Saturday, February 1, 2020

Bedroom Feng Shui Tips: Promote Love & Romance in Your Life!


Your Valentine's Day Gift to Yourself: Promote Love & Romance in Your Life!

Declutter Your Bedroom. Make your bedroom clutter-free, serene and romantic to promote peaceful restenhanced love life and happy relationships! Keep what's essential and let go of any items that have no relevance to Serenity, Love and Romance. Remove items such as electronics devices, bookshelves, work desk, pictures, objects and art forms (from the past and present) that do not represent, invite, promote or attract Love and Unity.

Always Have Two Nightstands. Nightstands represent the power dynamics within the relationship. You want a nightstand on each side of the bed, even if you are single (this helps to attract an equal partner). The nightstands should be of equal stature and the same goes for anything sitting on the nightstands, such as lamps.

Place Your Bed in the Right Spot - Every room has a power spot. This is where the optimal energy is within a room and also where you want to place your bed. The headboard should have a solid wall behind it for energetic support. There should be equal access on both sides of the bed. When lying in the bed, you should be able to see the doorway and anyone coming into the room. Not every bedroom has the luxury of meeting all these criteria, so try out different bed placements and notice which one feels the best.

Bring Tranquility into Your Bedroom. Choose calming colors such as light blue or soft lavender. Splurge on Quality Bedding too! Get some high quality sheets, comforter, blanket and duvet covers with soft and nourishing texture that you want to snuggle up in.

Encourage Sensuality in your life. The sensual pleasure directly involves our senses with things such as the heavenly scent of lavender on your pillow, how wonderful it feels to slip into soft and silky sheets, a warm ocean breeze against your skin, the splendor of a sunrise or sunset, or the sound of a familiar and loving voice. Sensuality is an art and you are the artist! When you encourage sensuality by appreciating and enjoying simple pleasures, you invite, attract, promote and enhance love and romance into your life, whether you are single or in a relationship shouldn’t matter! You must master the art of being a sensual lover in order to attract or to keep one!

Most of All, Be Awesome and Love Yourself Without Limits!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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 © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Living Room Simple & Practical Feng Shui Tips!


Finding a sanctuary in our modern world isn't always easy. Many of us work at home, or take work home from the office. Lots of us share spaces with significant others or family members, so turning down the volume of life at home isn't always easy.

To create a place to unwind, you must eliminate the stuck energy, otherwise known as clutter! So your mind and body can feel at ease and fully release the stresses of the day.

Living rooms are considered a common space  to relax and rejuvenate. Therefore, it should be clutter-free, organized, pleasant and inviting.

You can easily create a place of joy, comfort, relaxation, and rejuvenation by applying these very simple and practical Feng Shui enhancements to your living room:

1. Declutter - Clutter is stuck energy, get rid of it! Declutter your living room to increase and enhance the flow of positive energy.

2. Find a good view - If you have a great view of nature or the city, leave your blinds or curtains open to bring that expansive view inside. If you don't have a view, you can create one with a great piece of art.

3. Appeal to your senses - Explore aromatherapy such as essential oil diffusers and even pure incense to flood the air with layers of sensory goodness.

4. Add more nature - Nature is the ultimate relaxation nirvana. Add plants, fresh flowers and bring more nature into your living room. 

5. Rearrange your furniture – Furniture are not permanent fixtures and can be easily rearranged. Move them around to increase energy flow and remove furniture that have no use or purpose in your living room. While you are at it, get rid of cracked and broken furniture, lamps, smelly rugs, etc.

Lastly, have fun with the process and make a habit of reinventing your living room at least once a year! 

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 © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Lavender Meyer Lemon Madeleines Recipe (vegan)

Lavender Meyer Lemon Madeleines
  
Organic Culinary Lavender

A Valentine’s Day gift made
 with Lavender Love!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re spending it with your sweetie, celebrating with your friends, or planning the perfect 'Me Day' – nothing says Love like making a lavender-infused treat/gift with your own creative hands.

Madeleines, the Classic French Tea Cakes are baked in special molds that give them a delicate shell shape. The name 'Madeleine' was given to these delightful tea cakes by Louis XV to honor his father in law's cook Madeleine Paulmier. 

Madeleines infused with organic culinary lavender flowers and Meyer lemon are truly divine, very easy to make and a beautiful Valentine’s Day gift too. Madeleines are best eaten the day they're baked. Though 3-5 days old Madeleines are wonderful too, when dunked into coffee, espresso and even wine. However, you enjoy them, gift yourself with making some.  

Culinary Lavender Tip: For culinary purposes, although the leaves are edible, the best part of lavender plant is the flowers; they contain the “essential oil” or essence of the lavender. Always purchase organic culinary lavender from health food stores, lavender farms or from online merchants who specialize in selling organic lavender for consumption. Never use lavender from nurseries, flower or garden shops; it may contain toxic pesticides, unhealthy additives or artificial fertilizers that are harmful to humans if ingested.

Ingredients: Makes 12 Madeleines 
1/2 cup spelt pastry flour
2 Tbsp. almond flour 
1/3 cup sweet butter (dairy or non-dairy)
1 Tsp. fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 Tsp. Meyer lemon zest
2Tbsp. sugar
1 Tsp. organic culinary lavender (finely chopped)
1/3 cup almond milk

Instructions:
        1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Butter and flour 12 (3 inch) madeleine molds; set aside.
3. Melt butter and let cool to room temperature.
4. Using electric mixer or a mixing bowlat high speed beat spelt pastry flour, almond flour, sugar, almond milk, lemon juice and melted butter until the mixture is creamy and smooth. 
5. Add lemon zest and lavender flowers and beat for additional 2-3 minutes until they are well blended.
6. Spoon 1 Tbsp. batter into each mold.
7/ Bake for 15-17  minutes , or until cakes are golden and the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertip.
8. Use the tip of the knife to loosen madeleines from pan if necessary; invert onto rack.  
9. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes if you want to eat them right away. For packaging as gifts, let them cool for at least an hour.

Enjoy & Happy Valentine’s Day!

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 © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Decadent Moroccan Preserved Meyer Lemons Recipe!


Pic. 3
Decadent Moroccan Preserved Meyer Lemons

Pic. 4

Spices & Sea Salt

Pic. 2
Meyer Lemons packed with Sea Salt

Pic. 1

Meyer Lemons

Different Shape 16 oz. Jar

Different Shape 16 oz. Jar

Different Shape 8 oz. Jar

Different Shape 8 oz. Jar

Making Moroccan preserved lemons at home is very easy and inexpensive too! 

I choose Meyer lemons over other varieties, because, they are delicate, tangy, sweet and add an exquisite flavor to grilled, roasted or sautéed veggies, couscous, tagines, pasta, salads (such as mixed greens or arugula with caramelized pears, chopped dried apricots, crushed toasted pistachios and a few cumin seeds, lightly toasted on skillet and for salad dressing, just a drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil), tarts and galettes (sweet & savory with fruits such as blueberries and veggies such as zucchini and yellow squash), hummus, tapenades, pate and some finely-chopped little pieces to vanilla gelato! The flavor is simply amazing!

Heavenly Cocktail - Put a couple of thin slices of your decadent preserved lemons (pulps removed & gently rinsed) in a glass, add a couple of tbsp. of gin or vodka, a couple of ice cubes, 1/2 cup of sparkling water, garnish it with a couple of lightly crushed fresh mint leaves, and you'll have a heavenly drink beyond description!  

In addition, to its delicious and culinary flavor enhancements, just having a gorgeous jar of Moroccan preserved Meyer lemons on your kitchen counter not only will inspire cooking, but also makes your kitchen delightful. Not to mention, it makes a beautiful and unique gift too!  

Organic Ingredients:

6-8 Small Meyer lemons (16 oz. jar)
6 Tbsp. fine sea salt
1 Bay leaf
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Small dried chill pepper
A few coriander seeds
A few multi-color pepper corns

Instructions:

1. Gently scrub the lemons with a vegetable brush and pad dry them.
2. Cut off the little rounded part at the stem end. Then, make a large cut by slicing lengthwise downward, stopping about 1-inch from the bottom, then making another downward slice, so you’ve incised the lemon with a plus (+) shape, Pic. 1
3. Pack sea salt into the lemon where you made the incisions: use about 1 tablespoon per lemon, Pic. 2
4. Put the salt-filled lemons in a clean, 16 oz. glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add a few coriander seeds, a few multi-color pepper corns, a bay leaf, a dried chili pepper and a cinnamon stick, Pic. 3
5. Press the lemons very firmly in the jar to get the juices flowing. Close the lid and let stand overnight, Pic. 4
6. The next day do the same, pressing the lemons down, encouraging them to release more juice as they start to soften. Repeat for a 2-3 days until the lemons are completely covered with liquid. If your lemons aren’t too juicy, add more freshly-squeezed lemon juice until they are sunken.
7. After one month, when the preserved lemons are soft, they’re ready to use. Store the lemons in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for at least 6 months. 

To use: Remove lemons from the liquid and rinse. Split in half and scrape out the pulp. Slice the lemon peels into thin strips or cut into small dices. You can also press the pulp through a sieve to extract the tasty juice, which can be used for flavoring.

Moroccan preserved Meyer lemons are delicious, versatile and add a distinctive flavor to sweet and savory culinary creations, just let your culinary imagination go wild!

Enjoy!

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 © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.




Clear Negative Energy to Promote Happiness in Your Life!


While decluttering our home and work environments promotes and contributes to positive energy, hence happiness, proactively clearing negative energy is equally important.  

Energy flows and its impacted by everything and everyone in our lives, including ourselves! As we all know it, positive energy is contagious, but so is the negative energy. Energy also has a multiplier effect. If we are in a positive state of mind, we’re much more likely to remain in this state and the same applies to negative energy. This is why it’s so important to proactively guard ourselves from being sucked into a “vortex” of negativity. In reality, a cycle of negativity happens to nearly everyone!  The great thing is that we all the power to get rid of it. 

Below are some examples of how to recognize and clear negative energy, hence promote positive energy and happiness:

1. Do you find yourself constantly complaining when in a certain situation?
Certain situations can invoke more negative energy than others. The workplace is probably the most common environment where this happens. It can also be in a relationship or while in the company of certain people.  

Solution: Get out of the situation as soon as possible. Consider what's best for you, love yourself first, always!

2. Do you find yourself in a  consistent feeling of being angry or on-edge?
When anger becomes a persistent emotion, it’s detrimental to our physical and emotional health. The stress caused by feeling angry or on-edge surpasses that of any other emotion. Therefore, it’s important to either eliminate or minimize anger by taking some kind of action.

Solution: Become emotionally aware. Acknowledge your emotions, whatever, they might be and take actions, instead of ignoring them.

3. Do you find yourself in a persistent feeling of anxiety and depression?
These are among the most two commonly symptoms of living or working in a negative-toxic environment. Constantly feeling anxious or depressed is a force of negative energy that needs to be addressed.

Solution: Practice mindfulness. Put aside some time to reflect on your emotions. Write down what’s bothering you and what needs to be done to address the cause of your anxiety and depression. There are steps that we all can take to bring reliefs, don’t hesitate to take them.

4. Do you find interaction with people becoming difficult or exhausting?
When we’re in a negative environment, normal interactions with other people can become physically and emotionally exhausting, because we’re too wrapped up with our own inner thoughts/emotions and by default can't be present.

Solution: Practice active listening. No matter how difficult the situation we are in, there is always a solution, which takes times and efforts to identify. In the meantime, by being present and actively listening to others, not only it will serve as a great distraction, but also we might learn something new to help our situation.

5. Do you find yourself increasingly becoming more critical of self and others?
Negativity has a strong effect on how we view ourselves and others. The simple explanation is that negative energy requires a release and since we’re often among others, people become easy targets. When we’re alone, this negative energy can often cause us to critique ourselves down to every last perceived flaw.

Solution: Recognize and then stop. By acknowledging our thoughts and feelings, we'll feel more empowered to seek solutions. And, don’t be hard on yourself or others, not worth it.

6. Do you find yourself increasingly seeking isolation more frequently?
When caught up in a negative energy cycle, some people have the tendency to isolate themselves from others and specially their loved ones. While some alone time is healthy, it’s not healthy to experience a sudden desire for seclusion, especially if this was not the case before.

Solution: Know that people care. Don’t be afraid or hesitant to ask for help, instead of trying to fix everything yourself! Take this simple approach: briefly describe the situation to people that you trust and ask 'do you think you can help me with this situation? Can you think of a solution or do you know of people who can help?

We are all capable and intelligent people and it's perfectly okay to ask for help, simply because other people may know of solutions that we had not considered. This approach not only will lead to identify helpful people, but also those who have no positive impact on our lives whatsoever, and rather contribute to our anxiety and depression.   

It’s a proven fact that we are the happiest when in the company of people who inspire us, love us unconditionally, bring joy and happiness into our lives. As such we must proactively seek those people and let go of negative-toxic relationships of any kinds, business associates, partners and people in our social media/networks too. The more we practice, the easier it becomes to say no to negative and judgmental people, freely limit or end our interactions/relationships with them or simply walk away without any notifications, justifications or explanations!

