Saturday, April 09, 2011
Do you love perfume as much as I do?
Are you a "signature perfume" type -- always choosing the same fragrance? Or are you silly enough sometimes to select a perfume just because it kinda "coordinates" with what you're wearing?
For example, Red Jeans by Versace when you're wearing red? (This is a dramatic lily-based floral). Or Mademoiselle Coco when you're wearing green? (It's so herbal and grassy.) Or, say, Shalimar or perhaps Je Reviens ("I Remember") when you're wearing vintage? Je Reviens is a classy Worth juice which has been around for a very long time and still smells great.
There's always room in my life for playful light-heartedness; perfume is that for me for sure. But maybe perfume can also be more than mere frivolity. Here's a link to a perfume company called The 7 Virtues which is creating jobs for women in Afghanistan and developing new agricultural activities there as an alternative to the growing of opium, a Taliban-controlled industry:
Canadian Barb Stegemann is the author of "7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen", a book which I haven't read yet but which sounds most interesting, and which apparently sets out her purposes in developing her perfume company.
She wants to encourage a life of virtue by cultivation of the 7 virtues -- and this is what she cares about:
1.How adopting an attitude of WONDER instead of doubt can lead to professional and personal advancement.
2.How to obtain a strong mind, body and spirit connection through the practice of MODERATION.
3.How to uncover the TRUTH.
4.How to transform fear into COURAGE.
5.How to trust your instincts to ask the right questions in the pursuit of JUSTICE.
6.How to obtain the WISDOM needed to discover your life’s calling and purpose.
7.How to see the age-old view of BEAUTY as the result of balance and proportion in your life.
(All these are ideas which I know from reading a huge range of our fabulous SP blogmeisters are of interest to so many of us exploring body/mind/spiritual health right here!)
But the 7 Virtues concept isn't just a book or a static philosophy: it's a way of life that integrates business with philanthropy: a genuine philanthropy which goes way beyond mere "charity" to create wealth for everyone involved, drawing upon the principles of Adam Smith. Stegemann has put these virtues into action by sourcing organic fragrance oils in Afghanistan through a cooperative which has come to support over 2,500 farmers.
She's now marketing two Afghan-based perfumes: The 7 Virtues Afghanistan Orange Blossom (orange blossom with jasmine and freesia) and The 7 Virtues Noble Rose of Afghanistan (which combines organic rose oil with carnation, peppercorn and clove).
My DH bought me the rose fragrance for my 60th birthday. He'd read an article about it in the newspaper and special ordered it for me from this site: and he says that he was treated with absolute courtesy and kindliness, with the parcel couriered to him within 48 hours.
So: after all of that build up: what does it smell like? Yes, I do absolutely love it! It is very rosy and feminine but also subtle and layered and complex and mysterious and spicy!!
(The spicy part offers some consolation for Fendi no longer being available on the market -- Fendi was an Oriental that I wore very often indeed and still look for longingly . . . haven't found it yet.)
Very quickly and out of all the bottles sitting on my dresser the 7 Virtues Noble Rose of Afghanistan has quite definitely become my fave fragrance. And I do love fragrance . . .
So what's the right clothing to work with Noble Rose? I will, of course, be wearing it with my new pale pink suit for spring -- and also with a black silk floaty-skirt suit printed with tiny pink rosebuds which I've had for awhile and still like a whole lot. (Shoes for the pink suit are pink quilted leather with kitten heels and tulle bows: could not be any sillier than that!! Although the fuschia sling backs I wear with the rose printed suit are pretty silly too . . . )
I also had Noble Rose on today with wide-leg navy blue jeans and my red leather motorcycle jacket -- and yesterday with a smoke blue grey suit and rose printed scarf. This is one versatile fragrance and I seem to be wanting to wear it every day!!
I'd love to try the 7 Virtues orange blossom/freesia/jasmine perfume. Or Stegemann's next project, which will be a green vetiver fragrance with organic oils sourced in Haiti and due for release this coming fall.
And I'd love to hear Stegemann speak. She is apparently available as a keynote
conference motivational type, focusing on concepts of Courage and Wisdom as essential components of corporate citizenship. If any of you book such speakers for your businesses/organizations, the contact info is of course on the site as well..
[If you'd like to hear her too, there's a link below to Stegemann speaking about the 7 Virtues: and yes, she also speaks candidly about the connection between these virtues and obesity, something she herself has struggled with successfully but not without effort . . .
I thought I'd blog about this amazing entrepreneur and her products because I know there are lots of people on SP who support these kinds of principles and projects -- and who might not be opposed to enjoying a new spring fragrance!
Our Canadian soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan. And dying. Yesterday was the funeral of a 24 year old young man from Valcartier in Quebec, killed on his first tour of duty. Thousands of ordinary Canadian citizens line up on each side of the highway when the bodies of our Canadian soldiers are brought home, to show their respects. We have been a nation of peacekeepers, and this is a new epoch in our military history. Each death of one of our Canadian soldiers makes me very sad. Very sad. Of course we support our brave soldiers who are doing what seems to be necessary, but I like to think that there may be additional methods of combating injustice and instilling democratic principles in Afghanistan -- that the evolution of this perfume business is a parallel effort also doing its part to make the world a sweeter place. Stegemann was motivated to develop her perfume company because her best friend was grievously wounded in Afghanistan.
