June 27, 2013 by Emily
Most people are familiar with the classic basil and pine nut pesto that grace italian menus, I’m a huge fan. But buying pine nuts and massive amounts of basil isn’t always in my budget, so I’m using kale from my CSA haul this week as the green base and switching out the pricey pine nuts for the almonds I already had in my pantry for a nice spin on a classic!
What You’ll Need:
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1 Bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
6-7 large leaves of basil (optional)
3 heads of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
Bring a pot of water to a simmer and blanch the kale leaves for 2-3 minutes, strain the leaves and immediately run cold water over them until the leaves are cool (this helps preserve the super green color!). Squeeze out as much moisture as possible from the kale and place in the bowl of a food processor with all the ingredients except the olive oil and pulse until the ingredients are chopped, slowly add the olive oil until it reaches your desired consistency, for a creamier pesto add more olive oil.
Use this like normal pesto, I tossed mine with pasta and sauteed zucchini for a quick dinner that screamed summer!
March 3, 2013 by Emily
Do you remember making shrinky-dinks when you were younger? Seriously, one of the best rainy day activities with my Gma! I rarely see them in stores anymore, and when I do I just think about how over priced they are for sheets of plastic that you melt in the toaster.
Well guess what?! You don’t need to go out and BUY shrinky-dink plastic… you can use plastic take out containers!!
What you’ll need:
#6 plastic take out containers
Oven (or toaster oven)
1- Cut out the flat areas on the take out container to put your design on.
2-Draw your design on with sharpie or other permanent marker, any color you put on the plastic will get darker as it shrinks…the super light gray I colored my cloud with turned a few shades darker because it gets “concentrated” as is shrinks.
3- Cut out your design with scissors or an exacto blade.
4- if you plan on using the final product on a key chain or jewelry, use a hole punch to clip out the plastic about 1/2 inch from the edge of the design.
5- Place onto a baking sheet and put in a 350 degree oven for about 30 seconds. I put mine in the toaster so I could keep a close eye on them, initially the plastic will bubble and curl as it shrinks. Don’t freak out! It will uncurl and level out in another few seconds!
6- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely
December 15, 2012 by Emily
1. One of the most soothing face mists I’ve ever used. It makes my skin really soft and has a sweet coconut smell that isn’t overwhelming. Super by Nicholas Perricone Hydrating Facial Mist – $38
2. One of the worst moments is when you are almost finished with your make up and then, WHOOPS, you smear your eyeliner. This make-up correction pen cleans up tiny mistakes without you having to reapply your entire face. Personally, I draw in my eyebrows so I like to use this pen with the help of a q-tip to create a more dramatic arch. Loreal Make-Up Correction Pen – $7
3. This is probably my most expensive make-up purchase but I can’t help myself. This is, hands down, the best bronzer on the planet. It is a perfect shade for day or night, lasts all day, and never looks caked on. Mac Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze – $29
4. Let’s talk moisture. One of the main reasons our skin begins to sag/age is due to skin dehydration. It’s always best to drink a ton of water, obvs, and ALWAYS wear moisturizer with an SPF (sun damage is also a huge factor in aging). This moisturizer is effective without being too heavy. It has an SPF of 15 and also soothes rough, uneven skin. It barely has a smell which is one of the main selling factors since I hate smelly stuff on my face. It’s oil-free and really just the most wonderful moisturizer ever. Like, EVER. I could go on for days, but I won’t. It also won’t hurt your wallet. I apply in the morning and before bed. (You will love it!) Purpose Dual Treatment Moisture Lotion SPF 15 – $7
5. I love Essie. You love Essie. We all love Essie. Unfortunately, I can’t really afford to spend 9 dollars on nail polish. I like to have an arsenal of colors and this polish gives me that option. Sally Hansen’s is great because it lasts a long time, doesn’t chip, and strengthens my nails at the same time! Target has the most colors!! I just picked up a lemon yellow so I can dream of Spring in this cold, cold, winter. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Polish – $3
6. Speaking of this cold winter, once the temperature drops my skin gets DRY. My knees, elbows, hands, and feet all become dull and ashy. I use this scrub to help combat the season. It has the most amazing honey smell and the Almond and Aloe oils soften the roughest skin. Sugar is better for exfoliation than salt in that it removes less moisture. This winter treat yourself to the softest skin! (These also make great gifts! Wink, wink.) Burt’s Bees Honey & Shea Sugar Scrub – $13
