True beauty lies within our hearts, our health and our passions. My passions include knitting, promoting wellness and being amidst the company of beautifully authentic people.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Regrets


You'll seldom experience regret for anything that you've done.  It is what you haven't done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it. Value your present moments. Using them up in any self-defeating ways means you've lost them forever.~~Wayne Dyer

Peace, love and a beautiful day to you

Friday, March 11, 2011

1 Order of Prosperity With a Side Order of Abundance Coming Right UP!

the Singita resort in Africa with ethnic and natural environments_3

"When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused
on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous."~ Wayne Dyer

"Then I was prosperous."  Dyer's last 4 words ring in my ear as I think about prosperity and what it really pertains to.  We generally associate the accumulation of wealth and worldly possessions with the definition of prosperity.  But is that it?


–noun, plural -ties.
1. a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition, especially in financial respects; good fortune.
2. prosperities, prosperous circumstances.

By definition alone, I know of very few people who are considered wealthy and/or have flourishing businesses.  I know of far more people who have dreams of acquiring such status, people who work towards this goal on a daily basis, year after year.   Can they too be prosperous while waiting for that big break?  Absolutely.

An important but often looked over component of Prosperity is personal well being - the way in which we think and live our lives.  Joy, happiness and a healthy body must be included.  Prosperity is a way of BEING, something you DO, PRACTICE and BECOME before you actually HAVE it. 

Are You Living Abundantly?

1. an extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply: an abundance of grain.
2. overflowing fullness: abundance of the heart.
3. affluence; wealth: the enjoyment of abundance.
4. Physics, Chemistry . the number of atoms of one isotope of an element divided by the total number of atoms in a mixture of the isotopes.
Once again wealth, affluence and one's material possessions tend to be the focal point by the general public's definition of abundance.  True, having an abundance of any one thing indicates that there is plenty, scarcity is not an issue.  So you don't have an abundant cash flow?  You can still live an abundant life, by shifting your thinking and your focus.    Like a wardrobe closet, we can choose what we will wear, use or adorn ourselves with.  Each day we are given a choice in how we will live out the day.  And since like attracts like, it behooves us to live responsibly, think about the energy we put out and where our focuses lie. 
The expectations under which we live our lives...who's are they?
Let's be committed to living each day abundantly and prosper!


One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen
again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.  ~~Abraham Maslow

When was the last time you reached out beyond your comfort zone, I mean really stretched your ability?

This year is all about that stretch.  Stepping out onto the 'skinny branch' as it were, where the sweet reward of accomplishment resides, dangling just as ripend fruit does out near the edge.  Out near the edge is where it all happens, where possibility resides.

I've decided to stretch myself specifically within my hobby of knitting.  Previously convinced that a working mother of two could never set aside any substantial amount of time to knit anything too involved, the criteria for my pattern selection would revolve around the quick, easy, mindless knits.  My yarn selection was subject to a similar selection process, as choices usually included worsted and aran weights or more bulky and chunky fibers.  This is not what knitting is about.  More recently, I've developed an interest in making socks & shawls using fingering weight yarns.  This is what I've started thus far:

The Storm Cloud Shawlette by Hanna Breetz (Ravelry Log In Required for free pattern)

This shawl is a great first shawl for beginners, as it uses an elongated garter stitch.  On one row you're kniting the first stich followed by a yarn over (K1, YO), and on the second row you're dropping the YO's.

A finished Storm Cloud in its pre-blocked state:

Some of my knitting goals for this year include projects that I would have shyed away from previously:

Fair Isle
2-at-a-time Socks

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Power of Essential Oils

"When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use; when diet is correct, medicine is of no need." ~Ayurvedic Proverb

What exactly are Essential Oils?

