The British Isles are full of magical places rife with fairy lore. Many of these places are marked with Cloutie trees where it is custom to tie a ribbon or cloth to the tree and make a wish.
Cloutie Tree on the Hill of Tara, Ireland
While visiting the UK, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a Cloutie tree and was enchanted by all the colorful ribbons full of hopes and wishes fluttering in the wind. I tied on my own ribbon and my wish came true two months later… Since then, I always intended to make a Cloutie or Wishing Tree of my very own.
I finally got to it, and this spectacular Azalea seemed perfect for fitting the job. With Valentine’s Day approaching, I tied white, pink and red ribbons to its delicate branches. My family and I wrote the wishes on bits of folded paper and pinned to each ribbon. Wishes for 2016, wishes for family and friends, wishes for our dear imperiled Earth are all now fluttering on my perfect little Cloutie tree. My daughter was enchanted with the project so now I think we’ve just found a lovely annual tradition!
Nothing evokes thoughts and memories of the holiday season quite like a Christmas tree. As a tree lover, creating a candle that effectively captured the essence of this very special time of year sent my perfectionism into overdrive. So it is with great pride that I introduce you to Green Gamine’s Winter Solstice candle!
Winter solstice is the first official day of Winter, and marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. Winter solstice occurs around December 21st in the Northern hemisphere.
Winter Solstice evokes holiday memories with evergreen top notes of fir balsam and spruce sweetened with warm clove and vanilla musk.
The “Winter Solstice” candle is offered seasonally in a limited quantity as part of the Saison Des Fêtes or “Holiday Season” collection.
The Winter Solstice affirmation can be found on the label reading: “Celebrate Miracles”.
Each seasonal candle is decorated festively with a bit of removable evergreen trim around the top rim, which can be tossed if the clean lines of our classic look are your preference.
Remember, all our candles are already sweetly packaged gift-ready!
Autumn Equinox marks the first day of Autumn which is usually around September 21st in the Northern Hemisphere. Equinox means “equal night” and on the equinox, night and day are nearly exactly the same length.
This year, the Autumn Equinox is September 22nd, but many believe the Full Moon closest to the equinox – called the Harvest Moon – is more powerful and a better marker for celebrating the holiday. This year, the Harvest Moon falls on September 27th and is one of the most magical nights of the year. Not only is it a Blood Moon so rare it won’t take place again for another 18 years, but it is also the night of a lunar eclipse. There is no doubt that some very powerful universal energy is focused on Earth this Equinox!
Autumn is historically a time to harvest the bounty of the Earth, but since there are very few of us living off the land these days, instead we can celebrate the harvesting of the blessings gathered throughout the year. The Autumn Equinox candle’s affirmation is “Harvest Blessings” fragranced with Apple Cinnamon. This scent is elegantly captured in a cool, crisp apple sweetened with sugar and cinnamon making for a quintessential Fall Scent.
In days of old, our ancestors lived more closely tied to nature and the Earth’s seasons. Archeologists have discovered ancient monuments aligned precisely with the sun, moon and stars on the dates marking seasonal changes.
To honor those sacred days, we proudly introduce our Saison Des Fêtes or “Holiday Season” collection for sale on Etsy through December. The collection includes three gorgeously fragranced candles: Autumn Equinox scented with Apple Cinnamon, All Hallows Eve scented with Pumpkin Spice and Winter Solstice scented with Evergreen.
Like all Green Gamine soy artisan candle collections, each Saison Des Fêtes candle has a unique affirmation corresponding to the natural energy of the holiday it celebrates.
The chaos of day-to-day life can make it difficult to unwind at night. Even when you’re physically exhausted, it can be impossible to turn off your racing mind. I created a simple ritual, which once instilled as a habit, my body now automatically recognizes the relaxation cues. I light my Green Gamine Lavender candle aligned with the energy of serenity, drink a warm cup of peppermint tea and dab a little Lavender body balm on my collar bone. The sweet, pure scent of lavender instantly soothes me and carries me away to a distant escape… a lavender field in Provence, perhaps?
