February Must Have: Lavender Body Cream

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 11.23.54 AMOne of the best Flower Road products for winter skin is the incomparable Lavender Body Cream. This Flower Road favorite is made of three different varieties of lavender essential oil and five rich carrier oils. This combination results in a thick, creamy texture that moisturizes your skin like nothing else.

Lavender Body Cream can be used on any skin type, and on any part of the body. Think of it as the ultimate skin salve. Lavender Body Cream is highly luxurious, but don’t be afraid to share it with the family! Lavender is known for its clean, comforting aroma and relieving stress and anxiety.

These are the five ways we use Lavender Body Cream:

  1. Post bath or shower to lock in moisture for soft skin
  2. After shaving or waxing (legs, face – anywhere!) to soothe irritation
  3. Rub onto baby or child’s back for calming reaction
  4. After sun exposure to soothe sunburn
  5. On hands and feet before bed to soften skin and calm yourself

Discover Lavender Body Cream and the rest of the Ancien collection.

Valentine’s Day Must-Haves

This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself – or a loved one – to Flower Road’s most romantic must-haves. Whether you’ve been struck by Cupid’s bow or not this V-Day, you’ll fall head over heels for these fragrant products with just one use.

IMG_0728BLOVE ME SMART KIT: To fill a variety of purposes, try our Love Me Smart Box. Love Me includes five aphrodisiac oils, Magnolia, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver and Ylangylang. While each of these essential oils are precious in their own right, they’re mixed with jojoba so they can be applied directly to the skin. Any of these essential oils will make an alluring fragrance this Valentine’s Day.

IMG_0727BVUE FLEURI CRÈME ANCIEN: Vue Fleuri is known in the Flower Road skincare line as a powerhouse eye cream. With a variety of rose-based ingredients, macadamia oil and a bit of bee’s wax, Vue Fleuri has a rich, creamy texture that’s simply unmatched. For Valentine’s Day, tap the cream around your eyes to naturally highlight your eyelids and cheekbones, or rub a bit onto your lips to prep your smacker for your sweetie.

IMG_0735BFRENCH LINEN ENVIRONMENT SPRAY: Who will you be snuggling up to this Sunday? Make your bed the hottest spot in town with some help from our French Linen spray. After you wash and dry your sheets, generously spray your sheets with French Linen and iron. Making the extra effort to iron your bedsheets will lock in the geranium and lavender scent of the French Linen spray, and will make your sheets nice and crisp.

Discover our Valentine’s Day favorites online at www.flowerroad.net, or at Flower Road Natural Therapies. Join us for Friday at Flower Road on February 12, 2016 to pick up last minute V-Day goodies!

Recipe of the Month: Shakshouka

melancholicmagpie

Welcome to the newest series here on Melancholic Magpie – Recipe of the Month! As most everyone knows, the only things I can successfully make in the kitchen is a cup of tea and pan of burnt cookies. Therefore, I’m turning this monthly installment over to my favorite chef, California Carter.

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A true epicurean, Carter Goffigon loves all things food, cooking and entertaining. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she grew up surrounded by fresh ingredients and year-round inspiration. She decided to pursue that passion as a teenager, working and training in some of LA’s best restaurants as a pastry extern. In college, she was introduced to the fascinating study of food history and power of food activism. Upon moving back to LA after graduation, Carter started a small (but growing) pop-up dinner series, called Food With Friends as a way to get back in the kitchen and bring together…

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Seaside in the Languedoc

Collioure is a tiny seaside town just south of Perpignan, 15 minutes north of the Spanish border and home to Fauvism. I have come here many times on my numerous excursions to the Languedoc for the fresh fish and the Mediterranean sun.
………Yes, on occasion, I worship the sun. I believe, in moderation, el sol gives energy to the body you cannot get from any other source and a glow you can’t get from a bottle…….
Normally, I stay at Les Templiers Hotel for the location and history. As they were booked this late in the summer, I stayed at the Hotel Madeloc up on the hill. Although it would be more of a walk down to the beach, the rooms were very clean, newly updated and they had air conditioning…..a rare amenity in this part of the world.

As luck would have it, I got food poisoning on my first night. I was sicker than a dog all night and have since sworn off fish. To my great surprise, another amenity of the Hotel Madeloc, was the beautiful roof top pool where I found my refuge for the next two days. My recovery was swift and gentle. Shades of life comforted me amidst wild fragrant rosemary, overgrown succulents and trailing bougainvillea creating my own personal nirvana. I would have never considered laying by a pool with the sea within walking distance but these images of broken light and unexpected aromatic pleasure beckoned my name each morning.

What seemed like a disaster in the making turned out to be incredibly rejuvenating. The mishap with the Roget fillets gave me the opportunity to lay still for two days, process my notes from Patrick and Mic and start changing gears for Paris. By the time I checked out I was healed in more ways than one. And, by the way, I got a really nice tan.

Jai Guru Deva Om

Whenever I try to explain to people, or even myself, why I have made so many trips back to France to study, I cannot honestly say if it is for the sake of education, spiritual enlightenment or to just be in the presence of the wisest man I know, Patrick Collin. Whatever the reason, I was pulled to do so time, and time again – and since have acquired knowledge that is unparalleled.

