Category Archives: Natural Living

Ten Kitchen Essentials for Thanksgiving

Ten Kitchen Essentials for ThanksgivingHere are some of my must-have gadgets and favorite kitchen essentials for entertaining this Thanksgiving.

1. Remote Roasting Thermometer aka Probe Thermometer – Although the name sounds dirty, they are amazing! The first time I made a turkey on my own, I used this to get perfectly done juicy turkey. It beeps and flashes when the meat is done, and you can literally watch the temperature going up without opening the oven.

2. Food Processor – Only two words are necessary – pie crust.

3. Prep Bowls –  If you think you have enough think again. I would also recommend ones that come with lids, and are pretty enough to use to serve people.

4. Blender – I love my Vitamix and I have used it for everything including flour-less gravy and mashed cauliflower. If you don’t want to splurge, you can easily find a budget blender or use an immersion blender to make all that pureed goodness.

5. Wine Cooler and/or Bottle Opener – How did I not know that red wine tastes better at the correct temperature? (Between 60 to 70 degrees) Maybe not an essential, but now that I’m spoiled, well, I think it’s worth it. A  corkscrew and/or bottle opener to get at the wine is definitely an essential. I like ones that have a foil cutter option.

6. Kosher Salt – For a dry salt brine for the turkey. This is my favorite way to prepare and flavor the turkey.

7. Roasting Pan – It will just make things easier. I know they can be pricey, but the cheap aluminum ones at the grocery store can break, and well, you want to break out the nice stuff for the holidays.

8. Gravy Strainer and Boat – If you make traditional gravy, you need a strainer. Plus you need a gravy boat to serve it in. Make sure you get a gravy boat that comes with a matching dish to put it on.

9. Large Sharp Knife or Carving Set – To cut that delicious bird.

10. Trivets Mats – You will have a lot of hot plates that you need to put them under.

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DIY Fruit Fly Trap

DIY Fruit Fly Trap - Healing and Eating

Fruit flies are a unfortunate reality of eating a healthy diet containing fruit. I’ve had issues with them in the past and I’ve found that this DIY fruit fly trap is the easiest and most effective way of dealing with them. Although you can’t see inside this container, I have about 7 or 8 of them floating in a a sea of tequila temptation.

Seriously, fruit flies love tequila that is 100% agave. If you don’t have any food in the sink or lying around to distract them, they will head toward the tequila eventually.  I usually put the tequila in a container and then wrap the opening of the container in some press and seal seran wrap. I punch a few holes in the seran wrap with a pen for them to get inside the trap and then leave the trap out for awhile. They end of drowning in tequila, which in my opinion isn’t a terrible way to go if you worry about that sort of thing.

You’ll find that your fruit fly problem eventually goes away, or at least get better. I’ve had to clean out the trap and make a fresh one, if the problem doesn’t go away completely in a few weeks. This method does require patience, but it’s basically a set it a forget it kind of deal. If you have a serious fruit fly problem, make a bunch of these and put them around the house. I hope this helps all my fruit loving followers! Good luck :)

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Picnic Favorites for Spring

It’s been getting warmer here in LA, and I couldn’t be happier about it. There are so many beautiful locations for you to have a picnic, that it can be pretty overwhelming. There is a really great park, right by my old apartment called the Mar Vista Recreation Center that had a ton of picnic tables. I also like to keep it simple with a beach blanket, and head to the Santa Monica Pier.

Malibu Winery is another popular place to bring food, and have some of their delicious wine. If entertainment with your food is what you like, then I recommend the Hollywood Bowl. You can bring food and wine, and tickets can be cheap if you’re willing to sit in the nosebleed section.

picnic-graphic1. Recycled Picnic Mat for Two 2. Pocket Utensil Set 3. Sunset Wine Tote 4. Picnic Backpack 5. BBQ Briefcase

I’m a big fan of UncommonGoods for awesome picnic gear. They also sell really amazing handmade, recycled, and organic products on their website. A lot of their products are sourced from artists and small manufacturers, and are really creatively designed and practical at the same time. Their products, especially their picnic gear, make great gifts for anniversaries and groomsmen. Check out this page for more anniversary gift ideas, and here for more groomsmen gifts. UncommonGoods also has a whole section dedicated to personalized gifts for friends and family. So you have everything you need, including a romantic gift, to make your picnic date perfect.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of UncommonGoods.

