Monday, August 31, 2009

reset button

today i felt as though my reset button had been pressed. i spent three glorious hours at cheat lake today. you could say that i had an extended artist's date :)

i had originally intended to go to a local park but instead felt the need to be near water. so after meeting up with my friend T and his mom for lunch off i set in order to find just the right spot.
my view
my only companion
it was such a perfect day. the sky was gorgeous with scattered puffy white clouds. the sun was warm and the breeze was slightly cool against my skin making for the perfect combination. the lake was fairly quiet except for the occasional boat or jet ski. the squeak of the wooden docks and the splash of the small waves added a nice ambiance.

i was armed with a couple of books and magazines, my planner pad, my journal, lots of water and some hot tea. while i looked briefly at my magazines i mainly used my time to journal, practice reiki, meditate, enjoy the scenery, reflect,breathe and just be. i finished my visit with some sun salutations (carefully as i was on a dock), a meditation and thanks to the universe for carving out such a perfect day for me. it was exactly what i needed.

how about you guys, have you hit your reset button yet?

august recap

august, where did you go? you seemed to slip away so fast.

finish reading 'julie & julia' and watch the movie - yes and yes!
have tea with rebecca at the johnston house - yes!
do some volunteer work at circle h to be around the horses - no, actually there isn't any volunteer work to be done there unfortunately.
gussy up the blog (design, layout, header, etc) - as i'm sure you can tell YES. i do have a couple of things i'd still like to do, one being the header. (i just can't decide on what i want to do for my header.)
walk cadyn for 30 mins everyday - fail! i sucked at this big time.
weekly artist's dates - don't know that they were exactly 'weekly' but i did get some in yes!
memorize all of the bones in the body - after discussing this with my mentor, she thought it best that i start with a specific massage therapy book that i have and dive into the anatomy a little later.
get a $4000 grant for massage therapy school - YES! YES!! YES!!! i am so happy about this.

all in all, i'd say that august was a pretty good month. while i didn't quite get in everything i wanted to do c'est la vie, non?!

image credit ici

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

sisal wash cloth

i am grateful that i have received such wonderful comments regarding the skin brushing post. thank you to all who commented! comments still make my day :)

and since i'm on the subject of skin care i wanted to share with you my favorite sisal wash cloth from the body shop. i absolutely love it! ever since i found this handy little item i haven't been able to use a regular washcloth. with the combination of my skin brush and the sisal washcloth it has made a world of difference on how supple and smooth my skin now feels.

photo credit ici

hook for my skin brush

our skin is our largest organ but we seem to pay the least attention to it. studies have shown that our skin is responsible for eliminating 10-15% of toxins. (it's sometimes referred to as our third kidney). so how do you take care of your skin? besides using the best creams, lotions & potions we need to dry brush our skin before we shower.

naturally jules wrote about this here back in february. she listed several reasons of why we should use a dry skin brush so i'm not going to repeat them. i had trouble remembering to use my skin brush before getting into the shower. so i was on the lookout for a pretty hook so i could put it right beside the shower - that way it was visible and i would remember. i found my pretty little hook at pier 1 for the low, low price of $2. now that i can afford!

i have noticed that my skin feels much softer since i started using my skin brush. do you guys use a dry skin brush? if so, what differences have you noticed in your skin since you've been using it?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

what's in a name?

if you are a frequent reader you know i am going to be starting massage therapy school at the end of september. i am so excited and can not wait! i eventually want to open my own business. as i explained in "plan b part quatre" i want my business to include massage therapy, yoga, get nutrition counseling, getting advice from an ayurvedic practitioner as well as a place to come hang out and relax with a mug of tea and company. so, i wanted to get your input as far as a business name. i obviously want it all encompassing not just something like "mindful melita's massage & yoga" i want it to be much more than that because that is exactly what it will hopefully be. i have a few things in mind already but would like your input.

