Friday, December 26, 2014

Celebrate New Year's Eve...December 2014

Anyone who follows my blog or knows me personally...knows how much I need and love nature...and all the gifts and blessings I believe humans receive from nature and the land.Frankly I get grumpy and out of balance when I am denied nature.

This New Year's Eve...keeping nature in mind...go for a quiet walk...in a local park and pick up a small fallen branch or two (make sure the branch you pick up has small branches...on it... as you will be using the small branches)...and bring your branch home.

Next...once your home...find a slender vase or basket...and place on the floor in your studio...office or den or even in your bedroom...so you will be able to view it each day. If you have some small twinkle lights...string these on your branch.

Now...using small tags or pieces of paper or cut cloth...write down your hopes and dreams for the New Year...and tie the written tags...paper or cut cloth on each small branch...blessing each hope and dream as you add it to the branch.

When you are done...sit before your hope and dream "tree" saying a prayer if you wish...or other personal message from your heart.

Keep this "tree of hopes and dreams" up until next New Year's Eve ...reading all your tags...and seeing how many of your hopes and dreams have come true.

Happy New Year 2015
Victoria

Saturday, December 13, 2014

DECEMBER 13th 2014 COOKIE RECIPE FROM NEW MEXICO

Okay...it is so very true... I love cookies...and can be tempted very easily to eat way too many at one time if they are around. Especially a cookie that is homemade...and especially holiday ones...and especially a recipe for Christmas... from one of my favorite states New Mexico..Another words...especially any cookies.

This is true.

Now you know my weakness.

Here is the recipe...be sure to make a double batch...because they will go quickly...and these can also be a great gift to give.

BISCOCHITOS,,,FROM NEW MEXICO MAGAZINE

This recipe is the state cookie and is served each December...and will make about 6 dozen cookies. Hide some for yourself.

COOKIES
5-6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound lard at room temperature ( or use 1 pound unsalted butter)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons ground anise seeds
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) whiskey

TOPPING
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

TO MAKE

Have your topping made...before cookies start coming out of the oven.

Pre-heat oven to 425F. Sift together the 5 cups flour...baking powder and salt. Beat the butter or lard with electric mixer...gradually adding the sugar until extremely light and fluffy... about 8 minutes. Stop mixer every couple of minutes to scrape down sides of mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time...beating in each one before adding the next. Mix in dry ingredients...beating only until incorporated. Add the anise seeds...orange juice and the whiskey. A stiff pie-like dough is what you are after. Add some or all of the remaining flour as needed to get proper consistency.

Spoon dough into cookie press... and push out dough into shaped cookies unto an ungreased cookie sheet. Please avoid handling the dough too much...you want tender cookies here.

Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes. Let cool...just a bit ...and then roll each cookie in topping. Cookies will keep a week.

Monday, December 1, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR HOME...HEARTH...AND HEART DECEMBER 2014

December musings...

I want to wish you personally the most wonderful holiday season this December...and your time with family and friends...the most cherished moments and fond memories for years to come.

Truly being with loved ones and those you care about...honoring traditions...and celebrating together...this months festivities... is the true meaning of the holidays.

I love to research  and study holiday traditions from around the world...and truth be told...I have loved some of them so much...I practice them here in my own home now. There is something so special about taking a tradition from another land and culture...and making it my own. I feel somehow deeply connected to the people I am practicing their holiday tradition from...as well as the history and meaning of their customs and rich heritage.

And by all means begin your own special traditions to share with your family and friends. Perhaps you like to bake and could start a new holiday cookie baking gathering...and everyone get into the kitchen to bake and decorate holiday cookies together...and then give a prize to the person with the best tasting...or best looking holiday cookies.

Have a caroling party...singing holiday songs...then eat holiday snacks and hot cocoa afterwards. Or you could have a gathering making good old-fashioned popcorn balls together...a messy but ever so fun activity for the holiday season.

And be sure to include in your holiday traditions acts of giving to others who are not as fortunate as you. Start a food or toy drive...in your local neighborhood...so everyone has a good meal and children toys for Christmas.

Visit an elderly care facility...and read or sing songs to them...or give your time to visit the children's ward at your local hospital...to see how you can help out and make their holiday more special.

Whatever you decide to do to create more traditions in your home...this holiday season...whether it be practicing ideas from other countries or creating your own...your holiday will be more special...bonding...and intimate...as you share traditions that will last a lifetime...and be carried on from generation to generation.

That is the cherished beauty of traditions.

Now that...is something to smile about.

Happy Holidays
Victoria




WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER

December 8th...Feast of the Immaculate Conception...December 10th...International Human Rights Day...December 13th...St. Lucia's Day...Start of Hanukkah...December 16th...December 21st...Winter Solstice...December 22nd...International Arbor Day...December 25th...Christmas Day...December 26th Hanukkah ends...December 26th...Kwanzaa begins... December 31st ...New Year's Eve


FULL MOON IN DECEMBER is December 6th


FLOWERS OF DECEMBER  Holly...poinsettia...Christmas cactus


STONES OF DECEMBER Serpentine...peridot



FACTS ABOUT CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

Did you know that the hanging of wreaths are a symbol for pagans of the Wheel of the Year? They believe the wreath is a symbol of no beginning and no end...because it is the form of a circle.There is archaeological evidence to support the fact that wreaths have been used in this symbolic way for more than 4,000 years. Wreaths came to be used at Christmas through the influence of Scandinavian pagans who hung them up at Yule...to honor a new beginning of the ever moving and changing circle of life.

IN ITALY...Merry Christmas...is Buoen Natale!

ST. FRANCIS
The first Nativity scene was staged on December 24th, 1223 in a simple monastery at Greccio by St, Francis of Assisi...as a tool to teach the uneducated...yet faithful the story of the first Christmas.

SANTA LETTERS
Today in small-town Italy...children post their letters to Babbo Natale...the Italian version of Santa Claus...in a special mailbox...that only appears at Christmas time.

AUSTRIA
Did you know that the song SILENT NIGHT was composed in Austria...which has been translated into more than 250 languages in a small town in this beautiful country nearly two centuries ago?

PORTUGAL

Keeping with the Catholic tradition of no meat ...the Portuguese make "fiel amigo bacalhau (salted cod) for a traditional Christmas Eve preparation called Bacachauda da Consoana.

The fish is boiled up with potatoes...cabbage...carrots...and hard-boiled eggs and then drizzled with Portuguese olive oil.



All winter long
behind every thunder
guess what we heard
- behind every thunder
the song
of a bird,
a trumpeting bird.

All winter long
beneath every snowing
guess what we saw
- beneath every snowing
a thaw
and a growing,
a greening and growing.

Where did we run
beyond gate and guardsman?
Guess, if you can
-all winter long
we ran
to the sun,
the dance of the sun!

Native American Song


NEW YEAR'S EVE CELEBRATION

Before the end of December purchase a small Rosemary plant and set it on a table...until you are ready to use it for this New Year celebration. What is so great about having this Rosemary plant for your celebration is that you will then be able to use this wonderful herb for cooking later or to place on your door step or patio.

SUPPLIES
One Rosemary plant
pens
plain tags with string attached
1 pillar candle...in a fireproof container

On New Year's Eve have your Rosemary plant set on a table for easy access for everyone present. Place the pens and plain tags next to the Rosemary plant. Have your candle ready to light after everyone is complete with the celebration...as a symbol of each persons soul or light of their heart.

Gather everyone together around the table...and explain to them...that one by one they can write on the tags ways they can become a more positive and loving person in the new year. After they have written on as many tags as they need...they can then hang their tags on the Rosemary plant...saying a blessing or prayer as they do so.

When everyone is complete...everyone join hands and say a blessing and also wish everyone success with their written messages...and then to complete the celebration light the candle...and everyone hug one another.

Allow the candle to stay lit until you retire for the night...and keep the Rosemary plant with the messages up for a few days...as a reminder to everyone...then have them take their messaged tags off and keep them in their own personal space...so they can view them...as a gentle reminder of what they are wanting to become in this New Year.

 

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS

...FOR YOUR HOME

Place a few drops of Peppermint oil on your light bulbs...when you turn on the lights the scent will fill your whole house with the uplifting scent of Peppermint oil.

Clean and clear out your desk and work space...this month... and take all those pieces of paper and receipts you have kept throughout this year...put them in a paper shredder.. and place the now shredded paper in a container to store... that you can then use for packing material... for future shipping. How is that for waste not...have not?


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

What is more festive this month then getting in the kitchen and creating handmade treats for the holiday's? It is keeping traditions alive and at their finest.

This holiday season carry on traditions with food by making and enjoying a traditional food from another country...and traditions bring Scotland to mind for me...a land and people steeped in history and lovely traditions.

SCOTTISH TRIFFLE
4-6 servings

For the sponge cake and jam:

1 8 ounce sponge cake
1 12 ounce jar of really good strawberry jam
4-5 tablespoons medium sherry

For the custard:
16 fluid ounces whole milk
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon super fine sugar

For the cream:

1 pint whipping cream

The first layer:

Cut up sponge cake into 1 inch cubes and put into a pretty and large glass dish.Melt the jam till it is just warm and runny. Pour the melted jam over the cut sponge cake cubes.Pour sherry on top. Leave for a few hours or overnight to soak up the sponge cake and jam mixture.

