Getting Back to Basics

Everyday Feng Shui

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The past few weeks, many of us have felt the urge to purge material possessions that feel unnecessary in our lives.  Much of this energy is in thanks to the Year of the Pig.  The end of the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac brings about a time to get ready for a new cycle to begin, especially for Pig natives like myself.  It’s no surprise that many have found themselves inspired by the new Netflix show Tidying Up to rid their households of items that no longer bring them joy.  While in the past we might have found ourselves hanging on to possessions that we felt we could never part with; at this time, we find ourselves throwing these items to the side without hesitation, ready to take them to a donation center or thrift store. Decluttering our space also helps declutter our minds; and in order to be mindful, a clear and focused mind is necessary in order to live in the present moment.  Once we have a new-found sense of clarity, it’s time to start aligning the energy of our dwellings with the energy we wish to project this year.  This week’s Mindful Musing is all about Feng Shui, its origins, and how you can incorporate this powerful energy into your life.

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Feng Shui originated in ancient Chinese astrology.  Feng Shui is all about harmony and balance.  This geomancy uses the influence of energy forces in certain directions to create balance in harmony between ourselves and our environment.  Feng Shui translates into English as “wind water.” Imagine the energy forces that flow within you and throughout your environment as water.  Imagine yourself laying in the water.  In rough waters, the journey is not as tranquil.  When you flow with the current, your travel down a river requires little to no effort.  Life should be easy to travel through and Feng Shui is an excellent way to align your energy with the energy force that binds us all together.

Once your space is decluttered, it’s good practice to clear your space with a sage stick or use other energy clearing practices to get yourself ready for the good energy to flow through your space.  Next, it’s time to determine the Bagua (a Feng Shui energy map) for your household. A traditional Bagua map uses compass directions in relation to the grid used, while Western tradition bases its directional coordination in relation to the wall of the front door.  Some Feng Shui experts might say that following the grids in place is necessary for the energy to flow as it should, it’s important to tap into your intuition to help you feel what energy works with you and what energy works against you.  My space happens to align with both traditions allowing me to easily identify the various grids in my household. 

Image taken from www.housebeautiful.com

Image taken from www.housebeautiful.com

Now that you have identified what parts of your space align with the specific Bagua areas, it’s time to take into consideration the various elements and colors associated with particular intentions in order to manifest your desires with ease.  To help you with your Feng Shui journey, tune into our Instagram feed for #FengShuiFriday where we will share with you a Feng Shui tip each week!

There are many resources you can use to include Feng Shui in your life.  The Chinese astrology book I mentioned a couple weeks back is a great source for finding the best Feng Shui tips for each individual astrological sign.  I have found this book extremely useful in my personal household cleansing that I have been tackling the last couple of weeks.  What I love about Donna Stellhorn’s book is that she gives basic Feng Shui advice along with tips for each specific sign, along with other details pertaining specifically to 2019, including Flying Star information. You can pick up Donna Stellhorn’s Year of the Earth Pig predictions on Amazon for only $9.99. What’s amazing about Donna Stellhorn’s book is that she gives you contact information so you can ask any Feng Shui questions that you might have. 

You can also simply Google “Feng Shui Basics” to find the grids and color associations you need to get your place aligned with the energy you need in order to utilize the prosperously lucky energy the Pig has to offer all of us in 2019!

Essential Oils

Lovely Lavender

February Essential Oil of the Month

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Today’s Mindful Musing is all about lavender. One of the most popular and versatile essential oils, lavender is great to use for aromatherapy purposes. Lavender blends harmoniously with a variety of other essential oils. It’s also great to use in a variety of health and beauty products. There are many medicinal reasons why people use lavender oil, including the treatment of hair loss, fungal infections, wounds, and anxiety to name a few. While the FDA does not approve of using lavender oil for medicinal purposes, it is still widely used by those who believe in its magic.

Lavender essential oil is associated with February’s birthstone Amethyst. Both amethyst and lavender have claims of helping with insomnia and other sleep related issues. It’s even been said that keeping a satchel of lavender flowers by the bed helps induce good dreams. Peppermint and lavender is an excellent blend to add to a diffuser when trying to fall asleep. Our Dream aromatherapy mist also uses this calming blend of essential oils and is excellent to spray on pillows and sheets before drifting asleep!

Many health and beauty products also include lavender oil in its ingredients for its skin purifying properties and fragrant aroma. While lavender in its plant for is non-toxic, lavender essential oil is highly toxic if swallowed and not advised to use in anything that is to be ingested. However, when diluted with a carrier oil, lavender oil is a great addition to facial and lip treatments, including lip balms.

