Love. It‘s the prime focus of our work when we wear our other hats and teach weekly about consciousness and the soul. Love when expanded is all about divine love that each of us have when we’re operating more from our heart than our heads, more from our Higher Self, rather than the Ego.
And yet, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, this year is different than perhaps any previous one we’ve experienced as we still face Covid lockdowns in many states and countries around the world. And, that may mean making different choices: a home cooked meal rather than heading to your favorite restaurant or a walk in nature rather than heading to a romantic hotel for the weekend.
This year’s guide reflects self-care and going inward, from beautiful scents, provocative reads & technology to wine, masks and bedroom comfort. Enjoy!
ZENTS Skincare & Fragrance
ZENTS is a new brand for us. They tout their collections as: where luxury, vegan and cruelty-free skincare meets clean fragrance. You can order items individually or as a set, the latter of which makes for a great Valentine’s Day gift option. Their ZENTS Collections are available in ten phthalate-free aromas.
We love their fragrance selections. For example, their Mandarin option includes ginger, mandarin, cardamom, nutmeg, saffron and vanilla bean. What’s not to love right?
One of the items in a gift set is their balms, which includes organic shea butter and coconut oil to help restore your skin’s moisture, a perfect fit for those of us in this hemisphere and are in the middle of winter. An infusion of paracress plant extract helps skin appear smooth, plump and firm and they suggest using their balms on rough and dry spots of your skin, such as your elbows, heals and so on.
We got in the ORE Collection to review, which includes a lovely blend of intoxicating orris and sensual ylang ylang, the latter of which is a favorite of ours in essential oils. The ORE Collection has notes of bay laurel, black pepper and clove which makes for a spicy aroma. The colors are fabulous too — have a look!
Their triple-milled ORE soap is great for hydration. Their products apparently draw on the wisdom of Ayurvedic skin care, and with it, neem oil. Neem acts as a gentle antibacterial and antifungal that is safe for acne, eczema, and dermatitis-prone skin. We love that you have a choice of all your needs in a collection: fragrance in a spray (or roll-on), soap, balm, moisturizing lotion and more.
For more information including how to order, visit their website. Use promo code: REFRESH20 for 20% off wash and soap and promo code ZENTS15 for 15% off site-wide!
Say what? Yup, I know, we were curious about the name too, enough to learn more about what Chirp does. It turns out that these “wheels” are to help balance and align your back among other things. Apparently it’s the only wheel on the market that is FDA-Registered as a Class 1 Medical Device.
We had an opportunity to review their trio set which they call their 3 Wheel Pack. It includes 3 wheels, all different sizes but it’s not just the size that is different. For example, their 12 inch one is more for “gentle” use, their 10 inch one is more for “medium” intensity and their six inch one is for use with “deep tissue” massage.
So here’s the idea and how it works. It’s pretty simple really: you roll on the wheels and as you do, you receive back pain relief. It also works to relieve tension along the spine, and between the shoulder blades as well.
The Chirp Wheel is designed to fit perfectly between your shoulder blades, targeting the muscles that go up and down your spine. As your back is strained from the countless activities you do, those muscles lock up and cause even more pain. The Chirp Wheel is created with this in mind, so works to massage those locked up muscles to bring relief to your back where you need it most.
We have a foam roller that we have used from time-to-time but the truth is that they don’t apply pressure in the right places so you need to really “work it” to get them to work effectively. The Chirp Wheel includes Spinal Canal and Compression Sensitive padding to ensure comfort and relief.
It’s a great ergonomic design as well and they tout that you can get relief with only five minutes of “rolling your back” out although we used it for a little longer than that. It can even hold up to 500 pounds and is apparently built with 100% PVC free materials so it won’t break down over time. And, the Chirp Wheel can be used on the ground, against the wall, or in a chair, making for several flexible options.
For more information, visit their website including how to order.
Lenovo Legion Laptops
It’s no secret over here that we are longtime Lenovo users and fans. Even after spending five or so years on a Mac, I returned to a Lenovo and have been problem free ever since. We had an opportunity to review one of their gaming laptops, which btw, aside from the colorful lights that span across the keyboard, can be a great fit for anyone who wants a laptop that oozes speedy performance.
