Monthly Archives: March 2017

  • Feng Shui Your Home

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    Your home is your sanctuary, which is why it’s no surprise that many people believe in the power of feng shui. Now that Spring is here, it’s time to use Spring Cleaning as an opportunity to reorganize and bring in positive energy with just a few rearrangements.

    The History of Feng Shui

    Going back over 6,000 years in China, feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophical practice used to organize and construct spaces in a way that harmonizes individuals with their surrounding environment.

    Also known as “Geomancy,” feng shui literally means “wind” (feng) and “water” (shui) in Chinese. It is a construction and design process that aims to bring happiness, abundance, and harmony to both living spaces and businesses.

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    Feng shui is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, classified as physiognomy (observation of appearances through formulas and calculations). The practice analyzes and breaks down architecture in metaphoric terms of "invisible forces" that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, known as qi. It seeks to harness Qi (氣) , “natural energy,” by placing objects in the optimum relation to its flow.  Informing the layout, framework, materials and colors of building structures, the precepts of feng shui seek to help architects, designers, and homeowners make the most ideal arrangement in any setting.

    Feng shui dates back to some of the earliest peoples as they looked for ideal places to plant crops and establish safe dwelling places, as well as to scout optimal burial places for their ancestors so as to protect and honor their spirits. Before the invention of the magnetic compass, practitioners relied on the stars and astrology to determine the most auspicious locations.

    According to Feng Shui Style, “ In ancient China, farms and villages were auspiciously placed within the protective folds of mountains, shielded from harmful winds and nurtured by the gentle, winding streams. The people who practiced these principles prospered in agriculture and trade and grew strong and powerful. They produced social, cultural and military leaders unlike their neighbors who were exposed to harsh winds and inhospitable terrain.” Thus, feng shui became a way to promote health, happiness, and harmony within a civilization or community, allowing practitioners to grow wiser and stronger than their opponents who did not make use of the same philosophical precepts. Over time, the practice of feng shui developed, producing scholars in the art who adapted the practice to fit all manner of dwelling spaces, informing the development of everything from palaces to public monuments to entire cities.

    Indeed, feng shui became such an influential and important practice that it was a highly guarded secret of the Chinese Imperial Court. Feng Shui Masters were servants of the emperor and forbidden to share their sacred knowledge with outsiders. As a result, knowledge was often passed down the generation within families. Today, it has become a practice that wields influence all over the world.

    Taking into account modern scientific precepts and the relationship between the natural and man-made worlds, feng shui seeks to help individuals situate dwelling spaces and rooms within their homes in ways that harness energy and promote good “qi.”

    Feng Shui Your Home

    Some aspects of feng shui, such as sitting with your face facing a door to avoid someone sneaking up on you, or the emotional affect of certain colors are merely common sense or intuition. But if you want to harness the power of “qi” in each room in your home, follow these careful precepts of feng shui.

  • The Benefits of Flowers to Your Home Spa

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    Spring is in the air and flowers are blooming everywhere, which makes it even more enticing when they become a part of our everyday lives. We don’t need special occasions like a wedding or an excuse to get out of the doghouse, to enjoy everything these beautiful blossoms have to offer.

    Who doesn’t love enjoying some quality time away with our gal pals? While a girl’s night out is certainly a great way to spend memorable moments with our favorite BFF’s, a spa night at home is an excellent alternative to hitting the bar scene.

    Rather than going out to an expensive spa, instead we can chill at home with our closest friends while we pamper ourselves in the presence of some fresh flowers and breathe in this type of natural aromatherapy.

    Benefits From These Blossoms

    Back in the sixties, during the time of peaceful protests when “flower power” and free love was all the rage, it was for a very good reason. Science is now sharing with us that these blooms have a number of different health benefits including a sense of overall relaxation and a calming effect. In fact, studies show that simply viewing roses can be an instant stress reliever.

    For example, in hospital settings, when patients with floral arrangements are present in their rooms, they needed less postoperative pain medication delivered to them. They also had much lower blood pressure and reduced pulse rates compared to those without the presence of these floral arrangements during the time of their recovery.

    Scents And Sensibility

    Similar research has shown that placing plants and flowers inside homes and workspaces leads to more creativity overall, better cognitive performance, puts us into a much better mood while providing us with more oxygen delivered into these spaces. So, what’s not to love?

    Speaking of love, roses have always had a strong tie to being a sign of love and commitment, while their scent is certainly enjoyable, after all, by any other name, it would smell just as sweet. Other scents from some of these flowering plants, like lavender for example, have proven to be beneficial for a number of different dilemmas. Their aroma gives people relief from anxiety, depression and restless moods. This makes them a perfect addition to any spa-like environment.

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    Mood Alteration and Fascination

    Plants, flowers, their blossoms, buds and fragrances are all beneficial to us in many different ways. Whether we’re enjoying them in the great outdoors or bringing them into our indoor spaces, they grace us with benefits that are worth exploring and embracing.

    Aromatherapy is another reason that adding flowers to your home spa is key! Mixing flower scents with essential oils can help create the atmosphere. Be selective about which flowers you bring into your home spa, that agree with your allergies, and make you feel more relaxed overall.

    Taking Care of Your Home Spa Flowers

    You want your flowers to last as long as possible--after all, your home spa is not a one stop shop! There are a few tricks to making sure flowers stay fresh, such as:

    • Recut their stems. If you recut the steps at a sharper angle, flowers will more easily be able to take up water.