Often referred to as mankind's first medicine, Essential Oils are aromatic volatile liquids distilled from shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes and seeds.  The method of distillation is extremely important, as it is what makes essential oils extremely concentrated and far more potent than dried herbs.  Often times, an entire plant or more is required to produce a single drop of distilled essential oil.  These oils can be used singularly, such as in the case of Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon, etc.  A number of oils may also be blended together resulting in a stronger total effect than when used separately.   A pocket reference guide to Essential Oils is highly recommended, the bible of essential oils.

What are Essential Oils Used for?
Essential oils have been used to provide immediate relief and/or cure a host of health conditions.  They have been effective in killing bacteria, fungi and viruses.  Their fragrances have been known to balance moods, lift spirits, create a romantic atmosphere or dispel negative feelings.  They can stimulate nerves, help regenerate tissue and carry nutrients to the cells.  This ability to work on both the mind and body is what sets essential oils apart from many other natural therapeutic agents.  Essential oils can work through topical application, ingestion or inhalation.

Therapeutic grade essential oils should not be confused with perfume grade oils that are used for household aromatherapy such as those found at popular store chains.  Perfume grade oils are usually mixed with synthetic oils and are under no circumstances to be ingested or rubbed onto the skin.  The process of making Therapeutic Grade Oils (Grade A)adhere to higher standards to ensure that the oils are extracted from quality organic plants, thereby producing a high quality oil.  There are no toxic additives found in this grade of oil.

As a daily user of therapeutic grade essential oils, there are a few that I cannot imagine living without, one in particular being:

Peppermint Oil (single oil) -  I carry this in my purse daily for the occasional headache, indigestion, to lift my mood, sinus decongestant or for use as a pain reliever.  It has far many more uses, but these uses alone make Peppermint Oil invaluable.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dude, Ewe Can Knit Too!

Have you ever considered learning how to knit?

...Or crotchet?

Or learning both?  Why not have the best of both worlds?

Every guy laughs whenever I say, 'Men were the very first knitters, you know.'  It's true.  During the Renaissance Era fishermen and sailors were amongst the male knitters, and shepherds had unlimited access to yarn while women were only allowed to be spinners of wool. It is only here in the Western world where knitting carries a social stigma as distinct as the stigmas associated with that of mental illness, one's sexual orientation or someone with a criminal background.

Knitting is not just a fun, relaxing and an expressive art form -- it's SEXY!  Ask my friend Fran, who came to work one morning and described what she saw on the train, a man knitting!  As she retold the event, we got the visual and concluded that a man who knits is sexy, period.

Okay, so you don't need to look any sexier than you already are.  Well perhaps you could you use a pair of custom hand knitted, perfectly fitting socks that WILL NOT SHRINK.  No?  Then what about the luxuriously refined softness of a quality-crafted, hand knitted sweater.  Ah-ha, Gotcha! 

Why not cast on today, someone would be more than happy to assist you in getting started.  There are also a number of men knitting groups within local yarn stores in many areas across the state such as the 'Men's Night' group advertised at The Lionbrand Studio in New York City.

Another suggestion is to join Ravelry, an on-line community for knitters and crocheters complete with access to a quite substantial database of information for resources, yarn, tools and access to thousands of free patterns.

Dude, what are you waiting for...cast on today!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Woobie-ful Weekend

1.  Something very precious and snugly, like yarn, that gives a person a feeling of comfort.

     Yarn is without a doubt my woobie. 

This weekend was nothing short of fantabulous as I spent it surrounded by hundreds of knitters and crocheters at the Vogue Knitting Live event held at the New York Hilton.  Amongst the most beautiful fibers, colors and textures  were vendors, world renowned authors and knitters, fashion shows, demos, classes and seminars, two of which I attended 'Turning your passion into a business' and 'Scandinavian Knitting'.  Quite a number of magazines, on-line yarn stores and local yarn shops were also represented.  A yarn crafter's dream.

Funky Scarf That Buttons into a Sweater Thingy!

