National Margarita Day 2019

Kick off your weekend drinking margaritas to celebrate this special day today.

The margarita is a cocktail that consists of tequila, triple sec and lime or lemon juice. A key ingredient is the freshly squeezed lime juice. When made with lemons, they have a much softer taste. In Mexico, when drinking straight tequila, the best course of action was to down it in one swallow, suck on a wedge of lime and lick a dash of salt off the back of your hand.

Follow the link to find places with good deals for Margaritas today: People – National Margarita Day

HISTORY

According to cocktail historian David Wondrich, the margarita is merely a popular Mexican and American drink, the Daisy (“margarita” is Spanish for “daisy”), remade with tequila instead of brandy, which became popular during Prohibition as people drifted over the border for alcohol. Read more about it here: Wikipedia – Margarita

HOW TO OBSERVE

Get a margarita and use #NationalMargaritaDay to post. Remember, never drink and drive.

RANDOM FACT

In the December 1953 issue of Esquire magazine, the margarita cocktail was the “Drink of the Month”.  The recipe as printed was:

  • 1 ounce tequila
  • Dash of Triple Sec
  • Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

RECIPES

  1. Pure Mexican Margarita – Made with key lime and agave; follow the link here: Kitchn – Margarita Recipemargaritastext
  2. Jalapeno Margarita – Thinly sliced jalapenos to give a kick to your favorite drink; recipe here: Well Plated – Spicy MargaritaJalapeno-Margarita-recipe-600x860@2x
  3. Skinny Margarita – A simple recipe sweetened with agave nectar to keep things on the healthier side. Follow the recipe here: Classic-skinny-margaritaclassic-skinny-margarita-11-of-11-500x375

 

 

Advertisements

Happy National Grain-Free Day

Grain-freeEnjoy each others’ company over grain-free meals, designed to help people cope with food restrictions.

History

In 2019, Siete Family Foods founded National Grain-Free Day to support those whose dietary restrictions require them to eat grain-free. By raising awareness, they hope to bring them back around the table again, enjoying family meals. 

How to Observe

  • Exchange delicious grain-free recipes to grow your repertoire.
  • Cook together – experiment together. Find new ways to enjoy your favorite foods grain-free.
  • Use #NationalGrainFreeDay to share on social media.

Some Easy Recipes

  1. Quick grain-free breakfast oatmeal: This grain-free hot cereal is made in about 3 minutes. Follow the recipe at Bakerita here – Grain-free OatmealGrain-Free-Hot-Cereal-5
  2. Bacon / Broccoli Frittata: A quick go-to meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. check out the recipe here – Deliciously Organic Frittatabacon-potato-and-broccoli-frittata-L
  3. Pound Cake: Perfect for dessert and can be made in bulk and stored. Learn how to here –  Deliciously Organic Pound Cakegrain-free-pound-cake-recipe-gluten-free

 

DIY handmade soy candles

Handmade candles add a unique flavor to your home and it feels great knowing you made them. Plus, you can control the wonderful smells and the vibrant colors.

Why use soy?? Unlike paraffin candles, soy does not give out soot and they last longer than candles from paraffin or animal products like beeswax. You can design custom made candles to give as gifts based on the receiver’s likes or create that special blend for yourself.

Materials:

  • Soy wax flakes (available at any craft store)
  • Essential oils – I used Vanilla and Citrus
  • Optional: Colorants (colored wax cubes work better than liquid colorant)
  •  Mason jar with wick attached (I bought mine at Michaels; Mason Jar with Wick)
  • A wooden stick for stirring (I used an old paintbrush)
  • A glass measuring jar (to melt the soap) and a microwave
  • A pencil

Process:

  1. Melt the wax flakes in the jar in 1 min intervals. Once melted, stir gently with a stick.untitled
  2. Add 6-8 drops of the oils and stir. An optional step is to add the colorant wax (1 cube should give vibrant colors).
  3. Holding the wick as straight as you can and centering it, pour in the liquid carefully.
  4. Use the pencil to wind the wick around, ensuring it stays straight until the candle hardens (I used an old straw I had laying around).
  5. Let the candle harden overnight or for 8-10 hrs.                                                                    C35F7D8E-EA8B-4731-A660-C3A976EAAA29
  6. Remove the pencil and cut the wick if it is too long.
  7. Wrap a piece of twine or lace around the outside, attach a tag and gift to your loved ones or keep for yourself.

Optional: You can reuse old mason jars or chipped teacups as candle bases (attach a wick manually; these are available at any craft stores.)

Rainy Day Binge-ing: What are your favorites?

85f97e63c22612cb9cb244c62b0b45f6

Today is a rainy, humid and gloomy day in Texas :/ It just makes me want to stay home, eating my favorite foods (lots and lots of pizza), drinking tea and watching shows on Netflix.