 

My first visit to the Languedoc Region of France was in June of 1999. When I embarked on that journey 13 years ago I had no idea it would change my life and my perception of what it is to live.  I came to take a workshop in Clinical Aromatherapy yet in the midst I learned an ancient medical system, had the seed idea for Flower Road and left with a deeper connection to the divine feminine and a broader understanding of natural healing. Everywhere I turned I was met with ideas and stories contrary to my upbringing. Whether it was about health, healing or my religion, my beliefs were challenged and my mind was expanded.

With Levi’s and a laptop, Patrick appeared up to date, yet with his teachings transported his students to an ancient time. He spoke of an approach practiced centuries ago but so relevant and needed today. This Hippocratic system that Patrick spoke of brimmed with common sense. Don’t give illness a name. Learn about the individual’s life, their temperament and find out what in his/her life has caused the body and mind to react. Change the lifestyle, change the diet, change the mind. Combine this new life hygiene with the healing power of plants and you will open the pathways for the body to recover and heal. I wondered how we got so far away from such an obvious way of working with imbalances of the body? Patrick wonders how have we, a free thinking species, become so dependent on the big business of pharmaceuticals? You must teach people, remind people of who they are. Thus started my life’s work of bringing ancient healing knowledge into a contemporary world.

Perfumed

In 2005, I had the great fortune of meeting and working with Master Perfumer, Michael Moisseeff through an introduction from Patrick Collin. Although my work is concentrated on the use of medicinal grade essential oils in a clinical setting, I have a great passion for perfumery and love the work of combining aromatic materials for pleasure. Over the last seven years, when time permitted, I would make my way to the small town of Revel (outside of Toulouse) to work with Mic after my study time with Patrick. And after all these many years, every time I come to France to further my education it seems I know less than I did before. Such a magnificent, magical world that is ever expanding.

Mic, a talented aromatic engineer, has given me an even deeper understanding of essential oils and how to understand their complexity and gifts. We always work in his lab/lecture room/garden/aroma museum at his 100+ year old home that he shares with his wife, Jacqui. Each time we come together, we always begin with a visit to his beautiful garden behind his home. I find it so inspiring how all my mentors use plant based products for healing but know the importance of always recognizing where these ‘end’ products come from. Earth, sun and forces unseen to man.

 

Next, it’s upstairs to the lecture room to learn not only organic chemistry but to remember the creative process. Mic always maintains this idea of allowing images to dance before me while pushing me to find every aroma hidden within a formula. We decipher famous perfumes, he throws in some chemistry that backs up the blending process and he reminds me to work hungry with an open mind and undying love.  By the end of a study day with Mr. Moisseeff, my nose and mind are spent while my spirit is alive with the desire to create.

 

Insighting and Inviting Me

Anyone who has traveled long and hard to a far off destination knows the comfort of finding yourself in the arms of a gracious hostess at the other end. That is just what we found when we arrived at the chambre d’hote, Maison Christina. Throughout my many stays in the Languedoc region of France, I have enjoyed experiencing all the different ways of lodging from the 3 star hotel in Carcassone’s Hotel La Cite to the bunk style living at the Castillou Gite in Luc Sur Aude. Alas, I think I have found my favorite: an old French house, circa 1800, in the middle of Renne les Bains, fixed up just enough to be comfortable but with all the ghosts, creaks and cracks still in place.

Staircase Maison ChristinaUpon arriving, my travel companions and I met the beautiful Christina and her three Australian Shepard’s Sniff, Gizmo and Sam. Though she was busy helping other guests with the buffet style dinner (that she cooked herself), she graciously excused herself to help us with check-in. After explaining the rules of the house she gave us our towels, bottles of Alet-le-Bains water and sent us up to our third floor chambres with keys (and locks) that must be 100 years old. I must admit after all the travel and lack of sleep, the climb up those stairs was difficult.

 

Petit déjeuner at Maison ChristinaAfter a quick freshen-up, we made our way back downstairs to the sounds of laughter. The intimate dining room was full of a group of English Mary Magdalene followers who had seemingly already had a bottle or two so we made the decision without hesitation to have our dinner al fresco. We had just entered the dining room to have the buffet when Christina informed us she had made a special dinner for us because I had mentioned in an email that my daughter had a bovine allergy. It was incredible!!! A beautiful Indian dish of vegetables and curry with a big bowl of jasmine rice. OMG. The combination of exhaustion and a hot home cooked meal, coupled with the perfect hostess was an impression that won’t soon be forgotten.

Day one …….and two

I never know exactly where to start …….. And even more important, how to put all my meandering thoughts into words that flow. I guess I could start by saying I’m exhausted. Although I’m excited to be here, on the first day…..the travel day….well, actually it’s the second day….my body is vibrating from a lack of sleep. I’ve come to France to finish up some notes with Patrick Collin, my mentor, my teacher, my inspiration, so I can put my life’s work into book form.

