What’s in the Perfect Balm?

My passion for good health and natural living has always driven me to share what I have learned about natural remedies for health promotion and illness prevention. And, although it is true that the development and mass production of chemically synthesized drugs has revolutionized health care in most parts of the word during the past 100 years, many people still rely on natural and herbal medicines.

The use of natural health remedies also increases when conventional medicine has been ineffective in the treatment of disease, such as in advanced cancer and infectious diseases. Today, natural remedies are commonly used in the prevention and treatment of a variety of ailments including inflammation, chronic,and acute conditions, as well as in an effort to boost the immune system and quality of life.

Natural remedies can be taken in many different ways and forms,  including the whole herb, syrups, teas, essential oils, rubs, capsules, and tablets that contain a ground or powdered form of the raw herb or its dried extract. 

Natural and herbal remedies use the plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark and flowers. Likewise, not only is the type of environment in which the plant grows important, but also the way in which it was harvested and processed. The major areas of concern with the use of herbs and plants is quality, safety, and production. As with the consumption of raw fruits, plants and vegetables, it is imperative that only 100% organic and pure forms be used. Whether it’s an essential oil, herb, prescribed, or over the counter medication, all should be treated with respect and caution. Our age, health history, medications taken, and body chemistry are all key factors in personal health care. Likewise, it is crucial that we research and educate ourselves before we take anything, not only in examining the various benefits but also in the safely of its dosage. 

With so many natural remedies readily available today, the need for expensive prescription medication can decrease drastically. Without a doubt, there are times when only prescription medicine will do, but natural remedies offer a vital role in our preventative health care. So, if by using natural herbs and spices to supplement my diet I can focus on my overall health protection and maintenance, I whole-heartedly say, “why not?” If daily natural remedies will help keep the doctor away, then I completely agree with Hippocrates when he says, “Nature Itself Is The Best Physician.”

In my book I include a compilation of my favorite natural remedies for health, beauty, and home care. I include everything from my favorite household cleaners and disinfectants to my very own survival bag and home-made PerfectBalm.

Perfect Balm For Face & Body …

Although I am a strong believer that diet plays the largest role in how our skin looks and feels, skin care using pure and natural ingredients, including essential and carrier oils, will help create and maintain healthier skin. While essential oils such as frankincense encourage cell regeneration, carrier oils are absorbed safely and effectively, allowing our skin to retain a maximum amount of moisture, which is the key to healthier, more radiant skin. Whether we are experiencing the early signs of aging, fine lines, irritation, or other skin imperfections, I truly believe pure and organic ingredients will help achieve the best results for our skin care.

I no longer purchase the expensive and many times chemical-filled health and beauty care products that inundate the market today. After years of research and trial and error, I created Perfect Balm. Below are the ingredients that I have discovered are the best choices for skin therapy. Perfect Balm is available online and in local health and wellness spas, but I say, try making your own balm. Play around with it. I added turmeric and orange essential oil to my last personal batch. It’s a little more yellow in color but it smells like summer, and I love it! I like knowing exactly what’s going on my skin as well as in my mouth.   

Coconut Oil

Shea Butter

Aloe Vera













Tea Tree 

Ylang Ylang

Heat 2 cups of coconut oil and 4 cups of Shea butter in a bowl over boiling water until liquid. Pour into 1 quart mason jar. Add 1 oz of carrier and essential oils. Shake until well blended and transfer to smaller glass jars. As with anything new, I suggest starting small. Perhaps using only on your face until accustomed to the feel, smell, and texture of the balm.

I knew I had mastered the ingredients when I received a text from my world-traveling missionary son turned Director of Campus Ministry at JHS, saying …

“Mom I am obsessed with this last batch of PerfectBalm!”

Life is Too Good To Be Anything But Happy and Healthy/DLMitchell

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Why Being Near Water Could Be the Key to…

“Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and imagine sitting beside a body of water. Perhaps it’s a serene lake, a lake so big you can barely make out the other side. Or maybe it’s a sugar-sand beach with crystalline waters that feel like a warm bath to the touch. Sit. Hear the water lap against either shore. Feel the breeze. Take it all in. Odds are you’re feeling calmer already. That’s because, according to science, being around water can help our mental health in myriad ways and be the key to lasting happiness.”

