By The Light Of The Candle

Candlelit dinners really could be good for the heart, new Swedish research has suggested

Candlelit dinners really could be good for the heart, new Swedish research has suggested.

A candlelit dinner works wonders for romance.Now scientists say it could also be good for your heart.Breathing in candle smoke causes beneficial changes in cardiac rhythm, they claim.It is thought that tiny salt particles released when the candle burns are behind  the effect.

The researchers monitored the hearts of 13 men and women as they breathed in air pumped into a small chamber. In some cases the air included smoke from candles in a second room.The volunteers didn’t know which type of air they were breathing, but when it included candle smoke, their heart rate variability improved.Everyone’s heart rate varies naturally all the time, beating a little bit faster when we breathe in than when we breathe out.

This is perfectly healthy and a sign that the brain is alert and able to regulate the heart. But this variation falls as we get older and if we develop heart problems. In the study, it was increased by inhaling candle smoke.

Researcher Christina Isaxon from Lund University in Sweden said the concentration of smoke generated during the study was similar to that created by a candlelit dinner.

As the volunteers could not see the candles and weren’t told what they were breathing, the effect could not be explained away by the calming effect of candlelight .Dr Isaxon said she thought tiny particles of sodium and potassium, which along with soot, make up candle smoke, could be responsible for the  beneficial effects.The two elements are involved in regulating the heart’s rhythm and in sending messages between cells in the body.More salts are produced when a flame is still so she recommends that candles are burned away from drafts. Breathing in candle smoke causes beneficial changes in cardiac rhythm, the study found.

The study, carried out for her PhD, did not find any negative health effects of the smoke – although Dr Isaxon admitted said she did not ‘make a huge effort’ to find any.Soot, which increases when the flame flickers, has been blamed for health problems in the past.The American Chemical Society has warned that paraffin wax candles, the most common type, release potentially harmful chemicals linked to cancer, asthma and eczema. It recommends using beeswax and soy candles.Dr Isaxon used candles made of pure stearine, a natural fat, in her study. Many other types of candle also contain some stearine. Dr Isaxon found paraffin wax candles which had stearine in them also released potassium and sodium particles.

Stearine candles were first developed 200 years ago.They are very popular in Scandinavia and can be bought here from retailers including Ikea.Dr Isaxon recommended using candles that are as natural as possible and avoiding scents and dyes as they may give off dangerous chemicals when burned.Since we spend more than 85 per cent of our time indoors, what we breathe in at home is very important, she said.

from Mail Online February 28,2014

My Talking Pet

My Talking Pet, A Photo App That Lets Your Pets Do The Talking

by  at 1:35 pm on November 7, 2013
My Talking Pet

My Talking Pet, an app by WOBA Media for both iPhone and iPads, allows your pets do the talking through photos.

Take a photo or choose from your photo gallery, then speak into the microphone to see your pet realistically speak back to you! Share it as a video on Facebook, or email it as a special greeting to your friends and family. Change the voice from big dog to little cat or anything in between…

This is absolutely addicting and so much fun to do!        Check it out!

 

Christmas Collections

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I have had my Santa collection for over 20 years and it has been fun to open the box every year and get them all out-each one has a special memory for me; where I got it or who gave it to me over the years.  Whether it is Santas, a Christmas Village,small antique trees, nutcrackers, snowmen, “kitchen”, needlepoint, mercury, glass or dog ornaments -make a collection  part of your tradition at Christmas.

Addition to Santa Time in Santa Barbara

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 This just came in from one of my readers:
I just saw your blog for today and thought you might like a Montecito follow up. On Sundays, there is a thing called Santa Barbara Cars and Coffee where people drive into town (actually downtown Montecito) in their vintage and/or high end cars. They then get themselves some coffee and admire each others cars. Last weekend was the second annual Chicken Run; the vintage fire truck, all decked out for Christmas, is filled with frozen chickens. The truck leads the way and there is a procession of all the cars to Hope Shoppe where the chickens are then distributed to needy families.

 

Santa Time in Santa Barbara

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We have been hammered with snow this past week in Boston so around here it looks pretty ready for Christmas. I started wondering what it looks like where it is warmer and more tropical so I asked my sister-in-law to send me pictures of Santa Barbara. From the palm trees that are decorated,to the creche in front of the Mission, to the lobby at the Biltmore Hotel, to the flags on State Street ,to the trains set up at the library,to even the Buddha ,they look ready for Santa as well!

Boxwood Tree Party

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This is truly one of  my favorite parties of the Christmas season-I love taking home my boxwood tree each year and we all have so much fun making them.They always turn out so differently and all are so beautiful. My friend gets all of the cut boxwood, the oasis(which she thoughtfully soaks ahead of time), the stands and we bring the clippers and the decorations to put on our trees. A very fun,festive evening!

Red Sox,World Series and Patriots Lamps!

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If you are a fan there can be no better gift than this! Order a Red Sox, World Series or Patriots lamp now for the holidays from Concord Lamp and Shade. (concordlampandshade.com or 978 369 3000.) The shades all light up and become “night games”.  Good for any age and especially for the guy in your life that has everything….we ship anywhere in the US.