Holiday Gift Guide 2011 • Body & Soul


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Stemming from the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York, Melissa Krueger had the epiphany of Gay Coffee. With a passion for roasting the best java, she created this fun and quirky line of, well, gay coffees. The name says it all, as do the blends such as sensual and dark Red Hanky Roast and medium roasted Stone Butch Breakfast Blend. All roasts are fairly traded and one percent of all profits are donated to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The coffee is priced at $13 for 10 ounces.

Available through



Today people are tied to their phones, but this ZOMM wireless leash makes sure a phone is never lost. The poker-chip sized gadget will alarm when the phone gets far enough away from its owner thanks to a Bluetooth connection. ZOMM also acts as a speakerphone to answer if the phone is out of quick reach and the panic button calls for emergency assistance. This little thing packs quite the big punch. The ZOMM is priced at $99.99.

Available at Fry’s Electronics locations and


Bookbinder Darlene Dominguez has taken recycled book leather, flea market finds and vintage buttons and turned them into these beautiful unique cuffs. With an elastic band that pulls it gently around the wrist, these one-of-a-kind pieces are both fabulous accessories and works of art. The cuffs start at $20.




These essential oil smart boxes also get quite the message across, thanks to Michelle Bardwell. Find ginger and peppermint scents in the Eat Me box, rose and magnolia in the Love Me box and rosewood and tea tree in the Try Me box. All boxes contain either four 10ml bottles of essential oils or five 2ml vials of essential and therapeutic oils. Each is priced at $36.

Flower Road Natural Therapies



Some occasions and palates just call for both white and red wine. This dual wine tote makes it easy to bring both, or champagne even. Made with high density, stain- and-pill-resistant German merino wool felt, vegetable tanned leather handles and polished nickel finish for hardware, the tote is not just handy, it’s stylish as well. The tote is priced at $145.

Dallas Museum of Art Museum Store,
1717 N. Harwood Road.


Taking tea to the next level, Numi’s Enchanted Blossoms Flowering Tea appeals to all the senses. Filled with hand-sewn tea leaves and flowers, the box included a glass teapot and comes in a handmade dark mahogany bamboo case. The flowers begin to blossom when they are steeped. The tea box is as magical as it is elegant. The tea set is priced from $30–$35.

Available through

halsa-wellness-acupressure-matBED OF NAILS

The idea of lying down on more than 8,000 spikes may not sound too appealing, but with the Swedish Halsa wellness mat, the body only reaps benefits. Based on the spiked mats of ancient Indian tradition, this mat stimulates acupressure points which increases circulation, lowers blood pressure and releases physical, mental and emotional blocks. The Halsa wellness mat comes in black, green or purple and is priced at $39.95.

Available through



Classy and cool, this HEX Vision metal watch band is made for the iPod Nano Gen 6 to be clipped in as the watch face. The band comes in gun metal or silver and takes the predictability out of giving just any ol’ watch. The watchband is priced at $69.95.

Apple Store Northpark Center,
8587 N. Central Expressway.



Pride goes way posh with this bracelet. It features over 15 carats of fine round sapphires in rainbow colors surrounded in yellow gold.  There can only be one word for this — fabulous! The bracelet is priced at $11,700.

Skibell Fine Jewelry, 8411 Preston Road, Ste. 110.



Don’t forget the stocking stuffers. These new iFrogz headphones change the way sound travels in tiny spaces. The chrome-plated Legion model bumps up the high notes and bass lines. The TimbrePro offers deeper bass sounds through a wooden sound chamber. The Transport uses turbine engine design for purer sound on all levels. The TimbrePro and Transport come with a single button remote/microphone for mobile devices and is compatible with Apple, Blackberry and Android. Headphones start
at $24.99.

Available at Walmart stores and


rafii-scarvesBUNDLE UP

A quality scarf is a must for any strong wardrobe and Astor + Black’s cashmere collection makes for a stylish accessory. The scarves not only protect in cold weather, but make clear fashion statements in a variety of colors and patterns. Get one for yourself even. The scarves are priced at $150.

Astor and Black
Custom Clothiers.




s fun as this looks, the POP phone  by Native Union also has a distinct purpose. For the chatty Cathies out there, this handset attaches to your smartphone and protects from up to 99 percent of harmful effects of cell phone radiation. In seven bold colors and soft-touch finish, the POP phone is totally for that whimsical hipster who appreciates the irony of nostalgia. The handset attaches to most Mac products and Blackberries. and prices start at $29.90.

Available through




Rufskin is known for making extreme choices in its clothing designs, but when it comes to denim, the sex appeal is out of control. Whether they rethink classic jeans or offer sexy, snug fits, Rufskin’s denim is incomparable. Jeans start at $120.
Union Jack,
3920 Cedar Springs Road.














Why not give a one-of-a-kind bottle of wine complete with a personalized label? At Two Corks and a Bottle, customers can bottle their own personal vintage wine with a list of available varietals. The winery will even help out to make it just right. After the blend is done, just add a personal holiday greeting on the label for that special touch. Half batches (about 14 bottles) start at $165.

Two Corks and a Bottle, 2800 Routh Ste. 140
(in the Quadrangle).
214-871- 9463.
