“Humans love being around water because something about it is inherently calming,” says Sanam Hafeez, a New York City–based neuropsychologist and faculty member at Columbia University. “Perhaps for some, water takes them back to their youth, to swimming in a pool, lake, or ocean. Bodies of water have a dream-like quality to them, much like clouds, and allow us to see different shapes and imagine limitless possibilities. Just staring at water allows our minds to be still and peaceful.”

http://www.realsimple.com/Stacey Leasca


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Ever Given

Do you remember some time ago hearing and seeing on TV about Ever Given (you don’t remember? Oh, how short our memory). Well to jog our memories, it was one of the world’s largest cargo ships some 1,300 feet long and 1,100 feet high. It got stuck sideways in the Suez Canal blocking all sorts of traffic and shipping. It is said that it ran aground diagonally losing its ability to steer amid sudden high winds and dust storms.

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Quilts and Textiles Blanket the Dunedin Fine Art Center

DUNEDIN — Nearly everyone remembers sleeping under a quilt made by their mother or grandmother, and many of those quilts were made from time-honored traditional quilt designs. Today’s quiltmakers take those designs as departure points for works that are often inspired by nature, personal or world events.

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AGAIN: Rebuilding, Re-Envisioning, and Reengaging Life with a Purpose

As we navigate back into life emerging from COVID and lockdown, those who have experienced resilience tend to become more balanced, positive, connected, determined, and hopeful. They have lived- and are living- with higher self-awareness. The journey is often not an easy path. There are tests that will challenge you, but more importantly, will inspire you to move forward with confidence and courage. As you do, your resolve will be strengthened, new-found hope will be established, and the lasting desire to live fully will become more evident. It is hard, but worth the time and work. As you are in your current challenges, don’t give up. I have identified eleven areas that often are needed for us to “stay the course”. See where you align with these qualities.

1) Stay honest with yourself and others.
Resilience is built on integrity and honesty. This critical trait becomes both the starting point and the foundation of one’s purpose. Understanding the problem, admitting its depth, and acknowledging the consequences that have followed pushes the start button on the entire process. We have been consumed with deception, minimization, denial, and rationalization that locks our mind into a pattern of self-defeat keeping us bound and stuck. Honesty breaks that locked pattern and moves us towards resilience. What attitudes or habits do you need to adjust in to stay honest with others?

2) Be aware of your own vulnerabilities. 
Be aware of your own temptations and triggers to slip back to old patterns. Even though you have begun your journey with honesty and enthusiasm, problems may block your progress and it may be easy to fall into old, damaging patterns and destructive choices. Identifying the enemies of change allows you to build adequate defenses, strengthen yourself where you can, and avoid what you must. Ask yourself the question. Where in your life do you need to be especially cautious and aware in order to safeguard your purpose?

3) Stay grateful and remain humble and accepting. 
Be grateful for another chance to get your life back. Review what you are thankful for and be aware of how others have been kind to you. Living with a humble outlook and a healthy view of what you have and who you are helps you go beyond behavior and into deep life change. It affects your mood positively and offers encouragement along the journey. How can I practice staying grateful?

4) Stay positive with an upbeat and optimistic attitude. 
Smile, laugh, and enjoy your life. Being positive does not depend on your circumstances; rather it is almost entirely contingent on your attitude. Choose to look at what went right, not what went wrong. What are some ways you can practice staying positive and not allowing yourself to become trapped in the negative around you?

5) Stay close to those who support you and distance yourself from those who do not. 
Being part of a closely connected social group is one of the best ways to increase overall contentment, build accountability, and establish your plan for resilience. Connections with like-minded people offer fellowship, camaraderie and encouragement. Equally, you may need to limit your contact with those who do not support your goals. Belonging to a positive support system will help you feel understood, accepted, and supported. How are you going to stay connected and accountable to others?

