Saturday, 23 September 2017

What have you been up to?

Hello everyone, and to whoever is reading this blog!

I got really excited today, as a friend told me that she read all my posts and she misses me on the blog.. wow, somebody interested in what I write, lol it made me happy and motivated me to write a new one tonight.. currently 22:46 in London UK, a chilled September night.

Belladonna and I 
I would love to hear from you, maybe you are a bit shy and don't want to interact, but a little comment or a heart or any form of contact between us that shows that we are human beings even behind a screen will be lovely and much appreciated.

So, I have been doing a lot lately, from pursuing my dreams, to work in the garden, looking after my home plants family, and trying to find even more local and small suppliers for my business, a website is under construction and changes, changes, changes.
This is what Autumn brings right? Changes? To shed and let go of what we no longer need, cover everything with Earth and let everything start anew, in a new shape or form.
Uva looking at the Lemon balm 

I have been constantly challenged, but I know I'm doing the right thing, or even better, I know what I'm doing! I spent many years looking for answers that never came, trying to acquire knowledge, devour books, follow many different paths and get super confused. Now I know that If I stick with Nature and I do anything as raw and in tune is possible, I m on he right path. I often ask my self, before any actions or whenever I can remember, if what I m doing will benefit me, or the entire community and Nature. And I discovered that I used to do many things just for myself and by myself, being a lone wolf, but actually when I'm in Nature, and I see how everything works so well in Unity, I really make an effort to take example from it and behave accordingly with humans.
People just want one thing and that is to be loved, nobody wants to be all alone. NOBODY. So I do think that before my persona wants to be right in an argument, or wants to make a point of something, I stop and think.. wait a minute, I don't know this person story, I don't know what they have been through, I can feel that what they express in anger is just a battle against themselves. A fight is only a cry out loud for help. They feel this disconnection and this genetically modified way of living, they just don't know what to do, they don't have a safe environment, or an instrument that explains what is  really happening to them.

I have stopped wanting  to be right, getting upset for the most frivolous things. is such a waste of energy and is reflected in your skin. It shapes you in ways that you can't control, In reality you can't control anything.

Night night sweet followers and I wish you have dreams that smells like honey <3

Friday, 25 August 2017

What is Lu's hands ?

Beautiful Mullein (Verbascum) from the garden where I work 

Today I was gardening all day, when in Nature I get really inspired, I was inspired to write about Lu's hands, my shop, before you get all wrong ideas I would like you to get to know me better. It's strange but behind this computer there is a human being, who makes tons of spelling mistakes because English is not her first language, she really, really would like you to know her for what she really is, not what media wants you to think, she wants you to feel what she wants to transmit to you.

So, What is Lu's hands?

 I'm still figuring out what Lu's hands really is, at the moment it is a constant flowing of creative ideas that involves my love and devotion towards holistic living and the plant world.
I express myself in an online Etsy shop (link is on your right), which I m still debating wether I should keep it open or not. It's quite a personal journey with this shop, It's very intimate to me and sometimes I feel as if I'm scared that it will become my main form of income. As crazy as it sounds at the moment, I'm happy it isn't, because I do things in a certain way, Is my form of expression and i can't always do it. Maybe I'm scared that If  my shop gets bigger, I will be just one of the thousand companies that rip off the planet of it's nutrients. And I don't want that. I turned off a couple of people wanted to invest in me because of this, I want to have full control on what type of ingredients are in each and everyone of my products. This, I can only do it If I have a physical shop and a very small online one lol. I buy ethical ingredients in small batches, I make pretty much everything from tinctures to salves, flower essences to perfumes, all exclusively handmade and organic.

I found a five leaved clover today!
 I started selling it as my friends and family thought I had a talent lol, and being really bad at  pretty much everything else, I was happy to find something I knew how to do, and it came naturally. As my relationship with the plants grew my concern about sustainability started to hit me harder,  is pulsating everyday, how can I do it? where should I buy my ingredients from ? How can I really trust that is organic? What does it mean organic? Is it produced or harvested in a sustainable way? Who made it? And with what type of intentions? I'm trying to discover all of that, asking this questions every time I purchase an herb, or a carrier oil, and I think this is the purpose of this blog too, trying and live responsibly, do something I love without forgetting why I started all of this. Never bend to capitalism, instead try to educate, mend, heal, reform.

How much I love this cyclamens!!!

I don't sell everything I make for my personal use in my shop, I do have a specific range that I keep there to give people an idea, where I m sure I can provide the ingredients that match my standards. I do make my products only when I m in the mood, and according to the moon phases, Is just easier if you work with natural, pure ingredients, to use the old ways of doing things, it feels more natural and all starts to have a flow, and If you don't do it then doesn't come out right, in my experience. Try it for yourself if you have doubts! I do tend to make things intuitively, and most of the times I don't write anything down. Very bad! Please if you do create a concoction, write the recipe first thing, I m still remembering my first incense, It was the best smell on the planet, and totally forgot some of the ingredients that were in it.

