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  • Writer's pictureMcKenna

summer '23 favorites

Below is a roundup of things I've discovered, learned, held tightly to, & enjoyed over the past few months. Summer has flown by & as the days went on, I found myself straying further away from social media (anyone else feel bogged down by it?). Instead, I tried (key word) to spend more of my energy & enjoyment in the present.

More time with people in real life.

More time listening.

More time tasting.

Less time on a phone.

So I thought it'd be fun to write a compilation of things I've enjoyed since the start of June. Many of the things you'll find below are created by some pretty cool people, many of whom I hold close to my heart. As you read, I hope you discover something new, something helpful, something fun, & leave feeling inspired.

To Taste:

Chimichurri by Oneandahalfslices - I had the privilege of helping Mel (the owner / creator of O&AHS but also just a wonderful human) plan & carry out a pretty cool event in Melbourne, Florida. A few days of delicious, local food, collage art, sourdough, sunsets, & spontaneity. Hopefully a first of many events to come.

Apricot and Olive Oil Cake by Cannelle et Vanille - I was lucky enough to get my hands on an absurd amount of apricots this year so I took Aran's recipe & made a few personal touches to it (more to come). If you haven't heard of her or tried her recipes, please take a look. Local to the Seattle area, her gluten-free baking is the muse for much of my baking.

For the Kitchen:

Fable Ceramics - I was gifted Fable's Little Bowls last year & loved them. Each piece is hand-crafted & beautifully made using recycled clay. I wanted to add to the collection so I purchased their Salad Plates & Cappuccino Mugs that I use almost daily.

Vessel Arts Co. - I recently took a trip to Banff, Alberta (it was beautiful) & before leaving, I stopped at a shop in hopes of finding a mug to bring home. I stumbled upon Lindsey's handmade mugs & knew I found the one. Although there are only a few products left in stock as she'll be on maternity leave soon, I had to highlight her work. It's thoughtfully created, simple yet stunning & was refreshing to see among the mass-produced gifts in town.

Bialetti Moka Express - Discovering different ways to make coffee is something I weirdly enjoy. While traveling abroad, I was introduced to Bialetti - an Italian company that has been making coffee makers & coffee products since 1933. Their original product was the Moka Express, created by Alfonso Bialetti (hence the name) & it's not your average way to make a cup of coffee... Someone gifted me an old Moka earlier this summer & I've treasured that thing ever since.

To Listen:

The Blue Rose Podcast - If you're looking for someone or something to motivate you, searching for a bit of wisdom, hoping to find a sounding board, or someone to simply relate to, this podcast is it. Created by one of my best friends, Becca, she shares her heart, her experiences (which are pretty cool), & words from other inspiring humans.

To Splurge:

Hailey Aitkin's Photography - Another dear friend & genius at what she does, Hailey is an incredible photographer based in the Seattle area (but not limited to it!). She travels nationally & internationally to thoughtfully capture photos that genuinely tell YOUR story. But more importantly, her goal is to make you feel seen, connected, & loved. She's the photographer behind my brand & the only one I'll ever go to <3

Range, Kara Duval Pilates - This gal is a gem. She has slowly helped me mend my relationship with movement, teaching me that moving is a gift, not a reason to punish yourself. She's helped me find new ways of moving that feel good, intuitive, & intentional.

Private Sessions with Lisa Messina - Another incredible person. Lisa is a Certified Relational Somatic & Trauma Trained Coach, as well as a movement specialist, skilled in Pilates, Yoga, Functional Conditioning, Mobility, & more. I sought out Lisa's work during a time when my emotional health really needed help. The last few years have been heavy on a physical & emotional level & I knew I needed to work on what was beneath the surface - something I couldn't do alone. My first session with Lisa blew me away. She guided me through a process that tapped into areas that were / are deeply conditioned in me. Every session since then has been nothing short of that same experience. If you're looking to talk with someone, have something weighing on you, or maybe you're unsure of what it is you're even feeling, Lisa is someone I very highly recommend.

To Try:

MadHippie Vitamin C Serum - Okay, a bit out of left field, but I wanted to include it as I've been on a journey to clear up my skin for the past 6+ months & this is one of the FEW products that I've visually see a difference with. My skin looks brighter & healthier almost instantly. While I know skin health is a representation of far more than what's on the surface, finding products that your skin doesn't react negatively to can be VERY challenging, especially if you have sensitive skin. After months of researching & testing, I found that this, alongside a moisturizer from Paula's Choice is a duo that my skin loves. Maybe I should write about the journey in another post because there is much more to say...

BIOptimizer's Masszyems - A company I merely loved, turned into a company I'm proudly a part of. As someone who's struggled with digestive issues for years, I'm always looking for ways to support my system. That said, I eat a lot of protein, & protein is arguably the most difficult macronutrient to break down, it requires a ton of energy from your body & ideally, a system that's operating top-notch. Digestive enzymes can certainly help break down protein & other macronutrients, but after trying MANY products, I never quite found one that noticeably made a difference. Until BIOptimizers. This blend was specifically created for the person who consumes a high-protein diet. It contains a high dose of proteases (enzymes to break down protein), far more than your average digestive enzyme, to break down proteins & limit the amount of undigested amino acids that can float around in our system - which is important to note as this is a HUGE contributor to leaky gut, systemic inflammation, autoimmunity, & more. I've tried way too many products out there & this is the only one that makes a real difference for me. Which is why I'm very excited to have a discount for you! Use code BTB10 & you'll get 10% off your next order!

To Read:

Happy Place by Emily Henry - Forever my favorite fiction author. If whitty romance is your thing, you'll love her books.

Atomic Habits by James Clear - I'm very late to the game on this one, but I finally dove in & I'd be remiss not to mention it. If you enjoy self-growth & habit formation, this book is for you.

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