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As they say, “Another year older, another year wiser,” and somehow it seems that this cliché truly manifests itself perfectly in our own Rachel: budding party planner and entrepreneur of awesomeness. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for myself.

How else can Rachel be described other than simply hilarious, and she makes turning 22 look like a walk in the park (even though we all know she is secretly suffering from a quarter-life crisis). This crisis was strategically averted thanks to Maddy’s quick thinking when she scheduled a “Very Important Meeting” last Thursday.

This secretive “Very Important Meeting” quickly triggered my inventive and often untamable imagination to swirl out of proportion. I spent the majority of Wednesday telling everyone I encountered (strangers in the elevator not exempt) of my soon to be celebrity status as I was about to be told that I am to be featured on the next episode of the “Oprah Winfrey Show”, or at least given an interview on her XM radio show. Convinced that the Love Grown name had gotten into the hands of this “Diva of Daytime”, I mentally prepared myself to be bombarded by cameras as I walked into work on Thursday.

As I got to the office that fabled Thursday afternoon, everything seemed like business as usual and I was rather taken aback by the lack of flashing lights and, more importantly, lack of Oprah. I hesitantly sat at my desk, awaiting the commencement of the “Very Important Meeting”, and commencement of my super-stardom. As meeting time rolled around, we all assembled ourselves into the conference room. Crossing my fingers that the florescent light was not washing out my already pasty Irish complexion (a terrible look for a soon to be on camera star), Maddy, Alex, and Jason strolled into the conference room, adorned with wide smiles and a plate full of Funfetti cupcakes. As rounds of “Happy Birthday” begin to erupt in the small office, my dreams of getting to meet the legend that is Oprah Winfrey quickly diminished, but thankfully for everyone else, I tend to have a quick recovery time on life changingly traumatic situations. I helped myself to a cupcake and congratulated Rachel on her birth. Hooray for Rachel!

As if the cupcake wasn’t enough to raise my spirits, we got the new love t-shirts delivered today. Three cheers for LOVE! Thank goodness we are all so good looking. Tyra Banks should definitely put us on the next season of “America’s Next Top Model”. That is the last daytime television reference of the blog post. I promise.

Alex, Rachel, and Steven lookin' schnazzy in their new t-shirts!

Lots of Love,

Laura

embracing winter

Winter’s harsh weather can pull us down both physically and mentally. Rather than dreading this time of year, harness it and enjoy the shorter days, the stillness of the sleeping earth and reflect your surroundings. Allow yourself to rest and rejuvenate. Slow down. 

My teacher put it best when he explained, “..the greatest lights of the heavens come into the greatest bowls of the earth—when the trees and plants retreat deep into the roots in winter, they also touch upon the destiny given to them…” The flowers retreat into their origin where they regain the energy needed to push through the surface of the earth and blossom in the spring.

In Chinese Medicine the winter is characterized by water. During this time, water is not raging veraciously through the canyon, rather it is still and silent. We often become absorbed with the holidays and the rush of starting off the New Year with a bang, but really we should take time to emulate the earth. Here are some easy tips to embrace this powerful season of rejuvination:

-Calm your mind. Before going to bed take 5 deep inhalations/exhalations. This can release tension from the day and also prepared the body to rest.

-Sleep 8 hours a night

-Sip on tea (choose blends that contain ginger, cinnamon, or even a hint of cayenne for some extra warmth)

-Stay hydrated (inside and out). Drink lots of water and hydrate your skin with lotion or oil.

-Eat with the season. Enjoy roasted root vegetables, whole grains, soups and stews. Use the 80:20 ratio…80% of your plate should be cooked veggies/warming foods this time of year and only 20% should be raw.

-Bundle Up. Heat quickly escapes through our heads, feet and hands. When you are heading out wrap up with a scarf, hat, mittens and warm boots.

This morning we brought LOADS OF LOVE to the children and families of the Ronald McDonald House! We launched a Winter campaign where each new fan/follower on facebook and twitter was the equivalent to one bag of LOVE which we would donate to the Ronald McDonald House! We were able to donate 375 bags and also brought in breakfast to serve!

It was so touching to know that we were making a difference. This is truly an amazing organization that we were honored to support. During hard times, we often neglect ourselves and finding healthy, delicious foods that are easy to grab-and-go and filling is not easy. We are thrilled to leave loads of LOVE for all the families and children! HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR AMAZING FANS WHO HELPED US WITH THIS WONDERFUL LOVE-DRIVE! Be sure to check out all the photos from this incredible morning on facebook!

Our thoughts and prayers are with those at the Ronald McDonald House

Prior to the launch of Love Grown Foods, I had differed from a graduate program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. When Love Grown Foods went statewide, I realized that I had to make a choice between higher education or the opportunity to build our company. Clearly I chose the risk of running with the growth of the Love Grown. Nonetheless, I have a deep connection to San Francisco and at some point Alex and I want to live there.

