Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Miracle Flower

Evening Primrose Benefits

Evening Primrose aka Fever plant, Great Evening-Primrose, King's-cure-all, Night willow-herb, Scabish, Scurvish, Tree primrose, Oenothera

I've started taking this magic oil and I can say that it tuned me up! My hair is shinny, my skin is bright, my periods are a breeze, so I decided to do a little research on this miracle plant! So here is what I found:

Evening Primrose Oil has been called the most sensational preventive discovery since vitamin C. It contains the pain relieving compound phenylalanine and is increasingly being used to treat chronic headaches. It is currently being studied all over the world as a treatment for aging problems, alcoholism, acne, heart disease, hyperactivity in children, multiple sclerosis, weight control, obesity, PMS and schizophrenia. It has so many preventive and therapeutic qualities that it has become a standard part of recommendations of many herbalist for maintaining youth and preventing disease.

Evening Primrose Oil contains a high concentration of a fatty acid called GLA and it is this fatty acid that is largely responsible for the remarkable healing properties of the plant. In fact, Evening Primrose contains one of the highest concentrations known of this important substance and only a few other plants contain it at all. This makes Evening Primrose an important medicinal herb, and as studies continue, the list of benefits will likely become much longer. The gamma-linoleic acid, linoleic acid and other nutrients in this oil are essential for cell structure and improve the elasticity of the skin. These fatty acids also help to regulate hormones and improve nerve function aiding problems ranging from PMS to migraine headaches. The hormone balancing effect contributes to healthy breast tissue.

Specifically, evening primrose oil may help to:

Relieve the discomforts of PMS, menstruation, endometriosis and fibrocystic breasts: By interfering with the production of inflammatory prostaglandins released during menstruation, the GLA in evening primrose oil can help to lessen menstrual cramps. It may also minimise premenstrual breast tenderness, irritable bowel flare-ups, and carbohydrate cravings, and help to control endometriosis-associated inflammation. Many PMS sufferers are found to have unusually low levels of GLA in their systems, which is why supplements might help so much. In women with fibrocystic breasts, the oil's essential fatty acids can minimise breast inflammation and promote the absorption of iodine, a mineral that can be present in abnormally low levels in women with this condition.

Ease the joint pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis: Supplementation with evening primrose oil and other sources of GLA has been shown to lessen the joint pain and swelling of this crippling disease. A six-month study reported fewer signs of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers taking capsules containing GLA than in those taking a placebo. In another trial, the number of tender joints and swollen joints dropped significantly with GLA but not with a placebo.

Prevent diabetes-associated nerve damage: Research indicates that the GLA in evening primrose oil can help prevent, and in some cases even reverse, the nerve damage (neuropathy) so commonly seen with diabetes. In a year-long study, such symptoms as numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation in participants with mild diabetic neuropathy were less marked in those who took evening primrose oil than in those who took a placebo.

Reduce the symptoms of eczema: In some cases, eczema develops when the body has problems converting dietary fats into GLA. Getting supplemental GLA from evening primrose oil may therefore be helpful.

Some studies indicate that this oil can outperform a placebo in relieving eczema-related inflammation, as well as the itching, oozing, and flaking associated with this condition. By taking GLA, eczema sufferers may tolerate reduced doses of steroid creams and drugs, many of which cause unpleasant side effects.

Help treat acne and rosacea: By working to dilute sebum, a thick oily substance that is oversecreted in some people with acne, the essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil may reduce the risk of pores becoming clogged and lesions developing. The oil's EFAs help treat rosacea by reducing inflammation, controlling cells' use of nutrients and by producing prostaglandins, which stimulate the contraction of blood vessels.

Combat damage from multiple sclerosis: The abundant supply of essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil may be valuable in minimizing the inflammation associated with this progressive nerve disorder. The fatty acids may also contribute to healthy nerve development when taken over time.

Treat Alzheimer's-related memory deficiencies: By boosting the transmission of nerve impulses, evening primrose oil may be valuable in treating this progressive brain disorder.