    • Change the water. With fresh water, you have fresh flowers. Water that has been sitting for too long with debris may pick up bacteria.

    • Control temperature. When you’re not using the sauna, make sure that the temperature you are storing the flowers is between 62 and 70 degrees.

    Flowers are beautiful no matter what part of your home you add it to. Whether you have a home sauna or jacuzzi, flowers can undoubtedly improve the look and feel of your home spa. Choose what’s in season, what you find beautiful, or just what’s recommended from your favorite florist. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

  • How to Pull Yourself Out of the DogHouse With Your Spouse

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    We’ve all been there -- gotten into a petty argument with our spouse because we’re tired or irritable; forgotten an anniversary or birthday; or maybe just been a bad listener or not pulling our weight in chores or household responsibilities. There are plenty of ways to find yourself in the doghouse with your spouse (and to varying degrees of trouble).

    But, luckily, there are just as many ways to pull yourself back out -- the size of the gesture and seriousness of your apology will depend on how badly you messed up. Remember, whether you deserve your place in the doghouse, being the one to take the blame and apologize will ensure a long and happy relationship.

    Here are some ways to get yourself out of the doghouse:

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    Flowers

    Everyone loves to receive flowers -- they’re a beautiful symbol of your love and commitment. You can go traditional and send a bouquet of red roses or get personal and send an arrangement that is uniquely tailored to your spouse.

    If you really want to get creative and send a lasting gift, consider giving flowers or a plant in a pot that your spouse can replant. Turn your relationship drama into a lasting and beautiful memory of your love. Flowers are the ideal apology because your spouse will think of you every time they look at the bouquet (Bonus Points: If you send them to the office, they have a reason to brag to their coworkers about what a wonderful partner you are). They’re a small gesture, but flowers can a long way.

    Date Night

    You may not realize it but maybe your issues or your spouse’s anger stem from not having enough time together. A lot of people find that they end up in the dog house when they’re overwhelmed with work, taking care of the kids, etc. If this is the case, plan a special night out for both of you.

    Plan a trip to the movies or the theater (especially if you haven’t been in ages), visit a new or favorite restaurant, or do something really over-the-top like going dancing or taking a romantic picnic in the park or a trip to the beach. If you have kids, take care of all the babysitter arrangements so your spouse doesn’t have to do it.

    Plan the perfect romantic evening for the two of you where you can enjoy each other’s company and your spouse doesn’t have to lift a finger to make it happen -- bonus points if you find ways throughout the evening to delight and surprise them. You can make date night extra special by including the previous two tips:  a date plus flowers and an outpouring of physical affection is sure to be a fast train out of the doghouse.

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    Do a Little Extra Around the House

    Yes, our lives our busy, but if you forget to take out the trash, fold your laundry, wash your dishes, or even pick up some extra groceries on the way home, it may send your overwhelmed spouse into a tailspin. If this is what got you into the doghouse in the first place, don’t only do your chores, take over some of theirs.

    If they come home to find the dishes done, the kitchen sparkling clean, and the living room vacuumed, imagine their gratitude. Go the extra mile and fold and put away their laundry or put clean linen on the bed and leave a mint (or flowers and chocolate!) on their pillow.

    Cook Their Favorite Meal

    For many of us, the path to our hearts is through our stomachs. And nothing is better than our favorite home-cooked meal. If you want to get out of the doghouse, spend some time slaving away in the kitchen perfecting the most tantalizing meal for your spouse.

    Really go all out -- open an expensive bottle of wine, make them delectable appetizers, prepare their favorite entree, and don’t forget to include a mouth-watering dessert. If you take the time to make a meal and present it to them in a beautiful setting at home, they won’t be able to resist forgiving you. Make it even better by making sure the kitchen is spotless when you’re done.

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    Write a Heartfelt Apology Letter

    Maybe you need to apologize for something in particular or just have trouble expressing yourself verbally. Write your spouse a letter that tells them how much you apologize for whatever got you in the doghouse.

    Don’t stop with an apology--write them a letter recounting how much you love them and why; share stories of your favorite memories together, writing down every detail of special moments together; or take it a step further and write a poem. Make a list of all the reasons your spouse makes your heart go boom.

    A handwritten letter shows not only that you are thinking about your spouse, but that you are willing to take the time to record your feelings for them. It will be a beautiful keepsake for your spouse to pull out and read anytime you hit a rough spot -- therefore, writing a letter could have the potential to get your out of the doghouse multiple times in one go.

    Make a Big Romantic Gesture

    If you’ve really messed up and you need to do something big to get yourself out of the doghouse, then consider a romantic gesture. The best thing about romantic gestures is they need not be huge or expensive, but merely something sweet and thoughtful.

    Pull a classic “Say Anything” and serenade them with a boombox and their favorite song when they come downstairs in the morning. Create a romantic scavenger hunt (maybe even use a trail of flower petals) that ends in an apology (if you really messed up, maybe be waiting with a present like jewelry or something sweet). Do something silly like spelling out “I’m Sorry” on their car with food. If you go over the top with a romantic gesture, your spouse won’t be able to resist being disarmed and accepting your apology.

    There are countless reasons we end up in the doghouse. If you find yourself there, try one of these tried and true methods to turn an apology into a special memory with your spouse.

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Flowers to get you out of the doghouse

Dried Flower Wreaths

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