Guacamole – not vampire friendly

Warning: if you are a vampire or allergic to garlic, this recipe is not for you ūüôā

Up until about three years ago, I was really not avocado friendly, at all. I saw them as green grenades and to be avoided as though my life depended on it. As you get older your tastes change and I think this is one of the things that Im now ‘ok’ with, although it has been a process. Having been on¬†high protein and fat diet, made avocados on the top of my list for ‘good for you foods’, so I put on my big girls pants and decided to try to eat them more regularly. Its not all been green bliss but I have made some unique things with them, like avocado brownies (being honest, I really didn’t like them).

I came across inspired taste recipe not long ago and thought, ‘wow, this is a great base, how can I make it even better?’. I came up with a few ideas which I will share with you and will elevate your ‘guac’ to a whole new level and make it good for you! This will be your new go to recipe for guac, whether it be for snacks, a side dish or as part of your main meal!

I am a fan of garlic and have even used it for ear aches (add that to the list of things I never thought I’d do in the NLs). Through roasting garlic roast the flavour becomes a bit sweeter and more mild. Garlic contains powerful phytochemicals and nutrients, which¬† help fight off disease, including potent anti-cancer compounds, immune-strengthening molecules and heart disease-preventing antioxidants.

This this is easy but time consuming, its not a matter of throw it all in a bowl and in less than 5 minutes you have guac. Oh no, this recipe is for those who want a unique flavour sensation guacamole!

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Guacamole 

Makes: enough for 4-6 people   Prep time: 40 mins  Make time: 20 mins per batch  Total time: 1 hour

Required Ingredients:

  • 6 small ripe Haas avocados
  • 1 Plum or Roma tomato, deseeded and diced
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely minced onion (red onion also works) – deflamed
  • 1 lime – juiced
  • 1/2 lemon – juiced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder – medium
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder – hot

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Prep:

Preheat over to 180C (350F). First you need to roast your garlic, this involves cutting off the top of the garlic (approx 1/4 in) so that you see the top of your garlic bulbs. Place the garlic head in the middle of a piece aluminium foil and drizzle over your 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap the foil around the garlic and bake for 40 minutes. Allow your garlic to cool once roasted (around15-20 minutes) before handling, otherwise you are likely to burn yourself. Warning: roasting garlic will fill your house with the delicious smell of garlic.

Whilst your garlic is in the oven, put your minced onion in a bowl of water, this will remove the ‘flame’, ie the heat that you often get raw onions. This can be done for a minimum of 10 mins or the entire time the garlic is in the oven. Sieve out the water once deflamed.

You need to deseed and dice your tomato, this is done by taking out the middle of the tomato, the seeds and ‘watery’ bit of the tomato (left side of picture below) and then dicing it finely.

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Now to make this truly garlicy yummy guac!

1. Cut the avocados in half and remove seed (with a spoon or knife). Score the inside of the avocado with a spoon and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Add in your juices, I risked it and just squeezed them in and then spent 3 minutes telling myself off whilst trying to fish out lemon seeds.

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2. Using a fork or potato masher (I find this easier), roughly mash the avocado. Guacamole should be chunky but this gives you the opportunity to make it as smooth or chunky as you like.

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3. Add in all your spices, diced tomato, deflamed onion, and squeeze in your garlic. I literally take my garlic and squeeze, you’ll see the bulbs coming out, in all their roasted glory.

4. Give it a stir and you’ve now completed your tasty guacamole. I suggest you take a taste at this point and see if it matches your taste buds, does it need more salt, pepper, or chilli? If so, add it in and see how it tastes.

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Serve immediately, I enjoyed it with homemade beef nachos and it was truly tasty. If you are not eating it immediately, plus cling film (plastic wrap) on the surface of the guacamole  to prevent air reaching it and refrigerate until ready to serve. If you do not put the cling film on the surface of the guac, the oxygen in the air causes oxidation which will turn the guacamole brown and lets be honest, no one likes brown guac!

 

Notes: Im really not a fan of hot or spicy food at all, AT ALL, if you want a hotter version of this recipe, feel free to add diced jalape√Īos (with or without the seeds) or up the powdered chilli/curry element to 1/2-1teaspoon of each. I found this with a bit of sour cream (staple in my life) worked well and wasnt an assault on the tongue.

