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May 2014

A Very Special Drawing to Celebrate World Outlander Day! - 6 Samples of Guerlains L' Heure Bleue!



Lheure_bleue (1)
Photograph Courtesy of [email protected]




To celebrate I'm giving away 6 sample decants of (Not the picture shown) of Claires (and Franks) favorite perfume , Geurlains L' Heure Bleue which you'll remember from one of the first scenes in Outlander when Claire runs a generous bit of this  gorgeous classic through her hair before a very romantic encounter with Frank. If you're one of the lucky winners you'll be receiving a decant of the current fragrance AND the VINTAGE (which is what Claire would have been wearing!) To enter, just go to the Outlander Love Affair Page , and "Like it". Then go to the tab on the Outlander Love Affair Page that says "event" and click on the event that I've made for World Outlander Day and choose "join". This will enter you in the drawing and you will be notified on June the 3rd if you are one of the lucky winners. I will be putting all of the entries through a random.org sequence generator. You must be 18 and over to enter and Facebook bears no responsibility nor liability for this little contest. If you are outside of the United States I will still send to you if you win.  



I’m so excited!
Sunday, June the 1st 2014 has been designated World Outlander Day! This wonderful idea started in Germany, but it’s spreading like wildfire! Many of the OUTLANDER blogs and related fan-sites will be celebrating including this one! I guess that June 1st is the anniversary of the first release of Outlander so won’t it be fun to celebrate our favorite love story of all time together?  

All day on June 1st, If you’ve got a Twitter feed , let’s start a chain of Outlander love all around the globe by tagging our tweets with the hashtag#WorldOutlanderDay

I hope that you’ll help me by spreading the news to any other OUTLANDER fans!  I'm looking forward to celebrating with all of you!


Many thanks to Tia Todd from Saks Fifth Ave in Beachwood, Ohio for her generous help in procuring these sample vials!

Milady's Tinctures, Tonics & Teas : Claire's Herbs- Yellow Iris Liniment


Claire's Herbs: Yellow Flag Liniment

Aren't yellow irises ( or flags as we call them here in Ohio) absolutely gorgeous?

I like to infuse the root and flowers of the wild yellow flag in sweet almond oil and add to that several drops of rose absolute , neroli and ylang ylang to make a sweet smelling yet totally soothing rub for sore, cramped muscles . Make sure that the flowers are fresh and the roots clean and always be sure to take them from an area that you know is pesticide free. Chop the roots and add the flowers and roots to a mason jar and infuse all of it with sweet almond oil for a week. Make sure that you store this in a cool dark place. At the end of the week strain the jar and add the fragrant oils. Use anytime you need a sweet , soothing rub for tired muscles!

Claire's Herbs: Yellow Flag Liniment


Wise Woman Traditions: Maiden, Mother, Crone - Moving through the many moons of Womanhood


In The Diseases of Women, by Trotula of Salerno (possibly a woman physician) published in the 13th century, it says: 

'Since in women not so mcuh heat abounds that it suffices to use up the moistures which daily collect in them, their weakness cannot endure so much exertion as to be able to put forth that moisture to the outside air as in the case of men. 

Nature herself, on account of this definciency, has assinged for them a special purgation namely the menses, commonly called flowers . .Now a purgation of this sort usually befalls women about the 13th or 14th year or a little earlier or later according to whether heat or cold abounds in them more. It lasts up to about the 50th year if she is lean; sometimes up to the 60th or 65th year if she is moist; in the moderatelyu fat up to about the 45th."



Dear reader, If you're anything like me, symptoms of peri/menopause took you totally by surprise! What are those hot flashes? That moodiness? The fatigue? The feeling that if your head weren't attached to your neck that you'd lose it?