To cook Custard:

Heat the milk in a pan. In a bowl break the eggs...then add the sugar and whip.When the milk is hot...add a little milk to the egg mixture and gently stir ( adding just a little hot milk at first keeps the  eggs from scrambling) and then return egg and milk mixture to the pan.Cook over low heat...stirring all the time till it thickens, or until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Take off heat and allow the custard to cool a bit...and then pour over sponge cake and jam mixture.

To make the cream:

When the custard is set..beat your cream until stiff and top the cake and custard trifle. You can add fresh berries if you like for decoration or just leave as is. Serve chilled,,,in your very best desert bowls or dishes.


...FOR YOUR HEART

Start a journal this month...about how you can connect more with your inner spirit...and live from awareness and your heart...and then begin to create the necessary changes to begin living a more loving and heart centered life.

Nurture yourself this month with long soaks...by candlelight and adding...Lavender oil and epsom salts to your running bath water...to soak away stress or sore muscles.

Start a prayer partner with someone you trust and are close to...and by telephone pray with each other at the same time and day each week.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR HOME...HEARTH...AND HEART...NOVEMBER 2014

NOVEMBER musings...

This month finds me pondering life deeply...and sorting out many new and different feelings and thoughts.It has been quite a year. I have experienced so many good and positive events...including personal blessings in my household...that I am ever so thankful for. However... to be honest...I am seeing...and I know you are too...sad and scary situations that have taken place and continue to happen ...world wide. It has been a roller coaster of ups and downs...for people everywhere.

Often I find myself feeling numb with confusion...grief...and yes "fear"...at the madness...and seemingly out of control world... we now all live in.

There are moments...after I watch the news...that I find myself repeating the line in the movie "Lord of the Rings"... spoken by the King...just before battle..."how did it ever come to this"?

I could prattle on here and try to appear like I have an answer...but I don't... and I will not even pretend to. But one thing I do know for sure is that life...is not all about the "good' stuff and certainly not just receiving what we want. Life is sadness too...and loss. and horrible unspeakable things can and do happen to really good people...including me...and to you.

Perhaps... horrible things happen...to make us stop...even for a brief...but authentic moment...from our over busy...materialistic...living in our heads...techie...lives...and FEEL with our hearts...that people just like you...and me are suffering...or have lost a loved one...or their own lives. We all have a belief that we are separate... from other people and other countries...but the truth is...we are not. We live in a world that is a global community...and it is called humanity.People from other cultures and lands far away...are still people.Yes...it is true...that they might look different in their physical appearance...and speak a language you might find odd and can't understand. Their belief and cultural upbringing of God...perhaps doesn't  resonate with your belief system...but most of these folks are good...honest people...just like you and me...and all they want from life is to be happy...love and feel loved...and take care of themselves and their families.

I truly feel in my heart... we must all come together and unite as a global community and make a conscious choice to deal with the issues and problems we as a whole are now facing. It no longer serves anyone to live in a bubble or have tunnel vision...only focusing on yourself ...your goals or wants...or look the other way...pretending that there is nothing wrong.To me that is not being real...balanced...or grounded in reality. Yes...all our lives might be happy...cushy...or even privileged... but that is no excuse for shutting out or being in denial...about the serious issues humanity is now experiencing.

I do believe in the power of prayer...a positive outlook...and seeing the good in people...life...and situations...but I feel each person must do more than that. Each one of us must work on our own personal issues...beliefs we hold onto...that judges people who are different than you...or me...and perhaps express anger or even hatred towards. Reach out to other people and show them that you care...and strive to become more tolerant of differences. Get involved in organizations that support peace and goodwill...and do your part in saying no to violence...in all areas... in your personal life.  

There is so much more each one us can and should do to create positive action and behavior in our own lives...and out into the world....not just for our own lives...but for future generations as well. I know you will find what is right for you...and that comes from your heart...for humanity.

Be the change...you want to see in the world...and part of the solution.

Because you can.

And so can I.

Blessings this Thanksgiving month,
Victoria



WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR NOVEMBER
November 1st...All Saint's Day...November 2nd...All Soul's Day Feast of the Dead... November 27th...Thanksgiving Day


FLOWERS...chrysanthemum

GEM STONES...topaz...lapis lazuli

FULL MOON...is on November 6th



FAMILY THANKSGIVING SHARING

After your wonderful Thanksgiving dinner is complete...and before you start your kitchen cleanup...have everyone in the family gather in a spot that you have decided beforehand to hold this heart filled Thanksgiving ceremony of gratitude...including children.

Here is what you will need:
1  glass bowl ( big enough to hold all the hearts for everyone present)
1 basket or container for the glass hearts to be passed around
small glass hearts...at least 2 dozen...or more if a large group
1 white candle...matches...fireproof container

Gather everyone together in a circle...and place pillows on the floor to sit on. Have everyone present get comfy...and make sure everyone is ready to begin the celebration before you begin.

Light the white candle as a symbol of everyone's heart and spirit.

Proceed to share with everyone the intention of this Thanksgiving celebration...explaining that the container of glass hearts will be passed around...and each person can take 1 or 2 glass hearts...as a symbol of what they have been blessed with this year. After each person has proclaimed what they have been blessed with this year...they will place their glass hearts in the glass bowl...that will be passed around to each person also.

When everyone has their hearts...have a beginning prayer of Thanksgiving by someone who wants to lead the prayer...and then one by one have each person present hold their glass heart...and express out loud what they have been blessed with this year...and then place their glass heart or hearts in the glass bowl and pass it on to the next person.

When everyone is complete...say a blessing over the glass bowl...with everyone's hearts inside...and thank  the group for sharing. Let them know you will be keeping the glass bowl out filled with their blessings...somewhere special in the house...so the sweet energy of their blessings this Thanksgiving will continue to be in the home...and in their hearts and minds.



Awakening
in a moment of peace
I give thanks
to the source of all peace

as I set forth
into the day
the birds sing
with new voices
and I listen
with new ears
and give thanks

nearby
the flower called Angel's Trumpet
blows
in the breeze
and I give thanks

my feet touch the grass
still wet with dew
and I give thanks
both to my mother earth
for sustaining my steps
and to the seas
cycling once again
to bring forth new life

the dewdrops
become jewelled
with the morning's sun-fire
and I give thanks

you can see forever
when the vision is clear
in this moment
each moment
I give thanks

Harriet Kofalk



FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS


...FOR YOUR HOME

There is nothing quite like a clean and tidy home...and there is something so rewarding about having your home all waxed and polished for the holiday season.

Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the holiday season...using natural and organic ingredients.


EASY TARNISH REMOVER FOR YOUR SILVER

Place your silver pieces in a sink or pan filled with water. Add 2 tablespoons cream of tarter and a few strips of aluminum foil. Let the silver soak for an hour or until tarnish free. If the silver is badly tarnished you may notice an order like rotten eggs...so do not be alarmed. When complete...rinse silver and hand-dry all pieces with a soft cloth.

CLEANING PAINTED WOOD FLOORS

Wood floors that have been painted can be cleaned with a solution of 2 teaspoons washing soda and 1 cup rosemary or sage tea (cooled first) and mixed with a gallon of warm water.


SIMPLE RUG AND CARPET DEODORIZER

1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cornmeal
10 drops juniper essential oil
5 drops cypress essential oil

Combine the dry ingredients in a glass bowl. Add the essential oils and mix well...breaking up any clumps.Sprinkle the mixture over carpet and wait several hours...before vacuuming. Store any extra in a recycled jar.

*** Always purchase pure essential oils... never with fillers. And remember a bottle of essential oil will last a long time...it is a very good investment...and safe or your home...pets and environment...but please do not use if you are pregnant.


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

After Thanksgiving...and all those leftovers are gone...I know you will be so ready for something more light and fresh for lunch or a light supper...and this recipe features seasonal pears.


SPINACH-PEAR SALAD WITH MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE
Serves 4 to 6

2 Bosc pears...cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 (6 oz) package fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

Combine pear slices and spinach in a large bowl. Combine water...sugar...mustard...black pepper...balsamic vinegar...olive oil and salt in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and serve,


...FOR YOUR HEART

Give up a lunch out...a coffee at your favorite shop...or something you regularly give to yourself. each week..and give that money you would spend on yourself to a homeless person instead.

Donate your clothes...shoes...and other items you do not wear to a women's shelter.

If you have a talent or skill...that could help a friend...donate of your time...to teach them what you are skilled at...and then ask them to pass it on to someone else.


Monday, October 27, 2014

OCTOBER ROASTED CARROTS RECIPE

October 27th...seasonal cooking

I roast just about every kind of food there is...it is easy...tasty...and a primal way to cook...women and men have been roasting food over fire...or in dug out holes in the earth...covered with hot coals since ancient times.

I really love roasted veggies...and carrots taste really good roasted...until they get really caramelized...making them browned...sweet...and very tender. Here is my version...but please experiment with different flavors and herbs to make them your own.

ROASTED CARROTS

1 small bag organic carrots
Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Wash and dry the bag of organic carrots and then place on a flat roasting sheet.Drizzle the olive oil on top of the carrots...then season with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the hot pepper flakes on top...and then mix the carrots...seasonings and olive oil well... until the carrots are coated.

