Spring Florals


Photo by Rodion Kutsaev from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/frostroomhead/

Hello Spring!

Bring in the new! Colors play a big part in the Spring landscape. Scents and colors are synergistic partners when considering choosing a botanical blend.

This season is when plants and flowers are springing up and floral essential oils are an excellent seasonal choice for botanical blends. Ylang Ylang, and Rose Geranium blend in beautifully with the Spring landscape. Think bright floral colors. 


If you’re not the flowery type, then herbal blends such as Lavender, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus are complementary to this season. Think muted natural pastel colors.


If you’re all about a new start this season, then green blends such as Spearmint, Basil, Clary Sage and Petigrain help assist with change and breathe in new life where needed. Think ethereal fresh greens.


Any of these palettes can be mixed and matched, the botanical blends always work best with an intention in mind. A rule of thumb when choosing a scent is to go with the flow of the Season.

11 Reasons to Love the Fall


All four seasons are about change, and of all of them Fall is the most dramatic. Starting with the change of light, for a brief time between late September to late November we get this wonderful Autumn sun glow that can be seen most during sunrise and sunset, and it casts a warm hue throughout the day.

Rosemary in the Autumn glow

The moon is also glowing and gorgeous during the Fall too, especially the Harvest Moon, as in that SuperMoon we had late September. As we get later into Autumn, this quality of light gets richer and warmer until it gradually gives way to Winter’s crisp blue cast.

The SuperMoon September 2015

Fall Highlights:

Okay where do we start?

  1. Harvest time! Springtime’s planted crops and fruitful trees are now ready to harvest. The apple and pomegranate trees ready to be picked. The photo above is of the pom’s from the backyard.
  2. Back to School: Okay, I’m not in school, but many people of all ages from 6 – 60 are going back to school, and it’s exciting! It’s a new start, full of potential, with like-minded people. I also use “Back to School” as an analogy for “fresh starts” in life regarding a new job, new projects, a career change, or start up/launch a new business.
  3. Fall in love! Spring is overrated Fall is the best time for new relationships or a new approach to existing ones. You’ve got that Autumn glow that makes everything look magical.
  4. Fall Fashion Week: I know not related to natural changes…or is it? Fashion is time based and follows seasons and trends, plus I love it, it’s like art to me. I’m not a fashionista but I really like the idea of people changing their appearance and season related clothes in tune with nature. I’m hoping to see more eco-conscious and sustainable clothing though. We’ll get there.
  5. Fall Festival Time! – this includes Wine & Food Festivals, Craft Fairs, Harvest Festivals – which are sort of like a giant Farmer’s Market, and of course Octoberfest!
  6. The weather, it’s neither too hot or too cold (except in Southern California it’s been too hot 80+ – 100 degrees, with some occasional cool days since August.) We get this lovely dry breeze that seems so refreshing after months of humid weather. It’s a cross between sweater weather and t-shirt weather.
  7. Pumpkins! To eat, to decorate, to carve, and then there’s freshly roasted sea salted pumpkin seeds.
  8. October: it’s magic. It just is.
  9. Halloween! I think Halloween is the fantastic closing night of October. You gotta love a night holiday, especially one with candy. Creativity, imagination, illusion and fun are in full bloom on this night.
  10. Thanksgiving! This is Fall’s major holiday and one of my favorites! Food, friends, family, relaxing with hot spiked apple cider (unless you’re planning on cooking & hosting). If Thanksgivings have been stressful for you in the past, then make sure to enjoy it this year in the best way possible, create new traditions, spend it with friends, a community, or serve others through volunteering. This is also a good time to take stock of your natural gifts and talents, and how you can share them.
  11. The lovely foliage, creating a colorful tree-scape of reds and golds. The leaves are not going quietly as they’re  making their grand finale and graceful exit off the trees.

I hope you enjoy this magical Fall season. I could list off many more things I love about this season, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Bike Meets Sewing Machine

This is sort of an oldie but goodie re-blogged from StarsWeAre.  This a short post about man and his bike powered sewing machine.  Happy Earth Day!

Bike Meets Sewing Machine, A Love Story

I love when two unrelated things are combined to make something useful and creative. If you can get past the hipster cuteness, watch this video, it’s a great idea. The New Museum of New York and Spanish fabric brand peSeta teamed up to work on the project named Bicycle Cap, this was initiated by ad agency Leo Burnett Iberia. They are not the first to make a bike powered sewing machine, which have been used by craft artists over the years, but the way they present the idea across in this video about hybrid power is kind of a hybrid in itself, is it an ad? documentary? or just plain cute? directed by Zipi, it gets the point across without being preachy.