Counter impotence and female infertility: By promoting blood flow, the GLA in evening primrose oil can help treat a primary cause of male impotence; compromised circulation leading to impaired penile blood flow. The oil is often taken with vitamin C and ginkgo biloba for this purpose. In addition, when the oil is taken long term, GLA can help prevent blood vessel narrowing, often a consequence of plaque buildup from high cholesterol. By improving uterine function, GLA may also help those who are unable to conceive.

Nourish nails, scalp, and hair: The rich stores of essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil not only prevent nails from cracking but also help to keep them generally healthy. In addition, the essential fatty acids nourish the scalp, making the supplement potentially valuable in treating a variety of hair problems.

Prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms: GLA prompts the brain to produce a specific type of prostaglandin called prostaglandin E, which works to prevent withdrawal symptoms such as depression and seizures by indirectly protecting the liver and nervous system.

Anti-aggregatory, anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-proliferative, anti-thrombotic, vasodilator

Source: http://www.herbwisdom.com

*Phenylalanine is something of a mystery to most people and many of us think it could be a health risk because, as you say, it’s frequently labelled on low-calorie products. However, rather than being a dangerous chemical, phenylalanine is actually an essential amino acid (a building block for protein), which can’t be made by the body and needs to be supplied in the diet. This amino acid is actually found in many foods including meat, fish, milk, eggs and cheese with the result that most of us have large amounts in our daily diet.

However, phenylalanine is also one of the main ingredients in the artificial sweetener, aspartame. You might then wonder why products containing aspartame are labelled as containing phenylalanine! It’s basically because people born with a rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria are unable to properly metabolise phenylalanine and so have to limit intakes of all foods that contain this amino acid, including meat, fish, dairy, eggs and products containing artificial sweeteners. In America, the warning on labels is slightly clearer and says: ‘Phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine”. It’s also worth pointing out that children or adults can’t suddenly develop phenylketonuria – it’s a condition you’re born with – so there’s no reason to concern yourself with whether or not a food contains this amino acid.

By WRR Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

MAS Restaurant

I love this place!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hobey's Painting

My husband's grandfather, Hober Baker, painted this painting and I think it is so beautiful!
To me it looks like a big storm in the middle of the ocean. You can clearly see the tornado, the dark clouds and the waves. So intense, and so powerful. I just love it.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Saint George

Shawn Baker's St. George painting. Shawn is my beautiful and talented mother in law.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dr. Rau's Maple-Pecan Cookies Recipe

My cookies!... I ate some....

The other day my friend Stacey offered me some of this delicious, guilt free, cookies. They are from "Dr. Thomas Rau's Diet for the Whole Body Healing book".
Today I decided to try and make some. They are SO delicious, and so easy to make!
Here is the recipe, ENJOY it!

"For some people, spelt is more digestible than other wheats, and it contains more protein and fiber. Most importantly, it is rich in carbohydrates called mucopolysaccharides, which stimulate the immune system. All that aside, these are delicious - and somewhat elegant - cookies."

1 Cup of spelt flour
1 Cup pecan halves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Fine sea salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp.
1/4 Cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor ( If you have a good blender , you can use that too) combine the flour, pecans, baking soda and sea salt. Pulse until pecans are finely chopped.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and maple syrup with a wooden spoon until light and well blended. Beat in the vanilla, then add the oil in a slow stream, beating well. Add the dry ingredients and stir with the wooden spoon until blended. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons onto a buttered cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool before eating.

Source: The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health - Build a better body, cell by cell.
By Thomas Rau, MD

Facials Facials Facials!!!

FACIAL, aka: One hour of steam, exfoliation, creams, lotions, masks, peels, and massage.

