Archive for October, 2013

rose quartzCrystals have been used by humans since ancient times as powerful tools for healing and balancing spiritual and physical ailments. Their use spans through many cultures, religions and healing modalities. They are powerful conduits for energy, which is why they are used so prolifically in technology but also explains their use in energy work on humans.

My 5-year old recently told me that my rose quartz necklace is an amulet. I asked her what power it had. She thought about it for a moment and responded, “friendship and love”. She’s right, that’s exactly what rose quartz is about. It is a crystal used specifically for the heart and emotional wellness. It helps heal emotional wounds, grief and trauma. It is used to open the heart to love – both giving and receiving it and encourages compassion and creativity. It is also protective of the heart and makes one feel secure and confident when around other people.

Rose quartz is a great stone to have near you while sleeping because it can protect against nightmares and inspire good dreams. It is also useful for children that experience night terrors or are afraid of the dark. For meditation or body treatments, it works to help release  emotional wounds and embrace a higher vibration that is peaceful and centered on joy. Buddhist prayer beads are made with rose quartz to balance the heart chakra, the area close to your breastbone that rules emotions and self-love.

Rose quartz is also thought to prevent wrinkles which is why is was used in ancient Egyptian beauty treatments and can be found in spas all over the world. It is a stone that represents beauty.

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dawn canning

Petroleum Jelly is a staple in many beauty routines.  And for that reason alone, I went with the flow a long time ago, trusting that it must be a good choice. I have since used petroleum jelly for everything from lip gloss to skin ‘cream’, hoping that it was what some claimed it to be; a cheap yet effective hydrator. Cheap yes…effective hydrator.. not so much and when I found out the very ugly side to petroleum jelly the ‘cheap’ was no longer so inviting.

The Bad

Petroleum Jelly is a by-product of  gasoline production. Strangely its origin as a residue left over in the refining process of crude oil really never occurred to me.  It is not ‘green’ nor natural in any way and comes with a host of potential concerns.

One such concern is that it can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). According to David Suzuki, studies suggest…

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Flower Stories

We just ran a contest where people were asked to write their fondest stories about flowers. The results were so profound, funny and sweet that I have to share them with everyone.

While my hubby and I were hiking through the mountains in Peru on our way to visit Machu Picchu, I was noticing the amazing little mountain flowers around us and poetically stated “Flowers are the Earth’s laughter” to which my logical, linear-sciencey-minded programmer man said “Hmmmm, I thought they were the Earth’s genitals?”. – Gayla

In the early days of his marriage, my uncle bought my aunt a bouquet of yellow roses after their first argument. The florist told him yellow meant “I’m sorry.” Whether he felt right or wrong, throughout the 36-year marriage, he brought flowers to help set things right. The last thing he was able to do on the week he lay dying of lung cancer was arrange delivery of yellow roses for my aunt and their three daughters. – Jennifer

It may not sound exotic. In fact it is a very simple thing. When I was young, my grandmother lived near Victoria Park in an beautiful home with amazing gardens, pear trees and grape vines. It isn’t the pears, the grapes or any other flower in the yard that gets me, but the peony does it to me whenever I smell that amazing fragrance. In an instant, I am in her garden, with her and everything is wonderful again. – Janet

When I was an undergrad, I would get incredibly drunk. One night, I stayed up and decided to see the sun rise over the hill. I hiked up the hill from Dwight, and eventually ended up in a residential area. Along a fence, was an amazing mass of jasmine, covering the wall in green leaves and bright yellow flowers. Emanating from it was a heavenly divine scent. It awaken all my senses with the sound of morning songbirds, the smell of Jasmine, cool morning breeze and the views of magically multicolored skies. Sometimes I can’t stand the scent of jasmine. And other times, I can’t get enough. Such is life. – Nghi

My flower smell story starts in Morea Tahiti we landed on this beautiful island and the fragrance of frangipani invaded our nostrils and feeling of perfume surrounding us . We felt we were on paradise on earth . On our next trip to Bora Bora the same beautiful smell and beautiful flowers everywhere. Even in the airport bathrooms were beautiful arrangements of fresh fragrant flowers . These images are ingrained in my head when a stressful situations arises then I roll back to the beautiful visions of flowers in Tahiti and their beautiful scents. – Liz

They say the sense of smell creates our strongest memories…and so the sent of roses conjurs such sweet memories for me. One of the first things I think of when I remember my Grandmother is that she always smelled of roses and her skin was equally as soft as any rose petal my finger tips have every touched. Til this day i dont know if it was her perfume or lotion or just a natural scent she carried with her but whenever I enhale the sweet sent of roses i am taken back to my childhood engulfed in her embrace. And so for the rest of my life the smell of roses will always symbolize to me a unique love, timeless beauty, peace, security, and endless joy…as the atributes of the rose so perfectly embodies my Grandmother. – Jessica

Mine is simple but reminds me of the simple things in life. My daughter (3 yrs old) often comments on the flowers we see in our downtown neighbourhood. Her favorite lately? “Mama look at those beautiful red flowers, they are so so beautiful all of them” (they were red roses) she said this while she rode her little trike along the sidewalk. She often gets distracted by these simple beautiful things in life and reminds us to slow down and smell the roses! – Meg