Place in oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes...or more...checking and stirring them...every so often...so each carrot is caramelized and tender.

Take out of oven... check for seasonings...adjust if necessary. Serve.

Enjoy!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

OCTOBER RECIPE 2014

October musings...

October is a month to get in your kitchen...and create something earthy...and sweet...as a special treat for you and your family. I am a big believer in eating seasonal foods...and this month pears are in season...as well as cranberries.

Enjoy making...eating...and smelling the wonderful aroma of this classic dessert!


PEAR AND CRANBERRY CRISP  
serves 6

For the fruit filling...
4-6 firm pears...cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups cranberries
1/3 cup sugar


For the topping...
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chilled butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss pear pieces with lemon juice.Add 1 1/2 cups cranberries and the 1/3 cup sugar...toss well. In a food processor...pulse 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup chilled butter...until pea-size clumps form. Add the 1/4 cup sugar and the 1/4 cup brown sugar...the cinnamon...rolled oats and a pinch of salt to the food processor and pulse until it looks like...large moist clumps ... about 10 times. Transfer the fruit mixture into a 3- quart baking dish and sprinkle your oat mixture on top.Bake until fruit is tender and topping is golden...about 25 minutes. Let cool a bit...and serve with vanilla ice cream if you wish.

Happy October eating!
Victoria

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR HOME...HEARTH AND HEART OCTOBER 2014

OCTOBER musings...

October finds me reflecting on my year thus far...ways I have grown and changed...places I was blessed to visit...including seeing my oldest daughter and my grandson...and goals that were reached. It has been a fruitful year for me...and I am feeling so blessed.

October...is one of the months that feels gentle...to me. Maybe it is the falling leaves...or the shadows cast by the waning Sun...or just the release from the intense energy of the Summer. Or perhaps...it is just because I am so much more in touch with my own feelings and in tune with nature... that I find October such a gift to me each year.Whatever answer it is...I do not need to know...I am just open to receiving the calmness...and beauty of this month.

With the calming and releasing energy that October gently offers... to the land...and all living creatures...it is a personal message to me...that I can always be in that space of calmness within ...if I choose to be...and practice the wisdom of "releasing" people and situations that take away from my inner calm.

As a human being...and as a woman...whether I understand when it is occurring... or not...I am always changing...not just the aging of my body...but my feelings and thought process too. What I believed last year... might not hold true for me right now...even as I write this sentence.

This is why...each October...I take stock of my life...with deep reflection...asking my heart what I have learned...and what wisdom...I still do not live by. I do not judge myself...for anything I still do not do...rather I ask my soul what "it" is I still need to release...in order to open myself to a better...more positive life for myself. And then I make a deep commitment to myself to release whatever no longer serves me...and begin the inner work to do so...knowing it will take diligence...time...and constant self-exploration to do so.

But I will do it...because my life...my personal integrity and self-worth...is so worth releasing the negative from my life.

With the teaching energy of  October...close to my heart and filling up my mind...I will seek... like a hungry student... ways to release chaos and open myself to the quality and beauty of calmness. When calamities arise...I want to stay centered and calm...knowing that everything will work out...and I will no longer feel the need to get crazy...because I know this life long pattern... is not the solution...it never was.

I will make a choice...hook into the drama...or remain calm... when situations arise that rock my world...knowing that calmness will sure feel more empowering...and more loving than anger or drama. Oh... I know I will have my moments...when something happens that will make me want to be crazy inside...but I also trust that I will take a deep breath...and make the wise choice to stay calm...and release my fear or anger...or any other emotion that takes away from my inner calm.

October can offer you too... the energy of release...whatever that means to you...and by allowing yourself to release...you will change your whole awareness...and learn the beautiful wisdom of something better...something far more positive...for you...and all those closest to you.

Just breath in the calm energy that October offers you...and then release.

Finally.

Blessings,
Victoria




WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR OCTOBER...

October 2nd... birthday of Mahatma Gandhi...October 4th...Feast of St. Francis of Assisi...October 8th...Columbus Day...October 10th...Canadian Day of Thanksgiving... October 24th...United Nations Day...October 31th...Halloween




FLOWERS OF OCTOBER...calendula...marigold...cosmos

STONES OF OCTOBER...opal...tourmaline...turquoise

ENERGY...learning to let go...inner harmony


FULL MOON...October 8th


O sacred season of Autumn, be my teacher
for I wish to learn the virtue of contentment.
As I gaze upon your full-colored beauty,
I sense all about you
an at-homeless with your amber riches.

You are the season of retirement,
of full barns and harvested fields.
The cycle of growth has ceased,
and the busy work of giving life
is now completed.
I sense in you no regrets:
you've lived a full life.

I live in a society that is ever-restless,
always eager for more mountains to climb,
seeking happiness through more and more possessions.
As a child of my culture,
I am seldom truly at peace with what I have.
Teach me to take stock of what I have given and received;
may I know that it's enough,
that my striving can cease
in the abundance of God's grace.
May I know the contentment
that allows the totality of my energies
to come to full flower,
May I know that like you I am rich beyond measure.

As you, O Autumn, take pleasure in your great bounty,
let me also take delight
in the abundance of the simple things in life
which are the true source of joy.
With the golden glow of peaceful contentment
may I truly appreciate this Autumn day.

Edward Hays


CELEBRATE OCTOBER...

With fun...simple...and good old fashioned activities with your family or friends. Below I have listed some ideas...that are fun for you...all you need is your creativity and a wee bit of time. Happy celebrating!

1. Dress up in costumes  one night for dinner....before Halloween night...and eat by candlelight.

2. Go to a pumpkin patch...usually held at church parking lots during October...and buy your pumpkins this year. It really is fun to walk around finding the perfect pumpkins to take home.

3.Make homemade caramel sauce...and then eat it over ice cream

4. Tell ghost stories...with all the lights off...except one flashlight on...around a circle on your living room floor.

5. Read to your children the history and folklore of Halloween...and why and where it started.

6. Watch old scary movies...with your whole family.

7. Go on a nature walk...and collect Fall leaves...twigs...seeds and dried flowers...and then come home and create a Fall collage with your found art.



FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS


...FOR YOUR HOME

Use found natural objects for decorating your home this month.Take walks and pick up fallen branches...stones...seeds...and leaves and bring them home with you.

Stones and rocks look pretty set in bowls...or use them as paper weights. Tree branches...set in urns...or tall bottles...and flower pots...are quite beautiful...as center pieces...and you can dress them up with small orange or brown twinkle lights.

Leaves of all colors and shapes...can be put in glass jars...and then set on tables for a natural Fall season look....and baskets always make a statement filled to the top with Fall leaves.

Make a pretty October family altar or shrine...by taking a table top...scattering dried leaves on the top...as well as acorns and small pumpkins...and then fill in with family pictures and votive candles. This is a wonderful way to stop and say prayers of safety and protection for your loved ones...when you feel the need to...or other prayer requests your family might have or need.



...FOR YOUR HEARTH

Nothing says the Fall season than baking in the kitchen...it always invokes the feeling of home...comfort... and nurturing.

SPICED APPLE MUFFINS
makes 12

21/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 egg
1 cup milk or apple juice (or 1/2 cup each)
1/4 cup unsalted butter...room temperature
1/2 grated or finely chopped apple (1 small apple)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or use muffin liners.Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.Mix the egg...butter...milk or apple juice in another bowl...when mixed well...add to the dry ingredients. Stir until blended.Add the grated apple and stir gently until blended.The batter will be thick.Scoop into muffin pan...bake 20 minutes. Serve warm or cooled.


...FOR YOUR HEART


   WISDOM BOOK

In this month of reflection...and releasing...make a Wisdom Book for yourself...and for your children. Just go to your local book or hobby store and purchase small journals... in the right amount for who you are making them for. You can decorate the covers...with Fall leaves if you wish...or leave them blank. Begin to fill the pages...with experiences you have had that taught you valuable lessons and the wisdom you gained from those events. Share little messages of wisdom...little tidbits from books you have read...and poems about love and life. You can add images if they express wisdom too.

These Wisdom Books might take months or even years to complete...do not rush...when the time is right you will know you are complete...and your loving Book of Wisdom will be a priceless gift to yourself and your children...to be treasured and read over and over again.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

SEPTEMBER SUNDAY SUPPER

September 14th...

You can never go wrong making chicken for dinner...and the aroma of chicken cooking...no matter how you are preparing it...reminds me of home and comfort.

Here is a really tasty chicken dish... perfect for a Sunday supper for you and your family...but company fare as well.

Enjoy!

TARRAGON CHICKEN
serves 4

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large chicken breasts...skinless and boneless
2 green onions...finely chopped
1 clove garlic...finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh tarragon

Melt butter and oil in large frying pan on medium heat. The olive oil added will keep the butter from burning. Add the chicken...and cook...turning occasionally...until browned and cooked through.

Add the spring onion and garlic...cook until garlic softens. Add the wine...cream...and the tarragon...cook for another 2 minutes...stirring to coat the chicken.

Serve this yummy dish with fresh steamed vegetables.

*** For a pretty September table setting...try adding fresh tarragon and a single white rose to several small vases...or even small wine glasses...which make great little vessels for flowers. Spread 2 or 3 of these herbal flower arrangements on your table...for a very pretty look.

