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Monday, May 24, 2010

A 30 Day Program of Radical Self Care

I read an article today by Dr. Lissa Rankin and her list of ways to take care of yourself really hit home for me. Like her I work in the health field and spend all day giving my patients advice that I often forget to take myself.
Lately, I have been going through a huge shift  in the way I take care of myself. I quit smoking almost 3 months ago, I am on day five of the Master Cleanse,I started attending spiritual gatherings a few months ago, and finally made it to the gym a few days ago. I started this blog which gives me focus and creative joy. I  also allowed myself the luxury of going for a couple of fascials, pedicures and massages this year.( I have never pampered myself in the past). I  never looked or acted my age and I certainly don't want to start now.  I am also interested in taking better care of the planet and by taking better care of me, she will also benefit.

Here is Dr. Lissa Rankins list of ways to take better care of yourself. Find your inner strength and come join us on a mental, spiritual, physical overhaul. Your body and the planet will thank you for it and you will find that many of your aliments will just disappear. ( My personal comments appear in brackets in pink)

A 30 Day Program of Radical Self Care

1. Detox your diet. Eliminate all processed foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine (I know this may be no simple task for some of you, so go slowly, plan ahead, and be compassionate with yourself). If you can manage, go vegan, mostly raw, for two weeks. If you can, do a 5 day green juice fast. If not, stick to steamed veggies and salads for 2 weeks. ( I once ate only organic fruit and vegetables for 2 weeks, I got all kinds of compliments on how young I was looking, the wrinkles faded, my skin was vibrant and healthy)

2. Take your vitamins, superfoods, and supplements every day. I use the Usana My Health Pack, which contains multivitamins, fish oil, calcium, and other minerals. I also take Sun Chlorella and Vitamin D. ( I don't always think you need to take a ton of vitamins if you are eating a healthy, balanced organic diet so if you want to just cover your deficincies, read this list of symptoms of vitamin deficiency and their symptoms to see what you might be lacking in your diet)

3. Make a practice of daily writing. Just for yourself. Keep a Joy Journal. Or do morning pages, as suggested by Julia Cameron, author of the The Artist’s Way. Send your inner critic to time out and just WRITE. ( Years ago ,I did the morning pages for a month. I didn't read them till the month was over. I was surprised how the same themes kept coming up for me. Writing out how you feel about whats going on in your life is a great destressor and helps put things in perspective or lets you blow off steam)

4. Sleep 7-9 hours a night. No buts. Just do it. ( According to Dr. Oz " When your body doesn't get the 7 to 8 hours it needs every night, it doesn't get a full resupply of serotonin and dopamine, two feel-good brain chemicals it craves. So it looks for ways to replenish them, and guess what immediately releases both in the body: sugary foods. That's why when you're tired, you start craving sweets! So tuck yourself in early and stay slim.")

5. Detox your friendships. If someone isn’t good for you, take a 30 day break from them. This is YOUR 30 days to nurture you. All toxic relationships are off limits. ( Seriously, do this, toxic people sap your energy and your momentum in life, be all you can be ,without them dragging you down)

6. Move your body no less than 5 days a week, ideally, every day. Walk. Do yoga. Go to the gym. Whatever. Honor your body by letting it move. ( This is the one I need to work on most, I get glued to my computer)

7. Meditate. I know, I know. This is the hardest one for me. If you can’t handle the silence, buy guided meditations on CD or Itunes. I love Belleruth Naparstek. You don’t have to spend an hour. But take 10 minutes to close your eyes and get quiet. No excuses. ( Kill two birds with one stone, do a counting meditation while walking. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, breathe out for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4,  repeat as long as you want,stop and smell some flowers :)

8. If you have a bath tub, take baths instead of showers. Use your yummiest bath gels, salts, and scrubs. Read an inspiring book while bathing. Finish it off by consciously loving each body part while rubbing on body lotion, coconut oil, or olive oil. ( 1 cup of epsom salts -20 min bath helps detox overworked muscles. Sea salt helps reminerilize the body. I always burn candles and have nice music to listen to. This could be a good time to do your meditation, this is you time, don't be sitting in the bath making chore lists or fretting about things)

9. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Drink herbal tea, water, green juice. Get those cells hydrated. If you’re peeing often and it’s clear, you’re doing it right. ( regular tea, coffee and alcohol don't count, they dehydrate the body, sugary pop is just toxic, stick to water, get alkaline water if possible for extra hydration. Being dehydrated causes muscle cramps and poor health)

10. Have orgasms no less than 5 times a week. If you don’t have a partner, don’t forget what you can do for yourself! ( guarenteed to make you smile and relax those muscles)

11. Practice forgiveness every day. Forgive yourself. Forgive that person you’ve been holding a grudge against. Be extra specially kind to yourself and others for 30 whole days in a row. Banish toxic thoughts altogether, if you can. ( Holding on to pain from the past,takes away your energy to live in the now, toxic thoughts make you ugly, let them go, when they arise, look for ways to reword them into something positive)

12. Skip the news and read inspirational books instead. I highly recommend the one I’m reading now- Gregg Levoy’s Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life. Or try Martha Becks’s Finding Your Own North Star. Or Marianne Williamson’s A Return to Love.( My favorite is Mutant Message Down Under or any of the the Chicken Soup for the Soul series)
13. Pray. Reach out the Universe. Make your desires know. Set intentions. Give thanks. Feel the divine energy that runs within you. ( Don't forget to include others in your prayers,pray for those that need support)

14. Choose a mantra for your 30 day program and make this your affirmation. Mine will be “I am successful AND balanced, healthy, vital, and whole.” Write it by the toilet, post it on your computer, repeat it during your meditations. ( I am beautiful and everybody loves me. I deserve a healthy body and will have my dream home by the end of this year) (... just putting it out there to the universe!!)

This 30 day program will require that you give up some other things in your life for this 30 days. I suggest skipping arguing, excessive work, ego-driven ambition, the fourth bedtime story, time spent berating yourself in the mirror, and, if need be- a clean kitchen! Your life isn’t going to fall apart if you take 30 days to radically nurture yourself. I’ll bet you anything it will change your life for the better.

If you can’t manage an intensive 30 day program, don’t despair. You don’t have to beat yourself up if your to do list just won’t allow a program like this. While a program like this will jump start you, you can get your Mojo back with a less radical approach. Simply choose one or two of these activities, and scatter them throughout your life. Exercise Monday. Meditate Tuesday. Have orgasms on Wednesdays. Write on Thursday. No matter what, be compassionate yourself.

Join this group so we can support each other in the process.

Committed to radically nurturing ME and YOU,


Lissa Rankin is an OB/GYN physician, founder of Owning Pink, and author of the forthcoming What's Up Down There: Questions You'd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend (St. Martin's Press, September 2010).

This was a timely article for me to read, I hope it inspires you as well,

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Earth's Ten Commandments

The Earth's Ten Commandments, as written by an unknown sane man (I got this in an email, and want to pass it along to you... If only we all kept these, our world would be so much better)

I. Thou shalt love and honour the Earth for it blesses thy life and governs thy survival

II. Thou shalt keep each day sacred to the Earth and celebrate the turning of its seasons.

III. Thou shalt not hold thyself above other living things nor drive them to extinction.

IV. Thou shalt give thanks for thy food, to the creatures and plants that nourish thee.

V. Thou shalt educate thy offspring for multitudes of people are a blessing unto the Earth when we live in harmony.

VI. Thou shall not kill, nor waste Earth's riches upon weapons of war.

VII. Thou shalt not pursue profit at the Earth's expense but strive to restore its damaged majesty.

VIII. Thou shalt not hide from thyself or others the consequences of thy actions upon the Earth.
IX. Thou shalt not steal from future generations by impoverishing or poisoning the Earth.

X. Thou shalt consume material goods in moderation so all may share the Earth's bounty.

Think of your time on earth as being a guest in someones home. Would you visit someone, use up the last of their stuff, destroy their belongings, leave your garbadge all over their floor, kill off their pets and plants? I would hope not. Be a considerate guest and your children will be invited back for a visit.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thrifty Sunday May 21,2010

Yes, I haven't stopped shopping, I  just worked so much last week, I couldn't get out to the shops. I made up for it this week though. I bought so much, I'll have to divide it into two posts.

