Catching Some Z’s in Days of Yore, NY Times article

Posted by Maria on March 28, 2009 under Ingredients, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Sleep | 2 Comments to Read

It looks like I’m not the only one out there who has a fascination with sleep. I blame Shakespeare. I think that’s where it all started for me. Check out this New York Times article and learn about 17th century theories, including using poppies and lettuce and how to position your body when you’re sleeping.

Catching Some Z’s in Days of Yore

Published: March 27, 2009

“WASHINGTON — In one of the displays at the Folger Shakespeare Library a 17th-century manuscript interrupts its historical chronicle of bloodthirsty battles, hewn carcasses and sundered heads with a recipe for “a dormant drink”: a knockout potion. Perhaps the tale’s morbidity had been affecting the anonymous author, or maybe this potion, guaranteed to instill sleep for “2-daies,” just came to his mind as a perfect weapon against future enemies: you just slip ’em a Mickey.”


Talk, Write & Speak Your Mind to Vent Stress

Posted by Maria on March 15, 2009 under Self-Care, Stress Management and Relaxation, Wellness | 5 Comments to Read

I added a blog as an extension of my Homespunspa business because I wanted to add to the conversation of how to manage stress and get a good night’s sleep especially during these tough economic times.

Since I got the idea of adding a blog, I have started working full-time at the Ministry of Forests as a correspondence writer. I get to answer the Minister’s mail. Over the last few weeks, I have heard many stories of how people in British Columbia are suffering. We’ve had a massive, unprecedented mountain pine beetle attack on our forests. Then the housing crisis in the United States has reduced the call for lumber. Consequently the mills have closed and people have lost their jobs. And then the world’s economy tanked. Yup, feeling stressed is putting it mildly for some people in this province.

Some people end up writing to the government hoping to get answers. What are they supposed to do? How are they supposed to pay their bills and feed their families? Is anyone out there listening?

Today I just wanted to say, yes, when you take the time to write a letter to the government, you are being heard. And I think that’s a healthy way to manage stress. You have to communicate how you’re feeling. That’s step one. Talking to your friends and family and writing letters will help.

A couple of weekends ago, I had coffee with a friend of mine. I just needed to talk — not about anything in particular. I just needed to connect with someone and afterwards I did feel better.

Step two is actually feeling heard. The problem doesn’t have to get fixed on the spot but maybe having a conversation will generate some brainstorming and get some ideas rolling.

There’s no point in bottling things up. That’s a pressure cooker waiting to explode.

So that’s my tip for this week. Talk, write and speak your mind to vent your stress. And if you don’t have anybody in your life you think will listen, write a comment on this blog. It might help. Or start your own blog. There’s an idea.

International Women’s Day

Posted by Maria on March 8, 2009 under How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Self-Care, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

Today is the day I’m going to publish my first blog post. And it also happens to be International Women’s Day. I didn’t know there was such a date as International Women’s Day until a few weeks ago when I was invited to a brunch to celebrate the occasion by one of my Jazzercise instructors on Facebook.

This is what the invitation said: 

Hi Ladies,

I woke up with this idea one morning and decided to run with it. Sunday, March 8th is International Women’s Day and I thought of getting together a few friends for Brunch. I then started thinking of all the great women I know and have known and thought why not try to get 100 women together. How often do we say, “Oh we should get together yet never make the time? This way we can get together, relax eat and reconnect. I have booked a room at Inn at Laurel Point from 11 -3; the brunch buffet will be available until 2:00. I would love for you to attend, set the day aside for yourself and invite some fabulous women you know. I plan to make it all about us with door prizes gift bags etc. So mark it on your calendar as a day for you. 

I thought it sounded like a fun idea so I accepted the invitation and went with another Jazzercise friend. I also thought this type of event fit in well with my Homespunspa mission statement:  to form a circle of friends and neighbours and together make a metaphorical quilt covered with wondrous colours and textures based on the principles of comfort, folklore, goodwill, harmony, creativity and humour so we can all sleep better at night.

I also wanted to do a little networking for Homespunspa so I brought a copy of my book, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way, to donate as a door prize.

Well, the food was delicious — my favourite was the chocolate mousse — of course — that has always been my favourite. I skipped the chocolate french toast because there were way too many other things on my plate by the time I got there. 

I guess about 70 women showed up (9 tables times 8 seats each). At $40 a pop — that’s a pretty good turnout. Proceeds are going to the room rental and to Women’s Transition House.

I applaude Me-Kon for taking the time to organize the event in the first place. Good for her for actually coming up with an idea and bringing it to life and getting all kinds of people together in the process. I only wish there was more formality and structure to the afternoon. Basically, everyone just stayed with the people they already knew and there was no real opportunity to hear anyone’s story. No speeches, no networking … just eating.

I grew up in a family where food was the main event. That’s how we celebrate. That’s how we show each we care. But now that I’m getting more health conscious — I’m trying to eat better and exercise more — I just think there has to be another way to enjoy each other’s company. Does anyone out there have any other ideas? Does your family have a tradition other than eating a big feast when celebrating a holiday or milestone? If so, let us know. I’m really curious and I invite you to offer your suggestions.

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