Grapefruit Kombucha Recipe

IMG_0788 (1)After you have finished brewing your own Kombucha, you can flavor and carbonate it to make one tasty and healthy drink. My personal favorite flavor is grapefruit – it’s very refreshing and compliments the Kombucha perfectly.

Ingredients for one 16 oz bottle:

  • Juice of half of a medium grapefruit
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Kombucha

Instructions:

  1. Add the grapefruit juice to the 16 oz bottle.
  2. Next add the sugar.
  3. Fill the bottles with the Kombucha, leaving about 1/2 inch or more of room.
  4. Cap the bottles and leave them at room temperature for about 3 days or so depending on how carbonated you like your Kombucha.
  5. Refrigerate after carbonation phase and open to enjoy. Remember – don’t shake the bottle!

Schmidt’s Deodorant: Scents Ranked

I’m absolutely obsessed with Schmidt’s Deodorant. It’s the only natural deodorant that I have found that gets the job done. Please please please do NOT buy Tom’s of Maine – a coworker of mine was using it until a client told her she smelled terrible (she really did) and I turned her onto Schmidt’s. I can usually still smell it the next day. It takes about 2 weeks for your body to get used to going aluminum free, but trust me it is worth it. To get over the hump, I carried a travel stick with me and reapplied throughout the day. Also, be careful to not over apply because that can cause irritation. I very much prefer the Sensitive Skin formula, but several of my friends swear by the Signature formula. Each formula comes in a few different scents and this is how they stack up IMO.

Signature Formula: 

1. Rose and Vanilla – My absolute favorite scent – I only wish that they made it in the sensitive skin formula. Smells like a bouquet of fresh roses with a hint of sweet vanilla.

2. Lavender and Sage – I once read that the combination of Lavender and Pumpkin Spice is randomly very attractive to men. Well, you can get at least half of that scent combo down with this deodorant.

3. Bergamot and Lime – Very fresh smelling. The lime comes through more than the bergamot. Bright and citrusy.

4. Charcoal and Magnesium – According to the Schmidt’s website this is their best seller, but I think that is due to the Activated Charcoal more than it is the fragrance. Scent reminiscent of freshly fallen rain.

5. Ylang Ylang and Calendula – Sweet with floral notes.

6. Cedarwood and Juniper – Is warm and woody. The most masculine of the scents.

RoseLav SageBerg LimeCharcoalYlangCedar

Sensitive Skin Formula:

1. Jasmine Tea – I don’t really know how to describe this scent (the company website says “rapturous notes of jasmine, with delicate and sophisticated undertones of green tea”) – all I know is that I love it. I’m literally wearing it right now.

2. Geranium Flower – Floral scents can be divisive, but I personally love geraniums.

3. Coconut Pineapple – Feels like you are on an island getaway sipping a piña colada.

4. Lavender Tips – Smells exactly like calming lavender – very clean and floral.

5. Tea Tree – Smells like Tea Tree, which if you are into that is fine I guess.

6. Fragrance Free – Available in both the Regular and Sensitive Skin formulas, I think it pretty much goes without saying that this is most underwhelming scent.

Jasmine TeaGeranCoco PineappleLav TipsTea TreeFF SS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Salmon Recipe

I have tried every recipe out there for salmon. I saw this method on one of my favorite cooking shows and decided to give it a try. My boyfriend at the time fancied himself to be quite a foodie and shook his head at me when I put the salmon into the cold pan. He tried to mansplain to me that cast iron skillets need to be ripping hot before you put the food in it, but he ate his words (and ate what he called the most succulent salmon he had ever had). Bonus: the only ingredients you need are a piece of salmon, salt, and pepper.

1. Brine the salmon in 2 quarts water and 1/2 cup kosher salt for about 15 minutes in covered container

2. Meanwhile, in a cold non stick skillet (I use a Lodge Cast Iron Skillet), add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper (this helps the salmon not stick to the pan)

3. Remove salmon from brine, pat it dry, and add it to the cold pan skin side down

4. Season the flesh with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper

5. Turn heat on to medium high and cook salmon for 6-8 minutes

6. Flip salmon and keep on medium high heat for another 6-8 minutes (or until it reaches 125℉)

7. Serve salmon skin side up to keep the skin crispy (I like to serve it with parsnip purée and roasted asparagus)

Buckwheat Pillows: a Game Changer for Neck Pain

I first found out about this miracle pillow when I was getting a massage. I suffered from pinched nerves in my neck and always attributed it to my poor posture (tall girl problems). Then my massage therapist Ylva asked me what kind of pillow I was using.

My feather pillow that I had at the time was PAPER thin and I never really thought about how much damage it was doing. Ylva is from the Philippines and recommended that I get a buckwheat pillow (apparently they are very popular in Asia), which is exactly as it sounds – a pillow made out of actual buckwheat hulls in a zippered case. I hopped on Amazon immediately after the session and purchased the Beans 72 Organic Buckwheat Pillow.

I’m not going to lie, it took a little while to get used to, but I’m so glad that I stuck it out. After years of sleeping on the Calista Flockhart of pillows, I finally had something that put my neck into proper alignment.  One of the best things about the pillow is that you can take out or add the buckwheat hulls to customize how thick you want it. It’s ability to conform has been know to alleviate many common problems such as muscle pain, headaches, and stiff neck.

