Mexicali Travels: Holi, The Festival of Colors in India

1011419_10152245561008376_70218245_nMexicali founder Pete Erskine and his son Caleb were just in India for Holi, the annual festival of colors!  Holi proclaims the end of winter, and rejoices in the coming bounty of the Spring harvest season.  It is also a celebration of color and community–a chance to set differences aside and just have FUN!  The most boisterous of Hindu festivals, people most notably celebrate by throwing water and brightly colored powder (called gulal) at each other, creating a rainbow of radiant revelers everywhere you look!

Though Holi lasts for three days, most of the action is condensed into one raucous final day.  The night before, huge bonfires are lit in the streets of towns and cities and effigies of the demon Holika are burned, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil.  If cheerful rainbow colors and smiles are any indication, we’d say ‘good’ is the winner!

Here are a few favorite photos from Pete and Caleb’s Holi adventure, festively celebrating the coming of spring with many merry colors and good cheer!  The people in the photo are the very first suppliers and artisans we connected with  in India, who to this day create all the traditional block print that is done for our tapestries, curtains, bags, etc.  You can see a video of their printing process right here.  The whole Erskine family has visited and known them since the children of both families have been small.  As you can see by the photos, they all are still very good friends and the children still play together even though they are much older!  What a wonderful thing it is to have long-lasting friendships with awesome people–one of those beautiful things that makes us very grateful to be alive and doing what we do!

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March 16, 2014 Astrology & Energy: Full Moon in Virgo

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Illustration is “Winter Night with Full Moon” by Ev Cabrera Marinucci. You can get it here.

Happy full moon in Virgo! This moon guides us to put to use the things we’ve learned in the past few months, and let go of the old in order to make space for the new. It may be time to make a difficult decision in order to honor your greatest good. It may be that it is time to get rid of an outmoded way of thinking, or a habit that no longer serves. When you consider what this moon could possibly be guiding you to shed from your life, try to look beyond the first obvious thing (though that may need to go as well!).

Virgo helps us to understand and accept who we really are, recognizing at once the connection between ourselves and all other living things and the unique gifts that we each bring to the world. At the same time, the nitpicky nature of Virgo may lead us to be hard on ourselves in this self-evaluation, encouraging us to compare ourselves to others or the standards of others to see how we measure up. Ask yourself if you are seeing yourself as how and who you really are, or are you looking through a veil? If you simply hold the intention of wanting to see the truth, both the good and the bad, this full moon will likely offer some revealing answers. Once you have set this intention, pay attention to your dreams, imaginings, and experiences of synchronicity in your life for guidance.

If you are ready, it is a good time to face your fears and vulnarabilities and work to accept them. Try to consider what positive aspects of yourself have stemmed from or are related to the things you consider your flaws, with gratitude for how even the darkest and “worst” parts of you are part of what makes you whole. This is a challenging exercise, but will help you accept and ultimately celebrate the unique and wonderful being that is YOU!

Both light and shadow in our beings make us who we are and help us make a contribution to the world that is completely individual, and you may want to consider what you would most like that to look like. As Mary Oliver wrote, “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?”

It is a good time to bring your big dreams and intentions into the present, and commit to taking the first baby step towards achieving your goal. Do something practical, no matter how small, that supports your journey towards what you want to create in your life. Setting your intentions tonight under the light of the full moon–by writing it down, creating a vision board, drawing it in a picture, or just meditating on it–can help you manifest your desires.

Although right now (at least here in New England) the trees are still bare and the ground frozen, spring WILL come. What are your intentions for the next season in your life? The seeds you plant now will bear fruit when the real blooms and buds flower in the forests and the fields. Get ready.

Want to be aware of when the next full moon is coming? We’ve got gorgeous 2014 lunar calenders in a bevy of brilliant colors! Get yours here: http://ow.ly/t77O5

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Mexicali Blues Share the Adventure Giveaway: Crystal Gets Ready to Travel to Thailand!

9930dfa2464211e3b50722000a1fbd1f_8Crystal McLain, the fabulous winner of our Thailand Trip Giveaway, has been excitedly preparing for her grand adventure!  Learn a bit about her & check out her contest winning video here.  As well as studying her Lonely Planet guidebooks to determine her must-see places and must-do activities, Crystal has been buzzing around like a very busy bee to get prepped for the trip of a lifetime!  Here are some of the ways she is getting ready:

f2f4a8d846de11e3a9720e7aedef815c_8Training for an epic trek through Thailand w/ 20 extra pounds in her big hiking backpack!

