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Journal

Second Harvest

Second Harvest

First a poem, then her voice cracks, the emotional toll of the last six months is palpable and rolls into the crowd. Nikiko is recounting how challenging the 2019 growing season has been...unusual monsoon-like rains, hail storms and higher than average temperatures. As the sun peaks over the orchard, we can feel the full range of sadness, frustration, grief, hope and determination the Masumoto family has experienced throughout this year. A sense of gratitude emanates from us all, it’s clear that each one of us is ecstatic to be here, we know it’s not a given and each season we can be invited back to harvest is a blessing...a chance to come together again to take part in something sacred, thanks to the cooperation of Mother Nature and the Masumotos’ exertions. 

I’ve been counting down the days since July 28, 2018 to reunite with my stone fruit family. The pillow soft soil giving way under my boots, the morning rays playing amongst branches heavy with fruit, contented voices floating upwards alongside the billows of dust, the glee of filling vibrant blue buckets to the brim, fully aware each nectarine and peach picked is a small miracle.

Being back at the orchard with ‘our trees,’ I’m taken over by a wave of awe and enchantment. Somehow I’m lucky enough to participate in Masumoto’s harvest for a few hours because they’ve unflinchingly dedicated 365 days of grueling work to ensure their trees will bear a bounty I can reap. And the joy each family member exudes to have us there is remarkable. Their commitment and passion for sustainable farming and building community is beyond words, like a born talent, similar to Mozart composing music, they possess a gift that can’t be stifled and must be shared with the world.

My adoption team is a fun mix of new and familiar faces. As we dive into harvesting, I make new friends and swap stories with pals from last year. After months of anticipation, we’re giddy to see that there are a ton of ripe Le Grand nectarines to be picked, and because this is the last day of harvest, we get to take them all. We waste no time and work diligently, scaling ladders and grasping what we can on our tiptoes - we have a singular, unifying goal: extract all the viable Le Grands!

We move pretty quickly and just as the temperatures are getting close to 100, we’re relieved to have boxed and divided up the whole haul. Ravenous and damp with perspiration, we merrily make our way to the shady center of the orchard for an alfresco brunch prepared by a team of lovely volunteers. The meal is delicious, conversations are easy, Mas and Nikiko swing by to say hello, cheerful dogs sit at our feet and I’m deeply happy.

Adopting a tree at Masumoto’s family farm is not about taking home pounds of fruit, but celebrating this land that has been organically cultivated for 71 years, the camaraderie shared amidst the rows of trees and a magical family that treats you as one of their own.

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Hate It or Plate It | Part 1

Hate It or Plate It | Part 1

We’ve eagerly awaited the debut of Hate It or Plate It on all Food Network digital channels, and yesterday it popped off! Rashad Frazier is a talented chef with a whole lot of personality and we’re looking forward to following along this journey with him for the next 10 weeks...oh yeah, and he’s looking mighty dapper in our turmeric apron! Expect to see a lot more of our best selling style as he wins over his guests episode by episode. 

You can watch it on Mondays at 2pm CT on Food Network’s Snapchat Discover feed and the full episode will also go live on their website shortly thereafter. You can also watch it on FN's Instagram around 4pm EST each Monday...yesterday’s delicious beet toast episode got more than 145,000 views, so we’re pretty stoked! 

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There Are Signs

There Are Signs

You have to notice when the universe is cheering you on...

As Jenny looked to follow her heart and instincts to create an ethical kitchen collection, signs from the universe were sometimes the only thing keeping her going (besides copious amounts of coffee and green tea).

Be inspired by this talk from Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Tattly and Creative Mornings. And remember, it is our job to be present and grateful for omens, big and small, to help us keep the faith on this journey called life...

Ps. Happy Full Moon! Our fave Mystic Mamma has you covered, if you want all the astral insights...

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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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Doing Our Part

Doing Our Part

"I don’t always write about the packaging for the products I review, but I want to today because I think that Loyale does something special. First of all, all my Loyale packages have all come with a really cute postcard attached to the outside. It is an actual postcard that you can (and I have) mail to someone with a nice little message on it. It has a picture of a rooster on it, so I don’t think I need to explain anymore. The garments themselves are packed up in a paper envelope, as opposed to a poly-bag, which I really appreciate. I try to find ways to reuse the envelope as well."