Happy Sunday Supper to you
Victoria

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS...SEPTEMBER HOME MAKING

September 10...

I am always seeking ways to keep my home clean...tidy...and healthy for my family and the environment. I do not like BUGS of any kind... so finding organic and natural means to keep these little crawly  things...OUT of my home...is always at the top of my list for natural home care.

Here is one using my favorite little bottles of organic super powers...pure herbal essential oils...I use them for self- care... medicine...cleaning...and critter control.


QUICK MOTH REPELLENT

Combine equal amounts of  pure lavender...rosemary...clove...and lemon essential oils in a small bottle....I use about 10-12 drops each. Take everything out of your cupboards and wipe the interior and shelves with a damp cloth that's been sprinkled with a few drops of the oil blend. You can also sprinkle it onto cotton balls...then place them in the closet when you replace the clothing.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR HOME...HEARTH..AND HEART SEPTEMBER 2014


SEPTEMBER musings...

How I love this month...for it is the soothing beginning of the Autumn cycle...my favorite time of year. It is not just the colors...scents...and food of this season that I adore so much...but the feeling of release and "gathering in"...within myself...into my home and kitchen. The busy days...of completing goals and projects...out of town trips...and social gatherings of Summer are gone...to be remembered with fondness...of course...but gladly now...opening myself to the gentle offerings of the Fall season.

I cannot think of anything better...or fulfilling for me anyway...than going grocery shopping at my favorite organic shops...and seeing all the beautiful foods of the Fall season on display.

Big fat pumpkins...overflowing bins with their round orange faces...makes me feel like a child again...excited...that some of those pumpkins on an evening soon...will be transformed into a scary jack o' lantern for Halloween night.

Apples...of all colors and sizes...are stacked high...row after row... their aroma filling up the aisles...smelling like I have stepped into an  orchard...have me thinking about baked apples and honey...and my favorite fruit dessert...apple pie.

Squash ...beckon me to smell...poke and pick them up...and within minutes of exploring all the different types of this Fall root vegetable... makes me what to prepare it... in my family's favorite squash soup I cook... with fresh cream...leeks... and basil.

Bins of walnuts...and other nuts...look like little brown gems from the Earth...heaped to over flowing...ready to be scooped up and bagged...to go home with me...to eat...and to place in bowls for the Fall season table decorations.

And each year...I find just the right ears of Indian corn...stalks left on...to grace my kitchen table...as a harvest centerpiece...that I love so much...each colored kernel...reminding of all the abundance I have in my life...that I am so very grateful for.

My light sweaters come out of hiding from within my closet...and stacks of books...waiting to be read...on crisp Fall evenings... have me looking forward to the change of the season.

I have reflected these last weeks of issues and certain items that I really want to let go of...this month...and am planning my own private ceremony of "inner release" when I feel the time is right...for me to really purge these out grown and unwanted energies from my life. I will create a special little shrine or altar on my office window sill...and place fallen leaves...and dried up flowers...that I have gathered...and then place them on my shrine as symbols of  my "release". At the end of September... I will bury them in my backyard...declaring my freedom from this baggage in my life...knowing for certainty...by being willing to release...and do the inner work with that release...something more loving and positive will come into my life.

My wish for you this month of September...is to enjoy and relax into this soothing month...of reflection...returning to the comforts of home...hearth...and family. Make a big pot of soup...bake some bread...light some candles...and know you are blessed.

Because you are.

Warm hugs,
Victoria


AFFIRMATION FOR SEPTEMBER

"As this cycle of the Autumn months begin...I have the wisdom to release and let go".



WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER

September 1st...Labor Day in USA... September 7th...Grandparents Day...September 21st...UN International Day of Peace...September 22nd...Fall Equinox...September 23rd...Worldwide Day of Prayer and Meditation To Help Heal Mother Earth.


FULL MOON is September 8th

FLOWERS OF SEPTEMBER...The narcissus...lily

GEMS AND STONES...The peridot...and citrine



FACTS ABOUT SEPTEMBER

The Autumn. or Fall Equinox is still celebrated around the world today in many cultures with festivals...food...and celebrating the harvest season.



HARVEST FESTIVALS IN USA IN THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER

I am so pleased that so many states here in the USA are still celebrating the timeless traditions of the harvest season. Here are a few listed below...although you might not be able to attend...you will enjoy reading about them...or looking for them on the internet.



HERITAGE HARVEST FESTIVAL AT MONTICELLO
September 12-13
www.heritageharvestfestival.com

This harvest festival celebrates the harvest and legacy of revolutionary gardener Thomas Jefferson.



WINE AND HARVEST FESTIVAL IN HISTORIC CEDARBURG,WISCONSIN\
September 20-21st
www.cedarburgfestivals.org

Wine and foodie lovers...celebrate the harvest season,


MOUNTAIN HARVEST FESTIVAL IN PAONIA,COLORADO
September 25-28th
www.mountainharvestfestival.org

Art...music.. food... and local products make this harvest festival a special yearly event.



FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS...

...FOR YOUR HOME

Do a complete Fall cleaning...including washing your windows. Put away all your Summer toys and decorations...cleaning them first of course. Wipe down your cupboards with pure essential lemon oil...by adding a few drops of the lemon oil to a wet cloth and then wipe down. Repeat process until all kitchen and bathroom cupboards are clean and done. Oh my... your home will smell wonderful!

Your garbage disposal needs cleaning too! To clean...peel a lemon...into small pieces...put in the disposal and turn on the water into the drain and run the disposal...until the lemon rinds are ground up.

An alternative to this is to put white vinegar in an ice  cube tray...freeze until solid...then place cubes in disposal and run...until ice cubes are ground up,

Make a batch of natural...earth friendly scouring powder...to clean your sinks...with a lovely...fragrant scent. Recipe is below,


FRAGRANT SCOURING POWDER

1 cup
1/4 cup rose petals crushed
2 drops rosemary essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a glass container...one with a shaker top ( you can purchase these at hobby stores). Place lid in glass container...put your hand over top...to prevent spilling and then shake well.Sprinkle a small amount of the powder into sink and scrub with a damp cloth...or sponge. Rinse well.

This recipe makes for a wonderful house warming or holiday gift to give.Just put the finished product in a pretty jar or bottle...and tie a ribbon around the top.



...FOR YOUR HEARTH

The Fall season is the perfect time of the year to return to your hearth...and make more heartier but healthy meals for you...and your loved ones. If you are like me...baking cookies...homemade bread...and roasting meats and veggies in the oven...make for a homey...earthy...and ever so nurturing treats and goodness for your taste buds...and soul... as well as for your family and friends.

Before I add a recipe here in this section...here are a few kitchen tips for you to try and experiment with.

BALSAMIC VINEGAR...Add a few splashes to your spaghetti sauce and it will taste like you have been simmering the sauce all day.

BAKING...Use only glass or ceramic pans...rather than metal ones and you can conserve energy...by reducing the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

ONIONS... That have been stored too long...really have a very strong flavor and smell. But please do not throw them away! Just slice them...and then soak them in cold water for about 15 minutes...then drain and pat dry. Then use as desired.

Nothing says the Fall season like something home baked from your kitchen. This recipe will sooth your soul and create a wonderful aroma throughout your home.

Please try using organic ingredients...this is for health reasons...for you and your loved ones...but also makes such a more positive choice for the Earth.


APPLE AND NUTMEG CAKES
serves 4

11/2 white self-rising flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
11/2  sticks unsalted butter...cut into small pieces
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 large free-range egg...beaten
2 cooking apples..peeled...cored...and grated

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the lemon rind and nutmeg...then the butter...and mix in with a fork...until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.

Stir in the sugar...then add the egg...and beat the mixture well...to a thick consistency. Add the apple...gently mix into batter.

Place 12 heaping spoonfuls of the mixture on a greased baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the cakes have risen and are brown.

Let the cakes cool for 5 minutes...then transfer them to a plate to finish cooling.




...FOR YOUR HEART

Traditionally the Fall cycle which begins September 22nd...is a time of release and letting go...and this includes your inner world. You will feel so much more at peace...empowered and gain more self-confidence when you take the steps to clear up emotional baggage.

One of the most common emotional baggage issues we carry around...is unfulfilled or toxic friendships. Oh my...to have a friend in your life who is toxic...and draining...certainly is not in your best interest or theirs either...you are in truth enabling their behavior...and disrespecting yourself... by not speaking up or closing out a relationship with them.


To get you started on your journey of release this month...take the necessary steps to get completion and closure with unresolved issues in a relationship...by either writing a letter...and sharing your feelings...with your written word ...with the person in question...or speaking to them in person. Either way ...you decide to handle this...come from your heart with this person...speak your truth...and do not attack them verbally...rather be supportive and respectful of yourself....but of them also.

If sharing your feelings in this honest way does not work out...you must be willing to let go of the relationship...and know and trust everything happens for a reason...including the possibility...that this is best for you and the relationship too.

A really great thing happens when you let go of unhealthy relationships...better and more positive ones come into your life!!!

HAPPY SEPTEMBER!








Thursday, August 28, 2014

AUGUST 28th...HEALTHY AND REALLY GOOD PASTA RECIPE FOR YOU

MY musings about food...