I am also not a fan of cilantro, pieces of green sticking between my teeth? No thank you. The taste also annoys me, I know its a usual ingredient in guacamole but I leave it out! However, if you are a member of the cilantro fan club, please add in as little or much as you like.

Enjoy this yourself, serve at a dinner party or share with friends!¬†ūüôā

DIY: Soothing bath bombs for dry skin

Winter skin is not only a REAL thing, its painful. My skin is somewhere between tree bark, elephant skin, and the dessert. I woke up in the middle of the night with pain on my back from dry skin, where it hurt to just lie in the bed, that was really not pleasant. In addition to all my body butters, which have made things better, I wanted something more (more, more, more!!!). Baths are really not my forte’, they are a good sign that Im dying of flu and sickness. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. Ive come up with these bath bombs that are meant to soothe and nourish dry and unhappy skin.

The below information tells you what makes these bath bombs so good for your skin:

  • Baking Soda:¬†antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Citric Acid: can brighten skin, shrink pores, treat mild acne, and correct dark spots and fine lines.
  • Ground oats (colloidal oatmeal):¬†moisturising, restores the skin barrier, reduces itching, and regulates inflammation.
  • Himalayan Pink Salt: full of¬†minerals that makes the overall body happy, detoxifies the skin,¬†¬†balances your skin pH, and soothes aches and pains.
  • Cornstarch:¬†soothes irritations of the skin, including sunburn and skin allergies.
  • Castor oil:¬†fights skin disorders and infections,¬†reduces itching and swelling on the skin, and moisturises skin.
  • Tea tree essenital oil:¬†relieves many types of skin inflammation, aids healing and protects from infection.
  • Sweet orange essential oil:¬†anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, and aphrodisiac (wink).

I wont lie, bath bombs are a labour of love and effort, its not like mixing everything, banging them together and calling it done. Its a series of steps and trial and error until you get the recipe and bath bomb that you are happy with.

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DIY Soothing Bath Bombs for Dry Skin

Makes: 4.5 large bathbombs  Prep time: HOURS  Making time: 20 mins Setting time:8-12 hours (best over night)  Total time: A LOT

  • 1 cup¬†baking soda
  • 1/2 cup¬†citric acid
  • 1/2 cup ground pink Himalayan salt (if you dont grind it down, you’ll find yourself sitting on lumps of salt until they dissolve)
  • 1/2 cup ground oats (do not use quick oats, put them in a coffee grinder to make a fine skin friendly powder)
  • 1/4 cup¬†cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons castor oil
  • 1/4 c rubbing alcohol
  • 10 vitamin e capsules (that I cut in half and then squeezed into the mixture)
  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 15 drops sweet orange essential oil

For the embeds I used 1/4 c baking soda and 1/4c citric acid (you use a 1:1 mix) and combined with rubbing alcohol, it made 10 medium sized embeds. Experienced bath bombers swear by them, insisting that they help the bomb move around your bath and give extra fizz. You dont HAVE to use them but Im kind of bored with mine sinking like the Titanic and thought Id give it a try and see, not like I didn’t have the ingredients. Many people use mica/coloring in their embeds but I prefer my bath bombs to be more natural (and not dye my bath tube or me), so I dont use colourings in my embeds or bath bombs.

Now to make these skin happy bath bombs (dont forget to use gloves and a face mask when making these).

1. Sift your baking soda and citric acid into a bowl. Break any lumps that remain at the bottom of the sifter and throw away any that wont be crushed. Next add in your ground oats, pink Himalayan salt, and cornstarch.

2. Add in your oils, essential oils, and vitamin e. Mix thoroughly with your hands, dispersing the oils throughout the mixture.

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3. Add in your rubbing alcohol, mixing thoroughly. The mixture should now form clumps in your hand when you squeeze it.

4. Now to form your balls. The best bath bombs are those that aren’t over packed, they should be light.¬†Fill each half of the mould, packing the mixture in slightly until it’s overflowing. Fill both sides of your bath bombs, making a hole in the middle of one, insert your embed into the hole and then smoosh them together.¬†Lightly tap the mould and gently pull it apart to remove the bath bomb.

