Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Raid the Kitchen for your Skin"

The other day, we were at Whole Foods and I saw a magazine.  One of those free publications that you always grab.  It's called B.REAL and I like it.  I love natural home and skin products and they had an ENTIRE spread dedicated to skin.  Be still my heart.  It's too good not to share.

*The following is by Amy Hatcher, Nurse Practitioner*

This is long... 

Oatmeal Cleanser helps restore the natural moisture balance to the skin and can be used for dry or oily skin, clears clogged pores, provides gentle exfoliation, soothes irritated skin, and improves acne.

1 cup Almond milk or organic milk
1/2 cup whole rolled oats
1 Tbsp honey

  1. Blend all ingredients on high until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour into a clean jar with a tight fitting lid and store in the refrigerator.
  3. To use:  place a small amount in the palm of your hand, then gently massage into your skin once or twice daily.  Rinse well with warm water.
  4. Store unused product in a sealable container and refrigerate for 1 week.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Aspirin Toner removes dirt and oil, smoothes, softens and heals skin while exfoliating and minimizing the appearance of pores.

1/2 ounce organic apple cider vinegar
3 ounces mineral water
5 plain aspirin tablets, uncoated

  1. Dilute 1/2 ounce organic apple cider vinegar with 4 ounces of mineral water.
  2. Use pestle and mortar to crush aspirin tablets.
  3. Add aspirin tablet mixture to water and vinegar mix.
  4. Apply toner sparingly to areas with acne, rough skin or enlarged pore.

Olive and Almond Oil Eye Makeup Remover
4 Tbsp organic EVOO
3 Tbsp organic sweet almond oil


  1. Mix ingredients in container with tight sealing lid and shake well.
  2. Apply as needed with a cotton ball for removal of eye makeup.
  3. store unused product in a sealable container and store at room temperature for up to 2 months.

Honey and Brown Sugar Exfoliate leaves skin smoother and clearer with the added antibacterial benefits of honey.  Apply 3-4 times per week for oily skin, 1-2 times per week for dry skin.

4 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp dark organic honey

  1. Combine ingredients.
  2. Exfoliate gently 2-3 times per week with a gently circular motion on the face.
  3. Store unused product in a sealable container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Honey and Avocado Mask moisturizes and soothes dry or irritated skin and improves skin tone.  Great for 2-3 times per week application for dry skin.  (Each application should be a new mixture).

1/4 avocado
1 tsp honey

  1. Combine ingredients to form a moist paste.
  2. Apply generously to a clean, dry face and let set for 30 minutes.  Gently wash with warm water.

Lemon and Greek Yogurt minimizes hyper pigmentation from acne scarring and sun damage.

2 Tbsp honey
4 tsp lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
3 tsp plain or Greek yogurt
1 egg white

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until mask thickens.
  2. Apply to clean, dry face in the evening and let set for 15 minutes.  Gently wash off with warm water. (Solution will remain fresh in refrigerator for one week).

Homemade Sunscreen
There are endless recipes for homemade sunscreen online.  Many recipes call for oils as the primary ingredient for sun protection, but oils alone may not provide sufficient protection fro the sun.  Ingredients vary widely, but make sure you choose a recipe with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as these agents have a proven ability to protect from the sun's UVA and UVB rays.

1 cup olive or almond oil
1 oz beeswax
2 oz shea butter
2 Tbsp 100% aloe vera
3 Tbsp zinc oxide
15-30 drops of essential oil, optional

Begin by warming the oil on low heat, add the beeswax and shea butter until they melt, add the aloe vera and mix well.  After removing from the heat, add the zinc oxide and essential oils until all ingredients are well blended.  Sotre in sealable containers until ready for use.  If ingredients separate as they cool, shake the container or set in a warm bowl of water to soften.

Doesn't that all sound fabulous?  Now, I know myself and know that I'm not going to spend a lot of $$ to buy all the stuff needed for all the mixtures.  But, I am definitely going to try some of these, if I have the ingredients on hand. 

I'd love to know if you've tried any of these or plan to!