Because we love lavender so much, we’re offering a special discount on our Dream aromatherapy spray until the end of the February. Use the promo code DREAMON to save 15% on this nighttime Mindful Mist!

To learn more about lavender oil and its benefits, visit Medical News Today’s article on lavender!

*The statements made regarding this product have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of this product has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

*The statements made regarding this product have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of this product has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

Mindfulness in 2019

2019: Year of the Earth Pig

As some of you may know, we are entering the Year of the Earth Pig on February 5, 2019.  This year signifies the end of a twelve-year cycle, as far as Chinese Astrology is concerned.  However, each sign is at a different stage in their own personal cycle, which you can read more about in Donna Stellhorn’s book on 2019’s Year of the Earth Pig. Many of us, including myself, had a tumultuous 2018 and are looking forward to a much more enjoyable year ahead.  This week’s Mindful Musing is centered around preparing for the very promising year ahead and what you can do to get yourself ready to reap the rewards of what the Pig Year’s energy has to offer! 

To understand what this upcoming Chinese New Year has to offer, let’s discuss a little more about the characteristics the Pig sign inherits.  Although the Pig seems like one of the least attractive signs of the Chinese zodiac, those who are Pig natives encompass prosperous and lucky energy when it comes to family and friends.  Pig natives enjoy the company of others, and take much pleasure in the indulgent aspects of life, including: good food, drink, entertainment, etc. We can expect a year revolving around enjoying the comfort and joy of the household.  It’s a year to focus on the simple pleasures in life and take in the rest and relaxation we had been praying for throughout 2018. 

With all the opportunities to enjoy life, we might find it hard to find the right time to stop and focus on keeping our momentum going if we want to keep moving forward with our career and creative endeavors.  We are likely to overindulge in a number of ways and we might find ourselves creating excuses for putting off work for another day.  For those of us working on new career paths this, there still can be pleasure found in focusing on our careers and still have time to enjoy the company of family and friends.  In fact, Earth Pig years are known for good business, especially businesses focused on making others comfortable in their lives. 

We could find ourselves reconnecting deeply to our spiritual side this year.  As we find ourselves getting back to basics, we might also find ourselves looking around our households looking for material possessions which no longer tickle our fancy.  2019 is a great year to clear out our households and focus on keeping our surroundings simple and cozy.  One of the best aspects of reconnecting to our spiritual side is connecting our household to this wavelength as well.  A great way to connect our outer world with our inner world is through the powerful use of Feng Shui.  One of the favorite inclusions of Donna Stellhorn’s Chinese Astrology books are sections revolving around the power of Feng Shui, both general information, as well has information specific to each sign! For example, being a Pig native, I will find it very useful to hang a pair of decorative fish by my front door.  In Feng Shui, fish are used to attract wealth. 

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Donna Stellhorn’s book also includes month by month predictions for each sign, along with lucky days for everyone to focus on.  It would be a great idea during the next couple of weeks to organize our households and create a space that inhibits positive energy that opens us up to more mindfulness in our lives.  There’s a new show on Netflix called “Tidying Up” that might give you that extra boost of motivation one might need to tackle the duty of housecleaning.  Opening up our dwelling also opens us up to new opportunities as well.  While most of our focus will be on enjoying life, we will find plenty of new opportunities for us to explore as well, if we keep ourselves open and receptive to receiving them.  One of the more general Feng Shui tools in Donna Stellhorn’s book is the 2019 Flying Star chart, which describes lucky and unlucky areas of our household and how to utilize the energy of each area.  Even if you don’t believe in the power of Feng Shui, simply being mindful of the various aspects of our lives, such as family and financial success, we open ourselves up to focusing more attention on such areas of our lives on a daily basis.  The simple burning of a blue candle in the South direction of our household can burn off any excess negative energy associated with our careers and professional relationships.  I also find that Feng Shui related items also make excellent gifts.  Simple pleasures are to be greatly enjoyed this year. Receiving decorative gifts to beautify the household should go over well with just about anyone, especially if a handwritten explanation on how to use the power of Feng Shui is included with the gift.

2019 is a year for us to celebrate life!  If we have fallen off a daily workout routine, it is best we get started on a new one before the coming New Year begins.  While routine may seem boring, in a year full of indulgence and celebration, it’s important we remember to be mindful of our physical health as well as our mental health.  While taking a mental vacation can bring about relaxation, it can also bring about anxiety if we take a break for too long.  Learning to balance pleasure and perseverance is the key to making the most of the Earth Pig year. 