Turns out, I don’t have to travel that far, even in my dreams. 80 Acres Lavender Olive Oil Body Balm is produced at the Mcevoy Ranch Estate in Petaluma, CA. It is certified organic product containing Beeswax, Olive Oil and lavender grown, pressed and produced on the farm. Take that, Provence! (Just kidding, I still love you)
I am completely thrilled to announce you can now find Green Gamine candles at The Loop in Sonoma Square! The Loop is an exquisitely curated boutique in the heart of California’s wine country, full of chic clothing, luxurious accessories, scintillating handmade jewelry, and now, artisan candles!
The lovely ladies who run the shop are warm and welcoming, and strive to stock high-quality items that are locally crafted and made in the USA.
Shopping at The Loop is a delightful experience both with its friendly, low-key shopkeepers, and artfully arranged goods in an elegantly appointed ambiance.
I highly suggest anyone visiting the Sonoma and Napa valleys to pop in for a visit – prepare to be inspired!
By now it should be pretty obvious I’m an affirmation enthusiast. I can personally attest to the power affirmations hold in positively transforming your life. One of my all-time favorite books devoted to affirmations is 21 Days to Master Affirmations by Louise Hay. Hay is one of the forerunners of the self-empowerment and Law of Attraction dynasties, as well as the founder of Hay House Publishing.
21 Days is a quick, easy and fun read showcasing the central ideas in several of her most popular titles. Research has shown that establishing a habit requires 21 days of practice. Each of the 21 days in this title are broken into chapters starting with an explanation of affirmations and the power they have to transform your life.
Every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmation. All of your self-talk, your internal dialogue, is a stream of affirmations. You’re using affirmations every moment whether you know it or not. You’re affirming and creating your life experiences with every word and thought.
Hay explains that your beliefs are a result of habitual thinking patterns that go back as far as childhood. She covers everything from self esteem and fearful emotions, to critical thinking and forgiveness; from healing and aging to job success, money and prosperity. The book is packed with exercises to assist in making positive changes in each of these areas.
Affirmations are statements going beyond the reality of the present into the creation of the future through the words you use in the now.
Here are some valuable tips for practicing affirmations taken from the pages of 21 days…
– It is important to always state your affirmations in the present tense. If you start an affirmation with “I am going to” or “I will have” then your desire remains anchored in the future instead of summoning it NOW.
– Always check in with your emotions and let them be your guide. If you maintain a positive outlook, then your affirmation has a fertile environment in which to grow.
– When you catch yourself in a negative thought, redirect your mind by replacing the thought with: This is an old thought; I no longer choose to think that way. Then find a positive thought to replace it as quickly as possible. It can be as simple as, “I am grateful the sun is shining today.”
– Don’t waste time arguing for your limitations. The more you talk about a problem, the more you anchor it into place.
– Avoid sharing your affirmations and desires with non-believers. Their doubt and skepticism can taint the process and shake your belief in your desire being on its way.
21 Days to Master Affirmations can be downloaded to your iPad or Kindle through the iBook and Kindle apps for just $2.99 – a worthy investment in my opinion! This book is a great introduction to the topic for beginners, and a wonderful refresher full of powerful affirmations for pros. If you are interested in learning more about how affirmations influence your subconscious mind, you can read my blog post here.
Choose new thought to think about yourself, and choose new words to tell yourself how magnificent you are and that you deserve all the good things life has to offer.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of baby blogs out there and this is not one of them. But, for the sake of authenticity, I do want this blog to reflect my life experiences. I just had a baby girl three months ago, so I am going to devote a couple posts to covering baby and pregnancy.
Pregnancy isn’t easy, and taking care of your body, mind and spirit for nine+ months while your body creates a person is essential. I put together my survival list of what helped me cope with my rapidly expanding body and pregnancy-induced afflictions. Whether you are a mama-to-be or know one, this is a great list of resources and gift ideas. So here is my list of what helped me survive 41 weeks of pregnancy.
Gummy prenatal vitamins
When you are growing a little person it is absolutely essential to get your fill of nutrients. I had morning sickness my entire first trimester and couldn’t keep my vitamins down. These gummy prenatals actually did the trick and they taste like candy. These ones have DHA and folic acid which is key for baby’s brain development. I’ve had some hardcore nutrition junkies deny the legitimacy of gummy vitamins, but I’ve got the shiny, long pregnancy hair and healthy baby to prove it. So I still take them!
