Sunday, December 1, 2013

Homemade Facial Moisturizer for Oily Skin

I have this awesome book called The Aromatherapy Companion, which is all about the medicinal uses for using essential oils. This book has lots of information about using essential oils safely and effectively and gives many great recipes for natural skin and body care.

I found a really easy and effective recipe for facial moisturizer for oily skin. I only like to use all natural skin care products and usually have to special order my skincare online. With the cost of the actual product and shipping, the price can really add up! So I decided to try making my own and see how I like it.

After using it for a few days, I notice that my skin is soft, smooth and supple. I like it even better than my expensive moisturizer that I special order!! I am loving how I am saving money and doing something good for my body. Here is the really easy recipe.

Facial Moisturizer for Oily Skin

  • 10 drops niaouli essential oil
  • 5 drops cypress essential oil
  • 30 ml (1 ounce) hazelnut oil
Combine all ingredients in a small dark glass bottle; shake to mix. To use: After cleansing and toning, place a few drops in the palms of your hands and massage or press lightly over your entire face.

I literally only need 2 drops of this oil and use it on my face and neck.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thanksgivukkah 2013!

As you've all heard, Thanksgiving coincides with the first day of Hanukkah this year. Very exciting news for the Jews who celebrate both!

Check out my Pinterest board for some great ideas for menu planning, recipes, festive decor and more.
Thanksgivukkah 2013 Ideas

We are going all out this year at our Thanksgivukkah. Check out our final menu.

Soupe au Pistou
Free Range Turkey
Pan Fried Flounder with Homemade Tartar Sauce
Herbed Stuffing
Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash
Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy
Mini Potato Latkes with Cranberry Apple Sauce
Whipped Yams
Green Bean Casserole
Garlic Collard Greens
Green Salad
Cranberry Pear Sauce

Pumpkin Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream
Sweet Potato Pie
Chocolate Molasses Spice Cookies
Homemade Sparkling Apple Cider

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Upcycle Old Stuff and Make it Cool Again

We've all heard of recycling, which is good for the environment, but how about upcycling?

Upcycling is when you take something old, ugly and/or damaged and make it into something new, interesting, cool, beautiful and functional. It's basically giving something old a makeover so that it has more value than it did before. Great concept, right?

I love decorating my home and collecting interesting and beautiful pieces to make my living space more comfortable. Buying furniture and good quality decor can be fun, but it can also be very costly. I have been building my living room, one piece at a time, with used and vintage furniture that has good structure, but needs a bit of help.

My first project for home decor is upcycling a console table. After some research, I decided to refurbish my table and give it a distressed look. I chose this style because I like the rustic chic look. It reminds me of the Autumn I spent living in the mountains of rural Vermont, doing organic gardening and getting to cook and eat freshly grown food each day. I also love having one of a kind, unique pieces of furniture and this project will turn my table into just that!

I got my wooden console table from Craigslist for $20. It is originally from Bombay Company, which I think is good quality and probably retailed for $150-200.

Here is my table's before picture.

I wanted a cool piece of artwork to go with the table, so I got a photo that I took from gathering flowers in the organic Vermont garden and turned it into a vibrant piece of art by getting an inexpensive "photo-to-canvas" Groupon. Once my picture was turned into a photo on canvas, I hung it up and tried to find a pretty color of green paint to match some of the green in my photo. Home Depot had a great low-VOC paint and I found my color!

I gathered all of my supplies from Home Depot. I think this was seriously my first time going in there by myself, and I obviously had no idea what I was doing, but I found someone to help me.

I bought:
a few sheets of 60 coarse grit sandpaper
tack cloth
2 medium sized paint brushes
a 30 oz. container of light green paint
polyacrylic protective finish

Once I gathered my supplies, I got to work. I took guidance primarily from

First I detached the drawer handles and took out the drawers. I then sanded the entire piece of furniture by hand. Make sure you have enough sandpaper if you have a large piece. Here is the table top after sanding:

Once I sanded everything, I painted the whole table and drawer fronts with one coat of paint. I then let it dry and did a second coat of paint.

Once the second coat of paint dried, I used sandpaper and sanded away paint on the corners of the table and any edges, where paint might normally come off of an old table. You want the piece to look worn out and old. You can sand as little or as much as you like. I tried to make mine look authentic.

After sanding, I painted the table with one coat of polyacrylic protective finish and let it dry.

And here is the finished piece! Since it's Autumn, I decorated my table with some pinecones and mini tiger pumpkins. I also have a key dish on the table and a basket under the table to hold my rain boots and umbrellas.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Have A GREAT Life

My reading of this book was long overdue and I am happy to say, I recently finished it and gained a renewed sense of inspiration and enjoyment for my personal macrobiotic practice.

Practicing macrobiotics has the potential to be a big challenge. I often hear people say, "I don't have time to do all that cooking." I used to feel that way at times. But it seems, once I get things going, make a plan and get into a rhythm, my practice becomes something interesting, inspiring, fun and spiritual. It is more than just food, it is an attitude, a way of living.

The Great Life Diet is written in a short and simple way. It's only 124 pages and includes a few recipes in the back as well as dietary guidelines for healing. This book is great for anyone who wants to improve their health, improve their macrobiotic practice or just refresh their knowledge. It inspired me to get back to the basics and really listen to my body as well as give it what it needs. Macrobiotics can be a gentle, mindful and peaceful way of eating and living that will help you cultivate more gentleness and peace with yourself and others. All you have to do is listen, sit, chew, have gratitude and recognize how beautiful this life is.

Gratitude is the way to be happy.

Check out this book. You will most likely learn something that will improve your life if you put it into practice. Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Soap = Hope

At this past Green Festival in NYC I came across a really cool little soap company. As you probably know, I am obsessed with natural body care products and love to try out new soaps see new products that are on the market. This company, SoapBox Soaps, is a company that not only produces a great quality product, they also distribute soap to children in need. They basically adopted the Tom's Shoes One for One idea, so that for every bar of soap you purchase, SoapBox Soaps donates a bar to a child in need, as well as to local struggling families, homeless shelters, women's shelters and nursing homes. What a cool way to make our purchases - knowing that when we buy something, we are also providing for another person!

I thought this was a great idea, and even better, I didn't have to compromise my values to support this worthy cause. SoapBox Soaps contain all natural ingredients, gluten-free oatmeal, organic shea butter and sea salt. All of their soaps are cruelty-free, made in America, packaged with 100% recycled fibers and 35% post consumer waste and vegan. LOVE IT!!!

I think I bought 6 bars and am working my way through each delicious smelling flavor.