Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Declutter Your Office/Workspace: Advance Your Career, Business and Make More Money!



The path to living a more successful and prosperous life starts with a clutter-free, organized and mindfully (thoughtful and functional) designed office/workspace.

Right people and opportunities will be drawn to you and your business when you are fully present and not distracted.

Get Started Today! Apply these simple, yet effective decluttering and organizing measures to your office/workspace and watch your success and prosperity amplified in amazing ways:

1. Eliminate Clutter:

Clutter Inhibits efficiency and productivity | Clutter makes it difficult to concentrate and prioritize tasks and weakens the power of decision-makingUltimately clutter limits paths to success and prosperityDeclutter your office/workspace

Step #1. Assess Your Possessions - Ask yourself when looking at an item:

Do I need it or use it regularly?
Does it energize or inspire me?
Does it enhance my efficiency and productivity?
Does it contribute to my success and prosperity?
Let go of those items that don’t pass.

Step #2. Evaluate Your Office/Workspace – Stand at the doorway of your office/workspace and analyze these areas:

Desk space– Keep what’s essential on your desk and let go of items that have no use or provide no benefit being there.
Desk placement - Place yourself in the Power Position. The Power Position allows you to see the whole room from your vantage point. Don’t sit with your back to the door.
Computer and communication devices – Declutter and organize: get rid of useless apps & programs desktop icons, old emails, and VMs too.

4. Organize Your Office/Workspace

Put everything in its logical place.
Set up Filing/Storage/Organization Systems that will enhance your efficiency and productivity.
Tackle Existing Paper Piles: Go Paperless and Store Electronically.

5. Get your career unstuck - Keep the underside of your desk completely clear. Don’t store things under your desk, they’ll obstruct the flow of energy in your office, hence your success and prosperity. 

6. Add life energy  - Bring in live plants, fresh flowers and get rid of artificial ones (stagnant energy).

7. Add images that inspire abundance, prosperity and wealth. It could be as simple as an image of a colorful, beautiful and thriving garden.

8. Cultivate a Clutter-Free Lifestyle

Sort and Classify – Divide everything in your office into these categories: necessary, unnecessary, discard, donate, sell, re-gift, etc. Go through your things and sort which ones are still useful or important to you. Sometimes we are afraid to let go because we feel that we might need them in the future, but the general rule is if you haven’t used an item in a year then there is a good chance that you will not be using it again in the future. In short, if you don’t need it or use it, toss it.

Set up a System - This means that you will have to create rules to keep your office/workspace free from clutter. For instance, in your office, you can implement a “Clear Desk, Clear Floor” policy. Success with this step can be supported with the help of some equipment like filing cabinets, labeled boxes, racks, and shelves.

Tidy up all Year Round –In order to sustain a clutter-free office/workspace, you need to declutter every day. It would also help if you set a specific time each day — a time which you are most likely able to fulfill. It can be after dinner or before going to bed. It is not necessary to spend hours tidying up; 10-30 minutes each day can be enough. The more frequently you do it, the less time you will have to spend each time you do it.

Don’t Procrastinate - “I’ll get to it later” are the magic words for clutter. It will begin with one pile of paperwork that you swear you’ll get back to and soon the entire top of your desk has disappeared. A good rule to follow: if it is going to take less than 5 minutes, just do it now.

Simplify Your Life – Living simply is a call to experience inner richness and show gratitude for the things we already have rather than constantly struggling to acquire more and more stuff, which we don’t need. The idea of “less is more” is never more applicable than when living simply.

Remove Distractions - Anything that impact your focus, your attention, your thoughts and feelings, which should be on the task at hand. Distractions can be as simple as pictures or gifts from family members, friends, past or present clients, co-workers, business associates, etc.

Say Goodbye to your Comfort Zone - Encourage, Embrace and Enjoy Change in your life! There's no room for adventure, excitement or personal growth when you stay in your comfort zone!

Lastly, your office is the hub of your success and prosperity, think of it as prime real estate. Keep it clean, clutter-free, organized, inspiring and beautiful!

Ellie Lavender 
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive Feng Shui & Interior Design tips and information on upcoming workshops & special events!

Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Aspiring Young Chefs Beautiful Testimonials!


Class 1 – Moroccan Couscous with 
Lavender Lemon Tahini Dressing  

Class 2 – Pear Lavender Parfait with
candied Orange

Class 3 – Tangy Veggie Wrap with 
Yogurt Ginger Dressing

Class 4 – Artisan Chocolates with 
Organic Herbs (lavender included), 
Flowers and Dried Fruits

Chef kids are awesome!
I had such a wonderful time cooking with Tierra Pacifica Charter School Young Aspiring Chefs and enthusiastic foodies. Over the period of 4 weeks they beautifully collaborated, took turns chopping veggies, sautéing, seasoning, plating, setting up the table, enthusiastically enjoying the delicious foods and chocolates they made and cleaned up the kitchen too.  

Classes Menu:
Class 1 – Moroccan Couscous with Lavender Lemon Tahini Dressing  
Class 2 – Pear Lavender Parfait with candied Orange
Class 3 – Tangy Veggie Wrap with Yogurt Ginger Dressing 
Class 4 – Artisan Chocolates with Organic Herbs, Flowers & Fleur de Sel  

Awesome Chef Kids Beautiful Testimonials:

Benito, 5th grade – “The best thing about the class was, we got to make healthy delicious meals, and we all worked together to accomplish a food dish.”

Taj, 6th grade – “The thing I loved about this class was that we got to do teamwork to make our foods.”

Rohan, 5th grade  – “I really liked that we made food from different culture.”

Olivia, 5th grade  – “the best thing about this class was chef Ellie taught us how to cut up veggies and fruits. We also got to work together and cool.”

Richard, 7th grade  – “Eating, learning and flower tastes.”

Ella, 8th grade  – “I really enjoyed the sense of comradery.  It was fun cooking all together.”

Crosby, 7th grade  – “ What I enjoyed in this class was that I got to try foods not from the US. This has inspire me to cook more and in different ways.”

Carmen, 5th grade  – “The class inspired me to be a chef because we used teamwork and collaboration. The food was awesome. Thank you chef Ellie.”

William, 6th grade  – “The class was fun because we got to help out with making food and we got to eat what we made.  I mainly signed up because I wanted to make chocolate, but later, I also loved the other foods we made.”

Desiree, 5th grade  – “I loved this class because I was with all of my friends and I got to cook delicious food with them. Thank you chef Ellie.”

Thank you awesome chef kids!

Chef Ellie Lavender 
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive recipes and information
on upcoming chocolate, culinary & wine pairing classes, and special events!

Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Recipe: Roasted Vegetables Medley with Herbes de Provence


Beautifully roasted vegetables are delicious, highly nutritious and easy to make. You can enjoy them by themselves, with lemon-saffron millet pilaf or on mixed-greens with a glass of Pinot Noir. You can also make open-faced sandwiches with ciabatta, frances or whole grains breads. Pesto spread and cheese (dairy or nondairy) will make your sandwich even more delicious!

Ingredients:

2 medium fennel
A handful of asparagus
3 Small golden beets
A handful of dried Morello cherries
1/4 Cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1/4 Cup olive oil
1 Tsp. Herbes de Provence
1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
2. Fennel - cut off the root end and discard. Then cut the round white bulb away from the green stalks. Next, cut the bulb lengthwise into quarters.
3. Asparagus - take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bend until it breaks to get rid of the woody parts.
4. Golden beets – peel, wash, pad dry and cut into 1/4-inch slices.
5. Place vegetables in a large bowl. Add olive oil, sea salt and herbs de Provence. Gently toss to   combine.
6. Arrange vegetables on a baking pan or sheet like the picture above. 
7. Sprinkle the hazelnuts and Morello cherries.
8. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until the golden beets are tender.
9. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Happy Roasting!

Chef Ellie Lavender
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive recipes and information
on upcoming chocolate, culinary & wine pairing classes, and special events!


Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Change is Simply a New Beginning!



The season Spring arrived today and with each new season, it's a time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future. The seasons of the year can be compared to various cycles of life. We can use the changing seasons as a way to purge the old and start fresh. 

Consider these simple and practical steps at the end of each season to transform yourself and your life in new and exciting ways:

1)   Practice the 3 E’s - EncourageEmbrace and Enjoy change in your life!
2)  Clear out the old, declutter, release and let go.  
3)  Organize your life, simplify, simplify and simplify even more to feel empowered.
4)  Set specific goals, cultivate health, happiness and prosperity in your life.

There's no room for adventure, excitement or personal growth when you stay in your comfort zone!

Get Inspired! Do something today. It doesn’t have to be anything grandiose, it can be something very small such as decluttering a drawer in your kitchen or donating a bag of clothing you haven’t touched in a year!

Happy Spring! 

Ellie Lavender 
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive Feng Shui & Interior Design tips and information on upcoming workshops & special events!

Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Monday, March 11, 2019

5 Easy Steps to Kick off Spring Cleaning of Your Home!


Spring will arrive on March 20th and it’s the season of renewal, manifestation and celebration. It’s the time to take bold steps and manifest your dreams. A good spring cleaning of your home can do wonders for your personal energy; it will nourish and strengthen you. The keywords are spring cleaning and decluttering and the goal is get rid of everything that does not serve you anymore.
Step No. 1: If you are looking to improve your health, get rid of all the items that are cluttering and blocking the energy flow in your kitchen (especially your cupboards, fridge and the freezer). The state of your kitchen is the state of your health, so do yourself a favor and thoroughly clean and declutter your kitchen!
Step No. 2: Bring three new pots with vibrant green plants to refresh the energy in your home. If you plan to place them in the kitchen, go for lush and aromatic herbs, such as basil, rosemary or mint. Focus on your front entrance, as well as your kitchen, as both are strongly connected to your health.
Step No. 3: Thoroughly clean and declutter your bedroom and bathroom, get rid of anything that you haven't used in the past 6 months. Clear the space under the bed (do not store stuff under your bed), clean all the windows, refresh and re-decorate your bedroom and bathroom.
Step No. 4: If you would like to welcome a new love relationship into your life, make space, and I mean actual, physical space, for this new person to be in your home. Clear out your closets for a better flow and more space. You literally have to create an open flow of energy in your home to be able to attract and manifest more of what you are looking for. Spring cleaning time gives you great opportunity to do just that!
Step No. 5: Now that your home is clean and clutter-free, ensure it stays that way. Use the one-in, one-out rule. For example, every time you buy a new item, give an old one away.
Happy Spring Cleaning & Decluttering!


Ellie Lavender 
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive Feng Shui & Interior Design tips and information on upcoming workshops & special events!

Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Simple & Practical Kitchen Feng Shui Tips!


The kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether it’s doing homework with children or preparing meals, almost everyone (guests included) gather in the kitchenWhen the energy in the kitchen is positive, families are more inclined to want to eat at home and will enjoy better health and relationships as a result. 

If your kitchen has been stagnant for too long, is burdened with clutter, or needs a serious cleaning, by all means make a point of revitalizing it. 

Get Started Today! Apply these simple and practical Feng Shui enhancements to your kitchen and watch your relationships, health, and wealth enhanced in amazing ways:

Make cleaning and organizing daily habits to promote and enhance health and prosperity. One of the most important things you can do for your kitchen is to keep it clean, clutter-free and organized – and the 3 areas that need it most are the pantryrefrigerator and the freezer. Why? This is where food, a symbol of wealth and health, is stored.

Clear off counter-tops to energize your lifeIt sounds counter-intuitive, but when you have counter-tops that are covered with items such as small appliances, dishes, loaves of bread, bags of chips, or stacks of bills, it doesn’t inspire you to cook. On the other hand, when you have a kitchen with clear counters graced with an attractive bowl of lemons or potted herbs, it just makes you feel like cooking.

Discard damaged items to promote good energy in your foods, hence your life. Hanging onto old, stained and damaged kitchen items “because they’re still good,” gifts or for sentimental reasons, cause clutter, negative energy, not good for your health and well-being. Discard them.

Happy Decluttering!

Ellie Lavender 
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive Feng Shui & Interior Design tips and information on upcoming workshops & special events!

Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Declutter Your Office: Advance Your Career, Business and Make More Money!


Vegan Refreshments 

When: Wednesday, March 27, noon – 2 pm
Where: Business Professional of Santa Cruz County
877 Cedar Street, Suite 150, Santa Cruz

Clutter causes stagnant energy. It also negatively impacts your physical health and emotional well-being and leads to lessened success and prosperity. For example, clutter is a source of indecisiveness! Do you ever find yourself struggling to make a simple decision and stressing over matters you need to address, but for some reason you just don’t?

If you have found that your work environment doesn’t make you feel energized or bring forth happiness, productivity and prosperity, there’s likely an obstruction of energy flow, which is being caused by the clutter in your office. This needs to be addressed.

Oftentimes we avoid cleaning out clutter or letting go because the task feels overwhelming and we don’t know where to begin. Or maybe we just need some inspiration and empowerment to get started.

That’s where my hands-on workshop comes in. It is designed to inspire and empower you to take simple, practical and powerful steps to declutter your office.

You will benefit in myriad ways by learning:

1. Simple and practical decluttering techniques that will enhance productivity. Imagine getting more done while feeling a renewed sense of energy and joy!

2. Organizational systems that will promote clarity and the power of effective decision making. This can really move your work forward!

3. How to cultivate and sustain a clutter-free lifestyle. This will help you reap the benefits of this workshop for years to come!