My first juicy find of the day was this over- the- top ornate candle holder. It was only $3.50! I seem to be collecting quite a bit of brass and gold coloured things lately. It's not really my favorite look or colour.I will wait until I am settled into a proper home and then decide whether to keep them the same or paint them to match my decor.

Next up is these gorgeous tiny lampshades made to fit over small pointy bulbs. I got two of these at $1.50 each.
Then I got some stuff for the garden, this wonderful metal plant stand
this cute little watering can for getting into small areas
these cute silver cups and saucers which I want to turn into planters for the windowsill
I can't resist anything with hearts on it!
This silver rack weighs a ton, I thought it would make a handy container in the bathroom for storing rolled up facecloths
This wonderful shelf was only $2.50 I think it will go perfectly under the candlabra up top
I grabbed a bag of old teaspoons for 9 dollars so I can work on creating some silverware jewlery like I was talking about in this post on how to recycle silverware into art.
I seem to be attracted to cherubs lately and found this one to join the others
and this one in the center is new as well

Well thats it for today, stop by next week and I'll show you the rest of the haul.

Happy thrifting!

This post is linked to Cindys, Show and Tell  Friday

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Edible Flowers

Flowers aren't just for looking at and smelling. Quite a few of them are edible as well. Our massage class held a fundraiser by gathering recipes from the students and making a cookbook with them. Of course we had to have  a party to taste all the dishes. The one that stood out in my mind the most, was a gorgeous, delicate salad that was predominately flower petals. The light perfumed flavours danced across the tongue like a scented breeze. 

Now that I live in a house with a large flower garden, I thought I would do some research and see which ones were edible and what I could do with them.

 Before we go any further though, please read this list of Dos and Don'ts
Following are some simple guidelines to keep in mind before you eat any type of flower:

Eat flowers only when you are positive they are edible. If uncertain, consult a good reference book on edible flowers prior to consumption.

If pesticides are necessary, use only those products labeled for use on edible crops. No flowers is safe to eat unless it was grown organically

Wash all flowers thoroughly before you eat them.

Introduce flowers into your diet in small quantities one species at a time. Too much of a good thing may cause problems for your digestive system.

Remove pistils and stamens from flowers before eating. Separate the flower petals from the rest of the flower just prior to use to keep wilting to a minimum. Eat only the flower petals for most flowers except pansies violas, and Johnny-jump-ups (in which they add flavor).

If you have allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may aggravate some allergies.


Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers. In many cases these flowers have been treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops.

Do not eat flowers picked from the side of the road. Once again, possible herbicide use eliminates these flowers as a possibility for use.

Just because flowers are served with food served at a restaurant does not mean they are edible. Know your edible flowers - as some chefs do not.

It's easy and very attractive to use flowers for garnish on plates or for decoration, but avoid using non-edible flowers this way. Many people believe that anything on the plate can be eaten. They may not know if the flower is edible or not and may be afraid to ask.

Picking Edible Flowers:
Pick your flowers in the morning when their water content is at its highest.

What Part of the Flower To Eat:

The Following information is from the book, Edible Flowers - From Garden To Palate, by Cathy Wilkinson Barash:

Remove the stamens and styles from the flowers before eating. The pollen can detract from the flavor of the flower. In addition, the pollen may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. Remove the sepals of all flowers except violas, Johnny-jump-ups, and pansies.

Only the petals of some flowers such as rose, calendula, tulip, chrysanthemum, yucca, and lavender are edible. When using just the petals, separate them from the rest of the flower just prior to use to keep wilting to a minimum. Others, including Johnny-jump-up, violet, runner bean, honeysuckle, and clover can be eaten in their entirety.

Roses, dianthus, English daisies, marigolds and chrysanthemums have a bitter white portion at the base of the petal where it was attached to the flower. Break or cut off the bitter part off the petal before using.

Cleaning Edible Flowers:

Shake each flower to dislodge insects hidden in the petal folds.

After having removed the stamen, wash the flowers under a fine jet of water or in a strainer placed in a large bowl of water.

Drain and allow to dry on absorbent paper. The flowers will retain their odor and color providing they dry quickly and that they are not exposed to direct sunlight.

Preserving Edible Flowers:

To preserve flowers, put them on moist paper and place together in a hermetically-sealed container or in plastic wrapping. This way, certain species can be preserved in the refrigerator for some 10 days.