I don’t have an exotic or elegant story, just a simple one. The smell of lilacs and lily of the valley evoke a strong loving emotion for me as they remind of my beautiful late grandmother. When I smell these flowers, I feel her presence and it soothes my soul…….every year I feel renewed in the spring with the appearance of these flowers………….. – Sandy

My mother and grandmother were both floral designers and gran always had oodles of beautiful gardens packed with fragrant hyacinth and tulips. Our olfactory sense is our strongest and that smell takes me back on a journey through time remembering the love of my sweet grandmother and now my beloved mama. – Summer

My grandmother always put a little dish in my bedroom when I came to visit, with a fresh gardenia blossom. Heady and sweet, and to this day the scent of comfort for me. And those white, thick petals. They turned brown if you touched them. They were always so beautiful. – Kristine

There are a few scents that are dear to me.. One is Jasmine. We have 2 different species of Jasmine in our house and they were lovingly tended to by my Dad. He would sit there and count each bloom every single day and remark how beautiful and fragrant they are..He would get so giddy when the number of blooms rose. Another is peony which we planted a few years ago in front of our house. This brought much joy to my Dad and distracted him from his illnesses. Sadly, my Dad passed away this spring…. but whenever I smell Jasmine or Peony it brings me back to the memory of my Dad because he loved each of them as much as he loved his children. – Suzanne

What messages can flower brings? I am one of those who love flowers. At home, I had Dama De Noche which filled the air with its sweet fragrance. Unfortunately, people in our neighborhood were not happy with the smell every night – ghosts and other imaginative scary elements gave them sleepless nights. We cut it down out of respect to them. I just thought too of the golden beautiful marigold or Amarillo which I planted before November on All Souls Day feast. People in our community were disturbed of the marigold scent which they associated to the dead. Immediately after November 1 and all flowers were brought to the cemetery, we cut them down. Now, I have orchids and santan with their mild fragrance; and other flowering plants that have no smell at all. – Adelina

In the dead of winter I will all of a sudden smell lilac trees in bloom.my mom who has passed always loved lilac and so did I.I think it is her way of letting me enjoy the fragrance all year long. – Dale

I lived in Hawaii for several years and every night the sweetest, gentlest scent would waft through our tiny apartment. Turns out ‘night blooming jasmine’ was planted right outside the door. To this day, whenever I hear the name “jasmine” I think of those precious years where we lived so simply and enjoyed the beauty of that island. – Caron

When I used to visit my grandmother in England who lived in the countryside, I would smell the scent of honeysuckle mixed with hay. Such a sweet smell. – Kathy

I like sampaguita the national flower of the phils. Try smelling it and you will love it. – Marylen

Queen of Filipino Festivals – Filipinos likes fiestas. They are celebrated all-year round. All over the country, especially in the summer months, May is the merriest and the most beautiful month of the year. It is the season of colorful festivals and Flores de Mayo or Santacruzan is one such festival. Stop and smell the roses. During the month of May, in the tropical islands of the Philippines, we don’t have to stop — the fragrance of flowers floats in the air. When the rains begin to pour after a long dry spell, flowers magically bloom overnight. And being predominantly Catholic, the Filipinos celebrate the beneficial rains by giving praise to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The townfolk gather the colorful flowers to decorate the Parish Church altars and aisles. They bundle the blooms in exotic arrangements for the many different festivities all together referred to as the “Flores De Mayo” (Flowers of May). Many towns celebrate Flores De Mayo with the community congregating in the afternoons to pray the rosary, offer flowers to the Virgin Mary, and share homemade delicacies and snacks. Children and adults wearing their Sunday best sing and dance to welcome the rains that will water the new crops. Santacruzan is held annually in the warm month of May and is considered to be the “Queen of Filipino Festivals”. Beautiful town belles are selected to participate in this colorful pageant parade. The stars are selected not for their looks alone, but for their embodiment of traditional feminine qualities. It is a week-long street pageant in almost every town; from the dirt road barrio to the metropolis honoring beautiful Philippine maidens and their handsome escorts under the hand-carried bamboo arc’s decorated by fragrant native flowers. May is also the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Christ. Filipinos turn each of the 31 days in May into a charming honor to the virginal virtues in Flores de Mayo, the flowers of May fiesta. Spiritual virtue searches to reach even the young. Every day in May, children, with cut flowers and baskets of petals in hand, march down the church center aisle. As the children march down the aisle they sprinkle the fragrant petals for Mama Mary. This custom is called alay sa Birhen. In Filipino, because it is an offering (alay) to the virgin (birhen), at the main altar, the youngsters sing hymns to Lady Immaculate, and leave their bouquet of flowers loose and dethroned. – Eloisa

This isn’t really a flower but I do love dandelion. How many of us played with them as children. We picked them and have them to our mothers. We made bracelets of the stems. We blew the seeds and watched them fly. I remember my son giving me a blossom and he cried when he realized it would die. For as long as we can remember this little yellow flower entertained children of all ages for hours. Even now, this hearty little blessing is used in my salads, My tea and adorns my table. My first grandchild is due in May. I’m looking forward to sharing that delightful little flower with him or her. – Gail

When I was in thailand we studied thai massage in a hut with open windows and the smell of jasmin rode the breeze and mingled with  the lemongrass and teatree from the herbal steam. – Jessica

I love the smell of Jasmine and in Savannah Georgia people plant Jasmine near their garbage so to mask the smell I would love to grow it here but it can’t take the cold. – Sandra

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