body and face wash.

As I continue to work towards healthy, nontoxic, homemade beauty products, I looked for a good body wash. I tried a few different recipes and this is one that I have enjoyed the most and have been using for the past 6 months or so. It is smooth and moisturizing, without leaving residue on my skin. It doesn’t lather quite as much as your standard body wash or bar soap, but I quickly got used to that. I can feel really good about what I’m putting on my skin (and, therefore, IN my body!), and I never have to run to store. When I run out, I just whip up another batch!

BONUS: This has also become my face wash! Two-in-one? Yes, please!

IMG_1791

Body Wash
Ingredients
1/2 cup liquid castile soap (I use lavender. You can find it at any health store or even Target!)
1/4 raw honey
2 T oil (I use almond or apricot, but you can also use grapeseed, jojoba, or olive)

optional to add:
vitamin E oil
any essential oils – lavender, melaleuca, or frankincense would be great options!

Mix all the ingredients together in a bottle with a squirt top (I got mine from Hobby Lobby). Shake well to mix.
Shake gently before each use. Use on a washcloth or loofa.

IMG_1795

Enjoy!

sage-walnut pesto.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s fall and everyone is happy. Last weekend the husband swept me away to Traverse City to celebrate our third wedding anniversary, while sipping wine and staring with mouths agape at the colors. There is absolutely no comparison to the fall colors than those in northern Michigan.

Coming back from our getaway, we needed something light but flavorful. We had a spaghetti squash, we had walnuts, and we had sage (there is basically a bush in our garden). I put these flavors together, and the result was “yum.”

IMG_1776

Spaghetti squash is one of the best fall foods for me. It is a delicious and nutritious alternative to wheat pasta, and it holds that hearty fall flavor. It is easy to cook, with a quick roast in the oven and a fork to string it out. And it is versatile. I can think of countless flavor combinations or simple sauces to top it with.

IMG_1778

This pesto was one I’ve been wanting to make for a while, and fall gave me the perfect time to do it! I grew sage in the garden this summer, mostly because I love its smell. It has been a great addition to floral arrangements, but I knew the amount I had would go great towards a pesto (which requires a hefty amount of herbs). I also always have walnuts on hand (and they’re cheaper than pine nuts!), so this combination just made sense.

Once the spaghetti squash was roasted, I tossed it in the pesto, topped it with some apples and walnuts that had been lightly sauteed, and we had a perfect fall meal!

Sage-Walnut Pesto
Ingredients
2 cups of fresh sage (lightly packed)
1 cup of walnuts, toasted
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Toast the walnuts in the oven until fragrant.
Combine all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor.
Pulse until combined.
Slowly start adding in the olive oil. Continue adding until desired consistency is reached.

IMG_1789

Serve warm and enjoy!

superfood salad.

After a bit of a hiatus, here I am, trying to pick this back up. We’ll see where it goes. I certainly have things to share – let’s just work on getting the time to share it all! 🙂

Husband and I recently finished a cleanse. We used the AdvoCare system, which is a great model and provided us with supplements and a few tools that helped us get through. I’d say we did it pretty faithfully for our first time, and if nothing else we established some good habits and tried a few new recipes. This, however, is not one of those new recipes. This one is tried and true!

Most people who grew up in my parents’ house – both family and friends – would agree that my mom’s beet salad is one of the best. She has a knack for dressing it perfectly, as well as having the prefect proportions.

I’ve taken that, added some kale, and it’s pretty much a superfood salad. Kale and beets are some of the best foods you can put into your body to cleanse and strengthen your system. Kale can be tough to eat for some people. If you need it softened up a bit, you can always lightly sauté it. But I think this salad, with the dressing massaged into the kale, is still pretty easy to eat and enjoy!

IMG_1763

Kale and Beet Salad
Salad:
1 bunch of kale
1 beet, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2-3 T goat cheese, chopped
raw sunflower seeds

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 T raw honey
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Whisk the dressing together.
2. Tear the kale into small, bite-size pieces.
3. Massage the dressing into the kale – use those hands! You can let it sit for a little while to let the kale absorb the dressing. But if you don’t have the time, that is OK too!
4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the salad. Use a spatula or big spoon to combine well. Top with sunflower seeds.

IMG_1764

Enjoy!