so i seek your sage advice. if you have any thoughts and/or suggestions for a business name for me please leave me a comment or send me an email - merci in advance for your suggestions :)

image credit ici

tea trade update

hello all my tea loving friends! i wanted to give you an update on the tea trade, but first i wanted to thank city girl and karley from chic & green for mentioning the tea trade on their blogs. i appreciate these ladies very much for spreading the word about the tea trade. if anyone else would like to mention the tea trade on their blog, by all means please feel free (and let me know so i can give you a proper thank you).

now for the update: i originally set the date to get your info to me for august 30th. i am going to extend that date since the word is being spread out further than i ever imagined :) i am extending the date to september 15th. please be sure to send an email to with "tea trade" in the subject line and your address in the body of the email to join in all of the tea trading fun!!

photo credit ici

Saturday, August 22, 2009

garden bounty

i love august because it's harvest time. i enjoy going out to my petit potager and collecting tomatoes of varying kinds, green beans, lettuces, swiss chard, jalapenos, snow peas, onions, garlic, radishes, plus multiple kinds of fresh herbs. nothing you can buy in the store even comes close to the fresh taste that you can get out of your own potager. plus not to mention the money you can save by growing your own.

even if you don't have any room for a potager of your own, you can grow some things in pots and stick them on your balcony or patios. i've seen tomatoes, lettuces, chards, and even strawberries happily growing in pots.

this is the goodies from one day of visiting my petit potager.

Monday, August 17, 2009

happy happy joy joy

i just found out today that i am getting the wia grant money to the tune of $4000!!!

and i got a pell grant for $2625!! so, i only have to borrow around $1700 in financial aid!!!

i am going to borrow a little more (if i can) because i need to buy a massage table and massage chair (and those are not cheap!!).

i am so excited!! i just wanted you all to know plan b is officially plan a!! ;)
photo credit ici

Saturday, August 15, 2009

delicious dinner

earlier today i pulled out my super salad selection cookbook and started perusing through it for something to make with dinner (there is no link to this cookbook because i got it years ago on the bargain table). i came across 'tex-mex corn and black bean salad' that instantly got my mouth watering. i knew it would work perfectly with out lemon butter toasted crumb flounder and basmati rice. it's a very simple recipe i want to share it with my fellow readers.

tex-mex corn and black bean salad
'this healthy salad has only the smallest amount of oil in it, with the juice from the corn used a substitute for part of the oil. unlike some other tex-mex bean dishes, this one does not depend on fat for flavor, and it is nutritious and low in calories.'
serves 6-8
- 12 oz can whole-kernal corn, drained with juice reserved
- 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finally chopped (optional)
- cilantro sprigs or red onion wedges to garnish

- 1/4 cup corn juice, measured out from the reserved juice
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

in a large bowl, combine the corn, beans, bell pepper, scallions, red onion, garlic, tomato and jalapeno. set aside. to make the dressing, place the corn juice, vinegar, olive oil, hot pepper sauce, chili powder, lemon or lime juice and cilantro in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. tighten the lid and shake to mix well. pour the dressing over the salad and stir to mix. cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. to serve, transfer the salad to an attractive bowl and garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro or thin wedges of red onion.

the only things we did differently (because we are rebels and don't always follow directions): we omitted the hot pepper sauce, used more lime juice than specified, and didn't let it sit for 6 hours. we couldn't wait that long to enjoy it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

volant mill winery

while running around in mars, pa with rebecca last saturday we stopped in the volant mill winery shop located in the adams shoppes.

here's a brief history of volant mill winery. they were founded as a family business in 2004 and named after the historical mill in volant, pa. all of the wines that they have are produced from their vineyards in mercer county. they have a nice selection of reds, whites, blush and fruit wines. they have a different variety of dry to sweet wines as well. i am enjoying a glass of their "volant red" as i write this. according to volant mill winery their volant red is "a 'cannot go wrong' red wine for everything." (all information taken from their pamphlet.)

