Guest Picks: 20 Coffee Table Books Beautiful Enough for Mom

 20 Coffee Table Books Beautiful Enough for Mom, Seasons and Holidays  Comments Off on Guest Picks: 20 Coffee Table Books Beautiful Enough for Mom
May 032015

Mother’s Day 2015 Gift Idea: Coffee Table Books that reflect moms interest and hobbies.

Encourage a favorite hobby or ignite a new interest with a coffee table book that makes a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift. Check the video below for more coffee table books.

About the Author

 Designing a lovely life with five children in tow.

I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly filling my Amazon shopping cart full of pretty books that I’d love to own. It seems like nowadays you can find an eye-catching book on just about anything. Whether mom likes to cook or loves fashion, flowers or travel, you’ll find something she would be happy to read then display on her coffee table. — Danyelle from Dandee Designs

coffee table book
The Flower Recipe is written by the dynamic duo behind the San Francisco floral shop Studio Choo. If mom has ever mentioned wanting to learn the art of floral arranging, this is the book for her.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2015

 Happy Valentine's Day 2015, Seasons and Holidays, Valentine  Comments Off on Happy Valentine’s Day 2015
Feb 142015

Happy Valentine’s Day 2015 from the Staff at Ravenhawks to our Readers

Miscellaneous & Cute Valentine's Day  Comments,Happy Valentine's Day 2015

Magickal Graphics
Valentine’s Day
The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). In Europe, Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”, as well as to children, in order to ward off Saint Valentine’s Malady. Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. Wikipedia

Valentine’s for lovers and for friends.
All my love goes out to you this day!
Love is something different from desire:
Even, silent, peaceful as the sky.
Nor is love interested in means or ends.
There are no selfish needs that it must weigh.
Instead, love’s plenitude itself inspires,
Needing neither cause nor reason why.
Each day my thoughts enchanted with you lie.

copyright by Nicholas Gordon.
The Legends and Lore of Valentine’s Day

Feb 132015
Valentine's Day 2015

Delight, Arouse and Intensify Your Partner’s Desire on Valentine’s Day 2015

Create a sensual, romantic, erotic and playful ambiance this Valentine’s Day 2015 and arouse and intensify your partner’s desire. Valentine’s Day is associated with love, roses, the heart, chocolate, greeting cards, lace and romance. Delight the senses and ignite the passion by implementing a few customized strategies.

First decide what you and your partner require. Personalize your choice of sensual strategies based on your needs and goals. Would you like to create an environment that is relaxing yet playful? Are you nervous? Will you and your sweetie be celebrating after a busy day at work? You both need something to help calm and clear your minds? Do you want to open your heart more deeply? Would you like to add an erotic vibe?

Valentines 2015The essential oils of jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, sandalwood and patchouli have aphrodisiac properties. These oils are uplifting and relaxing. Ylang-ylang, patchouli and jasmine help to build confidence. Rose essential oil opens the heart. Patchouli can heighten the sex drive and ylang-ylang assists in overcoming sexual dysfunction or concerns. Vanilla is soothing and promotes reproductive health. Vetiver and clary sage aid in quieting, focusing and clearing the mind.

Sprinkle a drop or two of your chosen oils on a pillow, tissue, unscented candle or onto a fire log. Make massage oil by adding a few drops of your chosen oils to 1-2 tablespoons (30-60ml) of carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond. If you are gifting your partner with a greeting card create an aroma memory by placing a drop of oil on the card. High quality natural incense, candles and aromatherapy sprays may be used therapeutically instead of oils.

Every color has a vibration and energy associated with it. Red is a color of stamina, energy, passion, courage, confidence, vitality and determination. It is a warm color and can stimulate the circulation and emotions. Use the color red to enhance these qualities in your space or wear red clothing or lace.

Rose quartz crystal is associated with the heart chakra. This stone can be used to stimulate peace, inner quiet, acceptance, compassion, unconditional love, gentleness and calm. If you would like to open your heart and connect more deeply with your partner this stone is a good choice. Cleanse the rose quartz in salt water for at least an hour, rinse with cold water and charge the stone with your intent. You can wear the stone, place it in your immediate space or in your bath.

