The Leoness is a bit of everything; fashion, fitness, food, facts, fiction, fright, fun, etc.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beauty: Hair RX

My hair is just coming out of a "recovery crisis." I put my hair through a lethal injection of peroxide, products, and hair extensions. I'm not stylist; and before my hair OD I new almost nothing about hair care. Now, Thanks To Stephanie Kocielski, and Paul Mitchell Systems, I'm learning to take better care of my hair through preventative action, and gentle styling agents. 

I'm a huge fan of Paul Mitchell, because the vast majority of their products are vegan, and environmentally progressive. Paul Mitchell uses a lot of natural oils, like tea tree, to enhance their products. I miss having super long (fake) hair. I want my hair to grow. Ideally I would like my hair  to be Marcia Brady steezey long. I asked Stephanie Kocielski, (VP of education for Paul Mitchell), if there was a way to make your hair grow faster, and here is her advice:

Hair growth, starts with health. To promote healthy hair use  natural based product. Stephanie recommends: the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo. The Tea Tree oil invigorates the scalp; and will tingle pleasantly like a  low-cal peppermint patty. Then condition. For optimal hair revival: Give your self a break from  the daily shampoo routine. Try washing your hair every other day, or once every three days.

Healthy hair, is a reflection of overall health. For luscious locks, it important to eat a diet rich in proteins, b vitamins, and omega oils. Some of the best vegan proteins include: Arborio rice, tempeh, tofu, quinoa and mushrooms. 

To really get the "Marcia Brady" look, you have to do the Marsha Brady OCD hair brush routine. When you really brush your hair, you increase the circulation in you sculpt. Most hair oils gets stuck at the roots. Which is why, often hair will look greasy at our roots and crocodile dry at our ends. (Yes, ombre is in style, and is sticking around for spring but Ombre is about shades not effed up textures.) A good hair brush, along with a good brushing, helps pull down the natural oils from our scalp to our ends to help quench their dehydration. 

You can still get great style out of your hair, even when the wash isn't fresh. Stephanie shared with me this amazing cheat to amp up style after: a day on the slopes,  a workout,  house work, etc. This trick provides  easy volume, at no effort. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Free Smiles

It has been just over a week, since my fabulous retreat in Laguna Beach, with "20 something, 20 everything," author/expert Christine Hassler. During the workshop, I made a contract with myself. The contract, is a step by step action plan, that will help me stay grounded, motivated, and open to opportunities. I have been taking my self improvements seriously. I've got my self a proper note book; to record my to-dos, want to-do's, wish to do's, and have to do's. It's been eye opening to realize just how busy a plain Jane of a day can be. From a self organization standpoint; the to-do list have been helpful.

In Spokane, there is a friendly spirit who begs for smiles. Every time I drive past him, he makes me smile. When I offer him change, he will kindly decline and say: "That I have already paid him with a smile."

Inspired by the smile beggar, while in a quest to better ground myself, so I can enjoy the present. I have been making more of an effort to smile. To smile at strangers, acquaintances, friends, and enemies. The gift of a smile, cost me nothing. I have been surprised to find just how much more open I am to people and my surroundings from the simple act of smiling. To really see someone, and smile at them, is to remove all the masks that we ware and to surrender to the moment. The surrender, makes me feel vulnerable, timid, and scared. For some reason I am afraid to see. I think that in situations of emotional high steaks, I like to volt my insecurities and vulnerabilities away; so that I can never be hurt or rejected.

A smile is free, and everyone has their masks they wear for protection. I am happy with myself, and by sharing a smile with others I can help share my appreciation with others. A smile contagious, it feels good, and it gets passed on. A smile, instantly lifts your face: making you more radiant, and more open to new experiences. Take a risk, and smile at a stranger, a friends, or any one just in need of some love.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Horoscopes: Feb. 27- Mar. 4

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a fabulous, and relaxing weekend. Spokane got hit with a freak snow storm, and I was lucky enough to enjoy the 21 inches of fresh snow at Mt. Spokane. I love being outdoors, and on the slopes. It is such a freeing experience. I find that I often allow myself to be come tied down with make-believe stresses. When I find myself stressing about fictional "what ifs?" I have to remember to breath. With the gift of an extra day this month, allow your self the luxury of calmness. Take time to do something you love! 

Here are your Georgia Nicolls horoscopes, for the week (Feb. 27- Mar. 4). 


This continues to be a fabulous time for you where you can recharge your batteries for the rest of year because the powerful Sun is in your sign. However, Mercury retrograde might stir up financial problems for you. (Gulp.) On the upside, it could generate something positive where you used to work before or regarding something that you used to do to earn money. As retrograde Mercury continues, it will likely bring you into a strong contact with ex-partners in March. (This ain't gonna go away.) Get used to it. If you are looking for work, apply where you worked before or even applied before. Retrace your footsteps. (But wear new shoes.)
Since Mercury is going to go retrograde in your sign on March 11, act quickly if there are any important projects you want to begin. On the other hand, (you have different rings) you might look forward to the month of March as being a time where you will easily finish things and wrap up projects that are already on the go. This should be heartening news for you! You start so many things, you have lots of stuff that could be finished, if you care to do so. If this is the case - March is the month for you! You can finish construction projects or anything to do with hobbies or sewing. Perhaps this is one of the reasons you are going to boost your income in the next several months? (You find it easy to work hard now.)
Although Mercury retrograde is exasperating due to miscommunications, delays and transportation breakdowns, every Mercury retrograde can also be used to your benefit in some way. For Taurus, this particular Mercury retrograde will help you research anything up the yin yang, for sure! If there is something you want to know more about, or there are answers you are seeking or solutions you are striving for, you will likely be successful in March. You might also find yourself repeating something (like a tape loop) that you do in private or behind the scenes. This continues to be a popular time for you. Enjoy schmoozing with others, especially in clubs and groups.
With the Sun still high in your chart acting like a spotlight on you, of course bosses, parents and other VIPs notice you. However, you'll also find yourself running into old friends and contacts from clubs, groups and organizations that you used to belong to (or perhaps still do). Because you're so high viz right now, this could be one of the reasons old contacts can spot you! Enjoy these exchanges. It's good to have history with others. Plus you love to catch up on gossip. Tension at home still lingers for your sign, but by now you're learning how to practice patience. (Gemini is always a quick study.) Hey, can you play a few bars of Melancholy Baby?
Whoa Nellie! The month of March will be a bit off kilter because Mercury retrograde is at the top of your chart. Quite likely, you'll run into bosses, parents, teachers and VIPs you haven't seen for a while. This could be good or not so good depending on the circumstances. This also means if you wanted to make a pitch to someone in a position of authority, or you wanted to get permission or approval or make a great impression, March is a good time to do this if you have contacted these people before. In other words, it's your second kick at the can. You might be surprised at your good fortune! (Hey, you can't win if you don't buy a ticket.)
Travel anywhere in March will be tricky because Mercury retrograde will dog your steps causing delays and minor headaches. According to astrology, the best way to address this is to go someplace you've been to before. In other words, in a way you are going "backwards" by retracing your steps. During any Mercury retrograde time, going backwards is easy! This is also a great month to finish up a book, whether you're writing, editing or proofing it. It's an excellent time to finish anything related to higher education: your thesis, a big term paper, a study project. Reaching back into the past and finishing what is already on your plate will apply also to dealing with foreign countries and anything to do with the media. Good luck!
More than any other sign, you will find this Mercury retrograde is beneficial. (Of course, you won't get off the hook entirely.) Essentially, the month of March is the perfect time for you to wrap up loose details about bills, debt, taxes, inheritances, wills, estates and shared property. You'll be shocked at how easy it will be and how quickly things will be finished. I kid you not. This is how to work with Mercury retrograde. Admittedly, because Mercury retrograde causes delays and misplaced paperwork, some of this will occur. But it won't be a big deal. Continue to get as much rest as you can in the next month because you need it!
Because you're trying to be efficient plus you're working hard, the fallout of Mercury retrograde in March will not be a welcome thing because it will cause goofy mistakes and mixed-up communications. For sure, it will attract ex-partners and close friends from your past. (If running into an ex-partner is a bummer, get emotionally prepared for this. It's going to happen.) Fortunately, fair Venus, directly opposite your sign, sweetens your relations with others in the next few weeks. You can slide pretty far on this. Secret love affairs plus gifts and favours from others also stir the pot nicely. (Hmmm, secret love affairs and ex-partners are an interesting possibility.)
You're in a playful, romantic mood now, no question. Sports, fun times with children, and getaway vacations will all appeal to you. Actually, no wonder you want to escape on a vacation; Mercury retrograde will affect your employment scene for the next month. This means that communications, paperwork and details (including transportation) related to your job will be full of silly mistakes and delays. Deliveries will be made. (Let's hope this doesn't apply to paycheques.) On the upside, you might run into people you used to work with. There is definitely a quality of deja vu to your job. "Didn't this happen once before?" Am I starring in Bad Movie II?
Home, family and domestic matters continue to be your top priority. Nevertheless, your life could be interrupted because suddenly an old flame is back on the scene. ("Elvis!") Or perhaps you're rehashing old issues with ex-partners about the kids. (That's always fun.) In a different vein (other arm), the month ahead is a wonderful time for you to finish creative projects. Your ambition continues to be strong, and your chances to improve your job or get a better job also continue to be excellent! Just look good at all times in case you meet the ex-lover. (Living well is the best revenge.)


