Jammin’ with Nature & Rich Red Hues of July

I must admit. I have been stuck not knowing in which direction to take this blog post. June has come and gone. Being in transition confuses me. Am I writing from who I want to be and where I’d like to take my life?  Am I expressing what I feel and think in the present? I realize I ought to begin somewhere and  am certain you all have been there in some form or another. Just do it. Don’t over think it. What ever it is. Easier said than done. My nature overthinks. Not sure what I expect to accomplish, but with courage and motivation, one foot in front of another, we move ahead. Often, when listening to the silence, a sign, an omen, a guiding light appears. Cloud formations for instance. I’m certain there are distant messages within those cloud formations and they are telling us something.

This summer has been filled with a variety of temperatures, beautiful sunshine, weather drama including micro bursts of rain,  balancing  the heat of the day into the nights.  The word balance, I use here, due to my fear of another fire driven summer as the one in 2016. I am grateful that it is not. I love this one. Hark! Loving clouds and rain. I took a FaceBook quiz just the other day to determine where I should reside based on their questions.  I got Seattle! I’ve never visited, but it is definitely on the list. At present, I am enjoying my escapes to the beach, soaking up the sun, and grounding myself in the refreshing salt water on the North Shore. Somehow, I’ve always gravitated North and not towards the Cape. Ever.  The frigid water is always a challenge, numbing the feet and ankles, seemingly not to warm up until well into August-just in time for the disappearance of the greenhead flies. Back on land away from the roaring ocean waves, we see a tinge of the beginning of Autumn preparation.

JULY’S RUBY REDS

So for the moment I will share what I am loving: libations and food. Instead of the blood orange mimosas I have been craving, a seasonal substitution was called for, because blood oranges are not in season. I used a splash of pomegranate/blueberry juice with Veuve Clicquot. Festive and tasting delicious, with just the right amount of twist on a classic glass of champagne, the drink satisfied my passion of the moment. The hollow flutes look so statuesque with the bubbles dancing and rising within.

Accompanying these beautiful drinks, I created two different salads with  a dinner of Middle Eastern inspired marinade over chicken wings.  The first one below, was  from a photo I had seen, so I HAD to try it.  You just have to remember not to slice all the way through the tomato, otherwise you’ll ruin the concept. So simple to create.

Slice a juicy red, orange or your choice heirloom tomato nearly to the bottom. Insert pre-sliced mozzarella rounds, fresh basil leaves, small dollops of pesto, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle black pepper all over, then drizzle a very small amount of rich balsamic on the dish. Let stand and serve at room temperature. Delectable. Try it!  The other red base dish I’ve made recently is another sort of salad which actually worked well with the dish below. This time chick peas and roasted grape tomatoes are the main characters.

I slow-roasted an entire pint or maybe it was two of grape tomatoes. Add olive oil, crushed garlic and a little salt. Set oven at 200 degrees. Roasted them for nearly two hours and no, they did not burn to a crisp – shocking! They caramelized by themselves and basically tasted like candy when done. I realize there is a slight redundancy in the ingredients, but in all honesty, it doesn’t seem like it when you are actually enjoying it. Here we have a red wine vinaigrette which melds the fresh flavors of this hearty salad. One can of chick peas drained and rinsed, half of an English cucumber, quartered, half of an avocado, cubed, lots of fresh basil, black pepper, little French sea salt, and of course those roasted little red tomato critters. Mix together and add the vinaigrette. Done.

WHY EAT RED?

Such a great question. When you are eating vivid or saturated colors, it truly feels like it is so good for the body! Obviously I’ve combined a fair amount of greens in the mix too.  It is a known fact, however, that red foods are the new Power House of nutrition. There is a true cornucopia of red foods, such as strawberries, cherries, raspberries, beets, tomatoes, radicchio, apples and cranberries. The list goes on. Red fruits and vegetables are loaded with powerful and healthy antioxidants, such as lycopene and anthocyanins, which fight heart disease and prostate cancer while decreasing the risk for stroke and macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in people 60 +).  Tomatoes are loaded with potassium and vitamin C which also protects the heart.  Beets are rich in folate. They are all so positive for the body and the mind. The deeper and more saturated in color the better!

