Friday, February 27, 2015

Homemade Anti-Aging Sugar Scrub

I'm now in my mid-thirties and on my third child ... let's face it, my skin is not what it used to be!  If I don't start moisturizing and doing something now, it's just going to keep getting worse and worse ... or should I say, saggier and wrinklier! I plan on aging gracefully, whether my body likes it or not!

I started doing a little research on easy (and cheap) things that I can do now. There are a million and two anti-aging serums out there and many of them would make me take a second mortgage out on my home! I wanted something that I could quickly whip up and start feeling better about those wrinkles. Mind over matter right?!

So here is what I found ... sugar scrubs: easy, quick, effective and leave you feeling silky smooth. I'm sold!

Brown sugar has anti-bacterial properties and contains Vitamin B. Honey is filled with natural vitamins and minerals and helps your body retain its moisture.

So now, what oils to use? Grapeseed oil is light in texture and is easily absorbed by the skin. Grapeseed oil has mildly astringent qualities, which help to tighten and tone both normal and oily skin types. Grapeseed oil is known to contain powerful antioxidants. I also usually always have grapeseed oil in my house. I did find that argan and rose hip are also great anti-aging oils that are help with toning and wrinkles and sagging.

Next, what essential oils should I use?
  • carrot seed oil helps fade scars while improving the tone of aging skin
  • patchouli helps promote new cell growth and smooths the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • rose oil can help the breakdown of collegen in the skin which leads to a loss of elasticity and wrinkles
  • frankincense and myrrh are also great ... I haven't invested in these oils yet, but I have heard amazing anti-aging stories and would love to hear if you've tried them!

Homemade Anti-Aging Sugar Scrub

Homemade Sugar Scrub

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 c grapeseed oil (argan or rose hip too)
10 drops essential oils

Mix all ingredients together and keep in a airtight container. Use about 1 tablespoon or as needed in the shower and scrub away! Rinse off and your skin will be silky smooth!

The mixture should be good for up to two months.

Homemade Anti-Aging Sugar Scrub

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chai Tea Protein Smoothie

I recently had people over for brunch and people were asking for a cup of coffee ... coffee is so far off my radar, I didn't even think about it! I don't even own a coffee machine. I do have some instant decaf coffee that I use for cooking ... they thought I was crazy! I do have loads of tea though! I love my chai teas. However, after I do a workout in the morning the last thing I want is a hot cup of tea. Like many of you, I still do need the extra pick me up though, workout or not, so I enjoy icing my teas.

Over the weekend, I wanted to have a smoothie ready for the next morning. I knew we were going to be in a rush and I knew I would want some tea. I used the last bit of my Chai Tea Latte mix last week and I have been craving it ever since so I decided to try a Chai Smoothie. It was awesome! It did take a bit longer than expected. I kept adding spices little by little and it just wasn't spicy enough, but I finally got it and next time it will be a breeze! It made enough for me to enjoy three mornings in a row which was an added bonus. It was filling, it gave me a little boost and most importantly, it was delicious!

Chai Tea Protein Smoothie

Try taking a break from the coffee and try a boosting protein-packed smoothie instead! It's great to make over the weekend and have it ready to go Monday morning.

Chai Protein Smoothie

Makes 4 cups

1 1/2 c cashews, raw and soaked for 2 hours
3 c black tea, or your favorite decaf tea
2 T maple syrup
2 T hemp or chia seeds
1 t vanilla extract
2 t cinnamon
2 t ginger
2 t allspice
1 t ground cloves
1 t cardamon
1/4 t black pepper

First, make your tea.

Them put all ingredients in a high speed blender until nice and smooth. If you are drinking it right away, add some ice to cool it down otherwise, place it in a container and let it cool in the refrigerator until you are ready to drink it.

Chai Tea Protein Smoothie

Friday, February 20, 2015

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
As you may know, I started making my own dish soap a while back. It took a bit to find the right ratio so it was thick and still worked good. That venture was nothing compared to finding out what worked for my dishwasher!

Let's start at the beginning. The water at my house is very hard and has lots of iron in it. It doesn't taste bad, but we definitely have our limitations ... like we can't use it to brew (a big pain in my rear)! I tried lots of different recipes that were out on the web, they would always work for about a week, but we would end up having lots of spots and my dishwasher would get cloudy after that. Ugh ... back to the chemicals!

I honestly felt like giving up on this one and just blaming our water. However, every meal I would watch the kids eat and I couldn't help but cringe a little knowing that I was using dishwasher detergent that I didn't like (even if it was 'safe'). I wanted a simple homemade detergent with very few ingredients. This would also save some money!

I decided to give it one more try ... the good 'ol college effort and of course, it finally worked. Does that happen to you? Right when you're about to give up on something you figure it out?!? Happens to me ALL of the time! Lesson learned (again): never quit!

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

What finally worked for me was not to use salt in my mix. I also always have white vinegar as my rinsing agent now. I have had spotless, clean beautiful dishes every time and my dishwasher is looking great! So, if this recipe doesn't work for you, keep adjusting it until you find what works best with the water in your area. If you need, try a little salt too. Citric Acid is a new ingredient for me. I haven't used it in anything before. Don't be intimidated it is a very safe and common ingredient. It can be found at many hardware stores and even natural food stores. As usual, I got mine online through Amazon.

Good luck!

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Makes 40 Loads

1 cup Borax
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric ccid
1 drop essential oils per load (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and keep them in an airtight container. I like using a mason jar.

When ready, add 1 T of mix per load. Again, I also fill my rinsing agent compartment with white vinegar.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent