Friday Feels 26

A conversation with two of my favorite women (episode no. 1).

The most flattering swimsuit.

An inspiring memoir that I couldn’t put down.

This foam rolling practice.

Gearing up for the epic gem show next week.

This gorgeous new cookbook.

Planning something relaxing here soon.

The sandals I’m never taking off.

My winter mix on repeat.

The cutest little hotel in Palm Springs.




Interview x Summer Sanders

Summer Sanders x Ashley Neese

Last February Nic and I drove up to Sedona after the Tuscon gem show to see the red rocks and visit this epic cold pressed juice bar I kept hearing about, Local Juicery. I had been following Summer Sanders on Instagram, the creator behind this organic kitchen and juice cafe and couldn’t wait to pop in and try her creations.

Suffice it to say Local Juicery produces some of the most delicious and perfectly balanced juices and nut milks I’ve ever had. I was blown away by the beauty of the cafe, the friendliness of the staff, the quality of their drinks and the down to earth kindness of Summer herself. We had such an incredible experience there that I couldn’t wait to feature Summer here on the journal.

Summer Sanders is the owner and co-founder of Local Juicery as well as an author and mama living in Sedona Arizona. Her new book Raw and Radiant just came out this year and it is full of gorgeous photos, inspiring meals and loads of Summer’s tried and true recipes. In our interview Summer shares her keys for a loving partnership, how she navigates self care, moving through her biggest insecurity and her go-to almond milk recipe that you’re going to want to make right away.


You have a such a beautiful, full life with a thriving business, partner, and child. How to do navigate everything on your plate?
Thank you, I feel very grateful for it all, for the opportunity to be creative in my work, to be around my husband daily and to spend time with the coolest kid I know! It is a lot to navigate and admittedly, I’m not the best planner. I’ve really had to stretch myself and learn to organize my life so I don’t waste time. When you have a child, every moment is that much more precious because you can feel the brevity of it all. So to answer, I organize and prioritize as best as I can and I try to take it easy on myself. I try to show up and do the best that I can is each moment.

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Communing with Nature

Communing With Nature x Ashley Neese

This is the third post in my 2018 intention series.

As I sit here in my healing space typing out this post I glance up two inches from the top of the computer screen to connect with the array of minerals on the untreated pine shelf that I had built last summer. Taking moments to acknowledge some aspect of the natural world throughout my non-client work days, when I’m mostly in front of the computer writing are essential.

The practice of pausing and looking at the minerals on the wooden shelf is incredibly humbling. Even if I just take one minute to steady my breath and soften my gaze, I can feel the tension in my back from sitting in front of the computer melt away and I am left in awe of the history contained in those natural elements. I find that history grounding and reassuring. I also find it speaking to my spirit, reminding me that so much beauty and wonder can come from patience.

I’ve had an affinity for natural elements since I can remember. I spent a great deal of time outside as a child exploring, tasting, touching, observing plants, animals and minerals that crossed my path. I remember one summer at our nanny’s house spending hours in the honeysuckle bushes. She taught us how to gently pick the flowers, pinch off the little green part at the bottom and then very carefully pull on the “string”, as we called it (I’m sure there is an actual scientific name for this), until the drop of nectar appeared at which point we would rush it into our mouths. Oh it was glorious! To this day every time I smell honeysuckle I am teleported back to those long summer days and a huge smile beams from my face.

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Putting My Body First

Putting My Body First x Ashley Neese

This is the second post in my 2018 intention series.

Out of all of my intentions this year, the desire to put my body first is at the top of my list. In a way, this intention encompasses all of the others and is the driving force behind everything from slowing down, to spending more time in nature, to simplifying all facets of my life.

Using my body as a compass is something I’ve been able to do since I can remember. I’ve always had a direct connection to sensation and felt experience. As a child I literally felt the world around me, the environment, the people, plants, energy, and animals. I developed a strong connection to minerals, the woods behind our home, and was able to sense even the most subtle emotional and energetic cues from the people around me.

I am grateful that I was fortunate enough to be educated in my early years in an incredible Montessori school in the woods where my unique gifts were encouraged and supported. My brother and I also had a woman who took care of us who was in many ways, the reason I chose to be a creative space holder in this life.

I was very lucky to get involved with ballet at a young age. Between the dance lessons, attending a highly imaginative school, and having all of that creativity reinforced by a woman who was genuinely invested in supporting my brother and I, the foundation had been set for a baseline of feeling safe and at home in my body. I took risks even when I was scared, I felt for others without absorbing their emotions, I enjoyed the process more than the destination, and I explored myself and the world with an open heart and a curious mind.

As I got older and life got hectic as it tends to for many of us, I started to have a tough time navigating my openness in a world that shamed me to close and in a family that while they loved and nurtured me as best they could, had a difficult time understanding the depth of my empathy and sensitivity. It was around this time that I went through those awkward coming of age years that made me want to disappear in a way I hadn’t yet experienced that would stay with me for years to come.

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Diving Deeper: The Container of A Retreat

Spring Breathwork Retreat x Ashley Neese

I attended my first spiritual retreat nearly ten years ago. It was in the middle of winter on a off the grid property in Oregon. The retreat was centered around meditation and recovery. At that time I had been sober and meditating for six years and was seeking an experience to support deepening my practices. I had been studying meditation formally in the Zen tradition and while this wasn’t a Zen retreat, it was an opportunity to unplug from my daily life and immerse myself in nature, practice, and community.

For thousands of years spiritual seekers have taken time away from their everyday lives to attend to their inner work. Whether it’s an annual pilgrimage to the Holy City, a coming of age vision quest, or a ten day silent retreat in the woods, setting aside this time to go within, away from home is essential.

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