Beauty Recipe: Lavender & Sea Salt Toner

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This is one of my absolute favorite toner recipes. It’s the magic potion that always seems to keep my complexion clear. Suitable for all skin types, this toner hydrates, soothes, refreshes and nourishes. The addition of sea salt really takes this recipe to the next level because it gently treats acne and clears the skin of blemishes.

Recipe:
3 oz Hydrosol or Distilled Water (I used Rose Hydrosol)
1 oz Witch Hazel
1 tbsp Aloe Vera Gel
1/2 tsp Glycerin
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
4 drops Green Tea Extract
10 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Combine the hydrosol, witch hazel, aloe, glycerin and sea salt in a glass pyrex or double boiler.

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Place the glass pyrex in a pot of water and warm over the stove. Gently heat the ingredients until the sea salt dissolves.

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Remove from heat and add the green tea extract and essential oils. Pour the recipe into a glass bottle with spray top.

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I like to use two 2 oz brown glass bottles. I’ll keep one for myself and I’ll give one to a friend. This recipe will keep for 6 months without refrigeration. To use, simply spray the toner on a face, neck and chest after cleansing and before moisturizing.

Enjoy!

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Beauty Recipe: Anandamide Face Mask

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Sun Potion. Where to begin? I have so much adoration for this line of transformational foods and I admire the mission, passion and love that oozes out of the hands and hearts behind the line. Sun Potion superfoods and tonic herbs are  plant-based powders, extracts and whole foods. Always certified organic or wildcrafted and processed without the use of chemical solvents or additives of any kind, these potent foods have a transglobal lineage of healing properties.

My morning begins with a glass of homemade nut milk (either cashew or sunflower) and 2 tablespoons of Anandamide. The proprietary blend features raw cacao, turmeric, reishi, rose petals, Himalayan salt, chlorella and many more nourishing ingredients. This blend activates and harmonize the nervous, digestive, & immune systems. Additionally, Anandamide may help treat stress-induced anxiety, promote higher thought process and act as a messenger molecule that plays a role in pain, depression, appetite, memory and fertility. Not only is this blend incredible for your body and spirit, it can also be used as a face mask. When combined with honey and milk, you have a super mask that exfoliates, promotes cell repair, rejuvenates and increases blood flow.

Recipe:
1 tbsp Anandamide
1 tsp Honey
1 tsp Milk

Mix all ingredients together until a paste forms. Spread a thin layer over skin. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Beauty Recipe: Blossoming Face Oil

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I love Spring. Besides the fact that I’m a Taurus and my birthday falls within the season, the weather is perfect and there’s an overwhelming sense of possibility.  As the weather shifts, I like to change my skincare routine. During the winter months, I always find that my skin tends to be parched and I end up using The Peacock Apothecary’s night creme during the day for extra moisture. As the weather warms, I switch to a face oil which is lighter, absorbs into the skin quickly and acts as a great make up primer.

The recipe below was inspired by Spring and combines a nourishing blend of vegetable oils, therapeutic grade essential oils and a pink primrose flower elixir to create an incredibly fragrant, hydrating and healing treatment. Thanks to Lotus Wei, I’ve been on a beautiful journey with flower elixirs for the past 7 months. These incredible potions have been used for generations and you’re most likely familiar with Bach’s Rescue Remedy. Flower alchemy is simply another way of receiving the nourishing properties of plants. When you work with flower essences, you bring your body back in tune with a subtle electrical vibration. Each flower holds a different vibration reflective of it’s essence which is used to treat the root (not the symptom). I chose to include the pink primrose because it blooms in spring and grows prolifically. This flower has a wild spirit and can grow in challenging conditions. It’s a hard flower to contain because it spreads so rapidly. The pink primrose flower essence prepares us for “rapid growth” while magnifying a sense of fearlessness. The essence births new ideas, prepares us for next steps and helps us move from one stage to another. I’ve added the pink primrose to activate the face oil vibrationally and create an intentional ritual during each application. If you find another flower elixir that you resonate with, feel free to substitute.