I LOVE to shop...cook...and eat really good and quality food. Put me in the kitchen...and I am a happy camper...always.

My family and I do eat healthy...and we have fallen in love with TRUE FOOD...by Dr.Andrew Weil, M.D. His recipes are really good...and very balanced...and I especially love this pasta dish...so below is my family's favorite.


Be sure to purchase your copy of his cookbook...TRUE FOOD by Andrew Weil, MD


TURKEY BOLOGNESE
serves 4

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot...sliced
2 oz. shiltake mushrooms...stemmed and diced
3 garlic cloves...minced
1 small onion...diced
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can chopped San Marzano tomatoes...with juice
3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 pound tagliatelle or fettuccine ( gluten free corn pasta if needed)


For serving...
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a saucepan and add the carrot and mushrooms. Saute stirring frequently...until they begin to caramelize...about 10 minutes...then add the garlic and onion. Saute until the onions are translucent...about 5 minutes. Add the turkey...and season with the salt.Cook stirring occasionally...until the turkey loses its pink color...about 5 minutes,Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the thyme and red pepper flakes and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking...bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta...and cook until al dente...according to the package directions. Pour through a colander to drain. Divide the pasta among serving bowls...and top with the sauce...parsley..and basil.Serve with grated cheese on the side.

***If you are using corn pasta...you will have to allow for longer cooking time. Corn pasta tastes wonderful...but does take longer to cook...just take out a strand and check to see if it is done.

Happy eating
Victoria

Saturday, August 16, 2014

AUGUST PERSONAL SELF-NURTURING TRADITIONS

August is almost to a close... and marks the waning cycle of the summer season...a time for you to breathe out the busy and often hectic days of summer...and begin to create quiet...relaxing...and nurturing rituals or traditions to pamper yourself...and those you care about.

Making your own bath and self-care products is easy...and very affordable...and you have quality control.
Be sure you purchase only pure essential oils...and remember that a few drops of an essential oil goes a long way. Use clean and dry recycled  bottles and jars to store your hand blended bath and spa products in...but remember setting them out in your bathroom does make for a pretty display. And when you need a last minute gift to give...hand blended products make for a thoughtful and welcomed gift to someone.

Below is a wonderful and soothing body exfoliating scrub...you can apply this with your hands...or fill up a clean...old sock...tie off with a ribbon...and use it to scrub with.

This product will exfoliate dead skin from your body...leaving your skin soft and glowing. Soak in your bath for a few minutes to soften skin and relax...then begin to massage this product...using a circular motion on your body...but avoid your face area.

EXFOLIATING BODY SCRUB

1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon thick honey
2-3 drops of sweet marjoram...rose...or juniper essential oil

Mix in a small glass bowl...use immediately.

Enjoy,
Victoria

Friday, August 1, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR HOME...HEARTH...AND HEART AUGUST 2014

AUGUST musings...

By the month of August I feel crispy fried from the intense heat of a Texas summer... and although I am grateful for all the growth...and positive changes...that I reaped this summer cycle... to be honest here...my heart and thoughts turn to the sights... scents... and colors of the approaching fall season.

The month of August is traditionally a time of the first harvest...not only of the land and the crops ready to pluck and pick...but also on a personal and professional level for me as a human being and woman...and for you as well. My harvest this cycle was bountiful and and over flowing...and I feel so grateful.

My harvest this summer season...included being able to visit my oldest daughter and her sweet family...and spend some time with my new grandson. I cannot even begin to express with words...my joy and love I feel for him. I could just spend the rest of my life kissing his cheeks...and watching him explore his world.

What can I say about being a grandma? Words are not even found in the dictionary...it is that heartfelt.

My heart is... just wide open.

My new German Shepherd puppy ...Bayley... that I welcomed into our home...and family... in early June.. is a trip to say the least. Raising a puppy is like taking care of a little clown... her antics are so funny to watch...and she makes us all laugh...as she too...explores her world.

I received many other gifts of growth and change that I am grateful for... in my summer harvest...but seeing my family...and holding my grandbaby...and sharing just a bit of his life...if only for a few blissful days...will always be such a beautiful and wonderful experience...that I will always cherish. I can close my eyes...at any given moment now... look into my heart...and forever...see his smiling... happy face.Those priceless summer days...that I spent with him...on my visit...is a deep knowing within...that nothing can ever compete with the joy I feel being his grandmama... and witnessing him... embracing with glee... his new life.

For me...it is the heart and soul stirrings...of life...that bring me the greatest joy...and forever memories. Falling in love...with my wonderful husband... the birth of my daughters...the sounds of my family's laughter... holding my new grandson...when he was just birthed. All of these priceless moments...were just thoughts and wishes when I was a much younger woman...and now...in this moment in time...they are beautiful experiences that I have been so blessed to harvest.

Sit on your porch this August month...and dig deep within your soul... all the many wonderful blessings you have harvested...not just this summer cycle...but of summers long ago.Fill your mind...your senses...your very core...with all you have been blessed with...thus far in your life...and give thanks.

May your harvest be bountiful...each and every day...and your cup over flowing with love.

Blessings,
Victoria



August...
The opposing
of peach and sugar,
and the sun inside the afternoon
like the stone in the fruit.

The ear of corn keeps
its laughter intact, yellow and firm.

August.
The little boys eat
brown bread and delicious moon.

Federico Garcia Lorca


WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR AUGUST

August 1st ...Lammas or First Harvest... a celebration of bringing in the first harvest of grain...August 11th... Feast of St. Claire... a festival honoring the joys of living a simple life...August 12...International Youth Day... August 15th...Statehood Day in Hawaii...Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary... August 19th...World Humanitarian Day...August 21st...My husband Todd's birthday...August 26th...Women's Equality Day



FACTS ABOUT AUGUST

August 1st was a Celtic feast called Lunasa or Lughnassadh... which means celebrating the harvest and new grain for bread. In Old English Lammas means " Loaf Mass."

Th Romans also had a harvest festival this month...called Consualia...honoring of course the grain harvested and Consus...their god of the underground where they stored their harvested grain.

The Oban festival in Japan...held in the month of August is a festival of The Lanterns...a celebration honoring the spirits of loved ones who have crossed over.Offerings of food are placed on family altars and in temples...and paper lanterns are lit...offering light to those who have passed...guiding their spirits to return home.

August also finds Edinburgh, Scotland... celebrating the Edinburgh Festival...which celebrates the performing Arts... with concerts...plays... ballets...and opera.



FLOWERS OF AUGUST
The sunflower..and marigold

GEMS OF AUGUST
Cat's eye...jasper...fire agate

TEACHINGS AND LESSONS OF AUGUST
Counting all your personal and professional harvest so far this year...appreciating all you have.

FULL MOON IN AUGUST
August 10th


HARVEST CELEBRATION

Have a lovely HARVEST dinner for you and your family. Set the table with your best dinner dishes...forks and knives...place wheat and apples as the center piece in a lovely bowl...light some candles...and serve healthy...comfort food for all to enjoy.

While you are enjoying your family time and great food to eat...have each person express what they personally harvested this year...that they really wanted or had a personal goal to achieve... and how it has impacted their lives. This can be anything...so please just praise each person for their harvest...not judge. This is a wonderful way to share with your family...and also teaches you and your family...appreciation and gratitude for all the bounty you and your family receive each day.



FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS


...FOR YOUR HOME

Begin clearing out and packing away summer items...cleaning them first of course. Unwanted items should be given to a charity...or recycled to family or friends that can use them.

Purchase beautiful sunflowers and set out in earth tone vases throughout your home.

Set out baskets...filled with beautiful dried herbs...as a reminder of the harvest season.


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

One of the greatest offerings of growing your own herbs...is to be able to harvest them from your own yard... bring them into your kitchen...and create something extraordinary to eat with them!

I adore basil...the smell...the beauty...and taste of this versatile herb never ceases to amaze me. Below is a simple pesto recipe for you and the whole family to enjoy. It can be used for a dip...tossed with pasta...or used over chicken...pork or fish...or dabbed on bread for sandwiches.


HOMEMADE BASIL PESTO
yields about 2 cups

4 cups fresh organic basil leaves ( from your garden or favorite shop)
4-6 cloves garlic
3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese ( buy a good quality block of this cheese)

Place all ingredients except the olive oil and cheese in a food processor...until it is finely ground...but not too mushy. Next slowly add the olive oil ...and process until blended. Add the cheese and salt...process again for a few seconds. Place finished pesto in an airtight container and place in fridge or eat right away.

Did you know?

The roots of the herb Tarragon used to be used for a toothache.


...FOR YOUR HEART

In honor of the harvest season...go to the grocery store...and buy food  for those in need...placing them in the food donation barrel.

Purchase school supplies for those school children less fortunate... to start their school year off to a positive start.





Monday, July 21, 2014

MAKING YOUR OWN HERBAL TEA BLENDS

JULY 21st

Herbal teas are so good for your health...but also for your spirit as well. There is something so traditional and ancient about concocting your own teas...adding this...a pinch of that...that soothes the soul...and uplifts the feminine spirit.

Below is a calming tea blend...a perfect brew to calm and relax any rough edges you might be feeling.This recipe calls for you to make in a batch...to use yourself or give as a thoughtful gift.

