Thursday, May 20, 2010

Om is In!!

For those of you who meditate, the sound of Om (often spelled Aum or Ohm) should be a familiar one! Om is said represent the Universe, even it's very vibration. Chanting Om can instantly draw one inward and create a space of peace.....

I am endlessly browsing Etsy for handmade goods for this most ancient and mysterious symbol. I hope you find these images as inspiring as I do!






Friday, May 14, 2010

Mantra Mom - Uplifting Mantras For The Modern Mom

Mantra Mom (aka. Nina Patel) is a special recording artist that I am so excited to introduce you to! She is a unique and vibrant kirtan artist who has been practicing mantra yoga since she was a young child. Now with two children of her own, she seeks to create music for on-the-go woman/mother that will both invigorate and educate.

For those who may not be familiar with mantras, they are vibratory sounds that exist in all languages and religions. As Nina explains "Our minds can find healing and empowerment through meditation and recitation of mantras. If repeatedly constantly during meditation...mantras have the power to change our consciousness." And who wouldn't want a little change of consciousness on our way to or from work to help us ease out of a stressful day?!

Nina says, "My music won't get you into alpha mode.  It's not meant to mediate with. My music is meant to teach you the correct pronunciation and enunciation of the mantra with the help of catchy beats so one can  learn them faster and accurately. Hence, the tracks are only 3 minutes long and the CD is only 30 minutes long which is perfect for someone to play during their morning commute or before bed."

Her newest album I am.. is a balanced mix of her Indian heritage and Westernized life. She presents lyrical mantras over Indian instruments and layers them with Western beats, creating a fun and easy to learn presentations of some of the most ancient and powerful mantras. "My new album offers a simple and practical way for people of all religious backgrounds to experience the ancient healing powers of mantra music while driving, cooking, exercising, and simply living their daily, modern life..." Nina explains.

Moms are extremely busy these days...I just hope you aren't doing all of those things at once! And if you are, perhaps listening to Nina's work will keep you focused and joyful.

And what is even better is that her music is not only accessible to adults, but to children as well. Nina noticed the calming effects of chanting mantras with her own children and was inspired to create and album geared towards kids of all ages and backgrounds. The children's cd, called Mantras for my children..and yours as well as I am... is available on her website, iTunes and cdbaby. (I am will be released in three weeks on iTunes.) 10% of the CD profits will go towards Vibha, a non-profit organization helping kids in India.

To listen to samples, view videos or purchase her albums please visit her website

Friday, April 23, 2010

Treat Your Yoga Mom Right!

As the most important holiday of the year approaches, (Mother's day of course!) I thought I would collect some perfect gifts for the yoga Mom to aid in her practice, help her unwind, and remember her true beautiful self.

Do you have a yoga mom? Are you a yoga mom? Tell me about it! What are some of the things that she would use? Admittedly, I got way too carried away compiling this list. I hope you enjoy browsing these gorgeous shops as much as I did!



Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sacred Suds - Soaps With Divine Intent

I am truly excited to share with you Sacred Suds, a unique shop filled with the dazzling aromas of handmade soaps made with the finest natural ingredients and essential oils. And I can personally recommend her soaps after purchasing some last week. Oh the lather, oh the fragrance!! And she sent me some lovely samples to go along with my original purchase. I have to admit it is sometimes difficult for me to leave the shower.

Shop owner, Andrea, shares her story with us in this feature:

"I started making soap several years ago after receiving a bar of handmade soap as a wedding favor. We were living in Maine at the time, and it was winter, so my skin was a scaly, papery wreck. Before I even used the soap, I was in love with it. I loved the way it looked (chunky with bits of oats and cinnamon bark), I loved the way it smelled (real! no fakey synthetic smells), I loved the smooth texture, I loved the weight of the bar in my hands. 

And then I tried it, and I was blown away. The soap was rich and creamy, and my skin soaked it up like milk. Standing in that hot, steaming shower, inhaling cinnamon essence, knowing someone had lovingly crafted this bar of soap for our friends, I could feel the soul in it. I began researching soapmaking as soon as we finished that bar. I don't think we've bought a commercial bar of soap since.