1. I was using conditioner to shave my legs until I found Trader Joe’s Honey Mango shaving lotion….DON’T JUDGE ME!!! I just never cared all that much until I found this….consider me CONVERTED. Not only does a little go a LONG way (one container lasts about a year for me..what?!) but it smells awesome, and adds great moisture to my skin, no more itchy ashy legs for me! In a pinch I’ve even used it as lotion (and conditioner…shhhh don’t tell my stylist!) — $7.60
2. I’m not an everyday lipstick lady, but I will have a full blown panic attack if I can’t find a chap stick or moisturizing lip balm when I need it. These little lip butter pots from the body shop are really nourishing and smell amazing. The grapefruit scent is my favorite during winter time because it gives me a little zing that reminds me of warmer weather — $6.00
3. Now that my hairs growing longer I try my best to keep it healthy, I can’t just chop it off every time it starts to get scraggly. One of the things that helps my keep my hair healthy and happy is skipping daily showers. I tend to only wash and blow out my hair twice a week… and what keeps my hair looking fresh and grease free is suave dry shampoo. A couple of spritzes on my roots at night and again in the morning bridges the gaps between styling my hair, and it doesn’t hurt that my boyfriend loves the smell! — $2.54
4. Did you know you’re supposed to toss and replace your mascara every 6 weeks?! I’m all about fancy cosmetics, but mascara isn’t one of them . Covergirl lash blast length gives me defined, long lush lashes without the price of department store makeup — $7.79
5. Mac Paint in Bare Canvas is one of my priciest beauty products, but I use it almost every day. Primer, highlighter, eyeshadow I put it everywhere on my lids to give me a brightening pop that opens up my eyes and gives me the appearance of being awake when I’m really not – $18.00
6. NYX jumbo eyeliner in gold is my go to when I’m too tired to actually do my eye makeup, just a swipe over the lid is liner and shadow all in one. Bingo-bango makeup is DONE! –$4.50
7. Coconut Oil… ok, ok I know this is mainly used in the kitchen but this makes a delightful hair and skin oil, I rub this into my dry skin about once a week to add extra moisture to my abused winter skin. Also, just a little bit will hydrate and protect your ends during a blow out and add shine as a finishing products, BONUS you smell like candy all day.
December 13, 2012 by Emily
There’s a store in the mall that sells solid lotion bars, they feel great and smell delicious. They’re $11 each…wait what?! I’m a teacher on a pretty tight budget…. can I get that lotion bar on lay-away?! Oh yeah, and I can’t get near the store without going into sensory overload…strong, overwhelming mixes of smells, even yummy smells, give me headaches. *sigh*
So while these lotion bars used to be my treat to me, and one of my favorite gifts to give to people I think I’m going to have to take a pass on the mall and move my love of lotion bars into the kitchen.
What You’ll Need:
-100% Beeswax, You can find this in the candle making section of craft stores…I’ve even used 100% beeswax candles from the grocery store!
-Grape Seed Oil, my grocery store carries this but if you can’t find it Olive Oil works as well
-Essential Oils (if you want scented lotions)
-Molds, silicone bake ware works perfectly
-Metal container for mixing lotion.Only use a container you don’t mind using only for waxy materials!! I used a large can that was set for the recycling bin.Method:
Measure out equal portions of chopped wax, grape seed oil and coconut oil. I weighed mine, only because there was a kitchen scale next to me, but you can use volume measurements as well… mine ended up being 1/2cup or 4 ounces of each ingredient.
Prepare a double boiler; a small sauce pan with an inch or so of water set to simmer, you’ll place your “don’t-care-if-this-never-gets-clean” metal container into the water to gently heat the ingredients.
Put the bees wax into your metal container and set in the water and allow to melt. Next add the grape seed oil and coconut oil stirring until everything is incorporated and remove from heat…we’re almost done!
If you want to scent your lotion bars now is the time to do so. My essential Oil bottle told me how many drops (4) to add per ounce of “base” so I gentely stirred in about 48-50 drops.
One a side note: pure aromatherapy grade essential oils can be found in stores like whole foods or MOMs, but they can also be found in craft stores like Michaels in the candle and soap aisle. The only real difference I see is that craft stores have a smaller selection and often the craft store oils are “pre-mixed” into scent combinations like vanilla-lavendar or “serenity” and you aren’t able to smell before you buy.
You’re ready to pour! Carefully pour your liquid lotion mixture into whatever mold you like and allow to set until solid, about 2 hours. Then pop them out of the molds and package for presents or personal use!
I put my personal use lotion into a little metal tin that I can throw into my gym bag or glove compartment so I didnt need to worry about fuzz on my lotion or getting lotion on my gym shoes…but for gifts I placed them into little bakery boxes with brightly colored packing fluff inside! I think they’ll make great stocking stuffers and presents for some of my co-workers!