Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Restful tea recipe and how to brew and store tea

I have been making this blend to help my husband sleep. This tea is flavorful and nicely calming. For my husbands tea I use chamomile as a base, but since I have read quite a bit that pregnant women shouldn't use chamomile, I use Red Bush tea for my base. (consult with your Midwife or Dr. before trying any herbal teas.) Red bush tea has many health benefits to it and is so sweet and delicious on its own. Read about red tea HERE.I buy all of my herbs in bulk because I like to make my own tea blends and also make herbal infusions to put in my beauty products. If you have a store that sells herbs in bulk you will likely be able to purchase only the amount you need rather than huge quantities.

2 Tbsp of chamomile flowers
1 1/2 Tbsp of passion flower
1 tsp of lavender flowers
1 Tbsp of rose flowers (optional)
1 Tbsp of Red Bush tea (optional)

This will be enough to make a 4-6 cup pot of tea. Bring your water to a roaring boil, the hotter the water the more nutrients are extracted. Steep for at least 5 minutes, serve and enjoy.

When brewing tea I go by teavana's brewing times. White tea will be 3 to 5 minutes depending on the quality; green tea will take less than 1 minute to 3 minutes, and black tea will take 2 to 5 minutes. White, green, and black teas will become bitter if you use to hot of water or steep the tea for to long.
If you want a stronger flavor use more tea. Do not extend the brewing time.
You always want to follow the times recommended on bagged teas because they are often times in cardboard boxes instead of tins and are from scraps or "tea dust". However, not all boxed teas are inferior. There are plenty that are supper yummy, you will just need to use them up much sooner or transfer the bags to a tin.
To properly store your tea keep it in a sealed airtight container in a cool place. If it is in a glass container make sure it is from amber glass or stored in a dark spot. Tins work marvelously at preserving tea. I have a couple of teas that I keep in the refrigerator because they are very high quality and refrigeration helps to keep them better preserved. If you do put any dried teas in the refrigerator make sure that is is air tight so that no moisture gets in. You don't want moldy tea.

Happy brewing, and don't forget to subscribe via email, google, or blogger over on the side if you want more diy's, recipes, healthy living tips and whatever else I decide to post.

Monday, July 22, 2013

8 tips for healthy hair

Many of us want hair that is thicker and longer, or maybe we just have problems with breakage or just need a few tips on how to detangle those unruly locks.  Hopefully this post will have some tips to help you out.

My number one tip is to brush your hair really well morning and night and to braid your hair every night. This may seam like a lot of work for some of you, but once you get the hang of it it is a really great way to relax and de-stress before bed. At night, start by brushing your hair from the ends working upwards so that the knots from the top don't tangle with the knots near the bottom. Once the knots are out brush from the roots of the hair down to the ends. This distributes your hairs natural oils so that your hair is less greasy and the ends stay healthier and conditioned. Brushing the scalp also stimulates the hair to grow. Try to brush your hair with 50 to 100 strokes. Then braid your hair so that it doesn't get pulled and tangled during the night to prevent breaking. I prefer a side braid for comfort. In the morning brush your hair just to stimulate the scalp and to distribute the hairs oils, about 20 to 50 strokes.

A biggy for preventing breakage is to not brush your hair when it is wet and to only use a wide tooth comb to comb your hair when it is wet. Brushes and smaller toothed combs pull and stretch then break the hair when it is wet.

Rosemary and peppermint stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth. Rubbing these oils into the scalp help to combat baldness as well as helping your hair to grow longer.

Another fabulous agent for promoting hair thickness as well as strength is gelatin. You can take it as a supplement by mixing a tablespoon in water and drinking it. Click HERE to read more about the many benefits of gelatin.

Use sulfate free shampoo. Sulfates remove the hairs natural oils and dries it out. This makes the scalp produce extra oil to compensate leaving your hail oily. This makes it so that you need to wash your hair everyday. Your hair needs its natural oils to be able to stay healthy, you will be more likely to have dry ends which will need to be cut off removing the length that you have gotten. Perhaps not all of it but if your goal is to grow your hair longer then you might as well use a shampoo that will help you rather than hinder your growth. Hair conditioners help, but they don't work nearly as well as your natural oils.Click HERE for more on sulfate free shampoo and the no poo method.

