Self-Care Sunday…

After my (tiny bit of a) Freak Out Friday, I decided I was in need of a Self-Care Sunday. Not that I’m super stressed today. I mean, after the gym and grocery shopping, I just flopped down and started watching a “That 70’s Show” marathon. BUT STILL, I feel like I need to do something beauty-wise to make me feel refreshed and ready for the work week. Kind of like a “reset” because it’s Sunday.

So, I decided to do a facial mask! Not one of the many sheet masks that I already have, I’m going to make one, fresh, from scratch. How about a…

…Spirulina-Cucumber Mask – I happen to have a sack of spirulina that I got from Nuts.com. Spirulina is an antioxidant and it’s great for the skin. It is brightening and has antibacterial properties (great for eczema). I could use some brightening. I feel as gray as my gym tee, and it’s still summer.

Spirulina Mask
I froze my cucumber slices for extra cooling…

It’s pretty obvious what’s in it and how it’s made, but…

I blend the water and cucumber and strain the mixture into about a teaspoon of spirulina powder…

Cucumber Blend

Stir it up into a mask-y paste…

Mixing Mask
I just used my brush handle to mix it…A couple of cucumber slices for my eyes there…

Apply mask to your face and neck with an clean ELF stipping brush (type of brush, optional)…

Face Paint 2
I put it in the fridge – it feels so nice and cooling…

Let it sit for 15 minutes and rinse off!

I feel brightened and refreshed already! I liked the way it felt on my skin. I might use it on my neck more often than on my face actually – I have melasma on my neck and I am constantly looking for products to make it more smooth and even looking. But, I’m not quite done for this Sunday…

A little aromatherapy would be nice…

I have a crazy collection of Yankee Candle tarts that I need to use up before I buy anymore (I put myself on a Yankee Candle “No-Buy”), so I’ll dip into it today.

Tart Collection
I am determined to use this all!!!

I’m feeling like a fresh scent…

Tart Choices
These are the types of decisions I enjoy making…

Meadow Showers it is…

Tart Burner
I guess I’m attracted to green today…

Lovely…I could use something else though…

Time for a healthy snack. I’m going to have two of my (recent) favorite things:

Fruits and Booch!

Self-Care Snack
Great sale on Kombucha at my local supermarket!

Not eating it right now, saving it for Twin Peaks tonight!

Ready for the week! Oh, and I have to leave on this note (since I was feeling Elphaba a little while ago)…

 

 

Thirsty Thursday – Summertime!

I have made some awesome beverages since the summer started. They hardly get any love on Instagram, even though the photos are gorge and they taste delish (yes, so good I have to use the shortened words)! So here they are, in their beautiful, refreshing glory…

We’ll start with Beet-Ginger Lemonade

Beet Ginger Lemonade
This is not a petri dish…

This screenshot was taken from a short video demonstrating how awesome my frother is (I LOVE MY FROTHER!)!

I make the beet ginger lemonade in 16 oz mason jars. The ingredients below are for one mason jar:

  • 1 teaspoon of ginger (I like lots of ginger! You can use less, more…)
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice (a scant 1/4 cup, not over & I’ll show what I use below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of beet powder
  • Enough water so the jar is almost full
  • Several drops of liquid stevia (to taste, you have to find your perfect dropper amount) AND…the secret ingredient…
  • The juice from half an orange!

Just blend this all up until it looks pink and lovely! The orange adds more sweetness and goes so well with the beet flavor. I might have Beet Orangeade coming up soon!

Now, on to the trendy recipe – Mermaid Lemonade!

Mermaid Lemonade
Okay, don’t let the sea monkey-looking stuff on top scare you. It’s just algae…whoops…

See, remember how I said that I don’t really keep up with food trends? Well, here is another exception to that rule. Spirulina. I actually like it. Not only is it good for detoxing your body (or making it feel detoxed), loaded with vitamins – it makes things pretty. And that’s the most important thing.

Again, 16 oz mason jar servings:

  • 1/4 cup of the lemon juice I’ll show you below
  • Several drops of liquid stevia
  • 1/3 teaspoon of spirulina powder
  • Water until jar is almost full

Mix with your frother(!) or you can put the top on and shake for more fun!

Okay, now for something exotic…

Prickly Pear Lemonade

Prickly Pear Lemonade

 

You know how you have that sense memory, and if you smell or taste something it just takes you back? That’s what happened when I made this. It reminds me of a brunch I had at Citrus in NYC several years ago. I had Crab Cakes Benedict (eggs, hard poached. Yes, I’m that dweeb) and Prickly Pear Lemonade. It was my first time tasting prickly pear and I was a little nervous. Why? Because I have so many odd allergies, duh (dweeb). But it was delicious! And I wasn’t allergic! So, I had the brunch and then I saw Shel’s Shorts – 14 Short Plays by Shel Silverstein – it was a nice Sunday!

Anyway…I was at my local fruit stand and I saw a tiny basket of these magenta fruits and I had to buy one and try to make that lemonade I had all those years ago (well, only like 9 years ago, but whatever)…

First, break down the pear:

  • 1 prickly pear
  • 16 oz water

Blend in your blender (Nutribullet, Ninja, Vitamix, whatever) until smoothish. Use a fine mesh strainer to add the mix to:

  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice (it’s coming, I swear!)
  • Several drops of liquid stevia
  • Water to fill the jar

Put on the lid and shake, or mix with your frother!