CALM THE SPIRIT TEA

1 cup dried rosemary leaves
1 cup dried lavender flowers
1 cup dried spearmint
1/2 cup dried chamomile
1/4 cup dried cloves

Blend all herbs together well...and then store in an air tight container. To make a cup of this wonderful tea...use 1 teaspoon...and put into a tea ball. Pour boiling water over tea ball in your tea cup...and allow to steep. Enjoy and relax...this healing brew.

Blessings to you,
Victoria

Thursday, June 19, 2014

THE SUMMER SOLSTICE TRADITION

SUMMER SOLSTICE musings...

The Summer Solstice is June 21st...and is the longest day of the year...and marks the beginning of the Summer cycle...the season of growth and change.

The word solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium...which literally means "sun stands still".The Latin word acknowledges that for approximately six days in June and again in December...the sun appears to rise and set at more or less the same point on the horizon...appearing to stand still in the sky at this time.This illusion is caused by the slight tilt in the Earth's axis in relation to the sun.

Traditionally...going back to ancient times...bonfires were lit on the Summer Solstice...as a way to acknowledge and express gratitude to the sun...for being the source of heat to grow their crops and have plenty to eat.They understood that the forces in nature and the land were the one constant stable foundation in their lives...and celebrating the Summer Solstice was their way of showing respect...to the ever present rising and setting of the sun... which to the ancient people...was the giver of life to the land...and to them.Without the sun...to grow their food...they knew they would perish.

Many cultures around the world still to this day... carry on the tradition of having festivals and celebrations on the Summer Solstice...with fires...dancing...food and merriment to celebrate the sun.

For me personally...traditions that honor the changing seasons...keep me connected to the land... my own feminine spirit...and all of humanity. They also keep me ever mindful how much my very own life depends on the bounty of the Earth...and the Divine Intelligence of the Universe. Everything is intertwined and connected somehow...and must be cared for and acknowledged...as part of the whole. Traditions and celebrations of the changing seasons...help to keep me...and you...aware of the balance of life here on Earth...and reminds me as well as you... the value of all life...including the land... and your place in the world...and life itself.

Because I follow the seasons... and understand that each changing season... brings me different gifts and teachings...on how to live a more harmonious life as a woman...I have a tradition each year of creating a personal celebration for myself...on the Summer Solstice. Because the summer cycle is about growth and change...my mindful intention of this yearly celebration is always about me...wanting to live a more life affirming and heart centered life...which to me... means growing my soul... more. And being willing to make those changes within me...to do that.

This is the celebration I create...and I want to share it with you... hoping you will grow...and empower yourself more...by making it a new yearly tradition ...on this seasonal event.



SUMMER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION

SUPPLIES
paper and pen
1 candle

Towards evening...find a quiet...undisturbed space and place your paper and pen before you. Light your candle...and then gently close your eyes and take a few cleansing breaths... allowing your deep breathing to relax your body and clear your mind.

Say a prayer if you wish...asking for guidance on how you can grow and change...on a personal level...all those issues you have...or patterns you have developed over the years...that are not healthy or positive in your life.

Now at the top of your sheet of paper...write down.... making four columns across...the words...MENTAL...EMOTIONAL...PHYSICAL...and SPIRITUAL.  Take as long as you need to reflect and ponder... what you want to change...or what growth on a mental... emotional... physical...and spiritual level... you know in your heart you need in your life.Be very honest with yourself... but please do not judge yourself. We all have patterns that are negative...the purpose of this process is to clear about what needs to change and grow within you.

When you are complete with this process...write down under the particular column what you want to change...or seek growth in.

When you are finished...take a few moments to read over what you have written...and what steps you will need to take to change or grow into a better you. Be sure to keep your written list somewhere where you can easily read it...to keep you focused this season...and as a reminder of all you are wanting to do for yourself.

Happy Summer Solstice
Victoria

Thursday, June 12, 2014

FATHER'S DAY HANDCRAFTED GIFT FROM THE HEART

June 15th is Father's Day...a wonderful celebration to honor and nurture all Father's and spoil them with love and affection.

What better way to show Dad you love him than by handcrafting him a gift from your heart...a sweet gift he will cherish always.

SUPPLIES
paper
pen
an old recycled bottle or jar
imagination
decoration for the bottle or jar

Have your children sit down and write a poem or love letter to Dad...sharing with him through their hearts and written word... how much Dad means to them... then fold it and place in the bottle or jar.

Decorate the jar or bottle and give to Dad on Father's Day...he will love this special gift!!!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!

Victoria

Monday, June 9, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR... HOME...HEARTH...AND HEART

JUNE RECIPES...

NURTURE... yourself after a long morning or afternoon in your garden... by a shower or long soak in your tub...candles lit...a soft towel...and a soothing natural muscle and joint pain oil...that you have made yourself.

THYME & CEDARWOOD JOINT
& BACKACHE RUB

Rich in thymol...menthone and pinene...this thyme massage oil rub relieves backache and joint pain. The cedarwood oil enhances the healing effects of thyme and smells wonderful...with a musky... woody scent.

2 ounces jojoba oil
12 drops of pure thyme essential oil
12 drops of pure cedarwood oil
a recycled bottle or jar...clean and dry
small glass bowl to mix.

Mix all ingredients together in the small glass bowl...and then massage into painful areas with a gentle touch. Store any left over in the clean...dry bottle or jar. Store in a cool dry place for future use.

This also makes a great gift to give...double or triple the recipe ...place in a recycled glass bottle or jar...tie a tag with the ingredients and directions for use...written on it...and tie with a pretty ribbon.





FOOD...that is healthy and easy to make...makes for a simple summer dinner...enjoy!



SNAPPER WITH ALMONDS
Serves 4

1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 snapper fillets or cod the skin on and about 4 oz. each
salt and freshly ground pepper
juice of 1 fresh lemon
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

In a nonstick fry pan...toast the almonds until lightly browned. Set aside. Warm the olive oil and butter in the frying pan.Add the snapper skin-side up. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the fish to a warm serving plate and cover loosely with foil.

Add the lemon to the pan and whisk to blend with the pan juices.Pour over the fish and sprinkle with parsley...then the toasted almonds. Serve and savor this wonderful dish.

**** Cooking tip....When you add olive oil to butter...while cooking...the butter will not burn




Sunday, June 1, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR... HOME...HEARTH...AND HEART JUNE 2014

JUNE musings...

My daughter Andrea was born this month...many June moons ago...but the joy I felt when I first saw and held her...seems like just a few moments ago...to me.

Her birth brought such positive change for me...and such a gift and blessing...and I cherish that season of my life as a woman and as her mom.

Memories like that stay with a woman and a new mom ...no matter how many years ago that you birthed your child...or how old the child is. Sometimes at the strangest times...my thoughts turn fondly when my daughters were born...or I capture a glimpse of them when they were babies or very small children. Those are the very best memories for me...always...and my daughters are my most priceless and worthy accomplishments of my life.

It is so true the more years you walk the earth journey...the more you ponder the time you have lived...and experienced...and also begin to seriously value your time and how you spend it.On days when I know my daughter Andrea will call me on Skype...and I can talk and see her beautiful face and my little grandson...who both live many... many miles away... that event...being with them...via Skype becomes and is the most important priority for me...nothing else I have planned or on my do to list that day...matters.

My garden now is my time piece... the light or shadows of the ever present Sun...my clock. Being in nature...my feet touching the Earth...breathing in the greens...the colors of my flowers...the big oak tree right smack in the middle of the backyard... is my gate keeper...of time.

My garden shows me how and when to be hopeful of new beginnings in the gentle Spring cycle...and when my garden grows quickly and unstoppable...it is time for me too to get moving on projects and grow my soul more. The slow but steady release of leaves...the brown edges of my rose bushes...are tell tale signs of the Fall season... approaching...so I too reflect on what I need to "let go" of...which as I age...seems to be more with each passing year. The Winter cycle is my favorite season ...all living things in nature have seemed to stop...to retreat and nest within. I retreat as well...into my peaceful home...to create quiet space and solitude for myself... so I can ponder the year...of lessons learned...healing I still need to begin...and to renew my spirit.

My journey as a woman...has gifted me with seasons...each season or cycle... bringing me the joys and sorrows that life brings to any woman. With each season I have had lessons...and turns in the road...that I did not ask for...or even want...but somehow made me a better person...and woman.

No time has been wasted...for each season...each trial...and setback...has helped me grow my soul...and opened my heart more. To the wonder and joy of life...and my place in it.

I am in a good season...right now...a blessed time...in my life...and I feel such gratitude for all the many blessings I have.

I am still growing and learning...and the lesson of patience is still an ongoing struggle for me.But when I feel frustrated...because " it hasn't happened yet"... I go outside and gaze at my garden...in particular my tomato plants...full of tiny green tomatoes...yearning to grow into full maturity...which they will  someday. When I am reminded of this simple truth... in my garden...I know in my heart...that being patient...having faith...and staying in integrity with myself...the best of times...are still to come.

May you be blessed this month,
Victoria
 


EARTH PRAYERS

Within the circles of our lives
we dance the circles of the years,
the circles of the seasons
within the circles of the years,
the cycles of the moon
within the circles of the seasons,
the circles of our reasons
within the cycles of the moon.

