Nothing says “warm” and “cosy” like a hot toddy on a cold day. These cocktails—typically enjoyed when the weather begins to get colder and wetter—are even rumored to help cure the common cold! A simple blend of liquor, hot water, honey, and occasionally herbs and spices; this classic drink is not only a winter staple but can be dressed up to impress even the pickiest of cocktail connoisseurs.
Photo by Meg Baggott, Styling by Dylan Garret
The Classic Hot Toddy Recipe: Use this recipe to make a perfectly simple and classic hot toddy, or use it as a base to work with to add your favorite tea, spices, or other ingredients.
Apple Cinnamon Hot Toddy: Inspired by the taste of delicious apple pie, this drink will have you feeling like you just drank a spiked version of your favorite winter dessert (just without the crust)!
Hot Toddy Caramel Popcorn: Looking for that hot toddy flavor, but not in the mood for a drink? This popcorn recipe combines classic caramel popcorn with hot toddy flavors for a creative take on both!
The smell of pine and citrus instantly conjures memories of winter holidays, warm meals, and cozy nights. Etta + Billie’s latest line of soaps, room + body spray, and hand + body wash is no exception. Inspired by snowy walks through evergreen forests and tangy season citrus, these products are sure to be showstoppers in your home or make great holidays gifts for friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone who like great scents!
October is a great month for getting ready for watching the leaves change, wearing your coziest and softest flannels, and snacking on many delicious treats. October is also a particularly good time to getting your home and body prepared for the upcoming winter. Here are some of our favorite seasonal activities and treats (snackable and otherwise) to enjoy and share with others.
Apple Picking: It wouldn’t be fall without apple picking! Whether you enjoy eating apples raw or using them to bake apple pies or make caramel apples, apple picking is a great activity for the whole family. Some apple orchards even offer tasty treats on-site to keep you fueled, like apple cider and pastries. So grab your friends, Google your nearest apple orchard, and spend some time outdoors in the crisp autumn air.
Chai Tea Room + Body Spray: Chai is one of those scents that elicits the warm, spicy, and subtly sweet smells of autumn. This chai tea spray is a perfectly complementary combination of smells to not only help your home smell like a comforting and seasonal space, but can also help freshen YOU up! Safe for linens, the body, your car, and more; feel free to be generous with this Etta + Billie product to make your home fall ready.
Cheese and Pretzel Broomsticks: These fun little snacks are great for kids and adults at parties. No cooking required; just get some thin pretzel sticks, string cheese, a knife, and some chives (optional) for garnish. Just be sure to snap a photo of your creative snack plate before they’re all gobbled up!
Boozy Apple Cider: A signature cocktail is a must at any gathering. This drink is a great option since it can be used for all autumn-themed parties and can even be made without alcohol for kids. Served in seasonally appropriate carved-out apples, sweetened with a hint of caramel, and spiked with cinnamon-flavored Fireball Whiskey; this cocktail will wow all your party guests.
Corn Maze and Pumpkin Picking: Getting lost in a corn maze can be a fun activities for kids of all ages, however, some places offer Halloween or horror-themed mazes for adults too. A perfect excuse to run around in the outdoors and burn off some energy, corn mazes can keep kids entertained for hours. Many farms also offer pumpkin picking, so you can head home ready to carve pumpkins, make pumpkin pie, or roast pumpkin seeds.
Ginger Orange Lip Balm + Salve: Nothing is worse than having dry, itchy skin once the weather starts getting colder. Help keep your skin moisturized with this revitalizing ginger orange lip balm and salve instead! The ginger is both calming and refreshing, the orange lends hints of uplifting citrus, and the nourishing oils and cocoa butter keep your skin conditioned and soothed all year round.
Chai is a perfect winter scent with a warming grounding blend of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and ginger. The warming spicy aroma of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg meld with the creamy richness of milk to create a delicious and soothing blend.
Chai is a phenomenally distinct yet versatile flavor and scent. Commonly founds mixed with black tea, chai originated in South Asia and can be traced back to India and China. While chai spices vary from region to region, traditional chai spices include cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, cloves, fennel, ginger, and peppercorn.
If you’re interested in making your own chai drink, here is a simple and delicious recipe that combines black tea, milk, and spices.
2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped 2 cinnamon sticks 2 teaspoons black peppercorns 10 whole cloves 6 cardamom pods 6 cups cold water 6 bags of black tea 2 cups of whole milk (or almond/soy milk)
Combine fresh ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom in a medium saucepan. While stirring, lightly crush the spices.
Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover the saucepan, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes.
Discard tea bags, add your milk of choice, and simmer over high heat for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, strain chai into a teapot, and serve hot.
From coconut water to coconut flakes, and from coconut milk to coconut oil; the coconut is an amazingly versatile product! Used in foods, body care, hair care, and even dental care; the coconut not only smells great but includes a number of health benefits too.
Coconut is frequently used in a number of health and beauty products because it is known to be naturally antibacterial and antifungal. Coconut oil, in particular, can be utilized for cooking, oil pulling, and skin care. It also penetrates better than other oils, making it a powerful moisturizer for both hair and skin. Plus, you get the added benefit of smelling like a tropical paradise when you use it!
Here are a few of our favorite coconut-based recipes, beauty products, and more.
Coconut Gin and Tonic: Nothing says summertime like cool and refreshing cocktails enjoyed outside in the sun. The coconut water in this cocktail not only adds electrolytes and minerals to your drink, but it lends a great coconut flavor without being too overpowering. Garnish with some lime, mint, and a little umbrella and you’re all set to relax.
Ritual Roasters Cold Brew Mint Coffee Soap: The star of this show is Ritual Roaster’s cold brew coffee, but the main ingredient in this soap is a coconut oil base! The mint in this organic soap bar adds the just right amount of uplifting kick to the soothing and familiar aroma of coffee. Combined with coffee oil (for skin soothing antioxidants) and coffee grounds (to help exfoliate dead skin cells), this soap helps stimulate circulation, get you clean, and make your bathroom smell amazing!
Coconut Milk Ice Cream: Don’t have an ice cream maker? Don’t worry; you don’t need one for this recipe. This 3-ingredient vegan ice cream is not only easy to make, but it’s versatile too! You can use this coconut milk ice cream as a base to add your favorite flavors and topping to, or even make an “adult” version of it by spiking it with any booze of choice.
Coconut Oil Hair Mask: Coconut oil makes an excellent deep conditioner for your hair. This particular mask—combined with honey and heated slightly to help hair follicles open up and absorb the mixture—leaves your hair soft, shiny, and smelling like cookies! Just leave it in your hair for 30-45 minutes then shampoo, condition, and style as usual.
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)
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*)
Small bowl, whisk, spoon, grater, a couple of small jars and clean hands
Let’s do it!
Take a small bowl and add 1 tbsp of virgin coconut oil
Add 1/2 tsp of sunflower oil and mix well with coconut oil using the whisk
Add 1 + 1/2 tsp of brown sugar
Add 1 + 1/2 tsp of turbinado sugar and mix until fully blended
Grate about ¼ tsp of lemon peel to add a gentle scent and touch of alpha hydroxy acids
Mix all the ingredients together
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).
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!
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)
Small bowl, whisk, spoon, facial brush (optional) and clean hands
Take a small bowl, add 1-2 strawberries/blueberries and mash
Add 1/8-1/4 tsp of lemon juice and mix thoroughly
Add 1 tsp of honey and mix until fully incorporated
Add 1-2 tbsp yogurt
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)
“I think there is no way to truly mimic what mother nature has created and the only way to feed our skin is to choose ingredients that come from natural sources.”
When we scroll through your instagram feed we get hungry. Why is it important that the things we put on our skin should be good enough to eat? Do you use any preservatives? Could we really eat your products if we wanted to?
I think it’s important to be as conscious of what we put on our bodies as we are of what we put into our bodies. While synthetic ingredients can be effective, I think there is no way to truly mimic what mother nature has created and the only way to feed our skin is to choose ingredients that come from natural sources. These ingredients have been used for years to nourish and heal. Residue from all the products we use, will eventually end up in our water system and choosing natural ingredients helps reduce the harmful impact on wildlife and plant-life. I do not use preservatives in any of my products with the exception of the lotion, it is a aqueous based formula that needs a preservative to maintain it’s integrity. I suppose you could eat the products, but I wouldn’t recommend it, they taste terrible!
What are your favorite California plants to work with? Do you get any of your herbal ingredients locally?
We’ve been blogged! Check out the review of our Grapefruit Cardamom Lotion, Earl Grey Tea Soap, Cinnamon Oatmeal Soap and Peppermint Lime Scrub over at talented SF photographer, Tiffany Ingram’s website Sunshine Daydream Photography. She took some incredible photos of of Etta + Billie products amongst the San Francisco wilderness. 😉