Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

I recently ran out of my usual face wash and moisturizer (convenient that it happened at the same time). I haven't had a chance to purchase more, so yesterday I began to scour the internet for an at-home facial exfoliating facial scrub recipe. I hit the jackpot with this Lemon and Sugar Face Scrub from Beauty Banter. I used it and my face felt clean, soft, and moisturized without any harsh chemicals! But, I actually came to that recipe through another site, Homemade for Elle. She had posted a list of at-home facial cleansers and the Lemon & Sugar was just one of them. More importantly, her post was about the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM). I began researching and soaking up as much information as I could about OCM. Crunchy Betty has an excellent, detailed post about trying OCM for yourself. If you're not sure which oils to choose, The Happy Skin Diary can help you with that!

I used my empty facial cleanser bottle to mix 3 tablespoons of Castor Oil, 3 tablespoons of Sweet Almond Oil, and 3 tablespoons of Apricot Kernel Oil.

Make sure you do the research and find a formula that works for you!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

3 Meals, 1 Recipe : Mixture for Meatballs, Meatloaf, or Burgers

I hate leftovers. Like, h-a-t-e them. There are very few things I will eat more than once. And unfortunately, that goes for both restaurant food and home-cooked meals. I'm a little less hateful towards home-cooked meals.

I'm a planner. I plan lots of things, including my weekly menu. I try to plan for meals that use the same ingredients (if they're not common pantry items) so as not to waste anything. I hate wasting food. Hating leftovers and hating to waste food make my life a living... you get it. And to make all these matters worse, I am not great at cooking for two and minimizing leftovers. So, the planning saves me. Sometimes...

Well, I decided a while back I was going to attempt to make meatloaf. I have never eaten it in my life, that I can remember. Most kids had it growing up. I don't recall my mom or grandmother ever making it. I now know's freaking disgusting to make. Raw meat, raw eggs, soggy bread... oh, and you have to mix it with your bare hands. Woof.

Well, I did it. I used The Pioneer's Woman's Meatloaf recipe, though I added one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to the mixture and I added about half a bell pepper and half an onion, both finely chopped. I also used a Parmesan, Romano, & Asiago cheese blend, since that's what I already had on hand. I didn't even gag once; however, once I was done combining all the ingredients, I realized I was going to have a huge 'loaf' on my hands. I did some googling and it turns out the recipe I used for my meatloaf is very similar to most meatball recipes AND it freezes well!

As a matter of fact, I found this post which shows you how to adapt your batch to make meatloaf, meatballs, or burgers! And Stockpiling Moms taught me how to flash freeze the uncooked mixture.

Now I have a perfect-sized loaf (which I'm sure will still yield leftovers--ack!) and I have meatballs for spaghetti & meatballs and patties for burger night!

Monday, August 5, 2013

An Adventure in Homemade Sugar Scrub-making

I needed to make some favors for a Bachelorette Spa Party I'm hosting this weekend, so I searched Pinterest and gathered a few recipes to try. Thank goodness I started a few weeks ago, because my first three tries were disastrous...

First, I tried to make a Little Birdie Secret's Coconut Ginger Scrub. That one turned out smelling like Chinese food. Strike 1.

Then, I tried using a pre-made scent from Hobby Lobby called "Invigorating Blend." I didn't use any of the turbinado sugar this time, just white. I found a gorgeous pink food-coloring gel and dyed it hot pink. It smelled ok and was the perfect pink tint; however,... it may or may not have dyed my skin when I tested it out. Strike 2.

So, I tried again. This time, I used a vegan cane sugar, which I thought had bigger crystals than regular sugar (better for exfoliation). It doesn't. With this one, I used a lavender essential oil fragrance blend I found at Michael's and instead of food coloring, used soap dye. I used about half the bottle and the mixture refused to turn purple. I don't know where I went wrong. Maybe the dye wasn't strong enough? Whatever. Strike 3.

So, my final attempt, I came up with what I think is a pretty good base recipe.

1 1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. kosher or epsom salt (I used kosher)
1 c. coconut oil (if your coconut oil is solid, don't heat it up to melt it, or you might end up cooking the sugar when you combine them.)
1 T. almond or vitamin e oil

Most recipes have a 2:1 ratio for sugar (or salt) to oil.

Once you've got your base, you can scent it however you like. I ended up using about 30 drops of the lavender oil I bought and used about as many drops of liquid purple food coloring. It still didn't really come out with a vivid color, but I'm not risking skin-dying scrub again.

I drew inspiration from Coordinately Yours and The Gunny Sack for labeling and decorating them.