Sunday, December 19, 2010
At least 70% of what we perceive as "taste" actually comes from our sense of smell. Our taste buds only can taste bitter, salty, sweet and sour flavors. It is actually the odor molecules from food that give us most of our flavor. That's why when we have a cold, food tastes pretty bland.
Pungent Christmas lilies with savory gravy? Vanilla candles with garlic mashed potatoes? I recommend either using unscented candles and flowers, or better yet, creating a centerpiece to compliment your meal.
HERE IS HOW TO MAKE A "SAVORY SCENTERPIECE" FOR YOUR HOLIDAY TABLE...
MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED:
Bunch of dense flowers with little or no scent. I used hydrangeas because they are full and easy to stick herbs in.
1-3 Fresh Herbs: some suggestions
It is best to make these at the last minute as some of these herbs may wilt.
STEP 1: Using your most flexible stemmed herb, place a generous bunch in a bowl or shallow vase and add water. Cilantro is used here.
If necessary, place a smaller bowl or glass of water in the center to weigh it down.
STEP 2 : Trim flowers and wrap stems with a rubber band forming a tight ball of blossoms
STEP 3: Place flowers in center of long stemmed herbs (directly into bowl or into smaller glass container)
STEP 4: Add sprigs of same or other herbs into the bouquet. It is not necessary for the herbs to reach the water if you do this part
shortly before the meal.
STEP 5: Just before seating your guests, rub some of the leaves in your "Scenterpieces"
to release the appetizing aromas!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Watch the short video below on how to make these lovely gifts
for one dollar in one minute.:.
Scented bath salts wrapped in tissue
with string tag (left)
Wrapped in tissue with recycled ribbon
Wrapped in vintage hankerchief with
Monday, November 29, 2010
It’s a well known fact that the better care we take of our jewelry, the more beautiful its stays and the longer it lasts. Most of us are pretty diligent about our jewelry. Wouldn’t it be nice to be as cared for as our jewelry: protected from damage, our beauty maintained; be treasured by our owner; and last long enough to be cherished by future generations?
AROMAWEAR returns the benefits with good jewelry that cares back!
Designed to nurture your body, mind and spirit while you wear it, this award winning collection of aromatherapy jewelry will diffuse the life-enhancing essential oil or perfume you desire. Using AROMAWEAR’s trademark wick system, you can personalize your aromatic experience and change aromas on the go to meet your changing needs.
See how AROMAWEAR can nurture you and your “jewels” - the special people in your life. Enjoy these 3 short videos on personalizing your aromatherapy experience:
And..here are some natural essential oils you can diffuse in AROMAWEAR jewelry and accessories for your well-being maintenance:
Protecting from damage
Your Body: germ fighting oils of rosemary, clove, eucalyptus, tea tree
Your Mind: stress managing oils of lavender; chamomile, orange and frankincense
Your Spirit: mood enhancing oils of ylang ylang; neroli; jasmine and lemon
Keeping clean and radiant
Body: antibacterial oils of eucalyptus; pine; balsam fir and ravensara
Mind: clear thinking oils of bergamot ; basel; frankinscense and rosemary
Spirit: energizing oils of rosemary; lemongrass; clove and black pepper
Attract love and bring joy to the heart with oils of rose; jasmine; ylang ylang and sandalwood
Be present to the beauty here and now with oils of neroli; ylang ylang ; spruce and
Glowing with gratitude
Cherish your good fortune with oils of balsam fir, ylang ylang and three biblical oils: frankincense, myrrh, galbanum.
Becoming more precious
As any rare jewel, we become more valuable with age. Treasure your own unique nature and growing wisdom. Unlike most jewelry, you are one-of-a-kind!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Thank goodness I am an amateur!
I have been holding back on writing this post after so long thinking that I needed to deliver some kind of masterpiece...otherwise, you might wonder what I have been doing these last few months? I lost touch with the fact that though I may be a professional designer and healing arts practitioner, I am an amateur writer. My intention for my writing is to share the discoveries I make on my life’s journey and well-being, with the hope they entertain you and if possible facilitate enhance, or inspire yours. This summer I had some eye and heart opening experiences. Thanks to being an amateur. I was able to enjoy the freedom of the famous “beginners mind” and open heart
My American Idols
While not a regular fan of American Idol or the other amateur competitions, I truly admire the contestants for their courage to risk looking foolish for a chance to express themselves and possibility get recognition. They risk being severely criticized in front of millions of viewers by a panel of professional judges who could discourage all but the totally committed from pursuing their dream. As scary as that may seem, for me that is not as intimidating as being judged by my inner panel of judges who think they are an expert on everything I do, and whose standards and expectations are often hard to satisfy. My dear judges: the inner voices of my parents, teachers bosses friends and gurus all mean well. They want to protect me from looking bad, getting hurt and insure my survival. But they also can keep me from venturing out of my comfort zone and discovering new and exciting possibilities for my life. I recently discovered a new and rewarding way to express myself, and here is how it happened:
Judging the judges
Imagine the Project Runway experts judging American Idol; Donald Trump and his team critiquing hemlines, or Simon and his entertainers evaluating management skills. How seriously would a contestant take the comments of an unqualified judge? Well, this summer I got involved in photography, a new art form for me, with which my inner judges have little experience. Every time they tried to interfere with what I was doing, which was frequently, I reminded them that they were unqualified to pass judgment on my work as they were as new to this as I was With all judgments suspended, I suddenly had room for to experiment, make mistakes, and make some great pictures.
