In the Kitchen: Coconut

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 milk ice cream

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!

Ritual Roasters cold brew mint coffee soap bar

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.

Go-To Tips: How to Travel With Only a Carry-On Bag

How to Travel With Only a Carry-On Bag

Whether you’re traveling for business or vacation, airports and flying can be quite a process. Even seasoned travel veterans go to lengths to avoid any extra headaches when dealing with airports. One of the easiest ways to keep your air travel hassle-free is to downsize and fly with just one carry-on bag rather than checking your luggage. Sounds impossible? We’ve got your back with these travel tips.

Pack layers and outfits that can be mixed-and-matched. For your clothing, you’ll want to pack as few items as possible, but you also don’t want to be stuck wearing the same things every day. The easiest way to accomplish this is to pack a few basics with many layers that can be mixed-and-matched. For example, bring a pair of stylish sneakers that will be comfortable to walk around in all day but can also be worn with a sundress for a cute and comfortable daytime look. Or, pack a pair of black denim jeans that can be dressed up with heels for a night out or dressed down for a casual afternoon brunch. Include short- and long-sleeved tops that you can easily throw a flowy sweater over if it gets colder. You can also avoid packing extra (read: unnecessary) “just in case” items by checking the weather of where you will be traveling to ahead of time. Rain in the forecast? Throw a lightweight raincoat in your bag that can be worn over any outfit.

Plan on doing laundry. Though doing a load of laundry while on a business trip or vacation doesn’t sound fun, it can save you from ever having to pack “extra” clothes. If you’ll be traveling for 2 weeks, for example, and you do laundry once during your trip, you will only need to pack 1 week’s worth of clothing. Many larger hotels offer (or can suggest nearby) laundry services. If you are staying at an AirBnB or VRBO, look for one with a washer and dryer in the house or apartment. Staying with friends? Ask to do your laundry in their house or building, or seek recommendations for a nearby laundromat or dry cleaner.

Pack multi-purpose beauty products. By bringing products that can be used for multiple things, you can reduce the number of items you have to try and pack! For example, instead of packing individual bottles for your shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, consider buying a travel-sized product that can do all three! Or, bring a bath and body oil that can be used as a facial moisturizer, body lotion, and leave-in hair treatment. (Don’t forget to pack all toiletries in transparent bags and limit any liquid soaps or gels you are taking with you to under 3.4 ounces/100ml.)

Purchase what you need once you arrive at your destination. You may also want to consider waiting until you arrive at your destination to pick up smaller items rather than trying to pack them. If you’ll be flying to a tropical paradise, wait until you arrive to pick up your sunscreen. You can also easily find many beauty products at local drugstores, supermarkets, and pharmacies. Additionally, most hotels provide basic products for you such as soap, shampoo, and lotion. If you are renting an AirBnb or VBRO, consider calling ahead and asking your host if they keep your favorite item stocked.

Saving money is only one of the advantages to traveling light and not having to check a bag. You’ll never have to worry about the nightmare that is losing your luggage, nor will you have to waste time waiting at a baggage carousel after spending hours on an airplane!

Fresh this Month: Lemongrass Hand + Body Wash

Lemongrass Hand + Body Wash

We’re excited to announce our latest product, Lemongrass Hand + Body Wash! Lemongrass—which is native to India, Southeast Asia, and other tropical regions—is a fibrous plant that has been utilized for hundreds of years due to its antifungal, insecticidal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is not only used as a medicinal herb, but in many delicious recipes too.

Lemongrass lends a subtle and clean citrus scent to everything it’s in, making it a perfect ingredient for soaps, body lotions, and more. Our liquid soap takes the healing and aromatherapy elements of lemongrass and harnesses them to provide a cleansing and stimulating experience, whether you’re simply using it to wash your hands or soak in a bath after a long day.

We currently carry a line of lemongrass mint products including our Skin Balm, Body Scrub, and Hand + Body Wash; but for those who are more inclined to try the earthy and citrusy smell of lemongrass without the kick of peppermint, our Lemongrass Liquid Soap is perfect! Even without mint, the lemongrass provides an uplifting and restorative aroma that is bound to make you feel refreshed!

