Embarrassed and Blue? What Do I Do?


Post by Portia


Hey Crew,

I’m blue. Yes, having a crunchy, grumpy, blue day. Mainly I’m sore, embarrassed and filled with un-named self loathing. The black dog is visiting again. Rude on a sun shiny, warm and perfect autumn day which makes me feel even more depressed because now I’ve added guilt to the mix. Then the spiral worsens because I start getting angry at myself because I am so lucky I have no right to be down. All this happening in my head while coming to full awakeness, already before I even opened my eyes the spiral had begun.

Depression Low_pressure_system WikipediajpgWikipedia

So, I’ve come to the keyboard to tell you what I’m feeling. Sharing, doing something, anything to change my course, halt the spiral, redirect myself. Thanks for being here, if you’re bored already then sorry, go about your day. Even getting to the computer and writing this much has chipped away a little at the thick morass.

Embarrassed and Blue? What Do I Do?

OK, why am I sore? Last night at work I was returning my plates to the restaurant, walking past some diners and the bar. Floating around in drag, doing the right thing of returning my plates so I could thank the chef. My shoe caught on something, maybe carpet or frock or itself. One second I was upright and the next on all fours, the left over food scattered everywhere and people laughing, shocked intakes of breath, staring and talking to me. I was there in that position for about 5 seconds going over my body to see if anything was really hurt and doing a body count. Everything seemed OK except my knees were already starting to throb. Stood up, and looked down, knees out of stockings, looking like I’d been dragged across asphalt and one already bleeding. It was a mess. GAK!



Thank goodness the staff and punters are my mates. We got me sorted, cleaned up as much as possible, disinfected, bandaged etc and I went on and did my nights work of Trivia Hosting. Embarrassing but all OK.

Why am I grumpy? This is not so easy to assess. Maybe I didn’t sleep well because of the pain. Maybe I’m feeling dumb. Maybe I was just due a blue day.

How am I going to react? Well, I got out of bed and cleaned my teeth. Then I came to the computer to write to you all. Already I feel better. Not perfect but better. I have stepped from the abyss. Now I’m going to make an instant coffee with sugar & milk. See you in a moment.

Embarrassed and Blue? What Do I Do? red-coffee-cup-mug PexelsPexels

Heya, it’s about 30 minutes later. I made my coffee, went onto the balcony and folded Jin & my washing up, cleaned up my knees and re-applied antiseptic and Band Aids, took my shirt off and sat in the sun to drink my coffee. Coming back into the room I gave myself 6 blasts of my current fragrance addiction Calvin Klein Contradiction.


Contradiction Calvin Klein FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Lily, Lily-of-the-valley, Orchid, Mock-orange, Peony, Rose
Heart: Pear, Blackberry, Eucalyptus, Lilac, Jasmine
Base: Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka bean

Sitting here now in my office, typing in a cloud of Contradiction, and though I am not fully functioning in joyful mode I have derailed the train of depression-spiral and now I’m going to write 10 things I can be grateful for.

  1. I am grateful for my home. It’s no mansion but it’s comfortable and functional.
  2. Grateful for food in the fridge, there is even some double cream brie and a few olives. So there’s lunch sorted.
  3. Super grateful for my friends. The handful of really close ones and the wider stretch of buddies and mates.
  4. Grateful for my continued good health. Yes, I’ve had a fall but these bones are strong and I’m already healing.
  5. Grateful I have work. Trivia will never make me a multi millionaire but I enjoy the work, love seeing players every week and having a laugh with them.
  6. Thankful for my parents who gave me so much and left me educated and self assured.
  7. Grateful that I have a kettle, coffee, sugar & milk.
  8. Grateful that I have somewhere to come every day and chat about fragrance, APJ and all of you are a lifesaver. Thank You.
  9. Grateful for my fragrance collection. Yes, it’s ridiculous. No, I’ll never use even 1/20 of it. Yes, it brings me joy.
  10. Grateful for Jin.


Righto. I feel like I’m ready to face the day now.
Thanks for coming on the journey with me. If you suffer from depression try these simple tricks, sometimes they work a treat. If your spiral continues, please seek help. Try a friend but should they all be busy or sleeping there are plenty of Help Lines you can call 24/7.

LifeLine Australia 13 11 14

Beyond Blue Australia 1300 22 46 36

My best advice is to take some positive action for yourself. Even cleaning my teeth can help restore my thought pattern and taking this small bit of care of myself can change the colour of my thoughts. This next meme works for you as well as those around you.

Depression Dalai Lama

Wishing you all healthy minds and bodies,
Portia xxx

Welcome To 2016: Some Helpful Insights


Post by Portia


Hey Hey Crew,

This is the other side! You’ve made it through the western festive season and new year. OK, you now have had a little time to reflect on 2015 and what it taught you. I learned some valuable things in 2015 and I’d like to share some of them with you. Yes, most of you have already learned these but maybe having them reiterated will give you a great 2016.