The Bicycle Cap by peSeta for the New Museum from casa peSeta on Vimeo.

Below is Paul Nosa and his mobile sewing bike…


Artist: Paul Nosa sewing bicycle

Artist: Paul Nosa, patches make by sewing bicycle

Artist: Paul Nosa, awesome discount!



How to Grow a Sexy Urban Garden


Urban gardens!… they’re so creative and its fascinating to see life spring from the most unlikely of places. I don’t have a sprawling yard, so I love the idea of growing plants indoors or in small outside areas.


I have to confess I don’t have much of a green thumb.  Plants and flowers just don’t thrive under my care, even though I will water them (probably too much) and talk to them (again probably too much) and put them in a place to get lots of sunshine, they just don’t grow.


Its a skill that I’d like to work on because plants instantly beautify a small space and in my opinion these plants also reflect the state of the environment and its inhabitants, healthy space = healthy people = healthy thriving plants.

Below is my first attempt at successfully growing a cinnamon basil plant….and yes it is from a kid’s book called Sprout, that you can see here.


Here are some creative ideas and EASY DIY garden tutorials I thought I’d share, I’m going to try this and see if I can make a sexy urban garden using empty egg cartons…

5 DIY Projects for Indoor Gardening (via sustainablog)

I don’t know about you, but where I live, it isn’t easy having a garden. The weather is unpredictable, and the seasons never want to behave themselves. It gets colder earlier and stays that way longer. You think that Spring has really sprung with days of warm sunshine and singing birds, and then…

10 Ideas for Sexy Urban Gardens

by on April 16, 2012 in Shelter

Haute gardening for boutique parcels of land.

It’s Earth Month, technically. At the risk of sounding like a cliché: for us here at EcoSalon, every month is earth month. To celebrate April and beyond, we’re going to be taking a look at gardens galore this month and next. We’ll be exploring ways in which designers, gardeners and other earth-loving individuals are integrating nature into their homes and communities.

Today, some haute gardening ideas for tiny parcels of land in dense urban environments, where space (and greenery) is at a premium.

If your “acre of land” is actually a wall, try hanging pots, empty jumbo soup cans or a salvaged boom box:

Garden bags are perfect for a room with a view:

The Kikkuu White Planter is perfect for an enclosed patio or porch:

Make your rooftop a thrift-store/flea-market gardening oasis:

An amazing reuse of pallets:

here’s a straightforward video on how to grow herbs in a reusable shopping bag….



Mini Vertical Garden for Balcony, Patio, or Kitchen.


More DIY garden tutorials…

Ways To Reduce Your Stress This Month

Nope, not an April Fool’s joke, April is Stress Awareness month. This is also the month that celebrates the first day of Spring which means new beginnings. This is a great place to start creating new ways that will reduce unnecessary stress in your life for good.

Slideshow: Little Ways to Eliminate Stress and Improve Life from Abhishek Shah

stress-ballOkay so a little bit of stress is useful in daily life and in getting things done, but when it gets out of hand it has the power to create larger problems that go beyond the original source of stress. The bottom line is your health.

Management is key, and everyone is individual in how they like to relax and finding the best way for yourself is important in sustaining the practice of stress management. For example, I’m not a Yoga person, although it is an amazing and proven method of relaxation for many people. I prefer cardio exercise with loud beat driven music, it helps me keep worrying thoughts in check. By the end of the workout I’m usually exhausted but refreshed, both my body and mind feel relaxed, it reminds me that I’m human.


The common thread in relaxation techniques is breathing. When we are stressed the flight or fight response kicks in and we tense up and our breathing pattern changes which can add further stress. Conscious breathing exercises and relaxing your muscles are great for grounding you to the present moment and overriding the stress reaction.

happyball (1)Another good way to keep stress down is to be fulfilled with something that is important to you, whether its a job, spouse, family, spiritual, friends, pets, hobby, whatever it is, just being fulfilled with something important to you can keep things in perspective. To be satisfied in the present moment, without feeling like you’re missing something.

In case you’re not satisfied with how things are at the present moment, be aware that you always have options and you may actively work toward improving your circumstances. Dissatisfaction without motivation is very stressful and is the equivalent of being “stuck.” Sometimes it helps to talk to others because they may show us other options that we didn’t see before.

A Short, Brainy Tale for Stress Awareness Month, April 2012

For Stress Awareness month I found useful slides from Slideshare on stress management and thought I’d post them here:

Six Tips For Stress Management from sandeep chhaya








How I Started Learning About Aromatherapy


I love perfume!…..


