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    Showing posts with label DIY Gift Guide. Show all posts
    Showing posts with label DIY Gift Guide. Show all posts

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Beauty in the Kitchen

    I have been on a DIY beauty bender. Not sure if it's the season change or what, but I have had a handful of recipes that have been waiting on me to get my act together to try. I guess I finally ran out of excuses and gave a few of them a try. Some were better then others, but these two below were my favorites.

    I am a big fan of trying a beauty recipe exactly as written the first time I make and then seeing what I want to tweak for next time. Both of the recipes below were tweaked to be more how I like them; The mask a little more creamy and I just love my sugar scrub cubes. Give them a try and letting me know if you have any tweaks you suggest!

    The Calming Mask

    This is now my go to mask after a long flight or a change in weather (that can really drive my skin crazy). It will calm, soothe and leave your skin feeling hydrated and lovely.

    This quantity will yield three masks treatments, give or take how much you apply.

    Let’s discuss the ingredients super quick in case you feel they are too hard to get. They aren’t, I promise.

    The dried kale is just that so I used my dehydrator and fresh kale, but you could essentially do this in the oven as well and just grind it up in your processor, spice grinder or ninja.

    The spirulina I picked up in bulk on Amazon (because it is good for a million different things), but you can get this at Trader Joes in a smaller amount.

    The colloidal oatmeal is seriously just oatmeal that is ground to be super fine. Head to the grocery store and pick some up (just make sure it’s not the instant) and blend, process or ninja your way to a super fine powder.


    1 tablespoon Dried Kale
    1 tablespoon Spirulina
    1 tablespoon Colloidal Oatmeal
    2 heaping tablespoons Goat Milk Yogurt (I add a little more to have a creamier texture)

    Make sure you have a jar to keep the mask in and a spatula to mix it all together.

    Now down to the process:     
    1. Mix kale, spirulina and colloidal oatmeal together.      
    2. Add in goat milk yogurt and combine all ingredients until well mixed.
    3. Ready to use. Apply to face and throat for 10-15 minutes.

    This mask is good to keep in the refrigerator for 3-7 days depending on your yogurt expire by date. After that is may get a little funky smelling!

    Wake me up Scrub

    I love a good exfoliating scrub, but finding the right balance of oil, sugar and scents is not an easy task. I think I have a pretty good mix though with this one.

    You can do this scrub two ways, just like the instructions (mix and go) or you can make scrub cubes! I got the idea from a small soap shop in Newberg, OR and thought it was a great idea. The only problem were the ones in the shop were too hard, more soap like, and not enough scrub. Tweaking the recipe below just a bit, as soon as the cube gets warmed by your hands it instantly gets soft and scrub like, which is way more my preference. 

    The ingredients are essentially the same as the below except you eliminate the olive oil and honey and use a super fine sugar instead of a coarse type.  Once mixed together place the mixture in a small rectangular pan with wax paper and chill either in the fridge or the counter top, depending on your hurry. Once the mixture is set, cut into cubes with a knife and place in the shower. These are a great for travel and gifts. I love them!


    1/2 cup coconut oil
    1 teaspoon of olive oil*
    3/4 cup organic sugar 
    1/4 cup ground coffee 
    1/4 cup raw honey 
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

    Mix the oils together first and then add the remaining ingredients. You are now ready to get in the shower!

    *The key to using coconut oil for scrubs is to add a little olive oil in as well to make sure your mixture doesn't turn solid. It doesn't hurt the product if it does go solid, but it does make for a difficult time getting out of the jar.

    Original recipes from Refinery 29, but tweaked in my kitchen to be more to my liking.

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    It's the thought that counts

    I have always been pretty big on making gifts for people in my life for the holidays and I hope people enjoy receiving them. I put time, effort and lots of thought into every gift because I think that the homemade touch is just so much more personal. That's the whole point of gift giving anyway right? I am thinking of you, love you or thought you would enjoy this. Well at least that is what I think it should be.

    Throughout the year I am constantly on the look out for great ideas that look like they would be fun to do and receive. This year these are the items that have caught my eye and have been tested for approval.

    Sweet Tea Vodka
    I know this is more of a summer type booze, but I say sweet tea is all year round. When it's 15 degrees out and you're desperately wanting to be anywhere but there, you can turn up the thermostat and party like you are on the beach with this easy and yummy concoction. It's all in the imagination. This is easy to whip up and people love it when you infuse your own booze. It's like they think you know magic or are Susie homemaker and they will thank you. Only you will know that it takes very little effort and time.
    1 bottle (750ml) of decent, but not expensive vodka 
    4  tea bags
    1 cup water & 1 cup of sugar to make a simple syrup

    Pour vodka into a pitcher or jar and add tea bags. Steep for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until it is nice caramel brown.

    While vodka is doing its thing with the tea make the simple syrup by heating water to a boil. Add sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.

    Once vodka and tea are properly mixes add simple syrup to vodka to taste. If you want you can always make more simple syrup to make it sweeter!

    You can even get a little crazy and add
    some hazelnut syrup to it. YUM!

    Irish Cream Liqueur 
    I think alcohol is a great gift (for those that do drink) and this one is absolutely so yummy you may not even get around to giving it away. The recipe and directions are so incredibly easy it's ridiculous not to try it. The recipe can be found here, but after trying it a few times I have come to add a little more whiskey and only use really good dark chocolate syrup to give it that rich and decadent taste. It blows the commercial liqueurs out of the water. You will not regret whipping this up.

    Peppermint Candy Sugar Scrub
    I am a sucker for scrubs. I have made my own in the past and really love them. I found the idea and recipe here and it is an excellent one if I do say so myself. I used coconut oil since I had it in the house and I love it. I think I may like it better than almond oil. Next time I am going to try a coconut lime scrub. I am sure it will smell heavenly!

    Rosemary infused Olive Oil
    I have done this one for the last few years and always make sure I have enough left over for me. This is a great oil to use in everyday cooking to give it just a little added hint of rosemary to your dinner table. Plus it looks pretty when presented as a gift.

    Heat olive oil over medium heat with the ratio of 5 sprigs of rosemary to each cup of oil until warm (5-10 minutes). Remove from heat and cool. Add sprigs to bottle and pour olive oil in. Keeps up to 1 month in the refrigerator.

    I would show you what they look like, but
    they are gone.

    Fluer de Sel Caramels
    While I suggest every single one of the items above, if you only do one, do this. Holy cow, these are the best caramels that I have ever made. They are so good that when my mother and I first did them we went back out to the store to get more supplies to make another batch. I don't even think that first year I actually gave anyone more than one or two. They are addictive in the best way possible. Recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten and can be found here. I suggest doing this with two people, because things can go wrong if you aren't paying attention. There is one crucial step where you have to do two things at once and if you are busy tending to one the other will burn.

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