Exfoliation is a necessary step to keep skin glowing, and making a homemade sugar scrub, it turns out, is easy- just mix the ingredients in a bowl, transfer to a jar, and … that’s it! Plus, homemade scrubs give you the power to customize the scents to your fancy and to make sure every ingredient is top quality.
To say I am hard on this body of mine is an understatement. My work as a stylist often has me schlepping heavy totes of props from my third-floor apartment, standing for loooong days, hunched over to tweeze and primp food, and in general, I tend to tense up and internalize stress. I'm sure I'm not alone in these feelings, regardless of your profession, and I'm sure I'm not alone in needing a little more time and space for self care. That's why I'm sharing this lovely sea salt foot soak DIY.
I've been playing with more apothecary recipes and slowly building my arsenal of ingredients. What we put on our bodies and in our homes is just as important as what we eat, so I see these recipes as a natural extension of my cooking and baking.
When I made a major shift in my diet toward clean eating, my skin took on a new glow, and I felt more energized, but one aspect that never changed, much to my chagrin, was my oily hair. Even though I switched to all organic, all natural products, I still needed to wash my hair almost daily. It turns out, my excessive washing, even with all natural products, was probably doing more harm than good. Have you heard of the “no ‘poo” (ie: no shampoo) movement in natural haircare?
With Mountain View, San Jose, Seattle, Portland, Oakhurst, Stockton, San Fran, Berkeley and Los Angeles under our belts, Lindsey and I have seen our fair share of planes, rental cars, and Air BnB's. Some of those homes-away-from-home have been so memorable as to be downright missable (did you meet Chaos the dog?!?). Others have been .... adequate. So when one of our Air BnB's had a certain "funk" to it, we devised this DIY Essential Oil Diffuser idea.
The “Whole Body” section at Whole Foods sees a significant spike in sales about 1-2 weeks into January. Can you guess why?
This is about the time a person realizes his or her symptoms are no longer the effects of a well celebrated New Year and are, in fact, the start of a cold or flu. Since all I was hitting on New Year’s Eve was tea (admittedly lame), I was faster to recognize the softball in my throat as an ailment and not the consequence of celebration.
“Hippy” inclinations aside, I’ve long thought cough medicine was a form of syrupy, grape TORTURE. Why add suffering on top of suffering? Instead, I turn to nature for remedies I actually want to drink.
Landing somewhere between a soothing vegetable broth and Tang (in a good way!), this herbal tea’s ingredients unfold as you sip- a hit of ginger here, a faint kick of garlic there, a tart pucker of lemon and the sweetness of raw honey.
Whether not there’s a softball in your throat, this tea is a healthy way to start the morning or sip while cozily escaping the winter just beyond your window.
Sip and be well!
Herbal Cough Suppressant with Lemon & Turmeric
Recipe from Bon Appétit
Yield: Makes about 8 cups
About This Recipe: Imagine a cross between broth and the Tang from your childhood, in a good way, and you have this homemade elixir. Smooth and flavorful enough to drink even when your throat is in tip-top shape. Be careful not to boil the tea. It will give you a cleaner flavor and be more nutrient-rich.
With my t-shirt outstretched, I collected the basil the Urban Farmer clipped from the plants below me. The smell of the broad, shiny green leaves was intoxicating. A craving for a refreshing lemon-basil sorbet hit me, while I simultaneously wondered how I could drench myself in the scent. Beyond recipe inspiration, the farm has me thinking about the healing and restorative powers of these plants. I’m increasingly interested in how I can treat myself with the very ingredients I’ve weeded and watered, in combination with simple staples. How do I build my own natural apothecary? Step one is a homemade facial toner.
Much like heathifying a traditional cake recipe, my goals are to strip away excess ingredients, explore the blank-canvas attributes of a concoction, and in the end, simply feel good about what I’m putting in and on my body. As one who routinely falls asleep on the couch, then raises like some sort of mummy to brush teeth and saunter to bed, I can’t brag about a nightly beauty ritual. Maybe one day I’ll overcome my bedtime resistance, but in the meantime, a facial toner was a great, get-my-toes-wet way to begin exploring DIY apothecary.
The more I learn about Apple Cider Vinegar, the base ingredient for this homemade facial toner, the more amazed I am, and the more I realize how those bright and shiny, shop shelves, with countless varieties of designed packaging, have steered us away from the basic and the simple. Even the organic shelves leave me wondering, what’s truly essential?
Calm, calm is essential, so I brewed a cup of Chamomile Lavender tea to use in the homemade facial toner instead of water. The advantage of making this concoction is savoring the benefits of each step. Sip some tea, breathe deeply and inhale the calming vapors, while contemplating the tea’s challenging little message. Traditional Medicinals’ tea collection parallels the lessons and the experiences of the farm, proving how vast and robust plant power is.
I made this homemade facial toner when the basil was still in its infancy, so I infused my elixir with rosemary, but the aromatic basil has me captivated. Once I devise how to cloak myself in its scent, I’ll report back. For now, give your face a natural tingle and take control of your skincare!
Homemade Facial Toner with Lavender Chamomile Tea
adapted from Tasty Yummies
About This Recipe: Apple Cider Vinegar, in all its potency, is powerful, so play with the strength of the tea and the essential oil to combat the vinegar’s strong scent. I used 2 tea bags in my initial batch, but I’ll probably use 6-7 next time. The ratio of ACV to filtered water is 1:1, but you can experiment here too and determine what works best for your complexion. I recommend following with coconut oil as a moisturizer.