Monday, 23 September 2013

BIG Announcement ....

... the bloggette has moved up the road to here:

Join me at my new domain and tell your friends, in case they didn't already know!

See you all there,

Vicki x

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Gemstone Lore.... or, I'm dying for a Druzy

Gemstone Attributes

What gems do you need?
Agate cleanses the aura by eliminating negativity; soothes & calms
Alexandrite aligns and balances the mental, physical and emotional
Amazonite assists one in communicating ones true thoughts & feelings
Amber is harmonious and soothing, calming and cheering.
Amethyst aids sobriety & recovery; aids meditation; heals heart & lungs; relieves headaches
Ametrine combines the properties of amethyst and citrine
Apatite enhances creativity and stimulates the intellect
Aquamarine brings tranquility & sharpens the mind for creative self-expression
Aventurine balances the yin-yang energies
Bloodstone protects one from negative environmental influences; provides courage
Calcite increases & intensifies energy; promotes learning & healing
Carnelian gives off high energy & provides motivation & optimism
Cats Eye balances brain hemispheres for stronger insight & self-assurance in decision-making
Chalcedony protects & calms; keeps away nightmares 
Chrysoberyl assists one in striving for excellence; brings peace of mind & increases self-confidence 
Chrysoprase encourages a state of grace & deep meditation
Citrine associated with optimism & sustainability; encourages clear thinking
Clear Quartz (as shown above) is the energy stone and excellent for meditation
Diamond enhances the energy of the mind
Dioptase a greenish-gold stone that promotes emotional balance
Emerald promotes love and harmony, wards off negativity
Fluorite increases concentration and balances the mind
Garnet releases anger to purify body; enhances imagination & increases serenity
Hematite reduces stress and enhances mental capabilities
Howlite encourages patience and reduces stress
Iolite connects one with the inner self & promotes simplicity
Jade soothes nervous system; clarify ones purpose
Jasper brings tranquility & wholeness; provides protection & absorbs negativity
Kunzite soothes and calms; a heart-stone
Kyanite opens communication & aids creative expression; dissolves anger & frustration while calming the mind; aids in reaching dreams & goals
Labradorite wards off negative energies from the past & enhances self-reliance
Lapis Lazuli releases stress & brings harmony; allows self expression
Lepidolite is uplifting and balancing
Malachite balances and revitalises; clears subconscious blocks
Moonstone allows one to focus on nurturing oneself.
Morganite is a heart-stone, allowing love into your life.
Onyx aids in banishing grief & breaking bad habits
Opal helps maintain focus; may intensify emotions
Pearl balances moods, absorbs toxins & may intensify thoughts
Peridot soothes bruised egos; releases guilt & past burdens
Prehnite aids in protection; stimulates energy; calms fears & restlessness
Pyrite provides energy; overcomes inertia; helps to see behind a facade
Quartz directs energy to healing and meditation
Green Quartz nourishes the body; provides openness & compassion
Rutilated Quartz encourages creativity & finding a positive direction
Smoky Quartz promotes endurance & energy during stressful times
Rose Quartz generates self-confidence; promotes inner peace; rejuvenates the skin
Ruby produces passion & energy
Sapphire rids unwanted thoughts & brings fulfillment
Scopolite helps to bring about change & attain your goals
Serpentine guards against disease; helps find inner peace
Sodalite Rationalises and aids clear thinking, brings clarity, truth and creative expression.
Silimanite maintains alignment & focus; aids in one's physical well-being
Snowflake Obsidian Enhances purity and balance, promotes re-alignment of thought patterns.
Sugilite calms and balances the emotions, instilling a sense of freedom and spiritual awareness.
Sunstone provides a new perspective
Tiger Eye increases wealth & vitality; enhances courage, physical strength & passion
Topaz relieves tension & enhances awareness; releases fears & depression
Tourmalinated Quartz Aids in balancing extremes and eliminates destructive influences. 
Tourmaline calms nerves & quiets the mind; promotes balance & understanding
Turquoise (Stone of Life) calms the mind; protects & balances relationships
Unakite balances the emotions and gives an awareness and understanding of subconscious blocks.  Can facilitate the re-birthing process.
Wulfenite is a yellow-orange stone of rejuvenation.  Enhances understanding.
Zircon symbol of healing; drives away evil spirits & nightmares

Friday, 5 July 2013

What to do with an excess of fruit ...

... make marmalade, of course!

Shown here is yesterday's effort, Cumquat Marmalade (with just a dash of Meyer Lemon)

Amazing with (or without) cream, on the freshest sourdough, or shortcakes.

Friday, 14 June 2013

After the mess...

... comes the Tiramisu.

Just made this for a crowd and it's about to go in the cooler for its requisite overnight stay.

Hope it tastes good.  We'll know tomorrow.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Robertson Bird Baths

Feeling a bit blah, maybe coming down with a cold ... looking out the office window and there's a queue for the bird bath!

Next stop, make some green juice (or a hot lemonade...)

A sight for sore eyes!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

June Weddings - A brief (northern hemisphere) history

The Romans celebrated a festival in honor of the deity Juno, wife of Jupiter and goddess of marriage and childbirth, on June first. June also followed May, the month of the “unhappy dead” for the Romans, so not an auspicious month to marry!

During the 15th and 16th centuries AD, June was considered the time when people came outdoors after a long winter and bathed communally. I guess to marry when one is clean seemed to them to be a good beginning… It is quite possible that the use of flowers at weddings was also, initially, a way of masking body odor…

June weddings also come from the Celtic calendar. Even the term “honeymoon” has an historical origin, referring to the first moon after the summer solstice – June 21 – which was called the “honey moon.”

