Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Practical Feng Shui Tips For A Child’s Bedroom


Enhance Education, Success and Happy Relationships!

It’s almost mid-summer and a great time to encourage and empower your children to declutter and organize their bedrooms so that they can enter the new school year feeling refreshed and energized.

Applying Feng Shui to a child’s bedroom creates an inspiring environment that fosters enhanced education, success, and happy relationships with parents, siblings, and others. 

However, before you apply the below Feng Shui enhancements to the bedrooms of your children, it’s important that you bring them into the process. Start by discussing the benefits of a clutter-free, organized and inspiring bedroom environment; and then get their permission and full participation. After that, work together to design short and long term plans for creating and maintaining an inspiring bedroom environment that will empower them to thrive in all aspects of life.

Here’s your action plan for this project:

1.       Remove clutter. Partner with your children to support their efforts to clear jammed closets and drawers. Encourage them to remove toys, games, books and clothes no longer suitable for their age. To make this process simple and most effective, provide them with three boxes, 1) items for donation, 2) recycling and 3) trash. Creating space and visual openness helps your child sleep better and feel much more rested, which will lead them to be happier and more productive.

2.      Teach organization skills and maintenance methods. Provide storage systems, a laundry basket and trash can so that children can easily organize and store items, without having to leave them on their beds, desk’s and floors. These simple and practical measures will inspire and motivate your children to keep their bedrooms clean, clutter-free and organized resulting in fewer chores for you!

3.      Create an inspiring bedroom environment. Make sure there is adequate lighting in the bedroom. Also, bedrooms that are painted dark colors create too much oppressive energy. Bright colors, such as yellows, light greens, soft lavender and pinks are good energy and inspiring color choices.  Add inspiring and motivational posters and art to the child’s bedroom!

4.     Bed choice and placement in the bedroom. Make sure your child can see the door from his or her bed easily, but is not in direct line of the door. Bunk beds are not optimal. Children must have room to grow and the bed overhead exerts pressure on the child below. Because there is empty space below them, children on the top bunk may feel less secure. If possible, try to have a separate bedroom for each child. If this isn’t possible, there are many decorative ways to create division and privacy within a room for each child.

5.      Establish a space for study and accomplishments. Having a dedicated space, including a desk and lamp where your child can study demonstrates to your child the importance you place on education, your child’s success and achievement. Display awards, trophies, and tests with good scores in the child’s bedroom.

6.     Praise your children often. Throughout the transformation process and afterward, praise your children often. The practice of this amplifying self-esteem gesture will make them feel good, loved and appreciated, and will also encourage and motivate them to maintain a clean, clutter-free, organized and inspiring bedroom environment for years to come.

Lead by example for your children. Children are like mirrors, reflecting everything that happens in their environment. The examples you set have a significant impact on their present and future development and aspirations. Keep your home environment, clean, clutter-free, organized and inspirational.  

Happy Decluttering.
Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer

Inspired Transformation Story: “Ellie helped us to declutter, organize and Feng Shui our whole house, which was neglected for many years! Once, we declutterd, organized and applied Ellie’s creative and inspiring interior design’s solutions, our house was transformed into a beautiful home, a place of joy, comfort and relaxation. The two areas, which needed the most decluttering and organization, were our children’s bedrooms. The immediate positive impact became apparent when we stopped asking our 9 year old daughter and 12 year old son to do their homework, pick up their things, stop arguing, etc. Pleasantly, we noticed our constant nagging had turned into praising them for keeping their bedrooms clean and doing their homework. We are also delighted that every Saturday morning they bring their dirty clothes basket to the laundry room and empty their trash cans, which have helped to keep their bedrooms clean and organized. Our daughter and son are now much happier and calmer. They also sleep better, argue less, and are more focused on their school work. For this amazing transformation and so much more, we can’t thank you enough, Ellie!“ Cathy & Steve , Almaden Valley


Copyright © 2011-2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Plum Lavender Galette Recipe

Take a trip to Provence! Make a Plum Lavender Galette!