If the flowers are limp, they can be revitalized by floating them on icy water for a few moments; don't leave too long or else they will lose some of their flavor.

You can also store the whole flower in a glass of water in the refrigerator overnight.

Some Flower Recipes

Crystallized/Candy Edible Flowers:

Candied flowers and petals can be used in a variety of imaginative ways - to decorate cakes large and small - all kinds of sweet things, such as ice cream, sherbet, crèmes and fruit salads, cocktails.


1 egg white or powdered egg whites

Superfine granulated sugar (either purchased or made in a blender or food processor - just blend regular sugar until extra-fine)

Thin paintbrush

Violets, pansies, Johnny-jump-ups, rose petals, lilac, borage, pea, pinks, scented geraniums, etc.

Wire rack covered with wax paper


Carefully clean and completely dry the flowers or petals.

Beat the egg white in the small bowl until slightly foamy, if necessary add a few drops of water to make the white easy to spread.

Paint each flower individually with beaten egg white using the small paintbrush. When thoroughly coated with egg white, sprinkle with superfine sugar.

Place the coated flowers or petals on wax paper on a wire rack. Let dry at room temperature (this could take 12 to 36 hours). To test for dryness, check the base of the bloom and the heart of the flower to make sure they have no moisture. Flowers are completely dry when stiff and brittle to the touch. NOTE: To hasten drying, you may place the candied flowers in an oven with a pilot light overnight, or in an oven set at 150 degrees to 200 degrees F with the door ajar for a few hours.

Store the flowers in layers, separated by tissue paper, in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.


Garnishing Cheeses with Edible Flowers

The cheese can be prepared 24 hours in advance of serving. Use flat chunks of cheese, with edible rinds, in a variety of shapes. (Cheddar, Jack, Brie, or Camembert, in round, wedge, or square shapes)

Edible flowers or herbs
2 cups dry white wine
1 envelope unflavored gelatin

Lay the flowers and herbs flat on top of the cheese in the presentation that you want to display.

Then remove the flowers and herbs, lay them aside in the pattern you want to display them.

In the medium size saucepan over medium heat, combine the white wine and gelatin. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved and the mixture is clear. Remove from heat and put the saucepan in a larger container filled with ice. Keep stirring as it thickens, NOTE: Stir slowly so you don't create bubbles. (If it gets too thick, you can reheat and repeat.)

Place the cheese in a dish to catch the drippings from your glaze.

Spoon the glaze over the cheese and spread evenly. After a few minutes it will become tacky to the touch, then you can "paste" on your flowers in the design pattern you planned.

Refrigerate about 15 minutes; then remove from refrigerator and spoon more glaze over the flowers.

NOTE: Make as many layers of glaze as necessary to cover your decorations - can be three layers for a thick design. If the glaze thickens up too much, just reheat and replace in ice.

Serve with crackers.


Making Flower Petal Tea:
2 cups fresh fragrant rose petals (about 15 large roses)*
3 cups distilled water
Honey or granulated sugar to taste

*All roses that you intend to consume must be free of pesticides. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers. In many cases these flowers have been treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops. The tastiest roses are usually the most fragrant.

Clip and discard bitter white bases from the rose petals; rinse petals thoroughly and Pat dry

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, place the prepared rose petals. Cover with water and bring just to a simmer; let simmer for approximately 5 minutes, or until the petals become discolored (darkened).

Remove from heat and strain the hot rose petal liquid into teacups. Add honey or sugar to taste.

Makes 4 servings.

Making Blossom Ice Cubes:

Gently rinse your pesticide-free flower blossoms.

Boil water for 2 minutes for all the air trapped in the water to escape. Remove from heat and let the water cool until room temperature. NOTE: This will ensure that the ice cubes are crystal clear.

Place each blossom at the base of each individual compartment within an ice tray. Fill each compartment half full with the cooled boiled water and freeze.

After the water is frozen solid, fill each ice cube compartment the rest of the way to the top with the remaining boiled water. Freeze until ready to use.

Making Flower-Infused Syrup:
1 cup water (or rosewater)
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 to 1 cup edible flower petals (whole or crushed)

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the water or rosewater, sugar, and edible flower petals; bring to a boil and let boil for approximately 10 minutes or until thickened into syrup. Remove from heat.