A busy time! Travel opportunities continue as well as wonderful opportunities in publishing, the media, medicine, the law and dealing with foreign countries. Chances to slip away on vacation or generate excitement through new love affairs and romantic involvements look good as well. Plus your kids are getting straight A's along with their straight teeth. But you know there's a "but" lurking, don't you? You're right. Mercury retrograde might bring relatives camped on your doorstep, sleeping on your sofa and eating out of your fridge. The good news is you might have a chance to re-open past real-estate deals that went sour. (This time they might work.)


This particular Mercury retrograde will challenge you because it affects all the things it's notorious for! Expect delays due to flat tires, dead batteries, missed buses, etc.) Your communications with others will also suffer. Lost paperwork, missed phone messages, goofy communications and blown appointments (you're waiting at one place and your friend is waiting in another) will be rampant in March. Just allow extra time for everything and stay on good terms with your sense of humour. Remember, you have much to look forward to in your home-and-family scene this year.

- Georgia Nicols

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Eat: Cashew Teriyaki Tofu

When I first began cooking vegan, ( a good 6 years ago), this was the recipe I had on speed dial. The flavours are rich and the recipe is fool proof. This Cashew Teriyaki stir fry, is the perfect fix for a craving of panda express.

Tofu Marinade:
1 package extra firm tofu (cubed)
1 tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce (San J has an organic gluten free and vegan soy sauce that I often use).
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp ginger

In a small tubberwear container place in the cubed tofu, and add the soy sauce, vinegar, and the ginger. Cover, shake, and refrigerate. 

Teriyaki Sauce:
1/3 cup Tamari
1/4 water
3 tbsp agave syrup
1 large lemon squeezed
1 tsp fresh lemon rind
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
5 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (or ginger powder)
1 tbsp arrowroot powder 

In a medium sized bowl, whist together all the ingredients for the teriyake sauce. Stirring until the arrowroot powder is dissolved. Set aside.

Stir Fry:
1 tbsp coconut oil (or any cooking oil)
4 cups broccoli florets
1 bunch swiss chard 
1 red onion sliced
2 bell peppers sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup raw cashews
Garnish with cilantro

In a large fry pan or wok, heat the oil. Add the tofu and onion saute until lightly browned. Reduce the stove temperature to medium and add the broccoli salt and water. Toss well and cover, allowing the broccoli to steam and turn a rich green color.  Uncover and add the bell peppers stirring to mix everything together. Slowly pour in the teriyaki sauce  and return stove heat to high. Toss well, and let the sauce come to a slow boil. One the sauce has thickened, add the cashews and the cilantro. Remove from heat and serve as is or over rice, kelp noodles, or quinioa.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Want: Ashley Watson Bag

I first heard of Ashley Watson, recycled leather bags, when I was window shopping my favourite Vancouver fashion boutique, One of a Few. I feel in love immediately, and have been coveting the Heron Bag ever since. As a vegetarian/vegan, I often struggle with maintaining a consistent attitude towards the use of animal products. I'm a girly girl, and love my purses, my shoes, and heated leather car seats. I've rationalized my consumption and have modified by attitude so that I can happily tote around the purse of my dreams. Ashley Watson, and her collection of recycled and up-scaled leather bags and accessories, erases my consumption dissonance toward leather goods. Each of her designs are made entirely from recycled leather; weather it be old jackets, pants, skirts, etc.

