Calming Fragrances for a More Peaceful Home

Calming Vanilla for your Home

Create a soothing home environment with a Vanilla scent

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. As such, I think it’s really important to create some quiet alone time at home to get centered and calm. It’s key to also have a specific place in your home where you can create a sense of solace, escape and relaxation.

One of the things that can help is bringing fragrance into your home. It’s another element that can provide pleasure, everyday comforts and create a sense of happiness.

Aromatherapy is a proven technique that appeals to one of our most powerful and often neglected senses.  In an effort to ensure your holidays are as stress free as possible, consider bringing the following into your home in the form of essential oils, candles, and potpourri:

Cinnamon has both a stimulating and calming effect. It has been useful in treating depression, as well as uplifting those experiencing anxiety.

Lavender is known for its sedative effect on the nervous system, reduces emotional stress and tensions. It can also relieve anxiety, solve problems of insomnia and ease depression.

Jasmine is calming and balancing to the sympathetic nervous system and may be an aphrodisiac. It is used as an antidepressant, allowing those who are sad to be uplifted as it induces warm calming emotions. It is also used to prevent mental blockage, nervousness and sadness.

Sandalwood has neurological sedative effects on the mind and quiets mental activity. It pacifies anxiety, anger and rage, and  induces sleep.

Ylang Ylang calms anger and releases tension. It has been known to lower blood pressure and ease muscle spasms.

Vanilla has a calming, relaxing and comforting effect. It often has a sweet aroma that reminds people of happy memories of home and childhood. It is rich, warm and sweet and is a type of orchid.  It  relieves stress and is also thought to be an aphrodisiac.

What are some of your favorites?

Holiday “Entertain at Home” Photo Contest

Enter to Win by submitting your Enterain at Home photo

Enter to Win by submitting your most inspiring “Enterain at Home” photo!

As mentioned previously, my personal passions have helped me build a belief system about how specific “Home” and “Gift” products can add pleasure to your daily life. I truly do believe that color, smell, taste, and touch are integral aspects of a more pleasurable life: especially during the holidays!

So I’d love to get inspired by your ideas! Post your most inspiring photo of holiday decor (that is your own photo): and you’ll have an opportunity to get an extra special gift. The winner will win a $20 gift card from Pier 1 Imports! (We have not been paid by this company for this contest, and nor is this contest in any way sponsored by Pier 1 Imports. We just really love their merchandise!)

You can post your photo on our Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/everydaycomforts

or Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/everydaycomfort

Please be sure to post your photo using the hashtag #holidayhome, and if on Twitter, please reply to @everydaycomfort

Only one entry/post per person allowed. You must have taken the photo and own the right to post it online; photos taken by others and owned by others are not allowed. Please post your photo on our Facebook or Twitter page by midnight on December 20, 2013. The winner will be notified by January 1, 2014 by EverydayComforts.com.

* Please Note: Anyone found to create multiple accounts on Facebook or Twitter for the sole purpose of multiple entry in this contest will be found ineligible to win; and may have their accounts suspended due to Terms of Service violations on both social networks.

Cozy Autumn Comfort

Cozy Autumn Comfort

There’s something about Fall indulgences. What’s yours?

Happy November! It’s time to get warm and cozy by the fireside. Do you ever feel like you’re too busy for a little self-indulgence? Perhaps this will help inspire you to take a moment to enjoy the joys of Autumn.  Top decor tip of the week: use brown, orange, gold and red accessories in your room to ensure your space feels inviting and comfortable. And vote for your favorite autumn inspiration here:

~ Environments of Delight and Home Decor

Living Room Home Decor for Everyday Comforts

Cozy Vintage Chic Living Room, courtesy of ApartmentTherapy.com

As long as I can remember, I have been more excited about pillows, candles, home decor, furniture and decorative accessories than shoes and apparel. Where the gender stereotype is that men are obssessed with electronic gadgets and women with stillettos, I’ve always been more apt to spend my paycheck at a Vintage Antique Market than at a Nordstroms at the Mall. There is something special and exciting to me about creating special moments, events, pleasurable environments and atmospheres of delight.

