Events: Etta + Billie headed to NYC!

2017 Etta + Billie NY Now Join Design

I’ll be showing off all the delicious Etta + Billie products at my first ever NY NOW show this month in bustling (and most likely sweltering NYC). Attendees will get a sneak peek at our winter limited editions and a new product. If you’ll be at the show, let me know! I would love to connect.

What: Etta + Billie at NY NOW
When: August 20-23rd 
Where: Javits, NYC | Booth 4276 (formerly 4269) Join Design | Accent on Design

p.s. got any NYC recommendations for me? I’m always looking for a new donut place to try. 😉

 

Kitchen to Shower: Cinnamon

 

Horcha Soap + Horchata

The Supreme All-Season Spice

Cinnamon as a summer spice may seem strange at first but the cozy fragrance and flavor of cinnamon that usually invokes the wintertime, is the perfect addition to all sorts of summer recipes (and showers). Factoid: Cinnamon actually comes from tropical climates in India and Southeast Asia. It pairs beautifully with warm sun, al fresco desserts and summer cocktails. How would we make it through the season with a cold glass of horchata now and then? And what would our summertime favorite, peach pie be like without a sweet and spicy touch of cinnamon? 

The real deal

Cinnamon comes in either of two varieties: Ceylon and Cassia. Each comes from the same genus– but separate species–of evergreen tree. While Ceylon is considered a truer/purer cinnamon by hard-core cinnamon fanatics, the cassia variety is more common and more popular in the United States, probably because of its intense flavor.

Ground vs Stick

The choice is up to you on this one, but I recommend having both on hand (though some swear by one or the other, you know how foodies get). I like to keep ground on hand for recipes that require measuring. I’m not a fan of extra steps when I’m whipping up food on a weeknight. It’s about a 1,000x quicker to measure out a teaspoon of ground cinnamon than grinding it yourself (though it’s not that hard).

The major benefit of stick over pre-ground is you know you’re getting some seriously fresh cinnamon in your recipe. Plus you’ll know your cinnamon contains cinnamon and nothing else. Sticks also last longer than you might realize. You can keep them for months or even years in a tightly sealed container, and if you drop one into a tea or an infusion—or place one on top of your coffee grounds before you brew (highly recommended)– you can remove it post brewing or steeping and use it again and again. Just rinse it with warm water and allow it to dry before re-storing. It’s the spice that keeps going and going and going.

Bonus: it’s healthy too

Cinnamon isn’t just comforting and delicious; it’s also beneficial. The spice contains anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants and it’s been linked to healthier brain function and, according to some, a reduced risk of high cholesterol. Win, win!!

If you’re a cinnamon fan like I am, you’ve got to check out the tasty cinnamon infused recipe here and of course, it’s one of the main ingredients in E+B  horchata inspired soap.

What’s your favorite way to use cinnamon?

 

 

Events: Etta + Billie at American Craft Council

Photo May 07, 9 45 41 AM

The E+B crew and I will be setting up shop at the American Craft Council show in San Francisco August 4-6th. Come by to see some of the most talented artisans from across the country. You’ll find ceramics, fine art, textiles, jewelry, leather goods and of course all the limited edition summer E+B scents. Plus, you can get in on some DIY action at our face mask bar on Saturday from 1-3 pm for $5.00.

What: Etta + Billie at the American Craft Council Show
When: August 4-6th 
Where: Fort Mason, San Francisco | E+B is on the Mezzanine Level
Cost: Entry is $14 at the door or buy tickets online for $10.50

Kitchen to Shower: Lemongrass

Lemongrass Mint Summer 2016Curries and soap have more in common that you think.

Lemongrass, (or Cybopogon citronus for those interested in scientific names), is native to Southeast Asia and Australia, and appears in culinary traditions central to Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam (yum, yum, and yum). In addition to countless health benefits (lemongrass is packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants – the things that fight free radicals), it imparts a subtle citrus flavor that brightens dishes (think Thai Green Curry and this Ramen Soup). It can be ground, chopped or infused into all the tasty things. And put into soap, scrubs and other skin treats.

Before you hit the store

Lemongrass will need some prep before it can be fully incorporated into to your culinary experiments. First, you’ll need to remove the root (the thick heavy base) and the grassy stems at the top of the plant with scissors or a sharp knife. Then you’ll have to deal with the tough outer casing that surrounds the tender, fragrant, stalk inside. How you prep the stalk will depend on what you’re making. You can chop your way up the stalk from the bottom if you plan to grind your lemongrass in with other curry seasonings, or you can beat the stalk with the handle of a heavy kitchen tool in order to break apart the fibers and release the essence of the plant. Hot Tip: bring a defeated-looking stalk of lemongrass back to life by soaking it in cold water for a few minutes. Don’t give up! The lemongrass will spring back quickly after nice cool drink. 

When you get to the heart of the lemongrass, you’ll know. While the outer casing may seem impenetrable (i.e seriously fibrous and tough), the inner core is smooth, soft, white or pale yellow, and ready to eat almost as-is. Once the tough parts are removed, there’s no way to eff the lemongrass up. Its flavor and fragrance are bright but understated, so you won’t overdo it no matter how much you use. This is not one of those less is more situations.  

Here’s a few recipes that sounded particularly fantastic to me. See more on my Pinterest feed. 

Coconut-Lemongrass-Ginger-Popsicles-6

More lemongrass, please

Ready to get more lemongrass in your day to day routine? Check out E+B limited edition Lemongrass Mint soap, scrub or skin balm. You can bath with it, exfoliate with it and even carry it around with you in your purse. 