Happy Clearing Out Negative Energy!

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 © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Vegan Mediterranean Cooking & Wine Pairing Classes!


Greetings Foodies and Wine Lovers!

In order to complete the witting of my cookbook: The Art of Vegan Mediterranean Cooking, for the 2020 calendar year, I will not be offering public culinary and wine classes, however, I will continue to offer the following classes (March-October) in Santa Cruz County and the South Bay:

Private In-Home Vegan Mediterranean Cooking and Wine Pairing Classes (
A Taste of Spain on Your Plate, A Taste of Provence on Your Plate, A Taste of Tuscany on Your Plate and A Taste of Morocco on Your Plate) for individuals, Couples and Groups (minimum 5 people, maximum 10), conducted in your very own kitchen consists of a 4-course meal: appetizer, entrée, salad and dessert, plus wine to pair with beautiful and exquisite foods you made. I'll come to your home to guide you and your group, through a delightful afternoon or evening of cooking right in your very own kitchen. The 4-hour class fee is $175.00 p/p and includes all local organic ingredients. However, if you assemble a group of 5 or more, your cost as the host will be waived. And, you also get a lovely bottle of wine!

Please contact me to learn more about these wonderful culinary & wine pairing classes and to take the first step. 

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 © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Meet Ellie Lavender!


Greetings!

I’m an interior designer, vegan Mediterranean personal chef, caterer, culinary & wine pairing instructor and artisan chocolatier. 


Everyone has a story and mine is rather inspirational and worth telling. My wonderful journey to the creation of Lavender Design + Cuisine began in 2011 when I decided to leave a highly successful career in high tech sales spanning 20 years. It was time to pursue my lifelong dream. Since then, it has been an amazing and rewarding experience. I'm immeasurably grateful to do what I love thanks to my wonderful clients and students. They are the center of my work and a great inspiration. Click here to view their beautiful testimonials! 

I offer the following services throughout Santa Cruz County and the South Bay:

1) Interior Design with a focus on Feng Shui Principles

2) Staging a Home for Sale

3) Declutter Your Life Hands-on Workshops 

4) Personal Chef Services featuring the preparation of organic, seasonal, local and sustainable Vegan/ Vegetarian Mediterranean gourmet cuisine. I create healthy and delicious meals tailored to your personal taste right in your kitchen. 

5) Private In-Home Vegan Mediterranean Cooking and Wine Pairing Class for individuals, Couples and Groups (minimum 5 people, maximum 10), conducted in your very own kitchen consists of a 4-course meal: appetizer, entrée, salad and dessert, plus wine to pair with beautiful and exquiaite foods you made. I'll come to your home to guide you and your group, through a delightful afternoon or evening of cooking right in your very own kitchen. The 4-hour class fee is $175.00 p/p and includes all local organic ingredients. However, if you assemble a group of 5 or more, your cost as the host will be waived. And, you also get a lovely bottle of wine!


6) Chocolate Making Event for birthday parties for children 10 years and up (minimum 5 children, maximum 10). In this very hands-on event at your venue, children will make chocolate arts, which are organic, vegan and sugar free. They’ll get to try their chocolate arts and even gift wrap some of their lovely handmade creations in exquisite packaging provided by me. Parties start at just $200.00 for 5 children (each additional child is $35.00), which includes everything necessary to have a super fun time that is ideal for photo and video memories.

7) Culinary Team Building-Corporate Cooking Classes: Hands-on interactive culinary team building classes are a fun and effective way to create employee bonding experiences. The classes encourage teamwork, enhance communication, and foster camaraderie all in a delightful and delicious environment. I will custom design a menu to accommodate your goals and budget. 

8) Chocolate and Wine Pairing Events at local wineries open to the public in addition to exclusive cooking and wine pairing classes for wine club members eager for new experiences. These are fabulous occasions for chocolate enthusiasts, foodies and wine lovers to experience a delightful afternoon or evening sipping great wine while enjoying delicious gourmet cuisine.

9) Vegan/Vegetarian Mediterranean Catering for all occasions (up to 25 people).


Please contact me to learn more about any of these featured services and to take the first step. 

Ellie Lavender 
Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Interior Designer
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor
Lavender Design + Cuisine

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

Copyright © 2020 Lavender Design + Cuisine, All rights reserved.