Saturday, February 21, 2015

Everyday Discounts on Flower Essence Aromatherapy Products

Interested in trying my Reiki-infused Mama Love flower essence aromatherapy products or some of my unscented ones? Need a little help in making up your mind?

Maybe a nice discount will help! You'll find several options in this section of my Etsy shop. Try three for a nice price break. Buy three at full price and get one free (even better). Buy 5 and save even more. Or buy 12 and get my wholesale price!

And if you sign up for my less than monthly email newsletter you'll get an additional 10% off!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ladyslippers on the Path on Society 6

I just added my latest acrylic painting to Society 6. You can order a canvas print or a framed print there as well as this really fun tote bag, throw pillows, and a wall clock.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Impressions of Chico and Santa Cruz in a Painting

When I left Santa Cruz I was ready to go and I didn't think I'd miss it. When I moved back to California after a two year stay in Arizona I never expected I wouldn't make it all the way back home. Chico isn't a bad place. It's actually quite sweet, very small town-like in feel. It has a pretty fun older downtown with lots of trees surrounded on almost all sides by almond orchards and lots of lovely hiking trails. But it's not the coast! (In fact, it's almost unbearably hot in the summer.)

Still I like it much of the year. We may move again... or get ourselves to the beach in the summer. In the meantime, there's "No Time Like the Present" and that's the name of this painting. It depicts my impressions of Chico with a hint of nostalgia for Santa Cruz in the clock tower.

Available now as a print in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ladyslippers on the Path Acrylic Painting on Canvas

Wow! I've sold prints of this painting of a sunlit (heaven-lit?) path in the woods four times in the last month without even promoting it. My most obviously popular piece yet. That feels nice.

Available in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Not Joe Mama Caffeine-free Herbal Coffee Substitute

Not Joe Mama got its first review on Etsy and it's a nice one:

"Like the description says, it's not coffee but it's still tasty. Toasty roasty earthy with hints of sweet hay. I added some extra chicory (also from Mama Love) and my husband also confused it with his coffee."

And she gave it 5 Stars -- can't do better than that. Yay!!!

Monday, February 02, 2015

Add Blackberry Leaf for Caffeine-free Black Tea-like Herbal Blends

I love coffee and black tea but if I add any sweetener (and I always want to have a little), the caffeine has a really weird effect. Other people drink it to feel more alert--it makes me sleepy and spaced out. I hate it, I can barely function. I've cut the amount of honey or sugar to a 1/4 tsp and it's still too much.

So I've developed a number of robust-tasting caffeine-free coffee substitutes and have been wildly experimenting with herbal blends.

My favorite surprise ingredient for approximating the taste of some types of black tea is Blackberry Leaf. It has a significant tannin content which is the astringent undertone I miss in, for example, Rooibos which is often recommended as a caffeine-free substitute. Today I added it to a favorite Chai-spiced blend and really liked the results.

Chai recipe? Well...I make it differently every time. And I'm lazy! It really needs to simmer for 30 minutes but I just add my ingredients to my teapot and let it sit for as long as it takes to make my breakfast. Today's recipe was more of a mild Chai-inspired blend but it was perfect for me today:

1 tsp Red Rooibos
1 tsp Blackberry Leaf
1 tsp Cinnamon Bark
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp hulled Cardamom
1 Star Anise star

Steeped about 10-15 minutes. Add honey and milk to taste.

This makes a nice spiced tea but without simmering on the stove it is not as strong as real Chai. Add more of the spices mentioned if you like. Try Cloves, Orange Peel, Fennel seeds, anything you think might be nice. Many people simmer the spices on the stove separately from the herbal ingredients (in this case, Rooibos and Blackberry Leaf) and that's what I'd really recommend if you like a strong-tasting real Chai experience. Experiment and enjoy finding out what you like.