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Ok, so stop and think with me a moment  I want you to relax;

How does this make you feel…..

  • Fresh baked bread
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Fresh cut oranges

  • New carpet

  • Sunscreen

  • Summer rain on pavement

  • Gingerbread

  • Fresh cut cedar

If you have smelled any of these things, they should also make you have a little shift in your mood.  There is a big trend in some very simple ideas.  Aromatherapy.  Not only are they mood changers, but they have been proven to have some great healing properties.

There is an actual definition out there.  It is:

  • Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.

The inhaled aroma from these “essential” oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing.

We, in Western Cultures, are seemingly new to this form of therapy, but it has been around for many many years.  For some, it is way too ‘out there’ to be a real form of therapy, but to those who use it, it has real results.

I really believe that we all know it works, but haven’t realized it.  Remember that list at the top of this post?  We all have smells that bring back memories, that bring back feelings or places, well this really isn’t any different.

We, in our house, have used it for a while now.  I started using it when we started traveling with the children and they were having troubles sleeping in a strange place.  I found a mist that I would spray on their pillows at home before we went away.  It calmed them and helped them to fall asleep.  So when we were away, that smell was familiar and it would help them to relax and sleep.

One of my all time favorite and my first exposure to aromatherapy is peppermint halo. Is a combination of peppermint, lavender, and rosemary oils.  It is used to help get rid of headaches.  The first time I used it, I was on a field trip with one of my kids and had an awful headache.  Someone offered this to me and at that point I said sure, I would try anything and boy did it work. I did some research and found that peppermint has a lot of healing qualities, headaches being one of them.  Just a few drops in the right spots and it was gone.  If I don’t have any peppermint halo handy, I will have a peppermint candy and that works sometimes too, at least until I can take some medication or get some halo.

Another oil that I am using right now is helping with menopause symptoms.  It is a combination of grapefruit, peppermint, and clary sage.  I use a roll-on applicator to my neck front and back and it helps me with my temperature changes.

I remember the first house we bought and then sold.  We asked what we could do to make our place be more appealing to potential buyers.  I was told to put a small pot of water with cinnamon on the back of the stove or bake a batch of cookies just before the showing.  So without knowing it, it was the appeal of home baking that the realtor was aiming for.

I am not telling you to forgo proper medicine.  Please understand me there, but, I have found that if I can prevent some things ailing my body with things that are natural, my body will heal itself better than with chemicals.  What I am saying is that you are the best advocate to your own body and the more we can do to help ourselves, the less strain we are on the medical system and the more we can be more preventative instead of reactive.


Keep your eyes open. Make mistakes – because you will anyway – and remember that small stuff stinks but that it's also essential.- Adam Sadowsky


20 Diet-Friendly Tips to Survive the Holidays


Most of these tips are not new.  Most of these tips actually should be used all year.  

Most of these tips are rules to live by.  But who am I kidding, if we all lived by what we know we should do;

  • we would all be healthy,
  • in great shape,
  • live in the house of our dreams,
  • have the best job ever,
  • exercise regularly and
  • be so amazingly happy always.

Wake up, that is not real life!  We are human.  We don’t live a perfect life.  

The first rule for surviving the holidays is to relax.  You will never survive if you are too stressed about the food.  Just follow these simple ideas and you will do just fine.

Enjoy the food, enjoy the drink, after all, it is the holidays and they only come once a year.

The Cost of Christmas


At this chaotic time of the year, there seems to be one thing on everyone’s mind.  


Whether you participate in the Christmas shopping craziness, Channukah with many nights of gifts, other special events this time of the year, or even year-end end finances makes us a little crazy.


Don’t let this overwhelming thought make things so hard that you forget what is really important, now and the rest of the year.  Love.

Yes, I know it sounds very cliche, that’s because that is what it has become.  It shouldn’t be but it is.  I could go on and on about why it is important, but we all know why it is.  We just forget.  We get all wrapped in the stresses of everyday life, like money and forget that love is still free.  Not much else is, but love is.

We have had many years where finances have been really tough especially at Christmas.  We have been self employed most of our adult lives and so we have had to deal with our share of layoffs, clients that don’t pay, work that simply doesn’t come our way, illness, more payables than receivables and everything that goes with life.  We have had some really lean financial years and some really profitable years.  But after all is said and done, we have always had each other.  We have had tussles with family members, we have had disagreements that verge on all out wars, and we have had great years where we love each other so much.  But some of our best Christmas’s have been where the gifts are secondary.  

This year for us, we can relax a little financially.  This is not a homemade Christmas for us as we have done in the past.  We won’t be ‘the family under the tree’ from somebody’s school, as we have been before.  We can help with other people’s Christmas hamper.  We can look at our finances and know that rent is paid and we have groceries, and we know how that feels to not have that.  We can look into that beautiful face of our grandson and remember that none of that matters.  He is loved and so are you.

This year we will for the first time in many years have a baby in the house at Christmas.  That changes things.  People seem to behave better when there are babies around.  But, one of the things to remember about babies is that they don’t care about the ‘right’ gift, the ‘right’ outfit, who is fighting with whom, real or fake tree, or if there are presents at all.  All a baby wants is love.  They know when there is love in that hug and that is all that really matters.

Please go into this season of busy with love in your heart and in your mind and this will be a season that you will enjoy.

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well. -Voltaire

5 Tasty Things to Do with Cranberries


I love cranberries.  I always have.  Even before people started looking for ‘super foods’.  

Yeah whatever, I just love them.  I try to eat them all year around.  You can usually find them frozen and they always cook up easily.  We are very lucky here in Vancouver because we grow them a lot.  Something to do with all our rain.

When I grew up we always had them with turkey but thought that they always came as a jelly in a can.  Oh boy, how things have changed.  I put them dried, on my salad all the time now and all year long.

Try some of these simple ways to get them in your diet.  You will see how yummy they are and how easy they are to eat them.