WHY WEAR RED?

July is filled with red. Beyond the scope of food, of course, is the month’s classic birthstone is the Ruby. I have never met a soul who doesn’t favor this stone and this color. The color resonates well with everyone and looks good on everyone. The color is stimulating and fun to look at. Imagine wearing it! Before I continue on the traditional July Birthstone, I wanted to share this newly discovered interest- July Birthstone alternative – Opals! I had no idea the Zodiac shares this stone with other birth months such as October, Libra; November, Scorpio; March, Pisces. I never gravitated towards opals until I found the ones pictured below. Seems like each stone tells a story. Certainly each one is unique. The varying degrees of greens here remind me of my cooking. Whenever there is red food, I find green, too! The two are opposite one another on the color wheel.  Just look at how happy this necklace is!  I named her Calliope. The description and price: https://www.nymphjewels.com/listing/546145435/calliope-triple-strand-necklace-of-opals

And seriously, why wear red?  Red is associated with power, love, nobility and the new one is – (scientists claim) attention to detail. Red is typically known as a sexy color. Red is also the color of energy, passion, action, ambition and determination. Of course, Rubies will vary in tones carrying a little blue hue within them.  Red signifies a pioneering spirit and leadership qualities. It is confidence inducing, helping ban the characteristic of being shy.  This is the color of physical movement, awakening our physical life force. As with gemstones, color can certainly have an effect on us. The color in either apparel or in gemstones can stimulate deeper passions in us such as with love and sex on the positive side.  In China, Red is the color of good luck. In the Indian culture, red symbolizes purity and is often used in wedding gowns.  Red boosts our physical energy levels, increases our heart rate and blood pressure and prompts the release of adrenalin. This color is fast moving, promoting a need for movement and action. Red relates to physical desire in all forms; sexual, appetite and cravings. This intense color means a passionate belief in any issue or undertaking which can include passion for love or for hate.  That said, I present my new collection of rich red hues of July: RUBIES.  Now aren’t they a feast for the eyes! All of the descriptions and pricing information can be found on my site  https://www.nymphjewels.com/shop   I love piling the stones and see how they fall together and how they fall is how they play. The vibe is a very happy one. Don’t you agree?

And for anyone making a trip to New York City next month, I will be exhibiting at N Y Now -Accent on Design Show at the Jacob Javits center with as much jewelry as I can fit in our Pop Up Booth. The invite is below. Would love to hear from you and seeing you would be even a better treat!

Enjoy this glorious summer weather, eat your greens and reds, while wearing them. Watch your moods alter towards a more positive day when you do. Your heart will sing!  It has been my pleasure in sharing everything with you. I hope you had fun too.

Yours in joy,

Dava

 

 

January 2017 Anew

Celebration brings happiness, glee and joy. Welcoming the New Year, 2017, with open hearts reflecting its very feeling. The prospect of fresh ideas and possibilities which lie ahead provide positive attitude and hope. The new moon brings about new beginnings. We open our souls to what can be. We open our minds to alternative thoughts which we may not ever consider. Living in possibility means that we can approach life from a different perspective than what we may be in the habit of, or accustomed to. The Moon has several phases. Some people are sensitive to the point of actually feeling them. We are in the First Quarter at this time. Or at least we were, when I began this post. This month is flying by – despite the frigid weather we are experiencing.  I have fallen in love with this notion, surprisingly, as I’ve grown older.

The blanket of snow that fell the other night was like an angel appearing from the skies above. The peace and quiet that resulted in the weather was such a gift. Listening to the quiet drop like a feather blanket in the dark on Saturday night brought delight to my soul. The message was loud and clear, if given the chance to really quiet the mind and absorb the messages from above. Such peace and possibility. I now realize why I love the four seasons; winter brings a strong message to me.  At mid-month, the Full Wolf Moon appeared on January 12, at 6:38 am EST. All Full Moons culminate all things new, as we build our dreams and goals for the year 2017. Mesmerizing. Especially to wake up to the moon, as the sun creeps rising from the opposite side of earth.

