Monthly Archives: October 2008

~Spooky Catacombs!~


Mission Inn for the Holidays

Mission Inn for the Holidays

The Mission Inn, Riverside California has always held a special spot in my heart!

As a young girl I was entranced with the idea of getting into the Spooky Catacombs below.  After several attempts so far I have been unsucessful, but someday I hope to get inside!  The catacombs have been closed to the public for several years, but next year Ghostwalk Riverside will be giving VIP tours.  If there is any way at all, I plan to be there!

If you get the privlidge of actually going to this Inn, you will understand why it is so captivating.

Many famous interesting guests drawn to the inn included industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, actress Sarah Bernhardt, escape artist Harry Houdini, educator Booker T. Washington, blind and deaf writer and lecturer Helen Keller, aviatrix Amelia Earhart, auto tycoon Henry Ford and evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. The inn was also a favorite of the early Hollywood movie colony as well as World War II fliers at nearby March Field.

If you ever get the chance to go, it is a must see, especially during the holiday season.

Spooky Kisses!

Interview with Donna Maria Coles Johnson of the Indie Beauty Network.


This is the 1st of a 3 part story series, featuring 3 different Women of Substance

~Women of Substance~

Featuring Donna Maria Coles Johnson.

Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria Coles Johnson

If you are like me, you are always interested in what makes someone a success?  How can I learn form them and incorporate some of their secrets into my business & life?

It is a rare find indeed when you meet just such a woman that has excelled not only in her business but also her personal life, and she is ready and willing to encourage and mentor others.  In Donna Maria’s case hundreds of others!

Read on to see what Donna Maria has to say: 


Lisa Kasper:  What kind of business do you operate?  

Donna Maria:  The core of my business is the Indie Beauty Network ( From this core emanate numerous additional businesses and activities such as producing and hosting the Indie Business Radio Show (, hosting (along with my husband business partner) the Media Is You training conferences ( and a video production company ( Everything revolves around the Indie Beauty and Indie Business brands, which are my trademarks. 


Lisa Kasper:  What prompted you to go into this line of business?  

Donna Maria:  I learned how to make my own cosmetics about 15 years ago. I left well paying jobs, and then returned to them, 3 separate times, all the while knowing that my passion was for women and the things that empower us and make us appreciate our beauty. Since I am professionally trained as both a journalist and an attorney, it seemed natural to create an organization to provide business building services and encouragement to people who make and sell beautiful products for a living. I closed my cosmetics business to launch the Indie Beauty Network. It is one of the greatest joys of my life. 

Indie Beauty Network

Indie Beauty Network


 Lisa Kasper:  What is your Mantra/Mission?  

Donna Maria: My mantra is: Enjoy your life, build your business, have your way.


Lisa Kasper:  What do you feel sets you apart from others in your industry?  

Donna Maria:  My complete dedication to serving my members. Also, I produce results. While I’m not perfect and don’t do everything right, my members and business partners tell me that partnering with me is enhancing their lives and their businesses.


Lisa Kasper:  What are you doing to promote your business? 

 Donna Maria:  Connecting with and helping as many people as I can. I use social media a lot and have recently increased my travel schedule to enjoy more speaking opportunities.


Lisa Kasper:  Has your business grown this year? By what percent?  Do you project growth for next year?  

Donna Maria:  Business has more than doubled over the past 12 months. I project even more growth next year.


Lisa Kasper:  What is the market group that you target?  

Donna Maria:   Women and families who desire to earn a living using their talents and gifts in a small family business.


Lisa Kasper:  What drives you to do what you do every day?  

Donna MariaMy love for women and their families, especially those in business. Ten years ago, my dear friend Robin was trying to escape an abusive marriage. She had started a Mary Kay business and had found a new place to live. Before she could get out, her husband killed her.


When I helped Robin’s parents sort through her things, I found a drawer full of the handmade toiletries products I had made for her over the years. Robin could never throw anything away, and there they all were. Some like new, others half used and sort of smelly. But all made with love. They were in a drawer where she also kept sacred cards and keepsakes from her children.


