Thursday, May 27, 2010

Homemade deodorant


Does antiperspirant deodorant weird you out?? Yeah, me too. There is plenty of debate over the topic, so why not play it safe and make your own.

I've meaning to do this for ages, and now that I've done it I keep wondering why I put this off for so long. I had everything in my pantry to make it, and it took like two minutes!

But does it work?? Yes, and quite well. I've been using it for about two weeks now and it can hold its own through long runs and sweaty workouts. I love the stuff!

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder*
4 tablespoons coconut oil
10 drops/shakes essential oil* (I used tea tree)
A tin or jar with lid

In a bowl, stir together dry ingredients, then add oils gradually until you like the consistency, mixing with a fork. Store in a closed container at room temp. (If the mixture seems too soft, try refrigerating it for a bit to firm it up.)

To apply, scoop up a bit with your finger, hold it against your skin for a couple seconds so it melts a little, then rub around.

*You could try cornstarch in place of the arrowroot powder. However, cornstarch may lead to yeast infection so I strongly recommend arrowroot powder.
*You could leave out the essential oil but essential oils have antibacterial properties and bacteria is what causes odor. All would not be lost if you left it out though, the baking soda absorbs odor as well.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Strawberry vanilla agua fresca (with honey) and booing hot weather

This is me booing the hot weather. I'm not a fan of the heat and humidity that the Georgia summer brings. Especially with the A/C in our car broken. Yuck! (One good thing about summers here, it storms at least once a week! Sometimes more.. and i'm always down for a loud, rainy storm)

But the heat means swimming! And we've been getting to do a lot of it. My favorite time to swim is at night.. its peaceful and so relaxing. My husband has been running with me (even though he hates it. points for him!!) and nothing is better than jumping in the pool and be weightless after a LONG run.

The heat also means drinking more water! I like changing things up with agua fresca. It's easy to do and a nice change from a normal glass of ice water. And the strawberries are so good right now, I can't stop putting them in everything. (which you'll be seeing soon)




Strawberry vanilla agua fresca with honey
makes 1 pitcher

1 pound strawberries, hulled
4 cups ice-cold water, divided
scant 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey (or sugar, if you prefer)
Ice, for serving

In a blender/food processor, combine the strawberries with 2 cups of the water and the vanilla extract. Puree until completely liquid. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or through cheesecloth into a pitcher.

2. Stir in the remaining 2 cups water, lemon juice and honey. Taste and adjust honey to your preference



Speaking of strawberries, my hair was quite literally strawberry "blonde" last weekend. I'm in the process of going back to blonde and red is SO hard to get out. I've bleached it three times so far and my hair is not happy. Thank goodness for reconstructing treatments! I hope to only have to bleach one or two more times to be to the color I want. For now I'm just embracing this weird/awful color.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nightgown to dress

Here is a XL cotton nightgown I got from a thrift store a few weeks back.

It was 50 cents, it had potential, and I decided why not add it to the ever growing pile of clothes I need to sew into something wearable.


I took the pockets off, cut about a foot or more off the bottom, cut both side seams and measured it to another dress I have, sewed up the sides using the new measurements, made a hem, made a belt out of the fabric that was cut off and voila! Wearable!

So windy!

The back.

After these photos were taken I realized the sides could be taken in a bit more on top, so now it isn't as bunched on top as it is here.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Go to your nearest thrift store, find something like this and give it a try. What have you got to lose? 50 cents?

And while we're talking about being thrifty.. I scored the shoes for $7, brand new.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Memory lane pt. 2 - tour life


Reading twilight at a hotel in columbus, OH


Panera. Our lifeblood on the road (coffee+free wifi). in Michigan


watching my bloody valentine in medford, OR


After show dennys stop to fill up on coffee before a long drive, Missouri (COLD)

filming a tv show in ladera ranch, ca


a super cute dog in weed, ca

filming a tv show in westerville, OH

getting gas in albuquerque, NM

swimming in ladera ranch, CA

sleep is hard to come by on tour.

delicious tea in akron, OH

sushi in mobile, AL

starbucks chicago, IL

Garrett (keyboard player) and I, south bend, IN

big mask, Danville, IN

a spider that was IN OUR VAN (!!!!) somewhere in Georgia.
it was bigger than my palm and every time i'm reminded of it, i die inside.


And i'll leave you with that.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cappuccino



I'm not a big coffee drinker anymore, but I do thoroughly enjoy it when I can tear myself away from tea. And this definitely hits the spot.

Cappuccino

1-2 shots of espresso - to taste
1 cup milk - I used almond milk


Make your shot/s of espresso and add to cup.
Heat your milk in the microwave. Once hot, pour into food processor/blender and whiz for a minute or two until the thick foam forms.
Pour the milk into the cup, holding back the foam with a spatula then top with the foam.
Sprinkle with cocoa powder if desired.



Friday, May 14, 2010

Salt water taffy





Making taffy is super fun. I will warn you though, your arms will get quite the workout. Especially if you cook it to about 265. Mine got really tough after a few minutes and by the end of the 20 minutes of stretching I was starting to sweat and my arms were starting to shake. Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad! Just look at it like.. you're burning the calories for what you're about to eat. That works! And you'll need that motto because this taffy is addictive.

