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What’s In My Bag with Nadine Joseph of Pretty Mushroom
 
What's in my bag with Nadine Joseph

Nadine Joseph is the founder of Pretty Mushroom, an herbal elixir blend company based in Seattle. Nadine reached out to me earlier this year and I was immediately taken with the transparency of sourcing with where she gets the herbs and mushrooms for Pretty Mushroom’s products. If you know me, you know that I have a deep love of mushrooms and that I also have a strong dislike of over harvesting and unethical standards, especially when it comes to shrooms. That is not the case with Pretty Mushroom however. Nadine is very upfront about where she sources her powders, which I LOVE and her elixirs taste amazing too. Both Connor and I have been putting a scoop into our coffee each morning and I’m so excited to start including these powders in my at home baking. So, I hope you enjoy the following article and look inside Nadine’s bag!

Spencre xx

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What we put in our bags says a lot about who we are and what we do - and I am no exception to this. A good portion of my day is spent doing magical marketing things for my company, Pretty Mushroom, on my office computer. But the part of me that has a deep love for the outdoors always leads me to spontaneously “disappear” on hiking trips throughout the week. Because of this tendency, you’ll see that my bag carries all the bare necessities that I need when I check out for a few hours, plus a few things that aren’t exactly “utilitarian”. I’ve been toting around an army green messenger bag for years. It isn’t pretty - it’s marred by various turmeric stains from leaky bottles and carries the crackly remnants of leaves and flowers that I’ve picked up from my various adventures. But, bringing along this bag is like carrying a little piece of home wherever I go and I love it.

Nadine Joseph

Nadine Joseph

Treasures

Treasures

So, here is what's inside: 

Library Book: One thing that shaped me growing up were weekly trips to the library. Pouring over books for hours inspired a sort of curiosity and appreciation for the world that I’m not so sure I could have gotten otherwise in the small town that I grew up in. I’m always reading, and my latest categorical obsession is ethnobotany, the study of the traditional knowledge and customs of people concerning plants and their medicinal uses. At my company Pretty Mushroom, we source herbs/mushrooms that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic practices for hundreds of years. Recently, I have been exploring ways to show appreciation and respect for the traditional roots of the herbs and mushrooms that we use in our blends. The wellness industry isn’t exactly diverse, and I feel like one important step towards diversification is recognizing the cultural background of the wellness practices that we have integrated into western wellness. 

Badger Lavender and Bergamot Sleep Balm: My dad used to keep a tin of this in his bedside drawer, and I have fond memories of taking it out, opening the tin, and giving it a good whiff because it smelled so relaxing. Now, I use it to moisturize my hands and lips, particularly in the winter. The soothing aroma of lavender and bergamot instantly makes me feel at home, no matter where I am. 

Book by Mary Oliver: Mary Oliver’s words are a salve to me; reading her poetry often has as calming of an effect as a warm mushroom latte. Her poetry and prose combine a mindful spirituality with a deep appreciation and love for nature. I have an anxiety riddled, type “A” personality that can be both a blessing and a curse. When I feel overwhelmed, taking out one of Oliver’s books and reading always quiets my mind - kind of  like a meditation. 

Felix Gray Glasses: These glasses filter out harmful blue light from my computer screen, eliminating the eye strain and headaches I used to get. I have never been a personal fan of social media/screen time, and I have mixed feelings about the fact that so much of my time as a wellness entrepreneur is spent behind a screen. The discussion of social media/technology and its effects on our bodies is probably best saved for another time, but while I find a balance that works for me, these blue light filtering glasses ensure that my eyes stay protected. 

Bobble Water Bottle: I carry a fierce fondness for this water bottle that is a result of me having it since I was 12 years old. On the days that I forget it at home, I feel like something is missing. For me, hydrating regularly while I am on the go is a die hard habit.

Dog Toys: I have a super wiggly and loyal chocolate lab named Cora. She goes with me almost everywhere, especially on my random hikes. Whenever I’m stuck in a creative rut or have had a long day working, I’ll always find myself taking Cora to the park.  I’ll throw this tennis ball with her a few times to play fetch. 