I know there are millions of other women with children — not all in situations like Robin was in — who are are trying to create a better life for their children. Robin drives me. She lives inside of me. And when I get tired or overwhelmed, I remember her and her struggle and I become more determined that women from all walks of life can achieve their dreams and surround themselves with people who will help them do so. Thank you for asking.


Lisa Kasper:  How do you get it all done?  

Donna Maria:  I don’t. 

Seriously, there are baskets of unfolded clean laundry in the upstairs hallway, the dishes need to be washed, my daughter’s hair needs to be braided, I need to figure out what to cook (or buy) for dinner and my dear husband needs some attention, and yet, I also want to answer your questions because you’ve been waiting so long. I’ll prioritize all of these things. I’ll get done what absolutely must be done. Then I’ll get a good night’s rest, wake up tomorrow, go to church and do it all over again.


Lisa Kasper:  What is your biggest accomplishment?  

Donna Maria:  It hasn’t happened yet.


Lisa Kasper:  What would you tell other women to encourage them in the workforce?  

Donna Maria:  Own a business of your own, even if you have a traditional job.


Lisa Kasper:  What would you change if you could go back 10 years?  

Donna Maria:  Nothing. That’s not because I did everything right or made no mistakes. It’s because it’s a useless thing to think about. I prefer to think about how I will change the future.


Lisa Kasper:  And for us because we are nosey…what is your favorite fragrance???  

Donna Maria:  Pink grapefruit essential oil always makes me smile.


If you could ask your own question, what would you like to ask Donna Maria? 







The Vivid world of Fragrance…

A Report from Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

 In The Remembrance of Things Past, French novelist Marcel Proust described what happened to him after drinking a spoonful of tea in which he had soaked a piece of madeleine, a type of cake: “No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me,” he wrote. “An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses…with no suggestion of its origin…

“Suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was of a little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings…my Aunt Leonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea….Immediately the old gray house on the street, where her room was, rose up like a stage set…and the entire town, with its people and houses, gardens, church, and surroundings, taking shape and solidity, sprang into being from my cup of tea.”

Just seeing the madeleine had not brought back these memories, Proust noted. He needed to taste and smell it. “When nothing else subsists from the past,” he wrote, “after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered…the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls…bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory.”

Proust referred to both taste and smell—and rightly so, because most of the flavor of food comes from its aroma, which wafts up the nostrils to cells in the nose and also reaches these cells through a passageway in the back of the mouth.


Our taste buds provide only four distinct sensations: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Other flavors come from smell, and when the nose is blocked by a cold, most foods seem bland or tasteless.

Both smell and taste require us to incorporate—to breathe in or swallow—chemical substances that actually attach themselves to receptors on our sensory cells.

The average human being, it is said, can recognize up to 10,000 separate odors. We are surrounded by odorant molecules that emanate from trees, flowers, earth, animals, food, industrial activity, bacterial decomposition, other humans. Yet when we want to describe these myriad odors, we often resort to crude analogies: something smells like a rose, like sweat, or like ammonia.

Our culture places such low value on olfaction that we have never developed a proper vocabulary for it. In A Natural History of the Senses, poet Diane Ackerman notes that it is almost impossible to explain how something smells to someone who hasn’t smelled it. There are names for all the pastels in a hue, she writes—but none for the tones and tints of a smell.

Nor can odors be measured on the kind of linear scale that scientists use to measure the wavelength of light or the frequency of sounds.

Coming Soon- The Memory of Smells….

10 Ways to prevent Breast Cancer.

This is a post from Dr. Mommy- Dr. Daisy Sutherland D.C.- you can check her blog HERE.  I found it very informative & I hope you will too.

Breast Cancer Awareness month is this month, the month of October.  With that said I wanted to share some tips that can help reduce your chance of developing breast cancer.


There is a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in your life, but hopefully with this plan the odds will change. Although there are many drugs on the market and much research is being done, the odds of a woman getting cancer in her lifetime aren’t shrinking.

It seems that diet has a lot to do with the handling of this disease and it is something we can definitely control. Diet has be proven to be the most effective way to reduce your risk. There are many other suggestions such as exercise but today we will focus on 10 simple ways you can change your diet and start protecting yourself today.

