Friday, October 15, 2010

The Dream Fund Outreach's Paula Phillips Answers a Call to Fill the Shelves of Oxnard, CA's Juan Soria Elementary School Library


When threatened by a young person during the L.A. Riots nineteen years ago, Paula Phillips (above left, with TDFO book donor volunteers) vowed to spend her life letting kids know that they are special and deserving of following a "right road" in life.  She quit her job, and began The Dream Fund Outreach (TDFO), a Ventura County, CA-based nonprofit, which will soon be re-named Right Road Kids as a part of its national expansion. For over eighteen years, she has developed an enriching, uplifting Standards-based curriculum that she brings to school classrooms and assemblies. The organization offers a variety of other programs as well, such as the Book Drive that Phillips revealed at Juan Soria Elementary School in Oxnard, CA today; link to the full story below...

The Dream Fund Outreach Answers a Call to Fill the Shelves of Oxnard, CA's Juan Soria Elementary School Library - Ventura County school, News Ventura County, CA

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Take the Journey...


A new album,  Doorway to a Dream, by Ann Licater has a mysterious, exotic and unforgettable sound based in Native and World flutes, but enhanced by many talented world musicians.  Click through to get the full story...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lia Scallon Visits the U.S.



Having spent some time with Lia Scallon during her previous U.S. tour, I wholeheartedly recommend an effort to join her in Arizona or Californa in October 2010 during her next visit. Her ceremonies are beautiful, mystical and ultimately relaxing! One can purchase her music CDs from sites like Amazon.com, or visit her website to hear clips at her website: www.soundsofsirius.com

Learn more about her upcoming trip to Sedona:
Sedona Creative Life Center to host a Crystal Skull Activation Ceremony with Lia Scallon and the Sounds of Sirius

Monday, August 2, 2010

bijoutiere: jewelry imbued with peace and love




I recently had the pleasure of meeting owners Donna and Mary of bijoutiere inc. jewelery designs. I was so taken with their delicate rose gold and silver bracelets with beads that I bought two...which is how they're meant to be worn anyway, stacked and layered. I'm saving up for a few necklaces now; some pieces are pricey depending on the materials used, but all the stones and gems are real.

Although the designers make no claim to creating jewelery with harmonic properties, I believe they both intuit a peaceful and spiritual vibe while creating the pieces. You are encouraged to see for yourself!

Prayer for Today

We breathe in faith, and exhale hopelessness
We breathe in gratitude, and exhale indifference
We breathe in beauty, and exhale insensitivity
We breathe in joy, and exhale sadness
We breathe in kindness, and exhale harshness
We breathe in forgiveness, and exhale resentment
We breathe in love, and exhale isolation.

- Edwin C. Lynn

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Breath of Life

Lia Scallon channels ancient words and music from Sirius, conveyed in her 8-CD Sounds of Sirius series out of Australia; she recently collaborated with renowned crystal photographer Lee Simmons to bring us this beautiful video. I can just imagine this bringing peace and healing to homes everywhere when played on a big flatscreens TV or monitor...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Knock, Knock...

The beauty and creativity generated by Duirwaigh Studios is vast and inspiring. Enjoy their YouTube sensation, "A Knock At the Door" and visit their website at www.duirwaigh.com for more content.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fishing, Donuts, 7 a.m. in Heaven



Beautiful moments occur when least expected. During a recent trip to Big Bear Lake, my son took up fishing. He seemed to enjoy it almost as much as his beloved airplane collection. Yet after two days, no fish and the loss of several lures, I had to use the bribe of donuts to convince him to get up and out while the fish were still biting.

We picked up our breakfast, drove onto the lake beach, put down a blanket, and threw the line in. Kicking back to wait for the fish to find us, we broke open the drinks and donuts. A prop plane took off over the lake, its bright yellow paint striking against the clear blue morning sky. West sighed deeply, pausing from eating his chocolate/chocolate sprinkle donut. Then he shared his simple moment of sugary-outdoor-airplane-inspired bliss.

"I think I'm in Heaven," he said, quietly, with the absolute conviction of a 5-year old.

"Me, too" I responded, understating my joy at his ability to appreciate and express such simple joys. "Fishing and donuts...it doesn't get much better than this."

And come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that's true.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

MUSIC NEWS FROM NEW AGE UNIVERSE (NAU) - Ocean of Consciousness (Jeffrey...