I remember being in North Carolina on a family vacation when it occurred to me that it wasn't business as usual and in that moment I took control of my menopause instead of letting it control me! I spent years discovering the foods to eat, lifestyle changes and the herbal,vitamin and mineral supplements to take that kept me from having to rely on traditional hormone replacement therapy.  I became a real biohacker....Someone who spent their days really looking at what was making their body tick and learning everything that she could about making the changes that would bring abut the most balance through a personal recipe of nutritional , medical ,  philosophical studies and because I'm truly a geek,  the use of the latest technologies!  

 I made the choice to turn menopause into one of the sexiest and most satisfying times of my life and you can too! My 50's are better than my 30's ever were..no question! I look and feel better at 54 than I ever did at 24 ! I'm not saying that it was always easy because it required some very hard work and more than a little courage on my part, but it was worth it! Just ask my husband who was really patient and kind through the whole process once he understood what was really going on! 

So you can trust me when I say that life can be good..even great as you move through these changes! Goodbye mercy sex! When we're done you'll want to flirt more, love more , hug more and trust me, sex IS even better than before because you will learn to get comfortable enough to express what you really want in bed. You want your best friend back? Trust me..he's as confused as you are! You'll be thrilled because you're going to stop putting up with what you don't want and start having a life you love filled to the brim with the vitality and sensuality you deserve. Doesn't that sound like lot's more fun?

One of the things that I learned  in my journey is that you've got to know where to look for help and that starts with getting clear about how you're feeling about things.You're not alone here so don't be afraid to ask for help.Choose courage...you'll never regret it!

As a result of my personal journey through hormonal hell,  I was led to Dr. Sara Gottfried's book "The Hormone Cure" and after loving what I read and practicing her protocols on myself, I chose to become trained to coach  her methodologies so that I could add these brilliant techniques to what I already knew about  creating optimal hormone balance through primary food and wellness  management.   

 To be clear, you're not crazy...your sex drive did just disappear overnight and your hair is probably getting thinner. Yes, that's teenage acne and I know that you're in your 40s! That muffin top around your middle that no diet in the world has gotten rid of? You're not lazy...your cortisol levels are probably out of balance. I can promise you that you probably don't hate your husband, but maybe you've got an inbalance of estrogen or a sluggish thyroid!   You haven't had a good nights sleep in months? Lets take a look at your cortisol levels, your blood sugar and melatonin. Sex hurts? You've got aching joints? Serious crabbiness & drastic mood swings?  95 percent of the time the answers to these problems can be found in your lab work and once we have those answers, the solutions can be as easy as some very simple nutritional and lifestyle changes. 

I'm living proof that you can get all of your vitality back and more without necessarily having to submit to hormone replacement therapy in your 40's or birth control pills in your 50's ! I even had my gynecologist ask me why I thought I needed him, but that's why he's my Dr....

So here's what I know. From your first to your last period, there are unique challenges that all of us will face and you shouldn't have to do it alone.

  I can help you and if I can't , I'll know where to send you so that you can get the knowledgable medical help that you seek and then I will work hand in hand with your Doctor to  make sure that you get the support that you need. Believe it or not, most of these complaints can be addressed through simple lifestyle changes. Like I said, I'm living proof! If not, there are physicians who will be happy to help you heal without making you feel like an idiot. I'll give you ask all of the right questions to ask, so we get you all of the right answers! 

So ladies its time to toss the botox, the unnecessary emotional baggage AND the baggy sweat pants - Are you ready to fall madly in love with your whole life? Contact me and I'll send you a link to a quick quiz that you can take that will give us an initial yet effective assessment of where your hormones aren't in balance! Then we'll schedule a time to talk by phone where you'll get a complimentary half hour with me  to discuss your results. There's no time to waste ; only happiness and health to gain!  Contact me at [email protected]. I'm ready to help!


Gorgeous Photograph courtesy of http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/341/a/a/maiden__mother_and_crone_by_unripehamadryad-d34figs.jpg

Coup de Foudre- L'Heure Bleue

By Beth Schreibman Gehring 


“I picked up the bottle of L’Heure Bleu and poured a generous puddle into the palm of my hand. Rubbing my hands briskly together before the scent could evaporate, I smoothed them rapidly through my hair. I poured another dollop onto my hairbrush and swept the curls back behind my ears with it.


