Friday, April 6, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
So. So I am lame and haven't posted in a bit. I'm human. So there.
Anywaysies, let's start those Essential Oil posts, shall we?
And you know the one we'll start with. You know it's Lavender. It's the essential oil/fragrance (let's do EO for short, OK?) that everyone's heard of, whether they like it or not. It's ubiquitousness abounds everywhere, from bath salts to lotions to baby baths to massage oil, ad nauseum. The tricky thing is, though, is that most of those products you see with 'lavender' in it, don't actually contain any lavender. The reason for this is because essential oils are expensive.
Here's a quote from Cynthia Loving (my amazing EO guru) that explains why :
That's alot of plant matter. So most conventional (and even some so-called 'all natural') makers of stuff-to-put-smells-in go for the fake--synthetic fragrances that simulate the smell of lavender, or other EOs, to save moolah. And lavender, because of it's popularity, happens to be on the low cost end of the EO spectrum. Oh, those rascally makers of things.
Essential oils are highly concentrated. The amount of essential oil extracted from an aromatic plant can range dramatically depending on variables such as: weather conditions, soil, altitude, time of harvest, temperature, pressure and length of distillation. The percentage of yield from various plants range from 2% for Rosemary to .05% Lavender to .006% of Rose. That translates to approximately: Eucalyptus - 25 lbs plant matter to make 1 lb essential oil; Rosemary - 50 lbs plant matter to make 1 lb oil; Lavender -200 lbs. plant matter to make 1 lb oil; Rose - over 16,000 lbs of petals to make 1 lb oil.
Now lavender is one of those smells that people tend to either love or hate. However, the vast majority of the haters are hating because they've been smelling fake lavender all this time--or a low-quality EO version. I used to be one of those haters until I got my nose on a true Lavendula Angustifolia from France. (fancy, right?!) It was sweet, herby, just the right amount of flowery, and not overwhelming in the least. It was delicious. There are several types of lavender EO (lavendula angustifolia from France, lavendula angustifolia high-altitude from Kashmir, lavendula spica from Spain, and a lavandin hybrida--a hybrid lavender-like plant from France). We won't get all crazy here--we're just going to focus on the most-used version, the lavendula angustifolia (but we'll just call it lavender, as not to be pretentious and such).
Lavender is one of the go-to EOs for fragrance as well as healing. It's the workhorse of the EO family, being used for a wide range of maladies as headache, insomnia, minor cuts, muscle pain, nausea, difficult labor, ringworm (yep, ringworm), asthma and even being an angrypants. It's a very gentle oil, and as such can be used in a large variety of situations on a wide range of people, and even animals (IF you're trained; don't try animal aromatherapy unless you're an aromatherapist--animals are VERY sensitive to essential oils!). Lavender is the great nurturer of all things--it strenghtens, renews, balances and relaxes. Some of its amazing properties are: antibacterial/antiseptic, antifungal, antidepressant, analgesic, and sedative (but sedative in a good way--think 'oh the sweet sleepytime fairy has come floating along...', not 'holy shit was that a horse tranquilizer I just took?!').
Lavender EO corresponds to the Heart and Crown Chakras, making it particularly useful for assisting in opening up to love, acceptance, abundance, happiness, peace and wisdom. Emotionally, lavender restores patience, lifts the fog of depression, balances mood swings, and rescues those suffering from mental and emotional burnout. Lavender moseys along side, picks you up, says, 'Hey, everything's cool, just be.'.
This is one of a few EOs you can use neat (undiluted) in small amounts for all kindsa topical applications: a drop directly on minor cuts and scratches (or even that damned ringworm), a drop rubbed on the temples for migraines, a tiny bit right on acne, or a drop or two rubbed into aching or spasmodic muscles. It can also be sprayed in a base mixture, used in baths, steam-inhaled, in massage oil blends, and dumped generously into soaps, bath salts, skin balms and all manner of yummy body stuff by yours truly.
Word of caution: never, ever, ever (ever) ingest lavender essential oil. That really goes for almost every other essential oil too. (we'll talk about the edible-in-very-small-amounts ones later).
To reward your oh-so-diligent reading of my oily rantings, here's a nifty recipe:
Languid Lavender Bath Salts
makes one bath
1 cup Epsom, Sea, Himalayan (if you're fancy) or Kosher salt (or a fun combination!)