Since my little angel Ylva changed my life, I have told a zillion clients (I too am a Massage Therapist) about these pillows and even bought my mother one for Christmas. I know I know – a pillow under the tree sounds like the adult equivalent of getting wool socks and underwear from your weird aunt Sally when you were a kid, but what is better than the gift of no more pain?!

Travel Size

Japanese Size

Queen Size

King Size

Travel Size Pillow Cover

Japanese Size Pillow Cover

Queen Size Pillow Cover

King Size Pillow Cover

How to Save the Planet Without Really Trying

It’s hard to watch the news these days and not get an overwhelming feeling that the world is going to 💩. That’s why it is important that we all do our part to make a difference and reduce our carbon footprints. Now I’m not the type of girl who is going to go live in a tree house and give up all modern conveniences, but I have made a few easy changes because every little bit helps. I became fanatical about composting (more on that in a later post) and got the following cute items in an attempt to become the kind of girl that Leonardo DiCaprio would adore (minus the Victoria’s Secret angel wings):
1. Glass Straws:
I’m obsessed with straws. I would drink wine out of a straw if it was socially acceptable. Unfortunately, sea turtles don’t love them as much because they choke on plastic. I tried the whole paper straw thing, but they went limp in my drink faster than a man in a cold shower. Solution: reusable straws.  I know a few friends who love metal straws, but I personally prefer glass. The ones I got are dishwasher safe, come with a little pipe cleaner, and look super chic. Most people are afraid that glass straws will break on them, but I have had these for years without any issues (and my devious cat is always knocking things off of my counter). They come in both Straight and Bent versions.

                                           81dZZ13N0sL._SX679_                Bent Straws

2. The FinalStraw:
I know I know, 2 minutes ago I said I prefer glass to metal when it comes to straws, but they don’t make a travel glass straw, so sue me. I got this little pocket sized gem during a VERY successful kickstarter campaign and am anxiously awaiting its arrival so I can tell the bartender to hold the straw.
FinalStraw
3. Food Storage Bags:
I used to rinse out my ziploc bags and reuse them (tragic), but I figured there had to be a better option out there. Then one night I was watching Shark Tank and the Stasher was featured. Well let’s just say that Mark Cuban and I both bought what they were pitching. The Stasher is a reusable zip-top storage bag made of food-grade silicone. The bag is self-sealing and it can go in the freezer, microwave, oven, boiling water, and (most importantly) the dishwasher.
Stasher
4. Vegetable Storage:
Before I discovered the Stasher, I purchased these cute vegetable storage containers in my attempts to eliminate plastic ziploc bags. They come in a set of 3 – Onion, Avocado, and Tomato. Now you’ll never have brown avocado on your toast again.
Avocado Keeper

5. Reusable Cotton Rounds:

You didn’t think this post was going to be all about straws did you? I use these reusable cotton rounds with my favorite Bioderma Micellar Water to remove dirt and makeup from my face (perfect for those nights when I’m too lazy and/or drunk to wash my face in the sink). They come with a little laundry bag so you can just throw it in the wash for easy cleaning.
Cotton Pads
6. Reusable Produce Bags:
Everyone these days has reusable grocery totes. Well it is time to take it to the next level and get reusable produce bags to match. I got mine at Whole Foods a few months ago on an impulse buy and have since found them on Amazon for much cheaper (hate when that happens). I can’t even tell you how many times the friendly cashiers at Trader Joe’s have commented on how smart they are. I always keep mine in my grocery tote (along with about 3 or 4 old receipts that somehow never manage to be tossed) so everything is ready to go.
Reusable Produce Bags
7. Swiffer Wet Jet Cloths:
These just slip over your regular swiffer wet jet and can be tossed in the wash. If you clean your floors frequently like I do (thanks to my fur babies), these bad boys will pay for themselves in no time.
Swiffer Wet Cloths
8. Roomba Wet Cloths:
When I’m too lazy to swiffer, I have an iRobot Braava, the mop version of the Roomba. Similar to the swiffer, these also have reusable cloths that can be thrown into the wash.
Braava Pads
9. Dryer Balls:
Eliminate the need for dryer sheets and simultaneously cut down on dryer time with these wool dryer balls. As they tumble around in the dryer, wool dryer balls lift and separate laundry allowing the hot air to circulate better.  Toss them into the dryer and your clothing will dry faster, fluffier and softer, with fewer wrinkles and less static cling. You can also add essential oils to them for a scent boost.
 Dryer Balls
10. Drying Rack:
If you want to go one step further, you can skip the dryer all together and get yourself a drying rack. I’m not fortunate enough to have a dryer in my apartment and have to go to a laundromat, so I can’t even tell you how much money this has saved me (not to mention how much energy it has saved).
Drying Rack
11. Paper Towels:
Now these are extreme even for me, but if you are really committed, these are a great thing to add to your Amazon cart. These are a great substitute for jobs that can’t really be done by rags or dish towels. One roll can replace over 400 rolls of regular paper towels – that’s some serious green. Now reusable toilet paper would be where I would really draw the line…
Bambooee