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Our Run for the Cure in Memory of Jessica Leavitt
Posted by Jacqui MacNeill on 9/29/2011 to Wellness
On Sun. Oct. 2, Escents will be entering a team in Run for the Cure. We are dedicating our run to the memory of Jessica Leavitt, Escents' Operations Leader who passed away suddenly on September 17th. She is survived by her husband and her daughter and son. Jessica had been with Escents for years, and was truly the embodiment of all this company stands for. The thing we will remember her most for was her positivity; she signed off every email with "Make it a great day!" and she truly lived by her words. She always gave her best and expected nothing less from every single member of her team, and her passing has left a giant hole in our hearts. We can only seek to follow her example and do our best to always, "Make it a great day." 

Breast Cancer Awareness 

We aren't always able to do anything about the cards that are dealt to us in life, but with breast cancer there are many things that can be done to reduce the risks and potentially its severity. Awareness is the key. That's why we believe so strongly in all the various activities the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation does. Their goal is to not only fund research for the cure, but also to raise awareness to minimize the impact of this disease. 

Risk Reduction 

Some risk factors, such as age and family history, are non-modifiable, meaning there is nothing that can be done to change them. There are, however, a number of modifiable risk factors, such as body weight, physical activity, alcohol use, exposure to tobacco smoke, etc, that can be changed to reduce your risks of developing breast cancer. Read more about established risk factors. 

Early Detection 

If breast cancer can be detected at an early stage of development, the chances of successful treatment are usually better. It can allow for a greater variety of treatment options like less aggressive treatment or breast conserving surgery. The 2 most common forms of breast screening are clinical breast examinations and screening mammography. You can also learn to become more "breast aware" by knowing how your breasts normally look and feel so that if you notice any significant changes you can have them checked by a doctor. 

Run with or Support the Escents Team 

Want to get involved with Run for the Cure? We are inviting everyone to join or support our team and receive special rewards for their efforts. Our goal is to raise at least $1,500, but we hope to do even better. 

There are 2 ways you can get involved: 

1) Run with the Escents team. Join our team and get a free Red Rose Soy Jar Candle, plus a 15% discount on any single purchase at our retail stores. You'll also get a special Escents team t-shirt. 

2) Donate to support the Escents team. If you support our team by making a donation, you'll get a FREE Red Rose Hand Repair Cream, plus a 15% discount on any single purchase at our retail stores. 

Visit our Facebook Event page for more info: Run (or Donate) for the Cure with Escents... OR... Join our team or donate to it now.

Jacqui MacNeill
A Taste of Way to Grow!
Posted by Admin on 9/22/2011 to Promotions
We've had some great entries come in for our Way to Grow! Contest, and we thought we'd share a couple with you. If you haven't sent an entry, it's really easy, so you definitely should!
 
All you have to do is take a photo of something you've grown (it can be flowers, your entire garden, vegetables, a fledgling houseplant...you name it and we'd love it if you're in the photo, as well), write a small paragraph telling us what it means to you and why growing it is important to you, and email it to sales@escentsaromatherapy.com. It's that simple!
 
The deadline for entries is September 30th, and we'll be making our decisions at the beginning of October. What's in it for you? Escents Shopping Sprees!
 
Here are a couple of the entries we've had (as promised):
 
My garden is very important to me: it provides not only fresh food, but beauty too. I grow tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, blueberries, strawberries and herbs. I love coming home and heading out to the garden to enjoy the vine-ripened tomatoes. My favorite part of my garden are my potatoes because every year I celebrate the summer with a barbeque, 20 friends and a huge homegrown potato salad. Best of all, I feel that I am doing my part to be more sustainable and green. Please accept my entry to the contest.
 
-Karin S.
 
In these current times, we do the best that we can to create a private utopia for ourselves. We all strive to create our own Eden, so to speak. My garden is my Eden. It provides me with solace, it provides me with food, it provides me comfort, and it provides me with the tools and energy to heal the people around me. It is the center of creation. In my garden, I can create anything. With patience and love I can nourish the soul, body, and mind with help from the soil, sun, and water. I created an Eden to help the people around me. I grow medicinal herbs as well as food for my housemates and for my community. The energy of the earth is all around us, and in this garden, in my Eden, I like to think I have harnessed a bit of this wild energy and I am very grateful for this space. Enter Eden, and let yourself be overcome by the fragrance and the beauty that surround us. Thank you for the opportunity to share my newly discovered world, the garden.
-Marilyn M.
 
 
We'll look forward to getting your entries!
 
Happy Growing!
Running for the Cure!
Posted by Admin on 9/14/2011 to Wellness
All of us here at Escents are busy preparing for the CIBC Run for the Cure on October 2nd by fundrasing and lacing up our shoes.  We would love to have you either join our team for the race or make a donation to help us reach our goals and we are provding some fun incentives to do so!
 
While we have a lot of enthusiasm for the race amongst our staff, there was some hesitation from some who had perhaps never entered a race before, or even run, period, and many nuggets of advise have been passed around as we encourage our fellow staffers to join in the fun of race day. 
 
Here are just a few of the tips we have compiled to help you along if you're new to running or are joining in the the run on October 2 just for the spirit of community and awareness for a great cause. 
 
