Friday, February 19, 2016

Olive oil & honey sugar scrub ♥

One of my resolutions this year was to take better care of my skin.  I've always been pretty good about moisturizing, but last year I had gotten very lazy.  If I was too tired at night to take my makeup off I would just let it go and I would always feel bad about it in the morning.  My skin would feel dry and dehydrated. And there is nothing beautiful about waking up with mascara smeared across your face.  Ugh.  I make a conscious effort to not let that happen anymore and since I wear makeup everyday I have to be good about washing and moisturizing day and night.
(no matter how tired I am...)

A few months ago I decided to try this homemade sugar scrub.  Sugar scrubs are great because they are natural and chemical free.  They remove dead skin and leave your skin looking brighter and healthier.  I've incorporated a sugar scrub into my weekly routine and it's working wonders. Especially during this winter.  I don't know what's worse - the harsh, frigid outdoor air or the dry heat in the house.  Either way I needed some help and this was the answer. 
Here's the secret...
I chose a scrub made with olive oil.  You make think of olive oil as just a staple for your pantry but it's also a staple for your makeup bag as well.  Olive oil is an antioxidant, won't clog pores, and is an exfoliating enhancer.  It's effects will leave your skin looking renewed and glowing. Go figure!
This recipe also contains honey.  Honey can do wonders for you skin, which is why you find it in so many beauty products.  Honey acts as an anti-aging agent and moisturizer.  It also has the ability to absorb and retain moisture and this helps to keep the skin well hydrated. 
Since I had never put olive oil or honey on my skin (my face!) I was a little worried that I might break out. I'm happy to say I did not.  In fact my skin has never felt better!

Here is the formula I use:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of honey
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Mix all the ingredients together until you get a gritty wet sand consistency.  (Add a little more olive oil if needed) 

Store in an airtight container.  I put mine in a glass jar ♥

Use your scrub 2 - 3 times a week.  I take it in the shower with me so I can use it on my face, neck, elbows, and feet. 
It's amazing!
My skin feels silky soft and not greasy at all.  I feel like all the moisture has just been put back into my skin and it's fantastic! I'm so glad I tried it  ♥
Who would have thought that something so simple and inexpensive could make such a big difference.  I am also drinking a lot more water (sometimes with lemon) and that's making a huge difference too!
Now if I could just do something about my hair....
more to come soon! wink, wink : )

Sunday, February 7, 2016

What happened?

So there I was on Monday, a beautiful 64 degree day, enjoying the sunshine and the early signs of spring....and then all of a sudden....
This happened.  whaaaat?
We woke up Friday morning to our first big winter storm of the season.
I knew it was too good to be true.  No free passes for us this year.  : )
I'm not going to say it wasn't pretty.  Because it was.
And I'm not going to say I didn't enjoy staying in my pajamas all day, because I did ♥

I just wasn't expecting it.  Mother Nature is certainly tricky, isn't she?!

It snowed all day and when all was said and done we had about 8 inches of snow on the ground.  We were lucky that we did not lose power, as a lot of others did. 

The world suddenly turned into a winter wonderland!
As you can see some of us were quite happy to have a snow day (no school!!!!).

And while the boys were outside, I stayed in where it was warm and baked lemon buttermilk scones, which are SO YUMMY! I'll be posting the recipe soon ♥

By Saturday morning the sun was out and the roads were all clear.  We were able to get back out into the world again. 
But everything looks different.  Bright & White!

I'm hearing talk that more snow is expected this week.  John is already planning for more snow days (we'll see about that) and my Mom has advised me to stock up on "milk & bread" as she always does when a storm is predicted ♥

Sometimes I daydream about living in a place like California, where it's warm all the time.  Would I miss this?  The snow? The ice? The freezing winds? 99% of the time I think I would say NO.  I would like it to be perpetual Spring all the time. 
But on nights like tonight there is a little voice inside me that has second thoughts.... ♥
I hope you are warm and cozy wherever you are! Have a happy Sunday! xo
❄ ☃ ❄
BTW - Sunday is the Superbowl but it's also Downton Abbey day in my house, so it will be a fight for the TV tonight! LOL
I'm sure I'll be huddled up in the bedroom and that's okay by me... : )

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Coconut Custard Pie ♥

 A very strange thing happened on February 1st. It was a gorgeous day! Absolutely unheard of in New England! It was 64 degrees.  I had the heat OFF and my slider open.  It was wonderful! Last year at this time we were buried under 37 feet of snow! I prefer this much better!
Since it was such a nice day I took the opportunity to put away all traces of winter in my house.  Wishful thinking, I know.  Could we be getting a free pass this year? Probably not. I'm sure we are not out the winter woods yet, but it was nice thinking about Spring, even if just for a little while.
I ran some errands in the morning and made a quick trip to Barnes & Noble.  Just long enough to get some Valentine inspiration from Jane Austen....  Thank you Jane ♥
I picked myself up some flowers at Trader Joes - along with my favorite Crumpets (but that's for another day).  Flowers always make the house feel better, don't you agree?
 Especially with a few Valentine decorations in the mix. 
I have a special love for Valentines Day décor, mostly because I adore anything with hearts on it.
Clearly ♥♥♥
I'm trying to bring little splashes of red into the living room this month. 
 The Valentine tree is back... ♥
Now onto my favorite part of the day.  I had been craving a custard pie for some reason.  Custard is one of those old fashioned desserts that is like nostalgia to me. I love that it can be made entirely by hand.  No electric mixer need. I imagine a custard pie might be something Mrs. Patmore would be whipping up in the kitchen at Downton. That actually gave me a little chuckle. 
I couldn't decide if I should make a plain custard or mix in some fruit.  (I've made a nectarine custard pie that was delicious).  I was thinking an apricot custard might be good, but I couldn't find any apricots. Strawberry would have been nice too.  In the end I went with a classic coconut custard pie.  We all love coconut in my house.  Especially me.  
Here's how I made it....


Recipe slightly adapted from Baking Bites (which is an awesome site with tons of yummy recipes! :)
Unbaked 9 inch pie crust
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted & cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl whisk together sugar, flour, and salt until well combined.  Add in eggs and mix until well incorporated.  Whisk in milk, melted butter, and vanilla.  Stir in coconut. 
Pour mixture into prepared, unbaked pie shell. 
Bake for about 50 minutes, until pie is set.
Allow to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
And there you have it.  I served mine with little dollops of whip cream on top.

The custard is very dense and I could really taste the coconut.  It was so yummy!!!

 I suppose since it's February I should have made something chocolaty, but there will be plenty of time for that. 
For now I'll put my feet up, and think about what Mrs. Patmore would make next.  
 Did they celebrate Valentine's Day in Downton times?
Yes, I believe they did. No doubt with pretty flowers and hand written notes.
And probably.... chocolate cake ♥
I hope you take time to smell the flowers and enjoy the day, wherever you are!
Happy February! ♥♥♥

Monday, February 1, 2016

January Photo Challenge Day 31: Everyday Messes ♥

January 31 is Everyday Messes.  This just proves that the boys are not the only messy ones in the house.   When baking I'm a total disaster!
I'm trying my hand at a coconut custard pie for the first time.  Aside from flour everywhere, it's going well.  I love recipes that are made all by hand.  No electric mixers needed~
Also enjoying some beautiful sunlight through the kitchen window ♥♥♥