Dani Kenney: Q&A
Posted: March 14, 2017 by: Amber Hourigan
California Native, Dani Kenney is one of our go to women when we are looking for safe products during and after pregnancy. Her line was inspired and created from a place of necessity and love. When Dani became pregnant, she found limited resources for the kind of information and pregnancy-safe products that she sought. There was a lot of conflicting information out there, as well as a plethora of great natural products whose safety during pregnancy was questionable. Because a lot of essential oils and products can be harmful during pregnancy, Dani created a line that does the guess work for you.
All of her products that get absorbed into the skin are pregnancy-safe after the first trimester-- and many are safe in all trimesters.
Dani launched her lifestyle website as a means of combining each of her passions for all creative wellness arts. She wanted to have a space to share her love for organic living products, healthy food, sustainable design and fashion-- and even the finest creative art of all-- bringing souls into this world. As a new mama-to-be, her passions have naturally fallen together into where she believes she is meant to be of best service.
We get to know this inspiring Mama in our interview below.
I usually wake up at: Usually around 6am. My 9 month old baby, Lars is my alarm clock.
I always start my morning with: Kisses and coffee. When I hear my little guy’s coos from down the hall, I go and scoop him up from his crib and give him lots of kisses. Then I put him in his little walker with one of his toys while I make food for him and a fresh batch of hot coffee for me. Then we go for a morning neighbourhood walk together.
My go-to breakfast is: I listen to my body. My body doesn’t usually want to eat when I first wake up, so I don’t. I have coffee, and then when I do eat breakfast, I’m somewhat of a traditionalist. I usually do eggs, hot oats, a piece of whole grain toast with nut butter or yogurt and fruit. I keep breakfast very simple, unless it’s the weekend, in which I love to do something fun. My morning beverage: Coffee. With full fat cream. Sometimes I’ll add ghee, sometimes I’ll put a moon dust in it and if so, I’ll add a little coconut sugar. I’m into Canyon Coffee and Zenbunni’s biodynamic coffee these days. I always use either my French press or Chemex pour-over.
I take these supplements: I tend to go through phases of commitment with supplements. I take breaks here and there, and change it up. Here are the ones I love: glutathione, activated charcoal, ashwaganda, b12, d3, probiotics and e3live, spirulina or chlorella. And when I was pregnant I did a prenatal, fish oil and grass-fed liver supplement every single day. I would say I’m more regular about sipping bone broth and using medicinal herbs and spices in my cooking, than taking supplements every single day.
I love a bath or shower: Bath. Before becoming pregnant, I used to take one everyday. Now they are still my favorite, but more of a special ritual for “me-time.” Sometimes with my little one, I can only take a quick shower because he doesn’t nap much. There’s a quote from a darling book called I Capture the Castle that goes, “noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.” I think it’s so true. When I feel overwhelmed or depleted, a hot bath is always the best thing to start the action towards feeling better.
My favorite form of exercise: I like physical activity that feels connected to spirit/ nature, or that brings me pleasure: carrying my baby, neighbourhood walks outside, yoga, hiking, swimming, kayaking, dancing... I’ve never been a fan of gyms.
My favorite daily ritual: My husband puts our son to bed, and I typically pour a glass of wine and cook dinner while listening to music. This is usually my first break and only personal time during the day. Cooking is this time of mindful release for me. Then when the baby is asleep, my husband comes down and joins me. We catch up on conversation, and sometimes when we eat we’ll throw on a film or a show. Otherwise, we’ll eat at the table and then it’s upstairs to bed with a cup of tea, and maybe a good book or hot bath. Then to sleep.
The beauty product I couldn’t live without: nourishing organic food. When I was young I had really bad acne. Eating clean and using clean oils on my skin has transformed my skin completely. If I had to recommend an actual product, I would say my New Moon cream, because it’s got amazing food for your skin in there and it’s my favorite product I make, because it makes my skin come alive and glow. The oils in it actually help stimulate collagen production. But ultimately it all starts from within, with what you feed your body (and your mind.) Real food makes you happy too, which in turn reinforces your natural glow! My most recent health/wellness find: Slowing down. Before becoming a mom, I had a very fast-paced cooking career in L.A., and was even flying around for certain clients. Even though I love travelling, and that was fun and invigorating, I’m a Taurus and I feel most at peace having my stable nest to tend to. I knew I wanted a family and moving outside of L.A. has allowed me to savor motherhood and relish in a slower pace of life, which is naturally more my style. L.A. will always be my hometown and I will always love it. But I think my being is happier away from a big city now, and happier when I’m taking things as they come. I suppose I’ve always tried to shift my lifestyle towards how I like to live, rather than shape my life around a work schedule. I still work as hard—harder even, as a mom—but I’m able to do it at my own pace, which helps me balance motherhood, work and a natural lifestyle.
For dinner I usually eat: It’s embarrassing that I’m not more creative during the week since my background is as a chef, but honestly as a mom I usually rotate these meals because I don’t have time to think about it: roasted chicken with veggies and homemade bread, grass-fed Bolognese (lamb or beef) with either pasta or zucchini noodles, curry bowls, big salads, soup using homemade bone broth, macrobiotic bowls (usually with stir fried/ steamed veggies with tempeh, tofu or baked fish with rice, tamari, sesame, fermented veggies and sometimes seaweeds.)
My guilty pleasure: Screens! My phone, television and computer. It’s hard to shut down the phone sometimes when you’re running a business, but as a mom it’s important for me to work on this and let go of screens more.
My playlist includes: I love old school rock n’ roll from the 60s, 70s and 80s, in all forms. Mellow, hard, you name it. I also like classic jazz, bluegrass and folk. And then I like random genres like 6os French pop. My dad was in a singing quartet in the 50s and always had a love for music that got passed right on to me. Let’s see, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Van Halen, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Roy Orbison, The Beatles, The Stones, Pete Seeger, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Townes Van Zandt, Van Morrison, GNR, CCR, The Clash, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Kinks, Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell, Velvet Underground, Howlin’ Wolf, Tom Waits, The Doors, The Eagles, The Grateful Dead, Bob Marley, Francois Hardy… I collect vintage vinyl, but on a daily basis, while working or doing chores with my babe on hip, I tend to throw on mixes. My husband found a little Spotify gem called, “Classic Acoustic.” None of your deeper cuts, but it has classics from Nico, The Beatles and goodies like that. Great music for cooking and unwinding.
My favorite way to relax: Kundalini yoga and meditation, long hot baths, walks with my husband, wine and dinner with friends. Mini travel getaways with anyone I love. Curling up with tea and a good book. A good movie. Hikes in the mountains and trips to the beach.
My perfect day I would: Go on a boat, on an adventure. The boat would be filled with my favorite close people. There would be a sea breeze, nature, good food, good music and good conversation. Maybe we would cruise up the California coast or along the French Riviera… see some whales and sea creatures, debark then have wine-tasting in a vineyard at magic hour, followed by a delicious farm-to-table, family-style dinner at a chateau in the countryside, followed by late night dancing in its great halls. Everyone would be all dressed up, but barefoot.
I am inspired by: Other creative people, especially those who are also mothers. And my son.
I recently discovered: the art of making no-knead bread. And now I’m obsessed and make it nearly everyday. It’s the perfect type of bread to make as a mother, when you don’t have a lot of time. I’ll put a recipe on my site soon.
The best advice I have received: Meditate.
I go to bed at: In bed around 9 these days! And asleep around 10.
My mantra is: Anything is always possible.