I have to say: we were super impressed by the elegant design of this machine given that it’s primarily targeting those who want performance built for gamers and beyond. Sweet, right?
As we’ve said before and we’ll say again: you can’t go wrong with Lenovo. We’ve had years of great experience reviewing (and using) their laptops. For more on their current offerings, visit their laptop section as well as their main site for other fun things Lenovo has to offer.
We are huge fans of gardening over here so was thrilled to be able to review Digz Gardener Gloves — what a perfect choice with spring fast approaching.
One of the things we really love about the brand is the fun varied color combinations, all in happy, joyful spring colors. Take a look.
The other thing to note about the Digz gardener gloves is that they have an adjustable wrist strap and they’re made from a 4-way spandex for added comfort. Their palm and knuckle padding provides extra protection for when you hit those gnarly weeds and rocks.
The other cool thing about them is that have something called touchscreen compatible fingertips. What does that mean exactly? It ultimately means that you can take pictures, answer your phone, and look up info without the inconvenience of constantly taking off your gardening gloves. Bravo bravo bravo, a feature everyone will love.
The material also includes an absorbent terry cloth which is ergonomically placed to absorb sweat and for some of the glove options, there’s synthetic leather which makes them even more durable. We love the range, features and comfort. One thing to note: if you’re normally a medium, you may want to go for one size up just for a little extra space depending on how you like your gloves to fit.
Two thumbs up: you can grab them over on Amazon.
Sheets by Sleepletics
Technology in your sheets? Not really in the “Intel” kinda way, however we came across a unique kind of sheet offering from a company called Sleepletics. Their pitch? Celliant Performance Sheets.
You might be wondering: what on earth does Celliant Performance mean? Celliant Performance sheets are an FDA-Determined General Wellness Product. So yes, really, the FDA has labeled these sheets “medical devices” apparently and their products are also patented and clinically tested.
So what does this so called “Celliant Energy” do? It’s designed to give you a healthier, more restful sleep. These sateen weave sheets are made with a blend of premium long-staple cotton and patented Celliant-infused polyester yarns. This combination of special yarns creates a soft, smooth and wrinkle-resistant fabric. And, we have to say that after a couple of washes, the wrinkle-resistant part is pretty great and true to their words, which is a big plus to their sheet offerings.
Jackets & Masks by Laced by Laju
Laced by Laju is another new brand on our radar. The number one thing we LOVE about this brand is that their offerings are oh so “fem”, meaning that their designs are “tres feminine”, elegant and feral. I’d add “classy” and “chic” to the description as well.
What drew us into their website to explore more was their Plush Jacket. Apparently a popular choice by many, this sought after jacket features a breezy décolletage-enhancing peekaboo V-shaped mesh panel. As we said: classy and chic, but it’s also super comfortable as well, making it a great travel option when you want to dress up an outfit for dinner out.
You could also pair it apreś workout with a jacket and high-waisted pants/jeans (see above for a great look regardless of season). We love that this elegant gem comes in black, white and burgundy.
They also offer masks as well and we really fell for this beautiful laced red one, so perfect to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The mask has three layers of lightweight 100% cotton (with a middle anti-bacterial layer), a nose bridge, and adjustable ear loops. It’s super comfy too.
For more information including how to order, check out their website.
When Love Comes to Light
I was surprised by this incredible read — once I started, I couldn’t put When Loves Comes to Light down and finished in three days.
Written by yoga teachers Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor, you’re taken on a journey of learning, but from a modern perspective. They explore the essential lessons from The Bhagavad Gita, which is one of the most influential and widely recognized ancient texts in Indian epic literature as spiritual seekers well know.
This important piece of work offers many different philosophical teachings, however in this case, the authors offer a “modern” framework for understanding our core beliefs and who we really are, directing readers towards showing up in a way that is both compassionate and balanced in every way.