Again,again we come and go,
changed,changing. Hands.
join, unjoin in love and fear,
grief and joy.The circles turn,
each giving into each, into all.
Only music keeps us here,

each by all the others held.
In the hold of hands and eyes
we turn in pairs, that joining
joining each to all again.

And then we turn aside, alone,
out of the sunlight gone

into the darker circles of return.
by Wendell Berry



WEDDINGS IN JUNE

Did you know...some classical scholars believe that the month of June is actually named after Juno...the Roman goddess of marriage.

The Greek civilization created the tradition of placing wedding rings on the third finger of the left hand...because the ancient Greeks believed a vein in this finger ran directly to the heart.


HERBAL BRIDAL SHOWER
CONSULTATIONS WITH VICTORIA

If you are wanting to be a hostess for a family member or a close friend who is getting married...I offer you consultations... on how to plan and create beautiful...old-fashioned and unique HERBAL BRIDAL SHOWERS.

Just click on my link Feminine Living...on the right hand side of this blog and then click on the button TRADITIONS .Scroll down to Consultations...where you can place your order. I will contact you via email...when to set up your first telephone or Skype consultation with me. From start to finish...I will assist you in creating a memorable and heart warming experience for the bride to be... that will always be remembered and cherished. And because I am committed to good customer service...follow up support is always included in my fee.




WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR JUNE

June 2nd my daughters birthday...June 5th World Environment Day...June 8th...World Ocean's Day...
June 14th Flag Day...June 15th..Father's Day...June 21st...Summer Solstice


FLOWERS FOR JUNE
The Rose

GEMSTONES FOR JUNE
The pearl...moonstone...alexandrite...agate...opal

FULL MOON IN JUNE
June 13th



NATURAL BEE STING MEDICINE

Bee's naturally will not harm you...unless they feel threatened or disturbed...but sometimes a bee sting does happen...especially to those who garden...spend time in nature. Below is a natural way to treat your bee sting...but if you have an allergy to bee sting...PLEASE USE YOUR PRESCRIBED MEDICINE.

If you get stung by a bee..remove the stinger with clean tweezers. Apply a paste of baking soda and cold water. A mixture of parsley juice and honey will also help to ease the irritation...just crush the parsley leaves and stems to release the juice.

Also a cold...wet tea bag makes a good poultice for bites and stings.Tea contains tannic acid...which helps to reduce swelling.



FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS...

...FOR YOUR HOME

Clear out furniture and accessories from your home this June...that just add clutter...or are so worn and torn...they make the room they are in look shabby and  worn. Take stock of what you want to keep...in each room... and then see where you can place a furniture item...picture...rug or accessory ...in one room and place it in another...rearranging in a different way. You will be so pleased and amazed how good... items in one room in your home...looks in another room as well. Things is such a practical and wonderful way to redecorate your whole house...recycling at its finest...and no expense for you!!!

Switch out all your light bulbs for more energy efficient lighting.

Start using your best china and special occasion items...everyday...it makes no sense to use these lovely items for company only...you and your family are worthy of using them everyday.


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

Be sure to eat seasonal fruit and buy fruit from local farmers...keeping prosperity in your community...as well as your food cost ...and you will also be helping the environment when you do not support air transportation or costly trucking from food that is transported out of your area.

I am easily swayed to get out my fork or spoon for anything made with fruit...or a recipe that calls for an ingredient of organic... culinary lavender. Below is a simply wonderful recipe that uses both...enjoy!


PEACH CRISP WITH LAVENDER
Serves 8

6 cups sliced ripe peaces
1 tablespoon lemon juice
about 1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 scant teaspoon dried organic...culinary lavender
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter...cut into pieces
1/8 teaspoon salt
few grinds of fresh ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 2-1/2 quart baking dish. Combine the peaches...lemon juice...sugar...cornstarch...and lavender flowers in a bowl and toss well. If the peaches are tart add a little more sugar.Transfer the peach mixture to the baking dish and spread evenly.

Combine the flour...brown sugar...salt...and nutmeg in a bowl and stir to blend.Cut the butter into the crisp ingredients with a pastry blender until just blended.Spread the mixture over the fruit and bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes...until the crisp is golden brown and the peaches are bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature. This treat is great topped with vanilla ice cream too if you wish.

*** You can order organic culinary lavender from www.mountainroseherbs.com or your local organic food store should have it available.


WHOLE NUTMEG
You will never purchase ground nutmeg again once you purchase and cook with whole nutmeg... found in bottles at your food store. The taste is unbeatable when you grind it yourself...on those little tiny graters made just for this use...plus it is so easy to grate nutmeg.

I think it also looks so pretty to place whole nutmeg out on your kitchen counter...in a pretty recycled bottle or jar for all to see.



...FOR YOUR HEART

Run through the sprinkler with your children this month...and connect with your own inner child...as well as spending some quality and good old-fashioned fun time with your children.

Have reading night with your family or for yourself at least once every two weeks. This means no television...cell phones or video games. Everyone read their own books...or a family favorite to read out loud... being sure to give everyone a turn at being the chosen reader.


 





Friday, May 23, 2014

MAY ANNOUNCEMENT....NEW SERVICES FOR FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR... HOME...HEARTH...AND HEART

I am so pleased to announce to you... a few of my new services...that I know in my heart...will add more meaning...to the way you celebrate milestone events in your life...and give you... a deeper connection to your own feminine spirit.

I am aware that women from every walk of life...are seeking ways to return to a more simple...heart based way of living...including stepping away from mass produced...high cost...and cookie cutter celebrations. Women are longing... instead... to fill their spirits and hearts...with authentic...creative...and spirit filled celebrations... that include honoring milestone changes and transitions that any woman...experiences in her lifetime.

For many years I facilitated locally... personal  Blessings... which is an old-fashioned... unique celebration that honors a milestone event  for you...that signifies an important change in your life as a woman. I experienced first hand how much these Blessings touched women's lives in such a positive way...and made their milestone or personal change a more memorable occasion for them...as well as all the women who were invited...to participate in the Blessing. Perhaps it is the handcrafted... homey feel of a Blessing...the use of your own creativity...or the nostalgic touch... reminiscent of years gone past...or the sharing with other women that personal Blessings resonate...that make these special Blessings...such a life affirming venue that touches a woman's spirit...and always open hearts.

And in a world that is constantly changing...and often at speeds that can leave you feeling disconnected...and pressured...simple traditions that you can practice and share with family and friends...is more important than ever before.

Because I value...and know first hand...  how fulfilling...bonding... and heart- opening these traditions are... I have created for you...simple...easy to follow feminine traditions...in the form of personal Blessings... that come to you...in your inbox as an e-course. All you have to do... is read the personal Blessing...you order...follow the simple instructions...and then use your own creativity to add those special touches to make it yours...or to give as a gift... or be the hostess to a loved one or friend.

So take a step back into time..to honor and celebrate... all those special milestone changes as a woman...that are so deserving of lasting memories...with personal Blessings... by Feminine Living Traditions For your Home...Hearth And Heart.

To order... as an e-course...you are offered

Young Lady Coming Of Age
Pregnancy Blessing
Baby Blessing
Home Blessing

www.feminineliving.com or click on Feminine Living on my blog links
click on button TRADITIONS
to view and purchase


 CONSULTATIONS WITH VICTORIA

I now also offer you CONSULTATIONS with the most requested celebrations... that I have facilitated for many years.

My consultations ... via telephone... or upon request via Skype...will give you expert advice on how you can create and plan...a lovely and naturally elegant... HERBAL BRIDAL SHOWER...from start to finish...as well as consult you on how you can plan a MILESTONE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION of your 30th...40th...50th...and beyond decade birthday...that focuses on paying tribute to your uniqueness and celebrating your life...instead of the usual store bought...cake and ice cream venue.

My consultations can be adapted to hold for a loved one or friend also...so whether you are wanting the Consultation for yourself or another... I will guide and assist you from start to finish...including follow up support...to create the most fulfilling and heart warming experience...for you...that I know will create lasting memories of a lifetime.

To order your Consultation With Victoria
www.feminineliving.com or click on Feminine Living on my blog links
click on button TRADITIONS

Celebrate this month with traditions,
Victoria












Saturday, May 3, 2014

FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS FOR YOUR... HOME...HEARTH... AND HEART MAY 2014

MAY musings...

As I gaze out my kitchen window...into my backyard...I see life and beauty in every nook and corner. The big oak tree my husband planted when we bought this house 15 years ago... is huge now... so strong and beautiful it is... always faithful standing guard in our backyard. A few years ago... a honeysuckle vine found it's way into the branches... and taken root... amongst the leaves... and the honeysuckles fragrance perfumes the air... smelling like an exotic island paradise with each breath I take... when I venture into my yard.

My white roses dance daintily in the breeze... making me smile each time I gaze at them. I planted them myself... nurturing them each long... hot summer here in Texas... including sending them loving energy...and talking to them too... and they have survived... beautifully.

Squirrels dance and romp... under the oak tree...and climb the back fence... faster than I can blink my eyes...and give me constant chuckles... for they are natural clowns. I leave them food each day... unsalted sunflower seeds and nuts... and they stuff their cheeks with them...looking like they could pop...they are so full of the food I leave them.