6) Stay determined. Find your purpose for staying the course.
Finding your purpose can be used as a dynamic and driving force to build or sustain momentum, even when plateaus occur or challenges emerge. Therefore, take charge of your purpose. Be strongminded and resolve to set your course to become the person you want to be. Motivation and commitment are strengthened as you exercise your own will and as you decide to change your own life. What primary reasons are motivating you to stay the course?

7) Stay intentional.
Get rid of haphazard and random living. Stay deliberate, determined, and purposeful. Forge your new goals with thoughtfulness and purpose. Stay motivated. Don’t let “I will do whatever it takes” slip into “how little can I do and still get by?” You can ignore interruptions and delay gratification in order to accomplish your dreams.

8) Stay balanced. Keep work, love, projects, and people in proper priority. 
As time moves on, life becomes more complicated, and sometimes chaotic. The routines of life make ever-increasing demands for time and attention. Living an unbalanced and narrowly focused life can increase stress and may lead to distraction. Allow friendships, humor, rest, and relaxation to bring a balance to the strains and demands of life around you. What are some changes you can make today, and this next week, to stay balanced?

9) Stay strong. Be known for best attitude, best effort, and best character. 
This is a reminder to watch your attitude and your behavior. The journey can feel long and exhausting; those who are most successful maintain a great attitude. Even when inconvenienced or bothered, respond with a good attitude. When you are tired and tempted to coast, give your best effort. When you are mistreated or disrespected, display your best self. Those who stay strong and motivated make the most progress in life.

10) Stay hopeful and remain confident. 
Your future is not determined by your past failures and mistakes. Each day you can build confidence, increase inspiration, and stay encouraged. Your energy, enthusiasm, and optimism are being restored. As you are healed you become positive and your possibilities become more of a reality. Regrets of the past fade as your view of the future becomes clear and bright. As you progress, what strategies can you use to stay hopeful and remain confident?

11) Stay the course. 
Wholeheartedly pursuing these qualities and characteristics can make your purpose possible. Character transformation is rarely instantaneous.

Be willing to systematically develop these essential traits over time. As you do, you will strengthen your resolve, establish a new-found hope, and obtain the lasting purpose you desire.

“For I know the plans I have for you, Declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope”. Jeremiah 29:11

Compass Consulting and Affiliates, LLC/Dr. Rick Petronella



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Historic Florida Restaurant That Only Gets Better With Age

Dining in a restaurant that has a story behind it is something that we tend to take advantage of. While many patrons choose restaurants based on modern decor or elevated, unique cuisine, there is something fulfilling about finding a restaurant rich with history. Luckily for us in Florida, we have quite a few places just like that. But this one particular restaurant in Florida, seeping with history and Southern charm, just gets better with age.

The Seminole Inn Restaurant is located in the off-the-beaten-path town known as Indiantown, Florida, and has been around since the mid-1920s, serving up a dose of Southern charm for all who visit.

When you visit Seminole Inn Restaurant, be prepared for an epic buffet-style meal that features all of the home-style favorites you’d expect. From crunchy, tender-on-the-inside fried chicken and perfectly seasoned prime ribs to savory sweet potatoes, thick and delicious gravy, creamy mashed potatoes, and more. Top it all off with cheese and fruit for a bit of freshness with the meal.

One of the most popular spots for Sunday brunch, guests visit Seminole Inn Restaurant for a Southern all-you-can-eat meal that will blow you away.

Experience a true Southern meal in a historic hotel that has withstood the test of time through the Depression, hurricanes, modern architecture and more…but seemingly only gets better with age.

The address for the Seminole Inn Restaurant is 15885 SW Warfield Blvd, Indiantown, FL 34956-3502. The hours for the restaurant are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To find out more information about Seminole Inn Restaurant visit the website or Facebook Page.

The Historic Florida Restaurant That Only Gets Better With Age

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Ever Present Challenge

Best selling author Matthew Kelly calls it, “Becoming the best version of yourself.” Former First Lady Melania Trump simply says, “Be Best.”

The question for us, of course, is why is it so difficult for us to become the best version of our self or simply “Be Best”? I’ve been pondering that question for some time. I’m not sure there is a single answer, but part of the solution, I believe, lies somewhere in the following.