Ashley, got into designing and making purses out of recycled leather almost by mistake. She wanted a new bag, and only had an old leather coat to work from. Ashley originally worked with new materials, but was inspired and captivated by the unique, natural, and of a kind personality that the recycled bag possessed. To own an Ashley Watson bag, is a fashion statement, and a statement of sustainability. If you own an Ashley Watson Bag, you are guaranteed of being the only purses in the entire universe with that exact bag.

Ashley, makes each purse by hand, and is able to offer a competitive price for her artistry. Her bags range in price from the $200- $400. Her bags, are quality made, and her background in art, and fashion is prevalent in all of her designs. She has a unique talent of understanding how a purse hangs on a woman, and the ideal slouch.

Ashley Watson, also designs and makes jewelry. Her jewelry collections, is ornate, eclectic and vintage inspired. Ashley designs have a sophisticated simplicity to them. They are dressy and casual simultaneously. As a fashion junky, I appreciate how Ashley designs each piece to complement a look. Her design know how to be both center stage and supporting. I'm excited to follow Ashley's career.

I am saving up for the Flicker Bag, I think it is fabulous (above) . I love it! It's massive yet compact. An ideal day bag for the girl on the go, with a million and one things on her to do list. Ashley Watson bags are available for sale at select boutique across Canada and the States; including One of a Few in Vancouver, and Plenty in Hood River Oregon.  Check out more of Ashley Watson's designs for sale on her web boutique, or to find a reseller near you.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bronzed: Sun Kissed Tan

For the most part, I embrace my exceptionally fair skin. From necessity, I have learned to love my pale skin. I would rather be pale any day that be sun-burt or be diagnosis with a skin cancer. I like being healthy, even if that means being pasty white. I don't like tanning beds. 

I have tried a self tanner lotion; only to end up looking like a zebra. 
I have tried a mystic spray tan; only to look ready for a stint on the circus. 
I had just about given up on faux tans, until I met Debbie Mucica, the owner of SunKissed Tan. Debbie is a certified airbrush technician who specializes in "Airbrush Body Bronzing." 

 I was a little apprehensive about the procedure. I was heading to California for a mini break, right after my spray tan, and I was some what scared of having a repeat self tanning horror story.  I was instructed to come to my appointment with clean dry skin, and loose clothes to wear afterwords. When I arived, Debbie quickly and successfully made me feel comfortable about the technology and what to expect. 

In the tanning room, I stripped down to my undies, (yes they left a tan line).  Debbie began carefully spraying me with the airbrush gun. Debbie is a masterful small talk artist, she has a true talent for making what theoretically is an uncomfortable situation, relaxing.  The whole process was a lot less awkward than I was expecting. The bronzing agent goes on easily, and the process is quick. 

I was surprised at how dark, I looked immediately after my spray tan. I was instructed to let the bronzer sit and develop on my skin overnight, and to use a rich body lotion to help preserve my tan. The bronzer felt a little heavy on my skin, but the tan looks incredible and natural. A spray tan is an instant pick me up, and uv free way to get some color. 

I'm happy with my faux tan, and I know that I will defenitly get another Sunkissed Tan

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Calm: Grounded and Stretched.

Only in the dictionary, does Success come before Work. Success is a result of a commitment to yourself and your goals. Success is not guaranteed, and does not come easy. If it did, success would be taken for granted; and we would feel entitled to the praise and reward associated with achievement. 

I am a Stress-A-Sourus-Rex, right now. I have midterms, life, my gmat, and a million little dudes inside my head pounding with a sledgehammer as they renovate my mind. I'm fighting the renovation; even though I know it is for my self betterment. 

