Sunday, January 27, 2013

Winter Pagan Fitness Challenge Update - Week 5

This week was better than last but not by much. I only got to the gym twice (I did earn 8 broom points though) sue to a snafu with my membership. Fortunately that is fixed and this week will be better gym wise.
Then there was lunch! A little background…

I work a wonderful 4 – 10 hour days schedule, however, due to holiday pay issues my co-worker and I each work 4 8 hour days when there is a holiday (like last week) and we go out to lunch since we have an hour lunch instead of a half hour, The challenge is that we both love ethnic foods, last week we had Thai, Salvadoran, Indian and Taiwan style lunches J It was awesome!

So while I had a foodie’s dream week of lunches I didn’t have a good week as far as my weight. It only irritated me for a minute though. Yesterday I had a dinner plate sized pupusa for lunch and it was delicious. What did I learn from this? Well, first off, I can’t order the super pupusa, I need to get two of the regular size – I have no off switch when it comes to those, second, if I get serious and actually follow the Weight Watcher program these holiday lunch weeks will not be an issue.

I have maintained a 40 pound weight loss for 10 years, losing the last 25 is now my focus. I know that when I am at my goal weight, gaining 2 pounds during my foodie holiday lunches won’t bother me because I know that I will lose those extra pounds within a week or two. Since I am not at goal I will be planning better for those lunch weeks, fortunately they don’t happen that often!

So, not too bad a week, up a couple of pounds, lessons learned and 8 more Broom points added to my total!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pagan Blog Project – B is for Buckthorn

I love working with herbs. When I first started working with them I went to Ebay and bought a huge assortment of herbs to use in my work. While some of the small, carefully labeled packets are still unused I have never regretted that initial purchase. There is nothing worse than not having the right ingredients for whatever I am working on be it oatmeal cookies, a good luck amulet or a spell bottle.
This week I chose to write about Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica ) as I am working on protection amulets for my Etsy Shop and Buckthorn happens to be one of the necessary ingredients for these particular amulets. 
There are many type of Buckthorn, including both deciduous and evergreen varieties.  The Rhamnus cathartica species, also called Common Buckthorn, is one of the deciduous types.
This particular shrub grows up to 25 feet tall, has green leaves and gray/brown bark.  The black berries are slightly poisonous to humans but Buckthorn is still used to make an herbal laxative.
Buckthorn’s magical properties are: protection, wishes & good luck, legal matters and exorcism. Branches of the buckthorn, when place near doorways drive away the magical workings of others.
Element: Water
Planet: Saturn
Gender: Feminine

Parts used: Bark, branches, leaves and berries. Scott Cunningham notes that the bark must be aged at least two years before using internally.

Medicinally Buckthorn was used similar to Syrup of Ipecac is today, as a purgative for children however due to the severity of the reaction it fell out of use with humans. Buckthorn has also been used as a laxative in the form of teas, tonics or syrups with sweet ingredients added to make it more palatable. 
In addition to its magical and medicinal properties, Buckthorn bark and leaves are used to make yellow dye to color fabrics and if collect before they ripen its berries, when mixed with gum-arabic and limewater, form the pigment ‘Sap or bladder green” for water color painters.
Scott Cunningham relays the following legend in his Encyclopedia of Magical herbs:
It is said that if you sprinkle buckthorn in a circle and dance within it under a full moon, an elf will appear. The dancer must notice the elf and say “Halt and grant my boon!” before the creature flees. The elf will then grant one wish.  
Perhaps this will be part of my next full moon ritual, if I miss the elf at least I’ll have fun dancing and he’ll have fun watching from his hiding spot.
Sources for this article:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Winter Pagan Fitness Challenge Update – Week 4

This week was a bust for me. I was sick all week, I didn’t exercise AT ALL and I generally just moped and ate. But I am finally feeling better. I only gained a pound so the damage wasn’t too bad.
It’s a new week and I’ll be back at the gym tomorrow morning. I predict that this week will be much better!
I did manage to find a couple of new healthy recipe websites that I am really pleased with!
I made the lemon poppy seed bread on the Eat Yourself Skinny blog for a potluck at my monthly artists gathering and it was amazing! It was moist and full of flavor and still a fairly low calorie and Weight Watcher point food.
Hope you had a better week than I did!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pagan Blog Project – B is for Beltane

