Makers Gonna Make: Ginger Vanilla Almond Butter

almond-butter-still-blog

Almonds and almond butter have been all the rage for the last few years and I’m guilty of jumping on the bandwagon. I’ve spent tons of $$ on almond butter. But it was so damn good, especially in smoothies, and on bread and with bananas…clearly the list could go on. When I finally got my hands on a Blendtec blender, I started whipping up my own because it’s ridiculously easy and I can control exactly what goes into it (seriously love that blender more than almost anything, except my soda stream…). This recipe came about after trying some of the amazingly inventive butters from Big Spoon Roasters (who we also happen to do a limited edition soap colab with – sadly sold out but stay tuned). The flavors of this butter are great for fall (or anytime, really). Slater over toast, add to a smoothie or just eat straight from the jar. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • A cup of almonds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2-3 pieces of candied ginger
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 or 2 tsp of honey

Tools
Blender, 8 oz jar, roasting pan, measuring spoon, measuring cup, spatula

Let’s do it!

  1. Roast the almonds in the oven at 350° for 10-15 minutes, let them cool for 10 minutes before using them
  2. Put 2-3 pieces of candied ginger into blender, pulse until pieces are broken down almost to a paste (unless you want chunks them pulse until they’re at the desired size)
  3. Add the room temp roasted almonds
  4. Add a couple shakes of cinnamon, coconut oil and vanilla.
  5. Add a pinch of salt
  6. Add 1 or 2 tsp of honey
  7. Blend all the ingredients together until smooth
  8. Store the butter in a tightly sealed container in the fridge or dig in immediately!

Tips:

  • Add a 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of sunflower oil to obtain a more creamy consistency
  • Replace cardamom for the cinnamon, yum.
  • You can store your almond butter in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Remove from the fridge 15-20 minutes before you want to dig in for the best texture!

Makers Gonna Make: Grapefruit Cardamom Rose Cooler Recipe

GF Rosewater Still 2

This recipe combines two of my favorite flavors (grapefruit and cardamom) together in one cooling, sweet and tart beverage. Perfect for warm days. I’ve been a grapefruit lover for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I’d always asked my grandma Etta for half a grapefruit for breakfast (no sugar) cut just the right way (Etta was the only one who knew how to do it correctly) so that I could scoop out the flesh and create  “grapefruit soup”. It’s still my favorite way to eat a grapefruit. I developed a deep love of cardamom while exploring the world of soapmaking. It’s spicy, herbal, sweet notes are incredible in both desserts and savory items. Plus, it blends beautifully with citrus and most stone fruit.

I brought these two lovely scents together in the Grapefruit Cardamom line of products at Etta + Billie 7 years ago and I’m still obsessed. Which is how I came up with the recipe for this Grapefruit Cardamom Rose Cooler. Check out the video I made for the recipe with written directions below.

Ingredients

  • ¼ – ½ tsp rose water (this is surprisingly flavorful so start with a little and increase as desired)
  • ¼ tsp or more cardamom
  • ½ – 1 whole peeled pink grapefruit
  • 1 cup of Water
  • Ice

Tools
blender, measuring spoons, a glass

Let’s do it!

  1. Add half grapefruit in the blender
  2. Put ¼ teaspoon of rosewater
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom
  4. Toss in 4 or 5 ice cubes
  5. Pour in a cup of water
  6. Blend until obtain a silky smooth (I have blendtec and set it to fresh fruit or smoothie mode)
  7. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

 

 

Makers Gonna Make: Kumquat Mint Smash Cocktail Recipe

Photo Jun 17, 7 50 24 PM

I came up with this super easy, super tasty, summery cocktail recipe a few weekends ago at my best friends house (you may remember her from my previous posts/videos). She wanted a cocktail, I wanted a cocktail and it was really warm out so we decided we needed something refreshing but didn’t want to go to the store. Being the resourceful girl that I am, I knew we could put something together with whatever was around the house. Luckily, that included kumquats from the tree in her backyard and fresh mint from her garden. I whipped these up and we sipped it while lounging in her yard, enjoying the sunshine and possibly talking about Game of Thrones (it’s an obsession). I hope you enjoy it too!

Ingredients

  • A handful of Peppermint leaves
  • 2 Kumquats (can sub tangerines, just use less)
  • ½ – 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 oz Vodka
  • Ice (ideally crushed ice but any ice will do)
  • Sparkling water

Tools
Shaker, muddler, jigger, knife, glass

Let’s do it!

