Writers, reporters and generally inquisitive people always want to know the two topics topping my list of advice requests. Invariably, since I opened the doors to this business, these have never changed: love and money. One topic may hold more weight than the other during a given month, but these two are virtually interchangeable on the Ellen Hit Parade!
Because it's February, I'll stick to sharing Feng Shui advice where big love is concerned. There are certainly the old standby cures dictating that if you're looking for love, you should place a pair of lovebirds (or even mandarin ducks) in the romance/relationship area of your bedroom.
There is also the advice that says if you want to find the perfect partner, you should find the perfect pair of pink peonies to attract that person into your life. Young women of marriageable age should position the peonies in the aforementioned love space of the bedroom, while older singletons can wish their perfect partner into being by hanging an image of those perfect peonies outside the bedroom to the left of the door as you look in.
Pink sheets, pairs of pink candles and even wearing rose quartz on your left arm also promise an "I DO!" in your fabulous future!
Did you know Feng Shui also has a list, arranged by Chinese zodiac animal, of the best months for women to get married?
As you can see, the old June swoon is only for those who fall under the Ox category. All other animal signs have their own special month in which to tie the knot and guarantee their own happily-ever-after!
It's February and Valentine's Day, and if you ask me, it might be time to pull out all the stops and make them green with envy by being hot, hot, hot -- and pretty in pink! I know, I know, it's traditional to wear candy apple -- or even Ferrari -- red on the 14th of February to get the gentlemen revving their engines. But really, if you want to get them gunning just for you, forego the candy apple or the foreign car and pick pink!
Feng Shui says this clever combination of white and red signifies sweet romance and blooming relationships -- and using pink doesn't have to stop at your couture. Sizzling Shui also advises that you put a pair of pink long-stemmed roses (thorns removed, of course!) into a white vase, then place it in the red-hot relationship/romance area of your bedroom. Once you plant these intentions, you can expect to grow a whole bunch of new suitors without any additional love-provoking efforts at all!
Ancient traditions advise that anyone interested in romance and love should wear something pink whenever they want to feel appreciated, nurtured or cherished. Pink is the color known as "Queen of the Flirt," and it possesses the ability to attract and eventually capture even the most hardened of hearts. You can thank heaven for little girls later; right now we're using secrets to get lots of big boys!
So this year, while everyone else is donning a red V-neck, skirt or Louboutin-soled shoes, why not make them head straight to your heart by pulling something pink over your own (heart, that is!)?
It's that time of year when most people have the heater on constantly, something that can lead to routinely waking with an itchy and scratchy -- and sometimes even full-on sore -- throat. It's also time to call in the first line of throat defense and add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm water before gargling with it first thing in the morning. Gargle until all the liquid is gone, then repeat the process an hour later, if necessary.
If you can't tolerate the taste of apple cider vinegar anytime (let alone right after getting up!), try steeping three green or black tea bags in a cup of freshly boiled water, then leave them there until the water becomes dark. While the water is still hot (but not scalding), gargle with the tea but do not swallow any of it. Again, repeat until the liquid is gone.
Several singers swear by this next cure, but I don't recommend it to pregnant women (and women trying to get pregnant) who are suffering from sore throats since they need to stay away from sage. That said, add one teaspoon of sage to one cup of freshly boiled water, then let it steep for five minutes before straining. Gargle with this when you wake up, then again at bedtime. In this case, you are welcome to swallow the tea, and the sage may even help you get a good night's sleep!
And of course, there's the extra-effective standby of honey and lemon. Add the juice of one whole lemon to a glass of hot (but not boiling) water, then add about two tablespoons of honey to the mix. This is not a gargle, but rather a hot drink to be enjoyed, since it treats and heals the sore throat in question. If at any point you swallow something a little too hot, immediately follow it with a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to coat and soothe your already-sore throat.
Soon enough spring will be here, when we'll be able to turn off the heater and throw open the windows. Until then, stock up on these sore throat solutions and feel better!
Yes, yes, it's February, the traditional time of year for amorous appetites to be whetted! One thing that should stay dry, however, is a seductive and sultry spice rub that can be used to bring the heat -- whether Cupid's got his arrow pointed or not.
Before I offer the magical ingredients of this rub, let's take a look at a few of its spices, known to many as the "exotic fruits of the islands" for the way they warm the heart and senses!