I saw this poignant message today. It resonated. January is a wonderful month to begin this little exercize. Don’t be scared. It will help you learn more about yourself, calm your inner soul as well as stimulate the untapped within. 

For me, 2017 means discovering the pleasures and nuances of spending time alone.

Living with Red in January

Let’s talk about January’s birthstone. Garnet. Derived from their Latin name granatum… meaning “seed of the pomegranite”, garnet obviously references the color of this fruit. Garnet inspires love and devotion. It balances the sex drive and alleviates emotional disharmony. Deep red garnet stimulates the controlled rise of kundalini energy and aids sexual potency. Garnet clears negative Chakra energy and is very useful to wear in times of crises. It activates and strengthens the survival instinct, bringing courage and hope to bleak situations. My pic stitch above reflects four different pieces of healing gemstones from Nymph. http://www.nymphjewels.com/shop and here is the link to the entire collection I’ve uploaded thus far. The deep rich tones of these garnet stones are captivating.  Below are “lentil” garnets, slightly faceted combined with the rarely seen Tanzanite ( periwinkle) and a huge Herkimer Diamond.  Another gem using garnet.

I’ve paired translucent rutilated quartz with garnets because of the contrast between the two stones. It allows your mind to rest from the juxtapositioning of the deep hues and light. It also represents clarity which I wrote about at length last January. (http://davamuramatsu.com/clarify-your-mind-body-soul/)

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love. It is emotionally a very intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate and raises blood pressure. Enthusiasm enhancement. Red is the color for the base or root chakra. This chakra is located at the base of the spine and allows us to be grounded and connect to the universal energies. Groundedness, trust, and belonging lessen feelings of mistrust. Gemstones that will aid the Root chakra include lodestone, ruby, garnet, smokey quartz, obsidian, hematite and onyx.  Red is described as warm, vibrant and intense. It is an exciting and daring color, but also evokes the feelings of love and comfort. Grab your attention red – the reason it is used in traffic signage and for fire trucks.

Drinking this color with your eyes, is very stimulating. Drinking red wines are a healthy way to get the antioxidants in the body. Eating red foods, same thing. Regardless of the intake, it embues the sense of heightened awareness and of importance.  Digesting red foods – the new powerhouse of nutrition. Strawberries, beets, rasperries, the list is emense. Eating by color. Red foods are packed with a variety of pwoerful antioxidants. They have been shown to help fight cancer and heart disease. Peppers, cranberries, pomegranante, cherries, and red skinned potatoes are some of the red foods to try. Let’s not forget tomatoes. I made a salad just the other day using both strawberries and tomatoes. At first I thought it was odd to mix strawberries and the tomatoes, but with the baby romaine, and the tuna salad with ample celery, and my home made dressing, it was deliciously balanced.

January is the month to begin your new regime. What do YOU want for yourself in 2017?  It all begins with YOU. We have heard this so many times. It’s time to SHOW UP fully. How would you like the world around you to perceive you? Your image is frontal. It’s what people see upon their first glance. I don’t care if it’s a lazy Saturday morning, and you need to run out of the house for milk. SHOW UP. Take an extra measure for your hair, makeup – even just a touch. You never know who you will meet! I often tell clients that change can happen as often from the outside in, as from the inside out. Don’t deprive yourself of the elements you need to create an impression, which gives you a presence – especially for yourself!

So don’t wait to buy the scarf you love or the earrings or the purse if that color is speaking to you. Your soul is begging you to have it. If you deprive yourself of that notion, scarcity sets in and you will spiral downward into a place where you stop caring. If you don’t care, no one else will care. You’ll be sending a negative message to all those you meet, and yourself, about your lack of self-worth.

 

2017: Live Fully. Live with Intention. Live Joyfully. When your heart soars as a result, your contagious energy will spread all over. Watch for the perpetual energy you’ve created!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey. Please share yours with me! I’d love to hear from you.

Always in joy and style,

May Emeralds, June Pearls and Spiritual Antioxidants

The month of May is a whirlwind in contrast to the ever slow pace of  Winter months left behind. Seems like history now.