Rose is my religion, always has been, I do added to pretty much almost everything I make to give the support, I can't live without it's medicine, and she is every woman best friend! 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Foraged Blackberries coconut Plum cakes

Today I woke up with a sweet tooth,, and I decided to make muffins, bare in mind that I'm not very good at making desserts, I can only really make crostata ( which is a type of fruit tart in italian), muffins, and raw chocolates truffles. 

I have to follow the recipes very carefully, but normally I'm only really up to extremely simple recipes, firstly because there are easy to follow,  for somebody some how mediocre at desserts like me, and secondly, I can't really be bothered to ingest all of this strange ingredients I can't even pronounce, I have the same rule for my skin, really basic and I like it. 

So,  I recently bought coconut flour to try out, again, I don't even know why I bought it, because  I would't know what to do with it unless is a face scrub or something, but this lovely brand and package, called 'Coconut merchant' had a lovely and easy recipe at the back, without any crazy ingredient that you need to get from some faraway lands, apart from the coconut I guess! It's raw organic, and the place where I bought it from and where I buy my coconut oil, is quite a respectable small ethical shop.
decorated with lavender and rose buds

The recipe called for 6 eggs which i found quite extreme for some muffins, but then Johnny told me that coconut flower need a lot of moisture, ( Johnny is my husband, and also an amazing chef).
I slightly changed the chocolate chip for blackberries foraged by me yesterday and local borage honey for coconut syrup. Oh sorry. I called plumcakes not because it's made with plums but for it's shape. I didn't have muffin shapes and is an Italian way of calling a cake who has this shape, make us feel exotic in a way.

So here we go:

- 6 eggs Organic and from your local farmer market. ( If you eat eggs and you live in a city, you have no excuse, there are farmers market, with happy chickens even in the industrial City of London) 

- 6 tbs coconut syrup or Honey ( same discussion for the honey, local from your area and supporting the bees, I used a local borage honey within 100 miles maximum distance from where I live).

- 6 tbs of melted coconut oil

- 1/4 tsp of sea salt

- 75 grams of coconut flour

- chocolate chip to taste ( I used blackberries, about two in each muffin but I wish  I had put more they were delish)!

mix the dry ingredient and set them aside, in another bowl beat the eggs, then add the coconut oil, the honey or syrup then add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and TADAAAA, ready to incorporate the blackberries or choc chips at this time. 
For a vegan version, I haven't tried it yet, but I defiantly will, you can substitute 1 to 1/2 mashed bananas for each egg, and more oil,  in which case i would also use the  choc chips instead. 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017


I had the most enchanting day today, I went to recharge my batteries in Nature, In a place that is very special and dear to me. I took my foraging basket looking for elderberries and off I went..
Although I was really tempted to get some from an Elder Tree that grows two minutes from my place, next to the entrance of a big supermarket.. thinking, is there anyway, breathing the same air i breathe, it's roots on the same soil that my roots are, pouring with berries that nobodies wants or pays attention even. I had to hold that thought has I don't trust supermarkets.
The  greatness of this tree.. The  fact that it's called Elder Tree makes me want to treat it with respect and when I walk past, on my way to work every day I say hello. 

But then I decided to continue my walk and get to my intimate space, Is probably not only my own intimate space, but I like to think that I am the only person living in London who goes there, makes it more special. 
I started to walk around, saying hello, weaving my hand, touching, stroking, breathing in, feeling alive. As if I entered at a family gathering, where you know everyone but you haven't seen them in a while and they have really missed you and you have really missed them. 
I was so happy walking around noticing how autumn is almost here, even if we are in August! I was welcomed my Bittersweet nightshade ( solanum dulcamara) and how ironic they were growing entangled and embraced with the blackberries, poison and edible, death and life. It made me think, meditate on the message that Nature has for us, a way of doing things that goes above this polarities, in a safe place where peace lives. 

Then Johnny discovered a very large patch of red clover, how wonderful! To see all this pink richness and purity popping up like jumping starry lights, how happy this flower look, what energy boost it gave me just standing there contemplating it's magic.  On my knees I was studying it from close, and then the real magic started.. 
After the red clover surprise,  the plants started to connect with each other and they informed every plant in the place, at their social gathering, that there is a plant nerd about! They tested me to see if I was safe for them, then, after I passed the test ( It varies all the time, sometimes I don't pass it) they showed me the way.. 

Self heal ( prunella vulgaris) appeared, fireweed ( chamerion angustifolium), yarrow ( achillea millefolium), and more blackberries. I was completely commanded by the plants, I let them transport me wherever they desired, then a crab apple tree appeared, and an elderberries with no berries appeared, small inhabitants of the place came  before me, eating them all,  but that's ok! My reward was the abundance of medicinal plants that  decided to show themselves to me, and I got to know them in person what a delight!

Monday, 21 August 2017

In Nature nobody is alone

Mullein coming back from the ball..
I had a wonderful day at the Chelsea Physics garden yesterday. I really like to go there, as I  think that particular place is very healing and intimate. You have a lots of time to spend with each plant, is very cute and has been there since 1673. It started as an apothecary garden, with a purpose to train apprentices in the identification and use of medicinal plants. It's still a medicinal garden and you can walk around there feeling like you are going back on time, it holds a special energy and is near the Thames, a river I find quite interesting energetically.