*This is copied verbatim from B.Real Magazine.  Summer Issue 2012.  Written by Amy Hatcher, Nurse Practitioner.  So don't sue me if these don't work*

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Caribbean Cooking Class

I'm not a huge fan of cooking.  (I think that's due to so many failures).  I'll do eggs and such, but that's pretty much it.  However, when I was asked if I wanted to learn how to cook an authentic Caribbean meal with some friends, I said SURE!

Novella is from Trinidad and was willing to teach us at her home.  And thanks to Christy for organizing it and to Gaylene for introducing us to Novella.  

The menu:

We got to wear aprons.  Of course I picked the blue one =)

A few of the yummy ingredients:
Beautiful tomatoes from the local farmers market.

These little guys are like potatoes.  Except they have a creamier texture.

Novella said that this Calypso Sauce is like the Caribbean tabasco.  They put it on everything.  Made from scotch bonnet peppers, so a little goes a long way.

Teaching us the art of the macaroni pie.  

Now for the chicken.  

Macaroni pie (macaroni, onions, cheese, coconut milk and so on...) 
Tomato and cucumber salad
Starchy veggies (sweet potatoes, plantains, eddoes w/ the sauce from the chicken)
Stewed chicken (holy yum town.  Marinated in coconut milk, cinnamon, garlic, tomatoes, onion, cumin, ginger, etc, etc, etc...)

TWO desserts!
Mango sorbet

Vanilla ice cream w/ fried plantains and molasses

We had a great time!

(Plus, I learned how to cook a meal for Trent).

(I'm hopeful it will turn out just as good).

(We'll see).

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fernandina Beach

My sister's in-laws live in Fernandina Beach, FL.   It's a beautiful home, right across the street from the beach.  Carrie, Jason, and sweet Blake were there visiting and it worked out where we could spend a few days with them as well.  

Our first morning.  This picture is taken from their porch!  Lovely.

Carrie dropped Blake and me off at the park while she picked up breakfast at T-Rays.  If you're ever in the area, go there.  Trust me.

After the park we all went to the beach.  

Blake playing with Shash.

Playing with Uncle Trent.  What's it gonna be?

A guitar, of course!

The guys played golf so Carrie and I went to lunch at Sliders.

We liked the umbrellas.  Carrie wanted a picture.

Playing outside, waiting for the guys to get home.  Carrie made an entire chalk city.  And Blake drove all around the city.  So cute!

 Blake wanted Uncle Trent to sing songs before bed.  It was precious. 

Heading to dinner.  We went to Sliders again.  Ha!

Love his sweet smile! 

We so enjoyed our time with everyone.  Thank you Sharon, Gerald, Carrie, Jason and Blake!  We love y'all! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Trent, me, and Triple-D

I don't even know if that's grammatically correct.  I was going for a rhyme.  

Because I like rhymes.


It's no secret.   My man and I LOVE to eat and often plan days around the activity.  When we're on the road (and even when we're at home) we like to find some local flavor.

We also love the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  While in the Clearwater/Tampa area, we got to have our first Triple-D experiences.  So, naturally, I documented.

Keegan's Seafood Grille

I didn't take a picture of the food.  ARGH!  But, I will tell you that we ordered the crab cake and the grouper sandwich and both were delicious!

We approve.

This was the calm before the taco storm.  The line ended up being crazy long.  And for good reason.

I thought this was just about the cutest and clever thing.  Honesty's the best policy, right? 

Trent got 3 different tacos.  I forget what meat was in them, but he was a fan.

I ordered a torta (sandwich) with the carne asada (grilled steak).  Said torta was huge!  But, we saved it, put it in our cooler and had it later at the beach.  Waste not, want not.  That's our motto.

Not officially in the Triple-D category, is Maggie Mae's.  It's another local joint that we were told to try.  

The only reason I'm including it is because of this:

That, my friends, is the BEST corn beef hash I have ever had!  My mouth is literally watering right now.

*On the hash note, a close second is Jackson's in Nashville*  

Now I've made myself hungry.