Cinnamon is believed to be an aphrodisiac, something I didn't find hard to believe when I began researching the characteristics of different spice blends. Actual research done by an organization called the Smell Institute revealed that using the scent of cinnamon when trying to sell a house activated an acquisitional part of the male brain; naturally, I wasn't surprised that this same spice had a sexual component as well!
Then there is ginger, an amazing spice able to quell a queasy stomach, while at the same time attracting abundance and money. Cardamom and cloves help round out the enticing aromas included in this mix; each also serves to counteract the garlic salt.
Before I blend any spice mix, I always perform some sort of ceremony or ritual to create the intention and sacred space. In this case, I wash my hands with a little rose water and burn two pink candles while I cook.
CUPID'S SPICE RUB
2-1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of saffron powder
3 teaspoons of garlic salt
3 teaspoons of onion powder
Blend all these spices into 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar mixed with 1/4 cup of white sugar. Stir with the index finger of the hand you write with, and think only loving and positive thoughts as you stir. Send rays of pink love from your heart into this spice rub mix, then apply it to any meat.
And of course, bon amour appetit!
If you're taking a little time away from home and have scheduled some R&R, but wouldn't mind adding a little romance -- or even hanky-panky -- along the way, Feng Shui's symbol of the Mystic Knot can ensure easy travel and also even act as your (getting) lucky charm!
The promise behind having the Mystic Knot, which carries universal energies, always on hand on the road is that it will help untangle any complications that may arise before you reach your destination. Feng Shui says that should you encounter any issues while on your merry way, all you need to do is simply flash this symbol and wave your power hand -- the one you write with -- over the top of the image three times in a circular, clockwise direction in order to bring on a big cosmic assist!
I myself have been the beneficiary of this cure's power when I've had to resort to circling the Mystic Knot, all so I could stop doing the same over La Guardia Airport in New York!
But -- and here's where the secret Shui comes calling -- did you know this same Mystic Knot can be positioned in your hotel room or other lodging to attract a new lover, or to simply bring new spark to an existing relationship? That's because it is also symbolic of long-lasting and loving relationships, and it represents an endless cycle of good fortune, longevity, prosperity, success, love and togetherness. After all, it's also known as the Lucky Knot, the Lover's Knot, the Love Knot and the Never-Ending Love Knot!
It's widely believed that simply gazing upon this symbol can open your heart chakra and activate romantic luck when positioned with that same intent. Also rub the knot should you need danger to subside, and do the same if you're looking for protection from heartbreak or accident.
Finally, be sure to leave it in the romance/relationship area of your room before packing it up and bringing it all back home again with you -- alongside all those ooh-la-la memories of saucy and sizzling vacation time!
Chinese New Year falls this year on February 3, and so unfolds the Year of the Rabbit! In a school of Feng Shui known as Flying Star Feng Shui, there are rules to follow in order to be able to hop into your own fields of fortune and luck, and one of the most widely sought-after pieces of advice each new year concerns the ever-changing rules of home renovation. At a time when foreclosures are at a record high and many would-be sellers are choosing to stay and renovate instead, this information is particularly useful.
In Flying Star Feng Shui, there is an energy accorded something called "The Grand Duke Jupiter" that switches location each year. This year, the cranky Grand Duke is believed to be taking up residence east of your space, which means that doing any renovations in that direction might make a true mess of things: Feng Shui says that undertaking renovations in any area where the Grand Duke resides can cause severe bad luck, or even accident, illness, injury and other misfortunes!
What happens if your contractor has already started creating a new space in the east? You can effectively and proactively appease this affliction by displaying an image of the Chinese Pi Yao in this same space, or even hang what's called a Tai Sui plaque here. Either of these will help stem bad luck, while also ameliorating any terrible tirades from the Grand Duke himself.
Now, how about a little bonus random Shui this month? If you sit facing east at work or anywhere else you spend a great deal of time, you can use the two aforementioned cures to ensure that all your east energies remain copacetic. This information is also especially applicable to those born in years of the Rabbit, Rooster, Rat or Horse; in fact, people born under these Chinese Zodiac signs may even be well-advised to carry an image (or the real deal) of the Tai Sui amulet with them, as this promises to make that Grand Duke a prince of a guy!
Happy new year all over again!