 
Equipment: It's important to wear a comfortable and supportive shoe for any phyiscal activity, and most of us can find something suitable to wear for a 5k run.  If you're considering a longer term training schedule (perhaps looking at a 10k or something even longer in your future), it really is best to visit a running store to be properly fit for a good pair of shoes.  Running doesn't require a lot of equipment like skiing or rock climbing, so investing in a pair of shoes to train with will be next to the only thing you have to buy.  This brings us to sports bras.  Ladies, if you're planning to stick with a running program, this is another item you may want to spend some time and money on and get one that really works for you. 
 
Start Slow: You can't expect to go out running for the first time and be able to keep going for any great distance at any great speed - it just doesn't work that way.  Having a beginner's training program can be very helpful in easing you into running with a walk/run routine that gradually increases your indurance.  We like the Couch to 5K Progam (there's even a phone app to help you) and any of the recommendations by renowned running coach, Hal Higdon.  At the very least, these resources can show you that there is no shame in walking and that progress should be gradual and also fun.
 
Nurture Yourself: Try to eat well and fuel your body with nutritious, fresh choices.  Hydrate before, during and after a run.  Another part of any training program (and life) is rest.  Make sure you get enough sleep and don't overtrain; your muscles need recovery time to get stronger for your next run.
 
Enlist Help: With the cooler days ahead of us, it's not always going to be all that enticing to leave a warm spot on the sofa to head out for some exercise.  If you have your family supporting you and holding you accountable to any changes you'd like to make, it will be that much easier to reach your goals.  Consider making a date to walk or run with a friend so you can spend some time together; it's unlikely that you'll wimp out on your training if someone is waiting to do it with you.
 
Record and Celebrate: As you train, keep track of how you're doing on a calendar or in a training log.  When you have a discouraging day, you can easily look back and see just how far you've come, and you'll also have evidence to support a celebration when you reach a milestone (like finishing your first 5K!) 
 
Above all, it's important to Make It Fun!  We're encouraging all of our staff to come out for some fresh air, some time away from our roles at Escents, and walk/run/shuffle the 5K and we are going to have a blast.  Please consider joining us.
 
In the spirit of community, what tips do you have for new runners?  Please share your thoughts; we'd love to hear what you have to say. 
 
 
6 Back-to-School Tips from a Busy Mom Trying to Be Green
Posted by Jacqui MacNeill on 9/7/2011 to From Jacqui's Desk
It's that time of year again! This morning my husband and I got up extra early to make sure everything went smoothly for our kids' first day back in school. Back-to-school usually seems like a busy time, but this year, if anything, it didn't seem like much fuss after the super active summer season we've had at Escents this year. This summer we launched 5 new essential oil blends launched (Bright Blossom, Summer, Iris, Osmanthus and Floral Fantasy), as well as our new line of natural deodorants, and the launch of our new Escents retail store on Main Street

Back-to-school was a quiet process in comparison. I took the time this year to evaluate what we buy and use for school to make sure we're making the best choices for the environment, an eco-audit if you will. 

Here are 6 green practices we've committed to for our kids school routine: 

1. Only Buy What You Need. Our consumerist culture tries to make everyone feel like buying new things whenever they have a new start on the horizon, and back-to-school is no exception. Take inventory of everything your kids have then make a list of the things your they truly need and stick to that list. Don't just buy new things because they happen to be on sale. Try to get your kids to understand why they don't need a new school bag when their other one is perfectly fine. 

2. Make Eco-Friendly Clothing Choices. If you have children of different ages, items can often be handed down from older kids to younger ones. You may also be able to organize a clothing swap amongst your family and friends. You may even find a clothing swap event in your community. When items are needed, keep an eye out for them at second hand stores or garage sales. If you do have to buy new clothes, go for products made from more sustainable fabrics like organic cotton or bamboo, rather than more disposable materials that wear out quickly. 

3. Choose Green Pens & Pencils. The technology of our writing tools has improved over the years. The days of disposable pens and pencils are over, replaced by biodegradable pencils and refillable pens, and recyclable versions of both. Be sure to encourage your children to use their pencils and pens as long as possible before grabbing new one. 

4. Use Reusable, Eco-Friendly Food Storage. Lunch can be a great source of waste, so be sure to opt for washable, reusable containers for all your children's food. Avoid vinyl lunch boxes, many of which carry harmful lead content. Instead, invest in a PVC-free, thermally insulated lunch carrier made from recycled juice boxes or organic cotton. And, of course, avoid any snacks that have disposable packaging. It's pretty easy to buy snacks in bulk then package them in reusable options. 

5. Have Your Kids Walk, Bike or Bus to School. Walking or biking to school is the most eco-friendly choice for getting to school. Of course, sometimes it's not practical or safe, depending on where you live. Riding the school bus is the next best choice. Carpooling with other parents in the area comes next. The worst choice is driving them alone. Walk to School Month (http://www.iwalktoschool.org/index.htm) is a great way to encourage green transportation. 

6. Do This Stuff All Year. Making green choices for back-to-school is a great start toward a sustainable lifestyle, but it's important to keep up these practices as the year progresses. Apply the lesson you've learned for back-to-school to other areas of your life and keep emphasizing the importance of these practices to your children. For these efforts to work, they need to carry it on throughout their lives too. 

What choices have you made to make your back-to-school routine more eco-friendly? Please feel free to share in our comments section. :) 

Jacqui MacNeill
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