The freebies were flowing as well.  From dark chocolate and nail files found at the Vogueknitting booth, to free jumbo tote bags from Lionbrand.  I must be sure to also mention the free advice, patterns, and knitting lessons that were made available.  Smiles were everywhere, conversations were inspiring, and the garments were cutting edge as everyone sported their best hand knitted garments such as shawls, coats, sweaters, funky hats and handbags.  Why didn't I think of that?!  I didn't wear any of my hand knitted accessories.  My focus was definitely all about acquiring new yarn!
The newest addition to my stash

Speaking of yarn, there were a couple of booths selling yarn at half its retail price.  I was in the market for what is known as sock yarn, a yarn that is categorized as super fine, its weight being listed in category 1.  It can be used for socks and shawls, the later of which I plan to use it for.  The yarn I purchased came in infant sized jumbo hanks, and I couldn't resist rewinding some of them into several smaller manageable skeins (balls of yarn) as soon as I returned home.

I also had the opportunity to feel (and smell) unprocessed/untreated bison, which is quite soft, fluffy and about 12 percent warmer than sheep wool.    I won't go into detail about what untreated buffalo wool smells like, but in a word, it's oooweewild, HA!  The fabric that bison wool knits up is unbelievably warm and strong.  The price of this wool is quite comparable to high quality cashmere, only softer, and unlike cashmere it can be washed and won't shrink in the heard correctly.  This is definitely the good stuff, and I plan to treat myself to a skein or two one day.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


It's the 'year of the 1's'...not setting a resolution this special 'year of firsts' seems almost unusual.  However, statistics show that approximately 8% of the people that set resolutions for the new year successfully reach them.  It is no surprise that many people have given up on setting a New Year's resolution all together.

That being said, perhaps it may be one's focus that needs to change.  Rather than focusing on a goal (i.e., to lose 20 lbs), one may have better success at focusing on a theme (i.e., wellness), stating your intention regarding it and then going a step further by visualizing what that looks like.   Having a broader focus as opposed to one specific goal in mind just may be the key to success as suggested in the book, Goal-Free Living: How to Have the Life You Want NOW!

My intentions for 2011 are relaxation and simplification.  Sure, I'd like to travel across the world experiencing top notch accommodations and sampling the yummiest of foods.  However, in reality, an example of what relaxation would look like for me in 2011 is:
  • Knitting every day.  Whether it's simply a few rows when I arise or before I retire each day, or a quick 2 hr project, each day I have the opportunity to knit is a very good day.
  • Spending 30 minutes each day in silent reflection and gratitude.
  • Let it go.  Don't try to force the outcome, control uncontrollable situations or try to make people behave (ok people, I need you to work with me on this one).
  • Staying present.  By staying present, there's less room for worry and feelings of anxiety.
An example of what simplification would look like for me is:
  • Clearing out the clutter.  If I don't use it, wear it, want it or need it, give it to someone who could.  This task alone might take me more than half of the year to accomplish, so I'll stop there :-)
Are these resolutions intentions realistic and attainable?  Absolutely.  I am resolved to simplify my life, put my feet up and relax. These are my intentions.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

When Its Ok to Play With Your Food

This evening's post was inspired by a number of friends who have expressed at one time or another that they would like for their younger children to eat more fruits and vegetables, or to try them at all.

The solution is not nearly as complicated as it may seem, and there are a dozen or more ways in which to approach this issue.   For starters:
  • Eat them yourself (fruits and vegetables, that is...please, no nibbling on the children). Children are quicker to 'do as we do' rather than 'do as we say do', period. 

  • Have fruits and veggies in plain sight at ALL times.  (Keyword: 'ALL') Garnish every meal's plate with something 'live' whether it gets eaten or not.  What's in your fruit bowl?  Hopefully it isn't filled with this week's mail, keys, loose change, or worse, artificial fruit.  Raw fruits and vegetables are truly the only real 'fast food', no long lines, just wash and eat!

