Sunday, January 06, 2008

Two Recipes, Add Randomness

Madelines I made a week ago... (photo taken when fresh!)

We have a distinct case of the blahs here today. We all woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It's freezing in the house and the heater doesn't seem to be penetrating it. The weather is unsure about which way its headed. We are all a little out of sorts.

So, a couple recipes for you.

Recipe 1: Pumpernickel/Black Bread/Whatever You Want To Call It
If you have a bread machine, this recipe is a must-make if you like rye.

1-2/3 cups milk
2 T butter
2 T honey
2 T molasses
1-3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp onion powder
1 cup whole wheat flour
2-1/3 cup white flour
1 cup rye flour
2-3 T cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee (or 1 tsp espresso)
1 T caraway seeds
1-1/4 tsp bread-machine yeast

Add ingredients as listed. Select Whole Grain setting. Press start. Bingo, delicious rye bread. This tastes amazing with swiss and sauerkraut.

This is the new bedding we got as part of the Bedroom Makeover. The photo is a little yellowy but who cares? Katie is modeling the comfiness of the chenille-corduroy comforter.

Speaking of makeovers, new updates on the Continuing Adventures of Skincare. I finally ran out of the Dr. Hauschka's Normalizing Day Oil, which I'd been using daily since February or March. It's a teeny-tiny bottle, so the fact that it lasted over 9 months means I got my money's worth. However, I had been doing research on different oils for skincare, and most of what I read said that plain jojoba oil was very good for your skin. I'd been using a drop or two at night for the past few months, with very good results (no oiliness, just soft and smooth skin with fewer of those teeny-tiny breakouts I'd been getting). I wondered if it would be just as good during the day as the Normalizing Oil.

So, for the past few weeks I've been using just one or two drops of jojoba oil, plus the Alba Botanicals zinc sunscreen. The results? Even better than the Dr. Hauschka stuff. With the Dr. H, I'd notice that my face would get a little (or a lot) shiny after a few hours. I had a dramatic reduction in the little red bumps, so I hated to complain, but the shine was annoying. I used those linen face-papers to take care of the shine, but still. With the jojoba oil, the shine has been reduced to just a very soft glow -- not exactly shine, just a glow, which is actually a nice effect. It's kind of like what those 'illuminating' moisturizers or foundations are supposed to give you. And the glow doesn't grow to a shine over the day. Not usually, at least. That might change as it gets warmer.

So, thumbs up so far on pure jojoba oil. I just got some essential oils (neroli, orange, and rose) to add to the jojoba so it smells good, too. The key is just to use one or two drops.

My skincare regime now looks like this:
  1. Wash face in the morning with creamy cleanser in the shower. Use face scrub (recipe to follow) 2-4 times a week.
  2. Apply 1-2 drops jojoba oil.
  3. Creamy eye cream/Vitamin E cream under eyes and in 'crows-feet' region.
  4. Apply SPF 18 Alba Botanticals zinc sunscreen. Wait a few minutes before next step.
  5. Bare Minerals foundation, very lightly over entire face.
  6. (now I even skip the cornstarch powder -- no need)
  7. In the evening, I use a makeup remover/cleanser -- currently just Neutrogena. I'll probably use the Trader Joe's Thoroughly Clean (with Tea Tree Oil) when I run out of this stuff.
  8. 1-2 drops jojoba oil.
  9. Eye cream again.
  10. Burt's Bees lip balm every night.

This has worked very well for me -- my skin finally looks back to 'normal', meaning I have very few red bumps, the redness around my nose has gone away, and the fine lines are softer.

Homemade Facial Scrub/Exfoliator
I started making this stuff when I realized that so many spa facial treatments are 'sugar scrubs' with some oils added.

1 Tbsp. white or brown sugar (I alternate)
Couple drops jojoba oil or Vitamin E oil
(if you don't have either of those, you could use a couple drops olive oil)
Couple drops cleanser (I sometimes use TJ's peppermint castile soap)

That's the basic recipe. Swirl it all around and use it often in the shower. Your skin will feel amazing afterwards. You can vary the recipe with these additions:

Spoonful of natural unsweetened yogurt
Squeeze of honey
1 egg white
Couple drops favorite essential oils

It's cheap, and it works. The sugar is very gentle and dissolves in the shower, unlike the harsh apricot-seed scrubs.

Other random thoughts:

I never knew how much I liked sauerkraut until I made this rye bread.

Loving the 'bad' weather we are having. Now this is more like it!

Am apparently very tired, since at around 9:30 every night I suddenly cannot keep my eyes open one minute longer. I even fell asleep during the Democratic New Hampshire debates last night, which I really wanted to hear. And I usually do not just 'fall asleep' during anything.

Am feeling peacefully uninspired. Needing some time to just do nothing, after the holidays. I might do a little more sorting through books and closets today. Or, I might just read my book and go to the gym. Or take a walk. Or none of the above.

I don't feel like doing much of anything. Which is actually just fine.

No comments: