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Journal

National Mutt Day

National Mutt Day

It’s National Mutt Day and I’m celebrating our beloved rescue dog Ruby who has changed our lives for the better.

What mix is Ruby?! We have no clue, but suspect she is part Dachshund, Jack Russell, Chihuahua, Pinscher and Australian Shepherd...do you have any guesses?

There have been some serious downsides to the pandemic, but when I get melancholy these days, snuggling and walking Ruby lessens the weight of the sadness. The truth is, I wouldn’t have gotten a dog, if it weren’t for Covid flipping the world on its head and my life would be vastly less rich and fulfilling. We found our dream girl via Petfinder, which I highly recommend, it’s the best aggregated info. and connects you with rescue organizations of all sizes.

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Juneteenth

Juneteenth

Many of us are waking up to the fact that we need to roll up our sleeves and do the necessary work of learning and unlearning. While some progress has been made in these last few weeks, I hope it’s just the beginning of our personal growth journey and the dismantling of an unjust and abominable system founded hundreds of years ago.

I believe we also need to consciously put ourselves in other people’s shoes as we walk this path. I love this art and message by Morgan Harper Nichols and also found Spring Washam’s words in reflection of Juneteenth to be exceedingly powerful and thought provoking:

“I am discovering the great power in this simple statement of truth. Black lives matter. Every time I say these words, I am breaking open something deep within my own heart. The program of white supremacy depends upon my belief in my own inferiority that somehow, I don’t matter. It depends on me hating myself and devaluing myself because of my brown skin. It depends on you hating me too. This is deep stuff… if you haven’t said these three words, I really encourage you to say them and then sit in the great mystery of what it reveals. Try to listen with the heart. It’s deep medicine because we are breaking a powerful program that has been operating for 400 years.”

I’ll be meditating on Spring’s words for many days and reading my new library book ‘Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation’ by Jasmine Syedullah, Lama Rod Owens, and angel Kyodo Williams.

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New Reality

New Reality

This is my everyday life now - tending to my rescue pup and veggie patch with a laptop just out of frame so I can work on Loyale schemes. There is very little good news, but I know I’m privileged and I continue to count my lucky stars many times a day.

I struggle with fleeting feelings of contentment and peace, there is an aura of wrongness to these luxuries, but also it feels right to accept my feelings, as I can’t spend all day scared, lonely and worried. I think Ram Dass said it best, ‘Don’t think about the past. Just be here now. Don’t think about the future. Just be here now.’

I will keep trying...

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Hi from Me!

Hi from Me!

It’s been awhile since you’ve seen my face around here! I thought it would be fun to do a little Friday Intro...can you spot me in the Geometric apron and my most favorite dress of all time from the Oakland-based line, Lacson Ravello?!

I’m Jenny, the founder of Loyale...I spend an embarrassing amount of time thinking about food, scouring Eater for restaurant news, reading recipes and conjuring up meals. I love oysters, shumai, donuts, rib-eyes, grilled artichokes, pho, sourdough, crunchy salads and roast chicken.

I like to hang out with cooks of all kinds and a new goal is to take one of @eatchofood’s dumpling workshops. My current fave cookbook is Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan. I go to Farmstead Restaurant at Long Meadow Ranch, Liholiho Yacht Club, Rich Table, Leo's Oyster Bar, Verjus, The Charter Oak and Hog Island Oyster Co. every chance I get. I work out of The Wing in downtown San Francisco and am so inspired by their well curated space, events and members.

Being principled and transparent are very important to me, so my company focuses on ethics and conscious consumption. Last month, we launched an ethical kitchen essentials collection that I’m extremely excited about! Our products are responsibly sourced, ethically made in SF and 3% of sales are donated to La Cocina and Kitchen Table Advisors. 

Thank you for following along, I truly appreciate having you on this journey with me!

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Tips to Help Pollinators

Tips to Help Pollinators

National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them.

Just like people, pollinators need food, water, shelter, and a safe and healthy environment to live in and raise their young. Here are some ideas for ways you can help pollinators in your schoolyard, community garden, or home landscape.

Plant a pollinator-friendly garden with a variety of flowering plants to give a succession of bloom from spring to fall. This will provide pollinators with nectar and pollen to feed on all season long. Remember that many flowering trees and shrubs are important sources of food for pollinators early in the season. Especially when planting flowering annuals and perennials, try to group each kind of plant into clumps of three or more rather than dotting them individually throughout your garden. This makes it easier for pollinators to locate plants!

Include lots of native plants in your garden. Native plants have evolved along with native pollinators, making them generally the most beneficial to these insects. Choose native plants that are adapted to the soil, light, and moisture conditions in your garden and you’ll help pollinators and make your garden care easier.

Include plants to feed all stages of pollinators’ life cycle. There are no butterflies without caterpillars! Make sure you have plants that will feed both the immature as well as the adult stages of pollinators. For example, while adult monarch butterflies feed on many kinds of flowers, their caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed plants. Similarly, the caterpillars of eastern black swallowtails feed on plants in the carrot family, like Queen Anne’s lace, carrots, parley, and dill. And accept that these caterpillar host plants will be chewed on – plant them in an inconspicuous spot if you don’t want to look at ragged leaves.

Minimize the use of pesticides, even organic ones. Even pesticides approved for organic gardens may harm pollinators, so try to keep any pesticide use to a minimum. If you do use a one, choose a pesticide with the lowest risk to bees and other pollinators; check the label for bee hazard information. Spray in the evening after the pollinators have stopped flying.