  • Don't sneak them in. There really isn't a need to trick them into eating fruits and veggies, they're naturally yummy.   It really isn't worth the risk of getting caught...precious brownie points are at risk here.  Besides, if someone did that to me, I'd be quite upset, wouldn't you?

  • Get them involved.  Children take delight in picking out fruit or vegetables that aren't bruised, look sweet or smell fragrant from the supermarket.  Allow them to help make a salad for dinner, challenging them to incorporate all of the colors of the rainbow.

  • Aw let 'em play with their food!  (See photos throughout this post)  You just may see some finger licking or sampling going on.  It has been my experience that husbands love to play with their veggies too!

  • Use your 'trump card' or provide a 'trade off' if you must.  My 5 yr old grazes heavily during the day but prefers a light meal in the evening.  A trump card for her may be not so much 'If you finish your dinner', rather, 'If you finish your broccoli, you can have your dessert'.  An example of a 'trade off' that she usually suggest would be, 'Mom, can I just eat my salad, I don't want the rice.'  Both scenarios are a win in my book.
As a demonstration of how some of these suggestions would look, my little ones were only too excited to help out with this project.  The rules were simple, 1.  no eating (you'd have to know my kids to know how difficult this request was for them), 2. be creative, and make the fruits and veggies look yummy enough for kids who don't know how good they taste to want to try them, and 3.  have fun.   The broke the first two rules at one time or another and each one reported on the other.  But the number question they kept asking was, 'Moooooooom, when can we eat the fooooood?!'

Safety knives

A Rocket Ship

The Boat actually floats!

Good health to you all.  And remember, play with your food...its OK.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Pics & Vogue

Our house guests have returned home, but here are some lasting memories from the weekend:

Vogue Knitting Live Event:
Verrrry exciting! I just registered for the Vogue Knitting Live event, hosted at the Hilton New York Hotel, January 21- 23, 2011.  There will be world renowned knitters, workshops, fashion shows, shopping at the Market Place, a beginners bar for novice knitters, raffels, giveaways & More!  I will be attending Saturday's 9 am workshop, hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cinnamon...not just for baking

A few days ago I opened the door to my apt to the yummy smell of cinnamon, convinced that something special was baking in the oven.  To my disappointment, my husband explained that he was merely boiling water with a few sprinkles of cinnamon in it to rid the apt of the burnt smell that filled the air.  Needlesstosay, this little 'trick' of his worked, and I've been using it ever since.  

Frontier Cinnamon Powder Certified Organic (3% Oil), 16 Ounce Bags (Pack of 2)
Cinnamon is often associated with fresh baked rolls.  However, once valued more than gold itself in the ancient world, Cinnamon has far more uses than one could possibly imagine.  From embalming bodies to curing meat, the list of cures Cinnamon is associated with is endless depending on which side of the globe you reside.  Curious about some of its other uses, I did some poking around and compiled a short list of just a few remedies that held my interest:

cold relief
improves breast milk production
nervous tension

As some of you know, I am a huge fan of all therapeutic grade essential oils (man's first medicine), so I will be ordering some cinnamon oil tomorrow!

When diet is wrong medicine is of no use.  When diet is correct medicine is of no need.
~Ayurvedic Proverb

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It begins now...

Helllllooooo 2011!  A really good wine is yummy, isn't it?  A beautiful yarn is also yummy, although I'm not sure the two are a good mix as I knit the Honey Cowl, HA!  But I'll know for certain after a few pattern repeats.
Today was a beautiful day as I volunteered to be a tour guide for our guests from out of town.  From the Ice Skating Rink in Rockefeller Center, to the snow melting piers of Long Island City and the Roosevelt Island tour and tram discussion, I was able to see parts of NYC with fresh eyes, paying close attention to every detail.  Speaking of detail, I also engaged in some Lego how Legos have evolved! I'd forgotten just how fun they were!  Check this out:
Like the detail crucial to building such intricate sculptures found at the Lego store, I am present and connected to living life to the fullest.  It begins now.