5. I take the tops off my moulds (as above) and allow them to sit over night, which allows them to harden and the alcohol to evaporate. When you are ready to remove your bath bombs from the moulds, tap the mould against a spoon/table to loosen the bath bomb and then slide out.

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Your bath bombs are now finished and ready to be used. I allow mine to sit out a few days to ensure that all the alcohol has evaporated.

 

Notes: Why I dont use water in my bath bombs? I always use alcohol because it doesn’t cause of the ingredients to react. Water is reactive with the citric acid and it will automatically start to ‘blossom’ and too much water will ruin your entire batch. I can be a bit heavy handed to, so using alcohol stops this. As the bath bomb is being dissolved in gallons upon gallons of water, it dilutes any remaining alcohol making it safe to use. Alcohol also gives your bath bombs a hard texture, making them less delicate than those made with water. Because alcohol evaporates more quickly than water, you can use these bath bombs quicker than those made with water.

Colours: You can buy something called Polysorbate 80 which ensures that the colours dont stick to you or your bath tub, awesome. However, Im weird about these things and my own personal luck means that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. I personally, dont like the idea of bathing in colour. The idea of a bath is to get clean, not cover myself in glitter or colour (very ungirly of me I know), but this is why I dont use colours or glitter in my bath bombs. I want them to be true treat for your skin.

Moulds: I remembered that years ago I bought some empty Christmas baubles and went through all my Christmas stuff and found them, HORAY! I have found these easier to use than standard metal moulds. If you are removing the bath bomb entirely from the mould to dry, you MUST pad the area, professionals tend to use egg crate foam, as they will dent otherwise, as per the pictures below with my last batch that I made with metal moulds.

Ground Oats: I use a coffee grinder that I use purely for my crafting but as long as you clear is thoroughly, its not a problem. Chuck your oats in the grinder and grind away until you have a very fine powder. Never use ready/instant/quick oats for bath soaks or bath bombs.

Ground pink Himalayan salt: Using your grinder, grind down the salt. This is help it to dissolve more quickly in the water. I found out when I didnt grind down the salt, I was sitting on bits of salt, whilst thinking ‘What is that?!’.

You WILL need to rinse down your bath and yourself after your bath bomb experience. You will find little bits of oat on yourself and all over your bathtub.

Baths should be relaxing and a bit of a personal spa, with these bath bombs, you’re giving your skin a treat, whilst providing a great dose of aromatherapy whilst indulging in ‘me time’!

Create your own spa and share with friends!¬†ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ageing disgracefully

Birthdays, I’ve always enjoyed celebrating other peoples but never my own. Theres something great about everyone else getting old around you, sadly the same sentiment doesn’t lie within adding another candle to my cake.

A few things about me:

  • I’ve lived a very privileged life (even though I dont admit it often)
  • I have many many regrets but I believe its through these that Ive learnt many life lessons
  • I’ve lived in 4 countries, have visited at least 17 countries and have 2 passports
  • I swear, a lot, I have the potty mouth that would make a seasoned sailor blush
  • I’ve had some truly amazing friendships and relationships that failed because of me
  • Im a crazy cat lady, by choice (ish)
  • The older I get the better I am at apologising and admitting fault
  • I often take life far to seriously and forget to just breathe and relax and there is a good possibility that I dont smile enough – think Wednesday Adams

This is a big year for me, I’ve turned 35, and to me 35 isnt just 35. 35 means 40, 40 means 50, 50 means 60 and so on. Its a young unassuming birthday that has milestones for me.

A few years ago, I realised that if I was going to have children, I wanted to have them before I turned 35. Whilst I appreciate and understand other people have children at all ages, I knew it wasn’t something that I wanted for myself. Over the last two years, I’ve become more conscious of the fact that I won’t be a parent and that my cut off was coming. It hasn’t been difficult for me to accept because I knew it was coming and took the years to come to terms with it but it still feels like a very big moment. My mother, however, is not quite so understanding. We all put pressure on ourselves to be the best versions of ourselves and not to let our parents down. Its difficult to manage the expectations of your parents, when they dont match your reality.