Chocolate contains chemical compounds that effect neurotransmitters in the brain. Dark chocolate produces neurotransmitters that uplift the mood, decrease depression and improve alertness and focus. Strawberries are a red fruit associated with love and fertility and the Goddesses Venus and Aphrodite. Consider serving strawberries covered in dark chocolate.

The element of water is associated with the feminine, emotions, cleansing, purification, flow, movement, fertility, love, transformation, creativity and healing. Add some water magic to your Valentine’s  Day 2015 celebration by incorporating one of the baths below. Enhance your tub experience by listening to your favorite sensual and romantic music.

Mystical Sex Bath-

Add 3 drops rose, 3 drops jasmine, 3 drops sandalwood 3 drops frankincense and 3 drops ylang-ylang to comfortable bathwater.

Erotic Bath-

Add 4 drops sandalwood, 4 drops ginger and 4 drops rose oil to a warm bath.

Playful Partner Bath-

5 drops ylang-ylang, 10 drops rose, 5 drops patchouli oil to a warm bath. Gently stroke your partner’s shoulders, arms and fingertips. Massage the palms especially the fatty area below the thumb known as the mound of Venus. Next, stroke your partner’s legs and feet and switch.

*Use high quality essential oils for best results and avoid synthetic oils which do not have the same therapeutic properties

Source of Baths:

Muryn, M. Water Magic: Healing Bath Recipes for the Body, Mind, Spirit and Soul

Juniper Wyndfyre is a shamanic practitioner, intuitive reader, soul-life coach and certified laughter yoga leader and teacher living in New Mexico. All services are provided via phone or computer long distance. To see a listing of laughter yoga certification trainings or to schedule an appointment with Juniper visit, call 505-862-9343 or email

Feb 132015

Show your ardor with passionately bright pink candles, ribbons and flower petals that set the stage for romance

Holly Marder
Hello! I am a contributor for Houzz, writer and interior stylist based in the Netherlands. Always in search of beauty in all forms, I founded my lifestyle blog Avenue to satisfy my thirst for design and lifestyle inspiration. I am the loving mother of a beautiful little girl called Lola, and the adoring fiancé of a handsome Dutchman.

An intimate table set for two is always a special affair. This Valentine’s Day, whether you’re trying to impress a new romantic interest or refresh a relationship, try adding an unexpected jolt of color to your tablescape. Netherlands designer Sonia van der Zwaan-Barrigas of Gosto Design helped me put together a fresh and playful take on a candlelit dinner. See how just a few vibrant bursts of neon can set the mood to celebrate love on February 14.

Decorate vases of all shapes and sizes with ribbons, trimmings and washi tape. Each vase here has its own thoughtful decoration. Most were given a layered treatment, but one is dressed with a simple pink grosgrain bow.

“We loved the use of neon pink as a way to splash color in an otherwise neutral setting,” says van der Zwaan-Barrigas.
To add subtle hints of the color to the tablescape, we painted the petals of some of the fresh flowers with neon-pink acrylic paint. You could even personalize the flower with your loved one’s initials or name. The idea is inspired by the work of London-based author, stylist and designer Sania Pell, who did a similar project using florals found in her garden.

Feb 122015
Valentine Recipes 2015

Valentine Recipes 2015 feature dinner and dessert for two.

Mocha Creme de Pots


3/4 cup(s) heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream, for garnish
Chocolate shavings (optional), for garnish


Heat oven to 300 degrees. Put on a kettle of water to boil. In a medium saucepan, bring cream and sugar to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add chocolate and espresso powder. Let stand 1 minute; stir until chocolate melts and coffee dissolves. Whisk in yolks and vanilla until mixture is blended and smooth.
Pour chocolate mixture into 2 (6-ounce) heart-shaped or round ramekins or custard cups. Place ramekins in an 8-inch-square baking pan. Pour hot water into pan so that it comes halfway up sides of ramekins.
Bake 25 minutes or until almost set in centers. Remove ramekins to a wire rack; cool slightly. Serve warm and soft, or refrigerate up to 1 day. Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired.