Classify this as for the person who has everything. Epic Helicopters takes the holidays to the skies with its Holiday Lights Tour. With tours in Fort Worth and Addison, Santa’s not the only one who gets airspace during the holidays. Epic offers 10 different lights tour variations through Jan. 1. Tours in Fort Worth start at $379; tours in Addison start at $429.

Epic Helicopters, Fort Worth Meacham Airport
4201 N. Main Street, Suite 109
Fort Worth. 817-625-1800.
Addison Airport, 
4553 Jimmy Doolittle Drive,
Addison. 214-799-1501.

—  Kevin Thomas

Body & Fitness Spring 2011: Table of Contents

Scent from above: Michelle Bardwell offers aromatherapy like you’ve never experienced it at her new Flower Road Natural Therapies studio

Excess baggage: Admitting to yourself that you don’t use your gym membership is the first step to recovery — the next is figuring exactly what to do now that you’re over it

Back for GOOD: With an ounce of prevention, you can be chiropractically perfect in every way

Dirty britches: While preparing for the daunting DFW Mud Run, four people found fun, fitness and fellowship with one goal in mind — to finish

Four steps to a healthier new year

Gym roundup

—  John Wright

Body & Fitness: Scent from above

Bardwell, above, not only uses natural essential oils in her therapeutic work, she also offers sessions teaching how to use the same oils for healthier cooking. (Photo by Arnold Wayne Jones)

Michelle Bardwell offers aromatherapy like you’ve never experienced it at her new Flower Road Natural Therapies studio

STEVEN LINDSEY | Contributing Writer

That waft of vanilla and cinnamon coming from that candle on your kitchen counter? Yeah, no matter what the marketing says, that’s not aromatherapy. But there’s one woman who’s made a career of the science and is now in the neighborhood, ready to make people feel better, one drop at a time.

Michelle Bardwell, who calls herself the “green, gay Mary Kay,” owns Flower Road Natural Therapies, a business focused on the use of therapeutic-grade essential oils and other aromatic raw products for holistic therapies. Sure, most everything smells fantastic, but there’s so much more to aromatherapy than scent alone.

“Aromachology is when you’re trying to affect someone’s mind. You smell something and it brings back memories. You smell something and it reminds you to relax. It’s not necessarily that it goes into your body as an actual relaxant and works with the nerves, but it just reminds you to relax,” she says. “Sometimes you get a massage and smell lavender over and over until you get to the point where you smell lavender and you go into that same state of relaxation. Or you go into a house for sale and when you smell warm cookies, you want to buy the house because you like the smell and it brings back memories. That’s aromachology.”

The oils Bardwell uses at Flower Road, located in the ilume, are not your typical over-the-counter products, either. They’re highly regulated, pharmaceutical-grade oils.

“The oils come from France, but they’re distilled in countries like Madagascar, for example. They go through the French government, the American government, I even have an FDA number,” she says. “They’re organic, passing both the French and American standards, including the USDA. The man I studied with in France sells these oils to pharmacies in Europe.”

Bardwell sells oils to massage therapists who use them in various ways, but it’s her signature aromatherapy sessions that make for an incredible experience.

Utilizing soft-tissue techniques, the entire therapy is one of the most relaxing 90 minutes available. Unlike deep tissue massages where it can be impossible to relax with a massage therapist poking deep into your muscles, it’s easy to fall asleep at Flower Road — a very deep sleep.

After an initial assessment of your body chemistry, and current emotions and stressors in your life, she creates a chart of which areas to concentrate on, and which oils will be most beneficial. Walking over to her oil desk, filled with bottle after bottle of essential oils, she creates a custom formula based on what you need most.

That formula becomes the base she uses on you for every visit, though she may modify it with other essential oils based on any new developments, like if you feel the flu coming on. For that, she’ll likely incorporate Ravensara, an essential oil derived from a tree native to Madagascar with a scent similar to rosemary. Or if you need a little extra oomph in the bedroom, the addition of Vetiver will do the trick as it’s been praised for its aphrodisiac qualities for centuries.

During the near-silent treatment, she warms the body with heating pads so the essential oils are more readily absorbed into the blood stream. She traps the oil and prevents it from evaporating by covering the treated areas with plastic wrap. Meanwhile, she massages your legs and feet, and provides a lengthy, relaxing light-touch facial massage. Snoring is not uncommon.

The treatment ends with the enjoyment of hot tea made from essential oils, as well.

There are many applications for aromatherapy. She conducts lunch-and-learn sessions teachings people how to cook and incorporate essential oils into their diets. Massage therapists and other professionals can even become certified in aromatherapy under Bardwell’s teaching.

Aromatherapy is much different than what we’re used to hearing the term describe. And that’s partly because the United States is still farther behind other countries in terms of holistic therapies and products that are chemically manufactured in labs, not occurring naturally, and most definitely not organically.

“In other parts of the world, they’ve really started to incorporate all kinds of alternative medicine, so they have a better idea of what true aromatherapy is. Aromatherapy is about getting the essential oils in the body, not how it smells.”

Curious about experiencing the benefits of aromatherapy? Just follow your nose. Then get ready for so much more.

For more information, visit

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 18, 2011.

—  John Wright