Hippie beauty consultation

Sequoia Beauty products

Sequoia Beauty products

I just got schooled by local beauty indie darling Sequoia Beauty. I visit Laurel’s (owner) stand at the Lake Merritt farmers market every few months to replenish my supply of her fabulous organic facial serum. Every time I go back I try something new. This month I purchased the “purify & release” facial cleanser and the lovely “lavender lip healer” lip balm. Laurel always throws in personalized samples based on our convo, so this month I’m testing out the face and body “purity balm“. I’m sure once I reach the bottom of my little sample I’ll be back at Laurel’s stand in five or six Saturday’s to purchase the real thing (her samples stretch a long way, as do the regular sized bottles).

This month I actually took advantage of her free onsite beauty consultation. It’s winter, so my sensitive skin feels dry and allergies are acting up. I usually use the “nourish” facial serum, but I’m trying out the “anti-inflammatory serum” to combat the redness and dry patches. Here’s where I got my mind blown: during the consultation I told Laurel that I use Josie Maran SPF along with the serum for protection and extra moisture. She gave me this sideways look like she had something to say, but didn’t want to hurt my feelings. A slightly sweeter look than the appalling, embarrassed one someone gives you when a morsel of food is stuck in your teeth. She told me that contrary to what ill informed doctors, retailers, and beauty magazines say, most SPF (sun protection factor)¬†products have major toxins. Laurel’s research for Sequoia Beauty found one or two SPF products without toxins, but were harsh on skin. The raspberry seed in the “anti-inflamatory serum” is a natural SPF. I haven’t done the research myself, but Sequoia Beauty products have been good to me. I trust the advice of someone who actually grows the ingredients in her garden, brews and uses the products herself.

You can find this beauty indieDarling almost every Saturday at the Lake Merritt farmers market.


Weekend Wanderings #2


Beer shed at Jaded Toad

There’s room for good beer in wine country

My little hometown of Windsor has changed so much since I left in 2002. Some would say it’s been in a continual state of change. Windsor has grown from a predominantly migrant worker community to the posh little place it is today, “gateway to wine country”. The town has definitely grown to be more diverse, but I’m glad to say old Westside Windsor is still recognizable and is enduring wave after wave of change. The same families occupy their same neighborhoods. Some businesses have kept their same long standing shops, Pohley’s Market and the Red Door Barbershop (my father and brothers have been getting cut by Clarence for years).

The latest addition to Westside Windsor seems more like my grandmas backyard than a pub, keeping true to the simple nature of this side of town. The Jaded Toad just opened a few months ago and the owners are still planning unique additions like a “secret garden” for private parties complete with pond and waterfall. The open beer garden with fire pits and handcrafted taps won me over immediately. Please add this to your next Sonoma County wine country tour. I will certainly stop by every time I visit my pops and the family (who conveniently live down the street in my childhood home).

Great atmosphere, great people, but I will critique that the Jaded Toad need to make room on their taps for a Moonlight “Death and Taxes” handle. This unique beer garden needs a unique beer experience to make it a true indieDarling.

Eat, drink, love my indieDarlings


Feels like grandma’s backyard


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