There have been numerous trips over the last 13 years and many different ways of getting here but I must confess the trek I took this time, same as the one I took the first time in 1999, not only gets me here in body but awakens my ancient psyche as I start my way across the universe. The nine hour flight to Charles de Gaul – Paris, the always crazy taxi over to Orly Airport (the smaller regional airport), the sleepy wait for the next flight, the 2 hour flight south to Perpignan and lastly the beautiful drive from Perpignan through Cathar Country (where all the mysteries await for individual’s so inclined), is my pilgrimage to a place that transcends my understanding of all things.

Health, Love, Enlightenment. I am so thankful to know this place.

Deep and Narrow

I am so excited and relieved that I have come to the conclusion to refine the Flower Road product line. After several years of working with different business and networking groups, encouraging me to go ‘deep and narrow’ instead of ‘wide and shallow’, I now understand the importance of a smaller group of products I can put my all into. Time, and time again, clients return for their Flower Road creams and elixirs and send others to start enjoying the incredible effects of the luxurious skin care. So why not focus on getting those fabulous products to more people looking for organic, chemical-free skin care?

So are you wondering how to find Flower Road skin care?

Currently, I have small events in my home (and friends homes and friends of friends homes) to introduce the skin care and tell the story of how Flower Road came to be. If you have a group you would like to introduce to the Flower Road product line let’s have an event and I’ll give you 25% of the sales from that day for you or to go back to your group/organization. You can also find us on the web at www.flowerroad.net.

My first love was for essential oils and the art of aromatherapy so I will continue to carry all the wonderful medicinal grade essential oils I always have. I will also continue to teach professional, non professional classes and my Corporate Wellness classes. However, I will not be doing treatments anymore or be seeing clients for natural healing consultations. I am so thankful for all the opportunities I had to work with so many beautiful people on their healing journey but it is time for me to take a different path.

As always, I am available to speak to small and large groups on the everyday use clinical aromatherapy and the importance of living a chemical free life.

Beast of Burden

Close up of Rosa damascenaLike it or not, we are all beasts to the burden of cleaning our homes. However, we don’t have to continue to compromise our health every time we scrub the toilet by using harsh chemicals. As I talked about on House Talk Today 660am (September 24) with Chris Miles and Alex Guthrie, there are several natural ingredients (some probably in your kitchen pantry right now!) you can use to clean your entire house that are not only ‘green’ but could actually be health boosters.

First let me introduce the 4 products I want you to start using instead of the harsh, toxic cleaners you have under your sink:

Baking Soda : a non toxic, multi-purpose product that is inexpensive and easy to find. If you do a little research you will be amazed at all the things you can use baking soda for. And you can buy it in bulk.

White Vinegar: also, non-toxic, multi-use and inexpensive. Some interesting facts about vinegar: Kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold and 80% of viruses!!

Castile Soap: cheap, highly concentrated multi-use soap.

Essential Oils: most are non-toxic, some are inexpensive but they are all multi-use, immune boosting and smell wonderful. Different oils have different properties and of course low grade essential oils will not be as powerful as a therapeutic grade essential oil. If you are looking to work with a high quality oil make sure you know the supplier. Flower Road only offers the highest grade aromatherapy products. Toot! Toot! The essential oils I suggest using for cleaning the house are Lavender (anti-bacterial, bug repellent, relaxant), Lemon (anti-bacterial, refreshing), Tea Tree (anti-fungal) and Ravintsara (anti-viral). These particular oils are non-toxic and some what inexpensive.

Now here are just a few simple suggestions to get you on your way to green cleaning:

1. All Purpose Disinfectant Spray – 8 oz water, 30 drops of Tea Tree  and 30 drops of Ravintsara essential oils. Combine the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake. Spray on countertops and all bathroom surfaces to kill mold, mildew and viruses.

2. All Purpose Non-Abrasive Scrubbing Cleanser – 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons Castile soap, 10 drops essential oil. Add soap to baking soda slowly, then add oils and stir. Scrub toilets, bathtubs and other surfaces then rinse with water or wipe down with All Purpose Disinfectant Spray.

3. All Purpose Floor Cleaner – 2 tablespoons Castile liquid soap, 1 gallon water, 10 drops Lemon essential oil. Add soap to water and stir gently. After moping, go back over floor with dry Swiffer that has been sprayed with All Purpose Disinfectant Spray.

4. Carpet Fresh – Combine 1 cup baking soda to 25 drops of Geranium essential oil in a glass container, cover and let sit for 24 hours. Sprinkle on carpets and vacuum.

I hope you will start to incorporate these simple, inexpensive, good for the earth and you cleansers into your cleaning protocol. Visit www.flowerroad.net to find your essential oils and your favorite health food store for all the other ingredients. If you find this information helpful you might enjoy taking an upcoming Flower Road class:

Flu Shot Alternative – Thursday October 27 6:30p-8:30p (Venue TBA)-No Charge-Please RSVP 214-987-2766

Cleaning with Essential Oils – Saturday October 29 10am-Noon (Venue TBA)-No Charge-Please RSVP 214-987-2766

Aromatherapy Everyday – Saturday November 5 10am-Noon (Venue TBA)-No Charge-Please RSVP