About 2 years ago, I had the pleasure of talking with Jeffrey Fisher about his new album. Soon, he'll have another album coming out, which he refers to in this interview...listen and see if you can guess what the new album will be called.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Father's Journey, His Sons' Legacy

One of the 40 Aklani Medicine Dog mixes
in need of new homes...beautiful, eh?!


This is the story of a man and his sons, their dreams, and a gorgeous family of dogs. Paul was an artist living in Hollywood Hills when I met him and his teenage sons just as they came home from boarding school. Their loving connection was so strong, their spirits so free, that I was compelled to spend the day photographing their summer reunion.
Their mother had died in the boys' early years, so perhaps I naturally felt big-sisterly toward them, who knows. Paul loved the photos, and I was touched that this artist called me an artist, too.

The years passed, we all moved around, but I stayed loosely in touch with the boys.
. One day, Paul's son Elijah told me that his Dad had a vision. To take the stray Aklani Medicine dog (and her pups) that he'd rescued from the streets of Arizona up to Alaska to train for the Iditarod. Along the way, his creative sons, now young men, decided to document the trip in a documentary titled "Stray Dog Journey." They were on their way, with hope and possibility in the North.

After the loss of Paul's reserved spot in the Iditarod training camp, winter was setting in and life got challenging. More details are available under "The Story" section of Stray Dogs Journey site, but the long story short is that the dogs multiplied quickly, and Paul's sons feared their father was succumbing to cabin fever over the brutal winter. They visited off and on, whenever possible, helping with the training while also gathering incredibly beautiful visual material in the form of digital photos and video footage for their film.

Approximately half a decade passed since Paul's journey began. I checked in with Elijah last week, and was sad to hear that his father had passed away in 2009. With only a few months until another Alaskan winter hits, Elijah is now the sole caretaker for the 40 dogs living near Willow, AK. He spends $1000 a month on dried dog food alone, and even more when he tries to supplement their diet with meat. His creative attempts to find homes for the dogs has produced few results. An awareness is slowly growing with his website and Facebook page...it
remains to be seen whether or not that will generate any funding or a location to bring the dogs south for the winter, but that is the hope. He tells me he doesn't think they'll make it through another Alaskan winter alive, himself included, and I believe him. The isolation and harsh climate is beyond brutal.

So, you ask, why is this story on The Beauty Blog? Well, I've always found this family of men beautiful...they remain close despite the distances between them, they support eachother's artistic efforts, they dare to dream and they think outside the box. Most of all they are loving, and they simply loved one another.

My primary prayer for Elijah, Aaron and the dogs is that they make it South for the winter. My additional hope is that Stray Dogs Jouney -- The Documentary Film -- will be finished. The story may not be the tale of these amazing stray dogs completing the Iditarod, but one of a man inspiring his sons to follow their dreams in a world where dreamers are few.

Friday, May 21, 2010

On the Trail, Always




Beauty is not always, or often, physical. Beauty can also be in an action or effort, as I witnessed out on the trail today.

I hike a few miles several times a week, up and around the Santa Monica Mountains. Today's hike began with my fellow hiker in tears over the impending death of a friend succumbing to ovarian cancer, a woman who had finally just left her overbearing husband of 25 years. It's the kind of story that just makes you want to say "not fair" as if fairness has anything to do with cancer.

We climbed in silence, my friend listening to soothing music, me trying to think of comforting words when there really are none. As we continued up a slight incline, I noticed an elderly woman gingerly picking her way down the trail toward us, aided by a walking stick in each hand. I watched her careful but quick steps, landing beside the sticks she carried. She was slightly plump, covered head to toe, her face protected from the sun by a large-brimmed hat and her hands covered in biking gloves. In such garb, I would have been swooning, but she stayed her course, cool and deliberate in her movements. Moving closer, I could see her face beneath the hat. She looked like the type of woman who has hiked everyday of her life, serence and at peace in nature. A quick smile and she was past us, picking her way down the last half mile decline. I guessed her age at about 72.

My friend lets out a sad sigh, and I'm reminded of her friend's illness, at just 51 years old. It makes me think of that saying, "Grow old gracefully, for what is the alternative?" My thoughts return to the elderly hiker and I realize I'd been given a gift this morning. A truly beautiful vision of a woman aging gracefully, using whatever tools and tricks it takes to stick to her path...and still finding the strength for a smile. I hope that's me someday.