Learning the language!  Crystal says, “One of the first things I did was familiarize myself with the SOUND of the Thai language. Even if I end up speaking nothing but English while I’m there, I thought it would be wise and polite to get used to the accent and pronunciation. This [above] was the first video I watched to do just that.  Next, I want to learn a few polite phrases to introduce conversation. A little effort goes a long way when traveling!”

131093_origGetting creative with her language learning!  “I used to make a countdown chain for Christmas when I was a kid. I thought it would be fun to do the same for my trip. So I made a 50 day chain with a Thai phrase or word I got from my Lonely Planet phrase book.”

0db6fba08ea411e3bcd612e10e870195_8Getting organized!  “Sometimes I’m clever.  Made a chart of our accomodations and excursions we’d like to go to with their name, address, phone number, and cost.  It unfolds in my Thai phrasebook and doesn’t fall out.”

2d20f97c8ae011e3adf212add793e3ba_8-1Meeting up with Mexicali Blues owners Kim and Pete for a bit their travel insight, and to plan their meeting in Bangkok!

d0158b52861211e3a91512c3ca72cc49_8Practicing packing light! “BOOM. That’s how you pack for two weeks in Thailand!”

We can’t wait to see and hear more about her journey!  Stay tuned for tales of her global exploration as she shares the adventure with us!

#MyMexicaliLife: Show us YOUR Mexicali Life!

A love of music, a passion for travel, and a mindful devotion to fun are the core of who we are at Mexicali Blues.  We believe that world culture and community culture are two sides of the same peso.  Looking around our stores, homes, and wardrobes, we see these ideas reflected back to us time and again in our Mexicali lives!

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Crystal, the winner of our Thailand trip giveaway (who you will hear more about very soon, as she’s getting ready to begin that adventure!), began giving us glimpses into her Mexicali life through instagram, and it left us feeling SO inspired!  So many corners of her life are filled with or accented by Mexicali wares, and they reflect different aspects of her personality.  We see through these glimpses into Crystal’s world that she is creative, mindful, and a seeker and spreader of peace.  It made us start thinking about how Mexicali Blues isn’t just a mode of accessorizing–it’s a way of life!

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The things we wear and surround ourselves with are expressions of who we are.  We love seeing Crystal’s Mexicali life, and we want to see yours too!  Whenever we are fortunate enough to meet our amazing customers in person, we are always so inspired by their stories, style, and the things that make them smile.  We hope that through sharing images of your Mexicali Life, we can see how awesome YOU are!  Share photos of your Mexicali Life with us on our Facebook, Mexicali Blues Twitter (mexicali_blues), and Mexicali Blues Instagram (mexicali blues).  Tag your photos with #MyMexicaliLife and #MexicaliBlues, and if you’d like to shine in the limelight, we will feature you and your unique take on living the Mexicali Life here on our blog!

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Sale Alert: Take 25% – 50% off EVERYTHING at Mexicali Blues throughout February!

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Our annual February sale is back and better than ever, with 25% – 50% off EVERYTHING! We’ve been spending the past few months adding SO much new awesomeness to Mexicali Blues stores and our website–from exotic jewelry to funky decor and fabulous clothing, you’re sure to find tons of new things to love that capture the spirit of global adventure and express your unique style!

Here are some of our all-time favorite items, most of which are discounted ONLY during this special annual sale event!

stealiesale buddhasale skartsale mysticsaleWhat have you been eyeing that you’re just dying to get (or to have gifted to you) now that it’s on SUPERSALE?

Get your shop on in Mexicali Blues stores & right here: http://www.MexicaliBlues.com/

Mexicali Blues Receives 2013 Retailer of the Year Award—Thank You, Retail Association of Maine!

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(From left to right) Curtis Picard–Executive Director of the Retail Association of Maine, Topher Mallory–Mexicali Blues CEO, Julie Baker Leaden–Mexicali Bangor Store Manager, Stephanie McNally–Mexicali Raymond Store Manager, and Chris Cummings–Mexicali Freeport Store Manager.

The Retail Association of Maine awarded Mexicali Blues the 2013 Retailer of the Year Award last Friday!  While Mexicali owners Pete & Kim were unable to attend because they are currently traveling in Nepal, CEO Topher and store managers Julie, Stephanie, and Chris were there to share in the Mexicali love and accept this awesome award.  Senator Susan Collins was there to accept the Jim McGregor Government Service award for her work as a champion of small businesses, and said some really kind things about Mexicali which we will never forget!