i am a huge fan of riesling so i couldn't walk away without a bottle. volant mill's has a sweeter riesling than some due to their late harvest. it is fantastic!! i recommend both of their volant red and riesling!

photo credit ici

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the johnston house

here are more pics of the johnston house in mars, pa. not only can you get a kick ass tea service there but they have lots and lots of adorable eye candy for sale. i just wish i had some more money.

tea for two

this past saturday rebecca & i had tea at the johnston house in mars, pa. we had a lovely time visiting over tea and all of the goodies we ate. these are a few pics i took.

our beautiful place settings
our delicious food
and i ask you, one lump or two ;)
more photos to come on the johnston house soon.


i am alone this morning for the first in several mornings. my friend rebecca spent until yesterday evening with me. i am so happy she came for a visit. we had a great time. i am grateful for all that we did:

- got to have tea at the johnston house (pic coming soon)

- got to see jeff ross do stand up (it was hilarious!!)

- watched julie & julia (fantastic)

- watched the orphan (which to my surprise was really good)

- we each got massages at bliss bliss bliss (and they were heavenly!)

- got to lay around the house playing with the pets and just enjoying each others company

we had a very good time together. it was nice to have her down for a visit and hopefully it won't be as long next time!

photo credit ici

Friday, August 7, 2009

tranquilit abound

yesterday morning i donned my self in my tranquilit all-in-one. i wanted to be comfortable while taking my workkeys test (for my wia program).

i had just woken up so excuse the oh so sleepy look on my face :)

if you'll notice, there is a beautiful rose on my dress. ryan picked it for me (from the rose bush that he bought me earlier this spring) that morning and i decided to gussy up my all-in-one with a little touch of home.

as far as the test goes, i think i did rather well. being wrapped up in tranquilit and my beautiful rose made all the difference! (i am keeping my fingers, toes, and anything else that my yoga practice will allow that i get this grant money.)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

tea trade

attention all of you tea lovers, i am hosting a "tea trade."

ever want to try a new tea but are afraid of buying a whole box to end up not liking it?! how would you like to experience new teas through trading teas with your fellow blogging buddies? in fact, you don't even have to have a blog to participate. tea trading is totally open to anyone who wants to participate.

how it works: tea traders will send a sampling of 15-20 individual tea bags to another participating tea trader.

details: please send an email to with the subject line "tea trade." in the body of the email please share your address . i will then match up people and give you a name and address of where to send your teas packages. all of your personal information will be kept strictly confidential. if you feel more comfortable providing your work address rather than personal that is totally fine. also, if you do not wish to provide your name please make sure you let me know in the email and who ever will be sending your tea package will label the envelope "tea trade" and your address.

special prize: i will award a special prize of a tin of tai ping hou kui green tea (one of the teas from teavana's emperor's collection) to one lucky tea trader.

please email me your information by september 15th so that we can start tea trading at the end of september! please check out the tea trade update for this information.

if you have any questions please leave me a comment. i will respond to your questions in the comments of this post.

photo credit ici

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

favorite kitchen gadget

if you asked what my all time favorite kitchen gadget it, i'd have to say my salad spinner.
it really does do an excellent job at getting almost all of the water off of your lettuce and greens in general. it makes your lettuce/greens last longer in the fridge as well. it's definitely an easy clean up. plus, you can take out the middle green piece and use it as a colander. we have the big one but there are smaller versions available if you are really tight on space.

do you guys have a favorite kitchen gadget?

thank you

i just wanted to say to all of you, thank you!! thank you for being so supportive of my plan b. you guys rock!!

photo credit ici

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

plan b part quatre

part quatre of plan b is a future goal of mine. it's something that has been swirling around in my head ever since i decided to make my dream of becoming a massage therapist and yoga instructor a reality. once i get those things established and figure out exactly where i want to live, i want to open up a wellness center. a place where you can come in, relax, do yoga, get a massage, talk to a nutritionist, get advice from an ayurveda practitioner (hopefully that will be me as well, ayurveda has always been an interest of mine), have a cup of tea, and relax with friends. a great example of that is bliss bliss bliss here in morgantown and of course tranquil space in dc. both elizabeth (owner of bliss bliss bliss) and kimberly wilson have served as such an inspiration for me.