Relaxing Music, Anyone?

I am conducting a brief & easy 10-question survey that explores people's feelings about "what is relaxing music" and how they find it. Won't you please give 5 minutes? It will help our indie music community to better understand buyer preferences. Your replies remain anonymous!

Click here to take survey

Thursday, May 13, 2010

LENA HORNE: Beautiful to the Core


Lena Horne knew beauty. She felt it on the inside, and projected it on the outside. Consistently. She moved from the Cotton Club into the Hollywood studio system (with all the stereotypes they upheld at the time), and yet she had the strength to become the first black performer to sign a long-term contract. I love this quote from the TVOne.com article:

“My identity is clear to me. I am black. I don’t have to be a first. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman. I am me.” – Lena Horne

Ms. Horne had not made public appearances in many years, but it's my hope that she lived out the rest of her life in peace and joy.

Click here for more: LENA HORNE FUNERAL DETAILS

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beauty in Alt Rock?

Is there still substance in Rock music? Absolutely! The alternative band Lifehouse is probably one of the first rock bands I'll introduce to my young son, thanks to their ability to express love and positivity in their music and lyrics; the lead singer seems to embrace the ability to see beauty in the everyday, which this blog is all about!

The band caught everyone's ear years ago with their first hit "Hanging by a Moment" and then again when their music was used for the hit TV show Smallville. Back then, I'd been invited to submit music from some of the Warner music artists for that pilot as well, but when Lifehouse's "Everything" was chosen, it was clearly the right music for the show. Since then, the band release several successful albums, including Smoke & Mirrors in March 2010.

This is music that I love, too...could this be the rock band that helps you bridge the gap with your kids? Listen and read the lyrics on this video...


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Art & Poetry Creating Bridges Across Cultures

Sometimes we meet people in the strangest of places, people who will change our lives in a direct or indirect way. Sometimes you sense it right away, other times it comes through as an interesting or unexpected comment.

I met a stranger after my son's swimming lesson, when she asked me for help with her jade necklace. I commented on the lovely piece, and a we began a relaxed conversation while getting the kids dressed. She inquired about my love of crystals, and I about her singing. An enjoyable 15-minutes.

A week later, I looked this kind stranger up, and found that she teaches and inspires creativity, and one of her organizations -- Create a Bridge -- has supported such inspiring pieces as Christel Guarnier's "If I Could I Would." I was thrilled to find this site, as I'm passionate about visual and sound/music projects! I encourage you to click through to explore this beautiful work:

If I Could I Would - Christel Guarnier - Create A Bridge Between Cultures

Sunday, April 25, 2010

They are NOT a Lost Generation

How inspiring...a 20-year old submitted this fabulous palindrome to an AARP contest titled "U @ 50"...it may shock you at first, but hang in there for a great surprise!

Extensive Music Compilation Now Available!

I'm delighted to announce a new music compilation CD called Sounds of the Circle II, which offers over 3 hours of soothing and emotive music by both well-known and emerging musicians. It is available in both CD and iMix form, and well worth exploring today!

iTunes iMix - Sounds from the Circle II - 2010: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Votre Sante'

Scrumptious Salad

I've given up opening a cafe, so I'll share my favorite secret recipes every now and then!

Friends have encouraged me to share this recipe, as it is a simple yet unique twist on an old favorite: egg salad. This is my preferred meal whenever I've got a long day ahead, need lots of energy, but don't want to feel stuffed. It's not low in fat (I allow myself to eat fats rather than sugar) but it uses good fats and those that can be modified in various ways.

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
4 hard boiled eggs (option: discard 2 egg yolks to cut down on fat)
1 small red onion
2 celery sticks
2 Tablespoons Soyannaise (a Soy Mayonnaise!)
2 Cups Mixed Greens or Spinach, washed.
- Salt & Pepper
- Optional: pureed garlic, Maca powder

Preparation:

1) Chop vegetables and eggs. I prefer a bigger,chunky salad over finely chopped, but that is personal preference...chop finely if you wish to put it in a sandwich.

2) Cut and scoop out the avocados; mush it in a bowl.

3) Mix Soyannaise into avocados.

4) Add chopped veggies to above mix. Blend until it is a pale green.*

5) Add salt/pepper to taste.

6) Place bed of greens on plate, and add generous scoop of the mix.

Garnish with tomatoes or apples, or even blue corn chips. Enjoy!

