Our stylish friends over at Friends with Benefit (the blog associated with fabulous Benefit cosmetics) are spreading the gospel of the “Sock Bun”. I’ve never tried this hair trick before, but for hot summer days where I am, this looks tempting! Has anyone tried this? Let me know if it’s cute!
I recently spotted on Pinterest a homemade Gardener’s Hand Scrub, and I thought, “Now that’s a great idea!” My mom is a gardener, and she loves tending her garden…which sometimes requires getting DIRTY. Dirty as in “dirt-covered hands and fingernails”. She has gloves, but sometimes that doesn’t help. Sometimes, you just need to get your hands dirty, you know?
I know this well after working for Peet’s Coffee and Tea for a number of years (which I’ve mentioned before). (Love them!) I was a shift manager and barista, and I didn’t become a coffee expert by NOT working with those fragrant grounds and beans. Just imagine how strongly I would smell of coffee when I came home. I remember going home and showering after a shift, and then going to the bank. The bank teller sniffed me (probably my unwashed hair but maybe not), and then laughingly told me I smell like I just had a latte. I learned after that to always wash my hair and scrub my hands.
This is where a good Soap Scrub comes into use. On the “One Good Thing” blog, I noted a homemade Gardener’s Soap Scrub made with dish soap. Now, this is a cute idea, BUT, for a sensitive skin gal like myself, I could NEVER repeatedly use dish soap (even the sensitive skin kind) on my skin. No way. You already know I am still dealing with heat rash in only mildly humid weather, and I occasionally experience bouts of dermatitis or eczema on my skin. I also am fair-skinned, which means EVERYTHING shows up on my skin. Any scratch, mark, or bruise, and I look red with welts. Dish soap is just too harsh for me.
This means I need a soap scrub made with a mild soap, added skin-friendly oil, and granulated sugar crystals (large crystals would be more rough on my skin), and some honey to calm the skin (it’s an anti-inflammatory!). Huzzah, let’s make a soap scrub, friends! Easy peasy.
I made this Summer Gardener’s Soap Scrub with a peachy moisturizing body wash (Dove’s Peach Body Wash), coconut oil, a tsp of honey, and white granulated sugar. It smells fruity and divine! Why haven’t I thought about this before?! I’m even thinking about using this on my body as a regular scrub. Also, if you have oily skin, leave the oil out—for my personal uses, I happen to need as much moisture as possible!
I’ve been jonesing for a decadent spa treatment, and I thought this scrub by Cut Out and Keep looked divine! I didn’t want to heat up the honey though (a hot scrub on a hot day? No!). I changed the recipe a bit for a nice cool scrub for the summer. You will have enough to scrub your face and neck!
Brown Sugar and Honey Scrub
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/8 cup of honey
1/4 tsp milk
In a bowl, add the sugar, and then slowly mix in the honey. Add the milk–the more milk added, the more looser consistency. Now, pat onto clean dry face and leave on for 10-20 minutes. This mixture will not harden like other masks, so watch for falling drops of honey and sugar! After allotted time, take off scrub with a washcloth, and rinse off with tepid water. Make sure you don’t rub the honey into your hair line. (No need for a sticky updo on a sticky summer day!)
Good morning, Burlesquers!
Last night I went to a “supper party” at a professor’s house, which was really lovely. (I was a little nervous to be talking with a number of professors, but it was fine!) I was able to meet my future boss for one of my summer jobs, and I really liked him. He fit all the stereotypes of a friendly computer geek, in a very endearing way. I also had delicious food there, including Pork Roast with a blueberry chutney, which reminded me of how much I love pork with blueberries (that brandied blueberry sauce I made was delicious with pork!). I’m going to make that again soon.
I also found out yesterday that I’d been TAGGED by Nina! This is a fun virtual game to play! My tag question was, “What is your favorite DIY recipe for hair care?” I actually have multiple answers because DIY hair recipes are so easy! ……But first, full disclosure: I am a curly-haired girl, which means all of my recipes are usually about moisturizing hair and skin (curly-haired folks tend to have dry hair). That’s right! When I developed this blog, I happen to be going through a “Let’s wear our hair straight!” phase, and all of my posted pictures are of me with straight hair. But I actually have fine, curly hair. And yes, I love it, and I wish more women embraced their natural hair. Straight is not more attractive than curly hair! I hate when people say that.