Perfume is lovely -- and so too is the thought that by wearing this gorgeous scent I'm helping women in Afghanistan find alternatives sources of employment . Helping empower them as they struggle for for their existence, their education and their democratic freedoms in a most oppressive regime.
Friday, April 08, 2011
Yesterday I turned 60!! SIXTY!!
OK, cannot believe it. And have to say, turning 60 is probably the most traumatic "big birthday" I've experienced since 40. When my husband had to take me to Bermuda for a week. And arrange a catered party on our return home for a huge crowd of friends. At 40 I was home with kids, having left a great job as a college teacher, in between careers, wondering if I'd ever get back into the workplace.
By 50 I'd earned 3 more degrees and been called to the bar and was practising law and was preparing a manuscript for publication. But: I also weighed 85 pounds more than I do right now. Had paid a price -- a big one -- for the stress of commuting and academics and all the rest of it.
Yesterday's 60th was low key. Started the day at the gym. I worked hard all day and loved it -- actually made significant progress in resolving two big cases that I've been working on for a long time. Felt great. Came home a little early to warm April sunshine, made dinner for DH and DS, polished off a bottle of pink bubbly among the three of us (a new Argentinean rose which is a glorious colour) and enjoyed chocolate fudge cake and wonderful gifts. (I'll blog about one of these, from DH, soon . . . because there are people here who will want to try it, I'm sure!!)
It was a very good day. Through SP I've met so many people who make 60 look energetic and graceful and powerful: Sandy, you're key among them!!
And so I'm thinking that 60 is doable! Gonna be doing it anyway, right? Will be doing it with heart!! (And smelling gorgeous, as it happens -- but more about that soon!!)
(P.S. When I changed my SP page to indicate I'm no longer 59, I couldn't enter that info without changing my weight tracker because my weight at 144.5 was below my former "goal weight" of 150. So -- put in 142. But don't really know that 142 is my goal weight: I'm still Becksperimenting with lowest achievable/lowest sustainable weight. Did preplan and track everything I ate for the birthday feast: stayed within goal too, and did not gain any weight . . .).
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Then you should be checking out STLRZGRRL's amazing series of blogs, and in particular today's "part 3".
Here you go:
What an amazingly tough and wise and fundamentally kind person is our Trace!!
I "liked" it -- hope you will too. This one deserves a "most popular blog" award because so many of us need to read it!!
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
The anticipation at this time of the year makes life zesty! All better times to come!! There are a few yellow and purple crocuses in bloom in my garden -- news ones, which I planted last fall, close to the back door where I'll see them every time I come in or go out. (Gotta get the remaining fall leaves lifted soon. . . .tidy up the flower beds!).
The robins were positively hollering when I got out of the car after the morning run to the gym. It's sunny and warmer. Cardinals are whistling, and the lady cardinals appear to be wearing red lips! Goldfinches at my birdfeeder are beginning to look distinctly more yellow, setting aside their "winter olive" plumage.
And as for my own plumage: I found in the back of my closet a navy and cream striped silk jacket, bought several years ago and never worn -- because when I got it home from the store it was too tight. Now, it fits! (Thank you, Judith S. Beck and SLENDERELLA61 for introducing me to Beck).
This particular jacket was in a dollar store lurking on a rack of deeply-discounted acrylic wolf print sweatshirts -- just the one jacket. I glimpsed the fabric of one sleeve -- made a beeline across the store -- original price tag (manufacturer's pre-printed) $320! Marked down to $1.69! How it ended up there, I'll never know. But no argument from me: and I didn't try it on. I just scooped it up, paid and got outta there . . . only to discover when I got it home that it was too snug a fit through the middle when the clasp/hook thingy was done up.
Had it on yesterday with a cream blouse, navy cuffed wide leg trousers, cream and navy spectator pumps. Yay spring plumage!!
Oh my goodness, I get tired of my grey/black/camel/navy winter woolly suits by this time of the year. It's fun to contemplate all the soft spring colours to come -- in my garden, on the birds, and yup, on me too!!
Saturday, April 02, 2011
What a gorgeous day: sunny, +8C, red winged blackbirds and robins singing me along the road for shopping day with my sister!!.
Over the course of the day, ingested: several skim milk lattes; tomato soup; spanakopita; an apple. AND chocolate fudge cake!! (Shared, and we left quite a bit on the plate). Mmmm.
Certainly, tracked it all.
All of those calories AND more had to have been burned off, power shopping!
Bought: bright red ballet slipper rain boots: very cute (marked down from $70 to $44). My old duck boots were so worn inside that they were snagging my stockings, had to be replaced.
Bought: mint green linen blazer, size 6!! And the price?? Are you sitting down?? It was $2.50! Brand new, with tags, with spare button . . . found it in a liquidation warehouse. Pressed up beautifully.
Bought: tan poplin safari style jacket, size 6 also. Same liquidation warehouse. Brand new, but the price tag had been ripped off . . . , so I was a bit worried. My estimated price: $25.00. Rang in at $1.75. Also pressed up beautifully.
Two jackets with tax, less than $5.00! Tried on a ton of other stuff, thrilled that every size 8 fit and many many size 6s fit. Could have bought a ton of other stuff, but . . . . it's the thrill of the chase. These were the best deals!! And that's really what it's all about.
Plus: the hilarity, the gossip, the cackling --- yup, like they say, priceless.
So how come hysterical laughter isn't on the Fitness Tracker? It should be. Yeah. It should be!!
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