I don't know about you, but I love getting a facial. In fact, I think facials are necessary. At least twice a year ( more if you can! ) is the minimum to keep your faccia glowing, free of black and white heads, dead skin, and other unwanted guests... Not to mention, the pampering, the full hour of wonderful relaxation that comes with it....That is, if you go to the right place to get your facial!
Because, you may or you may not know, but you can also have a disaster situation! I have had a couple of pretty bad facial experiences in my life. Like...TORTURE and days without going out because my face looks like I have chicken pox....Yep. Bad.
Well, for my New Yorker friends, I would like to share a secret. And her name is YULI.
I have been getting my facials with her for the past 5 years and she simply ROCKS.
My skin always feels A-MAZING for weeks after I see her!
Never once I had red spots or any kind of scaring after her treatments.
If you want to treat yourself - and Spring is a great time for a facial, you know, after months of winter foods and dry, heater air...Your skin is thirsty!!! - check out my girl.

She works at The Chelsea Piers Spa

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring Time!!!

The roof top next door to my place has become a pigeon motel. Lots of spinning mr. pigeons doing their mating dance... Oh yeah, it's Spring time! Horny lil-fellas! Major pitching going on! And they dance, and spin, and make noises, so funny! I feel like shooting a video and putting music to it...Dancing the (Pigeon) Stars! Trrr Trrrrr Trrrrrrrrrr

Oh and the females seem totally oblivious of their silly number...they just go about their business, pecking on NYC roof dirt...

Monday, April 19, 2010


Little Wing

Fly, fly little wing

Fly beyond imagining

The softest cloud, the whitest dove

Upon the wind of heaven's love

Past the planets and the stars

Leave this lonely world of ours

Escape the sorrow and the pain

and fly again.

Fly, fly precious one

Your endless journey has begun

Take your gentle happiness

Far too beautiful for this

Cross over to the other shore

There is peace forevermore

But hold this mem'ry bittersweet

Until we meet.

Fly, fly do not fear

Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear

Your heart is pure, your soul is free

Be on your way, don't wait for me

Above the universe you'll climb

On beyond the hands of time

The moon will rise, the sun will set

But I won't forget

Fly, fly little wing

Fly where only angels sing

Fly away, the time is right

Go now, find the light

Written by: Jean-Jacques Goldman and Phil Galdston

image by donnabellasangels




My Peony


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Music: Come as You Are with Bebo Best & The Super Lounge Orchestr

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Facebook is my friend

Facebook is my friend.

Being a freelancer, I spend a lot of time working alone, just me and my computers. I have to say that it is VERY nice to be able to take a minute once in a while and check on my friends, say hello, send a note, have a laugh with a photo or check out a clip or a nice piece of music. For someone that works using creativity, Facebook has opened an awesome door for all sorts of amazing material. I am very lucky to have many creative friends, and I just love to check on all the cool things they have to share. When I am working I usually keep my Facebook on, in a different monitor, so I can gaze at it once in a while. It's like having the company of hundreds of friends. Yes, I am. I am a Facebookoholic! When people say to me, "eh, Facebook, shmacebook, I think it's a waste of time", I think that they probably just have a very different life than I do. I can not say enough good things about this brilliant invention. Facebook keeps me connected with my family and friends, here in the US, in Brazil (that's BIG), in Europe, Africa, all over. Facebook has generated tons of work gigs for me! Facebook friends are constantly posting informations about all sorts of fantastic cultural events, films, theater, design, fashion...
Because of a Facebook connection I was even able to get a reservation at Le Jules Verne Restaurant* (Tour Eiffel) 2 weeks before the date! ( I love telling that story!)
Anyway, so there. I am on Facebook a lot.
Today, as I was rendering an animation I created this little LOGO. Then, I went into facebook and I created a FACEBOOKOHOLICS group. And what do you know! People are joining in fast!
There is nothing wrong about being a Facebookoholic, as long as you don't forget to socialize on the outside world as well!

So cheers to the Facebook creators. (Because of you I am having a lot of fun!)