Because of this, my personal passions have spilled over into a belief system about how specific “Home” and “Gift” products can add pleasure to your daily life. I love interior design, cooking, gardening and bath/body products because it’s an extension of my creativity that contributes to my happiness. I can create atmospheres of beauty and pleasure where there was none before; and it serves as a vehicle of both expression and comfort. Because of this I truly do believe that color, smell, taste, and touch are integral aspects of a more pleasurable life.  As such, I’m obsessed with everything “Home.” Continue reading

~ Discovering Cupcakes and Other Delights

Everyday Comforts: Cupcakes are a simple pleasure

Cupcakes Provide Pleasure and Comfort With Every Bite

Cupcakes are something I can believe in. And I’m not alone.  I’ve recently read articles in various national magazines about the growing trend of “Cupcakeries.”  It seems that they are becoming the new decadent dens of delight, for those seeking solace. In these recessionary times, people seem to be spending more in small increments, rather than going on a cruise to Cabo.  Simple pleasures such as sugary baked-goods, luxury home products, and spa items that create  “staycations” are on the rise. So is it possible that comfort-related products and businesses might be  recession-proof ?  

Looking at baked goods, for example: it’s a true phenomenon and there’s evidence that it’s just begun. “Sprinkles” Cupcake stores are expanding to over 10 retail locations by the end of this year. Originally just a Beverly Hills store, the company exploded after Oprah raved about it; and after it was mentioned in celebrity magazines as Suri Cruise’s favorite birthday item (her parents got them shipped across the country, when they were on a film shoot). Martha Stewart’s cupcake cookbook was on the New York Times’ best-seller list for months. There are multiple TV programs running on various cable networks called “Cupcake Wars,” “Cake Boss,” and even “DC Cupcakes.” It’s also a growing area in small businesses and blogs. Sunset Magazine recently focused on mobile gourmet food companies, such as high-end Cupcake and Ice Cream  trucks (in addition to high-end “roach coaches”). It’s exploded in big business this year, too: “Cinnebon” is expanding their footprint internationally and has recently added cupcakes to their menu. 

Continue reading

~ Music is Happiness Food for the Soul

Everyday Comforts: Music is one of life's little pleasures, simple joys and treasures!

Music is truly a simple joy and a source of everyday happiness.

I must admit, I’ve always loved music. Music=Happiness to me. From the time I sang as a young child with my Dad, to my stint as a college DJ: music has provided me with a huge amount of pleasure. I hope to discuss many different senses in this blog, but for the moment I hope to explore my love of music: and how the digital age provides an abundance of discovery and access to pleasure.

I believe music to be the poetry of our modern times, that helps to connect us and share emotional experiences. And it’s also a potent antidote to daily stress.  I have diverse musical tastes and find music exploration to be mentally and creatively expansive.  As such, I have become a bit of an aficionado of social music discovery sites, like Pandora, Last.fm, iLike (and others, like Slacker and MOG)!  I’ve discovered alot of artists I might not have otherwise heard of, through others that have similar eclectic-but-specific tastes.  And I’ve been able to help people discover a few favorite musicians of my own liking! This sharing/social aspect is wonderful.

Continue reading

~ Daily Doses of Happiness and the Happiness Project

Everyday Comforts: Life's Little Pleasures and Treasures

Happiness and Everyday Comforts can sometimes be found in a book. Especially when you're reading it at the beach!

 I’ve recently been reading a great book , called “The Happiness Project,” by Gretchen Rubin.  The book and the happiness project blog have alot of great ideas for how to achieve happiness in modern times.  What’s interesting to me, is the book hits upon many of the themes I’ve been writing about here in my Everyday Comforts blog, and it’s especially relevant with the current economic downturn.  Within its very appeal, it underscores current cultural shifts and how people are thinking about what they need.

I didn’t know about the Happiness Project book or blog , when I started writing my own blog in January, 2009. Is this a case of cultural synchronicity at hand once again? Or is it  just a coincidence that this book was recently on the New York times best seller list?  Hmm, maybe I do have my finger on the pulse of cultural trends, after all! Or maybe I’m just like a lot of other people, seeking joie de vivre in everything I can!

The Happiness Project is recommended by Everyday Comforts

the Happiness Project is an Everyday Comfort that inspires

Continue reading