35 birthday

My friend said to me, ‘darling when we get to this age, we have to accept that men come with baggage’. I grew up where the tradition was to marry at 18 to your high school sweetheart and then procreate. I never wanted that and I clearly managed to avoid it, somewhat. However, she has a point, once people are into their 30s/40s, they tend to have kids from previous relationships or emotional baggage from previous relationships. To be fair, Im divorced, come with a cat and a very sassy attitude (but apparently Im funny). I had a stage in my 20s where I needed to be single and to discover myself and not be in a relationship, it really did me the world of good. However, now Ive been single for so long (more years than I care to admit) that having a relationship frightens me. Im quite stuck in my ways and routine now and having to change that, Christ… Which means that my standards are now super high, if I find a guy that makes me want to change my routine, hes got to be pretty bloody amazing, queue unrealistic expectations. I think my list of requirements gets less with age and is now about, ‘someone who makes me happy’, which sounds incredibly simplistic but is anything but.

Some days I just feel lost, I mean at 35, I really should have my shit together, right?

Life is battles and wars and you learn which ones are worth the fight. Its learning which battles are worth the fight and which ones are just utterly pointless. Im so glad that Im out of thinking everything is worth a fight, Im not sure if its laziness or lack of interest but Id rather walk away than fight, there are enough dicks in the world, without needing to be another one.

I dont have a bucket list but I do think of things that I’d really like to do, for me its deciding if I want to do them on my own or if I want to wait and find someone to make the memory with.

Honestly, I hated my 20s, the older I get the more I seem to be able to enjoy life, so I suppose its not all doom and gloom, saggyness and wrinkles. I seem to have fallen into a career that I can even occasionally sometimes sound like a true professional, which to me is scary and I even sometimes enjoy it.

I think I will always under value sell myself, I dont see this as a bad thing. Set expectations low and then everything else is a pleasant surprise. I do know my strengths and I know that I have a lot of them but no one likes a cocky knowitall, even if it is about yourself.

I know Im being dramatic and really its come and gone (I had a nice day with new friends), I have another 364 days in the year of being 35. I honestly have no idea what 35 will bring me, Im not so secretly hoping its more mellow than 34. I guess I will continue to wander my path of pretending to be a confident adult until I actually become one. ūüôā

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† -Harriet Tubman

Shower Steamers – fighting congestion in the shower

My shower is my haven. It’s a small cubicle (apparently large by Dutch standards) that seems to have magical powers that allow me my finest and best thinking. Sadly, it seems to be that time of year where the flu, colds, and stuffy heads are common on these long cold dark days. When I’m ill, all I want is to be able to breathe without having to think how its done, utilising the steam from the shower as a lifeline to being able to think and breathe again.

I’ve come up with these super awesome shower steamers that fizzle away in your shower, using aroma therapy to clear your head and sinuses, allowing me to have my previous shower back! I have to say that I’m quite impressed with the outcome and even now put them in the shower when Im not feeling stuffy, Im not sure if this makes me a shower steamer addict or not? I’ve given them out and had positive feedback so far, so I’d call these useful and a delight for your otherwise stuffy senses. As long as they are not placed directly under water, they should last 5-8 minutes each.

Shower Steamers

Makes: Approximately 50-60 small cubes  Prep time: 10 mins  Making time: 10 mins Setting time: 5-8 hours (best over night)  Total time: 5 hours 20 mins minimum

  • 1 cup Baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Citric Acid
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (I probably use more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 1 teaspoon menthol crystals that have been dissolved in 2-3 teaspoons of rubbing alcohol (not to be left out, these are the MAGIC ingredient that makes these so good)
  • Mica- color of your choice (optional)

 

  • Mini ice cube tray – I bought mine on Wish
  • A seperate small cup disposable cup for your menthol crystals (seriously the crystals will continue to grow and its best to have something you can throw away or purposely dedicate just to THIS project)

Please note for the pictures, I did double the recipe, hence why I have so much in the pictures!

For safety purposes you should also have: dust mask and gloves

1. Take your teaspoon of menthol crystals and dissolve them in 2-3 teaspoons of rubbing alcohol. They wont just dissolve on their own, you will need to stir them, it will take a few minutes. I tend to give them a bit of a crush before I mix them in the alcohol, I assume I’m making my life easier by doing this. I use a toothpick or straw to stir. As the menthol WILL form crystals on whatever you are using to stir it with, make sure that you have no commitment to said item and its disposable, (menthol crystals are NOT water soluble, so simply crushing them up and adding them to this mixture will not work or give you the desired results).20180111_121252

2. Put on your mask and gloves. In a bowl, combine your citric acid, baking soda and mica (if using), breaking any lumps. Give it a good mix with your hand.