  1. First, slice your kumquats (remember to leave some slices for decoration at the end) and add about 3-5 slices to the shaker
  2. Put a 2-3 fresh mint leaves into the shaker
  3. Add 1/2 tsp of sugar (you can add more but I don’t like overly sweet cocktails so I always start with a tiny bit)
  4. Mash all the ingredients together using the muddler
  5. Add 2 ounces of vodka
  6. Add a few ice cubes and shake
  7. Pour your cocktail into a glass with crushed ice or regular ice
  8. Fill the glass with sparkling water
  9. Garnish cocktail with slices of kumquat and mint leaves

Sip away and enjoy!! Great for sharing with friends or family. 🙂

Thanks for watching! Check back for more videos and don’t forget to follow Etta + Billie on Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat

Makers Gonna Make: DIY Organic Coconut Oil Lip Scrub

DIY Coconut Oil Lip Scrub

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY is a real mixed bag for me because I love a good project but I also want my thing to look like it does on the interwebs (ahem, like everyone else on the planet). Thankfully, I’ve got a great sense of humor which helps me relate to all those craft mishaps here plus I acknowledge the ridiculousness of obsessing over Pinterest perfect photos all the time (ain’t nobody got time for that). That being said, this lip scrub DIY is actually really useful (lip care is no joke) and very hard to f-up so the photos are going to be darn pretty and your lips are going to be super soft and healthy. Make the lip scrub and social media bomb your followers. You’re welcome.

Watch the video to learn how to make your own fabulous lip scrub at home (directions included below)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil (better if organic)
  • ½ tsp sunflower oil or olive oil (also better if organic)
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp brown sugar (even better if organic, are you starting to notice a trend?)
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp turbinado sugar (you can double the amount of brown sugar if you don’t have turbinado sugar. And guess what? organic is preferred)
  • ¼ tsp grated lemon peel (optional and you don’t need to be precise – ALSO please make sure this is organic if nothing else unless you like pesticides in your lip scrub, then you do you*)

Tools
Small bowl, whisk, spoon, grater, a couple of small jars and clean hands

Let’s do it!

  1. Take a small bowl and add 1 tbsp of virgin coconut oil
  2. Add 1/2 tsp of sunflower oil and mix well with coconut oil using the whisk
  3. Add 1 + 1/2 tsp of brown sugar
  4. Add 1 + 1/2 tsp of turbinado sugar and mix until fully blended
  5. Grate about ¼ tsp of lemon peel to add a gentle scent and touch of alpha hydroxy acids
  6. Mix all the ingredients together
  7. Fill your jars using a spoon

Tips
Add an additional ½ tsp of brown sugar or turbinado sugar if you want an intense treatment. Sugar’s crystalline structure is better for more delicate facial skin including lips.

This lip scrub will stay good for about 2-3 weeks if you keep it in your fridge or at least out of your bathroom.

*So why is organic my go to? Well, besides the reduction in exposure to super nasty chemicals for myself and my loved ones, it’s better for the environment (think less chemicals leaching into waterways, oceans, forests…you get the picture) and better for the farmer workers (think about how much direct exposure they deal with every day as part of their job). 

Makers Gonna Make: DIY Natural Facial Mask for Spring

Etta + Billie Makers Gonna Make DIY Spring Facial Mask Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello! I’ve been quiet for way too long but I swear I had a good reason! I’ve been cooking up something new. For most of my adult life, I’ve had a very difficult time writing. Talking on the other hand, is no big deal to me. So, rather than continuing to force myself to write (clearly, not very successfully), I’m starting a video series along with the blog to get my thoughts and fabulous recipes out there. The new series is called Makers Gonna Make (surprise, surprise), in it I’ll be featuring DIY recipes of all kinds, other tips, hopefully some maker spotlights and tours. Feedback is welcome! Check out my first video below along with an extended transcript of the video. Tell me how the mask making goes!

I’m sharing a simple spring natural facial mask recipe. With each changing season, you need to think about changing up your skincare routine. Now that we’re into spring, it’s time to undo some of the damaging effects of winter. Winter can seriously f*#%k-up your skin. The intense drop in temp (ok, not in most of CA but everywhere else) combined with increased use of heating = a moisture zapping and irritating environment for your skin. By spring, skin can be dry, flaky and red.