Welcome To 2016: Some Helpful Insights

Jin & I often talk about how lucky we are. Not just in the Health, Wealth and Happiness sectors but in our friends. You may know I sometimes suffer black dog days, they are rare but intense. Jin is pretty good most of the time only experiencing anything nearing depression when his work life is toxic or unsteady. We do have friends though that battle depression on a daily basis and though we can’t help them with their demons we do provide a good distraction and try and give people new focus. Sometimes after a completely random day a friend will thank us for lifting their blues, even though we were completely unaware they were in a hole….


One of the pieces of advice we live by, and offer our friends as an antidote, is to step outside of our comfort zone. Even just for a short time and with a get out of jail plan if things turn out less fabulous than expected. Often depression is fed by fear, knowing you have the ability not only to make a decision but that you have the where-with-all to note drama or disaster and deal with it is an effective way of lifting depression or habitual poor choices. Also, knowing beforehand that not everything will work out perfectly and that it will be alright can be helpful.


Next we have something that took me 47 years to learn. I can’t believe that I am so freaking dense sometimes and am thinking about many instances in my life where I have behaved poorly because someone did not share my headspace. An opinion or a lifestyle is not an attack. GAWD! So simple. You don’t have to bring someone around to your point of view, it’s not a challenge or a threat. Conversation is full of disagreements, it’s good to know people who will challenge your thought processes, you may not change your minds but it’s excellent to hear and understand the other side of a point of view. Just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean the people you are interacting with are less of an anything than you, be nice to them. They are doing their best to live in this crazy, fucked up world too.


And lastly for today. Cut yourself some slack. The world will not end if your bathroom isn’t spotless for guests, in 100 years nobody will care that you were outrageous at the Christmas party and life will go on if you didn’t get your list finished and finalised today. Not everything we do in 2016 will be successful, you may not get the new set of information into your brain on the first go, any change takes time so be prepared to help yourself along. We are all a work in progress, no one was born the dream they have for themselves.


YOU are special to us at APJ. Thank you for being here, reading, commenting and being a part of the APJ family.

WE LOVE YOU and wish you a wonderful 2016.
Portia xxx

Botanical Postcards from Sydney: Mini Photo Essay


Post by Suzanne R Banks


Sometimes photographing the small beauties around me reminds me to be grateful and helps me enjoy my day. Here are some shots taken as I wandered or around my home.

Botanical Postcards from Sydney

If a picture paints a thousand words ……… I can’t wait til we have smellevsion and scentagram!

chamomile-Suzanne R BanksI’ve got these gorgeous chamomile flowers in a teapot next to my bed – sweet dreams!


Keywords: “cool down: less tension more inspiration, de-stress“

back-lane-roses-Suzanne R BanksLittle roses from my back lane


Keywords: “divine love; self love; self nurturing”

lavender-Suzanne R BanksCaught on camera somewhere in Sydney


Keywords: “solidarity; solid foundations; acceptance; regeneration”

jasmine-Suzanne R BanksDivine jasmine!


Keyword: “sensuality”

basil-Suzanne R Banks.Home grown


Keywords: “clarity; open your mind”

What can you be thankful for? Look around, probably more than you think
Suzanne R Banks


Like our Facebook page to stay tuned for more info on the inaugural

Australasian Artisan Botanical Perfume Expo in Sydney, 24th April 2016


Check out my YouTube Channel too, thanks.
Suzanne R Banks xx

Suzanne R Banks Blog
Suzanne R Banks Aromatherapy
Suzanne R Banks FaceBook

copyright suzanne


Revelation! My new book out now

Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

Amazon USA      Amazon AU      Amazon UK



Post by Portia


Hey Fabulous Fragrant Fanatics,

Recently I was feeling completely overwhelmed. Things had gotten behind because other things had taken priority and I was really feeling the push to get stuff done, and trying to do it on less than enough sleep. This is not a healthy way for me to function and I do know it but because things had to be done I put in the extra and got really crabby. You know that 3 year old inside of us that just can’t wait to come out and have a tantrum? Well, what do you know, out it came.

Anyway, when I’m feeling overwhelmed like that not only do I lash out at those around me but quite often I beat myself up too. They are often joined, I lash out at someone and then beat myself up for being the lowest scum in the universe. You know the familiar sinking feeling? So I thought what could I do to stop myself flowing down that familiar path? Answer. I’ll do a feel good post for the APJ crew that reminds me, and them, that we are not alone. Even though it looks bleak it will all be OK. No one is dead and everything else is fixable or finishable.


Even though it feels bad right now I know that tomorrow will dawn brighter, even if it’s only my attitude that’s changed.


Though I’m feeling crap right now and have 100 reasons to let it all go to hell if I can just push through to the other side of this current mountain of work, friends, life, relationship, home and environment then I will have a breathing space.


Cutting things into bite sized, doable chunks and working towards a goal is the best way for me to go forward. Also, sometimes a moment to reflect. I’ll go make myself a cup of coffee and concentrate 100% on making coffee, that will let my subconscious do some collating. It doesn’t always work but it does let me unwind a little and often a way forward presents itself to me before the mug is empty.