Well. That was rather better, I thought, turning my head from side to side to examine the results in the speckled looking glass. The moisture had dissipated the static electricity in my hair, so that it floated in heavy, shining waves about my face. And the evaporating alcohol had left behind a very pleasant scent. Frank would like that, I thought. L’Heure Bleu was his favorite.”


Excerpt From: Diana Gabaldon. “Outlander.” 


Everyone who knows me at all , knows that I’ve had an obsession with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander  Series for at least the last 20 years.   There are 8 books in all beginning with the first one Outlander which is set simultaneously in Inverness Scotland in 1945  and 1745!  This is a series that has something for everyone,  history, England , Scotland, the most outstanding love affair ever written , amazing leading men and women and yes, plenty of captivating, knee crossing , heaving bosom , heavy breathing, sweating, panting , begging sexuality.


Warning. Anyone who thought that 50 Shades of Gray was provocative is not sexually mature enough for this delicious story!


To make a long story very short (and so as to not ruin it for anyone who is provoked enough to read them, A lovely young nurse in her twenties Claire Beauchamp Randall is on a second honeymoon with her husband Frank. They’ve been separated by the war and have seen each other only 3 times in 6 years. Frank is a historian who is absolutely obsessed with his ancestor, the monstrously awful Captain Jack (That’s Black Jack”) Randall.  One day, while Frank is busy researching his family tree, Claire goes  back to Craigh na Dun, a megalithic Scottish standing  stone circle, to pick a bit of gentian violet for her plant press.  She wanders around the circle and hears a strong buzzing noise, much like a swarm of angry bees and is quickly drawn to the cleft between two stones.  The rest is herstory!  Claire finds herself tumbling through time and into the arms of her husbands notorious relative and is rescued by a band of Scots Highlanders, and especially one,  James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, a young and exceeding wonderful although outlawed Scottish laird. 





I’m not telling you the rest. The best news is that a TV show is being made of the first book (the trailer is above so get ready to feast your eyes!) by Starz and will begin in August.  There’s also an 8th book due out in June entitled “Written in my own hearts blood. “ Each book takes Ms. Gabaldon at least 4 years to write. They are so worth the wait!


  Claire’s perfume  is Guerlains magnificent L’ Heure Bleue, which is also her husband Franks favorite. It also happens to be one of mine, which makes it very easy for me to channel my inner Claire Randall  at anytime. L’Heure Bleue  translates into “The Blue Hour”  or perhaps  even more appropriately , The Gloaming which is Middle English for that heady blue sky space that occurs between dusk and eve where the sun has set, but nightfall has not yet appeared.


L’Heure Bleue is what might be called a Floral/Oriental, but to me it is simply one of the most romantic perfumes that I’ve ever smelled. To begin there is exotic aniseed and bergamot and not just a little bit of Neroli which makes  the beginnings of this perfume deceptively ephemeral but quickly L’Heure Bleue’s , becomes very exotic as the Tonka bean, Iris and Benzoin blend with its sexy vanilla heart. L’ Heure Bleue   dries down on my skin leaving a residue of boozy vanilla and musk.  When brushed through the hair as Claire does in the passage above, the chemistry created is almost unbearable.

If you haven’t smelled LHB in a while I encourage you to give it a twirl again.  It requires a heart open to adventure  , romance and passion. It is not a young woman’s perfume, but then again Claire Randall  was/has never been a young woman. My only sadness is that this glorious fragrance was wasted on her absolutely useless husband Frank.  

Jamie Fraser would have been utterly spellbound by it and that’s all that I’m going to say. You'll have to discover him for yourself........

For more of Milady's Pantry and Outlander Love Affair - https://www.facebook.com/Outlanderloveaffair



Milady's Tinctures, Tonics & Teas

“What are you doing?” he asked. His hands rested gently on my shoulders.

