Friday, 22 July 2011

How to: sugar scrub

Hello all.
I wanted to share with you a super simple, quick, easy way to make a sugar scrub.
I rarely buy exfoliators or body scrubs any more, especially after I started doing this as I find the store bought exfoliators are filled with unnecessary ingredients. This scrub only requires two ingredients and they can easily be changed according to what you have to hand.

What I used
I mixed together about two tablespoons of white sugar with a heaped tablespoon of coconut oil. The oil was solid when I used it, if your oil is in liquid form I would maybe use a bit more oil. As I mixed the sugar and oil the oil softened until it formed a paste. It doesn't really matter how thick it is, as long as you can scoop some out into your hand and rub it onto your skin. I then just stood over my bath rub and rubbed the scrub over my legs in circular motions, be careful not to rub too roughly.

You don't have to use coconut oil, or sugar for that matter. All you need is an exfoliant and a liquid agent. Here are some examples as to what you can use.

❥Sugar, this can be white, brown, cane, demura or whatever you have at home.
❥Salt, such as Epsom salt (commonly used in bath salts)
❥Coffee grounds (you can even use used coffee)
❥Ground almonds, though I think that would be a bit expensive, but might be more luxurious.
❥Oatmeal (it might be a bit messy though)

Personally I would reccommend you used sugar, it's available in most homes, is usually cheap and doesn't make a mess in the bathroom, it will usually dissolve if you rinse the bathtub/shower with hot water.

Liquid agent
❥Coconut oil (I used organic, virgin cold-pressed oil, but to be honest I don't think it matters)
❥Olive oil (virgin is probably better, but I don't think it makes too much difference to be honest)
❥Other oils, peanut or sunflower for example
❥Citrus juice (lemon, lime or orange for example) is supposed to contain astringent qualities.
❥Milk products (milk, yoghurt, sour cream). The lactic acid is meant to help remove dead skin cells.
I think you could even use butter if you didn't have anything else, but I don't think I would want to!

I personally chose to use coconut oil because I like the smell. Simple enough reason. :)

I found the scrub to exfoliate nicely and the oil left my skin feeling very soft. The quantity I made would be enough to do the legs and thighs, maybe with a bit left over to use as a lip scrub. :)

I wouldn't recommend storing this, I'm sure it would keep in the fridge for a bit, but it's always nicer to use it fresh, isn't it?

If you want a really luxurious scrub you might want to try mixing together ground almonds and a bit of milk, it feels like something Cleopatra would have used ;) I haven't tried it though, as there are rarely ground almonds in my house.

I hope this post inspired you to try making a body scrub, I'm sure you've either done of heard of it before, but it really is fun and really easy to do. 

Please do let me know if you decide to try it after reading my post. :)

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Watermelon Raspberry Lemonade

Hello again!
I thought I'd share with you a quick recipe for a very cooling summer drink.

What I did:

I used about a cup of watermelon and put it in a blender along with about a quarter cup of frozen raspberries (I would have used more but that was all we had left). You could use fresh raspberries, but as we rarely get nice fresh ones here (and if we did I'd rather just eat them on their own) frozen worked just fine. I also added about a cup of cold water because the fruit wouldn't blend properly. If you're a really patient person you could de-seed the watermelon first, but I could not be bothered. I did end up with teensy little bits in my glass though, but I didn't mind. :)

I then juiced half a lemon that I found in my fridge. I put the juice into a jug with a strainer on top to catch the lemon's have pips or stones? Google says pips, so pips it must be! Anyway, I then poured the blended watermelon and raspberries through the strainer and into the jug. I had a bit of a taste and though it was a little bit too sharp.

Now, before you jump to conclusions, I did not add white wine into the lemonade. I added sugar syrup. I made some a few weeks ago. If you like drinking lemonade during the summer I would recommend making a batch of sugar syrup to keep in your fridge. It's very simple (it's even called simple syrup sometimes). Just boil two parts sugar with one part water. So say you boil one cup of water, then you'd need to add two cups of sugar. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved and it's a syrupy consistency (the syrup should drip off your spoon in a stream). Allow to cool completely and then store it in some sort of container. I just used a clean and sterilised wine bottle. It'll keep in the fridge for a long time.
I added about a quarter cup of syrup into the jug, stirred and tasted again and then decided it was now too sweet. So I had a look in my fridge and saw that there was also about a third of a lemon there so I just squeezed that in. I then added two more cups of water (although I think a cup and a half would have been enough), some ice and voilĂ ! a perfect summery drink.

I enjoyed it with some salt and vinegar crisps while sunbathing on the balcony and listening to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy audiobook read by Stephen Fry. Incidentally I would listen to anything read by Mr. Fry, I love his voice, in fact the other day I listened to a podcast talk by him talking about the history of computers and Apple and such, not the most fascinating thing I've listened to, but I did enjoy it. :)

Let me know if you decide to make this, you could leave out either the raspberries or the watermelon if you don't have them, or both and just make normal lemonade, but it wouldn't be such a pretty pink colour! ;)

Also, let me know if you don't like how I arranged the photos, I can't decide whether or not I like it, but I thought it would make the post too long if I just put them below each paragraph. 

Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon...

Hello there!
Before I start rambling I would just like to say hello to the people who decided to follow my blog after the lovely Louise of Sprinkleofglitter very kindly tweeted about it. This absolutely made my day as I adore her blog and her videos are always very fun (and funny!) to watch and her reviews are always very informative and helpful. So, Louise, if you're reading this, thank you again!

I'm currently sat on my balcony with my back to the sun so that I can see the screen on my laptop. Since the weather was so nice I decided to try and work on getting a bit of a tan before I go to Turkey in August. As the sun is so strong over there I want to avoid sunbathing too much but don't want to be my pasty self either! I made myself a watermelon and raspberry lemonade (recipe to follow shortly) and had some salt and vinegar crisps as well. I love salt and vinegar crisps, but they're pretty much impossible to locate here. Whenever I go to England I always buy loads of bags of Walker's salt and vinegar crisps at the duty free and generally get very odd looks from the person at the shop. To my surprise my mum actually found some in a shop the other day (not walkers ones though), but hasn't seen them there again.

Anyway, enough rambling about crisps, what else is new with me?

I saw Harry Potter on Tuesday. I went to a special preview where they were showing Part 1 and 2 together, so I spent about 5 hours at the cinema, but it was totally worth it! Most of the people there were die-hard Harry Potter fans (some even dressed up, I think the guy who dressed up as Dumbledore must have been very hot under the beard though) and everyone in the audience kept clapping and certain scenes. What really surprised me was some of the girls though. During a certain scene in the new film I could hear very loud sobbing. Not just crying, but actual having-difficulty-breathing-sobbing.
I could barely hold back tears in some places, actually I couldn't hold them back at all. I'm not going to spoil anything for anyone, but I'll just say that I was really pleased with it. Yes, they left some things out, but I think that they did the book justice.

Anyway, I think I'll leave you there, I'm boiling hot and in need of a cooling shower before I write my next post.
I hope you all have a lovely start to the weekend!