Cheers to the Weekend: Happy National Wine Day!

In the spirit of drinking wine more intentionally (while still gravitating toward the beauty of a bottle  from time to time – #noshame), here’s the next in my Cheers to the Weekend series: La Bargemone, and it’s just in time for National Wine Day!

Cheers to the Weekend: Happy National Wine Day! // www.WithTheGrains.com

Admittedly, I bought this rosé for its bottle, specifically for a photo shoot featuring a beautiful monochromatic rose gold scheme (as part of my day job as a stylist). How stunning is that shape? But, turns out sometimes judging a book by its cover pays in the end because I want to drink this variety weekly. And I most definitely want to drink this bottle in honor of National Wine Day.  

Cheers to the Weekend: Happy National Wine Day! // www.WithTheGrains.com

What They Say: The Special Edition Bottle contains the prestige ‘Cuvée Marina’ Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Pale cherry in color, the rosé wine of Bargemone offers aromas of flowers and red berries, which make it harmonious and balanced.

Cheers to the Weekend: Happy National Wine Day! // www.WithTheGrains.com

What I Say: Of the rosés I’ve been sampling so far, this bottle has stood out as the most distinct. It’s still mellow enough to pair with summer eats and sip repeatedly, but that berry flavor is more pronounced in this blend. It does, however, run a little more expensive than my previous bottles in this series, so in my book, at ~$25, it’s worth sipping more consciously, ie: serve this one earlier in your dinner party.  

Cheers to the Weekend: Happy National Wine Day! // www.WithTheGrains.com

Cheers to the Weekend: Happy National Wine Day! // www.WithTheGrains.com

Cheers to the Weekend: Happy National Wine Day! // www.WithTheGrains.com

Cheers,

 

Spring Blooms: A Dose of Beauty for You

Flowers offer us such a gentle reminder to step back from our stresses and appreciate the moment more, lest we miss their full beauty. In case you need a little inspiration or dose of beauty, here are some spring blooms for you. 

Spring Blooms: A Dose of Beauty for You // www.WithTheGrains.com

Spring blooms by Gold Dust Floral

I’ve been in a “bit” of a cloud, a storm cloud one might even say. I’ve been in the midst of a BIG, daunting, intimidating and very exciting, dream project. It’s an opportunity that feels a lot like the time I decided to overcome my fear of roller coasters. The line felt never ending, leaving me stuck watching coaster after coaster loop upside down and make me wonder if my car would be the one to fail. Once we finally embarked, regret and anxiety mingled with every click of the chains and gears – the precipice loomed!

Spring Blooms: A Dose of Beauty for You // www.WithTheGrains.com

It currently feels like I’m just stuck on the uphill climb, never exchanging the fear for the exhilaration of the descent. But the thing is, my current feelings of fear and vulnerability are a mix of natural reactions and choice. I can continue to wade in the muck of fear/stress, or I can choose to disengage my ego and attempt to enjoy that uphill climb. It’s easier said than done, but as they say, acknowledgement is the first step. And when trying to lighten up and enjoy more, it definitely helps to have beautiful blooms in the room.

Spring Blooms: A Dose of Beauty for You // www.WithTheGrains.com

These beautiful, papery thin petals came from my friend Janessa, aka Gold Dust Floral. We also have a big, exciting job on our horizon- styling a wedding in the countryside. She brought me this bouquet from a previous wedding job, and the golden light of the sunset hit the petals like a still life painting. It’s easy to see why the Flemish turned to blossoms and food so frequently for inspiration. 

Spring Blooms: A Dose of Beauty for You // www.WithTheGrains.com

Had I not snapped a few photos, I may have let the moment pass unappreciated. Their color began to fade so elegantly, and they dropped their petals. 

Spring Blooms: A Dose of Beauty for You // www.WithTheGrains.com

So, as I try to enjoy the process more, to keep one foot in the season and to simply be more present in the moment, I offer you these striking spring blooms in case you’re feeling a little stuck on the uphill too. And if that’s not enough to ease your stress, maybe try some flowers on cake?

Cheers,

DIY Essential Oil Diffuser for a Spring Refresh

It’s time for a spring refresh, and with only a few materials, you can put this DIY Essential Oil Diffuser together for a natural aromatherapy boost to your space. Plus, the fresh scent of bergamot will put you in the mood for tea time with cake!

DIY Essential Oil Diffuser for a Spring Refresh // www.WithTheGrains.com

You might remember when my friend Lindsey and I crafted a DIY Essential Oil Diffuser out of necessity. We were traveling extensively and found ourselves in the throes of a weird Airbnb funk, but we got crafty! Now that I’m home, 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 the intention I put into my cooking and baking. 

DIY Essential Oil Diffuser for a Spring Refresh // www.WithTheGrains.com

You’ve probably seen these types of diffusers for sale in beautiful home stores with hefty price tags, but as your collection of essential oils and carrier oils (which are great for skincare too!) expand, these types of DIY’s become all the easier and cheaper than store-bought counterparts. This Essential Oil Diffuser is as simple as pouring liquid into glass bottles. 

DIY Essential Oil Diffuser for a Spring Refresh // www.WithTheGrains.com

The bamboo diffuser reeds pull the essential oil scent from a light carrier oil to release a light aroma over time. Unlike commercial room sprays, which simply try to cover up bad smells, essential oils have beneficial purifying and aromatherapy qualities.

DIY Essential Oil Diffuser for a Spring Refresh // www.WithTheGrains.com

DIY Essential Oil Diffusers: Almond Oil with Bergamot & Orange; Almond Oil with Peppermint & Eucalyptus

DIY Essential Oil Diffuser: How To

To make your own Essential Oil Diffuser, simply pick a glass container, add a base oil like almond oil, jojoba or safflower (or try a vodka combination), then mix in the essential oil combination of your liking. For an oil base, start with a ratio of 30% essential oil to 70% base oil, and add more essential oil as needed. Add bamboo reeds or shortened skewers, and let them rest for a few hours to absorb the oils, then flip them to scent side up. Simply repeat this process when the scent fades.

DIY Essential Oil Diffuser for a Spring Refresh // www.WithTheGrains.com

One of my favorite combination is a Eucalyptus and Peppermint blend in the bathroom for a really cleansing vibe. For my bedroom, I used uplifting Bergamot and Orange, to give a bright and refreshing scent. As an added bonus, it reminds me of tea time with a mug of Earl Grey tea and a lemon cake, which you definitely deserve after a DIY session.

Cheers,

 

Cheers to the Weekend: Bota Box Rosé

I know I said this series was all about drinking wine more intentionally, exploring bottles, taking note and drinking less Bota, but then, this happened: Bota Box Dry Rosé, and you know what? This box is a damn delight, and there’s no shame in that!

Cheers to the Weekend: Bota Box Rosé // www.WithTheGrains.com

It’s finally here: Bota Box Rosé

What they say: Dry = not sweet. And that’s what you get with this Rosé – crisp, with aromas of raspberries and red rose and flavors of strawberry cake and grapefruit zest. Serve well chilled. Bota Box Dry Rosé is the perfect barbeque wine, the perfect beach wine, and the perfect picnic wine, but it’s also the perfect sitting-around-watching-the-sunset wine.

Cheers to the Weekend: Bota Box Rosé // www.WithTheGrains.com

What I say: As a disclaimer, this post is in no way sponsored by Bota Box, though I wish it were. I’ve amassed my fair share of converts to the cardboard box side, so I think it’s fair I should earn some sort of “street team” credit. There’s no shame in boxed wines these days. These are not the “slap-the-sack” bags of college, and there’s less risk of wasting wine, since the packaging protects wine from air exposure. #nobottleleftbehind

Cheers to the Weekend: Bota Box Rosé // www.WithTheGrains.com

I’m still going to stick to my goal of exploring wine with more intention, but I’m also foreseeing a summer filled with these boxes, and that’s a win win! I’m ready for a glass now because my weekend forecast is sunny with a 99% chance of car shopping… the unforeseen, unplanned and unexpected, gotta-put-my-car-to-sleep sort of car shopping, which I’m fairly certain is the worst kind of car shopping. 

so… Cheers to the Weekend! 

3 DIY Natural Haircare Recipes

Have you thought about weaning yourself off traditional haircare products? Try this DIY Natural Haircare trio as a healthy alternative. 

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

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?

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

Follicles release a natural oil called “sebum,” which keeps hair healthy and conditioned, but shampoos and conditioners, especially the harsher chemical ones, strip away sebum. The “No ‘Poo” theory isn’t a complete ban on hair washing, but rather, it’s a call to wash hair with gentler alternatives. In addition to sipping green drinks for an internal detox, I’ve been meaning to dive into a haircare “detox.” This is how I’m weaning myself off traditional products in favor of a more natural, DIY natural haircare routine:

DIY Exfoliant
DIY Conditioning Spray
DIY Dry Shampoo

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

I started with a DIY Exfoliant to wipe the slate clean so to speak. Dirt, oil and product build-up can clog your hair follicles much like they can clog the pores on your skin. This sea salt scrub helps to detox the scalp, reduce dandruff and bring life back to oily hair. Plus, much like a trip to the ocean, after using this salt scrub, my hair has incredible waves and texture.

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

DIY Natura Haircare Recipe: Sea Salt Hair Scrub

Recipe adapted from Hello Glow.

The sea salt helps to scrub away impurities while the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar help restore the pH of your hair. I recommend the Elevate Haircare essential oil blend from Aura Cacia, since it’s already an economical and energizing blend of scents geared toward haircare. Remember to be very gentle as you exfoliate so as not to break follicles. Use this treatment once a week if your scalp is especially flaky but no more than twice a week.

Ingredients

1/4 cup Himalayan pink salt, finely ground
zest and juice from one lemon
1 Tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon raw honey
15 drops essential oil of your choosing

Directions

Combine everything in a small bowl and stir. Transfer to an airtight container.

To use, wet your hair and gently scrub a tablespoon-sized amount into your scalp using your fingertips (it won’t be foamy like shampoo). Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

DIY Natural Haircare Recipe: Conditioning Hair Spritz

Recipe adapted from Hello Glow.

Apple cider vinegar balances hair’s pH levels, is antibacterial and naturally conditions, and this combination helps to reduce the potent smell for a more manageable and natural DIY haircare routine. 

Ingredients

3 cups filtered water
2 Tablespoons dried lavender
1-2 Tablespoons dried chamomile or rosemary (if you don’t want to lighten your hair)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Directions

Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add herbs and let them steep for at least 30 minutes. The longer the herbs sit, the stronger your rinse will be. Strain the herbs and pour into a bottle with a lid. Add the apple cider vinegar and shake to combine, then funnel into a squirt bottle (I like to keep the squirt bottle in the shower so it stays warm). To use, squirt onto your hair, and massage into hair. Let it sit for three  minutes, and finish with a quick rinse, or you can skip rinsing and leave it in.

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

“Find a natural dry shampoo” was on my to-do list for a while, so finally, I dove into an internet rabbit hole only to find pretty dismal results. Even the most expensive “natural” dry shampoos left me wanting more. Since many of the products come in a convenient aerosol form, they often contain very questionable ingredients, which makes using them contradictory.

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

In trying to avoid the harmful side effects of shampoos and hair products, I have to use harmful products? It didn’t make sense, so I finally resolved myself to a DIY natural haircare solution, and I was really pleased with the results. My hair had more volume and texture, and the effect lasted the whole day.

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

DIY Natural Haircare: Dry Shampoo

Bentonite clay in this recipe is the same clay that makes a reviving face mask, so it’s a useful ingredient to have in your arsenal. Again, I recommend the Elevate Haircare essential oil blend for these shampoos, but you could also use lavender, rosemary or your favorite scent. Just avoid citrus oils if you’ll be exposed to intense sun. Use this dry shampoo as needed when your hair is greasy.

For Dark Hair:

2 Tablespoons arrowroot flour/starch
1 Tablespoon bentonite clay
2 teaspoons raw cacao powder
7-10 drops essential oil

For Light Hair:

2 Tablespoons arrowroot flour starch
1 Tablespoon bentonite clay
7 drops essential oil

Directions

In a small bowl, use a wooden spoon (avoid metal with bentonite clay) to whisk or stir the ingredients together until combined. Store the powder at room temperature for up to 6 months, or according to the expiration dates on the product packages.

Working in sections, use a makeup brush to apply a light amount of the dry shampoo to your roots (the ends of hair should be fine as is). Let the powder begin to absorb the oils for a few minutes, then briefly massage the powder into your roots. Brush out the excess and you’re all set!

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

DIY Natural Haircare Recipes // www.WithTheGrains.com

That’s it! Let me know how you maintain your natural haircare routine. 

Cheers,

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