Get into those PJs, Burlesquers!
I just bought a pair of $2 sleepy time shorts (actually, men’s boxers) at Target, and I love them. They’re cute and comfy. You all will laugh, but I also own a men’s scarf and a men’s shirt that I just love. Who is laying down the gender rules for clothes, anyway? My men’s stuff is cute!
I was getting myself tucked into bed this rainy night (and actually giving my best friend a pep talk about dating) when I saw this DIY body butter recipe on Pinterest. I’ve never read this blog–The Nourishment of Life–but it looks like a great DIY Beauty/ healthy living site! And this recipe looked so easy and pretty. DIY coconut body butter? Yes, please! I’ve made a more oil-textured coconut moisturizer before, but nothing of a whipped consistency. This also gives me a chance to give my new Tangerine KitchenAid Hand Mixer a whirl… so let’s do this!
Whipped Rose Coconut Body Butter
I am adapting the recipe a bit and using what I have on hand…
Living on a budget can be difficult, but those tips and tricks (to save a penny or two) are a lifesaver. One of my frequent not-so-budget-friendly purchases is makeup. I don’t wear tons of makeup, but I do wear makeup on a daily basis: powder, blush, mascara, and lipstick. Makeup allows me to experiment with fashion and express my moods, and simply putting on a touch of lipstick makes me feel more put-together and creative.
Rise and shine, all you post- St. Patrick’s Day celebrators!
Feeling a little blue (after one too many Green beers)? Here’s a scrub that will leave you feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed: the Grapefruit-Orange Scrub! Citrus is a nice dose of Vitamin C for your skin, honey is an anti-inflammatory, sugar will leave your skin soft and smooth, and sweet orange will balance the zesty scent of the tart grapefruit. Plus, all these ingredients are relatively inexpensive (and sitting in your pantry). This is a great scrub for in the shower, or you can leave it by the kitchen sink whenever your hands need a little TLC. You can also be a good neighbor and give this as an inexpensive gift! Simply put this in a jar, and tie it with a bow or twine. You could even make a printable for the jars and stick it on for decoration. How sweet!
Grapefruit-Orange Sugar Scrub
1 and 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup Almond Oil (or grapeseed oil)
1 tbsp honey
1 empty mason jar with lid
Mix together the sugar, oil, and honey. Juice the grapefruit and orange, making a total of 1/2 cup of juice (1/4 cup juice of each fruit). This should be about one quarter to one half piece of each fruit. Add the juice to the mixture, and stir well until a thick paste forms. Hurray, you now have a zesty citrus scrub! Scoop out with your hands, a small spoon, or even a slice of citrus (even more Vitamin C.) And eat the remaining fruit–it’s good for you!
Good morning, Beautiful!
I woke up excited to tell everyone about my experience with Green Tea as a toner! I wanted to make my Morning Glory Toner last night, but I couldn’t conveniently find fresh mint while out on my errands yesterday (a busy girl can’t make multiple stops!). I am a determined woman, though, and was just too excited to wait. I decided to use the mint green tea, honey vanilla chamomile tea, and lemon wedge I had on hand to whip up a toner. It was quick and easy, and after my hot shower last night, I dried off, and then immediately gave my face a spritz. I actually really liked the mint green tea–it smelled earthy and minty, and was refreshing! I let the spritz dry on my face, and then put on my daily night cream.
I woke up–and maybe I’m experiencing the placebo effect—but my face looked a bit more bright and clear this morning! I think the combination of green tea, mint, and lemon really gave my fair skin a refreshing boost. I’m sold—I’m definitely going to incorporate this into my beauty routine. I might even infuse some cool cucumber in the toner one day. (Maybe an update later…)
For breakfast, I was going to make a version of Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (because I still have a can of pumpkin sitting in my fridge!). Somewhere along the way, though, I ended up making a Spiced Pumpkin-Almond Spread/dip that I ate with apples (bye bye, oatmeal.) I actually really like this recipe! It’s quick, healthy and, like always, hearty because I am a hungry girl. This spread is actually made with mainly almond butter, which is a great source of protein and fat, and sweetened with applesauce. You can spread this on wheat toast, eat it in a tortilla with banana and greek yogurt (pumpkin burrito), and even use it to make a pumpkin banana sandwich (wheat toast, pumpkin spread, banana, and honey!). I am a big believer in good base recipes, and this spread can be used in a zillion ways. You could also add greek yogurt to this if you wanted a more creamy taste!
