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Monday, July 04, 2011

Blog Summer Event July 4th~!!!

Happy 4th of July to my American Subscribers!  And here in Canada, we just celebrated our 144th Birthday last Friday, so Happy belated Canada Day!

After the celebration you might want to relax and there are many ways on how to do that.  Getting to it and on a roll here are this week's summer event topic:

D.I.Y Beauty segment:

For today, I am going to share a wonderful summer time face spray one can make.  I made it and it is wonderful for the skin and so refreshing.  I use it as a quick wake up skin routine.

I simply will wash my face in the morning if it is needed, using my favorite face cleanser and then after rinsing, I have been spritzing this formula on it.  Sometimes I only splash my face over and over with warm water to remove and oil buildup, usually on Saturday as I go to work cleaning and such and then shower a bit later.  So it seems unnecessary to wash my face with a cleanser just to do it again later on in the shower.  Otherwise, I will spritz on the Herb Toner Face Spray throughout the day on a clean face that is free of makeup.

Now,, let's discuss that I made this formula from herbs that I have grown, and for this organically is the only way to do it.  Then I saved them from the aphids that were attacking the herb plants.  I told you about in previous post topics, you can do that or you can purchase them at the organic produce section or store which can range in prices.  I had lemon thyme, sage, and rosemary and the combination is truly nice on the skin and is a light nice smell, when you make this spray. 

Recipe:

Herb Toner Face Spray

* 6-7 sprigs with leaves and stem of Lemon Thyme, chopped
* 7 leaves of Sage, chopped or pulsed
* 7-10 leaves of Rosemary, chopped or pulsed
* 2 Cups Purified boiled water
* A Clean Kettle or at least rinsed out
* A Large Heat proof bowl (stainless steel or tempered glass)
* A clean and sterilized plastic or glass bottle with sprayer such as one from a body spray (recycle them is the best and cheapest)

Tip:Choose one that is has a light mist sprayer on it.  Test it by filling it up with water and see if its to your liking.

Put the combination of chopped herbs into the large heat proof or heat resistant bowl, one that will not melt or break if you pour hot boiling water into it. Kids need to ask parents for permission and help.

Boil in the kettle, the 2 cups of purified water.  When the water comes to a boil, and the kettle is finished then turn it off.  Then slowly pour the scalding water over the herbs in the bowl, until you cannot fill any more and just leave a bit of room.

Let sit, for a while to cool off, and then cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let sit for another 2 hours or so.  Once the steeped herbs are cooled off, separate the herbs out of the bowl, by spooning or straining them off into another small clean bowl you may have on hand.  Then you can use the herb pulp for a quick facial mask on a cleansed face.  This could be done in the evening when you have time to apply and relax.

 Wash face and apply the herb pulp facial mask, let sit for 10 -15 minutes, then remove pulp and rinse your face.** It will clear up your skin and help it feel refreshed.  Then pour the liquid into the clean sprayer and seal.  Jar any remainders that will not fit into the spray bottle, and refrigerate those.  You can use this to refill the sprayer bottle when it is running low.

Now, mist your face with this herbal blend face spray, either after you have washed your face or when you want a nice cooling spray to cool down in the summer (without makeup on preferably).

To make it really cold and refreshing, well you guessed it,  refrigerate the spray bottle with the contents in it and remove it to use from the fridge when you want a quick spritz.  Otherwise this organic face spray will last at least up to a week but do not leave it in direct heat or it will speed up
the fermenting process. I used a smaller spray bottle too with a really perfect mist, so that it is more portable for on the go use this summer!



Summer Recipe of the Week

You might feel like the heat in the kitchen is winning, and you are all exhausted after cooking a meal especially after a hard day.  To help you beat that heat, here is a chillin' summer time recipe.  Even try it at your next summer luncheon!