1-2 tsp Jojoba oil (if jojoba isn't available, go for sweet almond or apricot kernel oil)
6-10 total drops Lavender essential oil
Pour salt into a medium bowl. Mix in 1-2 tsp of jojoba/almond/apricot oil (more if you want more in-tub moisturization) with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until blended well. Then slowly drop in Lavender EO--less for small bodies, more for larger bodies (but no more than 10 drops) while stirring. Mix thoroughly.
Turn off all your screens (yes, you can do it!), fill a bath, stir in bath salts. Hop in. Read a book that has real pages. Have a glass of wine (or a hot cup of tea). Chill. Renew. Relax. Repeat.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Posted from artcar.blogspot.com
|Magnolia Pearl 4x4 Rolls Royce Art Car|
What interested me about her was her amazing 1958 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud 4x4 Hippie Glam Art Car and the matching airstream that went with it. WOW!!! First of all, this Rolls Royce art car is even more over the top than John Lenon's Art Car, with more flowers and off road power in one car than all of Haight Ashbury and Monster Jam put together.
The airstream also has an amazing paint job but it truly is breath taking and cozy once you get inside and see all the details. She has completely remade this airstream in her unique style with plenty of texture and color to keep the eyes busy for a long long time. And after a long day of doing some off road cross country travel you can pull over and soak in a claw foot tub filled with hot water and bubbles. Have tea and fall asleep in what looks like the most comfortableairstream bead I have ever seen.
Robin Bandera and her creations are a delight to the eyes and soul in every way and has managed to pull together her style using the elements at her disposal with ease and perfection, case in point. The only criticism I have of her is that she should have installed a roll cage inside the art car, but I am willing to over look this minor detail, this time:) Great Job!!!
|Magnolia Pearl 4x4 Rolls Royce Art Car Rear - Photo by That Car|
|Magnolia Pearl 4x4 Rolls Royce Art Car Grill - Photo by That Car|
|Magnolia Pearl aka Robin "Pearl" Brown of Bandera on the right|
|Magnolia Pearl Rolls Royce Art Car Inside - Photo by Jonny Valiant|
|Magnolia Pearl Rolls Royce Art Car Inside|
|Magnolia Pearl Air Stream and Rolls Royce - Photo by Jonny Valiant|
|Magnolia Pearl Air Stream Rear - Photo by Jonny Valiant|
|Magnolia Pearl Air Stream Hallway - Photo by Jonny Valiant|
|Magnolia Pearl Air Stream Bedroom - Photo by Jonny Valiant|
|Magnolia Pearl Air Stream With Claw-Foot Bathtub - Photo by Jonny Valiant|
|Magnolia Pearl Air Stream Shelving Space - Photo by Jonny Valiant|
|Magnolia Pearl Air Stream Inside - Photo by Jonny Valiant|
On Monday, I got us a fancy newfangled essential oil diffuser for the car! I busted it out this morning with a little bergamot in there, and it was fabulous. Bergamot is in my top 10 (maybe top 5) go-to essential oils. So, with my relaxed-but-happy aromatherpied self in the car, I was thinking that wouldn't it be neat to do an essential oil feature on my blog, to educate folks on the many uses of essential oils in general, and highlight one in particular each week. Mainly just because I love blabbing about them. Stay tuned...
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Rush Limbaugh is a douchebag. I totally get that. I was super pissed when I read about his on-air antics regarding Fluke's defending her reproductive rights. I've seen several petitions floating around trying to get Rush taken off the air because of his comments. I would happily sign this petition to help take Rush off the air, except that in doing so, I would be asking someone to take away someone else's rights--the right to free speech. And isn't that what we're all so mad at Rush about to begin with? Wanting to take away or supress someone else's rights (in Fluke's case its the her reproductive rights)? While personally, totally disagree with everything the man has to say (and that's putting it lightly), no one has the right to take away someone else's right to free speech, just because they don't like what's being said.