012When Topher stepped up to the podium to accept the award, he represented the funky and fun Mexicali style well when he removed his dapper pink tie to reveal a colorful Mexicali tie dye tee.  As he accepted the award, he emphasized the importance of all the people who consistently support this family-based operation, allowing us to do what we love and do it well. We LOVE traveling and sharing the awesome things we find, but it is the cool and groovy people who work in Mexicali stores and all of the amazing Mexicali shoppers who we are so grateful to meet and know that make Mexicali Blues what it is, and what has earned us this award.  So we would like to offer a heartfelt THANK YOU, to the Retail Association of Maine, to the whole Mexicali team, and to everyone who shops with us.  We are honored to be involved with so many amazing people and communities both locally and abroad, and we couldn’t do it without you!

Mexicali News: Thailand Trip Giveway Winner Announced–Congratulations, Crystal McLain!

webbanner_thailandwinner_2013After reviewing all of the amazingly creative & compelling video entries in our 25th Anniversary Share the Adventure Giveway, we have chosen our winner of a trip to Thailand: Crystal McLain!

Crystal is an artist and massage therapist from Bristol, Maine, who wants to explore & get inspired by Thai art, learn Thai massage, and explore Buddhist philosophies in the temples of Thailand. We love her travel philosophy & the awesome painting she created to illustrate her plans! Congratulations Crystal!

As well as winning the experience of a lifetime, Crystal also received two amazing backpacks from our friends at L.L. Bean (seriously; we’re jealous!), and a whole stack of travel guides from the awesome folks at Lonely Planet, so she can plan her adventure with great advice from well-seasoned travelers and take on her journey in style!  We’ll be traveling with Crystal in February, and we can’t wait to see what this adventure brings!

Check out the sweet video that won the contest & our hearts:

 

Two other entrants made videos that were SO great that we had to give them the Runner’s Up award: Kali Bailey, a talented 23 year-old videographer, and Brendan McQuillen and Brady Hatch of Morning Dew Farm, one of the awesome local farms in our hometown of Newcastle! They will each be receiving a $100 gift card to Mexicali Blues so they can share in a Mexicali Blues shopping adventure!

Honorable Mentions, each getting a $50 gift card to shop with us are:

Leonard and Gabrielle Pouder “Our Mexicali Blues Family”

Samantha Kelly “Miles to Go? Smiles to Go!”

Mary and Jim Wilkins “Thai Yoga or Bust”

Congratulations to the winners, and a huge THANK YOU to all who entered & everyone who has been celebrating 25 years of Mexicali with us! We are consistently awed and inspired by the creativity and all-around awesomeness of our customers! You ROCK!

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August 2013 Blue Moon: Full Moon Energy Magic

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Did you know that tonight’s full moon is a BLUE moon? It’s a special and uncommon occurrence, with some very powerful energy! This is a time to honor the fullness of your life and to practice seeing magic in all things. Use the lunar power of tonight to help you set intention for things you want to create in your life in the next month. If you are able to, spend time in nature; getting grounded in its mystical beauty will help you manifest your dreams!

Although the title of “blue moon” is often these days reserved for the second full moon in a month, the wise old farmers back in the day thought of things a little differently! Usually there were three full moons per season, which the farmers used to keep a sense of time throughout the year–in Summer, the first moon was “early Summer,” then came the “Midsummer,” and finally the “late Summer moon.” But sometimes there are four moons per season, the third of which (that’s tonight!) is called “blue”, so the fourth and final one can still be called “late Summer moon”.

How will you bask in tonight’s moonglow? What would you like to draw into your life over the coming month? What’s something that you love that you only do “once in a blue moon”? Now’s the time to embrace it!

(Celebrate the moon and sweet music every day with our Jerry moon sticker, as seen in the photo above: http://ow.ly/o5ZMD )

Mexicali News: The Tile Mandala Grows!

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Mexicali News: The Tile Mandala Grows!

Here’s a quick sneak peek at the tile mandala being created for our new Newcastle store by the ultra-talented Heather Casey. The tile she is using is handpainted mosaic tile we brought back from a trip to Indonesia, and the design is inspired by the many traditional mandalas we’ve seen and loved on our travels!