*People reserve tables a year in advance!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


About a week ago a friend suggested that I put a stat counter in my blog, just for fun...to see how many hits I am getting. I honestly thought that I was probably getting very few, I have "40 followers", so I figured that, maybe in a week, I'd have a couple of hundred hits? Maybe? Well, I think it is pretty cool that my stat count is telling me that I have had way over a thousand hits..in a week! And I am not even writing much because of my crazy friggin' work schedule! Wow, I was surprised! And I also felt a bit of pressure to step up!
So again, guys, bare with me! I have folders of great tips and ideas coming up! As soon as my life is a little less hectic, I will be posting cool stuff, worth your time here!
Thanks for checking in!!!


ps: EGGHEARTFRIES art by Alex Scaparro

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cards and Invitations - SAVE THE DATE


I will be posting some of the cards and invitations I have designed.
This is a save the date I made last year.
ps: click on the image to enlarge it.

Old invite


Here's is an old invitation I made. I will be posting some of the cards and invitations I have designed. Do you like it? Check here. Do you hate it? Check here. :)
(I removed the address before posting, for obvious reasons...)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Hello peeps, followers, friends! Thanks again for popping in to check out what I have been up to the last few days. I know my posts have been a little weak lately. I have not had much time to devote to my blog due to a tremendous amount of work I am dealing with. I am currently juggling 4 great projects. They are great so I am happy about it but my hours have been totally insane. I am pulling all nighters! So bear with me while this is going on. Believe me, I have so many juicy tips to post here! I truly can not wait till I have a little extra time!
Thanks again for hanging in there!

butterfly me




Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Darling, It’s Frightening

Darling, It’s Frightening
Boris Pasternak (1890-1960)
Trans. J. M. Cowen

Darling, it's frightening!

When a poet loves he might be an unshriven god enraptured.

And chaos creeps again up to the light,

as in the far off ages of the fossils.

His eyes weep tons of billows and he's swathed in cloud,

so that you'd take him for a mammoth.

He's out of date.

He knows it's no more use.

His days are over now and he's illiterate.

He sees the way his neighbors hold their weddings,

how they get roaring drunk and sleep it off,

how they call common roe -

that pickled frogspawn,

once she's been married off, the best pressed caviar.

And how they manage to squeeze in a snuff-box life that is like

a pearly dream by Watteau.

They take revenge on him;

perhaps it's only because,

while they are twisting and contorting,

while sniggering bourgeois comfort lies and flatters

and they rub shoulders with the drones and crawl,

he's raised a girl like you from earth and used her,

like a Bacchante from her amphora.

And thawing of the Andes melts in kisses and morning's on the steppe,

beneath the dominion of stars that fall in dust,

as night goes stumbling with bleat growing ever paler,

through the village.

And round the straw bed's fevered pain breathe

all the exhalations of the ancient pit

and all the vestry's gloomy vegetation.

And chaos splashes up out of the jungle.

Friskies Adventureland Commercial

I had to post a link to this CAT FOOD commercial.
Mega over kill but, so pretty!!!


(Please copy and paste link)

from my series


Monday, April 5, 2010

My latest series


This is part of my latest series of photos. Book should be ready in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cheap Wine Etc

Why do we sometimes drink cheap wines? Well, in my case, it is because not all restaurants AND bars (specially) serve GOOD wines by the glass. So what a girl that does not drink hard liquor or beer, do when she wants a glass of wine and is out at a nice but not super swanky venue ?

Well she makes the mistake of drinking a glass of crappy wine. And maybe a second glass, because you know, it’s a party and Spring is here…and let’s have some fun. Did someone say, “another glass of wine please!” NOOO!!! UGH.

People, this is a not good situation. The high price we pay for crappy wine the morning after is no joke. Today is Friday. A work day. Why do I feel like HELL!!! ARGH!!!!!

Ok, yeah, there is the DRINK PLENTY of water when drinking wine (specially bad wine) technique, but am I the only one that forgets to do that? Anyway, today I am having one of those days…and I didn’t even drink that much! Serioulsy, it’s just the QUALITY of the wine! Pretty amazing how much it can affect you.!

Here are some interesting factoids on this subject:

1. A bad harvest. If you are drinking wine that comes from a country where a small change in the climate can make a big difference to the quality of wine (France, Germany, New Zealand), then in a bad season the wine contains many more substances that cause hangovers.