To combat that damage and prep for the weather change, the best thing you can do is gently exfoliate and moisturize the heck out of your skin. Contrary to popular belief, when exfoliating, the gentler, the better. Particulate exfoliators, like crushed walnut shells, can actually cause micro-tears in your skin, furthering irritation. The best way to gently exfoliate is with a soft sponge/organic cloth and/or AHA infused face wash or mask.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids are powerful, but gentle, way to exfoliate the top layer of skin, aiding cell turn over and instantly brightening complexions. AHA’s are naturally found in sour milk (kinda gross) and yogurt (thank goodness they’re is an alternative to option one), citrus fruit and apples. All make solid smoothie ingredients (obviously excluding the milk) and can be whipped together with a few other ingredients to make a mask. Yay for multi-tasking. The other important skin soothing step to getting skin back to glowing is moisture (I explain more below). Let’s get down to it!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp full fat yogurt (thick is best)
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp lemon juice (we use Myer lemons from my friend Molly’s tree in the video) Note that lemon juice/oil can make skin more sensitive to the sun so keep that in mind when you decide to make and apply the mask (ie Sunday night, instead of Sunday morning – perfect pre-GoT)
  • 1/2 tsp local honey (why? Because it soothes skin, hydrates and can help clear up blemishes)
  • 1 strawberry or 2 blueberries (why? Because they contain a whole lotta antioxidants which help fight free radicals, i.e. they help slow down the aging process of cells – dropping serious knowledge on you guys right here)

Tools:
Small bowl, whisk, spoon, facial brush (optional) and clean hands

  1. Take a small bowl, add 1-2 strawberries/blueberries and mash
  2. Add 1/8-1/4 tsp of lemon juice and mix thoroughly
  3. Add 1 tsp of honey and mix until fully incorporated
  4. Add 1-2 tbsp yogurt
  5. Mix together with spoon or whisk until blended well

Apply to clean damp skin using facial brush or fingers, being very careful to stay away from eye area (lemon juice + eyes = a lot of expletives). Gently massage mask into face using small circular motions. Leave mask on for about 5-10 minutes (perfect time to read your favorite book, blog, magazine and maybe sip on some Rose). Rinse mask off with luke-warm water, pat skin dry, apply toner if you have it (I like plain old rose water or orange water), apply favorite serum or face oil (I’m loving Lyeska skin serum right now and of course my bath + body oil), then a light to medium weight moisturizer (I like Birdy Botanicals and Aesop). Apply mask 1-2 times a week and skin will be in lovely shape in no time.

Thanks for watching! Check back for more videos and don’t forget to follow Etta + Billie on Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat (Soap Maven)

How to Solve Summer Skin Hangovers

Hangovers are a painful reminder of fun (and sometimes not so fun) moments from the night before. Often the, uh hem, “symptoms” go away after a few hours but others can stick around for a while. Our skin is no different. Exposing it to all the fun summer activities can definitely take its toll and when it comes to these skin “hangovers”, the after-effects can last a while. Here’s a list of some of the most common summer skin hangovers and some tips for get your skin back to tip top glowing condition for fall.

Beach-Sun-SkinDryness

Dry skin isn’t just a winter problem. Notice how your skin can get extra flaky, even after your sunburn is long gone? That may be caused by prolonged immersion in chlorinated or salted water. For a quick fix, run thru your pantry. Grab some Oatmeal (grind in coffee grinder to fine powder) and mix with yogurt or honey to create a loose paste. Smooth on your skin for 15-20 min. Rinse with lukewarm water and moisturize. Skin will look refreshed and glowing.

Camping Redwood GroveBug Bites

Summer is the time for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities that expose skin to mosquitoes and other blood sucking bugs. To help take the edge off those bites, consider using tea. The leaves are not only ideal for steeping, the antioxidant properties are proven effective topically to reduce swelling and soothe inflammation. Head to shower & lightly rub some steeped tea bags on bites. For a double dose of antioxidants, try cleansing first with the Earl Grey soap which contains Guurl Grey Tea from the wild, free, delicious and humorous T-we Tea.

Earl Grey soap
Earl Grey Soap

Sunburn

When you’re freshly burned, leave the soap and loofah behind. A quick fix to reduce pain of sunburned skin is to shower or soak in a cool bath. Nothing beyond 15-20 minutes and please remember cool not cold! You don’t wanna traumatize your skin further. Drop some lavender body oil and/or a spoonful of baking soda for extra soothing effect. Lavender has long been used to help sooth inflamed skin and aids in the healing process. Once out of the bath, gently pat yourself dry and apply more lavender body oil or lavender lotion to the burned areas. Take lukewarm showers and continue to moisturize to help skin heal. Resist the temptation to peel away dry skin.

qd7ATxgL7QAyPyznoc7flZOWNP9kTHeD7bmwg92viZMIngrown Hair

Fall is right around the corner, a time when jeans replace the season of shorts. However lingering ingrowns caused by excessive summer shaving can be irritating and piercing when in contact with tight jeans. I don’t wanna sound like a broken record here, but exfoliating really is IMPORTANT. You can get rid of those hurtful bumps and help your skin rejuvenate fast by gently exfoliating daily. Indulge yourself with the vast scents of Etta + Billie’s solid scrub bars.