Although I have a professionally trained "eye" for design, the images I composed and captured through the lens of my camera were viewed with my heart. It was a visceral experience of deep gratification: of satisfying an inner hunger fro beauty that had me go ooh, aah,click..again and again. It was the experience of what felt good to me, not just what looked good. What directed my process was the experience of beauty described by Saint Thomas Aquinas: "...the presence of wholeness, balance and radiance", as I newly viewed through my lens compositions of objects and landscapes that have surrounded me for years. I had won the freedom to see the sunrise on the grass without thinking it needed mowing; the beautiful objects on my desk without thinking they needed dusting; and he wonderful rocks I have been collecting without thinking they needed editing. My open heart with the help of my camera (nothing fancy, just a point and shoot) was able tofocus on the perfection of things as they are. As Antoine de Saint Exupery, author of "The Little Prince" explained: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye"
Can you smell beauty?
Just like you can't always experience the "essential beauty" of art with your eyes, you can't always experience the essential beauty of "essential" oils with your nose. Synthetic aromas that might deliver sensual pleasures to your nose and trigger relaxing images in your mind may be missing important odorless components in natural oils that travel with their fragrant families. These may act as important catalysts or as agents in themselves. For example, natural jasmine oil has over 100 different chemical constituents that are reported to provide many benefits including being anti-depressant; antiseptic; aphrodisiac; antispasmodic; expectorant and sedative. This natrual oil with its complex synergies of 100 or more chemicals one of the most expensive oils on the market because it requires 1000 pounds of handpicked blossoms to create 1 pound of aromatic compound. Synthetic jasmine oil, used in over 80% of womens perfumes, uses only 4 (inexpensive) chemicals to replicate the aroma and to the untrained nose will smell the same. So, to experience true beauty with an essential oil and determine its value TO YOU, you will want to get past your nose. Ask yourself: How do I feel when I experience this oil or fragrance? do I feel more whole? more balanced? more radiant? more beautiful?
Remember; don’t believe everything you read…
There is much written about the reported benefits of the 100 plus essential oils available on the market today. While I don’t think we can argue with laboratory tests which demonstrate certain essential oils ability to kill germs, the effect of particular oil may vary from person to person, and even day to day with the same person. No one can predict you how will feel when you use it..maybe not even yourself. You may use your “judge”-ment to select an oil…but then see what happens when you open your heart. It may change your mind!
All pictures in this post are from my camera. I will continue to share my photographic progress with the intention of becoming an ever better amateur!
Monday, February 8, 2010
Never having been a fan of rose tea, I was reluctant to try it. For me, plain rose tea is too much like perfume in a cup, but this one uses black tea as its base which produces a satisfying robust flavor with a beautiful floral compliment further enriched by the creamy top through which every sip passes. I did not wait for Valentine's Day to start drinking it, and don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
Besides being delicious there are other real benefits. The rose, is known not just for its beauty, and for being a symbol of love, but for the effects of its aromatic essence. Aromatherapists use the oil of rose to enhance feeling of love and forgiveness; as an antidepressant and an aphrodisiac. Considered to be the flower of the goddess Venus, roses and their essence continue to be used in rituals of love. For more about the power of roses have a look back at this past issue.
Here is the recipe from the cafe, and also my lower calorie and lower effort version.
Black Tea Rose Latte a la Grounded
1 bag black tea (with or without caffeine) 0 calories 0 grams sugar
1 tablespoon Monins (or other brand) Rose Syrup 50 calories, 12 grams of sugar
1/2 cup milk steamed to foaming 75 calories 6.5 grams of sugar
Total 125 calories 18.5 grams sugar
Black Tea Rose Latte a la Cathy
1 bag black tea (with or without caffeine) 0 calories 0 grams sugar
1-2 teaspoons rosewater (to taste) regular or organic 0 calories 0 grams sugar
4 tablespoons light whipped cream in a can 30 calories 2 grams sugar
(This includes the average lightly sweetened with hint of vanilla, canned whipped creams)
Total 30 calories 2 grams of sugar
Delight yourself with other combinations: Try mixing rose water or syrup in other kinds of tea, or other flavored syrups or floral waters in black or other teas. When using floral waters you will want to sweeten to taste. If you do come up with something you like, please email me or post a comment on this blog!