….I always have. The problem is that I’m allergic to most fragrances. I don’t know the exact names of the chemicals, but they’re used in perfumes to hold the scent for a long time. Here’s an article regarding fragrance sensitivities.


What happens is that I enjoy the scent for a split second, and then the headache kicks in sometimes followed by nausea or stomach ache, sneezing, stuffy nose and watery eyes, which subsides when I get away from the fragrance. I don’t even put perfume on my skin anymore because after a minute my skin starts turning red and itching, along with the other allergy symptoms until I wash it off with soap and water.juicy perfume

I’ve had to give away a lot of high-end perfumes that were given to me as gifts from my sister who used to work in fragrance retail. Yep I had them all, Tom Ford’s White Patchouli, YSL’s Paris, Chanel, Dior, Donna Karan’s Cashmere, Vera Wang, Balenciaga, Michael Kors, Kenzo’s Amore (I actually kept this one because I liked the orange bottle, but it remains closed)…and one of my favorites Narcisco Rodriquez’s Musc, and many more that I can’t even remember. They all smelled beautiful, but the effects of their chemicals outweighed the positives.

So I did not wear perfume for a couple of years thinking all fragrance will trigger my allergies. After a while about last Summer I decided I wanted to start wearing perfume again, so I started with Soaptopia’s “Plantfumes,” they are natural spray perfumes made with essential oils which were great, but did not last long on my skin. (In the future I would purchase the roll-on perfumes they offer). I wanted to figure out how to make my own that was all natural that would last. So I did some research online and found some wonderful sites on how to make your own perfume. The key to natural perfume was to use essential oils, the same oils used in aromatherapy. These are the distilled essences of plants, flowers, fruits, bark, and roots. Here’s a link to how the oils are extracted. I got excited about making my own perfume and bought a whole bunch of Aura Cacia oils from Whole Foods and started mixing. I liked most of the results, but they didn’t last long.


What I did learn was that essential oil’s scents don’t last all day simply because they are natural and not made to overpower other scents in nature. Also the essential oil scent is therapeutic and it stays just long enough for inhalation and then dissipates into the air or into the skin if applied directly. Although I was disappointed to learn that 100% natural perfumes don’t last as long as synthetics, I was still fascinated by the benefits of the essential oils. I wanted to learn more, especially on how to make natural perfumes. I enrolled in the one-day 8 hour intro to Aromatherapy course at Hands On Healing Institute in Tujunga, CA and first thing the instructor says is “This is not a class about making perfumes, lotions, soaps or aromatherapy products.” I was taken aback by this, because that’s why I enrolled, I thought maybe this isn’t for me, but I stayed for the class and it exceeded my expectations because I finally understood what aromatherapy was really about.


It’s actually a healing modality in complimentary and alternative medicine, maybe I was living under a rock, but I used to think aromatherapy was just a New Age term invented by some fragrance companies in the ’90’s to sell scented candles, bath oils and pillow sprays that just smelled nice. Although true aromatherapy is not just about the fragrance of the oils.9-oils-for-9-body-systemsIt works in a very subtle and non-intrusive way, every single essential oil has a beneficial utility other than it’s scent. From taking the class I actually felt the benefits of the essential oils as far mood and relaxation. I ended up taking more classes and am still learning about aromatherapy as a modality while enjoying the process.

By the way, moisture on the skin helps the scent of natural perfumes last longer, so apply any type of unscented lotion or cream: shea butter or jojoba oil for example on the skin before you apply the Essential Oil perfume, also if possible purchase an oil or solid based perfume versus an alcohol or water based one.


There are fragrance companies that use the term “aromatherapy” to market their synthetic products because there are no regulations on using that term, they can even call it “all-natural” and still include synthetic chemicals. Sighh….so in a confusing market place, I just do my research and go with the established or recommended brands of aromatherapy products and natural perfumes. What are some of your favorite sources for natural perfume or essential oil products?








Modern Hippie



I always thought of myself as a rocker, but I guess I’m just a modern hippie at heart.  I’m less granola and Birkenstock and more urban gardens, creative recycling, DIY style, metaphysics and modular furniture.  I can also appreciate the color spectrum of crystals and natural rocks and use them for inspiration in design.  I love both natural and man-made design, but don’t like man-made materials at the cost of our health, animals, environment or unethical labor conditions.  I know not everything will come without a price, even the organic things come at the expense of something else, but the less damage overall and the more in tune with nature, the better. 

So I decided to embrace this notion of Hippie Modernism and created a homage below via Pinterest, I put together some images on a board that I thought were inspiring, modern, fresh and sustainable.  Just looking at this board makes me happy!

So I guess the hippies were right, groovy!

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” -Joseph Campbell

(click on photo to see board)