It took me a really long time to jump on the cold brew coffee bandwagon. When I first heard about it all I could imagine was how bitter my coffee tastes when it has been sitting out a little too long and is a tepid room temperature. That is probably my least favorite taste. I love coffee when it is hot and I love coffee when it is ice cold, but anything in between is not acceptable.
My recent morning obsession has been a cup of cold brew coffee! I love that I can make a big batch and it’ll stay good all week long in the fridge – that makes my morning rush a lot easier.
This is an awesome zero-waste coffee option for anyone who needs convenience (& caffeine) in the morning too! I use the same glass jar every week, the grounds can be composted, and the cheesecloth can be reused! If you like the idea of cold brew but you like your coffee hot, this brew can be warmed up in the microwave and still tastes amazing!
Have you been wanting to make your own cold brew but haven’t known how to begin? No worries. Here are the simple steps I follow when making my own:
- Grind your favorite whole bean coffee to a coarse ground. If you don’t enjoy grinding your beans fresh like we do, that’s okay, you can buy in bulk at the grocery store an
- d have them coarsely ground there!
- Place grounds at the bottom of your glass jar and fill with cold water. You should have a 1 part coffee to 8 parts water ratio, roughly!
- Cover jar and shake to combine well.
- Let steep in the fridge for 18 to 24 hours – I have let mine go as long at 48 hours before, it makes a strong coffee but I still love it! You can always add more water if it is too strong to enjoy.
- Place cheesecloth over the container you plan to store your coffee in and strain coffee into container.
- Store in the fridge and enjoy for the next week!
Tip: Carry your coffee in a reusable container and compost your coffee grounds!
Personally I usually drink my cold brew black but occasionally I like to add a little honey or coconut milk. This brewing method is my favorite because it takes all of the acidity out of the coffee but still leaves the bold flavor.
Have you experimented with cold brew at home? What are your favorite variations or ways to dress it up? I would love to hear your suggestions!
love & light
The past few years I have been transitioning to a more natural beauty and skincare routine. Sometimes I make my own products and other times I buy products that I know are made without the use of dangerous chemicals. I have lots of favorite all-natural beauty and skin products but sometimes I just like something I have made myself better. When I’ve made it, I love knowing exactly what has gone into the product that I am absorbing into my skin and bloodstream.
This recipe is for a make-up setting spray that I put on after applying my make-up in the morning. As a teacher I am on the go all day long and have very little time to stop and look in the mirror so I need to know that my make-up is going to stay in place without any touch-ups! This light weight spray takes care of that worry for me and gives me all the peace of mind I need while teaching my tiny humans how to paint!
Here is my recipe:
- 2 Tbsp Witch Hazel
- 1 Tbsp Aloe Vera Gel (natural, not the bright green stuff)
- 1 Tbsp Distilled Water
- 5 drops Jasmine Essential Oil
- 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 2 oz. glass bottle with spray nozzle
- Fill 2 oz. glass bottle with 1 tablespoon natural aloe vera gel.
- Add 2 tablespoons witch hazel and 1 tablespoon water to fill bottle.
- Shake well to mix thoroughly.
- Add essential oils and shake again to evenly disperse.
- To use: Shake well and spray over freshly applied makeup.
I love using lavender and jasmine essential oils because they smell so lovely. Lavender is also great for your skin to soothe redness and irritation. I use Jasmine for its empowering and confidence-boosting aroma, as well as the fact that it is great for improving dry or dehydrated skin!
I know there are lots of different recipes out there, has anyone tried a different recipe for a DIY setting spray? How do you make yours? I love this one and I hope you to do!
love & light
I love making my own bath and beauty products, I think it is a fun way to experiment with all natural living and exploring healthier alternatives to some of the chemical-laden store options out there. I am totally a bath kind of lady.. After a stressful day I think there are very few things out there that feel as good as a long soak in the tub, so many of my favorite recipes happen to be bath products.
This tropical sugar scrub recipe smells so delicious, the coconut and lime aromas make me feel like I am on a beach vacationing somewhere near the equator. I am using it right now because it is summer but I also love to make a batch of this lovely scrub when I am having the Michigan mid-winter stir-crazy blues.
The sugar is a great exfoliator to get rid of dead skin and impurities while the coconut oil is super moisturizing and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth! You can use it in the bath or the shower and the sugar dissolves quickly for easy cleaning. Use this quick and easy recipe to make the sugar scrub whenever you need a little fresh and healthy pick-me-up… or just whenever you feel like it!
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 unrefined virgin coconut oil (if you don’t like the smell of coconut you can use refined)
- 5 drops lime essential oil
- zest of 1 lime
- Combine sugar and coconut oil.
- Add lime zest and mix evenly.
- Add 5 drops lime essential oil. Stir to combine.