Sweet peas 'painted lady' Delicate pleasures..

The first thing I thought when I got there for the first time was, why do I not know how to draw?! Because, It would have been an absolute dream spot for a botanical artist to get there and get inspired. 
I feel there is so much that nature can offer if we connect to her. It's so important to know what plants grow around you, what help they can give you, what help you can give them. Volunteering in a communal garden, support your bio region, the  bees, are just a few of the things you can do to exchange what plants give you, which,  if you don't know, just close your eyes for one moment, breathe in..breathe out.. did it feel nice? You are doing that thanks to plants. You won't be able to do that alone. Is like discovering that the world you live in has many  more friends and  you feel that you are not alone.

anemone Forsaken..

 I often feel like the world would be a much better place if people took nature example, I'm amazed when I look at how everything works in perfect harmony when I am in nature, everything exists, poison, death, decay, life, food, motherhood.. There is no deviation or judgement, nobody is pointing a finger against the Belladonna because is poisonous and grows near edible blackberries. They all have become someone ONE, and can live together. I love that, and I wish humans could do that in the right environment.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The melting of the heart

anemone hupehensis var. japonica ( Forsaken)..

The melting process of my heart of ice continued, my connection with the natural world became the only important thing for me, and i was looking for ways to express my creativity. I wanted to do something that  included plants, I wasn't sure what exactly. 
I continued wandering around city parks, pressing flowers in my books, taking notes depending on the seasons. 
I was never really good at drawing, but I dried and pressed so much flora in my books because of it. The same shape and color they brought into my life I was trying to transfer it in a big Herbarium I still use.
I dried every possible thing, from Passion flowers to Lily of the Valley, Protea and Periwinkle, and lots and lots of roses, which are my biggest passion.
rosa centifolia  (Love)..

On the side I started to do some personal research, and read a lots of books, from herbalism  to natural skin care, ( I will mention some of my favorite in a next post) trying out recipes at home. Mistakes after mistakes, having a messy kitchen on a daily basis, with endless dishes to wash, I started to get it right, and slowly slowly I introduced  it to my personal skin care routine.
I didn't think for one moment that anyone would be interested in my concoctions, I was very happy just knowing that I knew exactly what I was putting on my skin, I wasn't using any plastic, and I recycled most of my glass jars. And I f you are just starting out I give you the advice to never lose the love for what you do, if you can't sell it, anything that you do and brings you joy, and you make it from your heart should make you feel good, regardless if you are selling it or not. Simply the fact that you have an interest and you care about what you do, and you do it out of love is enough. And very special indeed. It is the disconnected society that we live in that makes us think what we should and shouldn't do, how much we should sell, making us feel unworthy and competitive with other people. I almost fell in that black hole of marketing and social media distress, But after a few months I have discovered that the most important thing in an heart centered business is not too lose the love you have for what you do, and that, trust me you have it even if you don't sell anything. The only fact that you have something like that,  makes you unique and special. The impact on the planet, (and that includes us and our bodies too) by the  skincare industry is devastating, I certainly don't want to contribute to that! So on the positive note, If you don't sell enough it's a good thing :) you are doing nature a favor. 
some of the Lu's hands products

There are many ways you can contribute to the world and the Earth if you consider it like it is your baby, there are many things you can do connecting with the right people. You won't even have certain thoughts If you felt love all around you,  in a safe environment, embracing you like a uterus.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

How did I begin ?

It's so nice to be able to dedicate an entire blog to my biggest passion..Nature!
It's quite a contradiction that I live in one of the largest city in the world, London.
Never mind though, let's go back in time and see how I started my journey with my heart centered natural skincare business Lu's hands.

I moved to London after some  insightful but very crazy years, that I spent travelling around the world, in November 2010. I didn't really know what to predict from this place, I came here without any expectations, although deep inside myself, I did give London the responsibility to put all the pieces of my soul back together, they were so many of them, scattered all over.
Never really been passionate for anything, I was quite a sedated, passive average girl without passion for life and it's gifts.
Nothing really impressed me, not because I felt somehow superior, but it came from the lack of interest I had for life. (I remember I would walk on my own for hours, go to one place to another, looking for something somehow spiritual, Like it was a lost object or something that you once hold dear. Empty handed, I would come back to my shared home,  throw myself on the bed, looking at the ceiling, waiting to be hungry or for a phone call or anything,  that could satisfy the insatiable feeling I had in my stomach.

Since I can remember, even when I wasn't really the happiest of creatures, ( I'm glad these times are now part of the past) I had a vast curiosity towards the natural world. I was a spectator of how everything worked together in perfect harmony, in the plant and animal kingdom. It refreshed me to go for a walk in the city parks, getting lost in the scent of the seasons,  listening to the birds sing.
I made friends with all the  scare crows and squirrels, the carps in the public fountains, the Robins, and of course the plants.
I started to get excited, and feel a sort of emotion inside, have real feelings inside and my heart of ice started to melt.

What have you been up to?

Hello everyone, and to whoever is reading this blog! I got really excited today, as a friend told me that she read all my posts and she mi...