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I Love Lavender (Posted On: Sunday, August 29, 2010)

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Lavender is one of my favourite scents when it comes to soaps, shampoo, foot cream and sachets.  With its smell brings a warm and fuzzy as I fondly remember snipping the flowers off the plants in my Grandmother’s garden in Neuchatel.  As a child, I spent a lot of time there…the day after school was out my mother would pack us up for a six week vacation overseas to be reunited with the rest of the family.  My Grandmother and I would take snippets off the plant and make sachets for my underwear drawer.

Recently, I found one of the old sachets…made over 35 years ago…the scent long gone, but the memory very much alive.

In my ‘out and abouting’ all over our area, I have discovered some lavender favourites:

Bleu Lavande products available at Parrots ‘n Parsnips in Thornbury.  Not only are the products innovative and effective, unique and simply lovely, ranging from soaps to chocolate (yes Lavender Chocolate which is completely amazing) they are also so well priced, you have to look twice.  Suzanne Anderson, the owner of the newly revamped Parrots ‘n Parsnips had fun showing me the complete line they stock.  One taste of the Blue Lavande Chocolate and I was sold.  Imagine very good quality dark chocolate infused with the smell and taste of lavender, the bar itself is peppered with the flowers off the lavender plant.  I am looking forward to trying the Lavender Leg Gel for soothing and improving circulation in tired legs.

The Bleu Lavande website is fabulous.  Cruising around this website you can get a great education on lavender in general, find out more about their products which you can buy locally through Parrots ‘n Parsnips and enjoy the lovely photographs.

L'Occitane en Provence in the Village at Blue sells probably the best foot cream I have ever tried.  I just put some on my tired and aching feet while I was writing this article and now my feet feel just great.  Tip…they have a great gift with purchase special offer going on right now that lasts until September 7th. 

Herbs ‘N Things at John & Marie’s Emporium in Creemore is a wonderful find.  I went in there to see what they had available in the lavender department and left with a 50 gram bag of lavender for only $5.00.  All of their herbs are organically home-grown in the gardens located at 98-104 Mill Street in the charming village of Creemore (basically across the street from the brewery and down a bit...at the end of Mill Street, just before the park).  They harvest and dry the herbs in their own dehydration units and then process them into tea blends, seasonings and ointments as well as offer packages of dried herbs available for sale in their shop.  In the Spring you can purchase fresh herbs and flowers potted for sale.  Their shop is a unique offering that you don’t come across every day.  It’s simple, charming, filled with a wonderful array of dried herbs among other things and everything is priced so right.

The next time you’re zipping through Creemore or visiting the brewery take a moment to stop in and see John and Marie.  It’s a way back to the haystack moment for sure that you’ll enjoy. Now that I know what they stock, the next time I need herbs for my kitchen, I will be buying them from John & Marie to support a local retailer and home grown cottage industry before I will think about getting them off the shelf from the grocery store.  As an entrepreneur myself, I love to support other entrepreneurs.  If you have questions for John & Marie, you can call them at 705.466.3318 or send an e-mail to herbsat104@sympatico.ca.

Every morning I use my favourite lavender infused shampoo and conditioner from Green Beaver available at the Environment Network Shoppe at 44 St. Marie Street in Downtown Collingwood.  I have been using this shampoo and conditioner faithfully for about a year.  As soon as I switched from my regular ‘mass produced in some country overseas’ hair products to Green Beaver I noticed a huge difference right away.  My hair felt and looked healthier, felt cleaner and was ‘lighter’.  Before, using mass produced and marketed hair products I ‘had’ to wash my hair every day…probably because the products I was using were weighing my hair down with all sorts of crap to make my hair feel silky and smooth, but I’d have to wash my hair again the very next day.  Using Green Beaver hair products, I have survived an entire long weekend at the cottage without washing my hair and my hair still looked and felt great every day.  When I finally washed my hair in the lake, I felt great knowing that the products I was using and putting directly back into the fresh water supply were completely eco-friendly. 

Yes, the products are a little more expensive (just a pinch), but well worth it.  It is your responsibility on this planet to be as eco-friendly as you can be, why not start with your hair?  The more I hang out with the folks from The Environment Network, the more I learn. It’s amazing how much I thought I knew a year ago, compared to what I really know now.

Lavender is also very soothing. According to Dr. Aranka Jones, licensed naturopathic doctor and founder of Sakura Naturopathic Clinic + Organic Spa, their Soothing Sea Kelp Facial is Ideal for acne, rosacea and eczema. “This organic facial provides soothing relief and natural nourishment for beautiful, healthy, perfectly balanced skin.” Exceptionally pure, certified organic products from luxury Canadian spa line Seaflora Wild Organic Seaweed Skincare effectively calm redness, soothe sensitivity and supply a mega-dose of nutrients to boost skin vitality. Dr. Jones notes “the finishing touch is Seaflora’s highly therapeutic Balancing Sea Kelp Concentrate, a new product made with soothing Lavender, anti-inflammatory Chamomile, regenerating Calendula and anti-oxidant Grape Seed oil. It’s quickly becoming a must have for our clients. We call it organic beauty in a bottle.”


Written by Julie Card

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