day so busy that you feel rushed and anxious about the smallest things. It is vital to our mental and physical well-being to take time for deep breaths, get up and walk around, or do a little stretch to increase circulation. Deep breaths allow us to take a moment from our crazy schedules and reconnect with our body. Deep breathing can decrease the feeling of stress and lower your blood pressure. When in my breaths, I like to take a moment to pay attention to where I may feel muscle soreness or tension and make those areas my focus for the day.”

 

How does Sports Massage fit into personal physical connectivity?

“Sports massage aids in preventing injuries and helps recovery time. It incorporates stretching, which we are all guilty of not making enough time for with our busy schedules. Heavily exercised muscles tend to become fatigued and can have trouble relaxing. Sports massage increases circulation and helps keep the muscles loose to prevent injuries from occurring. This is a great modality to keep an athlete going.”

Learn more and schedule Sports Massage.

 

What are the benefits of RAD Tools?

“I love these tools. I am on the go and don’t always have time for a massage. I can throw a ball in my bag and self massage in the car in traffic, while sitting at the desk on the computer, or after an intense workout relieve tension and increase my range of motion. The balls have a little bit of cushion/give so it’s not too painful to apply a little pressure against the wall or the back of a chair. I suggest using the tools at home on the floor after long day of sitting or standing to ensure you have a good range of motion in to your shoulders. I use the smallest ball on my hands after working on clients or typing all day to relax my hands as well. They offer items in different sizes and firmness so there’s something for everyone.” [Available at milk + honey locations]

 

Tips and tricks:

  • Drink plenty of water. The more you drink, the more you have to get up to use the restroom and refill your glass, forcing you to move!
  • Set an alarm on your calendar to “STRETCH!” or “DRINK WATER!” so you don’t forget to get up from the screen or deadline you’re working on.
  • Foam roll! Lay down for 15 minutes with the roller along the spine. Stretch your arms out to your side and allow gravity to do the work.

 

For more self-care and wellness tips, follow us on Instagram.

Living, Wellness

this will make you a bath person.

February 16, 2018

Disclaimer: If you have a bathtub and rarely use it, let this post serve as “what are you waiting for?” nudge in the right direction. If you have a bathtub and are a bathtime enthusiast, continue reading for your new must-have essential.

The milk + honey Milk Bath No. 05 is — hands down — the most indulgent way to unwind and we highly recommend it. Here’s why:

  1. Bathe like royalty.
    We were inspired by Cleopatra’s legendary beauty routine, which included daily milk and honey baths meant to restore and preserve healthy, glowing skin.
  2. Let it nourish and hydrate your winter skin.
    With nourishing and organic dehydrated coconut milk, your skin is in for a moisturizing treat. Pro tip: exfoliate with the Body Polish, then soothe your skin with the Milk Bath.
  3. It is pure bathtime indulgence.
    The sweet blend of vanilla and lemon peel oil provides a deliciously aromatic atmosphere — we encourage deep, relaxing breaths and lingering in the bath a little longer.

Pro tip: Less is more with this Milk Bath. You only need to add two to four tablespoons under warm running water to create the most luxurious, soothing bath. Enjoy.

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Life, Living, Wellness

how we connect + communicate

February 14, 2018

At the start of February, we talked about the power of connection and the crucial role it plays in our daily lives. Whether they be romantic, platonic, or familial, the relationships we nurture and maintain are essential to our personal growth and happiness. So much so, that we’re taking today — Valentine’s Day — to pay homage to these many meaningful connections.

How? By taking a closer look at the love languages that serve us — and by understanding them, we can continue to improve how we best communicate and connect with one another.

What’s Your Love Language?

The five love languages, as outlined by Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, refer to the way in which we best express and experience love. We’d say that the concept of a “love language” certainly extends itself to more than just romantic relationships; often, we connect to our friends and family members in similar/modified iterations.

Here are the five love languages:

  • Words of Affirmation: You are fulfilled by compliments or words of encouragement and by that token, you also show your love through words of encouragement.
  • Quality Time: You enjoy your partner’s undivided attention and this could overflow into other relationships, where attention is given and received is imperative.
  • Giving and Receiving Gifts: You are sustained by symbols of love, like flowers or chocolates — this also applies to the feeling you get when you give gifts to others.
  • Acts of Service: Setting the table, walking the dog, or doing other small jobs make you happy. On a larger scale, volunteering and getting involved in community initiatives are fulfilling elements of your love language.
  • Physical Touch: Outward affection, such as holding hands, hugging, kissing, and having sex, is your romantic love language. When it comes to friends and family, you show your love through affection.

