I am currently housesitting/dogsitting for my sister Andrea, Gaia Conceptions creator and designer. When I change my living environment, my skin tends to breakout. I don’t know if it’s the subtle variation in the climate of a new space, or if it’s the stress of being out of my usual element, but I do know that the one thing that seems to get me back to clear skin is this citrusy facial spritz. The Meyer Lemons that are currently bearing fruit on my sister’s front porch are also an inspiration to utilize something in season to create this refreshing, yummy smelling spritz. Here is what you’ll need….
4 oz. distilled water
1 drop of lemon essential oil
1 drop of wild orange essential oil
1 drop of grapefruit essential oil
1 drop of rosemary essential oil
Just mix all of the ingredients together in some kind of spray bottle. I used the cute perfume bottle you see in the photos. You should make sure that the water you use is distilled. You want to avoid any additives that might be contained in your tap water, as this might have the opposite effect, creating blemishes instead of preventing them. As always, I used doTerra essential oils. I have oily skin, and this spritz works really great for my skin type. The grapefruit helps to regulate overactive oil glands, and the rosemary helps eliminate blemishes. You can make this spritz even more astringent by cutting the water with witch hazel (2 oz. distilled water & 2 oz. witch hazel). The aroma is also a great energizer in the early morning and throughout the day. Making a facial spritz like this one is a very simple way to add moisture and toning to your skincare regimen. You can experiment with other types of floral oils and even herbal teas to create your own spritz concoction. Let me know if you liked this one, or, what fun recipes you came up with on your own. And, remember, take a little time to nourish your body, your mind, yourself!
Were you just thinking to yourself…..What’s for lunch? This gazpacho, a delicious, fresh, cold soup, is easy to make and super healthy! I recently visited my parent’s house in Winston-Salem, NC, and I was greeted, not only by my wonderful folks, but the bounteous last harvest of tomatoes in their garden. As summer comes to a close, our tomato plants often give us way more fruit than we can eat on our own, so we end up giving away a ton of it. While sharing the wealth is always fun, this soup is a great way to use a lot of tomatoes all at once. Here is the recipe…
3 cups of roasted tomatoes (roasting instructions below)
4 Tbsp. parsley
4 Tbsp. chopped green onion
4 Tbsp. cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of black pepper
2 cups of mixed bell pepper
1/2 an English cucumber
First of all, you’ll have to roast the tomatoes. You will do this by preheating the oven to 450 degrees F. Then, arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are concentrated and beginning to caramelize. They come out looking beautiful and packing a huge amount of flavor. I let mine sit overnight in the fridge to let the flavors set in as they cooled.
Then, all you have to do is throw all of the ingredients listed above into a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are still a little chunky. If you prefer a puree…just let that food processor do its thing until your desired consistency is met. Enjoy chilled and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This recipe should make around four 11 oz. servings. Let me know what ya’ll think, or if you added anything that made this soup even better. And, remember, take a little time to nourish your body, your mind, yourself!
Many of us associate August with the joys of standing on the precipice of autumn. But, in our neck of the woods, it can bring some of the most sweltering heat of the summer. As we look forward to cooler temperatures, we often slack off when it comes to preventative sun care. It is so important to remember to use sunscreen every day, no matter what the season. But if you slip up and get burned, or if you just want a brief respite from the heat that gives your skin a little moisture boost to boot, Aloe Ice Cubes are super simple to make, and they smell great, too! If you pick up the food grade stuff, you can even put these ice cubes in your sweet ice tea (or, whatever else Yankees drink) ;).