photo credit ici


good morning. i am feeling so very grateful this morning. i wanted to share with you what i'm grateful for:
- looking out my window each morning at my gorgeous morning glories that i planted oh so long ago. they are really starting to take off now :)

- starting this morning off with a great breakfast - oatmeal with a fresh, local peach, a dash of cream and a sprinkling of brown sugar - delish!

- the fact that it's quickly becoming harvest time and all of the wonderful, fresh is pouring in. hooray for fresh fruits and veggies

- trying out a different type of melon yesterday - piel de sapo (and it was yummy!)

- feeling confident about taking my workkeys test on thursday morning

- getting nothing but love & support for my "plan b" (only one more part, i promise) thank you SO much!

- the beautiful mums that ryan got for me (pic to come as soon as they are fully in bloom)

- sharing my desk with dooty - i've taken to calling him my muse :)

photo credit ici

Monday, August 3, 2009

plan b part trois

wia progress update:
as part of applying for the wia program, i have to take a 3 hour test that is called the workkeys test. the workkeys test consists of applied math, reading for information, along with some other basic math problems. i had a practice test today that i did very well on, yay me! guess all of that prepping for the gmat came in handy after all ;) i take the actual test on thursday morning. i gotta say, i'm not the least bit anxious about it!

also part of the wia application involves some interviewing. i have to interview two different massage therapy schools, a potential employer, and another massage therapist. i have done interviews with morgantown beauty college (where i will ultimately be going) and another school in a close by town. for the potential employer i interviewed elizabeth, owner of bliss bliss bliss. she gave me some amazing advice above and beyond what the wia application wanted me to ask. i plan on speaking to one of the lovely massage therapist that works at bliss bliss bliss for my final interview.

the only parts i have left to complete are the last interview, a statement of purpose and the workkeys test. then it's up to the workforce investment board (wib) to determine whether i will be awarded the grant money or not. the whole process takes about a month. that is why i'm trying to get it done as soon as i possibly can considering my classes start at the end of september.
plan b part trois:
the next step in my "plan b" after massage therapy is to become a yoga teacher. i'm sure a lot of you already knew this :) i thought that massage therapy and yoga dovetail perfectly together. i plan on doing a summer intensive next summer to get my 200 hour certification at 3rd street yoga out of pittsburgh, pa. i would love, love, love to get my 500 hour certification from tranquil space in dc.

more about plan b later.

photo credit ici

Sunday, August 2, 2009

plan b part duex

as i mentioned in my first plan b post there were a couple different meetings that i had gone to. the first meeting was to the morgantown beauty collage, where i will be taking my massage therapy classes. the second meeting was to the unemployment/west virgina job service office to see about applying for the workforce investment act (wia, pronounced we-uh). if i qualify for the wia program then i will get $4000 grant towards my massage therapy schooling.

i am still in the application process for wia. there are a lot of hoops to jump through but i am more than happy to do so to get grant money. wish me luck in this process.

oh, and if any of you know about any other grant money in general or specifically geared towards massage therapy please let me know. thanks ;)

photo credit ici

Saturday, August 1, 2009

august goals

ah, august. let the dog days of summer begin. it's vacation time for some, harvest time, and back to school/work for others. i am one of the lucky ones where august will be a month of fun and relaxation. but i still have a few august goals up my sleeve.

  • do some volunteer work at 'circle h' (so i can be around the horses)
  • gussy up the blog - design, layout, header, etc
  • walk cadyn for 30 mins everyday - rain or shine - because it's good for us both!
  • weekly artist's dates
  • memorize all of the bones in the body (as prep for my massage therapy classes)
  • get a $4000 grant for massage therapy school (details in a later post)
photo credit ici