DIY Dry Shampoo

Hellooooo, ladies! If you are an avid dry shampoo user such as myself, you will love this post! I am a dry shampoo junkie. I go through cans and cans and cans. Between work, school, maintaining a social life, enjoying hobbies, and working out, whose got time for daily hair washing and styling?! Quite honestly, I should have invested stock in Batiste a looooong time ago. However, as I’m on a mission to rid my apartment of all things toxic now more than ever, I almost fainted when I realized what goes into that aerosol can.

Upon researching how to make some dry shampoo of my own, I was blown away by how simple (and cheap!) it is to make. As an added bonus, I made mine with peppermint and lavender essential oils. They not only make the final product smell wonderful, but have functional benefits as well. The tingling sensation of peppermint on my scalp is also amaaaaazing! It’s truly incredible how much more I have incorporated essential oils into my life since joining the Young Living community. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time and know that I have only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of what there is to learn.

Ingredients:

  • Corn starch: adds volume
  • Baking soda: cleanses
  • Peppermint essential oil: anti-itch
  • Lavender essential oil: anti-dandruff, strengthens hair, stimulates hair growth

What you’ll need:

  • A 4 oz. powder shaker with lid (I purchased this one from Amazon and it is perfect for this project!)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • Optional for brunettes: 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to the shaker, apply the lid, and shake well
  • Shake the dry shampoo onto the roots of your hair and use your fingers to work it into your scalp; allow to sit for roughly 5 minutes
  • Once 5 minutes has elapsed, brush the remaining dry shampoo through your hair and style as usual

Cold Brew Coffee

My love affair with cold brew has spiraled out of control. It’s just so dang delicious and perfect for the warmer months. What is cold brew, you ask? For starters, cold brew is not iced coffee. Iced coffee is traditionally brewed coffee that is chilled after the fact. Cold brew, on the other hand, brews in the fridge.

Eliminating heat from the brewing process results in a less acidic, smoother, and naturally sweeter cup of coffee. It’s naturally sweet enough, in fact, that I don’t feel the need to add sugar. Let’s just say that is not the case with traditionally-brewed coffee.

The best part about cold brew is that it’s extremely simple and cost-effective to make at home. Now, I don’t have to rely on my local coffee shops for a cup of joe that I can easily prepare on my own. From now on I’ll venture over only when my heart desires a fancy latte or the like. Enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 cups ground coffee
  • 6 cups filtered water

What you’ll do:

  • Combine coffee and water in an airtight container; store in the refrigerator overnight
  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth; discard the cheesecloth and grounds
  • Pour the liquid into a 1 liter bottle; store in the refrigerator

Pro tip: Make ice cubes from your cold brew because nobody likes watered-down coffee. ;) I got this mold from Amazon.

Chanticleer Garden

Yesterday, I had a wonderful Sunday with my mom and brother. We started the day off at Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, PA. It was my first time visiting, and it quickly became no wonder that it’s touted as one of the loveliest gardens in the world. After a yummy picnic on the estate lawn, we aimlessly walked around the garden’s 28 acres.

After spending almost five hours at Chanticleer, we worked up an appetite and headed to nearby From the Boot for delicious Italian food. The fresh-cut gnocchi was easily my favorite item that we tried.

Lastly, we ended our day by seeing The Jungle Book in 3D. It was fantastic! For those of you who have seen it, can we talk about those baby wolves?!?!? [Insert heart eyes emoji here.] Also, since when does Regal have reclining seats? Those things are a game changer.

Of course, I took countless photos at Chanticleer Garden and would like to share my favorite shots with you. To narrow them down to a reasonable number proved to be a challenge since there was beauty everywhere. I hope you enjoy them!

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May ’16 Alternative Playlist

Happy Saturday, guys! Let me just cut to the chase and say that, if you’re an alternative music fan, this playlist is everything. Like, I’m obsessed with every single song on it. It includes all of my favorite alternative songs as of late and, in my humble opinion, includes the perfect mix of upbeat and mellow. Feel free to let me know of any new(ish) songs/artists I might be missing out on. Enjoy! :)

A Philadelphia Native’s Guide to the City of Brotherly Love

Taken on the Ben Franklin Bridge

I have been wanting to write this post for over a year, so I’m super excited to share it with you guys! I grew up in the Philly ‘burbs, but found myself venturing into the city often. Between family functions in South Philly and exploring the rest of the city as much as possible, Philadelphia has always been a source of pride for me. Now, I’m going on three years of living in Society Hill, which is a quaint and historic Center City neighborhood. I love Philadelphia now more than ever.

When I travel, I use various sources, such as TripAdvisor and Yelp, to help me plan my trips. My favorite sources, however, are guides that I find on blogs through Pinterest. I particularly love guides written by locals and find their tips to be invaluable. So, being that I’m so passionate about Philadelphia, I decided to create a guide of my own.

First and foremost, Philadelphia has an incredible (and perhaps, underrated) food scene. I’ve traveled to many cities in the U.S., and few are rivals for Philadelphia when it comes to food. While dining out is one of my favorite things to do, I am still eating my way through this city since my list of places to try is ever-growing. As such, I will be the first to admit that the lists that I’ve compiled are not all-inclusive. Instead, I only included restaurants and bars that I have tried and absolutely loved. Although, I must admit that I have never heard anything negative about Laurel and Vetri.

Further, I omitted quintessential “Philly things,” like trying cheesesteaks at Pat’s and/or Geno’s. While I wholeheartedly agree that you should try at least one Philly cheesesteak while you’re visiting, I encourage you to opt for Jim’s or Tony Luke’s. I also omitted the obvious, such as visiting the Liberty Bell and City Hall. Although they are totally worth checking out, I’m sure they’re listed in just about every Philadelphia guide book out there.

As a Philadelphia native, my hope is to provide you with information that guide books might not, making your stay unique and unforgettable. If I’m lucky, you’ll even realize why Philadelphians have so much pride for their city. If you have any questions, ask away!

Best Brunch/Lunch/Casual Spots

  • Green Eggs Café
  • Cheu Noodle Bar
  • Wedge + Fig
  • Federal Donuts
  • Bud + Marilyn’s
  • Dizengoff
  • Buena Onda
  • Hawthorne’s Biercafé
  • V-Street
  • Nomad Pizza
  • Tria Café

Because 🍕+🍻 on St. Paddy's Day makes a whole lotta sense. 🍀🌈🎉

A post shared by Lauren Novak (@l_novak) on

Taken at Nomad Pizza

Best Dinner Spots

  • Talula’s Garden
  • Barbuzzo
  • Pumpkin (BYOB)
  • Amada
  • Vernick
  • High Street on Market
  • Zahav
  • Double Knot
  • Zama
  • Vedge
  • Little Fish (BYOB)
  • Kanella

And to think that this was only the first course. 💃 #salatim #hummus #laffa

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Taken at Zahav

Best Drink Spots

  • Continental Midtown
  • Charlie Was a Sinner
  • Time (live jazz!)
  • Independence Beer Garden (seasonal)
  • The Dandelion
  • Frankford Hall
  • Heritage (live jazz!)
  • Monk’s Café
  • Hop Sing Laundromat
  • Franky Bradley’s
  • The Good King Tavern
Taken at Heritage

Best Things to Do

Antiquing with Danny boy 😁

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Taken at the Philadelphia Flea Market