Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone!

I thought I would take a few moments to wish everyone a happy new year!

 

Just for fun, I thought I would share this funny picture that my friend Lisa sent me.

 

Finally, one friend sent me this. I liked it so much that I made a picture for it.

Have fun and enjoy!

 

With blessings,

Carol (with help from Raizel who was my style consultant)

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Semi-Off Topic: DIY Detox Bath Salts

DIY Detox Bath Salts

For obvious reasons, giving gifts on Christmas is not something that comes naturally to me.

Although Chanukah and Christmas both occur around the same time of year, they are each unique holidays with their own rituals, aesthetic beauty and spiritual relevance.

Growing up, we did receive and give presents during Hanukkah, but it was never in mass quantities that people seem to receive today.

Chanukkah card that I made this year with Yaffa’s art.

Consequently, this time of year is sometimes a struggle for me.

I do want to express my appreciation and gratitude to the people who help me, and create cheerfulness and comradery with the people I work with. But, I do not want to succumb to the conspicuous consumption and rampant materialism that I often see going on around me.

My solution is to create DIY gifts which are both personal and practical.

This year, I felt inspired to make DIY Detox Bath Salts.

It is surprisingly fast, easy, all natural and even relatively economical to make. The trick is to make a nice presentation to doll it up.

In the back of my mind, I wanted to give the bath salts in a urine cups and specimen bag and label this DIY Detox (not U-tox) Bath Salts. When I told the other nurses I work with about it, we all laughed.

This is the gift presentation that I did not make:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, I decided to play it safe and give the bath salts in a small mason jar with a nice label and a colorful ribbon.

Ingredients

2 parts salt: Epsom salt, Himalayan salt, Magnesium Chloride, Dead Sea Salt

½ part baking soda

Optional: ¼ part bentonite clay

Optional: ¼ – ½ part finely ground oatmeal.

Note: I would categorize the bentonite clay and oatmeal with the baking soda. Otherwise, it might not dissolve as well.

Optional: 20-30 drops essential oils of your choice.  I used lavender, which is my favorite!

Optional: food or soap coloring. I did not use any coloring.

Optional: Cinnamon, ginger or tumeric could also be used to give it some colour and additional therapeutic properties, but, I am not sure if they would dissolve properly. Then, you might have to wash out the tub, which is something that I do not find relaxing.

Instructions:

In a large bowl, mix to combine the salts and baking soda. Add essential oils and stir until well-blended.

The appearance of the Bath Salts can be changed by adding a few drops of food coloring to the salt mixture until you reach the desired shade you would like.

If anyone would like to make their own natural food dyes, here is a great link.

This recipe can be easily scaled up, which I did to make lots of gifts for everyone.

It is not very colourful, but here is the picture of the bath salts in the large jar I used to mix up everything in.

Without dye, the only colour came from the Himalayan salt.

I also added Silica Gel Packs to prevent the salts from sticking together. It really helped!

Here are the various ways I tried to present the gifts so that they seemed festive and personalized:

Overall, the gifts were very well received. Even the men I work with wanted some despite the fact that it smelled like lavender.  Next time, to make it more unisex, I might use patchouli oil.

I got very creative and below are various samples of labels one can use:

 

 

 

Happy Holidays everyone!

 

Conscious Cooking With Gratitude

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Conscious Cooking With Gratitude

There was something different about the chocolate chip dot cookies this past week.

My husband does not have much of a sweet tooth. And, in general, the girls are more enamored with candy, and ice cream than homemade treats.

But, this time, my husband ate 5 cookies! More than once he remarked how wonderful they were. Raizel is still gushing, several days later: “these cookies are soooooo good!”

It has made me think: What was different this time? Was there a special secret ingredient?

The answer that I came to was: “Yes. There was a secret ingredient.”

They were baked while making lots of blessings and focusing on everything that we have to be grateful for. The cookies became infused with our positive intentions, which then elevated them from the mundane to the sublime.

Here is what happened:

On Sunday, before we started baking, I asked my girls: “what is the first thing that we need to do before we start?” Both girls answered: “wash your hands!”

Then, after we washed our hands, I asked: “what is the second thing that we need to do?

I got a few blank stares, and so I answered: “make a blessing!”

Although I did not want to sound pedantic, we then had an impromptu lesson on “why do we need to make blessings?”

The girls and I discussed how making a blessing reminds us to be grateful to God. We are allowed to eat, but, when we make a blessing, we are saying “thank you” to Hashem (God) for giving us such delicious food, that makes us happy and keeps our bodies strong.

Then, I told the girls, “We should just list all the things that we have to be grateful for to Hashem.”

 

So, as we were making the cookies, we had what I call a “radical gratitude session.” We shared every single thing that we had to be grateful for: eyes that see, glasses to help us see, the ability to read, a computer to find our recipes, legs that walk, a mouth that talks, ears that hear, mouths that can chew……

The whole time that we were baking the cookies, we were sharing on all the numerous things that we had to be grateful for.

The outcome were the delicious cookies.

Another time, while I was cooking for Shabbat, I kept repeating the phase, “this is in the honor of the holiness of Shabbat.” (L’kavod shabbas kodesh)

That night, as we were enjoying our Shabbat meal, I asked my husband, “how did you like the food?”

My husband, not knowing my intentions while cooking that morning replied, “Everything tastes like the holiness of Shabbat.”


I couldn’t help smiling when he said that. How could he have known what I was saying the whole time I was cooking?