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Plums and lavender are in abundance and together they make a heavenly galette! This is a very lovely Summer recipe, absolutely divine by itself, though lovelier with a shot of espresso, a glass of pinot noir or both.
Galette Dough Ingredients:  
      1.  1 1/2 cup spelt pastry flour (or 1 cup flour & 1/2 cup almond meal)
      2.  1/2 Tsp. organic culinary lavender flower dried or fresh
      3.  2 Tbsp. sugar
      4.  1 Tsp. Meyer lemon or lemon rind
      5.  5 Tbsps. cold sweet butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces (vegan or dairy butter)
      6.  1/4 cup cold water 

Galette Dough Instructions:  Place spelt pastry flour, lemon rind, lavender flowers and sugar in a food processor and pulse 3 times.  Add in the cold sweet butter and pulse a few more times until it forms a coarse texture.  Gradually, add in the cold water and pulse lightly until moistened. Place dough on a flat board and knead 2 or 3 times. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Pic 1.
Galette Ingredients:
     1.  2 Tbsp. sugar
     2.  1 Tsp. fresh or dried organic lavender flowers 
     3.  7 large firm plums (I used pluot plums) , sliced into 1/4-inch wedges or use mandolin
     4.  1 Tbsp. Meyer lemon rind
Galette Instructions:
     1.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
     2.  Take out the dough from fridge and transfer it onto a baking sheet.
     4.  Arrange plums on the dough (pic 2).
     5.  Fold the 1.5-inch border of the dough over the plums and pleating together (pic 3).
     6.  Sprinkle the galette with sugar, lavender flowers, lemon rind and a few pieces of                  butter (pic 3).
     7.  Bake until the crust is nicely golden for about 35-40 minutes (pic 4).
     8.  Let the galette cool, garnish with the lavender petals and enjoy.

      Happy Baking! 
      Chef Ellie Lavender

Copyright © 2011-2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pear Fig Lavender Tart Recipe


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Take a trip to Provence, the land of heavenly lavender, make a Pear Fig Lavender Tart!

Pears and figs are in season and with a touch of culinary lavender flowers they’ll make a heavenly tart! This is a very lovely recipe, absolutely divine by itself, though much lovelier with a shot of espresso, a cup of tea, or a glass of pinot noir. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1.    2 large Barnette pears
2.    3 medium-large fresh figs
3.    1 Tbsp. orange rind 
5.    1 cup fresh orange juice 
6.    1 1/4 cup spelt pastry flour (alternatively, you can use 1 cup of spelt pastry flour and 1/4 of            almond meal)
7.    1 1/4 stick sweet butter (melted and at room temperature ). Vegan version, use Earthbalance            butter.
8.    1/4  cup sugar
9.    1 Tsp. culinary lavender flowers (finely chopped)
10.  1/2 Tsp. culinary lavender flowers
11.  Tart pan (11 inch diameter) with removable bottom

Directions:

1.   Preheat oven to 375F 
2.   Place the tart pan on parchment paper and cut into a circle with additional 1 inch over the               size of the tart pan in order to cover the tart pan’s wall.
3.   Brush the parchment paper with the sweet melted butter, speckle a few orange rind, a few               lavender flower and 1 Tsp. sugar.  
4.   Wash figs and slice them gently. 
5.   Wash pears. cut in half, remove core and thinly slice them using a Mandoline. 
6.   Arrange figs in the middle of the tart pan and the pears around the figs. like a sunflower. 
7.   Sprinkle a few orange rind and lavender flowers on the figs and pears. Pic. 1
6.   In a bowl combine spelt pastry flour,1 Tbsp. sugar,1 Tsp. lavender flowers (finely chopped). Add       in the orange juice and melted sweet butter.  
7.   Mix lightly to incorporate all ingredients. Do not over mix. It’ll make the tart dense.  
8.   Pour the mixture over the figs and pears and with a spatula flatten it to cover them. Pic 2
9.   Bake the tart for about 30-35 minutes until golden. Pic 3
10. Let the tart cool for 15 minutes.

11. Flip the tart over on a plate Pic. 4, remove the parchment paper Pic. 5 and let it cool for 30             minutes before serving. Pic 6

Happy Baking!



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cultivate Happiness and Prosperity in Your Life!


The path to living a more Happy and Prosperous Life starts with a Clutter-Free Home.
Are you unsure whether Clutter is affecting your life?

Take this Clutter Assessment Quiz to find out whether Clutter is holding you back from living a more Happy and Prosperous Life:

1. Do you often find yourself in a state of avoidance, procrastination or indecision?
2. Do you feel at ease and welcomed when you walk in to your home?
3. Do you often think about clearing your home but somehow can't ever bring yourself to do it?
4. Do you have trouble figuring out what to wear even though your closet is full of clothes?
5. Do you have piles of books, magazines or newspapers you have never read and probably never will?
6. Do you save broken items just in case someday you may fix them?
7. Do you keep things that you don’t need or use just because they were a gift?
8. Do you have a spare room or garage that you can’t use because it’s full of stuff from you, your grown children, and others?
9. Do you have a house and garage littered with unfinished projects?
10. Do you own a storage unit on your property or rent one elsewhere?