Another important aspect of the Earth Pig year is reconnecting to the energy of Earth itself.  Our collective society has seen a lot of polarized energy lately, and the upcoming year will focus on reconnecting us back together again.  Part of enjoying the company of others is in part made possible by our energy shifting more toward love and acceptance.  An important focus on doing this is being mindful of taking care of our planet.  Now is a great time to start focusing on things you can do to make our planet healthier and more stable.  An example of something we can all do is using reusable bags when we shop and being mindful of the waste we produce on a daily basis.  We will find many opportunities this year for us to help heal our planet from the destructive energy we have been surrounded by.  Little changes made by us as individuals can create a wealth of change for our planet as a collective whole.  If you are in the business of helping others, 2019 is your year to shine!  If there’s a project you’ve been working on that can help those in need, focus much energy on getting it off the ground in the coming months. 

For those of you who want to learn more about the upcoming Earth Pig year of 2019, I highly recommend picking up Donna Stellhorn’s Chinese Astrology: 2019 Year of the Earth Pig.  You can get a digital and physical copy on Amazon, or you can also find it in most book stores like Barnes and Noble.  It’s a great book for focusing on mindfulness in the coming year, and it’s only $9.99 on Amazon! Plus, as mentioned above, there are excellent tips for decorating your household to reflect your intentions and desires for 2019 and many more years ahead! For anyone interested in purchasing a pair of Feng Shui fish, they can be purchased by emailing us at: support@hausdreacreations.com. The fish can be personalized with colors for each individual zodiac sign for either the Western chart or Chinese chart!

Sending each and every one of you loving thoughts for a prosperous and pleasurable 2019!

Essential Oils

Essential Oil of the Month: Elemental Elemi

To be honest, I hadn’t heard much about January’s Essential Oil until I started researching it this week.  Elemi is linked to January’s birthstone, Garnet, so I thought it was worth investigating as this month’s feature, and I am glad I did! Elemi is an elemental essential oil for anyone’s collection. From respiratory infections to eczema, Elemi is an excellent essential oil to have on hand for a variety of ailments. 

Derived from the resin of the Manila Elemi tree, also known as Canarium luzonicum, Elemi essential oil is similar to frankincense and myrrh.  Native to the Philippines, the Manila Elemi tree thrives in rainforest elements.  This versatile tree grows nuts similar to almonds.  The resin from the tree is often used in tonics for the treatment of fevers and chills.  The resin, and essential oil derived from it through distillation, is also applied externally to treat arthritic and rheumatic joints, boils, abscesses, burns, and sores.  The resin is also heated and applied to the chest as a poultice to stop severe coughing.  The tree bark is also beneficial and often used in postpartum baths. Elemi essential oil is thin in consistency, making it perfect to blend with a variety of oils, waxes, and soaps.

With all of Elemi resin’s topical benefits, it’s no surprise that the essential oil derived from this resin is immensely therapeutic as well.  The fresh, citrusy, and somewhat spicy scent of Elemi essential oil awakens and calms the senses all at once.  Adding this essential oil to steaming water and inhaling the vapors while covering your head with a towel can help alleviate respiratory ailments.  Simply diffusing Elemi essential oil throughout the house can reduce symptoms associated with bronchitis, colds, coughs, and the flu.  Elemi essential oil is also used by aromatherapists to help stimulate the thymus gland, aiding in boosting one’s immune system.  It can also increase the energy of those suffering from fatigue.  Alternatively, adding a few drops to a bath can create an extremely soothing and relaxing bath time experience.

Since I don’t have experience using this essential oil yet, I don’t have a recommendation for a brand to use.  I have decided to give Plant Therapy’s Elemi essential oil a try since I have had a great experience using their products so far.  If you have a suggestion for an Elemi essential oil that you think is worth trying, please leave your suggestion in the comments below! 

With all it’s respiratory benefits, Elemi essential oil is the perfect essential oil for the month of January.  I hope you have found this information useful and are inspired to find ways to incorporate this powerful essential oil in your life.  Cheers to a happy and healthy new year!

For more information on Elemi, check out the articles referenced below:

https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/elemi-oil.asp

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Canarium+luzonicum

https://monq.com/eo/essential-oils/elemi/

*The statements made regarding this product have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of this product has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.   

Getting Back to Basics

Elderberry Magic

In the past few years, elderberry syrup has increased in popularity, to the point where one can even find an elderberry syrup for sale at their local Walgreens.  While most people have heard that elderberry syrup can boost their immune system, many are unaware of the benefits that make the elderberry fruit such a versatile superfood.  Along with sharing my personal recipe for homemade elderberry syrup, this week’s Mindful Musing will also include the amazing benefits of this fruit and how to incorporate it in your everyday life!