Entering late spring, the momentum and energy of the season, sparks our souls and anything stagnantly left over from where we were in the past.   Now sizzling with excitement and potential, in contrast, we can see how our minds glazed over during our long hibernation period. It’s easy to forget how greenery can be so inspiring, fresh and uplifting.  The flowering trees are icing on the cake. Such a wondrous contrast having cohabited with nature’s stark, naked branches as the result of the season’s natural full swing course. Welcoming the bounty, blooming in all varieties. Flowering trees such as the one below, are warmly welcomed as they create a canopy over the St. Botolph Street area. This intoxicating sight can transport you right off the city street.

IMG_4028In more rural areas, the color green is most prominent. All different values and tones of this earthy refreshing hue are apparent. Green is the color of renewal and rebirth. Representing harmony, balance and nature. Green symbolizes good luck and health. It has a calming influence, and promotes health and healing. People who love green tend to be loving and nurturing.

IMG_8595_2May’s birthstone is Emerald. Gem of Venus. The deeper and more vivid the color green, the more valuable,the stone. Known as the “stone of succesful love”, Emerald opens and nurtures the heart chakra. This stone is also known to release inner negativity you may be holding on to. Within nature, this wonderful hue exudes its color and energy of the green ray.  Emerald celebrates May.  Appearing in later Spring, everything is lush, especially after rain. The Nymph necklace below personifies the variations of colors within the stones, creating definition and dimension within this piece.IMG_4534Emerald enhances unconditional love, unity and promotes friendship. Serenity, intuition, intelligence, clear vision, truth and communication are all traits induced when wearing Emerald. The double strand Emerald necklace below reflects a slightly different cut than the smooth  graduated stones above. You can see a tremendous variation within the stones here, partially due to their cut facets. This piece has a focal pendant of pave diamonds in the shape of an Angel’s wing, encouraging new beginnings and freedom.

Available now, at MATSU.IMG_4492Continue to enjoy this Spring’s bevy of greens in nature, when walking in the woods, or driving your car. Don’t take it for granted! As the months glide by, late Spring into Summer, and the days become much brighter longer, we come upon June.The month of the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year; June 21. This event is a couple of weeks away, but honestly, once the fire flies hit, it seems like time simply whizzes by! I am combining 2 months in this one blog post, because just that…. the month of June is already upon us. It’s magnificent birthstone is the Pearl. Spiritual Antioxidants! Look at the lustre, and the tonal variation of these Tahitian babies… just beautiful. Pearls have healing qualities associated with lunar energy, and is the gemstone of the planet MOON.Screenshot 2015-06-03 14.00.02

Coming in all sizes, colors and shapes, this classic stone is a sure fit as an addition into everyone’s wardrobe of clothing, or jewel collection. This stone is indeed an organic gem, created by living creatures. The only gemstone made by living animals, in fact. Harvesting Pearls from mollusks does not kill the animal. Saltwater pearls come from oysters and freshwater pearls come from the mussel.Screenshot 2015-06-03 14.18.45

One who wears or possesses a pearl enjoys the good fortune and is blessed by the goddess Lakshimi ( goddess of prosperity), lives long and acquires vitality and intelligence. Pearl signifies faith, charity and innocence. It enhances personal integrity and helps to provide a focus to ones attention. Interestingly, Pearl inhibits boisterous behavior. Purity, Honesty, Innocence, Integrity, Focus, Concentration, Wisdom…are traits of the mysterious Pearl.IMG_4854

The photo above is Tahitian pearl, with a couple of ruby accents sitting nearby, suspended from elliptical shape faceted green amethyst necklace. This piece is 22″ long. I love the combination of the stones, and the pearl. The deep colored pearl adds  natural serenity. Also available at MATSU, now.

The month of June is named after the Roman goddess Juno- wife of Jupiter and queen of the gods. Joyous June. Winter is gone. Summer is approaching, and so is the abundance of food, as we seek a lighter nutritional diet, and so may I present to you 6 Foods that taste better in June than any other time of the year. And so I begin.