I'm a pretty spiritual person, and I practice all sorts of faiths, or practices, or whatever you want to call them. My biggest spiritual awakening happened when I was introduced to the feminine face of God (which is commonly called Goddess ;-) by a good friend of mine. As a woman, who is a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, and a girlfriend, this was HUGE to me. I could never really relate to God, to be honest. I'm not masculine. I am not a father. I have not lived a male experience. I have a father and
a mother, and it was my mother who gave birth to me, who brought me into the world. So it makes sense to me, since life is created by the union of male and female, and is actually birthed through the female, that the creative force would include the feminine. That we would have a divine Mother in addition to a divine Father.

Once I was introduced to the idea of the sacred feminine, I began to explore all sorts of faces of the divine. Not just feminine and masculine, but strength, compassion, love, sexuality, and so on. And I was delighted to find that throughout history, cultures have honored deities that "embody" these energies. These energies, these essences of being human, are what inspire me.

More recently, as my Yoga practice has deepened, I have added Yoga inspired soaps to my collection. These soaps, like Prana and Om, bring our attention to the energy of being alive (Prana), or with the Om (Aum) bar, to our connection to each other and to the Source, the All, God/Goddess, or whatever you choose to call your higher power.


I am a big believer that by giving something our attention, either through prayer, meditation, or the simple ritual of mindful bathing, we give it power to grow and manifest in our lives. My mission with Sacred Suds is to provide soulful soaps that help channel the energies represented by these different faces of the Divine – love, strength, joy, etc. - and each soap is mindfully created with that goal in mind. I craft the soaps with intention every step of the way, from the spiritual entity that inspires it, to blending scents to stir those energies, to writing labels and descriptions that best capture the intent of the soap. 

My favorite part of the process is probably blending the scents. I work mainly with essential oils instead of synthetics because essential oils feel like they carry the spirit of something alive. They feel real, like they have soul. When I first started crafting these spiritual blends, I did a lot of research on aromatherapy, on skin-care benefits, and on the magickal properties of plants and essences. I am by no means a trained aromatherapist, herbalist, or perfumer, though, and after working with essential oils for a while, I began to just blend by how the oils made me feel, and what energies they seemed to raise in me. For example, citrus oils make me happy. Florals feel feminine. Spices are exotic and sexy, woodsy scents are earthy and grounding, and evergreens feel vital and prosperous."


You can find Sacred Suds on Etsy and on Andrea's website.
You can also find Andrea on twitter, Facebook, or MySpace.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Many Malas For Many Hands

Recently I was asked to do a very special wholesale order that I would just love to share!

I was asked to create several malas from stones that correspond to the seven chakras (or energy points). Each chakra has associations to colors, gemstones as well as specific qualities and are said to connect to our being on many different levels. Admittedly, I had not done much work with chakras before and found the research aspect of this project so much fun!

This was such a rewarding and enjoyable endeavor for me, I just had to share a few pictures of them with you. I created a 108 bead aragonite mala, 27 bead fluorite mala, 108 bead sodalite mala, and a 27 bead red jasper name only a few!

My favorite part is shipping them out and wondering who will be meditating with them in the future!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Short Story Of Frankencake- And How to Make Your Own

As many of you may know, I have a penchant for baking.....

A kind hearted tweeting friend  @skipthezip reminded me that "Baking is like Buddhism. Stay true to the recipe, and it'll turn out perfectly."

Well, I didn't stick to the recipe....not on purpose, but through my distraction I mistakenly used baking powder instead of the require baking soda. I was terribly aware of this baking no no just as I put it into the oven. This may seem trivial, however, this was my very first attempt at making a vegan chocolate cake and my intention was to bring it with me on a very important visit to a yogini. 30 nail biting minutes later, out came something I affectionately called Frankencake.  It was an odd consistency and a little flat, yet surprisingly edible!

The lesson here. Awareness.  