Did you know that elderberries are good for your skin?  Well, they are!  The elderberry fruit contains high levels of flavonoids, which in turn, gives them high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  These qualities of the elderberry protect the skin from harmful free radicals that play a part in major and minor skin problems.  Using an elderberry face wash can even help fight acne due to its antiseptic effects.  Since elderberries also contain high levels of Vitamin A, they can also soothe one’s skin and aide in reducing the appearance of age spots and wrinkles.  While I personally have not tried an elderberry facewash, after doing research for this article, I am extremely intrigued and plan on experimenting with developing a recipe for one in the coming weeks.

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There are records of elderberries being used for medicinal purposes dating back to medieval times in Europe.  North American Indians and Europeans first used the flowers of the Sambucus tree (the tree elderberries come from) in medicinal teas.  It is true that parts of this tree are poisonous, including its leaves, twigs, branches, seeds, and roots which contain a form of cyanide.  Eating unripe berries can also cause problems as it contains a toxic alkaloid.  While toxic, side effects are often found after eating these parts in suffcient quantities.   Side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  To avoid these side effects, it’s important to make sure to use only ripened elderberries in any recipe you might be interested in trying.  Using elderberry flowers in tea is also an excellent way to enjoy some of its amazing benefits.

So, what are the benefits of elderberries?  Along with being an incredible source of fiber, elderberries also include: vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, folate, calcium, and iron.  All of these attributes make it a wonderful addition to one’s diet.  Taking a tablespoon of elderberry syrup everyday is an easy way to incorporate this superfood into your daily routine.  Don’t want to ingest it directly?  Add a tablespoon to some tea or drizzle it onto your oatmeal in the morning.  Play with a variety of ways to incorporate it into foods you already eat!

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While a standard elderberry syrup recipe uses elderberries, water, and sugar, I find substituting local honey for sugar also helps with seasonal allergies that might also cause flu and cold-like symptoms.  I also enjoy adding some extra ingredients to give it an extra immunity boost.  To make my recipe at home, you will need the following:

2/3 Cup – Dried Elderberries

3 Cups – Water

½ Cup – Local Honey (Find at your local co-op or farmer’s market)

2 Tbsp – Dried Ginger

2 Tbsp – Clove

2 Tbsp – Cinnamon

1 Tbsp – Tumeric

 

Combine all ingredients, except for the honey, and bring to a light boil.

Cook down the mixture until the liquid has reduced to half.  This usually takes 30-45 minutes.  Stirring often will allow you to keep a close eye on the liquid reduction to ensure it does not cook down too much.

Pour everything through a strainer into a bowl large enough to add honey to the mixture. 

Place the remaining solid mix into some cheesecloth and squeeze out the remaining liquid from the mix into the bowl. 

Let the liquid cool down for at least 15-20 minutes, so that it is warm but not extremely hot.

Slowly stir in the honey.

I love pouring my syrup into glass bottles using a funnel.

Store your elderberry syrup in the refrigerator and use within 3 months.  (Don’t forget to date it!)

 

*For a recipe the whole family can enjoy, substitute maple syrup for the honey and use only elderberries, water, and maple syrup.

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Elderberry syrup makes a great gift, especially during the winter months.  Everything you need to make this magical mixture can be found on Amazon, except the local honey which you can find at your nearest co-op or farmer’s market.  I have added a list of the products that I use below. Although it might seem expensive to make at home, it’s actually cost effective in the long run.  It’s also worth the price for peace of mind making it home, knowing there aren’t any unnecessary additives in your syrup, unlike some that you might find at Walgreens or online.  Being mindful about our health and taking simple steps such as incorporating elderberry syrup into our daily routine can make a world of difference.  While elderberry syrup is great to enjoy every day, it is advised to take a break every 3 months, just as one would using echinacea and other immune boosting power plants.

 The dried elderberries I get from Frontier are also excellent for making elderberry tea! I simply add the dried elderberries, along with the clove, cinnamon, and ginger, into a tea infuser and enjoy its benefits with some lemon and honey.

Amazon Shopping List:

Dried Elderberries

Dried Ginger

Cinnamon

Cloves

Tumeric

Cheese Cloth

Funnel

Syrup Jars

 

Cheers to a new year!

With Love,

Andrea Elizabeth

 

*The statements made regarding this product have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of this product has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.