Nadine’s pup, Cora

Nadine’s pup, Cora

Happy Mushroom Blend: When I decide to work on my laptop at a cafe or juice bar, I will often mix this in with whatever drink I get. This blend protects against stress, reduces fatigue, and increases overall well-being. Oftentimes, I mix this in with chai lattes and coffee - it adds a tinge of chocolatey goodness to whatever I happen to order *and* I get all those adaptogenic benefits. 

Happy Mushroom Blend! Click photo to read more about the product

Happy Mushroom Blend! Click photo to read more about the product

Sunscreen: I grew up in Florida - the good old sunshine state. I have fond memories of my dad always reminding me “Did you put sunscreen on?” It’s a habit that never quite stuck with me - sunscreen has alway felt so greasy on my skin. Lately, I have been keeping this in my bag so that (hopefully) I’ll remember to slather some on. I’m trying, Dad! 

Gin Gins Ginger Chews- These are a lifelong obsession of mine. I love the combination of flavors - sharp ginger and sweetness. Their company also has sustainable farming practices and have made efforts towards more sustainable packaging. I love them all around!

A bottle of Lemon Turmeric Tonic: I make a large batch of this every weekend and it’s a zingy on-the-go drink that leaves me feeling refreshed. The Pretty Mushroom blend in this tonic recipe vanquished the itchy raw patches of eczema that I have been battling since before I can remember. I tried seemingly every potion and salve out there to get rid of it, but what ended up doing the trick was a combination of diet changes and some anti-inflammatory adaptogenic herbs/mushrooms. I combined all of these into our Pretty Mushroom blend, which contains a high curcumin content turmeric that is potently anti-inflammatory. It never fails to kick my eczema’s butt! The blend also consists of rose hips and astragalus for protection against hyperpigmentation, photoaging, and wrinkles. I drink this tonic throughout the day, everyday. If my body feels a bit off balance or if I’m on my monthly cycle, I’ll add some grated ginger to the mix for its potent anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects. 

- Lemon Turmeric Tonic Recipe -

1/2 c Unsweetened Sparkling Water
Juice from 1 Lemon
1 tsp Pretty Mushroom Blend
1 tsp Maple Syrup
Juice from 1 Orange (½ cup OJ)
Optional: 2 tbsp grated ginger

(1 Serving)


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My Pronouns: Her/She

Website: PrettyMushroom.com

Company Instagram: @ItsPrettyMushroom

Personal Instagram: @ItsaNadine

Nadine Joseph is the co-founder of Pretty Mushroom, a line of adaptogenic blends that enhance beauty, mood, and mind. With a background in neuroscience research, she created Pretty Mushroom as a way to simplify the oftentimes confusing world of adaptogens into something inclusive, approachable, and science-backed. Keep up with Nadine on Instagram here.


 
What's in My Bag with Emily Prentice
What's in my Bag with Emily Prentice
What's in my Bag with Emily Prentice

Have you seen Emily Prentice’s work? If not, you’re truly missing out. Emily makes some of the most beautiful and unique zines I’ve ever seen and her fiber art is on another level. I’m constantly in awe of her creativity so I stoked to see what she would come up with for her What’s in my Bag post. Emily did not disappoint (did you see that illustration?!?) and I’m excited to share this post with you.

Spencre xo

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What’s in My Bag?? My bag is GIANT and pretty beat up and also constantly dirty. While it isn’t the most picture-perfect choice, I opted for honesty over aesthetics! I’m an object in pretty constant motion, and my bag helps me haul a little bit of home with me where ever I might land. I take medicinal teas and tinctures in the AM/PM whenever I do end up back in my own kitchen, so most of the things I carry with me are for energetic support throughout the day. As an artist, I’m constantly finding inspiration in the natural world. I pick up all sorts of flowers, leaves, and detritus to turn into fiber art, zines, or inks. What finds its way into my bag throughout the course of the day is sometimes more interesting than what I started out with! It’s ever changing and a constant source of inspiration.