Lemongrass Mint Soap

Grow your own!

You can grow lemongrass in your kitchen. Be prepared to commit; the lemongrass will need attention and light and may not thrive if left alone for very long (i.e it would never work for me, the plant destroyer). But if it receives the care it needs, lemongrass can be an excellent kitchen companion. It releases a citrusy, summery, uplifting fragrance all day long, especially when its leaves are touched or crushed.

Happy New Year: Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

happy-new-year-2017This year has been one full of lessons, both personally and professionally. There is beauty in all experiences, whether joyous or painful. Something I’ve often had to remind myself of over the course of the year; whether adventuring in Portugal, dealing with product set-backs or feeling a gut wrenching sense of sorrow over the hate-fueled rhetoric and actions of my fellow Americans. As frustrating, maddening, and at times, disheartening, some of those experiences have been, I am grateful for the chance to grow, re-focus and keep moving forward. I am grateful for the greater sense of community, love and purpose I feel from my supporters, friends and family. I don’t know what 2017 will bring, but what I do know is that I will continue to build my business, nurture my relationships and continuing to do what I can to fight for those in need. What are you looking forward to in 2017?

Cheers to a peaceful, prosperous and joyous New Year!

xo
Alana

Etta + Billie in Gift Guides Around the Web

Still not sure what to buy for your mom, cousin, dad, co-worker, dog-walker, etc? Check out some of these great gift guides from around the web that happen to mention Etta + Billie. 😉

The Beverage Fanatic

The Tea Lover by Tea Squirrel

An awesome collection of tea and tea related items for the tea obsessive in your life.

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Photography: Anna Mariana

Chai Tea and Earl Grey Gift Boxes by Beginning with Bergamot

Beautifully curated tea gift boxes with some damn gorgeous mugs.

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Photograph by Sara Hamling

The Localist, Bay Area Editions

10 Local Makers To Gift This Season by BobCut

A hip list of incredible Bay Area makers.

 
Photography by Ashley Tarr, styling by Danielle Wallis & Teresa Tran

Photography by Ashley Tarr, styling by Danielle Wallis & Teresa Tran

The Only Gift Guide You Need by 7×7

Check out this gift guide by 7×7 with 100 Bay Area based companies that will definitely cover anyone on your list.

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Equality Advocate

Shop Blue by Maggie Mason

A kick ass gift guide focused on Democratic minded companies run by women and minorities.

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The Cool Dad

Dad Gift Guide by Tosan

Featuring some really rad items from a variety of makers and artists.

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Etta + Billie Gift Guide: The Food + Drink Lover

 foodie-gift-guide-2016

Food + Drink Lovers are generally pretty easy to buy for. They like food after all, so worst case scenario you can get them a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant/coffee shop/bakery. If you want to give them a physical item, the biggest challenge tends to be that they have almost every food and cocktail tool, knick knack and book on the plant. What’s a gift giver to do? Here are a few of my favorite slightly more obscure (ok sans the cookbook) food + drink items perfect for the cooking, cocktailing, noshing person in your life.

p.s. I have Appetites and I love it and not just because I have a thing for Anthony Bourdain. 😉

  1. Appetites a Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain & Laurie Woolever | $37
  2. 3 or 6 Month Indie-Gredient Subscription by Mouth | $65-70/a month
  3. I like Big Butt’s Pork Print by Drywell Art | $20
  4. Hot Bourbon + Lemon Soap by Etta + Billie | $12
  5. Japanese Copper Cocktail Shaker at Food 52 | $112
  6. California Shaped Cutting Board by American Heirloom | $48

Etta + Billie Gift Guide: Cool Secret Santa

gift-guide-secret-santa-16

Got a secret santa gift exchange coming up? Do not be the person that grabs something off the As Seen on TV aisle at Walgreens. Choose one of these cool gifts we’ve compiled that anyone would love plus they’re all from small businesses. Bonus, they are all under $20.

  1. Organic Lip Balm Trio by Etta + Billie | $18 | A lip balm for each bag (or desk drawer)
  2. Watercolor Feather Fake Tattoo Set by Tattly | $15 | Fun way to test out that tattoo your co-worker has been thinking about.
  3. Geometric Prism Concrete Planter for airplants by Geometric Fossils | $13 | Easy upgrade for any desk.
  4. Chai Tea Skin Balm by Etta + Billie | $12 | Smells great and hydrates hands + cuticles.
  5. Over Worked and Under Caffeinated Coffee Mug by Pyknic | $16 | Everyone needs a cool office. mug.
  6. Strawberry Lemon Basil Jam by Lemonbird Preserves | $12 | Who doesn’t like jam?

The Giving Season: Your Choices Matter

ettabillie-30

UPDATE: Since we started our Move Forward campaign we’ve been able to donate over $1700 to a variety of organizations (listed below). I am so thrilled and I know that both my grandmothers would be so proud. We were able to do this because of your support!

As you continue your holiday shopping (and even everyday shopping), I hope you’ll continue to purchase from makers and local businesses, especially those that are committed to giving back. Know that every time you buy something from a small business owner, you are supporting their dreams and simultaneously helping build your local community. Total win, win. 

Thank you again for helping make my maker dreams a reality and for helping support the organizations that I believe are working to make the world a better place for everyone. We are all in this together.

xo
Alana

DONATIONS SO FAR

Etta + Billie Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2016

Here’s a handy guide for all you procrastinators so you know exactly when the last possible ship date is for sending E+B holiday gifts (miss the cutoff? don’t forget about gift certificate options).

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