If the stretching part seems intimidating, don't let it! It really is the best part and quite fun. I stretched it long (like a snake), brought the ends together to form a big circle, squished both sides together, folded it in half (see first stretching picture above), then stretched it long again and repeated. Do what feels right to you, it'd be hard to mess up.

Yum!

Salt water taffy
Yields approx. 50 pieces/1.5 pounds
adapted from here. Ms Humble also did it here
2 cups sugar
2 T. Cornstarch
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
2 T. margarine/butter
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. Flavoring oil
(I didn't have flavoring oil so I used a tablespoon or more of Mint extract)


Prepare a heat safe dish by lightly buttering it. If you are making more than one flavor, prep said amount of dishes. Also lightly butter a spatula for each flavor. And have each flavor and food color ready.

In a saucepan, sift together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in corn syrup, water, salt and margarine. Place over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Cover pan and bring to a boil for 2 or 3 minutes. Uncover, place thermometer in pan and cook to 256 - 266 degrees F. The lower temperature will result in a chewier taffy, the higher a more brittle texture. Remove from heat and add food color and flavoring. Stir gently, pour into prepared dish/pan.

When cool enough to handle, grease hands and pull the warm candy with fingertips, pulling out to about 12 inches at first. Quickly turn candy back from fingertips of one hand to the other hand, then catch center and pull again. This will incorporate air into the candy. Continue pulling until taffy is light in color and has a satiny gloss, about twenty minutes. Pull into a long rope, cut with greased scissors and wrap in waxed paper squares, twisting ends.

p.s. the color of the taffy was identical to this pretty nail polish so i had to put them side by side.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More french bread


I've been making bread at least once a week as of late. I doubled the recipe to freeze some and it doubles perfectly. It was all mixed together but I divided the dough in half for the rising periods. I even made baguettes instead of boules.

I love this recipe.. But I do want to try out the Artisan bread in five minutes a day recipe again. My first try failed miserably.

You can find the recipe I've been using here.


Oh! And I'm hoping to have an agave-sweetened baked good recipe to post tomorrow along with a pretty nifty giveaway.

Monday, May 10, 2010

weekend things and today


got 30 yards of twine(for $2!) in the mail

Miss Sara Renee sent us her new wedding brochure featuring us on the front AND back. It made me feel pretty special! She is the best photographer around, and if you need photos for anything I highly recommend her. (She's based out of Tennessee)

I cut a whole lot of hair off my husbands head. He hasn't had short hair since 2002, and he wanted some change and also wanted to keep cooler this summer so we googled Ewan Mcgregor and I started a haircut at midnight. (I am a licensed cosmetologist, so it isn't as scary as it sounds) It/he looks amazing, by the way.

I got an amazing arm workout while making salt water taffy. (Look at those veins!) More pictures and recipe coming later this week.
I had to get Josh to help. Stretching two batches of taffy for 20 minutes each equals 40 minutes! And I was tired after five..


And this was today's (very brown) green smoothie. Strawberries, bananas, orange juice, spinach and the goji & acai green superfood powder by amazing grass. It was delicious and I felt super energized. (I got quite the selection of products in the mail from them to try out.) Yum!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy mother's day


My beautiful mom and i on my wedding day.
(Pictures by the lovely SR)

You are an amazing portrait of how a mother should be. You taught me how to bake, and sew and everything in between, but most of all you showed me (by your actions) how to be a woman of God.

Happy mother's day. I love you and miss you!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

package-pals

I love getting packages in the mail! Who doesn't?? It's the one plus to having friends and family who live across the country. Something I like even more than getting packages? Sending them! I love putting them together, picking out different things I hope they like, adding something i made (food and/or craft stuff) adding a note, ect.

My friend, Heather, and I started sending books back and forth to each other around Christmas and it seems like they get bigger every time! She's an amazing package pal (and has quite the selection of amazing books!) This is what I got in the mail a couple weeks ago.

I had been craving sour jelly bellies (my absolute FAVORITE!) for a long time and I wanted to inhale both bags immediately.

Prettiest nail polish!
Thank you Heather! I owe you a good one!

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I also got this package in the mail from my sister, Jasmine, a few weeks ago too. New running shoes, pretty yarn and a new knitting needle. We recently started Skype knitting dates, she's teaching me how to do a pretty hat. And we're doing a pair of socks together next. I'm very excited! She's a yarn junky so she always hooks me up with the best yarn! I owe you a package big time, too.
Isn't this sea foam color amazing?? I almost don't want to use it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

craving green

After a long weekend of eating sugar laden foods almost exclusively, i was absolutely craving vegetables, fruit and green tea.

So i made a "green monster" with bananas, pineapple and a couple cups of baby spinach. And it was just what the doctor ordered!


I also had some kale begging to be used, so I made some kale chips.
You cut/tear up the kale, discarding the stem. Toss in olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Bake for 30-35 minutes on 250 degrees. And enjoy the super crispy, healthy treats.

Hope your Monday was amazing!