3. Add in your essential oils, mix throughly, you’ll notice the texture of the mixture change slightly but a small sniff into how nice your shower will smell. Add in your crystal menthol mixture and mix thoroughly.

4. At this point your mixture is either ready to use or isn’t. If you are able to get it to form in your hand when you squeeze it, you’re on to a winner. If it doesn’t hold it form when you squeeze it (left picture), then add in the rest of your rubbing alcohol, mix again and it should now hold its form when you squeeze it (right picture).

5. Now to put the shower steam mixture in your moulds. Try for the middle of the mould and work your way out. Ensure to press your mixture into each individual mould, you want it to be packed in and solid, I use my thumb to press in the mixture in EACH individual mould.

 

6. Leave them to dry, honestly I think over night is best. If you’re in a rush or made them in the morning, give them at least 5-6 hours to set. As it is alcohol which was used to combine them, it will evaporate on its own over time.

7. Once dry, turn out and ideally place them in a air tight box/container. I made gifts out of mine and put them in clear bags (10 per bag) and jars (25ish per jar), with the following instructions:

TO USE: Place 1-3 steamers on the floor of your shower, where it will get wet but not directly under the water. Let the aromas clear your sinuses/congestion as you breathe in deeply. Store in an airtight container. Humidity will cause them to break down. Use within 1 month for best scent and results. WARNINGS: Not to be used in the bath as a bath bomb or to have direct contact with skin. Keep out of reach of children.

Notes:¬†These are not bath bombs and should not be treated as such, whilst the ingredients are similar, I wouldn’t recommend or tell anyone to use them in the bath, if you want a bath bomb, make/buy a bath bomb, if you want a shower steamer, then THIS is the recipe for you!

Other shower steamers/melts/fizzy/bomb use water in it, why doesn’t this recipe? This is a conscious choice that I have made NOT to use water. Water, no matter how much, reacts with the citric acid causing it to fizz and puff instantly, adding too much water can RUIN any steamers/melts/fizzy/bomb recipe, which is something that I have done MORE than once.

 

Remember to save some for yourself and share with friends!¬†ūüôā

Southern American Biscuits

My younger years were spent in the mountains of North Carolina, this is a part of my life that I dont often reflect on. Every time Im back in NC, I always visit Chimney Rock, its  like a ritual and every time the views are more stunning than I remembered, theres something very calming about it.

Certain foods take me back to my childhood and biscuits is one of them. Having lived in the UK for the last 17 years, biscuits are very hard cookies served with tea. They would compare a southern biscuit to a scone but a scone is really quite different and again, served with tea, often with freshly whipped cream and jam.  Southern American Biscuits are like a dinner roll but can also be served with breakfast, cut in half and stuffed with meat or served with a very southern gravy.

I recently decided that what I needed in my life was biscuits, a throw back to my childhood. I think it could have been the move, feeling unsettled and craving the comfort of something familiar.

Southern American Biscuits

Makes: 6 very large or 8 medium-large biscuits Prep time: 80 mins  Cook time: 15-20 mins  Total time: 95-100 mins

Required Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (300g) Plain flour
  • 2 Tablespoons (40g) Baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (8g) Salt
  • 1/2 cup (150g) unsalted butter, very cold or frozen
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (270ml) cold buttermilk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons (15g) Honey

( A true southern will do half butter and half shortening/lard, so 1/4c (75g) each of butter and shortening)

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Now to makes these very yummy flakey biscuits

1. First FREEZE your butter (and shortening if using), put it in the freeze for an hour, you want it to be very cold for BEST results. I cut mine into blocks, cover in cling film and put in the freezer for at least an hour. (I always a few portions of butter in my freezer so that when the biscuit feeling hits, I can make them!)

2.¬†Preheat your oven to 425¬įF (218¬įC).

3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a food processor. Pulse until combined,  add the cubed butter and pulse several times in the processor until it resembles fine crumbs. (You dont have to use a food processor, you can use a bowl and pastry blender to make combine and make fine crumbs by hand.

