Eat and Play like a Modern Day Wildwoman: Ojai Round Deux

bga_ojai farmer and cook

After a Sunday drive around the Ojai Valley and barefoot flower foraging with my girl Stacey of Willhouse Creative, we headed to Farmer and The Cook for Sunday evening live music and Modern Day Wildwoman-approved vegan food and libation. Raw Tacos, cabbage leaves filled with sun dried tomato and walnut croquettes, topped with cashew-cilantro cream, pico de gallo, mixed greens, and carrots, paired and local wine, were ah-may-zing.

 Farmer and The Cook

339 West El Roblar Dr, Ojai, CA 93023

But really, you can eat all the raw, paleo, omega-3, organic food you want, but nothing compares to laughter, Sunday driving and dining al fresco with a true friend. A friend who just gets you. Modern Day Wildwoman-friendly meal is just the cherry on top. I think this human, social connection aspect of health is forgotten all too easily in our hectic world.

So, next Sunday, grab your best friend, and go play!

xo Modern Day Wildwoman


The Secret

Perhaps I’m onto Eastern Medicine’s secret.

Yoga. AyurvedaChinese Medicine. Meditation.

Harmony between our body-mind-spirit. Our Yin and Yang Organs. All seven chakras.

It’s all the same yet different, inevitably intertwined, and wonderful.

Find balance, do what pleases your nature. Be happy. Take a moment to breathe and think it all over. Listen to your body and heart more than your head. Don’t eat too much. Relax more. Feel your feelings and release ’em. Think happy thoughts. Keep a lil’ faith in what you believe in, the magic of this life. Travel, but know wherever you go, there you are. So you might as well do all the above to cultivate your best, happiest self anywhere.

And watch the qi (energy in Chinese), sukha (ease in Sanskrit), and positive vibrations from a cellular level (check out Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton) flow.


Spa Girl Abroad: Kalani Oceanside Retreat


Greetings from Kalani Oceanside Retreat

A hidden haven on the Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawai’i, Kalani Oceanside Retreat is nothing but a pure escape to the jungle at it’s finest. And your off-the-grid experience can be as luxury, or as rustic, as you’d like it to be .

From modern cottage to treehouse to big ole’ hale (Hawaiin for ‘house’) to glamping with wi-fi, Kalani’s got it all.

Indulging in massage, sauna, a full schedule of mind-body activities, plus wandering an endless jungle trail surrounding the property makes Kalani one of the rare places on earth I’ve never wanted to leave. What’s great about Kalani is you can be as social or introverted as you wish…the community feel is thriving, yet plenty of solo time can be found to write, reflect, meditate. It’s a writer’s paradise, quite literally.

The food you ask? Incredible. The kitchen caters to everyone from vegan to paleo to the kid who loves Lucky Charms (you’ll probably find the organic version here, though ;). Three times per day, a conch is blown which lures Kalani guests and their hundred or so volunteers head to the most beautiful buffet that rivals Whole Foods (get in line early or show up on the late end to avoid waiting long). Plus, you’ll undoubtedly graze on tropical delights such as guava and starfruit that fall from trees here.

I was first introduced to Kalani when I attended a 30-day intensive yoga teacher training at the retreat center. Kalani’s feels much like a second home to me, and has been my go-to getaway spot on the islands ever since. E como mai (welcome) to my one of my second homes :)

Would love to hear about your experience at Kalani, and/or retreat centers like it, fellow Spa Girls and Guys! I LOVE discovering new retreat spa centers. I’m heading to Bali next month…send me your tips!

Mahalo (thank you) and Coconut Kisses,

Beach Girl Abroad

Motivation Monday : Project Gratitude [Round 2]

Elisa Lipton:

Deep Thought of the Day:

Embrace gratitude with grace, light, and ease. Let words of gratitude cycle through your head, replacing worries, doubt, darkness.

Check out this amazing post embracing all things gratitude, written by my lovely former Island Child-turned-Pacific Northwest sister Leslie Schipper @ Forever Stoked!