Ingredients
5 tsp Apricot Kernal Oil
3 tsp Jojoba Oil
1 tsp Seabuckthorn Oil
8 drops Rose Essential Oil
5 drops Sandalwood Oil
2 drops Palmarosa
15 drops Pink Primrose Flower Elixir (contact Lotus Wei)

This recipe couldn’t be any easier to make. Simply mix all ingredients together and pour into a glass container of your choice. I prefer to use two 2oz brown glass bottles with dropper. I’ll keep one for myself and I’ll gift the second to a friend.

 

 

 

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Beauty Recipe: The Ultimate Dry Skin Cream

This recipe was created specifically for my husband, who, at the time, was suffering from eczema. Having dealt with allergies his entire life, he eventually broke out in dry, itchy patches all over. The poor guy was so uncomfortable and felt like he basically wanted to rip his skin off. We dealt with the problem both inside and out focusing on anti-inflammatory foods and super moisturizing creams to protect the skin. One thing was certain, the over the counter treatments wouldn’t cut it and we didn’t want to treat the problem with chemicals.

I formulated this healing cream with the richest butters and oils in my apothecary  to protect the skin from environmental irritants. Not just for eczema, this cream is great for areas that need extra moisture like rough patches, elbows, knees feet and hands. I love to slather it on before I go to sleep during the winter months when the air is particularly dry and my skin needs the extra love.

This all purpose cream is also great for babies! My son’s skin has always been on the dry side; he gets dry patches on his biceps and calves. This cream has worked wonders since he was born, plus, I feel better knowing everything in that little jar is completely natural.

The best part is that this recipe couldn’t be any easier to make. Seriously, if you can melt ingredients, then you can make this cream.

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Ingredients
1 tablespoon cocoa butter
2 tablespoons beeswax
1 tablespoon shea buter
1/3 cup coconut oil (organic, unrefined)
1/2 cup sunflower oil (alternatives: olive, almond, apricot, grapeseed)
10 drops of roman chamomile essential oil (therapeutic grade) – calming essential oil for the skin
8oz glass jar

To Make
Add all ingredients (except the essential oil) to a glass pyrex or double boiler. If using a pyrex, boil water in a pot and place the pyrex into the pot. Warm all ingredients until the solid ingredients are just melted.

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Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Add the essential oil and stir. Pour the mixture into your glass jar and allow to cool. Let it set overnight to give the ingredients plenty of time to harden into a creamy texture. If you’d like to speed up the process, you can let the jar cool in the fridge.

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Enjoy!
xo
Sam

 

 

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Beauty Recipe: The Absolute Best Body Scrub

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You may think it’s crazy of us to give away our trade secrets but we’re happy to share our recipes and we hope you’re inspired to create all-natural skincare products at home. This recipe is so easy that even the most novice can master our coconut body scrub. The ingredients are simple, yet they pack so much punch. For those who love to cook and craft, this recipe makes a great gift when you’re looking to give something with a personal touch.

Here’s the basic rundown…

We opt to use sugar instead of salt. Salt can sting, plus, we find that sugar provides a bit more grit to exfoliate the skin. The ingredient that really makes this recipe shine is the coconut oil. When it’s cold, you’ll find that the coconut oil hardens to a buttery consistency (which means you may need to bring a spoon into the shower). I’m sure I don’t need to wax poetic about coconut oil, you most likely already know this is a super oil. It’s so incredibly moisturizing that you won’t even need to use lotion when you get out of the shower. And of course, you won’t find any artificial fragrances in this recipe. Just a few drops of therapeutic grade essential oil is all you need.

So let’s get to the recipe.