Maypole Dance, Qu'Appelle, 1919
Beltane is celebrated May 1st in the Northern Hemisphere and November 1st in the Southern Hemisphere.
This is another time when the veil between the worlds is thin though rather than focusing on ancestors as we do with Samhain, this time is when the Faerie are returning and the trickster Gods are around. Due to this it is not the best time for divination as your results may be convoluted!  
Beltane is a fertility festival. This is the time of year when the Goddess becomes the Mother, and the God sheds his irresponsible, youthful persona and becomes her Consort.  During Beltane we celebrate the union of the Goddess and the God; from which we receive the abundance of nature. It marks the return of life from the coldness of winter.
The Maypole is one of the most popular traditions of Beltane. The maypole is usually 9 feet tall and strung with colored ribbons which are twice as long as the Maypole is high. Traditionally two colors of ribbons are used, red and white. The Maypole dancers would weave the ribbons around the pole through their dance until the streamers were too short for them to continue. This weaving of the ribbons represents the joining of the God and Goddess.
Another Beltane custom is the bonfire which symbolizes the coming summer. Leaping over a fire during Beltane is thought to ensure fertility and circling a fire clockwise three times is thought to bring good luck. 
Beltane Correspondences:
Colors: Green, Bright Red, Silver, Gold, Blue, White and even Pink
Gods: The Green Man, pan. Artemis, Pan
Goddesses: Aphrodite, Diana, flora, Maia
Flowers: Thyme, Yarrow, Ivy, Marigold, Lily of the Valley, Honeysuckle,
Stones: Emerald, Orange Carnelian, Rose Quartz, Malachite
Tools: broom, Maypole,
Food: Bread, Wine, Dairy, Oatmeal Cakes

On Beltane my family enjoys warm oatmeal cookies. Here is my favorite Oatmeal Cookie recipe:

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 8 min
This recipe is right off the Quaker Oats box. I love looking for recipes online but sometimes the oldies are really good! My family has been making these oatmeal cookies for as long as I can remember.

Beltane by Raven Grimassi
Beltane – Holiday Details and History by Christina Aubin

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

CELEBRATE OZ 2013 - An Altered View of OZ party!

I am so excited! I just joined the Celebrate Oz 2013 - aLtEReD oZ on Olde Baggs 'n Stuft Shirts blog! What a fun idea. Oz with a twist. How could I resist? How can you? Head on over and check this out. It's going to be amazing!

I am already plotting who I am going to alter. 

Hope to see you there, March 15, 2013!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Witchy Green Cleaning – All purpose Cleaner

All-Purpose Cleaner Ingredients
This is the third post in my Witchy Green Cleaning series; click here for information on a simple bathroom cleaner and here for information on two simple window and glass cleaners. I am testing all of these products in my own home before I post about them here.
Today I am writing about an all purpose cleaner. This recipe is a little more involved but worth the extra effort.
For a 1 gallon container you’ll need the following:
3 teaspoons of liquid Castile Soap (I found this at Target in the bath soap aisle)
2 tablespoons Borax
2 tablespoons Washing Soda
2 Cups white vinegar
12 cups of hot water
Gallon jug - I bought a gallon of drinking water at Walmart so I would have a clean gallon jug to store this in.

Mix the Castile soap, Borax, washing soda and vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly add the water and stir Allow the mixture to cool. Using a funnel, pour the mixture into a gallon jug.

You can add essential oil to this mixture as well. I chose to only add it to the mix once I poured a portion into a spray bottle for use. This allows me to change up the scent and purpose multiple times without having to make lots of mix.  This all purpose cleaner is also disinfects so you can use it just like you would Formula 409 or similar products.

Cost Breakdown:

3 tsp Liquid Castile Soap = .33
2 Tablespoons Borax = .05
2 Tablespoons Washing Soda = .06
3 Cups White Vinegar = .48
12 Cups Hot Water = .17 (from my purchased gallon jug)
Total 1.09
Cost per ounce = .008 – yes that is less than a penny per ounce!

Formula 409 is roughly .18 per ounce. That is a huge savings and the homemade product is environmentally friendly, easy to make and safe to use.

My total initial cost for all of the ingredients that I am using for ALL of the cleaning products I am making was less that $40. It you are just starting out I recommend White Vinegar and Dawn Dishwashing Liquid! Those two will give you plenty of cleaning power for the money! The two most expensive items initially are the liquid Castile Soap and the Vegetable Glycerin which is used as a preservative in the scouring powder I’ll be talking about in my next Witchy Green Cleaning post. While their initial cost is higher than the other ingredients, the amount you use is so minute they will last you a very long time!