Coco kisses,
Beach Girl

Originally posted on Forever Stoked:

gratitude leavenworth “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more.” 
  “Project Gratitude”  is meant to be shared – so I asked friends to contribute and was stoked by everyones enthusiasm and eagerness to answer. I received way more replies (some of them essay length ;)) than I anticipated so I will continue posting answers as the month goes on.  Thanks for supporting the project and participating!
I am grateful for the gift of faith. I am grateful that I believe in a higher power. I was blessed to have been brought up in an interfaith household. At an early age my other engrained the mantra, “God is with me, God is helping me, God is guiding me.” I was taught we can not be whole unless we nurture mind, body, and spirit. Never neglect your spirit. My mother and I no longer…

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Spa Girl Abroad: Sanctuary Thailand

DSC01093It’s not simply the fly-ferry-longtail boat journey to The Sanctuary
that will leave you wanting to disappear into this lush jungle-beach ‘alternative’ resort forever (and ever…).

(Don’t worry, you can also arrive by speed boat…check out the spa’s website for further info :)

Longtail Taxi Boat

Longtail Taxi

I adore Sanctuary Thailand! In wintertime, I found myself dancing around a moonlit beach bonfire, rocking in the New Year alongside the most eccentric and varied group I’d ever met: de-toxers and re-toxers, jet-setters, yogis. During my summer visit, I loved the young, health conscious, and flashpacker (upscale backpacker)-solo-traveler vibe.

The Sanctuary Thailand boasts a full-service Spa and Wellness Center, a full-on yoga and meditation schedule with classes held in a gorgeous open-air shala over looking lush jungle, accommodation ranging from mat-on-floor dorms to luxury tree houses, a delicious restaurant, and a Wellness Center offering a comprehensive detox program.

spa time for a thai massage

Spa time!

Gorgeous houses and private rooms are scattered throughout the jungle-beach property. Several accommodation-spa-yoga packages are available.

I’ve stayed in the gorgeous dorm above the restaurant for 200 baht per night ($4!), and in the Wellness Center’s Detox Dorm during a week-long cleanse.My 5-day detox (3.5 days fasting) was a less than $500 and included dorm, cleanse, my “last meal”, plus yoga, spa treatments, and unlimited steams (the clove-spiced steam room before or after a thai massage is to-die-for!).

the dorm gets a clean up

Dorms at Sanctuary

The Wellness Center not only offers 2-14+ day detoxes, but also sells Kombucha, wheatgrass shots, and hosts plenty of reading material which can be enjoyed from any hammock or cushy chair on the property.

The restaurant’s menu includes tasty and healthy food which would appeal to any Modern Day Wildwoman (or man). You can order anything
from Thai to Indian, vegetarian to meat-eating with salads, salmon,
and steak. I indulged plenty in the Raw food section which not only
caters to detoxers, but anyone! And trust me, raw food tastes
especially delish during the hot Southeast Asian summer. I sampled
raw treats like “Not yogurt” (blended raw papaya, full of good-for-you enzymes) to “Raw Pad Thai” (made with raw radish) and raw soups.

Raw Pad Thai

Raw Pad Thai

striking a pose<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />  like the good ole days in LA LA la

Coconut kisses,


On Solid Ground.


Beach Girl’s going Abroad! on Solid Ground

Today, glancing up at the blue skies and palm trees, my vision was spinning. The past two weeks have left me in a daze, and on anything but solid ground.

You see, a few things aligned of late that present a trip to SE Asia. I’d been brainstorming a return to SE Asia ever since I’d left. Be it in my vision book, in my thoughts, in speaking, and even a couple doors opening job-wise that I didn’t walk through, then closed while I hurried up and hesitated.

Plans were set into motion at the beach a couple Friday’s ago. A friend saw my solo self taking in the sunset and ushered me over to join his group’s Pau Hana (Happy Hour) on the sand. Then, the right conversation regarding travel, Southeast Asia, taking risks, and flying solo was had with the precise person I needed to meet.

I’m a woman of my word. “If I land this big gig I’m on hold for, I’m booking a flight to Bali“, I told this precise person at that Pau Hana. Serendipitously, the job was booked the very next morning.

After shopping flights online and with a recommended travel agency here in Honolulu, the lowest fare came through the agency. It’s been booked since last week. I fly out Mid-December.