So, our thoughts are very powerful, even to the point that they transform our food from ordinary into other worldly.

May we all be blessed to focus on everything we have to be grateful for and transform everything we do to bring more blessings and good into the world.

Rosh Hashanah – Pressing the Reset Button on Life

Rosh Hashanah – Pressing the Reset Button on Life

roshhashanahshofar

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year begins tonight. It is a 2 day holiday, rich with symbolism and meaning.

On this blog, I like to highlight the Jewish holidays in order to provide a larger context for the role of food within the Jewish culture and religion.  Naturally, I am only speaking from a personal perspective, based on my own understanding. I am not an expert!

On Rosh Hashanah, we do “teshuva” for any of the mistakes that we made during the year.

The word “teshuva” which is commonly translated as “repentance” literally means “return.”

On this holiday, we have an opportunity to reset our spiritual connection to God. We identify and attempt to correct our mistakes, and reconnect and return our souls back to their original and pure connection of our Source — God.

The analogy that I like to use is the “factory reset button” on a cell phone. The function of the “factory reset button” is to return your cell phone to its original pristine condition when you first bought it. This function enables us to remove any software errors that one may have acquired over the lifetime and use of the phone. We have an opportunity to start with a clean slate.

So too with us.

On this holiday, we have an opportunity to repent and seek to repair any of our errors, misjudgments or miscalculations. Through the process of teshuva, on Rosh Hashana we return and reconnect to our inner essence which is created in God’s image. We have the opportunity to transform ourselves into better people.

Just for fun, I thought I would post this video in honor of this auspicious time of year. I had another one, but unfortunately, I do not seem to be able to upload it.😕


If anyone would like to read more of my thoughts on this holiday, I wrote something on my other blog, coffeeklatchinsight.wordpress.com.  Here is the link:

https://coffeeklatchinsight.wordpress.com/2016/09/22/elulfeeling-believing-knowing/

May we all be inscribed in the book of life and be granted a year filled with health, happiness and positive growth.

With blessings,

Carol & family.

rosh-hashanah

 

Semi Off Topic: International Women’s Day & Tea

Today was International Women’s Day.

This quote was in the lobby of where I work. One of my patients stopped me in the hall to specifically point it out. He expressed how  meaningful it was for him, in light of our discussions during our weekly group.

I am also a tea lover and I was an unofficial women’s studies minor in university.

So, in honor of International Women’s Day, I thought I would post this quote.

 

Enjoy! 

Food For Thought-  Quote Challenge Day 3

This is my last day of my 3 day quote challenge. I can’t believe that I did it!

However, since I am posting this from my computer, and not my cell phone, the timing is off and it seems like this is the first post, rather than the third. Unfortunately, when I tried to fix it, it made it worse.  So, I am leaving it as it is. Everything happens for a reason!

Thank you Jenny Marie at Peace from Panic | One Mom’s Journey Helping Her Child Through Anxiety  who graciously nominated me.

Please check out Jenny Marie’s blog. She is a beautiful writer who touches on many meaningful and inspiring themes that are near and dear to my heart.

Peace from Panic | One Mom’s Journey Helping Her Child Through Anxiety

https://peacefrompanic.wordpress.com/

Here are the rules:

Post for three consecutive days

Posts can be one or three quotes per day

Nominate three different blogs per day

I am going to follow Jenny Marie’s plan and nominate bloggers on my third day, which will have to be Saturday night, after Shabbat is over. (Keep in mind that my timing is off. this is really being posting on 2/13/2016.)

As many of you know from my about page, I often speak about the power of our thoughts and the importance of being mindful and cooking with love.

Raizel often accuses me of being “too spiritual,” but, despite her teenage attitude, I think I have had an impact.

This is a quote by Raizel. I liked it so much that I made it into this picture:

This is one that I quote often:


Lastly, this is my food quote:

Enjoy!

And now for my nominees:

https://fonzandcancer.wordpress.com/category/hope-2/

https://jennylitchfield.wordpress.com/

http://unwedhousewifeblog.com/category/about-me/

https://thenobleaubergine.wordpress.com/about/

http://talkingtomyweightlosscounselor.com/

https://nourishedpeach.com/about/

https://enabilityblog.wordpress.com/about/

https://mioshotfood.wordpress.com/about/

http://liliscakes.com/about2/awards/blogging-award-rules-for-nomineesnominators/

 

Please visit these wonderful blogs and show your support for our fellow bloggers!

Congratulations!!!

 

Food For Thought- Quote Challenge Day 2

I was graciously nominated by Jenny Marie for a 3 day quote challenge.

To stay slightly on topic, I am accepting this 3 day quote challenge, but including a quote about food or eating each day.

Thank you Jenny Marie at Peace from Panic | One Mom’s Journey Helping Her Child Through Anxiety for nominating me for this challenge.

Please check out Jenny Marie’s blog:
https://peacefrompanic.wordpress.com/

Jenny Marie is a beautiful writer who touches on many meaningful and inspiring themes that are near and dear to my heart. Many have moved me to laughter and tears.

Here are the rules:

Post for three consecutive days

Posts can be one or three quotes per day

Nominate three different blogs per day

I am going to follow Jenny Marie’s plan and nominate bloggers on my third day, which will have to be Saturday night, after Shabbat is over.

I love this quote:


I am a huge fan of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who I find very inspiring and wise:

Finally, here is a food for thought quote:

  
Enjoy!