Etta + Billie Gift Guide: Father’s Day

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father’s day, which falls on June 17th this year, is the perfect opportunity to show Dad how much he means to you. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas; perfect for helping dads everywhere enjoy their summer to the fullest!

  1. Pit Barrel Meat Smoker | Pit Barrel Cooker Co. | $299.00
  2. Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist | Amazon | $10.42
  3. Riddim BT Speaker | House of Marley | $129.99
  4. Stainless-Steel Handled 4-Piece BBQ Tool Set with Case | William Sonoma | $79.96
  5. Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit | Bitters & Bottles | $60.50
  6. CampStove 2 | BioLite | $129.95

 

Fresh this Month: Rosemary Lemon Room + Body Spray

Rosemary Lemon Room + Body Spray

In addition to our Rosemary Lemon Soap and Rosemary Lemon Body Scrub, we’re rolling out a Rosemary Lemon Room + Body Spray! This multitasking spritz is perfect for refreshing linens, cars, any room of your home, and even your body without you having to worry about harmful chemicals and synthetic scents.

Etta + Billie Rosemary Lemon Room Body Spray Natural Skincare

Rosemary and lemon are a winning fragrance combination I keep going back to over and over. The herbaceous scent of rosemary perfectly compliments the crisp citrus aroma of lemon. Together, they smell like a warm summer day spent relaxing in a garden.

Rosemary is known for its stimulating and refreshing properties, which can help when you (or your room) need a quick pick-me-up! Citrus tones such as lemon often have uplifting qualities as well, and can be used as mood enhancer as well as a deodorizer. Between the complementary scents and invigorating power of this rosemary and lemon blend, this spray is a favorite!

Available in 2oz and 4oz for a limited time as part of our seasonal Spring/Summer collection so snag one before they’re gone!

Makers Gonna Make: Lavender Lemonade

Lavender Lemonade

This recipe combines the subtle aroma of lavender with the classic flavor of cold, refreshing lemonade. Its vibrant and beautiful hue makes this a fun beverage for the kids to enjoy on a hot summer day or for moms to turn into cocktails for a rejuvenating night in with friends. You can even consider serving this simple drink at your next BBQ, picnic, dinner party and more! The combination of citrus and floral undertones will make this drink a hit, no matter who you’re serving it to or what you’re serving it with.

When using lavender in recipes, I find it’s best to use fresh lavender (but you can easily use dried lavender for this recipe as well). Just remember; use lavender sparingly. Like rosemary, this highly fragrant herb doesn’t take much! Too much and your risk your recipe tasting like our Lavender soap (great for showers, not so great for beverages).

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of water
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • 3 tbsp of lavender (pull the flowers off the stem before measuring)
  • 2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Lemon slices and sprigs of lavender for garnish (optional)

Etta + Billie Lavender Lemonade Recipe for Spring and Summer

Tools

Measuring cup, measuring spoons, juice squeezer (if you don’t want to do it by hand), pot, pitcher

Let’s do it!

  1. Combine water and sugar in a large pot over medium heat and bring to a boil under the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Turn off the heat and stir in honey and lavender.
  3. Allow your mixture to steep for 2 hours (1 hour if you want less of a lavender flavor), keeping the heat off.
  4. Strain the liquid, removing the lavender, and mix in your fresh squeezed lemon juice.
  5. Pour into a large pitcher, serve over ice with some lemon and lavender as garnish, and enjoy!

Etta + Billie Events: Etta + Billie at American Craft Council

Etta + Billie at American Craft Council

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

In the Kitchen: Kitchen to Shower – Lemongrass

Kitchen to Shower - LemongrassCurries 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

Coconut Ginger Lemongrass Popsicle by Snixy Kitchen

Thai Grilled Corn and Peach Quinoa Salad by Half Baked Harvest

Lemongrass Mint Ginger Kaffir Lime Syrup by Delicious Everyday (this would be awesome in a cocktail)Recipe-Lemongrass-Mint-Kaffir-Lime-and-Ginger-Syrup-Delicious-Everyday-1-91

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.

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!

 

 

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.