What's in my Bag with Emily Prentice

1) Moderation is a Memory tincture by Sarah M. Chappell: This alcohol-free tincture is

designed to help support reduced alcohol consumption. Over the past 18 months, I’ve

been doing some major self-work regarding my addiction, boundary, and moderation

issues. I took a reevaluation year where I spent 6 months sober and 6 months drinking

again after, and on the other side of that, I chose to not drink anymore. This particular

remedy has been a lifesaver as I’m working through the ancestral, childhood, and

personal baggage that lead me to these destructive patterns. Sarah is doing some divine

work and the healing she facilitates around recovery is something I can’t say enough

good things about.

PS I still use alcohol-based tinctures and essences and don’t personally feel like that

compromises my sobriety or my sober identity –- This choice is different for everyone! If more

alcohol-free options existed, though, I would almost certainly use them. It’s a privilege that

these don’t trigger any negative emotions or actions in me, and It’s something I’m really

grateful for. Some advice for sober herby folks in the same boat: Move towards energetic

remedies that you can use around your body instead of internally. Switch from tinctures to

teas. Invest in your own education! Take a class or find a mentor or buy great zines (like

Spencre’s!) and learn to make your own medicine.

What's in my Bag with Emily Prentice
What's in my Bag with Emily Prentice

2) Saturn Return Supplies: I carry Sister Spinster’s Saturn Return essence with me

everywhere. This formula makes me want to ROOT, and I drop some in areas where I

want to a create safe space I can keep returning to (a room, a chair, my shoes, the

bathtub). This is a necessity for an anxiety riddled, Saturn returning, water sign

overloaded person like myself.

The Saturn Return ring by Soleé Darrell is on my body every single day. I joke that it’s the

“source of my power,” but no kidding, it actually is. I feel strong with this ring on.

3) New Moon Potion by Dori Midnight x Modern Women: I think of this as my perpetual

beginner potion. I’m always most interested in the beginnings of things, a generally

positive trait that has a couple downsides, namely losing interested or biting off more

than I can chew. I use this essence to invoke that beginner energy when I’m in the

middle of a task. It keeps me from stagnating. I usually put it on my hands, because I

work with them in my art practice. I also slathered this all over my quilting machine

when I got it. A spell for constant inspiration and experimentation!

What's in my Bag with Emily Prentice
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4) A Book or Zine: I never leave home without one, and this practice has singlehandedly

stopped me from incessantly scrolling on my phone! Pictured here is the first volume of

Electric Dirt by Queer Appalachia. As a queer Appalachian, I couldn’t pass up the chance

to mention this incredible organization/zine/Instagram/recovery program, and more.

Queer Appalachia elevates diverse narratives around the Appalachian region.

Appalachians tend to get homogenized and stereotyped in a negative/reductive way (a rant for another time!). This is just to say: people with a limited connection to Appalachia – get your hands on this zine and prepare for your mind to be blown.

One of Emily’s fiber zines

One of Emily’s fiber zines

5) Reusable Everything: I try to carry a stainless steel straw, a cloth napkin, and a reusable

water bottle with me at all times! Coming back to Appalachia for a second: I have very

tangible experience with the ways in which people are sacrificed for commodities. Our

mountains have been decimated for coal. Our water is in jeopardy for the sake of

natural gas pipelines. Our people are often sick, and sometimes they are poor and

addicted. The politics of extraction industries in WV are too complicated to really

unpack in this space, but these patterns all tie together. And because of this, we are all

very aware of the repercussions of our collective comfort. Minimizing my footprint is a

high priority for me, and that translates into my clothes, my food, my transportation,

and my collection of reusable straws.

6) A notebook and pens: you never know when you’re gonna need them.

Emily

Emily

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Emily Prentice (She/Her) is a forever novice, a devotee to beginnings, and the Zine Queen of

Randolph County. Her work focuses on the meeting place of the natural and the supernatural

(the ways in which we are of this earth and beyond it) and it exists in the form of quilts, zines,

drawing, and teaching. Emily’s teaching practice is in her home, in the local quilt shop, and

wherever you are.

Find Emily online at emilyprentice.com on Instagram @_emily_prentice_ and on twitter @emilyprentice42 

All photos belong to Emily