When my life gets crazy, I have to remember to take to ground my self, breath, and stretch through the feeling of discomfort. In a work shop I attended with Christine Hassler, Hassler stressed the importance of making a priority a time to center yourself and breath through the demands of the day. I have been working on managing my priorities, and making a point of stretching more regularly. 

This is a short stretch routine, perfect for after a Tracy Anderson Workout, Ski Day, or simply a catalyst for relaxation. 

Melt into the stretches, and let go of any negativity holding you back. You are beautiful, capable, and kind. Success is waiting for you. 

Much Love!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beauty: Antioxidants, the future of youth!

The list of celebrities who have seemed to found the fountain of youth is endless. Like a scene is "Death Becomes Her," Celebs and savvy women alike are keeping quiet about their anti aging secrets. Many, starlets, have endless cocktails of facial rejuvenation products. While it may not be economically feasible for the average lady in lust for teenage skin there are certain key ingredients that are proven to enhance skin complexion, elasticity, and radiance. Love your self, and celebrate your beauty with a youth enhancing at home facial. After all, the secret for age-less skin, is self love, and regular facials. 

Home Made Antioxidant Mask:

10 blueberries
1 half of a lemon, fresh squeezed
1 tbsp soy/dairy yogurt
1 tbsp arrowroot powder

In a small bowl, microwave the blueberries until super juicy and leaky. Squeeze in the lemon juice, and the yogurt. Mix until well combined. Gently dust in the arrow root powder, and stir until smooth. 

Transfer the mix into a storage container/jar and let the mask sit for at least 20 minutes. The arrowroot is a starch so it helps to bond the mask. 

Gently apply the mask liberally to your face. I like to apply masks with a foundation brush. Let the mask soak on your skin for 25 minutes, before rinsing off with a warm face cloth. 

Benefits of the Mask: 

When applied in a mask form to skin, help protect and repair element damaged skin. Blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants which help fight free radicals, preventing signs of aging.   

 The citrus acid in the lemon is a natural exfoliant, and the vitamin C helps remove blackheads while brightening skin.

The  yogurts pro biotic properties help sooth skin irritation, and is antibacterial. If you are using soy yogurt the soy has added skin benefits due to natural occurring phytoestrogens which help in the regeneration of skin cells.The calcium in the yogurt helps combat dry skin. 

 Arrowroot Powder:
 The starch adds just a splash of potassium, to help fight fluid retention (great for puffy eyes) and folate which helps naturally tighten skin.

Enjoy, your  beautiful, fresh, and youthful skin.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Revived: Extinction

The impossible is possible! This scientific break through fills me with a warm fuzzy-ness of joy and possibilities. I am so excited that through science, researchers have been able to bring back the deeply frozen/presumed extinct. I am in a state of re framing my life, in a quest to maximize my productivity and to find my definition of success.  This breakthrough proves that success is possible through an effort of rephrasing the problem and developing a mentality of high involvement and low attachment. (To steal a phrase form Christine Hassler.) Through active involvement, problem recognition and solving techniques can be developed and refined without emotional heart ache; which causes a lack of focus on the actual goal. 

Extinction, might soon find it self extinct due to modern science. Russian Researchers have successfully revived an ancient plant that has been on hiatus for the past 32,000 years. The fruit awoken was found buried 124 feet deep amongst prehistoric squirrel in Siberian Ice.The resurrected fruit plant, is the oldest viable multi cellular living organism and the only living organism thus far that had been revived from a state of permafrost; according to a study published early this week by the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

Scientists are ecstatic by the possibilities of specie re-introduction via vegetation that this latest green thumb break through inspires. Approximately 20% of the earth is covered by permafrost, Canada, Russia, Alaska, and Antarctica have the largest reserves of permafrost. This scientific breakthrough could help us to not only revive extinction but to improve our understanding of prehistoric times, and ice age vegetation. The Ice, holds unknown and unclassified potential. The discovery made by science raises the possibility of reviving other frozen organism with prehistoric gene pools.

The prehistoric plant was brought back to life, via a horticulture technique called micropropagation. Researchers were able to grow the plant from the fruits tissues in a test tube rich with nutrients. The sprouted prehistoric plants were then transferred into modern pots where they continued to grow, and flower.

