Thursday, 28 November 2013
Continuing with the pumpkin theme that seems to have taken over for the past few weeks, yesterday I thew together a pumpkin face mask. Pumpkin is a surprisingly excellent skin ingredient because, like many orange vegetables, it is high in Vitamin C (an antioxidant which promotes collagen production) Vitamin A and Zinc (both skin healing), and the pumpkin itself is soothing, moisturizing and a great carrier so that the other ingredients in this mask are better absorbed.
This mask is rather gloopy however, so it is not the best mask for multitasking. I would recommend putting it on over the sink and doing your best to maintain a horizontal position while it is on your face or you will end up with pumpkin all over your white carpet like me.
2 tsp pure pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and spread over your entire face. Leave on for about 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing off.
For more pumpkin recipes and DIYs have a look over here.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
When I stumbled upon these reusable cotton rounds by eco beauty brand S.W. Basics, I had a bit of an "aha!" moment. I spend a lot of time making sure that the products I put in my body and on my body are good for my health and the environment, but I had never really stopped to think about what I used to apply these products.
The Organic Trade Association says that cotton is the world's "dirtiest" crop due to the number of toxic chemicals that are used in growing the plant. So by switching to organic cotton and eliminating our dependence on traditional cotton we are not only helping the environment but we are also taking a stance against pesticide and herbicide use.
These reusable cotton rounds are made out of unbleached, organic cotton and can be used like any disposable round to apply cleanser, toner, makeup remover, whatever. They come in packs of 8 (one for each day of the week, plus one for washing day), so once you have used them just throw the rounds in the mesh bag that they come with and chuck them in the wash with the rest of your laundry.
The only drawbacks I can see to these is if you use more than one a day or if you are like me and laundry is much less frequent event than once a week. Despite these drawbacks I am keen to try these out. It has also inspired me to look at other areas of my makeup and skincare routine that have maybe been overlooked.
Friday, 22 November 2013
In all honestly I like the filling in a pumpkin pie way more than the crust. Don't get me wrong, I love a good crust, but more often than not pumpkin pie crusts become soggy and just a little lacklustre. That is where this pumpkin pudding comes in. Deliciously autumnal and full flavoured, just like a pumpkin pie only minus the soggy and disappointing crust. As with almost every dessert this is pretty fantastic for breakfast as well and can be made in individual ramekins for an impressive end to a meal. Just lower the cooking time if you make the individual pudding cups. (Bonus points: serve this pudding with leaf shaped ginger snaps)
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
pinch of salt and pepper
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk
3 tsp dark rum
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl mix together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and spices. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and rum. Add the milk mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir well. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and cook in a ban marie for about 45 to 50 minutes or until the pudding sets. Serve warm or cold with a gingersnap.
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Since about mid August I have completely abandoned a purse in favour of a backpack, and I kinda wish I had done it sooner. The change was first prompted by practicality. The reality being that a large purse was too hard to carry while I rode to work and anything smaller didn't fit my lunch, coffee cup and water bottle. After about a week however I had began to love my small backpack so much that even on my days off I used it instead of a purse. I loved that my hands were free, you could fit an amazing amount of stuff even in the smallest of bags (hello rain coat), and one shoulder wasn't weighed down all the time.
Would you consider switching to a backpack from a purse? There are some really amazing leather ones out there these days. I also think they add an instant coolness to a lot of outfits kinda like a jean vest or a wide brimmed hat.
(Images via clockwise from top left 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Monday, 4 November 2013
Friday, 1 November 2013
The various, and potentially McDonald's like, images that "nuggets" conjure up never really occurred to me until after I named these spicy butternut squash chunks...so sorry about that. Despite the name, these spicy squash chunks are delicious, really easy to make, and incredibly versatile. I often make a large batch of them which I then use in different ways throughout the week. These are great as a side dish, tossed on top of salads, or simply as a snack.
1 butternut squash
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400F. Slice the squash in half and remove the top and bottom. Next scoop out the seeds and slice off the skin. Once you have a peeled and seeded squash cut it into 1 to 2 inch chunks or "nuggets". Place the squash into a large bowl and lightly coat with coconut oil. Once they are coated toss with salt, pepper and a generous sprinkling of cumin, cayenne pepper and coriander. Dump the seasoned squash onto a baking tray and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender and browned on the outside, tossing half way through. Serve warm or cool as a side, tossed into a salad or as a tasty snack (with some chipotle mayo maybe?).
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Last week I talked about how to make your lipstick last so today I figured that I would share a really easy autumnal lip scrub so that you can ensure that your lips are well exfoliated and lipstick ready. This recipe is a breeze to bash together and chances are you already have all of these ingredients in your kitchen. The olive oil and honey both act as moisturizers in this lip scrub while the honey also has a few extra healing properties. The sugar exfoliates and the spice adds a pleasant seasonal flavour. Scoop this scrub into pretty little mason jars and it makes a great gift as well.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp pumpkin spice
Thoroughly mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Each night or before applying lipstick, scoop out a pea sized amount of this scrub and gently rub it across your lips for about a minute. I find that it is an extra step in the cooler months that really saves my lips. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.