- Store in a glass airtight container.(*Note: Remember, citrus oils can cause skin sensitivity to the sun so start small, if you add more than the recommended amount avoid direct sunlight immediately following use.)
I simply love this recipe and even with my super sensitive skin I have no trouble in the sun with the essential oil ratio used. Remember that the temperature of your coconut oil may change the consistency slightly so add more sugar or oil accordingly to get the texture you desire in a scrub! I prefer to use an unrefined coconut oil so I get a heavy coconut scent but you can use refined coconut oil if the smell doesn’t appeal to you.
I hope you enjoy your all natural at-home pampering!
love & light
I think honey is one of my favorite things on Earth, at least the organic, local, raw kind of honey. Growing up, I never liked that store bought, mass produced, clover honey but when I had my first taste of raw locally sourced honey, my fate was sealed. If it was acceptable for me to have a spoonful of honey for dessert every night, I probably would. But I can’t – so instead I’ll enjoy this lovely honey cocktail instead.
I discovered this cocktail while Will and I were testing out different signature cocktails for our August wedding. As soon as I read about the Bee’s Knees, I knew it was the cocktail for me! Not only because it has honey in it but because of the name too! Growing up my Dad would always call me Queen Bee, or Bee for short. Now at home Will calls me Bee too, so it is an ongoing theme in my life. My love for honey was merely coincidental…
This cocktail became popular during Prohibition – the honey and lemon were used to mask the not-so-lovely smell of bathtub gin. If it earned its name by being “the best” or the bee’s knees when it was made with bathtub gin, that gives you an idea of how amazing it tastes with a quality gin!
- 1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz. homemade honey syrup
- 2 oz. gin
- Make your homemade honey syrup by combining equal parts honey and water and heating it on medium low over the stovetop until completely combined – do NOT bring it to a boil. (Note: One cocktail calls for 1 ounce of syrup, I usually combine a half cup honey and half cup water and store it in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 5 days – but it is usually gone before I get to day 5…)
- In a cocktail shaker combined fresh lemon juice, honey syrup, gin, and ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into glass. We use a coupe glass or martini glass.
Optional: Garnish with lemon twist!
So there you have it, my favorite refreshing summertime cocktail!
When we talk about maintaining life-balance one important thing is to make room for equal parts work and play. When it comes to play, Will and I have fun making artisan cocktails at home on the weekends and in the summer. Sometimes having a little something special at home, like this, is fun way give yourself a treat at the end of the day!
(*Also, here is a bonus picture of little Amelia, always loving the camera..)
What do you think? What are your favorite summertime cocktails to make at home?
love & light,
When it comes to summer, I don’t think there is a time of year that makes me any happier! With my fair and sensitive skin though, it is really important that I take care of my complexion so I can enjoy as much fun in the sun as I can.
Because this is one of the biggest outdoor barbecue and beaching weeks of the year I thought now would be a great time to share my summer skin must-have items! For me, it all comes down to keeping my skin safe from too much sun and keeping it hydrated. So here are some of my must-haves for healthy summer skin!
1. Suntegrity SPF 30 Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer – I wear this just about everyday under my mineral make-up. The SPF 30 was the big draw for me when I started using this primer but the orange citrus scent is pretty wonderful.
2. Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer – This is my go-to on the days I don’t feel like putting on makeup. The light tint makes me feel put together on days when I will be spending most of my time outdoors without having to worry about my makeup melting away.
3. Herbivore Botanicals Face Oils – I find it impossible to decide whether I like their Orchid Oil or Pheonix Oil more, they both smell amazing and give my skin great moisture! I use Orchid in the evening and Pheonix in the morning.
4. Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask – I love facial masks and I have really gotten into them this summer. There are a few that I use regularly but this new mask is the best hydration mask I have tried! I love putting it on and relaxing for 25 minutes while the mask does all of the work. I like that with this mask you can take it off with just a clean towel and not worry about scrubbing with water!
5. SPF 50+ Sunscreen – I know there is a lot of debate about whether wearing sunscreen is worth the health risks. After lots of talking it over with my doctor, she and I decided together that it was more important that I wear SPF 50 or higher sunscreen, my fair skin is considered high risk for skin cancer, but I love to be in the sun so it is really important to protect myself. Lately I have been using SunBum and I enjoy it!
6. Wide Brim Hat and Prescription Sunglasses – I’m a glasses everyday kind of girl, so having my prescription glasses on hand is always important! And I always wear a hat when I am out in the sun all day, I love this straw cloche hat that I found at Target a few years ago! My perscription sunglasses are from Bonlook.
These are my daily items that I just couldn’t enjoy this warm summer sunshine without but I would love to hear the must-haves on your list for the summer season… Please share!
love & light