“Looking for that plant,” I answered, sticking a finger between the pages to mind my place. “The one I saw in the stone circle. See…” I flipped the book open. “It could be in the Campanulaceae, or the Gentianaceae, the Polemoniaceae, the Boraginaceae—that’s most likely, I think, forget-me-nots—but it could even be a variant of this one, the Anemone patens.” I pointed out a full color illustration of a pasqueflower. “I don’t think it was a gentian of any kind; the petals weren’t really rounded, but—”

Excerpt From: Gabaldon, Diana. “Outlander.” Bantam Dell, 1991. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Everyone who knows me , knows of my passion for all thing Outlander and especially the character of Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser...wife, lover , mother, herbalist, Nurse and Doctor. So I've decided to create a page in her honor and once a week address a different medicinal, fragrant or nutritional herb from the vantage point of my favorite question - " What would Claire do with it ?" Stay tuned!

Milady's Tinctures, Tonics & Teas

The Witches Kitchen- Foraging for Ramps

The Witches Kitchen- Foraging for Ramps

This is my BFF Henry. Believe it or not he's 29 years young! He doesn't belong to me, but his owner, a wonderful old friend of mine is just so very generous with him and allows me to love him as if he was my own!

We've had alot of exciting adventures together for many years now, galloping around hunter trials courses and taking long lovely trail rides and every spring we go foraging. As you can see he's a seriously good sport and carries my foraging bag and hand - tools!

The woods where Henry lives are filled with Wild Ramps and today we went out togather some. Wild Ramps are a wonderful wild onion and you'll know when you're by a patch of them because you'll smell them. They've got all of the wonderful qualities that onions do and more. They're terrificly tonic for your blood and your joints and they're a strong , natural antibiotic/antibacterial , much like their domesticated cousins,  the garlic clove. 

If you're out hunting for ramps when you find a patch, only  take a few and then move on to the next patch. Use a small hand tool to lift the plant, roots and all from the ground, you definitely want the bulb! If you want to try to plant some of them, make sure that you get some with roots and take a bit of the woodland soil to innoculate your soil with. Ramps like a shady, woodsy spot...I've never seen a patch in the open sunshine. 

Get your ramps home, wash them, pat them dry and use them quickly. I love to make ramp butter which is so simple. ramps and butter in the cuisinart. That's it! How about Ramps stuffed inside of a roasted chicken or mashed into potatoes? How about wild ramps in a bloody mary with or without bacon! How about a ramp and herbed goat cheese omelette?

If you don't have a patch nearby, you can find Ramps right now at the many farmers markets all over the country.They are truly seasonal food...the season is from early april until mid may. If you've never tried them , you've love them. If you can find enough of them  and you like to can, pickle them! They are delicious!

What a lovely afternoon we had followed by a wonderful spring thunderstorm. I just love that horse:)

The Witches Garden- Huzzah! It's finally Spring!

The Witches Garden- it's Spring... Huzzah!

It's been slowly becoming Spring here in Northeast Ohio, but I think that we're finally getting somewhere! It was a lovely breezy day, and after a lovely trail ride and a long walk on the Cuyahoga Valley Towpath with Jim and the girls, I ventured out into one of the gardens. 

There's alot of spring cleaning work to do for sure, chicken coops and compost bins to build (maybe even a beehive!) , but I was just thrilled by what I saw emerging. Here are a few pictures with more to follow. Tons of fresh comfrey, just in time for poultices to sooth aching muscles! Handfuls of fresh lovage, perfect for stuffing a chicken and lots of asparagus starting to appear. Garlic chives and lots of leeks and healthy stems of licorice flavored anise hyssop, just waiting to become a soothing tea. Fresh Rhubarb for pie and the biggest surprise? Three (yes count em 3) ramps, growing forth from where I lovingly planted them last spring. I am thrilled. My favorite spring greens, actually flourishing in my yard! I won't touch them this year, but by next spring I ought to be able to grab a handful. I'm so excited!

I'll be back tomorrow!