Witchy Add-Ins:
With an all purpose cleaner you have so many ways to use it that the essential oils you can use are pretty endless.

Once the weather warms up and the chance for freezing is past I plan on making a small batch to clean the interior of my car and just keep it in there. I’ll be putting in Oregano Essential oil for its protection, happiness and tranquility properties – there are some days when I am driving home in rush hour traffic that some tranquility would be welcome! As you experiment with adding essential oils to your cleaning products always make sure they are safe for skin contact and long term use.

Some other essential oil ideas:

For All-Purpose
Oregano – Happiness, protection and tranquility
Rosemary – Purification, protection and alertness
Peppermint - Rid areas of negativity, create change

Lavender– lavender is great for love, protection, happiness and peace
Peppermint – this is also great for sleep, love and healing
Patchouli – this one is great when you want to spice it up - properties: sexuality, power and passion

Grapefruit – to increase energy, this is especially nice to use to clean the shower during the long winter months!
Lavender - peace and emotional tranquility

Oregano – protection, happiness & tranquility

As you can see from the list above, it is worth making a large batch and putting it into smaller spray bottles so you can personalize the scent or you can just use the base recipe as a fantastic cleaning product!
Next up: A Green Soft Scouring Powder Alternative
*Note* I found this recipe on Cajun Joie de Vivre: For my witchy readers please note that her Christian views are very much a part of her blog and could be quite contradictory to your own views, however, we are all entitled to our beliefs and her site is a wonderful resource for anyone looking for natural cleaning ideas.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Little Birdie told Me - Swap

I just joined Yarnigras A little Birdie Told Me Swap. We'll be swapping a seasonal bird related decoration and some birdie goodies. At first I thought, I am not really into birds, then I looked around my studio - Ravens and Buzzards and Peacocks - Oh My! I am totally looking forward to this swap. Check it out if you are looking for something fun to do this month!

Winter Pagan Fitness Challenge – Week 3 Check In

For the mini challenge this week I did two things, first I threw the ball for my son’s dog Sophie, I’ve talked about her before, the only thing she wants to do is fetch. She will chase her ratty old tennis ball until YOU drop, she has yet to tire out (even when we tag team it!). Second, I thought it would be fun to do the
The first day of the Summer Arms Challenge was a breeze, I already lift weights so I was able to complete day one with no problem, day two however kicked my butt – in 4 minutes! Day two consists of 20 Tricep dips followed by the 4 minute Tabata workout – Oh My! You work out for 20 seconds then take a 10 second rest then move on to the next 20 second interval. You do 4 different exercises per set (20 second each with a 10 second rest in between) and 2 sets for a total of 4 total minutes. This workout is said to burn fat for up to 36 hours after you complete it. After my first try I can see why. My heart rate was high and I felt like I had just run a marathon! Of course, once I was finished recovering I felt great, seriously great. I had just completed my second day of the 7 day Summer Arms Challenge. Thankfully, the day after that workout was a day of rest, from the arms challenge and my morning treks to the gym. By Tuesday of this week I had already earned 12 Broom Points with another 12 anticipated, which is a good thing because I did enjoy my wine over the weekend.
What the Tabata workout showed me was that I need to incorporate additional cardio into my workouts, walking 4 miles per hour, which is as fast as I feel comfortable walking before I start running, is obviously not doing what I need it to do, and I can’t run due to my bad knees. So, when I went back to the gym Thursday morning, after my weight training, I changed the program on the treadmill. Instead of walking a random pattern of hills I chose to do the hill program that takes you slowly up a hill and then slowly back down (twice), having you work at each “elevation” for 1 – 1 ½ minutes, I do 30 minutes of walking so it was traveling one hill per mile. My incline was roughly 6.2% at the height of the hill. This workout got my heart rate up nicely. Friday morning, since I work out with weights at night a la Arm Challenge, I chose to increase my walking to 50 minutes and upped the level to 8. The workout is still spread out over only two hills so you work longer at each elevation. The peak this time was 6.4%– I was working hard Friday!
Aside from the wine indulgence this week was pretty good. I found a good Yoga DVD along with another one on Meditation techniques that I really like (Elemental Goal: Air), I drank lots of water (Elemental Goal: Water) and tried to eat fruits and veggies with every meal and snack(Elemental Goal: Earth).  That is something that Weight Watchers is promoting, eat a fruit or veggie with every meal and snack. So I am working on it.
I earned 18 broom points which makes me very happy. I hit the gym 4 days and did the Summer Arm challenge exercises 5 days (Elemental Goal: Fire).
Overall I am happy with how this week went. I worked on all four of my elemental goals which make my approach balanced and makes me feel good (Elemental Goal: Spirit) and which will ultimately help me get healthy! Yay!
This morning I went to my Weight Watchers meeting and found that I had lost 1.6 pounds! Not too shabby. Now, I am off to focus on day 6 of the Summer Arm Challenge!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pagan Blog Project - A is for Aventurine