 

 

Recipe: Pineapple Pisco-Jito Cocktail

Alyson-Thomas-Drywell-Pineapple-Pisco-CocktailI am very fortunate to have some pretty kick ass business buddies one of whom is a whiz with inventive cocktails (she’s also a major foodie), so we obviously get along. Alyson Thomas is the very talented artist behind Drywell Art (you’ve probably seen one or two of her well known pieces around). While perusing her blog, I came across this delightful sounding summery cocktail recipe. She was kind enough to let me re-post this fabulous recipe here. Get cocktailing people and be sure to check out the Drywell blog. Cheers!

Pineapple Pisco-jito
by the pitcher-full, makes 8 drinks

  • 2 cups Pisco (or rum, if you’re feeling traditional)
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 lime, in quarters
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 4 pineapple spears

1. Using a wooden spoon or muddler in a bowl, crush the mint with the sugar and lime quarters until the sugar starts to dissolve.

2. Add half of pineapple and crush into mixture

3. Add 1 cup of the club soda and stir until the sugar dissolves completely.

4. Strain the mixture through a coarse sieve into a pitcher.

5. Stir in the lime juice and rum. ** You can chill the mixture now, and serve it later**

6. Fill glass with ice and add a mint sprig to each. A

7. Add chopped pineapple to glass.

8.  Pour the mixture over the ice, top each glass with club soda and serve.

Serves 8.

My Go-To: Top 5 Summer Skincare Tips

Beach-Sun-Skin

Here are my top 5 skin tips to keep you and your skin happy and healthy this summer. Read on and get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

Top 5 Summer Skincare Tips

  1. Slather on the sunscreen. Apply at least 30 minutes prior to major sun exposure and re-apply every 2 hours or so. I like this brand of natural sunscreen. For your face, use mineral makeup with an SPF or check out this tinted moisturizer.
  2.  Double up the skin protection when heading for the beach, lake or park. Wear a hat and a cover-up. Think about sporting one of these cute printed rash guards (SPF 50).Summer Style
  3. Limit sun exposure. Especially between the hours of 10 am to 2 pm when UV rays are most intense. I know, it’s hard when there are so many fun things to do outside in the summer but it is the most effective method to protect skin.Shady Palapa Mexico
  4. Hydrate! Be sure to drink plenty of water. Not a huge fan of plain water? Add a few slices of cucumber, melon or sprigs of mint for subtle yet delicious flavor.Hydrating Herbal Water
  5. Exfoliate. All that sun, sand and fun takes a toll on your skin. Use a gentle exfoliant for facial skin, like finely ground oatmeal mixed with yogurt or honey, and one of our hydrating sea salt scrubs on your body to keep skin healthy.

Recipe: Strawberry Banana Almond Smoothie with Cacao

Strawberry_Banana_Cocoa_Smoothie_Gluten FreeIt’s strawberry season! One of my favorite ways to enjoy strawberries for the rest of the year is to freeze them so they can be tossed into smoothies and yogurt. Freezing them is a super simple process, check out the directions here. Here is a great recipe for a sweet, fairly healthy, strawberry treat. Use  fresh or frozen berries for this.

Special Equipment:

Blender, Vitamix, or NutriBullet

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 frozen (or fresh strawberries)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut/almond milk (I like this brand)
  • 2 tbsp yogurt (I used goat milk based yogurt from Redwood Hill Farms)
  • 1/2 tsp honey – optional

Place all the ingredients in your blender of choice and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Gluten Free aka Flourless Chocolate Cake

Gluten-free-chocolate-cake-mixing

This cake is amazing. And it’s gluten free. I’ve made it twice so far this year and people always rave about it. I think all my soaping has really upped my baking skills. Check out the recipe over at Bon Appetit.  Try a few of my recommendations below.

  • HIGHLY RECOMMEND: replace 1 tbsp of sugar meant for sprinkling the top of the cake before baking with about 1/4-1/2 tsp really good sea salt (or fleur de sel or lavender infused) or leave it out all together.
  • add about 1-2 tbsp of bourbon to the whipped cream/mascarpone topping (you could do vanilla instead of the bourbon – 1/2 tsp).
  • add 1/2 tsp of cardamom to recipe (I love ALL things cardamom – hello Grapefruit Cardamom Lotion)

    Any other recommendations out there? What is your go-to dessert?Gluten-Free-Chocolate-Cake