4. Pour the crumb mixture into a bowl, making a well in the middle of the bowl. Pour in 1 cup 1 cup (250ml) of buttermilk and the honey into the well. Stir the mixture until it JUST comes together. You want to avoid over mixing it, as it will make the dough and biscuits hard. The dough will be crumbly and bitty.  (apologies for the POOr pictures for this stage, having your hands covered in biscuit dough and taking pictures at the same time, not a good idea!)

5. Pour the crumbly dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently mold it into a rough rectangle with your hands, patting it into shape as you go.

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6. This is the REALLY important part that will make the biscuits light and flakey. Fold one side into the center, then fold the other side into the middle.

7. Turn the dough so it’s long width wise and gently flatten, I lightly used my rolling pin. If you are using a rolling pen, be very gentle! Repeat the folding again.

8. Turn the dough again, so it’s long horizontally once more and flatten, in a light and gentle manner. You want it to be 1.5 inches thick. Biscuits are meant to be thick!

9.¬†Cut into circles, I use a biscuit butter but even the rim of a wide glass will work. Re-roll any scraps you have, as per the bottom right¬†Frankenstein biscuit. Bake on a cookie sheet or cast iron skillet (if you’re lucky enough to have one).

10. With your last 2 tbsp of buttermilk, brush the tops of the biscuits. Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top.

11. Remove from the oven and enjoy! Biscuits are best served warm with butter (or gravy for the full southern experience). Store leftovers in a air tight container tightly and consume within 3 days.

I hope you enjoy this very classic delicious buttery southern staple!

DIY natural lip plumping cinnamon lip balm

On the same night I made my yummy fruity strawberry lip balm, I also decided to make another sweet lip treat. I think one of my life mottos should be ‘life is better with cinnamon!’. So this is a cinnamon lip balm which works as a natural lip plumper, you will feel it gently tingling away on your lips.

Lip plumpers work by irritating your lips, your lips reaction to the irritation is to swell up and just like MAGIC you have fuller more plump lips. What you really want is a small to mild reaction, you dont want anything to feel as though it is ‘on fire’ or ‘inflamed’.¬† Inflaming your skins is generally not something we seek to do but as you are applying a soothing lip balm, it acts to also moisturise your lips at the same time.¬† Please also refer to my WARNING and CAUTION at the bottom of this post.

You can use white beeswax for a more white filling and you can even add in literally just a dash (no more) of ground cinnamon if you fancy spots throughout your lip balm.

DIY natural lip plumping cinnamon lip balm

Makes: 7 lip balms Making time: 30 mins  Dry time: 24 hours minimum Overall time: 25 hours

  • 1 tablespoon (14g) grated beeswax or beeswax pellets ‚Äď I used yellow beeswax because its what I had
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) shea butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet almond oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon castor oil
  • 5g Mango butter (I used a small piece from the pot)
  • 5 drops Cinnamon essential oil

Now to make these nourishing balms

1.  Over  a ban marie or double boiler (or cheat like I do and use a milk jug in a pan with water) add the beeswax, shea butter, almond oil, castor oil and mango butter in a small heat proof bowl. Bring the water to the boil and then allow to simmer, until the mixture is just melted. You can stir the mixture but you dont need to stir it constantly.

2. Whilst your oils and butter are melting together, get your lip balm containers ready. I find it easy to put five (5) together and wrap a rubber band (loom bands work perfectly) around them, this stops them falling over when filling them. I also like to put them in a small plastic container, so that if there is any spillage, its contained. I find it easier to use my Pyrex jug making lip balm, as the spout on the jug allows for easy pouring.

3.  Once fully melted, turn off heat and take container out of the pan. Allow your lip balm mixture to cool.  If you add in the essential oil now, it can damage it. You dont want it to solidify but just to be cooler. Once it has cooled down, add in your cinnamon essential oil and stir well.

4. Pour the mixture into the lip balm tubes and allow to cool completely. Between Do NOT pour all of the mixture into the tubes (leave 1-2 teaspoons spare). As your mixture cools, A (small) depression will form in the center, use the spare balm that you didn’t use to fill this in, leaving a even finish. Simply reheat the leftover balm and top up the tubes. Allow your lip balms to set over night.

