Archive for July, 2010

Harvesting fruits and vegetables from your kitchen garden is a real treat.    It is a thrill to attend to your own crops.  Once they become fully grown they are ready to be brought in, fresh from the garden, deliciously prepared, and placed on the table, ready to be eaten and, fully enjoyed. There is nothing that compares to what a first time gardener experiences when he or she picks, washes and prepares what he or she has lovingly watched grow and ripen right in front of his or her own eyes.  It all starts with planning your crop. You can begin your research by going on the Internet and investigating seed mail order catalogues to consider what herbs, veggies and flowers you will be growing in the appropriate upcoming season. 

What follows are a few basic questions with some fundamental answers that will hopefully inspire you to tend a first time kitchen garden of your own if, you have yet, discovered this delightful experience for yourself already.

Q & A’s

Q: What are the easiest seeds to sow?

A:  The larger ones are best – peas, beans, spinach and onion /garlic sets and, make certain that the seeds are inexpensive and abundant.

Q:  What types of plants require the least amount of fuss?

A: beans, zucchini, celery and pumpkins

Q: Why are tomatoes a little more of a challenge for the virgin gardener?

A: Merely because, it is necessary to build a support structure for them and keep pinching them out.

Q: What other criteria is good to follow?

A:  Keep it simple.  It is important for a person’s first kitchen garden to be a pleasurable experience and not a chore.

Q: How can a new gardener reduce inevitable challenges with pest control?

A: There are disease-resistant varieties and the Horticultural Society carries out trials where hundreds of plants are grown and tested for pest resistance and the ease of growing which should be noted in the seed catalogues you preview.

Q:  What is a garden diary? And, how is it used?

A:  It is a journal that a kitchen gardener keeps in which they record a history of what was grown in their garden each season. It helps the garden to flourish by identifying what crops did well and which should be planted again. It is also a place to store photographs of one’s impressive harvests and other interesting memorabilia related to the gardening experience to share with friends and family.

Q:  Which vegetables will mature very quickly throughout the growing season (every 2-4 weeks)? And, if planted routinely will yield a continual supply?

A:  Try radishes, spinach, French beans and spring onions (scallions), leaf lettuces, arugula, oriental leaves and bok choy.

Q: What planting techniques can the first time gardener use that will improve the health of his or her crops?

A: To benefit the most from sun exposure, rows within beds should run north to south.  Planting tall crops on the north side of other crops will also help minimize shade.  

Q:  What is companion planting? And, how is it helpful?

A:    Companion planting is when certain plants are placed next to one another because they make good neighbors. It is beneficial to consider this form of planting for the following reasons:

  1. A.      It attracts insects to pollinate crops as well as those whose larvae will eat aphids (an insect that sucks sap from plants and transfers viruses from plant to plant) in addition to deterring other pests.
  2. B.      It is believed, but not proven yet, that some plants grow better when they are next to other plants
  3. C.      Mixed planting can help to throw off predator insects by masking the more vulnerable plants natural scents

Q:  What other considerations should the first time gardener be mindful of when planting his or her kitchen garden?

A:  He or she should take into account the conditions that the plants will have to grow in such as: type of shelter that can be provided to protect the plants from various microclimates, sensitivity to cold temperatures and extreme heat, prevailing winds, frost pockets (two most important dates are the first and the last period of unexpected frosts), slopes, and shade.  For those who will have small gardens that will be enclosed by brick or cement walls, they will have to take into account that these barriers can be up to several degrees hotter come nightfall and that they will have a dry zone along the base that will demand additional watering.