1. Reduce your Fat – Limit your fat intake by 20 percent of your overall caloric intake. Research has proven that a diet high in fat will increase the risk of breast cancer. High fat diets have also been proven to produce chemicals in the intestine that bacteria convert to carcinogenic estrogens. These estrogens can then be stored in the fatty tissue of the breast, making the cells in the area more susceptible to cancer growth.

2. Choose Crunchy Veggies – Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, turnips and cauliflower. It is best to steam them or eat them raw to best preserve their cancer fighting nutrients. These types of vegetables contain sulfurous compounds called indoles, which have shown to help eliminate estrogen from the body and prevent it from triggering the growth of breast cancer.

3. Increase your Fiber – Get plenty of fiber from foods such as vegetables and fruits, legumes and whole grains. The fiber tends to interrupt the metabolism of estrogen and decreases the blood levels of estrogen. The high levels of blood estrogen in the body are close in relation to higher risk of breast cancer. High fiber diets have been shown to reduce the risk of of breast cancer by up to 54 percent.

4. Try Seaweed– Try eating seaweeds such as kelp and nori or consider taking spirulina (blue algae) and chlorella in a glass of juice daily. High consumptions of kelp may explain the lower incidence of breast cancer in Japanese women. Kelp and chlorella have shown to have anti-carcinogenic effects.

5. Soy Secret – It is smart to eat soy products such as tofu, miso or tempeh. Soybeans and other soy products contain a plant estrogen called genistein. This plant estrogen binds to receptors in the breast, making it impossible for potentially cancer causing forms of estrogen to connect with breast cells.

6. Shop organic – Buy organic foods such as fruits, vegetables, meates, dairy and grains when ever possible. Organic products do not contain pesticides that have been linked to breast cancer. Dairy products and meats that are certified organic do not contain any growth hormones, such as bovine, a chemical usually fed to cows. This chemical has been shown to promote the growth of breast cancer cells.

7. Eat Fish – Eat at least 3 servings of cold water fish a week. Some cold water fish are tuna, salmon, halibute, cod and sardines. If you can’t eat fish you can take fish oil capsules or vegetarian supplements. The omega-3 oils inhibit the effects of compounds known as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins have been associated with inflammation that will suppress the immune systems’s ability to identify tumors. A higher consumption of fish and fish oil has been found to reduce the cases of cancer.

8. Choose the right oils – Avoid canola oil, safflower oil, sesame oil and margarine. It is best to use virgin and extra-virgin olive oil when cooking. Flaxseed oil is also very wise to use as long as it is not heated; can be added to foods already cooked. Olive oil, a monounsaturated fat has been linked to lower rates of cancer. Trans fats also called hydrogenated oils mainly found in margarine have been linked with high rates of cancer.

9. Add phytonutrients to your diet – Introduce nuts, legumes, seeds as well as fruits and a variety of vegetables to your diet. These particular foods contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant compounds that protect against cellular damage and prevent cancer growth. Cooking with herbs such as dill, which contains a phytochemical called limonene, is important for breast protection and rosemary has antioxidant and anti-tumor properties.

10. Mushrooms – Mushrooms have medicinal properties. Some medicinal mushrooms include the Japanese variety of shiitake and maitake. Studies have shown that maitake mushrooms actually stimulate the immune function and prevent tumor growth. The ingredients in maitake mushrooms do not kill the cancer cells directly, it activates the immune system protecting against breast cancer. Shitake mushrooms have also been found to boost the immune system.

Spice for your Spirit…

Spice for your Spirit…


Houses of worship have used Frankincense for centuries for it’s heavenly aroma…it is not suprising to discover new research has proven the scent can indeed raise your spirits.  Scientists at John Hopkins University in Maryland and Hebrew University in Jerusalem found that incensole acetate, a compound found in frankincense resin, simulates production of a protien called TRPV3, which elevates your mood affecting areas of the brain that respond to anxiety and depression drugs.

“Burning the resin produces the strongest mood-elevating results, as the effects of inhaling the smoke are immediate,” says Ruth Knill, PhD, a licensed acupunturist.

If incense isn’t for you, light a frankinsence infused candle, add 10 drops of essential oil to a bath, or dab a few drops (diluted with a carrier oil-like sweet almond oil-onto your wrist.