Marinated Shrimp Scampi for twoValentine Recipes 2015

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound fresh or frozen extra-jumbo shrimp in shells (32 to 40)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Lemon wedges


For marinade, in a small bowl combine olive oil, wine, garlic, lemon peel, salt, and crushed red pepper.
Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel shrimp, leaving tails intact. Rinse shrimp; pat dry with paper towels. Place shrimp in a large resealable plastic bag set in a bowl. Pour marinade over shrimp. Seal bag; turn to coat shrimp. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat broiler. Remove shrimp from marinade and save the marinade. Arrange shrimp on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 2 minutes. Turn shrimp over and brush with marinade; discard any remaining marinade. Broil for 2 to 4 minutes more.
Place shrimp on a serving platter; sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

Gluten Free Breakfast CasseroleValentine Recipes 2015

4 Strips bacon or turkey bacon
1 Cup cottage cheese(rinsed and drained)
1 Cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 Cup of sliced green onions
8 eggs well beaten
All purpose seasoning and ground pepper to taste

Cook bacon until it is crisp and then crumble it
Combine all ingredients and pour in a small 8×8 glass casserole dish that has been greased with nonstick spray
Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 30-35 minutes

Dublin, Ireland

 Conscious Living, Dublin Ireland, Travel, Valentine  Comments Off on Dublin, Ireland
Feb 122015
Dublin, Ireland

Valentine’s Day on a Budget in Dublin, Ireland

Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend this year so raise a glass of the brown stuff (Guinness) and take off with your other half to Dublin, Ireland and make a day of it on your romantic quest.

Dublin is a city steeped in history – boasting grand architecture, plenty of canal ways and a whole host of famous dignitaries from the world of literature through to big screen stars. But the real beauty lies in the city’s ‘burbs, with its scenic coastlines, and on the outskirts of Dublin, with its picturesque mountains and panoramic views of the city.

  If you and your other half love the great outdoors, there’s numerous places in and around Dublin to walk and talk; take a pew and view; and wine and dine. Plus it doesn’t have to cost an arm-and-a-leg either. Appreciate special moments with your beloved while basking in the splendours of the Emerald Isle.


Wicklow Mountains National Park covers part of a mountain range that extends over most of County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. The upper slopes and rounded peaks are blanketed with heath and bog. The open vistas are interrupted only by forestry plantations and the winding mountain roads. Fast-flowing streams descend into the deep lakes of the wooded valleys and continue their course into the surrounding lowlands.

Dublin, IrelandAny newbie to Ireland heads for Glendalough, a 45-minute drive from Dublin, which is known as the ‘honeypot’ of the National Park. The combination of the stunning scenery and the fascinating monastic history make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland. The name Glendalough means ‘valley of two lakes’. Stretching for over 3 km, there are numerous sites of interest at Glendalough including two lakes, the ruins of a monastery dating back to 618 AD and a waterfall.

There are numerous trails for walking of all levels at Glendalough, ranging from a short stroll to more demanding mountain hikes. So link arms withDublin, Ireland your other half and take your pick of walks through lush forests, expansive lakes and monastery ruins. Be sure to check out the Poulanass Waterfall. Although at times a grueling ascent, it’s worth the sweat as the top is a peaceful place to sit and reflect with your other half.

Remember to take some food with you too. Glendalough has places to sit and picnic but for those who can’t bear the cold, take a picnic with you and stop off en route from Dublin. There’s a great vantage point with spectacular views of the valley where you can eat before start your descent.

Make the most of your time in Glendalough and book a night’s stay at one of the B&Bs in the surrounding area. The Wicklow Heather – which includes a restaurant, B&B and luxury wood lodge – offers special deals starting from 75 for a weekend’s night’s stay and a 4-course meal.

Dublin Mountains

Dublin, IrelandIreland is known as the Emerald Isle for its lush green countryside and a stone’s throw away from Tallaght, in the south of Dublin, are the Dublin Mountains – an ode to the country’s namesake. Just a 15-minute drive from the Dublin suburb, Dublin Mountains are an expansive range of mountain-scapes where you can get lost with your love.