Q.  What type of garden paraphernalia will be needed to get started?  And, what is the most important of all the tools?

A.  Even though garden supply retailers will recommend many tools to the naïve first time gardener what really is actually required to get started gardening is minimal.  Container gardeners will need little more than a trowel (a short-handled and curved tapering blade that they can use for making holes to put plants and seedlings in and for other light digging work) and, of course,  a watering can. What really matters is that one selects good quality tools such as; excellent pruning shears, water butts and barrels in which to collect rain and grey water, as well as a rake to prepare a smooth seed bed; a hoe for weeding, a garden line – two sticks and a length of string to make straight rows and edges.  Other gardening items might be a special hat made from sun protective fabric and, special gloves and gardening boots with warm socks for winter. 

Other Recommended Reading Sources About Kitchen Gardening Are:

The book: “The Family Kitchen Garden” by Karen Liebreich, Jutta Wagner, and Annette Wendland

The book “The Organic Kitchen Garden” by Juliet Roberts


Grow Your Own – The Edible Garden Trend


Wearing Suitable Gardening Attire


Kitchen Gardeners – A Global Community about sustainable local food systems –


Videos –

Introduction to Vegetable Gardening


Organic Gardening on Anthony’s Balcony in England


Gardening with a Homemade Irrigation system on an Australian Balcony


How to Start your Vegetable Seeds Indoors – The Bayou Gardener


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Hello There,

I have listed fifteen of my favorite quotes below. I hope you will like the ones I have selected to share. I find these particular thoughts of great value because I feel they are extremely inspirational.  I hope you will agree.  Enjoy!

 “If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.”

Betty Reese

 “It is kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Walt Disney

 “May you live everyday of your life.”

Jonathan Swift

 “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Mahatma Ghandi

 “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

 “You all laugh at me because I’m different; I laugh at you because you’re all the same.”

– John Davis

 “Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.”

 -Henry Emerson Fosdick

 “The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

– Lily Tomlin

 “The most pitiful among men is he who turns his dreams into silver and gold.”

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) [Sand and Foam]

 “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.”

William Arthur Ward

 “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”

– William James

 “A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your successes.”
– Doug Larson

 “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

 “We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.
– Sam Keen, from To Love and Be Loved

“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing… “

-Oscar Wilde

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Power comes to men through money and position. The dynamics are different for women. Strength and influence emerge through their beauty and elegance.  Being chic is always trendy.  Aesthetic fads come and go as far as style is concerned, but to possess sophistication is what truly makes a woman a timeless social centerpiece.  No matter what her age or the set of circumstances that she may find herself in.  When a chic woman walks into a room people turn around and take notice of her. You can hear the buzz circulating and almost feel the vibration of her energy. 

Having grown up with a fashion designer who educated models – I have had more than a taste of what it takes to become chic.  My background has given me an appreciation for women (mainly those who did not possess this quality to begin with) who have given themselves what it takes even though they have not been reared regally.  They are women who long to be well put together, but who have not come from a privileged social economic heritage in which case they would practically be born with the knowledge.

These women have had to work hard at becoming chic and appearing refined through the art of cosmopolitanism and by polishing themselves up more than a bit so they can be recognized as sophisticated in terms that the world recognizes.   

A woman does not have to be a millionaire to appear chic.  She need not put on airs either.  Intimate knowledge will give her cachet in many other ways if she yearns to go socially higher by using her image as a catalyst. Of course, she will have to make some sacrifices because a chic identity has its very own definition. As long as she is willing to admit to herself that she must participate in the serious study of fashion and its dictates, learn all she can about decorating and the principles of social decorum, she should be able to do fairly well for herself. The minute she comes into view, if she has worked diligently at it for years, her efforts will be made visible and the memory of she is trying to evoke will survive in the minds of all those she meets and linger long after she departs her encounters.

The chic woman is by no means foolproof. Where truly chic women focus on the right thing, women who yearn to be chic must concentrate on what it takes to do right.  She must keep at it incessantly otherwise, she will seem, as if she is trying too hard to impress. Styles need to be changed and up-dated with maturity or she will find herself stuck in a very telling time rut. As one would expect, fashion trends eventually will fade.  If she is lucky she can get by knowing the basics and utilizing this knowledge but after a while if she does not keep sprucing up she begins to look a lot less authentic and, more than a little frayed.