Alba Botanica Cocoa Butter Body Lotion
I didn’t get any stretch marks during my pregnancy – and I gained 40 pounds! I don’t think luck or genes had anything to do with it as I have gotten stretch marks in the past. Once I found out I was pregnant, I diligently slathered my entire body in cocoa butter every single morning after showering. I found that Alba Botanica’s Cocoa Butter Body Lotion worked the best – it was lightweight but hydrating and this organic, paraben, phthalate and sulfate-free brand has superior products I completely trust. Alba does not test on our furry friends in the animal kingdom either!
Prenatal Yoga with Lara Dutta
I have always been pretty active. Not in a “lift weights and hit the treadmill” way, but in a walk 5 miles every day kind of way. With all the water weight I gained, the shortness of breath and edema, exercise was impossible. This pregnancy yoga video saved my life! It was relaxing, rejuvenating and only 28 minutes of pure serenity that makes your body flexible and strong in time for labor.
Pregnancy Day By Day
All the information you could possibly need about the progression of your pregnancy is packed into the best pregnancy reference material on the market. The book provides a week-by-week snapshot complete with vibrant photos and a user-friendly layout with both mama and baby in mind. Every single question I had was answered within these pages.
Similar to a sports bra in concept, this one-size-fits-all bra is so comfortable you could sleep in it. As your breast size increases, the bra conforms to your new size. And the very best part, is great control but no uncomfortable (and potentially dangerous) underwire.
Laura Mercier Body & Bath Luxe Quartet
This is the one decadent splurge every pregnant woman deserves. The only cure for the aches, pains and swollen feet of your third trimester is luxurious nightly bath complete with a divine smelling bubble bath, body scrub and lotion. This is a great gift idea for any mama-to-be. And yes, we here at Green Gamine believe nurturing yourself is indeed essential!
Cliche as it is to say it, the torture of pregnancy is completely worth it in the end! My sweet baby girl is the best thing that has ever happened to me!
I am thrilled to introduce our Herbes Aromatiques handmade soy candle collection for sale on Etsy!
The Herbes Aromatiques or “Aromatic Herb” Collection was inspired by the profusion of herbs growing in abundance in Provence. While traveling through France last year, I learned the French infuse herbs into almost every aspect of daily life.
Herbs not only have incredibly alluring fresh aromas, but also have multitude of medicinal, culinary and body care uses. Since ancient times herbs have been believed to have powerful magical properties. Herbs are some of the most durable plants in the flora species, and if well-cared, for can withstand most temperatures and growing conditions.
Lavender is perhaps one of the most well known and beloved of all herbs. The all-star of any garden, lavender has been used in food and body care for centuries. Lavender has as many meanings as it does uses. Its sweet, fresh aroma gives lavender a purifying energy bringing harmony, balance, peace and healing.
Mint carries the energy of prosperity, success and good luck. Paired with Rosemary’s uplifting energy of joy, happiness and blessings, Rosemary Mint is a powerful candle for bringing success and good fortune with lasting happiness.
Chamomile & Clove
Chamomile’s soothing and nurturing energy promotes health, while Clove packs a punch of powerful purification energy for eradicating negativity and repelling disease and imbalances.
Gold dipped birch bark cuff? A blue dipped pinecone necklace? Sounds like ethereal baubles a woodland fairy would adorn, not little ol’ moi! But thanks to my surprisingly chic father, I was lucky enough to receive these unique jewelry pieces as a birthday gift this year.
Nancy Nelson’s handcrafted jewelry line of “Glamorous Forest Findings” is inspired by the organic elements in the rural countryside near her Northern California home. Though I’d appreciate some Tacori or Tiffany’s ice as much as the next girl, to have one-of-a-kind handmade pieces capturing the poetry of nature’s bounty carries so much more meaning.
Jewelry is a luxury, but it’s unnecessary to break the bank to obtain high-quality, original pieces that will last generations. Authentic artisan wares such as Nancy Nelson’s pieces are beautiful, made in the USA and carry an even more interesting story than what you will find in a department store.