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

April ’16 Running Playlist

Happy Weekend, y’all!

Since I’m in the midst of training for the Broad Street Run, I figured that I would share one of my favorite running playlists with you. While nearly everybody requires great music to get them through a workout, I really do when it comes to running. I am not a natural runner by any means, and working my way up to even 10 miles is a challenge. Thus, the better the music, the better I perform. If I have an awesome playlist to look forward to, I’m that much more motivated to get my butt outside and run my little heart out.

If you run roughly a 10-minute mile such as myself, this playlist is perfect for a four-miler. If you’re a Speedy Gonzalez, my apologies. If you give this playlist a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! What songs do you recommend that I add to my May running playlist?

Top 10 Food and Beverage Instagram Accounts

People often ask me where my love of food and beverage comes from. The reason is threefold:

  1. My mom’s side of the family is obsessed with food. As such, it’s something that I grew up with. It is through my family that I learned that food is a surefire way to get people together and make memories around the table.
  2. I was a server at several upscale restaurants from the ages of 15 to 24. Those experiences are where my interest in obscure ingredients and the technical aspects of cooking and baking grew even deeper.
  3. I follow many incredible food- and beverage-related accounts on Instagram. It is through these that I seek inspiration and learn something new almost every day. When I explain this reason to people, the next question is typically, “Which are some of your favorite accounts to follow?” After struggling to come up with some of my favorite accounts on the fly, I was inspired to create an organized and well-thought-out list.

I must say that compiling this list wasn’t easy. To narrow it down to just 10 of my favorite accounts was a challenge. While each of the accounts that I selected has its own flair, you’ll probably notice that I am drawn to fresh and local ingredients, stunning photography, vibrant colors, and creative twists on classics. What I ultimately love about all of these accounts is that they make it quite obvious that healthy food doesn’t have to be limiting or boring. In fact, the food and beverage featured in these accounts are anything but.

So, in no particular order…

Alpha Foodie

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDDE7hpK2cy/?taken-by=alphafoodie&hl=en

Half Baked Harvest

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDMQSZbgOn5/?taken-by=halfbakedharvest&hl=en

Cravings in Amsterdam

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCBfFiBqW_P/?taken-by=cravingsinamsterdam&hl=en

Feed Me Dearly

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDi3lXxMJ9u/?taken-by=feedmedearly&hl=en

Ful-filled

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCtNFEoBk3M/?taken-by=ful.filled&hl=en

Madeline Lu

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCaQm0qlZcN/?taken-by=lumadeline&hl=en

Reclaiming Yesterday

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCwT5x8Fw1Q/?taken-by=reclaimingyesterday&hl=en

The Delicious Life

https://www.instagram.com/p/BC_lRanjr_2/?taken-by=thedelicious&hl=en

Circa Happy

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBnFyCgvAhd/?taken-by=circahappy&hl=en

Elsa’s Wholesome Life

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBxA2JOP66r/?taken-by=elsas_wholesomelife&hl=en

Green Tea and Papaya Kombucha

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For as long as I can remember, my friends have lovingly teased me for being a hippie. Well, I’m sure this post will put them over the edge. While I certainly don’t categorize myself as one, I will be the first to admit that I’m a big fan of self-sufficiency. In a world where everything we could possibly want and need is at our fingertips, I find self-sufficiency that much more rewarding.

To my own surprise, I did not become a diehard kombucha fan until recently. While I’d known about it and occasionally sipped on it for years, it wasn’t until a few months back that I began to crave it on the daily. One day, I was buying a couple bottles at Whole Foods when the cashier clued me in on just how easy and cost-effective it is to make your own. We quickly became SCOBY friends, and she hooked me up with a SCOBY of my own.

Now that I’ve made my own, I’ll admit that while the process is quite simple, it requires a boatload of patience. One batch takes about a week and a half to ferment, but it is so worth it! I plan on making batches continuously so that I am never without my precious booch.

Aside from kombucha’s uniquely strange, yet satisfying taste, it’s super good for you. Long story short, it’s an immune- and energy-boosting elixir that detoxifies the liver, prevents and treats arthritis, aids in digestion, and improves gut health. Plus, despite being an avid h2o drinker, it’s sometimes nice to sip on something flavored. Speaking of which, the options are endless when it comes to flavoring kombucha, which makes prepping your own that much more exciting.