Devilled Eggs with Chives

Preparation Time: 10 minutes Total time: 35 minutes
Serves:4 Per Serving (2 halves): 110 calories, 7 grams
protein, 8 grams total fat (2 grams of saturated fat),
225 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram
fibre, 0 grams sugars, 210 milligrams sodium

Shopping List:
* 4 Large Organic Eggs
* 1 tablespoon (15 ml) mayonnaise style dressing
* 3 tablespoons (45 ml) finely chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
* 3 tablespoons (45 ml) finely chopped sliced green olives, organic preferably
* 3 tablespoons (45 ml( fresh, finely chopped organic chives for garnish
* 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) cayenne pepper

Place eggs in a large saucepan, add enough cold water to cover the eggs by an inch. Cover the pan and bring to a boil.  Remove pan from heat and let eggs stand, covered for 10 minutes.

Remove eggs to a bowl of cold water and let cool, about 15 minutes.
Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise and remove the yolks to a bowl.  Set aside the whites.
Use a fork to mash the egg yolks with the remaining ingredients.  Put the yolk mixture back into the
groove of the cooked egg whites.  It will be about 1 tablespoon into each half-egg piece.  Sprinkle
with chives and serve! You also can chill these in the fridge on a nice lunch time platter and cover with plastic wrap while you prepare other appetizers for your luncheon




Better Body Time

Baby Got Belly?

No, seriously let's tackle this one, a little at a time and then have a better body this summer!
One of the best exercises to knock the belly off, is the exercise I featured in last week's blog, and that's the squat.
http://backandneck.about.com/od/deskexercises/ht/wallsquat.htm

You could track your waist size as you go along, which requires a measuring tape and recording your measurements of your sizes and could be done weekly or bi-weekly.

A cardio work-out will also help and if you jog for the time as recommended by your doctor and it will melt off, although some cardio work-outs can be distressing on your joints.  Chest Presses are recommended, and also jumping rope.

I recommend checking out the proper way to do a chest press first, or perhaps consult your local gym
instructor so he or she can show you the hang of it.  Check out this link as it shows a picture:
http://weighttraining.about.com/od/toptenexercises/ss/chest_press.htm

Good Luck!


Fresh Summer Drinks

Oh yeah, this is summer time to me: a nice cold one on the balcony, watching the sunset and relaxing.
Try this one at happy hour tomorrow or at your July 4th party!

Berry Mojito

Shopping List:
5 fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
4 lime edges, juiced
2 ounces of Bacardi Razz
1/4 ounce Chambord
1/4 ounce blue curacao
Splash of club soda
Garnish with mint and berries

Crush mint. Add sugar and lime juice; stir.  Add Bacardi, Chambord and blue curacao; mix this.  Top with club soda and garnish.  Enjoy!
-Created by Woo Lae Oak in Los Angeles




Bonus Topic: Aromatherapy

Roses

One of my favorite flowers and smells are roses. Of the genus Rosa, the Rose, contains the highest amount of vitamin C of any plant in the world ! That's why they make an excellent plant for DIY beauty recipes, aromatherapy, cooking and so much more!

Roses have a rich past in the culinary arts, crafting, medicine, perfumes, religion and in stories of folklore.  Roses petals are still to this day, what rosary beads are made of hence the similar name, very highly fragrant, and also have a nice flavour.  Perhaps, try using some washed rose petals in a fruity salad.  I will let you know if I try this.

Speaking of rose aroma, this is what we will focus on for a moment.  Dried rose petals and whole flowers can be dried and used in potpourri sachets and in fancy bowls you would display such a mix of flowers.  You can sprinkle rose petals in your bubble bath, put them into a herbal bath mix or use them in making a rose face toner.

It is quite the process to make rose essential oils as they have to be extracted from the plant and it is complicated, so I suggest purchasing it from your local health food store if you wish.  Then you can use rose oil in your baths, or sprinkled into any craft like a potpourri mix where ever you'd like to freshen up.

Use the petals in cooking by preserving in butter, syrup,and vinegar.  Preserve flowers like violets, borage flowers or roses in crystallized sugar, and make lovely cake decorations.