After reading all five, is there one or two that resonate with you most? Chapman asserts that most people have a primary and secondary love language. Perhaps, you thrive off of affection (physical touch) and verbal support (words of affirmation)? If that’s the case, you know that your best and healthiest connections reciprocate and/or bring out these elements in you.

While this is just one “school” of thought when it comes to how we strengthen and maintain our relationships, we think it’s an interesting one. Thoughts?

Life, Wellness

the pursuit of peace of mind {bath edition}

February 8, 2018

The pursuit of peace of mind and reconnection to oneself isn’t limited to the realm of meditation, healthy sleep habits, and a budding yoga practice (to name a few). It’s just as important and effective to carve out quiet time within our already-established daily rituals — specifically by taking a closer look at the ways in which we can silence the mental chatter at the start and close of our days. Today, we turn our focus to the art of the bath.

Giving yourself the time to luxuriate in the bath is a direct act of self-love — and we think there’s a true art to it. If done right, it provides you the space and pause to reconnect with a quieter state of mind and being. Herein find four simple (see! no extra stress necessary) steps to master the art of the bath.

  1. Set the Mood. Our plant-based, pure Essential Oil Candles create a warm, calm space for a relaxing bath.
  2. Draw the Bath. There’s nothing like slipping into a warm bath, infused with one of our organic Bath Soaks. All three blends nourish the skin, promote relaxation, and bring peace to a busy mind.
  3. Luxuriate and Exfoliate. Unwind as our sugar-and-sea salt Body Polishes gently exfoliate to reveal soft, healthy skin. Let yourself revel in the cleansing and the newness — the whole point here is to find indulgence in slowing down.
  4. Amplify the Effects. Reap the mood-enhancing aromatherapeutic benefits by adding a few droppers of our Bath & Body Oils. Or, apply a small amount to your skin for an ultra-hydrating post-bath glow.

Food • for • Thought

How do you carve out time for yourself?

Do you treat bath time as a “sacred” time for reflection, quiet, and a mental reset?

What other self-care moments are important to you?

What does your perfect bath time entail? 

Austin, BEES, Green, Ingredients, Living, News, Products

Honey, We’ve Got BEES by milk + honey!

September 28, 2017

apiary montage copy

The U.S. honeybee population has been dying off in droves and the impact of this has a rippling effect on both our economy and on the global food supply. At the commercial beekeeping level, beekeepers are experiencing 30 to 50 percent hive loss (on average!) due to the not-so-mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder. Additionally, there have been major declines in native bee populations, which hold serious consequences for our native landscapes.

Let’s put it in everyday life perspective. Here’s what a meal without honeybees might look like, pictured below.

picnic without bees copyConsider that 90 percent of the wild plants you see around your neighborhood and 35 percent of the produce section in your local grocery store require bees to survive. Without bees, there will be a significant reduction in the quality and length of our planet’s health and human existence. Scary, right?

This is where our own story began in June 2015.

Alissa Bayer, milk + honey founder and owner, wanted to find a way to help the bees in the most direct way possible. So, in the winter of 2014, she reached out to Anna Gieselman. You may recognize Anna’s name from her gorgeous bee-inspired jewelry line, Bee Amour, which we sell in most of our locations. Or perhaps you know Anna as one of our original massage therapists. She has been a part of the milk + honey since our earliest days in 2006 and she also happens to be an experienced beekeeper.

Together, they partnered up to create an urban apiary, BEES by milk + honey.

Under milk + honey’s sponsorship, Alissa and Anna sourced bees from fourth-generation beekeepers at Bee Weaver, who have been raising bees without the use of chemical interventions for more than 15 years. Our small, but growing, urban apiary started as 10 hives in total — six were hosted on some beautiful land off of Bee Cave Road and four hives are located on a rooftop near 5th Street and I-35 (the old Progress Coffee spot!) — and today, we have more than a dozen thriving hives located in East Austin.

At our apiary, we practice “organic” beekeeping, meaning we choose not to use chemicals to treat the bees for pests. We raise our bees with the intention of supporting them through non-aggressive beekeeping techniques and with the goal of raising healthy strong hives for our environment. We have also started a beekeeping apprenticeship program for milk + honey employees, in the hopes of educating even more people about the importance of bees.

IMG_4095 copy

Ultimately, we hope to see the apiary continue to thrive and expand in the coming years, as well as use the bees as a tool to keep the conversation going about the role humans must play in cultivating a healthy ecosystem.

Wondering how you can help, too?  Here are a few tips on how to start:

  1. Make a commitment to buy only organic produce and nuts when available and possible. By shopping at the numerous local farmers’ markets, you support organic growers and beekeepers in town. {FYI, this is a comprehensive list of food that requires pollinators.}
  2. Plant bee-supportive plants and do not use pesticides on those plants.
  3. Make a DIY solitary bee house.
  4. Petition Congress and local government officials to create and support bee-friendly agricultural policies and laws.