Those of you who know the story can resonate with Arjuna and his dilemmas on the battlefield. Even if we’re not traditional warriors in our every day modern lives, the challenges do indeed cross over. Torn by his dharma and confused by the various paths of action he might choose in the process of awakening, we see parallels from our current lifestyles and how we can draw insights in order to assist us with our own spiritual journeys in the here and now.
They take you on a nose dive into the very things we all wonder about: love, wisdom, and karma and even offer embodiment exercises to apply the teachings. Two thumbs up. You can order it on Amazon.
Eye of the Heart
I have always loved Cynthia Bourgeault’s writing and couldn’t put her Meaning of Magdalene down once it landed on our dootstep.
In her most recent book Eye of the Heart, Bourgeault investigates the imaginal realm: an energetic realm well known to the mystical traditions but often forgotten in our own times. As she describes it, we learn and inherently know of course, that it is invisible to the physical eye, but clearly perceptible through the eye of the heart.
She clearly makes the distinction between the imaginal realm and what some see as “imagination” but you see, it goes so much deeper — even deeper than our dreams, prophecy, and oracles. In her incredible writing style (as always), she brings readers toward a higher vision of our human purpose that is both evolutionary and collective.
Bourgeault has studied and taught in various traditions, including the Western Christian one as well as drawing on the Eastern traditions including Sufism. Cynthia even delves into the connections between our inner consciousness and what happens in the world, exploring the transformative energy and governing conventions that make the manifestation of this realm possible.
And, she also weaves in the teachings from Russian philosopher, mystic and spiritual teacher George Ivanovich Gurdjieff and Teilhard de Chardin, the former of which was relatively new material for me. Here, we learn about various worlds and realms as a way to understand these so called “higher dimensions” with our linear minds. I loved how she was able to explain how the exchange between these “worlds” goes both ways and that its not a one way street. It’s beautifully and powerfully written as always — you’ll have a hard time putting it down.
And yes, you can order it on Amazon.
Are you a wine lover but want to avoid the sugar? Enter Lifevine Wines, which we recently had an opportunity to review.
Their wines are made pure and natural — they are certified pesticide free, contain zero sugar per serving and are lower in calories and carbs. Say what? Yup, we did a double take too.
They tout that they are keto, paleo and vegan, gluten free and weight watchers points approved. Let’s take a closer look.
They tout that they are the only Certified Pesticide Free wines in America. Their wines have apparently been independently sampled and tested in an accredited analytical chemistry laboratory for harmful environmental contaminants and toxins and over 200 pesticides. Bravo bravo, right?
We love Sonoma wines and tend to prefer them over Napa wines — there’s also a more “down-to-earthness” about Sonoma in our personal experience. It turns out that Lifevine winemaker Ed Killian has been making award-winning wines in Sonoma County, CA for more than 30 years.
So what do they make? We tested out their 2019 wines: A Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir.
The Cab was our favorite and both of us were surprised by how smooth and lovely the finish was despite the “sans” sugar. The nose brought forth a complex bouquet of cassis, blackberry syrup, and blueberry pie as well as dark soil tones. Then there was a hint of vanilla bean and smokiness amidst the wood tannin, a style that I am particularly fond of — no complaints here. Very balanced!
Their 2019 Chardonnay had some delicious golden apple and honeydew melon flavors with a hint of lemon as well but not overpowering. Those who love French style crisp Sauvignon Blancs may not love the hint of butter, cinnamon and vanilla nor the oak influence, but it’s our favorite style. Then again, we’re a bit biased since we drink northern California Chards all the time and prefer them to other wine producing regions (for Chard specifically). There’s nothing like an Italian Pinot Grigio on a hot summer day.
Last up is their Oregon Pinot Noir which brings forth dark cherry, blackberry, plum, currants and even my favorite: pomegranate, which makes it perfect for this time of year. And yup, there’s layers of vanilla, cocoa, cedar and oak as well but beautifully blended. This may not be what the wine maker will suggest pairing it with, but we loved it with grilled pork chops accompanied by a winter kale and spinach salad brimming with pomegranates and apples. Two thumbs up. How can you go wrong with healthy wine on Valentine’s Day or quite frankly, any holiday?
Check out their website for more information including how and where to order.