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Ingredients
1 cup sugar (preferably organic cane sugar)
9 tablespoons coconut oil (preferably raw, unfiltered)
20 drops therapeutic grade lavender essential oil
8oz glass jar

To make the scrub:
Make sure your coconut oil is in the liquid phase. If it’s solid, or partially solid, melt the oil over the stove in a double boiler or glass pyrex placed in boiling water. Place 1 cup of sugar into a mixing bowl. Pour the melted coconut oil over the sugar and mix.

consistency-2You’ll want the scrub to have a moist consistency with a thin layer of oil sitting on top of the sugar once it settles (if you need to add a little more oil to reach the consistency you prefer, add it now).

Count the drops of the essential oil as they sprinkle over the top of the scrub mixture. Mix again and scoop into your glass jar (preferably amber or violet glass).

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Variations:
Once you get acquainted with the recipe, you likely won’t even need to measure the sugar and oil and you’ll simply be able to eye the consistency of the mixture. You can even infuse your coconut oil with herbs (more to come on this process later) or you can vary the essential oil blend. Some of my favorite blends include Lemon/Rosemary/Sage and Orange/Clove/Cinnamon/Ginger.

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Happy scrubbing!
xo
Sam

 

 

 

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VEGGIE Posole.

I wanted to squeeze one more soup recipe in before Winter is officially over on Friday!

I’ve made this VEGGIE Posole recipe a few times now, and it never disappoints. Traditional Posole is heavy in the pork department. This definitely is NOT. It’s a simple, spicy, slightly sour broth with some beans and hominy thrown in. The real highlight is in all the fun stuff you get to put on top! Cojita cheese, avocado chunks, tortilla chips and fresh cilantro are some of my personal favorites. Shredded cabbage, lettuce, onion or radishes would be great too! xo Cait

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VEGGIE Posole Rojo.
2 dried Arbol chilis
2Tbl oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
6C veggie broth (or chicken!)
1 15oz can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 25oz can hominy, drained & rinsed
Juice of 2 limes
1Tbl dried oregano
Salt

Soak the chilis in boiling water for 10-15min. Puree the chilis and “some” of the water in a food processor or blender. The amount of water you use doesn’t really matter. It’s all going back into the soup anyway. Maybe a cup or so?

In a big soup pot, sauté the onion & garlic in the oil for 3-5min over medium heat
Add the tomatoes, 2tsp salt, oregano and broth and bring to a simmer.
Add the hominy and beans and bring back up to a simmer for at least 10min or so.
Add the pureed chilis, lime juice, stir!

Best served with LOTS OF TOPPINGS!!

 

Rainbow Chip Frosting Wannabe #1

IMG_5483You may or may not know, but Betty Crocker discontinued their Rainbow Chip frosting at the end of 2013. Needless to say, people got upset, myself included. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the internets to try to get Betty Crocker to reverse their decision… Heck, even Katy Perry got involved! But as of today, it’s gone from grocery store shelves and eBay shops (where I saw it selling for $30+ a tub?!) So what’s a girl to do? Google it, and improvise.

Rainbow chip is the classic frosting pair to the ever famous Funfetti cake, with the sprinkles mixed into the batter. It has tiny, soft morsels of rainbow colored goodness mixed into the white frosting. I remember this cake combo appearing at countless birthday parties growing up. The taste is truly nostalgic for me in all of its super sweet manufactured glory. In college, I used to eat it by the spoonful, no cake needed (I promise I don’t do that anymore).

The trick would be to get the consistency, flavor and vibrant colors all just right.

Enter RAINBOW CHIP SPRINKLES by Wilton.

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Wilton’s Rainbow Chip Sprinkles happen to be little bits of chocolate, covered in a bright colorful candy shell. When mixed into any (store bought or homemade) vanilla/white frosting, they give you the perfect color and shape of the little bits of the OG Rainbow Chip. The hitch is, they are crunchy, not soft and chewy like the real thing is supposed to be.