Finally Moved In … New Kitchen!

Finally Moved In ... New Kitchen! - Healing and Eating

I wanted to apologize to my friends and followers for the long hiatus. My husband and I bought a duplex that has been consuming our lives since October. First, we needed a tenant in the upper unit asap, to help us with our mortgage.  Then, we renovated our unit, which needed a lot more love than we anticipated. We still have a bit of work left to do, as you can see in the picture. We need some open shelving and to install the cabinet handles, but we’re finally moved in and cooking again.

Since we were staying at my mother-in-laws, and I didn’t have my cooking tools (and we were crazy busy), I gave myself a break on my normally pretty strict diet. I still stayed away from dairy, since I know it makes me sick, but I wasn’t careful about anything else. Ironically, less time spent in front of the computer and cooking was great for my pain level. I did have issues with some of the food I ate, but it was trial and error. I’ve never been completely 100% paleo, since I want to maintain, not lose weight, but I did start to eat rice, and rice based carbs, on a regular basis. Since most dessert involves dairy, I had to stay away from it, unless it was dairy free. (Rising Hearts Bakery in Culver City was amazing for my gluten and dairy free sugar cravings. I highly recommend it.)  After months of slacking, it’s a new year and a new kitchen, and I’m ready to start being healthier in 2016.

DIY Lavender Face Oil

DIY Lavender Face Oil

This DIY face oil only requires two ingredients, and is really easy to make. Those ingredients include Rose Hip Seed Oil by Pura d’or, which is an unrefined, cold-pressed, organic oil that can be used by itself as a moisturizer, or as a carrier oil for essential oils. In this recipe, I used organic lavender essential oil.

I’ve tried many oils on my face,  but I have acne prone skin and I’ve never been a big fan until rose hip seed oil. This oil is considered a “dry” oil, which means it is easily absorbed into the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy residue like a lot of other natural oils. I was able to apply liquid foundation and powder after it was absorbed with no problems.

This oil is used by celebrities such as former Victoria Secret model Miranda Kerr, and actress Rose Byrne. Plus, it’s been around for a long time. It was used by the Egyptians, Mayans, and Native Americans for it healing properties. Rose Hip Oil is great for soothing inflamed, sensitive skin (which I have) and can be used to treat acne (which I also get), sunburns, and eczema. It’s a skin brightener too, and helps with sun damage and acne scaring. It’s also great for wrinkles since it contains essential fatty acids, as well as tretinoin (also called all-trans retinoic acid), a vitamin A acid that retinol converts to, which also helps treat acne.

Lavender essential oil is another great ingredient for soothing inflamed, acne-prone skin. It’s antibacterial as well, and is used in aromatherapy to calm the mind and reduce stress. Apply at night, to help you fall asleep.


Lavender Face Oil

Prep time: 2 minutes
Total time: 2 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of organic rose hip seed oil (Pura d’or)
  • 2-3 drops of organic lavender essential oil (Aura Cacia)
  • 1 amber eye dropper bottle

Directions

  1. Combine rose hip seed oil and lavender essential oil in amber eye dropper bottle.
  2. Shake to mix oils, and add 3 drops to hands, rub hands, and gently pat into your face.
  3. (Optional) Wait a few minutes for oil to absorb before applying makeup.

Sources:

Rosehip Seed Oil: Why This Miracle Skincare Product Will Be The Next Coconut Oil by Huffington  Post

Can Rosehip Oil Give You Supermodel Skin? by FoxNews

Rosehip Seed Oil by Wikapedia