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I always keep 1 of each batch for myself (I highlight the edges so that its always clear which one is mine), then I have first hand experience of it the balms are too soft, too hard, overly/underly flavoured. There is always one in each run that is never quite perfect, so I call it mine.

 

CAUTION and WARNING using Cinnamon Essential Oil: Cinnamon essential oil must be use with caution and not with a heavy hand. Do not increase the number of drops in your lip balm, as it can irritate your lips. Cinnamon essential oil is a known irritant and strong skin sensitizer. Do not substitute or use the bark essential oil, it is really NOT skin friendly. Also should you ever have a cinnamon soap (which I love), NEVER wash your genitals or sensitive areas with it. 

This is just a word of caution (and to avoid people going crazy), I never had any problems with this lip balm but know that every person reacts differently to different products, even all natural ones.

Remember to share with friends!¬†ūüôā

 

 

DIY fruity Strawberry lip balm

A all natural tinted yummy lip balm.

I know Ive previously done two other lip balms but this weekend I had lip balm on my mind. I wanted something different and yummy, something that will leave you wanting to lick your lips whilst nourishing them at the same time. Ive come up with a fruity strawberry lip balm using freeze dried strawberries (NEVER use fresh/frozen). After seeing the sites of Amsterdam, I came home and made these at 11pm, thats just how Rock ‘N Roll I am!

The hardest part of this easy to follow tutorial is cleaning out the coffee grinder to remove all the pink dust! (you’ve been warned)¬† You can use any freeze dried fruit for this recipe if you’re feeling adventurous, I bought it at my local grocery story but you can can buy it online or at¬†local health-food store.

DIY Strawberry Lip Balm

Makes: 7 lip balms Making time: 30 mins  Dry time: 24 hours minimum Overall time: 25 hours

  • 1 tablespoon (14g) grated beeswax or beeswax pellets – I used yellow beeswax because its what I had
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) shea butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet almond oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon castor oil
  • 5g Mango butter (I used a small piece from the pot)
  • 1 tsp ground freeze dried strawberries
  • 5 drops Vanilla essential oil (optional and honestly I cant tell that it makes any difference at all)

Now to make these nourishing balms

1.  Over  a ban marie or double boiler (or cheat like I do and use a milk jug in a pan with water) add the beeswax, shea butter, almond oil, castor oil and mango butter in a small heat proof bowl. Bring the water to the boil and then allow to simmer, until the mixture is just melted. You can stir the mixture but you dont need to stir it constantly.

2. Whilst your oils and butter are melting together, get your lip balm containers ready. I find it easy to put five (5) together and wrap a rubber band (loom bands work perfectly) around them, this stops them falling over when filling them. I also like to put them in a small plastic container, so that if there is any spillage, its contained. I find it easier to use my Pyrex jug making lip balm, as the spout on the jug allows for easy pouring.

3. Grind down your strawberries. (Remember you cannot use fresh/frozen strawberries, they must be freeze dried) I used a coffee grinder but a pestle and mortar also works. My coffee grinder is specifically for my hobbies but cleaning it after the strawberries was quite the mess – be sure to scrape it all out! As you can see, the strawberries didn’t entirely grind down, so you will need a small sieve for the next step.

4. Once the lip balm mixture has fully melted, turn off heat and take container out of the pan. Put your small sieve over the container and pour in the ground strawberries and sieve them, discarding any left over chunks you may have. Give it stir. Allow your mixture to slightly cool, now add in the vanilla essential oil if using.  If it you let it sit, you will notice it starts to seperate, STIR IT.

5. Pour the mixture into the lip balm tubes and allow to cool completely. Between Do NOT pour all of the mixture into the tubes (leave 1-2 teaspoons spare). As your mixture cools, A (small) depression will form in the center, use the spare balm that you didn’t use to fill this in, leaving a even finish. Simply reheat the leftover balm and top up the tubes. Allow your lip balms to set over night.

Technically now you are done with your lip balm, HORRAY.  Like last time, I decided to take it a step further and created the labels for the tubes. I have glossy adhesive sheets, which were perfect for this! Be sure to clean the outside of your tubes before applying the labels! You will have drips and this will affect the adhesion!

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These are my finished all natural tinted yummy strawberry lip balm.

Remember to share with friends!¬†ūüôā