Are you ready to be inspired and empowered to declutter your office now? Take the first step. Attend this workshop.

Refreshments: Vegan Chocolate Hummus (w/ rainbow carrot sticks, almond cookies, sliced apples and blood oranges) and Lavender Meyer Lemon Tea.

I look forward to seeing you! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Ellie Lavender 
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive Feng Shui & Interior Design tips and information on upcoming workshops & special events!

Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Corporate Team-Building Activity: Chocolate Arts & Wine Pairing

Corporate Team-Building Activity: 
Chocolate Making & Wine Pairing 

 Vegan Refreshments: 
Roasted Rainbow Carrots Chocolate Hummus 

 Vegan & Gluten-Free Refreshments: 
Cilantro Butter Beans Meyer Lemon Hummus 

 Beautiful Chocolate Arts made by Employees

Delicious Spanish Wine Paired with Chocolates 

Chocolate & Wine Pairing Class 

Organic Herbs, Flowers & Dried Fruits 

 Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate 

Corporate Team-Building Activity: Chocolate Arts & Wine Pairing

I had a wonderful time recently leading a culinary team-building activity and am excited to share my inspirational story behind it!

I worked in the high-tech industry for 20 years and immensely enjoyed my highly successful sales career. One part of my work I particularly loved was taking training classes on sales, marketing, customer service, new technologies, and leadership. However, I did not enjoy, nor did I feel I benefited from the corporate team building activities or events I was compelled to attend. They often involved uninspiring PowerPoint presentations and ineffective team-building exercises.

So, when I left high-tech in 2011 to build my own company and pursue my life-long dream to be a vegan Mediterranean chef and interior designer, I found it was a chance to freely express my views. In the exit interview with the company where I last worked, the HR manager thanked me for my service and asked if there was anything else I’d like to say before we adjourned.

I excitedly said, “yes!”

I stated that while I appreciated the company’s efforts at promoting teamwork and collaboration, I did not find the team-building activities or events beneficial. Instead I would have much preferred an activity such as a cooking class! I further added that I believed hands-on interactive culinary team building classes present a fun and effective way to create employee bonding experiences. They encourage teamwork, enhance communication (clear and open communication is key to the success of projects and relationships within a company), promote problem solving skills and foster camaraderie in a relaxed and fun environment. They can be custom designed per dietary requirements and budgets too. I closed by saying that I would be offering such classes and activities once my company, Lavender Design + Cuisine was up and running.

A few months after that I received a call from a company in Silicon Valley to conduct a cooking class as a team-building activity. They were referred to me by the HR manager that I had my last exit interview with. I’m so glad I shared what was on my mind with them!

Ever since then I’ve been offering chocolate and vegan cooking classes to companies as a ‘team building activity’ and I absolutely love it! The joy on employees’ faces in my culinary classes is simply priceless!  Today, I’m excited to share that my concept, which apparently was already offered by a few companies back then, now has become even more popular and that is wonderful!

Now in all the years I offered these services I was not permitted to take pictures of my culinary team-building activities due to privacy considerations. That has all changed with my introduction this year of a new idea: Taking pictures of employees’ beautiful culinary creations and their hands only. It’s a lovely compromise. The above pictures are from my 1st culinary team-building event in 2019 for a start-up company in San Francisco referred to me by one of my wonderful culinary students and below is their beautiful testimonial:

'Chef Ellie brightened up our day with her chocolate-making offsite as she shared her love of food and life with my engineering team. She created a light-hearted and enjoyable environment where we all relaxed and had fun creating unique chocolates, flavored with organic culinary lavender, homemade candied orange, and other crave-worthy toppings. We had fun as a team working together to make chocolate mini-cups, medallions, and bark...plus taste-testing along the way! I really appreciated that Ellie made it so easy logistically. We didn't have access to a stove-top, so she used the microwave to temper the chocolate, and had all the ingredients ready to go. I can't thank her enough for keeping dietary restrictions in mind (allergies to gluten, dairy, nuts, carrots!).  Another nice touch was Ellie brought a fantastic wine for us to enjoy as we got creative, plus sent us all home with a carefully selected bottle to pair with our chocolates, which we wrapped up into nice boxes.  I highly recommend Ellie's chocolate class as an offsite for any team in any organization! I promise you'll have a fantastic and memorable time.'

I’m excited for additional classes that are coming soon!

Chef Ellie Lavender
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine

Join my network on Facebook & Instagram to receive recipes and information
on upcoming chocolate, culinary & wine pairing classes, and special events!

Copyright © 2019 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.