2. Drinking it too young. Almost all red wines and Chardonnay are matured in oak barrels so that they will keep and improve. If you drink this wine younger than three years there will be a higher level of nasties that can cause hangovers. If left to mature these nasties change to neutral substances and don’t cause hangovers. As a rule of thumb, wine stored in oak barrels for six months should be acceptable to drink within the first year. If the wine is stored for twelve months or more in oak barrels, it should then be aged at least four years. Some winemakers have been known to add oak chips directly into the wine to enhance flavors (especially in a weak vintage and especially in cheaper wines); this can take years to become neutral.

source: http://www.beekmanwine.com/prevtopas.htm

What actually causes hangovers from wine? (http://www.calwineries.com/learn/wine-and-health/hangover)

The action that contributes most to the hangover is the inhibition of vasopressin, a chemical in the body that keeps your kidneys from secreting water. This is a major problem. With a low concentration of vasopressin, your body will evacuate its water supply, causing dehydration.

This is the primary cause of the characteristic headaches of a hangover from wine. Because your body is dehydrated, it will pull water out of your brain, causing it to shrink. As your brain shrinks, it pulls on the membranes, resulting in the perception of pain.

Another major cause of hangovers from wine is a class of molecules called congeners. Congeners are a by product of alcoholic fermentation and are present in high quantities in red wine. Congeners are usually present in higher concentration in darker liquors.

As alcohol is metabolized, it leaves behind a molecule called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is normally present in the body, but is quickly metabolized into a harmless molecule called acetate. When there is a high volume of alcohol in the bloodstream, acetaldehyde builds up and cannot be metabolized; this then contributes to the symptoms of a hangover.

Unfortunately, once you have reached a certain point, the hangover in inevitable. But taking the right steps will help insure that the effects are minimized.

Once you have a hangover, how can you minimize the effects?


1. Drink fruit juice. “Fruit juice contains a form of sugar called fructose, which helps the body burn alcohol faster,”

2. Eat crackers and honey. Honey is a very concentrated source of fructose. Believe it or not, sauerkraut juice is said by some to neutralize congeners. (More proof that sometimes the cure is worse than the disease!)

3. Drink bouillon. Broth made from bouillon cubes or any homemade soup broth will help replace the salt and potassium your body loses when you drink.

4. Replenish your water supply. “Alcohol causes dehydration of your body cells,” “Drinking plenty of water before you go to bed and again when you get up the morning after may help relieve discomfort caused by dehydration.”

5. Take B-complex vitamins. Drinking drains the body of these valuable vitamins. Research shows your system turns to B vitamins when it is under stress—and overtaxing the body with too much booze, beer, or wine definitely qualifies as stress, says Dr. Blum. Replenishing your body with a B-complex vitamin capsule can help shorten the duration of your hangover.

6. Eat amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Like vitamins and minerals, they can also be depleted by use of alcohol. Replenishing amino acids plays a role in repairing the ravages of a hangover. Amino acids are also available in capsule form at most health food stores.

7. Have one or two cups of coffee. Coffee acts as a vasoconstrictor—something that reduces the swelling of blood vessels that causes headache. But don’t drink too much!

8. Eat a good meal. If you can tolerate it, that is. A balanced meal will replace the loss of essential nutrients. But keep the meal light; no fats or fried foods. Toast, cereal, fruit and a light yogurt are easier to digest than eggs and dairy. Even though, when you are really hungover you crave those eggs!!! I know I do!!!. But maybe lighter is better!

9. Some say "have a beer". Haha.

10. Conclusion:

Weird thing about this situation is that a strange amnesia happens, and in the not so far distant future, some way some how..I would see myself, at a bar celebrating with friends with a glass of chepo wine in my hand, AGAIN....

So today, I have a mantra going in my head that goes like this " never ever drink cheap wine again, never ever drink cheap wine again". Hopefully I will remember this mantra once I enter the next bar, and maybe this time I will order a club soda!

Cheers peeps! Enjoy your weekend and try not to OVERINDULGE!