Photo by Michael Marcotte

Aventurine is one of my favorite stones to carry around. It has many properties, can be green, brown, yellow or even peachy colored and is relatively easy to find in my local gem and mineral shops. I am going to discuss green Aventurine since different colors of Aventurine can have different properties.

Some of the many magical properties of green Aventurine are:

Prosperity, promotes compassion and empathy, increases creativity, promotes calmness, success in your career, Luck (considered the stone of gamblers – which would explain why it is so plentiful in Nevada!), increases opportunities and self confidence, balance emotions and much more.

Element: Earth
Chakra: Heart
Planet: Mercury

An interesting historical note: Warriors in ancient Greece would sew Aventurine into their clothing to preserve courage and optimism. 


While researching this stone I found a site ( that suggested that you should use Aventurine for pets who are clumsy. This just made me giggle because my daughter’s cat Chaco is the clumsiest cat I have ever known. She is sweet as she can be but that cat could trip over her own paws standing still! I think I may have to make her a collar with bits of Aventurine sewn in it. 

Aventurine is said to balance energy and improve creativity. As an artist I am always looking for ways to improve my creativity. I have a bowl of stones that I keep on my desk which is both functional and decorative. When I am feeling low on creativity all I need to do is hold my Aventurine stone and meditate. This usually gives me the jump start I need.

Some other sites I visited while researching Aventurine:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Witchy Green Window and Glass Cleaner

This is the second post in my Witchy Green Cleaning series. Click here to see the first post on a simple bathroom cleaner. For this post I experimented with two green window and mirror cleaners.  Both are simple to make and the ingredients are very similar.
Window & Mirror Cleaner 1
This recipe was listed on the Being Frugal website:
·         2 Cups Water
·         ¼ C. Vinegar
·         ½ tsp. Original Formula Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
Add all ingredients to a spray bottle. Gently shake to mix.
Window & Mirror Cleaner 2
The second recipe is super simple, very similar to the one above and was found on the Daily Green Website:
·         2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
·         1 Gallon Water
Mix and pour into a spray bottle.
With both formulas you spray the mixture onto your window or mirror and then wipe clean with newsprint, not paper towels since paper towels tend to cause streaking.
My results: Both cleaners worked beautifully. The mirrors were sparkling clean and were streak free.
After the first use I decided to add a tiny bit of essential oil to the second formula. The reason I chose to experiment with this particular formula was because it did not contain the Dawn Dishwashing Liquid and I am pretty confident that if the oil does not leave a file with this formula it will also be fine in the first formula.
Since this product is for windows as well as mirrors I chose to add Bergamot oil for its protection, prosperity and luck properties. I added 10 drops to the 25 oz. spray bottle of my solution.
My results were fantastic. No residue, no smearing and no streaking.
Formula 1
2 Cups. Water = .12
¼ C. Vinegar = .04
½ Teaspoon Dawn Dishwashing Liquid = .01
Total:  $.17 per 18 oz batch roughly .01 per ounce

Formula 2
2 Tablespoons Vinegar = .02
1 Gallon Water = .88 (cost for 1 gallon of bottle water at Walmart)
Total= .90 which breaks down to .007 or less than 1 penny per ounce!

Cost Comparison
Windex = $3.49 for 20 oz = .18 per ounce

While saving money is awesome, the fact that I can whip up a batch from ingredients I almost always have on hand, in less than a minute, can personalize the scent to suit my taste and can add some additional magical mojo to my cleaning is exactly what I needed. One more safe cleaning alternative for my home. I have no idea why it has taken me so long to do this. Seriously!