Beets: available in different colors, high in fiber, having an earthy taste and a tinge of sweetness. Holding a high amount of antioxidants, as well as vitamin C.

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Asparagus:  quite versatile. Baked, roasted, saute’d, or grilled.  High in Vitamins A,C E and K. Terrific in salads too. High source of folate and fiber. From the Lily family!Screenshot 2015-06-03 15.10.08

Garlic:  rather pungent when raw, but almost nutty if roasted, or grilled. High source of antioxidants, and a natural stress reducer. Boosts the immune system.Screenshot 2015-06-03 15.13.01

Peas: prevents colon cancer, osteoporosis, strengthens the immune system, prevents aging high in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6. eating them raw, is best! they are like candy, only better.Screenshot 2015-06-03 15.10.41

Peaches: high in vitamins C and A, promotes healthy skin, reduces hair loss, prevents heart disease and obesity related diabetes, calms an upset stomach.Screenshot 2015-06-03 15.11.54

Strawberries: nutrient rich, packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C, immune system booster, fights bad cholesterol, wrinkle prevention, promotes eye health, reduces inflammation.Screenshot 2015-06-03 15.11.22So there you have it! A very edited version of something I am very passionate about. The topic includes nutritional qualities, color, nature, health and beauty. I hope you find the information helpful. Sharing this with you brings me pleasure. I ask that you do the same for yourself by sharing with your friends and loved ones.

Until we meet again, I thank you for reading my blog and invite your feedback. I also invite you to visit me at Matsu. Come on in with a question, or concern you may have in your life, feeling stuck, or trying to remove any other obstacles in order for you to become the best you can be. Gemstones do not lie. I am here to assist, and they are my tools. Their energy awaits. Color therapy, retail therapy. We can always experiment. Can’t wait to see you soon.

I’d also like very much, to thank all of you who came to support me, and my shop, the Astrologer and Tarot Reader on May 17th, at my Opening Celebration.  Your willingness to learn and explore makes me very happy. Keep curious. It’s healthy.

Stay tuned for the next gathering.

Yours in joy,

Dava

 

March Teases, Tickles and Tantalizes

The long-awaited thaw has arrived! Looking up into the sky early this morning, I saw a stunning sliver of the waning moon.Meansing, the moon is decreasing in size, moving away from the Full Moon towards the New Moon; a time for spells that banish, release and reverse; a time to break old habits or bad habits that no longer serve, including unhealthy relationships. This is the perfect time of deep intuition and a time for divination, a period lasting about 2 weeks. Taking advantage of this will create space for the next new thing wishing to enter your life but can only do this when a clearing is available.  The time for positive celestial influences  The time to reap the benefit of its state, and a time renewal. A time to review endeavors, correcting mistakes. Settle disputes and make amends. It might be challenging, but by taking things apart that no longer serve your soul; unnecessary negativity begins to dissipate, obstacles preventing you from moving forward become a force for this clearing/cleaning of the soul. Spring cleaning, if you will.  In shifting your mind from feeling loss, once you begin to feel the lightness in removing these obstacles, you will notice this sense of true rich gain!

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At this time, in keeping with the heavens above, I would like to  formally introduce to you our Celestial Candle Collection. Some of you may have already experienced these delectable scents. The elements have been  conceptually coordinated to their purpose in the sky. The collection exists of Stars, Sun, Full Moon & Crescent Moon. Individually hand boxed and painted; each box includes a RUMI poem. These soy based candles are $30 each, with a burn time of 60 hours.FullSizeRender

Stars; are the stuff we are made of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms. The universe is inside us and outside. We are in it, and of it we belong to the skies. Scent: Siberian Cyprus, Moss and Cyclamen.

Sun: is benevolent, sustaining all life. Sunlight provides energy, clarity, confidence and fuel to grow, dispelling darkness both inside and out. Scent: Poppy

Crescent Moon: A time for planting seeds, for taking stock, letting go of old patterns that no longer serve, initiating the new. Scent: Olive, Lavender, Eucalyptus and Hyacinth.