You can follow milk + honey and Anna’s beekeeping adventures on our Instagram as well as on Anna’s Instagram and Facebook page. Plus, stay tuned for more blog posts about what we are up to right here!

Body, News

Warm Up With Our New Seasonal Scrub: Pumpkin Spice

September 22, 2017

Chef Name: Food Network Kitchen Full Recipe Name: Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole, Pumpkin Spice-Cranberry Muffins, Pumpkin Spice Buns, Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Talent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Networks Kitchen’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, as seen on Foodnetwork.com, Food Networks Kitchen’s Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole, as seen on Foodnetwork.com, Food Networks Kitchen’s Pumpkin Spice-Cranberry Muffins, as seen on Foodnetwork.com, Food Networks Kitchen’s Pumpkin Spice Buns, as seen on Foodnetwork.com, Food Networks Kitchen’s Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal, as seen on Foodnetwork.com Project: Foodnetwork.com, FN Essentials/Weeknights/Fall/Holidays Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Pumpkins, brown leaves, and crisp cool air are all signs that fall is officially here (even if we won’t feel that crisp air here in Texas any time soon!). Starting today, we’re offering our new seasonal scrub, Pumpkin Spice. Filled with warm, earthy notes of pumpkin seed, nutmeg, and ginger, this invigorating blend will nourish your body and calm the senses. The scrub is made with organic raw sugar, which gently buffs away dry, dead cells to reveal fresh, soft new skin. Ground cinnamon, clove, and ginger work together to plump your skin, improve evenness and elasticity, and provide antioxidant protection against harmful free-radicals. Lastly, ground pumpkin seed, which is packed with vitamins A and E, promotes cell rejuvenation, providing a barrier against skin-damaging external pollutants.

What treatments feature our Pumpkin Spice Scrub?

Pumpkin Spice Scrub + Steam + Massage

Renew and refresh your skin with this invigorating treatment. First, our seasonal scrub gently exfoliates dead skin cells to give brighter, softer, and more nourished skin. A relaxing steam, followed by a 45-minute Signature Massage, completes this treatment and leaves your mind and body feeling soothed.

Pumpkin Spice Scrub + Manicure and Pedicure

The scrub purifies the skin while nutmeg and clove oil provide anti-aging antioxidants. This treatment includes the same care as our Lux Combo.

 

Photo Credit: Food Network

Ingredients, Living, Wellness

10 Feel-Good Benefits of Honey

August 17, 2017

We’re big fans of honey bees at milk + honey. Case in point: to bring awareness to the decline in the honey bee population and do our part to help save them, we created an urban apiary called BEES by milk + honey in 2015. Today, we have more than a dozen thriving hives in Austin, TX, all of which utilize organic, sustainable beekeeping practices.

In honor of National Honey Bee Appreciation Day, we’re sharing the top 10 reasons honey is good for you.

10 Reasons Why Honey is Good For You

  1. Antioxidant-rich. Honey contains phenols, enzymes, flavonoids, and organic acids — all of which play a crucial role in honey’s laundry list of health-positive benefits.
  2. Reduces the risk of heart-related ailments. Thanks to its antioxidant-rich properties, honey reduces the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. But that’s not all! It also works overtime to regulate blood sugar levels and promote eye health. A better question might be: is there anything honey can’t do?
  3. Improves cholesterol levels. In addition to honey’s happy-heart ways, it also has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides. Win-win.
  4. Acts as a natural cough suppressant. For children one year and older, honey is a great alternative to traditional cough medicine. It acts as a natural and safe cough suppressant that is as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan.
  5. Moisturizing and nourishing. You can use honey in your homemade face scrubs and washes. It emulsifies easily with water (surprisingly, no stickiness!) and can help to moisturize and further nourish dry skin.
  6. Reduces allergies. Not only is honey anti-inflammatory, it also contains small amounts of pollen, which can actually help your immune system stave off local allergies.
  7. Promotes burn and wound healing. Honey is packed with antibacterial and antifungal properties. When it comes to applying a natural salve to minor wounds, cuts, and burns, honey is your go-to.
  8. Consider it “brain food.” Honey can naturally assist the brain to prevent metabolic stress, which in turn, helps one to achieve truly restful sleep. And you know what happens after a good night’s sleep? Our cognitive and memory enhancement is on point. 
  9. Helps with an itchy scalp and dandruff. When diffused with water and applied to an itchy, dry scalp, honey’s natural humectant properties help to heal and moisturize.
  10. Increases athletic performance. Honey maintains glycogen levels and improves recovery time post-workout. In a nutshell? Athletes shouldn’t skip a daily spoonful of honey!

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