Getting married in June, in those pre-Pill times, meant that children conceived from these unions would be born the following spring, increasing their chances of survival after the long – and often very lean – winter months. Also, Springtime births would not interfere with the fall harvest, which was the busiest time of the year for most people earning their living off the land.

Let us not forget that, until quite recently, there was nothing romantic about weddings. These were business contracts between the bride’s father and the family of the groom, with bride and groom having very little to say about them! Women were considered the property of their father, and, as such, they would be ‘given away’ by their father to the groom’s family during the wedding ceremony. In most cultures, the father also had to pay a dowry to the groom’s family. In a minority of cultures, it was the groom who had to pay a ‘bridewealth’ (the male counterpart of the dowry) to the bride’s family in order to be able to marry her.

Weddings could also be dangerous events, as a wealthy bride could be kidnapped, in order to get a handsome dowry, on her way to the ceremony, or during the ceremony itself.  Bridesmaids were dressed just like the bride to confuse possible captors, and the groom’s place was on the right of the bride in order to provide him with easy access to his sword, if the situation required it…

All these examples indicate how traditions get established by a mixture of pragmatic reasons and emotional ones. On these, new traditions are superimposed, reflecting specific times and beliefs. So, today, the father often is no longer the only one who walks the bride down the isle. It is more likely that both parents walk with the bride, or the bride walks by herself. The say, “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” attests to the human tendency to value continuity and new beginnings, unity and separation.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Green Lemonade

This is my recipe for an energizing and healthy drink.  It is a great alternative to coffee for when you feel like a lift.  To make enough for two people, all you need are the following five ingredients and an electric juicer.

A word to the wise:  most fruit and vegetables can be processed washed and unpeeled, except for citrus, the skin of which is very bitter and will be detrimental to the taste of your juice.

1 Lebanese Cucumber
1 Pink Lady Apple
1 Large Meyer Lemon, peeled
1 Celery stalk
Small handful fresh Parsley

Friday, 17 May 2013

Always Against Animal Testing

So, I had to go shopping for skincare products.  I also had to be wary of what I was buying, being concerned about the evils of animal testing.  This information will help you stay on top of what's what. Here is my go-to list for when you have to go shopping for makeup and skincare products.

Brands That Do Not Test On Animals

100% PureEmbryolisseNia24
AcneFreeEminence Organic Skin CareNude Skincare
AhavaEpicuren DiscoveryNYX Cosmetics
Alba BotanicaErno LaszloObagi
AlgenistEve LomOle Henriksen
AlmayExuviance by NeoStrataPalladio Beauty
AloetteFirst Aid BeautyPatricia Wexler M.D.
Alpha HydroxFree & ClearPaula's Choice
Amazing CosmeticsfreshPCA Skin
AmorePacificGivenchy MakeupPerricone MD Cosmeceuticals
Anastasia of Beverly HillsgloMineralsPeter Thomas Roth
Anthony Logistics for MenGold BondPevonia Botanica
AquanilGreen Peoplephilosophy
ArbonneGuerlainPhysicians Formula
Aubrey OrganicsH2O+Principal Secret
Avalon OrganicsHourglass CosmeticsProActiv Solution
B. Kamins, ChemistImanRapidLash
Bare Escentuals (Bare Minerals)Invisible ZincRen
BarielleiS ClinicalReVive
Beauty Without CrueltyIT CosmeticsRodan and Fields
BeccaJan Marini Skin Research, Inc.Rodin Olio Lusso
Bio-OilJane IredaleSally Hansen
BioelementsJanson-Beckett CosmeceuticalsSally Hansen Natural Beauty Carmindy
BioreJason NaturalSea Breeze
Black OpalJosie Maran CosmeticsSerious Serum
BlincJuice BeautySerious Skin Care
BlissJurlique InternationalSheer Cover
BlistexKat Von DShiKai
Blue LizardKate SomervilleSimple
BorgheseKiss My FaceSkinn by Dimitri James
BosciaKorres NaturalSkyn Iceland
Brazilian PeelLaboratoire RemèdeSonia Kashuk
Burt's BeesLacuraSothys Paris
CargoLancer DermatologySt. Tropez
Carol's DaughterLaura GellerStila
Caudalie ParisLaura MercierStridex
CeraVeLise Watier Skin CareStriVectin
ChantecailleLoracStudio Gear
ClarinsLumeneTarte Cosmetics
ClarisonicLushTend Skin
Colorescience PROMally BeautyThe Body Shop
Cover FXMarcelleThree Custom Color Specialists
CurelMario BadescuToo Faced
DecleorMD FormulationsTrader Joe's
Derma EMeaningful Beauty Cindy CrawfordTrish McEvoy
DermalogicaMerle NormanUltraceuticals
Desert EssenceMilaniUrban Decay
DHCMiracle Skin TransformerVictoria's Secret Cosmetics
Dr. BrandtMuradVincent Longo
Dr. Denese New YorkMyChelle DermaceuticalsWei East
Dr. Dennis Gross SkincareN.Y.C. (New York Color)Weleda
Dr. HauschkaNARSWet 'n Wild
DuWopNatural Advantage by Jane SeymourWonderbar
e.l.f. CosmeticsNeoCeuticals by NeoStrataYes To
Egyptian MagicNeoStrataYves Rocher
ElemisNeoStrata CanadaZia Natural
Elizabeth GrantNerium ADZO Skin Health
*A brand whose animal testing status is Unknown may mean that only their finished products are not tested on animals, or that they do not have formal agreements in place with their suppliers against animal testing.