Spiced Pumpkin-Almond Spread
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp almond butter
1 spoonful of applesauce (a healthy sweetener)
a smidge of honey (to taste)
2 shakes of pumpkin pie spice
1 shake of cinnamon
1/8 tsp of vanilla
Optional: If you wanted this to be a more Pumpkin-chocolatey spread, add cocoa and use either Stevia or Splenda to sweeten. You could also add chocolate chips! (Everyone knows pumpkin and chocolate together are delicious.)
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, and then start spreading this on everything! Yum.
Last night, I went on a limb and tried Coconut Oil as a moisturizer.
Coconut oil on your body? Sounds a bit weird, right? Coconuts are the new “craze” ingredient in the health industry, and I was skeptical of its hype and seemingly magical properties. However, I have a friend who preaches the wonders of Coconut Oil: for hair, skin, and overall beauty. (She has thick, unruly curly hair, and she uses Coconut Oil on her hair. )
Anyway, because I’ve become obsessed with creating new DIY projects, I decided to take a chance with the oil. I simply showered last night as usual, mixed a bit of cheap plain lotion in my hand along with some coconut oil, and spread this over my body as a night lotion. (I wasn’t prepared to make an official concoction til I saw results.)
I can honestly say–without any reservations—that I woke up with soft and smooth skin! The oil completely absorbed into my winter-weary skin, and I was really pleased with the results! Plus, Coconut Oil has a much more pleasant scent than, say, Olive Oil, and a little of it goes a long way. Inspired by my endeavor, this weekend I plan on making this more spreadable Coconut Beauty treatment, although I am altering the recipe by using Jojoba Oil and Rose essence. I also have made a Whipped Coconut Body Butter at home before, which I loved. If you don’t feel like making anything though, I suggest simply mixing in your hand a cheap, over-the-counter scented lotion with the Coconut Oil. Enjoy!
“Rosy Nights” Coconut Beauty treatment (Coconut Oil and rose essence)
1 jar of Coconut Oil
1 jar of Jojoba Oil (or Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, etc.)
1/2 tbsp of Rose essential oil (you could also try Lavender, Orange, etc!)
1 jar for storage
Place the Coconut Oil (which is hard at room temperature) in a warm water bath until it softens. Take the jar out of the water, dry, and then mix a scoop of the Coconut Oil with your choice of other oil (Almond, Jojoba, etc.) until it is thinned to your desired consistency. Add a drop of essential oil, blend, and then put into the jar for later usage. Happy nights are ahead!
I was reading Tina Haupert’s Carrots ‘N’ Cake blog, and tonite Tina reviewed Amy Gyles McInerney, a Licensed Massachusetts Medical Aesthetician of 18 years who specializes in skin treatments and skincare. Along with getting her skin done, Tina asked Amy some questions about her everyday skin care. Amy recommended not only taking flaxseed, calcium, and Vitamin C supplements for healthy skin, but also suggested making your own Green Tea tonic for your face!
Inconceivable! Why isn’t this as a tonic more popular? I have heard of rose water and lemon, but never green tea. This does make alot of sense, though! Amy reports that green tea is an anti-imflammatory agent and high in anti-oxidants, which makes it the perfect solution for your skin.
After I read this post, I was inspired to do a little more research on homemade tonics, and I made the perfect recipe: Morning Glory Toner. Enjoy! And if you know of any good DIY recipes, please share!
Morning Glory Toner
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint (or 2 tbsp dried)
3 green tea bags (substitute one chamomile, if you like!)
2 cups of water
1 plastic spray bottle (I found a blue mini spray bottle in the travel section at Target)
1 wedge of lemon (optional)
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, and allow to steep for 2 more minutes. Once cooled, strain liquid into the spray bottle, and keep for one week as your daily toner. This would be especially refreshing for spring and summer!