For the love of LAVENDER.

For the love of Lavender. ©Lauren Burkitt.

Lavender is a flowering plant from the Mint family (no wonder I love it so much). It is most commonly known for it’s aromatic qualities that help with relaxation and soothing the skin. Lavender has recently been incorporated into the culinary scene as people discovered this sweet floral flavour makes a great pair with chocolate.

1. Angels on Bare Skin. Made with lavender flowers, chamomile oil, and almonds, this daily cleanser from Lush is always in my shower. It’s soft enough to use everyday but still exfoliates the skin, and leaves your face smelling like lavender. I’ve used this product for years, made right here in Vancouver, and I recommend you try it out.

2. Lavender Gelato. Held very close to my heart, Bella Gelateria serves old-world hand crafted Italian gelato. I spent four weeks eating gelato in Florence, Italy and I can honestly say the gelato made at Bella Gelateria is to-die-for. It is incredibly smooth and creamy, without any heavy after feelings. The lavender they use is locally grown at Full Bloom Farm in Langley. James Coleridge, the gelato master and owner, studied the art of gelato making in Italy, where he recently won first prize in the 2012 Florence Gelato Festival (which I attended in 2011). Bella Gelateria has 24 unique flavours that change with the seasons. They have several dairy-free options too!

3. Lavender Latte. I did a small jump and made a high pitched sound when I discovered this one.
Cafe Medina, an amazing French bistro style cafe, is the creator of this lavender latte (available as a soy latte!). Paired with their dainty Belgian waffles or their famous dish, Le Cassoulet, the lavender latte is a perfect way to spend your sunday afternoon. Not too sweet but just enough to make you smile. As the sign hung outside the restaurant reads, “life is too short for bad coffee”.

4. Stress Release Mist. This natural lavender and chamomile blend from Saje was given to me in a similar fashion as the jeans in sisterhood of the travelling pants. A dear friend of mine was given this oil to help her through a very hard time. The person who gave it to her said that she received what she needed from it and was ready to pass it along to someone who needed it more. Several months later I found myself in a place of need and my friend told me this story and happily passed the oil to me. I used it every night and the smell became a healing reminder that everything was going to be okay. The bottle is magically still full of oil (I don’t think it will ever empty) and I’m ready to pass it to the next person who needs a little lavender love.

Other ways to enjoy Lavender:
 My personal creation: A-Perfect-Thing breakfast smoothie.
Jessie’s tea: a lavender and coconut blend from David’s Tea, or try adding lavender buds to any of your    loose leaf favourites.
– Peace in Provence: French lavender and grand marnier dark chocolate ganache from Mink Chocolates.
– Try placing a lavender essential oil on your temples or in bath water to relax at the end of the day.
– Know of any other great ways to enjoy lavender? Let me know!

This is my first ‘for the love of‘ post and I plan to make this a regular series. I will post a new topic every couple months or so. Each topic will include something I love in several forms, why I love it, and why I think you will love it as well.
Feel free to send me ideas of things you love for upcoming posts. Thanks for reading.