Here’s what ya’ll need…
Aloe Gel (You can get this in gel form from the grocery store or you can scrape it out of some aloe leaves yourself)
Lavender Essential Oil
Ice Cube Tray
Pour the gel into the ice cube tray. I used Natural High Aloe Vera Gel. It is an organically grown dietary supplement that is processed to take the bitterness out of the gel. This gel is great because, unlike the stuff you get at the drugstore for sunburn, it can be ingested. The aloe leaf contains loads of nutrients and active compounds that have been shown to support digestive health, healthy immune function, cardiovascular health, detoxification and weight loss. So, using a food grade gel in your ice cubes allows you to add this miracle plant (a common name for aloe vera) to your morning smoothie or even your evening nightcap. After the gel, add one drop of lavender essential oil to each cube. I used, as always, doTerra essential oil. It is a 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oil, which can be used topically, as well as as a dietary supplement. Meaning, in short, you can eat the stuff. I also added some dried lavender to my cubes for a pretty touch of purple, and I found that they rose to the top, giving the cubes a light exfoliating texture when applied topically to the skin. Give each pocket in your tray a little stir with a butter knife to make sure it’s all evenly distributed, and stick it in the freezer. I left mine overnight and woke to find my lovely, frosty cubes ready to be used. I thoroughly enjoyed using them to cool off on the front porch, and I am glad to know they’re there if I forget to slather on the sunscreen and get little pink. They smell lovely and they make your skin feel smoother and softer almost instantly. I hope you’ll try this one out and let me know how they worked for you. And, remember, take a little time to nourish your body, your mind, yourself!
Brace yourselves, ya’ll, because this natural deodorant is going to change your life…well…at least that’s what it did for me. Honestly, everyone’s body is different, so it might not work for you the way it did for me, but, as most of you who don’t like to put strange chemicals in or on your body know, it is really difficult to find a natural, safe deodorant that actually works. I’ll admit it…I’m a pretty smelly gal, and I tend to sweat profusely when I am being active, especially during the dog days of summer, which are excruciatingly upon us. Here in the South, it can be particularly difficult to keep cool and dry this time of year, so I have always resigned myself to stinkiness…but not anymore!
Most deodorants contain scarey ingredients that I have to check my spelling on, such as aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates, or triclosan. Some of these ingredients have been linked to hormonal imbalance, birth defects, organ toxicity, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. That list has always been enough for me to reach for the natural stuff, which doesn’t really work but is convenient to buy from any natural health food store, and now they are even becoming more widely available at many grocery stores and pharmacies. However, their lack of an ability to keep the funk at bay led me to seek out something I could make at home and test out the results.
We combed the interwebs for recipes and found some common ingredients that seemed to be used in many of them. We cherry picked the one’s that seemed to get the best results and came up with the following recipe, and it is by far the best natural deodorant I have ever used…
1/4 cup Baking Soda
1/4 cup Arrowroot Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
5-10 drops each of Essential Oil of your choice (I used lavender and peppermint)
Mix the dry ingredients together first. I used Bob’s Red Mill baking soda and arrowroot flour. Then add the coconut oil and essential oils. I used Dr. Bronner’s Magic “All-One!” Fair Trade & Organic, Fresh-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil and Doterra essential oils. Lavender is a nice choice for its calming quality for both the skin and the mind, and peppermint has a lovely cooling effect. And…they smell great together, but feel free to experiment to create your own signature scent.
I tested it out on a long, very warm, walk around the Gaia studio gardens and surrounding neighborhood. I’ll be honest…this is not an antiperspirant…I was sweating like a whore in church! But, I still smelled like a minty lavender field! I was sold. I have continued to use it over the course of the past week, and the creamy coconut oil seems to help keep my skin soft and razor bump free, as well. The Southern Nomad post will feature photos and a map from that walk on Saturday, so be sure to check back in and read about our little corner of the universe.
For those of you who prefer a spray deodorant to the creamy texture of the first recipe, we also tested out this simple recipe…
10 drops each of Lavender, Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Frankincense oils
6 ounces of distilled water
The lavender, again has a wonderfully calming effect. The rosemary, tea tree and frankincense oils are all traditionally used as natural antiseptics and antifungal treatments. And, frankincense oil has also been praised for its anti-aging qualities, helping to decrease the visibility of scars and stretch marks when applied topically to the skin. So, while this deodorant will lack a creamy texture, the same skin benefits can be expected, and the frankincense adds a lovely woodsy scent that is appealing to both men and women. This one worked just as well as the cream, but I have found that I prefer the texture of the cream to the spray. Try them both and let us know what you think! And, remember, take a little time to nourish your body, your mind, yourself!