I can’t really describe the flavor. Okay, maybe like a deeper watermelon. Like a watermelon with depth. You know what I mean. Heartier! Yes! A heartier watermelon. Phew!

So, now that I’ve finished up the lemonade section I can finally show the juice I use…

Lemon Base
The “secret” lemon juice…

Ta-da! That’s it! Santa Cruz Organic Pure Lemon Juice! I’m sure you have some already, I was just being dramatic. I use this in everything! I’ll buy bottles of unsweetened tea, add this and stevia and bam! It tastes like something I’d actually want to drink!

Speaking of iced tea…

Here’s some Goji Berry Green Tea for ya!

Goji Green Tea
Goji Green Tea! That’s all I got…

So, to me, goji berries taste similar to craisins (that was easy), and they have some great health benefits, such as antioxidants, which make it known as a superfood. I added it to another superfood, green tea, and it tastes great! I am a fan of this one…

For 3, 16 oz mason jar servings:

  • 3 mason jarfuls of water
  • 9 green tea bags (they don’t have to be special, unless you want them to be…)
  • The juice of three limes
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of goji berries
  • Liquid stevia drops, to taste

I like to put a heaping tablespoon of the goji berries in each of the jars first. Then juice each of the limes in each jar. While the juice and the berries sit in the jar, I bring water to near boil in a saucepan (I’m fancy) and add the tea bags. Let them steep, but not for too long because green tea gets bitter quickly. I remove the tea bags and pour the green tea over the goji-lime mix. After all of that I add the stevia drops…

Then, into the fridge and a few hours later…beautiful, tasty tea!

Speaking of beautiful tea…I’ll end this post with my favorite tea and favorite beverage picture…

Grapefruit Green Tea

Grapefruit Green Tea

This is my favorite! I love grapefruit! I am a fan of tartness and this is just so perfectly tart and sweet! Yum!

For 3, 16 oz mason jar servings:

  • 3 mason jarfuls of water
  • 9 green tea bags (whatever brand…)
  • The juice of three ruby red grapefruits
  • Liquid stevia drops, to taste

It’s so simple, too. I mean, just juice and strain the grapefruits right into each jar and make the tea, like I painstakingly explained in the last recipe, and combine! Add your stevia in the end and, yay! Delicious…

Actually, with all of these recipes, you might think you added enough stevia but once you taste them a day or two later, you will want to add a few more drops. That’s just what I’ve found.

Yay! So, make these drinks before summer ends! I can’t believe it’s August already! Next week, where I in the Hudson Valley, it’s supposed to be rainy and in the mid-70s! Wow! Actually, if it wasn’t raining I’d be really happy about the temperature drop (I hate the heat)…

 

Birthday Breakfast!

Today is my Solar Return day! Yay! To celebrate I decided to make a cheat-y breakfast. Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes! Peanut butter is my most favorite sweet thing in the world so I had to get it in somewhere today. These aren’t that bad for me either – not a real “fall-off-the-lifestyle-change-wagon” treat. Once you see the ingredients, you’ll know that it only looks and tastes unhealthy…

Pancake Ingredients
I feel pretty good about this!

See? Not bad, not bad at all…

PB Cup
Nom…

Okay, maybe the Justin’s Peanut Butter Cup. I only used one though!

I made the Kodiak Cakes batter according to the directions and added about two tablespoons of the Crazy Richard’s Pure PB Plus.

Once I got the mix in the pan I topped it with some of the chopped peanut butter cup…

In the Pan
I added more than this!

I only made two pancakes…and I forgot to take a picture until I was 2/3 done!

Pancakes - Eaten
#SorryNotSorry

It was worth every carb and calorie! Happy Birthday to me!

Zucchini Roses!

I saw something like this on “Tasty” or one of those random food videos on Facebook. The other recipe had carrots (blech), which made for a more colorful garden, but I think that yellow and green squash worked just fine. It also had a crust, but I am low-carbin’ it so no crust for me!

I started by making ribbons of the squash using my veggie peeler…

Zucchini Ribbons
The vegetable peeler makes great ribbons…

This time making ribbons wasn’t so bad. When I made Zucchini Lasagna in the crock pot it took forever to make the ribbons I needed to fill the pan, even only 1/4 of the way full! I used tiny squashes today, because I was just using my small Corningware dish.

Then I made the base of the “garden”…

All Cheeses
All the cheeses!

I mixed ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and Italian seasoning right in the dish. No need to measure, just mix in however much you want! I also added mozzarella on top of the mixture…

More Cheese
More cheese!

The cheese will help keep the “roses” together in the dish.

Then I started rolling and planting…

Zucchini Garden
Zucchini rose garden…

This part was a little bit more annoying than I though it would be. That’s only because I was hungry and I had no patience. Maybe I was even a little hangry. Just a bit…

I topped off my freshly planted roses with olive oil, more parmesan, salt and pepper…

Cheesed Up
All cheesed up

I popped the dish in the toaster oven for about 30-35 minutes and…

Zucchini Roses

Yay! Something new to add to the low-carb repertoire!

You’ll notice, I like to use the toaster oven a lot. This is especially the case in the summer. If I don’t have to turn on the oven, I don’t.

Try it, it’s easy! Enjoy!