Megan McKenna, internationally known author, theologian, and storyteller, in her book Parables, tells the story of a king whose greatest treasure was a most beautiful and perfect diamond that had been in his family for generations. To tell the truth, it was the only thing his kingdom was known or famous for. People came from far and wide to admire the perfect diamond. One day, however, despite the diamond being carefully guarded, a crack appeared. One by one the best jewelers of the kingdom examined the diamond and relayed the sad news to their king that it was beyond repair. The king was devastated.

One day an old man, who claimed to be a jeweler, asked to see the diamond and claimed he could fix it! The king, to say the least, was not in a believing mood, but what was he to do. Not willing to let go of the diamond, he had one of the rooms of the palace set up as a jeweler shop.

A week later, the old man appeared from the room and presented the diamond to the king. The king was totally astonished. The stone was utterly transformed and truly magnificent. It was even more beautiful and more perfect than before.

The jeweler had used the crack that ran through the middle of the stone as a stem and then with his tools, carved an intricate full-blown rose, leaves, and thorns into the diamond. It was truly exquisite. The king was over joyed, and wishing to compensate the jeweler for his work said, “you took something beautiful and perfect and improved upon it.” But the old man refused compensation and corrected the king saying, “I did not do that at all. What I did, was take something flawed and cracked at the heart and turn it into something beautiful.”

Like the diamond, through sin, we have become flawed and cracked. Our King, however, knows us, His subjects, and sends us His son, the perfect jeweler, to heal us and restore us to new life offering us a share in his own sublime and perfect divine life. But unlike the diamond, we can refuse to undergo the surgery of the Cross, the perfect tool of restoration. So often we are like people who want to be cured, provided there is no pain, so too we wish to be “The Best” provided we can have it without change, without leaving our comfort zone. And therein lies the challenge and also our solution.

Msgr. Hugh M. Marren, Pastor


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Pete the Pelican

After scoping out the Dunedin Downtown Market on Saturday, I strolled downtown towards the Marina. I was drawn to the pier as I watched people fishing, and sailboats and tour boats coming and going.

A couple of brown pelicans in hot pursuit of breakfast caught my attention and I watched one in particular successfully capture and swallow 10 whole fish. He never came up empty, not once! The Pelican would casually ride the waves, only to spot a nearby fish below and then suddenly dive on them. Spectacular to watch, the brown pelican plunges headlong into the water in pursuit of fish, and then coming to the surface with the fish in his bill, he tilts his bill down to drain water out of pouch and then tosses his head back to swallow the fish.

Simply amazing to watch, especially considering it sometimes takes fisherman all day to catch only one or two fish!

Upon a quick google search, I discovered that as recently as the early 1970s, the Brown Pelican was seriously endangered. The abundance of the Brown Pelicans we see today in the United States is a success story for conservationists who succeeded in halting the use of DDT and other persistent pesticides.

This lovely photo of two brown pelicans was taken at the Downtown Dunedin Pier by Jazzersten.


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My Favorite Essential Oils

I am constantly being asked what my favorite essential oils are. You would think there was a quick and easy answer to this question, but it depends on so much … the season, the condition, and the timing! We all have health-related issues at some time or another, and I have found an essential oil for just about everything that concerns or ails me, and I continue to be amazed at all the new uses I discover for them.

No matter whether we are looking to naturally support … healthy skin, sleep cycles, overall immunity, or hormonal balance, there is an Essence Oil for EVERY single health concern. Likewise, I have accumulated quite a collection. Always looking for the best price, I prefer more economical 4 oz bottles, but 1 oz bottles are readily available as well.

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The Perfect Messenger

I tried to hold back my tears, but it was like trying to hold back the ocean. I would hear others say… “She sits in the chapel and cries… What a tender heart!” If they only knew. The loss of my firstborn, a love that had captured my heart and given me something greater than my own life to live for, was gone. And my heart was filled with deep despair and disbelief. Although I felt as if my candle flame had been temporarily snuffed out, I soldiered on. The trauma of losing my beloved first born led me into a closer relationship with Jesus, and a deeper dependence on this eternal connection. I started a new season of life with hopeful anticipation of what was to come …

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