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My experimental frosting was delicious, yes, but the bits remain crunchy until Day 2. A two day old cupcake is definitely not a bad thing, but by then, the colors also begin to run and spread across the white frosting. They look and taste great. And I HIGHLY recommend trying this trick out. But it just wasn’t perfect.

IMG_5484I’ll be testing out a second idea to replicate this timeless favorite next month. So, stay tuned if you’re a cake nerd like me! xo Cait

QUICK TIP: use leftover rainbow chip sprinkles to make yourself a cheery ice cream sundae! xo Cait

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Chicken Noodle soup.

Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, alongside my recipe for Minestrone, Winter always reminds me of my love for soup. With the start of a New Year inevitably comes my resolution to save money, waste less resources and get back to healthy eating. Soup is the perfect answer to keep me on task with all of those things AND it makes great leftovers for my never ending search to keep my lunch box interesting!! I tweaked this recipe slightly and reproduced it below. It is a truly classic chicken noodle soup, but could easily be spiced up or veggies changed for variety. xo Cait

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CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
8 celery stalks, diced
8 carrots, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 quarts chicken stock or broth
1 dollop Better Than Bouillon (optional but definitely recommended)
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
2 cups wide egg noodles

In a large pot over medium, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the stock and Better Than Bouillon and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the chicken and noodles and simmer until the noodles are cooked, about 10 minutes more. Discard the bay leaves. Season to taste.

Jar up the leftovers and bring to the office for lunch!

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Minestrone soup.

FullSizeRenderEvery winter I re-discover my love of soup. As a not so confident cook, I’m always relieved that the recipe is usually some variation of “put all ingredients into pot and bring to a boil.” And as a lover of leftovers, I appreciate the fact that most soup gets better after sitting a day or two! My routine lately is to make a big pot of something for dinner on Sunday, and then jar up the leftovers for my lunch all week. Over the rest of the winter, I’ll share with you some of my favorite recipes. To start, I give you MINESTRONE. xo Cait

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MINESTRONE SOUP
2 big carrots
2 stalks celery
1 onion
1 zucchini, chopped
8 baby potatoes, chopped
1 can navy beans (small white beans)
1 can kidney beans
2qt stock
1tsp sage
1tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1tsp pepper
1 C dried ‘mini’ pasta

Clean and chop all vegetables.
Heat up a little oil in your best soup pot. Brown carrots, celery & onion.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except for pasta, and bring to a boil.
Let simmer for as long as you can, but at least 30min.
Add pasta and cook according to your pastas recommendations right before serving! You can also cook pasta separately and add when ready.

Optional: Top with parmesan cheese and a dollop of pesto!

 

Baby Food Recipe: Minty Melon Purée

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The introduction of foods has been quite the journey. I’ve come to realize that if there’s fruit involved, Finn is much more interested in eating. Can you blame him? Of course, he’d rather experience a touch of sweet compared to the taste of veggie purées. I’m still committed to making 90% of his food and I whole-heartedly believe that home-cooked meals from locally sourced, organic produce is 100% more nutrient dense than store bought, factory processed baby food. To keep Finn interested, I’ve started to play around with blends by mixing fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and herbs. Cantaloupe is in season so I decided to mix it with cucumber, spinach, mint and coconut oil. The result was a tasty treat that he literally devours with joy, and, I can feel happy knowing that he’s not JUST eating fruit. Unfortunately, I had complete mommy-brain and totally forgot to actually take a picture of the purée; so, instead, here’s a picture of Finn eating. Imagine a green fruit smoothie – that should be the desired consistency and look of the completed recipe.

Minty Melon Purée Recipe

1/2 organic melon (I used a Sugar Cube because it’s in season at the farmer’s market and insanely delicious)
1 organic cucumber (peeled)
1.5-2 cups organic, raw spinach
1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
1 tablespoon fresh, organic mint leaves

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until you have the consistency of a purée. Divide into 2 or 4 ounce glass containers. Put 1 or 2 containers in the fridge and freeze the remainder for quick and easy meals in the weeks to come.