Go wild! If you can, let a corner of your schoolyard or backyard go “wild.” A wooded area, hedgerow, or unmowed “mini-meadow” will provide shelter, food, and nesting areas for many pollinators.

Provide a source of water. A shallow basin of water set on the ground with some stones or piles of gravel in it on which insects can perch will help pollinators quench their thirst. Some insects, especially butterflies and some pollinator bees, prefer a mud puddle. Let a hose or faucet drip just a bit to form a damp, muddy sipping spot. Add a bit of sea salt or wood ashes to the mud to add micronutrients and minerals to their diet.

Don’t be too tidy. Leave some leaf litter and plants standing over the winter to provide spots for pollinators to overwinter. If you can, leave some dead wood standing in an out-of-the-way area to provide nesting sites for native bees.

Build bee housing. Make nesting blocks for pollinating bees that nest in wood, such as mason bees, by drilling at least 10 holes 4 to 8 inches deep and 5/16” in diameter in a block of untreated wood. Hang your bee “condo” with the holes set horizontally at least 3 feet off the ground and facing as close to southeast as possible.

Enhance your lawn. Lawn “weeds” like white clover and dandelions provide a source of food for pollinators when they’re in bloom. Think of your lawn as pollinator habitat and embrace the idea of letting more than just turf grasses grow there.

Spread the word. One pollinator-friendly garden is good; an entire neighborhood or community of them is even better! Share information with your school community, neighbors and others in your town or city about the importance of protecting and nurturing pollinators, and encourage them to make their gardens and landscapes welcoming to pollinators too.

Tips procured from the 501c3, Kids Gardening

Picture credit - Spoke and Blossom

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Fresh Out of the Oven

Fresh Out of the Oven

As you know, I strive for zen vibes and expressions like ‘never judge a situation - wait for the outcome’ sound stupendous, but is a concept that is difficult to practice in the heat of the moment. When facing down a less than desirable scenario, I usually go deaf momentarily as the ‘it’s not fair’ song plays full blast in my head. My senses did a full back flip into mania when last November, UPS lost a package full of expensive dress patterns, fabric yardage and samples. As I desperately called the tracking and claims departments for weeks, it became clear they were never going to locate it and really didn’t care about my problems. Poof, the new collection was gone. Usually, I would fly into troubleshooting mode and force things to happen, but this time around I felt paralyzed. And because I didn’t know what to do, I did nothing. I think it was a combo of resignation, disappointment and fatigue, but regardless, my non-action opened up a lot of space in my normally hyper-charged mind.

As the months went by, I found myself not thinking about fashion, but the kitchen, my favorite room in any home. I thought about how much I love food and cooking, as well as all the chefs, writers, bloggers and culinary publications I admire. I mulled over how I would rather talk about recipes than what went down at the last fashion week. And so I began going through all my tear sheets and started a mood board of what my heart was telling me (see below). With a sense of calm, I stepped back and saw this undeniable instinct burning in my belly to create an ethical kitchen collection that was useful and sparked joy with all genders and age groups. I began waking up early to design and plot, the next thing I knew, I had a 4 month accelerated production calendar, serendipitous sparks were flying and very kind people were coming out of the woodwork to help me.

I’m so proud to debut Loyale’s ethical kitchen essentials...each piece is crafted with care in downtown San Francisco and is made of the very best materials. We're donating 3% of our sales to La Cocina and Kitchen Table Advisors, two commendable and inspiring non-profits. The whole collection is now online and I couldn’t be happier to share it with you all. Sometimes unexpected happenstances lead to life changing plans...I judged my lost package situation as a disaster, but it’s clear now, that experience was just what I needed to pause, explore new avenues and pivot Loyale in a direction that makes me smile.

I would like to shout out a huge thanks to Irene, Hannah, Hetal and Skyler, they are the beautiful, talented and generous women you see here and throughout our website...Happy June friends and as always, thank you for following along - this is one wild journey!

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Fridays For Future

Fridays For Future

On International Women’s Day, we look to Greta Thunberg, an amazing 16 year old climate activist with Asperger’s, for inspiration and to remember, if we don’t all individually give a sh*t, change is impossible.

“At the end of a record-hot summer in Sweden last August, then-15-year-old Greta Thunberg decided she would not be going back to school. Frustrated by the lack of attention paid to the existential threat of global warming — not least by politicians campaigning for upcoming elections — she set up outside the Swedish parliament with a water bottle, her rucksack filled with books and snacks and a homemade sign announcing her “School Strike for Climate.” “I tried to bring people along to join me,” she says — she’d been inspired by the Parkland, Florida, students who walked out of class to protest gun violence — “but no one was really interested, and so I had to do it by myself.”

Thunberg wasn’t alone for long. By the end of the first week, her strike had drawn coverage from Sweden’s biggest newspapers. As reporters flocked and she handed out fliers bearing the message “You grownups don’t give a shit about my future,” supporters dropped by to join the homespun protest on their lunch breaks. After three weeks of missed classes, Thunberg finally went back to school — mostly. She still strikes every Friday.

Now she’s become the unexpected founder of an international youth movement. Since the summer, tens of thousands of students in nearly 300 towns and cities from Australia to Uganda to the U.S. to Japan have joined her #FridaysForFuture protest. In Belgium, at the end of January, more than 30,000 students walked out of classes. A worldwide strike is planned for March 15th, with events planned in more than 50 countries.”


Quoted from Rolling Stone’s Women Shaping the Future issue.

Photo by The New Yorker

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