The Chic woman has a winning personality and does well professionally. She is proficient at networking and participating in small talk.  She is aware of all the things she needs to say to create a foundation for lasting fellowship. The creatively chic woman understands the dire need of etiquette training. That being said, she rarely makes social blunders, whatever social faux pas she has committed in the past, she has learned excruciatingly well from.  The chic woman always practices courtesy and comes across as very considerate. She is the personification of hospitality, confident when she dines and even more highly self-assured when she entertains.  Her home is always lovely because it is an extension of her elegance and charm. The chic woman knows how to not just give a gift, but how to receive one gracefully.  Regardless of its monetary worth she makes it appear that it is precious and priceless to her. To the chic woman what is really pleasing is that the person who gave her the present thought of her to begin with. 

15 Ways to Appear Chic –

1.       Minimalism while still making a visual impact

2.       Proper attire for every occasion  – feminine not fussy

3.       A working wardrobe of authoritative colors

4.       Hair styles that flatter facial features and that are proportionate

5.       Sophisticated without snobbery

6.       Excellent posture

7.       Having everything one needs on hand to complete one’s image, anytime, anywhere

8.       Rejection of strong fragrances – not heavily perfumed

9.       Natural looking application of cosmetics – light but effective

10.   Creating a look that is unmistakably signature by incorporating a wealth of artistic possibilities  

11.   What everyone would expect – magnificent all over

12.   Social adaptability

13.   Beautiful accessories tastefully selected and worn

14.   Feeling good about oneself

15.   Being interesting

Chic women are a guiding force for us all.

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Think the constant frustrations you are experiencing with people you talk to on the phone originate and end with you? Think again.  Take a look at the following list and identify the triggers that cause us to flare on the phone, many of which are coming from outside igniting sources. When you do the math you can clearly see where the rage and the frustration you may be dealing with on a day-to-day basis is coming from.

  • People who constantly pause while speaking to you in order to read their text-messages
  • People who repeat themselves over-and-over again because they are not speaking to you per say but to the sounding board they have made of you
  • People who ignore your requests again-and-again, especially questions you bring up to them that constantly go unanswered
  • People that place you on hold indefinitely
  • People who claim they will call you right back and never do
  • People who start up conversations on a second phone line and hold you hostage so that you must listen to every word they utter while you are waiting for them to get back to you
  • People that bring up topics that they know will trigger unpleasant reactions because these subjects have caused you to overreact in the past
  • People whose voices fade in and out because they are engaged in doing something more important than communicating with you
  • People who need to have a sense of control over you and answer the phone by saying “ I was on my way out the door, but when I saw that it was you telephoning I decided to pick up the phone but…please be aware, I only have a minute”
  • People who speak over your voice when you are trying to get a passionate point you want desperately to express, across to them
  • People who turn a two-way conversation into their own personal monologue
  • People who pretend to show you courtesy by asking if it is ok for them to speak about a situation in detail that they have continuously covered in practically every conversation you have had with them for months
  • People who never allow you to interject your thoughts or to offer your opinion or comment on anything at all that they have to say
  • People who state, “I just want to say this one last thing and forty-five minutes to an hour into the call they are still belaboring the issue
  • People who spend all the time you give to them to grandstand and laude over you their blessings knowing that you are undergoing tough times
  • People who are not interested in the least, to discuss what is going on in your life at the moment or for that matter at anytime – not in the past, not in the present and, certainly, not, in the future
  • People who yell out to others who are in the room with them but who are further than earshot away so they have to scream in your ear to be heard
  • People who tell you that their cell phone battery is going out just about the time they are to respond to a request you may have posed to them
  • People who say they cannot hear you because they do not want to hear you and pretend there is an interruption on the phone line
  • People who leave phone messages just seconds before they leave to go out and when you try to return their call their voice mail system is all you can reach and, you do not hear back from them until the next day or even several days later
  • People who call you, make a snide remark and hang-up leaving you no recourse since when you call back to respond they do not pick up
  • People who pretend they never got your voicemail message
  • People who do not call you back because they claim they could not understand you when you left a message

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Hello There Everyone,

Having been in the field many years, I often get inquiries about what path a newcomer to the profession should take. The field of aesthetics offers many opportunities that are vast and varied and it can be confusing.  It is constantly evolving taking on many new disciplines and, at the same instance, offering many new opportunities. Career satisfaction is never guaranteed in any industry.  There is no lifetime of steady success.  Most of the time, we find, we are merely dealing with the day-to-day, practical and attainable aspects of our work – trying to balance out the ill-fitting particulars of our jobs while still being progressive in our career progress and our advancement. What follows are some suggestions about how one might go about finding their career path:

We Find Our Career Paths by:

  1. By taking into account our financial concerns
  2. By examining our professional and personal values
  3. By thinking in graphic detail about what would be the perfect job for us
  4. By networking with others who are in fields related to our interests
  5. By participating in a personal coaching relationship to determine our inner thoughts and desires
  6. By speaking with those who care about our happiness and welfare and considering another point of view
  7. By conversing with professionals whom we admire and by asking them questions
  8. By daydreaming and paying attention to our career fantasies
  9. By thinking of work as a form of play and focusing on the aspects of a position that just seem fun
  10. By joining women’s groups and associations that are aligned with our areas of interest
  11. By creating our future mentally first – mind-mapping it out – step-by-step
  12. By respecting our knowledge, skill set, special talents and our passions
  13. By using our imagination to come up with entrepreneurial ideas
  14. By considering what kind of work will make us emotionally happier and healthier on a daily basis
  15. By determining how difficult it is to get into the field we are considering and what we might have to learn to stay current in the field we may be choosing for ourselves
  16. By looking into all the benefits offered
  17. By thinking about the professionals we will be working with
  18. By considering our long term satisfaction
  19. By evaluating the working habits and other disciplines that must be followed to achieve success
  20. By considering how much we will be challenged by our decision to take on the career we are considering
  21. By thinking logically about our career options, analyzing them carefully and by applying common sense to our decision-making process
  22. By having breakthroughs (“ah ha” moments)
  23. By filling in gaps with additional education required
  24. By participating in internships to get a feel for real world applications of the work
  25. By training under masters and not reinventing the wheel
  26. By looking to a higher power for guidance and a sense of spiritual direction
  27. By routinely asking ourselves where do we go from here?
  28. By engaging in the process of elimination – asking what aspects of our previous careers did not work and how
  29. By acknowledging our steady progress and by continuing to move forward with our career rational   
  30. By focusing on who we are and who we are becoming rather than what we do
  31. By thinking for ourselves and yet, taking into consideration the recommendations of others
  32. By recognizing professional trends and as much as possible going with the flow
  33. By staying focused on our goals once we have finally decided where it is we want to be career wise and, simultaneously, by being flexible when necessary
  34. By realizing that we are not powerless to change our circumstances if it appears it is necessary to do so
  35. By trying to bring about positive change not just for ourselves but for all those who travel with us down the same path

Creative Resources – Creative Ideas – Creative Results

iVillage.co.uk – Experts Explore Career Options


Video – Finding Your Entrepreneurial Passion by Recognizing Hidden Opportunities


Enjoying Everyday Life – Attitude Adjustment – John Maxwell and Joyce Meyer


      Personality Tests and Other Career Tools – Enjoy!!!


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Hello There,

The application of cosmetics is an effort that is very personal.  The makeup wearer uses their face as a canvas to create an atmospheric image with a variance of intended effects.  The ease of use and the versatility of makeup as a medium for self-expression render it worth all the exertion required.  Makeup applications represent a combination of techniques, each of which presents its own rewards.  Carefully chosen applicators and tools aid the process.