If you want to walk an established route, head for one of the recreation sites along the way including Tibradden Wood, laden with pine trees dating Dublin, Irelandback to 1910, and Hell Fire Club, offering a variety of short forest walks. But if you and your beau like a bit of adventure, take a drive, head for the skies and see where it takes you.

dublin-mountainsThe scenery along the Dublin Mountains is stunning. Snowy-scapes akin to Switzerland soon give way to lush forest. Turn around and you see a completely different picture to what you saw incoming. Other than the cold temperature, the season is not apparent up in Dublin Mountains as you can go from snow-topped mountains to sun-drenched valleys featuring autumnal reds and greens as you turn the corner quite literally.

Park up along the way wherever it takes your fancy, but be aware that some parts are private land and you can be done for trespassing! So look out for the random signs.

If you make it that far, stop off at the Johnnie Fox’s pub in Glencullen. Surrounded by the beautiful scenery and serenity of the Dublin Mountains, Johnnie Fox’s is known for being the highest pub in the country and one of the oldest too. Featuring live music, the Johnnie Fox is touristy but is worth a flying visit even if to just down a pint.

Dun Laoghaire Pier

Dublin, IrelandDún Laoghaire, about seven miles south of Dublin, is a coastal town which sits along the east coast of Ireland and is surrounded by rolling hills.

A stroll along Dún Laoghaire Pier, with stunning views of Dublin Bay, is a perfect start to your Valentine’s Day from the late afternoon. Watch the sun dun laoughire pier2set as you walk along the 2.6km journey where you can enjoy sea views of the marina, bay and harbour.

Dún Laoghaire harbour is a good place to explore on an evening with its choice of restaurants and bars.

Feb 112015

Click through the video below to get some easy Valentine’s Day touches that will let you show your chosen Valentine that you care in your own way.

Amanda O’Sullivan
Houzz Contributor, Owner of RedAgape Blog and Guesthouse in Millthorpe. I am a creative type with a passion for interiors, photography, styling, DIYs and craft.

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and for those who struggle with romance, this can be a terrifying time. The high expectations and pressure to produce romantic gestures and gifts can be overwhelming, as well as expensive. Not to mention the feelings of awkwardness for those who struggle with expressing their emotions or public displays of affection. I’m here to tell you everything will be all right — take some deep breaths and read on. There’s no need to break the bank or spend hours writing love letters; there are simple but very effective ways to let your better half know he or she is loved and appreciated, all without leaving the house.

Handcraft some hearts. The heart is the international symbol for love, and there are endless ways to make some yourself. Shape your partner’s food into hearts using cookie cutters, or simply cut out some paper hearts. Folded paper hearts are one of the easiest origami projects and take only five minutes to construct. One would make a perfect heartfelt gift to place on your partner’s pillow or in an unexpected place, like the car or office.


Feb 112015
Valentine’s Checklist

 Valentine’s Checklist – Gift ideas:

Getting creative with your Valentine’s gifts and personalizing them is a wonderful way to give your other half something he or she will remember. Create a Valentine’s playlist of songs that you both enjoy listening too and that means something to both of you. Put your playlist on a iPod, iPhone or burn it on to CD to give to your beloved.

power bead bracletA piece of jewelry is always a welcome gift for Valentine’s. Or even try your hands at making jewelry such as power bead bracelets. For men, go for protective stones such as black tourmaline, black onyx and tiger’s eye. And for ladies, try rose quartz, pink tourmaline and opal.

Chocolate and wine always go down a treat no matter what. Try ethical and fair trade chocolate brands such as Seed and Bean, Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates and Shaman Chocolates. And for a treat, give a gift of organic whisky by Benromach and Journeyman Distillery.

 Valentine’s Checklist – feast for the road:

If you’re planning on taking a trip together, prepare a special lunch or picnic that you can take with you and stop off and enjoy together in the wilderness. Trade in soggy sarnies for something more enticing and heart-warming that can be eaten cold. Have a look through books for recipe ideas.

For something exotic and tasty, get your hands on some North African spicy sausages (merguez) and flat breads. At home, cook the merguez in its own fat and boil some eggs too. When you are out on the road and ready to eat, slither a layer of Harissa sauce (North African chili sauce) on to the flat bread, add the sausages and sliced egg. It’s a real treat that will keep you going, especially if you are out for a long walk in the cold. Finish off with some heart-shaped cupcakes or choccies, and a little tipple of your and your beau’s choice.