Full Moon: When things come into fruition and emotions are the fullest. The full moon amplifies  these emotions and unveil what is hidden within ourselves, by providing the light for us all to see.  Scent: Cassis, Citrus Peel and Fir.

These candles are all available now at MATSU. Please come in and experience them!

Many feel January through March unnecessary, however, each month has its purpose. This one being the last of the Zodiac cycle; harmonizing all characteristics of the months prior. This one slowly burning a bright light, lasting longer day by day. This one holding a glimpse of optimistic hope as we anxiously await the first Robin sighting and long-awaited excitement at the thought of the first burst of life emerging from the frozen, snow-covered ground. Screenshot 2015-03-18 08.18.36

March is known for its swinging moods with varying degrees of temperature.

Gemstone of the month Aquamarine!

Aqua is the stone of courage. It soothes, calms and helps to alleviate fears. It is a natural form of anxiety release and also combats depression.It harmonizes its surrounding and protects against pollutants. In ancient times it was believed to contract the forces of darkness and acquire favor from the spirits of light. It was a talisman carried by sailors to protect against drowning. This stone gives support and encouragement to anyone overwhelmed by responsibility. It clears blocked communication as it promotes self-expression. Spiritually, Aquamarine sharpens intuition and opens clairvoyance.

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The birthstone of this mutable water sign is Aquamarine. Derived from the Latin word seawater. ( Aqua marina) Aqua is a combination of blue with a little yellow in it. It radiates peace, calm and tranquility. This is a color that recharges our spirits during times of mental stress. The color Aqua calms the nervous system and builds confidence. It increases the levels of creativity and sensitivity. Aqua heightens our ability to open the door to spiritual growth. How convenient, that this time of year, as much of a tease at it is, is truly the awakening of our spirits which have been rather dormant and introspective during this long ,long winter we now are just beginning to emerge from.

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This Spring is slow to come, but it is finally beginning to reveal itself. We are awakening our inner selves, and beginning to broaden our food and nutrition intake with more variety of what is available as the Spring arrives.  Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, Fiddleheads and Okra are coming into abundance, but my absolute favorite are Artichokes! One of my Italian family traditions. I just stuffed them this week. Here is a photo of them, prior to prep.  From the Mediterranean and the thistle family,  they are loaded with fiber, niacin, Vitamin B6, Iron and Phosphorus. Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Floate, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

FullSizeRender Simply cut off each tip of the leaves, slice the stem off also. Discard the leaf tips, but keep the stems.IMG_2161

They will accompany the Artichoke body in the deep pan to cook. All you need for 6 artichokes are the following:   1.3/4 lbs 93% lean ground beef, 2 cups of grated parmesan, 3 cups unflavored bread crumbs, fresh flat parsley, salt, pepper, garlic cloves, basil, oregano.

Brown the ground beef along with the  thinly sliced garlic. I use about 6 cloves. Then combine the remaining ingredients in a stainless bowl, or large deep pan and mix with your hands. Squeezing the ingredients together. The more you handle it all, the better they are mixed. You then will open each leaf and stuff this wonderful “stuffing” inside. Once completed, drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the pan, place as many artichokes as possible in the pan ( I use 2 large pans, 3 artichokes in each) then place the stems, at the bottom of the pan. You can also add tiny potatoes, mahogany carrots, or celery. These vegetables will round out the meal, but also take on the wonderful flavor of this terrific vegetable. Be sure to add water to the bottom of the pan and keep the flame low. The slower they cook, the better! Do not let the water evaporate. Keep adding as needed. They will be done in about 45 minutes. IMG_2172

 

Happy Spring everyone! Please let me know if you try my recipe actually, my Grandmother’s. I look forward to hearing from you, and also now that the snow is allowing us to open up our lives little by little from the dormant winter, I also invite you to visit me at MATSU located at 92 Boston Post Road in Sudbury. I am working on our Opening Celebration, which will be loaded with spirits, treats and soul tapping! Sunday, May 17th!

See you there, if not before!

I hope you enjoyed this blog on our journey into Spring!

Yours in joy,

Dava