My herbs... I grow... bring me the greatest pleasure. To me they are priceless Earth jewels...ready to pluck and pick for medicine... culinary use...and healing baths. Or to place in small glass vases...to decorate my home with.

I cannot help but feel a little sad for people who do not believe in a Higher Power... or a God... when I look out at my garden... or pulling weeds...or just sitting outside listening to the quiet sound nature makes. Something amazing...and all powerful and all loving created this immense beauty and wonder. It certainly wasn't humans... it was and has to be something MORE...something beautifully... incredibly... WONDERFUL.  

But that's just my belief... in my heart...that I hold close. I do not judge anyone for what they think or feel... it is not my job...or my responsibility... to make others believe in a Higher Power...or have faith... like I do.

I just know... that the Earth is beyond lovely... and a miracle... for me...for you...and for everyone to honor and take care of... because the truth is...the Earth is home. And worthy of nurturing...and being mindful of. No matter what you believe or don't believe created all this wonder...and life sustaining place called Earth.

This month of May... the month we honor Mother's Day...stop for a minute... and become more aware how much Mother Earth... gives you...and your loved ones each day. It is amazing when you stop and ponder... just how MUCH you receive each day from the Earth... that keeps you and those you care about...alive.

Start giving back... and nurture Earth. Do your best to cut back... stop doing...and all together cut out things and products that are harmful to the air...water...land... people and all other living creatures.

Care for the Earth...as you would your own children or family pets... beginning today... and by doing so...you will be making a difference in the world...for today...tomorrow...and for future generations.

Blessings,
Victoria


NATIVE AMERICAN WISDOM

Will you ever begin to understand the meaning
of the very soil beneath your feet? From a grain of
sand to a great mountain, all is sacred. Yesterday
and tomorrow exist upon this continent.
We natives are guardians of this sacred place.
Peter Blue Cloud Mohawk


*** My lovely friend Bea Kunz is an Earth steward in the highest form. Please visit her website and sign up for her monthly newsletter... for a wealth of trusted information about organic and natural living...and helping the environment. www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com



WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS IN MAY

May Day...May 1st...May 5th... Cinco e Mayo...May 10th... Census Day... in Canada ... May 11th...Mother's Day...May 26th...Memorial Day


FACTS ABOUT MAY

FLOWERS... The lily of the valley...rose...and foxglove

GEMS... emerald...malachite...and amber

FULL MOON...is May 14th


DID YOU KNOW?
In ancient Greece it was the custom to perfume every part of the body with a different scent...and mint was used on the arms.

Mint leaves are said to relieve the pain caused by bee and wasp stings.


MOTHER'S DAY CELEBRATION

This Mother's Day... give your Mom life affirming gifts... that will last and make a positive impact. Below are some ideas that would make for lovely... more natural gifts for Mom.

Plant a tree in your Mother's honor or a sweet herb garden.

Take your Mom to a local farmer's market... and purchase organic seasonal veggies and fruits for her to take home and eat.

Take your Mom out to eat at a farm to table eatery... these are amazing and the food is so healthy.

Fill a recycled basket with organic hair and skin products for your Mom...and tuck into the basket a pretty fragrant soy candle...for her to enjoy also.

Buy her a book that has a positive message...and encourages her to grow or heal.


MOTHER YOURSELF

Take time for yourself... and savor alone time as well.

Take time to nurture your feminine spirit... with creative pursuits that you love.

Exercise... and dedicate yourself to this self-care practice.

Meet new people.

Let go of toxic...negative people in your life.

Learn to meditate.

Garden.

Get to know yourself.

Pray.

Walk barefoot.

Eat when you are hungry.

Go to sleep when you are tired.

Read more.

Say "no" to others demands on you... more.

Fall in love with yourself.

Embrace your femininity.

Open yourself to receive.

Be mindful how and who you spend time with.

Be your own best friend.

Take long soaks.

Buy more flowers for yourself.


FEMININE LIVING TRADITIONS

...FOR YOUR HOME

Plastic is not furniture... so clear out plastic furniture...and when you can...shop flea and antique markets for wood pieces to decorate your home with instead.

This month be sure to nurture your houseplants...by taking them outside...to completely hose off to rid of dust and pests...and give them some much needed fertilizer.

Take different sized recycled glass bottles and jars...and then fill them with different shaped leafs and branches you cut from your own yards.

Mop your floors with pure lemon essential oil...just add about 12 drops to a bucket of warm water...and then mop like you usually do. This wonder essential oil cuts grime and dirt...and your home will smell wonderful.


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

There are so many culinary uses for herbs...and mint is so easy to grow... do not be afraid of growing this versatile herb for yourself.

MINT SAUCE
a small bunch of mint
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon  boiling water
1-2 tablespoons vinegar

Place the mint and sugar on a cutting board and chop finely.Put in a saucepan and add the boiling water.Stir until the sugar has dissolved.Stir in vinegar to taste.

Make at least 1 hour before serving.


...FOR YOUR HEART

Nurture yourself by slowing down... understanding you do not have to be perfect...or please everyone...or do it all.

Take long walks...by yourself...and just take in the beauty of nature.

Next time you see an elderly person with shopping bags... offer to put their bags in their car for them.

Unplug from your electronics for a day... and read...garden...or make a handcrafted item instead.








Sunday, April 20, 2014


APRIL 20th 2014

TRADITIONS OF EARTH DAY musings...

This Earth Day gather your family together and have an Earth Day circle... talking and sharing about the need of caring for our beautiful planet. Because the truth is...if you take care of the Earth and her resources...you are also taking care of yourself...and future generations.

After you and your family share your thoughts on taking care of the planet and your concerns about pollution etc. ask each family member to make a promise to themselves...and to the Earth...about one thing they can do each day to care for the environment...and have them write that down on a piece of paper you have provided.

Make each one... responsible for their written promise and hold them accountable... including yourself.

After you have your Earth circle... take the family for a walk around your neighborhood... and pick up any trash you might find... and take any items that could be recycled... and place in your recycling bins.

Earth Day is a perfect day to look into using natural organic products to clean and disinfect your home. Do your research... on essential oils and herbs... to clean with and for use of pest control inside and outside of your home...including pet areas. You will be amazed how easy...affordable and simple it is to make your own cleaning products... once you have the basic ingredients and supplies.

Natural...organic fertilizers are are easily available now...so please start using them on your lawns and flower beds instead of harmful...toxic chemicals...that are polluting our water systems and the land.

And of course it goes without saying to monitor how much gas you consume by constantly running errands and driving unnecessarily. Do all your errands in one area...in one driving time...and resist the urge to drive without it having to be a necessary trip in your car.

Make or purchase handcrafted gifts for your family and friends... instead of buying all those cute...cheap products made in China...that end up in landfills.

Make a enlightened decision to STOP using paper plates ...plastic cups and plastic silverware. It is just wrong to use these...use your own china or at least use recycled... green picnic ware please.

Only buy local...fresh and organic food...in season. Think before you buy those peaches grown and shipped from Chile etc.

If you want to redecorate your home...buy antique...flea or vintage stores...use Earth friendly paint...and put houseplants throughout your home...to balance out toxins and have better air quality in your home.

Respect yourself...others...and all living things...and practice mindful living.

Love and happy Earth Day,
Victoria




Monday, April 14, 2014

APRIL 14th

THE TRADITIONS of  HONEY musings...

Honey is thought to be one of the oldest foods found on the planet... and will not ever spoil... which to me means it is a near perfect natural food... besides being ever so good to eat... as well as good for you too.

Besides being a great food source... it is also great for other uses around the house...including using for minor medicinal uses...and personal care.

Be sure to find and use local honey...to be sure to get pure honey...as some honey that is sold...is filtered ... which means all those good nutrients are gone...and fruit or corn fructose syrup might be added. So be sure to read the label.... before buying anything that is not pure honey.

Give bees a good home in your yards...and help bee colonies bounce back... from the recent decline of the last few years... by planting bee attracting plants in your yards. Lavender... thyme...mint...borage...bee balm... honeysuckle...and flowering bushes...are all good choices to attract these sweet creatures.

HONEY MASK

Oh my... who knew the wonders of using honey as a face mask... here is how you do it. Just pour about 2 tablespoons honey into a small glass bowl...and then gently dab the honey all over your face. Allow the honey to stay on your face about 15 minutes...and then using a clean...wet washcloth...that you have run warm water over...gently wipe off the honey. Rinse off with warm water...followed by a cold rinse.
That's it! Your skin will be so soft... and the honey will also pull out toxins from your skin.

BLEMISH POWER

If you have a pimple... just tab a bit of honey on it... and the honey will pull out the pimple.Now that is sweet!

HONEY HAIR SHINER

For a beautiful... shine to your  hair... just combine 1 teaspoon honey to 4 cups warm water... and then pour over your hair... and DO NOT RINSE OUT.

HONEY BATH

For a soothing and healing bath... try adding 1 tablespoon honey... combined with 10 drops lavender essential oil...into your bath water...and then soak in calming bliss for at least 30 minutes.

Bee happy
Victoria


HONEY BURN BALM

Because honey has anti-inflammatory properties... pure honey can help heal minor burns. If you or someone you care about gets a burn...just place a cold compress on the area...run cold water over the burn...gently dry off...apply a coat of honey.. then cover with gauze. Apply fresh honey daily...until healed.  

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