What to wear for a night out or romantic dinner in:

Slip out of the layers and work that sexy tigressa look after hours, be it for a night out with your man or romantic meal indoors, showing off those heavenly curves.

Valentine’s ChecklistGo for a little black dress that shows off your feminine assets. If you have ample bosom, check out 50s and 60s inspired silhouettes Valentine’s Checklistwhich will cinch in your waist and show off those curves. Also look for details such as an embellished neckline to draw attention upwards, away from your middle and up to your cleavage. Maxi dresses are great for creating the illusion of height and skimming off inches.

If you have a booty to die for check out Empire line dresses. And for flatter figures, create the illusion of a bigger bust with a cowl neckline and look for detailing such as lace.

Valentine’s ChecklistWhen it comes to color, check for black, magenta, purple and deep reds.

For an ethical look, bamboo is becoming the sustainable material of choice for many eco switched-on manufacturers. Check out labels including Bamboo Body (, Outsider ( and Seamly (

Huria Choudhari is a journalist, creative warrior and intuitive counselor. She writes about music, fashion and lifestyle for Life & Soul Magazine: Having carved her journalism career in news and current affairs, Huria is a truth seeker. Applying that very same ethic, she also offers creative coaching and intuitive counselling services to help others discover their own truth. Get in touch with Huria at or


Feb 092015
Valentine’s Day Love Spell

Whether you’re looking for love and wanting to manifest an intimate relationship with a partner you truly connect with or are already in a relationship and looking to enhance the love between you, then Valentine’s Day is an ideal day for some special magick!

This Valentine’s Day Love Spell can be used as it is or adapted to suit your individual requirements. The most important thing is your intent.

You’ll need three ribbons or cords or similar: red, pink and white and sufficient length to tie seven knots. You can also use a white or pink candle and rose, jasmine or sandalwood incense. Create a special and peaceful space around yourself and focus on the love you’d like to manifest. Remember that a love spell shouldn’t be used to try to force someone to love you against their will so if there’s someone that you’re hoping to be in a relationship with it’s better not to name a specific person but to ask to attract the person that’s right for you.

Focusing your energy and intent, begin to speak the words of your love spell as you tie the first knot in all three ribbons together. Gradually add a knot at a time until you have seven knots in total.

With the first knot this spell I start

To bring true love to fill my heart.

True pure love that’s meant to be

May I draw it now to me.

Wherever you are, wherever you may be

I invite you my beloved to be with me

With each knot tied tonight

May my love and I unite.

Let nothing hinder nor delay

May love be here with me today

Let nothing keep us now apart

May you feel the love in my heart

May true pure love be with me

As I will it so mote it be.

Finish your love spell by reflecting on the love you have and wish to share and enjoying peace and gratitude that it is now on its way to you.

Jill Graham is a professional psychic tarot reader, energy healer and life & soul coach providing answers, insight and guidance to creating and living the life you desire! (10% introductory discount for Ravenhawks readers)

Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

 Martin Luther King Jr Day, Seasons and Holidays  Comments Off on Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
Jan 192015



Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s success with non-violent activism, King had “for a long time…wanted to take a trip to India”.[41] With assistance from the Quaker group the American Friends Service Committee, he was able to make the journey in April 1959.[42] The trip to India affected King, deepening his understanding of non-violent resistance and his commitment to America’s struggle for civil rights. In a radio address made during his final evening in India, King reflected, “Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity”.

The lack of attention given to family planning

On being awarded the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Margaret Sanger Award on 5th May, 1966, King said:

Recently, the press has been filled with reports of sightings of flying saucers. While we need not give credence to these stories, they allow our imagination to speculate on how visitors from outer space would judge us. I am afraid they would be stupefied at our conduct. They would observe that for death planning we spend billions to create engines and strategies for war. They would also observe that we spend millions to prevent death by disease and other causes. Finally they would observe that we spend paltry sums for population planning, even though its spontaneous growth is an urgent threat to life on our planet. Our visitors from outer space could be forgiven if they reported home that our planet is inhabited by a race of insane men whose future is bleak and uncertain.

There is no human circumstance more tragic than the persisting existence of a harmful condition for which a remedy is readily available. Family planning, to relate population to world resources, is possible, practical and necessary. Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess. What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victims.

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