Next up an all purpose cleaner, this one is a bit more involved ingredient wise but it is very versatile, still a green choice, inexpensive to make and again, I can add some extra oomph to it!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

WInter Pagan Fitness Challenge Week 2 Check In

This morning I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting of the year. I did gain a bit but I expected that so now I am officially weighed in for the challenge, I have my goals set and I am heading to workout in just a few minutes.
I feel good. Last year I yoyo’d up and down but I managed to finish the year with an official 8 pound loss. Not too bad for half-assing it all year.  I attribute the loss to my consistent exercise and the fact that I really am much more aware of my diet since I am a long time Weight Watchers member with a goal of eating healthy, tasty, food.
This week I worked on each of my elemental goals:
Earth: I search online for clean food recipes. I tried out a zero calorie beverage that was sweetened with Stevia instead of an artificial sweetener and I started to clean out my fridge and cupboards of old and heavily processed foods.
Air: I have started my search for a yoga class that will work with my schedule. I am going to start using my Yoga DVD’s today and will continue until I find a class that works.
Fire: I went to the gym once last week but I also cleaned my house top to bottom and made my own natural, green, cleaning products (check out this post) so I earned 8 broom points. This week I plan on earning a minimum of 14 additional points.
Water: I did drink more water this week but have not started weaning myself off Diet Coke yet. I normally only have one Diet Coke a day but this past week I went out to lunch with my co-workers every day and drank diet soda during the meals so I drank a lot more than I normally do. This week I am working on only drinking 1 per day then next week I will drink one every other day, the following week will be the first week that I completely eliminate it. I have a plan!
Spirit: I am pretty happy with the way this week went, overall, I worked on each of my goals, I have a plan and that makes me feel good!
Have a wonderful, healthy day!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Pagan Blog Project 2013 - A is for Autumn Equinox

Autumn holds a very special place in my heart, as you can imagine. There is something about the crisp evenings, the bold colors of nature and the rich harvest foods that speak to me on an elemental level.
On the Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon, that lovely day in September when the day and night are equal in length, I make a special fruit cobbler for my family and serve it with a yummy, chilled cider to wash it down.
This day is a day to celebrate balance and our preparations for the long winter ahead. This is also a time to balance yourself, to rid yourself of unwanted feelings, settle quarrels and release guilt.  The end of the harvest is at hand, we are canning foods, storing them away for the barren winter months to come.  I find that I bake a lot in the fall and as I do I honor the abundance of food that is available and give thanks for it.
Here is the recipe for the Berry Cobbler that I make. I prefer to use berries, blackberries and raspberries are available in abundance in late September and I like to take advantage of that whenever I can!
Fruit Cobbler
Makes 4 servings
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour  
3/4 cup sugar  
1 teaspoon baking powder  
1/4 teaspoon salt  
3/4 cup milk  
2 cups of sliced fresh peaches or nectarines, or whole blueberries, strawberries, raspberries,   blackberries or a combination of fruits (or a 12-ounce package of frozen berries)  
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, and heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put butter in an 8-inch square or 9-inch round pan; set in oven to melt. When butter has melted, remove pan from oven.
3. Whisk flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Add milk; whisk to form a smooth batter. Pour batter into pan, then scatter fruit over batter. Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tb. of sugar.
4. Bake until batter browns and fruit bubbles, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Recipe is from All, a site that I use often when hunting for recipes for my ritual dinners. Here is the link to the cobbler recipe :
I like this served warm with some vanilla bean ice cream and chilled cider.

Thanks for stopping by my first Pagan Blog Project post of 2013!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Time for a Witchy Green Cleaning Change


As the year begins I always feel like cleaning, well, pretty much everything! I really like to start the calendar year off with a deeply cleaned house but over the holidays(the day before Thanksgiving) I managed to do some serious damage to my hands because I forgot to wear gloves while cleaning my oven(yes I acknowledge that it was my own fault)! It has taken almost 6 weeks for my hands to be almost healed.  After that horrible experience I decided to make the switch to green products that are economical, easy for me to make at home and safe to use around my family, my pets and in my house.  Above is a picture of some of the ingredients I will be talking about over the next couple of weeks as I make the switch from chemical cleaners to homemade. 

The first recipe I choose to try was for a Bathroom cleaner that I saw on the site.

This bathroom cleaner is an easy one to make. You’ll need the following
Spray Bottle
½ Cup Original formula Dawn Dishwashing Liquid and
      Vinegar (I used white vinegar, it is easy to find and very inexpensive)

Pour the Dawn Dishwashing liquid into the spray bottle and then fill the rest of the way with white vinegar. Gently shake to mix and you are ready to go. Like I said – easy peasy!

