A Healthy Treat

I made dark-chocolate-covered strawberries as a going away gift for a very health-conscious friend. When I was done there was just enough dark chocolate that I didn’t want to waste it, so in a moment of inspiration I threw in a big handful of dried goji berries and voila: a great treat filled with tons of antioxidants. 

The key to keeping this treat healthy is to use chocolate that is at least 70% cacao. That way you know you are getting chocolate lower in sugar and dairy so you get the benefits without the additional empty calories. 

Making chocolate-covered anything is easy. Use a double boiler, or if you don’t have one simply fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil, then sit a bowl that is slightly larger over the boiling water. Turn the water down to a simmer and then put in the chocolate and keep stirring it as it melts. Here’s a great video that explains all.

Enjoy and be a spark in the world!



Introducing: Souvenir de la Malmaison Rose

Who can’t appreciate the beauty and aroma of a rose?  Souvenir de la Malmaison, originally known as “the Queen of Beauty and Fragrance,  received its new name when someone from the Russian Imperial Court obtained a cutting from the Empress Josephine’s garden at Malmaison. This “antique” rose was bred in 1843, and is a very petite, low-growing push that rarely gets taller than 3-feet.  Mine is probably shorter!  But it’s hard to complain when it produces it’s blush pink blooms that smell so intensely it’s hard to believe it’s real!  I’ve had my bush for over 12-years now, and it’s tucked in between an agave plant and a rosemary bush.  I’ve had no problem incorporating roses into my very low-water-use garden, feeding them and a couple of fruit trees a little supplmental water once a week via a drip system.  I have 4-specimens that I planted and 1-volunteer, each one a different color of the rainbow: yellow, orange, pink, red and purple (or silver as rose enthusiasts refer to purple roses.)  All of my bushes have thrived except for one: my Ingrid Bergman bush perished…I’m not sure why.

What’s your favorite rose?  I’d love to hear!  Be a spark in the world!



An Original Song by Yours Truly

I was inspired to write this song because of an amazing company that I work with.  My friends Chaz and Tim helped me record it and demanded that I put it online, so here it is.  I hope you enjoy it.

http://youtu.be/_0zDUp8cZbo

I Think I Can

I remember I used to have a lot of dreams,
They were big and bold and boy did I believe,
That I was special and I could do anything I wanted,
Didn’t know how to doubt, didn’t know I could be daunted.

Then I got older and I met a guy named Fear,
Don’t know why I let him in, but it was clear,
That he held me back, but he was really me,
And for many years I simply couldn’t see,

CHORUS
That I think I can, I thought I could
I think I will, I know I should
These are the words that seemed so very far away
I think I can, I think I might, someday

Then I got older still and the mirror was no longer me,
I was strong and powerful and I could see,
That the only one who needed to believe,
Was me and forget them they can’t keep me from my dreams,

Because I think I can, I know I could,
I know I will, I knew I would,
These are the words I say each day,
I think I might, I think I can, here I am today

Because I think I can, I know I could,
I know i will, I knew I would,
These are the words I say each day,
I thought I would, I knew I could, here I am today (x2

(“I Think I Can” music and lyrics by Alegre Ramos, copyright 2015 all rights reserved)

Psych Yourself Up!

Harvard did a study that showed self talk is more powerful when you talk about yourself in 2nd or 3rd person.

I’m going to implement this into my daily affirmations which I say out loud (almost) every morning and evening.

Do you use affirmations? I’d love to hear about your practice. Be a spark in the world!

https://hbr.org/2015/02/pronouns-matter-when-psyching-yourself-up

Plant of the Day: Ornamental Pear Tree

If you live in an area where trees are breaking out in fluffy white blooms, then you are probably looking at an ornamental pear tree.

Where I live in Los Angeles, these plants are popular “street trees” often planted by the city as part of the Million Trees initiative.

I love the fall colors of this deciduous (meaning it loses its leaves in fall) tree, and the way they erupt into a cloud of white flowers in the spring is enchanting. The one downside to this beauty is its fragrance which I find to be unpleasant. My little one always wants to bring in branches of the flowers but I can’t stand it!

Be a spark in the world and plant a tree! Or get a free one from the city if you live in LA!

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