*If you feel like you are falling ill, you can add to either a teaspoon of pureed garlic or Maca powder for a healthy boost that still tastes great!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sacred Harmonics: A Vision for Tomorrow

In pursuing my personal spirituality, I've studied the mystery of harmonics on and off for over ten years. From healers to artists to metaphysicists, people have drawn parallels between the world's beings, matter, symbolism and higher energies. One of the most interesting people I've ever come across is Rowena Pattee Kryder, an artist, writer and intellectual expert in this area. Below is a video introduction to her work and vision:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Crystal Skulls: Ancient Made Modern



For whatever the reason, skulls abound in pop culture today. In film, fashion and jewelery, we see the iconic skull in the fourth Indiana Jones movie “INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL”, in the tattoo artist/fashion designer collaboration of Ed Hardy and Christian Audigier, and in the elaborate platinum skull rings of Stephen Einhorn.

Perhaps the most surprising commercial “skull” product is Crystal Head vodka, which comes in a clear glass skull bottle, costing about $50 retail. It is indeed a “spirit” of a sort, yet vodka and its effects do not really seem to jibe with the new age level of promoting consciousness and clarity of mind. The product’s website explains the history of the skulls to a mainstream audience via an entertaining and informative video featuring actor Dan Ackroyd.

Despite the trend, there are few opportunities to interact live with crystal skulls imbued with ancient wisdom. While Lia Scallon is known in Australia for her ceremonies and her channeling, she rarely visits the U.S. with Jomcata Mayab and She-Shona. Her everyday life is immersed in crystal skull consciousness, and she offers many crystal products on her Sounds of Sirius website, from crystal skulls to bowls and inspired channeled music like Diamond Light Meditation for Women (and another for Men). Her crystal jewelry -- “cleansed and charged” by her well-traveled crystal skulls in readiness for their new owners – is created through a design collaboration with celebrated Queensland designer Lindy Sullivan.

The Rose Temple will be the site for a rare spiritual happening with Lia Scallon on Thursday April 8th. Directly following three weeks of traveling the Mayan ruins and pyramids of Mexico, light worker Lia Scallon will conduct a ceremony sharing the wisdom and energy of Jomcata Mayab and She-Shona. Scallon will explain the significance of crystal skulls, and will lead the attendees in prayer and chant. Event participants are welcome and encouraged to bring their own crystals to the event to get charged with the ancient wisdom contained within Scallon’s crystal skulls.

Crystal Skull Activation ceremony begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday April 8th at the Rose Temple in Venice, 305 Rose Avenue, Venice, CA. Tickets are $25 at the door. Attendees are encouraged to bring their crystals and a flower offering for the alter.

For a comprehensive look at the history and current fascination with crystal skulls, visit a dedicated website at http://www.crystalskulls.com

Additional Links:

Crystal Skulls Event flyer: http://www.newagemusic.com/events/lia.htm

Lia Scallon on Amazon: http://bit.ly/aGcGGR

Woman's Day Scratches the Surface with Cursed Family Story


I read yet another sensational story about "family curses" today in Woman's Day Magazine, and it left me wishing that the writer would have taken the story to another level. Because I'm from one of those types of families, I struggled with anxiety about such curses for years, and I'm still overprotective of my son.

Our family experienced several teenager tragedies, sadly, and a few "close calls." I do believe there is something going on, but it's not a "curse." I've researched it a bit, and learned that there is something self-perpetuating about family tragedy; unless one is careful to guard against it, that is.

For instance, if a terrible death happens -- esp while doing something dangerous -- families tend to subconsciously think "that was it, it won't happen again" and they keep going on adventures or keep carrying on some dangerous legacy...sometimes being more careless just to "make them proud."

But statistics don't care who your relatives are...danger attracts accidents and that can be deadly. Depression after a loss can also lead to wider family depression; and then there is the awful yet prevalent myth that suicide is somehow genetic.

I'm not blaming the families; sometimes accidents are just that, and fate is just fate. But I do feel empathy with such families. I would love to see psychiatrists conduct more studies in this area, and to see writers do a better job of education toward ending such cycles.