Today was a wonderfully lazy day for me, eating ice-cream for dinner. My favorite is the Chocolate Fudge Brownie by ‘Ben & Jerry’s’. I can eat the entire tub in one sitting which is why I try never to buy any.

With my ice-cream in hand, I watched Netflix pretty much all day; current shows are ‘Westworld’, ‘Designated Survivor’ and ‘Fuller House’. I’m still waiting for Riverdale’s new season to come out.

What are your favorite rainy day foods and shows??

New Year, New Hair: Homemade Care Tips – For Hair Growth

The last segment in hair care: tips for hair growth and thickness. Everyone wants nice, thick, strong hair. A few natural tricks could help with growth and maintenance.

Read parts 1 and 2 here (for dry and gray hair):

Green Tea Rinse:

green-tea-for-hair

Green tea contains catechins which help to reduce dihydrotestosterone (DTH), responsible for hair loss and polyphenol, which is good for hair roots and hair follicles, which leads to hair regrowth.

  • Reuse green tea bags by boiling them for 45 mins, cooling them and applying them to your hair.
  • Leave on for 30 mins and rinse with cool water.

Onion Juice:

onion-juice1.jpg-ripples-ng

 

In addition to clearing out your eyes, onions are very good for hair. Onion juice is rich in sulphur that boosts the production of collagen in your tissues, and therefore promotes hair growth.

 

  • Chop onions into small pieces and blend well to get out the juice.
  • Apply evenly on scalp and leave for 20 mins.
  • Wash with a mild shampoo and use conditioner.

Fenugreek:

df

A wonderful herb, great for digestion and hair. They contain nicotinic acid to promote hair growth and thickness.

  • Soak a handful or two of the seeds in warm water. Let them soak for 24 hrs (or you can purchase the powder online).
  • Blend the entire mixture to get a smooth paste. Apply the paste directly on your scalp and leave for 30 mins.
  • Rinse off with a mild shampoo.

New Year, New Hair: Homemade Care Tips – For Gray Hair

Continuing the happy healthy hair journey, this post will contain tips and care on naturally covering grays and prevention.

Read the first part on combating hair dryness here: New Year, New Hair: Homemade Care Tips – For Dry Hair

As your hair follicles age, they produce less color and the aging follicles are likely to produce a white or gray hair to replace the last hair that died. While some celebrate gray hair as a sign of maturity and wisdom, many feel that they look older when their hair starts growing gray and would like the gray to go away for a more youthful appearance.

You can do this using commercial hair dyes which show results quickly but can cause a lot of dryness or use natural remedies that take a little longer but maintain the overall health of hair.

Here are some tips you can do at home to cover grays.

Tea Rinse:

chai-patti-500x500

Black tea is full of tannic acid which can darken your hair over time.

  • Brew a few cups of very strong black tea. Let it cool.
  • Clean hair by shampooing.
  • Add some conditioner to the tea (keeping some aside for a final rinse) and apply to hair. Let it soak for up to 30 minutes before rinsing out with warm water.
  • Do a final rinse using the remaining tea.

Brewed Coffee:

coffee_625x300_1526534455601

Coffee gives a rich brown color to hair on frequent use. It also contains caffeine, which stimulates hair follicles and growth.

  • Brew a strong pot of coffee.
  • After cleaning hair, add the coffee to hair, carefully massaging it into the strands.
  • Leave for 20 mins and rinse.

Beet Juice:

96-istock-532132851

Beets help with itchy scalp by moisturizing the scalp and removing dead cells. Also, it gives a pretty dark red color to hair after rinsing.

  • Make a blend of beets with filtered water and one cup of olive oil (make sure you have enough to cover the entire length of your hair).
  • Massage into scalp and all the way from roots to ends. Leave for 10-15 mins.
  • Rinse with warm water.

A few other things you can do:

  1. Moisturize your hair nightly with coconut or almond oils to prevent hair follicles from drying out.
  2. Get enough minerals and vitamins using supplements.
  3. Try to reduce stress which further causes white hair by meditating an hour everyday.
  4. Stop hair damage by using straightening / curling tools or hair spray, bleach etc.

 

 

New Year, New Hair: Homemade Care Tips – For Dry Hair

I have never been one to put in a lot of care into my hair. It has always been curly, frizzy and extremely forgiving, especially uncombed. I usually use a sulfate-free shampoo once a week and condition twice a week to keep my hair from drying. I noticed recently though a lot of white hair near my ears and a dryness and hair loss. I decided with the New Year, I would devote more time and TLC towards my hair.

Luckily, I am not averse to putting food items and other natural herbs on my hair if it will help. The more natural, the less damage. Here are some homemade hair care tips to combat dryness.

An Avocado A Day:

avo

Avocados are rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids, and minerals that will help restore luster to your dry hair.