Cost for this batch (Based on the prices at my local Walmart and Lowe’s stores) –
½ cup of Dawn =  .24
18 oz of Vinegar =  .36
22 oz Spray Bottle = $2.28 at Lowes
Total Initial Cost = $2.88 (cost decreases each time you refill since you don’t have to purchase a new spray bottle)

Cost for the cleaner comes out to about .03 per ounce (I did not include the cost of the bottle in the per ounce cost because it is reusable and not part of the actual cleaning recipe). Formula 409 is roughly .18 per ounce

A great money saver and making this product is easy on the environment and on me!

The first time I used this I was thrilled. It did an excellent job cleaning the tub, toilet and counter tops - in the bathroom my boys use – ‘nuf said! It was also easy to make and did not of require tons of scrubbing. There was a very strong vinegar odor at first but that only lasted about 10 minutes. Once the tub was dry the vinegar smell was gone. After that first use I added 25 drops of essential oil to my bottle of cleaner. The result, the vinegary smell dissipated much quicker and there was a very light, lingering fragrance of my choosing, over all - I LOVE it!

Another benefit – I did not cough, my eyes did not burn or water and my still healing skin did not get red, cracked or become sore, in fact, after cleaning all three bathrooms in my house I am surprised at how soft my hands are. I will definitely not be going back to chemical cleaners. 

Now, for the Witchy add-ins…

The fun thing about making your own cleaning products is that, as a witch, you can add a little bit more oomph to the recipe just by the essential oil you decide to add. Of course you want to make sure it has a scent you like as well as a purpose that is compatible with what you are using it for.

A couple of ideas:

Add 20 -30 drops of peppermint oil to clear a room of negativity. This will also help get rid of the tendency to procrastinate and during the holidays it smells very festive.

Add 20 -30 drops of Lavender Oil to balance and calm an area, this is great for bedroom windowsills (mine are tile) and bathrooms, imagine taking a nice warm bath in a room that has been cleaned with a lavender charged cleaner!

Add 20 -30 drops of Sage Oil for overall purification and cleansing, this is a great way to purify spaces between uses of your sage smudge stick!

The variations are limitless! I love working with oils so this was an added benefit to making my own cleaning products. I chose to add Clovebud Oil to my cleaner due to its purification properties, ability to drive away negative forces as well as its tendency to invite abundance. It also has a smell that I find very pleasing!  

What I noticed about adding the essential oil was that there was no oily residue, only a very light scent of the oil that I added. I would imagine that this is due to the small amount of oil used, the fact that I used essential oil AND the fact that it is combined with a really nice grease cutter in the Dawn dishwashing liquid.

One thing to add, vinegar has been proven in many scientific studies to be an effective disinfectant.  Here are some of the sites I visited while researching green cleaners which discuss the effectiveness of vinegar.

Coming Up Next:
A  Witchy Green window and glass cleaner

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Winter Pagan Fitness Challenge - Week 1

I wrote these goals out during the last fitness challenge and they are still true for this challenge:
My Elemental goals

Earth: I plan on focusing on eating a balanced, natural food diet. I want to eliminate some of the processed foods that I eat. This will be a gradual and ongoing process

Air: I will be adding Yoga into my exercise routine on a regular basis. Yoga is great for the mind as well as the body and I believe this will be a great benefit for me, helping me to lessen the effects of everyday stresses as well as strengthen my muscles.

Fire: I plan on earning 150 broom points - minimum! I try to get to the gym between 3 and 4 mornings each week and work out for about an hour each time. In addition to this I will be working on my Etsy Shop as well as my other artistic endeavors, Art is my passion and that is something I will be focusing more on in the coming months.

Water: I will be upping the amount of water I drink and eliminate that darn Diet Coke. I know it is full of chemicals, I know it is not the best drink for my body so I will be saying goodbye to my longtime favorite beverage so that I can improve my health - I believe it will be totally worth it!

Spirit: Achieving the above will nurture my mind, body and soul. Meditating on my goals, working towards them and achieving them is what I consider my holistic approach to this challenge, encompassing all of the elements in my goal to be healthy and fit.

In addition to the above elemental goals I have another, measurable goal, I would like to lose about 10 pounds by the end of the challenge. I believe in losing weight in a slow, steady and healthy way and I think this is very achievable. To this goal I will continue on as a Weight Watchers member and will be focusing on consistent journaling since I know that my efforts are successful if I am consistent with my Weight Watchers food journal.
Tomorrow is my first day back to the gym in a week and I can't wait!

Happy New Year!

As the clock strikes midnight and we begin the year 2013 my wish for you all is for a wonderful prosperous year, full of joy and magic. I hope your lives are filled with wonder, full of friends and family and happy adventures.