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Ashley Neese Mother Essentials
Mother Essentials

Mother Essentials: Ashley Neese

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Marielle Chua

Is you feel like you’re living in a constant state of overwhelm, Ashley Neese is someone you need to know. For over a decade, Ashley’s been working at the intersections of embodiment, transformation, and renewal as an author, breathwork expert, trauma-informed yoga instructor, and podcast host. Last year she released one of our favorite reads of the year—Permission to Rest (a follow-up to 2019’s How to Breathe), which stresses the need to slow down and incorporate rest into our daily lives. All of these topics (and more) are explored in The Deeper Call podcast, where Ashley shares restorative conversations with a variety of guests to support connection and healing.

Ashley is most certainly a woman who lives by her word—quitting the city life years ago to re-set her nervous system on a rolling, rustic property in the Sierra Mountains, where she lives with her family, and is slowly building a space that can serve as a healing retreat for others. Below, the proud foster parent and land steward fills us in on her must-haves of the moment—long walks, voice notes, good books and tunes, outdoor gear, and more!

Badger Balm. “We live at 3,000 ft elevation and sun protection is a must for everyone in my family. Badger Balm is one of the cleanest product lines out there that is safe enough for my face and all of our kids ranging from 7 months to 5 years old. The only downside is that the zinc has a bit of a white film, so you have to rub it in well if using it on your face.” Badger Coral Reef Safe Sunscreen Tin, $13.59, Amazon.

Podcasts. “Since becoming a mother of three, reading time can be challenging to come by. I have been getting really into podcasts. On rotation right now are Off The Grid, a podcast about leaving social media and so much more, Finding our Way, a balm for these times, and Expanded, tools for working with your subconscious mind.”

Afternoon Walks. “We are fortunate to tend to 30 acres of land in the Sierras and I love taking the kids for afternoon walks each day. I pop our baby in this Ergobaby carrier and walk with our two oldest through the wise old oaks.” Aerloom Baby Carrier, $249, Ergobaby.

Voice Notes. “With three young kids, I don’t always get time to connect with my friends as much as I would like to. Voice notes have been my solution to this for the last few years. I love that my friends and I can pop in and leave each other notes when we have time and there is never any pressure to respond right away. I know I am late to the party, but Whatsapp is my favorite app for communicating with friends. I love that I can listen to voice notes on 1.5 x and easily create group threads without overcrowding iMessage.”

Barrier Lipid Complex. “The summers get VERY dry out here and this is the only face oil that keeps my skin super hydrated all season long. I love Marie Veronique’s skincare products because they are clean, effective, and my skin has never felt or looked better.” Marie Veronique Barrier Lipid Complex, $95, Credo.

Straw Hat. “I picked up this hat at a shop in Ojai, California, six years ago and still wear it every spring and summer. I am often asked about it. People assume it’s a very expensive hat because it is so well made. I suggest taking off the ribbon, it looks great without it!” Oak Tear Drop Hat, $100, Sun Body Hats.

Music. “We love a good dance party in my family and have a few albums on rotation right now, including Taylor Swift’s Midnights, Peter Gabriel’s So, and LSD by Sia, Diplo, and Labrinth.”

Vanilla Protein Powder. “Mornings can get hectic in our house and I love starting the day with a nutrient-dense smoothie. I am very picky about my protein powders, as most of them are loaded with fillers and unhealthy ingredients. My go-to is BeWell by Kelly Leveque’s and it is great for the kids, too. I will mix it into pancakes and oatmeal to give them a boost of protein when needed.” Vanilla Grass-Fed Beef Protein Powder, $60, BeWell by Kelly Leveque.

Chelsea Rain Boots. “I love these rain boots, they are cute, very comfortable, and can be worn year round. I have a pair for the donkey pen and another for gardening, going to town, or taking walks in the rain with the kids. Bogs is also a sustainable footwear company.” Insulated Rain Boots, $45, Bogs.

Audio Books. “Similar to podcasts, I love listening to audio books. I can listen while washing dishes or driving to town and my memory seems to retain the information well. Currently, I am obsessed with Samara Bay’s Permission to Speak, Cole Riley’s Black Liturgies, and Rick Rubin’s The Creative Act.”

Ancient Organics Ghee. “I like to joke that our son Solomon was created from this grassfed ghee, as I went through a gallon of it (not a joke!) while pregnant. We love cooking with it in our home, spreading it on sourdough, and mixing it into hot herbal tonics. Also, sometimes Solomon likes to eat it on a spoon!” Ancient Organics Ghee, $25.75, Amazon.

Play Up. “We are big into organic and sustainable clothing in our home, and Play Up is one of my favorites for our kids. They use organic and recycled fabrics, natural dyes, and their clothes come in sizes from 0-14 years. You can also purchase secondhand versions of their clothes directly on their website.” PlayUpStore.com.

Newsletter. “Nearly one year ago, I started The Deeper Call newsletter and I love pouring my heart into bi-monthly essays over there. It is becoming my favorite place to hangout and connect online and the community is incredible. We go deep!”

For more MOTHER ESSENTIALS, peep our recent features on comedian Jenny Slate, poet MAGGIE SMITH, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream co-founder LAURA O’NEILL, author and doula BRANDI SELLERZ-JACKSON, designer CLARE VIVIER, Miles & Milan founder SHENNEL FULLERGRACE NA of Pistola, the designers behind MILK TEETH, photographer NICKI SEBASTIAN, Duster co-founder MELISSA MAGSAYSAY, Herman Miller creative director KELSEY KEITH, chef VALERIE GORDON, artist ERIN JANG, Chicago party mom KRISTEN KAZA, Hedley & Bennett founder ELLEN MARIE BENNETT, Mochi Kids founder AMANDA STEWART, chef CRISTINA KISNER, chef CAMILLA MARCUS, artist CAROLINE Z HURLEY, Just Date founder SYLVIE CHARLES, food icon AMANDA HESSER, Prickly Pear founder MONA BAHRAINI, Solace Summer founder MEGAN BRE CAMP, Wonder Valley co-founder ALISON CARROLL, OZMA designer HEIDI BAKER, author TIFFANY ROSE SMITH, and PHOEBE SUNG of Cold Picnic.

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