Delving into this process would have been extremely intimidating had I not received pointers from my trusty Whole Foods cashier and one of my new kitchen books, Kombucha Revolution. While their advice was invaluable, the goal of this post is to combine what I’ve learned in a concise and straightforward way. If you have any questions or an idea for a flavor that I can make for future posts, I’d love for you to leave a comment! In the meantime, happy brewing. :)

Note: Although I used green tea, black tea and oolong tea work great as well. Similarly, while I used papaya purée, any fruit purée will do. Also, your secondary fermentation period may vary considerably depending on the type of fruit purée that is used. Be sure to taste-test your kombucha for desired carbonation level before transferring to the fridge. For instance, papaya takes about 48 hours, whereas mango takes about 96. 

What you’ll need:

Ingredients

  • 14 cups filtered water
  • 20 green tea bags
  • 1 cup pure cane sugar
  • 2 cups unflavored kombucha (I used GT’s Original)
  • 2 tbsp. raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast)
  • 1/2 a papaya

Supplies

What you’ll do:

Primary Fermentation

  • In a large pot, bring 6 cups of filtered water to a boil; once boiling, turn the heat off and steep the tea bags, covering the pot with a lid, for approximately 5 minutes; discard the tea bags
  • Stir the sugar into the tea until dissolved; then, stir in the remaining 8 cups of filtered water
  • Once the tea mixture has reached room temperature (this is crucial, as temperatures above room temperature will kill your SCOBY), stir in the starter kombucha and apple cider vinegar
  • Pour the mixture into the jar, being sure to leave about 1 inch of air; place the SCOBY on top and secure the lid; store in a warm, dark place and allow to ferment for one week

Secondary Fermentation

  • Prep your papaya by scooping out the seeds and discarding; scoop out the flesh and add to a blender; blend until smooth and, using a funnel without the strainer attachment, divide the papaya puree among the six bottles
  • Using a funnel with the strainer attachment, add approximately 2 cups of kombucha to each bottle and cap, being sure to leave about 1 inch of air; store in a warm, dark place for at least 48 hours (see note above)
  • Immerse the SCOBY in 2 cups of kombucha and set aside for your next batch; this will serve as the starter kombucha
  • Transfer your kombucha to the fridge and allow to refrigerate for at least 6 hours; then, you’re ready to crack open a bottle and enjoy your homemade booch! 

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Fire Cider

A little over a year ago, I had the pleasure of attending a medicinal herbs workshop with my mom. It was hosted by Herban Mama at Greensgrow Farms. Speaking of Greensgrow, I miss my summer CSA! Anywho, at the workshop, we learned how to make elderberry syrup and fire cider. I loved them both, but felt the fire cider to be much more powerful. As such, I decided to make a big jar once it finally got cold this winter. 

Of course, my recipe is based off of Herban Mama’s, and her informative post can be found here. If you’re curious, she goes into the nitty gritty as to why fire cider is so effective. However, in short, its ingredients make for an immune-boosting powerhouse. 

I strive to take a daily dose of fire cider during the cooler months. Generally, that means one tablespoon, but if I feel like I’m coming down with something, I’ll bump it up to two tablespoons. Considering its name, it’s no surprise that you feel the burn on its way down to your tummy. However, its taste is something that I’ve learned to enjoy, and more importantly, it works! I didn’t get sick once last year, and that’s coming from someone who works in a hospital. 

What you’ll need:

  • 5 habanero peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 15 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, sliced 
  • 1/4 lb. fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 lb. fresh horseradish, roughly chopped
  • Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar

What you’ll do:

  • Fill a quart-sized jar with the solid ingredients and cover with apple cider vinegar
  • Place a piece of parchment paper over the opening of the jar and secure the lid; label and date
  • Allow to cure in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks, being sure to give the jar a good shake every several days
  • After the mixture has cured, strain it through a cheesecloth and transfer the liquid to a pint-sized jar
  • Discard the solid pieces or reuse them for a new batch; this can be done up to two times