Layer by layer makeup brings out the feminine by exposing the outer appearance of womanliness. Imperfections disintegrate right before the observer’s eyes with a few strokes of a brush in multi directions.  Makeup in large part is all about fantasy, no woman is ever quite as perfect as she can make herself with a few minor alterations here and there to conceal faults.  

Few of us are gifted with perfect symmetry. Contour and highlighting techniques create balance and proportion, illusions that both veil and reveal.  The results honor the act by allowing what does not exist to appear real. Makeup provides us with the opportunity to be attractive and on occasion – it satisfies our longing to become beautiful. In such instances, makeup is nothing less than a shortcut to a miracle.

Makeup is a catalyst that ignites the inner fire of a woman bringing to the surface her more sensual nature allowing her to take on undertones of the Greek Goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite, with shades of sexiness a mere suggestion rather than openly stated.  Lipstick for example signifies romance by bringing fullness to the lips and liner mystery to the eyes, in most cultures makeup is ritually worn throughout courtship. The wearing of cosmetics create more vivid stimuli, completing the women bringing forth an aesthetic totality to her physical presentation personifying the vital forces contained within her. 

Makeup can also be simple and un-mystical.  A natural makeup application can be just that, natural. It can provide subtle changes in color to the complexion improving the appearance of its health where before its application the pallor of the skin was pasty and unwholesome looking.  To prevent cosmetic pigments from looking artificial the makeup wearer can use a special stippling technique to rapidly restore color tone but not to entirely conceal the luminous quality of the flesh underneath as opposed to keeping everything hidden under wraps. Half the mastery of makeup comes from what the makeup wearer does not do.

Enhancement makeup allows us to recreate ourselves, over-and-over again.  It can command attention or it can be used to distract it.  Makeup artists are like magicians because they deceptively play with appearances using cosmetics to only let those who observe us see what we want them to see.  It is all about perceptions and simple fixes to get people to become aware of and discern specific facial features that would ordinarily escape their notice or attract it.

Make up with all its value should always be considered optional.  When it becomes less than artistry and more of an addiction than fun, it ceases to fulfill its purpose which is one that should always support the attributes of the woman who chooses to wear it with relaxing regularity.

Amazing No Makeup Issue of Elle Magazine


More on Makeup Artistry


Cosmetics Applications for Improving Well-Being


Video – Gender Transformation Makeup


Preview of fall’s New Makeup Lines 2010


Dove Makeup Transformation – Learn More about Real Beauty Workshops for Girls


Female Celebs Fantastic Transformations with Aid of Makeup


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Good Sunday Morning,

Heart knowledge is the loving way we see people, situations and life in general. This distinction is crucial as it is required to experience the spiritual essence of all things. It is a divine form of energy that radiates from within us and that invites the vibrations of harmony peace, happiness and success.  It is how we acquire a higher estimate of life.  When we think with our heart we are filled with thankfulness. Heart thinking gives us a different perspective altogether for example: when things do not work out the way we feel they should and we allow ourselves to use our heart knowledge to answer why we stop blaming external circumstances and become aware of the reasons from within. When we tune into heart knowledge we realize our being is mostly light and any time we like we can dispel our insecurities. It opens new doors for us because it permits us to tap into the all-powerful spiritual presence inside ourselves – shaping us from within. 

The integration of heart knowledge combined with intellectual knowledge yields even more amazing benefits by allowing spiritual dynamism to flow through us and from us.  Thinking from the heart makes us begin to believe that what we can accept as true we can possibly attain.  This realization can work wonders in our life because it is a vision of healthy-mindedness that is eternal, immutable and forever enduring. 

Copyright 2010 All right reserved – Victoria L. Rayner

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

Articles on Heart Thinking and Other Related Subjects


Video: Practicing Yoga for Divine Consciousness and Spiritual Transformation


Audio Lesson – The Path of the Heart Teachings (Introduction)


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