Leave him be. Karma will certainly take care of him. And in the mean time, he's igniting a fire under the women's rights movement that we desperately needed. So, as yucky of a person he may seem, he's actually (ultimately) a catalyst for good.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
So after aquiring the coveted childcare for the evening, last night I went along with Jeremy to his show at Kings Barcade in Raleigh. I brought Caroline along with me (she hadn't been to downton Ral yet, and had never seen Jeremy play out either, so she was excited to come along). The 'Bishops opened up for Bull City Syndicate. We had dinner at some bar and grill close to my work, then beer (I had the beer, Jeremy had dessert because he's the sweetest, and he needs to keep his sugar levels up, and Caroline had a not so obnoxiously large glass o' wine) with the rest of the band at The Oxford Gastropub about a blockish from Kings. Gastropub = a bar with really expensive food, in case you wonder.
After pre-show festivities, it was time to rock. By the time we got there, there was already a decent crowd. The 'Bishops blew everyone's faces clean off, and Caroline, Mollie (my Archbishops show dancing buddy who I'm fairy certain is either on a Redbull drip or insane) and I danced til we spilt our drinks and our hair got all fluffy and unmanagable. A few more friends of Jeremy and I came out--Mindy and John, and Jerry (the ex trumpet player) actually made it out as well. He's grown a beard, and I fully endorse it.
Anywaysies, after the 'Bishops were the much anticipated headliner, the Bull City Syndicate. Everyone in the 'Bishops and myself were super excited to see them, as we'd all heard how tight they were, and we were all looking forward to some horn blasty soul goodness. They were in fact very tight, but gave less of a performance than I thought they would (stage presence-wise), and halfway through their set, us and the staff were the only folks left. Mayhaps they were feeding off the non-crowd. But we all had a blast, and we all got home safe and I hit the bed and slept like they weren't going to make anymore.
We got up this morning leisurely, and moseyed off to get the love of our lives, who'd been having magical fun times at Aunt Melody and uncle Tim's. She is an angel wrapped in the sweetest dream, rolled in marshmellows and sprinkled with awesome. She was very excited to see us, as always, and I swaer that child grows an inch everytime I take my eyes off her more than 12 hours. We got home, and Zoe and I drifted off the napland while Jeremy held down the fort in awakeland. Then we got up and had lunch, Jeremy went to bed (he's working tonight. Poopy), and off went Zoe and me to procure foodstuffs for the week. For fuck's sake, organic produce is retardly expensive. Doesn't that pesticide costs lots of money to make and spray? Jesus. So we spent lots of moneys and headed home to stow away our bounty, watch Jonah (can someone tell me why Jonah has a British accent in bible times in the middle of Israel??) and make dinner. We had a salad of mixed greens, lemon chicken, carrots, cucumbers and cheese crumbles. Yum yum. Zoe had mostly ranch dressing with a few bits of chicken and cheese, and one carrot string dangling from her mouth. 'I'm master Shifu!'. God, I love her.
She's in bed, Jeremy's fed, coffeed and off to work, and I'm straight chillin' in the tub. Not a bad Saturday. Although it always sucks going to sleep without Jeremy. :/ Being awake without Jeremy kinda isn't great either. Hmph. Tomorrow is Sunday (derp), and then Monday will be my first delicous day of not being at work. I am so freaking excited to be off on Mondays, I just can't tell you how bad I am at work/life balance. Or any sort of balance, for that matter. Being a Virgo/Rooster/masochist, I plan on cleaning the house on Monday. If I were a dwarf, I'd be the one who works all the time. Wasn't there one like that? What was his name? I don't know. Let's call him Worky. That's me.
Friday, March 2, 2012
I could not write this myself. I was too close to it. In the days that followed her birth, Jeremy sat down on several occasions and poured it all out. I could not even read it for about a month. I had to get some space in between me and Zoe's birth before I could have peace with it. As I write, Zoe is now 2 and a half (Great Odin's Beard, where does the time go?!) and is amazing and brilliant and sparkly and such a fiery Scorpio, the likes of which I have never seen. So now I share it with the world. (or the internets, whichever.) I've come to be quite found of her birth story. I've made peace with what I thought it 'should' have been. I've learned that it was always what it was supposed to be--it was 41 hours, 30 peanut butter cookies, 15 lbs of lasagna, 3 shifts of midwives, 1 birth center, 1 hospital trip, 1 loving and dedicated husband, and one tiny, perfect, angel soul.
Caution: This is long as fuck. It also includes discussions on bodily functions that, if you've never given birth before, may make you throw up in your mouth a little. You've been warned.