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Posts tagged: Inspiration

Herbal Kitchen / Elderberry Syrup

Elderberries are ripe right now, and when they come in I absolutely love making a big batch of syrup to keep on hand. It is an easy and fun plant both to harvest and to make medicine with. Elderberries have been an important herb in folk medicine and were one of the sacred trees revered by the druids. They are most renowned for their immune boosting and flu/fever/cold fighting abilities. Other benefits include its high antioxidant activity to lower cholesterol, improve vision, heart health, respiratory health, tonsillitis, and bacterial and viral infections. Talk about a superfood!

What I most appreciate about elderberry medicine is that it works on the immune system to prevent illness, and also has the ability to shorten an illness once it's set in (I find most immune herbs work really well for preventing, but kinda leave you hanging if you don't start on them in time and get sick). As we approach Fall, I always get nervous about cold/flu season, and prefer to prevent & treat it naturally. Fortunately, nature is perfect and gives us ripe elderberries now to prepare us for the cold/immune-challenging months to come!  


This syrup will keep for months in the fridge. I made a gallon so I'd have plenty for my friends and family and my own household. If you're using fresh berries, you use a ratio of 1:1 water to berries, and 2:1 water to dried berries (dried elderberries are available here). As always, only forage fresh berries if you are 100% sure you've correctly identified the plant--safety first! Also, my friend Bear gave me the best tip ever for separating the ripe berries from the stem: Simply freeze the berries when you get them home, and the frozen berries will fall right off the stem with zero effort! SO GENIUS! Thanks, Bear! 

8 cups water

8 cups fresh elderberries 

1 cup elderflowers (I like to harvest some flowering tops when I harvest my berries, or you could also order these online dried)

4 lemons, sliced

1 ounce reishi*

1 ounce schizandra*

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Raw honey**

Add all ingredients except the honey in a large pot, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer the mixture for 45 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool to warm, strain, and stir in the raw honey to taste (expect to use anywhere from 1-3 cups honey). Bottle it in a sterile jar with a tight fitting lid, and store in the fridge. I like to take a shot in water everyday as an immune supporting elixir, but it is also delicious in mocktails, iced tea, smoothies, cocktails, and topping a glass of cava/champagne with. 

*I only added these 2 herbs as extra immune boosting support. They are totally optional, and sometimes less is more, ya know what I mean? Keep it simple, especially if it's your first time making it.

**It is important to use raw honey to preserve the shelf life of the syrup, and you do get added benefits form the raw honey. If you are vegan, substitute with your fave sweetener, and maybe start with a smaller batch recipe to experiment with the shelf life. 

Let me know how yours turns out!

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Smoke Sister / BOYFRIEND

It’s been a dream of mine to start a series showcasing ‘Smoke Sisters’--powerful, inspiring women. You know the type, those badass babes who just seem to have effortless style, but can get on your level. Someone I can look to for inspiration, but could just as easily pour my heart out to, or borrow those earrings from. The kind of gal who doesn’t engage in female competition, only support! Inspired by my own ‘sisters’ whom I’ve come to rely on so much in my adult life.

I can’t think of a better intro to this series than the artist Boyfriend, whom I recently collaborated with on a photo shoot and giveaway. Smoke Sister Boyfriend’s work is eclectic, sexy, unconventional, and just so powerful to watch. From the costumes to the lyrics, I’m a huge fan, and honored to call her a Smoke Sister!



Boyfriend, I just love your work. I love how you’re challenging gender and sexual norms, and it just seems like you’re filling a much-needed void in the rap/music world. How did you get to where you are now?

Can you share a bit about why you started, and your creative process?

I’ve always had things to say about femininity, sexuality, etc. I just decided to say them with a beat and a microphone. It’s much more useful than getting red-faced over dinner and shrugging my shoulders, growing bitter.

How did you develop your character? How did you land on this sort of swanky boudoir act that is so signature to your artistic expression?

Honestly comfort and convenience guided me here. I hate high heels, so I stopped performing in them. Now it’s slippers and barefoot. I’m most comfortable in my robe, so I decided to perform in it. I’d rather invite the audience into my dressing room than try to feel at home on an empty stage.

I’m a huge fan of anyone who pursues their dream full-time--which you are doing now, correct? How has being Boyfriend full-time affected your creative process? How do you handle any creative road blocks and stay inspired?

Being able to be myself full time has made this whole mission an infinitely easier process - I no longer have to worry about my identities clashing, about my students discovering who I am at night. I’m able to be my whole self all the time and that in itself is inspiring.

You’re a busy entrepreneur, brand ambassador, touring artist, and performer, how do you carve out time for your own wellbeing, self-care, and beauty? Are there any non negotiables when it comes to your self care?

Yes I am busy, so there are times when certain things fall by the wayside, and when they do, I insist on making them happen on stage. Shaving, for instance, is always first to go when I’m rushed, so I’ve just started doing it on stage to make sure it happens.

Are there any guiding principles/words of advice that help you stay focused and grounded?

Hot baths, long showers and sincere penance for the water usage. Now that I have your Rose Oil & Sugar Scrub the world is mine for the taking.

What’s an early scent or perfume memory?

Not long before my parents divorced, I recall my mother applying her CK One late at night. I asked if she was going out and she responded “No, sometimes you have to feel nice just for yourself.


Be sure to check out more sights and sounds / Visit imyourboyfriend.com


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