The next one is really hard. You have to take everyone else out of the equation except you and your needs. Sometimes you need to say enough and walk away from a situation. Only you can ever know if you are walking away or giving up and what anyone else has to say about it is none of your concern. You may have to tell them this calmly and rationally, then walk away from them till they process.

548831ba25fd04080b0ec6bd7213b12eIf you’ve walked away or if you’ve pushed through the mountain then you’ve earned a breather, a space. It may be only one hour, a pedicure, a moment when you spritz some incredible fragrance on yourself, put on a 3 minute song in your living room, close your eyes and dance like you did when you were younger (you’ll be puffed at the end but exultant). It may be taking 3 minutes out of your day to read APJ, whatever your space or reward is then you need to understand that you are gifting yourself this moment. It’s a pat on the back for doing your best. Drink in the joy of that special thing you do.


Lastly for this post, and maybe most importantly……


Just in case you were wondering, I feel 100% better right now. My mind is a bit clearer and I have a rough idea of how I’m going to move forward. Now it’s time to make myself a coffee and really enjoy the process of both making and drinking.

Be well, we love you.
Portia xxx


Best Stress Relief Scents


Post by Suzanne R Banks


Often smelling something is enough to create change in emotions and stress addiction because scent works powerfully on our mind, body and brain function. Stress can become a habit that we get used to rather than a trigger to help us survive, and in turn we get adrenal and cortisol overload. This is not good! Smell something good to break your habitual mind reactions.

Best Stress Relief Scents

Stress Relief Scents Geralt PixabayPhoto stolen Pixabay

Stress Relief: Marjoram

Oreganum marjorana

Little leaf, big scent, great results. Marjoram has been used in herbal medicine for centuries, and comes from a time when our food was our medicine. This beautiful herb essential oil will help everyone from babies to the elderly with its stunning aromatic medicine.

Stress Relief Scents Origanum_majorana WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Keyword: relief

Marjoram is wonderful for:
any kind of physical stress
soothing emotional pain and angst
help induce sleep
muscle pain
period pain

Stress Relief: Frankincense

Boswellia carterii

Another botanical substance that has been used for a long time, made popular by stories from the Bible, is a must have for stress relief. This essential oil which is steam distilled from the resin has a deeply calming effect by inducing longer, slower, deeper breaths. This leads to a meditative state of mind creating Alpha brainwaves to help you chill out.

Stress Relief Scents Liz Lawley Frankincense FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Keywords: meditation, truth, preservation

Frankincense is great for:
restful sleep
connecting to your youthfulness
helping us see the bigger picture
moving us away from a busy mind
asthma attacks and sufferers
coughing and not being able to breathe very well

Stress Relief: Chamomile

German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Both chamomiles are wonderful for stress relief but work in slightly different ways and have distinctly different scents. Roman chamomile has an intense honey-like sweetness whereas German chamomile is very deeply herbaceous.

Stress Relief Scents chamomile takazart PixbayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Keywords: cool down and less tension more inspiration

German chamomile is good for:
inducing sleep
settling anger
emotional healing
reducing inflammation in the body
physical heat

Roman chamomile is good for
soothing tiredness
softening inflexibility
relaxing the body as a whole
allowing tension to subside
reducing cramping in the body

The best and easiest way to use the oils is to open the bottle and take a whiff, also in oil burners or even if you put your foot over the shower drain and a few drops in, breathe deep.

If you’re wondering why I haven’t included lavender in this article it’s because I know that you know it’s a really great oil for stress relief – well done!

Check out my YouTube Channel too, thanks.
Suzanne R Banks xx

Suzanne R Banks Blog
Suzanne R Banks Aromatherapy
Suzanne R Banks FaceBook

copyright suzanne


Revelation! My new book out now

Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

Amazon USA      Amazon AU      Amazon UK

One Sentence That Lifts My Day….

Hey there APJ,

Ever struggle? Ever wonder if it’s all worth it? Ever put stuff off till you get through this crisis? Do you ever feel that you’re missing out on the good stuff because you can only see the crap?

I have days like that too. My time is often overcommitted, other people’s inability to organise their shit means mine is behind, or worse means I have to miss something I love because they are stupid selfish assholes, maybe there is drama around you and while you’re in the middle of it it consumes you? There are also times when I feel I have no space, that I’m completely engulfed by work, the world and people. Seriously, I only sleep around 6 hours a day but 18 hours rarely feels like enough.

Here’s a beautiful sentence that reminds me I’m not alone, other people get to this point too and that if I can keep moving through it will calm down pretty soon.

I hope it helps you too,
Waft on my lovelies,
Portia xx

Dance through the Rain

Dance through the Rain Rain Dancers Dinesh Bareja FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr


Please Be Gentle


Sometimes i read some of those dumb memes and they strike me so powerfully that I have to catch my breath. In 2 simple sentences my day is turned around for the better, I can breathe and everything is in a more realistic perspective.

Please Be Gentle

I hope it helps you too.

Portia xx