One of our Loyale Ambassador team members, Renée bravely stepped away from Instagram last year and is focusing on what matters to her - writing tremendously informative ethical living musings via her blog, Goblin Shark. She recently wrote an extensive review about our Ballet Tee and reflects on her time as an ambassador...her kind words made us blush! And the above excerpt felt apropos for Earth Day...

To celebrate Renée's lovely musings, Earth Day and the kick off of Fashion Revolution Week, we invite you to use case sensitive code fashionrev2019 for 30% off now through Friday!

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A New Coven

A New Coven

I’m now working out of The Wing in downtown SF and it’s lifting my spirits by the day! It’s a beautifully designed space with vibrant energy and exceptional events, plus luckily it’s a smaller investment per month than my previous co-working space. They’re located in quite a few cities now, so whether you work for yourself or another company, I encourage you to check them out and consider joining! Their curated gatherings and mingling with the members who attend are a treasure trove of inspiration...

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Taking a Beat

Taking a Beat

I’m not myself and it’s a relief.

As January has meandered along and it's now cusping on February, millions of thoughts have formed and floated away.

I’ve been okay with this. It’s not my normal M.O. Usually I’m grasping for feel-good things or opening the floodgates of my busy mind onto the world for some relief. If I like something, I immediately attempt to make it last...a sunset, festive times with a friend, hugs from my hubs, vacations, a box of cookies...I don’t let things be, I reach for, then hold on tight and amidst all the grasping/aversion hubbub, I miss most of what’s happening, foreshadowing the sadness of the end.

I’ve realized this path leads to excess and emotional strain for me and those in my proximity. I’m finally beginning to get some inkling that this doesn't work and being with what is, right for the moment, is a better way to go about living life. Wanting so much, in a very particular way, at a set time and place means I’m constantly fighting against the odds, which are: things will happen in their own time (or won’t), in a different place and it will not be in the way I planned or envisioned.

The energy I squander fighting City Hall is a colossal waste and not at all sustainable. I’m realizing some difficult, yet soothing truths and attempting to unlearn a lot...my new way to pass time is dappling with hearing thoughts and realizing that’s all they are - funny little sounds in my mind that require no action and don’t need to be said aloud. This is what I’m sitting with right now…

Have you all ever sat back, listened to the confetti swirling in your head and suddenly realized so much of it is nonsense? I’d love to hear what you’ve experienced! Here’s to growing together in 2019, I’m truly looking forward to the next 11 months...

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How to be Happy

How to be Happy

One Hundred Words by J.D. Roth

Breathe.
Self-care comes first: nurture your mind, body, and spirit.
Be optimistic.
Choose happiness.
Don’t take things personally, and don’t make assumptions.
Be good to people.
Foster friendships.
Be vulnerable and love passionately.
Trust others.
Trust yourself.
Always do your best, but embrace the imperfections.
Refuse to let fear guide your decision-making process.
Act, even when you’re afraid.
Ask for what you want.
Collect opportunities, and create your own luck.
Explore.
Try new things, and keep an open mind.
Be present in the moment.
Share without reservation.
Do what you love — do it often.
Cultivate gratitude and joy.
Try new things, and keep an open mind.
Be present in the moment.
Share without reservation.
Do what you love — do it often.
Cultivate gratitude and joy.

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Everything is Changing

Everything is Changing

"Think about your life situation in this moment: the good and the bad, and the ugly. Whoops! Now it’s different. While you were thinking, everything around you got a few seconds older.

What we think of as “my life,” stable and solid, is in fact a flowing river. The banks may look the same, but the water is always changing.

The river of our lives flows away from some things, right into other things. Each present moment is the point where time intersects with eternity. There, all experience is present, because the whole river of time flows through eternity. All memory, all perception, all presentiments of future, everything we have ever loved or will ever love is intimately available—but only In.This.Moment.

As my life flows, as your life flows, we can tune into presence and find connection—not flimsy, mind-made, let’s-pretend connection, but true oneness. That’s the reality we like to call “magic,” although it’s far more real than the losses we seem to suffer."

Excerpt from Martha Beck's wonderful blog.

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