The blooming of this prehistoric plant, is symbolic in a sense that disproves impossibilities. To bring back a species from extinction is possible, Thus proving that no goal is truly impossible. Dream Big!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Horoscope Feb 20-26

Happy Monday, I'm just chilling out in my hotel room at the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach California. I'm having difficulty remember the name of my hotel correctly. I keep thinking surf and turf, which then perpetuates me into endless thoughts of my brothers and how envious/upset they would be if their vegan sister was declining an infinite selection of lobster tails and new york steak. The food at the Surf and Sand is fabulous and more than vegan/gf friendly. The surf is gently breaking below my balcony, and I'm staring into the horizon is a cheese Christopher Columbus new world way. I have just had the most amazing weekend with a group of fabulous young woman who like me are learning to accept the present and make tangible steps to achieve our short and long term goals. 

Christine Hassler, author of the, "20 something Manifesto," lead us through a series of lectures and activities to help us get aquatinted with our self and our visions of ideal. I learned a lot this weekend, and it is processing in a manner of unformed sentences, thoughts, and formless concepts. It my teens, I had a teacher who would always say; "You might not get it today, or tomorrow, but you will get it. You might be standing in line at a check-out stand 20 years from today when it finally clicks, and you get what I was saying." 

There is not a day, where I don't think about that statement. Every day, I have an Ah, Hah! moment. Even if it 20 years late. So in respect to self improvement and self honoring; I am delighted that this week the energy of a new moon dominates the elements. I am going to see my settings in a new lights, and honor the newness of the old.  So without further a due here are your Georgia Nicols horoscopes for the week of Febuary 20th 2012!

Well, well, this week the Sun is in Pisces, the New Moon is in Pisces and Mercury is in Pisces along with Neptune. It's all about you! However, the New Moon this week is the only New Moon in your sign that will take place all year, so make the most of it. Each New Moon is an opportunity to make resolutions to better your life. When it's in your own sign, it means you have a great chance to decide how to improve your appearance and change your image for the better. Take a look in the mirror. What do you see? (Tough to be objective.) Is there one thing or maybe two things you could do that would enhance your appearance!
The New Moon on Tuesday this week might be unusually spiritual, for want of a better word. Admittedly, this sounds vague. (But then, it's not exactly an easily defined subject matter, is it?) You continue to work hard because your ruler Mars is pumping you with energy for any job or task you attempt. Meanwhile, fair Venus makes you oh so charming and diplomatic. And Jupiter is trying to bump your earnings! Therefore, what kind of spiritual resolutions might you make? Of course, it's always good to remember that what goes around comes around isn't it? (One of those selfish/wise maxims.)

