THE GEAR GAL

Readers, welcome Christine Donaldson, an incredibly talented singer/songwriter and Oakley Women Brand Ambassador.  When it comes to the multifaceted, multidimensional modern day woman, Chrissy fits the bill and then some.  She is one of those people who truly resonates beauty from within.

When she isn't skiing internationally or writing some seriously soulful music, she is busy whipping up content for her just launched blog, The Gear Gal.  With information about her favorite gear (active camping, day-to-day, and travel), wellness tips, and stories about her adventures, Chrissy's blog is both approachable and fun for the novice (like us) and specific and comprehensive enough for the more experienced athlete.  We just learned about crampons and ice axes!

Finding women like Chrissy reminds us why we created Larkspur Company in the first place; to establish a community that feeds our mind, body, and spirit.  It's grounding to find other women who live by this philosophy, too :)

P.S. Be sure to check out Alouette Company's collaboration with Chrissy on instagram!  

MASTERS OF SEX

Masters-of-Sex-Virginia-Libby.png

I am a fickle consumer of TV. I don't have cable at home, which limits my viewing to what's on Hulu, Netflix, or available for streaming on iTunes.  I can't handle anything too violent, and I often get bored with characters who I can't relate to or storylines that drift too far off their original purpose. I am every television writer's nightmare. I predict "twists" that leave the world on edge, and laugh at lines that are too predictable. But every Sunday, I log in to to Showtime's website to watch Masters of Sex

The first season of Masters of Sex was tight--following the story of real-life sex researchers Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson. The storylines were coherent and well connected.  But Season 2 has been quite the challenge for me--normally, the lack of direction in the plotlines, bizarre montaging and skipping in time, and neglect of once pivotal characters would drive me to ditch the show completely. And yet, I still love it. But why? The male protagonist, played by the incandescently brilliant Michael Sheen, is often a totally unlikeable pig who treats women like objects, manipulates and coerces for his own profit, and cares little for anyone but himself. I don't care much about Bill Masters--it's the women I keep coming back for.

Virginia Johnson, played by Lizzy Caplan, is deeply flawed: narcissistic, deceitful, and delusional. But she is also compassionate, curious, and fiercely independent. Despite all of her shortcomings, I still believe in her goodness and more importantly, her power. Over and over again, she shirks the demands of her era and incessantly pushes boundaries--almost to the point that you begin question whether she values her own happiness. She shrugs the limitations society puts on her, and yet is intimately involved with a man who seeks to control her by means that can only be described as emotionally abusive. 

Even the show's resident housewife, Libby Masters, has developed into a multi-faceted, deeply relatable character. She began as the archetypal 50's housewife: naive, beautiful, dutiful, matronly. But she is now developing into a cautious risk taker, dipping her toes into unknown territory, testing her own abilities and limitations. She is so unlike Virginia. She accepted her role as a white, upper class wife and saw no reason to deny it until she was faced head-on with a civil rights leader who urged her to be better and do more for herself and for others. Though she moves slowly, I can't wait to see her take the plunge into the waters she's testing.

Reading what I've written about these characters, I find myself wondering, why is this so amazing to me? Why are these flawed yet beautiful characters so novel? At first, I thought it must be because their creator and lead writer is a woman. But then, looking back on the other shows I've watched (even those with female creators), I can't think of a time where I've encountered such multidimensional female characters. They are capable of intense change.  They are capable of hideous wrongdoings and redemption. I hate them often. I love them more often. And even though they are stuck in the confines of 50's and 60's Missouri, they seem to live and breathe today. I understand them as peers--and what a novel feeling that is. 

FLASH TATTOOS

FLASH TATTOOS

What's the grown-up version of temporary tattoos that even Beyonce has been rocking? Flash Tattoos! These silver and gold foil temporary tattoos come in a zillion different styles--everything from the minimalist ones we're sporting to ornate jewelry-inspired styles. It reminds us of the days when we used to flaunt Spice Girls tattoos on our biceps and feel oh-so-grown-up. 

ON THE FORECAST: WINTER GARDEN

Larkspur's Winter Garden

It's that time of year again!  I am very excited to refresh my sad summer garden (which totally fried this past week while I was at Burning Man, more on that later).  Looking ahead to the cooler climate, it's best to plant hearty greens like kale, chard, and spinach, along with root vegetables like parsnip, radishes, carrots, and turnips.  Botanical Interests supplies some of my favorite seeds, mainly because of their incredible variety and USDA Organic quality.  Can't say I'm looking for a three foot GMO carrot this time around…

A note on starting from seedlings versus more mature stems:

My dad has always recommended opting to start from seed if you have the time as the plant will have a more viable opportunity to settle into its new environment (i.e. your garden) and build a strong root foundation.  The next best thing is to shop for the most immature plants at the nursery, as these will transplant best into their permanent home.  If my gardening experience has taught me anything, it's that patience is key.  Typically I am partial to buy the plant with the veggies already on them (no failing here, right?).  My strategy this year is to attempt a few from seed and the rest that are in their first stages of development.  Can't wait to see the growth!

P.S. Check out the herb garden Annie and I made for Earth Day this year!

ECHINACEA GOLDENSEAL

For as long as I can remember, anytime I began to feel under the weather my parents turned to echinacea goldenseal.  At the slightest inkling of feeling aches and discomfort, I still turn to this stuff as my first step in an immune boost overhaul.  Used by Native American tribes to heal infection and disease, this blend of herbs is extremely effective in stimulating immune response to colds, yeast and viral infections.  You can pick it up at just about any health food spot.  Just be aware it is a tad bitter so a nice glass of orange juice (for a healthy dose of vitamin C) is a must.