This city is AMAZING! I escaped from the chaos of the Love Grown Headquarters for a couple days to attend the Winter Fancy Food Show and thought I had died and went to Foodie Heaven! From all the amazing foods at the show, to the fabulous, fresh meals enjoyed while I was there…my taste buds were overloaded with flavors!

The show was truly amazing. Every specialty food I had heard of (plus so many more) lined the aisles of the Moscone Center giving away sample after sample of delectables! I always knew I was a foodie–I remember making gourmet breakfasts for my family when I still needed a stool to reach the counter–but I never realized how my life path lead me right into the world of foodies. From creamy cheeses to rich chocolates and savory olive oils my heart danced inside my chest.

The show was remarkable! And then to be in San Francisco on top of it was FABULOUS! The Ferry Building was of course an obvious destination…the smell of the salt water, the gray sky, and two of my dearest friends made this adventure a sheer delight.

There is something about this incredible city that sweeps me off my feet. I couldn’t agree more with  Tony Bennett… I LEFT MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO:

“I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me.
To be where little cable cars
Climb halfway to the stars!
The morning fog may chill the air
I don’t care!
My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco,
Your golden sun will shine for me!”

First Day of Work Jitters?

Laura’s “love”ly first day

There comes a time in every 20-year-old “woman’s” life when she must ponder the question: What do I want to be when I grow up? And then she hears through the grapevine that a granola company has an opening on their intern team, and you stop worrying so much and start enjoying the love and grow a healthy granola addiction!

I started off my first day of work with first day of school jitters, which caused inexplicably horrendous amounts of screaming/singing on my first drive to Love Grown Food’s office. For some reason I decided that belting out “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay would calm my nerves, but I ended up just frightening the busload of children driving along side me on I-25. But I couldn’t let the taunts and laughs of 30 ten-year-olds pressing their faces up against the yellow bus windows break my spirits. I was starting a real person job, and if I needed Chris Martin to drive me through the stress of it, then so be it! Thanks Chris :)

How the office would look if Coldplay worked here. Darn how I wish they worked here; we're in desperate need of a disco ball.

My sanity was instantly restored as I opened the doors to the Love Grown offices and was met by the wafting smell of granola baking in the air and the company of quite possibly the coolest people around (even cooler than Coldplay. I KNOW. So cool!).

As comfortable as ever, I was handed a hair net and given a tour of the kitchen. I’d always hoped that I wouldn’t be wearing a hairnet on my first day at my “real person job” (mostly because I had no plans to flip patties in the back of a Burger King), but this hairnet now made me a part of the Love Grown team, and I rocked that hairnet.

My first day was AWESOME, and while I will admit that I was walking on needles all day in a subconscious fear that I would somehow break the ovens and burn down the office along with the hopes and dreams of Maddy, Alex and Jason, the happy and loving environment made all the difference to make sure I didn’t accidentally commit arson. Thanks Maddy, Alex and Jason for helping me not burn down the office with your kindness!

Rachel lovin’ the love on her first day

First days are always a nerve wracking experience, but for some reason I was too excited to be nervous to start working for LOVE.  I walked through the door and was greeted with loud cheers (what a way to start your first day).  Alex and Jason kindly shook my hand while Maddy immediately through her arms around me.  I quickly learned that Maddy loves spreading the LOVE.

I took a tour of the kitchens, and Jason got right down to business once the tour ended, basically giving me the low down on Love, all with my mind attempting to retain as much information as possible. I was praying that their wouldn’t be a pop quiz after.

After the presentation (and thankfully no pop quiz), I got down to work.  Talking with Maddy, I was able to get a perspective of what events are to come and how we are going to promote so much LOVE.  The hardest part of the day was getting acquainted with the computer. The best part of the day was just being here. We laugh, joke and work…what more could I ask for in a work environment? More or less, today was a great day. I could not ask for a better first day and for better “LOVE bosses”.

Becca’s bashing day

My first day at Love Grown I would say went smoothly (with only one minor “oops”. I will divulge the goods in a second). Maddy, Alex, and Jason were welcoming and showed me around the LOVE pad as I soaked in the cinnamon smell that swept from the kitchen doors. Oh, I could get used to this. I played some Ping-Pong with the team and did some work (which was pretty awesome on the fancy new iMacs. GO APPLE).

Exhibit A

I was loving the vibe and attitudes of everyone here and everything was going great until, DUH DUH DUH, Maddy asked me to build some boxes with a heavy duty tape dispenser. Easy enough, right? WRONG. Well, as I was getting into the groove, I pushed the tape across the box and forced it down a little too aggressively when CRACK. The metal dispenser hit down with a thud onto the awesome brand new custom glass Ping-Pong table. AH! AH! AH! Maddy, Jason, and Alex were all there to witness me cracking the glass. Shortly after I was reassured that it can be fixed with a little filler.

I’m pretty sure my face turned a few shades darker than a tomato and I quickly moved my taping to a much “safer” surface. So yes, a successful first day all and all I’d say.