The New Moon this week is good for you because not only is every New Moon the best time to make resolutions, this particular New Moon is in the part of your chart related to goals. Like hello? Let's not blow this opportunity! Furthermore, lucky, moneybags Jupiter is still in your sign for three more months before it leaves, not to return for 12 years. So make the most of this! Use what you've got! Fiery Mars continues to energize sports, the Arts, working with children, the entertainment world and the hospitality industry. And lest we forget - Mars is also totally amping love affairs and romance! Yay!
This week, the only New Moon all year that occurs at high noon in your chart has arrived. Take advantage of this chance to make resolutions related to your life direction. The top of your chart refers to your career, your public reputation, and how you are seen by your peers. This is your chance to tweak this. Do you want to project a different image, especially professionally? Do you want a change of direction in your life? Set aside time to give this serious thought. Where are you headed? Is it because you have set a course or is it happening just willy-nilly by chance? Time to take the reins!
This Tuesday and Wednesday, the only New Moon all year relating to higher education, colleges, universities and advanced training occurs. Do you know what you really want to learn? What further education will improve your career or enhance your life? What about travel? Can you travel close or afar to discover adventure and learn something new? Perhaps you can learn something through film, books or meeting people from different cultures and other countries? All of these are things to worth pondering this week. (Would I kid you?)
The New Moon this week is a great opportunity to clearly state your intentions about how you want to better handle shared property -- and how you can most easily and effectively reduce your debt, and skillfully handle matters with wills, inheritances and taxes. Forms and small print are boring! Nevertheless, you do like coin jingling in your pocket! Unless you have a money tree in your backyard (and if you do, please e-mail me where I can find one) it would be wise to focus on reducing debt and handling matters with shared resources. (Money is so handy when you want to buy something.)
The New Moon this week is the best opportunity all year to think how you can improve your partnerships and close friendships. This matters! (No man is an island, not even a peninsula.) One obvious way to improve your relationships with others is to modify your own behavior. At the very least, it behooves you to be aware of your behavior and style of relating to others. (This is where most of us are out to lunch!) Ask yourself what you want in a partnership? Do you keep meeting people that fulfill your core beliefs? Finish this sentence: "Whenever I have a relationship ---." Or "What someone wants of me is ----." (Then you will see what you believe.)
You can welcome the New Moon this week. (The benefits of the New Moon are at least 48 hours.) This is your best opportunity all year to set intentions about how to have better work habits, how to improve your health and how to better enjoy and succeed at your job. A pretty wide swath! (Do you want fries with that?) Don't forget the opportunity regarding your health. Perhaps you want to embrace some new, healthy philosophy that gives you a better quality of life and longer years. Well, actually your years will still be 365 days each, but hopefully, there will be more of them! Think of it this way - more weekends! (And to think Dawnton Abbey's Maggie Smith said, "What's a weekend?")
Each New Moon every month offers us unique opportunities in different parts of our lives (different parts of our chart) where we can resolve to improve things. The New Moon this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) is your best chance all year to think how you can improve your relationships with your kids, your approach to expressing your own creativity, sports involvement in your life and how you relate to your lover - i.e. anything to do with romance. I might add it would also include assessing how much playtime you give yourself. Do you respect your need for vacations? Do you take time to goof off or be a kid again? It's all balance.
Home, family and your private life are important to you now. Why am I not surprised this is very area where the New Moon this week wants you to focus? Set intentions or make resolutions so that you can channel how you want to improve things at home or within your family. What can you do to improve your relationships with family members? What can you do to make changes where you live so that you're happier with your home? You have great good fortune this year in terms of improving your health and getting a better job. This month, romance, vacations and fun occasions abound. But this week, it's time to think about improving your home scene and your private life.

The New Moon on Tuesday and Wednesday is a wonderful time for you to make resolutions about how to deal better with siblings. And for that matter, how to improve all your styles of communicating to others, especially people you encounter every day. Do you just give canned responses? Or do you really look at someone in the eye and respond with genuine feeling? Our daily encounters with others can be hugely meaningful or meaningless. It's basically up to you how much you're willing to risk. A large part of that is just sheer energy - mental energy, physical energy and emotional energy. How energetic are you willing to be? How far would you go to meet others? More than half way?

Money and cash flow are a strong concern for you now. You're wondering about boosting your income and you're also pondering major purchases. It should be no surprise therefore, that the New Moon this week, which occurs on Tuesday and Wednesday, urges you to make some resolutions about how you can get the most happiness and best use out of your money and your possessions. Why do less? How can you boost your earnings? Can you make a little money on the side? And what about your possessions? Whatever you own should serve your purpose, and if it doesn't - out with it! It's only deadwood. Set some intentions so that you can live more efficiently and comfortably because of how you relate to what you own. (Don't let your stuff own you.)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Eat: Vegan Carrot Cake

I love carrot cake! This vegan interpretation packs massive amounts of the coveted flavour in a more nutritious bite. The cake is light, moist, and like your plate good. 

Vegan Carrot Cake
1/2 cup safflower oil
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup brown sugar or sucanut
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp sea salt
3 large carrots, grated ( I like to use a food processor)
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup chopped wallnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 F, and oil a bunt pan. 

In a large bowl shift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, and salt. Set aside. 

In another large bowl combine the oil, carrots, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Slowly fold in the flour mixture and until well combined. Add the walnuts, stirring until they are equally distributed within the batter. 

Pour the batter into the cake pan, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake in golden and pulling away from the pan. 

Let the cake cool for at least 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.

Glaze the cake, 

With a light cream cheese frosting:

12 ounces vegan cream cheese
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp lemon rind

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, vanilla, salt, and lemon rind. Slowly stir in the sugar until smooth. 