  • Mash 1-2 ripe avocados really well (minus the pit) and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix really well.
  • Apply liberally to your hair, focusing on the dry portions. Cover with a warm towel for 30 mins.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  • Repeat once a week till you see improvement.

Apple Cider Vinegar Mask:

appl

Apples are loaded with potassium, pectin, malic acid and calcium. Raw apple cider vinegar leaves all of the nutrients in the vinegar which makes it a terrific hair remedy.

  • Combine 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 egg whites, then rub the mix into your dry hair.
  • Keep hair covered for 30 mins.
  • Clean using a sulfate-free shampoo.

Oil Elixirs For Nourishment:

coconut-oil-hair-mask

Oils like olive, coconut and almond are available at all stores and are wonderful for damaged hair.

  • Take a cup of oil and warm it (add enough oil based on hair length). Massage into the scalp and along individual strands (do not forget the ends).
  • Let hair soak for 25-30 mins.
  • Rinse off with a clarifying shampoo.
  • Optional: Add some conditioner with a final rinse.

A few other tips to help with dryness:

  1. Try to leave your hair open instead of leaving it tied up. Also, never tie hair too tightly.
  2. Never sleep with hair tied or any accessories in it.
  3. Sleep with a humidifier to restore moisture into hair.
  4. After washing, do not rub excessively with a towel. Simply wrap the towel around hair and let it absorb the moisture. This helps to avoid split ends.
  5. Take omega-3 capsules a few times a week to keep hair and cuticles strong and healthy.

 

DIY Harry Potter Series – Easy mini books

Happy January everyone. It’s been a while since I did something creative but I am back with something easy and fun 🙂 Create your own mini books with this easy DIY post. Of course, I chose Harry Potter as my theme.

You will need:

  • Print outs of several harry potter book covers from google (make sure they are small)
  • Matte mod podge and scissors
  • Glue / staples
  • A4 paper – white / cream (for the inner pages)
  • Optional: String / hooks to hang them if needed

What you do:

  1. Once you have your printouts of the different book covers, cut them out. Gently fold along the spine of the book.EFA7FD87-3A09-4781-BABC-9D7823D8193B
  2. Draw an outline of one side of the folded book and cut out several small sheets of paper (for the inner pages).
  3. Arrange them so they all are even along one end and staple them together, to form a solid bundle.
  4. Add glue to the spine of the book cover and glue the bundle on the inside, holding firmly for 4-5 seconds.
  5. Once dry, add a layer of matte mod podge on to the book cover. Let dry.
  6. Optional Step: Attach some string with glue / tape to hang the mini books as tree ornaments.95E03C6E-AA00-4E95-B2AB-10E5FE7B8024

To make spell books, or a book cover garland, follow the DIY hereDIY Harry Potter Series – Spell Books and HP Book Covers

Harry Potter Christmas Tree (second year running)

Merry Christmas everyone 🙂

After two years of starting word-press for the sole purpose of showcasing my Harry Potter crafts, I finally finished another Harry Potter themed Christmas tree (for the second year running). I added a few more ornaments and decor to last year’s tree.

(Read all about last year’s tree here: Harry Potter Christmas Tree (after a whole year of DIYing)).

Warning: Lots of pictures to follow.

I attached a Ravenclaw banner to my mantle since I believe I am one 😛 I arranged the tree and accessories below it and made a HP wreath to match (DIY to follow soon).

IMG_0682

The wreath has 3 of the 4 marauders (see if you can find whose missing). I added some scrolls of spells, memorable quotes and a few mini brooms and other things.IMG_0683

I made some ‘Honeydukes‘ and ‘Weasley Wheezes‘ boxes to place at the bottom of the tree along with some old bottles that I fashioned into potions (I printed a label and added water plus food coloring inside).IMG_E0671

A small wand holder in blue with matching Ravenclaw socks and a blue bottle with ‘Lumos‘ written in glow-in-the-dark paint adorns the left of the tree (DIY to follow soon). I had some left over Quibbler magazines and Quidditch books that I placed at the bottom.Untitled

I made a hopping cauldron ornament to add to the pile (DIY to follow), bought two sparkly deer for James and Lily’s patronuses, printed out a proclamation sign and made a ‘Hagrid’s happy birthday cake’ (See cake DIY here: DIY Harry Potter Series – Hagrid’s ‘Happee Birthdae Harry’ Cake)

Untitled Untitled2

Hedwig is guarding the Hogwarts letter and the school supply list. IMG_E0678

I pinned some images that I printed of Knockturn alley, pointing toward the fireplace and Ollivander’s sign. I hung a ‘Free Dobby‘ sign complete with socks (DIY to follow soon).IMG_E0677.JPG

Next year I might try a ‘Game of Thrones‘ tree. If you are inspired to make your own themed tree, I’d love to see the end result 🙂