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Summer Renewal

amanda oler

“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.”

-Audrey Hepburn




While contemplating summer and the solstice, the key themes that come to mind are rejuvenation and celebration. With the arrival of this beautiful season, comes the time to gather with loved ones, and rejoice in the occasions that accompany these warm months. Now is the time to soak up longer days and bask in the sun, while draped in linen dresses, sun hats and sandals.

One of the many luxuries I have always had as a California native, is the multitude of idyllic nature spots available to me. During the heat wave we had here in Marin, a friend and I decided to hop in the car and escape to one of my favorite beaches. The ability to so easily infuse my soul with the alchemy of sea, sun, sand and sky always leaves me with the deepest feeling of gratitude.


I often find, by this time of year, I have burdens to shed. A lighthearted ritual I have practiced for as long as I can remember, is carving emotions or fears that I wish to be lifted, into the wet sand. I may even pray to the Hindu goddess, Kali, and offer up these insecurities to her--as suggested by Ram Dass, one of the most revered spiritual teachers to date. You can find his Kali meditation HERE 

The best way for me to consummate this ritual is by soaking myself in the heat of the sun, then cooling down by wading into the ocean and letting the chilled waves cradle me. The completion of this ritual is a luscious and satisfying way to feel restored. 

Unfortunately, during our restoration, we witnessed something heartbreaking: we had found a dead baby whale washed up onto shore. In the Bay, I believe, this is the 13th deceased whale found on shore this year. These majestic mammals are starving, and being killed by negligent littering in our ocean, and oil spills. I feel it is my duty as a mother myself, and as a daughter of our divine Mother Earth, to do what I can to practice and model care for our suffering ecosystem. 


One small way I can contribute, is to try and eliminate as much plastic use as I can in my home and daily life. I am always scheming up new ideas of how Elaia can lower its Carbon footprint. Additionally, Elaia is trying to devise a recycling system where our customers can send back their bottles to be refilled at discounted rates.

In last year’s summer blog post, “Welcoming The Summer Solstice”, I shared how I take care of my skin with an aloe vera recipe to use after having a little bit too much fun in the sun. This year, I am delighted to share that our No.3 comes in a mist that is the perfect addition to your skincare routine. With the anti-inflammatory properties of lavender, frankincense and rose, sun-kissed skin is able to find instant relief in either mist or oil form. (Fun fact, No.3 was originally formulated to help heal the skin after long days of sun exposure. Turned out everyone loved the smell, so I was encouraged to make a perfume! ) Find both No.3 roll-on and mist HERE

Our bodies tend to feel fatigued and agitated after these first few days of extreme heat. This inspired me to formulate a recipe for a drink, that was later made into refreshing popsicles. The combination of lime, honey, lavender and lemon balm helps quench thirst, while simultaneously calming and soothing nerves.   Recipe here:

Lavender lime aid popsicles :

-12 limes
-1/4 cup of lemon balm
-1/4 cup of lavender
-2 1/2 cups filtered water
-3/4 cup of raw local honey

To make an infusion (strong tea) steep lavender and lemon balm in hot water preferably until the water has completely cooled. Strain and set aside.

Juice limes - you should have about
1 1/2 cups. Heat honey on low heat. When honey liquifies mix in with both lime juice and your infusion.

Enjoy over ice or as I did in a popsicle!

(You can find the popsicle molds I prefer to use here.) 


 I don’t consider myself an expert on anything. I do what I love, with care and purpose, and I want Elaia to represent how I aim to live. I want to share what inspires me, and I hope to live in a way, that models for my children, a healthy existence--personally, collectively and globally.


“I don't like to give advice. I like to give people information because everyone's life is different, and everyone's journey is different.”

-Dolly Parton


While we are on the subject of one of my all-time fave artists, check out The Wildflowers on the ELAIA’S summer playlist HERE.


Happy Summer Solstice!