Saturday, February 18, 2012

LSTN: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

I am loving The Asteroid Galaxy Tour right now. The Danish pop band, might sound commercially  familiar to your. The Band's single "Around The Bend," was used by apple for an Ipod Touch commercial in 2008. More recently Heineken Beer has picked up the bands single "The Golden Age." 

I love that companies are expanding their commercial art search. I personally believe that with all the advances in social media and information search that art, marketing, and corporate identity will be forced to blur. From an economic standpoint, it is a lot more thrifty to employ a hypothetically starving artist over the biggest name in pop culture. Plus when a unique Indy band is hired to front a product campaign the marketing efforts are less likely to be over shadowed by the star power of the said biggest name in pop culture. The band's presence is the Heineken commercial catches your ear, and is aesthetically complementary to the artistic direction of the commercial. The "Golden Age," made me take note of the commercial and definitely has me thinking more highly of Heineken Beer.  

The Asteroid Galaxy Tour has had tracks featured on TV show such as: Gossip Girl, Chuck, and Suits. In Addition the band is featured performing live in Anna Wintour documentary, "The September Issue."

The Asteroid Galaxy Tour is produced by Lars Iversen, and features Mette Lindberg as the vocalist. When performing live the due transcends into a six piece orchestrated band with a complete horn section. The tracks are soulful and poppy; combing a careless lounge vibe with modern dance beats. 

Check out, you'll like what you hear. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ski: Red Mountain, Rossland BC

Today it seems that so many ski towns are a variation of the intrawest cookies cutter model. The towns are all shiny and new. The ghost of the old land fill that once was before the influx of condos and hotels is a distant mummer silenced by the noise of memories in the making. 

Rossland BC, is not your cookie cutter ski town. And Red Mountain is not your typical ski resort. Rossland BC is tucked away in the Canadian Kootenays. Rossland is a world of its own, just 3 miles north of the US boarder. Rossland BC was a town long before it became a skiers haven. Rossland was originally settled in the 1800's during the gold rush. In 1897, Rossland was one of the largest cities in Western Canada. In the early 1900's, some Rossland local, who might have been perceived loco, realized that the Monashee Mountains with the combination of excessive winter precipitation would make for ideal ski conditions. Red Mountain ski club, and now resort was born. 

Red Mountain, is not your typical ski resort. With a rustic charm, and older lifts its easy to make the mistake of discrediting the resort. The lifts are slow at Red; the difference being that you're grateful for the chance to catch your breath after skiing nearly 3000ft of vert. Red Mountain, is dream for the advanced skier. With fluffy pillows, dreamy cliffs, and stunning views of the entire Kootenay Valley, Red Mountain will seduce you with one turn. 

Red Mountain, doesn't have the constant ewwing and awing attention of the glitteratii ski resorts. Red Mountain doesn't need to create hype about their terrain park, or their restaurants. The mountain speaks for it self. Loudly. 

Red Mountain, and Monashee Mountains of interior British Columbia are kept private. They are the Mountains that the shred elite holiday at.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tone: Sleek Arms

Nothing screams that you are fit, and confident more than sleek and toned arms. Our arms are always busy, and almost always visible. Toned arms, look great in tank tops, tees, and long sleeve shirts. When arms are sleek, they refuse to be hidden; and they can wear every style so effortlessly. 

Besides the huge beauty and body confidence boost that having toned arms produces; its fun to know your own strength! Understand that you are a modern day super woman capable of anything life through at you. My arms, are my strength; and through them I constantly push myself and redefine my limitations. 

So much of our daily routine, and chores is reliant on upper body strength. Constantly being hunch over a keyboard, or glued onto a steering wheel can wreak havoc on our muscular alignment. By toning and strengthening our upper body muscles we can prevent lifestyle injuries while seemlessly flowing through life and its accompanying stresses. 

This is a simple arm workout, inspired by the Tracy Anderson Method, or as my friend Fiona calls her the "tiny blond devil". Follow along and focus on keeping your whole body actively engaged as you perform the movements. The routine is only 13 minutes. I know you can make the time.