Meanwhile, take extra care of those you love in tough times...and get counseling when things get rough.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Haunting, Emotional Prayer for Peace

I've worked with quite a few composer/pianists this past year or so, and John Steiner is one of the most talented, yet humble of them all. Having achieved fame and success at a young age, he's dedicated himself to his spirituality, which comes through beautifully in his solo albums Out of the Blue and the latest, Into the Green. John is also a nature lover and an excellent photographer, so when he puts the two together, it's an audio-visual treat, as you can see in this video: ">.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Seay is a Name We Will All be Saying Soon Enough




I had the immense pleasure of meeting an emerging artist named Seay (pron. "say") and working with her to create a press release that would encompass all of her wonderful projects and inspirations. Read it here:

Seay Makes the Decade With the Icons of New Age Music

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Project-Peace On Earth



This global project is an incredible undertaking! I love the video introduction, which underscores the importance of sound...so often forgotten by the media (unless it's rock/pop/rap!) and cast as a stepchild to the other senses. There are big names supporting awareness of the event, but each of us can donate directly to it via the website. I truly hope this project will come to fruition, its visioneers like Steve Robertson have pursued it for so long. Kudos to AOMusic for the wonderful music and video! Learn more at Project-Peace On Earth

YouTube - Project Peace on Earth-AOMUSIC

I've recently worked with the AOMusic team, and they're hearts are pure, their good will endless...but their purses are not bottomless. Please help to support Project Peace on Earth


See the video: YouTube - Project Peace on Earth-AOMUSIC

Michele De Wilton Plays Free Concert in Columbus OH this Saturday Night

Michele de Wilton's piano music is a must-hear for families that want to share the beauty of classical crossover music with their children and still have something interesting to talk about! Her pieces are inspired by myths gathered from around the world, some well-known, others local legends. It'll be fun for kids to try to interpret the emotions in the music, and the changing of the story lines. See the beautiful music video "The Ice Maiden" for an example of Michele's musical chops and dramatic gift!

Radiant Sky by Scott August Offers Contemplative Soundscapes with Exotic World Music Edge

The masterful Scott August has created this beautifully meditative album, perfect for relaxing, massage, spa or just dreaming :)

Radiant Sky by Scott August Offers Contemplative Soundscapes with Exotic World Music Edge

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chuck E. Cheese 5, Disneyland 0

Curse you, brand marketers! My son is going on 5, and there is nothing he wants more than a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party...not EVEN Disneyland. I'd managed to squirm around it 'til now...traveling on birthdays, throwing elaborate home parties, distracting with a thrill-filled Six Flags trip...but this year, the jig is up.

Dutifully, we headed out to the local Chuck E. Cheese (Burbank) to see how much fun it would be / how germ-infested it would be. No, we'd never been to the local C.E.C in the two years we've lived here. In fact, he'd only ever been to Chuck E. Cheese (elsewhere) twice in his life, so it is amazing to me how impacted he is with the Chuck E. Cheese brand. Where, When did they "get" to him? I'm a work-at-home Mom...I monitor everything! Could just two prior visits at ages 2 and 3 have had such an effect? I wondered...was it the brand marketing, or the experience itself?

As we enter the Burbank location, they have a Purell pump...on the way IN...what is this, reverse psychology?! We're bringing the germs? Okay, point taken. I scan the room...bright...open...and not overly noisy. This is already much better than the others. Oh, and there is only Chuck E. in the party room...he's a DJ now, and his creepy band of giant friends have disappeared.

I look to the play area and...can it be? Yes, there is an employee on a ladder wiping down the entire climbing apparatus. I pinch myself...yep, he's still there, and he is Sanitizing!

Kneeling down to unzip his coat, I ask my son what he loves about this place...he shrugs, as only an adorable about-to-be-five year old can.

"I get to just play and spend my own money."

In other words, he is free. From his non-germ-o-phobic perspective, this is a place where he can run free of Mommy, spend his own money, and not worry too much about stranger danger. In a word: Paradise.

With that, I grab a brochure, spend five bucks on tokens, and set my boy free...I have a party to plan.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rainy Days & Mondays

Just a week or so into the California rains, and we Angelenos are climbing the walls, doing all sorts of unusual things: staying inside and reading, driving the speed limit, tending to our own yards. Yesterday, a brief burst of sunshine brought us out like Puxatawny Phil on (hopefully for PA) Groundhog Day. My weekend celeb sightings included David Caruso at Carney's (the train restaurant) in Studio City, and Ed Begley Jr. strolling along, face tipped up, seemingly worshiping the sun. It was nice to see everyone back to normal, enjoying the day...and pretending not to see the celebs in our midst.