Santa’s Kitchen


gingerI got into the holiday spirit last weekend and whipped up a batch of the most amazing gingerbread ever. Seriously. You haven’t had gingerbread until you’ve had this gingerbread.   (Spoiler alert: the secret ingredient is a cuppa Guinness. Duh.) If you gotta have it: HERE’S THE RECIPE


But that didn’t satisfy the need to create, so I also stormed the kitchen to stir up some  organic sea salt scrub made with coconut oil, salt, and a generous helping of peppermint essential oil. After stirring up a batch, I scooped generous dollops into jelly jars, topped them with festive tissue and raffia, and voila! I had flagrant, healthy, soul-satisfying,  gifts to give to friends and colleagues. The beauty of these charming little hand-crafted gifts is a fait accompli. A short list of benefits includes:

  1. Cost – which is minimal. Salt and coconut are easy to come by. Don’t pinch pennies on the essential oil, however. It’s the magic ingredient.
  2. Aromatherapy. It’s good for you! And who doesn’t love the lovely, bright fragrance of peppermint?
  3. Moisturizing oil. In winter, skin takes a beating. Baby, it’s cold outside, hot indoors, and as the body’s first line of defense, skin gets dry, flakey, and cranky.


  • Two cups coconut oil 
  • Two cups course sea salt
  • 30 drops peppermint essential oil

Bring the coconut oil to room temperature for ease of handling. Mix in sea salt and stir to evenly distribute. Add essential oil and stir, but don’t overmix. Scoop mixture into containers for sharing. If you double up the recipe, you’ll have a ready supply of festive hostess gifts at the ready for those last-minute invites.

USE: Treat knees, elbows, heels with combination exfolliating/moisturing scrub and sail through the winter months with smoother, happier surfaces. Don’t wait; raid the kitchen cupboards and whip up your own magic winter skin treat!





I don’t know about you, but Christmas always catches me by surprise. How can that be? It always arrives every year on December 25, sandwiched between Thanksgiving and New Years. And yet, most years December 1 rolls around and I go into my annual holiday panic. Not this year.


This year, I’m getting a jump on the whole gift giving scene, and you can too. Our friends at Oregon Plum organics are launching a gift-givers dream of aromatherapy eye-pillows. . .by offering  the product at a crazy discount. They’re offering 12 hand-crafted, organic silk, lavender and flax seed eye pillows just in time for holiday shopping with free shipping ($19.99 value) each. What’s the catch, you say? Because you know there is one.

round label

Um, no. These are hand-crafted aromatherapy eye pillows, luxurious silk, filled with organic lavender and flax seeds. Channel your inner Santa and think about everyone one your holiday gift list. Naughty? Nice? Doesn’t matter. This is one gift that truly fits all. This year, gift the gift of rest, relaxation, and aromatherapy. (Only 12 items available: offer good while supply lasts.)


Be a Smart Santa and help launch a cottage business. Here is a link to the Oregon Plum eye-pillow purchase page. Do you shopping now, save time for toddies later.

That’s it. Easy-peasy.  Thank you for helping launch this amazing product!


relax, baby!

peac of mind

One of the greatest gifts you get from yoga is that it gives you permission to relax, to really really let everything go as you sink into a yummy pool of bliss. What’s not to love! At the gym where I practice yoga we end our sessions with a sweet period of savasna. Most times, I grab a towel to drape over my eyes because I can’t truly relax under florescent lights. What could be better than relaxing after a healthy workout. . .unless it’s being bathed in the sweet fragrance of lavender blossoms?

Our friends at Oregon Plum Brand have developed an aromatherapy eye pillow filled with a blend of lavender and flax seeds and are offering it for a limited time to our WordPress friends. Be one of the first 25 people to order an Oregon Plum all-natural lavender eye pillow, and get a deep discount on your purchase!  Bonus: these make a great gift — get a jump on your holiday shopping and give the gift of relaxation.  Click here to order.




bookly giving

There is no time for classics like the holiday season, and that includes books as well as music. We’ve noticed lately that the seasonal music is a little lighter, a little more fun. So herewith is a holiday classic book giving guide with a frothy little ditty to go with it. Happy shopping — and remember: used books need love too!

  1. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Beginning with what is quite possibly one of the best first sentences in the history of literature, Garcia Marquez spins a yarn of love, redemption, war, and magic. “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”
  2. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway. The poetic lilt of Hemingway’s dialogue is some of the best ever written and makes me fall in love with words every. Single. Time. “Everyone behaves badly – if given a chance.”
  3. The Diary of Adam and Eve, by Mark Twain. One of Twain’s lesser known works is nonetheless an enchanting lesson in love. “How I wish I could make him understand that a loving good heart is riches enough and that without it intellect is poverty.”
  4. Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf. Not an easy read but a dazzlingly brilliant classic. Woolf delivers this Valentine of book in stream-of-consciousness prose and begins with another amazing first line: “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”
  5. A Good Man is Hard to Find, by Flannery O’Connor. This is a collection of short stories that will scare the wits out of you as it nabs you by the collar and whips you around with a command of language that is both naked and forgiving. “She wouldn’t stay at home to be queen for a day.”
  6. The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s actually difficult to choose just one Kingsolver novel as a stand-alone but if you must choose, this is a good start: a story about love, friendship, abandonment, putting down roots, and a girl named Turtle. “I had decided early on that if I couldn’t dress elegant, I’d dress memorable.”
  7. Housekeeping, by Marilyn Robinson. There is a haunting quality in Robinson’s work as she writes about the small details of ordinary life. Her examination of the glue that holds our worlds together is at once pointed and astonishing. “You never know when you will see someone for the last time.”
  8. Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, by Louise Erdrich. If you have any tender sensibilities at all, this writer will pierce your heart. Erdrich’s sense of irony, poetry, and social justice mingle in a tale that is at once outrageous and plain in about a million ways. “To love another human in all of her splendor and imperfect perfection, it is a magnificent task. . .tremendous and foolish and human.”
  9. Ragtime, by EL Doctrow. A literary classic in its own right, Ragtime reaches into the early 20th century to capture the hope and the optimism of immigrants and millionaires in America before the great wars changed everything. “And though the newspapers called the shooting the Crime of the Century, Goldman knew it was only 1906 and there were ninety four years to go.”
  10. Illusions, by Richard Bach. You can never go wrong with a book that contains both magic . . .and a barnstormer with a messiah complex. Deceptive in its simplicity, Bach’s story is an open door into a world beyond the ordinary. “Nothing good is a miracle, nothing lovely is a dream.”

There you have it: a short list of classics. Enjoy the season, and happy reading!