If you answered “yes” to 50% or more of these questions, your home is experiencing a moderate to severe degree of Clutter!

Declutter your home to free yourself from physical and emotional clutter.

Let Go!

Happy Decluttering.

Copyright © 2011-2017 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Peach Lavender Galette Recipe


Take a trip to Provence, the land of heavenly lavender!

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Peach and lavender are simply divine and together they make a heavenly galette! This is a very lovely summer recipe, absolutely wonderful by itself, though lovelier with a shot of espresso, a glass of pinot noir or both.
Galette Dough Ingredients:  
      1.  1 cup spelt pastry flour
      2.  1 cup almonds meal
      3.  1/2 Tsp. organic culinary lavender flower dried or fresh
      4.  2 Tbsp. sugar
      5.  1 Tsp. Meyer lemon or lemon rind
      6.  5 Tbsps. cold sweet butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces
      7.  1/3 cup ice water. 

Galette Dough Instructions:  In a bowl mix spelt pastry flour, almond meal, lemon rind, lavender flowers and sugar.  Add in the cold sweet butter and with your hands mix in the butter until it resemble a coarse meal texture. Drizzle the cold water over the dough and mix lightly until moistened. Gather up the dough and knead 2 or 3 times. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Galette Ingredients:
     1.  2 Tbsp. sugar
     2.  1 Tsp. fresh or dried organic lavender flowers 
     3.  6 Semi-ripe medium peaches, sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
     4.  2 Tsp. Meyer lemon rind
Galette Instructions:
     1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
     2.  Roll out the galette dough about 14 inches in diameter & transfer to a baking sheet.
     4.  Arrange peaches and sprinkle Meyer lemon rinds (pic 1).
     5.  Fold the 2-inch border of the dough over the peaches and pleating together (pic 2).
     6.  Sprinkle the galette with sugar and lavender flowers (pic 2).
     7.  Bake until the crust is nicely golden for about 35-40 minutes (pic 3).
     8. Let the galette cool, garnish with the lavender sprigs and enjoy.

3 Practical and Powerful Ways to Declutter Your Life.


1.        Declutter Your Mind: Don't allow negative thoughts to take over your life. Instead, override them with positive and uplifting ones. I know it's easier said than done, but it's do-able, It takes practice. For example, as soon as a negative thought comes to your mind, say to yourself, I am not going there, been there, done that, I deserve a lot better, and get going by doing something kind and nourishing for yourself.

2.       Declutter Your Home and Work Environments: Remove, recycle, donate, trash, sell, do whatever is needed to let go of anything that you don't need, use or even like. Less is more! Clutter generates negative energy in the home and work environments and has a direct impact on your physical and emotional health. You deserve to live and work in a happy, positive and nourishing environment. So, just come up with a decluttering plan and let go!

3.       Declutter Your Relationships: This is the most important and probably the hardest, but again, it's do-able. Identify negative and toxic people in your life by making a list. Then, come up with your own plan of letting them go. Next, “Surround yourself with the dreamers, and doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” – Edmund Lee

Happy Decluttering!
Ellie Lavender
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner

Copyright 2017, Lavender Design + Cuisine

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Create Your Own Personal Spa Retreat!



The bathroom is the space dedicated to cleansing and purifying the body. Soaking and unwinding in the bathtub, steaming and lathering in the shower, or simply splashing your face with water restores health and refreshes your energy and emotions. Imagine a tranquil oasis within your home where you can soak the day’s cares away and restore your sense of balance with the world. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Get Started Today. Apply these simple, practical and inexpensive Feng Shui enhancements to your bathroom and create your own personal spa retreat, a place of relaxation and rejuvenation:

1.        Declutter and organize your bathroom. Remove any items that have no purpose there.
2.       Keep your bathroom clean and mold free (use ecofriendly and organic cleaning products)
3.       Fix dripping faucets. We may not realize how small things in our environment can be draining our energy, our health and our wealth. This is especially true regarding the flow of water. In Feng Shui water represents wealth, prosperity, cash flow, career and business opportunities. In our home water flows through faucets. Therefore, dripping faucets adversely affect our wealth, not just with a higher water bill, but with an overall feeling of income “dripping away” each week.  Fix dripping faucets as soon as possible.
4.      Keep drains fully functionalDrains that are clogged up can result in our feeling overwhelmed or blocked. These feelings can affect our health and financesClear clogged drains as soon as possible.
5.       Proper ventilation is a must for a healthy bathroom. Open your bathroom’s window each day to let fresh air in.
6.       Toilet and Bathroom Door – Always keep the toilet’s lid down and the bathroom door closed. Keeping the bathroom door closed and toilet seat down minimizes the loss of energy and money.
7.       Make your bathroom beautiful. Bright and soothing colors (walls and cabinets) can create a serene and beautiful environment
8.      Place art that gives you pleasure and brings you good energy.
9.      The right scents are an important choice, and you can choose aromas such as calming, invigorating, or romantic.
10.    Add plants and fresh flowers to your bathroom to promote positive and uplifting energy.
11.     Bring music into the environment while in the bath.

Relax in your own spa retreat, refresh and rejuvenate often. Love Yourself.

Inspired Transformation: “Ellie helped us to transform our dark bathroom into a beautiful private spa! We started by decluttering our bathroom and painted it a soft lavender color. Then we bought a lavender-blue shower curtain, bathroom rug, a couple of lavender candles and a beautiful purple Orchid flower. These simple changes resulted in an amazing transformation of our bathroom and all for the cost of $78.39. Thank you Ellie for your guidance and creativity. We love our new private spa!" Julie and John, Los Gatos

Copyright 2017, Lavender Design + Cuisine

Monday, May 1, 2017

Ratatouille with herbes de Provence Recipe!


A Taste of Provence on Your Plate!

Ratatouille is a traditional French Provencal stewed vegetable dish, which originated in Nice, in the south of France. It’s usually served as a side dish, but may also be served as a meal on its own accompanied by quinoa or millet pilaf, couscous or rustic bread. Ratatouille is very simple to make and a very healthy, nutritious, and delicious meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1.   1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
2.   1 Tsp. minced garlic
3.   1/3 cup diced shallots
4.   1 cup diced zucchini
5.   1 cup diced yellow squash
6.   1 cups diced eggplant
7.   1 cup diced yellow bell peppers
8.   1 cup diced orange bell peppers
9.   1/3 Tsp. sea salt
10.  1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
11.  2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
12.  2Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
13.  1/2 Tsp. Herbs de Provence  

Directions: 
Add olive oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic to the pan, sauté until wilted and lightly caramelized about 5 -7 minutes.  Add eggplant to the pan and stir occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked about 5 minutes.  Add bell peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash and continue to cook for an additional 7-10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, herbes de Provence, sea salt and cook for additional 5-7 minutes. Stir lightly to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature over couscous, quinoa or with rustic bread.  Sprinkle basil and parsley before serving.  Cold ratatouille on rustic baguette with a drizzle of olive oil is absolutely divine, so refrigerate the leftover for the next day.

Happy Cooking!


Create A Garden For Your Senses: See. Hear. Taste.


Gardens bring us joy and happiness. Whether you have a large backyard, a small courtyard or just a stairwell with a few potted plants, you can turn it into a place of joy, relaxation, serenity and contemplation, a living sanctuary that refreshes your mind and spirit  Using colors and the art of arrangements, you can transform any outdoor space into a restorative garden retreat.

Get inspired! Create your own garden retreat:

1.  Make your garden beautiful and vibrant!
2.  Plant colorful and aromatic fruits such as strawberries; vegetables such as yellow squash; flowers such as roses; and herbs such as lavender, sage, mint and lemon verbena.  These categories of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs will invite bees, butterflies and birds to your garden in addition to creating visual pleasure.
3.  Add a soft wind chime, bird feeder, solar garden lights, vibrant garden balls, eclectic stepping stones, a couple of chairs and small table. These elements are perfect for stimulating your senses. They generate and promote good energy in your garden, home and life. 
4.  Create a garden that you can smell, feel, hear and taste!
5.  Connect with nature to enjoy its soothing power on your senses.
6.  Make a habit of having your morning coffee/tea in your garden, and enjoy a glass of wine in the evening.

Have fun with your garden!

Copyright 2017, Lavender Design + Cuisine