I ended up mixing all the correct ingredients again and finally arrived at something truer to the vegan chocolate cake I was searching for. It looks fabulous and it was really quite simple. It has been praised as "the best chocolate cake that just happens to be vegan"!

This recipe was sent to me in reply to a call for good vegan dessert recipes. Thank you @richtayl! 
You can find the recipe he recommended here. I think it is going to be a winner! It is soft, moist and heavenly sweet.

Until my next baking adventure.....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hearts For Haiti - Handmade For a Cause

After watching so much of the devastation on TV, it is great to know you CAN do something!

Hundreds of amazing Etsy shops have donated items to the shop Hearts For Haiti. 100% proceeds go directly to Doctors Without Borders to aid Haiti in their time of need.  They have already raised over $10,000 for this cause! Visit the links above for more information about buying or selling in this wonderful shop!

Please consider purchasing or donating items! So many talented Etsians have offered there work from art prints, to jewelry, vintage, clothing and more.....

I am off to donate now!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Organic meets Glam!

Meet Cheri of Orglamix, a fantastic shop that sells stunning mineral makeup in a plethora of colors for eco-conscious women. Her makeup contains no nano particles, bismuth oxychloride, synthetic dyes, parabens, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals,  or parabens. Orglamix is a also proud member of PETA!

In her own words......

"Our Mission:
Our mission is to provide affordable, excellent-quality natural cosmetics to eco-conscious women.

Our Vision:
We strive to create 100% pure, simple and effective products that are reasonably priced and suitable for everyday use."

Mission accomplished!

Once you enter Orglamix shop you will find lustrous eyes glittering with all colors of the rainbow, from neutral to vibrant, glittering to glistening, eye shadows, blushes, foundations and eco friendly brushes. I love her three piece collections (most under $15!) to help create multi-dimensional looks, but I think the starter kits get the prize! The mix of coordinated foundation, shadows, and blush are truly a steal! And some are even inspired by the worlds favorite teenage vamps in her "Glampire" collections. (Not that I, a grown woman, have read any of those books. )

I hardly ever go gaga when it comes to makeup but as soon as I gather the cash and pay my bills from my bead addiction, I am heading to this shop! Oooh look....a weekly special.....

Become a fan on facebook and get first dibs, deluxe samples and giveaways:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bon Bons in Your Garden- Sweet Looking Compost!

Garden Bon Bons on Etsy has a sweet take on compost that I would like to share with you. Read all about Anne and you will see what I mean. I know you are tempted but please please don't eat these!

"My Etsy shop opened last March. I panicked and named it after my creation, Garden Bon Bons. The Garden Bon Bons are a twist on traditional seed balls which are made of clay, compost and seed. Garden Bon Bons take that concept but tweak the recipe with specially chosen quality seed, organic compost, various colors of clay and ornamental additions of natural pesticides like coffee, cinnamon and pepper. And then the gourmet seed balls are handcrafted to look like chocolates, popped into candy cups in a truffle box, accompanied with a chocolate road map and tied with a bow. 


They are liberally labeled with the slogan “This candy is for planting, not for eating!” and are deliberately rustic enough that anyone picking them up should know that they either aren’t real chocolates – or if they once were they are far beyond an expiration date. Still, I hear from people that they have been tempted. They’d get a mouthful of dirt if they did. 


So far I’ve rolled out a couple of lines of culinary herbs and herbal teas but ideas for new pairings keep flowing. I do like the name of my etsy shop but the name may not have been smart long-term since there a lot of other concepts I want to explore, concepts that tie in to the garden as a staging ground for play and imagination. I envision making limited edition artisan Bon Bons until I am a very old lady. The grandkids, neighbors and postal carrier will all know what to expect from me each year when they receive their boxes. 

I’ve been a landscape architect and a designer all my adult life but this is the first thing I’ve created that no one has ever done before – seed balls are an old tradition but this interpretation is my own. It’s a very satisfying feeling. I like to troll around Etsy and meet other like-minded creative people doing completely incredible art or craft. Its incredibly inspirational."

Get your own Bon Bons here:
You can also find Garden Bon Bons on Facebook.