Run a nice warm bath, I like to run it hot, and let the roses soak a bit and then the water cool down
before I get in.  You can add your favorite bath epsom salts as well.  Sprinkle the petals in the water, inhale the scents, as you run the water and feel the water becoming softer as the properties of the roses disperse. 

Then when it's time to get in, and you have lit some candles preferably soy candles (so there is no chemicals burning in the air), then take the time to enjoy the nice aroma of the rose and relax in the tub.  I like to play some nice music in the background to enhance the experience such as perhaps sounds of jazz or classical music.



A wonderful rosewater face toner can be found on the following link;
http://www.allfreecrafts.com/giftinajar/rose-water-toner.shtml

When it comes to harvesting, petals, they can be picked throughout the blooming season of the plant, and you can either dry them or use them fresh.  Each species differs so experiment with what you like for flavor or smell of the plant.  If it is a wild plant it is not illegal to collect the petals, but you must NOT do so in a local park and you DO NOT uproot the plant what so ever.




You can make a merry-mix-up of rose petals blend if you so fancy.  The very darkest ones are the most flavorful and potent in fragrance.  I am partial to the wild rose variety from Alberta myself,  since they are a lovely pink and have a beautiful fragrance.  I am not sure about picking these from the city or on the roadside as there may be residue of pollutants,  The best time to pick flowers and petals is mid-morning after any dew has evaporated, but before the afternoon when the UV index is it's highest where the petals will wither and almost melt to nothing.

Choose flowers just as they open fully but before they are withered and faded.  The flowers can be cut at the stem, approximately 4 inches to 5 inches from the flower base, then cut away the leaves and greenery from the stem part.  Clean the petals from the flowers, removing any dirt or bugs.

Remove the inside or base often white or green from each petal.  The hips should be picked when they are full in colour, very ripe and largely plump but don't wait until they are overripe.  Just pick off the hips and not any stem of the plant, when harvesting these.

The hips can be used fresh or dried and should be prepared quickly after picking, simply slice and remove the blossom end, then cut in half and remove the seeds and fibrous material with a spoon.
Dry the hips in halves, spread them onto a screen in a shaded and airy room, or at least well ventilated.  Store in an airtight container once they have completely dried.  You can make rose hip teas, or other recipes.

Check out the benefits:
http://coffeetea.about.com/library/weekly/aa021003rosehips.htm


Now, you can smell the roses and know just what to do with them!

Bonus Topic:
Summer Camping Party Favor

I am going to be at Old MacDonald's Farm & Campground this upcoming August Long Weekend.
So, we are going to need a new set of camping cookware, perhaps a better cast iron pan is needed, as the one I bought last year makes all the food stick.  I have treated it but bacon cakes onto it and burns.  We are going to need another camping cooler, perhaps some better new gadgets, camping tablecloth, and it would be nice to find the wipe able ones that can be wiped and re-used.  This as well as cheap cutlery can be purchased at the local dollar store or Wal-mart.

I also like to buy the plastic and reusable plates for our day to day camping use.  I usually like to take large plastic bowls with lids and pre-make some potato or macaroni salads for the first night out camping.  I put the cooked potatoes in the container and then prepare it at the campsite.

I pack them into our cooler with ice along with the other perishable food, and keep it cool with lots of ice and in our case until we park and get the fridge in our motor home cool.  It runs off electricity rather than using all our propane, then I can save the propane for heat and the stove.

Then dinner is simple and with a buffet of salads.  Whatever is leftover and you don't eat can be put into the fridge for a snack later or breakfast or lunch the next day.  I suggest eating it all if you can, or making manageable amounts depending on the size of your family.

If you like steak, take some frozen and then keep them in the little freezer of your fridge.  Take them out to thaw after when you want to take them out and then grill and bon appetite!

Until next week,The Royals: William and Kate, will be in Calgary town and in the Stampede parade, so this will be a big highlight of the summer! Happy Long Weekend Camping Folks!  
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