I rinse my hair with apple cider vinegar for conditioner. This makes my hair so soft and shiny. If you want to make it help your hair grow, add in some rosemary and let it sit for 3 weeks so that the rosemary infuses with the vinegar.

If your ends are dry or you have fly aways use a nourishing oil such as olive, coconut, or jojoba. I like macadamia and jojoba because they are similar to the hairs natural oil and they just work best for me.
Styling your hair with heat such as blow drying, curling irons, and flat irons damage your hair making it more prone to breaking. Back combing your hair also makes your hair more prone to breaking.

If you have any questions leave a comment or email me, also if you want more diy's, recipes, health tips, and more every week don't forget to subscribe at the side via email or through blogger or google. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A book and a recipe

I read "The Fault In Our Stars" By John Green yesterday. Let me tell you, it is one of the best books I have ever read. Though it is a young adult book, adults would love it too. This book is narrated by a 16 year old girl with terminal cancer who meets a boy at a cancer support group. The two make a hilarious and insightful duo that ask and attempt to answer so many questions that most of us don't think about because we oftentimes like to think ourselves invincible or at least years from death. Yes, their is a lot of melancholy to this book, some might even call it down right depressing, but it is beautiful non the less. This book had me laughing even during the darkest moments. Truthfully I laughed far more than I cried, which really helped to give it a balance that left my heart feeling light.

Now for a recipe. This is just a simple way to cook eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes.
Slice up your veggies width wise so that you form circles. You will want them to be about 1/4 of an inch thick, but my husband likes them to be more like 1/2 an inch thick.

For the sauce you will need to pure 8 ripe tomatoes with 5 sun dried tomatoes that have bean soaked, 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt, pepper, 1-2 cloves of garlic, and a small handful of basil.

Pore a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a pan and put down a layer of veggies. A layer of sauce, a layer of veggies. Continue until you have reached the top but make sure you have sauce on the top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 min to one hour.
*When preparing eggplant make sure to drain the bitters. Put down a layer of paper towel with salt on it, and your eggplant, more salt, and more paper towel. Make as many layers as needed and put some bricks or canned food on top to squeeze out the bitter juices. Depending on how thick the slices are it takes usually takes 1 to 4 hours. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Basic Quiche recipe

Today I realized that I have never posted a quiche recipe. Which really, is quite a shame because I love quiche and make it all the time, especially in early fall because it gets me back into the baking mood. Quiche is so versatile and you can make it for any meal. Basically whatever type of food you'r in the mood for, you can make a quiche to go with it. If you want a Mexican quiche then cilantro, green chilies, cumin, Mexican cheese and whatever sounds good can go in. Even some beans if that sounds good to you. For an Italian quiche doing a margarita style with mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes tastes great! You can go with a home style quiche with bacon and cheese or even sausage. Greens such as kale and spinach taste great too. I like to use amaranth greens in place of spinach because it grows much better in the summer than spinach. I usually just use whatever needs to be used up. You can always cook the veggies first, especially if you want caramelized onions, but the only veggies that you must cook before are root vegetables and squash. (Zucchini and yellow squash don't need to be cooked before hand) harder vegetables need to be cut up small so that they will cook. 

What you need is:
1 pie crust (if it is homemade then bake it for 10 min)
4 eggs (if you don't have very many fillings then you will need 5)
1/2 cup of whole milk
1/2 cup of cream
Whatever fillings you want

Bake at 350 for about an hour or until a knife comes out clean. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Solid perfume diy

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I have an old locket with solid perfume in it, and I wanted to do that with some of my other ones. This diy is so easy and only requires 3 ingredients, Beeswax, Essential oil of choice, and either mango, shea, coconut, or cocoa butter. 1 oz of this will make about 4 lockets full of perfume.
The Ratio:
1-2 parts beeswax to 3 parts oil. 5-10 drops of essential oil for every oz of butter and beeswax.
The amount of beeswax used depends on how easy your butter melts. For example cocoa needs more like 1 part where coconut needs more like 2.

In a double broiler, melt the beeswax. Once it is melted melt the oil in with it. I use a chopstick to stir it. Then take the measuring cup (I use an old jar usually) out of the water and stir in the essential oil. 

Here I put it into a locket.
I also put some in small lip balm containers.