The trip was originally planned for just three weeks. When I arrived at the travel agency to pick up my tickets, the agent explained enthusiastically, “you have until March if you feel like staying longer!”.

This all seemed fantastic. Then, as reality set in, I felt ungrounded. I hate feeling ungrounded…up in my head, anxious, unsure. It doesn’t allow for me to be here now.

What started as a 3-week trip turned into all sorts of future-tripping stories in my head, some even consisting of my never coming back at all.

I wasn’t sure of anything. I didn’t know where my home would be at the end of it. I didn’t know quite where I’d store my small amount of worldly possessions and if I left it all with a friend, would they maybe be on their own adventure by the time I’d get back? Then the fear set in…money, career, shelter, everything….

Feeling grounded is different for everybody. I embrace, and thrive off, a certain uncertainty. However, the security of knowing where I’ll hang my hat come March is what’ll allow me to sleep at night. A balance between freedom and home which allows me to be present both now and during my trips.

Friends, what do you need to feel “on solid ground”? I’d love to hear.

Coconut kisses,

Beach Girl

Spa Girl Abroad: Herbal Spa, Honolulu

In the spirit of paying attention to myself, I spoiled myself rotten with a Korean spa  (jimjilbang) pampering sesh here in Honolulu last night.

Scroll down for my complete review…and If you aren’t familiar with authentic Korean style spa going, here’s the low down:

You’ll be given a locker key, a jimjilbang outfit (at Dragon Hill we were provided a t-shirt and shorts, at Herbal Spa, a robe), and a couple towels. You leave your shoes in your locker and strip down to your nakedness. You’ll get used to being in your naked glory inside the actual soaking/steam room, and use your outfit for blissing out over Himalayan Rock salt later :) p.s. guys and gals areas are completely separate.

You’ll go into the soaking room first. You’ll see showers near the entrance. Shower off grime from outside. Then soak and steam away to soften your skin, muscles, mind… Depending on the place, there will be a greater or lesser variety of hot, cold, warm, herbal, salted, and/or springing pools. Over yonder, you’ll see ladies (ajjumas) in their bra and undies scrubbing down naked spa goers and splashing water on them…yes, this is normal. And it’s awesome. Make an appointment to get layers of gunk off…I repeat, scrub-down! Depending on the facilities, there’ll be “dry” rooms to explore as well, such as wood, rock, or jade saunas, as well as space to stretch out and just be. Stay as long or as little as you like. You’ll be flying high (naturally!) once your finished.

Himalayan Rock Salt Room

Herbal Spa in Honolulu’s Kaka’ako district was offering a bargain of entrance fee, scrub down, massage, and facial for $100 (2 full hours of undivided spa attention! Yes, I’m feeling like the luckiest girl on the planet right now). Bonus: I found the experience authentic to what I’d experienced in Seoul. While it wasn’t exactly cheap as the $12 entrance fee and $20 dollar full-body scrub downs I’d grown accustomed to at Seoul’s famous Dragon Hill jimjilbang (and you’d better believe I went almost weekly while living in South Korea), $100 for two hours of spa love and unlimited use of facilities certainly counts as a budget-friendly-ish-bang-for-your-buck.

For two, yes I repeat two full hours, my practitioner, Kim, treated me like a queen on that wet table. She didn’t miss an inch of my body. I’m scrubbed-down squeeky clean and shiny head to toe, my kinks massaged out in a deep yet not painful manner. Cucumber was placed over my entire face after an amazing facial massage and mask. I just felt so taken well taken care of, like a little kid who just got a good bath by a parent who payed very good attention!  My energy is buzzing now, I feel refreshed. The facilities were super-clean, q-tips, lotion, shampoo was ample, and I loved laying in the Himalayan Rock salt room, letting the negative ions of the salt permeate my baby soft skin, after my treatment.

If you’re in the Honolulu area, and feel like a little natural oomph to your beauty inside and out, definitely worth checking out :)

Herbal Spa Hawaii

949 Kawaiahao St  Honolulu, HI 96814

(808) 589-0800

Coconut + Kimchi Kisses,

Beach Girl