Strain through cheesecloth into a clean glass jar.

Keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Can be added to sparkling water or champagne for a delicious beverage. Or, it may be poured over fruit, pound cake or pancakes.

Makes about 2 to 3 cups syrup.

How To Make Flower Butter:

1/2 to 1 cup chopped fresh or dried petals
1 pound sweet unsalted butter, room temperature

Finely chop flower petals and mix into softened butter. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature overnight to allow the flavors to fuse.

Chill for a couple of weeks or freeze for several months.

The author, Linda Stradley, and What's Cooking America have researched all the mentioned edible flowers. However, individuals consuming the flowers, plants, or derivatives listed on this web page, do so entirely at their own risk. Neither the authors or What's Cooking America can be held responsible for any adverse reaction to the flowers.

 This site has a list of edible flowers for you to experiment with.

They also have a yummy looking recipe for Lavender Jelly, that I can't wait to try someday. Saltspring Island has a wonderful organic lavender farm. I think I will make a trip there this summer to get some good quality lavender so I can try this recipe.

These are making my mouth water.
If you have never eaten a flower, do so if you have the chance,it's a delight for the senses( just be sure to follow the guildelines above please)

This post is linked to Cindy's Show and Tell  Friday

and the Oregon Cottage Tuesday Garden Party

How to Recycle Silverware into Art

Spoon rings are a popular jewelry item

 They are a novelty to look at and they never go out of style. Plus, with a few simple tools they are easy to make. But you don't have to limit your creativity to spoon rings. Once you master the technique of working with rings, you can easily make other types of spoon jewelry as well. Read on to learn how to make jewelry from old spoons.

Things You'll Need:

•Old sterling silver spoons

•Masking tape


•Hacksaw or rotary tool with cutoff wheel

•Rubber mallet

•Emery cloth

•Round ring file

•Ring mandrel or narrow metal cone

•Drill and small drill bits (optional)

•Jump rings (optional)

•Chain (optional)

•Epoxy glue (optional)

•Jewelry findings (optional)

Step 1 - Select a sterling silver spoon with a pattern you like. You can easily find old spoons at flea markets, garage sales and online auction sites. If you can't find any spoons you like, you may use fork handles as well.

Step 2 - Place masking tape on the teeth of the vise to protect the metal of the spoon. Use a hacksaw or rotary tool with a cutoff wheel to cut the bowl of the spoon off of the handle. Cut it as close to the bowl as possible. Save the bowl for later use.

Step 3 - Smooth the cut edges with the rubber mallet. Use the emery cloth or round ring file to finish smoothing the cut edges of the spoon and handle.

Step 4 - Begin wrapping the spoon handle around the ring mandrel. You can use brute force or you can use the rubber mallet to shape the ring. Sizing is not important during this step.

Step 5 - Remove the ring from the mandrel. Inspect it for rough edges. Smooth any imperfections with the emery cloth. Try the ring on for size. Expand it or compress it to get the desired fit.

Step 6 - Use the same technique to create wraparound bracelets. For chunkier jewelry, use serving spoon handles rather than teaspoons.

Step 7 - Create a necklace from the discarded spoon bowls. Use epoxy glue to add embellishments such as old brooches or other jewelry findings to the bowl. Drill a small hole in the top of the spoon, attach a jump ring and place the spoon bowl on a chain.

Here are some photos to get your creative juices flowing. I'd love to see what you do with your old silverware.

This one is sexy!

Beautiful polished bracelet
Hair pin
I love these two below, made by prying the knife blade from the handle

Or how about making silverware art?

I Love the Alice in Wonderland style clock!
Solve your kitchen storage issues by turning your serving pieces into a chandalier!
Maybe cute figurines is more your style

How about something functional ,like these hooks?
or a card holder

Decorated yerba mate cups

And last but not least for all you shabby chic enthusiasts, the fork light-catcher,isn't she a beauty?

So go round up your tools, dig out that old mis-matched silverware and create some magic

Happy crafting,

This post is linked to Cindy's Show and Tell Friday

Spoon jewelry: Fashions from flatware
Spoon Jewelry: Fashions From Flatware. No. HA 46.